Monday, September 8, 2014

Supreme Team 18 - Round One is holding a "scrap-off' (my term for it) to find members for their Supreme Team 18.  The Supreme Team is that group of digital scrapbookers who act as their "design team."  A design team is a group whose members create pages, the sample pages, that get posted with new kits as they become available in the shop.
     During a Supreme Team contest, contestants (anyone who signs up to try) post a digitally scrapped layout to that week's gallery.  Contestants are provided with a kit to use.  The kit for Round One is one from Maria Designs called "Sew Beary Scrappy."
     It is a wonderful kit!  For the variety of pages I've made already from the kit, I have not recolored anything except a title using the alpha that is part of the kit -- and that was mostly to make it stand out from the background more than it did in the original color.  Actually, I did not "recolor" the alpha.  I used a feature of my scrapbooking program* and "filled" the selected item (the letters of the alpha) with a paper in the kit.
     Each week a few contestants are dropped and the rest go on to the next round until in the final week, the next Supreme Team is announced.  Members of the Supreme Team then spend the next four months as the Design Team for is a great digiscrapping site.  The forums, the challenges, the galleries and the shop are all wonderful and delightful.  GDS, through the forums, has a Daily Download that is free.  And there is a program that gives discount codes to get a "Daily Download Rewind" item based on the number of comments you leave for your fellow scrappers.

Pop on over and check out the other entries in the Round One Gallery (ending time 9 AM ET, Monday, September 8, 2014).  Round Two is to be announced on Tuesday, 9/9.

Here are a couple other layouts I made using the "Sew Beary Scrappy" kit from Maria Designs at

*  A note about the scrapping software that I use --
It is StoryBook Creator 3 from Creative Memories.  However, in 2013, when Creative Memories went into its second bankruptcy and the company was redesigned to go ahead into the future, they dropped the digital side of the business.  StoryBook Creator software was first produced by a company called Caspedia, but as the programmers came to producing version 4, they became Panstoria.  Panstoria released version 4, 8 or 9 months before Creative Memories introduced version 4 of StoryBook Creator.  In my mind, this was very bad business practice -- ethically -- though probably good in terms of profitability.  Nor was it very ethical that their price for the full version was about half or less than CM's and only slightly higher than an upgrade version from CM.
At that time, I downloaded the trial version of Panstoria's "Artisan" scrapping software.  I decided I really did not like or need the "improvements."  These are basically color coordination features.  I uninstalled it before the trial time was up.  I was and am more than satisfied with version 3. 
When Creative Memories finally released StoryBook Creator 4, since I was a CM Consultant at the time, I did get a copy of the upgrade to 4.  I eventually installed it figuring I would just ignore the features I did not want to use.  Then I could, at least, help customers if they used version 4.  However, while using it one day, while it sat there thinking about what it was doing, I accidentally hit the mouse button and the Windows message came up asking if I wanted to end the process.  Apparently, I chose the wrong option there and the program eventually shut down.  BUT it did not shut down.  Every time I tried to open up SBC4, I got an error message that said it was already running on my system.  Using "End Process" on the Task Manager did not end the process nor did shutting down the computer and restarting.  It stayed running, somehow, in Task Manager.  In the end I had to, not uninstall it (it would not uninstall since the computer thought it was running), but delete it.
I never got around to reinstalling it.   
While Panstoria did handle key codes for CM software and art packages for a while, it is too late to reinstall now (as far as I know).
The only truly downside to this -- I had given my husband a copy of his own of the software and a couple of page and art packages as a birthday gift a few years before that.  He created wonderful pages and books of his own fabulous photography.  Due to the need to take his hard drive back to original condition, the software needed to be reinstalled -- and that did not get accomplished in time.  If he wants to go back to creating his own pages again (he says he does not but I'm fairly certain he would love to, he just does not want to admit it) -- we would have to get the Panstoria version.  **sigh**
Creative Memories is now totally gone -- their reorganization did not work out in the end -- and there is no hope of them ever slowly going back into the digi-scrap side of scrapbooking.  In the near future I will put up a post about some wonderful options still out there to take the place of Creative Memories and their strap-albums for the traditional scrapper.  It is something I have an opinion about ...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Good Gracious! August is almost over and ...

... And Jake and Kitty are out enjoying this hot summer day.  That leaves me to upload the August card for the 2014 Christmas Challenge (from DigiStamps4Joy).

Still having trouble with the printer -- rrrrggghh! -- so ...

Anyhow, NOW is a great time to get to work on your handmade Christmas cards if you have not already.  And if you have not already become part of the monthly challenge over at DigiStamps4Joy, it is not too late!  Just let Desire know that you want to join in the fun too!

I don't usually work with figures (unless they are fat-legged children) in my stamping and digi-stamping.  However, this month's image was so much fun to work with, I may end up reconsidering and begin to add a few big-eyed gals to my collection.  :-)

Skin-tone and hair can be a problem for me.  But a few YouTube videos later, they don't daunt me quite as much as before.  Sorry, I don't remember which videos they were or I would share the links (if I find them again,I will gladly share!  :D).  In one video, the artist was "painting" a portrait using Prismacolor pencils.  She was laying in the blonde hair and made two very interesting comments as she worked.  First, there was no yellow in the blonde hair!  Second, she did not draw lines to put in strands of hair but used layers of color and uncolored space to create the hair.  It was wonderful!  [Hmmm ... I think I will go try to find that video and come back and edit the post to add in the link ... in the meantime, join in the 2014 Christmas Challenge!]

{Edited a bit later}  FOUND IT!  Here is the link to the YouTube video for drawing a face (or coloring in one) using colored pencils:
Plus one more just for the sheer amazing-ness of it!  Drawing Jack Sparrow using ballpoint pen:
(Sorry, tried to have the title of the videos as the text for the YouTube links but blogger here would not behave for me ...)  Enjoy both videos,though :-D

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Christmas in July :-)

Yep, July is just about over and here I am getting my card for the 2014 Christmas Challenge posted at the last minute.  **Sigh**

This month's image is really cute with the three kitties in or under the tree.  And all of this month's entries are really well done.  :-D

Join the fun!  Email Desiree (you'll find her email address at the challenge website) and let her know you'd like to join in the fun.  It is a wonderful way to work on holiday cards all year long, and have them ready to address and mail early in the holiday season.  This is a big boon to me!  So, come on -- join the fun too.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday is back ...

but ...
I didn't know.

Maybe it never went away.

I just couldn't find it.

I found it, today.  A "day late" -- but I hope I can add this to the Mr. Linky.  If not, next Wednesday.

Anyhow, I rarely go out, anywhere, anymore.  So, for now, I will seek out photos in my archives to share. 

Thanks for visiting today!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

June's Christmas Challenge card ...

I almost missed this month's 2014 Christmas Challenge card!  June got away from me.

I LOVE this month's image.  Ever since I was a small child, I have loved snow globes.  Some people think of them as kitsch -- but I am quite willing to admit to enjoying kitsch and all its plebeian connotations :-D

Once I realized I had almost missed getting my card made, I discovered another printer problem this month -- almost out of ink.  **sigh**  So, I had to resort to something I am probably not supposed to do -- coloring in the image with a  graphics program and then building the card in a different graphics program.

If I had the new cartridges of ink to replace the empty ones, it would have been oh so much easier to print off the image and hand color it with my colored pencils.  As it turned out, I ended up using PhotoShop Elements 6 to color the image.

In the past, I had a fabulous graphics program -- Micrografx's Picture Publisher 7 -- that I used for everything  (it came free bundled with a scanner I bought at Sam's Club over a decade ago ...)  Using that program and its built-in brushes, I could make anything look like it was truly colored in with pastels or colored pencils.  PhotoShop and PhotoShop Elements use a macro to convert a colored area to look like it was pencil stroked that do not look real, or realistic, to me.  Picture Publisher looked "real."  I am very disappointed that as Microsoft upgrades operating systems I end up losing the ability to use programs that work wonderfully and get stuck using "make do" software.

I ended up laying strokes of color and then using Gaussian Blur to sort of get a decent color;  and added some kind of texture or other filter on top.  I'm not totally happy with the results and will print the image and hand color the rest for my collection of cards.

I love the Challenge because it is allowing me to get ready all year long for the Holiday season instead of panicking at the last minute to get all my cards made, addressed and mailed.  Are you following along with the 2014 Christmas Challenge?  Go to and join in!

There isn't much time to join for June, but it is not impossible!  It is a really fun image this month and easy to color in.  Contact Desiree and get the image -- upload to your blog or email the final card to her and then get the July image.  Or, if you don't want to panic to finish up a card by the end of June, contact Desiree and let her know you want to join starting in July.

Since I could not print off the final colored image ... I put it into my scrapbooking software to build the card.  I use Creative Memories' StoryBook Creator 3 as my digi-scrapping software program.  Creative Memories no longer supports or sells StoryBook Creator, and had upgraded to supporting version 4.0 before their reorganization.  I had loaded version 4 but determined it was not for me at that time and went back to my version 3.  StoryBook Creator was produced by another company for Creative Memories and is now selling it as Panstoria's Artisan software.  I've tried a lot of the digi-scrapping software on the market.  And a lot of digi-scrappers use the Adobe PhotoShop or PhotoShop Elements programs. or the free Gimp PhotoShop clone.  However, in my opinion, except for my old Micrografx Picture Publisher 7, StoryBook Creator (aka Artisan from Panstoria) is the absolute best available.  (Though I really can't comment on the color manipulation options available in SBC 4 and Artisan.)

I used a digi-paper and a saying from a Creative Memories' kit called Candy Cane to create the card.  I think, once I have the ink to print the image, I will probably print off this paper and saying in 4x6" panels to use on my finished cards but will print the line image and hand color it -- I'll be happier with both the sky and fence.  I'm just not all that skilled with mouse or pen tablet to draw my lines (for wood texture) where I want them, and it is much easier to layer the various blues for atmospheric perspective in the sky using colored pencils instead of the options in PSE 6.  Besides, if I do it by hand, I can add in a small postage stamp in the letter to Santa :-D

Come and play along -- join in at

Friday, May 30, 2014

**Phew** -- Just In Time -- The May Card

**Phew**  Just in time -- Finally, I have my May card for the 2014 Christmas Challenge, over at digistamps4joy, ready to share.  I had already colored this month's image, ("Time To Go"), a couple of weeks ago but had not figured out the best way to turn it into a card.  Then I saw a partially completed doodle on the desk and decided to use that somehow as the background.  At the last minute almost.  This morning ...
     Starting with a few colored pencils in a variety of blues, the area around the circle was colored.  A blending stump helped smooth out the pencil lines somewhat.  Using assorted glitter glues (from WalMart's Studio M line of glitter glues similar to Ranger's Stickles), I randomly filled in the circle ... then I had to wait for it all to dry.  And wait and wait and wait.  After hours of waiting, it was dry but not flat.  [In the scan, the glitter glues look more like desert sands as the glitter does not show off its shine.]
     A slightly smaller piece of cardstock was added to the back of the panel which is 3 3/4 by 5 3/4 inches.  A 4x6" index card was called into service -- with a border of Smooch inks, which I got from Paper Wishes years ago and have almost never used until today -- maybe a splodge here or there but (I think they are the next "search" I do at YouTube, the Internet's second most popular search "engine" or so I have heard) ...  The panel was attached with just a small amount of glue in the center to hold it in place while I applied strips of packing tape.  The tape adds a gloss and glisten to the finished panel but also, where it wraps the edge, helps hold the pieces together.  Since the top panel had flattened out quite a bit but was still a little rippled, I thought this sealing layer couldn't hurt.
     Still not quite completely flat, I used Alene's Tacky Glue in the pen applicator to attach the panel to the card front.  Once again, I've chosen to attach my 4x6 panel to a Strathmore Photo Mount Card with an embossed frame.  The frame makes placing the panel easy, and the embossing around the frame adds just a small touch of elegance to any card.
     Since the Alene's Tacky Glue is so strong, I decided that would be the best way to attach this month's image to the glossy surface of the background panel.  However, I just noticed that the camel's head is already coming loose from the background.  I may need to use something like Glossy Accents or Close To My Heart's Liquid Glass to attach the image to the packing tape.  I believe that kind of sealer can be used as an adhesive on a slick surface.
     Usually Jake and Kitty would present the monthly card, but this card needed to be scanned since it was not flat and because of the packing tape which would have caused glare.  Not to worry, though, Jake and Kitty are digging around the desk here to see what they can get me to share with you next so that they can play "model" once again ... **grin**

If you have any suggestions on how to flatten out panels or how to attach them so they flatten out or how to attach something on top of a glossy surface, PLEASE leave me a comment below.  THANKS!  [Over at my book review blog, I am offering a pdf file of a bookmark and bookplate for comments -- if you have an idea for "comment bribes" I can offer here, please leave those ideas in the comment section below too.]

Oh, yes, once again, I encourage you to join the fun at digistamps4joy and the 2014 Christmas Challenge (click on the link to the monthly Christmas Challenge at the top of the page).  There are other challenges at the blog too.  Check them out!  I think you will enjoy them!

{Now I am off to figure out what happened to the post about the April Card -- I opened it to get the link to digistamps4joy and **poof** there is just the picture of the card and half a sentence.  I know I goofed and had only "previewed" the post before I added the link over at the digistamps4joy blog, but I did "publish" the post and had at least one comment ... well, if I can't find the missing bits, I'll have to 'wing it' **sigh**} 
{**double bigger sigh** I just finished the "publish" of this post, and instead of looking at the list of posts, I hit the button to "View Blog" -- and when I scrolled through there, the April Card post is all there.  I AM SO CONFUSED!  What's new, eh?  LOL!}

Saturday, May 24, 2014

I Am ...

Today's piece of art isn't very large but Jake wanted to share it.  His uncles decided to get in on the act, too.  And, of course, Kitty had to be involved (where Jake goes, Kitty tries to go too).  :-)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

More Books "On A Subject" -- Sort of

May 22, 2014
I don't know what sent me down this path to create this reading list.  I know that I wanted to watch an old movie but the DVD did not work ...

The movie was Arsenic and Old Lace.  But I think the desire to watch that movie came somewhere after the reading list was being created and being worked through.

The sort of unifying theme was Teddy Roosevelt and WWI.

Many years ago, I introduced myself to WWI (having learned very little 20th century history in my history classes at school but wanting to know more about it), starting with Barbara Tucman's The Proud Tower -- a look at the  European events and forces that came together to create the atmosphere that spawned the Great War.
Here is a sort of Reading List on the subject plus some fiction that in some way is informed by that time and / or that Great Disaster:
  • The Proud Tower - A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914, Barbara Tuchman
  • The War That Ended Peace - The Road to 1914, Margaret MacMillan [While Tuchman's book did not really explain what the Dreyfus Affair was in France, and this one did ... seems to be more an expansion on Tuchman's book than much new info -- but that could be just my impression;  there have been a few years between Tuchman's book and this one in my reading list]
  • The Imperial Cruise - The Secret History of Empire and War, Richard Poe [I thought I was getting a book about the world cruise of the first large warships, this book turned out to be quite different AND quite informative.  The book description did say when this cruise occurred, but I did not trust the description.  I have encountered far too many inaccurate book descriptions to take them seriously any more -- sometimes I doubt that the editorial staff of the publishing house ever read the book being described ... Anyhow, I am glad I borrowed this book from my public library!]
  • Colonel Roosevelt, Edmund Morris [A different view of the Rough Rider ...]
  • A World Undone - The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918,  G. J. Meyer  [Kind of slow as it takes the reader through the war and its battles, covering just about all of the ground covered in the battles of Ypres.  I did learn something, not explicitly in the book but inferred from it -- why it is important that the President of the USA is considered the Commander-in-Chief of the US Military.  If you read this book and have an idea what I am referring to, leave your idea(s) in the comments for a downloadable bookmark & bookmark I will send to you.  This book also described how the assassination of an Austrian Archduke ended up causing a World War -- finally, something that never made any sense to me was explained.]
  • Overthrow - America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, Stephen Kinzer [this book relates more to The Imperial Cruise than to WWI but sort of fits in to the list in its own way]
  • The First Casualty, Ben Elton 
  • The Maisie Dobbs series, Jacqueline Winspear 
  • The Star of Kazan, Eva Ibbotson (This book really does not fit the theme, but after learning about Austria and WWI in A World Undone, it put a different tint on the story -- at least for me)
There are plenty more that could be added to the list, including Agatha Christie novels featuring Hercule Poirot, a refuge from Belgium who emigrated from Belgium to Britain during WWI, particularly the first book The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and those books that are set between the wars where the gentry often refer to how things have changed since the war in terms of being able to get proper maids and gardeners.

So, why did I want to watch Arsenic and Old Lace?  Leave your answer in the comments, get it right and I'll send you a bookmark and bookplate you can download and print. 

That gives you two chances to get a bookmark and bookplate ... If you answer both, you'll get two ...

Good reads to ya!


PS -- OOPS, this got posted at the wrong place.  I'm leaving it here and then going to cut and paste it to the correct place.  **Sigh**

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2 Monsters to Cheer Your Day

WOW!  I can't believe I'm getting another post up so soon :-)

Anyhow, I wanted to share a video with you.  Nah, I didn't make the video.  I tried that -- once.  What a mess!  LOL!

Couldn't get the webcam to sit in a good spot to give a clear view of what I was doing and then, since I had not really done a run-through of the project ... well, something that should have taken about 10 minutes to demonstrate ended up being over 50 minutes long ... **Shudder**  I will admit, though, that the final project came out rather good :D

No, I am sharing a video uploaded to YouTube by Barbara of

Almost every Wednesday she releases a new video.  Hmmm ... it is Tuesday today ... maybe I should wait until tomorrow and let you know about the new one?  NAH!

This video, in some way, was the inspiration for a series of cartoony drawings I have done that will be the pool the first few digi-stamps for the Suseadoodle Do digi-stamp store will be drawn from.

First, Barbara's video, then my "take" on it.  ENJOY!

In the past, I used scrapbooking calendar pages to create mosaics of images to put into the scrapbook.  When I made the first ones, I was working in my Creative Memories strap-album and had these calendar pages I didn't have any calendar-related ideas for.  AND I had a huge pile of scraps of photos from where I had trimmed them ...  but there were details on those scraps that I really did not want to lose.  Details of the wallpaper at my mom's house, or of a clock in the kitchen that had been there for years and brought back memories or ....  Finding that most of these scraps were actually large enough to trim down even a little more to make them fit into the blocks of the calendar, I began filling up the squares of the calendar.  Turned out I had more than enough scraps to continue to the edge of the page and covered the whole thing.  I loved the result.

I hope you did watch the video.  In it, you see Barbara create the calendar and then use it to create mini works of art on a sort of daily basis.

When I finished watching the video, though, I decided I did not want to build calendar pages and work in such a small space.  I cut 12x12 scrapbooking cardstock into 12x6" pieces, folded them in half and made a small booklet.  I made a "cover" indicating the booklet was for work from the "Week Beginning" and added pages and drawings as the week progressed.

If I ever figure out a good way to position the webcam, I may do a flip through of one of these little booklets.  In the meantime, here are two monsters that I did just a couple of days ago.  

Go to, visit the store, sign up for their newsletter so you get the weekly Wednesday issue that contains the link to that week's video (there are two issues a week -- Wednesday and Sunday) and I think you will like what you see ... I first encountered Joggles a few years ago while looking for some Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

There are lots of classes and materials for a variety of media.  I'm not even going to try to list even a small portion of them except to say, rubber stamping, mixed media, water color, embroidery, and doll-making are among some of the fun art forms represented at Joggles.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Coming Soon ...

Phew!  Been busy drawing and coloring and almost missed getting this posted on the 18th (since that is the number I drew today ...)  Totally missed getting this up on the 17th (coincidentally, the number I did yesterday).  Hmm ... but was I smart enough to actually put together the post yesterday in preparation to getting it up today?  You guessed it!  LOL!

So, you have probably heard of "Zen Tangle" or "Zen Doodle" by now.  There is a blog called Rainbow Elephant that has an associated community called the Line Weaving Community.  [ and] where Cindy shares downloadable pattern sheets that are a fantastic resource for those interested in repeat patterns;  Cindy also has some very good vids over at YouTube.  There are also many other resources (on the internet and in books) related to the Zen Tangle/Doodle art form.

I have only one problem with this art form -- many of the patterns have been around for a long long long time.  And I have a little bit of a hard time accepting that someone recently "invented" them.  However, what they have accomplished is breaking down the shape into steps that make it easy to reproduce and repeat that pattern.

I have been doodling since 1971 -- back in grade school, in science class.  We had to keep a notebook of lecture notes.  The teacher expected us to write things down and he collected our notebooks each quarter to make sure we did take notes and even graded us on them.

**HUGE SIGH**  The teacher tended to wander the room as he talked.  I watched him and listened and ended class with lots and lots of ... blank pages.

I don't mention his name because it is embarrassing to tell this about him -- he had some kind of white gunk at the corners of his mouth and it stretched as he talked and I spent my time watching to see if the line of gunk would break and smack him or splatter and it was gross but fascinating to watch.

So, I decided the only way I would ever take notes was to stop watching him.

I picked up my pen (a Bic ballpoint, a Flair or, if I was lucky to have one with me, a Bic Banana felt tip pen -- am I dating myself there?) and stared at my blank notebook pages.  And made a mark and added another and when the teacher said something interesting, I moved to a clean spot on the page, wrote that down then went right back to adding lines to the other set of lines on the page.  My art form was born.

In an "understanding art" type course at the University of Minnesota in 1996, each student had to stand up in front of the lecture hall and present something about their art form.  I held up a paper airplane, made from paper I had doodled all over.  It was a poorly constructed airplane because, well, I was never very good at paper airplanes to begin with and for some reason I had totally forgotten about the assignment until about 2 hours before class :-(  And declared that my art form was "Conscious Doodling" because I make conscious decisions concerning the lines and shapes that I use together.  And the airplane symbolized a hope that the art would one day make its way to others.  Hmmpf.

My series of Dover ClipArt books and other source material where I found inspiration for the shapes I used have gotten lost.  [I let hubby shelve them somewhere in the many bookshelves he has set up in almost every room of the house;  I have no idea where they ended up last and neither does he.  **sigh**]  So I am happy to find the Zen Doodle/Tangle resources on the web.  Though I often, recently, tend to return to the same few design elements in my doodling.  I need to spend just a little time every so often looking at the design resources available to me to feed the creative juices.

Ah, you ask, "What has all that malarkey have to do with a 'coming soon' type announcement?"  Great question.  :-)

As I have stated in previous posts, I have really gotten 'into' digi-stamping.  I really need to post more of my cards, rather than just the 2014 Christmas Challenge from DigiStamps4Joy site.  But I also LOVE drawing fish and owls, monograms and names and other things.  So, in the next two weeks I will be opening my own digi-stamp store.

In the meantime, I am offering a fish that was drawn sort of in a hurry today, as a freebie for you.

First, there is the plain fish -- just the outline -- ready for your tangle or doodle or just to color in as you see fit. Second there is a doodled up fish.  Neither of these have a watermark on them.  They are at 96 dpi.  (Later, the 300 dpi version will be added to the store, but for now the freebie is at 96 dpi.)  You can right click the images, open in a new tab and then right click that image to download it.  I have not come up with my angel policy yet.  I will ask that you not claim the drawing as your own, though you can take credit for what you do with it.

For now, I will not ask for credit but if you do use the image and post it on the web anywhere, it might be nice to link back here -- send people here to get their own copy rather than give it directly to them (even if it is free).  THANKS!

There is a third image -- the one I colored in using Sanford Prismacolor pencils and Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils;  I think there might be the stray Royal and Crayola colored pencil in the tin too and may have added to the finished fish.  I made an alteration to the fins since I prefer smaller areas to color in rather than larger areas.  This does have a watermark since I hope you will prefer to color your own fish.

If you want to share your colored fish, I would LOVE to see it.  I was at a blog recently that allowed pictures to be put into the comment box but looks like that can't be done here at Blogger/Blogspot.  So, come back and leave me a link to your colored fish if you post it anywhere on the Net, or email me a copy at suseadoodle [at] gmail [dot] com.  If you email me a copy or come back and leave a link to your colored fish, I will include it in a future blog post.  :-)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Jake and Kitty Present ... April's Christmas Challenge card

Jake and Kitty Present April's 2014 Christmas Challenge card
     Moving along with the challenge from DigiStamps4Joy's 2014 Christmas Challenge -- Jake and Kitty present my version of the April image.  (The background they stood in front of is so messy, I decided to extract the card and fade out the rest ... next time we'll try to find a better setting for Jake and Kitty to use as a backdrop.)

     I think it is supposed to be a Christmas Robin.  Not common here in the United States -- I do remember one Christmas ... When my mom and I arrived at my brother's house for the annual Christmas buffet gathering, the side yard was so covered with robins it looked black instead the usual green-tinted brown of winter.  But that is actually rare (any time of year in that part of southern New Jersey).

     I couldn't figure out a good way to color in the bird to look like a robin and still look decent, so I decided to color it in as a blue bird of my imagination.  I used a combination of Faber-Castell Polychromos and Sanford Prismacolor colored pencils to color the image.  After Jake and Kitty showed off the card, I went back and added Gelly Roll Stardust clear glittering ink to the holly leaves and berries.  Next one I color in, I think I'll make the berries a darker red.

     JOIN the Challenge at the Digistamps4Joy blog.  If you haven't already joined the challenge, email Desiree (her email address is found in the post about this month's challenge image) and she will send you the image.  Every month you join in, you will receive the next month's image.  You don't need to upload the finished card to a blog or a photo site, you can email it to Desiree if you would rather enter that way.

Monday, March 24, 2014

March Card for 2014 Christmas Challenge

Jake & Kitty present the March Card
In February I discovered the true joy of digital "rubber" stamping.  Oh, I've known about digital stamps -- and often use the Stampin' Up! digital images and plenty of other stamp-like images and "real" images found in digital scrapbooking kits.  However, I discovered digital stamping and LOVE it.

There are tons of sites devoted to digital stamping and I will be sharing a few of them soon.  The one I want to share today is:

There is a "challenge" in progress there that may be of interest to you.  It is the 2014 Christmas Challenge.

Every month, a free digital image is provided.  You download the image and make a card using that image.  Upload it to your blog and post a link using the Mr. Linky at the  challenge post or email it to Desire if you do not have a blog.  I missed the January installment of the challenge because I did not know about the challenge then.  But if you make one card a month, you will that much ahead when the holiday season comes around.  WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!

Actually, I printed off the given images in a variety of sizes and made more than one card in February;  the image was a young dinosaur with a Christmas ornament dangling from the tip of his (or her) tail. That was so fun to color!
Jake and Kitty present the February card for the 2014 Christmas Challenge

I've made just this one card, so far, in March because my printer is acting up.  It is getting low on blue ink but for some reason is printing in green and ignoring the fact it has a new black cartridge recently replaced.  **Sigh**

Then, it decided to stop printing.  Well, that isn't true ... I put one of my fish on the scanner bed and hit the button for "copy" and a semi-decent printout landed on the drop area.  If I try to print from the laptop to the printer, I get an error message "Printer not ready.  Check connections."  Connections are apparently fine as a "scan to computer" command works just fine.  *BiggerSigh**

Anyhow, until the printer starts behaving -- I think I won't be doing more cards with this image.  Although, green is a festive color and I have a few more prints of it that I can use ... Hmmm ...  :D

In case you are wondering -- the items I used to make the card include:
  • Strathmore Photo Mount Card with Embossed Frame (lovely watercolor paper texture to the card, too) -- I LOVE these cards because the embossed frame makes it soooooo easy to place the 4x6 inch image
  • The March Image 
  • Background papers are by Close To My Heart
  • The image was printed on white cardstock, then I lightly sponged Whisper stamping ink around the edge (also by Close To My Heart).  Feeling in the mood to be a bit strange, I popped one of the air pockets I received in a package recently -- it is green plastic and I decided to wrap the print in the plastic.  I found a couple scraps of cardstock and colored them with Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils;  hand-drew a few bits of holly and used the pencils to color them in too.  Wrapped one of the bits of cardstock with polyester embroidery thread by Polystar.  Used a bit of grosgrain ribbon from a packet purchased at Wal-Mart in the 97 cent craft supply bins.
You can join in the 2014 Christmas Challenge too!  Visit the blog for Digistamps4Joy ( and click on the challenge button.  Hope to see your card posted there too!  :D