Monday, December 31, 2007

Another Rescue

Among the many "by-products" of being a SU demo is that I have oodles of leftover materials from years of workshops, make-and-takes, and stamp camps. I store the original cards along with all the cut materials to duplicate it in Ziplok bags. I have supplies cut and bagged for hundreds of cards. Provided I still have the stamps, these are a breeze to put together.

In theory, anyway. Usually, the original is in sore need of an update. Take the one below, which is from at least four years ago (I made it when I was a new demo). Definitely due for an update:

To the rescue -- old faithful Print Pattern, which was still out on my table from yesterday's card. See? Case in point. A little Print Pattern can make anything look better! (And a white gel pen, scallop punch, and a few extra layers, lol!)

I pulled out all the Valentine's Day leftovers last night to make some cards for my friend June, who last month invited me to help her meet the demand for the single cards she sells at two area coffee shops. I met June at one of those shops this morning to do a little trade. I gave her 14 Valentine's Day cards to sell, and she gave me almost $120 for a bunch of cards that have already sold. The best thing is that the ones I gave her back in mid-November were craft show extras that were just sitting in my basement collecting dust, so this was like free money!

Hmmm, a couple more months of this could pay for a nice set of Copics ;)

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Have A Heart, Soft Swirl
Ink: Basic Black
Paper: Whisper White, Pretty In Pink, Rose Romance, Rose Red
Accessories: Stampin' Pastels, Blender Pen, southwest corner punch, handheld rectangle punch, rose grosgrain

Stamps: Have a Heart, Print Pattern
Ink: Jet Black Staz-On, Rose Red, Pretty In Pink, Certainly Celery
Paper: Whisper White, Rose Romance, Basic Black, Rose Red

Accessories: 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" circle punches, scallop punch, dimensionals, black grosgrain, sponge dauber, ticket corner punch, white gel pen

Sunday, December 30, 2007

True Bayou Friend

Once upon a time, Print Pattern was my go-to stamp for jazzing up a background. I used to tell my customers it was an instant card medic and could rescue even the ugliest of cards. As with so many wonderful things, something "new" comes along and takes its place. I did a rescue of my own here and saved Print Pattern from further neglect ;)

I owe a friend a make-up class using the True Friend stamp set (how great is it that the set made the new catalog?!). Since I wasn't thrilled with a couple of my cards from the fall class, I'm playing around with new ideas. She won't like the fuss of tying the ribbon through the half-circles or the paper piercing, but I do! (I can leave those off for her.) I used Julee Tilman's awesome Mojo Monday sketch from Christmas Eve. She always has such neat and original sketches ... check her out!

[ETA: I can't take credit for the white gel pen dots on the Print Pattern background. Sorry I can't give credit either ... I don't remember where I first saw it ...]

Supplies (SU, unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: True Friend, Print Pattern
Ink: Wild Wasabi
Paper: Whisper White, Blue Bayou, Wild Wasabi and Certainly Celery card stock; Blue Bayou prints dp
Accessories: Not Quite Navy marker, Circle and Scalloped Circle nestabilities (by Spellbinders); Blue Bayou double-stitched ribbon, 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" circle punches, white gel pen, paper piercer

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ginger Blossom Meets Spiral Bouquet

This one's pretty straightforward ... a little bit of stamping and lots of Stampin' Up's beautiful new Ginger Blossom designer paper.

Stamps: Spiral Bouquet by Papertrey Ink; Small Talk by Stampin' Up
Ink: Ruby Red, River Rock
Paper: Ginger Blossom dp; Whisper White, River Rock, Ruby Red, and Groovy Guava card stock
Accessories: small oval punch, aged copper hodgepodge hardware, ticket corner punch, Groovy Guava double-stitched ribbon, photo corner punch, sponge daubers

Friday, December 28, 2007

Baroque Passion

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas (those who celebrate it, anyway)! Today's project is a short and sweet one. The image is stamped on dp in Chocolate chip craft ink, then clear embossed. I stamped a second image in Old Olive craft ink, clear embossed, trimmed out the flowers and popped them up on dimensionals onto the first image.

Stamps: Passion by Penny Black
Ink: Chocolate Chip craft ink, Old Olive craft ink
Paper: Brocade Background dp, Chocolate Chip card stock, River Rock card stock (for card base ... you don't see any of it)
Accessories: Crystal Clear embossing powder, Ice rhinestone brads, ticket corner punch, dimensionals, Chocolate satin ribbon

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Moving Right Along ...

... to the next holiday. Not that I'm tired of Christmas, just tired of making Christmas things. This one is for Jen del Muro's Sketch For You to Try this week.

The heart image is from Time Well Spent. The block of sentiments is from the soon-to-be-retired So Many Sayings hostess set. I tried to get a picture that shows all the sparkle, but the dreary, overcast sky in Virginia isn't helping a whole lot. I used a clear Spica to add sparkle on the heart outline, the flower on the heart, on the tiny line of hearts in the sentiment block, and again on the letters L O V E in the sentiment block.

For the background, I ran Very Vanilla through the Cuttlebug using the Textile folder. (I did this in two pieces - the seam is under the ribbon.) I sponged Purely Pomegranate, River Rock, and Chocolate Chip lightly on the raised portions, then added VersaMark to the raised portions and heat embossed with Iridescent Ice embossing powder.

Do not laugh at my attempt at adding faux stitching with the All in a Row set!

I'm suffering some serious blog withdrawal ... from my own as well as everyone else's. Can't wait for some normalcy to return after the holidays, so I can get back to daily uploads and so I can see what everyone else is up to as well!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: So Many Sayings, Time Well Spent, Linen, All in a Row
Ink: Purely Pomegranate, River Rock, Chocolate Chip, VersaMark
Paper: Whisper White, River Rock, Purely Pomegranate
Accessories: Pomegranate satin ribbon, clear Spica pen, sponge daubers, dimensionals, scallop punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, 1/16" circle punch, Cuttlebug textile embossing folder, brayer, iridescent ice embossing powder

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Quickie Color Challenge

Sweet! I finally got to stamp for fun last night! The color combo comes from this week's Color Challenge on SCS -- Wild Wasabi, Elegant Eggplant, and So Saffron.

I needed to keep it quick, so I pulled out Sweet Shapes for its simple, but fun images. I also kept the stamping to a minimum. For no particular reason, the card is an unusual size -- a diminutive 4 3/4" x 3 5/8." I didn't set out with that size in mind. It just happened that my elements looked a little better on a sligthly smaller canvas.

On a different note, does anyone have a paper cutter they absolutely love? I feel like I've been around the world looking for just the right cutter. I want something ACCURATE (of course), something with measurements marked at least to 1/8" inch increments, even better if it's to 1/16" inch increments, and something a full 12" x 12" (i.e. no portable things with swing-out arms). It needs to be safe and it needs to be heavy-duty. I'd like to cut through at least 3-5 sheets of 80-pound card stock at a time (with only one pass). It needs to handle a full-size sheet of card stock and a tiny 1" x 1" piece with equal aplomb. Is there such a one-stop cutter?

My favorite Fiskars desktop rotary cutter has always left a few things to be desired. I tried the Carl rotary cutter a few years ago, and maybe I just got a bad one, but I can make a straigter cut blindfolded and drunk. And my most recent acquisition, a heavy-duty Martin-Yale guillotine-style cutter (which just arrived a few days ago), isn't working out either, for various reasons. Sue, if you're reading this, ya want it? (You mentioned wanting to replace yours.)

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Sweet Shapes
Ink: Wild Wasabi, So Saffron, Elegant Eggplant, VersaMark
Paper: Wild Wasabi textured, Elegent Eggplant, Whisper White
Accessories: silver brads, paper piercer, Wild Wasabi double-stitched ribbon, dimensionals, white embossing powder

Monday, December 17, 2007

Magnet Tins

I'm still working on Christmas cards and teacher gifts ... anyone else feeling the pinch? Christmas is NEXT WEEK. Ack!!

I'm pulling out an old project to show you today. I made a bunch of these little magnet tins a couple of years ago for a craft show. The little snowman comes from the old Tags & More stamp set, and is still one of my favorite individual images ever. He's too cute and just seems to be the pefect size for so many projects. There's a piece of dp in the back of the tin, the snowman is popped up on at least three of the old double-thick dimensionals, the "snow" is from the Department 56, wide organdy is tied around the perimeter, and last a button magnet is adhered to the back.

Stamps: Tags & More
Designer Paper: Stampin' Up! (a retired pattern)
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Brocade Blue marker, two-way glue pen, dazzling diamonds glitter, navy wide organdy ribbon, dimensionals, round tins (from Oriental Trading Company, in pack of 12), button magnets.

Here are some of the other designs I did for the craft show:

Stamps: Looks Like Spring

Paper: Spring Showers

Ink: Pretty In Pink, Mellow Moss, Barely Banana

Accessories: dimensionals, chocolate grosgrain ribbon, spring bouquet punch

Stamps: It's a Girl Thing (retired hostess appreciation set), Itty Bitty Backgrounds
Ink: Basic Black
Paper: Whisper white
Accessories: rose grosgrain ribbon, silver cord, dazzling diamonds glitter, gable green and pretty in pink markers, rhinestone gem

This last one was my favorite. I made three of them, using the different images from the It's a Girl Thing set. The other two were shoes and purses (I think?). Anyway, they were so cute and I thought would be perfect for a tween/teen locker.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Blog Candy Winner

Hi everyone, congratulations to Jennifer of just4funcrafts. She is the winner of the blog candy! Thanks to everyone for playing. I enjoyed reading everyone's comments about how they get into the Christmas spirit!

Jennifer's comment was a great one, too:

The best thing is taking time to do a RAK (random act of kindness) in the middle of a crazy season when its least expected. The smile that is produced on the recipients face is the best thing about this time of year. it makes you all warm and fuzzy inside.
Thanks, Jennifer, for the great idea! Check out her blog (link above), too. Fabulous stuff! And a store, too. I especially like all the alterable goodies. Jennifer, I think I'll be in touch with you for more than just blog candy!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ali-Style Holiday Decor

It's (finally) beginning to look like Christmas around here. I was pulling out some decorations this afternoon, and came across this framed collage I made last year. The inspiration comes 100% from a piece of framed art that Ali Edwards did last year and featured on her blog. You can see hers here.

This was so easy to make I ended up doing a dozen or more and gave them as gifts last year. The frame was a Dollar Tree piece of art that I dismantled. The squares of Holiday Thyme paper are punched with the square punch and then arranged quilt-style. A few little stamped sections for variety, and that's it. It was a little boring once I assembled it, so I added the script-style words around the outside of the mat.

Don't forget: I'll be randomly choosing a winner for my blog candy tomorrow morning at 9 am EST. Go here to enter!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Season's Greetings (retired), Shapes & Shadows (retired), Seeing Spots, Snow Flurries, Warm Words
Paper: Whisper White, Cranberry Crisp, Holiday Thyme designer paper (retired)
Inks: Basic Black, Cranberry Cristp, True Thyme, Bashful Blue
Accessories: 1 3/8" circle punch, 1/16" punch, 3/4" circle punch

Thursday, December 13, 2007

So Many Ways To Say I Love You

I'm using lots of new (or new-to-me) stuff today. The new Ginger Blossom patterned paper from the Stampin' Up! preview catalog is absolutely scrumptious. I love, love, LOVE it!

The sentiments come from the current hostess set So Many Sayings. Until now, it was still unmounted. I was waiting to see if I'd actually use it.

Last, the card base is made from SU's textured paper. The textured paper was one of those items that kept getting dropped from my orders in favor of other things. Not anymore. I'm totally hooked. It adds so much to the card with no extra work. I've always loved the Bazzill paper for its texture. Now I can have texture and my trusty 48-plus colors. Way to go, Stampin' Up!

I stamped the sentiment in Ruby Red craft ink, then cut apart the individual sayings. The fabric flower comes from the Pretties kit. I dyed it using an Aqua Painter and Groovy Guava ink (a drop from the re-inker). I also sponged the edges of all the designer paper pieces for a little extra definition.

If you haven't seen it already, be sure to check out my blog candy in celebration of 10K hits. It's in the previous post. You have until Saturday morning, 9 am EST, to enter.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: So Many Sayings
Paper: Groovy Guava textured, Ruby Red, River Rock, Regal Rose, Ginger Blossom designer paper
Ink: Ruby Red craft ink, groovy guava reinker
Accessories: Groovy Guava double-stitched ribbon, dimensionals, scallop punch, 1 3/8", 1 1/4" and 1/16" circle punches, flower from Pretties kit, aqua painter, three-for-you punch, ruby red brad, sponge daubers

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Celebrating 10,000 Hits

Woo-hoo! I've been keeping an eye on my counter recently, waiting to pass that 10,000 mark. Today is the day! THANKS to all of you for visiting, and especially for leaving such kind and thoughtful comments. You have been such an encouragement to me :)

How about some blog candy to celebrate?

* one new, unmounted Holiday Blocks stamp set (this was a Stampin' Up! mini-catalog hostess appreciation set a while back)
* one package of red adornaments fun fibers by EK Success
* shimmer shapes glittered chipboard (3 trees, 2 ornaments) by ScrapWorks
* two velvety, fabric poinsettia flowers (source unknown)

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post (click on the tiny word "comments" down below) and tell me your favorite way to get in the holiday spirit. Is it putting up the tree? Christmas music? Baking cookies? Parties? For me, I think it's setting up my Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" snow village.

You have until Saturday morning (12/15) to enter. I'll do a random drawing at roughly 9 am EST. Feel free to crawl out of the woodwork, even if you've never commented before! Can't wait to hear from you :)

Hi Glitter!

Just a quick little 3x3 for this week's color challenge at SCS. It's an interesting one: Rose Red, Certainly Celery, and ... ready for this? ... Pumpkin Pie! I wouldn't have thought to throw that Pumpkin Pie in there, but wow, what a fun combo this turned out to be!

I was inspired to glitter up the chipboard letters by Kristina Werner's Make-A-Card-Monday video this week. Be sure to check it out! You'll see I went with a short sentiment, only two letters. I'd like to say it's because the card is small. But really? I have a hard time parting with my chipboard letters. You only get one of each letter (per font) in the Stampin' Up package! Lotsa pressure to get it just right. Anyone else tend to hoard theirs?

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Priceless
Paper: Rose Red, Whisper White, Celery designer prints
Ink: Rose Red, White craft ink, Pumpkin Pie craft ink
Accessories: pumpkin polka dot border sticker from the Friends & Flowers Simply Scrappin' Kit (retired); two-way glue; paper piercer; chipboard letters; heat and stick powder; dazzling diamonds glitter
Tip: I like to paint or ink my chipboard in white before inking in the desired color. The final color seems more true that way.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Something Old

Like everyone else in blogland, I've been super busy trying to finish up a bunch of different projects ... Christmas cards, teacher gifts, and a lot of other stuff that's not quite ready to post here.

But I hate not having something new to show you, so here's a recent card from my "not bad enough to trash, but not good enough to post" pile. I can't put my finger on what I don't like/what's missing (I guess if I could, then I could fix it). Part of it is that I'm never quite sure where to start when the paper pattern is so big and bold. Whatever it is, who cares ... in a pinch it'll do for a post! Enjoy :)

I used one of Julee Tilman's Mojo Monday sketches for this one. (She's got a new one up as of yesterday. You have until Sunday evening to enter. Give it a try!)

The background paper is by Autumn Leaves. I found a pack of 20 coordinating papers (4 each of 5 designs, I think) on the clearance rack at my Target for only $2.38. Pretty good deal!

Stamps: Garden Silhouettes
Paper: Purely Pomegranate, Whisper White, Basic Black
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: pink flower jewels by Heidi Swapp

Sunday, December 9, 2007

It's A Match!

I picked up this roll of wrapping paper at Target the other day. The colors are a perfect match for Sage Shadow, Soft Sky, Bravo Burgundy, and Very Vanilla, so I was really happy with how well this matching card came out!

I filled in the snowflake-stamped background panels with dots of clear Stickles for a little extra sparkle and dimension. Just got my hands on some Stickles earlier this week while I was out helping Santa fill my stocking ;) Had to play with them, of course! I also popped up the three sage backround panels on dimensionals. It really made a big difference!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Snow Burst, Riveting, Perfect Presentation (the tiny snowflake that hides under the silver brad and cord in the center of the sentiment, you almost can't see it)
Paper: Very Vanilla, Sage Shadow
Ink: Sage Shadow, Bravo Burgundy, Encore silver metallic
Accessories: ticket corner punch, silver brads, burgundy wide grosgrain, silver grosgrain, silver cord, 1 3/8", 1 1/4", and 1/2" circle punches, dimensionals

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Quick Preschool B-Day Card

I usually dread making kids cards, but today I was excited because I just found this adorable little astronaut guy by A Muse half-price at my [not-so-]local stamp store earlier this week. Isn't he darling?

I trimmed out and popped up the astronaut, and then bent his legs and arms a little so it looks like he's walking toward you. The "A" initial on his chest is something I added for personalization. The inside reads, "Happy Birthday. Hope your day is out of this world!"

Supplies (Stampin' Up, unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: astronaut (by A Muse); star wheel, Itty Bitty Backgrounds, Everyday Flexible Phrases
Paper: Night of Navy, Going Gray, Whisper White
Ink: white craft, basic black, going gray, creamy caramel, Encore silver metallic
Accessories: silver brads, dimensionals, aqua painter

Friday, December 7, 2007

Enough Already!

Yes, I'm still playing with the Spiral Bouquet set by Papertrey Ink. It's so fun!

I actually created this for a challenge that My Favorite Things was holding to select their guest designer for January. I really had no intention of entering, but at the last minute, decided it would be fun to try. The challenge was to use an ATC (Artist Trading Card) to create a full-size card. (For information on ATC's, go here.)

After I uploaded my ATC-turned-card, I checked out all the other entries, and let's just say, it's good I looked after I uploaded instead of before, because I probably would have been way too intimidated to put mine up had I seen the other ones first. There are some amazing entries. If my link doesn't work, check them out in the SCS gallery by doing a search on keyword: MFGD01. (That's zero and one on the end.) They're going to have a guest designer each month, so be sure to check it out if you're interested!

I took advantage of the designer paper sale Stampin' Up ran last month, and stocked up on a bunch of new designs. The papers on this card all come from a pack called Le Jardin. Love the colors. On the main image, I inked the flowers and stems, then kissed them with an uninked Canvas background stamp to get the textured look.

Supplies (Stampin' Up except where noted):
Stamps: Spiral Bouquet (by Papertrey Ink), Happy Harmony, Canvas, French Script
Paper: Always Artichoke, Le Jardin designer paper, So Saffron, Brocade Blue, Shimmery White
Inks: Brocade Blue, Always Artichoke, So Saffron
Accessories: French Blue grosgrain ribbon, Artichoke grosgrain, Apricot grosgrain, corner rounder (for scallops), ticket corner punch, photo corner punch, scallop punch, 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" circle punches, dimensionals, vintage brads

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Not Everything Is Black and White

There's some gray in there, too ;)

I used my new Spiral Bouquet set from Papertrey Ink again. The set is designed as a two-step set ... each image has a solid, shadow stamp and a separate spiral, line-art stamp that can be layered on top to add detail.

I thought this particular line-art detail stamp would make a nice flourish to frame something. Here I framed the "i miss you" sentiment, but I think it would also work to frame an image. Also, if you stamp this image end-to-end, first facing left, then facing right, and so on, you get a wonderful border. Because the stamps are clear polymer on acrylic blocks, you can see through everything for near-perfect placement without the use of a stamp positioner. Gotta love clear sometimes!

Behind the brads that make the flower centers, I added 1/4" Basic Gray circles for a little extra oomph. I got the idea to do this from Beate Johns a while back.

Supplies (Stampin' Up unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Spiral Bouquet (Papertrey Ink), All-Year Cheer II
Paper: Basic Black, Basic Gray, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black, Going Gray (yes, Going Gray ... the Basic Gray ink was too dark)
Accessories: paper piercer, 1" circle punch, large oval punch, designer label punch, gray taffeta ribbon, black grosgrain ribbon, 1/8" hole punch, 1/4" circle punch, corner rounder (for scalloped edge), vintage brads, ticket corner punch

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Quick & Simple

SCS's color challenge this week is Summer Sun, Certainly Celery, and Old Olive. I used a Penny Black stamp called Passion. The Celery designer prints paper helped this card come together in record time.

For the main image, I colored the stamp with the Summer Sun and Old Olive markers. On the edges of the small flowers, I added a little More Mustard (using a marker). For the larger flowers, I added a more subtle hint of Mustard by using a sponge dauber just around the edges, and then filled in a few areas with the More Mustard watercolor crayon. I wanted the flowers to have a little more depth.

To get the embossed look along the edge of the main panel, I cut a smaller piece of chipboard, centered it over the main image, ran it through the Cuttlebug, then went online and ordered some rectangle Nestabilities ;) (Seriously, I did order them!)

Stamps: Passion (by Penny Black), Tiny Talk (Stampin' Up!)
Paper: Old Olive, Whisper White, Celery designer prints (Stampin' Up!)
Inks: Old Olive (Stampin' Up!)
Accessories: Old Olive, Certainly Celery, Summer Sun, and More Mustard markers, scallop punch, 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" circle punches, wide olive grosgrain ribbon, yellow grosgrain (retired?), Cuttlebug

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Spiral Bouquet

I used my new Spiral Bouquet stamp set from Papertrey Ink for this card. This set mysteriously made its way into my shopping cart while I was buying my circle nestabilities ;) I love it! [Sorry for the black card against the dark background. I'll try to get a better photo.]

The layout comes from Jen del Muro's Sketch for You to Try. Check out her website: i{heart}2stamp. She posts her sketches on Saturdays. They're always fun!

The color scheme is inspired by Sharon Johnson's Wintergreen Tags that you'll find on her No Time To Stamp website. I love how the black sets off the colors in the Wintergreen paper.

Supplies (Stampin' Up! except where otherwise noted):
Stamps: Spiral Bouquet (by Papertrey Ink), Cute Converse
Paper: Basic Black, Sage Shadow, Whisper White, Wintergreen designer paper
Inks: Basic Black, Sage Shadow, Soft Sky, Always Artichoke
Accessories: 1" circle punch, large oval punch, paper piercer, silver brads, white grosgrain ribbon, soft sky double-stithced ribbon, ticket corner punch

Monday, December 3, 2007

Pajama Inspired

Ever since I bought these cute, funky pajamas for my daughter a year or more ago, I've wanted to make this card. I finally did it!

Supplies (Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Linen background, Big Pieces
Ink: Soft Sky, Chocolate Chip, Regal Rose
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Pretty In Pink, Whisper White, Soft Sky, Taken with Teal
Accessories: large oval punch, crop-a-dile, chocolate wide grosgrain ribbon, sponge daubers, paper piercer, pewter jumbo brad (Close to My Heart), glitter pen (Sakura), pinking scissors (source unknown)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Mojo 13 Sketch Challenge

Julee T's Mojo 13 Sketch this week looked super fun! Here's my take.

Supplies (Stampin' Up, unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Time Well Spent, Just Jeans background, Canvas background
Paper: So Saffron, Ruby Red, Always Artichoke, 140 lb cold press watercolor paper
Inks: Jet Black Staz-On, So Saffron, Ruby Red, Bashful Blue, Always Artichoke
Accessories: twill, artichoke brads, paper piercer, nestabilities (new!!) [by Spellbinders], dimensionals, sponge daubers, crystal effects

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Princess Thanks

Boy, do I get the sidetracked award! For a month, I have remembered and then promptly forgotten to get my daughter's birthday thank-yous made and sent out. Her party was on November 3rd. It's TIME. (It's past time.)

After explaining that we couldn't buy five of the adorable Jolee's Cinderellas at Michael's because they were $4.99 each, we finally settled on some inexpensive princess stickers. I was highly skeptical I could make anything remotely cute, but at this point, as long as they got done, I didn't care a whit what they looked like.

Go figure, they turned out kinda cute! [I'm convinced it's because I used my new Nestabilities dies that just came in the mail today (!!!). They make anything look better, ya know?]

I needed 5 thank-yous, but only had 4 of the large princess trio stickers, so I did a second design that I actually like even better:

What's really cool is that Sharon at No Time To Stamp has a Stamp Simply Challenge up right now to use, guess what?, *stickers* as the main image of your card! I get to play!

Supplies (Stampin' Up, unless otherwise specified):
Stamps: Priceless
Paper: Pink Passion, Pixie Pink, Whisper White, Basic Black
Ink: Pink Passion, White craft
Accessories: nestabilities (by Spellbinders), slit punch, white gel pen, paper piercer, black gingham ribbon, 3/4" and 1" circle punches, Disney Princess stickers (by Sandy Lion)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Comme Ci, Comme Ca

That was my favorite phrase when I was learning to speak French. Literally translated, it means, "as this, as that." To the French, it's a phrase that means "so so," as in mediocre ... as in today's project. As in, I'm just not that excited about it, and therefore don't have much to say.

Have a great Friday!

Paper: Whisper White, Real Red, and More Mustard card stock by Stampin' Up; soft sky designer prints paper by Stampin' Up!
Accessories: turquoise and mustard vinyl flowers by American Crafts; red felt flower by American Crafts, chipboard letters by Heidi Swapp and American Crafts, silver brads by Stampin' Up!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fab Color Combo, Part 2

When I said I was in love with this color combo, I really meant it. These little notecards started off from the remains of yesterday's card. I had played around with cutting out the image and popping it up on a colored background, but for yesterday's card, I ended up liking the image better just stamped onto white. The cut-out version was way too cute to throw away, however, so I put together the first of these little 3x3 notecards. Next thing you know, I had a set of four.

I love these little notecards, by the way. They're like little appetizers to whet your creativity. Betcha can't stop with just one :)

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Garden Silhouettes, Fine Lace background
Paper: Basic Gray, Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery, Celery designer prints
Ink: Basic Gray
Accessories: Bashful Blue and Certainly Celery markers, "ice" circle rhinestone brads, dimensionals, paper piercer, edge distressing tool, sponge dauber, gray taffeta ribbon, word window punch, 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" circle punches, circle cutting system and scalloped scissors by Creative Memories

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fab Color Combo

Are you just dying over this color combo from SCS's weekly Color Combo challenge? I could not wait to get the kids to bed last night, so I could get down to my craft room and PLAY! I've always loved bashful blue and certainly celery together. The gray breathes new life into this trusty combo! What I like about the colors is that they can work equally well for something on the elegant side, or something funky and hip, or even something sweet and baby-themed. They'd be great colors for weddings and anniversaries, and equally great for sympathy. I can't think of many color combos that versatile.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Garden Silhouettes, Fine Lace background, Cute Converse
Paper: Basic Gray, Celery designer prints, Whisper White, Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery
Ink: Basic Gray
Accessories: Certainly Celery and Bashful Blue markers, gray taffeta ribbon, dimensionals, Ice circle rhinestone brads, various circle punches, sponge daubers, distressing tool, circle cutting system and scalloped scissors (Creative Memories)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Guava Butterfly

I wanted to play around a little more with the Pomegranate, Celery and Guava color combo I used on yesterday's card. I was also trying to play along with Jen del Muro's Sketch For You To Try from this past weekend, but I just couldn't make the tilted main image panel work on this card. Very frustrating since I fell on my face with her sketch from last week, too. I'm waiting to post that one until I can get my hands on the vomiting smiley I saw on Cammie's Blog. Too funny, even though her project in question was totally adorable!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Priceless
Ink: Groovy Guava, Purely Pomegranate, Certainly Celery, White craft
Paper: Whisper White, Groovy Guava, Purely Pomegranate, Celery designer prints
Accessories: crystal effects, glitter pen (Sakura), miniature flower punch (from Michael's), Groovy Guava double-stitched ribbon, ticket corner punch

Monday, November 26, 2007

Delighted in TexasGrammy

I'm loving SCS's Featured Stamper Challenge. I get to spend time discovering, or rediscovering, a talented stamp artist. And when it comes time to sit down and stamp, the hard part is already done so I don't have to think much. Makes for a quick and easy stamping Sunday!

This weeks's stamper is TexasGrammy, aka Beverly. Be sure to head over and take a peek at her awesome gallery. For the challenge, you get to pick a card to CASE, and then "make it yours" by changing at least two things. I chose this card from her gallery because it's delightful (sorry, couldn't resist!), and because it gave me a good reason to mount and use my free Delight in Life set from Sell-A-Bration way back in January.

I kept her layout and stamp set choice, and then made these changes:

1. slightly different colors
2. changed white stamped background to Groovy Guava
3. added two more cut out flowers
4. added faux stitching
5. added silver ribbon
6. added sparkle with Sakura glitter pen (you might have to click the photo for a close-up to see this... I traced over the sentiment and along the outlines of the flowers)

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Delight in Life, Canvas
Ink: Jet Black Staz-On, Certainly Celery, Purely Pomegranate, Groovy Guava, VersaMark, White craft
Paper: Purely Pomegranate, Certainly Celery, Whisper White, Groovy Guava, watercolor paper
Accessories: aqua painter, paper piercer, silver ribbon, white gel pen, key tag punch

Three Elves and Their Scrooge Mama

This is what I do at 1 in the morning! Sad :)

Three Elves
Scrooge Mama


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Penny Black Pine Cones

I noticed some questions about subscriptions and feeds from a few recent comments. I added a FeedBlitz subscription link, so feel free to sign up there if you like. I admit I don't know a lot about it, so if I messed up any existing feeds, I'm sorry!

I also saw the coolest thing the other day. If you haven't seen the spinning dancer optical illusion, check it out. Supposedly, if you see her spinning clockwise, then you are more right-brained; and if you see her spinning counter-clockwise, then you are more left-brained. Which way do you see her spinning? Or maybe you see both?

And now for some stamping ...

This is another possibility for my holiday cards this year. I've used a Penny Black Pine Cone stamp I found a year or two ago, and the layout is CASE'd from this super sleek card by Kristina Werner.

Once again (I hope I'm not in a rut), I colored the image with markers, then overstamped in VersaMark so I could clear emboss the whole thing. I've put a Happy Holidays greeting on it, but I think it would also work well for any occasion that requires a masculine card (even with the ribbon). Those masculine cards are always challenging little buggers. For me, anyway :)

Supplies (Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Pine Cone (Penny Black); Riveting, Canvas
Inks: Always Artichoke, VersaMark
Paper: Always Artichoke, Mellow Moss, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
Accessories: Always Artichoke and Chocolate Chip markers, clear embossing powder, paper piercer, sponge daubers, dimensionals, pewter jumbo eyelets, Crop-A-Dile, chocolate wide grosgrain ribbon, slot punch, 1/2", 1 1/4", and 1 3/8" circle punches

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mistletoe Do-Over

That whole mistletoe thing was buggin' me, so I got to playing around again. Better? Worse?

I like the pop of the white with red berries (see previous post), but I'm kinda leaning toward this one with the white berries, and here's why.

First, it really looks like mistletoe!

Second, in my blog wanderings yesterday (*see note below), I saw two cards that used something called liquid pearls. Did not know about that nifty little product! When I was putting together the Elegant Silhouette card yesterday, I was wishing I had miniature pearl beads to glue onto the scallops, but had to settle for the white gel pen. How much easier would the liquid pearls be (than beads, that is)? And now today for the mistletoe? How flippin' awesome would liquid pearls be for the berries?! Can't wait to get some and try it!

*About my blog wanderings yesterday ... Allison from Stampin' When I Can linked me up on her blog as her Inspiring Blog of the Week. I was so flattered. The cool thing was that a bunch of new people stopped by yesterday and left comments (thank you!), so I had the pleasure of checking out all their blogs, too. What fun!

Pretty much the same supplies as the previous post. I colored the berries with a white gel pen. It might be hard to see, but I also stamped the Linen background in River Rock on the River rock circle, then sponged the edges for a little dimension.

Christmas Card '07?

I finally felt motivated to start playing around with Christmas card designs. I am totally loving the square card lately. If I'm gonna have to increase postage for the thickness and even the weight, I might as well make it square while I'm at it, right? (I hope that doesn't make it triple postage!) I used a design from a fall card I made last month. It also looks a lot like the Mojo Monday sketch challenge on Poetic Artistry this week, except my image panel is circle instead of square. I wonder if I can still enter ...

I made my own background paper using the same stamp as the main image. First I stamped a time or two in Versamark, then a couple times in Vanilla ink for the Pomegranate base and White ink for the River Rock base (the Vanilla really didn't show up on the River Rock). I think I'll order a pack of the Holiday Harmony designer paper to speed things up a bit.

But here's the thing ... the image is supposed to be mistletoe, yes? And mistletoe berries are white, right? Which makes this card wrong, huh? Is there *anything* else the image could be, so that I can keep my red berries?

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!)
Stamps: Peaceful Wishes, Party Punch (hostess), French Script background
Inks: Always Artichoke, Purely Pomegranate, VersaMark, White craft, Vanilla craft
Paper: Always Artichoke, Purely Pomegranate, River Rock, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
Accessories: Rose Red, Always Artichoke, and Chocolate Chip markers; clear embossing powder; slot punch; pomegranate satin ribbon; 1 3/8" circle, 1/4" circle, and 1/2" circle punches; dimensionals; antique brass brads.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Elegant Silhouette

I had so much fun putting together this card for SCS's Sketch Challenge #151.

For the main image, since there isn't a Purely Pomegranate marker, I inked the whole image from the Purely Pomegranate pad, then used the brush tip of a Basic Black marker to color over the leaves and stems. After stamping, I used a stamp positioner to overstamp the image in VersaMark ink, so that I could clear emboss the whole thing. (Do not try this without a stamp positioner, LOL!) I like the shiny elegance it gives to the card.

For the background, I ran the black card stock through my Cuttlebug using the textile folder. Something about it was still too "plain" for the shiny main image, so I tried adding VersaMark ink to the raised portions (I used a brayer), so that I could clear emboss. It worked!

I also added one of the stick pins from the Pretties kit. Who knows if this is the "right" way to use this kit ... all I know is it was a shame to see that whole kit just sitting untouched since July, when it showed up in the new catalog and I *had* to have it! I'm saying "no" to hoarding :)

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!:
Stamps: Garden Silhouettes
Inks: Purely Pomegranate, VersaMark
Paper: Purely Pomegranate, Basic Black, Whisper White
Accessories: Basic Black marker, clear embossing powder, paper piercer, corner rounder (for scallops), white gel pen, pomegranate satin ribbon, word window punch, black brads, Pretties kit, Cuttlebug textile embossing folder

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanks to all of you who stop by my blog and for all the encouraging comments you leave. And to those of you with blogs, thank you for sharing your creativity and knowledge. You all are such an inspiration to me. Happy Thanksgiving! However you celebrate, I wish you a joy-filled day.

Supplies (Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Time Well Spent, Thanks by Heidi Swapp
Paper: Chocolate Chip, watercolor paper
Inks: Jet Black Staz-On, More Mustard, Really Rust, Ruby Red, VersaMark
Accessories: 5/8" Old Olive grosgrain ribbon, Clear Embossing Powder, Old Olive brad, dimensionals, glitter pen (by Sakura)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pink and Green Snowflakes

SCS's color challenge this week is Pretty In Pink, Wild Wasabi, and Whisper White, with added encouragement to make a holiday card. I wouldn't have thought to use these for a Christmas card, but I love how they turn out together. A great challenge!

I also used Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge #28.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!)
Stamps: Snow Burst, Designer Label, Snow Flurries
Ink: Wild Wasabi, Pretty In Pink, White craft
Paper: Wild Wasabi, Pretty In Pink, Whisper White
Accessories: Designer label punch, 1" circle punch, 1/2" circle punch, slot punch, ticket corner punch, Pretty in Pink brads, Wild Wasabi double-stitched ribbon, Cuttlebug Snowflakes embossing folder

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Is Less More?

One of my absolute favorite designers right now is Kristina Werner. She rocks! Her style is so lean and clean. Very minimalist. I compulsively check her blog to see what new stuff she's been working on, and everytime, without fail, I see a new project and my jaw drops. She takes "less is more" to a completely different level. Check out her work on her blog: kwernerdesignblog.

I'm usually into more layers, more embellishments, more "stuff," so I challenged myself to make something in the "less is more" style. I tried to stick with basic stamping and a few (hopefully) well-placed "extras," like the piercing, ribbon, glitter, and pop-dots.

Supplies (Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Time Well Spent
Inks: Jet-Black Staz-On, Certainly Celery, Apricot Appeal, Bashful Blue
Paper: Pretty In Pink, Whisper White, Watercolor paper
Accessories: aqua painter, dimensionals, apricot grosgrain ribbon, celery grosgrain ribbon, blue gingham ribbon, paper piercer; markers (Apricot Appeal, Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, and Pretty in Pink), glitter gel pen (by Sakura)

Oh, and here's something exciting. I'll have a card in the April 2008 issue of CARDS!

Monday, November 19, 2007

November Teacher Appreciation

This is what the teachers and staff at my son's elementary school will be receiving tomorrow from the PTO. I used Qbee's Peek-A-Boo box, which I discovered a few weeks ago in one of the Technique Lover's Challenges on SCS. Awesome little boxes, but sixty-four is a LOT to make!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Shapes & Shadows, All-Year Cheer (I, II, or III, not sure?)
Inks: Really Rust, More Mustard, Old Olive, Pumpkin Patch spectrum, Chocolate Chip
Paper: Very Vanilla, More Mustard, Old Olive, Really Rust
Accessories: acetate, 1 1/4" punch (for the inside), craft knife (on the inside), lots of M&Ms ;)

See my Halloween box here. And a whole bunch more here. Get the pattern and instructions here.

Last month's PTO teacher gift was a Halloween sour cream box.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Featured Stamper: Papermoon04

Today's Featured Stamper on SCS is Papermoon04. I've admired all the creations in her gallery for a while now, so it was fun to spend the extra time looking through her gallery and picking something to CASE. I chose this card of hers because it uses so many of my favorites: flower stamps from Petal Prints, the "Textile" cuttlebug embossing folder, and a great (and timely) sentiment that is part of the Happy Harmony stamp set.

The changes I made are:
1. color scheme
2. used the Designer Label punch behind the sentiment
3. used two word window punched strips in place of the three brads on the main image panel.

The elements I kept:
1. layout
2. embossed background
3. stamps

Stamps: Petal Prints, Happy Harmony
Inks: Purely Pomegranate, Chocolate Chip, River Rock
Paper: Purely Pomegranate, Chocolate Chip, River Rock, Very Vanilla
Accessories: word window punch, vintage brads, designer label punch, 1" circle punch, pomegranate satin ribbon, Cuttlebug "textile" embossing folder

Inspired By ...

I've been following along with the weekly Inspiration Challenges on Splitcoast, and was finally inspired to jump in and participate. Each week you get an image of a little something that you're to use as inspiration. Yesterday's piece was a beautiful jacket from Coldwater Creek.

I used my new stamp set Time Well Spent, which all active demonstrators just received FREE from Stampin' Up! Gotta love that. Watch for it in the upcoming Spring/Summer Collection, the new catalog that will be available January 1. It's a Level 3 hostess set. Wow! Thank you Stampin' Up!

Stamps: Time Well Spent
Paper: Certainly Celery, Basic Black, Whisper White
Inks: Jet Black Staz-On
Accessories: Taken with Teal, Certainly Celery, Pink Passion and Lovely Lilac markers; ticket corner punch, 1/8" circle punch, dimensionals, glitter gel pen (Sakura)

Friday, November 16, 2007

On Second Thought ...

I really couldn't sign off tonight with a post about braces. I put this together for today's Ways To Use It Challenge on SCS. The challenge was to use a "unique" brad. Something other than the ubiquitous little mini-brads.

I found the decorative metal brad in my "Metallics" drawer. (My embellishments are organized by color, a la Stacy Julian and Big Picture Scrapbooking. It is a FANTASTIC system!)

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Doodle This, Happy Everything
Inks: Jet Black Staz-On, Certainly Celery, Apricot Appeal
Paper: Whisper White, Watercolor paper, Basic Black, Certainly Celery, Apricot Appeal
Accessories: brad (Making Memories?), aqua painter, paper piercer

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Brace Yourself

This morning, I had the joy of getting braces on my teeth. I'm too old for this. I'm in my upper 30s, for crying out loud. "Upper 30s," who am I kidding? Any higher up and I'll be out of the 30s altogether :D

Just wanted to post to say I likely won't have a project to show today, as it's already 9 pm and I'm still brushing and flossing my lunch out of my brackets. The crazy thing is ... my teeth are straight already. But tipped. I think it's called "lingual version with a deep bite."

I think it's called "mid-life crisis," Amy Sheffer variety. Cheaper than a fancy sports car; less painful than liposuction ;)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wild + Soft = Delicious

A few weeks ago, I saw a beautiful gift card holder on Inkin' It Up, the website of the fabulously talented Kendra Giles. Her color combo, Wild Wasabi and Soft Sky, was so delicious and unexpected.

Here's my take:

Supplies (Stampin' Up!, unless otherwise noted):
Doodle This, Sincere Salutations, Linen
Inks: Jet Black Staz-On, Wild Wasabi, Soft Sky
Paper: Watercolor paper, Basic Black, Wild Wasabi, Soft Sky
Accessories: aqua painter, sponge dauber, crystal effects, black polka dot ribbon (manufacturer unknown, got it at Michael's), dimensionals

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Almost Forgot ...

... to make a Happy Anniversary card for my husband. (I didn't forget the anniversary part, just the card part!)

So here's to my awesome spud, er, I mean, stud -- congratulations on fourteen years of marriage today!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Stew Pot Pals (retired), Canvas, Itty Bitty Backgrounds
Ink: Basic Black, Basic Gray, Creamy Caramel, River Rock, Mellow Moss, Regal Rose
Paper: Basic Black, Basic Gray, River Rock, Mellow Moss, Watercolor (140 lb cold press)
Accessories: aqua painter, paper piercer, pewter jumbo eyelets, crop-a-dile, dimensionals

Credits: A few weeks ago, there was a color combo challenge on Splitcoast -- river rock, basic gray, and basic black. Until then, I saw no reason to have yet another neutral, especially not gray. But when I saw all the wonderful creations with this combo, I was itching to play, too, and I knew Basic Gray was going to find its way into my craft room. I absolutely love it!

Letters to My Daughter

It's been more than a week since my daughter's fourth birthday, so I figured I ought to go ahead and write her annual birthday letter before I forget. I try to do this for each child each year around their birthday. That way even if I get no scrapbooking done at all (unlikely), I'll at least have the annual letter covering the year's high points.

I got most of the idea for this project way back a long time ago in Splitcoast's Fan Club gallery. In September 2004, "Dirty Girl" Melanie Muenchinger (melmel on SCS), posted something very similar. (Sorry, I can't include a link to it, because the Fan Club is for SCS members who support the site with a small annual donation. If you're a Fan Club member, check it out. If you're not, subscribe! :D)

Melanie got the idea from another home party company that focuses on preserving heritage. The concept is that you write the child a letter each year on his or her birthday, then shortly before the 21st birthday, you begin giving him or her the letters, one at a time, ending with the final letter at 21.

Now the birthday letter idea wasn't new to me, but the whole "packaging" part was. I know myself well enough to realize I'll have a much better chance of being a faithful letter writer if I have a pretty little box and matching cards. Melanie's execution of the concept was absolutely phenomenal, and it stuck in my head and rattled around for a year before I did anything with it. Then, a couple of years ago, when the altered lunch tin was so hot, I knew it was the perfect container for this project, and I was finally inspired to make one.

I heeded Melanie's advice not to make it too babyish, since my daughter will be an adult when she gets the letters. I figured I couldn't go wrong with florals, but I still didn't want the traditional pinks and purples. Blue and black might seem like an odd choice for a girl and for flowers, but I really like how it came together.

The biggest change I'll probably make is to keep writing letters into their adult years, or at the very least, wait until well past 21 before I hand them over. Sorry, I just don't think most 21-year-olds have the maturity to know the value of something like this! Maybe I'll give them their letters after they have children of their own.

The biggest fear I have is that this will be "ugly" in another 15-20 years! You know, like the avocado appliances of the 70s? Most of my stamping projects from as little ago as two or three years, even those that were my absolute favorite, now seem dated. I have considered just making something "current" each year. That way the cards can grow and change with the child. And I may still do that. It's just that for now, I don't want the whole "first I've gotta make a card" to be yet another reason to procrastinate at letter-writing time :) Know thyself ... ;)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy today's project, even if I am posting something from two years ago!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up, unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Looks Like Spring
Inks: Bashful Blue, Basic Black, Barely Banana
Paper: Bashful Blue, Basic Black, Barely Banana, Whisper White
Accessories: black gingham ribbon, Spring Bouquet punch, lunch tin (from Provo Craft)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Long-Time Friend Sketch X2

I finally broke out Long-Time Friend, one of those stamp sets I just had to have when it was available. I'm still in love with it, especially now that I've used it.

This first card uses Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge #27:

The second card uses Jen del Muro's Sketch For You To Try:

And the third is just me doing my own thing. Yea, I do that, too, from time to time ;) Betcha were wondering with all these sketch challenges.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Long-Time Friend, Weathered (background), Canvas (background)
Paper: Mellow Moss, Elegant Eggplant, Basic Gray, Watercolor (140 lb cold-press)
Inks: Mellow Moss, Elegant Eggplant, Basic Gray, Black Staz-On, Lavender Lace, Really Rust, Close to Cocoa, Regal Rose, Always Artichoke
Accessories: gray taffeta ribbon, pewter brads, pewter hodgepodge hardware, paper piercer, photo corner punch, stamping sponges, sponge daubers, dimensionals