Friday, June 28, 2013

Now that Google Reader is going away, you can follow my blog on Bloglovin'  Thank you for visiting Made For Keeps!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

DP2 Challenge #190 --- Bright Colors

It's been quite awhile since I posted a card for the DP2 Challenge so I'm happy to be back with this cheerful image of Mummu's Roses.  I had made this a couple of weeks ago with no specific purpose in mind, except just to get my mojo back.  It would make a nice birthday or Mother's Day card.

My usual practice of taking photos with natural light doesn't work well when it's late in the day and the light coming in through the window is so low my shadow is cast on the lower right corner.  But the large flower is a bright pink and the assorted roses are shades of pink to rich red.  The paper is from the Prima Madeline Collection with has lovely old-fashioned patterns in cheerful colors. 

Mummu is colored with Copics and surrounded by swirls of rhinestones.  

Thank you for stopping by today.  There is still time to post in this week's challenge, so color up one of your favorite Mo Manning images and join in with all the other talented paper crafters.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Vintage Mother's Day Card

In my last post I vowed to get busy again..... and I did, but not so much with cards as I had hoped.  I actually went to work parttime at a lovely boutique here in Branson.  Three days a week, on my feet for eight hours, took more out of me that I was prepared for.  And I still struggle with the loss of my mom.  Nothing in my life has been so hard.  The support from online and real life continues to remind me how blessed I am.

When Mother's Day came along I was missing Mom so much.  I knew she would want me to keep busy and to celebrate the day in her memory and with our dear friend, Norma, my "other mother".  So this card was for Norma.

I wanted something with lots of flowers and a vintage feel.

A variety of one-of-a-kind flowers blended better than I imagined they would.

The image is from my collection I've acquired from many sources over the years.

I found the poem on the web and it was just perfect to express  how I feel about  "Mama Norma"
Last week I made a few other cards which I will be posting in the coming days.  Thank you for coming back and taking a look at my new creations.  I just hope I haven't lost my touch.  Despite my absence from my own blog, I have been visiting all of my favorite bloggers and you all continue to inspire me.  Thank you for that!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Amidst the Sorrow Comes a Time to Get Busy Again

The year 2012 is past, and hopefully the challenges that came with it.  My neck injury from the April car accident is better and the case is now in the hands of the attorney.  The pain persists at times and I guess will for awhile yet.  I had gotten back to my favorite thing, Copic coloring and cardmaking but then came the worst day of my life........

When Mom passed away on January 9 our world stopped. It's been five weeks already, yet it's been only five weeks.  Perception of time has a way of getting all twisted; it seems like her passing was so long ago, yet the memories and even the scent of her are still so fresh.  The suddenness of it, the urgency of trying to revive her with CPR, and the finality of the EMTs picking up their gear tears at my heart every minute.  The sorrow and depression has been so deep I haven't been able to put my mind to work on anything else.  There's much to do but so little energy.  Knowing my mom, she would be diving head first into her favorite activities or redecorating the house.  I'm not much like Mom that way, though I have begun the huge tasks of going through her craft room and photos --- we are alike that way.  

I know Mom would be disappointed if I didn't get busy with the cards again.  She always expressed how proud she was of my creativity and talents.  So, getting back to my passions seems the right thing to do.... and more joyful than cleaning or packing away her clothes (I just can't do that yet.)

Last summer I started combining my Copic coloring with photography when I created a sketch from a photo then colored that sketch with Copics.  Mom was so enthusiastic about this and she came up with a new name for this project.... OMG! It's Me! because when the subjects looked at these portraits on their cards, their first response was "Oh my gosh, it's me!"  The last one I did before Mom passed was her favorite. It is a portrait of a dear friend, Harold, hidden behind a Santa face.

Using my Cricut I created the beard and hat, then did some tricky positioning to make sure Harold's eyes and nose were partially revealed.  

Harold's daughter, Ginger, is also our friend and I wanted to see how quickly they would recognize the man behind the beard.  Neither of them knew I was making this for them for Christmas.  They, and all the friends around us, instantly recognized Harold in the card..... Whew!

Inside the card was this matted frame-ready portrait.  (I really need to stop taking photos with artificial light!)

The photo I used was taken by a mutual friend on Harold's 90th birthday last year.  What a good looking man!  

The previous cards with this technique are"

So, Mom, this post is for you.  I am going to get busy again.  Every portrait and every card will have a piece of you in them because my talent came from you!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

On the Loss of My Mother

My wonderful mother/best friend passed away suddenly on January 9.  It is still so hard to grasp the reality of it and the ups and downs of the emotions makes it feel as though time has stood still.  We have had so much love and support from friends and neighbors.  The generosity is beyond belief!

I've had my sister and one of my brothers with his wife here for the past few days.  My son and daughter-in-law are also here and my God-Mother just arrived last night.  And so many friends via email and Facebook have provided even more comfort.  I have already heard from so many of you and my family and I appreciate the thoughts and prayers very much.

I woke very early this morning with the urge to write so over the next few days, weeks, or however long it takes I need to record this incredibly sad, yet spiritually rich time of my life.  

Rest In Peace, Mom.  I love you and miss you.

Friday, December 7, 2012

ODBD His Gift --- Twice

One of the loveliest spots of color this time of year is the red poinsettia.  I like the white ones, too, but the red is my favorite.  When I saw the gorgeous "His Gift" set at Our Daily Bread Designs, it quickly became my favorite poinsettia stamp and I just had to have it for this year's card collection. 

I used this set for two commissioned cards but couldn't decide which one to use in this post.  So, I am showing both of them.  The cards are nearly alike, but like all handmade cards should be, there are some differences.

His Gift #1 --- This one stays true to vintage with an off-white doily and ivory pearl swirls. 

His Gift #2 --- I ran out of off-white doilies so this one is white and the pearl swirls are white and placed differently than the first card.

The verse inside both cards is part of the set. 

The coloring is done with my favorite Copic reds, golds and pine tree green.

Here's the question to ponder for this post:
As the Christmas season approaches, what song is it that you just can't wait to hear?
For me that would be "O Holy Night"

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

More Card Sets

As I mentioned yesterday I've been able to make some cards, even with all the unexpected events of the past month.  Here are more of the card sets and a few singles that have come from my studio lately.

This was super simple! The digi image is Sassy Cheryl's "Better Not Pout".  The silver cardstock is from a package of fabulous report cover paper that I've had on hand for years.  I practically hoard it!  Same with the Santa Buckle ribbon.  I'm down to my last few inches and desperately looking for more.  I think I found it originally at Hobby Lobby or Michael's. It's so perfect for Santa-themed cards.  I made six of these for a card set.

This image came from the Dover Publications Vintage Christmas CD that I have been making very good use of this year.  This was for a commissioned set of six cards.  The red card stock and black gingham dp are from my stash, as is the red velvet ribbon.  The holly sprigs are Martha Stewart punches, topped with a few red rhinestones.

This is the same picture as above but with different embellies.  I made just one of these cards for the gift shop.

Also from the Dover CD is this charming traveling Santa that I used for a commissioned box set of six cards.  We were on a gingham kick when we chose the papers for these cards, but what is more vintage and versatile than gingham?  The card base is Kraft and I love the way it accents the tattered suitcase in the picture.  Accented with twine, a Christmas brad, and a couple of rhinestones, it was another simple design. 

This is a single card I made using the Dover picture.  Slight change in composition, the background red card stock is embossed with Cuttlebug folder and a poinsettia added for the finishing touch.  

I do still love to color amazing images and make single cards that are "Made For Keeps", and will be showing off some new ones soon, but these vintage CAS just might come to the rescue for my own cards as time runs short this month.

Thanks again for stopping by.  Now for the question to ponder for this post:
Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
That's an interesting one.  Living here in Branson I've had the chance to meet many famous entertainers and they are all great people:  Mickey Gilley, Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers, Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Oak Ridge Boys.  Just a few of the reasons I love living here in Branson!

Enjoy your day and the joy of preparing for the joyous celebration of our Savior's birth!

Monday, December 3, 2012

November, a Month of Ups and Downs

November was a month of so much activity that I actually never got around to changing the page on my kitchen calendar!  

At the beginning of the month I started another round of physical therapy for my neck, this time three times per week.  I have one more week to go but won't know if it has to continue until I see the doctor next month.

In the early morning hours of November 7 my mom was rushed to the hospital with severe pains in her chest area.  Quick response and comprehensive testing ruled out any heart problems but pointed directly to her gall bladder.  Surgery was recommended --- ASAP.  We are grateful to the ER staff at Skaggs Hospital in Branson for their competent and caring treatment.  Top notch!

So, the day before Thanksgiving mom had gall bladder surgery, which went very well.  I brought her home within just a few hours and she rested comfortably.  

In the wee hours of last Thursday Mom once again had an emergency.  She fell in her home and suspected a pelvis or hip injury.  Sure enough, she cracked her pelvis --- very painful.  Our Branson ER was full so the ambulance had to take her to Cox South in Springfield.  A 45 minute ride on a back board, not comfortable.  Unfortunately, I can't give the same kudos to this hospital ER that I did for Branson Skaggs.  Not by a long shot.  Her husband and I brought her home and had quite a time trying to get her in the house and into bed.  She was so medicated but still in severe pain which made it very hard to move her.  But Mom is home and beginning to move about with help getting up and down.  I live two houses away from her, plus my sister came down from Iowa for the weekend and my hubby was off the road for a couple of days.  I am sooooo grateful for their help.  

Somehow in between all of this I did get quite a few cards made but haven't gotten them posted.  I'm going to start by showing you some boxed sets that I made for a little gift shop here in Branson.  All of the images are from a Dover Publications Vintage Christmas CD.

Each box has six cards of the same design and have been pretty popular.  I'll have more to show you soon.  As it does every year, Christmas approaches very quickly.  This year it seems to be coming at warp speed!

I hope you all are having great fun making creative Christmas and holiday cards and decorations.  I have been visiting many blogs and there is so much amazing ingenuity out there!

To continue the little feature I started a few weeks ago, here is the question for contemplation for this post:
What is the best $100 dollars you have ever spent in your life?
For me one thing would have to be the first $100 dollars I spent on Copic markers.  They have revived my coloring and painting passions.  I'm finding so many new artistic creations to use them with.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Two of a Kind Vintage

Isn't she pretty? Love that hat and muff.  (Yes, Stef H. I had a muff, too!)  I'm on a vintage kick this week because I found a BUNCH of images I had printed last year from one of my Dover Publications CDs.  Also because I love vintage.  I actually have two cards to show you using this lovely lady.

This is somewhat simple using dp from The Paper Studio, some new selections and some from my stash.  The green border edge is a Martha Stewart punch and the pearl accents are probably Recollections from Michael's. 

This one is also somewhat simple, again with dp from a new Paper Studio stack.  The tag is from K & Company 2011.  On both cards I cut out an extra image of the woman and did a 3-D lift for dimension.

Thanks for stopping by today.  While you are here, take a stab at this question of the day:
Forget about soft sounds like babbling brooks, gentle showers, and warbling birds.  What is your favorite loud sound?

The first loud sound that came to my mind was the roar of the surf on either coast and Hawaii.  Let me know your favorite loud sound in a comment.  Have a great night!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Vintage Christmas Greetings

There's just something about vintage pictures at Christmastime.  I guess they just remind us of simpler times, away from the hustle and bustle of shopping malls and e-shopping;  picking out a fresh tree and boughs for the mantle; baking cookies and goodies for two months only to be gobbled up in just a few days.  Ahhhh, good old-fashioned holidays!

Here is a sweet scene of two children bring home the tree:

The image is one of hundreds available at Dover Publishers on CD-Rom.  I actually printed two then cut out the little girl for a 3-D effect.  All of the papers are from A Cozy Little Christmas stack by Paper Studio that I found at Hobby Lobby.  The card base is Kraft.  A little bit of ivory pearl swirl finishes it off.

Here's a close up of the image.  They are just so cute!

Now for the question of the day.....
What thought or sentiment would you like to have copied and put into one million fortune cookies --- or Christmas cards?
I'd love to see your answers!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Scruffy and Tinkles by Make It Crafty

What would Christmas be without elves?  After all, they make the toys, find the prettiest decorations, and spike the eggnog -- well, mine does, anyway!  So when I find adorable images like Scruffy and Tinkles by Make It Crafty I just can't resist adding them to my collection for Christmas cards.  Here are a couple of cards I've made with these cuties!

This is Tinkles!  She looks so happy, how could someone not smile when they open this card?  The dp is some fun peppermint candies I've had for a couple of years.  I kept the embellies pretty simple with a little bit of baker's twine, pine boughs by Martha Stewart punches, and little red buttons for berries.  

I colored Tinkles with my favorite shade of red and green, among other colors.

Now here is Scruffy.  He looks a bit exasperated, doesn't he?  I think maybe he landed in a cold pile of snow.  That sort of bruises an elf's ego.  Keeping a card CAS is not easy for me, but since I wanted to show off Scruffy I was able to pull it off.  The card base is red card stock, the white background is embossed with Cuttlebug snowflakes, and the candy stripe ribbon is a staple I keep on hand each year.  

Here's Scruffy's close up, all colored with Copics and fussy cut so it looks like he is sitting in the snow.  He won't be grumpy for long -- it's just not in his nature!

Here it is November and I have lots of cards to make.  I think the CAS will be the way to go, well, for many of them!

Here's the question for this post:

If you were making a list of the five things (not people) that make you happiest in your life, what five things would you write down?

Wow, there are so many things in life that make me happy.  How would you answer this?  I'd love to see your comments!

Have a great week, everyone!  USA friends:  Remember to vote on Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

One More Halloween Card

It's almost Halloween and, hopefully, the post office can deliver this card 500 miles in two days.  I sent this one to my adorable grand-niece.

This is Flygirl by Saturated Canary. The paper is from my stash of Halloween papers, which is nearly gone so I can get new sheets next year!  The rickety fence is a Martha Stewart border fence and the stickers are just some fun little circles I found at Walmart.

Flygirl is colored with Copics.  She is such a cute little witch!  

While I keep those in the east in my prayers, I am also grateful for the first responders who put themselves in harm's way to minimize loss of life.  

How about a question to contemplate today?
What type of service to others or good deed done for other people do you personally find the most rewarding?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Brother's Birthday Card

This weekend I had the rare pleasure of celebrating my brother's birthday with him.  Over the years we have lived far apart or the date landed during the middle of the week.  But this year the stars and moon came together in the right sequence and we were able to get together with his wife, our mom and stepdad, my hubby, and friends.  This also gave me the fun of seeing his face when he opened his card. 

Once again I made a sketch from one of my own photos then colored it with Copics.  I'm having so much fun with these and they are quite the surprise for the recipients.  My brother is very low-key and the raising of his eyebrows with a surprised "oh" was enough for me.  Plus the fact that he kept the card sitting up in front of him all through dinner.  In other words, he loved it!

He loves sock monkeys and I found this sentiment online, which so typically describes him, too, especially the part about his expression never changing.

This is the sketch before I colored it. 
This is the photo I used for the sketch.

It's been a great weekend here and I hope yours was, too!

Now for this post's question to contemplate......

What world record would you most want to establish if you could?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I've Been Tagged by Tags!

I have often admired all the wonderful tags I see on my favorite blogs.  With that said I didn't try to make any myself.  HOWEVER, I've since acquired a Spellbinders Grand Caliber and found a source of chipboard 12 x 12 sheets, so cutting the tag shapes (especially with my favorite dies) is easier with more possibilities.  Add to that my quest to use up scraps of papers and my love for vintage prints, now the Tag Bug has bit me!  Here are a couple that I just made:

For this tag I used the Nesties Curved Rectangles die for the chipboard tag and pasted dp from the Graphics 45 "A Ladies Diary Collection" for the background. The back of the tag is also covered with dp.  I love to collect vintage pictures from bloggers who offer free images from their collections, as well as pictures I find at antique stores.  

The corner embellishment is from Autumn Leaves Scrapmetal brad set.  The flower is a combination of paper flowers, an antique mini-doily and a decorative brad.  Punch a hole, add ribbon and I have an easy-peasy pretty tag.  

This tag is also shaped with the Nesties Curved Rectangles die.  The dp used, as well as the matching flower embellishment is from the K & Company Susan Winget Botanical set. The flower on the dp was too pretty to cover up, so I just placed a pretty rhinestone swirl as an accent.  

Christmas is only two months away so I will be focusing on holiday cards and tags.  I did treat myself to new papers and stamps/images so I see lots of fun ahead!

As always, I thank you for stopping by today.  And I am adding a little something extra to my closing.  I found a little box labeled "Chat Pack" and it is full of questions to spark conversations.  Here is the question for today:

"What is one item you own that you really should throw away... but probably never will?"

My answer to that would have to be souvenirs from Disneyland, Sea World and Legoland.  It's just the kid in me, I guess.  Feel free to leave a comment with your answer and also let me know if you love tags, too, and how you use them.   

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Few Halloween Cards

I haven't gone all out for Halloween cards this year, but I did manage to get some done with my favorite little witches.

This is Hazel from Wee Stamps.  She's just too cute to be a witch!  The papers I used are from my stash of years past.  Next year I just have to get new papers! The fence is cut on my Cricut and the black swirls are Recollections by Michael's.

Hazel is colored with Copics.

This card is actually recycled from a project I did last year when I made a CD case cover.  Just a bit of trimming and adhering it to purple card stock turned it into a sweet card.  This actually combines digital stamps from two designers; the Twisty Tree is from Tiddly Inks and the Witch and Frog is from Sassy Cheryl.  The bats were cut on my Cricut and the edge of the scene was cut with Bat Wing scissors by Fiskars and mounted on a piece of black card stock.

The images were colored with Copics and the background rubbed with chalks.

This is Betty Belfrey by Tiddly Inks.  Such a sophisticated witch!  I followed the pattern of the paper by using the Nestibilities diamond dies.  The black swirls are from my stash.

I love this little sign!  I think I should make one for my studio door.  There is a matching stamp that says "The Witch is Out."

Copics, as always, was my coloring media of choice.

I actually colored these little witches last year and, as part of my resolution to clean up unfinished projects, three fresh cards went into one of my shop locations.  Two sold the first week they were out!  Why did I wait so long?!

I hope your week is going well.  We are sweating through October here in Branson with temps in the 80s, but the chill of fall is just around the corner!  Thanks for stopping by and keep on crafting!