Tuesday, November 6, 2018

My new journal; A place to share my heart ~

Welcome!! to my blog today.
I hope and trust you are doing well?!  And finding Joy in many things~

My heart has been in (desperate) need of journaling;  so I decided to make myself one. Well, I  'covered' myself a notebook anyway  : )  I guess you might call this "semi-homemade" ; )

I found some composition books so reasonable I could not pass them by.  I covered the front with some beautiful Prima paper; from their Salvage District collection. https://www.scrapbook.com/store/products/?w=Prima%20salvage%20district
 Before adhering it, I did a bit of script and music note stamping, some dry embossing with a 'harlequin' folder; and added a bit of TH (pumice stone) distress ink. https://www.scrapbook.com/store/pp-th-tim27140.html   **Please know I'm not one to intentionally advertise online supplies co's; but I want you to see what I'm talking about : ) I know some are interested in specifics~ Please feel free to ask.
 I'm afraid you will almost always find a 'bow' somewhere in my work~
 I.Can't.Help.Myself.~ *sigh*

This resin frame is also from the 'Prima Marketing' family.
The sweet bird  image is trimmed from a Tim Holtz die-cut. 
I made the flowers from the paper I used on this project (again, Prima Salvage District) and I've added quite a bit of German glitter glass, sequins, gems, micro-beads and & glitter here & there.
There's a strip of lace at the bottom (cotton) -  but she decided she would not 'stand up' to get her picture taken!! (she's a lot like me)
The text "from the heart" is stamped on a titch of linen lace, and mounted on a bit of white corrugated board; for dimension.  I made myself a little pencil from a toothpick end : ) 

I included a simple pocket for the inside/front; to hold a few bookmarks, notes, and my writing pencil.

Thank you!!! for peeking in today~  It always blesses my heart.
 I am planning to enter my page at Simply Neutrals Tuesday Party!! 
 I wish wish wish you would pay a visit there and see what beautiful neutral projects will be showing up in the days to come! : ) <3

We are in the mid to high 30's (deg) today, and they are forcasting snow! (Brrrr) We shall see.
If it happens and if it's a pretty one, I'll try to post a pic!

 Much love and hugs to you~   Karen

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A paper bag birthday card

Hello friends~  I am so happy you peeked in today.
I want to share a little card I made, and just say hello to all who stop in.

Are you ready to welcome November with open arms? : )  I think perhaps most of you are!
And for those of us who prefer a warmer climate? [let's speak truthfully here, I don't like the cold! ]  --well, that's where the scripture  "be content . . .  In whatever state you find yourself"  comes in to play~
 Our circumstances, our 'situation' in life may be far from ideal;  but if we can't control it (like, say, the weather! or even my [still active] grief,)  then finding 'contentment' is a wise thing to do.
I don't care to much for the cold, but I love the colors of November! and the smell of fresh air and that great 'musty' smell of the piling leaves! So, if I bundle up good enough, the walks I take will be a blessing and help me to press into the changes in the air and give me plenty to still enjoy~~

Today I want to share a sort of grungy paper bag card I made for my sweet SIL; my brothers' wife.
Using some older My Minds Eye papers and a lot of distressing and peeling, this is all layered on top of a small 8"X4" (20.3X10.15cm)  kraft paper bag.
I'll write the sentiment on this tag; which has a little pocket to hold a gift card for her~It slides into the bag.
The little white happy birthday tag is dry embossed (with a folder.)
A little love spilling out of her mailbox : )  [and a bit of washi tape across the top left.]

Thank you!! for the visit~  And happy wishes for the rest of the week ahead.  Please know your blogs bring me so much happiness and inspiration!
Hugs to you,

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A few more Holiday flutters~

Hi friends!  Thank you for peeking in today~
I have some inspiration to create!   Thanks to you out there in blogland ; )  giving me the (holiday) nudge~  You 'creatives' are inspiring and encouraging me.  I'm still working in the familiar and simple- but for me that is OK <3    *I'm very thankful to be sitting at my table and doing something!  Isn't this a great time to peruse blogs? Some are in holiday mode (yay! thank you:); others are out shooting photo's of our beautiful earth and sky; and some are sharing peeks of their home, life & art~
So many of you bloggers may have no idea what seeing your art does for me!  Well, I'm sure for most of us really.  I for one just love to see the notice that says 'you'  have something new to share~
 I do work full-time, so for me, when I have the chance to check,    my 'Reading List'  is always a welcome  sight~

Well, for today here is a Christmas gift tag.  I find inspiration from Beatriz Jennings Youtube videos from time to time~  I believe this one is simply "Christmas tags"
I have used things from my box of Christmas paper and supplies; nothing new : )  As you can see my photo's are not the greatest (sorry) so some of the details do not show.
I used some dots of red Stickles on the punched branches. A piece of ribbon to separate the 2 papers, and paper doily for the little skirt~

 I have quite a bit of accumulated ribbon; this country brown plaid used to be such a fav! : ) It does warm this tag up nicely don't you think?

  I think I mentioned I'm still working in the familiar and simple? : ]
I decided to make a few fast & simple Christmas cards; about 4" X 4" (10.1CM)
It keeps me active and keeps me going.  Simple is good for me~
 The bell above is a punch~  The "Noel" I've had for about 112 years! : )  Decided I better use it~
Someone gave me these 'primitive star' die cuts;  I wish I had the die!  I 'frosted' the stars with some picket fence Stickles from Tim Holtz and perhaps a titch of glitter.  A 'joy' tag on a bit of corrugated ppr and a sequin.  I like postage stamping and add it often~~~
I thank you for taking the time to check out my simple cards, made with love!
I am enjoying a few more days of B E A U T I F U L weather, before the cold rolls in again~
Lots of blue skies and 60+ degrees! (about 16 Celsius?)
Brilliant autumn colors are lighting up my world here in MT USA and it helps me to truly feel better.

Much love and hugs to you!
Blessings,  Karen

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A grungy, vintage-style thank you card~

Hello friends!  So happy you could peek in today~
How has your week been going?  Would love to hear how you've been.

I have a rather grungy style/vintage style card to share.
Well, if ever I wanted a card to look like it was 100 years old and fresh out of an old dusty box from Grama's attic - this would be it : )
What draws me to the grungy look I'm just not sure. But I love the 'peeled back' corners and edges. As if it is soo old, it's shredding away!    Now what's so fab about that; I can't say~ It just appeals to me.  Like finding an old treasure among Grama's things.

The die cuts here (butterflies, flowers, tag) are from Tim Holtz; which were recently gifted to me. I added some pleated seam binding and lots of seed beads and glittery stuff~
The ppr is either Prima (Salvage collection,) or - 49th & Market. Ooops.?! I don't remember.

There is a bit of white corrugated board under the tag, just for a little more texture.
 I did dry emboss a few areas of the ppr and lightly inked w/ T Holtz Pumice Stone distress ink.

 I really like postage 'stamping' so it often shows up in my projects.  
I am not too keen on the sheen/shine of these paper die cuts, but I do love 'em~  You can see them here:

We are bracing ourselves for snow - soon ahead (in the forecast)  But for now, there are beautiful Fall colors everywhere.  It is cold here in the Rocky Mountains of Montana.  It will get to 50 deg(f) today, but lows in the mid 20's tonite!! 
I am grateful for so many things, but especially today I'm grateful for my wood fireplace!
Working from home has it's advantages~

Today is a melancholy one for me.  A sad anniversary date : (tears tears)  I had a long cry yesterday - missing my Alan soooo much.  4 years now, but it hardly seems that long.  He would have loved it here (in MT)

Wishing you a blessed week ahead and hope for a creative one too~

Friday, October 5, 2018

A quick (re) post, and big hello!

Hello friends!  I am honored by your visit; thanks for peeking in~ This happens to be my 70th post!

(Have you noticed how much I use this - - ->  ~ ~ ~  little crooked squiggle line!?!
* I don't even really know what it is supposed to be used for to be honest.  Oh right, I could Google it ; )  But I call it my little cartwheel.  IDK why~
Anywho,  I only wanted to say hello and share with you an older mini book cover I made - waaay back when.  I believe it is on a very. early. post.
When I first started, I did not know (at all) how to blog, and was just 'winging it' all the way.  Now I only wing it   part  of the way : ) lol
Actually I would just load up my posts  with tons of pics, (of different projects & things) not knowing it's probably best to just share one project per post - - - - and talk about the process ; ]
So again, ANYWHO~
Here is a little cover I made a few years ago.

 I wanted so much to contribute something and be a part of  Wendy's (October)
Simply Neutrals Tuesday Party
 Our monthly link up party
But I have "nothing new as of late" to share,  - so I searched my archives and found this little cover.
**Please  take a few minutes to stop in and see what treasures Wen is sharing at her  neutrals party!

So, to create this 6" journal cover:
Stiff cardboard and a piece of hankie lace created the base.  I pleated some cream seam binding along the left edge and machine stitched it on.
Then  more layers - of linen, vintage buttons from my Gramma's jar, and distressed corrugated board.
I added a square of  white burlap, some 'fussy-cut' flowers (from old K&Co scrapbook paper -named "Ancestry")
 and a layered heart made of quilt batting.  I topped that with a piece of wedding lace.
I attached a little 'door knob,' and small key (can you see it?!) to invite you into this mini journal~~

Oh yes, I stamped the sentiment; " beautiful   day "  on teeny scraps of white linen~

I enjoyed making this, back in the day when creativity flowed from my heart quite steadily : )
And today?  Well  . . . Things are different! and I don't take the mojo for granted~  lol
Wishing you Gods peace and blessings for the week-end friends!
Hugs and lots of love,

Sunday, September 30, 2018

a bit of early flutterings of holiday inspiration : )

Hi Friends!  I'm so happy you could peek in today~  And a big Thank You! to those who have recently clicked my "Follow" button! : )  What a blessing you are! you really made my day~

If you have followed for a while; or if you have read a few posts back - you will know I've had a series of 'losses' in my life and I have been trying to "climb out of the rubble" (so to speak) for some time now.
Lots of emotional business going on, and as probably all of you know, it is sometimes hard to be creative when your heart is broken~
My 'Mojo'  has been un-friending me! But I keep trying to woo her back <3   ; )

 I want to take a few minutes and share with you a website that 'feeds' the shabby-chic part of my art-heart~
Her name is Kerryanne and she is found at    https://www.shabbyartboutique.com/
Her tone is soft and feminine, and I find her blog uplifting and interesting.  She is also a woman of generous spirit; offering free patterns and templates; and lots of creative ideas.

A while back I found a free pumpkin template there- and, while her pumpkin was very soft and shabby (and I think perhaps made from fabric?)  I decided to use some (older) Autumn paper from Graphics 45.  (I think it's called School Days)
I simply cut out the 6  pieces from differing papers and attached them to a kraft paper backing.
I added a bit of natural polished hemp that I curled around a pencil~
 This will probably adorn a homemade pie or cookie box for a give-away treat : )
 Soo simple and soo easy, I know~  But that is where I need to be right now.  Simple and easy!!  It's my happy place, while I steady myself and re-connect <3

 I also wanted to share a few package toppers I made for the upcoming Christmas holiday~
The hearts I made using a die cutting machine, but the canvas stars were purchased a few years ago.
(Made by Canvas Corp.)
 I added a loop to each one, so it could even be used as a mini ornament.~~
I painted them with some white acrylic paint, added a bit of sparkle along the edges with  micro beads, glitter,  and Ranger brand Stickles.  Then a teeny bit of Winter greenery and a few rusty jingle bells~~


 This heart is canvas.  I included some glitter glass and "prills" (little white beads)   The buttons are m.o.p.

Here's a heart made from quilt batting.  I added some machine zig-zag stitching.  Sure love the vintage, home-spun look of a primitive heart~

Thank you!! For stopping in.  Hope you enjoy this week ahead~  Mine will include Verrry Chilllly weather!  Oh my~ How is your weather?  I know many of you look forward to the Fall & Winter.
I'm - - -still acclimating! LOL
Blessings to you,

Monday, September 24, 2018

Thank you card~

Hi and good day to you!  Autumn greetings from chilly-beautiful Montana USA : )
Our temperatures have been in the  high 50's-mid/high 60's (degrees  Fahrenheit ) during the daytime~  (I'm bracing myself for what's to come : ) LOL)
 Today we have a beautiful blue sky and bright sunshine; so it makes me feel happy. <3

I have the blessing of some wonderful siblings~  And my 'baby sis' is such a dear friend to me.
She is a 'kindred spirit' and I love her so much <3
This card is for her~

I was recently sitting amongst  (Google says that is not a word!)  - OK then, well, hmmm, I was sitting at my craft desk surrounded by some beautiful things- and hoping for inspiration to make this card.  Some of the fabrics and laces below came from a wonderful shop on Etsy that belongs to Suzi~ She is an amazing artist and her blog is a place I can always find encouragement and inspiration.  Here is her blog;   it will also lead you to her ETSY shoppe~

I was able to put together a simple Thank You card for my sweet sister~
Though the 'baby' of the family (she is 7 years my junior) she has that wonderful natural ability
to communicate loving care and attention to all of us : )   She recently sent some flowers; so I want to acknowledge her with a small homemade card.

Aren't the laces and Sari (I think) ribbon lovely!? They came from Suzi's Etsy; as well as the image.

I had a left over handmade flower from a previous project - and it found a nice home here : )
I adorned the woman's hair with a few small pearl beads.  There's a little 'thank you' tag peeking out from the ribbon.

I TRULY appreciate your visit today!!  and blessings to you in this week ahead~

Monday, September 10, 2018

simple; thankful

Hello and welcome <3 
 I  just have a simple card to share with you today~  But I am most grateful for even this! as my mojo is not returning my calls, and I was in great need of a wedding card!

 The paper is from Kaisercraft; their "Romantique" collection.  I made the flowers (my preferred flower is handmade from the project paper whenever I can) and then I simply added the silk ribbon and embellished sentiment tag~

The front of the card says "a door opened" and inside the card it says "and love walked in"

"Below is a pic of the inside of the card - the top section, just above the fold.  I fussy-cut a tree with birds and tucked a sewing card inside.  That will house some $$ or a gift card~

I may be 'teetering' a little bit, again, ; ) but I'm still going to try and enter my card in Wendy's monthly "Simply Neutrals Tuesday" party!
http://appleapricot.blogspot.com/  Our monthly link up party
 Since the front of the card is mainly neutral colors I think I'll be fine : ) Oh I wish you would take a moment to stop over there and see the lovely entries she is sharing with us. There is something for everyone~

  Our weather is cooooling way down here in N/W Montana.  High's in the daytime only mid 60's and nights low 40's and high 30's forecast for this week.  Autumn has taken hold.  This "warm weather lover" must brace herself for colder winds and change . . .
May you have a blessed week ahead! With love and hugs <3

Monday, August 27, 2018

sometimes . . .

Hi friends~
How has your 'nearing the end of Summer' been going?  I hope you have been blessed~
I've been visiting around Blogland (not always leaving comments, but just enjoying your spaces and artwork,)  And all the while - hoping, waiting . . .(tic-tic-tic . . .) wondering if my 'creativity' will come back and re-friend me :)    Even  just for a little bit.

And then a few days ago I really needed a birthday card and small gift bag~  Hmmm what would I do?
I just couldn't come up with anything new or clever or different.  And I said to myself;
 "now, myself!!  You need a card and your mojo just isn't stirring.  Forget new and clever and different!
And go back to your roots  & just make a card"

Sometimes I need to go back to what I first fell in love with (when it comes to paper crafting)
and visit those simple idea's, those 'roots' from long ago.  Those places when it was all new to me and held such
lovely possibilities : )
                                            ~ Simple Shabby-chic~
So I put together this paper bag card with a few pretty papers, ribbon, bits of lace and tags.
The 'stitching' is stamped on (I know - - -)
The 'spool' shape tag was traced from some old Melissa Francis packaging; used as a template.
  I used some older Bo Bunny & My Minds Eye papers 

 I just attached my layers to the front of a small Kraft paper bag - & added the small gift and tissue~

Let me share with you two of the websites I used to frequent  when I was first learning to scrapbook and make cards~    I used to spend hours visiting around blogs and what-not, just looking . . . but these old friends truly caught my eye and inspired in me a lasting love of papercrafting!

 Beatriz Jennings (@ iralamija)  taught me how to tie a bow many years ago (don't laugh! I couldn't do it right, and she has a great little video that helped me discover the trick to it) and she made me swoon over her beautiful shabby-chic style; to whom I still mimic~
And though over time I grew toward a love of grungier/vintage shabby;  She still influences me today.  She has a wonderful shop on Etsy where she sells her creations and also many papers and tags to print out~

Gabrielle Pollacco was so kind to be a friend to me and encouraged me greatly in my early scrapbook years.  Her style is absolutely
and unforgettably gorgeous.  I found her blog (I don't even know how) and was hooked on watching her Youtube videos and reading her blog  tutorials on "how to" create~  Some of us need lots of help!  LOL
She was always there~
Gabrielle's blog is here -->  Such A Pretty Mess blog
 Gabrielle has spent the last few years more involved in designing  her own templates, stamps and stencils, but she does manage to blog every now & then <3 and I'm always so happy to see anything she creates~

 Sometimes I just need to go back to the beginning; (for me that was around 2009-2010,) and use it as a jumping off point.  Not sure where it may take me, but I hope it's someplace happy : )

Thanking God for all of you and the loving support and inspiration I find in each of you!

Monday, August 6, 2018

To Every Thing . . .

To everything, there is a season
And a time to every purpose under Heaven . . .
 Ecclesiastes ch 4

Dear friends and visitors,
My mother has died  : (   and I am once again dealing with grief; while also learning some important life lessons in this mean time.
 It was in April that I decided I better get myself to Colorado and be with mom & dad.
I spent the entire month of May with them and I'm so so glad I had that opportunity.  We celebrated her birthday (3 different party's! : ) and also spent Memorial Day together.  I was able to 'work from home' at their place so I had lots of time with them.  We created some wonderful memories which I will cherish always~
In May, Mom seemed to be rebounding and doing pretty well - -so what a shock/surprise it was to us to lose her suddenly in mid-July. (insert broken-heart here)
I of course went back to Colorado for her funeral services and have since returned home to Montana.

I often fail in the "thank you" department dear friends - but PLEASE know I really truly appreciate your love and support~

Sometimes we learn to 'grow; under the load'  - that is to say, we learn from difficulty and actually grow in grace and character because of it.  Even while 'in' it.
I hope that will be me~
I also hope my love and passion for crafting and creating will return again and the ideas and excitement for it will once again flow : )

I'm including a card I created a few months back, for a very dear friend; using a beautiful image from Suzi @ Etsy's:

I will be offering this photo @ Wen's blog     http://appleapricot.blogspot.com/
for submission in her monthly Link Up  "Simply Neutral Tuesday"
I'm snitching a bit of color into this 'mostly neutral'  party; but I'm hoping that's ok : ) <3
PLEASE take a moment to view her beautiful blog and all lthe lovely 'Neutral' entries~

This card includes washi tape, white corrugated board, layers of distressed paper, and a bit of ribbon.
 The image was trimmed with antique-edged scissors and white paint.
Here is another view with white background~

I'm beginning to feel like the "downer blog" !!??  Sigh* With much in the way of sad news.
  It seems as though I start to get 'back on my feet' and something else happens to bring pain and heartache.
But I'm still determined God WILL see me through and I will have much happy things to report as time goes on! <3   One happy thing for me is that Summer is still very much here in MT; and I'm enjoying flip-flop weather!  Lot's of sunshine and even hot days.
And if my creativity will find it's way home, I will welcome it with open arms : )

Wishing you much love and hopes for continued beautiful weather!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Generations  Wedding  Album 

 Hello, and Thank you for stopping in today!  I'm so glad you've joined me. 

 I wish I knew what the future will hold 🎔  -but for now, it looks like I will be away on an (extended) visit to see my parents and family - my mother is quite ill . . . so,
 I will not have a craft room for the weeks to come~ But here is something I wanted to share again:
  I hope to post a few of these photo's (below) to Wen's SIMPLY NEUTRALS TUESDAY Party!
Please take a moment if you can to browse the beautiful entries there ~

  ***This is adapted from my post - September 2015~
Several years ago I made an album for . . . myself! It doesn't happen real often ; ), but I had acquired some great family generational photo's and wanted to make a keepsake~ so I  created an album of wedding pictures from some of my late husbands family; and mine as well~

It is my most cherished creation ❤ because of the precious photo's it contains, and the love I poured into it.   - one of the pic's dates back to my Great-great Grandparents on my fathers side~

There is something about vintage B&W pictures that... makes me want to create!
To see them displayed with beautiful papers, laces and bits of ephemera.
I am often inspired and filled with idea's when old photo's are in my hand.

This is the cover (about 6"X6")
Made with white corrugated board & some vintage sheet  music (a gift from my father!)
 Most of the chipboard in this album (like the lovely mannequin) is from > Blue Fern Studio's.
Most of the papers used in this album are from Prima >  http://www.primamarketinginc.com/ ( their Almanac and Printery collections)

This page above is my mother's parents~ Juliette and Michael (Rene' was his middle name & I remember  Grama often called him Ray)  They were French Canadian.
The fussy-cut bird and nest was G45" Little Darlings" paper. The chipboard vines are Blue Fern Studio's and the bird cage is a die cut.

My husbands grandparents (mothers side);  Kate (Catherine) and Chuck -  but we all called him "Poppy"~  He was a gardener by trade and had several green houses where he made his living. Grandma Kate was a kindergarten school teacher for many years.
The cute hanger ppr clip is from Tim Holtz.

Here are my parents.  I shared this photo a few weeks ago and posted it to Wen's Simply Neutral Tuesday Party!! http://appleapricot.blogspot.com/   
Aren't they a lovely young couple! ; )
I used lots of home made flowers (Prima papers) and the chipboard butterfly is Blue Fern.

This is my fathers grandparents~ I've heard some stories about them!!! Can you see the twinkle in their eyes?  
  *All of the buttons used in this album are vintage - from grandma's jar.
This is my husbands parents on their wedding day of course~ With the Grooms parents (Grandma & Grandpa "O") on the left; and  the Bride's parents (Kate & Poppy) on the right. I used some lovely wedding Appliques, home made flowers, lace, blue seam binding and the beautiful bird paper is from the "My Minds Eye" Co.   The stick pin was made by a gallery friend @ Scrapbook.com

What a fun page this was!
Alan's Great-Grandparents above (*this is their Anniversary party - there are no wedding photo's that I am aware of.)  I've always known them as 'Oma & Westy'  He was quite the old salty dog! &  Joined the army/navy? by lying about his age. He had stories for sure ;)  and claims that he helped chase Pancho-Villa through Mexico~

There are a few more pages in the album . . . but I think I will end with this page below.  My fathers parents~ And I think my favorite collage.
Again, a mix of chipboard, hand made flowers, corrugated board, lace, netting, and Prima papers~

I am blessed by your visit!    ~~Thank you again for joining me~~
Hugs and God bless,