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

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

It's October 31, and you know what that means. A Happy Halloween to all of you!

First, a quick update:  I'm happy to say that we weathered "Frankenstorm" with no issues. There were high winds and plenty of rain, but we came through unscathed. No loss of power or Internet (cable) service. The kids had the day off from school on Monday when the worst of it hit, and I'm glad because there are plenty of downed limbs and branches around as a result of the storm. Both of our kids walk to and from school every day (our daughter walks solo and our son gets a Mom escort each day), so they and the other kids in town were spared a potential dangerous trip to and from school. After all of the hurricane reports these past few days, we are realizing how fortunate we were. My heart goes out to all of those folks living in areas that bore the brunt of the storm.

And now, I have two Halloween projects to share today. First up is my son's Halloween costume! He decided that he wanted to be an iPhone (or more specifically, an iPhone 5, as he wants to be as up to date as possible!), so I made him this sandwich-board costume.

We modeled our design after this:

My son and I worked together to design and print out the graphics that became the "apps" on the iPhone screen. After trimming, I mounted them on black foam-core board. The "screen" background is made from a few sheets of 12x12 patterned paper. Lots of paper-crafting goodness in this costume! I had so much fun :D!!

And, of course, every iPhone must bear the Apple brand icon on the back.

He is over the moon about his costume and cannot wait to show it off! He's already asked for photos to take to school so he can show his teacher and classmates. Fingers crossed that the weather cooperates tonight for trick-or-treat :D. Please, no runs, no smears, no errors!!

I also wanted to share this adorable Halloween veggie platter that my daughter made for us! She asked on Monday {when she had the day off from school due to the hurricane} if she could make something special to go along with supper. I didn't know quite what she was up to until she brought this adorable concoction (all of her own design!!!) to the table.

Can you see the pumpkin face? (If not, squint a bit.) Those bowls of dip are the eyes. My son has always said that he doesn't like raw baby carrots (at an early age he had a texture aversion and hated that they didn't dissolve in his mouth like most other foods). Anyway, he's always avoided them, but his sister's fun creation and her gentle prodding to just try one with a bit of dip swayed him, and he gave it a shot. Score!! He discovered that he does in fact like raw carrots, and now he can't wait for his sister to make us another of her Halloween-themed veggie platters to have with supper tonight. A proud mom moment all around!

Well, thanks so much for dropping by for a visit today. I hope that you are staying safe, warm, and dry wherever you are.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A little Frankenpumpkin in the middle of a big Frankenstorm

I hope all of you are holding your own against Frankenstorm if you are in harm's way. I've prescheduled this post (in case we lose power!), so I don't have an update on our situation yet. But I wanted to be sure to share the pumpkin my kids decorated to spiffy up our house for Halloween! (Be sure to see yesterday's post for the ones they made to enter in their orthodontist's pumpkin-decorating contest. So cute!)

OK, ready? Here it is:

It was SO much fun watching this take shape!! Didn't they do a great job? Their Frankenpumpkin started life as a small-ish orange pie pumpkin. They painted it in several layers of acrylic paint and molded ears and nose from Crayola Model Magic. Frankie's hair is a miniature black feather boa from A.C. Moore that I helped staple into place. The eyes are circles punched from cardstock (aren't they lucky to have a mom who is all outfitted with just the right craft supplies??), and the mouth and stitches were drawn on with a black Sharpie. To give Frankie a rosy glow, I let the kids borrow some of my blush. Too cute, right?

I'm still working on my son's Halloween costume, so I can't pre-schedule a post about that at this point. I'm planning to finish it in the next few days, so hopefully we'll still have power so I can share photos of it on Halloween. Would you believe that it is a paper-crafted costume? I can't wait to show it off. Fingers crossed that the weather won't ruin trick-or-treat for the kids. They are so looking forward to wearing their costumes (and all the treats, of course, too).

Thanks for taking a peek at our pumpkin! Stay safe, wherever you are!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Some Halloween Critters

OK, this Frankenstorm business, quite frankly, has us running, if not quite scared, then at the very least cautious. We aren't too worried about the rain, but the forecasted high winds could be quite a problem for us. We lost half of one of our taller trees over the summer, and we noticed recently that the remaining half is starting to split away from the main trunk. The direction it is listing aims it directly toward the power and cable lines that feed our house. Realizing this sent us scurrying into action over the weekend. Really, there's nothing we can do about the tree, but it became paramount that we prepare for the {now strong} possibility of a power outage. Lots of measures taken over the past two days, and now I'm pre-scheduling a few blog posts that I'd hoped to share this week. It would be just my luck to have Halloween projects to share and then have to miss Halloween completely because of a power and/or cable outage. And since we get our Internet service via cable, either type of outage will torpedo my posting plans!!

So today I want to share photos of the cute little pumpkins that my kids decorated! They made them to enter the pumpkin-decorating contest at their orthodontist's office. They had so much fun making them!! Each of these started life as a mini white pumpkin. Here's what my 13YO daughter did with her pumpkin.

And now it's my 9YO son's pumpkin.

Am I allowed to say how cute I think these little guys turned out? Can you spy the paper-crafted portions of both of these? It's true, the apples don't fall far from the tree ;).

I hope you'll tune in again tomorrow, because I have another family pumpkin project to share. This one is the one that we're keeping for ourselves. We'll put it out on the porch to entertain the trick-or-treaters on Halloween (if any of them come out in Frankenstorm, that is!!). Anyway, I think it's totally cute and can't wait to show off how it turned out.

Stay safe everyone!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Get Well Soon for FWF

Happy TGIF, everyone! Whew, it's been a busy week here, but I've been looking forward to linking up with Unity's Friends with Flair all week long. Last week was the first linkup I'd been able to do in a long, long time and I loved being back!

Today I'm sharing a card that I had published in the July issue of CARDS magazine. It was for a feature on using felt in a card design. My "twist" on this theme was to literally twist a thin scrap of ivory felt into a corkscrew ribbon. So easy! All I had to do then was tack it down to my card with two brads. Of course, my card used all (and only!) Unity stamps: the sentiment is from {ippity}'s Just Wanted to Say, and the flower and leaf are from {ippity}'s Now & Always. I paper-pieced that gorgeous flower using papers from Lily Bee's Picket Fence 6 x 6 pad, which I'd won as blog candy from my wonderful blog friend, Pam. Thanks, Pam!

Have any good plans for the weekend? My kids have an early release day today, so after a quick lunch here at home, we are heading out to spend some Kohl's Cash (my daughter needs new sneakers) and some CVS ExtraCare Bucks (I figure the kids can pick out some fun snacks or treats for themselves--why not? It won't be money out of my pocket, and it's a fun way to celebrate their half school day!). Then the kids are going to work on decorating their Halloween pumpkin. They have the cutest plans! I'll be sure to share photos soon so you can see how it turned out.

Other than that, I think it will be a quiet weekend at home just catching up on around-the-house stuff, homework, and relaxing. Although all this news about "Frankenstorm" may necessitate a bit of battening down the hatches!! I sure hope that a lot of what we're hearing is just hype. Fingers crossed!!

Thanks for dropping by to share a little slice of bliss with me today!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Craft's Meow October Release Blog Hop

Happy Thursday, friends, and welcome to The Craft's Meow October New Release Blog Hop!!

I've been honored to have the opportunity to guest design this month along with the fabulously talented TCM design team. These ladies rock! After previewing the new release Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we've finally come to the release day for all six brand-new TCM stamp sets:

Christmas Angel
Hearth and Home
Winter Fibi & Lilly
Christmas Cheer
Holiday Foundations
O Christmas Tree -- free gift with a $50 purchase

Be sure to check out images of the full sets over on the TCM blog today!

OK, let's get down to business. If you are hopping along, you should have arrived here from the blog of Jennifer Cuthbertson. (If not, you can start the blog hop from the beginning over on the TCM blog.) And if you get lost along the way, the TCM blog has the complete blog hop listing.

Want to win all 6 new sets from TCM? To be eligible, you will need to visit and comment on each blog on the hop. The deadline to comment is 9:00pm PDT, Saturday, October 27, 2012. One lucky commenter will be chosen at random to win the entire October release!!

Now, here's my card for today's blog hop. I used images and a sentiment from the new stamp set, Christmas Cheer.

The patterned paper is from My Mind's Eye. Of course, I just had to add lots of stitching, and it was so fun to top my trees with little star-shaped rhinestones. The blue patterned paper I used for the middle panel has a subtle snowflake pattern, so I decided to play that up with tiny rhinestone centers on a smattering of flakes.

Thanks so much for dropping by today. And a HUGE THANK YOU to Lisa Hjulberg for the chance to be this month's guest designer for The Craft's Meow. I've had a blast!!!

Now, leave a comment before you go for a chance at that fantastic prize, and then head off to the blog of Jessica Fick next. :D

Have fun!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

TCM October Previews, Day 3

This is my second post for the day.
For my DeNami Design Product Spotlight post,
please scroll down or click HERE. Thanks! 

the craft's meow.

Welcome to Day 3 of the October stamp release from The Craft's Meow! I'm back again today as the TCM October Guest Designer, and I'm sharing cards made with the last two sets of the six-set October release. Today I'm previewing Holiday Foundations and O Christmas Tree along with the TCM design team. I've gotta tell you, folks, the entire October release is fantastic, but I think that The Craft's Meow owner Lisa Hjulberg saved the best for last. These two sets are my favorites!

Let's start with Holiday Foundations. First, you need to know that this is a big 8" x 6" set. Second, it is filled with six fabulous 6-inch-long borders that may be used singly as bold borders or stamped repeatedly for easy-to-make backgrounds. There's also two over-sized holiday sentiments and four smaller companion sentiments. All of the graphic elements have a fun distressed feel to them. I can't tell you how excited I am about this set--it will be perfect for making quick and easy cards with maximum impact. Like this one:

When mass-producing holiday cards, I always love a great one-layer design, don't you? And pink and green are so fun for Christmas; I love the preppy feel. (For ink I used SU Pretty in Pink and VersaMagic Aloe Vera. The cardstock is Rustic White from PTI--a great match for the distressed look of this set, I thought.)

And now for the O Christmas Tree set, which is this month's free gift with a $50 TCM purchase. I've gotta tell you, this is one versatile (and super fun!) stamp set! Filled with all kinds of mix-and-match elements, plus lots of great words and sentiments, too. Here's what I made with it:

I love these colors for Christmas! And it was so much fun dressing up those trees for the holidays. :D (Ink: SU Pretty in Pink, VersaMagic Aloe Vera, VersaMagic Sea Breeze, Versafine Onyx Black, Ranger Antique Linen Distress; Paper: PTI Vintage Cream CS, SU Pretty in Pink CS, PTI kraft, My Mind's Eye patterned paper)

Be sure to check out the delightful creations that the rest of the TCM designers made for today's preview of Holiday Foundations and O Christmas Tree over on the The Craft's Meow blog. TCM is giving away a free copy of each of these sets today only over on the TCM blog. You won't want to miss this! For a chance to win, just head over to the TCM blog and leave a comment on today's TCM post by 9:00 pm Pacific tonight. Two winners will be randomly drawn and announced in tomorrow's TCM blog post. Good luck!

That's it for this month's release previews, but be sure to come back tomorrow for the October Release Blog Hop! You'll see lots of inspiration for this month's new stamp sets and can comment for your chance to win all six sets!

Have a great day--see you tomorrow!

Give Thanks

Hey, there! I hope that your Wednesday is off to a terrific start! Today I'm sharing a card that I had so much fun making for Thanksgiving.

I had the best time dressing up this card with buttons from DeNami's Sand Boutique Buttons collection. My card also features two terrific stamps from DeNami Design: Wheat Stalks and Give Thanks Circle, which just happens to be our Product Spotlight stamp this week!

That's right--you can snag this versatile stamp all week at 10% off, no coupon needed! Need some other great ideas for using this stamp? Be sure to swing by the DeNami Design blog today to see what the rest of the DeNami DT cooked up with it!

One more thing before you go--see those two fantastic patterned papers? They are digital papers (from the Thanksgiving collection and the Autumn Mega collection) from Shery K Designs that I printed out on matte presentation/brochure paper! Can you believe it? They are so vivid and crisp. Really, the paper makes all the difference. My husband could hardly believe that I'd printed them myself. He thought that I'd used commercially printed patterned paper. I'm just over the moon about this discovery! (A huge thanks to the lovely and talented Jocelyn Olsen for the presentation paper tip!!)

Thanks for dropping by today!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

TCM October Previews, Day 2

the craft's meow.

Welcome to Day 2 of the October stamp release from The Craft's Meow! I'm back again today as the TCM October Guest Designer, and I'm sharing cards made using two more brand new sets. Today I'm previewing Winter Fibi & Lilly and Christmas Cheer along with the TCM design team.

Here's my card for Winter Fibi & Lilly:

This set has several delightful Christmas and winter images of Fibi and Lilly, but I thought the angel and coordinating sentiment could make a sweet thank you card for any time of the year! The label stamp I used comes from the TCM Timeless Tags set. (Cardstock: SU Bashful Blue and Not Quite Navy; Ink: SU Not Quite Navy, Versafine Onyx Black, Colorbox Frost White)

And now for a clean and graphic card using Christmas Cheer:

Not much to explain here! But I love how it turned out. :D (Cardstock: PTI White; Ink: Versafine Satin Red, Spanish Moss, and Vintage Sepia)

Be sure to check out the fantastic creations that the rest of the TCM designers made for today's preview of Winter Fibi & Lilly and Christmas Cheer over on the The Craft's Meow blog. There's a giveaway going on, too, and you can find out all about that over there as well. :D

Well, tomorrow is the last day of previews before the big release party on Thursday. I'll be featuring projects made with my two favorite sets from the October release. I hope you'll join me!

Until then, I hope you'll make time for a little bliss in your day!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Good News: I'm Guest Designing with TCM this month!

the craft's meow.

I'm SO happy to share that I'm guest designing for The Craft's Meow this month!! Somebody pinch me!! You can read all about it here. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!

And today is the first day of previews for the TCM October stamp release. The TCM design team members (and that includes me!) are sharing creations made with two new fabulous stamp sets for Christmas:  Christmas Angel and Hearth & Home.

Let's take a look at what I made with the Christmas Angel set:

I took an understated approach with this set to let that beautifully detailed Christmas angel really shine! I embossed her in gold on a Night of Navy SU cardstock base. The "Glory to God" sentiment also comes from this Christmas Angel set. I stamped it in Night of Navy ink on Vintage Cream PTI cardstock and embossed a beautiful label (from TCM's Season's Greetings set ) around it in gold.

My second card for today comes from the Hearth & Home set:

There's a great selection of images and sentiments in this new set! I chose to focus on the parts that "jingle" ;). I colored the jingle bells image with my colored pencils and blended with odorless mineral spirits and paper blending stumps. I just had to add some silver glitter for a bit of pizzazz!! The musical score background is digital paper that I recolored (it was originally black and white) and printed out from the Echo Park Hybrid Mini-Theme kit called Melody of Life. I would have loved to tie on some silver jingle bells with my button and bow treatment but discovered that all I had were gold!! Gotta put some silver ones on my shopping list . . .

Be sure to check out the fantastic creations that the rest of the TCM designers made for today's preview of Christmas Angel and Hearth & Home over on the The Craft's Meow blog. There's a giveaway going on, too, and you can find out all about that over there as well. :D

I hope you'll join me tomorrow for some more previews of new TCM stamp sets!

Until then, have a day filled with bliss!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy 70th Birthday, Mom!

Yesterday was my mom's 70th birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom! I know she received her card in the mail on time, so it's safe to share it here on my blog now and not spoil her surprise. Here's what I made for her:

I bought some gorgeous 6x6 patterned papers from Webster's Pages back in the spring and have been struggling to find good ways to use them on cards. I think these papers are so beautiful with stunning vintage details, but it's so hard for me to find ways to cut into them for standard A2-sized cards. Which part of the beautiful pattern do you cut off? What part of the gorgeous design do you cover up with your own sentiment or embellishments? Does anyone else struggle with this? So this beautiful paper has basically been sitting untouched this whole time, and I was bound and determined to finally conquer it so I could make a beautiful card for my mom.

The stamps I used are from Unity Stamp Co. That fantastic label comes from the Just a Note Itty Bitty set, and the Happy Times banner comes from another Itty Bitty stamp set, Echo Park Banners.

And here is part of Mom's birthday gift (using Unity's Bitty Gift Tag stamp) , a gift "wallet" I made and packaged up for her:

I made a fold-over wallet to hold her gift (something directly correlated to that fantastic birthday milestone *wink*), decorated it with more Webster's Pages patterned paper (the other half of the sheet that I cut into for Mom's birthday card, in fact; guaranteed to coordinate!), and then slipped it into a glassine bag. After folding over the top of the bag, I added a doily and tied on the gift tag with baker's twine from The Twinery. Easy yet elegant packaging! I think that making more of these is in my future. ;)

It has been forever and a day since I last linked up with Unity's Friends With Flair, which I've always loved. Life has been just way too busy these past few months to play along, but with all of the Unity goodness in these projects, I just had to link up! I'm really hoping to make it to FWF more regularly. I've missed all of you FWFers!!!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend. Thanks so much for dropping by!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Pop of Color

No, you are not seeing things--I am back with a new card to share for the second day in a row. I know, right? Baby steps; it's all about the baby steps to regain some level of creativity ;) .

So, to get going on today's card, I turned to the current DeNami Addict Challenge. This time around it's a sketch, and I must say it stretched me a bit. But I do, really do, like how my card turned out! Here it is:

and here's the sketch:

I used a gorgeously scripted "thinking of you" sentiment cling-style DeNami stamp to create a pair of borders and overstamped the patterned paper (from BasicGrey's Green at Heart collection) in the center with a DeNami harlequin border from the cling-style Modern Borders Set. I've never done this kind of thing before, but I looooooooooooooooove the effect! It adds some depth and texture which I thinks dresses up this simple card nicely. By the way, I also used some magenta cardstock, baker's twine, and a big, beautiful button that are all available from DeNami Design.

Want to take a crack at this sketch? You don't have to use DeNami stamps or products to enter; all you have to do is incorporate the sketch into your project. The winner gets a $15 gift certificate to the online DeNami Design store, so this would be a great way to get your DeNami collection started if you don't already have one!

I have a bunch of projects on my plate today (including wrapping up an outdoor painting project), so I've got to run. Thanks so much for dropping by today!!

May your day be filled with bliss!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A CAS Anniversary Card

After weeks (and weeks!) of nonexistent mojo, I've suddenly had the urge to create again. Yay! I was afraid my creativity had left me forever--but no, it was only hibernating, I think ;) . I'm dipping my toe in the creative pool with this clean and simple anniversary card:

I pulled out some pretty DeNami stamps (Decorative Flourish, Fancy Flutters Set, and Happy Anniversary Cling) and petal pink DeNami cardstock and went to work. Because of the dainty hearts on this sweet butterfly, I'm entering it in the current CAS-ual Fridays CFC74 Challenge: to create a clean and simple project with a heart. Check!

I hope your Wednesday is treating you well. After two days without internet and phone service (our Comcast cable was out. Again.), I'm finally catching up on all I've missed. You just don't realize how much you rely on internet access for everyday living until you can't access it!!

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

DeNami Halloween Blog Hop

Good morning, friends! And welcome to the last stop on today's DeNami Design Halloween Blog Hop! Today the DeNami Design Team and customers alike are showcasing Halloween projects made with DeNami stamps!

Hopefully, you've arrived here by way of Lani M.'s blog, Keep Your Eyes Open. If so, you are on the right track! If not, you'll want to head over to the DeNami blog to start the blog hop at the beginning. (And remember, if you get lost along the way, you can always head over to the DeNami blog to get pointed in the right direction.)

Don't forget, there are some super-fun DeNami prizes to be won! Two lucky commenters 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, October 15, 2012, 11:59 pm PST, to leave comments on all the blogs to be eligible for a prize.

Well, on to my Halloween project! After we featured the DeNami Fuzzy Ball stamp last month as a product spotlight, my head was brimming with more ideas for this versatile little stamp. I couldn't resist trying out my idea for a Fuzzy Ball bat on this adorably batty Halloween card.

Making my bat was as easy as (pumpkin) pie! I simply stamped the Fuzzy Ball on some DeNami charcoal cardstock and added a face from the Animal Faces stamp set. After drawing on two cute little fangs with a black pen, I cut out the body and added some wings. The wings started life as two ovals punched from DeNami lavender cardstock, but quickly took on their characteristically webbed look after cutting each oval in half lengthwise with scalloped scissors. Quick and easy! That beautifully lettered sentiment may be found here.

That does it for me today! Thanks so much for hopping along with this month's DeNami hop. I hope you got tons of great ideas for Halloween! Be sure to leave a comment before you go to be eligible for the prize drawing.

Have a great day!

PS In case you are wondering, the background paper I used for this card is a digital paper from Shery K Designs. It's part of a great Halloween digital collection called Boo. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spooky Houses for Halloween

Happy Wednesday! Today I have a little something for Halloween to share with you.

Aren't purple and green so fun for Halloween? I combined a bunch of great DeNami stamps (plus DeNami cardstock, ink, and twine) for this fun card:  Square Word Bubble, Friendly Ghost, and this week's Product Spotlight stamp, Three Houses.

Want to talk about a versatile stamp? This is it! Go check out all of the fabulous creations designed by the DeNami DT on the DeNami blog today. You'll say WOW!

Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, October 1, 2012

R U ready for a Challenge?

Are you ready for a challenge? Today is the first day of the DeNami Design October challenge, and this month it's a color challenge!

Here's the direction I took these colors.

It's a matchbox-style box perfect for filling with Hershey's Nuggets chocolates {*wink*}.

I just love creating packaging for treats for family and friends! All of my supplies for this project come from the DeNami Design store. Can you spot all three DeNami stamps that I used? If you said the Small Jack O'Lantern, Polka Dot Background, and Everyday Greetings stamp set, then you are bang on!

Are you ready to take on this fun color challenge? All you need to do is use this lovely fall color combo and at least one DeNami Design stamp, and you are golden! Be sure to check out today's post on the DeNami blog for more inspiration for this color challenge from the design team and for all the details about this month's challenge.

Thanks for dropping by today. I hope your day is filled with bliss!

PS Want to make your own Nugget box? You can find templates and directions for all sizes of boxes like these right here.