30 June 2015

Blog Hopping for HSN!

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Sara Davies is back on HSN tomorrow (Wednesday, July 1st), and I'm so excited to be hopping today with the design team members of Crafter's Companion US, as well as the Crafter's Companion International Inspiration design team, to celebrate her shows!

I made the card above for for the last show on HSN, and never did get around to blogging it (I'm just that far behind, lol!). It features a Create a Card die (different ones are one tomorrow, so be sure you're watching!) and several different shimmering cardstocks, which Sara will also be featuring tomorrow.

Blog hops are best when there are prizes, right? Everyone's giving away goodies, so be sure you visit all of the blogs and leave comments!

Taylor Usry (you are here!)

Want to win this gorgeous Create a Card Butterfly die?


Just leave me a comment below no later than tomorrow at 11:59pm EST for your chance to win! See the Crafter's Companion US blog for the full terms & conditions.


And don't forget to watch Sara on HSN tomorrow!

03 June 2015

Hydrangea Vase

Hydrangea Vase

I'm back today with another fun card I colored with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers and blendable pencils - wow do the pencils add depth and color to images! I forgot how much I love to do this!

I started by coloring the leaves, then I did three sets of the hydrangea blooms from Stampendous. Then I did the vase (it took me a little while to decide on which vase in the set to go with!). 

Blooms: HB1, HB2, HB3 + 74, 75, 76, 77
Leaves: CR1, CR2, DG3 + 44, 45, 46
Vase: 79, 55, 70, 64, 65, 114, 34, 35

I used the coordinating dies to cut it all out.

I stenciled ink on the card base though the Hexagons stencil from Dreamweaver Stencils. I used Tim Holtz's Victorian Velvet and Antique Linen inks, plus a little London Fog from Tsukineko. (get them all here).

I added some wash tape and patterned paper to the base then popped the flowers and vase up on foam dimensional bits. I stamped a sentiment (from Screw Loose and Sparky) to a small die from Crafter's Companion to make it look like the card that comes in bouquets when they are delivered. 

I am more than a little in love with how this one turned out! 

28 May 2015

Congratulations To You

Congratulations To You

Ok, so I haven't blogged in eons. Really, I haven't crafted in eons either. I've had some medical issues, and thought it was a good time to take a break. But I'm slowly getting back to it!

Crafter's Companion just released a new range of dies called Edge'ables (available in the US and UK) and I adore them - how fun is this image panel, trimmed with a sentiment? The edges and bottom don't cut, so you can use this kind of die any way you want, anywhere on the card. I like options!

I watercolored the fabulous image (Kimono range, again available in the US or UK) with my Spectrum Aqua markers (US or UK) on watercolor cardstock (US or UK). I used: Kingfisher, Evergreen, Blossom, Rose Pink, Moss, Desert, Topaz, Charcoal, and Black.

To create the background, I used a couple of the Textures stamps (US or UK), colored them with my Aquas, breathed on them, stamped them once on extra paper, breathed on them again, THEN stamped them onto the watercolor paper. Then I added a smidge of water and smoothed it out with a dry brush. Sounds way more complicated than it was, really - I promise!

My yummy mint cardstock base is from Simon Says Stamp. I super love it!

30 April 2015

I Love the Smell of Boxwoods


I love new books from authors that have made me smile in the past. When I got the announcement about the newest book for the virtual book club From Left to Write I was ecstatic! Of course I was dying to read Frances Mayes' newest book, Under Magnolia. Her books about living in Tuscany were enchanting, and I love a good memoir about growing up in the South.

If you've read these book club posts of mine before, you know these aren't about reviewing the book (which I love, so don't worry a review is coming soon on Goodreads) but more about discussions sparked by things in the book. This book was full of so many similarities and brought back so many memories for me.

Late last spring we moved - new town in the mountains, closer to where I grew up. Our "new" house was built in 1938, and it's white brick. Just like the one my great-grandmother lived in when I was a child. And also like hers, it has some seriously mature English boxwoods on the grounds. Greenery doesn't always have a distinctive scent, but these boxwoods do. And no matter where I am, I can smell them and I'm instantly back to my childhood. They smell like home to me: afternoons eating homemade pink angel food cake, the swinging door that divided the kitchen and dining room (another thing our house has in common with my great-grandmother's!), wandering around outside on warm, sunny days and smelling that scent all around. My daughter's room is surrounded by boxwoods - whenever I walk in her room I always have to pause and just drink it in. And I wander our yard at every opportunity, just to be near them. It might seem odd, but I didn't realize how much I missed the smell until they were back in my life!

We've also got a magnolia tree (granted, ours is small, under five years old, and hers was older than old), which I fondly remember inhaling at every opportunity. Those blooms are like nothing else, and the leaves make such beautiful wreaths.

Since we've lived here I've been stopped in my tracks so many times, expecting to hear a familiar voice any moment, or see a face I haven't seen in over 25 years. Smell is a powerful thing..... where does it take you?

This post was inspired by Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes, a memoir of her return to her roots in the South. Join From Left to Write on April 30th as we discuss Under Magnolia As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. but all opinions are my own. Any links to the book within this article are affiliate links. 

26 March 2015

Another Brick in the Wall

Another Brick in the Wall

I adore the name of this gorgeous die... how clever is it? And yes, I hear the song in my head every time I look at the die!

For this fun card, I paired the 'Another Brick in the Wall' die with another recently released dies form Crafter's Companion US (they're all available in the UK, too) Mediterranean Window. I die cut the farame from Black Pearl shimmering cardstock, and did the flower box three times in Sky Blue, Green Envy, and Yellow Pearl. 

To create the background behind the brick wall die, I placed the metal die on a piece of kraft cardstock and sponged Memento Rhubarb Stalk ink on - this left more blank space between the color and the die, which was what I wanted. You can get a whole different effect if you use an extra pice already die cut! To add color to the die cut wall itself, I sponged on Memento Desert Sand, Rich Cocoa, and Bamboo Leaves.

Be sure you stop by to check out all six new Create a Card dies released today!