Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Ink Pad Experiment #4

You might recall that I mentioned I was wanting to invest in some colored ink pads, but am not sure what brand I want so I'm testing some to see which brand best meets my needs. If you missed that blog post, you can check it out - HERE

I'm wanting dye inks that blend smoothly with blender brushes but are also suitable for stamping. 

For today's card I used Taylored Expressions Ink Pads. I have several of their ink pads, thanks to some virtual events I've joined in the past, so I decided to use stencils and several colors of ink.

These ink pads blended nicely, as you can see in the picture of my card. Oh my, I'm beginning to realize choosing "the" ink I want to invest in is going to be very difficult.

I still have a few brands to try before I decide which I like best.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Paper: Accent Opaque 120# White and SU Parakeet Party CS 

Ink (for blending): Taylored Expressions Candy Corn, Guava, Lemon Meringue Lime Zest, and Pineapple

Stencils: Newton's Nook Retro Sun & Palms and Top Notch Inspiration

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangles

Embellishments: Pretty Pink Posh Butter Cream Jewels


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Travel the World - Hungary

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. By the end of 2021, I'd virtually traveled to 145 countries and plan to complete my journey to all 195 countries by visiting the last 50 this year.

This week's country is...


Hungary is one of Central Europe's landlocked countries. It is bordered to the north by Slovakia, northeast by Ukraine, southeast by Romania, Serbia and Croatia, southwest by Slovenia, and to the west by Austria.

Hungary was founded in 895, making it one of the oldest countries in Europe.

The country was formerly a part of the Roman Empire, after the fall of which, ‘the Huns’ – people of the country at that time – gave the country their name – Hungary.

About 2.5 million native Hungarian people do not live in Hungary. Rather, they live in Romania and other countries in western Europe as well as in North America.

Budapest is the capital of Hungary and the largest city, by far. Over 1.7 million people live in Budapest – roughly one-fifth of the total population of Hungary (9.7 million).

The beautiful city of Budapest is made up of two parts which are separated by the Danube river. The areas – known as Buda and Pest, are connected by a series of bridges. The beautiful Hungarian Parliament building is on the Pest side of the river.

Hungary is among the thirty most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Calling someone by their first name before being invited to do so is considered rude in Hungary.

Many Hungarians find whistling, humming, or singing in public impolite.

Hungary is home to 1,000 lakes.

Hungary might be a land-locked country without an ocean, but it’s home to the largest lake in Central Europe, named Balaton Lake.

White storks are found in the Balaton Lake area.

The animals of Hungary include deer, foxes, hares, and squirrels. Wild boars, wolves, jackals, lynxes, and beavers are also found.

Water Polo is a national sport in Hungary.

The world-famous escape artist Harry Houdini was also born in Budapest, Hungary.

Back in 1988, shortly before the fall of communism in 1989, McDonald’s became the first foreign fast-food restaurant to be established in Hungary. However, it wasn’t the first fast-food restaurant in the country because there was also a local fast-food chain called City Grill and another one called the Paprika.

Hungarians love Paprika so much, it is their National Spice. There are eight grades of Hungarian paprika, ranging from mild to sweet to spicy hot. The love of Paprika is so great, there are actually two museums dedicated to the wonderful spice.

Hungary’s Budapest Metro remains the oldest underground electrified railway system in Europe and the third oldest underground railway globally.

The wheeled multi-passenger vehicle was invented in Hungary in 1500.

The person who discovered Vitamin C, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, was born In Budapest, Hungary in 1893.

The ballpoint pen was invented by a Hungarian names Laszlo Biro.

A Hungarian engineer, Béla Barényi, created the first Volkswagen Beetle in 1938.

Soccer remains the most popular game in Hungary, and Hungarians still remember the 1953 match of the century where Hungary won over England at Wembley Stadium, England.

There are more than 1500 spas in Hungary, but the capital takes the prize when it comes to the number of thermal springs. In fact, Budapest has the highest number of thermal springs of anywhere in the world.

Hungary hosts the largest cultural and musical festival in Europe – the Sziget Festival. The Budapest Spring Festival is another such festival, attracting musicians and artists from all over the world.

There is a list of pre-approved names that you can name your child in Hungary, but if you want to name your child with a name that’s not on the list, you’ll have to submit an application.

The Rubik's Cube is an Hungarian invention.

The helicopter and ballpoint pen were also invented by Hungarians.

Hungarians pride themselves on winning gold medals every time they have participated in the Olympic Games. Considering the population size, they are ranked second just behind Finland in the number of golds won.

Hungarians are reputed to be the only people who can enter a revolving door behind you and emerge ahead. (Hmmmmm... I'm shaking my head at that one.)

Most people in Hungary use their last name when they are writing or when introducing themselves to the public.

Coffee is considered the national drink of Hungary.

When drinking beer with friends, Hungarians have vowed not to clink glasses after their generals were executed by Austrians, who later celebrated by drinking beers and clinking their mugs.

The national dish for Hungary is gulyas (goulash). Cooked with peppers, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, diced beef, and paprika, traditional goulash is a thick soup or stew. It dates back to the 9th century when it was eaten by shepherds from the Magyar tribes.

Hungarians are very fond of red pepper powder.

Some Hungarians may be offended if you season your food with salt/pepper.

It is considered impolite to leave food on one's plate.

To indicate that you have finished eating, place your knife and fork parallel across the plate.

Hungarians consider punctuality to be important. 

It takes eight years for a person to complete basic education in Hungary, which is divided into two four years stages.

The literacy rate in Hungary is 99%.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Hungary... Horsemanship has a long history in Hungary, going back to the first Hungarians who rode horseback from Central Asia to settle in present day Hungary. Cowboys can still be seen in the plains of Hungary. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp: Nellie Snellen Jippie Yeah stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Accent Opaque 120# White and SU Balmy Blue CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangles and MFT Stitched Tag-Corner Squares

Embellishments: Ribbon from an unknown vendor

Monday, August 29, 2022

Crafting Happiness 08.29.2022

I didn't have long to sit on this... but I have exciting news to share today. My online friend Janis reached out to me with an offer I couldn't didn't want to refuse. In case you're wondering who Janis is, she's the amazingly talented crafter whose blog is called Pause Dream Enjoy. Sheesh! She has over 2,000 followers, which is incredible but not surprising since she' such an inspiration.

But I digress. Her offer. She invited me to join the design team of her challenge blog called Crafting Happiness Challenges. Of course I quickly said yes. (insert squealing!)

It's official!
THANK YOU, Janis!!!

There is a new challenge EVERY Monday... with a theme of course, but also the option to make either a card or anything but a card.

Oh, and lest you think I'm a slacker, you'll not see a post from me every Monday here on my blog because DT members choose which week (or more than one week) each month that they want to participate.

I really do hope you'll check out the challenges. This week's is right up my alley, as the saying goes. It's flowers!

i. love. coloring. flowers. So, of course I make a lot of floral cards.

Easy peasy. Now it's your turn. I'd love to see links to your floral cards on the Crafting Happiness Challenges blog this week. --> HERE.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp: Ink on 3 Dogwood Flowers stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Accent Opaque 120# White and SU Cucumber Crush CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangles

Embellishments: Clear Enamel Dots from an unknown vendor

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Water w/ Ken Oliver Color Burst

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 Sharon's turn. She challenged us to use water on our cards in some way. It could be a water image, a spritz of water, the word water, anything to do with water. After the paper was completely dry, I blended Stampin' UP! Blueberry Bushel ink around the edges.

Because of the business of color on my card, I decided not to add any additional embellishments.

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

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Papers:  Accent Opaque 120# White and SU Blueberry Bushel CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangles, Rubbernecker Rectangle with Pierce, and Whimsy Hello Word and Shadow

Additional Items: Ken Oliver Color Burst in various colors and SU Blueberry Bushel Ink

Friday, August 26, 2022

BK - Book Town

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.

I used the new Book Town stamp today. This really is a great stamp - the buildings look like books. How fun!

You can check out the stamp set in the Blue Knight Rubber Stamps store - HERE.

Card #1

I used a spotlight technique on this card, coloring only part of the image. 

Card #2

I gave the fully colored stamp a framed look by using two frames, each tilted slightly. I also added a sentiment from the Blue Knight Rubber Stamps Friends Rock One Line Sentiments stamp set.

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, August 25, 2022

It's a Fan Club Christmas - August

It is no secret that I am a fan of Splitcoaststampers. I joined in January of 2008 and it soon became a place that I loved. Many friendships have been made there, I've gained inspiration and been challenged to try new things, I've participated in swaps and challenges and special events. Many of you totally understand what I mean when I say SCS is my happy place because it's your happy place, too. 

I didn't know there was such a thing as an SCS Fan Club in those days, but when I heard about it, I decided to join, thinking I could give back a little bit to the site that means so much to me. Little did I know that I get much more as a fan club member than I ever give. There are just so many fun perks, the monthly Fan Club Christmas/Winter Challenge, being one of them.

Each month you'll find a card here on my blog that I've made with for that month's challenge... but of course, I can't share what the theme is. If you are an SCS fan club member, you can learn all the details there. If you're not, I hope you'll enjoy my card anyway.

Here's this month's card...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp/Die Set: Taylored Expressions Poinsettia Bouquet stamped with Maker Forte Eclipse Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Accent Opaque 120# White, Recollections Black, and SU Purely Pomegranate CS and DP from my scrap file

Ink (for blending): Concord & 9th Ballet Slippers and Honeysuckle

Dies: Gina K Master Layouts 2, MFT Stitched Rectangles, and Paper Roses Stitched Circles

Embellishments: Kat Scrappiness Pink Glass Bubble Mix

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Travel the World - Estonia

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. By the end of 2021, I'd virtually traveled to 145 countries and plan to complete my journey to all 195 countries by visiting the last 50 this year.

This week's country is...


Located in Northern Europe, Estonia's three bordering countries are Latvia, Russia, and Finland.

Estonia is about twice the size of New Jersey.

The Estonian language is one of the hardest to learn for a native English speaker.

Estonia is among the least densely populated countries in Europe.

The country’s nickname is e-Estonia. It refers to Estonia‘s advanced digitisation and innovative digital solutions.

Estonians can vote from the sauna. Or a hot tub. Or the forest. For Estonians, almost all public services are available online. Their digital ID-Card allows them to do everything online, with the exception of getting married, getting divorced, or buying and selling a property.

Estonia has 2222 islands. Only twenty two of the islands are inhabited year round. 

Over 50% of Estonian land is covered in forest.

Estonia’s national pastime is foraging. Everyone is allowed to pick and eat whatever they find in government-owned forests.

Estonia is home to one of the world’s most poisonous mushrooms, the white and green death cap, which resembles several edible mushrooms.

Walking through the forests of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, visitors will often come upon abandoned Soviet military buildings such as bunkers and watchtowers. Many of these defense structures played a role in the fighting between the German and Soviet armies during World War II.

Estonia boasts some of the cleanest air in the world.

Estonia sees millions of migratory birds. At least 380 species of birds are spotted in Estonia annually. The bird watching season begins in early March in the country.

The tallest mountain–Suur Munamägi–in the country is just about 1000 ft in height.

Estonia has singing sand. It's a strange phenomenon that happens when you step in the sand on the islands of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa, which sound like a violin playing.

An oak tree in the middle of a football (American's call it soccer) field in Estonia won European Tree of the Year in 2015, taking in nearly 60,000 votes. That’s a whopping 32% of votes cast. 

Estonia holds the largest collection of folk songs in the world - over 133,000.

The Song Festival, held every five years in Tallinn Estonia, is famous for the highest number of choral singers on stage at once. All together 34,000 people turn up to sing, up to 18,000 people can be on stage at the same time and over 200, 000 people attend the event. That’s nearly 1/6 of the entire population!

Wife carrying is a sport in Estonia. As the name suggests, husbands pick up their wives and race several hundred metres with their better (and clearly wiser) halves upside down on their backs, with her legs over his neck and shoulders. The track must have two dry obstacles and a one-metre deep water obstacle. And, here’s the kicker – the ‘wife’ carried must indeed be your own, or a neighbour’s, and at least 17 years old.

Marriage is not that big of a thing for Estonians. Not only have marriages declined in absolute numbers, but Estonians also marry later in life. Many Estonians raise their children as partners, without intending to get married at all.

Public transportation in Estonia's capital city is free for the registered residents of the city, however, everyone else must pay to use it.

It is a law in Estonia to have safety reflectors attached whether you are walking or biking during the night time or when the visibility is inadequate. The reflector can be pinned to your handbag, coat or any other suitable place where it is easily spottable.

It is possible to travel on ice roads in Estonia during winters. Ice roads are formed between the mainland and the islands when the Baltic Sea freezes during winters.

Lake Peipsi is Estonia’s largest lake and Europe’s fourth largest freshwater lake.

Estonia is considered one of the “least religious” countries in the world, according to a 2011 poll, where only 29% of the population declared that religion was an important part in their daily lives.

Visitors to the country are likely to sight wolves, lynxes and brown bears.

Estonia is home to around 900 bears, 200 wolves, 200 lynx, and 12.000 moose.

The most common large mammal in Estonia is the roe deer numbering more than 100.000 animals.

The national animal of Estonia is the grey wolf, the national flower the blue cornflower and the national bird the barn swallow.

Business cards are pinned on the wall of the airport in Tallinn. You can stick your own business card on the wall and pick the one that is of interest to you. It’s a great way to network with people and find useful stuff. 

Café culture is quite popular in the country. Cafes can be found in almost every corner and street across the country. The cafes in the country are small, cozy and provide a home-like feeling to its customers.

The Estonians invented Kiiking, which is considered a sport. It involves fastening yourself to an enormous standing steal swing (kiik means swing in Estonian) which has a full 360 degrees of rotation to it. To swing a kiiker the contestant must pump by squatting and standing up on the swing. The swing gains momentum taking the person in full circle by his skillful pumping.

Estonia has a literacy rate of 99.8%, which makes it rank second in the world for that matter.

Estonians top the world average of the number of books people own. On average, Estonians own 218 books per household and 35% of respondents own 350 books or more.

Every country has its own share of Christmas customs, some of which may seem a little strange to foreigners, and Estonia is no exception. Instead of leaving milk and cookies out for Father Christmas, Estonian children leave slippers on the window sill for the elves, who will, in return leave sweets in the morning.

A common tradition on New Year’s Eve is õnne valamine or the ‘pouring of luck’. Lead is melted over a stove in a metal ladle and then poured quickly, or slowly into ice cold water. What appears are interesting lead figures, which can then tell you your fortune for the upcoming year.

The wolf is one of the most popular animals in Estonian folklore; there are over 500 names and stories about this animal. So, it’s only appropriate that the wolf was chosen as Estonia’s national animal this year.

Aside from spring, summer, autumn, and winter, Soomaa National Park in the southwest of the country has a fifth season. Every year after snowmelt or heavy rainfalls, the landscape is completely flooded. Canoes become the only means of transportation during that time.

Estonia is the birthplace of Skype and hotmail.

Estonians are not known as great conversationalists. At first, they can seem a bit reserved or even grumpy as they are not fond of over-sharing information. However, with some time, Estonians open up and develop into engaged conversationalists. The best chances to see this happen are in a sauna or at a campfire.

Estonians love saunas.

In Tartu, visitors can experience the most immersive Estonian sauna experience: Staying on a sauna boat overnight and jumping in the Emajõgi river to cool down.

Estonia’s first spa, providing mud treatments, was founded in Kuressaare in 1840. There is now one spa for every ten residents in the town.

Estonians don‘t exaggerate. Compared to other cultures, Estonian‘s are very matter-of-fact and down-to-earth. They are known to describe things as they are instead of using superlatives for everything.

When Estonians express that something is good, they instead use the word “normal”.

Estonians celebrate their independence twice a year. Once on the 24th of February and the other on the 20th of August.

Some say that Tallinn‘s St Olaf‘s Church was once the tallest building in the world. However, as it lacked a lightning arrester, it was repeatedly struck by lightning which caused damage in the form of fires.

The world’s first underwater draughts tournament was held in January 2011 in Valtu, near the Estonian town of Rapla. The event was attended by 52 Estonian divers and made it into the Guinness Book of Records.

One of the biggest meteorites to hit the Earth in the recent history landed in Saaremaa island, in what today is the village of Kaali.

The first meal consumed in space was prepared in Estonia. A factory in Põltsamaa became the caterer to the Soviet space programme in 1962 and started packaging ready-made food into tin tubes, the only available means at the time.

Marzipan is one of the oldest sweets made in Estonia, first used as a medicine as it was thought to have healing properties. 

Estonia has the largest number of museums per person in the world, at one museum for every 5,300 Estonians. On average, Estonians visit a museum twice a year.

The Tallinn Zoo has the world’s largest selection of rare chamois and wild sheep.

Estonia is Europe’s largest exporter of wooden houses.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Estonia... Ninety-nine percent of Estonians have blue eyes.

Her blue eyes don't show up well in the photo, but she does have blue eyes.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Penny Black Saying a Latte stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Accent Opaque 120# White and SU Pacific Point and Poppy Parade CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: Gina K Master Layouts 2, MFT Stitched Rectangles, and Paper Roses Stitched Circles

Embellishments: This Calls for Confetti Turquoise

Monday, August 22, 2022

Double Duty 2022 - Penny Black

In January of 2021, my stamping comrades Barb and Kelly and I debuted a new series/challenge. Double Duty was Barb's idea... and it is a GREAT idea! I've had so much fun with this series. Thanks for inviting me to play along, Barb!

This is Barb's description of the Double Duty concept...

Each month, we get to pick a stamp set from a predetermined company. Then, we will use that one stamp set and make two cards from the set.  Different images and sentiments from the same set can be used, or use the same image two different ways—Double Duty either way!  But, as an added challenge, one item must be used on both cards—same color cardstock, same ribbon, same stencil, same something.  Double Duty Again!  Post both cards on your blog on the same day—the 22nd of each month.  See-Double Duty again!  Have fun getting doubly inky each month with a different stamp company.  Let’s have fun!

Over the past year, things have changed a bit in who's participating, but not in the instructions. This year's Double Duty crafters are Barb, Carol, Darlene, and me.

This month's company is Penny Black.

Here's my first card...

Here's the second one...

Here's the inside of my second card...

The first card has the same "Happy Birthday" sentiment stamped inside, but no strip of designer paper.

The thing/s that are the same on both cards (as per the challenge specifications) are: the color of the card base, the embellishments, the same color of scarf on the pup, and the same sentiments.

Let's check out the other Double Duty cards, too...




Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Supplies Used

Stamp/Die Set: Penny Black Ate the Candles stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Accent Opaque 120# White, Recollections Kraft, and SU Real Red CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangles, MFT Stitched Tag-Corner Rectangles, and Whimsy Sprinkles Scallops Rectangles

Embellishments: Studio Katia Lipstick Red Crystals