Monday, February 29, 2016

You Warm My Heart

Today we’re going to have a little burst of Spring!  We’ve got a new challenge at The Cat’s Pajamas and it’s Spring!  It’s always fun to pull out some spring stamps after the cold and snow of winter.  So I grabbed our favourite PJ the Bear in this set, Nature’s Hello, I love the idea of him scattering petals wherever he goes :)  

I stamped PJ onto XPress it Blending and then gave him some pretty pink petals as his umbrella.  I used a couple of fun TCP CutUps dies including Grass and Framed Up 2 for the patterned paper circle on the tag.  The sentiment is from an older retired TCP set, I Like You A Latte.  I thought it worked perfectly for this sweet scene.  

Those pretty papers are Echo Park Bundle of Joy.  The only embellishment is the Baker’s Twine ties for the tag.  With all those pretty petals floating around I didn’t think I needed anything else.  

Here’s the Copics I used. 

And here’s the Challenge!  You have two weeks to get your project entered.  Link your projects here by Monday (3/14) at 11:55pm, EST for a chance to win some Cat Cash up to $15.  You are not required to use a Cat’s Pajamas stamp or die but if you have them we would love to see them!

Pop on over to the TCP Blog to see all the other Spring inspiration from the Kitties in the Cat Pack!  

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Gratitude Project - Week 8

\ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

The quality of being thankful:  readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. 

Hello Friends!  We’re at week 8 of my Gratitude Project this year.  

First off, a number of you asked about our friend I photographed last week, wanting to know what books he's written.  He’s authored or co-authored several,  so I thought I’d just link his ministry website.  It’s called VantagePoint3.  He’s developed curriculum for Churches that focusses on fostering depth, renewal and discipleship.  The 3 curriculums are called The Journey, A Way of Life and Walking with Others.  I can’t say enough about his work with these studies. I’ve been through The Journey twice with groups and it’s been very impacting for each person who has been in them, life changing questions, amazing learning and deeper relationships.  He’s also written a couple of books on mentoring called Deep Mentoring and Spiritual Mentoring, if you’re interested you can find them on his site.  

OK...on to week 8.  This week I’m focussing on Friday Nights in my family.    Each week whenever possible, my parents have all of us over to their house for Friday night supper.  My brother, my sister-in-law and my niece and nephew and our family of five gather together for an abundance of food and conversation.  My mom always outdoes herself.  Why have one salad when you can have two?  Why have one dessert when you can have two....and so on.  

After supper the kids always have some sort of fun that can include mini-sticks hockey, Star Wars, hide and seek, fort-building, colouring or something else that’s a good time.  This week my mom had been cleaning and found my old Holly Hobbie china Tea Set that had been packed away.  I have many fun memories of tea parties I had, and our daughter now 19 remembers playing with it as a little girl too.  So the girl cousins started out having a tea party with brownies and juice that served as pretend tea, they were so cute.

Photos are not newsworthy - they’re just with my iPhone, but I didn’t want to miss capturing the moments.    af OKonement of fostering depth and renewal and service in the Church through the discipleship of othefosrs as Christian leaders

"First you clink, and then you drink” (Despicable Me)

Then the boys wandered upstairs to see what all the fuss was about.  They decided to join the Tea Party too!  

My little nephew was so cute pretending the tea was hot, slurping it noisily.   

“First you clink, and then you drink”.  

What am I grateful for about this?  Our kids are quite spread apart in age from their little cousins, and yet Friday’s are a huge highlight for them.  They patiently and lovingly play whatever it is their little cousins desire, with such joy and enthusiasm each week.  There is always so much laughter and boundless energy.  It does my heart so good to watch them enjoy their cousins and to see what it means to my little niece and nephew that we love so much.  I’m so grateful to see the relationships between the kids grow, and for my Mom and Dad each week to selflessly provide a place where we can gather and eat all our favourite things together and enjoy each other.  I don’t want to take that for granted.  

Those sweet places of gathering and sharing hospitality around a table are the building blocks to deeper relationship.  That’s a great deal to be grateful for! 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Spring Nest

Yesterday we had a day that was 9 C, or 48 F...that’s just amazing for February here!  All the snow is melting, water is running makes you believe spring will be here very soon.  So I was definitely in a spring mood when creating this card.  It’s with Power Poppy’s new Bloomin’ Wonderful set, and the sweet little nest that I was really looking forward to playing with.  

Stamped on Kraft paper, then coloured with white prismacolour pencils with colour added overtop I love how it feels like the earthyness of spring.  

The pop of purple crocuses are so sweet especially with those robin’s egg blues in there.  

Here’s the inside of the design. 

Have you played along yet in our February challenge?  It’s all about switching up your colouring method from what you normally use.  Enter and you could win a Power Poppy stamp set of your choice! 

Here’s the Bloom Brigade bringing you inspiration today...

Allison Cope
Christine Okken
Julie Koerber
Leslie Miller

Monday, February 22, 2016

Repeat After Me...

Hi Friends!  I have a tutorial today over on the Power Poppy blog on how to use repeat stamping in your creations, I’ve shown lots of ideas with the New Release sets so I hope you can join me over there!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Gratitude Project - Week 7

\ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

The quality of being thankful:  readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. 

Today I’m a little late with posting my gratitude project but I knew I wanted to add a picture of someone special to us that made a special trip here this weekend.

If you’ve followed me a long time you know that we’ve lived in the US and now in Canada.  Our life in the US had some really special people in it.  It’s not often that our US life and friends come and encounter our Canadian life, but this weekend we were so blessed to have our friend come here.  He came this weekend to speak at a conference at our Church, so I grabbed these shots before Church started today.  He’s was preaching this morning so you can see he’s miked up.

This guy is one of our treasured friends and influences.  We’ve known him at least 25 years, my husband even longer.  I went to Seminary with he and his wife and from the very first time I met them you could tell there was something really rare and special in their character.  This guy is goofy and funny and makes me laugh (right here he and my husband are laughing over my husband saying “Man, I’ve always wanted to have hair like you” :)  haha!)

But there’s this whole other side to him as well that is the most wise, sage-like, influential, intentional  and heartfelt person.  He asks a whole different level of question that really gets to the heart of the matter, really challenges you and invites you to go deeper.  That’s just so amazing to me.  I can’t tell you how many times he’s really influenced us.  He also did our pre-marital counselling and wedding ceremony so that’s pretty special too.  :)  

He’s written a book and a curriculum that’s influenced thousands of people across the US and Canada, he’s kind of a big deal, and even more so, he’s kind of a big deal to us because of who he is.  We have been so blessed to know him and I’m so grateful for his influence.  

Them laughing...that’s how I know him, and appreciate him.  And so much more -  him being a person that speaks truth and really wants to know people at a deeper level.  That’s such a rich quality that I’m grateful for.  

See you back tomorrow for a tutorial I think you’ll enjoy!  

Grow Everyday Blog Hop

What a lovely week we’ve had showcasing all the new sets in the Grow Everyday Collection at Power Poppy!  Today we’re hopping around to give you another peek at these awesome sets in action, and then you can pop into the Power Poppy store to drop them in your shopping basket!  

Let’s jump in!

I was feeling a little scrappy and decided to play with Planning for Magnolias again.  I think this sweet little planner is so fun!  I bought a nice planner this year, much like the one above and I haven’t had one minute to do anything but be practical with it.  I can’t wait to be more artistic and “gussy it up” a bit ike this one :).  

I think that gray and yellow are such a wonderful spring-like colour combination.  It shows off the contrast between the gray skies and land with pops of bright spring colour.  I coloured the planner with Copics and then trimmed it out with a little border.  I placed it onto some gray textured cardstock that I had sponged an alphabet stencil onto.  I used a whole bunch of washi tape to go with the planner theme and then embossed the sentiment in white.  A few enamel dots and pearls give some more pops of colour, and then black photo corners finish it off.    

Here’s what this lovely Magnolia set looks like below.  I think it’s just amazing!

There’s so much more in store today!  The Bloom Brigade always brings their best!

Allison Cope
Christine Okken
Cindy Lawrence
Julie Koerber
Kathy Jones
Katie Sims
Leslie Miller
Stacy Morgan
Tosha Leyendekker

and Marcy at the Power Poppy Blog!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Bloomin’ Wonderful

I love when life is Bloomin’ Wonderful!  This new set from Power Poppy is the fifth set of the February Grow Everyday release.  Today it’s just as if you opened the window and let the spring breeze in.  It can be used perfectly for Easter creations or Spring and any other special occasion.  It’s such a beauty!

I really love the little nest-in-the-wreath included in this set (as you can seee in the graphic above) and can’t wait to use it, but I just had to go with this beautiful sprig of crocus, snowdrops and pussy-willow bunched together for my card today.  

I saw a fun acetate easel card on Pinterest and thought it work perfectly with this set.  So, on this design I stamped two of the crocus branches one in black and one in a soft amethyst colour.  After colouring I trimmed out both of the sprigs and then set them aside.  I die cut several of the stitched ovals into frames (laying a smaller oval die inside the larger to create the frame).  Within the frame layers I placed some stamped acetate (stamped with a pretty little design in white VersaFine ink).  It just gives a nice soft effect to the clear layer.  

Then I added the sprigs to the part of the easel that stands up and also lays down.  I like the softness of the inside image because it matches the outside but doesn’t compete with it.  This set also has great fonts in a vintage style.  Marcy is always so skilled at sentiment fonts!  I kept the accents on the card to simple silver Candi dots.  

Here’s a close-up of the colouring.  

And here’s what the card looks like closed.  I realize that there’s not much room for writing on the inside and then you could see it, so I think I would write on the back of the card;  leaving the easel and inside to be shown as a decorative item.  On this picture you can also see how the acetate is stamped. It’s just the sweetest little Easter set!  

Here’s the Bloomin’ Wonderful Bloom Brigade today...

Allison Cope
Christine Okken
Cindy Lawrence
Kathy Jones
Leslie Miller
Tosha Leyendekker

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Beautiful Kindness

Oh Roses!  What a perfectly elegant gorgeous bloom!  It’s no wonder poetry has been made about them.  Today we celebrate Day 3 of gorgeous February new releases at Power Poppy, and today it’s all about My English Rose.  You may remember parts of this set from a pre-released digi image La Vie en Rose.  Marcy made more sentiments and then singled out another rose to stand alone.  It’s got some really lovey elements to it.  

One of the sentiments in the set is a quote from George Elliston “How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it”.  So lovely right?  Well, I wouldn’t have been able to fit a large sentiment like that on this card, so I cut out part of the sentiment for the front, and then inside used another it reads “ beautiful”.  I think that works too!  

This gorgeous rose is coloured up with some vibrant orange shades, deep green leaves and a soft bluey-green background.  I paired it with some fun plaid paper from MFT that I softened slightly by adding a layer of vellum overtop.  I cut the vellum slightly smaller so that a border of the patterned paper would show through without vellum.  

Then I added some glitter onto ScorTape to make it shimmer, some gems and a knotted bit of baker’s twine.  The curve along the bottom with an A2 Spellbinders Border really also softens the design.  

Here’s the inside of the design with more shimmery glitter on ScorTape.  

The team has been rocking it this week.  Here’s today’s Bloom Brigade playing along with this set!  

Allison Cope
Christine Okken
Kathy Jones
Leslie Miller
Stacy Morgan

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Folk Heart

It’s Day 2 of our power-packed Power Poppy February release!  Today we’ve got a really lovely set that is downright folksy!  It showcases so many fun little elements that can be combined or used alone to create a folk-art feel.  It’s called Folk Heart and it’s so sweet!  

I decided to work with this sweet little bird in a heart wreath.  One of the hallmarks of folk-art style from my research is the use of bold colour in a fanciful way.  I totally went with that feel for my design.  

I coloured up the little bird in some fanciful colours with Copics and then trimmed out the little heart, popping it up and placing it onto a Spellbinders Die piece.  On the front panel of the cardstock I used a mini heart stencil and some embossing paste to go with the heart theme as a background element.  I think it gives it that dainty feel.  

Once the embossing paste had dried I added some strips of vellum, wash tape and silver cording around that layer.  

That sweet little sentiment flag is the finishing touch.  

Copics I used (again I was a away when colouring so I didn’t take a photo)  Leaves: G40, G43, G46, Feathers: BG05, BG07, BG09, BG75, R24, R27, R29, Breast & Flowers:  Y11, Y15.   

The Bloom Brigade has lots in store for you today.  Be sure to pop by and see what Marcy has to say about this sweet design too.  And you won’t want to miss her beautiful tribute to her mom on this post as well.  

Allison Cope
Christine Okken 
(you are here)
Cindy Lawrence
Julie Koerber
Katie Sims
Stacy Morgan
Tosha Leyendekker
Marcy at the Power Poppy Blog

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Planning for Magnolias

My TCP post is just below this one today :)  

Hello lovely people!  Today begins the gorgeous sneak peeks for a new release at Power Poppy!  I’m delighted to show you today’s set - Planning for Magnolias.  It showcases this gorgeous tree flower that I wish I could grow in my neck of the woods!  I think they are stunning.  

One of my favourite versions of this lovely bloom is a type of Lily or Tulip Magnolia.  It’s got these gorgeous deep purple to soft pink flowers that are so striking.  I tried to capture that in the colouring of this pretty branch.  After colouring it up I carefully fussy cut it out and placed it on this raised frame design that was cut using a Spellbinders Die.  I really wanted to give it all that “white-on-white” look,  and I love the way texture looks on white so I embossed all the layers in an embossing folder.  

I was away when I coloured this so I didn’t take a picture of the Copics I used but I’m pretty sure the petals are done with RV00, RV63, RV66, RV69, the leaves with YG21, YG23 and the branches E21, E23, E25, E27 and the flower centers are Y21, Y35, Y38.  Hopefully that’s helpful!  

Beneath the framing,  I inset the background layer and smooshed some light rose ink onto an acrylic block and then stamped the block onto the cardstock.  It helps to distinguish it a bit from the upper frames.  A few sequins and a satin bow complete the front.  It almost gives it the feel of a shaker card. 

Ah!  Can you see where I missed a tiny bit of the branch in my colouring?!  I’ll have to go back and fix that!  :)

Inside I placed one of the pretty sentiments from the set and another row of embossed white cardstock.  

Now, here’s the beautiful Bloom Brigade bringing you more inspiration with this gorgeous set!!   We’ve got so much beautiful inspiration this week I know you’re going to love it!  See you again tomorrow!  

Allison Cope
Christine Okken (you are here)
Cindy Lawrence
Julie Koerber
Kathy Jones
Katie Sims
Leslie Miller
Stacy Morgan
Tosha Leyendekker

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hang Ten

How about a little dip in the ocean waves today?  I’m playing with The Cat’s Pajamas adorable set Stoked to create some tropical fun.  I love this little dude and I just had to give him some fun bermuda surfer-shorts for his hang time.  

Colouring is done with Copics, the designers paper are from MFT and I gave him a fun little Wave Border CutUp and some faux Buttons CutUps mimicking the sunshine in the sky above and accents below.  

Isn’t he super cool?  Here’s the Copics I used for colouring. 

This week brings us to a brand new challenge at The Cat’s Pajamas.  This week the theme is to  Include an Animal on your project.  With so many fabulous TCP Animals to choose from I know you’ll be inspired to create something fun.  Playing along could win you Cat’s Cash to spend at the TCP store!  If you use TCP products you can have even more Cat’s Cash to spend!  

Here’s the Cat Pack playing along today... 

Brenda Nakandakari
Christine Okken (you are here)
Jessica Rone
Julie Elak
Lori Tecler
Nancy Thomas
Wendy McGaffey
and Alma at the TCP Blog!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Gratitude Project - Week 6

\ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

The quality of being thankful:  readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. 

This week because of Valentine’s Day I thought I’d focus on who I’m most grateful for in this life, my family that I love.  

Our kids are an endless source of joy and gratitude for me.  At 19, 16 and 12 they are at such a great age because we’re seeing more and more of what a relationship looks like with them as teens heading into adulthood.  One is almost out of the teens and one is about to enter the teen years.  I have loved these times with them.  Here they are on Saturday afternoon playing Clue together and I quickly snapped a shot of them.  Nothing like a little friendly competition amoung siblings :).  Each of our children are unique and have qualities that make them special.  I love their individual characteristics, they have such beautiful identities, and it’s so fun watching their distinctiveness come out.  I love our times as a family and the amount of laughter we share.  Not that it’s all laughter and roses all the time!  They all know how to push each other’s buttons for sure!  BUT - they are all gifted, bright, hard-working, loyal and giving people.  I love who they are growing up to be.   They love each other (and even like each other most of the time), they love Jesus, they love others.  What more could I ask for from anyone?  I am so blessed.  They have grown and stretched me more than I thought possible, and they continue to help make me into who I am even as I parent them through these teen years.  I am beyond grateful for them. 

And how could I forget my sweetheart this Valentine’s Day?  Here he is working on supper last night (yummy Smashed Potato Soup).    He often cooks on the weekend and I’m grateful for that thing for sure!  I think we’ve celebrated 23 or 24 Valentine’s Day’s together as sweethearts, half of my life has been with him at my side, and me at his!  After that many years with someone, they definitely know all of your best and worst sides.  We’ve seen a lot, experienced a lot, known joy and grief, celebration and sadness, and yet still - he chooses me.  He chooses me when my imperfections are at their greatest, or when I’m at my best.  You can’t really quantify what that means can you?  He loves me in ways that are sacrifical and servant-hearted.  He is steadfast, he makes me laugh, he finds things when I’ve lost them, he helps me remember my passwords, he drives places to get things for me, or for the kids tirelessly, he rubs my back at night, he kills bugs that need killing, and he’s great at fixing just about anything.  He’s my love, not because of what he does - but because of who he is.  

This was taken by my dear friend Clara Cecelia this fall at our photo shoot.  I love this shot because it reflects our personality and heart toward each other.  I love being tucked into him.  That’s my safe place in life.  And that’s a lot to be grateful for.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Watercoloured Azaleas

I’m having fun with Ally’s challenge over at Power Poppy pulling out some watercolours to play today.    I stamped the beautiful Azaleas set that I love so much and stamped it in a softer brown VersaFine ink on watercolour paper.  I started colouring in the petals and leaves with watercolour pencils, and then finished it off with reinkers to get that really watery background, after I die cut that with a stitched oval die I ran my Krylon Gold pen around the edge and added some gold touches to the flowers and leaves.  

I also created a windowed design for the background and washed that in to give it a really dreamy look.  

The sentiment is from amother Power Poppy set, Dynamic Duos:  Peonies and Tulips and I embossed it in gold to go with the overall theme.  

A few gold and clear sequins and it’s complete!  

Here’s the Switch Up Your Shades Challenge again, pick up some colouring medium that isn’t your go-to and create!   Play along and you could win a Power Poppy set of your choice!  With a new release coming very soon, you’ll have some really exciting new choices too!  

Here’s the Bloom Brigade playing along today...

Allison Cope
Christine Okken
Leslie Miller
Stacy Morgan