Saturday, December 31, 2011

Operation Write Home 2011 Top Ten Cards

I thought it would be fun to do a tribute to Operation Write Home cards for 2011.
I'm posting my top ten favorite cards for 2011,
that I made for Operation Write Home.
Most of the layouts for these cards are Operation Write Home Stars & Stamps sketch challenges.
Some of the images are colored with Copic markers and some are pre-colored digital images.
Most of the patterned papers and sentiments are digital.
A couple are "Any Hero" cards...
others were for fund raisers for Operation Write Home,
gratitude and appreciation,
and just the pure love of it.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my top ten favorite cards made for Operation Write Home 2011.

If you just "happened" upon my blog post and would like to see where all the Operation Write Home Top Ten  Favorite Cards are I have a link for you:  OWH Stars & Stamps blog.
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Notes From Home

I have an update about my husband Rick for our family and friends.  
We went for his first Oncologist's appointment Thursday morning (12/29/11) in Lake Havasu City.  The doctor talked with us about options for the treatment of his prostate cancer.  There are about six different ways to treat his type, which as far as they can tell is a slow growing, contained to the prostate type of cancer.  Rick has essentially narrowed it down to two of the options.   He's considering a Radical Prostatectomy or Brachytherapy.  A Radical Prostatectomy (LINK CAUTION - BODY PARTS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO SEE) is a surgery where the prostate gland is removed and the Brachytherapy is a procedure where radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate to kill the cancer.  His oncologist told us along with the treatment Rick chooses he'll  be given  Hormone (androgen deprivation) therapy as well. 

The next step in the process is to have a bone scan to make sure the prostate cancer has not spread to his bones.  We have the order and will make the appointment the beginning of next week.   He also has an appointment with his urologist Thursday, January 5th.  We were told at that appointment we'd need to have made a decision about what treatment he'd be doing.  I actually think we need to hold off until we have the results of the bone scan before we can do that. 

Our day today has been spent mostly checking into our medical insurance, what it covers, co-pays, deductibles, out of pocket costs, etc.   It's been interesting and again we've learned a lot.  That family plan of medical insurance that takes more than half of his retirement check is looking pretty good right now. 

I'll update again when we know something new.  Thanks for your love and care. 

Inky Antics Charming Kitties

I have a couple of fun cards to share with you today using acrylic stamps from Inky Antics.  This set is called Charming Kitties and I bought it at Sugar Shack in Lake Havasu.

My layout is a Splitcoast Stampers sketch challenge #355.  I used Copic X Press It blending card, Basic Grey Ambrosia designer paper, Basic Black, Neenah Classic Crest Pewter & Stampin' Up! Only Orange as well as Mohawk Bright White for the card base.

Copic markers are pictured below:

I have a second card using this cute stamp set too.

All the supplies used are the same except for the buttons from my stash and some crochet thread and I used a different embossing folders made by Sizzix and Cuttlebug.  The layout for this card is from Sweet Sunday Sketch #136.

Thanks for visiting my blog today -


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Doodle Pantry Heart Sheep

Exciting news!!!
I wanted to take a moment today to let you know Doodle Pantry is having a sale!
  You need to go check out the Doodle Pantry store!  

My card uses Doodle Pantry's Heart Sheep and  Hearts A Flutter digital papers and now you can have them for your very own for half off!  

I copied and pasted Laurie's Doodle Pantry e mail below!

WHAT'S NEW for a special END OF YEAR mini release!
We've decided to release 3 products today, and a fourth mini free w/purchase.

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This one is free w/purchase ONLY from Dec 29-Dec 31!

SPECIAL: Get 50% off all digital images (excludes watermarks and gift certificates)
from December 29 thru January 2! 
Just enter RINGITIN in the coupon field at the bottom of the cart and click SUBMIT to see the discount apply to the total, and then checkout.

And on Jan 1, there will be MORE products released, including another free w/purchase from Jan 1-24, so I hope you'll come back on the 1st to check it out!

Our next Challenge, DPDC19    
starts on January 1!   
Deadline to enter is the 24th late in the evening
8:00 pm central time (9:00 pm pacific time) 
 Below will be the complimentary featured product just for playing with us.
  NOTE:  This set is NOT for sale during the challenge period!  To get it free, just play in our challenge from Jan 1 - 24. After that, it will be put for sale.
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Verve Visual With Gratitude

It's time for a new Midweek Throwdown challenge on the Operation Write Home Stars & Stamps blog, today's challenge is in honor of one of our retiring shippers, Dixie!  The challenge is to make Thank You cards for our heroes to send home to their family and friends.

Dixie has passed on her duties as an Operation Write Home Shipper to Caro after serving for two years - and we wanted to do something special in her honor to say THANKS for all her hard work and dedication!   I hope you'll have time to play along in our fun challenge this week.

Today's card was made with a Verve Visual acrylic stamp set, embossing powder, Spellbinders dies a Stampin' Up! Canvas background stamp and a scrap of black and white digital paper and beautiful organdy ribbon.  I love making bows with organdy ribbon!  I really like the way my card turned out except for the dots of black embossing powder in all the places I didn't want it.  Now I remember why I like black pigment ink and clear embossing powder, lol!  That's what I get for using so many digital images anymore, I'm out of practice with my heat embossing technique.  

Have a blessed day a & thanks for visiting my blog today -

Operation Write Home Stars & Stamps - Thank You 
Cooking It Up With Katie - Anything Goes 
Crafty Creations - Gratitude 
My Mum's Craft Shop - Anything Goes 
The Paper Shelter - A Tied Bow

Monday, December 26, 2011

Stretch & Bubbles Once There Was A Snowman

I have a fun card to share today using Stretch & Bubbles "Once There Was A Snowman" digital image that's actually for our Seems A Little Sketchy challenge #3.  

I sized this cute digital image to fit the focal point of sketch #3 and then cropped a snowflake out and added it back into the image to make it wider.  That might be too much information but... that's what I did (:  The image is colored with Copic markers pictured below:

You might be wondering where I used the E49, I "enhanced" the three brown Dew Drops before adding them to my card.  The patterned papers are made by Basic Grey from the Eskimo Kisses collection.  The other papers are Nut Brown, Copic X Press It & Neenah Kraft card stocks and the snowflake is a die made by Die-namics.  I also used Papertrey Ink's envelope liner die, it's a nice way to use up some of those left over scraps of designer paper.

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season and have some creative time so you can join in our sketch challenge at Seems A Little Sketchy!  Our design team has more wonderful sketch samples on our challenge blog, see you there (:

Thanks for visiting my blog today - 


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas from sunny Arizona!
I don't have a card to post today as I'm spending time with our family but I do have a couple of family photos.

My oldest son stopped by the other day wanting some pictures of his brother and sister with him so I was happy to do that.  I'd love to have those myself!  As you can see Maxine needed to be in the photo too.

And when we were done it was time to play!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Accordion File Purse

I have a gift item to share with you today.
The holidays are here and we all need a little something for special people in our lives.  

I've been holding this one back for awhile now, it was a birthday gift for a friend of mine.  I stuffed it with cards I've made and didn't want her to possibly see it early and ruin the surprise.

I've had another one of these accordion file purses on my desk forever.  It's been waiting to be "re-made", I originally wanted it to be large enough to fit A2 sized cards so I could fill it and give it as a gift.  The first one I made using Maria Bell's tutorial isn't big enough to hold A2 cards but it is perfect to hold my printed digital images that need to be colored. 

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family tomorrow and thanks for visiting my blog!

Cooking It Up With Katie - Anything Goes

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas 1912

I have some fun cards to share with you today.  We were watching Antique Road Show the other night on T.V. and there was a man who had a binder full of post cards from the early 1900's that was appraised at $5000.00.  They were in pristine condition and just beautiful.  That sparked a thought in my mind and I got up and went down the hall to retrieve the box of cards my Grandfather had saved... 

1 cent post cards were very popular in the early 1900's.  This is a Christmas postcard received by my grandmother Estella Fisher Hunnicutt in 1912.  I scanned these and have the back too.

I believe she was born in 1903, so she would have been 9 years old when she received this card.  She died in 1933 from a brain aneurism when my Dad was 6 years old.

I'm not sure of the date on this one, some are easier to see the dates than others.  Scanning them actually made a lot of the post mark dates easier to read.

My cards are not in pristine condition, but I think they're a real family treasure and very inspiring to me as a card maker.

This one in person is a lot more interesting, it's a hologram and changes and sparkles when you tilt it this way and that.  The date on the bottom front is 1908.  

I have an old dress shirt box full of my Grandmother's post cards, I'll share more later.  There are some wonderful Valentine's and other occasions cards. 

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lily Boo's Boy Story 5

We have a new Midweek Throwdown challenge at Operation Write Home Stars & Stamps today and our theme is BIRTHDAY CARDS!  

I used a Lily Boo Designs digital image for my card, it's already been shipped to Operation Write Home so I don't have any Copic marker colors to list.  My guess at the cardstock colors are Via Vellum Leaf Green, Stampin' Up! Brilliant Blue, Basic Black and Neenah Solar White.  

With just a few days until Christmas my blog post is quick, lots to do, lots to do!

I hope you have time for our Birthday Cards challenge at Operation Write Home Stars & Stripes, 
have a great day!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Clip Art Fairy Cool Valentine Cats

I have one more fun Valentine using The Clip Art Fairy's pre - colored "Cool Valentine Cats" today.  The deadline to have our Valentine's to our Operation Write Home shippers is December 31st.

I used Operation Write Home's Sunday Sketch #82 as inspiration for my card layout.

God Bless You in this busy busy holiday season -

Monday, December 19, 2011

D.J. Inkers Seasons Greetings

I have a Christmas card to share today, I mass produced 80 of these recently for our church.  

Here's a trip through part of the process.

The image is pre-colored from D.J. Inkers that comes in the set "Season's Greetings".
As a card maker one can't have too much help with a mass production project.  Inky the cat is doing her part, she's in charge of quality control.  Quite honestly her all time favorite thing to do with my cards is find the envelopes and lick the glue off of them (:

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Crafty Boots - Christmas
Weekly Christmas Card Challenge - Christmas Non Traditional Colors
Dream Valley Challenges - Christmas
Gingerloft - Christmas

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Copic Marker Maintenance

Do your Copic markers look like this?  Ewwwww...

I thought I'd take a little time today to delve into maintaining our Copic makers.  

Have you ever been coloring and noticed a fleck of something on your image and wiped it away only to have a (usually red for me) nasty smudge on your work?  Can you see the wet and dried ink above the nibs and in the caps of my makers?  Those little bits of dried ink can fall off on what you're working on and create ugly smudges when you try to wipe them away. 

That's where maintenance comes in:

What you see here is a box of Copic marker refills, the refill needles, 91% Isopropyl Alcohol, Copic blending solution, used cotton balls, a couple of small containers to hold cleaning solutions and a taken apart Copic BG72 marker.  

I use the alcohol on cotton balls to clean my Copic marker barrels and caps.  I also have a clogged marker nib every once in awhile and I use the alcohol to soak the nib in to see if I can get it unclogged before I replace the nib.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  The 91% alcohol is much cheaper than the Copic blending solution so I use it first and have had great success with it for cleaning.  

This picture is just a closer view of soaking a clogged marker nib.  It never truly came clean so I replaced it with a new one.  

I hope my blog post today was helpful to you, thanks for visiting my blog!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hero Arts Operation Write Home Blog Skip

Welcome to our Operation Write Home Hero Arts blog skip, if you've arrived here from Yolanda's blog you're on the right track.  If not and you'd like to start at the beginning click here to be directed to the Operation Write Home Stars & Stamps blog.

My card uses one of the newest OWH/Hero Arts sets.  This set stayed on my desk for awhile and I kept looking at it and seeing patterned paper so I gave into the urge to ink up the entire set in it's packaging and stamp it on a sheet of Kraft cardstock.  I thought Operation Write Home's sketch #99 from this last Sunday would be the perfect way to use my "background". 

Be sure to leave comments because...
OWH is giving away one of each of the Hero Arts stamp sets, and the 3 winners will be picked from all comments on all the blogs in the skip - the more blogs you comment on, the more entries you have! Winners will be drawn Sunday night.

 Your next stop in our skip is Julie at 

Thanks for visiting my blog today!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Notes From Home

What a totally busy time of year! 

My blog post today is personal, I don't have a card to share but I did get a photo of my husband and kids decorating the Christmas tree last night.  

I've been avoiding doing this blog post but want a place for our friends and family to check in and keep up to date if they'd like.  

We received news Thursday December 8th at my husband Rick's doctors appointment, about his prostate biopsy from 21/2 weeks ago. The results were positive for prostate cancer, the good news is it is contained to the prostate right now so it appears to be in the early stage. We have an appointment with an oncologist in Lake Havasu City (35 miles away) the 29th of December and then a follow up with his urologist after the first of the year on Jan. 5th, we'll need to make decisions about his treatment at that time. We came home with the book 100 Questions & Answers About Prostate Cancer from the doctor’s office, it has lots of information, questions and answers about prostate cancer, treatments, expectations, etc.

We've both finished the book and have talked a little about treatment options.  He's narrowed it down to having his prostate removed or radiation therapy where radioactive seeds are implanted in the prostate to kill the cancer.  We'll talk with an oncologist next and be more informed of our options locally then I'm sure.

Please keep our family in your prayers.
Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Clip Art Fairy Cool Valentine Cats

It might seem a bit odd ten days before Christmas to be making Valentine cards but that's what our newest challenge calls for at Operation Write Home Stars and Stamps for our Midweek Throwdown challenge!  The deadline to get our Valentine's to our shippers is December 31st.

I used Operation Write Home's sketch challenge #96 for my layout and a Papertrey Ink acrylic stamp set for sentiments along with a little Basic Grey paper to go with my Neenah Red Pepper Linen and Basic Black.  

My second card uses another image from the  Cool Valentine Cats clip art set, I thought I'd set this one aside for my husband.
I hope you'll join our Midweek Throwdown challenge at Operation Write Home Stars and Stamps this week!  

Thanks for visiting my blog today -


Monday, December 12, 2011

A Day For Daisies Angels Resting

My card is for our Stamps R Us "Angels" challenge that starts today!  The last challenge of the year for us, our team is taking a very short break to celebrate Christmas with our families so this challenge will last three weeks, ending the evening of Januray 1, 2012.  One lucky card maker will win a fabulous prize package from Tammy at A Day For Daisies!  

I used our sponsor A Day For Daisies Angels Resting digital image and colored with Copic markers pictured below:

My sketch layout is Splitcoast Stampers sketch challenge #296.  The cranberry colored panel is made using Copic R89, Colorless Blender and an acrylic stamp.  The card stock colors I used are Basic Black, Copic X Press It, Discount Cardstock's Royal Blue & Neenah Kraft.  I added Stickles Ice to the wings and used a couple different Cuttlebug embossing folders.

I hope you'll have some crafting time and will join in our challenge at Stamps R Us!

Thanks for visiting my blog today -

Stamps R Us - Angels