Tuesday, 16 January 2018

There's a new kid on the block!



Those two words came to me when I discovered the brand new Twofer Card Challenge introduced by Darnell this month.  One image.  Two cards.  Two totally different designs.

Well, you know I had to try it, right?

Since the prompt word for the challenge is "feathers", I turned to a retired set by Stampin' Up! called Fine Feathers.  The peacock feather in the set gave me some ideas. 

For the first card I stamped the feather several times in a circle, always touching the sides.  Can you see it?  There is a little creature that was simply begging to be created.  I coloured the stamped areas using my Stampin' Blends, the Smoky Slate, Crumb Cake, Daffodil Delight and Pumpkin Pie.  The little creature really began to come to life.  Since I only wanted part of the stamped area to show, I created a tree with a hollow from which he could peek out.  Perfect!  I'm thinking Owl, but it could be anything.

My next card shows off that wonderful feather in all its coloured glory.  I used a mixture of Stampin' Blends and Stampin' Markers for the colours.  Bright!  And so different from the little creature in the other card.

Now Darnell wants the cards photographed together and so here they are.

I hope you'll go over to the Twofer Card Challenge for a look at all the other creations.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Pink and White and Roses --There's Music in the Air!

Sometimes a challenge can be more than a challenge.  Sometimes it is an inspiration that just won't let you go until you've created something.  That's what happened to me when I saw the lovely pink and white inspiration photo at the Inkspirational Challenge.  I knew what I wanted to do and hoped that I could somehow translate my ideas into a card.

I began with simply heat embossing a section of the background stamp set, Sheet Music.  I used white embossing powder but I think that's going to have to be replaced because it's taking on a more vintage, yellowish tinge.  In other words, it's ageing gracefully.  I used a piece of Shimmery White cardstock for that but the shimmer seems to be lost to the camera lens.  Once the heat embossing was nicely cooled and hardened, I randomly covered it with a wash  of Powder Pink ink and then sponged the lower section to make it a bit darker pink.

After that I cut two roses using my Rose Garden thinlets, one from Powder Pink cardstock and the other from Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer paper.  I also cut a small "love" from Shimmery White cardstock and sponged that to give it an ombre look.

I think the pearls and vellum leaves which I added are the perfect finishing touch, don't you?

I've entered this card into the Inkspirational #152 - Violin Photo Challenge.

I've also entered this card into the Addicted to CAS #127 - Music Challenge.

And finally I've also entered this card into the Let's Craft and Create Challenge #133 - Option Love is in the Air.

Friday, 12 January 2018

HLS January Christmas Challenge - Winter Wonderland

It's not hard to create Christmas cards when there is snow everywhere and the temperatures are hideously cold.  I decided to use a Stampendous stamp which really fit into the scene that I see when I look outside.  Oh, maybe there are more houses around, but the white stuff is there all right. 

Looking further into my stash, I found just the right sentiment in a set by Fiskars. 

All the colouring was done with my alcohol pens, the Stampin' Blends by Stampin' Up!  I decided to use a Smoky Slate cross-stitch die-cut matte to accent the light grey in the scene.  Otherwise I've used Whisper White.

I'm playing along with the HLS January Christmas Challenge which is CAS.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

HLS January ATC Challenge - From a Tiny Acorn

Well, I'm entering 2018, already having learned something new.   It's a bit of a thrill to both solve a mystery and to try something new as a new year begins.

What is this new thing I've learned?  Well I've been seeing "ATC" here and there and have even seen whole challenges featuring ATC's.  Finally I began doing a search and discovered that this is a new and novel way to showcase one's art.  They are "Artists' Trading Cards", in case, like me, you've been wondering.  They are always 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" but outside of the size, there aren't any rules.  Well, except for having one's name and a run-down of techniques/products used on the back.  So, instead of giving out business cards, artists have begun doing this.  So cool!

Of course I had to try my hand at making one of these ATCs.  Since my newest and most fun technique of the moment is using Brushos, that is the first thing that came to mind in creating this ATC.  After deciding that, it was just a matter of having fun.

It's all about trees for the January HLS ATC Challenge and so I decided to use my Lovely As A Tree Stamp set.  That one remains my favourite when it comes to trees.  Using the "mighty" Oak tree as well as the branch with the Oak leaves and acorn, I stamped the images on a piece of Whisper White backed with Soft Suede.  Then I used my alcohol Stampin' Blends to colour the scene.  Turning to the tiny Labeler Alphabet, I spelled out "GROW" in the upper right corner.  And I was done.

I hope you'll check out the HLS January ATC Challenge like I did. 

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Thanks a Latte

Sketches are fun.  They challenge one to keep within the parameters of a set design and still come up with one's own fun creation.  Well with the sketch by Crystal Komora over at the Paper Craft Crew I knew right away I wanted to use my Coffee Cafe stamp set.  Strangely enough, the only stamp which I used out of the set was the sentiment "Thanks a Latte" and, actually, I cut the "Thanks" away. 

The Designer Paper for the Coffee Break Suite is awesome.  I love the colours.  I love the designs on all the papers.  I can't say enough about it.  It rocks!  So I cut out some of the awesome images, such as the coffee pot and the three little "to-go cups" and, along with the strip of coffee bean Designer Paper, I used that for the card.  My colours?  Keeping with the colours in the paper, I used a base of Whisper White, an embossed layer of Crumb Cake, and then some additional bits of Garden Green and Early Espresso.

I used a large "Thanks" die to cut into the embossed Crumb Cake and then bumped it up on three layers of Early Espresso "Thanks" before adhering it back onto the card.  Cutting into the little stamped oval with the "Thanks" die allowed me to push the "A Latte" portion right into the "Thanks".

I'm playing along with the Paper Craft Crew Challenge #275 (PCC275).

I'm also playing along with the Simon Says Wednesday Challenge Blog which is all about using patterned paper.  Since all my images are from patterned paper as well, I'm in.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Dies, Dies, and Love!

I've been buying a fair number of dies over the past few months.  They don't correspond to a stamped image but they have taken my fancy.  Time, however, to begin using rather than collecting.

I've been going through my drawers, finding products and even kits which I've forgotten.  Time to use or lose.  It's a new year.  I don't like resolutions--too easy to break.  I do, however, like the idea of refreshing my life.  I need to empty those spaces which hold all the unused things I've hoarded and this I've begun to do.

What fun to discover several challenges which I could combine and from which I could get inspiration.  Here, then, is my card using new and old dies, retired punches, assorted inks and bits and pieces of varied papers.  It evolved as I used each product and took on a life of its own.  I'm happy with the results.

Stamps:  Timeless Textures (SU!)

Papers:  Soft Suede, Early Espresso and Very Vanilla cardstocks; Copper Foil; Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper.

Dies:  Trellis from a retired Simply Sent kit (SU!); Words and Flowers (unknown companies) from a source in Saskatchewan; Punches: Confetti Hearts Border (retired SU!)

Inks: Vintage Photo, Wild Honey, Peeled Paint Ranger Distress Oxides; Antique Linen Ranger Distress Ink; Encore Gold Ink.

Et Cetera: Copper Thread (SU!); Dimensionals; Tombow Liquid Glue; Fast Fuze.

I've entered the following challenges:

Let's Craft and Create #133 (Anything Goes with Option "Love is in the Air")
Grab Our Badge
4 Crafty Chicks #384 (Anything Goes with Twist Dies and Punches)
Play Badge
City Crafter Challenge #394 (All You Need is Love)

Friday, 5 January 2018

It's a Dog's Life!

I don't have any stamps that resemble the two canines I'm looking after at the moment.  But I do have these Tim Holtz mutts which make me smile.  There's something about a dog that makes him want to be your friend.  They look at you with those huge eyes.  They grin that big canine grin with that long tongue hanging out. And they're saying "be my friend".

I decided to colour the little Tim Holtz mutt in brown because it reminds me of chocolate and brownies and all sorts of sweet things.  Because dogs are sweet.  Under that messy, barking, shedding exterior there is a heart so filled with sweetness that it will forgive anything as long as you love it.

I'm entering this clean and simple card in the HLS January CAS challenge which is all about friends and friendship.  

I'm also entering the adorable little chocolate dog into the City Crafter Challenge which is all about colourful dogs.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Experimenting With Colour

I'm still house-sitting and so my supplies are limited.  As I mentioned, I brought my Brushos over in order to experiment with them.  I also found a few small stamp sets of Distress Inks.  Today I decided that I really wanted to try out a brand  new stamp set which I got before Christmas but then, well, the holidays got in the way.  It's one of the sets with which I fell in love from the new Occasions Catalogue.  The name is Waterfront, but the look of the stamps is that of a water-colour painting.  It's intriguing and, scant supplies or not, today was the day I would try it out.

I took a piece of Whisper White for my stamping.  At home I probably would have chosen to use water-colour paper, but I'm not home.  I wanted to see if it might be possible to stamp with the Brushos.  Wetting down a folded paper towel, I sprinkled a line of the Prussian Blue Brusho crystals.  As they reacted to the water in the paper towel, I imagined them going "snap, crackle, pop".  Once they were a solid colour, I took the river shape and stamped it into the blue and then stamped the colour onto my Whisper White.  I was happy to see it had worked well.  There was even a certain amount of "Brusho" texture because some of the crystals were clearly darker than others.  Then I did the same with some of the Moss Green Brusho crystals and stamped the grass behind the blue river. 

NOTE:  The Brusho crystals stained the photopolymer stamps and the stain does not remove.

For my mountains, trees, and scattering of "gravel", therefore, I used the Distress inks which I had on hand.  The only green I had was the Faded Shutters and I wound up having to stamp the image four times in order to get the saturation of green that I was hoping for.

Finally I added a moon and for that used the Antique Linen Distress ink.  Not entirely happy with that, I took the Gamboge and Yellow Brusho Crystals and mixed them on a wet paper towel.  Stamping with that made the moon the colour I was hoping for.

I can hardly wait to be home with all my normal supplies on hand, to see what else I can do with the Waterfront stamp set.

I'm entering this card into the Inkspirational Challenge #151 which is all about stamping.  Mine may be a bit unconventional, but it was entirely stamping.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Bringing in the New Year

I have a lot of products, stamps and tools.  No, I'm not bragging, that's a fact.  Right now, however, I am in a situation where I have the very barest of essentials.  Why is that?  Well, I'm house-sitting for my daughter while she, her husband, and the boys are enjoying the Mexican sun.  House-sitting doesn't really describe what I'm doing.  Besides the house, there are two LARGE dogs and four cats.  I'm taking care of them as well.  I brought a few things with me so that I could pass some time crafting but clearly I didn't bring enough.

Luckily my daughter has a few stamps.  I helped myself to one, an older, retired set from Stampin' Up! which I most likely gave her a few years ago, but tonight it was a godsend.  I wanted to enter the Less is More Challenge, you see.  Nothing that I had brought, except for my Brushos, really worked for the sketch.

Actually the paper I brought with me isn't the best for my Brushos, either, but beggars can't be choosers.  I used normal white stamping paper.  I held my breath waiting for it to pill or do horrible things when I painted it with my Brusho, but it held together admirably well and, with a bit of heat, dried perfectly well.  

For the top curve I used Ultramarine and for the bottom curve I used Emerald Green and then a bit of the Ultramarine.  After that was dry I used my Memento ink to stamp the images from the Up In the Air set.  The line drawings and silhouettes lent themselves perfectly to the layout.  I used my alcohol Stampin' Blends to add some colour to the flowers and leaves and then stamped the sentiment from the Just Add Text stamp set.

After adding a black matte, I mounted it on a base of heavy white.

Clearly I don't need everything I've piled up in my Crafting Room.

I'm entering this card in the Less is More double challenge #360 & #361.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

CASEing is fun!

Every once in a while I like a card well enough to CASE it.  For those who are not familiar with the acronym, that means "copy and share everything".  I seldom do more than copy the layout or a portion of a card.  An exact copy just seems too much like taking a card kit and following directions.

For the TGIF challenge this week there is a real twist to the "anything goes".  The designers get to create their "anything goes" cards while those participating in the challenge choose a designer's card to CASE.  Well, I chose a brand new member of the design team to CASE, Maria Willis.  Her card simply "spoke" to me and I had such fun following the layout and creating my own version.
Now I'm house-sitting over at my daughter's while they're in Mexico and so I only brought a very limited bit of product.  The only striped paper which I had was in the Naturally Eclectic Designer Series paper, a celebration of varied sizes of stripes and varying colours.  It's gorgeous but it called for something tropical and so I turned to an Inkadinkado stamp set which I had on hand and used one of the adorable flamingos.  For my sentiment, I turned to a Tim Holtz collection: Things/Talk.  

My colours were also limited but I love the way the Berry Burst and the Tranquil Tide look against the designer paper.  Actually I turned the designer paper and used the other side behind the sentiment because it had such a tropical feel.

I'm playing along with the TGIF challenge #140

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Sunday Stamps Challenge #168 - Warmth of the Season

It's been a while since I've done a sketch challenge and, surprisingly, I enjoyed it very much.  Staying within the parameters of the sketch was a welcome challenge and I love the results with the card that I created.

I decided to stay with white and blue plus a bit of dazzle.  My base is Whisper White followed by a layer of Night of Navy.  Then I took a piece of Watercolour Paper and went to town with it and my blue Brusho watercolour crystals.  Between spraying and lightly stroking the crystals with a brush, the background is gorgeous.  I think it shows off the Night of Navy circle beautifully, not to mention the dazzling die-cut from the Hearts Come Home bundle.  For my lower rectangle, I turned to a pretty piece of retired designer paper and then added the strip of Night of Navy heat embossed in white with the sentiment from the same bundle.  A few sequins and the card is done!

I'm playing along with the Sunday Stamps Challenge #168 (SSC168) with this card.

I'm also playing along with the SUO #190 challenge for the favourite Christmas image.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Addicted to Stamps & More #272 - Thinking of You

I love it when the Addicted to Stamps and More challenge comes around to their "Make Your Mark" week.  It's a challenge I love since working with colours has become an addiction.


I've been experimenting with Brushos and with Distress Oxide inks.  For this card I mixed the two and love the results.  I began by heat embossing an image I bought several years back but have never used.  I just loved the random images and script.  I must say it looked pretty awesome just heat embossed in copper on white, but my Brushos were waiting.

I very carefully shook out some of the Ultramarine crystals into the images of the butterflies, trying not to scatter any into the background.  Then I lightly sprayed the paper with water and pulled the colour into more of the butterfly images before carefully drying  the ink with my heat gun.  Not wanting to affect the heat embossing, I set the paper aside until it had completely dried.  Then I took the Black crystals and carefully shook a few into areas around the butterflies and watches, being careful not to get any into either of the images.  Again, I sprayed lightly with water and pulled the colour around with a thick brush.  What is wild about the black Brusho is all the random colours included among the crystals.  While it was damp, I added some Wild Honey Distress Oxide ink to the watches.  Again, I set the paper aside to dry.  

I finished the card by heat embossing my sentiment in Copper embossing powder and then also added a copper riboon between the image and the sentiment.

I'm playing along with the Addicted to Stamps & More Challenge #272 with this card.  

I'm also playing along with the Fab 'n' Funky Challenge #375 because my card is Anything But Christmas.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Sunday Stamps Challenge #167 - Deck the Halls "DT"

I've kept coming back to this challenge and each time found myself at a loss with the colours.  This time, miraculously, something clicked and I knew what I wanted to do.  Talk about waiting until the last minute!

I hauled out the retired Stampin' Up! Merry Mice set and proceeded to stamp the little procession of mice who are obviously ready to deck those halls and trim that tree.  For my background I turned to the Cable Knit 3D Embossing folder.  Love that deep pattern!  My base is Whisper White, followed by a layer of Cherry Cobbler and then the Smoky Slate embossed piece.

The stamped mice were nicely dried by this time so I turned to my Stampin' Blends and, using the Smoky Slate, Cherry Cobbler, Calypso Coral and Ivory, I carefully coloured the mice and their cute ornaments.  Actually, the ornament is coloured in silver and gold as are the tiny stars.  In real life they sparkle quite nicely.

Isn't it funny how sometimes everything comes together so well after drawing a blank for a while?  I'm playing along with the Sunday Stamps Challenge 167 with this card (SSC167).

I've also decided to throw my name into the pot for the DT call.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I'm also playing along with the TGIF #138 challenge since it's appropriately all about Christmas carols.

Inspired by Inkspirational Colours

Sometimes a photo inspiration really appeals.  That's the case for me with the new Inkspirational Challenge photo for challenge #149.

Aren't those colours simply glamorous?  I knew as soon as I saw the photo that I wanted to play along but oh, what a lot of trouble I had deciding what part of the photo would inspire me most.  In the end it came down to gold, pink, light grey and black.  Festive, feminine, and absolutely glamorous!

The bokeh look of the designer paper really appeals to me.  It's from Stampin' Up!'s Falling In Love bundle and simply asked to be used for this card.  I combined it with a die-cut honeycomb in Smoky Slate topped by a pretty gold daisy with glittery black centre and leaves.  My slightly askew "thanks" is die-cut from the same glittery black paper.  It's a simple card but I know just the person to whom I'll be giving it.

I'm playing along with the Inkspirational Challenge #149 with this card.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Feeling my way with Brushos

Some new products are more of a challenge than others.  Brushos are one of those products.  The results which I've seen in some cards and other creations have shown me that it is not just I that finds these watercolour crystal paints a challenge.  I imagine that patience and more patience is required for noteworthy results.  Isn't that true of everything, you ask.  In varying amounts.  The Brusho experience is one which can't easily be explained.

For one thing, when one is using watercolours, one rarely winds up with "exploding" colours.  But that's the closest I can come to describing what happens when water meets these crystals.  Oh, and crystals is perhaps a misleading word.  These are in many cases tinier than salt crystals, almost a powder.  But my goodness, what a lot of power in the powder!

I decided that I would buy one or two colours from a craft store in Calgary since we went there last week.  I wanted to try them out before investing in the five-piece set available through Stampin' Up!  Since it's so close to Christmas, my choices were Emerald green and Scarlet red.  I thought holly might be a fun first attempt.

Using my gorgeous Tim Holtz Holly Bough stencil, I took a water-based dye marker in soft grey and outlined the holly and berries, resulting in something akin to stamping on my mixed media paper.  Once that was nicely dry, I pierced a hole in the lid of my Scarlet Brusho and shook just a bit into a small paper cup.  Then I took my AquaPainter and "painted" some of the berries with water.  After that I picked up some of the Brusho crystals with the tip of a slightly damp brush and proceeded to colour the berries.  The results were both exciting and unexpected, with the Brusho wildly deciding what to colour and how much colour to leave in spots.  Long story short, I did the same with the Emerald crystals and the holly leaves with even more wildly spreading Brusho colours.  It was not what I expected but at the same time, there was something original and attractive about the results.  Enough so that I continued with the piece and used it in a card.

I've also added a cardinal from an unnamed die and some of the beautiful Year of Cheer Specialty Washi Tape.

I've decided to link this card up to some challenges.

Fab & Funky Challenges #374 - All Tied Up since it has a tied  up bow holding those little tags.

HLS December Watercolour - Anything Goes.

Addicted to Stamps & More #271 - Anything Goes

Friday, 27 May 2016

SIP49 - Once is Enough

This week's Stamp, Ink, Paper Challenge is all about flowers.

SIP Challenge 49 Flowers 800
What fun it is to use flowers when you've just gotten a new embossing folder!  I chose to emboss my image on a piece of Whisper White and then I used sponge daubers to add ink to the raised portions.  The result is a pretty, lightly coloured bouquet in the top left which I complimented with a sentiment in the bottom right.  A few splatters here and there and my card was complete.  

Stamps:  Fifth Avenue Floral
Papers:  Heavy Whisper White, Emerald Envy, Whisper White, Peekaboo Peach
Inks:  Basic Black, Emerald Envy, Flirty Flamingo, Peekaboo Peach, Basic Gray
Embellishments:  Basic Pearl Jewels

I hope you'll check out the other cards at the Stamp, Ink, Paper Challenge.

Monday, 23 May 2016

The Male Room Challenge #35 - Happy Father's Day!

The norm seems to be to create more "girly cards" with flowers and butterflies and the like.  Don't get me wrong, I love making cards like that but I have a lot of men in my life as well and so really embrace the chance to create a masculine card. That's where The Male Room Challenge comes in.  And this challenge is all about transport.  There are so many types of transport.  This should be fun.

One of the types of transport used a fair bit around this area is the tractor.  Of course when one is travelling down the highway, slowing traffic, they're not much fun.  But in their proper environment, the farm, they are invaluable.  

I got this stamp set with the tractor and corn a few years ago to stamp in my Scrapbook.  The boys had gone into a corn maze and I thought the set was perfect to include as additional images on my pages.  How handy that I had it at my fingertips for this challenge.

I decided to make my tractor red (although I will admit that most of the tractors that I have seen here in Canada have been green or grey).  I wanted it to "pop" against the more natural colours of the soil and the corn.  All of the colouring is with my Aqua Painter and inks.  I love the watercolour effect and found it easier, that way, to give an illusion of the tilled soil.  

I'm also entering my card for the Design Team.  Those who have followed my blogs know that this is the one which I created to use for the cards and other creations that include products and stamps other than Stampin' Up!  My other blog, Stampin' Along With Heidi, has a great many more posts because they focus on my Stampin' Up! projects.  If I were to be chosen to join the Design Team, I would prefer to link up with this blog, Reaching Deep Within.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

FMS237 - Today Belongs to You

I love clean and simple sketches.  For me the challenge is to put across an idea or tell a story with the least number of images (or words).  The sketch at the Freshly Made Sketches challenge allows me to do that.
I love the clean lines of the sketch.  For my base I chose the Night of Navy.  I added a layer of Whisper White for my stamping and also a border to the right side of the Whisper White from the Affectionately Yours Washi tape.  I've had the sentiment forever and the tiny flower came with that stamp set, echoing the flowers in that Washi tape border.  Just for fun I added the butterfly from my retired Best Thoughts stamp set and a few splatters thanks to the wonderful Gorgeous Grunge set.  For my colours I used Watermelon Wonder, Cucumber Crush, Daffodil Delight, Blushing Bride, Night of Navy and, of course, Basic Black.

I hope you'll check out the other cards at the Freshly Made Sketches challenges.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

PP295 - Little Moments

I bought this Local King Rubber stamp set originally because one of the images was perfect for my sister-in-law's baby shower.  She and her husband spent some time in Africa and giraffes were one of their passions.  How nice that I can use the set again for the Paper Players Challenge!  It is all about wild animals.

I decided to keep the card very clean and simple, using only four colours:  Whisper White, Basic Black, Tip Top Taupe and the very new Peekaboo Peach.  For my background I used the retiring Go Wild Designer paper stack since it echoes those colours as well as the markings on the giraffes.  My sentiment is from the Watercolor Wings set.

I hope you'll check out the other cards linked for this challenge at the Paper Players.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

When white is another colour - Less is More #270

One of the things that I love about CAS cards is the amount of white space.  But what if the white can't be white?  Then you're looking at leaving as much of the coloured background space as clean as possible, right?  Yes, I know the concept, but it still felt odd thinking of Blackberry Bliss as my "white".

I've used Blackberry Bliss as my base cardstock and then added a layer of Whisper White just for the framing and then another layer of Blackberry Bliss.  On that final layer of Blackberry Bliss, I've heat embossed both the images and the sentiment using my White embossing powder.  The image of the floral silhouette is from the Serene Silhouettes set while the bee is from the retired Springtime Hello set.  The sentiment is from the Rose Wonder set.

I hope you'll play along with the "Less is More" challenge this week.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Catching up to the new year!

It's 2016.  I remember when everyone was terrified that all computerized things would stop working and that chaos would result with the coming of the year 2000.  Remember the Y2K scaremongering that went on?  And now we are sixteen years into the new Millenium.  Yes, there are scary things out there but not the type that they warned would come as we entered the 21st century.

I didn't make any formal resolutions this year.  I'm trying to make changes in my life but those have been ongoing anyway, so making those resolutions wasn't necessary.  I usually wind up making some great sounding ones which are almost sure to be broken, so why bother?

For some reason the cold and snow, even though we haven't had that much snow, are bothering me more than usual this year.  I think I'm ready for a new, more temperate climate and, if it wasn't for the stronger, more compelling wish to be close to my daughter and grandsons, I would embrace a move.  But I'll put up with the cold and snow forever to stay close to those I love.

While I love going out and having winter fun

I'd rather be having fun without all those extra layers.

Yes, the sun makes the snow sparkle like diamonds.  I think it's breathtakingly beautiful.  But then, today, for example, just going outside takes my breath away (in a completely different and more unpleasant way).  

I'm still on the fence about staying with Stampin' Up!  I love many of their products but have come to the conclusion that I'm just not "into" running a business, no matter how casually I run it.  It's the creating aspect I love.  And I look around and see so many other ways to use my creativity that I question whether I want to put all my efforts into the paper-crafting "basket".  We'll see what happens.  

For the moment, my immediate task is to continue the ongoing effort to de-clutter and stop hoarding my supplies.  We'll see how that goes, too.

Hope you enjoy your journey through this year.  Keep safe and be kind.