Thursday, September 16, 2021

Well, Hello There...

Just wanted to share a summery card before Summer leaves us entirely. I'll admit I've become a lover of cooler temperatures, but still like the activity of summer, and the flowers growing all around. Had to have a new water line put in from the street to my house, and gee, while they were at it, they decided to completely shift the water line to the right, which tore up my lawn and my front beds... Ugh! Looks like a tornado hit the entire front yard! Going to look at this as an opportunity to change up the look of the front of the house a bit. Some good grass seed, fix the borders, maybe start choosing new perennials for Spring planting! But at least I have this little cutie to smile at - and the flowers won't fade! 

I'm in love with this set. Those daisies just make me smile! This card starts off with happy gingham patterned paper, and a Honey Bee die cut frame in white. A yellow panel with those darling Honey Bee daisies and leaves, a HA sentiment, and done! Soooo easy. So much fun!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Twofer Challenge #41

Before you have a gander at my post and my cards, I want to let you know that after much deliberation,  Darnell, has decided that this will be the last Twofer Card Challenge. The decision did not come easy to her, but it was one which I think we can all relate to various aspects of our own lives becoming more demanding, where something has to give. And we can all understand that certain things must take priority in life. It has been my honor, and a true privilege to have been a team member from the very beginning. I've also had the great pleasure of being "teamies" with a number of absolutely amazing designers. I think we grow a little by friendships we make along the way. I'm very proud to have played  alongside these incredible women-friends, and especially Darnell. Thank you, dear friend, for letting me be a part of this very challenging, fun, and wonderfully brain-stretching team. It's been a blast from first to last. And now for the post...

Remember hearing about the 'dog days of summer?' Too hot even for dogs?? I never quite understood what that meant.'s a little trivia for you! The dog days run for 20 days before and for 20 days after the star Sirius (part of the constellation Canus Major, The Greater Dog) aligns with the sun; July 3rd to August 11th. The Ancient Romans believed that because Sirius was the brightest star it added to the heat given off by the sun during that time period. Hence, dog days. Those long, hot, sultry days of summer. I'm not a fan of the heat anymore. Thank heavens I live so close to Lake Michigan, where in summer,  it's always "cooler near the Lake!" And speaking of dogs, Twofer has got a great challenge this time:

As usual, I didn't have too much trouble thinking about designs; that part was easy... No, it was choosing which set to use that gave me grief! In the end, I went with an Ellen Hutson set:

Here's a look at each card:

The first card was a "Congratulations" card sent to my grandson who received his MBA this past Spring. Mighty proud of him! The second card is, well, a birthday card! The recipes are as follows: 

For the first card, I started with an MFT stripes base, which I cut the center out with an MFT rectangle die. I added a black MFT frame (or your eyes go all crazy). The EH doxy was left uncolored, but I did give him a red bow tie and a Photoplay crown as I had no mortarboard. He's a prince anyway! The sentiment is from the same set. 

For the second card, I used the same EH doxy on a white panel. I die cut the 'happy birthday' with an AE die and added some green patterned paper (as my dad would say...) "on the underneath of it." The balloon was from a SSS set, and the "50" was from another AE set. I drew in the string. Joe, the recipient of this card, has two doxies, Brutus and Maximus, so the EH doxy was the perfect choice! 

So my lovelies, this is your last chance to play the Twofer Challenge. Before you pull out your dog/cat stamps and play along, head back to TCC to see what the DT and Guest Designers have made, and leave them some love. I'm going to miss this challenge, and seeing you all in the gallery. Your cards have often blown my mind. It's been lovely over these last few years to see all the wonderful creations you've made. Thank you for supporting Darnell and The Twofer Card Challenge.  See you in the gallery, and as always...

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Twofer Challenge #40

Outside my bedroom window, in a tall Yew bush, I had two nests of birds this Spring. Near the top was a small nest of sparrows. Slightly below that was a nest of robins. Both nests hatched eggs, all of them survived, and toward the end of June, they've all fledged and flown. It was kind of cool to note their progress as the days passed, and to think about the small miracles God gives us every day. More life, more hope, and more happy. I have to say that I enjoyed seeing that new life as I peeked out my window. You might wonder why I'm talking about birds. Well this month's Twofer is:

I like birds. Except for the peacock at the zoo who tried to steal my grandson's Twinkie (shhh...don't tell mom and dad that grandma bought him what he begged for...hahahahaha!), and chickens. Live chickens. Specifically my two Auntie's chickens. They PECKED me, and I never did anything to them!!!! But put a chicken in the oven, or on the grill, and I'm a happy camper! So for this month's theme we're all going to be all about the birds. Here's my duo:

Those are Newton's Nook birds on both cards. 

For the Thank You card, I found a doodle bug polka dotted (yay!) piece in that pretty blue. I die cut it with a PPP scalloped frame and used it to frame my focal point. The stamps, as afore mentioned are NN, and all from the same set, Tweet Talk. They're colored with Copics.

The birthday card uses a scrap of MFT b&w stripes, and a deep hot pink scrap of cardstock for an accent color. The sentiment is from MFT, the little bow is from AE, and the pinked edge die is from PTI. A bit more Copic coloring and done!

What will you come up with this month? I'm eagerly anticipating seeing what you've made! Be sure you stop over at the Twofer blog and check out the cards made by our Guest Designers, Maria and Coni,  and the rest of the Design Team. I'll see you in the gallery, and as always...

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Twofer Challenge #39

Yay, it's June! I love the month of June, don't you? What's not to love, right?! It's got the most/longest sunshiny days of the whole year, generally speaking it's not too hot and not too cold, and the fireflies start coming out at night. I'm still delighted to watch them flicker; it's almost like having fairies dancing in your yard. I can remember being a kid, and with school finally out, long days of play with all the other kids in my neighborhood... after we finished our chores, of course. Hide and seek at twilight was fun, and ghost stories with all us kids sitting packed like sardines on the back steps. Flashlight tag, being 'frozen' in whatever position you were caught in, and lots of Red Rover and Starlight, Moonlight. I was lucky enough to live in a neighborhood full of kids, and all parents were friends too. Moms and dads would sit in lawn chairs at whichever house we kids were playing (so often it was ours), and laugh, talk and share cool beers, with the portable radio playing in the garage rounding out the evenings with summer music. To this day, I can almost hear the sounds of us children's laughter, adult chatter, and Charlie Pride singing Louisiana Man from those tinny radios. June reminds me of gentle days of play, and evening spent with friends so it's a good month! While those days of play are past, I have found another way to play in June. Twofer. "Playing" cards is a passion we all enjoy, and making, sending, and sharing cards creates memories that also last. June will bring us 'round to another Twofer Challenge, too! Create some memories this June. Play along with us; we've got a great prompt! Check this out:

I've pulled out my favorite sunny stamp and made a couple of cards. Here they are together:

And here they are individually:

I'm not even sure when Avery Elle came out with this stamp set, Bright Day, but I've loved it since I got my hands on it! That sunburst really trips my trigger! I've used it to make an Easter card and a birthday card. The Easter card uses an MFT circle die cut from a panel. I added some MFT grass, then the sun centered on the card base. A SSS cross and sentiment finish this pretty easy card. The birthday card started off as a slightly smaller than an A2 size. Distress Oxides created the sea, and those fun, funky bony fish are from Simply Graphic. A black panel beneath frames the panel. That's a MB sentiment. One of my younger grandsons thinks this sentiment is hilarious; he laughs every time he sees it. What a nut! 

Be sure to stop by the Twofer blog and see what our lovely Guest Designers and the rest of the Design Team have made. And don't forget to pull out your sunny, sun, sun stamps and play along! Make those memories. Come on's out; let's play!!! And as always...

Monday, May 10, 2021

Twofer Challenge #38

It's the 10th of the month, and you know what that means, right?! Yep, time for another Twofer Challenge! Can I just say that I really enjoy putting my brain to work and stretching my stamps and dies?! And we've got another great prompt, too. You're going to love this!

CAKE!!!! If you're anything like me, you've got more than one cake stamp. I will admit that I have several...just because I can't resist ordering them. Or leaf stamps. Or sentiment stamps. Or bunny stamps. Or sooo many other kinds. I won't even get into the number of "happy birthday" stamps and dies I have, lol!! But we like what we like, and some people (me), will keep buying those stamps (me again) and dies (also me) that make our eyes and our hearts happy. And I know that you know that we're all the same in this, hahaha! Anyhoo, let's talk about the Twofer Challenge a bit.

Sometimes the ideas come flooding in, and I can make 3 or 4 cards with the same set/different designs. Sometimes, it's more of a struggle, but it's okay, I just dust off those rarely used brain cells and somehow manage to figure it out! Here's what I came up with for this month's prompt:

And individually:

The stamp I used on both cards is from Avery Elle, and it's called Cake For All. Very appropriate! The first card is a thank you card, in which I sent a Starbucks gift card, hence the EH "magic inside" sentiment. The little bunny is from Hello Bluebird. I did a little yellow blending behind the focal point then stamped the cake, colored it black with Copics, and cut off the base. Stamped and added some color to the bunny, and just like magic, a card appeared! (I am so funny...well, ok, maybe not...) For the birthday card, I went pretty traditional, adding a Verve sentiment, a scrap of stripes, and a teensy strip of black for emphasis. The cake was colored with Copics, and I used some star sequins for the candles. 

Now it's your turn. Head on over to The Twofer Challenge blog and check out the inspiration from our DT and GD! Then, break out those cake/cupcake stamps and create away! I can't wait to see you in the gallery! 

P. S. As an added bonus, I'm adding a favorite CAKE recipe to this post. It seems wonderfully appropriate for this month's prompt! For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you know that I'm mostly a pie baker. The grandkids adore them, and I've been told that my fresh cherry pie is the best there ever was (by a person who's not even a family member, to boot!!). But every now and then, I like to make cakes. From scratch. Here's one of my favorites, and I hope you give this one a try! 

Cherry Almond Pound Cake

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups butter
6 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup maraschino cherries, rinsed, drained well, and quartered

Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan. I can't recommend a non-stick spray... Do not, whatever you do, preheat the oven. 
In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, and mix thoroughly after each one. Add in almond extract.
Save out 2 Tablespoons of the all-purpose flour. Toss with cherries, set aside till last.
In a mediumish bowl, mix flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt.
Add the milk and flour mixture alternately. Mix until smooth. Fold the floured cherries into batter. Pour batter into pan. Tap the pan on your counter a bit to release the air bubbles. Set the pan on a cookie sheet and place into the cold oven. Turn oven to 350, and bake from 60-90 minutes, depending on your oven. Toothpick test to test for doneness.

I've also made a glaze with some of the maraschino cherry juice, a dash of almond extract, and powered sugar and just drizzled it over the top. This is a rich and moist cake. A big hit with our family.

There! Cards and cake. A perfect way to start the day! And as always...

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Twofer Challenge #37

So here we are in April already. How did that happen?! Even though I'm pretty much at home, time still flies like mad. Since last year, a couple of the grandgirls and I have been making cards and writing letters back and forth. Another granddaughter and I started writing a story in January. We take turns adding a few paragraphs or pages, and both of us eagerly anticipate seeing the newly added material. The excitement is like what readers must have felt in the Victorian period when Charles Dickens was serializing such works as the Pickwick Papers. And still other grandkids and I have been utilizing FaceTime to stay in regular contact amid the pandemic. So while I may not be traveling or off shopping and dining out, I manage to keep myself busy.

I have to admit that my card making mojo is extremely sporadic, and that my motivation has been hard hit since John passed. I've put that down to finding a regular routine for everyday life. It's starting to come along, but I know it will take time to bounce back. I am always, always inspired by The Twofer Challenge, however! This month is no exception. Our prompt is:

Leaves just might be my most favorite stamp/die to buy in the history of me. There's just something 'right' about them. But that's just me... Here is a photo of my cards together:

And individually:

For the birthday card, which went to one of my sons, I used some lovely gray textured cardstock that I'd been hoarding saving as my base. A strip of striped patterned paper, also (oh who am I kidding?!!) hoarded, secured down the left side. An oldie, but one of my most love Paper Smooches leaves die in a rich, dark gray was tucked behind the sentiment panel. That's a Hero Arts sentiment. So easy, but it's a design I like and may go back to for some of the other sons' cards this year. 

This sympathy card went out to my cousin who lost his wife to Alzheimers Disease early this year. For the base and the leaves, I used a very soft gray, and cut the card front with an RC die. Those are the same PS leaves as used on my birthday card. The sentiment is also from RC, and the patterned paper is from my scrap files. 

For me, this particular Twofer wasn't terribly difficult, so I hope you'll find this easy-going too. You'll want to stop by and see what the rest of the team, and our Guest Designers Alison and Natalie have created at The Twofer Challenge blog. Hope to see you in the gallery, and as always...

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Still Trying, But Some Good News!

Yep. I'm still trying to find some sort of routine since last year. It's not working too well, but I'm hoping it will come. Started 'pushing' myself the other day to do certain things at certain times. It's helped some, but there is still an element of discombobulation happening. And freakin' Covid isn't helping either! The isolation means that I can often say, "Oh...I can do that tomorrow." Not that my house is a mess, as I know it would drive me crazy, there's just no hurry! Wisconsin promises to start vaccinating 'my group' beginning around the 29th of this month. "Mm-hmmm, I don't know about that..." 

Wanna hear some beyond amazing awesome news? Thought you might like a little happy today, so here it is, some of the very best news in the world. A new baby! Grandson Christopher and his lovely wife, Kaitlyn welcomed an incredible baby boy last week, 8.12lbs, 20" long, and the cutest, most darling baby boy named Louie Alexander. "Photos?," you might ask..But of course!

I am so in love! Can hardly wait for my vaccines so I can head over and give little "King Louie" (as his daddy calls him) cuddles and snuggles! *sigh!* Just look at those cheeks!

And of course, I've made a card! Had to shop for a new baby set, but it was worth it! I like the way it turned out:

The base is a patterned paper from AE. I used some DO blue ink to create a bit of a sky, then cut out a panel with the MFT Wonky Frame die. The new stamps are from Photoplay, a set called Little One Icons, and they are just the cutest! Colored a bit with Copics, and done. I'd like to play along with Less Is More, where the prompt is "baby." Hopefully, it will be CAS enough. And that's it for me today. I've got some things to get done, including a FT chat with a granddaughter out in Phoenix. Hope you all are staying safe, and as always...

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Twofer Challenge #36

Before I get to the current Twofer Challenge (which you'll love btw...), I was wondering if anyone else is as tired of winter/snow/cold, and the Corona virus as I am? I'm waaaaaay more than ready for in person visits to my local coffee shop WITH girlfriends, sandals, an entire day at the salon complete with a haircut, mani and pedi, and a trip to the garden store. Maybe even some traveling to see family and crafty friends. And now, of course, I hear my mother's voice in my head going, "Make the best out of a bad situation," and "This too shall pass." So I guess I will, and it shall. Sometimes a girl has just got to whine a little, lol! Maybe instead, I should "wine" a little, hahahahaha!

But what you really came here for was The Twofer Challenge, wasn't it? So without further ado...This month, it'a allllll up to you. As in a stamp/die/stencil of your choice, and using the Twofer rules. Two different cards for two different occasions, using the same stamp/die/stencil on both cards. I'll show you mine in a minute.

My choice was chickens. 

And here they are individually:

Both cards use the EH Good Egg set. 

For my birthday card, I stamped a panel of chicken wire using a very old Market Street stamp, and then added an RC frame in green around it. I stamped, colored, and die cut Mrs. Chicken, and gave her a 'happy birthday' from HA inside a LF speech bubble. EZPZ.

For the Valentine, I used Mrs. Chicken again, but added a Mr. Rooster. The tiny heart was from an ancient punch, but as I don't read hieroglyphics, I can't tell you who made it (that's how long I've had it!). I used a SSS heart to make an aperture in that happy and bright patterned paper for those two love birds (hahahahaha!). And then I computer generated a sentiment. Bam! Done!

It would be lovely to see you in the gallery this month. And don't forget to stop by the Twofer blog and see what the other DT members have created. Sensational! Also this month, we have as Guest Designers, Nancy Littrell and Klara. Thanks for joining us Nancy and Klara! See you all in the gallery, right?!! And as always...