Sunday, July 30, 2023

Nativity Cards

      I have two more Christmas cards to share with you this morning.  I hadn't really intended to make any more Christmas cards this month but I happened to get a new, Crafter's Companion, double die I had ordered and, since I've never had one of those before, I had to try it out right away.

     The die is made to cut two layers of CS at the same time, which then can be used on one card.  I used two shades of brown CS for the cuts, then layered them together.  I had already run them through my Cuttlebug using my Linen EF before cutting.  

     I chose some blue, glitter CS for the background, and I think it made a delightful night sky.  The 'star' is also part of the die (as you'll see on the second card.)  I used a gold paint pen on the star before adding it to the sky, and also used it on the cut outs of Mary and Joseph.  I saved the cut out pieces for yet another project.  The sentiment is from QKR Stampede and I fussy cut it.

     Being a frugal crafter, I simply couldn't bear to toss out the leftover negatives from the original die cutting, so I made a second card, layering the two pieces together after reversing the one which had the 'negative' star.  This time I used the two shades of brown CS, plus a bottom layer of cream CS. 

     I found a scrap of lavender CS for the background.  I added some sparkle to the star by coloring the space with a Sakura glitter pen.  The "Merry Christmas" sentiment is from Eureka Stamps, printed and fussy cut.

Christmas Crafts ... (7 palm trees)

     Happy Stamping (and die cutting!)  NanaConnie  

Friday, July 28, 2023


      It's time for another challenge at Crafty Catz, where our theme is always Anything Goes but we also offer you an OPTIONAL theme, if you want to use it.  Our option this week is "Hot Colors" and all I have to do is look out the window of my craft room and I can see heat and hot colors far beyond anything I care to see!  

     When is this heat wave going to end?  We're on day 14 in a row of being over 100 F and the 'good' news from the weatherman this morning was we may stay at 100 F today instead of going above it.  I suppose that's better than 110 but once it reaches 100, it pretty much all feels the same.  And the heat wave doesn't officially end until we have 2 days in a row of  99 F or below.  Yuck!

     Ok, information about my card - since we don't have a sponsor this week, we could use whatever we wanted on our DT projects.  I chose a cute image from Eureka Stamps called "Big and Little Cat" and a sentiment from QKR Stampede called "You're Purrfect."  

     I used Sanjoki markers to color the cat image and then fussy cut it with scissors. That image is mounted on dimensional dots.  I printed, colored (polychromos pencils), and cut the sentiment with a Die-namics die.  I found some lovely fiber paper for the background (DCWV), giving great texture to the entire design. 

I used colors from CRAFTalnica.


     Come play with us this week.  It's our last challenge before we take a summer break throughout the month of August.  We'll be  back on the first Friday of September and I hope to be able to tell you that things have cooled down some.  :-D  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Happy as a ...

      Yep, if you read the post title, right now in your head you're finishing that sentence with "pig in mud!"  lol  At FarmQuest this next two weeks, we have a theme of "Pigs," plus we've partnered with Double Trouble and that means also using something with a wood grain on our cards.  

If you enter our challenge and you use a wood grain, you can enter at Double Trouble, too.

     I used a clip art image of two pigs happily sharing a mud puddle, colored it with watercolor paints, and cut it with a Sizzix scalloped die.  I printed the sentiment and deliberately cut it on an angle using an Avery Elle die.  The wood grain dp is from a Brutus Monroe paper stack.

I pulled colors from the challenge at My Favorite Things.


     Come play along this challenge.  All you need is something 'farm country' and as long as your pigs aren't dressed in tuxedos or spats, I'm pretty sure any pig will be 'farm country' enough.  Use something wood grain and you can play at Double Trouble, too.

     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Christmas Candles

      I was lucky enough to have won a challenge over at Simon Says Stamp earlier this month, and I spent my prize certificate on some new Christmas dies (as if I didn't already have 200 Christmas dies!)  I used one of them on this card, the Christmas Candles from Paper Rose Dies.

     I cut a white square first, then used the die to cut both red and green CS scraps.  I cut away the candles and then the green branch, and glued those to the already cut, white square.  I used a gold paint pen on the candle flames.  I also added a red CS mat behind the candles.     

     The sentiment is from QKR Stampede, printed and fussy cut, then the edges were inked with a Copic marker.  I found a scrap of gold, sparkly ribbon and hand-tied the bow.

My design was influenced by the sketch at My Favorite Things,
but I adapted it for a larger, square card.


     This card is #36 in my stash of Christmas cards, all made just this month.  I'd say that's a pretty good start on cards for this holiday season.  :-D  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Painting Ornaments

      Today's image is from a digital coloring book, reduced in size to fit onto a card.  I think it was a Dillies coloring book, but since the image was printed last year and stuck in a folder waiting to be used, I can't be positive.

     I colored it with Copics and ProMarkers, added sparkling, metallic ink to the snowflakes and the ornament hanger for a tiny bit of sparkle, then cut the finished  image with a Tonic Studios die.  The sentiment is from QKR Stampede, and I printed and fussy cut it, then added a mat and fussy cut it also.  I used Pop Dots to add it.  The mat for the image was made from two CS scraps, one red and the other green.

     The background papers are from Paper Pizzazz and K & Co., the second one having been embossed with a folder from Cuttlebug.

I based my card design on the sketch at The Outlawz,
having dropped the middle CS piece to the bottom.


     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Caroling Hedgies

      Another Penny Black image but this time for another Christmas card.  I told you I was doubling down during this last full week of July.  :-D  I've made another four Christmas cards for the stash in the last 24 hours.  I've been digging through the folder of stamped and printed Christmas images left over from last year, none of which were colored yet, but having them stamped and ready made a huge difference in my crafting energy.

     I adore the Penny Black hedgies.  They are definitely favorites, second only to the cats and kittens.  I colored this image with my Sanjoki markers, then cut it with an octagon die from QuicKutz.  The sentiment was already on the image piece when I pulled it from the folder.  I used papers from Doodlebug and Paper Pizazz, both of which were scraps.  I added a tiny bit of heat embossing to the blades on the skates in the background paper.  The embossing powder has a bit of glitter in it so there's a tiny touch of sparkle.


     That's all I have for today but tomorrow I'll have another post.  Do stop by again, won't you?  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Monday, July 24, 2023

Late for the Party

      I hate to say it but the days got away from me these last couple of weeks and I was late getting a grandson's birthday card done and mailed on time.  I knew when I started this card that it was already too late to mail it and have it arrive on or before his birthday but I knew I had the perfect Penny Black stamp to make a "belated birthday" card.  What do you think?

     I colored with my Sanjoki markers, then cut the image with a CUTplorations stitched die.  That die is actually a rectangle, but I cut once, then adjusted the die, and cut a second time to make it square.  I added mats to the image and the sentiment so that they would stand out from the background CS.  I used my Linen embossing folder on the blue background.

     The 'ribbon' is actually dyed raffia and I shredded the ends after tying the knot.  


     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Too Much Santa

      In another week, July will be gone and we'll be looking August squarely in the face.  Where did the first half of this year go?  I don't seem to remember much between May and July!  It's escaping far too quickly.  

      But with a week left, I'm doubling down on "Christmas in July" and getting a few more cards done for my stash.  I counted the other day and I have nearly 30 already finished, which feels like a good start on the hundred or so I make each year.  I use about 20 for family and friends, then the rest get donated to a local Senior Center.  The seniors there don't have access to the local Hallmark store and it's hard for them to get out and purchase Christmas cards for their own children and grandchildren so they really appreciate having access to the donated cards.

     The image and sentiment I used today were in a folder of Christmas images which I printed last year, awaiting coloring.  Unfortunately, I didn't note the name of the company or artist so I don't know who should get credit.  If you recognize it, please let me know.  I really want to acknowledge the artist.

     I colored this using my Sanjoki markers, highlighted with a white gel pen, then cut it with a die from QuicKutz.  I matted it with black CS and trimmed that close with my paper trimmer.  The sentiment was cut with a Tonic Studios die and also matted in black.  I used dimensional dots to mount the sentiment.

     The background dp came from my oldest stack of Christmas/Winter paper and it's from DCWV.


      Wishing you all a fabulous Christmas in July and Happy Crafting!  NanaConnie

Friday, July 21, 2023

Posting Letters to Santa

      Another Friday, and another challenge starts at Crafty Catz.  Our theme is always "Anything Goes" but we also offer you an OPTIONAL theme and this week it's "Christmas in July."   We are sponsored by Di's Digi Designs and I used a cute image called "Micemas Post."

      I used my Sanjoki markers to color the image, then cut it with a square die from Lawn Fawn.  The hologram paper is also from Lawn Fawn.  I wanted to dress up the square image a bit so I used a Fiskars punch on the corners.  The 'frame' behind the image piece is nothing more than a scrap of red tissue paper.

     The sentiment was printed and fussy cut.  I found a scrap of sheer black ribbon and hand tied the bow.


     Hope to see you playing in our challenge this week.  Remember, it's Anything Goes but with all the "Christmas in July" challenges out there this month, why not try the optional theme, too?  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Finding Ladybugs

      Once again, I'm featuring a Mariola Budek image.  No, I'm not on a DT for her, nor do I have any connection to her other than my love for her fabulous artwork.  She does magnificent images of women and hair, but I also dearly love her cute images of children and critters, not the least of which are her images of cats.  I bet that's a surprise to you, right?  :-D

     I've colored and used this image more than once but this is the first time I've done her as a redhead.  I decided on a spring/summer color palette and did the coloring with water color paints.  The image was cut with a Tonic Studios die, and I inked the edges.  The sentiment was printed and cut with an Avery Elle die.  The green flower strip was embossed with a Darice EF.  

     The red butterfly is machine embroidered and I thought it was a great complement to the hair tie and the ladybug.


     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

The Cats' Christmas Tree

      Any of you who share your house (or have shared your house) with one or more cats know how they absolutely take over the Christmas tree once it's up and decorated.  It's like they think Santa brought that tree as a gift just for them!  This adorable image from Conie Fong, called "Purrfect Christmas," goes so well with another DT card I shared the other day (see post here) which also has Christmas kittens and is from Conie Fong, that I decided I had to share both of these in the same week.  :-D  Besides, falling in love with one of those images made me fall in love with the other one, too!

     For this image, I colored it with water color paints, added gold glitter to the star, and cut the image with an Unbranded die.  I used a Darise embossing folder to make the brick background.  I printed the sentiment (my own, inspired by the looks on the kittens' faces!) and cut it with an Avery Elle die.  I did add a few tiny red pearls as ornaments but I left it without further embellishment because it will probably go a great grandson so it didn't need a lot of fiddly bits.

Carlin's Card ... (C for Cats & Christmas)

     Don't forget that the Conie Fong Challenge is still running on the Facebook site and all you have to do is use a Conie Fong image to enter a card.  If you haven't joined the FB group yet, that's free and easy to do.  Don't have any Conie Fong images?  You can find them in the Etsy store or there are even freebies available. :-D

     We'd love to see what you create.  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie   

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Wicked Witch of the West?

      OK, I know I've done mostly Christmas cards all month long, but as I was clearing the larger scraps off my workspace and sorting them into manila folders for future use, I ran across these Halloween die cuts.  They were all by themselves in a folder and, once opened, they refused to be shut away again.  So, on threat of some horrible magic potion or vicious curse, I agreed to turn them into a card right then and there.

     This card is made completely from die cuts and scraps.  The witch and the sentiment words are all from Cheery Lynn dies.  The background dp behind the witch is a scrap from an old (old, old, old!) DCWV stack.  I found the mat behind the "Happy" in another folder and fussy cut it, layered it onto the side of the card, trimmed the edge with a simple straight cut, and added the word 'Happy' so that the complete sentiment read 'Happy Halloween.' 

     A really fast and easy card that took less than 15 minutes!  Nothing like keeping the witch happy.  :-D

     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Monday, July 17, 2023

Dragon's 'Ooops'

      Dragons are mighty and fearsome creatures, but they are also as full of curiosity as any kitten you've ever met.  This young dragon is experiencing his first ever Christmas and the glimmering gold star on the Christmas tree apparently caught his eye.  Whether he just wanted to taste it or if he's trying to claim it for his own toy box may never be known, but the result is some unintended UNdecorating of the tree.    :-D

     This image is from a digital coloring book (all lovely grayscale images), reduced in size, printed on water color paper, and colored with water color paints.   The highlights on the snow (on the tree) and the ornaments were done with a white gel pen.  The fur on the dragon's Santa hat was made using SnowTex and it's dimensional.

      I cut the image and the frame for it with dies from QuicKutz.  The sentiment was cut with an Avery Elle die.  The background CS was embossed using a Sizzix EF.  I added a wrap of sheer ribbon with glitter spots on it, giving the card a bit of sparkle.   As a final embellishment, I added some Jolee's snowflakes.


     Hope you enjoyed the quick lesson about dragons. :-D Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Purrfect Kitties for Christmas

      Today I'm sharing another Conie Fong image and sentiment, both from a set called "Purrfect Kitties," and they're all dressed in their best Christmas sweaters and scarves.  I'm sure they are all headed out to a holiday party, probably staged in some festive alley full of kittens and puppies and other happy critters.  :-D

      The image was colored with  my Sanojoki markers, then die cut with a Tonic Studios die.  I used a Uchida punch to round the corners.  I inked the edges before layering it onto a scrap of Christmas dp from an old Graphic 45 stack.  The hand-tied bow was made using sheer ribbon with festive glitter spots on it.

     After putting it all together, I used the same punch to round off the bottom corners of the card, both front and back.  It seemed to complete the look of the overall card.


     Don't forget to check out our challenge at Conie Fong FB Group.  Don't belong yet?  Joining is so simple and our challenges are always Anything Goes with a Conie Fong image.  Freebies are available, too.

     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Stockings were Hung ...

      Guess what?  After a 3 month hiatus, the Blog Challenge at LeAnn's World 101 is back!  And I've joined the DT.  :-D  Normally, the Blog Challenges will begin in the 3rd of each month and run through the last day of the month, but this month we're doing a 2 week challenge starting today and running through July 31, then the next challenge will begin on the normal August 3rd.  The theme is always "Anything Goes" and you can enter any kind of project using any paper products as long as you use a stamp or digital image (from any company.)

     We also have a challenge in our Facebook Group which is a Progressive Challenge (get an image one month, use it to enter the Challenge, then get another image free the following month.)  That challenge starts on the 5th of each month and runs through the end of the month.  If you're interested in getting those free images each month, get over to the FB page NOW, request the image, and play before the end of July, otherwise you'll have to buy the August image before you can play and then get the September image free.  :-D

     For the Blog Challenge, I chose to use this sweet LeAnn's image called "Stocking Stuffer."  I colored her with Sanjoki markers, then cut the image with a Sue Wilson die.  I inlaid that into a scrap of red CS which had also been cut with that same die, used a Fiskars punch on the corners, and mounted that whole thing diagonally onto a piece of snowflake dp (DCWV), trimmed to fit the card front.  I cut the white snowflakes with two Spellbinders dies and added them to opposite corners, top and bottom.  Finally, I added the printed and fussy cut sentiment.


     We're so happy to be back and we really hope you're going to come play with us again!  Remember, the Blog Challenge theme is always "Anything Goes" so how can you go wrong?  See you there!  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Friday, July 14, 2023

Even Gators Have to Shop!

      It's Friday and that means another challenge is starting at Crafty Catz, where our themes are always "Anything Goes" but we give you an OPTIONAL theme each time which you may use if you like.  This week, the theme is: Sparkle or Shine.  We don't have a sponsor this week so the DT were free to use whatever images they chose.  

     I decided on a Christmas Gator from QKR Stampede mostly because I wanted to add to my Christmas card stash but also because it's fun to use sparkly, shiny things on Christmas projects.  I went through my stash of Christmas scraps, pulled a few bits of dp which were long enough to make the striped background, and included in those a delightful green glitter paper.

     I added the sentiment before printing the image, colored it with ProMarkers and Copics, then cut it with a CUTplorations stitched die.  I found a bit of twine and tied a bow.  Pretty simple except for putting all the scraps together for the background but it looks far more complex than it is.


     Come play with us this week, won't you?  It's Anything Goes and you can use the Sparkle or Shine if you choose but it's not required.  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

"Bear" Necessities

      Here we are starting another challenge over at FarmQuest, where we always want to see a country element in your projects and then we give you a specific theme.  Our theme for this challenge is "Bears." No, not 'bare', "Bear."  The kind that roam around in the woods and growl, catch fish from the rivers, and slurp down berries as soon as they ripen.  

     Apparently, based on this clip art image I used, they also need certain necessities when they go camping!  lol  I used a combo of water colors and Sanjoki markers to color the image, adding  few highlights with gel pens.  I cut the image with a Tonic Studios die.  The starry background was cut with a Unity die from a scrap of dp (Lawn Fawn stack) and I thought that gave it a nice, night-time-almost-'bedtime' look.  I thought the stars were enough embellishment so added nothing else.

Outlawz Thurs (rustic)

     I really hope you'll put something together that has a 'country' flair and add a bear, then come enter it into our challenge over at FarmQuest.  We love seeing your projects.  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Thursday, July 13, 2023

3 Christmas Kittens

      Is this the most adorable image ever?  I mean, even people who are dog lovers instead of cat lovers have to admit these three are too cute to ignore.  :-D  This is a clip art image which I printed in gray scale and then colored.

     I used my polychromos pencils, blended with gamsol, for that soft fur look.  Highlights were added using white and red gel pens.  I cut the image with a Tonic Studios die, then framed it with gauze paper, trimmed closely with my Fiskars cutting board.  The sentiment was printed and fussy cut, and the little candy canes (which are 3D) came from K & Co.  Everything was mounted onto a green card base.


     Have a wonderful day, stay cool in the hot weather (or dry if it's raining on you), and make your day one of the best, even if you have to just arbitrarily restart it every hour.  :-D  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Kitten in the Mistletoe

      One of the things about kittens (no matter what time of year), they will do their best to misinterpret any instructions given to them!  This sweet little guy is asked to "Hang the Mistletoe" but he goes a bit wild and hangs from it instead.  Maybe he's confusing it with catnip.  :-D

     In any case, this is a grayscale, clip art image which I colored with ProMarkers, then fussy cut.  I layered it onto a Sue Wilson die cut left over from another project but it made a great frame for this kitten.  The green background was embossed with a Sizzix folder.  

     The sentiment pieces were printed and fussy cut.  The final touch, the round embellishment from K & Co. was added to cover up a tiny tear in the die cut frame.  It's a dimensional piece so it gives some texture to the card.

Christmas Bingo (rectangle/free/emboss)

     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Tuesday, July 11, 2023


      This seems like a completely seasonal card as we move into our second heat wave of the summer, predicted to last for 10 days or more this time, with temperatures as high as 112 to 114 F.  Ugh!  

      Normally, I'd be doing cards with winter scenes, hoping that might cool things down but I was cleaning up and reorganizing long forgotten file folders in the craft room over the weekend and ran across a folder which had at least 2 dozen images waiting to be colored and use for something.  This sun and sentiment were on the same piece of cardstock and I knew they needed to be used together.

     I grabbed a couple of my Sanjoki markers, quickly gave the sun and the hearts some color, then cut the image with a long, rectangle die from QuicKutz.  I had made no notations regarding artist or company which owns this image but if any of you recognize it, please let me know so that I can give proper credit.

     I inked the edges of the image piece, then added it onto the card front, making a very CAS card.  Including coloring, this took less that 20 minutes to make.  :-D

 Colors came from My Favorite Things.

Outlawz SAR (Summer Daylight)

     The card was quick and easy and so is this post.  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Monday, July 10, 2023

Bouquet of Angels

      I spent most of the afternoon yesterday making this card for one of the Deacons of our church who was hospitalized unexpectedly last week.  I dug into my collection of Eureka Stamps and found this beautiful angel image and both of the sentiments, outside and inside the card.

     I colored the angel with my Sanjoki markers, keeping it simple (in the interests of getting it done right away) and found a sentiment about Bouquets of Angels which seemed to fit her perfectly.  I cut the image with a die from Tonic Studios and layered her onto a background of blue CS, trimmed to fit the card front.

     No embellishments - it is a card for a guy, after all.  

I did finish the inside with a decorated sentiment but
 since I had already signed all the family names to it, I didn't photograph it.
The sentiment says, "With God, all things are possible and
we're praying you recover soon."

(OK, it's an angel not a bird,
 but she has feather wings!)
Word Art Weds

      That's it.  See you tomorrow.  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Autumn Bird

      Nothing Christmas today, but a card for another holiday close in time, Thanksgiving.  This card features the image for the Progressive challenge at The Outlawz this month and I just thought that darling little bird looked like he was wishing either his tree still had leaves on it or that he was inside that big, warm barn instead of perched on his bare branch.  

     The background is a clip art pencil sketch and, no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot read the artist's signature. But I did leave it visible just below the sentiment piece as a way of giving proper credit.

     I colored the bird image with ProMarkers, and cut both the image and the frame using octagon dies from QuicKutz.  The sentiment piece and the tiny leaves were both cut with dies from Memory Box.  I inked the edges of the background sketch before mounting everything onto the card front.  The sentiment itself is a rubber stamp, old enough that the name of the maker has long ago peeled off.


     Have a wonderful second day of your weekend and Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Snow Globe Christmas

      One week into July and I'm still doing Christmas cards.  My stash has grown but only a little bit considering that I need around 100 cards this year.  I think I now have 5 done, maybe 6.  lol  But I'm making 1 (sometimes 2) each day so by the end of this month, I should be more than 1/3 of the way to my goal.

     This lovely image comes from Conie Fong and it's called "Snow Globe Wishes."  Amazingly, Conie has put her entire Etsy store on sale at 25% off for three days, July 7, 8 and 9, calling it a 'Christmas in July' sale!  But all the images in the store are on sale, not just Christmas images.  It started yesterday and two more days isn't very long so better get over there right now.  

     I colored this lovely lady with Sanjoki markers, then cut her out using a Spellbinders die.  I layered her onto a snowflake-embossed panel and that was layered onto a scrap of dp from K & Co. which has die cut borders.  I fussy cut the sentiment, added it to a lower corner, then added the three tiny pearls to the upper corner.  I think this is a delightfully 'elegant' Christmas card.

Christmas Bingo ('O' free/pattern dp/emboss)

     We'd love to see you playing in our challenge over on Facebook.  All you need to do is use a Conie Fong image (and since you are now rushing off to the 25% off sale, you'll have that part handled!) and the theme is always Anything Goes.  Come on over and play.

     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie