Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dreaming of Bali

I love the Live Your Dream images with the bright colors of the Bali Breeze designer paper. I know I've used this combo a lot, but I can't help myself -- I can almost feel summer with this card!

Stamps: Live Your Dream, Amazing to Zany
Paper: Purely Pomegranate, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White, Bali Breeze dp
Ink: Purely Pomegranate, Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive, Tempting Turquoise
Accessories: dimensionals, corner rounder, 1/2" circle punch, purely pomegranate double-stitched ribbon
All supplies by Stampin' Up.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

So Happy For Kate

A good friend of mine just had her fourth child last week. Her first three are boys, so we're all just thrilled for her that she had a GIRL!

I've used a different color combo on this one. It comes from a long-forgotten package of Maya Road fibers that my youngest (11 months) found while he was 'exploring' my drawer of orange embellishments.

The layout comes from Jen del Muro's weekly Sketch for You to Try. Be sure to check out i{heart}2stamp to see the sketch, Jen's sample, and guest designer Joanne Basile's sample. Then head over to see what Carole, Shannan, and Susan cooked up with this sketch. When you're ready to play along, remember to use keyword SFYTT if you upload to SCS. That way we can all hang out together at the same playground.

Have a great weekend!

Stamps: Nursery Necessities
Paper: Perfect Plum, So Saffron, Groovy Guava
Ink: Groovy Guava, Perfect Plum
Accessories: Groovy Guava double-stitched ribbon, small oval punch, bigger brads (by Close to My Heart), Swiss Dots cuttlebug folder (by Provo Craft), corner rounder, classic and scalloped circle nestabilities (by Spellbinders), dimensionals, three for you punch, spring bouquet punch, pretties kit
Supplies by Stampin' Up unless otherwise noted.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Speed Scrapbooking

I've been a little quiet for a few days. While I was away, I learned a hard lesson - four days isn't enough time to prepare an Artisan Award entry. LOL! I tried, I really did ... begged, borrowed and stole every spare moment and then some, stayed up way too late, but in the end, it just didn't come together. If I only had another day or two, but whose fault for waiting until the last minute?! I'm a little disappointed in myself that I'm not giving it a shot, but hopefully there will be more chances to enter in future years. And no matter what, it will still be the Stampin' Up award highest up on my "watch list." Good luck to those who entered!

As I was attempting to put together some projects for the contest, I was reminded of a speed scrapbooking strategy I adopted a few years ago, but forgot somewhere along the way. Whenever I used to make a card I was really happy with, I would immediately make a coordinating scrapbook page. The supplies were already out, the concept was already executed, all I had to do was adapt everything to a larger canvas. I got a lot of pages done that way!

Today's project was my attempt to remake this card into a scrapbook page. I love this picture of my mom holding my sleeping daughter. It's not a particularly great photo, but it's one that resonates with me on an emotional level. Photos of quiet moments like this don't need a whole lot of description, so instead of journaling, I went with this quote: "A garden of love grows in a grandmother's heart."

Stamps: From the Garden, Print Pattern, All Holidays
Paper: Always Artichoke, Soft Sky, Chocoalte Chip, Whisper White, So Saffron
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Always Artichoke, Soft Sky, So Saffron
Accessories: aged copper hodgepodge hardware, soft sky double-stitched ribbon, corner rounder (for scallops), sewing machine, paper piercer, edge distressor, aqua painter, 1" circle punch

All supplies by Stampin' Up!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

For You

Whatever will we do in July when we lose Soft Sky to the Stampin' Up graveyard? I shudder to think.

I wasn't quite ready to put away the Sage Shadow/Soft Sky/Basic Gray color combo from Saturday's inspiration challenge without making at least one more project. I also liked the combination of textile and swiss dots Cuttlebug folders on Sunday's card, and wanted to see if I could get a similar look using only Stampin' Up supplies. The Sage Shadow background is stamped in white craft ink using the Stitched background, and the Soft Sky background is stamped in white with the Polka Dot background. To add a little texture, I used the crop-a-dile to emboss over each dot on the Soft Sky background piece. I've found that I need to use a really light touch when doing this or it leaves small wrinkles and creases on the card stock.

I used glue dots to secure the bookplate to the background, so that I could add two decorative half pearls from the Pretties kit in place of the usual brads. The bottom flower from the Pretties kit is lightly dyed with Soft Sky using a reinker and aqua painter.

I've been doing a lot of sponging, distressing, and layering on my cards lately, so this was a welcome change of pace. I hope you enjoy!

Stamps: All Holidays, Stitched, Polka Dot
Paper: Sage Shadow, Basic Gray, Soft Sky, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Gray, White craft
Accessories: corner rounder, 1/16" circle punch, gray taffeta ribbon, Crop-A-Dile, Pretties kit, aqua painter, paper piercer, Styled Silver hodgepodge hardware, paper piercer
All supplies by Stampin' Up!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Blog Candy Winner!

Wow, what a ride these last few days! I'm slowly working my way through all of the Featured Stamper uploads from yesterday. So far I've only left comments on the first 25 or so, but I'm loving what I see. And somewhere along the way I even evolved from a Polyshrink Goddess to an Insane Embellisher. (That's important, ya know? :P I love me some silly little titles, lol!)

Seriously, can I tell you that yesterday ended up being a kind of emotional day for me? All that niceness, all in one place, all at the same time ... well it kinda gets to a girl ... sniff, sniff.

But no more of this nonsense, ya hear? Today, it's all about:
~~Joelle Arndt~~!
Congratulations Joelle, with comment #49, you're the winner of my blog candy celebration! Please email me, so I can get the goodies out to you. My email link is over on the right sidebar, just under my pic.

A big THANKS to everyone who commented! I wasn't fishing for compliments when I asked for feedback on this blog, but I certainly do thank you for them. I had a theory about SU vs non-SU that I was interested in proving or disproving, (I was able to do neither), and I was really curious if my usual "formula" (cards, more cards, lots of sketches, and tons of challenges) was getting boring. I plan to go back through and re-read the suggestions that came in, but one that I implemented right away was to add a category/tag for cuttlebug. Great idea, Susie P, and now fellow CB addicts can find all my bugged projects under that category. There are 24 in there already!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

I'm late with this card, but may the rest of your day be blessed!

Stamps: Easter Elegance (Verve Visual)
Paper: Basic Gray, Sage Shadow, Soft Sky, Very Vanilla
Ink: Basic Gray
Accessories: textile and swiss dots Cuttlebug folders, dimensionals, ticket corner punch, corner rounder, gray taffeta ribbon, robin's nest dew drops
Note: My take on yesterday's SCS Inspiration Challenge.

An Embarrassment of Riches

I found out in the wee hours this morning that I'm today's Featured Stamper on SCS. I was already on a high this week from lots of other good news, so my first feeling was actually one of embarrassment at my good fortune. I'm also not comfortable being in the spotlight, so I'd like to express my most heartfelt thanks for all the words of encouragement and just leave it at that. I am truly humbled and grateful.

[Note: For anyone not familiar with the Featured Stamper challenge, each Sunday the challenge host selects an SCS member's gallery to feature. Anyone wanting to play chooses a card from the featured stamper's gallery to CASE (copy), changes at least two things from the original, and then identifies those changes when they post.]

I hope to post an Easter card later today if I have time to finish it, but for now, I couldn't wait to upload another card using the Light of the World set from Our Daily Bread Designs. I used this past week's SCS sketch challenge to make this and I really like how it turned out. I used a combination of Stampin' Up's Outlaw designer papers, which might seem like an odd choice for a religious card, but I'm hoping that the subtle stars on the dark brown piece conjure up a nautical feel and not a sheriff's department ;)

Remember, I'm giving away one of these stamp sets courtesy of Kelley Holland, owner of Our Daily Bread Designs!! But time is running out. Go to this post to enter. Deadline is tomorrow, 9 am.

Here's a look at the full set:

Last, if you're still with me, and in case I don't get back later with the Easter card ... Happy Easter to all!

Stamps: Light of the World (Our Daily Bread Designs)
Paper: Creamy Caramel, Outlaw dp, Really Rust, Very Vanilla

Ink: Chocolate Chip
Accessories: pewter jumbo eyelets, pewter hodgepodge hardware, chocolate wide grosgrain, sponge daubers
Stamps by Our Daily Bread Designs. All other supplies by Stampin' Up!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Birthday SFYTT

Here's a first: Today's card uses more non-SU product than it does SU product! How'd that happen? Now before you rush off to unsubscribe (you wouldn't, would you?) it's not likely to happen again very soon. I'm way too much of an SU girl to stray too far for too long :) I love JanTink's term: rubbah-dultery!

I used Jen del Muro's weekly Sketch for You to Try. Isn't it a fun one? Check out i{heart}2stamp to see the sketch, Jen's sample, and guest designer Joanne Basile's sample. Then be sure to visit Carole, Shannan, and Susan to see what they came up with using the sketch. Ready to play too? Use keyword SFYTT if you upload to SCS so we can all find each other's projects more easily.

The happy colors came from the patterned paper, which I believe is Bohemia/Barefoot by My Mind's Eye. For the scalloped circle behind the bird, I used nestabilities to cut both the scallooped circle and the inside circle from a Ruby Red scrap. The smaller circle die fits right inside the larger scalloped die, so you can make both cuts in only one pass through the Cuttlebug. I stamped the inside circle with the Linen background stamp using White craft ink then very heavily sponged the edges before sticking it back inside the scalloped outer ring. The bird and the sentiment strips are covered with crystal effects for some shine. The dry embossing is done with the newish Perfectly Paisley cuttlebug folder. I did a double mat in Ruby Red for the card base, with the inner layer heavily sponged just like the nestabilities inside circle.

Stamps: Anniversary Birds (by Verve Visual); Linen background and All Holidays (Stampin' Up)
Paper: Ruby Red, Certainly Celery, Stamper's Select White (Papertrey), dp (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Ruby Red, Certainly Celery, Palette Noir
Accessories: crystal effects, aqua painter, classic and scalloped circle nestabilities (Spellbinders), 1/4" circle punch, Ruby Red brads, corner rounder, dimensionals, Perfectly Paisley cuttlebug folder (Provo Craft), sponge daubers

Friday, March 21, 2008

Light of the World

My oldest son came down with one of those icky stomach bugs, so we had to postpone our trip to Baltimore for a few weeks. The good news is the time I spent on extra laundry and steam cleaning carpets was rewarded with a little bit of unexpected stamping time last night and today.

The first stamp release from Our Daily Bread Designs, called Light of the World, came yesterday. This card didn't turn out exactly like the vision in my head (which was a little too big for my stamping ability!), but I do still like it. I had not done one of the shadow box cards before. I also tried a new-to-me technique, which is the salted background. SCS has some great tutorials on both. The links will take you right to those tutorials. For the salted background, I painted watercolor paper with Night of Navy and Bordering Blue reinkers, sprinkled with table salt, spritzed with water, and then dried it with a heat tool. I brushed off the dried up salt before stamping the Bible verse in Jet Black Staz-On. I drew inspiration for my card from this card that Laurie Schmidlin made using the same stamp set.

Tip: I cut my ovals with the Creative Memories cutting system. This cutting system (and most, it seems) only cuts mats in 1/8" increments. I much prefer the narrower 1/16" increment. I read this little tip on someone's blog several months ago (I wish I could remember whose so I could give credit). In this case, where you're cutting out a hole, cut your two inside layers the same size (if you're not cutting out a frame, but matting an image instead, you'll cut your two outside layers the same size). For the middle layer (white here) use scissors to trim away just a tiny amount. Of course, it will be uneven when it is hand-cut, so take the edge distresser and rough it up a bit. Now it's supposed to be messy, so the unevenness isn't a problem.

So, this is my first-ever offical design team creation. Isn't that fun?

Now, last but not least, would you like to win this stamp set? Check out the blog candy celebration, which is in the post right below!

Stamps: Light of the World (by Our Daily Bread Designs)
Paper: watercolor paper, Night of Navy, Bordering Blue, Whisper White
Ink: Night of Navy, Bordering Blue, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa, So Saffron, Always Artichoke, Jet Black Staz-On
Accessories: aqua painter, table salt, water spritzer, paper piercer, sponge daubers, distressing tool, silver brads, corner rounder punch, pretties kit, three for you punch, 1/4" punch

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blog Candy Celebration!

I promised a blog candy celebration and here it is! I have so much to be thankful for right now. Let me share:

- My first-ever published project is in the April issue of CARDS, which is now available!

- I passed 50,000 hits!

- I have joined the design team for another new stamp company called Our Daily Bread Designs, which just opened its virtual doors on Monday! Our Daily Bread Designs features stamps with Christian images and Scripture. I love the first release and am so excited to be a part of this company!

To celebrate these successes, I'm putting together some blog candy. It will include the new Light of the World stamp set from Our Daily Bread Designs, a copy of the April issue of CARDS, a Swiss Dots Cuttlebug embossing folder (my current favorite), and a package of those Dew Drop-style clear baubles from Michael's (I'm getting some comments that not all Michael's have them). [Update: I forgot to include yesterday that the stamp set is compliments of Kelley Holland, owner of Our Daily Bread Designs. Wasn't that generous of her?! ]

All you have to do to enter (US & Canada only, please) is leave a comment on this post telling me what you like or don't like about Pickled Paper Designs and if there's something in particular you'd like to see on here in the future (challenges? sketches? detailed instructions? more SU? less SU? scrapbooking? more chit chat? less? or anything else you can think of ... you get the picture!)

I will draw a random winner on Monday morning, March 24 (not April 24--thanks Wendy, for catching that mistake!). Blog candy closes at 9 am. I'll post a winner sometime after that!

Thanks SO much for visiting! I have truly enjoyed being a part of this fantastic online stamping community these last five months!

Happy Easter - Verve Style

When I saw this week's SCS color challenge, my first thought was "I don't 'do' orchid." I don't. It's probably my second least favorite color (after Yo Yo). But I gave it a go anyway. I actually think these weird color challenges are my favorite challenges of all because at the end (if I'm lucky), I surprise myself and actually manage to put together something I like. It always gives me a good laugh. Like right now. This crazy color cocktail turned out okay after all! What do you know, I do 'do' orchid! (Not to be confused with doodoo, which is how I really feel about this color - still ;) )

I'm off tomorrow morning for a few days in Baltimore with the family, so this is probably my last card until Saturday's Sketch for You To Try sample. Woo hoo for blogger in draft -- I've already got my post scheduled to publish on Saturday morning, 8 am.

Check back later today for some blog candy to celebrate a bunch of things, including 50K hits! I'm very close!

Stamps: Easter Elegance (Verve Visual); Polka Dots
and Stitched backgrounds (SU)

Paper: Orchid Opulence, Sage Shadow,
Basic Black, Creamy Caramel, Papertrey White

Ink: Orchid Opulence, Sage Shadow, Creamy Caramel,
Palette Noir, white craft

Accessories: aqua painter, dimensionals, corner rounder, white gel pen, paper piercer, word window punch, key tag punch
All supplies by Stampin' Up except where otherwise identified.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Seventh Birthday

I made this quick one for my son to take to his friend's birthday party. I liked all the numbers on the background paper, but then I ended up tilting the image and covering up the only "7." Oh well, I think the seven birthday candles squeezed onto that cupcake covers it.

Stamps: Big Bold Birthday
Paper: Oh Baby! Boy dp (Basic Grey), Pumpkin Pie, Brocade Blue, Old Olive
Ink: Brocade Blue, Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Summer Sun
Accessories: sponge daubers, distressing tool, paper piercer, spiral punch

Monday, March 17, 2008

H&M Stamps

I'm proud to say I'm on the design team for a new stamp company called H&M Stamps. Look for the official launch on May 10. This will be my first experience as a design team member -- I'm looking forward to it! I'll have more information to share as the launch date gets closer. In the meantime, visit owner Heather Rolin's blog to meet the rest of the design team and to find out how YOU can be a guest designer. Fun stuff!

Late Mojo 28

Yippee, new stamps are in the house! A Verve Visual order and freebie arrived on Saturday and I couldn't wait to play. I paired this image from Verve's Serenity set with the blue and green papers out of Stampin' Up's Afternoon Tea paper series. I also used Julee Tilman's Mojo 28 sketch for this one.

For the stamped image, I inked in Soft Sky, then sponged on some Blue Bayou before stamping. Still getting a feel for these photopolymer stamps, so the sentiment is a little sloppy - sorry (again)! How many times will I offer up this same lame apology before I master these little guys?

Look for a few more cards this week with Verve sets (I also got the Spring Launch pack, which is the three newest sets for only $45). I'm excited about some of these Verve sets, as well as my Everyday Blessings set from Papertrey, because they have scripture stamps mixed in. The owner of the store where yes, I finally did begin selling cards (last week, not last month as expected) is encouraging me to approach a local Christian book store about selling cards. Before I go in, I'm hoping to beef up the inspirational/religious component of my portfolio, and these stamps are perfect!

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: Serenity (Verve Visual)
Paper: Wild Wasabi, Blue Bayou, Afternoon Tea dp, Whisper White

Ink: Soft Sky, Blue Bayou
Accessories: scalloped scissors (Creative Memories), slot punch, Blue Bayou double-stitched ribbon, silver brads, 1 1/4" circle punch, ticket corner punch, sponge daubers, dimensionals

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Garden of Color

I had so much fun watercoloring this huge flower called "From the Garden" (current Stampin' Up hostess choice). It's a big image, so it takes a while to color, but what an impact it makes! The layout comes from Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge #39.

Stamps: From the Garden, All Holidays, Linen
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Always Artichoke, Soft Sky, watercolor paper
Ink: So Saffron, More Mustard, Apricot Appeal, Bravo Burgundy, Close to Cocoa, Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: aged copper hodgepodge hardware, Soft Sky double-stitched ribbon, distressing tool, aqua painter, sewing machine, corner rounder, sponge daubers, diamonds in the rough embossing folder (Cuttlebug), 1" circle punch
All supplies by Stampin' Up unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A One of a Kind Sketch

Jen del Muro's "Sketch for You to Try" this week is an unusual one, but so fun! Be sure to check out i{heart}2stamp to see the sketch, Jen's sample, and guest designer Joanne Basile's sample, then head over to Carole's blog, Shannan's blog, and Susan's blog to see their interpretations. If you upload to SCS, remember to include keyword "SFYTT" so we can see all the creations in one place.

Stamps: One of a Kind, Celebrate Everything
Paper: Old Olive, Not Quite Navy, Whisper White
Ink: Old Olive, Not Quite Navy, Purely Pomegranate, Summer Sun
Accessories: pewter hodgepodge hardware, 1/4" circle punch, aqua painter, classic circle nestabilities, distressing tool, yellow/gold grosgrain ribbon (I think this particular color is no longer available from Stampin' Up, maybe it was called maize? anyone know?), felt fusion flowers, small oval punch, swiss dots cuttlebug folder, sewing machine

One More Tag

Christyne Kane (coconutmuffn on SCS) nominated me for the You Make My Day award. Thanks, Christyne! I only recently discovered her fantastic blog, Stampin' With Sugar, from her link on a comment she left. What a treasure ... she's got some serious talent!

I'm breaking the rules, but I'm only going to pay it forward to three bloggers this time:

June made my day with her her courageous, passionate, thoughtful, and educated post about the link between autism and vaccinations

Pam made my day when she shared an essay on her birthday called The Gift of Age (sorry, she doesn't know who the original author is). I turn 40 this year, and even though I KNOW that's NOT old, I sure have been thinking about age. I also had a neighbor who left this life way too soon earlier this week, so I've been thinking and reflecting a lot on LIFE this week, too.

Last (gotta end on a happy note), Leigh made my day (and almost made me PIMP) with her outrageously funny riot of a post. Not for the weak of stomach, LOL!

Think, reflect, enjoy, laugh, and love life this weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bright Birthday - Triple Inspired

Today's card is for yesterday's sketch challenge on Splitcoast and was inspired by this total beauty that Diane Gilbert (SCS name: DJLoves2Stamp) created recently for one of Beate's new inspiration challenges. The row of flowers was inspired by the buttons in this cutie by Karen Giron. Thanks, then, to Diane, Beate, and Karen for the inspiration on this one.

Stamps: So Many Scallops, Stitched
Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White, Old Olive
Ink: White craft; Old Olive, Rose Red, Pumpkin Pie markers
Accessories: scallop punch, 1/16" punch, slit punch, paper piercer, dimensionals, felt fusion flowers, silver brads

All supplies by Stampin' Up.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kind Thoughts

Lovin' this week's color challenge on SCS: Purely Pomegranate, Basic Gray, Basic Black. I stamped the large swirly, flourishy image in Palette Noir on Whisper White, then colored in using an aqua painter and the Purely Pomegranate reinker. I deliberately tried to color some of the areas darker and some lighter to create a little interest. A warning, though ... don't look too closely at my coloring ... this image requires a steadier hand (or better eyes) than I have! To create some sparkle, I went over the flourish, the butterflies, and the photo corners with a clear Spica pen.

Thanks for stopping by. There have been so many wonderful comments in the past week or two especially. Some of them are kind and touching, some encouraging, some pee in the pants funny. I appreciate each one! I never imagined when I started this blog a few months ago how much I would enjoy the camaraderie with so many other stampers across the country, even the world. Just want you to know how much I appreciate you!

Stamps: Kind Thoughts, Stitched
Paper: Basic Gray, Basic Black, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black, Purely Pomegranate, White craft
Accessories: dimensionals, clear Spica, aqua painter, Michael's baubles, photo corner punch, pomegranate satin ribbon, black ribbon (source unknown), sponge daubers
Supplies Stampin' Up unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tagged and I Won!

Oh my goodness! I forgot to add to my post this morning that I won Julee Tilman's Mojo Madness Contest (you know how much I wanted to!), along with Bobbi G! Thank you, Julee (and Shannan, who was enlisted to help judge). It's quite an honor. Go check out her slideshow of all the entries. Talk about some mojo!

Also, I was tagged recently by my friend June (I think I'm the Amy she listed??) and by Sara (sorry, Sara, I don't know how you get the umlaut over the "a" - but I do know what an umlaut is, lol!). Check out their blogs for some fabulous eye candy!

I'm supposed to list 7 random or weird facts about myself. Here goes:

1. I have an equal opportunity sweet tooth. Godiva or Laffy Taffy ... doesn't matter.

2. I am a classically trained pianist. I've worked hard to be able to play fairly well, but have very little actual talent. I wish it were different, but it's true. The romantics, especially Rachmaninoff and Chopin, are my faves.

3. I watch almost no television. I decided a few years ago it was a total waste of time, and I haven't really missed it. Not too much anyway. But it does make me a little bit pop culturally illiterate. My husband and I usually have one show we watch together, kind of our "date night." It used to be Survivor; now it's American Idol. I do make an exception for March Madness ;)

4. My absolute favorite edible is the first home-grown, vine-ripened tomato of the summer, eaten like an apple right off the vine, still warm from its day in the sun.

5. My twin sister and I would get so angry as toddlers that we would hold our breath until we passed out. It didn't harm us, but we did go through a lot of babysitters.

6. It seems I have a large head. I had to order the largest graduation cap available in high school. I don't remember having that problem in college. Must have been all those brain cells I killed along the way ;)

7. I've had two unmedicated childbirths, both fast and furious. My oldest was born 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital. My middle, 15 minutes. My youngest was born after an induction and epidural. It was glorious!

And, if they haven't played already, I'm tagging Cori, Diane, Flossie, Karen, Marti, Pascale, and Sue (and anyone else who wants to play)!

And last, the rules:
• Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
• Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog, we all want to know them.
• Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
• Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Faux Cloisonne'

I have to confess, I'm not much of a technique challenge junkie. For me, a technique can too often hijack my whole design process, and then basic design principles -- composition, color, balance -- take a back seat or get dropped altogether in the name of the almighty technique.

For that reason, I tend to pass on most technique challenges. Late last night, though, I took a peek at this week's SCS technique challenge -- faux cloisonne. It looked interesting, I tried it, and I was able to whip out a card with it in record time. Pretty cool.

Basically, what you do is stamp an open image onto a magazine photo and then gold emboss that image. I stamped the cross over a stone fireplace from a home decor magazine. The SCS gallery has lots of projects where the image is much larger, so you can get a better idea of the possibilities with this technique.

I was a little heavy handed with my stamping (I still struggle to get the right touch with the photopolymer stamps), so some of the swirly details of the cross turned into gold blobs ... I'm looking for another magazine image with similar colors so I can re-do that cross. In the meantime, sorry!

Stamps: Everyday Blessings (Papertrey Ink)
Paper: Stamper's Select White (Papertrey), dp ("Chocolate Small Leaf" by Sandy Lion and "Bronze Jewel Metallic" by The Paper Company, Shimmery White (Stampin' Up)
Ink: Versamark
Accessories: 'textile' cuttlebug embossing folder (Provo Craft); gold embossing powder, gold cord, dimensionals (Stampin' Up)
Size: 5" square

Monday, March 10, 2008

Thinking of Paris ..

... Paris Otremba, yesterday's SCS Featured Stamper. What fun discovering her fantastic gallery! A real treat! For the challenge (CASE a card, but make at least two changes), I chose to CASE this card.

I kept the layout with the layered and mixed dp, but changed the dp and the stamp. I left off the ribbon and cut-out accents on the main image panel, as well as the brads in the four corners, then added some piercing and two half pearls along the bottom of the green block of dp. I also changed the main image panel from a circle to a square. Last, I went over the stamped image with a clear Spica for a little shimmer.

Stamps: Live Your Dream, Three for You (sentiment)
Paper: Groovy Guava, Afternoon Tea dp, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
Ink: Groovy Guava, Chocolate Chip, Garden Green (marker)
Accessories: sponge daubers, pretties kit, paper piercer, classic and scalloped circle nestabilities (by Spellbinder), slot punch, 5/8" chocolate grosgrain, Groovy Guava double-stitched ribbon, clear spica

All supplies by Stampin' Up unless otherwise noted.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Birthday Mojo

I'm entering a second card into Julee Tilman's Mojo Madness Contest (how much would I love a free Verve set?!!) I went with masculine colors and embellishments on this one ... hardware, twill, brown/blues.

For the "belt" below the cupcake, I used an older, but such fun technique called faux suede. Super easy! What you do is rumple and crumple your paper until it's soft and pliable. This breaks down the fibers in the paper and you'll begin to see the front and the back separating from each other. Gently pull them apart, and the inside will look like suede.

I inked the cupcake bottom and the frosting part in the lighter color first (Close to Cocoa/Soft Sky), sponged the darker color around the perimeter (Chocolate Chip/Blue Bayou), then stamped, trimmed and adhered with dimensionals.

Stamps: Big Bold Birthday
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, Whisper White, Barely Banana
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, So Saffron
Accessories: sponge daubers, pewter hodgepodge hardware kit, twill, paper piercer, dimensionals, happy birthday cuttlebug embossing folder

Saturday, March 8, 2008

It's SFYTT Time

It's Saturday already, and time for another Jen del Muro "Sketch for You to Try." Be sure to visit i{heart}2stamp to see the sketch, Jen's sample, and guest designer Joanne Basile's sample. Then head over to see what Carole, Shannan, and Susan have put together. If you upload to SCS, remember to use keyword SFYTT, so everyone can see all the projects in one place.

The chick stamp is the same one I used a couple days ago to make my line-dancing chicks. It came from the Michael's dollar bin. I think it's just too adorable! I used circle nestabilities for the focal point image (Jen's sketch shows an oval, by the way). The ribbon slide comes from the new Styled Silver hodgepodge hardware kit. I dotted a circle of liquid pearls onto the slide to go along with the pearls elsewhere on the card (which come from the Pretties kit). The flowers are from the Heavenly line by Prima. For the centers of each flower, I used a decorative brad (again from the Styled Silver HPH kit) topped with a half pearl.

Stamps: Chick (Studio G, Michael's $1 bin)
Paper: Certainly Celery, Regal Rose, stamper's select white (by Papertrey), dp from the Delightful simply scrappin kit (I think it was one of last year's Sell-A-Bration selections?)
Ink: Summer Sun, Really Rust, Soft Sky
Accessories: Pretties kit, Styled Silver hodgepodge hardware kit, classic and scalloped circle nestabilities (by Spellbinders), aqua painter, dimensionals, scallop scissors (by Creative Memories), rose 1/4" grosgrain, celery 5/8" grosgrain

One of A Kind

A few online/SCS friends and I gave ourselves a challenge. One of the gals picked the color scheme (Buckaroo Blue, Cranberry Crisp, and Close to Cocoa), and we collectively opted for Julee Tilman's Mojo Monday #27 sketch, since at least a couple of us are vying for those Verve Visual stamps Julee is giving away on Monday. The deadline for Julee's sketch challenge is tomorrow evening [that's Sunday, 8 pm] if you want to get in on it!

I watercolored the flowers with reinkers and an aqua painter before adding the white dot accents on the leaves with a white gel pen. The small flowers in the center of the larger flowers have a row of brown dots on each petal. The stamp is designed so that the row of dots will show through to whatever background color you're stamping on, in this case white. I just chose to fill them in with brown instead. I also pulled every other leaf forward for some extra dimension.

[Update: Forgive my bad manners.... If you'd like to play along, please do! The SCS keyword to use is ULAS, for "Up Late and Stamping." I'd love to see you there!]

Stamps: One of a Kind, Stitched (how did I ever live without this?)
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa, Whisper White, Buckaroo Blue, Cranberry Crisp
Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On, Buckaroo Blue, Cranberry Crisp
Accessories: Aged copper hodgepodge hardware, corner rounder, small oval punch, photo corner punch, paper piercer, sponge daubers, cranberry crisp stitched ribbon, dimensionals, 1/4" circle punch, white gel pen, brown marker, dimensionals
All supplies Stampin' Up.

Friday, March 7, 2008

PTO Projects

It's that time of the month ... teacher appreciation time. The teachers and staff will get these little leprechauns next Friday, right before Spring Break. Let me give credit on this one, 'cause it sure didn't come out of my brain ...

The face and hat idea (almost the whole thing is done with punches, by the way) came from Regina Cornelius. The pot part was inspired by a cute little snowman hat project that Toni Ellison made for our upline's group meeting back in the fall. The idea of having the leprechaun holding the pot came from an Oriental Trading Company craft project.

[Update: The pot is holding a green bead necklace (think Mardi Gras-style). Oneof the other committee members found a big black pot of 72 necklaces on sale this week at Party City. Our budget is only about $20/month for 62 staff, so we're always on the lookout for bargains. We may also stick two plastic gold coins in there (the chocolate ones got too costly). It will be something a little different from their usual candy treats. Also, I've tried to match up each punch with the project part in the list below, but if you have other questions or if I missed something, just ask!]

Punches: 1/4" square (belt buckle), word window (hat brim, arms, legs), 1 3/8" circle (face), scallop punch (hair/beard), large tag (hat, body, bottom of pot), three for you (hands), standard office hole punch (nose). The pot is just a loop of black paper, and the hat band just a tiny strip of black paper.

This next project is a quick and super simple gift certificate holder for various staff (custodial, secretaries, nurse) on their "day." I'll give you three guesses what our school colors are ;)

Supplies: red card stock, white card stock, red ink, Seeing Stars stamps by Verve Visual, All Holidays 'thank you' stamp by Stampin' Up, red gingham ribbon, swiss dots cuttlebug folder, 1" circle punch, large star punch

And now a Friday funny ... I sent this note to school with my son today.
first page:

second page:

Tee he he. You have a great weeekend, too!

[Update: It was my turn to exhale this morning, too. A mom does not like to see the school's number on caller ID at 8:00 am! (I've gotten a call from the principal once already this year -- NOT fun.) Fortunately, it was just Cole's teacher, calling to tell me I "got" him, and thanks for the laugh. Whew!]

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Line-Dancing Chickies

Don't these little chickies look like they're having so much fun? I was inspired by a ridiculously cute Penny Black chicky stamp that I saw recently on Paula Williamson's blog. My group of dancing chicks was done with a stamp that I found in the dollar bin at Michael's. I stamped the image twice for the front row, then masked those two and stamped again three times for the back row. Voila, a chorus line was born.

Along the way, I got stuck with my color scheme, so I turned to my yellow color drawer for inspiration. (My embellishments are stored by color, Stacy Julian-style -- I LOVE it!) As soon as my eyes landed on this gold mesh-looking stuff, my chorus line turned into a hoedown. Can't you hear the "Achy Breaky" right now? [If you check out that video, I really must ask: "Have you ever seen that much big hair or that many pairs of tight jeans in once place???"]

I'm submitting this card for the My Favorite Things guest designer challenge, which is to make a monochromatic card or project. Wanna play too? Get right on it ... the contest closes tonight at 10 pm EST.

By the way, is anyone else taking Stacy Julian's Library of Memories class? I'm supposed to be auditing it as an alumni, but I haven't yet made it into the classroom. Is it week 2 already?

Stamps: chick stamp from Michael's $$ bin; Canvas & Crosshatch backgrounds from Stampin' Up
Paper: More Mustard, So Saffron, Stamper's Select White (by Papertrey Ink)
Ink: Palette Noir, Summer Sun, Really Rust
Accessories: primas, vintage brads, 1/4" circle punch, distressing tool, sponge daubers, foam mounting tape, aqua painter, sewing machine, mesh "ribbon" (source unknown, you can get this in the floral sections of craft stores, it's often used to make bows for wreaths)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Who's De-Boss?

I mentioned already that this week's debossing challenge on SCS wasn't working very well for me. It wasn't the technique that gave me fits, but the small matter of incorporating it into a card. The technique is actually pretty cool and very easy.

It definitely doesn't show up well in my photo, so let me list my steps. First I colored the stamp with markers, the stem in chocolate and the petals in blush blossom. I stamped on vellum card stock and dried the ink with a heat tool. On the reverse side of the vellum I used a stylus to outline the stems and then to trace over all the lines that make up the flower petals. I colored in the petals with blush blossom. Back on the front side, I added glitter to the flowers with a clear spica glitter pen. I trimmed out the image and adhered it to the scallop circle underneath with a tiny amount of adhesive on the back side of the brown stems. The circle underneath has a layer of vellum overtop the certainly celery circle.

I will say that trimming out the image kind of takes away from the debossing; however, those pale flowers were getting lost on the card, so I need to give them some definition.

If you have any questions, please ask!

For any visual learners: the technique challenge host, Linda Black, has a tutorial with pictures on her blog.

Stamps: Embrace Life, Stitched
Paper: Blush Blossom, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
Ink: Blush Blossom Chocolate Chip, White craft
Accessories: vintage brads, 1/4" circle punch, chocolate wide satin ribbon, sponge daubers, dimensionals, vellum card stock, stylus, classic and scallop circle nestabilities (by Spellbinders), diamonds in the rough embossing folders (Cuttlebug)
Supplies by Stampin' Up unless otherwise indicated.


Since I don't have anything post-worthy yet (I *tried* yesterday's debossing challenge on SCS, but it's just not working for me!), I'll play along with one of the tagging games currently circulating. Chris (cdjkssss on SCS) at Colorful Om tagged me on this one. Thanks Chris!

1. Stamping Style
This one always cracks me up. I have no idea what my style is. Would someone kindly let me know? I once answered "bipolar."** Seriously, I'm equally drawn to the sleek, graphic, clean and simple style as well as a busier style with lots of layers, dimension, texture, and embellishments.

2. Inspiration
Other stampers (SCS and blogs), magazines, catalogs

3. Color
Anything not too, too bright. The bolder colors tend to intimidate me.

4. Work Space
I have a dedicated craft room in my basement. For a basement room, I get some pretty good light from double french doors and a large bay window. (I can also keep an eye on the kids if they're playing outside.) The room is "outfitted" with maple kitchen cabinets for storage and kitchen countertops for a work surface. I love that I can put everything away and have it look like a kitchen, especially since the room is open to the rest of the basement. Mostly, though, when other people come over, I'm offering up some lame apology about how creativity is messy. Anyone relate?

5. Perfect Day
Sleep late, stamp all day, dinner and a night out with close friends.

6. First Job
Gift wrapper at JCPenney during the holidays.

7 Wildest Dream
Summit Mount Everest or complete a triathlon

8 Ink
Stampin' Up!

9. Family
DH, Cole (7), Adrienne (4), and Gabriel (10 months)

10. Beverage
Very strong, dark roast coffee, hot tea, water, a good quality "oakey" white wine

11. Biggest Challenge
Housework! Ick.

** I do not intend in any way to minimize or belittle this very serious mental condition. I have two very close friends who suffer from bipolar disorder. They will find this analogy amusing, and so I feel at liberty to as well :) **

I think instead of tagging specific individuals, I'll just invite anyone who wants to play to consider herself/himself tagged. Let me know if you do play. I think it's fun to see everyone else's answers!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Friendship Blooms over Afternoon Tea

I got to play with a few new products this weekend. First, I successfully used rub-ons! I've used them for scrapbooking many times, but for some reason I've choked when trying to use them on a card. The fact that they were "free" helped take the edge off the anxiety. (But just the edge, lol, it's still a big commitment ... no "do-overs.")

Second, I used some of those dew drop-style clear 'baubles' from Michael's. Have you heard about these? You find them near the floral arranging section, close to the flat, clear marbles that you put down inside your flower vase. I love the dew drop look, so these will be just fine (although I do have some real dew drops coming!).

The flower is in two layers. Each layer is watercolored and raised up on dimensionals. The bottom layer is gently curled downward and the top layer is gently curved upward. It gives the flower lots of dimension. I added dots of clear glitter glue to the centers of each flower and dotted each petal of the larger flower. The two smaller popped up flowers are paper-pieced from the same striped pattern I used on the back horizontal panel.

The layout comes from Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge #37. It's a fun one! Be sure to check it out if you like sketches.

Stamps: Friendship Blooms, Stitched
Paper: Soft Sky, Chocolate Chip, Papertrey's white
Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On, Chocolate Chip, Soft Sky
Accessories: clear baubles from Michael's, clear glitter glue, Spica clear glitter pen, dimensionals, Love & Happiness rub-ons, corner rounder, sponge daubers, aqua painter, white gel pen
All supplies Stampin' Up, unless otherwise specified.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Wonderful Bali Breeze Friend

I made this last night for this week's SCS Featured Stamper challenge, which is to CASE a card from Petal Pusher's (Mary Fish's) gallery. I've been stalking her blog for several months. (You may remember she was one of my nominees for the Excellent Blog award.) She is a fantastic stamper, not to mention an entertaining writer. Be sure to check her out.

I didn't make many changes to the fantastic original:
a) change the dp (you KNOW I had some Bali Breeze scraps lying around after this week, lol! I am loving this stuff. And to think I almost didn't order it!)
b) instead of scalloped edges along the bottom of each layer, you can see I distressed the edges.
c) changed a stamped flower to felt flowers
d) added the ticket corners to the sentiment panel
e) popped on three brads in the lower right.

What a fun, fun card, and a great way to use up those scraps!

Stamps: All Holidays
Paper: Old Olive, Purely Pomegranate, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White, Bali Breeze dp
Ink: Tempting Turquoise, Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive, Rose Red (all markers)
Accessories: ticket corner punch, dimensionals, sponge daubers, distressing tool, 1/4" circle punch, tempting turquoise brads, felt fusion flowers, purely pomegranate double-stitched ribbon

All supplies by Stampin' Up.