A Sketch Challenge for The Paper Players

pp268 sketch challenge bloom with hope and timeless elegance dsp

This week’s challenge at The Paper Players is a sketch challenge, so I created this sympathy card for my design team inspiration card.

A little designer series paper from Stampin’ Up’s Timeless Elegance, a little watercoloring on the stamped flower from SU Bloom with Hope, and a cute little bee cut out of English Garden DSP and bedazzled with some Glossy Accents to make it pop and shine!

pp268 sketch challenge bloom with hope and timeless elegance dsp closeup

On the inside, I stamped off the Bloom with Hope flower stamp a few times before stamping in the card to give it a lighter watermarked look and then added the sentiment on top.

pp268 sketch challenge bloom with hope and timeless elegance dsp inside

Hope my papercrafting friends will join us in The Paper Players sketch challenge  #PP268 this week.  I also have to say the other design team members’ cards are exceptionally amazing this week.  Check out these talented ladies!

Claire Creates Cards
Stampin! with Jaydee
The Crafty Owl
Stamping Up North
Week Inklings
Canopy Crafts
Stamp with Sandy
Stamp with Amy K
My Paper Tales

Cheers & Hugs,

I’ve been asked to be a “Designer”

Birthdays are for the Birds!   Child Birthday Card  Punch Art   SU Bloom with Hope

My Most Pinned Card on Pinterest – Birthdays are for the Birds!

How about that?  Pretty exciting stuff – eh? (at least in my little corner of the world)

I am so honored to be asked and super excited to participate as a Guest Designer for the next three months at ThePaperPlayers.

SUO 114 Dots Big Day

My second most pinned card on Pinterest – Dots Big Day Birthday Card

The Paper Players is a fun community of artsy crafty paper peeps who love to stamp or draw or paint handmade paper crafts.  The design team is a group of amazingly talented, inspiring individuals that are as kind and encouraging as they are artistic.  They truly embody creating HeARTwork!

I originally discovered The Paper Players when I started stamping, and for those that have been with me here a while know this is a weekly challenge I often participate in – – – and have actually won a few times!

I added "Jodi McKinney" to an #inlinkz linkup!https://lifeinbetween.me/2014/09/14/the-colors-of-fall/

One of my winning cards

I will be creating one card per week as “inspiration” for the challenge in hopes that others will join in and play along.

I hope some of you that love or would like to try paper crafting will check it out and join in with us weekly or as you like from time to time.

Stampinup By the Tide

One of my faves – Stamin Up By the Tide Hello There Card

The guidelines are very simple:

1. Create a new paper or digital project.
2. Upload your creation to your blog with a link back to ThePaperPlayers. (Please provide a direct link to the post featuring your challenge entry as opposed to you blog home page.)
3. We also ask that you link your project to no more than three challenges.
4. Have fun! 

Wish me luck, and I hope this inspires YOU to do more of what makes YOU Happy!

Happy Life Stampinup Watercolor Technique

Happy Life Watercolor Card


Cheers & Hugs,




too kind hugs watercolor card

I sadly needed a sympathy card for a special co-worker friend.

I hope he and his family feel the heartfelt hugs I sent when they receive this card.

This card was a labor of love and a combination of water coloring and stamping.

I first dropped some green watercolor paint into the bottom left corner and then blew through a straw to push it up to resemble blades of grass.  I then brushed watercolor paint onto the Stampin Up Too Kind flower stamp and lightly stamped it, letting it loosely spread.

The “hugs” sentiment is from the Paper Smooches Sentiment stamp set.  I love the font, and this set has a bunch of other fun ones I’m sure you’ll be seeing in future cards.  I finished it off with some “signature” jodi splatters, then distressed the edges of it and some complimentary colors of card stock.  I wrapped it with some linen thread and adhered it to some vanilla cardstock.

Cheers & HUGS & Happy Friday,


Painted Petals

painted petals blackberry bliss card

I made this card this week to send as a Sympathy Card to Aunt Francie as we said goodbye to her love, Tilford.  And I must thank Jenny @ Ramblings from a Mum for the beautiful words she shared that I had to pass on as the sentiment for this card.

inside aunt francie sympathy card for tilford message

For my stamping friends, the following is a list of StampinUp materials used to make this card:

Painted Petals Stamp Set, Blackberry Bliss & Mossy Meadow Ink, Itty Bitty Accents Epoxy Stickers, Spring Flowers Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, VersaMark Ink & White Embossing Powder, Artisan Embellishments (doily, ribbon, button accents) Watercolor Paper and Paint Brush for background watercolor effect and for splattering, Blackberry Bliss, Black, and Whisper White Card Stock.

Seems “Blackberry” is the theme this week 🙂

Cheers & Hugs,

Love Life

love life bird yellow

So it’s Friday night – though you are reading this sometime after 6:00 am EST on Saturday.  (If you haven’t caught on yet, I schedule my daily posts for 6 am EST, but I typically write them the evening before.)  😉

And for this particularly exciting Friday evening (as I am fighting off a head cold that is trying to get the best of me and a little bit of a sore back – did something at the dang gym – grr!), Marty and I ate Chinese take out (I indulged in my favorite 8-treasure rice from Jimmy Wann’s and a nice glass of Red Zin – my first all week!) in front of a warm fire… and I got to pick the movie.

I rarely even care what is on television, but I love to pick a movie on Friday evening for some reason.  ( I know – really exciting stuff – eh?!)

So, as I write this, I am not only sniffling from the nasal drip of this cold, but from literally bawling my eyes out.

We watched “The Fault in our Stars.”

I know – a little late to the game on this one – eh?  But – wow – what a beautiful story…

Ok – maybe a little mushy, a little cliche, a little predictable.

But also so life affirming, thought provoking, and a reminder of how precious life is.

A story that shows us how we need to discover that a good life does not mean we have to be famous or accomplished or published or world-renown ….

One of my favorite lines is when 16 year old cancer patient, Hazel tells her boyfriend Gus, an 18-year old young man who is dying and disappointed that he didn’t do something greater with his life:

“You say you’re not special because the world doesn’t know about you, but that’s an insult to me. I know about you.”

My BFF, Jill, and I have often said to each other throughout the years, “What’s it all about?”

I think it’s about loving…

Loving life – and the people that are in our life…

And isn’t that enough?

So what a coincidence that I had made this (yet another – been on a crafty kick this week) card with this crazy little bird that I can’t even tell you what colors I used, because I kept combining and mixing and blending a million colors until I liked it, from the SU stamp set called – of all things –  “Love Life.”

So Discover how to love life.

It is worth it.  Every cherished moment.

Cheers & Hugs,

And P.S.  I’ll be baking tomorrow… look for a new recipe I’m trying for Orange Slice Cookies.

Discovering Dots

SUO 114 Dots Big Day

Sharing a fun little card today that I was inspired to make from the SUO Challenge (#114) to make a card with dots.

Who doesn’t love some fun polka dots?!

This was my second “go” at making a dot card for the challenge.  I made the one you will see below first, and I like it, but not sure I LOVE it.  You’ll have to let me know…  I so struggle with “simplicity” and “clean and simple” designs that I so admire others do!

But I do kinda love this one.  It screams happy and celebrate and big day to me!

And…. it’s covered with DOTS!  I sponged some on the background white piece using the Stampin Up (SU) circle background stencil with Real Red, Tangelo Twist, and Crushed Curry [ red, orange, and yellow in “layman” terms 🙂 ].

The sentiment from SU’s “Big Day” stamp set has some more dots on it, and then I added matching colored candy dots as an additional embellishment.

The silver metal buttons – a smaller one stacked on top of a larger one and held together with some red and white striped baker’s twine add just a few more dots.

I first had it laid out all lined up and symmetrical, but I thought it gave it some more interest and whimsy by offsetting the the angles of the layers a bit.

Here is the inside…

SUO 114 Dots Big Day inside

where I snuck one more orange candy dot in!  🙂

I added some Wink of Stella over top of the colored words on the front, but it is so hard to capture in a photo.  Under the right light or with just a slight twist or movement, it sparkles with delight though!

SUO 114 Dots Big Day Close up

Here is the first one I made that I mentioned above.

This one was made with the Stampin Up Cheerful Critters Stamp Set.  (They are so stinking cute – there are three that I’m sure I’ll feature in future posts.)

SUO 114 Dots Cheerful Critters

Again, it is hard to see, but after coloring the little critter’s polka dot “shirt,” I hit it with my Wink of Stella pen for a bit of glitz and glitter, and I also love the softness and plushness of the Blackberry Bliss thin velvet ribbon trim contrasting with the cool metal button.

closeup of SUO 114

Can you tell I was dying to use those metal buttons this week?  I really like them and the contrast they give.  It’s all in the little details kids!  🙂

Wishing you a Big and Happy Day discovering things you love.

Cheers & Hugs,

Love is Kindness – A Card – An Adventure

PP227 1

I needed to make an anniversary card for a very special couple that is celebrating 55 years together later this week.

My Aunt Gwen and Uncle Frank are very special to me.  You see, they have just come back into my life about four and a half years ago when I reunited with my Dad (my first Dad). [You can read more about that here if you would like.]

Aunt Gwen is my Dad’s sister, and she has become more of a mother-figure to me (as well as sharing her two daughters with me that are more like sisters).  The day I [re]met them as an adult (the last time I’d seen them I was 9 years old) was a day I will never forget.  I sat with Aunt Gwen and had a heart-to-heart talk where she shared with me that my birthday remained on her calendar every single year, and she had always known I would come back to them.  Uncle Frank hugged me and told me he would know me anywhere.

When they came to my home for the first time, Uncle Frank brought me a gift.  It was something he told me he had bought years ago and knew he would be able to give to me some day.  It was a collector’s doll – – – named “Jodi.”

Aunt Gwen and I talk often – either via phone and/or email.  We are Facebook “friends,” and she is one of my blog followers, so I am so happy to honor her and Uncle Frank and profess my deep love and admiration and gratitude to them.

Happy Anniversary Aunt Gwen and Uncle Frank!

I love you dearly!  And this card is on its way to you 🙂

 PP227 2

For my card, I couldn’t wait to use this new StampinUp “Love is Kindness” stamp Cindy Brumbaugh of CindyLeeBee Designs gave all of us that attended her Spring StampinUp Tea on Saturday.

My stamper partner in crime and daughter-in-law, Colleen and I had so much fun – – – and quite the adventure – as it seems we always do when we are together.  🙂

It started out with the fact that my car had a near empty tank of gas.  It’s been so stinkin’ cold that I’ve been waiting for it to warm up a bit before stopping to refill.  But no – – – that didn’t happen.  Turns out I was reaching near empty on the very coldest day of all.    We made it to gas station fine, but apparently my freezing fingertips entered my debit card pin number wrong too many times until it was rejected, so I had to go inside the station to the attendant in the 2 degree weather to pay.  Problem solved – right?  Wrong!  The pump still didn’t work….  So Colleen made two trips in and so did I before we finally got it all working.  The attendant had assumed I wanted “regular” gas, and I kept pushing the premium grade.  Sheesh!

So we got back on the road and onto the turnpike (toll limited access road).  I buzzed through the EZ Pass lane and off we went….  until we got to the exit booth, and I was in the pay lane instead of the EZ Pass lane.  What to do?  No matter how much I willed it and sent telepathic messages to switch, the red light would not turn green.  I looked up at the irritated attendant watching me.  He barked at me to hand him my EZ Pass.  But it is attached to my windshield.  “Just pull it off,” he grunted.  With what took much stumbling and stammering and excuses about thinking I was in the only lane that was open and near super-human strength, I was finally able to release the unit from the velcro.

“That will be $23.95 charged to your pass,” Mr. Friendly grumbled.

When my mouth dropped open, knowing we had only traveled two exits, he cracked himself up laughing.

“Just kidding,” he said.  Phew!  He did have a sense of humor!  And off we go again.

We found our way to the Mall where the class was being held at Cindy’s studio.  I’d been there before, but couldn’t recall exactly which entrance to go into, so we choose Entrance 5, and I decided we should head left.  It felt like that was the “right” way.  The mall is a large circle where many people go to exercise walk in the winter since it is quite large (and a big circle).  So we walked, and we walked, and we walked, and we were late, and later and later.  Then, with Entrance 5 just a few steps ahead of us after almost fully completing our first “lap” with the other walkers, there was the studio.  Yep – only a few feet to the RIGHT of Entrance 5!  So out of breath, 20 minutes late, but laughing and still smiling, we joined the class.

We had a great time!  We stamped and chatted and laughed with the 25 or 30 other ladies at the “party,” had a delicious lunch Cindy prepared HERSELF, and I even passed on the chips and cupcakes!  (You proud??)

When it was time to go, I thought I better grab my key before we head out into the bone-chilling weather.  I checked my purse – hmmm….  maybe I put them in my coat pocket?  hmmm….. Maybe in my jeans pocket?   hmmmm….  Let me check my camera bag….  hmmmm…..

“Okay – Colleen – you check my purse while I check the camera bag.”

“Not in your purse,” said Colleen.

YIKES!  We dumped everything out of my purse.  Where is that darn key?  We put everything back in the purse.

Check pockets again.

Colleen checks purse again.

Then all of the sudden – TA-DA!  Somehow that little bugger was there at the bottom of my purse all along (as well as the tweezers I just told Colleen I’d lost and needed to buy a new pair…)  Score!

You would think we would have just headed home at this point – right?  Nope.  Not us.  We continued carrying on.  Even went grocery shopping together.

But sheesh – I sure digressed here from this “card” and “anniversary” post – eh?


Along with the stamp I chose, I decided to play along with The Paper Players Color Challenge this week (PP227) and use Crisp Cantaloupe, Lost Lagoon, and Sahara Sand.

I like how the colors worked together for this stamp and card.  I decided to stamp it on watercolor paper with Black Stazon Ink and watercolor the ink into it for a softer look.  I also used some of the new “Adventure Bound”  Designer Series Paper for a background that seemed to compliment the color scheme.  A piece of lost lagoon ribbon and a little jute bow finished it off.

PP227 3

I sure hope this card arrives to Aunt Gwen and Uncle Frank’s mailbox easier than my trip to get this stamp did!

Cheers & Hugs,


It’s a “Back to” Kinda Day…

PP226 Birthday Butterfly Basics

I gotta say, it was a great “back to” kinda day yesterday …
Back to work…
Back to the gym…
Back to the craft room in the evening… and back to The Paper Players Challenge!!
Felt so good!

I need a birthday card for a special friend, so I was excited to use the Stampin Up Butterfly Basics Stamp Set and Framelit to make it.

Butterflies remind me of renewal and hope and change and that speaks January birthday to me and also this special lady.

The Paper Players first challenge of the new year #226 is “Everything Old is New Again – create a project using a recycle or re-purposed item.  This challenge is right up my alley and just the right challenge to get me back in the stampin’ groove!


For my card, the recycled/re-purposed items are craft paper packing material from my endless Amazon Prime Christmas gift shopping packages and a touch of  burlap ribbon from my dear daughter-in-law, Colleen’s wedding shower (we both love burlap!)  🙂

PP226 Birthday Butterfly Basics

I loved creating a rustic, but fresh and renewed look with the recycled/re-purposed materials and a bright butterfly.  And I adore the ferns that are in this stamp set and how great they work for the stamping-off technique to get a variety of shades.

PP226 Birthday Butterfly Basics Inside
I only used three colors of ink for this card – SU Mossy Meadow for the ferns, Stazon Black for the sentiments and a bit of Ranger Tim Holtz Tea Dye Distress Ink for the vintagy edges.

Hope you are getting “back to” your groove after the holidays and seeking cherished moments at lifeinbetween and always.

Cheers & Hugs,



P.S.  For my stamping friends, if you haven’t seen Deb Valder’s Youtube technique tutorial on dryer sheets for thinlits, I urge you to check it out.  Possibly life-changing for these challenging die cuts! 🙂

Sparkle & Glitter!! Napkin Cards

napkin glitter card ho ho ho

I went a little nuts last night with glitter and napkins!

napkin glitter card gold and blue dove and ornaments

When I first started seeing these glitter napkin cards, I poo-poo’d them thinking cards made of napkins take no talent, no effort, no creativity……

Then I went to a class where we made one recently.  I almost didn’t go, because I didn’t want to make cards from napkins – being a bit of a snob about it I must admit…..

napkin glitter card snowman and snowflakeWell – now I am eating my words, because I had so much fun making these cards!  It’s okay if something is a little easier, a little less creative sometimes….

napkin glitter card merry christmas wreathas long as you enjoy it… and I’m actually kind of excited with how these turned out!  All made from paper napkins!

napkin glitter card joyI am excited to share this simple, but beautiful technique, because I think many of you might enjoy trying this method to making homemade cards that doesn’t require a lot of equipment and materials.  And if you like do a “production-line” style of getting a bunch of the same thing done at once, one pack a napkins can make a ton of beautiful cards.  In fact, each individual napkin makes four cards!

napkin glitter card suppliesBesides some card stock and some pretty napkins you can get at the dollar store or craft store or wherever you might find paper products, the only other things you need are a VersaMark stamp pad, some type of adhesive tape, Heat & Stick Powder, and glitter (I used Stampin Up’s “Dazzling Diamonds” Dahling) :).

There is a great video tutorial on Youtube done by a Stampin’ Up Demonstrator from Canada, Tina Weller that you may want to watch if you are interested in learning how to do this:

Tina talks about using a specific type of Stampin’ Up adhesive sheets, but I just used double faced tape and/or the glue tape runner you can find at any craft or drug or variety stores and completely covered  some white card stock with it to adhere the napkin.

napkin glitter card santa and sleigh

I made all of these cards last night, and I pretty much love all of them!  🙂

If you haven’t bought, made, sent your holiday greeting cards, you may just want to try this fun and easy technique.

And if you are interested in purchasing any Stampin’Up products, just let me know, and I can hook you up. 🙂 

And I think I am going to enter the snowman/snowflake card as another entry into  The Paper Players PP224 Tic Tac Toe Challenge for White, Snowflake, & Glitter.

napkin glitter card snowman and snowflake

Have a sparkly, glitterly, dazzling day!

Cheers & Hugs,



Green Acres & Christmas Cards

So it’s getting down to crunch time on Christmas cards, and one or two cards a week is probably not going to cut it at this point…  (… but if that’s all I get to – that’s okay too!  Too much pressure takes the fun out of it – right?!)

I did get around to making two last night.  They are two completely different cards – which is the joy of hand creating cards to me.  I rarely (if ever) make the same card twice.  The fun is in the creating for me.  And even more fun is individualizing them for the recipient.

The first one is a more elegant card with white glittery, silver, sparkly, shiny snowflakes in clean and simple simplicity.

festive flurry silver elegant christmas 2014

I made it to enter into two challenges.  It meets the requirements for 3 in a row down at The Paper Players PP224 Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge this week for white, snowflake, and glitter.  It also meets the Friday Mashup FM187 It’s All About Weather criteria for using a metal embellishment (SU Frosted Finishes embellisment) and having a weather inspiration (snowflakes from SU Festive Flurry).

festive flurry silver elegant christmas 2014 inside

I just love this “Mingle all the Way” stamp sentiment and was dying to use it, so I came up with this simple, rustic, country design in brown craft and red with a big red bow.  I distressed and sponged all the edges and added just a few tiny pearls for a little pop.

mingle all the way christmas card 2014

I used the SU Holiday Home stamp for the inside to continue the rustic classic theme on the inside.

holiday home inside card

So welcome into my mind….

this is the wacky way it works sometimes…

As I looked at these two completely different cards, all I could think about was the old classic television show from the late sixties when I was a wee-one, called “Green Acres.”

Anybody remember?  (Take a moment to listen and travel down memory lane...)

So the first card is for Eva and the second is for Eddy.

Which is more your style?  Are you an Eva or an Eddy?

Though I am FAR from a farm girl, country life is more to my liking – with visits to the city.

Green Acres is the place to be…

I dare you to try and get this song out of your head now!  (No thank yous necessary)  🙂

So whether your holiday is in the “fresh air” or in “Times Square,” make it merry and bright!

Cheers & Hugs,