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Jan 31, 2021

I Spy Photography Challenge No. 4

Happy Sunday! I'm joining in  Lysha's photography challenge again this week, at least I tried! 

Anyone is welcome to join in! You can find all the details on her blog where she also shares next week's prompts!

This week's photo prompts are:

  • New
  • Different Angle
  • Before & After
  • Fruit or Veggie
  • Backyard


A new bouquet of flowers I picked up at Aldi.
Never mind my cat on the table. They both know they aren't allowed but don't really care much for our rules!!! She looked cute so I snapped this photo.

(This photo was taken with my phone). 

Fruit or Veggies:

A pineapple and some strawberries! Yum!!

Different Angle:

A  view from above.

Before and after:

Before a nap

After a nap - still a bit sleepy!
These photos would have also qualified for the "new" prompt. I found this fluffy buffalo plaid blanket at Aldi - it was the last one in this particular pattern, lucky me :-)


We have chain link fence around our backyard which shows too much of the neighbor's backyards/homes etc. so I am skipping this prompt.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Photos taken with my Canon DSLR camera unless otherwise noted.


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I'm linking up here:

Some affiliate links may be used in this post. This means I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you! Thanks so much for supporting this blog!

Jan 30, 2021

A Cute Garden Scene using Penny Black and Lavinia Stamps

It's Saturday again and we have a new theme over at Allsorts challenge where Mervi wants to see "Four Legged Friends". We have a great prize from Craft Stash this week, some pretty Woodware stamps and hope you'll join us for a chance to win! As always you may use any make of stamps/digis/dies and you may enter up to 3 times for more chances to win!

This post may include some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog!

I knew I wanted to use a Penny Black cat stamp for my card and decided on this cute one called "Cat Bath", then added a couple of cute mice from the set "Micey Day" and  also used one of Lavinia's Dandelion silhouette stamps to create the garden scene. I'm sorry the other two stamps are old and I don't have a link, but you may be able to find them on eBay. 

I stamped on Bristol Vellum paper using Versafine Onyx ink and watercolored with my Zig Clean Color markers. To add some more depth to the images I used Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and also added some strokes for grass around the images, although I'm not sure I like how it turned out that way.

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On the bottom portion I used a mask to ink up a hill with Shabby Shutters Distress ink and then stamped Lavinia Dandelion also using Shabby Shutters ink. This stamp has a straight stem, but it's easy to bend since it's a clear stamp, and that is what I did here. 

The sentiment is from Penny Black set Sweet Wishes, which is one of my favorites. I especially love this specific stamp from the set for "just because" type cards and think it works so well with cute critters!

I added a tiny bit of patterned paper from my stash and used a stitched border stamp along the edges. This stamp is from a retired set by Whimsy Stamps. Unfortunately I didn't find something similar to link to, but do like this set by The Stamps of Life to stamp around the edges, and you can always add faux stitches free hand using a fine tip pen or marker. A few years ago I loved using my sewing machine, but since re-organizing my craft room, I no longer have a permanent spot for the sewing machine and I'm too lazy to get it out and set up each time I want to use it.

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The cute mice were an afterthought. I felt like the card was too plain on the right side, so I stamped them on a scrap piece of Bristol Vellum , colored and fussy cut. A Wink of Stella clear glitter brush was used on the flowers and the cat's collar. 

Thanks so much for taking the time out of your day to stop by!

I'm linking up here:

Anything Goes:

Jan 24, 2021

I Spy Photo Challenge No. 3

Happy Sunday! I decided to join in with Lysha's photography challenge again this week and here are this week's prompts. 

  • Ordinary Day
  • Favorite
  • Makes me Happy
  • Candle
  • Black and White

Ordinary Day:

Every weekday morning - waiting on my coffee to be done with a glass of water nearby and visiting blogs, checking email, etc. in the kitchen where I keep my computer. I love my mini French press


My husband surprised me with my favorite chocolate the other day - perfect photo opportunity for this prompt!


Fireside and Fig wood wick candle purchased from Aldi a few months ago. Love these wood wick candles and they smell so nice too! Aldi only has these types of candles occasionally, but they are always available at Target and other retailers in a variety of scents.

Brings me Joy

Wildlife in my backyard. I like to throw old bread out in the winter and the birds and squirrels love it. I know these starlings live in our area all year round, but surprisingly I only see them in the winter months in my backyard.

Black and White

My cat Thomas hanging out on my bed like he owns it!

Photos were taken with my Canon DSLR camera.

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

I'm linking up here:

This post may include some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog!

Jan 23, 2021

Blooms, Bee and Honeycombs

Hello and welcome!

It's time for a new theme at Allsorts challenge where Brenda wants to see "Beautiful Blooms" and I hope you decide to join us this week! As much as I love working on Christmas cards in December, once January is  here I am ready to move to spring like cards with pretty colors so this challenge was right up my alley! We do have a beautiful floral stamp set by Rare Earth to give away to one lucky winner but you can't win unless you play along! As always you may use any of your products, there is no company restriction and anyone is invited to join in!

Please note, this post includes some affiliate links. That means I may earn a small commission if you purchase through the links, as always this is at no cost to you! Thanks so much for supporting this blog.

I recently received My Monthly Hero January stamp kit from Hero Arts (I'm sorry this kit sold out within a couple of days) and thought this pretty blossoms branch was perfect for the theme. I'm no longer a kit subscriber but was lucky enough to place my order before the kit sold out.

The blossom branch and bee have been stamped on Bristol Vellum paper and colored with Zig Clean Color markers then I used the matching dies which are included in the kit to cut them out. Two of the blossoms were stamped again on Neenah paper and colored with Copic markers then fussy. (Actually I had colored the whole branch first with Copics and didn't like it but in the end decided to use two of the blossoms along with the water colored branch.)

The honeycombs die I used is part of the kit, so no longer available, but this set may be a good alternative if you're looking for something similar. 

There were some pretty sparkly papers included as well but I decided to use a printed dark gray (almost black) paper from my stash and only used a strip of gold paper from the kit. I feel like hoarding the sparkly paper for a more appropriate occasion. 

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The set also came with a honeycomb stamp and I decided to used it on here as well with Stampin Up's  retired French Script stamped here and there. 

I used the honey lacquer pen that was part of the stamp kit to add some "nectar" or "pollen" to the stamens. Some Wink of Stella was brushed over the bee's wings for some sparkle. 

By the way, if you are interested in subscribing to the Hero Arts Monthly Kits - they are $34.99 and ship for free every month, with an option to cancel at any time. You can read more about it HERE

A LIMITED TIME OFFER by Hero Arts! Subscribe by January 28 (11:59PM PT) and receive the 108-page 2021 Hero Arts Catalog Idea Book (a $10 value), plus a $10-off coupon towards a future order of at least $50. All subscribers will be sent the catalog and coupon in February, so subscribe now! Subscribe by 01/28/21 and get started with February My Monthly Hero Kit.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Listen Now!

I'm linking up here:

Colour Crazy Challenge - Something Colored // C.R.A.F.T. - New (new stamp kit) // Moving along with the Times - New (new stamp kit) // Little Red Wagon - Dies // Sisterhood of Crafters - Die Cuts // Make My Monday - Hello // Path of Positivity - Something Positive // 

Anything Goes:

 Inspire me Monday // Creative Fingers // A Bit More Time to Craft //A Perfect Time To Craft // Crafty Creations  // Creative Moments // Crafty Sentiment Designs // Lemon Shortbread // A Place To Start // Get Creative Challenges // 

Jan 22, 2021

Fashion Over Forty: Black Ponte Knit Pants for Winter Travel

Happy Friday!

We recently had to take an almost 4 hour (one way) drive to Milwaukee (and back home), and when trying to decide what to wear for the trip, I remembered reading a post a while ago titled something like "the best pants for travel" where the blogger mentioned black Ponte Knit Pants and that's what I decided to wear. 

You may wonder what Ponte Knit Pants are - these pants are double knit with two way stretch that won't bag out. Some are a pull on style some come with a zipper and button with practical pockets. They are available in a skinny, straight or bootcut. Due to the way they are made they can be dressed up for the office or a night out and the stretch double knit makes them most comfortable for long car or air travel.

We don't usually take such long car rides in the winter so this was my first time trying out these pants for a long car ride and they did not disappoint. Due to the double knit they also kept me warm enough while taking a walk along Lake Michigan on this day when it was just around the freezing point. 

I don't have the best photos to share as the purpose of this trip was to take my daughter to Milwaukee Ballet for an audition. We did stop at the Milwaukee Public Market to get some lunch, but other than that we just walked around downtown while she was at the audition. We also decided to drive back home the same day as winter weather was in the next day's forecast and I didn't feel like braving winter weather on the road for almost 4 hours.

Please note, this post includes some affiliate links. That means I may earn a small commission if you purchase through the links, as always this is at no cost to you! Thanks so much for supporting this blog.

Everything I'm wearing is old but I will try to link to comparable items for those of you interested. My Ponte Knit pants are the zipper and button style with regular side and back pockets from White House Black Market. This is the exact pair but they are no longer available.

Find Ponte Knit Pants Here:   

January skies are often gray here in the Midwest and I like to brighten up the day by adding a colorful sweater. You might have seen this sweater before in this post where I styled it with blue jeans and a black vest. The sweater does fit tightly on the body but not in a constrictive way and the material is super soft so the turtleneck never bothers me. As everything else I'm wearing, the sweater is old and was a hand-me-down from my sister. 

I thought wearing a turtleneck was more practical than adding a scarf, although I did bring one along with me as I wasn't sure how windy it would be. I remembered being in Chicago during January some years ago and it was very cold and windy. 

Find Turtleneck Sweaters Here:

2. Aqua Cashmere Sweater

My down puffer coat is by Calvin Klein also several years old. It's a very light warm- gray (almost white) color. I know some of you worry about getting a lighter colored coat dirty quicker. While I hate when make up rubs off onto the collar, it washes out easily with Dawn dish soap and an old toothbrush. After this step I just throw it in the washing machine. It does need to run through the dryer for a few cycles and I always use dryer balls when drying down coats/jackets. 

By the way, Nordstrom has some wonderful winter puffer coats in their winter sale currently, and as always their free shipping and return shipping applies to all orders!

My black boots are the ankle boots by Earth Origins I purchased from Amazon last Fall. There wasn't a lot of snow on the ground so they were perfect and kept my feet warm with a pair of boot socks . As recommended on the site, I ordered the boots half a size up. 

My hands were freezing, I left my gloves in the trunk, not sure why I thought I wasn't going to need them, it was after all only about 32 degrees (Fahrenheit). 

Thanks so much for taking the time out of your day to stop by my blog!

I'm linking up here:

Saturday: Dare to Share

Sunday: Style Splash linkup // Sunday Showcase (first Sunday) //  You're the Star Blog Hop Link Up @ Stonecottage Adventures

Monday: Away From Blue // The Queen In Between (first Monday) // Claire Justine Creative Mondays // Glass of Glam // Mutton Style // Inspire Me Monday // Hello Monday // Random-osity Good, Random, Fun // You're The Star Blog Hop Link Party @Stonecottage Adventures // Anything Goes with Your Hosts @ My Random Musings // Beauty by Miss L 

Wednesday: The Card Concept // What's Up Wednesday? (last wed. of month) // The Queen in Between Style Six // Straight A Style // Jersey Girl, Texan Heart // Fashion Frenzy at Seeking Sunshine and Rosy Outlook // Is This Mutton? Wow on Wednesday // Effortlessly Sophisticated // Wonderful Wednesday //  Welcome Wednesdays //  Classy Flamingos 

Jan 17, 2021

I Spy - Photo Challenge No. 2

Happy Sunday! I'm joining in with the I Spy Photography challenge hosted by Lysha of  A Camera and A Cookbook again this week and had fun finding things to photograph to fit the photography prompts. Anyone is invited to join in and Lysha does post the prompts for the following challenge is posted on her blog each Saturday with her post, so you can take pictures ahead of time.

This week's prompts are:

  • Parts
  • Hungry 
  • Details 
  • Home 
  • Sky 


Parts of a tool kit

I don't know why, but when I thought of parts, all I kept thinking of  was stuff in the garage. So out I went and took some pictures. I love taking close up photos of things but even though I have a DSLR camera, I'd need a better lense for better closeups, but for my own personal use it's good enough. Better lenses can be so expensive!!


Hungry for ice cream

It's always a bad idea to go grocery shopping with an empty stomach. By the time I was back in the freezer department I was starving and one of my favorite ice creams came home with me and I ate half of this before starting to cook dinner!



I'm sharing two photos for details, couldn't decide with one to share!

A very detailed puzzle

I came across this puzzle box in the basement the other day. LOVE these cute details of the puzzle. It's a 750 piece puzzle and yet to be put together. Need to get working on it because it's SO CUTE and delicious looking too. The puzzle is by Ceaco, but it's old and no longer available. You may find it on eBay - it's called Funny Business. 

Detail No. 2

Beautiful bridge details

We took a day trip to Milwaukee yesterday for one of my daughter's Ballet Summer Intensive Auditions (socially distant and masked), and while she was doing that, we took a walk in downtown Milwaukee. I loved the details of this bridge crossing over the river to the lakefront and decided to snap a photo for the "details" prompt. 


Home is where is where family is.

I also love that this photo includes a home in the form of a birds nest. 


Cloud formations in the sky

I took this photo from the passenger seat out of a driving car, therefore it's a bit blurry but I loved how the sun was trying to peek out from under the clouds with the tree silhouettes in the foreground. 

Photos were taken with my Canon DSLR camera.

Thanks so much for visiting!!

This post may include some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog!

I'm linking up here:

Jan 16, 2021

Easy Stamped and Stenciled Background with a Floral Focal Point

Hello and welcome!

Today a new theme starts at Allsorts challenge where it's Helene's turn to host. Her theme is "Something New" and our prize is a beautiful die set by Tattered Lace. Hope you decide to join in with us for your chance to win!

I didn't get any new crafty goodies for Christmas, but did purchase a few new stamps last fall and my "new" is one of the stamps from that order. It's such a pretty one and I can't believe I haven't used it yet!

Some affiliate links are used in this post, that means I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. This is at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting this blog!

The stamp is called Alluring Arrangement by Penny Black.

This is a large stamp and pretty much fills up the card front of about 5x5 inches. I decided to do some stenciling, stamping and inking around the image and created a little bit of a collage background.

The image has been stamped using Versafine Onyx ink on Bristol Vellum paper and first colored with my Zig Brush pens. I wanted a little more details on the flowers so I used some Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils for that.

Next I used TCW Tiles stencil and Pumice Stone Distress Oxide ink for some random tiles on the background. The script is an old stamp by Stampin up - French Script. I realize it's stamped upside down on the right side of the card, this was a mistake but at this point in the process I decided to just "make it work".

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I thought it needed something else, so I grabbed an old Harlequin stamp from the old SU set Looks Like Spring and stamped a small part of it onto two corners again using Versafine Onyx ink but stamped off  once.  Finally I inked the edges using Pale Plum ink form Stampin Up (I'm pretty sure they have long retired this ink but it's a really pretty shade of pale purple.)

I had originally colored the white daisies in a very pale pink and decided I wanted them to stand out a little bit more, so I stamped them again and fussy cut, and this time I only colored the flower centers and left the rest white.


The sentiment is from Penny Black's set Blooming Sentiments, heat embossed on black card stock using Versamark ink and super fine white embossing powder. I always rub an anti-static pouch over the paper before heat embossing, this helps prevent embossing powder particles from sticking to other parts of the card, and usually will only stick to the Versamark stamped part. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

I'm linking up here:

Cute Card Thursday - Something New // We Love Chocolate Baroque Challenge - Feminine // Penny Black Saturday Challenge - Something New (New Stamp) // 
Anything Goes: