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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Snowy Day and a Thank-You Note

Last winter we received over 80 inches of snow, and when we were hit with our first snowstorm of the 2011/2012 winter season in October, I figured we were really in for it this year. I couldn't have been more wrong. So far we've received a total of 10 inches of snow, and that included our freak snowfall in October. Now don't get me wrong--I'm really not complaining. It's been soooooooo nice not having to remove snow this year or worry about the kids managing snow boots and gear at school. There's been no ice to deal with on the steep path they walk to and from school. No mess, smooth travel, no last-minute cancellations . My life has been easy!

But on this last day of February, just when I thought we might make it through the winter without incident, we have a major snowstorm knocking on our door. Forecasters are saying we could get 8 to 12 inches out of it by the time it ends midday tomorrow. It's been snowing for over an hour and a half now, and it's starting to collect on the grass and trees. And I can't help but start feeling a little bit excited. Now, when I typed my first paragraph, I actually wrote "I haven't missed the snow this year," but I had to go back and take it out because really--deep down--I have missed the snow. There's just something about a good, gotta-hunker-down snowstorm that I really love. And so what if it temporarily suspends my easy winter? So what if in a few days it will become gray and dingy? Right now it's beautiful, and I love watching it pile up, just like in Katy and the Big Snow. :)

OK, switching gears now: I have a card to share. I'm constantly adding to (and then depleting!) my stash of musical thank you notes to send to guest musicians at our church. I took advantage of several challenges I've had on my list for this week to quickly put together this one:

The sentiment and fleur de lis come from {ippity}'s Regal Greetings stamp set, and I've ripped into my vintage hymnal for the panels of music. I've modeled my layout after this week's Chick Challenges {with Ippity} sketch, used a clean and simple style for the {ippity} CAS challenge, featured a music theme for the Get Hippity with Ippity Music Challenge, and used circles for the Paper Sundaes Circles Challenge. And it definitely qualifies for the Anything Goes challenge at Simon Says Stamp!

Well, I'm off to enjoy watching the snow fall. I hope you are doing something you love to do in your little corner of the world today!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

DeNami Sneak Peek: BUTTERFLIES!

Welcome to Day 1 of the DeNami Design Spring Release Sneak Peeks!! Today DT Members Laurie, Lisa, and I are giving you sneak peeks of brand-new DeNami stamps about to be released in the Butterfly category! Be sure to read all the way to the end of this post for details on a great giveaway over on the DeNami blog :D.
First, have you heard the news? Starting with this spring release, DeNami stamps will be switching over to cling-mounted rubber stamps! They will use the same high-quality DeNami rubber but will only be available in the cling-cushion form designed to be used with clear acrylic handles. Not only will the stamps be less expensive, they'll be so much easier to store! And I just LOVE being able to see through my handle as I stamp. So easy to "eye-ball" alignment for quickly stamped designs! (More on that in a minute.) And just look at the new ultra-cute packaging for the cling stamps. Fabulous!

Enough chit-chat, right? Let's look at some cards I made with some of the new DeNami butterfly stamps!

What is it about hot pink and bright orange that just look so good together? I love this hot color combination, and I thought it was perfect to show off three stamps from the new release: the largest butterfly of five in the new Fancy Flutters stamp set (CL-GD001), the gorgeous border stamp in the four-stamp Spring Garden stamp set (CL-GD002), and lovely Happy Birthday Script sentiment stamp (CL-F216).
Now, how about a peek at one of the eight new chickies joining the DeNami family on March 1? Behold, I give you the Chickie and Butterflies stamp (CL-D142)!!

You won't believe how quickly this 4" x 4" card came together, all thanks to the new cling-mount stamp design. I simply looked right through my clear acrylic handle to line up the {curved} bottom edge of the chickie stamp with the curve of the cardstock circle already mounted on my card.

After stamping the butterfly chickie at the 12-o'clock, 3-o'clock, 6-o'clock, and 9-o'clock positions {eyeballing it the whole way!}, I went back and filled in between the chickies. The clear handle makes it easy to center the stamp between the already-stamped chickies.

By lining up the bottom edge of the stamp with the curve of the circle for each chickie, they are all {approximately} the same distance away from the circle, all the way around. Perfectly positioned chickies (well, good enough, anyway) in less than five minutes!

And finally I'd like to share a shaped card I made from the new Large Butterfly stamp (CL-P96). I am SO excited about this one!! So many fabulous possibilities for it.

Do you spy some trendy chevrons on my butterfly? That's also a new DeNami stamp! It's a chevron border that's included in the new Modern Borders stamp set (CL-BD005). DT members Michele, Dana, and Paulina will be giving sneak peeks of all the new border stamps tomorrow--be sure to drop by the DeNami blog to catch those!

But I'm getting ahead of myself! Don't forget to check out all of today's BUTTERFLY sneak peeks made by Laurie and Lisa, as well as Paulina's sneak peek video on the DeNami blog.

Let's see . . . one last thing before I go. I did mention that there is a giveaway on the DeNami blog today, right? Here's what's up for grabs:
Aren't these new butterfly stamps beautiful? Be sure to check out the DeNami blog for details on entering. (Pssst . . . but be sure to leave me a comment here before you go--I understand that will give you a chance at a second butterfly prize package! And leaving comments on Laurie's and Lisa's posts will increase your chances!) The deadline to enter is February 29th at 6:00 am PST. The winners will be announced on the DeNami blog later that day.

I think that should do it for now. Thanks so much for bearing with me during this long-winded post! I had a blast sharing some of DeNami's newest stamps with you!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy Circles

Well, folks, it's been a whirlwind week here at our house. My kids have been home all week on their February school vacation week. (Yes, for some odd reason, public schoolkids here in Massachusetts get a week of vacation in February and another week off in April. Add that to a week plus off between Christmas and New Year's and a first day of school that's after Labor Day, and that puts my kids' last day of school in late June!) In addition to our day trip to Rockport midweek, we took advantage of a 50% off sale at the used book store, stocked up on scrapbook supplies, ordered photo developing on a year-and-a-half's worth of pictures, bought penny-candy at the local corner store, and watched a few movies here at home. The kids made lots of progress on their scrapbooks while I tried to tame the mess in my stamping corner.

Which brings us to another busy day here today! In between trying to get caught up on household chores, I made a card for the February Market Street Stamps Block Party.

I created the lower panel of the card by punching circles from various stampings of the MSS Sweet Lace background. The sentiment is from MSS Happy Pumpkin.

Time to go tuck in a couple of tired kiddos! I'll see you back here tomorrow for some DeNami sneak peeks!

Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Clean and Simple Birthday Wishes

I'm pushing my luck and posting at the last minute to (hopefully) squeak in under the wire again this week for Chick Challenges {with Ippity}. Here's my creation for this week's sketch:

I used two {ippity} sets: Just Wanted to Say and Dots for Sure. That rick-rack I used is my "fantastic find" for the Kraft Outlet Fantastic Finds Challenge. It's truly vintage! I discovered it in my gramma's sewing basket, and it was still in the original cellophane wrapper--complete with its 32-cent price sticker for three yards. Wow!!

It's been a busy day (more on that in a minute), so I kept my design clean and simple--and that means I can play along with the {ippity} Clean and Simple challenge. I was also inspired by this week's Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger:

I picked up on the red polka-dotted print, the green rick-rack, the aqua bird, and the natural linen color.

Now, my busy but extremely pleasant day: I took the kids and my daughter's friend to nearby Rockport, MA, a quaint little fishing village on Cape Ann. We wandered the town catching glimpses of the ocean and harbor between weathered cottages, fishing shacks, and artsy shops and restaurants. It's the off-season, so not many of the shops were open, but we hit our favorites--a historic candy store and a pewter shop--and did lots of window shopping. So much to see! The weather was mild, and the normally ubiquitous and quarter-hungry parking meters must be hibernating for the winter. We had lunch at The Red Skiff, a local diner. I ordered the haddock sandwich and was blown away by the huge slab of fresh-off-the-boat deep-fried haddock which, along with a hunk of fresh lettuce and two thick slices of tomato, practically dwarfed the bun it came on. Seriously, that must have been an eight-ounce haddock filet!! Absolutely delicious. Somehow we found room for a few treats we picked up at the candy store for our dessert. But I must admit that none of us had room for anything more than a bit of fruit for supper!

Well, time to wrap this up. I'm exhausted! Thanks for stopping by to check out my little slice of bliss today,

Happy St. Patrick's Day

This week is St. Patrick's Theme Week on the DeNami blog, and we are featuring DeNami's delightful Happy St. Patrick's Day sentiment stamp in our Product Spotlight this week.

I made a simple shamrock for my card by paperpiecing the versatile Small Heart Outline three times and stitching a little stem with some embroidery floss. And my sweet dotted panel? Created by stamping the Polka Dot Background in Versamark ink on Leaf Green cardstock, border-punched along the bottom edge with the EK Success Dotted Scallop punch. Additional items from the DeNami store used in my card: Iridescent Emerald Green cardstock, White cardstock, and my go-to Onyx Black Versafine ink.

DeNami has an adorable collection of St. Patrick's Day stamps--go check them out HERE! Because the Happy St. Patrick's Day stamp is our Product Spotlight this week--BONUS!!--it's on sale. But only for a short time ;).

Be sure to check out all of the fun St. Patrick's Day inspiration on today's Product Spotlight post on the DeNami blog! I can't wait to see what the rest of the design team cooked up, so I'm heading there next.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chiclectic Birthday for FWF

I'm running a little late to the Unity Friends With Flair party today. I had a morning full of errands and then had lunch with a dear friend who's back in town for the weekend. In between I squeezed in this card:

I have a ton of birthdays to recognize in March and my birthday card supply is running low, so this will be a welcome addition to my stash! I used two Unity stamps: Bitty Happy Birthday and the Iron Orchid Designs co-brand Tattered Roses.

My colors and design were inspired by this week's Chiclectic Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger photo:

There's a lot going on here, right? But I just LOVE hot pink and orange together and wanted to give this a try. I incorporated the photo's main colors in my design, minus the gilded tones--that was just too much. I also picked up the vintageness of the toile design in the pillow shams and on the wall paper with my tattered roses focal point, as well as the black and white diamonds of the bedspread with my background paper (a free digi paper that I downloaded from the now-defunct Angel Company several years ago).

I based my layout on the sketch for this week's Ribbon Carousel Challenge:

My kids have next week off from school for February Vacation, and my husband has Monday off for Presidents' Day. We don't have any big plans except to relax and have fun! My kids and I are starting to plan some adventures for next week. I've had a request that we visit nearby Rockport and that we hit the used book store. And I know that they both want to work on their scrapbooks (which reminds me, I've got to get some photos ordered for them to work with!) We're all looking forward to the break. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

You Are Fabulous

I noticed that a couple of challenges I'd earmarked are ending tonight, so this is just a quick post to share a card I made for them this afternoon.

I finally inked up a new-to-me {ippity} set that I won last month, Where You Should Be. It had been on my wish list forever, and I'm so happy to be able to play with it! The leaf elements and sentiments in this set are AWESOME! I also used the scalloped number banner from {ippity}'s Party Hat Wishes and three different {ippity} backgrounds on the mat panels: A Bit of Burlap, Gurnsey Gingham, and Dots for Sure.

I'm linking up this card for
I'm off to start supper now. Thanks so much for dropping in to see what made me happy today!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hey, Cookie!!

And a Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!! I wanted to share a little DeNami goodness with you today on this sweetest of days and show you the Valentine card I made for my 13YO daughter:

I ADORE DeNami's Large Sugar Heart stamp. To me, it looks just like a decorated sugar cookie (a favorite around this house!), so I added a little computer-generated "Hey, Cookie!" sentiment tag. My daughter will love the play on words :). The patterned paper is from Doodlebug's Sweet Cakes Essentials Kit, which I was lucky enough to win last month. I couldn't resist dressing up the paper a bit with a stamped frame I created with DeNami's Love Script stamp--my favorite way to use this elegant stamp!

I stamped the heart on watercolor paper in Vintage Sepia Versafine ink and heat-embossed it using clear embossing powder, then watercolor painted it using dye inks. Embossing an image helps keep the watercolors from bleeding into areas where you don't want them! I added some Stickles glitter glue to make the cookie's sprinkles look all sugary and yummy. :) I'm going to enter this in the Love is in the Air Challenge over at Simon Says Stamp and the Love Challenge at Paper and Such.

Both of my kids were so excited about today being Valentine's Day! Over the past few days, my daughter and I have been discussing how much we like Valentine's Day. Some of her 7th-grade classmates think it's "too mushy" or "dumb." I know that a lot of adults think it is over-rated--too much of a "Hallmark" holiday--and never bother with Valentine's Day. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, so that's fine! But my daughter and I agreed that we love Valentine's Day as a way to let all the special people in our lives {and not just the ones you may be "in love" with} know how much we love and appreciate them. I love to send Valentines to friends and family just to spread a little cheer, let them know how much they mean to me, and to wish them a fun day with their loved ones. I don't expect anything in return. It's just a fun thing to do :).

Hey, before I go, I wanted to let you know about a chance for you to get some DeNami goodness of your very own! DeNami Design is hosting TWO giveaways on the Paper Crafts Facebook page. Look at the lovely spring giveaway package (pansy stamps and matching cardstock colors) that you could win:

Be sure to head over to the PC FB page and leave a comment to enter for a chance to win one of two prize packs!

Well, that does it for today. I'm off to bake a homemade cherry pie for my hubby as a little Valentine treat!! You know, to show him just how much I love and appreciate him :D.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Valentine's Day,

Monday, February 13, 2012


A few weeks ago, I was very lucky to win the absolutely adorable Party Posse stamp set in a Paper Smooches challenge. {Squeal!} is exactly what I did when I first spotted that too-cute-for-words hamster in this set! It looks just like the little hamster Japanese erasers that my kids adore--my son has a golden one that he named Nibbles and is as cute as can be :).

I couldn't resist using this sweet hamster in a Valentine card for a dear friend. She is a huge animal lover, and her family is currently hosting a cat and several guinea pigs and hamsters. I'm pretty sure she will {squeal!} over this little cutie, too! (In case you can't tell from my photo, there is a heart-shaped window in the front of the card--the hamster is stamped on the card's inside and viewed through the window. The "squeal" sentiments are stamped along the edge of the card inside--the right edge of the card front was cut away so the sentiments show when the card is closed.) The little hearts come from the Paper Smooches Vegtastic set.

I was inspired by the inspiration photo from the current Paper Smooches SPARKS Challenge. I tried to capture the colors with my choice of kraft cardstock and Palette Boudoir Blush ink, the fabric texture in the hamster's face paper-pieced from a "woven" print, and the stitches on the felt heart with my machine stitching around the perimeter of the card as well as around the heart-shaped window.

I'm also playing in the Love is in the Air Challenge at Simon Says Stamp Challenge and the Clean and Simple Paper Piecing Challenge at CAS-ual Fridays--my little hamster was paper-pieced from a stamped woven print and some older patterned paper from the BasicGrey Nook & Pantry collection.

I hope your weekend was a fantastic one! Ours was good, but super busy. Friday night was my son's Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. Not only did he build a car for the race, so did my husband and daughter. Plenty of exciting racing action for this family! They all had very respectable finishes, and my son brought home the second place trophy for his den of third-grade Bear Cub Scouts. The rest of the weekend was spent on a home plumbing project, getting my Valentines ready to go postal, errands, and DT assignments. I did get to catch a movie with a friend Saturday night, which was just what I needed! Luckily, the snow that had been predicted for us completely fizzled, but it sure was cold on Sunday!

I hope there's a little something in your day today that makes you {squeal!} with delight!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

DeNami Cute Chickies Blog Hop

Welcome to the DeNami Design Cute Chickies Blog Hop! Today the DeNami Design DT and customers alike are sharing creations made with cute DeNami chickie stamps.

I am the first stop on today's hop! I'll give you directions on where to go next at the end of this post. If you get lost at any point along the hop, you can always head over to the DeNami blog to get pointed in the right direction. Remember, there are DeNami prizes to be won! Two luckies will be drawn at random from among the comments left along the blog hop to win a $20 DeNami Design gift certificate! You have until Monday, February 13, 2012, 11:59 pm PST, to leave comments on all the blogs to be eligible for a prize.

OK, let's get down to business and talk Cute Chickies!!

For my card, I decided to use my very first DeNami Chickie to stamp a totem pole of chickies partying down (or maybe partying up??) to celebrate a birthday! I sketched a party hat on my top chickie, giving it a chickie-like fluffy pom-pom on top :). The chickies were so easy to stack up with my Stamp-A-Majig. I colored each one with my Prismacolor pencils and did some blending with Gamsol and a paper blending stump.

I inked up my brand-new DeNami Polka Dot Background with an old spectrum ink pad to stamp some multi-colored confetti for the birthday celebration. A quartet of scored lines at the bottom grounds the whole design. Done!!

Here's a run-down on all the products from the DeNami Design store that I used for my creation:

OK, be sure to leave a comment and then skedaddle on over to the next stop on the hop: Tina Milbourn's blog, A Timeless Treasure.

I always have a great time creating with my DeNami stamps. Thanks so much for dropping in to share my little slice of happy!

Friday, February 10, 2012

My First Photo Tutorial

Just wanted to invite you over to the DeNami Design blog today to check out my first-ever photo tutorial! I'm showing two different ink distressing techniques. Both are quite easy! Here's a little sneak peek at the CAS cards I made with my tutorial steps:

I'd love to hear your honest opinion about it, if you care to look. I am such a newbie at this!

I'm entering these cards in the Paper Sundaes Clean and Simple Challenge.

Also, two DeNami reminders:
  • Our Product Spotlight stamp from this week, the Tweety Bird Border, is still on sale at 10% off the regular price (but only through next Tuesday, so don't delay placing your order if you were thinking about adding it to your collection!).

  • This month's DeNami challenge, a sketch challenge, went live on Monday and is open through February 27. Be sure to play along with at least one DeNami stamp for a chance to win a $20 DeNami gift certificate!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a fabulous weekend!