Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's Time for a Little 'Splish Splash' of Color

Somethin' a little CAS for you!
After a really fun week over at The Play Date Cafe
it's nice to take a little breather.

Running a challenge blog is a big commitment and
I love every minute of it....well, almost every minute.
To give you an idea...
My Wednesdays are reserved mainly for The Cafe.
I spend a good six hours on preparing the post,
which includes transferring and loading all
of the photo files, gathering the votes from our
design team for recognized players and our winners,
I edit, edit, edit....and oh I, edit some more...
everything from sponsor information to
guest designer bios etc, and answering
the last minute questions that come in 
from the team...
Oh...not to mention that when the 'linking system'
for our player entries goes down (like it did an
hour before the deadline last night) those entries
all have to be forwarded to the team as well.

So there are days like today,
when I turn the ringer off of my phone!
But...I love it!

My good friend and partner in crime over at
The Play Date Cafe has chosen this lovely
color splash photo of, what we call here,
Columbines...but when you visit The Cafe
and read about Sarah's choice of color story,
you will see she calls them something quite different.

I have lived with a British man for over 20 years
and have found that even though we both speak
English, they are two very different languages to be sure!
(But I digress.....)

Yes, Clean & Simple.

We are being sponsored by Mark's Finest Papers
this week and they provided the team with a lovely
set of stamps to play with.
I loved using their flourishes around the edges of my
die cuts, this one is from Sizzix.
The sentiment is also lovely with it's ornate lettering.
Even with a bow, this card would be quite appropriate
for a man or a woman.
Don't forget....our Design Team Call
is still open through November 7th.
We have received submissions from pretty much
every corner of the globe...have we received yours?

Many of you have mentioned that you were
going to 'set your nerves aside and apply'.
I am guessing that happens to many people, so don't
let that deter could be one of the next
designers on The World's Greatest Design Team!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Haunting We Will Go

Thought I would share this quick little Halloween
creation with you.  I've had it ready to go for awhile,
but forgot about it.  I am pretty sure that one of my
three grandsons will be receiving this one, which 
reminds me that I now have two more to make!

I recently picked up these fun die cuts from K&Company
knowing that my 7 year old grandson CJ, would love to
make things with them...Now I have to explain that I
had fun before he did!
Believe it or not, I did actually stamp something on this card.
That little bat...that's it!
It's hard to tell in the photo, but the sentiment is actually all
'glittery and fun'.  I added the purple rhinestones, which I
think are really fun for Halloween cards.
So that's it....simple and spooky.

Hey...a special thanks to two challenge blogs
that gave me a shout out this past week.

for the first fun tag here


for the second tag here

Don't forget, we have a really fun week
of celebration going on over at

We are celebrating a year of challenges
with the girls of The Unity Design Team.
Every day of this week's challenge brings 
from their talented designers.
So make a point to stop by each day to be
inspired, but more importantly....
come play along!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Celebrate Good Times...Come On!

I am so happy to be bringing this post to you!
It's a big day for one of my all-time favorite
challenge blogs....I am guessing because
it's mine!

The Play Date Cafe is celebrating
it's first complete year of challenges!

Our current design team was all given a set of
'Itty Bitty's' stamps from this week's stamp sponsor,
Unity Stamp Company.
I love this little set 'Find the Joy'.
Add a little bling from Prima and unique
twine accents from The Twinery
and you are good to go!

Along with Unity, we also are pleased to have

sponsoring as well.

My sweet bestie and design team partner Sarah,
is always coming up with unique ways to inspire
you each week of our challenge.  We have seen
her pull out felt, crochet yarn, work with beads and metal...
but this week's entry takes the...well.....

Come celebrate with us!
It's not just a one-day party, either.
Each day, you will be able to visit The Cafe and be
inspired by a member of Unity's own Design Team.

So if you are ready, let's begin
a whole new year together!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Life IS Beautiful....

Technically, this makes two posts in one day
but the first one went on just after midnight.

I have been so inspired by Sarah's colors over

Here we are in the midst of autumn and yet
working with these soft tones has really been lovely.

It's been a blast pulling out a lot of the new things
I bought on my recent birthday trip to Archivers.
Starting with the base paper from My Mind's Eye.
The top panel is a die cut from Bo Bunny's
'Mama-Razzi' set.   Embellishing this layer
 was not difficult because of
the wonderful colors already offered.
The butterfly image is from Memory Box Stamps.
I inked it in a variety of shades until I got what
I wanted (which was debatable at the time!)
Before clustering those stunning
Prima 'Madrigal Blossoms',
I 'wrapped' it in 'Cappucino' twine
from The Twinery.

Hope you enjoyed it....
Now off to get my to-do list done!

Gettin' Sketchy & Waltzing All at the Same Time!

And how was your weekend?
Mine was nice as I had lots of time to be creative and
I am happy to say that that 'spark' I have been missing
of late seems to be returning.
It may be because Paul is in the middle of a week's
vacation and I am just more relaxed when he is home.
Speaking of which, since he is home, we have many
fall cleaning things on our list and tomorrow is
carpet-cleaning day.  So thought I would post a couple
of projects I made for challenges now because I
think Monday is going to be a 'smidge' on the busy side.

This first project is for 'Get Sketchy' #60.

What a fun and creative sketch to work with.
I turned mine a bit, but followed the sketch for sure : )

Featured here are 'quilt blocks' of DP from
Webster's Pages and K&Company.
The sentiment from My Mind's Eye and the felt ornament
is from Little Yellow Bicycle.
The satin ribbon is by Martha Stewart and I can't say
enough about the wonderful twine from The Twinery.
The color?  Maraschino.  Love it!

The next challenge I played along with is
My creative friend Mona Pendleton is on the
DT over there and is always an inspiration.

Beautiful DP from the 'Meadowlark' collection by My Mind's Eye
and Bo-Bunny's 'Mama-Razzi' collection provide the
foundation for this card.  The ornament stamps are also from
My Mind's Eye.  I love that Prima jewel surrounded by
more twine from The Twinery, this time in 'Caribbean'.

These are two really 'challenging' challenges.
Are you up for it?

I sure appreciate you stopping by and taking a 
'peek' in The Open Window.

Don't forget, we are celebrating our
first anniversary over at
We have a wonderful sponsor who's DT
will celebrating with us as well as our
returning DT alumni, including our very first
Private Blend Designer, Mona Pendleton.
Do you have the above badge on your blog?
Make sure you pop over to The PDCC,
get your badge and mark your calendar
for this Thursday, October 21st!

I am looking forward to a great week and I hope
you are as well.  See you very soon!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

With the Help of a Challenge or Two...

I can't thank you enough for all the lovely messages
that were sent, both here as comments and privately.
If you read my last post, you'll know that my creativity
came to a screeching halt this past week.

So I thought the best way to get it up and running again
was to take on a challenge or two.  Even that didn't come
as easily as I had hoped, but I do have two to share.

I love making these flowers!
It's a combination of papers from BasicGrey's new 'Jovial' line
and Tim Holtz's 'Tattered Florals' die cut.
The center bling is from Prima.
The sentiment is also die cut from Sizzix/BasicGrey's combo
dies for the holidays.

The next challenge is something completely different.

My dear friend Savannah O'Gwynn is on
the 'All Things Unity' DT and I love to support
my friends when I can.
This week they in turn, our supporting
Jennifer McGuire's 'Card's for Kids' drive
by using that as their challenge.

Of course, the main requirement is to use anything
Unity or Ippity, and on this card....I went all Ippity.
The stamps are from the following sets:
'Just Wanted to Say' (sentiment)
'A Little Buggy' (ladybug)
'Because of You' (flower)
I paper-pieced the flower and ladybug using a variety
of scraps in coordinating colors.
The twine is from my new favorite place...

Just a little reminder....all the Ippity stamps shown here
or on any of my posts are always available in my little
'Ippity Shop' here...if they are not pictured, please don't
hesitate to ask...I get behind in my updates sometimes.

Well...that's it for now.

I have a fun Halloween card to share with you tomorrow
and hopefully one or two other projects that I am working on.

I hope you will let me know you were here by leaving 
a quick note in the comment section...thank you kindly.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Real Life Halts my Creativity...

I have to tell you that the start to my week has been
'unusual', to say the least, so I am behind on a variety
of deadlines...including my own challenge  : (

These are the terrific colors for this week based on,
what I think, is a very unique photo.
Sarah is your color host this week
Creative Cuts & More 
is sponsoring with a wonderful 50-piece kit
which would be a perfect prize in time for 
the coming holidays.

I will do my best to get my project completed
and posted sometime later today.

I will share that I have been extremely distracted
by a number of 'real life' things, which has
caused my creative flow to come to a near standstill.
My daughter and her two boys were in a horrible
car accident on Sunday, just two days after
purchasing her new Toyota Camry.
She was at a stop light when she was rear-ended by
a 17 year-old in a large SUV, going 37 mph.
The description of her car is, well...
Nearly eight thousand dollars worth of damage
may give you some idea.

The fact that my grandsons, who were in the
back seat and within inches of the impact,
were not hurt is truly a miracle from God.

I just shared that photo of her oldest after he lost
his tooth here on Saturday night....he was going
back home with his mom and brother.

So I appreciate your understanding that I don't have my
PDCC project ready...but I will.
Needless to say there are many other daily things that
just pile up and I know it happens to you as well.

So get on over to The Play Date Cafe to see this
week's challenge and
don't forget....
there is a current design team call happening right now!
Could you be the next designer for The Play Date Cafe?

Monday, October 11, 2010

H{ippity} Halloween!

It's H{ippity} Hop Monday!

Have you hopped with us before?
It's so fun and very easy and a
great source of project inspiration,
especially if you love to play with Ippity stamps.

Just 'hop' over to the Ippity blog here to see a
list of all the talented designers who have
something to share.

My first little offering is this little Halloween gift tag.
I used Ippity's 'That's Creepy' set.
I love my EK Success bat punch.
The DP is from Basic Grey's 'Eerie' and
'Pyrus' collections.

Next up is another little tag using the same set
as above plus the 'Book It' stamp from Ippity.
Just a little EeRiE shading and some fabby
purple rhinestones make it so simple.

Paige over at CREATE is asking for
Halloween Tags this week, as well as the
Halloween challenge over at Card of the Week
and Wee Memories,
so I will share these there as well.

So here are the stamps I used...

If you know me, whenever I share in
the H{ippity} Hop, I love to offer a good
deal from my very own Ippity shop here.

So what's the deal?

Order both 'That's Creepy' & 'Book It'
for only $22 (includes postage) and get
'Bit of Burlap' for only $3!

If you would like to see 'Bit of Burlap' in action,
here's a taste...

...and if you want to see more, just click here.

As always, if you would like to order these stamps
or any others in my Ippity shop, please email me
directly at
and I will invoice you through PayPal.
I also accept Money Orders from
Walmart and the USPS.

One more personal note....
I had my 7 year old grandson CJ over for
the weekend and had to make an 
'emergency call'
to the Tooth Fairy!
This is the second time he has lost a tooth at our
house (and he's only lost three total).
I'm beginning to think he's wise to it because he
scores pretty well when he lifts up his pillow.

This little tooth made him
five dollars richer!

Have a great Monday and I would
love if you would leave a quick comment to let
me know you stopped by...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Play Date Cafe...Open Design Team Call

I am so excited to extend an invitation to YOU!
The Play Date Cafe Challenge is 1 year old and we are
on the search for new creative talent
to add to our Design Team.

Do you enjoy playing with color?

Do you enjoy a challenge?

Do you enjoy being an inspiration to others?

We are looking for a variety of styles.....
Cards, layouts, mixed media, shabby chic or vintage
retro, grunge, clean and name it!

The Term is for Six Months
(Introductions in Dec with term Jan-June)

Along with creating a weekly project inspired by colors
from your fellow design team,
each week you would assist in selecting 'The Cup of the Week' & Honorable Mentions

We are looking for fun, creative people with a blog
and the capability of taking crisp, clear photos

If you would like to apply, 
please provide the following:

**THREE creations (only 3, please) 
that show who you are as a designer 

**A list of your current/past design team experience
(No DT experience necessary)

**Creative credits such as publications and/or features

**Your name, address, phone #, email & blog address

Send photo files and above information to
place DT submission on the subject line

Sunday November 7th, 2010

Looking forward to hearing from YOU!

To the Perfect Pear, I Mean...Pair!

I am so excited to share this little project with
you, but I must admit I got this in just under
the deadline, in more ways than one!

My friend Jenny over at Wee Memories
is hosting this fun 'fruit-themed' challenge
this week and I couldn't wait to break out
my new BasicGrey!

I LoVe this new 'Pyrus' collection and was so happy to find
it on my recent shopping excursion.
The stamps are from PTI & StudioG.

Now for the even bigger reason why I am so excited
to share this little card with you is because by
the time I post this, it will be
Jenny's wedding day!

How cool is that??!!!
I look forward to sending this card on to
the newlyweds and hope it brings a little smile.

I wish Jenny and her fiance all God's blessings on
this new chapter in their lives.

One more quick note.....
Tomorrow over at The Play Date Cafe
we will be posting our next
Open Design Team Call.
We are excited to be adding designers to
The World's Best Design Team
and who knows....
it might just be you!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Golden Rule with Elusive Images

I LoVe this sentiment, don't you?!!
I feel like it's a part of the
'Great Commandment'
'The Golden Rule'
all wrapped into one sweet verse.

Speaking of LoVe...
Yep, you guessed it!
I absolutely LoVe this color combo

As your host this week, I wanted to help
inspire you to start creating your holiday cards
 a little early this year, but I couldn't go with
the standard green & red...oh no!

How about a little
Green & Melon!

All of our designers were given a variety of amazing rubber
stamp images from this week's sponsor

This was my set....
As you can see, I only used a portion of
the large poinsettia image and the verse.
It's important in the creative process to remember
that you don't have to 'follow the rules'.
(not to be confused with following 'the golden rule')

In other words, when you get an idea in your
head go outside the box to make it work for you.

Just need a small poinsettia and all you have is
this big one?  You get the idea!

Glenda Waterworth, owner of Elusive Stamps is
this week's guest designer and has most generously
offered our 'Cup of the Week'
Four amazing stamp collections
worth $100!

And that's not all!

For the first time, 'The Fab 4' will also
win one each of the same great collections.

So you have to play...
you have more chances to win!
Get over to The Play Date Cafe
and check out all the inspirational designs
from 'The World's Best Design Team'!

See you there!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Prize and Sharing Some Shopping!

First things first.

My sincere apologies with being so tardy with
the giveaway from my week of GIU.
Many of you know that I was away for a few
days celebrating my birthday
(more on that next)
and last week just flew by with a multitude
of creative deadlines & life as I know it.

Thank you to all who visited during GIU
and I hope you will continue to peek 
inside The Open Window.

Without further delay
congratulations to my birthday twin

Cathy...get in touch with me at
because you have a choice between 4 different sets from Unity!

Now on a loooong personal note....

I thought I would share a little of my birthday shopping
with you.  Some of these things you have already
seen in action as I have 'broken them open' 
and played...and posted...and played some more!

This is the front of the fab Hilton Garden Inn.
The trees are already turning up in Central Wisconsin
which is always a bonus having a birthday in September.
I hinted on Facebook often about just how close
I was to Archivers...and here is the proof...

Just to the left, you see the back courtyard of our hotel
and what's that I see just a few steps away?
So yes, I was very fortunate to spend most of my
Sunday in the workroom, playing and shopping.
Paul watched football, then came down to see
what I was up to, treated me to coffee at Starbucks
(also next door...I know!).

Here's where I share a funny side story....
Paul noticed that our keycard was not locking the
door properly in our room while I was away.
Can you see it coming?
I decided to take a break to go get my camera,
got to the room to find it completely empty.
Everything was gone.
A trip to the front desk proved that they indeed
had moved us, and apparently I kept passing
Paul in the elevator.  By the time I found him,
he was in Archivers looking for me.
By the way...we were upgraded for the inconvenience
to a beautiful 4 room sweet with a whirlpool bath.
So our second night there was quite a lovely surprise.
There was a nice little make 'n take that day...

It was Tim Holtz weekend there and with a
$30 purchase, you got an Archivers tote
designed by Tim.

Oh!  Speaking of surprises....
When we arrived at the hotel on Saturday afternoon,
the hotel clerk informed me that there was a 
gift card waiting for me over at Archivers from Sarah.
My dear bestie from England made 2 phone calls
to get it arranged...Bless her heart!
She only knew the details because I had
shared them here with you.
It made me a little 'teary' to know that I have a
friend who would think to do all that to
make it what did I get?
Here's the tour.....

Sarah wanted to make sure that I got that Tim Holtz bag!

I also received two wonderful packages by mail from
my dear friends Savannah & Michele.  Michele sent
me this fabulous Martha punch and Sav sent the rest...

All were such lovely surprises!

I have the best husband!
I used to own my own store and spent 12-14 hours a day
there, he thought I would never want to spend time
the way I did that day.  When that was my request,
he made it happen and even 'indulged' me.

Two more little photos....

This is my favorite thoroughfare through Madison.
We go up there once or twice a month.
We spend so much time on this road getting to our
favorite places.  I love how the changes in color
make this a lovely drive.

And family treating me to Red Robin...yum!
From top L:  my son Alex (22), Alex jr (2) & his mom Jayme
CJ (7), Mallory (CJ & Caleb's mom) (26), Caleb (5),
myself and Paul.
(I love little Caleb peeking over his mom's shoulder)

Thanks so much for spending some major time with me!
I appreciated all of the birthday wishes that came my way.
It made turning 50 that much sweeter...