The little things that make me happy here on Bliss Road~~Emily Keaton

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Just a quick post to share a card I made for yesterday's SCS CAS challenge, to be inspired by the word "delicious." While we were on vacation, my sister shared some Big Triple Nut Bars by Planters to restore our flagging energy reserves while at an amusement park. Wow!! These chewy delights boast honey-roasted peanuts, almonds, cashews, and a sprinkling of granola. Talk about delicious!! We couldn't wait to go out and buy more for ourselves. These delicious treats inspired my "I'm Nuts about you!" card featuring this adorable little squirrel out collecting--what else??--nuts!

This is a sneak peek of a new set called Autumn Fun, scheduled for release from Mark's Finest Papers next week. I thought the sentiment was perfect for Speedy the Cat's Friends Challenge #18, to make a friendship card! And my monochromatic color scheme was inspired by this sweet Brown Owl Ring from The Caged Fairy Etsy shop, as part of this week's EtsyInspired Challenge #103.

Thanks for stopping by my little slice of bliss today!

Stamps: MFP Autumn Fun
Paper: MFP hazelnut tan CS, MFP Snow Storm ultra smooth finish CS
Ink: Palette burnt umber
Accessories: CM corner rounder punch, scissors, dimensionals

P.S. Be sure to check out the Jillibean Soup GIVEAWAY that Mandy has on at Limelight Paper Crafts. A winner will be drawn on Friday, September 3!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to Reality

Well, we returned from our two-week road-trip vacation over the weekend, and now it's back to reality. We had a good trip, driving a total of 2644 miles and spotting license plates from 44 states. We visited my sister and her family in Cincinnati, OH, for a few days; my parents in Mansfield, OH, for a few days; and DH's folks in Attica, OH, for a few days. The highlights:
  • geocaching around Mansfield,
  • visiting the Ohio Bird Sanctuary,
  • spending a fun day at Malabar Farm State Park (OH), which included a wagon ride and visits to all the farm animals,
  • riding the unique hand-carved carousel at Richland Carrousel Park (OH),
  • a day at King's Island, a major amusement park near Cincinnati, where my thrill-seeking kiddos rode the world's longest wooden roller coaster, The Beast, multiple times,
  • camping for several days at Silver Lake State Park (MI) on the shore of Lake Michigan, where the big natural attraction is 2000 acres of sand dunes, including a sizable off-road vehicle area perfect for my FIL's hand-built dune buggy. He gave all of us thrilling rides around, over, under, and through those constantly shifting and changing dunes. And we still have the sand in our hair (and ears) to prove it!
  • and a day at Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH), which has been voted best amusement park in the world for 12 years running. DH and I have many fond memories of visiting Cedar Point each summer with our families while growing up, and DH worked there several summers as a teen. We figure it had been 16 years since we last visited! It was fun to see how things have changed--and what has stayed the same all these years. Cedar Point boosts 17 roller coasters, and among the four of us, we hit 14 of them--all except the two "kiddie" coasters and the stand-up coaster that we'd heard was pretty uncomfortable to ride. Our thrill-seeking offspring loved every second of their extreme rides!!
We had beautiful weather and easy travel. It was wonderful to get away together, but good to be back home again and sleeping in our own beds. We're still trying to catch up, though--unpacking, laundry, mail, bill-paying, email, errands, yardwork, housework, re-stocking the fridge and shelves. You know how it is!! Time to get back into our routine. I'm hoping to get in some time for cardmaking this week, but I'll have to play it by ear. The kids go back to school a week from tomorrow, so just one more week of "summer" for us, and I know it's going to be busy--and that it will fly!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I'll see you back here again soon. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Moments That Take Our Breath Away

Hey, there!! Happy Tuesday to you. I wanted to share another card that I made last week before we packed up and headed for the hills on vacation.
I made this for the SCS Ways to Use It challenge to use buttons and for another {ippity} Release Week Challenge, a challenge to be inspired by this awesome photo. I pulled out some beige, red, and black card stock and my {ippity}
Love in Return set, and I was on a roll! I stamped the dots in Versamark on my beige card base and the flourish stamp in black on a red panel. I used my SU curly label punch to shape the bottom edge of the black strip. The sentiment in red reads "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but instead it is by the moments that take our breath away." Isn't that wonderful??

My very simple embellishment? A vintage button from my stash. If you look carefully, you can see that it has a mother-of-pearl veneer. So lovely in real life!! :) I thought it was a good parallel for the round mirror in the photo. Here's a close-up photo.

And I have some happy news!! My card won this {ippity} inspiration challenge and I got to pick an {ippity} set for my prize. I chose this awesome newly released set, Authentic Man. I am happily awaiting its arrival!! Can't wait to get it inky.

Thanks for stopping by today! I'll post again when we return from vacation. See you soon!!

Stamps: {ippity} Love in Return
Paper: SU whisper white CS, various CS from The Paper Company
Ink: Versamark, Palette noir black, Palette l'amore red
Accessories: SU curly label punch, CM corner rounder punch, vintage button

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friendships Make Me Happy

Look at this beautiful card that my good friend Colleen sent me. Isn't it the yummiest?? I "met" Colleen on Splitcoast earlier this year and we've developed a wonderful friendship. She's the one who encouraged me to start this blog o' mine, too! She has an excellent eye for color and design and is always on the lookout for cardmaking inspiration in the world around her. I so admire that! I love reading on her blog, Dietrich Designs, how things like a child's swimsuit or a fancy tissue box inspired the beautiful cards she creates. Genius!! She is one talented lady. :)

So, last week I received this unexpected package from Colleen. In it was this gorgeous card with the sweetest message and an amazing collection of beautiful SU paper scraps, both solid card stock and designer paper. I was in heaven!! That's the kind of thing I can really use. She wrote that she couldn't wait to see what I would create with them. And I couldn't wait to get started creating!!

By the time you read this post, my family and I will be on the road for our vacation (I scheduled this post ahead of time). On Thursday I was in the throes of packing and doing all of those prep tasks that must be done before leaving on a trip. I was getting panicky and worked up and figured it was time to take a short break for some paper therapy to get re-focused. What a huge help!! I made several cards, two of which I'll share here because--da, da, DA!!--I used some of those wonderful scraps that Colleen sent me. Check it out, Col!!

I made this first CAS card for an SCS Ways to Use it challenge to use buttons. No problem! I love buttons and have tons, both my Gramma's vintage button collection and the ones I amassed when I sewed and sold fabric handbags and totes for a number of years. It is also for last week's Ippity New Release Challenge #1, to use {ippity} stamps and ALL the colors of the rainbow: RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, PURPLE. Easy peasy!! The butterfly stamp from the {ippity} set Now & Always was perfect for the job. Even with the fussy cutting, which is far from my strong suit, it only took me about 30 minutes. A super quick card for me!! I am not what you'd call a speedy stamper. So this card was perfect as my break-from-packing paper therapy. And see those red, orange, and green butterflies? Cut from some of the scraps that sweet Colleen sent my way. Thanks, Colleen!!

And this CAS card was an even quicker card. I was on a roll!! Colleen will recognize that scalloped card base as a bit that was in the scaps she sent me!! It was already cut, folded, and ready to go. Yahoo! And it was perfect for the Ippity New Release Challenge #2, to use {ippity} stamps and make a shaped card. I don't have any die cutting tools, so this "scrap" was a godsend for this challenge. I did a little background stamping in Versamark and then used a vintage button from my stash for the center of my big beautiful flower (another image from the {ippity} Now & Always set--my fav {ippity}) and topped it with a celery rhinestone for sparkle. Added a leaf and a twist of ribbon, and I was done!! A super quick and easy card, made possible only by Colleen's scrappy care package.

Once I'd finished with my paper therapy, I was ready to roll on with the packing and had a productive rest of the day. It was just what I needed to calm myself and refocus. Creating is just so restorative for me. :)

If you like the {ippity} you saw here and want to check it out for yourself, be sure to head over to Emily Niehaus's blog for her {ippity} store. I'm sure she could hook you up with some!! And I believe that she is offering FREE SHIPPING on the new {ippity} release.

So, thanks for stopping by today! And thanks, Colleen, for your wonderful RAK and for all the ways you support me. I treasure your friendship!!

Card Details:
Stamps: {ippity} Now & Always
Paper: The Paper Company CS, lots of various scraps of card stock including SU bits from Colleen
Ink: Palette noir black
Accessories: scissors, SU word window punch, CM corner rounder, glue pen, buttons from my stash, grosgrain ribbon, glue dots, dimensionals
Techniques: paper piecing

Stamps: {ippity} Now & Always
Paper: SU taken with teal CS, SU whisper white CS, SU certainly celery CS
Ink: Versamark, SU certainly celery, Palette budoir blush
Accessories: scissors, vintage button, celery rhinestone, dotted ribbon from Mark's Finest Papers
Techniques: paper piecing

Friday, August 6, 2010

Garden Fresh Berries

Well, after a few days of running errands and being exhausted, I finally had some time to make a card this afternoon. And I'm so happy~~I got to watercolor!!! This card was for two challenges at Splitcoast, one of which was today's Free 4 All F4A24--to make a card or project with the main image being from your garden. I chose strawberries! I stamped them with Palette noir black ink on Canson watercolor paper and then watercolored with various dye inks. I love to watercolor!! That is so my little slice of bliss.

The other was yesterday's Ways to Use It challenge WT282, Stick It. I "stuck" my card by sewing on it with my sewing machine AND by using a safety pin. That was a fun challenge! The gingham "DP" is actually a scrap of fabric that I sewed on to my kraft card base.

I managed to fit in a number of other challenges with this card, as well:
  • Limelight Sketch and Product Challenge, LLPC053, to use this sketch and Pop-Up dots. Each of my circle elements is popped up on dimensionals.
  • Delightful Challenges, Distressing. I used my favorite distressing method, taking an emery board to the edges of my card base and the middle rectangular panel.
  • The Play Date Cafe Challenge, PDCC41, to be inspired by the colors in this photo. I interpreted these as red, saffron, and white. You can see my saffron a bit better in the close-up photo below in the flower centers in the DP and the saffron flocking in the centers of my stamped strawberry blossoms.
  • Simon Says Challenge: Sing It, Baby , to be inspired by a song. I was inspired by--what else?--the Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever. :)
  • Flourishes' inaugural Bringing Back Beautiful challenge BBB01, to color with your favorite medium. I, of course, chose watercoloring!!
  • Paper Sundaes, PSC29, to include stitching--real or faux--on your card.
  • Just for Fun Fridays color challenge JFFCC23, to use these colors
Would you like a close-up of my card so you can see some of the details (like the flocking, stitching, safety pin, distressing) a little bit better? Well, then, here you go--your wish is my command!!!
And now, it's TGIF!! Time for my DH's out-of-this-world homemade pizza and a movie with the kids. Have a super weekend--and, as always, thanks so much for dropping by. It makes my day when you do! :)

Stamps: Flourishes Strawberries
Paper: Canson watercolor paper, PTI kraft CS, Cosmo Cricket Garden Variety DP, generic CS
Ink: Palette noir black, Palette l'amour red
Accessories: CM 1.25" circle punch, CM 1.5" circle punch, SU 1.75" circle punch, CM circle cutting system, emery board for distressing, sewing machine, red gingham fabric, glue dots, saffron flocking powder, dimensionals, narrow red satin ribbon, red safety pin, watercolor paintbrushes
Techniques: watercolor painting, machine sewing, distressing

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Monochromatic Thanks

Whew, it's been a hot and sticky one here today! After doing my freelance work this morning, the kids and I ran some errands and then decided to beat the heat by staying inside (where it's air-conditioned) to stamp! We had a marvelous time, and I had just enough time to make this fun monochromatic thank you card. The lovely bird image is another sneak peek from the Mark's Finest Papers set, Tweet Blessings, to be released next week. There are so many images in the four MFP sets being released next week that are perfect for chalks and one of my favorite techniques, Poppin' Pastels!

I made this card for these challenges:
Gotta run now--it's time to take DS shopping for new sneakers before supper. Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: MFP Tweet Blessings, SU Lovely Labels, SU Very Vintage (jumbo wheel)
Paper: PTI kraft, SU chocolate chip CS, SU DP
Ink: Palette burnt umber, Versamark
Accessories: CM corner rounder punch, CM 1.25" circle punch, CM 1.5" circle punch, SU modern label punch, sponge, scissors, dimensionals, Stampin' Pastels, sponge dauber
Techniques: Poppin' Pastels, sponging

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

All About DD

I didn't get a chance to do any stamping today (too busy with work and preparations for our upcoming vacation), but I wanted to share with you this CAS creation that my 11-year-old daughter made.
She asked what today's SCS challenge was (it's a color challenge to use blushing bride, riding hood red, and early espresso) and then headed off to our stamping nook to create all by herself. I was amazed by what she came up with!! Except for a suggestion for the sentiment (she wanted it to say "hi" and was going to spell it out with alpha stamps; I told her I had some "hi" sentiment stamps--would she want a round one to match her other round element?), she did all of this on her own. She even stamped her own DP :) !! I couldn't be more proud of her. She has really learned a lot of design tricks this summer, and she's making them her own. She now lists card making (along with reading) as one of her favorite things to do!! Just like Mom. :)

Oh, she also got her first blog shout out recently! Last week she played in the Limelight Papercrafts sketch and product challenge, and her entry made it into owner Mandy's picks of the week!! You can check it out here. It was a really challenging sketch, and she did a super job with it. You should have seen her smile when she realized that her card was singled out.

And she won her first contest, too!! It was a drawing for a card commenting contest on SCS, and she was one of five winners for July. A (surprise) prize is on the way to her, and she can't wait to see what she's won.

I'm just thrilled that my two kiddos share my passion for papercrafting!! What a hoot that is. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 2, 2010

CAS Owl Birdday

Hey, everybody!! Welcome to Monday. I have a quick CAS (clean and simple) birthday card to share with you. I made it for today's SCS CAS challenge, CAS78, to use polka dots. I used a great CAS sketch from earlier this summer (CAS72), too.

This fab owl image is another sneak peek from the Mark's Finest Papers set, Owl Be There. Great news: this awesome set will be released next week!! I colored the owl image using the Poppin' Pastels technique, dabbing chalks over Versamark ink. This is also for this week's Stampin' B challenge, to make a birthday card, and for the Just For Fun Friday Color Challenge #22.
We had an awesome weekend. Not much time for stamping, though! We saw two movies with the kids (Harriet the Spy Friday night and Planet 51 Saturday night). Saturday my DH had all-day plans for working in the garage, so I took off early with the kids to explore the nearby super-quaint seaside village of Rockport, MA. I treated the kids to breakfast at a cute little diner (Flav's Red Skiff) a stone's throw from the town wharf. They both had mini pancakes and shared a side of bacon and were in heaven because breakfast out is a huge rarity for us. Then we checked out the views from the town wharf (including the ultra picturesque Motif #1), wandered out Bearskin Neck to the harbor break wall, peeked in windows of art galleries and fancy gift shops, watched the waves roll onto and seagulls soar above Front Beach, browsed in souvenir stores, shopped for saltwater taffy, and generally soaked up the salty atmosphere. What a wonderful, laid-back adventure! The kids want to know when we can go back again. Me, too!!

On Sunday, all four of us headed to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA, for its annual Italian car show, Tutto Italiano. We've been going to this show for 10 years now to satisfy my DH's need for speed and interest in exotic cars. This lawn event is on the beautiful grounds of the former Anderson estate and grows bigger and bigger each year. We all had fun looking at the collection of cool, exotic, historic, sometimes rare, and often red Italian cars including Lamborghini, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, De Tomaso, and Maserati models. And this show always offers fabulous people-watching opportunities! The weather was fabulous, and we all enjoyed ourselves.

Well, thanks for dropping by today!!

Stamps: MFP Owl Be There
Paper: MFP hazelnut tan CS, SU pumpkin pie CS, various SU DP scraps
Ink: Versamark, Palette burnt umber
Accessories: CM corner rounder punch, CM oval cutting system, paper piercer, dimensionals, Stampin' Pastels, sponge dauber
Techniques: Poppin' Pastels, paper piercing