Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Santa's on the Way

      I'm finally getting around to posting my card which uses the background image provided by The Outlawz Progressive Challenge for November.  I'm usually earlier getting it done but this month just got way from me.  In any case, the starry background was the freebie image this time.

     I colored the Santa image with my newest markers from Altenew which I bought with a challenge prize gift card and I do like them.  I added white gel pen to the snowflakes and used a silver glitter gel pen on Santa's tassel.  I'd never tried the Altenew markers before but I'm sure I'll purchase additional colors in the future.   The nice part about them is that they are refillable.

     The image was cut with a QuicKutz die after printing the sentiment on top of it.  I printed the star background and colored the stars with gold paint pen and added some blue, white, and silver with gel pens.  Everything was layered onto a metallic, gold card base.


     Thanks for visiting and Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Light Unto the World

      Today, we start another new challenge at FarmQuest, where 'country or farm' is a necessary part of our challenge.  In addition to that, we give you a theme to follow.  This fortnight, our theme is "Lights."  Since Christmas is right around the corner, I decided to feature the kinds of lights we might associate with that holiday.

     I had two favorite images and I simply could not choose between them, so I did two inspiration cards for this challenge.  This first one is a classic candle lantern with holiday greenery, and I colored it with water color paints and a little dab of Stickles to make the candle light sparkle.  I used white gel pen on the snow.

     The image was cut with an Unbranded die, and the sentiment was printed and cut with an Avery Elle die.  I used red CS on the right side of the card front and a scrap from an old K & Co. stack on the left card front.  The tiny gem on the sentiment piece is from Stampin' Up.

     Challenges: (for this card)
Creative Moments
Simon Says Stamp

     The second card features a clip art image by Anton Peck, filled with street lamps and candles, printed in 10% gray scale (which leaves just a hint of original color), and colored with Sanjoki markers.  Again, I added Stickles to the candle flames, and highlighted the snow by using white gel pen on it.   I absolutely adore the old elves making their own music for Christmas caroling on a country village street.

     The image was cut with a Tonic Studios die, the sentiment was printed and cut with an Avery Elle die, and both were layered onto a piece of red CS.  This card has to be mailed so I left it flat and CAS.

     Challenges: (for this card)

     Come play along in our challenge.  It's open until December 13 and a new challenge will begin on December 14th.  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Friday, November 24, 2023

Home for Christmas

      Another Friday and that means another new challenge at Crafty Catz.  Each week we have an "Anything Goes" theme but we also offer you an optional theme if you want to use it.  The option for this week is pretty easy, "Christmas or Winter."  Our sponsor is Hetty Clare, who generously provided images for the DT to use.  But I chose to use an image from my own collection of Hetty Clare images, called Pony Christmas.  I know horses aren't really part of the usual "Christmas critters" we all recognize but think of all the images and stories which involve a horse pulling a sleigh, or a coach, or a wagon and you'll know why horses are my favorite, majestic, winter/Christmas critter.  :-D

     I reversed the image before printing it, then colored it with water colors.  I used an old Spellbinders die to cut the image and backed it with red and gold striped paper from DCWV.  The sentiment was stamped with a rubber stamp from Memory Box.  That one has been in my collection of rubber stamps for many years now.  I rarely use it but got it out for this card.

     I thought the die cut frame was fancy enough so I added no other embellishment.


     I hope we're going to see you playing along this week.  We have only this week and next week  before the DT and the challenge take  holiday break, returning in January, 2024.  Show us something you've made for Christmas or winter and enter our challenge before it ends on Thursday night.
     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Count Your Blessings

      Sharing another Thanksgiving card today and this one was really quick and simple.  The image is clip art, printed in gray scale, and colored with markers.  What made it quick is that I had colored this image months ago but it was in a folder of images waiting to be used.

      I cut the image piece with a QuicKutz die, then cut brown CS with another QuicKutz die for the mat behind the image.  I searched the scrap basket and found those two bits of dp which originally came from a DCWV stack.  The tiny leaves on the left hand paper are heat embossed with glittery EP.  The pumpkin is fabric and was cut from a strip of ribbon pumpkins.


     I'll have another card to share tomorrow and even one for Thanksgiving Day.  Hope you'll stop by on those days, too.  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Monday, November 20, 2023

Time for Pie

     Another of the cards I finished while I was doing the local Craft Fair on Saturday and this one will go to one of the grandkids on Thanksgiving Day.  

    The digital image was printed in reverse, colored polychromos pencils, blended with gamsol, and shading was added with alcohol markers.  I used one of my very first Spellbinders dies to cut the image, and the sentiment was cut with an Avery Elle die.  The background strip of dp was a scrap from the fall basket; the pumpkins are embossed for texture and touched with glitter for just the smallest amount of sparkle.  I hand-tied the bow using satin ribbon and called it finished.  Isn't she the sweetest little mouse ever?

Inspiration Station (fall colors)
Outlawz SAR (Thanksgiving Pies)

     That's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by again.  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Thanksgiving Bounty

      I had a fantastic day yesterday selling my cards at a rather large craft fair!  The fair has been an annual event for several years now, used as a fund raiser for one of our local private schools, but this is the first time I have participated as a vendor.  The one rule is that every vendor must be selling only hand-crafted items.   I focused primarily on Thanksgiving and Christmas cards, plus a few gift card holders, but did sell a few birthday, anniversary, thinking of you, and humorous general greeting cards.

     While I was sitting in my booth, I put together a lot of Christmas and Thanksgiving cards which I had prepared as kits (all the loose parts and pieces tucked into the envelope ready to be turned into a card) and I was just doing the final assembly phase.  But it drew people to my booth and they seemed to enjoy watching the process.

     Today (and in the upcoming week), I want to share with you some of those cards.

     This first one has a water color, clip art, image, with a merged sentiment, and it was cut with a QuicKutz die, then matted with orange, & then white, CS.  Both the striped dp and the flowers dp came from a DCWV autumn stack.


     Hope you'll enjoy this and will visit again during the week to see more of them.  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Friday, November 17, 2023

Thanksgiving BBQ

      Can you believe Thanksgiving is next Thursday?  Less than a week away and, since today is Friday, we're celebrating another new challenge start over at Crafty Catz.  Our theme is always "Anything Goes" but we offer you an OPTIONAL theme if you want to use it and this week that option is "3 Favorite Colors."  Purple is my all time favorite color but when combined with orange and green, that becomes my favorite fall color combo.  

     Our fun and fabulous sponsor for this week's challenge is Dr. Digi and they supplied images for the DT to use on their inspiration projects.  However, I chose to use one from my own Dr. Digi collection and it's called "BBQ Dragon."  My eldest granddaughter and I share a love of dragons and this is going to be her Thanksgiving card.

     I used Sanjoki alcohol markers to color the image, then cut it with a fancy Spellbinders die.  I added a bit of sparkle to his knife and fork and to the jousting pole (whatever it's called) with a glitter pen, and used a gold paint pen on his eyes and horns.  The background dp is from DCWV and has been in my scrap basket for quite a while. The sentiment was printed and cut with a die from Avery Elle.


     Won't you come and play in our challenge this week?  Remember it's your choice whether or not to show off you own favorite colors, but you can always just follow the Anything Goes theme.  :-D

     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Thursday, November 16, 2023

All Roads Lead Home for Christmas

      I think this is my favorite Beccy's Place image!  At least I know that I've used it every Christmas season since I first got the set, how many years ago?  Too many to count.  :-D  It's the Winter Window and the sentiment is also from Beccy's.

     In the past, I've done reddish stone to look more like brick, blue stones with dark accents, even black stones with brown accents but this time, I colored it with several different, light gray and blue gray markers to enhance the winter feel, and light brown-gray markers on the branch, all from Sanjoki.  I added a few white highlights to the snow on the branch with a gel pen.  I used a deep yellow marker on the candle and added Stickles to the candle flame so that it would sparkle.

     The image was cut with a die from QuicKutz.  The striped dp used for the background came from an old DCWV stack and it was a scrap in the basket.  It had a hole in it where I had die cut something for another project, but I covered that with the image and now it looks intentional.  The gold ribbon was from my stash and I'm pretty sure it was from Really Reasonable Ribbon.  It has a very nice, but rather subtle, sparkle in it.


     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Wednesday, November 15, 2023


      Conie Fong has a new image set, released just this week and perfect for Christmas.  It's a fabulous set of Nutcrackers which includes a King, a Soldier, and a Drummer.  Click on the word "Nutcrackers" in the previous sentence and that will take you right to them in store.  They are so perfect and I went a little crazy making DT projects with them.  :-D

     I started with this card, using the Nutcracker King image.  He's colored with Sanjoki markers, then cut with a Tonic Studios die.  I used a Sizzix embossing folder on a scrap of CS (Stampin' Up) to make the blue panel, then cut the snowflakes with dies from Impression Obsession.  They have glitter added to them for a tiny bit of sparkle but it just doesn't show up in the photo.  The Noel sentiment was cut with a Die-Versions die.  The final touch was the hand-sewn, satin bow with a pearl.


     Feeling that the other two Nutcracker images shouldn't be left out, and because my daughter collects nutcrackers as Christmas decorations and displays, I made a two-sided, tree ornament for her.  Both images were colored with Sanjoki markers, then I cut each one with the same Spellbinders die.  
     After cutting the images with that die, I cut 7 more of that shape from plain white CS.  I sandwiched all those layers together using double stick tape to make the ornament thick and heavy, and added a scrap of ribbon as the hanger.  (Note: As an afterthought, after the photos had been taken, I applied Mod Podge to both sides and along the edges of the ornament, letting it dry between applications.  It's now very sturdy and can be used year after year.)

     These snowflakes were cut with a die from Cottage Cuts.  Here are photos of both sides of the ornament.




     Don't forget that we have a monthly challenge going over on the Conie Fong Facebook site with an Anything Goes theme.  All you have to do is use a Conie Fong image (there are freebies available on the site which you can download and use.)  Or, if you've fallen in love with the Nutcrackers, you can pick up all 3 of them in the set for only $4.00!  Again, all you have to do is click on the word "Nutcrackers" in the first paragraph of this post and that link will take you right to them in the Etsy store.  :-D

     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

November Turkeys

      Here it is, the 14th of another month and that means we have a new challenge starting over at FarmQuest, where we always want to see something "farm or country" and this time with the specific theme of "Turkey."  What better for a November challenge than to feature the star of a Thanksgiving feast?

     The sentiment and image were printed together, then the image was colored with Sanjoki markers, and the white highlights were done using a gel pen.  The image was cut with a QuicKutz die and I used brown gauze paper for the background (DCWV.)  The double layer butterfly was in my stash of pieces cut and waiting to be used so I don't remember which die was used to cut it, but the tiny wooden bead for the body was in an old Stampin' Up package which I found when I was cleaning out and organizing a stack of drawers with old embellishments.  

     I really like the CAS look to the finished card.

Outlawz Sunday (Thanksgiving is...near)

     I hope we're going to see you playing along with us this fortnight.  Show us your turkeys!   Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Friday, November 10, 2023

Pipsqueak and Snowman

      It's Friday and that means another challenge is starting over at Crafty Catz.  We always have an "Anything Goes" theme but we offer you an optional theme if you choose to use it.  The option this week is "Sparkle."  Our delightful sponsor this week is Last Minute Manda and they supplied digis for the DT to use.  I chose "Pipsqueak and Little Snowman."  This image set actually has 6 different snowmen so it's really a bargain!

     I chose to water color the image this time, then I cut it with a QuicKutz die.  I printed and cut the sentiment with an Avery Elle die, added it on top of the image piece and trimmed the corners to fit the card.  I made the card base from green CS and added a sparkly silver mesh ribbon on the right.  I also finished the inside front flap but forgot to photograph it.  Very quick and simple, overall.


     I'm looking forward to seeing you play in our challenge this week.  Remember, it's always Anything Goes but since it's definitely the time for making Christmas cards, it shouldn't be too difficult to add a bit of sparkle and do the optional theme, too.  :-D  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Christmas Horse and Cardinal

      Good morning (or afternoon or evening, whatever time it is when you visit.)  Today I have two posts done within minutes of each other and both are for different FarmQuest challenges.  This one is for the FarmQuest Country Christmas Challenge (FQCCC.)  In case you missed it, the FarmQuest General Store post is immediately before this one.  Be sure to check it out, too.

     The card was amazingly quick to make.  I know horses aren't exactly traditional CHRISTMAS critters, not like polar bears or penguins, but I found this incredible clip art image, pre-colored, and I just had to use it!  It was perfect for a country Christmas.  I merged the sentiment before printing it.  I added a few white highlights using a polychromos pencil.  I cut the image with a QuicKutz die before layering it on top of a background made with glittery mesh ribbon strips and burlap/baker's twine strings in the very middle.  Rather CAS and the whole thing took less than 15 minutes.

Triple B (bird, blossoms)

     I hope we're going to see you playing along this month.  I know we're all focused on Christmas (and other December holiday) cards this month, so why not find an image with a country or farm theme and use it to enter our Country Christmas challenge?  See you there.

     Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Turkey Time

     It's time for the next FarmQuest General Store challenge, and our themes are always "Anything Country Goes."  Yes, it has to have a 'country' look or feel but beyond that, it's anything goes.

     Since this is our Thanksgiving month here in the USA, I focused on the most traditional part of a family Thanksgiving feast, the turkey.  This turkey image is a gray-scale sketch but I used Sanjoki markers to change it to sepia-toned.  The sentiment was merged at the bottom of the image before printing.  I cut the image with a die from Tonic Studios and inked the edges with a coffee brown Sanjoki marker.

     The background dp came from a 'Calico' stack by DCWV and the colors and scattering of blossoms seemed perfect for a late fall card.  There's a small swipe of Stickles added to each tiny flower for just a hint of sparkle.  I die cut a bit of creamy burlap paper using a butterfly die from Poppy (Memory Box) and added a tiny seed bead to the center (old, old, OLD Stampin' Up stash which I found after cleaning out and reorganizing a desk drawer!) 


     I have a second post going live in just a couple of minutes for the November FQ Country Christmas Challenge so be sure to check out that one, too.  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie

Monday, November 6, 2023

Signs of Christmas

      I'm apologizing right now for being so late with this post but between internet connection problems and back pain problems all last week, I simply couldn't get it posted any sooner.  Nevertheless, here's two cards I did as DT inspiration for the challenge this week at Crafty Catz.  Our sponsor is Jan's Digi Stamps and they generously supplied images for the DT to use.  I chose to use both of them.  The first is called "Santa's Gift" (with the image reversed) and the second is "Christmas Skates."  The sentiments on both cards are from the Christmas Skates set.

     Santa is colored with water color paints, cut with my Fiskar's paper cutter, and the edges were inked with a Sanjoki marker.  The background dp came from a K & Co. stack and it has a decorative, die cut edge on two sides.  I found some lovely, silver, metallic ribbon in my stash and used it to do a quick wrap around the card front and to tie the bow.

     Challenges (1st card):
Kerst Christmas
SheepSki Designs

     Here's the second card with the Christmas Skates image and it's probably my favorite of the two.

     I colored it using my Sanjoki markers, then cut the image with a die from Tonic Studios.  I inked the edges with an ink pad.  The red background is dry embossed with snowflakes (easier to see if you enlarge the photo by clicking on it), and I used more of that silver ribbon to tie a simple but larger bow. 


     Challenges (2nd card):

     So happy to be back online and to finally have this posted, even if it is 3 days late!  Happy Stamping.  NanaConnie 

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Thanksgiving in the Leaf Pile

      To answer your unasked question, "No, I don't think it's odd to be grateful for piles of leaves!"  Have you ever seen the joy of the faces of children as they jump and play in the leaf piles?  Be thankful for that joy.  :-D

     It's another first Sunday of the month and that means we have a new challenge starting at 613 Avenue Create.  Our theme is always "Anything Goes" but there's an optional theme each time and this month the option is "Embossing, wet or dry."  We have a sponsor this month, SheepSki Designs, and they provided images for the DT to use on their inspiration cards.  I chose to use "Catching Leaves."

     The image is colored with watercolors and white gel pen.  I cut the image with a Spellbinders die, and mounted it onto burlap paper from DCWV.  The dp in the background is a scrap of digital paper that was in the basket of autumn scraps.  The sentiment was printed and fussy cut.

     I hope we're going to see you playing in our challenge this month.  Happy Crafting.  NanaConnie