Thursday, July 26, 2012

Moonshell Beach's 3rd week on New York Times list and card challenges

Yesterday was my birthday, and I had a super fun day with an offer from my publisher (Penguin NAL/Signet), for a 2014 Shelter Bay Christmas novella, then a Japanese sale for four books I wrote in the mid '80s, and finally learning that Moonshell Beach is spending its third week on the New York Times bestseller list!  I celebrated with wine, lovely grilled prawns topped with lime cilantro butter, along with steamed asparagus and brown and wild rice.  I did the cooking, which I love to do anyway, and it was even better not having to put on makeup or shoes to enjoy a yummy dinner, lol. 

Now to the cards!  This one is for my first time joining a  MoJo Monday sketch challenge and I really enjoyed making it. Especially since it was one of the stamps I colored while on our trip to the Oregon Coast.  
The star paper is from Graphic 45, the small pumpkin paper from Basic Gray, and the polka dots are from Echo Park.  The stamp is a Penny Black, and the paper brads are Candis popped with foam.  I also put just a touch of Glossy Accent on the darker areas of the purple hat band to tie in with the shine of the brads.  This is card #50 for Tartan Magnolia's 100 cards in 100 days challenge, so YAY, I'm halfway there!  


This card was for a CASology challenge that called for designing a card around the word fruit.
This one was tricky for me, since even though I don't use a lot of embellishments, I discovered that deciding how to stamp on a blank white card is a lot trickier than it sounds.  As you can see, I caved in and used a muted yellow cardstock from DCWV for a narrow border, but I still really like how it turned out and plan to try some more CASology challenges.

The stamp, which I colored with Copics, is from Mark's Finest Papers, as is  the sentiment, and because there were no layers or DP paper distraction, the cardstock had to look beautiful by itself, so I used Mark's 140# Premium Heavy White. I'd planned to use foam squares to pop the image, but I make most of my cards for Operation Write Home and the raised branch and leaves turned out too delicate to make it all the way to Afghanistan, then back home to a loved one without getting ripped apart. So, I double stamped the image, cut both out and glued the layers together to give some the lemons some dimension.  Card 100.51

Next to Operation  Write Home's Midweek Throwndown Challenge  to make a card of encouragement. This first card was inspired by the CASology card.  
Again, the stamp, which I colored with copics and double layered, is the same one from Mark's Finest Papers, as is the sentiment and the cardstock. The border is DCWV. Card 100.52

This ship stamp and sentiment for my second encouragement card are both from from Impression Obsession, the paper is from Tim Coffey for K& Company, and the cardstock and ink are Midnight Muse from Stampin' Up.  Card 100.53

This card is for Speedy TV's Sketch with a twist challenge #4, which presents a sketch, then requires an animal. So, since I'd colored this stamp at the coast, I went with five animals.  :)

I LOVE this Penny Black Stamp and think the Penny Black sticker sentiment works well with it.  (The red Copics on the toboggan, scarves and gloves look deeper in real life.)  The paper's from North Country and the cardstock is Stampin' Ups' Cherry Cobbler.  Card 100.54

This card, which was another stamp colored at the coast, was supposed to be for Speedy TV's Simple Solutions tree challenge, but life suddenly became distracting and I got confused about the deadline and missed it by a day.  But I'm still happy with how it turned out and hope some hero's child will enjoy receiving it. 

 

The cardstock is Cherry Slush from Mark's Finest Papers & Stamps; the stamp, which I colored with Copics, is from Penny Black, the papers are from EP and Creative Imaginations, the paper brads are from Candi, and I put a bit of Glossy Accent on the tree bulbs for a glassy shine. Card 100.55

This final card is another that missed the tree challenge. It was a nice change because I tend to make more kids' cards, which use brighter colors. 
 The two layers of cardstock are from DCWV; I also stamped the Stampendous! image and Unity sentiment with Versafine's Vintage Sepia on DCWV linen stock. The paper's from BoBunny's Forever Fall collection.   Card 100.56

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

OWH, CAS-ual Friday, CASology, Speedy Fox and Friends card challenges

I hope everyone's cooling down wherever you are!  We were at the cool and foggy Oregon coast again last week, celebrating my new book's second week (yay!) on the New York Times,USA Today, and  Publisher's Weekly bestseller lists by spending time walking on the nearly empty beach, eating yummy seafood, reading, and although the only craft items I took with me were stamped images and Copics for coloring, I did go online long enough to check out some challenges.  All the cards shown are for Operation Write Home, a fantabulous organization that sends blank inside cards to deployed troops to help them stay in touch with home.

CAS-ual Fridays' challenge was to create a clean and simple card using a black cardstock base.  I'm made a version of this card before for OWH, so although I changed up the paper a bit, it came together pretty easily for me.
 
The cardstock is from scrap, the stamp and sentiment is from Lawn Fawn and the "brads" are my new fun Candi paper brads which aren't nearly as bulky as metal ones, but many are still as shiny.  This is card #45 in Tartan Magnolia's 100 cards in 100 days challenge.

OWH's Stars and Stamps Midweek Throwdown challenge was to use complimentary colors. Because I have a book due in early January, which means I'll be chained to my computer most of this fall, in an attempt to get ahead on holiday cards, I'd colored this Santa kitty while we were at the coast.
The red cardstock is Bazzill, the green cardstock is a fun Stampin' Up Gumball Green, which I embossed with my Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder.  The stamp, which I colored with Copics, is a Penny Black, and the sentiment is from stash and I've no idea where I got it. I'm including this one in the CASology challenge for a clean and simple card based on the word Happy. Because I believe the sentiment can bring joy during the holidays. Card 100.46

Update:  Oops!  Missed the CASology challenge by 5 minutes!  

I also entered it in Speedy Fox and Friends' Christmas in July challenge.  Their gorgeous All Is Calm Christmas stamp set was waiting for me when we returned home and I can't wait to use it! 

I'm still not sure how much I'm allowed to add to a card to technically be able to consider it CAS, but this did only use one paper, so I'm also including it in the CASology Happy challenge. (Which, it turns out I missed.)  Especially since seasaws are one of my happiest childhood playground memories.
The paper is from Lawn Fawn, the cardstock is DCWV, the stamp, which I colored with my Copics at the beach, is from Penny Black and I printed the sentiment from my computer.  Card 100.47

Here's another card for both CASology and Speedy Fox and Friend's challenge.  Not only is it technically for Christmas, who wouldn't be happy if the world was at peace?   (Unfortunately, not only did I miss the CASology Challenge, Speedy Fox and Friends linky thing wouldn't let me put both my Christmas cards on, so my Santa Kitty, which always makes me smile, is what ended up on their challenge blog.)
The cardstock and the paper are both from stash, and I don't remember where I got them. Although I seldom use stickers, Penny Black is an exception and I loved having a reason to use these two.  Card 100.48

And (finally!) I woke up this morning to this OWH sketch challenge #130, which took some thinking, since none of my pre-colored images really worked with it.

 Here's what I decided on:
The cardstock is from stash, as are the silk leaves which I stamped with ColorBox dark brown chalk ink, and the acorns.  The paper is BoBunny, the sentiment, which I inked with Stampin' Up's Early Espresso and colored with Copics, is from Stampendous. Card 100.49

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Card Challenges OWH #129, CAS--ual Fridays, & Speedy Fox & Friends

The trickiest thing about this week's Operation Write Home #129 sketch challenge was trying to decide which papers to use.  Coincidentally,  CAS-ual Fridays' challenge also called for strips.
Here are my OWH cards:
The base cardstock is a super yummy deep Scrappin' Up color called Cherry Cobbler.  Unfortunately, I belatedly realized all my red inks are too primary-hued bright, so I'm going to be ordering the matching ink for my more formal Christmas cards.  The paper is from lilyBeedesign and the sentiment (which I fudged on size) is a fabric Paper Pizazz. This is card #41 in Tartan Magnolia's 100 cards in 100 days challenge. 
This entire card is from a We R Memory Keepers set called Fiesta.  I always feel happy when I use it because the colors are so bright they put me in a fiesta mood and remind me of fun times in Mexico City.  Card 100.42

This card was for Cas-ual Friday's challenge to make a card using strips of colors or patterns. Again, I knew exactly what I was going to make, and although creating the card from Cara's excellent scrappy backgrounds tutorial for OWH took some time, I'm really pleased with how it came out. 
The cardstock is a bright and cheery Bazzill I picked up at Stacy's Scrap Shack in Lincoln City on the Oregon coast; the 1/4" strips of paper are Echo Park, Creative Imaginations, and white Copic cardstock; I colored the darling Penny Black stamp with my Copics and printed the sentiment out on my computer.  Card 100.43

This final card was for the Speedy Fox and Friends #116 challenge, which I learned about from Carol's blog, to make a masculine card.  
The base cardstock is a DCWV linen black, both papers are from Moxie, the gorgeous image is a Penny Black sticker, and I although I can't remember where I got that sentiment (which I just noticed is a bit crooked) I chalked it with a very pale muted blue. Card 100.44

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

OWH Midweek Christmas in July Throwdown Challenge & New York Times!

I was all set for this week's OWH Christmas/Winter in July throwdown challenge because I'd colored winter and Christmas images during our trip down to the Oregon coast for our anniversary a couple weeks ago.  In fact, I was so concentrating on cutting, gluing, and humming Christmas songs,  I completely forgot that this is the day of the week the New York Times and USA Today bestseller numbers come out. Until my editor called to tell me that -- yay! -- Moonshell Beach, the 4th in my Shelter Bay series, landed on the NYT and USA Today its first week out.  So, we're celebrating here in the Pacific Northwest!

Now, here are this Wednesday's cards. Thanks to a link to CAS-ual Fridays on Tartan Magnolia's blog, I'm feeling more comfortable letting my inner CAS girl come out.  While I love seeing other card makers' fabulous embellishment talents, as you can see, my muse just doesn't seem to go in that direction. 
The stamp is Penny Black, the cardstock is a bright and cheery gumball from Stampin' Up, the paper's EP, and the sentiment doesn't have a name on the sheet, so I can't remember where I got it.  I did drag out my old Zig markers so I could stamp it red and green.  This is card #38 in Tartan Magnolia's 100 cards in 100 days challenge.  
This stamp is also Penny Black. It's one I sent to our three rescued dogs' vet last year, but on different paper.  This is that same gumball Stampin' up cardstock, the paper is from EP, I used my Copic markers, polka dot brads from my stash and the sentiment is from Ali Edwards stamped with an old Ancient Page Cardinal I've had forever and never dries out, even when the lid accidentally comes off.  Card 100.39

Another darling Penny Black stamp, making a hat trick of three in a row.  Although there aren't snowflakes or Christmas images, I figure the heavy sweater says winter.  The cardstock is DCWV, the sentiment's from Hero Arts, I chalked the background very lightly and all that paper is from stash and I've no idea where I got it.  Card 100.40

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Monday, July 9, 2012

OWH challenge card challenge #128

At first this Sunday's OWH sketch challenge stymied me because I was so focused on those hearts.

Then, after a cup of coffee, I noticed the ODBD "cool colors" challenge and it clicked to use snowflakes.  This is all from stash scraps, so I've no idea where I got the various papers and embellishments. That one snowflake that looks dark is actually a shiny silver in real life.  It's also card #32 in Tartan Magnolia's 100 cards from stash in 100 days challenge
I managed to get a lot of coloring done while we were at the Oregon coast for our anniversary, so here are cards for OWH I made with some of those images: 
This cardstock's a scrumptious Bazzill I bought at Stacy's Scrap Shack in Lincoln City, Oregon, the image, which I colored with Copics, is from Stampabilities, the paper all from EP, and the sentiment is from Magenta. I'm really happy with how this one came out, and although I don't usually make many multiples, I think I will with this one. I'm also entering it in the CAS-UAL Fridays challenge for cards with text.  Card 100.33


The cardstock is DCWV, the image is from Penny Black, the sentiment is from Hero Arts OWH collection, I colored with my Copics and the paper's from Echo Park and BoBunny. I think I'll put it in Oozak's bright color challenge. Card 100.34


Another take on the Penny Black stamp I colored with Copics, sentiment from Hero Arts, and paper's from BoBunny.  This one's also going in Oozak's monthly challenge.  And since I made two of these, I'm counting them as 100.35 and 100.36.  


I also received the sad news that a writer friend I've known since 1983 lost her husband after a long illness.  This is the card I made for her.  

The cardstock, which I embellished with my Cuttlebug's little dots, is Stampin' Up's gorgeous Midnight Muse and Whisper White and the stamps are from their lighthouse collection.  The paper strip is from EP, and isn't blue and white, but a soft muted light blue on a muted medium blue. The sentiment, which I stamped in Color Box Moody Blues (more muted than it appears here) is one I've had forever and have forgotten where it came from.
 I embossed the border with my Martha Stewart score board and ended up stamping and cutting out that second inside lighthouse to cover a blotch that somehow appeared on the cardstock.  Yet more proof that oops are merely embellishment opportunities.  Card 100.37


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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Operation Write Home Card Marathon!


This past week Operation Write Home Stamps and Stars blog celebrated Independence Day by having a bloghop with its Danish sister organization, OSH. Did you even realize Denmark had troops in Afghanistan?  Well, they do, and after learning about OWH, they've been sending cards to their own troops. Is that cool, or what?


At first I came up with the crazy, albeit overly optimistic, idea to make a card from each of the sample design sketches, created by OWH's talented Paula.( Not helping was this was the same week my latest Shelter Bay book came out.) But while I didn't achieve my goal, I managed to finish fifteen, which is why I'm only including links to the original sketches.  As with the American OWH cardmakers, the cards from all the participants from OSH were truly an inspiration.


You'll see a bunch lot of Peanuts stamps from Stampabilities. I like working with them because 1) they always make me smile and 2) they're gender/age neutral.  I also used my Copics to color them and unless otherwise stated, the base cardstock is from DCWV.


This card is from first opening U.S. sketch of the blog:

The cardstock is a scrumptious pure red textured Bazzill, the blue fireworks cardstock is from Best Creation Inc, and the other papers and the sticker are from my stash.  This is card #17 in Tartan Magnolia's 100 cards in 100 days. 

This is inspired by the first OSH Danish sketch:
Since I'm trying to use up scraps, I can't remember where the paper came from, but the sentiment stamp is from Unity. Card 100.18

Inspired by Charlie, Founder of OSH.  I definitely wanted to use Snoopy on hers, because she also made a Snoopy card.  This also is part of my goal to have a nice stack of  Christmas cards done before the holiday rush!   
The paper is from Echo Park, and Best Creation, Inc. The sticker is from stash and the sentiment stamp is from Stampabilities.  Card 100.19

This is a take on the lovely card made by Mette, from Denmark:  
Again, the paper's from stash scrap, and the heart stamp is from OWH Hero Arts.  Card 100.20

This is from Allison's sketch (which is worth clicking on just to see her darling turtle!)  
The paper is from The Paper Loft's Hooked on Fishing, and the sentiment is from Penny Black. Card 100.21

This one's inspired from the design Cecile, from Denmark, used:  
The paper is the always scrumptious BoBunny, I cut the circles out with my Cricut, and the clock and the sentiment are from Hero Art's OWH collection.  Card 100.22

Inspired by Nancy, of OWH: 
The paper is from BoBunny and Lilybeedesign and I'm also going to use this one for Oozak's July Bright Colors challenge. The actual sketch has a 1 1/2" circle in the upper right of the big circle. But when I tried a tiny Woodstock sitting on a tiny chair just like Snoopy's, he looked as if he was hovering over him in a spooky way. Next I tried a sentiment, which still didn't work.  Since I'd already glued Woodstock down, I tore my paper a bit taking him off, so, since mistakes are embellishment opportunities, I cut out a cloud with my Cricut.  Card 100.23

This one is inspired by OSH's Allison, who made a much more amazingly complex card that I did! 

The paper's from Best Creations, Inc and Creative Imaginations, and the sentiment is a cut-out from Hot off the Press.  100.24

This is from the always inspiring Jan:  
The paper's from BoBunny and the chubby kitty stamp is Penny Black.  Card 100.25

This one's from Paula, sketch & cardmaker extraordinaire: 


This one was particularly fun to make because, since I tend to make a lot of cards for kids, I don't often get a chance to use romantic papers.  This paper's from BoBunny's gorgeous Gabrille collection; the stamp's from Penny Black. Card 100.26


Here's Barb's sketch card and I must've been REALLY inspired because, in the chaos that was my card marathon, I seem to have made two versions.  lol 
The paper is Echo Park, I printed the sentiment out on my computer, and the stamp is Penny Black. Card 100.27
This is Sweetie's fave of all of them, and I'm also really happy with how it turned out for such a quick and simple card.  The cardstock is a gorgeous Stampin' Up Midnight muse,  paper is Echo Park (including that strip beneath the sentiment that came from the bottom of a 12x12 sheet); the sentiment's on an unnamed sheet and I can't remember where I got it; the ink's an evocative Moody Blue from Color Box.  Card 100.28

Next up is OSH's Karina's inspiration: 
I think I must've been getting tired when I made this one, because I just realized I forgot to put a cardstock base on the two papers from Echo Park and Lilybeedesign.  I'll probably go back in and redo this one before sending it to OWH.  The twine is from stash, and although it had a yellow stripe in it, it didn't show up very well, so I colored darker segments with a Copic Sketch. The sentiment is from that same sheet the above Miss You came from.  Card 100.29

This is from OWH's Samantha's sketch card
 Again,  I think I was getting a little brain-fogged because I forgot the sketch and put the horizontal strip in the middle instead up up a little. But I still like sentiment, from Hero Arts OWH collection, with the Linus stamp. The cardstock's Bazzill.  Card 100.30

Finally (!!!) this card from OSH's Stinne's sketch card.  Although I don't often make square cards, especially for OWH, I think this may be my personal favorite.
The cardstock is again, from Bazzill (I love that color, which I bought at Stacy's Scrap Shack in Lincoln City, Oregon, and must find out the name!) the paper's from Echo Park, and the sentiment is from My Sentiments Exactly.   Card 100.31

And two last photos. Clutter gives me hives, so my craft room/office is super organized.  Yet, I moved onto our 12' kitchen counter for this marathon and here's the result. Fortunately, since everything does have its own place, it won't take long to put it all away.  (Oh, that coral rectangle on the boring builder's beige wall is the Benjamin Moore's Lipstick Gloss the breakfast nook is going to be painted when the rest of the adjoining rooms are painted sea glass blue/green in the next couple weeks.)  Note the OWH mug next to the Cricut.  :)



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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Moonshell Beach Six Sentence Sunday sneak preview

Although it seems like forever since I've turned Moonshell Beach into my editor, it's finally (!!!) going to be arriving at a store near you this coming Tuesday! 


After his final duty as a Casualty Assistance Calls Officer, notifying family members of a fellow Marine's death, J.T. Douchett isn't settling back into life in Shelter Bay all that well. After his two older brothers stage an intervention (which includes throwing him in the bay to sober him up), he reluctantly agrees to help out his soon-to-be sister-in-law by acting as a bodyguard to keep Irish movie star Mary Joyce's crazy fans at bay. 

Mary (who was the tempestuous teenager in A Woman's Heart, the first book in my Irish trilogy), has surprised everyone, including herself, by accepting an invitation to be the guest of honor at Shelter Bay's first film festival. 

Having known so much sorrow, J.T. is wary of getting close to anyone.  Especially a Hollywood movie star.  As he struggles to keep her at arm's length, Mary reminds herself that she's never been attracted to the strong, silent type.  But in Shelter Bay, even the most guarded heart is no match for love.  ;)

After being less than welcoming when he met her at the airport, Mary's struggling to engage J.T. in conversation on the drive into town when they pass a sign declaring Shelter Bay to be the home of Navy Cross winner Sax Douchett.  

"I assume that's a relative?" Mary asked her silent driver/bodyguard.

"My brother, though he'd probably appreciate it if you didn't mention that Navy Cross when you meet him."

Well, wasn't that more words than the frustratingly silent man had managed to string together thus far?  Mary, who understood the complexities of families all too well, found it interesting that it was the mention of his brother that had him opening up just that little bit. 

"I'll keep that in mind," she said mildly.  

Going back into silent mode, he didn't respond.  

One person who comments will receive either a backlist Shelter Bay book -- The Homecoming, One Summer, or On Lavender Lane (winner's choice), or an out of print copy of A Woman's Heart.  The winner, chosen at random, will be announced Friday, July 5th here, on Facebook, and Twitter.   (If you have a kindle, I can also send it to you that way. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, it's not available as an ebook on Nook until September.)  

I'll also be announcing a way cool month-long contest here on the blog Tuesday, Moonshell Beach's release day!

Thanks for visiting; I read and appreciate all comments!