Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stamping Bella and Prismacolors

It's New Year's Eve!  
I just put my youngest daughter on a train to NYC so she can ring in the New Year with friends.  So I'll be spending New Year's on my couch watching TV and worrying about her.  Oh well... what else is new?

Here is a card I made using my new Prismacolor pencils and odorless mineral spirits.  I've been stalking youtube for videos featuring coloring techniques.  There is definitely a lot to be learned about color selection, blending and shading.  I am having lots of fun playing, though!

 I am very inspired by Therese at Lostinpaper.  I love her clean designs.  The curved focal panel and patterned paper background is very much inspired by her. Therese is doing a series for Penny Black this week.  Be sure to check it out.  I have been waking up each morning, grabbing my coffee and my ipad and watching/studying her videos!

Happy, happy New Year, everyone!  Here's hoping it is a year of good things for you and your family! 

Christmas, Continued....

So, I feel like I'm just now getting into the swing of Christmas card making.  It has to do with being relaxed enough and having time enough to be creative.  I decided to go for it and continue making holiday cards but with a 'Thank You' theme since I will need to thank some special people for gifts received.

  Here are a few using some old and new stamps:

I used an older SU set called Every Little Bit and a Purple Onion sentiment.  The paper is from Doodlebug.  The inspiration tutorial is found here.  I love the way this card turned out!  Such a happy little card, don't you think?

 This card uses some of my  new Christmas goodies; a stamp set from Tiddlyinks called Winter Wishes Wryn and my Prismacolor pencils.  The sentiment is from SU and that's more of the Doodlebug paper.  My Wink of Stella clear glitter pen kind of exploded on the fur trim, but it was not a complete loss, thank goodness!

 Last of all is a paper pieced card using Paper Smooches' Jerome set.  I also used my new SSS stitched rectangle dies.  I have been wanting stitched dies for a long time.  I treated myself to the set of rectangles, circles and square dies.  Yeah!  Definitely worth the investment!

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Hope your holiday was a happy and peaceful one!  We celebrated quietly with family...the best kind of day!  

I am enjoying the time at home and am looking forward to playing with all my new goodies!  I would love to do a haul video, but I'm just not set up for it so I'll just tell you that I've got lots of new stamps...Lawn Fawn, Paper Smooches, Stamping Bella, Simon Says, Avery Elle, and Tiddly Inks!!  Yeah!!!  

One of the things I'm most excited about is my new set of Prismacolor pencils.  I've been wanting some for a long time!  I'm so inspired by the work of Therese at Lostinpaper and Amy at Prairie Paper and Ink, as well as a multitude of other crafters.  

Anyway, Santa left a set under the Christmas tree and here is my first attempt:  

I pretty much cased a card by Emily (here) that uses Paper Smooches Giddy Gumdrops set and the partial die-cutting technique that I've been wanting to try.  

I am in love with the Prismacolors!!  I've got to learn to be bolder with my shading techniques but I'm happy with the results nonetheless!  Looking forward to lots of playing!!

Tomorrow is Christmas Part II at my house.  All of my family (cousins by the dozens) are coming!  There are lots of new babies to cuddle!  

Have a great day!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Let it Snow!


I have officially thrown in the towel!  When you have a room filled with seven year olds humming Jingle Bells and twirling down the hallway, you don't hold out much hope for two digit addition, let me tell you!

Anyway, here is a pic of the little treats I put together for them.

I photocopied a Pinterest poem and colored an old SU stamp.  

Hopefully over the winter break, they'll come in from playing outside in the fresh air and curl up with a good book and some hot chocolate! 

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Purrrrfect Christmas

Finally having a crafty Saturday!!  Perfect weather for it.  Rainy and cold.  
Today my card inspiration was  my daughter's new little fur-baby.  He's a darling little guy, although a typical naughty kitty! 

Here he is hiding out under her Christmas tree. I swear he's smiling!

And here is my card paying homage to all the Christmas kitties out there who make our holidays interesting!

I had fun combining stamp sets for this card.  I used images and sentiments from four Paper Smooches sets: Chubby Chums, Merry Motifs, Zoo Crew, and Warm Hearts. It was a challenge to mask off the sentiments from three separate stamps to combine just the words I needed.  I don't have a problem cutting some stamps, but these would have been difficult. Instead I used some strategically placed painter's tape and, literally prayed it would stamp out all right!

I'm entering this in this week's Anything Goes challenge over on the Paper Smooches Blog.  I'm always so inspired by the creativity shown by the other entries!!

Have a nice day!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Paper Smooches Blog Hop

It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Paper Smooches stamps and dies.  For one thing, they are adorable.  
For another, the customer service is fantastic!  
Right now they are having a blog hop to celebrate their latest release.  Check it out HERE!!

Pumpkin Tree

Can you believe this SU DSP is still hanging on?  I used it for so many projects this fall!  

Once again, I followed a tutorial to create these cute little pumpkins. 

Here is a close up of one of the little pumpkins.  

One more of the "tree." 

I displayed it on our bay window in the kitchen.  Made for a cozy Thanksgiving decoration.

I guess it's time to move on to Christmas!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fall Delights

I almost forgot to take a picture of this little project.  

Not the best picture in the world.  It's sitting on my kitchen table with my husband's coat as a backdrop.  I gave a few out today to some special ladies at work.  I followed Christy's tutorial here.  It's a fun little project and the girls were delighted.

Still using that SU dsp! The sentiment is from an old Ali Edwards set and the little leaf is from Paper Smooches.

We got our first snowfall of the season.  The day before a holiday is always crazy.  Add snow and you've got a room full of very excited seven year olds.  I'm looking forward to a quiet night!

Stay warm!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bee Merry

Every year we have a big Christmas get together with my family.  It's wonderful getting everyone together!  We have pretty much phased out gift giving and concentrate on good food and lots of laughter, but I like to have a little "favor" to hand out to my nieces.   
This year I'm making these little lip balm holders.

I used a digital stamp from Paper Smooches.  I colored with alchohol markers and I was pleasantly surprised that the ink did not smear!  My printer is ancient!  The little Santa hat is from the Paper Smooches set Merry Motifs.  Oops! Almost forgot. The snowflakes (stamped in Versamark) and the inside sentiment are, too!

Here is a peek at the inside:

And one more of a few of the merry little "swarm":

I'm entering these in the SPARKS Anything Goes Challenge this week.

I spent a few quiet hours on the Paper Smooches website making my holiday wish list!  Be sure to check out the adorable images HERE

Happy Friday!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mini Wooden Spool Cards

It's funny. The other day I used the word 'spool' in my second grade class and no one knew what I was talking about.  I grew up with a mother who sewed and my sisters and I learned at least the basics at home.  My sister, Julie, is the seamstress, though.  She is into fabric like I am into patterned  paper.

These little cards fit a 3 X 3" envelope and will be nice for gifts!

I used a tutorial I found HERE.
Thank you, Lisa, for your generosity in posting so many wonderful tutorials!!

The cardstock, stamp and ink are all SU (crumb cake/woodgrain background).  The paper is from Simple Stories.  I used a Martha Stewart button punch and some Doodlebug baker's twin.  The most important tool, of course, was the envelope punch board from WeRMemoryKeepers.  I'm having fun discovering lots of ways to use this nifty tool!  

Have a great week!  I'm starting to think of Christmas! How about you?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

One Year Anniversary

I was scrolling through old photos, trying to delete some and make some space, when I came across a picture of a little gratitude album I made last fall. The construction of it was one of my first blog posts.  

Then I noticed the date and realized I just celebrated my one year anniversary of having this blog!
Happy Birthday, MaryTakesATimeOut!!
The sentiment written above still holds true.  I am very grateful for my hobby and the friends I have made because of it.  It has provided a creative outlet and a bit of an escape from the stresses of life.  It's been fun entering challenges and receiving feedback and comments from other crafters.  I remain in awe of the talent that exists in the paper crafting world and I look forward to trying new things in the future!

To my four (count them) subscribers, I hope you enjoy my posts.  You probably found me because I had found you and admired your work! 
 Thanks for your interest!

  It's fun, isn't it?!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Happy Harvest

A cozy November weekend!  Yesterday it rained all day.  I worked on a Thanksgiving project, but put it aside because I wasn't sure I was happy with it.  You know how that goes.  I figured I would give it some time to grow on me.

Today was clear and bright but very windy!  My husband and I just got back from a chilly walk along a local trail.  It was just beautiful!  We saw this amazing crane.  It was huge and eerily prehistoric looking.  Not something you see everyday here.  I wish I had my camera!

I have been working through some old SU dsp and made some cards with a stamp from Doodle Garden called Happy Harvest.  I love this image!  I had to order it off ebay.  I couldn't find it on My Favorite Things website.  Perhaps they stopped making it.  

Anyway, here are the cards:

 I water colored the images with Distress Markers and tried my hand at some different hair colors.

Tomorrow starts our parent-teacher conferences.  Always good to sit down and talk with parents, but it is a very tiring couple of days as well.  Here is our kitty, Sunny, keeping me company this morning as I prepared for conferences. 
Such a funny old man!

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall Wreath Project

I looked forward all week to Saturday 
when I'd have time to craft!!  

I had my eye on a wreath that I found on Pinterest and was anxious to give it a try.  I saw this wreath on various Stampin Up websites, too, but I don't know if it was originally a SU project.  It was incredibly easy to do and a great way to use supplies I already had.  I did purchase the foam ring (but used my 40% off coupon!) from Michaels last weekend. 

Here is the finished project:

I took a few pics along the way, so I'll explain the process as I go.

I used Orchard Harvest DSP that I had in my stash.  I love this paper and bought two packs when it went on sale.  I've been waiting for the right project to come along and I'm glad I did.  I couldn't be happier with how this turned out!

At first I thought I would use my Sizzix adhesive sheets.  The strips (1 1/2" X 12") fit perfectly, but when it came to wrapping them around the foam ring, I was getting frustrated.  Too sticky! Yikes!!

 I quickly switched to Scotch Liquid Glue.  That gave me some wiggle room to, well, wiggle the strips and get them just right.  
Although, for someone more dextrous than me the adhesive sheets would work great, I'm sure!

After the ring was covered, I notched each strip using the first little cut out as my pattern.  I simply traced the little triangle cut out on each paper strip so they would all be the same size.

Here is a close up of the embellishments.  I used the same DSP to create rosettes and used the Tattered Leaves die from Tim Holtz to make the leaves.  The leaves, buttons, and linen thread are SU products.

I got a lot of nice Facebook love when I posted this.  
I titled it A Pinterest Win. Ha!

I really hope you give it a try!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Halloween Treat Box

Happy October Saturday!
It's rainy and chilly out today.  
A great day to stay inside and play!

Here is a fast and fun little treat box 
using the envelope punch board.  

I followed this tutorial

Thank you, Dee, for your inspiration! 
I used some very old leftover Halloween papers from my stash.  The stamp is from Paper Smooches and the twine is Doodlebug.  Super cute, huh?!

I'm going to enter this is the SPARKS Anything Goes Challenge over at Paper Smooches.  Talk about inspiration!  Be sure to check it out!

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Weekend to Myself!

It has been a beautiful fall weekend and I've found myself with lots of ME time!  I've watched the TV shows I wanted to watch, shopped, read and had time to get crafty!
Feels good!

Here are two cards I finished today using some water-colored images from Penny Black and Purple Onion Designs.  

For both cards I used patterned paper from Fancy Pants and Distress Markers to watercolor.  I pieced the background of the Happy Birthday card using Sizzix adhesive sheets. They work great for this kind of thing!  

This card uses Stacey Yacula's Rosie image. It's for my daughter, Rosie, who is away at college.  I'll enclose a few dollars so she can treat herself to a coffee on the way to class some chilly fall morning.

I'm working on a few Halloween cards as well as on a couple of mini books.  During the school week there is no time for crafting, so hopefully these quiet weekends will continue!

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

You Rock!

Another beautiful Sunday morning!  
There is a chill in the air and the light is definitely changing.  Love this time of year!  

Here is a very quick, simple card using Paper Smooches stamps.

It's almost a one layer card and will be easy to send in the mail to someone who needs a little encouragement.  I used my Spectrum Noir markers to create fun shading on the little monster and to ground him to the card base.  Other than that, I simply stamped a fun sentiment on the inside and outside.  

Hoping to get crafty later today.
Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Welcome Autumn!

Happy Sunday morning!
It's a really lovely morning.  Last night storms blew past and the humidity finally broke.  The AC is off and the windows are open!

As I said, I'm making some cards to send to Rose, my daughter, who is in her freshman year of college.  She is a big Starbucks girl.  I'll put a gift card inside and she can have a latte on me some chilly fall morning on her way to class. 

The image is from Jane's Doodles, the sentiment from Paper Smooches and to be honest, I don't remember where that leaf is from!  The paper, however, is from Simple Stories.  I did just the tiniest bit of marker coloring to ground the image and create the cup lid.

I'm entering this card in the Virginia's View patterned paper challenge. This is a new challenge for me. Be sure to check it out!


Have a great day!

Saturday, August 9, 2014



We are headed to a picnic at my brother and sister in law's house today.  Yesterday was my sister-in-law Hope's birthday. 
She is an avid gardener who, I think, will get a kick out of this pun:

This is pretty much a CASE of a card I saw online somewhere.  I'll do a bit of searching and find a link to the original card.  I always want to give credit to the designers who inspire me.

Anyway, It uses Paper Smooches Green Thumb set as well as Lawn Fawn's Smitty's ABC's.

The weather has been gorgeous!  I hope it holds because we are headed to the shore tomorrow for a few days!

Enjoy your Saturday!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Thinking of You Always

To continue from my previous post, I wanted to show you a card I made for Rose, my daughter, who is going off to college in a few weeks in Center City, Philadelphia.  She's really not that far from us, but it will be a very new experience for her.  

My plan is to stockpile a few cards to send from time to time to let her know we're thinking of her.

This is also using the Jane's Doodles set  Home Sweet Home.  

The skyline stamp is from MFT's You're Super set (love that set!).  Again, I played with the layout until it came together.  The tiny hearts are Martha Stewart sequins glitter that I glued individually.  The sentiment is from a Hero Arts set.  I am really pleased with how it turned out!

Have a great day!

Love Makes a House a Home

My brother and his wife just made settlement on an amazing old farmhouse nearby and my grade partner is buying her first home this month.  
I broke out a set from Jane's Doodles called Home Sweet Home for these cards.  

Here is the card for my brother:

I used Spectrum Noir markers and did a bit of paper piecing.  The paper is "Farmhouse" from Crate Paper.  The stitched die is from Lawn Fawn. I glued the bottom of the house down, but put a couple of foam dots on the upper part of the house to pop it up a bit.

The next card is for my next door neighbor at school, Melissa.  She is making settlement on a new house this month.  This is from the same stamp set, but a more clean and simple look.

I changed the layout a few times before I was satisfied. Thank goodness my adhesives were forgiving!  Also, the strip of green was an attempt to cover yet another mistake.  Not sure if it represents a sidewalk or front lawn or what, but it grounded the image and masked my boo-boos. The sentiment is from an old Hero Arts set.

We are off to do some dorm room shopping today.  My poor credit card is taking a beating!
See you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Super Simple


It's the end of July but if feels like September and I'm not complaining! 
Lovely, cool day!

Here is a very simple card using Fancypants Time for Spring 6 by 6 paper and a Paper Smooches die.  I cut the sentiment three times and glued them together to add a bit of bulk and dimension, threw on some enamel dots and called it a day.

Can't get any easier than that!

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Happy LIttle Memories

I was going through my piles of patterned paper trying to decide if I wanted to purge some of the papers I've been hoarding and the answer was no.  I can't help it. I love paper!  But I also hate wastefulness.  All those wonderful stacks and 12 X 12 sheets are just sitting there in boxes doing no one any good whatsoever.  So, if I can't bear to part with my piles, I better find a way to use them, right?

I found a pin on my Pinterest "mini books" board and was inspired to try creating a smashbook type album.  Here is the link to the designer's video:  LisaEDesign Travel Mini Journal

And here is a pic of the front of my finished journal:

The paper is October Afternoon's Woodland Park.  It was fun to make and a great use of a paper collection since most come complete with stickers and label sheets.  I added very few supplemental embellishments, only a few stamps, and voila!

Here is a quick video to show you the pages ready for journaling and photos: 

Please excuse my non-existent editing skills!  I just thought it would be easier than posting a photo of each page.

Anyway, I kept it pretty simple.  The washi tape was a quick fix for some paper tearing that happened when I stitched the pages together.  It's the only washi I own!  Luckily, it fit in with the colors and vintage-y vibe of the paper.  I just continued it a bit here and there throughout the rest of the album so that it looked cohesive.  

I'll post some pics at the end of the summer of the completed album (and by end of summer I mean some time before Christmas...hopefully).

Have a great day!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Neon Fun

Happy Friday!

I finally broke out my Hero Arts mini neon stamp set and the SU chevron background stamp.  Both have been sitting around wondering when they were going to be called into service.  I stalked Pinterest for some inspiration and went to work.

All three cards started with a rainbow of blue, green, orange, and pink on SU Whisper White cardstock.  This card also uses SU's Gorgeous Grunge and an MFT sentiment.


I'm learning to not point out my mistakes when posting cards since we're always our own worst critics and most people don't even notice them, and I have to say that I am basically happy with the way this one turned out, but there are things I'd do differently. The vellum banner is deliberately askew, but the stitching went wonky.  I tried to fix it with an 'I meant to do that' second row of stitching, but it didn't quite do the trick. Oh well. I do like the gray and vellum with the neon.  It softens the effect and is more unexpected than black.  The die cut is from Paper Smooches. First time for that one as well, come to think of it!
See the inspiration card here.

Last, but not least...

I copied this pic of my niece, Jill and her little family from a Facebook post.  The photo is popped up and backed with gray.  I embossed the sentiment and little hearts with silver embossing powder.  Little Nicholas happens to be wrapped in a chevron baby blanket, by the way!

I like using photos on cards. Why not?  They become little keepsakes, not just cards.

Have a good night!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hi, There!

It's a beautiful morning!!  I'm anticipating a day of gardening, card-making and reading by the pool.  LOVE summer!!

Still working on my coloring skills. This time it's another CC Designs figure. Her name is Sunflower Lula.

Instead of alcohol markers, though, I used watercolor markers.  I have to say water-coloring is much more forgiving, in my opinion, than markers.  These are Distress Markers.  The background paper is American Crafts and the sentiment is Purple Onion Designs.

I want to include a picture my daughter water-colored last night.  She sat at our kitchen table with a two dollar set of watercolor paints and created this amazing portrait.  Now you know where the real talent lies in our family!!

Hope you are able to relax and enjoy this day where you are!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hello, Friend!

I've been practicing my coloring.  All I can say is it's harder than it looks.  I'm having a hard time finding just the right shades for blending.  Lots of youtube tutorials in my future!

Here is one of the cards I finished this morning using CC Designs  "Sunglasses Emma."  

The layout was inspired by Kay Miller's clean and layered beach scenes. Please check out her amazing blog here.

I plan on sending these to a few teacher friends who I won't see over the summer. Hopefully they are getting in lots of relaxation and beach time!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Cutie Pie

I became a great aunt twice in one week!  My niece had a beautiful baby boy and my nephew, another adorable little girl.  Here is the card I made for little Nicholas.

School is winding down. Hopefully I will have more time and energy to get my craft on.  There are still a bunch of stamps that I have not opened.  I'm challenging myself to use only what I have this summer and resist the temptation to purchase anything new.  We'll see how that goes.  

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Sky is the Limit

Well, I did it. Card #1 after a month long hiatus.  

This card is for my good friend's daughter who is graduating from high school. 

I used the masking tape technique with SU ink and cardstock,
 Lawn Fawn dies, and an MFT sentiment. 

Just got word that baby No. 2 was born!  I'm a great aunt twice in one week! Definitely need to get some new baby cards made fast!