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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bikes + Bunnies = Happy Me!

Recently I was sitting here at my computer, minding my own business, when suddenly I was completely assaulted by some MASSIVE CUTENESS!! Ha! It was the latest release from Mama Elephant. They had a new set that not only had an awesome tandem bicycle, but it also had BUNNIES! If you don't know... I love bunnies. And bikes. So of course I had to have it. HAD TO!

This is the result of my first time playing with Tandem Ride. There are other adorable animals in the set, plus even more in the Tandem Extras set, and I of course now own BOTH sets, plus the matching dies (here & here!)... but I had to just stick with bunnies and put them on both seats. Plus carrots. Oh the cute little carrots!! I die.

For the colors, I played along with one of my longtime favorite color challenges - The Color Throwdown. I used to play this one all the time. You know, way back when I actually blogged regularly. Long, long ago...

I mentioned Alpe d'Huez in my previous post, and the stage did not disappoint! It was an awesome, exciting fight on the mountain. But instead of the details of today's stage, I want to share this cool land art I saw in my Twitter feed today. Another one of my favorite things about watching the Tour de France - all of the cool land art and tractor displays and whatnot that the farmers in the French countryside (or in this case, artists!) put together for the tv helicopters. So amazing!!

Thanks for stopping by,

The Alps.

I'm back for more of my Tour de France ramblings! This week the cyclists have been making their way through the Alps. Oh how I love the Alps!!! I love the hard-fought battles up the mountains, and the crazy, hold-my-breath-while-I-watch-on-tv descents back down. How these guys manage their nerves going so incredibly fast down these roads, with very little or no guardrails, and drop-offs that look ridiculously scary, I will never know. But I'm sure glad they are able to manage it, because I sure do love watching it!!

One of the battles of the Tour de France is for the King of the Mountains title, and the fabulous polka dot jersey! Which is the inspiration for today's card...

My red polka dots are glittery. I really don't understand why the guys in the Tour don't wear glitter and sequins. I mean seriously. Who doesn't need a little sparkle as they are climbing mountains? If I were in charge of le Tour, there'd be way more glitter. ;-) I used this fun little Hero Arts "this makes me happy" message, because obviously, this does make me happy!

I have had these double-sided circle stickers in my stash FOREVER. I thought it was about time I bust them out for something (I'm trying to destash my messy craft room!!). I dug out some polka dot patterned paper, and used it as a template on my light box to place the dots. Then I just added red glitter!

Today is the final mountain stage of this year's Tour, and it's my very favorite Alp - Alpe d'Huez. It's a total Tour de France icon. Yes, I have a favorite Alp. You don't?? I even follow my favorite Alp on Twitter. :-) But even though Alpe d'Huez is my favorite, this one sure made for STUNNING photos a couple days ago. WOW!

I love how the bikes look as they make their way along the switchbacks!

And before I go... sorry I've slacked off on my Tour de Craft posting the past few days! I've had some guest shuffling, and life in general has been getting in the way. It's been a busy, crazy, unusual summer in my house. My hubs has been out of work the past couple months, I'm heading back to work full-time after being away for about nine years, kids have crazy summer schedules... so yes, I just make cards and blog when I can. That's all blogging has ever been to me - fun when I can manage it! So now you, my wonderful blog readers, know where I've been. All three of you. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tour de Craft Guest Designer - Emily Leiphart!

Another day, another awesome guest designer! Emily Leiphart definitely shares my love of bikes, and her bike-themed cards are always fabulous!! I'm always so happy when she joins me on my blog in July. Take it away, Emily!

This is my third year participating in Libby's annual Tour de Craft celebrating Le Tour de France! As many of you know, my husband is a bike designer, having designed bikes for many well-known manufacturers over the years so bikes are close to our heart.

For my card this year, I chose to feature a couple of Hero Arts stamps that I haven't used in a while - Bike with Basket - or were left uninked since I bought it - Absolutely Awesome. I kept the stamping very simple by using Hero Arts Blackboard ink. Then I layered the Spring Branch die with vellum and black cardstock, accenting the leaves with some white enamel dots. The diagonal stitched frame die is by My Favorite Things.

Thanks Emily! Your card is absolutely awesome! :-) Be sure to visit Emily over on her blog, Art from the Heart, and leave her some love!

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tour de Craft Guest Designer - Linda McClain!

Today I'm fortunate to have one of my very favorite stampers - and heck, one of my very favorite people - joining me for a guest post. Linda McClain hasn't had a lot of time to get crafty this year (I can relate!), but when she does, it's always absolutely fabulous! And lucky me, Linda is one of my Texas friends, so I've had the pleasure of her real-life hugs. Take it away, Linda!

Yay! It’s time for Libby's Tour de Craft, Libby's annual craft homage to the Tour de France (the 21-stage, 3,660 km bicycle race). Joining Libby and her stamp-happy, bicycle-bonkers friends to honor the Tour makes me as happy as a down hill racer!

Have you noticed the Tour riders grabbing snacks out of their sweaty back pockets in the middle of the race? I decided to go a little off the map with a look back to the snack of champions - GORP.

Remember GORP? It was popular in the 1970's with hikers because it was lightweight, easy to store, and nutritious and, well, because powerbars weren't on the scene yet. I used to pack GORP in my bike bag for quick fuel between food stops.

Although GORP is short for granola, oats, raisins, and peanuts, let's be honest, granola and oats sounds like something you'd feed your horse. I make mine with nuts, dried fruits, sunflower seeds, pretzels, and most importantly, M&Ms.

The carbohydrates in the dried fruit give a quick energy boost while the fat and protein in the nuts provide sustained energy. The M&Ms are just tasty! And, like their ad says, M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your bike bag.

For giggles and grins (and, hey, maybe a fun party favor), I packed my GORP today in decorated pillow boxes and plastic push pop containers. They're stinkin' cute and yummy, right?

That's all for me. If you're crazy enough like me to want to decorate your GORP packages, you can find links to all the products I used over at my place, Catered Crop. Thank you, Libby, for letting me roll with you!

Mmm GORP!! I love this Linda, it's the cutest GORP ever! Thank you for sharing it here today!!

Be sure to visit Linda and leave her some love!

Happy GORPing,

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Believe it.

Today I needed to revive my creative juices a little, and nothing is better at that for me than pulling out my art journal! I love playing with my paints. I never know what I'm going to end up with, I just go wherever it leads me. But I did have one thing in mind from the start - I was inspired by Steve Cummings' awesome win for Team MTN-Qhubeka on Stage 14 of the Tour de France!

Here's how my page came together:

I am so thrilled that Team MTN-Qhubeka won today. This is their first Tour de France - and they are the first African-based team to ever ride in the Tour. I mentioned them at the start of the Tour - they support bringing bikes to villages in Africa, which is so wonderful. The team wears black and white striped jerseys, so that's where I started with my background.

Not only did they win today - but they won on Mandela Day!! How absolutely perfect is that? I wanted to use a Nelson Mandela quote on my page, so I did a quick Google search and found this one. It just seemed all-around perfect - for Mandela Day, for MTN-Qhubeka winning the stage on Mandela Day, and for the Tour de France in general.

I loved today at the Tour.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tour de Craft Guest Designer - Joy Taylor!

Today I have another amazing friend joining me for a guest post, and I am so in love with her fabulous card!! Welcome Joy Taylor! She visits my blog by way of Australia, where they have to stay up late into the wee hours to watch the Tour de France live... in the past, Joy and I have enjoyed a good laugh watching some of the crazy things the fans do along the routes through the mountains!

Are you enjoying The Tour de France and also the amazing creations that Libby is sharing here, so much eye candy to behold..

I love when the Tour comes around each year and was super jealous this year as my cousin and his family took the time to follow the Tour, he looked like he was having a blast...dreaming will always get me there one day LOL, but secretly as I say each year I do enjoy seeing the sights and countryside, plus the antics that seem to happen along the way from the stupid people LOL..

Sadly with being home looking after my Mum this year I have not been able to view it as much as I would like, but I do sneak in a little at a time to make me happy..

So in order to honour the race this year, I have created a card that is really different, I figured there are so many different men from all around the world that ride in this race each year, so fitting that I was able to use the Neat and Tangled Origami Map stamp set, embossing with white embossing powder on water color paper and playing with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers, that I have to say I am in love with..

Adding two different greens and blue for the outer part of the embossing, finishing the card off with some wood veneer and a sentiment was all this card needed..

Here is a close up of the card..

Thanks Libby for asking me to play along again this year, I always look forward to creating and enjoying the Tour, I hope you all have enjoyed the posts and creations, still more to come..

Thank you so much for joining me today, Joy! Be sure to visit Joy's blog, Simple by Design, and leave her some love!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The cheering fans...

Today I made a little card featuring the happy fans as the cyclists make their way through the Pyrenees mountains. Or at least in my world - the fans are bunnies. :-)

I used one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE stamp sets from the Hero Arts Summer release - Baby Animals. The intent is for this to be a set for making baby cards. But these little critters are super cute for all kinds of cards - including silly cards about a bike race in France. HA! I used the pennants in the set to cut out individual little flags for the bunnies to hold. And each bunny is wearing a shirt to support their favorite kind of rider - the GC guy (yellow), the climber (polka dot) and the sprinter (green). (Those sprinters is seriously hurting in the Pyrenees!) The King of the Mountains-inspired polka dot background is the Hero Arts Polka Dot Bold Prints by Lia. I love that this stamp has two different sizes of dots!

I played along with this week's Mojo Monday for the sketch.

So... I was going to share my thoughts on yesterday's Stage 10, but I typed it and then deleted it all. Let's just say there are many things about the day's race (and cycling in general) that completely bum me out. But I don't want to focus on that - I'm going to focus on the things I *love* about watching the Tour de France - and the thing I love MOST OF ALL is the beautiful scenery as the peloton (or the fractured remains of it!) makes their way through the spectacular French mountains.

This week they are in the Pyrenees along the border with Spain. In Stage 11 (which has already happened as this posts, but I don't know the results yet) they will be climbing - and of course descending - one of the most "famous" peaks in the Tour - the Col du Tourmalet! It's daunting. Check out this video to get a little feel for what it is like speeding down this thing on a bike. YIKES!! (Give it a second to load if you don't see a video show up right away!)

Tourmalet descent hyperlapse
Have you ever wondered what the descent of the Col du Tourmalet looks like? Here's a quick hyperlapse of what the pros will face tomorrow.
Posted by Global Cycling Network on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I don't know what the drop-offs are really like, but to me it seems like one bad crash off the side and you fall foreverrrrrr! Eeeek!

But what I wouldn't give to one day be one of the many fans lining the route on a mountain stage!!

Vive le Tour...!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Way to go!

Sorry I was absent yesterday. It was a rest day at the Tour, so I also took a small rest. ;-) But today I'm back with some cows holding up a fancy, golden bike. Or are they pigs? It's really quite hard to tell.

I dug out an old Close to my Heart set from my stash for this one. They are pigs, but I colored them as cows. I'll tell you why below. And you guys!!! This is my first ever shaker card!!! I am so excited. I filled it with a beautiful sequin mix from sweet Lucy Abram's shop. That sentiment is from Hero Arts' Enjoy Today set - one of my favorite message sets!

As for the cow-pig-whatever-you-want-to-call-it... I was inspired to make this card after Sunday's team time trial. Team BMC rode to victory, and also retained their lead in the team classification. When they had their presentation on the podium, the hostesses gave them stuffed... somethings. I assumed they were cows, but my friend Leslie thought perhaps they could be pigs. I apologize for this poor quality photo, it's a phone pic of my tv, so, yah, not so good... but can you tell what they are??

So I made my card, and was getting ready to post it, when by some kind of miraculous coincidence, this tweet appeared in my Twitter timeline!!

They named him Moo. The Great TDF Mystery has been solved. Case closed! I know you all were worried.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Time for a TTT!

Today is Stage 9 in the Tour de France - the TTT!! TTT = Team Time Trial. During the individual time trial, it's each cyclist alone against the clock. This time, each team starts together. In the TTT, individual performances aren't the key - you're only as good as you're fifth teammate across the line!

I pulled out more older Hero Arts from my collection. These are from the Hero Arts + Studio Calico collaboration. I love the Ferris Bueller quote - just like a group of cyclists on their bikes, life moves pretty fast.

I made my bikes red on this card, because today I'm cheering for Team BMC, who races in red & black. My favorite American cyclist in this year's Tour, Tejay van Garderen, rides for BMC. (I told you about Tejay last weekend!) If they do well, he could be wearing yellow tomorrow. Will it happen? Fingers crossed!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tour de Craft Guest Designer - Leslie Hanna!

Today my friend Leslie Hanna is joining me as a Tour de Craft guest! Leslie is one of my best Twitter buddies. She's not really a Tour de France fan, but she kindly puts up with my obsessive tweets every July. And, she loves bikes! I told her today's Stage 8 is described as "hilly", and here's what the stage inspired...

I used to bike, like 30-45 miles at a pop, but I didn't do hills. So this whole "let's bike up some mean mountains" mentality is just more than my brain can handle.

I realized the card I had designed in my head was a large part of  the very cool video Libby posts each year to educate those of us who are largely TdF-ignorant, and it's totally worth the watch. I assure you it was pure accident that my card is so similar. Also, that's me at about 2:18 in the video.

Thank you, Libby, for inviting me to participate again this year. It's always fun to blow the dust off my bike stampy supplies and use them!

Thank you Leslie!! I love that her card is inspired by my favorite TDF video, subconsciously or not - her colorful little bikes taking on the hills are adorable! Be sure to visit Leslie's post today for more info about her card.

Thanks for stopping by,


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