Friday, September 29, 2023

Defining Gratitude !

      Once upon a time, way back when I first began serving on Design Teams, I was invited to join the team at 613 Avenue Create.  After a couple of years, I resigned because life just got waaay too busy.  Now, I'm pleased to announce that I'm happily back on that DT.  :-D

     As always, we have an "Anything Goes" theme but there's also an optional twist if you choose to use it and this month that option is "Autumn Colors." 

     This image is from QKR Stampede and I thought he was perfect for an autumn card - an old moonshine framer.  lol  I colored him with my Sanjoki markers, then cut him and the rust orange frame with octagon dies from QuicKutz.  I found a scrap of dp from DCWV and used a Taylor Made embossing folder on it.  The gauze paper for the background is also from DCWV.

     I found a strip of mesh ribbon (Really Reasonable Ribbon) in my stash and added it for more texture.  I thought it worked really well with the gauze texture behind it.  The sentiments were printed and one was cut with a QuicKutz die, and the other was fussy cut and matted.


     Pop on over to 613 Avenue Create and see what all the other DT have done for their inspiration cards, then get something made and come enter it into our challenge.  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Polly Parrot

      It's Friday and that means another challenge over at Crafty Catz.  This week, our theme is "Spots or Stripes" and I went with spots.  We are being sponsored by QKR Stampede and the prize will be the three images used by the DT.  Be sure to check out the challenge post over at Crafty Catz to see all three of the images.

     I used the "Parrot" image, although I think it's really a macaw.  I colored with my Sanoki markers, then cut the image with a die from Cutz.  The sentiment was cut with an Avery Elle die.  I found a lovely scrap of rain-forest-looking dp from DCWV for the full background, and cut another scrap for the band across the bottom with the 'spots' on it.


     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Sunflowers for FarmQuest

      I know it's been more than a week since I posted anything but my daughter has a vendor booth at our local County Fair and I've been hanging out with her, pretending to be a valuable co-worker, managing the behind-the-scenes technical issues while she handles customers and sales.  I have to admit I'm really tired of making all the little sleeves and envelopes for the myriad of coupons and give away items that funnel through the booth, but it's filled with fun activities even if it is busy, busy, busy!  :-D

     Today, we have a new challenge starting over at FarmQuest and our new theme is "Sunflowers."  Don't forget that all entries must be 'country' or 'farm' related but it's pretty hard to focus on sunflowers without being at least a little bit country.   I found this delightful clip art image in my collection of flower digis, printed it in grayscale, then colored it with my polychromos pencils.  I used gamsol to blend the coloring.

     I knew as I was coloring that I wanted to do a very simple design, partly because I had printed such a large image piece but also because I wanted the sunflowers to take center stage and not have to compete with too much embellishment.  I had added the sentiment before printing the image, so I just cut it square, then rounded the corners with a Uchida punch.  I put that onto a bright orange card front and called it finished.  

     BTW, orange is definitely NOT one of my 'go to' colors but it is my favorite harvest/autumn color because I use it so rarely all the rest of the year that it's kind of refreshing to use it for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or other autumn cards.  :-D


     I hope you're going to come play in our "Sunflowers" challenge this time.  You have a full 2 weeks (and a couple of extra days) because this challenge ends on October 13.  Don't let time run out on you.  

     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Christmas Balloon

      A fast post this morning to show you a fast card I did at 1:00 this morning!  I'm pretty sure the balloon image is one from Eureka Stamps; I found it printed and in a folder of Christmas images from last year which were all waiting to be colored.

     The background piece is the image from the Progressive Challenge at The Outlawz for September.  I've been meaning to get something done with it all month long and here it is, the 27 of September and I still hadn't made a card !  I happened to drop both printed pieces onto the craft desk next to each other, and I realized what a great background the Outlawz image would make for the balloon.

     I grabbed my Sanjoki markers, did a bit of coloring on both the balloon and the background, then fussy cut the balloon, and layered it on top of the the card front where the background was already printed.  I though it need a bit more Christmas joy so I used a marker to add the red border on one side and at the bottom.  Done!  I had to wait until this morning to photograph it, but here it is.

     That's all I have for now but tomorrow I'll have a new post for the next challenge at FarmQuest.  Do stop by and see what's new over there.

     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Broomstick Emily

      I adore Conie Fong's "Emily" character, especially when she's an adorable witch.  This one is called Broomstick Emily Witch and she's on sale right now for only $2.00 !  How can you resist?

     I colored her using my Sanjoki markers, then cut the image with a die from Frantic Stamper.  In case you're wondering how I managed that fabulous 'out-of-the-box' technique on her feet and the straw tips of her broomstick, I must confess that it's a bit of an illusion.  The die itself did most of the work.  

     The center rectangle with the main part of the image drops out after the cut.  The toes and straws of her broomstick were left on the frame during the cut.  The frame was white, just the same as the CS on which the image was printed.  I colored the frame with an orange marker, coloring right over the image parts which were already there.  Then I carefully inlaid the center rectangle, lining up the toes and voila' - a really simple, outside-the-box technique!

     The sentiment was printed and cut with a QuicKutz die and the background Halloween dp came from an old DCWV stack I've had at least 6 years.  The frame was detailed enough that I decided the card needed no further embellishment.


     There's still plenty of time to play along in our challenge over on our Facebook site.  You only need to use a Conie Fong image (and there are freebies available) and enter your card in the August/September album.  You can also visit the store and buy some of the images which are on sale (or full price if you fall in love - and you probably will!)  

     Not a member of the Conie Fong FB site?  Joining is easy and free.  Just follow the link and ask to join.  See you there.

     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Friday, September 15, 2023

Wizard Spells

      I love Halloween!  I love everything about it - the kids in costume, the sugar rush they get from the Trick or Treat goodies, the silliness of witches and wizard legends and traditions, and most of all making cards.  Halloween kind of makes Fall my favorite season!  :-D

     Since this is Friday, we have a new challenge starting over at Crafty Catz and our sponsor this week is Dr. Digi.  They generously supplied images to the DT but I chose to use one from my own collection, called "Spells for Beginners."  Our theme is always "Anything Goes" but we also offer an optional twist and this week it's "Use a Die;"  I used three.

     I colored with my Sanjoki markers, then used a QuicKutz die to cut the image.  I inked the edges so that it would stand out from the background.  The spiderweb background was made using scraps from paper by Doodlebug.  The spooky, black tree was cut using a die from Die-Versions, as were the bats.  I printed the sentiment and fussy cut it.  I inked the edges with a neon ProMarker.

As You Like It (Fall because it has Halloween!)
Creative Knockouts (small die cuts)

     I hope we're going to see you playing along in our challenge this week.  Anything you make is fine as long as you use at least 1 die.  Can't wait to see you there.  

     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Thursday, September 14, 2023

When Your Denims Take a Break

      I've been MIA for a few days and that's going to happen every week this month, I'm afraid, but not without good cause.  My daughter is getting ready to have a booth at our county fair and I've been helping her get ready; decorations, hand made supplies, various envelopes and little CS sleeves for prize products - all have taken time away from my normal crafting and blog posting.  I'll also be assisting her in manning (woman-ing?) the booth during the last 2 weeks of September.  I apologize and hope that I can return to my normal routine in October.

     It's time for out next challenge at FarmQuest and our theme is "Denim Bib Overalls."  Remember, we always have a farm/country requirement but it's going to be pretty difficult NOT to do a country theme with bib overalls.  lol

     I know most of us don't think about what our clothes do all day, but when one lives on a farm or ranch, and works on typical country chores, our clothes work as hard (or harder) as we do and I think they deserve a break, too.  So, I searched through photo of denim overalls and chose this one as the focus point of my card.  :-D

     The image and the frames were cut with QuicKutz dies, and the sentiment was printed and cut with an Avery Elle die.  The stars were left over from a previous project and were the bits which dropped out of a Brutus Monroe die.  A nice, CAS design which just shouts 'farm country."


     Come play with us this fortnight!  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Friday, September 8, 2023

Arctic Christmas

      We're back from our summer break over at Crafty Catz and our latest challenge has started.  Our theme for this week is "Getting Ready for Christmas."  You can create anything Christmas related.  

     I chose this fun clip art image, printed it in gray scale, and then used water colors, white pencil, and white gel pen to color the image.  I started with dark blue water color paint, and did the entire night sky, after masking the moon and polar bears.  I used a light gray on the ground, adding highlights to the gray scale.  I used a darker gray water color to emphasize the leaf branches at the very bottom.  I let that dry completely, overnight, and under a heavy book.

     I found my polychromos pencils and added highlights to the polar bears, the trees, and the moon.  I added yellow and aqua pencil rings around the moon, getting lighter and less distinct the further away from the moon. I blended those rings with gamsol.  Finally, I grabbed a white gel pen and added bright highlights to the treetops, plus a few strokes on the bears, and to create the snowflakes/stars.  I added a bit of sparkle gel pen to the tree tops and snow but it doesn't show very well in the photo.

     The sentiment was printed using my Word program, setting the text in yellow and the background in deep blue.  Once printed, I cut it with a die from Avery Elle.  I wanted a completely CAS card so I added no embellishment of any kind.  I understand that if you are a purist who demands lots of 'white' space for CAS, you'll be disappointed in this card.  But I wanted the scene to be the main feature and that meant lots of night sky instead of lots of white space.  :-D

Christmas Bingo (CAS/free/Hand color)

     Come play with us.  It's already a week into September and you need to get a start on your Christmas cards.  Remember last year when you swore to yourself not to wait until the last minute to get started?  Unh huh, I thought so.  Use our challenge as an inspiration and then enter your cards in our challenge.  :-D  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Apples for the Teacher

      Time for our next challenge at FarmQuest Country Store, where we always have an "Anything Country Goes."  Since it's almost fall (my favorite season - especially for card making because there are so many possibilities.  Winter pretty much gets focused totally on Christmas, which is OK, but I prefer all the options of autumn), and since school is back in session for most of our kids, I decided I wanted to do a card that focused on apples for a teacher and apple picking season.  I found this beautiful clip art image and printed it in very light gray scale.

     I grabbed my water color paints and colored just the basket and the apples, leaving the background as gray scale.  I used gel pens and gold metallic marker on the butterflies.  I cut both the image and the sentiment with dies from QuicKutz.  I inked the edges of them with the gold marker and IRL, it shines beautifully.  The wood grain background came from a Brutus Monroe CS stack given to me by a sweet friend (thank you, Vicki!)  The red print along the left edge is fabric ribbon from my stash.

     Doesn't this have a great country feel?

Triple B (butterflies, blossoms)

     We'd love to see you playing in our challenges and we also have an open DT call going.  We are considering some simple changes at both the FQ General Store challenge and at the original FarmQuest challenge which will make either playing or designing with the DT even more rewarding.  Come visit us this fortnight and enter a card or other "country" project.

     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Smiling Snail

      I miss having the challenges at QKR Stampede and can hardly wait to put the design team back together and get them started up again.  But since the QKR and the Eureka Stamps brands (sister brands) are still up for sale, that won't happen until there's a new buyer and a new store.  QKR Stampede is still sponsoring a few challenges so we're not gone altogether but if you know anyone who might be interested in owning those brands, let us know!  :-D

     In the meantime, I simply had to keep my hand in by coloring and using a QKR Stampede image, this one called "Smiling Snail."  The sentiment is also from QKR.  I used my Sanjoki markers to color the snail, then cut it with a Spellbinders die.  I believe that set of square Spellbinders dies was the first set of dies I ever purchased and that goes back a long way!  

     The sentiment was printed and cut with a Tonic Studios die.  The background dp came from a package of scrapbooking paper by EK Success.  I tied a double loop using my bow maker and sheer blue ribbon.

I pulled colors from My Favorite Things,
(using a tiny bit of red on his eyes and spots.)


     That's all I have for today but I'll be back in a couple of days with a new card for the FarmQuest General Store challenge.  Be sure to check back then.  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Monday, September 4, 2023

Fright Night

      October is around the corner (yes, I know we just started September but look how fast we've gotten here from January!) and that means Halloween is creeping up on us.  Because I mail out Halloween cards to all the kids, grandkids, great-grands, and in-laws on all sides, I have to get an early start each year.  Besides, I just love the fun of Halloween so cards become a reason to enjoy it for more than just one night.  :-D

     These two, scary (scared?) black cats are separate clip art images which I merged together before printing.  I colored with Sanjoki markers and white gel pen, then cut them out using a QuicKutz die.  I cut additional pieces of black and orange CS with larger QuicKutz dies from that same set and used those to frame the image and make the background for the card front.

     I printed the sentiment and fussy cut it before layering it on top of the other layers.  The tiny corner embellishments are bits of Halloween confetti.


     Happy Crafting and have a great Labor Day holiday.  NanaConnie

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Last Surf'n of Summer

      It's the 3rd of the month and that means the newest Anything Goes challenge is starting over at the LeAnn's World 101 blog.  I'm doing a final salute to summer and I'm hoping to see an end to the hot days of summer and am ready to welcome the crisp evenings of fall, but in  the meantime, I'm going to let this guy, "Byron Surf'n," enjoy his last few waves.

     I colored with Sanjoki alcohol markers, then cut the image with a stitched CUTplorations die.  The sentiment was printed and cut with a die from Avery Elle.  I put everything onto a black card front and added a wrap of twine to the left side.  A CAS masculine card design.


     Now that we're back, we hope to see you entering our Blog Challenge and don't forget our Progressive Challenge each month over on our FB site.  
     NanaConnie DT

Saturday, September 2, 2023


      Time for making Halloween cards has arrived and you'll see a lot of them this month (and probably next month, too.)  I love the array of Halloween sets available at Beccy's Place, and it's one of the first places I go when I'm thinking Halloween.  

     This owl is called "Percival" and he can be found in the "Hocus Pocus" set.  The sentiment is also from Beccy's but a completely different set, "Scaredy Cats."  I merged the owl and the sentiment before printing, then colored Percival with my Sanjoki markers and white gel pen.  The image was cut with a QuicKutz die and I used a hand punch to clip the corners.  

     I found a scrap of polka dot dp and used it for the frame around the image.  The orange square was a QuicKutz shape left over from another project and it just looked like it needed to be used instead of going into the scrap basket.  The plaid strip was a scrap of digital paper from Trimgym.


     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie