PagesPat's Ponderings

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy House Mouse Holidays!

I belong to a group on .Ning that posted a challenge to use a House Mouse image on a commercial Christmas card.  We could use any HM image and embellishments of our choice.  Here is the card I made.  I used a card I received this year (thanks, cousin Art) and an image called "Silent Night."

After coloring my image with Copics, I cut out two of the four mice on the stamp, singing in front of one of the snowmen.  I placed them where I think the snowman on my commercial card is looking.  These merry mice are singing sweet carols to their snowy friend, and he seems very happy with their songs.

I kept the embellishments simple--some jewels and a holly leaf on the snowman's hat, a few jeweled notes to carry their tune, and a sentiment sticker.

Hmm, I wonder if I can get away with sending it back to cousin Art next year with my artistic changes.  Do you think they'll remember that they sent it to me this year???  Maybe I better send it out to somebody else.

Do you re-gift your cards and/or presents?  I do.  I cherish the people who send me cards, but some of them are too cute to just throw away at the end of the season.  I like to re-fashion these cards for others, like the one I did today.  This one might just go out in the mail today!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Figure Eight Style Skates into Town

Roses are red,
and so is my card.
If you like the same color
Squigglefly's challenge is not hard...

Not my best rhyme, but the sentiment is true!  If you love to create with RED, then this is your lucky week.  At Squigglefly, their newest challenge is to use RED on your card-with paper, embellishments or coloring-and a Squigglefly digi image.

I got to play with a new Squigglefly release from the always amazing Cheryl Alger.  This cutie pie is called "Figure Eight Style."  I started my path down REDville by framing my Copic-colored image with RED cardstock.  I finished off my tiny "canvas" with a few RED sequins.

My card base is RED cardstock whose bottom border I punched with tiny snowflakes.  I added a piece of white cardstock on the inside of the card so that the "flakes" would show up nicely.   Speaking of snowflakes, a sprinkled a few beside my image, and finished off my card with a metal word charm.

Now glide on over to the Squigglefly Challenge Blog so you can enter your card in this week's contest.  One random winner will win a free digi!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Very First WOYWW Post

Yeesh, I write some very personal posts, but there's nothing like a photograph to really lay it all on the line.  What am I talking about?  WOYWW is short for "What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday."  Workdesk stands for craft table, as you can see below.
It has been a hectic week--pulling extra shifts, Christmas shopping, being sick--and my goal to "clean as I craft" has crept quietly away, dragging its tale behind it.
The only good thing about admitting to this tornadic upheaval is that all those crafters out there who are too embarassed to admit they're messy crafters can come out of the closet now.  After seeing my table, they have nothing to be ashamed of!
I have a couple Christmas projects in the works, an Advent calendar that I finished but haven't hung yet, and a few envelopes to unpack.  You can't see it all now, but I am proud of my "new" storage system for my acrylic and EZ-mounted stamps.  Maybe next week it will all be visible, but for now you'll just have to trust me. LOL
Are you part of the WOYWW blog hop? If you don't know what it's about, head over to the Stamping GroundJulia provides links to everyone's blog...What are you waiting for? Go check it out!

JOY, Part 2: The Joy of Christmas

I love this time of the year.  Children are excited, parents are shopping, towns are decorating, houses are lit.  There is a feeling of joy in the air, but it’s not from what I just listed.  The joy comes from the hearts and actions of people I know (and some I don’t).
Let me explain...Our local food pantry runs on shelves of donated food and those shelves are decently filled.  At Christmas time, those shelves are overflowing!  I used to give a $5 bill to my children when they were young and let them buy food at a local discount food store for those same shelves.  They were asked to buy things that they would want to see on their plates for dinner.  They had a blast!  And today, one of them is volunteering regularly at the weekly soup kitchen offered through the pantry.  This gives me JOY.
 Another example…On our street there are quite a few elderly residents.  This year Chicago has seen a fair amount of snow three times already.  After every snowfall, my neighbors “extend” their property lines to include the walk and driveways of their elderly neighbors who don’t hire a snow removal service.  One of those kindly snow-blowers is my own hubby.  That gives me JOY.
I work in a school.  This month I have seen boxes set out for a food drive, a children’s gifts drive and a winter coat drive.  Those boxes have had to be emptied every day as they were overflowing with donations.  My own office coordinated the food drive, and there were families who donated CASES of canned foods at a time.  That gives me JOY.
I took my grandkids Christmas shopping at the mall over the weekend.  There were Christmas trees all over the place with tags on which were written names of children and an item they wished to receive for Christmas.  Each of my grandkids took a tag and with a little ($$) help from Grandma, they had a blast choosing “the perfect” gift for that needy child.  Their eyes lit up when we took them back to the tree, all wrapped up in colored paper and love.  That gives me JOY.
There are just so many examples of the JOY that people give and receive at this time of the year.  And in writing this post, I have just figured out what my 2014 resolution will be.  I am going to (try to) offer a Random Act of Kindness every day next year.  Now granted, it could be as small as sharing a smile with a stranger, but if I can get that stranger to smile back, my mission would be successful!  Because giving joy to others is what gives me JOY. 
So you’ll never guess which carol is my favorite Christmas song. Wait for it…JOY to the World!!  Hahahahaha!
Now on to my project.  I had a naked white 8 inch chipboard snowflake in my Christmas craft stash for YEARS!  Today I decided to make a snowflake wreath.  I colored a Crafter's Companion stamp from a set called "Christmas Magic" from the Winter Tales collection. Doesn't it look like she is dancing for joy?!  After framing it with cardstock, I popped it onto the center of my 'flake and let the embellishments fly!  Once I (thought) I was done, I wasn't satisfied with it.  It needed some backing of a sort, so I shuffled through my box of lace and trim and found the perfect (to me) piece to go around my "wreath."  I finished it off with a piece of metallic twine from which to hang my decoration.
I am entering my project in the Crafters Companion Monthly Challenge blog, whose theme is to use ribbon, twine or thread.  They are offering a $30/30# prize to a winner.
I also have entered my decoration in the Path of Positivity Challenge blog, whose challenge this month is JOY.  Entries for this challenge will be accepted until January 5: 
  • This month, prizes will be the following:
    • Ten digital images from Creative Bug Digitals, for the person out of the top seven who receives the most votes during voting week.
    • Three digital images from Ike's World  for the post or project that the DT deems most inspiring of the bunch.
    • Three images from Fresh Brewed Designs, this month's guest sponsor, for a person chosen in a random draw based on all entrants.
    • One digital designer paper from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky voter who leaves a comment.
    • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You

It's getting down to the wire and I still have a few more Christmas cards to make--yikes!1  Luckily I have a bunch of new Christmas images with which to make them, including this darling one from Queen Kat Studios.  Her name is Christmas Girl, designed by Milky Cat Studios, and she looks so blue.  She's waiting patiently for her fiancee.  She's hoping to set the date for their wedding tonight.  She's wondering if she could have everything ready for a June wedding...

But I digress...back to my card.  I decided to make a side step card, covering it with leftover patterned paper and distressing the edges with CTMH "Ocean" ink.   I snagged some beautiful cardstock border stickers from K&Co last year for PENNIES and the white poinsettias are just a small part of the package.

A handmade flower from my crafting friend Shannon (thank you again) brings more teal into my card.  I embellished with a metal brad sentiment and some pearl flourishes, both items from my Christmas stash from years ago.  A smidge of Stickles gives my card a little shine and it's done!

Check out all the new releases at the QKD Shop-there's a sale going on, so get over there now!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Snowgal with Rose Wishes You a Merry Christmas

Today I strayed from the tried and true Christmas colors of red and green.  I have a passion for all shades of teal, so my Christmas card sports those shades in my patterned paper background, as well as the snowflake diecut behind my image.

Speaking of images, this is a December new release from Squigglefly called Snowgal with Rose by the lovely Pamela Lehto.

The sentiment is also from Squigglefly, which I framed with coordinating cardstock after giving it some winter pizzazz with a snowflake border punch.  I used the tiny punched snowflakes to decorate my card, along with a string of pearls.  Simple but pretty.

I'm entering my card into this week's Squigglefly challenge, which is simply to make a Christmas card with a Squigglefly image. Now it's your turn.  Go play at the Squigglefly Challenge Blog for your chance to win a free digi!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Joy, Part One: Do What You Love, Love What You Do

JOY!  I'm sorry for shouting, but that's a word that can't be whispered.  JOY! That's a word that can't help but be shouted out loud.  JOY puts that twinkle in your eyes and the smile on your face.  JOY lifts your spirits high and sets your heart to singing.

JOY is doing what you love and loving what you do.  If you love to paint you will find the color of JOY in your canvas.  If you love to sing, your music moves to the rhythm of JOY like the waves in the ocean.  If you're a writer you spell out JOY for all to read.  If you love to garden you will plant seeds of JOY and can watch them grow.
I love to craft and, when I do, I create with JOY because I'm doing what I love to do.  For me, crafting is not work.  When I put ink onto paper or paint onto canvas, I am putting all the love and creativity and emotions of the moment into one huge ode to JOY.
You see JOY in many people.  There used to be a show called The Joy of Painting, starring Bob Fosse. You could tell that he really felt JOY when he changed a blank canvas into a gorgeous landscape.  Watching old black and white movies, I see JOY when Fred Astaire starts tapping his toes and dancing.  What that man could do with his feet! You can tell he loved to dance (and more than once I wished I had been Ginger Rogers, his graceful dance partner).
JOY is found in the hearts of new moms, sports players, marathon runners, many people who love what they do.
My project is a mixed media canvas.  I tore patterned tissue paper to make my background, coloring in the white spaces with Copic marker BG05 and separating the myriad of patterns with Stickles.  When it comes to mixed media, my motto is: everything but the kitchen sink!  Paint, ink, cast-off jewelry, brads, stamping, freehand drawing, charms and flowers (just to name a few) went into this canvas.
JOY was flowing from my fingers onto my canvas, because I was loving what I was doing and doing what I love most.
Do you love what you do?  Do you do what you love?  What gives you JOY?  This month's theme at the Path of Positivity Challenge blog is JOY.  Post a story or a project there about your own experience or thoughts on JOY for your chance to win a prize from this month's sponsors:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas is Coming - Did you Survive Black Friday?

Have you started your cards and gifts yet?  I have, with some of the November releases from Queen Kat Designs.  This beauty is called "Snow Crystal" and is designed by the talented artist Marianne English.  I colored her with Copics and then diecut the image with Spellbinders Nestabilities Radiant Rectangles die.

I used leftover papers from my stash to frame my image, as well as on my card base.  I kept the embellishments simple, using fiber, leftover adhesive pearl flourish and a pearl floral stick.  Easy peasy, but great presentation!

Do you have some crafty tricks up your sleeve that make your creative life easier?  Please share them with us, as we all need help in stretching our crafting time!!  I'll give you a hint right now:  QKD has some lovely Christmas images in both rubber and digital formats.  Go check them out at the SHOPPE.  And do it quickly!  The 40% off sale is still on for a very limited time!!

And as always, crafters, have fun!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Let Your Dreams Fly High as a Kite

Taking a break from Christmas card making (and Christmas present and goody bag and gift wrap and table decoration making) to make a card for this week's Squigglefly challenge, which is to make a card that shimmers and shines.

So I grabbed a new December release from Dawn Collins called Fly A Kite.  After coloring it with Copics, I framed it and distressed the edges.

An  circle-punched and embossed "thank you" sentiment finished my card with the basics.  Then I got to throw on the glitz, using various colors of Stickles on the kite tail, as well as kite-shaped jewels under the sentiment.  A shiny sequin puts my shiny card to rest.

Like shiny?  Got bling?  Go play in the Squigglefly challenge.  All you meed is a Squigglefly digi image and some shiny stuff and you could win a free digi!