A ‘Challenging’ Afternoon

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Hi Friends!

It happens every Monday! I always look forward to the ‘Make It Monday’ video tutorial from Papertrey Ink, one of my favorite stamp companies. I soak up so much inspiration while watching a talented PTI design team member share a new technique for card making. However, I have never been brave enough to participate in the ‘Make It Monday’ Challenge… until now.

One of the ways I will ‘blossom’ (my ‘One Little Word’ 2016) is to participate in weekly and monthly card making challenges. It will be a wonderful way to practice new papercrafting techniques, as I learn and grow throughout the year! While I am truly passionate about making cards, sharing them online can be a bit scary at first.

Blossoming feels the same way

exciting, challenging, …  and a wee bit unsettling!


‘Make It Monday’ #218 Challenge

This week, Lexi Daly inspired me to practice with my watercolors and die cuts to create a card.

I knew right away which word I would die cut into my card!

It was another perfect opportunity to make my ‘One Little Word’ visible.

Let’s take a peek…


First I watercolored with Distress Inks on watercolor paper.


Next I die cut the letters using my Big Shot.

(This is an adaptation of Lexi’s technique, since it was much too cold and snowy to venture out to buy repositionable labels to cut into stencils. It will be fun to try creating my own stencils soon!)


The MISTI tool made repeated stamping on the textured, watercolor paper so much easier!

I added a piece of Crumb Cake cardstock behind the word blossom, and sequins for a bit of sparkle.

Then I mounted the watercolor panel onto white cardstock with foam adhesive to add dimension.

My Clean and Simple (CAS) card was ready… but this card won’t be mailed away to a friend.

This card will have a special place here

all year long

to inspire me to make choices that help me to


in so many new ways!


Our card making friends might be interested in the I supplies used:

Paper:  Canson Aquarelle watercolor paper, SU Crumb Cake cardstock, Recollections 110 lb. white cardstock

Ink: Distress Inks (picked raspberry, spiced marmalade, mustard seed, mowed lawn, salty ocean, seedless preserves),  Momento Tuxedo Black

Dies:  Wet Paint Alphabet dies (Papertrey Ink),  Tag Sale: Quilted die (Papertrey Ink),  Spring Wreath die (Wplus9)

Stamps:  Counting My Blessings (Papertrey Ink)

Adhesives:  ATG, Scotch Foam Tape, Tombow Mono Multi

Sequins:  Neat and Tangled

Listening to:  Oldies on the radio AND lots of fun Periscopes live from CHA. ♥ (Special thanks to Sandy Allnock for  streaming interesting, live videos of the newest papercrafting products from the CHA trade show all afternoon!)

Feeling:  It feels like I blossomed a tiny bit this afternoon while making and sharing this ‘Make It Monday’ Challenge!

                 I was having so much fun in my little ‘Paper Garden’ that I created

a few more ‘blossom‘ cards to display…

on my bedside table,

in my workout space,

in my papercrafting studio,

on my blogging desk,

and a little ‘blossom‘ tag for my calendar.



It feels like there will be a whole lot of blossoming happening here!

Have you tried any new things in 2016 yet?


Heartfelt thanks for taking the time to visit today!

Be brave with your life!

♡ Dawn

24 thoughts on “A ‘Challenging’ Afternoon

    • Thanks for your encouraging words, Karen! I am still a brand new beginner… but oh, what fun it is! Playing with watercolors gives me even more appreciation for Susan Branch’s artwork!! It was fun to take on this challenge today! So happy that you stopped to visit, Karen! ♡

  1. Hi Dawn! Absolutely beautiful card and i’m so happy that you took to heart your one little word for 2016 because you have so much to share! I am always amazed at how lovely everything that you do is! I am soooo jealous of your beautiful calligraphy that you use to write your cards and envelopes. Even my hubby mentioned it and was so impressed! I’m sure you’re having loads of fun in your Paper Garden! This will be a good week to hibernate down there! It is frigid outside! Brrrr…..but we’ve been pretty blessed with mild weather so far so can’t complain. After all, we do live in the Midwest! LOL! Not much of a chance yet for me to try any new things. Putting away Christmas this weekend. Starting a simple patchwork quilt hopefully this week. Blessings on your week as you continue to BLOSSOM! xo…..Karen

    • You are so sweet, Karen! Heartfelt thanks for so many kind words. The older I get, the more I feel that I must create pretty things. I haven’t been very brave about sharing my cards online. So, it’s time to blossom and give it a try! This week, I am taking new, fun classes each day. More blossoming!! Next week there will be lots of time for card making.

      Putting away Christmas is such a big job, isn’t it? We packed everything away on New Year’s Day. Yesterday, I spotted one more Santa that we had missed. 🙂 Starting on a new patchwork quilt sounds like the coziest winter project ever! Can’t wait to hear more about it and see pictures, too! Warm hugs for a happy week, my friend! ♡

  2. Oh Dawn, your challenge to yourself to create and share is perfect! You are blossoming, my friend. By sharing your art you are also challenging me to create more in the coming year. My challenge is to take time for “me” to create as I tend to put others before myself. I’m working on that little flaw by learning how to needle felt this year. I love how you made your one little word into reminders all around your home–beautiful!! Happy days to you as you blossom! ♥

    • You are so thoughtful, Martha Ellen! It’s so important that we take time to create. It’s just one of the special ways that I will blossom throughout the year. I’m very excited to begin scrapbooking again. I have always wanted to learn how to needle felt, too. The winter months always seem like the perfect time for stitching! I’m looking forward to trying punch needle embroidery in the new year. There are so many exciting new ways to blossom this year! Keeping my ‘One Little Word’ visible is a constant reminder to make choices that help me to learn and grow in all parts of my life. 🙂 Sending warm hugs from our home to yours, my friend! Have a happy week! ♡

  3. You are truly a woman of many talents! I like the idea of selecting a word for the year. I love what you did with the word blossom–artsy and beautiful! can you make me an artsy and beautiful card with the word, purge? I think that is my word of the year. for a packrat x2, purging is not easy!! Keep it up! I look fwd to following your progress.

    • Hi, Jan! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a nice comment today. Purge is a great ‘One Little Word’ because it can spread throughout all areas of life, as well. It’s important to make your word visible. I would love to make you a card! 🙂 Have you read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up? I love Marie Kondo’s philosophy for saving only those things which ‘spark joy.’ I’m currently working my way through the Tidying Up process,too. Have a great week, Jan! ♡

  4. Your “blossom” cards look beautiful, Dawn! I’d love to be able to craft like that, but I wouldn’t know where to start (or where to find the time). And entering challenges is such a good way to push your further. I’m going to keep a lookout for similar types of experiences that align with my goals. So far I’ve tried a new Italian restaurant and had the new experience of taking down my very own Christmas tree. I was sad to see the space so empty, but I filled it with a little space heater topped with a flower, and now it looks homey again 🙂 ❤ Have a great week ahead!

    • Hi, Chris! It feels like I am following my heart and returning to my crafty ‘roots’ again. When I was your age, I was very crafty. Then life got very busy, with my career, and buying and restoring a little home of my own. Now that I am retired, I have been listening to my heart… and making time to explore my crafty side again. It’s so exciting for me!! ❤ Chris, you are always challenging yourself, too, in the ways that are most important to you ~ like running, cooking, and gardening. You will always remember your first Christmas in your first apartment! ❤ I still have the special ornaments from my first Christmas and just love hanging them on my tree each year. I think 2016 will be your most wonderful year! Cherish each moment, Chris! ♡

  5. No, I haven’t tried one new thing! I am trying to be a good daughter as I show my elderly Mother around Savannah. She has never been a traveler, so it is all a revelation to her. So she is doing something new, and I am just participating and making it happen!

    You are off to a very creative year – keep growing!

    • Hi, Jayne! Blessings on your mother! Traveling is such a wonderful adventure. So happy that you are making these wonderful memories together in Savannah! What a lovely way to begin your new year! Thank you for your kind, encouraging words, Jayne! I’m looking forward to blossoming in so many ways this year! Thanks so much for stopping to visit today! Sending big hugs for your mom! ♡

  6. You are most definitely blossoming, Dawn. Good for you. You sound so very enthusiastic and so positive in your approach – a very admirable trait.
    Stay warm. Just got in and it is might cold out there.

    • Oh, thank you so much, Penny! My ‘One Little Word’ 2016 is helping me to grow in so many ways. So very thankful to have the gift of time to pursue new ways to learn and grow! It’s really cold!! In the morning, we will have more snow to shovel. It truly feels like January now! Think warm thoughts, my friend! ♡

    • You are so sweet, Anne! It’s an exciting way to start off a new year! I am blessed to have such a great role model in you, dear friend! (Yes, I have been taking notes for many years!:)) Hope you are enjoying a warm, sunny day and planning another walk along the beach soon! I just came in from shoveling on an Arctic morning here. The garden is covered by a blanket of sparkly, glistening snow today. I just stood there admiring the magic of it all… and then I ran inside to warm up! 🙂 Toasting our long friendship with a cup of hot tea! Sending hugs, dear Anne! ♡

  7. Dawn, I suspect you blossom every day. The cards are delightful. I like the way you used the letters on the tag and the reverse on the card. Both are adorable.

    How do you watercolor with the inks? Do you dip a wet brush on the ink pad and use in the same way as a watercolor tin? It’s a lovely effect and something I would love to try.

    Enjoy your week.

    • Oh,thank you, Alys! I just love learning new things! I pressed the Distress ink pads onto a piece of white ceramic tile, as a palette. (You can also press the ink pads onto an acrylic block. A sheet of white paper underneath the acrylic block would help the colors show up better.) Then I picked up the Distress ink from the tile with a wet paintbrush. This ink reacts well with water. It’s so easy. I hope you will try it! What creative projects are you working on?

      Hope your new year is off to a nice start, Alys! So, happy you stopped to visit today! ♡

    • Hi Marlene! I am beginning to blossom by taking on some creative Challenges in card making in the new year. Very soon, I will settle into some scrapbooking again. Can’t wait to begin documenting our stories! Wishing you a good year ahead, too! Thanks so much for visiting today! ♡

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