Here's where I toss out my words - like words in the wind. Sometimes putting stuff out on the internet can feel like that. Hope you can catch the breeze once in awhile.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Anniversary cards

Had a couple of anniversaries to celebrate so I made two cards - one for each. Apologies to my cousin and my sister-in-law if they are both reading this and are appalled that I didn't make them an individual card. My creativity can only stretch so far! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Papertrey Blog Hop

This is my very first kick at the Blog Hop can. I loved the colours we were given to work with and I loved the inspiration photo. I want these dishes!

 I was also a bit intimidated by what the other people already made but thought, hey, someone has to come up the middle. I don't reach for black very often when I'm making a card. Always in the back of my mind is Archie Bunker's wife, Edith screeching out, "Black is for funerals". But I had fun with it which is kind of the point of card-making. Furrowed brows and expressions of anger do not belong in a card room. Usually. Until I drop my Memento black ink cube on my already stamped Mat Stack and have to cut and stamp all over again. Thankfully the garbage is within tossing distance and with one flick of my decisive wrist, said corrupted Mat Stack was destined for the garbage heap. Except we live out on the intersection of No and Where, so in our case - the burning barrel.

Long story short - here's the card. Hope you enjoy. And I still want those dishes!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thank you Card

I wanted to make a thank you card, but I wanted to make it small. This was a bit of a challenge because I'm from the school - One is Good, Two is Better, Three is best of all. And if I can get Four, I'm in heaven. But with a small card I had limited space to pile the accent pieces on. I pulled out some of my smaller dies and stamps - these are from Poppy Stamps and I've been itching to use them. I bought the tendril die to use on Poppy Stamps window box that goes with their Window Frame and the shutters that belong to the window frame. They also have two doors that I've been holding off on. With me one thing kind of leads to another and suddenly my credit card is crying for mercy. Anyhow, this was kind of fun to do. And fun to use dies that I'd been itching to use since I got them.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Lets try one more

I mean, why not? I'm done writing for the day and I need to fill the creative well and stay away from the cream puffs that are calling out to me from the freezer. They're all the way downstairs, but they have this persistent whiny voice - eat me, eat me. So I figured I'd stay up here and make yet another butterfly card and hope the cream puffs go to sleep. I know I've done butterflies but I love this set and I love the font of the sentiments. I wanted to make a card for a special someone and since I am severely colour challenged, I figured I would do yet another take on the colour challenge. I managed to weasel the Kraft into the sentiment, but I really think these colours would have worked better with leaves and grass, but that's just me. Anyhow, here it is. 

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Two challenges in one

I'm tackling two challenges in one go with this card. Jury is still out for me whether or not I succeeded in taking other concepts and making them mine. I was a bit stuck using the colours for the first challenge. I used Fine Linen but it just didn't speak to me. Now mind you, it's paper, so of course it doesn't talk. It's the whole lack of lips thing I think. 

So I thought, Carolyne, don't be such an oldest child stickler for the rules and toss that Fine Linen out the window. But the window was closed and I can't throw out paper larger than one inch square, so I just put Fine Linen back in my paper file, pulled out my Vintage Cream and went with it. Then there was the whole adventure with Hawaiian Shores. I cut butterflies, flowers, leaves out of that colour, and again, couldn't get it to come together.

Instead I pulled out a button, shut my mind off to the whole Nichole Heady rule of three (though I did follow that one with the other colours so I felt justified in breaking it for HS) and put one measly HS button on the tag. Anyhow, here it is. Color Challenge Mojo Monday.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Card Doctors II

I was having trouble with a card and posted that yesterday. Thankfully I got some really good advice from Leah and that was to change the orientation of the card. I did that and then I also tried to apply some of Nichole Heady's advice of the Rule of Three from the last Make It Monday video. I think this card is better. I like it better anyway. I balanced the sentiment label and pushed it closer to the flowers, made the leaves smaller and added another smaller flower to create some balance. I put the Canyon Clay buttons (made out of paper because I don't have those buttons yet) on the flowers to bring three versions of the colour onto the card and spread the leaves out as well. I think it works much better. Still not completely there, but I'm happier. What do you think? Just in case you didn't see it, here's the first version.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Calling all Card Doctors

Calling all Card Doctors

I made this card last week and I tried to step out of my comfort zone by choosing colours I normally don't. I knew I wanted to do something with my Beautiful Blooms stamp and die and of course every flower needs leaves. Anyhow, I pulled all these elements together, die cut and stamped them. Put them together and though,Yuck. It doesn't work for me. It looks bottom heavy. Trouble is I still like the elements and I like the colours I picked. I'm just not sure how to change it to make it look more balanced. I'm looking for some advice if anyone is willing to share their expertise.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Make it Monday - card #2

The last card I did for the Make it Monday had a spring theme. This time around I went for fall colours. I prefer to think of it as a nostalgic looking back at a time before winter. And, somehow, whenever I pick colours, I tend to go for these ones anyhow. I love browns and oranges and greens and shades thereof. Anyhow, hope you enjoy.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Make it Monday - Papertrey Ink

My take on Generational Stamping, the new Make it Monday challenge by Papertrey Ink. Was fun to try something different.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Just for fun

Made a few cards to go with some books I gave away in a contest. These were fun to make. I had to keep them simple because I was on a time crunch - which seems to be my life the last little while. I am actually quite happy with these, mostly because I have been coveting Fancy Flourishes by PTI for awhile now to use as a background stamp, but I have been trying to hold back on my crafting spending, trying to use what I already have. So when I took a closer look at Turning a New Leaf set, I noticed that one of the stamps, if I stamped it off, would work perfectly as a background flourish. And it matched the leaf I die cut from the same set.
Stuff used - Rustic cream card stock for base, Spring moss for leaves and stamped with spring moss, Blueberry Sky felt, cut with a Flower Fusion die, Harvest Gold stamped with Summer Sunrise and cut using a Spellbinders die (sorry, can't remember which one but I love it). The sentiment is from the 2011 Anniversary set. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 01, 2012


If you check my website, you will notice that I do other things beside write. I sew. Knit. Embroider and, more recently make scrapbooks and cards. All my life I've been doing one type of craft or another. When I was young, I would knit sweaters and make up stories. I would sew and dream up heroes for the romance I wanted to write someday. It was all so much fun. So pleasant and inspiring.

And then , so many years after that, I started writing. At first, it seemed to be just another hobby but when I sold my first book and then my second and third and fourth, it became much more than that. It became a vocation. And soon I started writing more and more and craft less and less. To date, I have 37 published books behind me. That represents a lot of time sitting at the computer and working. When our youngest son moved out of the house, writing became my entire focus and my passion. I would spend every day at the computer and sometimes, even the evenings. The sewing machine gathered dust. The knitting got shoved into a cupboard. I didn't have time for this fooling around. I was a writer and writing consumed all my time.

Then, a couple of years ago, as I was fiddling with a story line, I felt it. A general malaise. Disinterest. Reluctance to get going. I just didn't 'feel' like writing. Now, as a professional, I know that I can't work just based on 'feelings'. But I also know that there has to be some spark, some ember that glows in the background that makes me want to tell the stories. I wasn't sure what was going on and kept whining to my writing partner that I just didn't want to write. I had scads of time to do it. Whole days yawned ahead of me that I could spend, sitting at the computer. But I didn't want to be there. Trouble was, I didn't know where else I wanted to be. I got nervous about my lack of enthusiasm for crafting the stories I used to love so much.

Then our church held a fundraiser for our youth to go and work on an orphanage in Honduras. They were going to have an auction and I was asked if I could donate something. But other than my books, what? I started rooting through my cupboard and found a bunch of dolls that I had bought at one time, still boxed up. At one time I'd had dreams of clothing these poor, naked things, but my writing took over my life. So I pulled them out, hauled out the numerous scraps of material I'd had sitting around from years of sewing. Most of them were too small for anything else except doll clothes.

While I sorted and fingered material and laid out the fun colours and patterns on the floor of my office, the ever present deadlines taunted me, telling me. I didn't have time for this fooling around. I had to get back to work. But I knew work would just mean staring at a computer screen and sighing. So I stayed where I was, sorting lace and buttons and trim, memories of the joy this work gave me seeping into the day. And as I did, I made a decision. In spite of the reality of having a book to finish and another set of galleys to check over, I was going to find time to make some clothes for a doll and donate them to the auction. I would work in the evening, that was all.

And I did. But as I cut and pinned and sewed and snipped, an interesting thing started happening. The story I just couldn't get excited about, the characters I couldn't care about, started slipping around the edges of my brain. They started talking. The ideas started flitting around. My mind started playing with story lines. It was as if my mind played as my hands did. And slowly, slowly, the embers started glowing again. I was excited to get back to the computer to put down the ideas that came to me as I sewed.

The picture you see here is of a set of clothes and doll that I am donating to yet another auction. And while I was sewing these clothes, I was working on another series of books I want to do. I was letting the characters play around in my head as I worked. It was fun. And this week, I'm back at the computer. Back at work.

But since making those doll clothes, I've learned to give myself some craft time as well. Some time to fill the creative well I had been drawing from far too deeply for far too long. I've let colours and paper and fabric and textures back into my life and I'm having fun doing other things beside writing. It was an important lesson to me.

As for the doll? She and her clothes sold for a goodly amount of money. Multi purpose crafting.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

how I roll

I'm starting a new series of books and this time around I'm figuring out all three characters in the series at once. It's been fun - scribbling and thinking and moving things around. Thought I would give you a bit of an insight in how I start a book. This is Stage One. The fun stage. The stage when everything can get dumped on the paper without editing or second thoughts. This is when I'm usually singing and smiling and my world is well.

Today I start Stage Two. This usually includes at least one phone call to my writing buddy to whine and complain about How Hard This Is!!! She just listens, then tells me to get back to work. Which I do. So today, the smiles will fade and the work will carry on.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

PTI challenge #2

My next offering in the PTI challenge.

And the inside of the above card:

I made a huge mistake with this one. I was having so much fun working on the inside that by the time I was done and had the inside pasted in, I realized, I hadn't stamped anything or done anything with the front of the card. Usually that's my entire focus! So I had to fiddle a bit to get that right and I have to confess, the front is not my best work. But it was fun to do and I learned something in the meantime.

PTI - Shaking all over

I've stepped outside my comfort zone for this PTI challenge and made an interactive card. I've always wanted to try this, and this challenge was my chance to, well, challenge myself.

I used Heart Prints and Turning a New Leaf for the background, and Heart Prints for the waterfall part. It was fun.

Friday, February 10, 2012

PTI newest challenge

I put this card together for another PTI challenge and because I wanted to make a card for a very sweet girl. The only thing not PTI on this card is the background paper and the ink for the pink flowers. The first image is the sketch from Nichole Heady's Blog which I used as my inspiration. I changed things up a bit, but that's what inspiration is for, right? A starting point. Thanks for stopping.

Monday, February 06, 2012

One more PTI challenge card

This is my last card I made for this challenge. And now, back to my regular job. This was a lot of fun and I hope to participate in a few more challenges. I used all PTI products for this card except for the plain ordinary pencil crayons I used to colour the image.

PTI freebie challenge

Another card for the challenge. All PTI products this time. Such fun.

PTI Challenge #2

All PTI - all the time.

PTI 5th Anniversary challenge - Image Freebie

This is a card I made for the PTI 5th anniversary challenge using the images Nichole Heady put up on her blog. This is also my very first challenge! The paper and die cuts are PTI - the patterned paper is from Echo Park - Country drive, the doily is just a plain doily you can buy to put under cakes, the ribbon I picked up at Michaels. This was a fun challenge and I really want to say thanks to the PTI design team for all the work they put into making our crafting so much fun.