September Project of the Month – MacKenzie-Childs inspired pumpkin

This has been a crazy month with all the hurricane activity (Harvey, Irma, Maria).  Fortunately we were extremely lucky (with Hurricane Irma in eastern Florida) and only lost power for a couple of days.  And the only damage was to our fence.  My heart goes out to those in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean who continue to battle for the basic necessities.

So needless to say this has been a month of limited projects.  I did knit several hats during the storm and the ensuing power outage.  And I was able to keep up with Etsy jewelry orders – at least the filling of the orders – even though the mail was knocked out for over a week.

But now that things are returning to normal I am trying to get into the holiday spirit – at least a little.  I have always been a fan of MacKenzie-Childs so when I saw their pumpkins I knew I wanted to have one.  And by have one, I mean make one.  So I bought an antiqued white pumpkin at Michael’s, along with some black paint and some gold paint and gave it a try.

 

I am please with the results and look forward to enjoying my pumpkin during the Halloween and Thanksgiving seasons.  And NO MORE HURRICANES!!!!

UPDATE:  Encouraged by my first pumpkin success (and a sale at Michael’s) I decided to make a second pumpkin for my mother.  I hope she likes it.

 

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August Project of the Month – Embroidery, Knitting, Cross Stitch

For some curious reason this month has rekindled my desire to revisit some old crafting methods. I guess it started with seeing all the cute embroidery hoop art on Instagram and wanting to give it a try.

I started by ordering a kit on Etsy from SarahKBenning@etsy.com and making these cacti.  I highly recommend her kit. The instructions were just what I needed to refresh my memory and they were super easy to follow.

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Then I tried a couple on my own.

My last attempt was a pumpkin for a Halloween card.

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About that time I saw Jennifer McGuire’s video on cross stitch cards. I ordered the die from Paper Smooches and when it arrived I CASed her rainbow card and did another pumpkin card.

I will definitely try more of the cross stitch cards but with the random color blocking and no designs. I think they are so much more effective and easier to do.

Lastly I got on a knitting kick. My mother has been making hats and mittens for generations of our family. She also donates dozens to different agencies around the country. So I have joined in. I’m not happy with my mittens and will have to wait to get together with her one on one for some lessons. But the hats are off and running.

Here is my first set.

Obviously I am a novice at all of these crafts and probably will never do another embroidery project. But how do you know what you like and what you’re good at until you try?

June Project of the Month – 4th of July Cards

Here are some of this year’s forth of July cards that I made.

The first (and favorite) features the Lawn Fawn Scalloped Box card die with various star embellishments.

The second uses a zig zag die.  One card uses the negative space form the other card.

The last cards feather Stampin’ Up Jar of Love stamp and die bundle.

 

May Project of the Month – Cruising the Caribbean

No real projects this month.  Instead we set out on a ten day cruise of the Caribbean.  It was a much needed vacation and the weather was perfect.  We went on the Celebrity Equinox:

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to Grand Cayman (Royal Palm Beach Club on Seven Mile Beach):

 

Aruba (Palm Beach and sunset cruise):

 

Curacao (Blue Bay Beach Club and Harbor Cruise):

 

Bonaire:

 

And Key West:

 

It’s always nice to be back home but it was great fun to get away too.

April Project of the Month – Card Making

This month I have been experimenting with different card making techniques and trying to “up my game”.

First up I made this tool box using Lawn Fawn Scalloped Edge Pop Up card die set.  This set is fantastic!  I am so glad I splurged on it.  I can see using it in many different variations.  Here I loaded up the box with tools from Stampin’ Up Nailed It stamp and die bundle.  I cut the tools out of yellow card stock with foil tape that I adhered for the metal parts of the tools.  I stamped on the yellow card stock first, adhered the foil tape (bought at Home Goods – I think it is for dryer vents or something) and re-stamped the image. (Hint:  I found I needed to use StazOn Ink to keep the image from smearing.  The banner poles come with the pop up box kit and I improvised the banner with my Stampin’ Up Thoughtful Banners sentiment and coordinating punch.

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Next I CASE’d a few cards that I admired on Pinterest.  The first (inspired by Christy Velasquez – hers used a beautiful blended rainbow background) was die cut on my Silhouette Cameo and mounted on a lime green card base.  I used Avery Elle Double Pierced Rectangle Dies to make the frame.  I triple cut the hello from black cardstock backed with double sided adhesive.

The second card (inspired by Barbara Anders) used the Hero Arts Grateful Leaves layering stamp set and coordinating die.  I stamped the leaf on white cardstock in 3 background colors, stamped again with the black veins and cut and mounted each leaf on a wood embossed white background with foam tape.  I added some gold thread behind the leaves but I admit that the “random” loops of thread are not my forte.  I white heat embossed my sentiment (from Hero Arts Anyone Can Stamp) on black cardstock.  I added coordinating hearts, stars and dots from Stampin’Up.  I really liked how this card turned out!

The next two cards used techniques from Jennifer McGuire.  The sunshine card used a technique she called floating die technique.   Basically I cut the flower using Stampin’ Up Timeless Tags die in green, turquoise and yellow.  I backed the turquoise with double sided tape which made it easier.  I set the cut pieces on my card in one piece and remove all the pieces I didn’t want except the outline.  I added the center in yellow, and the leaves in green and then removed the outline.  The flower appears to be floating.  Again I triple cut the sunshine (from Stampin’Up) on black card stock and layered on the card front.  The rectangle was die cut with the Avery Elle Double Pierced Rectangle Die.  If I tried this technique again I think I would try it with a different die with larger pieces but overall I was happy with the result.

The small (3×3) heart thank you note used Jennifer’s spotlight stamp technique.  This was super simple.  I stamped my card base with the Avery Elle Big Greetings Thank You.  I also stamped some scrap turquoise card stock with the same sentiment.  I punched out the heart and mounted it over the cardstock with dimensionals making sure to line up the sentiment.  I threw on a few water drops from Pretty Pink Posh and done.  Big impact for very little effort.  This technique definitely bears repeating.  Thank you Jennifer McGuire.

Lastly are two cards I made just for fun.  The first one was for my niece who shares my love of succulents.  The Cactus is from Hampton Arts which I tried to color with my Tombow brush pens and the succulents are Spellbinders dies – all from Michael’s.  Proving you don’t need to invest a lot of money to make fun cards (although that hasn’t stopped me).

The small (3 x 3 again) thank you note is printed with my Misti using a layering tulip stamp set from Altenew and Hampton Art Flower Amaze Thank You.

I really need to find a third hobby (my first love is jewelry making and my etsy shop – bydeezyne.etsy.com) because I am running out of card supply storage!

 

 

 

March Project of the Month – Visit Lake Okeechobee

Okay, not technically a project but after over 28 years in Florida I felt like I should at least see Lake Okeechobee.  It is after all the largest lake in a single state in the US, the second largest lake bordered completely by the US (largest is Lake Michigan) and 7th largest lake in the US (thank you Wikipedia).

My husband and I had talked about taking the Okeechobee Waterway across the state in our boat years ago but never did.  The approximately 15 hour trip would have taken us from Florida’s east coast, through Lake Okeechobee (via several canals, locks and rivers on each end) and over to the Florida’s west coast.

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So this month we took a picnic lunch to the lake by car (about a 45 minute drive to the Port Mayaca – the closest viewpoint from our home).  After looking at Google Earth I had very low expectations of what we would find but I at least wanted a look at the lake and the lock at Port Mayaca.  Both the Atlantic and the Gulf are lower than the lake so there are two locks on the east side and three on the west side to raise and then lower boats to and from the lake.

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There is a dike around the lake (for a 100 mile circumference) and a trail around the top of the dike (LOST: Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail) so you can’t see the lake from the road.  You have to get to the top of the dike.  What I hadn’t expected was a nice slope from the top of the dike down to the bank of the lake with a couple of benches to sit and look out.  This is a picture from the bank of the lake looking back up at our car parked on the top of the dike.

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I did expect the vastness of the lake, but being an ocean girl all my life I was surprised at how ocean-like it felt and how peaceful and relaxing it was.

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The pictures below show: the view from the south side of the lock; the view from the north side of the lock; a tug boat moving through the lock; the view of the west side of the lock (the Lake Okeechobee side); a view looking back to the canal from the east coast of Florida.

And this is a view from the east looking west past the lock to Lake Okeechobee.

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All in all it was a fun day and I’m glad we finally made it.  It was definitely worth the trip!

 

 

 

 

 

February Project of the Month – Stampin’ Up Occasions Catalog

This month I purchased two Stampin’ Up  die sets from the Occasions Catalog (2017).   One is called Dragonfly Dreams.  It coordinated perfectly with an old Stampin’ Up set that I had called Wonderful Wings.  I heat embossed two dragonflies with gold embossing powder and cut out the third with the Dragonfly Dreams dies (in solid brown and detailed foreground in white).  On the second card I cut out the line of butterflies with the dies and then inlaid it back into the white cardstock with a blue background showing through.  I embellished both cards with rhinestones and sequins and stamped envelopes to match.

 

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Stampin’ Up Dragonfly Dreams

 

 

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Dragonfly Dreams

 

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Wonderful Wings (inside of card)

 

I also purchased the Timeless Tags die set.  I used two of the dies to make Easter eggs (background and foreground).  I debossed the background with a hexagon pattern to give the illusion of chicken wire.  Since I purchased $50 in products I qualified for a free stamp set from the Sale-A-Bration catalog.  I have been in love with the chickens in the Hey, Chick stamp set from the moment I saw them.  They just bring a smile to my face.  I used them for the inside of my Easter cards.  For the coordinating envelopes I stamped the egg from the Hey, Chick set and made myself the sentiment using my Sihouette Mint.

Finally I CASEd a card from Jeanie Stark to make the flower card.  (BTW, her instructions are fantastic!)  Hers is far better but I am still happy with my results.  I embossed the background of this card with polka dots.

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January Project of the Month – Valentine’s Cards

I have been experimenting with lots of different stamps, embossing folders, dies, and specialty papers as well as Silhouette Cameo shapes to create several different Valentine’s Day cards.  Some I liked better than others but here is the lineup for this year.

December Project of the Month – Planner Stickers

It has been several months of family drama for me but all family members seem to be slowly on the mend (thank God).   But that is why I a so late to post for December.

My niece got herself a planner in December which inspired me to do the same.  I then created some customized stickers to meet my planner needs.  I used my Silhouette Cameo to print and cut the stickers.   It took several tries to get the check list boxes to fit my small planner but now I am set for the year.

 

November Project of the Month – Thank you cards for my Etsy store

This month I decided to change up the thank you notes that I send out with my Etsy orders (bydeezyne.etsy.com).  I love making hand made cards and always send a thank you note but usually they are computer generated.  This month I decided to make them with my stamp sets to satisfy my card making obsession.

Much more fun!  The cards below are a new set from Avery Elle called Berry Good.  I stamped the first card with black ink but then decided to emboss the rest with black embossing powder.  I colored the peaches with Stampin’ Up colored pencils and their watercolor blender.  I added some rhinestones just because.

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Here are some more 3 x 3 thank you notes.  These were quick and easy.  I put strips of washi tape on card stock and die cut the stars.  I embossed and scored the card base and added the sunshine washi tape and attached the stars with dimensionals.  Love the results!

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