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...

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Twofer Challenge #35

Now you'd think I'd make something for all my little sweethearts since we're in the midst of Valentine's Day, wouldn't you? But I didn't. I made a birthday card, and a Halloween card. Don't ask me why, but it's where my brain went. Our Twofer Challenge prompt for this month is:

How fun is this prompt?!! Like many of you, I have a few, ok, ok, lots of different balloon stamps! The hardest part of this month's challenge was choosing among them. In the end, I went with a single balloon rather than a bunch.

Here are my cards together:

And individually:

"Wait, what?," you ask. "I can see the balloon on your first card, but where are the balloons on your second card?," you might wonder. We'll get to that, I promise.

For my birthday card, I found a ton of blue patterned paper scraps in the file, and put them together as you see them. The balloon is from EH, the scalloped die is from ME, and the sentiment is from NN. A trio of enamel dots, and bam!, birthday card accomplished! 

Did you spot those balloons on the Halloween card yet? Eyeballs. Yep, eyeballs. I cut away the knot and string, and made some green irises which are wonky on purpose. Not the same size, not the same exact color, not the same orientation. Kinda creepy for sure. It was "the look" (hahahahahahahaha) I was going for. (I am so funny!) Just a plain purple base, and a scrap of 'skin' color inside the MFT glasses die. A little bit of intentionally bad Copic coloring for the pupils, and a leftover strip of green because it popped against the purple for my SSS sentiment. 

Now, I hope you have the chance to play along with us at Twofer this month. It was pretty easy to come up with a more conventional use of the balloon stamp, and just as easy to make one in an unconventional manner, using that same stamp. Wait till you "see" (still funny...well, maybe I'm the only one chuckling now...) what the other members of the DT and our GD, Greta, have come up with. See you in the gallery, and as always...

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Twofer Challenge #34

Happy New Year! Whew! We made it to 2021, and I hope it will be much better than last year! Ten days in, and a new challenge up on the Twofer Challenge blog certainly helps, doesn't it?! What a good way to kick off a new year, if you ask me. Our prompt for this month is: 

Being a bit, just a teeny bit mind you, anal retentive about stamp organization, I checked out the number of stamp sets I have which contain the tag "flower/flowers" on my Evernote account. Um, would you believe there are at least 70?! Let me show you which one I went with:

Stamp? Where? Well, technically the set I used has this sweet flower stamp, but I just used the flower die for this Twofer pair...I love the whimsical look of that little bloom! Here's a closer look at each one:

For the yellow birthday card, I hit the scrap files again, and found a proper length, but a skinnier bit of yellow cardstock. Hmmmmm...what to do? Use as is, and have those white flowers balance the white skinnier bit opposite. I added black bling to the flower centers, and a chunk of black beneath the sentiment. Pretty EZPZ, and scrap files ever-so-slightly culled! The flowers are from The Stamp Market, and the sentiment is from Hero Arts.

I got my 'girl' on for card number two. Again, I hit the scrap file (and yes, it's actually a file drawer filled with accordion folders sorted by colored cardstock and colored patterned papers) and scored! That pink and green patterned paper is ancient, but I love it. It reminds me of a blouse my mom made for me as part of an Easter outfit when I was little. I also dug for scraps in coordinating colors. The sentiment is from WPlus9, the frame is from MFT, as is the scalloped circle, and there are those sweet flowers from The Stamp Market. A little bling, and done! 

Two different cards, two different occasions, and I like the way they turned out. The concept of Twofer really stretches the use of stamps and dies, and I really love that! What will you make? Now that you've seen my cards, head on over to The Twofer Challenge, and check out what my teamies have made, along with cards by our Guest Designers Viv and Brenda. Then grab your flower stamps and dies and get creative! See you in the gallery. And as always...

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Twofer Challenge #33

Here we are at the last Twofer Challenge of the year (I was going to write "2020," but um, no). Since I have a nice variety of stamps in this month's prompt theme, I thought I might really have a blast with them. Turns out I did! I made a graduation card for my granddaughter who earned her degree in Biology, and I made a birthday card for a littler girl. Two very different cards for two different occasions. Be sure to stop by the Twofer Challenge and leave a little love for the rest of the DT, and our Guest Designers,  Pia and Liz. And one more thing... Darnell is offering prizes this month. Be extra sure you head over to Twofer for more information! I can't wait to see what you come up with for this prompt:

Here are my cards together:

And individually:

Not hard to see the stars on my first card, but did you find them on the second one? 

The graduation card uses an MFT frame die in navy blue, and I dotted it with gold using a teeny-tiny TT dot stamp. I used the same dot stamp in gold again, on the yellow panel, and added some navy stars with a tiny star stamp from WPlus9. The moon stamp and die is from that same set. The sentiment is from Whimsey Stamps. EZPZ

The birthday card. On top of the red panel, I framed a circle of flowers with a scalloped edge die from MFT, and the sentiment is also an MFT stamp. The little lady is from EH, and she's colored with Copics. I stamped those same WPlus9 stars on her jumper, did you catch that?! They were the perfect size for her outfit, since she is a star!

Thanksgiving is soon upon us, and like many of you, it will be scaled down at my house. I have been isolating, and will continue to do so except for a produce run a couple of days before the holiday, and then I will use extra caution. Many blessings to all of you on Thanksgiving and always. Thank you for playing along with Twofer in this difficult year, and may 2021 bring much more joy and peace. And as always...