Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Study in Blue from The Play Date Cafe

How about these colors, huh?!

These are the challenge colors for this week
over at The Play Date Cafe.

Head on over and 'be inspired' by the
fabulous design team creations.

This week's Guest Designer is
Arielle Gordon the SnappyStamper

I'll see you there!

Finally...An Open Window!

Back on June 14, 2009
I began this blog and gave it a name based on
the inspiration that comes from having
'open windows'.
If you are interested, click HERE to see how
it all began.

Now, over 260 posts later (not counting my
second blog, The Play Date Cafe) and
nearly 400 followers,  I am very happy to say
that today, for the first time since November,
I was able to open the window once again!

I know, I know...probably doesn't seem to be a big deal,
maybe not even worth blogging about, but I would be remiss
not sharing this day as it's the total theme for this internet life
I've created.  It's currently 71 lovely degrees here in
Northern Illinois and I feel inspired!

Many of you know that this is no longer my view.
Just a little over 2 months after I started this blog,
the view changed and I was not happy!
I'm still extremely disappointed.
If you don't know the story and want to see
what THAT was all about, click HERE

I have yet to take a photo of the outcome because it's still
pretty messed up out there.
(what an oxymoron that is...pretty messed up?)
This was the view just a couple week's after the
land massacre began.
I've since talked to the City planning manager and he has
told me to be prepared that this is only the beginning.
That lovely field leading up to the farm in the first photo
will soon be an office development, and that will be 
located just on the other side of the new road.

By the case it escaped your mind as you read
my saga....this road is literally 13 paces from my patio.

Am I still inspired by the view....mmmm, not so much.
But an open window is always the first sign of lovely
things to come....
and THAT'S what I choose to see.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Love a Great.....

I love a great mocha, do you?
What about a great latte?
A great Cappucino?

How about a great challenge!

I must admit, although I am this week's host over at
I don't usually have a 'theme' in mind when 
I choose the inspiration color photo.
It sorta happens 'organically'.

These colors ScReAmEd 'cafe theme'.
How appropriate.

Here's what I used.....
The DP is from DCWV's 'Linen Closet'
The stamp is from The Paper Company
The coffee-themed ribbon is Debbie Mumm
It's difficult to see in the photo,
but I did add some texture with sewing
around the inside edges

Oh...the coffee cup is covered with...
wait for it...
from Basic Grey's 'Eskimo Kisses' line.
It was just the red I needed, so don't hesitate
to check your holiday stash when you are looking
for just the right fit   : )

So how do YOU plan out your projects when
you work a color challenge?  
I share how I do it over in The Cafe
but I would LOVE for you to share
with my followers your method of madness...
You know what to do...leave a comment.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fond Memories of Peter Rabbit

What on earth does that title have to do with this post?

The color inspiration over at this week's Just Us Girls Challenge used
this fabulous print from Beatrix Potter's most beloved Peter Rabbit.
My wonderful friend Mona is on the JUGS team and I have been
promising that I would try and play soon.
THIS was the perfect inspiration to make that happen!

Before I share my fond memories of Peter and his friends
here are the details on this card.

The stamps fun mushrooms are by Hero Arts and the
sentiment is from Scrappy Cat.
(Just as a fun fact, the 'shrooms were stamped in
Adirondack Mushroom ink from Ranger)
The polka dot papers are from
DCWV 'Linen Closet (the brown) and
My Mind's Eye 'Quite Contrary' (the yellow).
The flower is a fab silk blossom out of Michael's $1 bin,
that I actually got for 25 cents.  Such a deal!

Nearly 26 years ago, I decorated my daughter's entire nursery in
Peter Rabbit...from head to toe or ceiling to floor.  Part of the memory
that is so precious to me is that while our family was away on a little
vacation, my dad was walking by this very upscale baby store
and there was this Jenny Lind crib all decked out and he asked
if I liked it...I LOVED it.
Over $350 later (a LOT of money 26 years ago)
I was on my way home with this beautiful set.
Yes, I do still have some bits and pieces tucked 
away in a cedar chest.

So tell you or maybe your children
like Peter Rabbit and Friends?
I would LOVE to hear about it. 

One more thing...I say this a lot, but I can't tell you how
much I appreciate your comments when you stop by.
I want to be able to reciprocate, but I can't do that if
I don't know you were here, so please take a moment
to just say hi because I would LOVE to visit your
blog in return...after all, that's what it's all about!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thank You for Your Kindness...

So I was driving my Toyota this week when
I noticed something was not quite right.
(Boy, how many times have we heard that recently?)'s true.  I have a Toyota Camry that I wouldn't
part with for the world, but I seemed to be experiencing
the complete opposite problem from most.
My brakes not only worked, but they became engaged
to the point where I could no longer accelerate. 

So what does this have to do with the image above?

While our car was being worked on, the lovely Nancy who works
with my husband Paul at Barnes & Noble, offered to give him a
ride home, which was so kind especially as she lives completely
the opposite direction.
So I made this card for her.

I used my favorite Memory Box stamps along with their fabulous
papers.  I LoVe this company, I must say!
I used Martha's eyelet punch and a bit of sewing.
The sentiment was designed by 
my good friend Kristen Powers.

The car?  It's fine.  Just needed a new cylinder.
It's a classic, '97 in periwinkle blue.
No recall, no worries  : )

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Going Back to my Roots...Clean and Simple

Clean and simple.
What does that look like to you?
I think most would say that the more 'white space' you
have, that's clean and simple or, CAS.

For me, CAS is going back to the basics and using
layers in a way that keeps the card clean and for me
that's a 'simple' process.

So that's what I have been doing lately
and I must say it's been refreshing.

I went on a little buying spree last week in Wisconsin.
There are few stores that I like to visit and this time
around, I was able to stop at Gina K's.
Unfortunately, they were closing early, so didn't have time
to really look, but I will be back.
While I was away, I bought this fabulous DP from
'Quite Contrary' from My Mind's Eye,
along with the die cut.
The swiss dot EF is a Cuttlebug and the sentiment
has become one of my's from Studio G.

By the way....Happy Spring to all of you.
What's the weather like where you are?
We had temps in the 60's all last week.
Today, the first day of Spring is definitely
coming in like a lion...
SNOW and 34 degrees!

Oh well...Happy Everything.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Sweet Dreams are Made of This...

Yeah I know...4 posts in 3 days!

I couldn't resist doing the 'Tuesday Trigger' challenge
over at Moxie Fab.  Yes, I have been hanging out there alot
this week.  I love the inspiration using these colors.
Here it is.....

Makes me think of... summertime...sitting in my conservatory 
with a lovely glass of iced tea...a stack of magazines 
next to me...sun shining in and all is right with the world.

HA!  I do have the stack of magazines, but the rest of that story
is all but a dream.....

Thought the Martha 'Loop' punch was a good match for
the wicker chair texture.  I used the Cuttlebug 'Stylized Flowers' EF
to give the flowers texture, which were cut from the Spellbinders
'Dahlia' dies.  The DP once again is from Cosmo Cricket.

Take a look at that crocheted flower, though.
That's from Webster's Pages 'Le Jardin' embellishments.

Please continue to share with me your favorite color combos.
I spoke about it in yesterday's post, which you find HERE.

You may be surprised to find that YOUR favorite combo
may be one of our next challenges over at 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Layers of Lace...Paper Lace

So after I played around with the Moxie Fab Challenge yesterday,
I decided to take it in another direction using DP.
So here is my take on 'Paper Lace'.

I so love this punch set from Martha Stewart.  It was on my wish list
for several weeks and WHY I didn't buy it sooner is beyond me.
Love the color trend using saffron yellows and gray, so I went
BOO here and used DP from the 'Everafter' collection from
Cosmo Cricket.  The butterfly is from K&Co's 'Wild Saffron'
set, the ribbon is American Crafts 
and the sentiment is Renaissance Stamps.

Counting the focal point, there are 7 layers on this card..
I really enjoyed making this one.

So here's a question for you....

What is your all-time FAVORITE color combination?
 I have always been a fan of pink, white and gray or black
and now I love pinks and browns together.
Is it something you have loved since your were little
or is it something that you never thought you would use
and now you can't stop!?

Please leave a comment and share your favorites...
You never know when YOU might set the next trend!

Pretty in Pink...and Yellow

Spring officially starts in just a couple of days ...
I believe there is one last call for snowfall this weekend here
in northern Illinois.  Makes me a bit sad, but these
colors definitely flip that frown around to a smile.

Our 'Private Blend' designer, Mona Pendleton chose this
fabu inspiration photo for this week's Play Date Cafe Challenge
and I have to say, the rest of the design team ran crazy with it.

I used this great DP from Webster's Pages for the
focal point of the card.  Then I layered and sewed
and distressed and glittered and inked.
Great color inspiration, Mona!

On behalf of the entire design team, we had a blast this
past week meeting so many new players.  The blog hop
was really fun and by the comments left,
you are already very inspired by the new team.

as well as this week's Fab 4 and Cup of the Week,
I invite you to pop over to The Cafe and check it out.

I have another fun project to share with you tomorrow.
Until then....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Love me Some Lace...Moxie Fab Challenge

Was visiting over at Moxie Fab and made time to play a little with
some new stamps,springtime colors and of course lace for the

Moxie Fab World Challenge

I have a drawer full, well many drawers full, of lace and ribbon
and some of my favorites are things that were given to me by my
grandmother.  This card features an old eyelet lace with this fab
seafoam green satin running through it.

I suppose there is debate over what is lace, what is a eyelet lace?  Yes it is.  Debate closed  : )

New series of Studio G stamps were used for the sentiments
and flowers...VersaMagic inks...Martha pearls...
Making Memories chipboard letter and K&Co paper flowers.
The dotted swiss DP is from the new DCWV 'Linen Closet' collection.
You could add a small cross or few easter flowers or eggs
to adapt this more to Easter...change the colors completely
and it could be for St Patrick's Day, Mother's Day,
pretty much ANY day!

See you at midnight tonight for a brand new
with the BRAND NEW
design team.
If you participated in the blog hop, the winner will
be announced then...fingers crossed, right?!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Cause for Celebration...The Play Date Cafe Blog Hop!

Welcome to all who are here for The Play Date Cafe
Blog Hop!  If you came by way of Suzanne's blog, you are
in the right place and at the end of hop! 
To start at the beginning, head on over to The Play Date Cafe
by clicking HERE

This is a bittersweet week over at The Play Date Cafe.
You know we have been looking forward to the exciting
announcement of our new Design Team and you will find
that list over at The Cafe and on my sidebar here.
This week also marks the departure of Julie Campbell,
one of our senior designers.
Julie joined our team over 4 months ago and her creativity has
been so inspiring to us all.  She has had some wonderful
opportunities come along that are keeping her extremely busy and
we know that 'many good things must come to an end'.

We are truly going to miss her, but we know she'll be around!
She has chosen this week's color palette for the challenge and
it's a lovely, springy one to be sure.

I used a fabulous floral stamp from The Artistic Stamper as my
background on this card and layered the colors to be soft and muted
using Colorbox Chalk Ink in Wisteria and VersaMagic in Sage.
The sentiment is Wordsworth.
I punched the upper border using Martha's pansy border on
'Chloe's Closet' from my Making Memories BOO collection  : )
The lower border was punched using a Fiskars scallop and the
layered flowers are from Sizzix.

This great prize above is what YOU can win just for participating
in the blog hop.  Here is what you need to know....

There are THREE ways to give you the best chance.....

You MUST visit and leave a comment on each of the
designer's blogs.  The starting point is over at 
The Play Date Cafe.
There are ONLY 9 blogs to visit 
and all you have to do is click on each name!

To have an additional chance to win:

2.  Become a follower of The Play Date Cafe...easy-peasy!

3.  Play along with this week's color challenge
Deadline to enter the giveaway and challenge
is 11:59pm EST, Tuesday, March 16
Winners will be announced on
Thursday, March 18th

Good luck & have fun!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Mum!

It's Mother's Day this Sunday....over in Great Britain.
'Mothering Sunday''s called and this card is getting
ready to go in the 'post' today.
(I am now channeling my husband)

I believe my mother-in-law will love this bright and cheery greeting...
at least I hope so.

If you BOO like I do, you may recognize this DP
from Making Memories...yep, it's 'Chloe's Closet'.

I just used a variety of border punches including 
Martha's Eyelet and Fiskars.
I used a little 'weathered wood' Distress Ink
from Tim Holtz around the edges 
to give it a bit of depth.
The crochet flower is GCD's Artsy Urban
and the center is My Mind's Eye.
Finished off with a few rhinestones and ribbon
with a sentiment from Studio G.

I apologize for the quick post...I am working on
the design team announcement and challenge over at
The Play Date Cafe which is very exciting!
I noticed that we have had a record number of
players this week!  YAY!
There will be a very fun opportunity for you to
win a fabulous prize, so stay tuned to this station!

One more thing....I SO appreciate your comments,
please let me know you were here.
A simple 'hi' will do   : )

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Do Lemons Make YOU Smile?

Who's ready for Spring?  Raise your hand!
If this week's challenge over at
doesn't get you in the mood, then all hope is lost.


Nothing says Spring like 'lemon yellows'
and that's exactly the inspiration behind this week's challenge.
Sarah is our UK designer and she is
the 'hostess with the mostess'!

Hopefully you have enjoyed the vine border stamp from Memory Box
because here it is again!  I LoVe it!  I used a variety of VersaMark
pads for my inks and did a little zig-zag sewing.

The DP's are all from my BOO fact, I can't
even remember who made them.  There's no hallmark on
any of them, but they are from the same collections.
The paper flowers are brand new from Prima
and the sentiment is a $1 clear stamp from StudioG.

Make sure you head on over to The Cafe
and check out The Cafe News.
There's lots going on and LOTS coming up!
You will NOT want to be left out of the fun!

One more thing....
I managed two posts today, so please keep
scrolling for more
and pleeeeease let me know you were here
by leaving a comment.
I feel lonely when I know 'someone' came by
but didn't say hi   :  (

Of course, lemons DO make me smile
:  )

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thoughts of Britain with Memory Box

 I just have a quick post for you today....
I am gettting ready for all of the 'doings' over at

Hopefully as I write this, it will make sense.
I am listening to an NPR interview with
Ricky Gervais, the British comedian and
creator of the original 'The Office'
series from Great Britain.
I think the guy is not only hysterical,
but really intelligent with so much of 
his humor and in his interviews.
Funny guy.

So, my bestie Sarah, who is also from the UK
has been away for a couple of days with Sue Roddis
doing a fabulous workshop with Dina Wakley.

Although we live an ocean apart, when she is even
further away from her home in Cheshire,
I really, really miss her.
So I made this card for her.

You may recognize the fabulous vine border stamp from
Memory Box.  I stamped the vine in Momento Ink in
'London Fog' (no coincidence with the British-theme here).
Then used VersaMagic in 'Agean Blue' for the flowers.
The sentiment is a $1 wood mount from Hampton Arts.
The rick-rack is from Debbie Mumm
The flower from Prima
The rhinestone is Martha's.

Hope you are having a fab time, my friend...