Thursday, March 27, 2014

Little Stitches

I have gotten away from my stitching recently, and thought I would jump back in with a little project. Three very little projects, as a matter of fact!

These tiny motifs are perfect for fast embellishing. For example, I used the cherries to make a little felted medal, perfect for adding to a future project. And just to let you know, my Big Kick does indeed cut through Aida cloth!  (felt from PTI, circle dies from wplus9)

Then I made a little framed accent, perfect for a gift tag or card.

I think I know just the stamp set to pair with this sweet strawberry in the future! (die from PTI)

These tiny little patterns also make great button covers, as you can see here:

Wouldn't this be a fun accent to a little girl's headband? (honeysuckle pink aida cloth, DMC floss, self-cover button)

And just like that, in one evening, I stitched up three sweet treats to embellish future projects!

Blessings on your day, cafe friends!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PTI March 2014 Blog Hop: High Gloss

Hello, cafe friends! It is the twenty-fifth of the month, and you know what that means! No, silly,  not Christmas. The Papertrey Ink blog hop!  This month's theme: High Gloss!

It was time to root around in my cupboard and find that oft neglected bottle of Crystal Effects and put it to some good use.

I was able to use a new Memory Box stencil to make this coffee-themed background. And from the looks of those rings, it appears that I need to switch to decaff! No, really, it's supposed to look like someone has just had a double shot of espresso. Honest!

This sentiment is really perfect for me. I love the Lord, and I love His Word, and I love his people, and I love coffee. And the best part? I can often mix all of those elements that I love together!

{Today's Brew: Latte Love stamps and die (PTI), card stock and ink (PTI), Memory Box stencil, Martha Stewart hearts border punch, gingham ribbon, prisma markers, crystal effects, Distress Stains}

I think this calls for a nice Vanilla Latte! Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 24, 2014

MIM #157: It All Started With A Pillow

Dorothy Teacup Applique Cushion
This weekend, I was on the hunt for new pillows to spruce up the couches for spring.

{Caution! Home furnishings rant ahead!}

Much like the paper crafting industry, the home furnishing industry in the U.S. is totally trend driven. If you see chevron in one place, you will see it in one hundred places. Ikat once? Ikat as far as the eye can see. A little Moroccan medallion? A LOT of Moroccan medallion! The only problem with this is if you are not a fan of chevron, ikat, or Moroccan medallion. Then you are pretty much out of luck for a year or two, until the trend has passed and the industry has moved on to the next big thing.

This seems to be  much more prevalent in the U.S. market than in Europe. I think this is a reflection of our consumer driven society that says "buy this, even if you don't like it, because we will have you replacing it next year anyway!"

I am on a bit of an anglophile craze lately, probably induced by too much Sherlock and too much tea. So when I was lamenting the lack of pretty pillows to my good friend, Beth, she said "Why don't you try the Laura Ashley website?"

To borrow a phrase from my friends across the pond, I was totally gobsmacked! The website was stunning, and I wanted one of everything.

This teacup pillow is calling my name!

So when Papertrey Ink posted the Make It Monday challenge to create your own coverplate, I knew exactly what I wanted to try...a card inspired by that pillow! Here it is:

I made this "coverplate" by running the teacup die through the machine once or twice...or six times.

{Today's Brew: Tea For Two and Tea For Two Additions (PTI), teacup die (PTI), Tiny Tags stamp set and die (PTI), card stock and inks (PTI), baker's twine}

Time for a nice cuppa. Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Out of The Box!

Last week at stamp camp, we made an awesome out-of-the-box card that had us all oohing and aahing! It was the perfect birthday card to give to my sister that weekend. Well, Mom was so amazed by the card that she made me make her a pattern template, and then showed the card to all of her stampy friends.

The big question seemed to be "How long did it take you to make this card? Hours?!"

No, not really. But then again, my SU demo extraordinaire, Cindy, did a lot of the pre-cutting for us. She ROCKS that way!

Here it is:

You've gotta admit, that's darn cute!

The balloons look like they are floating right out of the box, when in truth, they are being supported by thin sheets of acetate.

My favorite part about this project? It still folds up and fits into a standard A2 envelope!

Since making this card last week, I've seen different versions "popping" up all over the place. It seems the possibilities are endless. I'd like to try one again with a flower/flowerpot theme. Or maybe a sunshine/clouds/rainbows/umbrella theme. Or maybe a garden theme. Or maybe...okay, you get the idea.

Thinking out of the box is fun!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lawnscaping Challenge #78: Hello Spring!

Happy Spring, cafe friends! Here in Pennsylvania, the skies are grey and filled with snow flurries on the first day of spring. But the robins are pecking away at the ground, and that reminds me that spring weather cannot be far away, right?

It seemed like the perfect morning to make a spring creation! The new Lawnscaping challenge: clean and simple.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I don't like to buy stamps that are geared to only one holiday. Seriously, how much use will they get if you can only use them for one occasion? Instead, I like to purchase stamps that will work great for a season, or even better, will work great all year long.

Today's card is a perfect example. This stamp set from Lawn Fawn (Peace Love Joy) is a Christmas set, but the images in it can be used year round. Change the color palette from bold to pastel, and voila! You have a Christmas stamp set that is doing double duty for the spring!

{Today's Brew: Peace Love Joy stamp set (Lawn Fawn), die cuts (Lawn Fawn), sequins (Lawn Fawn), inks (PTI), card stock (PTI) }

Clean and simple and oh so sweet!

Hello, spring!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Paper Smooches Challenge: Anything Goes!

 Good morning, cafe friends! I've been in my craft cafe this morning, brewing up something fun for this week's Paper Smooches challenge!

I love a challenge with no rules! I have a brand new stencil that I wanted to ink up, so I pulled it out for the background of this simple one-layer card. When you have a simple card base, you can have a little fun with your accents. I decided to cut out a felt flower and give it a little stitching pizzazz. Put on your sunglasses...this card is bright and sunny!

{Today's Brew: Paper Smooches Spiritual Sampler stamp set, Big Bloom die (PS), Loopy Leaf die (PS), Memory Box stencil, Mustard Seed Distress Stain, versafine onyx ink, card stock (PTI), felt (PTI), DMC floss, button (PTI) }

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

For the Birthday Boy!

Here's another fun card I made at last week's stamp camp. This one uses the new arrows embossing folder from Stampin' Up!

I love how the embossing folder mimics the look of tire tread. This card really came in handy, as my baby boy had his birthday this weekend. Luke just bought a new car last month, so this card seemed even more appropriate!

Cindy, my SU demo, came up with this fabulous design, and she mentioned that this card seemed appropriate for big boys with driver's licenses and even little boys with Hot Wheels.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St.Patrick's Day!

Today's projects are wearin' o the green!

Made this fun card at Stamp Fanci's make and take last month!

It uses a very fine glitter strip o' green, along with some super sweet and sparkly Wink of Stella markers!

And this pot o' gold was a gift from my Stampin' Up demonstrator, the one and only Cindy Brumbaugh! We are always amazed by her talent! What a fun idea to pair this creation with green tea!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, friends!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

PTI M.I.M. # 155

This week's Make it Monday challenge at Paperytrey Ink: make your own confetti using PTI dies. Great idea! It just so happens that I had a strip of golden hearts at my craft space, just waiting to be put to use. I added a few more "die confetti" pieces with the little circles at the top of the bookmark die. A few sequins, and voila! It's raining blessings!

{Today's Brew: Friendship Jar (PTI), Beautiful Blessings (PTI), hearts die (PTI), bookmark die (PTI), card stock and ink (PTI), sequins and papers (lawn fawn), gold cord ribbon}

Thanks for visiting the cafe! Your comments are a blessing to me!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I love clean and simple card making. Lawn Fawn makes some really fun stamps that embrace the clean and simple style.


I made this card for the Lawnscaping challenge to add a little sparkle to a card creation. I borrowed a little inspiration from the Splitcoast Stampers CAS Monday challenge for this sketch.

{Today's Brew: Bannerific stamps and die (lawn fawn), On the Mend sentiment (lawn Fawn), sequins (lawn fawn), twinkles, Basic Grey Fresh Cut papers, card stock and ink (pti)}

Monday, March 10, 2014

PS SPARKS Picture Perfect Challenge

Have you ever had an idea that just needed time to ruminate in your brain for a while? "I'll try that one day," you tell yourself.

Well, yesterday was "one day".

I've been thinking for a while about how to get the look of cross stitch in paper crafting. The solution? Take one "x" stamp and use it to add the cross stitches to form an image.

I used two dies from Paper Smooches as my stencil, and then began "stitching" with the inked stamp, covering the image in stitches.  The result?

A "stitched" image!  Here's the finished card:

Yes! It came out exactly like I'd pictured it in my head! That was fun! Next time, I will try to add shading with different colors, the same way I do when I cross stitch with different colored threads.

Here is the inspiration photo from the challenge blog:


{Today's Brew: Folkal Points (Paper Smooches), Pretty Phrases (Paper Smooches), loopy leaf die (ps), big bloom die (ps), card stock and inks (pti), circle punch, twine}

Blessings on your Monday, cafe friends!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

PTI M.I.M. #154

Erin had a really sweet card for this week's Make It Monday challenge at Papertrey Ink. The challenge: how to add interesting layers and textures to a one layer card. Beauty without the bulk. Pretty without the extra poundage. (And if anyone can tell me how to do this with my added winter weight, please send me an email! ha ha!)

I loved the part in the video where Erin states that halfway through, at about this point in the card making process, you will look at it and think "Aaack! This looks like crap!" And that was so true! But if you continue on, somehow it magically comes together.

I'm not always successful at the collage-y type style. I think so much depends upon the proper color choices and the right stamp set. PTI's Postmarks seemed like the perfect choice. It has a lot of different images, big and small, to choose from. I paired it with Background Basics Gingham and Think Big Favorites for a card that has a decidedly French flair.

{Today's Brew: Postmarks stamp set (PTI), Background Basics Gingham (PTI), TBF (PTI), PTI inks, PTI card stock, Versafine onyx ink, clear embossing powder for the sentiment}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today! Or if you're feeling like Morticia Addams ("Tish, that's French!") then I will say "Merci!"

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Featured Stamper: Mom!

Happy Saturday, friends!

Today's featured stamper is my mom!

Mom sent me this precious card for my birthday last week, and it is just so sweet. I couldn't wait to share it with all of you!

Apparently, there's a new stamp shop in my mom's area. She tells me that their make and takes are really nice. (Mom, we have to go one day!)

This card has some amazing sheen that just did not get captured on this gloomy morning. But the real stunning feature of the card is here:

Take a look at all of that dimension! Mom said she had to beg and borrow from her friends for all of those pop dot foam dimensionals. Wow! And the amount of fussy cutting involved in this card? Unbelievable! I feel so special to be the recipient of this little work of art. Thanks, Mom!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Spring Cleaning!

Hello, Cafe friends!

Pardon the dust. I am doing a little spring cleaning.

Sometimes, you just need to throw open the windows and let a little fresh air inside.

I think the blog has needed a good airing out for a while now.

Things became stale last October when the old laptop crashed. I made do for a long time, but unfortunately this blog and the content looked a little worse for the wear.

During the awkward months, when things got off track, I began to think about ways to improve the blog. I reflected on my blogging mission statement: A cup of creativity, fueled by faith and coffee. That's it, in a nutshell. I just want Mary Rose's Cafe to be a fun place where you can grab a mug, pour yourself a cup of the daily brew, and share in the creativity.

I am happy to report that I now have my very own, shiny new, pretty and white laptop!


Now I can take pretty photos and hopefully, I can post a little more regularly, too.

In the future, the cafe will be serving:

* Daily paper creations

* Crafty projects

* Creative pursuits like needle art, sewing, painting

* Fabulous finds and favorite things

* Links to my Pinterest boards

* Links to my online shop

* Inspiration from other crafters like you!

For those non-crafty topics relating to home remodeling, garden, and home relocation, I will be posting again to my other blog, This End Up.

I hope you like the new look! I will be adding labels and categories to make browsing a little easier.

Thanks for being patient with me, friends! You are all such a blessing to me, and I cherish your comments and encouragement.

Now let's get crafty!

Monday, March 3, 2014

This End Up: Adding Color to a White Kitchen

I don't know how things are looking in your corner of the world, but here in Pennsylvania things are still white. White, white, white. Every day, I look out my kitchen window and there it is...snow.

I'm getting a little tired of white.

I have a very white kitchen. White cabinets, white appliances, white countertops, white curtains...white, white, white. Don't get me wrong, I love a white kitchen. It adds so much light to this space. I just needed a little change. And what could be easier than swapping out curtains?

So one day last month, I decided to take down the white curtains and add a little color to this otherwise blank canvas.

I've held on to these curtains from my last house, waiting for the right room to use them in. These curtains are such a great quality and a classic plaid that you'd think I ordered them from a pricey catalog company. Nope! These beauties are from Walmart (part of the Better Homes and Gardens collection). The valance, though, was just a tad too short to cover the window. I decided to add a little decorative ribbon to each end using fusible tape. It worked like a charm!


The long curtain panel worked great at the patio door, too. It brought a little much needed color to my breakfast nook. Before:

And after:

Now I have a warm and cozy spot to sip my coffee and read a book:

Or maybe just flip through a magazine and dream of future kitchen plans:

Time to start pulling out the paint chips!

Winter is a great time to dream, isn't it? For now, I think I'll just have another cup of coffee, pull out my bright red dutch oven, and make some warm soup for dinner.

Warm Blessings!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Birthday Thoughts

Hello cafe friends! I hope you've had a wonderful weekend!

My weekend began on Friday with my birthday. Number 47, to be precise. Some days, I just cannot fathom where the time has gone!  This will be one of those big "marker" years. This summer will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of my graduation...from college! Yikes!  And this autumn, I will celebrate the twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with my sweet husband.

One of my dear friends from high school also has a February birthday. We keep in contact every year around this time, just to check in on our respective families and crazy busy lives, marvelling at where God has brought us over the years. I confessed to feeling a little bit of panic at the passing of time. Not in a midlife crisis sort of way, but more in a Psalm 90 "Lord, teach me to number my days" sort of way. And then I had to wonder if that is what a midlife crisis looks like after all.

Sometimes, on those days when my mind wanders and I'm feeling in a contemplative mood, I will worry. Not so much about the things I have done, because I have a long list of those things that God has already forgiven, so no need to dwell on the negative! Instead, I worry about the things I have left undone...the words I haven't said, the times I haven't stepped up and stepped out in faith, the days that I have frittered away doing silly useless things.

Perhaps this is what forty-seven feels like.

I can tell you that some days, I feel more like this sweet soul, who just celebrated her 116th birthday.

Now that is a face that makes me smile! She credits her long life to lots of sushi and lots of beauty sleep. Obviously!

"Hmm! Look this good at my age you will not!"

I wonder if she felt this way at age 47,too.

The truth is that we don't know if we have sixty-nine more days or sixty-nine more years. We just have to live in gratitude for the day that God places before us.

Today I am thankful for the things  that I have done and the things God is continuing to do for me. I may be forty-seven years old, but He is making all things new.

It's a good day to be.