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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Be Mine

One last quick card for Barbles Challenge #2 before the deadline in {eek!} 24 minutes!!

I was inspired by the angles and divisions in Barb's Bird on a Wire photo--this screamed "sketch" to me, so that's where I went with it.

And because I need more Valentines, I wanted to go in a different direction for colors. After seeing today's Tuesday Trigger photo over in the Moxie Fab world, I was no longer at a loss!

Isn't that the most luscious photo? I need one of those {right} now!! I was inspired color-wise by the "kraft" colored nougat, the chocolate cake, and the bright pink frosting. I also zeroed in on and mimicked the arrangement of the layers and frosting--and had to incorporate those pretty nonpareils in my design by adding in some teensy pearls. :)

I used some of my favorite Valentine stamps by DeNami Design: Small Scallop Heart and the "Be Mine" sentiment from the Love Sentiments stamp set. For papers I used some old SU Valentine DSP and some kraft basics from BasicGrey. And, of course, I had to add stitching!!

Because this is a Valentine, I'm entering it in the Paper Sundaes Valentine Challenge. And it certainly fits the Anything Goes Challenge ending shortly over at Simon Says Stamp Challenge.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


This evening I had the itch to make a little something, so I put together this all-occasion "hey" card for the Market Street Stamps January Block Party:

I used the MSS Sweet Lace background, stamped in Versamark ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. With pretty background stamp patterns like these, who needs patterned paper??? I did some creative inking on the MSS Happy Pumpkin set to obtain my "hey" sentiment. Perfect for checking in on a friend!

I'll also enter this over
in the Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes Challenge.

See you back here soon--thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 27, 2012

You are Amazing for FWF

Top o' the Friday morning to you!

Here's a little something that I'm sharing for today's Unity Friends With Flair hop.

This card was made with all {ippity} by Unity stamps: the frame and sentiment are from Just Wanted to Say, the circle used for the flower petals is from Love in Return, and the chandelier is from Regal Greetings. I made the flower by stamping that "Original" circle on canvas six times and cutting out each one. Then I pinched one circle, stitched through both layers with needle and thread, and repeated with each circle, stringing the circles on the same thread. Then I simply pulled the thread tight to form a blossom and tied it off. Simple!

I'm so pleased to say that this little ol' card o' mine appeared in the October 2011 issue of CARDS Magazine, on page 111. I'd meant to share it earlier but kind of forgot about it until I received my complimentary copy of the issue from CARDS a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, it appeared in the Cards for Girls feature; I thought this card would be a perfect confidence-booster for a tween or young teenage girl, especially for affirming how unique and special she is!

I'm entering this card in the Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes Challenge, Make It Monday with Kraft Outlet: Tie It Up Challenge, and the current {ippity} challenge: Something Old (the Berry Sorbet baker's twine I used to outline my card), Something New (the brand new technique I used for making my canvas flower), Something Borrowed (the canvas I borrowed from my fabric stash), and Something Blue (the vintage button at the center of my flower).

My kids have an early release day today for teacher in-service. We planned a special lunch to share here at home: popcorn chicken, watermelon (for the girls and a peach cup for my non-melon-loving boy), and fruit and yogurt smoothies. We'll get crazy with frozen fruit in the blender while the chicken bakes, and then have a fun lunch together. My daughter has a Girl Scout rollerskating outing later this afternoon, so after we drop her off, I think I'll take my son to buy that stuffed animal he's been pining away for. Should be a fun day!

Thanks for stopping by for a little bit o' happy with me! Have a super day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

DeNami Product Spotlight

Welcome to another DeNami Design Product Spotlight! Today's featured stamp is the gorgeous Love Script stamp.
Isn't it graceful? Don't forget: it's on sale for the next week--just in case you have the uncontrollable urge to add it to your collection ;).

Here's my 4.25" x 4.25" card featuring Love Script:

While playing around with this beautiful stamp, I discovered that it makes an elegant frame on a 4-inch square cardstock panel! I grabbed four other DeNami stamps to complete my design: the Solid Decorative Crest (for a tone-on-tone background), Small Scallop Heart, Small Heart Outline, and the "Be Mine" sentiment from the Love Sentiments stamp set. You can also find the Petal Pink cardstock, Chocolate Brown cardstock, and Vintage Sepia Versafine ink that I used in the DeNami Design store. :)

I'm entering this creation in the Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes Challenge.

Be sure to swing by the DeNami Design blog to check out what the rest of the design team made with today's Product Spotlight stamp. I can't wait to see what they made!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 23, 2012


Just a quick post to share a little something I made for the current Paper Smooches SPARKS Challenge:

which was inspired by this inspiration photo:

I used the cute little face components from my new Paper Smooches set Wake Up (which I won as a prize in the last SPARKS challenge) and the HI sentiment from PS My Peeps. The green damask patterned paper came from an old Pink Paislee pad (365 Degrees, I think).

The black trim around those pretty pillows in the photo really caught my eye. I knew I had to try to pick that up in my design and hunted in my sewing trims until I found this fun and funky beaded trim. Perfect!

And there you have it: a clean and simple, quick and easy all-purpose card. Done!

I'm off to start some beef stew in the crockpot and to make sure my nine-year-old sweetie is on track to get out the door to school on time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Yes, yesterday was a happy kind of day at our house. It was cold and snowy--we got about 2.5" of snow, which made the kids happy. They played outside in it all afternoon. Meanwhile, it was nice and cozy inside the house. Supper was a pot of homemade chicken and wild rice soup (perfect for a nippy winter evening!), sliced fresh strawberries, and a warm chocolate cake for dessert. We tried this Dr. Oetker cake mix for the first time, and found it to be delicious! Baking it in the oven made the entire house smell so good, and a warm dessert on a cold night? Well, just like the soup--perfect. :) After supper we watched a family movie while tucked under blankets, all warm and snug. A little popcorn midway through the movie made everything complete!

And I got a little happy me time in, too, creating a little something for the January Paint the Town Color Challenge at Market Street Stamps. Here's the palette to be used:

Love these colors! I interpreted these as Stampin' Up's Pretty in Pink, Pumpkin Pie, Baja Breeze, and Melon Mambo. My Market Street Stamps? The Sweet Lace background (a RAK from Jessi when I was feeling blue!!! Thanks, Jess!) and sentiment from Happy Pumpkin. And since it was a happy kind of day, I made this a "happy" card. I can stamp "birthday" or "anniversary" inside for whichever occasion I need this for. :)
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you've had a little bit of happy in your day, too. :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Valentine for my boy

He's nine, a third grader. He's sweet: loves his mom, dad, and sister, snuggles with his stuffed animals, thinks baby chicks and puppies are soooooooo cute, likes being hugged and kissed, thinks pink is fun. But he's definitely got his hard-core boy side, too: loves getting sweaty, playing computer and video games, exploring science, being sporty, taking pratfalls, telling jokes, making rude noises. He'll love getting a Valentine (and a handmade one, at that!) from his mom, but this year I thought it's probably time to move away from the cutesy and lean more toward something "cool," something that says "boy."

I saw my DeNami Rocketship rubber stamp and thought that would be a fun angle to take, especially because he studied our solar system in school earlier this year. I started thinking "moon," headed off to look at some photos for inspiration, and stumbled across this stunning photo:

I had exactly the inspiration I needed to make a Valentine for my boy:

As I mentioned before, the rocket is DeNami--and so is the Solid Decorative Crest that I used as the rocket's blast-off flames. The sentiment, "You're out of this world, Valentine!," was computer generated, trimmed into a flag, and adhered to a stickpin from Maya Road. I think this moon was claimed in the name of love!

I'm entering this card in two challenges over at the Moxie Fab World. This is my third entry in The Map to Your Heart Challenge, to incorporate maps in innovative ways. What can I say? I just can't get maps off my mind :). I'm getting lots of use out of that freebie world map from Doctors Without Borders. This time I circle-punched the tip of South America to play the role of Earth in my Earthrise scene. I did some trimming and shading to give it the correct perspective.

I'm also entering this in the Around the House Challenge, to incorporate an element that was created from a "tool" that you have around your house in an innovative way. My household "tool?" Buttons! I used rimmed buttons to "stamp" the craters on my lunar surface. I simply adhered a button to my finger with a glue dot, inked the button with some charcoal gray ink, and went to town "stamping" moon craters!
This one was a fun one to make! I'm hoping that my son will like it as much as I liked making it. :)

Thanks for spending some time with me for a wee slice o' bliss on this snowy Saturday morning!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Masculine Valentine

I've had Moxie Fab World's The Map to Your Heart Challenge in the back of my mind ever since it was issued on January 4. I do indeed love maps, and I think that re-using them in fun ways is rather satisfying. I've been mulling over the best way(s) to approach this challenge, which is to incorporate maps with a papercrafted project in an innovative way, and today was the day to tackle it.

Behold, my entry for The Map to Your Heart Challenge:

(To give you a sense of scale, this circle card measures 4 1/8" in diameter.)

Every couple of months I get a solicitation mailing from Doctors Without Borders that contains a scaled-down fold-up world map. I keep every single one! For this card, I trimmed a section of the map between latitude 60N and 75N, from the Bering Strait to Finland, and turned it into a pleated paper medallion. I turned the resulting card into a clean & simple and nicely masculine Valentine for my husband by adding heart brads, a non-Valentine-colored heart, and the "You make my world go round" sentiment from Lawn Fawn's
Admit One stamp set, stamped and embossed on a vellum banner. Why vellum? I didn't want to hide too much of the map!! Anyway, we took a fabulous camping trip of nearly 9000 miles last summer and used maps every day, so I know my hubby will "get" the connection and is sure to love it!

This card was a lot of fun! But I have a couple more map ideas kicking around in my head, so don't be surprised if this isn't the last Map to Your Heart entry you see from me ;).

Do a little something that makes you happy today--I'm glad I did!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Valentine Chickies

I usually send a bunch of Valentine cards each February (to keep in contact with far-flung family and friends), so I'm still working on building up a good-sized collection. Today I'm sharing one I made with some sweet DeNami Design products: the Valentine Chickie stamp, the XOXO sentiment from the Love Sentiments stamp set, and the beautifully textured DeNami Magenta cardstock.

As soon as I saw the sketch for Skipping Stones Designs Challenge #111, I immediately thought of using one of DeNami's tiny chickie stamps in the circle elements. I stamped each on watercolor paper, heat embossed the images, and watercolor painted them using dye inks. Bright pink Chickie #3 was a happy accident--I'd already painted her yellow like her sisters when my brush, coated with magenta ink, slipped while painting the hearts. Oops! I fixed my blunder by blending more magenta in with the still damp yellow. But it turns out that I like my design even better with one bright pink chickie!

My primarily magenta color scheme was inspired by Barb's Rose-Colored Glasses photo in her Barbles Challenge #2. I love the transparent patterns cast by the wine glass on the background. I tried to capture that transparency by using vellum as the panel behind my circles in the sketch.

Don't forget that there is still plenty of time to enter the DeNami Anything Goes Challenge going on over at the DeNami blog. All you need to play along is at least one DeNami stamp--the rest is up to you! The challenge runs until January 30.

All of yesterday's snow is gone now, but Holy Anemometers, Batman, do we ever have wind today!!! At least the sun is shining. I just need to keep an ear out for fly-away downspouts!!

That's all for now, folks. I hope you find a little bit of bliss for yourself today--I know I have :D,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Remedy for Love

Finally getting back into my normal groove after a long weekend. My kids were home from school yesterday, so we had a day of fun: donuts for breakfast, lunch on TV tray tables while watching a movie, a busy afternoon working on their scrapbooks. They had a blast and got all excited about scrapping again. We're already making plans for them to do more during their week of February Vacation next month!

My little bit of paper bliss today resulted in this card:

I used stamps from three different {ippity} sets--hearts (heat-embossed in red) from Moon Beam & Heart Strings, sentiment (heat-embossed in black) from Quotes a'la Happy, and the Dots for Sure background (heat-embossed in red)-- and I'm playing along with these challenges:

We had a bit of snow overnight (maybe an inch and a half?) and my son was super excited to walk to school in the snow. I had to borrow my daughter's outgrown snow boots (I'm a size 7; she's a size 9 1/2, so fit was no trouble at all) for the walk since I discovered last week that both of my winter boots have sprung leaks. I was able to find a pair of nice winter boots on clearance at Lands' End last week, and our UPS guy delivered them just a little while ago. So I'm off to open my package and check out my new boots next!

Thanks for dropping by!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sending You Sunshine

We are having a cold and extremely blustery winter day here today. It's the perfect day to be sending a little sunshine your way--wherever you live! And I hope a little bounces back to us here, too. :)

Today I'm playing along with Barbles Challenge #2 (a big thanks to Jessi for pointing out the way to this one!). The sweet and talented Barb Murphy has offered a collection of five beautiful photos from which players may take inspiration. I was inspired by this gorgeous, sunshiny yellow daylily which I tried to capture with the primary color and sunshiny theme of my card!

I'm also playing with the sketch challenge over at The Craft's Meow using stamps from the Sending You Sunshine set.

I stamped and heat embossed the image on watercolor paper and watercolor painted it with various inks. The patterned paper is from Stampin' Up! (thanks, Colleen! And for the scraps of Bashful Blue cardstock, too.). See that pretty sparkly twill tape? That was a gift (along with four other colors of similar twill tape) from my dear daughter. It was perfect for this card!

And speaking of The Craft's Meow stamps, I wanted to share a card (using the TCM set Just Sayin') that I had published in the January/February 2012 issue of Paper Crafts Magazine.

You can find this card, and all the details for how I made it, in the Quick and Easy Valentines section on page 63. {grin!} I hope you'll come visit me in print. :D

That's it for today. I hope you are having a great weekend! And thanks so much for dropping by.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Love Shack

OK, I'll admit that I totally had "The Love Shack" lyrics { . . . is a little old place where we can get together . . . } going through my head the entire time I was making this card! Who else remembers the B-52s? Raise your hand!

I know it's a little racy, which is not my usual style. The person I had in mind for this card the minute I dreamed it up is not who you might expect: it's for my aunt!! Well, and my uncle, too. You see, my aunt (who is now 80) has always said she thinks I should write a book. Of course, I have written a book--actually many, but all of them are math text solutions manuals and study guides and the like, so those don't really "count" as far as she is concerned. She always wants to know, "Emily, when are you going to write me a steamy, juicy romance novel?" I truly don't think that is in the cards for me, but I thought I'd have some fun and send my aunt and uncle their own little love shack, complete with two tickets "for a fun time." They will hoot and holler over this for days! I'll write a little note inside, something like "Have a Happy Valentine's Day, you lovebirds!" One day brightened? Check!

Some notes about making this card:
  • Stamps: I used Hero Arts Snowy House (CG212) and Hero Arts Sparkle Clear: Tickets (CL171). The "love shack" text was stamped from a Studio G alphabet set.
  • Colors: these were inspired by the January 2012 Hero Arts Color Challenge, which was to use the color palette below
  • The house is watercolor painted using dye inks. (I stamped the image in Versafine Vintage Sepia ink and heat embossed it with clear EP before painting.)
  • The dusk sky was created with a brayer and Meg's fantastic Poor Man's Spectrum Ink Pad technique.
  • That fabulous crocheted mat was part of a RAK from my sweet friend Jessi. Is that fabulous, or what? She is one multi-talented gal, for sure, with a heart of gold. Thanks, Jessi! It totally makes this card!
  • The background paper is a random page that I ripped from a circa 1960 Webster's Dictionary and sponged with pink ink around the edges. Here's a tip: scan any randomly ripped-out pages for appropriateness before gluing down on your project! My page prominently featured the definition of "maidenhead." There is such a thing as too racy for a card! I simply flipped the page over where one can find much more innocuous definitions for things like "Main Street" and "make." Disaster averted!
  • And, yes, the smoke coming out of the chimney is a pulled-apart cotton ball.

Because I used my favorite colors for Valentine cards--pink and brown (with some purple and red thrown in for fun!)--along with kraft, I'm entering this in the Make It Monday with Kraft Outlet challenge to use your favorite colors.

I had such fun making this card. Thanks for dropping by to read about it! I hope your weekend is swell. :)


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Flourishes Release Week Challenges

It's time for a new stamp release at Flourishes! I'm playing along with all of the Release Week Challenges. Woo hoo! So much fun. :)

First up is my entry for the New Year Challenge, FLLCJANRW2, to make a card that showcases an image of time or one that showcases little baby new year i.e. a baby card. I went with the time theme:

I don't have any time images from Flourishes (sorry!), so I had to turn to my Unity stamps for the clock face, but the medallion is from Flourishes' Medallion Motif and the sentiment is from Flourishes' Life Lines. I think this will do quite nicely as a masculine card!

Next is my entry for Flourishes Timeless Tuesday Challenge #151, which is to be inspired by this photo:

Isn't that fun? I was inspired by the colors, most definitely, but also the shape of the topiary ball up top :). Here's what I came up with:

Medallion Motif to the rescue again! This time I used it along with the embossed resist technique: I stamped the medallion in clear Versamark ink on white cardstock and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. Then I sponged on red and pumpkin pie inks to make the design really stand out! The sentiment is from Flourishes' Tag Lines.

Up third is my creation for the Year of the Dragon Challenge, FLLCJANRW1 , which is to create a card using the colors featured in this photo:

I added another birthday card to my stash with this card:

The tulips come from Flourishes' From the Garden set, and I used Tag Lines again for the sentiment. I watercolor painted the tulips and added some machine stitching along the edges of two panels for interest.

Finally, I'm sharing my card for the 2-0-1-2 Challenge,
FLLCJAN12, which is a limited supply challenge that revolves around 2012! The recipe is: you can only use 2 colors; you can use 0 bling; you must use at least 1 embellishment; and you can only have 2 layers (not including your card base). After putting on my thinking cap, I came up with this:

Two colors? Goldenrod and brown. Bling? None in sight. At least one embellishment? Some corduroy ribbon and a clearance rack paper flower. Two layers? Check! I used the Sunflowers stamp set from Flourishes for my main focal image, my stamped background, and my sentiment.

We started the day with some wet snow that has now turned to rain. Except for a freak snowstorm back in October, this is really the first snow we've had this winter and my kids were very excited. My son and I donned our snow boots for the walk to school, and I received a rather rude awakening: my 10-year-old snow boots have finally given up the ghost!! Both have sprung leaks, and by the time I returned home, my socks were soaking wet. I'll bet you can guess how I'll be spending my afternoon--scouring the Lands End and LL Bean websites for new boots, if there are any left. Why is it that by the time you realize you need to replace vital winter gear, the replacements are no longer available in the stores???

Thanks for visiting today!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

DeNami Product Spotlight

I'm so excited to share my first DeNami Design Product Spotlight with the DeNami Design Team! Today we are featuring the Small Heart Outline stamp:
Such a versatile stamp! Be sure to check out today's DeNami blog post for all of the other ideas the design team came up with for this sweetheart of a stamp.

So when I first laid eyes on the Small Heart Outline, what immediately came to mind were conversation hearts.
Since I couldn't shake it, I just had to go with it!

I stamped the Small Heart Outline on conversation-heart-appropriate cardstock hues in Satin Red Versafine ink, then used my Stamp-A-Majig to stamp fun sayings from DeNami's Love Sentiments stamp set. There wasn't much left to do on this super CAS card after that! I just scored some lines in a DeNami white card, popped up my cut-out hearts on foam tape, rounded two corners with my new Corner Chomper, and I was d-o-n-e. Perfect for Valentine's Day!

I'm entering this in Young Crafters Unite Challenge #5: Clean and Simple.

Thanks for dropping by today; I'm always happy to see you here. :)
Have a great one!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Some veggies and a jar of hearts . . .

Here's a peek at a couple of things I was working on today.

First, some adorable veggies:

I've had my eye on this Vegtastic stamp set from Paper Smooches from the day it first came out! Today was my day to get inky with it, and I certainly had a blast :D. I went clean and simple for the card design, and paper-pieced the veggies. (Sponging on some charcoal gray ink gave them some dimension.) I was inspired by this inspiration photo from the Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge :

I'll admit that I took some liberties with the coloring on that eggplant! I couldn't keep this silly rhyme from running through my head while working on my card:

(with apologies to Ogden Nash)
Have you ever seen a blue eggplant?
I think that I just made one.
But I will say--don't think I can't!
I'd rather see than eat one!

Goofy, I know; but it came unbidden!! Anyway, I'm also linking this up to the Clear It Out Challenge to make a thank you and Young Crafters Unite Challenge #5: Clean and Simple.

Now, on to card #2:

I love that jar of hearts! So perfect for a Valentine. It comes from {ippity}'s Quotes a'la Happy kit. My sketch is from Chick Challenges {with Ippity} #12:

and I took my colors from the {ippity} Challenge to use this card for color inspiration:

And it just so happens that these colors (brown, kraft, pink, and red) are my favorites right now--especially for Valentines! That, along with all that kraft cardstock I used, qualifies this for the new Make It Monday with Kraft Outlet challenge to use your favorite colors. :)

I hope you've been able to squeeze a little fun into your day, too! Thanks for stopping by to check out today's installment of My Little Slice of Bliss!!