Monday, October 3, 2016

Freshly Made Sketches #256

Happy Monday! Who participated in World Cardmaking Day over the weekend? There were some GORGEOUS cards out there! I love WCD because it's a chance to see the amazing talent out there! There were some great examples to use as inspiration.

I spent some time this weekend making a card for this week's Freshly Made Sketches #256. I thought about this sketch a few times before jumping in - anyone else ever do that? Some of the sketches I can just roll with immediately, but this one took some thought.

Here's the sketch from FMS:

And here's my take on it:

I recently bought that holiday music paper at Hobby Lobby, so that was my jumping-off point! I played off of the red in the printed paper with some red cardstock, ribbon, and ink. I also thought some gold in there would be a nice complement to all of the red. The gold embossing just adds a little elegance to the card, right?

Hope you all got in some cardmaking time over the weekend, and have a great week! Excited to see this week's winner over at FMS!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

PTI September Blog Hop

Hi all! Hope you had a good weekend! :)

I'm joining in the Papertrey Ink monthly blog hop today. This is one that I'd like to participate in more frequently. They always pick the most gorgeous inspiration photos and colors for us. This month's picture is no exception...

I love the combination here of white, black, gold, kraft, and green. All of them could really be used as neutrals on a card, and they look beautiful together. There's also a slight hint of Christmas with the pine cones and greenery, so that gave me the idea for a card. I was inspired by Betsy Veldman and this week's Make it Monday (check it out here - I am always SO impressed with her and ideas), and I used her sketch for my own card.

Now, it's no Betsy Veldman card, but I really loved the way this turned out. The color combination is just so elegant and rich, and there are so many different sentiments I could have included here. This is maybe the 3rd or 4th Christmas card I've made so far this year, and it's my favorite! Still deciding what my card is going to look like, but this one will also be going out to someone this holiday season! Have you started your Christmas cards yet?

Have a great week!

Stamps - PTI (wreath and gold branches), Paper Smooches (sentiment)
Paper - Simon Says Stamp (black), Studio Calico (brown and white patterned paper)
Leaf die - Simon Says Stamp 
Black twine - Hobby Lobby
Versamark ink - Hobby Lobby
Gold & white embossing powder - Hobby Lobby
Gold ink - Michael's
Dark green paper - Stampin' Up
Powder tool - Amazon 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

SIP Challenge #64

Hi all! Summer is coming to a close... at least, I thought it was until the temperatures around here went back up into the 90s again this week! Ugh. Last week was cooler, and I got a taste of fall goodness. And now we're back to hot, hot, hot summer. Bring back fall! It's my favorite time of year, so I'm ready for these hot days to depart, and the cool, comfy fall weather to stay for good.

And speaking of fall, the reds and yellows of the season were the springboard for the card I made for this week's SIP Challenge: clean and simple!

SIP Challenge 64 - CAS

I made a simple thank you note with fall colors, nature, and leaves.

For me, the biggest challenge with "clean and simple" is stopping. Just adding a few things and then letting it be. I feel like there's a lot of empty space on this card, but I resisted the urge to fill it up! I do think one of the best parts about this card being simple is that that yellow-gold leaf really pops out!

What do you think? Too simple? Just right? Is clean and simple easy for you, or do you have to remind yourself to keep it simple??

Have a great week!

Leaf punch - Hobby Lobby
Red marker - gift
Black wood rings stamp - Concord and Ninth
Red enamel dots - Simon Says Stamp
Baker's twine - Hobby Lobby
Red cardstock - Stampin' Up
Yellow cardstock - Stampin' Up

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Freshly Made Sketches #245

Hi all! I'm back today with another card for Freshly Made Sketches. Have you checked them out yet? They are one of my favorite sites for sketch ideas. That's where I struggle the most. I find once I know what I want the layout to be, then the colors, sentiment, and embellishments come pretty quickly. But getting that design down the toughest part for me!

So, I'm playing along with Freshly Made Sketches #245 this week. I'm also entering this card into the gallery for Online Card Classes: Heat Wave. It's my first session with OCC, and I am very happy with the videos, tips, and tricks! (How can you not be when the leaders are Jennifer McGuire and Kristina Werner???)

Here's this week's sketch from FMS:

And, with a little "Christmas in July" inspiration, here's my take on it:

This card was SUPER simple to get together. Last year, I bought a paper pack from Hobby Lobby with Christmas theme. (It's by Recollections and called the "Cozy Lodge" collection if you're interested). All of the papers, including that deer with the sentiment, are from that pack. I just did some cutting with my Fiskars trimmer to get the paper to the size I wanted. The most difficult part of this card was the heat embossing across the card. I used Wow! Primary Ebony embossing powder. I also included a new technique I picked up from Online Card Classes to include that heat embossing. I finished the card with some black and white baker's twine, and a touch of Wink of Stella on the deer and his antlers. Done!

Anyone else getting an early start on Christmas cards in July? It does take a lot of time to make all of those holiday homemade cards!

Have a great day, and be back again soon!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Freshly Made Sketches #244

Hi all! Hope you had a good weekend. It has been H-O-T here. Gives me more time to stay inside in the AC and make some cards. :)

I recently made the plunge and purchased my first Hero Arts kit, and I LOVE IT. Did anyone else purchase this kit? I think they are all sold out now, but for those of you who were one of the lucky early purchasers, have you played around with the kit items yet? Honestly, I can't stop adding the stamps and die cuts to my cards. It is so perfect for July with the nautical theme, and I think the designers just did such beautiful work. My favorite stamp among the set is that turtle. Adorable! The jellyfish have such movement, too, and even the coral stamps come out beautifully. The ombre ink is so smooth and pretty, and the two specialty papers are amazing in person. If you're like me and you like the look of glitter and sparkle without the mess, these papers are for you!! I think it's one of those ones that I will go to again and again. A new personal fave!

And that leads me to this week's Freshly Made Sketches #244. Guess what set I jumped right to for this sketch? :)

Here's my take on it:

 I thought that turtle from the Hero Arts kit would add a different spin to the oval element in the middle of the sketch, so that was my jumping-off point. (I had die cut some turtles to have on hand when the kit first arrived, so that saved me some time when I went to put this card together. A good tip!) I also wanted to do something non-traditional to make a bit of a water-y look in the back, so I grabbed the shiny green paper that came with the kit, along with Papertrey Ink stencils. I used Blue Ribbon ink from Ranger and a blending took to make that background. I used a phrase from the Hero Arts set and Lawn Fawn Merman ink for the sentiment portion. For some finishing touches, I covered the turtle in Wink of Stella (this effect is so hard to photograph, but I promise it's there!) along with some PTI rainstones to reinforce the water/nautical theme. Then I just mounted this on a white card I had bought in a pack at Hobby Lobby, and that's it!

I'm sending this off soon to a friend with a July birthday. Hope you have a beautiful day! Until next time!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

SIP Challenge 52

Hi all! I'm back today and participating in the SIP Challenge for the first time. They're celebrating their one-year anniversary, so I encourage you go over and check them out! I love seeing their themes, sketches, and inspiration, and their team is AMAZINGLY talented! I usually see at least one card each week that I want to try out.

This week, with their one-year anniversary celebration, their theme is "card makers choice," encouraging fellow crafters to use make a card using your favorite stamp set, ink colors, and paper. This worked out just right as I just found some new favorite stamps during a recent trip to Hobby Lobby. So I started out with the stamps and took it from there! Here's what I came up with...

I really love how those soft colors blended well in the background, and that pop of black and white really makes the sentiment stand out. But I have to say that my favorite part of this card is a little hard to see... there's a light heat embossed pattern in the background. See it now? :) When you have the card in your hand, it's a little easier to notice, and I think it'll make you want to actually touch the card and feel the heat embossed pattern. I will definitely be trying this out again!

That sentiment is going to be great for so many uses. I think it's a great reminder, especially if you're like me and tend to get a little caught up in details, that the organized chaos of life is a beautiful thing! (Even if maaaaaybe we don't appreciate it at the time - been there!)

Excited to see the other cards over at the SIP 52 challenge this week. Congrats again, SIP team! Look forward to many more years of cards and inspiration! :)

Monday, May 2, 2016

April Favorites

Hi all! Hope you had a great weekend.

Just wanted to share a few of my favorite creations from the month of April... if you follow me on Instagram (@elle_stamping), some might look familiar!

A quick disclaimer before we jump in... I do not work for any of these companies, and they have not asked me to try out or talk about their products (oh, but I would be THRILLED if that day ever came!). I just like to talk about things that I have found to work really well and share with others. That's how I have found so many of the products that I love, and I hope this is helpful for you fellow card-makers out there...

In April, I continued meeting monthly with a fellow card-making friend. I really enjoy our time together, and it's so fun to see how she uses stamps, ink, paper, etc. I always come away inspired and with new ideas! For our April meeting, I used the Simon Says Stamp April card kit for this card. I wanted to try something different with the black background and white text to make it look a little a chalkboard. And WOW, those flowers just POP against that black. You all might know by know that I REALLY love scripted sentiments, so that "Hello Friend" is going to get a lot of use!!

This was another one of my favorites from last month. I entered in the Freshly Made Sketches weekly challenge, and though it didn't win, it's one that I really love! It was so clean and simple, and there's a scripted sentiment again (told ya, they're my favorite!). The umbrella and raindrops can be used with so many sentiments and sayings, so I'm excited to keep using those stamps! This was a bit unusual for me because there's A LOT of white space in this card, but I think it works! (P.S. If you're interested, the set is Sun Showers from Hero Arts!)

I made my first Altenew purchase this month, and this set is GORGEOUS! It's my first laying stamp set, and I will definitely be going back for more! (Check out the Peony Bouquet set here.) I cannot say enough good things about this set. It was easy to use, stamped well, and turned out beautiful. There are so many possibilities and color combinations with a great layering stamp set like this, so don't be surprised if you see more peonies on my blog. :) Definitely check out Altenew and their gorgeous products!

I've already started a few cards for the month of May, so stick around... there might just be lots of blooms and flowers. It just seems right for this time of year. :)

Monday, April 11, 2016


Just a quick note to let you know one of my cards is featured on the Right At Home Stamps Instagram page today... WHOA! (I cannot believe I just wrote that.)

Check out Nicole and her shop. I don't know her, and she didn't ask me to do this... but she has reeeeeeeeally cute products over there! I loved the Happy Mail set and was so happy to add it to my collection!

I'm gonna go once again check out the Right Home Instagram to make sure what I saw is actually reality... for the 100th time today. :)

Have a great week! Be back again soon with some more cards! Thanks again to Nicole and Right at Home today!!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Simon Says Stamp April Kit: A Colorful Life

Hi all! I'm back again today with a review on the Simon Says Stamp April card kit: A Colorful Life.

Simon Says Stamp Card Kit of the Month APRIL 2016 A COLORFUL LIFE ck416 Preview Image

I'm gonna be honest - when I first saw this kit, I wasn't too thrilled. The colors were bright, and it did include lots of flowers (which I love), buuuuuuut...
  • I really look forward to coordinating stamp and die sets in the kits, and this one doesn't have that.
  • I don't use clips and stickers too much in my cards, and this kit has A LOT of those.
  • Many of the small patterned sheets also have small squares or sections to cut apart for your card designs, and I prefer the papers that are all one pattern or design.
  • Even when I searched for preview cards from the design team, I wasn't loving it. This has NOTHING to do with the impressive talent from the team. The cards were designed very well. It's just that nothing was jumping out at me.
So, my first impression was... meh.

For the first time in a long time, when the kit was delivered to my home, it just sat there. I decided to give it a try to prep for some cardmaking time with a friend. We each bring a card to share, and then we make the cards together. I found a sketch online that I wanted to try, so I start pulling out some elements of this kit.

As I played around, I really liked how the different elements came together. Here's the card I came up with...

The sentiment, floral patterned paper, black card stock, and red, yellow, and light blue paper that the flowers are cut from are all from the kit. I do love that script sentiment, and the coordinating papers make matching super simple. This isn't my normal style, but I wanted to try out a simple technique I saw about how to make your card look like a chalkboard. This works, right? :) I have grown to really like this card... I think it's becoming one of my personal faves.

So after some cardmaking time with my friend, I just wanted to keep creating! So I went home and make a couple more cards from the kit...

So, my new verdict is... I like it. This kit is not one of my favorites, and I'm still challenged by those stickers and clips. But as cards have come together using different parts of the kit, I have been surprised that I like the final results. Another good thing about this kit is that it's not specific to one season or holiday. You really could use this all year round (though those bright florals are just perfect as spring blooms arrive outside).

Are you a SSS card kit subscriber? What have you made with this kit? What kit has been your favorite?

Have a great rest of your weekend!

1 card for 3 challenges

Happy weekend! I'm spending some time catching up on cardmaking - it's been too long! Yesterday, I made one card that I'm entering into three (yes, three!) challenges. Love it when challenges come together. :)

Here are the challenges:

1) Freshly Made Sketches #230

2) Papertrey Ink Make it Monday #244

3) Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge

And here's what I came up with:

This turned out very clean and simple. I did have a little bit of an urge to fill some of that white space, but I left it as is. I think the blue and pink colors work well for a friend expecting a new little one. Such an exciting time!

Thanks for stopping by this weekend! Don't forget to add your email to that subscribe email box to get updates as they're posted! :)


Stamp set - Hero Arts Sun Showers

Inks - Ranger Dye Inks (blue ribbon and wild orchid), Versafine Ink (onyx black)

Paper - White card and envelope (Hobby Lobby), blue and white cardstock (Simon Says Stamp)

Other - Pretty Pink Posh sequins

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Make it Monday #241

Happy weekend! I received some new craft supplies in the mail yesterday - such a fun way to start the weekend - and I am trying some of them out for this week's Make it Monday #241 with Papertrey Ink.

Betsy Veldman is the lead this week. I absolutely LOVE her work. She has such an amazing design style, and the sets that she makes for PTI are so well-done. I was so happy to see her in the MIM video this week!

Here's her video and finished card card that incorporates ombre stenciled backgrounds:


And here's my take on it:

I did something different this time and actually played along with Betsy as the video was playing. It was almost like attending a class with her as the instructor. I used to attend some card classes in the area, and they were so fun! This brought back some good memories, and I think I might do it again in the future.

The stamp sets, dies, and stencils from PTI were a DREAM to work with. So smooth and easy to stamp/cut out, and the stencils are so fun for making your own backgrounds. Don't be surprised if you see these products again soon here - they are quickly becoming favorite items of mine! :)

Hope you enjoy rest of the weekend!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Freshly Made Sketches #226

Hi all! I'm making a quick return today to share a card for Freshly Made Sketches #226. I hope to go back to longer, more detailed posts soon - I'm going through one of those times when the busyness of life leaves little personal and craft time. We all go through times like this, right? Should be back to a more regular routine soon, so stay tuned.

I'm playing along this week over at Freshly Made Sketches with a layout from Rita. Here's her sketch:

And here's my take on it:

I changed up the orientation of the stripe and butterfly image a bit, but I think this still reflects the original design! I'm excited to send this off to a friend who recently got engaged. Happy mail for a joyful life moment!

Appreciate you taking some time to visit my blog today - have a great rest of the day!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Simon Says: One Layer

The more I've been making cards, the more layers I tend to add to my cards. So it was a good challenge this week with Simon Says: One Layer for the weekly Wednesday post!

I needed a quick thank note for a recent gift, so this challenge came at the right time.

Stamping directly on the card, here's my final product:

I really love when a sentiment plays off of the images or scene on a card. :) And who doesn't like getting a bunch of flowers?

Since I have gotten a score board, it's showing up A LOT on my cards. It's such a simple and subtle way to frame a scene or add some dimension. The scoring on this card is a little difficult to see, especially on the left-hand side, but I think adds a lot to this note.

 Look forward to next week's Wednesday Challenge - it's one of my favorite weekly posts!


Paper: White card and envelope (Hobby Lobby)

Stamps: Flower and sentiment set (personal gift)

Ink: Range dye inks (Lemon Twist), Stampin' Up (Mossy Meadow & Cajun Craze), Versafine (Black Onyx)

Other: Washi tape (Stampin' Up), black marker (Recollections), blending tool, gold gel pen, score board

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Freshly Made Sketches #223

Jumping right in today for a quick post... I'm taking some inspiration from Jennifer McGuire for Freshly Made Sketches #223. I loved her recent post about distress ink lifting!

Here was the FMS sketch:

And here's what I came up with:

The world could use a little more kindness lately... let's remember, no matter our disagreements, to keep being kind to those we know and those unknown who will be affected by our actions.

Enjoy the rest of your Valentines weekend!



Paper - white envelope and cardstock (Hobby Lobby), purple patterned paper

Stamps - Acts of Kindness (Hero Arts), Rustic Wreath (Papertrey Ink), flower woodmount stamp (Hobby Lobby)

Inks - Versafine Onyx Black, Tim Holtz Distress Inks (crushed olive, tumbled glass, dusty concord)

Other - Light blue ribbon (WalMart), white embossing power (gift)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Ray of Sunshine

Hey everyone! Hope you're having a good weekend. I had a great day having lunch with a friend who just became a mom a few months ago. I'm super lucky to have fantastic friends who are also amazing moms. I've learned from them that it's so important to keep making time for friendship, even with the busyness of children. And, I'm more than happy to be that friend to whisk them away for a little while for lunch, cards, shopping, chatting, and laughter. :)

I made a card earlier in the week that I wanted to share with you this weekend! This is for the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Ray of Sunshine. I have to be honest - the Monday challenges are tough for me. The distress look highlighted in these cards are not my style or my forte. But I saw a new technique online that used some mini distress inks, and I also have a friend who is recovering from surgery. So I thought would be a good opportunity to try something that's a little out of my comfort zone and send a card to a friend recovering at home.

As I mentioned, the challenge this week was "Ray of Sunshine." I didn't take this literally, but I hope this happy mail will be a bright spot in a friend's recovery:

So, I will be the first to admit that is is far from a strong distressed look - let's just say I'm taking baby steps! But I did use a new technique with distress inks to stamp the mini ink pads right on the paper for those green and blue blocks. Those tiny blocks are just perfect for making squares on a card, and I found that small envelope stamp to fit juuuuuust right inside!

A sentiment along the bottom, a little circle in the top left, and a couple of gold accents finished off the card.

Any tips for trying out another distress card? The clean look of the SSS Wednesday Challenges come a lot easier to me, but I think this was a good first attempt at distressed style!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend - hope you have fun Super Bowl plans!


Paper - White card and envelope (Hobby Lobby), light blue card stock and white card stock (Simon Says Stamp)

Stamps - Happy Mail (Right at Home Stamps)

Inks - Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads (crushed olive and tumbled glass), Ranger Dye Ink (black tie)

Other - Gold dots sprinkles (Doodlebug Design Inc,), gold gel pen (Hobby Lobby)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

1 card for 2 challenges

I'm doubling-up today, entering one card for two challenges!

PTI's Make It Monday #238 includes a current design trend - ombre! The challenge was to incorporate ombre into a Valentine's card. Here's the video to check out for more info...

This worked very well with another challenge this week: Have A Heart over at Simon Says Stamp.

Here's what I came up with when I fused the two challenges together:

Can you see that ombre actually shows up in two different places on this card? The hearts change colors as you look down the card, as does the blending on the piece of paper behind the hearts.

I started out with the postage die cut and heart stamps. I've had that postage die cut for a little while now, and it's been sitting on my table as a reminder to try it out! Does anyone else do that with their craft supplies? Sometimes when I put supplies away all the time, I tend to always go back to my favorites. Keeping a stamp set, sentiment, paper, or die cut that I don't use as often on my desk reminds me to use it.

Valentine's Day is coming up... do you have your cards yet?



Paper - White card and envelope, black paper (Hobby Lobby), white card stock, patterned paper (Simon Says Stamp card kit), red paper (Stampin Up)

Stamps - Circle hearts (Michael's), Swoosh (Papertrey Ink)

Ink - Ranger dye inks (Classic Cherry, Pink Gumball, Wild Orchid, Black Tie)

Die cut - Postage die (Papertrey Ink)

Embellishments - Recollections red marker, blending tool

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Thank You & January Personal Faves

Just wanted to write a quick note to thank everyone who has read, commented, and/or supported this blog in its first month! I had no idea that my first 30 days in the blogging community would be so busy, engaging, and FUN!

As you can tell, most of the posts here will be sharing cards that I'm making for different challenges like Freshly Make Sketches, Papertrey Ink Make It Monday, and others. But I have few other ideas that I hope to roll out soon. Stay tuned...

Here are a few of my personal favorite cards from the month of January - some made it to the blog, so they might be familiar...

Thanks again to everyone for following along! (And if you haven't yet, be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss any updates along the way.) Looking forward to the next 30 days - February is a great month for cards! :)