Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Let's Watercolor

One of my favorite challenge groups is the Challenge Your Stash group on SCS, under the capable and organized leadership of my friend Barb. The idea is we can't shop for anything when making our monthly challenge card (which we post on the 28th of each month). 

We take turns choosing the theme. This month it was Vickie's turn. In celebration of International Watercolor Month (who knew???), Vickie challenged us to create a card or project using a little or a lot of watercoloring.

I may have cheated.

Do Karin Markers count as watercolor? I mixed them with water and use a paint brush to color the flower on my card... so I'm hoping that is considered watercolor.... BUT, just in case, I used an actual watercolor paint to do the blue wash around the flower.

I hope Vickie, Barb, and the other Challenge Your Stash gals like my card.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp: Mark's Finest Coneflower stamped with Versafine Onyx Black Ink and colored with Karin Probrush Markers

Papers: Canson Coldpress Watercolor, Cougar 110# White and SU Balmy Blue CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangle, Paper Roses Hello Chunky Double Hello and Stampin' UP! Scalloped Contour

Embellishments: Recollections Rhinestones

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

2021 Travel the World - Week 30

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world, so I continued the series in 2020 and here I am in 2021, the third year of traveling the world. 

This week's country is...

United States of America

In 1783, the United States became the first country to gain independence from a European power

There is no official language in the United States. The most commonly spoken language is English, followed by Spanish.

The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. The river derives from Montana, located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, and flows for approximately 2, 341 miles before it empties into the Mississippi River just north of St. Louis, Missouri. The Missouri River and the Mississippi River combine to create the 4th longest river system in the world.

Approximately 85% of Americans use the internet.

Statistically speaking, no job in the United States of America is more deadly than that of the president. Think about it: 45 men have held the title. Four of those men were assassinated in office (Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, James A. Garfield, and William McKinley), while four died of natural causes (William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren Harding, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt). That's a rate of almost 18 percent, or nearly 1 out of 5 who died on the job.

Abraham Lincoln was the tallest president the country has had.

President Lincoln, who was assassinated on April 14, 1865, had signed legislation to create the U.S. Secret Service hours before he headed to Ford's Theatre. However, the Secret Service wouldn't have saved Lincoln had it been created in time—the original purpose was to combat widespread currency counterfeiting. It wasn't until 1901 that its M.O. was to protect the president.

American's eat approximately 100 acres of pizza every single day. Annually, around 300 billion pizzas are sold in the good, 'ole U.S.A. Not only that, but a reported 93 percent of Americans have eaten pizza within the past month. The biggest spike in delivery sales of pizza occurs around the Super Bowl.

The average American throws away 4.4 pounds of trash daily.

Oregon's Crater Lake is 1,943 feet deep, which makes it the deepest lake in the United States, as well as the ninth deepest lake in the entire world. 

Atlantic City has the world's longest boardwalk. Built in 1870, it was also the first boardwalk in the United States. Its purpose was to limit the amount of sand beach goers took with them into hotel lobbies as well as the train.

California's state animal doesn't exist in California. Before the mid-1800s, thousands of grizzly bears could be found across California—so much that the animal became the state's official animal. Nowadays, all of the grizzlies are gone.

Founded in 1636, Harvard was the first University in the United States.

Technically, a state's driver's license is not needed to compete in NASCAR. Even drivers who have had their actual driver licenses suspended for everything from reckless driving to DUIs were still able to race in NASCAR.

Alaska is the largest state in the United States, and was sold for a total of $7.2 million, which amounts to about 2 cents per acre. The state was purchased in 1867. In the 50 years that followed, America made their money back for the $7.2 million more than 100 times.

More people live in New York City than in forty of the United States.

The word Pennsylvania is misspelled on the Liberty Bell.

Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by surface area at 31,700 square miles, or roughly the size of Maine. It also holds 10 percent of the world's surface fresh water. 

In fact, Lake Superior is so big, that its water could cover North and South America in their entirety with one foot of water.

The Empire State Building literally has its own zip code.

There's a town in Alaska that lives under one roof. The town of Whittier, Alaska, is an hour southeast of Anchorage. It's a small town of around 220 people and these 220 people all live under one roof, in one building.

There's a town in the United States with only one resident. Monowi, Nebraska's single resident is 83 years old. She is the city's mayor, librarian, and bartender. She pays taxes to herself, and considers people who reside 40 miles away to be her neighbors.

There's enough concrete in the Hoover Dam to build a two-lane highway from San Francisco to New York City. It also weighs more than 600,000 tons.

In Kentucky there are more bourbon barrels than people. Kentucky is the birthplace of the drink and crafts 95 percent of the world's bourbon supply.

The town of Centralia, Pennsylvania has been on fire for more than 55 years. In the late 1800s to the 1960s, it was a prosperous mining town. However, after a mine caught on fire in in 1962, the flames began to spread underground through the interconnecting tunnels. They haven't been able to put them out since and the town's population has drastically decreased.

The Library of Congress has 838 miles of bookshelves, consisting of more than 39 million books. The library receives some 15,000 items each working day. All together, these bookshelves are long enough to stretch from Houston to Chicago.

According to the National Association of Wheat Growers, an acre of Kansas wheat produces enough bread to feed nearly 9,000 people for one day. As well, the state produces enough wheat each year to bake 36 billion loaves of bread. That's enough to feed everyone in the world for about two weeks.

You can get a Unicorn hunting license in Michigan. It was developed as a PR stunt in 1971.

The United States experiences the highest rate of tornadoes of any country in the world. On an average, the country deals with more than 1000 tornadoes every year.

Alaska has the longest coastline of any state while Florida has the second longest. 

In fact, Alaska has a longer coastline than all of the other 49 U.S. states put together.

The United States of America has the world’s largest air force. It was founded on September 18, 1947. The USAF with more than 5,369 military aircraft is the most technologically advanced air force in the world.

Yellowstone was the United States' first national park.

There are 182 places in the U.S. that have the word “Christmas” in their names.

Chicago is the birthplace of the first ever ferris wheel, which was 264-feet tall and debuted in the 1893 World’s Fair and was demolished shortly after in 1906.

New Jersey is home to the world's highest roller coaster.

Georgia is the birthplace of miniature golf.

San Francisco hardy has any cemeteries. In 1937, residents passed a law that said that cemeteries can no longer be built within city limits, simply because they considered their land to be too valuable. Today there are only three cemeteries within city limits. 

Pensacola Florida is the oldest city in the United States. It was settled in 1559.

The official flag of the United States was designed by Robert G. Heft in 1958 while Heft was a junior in high school. Surprisingly, he only got a B- as a grade. Heft’s teacher, Stanley Pratt, promised his student he would raise his grade if the US Congress accepted his design.

More than 10% of Americans have worked or will work at McDonald's at some point in their lives.

The most visited museum in the United States is the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, which receives 9 million visitors annually. It is the second most visited museum in the world, after the Louvre.

The Pentagon is the largest office building in the world, boasting 17 miles of corridors and twice the space of the Empire State Building.

The largest amphitheater in the world can be found in Los Angeles. The Hollywood Bowl was opened in 1922 and can hold almost 18,000 people.

Hawaii is the only state that grows coffee commercially.

The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. There are currently 2.2 million people in jail, or about 22% of the world's population of inmates.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about the United States of America... An island that has no human residents but is completely inhabited by wild monkeys is located off the coast of South Carolina.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamps: Whipper Snapper Swing Monkey and Whipper Snapper Hang In There stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Cougar 110# White and SU Cinnamon Cider CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: Gina Marie Stitch In & Out Cut Rectangle

Embellishments: Dragonfly Brad from an unknown vendor

Monday, July 26, 2021

A Simple Word

I purchased the Art Impressions Block Letters die set some time ago to use in my Bible journaling which I've done a few times but I got to thinking. Dangerous, I know. BUT - how could I use these awesome letter dies on a card???


Hi, of course!

That simple two-letter word was the jump-start to this card.

Add a cute image, some designer papers, an enamel heart, and a bit more and Voila! The card is finished.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp/Die Set: CC Designs Spring Pinkie stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Cougar 110# White, Recollections 110# Black, and SU Pineapple Punch CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: Art Impressions Block Letters, MFT Stitched Rectangle, Paper Roses Stitched Circles, and Simon Says Sentiment Labels

Embellishment: Eyelet Outlet Enamel Heart

Saturday, July 24, 2021

I Love...

I love tulips! I also love rain boots! Of course that means I love the Technique Tuesday Booted Tulips stamp set. How could I not?

Oh... and I also love to color so I inked up this stamp just so I could color it and create a quick and easy card.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Technique Tuesday Booted Tulips stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Cougar 110# White and SU Calypso Coral CS

Dies: Catherine Pooler Diagonal Stripes Cover Plate and MFT Stitched Mini Scallop Rectangle

Embellishments: Recollections Enamel Dots

Friday, July 23, 2021

Blue Knight - Ellie the Elephant

Fridays are special days - who doesn't love TGIF, right? But here on my blog Fridays are also special because they are the day I get to post as a design team member for Blue Knight Rubber Stamps.

The Blue Knight rubber stamp set that I'm featuring today is Ellie the Elephant, which can be see in the Blue Knight Rubber Stamps online store - HERE. This is a two-stamp set, there is the super adorable image of Ellie the Elephant and the Happy Birthday Sentiment.

It should be noted that the Happy Birthday sentiment is one stamp (as you can see in the photo of the stamp set, shown here). However, you'll see the two words used individually on both of my cards. In fact, on one of my cards I only use one of the words. 

No, I didn't cut my stamp apart, though you could do that. Instead, I chose to cut the stamped sentiments.

Card #1

Didn't I mention that Ellie the Elephant is adorable!?!?!?

Card #2

For this card, I only used the word "Happy" from the stamp set, thinking it would be mover versatile, since it could be sent for any number of reasons, not just for a birthday.

I think it's amazing to see how one stamp looks so different depending on how it's used. 

* * * * * 

You can find each of today's featured stamps HERE, at the Blue Knight Rubber Stamps web store.

And... don't forget to join us at the Fan Group and YouTube Channel:
Fans of Blue Knight Rubber Stamps (Facebook group) is HERE
and the Blue Knight Rubber Stamps YouTube Channel is HERE

Jeanette Cloyd, Design Team Member

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Double Duty - Hero Arts

Barb, Kelly and I have a few different challenge/series going on each month. You're probably familiar with at least some of them - Three Musketeers, Ready Set Go!, Stamp What, Hot Mess Success... and on the 22nd of each month, the Double Duty series. This one was Barb's idea - and it is a lot of fun!

Each month we each choose one stamp set from a pre-determined stamp company and make two cards using it. At least one thing has to be seen on both cards (color, embellishment, stamp, etc.). We post on a double-digit day each month, too - the 22nd. Today is the day!

This month's company is Hero Arts. I have quite a few Hero Arts stamp sets, but since I can only use ONE - the challenge is two cards from the same stamp set - I almost had to go eenie meenie minie mo.  I finally chose the Florals Poppy stamp set.

In keeping with the challenge requirement of at least one thing being the same on both cards, I used the same flower from the stamp/die set, the same color of card base (SU Poppy Parade), and one of the same die sets (SU Scalloped Contour).

Card #1

Card #2

Be sure to check out Barb's blogKelly's blog, and Carol's blog to see their Double Duty posts, too.

Thank you for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp/Die Set: Hero Arts Florals Poppy stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Cougar 110# White, Recollections Black, and SU Poppy Parade CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies/Punch: MFT Stitched Rectangle Die, SU Scalloped Contour Dies, SU Circle Punches, and SU Oval Punch

Embellishments: Gina Marie Glitter Enamel Dots and Taylored Expressions Enamel Heart

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Cut It Out!

This is the third Wednesday of July, which means it is the day that Kelly, Barb, and I reveal our Ready, Set, Go cards. 

Not sure what Ready, Set, Go is? Well, it's a lot of fun! And a bit of creativity. And an extreme challenge theme.

Ready, Set, Go is an idea that Kelly came up with and she invited Barb and I to join her on the adventure. We take turns choosing the theme (this month it's Kelly's turn), but the idea is for it to be a bit more challenging than just the average theme.

Kelly's Challenge theme is...

Cut It Out!

Kelly told us that in her house growing up, her mom was "constantly telling my brother and I to knock it off or cut it out!" In keeping with that, she challenged the three of us to create a card or project with 'cutting it out!' as the main focus. 

Oh, and because there are 3 of us and "we 3 like being 3", Kelly also instructed us to use at least 3 cuts on our cards.

Sooooo... I decided to just use dies (no stamps) to create my card. Probably not my best decision ever, but that's what I did. I used these three dies - 

My Favorite Things Sending Big Hugs 

Spellbinders Color Block Slices 

My Favorite Things Stitched Rectangles

I used a white Gelly Roll Gel Pen to add some highlights (faux stitching) to the word BIG.

Be sure to check out Barb's blog and Kelly's blog to see what they did with this Ready Set Go theme!

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Papers: Real Red CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangle, MFT Sending Big Hugs, and Spellbinders Color Block Slices

Embellishments: Eyelet Outlet Enamel Hearts

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

2021 Travel the World - Week 29

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world, so I continued the series in 2020 and here I am in 2021, the third year of traveling the world. 

This week's country is...


Mozambique is one of the most exciting countries in Africa due to its coastal location, easy access, and interesting history. It is bordered by Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the north, Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest, Zimbabwe to the west with its coastline running with Indian Ocean to the east.

Mozambique is a poor country and one of the world’s least developed. In 2020, it was ranked ninth-lowest in the Human Development Index (HDI).

Mozambique is also among the world’s hungriest countries. In 2020, Mozambique was ranked as the fifth hungriest nation and classified as suffering from “serious” levels of hunger.

Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique, but there are more than 40 languages spoken in the country and the majority of Mozambicans speak more than one language.

The flag of Mozambique stands out. It shows an AK-47 rifle. The rifle symbolizes defence and vigilance. It is one of only two national flags that features a firearm, the other being Guatemala.

Maputo (the capital city) is also known as the City of Acacias in reference to acacia trees commonly found along its avenues.

The country’s population is incredibly young. An estimated 45 percent of the population is under 15 years of age. 

Mozambique grows cashew nuts, cotton, tea, sugarcane, corn, coconuts, fruits and potatoes; they also rear cattle and poultry and catch fish.

Mozambique is home to over 200 species of mammal, nearly 600 bird species and almost 6,000 plant species, of which 250 are believed to be endemic.

Mozambique is home to a wide range of wildlife, including elephants, manatees, lions, aardvarks, rhinoceros, hippopotamuses, giraffes, snakes, buffalos, crocodiles, leopards, bushbabies, monkeys, cheetahs, panthers and hyenas!

In 2013, the last rhinos in Mozambique were killed by poachers making them extinct in the country. Wildlife in Mozambique has long suffered from poachers with low-paid rangers open to corruption. Additionally, Mozambican poachers regularly cross into Kruger National Park in South Africa to kill rhinos.

Twenty-five percent of Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa, lies within Mozambique. Lake Malawi is the fourth-largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, the ninth-largest lake in the world by area and the third-largest and second-deepest lake in Africa.

Lake Malawi is sometimes referred to as “the calendar lake” dues to its dimensions: 365 miles long and 52 miles wide.

The lake is home to hundreds of fish species, nearly all endemic. Its importance for the study of evolution has been compared to that of the Galapagos Islands.

The Bazaruto Archipelago is home to the five islands of the Bazaruto National Park where dolphins along with over 2000 types of fish are protected. There are also loggerhead, leatherback and green turtles and even dugongs.

The 31 islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago are home to coral reefs and white sand beaches and are a popular honeymoon destination. In 2017, Lonely Planet named them among their “top 10 honeymoon islands”.

The country is home to some of the world’s best coral reefs. There are over 1,200 species of fish that have been identified in the coastal waters of Mozambique.

Mozambique has 1,535 miles of coastline.

Mozambique’s coastline is home to five of seven endangered species of sea turtles.

The main exports include aluminium, prawns, cotton, sugar, timber, citrus fruits and electricity.

Mozambique has 147 airports/airstrips.  However…only 22 of them have tarred runways!

The CFM railway station in Mozambique is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

If Scrabble allowed place names (proper nouns are not permitted), Mozambique would be worth 34 points – the highest score of any other one-word country. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan share second place on 30.

Mozambique is also the only one-word country that includes all five vowels in its name.

Greetings in Mozambique are lengthy and involve inquiring into the health of each other’s family.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Mozambique... Mozambique's coast is particularly notable for its large marine animals such as whaleswhale sharks, and dolphins.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Avery Elle Sea-Prize stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Cougar 110# White, Fun Stampers Journey Summer Days, and Recollections Black CS

Dies: Frantic Stamper Stitched Waves and Rubbernecker Nested Rectangle Stitch

Embellishments: Recollections Rhinestones

Monday, July 19, 2021

Good Ideas Start with Coffee

I love coffee stamps... so when I saw that the SCS Free For All "Beverage" Challenge (#F4A595) I knew I was going to have to ink up one of my many coffee-themed stamps and make a card. 

I went with Unity's Spring Coffee stamp - because I love the sentiment as well as the gorgeous floral coffee cup.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Unity Spring Coffee stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Cougar 110# White and SU Sahara Sand CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangles and SU Stitched Shapes (Circle)

Embellishments: Brads from an unknown vendor

Sunday, July 18, 2021

From a Kit Series - Take 1

I have a confession to make. I am a kit hoarder. Over the years I've purchased quite a few card-making kits... and they sit. They gather dust. They remain untouched. Now, before you think too poorly of me, let me say - I had good intentions when I purchased them. Really, I did. BUT intentions aren't worth much, are they?

What's a girl to do? 

To encourage force myself to use these kits (at least some of them) I am starting a new monthly series here on my blog. I will use a kit (any previously unused kit) to make a card. My plan is to use one kit each month, at least through the rest of this year.

My first kit is one I purchased - cheap/clearance - from Tonic. It's Kit #24. Here's a picture of what was in the kit...

I am not kidding - it took me literally an hour just to figure out what to attempt with this kit. Then there was a total fail that I tossed when it wasn't even half finished. Back to the thinking process.

Perseverance. A challenge is a challenge is a challenge.

You. can. do. this.

And so I did:

Let's just say there is very VERY little - maybe nothing - that I like about this card. 

So when all was said and done - and the photos taken... I put most of what was in the kit as well as this card in a ziplock bag and put them in the donate box that will soon be going to our local thrift store. I am not going to be using them again. I did keep the circle dies (they were pretty fun even though I didn't use them on my card) and the Happy Birthday dies. I also kept the glitter marker, the glitter glue, and the ink pad. 

I sure hope the kit I use for this challenge next month brings me less frustration and more enjoyment... as well as a decent card. Time will tell.

Thank you for stopping by my blog - even on days like today that are a total fail!

Kit: Tonic Kit #24

Papers: Cougar 110# White and SU So Saffron CS

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangle and Paper Roses Stitched Circles

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Water Those Flowers

It's been a while since I've had the time to participate in any of the daily challenges on SCS. I decided it was past time and I just needed to do one... so I checked to see what challenges looked fun. I immediately knew I wanted to do the Free for All Water Those Flowers Challenge (#F4A594)... because I love making floral cards.

I looked in my stash of stamps for a stamp with flowers in a vase of water. I found exactly what I envisioned in the Technique Tuesday Sunny Flowers stamp set. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp/Die Set: Technique Tuesday Sunny Flowers stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Cougar 110# White and SU Wild Wasabi CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Mini Scallop Rectangle and MFT Stitched Rectangle

Embellishments: Gina Marie Clear Enamel Dots