Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve ...

Do you have plans for New Year's Eve, a chance to reflect on the year past and look with hope to the year ahead?

Some years we have done it up with quite a lot of fanfare -- one year, we spent it at the New Year's concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra (a formal affair), followed by a night's stay at the city's Four Seasons Hotel and a brunch in the City with Mummers.

Another year, we were aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean, and unwisely made plans for an early excursion to the Emerald Falls in Dominica.  They were gorgeous ... and we were not, having had only an hour's sleep after a full night's revelry.

But we have no plans this year.  Secretly, I hope we'll be asked to babysit -- we love spending time with our grandbaby and "the kids"Whatever you do, have fun! 

...And Happy New Year!

Here's a chevron-patterned cut on a circle card, made with the Silhouette Cameo.
I cut a separate yellow glitter backing circle, and also separated out the
2013 and cut it out of a darker purple. I layered that 2013 on top of the
original one, using pop dots. And of course, I Stickled.  Because what's
a celebration without Stickles??

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Celebrating Michele's Craft Room's 1st Year Blog Hop!

Whether you're a blogging newbie or have been at it for a while, isn't it fun to look back to some of your first posts and see how your crafting has grown?

One of my friends, Michele, who blogs at Michele's Craft Room, is celebrating her first anniversary of blogging, by hosting this Blog Hop.

My, it seems like just yesterday when she started and I became a follower -- and here Michele is with just shy of 200 followers!  Congratulations, Michele -- may we be blessed with many more years of your sharing your cards etc with us!

Personally, I've been blogging for about 2.5 years now, and have just crossed the 500 posts milestone!  The other statistics for the CardMonkey blog are incredible -- there have been more than 200,000 page views, by 1,237 followers.  Those statistics, and $5.00, will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks, ehhh?  (Stay tuned, and you may get that cup of coffee!!)

This is a Wee Stamps digi-image I colored using Copic markers.
I mounted fussy-cut the left side of the image so I could lay it upon
a wood-patterned paper strip on the left. I used a straight stitch
around the designer paper mat, and a decorative stitch down the
wood patterned paper.  The chipboard sentiment is by Farm
House Paper; the two gems above are from my stash.
I am very grateful to those who choose to follow me and have inspired me to try new techniques and tools ... I get as much out of other bloggers as I put into my own blog.  So to you I say, "Many thanks", with this card, at right: 

So now for a little blog candy to help Michele's guests at her party celebrate:

A random commenter on my blog today will win a $10 gift card to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts -- your choice!  All you have to do to qualify is to be a follower of the CardMonkey blog and leave a comment with your blog address. If you don't have a blog yet or don't plan to blog ever, just let me know that instead. You're still eligible to win!

OK, so for now, I don't think there is anyone else tailing me on this blog hop, so I'll just leave you with my gratitude for stopping by and making my blogging fun. If you missed any stops along the way, here is a full list.  Be sure you swing by Michele's blog (at the start) and "follow" -- she has some sweeeeet blog candy!  

Michele ~
Ashley -
Miranda -
An'Jenic -
Robin -
Tabetha -
Melissa ~
Lori ~
Ellen ~ CardMonkey:

 Thanks for stopping by!
CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Cardmaker's Conundrum

What a conundrum Christmas is for cardmakers! Or am I alone in this?  I want to personalize each of the cards I make for those about whom I care, and I do enjoy thinking about each person as I make their card. However, it's not always possible ... especially from a time perspective.

Here is a card I made for a friend. I am enclosing with it some art I made for her -- it was a "moment worth remembering". When I found this vellum piece in a stack from Little Yellow Bicycle, I knew that my design was almost done.  The paper I used is from Bazzill Basic Papers "Believe" collection. 

I cut the holly leaves using a cut file from the Silhouette Online Store. I tried to cut the same design from extremely fragile "cork paper", but it fell apart on the mat. So, using the off-cut as a stencil/edge, I cut a complementing holly leaf by hand.  The brad, gems and ribbon are from my stash. 

This post today marks my 500th post since I started blogging 2 years ago. I hope you've enjoyed the projects I've made and the tips I've shared. Here's to many more! Thank you for "following" me, and growing with me.

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Chickens!

I'm sure that time escapes most of us (as it has me) at this time of year, and hopefully you are able to sneak in some fun time to replenish your creative spirit.  

What have you been up to?  I've been playing chicken. 

Earlier this year, I played along with an art challenge issued by my good friend Jenn (my sister from another mother, living in Nanaimo, British Columbia), and drew and Zentangled (then colored with Copic markers) this first chicken:

Jenn purchased this chicken 
-- "Whackdoodle" --  
my first art sale! 

I rewarded her kindness (and crazy enthusiasm) 
by gifting her with my second chicken:

Well, she started a trend. 
While visiting my parents in Florida earlier this month, 
I drew a few more chickens and got some help sketching some from my Dad and nephew Ed, too.

Here is another chicken I just finished:

Introducing the third in the 
Chicken Challenge series, "Della" ..

And so, in the spirit of the holiday spirit, 
and because my Christmas cards will be late, 
I bring you these very Merry Chickens
full of holiday cheer:

Merry Christmas one and all!

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy 13th Birthday M&DD's Emily - Blog Hop!

Hi everyone!! Thank you for joining us today as we celebrate the birthday of the daughter of my friend, Beth McGee. Beth's daughter, Emily, is the other half of Mother and Daughter Designs. I "met" the precious duo when they started making banners for special needs children.  

Emily's turning 13 today, and so friends of Mother and Daughter Designs have gathered here to celebrate the life of a sweet, talented young lady. 

Here is the card that I made to celebrate Emily's special day:

These fun papers are from the
"Cakewalk" collection by October Afternoon

Now, what's a birthday celebration without cake, candy and game prizes!?  We've got the Prizes for sure ... Be sure to check out our Hostess' Blog (Beth) to see how to qualify to win the following prizes:
  • Cricut Cartridge "Jubilee Celebration" donated by Beth of Mother and Daughter Designs
  • Digital copy of "Creations by Crafty Card Gallery Issue 2" ~ Sponsored by Jennifer Restivo.
  • $10 gift certificate for Close to My Heart products ~ sponsored by Lucy Kelleher, Close to My Heart Independent Consultant: 
Move on to see the next project for Emily. The next stop is with CONNIE at Connie Can Crop.  In case you get lost along the way, here is the full blog line-up:

1. Beth ~
2. Shawnee ~
3. Rachelle ~
4. Lucy ~
5. Christine ~
6. Miranda ~
7. Mickie ~

8. Ellen~
      (YOU ARE HERE ... so go to CONNIE [# 9] below next)

9. Connie~
10. Suzanne -
11. Ashley~
12. Janis ~
13. Amanda~
14. Lori ~
15. Anita ~
16. Jennifer~

.... and Happy 13th Birthday, Emily!
DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Peace on Earth card

'Tis the season ... for yet another holiday card. This one, I am planning on sending this week to my favorite neighbors who are Jewish and celebrate Hanukkah.  They, like many who are deeply concerned about the unsettled situation in Israel, pray for world peace daily. I do, too.  I hope we get to a time when all of our troops are home with their families at the holidays, and always. 

Once again relying on my Silhouette Cameo and a cutting file from
the Silhouette Online store, I cut this overlay using Brilliant White #130
cardstock on the double cut feature. I mounted it on Bazzill cherry
stock and adhered the whole thing to a card also made from the
Brilliant White #130 cardstock.  The finished size is 5x7".
Peace be with you, and your family.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Winter Wonderland Blog Hop, sponsored by the Krazy Crafting Crew

Welcome to the Winter Wonderland Blog Hop, brought to you by the Krazy Crafting Crew.  This is our last monthly hop of the year as we celebrate the holidays, say sayonara to 2012 and welcome in a year that's bound to be great and full of crafting!  

We in the KCC have had a wonderful year with fun themes; have you noticed?  Would you like to join us?  Just let me know in your comments and I'll hook you up!  :)  We're having lots of fun themes, sponsored blog candy, and more in 2013.  Today, the KCC will be bringing you all sorts of wintry projects including our holiday cards. 

Here's my Winter Wonderland card:

Top left: Close up of Santa's sleigh, snowy hill and a reindeer
Bottom: The full eight-panel accordion card, unfolded.
I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut this card, using a design from
the Silhouette Online Store. (All images from the store are half-
price through December 3. This one was just 50 cents!)
The cardstock is Brilliant White 130# ordered from I trimmed out the reins using
gold embroidery floss. The reindeers' antlers are made to
look more like Vegas showgirls' hats by trimming the base
of the flourish with gold Stickles. I made a complementing
kraft pocket card/envelope for the Merry Christmas sentiment,
rather than stamping directly on this pretty card that can
double as a mantle's home decor for the holidays.

Like what you see?  Be sure to hop along. I'm the second stop, right after our hostess Lissa Marie at So Many Crafts, So Little Time. I will post the full blog roll below.  Your next stop is the fantabulous JAMIE at Jamie Lindstrom Designs -- she always has some fun projects, so don't delay.

BUT WAIT!!!  Before you go, Santa's arrived a bit early and dropped off this fun Designer Card Kit from Momenta which could be yours if you win the CardMonkey blog candy!

How to win? Easy!  

  1. Be a follower here and state as much in a comment on this blog post here.  
  2. In your comment, I'd like you to tell me what you'd like to find in your crafter's Christmas stocking (under $20) .... can you tell, I'm looking for some ideas for my Secret Santa gift for a fellow crafter?   
  3. Do tell me, too, how to contact you when you win the Momenta Card Kit!

Other bloggers have blog candy throughout the hop too ... so be sure to stop by and read the candy requirements on each.  For example, your host Lissa Marie is giving out a mini calendar to those who are followers of her blog (confirmation is required or she won’t see that you have signed up if you are new).  She will make the calendar just for you to help you schedule your appointments or if you are a blogger you can schedule all your hops all right next to your monitor! All you have to do is tell her your favorite colors!

Another great reason to comment is so you can also win with our monthly sponsor, Scrapbook Stamp Society (

They would love to reward one special blog visitor with a prize from their store. To be qualified for their drawing, please comment on all participating blogs and let them know you have.

You can receive extra entries for following them on Facebook at
and for commenting on the Scrapbook Stamp Society blog

Thank you for taking the time out to check out my projects Please do click on for more joyous Winter Wonderland.

Remember, your next stop is JAMIE, at
Thanks so much for hopping through our Winter Wonderland!  Here is the full line up in case you need help navigating:

Your Host: Lissa Marie ~ 

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Countdown to Christmas - Another card!

I'm playing catch up ... I am very, very far behind in making my Christmas cards. I hope I don't have to resort to store-bought!  Here is one of the cards I made last night.  Do you like it?

The ornate Merry Christmas swirl is an ornament design from
the Silhouette Online Store, and was cut using my Silhouette
Cameo.  It was very easy to modify the design to cut off the
ornament hanger from the top, and then create a larger circle-
shaped card onto which I adhered the intricate cut.  I tipped
each of the swirls with a red adhesive gem, and tied the joint
of the card with a splash of maraschino and white twine.

Have you gotten the Silhouette Cameo bug-bite yet?  I'll tell you, I love mine even though in the 8 months I've had it, I haven't yet discovered all of its great possibilities.  Yes, I still use my Cricut and its cartridges, and sometimes I craft without turning on a machine. (Impossible, I know!)  

Is a new machine on your Christmas wish list?  I'll be joining the Winter Wonderland Blog Hop tomorrow, so come check out the card I'll make for that occasion.   

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'm baaaaack ... with a new holiday card!

Wow, long time no blog!  

Our suite!
I've enjoyed a brief siesta, cruising with hubby aboard the Princess Lines' "Caribbean Princess" to the ports of Aruba and Curacao. It was lovely and relaxing, and I even found time to take a crafting class aboard, to make a travel journal. I'll post it as soon as I dig it out of my luggage!
Lovely Curacao

In the meantime, I'm catching up on some of my crafting "duties" -- card and cut swaps, blog hops, etc. ... and I'm digging out from the mess I left in the Paper Jungle.  

Here is a card I made en masse yesterday for a Christmas card swap I am in.  (Thank you for having me, Jennifer Restivo!)  

The image is a digi-stamp by Mo Manning at
Mo's Digital Pencil.  The designer papers are from the
Christmas Cheer collection of Lily Bee Designs.
I colored the image with Copic Markers, paper pieced the shirt,
and used Liquid Pearls on the hat fur and pom-poms.
I applied CTMH Liquid Glass to the candy cane, and
used twine from Jessi's online store at
My Life In Arts and Crafts.

Speaking of Jennifer, have you seen that she has published the second edition of Creations by Crafty Card Gallery?  In it, I wrote a featured article on Copic Marker storage. Be sure to check it out ... you can buy a digital copy for only $2.99, or a print edition for $12.20 (which includes a digital copy as well) by going to HP MagCloud.

See you again soon, with more holiday cards!

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 3 of the Christmas Banners For Special Needs Kids Blog Hop

It has been my sincere pleasure to host the annual  "Christmas Banners for Special Needs Kids" Blog Hop. This year, the number of generous women who wanted to make and donate a banner grew so greatly that we expanded into a 3-day hop!  

So welcome, to what is the third day of our very special Hop.  This year, we have partnered with Madison Womack's I Feel The Love Project so that our handmade banners will be donated through IFTL to children hospitalized over Christmas at Children's Hospital Central California.

In addition to hosting this hop, I have made two banners that I will be sending to Madison for the kids. Here they are:


Will you join us in making your own Christmas banner or cards for the IFTL kids at Children's Hospital Central California?   

I hope so!  Because if you will, you'll be entered into a drawing to win my:

Super-Fantastic Gift Basket

Throughout the month of December, I'll be adding crafty goodness to this basket so that it will be over-flowing and ripe and ready for under your tree. I'll be picking the winner on Christmas Eve, announcing the winner on Christmas Day, and if you win, you'll have the basket in your hands by New Year's Day!! 

Stay tuned to the CardMonkey blog over the next few weeks leading up to the drawing, as I'll be posting the contents of the basket as they mount. 

 OK, so to win the GRAND PRIZE (all continents are welcome!), here's what you must do:

1.  Be a follower of the CardMonkey blog and tell me in your comment how I can contact you.

2.  Leave a comment telling me what you plan to make and send to the IFTL project by their deadline, December 10.  Then do it!  Go to for mailing information for your card or banner.  Your card or banner MUST be received by Madison by the deadline to be eligible to win the GRAND prize!  

NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME??  You can still win great blog candy just by being here and commenting on as many banner makers' blogs over the course of the next three days.  

Since we have more than 50 banner makers on this 3-day hop (this past weekend, and today), I'll be picking 5 blogs at random, and then one random comment from that Blog site, for that commenter to win one of five great prizes, which are:

  1. Susan Bermudez, Independent Consultant for Creative Memories, donating a $20 gift certificate for Creative Memories products from her catalog (
  2. Scrappin' Madge: $25 Gift Certificate to The Scrappin Lounge Shoppe (
  3. Fresh Brewed Designs: Two prizes - One prize is a rubber stamp, Item #497 "Cutie Pie Ice Skating" (, and the other is a $15 Digital Stamp gift card.
  4. The Paper Temptress ( - Owner Patricia Dunbar will donate a $25 Gift Certificate to her online store, the Paper Temptress.
  5. The Pinque Peacock ( - Owners Jessica Shelton will donate a gift certificate to her NEW store (products are being added daily -- watch as she grows!)
  6. In addition, Close to My Heart Independent Consultant Lucy Kelleher will award a $20 gift certificate to a randomly-selected hopper who visits her blog ( and/or Facebook page ( and posts a comment about the banner blog hop!
P.S. -- Be sure to check out as many blogs as you can, as several will be providing their own blog candy with their own requirements. 

Here is the Hop line up for Monday, November 12:
  1. Ellen ~ CardMonkey -
  2. Tami -
  3. Heather D. -
  4. Jearise -
  5. Susan B -
  6. Jamie M.
  7. Linda Simpson -
  8. Theresa ~ www.thescrapbookingqueen.com_
  9. Vicky -
  10. Debbie T-
  11. Shelly -
  12. Lisa L. -
  13. Nancie -
  14. Dorcas -
  15. Debbie _
  16. Rexann -




Thank you again for visiting us here for a beautiful and worthwhile endeavor.  God bless all the little children wherever they spend their holidays!!




DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,