Exciting news for 2013

I have a few exciting things brewing for 2013.  Today one of those things was announced here.

I am joining the CASology Design Team.  My first challenge as a DT member goes live tomorrow.  I hope you'll stop by and play along!!!

Happy New Years Eve! 

Be safe!!

Merry & Bright Christmas

From our home to yours,
Merry Christmas! 
May you find peace, love and joy this holiday season and always!

 Conner (9 1/2)  & Ethan (8)

And my last holiday card for 2012...

Stamps:  Folk Art Flurries, Christmas Wishes (Wplus9)
Ink:  Pool Party, Baja Breeze, Island Indigo (SU!)
Paper:  Whisper White, Pool Party, Island Indigo
Accessories:  Bakers Twine (SU!), Rhinestones

A Winter Scene

This weeks challenge at StampNation is to "Create a Winter Scene".  I combined quite a few stamp sets to make a Christmas card for my husband.  He really dislikes glitter but I couldn't resist adding it anyway.  I mean, what Winter scene is complete without snow?!!!!  I had started out with glitter across the entire bottom of the card, so he should be grateful :)

Only a few more days until Christmas!!!  Are you ready?

Stamps:  Lovely As a Tree (SU!), Folk Art Flurries (Wplus9), Christmas Poinsettia (PTI)  Dec. 25th (Kaisercraft)
Ink:  SU! Blues (I can't remember exactly wish shades), Jet Black (Stazon), Versmark
Paper:  Whisper White, Basic Black (SU!)
Accessories:  Simply Jane dies (PTI), Clear Embossing Powder, 2 Way Glue Pen, Dazzling Diamonds, Sponges (SU!), Rhinestone

Oh my stars!

Is it really Friday?  REALLY?  Oh what a week!!!! Two new kittens, one sick kitten, one sick kid, a belt test (I got my Purple Belt in Tae Kwon Do, woohoo!), oh and that holiday that is creeping in closer and closer...

I did manage to squeeze in a card for this weeks challenge at CASology.

And while I was thinking of stars, I remembered I have made quite a few projects recently with my Star dies from Wplus9.  Since Christmas is going to be here before we know it, I think it's about time that I share these with you!!!

One lucky family member will be receiving this adorable pillow box on Christmas!

And two of the ornaments I made for our tree.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend! 

Even the Score

Before I get to our exciting family news, I wanted to share with you a quick card I made for the CAS-ual Fridays Challenge:

To make a CAS card that features scoring.  

I recently purchased a scoring tool but haven't put it to much use just yet.  This was the perfect reason to pull it out!!!  I used it to create a border above and below my stamped image.  I think the score lines add a nice finishing touch to this one layer card.

Family news

Meet the newest members of our family....

 Sawyer (with Conner)

Chester (with Ethan)

Have a great week!

Stamps:  Banner Love, Quite Like You (Wplus9 Design)
Ink:  Cherry Cobbler, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi, Not Quite Navy (SU!), True Black (PTI)
Paper:  Whisper White (SU!)
Accessories:  Scoring Tool (SU!)

Sharing with you...

This card is a double CASE!  I'm CASEing Windy, this months muse at CASE Study, AND a card I saw by Joanna Munster

It's a BIG weekend here at the Merritt household.  A BIG surprise is coming tomorrow for my boys. 
Eeek, I can't wait!!!  I'll fill you in on Sunday.  It's the biggest surprise we've pulled off yet.

Hint:  I'm NOT having a baby, but bringing two home!

Stamps:  Snowflake Soiree, More Merry Messages (SU!)
Ink:  Crumb Cake, Bashful Blue, Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso (SU!)
Paper:  Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Festival of Prints dsp (SU!)
Accessories:  Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding, Linen Thread (SU), Pinking Squares die (Wplus9)  Button (PTI)

Traditional Red & Green

This weeks challenge at StampNation is to make a holiday project using traditonal red & green.
For me, it doesn't get more traditional than Christmas holly in red and green.

I'm off and running this morning, have a great day :)

Stamps:  Mistletoe & Holly (PTI)
Ink:  Lucky Limeade, Cherry Cobbler (SU), True Black (PTI)
Paper:  Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler,  Lucky Limeade
Accessories:  Tasteful Trim & Bakers Twine (SU!), Corner Rounder (CM), Rhinestones

I'm here for you

Hello there!

I have something a bit different for you today.  A summery color challenge!  So fitting for December, right?!!!  haha!  This is the downfall of starting Christmas cards in August, I'm ready to move on to Spring already and it's not even Christmas!  Oh well, just go with it for me, please!

My color inspiration came from The Play Date Cafe

I'm also playing along with the Knotty or Nice challenge at CAS-ual Fridays.  The sand dollar is tied on by a knot.  Not very creative, but a knot nonetheless :)

I hope you are having a great week :)

Stamps:  Guiding Light, Fresh Picked (Wplus9)
Ink:  Fresh Snow (PTI), Not Quite Navy & Early Espresso (SU!)
Paper:  Whisper White, Crumb Cake, Not Quite Navy (SU!)
Accessories:  Guiding Light & label dies (Wplus9), Bakers Twine, Sponges (SU!)

Cloud9 December Blog Hop

I am so excited and honored to be Guest Designing at Cloud9!!  This month we have these two stunning photos to inspire us.

There was SO much to be inspired by here.  My card design could have gone in a million directions.  I pulled from the snowflakes, the dominant red & white and the grid-like background on the first image.  

Do you love Wplus9 stamps too?  Why don't you hop along with us?!!!!  You could be the next Guest Designer and you'll have a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the Wplus9 Design Studio store!  

For all details, visit Cloud9!!!

Stamps:  Folk Art Flurries, Winter Wishes (Wplus9 Design Studio)
Ink:  Cherry Cobbler (SU!)
Paper:  Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler (SU!)
Accessories:  Pinking Squares (Wplus9), Bakers Twine (SU!), Rhinestones

CAS 200th Challenge Party!

Over at Splitcoaststampers we are celebrating the 200th CAS challenge.  As a CAS DT Alumni, I'm thrilled to be a part of the celebration.  We have 5 challenges for you today and another 5 will be posted tomorrow!  That's 10 fabulous CAS Challenges to keep you inspired all-weekend-long!  The party will be followed up by the 200th challenge on Monday!

I am lucky enough to be one of the party hostesses.  Here's my challenge:

Sugar & Spice & Everything nice…that's what comes to my mind when I think of holiday parties.   It's the only time of year that you get to eat all the candy and sweets you want, without all of the guilt! 

So, go ahead and grab your peppermint sticks and sugar cookies and make them (or any other sweet treat or candy) the focus of your CAS card!!

You can view this challenge and the others in the CAS 200th Challenge Party Master Thread.

I hope you'll join the party too :)

Stamps:  Christmas Poinsettia  (PTI)
Ink:  True Black (PTI)
Paper:  Whisper White (SU!),  Be Merry pp (My Minds Eye)
Accessories:  Pretty Patches Tree Die (Wplus9), 1 inch & 1/4 in Circle Punch, Bakers Twine (SU!),  Rhinestones

Classic Christmas

I love many different holiday styles, but classic Christmas is my favorite!!   For me, it doesn't get more traditional than this card.

Here I have used the Shadow Stamping technique to create a subtle background for my card.  To do this, ink up your image and stamp in on your cardstock.  Then lift your stamp and without reinking stamp again a bit to the left or right.  That's it, easy peasy!

There are more samples of Shadow Stamping today at StampNation.  StampNation is a membership site with almost 270 video tutorials, weekly challenges,  written tutorials, lessons in CAS stamping and SO much more.  I hope you'll come and check us out.  I'd love to see you there!

Stamps: Mistletoe & Holly (PTI)
Ink: Cherry Cobbler & Always Artichoke (SU!), True Black (PTI)
Paper: Very Vanilla, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Gold (SU!)
Accessories: Jingle Joy die (Lil Inker), Tasteful Trim (SU), Button Twine (PTI)

Fresh Picked Birthday

Do you think it's strange that I'm using fruit stamps in December?  Both my sister & sister-in-law have birthday's this month.  I try to be careful about bundling birthday and Christmas together, I know some people can be sensitive about that ;)  I went in a totally different direction with this card for my SIL.  She loves purple, so I try to incorporate it into most of her cards.  I actually think it's one of the only times I use it!  My layout came from this weeks sketch challenge at  StampNation...

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: Fresh Picked (Wplus9)
Ink: Rose Red, Wisteria Wonder (SU!) True Black (PTI)
Paper: Whisper White, Rose Red, Wisteria Wonder (SU!)
Accessories: Pinking Squares & Fresh Picked dies (Wplus9), Bakers Twine (SU!), Pearls

Christmas Gift Tag

Since I finished my Christmas cards so early this year, I have had time to do some paper crafting projects I normally don't have time for, like the Advent Calendar I posted yesterday, Christmas ornaments (I'll share those soon) and now gift tags for the CAS-ual Fridays Challenge

I feel so accomplished ;)  Don't ask me if my cards have left my house though!  I am still working on getting a nice picture of my boys to send along with them.

This is only the first of many tags I'll be making this year.  I love the scene I was able to create using Iconic Christmas by Wplus9.   It's so classic!  I get nervous with silhouetted images, that they won't stamp nicely.  Well, no problems here.  Crisp, clean and beautiful!!!!

Stamps: Iconic Christmas (Wplus9)
Ink:  True Black (PTI), Versamark (SU)
Paper:  Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler (SU!)
Accessories:  Tag die (Sizzix), Iconic Christmas die (Wplus9), Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding, Bakers Twine (SU!), Silver Embossing Powder, Rhinestones

Dixie Cup Advent Calendar

A little over a week ago, my friend Catherine forwarded me a project that was featured on MyCraftChannel.com, an advent calendar made using dixie cups and the Festive collection by Authentique.  I contemplated trying to make it with the products I have on hand but decided it would be easier to purchase the kit.  I am so glad I did!!! How darling is this? 

(Please ignore the yarn on the stairs that I forgot to put away ;)

It took a few hours to wrap those cups and tie on the tags, but it was well worth every minute. I love adding handmade touches to our Christmas decor!

Christmas Blessings

Today's card was inspired by a Christmas tree I saw recently in a catalog.  The entire tree was decorated in cream and gold.  It was truly stunning.  I took that idea to my stamp room and started creating.   Where do you find inspiration for your cards?

Stamps:  More Merry Messages (SU!)
Ink:  Versamark
Paper:  Very Vanilla
Accessories:  Dazzling Diamonds & button (SU!)  Seasonal Sentiment Die (Wp9), Gold Embossing Powder, Twine (PTI)

CASE Study Challenge #119

Today is my last challenge as Guest Designer at CASE Study :(  It was such an honor to design with such wonderfully talented stampers.  A BIG thank you to Chupa and the rest of the design team for asking me to join them!!!

Here is our inspiration by the November Muse Angeline:

And my take on her card...

I really loved Angeline's twine lollipop.  Isn't is so adorable?!  I loved the rainbow effect and used that as inspiration for my card.  I couldn't resist adding some bakers twine too!

Thanks for coming by :)

Stamps:  Heartfelt Mix, Guiding Light Sentiments (Wplus9 Design)
Ink:  Bashful Blue (SU!), True Black (PTI)
Paper:  Whisper White, Real Read, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi (SU)
Accessories:  Rainbow Die (lil Inker) Corner Rounder

Simplifying a Sketch

This weeks sketch challenge at StampNation was a tough one for me!  You all know I am a Clean & Simple stamper through and through, right?!  Well, look at the sketch and you'll know why I struggled.

The sketch above is based on a card Catherine made a few months ago.  Her card was amazing, but I just couldn't figure out how to incorporate so many layers!!  After throwing away about three attempts, I took a step back and re-evaluated the sketch.  I decided to replace the background layers with stamped images, which allowed me to create a somewhat CAS card.  That made me happy :)

If you want more tips on how to create CAS cards, join StampNation!!!  We have a forum dedicated to Clean and Simple Stamping.  You'll learn about White Space, Balance, One Layer Cards and SO much more!!!

I hope to see you there :)

Stamps:  Snowflake Soiree (SU), Winter Penguin & Christmas Poinsettia (PTI)
Ink:  Real Red, Lucky Limeade (SU!), True Black (PTI)
Paper:  Whisper White, Real Red (SU!)
Accessories:  Label Layers 4 die (Wp9), Winter Penguin (PTI), Bakers Twine (SU!)

Snow Flurries

There's a new CAS challenge blog in town, Addicted to CAS!!  How exciting is that?!!!
The first challenge...

To make my card I stamped some of the snowflake images from Folk Art Flurries in white ink.  Then I added some sponging to the edges of my card.  I added a die cut sentiment, a rhinestone and some bakers twine to finish off this CAS card.

Stamps:  Folk Art Flurries (Wplus9 Design Studio)
Ink:  Fresh Snow (PTI)
Paper:  Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler (SU!)
Accessories:  Seasonal Sentiment dies (Wp9), Bakers Twine (SU!), Rhinestone

CASE Study Challenge #118 & Happy Thanksgiving

**Before we get into this weeks CASE Study Challenge, I'd like to take a moment to wish all of my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving!  May you be blessed today and always with good friends, and the love of family.  Have a wonderful holiday!!! xo

I'm back for another week as GD at CASE Study.  Here's this weeks inspiration from the November muse, Angeline...

And here's my take on her card...

I was taken with the background Angeline created.  I pulled from that the leaves and monochromatic color scheme.  I also stuck with the thank you theme, I thought it was fitting for Thanksgiving!

I hope you'll play along.  I'd love to see your interpretation of this weeks challenge.

Stamps:  Thankful Leaves (MFT)
Ink:  Soft Suede (SU!)
Paper:  Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake (SU!) Authenique pp
Accessories:  Fall Leaves Die-namics (MFT), Mat Pack & Linen Thread (SU!) Paper Piercer

Sweet of You!

Hello there!

I'm busy working on getting a group of thank you cards together to give to my in laws on Thanksgiving.  If you haven't visited my blog before, their home was damaged by Superstorm Sandy a few weeks ago.  They have gotten help from SO many people.   We sent them a package a few weeks ago and I included a set of thank you cards, but they are going to need more.  People have really been so giving!  It has truly been a blessing.

My layout was inspired by Retro Sketches...

I used Wplus9 Fresh Picked for my focal point.  And hand stamped the plaid paper using Country Charm.  I love being able to customize my own paper to coordinate with my cards :) 

Stamps:  Fresh Picked, Country Charm (Wplus9 Design)
Ink:  Regal Rose, Wisteria Wonder (SU!), True Black (PTI)
Paper:  Whisper White, Wisteria Wonder (SU!)
Accessories:  Banner Trio & Label Layers 5 dies (Wplus9), Bakers Twine, mat pack (SU!), button (PTI) 
Paper piercer, Black Journaling Pen

Winter Blues

Thank goodness I don't have the Winter blues just yet.  Talk to me again around mid-February, I should be going crazy by then ;)  I'm just playing along with the CAS-ual Fridays Challenge this week:

I love using navy and white together on Christmas cards.  It's such an elegant and classy combination!

Stamps:  Stocking Prints (PTI)
Ink:  Not Quite Navy (SU!)
Paper:  Whisper White, Not Quite Navy (SU!)
Accessories: Breezy Wreath die (Memory Box), Rhinestones

Holiday Cheer

I'm not usually much of a fancy fold kind of girl, but one of the latest StampNation challenges was to make a holiday card using a fancy fold.   I decided on a gate fold and was very proud of myself for figuring it out without a tutorial.  I know it's not THAT difficult, but my brain just doesn't work that way :)

I've been having a blast with this patterned paper by My Minds Eye.  I love the colors and cute patterns.  I paired it with Pretty Patches: Tree by Wplus9.  Don't they look so sweet together?!

Are you a fancy fold kind of girl or are you more like me a stick to the regular A2 size?

CASE Study Challenge #117

Hello there!

I'm back again this week as Guest Designer at CASE Study :)  We have another stunning card by Angeline Yong to inspire us...

I love this CAS beauty!  Especially how Angeline framed her sentiment and topped it with die cuts.  I used her layout and made a Christmas card.

Head over to CASE Study to see how the design team CASE'd Angeline's card.  Then, head to your stamp room and see what you come up with!

Stamps:  Christmas Poinsettia (PTI), Spring Tags (Wplus9 Design), More Merry Messages (SU!)
Ink:  Lucky Limeade, Cherry Cobbler (SU!), True Black (PTI)
Paper:  Cherry Cobbler, Lucky Limeade, Whisper White (SU!)
Accessories:  Christmas Poinsettia die (PTI), Pearl

Heart of Christmas

Just a little eye candy for you on this Wednesday afternoon.  I hope you are having a lovely day :)

Stamps:  Spring Tags (Wplus9 Design Studio), Christmas Poinsettia (PTI)
Ink:  Old Olive, Crumb Cake
Paper:  Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake (SU!), Handmade Holidays (Simple Stories)
Accessories:  Circle Stackers & Heart dies (Wplus9), Tasteful Trim & Linen Thread (SU!), Rhinestone

I'm so Grateful

There is so much to be grateful for...family, food on our plates & a roof over our heads to start.   We are reminded of this especially when so many people are still suffering from the devastation "Superstorm Sandy" caused two weeks ago today.  The town my husband works in only had power return on Saturday night!!  I'm hoping that trend continues in surrounding towns and states.

Of all of the people we know that were impacted by Sandy, my in laws were hit the worst.  We will be visiting them this coming Saturday to lend a hand and give some hugs, they sure need them!  I have already sent my mother-in-law a package of thank you cards, but I'll be bringing even more with me this weekend.  I think she's going to need them.  It is inspiring to hear how many people have volunteered their time to help at the Jersey shore...food, laundry, cleaning, fixing, demolition, churches going door to door making donations...it makes my heart feel good that their are so many caring and good people out there!

We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!  I hope you do too!

**My card was inspired by CAS-ual Friday's and the MFT Sketch below...

Stamps:  Thankful Leaves (MFT)
Ink:  Soft Suede, Pumpkin Pie (SU!)
Paper:  Very Vanilla, Soft Suede, Comfort Cafe dsp (SU!)
Accessories:  Fall Leaves Die-namics (MFT), Banner Trio (Wplus9), Vintage Trinkets (brad) & Linen Thread (SU!)