Sunday, December 28, 2014

Winter Sunset

I came across this image last summer and thought it was stunning.  I used watercolor paper and my Kuretake watercolors to make the sky and then used this Penny Black rubber cling stamp along with some Copic pens for the trees.  The dark purple mat and lavendar frame sets off the colors of the sunrset sky perfectly.  (I must have tried dozens of combinations before I came up with this one!)

I think that during the winter one of the loveliest sights is the delicate tracery of bare branches against the sky - especially at sunset.  I made this card just because I thought it would be beautiful, and I wasn't sure if I would ever send it away.  But at this time of year that's supposed to be filled with joy, a friend suffered the terrible loss of her son.  

I mailed it to her,  along with my thoughts and prayers.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Silent Night

This was a special card.  I happened to come across the stamped image last summer and knew it would be perfect for my sister.  We are preacher's kids, and for our family, the most special time of all was the ending of the midnight Christmas Eve service.  All the lights were turned off and only the glow of candlelight illuminated the church.  The choir stood in the back and softly sang "Silent Night".  Such a precious and beautiful lullaby.  As we went through life, we came to appreciate more and more that spccial moment and what a privilege it is to be surrounded by the people you love.  

Cardstock:  PTI Pure Poppy
Paper: Graphic 45 "Twas the Night Before Christmas"
Image:  Impression Obsession "Silent Night"
Ribbon: Michaels

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Santa And His Sleigh

This is another one of my favorites from this year's collection.  When I was growing up, I lived in the same town as Norman Rockwell, the marvelous painter of American Life in the 40's and 50's.  Stockbridge Massachusetts is still the classic New England village that was painted on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post so many years ago.  I love this card because it also captures the essence of that tradition --the red holly berries and ribbon, the snow and evergreens, a starry night sky, and of course-- Santa and Rudolph.  

From a paper-crafting point of view, this card has lots of layers, some "bling" on Rudolph's red nose, gold touches with a gel pen, satin ribbon and I got to use my Kuretake watercolors!  

Cardstock:  PTI Pure Poppy, Vintage Cream
Paper:  Graphic 45
Image:  PTI Santa's Sleigh
Uniball Gold Impact Gel Pen
Kuretake Watercolors

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Snowy Night

I had so many ideas for Christmas cards this year and here's another one of my favorites.  It's a shaker card. Inside the window are a bunch of iridescent sequins - "snow".   The word "peace" was made by layering 4 die cuts with Glossy Accents glue. The stillness of a winter's night in the woods reminds me of a Christmas I spent with my dad up on the coast of Maine. 
There's nothing like the quiet of a snowy night...

Cardstock: PTI Stampers Select White, Enchanted Evening
Sequins: Michael's
Dies: MFT Stitched Circles, PTI Christmas Tro, Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside, Spellbiders circle

I have several knitting friends and am a sock knitter myself. 
 ( I always have a pair of socks that I'm working on inside my tote bag.  Perfect for boring meetings and waitng for doctors or other people to show up!). 

Last month PTI released a stamp set called "Fair Isle" and I remembered that I already had their darling sweater die from 2013.  I wasn't sure that the images would be small enough to fit the sweater, but I found a few that worked perfectly!  I love Christmas sweaters - have you seen some of them that Jimmy Fallon has been giving away on the "tonight" show? 

Anyway, this Christmas sweater ranks as one of my favorite creations for this season!

Cardstock:  PTI Stampres Select White, Pure Poppy
Die:  PTI
Images:  PTI Fair Isle
Inks: PTI Pure Poppy, New Leaf

Friday, December 19, 2014

Time to Take Care of Yourself

I've been immersed in Christmas Card making for the last month or so - haven't posted any of my favorites yet until I mailed them all.  

Meanwhile, I have a friend who has lost her mother after a long haul with Alzheimer's.  I found it hard to send a "sympathy" card because I feel that both she and her mom are finally free after a long hard journey.  And this morning the perfect idea arrived.  This card is all about taking care of oneself.
This set of images and dies has been waiting for me for more than a month and it sends the perfect message.  The little tea bag tag dangles from the cup and in addition to "popping" the mug out with foam tape, I added some shading with a grey Copic pen.  And the polka dot paper is perfect for a cheery background that matches my little flowers.  

Best of all, inside there is a little pocket iinsie theis card containing a Wild Sweet Orange teabag from Tazo. The scent is divine!  The message is clear - "You did a great job - now it's time to take care of yourself.  Rest. Recuperate."

Die Cut mug:  PTi Cuppa Love
Images: PTI Cuppa Love
Inks: PTI Orange Zest, New Leaf, Summer Sunrise
Various Copic pens 
Paper:  Polka Dot Summer Sunrise (PTI)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Maybe it will snow

It's become very cold here in St. Louis.  Maybe it will snow!
I actually have a Saturday afternoon all to myself after a very busy week.  I got into my comfy clothes, made a cup of Earl Grey tea, and have spent the past couple of hours with Christmas Jazz on my Pandora station --and making Christmas cards!  I am blessed with so many happy memories of Christmas and many of the cards I make for this season are a reflection of those happy thoughts.  
This darling little tree reminds me of Charlie Brown's tree.  Watching "It's Christmas Charlie Brown" has been a family tradition ever since my children were toddlers.  I also lived in Santa Rosa California, home of Charles Schultz.  There's a wonderful museum of his work and hs life there.
I love the simplicity of this image.  I added some red berries and a gold star on the top.  That was all it needed.

Paper:  PTI Rustic Snowflakes
Cardstock: PTI Pure Poppy
Die: PTi Stitched Rectangles
Image:  PTI  "O Tannenbaum"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Feel Better Soon!

Another get well card.  My grand daughter had some wisdom teeth pulled today.  Tomorrow I'll go over for a visit and bring a hot fudge Sundae from Ted Drewe's, THE best purveyor of frozen custard and "concretes" in St. Louis.  The flower petals have been scored and then popped with some sponge squares, so they're very dimensional.  Sweet card for a sweet girl.

Paper:  PTI Harvest Gold dots, Doodlebug "Fruit Stand"
Ink:  PTI New Leaf
Dies:  PTI "Oopsie Daisy", Impression Obsession "small bow", MFT Blueprint #3
Stamp:  PTI 'Oopsie Daisy"

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Get Well Soon

One of my best friends went to her local doc-in-a-box with a stiff neck and some indigestion and ended up with a triple heart bypass operation.  It's really true.  Women's symptoms for a heart attack can be vastly different from the norm expected for men.  I was so relieved to be able to finally see her on the mend the other day when I brought her this card.  She's my card-making buddy and I knew she loves polka dots, the color RED, and some home-spun images, so these apples were perfect!  I added an extra pair of apples to the sentiment with a few leaves from PTI's Garden Grace and some extra apples were hand drawn and colored with copics and a white Signo pen.

Paper:  Crate Paper "Farm House"
Cardstock: PTI Vintage Cream
Die:  PTI Bookmark #3
Sentiment:  PTI Sentiment Signs

Sunday, November 9, 2014

First Christmas card of the season

I adore making Christmas cards and I've been collecting stuff since August to use for this year's batch.  And Knowing that I'll be out of town the last two weeks of November, I decided to at least play around with some ideas.  Before I knew it I was off and running and seven different designs are already done.  I confess that I've been enjoying it so much that I turned on my Pandora station for Jazz Christmas music. ("It's Christmas Charlie Brown" is my favorite)  I thought the pearls for mistletoe would be the perfect embellishment for this one.

Paper:  PTI Rustic Snowflakes
Cardstock  PTI White
Dies:  PTI Phrase Play #8, Merry Kissmas
Watercolor:  Kuretake and details with a Copic Multiliner

Thanksgiving leaves

This card has more of my watercolored leaves with the Kuretake watercolors. I love how brilliant these Japanese watercolors are.  
When I started making cards, I never thought I would use the brown kraft paper look - so boring!
But there are times when it creates the perfect soft look - the graphic polka-dots set off the organic nature of the wreath of fall leaves.  
Well....  Another "simple" but bold card.

Cardstock:  PTI Kraft, Vintage Cream
Die:  PTI Rustic Wreath
Paoer: Doodle Bug "Kraft in Paper"


Wow!  I came across this sunflower paper - It has such rich, saturated color - and when I combined it with a strip of PTI's Canyon Clay cardstock, those rich colors came out even more.  All this card needed was the simple sentiment.
I confess that sometimes I think my cards aren't complex enough, with lots of layers and embellishments  --I remind myself that instead I have an eye for color and design.  And sometime the simplicity is what makes an image outstanding! 
This card will be hard to send away.

Cardstock and Sentiment: PTI
Paper:  Graphic 45 French Country Collection 
(I LOVE Graphic 45's papers and own several different collections)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Song Bird

Picasa and Blogger have updated themselves, I see...  it took some fumbling around to get this photo uploaded etc. but here it is.  I was at Checkered Cottage this week, flipping through some pads of patterened paper and for a split second saw this paper and immediately knew that it would match the motif of this "Songbird" die from PTI.  

My blog is called "Creating With Spirit" and I am constantly in wonder at how I am led to put random glimpses of things together to create these miniature works of art to give to someone who could use some kindness or appreciation.  This card went to a friend who is caring for her elderly mother.  I think it's particularly hard for a care-giver when the person they are taking care is uable to acknowledge the gift of love they are receiving.  In this case, my friend's mother has dementia and I thought some acknowledgement and appreciation might be really nice to receive.

Paper:  Basicgrey "Evergreen"
Cardstock:  PTI Vintage Cream, Scarlett Jewel
Dies: PTI "Songbird"
Various Copic pens to color the songbird

Monday, September 8, 2014

Make It Monday 179

PTI's Make it Monday this week is about creating a stencil with a negative die-cut, embossing it and the using blended inks. The idea for using these falling stars came to me as I was hunting through my stuff.  

I can't beIieve that my mind went straight to Christmas!  I'm barely beginning to enjoy the presence of crisp fall weather here in St. Louis--  But I saw the sky as the early dawn, and the presence of the word "peace" would not be denied.  That is what Christmas is all about, isn't it?

One trick:  I happen to own a Versamark pen and it was really handy fot filling in the places that the Versamark pad didn't quite cover.  I also used painters tape to hold all those stars together as a "stencil".

Papers:  PTI Enchanted Evening, select White
Dies. PTI Christmas Trio, Dangled Stars
PIT inks:  Enchanted Evening, Spring Rain, Sweet Blush, Hibiscus Burst, Lemon Tart

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

We Believe in You!

Another card for my daughter who's in the throes of starting her own business. I experimented with using the new Distress Minis and sponged the color on to a panel of white card stock, layered with the die-cut stars.  I love that the stars and the font for the saying have a bit of whimsical energy in them.  They go perfectly together.  I wanted to keep this one around for a while, but it went off in the mail anyway.  I'll just make another one to keep on hand for someone else who might need a boost!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Make It Monday 178

Todays PTI challenge is to make a back to school blackboard - using a die cut to create  the "legs" of your easel.   I created a green shaded blackboard because that's what I remember they started using when I was in school.  I also remember how Miss O'Brien always decorated our Fourth Grade room with all kinds of cut outs - and I remember the distinct smell of the purple-y stuff they used to duplicate assignments and drawings.  So it seemed natural to string up some "leaves" the way she would have done!

Paper: Classic Kraft, Ocean Tides, Dark Chocolate - all PTI
Ink:  PTI Classic Kraft, Fresh Snow, Dark Chocolate
Dies:  PTI Polkadot Parade #2. Journaling card

Friday, August 29, 2014

One More Birthday card

Yes... one more kitty celebrating a birthday.  Tomorrow is also my son's birthday.  He has never owned a cat but when he came out to California to drive me and my Siamese cat back home to St. Louis, my kitty developed a big crush on her "Uncle Willy" and spent 2 and a half days on his lap as we drove from Santa Rosa to St. Louis.  Whenever I'm traveling, my kitty stays at his house.  So, of course, she would send along a birthday card too!  

Image and die cut:  PTI Cat's Meow
Paper:  Doodlebug Kraft In Color
Card stock:  PTI Dark Chocolate

Another Birthday Weekend Card

We have a family joke about my son-in-law Brian-- He never wanted a cat but finally relented a year or two ago so that my grand-daughter could have a pet.  And now guess who buys all the kitty toys and has a constant companion!  This is not the most technically sophisticated card but it captures the fun of this unique relationship between man and cat!  I saw the kitty and mouse and knew instantly what to do with it-- I made up the sentiment on my laptop, printed it on card stock and ran it through my die-cutting machine.  Even with a kitty as the focal point, it still has a masculine feel.

Birthday Weekend

Lots of birthdays this weekend-- My daughter Amy, my son Will and my son-in-law Brian.  We'll be getting together for dinner on Sunday.  This card is for my bling-loving daughter Amy.  It's a "shaker" card, filled with sequins and bits of glitter.  I used my favorite Twinkling H2Os watercolors to make the background for the butterfly.  Amy has a sparkling personality and is a master corporate trainer who spreads joy and enthusiasm wherever she goes.  I love this sentiment from PTI's "Life Is 

A special thank you

I spent part of my childhood in mainland China and in Hong Kong-- so you can imagine my surprise and delight when I received a special gift of a photographic history of Hong Kong last week!  

I wanted to create an Asian-inspired thank you card and remembered this unique rice paper that I've been saving.  I found it at a vendor fair in July - it almost looks like silk brocade.  And this month PTI just happened to release a series of abstract motifs including the one used on this card.  I heat embossed it in gold and colored it with Copic pens to match the paper.  
Wow!  It came out perfectly on the first try!  

Cardstock: PTI Pure Poppy, Select White
Image:  PTI Fancy That

Monday, August 18, 2014

Make It Monday 177

I bet there's been a big run on Stretch N Seal paper at local grocery stores!  This is the secret ingredient on today's Make IT Monday challenge, using the reverse pieces of a cover plate die.  The Stretch N Seal paper is perfect for creating perfect placement of all these small pieces.  My "paper" for the die cut was created with watercolor (twinkling H2Os) on watercolor paper.  This was so much fun to make!  

Paper: PTI Vintage Cream, Fabriano watercolor paper
Dies:  PTI Mighty Bloom, Thankyou

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stretch Your Stamps Day 10

The Underwater scene on this day's class was an immediate inspiration to create another "inspirational" card for a daughter who is in the throes of starting her own business.  Mr. Shark is sort of a un-official mascot.  I used the double stamping technique, Copic pens and some sketching for this one.  The porthole took a couple of tries with different sizes of circle dies. After the first try, I decided to add some sequins and make it a shaker card.
I hope this one brings a smile to her face when she opens it! 

Cardstock:  PTI Hawaiian Shores, Stampers Select White, clear cardstock
Inks:  PTI New Leaf, Hawaiian Shores, Aqua Mist 
Copics: various shades of blue, green, orange and grey - black Multiliner pen
Embossing: Ranger white embossing powder, Versamark Watermark Ink

Stretch Your Stamps - sketched putline

At last!  I have a whole Saturday to myself and I can catch up  with the last couple of Stretch Your Stamps  classes.  This particular technique was about taking solid stamp images to another level by messing around with them - such as double-stamping or blurring the lines and then adding a "sketchy" detail  with a fine Multiliner pen.  Frankly, I tend to stay away from solid stamped images because I prefer to use Copic pens, watercolor or other media with outlines images instead.  It gives a much more personal touch. Loved how this one turned out!  Added a few "dew drops" to finish it off.

Stamps:  Simon Says Stamp "Happy Mail", PTI Bold Bouquet
Inks: Memento: Bamboo Leaves, Dandelion, - PTI Summer Sunrise, Orange Zest, - Ranger Archival Jet Black ink
Papers: Echo Park: Summer Bliss, Pebbles: Garden Party
Copic Multiliner .03 black ink pen

Monday, August 11, 2014

Stretch Your Stamps II - graphic stamps

Today's class assignment was to use graphic stamps - I always keep a " congrats" card on hand for one or another of my children' s accomplishments - and stars  & sparkles definitely were in order for this one.  I should have stock in 3M foam mounting tape because it's so perfect for shaker cards!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Stretch Your stamps with Paper piecing

When I think of paper piecing. the first thing that comes to my mind is MFT's adorable Pure Innocence stamps.  I love these sweet little girls, who remind me so much of the Joan Walsh
Anglund' books I used to read to my daughters when they were growing up.  I keep a special "tiny print" file of papers on hand to "dress" them with fussy-cutting.  It's like playing with paper dolls again.  In this case, i used this technique for the armchair and the footstool.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

One more stamp stretch

One more outlined stamps with watercolor.  Yellow is my most favorite color and today I found an excuse to use it with a floral set from Gina K (love the casual sketchiness) and a happy sentiment from Sunny Day Doodles. Happy, happy happy card!  ...I think I'm done for the day!

Watercolor - Stretch Your Stamps II

Playing with color and design is probably my favorite part of card-making.  This is another project for today's class, using outlined stamps - off center.  I was inspired by the bounty of marigolds in my garden.  And it was so much fun to capture these colors with watercolors!

Beautiful Day! - Stretch Your Stamps II Class

So happy!  Some class projects I have the stuff for and a Saturday that's ALL mine!  This project was about using outline stamps off-center.  When I created the center piece, I had no idea that I actually had a gorgeous piece of Basic Grey 12x12 "fresh cut" paper that fit perfectly. to get a chore done so I can make another card for today's class!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Lots of pop dots!

I was inspired by one of the videos on Stretch Your Stamps to try using a stylus to create 3-dimensional flower petals.  The stylus has been sitting in my toolbox for months --totally un-used!
This was a fun technique and now I'm sure I'll use it many more times in the future. Thank you Shari Carrol!  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Make It Monday #175

This one took a lot of thought and trials!  First I went I'm the wrong direction with the die cut.
Then, I didn't like some of the colors I used and made some more changes with a second die cut.  
But in the end, I like how it turned out.

Paper:  PTI Vintage Cream, plum Pudfing
Stamps: PTI Doodlie Doo, Meadow Greens,  A Little Inspiration
Color: Copic pens

Monday, July 28, 2014

Make It Monday 174

Today's challenge was to create a diamond shaped background.  I don't use background stamping and don't have any of those types of stamps, but I saw al glance of a straight line from "No Strings Attached" and decided to give it a try-- I just eye-balled the design, but it turned out really well!  The border jumped in there and the rest just fell together.

Paper:  PTI vintage cream, hibiscus Burst
Stamps:  PTI "No Strings Attached", "Garden Grace"
Die:  PTI Stitched Rectangles
embroidery Floss: Michaels

Friday, July 25, 2014

PTI July Blog Hop

The focus of this month's Blog Hop Challenge was an embroidered look, and one of the items was a cute little  handkerchielf envelope.  I remembered the new Stitched Rectangle dies I just got and thought it would be a great way to include real embroidery floss.  I just took the die and used one corner of it to make the envelope flap.  The little flowers reminded me of a sampler and the "button" comes for the Button stacks die.

Paper:  PTI Vintage Cream Cardstock; New Leaf
Ink  PTI New Leaf, Hibiscus Burst, Orange Zest, 
Dies: PTI Button Stacks, Stitched Rectangles

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Beatriz' word was "Delicious" -  I looked for paper that was very colorful and sumptuous-looking for her card.  It signifies the delicousness of Life when you jump in and revel in all it has to offer.
And a bunch of brightly colored sparkles.  Mmmmmmmmm.


I happened to have this wonderful nautical paper in my stash, and it's just right for Roger, a skilled skipper who loves to sail and will be inspiring many as he moves forward with his career - in addition to helping kids who could use a North Star to guide them into the future.

Sparkle-y Karen

It was Karen who started the sparkle trend.  Sunshine yellow for her warmth; lot of cute flowers for her fun-loving presence --and pastel sequins and sparkles for her loving heart.

A card for BB

Powerful is the word for BB.  She has a beautiful heart and the gift of being a marvelous writer. 
I chose golden tones and strong colors to denote that sense of power that is available to her  in this life --in this body!

York's card

York is a natural story-teller and is full of energy!  When I saw this paper, I knew it was a perfect expression of York - and a bunch of stars because he will be inspiring a lot of people in the future

Howard - this way to the party!

Howard's card represents BOLDNESS!  Crossing over the bridge to create a life with more fun, more zest and new adventures, 


Marcy's word was "Faith".  She also has a powerful team of invisible helpers.  Blue seems to reflect those qualities -  and the sparkles are for a good dose of fun and playfulness!


JoAnne's word is "Exquisite" - what's more exquisite than a rose?  And there's the element of scent.
I heat embossed the outline of the rose and watercolored it.  And more sparkles!


Bonni has a whimsical side to her personality and she is totally herself, so I chose these graphics. And Pink sparkles, of course!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Make It Monday Watercolor

Today's Make It Monday challenge was to use watercolor technique over a sketchy outline to create a true watercolor effect.  Perfect opportunity to experiment with this linen canvas made for watercolor mediums (manufactured by Fredrix).  I got the idea to look for something like this when I took a watercolor for card-making class last spring.  It's so cool to play with the linen texture, and this stuff will stand up to watercolor beautifully!  

Paper:  PTI Vintage Cream and New Leaf cardstock
Linen Canvas: Fredrix
Stamps: PTI Botanical Blocks II and Banner Sentiments
Color Medium: watercolor

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cute little Bow

Shaker Cards are so cute to begin with.  I thought the addition of the little black bow set this one off
beautifully.  Black is not a go-to color for me, but i really like the contrast of the polka dots with the hot pink background and the sparkle-y sequins!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Yes, today is my catch-up day for posting some of my better card-making experiments.  This design is so simple and so happy.  I love the colors of the "yarn" wrapped as a background, and the "happy" die-cut  from PTI that I turned into a shaker with translucent sequins sets it off so perfectly.  I need to make another one, just to enjoy for myself.

This card was designed  for our AFS student from Austria, who was headed back to Austria a few weeks ago. She loves our American flag and this BoBunny paper was perfect for that. And the sentiment  was just right.  I think that one of the greatest gifts you can give a teenager is the experience of living in another country.  Their world view is forever larger, they learn to be more self-reliant and appreciate how wonderful it is to connect with others, regardless of cultual differences.  
A smile can change the world!

OK so the photo of this card is not fancied up with proper lighting and backgroung because it was so perfect that it whizzed out the door and to the post office before I had the chance to do things properly.  My friend Jerri is out on the West Coast for the summer with her family.  Jerri LOVES to knit.  I missed sending her a birthday card and so I found this cute little knitter (one of my MFT 
stamps.) Sometimes a card is just divinely inspired.  I know these are her favorite colors; the paper looks like the stockinette stitch! --and the added touch of stitching on the card with embroidery floss was perfect for someone who loves hand made things.   And the sentiment on the inside:  "Life is too short to buy cheap yarn"  - Jerrie's favorite knitting store is in the LA area and tres chic.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Butterflies Everywhere!

Butterflies are everywhere since this stamp and die set arrived from PTI.  Thanks to my card making buddy Barbara, we discovered that this set of tools can make a gorgeous shaker card! This is must one of several I made in the past few days.  The patterned paper is from Basic Grey and the vellum overlay of the butterfly sets it off perfectly.  The sentiment and die are PTI's Initial thoughts.  The card below is the same idea but a different look. Again, the vellum overlay of a butterfly sets off the
shaker perfectly.

Make It Monday #169

For several months I've had this darling dotted Swiss vellum in my stash in pink, green, and aqua and I didn't come up with an idea on how to show it off until today's PTI Challenge, about using vellum in a card.  I heat embossed the pieces of vellum with white, fussy cut them and attached them with teensy dots of Glossy Accents, which worked perfectly.  I was also prepared to use a new roll of 3M clear mounting tape which I think would also be really handy for working with vellum, but the card came together without it.

Paper: PTI Select White, hibiscus burst patterned paper
Stamps:  PTI Year of Flowers Rose, Everyday Happiness
Die:  PTI Journal Card 2
Dotted Swiss Vellum: purchased at Checkered Cottage in St. Louis