Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Double Feature

Today's card honors two fabulously talented stampers: First up is Michelle, aka sf9erfan, who is this week's SCS Featured Stamper. I'm a big fan - her gallery is amazing! Second up is Jackie Pedro, aka strappystamper, who is the first featured stamper in my swap group. She's wildly talented and a sweetie to boot. Check out her blog, The Scalloped Edge.

In keeping with the featured stamper rules, I picked a card from each, then put them together for my CASE. I love the simple, uncluttered layout of Michelle's Pretty Bird card. I pulled the colors (except I changed the Chocolate Chip to Basic Black), floral theme, and the Swiss Dots on white from this card of Jackie's. I love how it turned out! No surprise with these two to CASE!

I colored the flowers with two of my new Copic markers. Last Friday, I took a little spur of the moment trip to my closest stamp store (Angela's Happy Stamper) specifically for a few markers. Before I take the plunge on a big set, I'm trying them out with just a handful (I got five). I love them so far. But then again, I've never met a coloring medium I don't love :) I'm hoping to take a class at Angela's toward the end of May. And I definitely need more colors to do the blending I'd like to do. I chose my colors with no real thought or purpose. I kind of went with what was in stock, along with trying to pick a lighter and darker shade of one color for blending. Back to the card -- each of the swirls on the petals has a small dollop of Stardust Stickles.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: Thankful Blossoms (Verve Visual)
Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White, Pretty In Pink, Certainly Celery
Ink: Onyx Black Versafine
Accessories: Certainly Celery buttons, 1/2" and 3/4" circle punches, paper piercer, Stardust Stickles, white gel pen, dimensionals, Copic markers RV21 and RV29, black stitched ribbon (Making Memories), Swiss Dots cuttlebug folder
Supplies by Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spoil Yourself Silly

I made this for a sketch challenge over at the Great Swaps blog (a blog created by the "Great Swaps" swap group I joined a month or so ago). We'd love to have you play along!

I love this darling little hedgie sitting there with the ladybug on his toes. He's part of a clear set called Bubbly by Penny Black. It's full of cute little critters and happy occasions. The patterned papers come from the Sultry line by Basic Grey. The three pink glimmer brads by Creative Impressions are available at Stamper's Dream. The ribbon is Stampin' Up's Chocolate Chip Poly-Twill. I've been seeing the Swiss Dots dry embossing show up on white card stock a lot lately, and couldn't wait to try it. It looks SO good on white -- very crisp and fresh.

Stamps: Bubbly (Penny Black)
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, Basic Grey Sultry
Ink: Onyx Black Versafine, Chocolate Chip craft, Blush Blossom, Close to Cocoa, Regal Rose, Real Red
Accessories: Swiss Dots cuttlebug folder, glimmer brads (Creative Impressions), Chocolate Chip polytwill ribbon, classic and scalloped nestabilities, aqua painter

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Favorite Wedding ATC

I recently signed up for an ATC swap with My Favorite Things. I forgot how much I love making these little guys. They're the perfect quick project when stamping time is in short supply. This one didn't make my cut for the swap -- I like it well enough, I just don't have enough white flowers. I was inspired by some beautiful cards Jennifer Meyer uploaded a week or two ago using this combo. She did a whole series, but this one was one of my favorites. Such a perfect color combo for weddings!

Stamps: Icing on the Cake (My Favorite Things)
Paper: Soft Sky, Whisper White, Soft Sky prints
Ink: Soft Sky
Accessories: dimensionals, pretties kit, three for you punch, Swarovski crystals, white polka dot organdy ribbon, sponge daubers

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Serenity Now

This weekend brings another great "Sketch for You to Try" by Jen del Muro. You can see the sketch, as well as her take and guest designer Sarah Green's take, at i{heart}2stamp. For more inspiration, Carole, Shannan, and Susan have all cooked up some good stuff, too. When you're ready to play, if you upload to SCS, remember to use keyword: SFYTT. It's fun to see all the sketch cards in the same place.

My chick is stamped on watercolor paper and colored with reinkers and an aqua painter. Her yoga mat is paper pieced from a pattern in Basic Grey's Sultry collection (the other patterns come from this line, too). I added some Hero Arts adhesive gemstones to her neckline and some Sakura Star Dust sparkle to her top. After all, even when doing her yoga, a hip girl like this oughta have some bling.

Have a great weekend!

Stamps: Serenity Now (My Favorite Things)
Paper: Garden Green, Pretty in Pink, Certainly Celery, watercolor paper, Basic Grey Sultry
Ink: Onyx Black Versafine, Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, Certainly Celery, Blush Blossom, Garden Green, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: vintage brads, scalloped scissors (Creative Memories),
nestabilities, pewter build-a-brads, 1/2" circle punch, 3/4" circle punch, word window punch, 5/8" chocolate grosgrain, Hero Arts Crystal Gemstones, Sakura Stardust gel pen, aqua painter

Friday, April 25, 2008

Candy Winners and a Superstar Card for Dad

Ready for the blog candy winners?!?!

First, with comment #91, jessie/knightrone, come on down, you're the winner of one of next month's sets by H&M Stamps! I tried your first "recipe" last night - stopped by Subway and told them what I wanted - LOL! The "real" one sounds delish, too.

[And by the way, if you've been itching to get your hands on Sea Life, Dad's Outdoors, or Wild Birthday Wishes, then scoot over to the H&M Stamps website. The sets became available today!!!]

Happygiggles left comment #41 and a yummy-sounding recipe for Crock-Pot BBQ chicken. She's the winner of the April '08 issue of Cards magazine.

Another Crock-Pot lover, lunurse, comment #36, wins the April/May '08 issue of Paper Trends magazine. Her recipe for Crock-Pot mac 'n cheese sounds like a winner, too!

Thanks to all who entered. Almost everyone left a recipe, too - I am THRILLED (and I really mean that!) to have some new, easy things to try! Jessie and happygiggles, I'll be contacting you via your blogs. lunurse, please email me (email address is to the right on my sidebar, just under my picture) with your address. Congratulations!

I'll share one of my favorite easy recipes, too:

Spicy Beef Roast
Trim fat from roast, and cut slits every 2 inches on both sides. Spread with minced garlic (I used bottled) and sprinkle or rub with salt and pepper. Put roast in Crock-Pot. Mix up 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 3 tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons of dry mustard. Pour over roast and cook on low for 8 or more hours.

Moving right along.... Yesterday, I tried to show how well the new Verve Visual set Father Figure works all by itself. Today, I want to show it paired up with Seeing Stars, another great set for masculine cards. And guess what? To help you celebrate all the dads and grads in your life, through May 15, Verve is having a Star-Studded Sale, where you can save 15% on all star-themed sets!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Stamps: Father Figure and Seeing Stars (Verve Visual); Just Jeans (Stampin' Up, retired)
Paper: Kraft, Very Vanilla, Not Quite Navy
Ink: Not Quite Navy and Close to Cocoa craft
Accessories: word window punch, large and small star punches, edge distressing tool, wide twill, pewter brads, sponge daubers

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Father Figure

Interested in a chance to win one of the soon-to-be released stamp sets from Verve Visual?! Head over to the Verve blog for sneak peeks at Great Expectations (yesterday's post) and Father Figure (today's post). Leave a comment over there and you'll be entered into a drawing for the giveaway (to be announced tomorrow).

My card uses Father Figure, and I will tell you this set absolutely takes the angst and challenge out of masculine cards. Really! The sentiments are simple, straightforward, yet heartfelt, and they work just as well stand-alone as they do paired with other images. Here I've stamped the words "I'm so glad you're my" onto twill (I used Chocolate Chip craft ink) and the large "Dad" image onto one of the papers from Basic Grey's new Archaic line. The "dirty" blue-green-brown colors of these patterns are perfect for guy cards! I added some jumbo eyelets and fibers, along with some heavy sponging in Chocolate Chip ink, to finish off the overall grungy, masculine look. No more being afraid of guy cards -- this set drips with manliness. Can't you almost see the chest hair growing?

What I'm really excited about is how far ahead I am on Father's Day cards now. I've never been this early! Usually, it goes something like this: "Oh Dad, your Father's Day card [or birthday card] is down in my craft room. I'll go get it. By the way, what color do you want it to be?" You can be ahead of the game, too. Julee ships out the Verve orders lightning fast!

Remember, today is the last day to use the coupon code AmyRocks for a 15% discount on your entire Verve order. Thankful Blossoms and Anniversary Birds are available again. And tomorrow, the two new sets will become available.

Okay, so yesterday, I promised I'd show you a must-have "tool" that I just acquired for my craft room. Although I'm really excited about it, I have to confess it's a little scary, too. Ready?

Yep, that's me in reading glasses. Evidently, my eyes are every bit of my 39 1/2 years and right on schedule to start giving out. But seriously, if you must have reading glasses, shouldn't they be COOL ones like these? (My pink-crazed 4yo daughter picked these out. And by the way, I'm also sporting "screaming pink" [think Pink Passion] rubber bands on my braces for the next 4 weeks. Think I should start leaving her in the car, lol?) And yes, this is all part of my shameless attempt to ensure that my mailbox is flooded with BRAKs on the sad day when I turn the big 4-0 ... I'm sure I'll be reminding you again and again ... so whenever you're ready for my address (and the date), just go on ahead and shoot me an email ... the link is in the sidebar ;)

For today, a much happier birthday to celebrate. My youngest, Gabriel, is 1 TODAY! Where has the time gone? See how big he is?

(So big.)

Last, a reminder about, and small change to, my blog candy. Enter HERE if you haven't already. I'll be closing the comments at NOON tomorrow instead of 9 am.

What a mash-up of things in this post, huh?


Stamps: Father Figure (Verve Visual)
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Sage Shadow, Archaic collection (Basic Grey)
Ink: Chocolate Chip craft
Accessories: SU twill, corner rounder, and pewter jumbo eyelets; sewing machine and thread; EK Success fibers

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Little Cabin In the Woods

I need to interrupt this regularly scheduled post to bring you some exciting news from Verve: two previously sold-out sets, Thankful Blossoms and Anniversary Birds, are available for order again (they'll ship early next week). And in case you missed out on the "AmyRocks" discount the first time around, you can use it again! Today and tomorrow, just put AmyRocks in the coupon code field and you'll save 15% on your order. Also, sneak peeks for Verve's two April releases have begun on the Verve blog, so be sure to head over there to see what's coming on Friday AND to enter a giveaway of today's featured set - "Great Expectations." I love what the designers have done with this one! Tomorrow we'll have peeks (and another giveaway) of a set called "Father Figure."

Back to today's card. I created this little fishing cabin using a set called Dad's Outdoors, available on Friday from H&M Stamps. I just love these super cute images - perfect for all my guy cards. I used today's SCS sketch challenge (#173) for the fun layout. The images are all stamped in Versafine Onyx Black on Papertrey's Stamper's Select White cardstock and colored with reinkers and an aqua painter. I added crystal effects to the cabin windows for a realistic, glasslike shine. The background trees are stamped with Stampin' Up's Lovely as a Tree. All the edges are roughed up and sponged to add to the overall rustic effect.

Here's another card with the exact same image. (And I mean the EXACT same image, lol! ... I was playing around with different layouts, had this one finished up and ready to go, then saw the sketch challenge last night. I just pulled the cabin off this one to use on the sketch challenge card until I can color a second cabin.)

If you haven't already, check out my blog candy post from two days ago. On Friday morning, I'll be giving away an H&M Stamps stamp set, an April Cards magazine, and an April/May Paper Trends to three different winners. And while you're there, you just might find tonight's dinner!

Last, I promised an H&M Stamps coupon yesterday, didn't I? This is good for $5 off your order of $25 or more! But here's the thing -- it's only good for the first 200 orders placed. Store opens at midnight on Friday. For those of you who are midnight "challenged," that's the midnight between Thursday and Friday, not the midnight between Friday and Saturday ;)

Here ya go:

Tomorrow, I'll be sharing a really cool, must-have (for me, anyway) new "tool" I acquired for my craft room yesterday. I'm not usually a "you MUST have one" kind of blogger, but I just may make an exception this once. Is that a sufficient tease? ;)

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Beach Decor

I hope you didn't see that title and expect to see some tired, cliched coral and seafoam green something or other!

Heather Rolin, owner and illustrator of H&M Stamps, challenged her design team to create non-card projects showcasing the new stamps that will release on Friday. I had a lot of ideas, but settled on this monochromatic piece of beach decor using two stamps (sand dollar and shell) from the set called Sea Life. The quote (computer-generated, Mistral font) reads:

Those who live by the sea
Can hardly form a single thought
Of which the sea would not be part.
--Hermann Bloch

The sand dollars and shells are stamped in Timber Brown Staz-On, then watercolored with Creamy Caramel classic ink refill using an aqua painter. I added some glitter to the sand dollar centers using a Sakura Stardust glitter pen.

If you haven't entered for my blog candy, be sure to see yesterday's post). Among other things, I'll be giving away one of next month's H&M releases (winner's choice). Want a peek at those three? You won't see all the images, but enough to get the idea.

A Dino Day:

Celebrate the Day:

And my favorite, It's Picnic Time:

Tomorrow I'll have another H&M project, along with a coupon you can use on opening day (this Friday). Good stuff!

Beach Frame Supplies:
Stamps: Sea Life (H&M Stamps)
Paper: Confetti Tan, Very Vanilla, Kraft card stock , Magenta Brown Mesh 12x12
Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On, Creamy Caramel classic
Accessories: aqua painter, edge distressor, sewing machine and thread, paper piercer, photo corner punch, vintage brads, Sakura stardust glitter pen

Monday, April 21, 2008

Blog Candy X3!

This Friday, at midnight, H&M Stamps opens its doors for business. It's so exciting to see Heather (owner and illustrator) turning her dream into a reality. Way to go, Heather! The design team has been posting projects with the three April sets, and the response has been huge! You can see all of the projects HERE. To celebrate the upcoming launch, each of the design team members will be giving away one of next month's stamp releases. Won't that be fun?!

But that's not all I'm giving away. Last week, the FedEx truck pulled up and dropped off a very welcome package from Northridge Media, the company that publishes CARDS and Paper Trends magazines. I have a project in the April 2008 CARDS (my very first-ever published work - very exciting!), and another in the April/May issue of Paper Trends. The "compensation" is a couple of copies of the publication and an assortment of papercrafting goodies. What I loved most about the arrival of this package was the timing. I just passed 75,000 hits over the weekend, so what a great opportunity to share the loot!

Here's how this will work: On Friday morning, 9 am, I'll draw THREE winners: the first will get to choose which May H&M Stamps set she/he wants (I'll have peeks for you), and once it's available, Heather will ship it directly to you (2-3 weeks from now); the second will get the April CARDS issue; and the third will get the April/May Paper Trends. To enter, leave a comment with your favorite super fast recipe (yes, I'm copying Cambria here, but what a great idea - I'm all about speed in the kitchen these days ... more time to stamp!). And if that's too hard, how 'bout your favorite casual restaurant?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday Sparkle

I can't even tell you how excited I was to see Silke Ledlow as the Featured Stamper on Splitcoast today! She creates the most gorgeous things, and her crisp, clean style is positively enviable. She was also one of the first people to comment here and in my SCS gallery when I first started creating and posting, so for that reason, she'll always be extra special to me. Her words of encouragement meant, and still mean, so much to me! So here's to Silke!

I chose this stunning card to CASE. It's one of those cards that's just perfect already, so you're inclined not to change even the tiniest thing. But the challenge "rules" do require you to change at least two things, so I kept the layout and stamps, but changed the colors, paper, and ribbon. I also left off one layer (gasp! I don't think I've EVER done that!!), the rhinestone brads, and the piercing. I went over my butterflies with a clear Spica pen for some sparkle.

First I cut a rectangle from one of the Le Jardin patterns and a scalloped mat from Always Artichoke using Nestabilities. Then I stamped three butterflies in Artichoke craft ink onto the Le Jardin. I stamped another three butterflies in Always Artichoke on a scrap of Very Vanilla, trimmed out their wings, and adhered them to each of the first three butterflies using a drop of liquid glue. I received a few comments in my SCS gallery referencing the "black" butterflies. I took a second look at the photo, and I suppose they do look a little black. They're Artichoke IRL. The top part of the background is another pattern from Le Jardin, and the bottom is Very Vanilla. All of this is layered onto an Always Artichoke card base.

Tip: I had a time trying to get that sentiment on there straight and centered. After botching it twice trying to eyeball it, I relented and got out not just my Stamp-a-ma-Jig, but also my zero-center ruler - definitely a favorite in my "toolbox," perfect for those times when you need precise placement.

Stamps: Kind Thoughts
Paper: Always Artichoke, Very Vanilla, Le Jardin designer paper
Ink: Always Artichoke craft
Accessories: classic and scalloped rectangle nestabilities, dimensionals, 3M quick-dry liquid glue, clear Spica pen, blue taffeta ribbon, artichoke grosgrain, stamp-a-ma-jig, zero-center ruler

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Blushing Always

Jen del Muro's got a rockin' Sketch For You To Try (SFYTT) this week! Go to i{heart}2stamp to see the sketch, her sample, and guest designer Sarah Green's sample. If you play along and upload to Splitcoast, remember to use keyword: SFYTT, so we can see everyone's samples all in the same place. More eye candy awaits from the other SFYTT girls:


My sample uses the color combo from Tuesday's Splitcoast Color Challenge: Blush Blossom, Groovy Guava, and Basic Gray. What an awesome combo! I saw these two particular Cuttlebug folders matched up together like this somewhere on Splitcoast this week and was inspired, but I can't remember where. I'd love to give credit if someone can point me in the right direction again! [Note: I found it! It was this beauty by DawnL.]

The heart was done using Beate's thumping tutorial. All you do is ink up the stamp in your lighter color, then use a marker to whack all over the image in the darker color. Pretty cool.

This was also my first time using Stampin' Up's Build-A-Brad kit. How easy are these? Stamp your image, punch it out with a 1/2" circle, place an epoxy circle sticker from the kit on your image and stick on the brad. I think you get a lot of bang for your buck with these, and I love being able to customize my brad to my stamp set and color combo.

Stamps: Always
Paper: Groovy Guava textured, Whisper White, Basic Gray, Blush Blossom
Ink: Groovy Guava, Going Gray marker (for thumping), Blush Blossom (sponging); Basic Gray (sentiment)
Accessories: Pewter Build-a-Brad kit, 1/2" circle punch, Birds & Swirls and Swiss Dots Cuttlebug folders, sponge daubers, dimensionals, corner rounder, Groovy Guava double-stitched ribbon
Size: 4 1/4" square
Cuttlebug folders by Provo Craft. All other supplies by Stampin' Up!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Birthday Roundup

[Edited To Add: I give up!! I've tried a couple of times today so far to get a decent picture of this page, and just can't. This is the best I can do. The page isn't great as it is, and the photography isn't helping any -- maybe I was thinking my camera could work a miracle ;) ]

My scrapbook club is coming over on Saturday for our second of six crops. I put together a spread yesterday using a Valerie Salmon sketch (#52). I'm not doing a whole lot of scrapbooking these days (can you tell? this cardmaking stuff has completely taken over - anyone else?), and the little that I do do tends to be more reflective, story-telling stuff, rather than event-based. So instead of big birthday spreads with the same ol' info (this is the cake, these are the guests, these are the gifts, these are the games, etc.), I'm just putting together a 2-page "2007 birthday round-up," with a few photos and/or notes for each of the 5 of us. My youngest, who turns 1 next week, had his actual birth day last year, thus the hospital pictures!

Here's the right side:

I've had my hand in a bunch of random stamping projects here lately - PTO appreciation gifts, prom invitation samples (yikes!) for my sister and the junior class at the high school where she works, and a family scrapbook project for my son's Cub Scout den. All fun stuff, but it has left precious little time for card-making this week. Looking forward to the weekend to get back in my groove!

Have a great day, and thanks so much for stopping by!

Stamps: Big Bold Birthday, So Many Scallops, Celebrate Everything, Office Accoutrement
Paper: Tempting Turquoise, Old Olive, Whisper White, Purely Pomegranate, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pie prints, Rose Red Prints, Celery Prints

Ink: Purely Pomegranate, Tempting Turquoise, Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive
Accessories: 1/2," 1", 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" circle punches, scallop punch, ticket corner punch, spiral punch
Size: 12x12
All supplies by Stampin' Up!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pillow Inspired

Julee of Verve Visual fame, recently challenged each of her Design Team girls to create something inspired by this quartet of gorgeous pillows:

I was drawn to the obvious features - the colors, the floral theme, and the delicious texture from all the embroidery, beadwork, and lace. This is what I came up with:

Today is my day to post on the Verve Visual blog, so head over there for more details on my project, as well as to see how the other DT girls interpreted the inspiration pillows. We're doing a "Project Parade" over there - each day a different designer posts her inspiration challenge project. Six of the designers have already paved the way ahead of me, so there's lots to look at. Three more will show up tomorrow, Monday, and Tuesday.

Want to get in on the fun?! You're invited to play along too - and there's a prize involved! Get all the details HERE. You have to link up your project on the Verve blog to enter the contest, but if you play along, leave me a note here, too, so I can be sure to check it out!

Stamps: Fancy Florals Remixed, Thoughtful Florals
Paper: So Saffron, More Mustard, Very Vanilla, Tempting Turquoise (SU!); Canvas Collection "Citrus Burst" (Scrapworks)
Ink: So Saffron, More Mustard, Tempting Turquoise (SU!)
Accessories: Swiss Dots Cuttlebug folder; sewing machine; word window punch, corner rounder, paper piercer, dimensionals, and Pretties kit (SU!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On Eagles' Wings

Today is another release day for Our Daily Bread Designs! I had so much fun this past wekeend using the new On Eagles' Wings set, which includes a gorgeous bald eagle and two Scripture passages. I love this first Scripture passage. Just perfect to encourage someone going through a tough time.

By the way, Our Daily Bread Designs stamps are available wood mounted or with Smart Cushion (no blocks). I wasn't familiar with the Smart Cushion system before using these stamps. Now I wish all of my unmounted stamps came this way! The images are made of rubber and come already trimmed. The cushion side sticks to an acetate storage sheet just like clear stamps. So they come ready to use - just peel off the storage sheet, stick on an acrylic block, and start stamping. Kelley Holland, the owner, posted a fascinating peek at her production process on her blog recently. If you've ever wondered about stamp manufacturing, check it out. Kinda cool! (Just don't let the Vulcanizer get you!)

Back to the new releases. There are two: On Eagles' Wings, which I'm using today, and First Holy Communion. Another thing I really like about these sets is that each one includes some type of "Stamped by ..." image you can use on the backs of your cards. And as always, a portion of all proceeds is donated to a hunger center to help those less fortunate. I love Kelley's generosity!

Here are two more samples:

Thanks for stopping by!

Eagle Card:
Stamps: On Eagle's Wings (Our Daily Bread Designs)
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa, Very Vanilla, Le Jardin dp
Ink: Onyx Black Versafine, So Saffron, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Sahara Sand
Accessories: aqua painter, dimensionals, So Saffron brads, 1/4" punch, sewing machine, Chocolate Chip polytwill ribbon, sponge daubers, 1/2" circle punch

Exodus 19:4 Card:
Stamps: On Eagle's Wings (Our Daily Bread Designs); Stitched (SU!)
Paper: Purely Pomegranate, Very Vanilla, Basic Black, Basic Gray
Ink: Basic Gray, Very Vanilla craft
Accessories: corner rounder, Swiss Dots cuttlebug folder, 3/4" black grosgrain (May Arts), paper piercer

Isaiah 40:31 Card:
Stamps: On Eagle's Wings (Our Daily Bread Designs); Circle Borders & Corners and Everyday Blessings (Papertrey)

Paper: Chocolate Chip, Enchante dp (retired SU!), Blush Blossom, Vellum Card Stock
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Accessories: corner rounder, paper piercer, 1/4" circle punch, Robin's Nest Dew Drops, dimensionals, 1 1/4" circle punch

Monday, April 14, 2008

All Things Grow With Love

Ahhh... spring. I love it! My family and I enjoyed some absolutely PERFECT weather on a Friday/Saturday overnighter up to Baltimore's Inner Harbor: 70-75 degrees, sunny (even though the forecast called for showers), breezy. We had a great time at the Maryland Science Center and The Baltimore Aquarium (the 4D immersion theater was the best!). Then on Saturday, I even got outside for some yard work. Just enough to remember why we usually let the pros come do our spring clean-up. Sorry, but I'd rather pay the landscapers to clean up our landscaping while I play with my kids than pay a babysitter to play with my kids while I clean up the landscaping. (And I used to love gardening! Actually, I still do, just not the clean-up part.)

Anyway, I digress. With warmer temperatures and so much in bloom, I found myself reaching for a color that's a bit of a departure from my norm: purple. The beautiful papers in the Sprout collection by Memory Box** were my starting point. I paired them with a butterfly and sentiment from the Expressions stamp set by Inkadinkado. This card has all my current favorites: nestabilities, bling (Lavender Stickles on the butterfly and Hero Arts Gemstones under the sentiment), ribbon (grosgrain from SU; fibers from Stamper's Dream), piercing, and of course, lots of dimension.

A quick word about the Lavender Stickles, because I made a big personal discovery with these. I used to think I didn't need colored Stickles because I could just add sparkle to a colored image with one of the clear Stickles (Stardust, Icicle, etc. -- btw, does anyone know what the difference is between these, it seems like there are a LOT of clear choices). It's so NOT the same! Because the glitter in the colored Stickles is an actual color, it is much richer-looking once applied. I was actually preparing a nice little sample to show the difference, but alas, it wasn't dry and I just found it stuck to the bottom of my almost-1-year-old's foot. Maybe another time :)

I also have to tell you my layout came from a sketch I made from paper scraps lying on my desk. If I told you how much of my inspiration comes from my messy craft table (unusual color combos, layouts, ribbon placement ... pretty much anything), you might excuse me for not cleaning it up more often. So go forth, make a mess of your workspace (if it isn't messy already), and then look for your next layout!

**I got the Sprout 6x6 collection from Stamper's Dream. Michelle is out of stock at this very moment, but should have packs available again by the end of the week.

Stamps: Expressions (Inkadinkado)
Paper: Perfect Plum and Pale Plum cardstock (SU!); Sprout 6x6 (Memory Box) patterned paper
Ink: Perfect Plum craft; Onyx Black Versafine
Accessories: Lavender Stickles, Hero Arts Lavender Gemstones, classic and scalloped circle Nestabilties, 1/16" circle punch, dimensionals, sponge daubers, corner rounder, ticket corner punch, paper piercer, wide celery grosgrain, light orchid 1/4" grosgrain (retired SU!); fibers from Stamper's Dream

Sunday, April 13, 2008

FS62: Kharmagirl

Congrats to Kharmagirl, today's SCS featured stamper. I love her style! My card is a CASE of this card of Jodi's. I kept almost everything: colors, layout (which was from a sketch challenge by Holly McMillen, aka Toy on SCS), background stamp, white gel pen dots, blue gingham, buttons. My only changes were to make the the card square, leave out some brads, add some stitching, and change the stamp set. My main image was stamped in white craft ink, embossed with white embossing powder, then trimmed and adhered with dimensionals.

Stamps: Baby Invite (Stampendous); Stitched (SU)
Paper: Bashful Blue, Whisper White
Ink: Bashful Blue, White Craft
Accessories: white gel pen, bashful blue buttons, 3/4" and 1" circle punches, blue gingham ribbon, dimensionals, paper piercer, white EP

Size: 4 1/4" square

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sympathy SFYTT

Doing a little more catch-up on overdue cards. Sadly, this time I need a sympathy card. This is one of the quickest cards I've made in a long, long time. I just took a block of Stampin' Up's Le Jardin designer paper, cut it into thirds, and sponged the edges. Added a stamped sentiment panel, ribbon and some quick embellishments and it was done! Gotta love the fast ones.

This is also my sample for Jen del Muro's weekly Sketch For You to Try. You'll find the sketch, plus samples by Jen and guest designer Sarah Green, at i{heart}2stamp. For more ideas for the sketch, visit Carole, Shannan, and Susan.

Have a great weekend!

Stamps: Fancy Florals by Verve Visual
Paper: Very Vanilla, Le Jardin dp
Ink: Always Artichoke
Accessories: paper piercer, Prima "Heavenly" flower, SU pretties kit, SU ivory taffeta ribbon, dimensionals, sponge daubers

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


So how embarrassed was I to bump into a friend of mine yesterday at my daughter's dance class and learn that her new baby boy is already FOUR weeks old?! Have I taken her family a meal? No. Have I offered her the overflow from the sunshine basket our MOMS Club provided me almost a whole year ago? No. Have I sent a card? No. Shame on me. This one's for Mary and Thomas (waving hi to Mary)!

Enabler alert: Verve Visual has the new 6x6 Basic Grey paper packs in stock. I was so happy to see them in the store yesterday that I bought a fewza. That's my new word, by the way. Kind of like "wowza" means a little more than just a plain "wow."

Last, I've been awarded a few (fewza?) times in the last couple of weeks, and I've not been the best at keeping up with it. Thank you Kim at Inkey Pingers, Chat at Me, My Stamps & I, Sarah at My Scrapbook Table, and Savitri at Scrapin' and Stampin' with Savitri, who have each nominated me for the Arte Y Pico award, which is for creativity, design, interesting material, and contribution to the blogging community.

And thank you Cheryl, aka mochamama, at God and I on the Railroad Tracks, who has given me the "You Make My Day" award, which is for bringing happiness and inspiration to blogland.

I'm honored. Very much so. Please forgive me, though, if I opt out of the passing on part this time. Know that you all make my day over and over again! And there's so much talent out there I can't pick just five, kwim?

Stamps: Nursery Necessities
Paper: Bashful Blue, Whisper White, Certainly Celery Prints
Ink: Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Barely Banana, Basic Black
Accessories: black gingham ribbon, large star punch, styled silver hodgepodge hardware, sponge daubers, dimensionals.
Size: 4 1/4" square

Take A Peek And 'Sea' What You 'Sea'

Last night, I took a look at yesterday's color challenge and went down to my stamp room to get started. I stared at my stamps and the Real Red/Glorious Green/Night of Navy color combo, and my mind just wouldn't go there! That's when I thought, "Hey, maybe tomorrow's sketch challenge is already posted." And it was. Good thing :D

The sketch uses an offset, or tilted, oval as the focal point. I had fun with this one, and did two cards. Both use stamps from a set called Sea Life, which is one of three upcoming releases by H&M Stamps. The design team has been busy working on sneak peeks, and the response has been so enthusiastic that Heather (the owner and illustrator) has moved up the launch date to April 25! Check out all the sneak peeks HERE.

Here's another card for the sketch challenge:

Speaking of new releases, Verve Visual will be coming out with two new sets, also on April 25. You'll begin getting peeks of those on the 23rd. In the meantime, to "prime the pump," Julee has put together a "Vervalicious Challenge." It's open to anyone, and there's a prize! Go HERE for all the details and a peek at what Shannan cooked up with the inspiration piece. Each day for the next week and a half, another design team member will post another sample. Sure to be lots of fun! (And don't forget about the Honored Guest Sketch Challenge at Verve, where the winner gets to be guest designer for the month of June.)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Divine First

Ever since I first read about Lori Craig's Divine Design challenge, where participants post a project using Scripture on the 8th of every month, I've wanted to join in. Ideally, I'd like to make something permanent, an album or tag book of sorts with meaningful Scripture. I just haven't been able to get that started. In the meantime, I thought why not join in with something smaller and quicker? So here's my first project - a card and bookmark duo. You can find more information on how you can participate on this SCS thread.

Stamps: Light of the World (by Our Daily Bread Designs), Canvas (SU!)
Paper: Confetti Tan (retired?), So Saffron, Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
Ink: So Saffron, Always Artichoke, Creamy Caramel
Accessories: various yellow grosgrain ribbons, chocolate poly twill ribbon, sponge daubers, paper piercer, Robin's Nest dew drops, dimensionals, corner rounder, Creamy Caramel marker, premade bookmark

Monday, April 7, 2008

Shadow Box Birdie

I recently joined a swap group (thanks Jackie Pedro for helping me get hooked up and Becky Carafa for letting me in!). I haven't swapped in eons, so I was excited to sign up for my first one, a Fancy Folds swap. I chose to do a shadow box card (link takes you to an SCS tutorial). For the swap, I omitted the vellum layer and the metal-edge tag. I like the look of the tag on there, but the assembly was a bit too problematic to repeat twelve times. Other than that, this is my swap! If you've been with me for a while, this card might look familiar. It's pretty much a CASE of this card I did a while back. I can't wait to see what I get back from this group of fabulous stampers!

Stamps: A Little Birdie Told Me
Paper: Soft Sky, Whisper White, Chocolate Chip, Certainly Celery prints, Afternoon Tea designer paper, watercolor paper, vellum card stock
Ink: Jet Black Staz-On, Certainly Celery and So Saffron reinkers
Accessories: So Saffron brads, small oval punch, circle cutter, dimensionals, aqua painter, wide chocolate grosgrain ribbon, Pumpkin Pie and Basic Black markers, silver metal-rim tag
All supplies by Stampin' Up!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Light of the World

It's Saturday already, which means it's SFYTT time! Head over to i{heart}2stamp to see the sketch, Jen's sample, and a sample by Jen's new guest designer, Sarah Green. Sarah has been blowing me away with her talent for months, so I'm really happy to see her as Jen's GD, and can't wait to see what she has in store for the rest of this month's sketches! For more creative inspiration, take a gander at what Carole, Shannan, and Susan came up with. When you're ready to play, link your card up to Jen's blog, and if you upload to SCS, use keyword SFYTT so we can all see!

I won't lie to you -- this one took a L O N G time to make! I first stamped the lighthouse image from Light of the World (by Our Daily Bread Designs) in Palette Noir on watercolor paper and colored it with reinkers and an aqua painter. Everything is distressed (all over, not just the edges). I went back over the lighthouse image with a light sponging of Creamy Caramel to pick up the creases and add some age. The image panel with the magic mesh behind it is raised up on dimensionals. Another batch of dimensionals raises up the whole thing from the card base.

Once I got the lighthouse finished and attached to the card base, I was disappointed that there wasn't room on the front for one of the accompanying Bible verses in this set. That's when I decided to try running the sentiment around the outside of the layered image panel. The stamps are red rubber, so I assure you I was getting cozy with my Stamp-a-ma-jig to make sure everything lined up. Even so, it was one of those times when I was holding my breath desperately hoping for no boo-boos!

Stamps: Light of the World (Our Daily Bread Designs), Cheesecloth (Stampin' Up!)
Paper: Blue Bayou, Confetti Tan (retired), Very Vanilla, Not Quite Navy, watercolor paper
Ink: River Rock, So Saffon, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa, Bordering Blue, Not Quite Navy, Always Artichoke
Accessories: edge distressing tool, antique brass jumbo eyelets, twill, natural hemp, sponge daubers, magic mesh, aqua painter

Friday, April 4, 2008

I'm Dreaming ...

... a stamper's kind of dream! Michelle Rodgers, owner of Stamper's Dream online store, has asked me to do some guest design work for her for the next month or so. Have you been there yet? Oh my gosh. She carries all the favorites ... stamps by a wide variety of manufacturers, everything from Hero Arts and Stampendous to My Favorite Things and GinaK; of course ink, paper, and loads of embellishments; and tools and accessories (think Bind-it-All and Cuttlebug folders). Seriously, if there's something you're dreaming of, there's a good chance she'll have it. Great customer service, super fast shipping, and to top it off, Michelle is just a gem of a person. She blogs, too, and let me tell you, she can stamp!

She sent me these super fun clear stamps by Inkadinkado. One set, Doodle Flowers, is loaded up with various flower images. The whimsical, line-art style is so right up my alley. The second set, Expressions, has some fun images, but even better are the really cool sentiments with some of the neatest type treatments. Today's cards both use the same two stamps, but couldn't look a bit more different.

Here's the second one:

Blue Flowers:
Stamps: Doodle Flowers and Expessions (by Inkadinkado); Canvas background (by Stampin' Up!)
Paper: Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, and Sahara Sand (Stampin' Up!); Bluebird "Cousins" (from the Bohemia line by My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Not Quite Navy, Soft Sky, Sage Shadow classic pads, and Not Quite Navy craft (by Stampin' Up)
Accessories: sponge daubers, edge distressing tool, corner rounder, sewing machine, aqua painter, clear embossing powder, dew drops (Robin's Nest), dimensionals
Notes: I stamped the flower image in Not Quite Navy craft ink, heat embossed with clear powder, the colored with reinkers and an aqua painter. All the edges are distressed and sponged.

Red Flower:
Stamps: Doodle Flowers and Expressions (by Inkadinkado)
Paper: hot-press 80-pound watercolor paper
Ink: Real Red and Mellow Moss (by Stampin' Up); Palette Noir
Accessories: aqua painter, paper piercer, red ribbon (source unknown, I'm guessing May Arts)

Notes: The watercolor paper totally "makes" this kind of card. It gives it the feel of fine stationery.