Welcome Baby - ATCAS 140
Thank you for Inkspirational #164

Happy Birthday - Paper Players #400

Hi Everyone

It's the second week of our 400th birthday celebration and the design team have some more inspiration for you.

Don't forget.... if you want to join us, you still have a few more days to enter and be eligible to win one of our FORTY prizes.  As a reminder - here are the 40 prizes up for grabs:

  1. Altenew - $30 gift card
  2. Atenew Academy - $20 gift card  - compliments of Jaydee
  3. Avery Elle - $20 store credit
  4. Butterfly Reflections - Breathe Rainbows Stamp Set (US only)
  5. CAS-ual Fridays - $25 store credit
  6. Cheery Lynn - $20 gift card  
  7. Cheery Lynn - $20 gift card - compliments of Laurie
  8. Concord & 9th - $25 gift card
  9. Craftin Desert Diva's - $10 store cedit
  10. Dies R Us - $15 gift card
  11. Ellen Hutson -  20 gift cards - compliments of Annie 
  12. Ellen Hutson $20 gift card - compliments of Eliz
  13. Happy Little Stampers - $20 store credit
  14. Heffy Doodle - Sticky Friends Stamp Sets (exclusive - not available for purchase; US only)
  15. Heffy Doodle - Sticky Friends Stamp Set (exclusive - not available for purchase; US only)
  16. Heffy Doodle - Sticky Friends Stamp Set (exclusive - not available for purchase; US only)
  17. Heffy Doodle - Sticky Friends Stamp Set (exclusive - not available for purchase; US only)
  18. Lawn Fawn - $25 gift card
  19. My Favorite Things - $25 store credit
  20. Neat & Tangled - $15 store credit 
  21. Newton's Nook - $20 store credit
  22. Pink & Main - $20 store credit
  23. Power Poppy - $10 store credit
  24. Stampendous - $20 rewards cards (US only)
  25. Stampendous - $20 reward card (US only)
  26. Stampendous - $20 reward card (US only)
  27. Stamplorations - $20 gift certificate
  28. Stampin' Up - $20 gift certificates compliments of Nance (US only)
  29. Stampin' Up! $20 gift certificate - compliments of LeAnne (US only)
  30. Stampin' Up! £20 gift certificate - compliments of Joanne (UK only)
  31. Stampin' Up! $20 gift certificate - compliments of Claire (US only)
  32. Stampin' Up $20 gift certificate - compliments of Jan (NZ only)
  33. Technique Tuesday - $20 gift card
  34. The Foiled Fox - $25 store credit
  35. Trinity Stamps - Let it Grow and Lady Liberty Stamp Sets
  36. Tutti Designs - $15 gift card
  37. Uniko - any in-stock stamp set of winner's choice
  38. Verve Stamps - stamp & accessory bundle - compliments of Sandy (US only)
  39. Verve Stamps - stamp & accessory bundle - compliments of Sandy (US only)
  40. Waffle Flower - $15 gift card

Our rules are slightly different for this challenge, so don't forget to check them out on our blog!

Tonight's card is all about balloons and was made for one of our besties who is just about to celebrate his BIG 50 birthday.  His birthday is just 4 days after Lou celebrates his BIG 60 birthday.  Unfortunately, we won't be with him to celebrate, so this card will be going in a little parcel and winging its way to the UK.  

I wanted something masculine - but also something that said SPECIAL BIRTHDAY.  I was looking through my stash and remember that I had some very old balloon dies and used those to die-cut some balloons out of silver card stock.  

OK... so I had the balloons... now what?   I went rummaging through my stash and saw this old HAPPY die that I have had for a long time - so long, in fact, that it is discontinued!  I die-cut the HAPPY sentiment from the die and used that as a stencil.  I mounted the balloons, added the string and the outside was done.

Here's the outside of the card:

PPBalloon400 (1 of 1)

Of course, I had to add a little something to the inside to let him know that we knew it was his 50th!!!  I was tempted to use the last of my foil card stock but thought nah........ let's make another statement..... like... when you reach 50, you aren't quite as shiny and new as you used to be :-)    So, I used the Altenew Alpha Die numbers, die cut three of them and glued them together and then dipped them multiple times into Versamark and then silver embossing powder.   

The multiple heat and dips ensured that there was lots of lovely distressed texture on the numbers - just what I wanted.

Here's the inside:

Happy Birthday inside (1 of 1)-2

As his birthday present will include a really nice bottle of whisky - I thought the sentiment from My Favorite Things was just perfect.

All that was left was to add a little something to the envelope.  Here's a photo of the envelope decoration:

Happy Birthday envelope (1 of 1)

The envelope is a silver envelope and I stamped the balloons and the sentiment using Stazon - to ensure that it wouldn't smudge.

I hope you will join us to celebrate our 400th challenge - and also have a chance to win one of the 40 prizes :-)

If you are looking for some inspiration, the design team have outdone themselves again this week:

and our special guests -

On a personal note:

Today the weather was absolutely glorious.  Low humidity - in the 80s.  Sun was shining.  There was a breeze.   Days like this are amazing.  They almost make me forget about the fact that we had over 20 inches of snow in May :-)

Lou got to plant the replacement plants we purchased at the nursery yesterday.  So, the echinacea are sending proud again.   We had the pleasure of watching two Monarchs flitting around the newly planted milkweed in the wetland today.  They were loving it!  Let's hope they leave some caterpillars!

One of the delphiniums we planted last year returned and she is looking beautiful:

Delphinium (1 of 1)-2

Here's a photo of some of the other flowers attracting the birds and bees:

Butterfly weed  meadow sage  bluestem  coneflower (1 of 1)

It's been the perfect year for the proliferation of the butterfly weed.  You can see the bright orange flowers that have planted themselves amongst the other flowers; the meadow sage, the pine cone and the bluestem grasses.

We've had lots of rebellied woodpecker babies making their presence known this year.  Their poor parents:-)

Redbellied baby (1 of 1)

I'm sorry I couldn't get a better photo than this - one that was a little more in focus, maybe :-)  But I had to share it..... this is what our feeder is like these days

Oriole landing (1 of 1)

They really are beautiful and their calls are amazing.  I'm so glad that we have managed to attract them and keep them over summer.

Oriole (1 of 1)-9

I'll be back tomorrow with another card.  In the meantime, warm hugs and prayers for those of you who need a little lift tonight