Friday, April 21, 2017

Of all the ephemera in the world..... favorite is Crate Paper/Maggie Holmes ephemera.

I dove into the stash again yesterday.  Every time I do this, I realize that I might never have to buy embellishments again because I have SO MUCH.

My jumping off point for this card was that blue and gold tag....usually that's the way these stash cards work.  I pick something I want to use, might be the focal point, might not be, but then everything falls in place from there.

The tag is a little small to carry the card on it's own, so I needed pieces to balance it, and I decided to utilize some polaroid frames, also from Crate Paper.

At this point, I pulled out the 6x6 pads.  I went with a neutral base piece and decided it would be fun to back the polaroid frames with some patterned papers.  These were actually just scraps that were loose in one of my Crate Paper 6x6 pads.  I also added a strip of black/cream chevron to the bottom to ground everything.

For balance and to soften the composition, I added a bit of pink doily and a portion of a PTI Leafy Branch die cut.

Finally, to finish off the focal tag, I stamped a sentiment from Ellen Hutson's Mondo Magnolia set and a bit of twine.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you're inspired to break out some of that old stuff!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Updates and Ramblings

Hey everyone, I've been ignoring my blog a little bit.  It's been super busy here.  I've been spending a lot of time in the last week designing.  I tend to design in fits and starts, so I'll do nothing for months and then whip up a bunch stuff.  We work pretty far in advance.  In fact, I'm almost done designing for the year....just have to come up with some holiday ideas, crazy, right?

I haven't managed to create in a week or so, so I've been feeling a bit twitchy.  One of my go-to methods of diving back into creating is pulling out the stash, which is exactly what happened here.  An old Studio Calico journaling card and a really old squirrel sticker, plus a sentiment from My Favorite Nut are the star here.  I used some woodgrain paper as a mat and for some extra texture.

The good news is I have lots of creating in my future.  The Neat & Tangled May release just showed up at my house!  We ended up skipping the April release because of some manufacturing delays, but we'll be back at it in a couple of weeks.  I think you're really going to like the release too.

OK, that's all for today, thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Hey everyone!  I'm popping in to announce the winner of the $30 credit from last week's Altenew blog hop.

That person is.....Carolyn Steele!

Congratulations Carolyn! Please contact Altenew at by 6/30/2017 with the subject line Altenew April Release Blog Hop Winner from Miriam Prantner's Blog to claim your prize.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bunny Cards

I had a little time to create yesterday and pulled out this adorable new die set I got from Mama Elephant.  So cute!  These dies are meant to coordinate with one of ME's favor dies which I don't actually own, but I like them on their own.

I kept this pretty simple.  I backed them with a colored mat and then used the largest of the Neat & Tangled Scalloped dies as well.

The sentiment is from N&T's Cottontail Cuties set and I curved it to fit on the curved banner from the Scalloped dies.

My girls are not into pinks and purples these days, so I went with some less girly colors.  I almost skipped the bows, but they were too cute not to add, plus if any holiday brings out the girly in my not so girly girls, it's Easter and the pretty dresses that they can't resist.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Friday, April 7, 2017

The Ton’s Spring 2017 Release Blog Hop

Happy Friday everyone! Today I'm hopping with The Ton as they celebrate their spring release. You should have arrived here from Chris Dayton's blog.

The Ton has 18 new stamps, 13 dies and 14 Couture Mixes for their new Spring 2017 Release which includes up to three free gifts with purchases. For more information on The Ton’s incentive gifts, head over to The Ton’s blog. All new release products are available now!

I have a soft spot for peonies, so when I saw the release I knew immediately which stamps I would be working with.

First up a very clean and simple card featuring Dearest Peony.  I really wanted this beautiful image to be the star, and I waded back into the world of no line coloring.  The image was stamped with WPlus9 Fairy Dust ink and then colored with Copics.  The gray leaves are solid in the stamp, and I wanted to keep that effect, so rather than my normal three color shading, I just used two shades of gray and kept it very subtle.  

I really didn't want to add much to the card once I was done coloring, I wanted the focus to remain on the flower, so I fiddled with placement of the panel and the sentiment strip going with something not so centered to give it a modern feel.

Next up, is Peony Crush, a gorgeous 6x6 background.  This was stamped in Versafine on watercolor paper and then heat embossed.  Then I broke out my Kuretake Gansai Tambi Starry Colors watercolors (that I bought 6 months ago and hadn't used yet) and chose a couple shades of gold to paint the peonies with.  The open leaves were painted a very light green and then covered with the lightest gold from the Starry Colors set, and the background was  painted a dark green.  

I loved the very rich feel of the background when I was done, almost like a tapestry fabric, but it was a bit too heavy for a full card background, so I did some fussy cutting to trim it down.  I popped up the panel for some extra drama and then added a sentiment from Dearest Peony to finish it off, also popped up.  

That's all for me, but you definitely want to keep hopping because there are prizes! Five $25 gift certificates to The Ton's shop will be given away to random commenters from the hop participant blogs. To qualify, you must leave a comment on The Ton Blog Hop post. The comment period will close on Monday, April 10th at 11:59pm. Winners will be announced thereafter on The Ton’s blog.

The next stop on the hop is Janette Kausen, and I've included the full list below in case you get turned around.  Happy hopping and good lucky!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Altenew April Release Blog Hop - Prizes

Hey eveyone!  I'm so excited to be participating in today's hop showing off some of Altenew's new layering dies.  These are so cool, and I knew right off the bat that I wanted to work with the Cityscape set which consists for Cityscape Cover Die A (basic building outlines) and Cityscape Cover Die B (buildings with window details).

I've got three projects to share with you today, and this is a pretty lengthy hop, so I'm going to dive right in.

First up, I'm using the dies together, as intended, but with a twist.

Rather than die cut both of the plates, I dry embossed the B plate, the one with the window details.  Then I cut two of the A plate.  One from paper that was inked with Desert Night and Dusk ink to create a gradient, the second from white cardstock.  These were adhered offset from one another and then to the dry embossed panel to create an additional layer of interest and dimension.

The sentiment is from the Label Love stamp set.

This second card uses only the A plate, but rather than using it as a cover plate, I trimmed it down as more a standalone die.

First, though, I used some spray inks to paint a rainbow on some mixed media paper.  This was then die cut using the A plate to create the pieces that were inlaid into the buildings.

To finish the card off, I embossed a sentiment from Magnolias for Her onto a strip of black cardstock which also serves to anchor the cityscape.

For my last card, the focus was on the B plate.  I dry embossed it again, but this time, I lightly added black ink to the plate first.  The plate was then cut from black cardstock, and then I adhered the negative sky cut over top of the embossed piece to give it a very graphic, bold look.

For the sentiment I used the rest of that black cardstock cutting, and inlaid the windows with silver mirror board.  Then I cut letters from the piece using the Bold Alphabet dies.

To set the letters apart, I used a circle die in the corner of the panel to create a window, and for a pop of color, I added a mat with just a bit of red showing.  The letters were then popped up with foam tape.

That's all for me today, but there is so much more to see.  You should have come here from Therese Calvird's blog and the next stop is my good friend May Sukyong Park, but I have the whole list below for you as well if you get turned around.

Laura Bassen
Eunyoung Lee
Jennifer McGuire
Erum Tasneem
Virginia Lu
Dana Hyejin Gong
Yoonsun Hur
Laura Jane
Debby Hughes
Flora Monika Farkas
Therese Calvird
Miriam Prantner
May Sukyong Park
Lydia Evans
Evelyn Yusuf
Anna Kossakovskaya
Lydia Fiedler
Sveta Fotinia
Isha Gupta
Svitlana Shayevich
Lilith Eeckels
Kelly Tribout Latevola
Nicole Picadura
Ashley Horton

There are also prizes to be had! To celebrate this release, Altenew is giving away a $50 gift certificate to THREE lucky winners! Please leave a comment on the Altenew blog by Friday, April 14th at 11:59 pm EDT for a chance to win. The winners will be announced on the Altenew blog on Saturday, April 15th.  I also get to pick a winner from my blog to receive a $30 gift certificate. My winner will be announced on April 14th, so please be sure to check back.  Good luck and happy hopping!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Craftsy Class Giveaway Winner / Class Discount

Hey folks!

Just popping in to announce the winner of my Craftsy class:  Andrea1702!

Congrats Andrea!  Shoot me an email and I'll get your code to you.

For the rest of you, I have a 50% off code to share:

Have a great start to your week!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

One Day Sale!

Hey everyone!  Just popping in quickly to share that Danielle is running a sale over at Neat & Tangled today only, 20% off using code NOTAFOOL.

If you've been eyeing something, today's the day!  Affiliate Link:

Friday, March 31, 2017

March 2017 in Books

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt - nonfiction - 5 stars - This book had me hooked right from the beginning.  It's kind of a fascinating look at how outside influences shape a person.  It follows the life of Theo Decker whose mother is killed in an act of terrorism.  He survives, but makes a decision that affects his life to come.  He's taken in by a friend's family, then his estranged father, then a benefactor, his choice in friends radically shapes his life.  He struggles with good and bad, right and wrong.  Sometimes I sympathized with him, often I didn't, but I was really drawn into this book.  It's very long, but I think worth it.

The Land of Silver Apples - Nancy Farmer - juvenile fiction- 5 stars - The sequel to one of Ellie's Battle Books from last semester (Sea of Trolls), this follows Jack on another adventure as he goes to rescue his sister Lucy from the Lady in the Lake.  I really love how Farmer blends Nordic and British mythology in this series.

Mattimeo - Brian Jacques - juvenile fiction - 5 stars - Another of the Redwall books.  I especially enjoyed this one since it has many of the same characters as the original Redwall book, but the focus is on Matthias' son Mattimeo.  It was lovely to revisit some much loved characters.

The Islands of the Blessed - Nancy Farmer - juvenile fiction - 5 stars - The final book in the Sea of Trolls trilogy, and just as good as the other two.  It's a great conclusion to the series, although somewhat bittersweet.  Jack and Thorgill are still young, I would love to learn more about what happens to them later in life, I feel like there is so much more that could be written about these characters.  

Salamandastron - Brian Jacques - juvenile fiction - 5 stars - Another Redwall book, this one more focused on the badgers at Salamandastron, although certainly Redwall figures in as well.  This is another series I'd recommend for boys in the 5-6th grade range.

Lowji Discovers America - Candace Fleming - juvenile fiction - 5 stars - One of Ellie's Battle Books.  It's the story of an Indian boy whose parents emigrate to the U.S. and how he adjusts and makes friends.  I loved what a positive attitude he had, if you have a kid who is often more glass half empty than half full, this is a really great perspective.

All the Answers - Kate Messner - juvenile fiction - 4 stars - Another of Ellie's Battle Books.  It was a cute story about a girl who finds a pencil that answers her questions.  She uses it to help with some school work, but also ends up finding out the answers to some more difficult questions.  There are good lessons here about self-control, how much knowledge is too much, friendship, etc.  

Dark Matter - Blake Crouch - science fiction - 5 stars - This was a recommendation from Stephanie Howell, whose blog I follow.  I don't read a ton of science fiction, but this was a really cool story.  Totally engrossing, and it really makes your mind think differently.  I read it in a day.  So good.

The Magnolia Story - Chip and Joanna Gaines - biography - 5 stars - My MIL gave this to me as an early birthday present when she and my FIL came up to watch the kids while I was on travel.  We love their show and their personalities, so it was fun to read about how they met and grew their business.  It was funny because when I unwrapped the book, Carina immediately shouted "Chip and Jo!" and Ellie has since co-opted the book and is reading through it herself.

Truly Madly Guilty - Liane Moriarty - fiction - 4 stars - I always enjoy Liane Moriarty's books.  They come together so expertly.  The story here centers around an accident at a barbecue where a little girl almost drowns and how it affects each of the individuals at the barbecue.  I gave it four stars because it really took me a while to get into it, but by about halfway through the book I was hooked.  I really love how she ties up all the loose ends and brings the story to a satisfying conclusion.

Once We Were Sisters:  A Memoir - Sheila Kohler - biography - 3 stars - I've decided that maybe I don't like memoirs.  Written by a woman who lost her sister to a car accident she believes was a calculated homicide by her abusive husband.  The life of this woman is quite fascinating, but the format of the book, hopping back and forth in time, little snippets here, and there, to me is not as effective as a chronological version of events.  

The Rent Collector - Camron Wright - fiction - 5 stars - About a woman, Sang Ly, who lives in a dump in Cambodia. She learns that the rent collector, Sopeap Sin, who is not a nice person, can read and convinces her to teach her to read.  As Sang Ly learns to read and her mind grows from the study of literature, she and Sopeap develop a friendship and Sang Ly learns how it is that Sopeap came to live in the dump in the first place.  Last month I read Wright's book, The Orphan Keeper, and this one was just as good.  It was an amazing story of loss, sacrifice, redemption, and hope.

What's next?  Well I'm currently reading We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter, and on my bedside table are The Nazi Officer's Wife, Swiimming Across, and the next Redwall book.  What are you reading?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Craftsy Class Giveaway

So Facebook reminded me (yesterday) that my Craftsy class, Fresh Eyes on Your Cardmaking Supplies, has been out for a full year now.

Creating/filming that class has been one of the highlights of my crafty 'career', and to celebrate I thought it would be fun to give away a spot in class.

To enter to win, just leave me a comment.

You can win some extra entries by:
1) Following me here on the blog
2) Sharing this giveaway on Facebook
3) Following me on IG (@mprantner)
4) Sharing the giveaway on IG (you can just repost my IG post about the giveaway)

Leave another comment for each extra entry.

I'll choose a winner next Monday, good luck!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hugs and Happy Thoughts

I had to go out of town for work last week, and when I do I always take a little something to work on.  This time, before I left I stamped some of the leaves from my all time favorite Altenew stamp set, Beautiful Day on a card panel, and brought along my stitching supplies.

I stamped just the outline images and the highlights (using Evergreen and Forest Glades ink).  The outline images aren't a full outline, there's some variation, and I thought they would be perfect for stitching.  Note this is the same leaf image that is repeated throughout, but the stitching is a little different from image to image, which makes it that much more unique and special.

I used two strands of DMC floss for this.

When I got home, I trimmed the panel down, added a sentiment (also from the Beautiful Day set), rounded the corner for a bit of extra interest, and mounted it to my card base with foam tape.

Thanks so much for stopping by, hope your week is going well!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Blog Name Hero Hop

Hey guys, I've got a card over on the Neat & Tangled blog as part of the A Blog Named Hero Fifth Anniversary Celebration Hop.  There are all sorts of great hop prizes, so head on over there to see the full up card.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sketchy Medallion

I pulled our my Flower Medallion Builder set over the weekend to play.  This is one of those sets that is just fun to experiment with.  After creating a pattern, I thought it would be fun to add some doodling.  It adds a graphic punch and gives your images a totally different look.  This is also a great technique for when you did a not so great job stamping.  My stamping was actually not that bad here, but when you have images that might not have stamped well, doodling really masks/hides that.

Anyway, after adding the doodling, which I really did quickly and without much care, I trimmed down my panel and fussy cut a bit along the bottom to create some interest.

This was mounted over some black cardstock which gives a great visual impact, and then I embossed the sentiment on he black.

I added a black enamel accent to the center of the panel and that was that.  Really easy.  Have you ever tried doodling on your cards?  I highly recommend it!

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Million Thanks

I recently picked up this set from The Ton.  I have a soft spot for peonies, and I have more than a few peony sets.  I'm not like the crazy cat and coffee stamp people, but I definitely have my fair share of peonies.

Anyway, I was in the mood to watercolor, and chose the no-line version.  This was harder to color (and took longer) than I anticipated.  It turned out OK, but I think next time I'll watercolor with embossing or try Copics.

The flowers are so pretty that I decided to keep the rest of the card very simple.  A sentiment from the same set and mat.  

Thanks for stopping by!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Love You the Mostest

This might be a new record.  I ordered some new stamps and I used them within two weeks of purchasing them.  This almost never happens, but really, this llama is just so cute and I needed to stamp him!

The nice thing about llamas is that some of them are white, so there is very minimal coloring if you go with a white llama.  In this case I really just added a bit of shadow and that was it.

For the background panel I watercolored using Dylusion Ink Sprays.  Using the Ink Sprays is a really quick and easy way to watercolor a background and the colors are so rich and vibrant.

The sentiment is from my favorite PS sentiment set, Uplifters.

That's all for me today!  Hope your week is going well!

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