Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dare to Get Dirty 2011 - Baby Sock Cupcake

Today, Splitcoast begins its annual Dare To Get Dirty challenge series especially for Fan Club members. It's never too late to join in and participate - Fan Club membership details are right HERE! The challenges continue for an entire week -- can't wait to see what you lovely and talented ladies come up with!

I'll be hosting a challenge later next week and have made or will be making samples for a few other challenges, beginning with this sweet baby sock cupcake today, which is for Debbie Fisher's (aka debbiedee) challenge! Fan Clubbers can find this and all of today's challenges HERE.

Do you know how much cuteness you can create out of ordinary baby items? I have seen diaper cakes before, but a YouTube search turned up loads of other fun things, from baby sock bouquets to washcloth lollipops to diaper wreaths. And cupcakes, too!

Mine is made from three baby socks - pink, white, and fuschia. It took a bit of trial and error to get the overall shape I wanted, but the payoff was so worth it. I think they're just too adorable!! I dressed up the cupcake with an accordian-folded sleeve, some tulle, a button (gotta have those!), a few paper flowers sprinkled onto the "frosting," and a sentiment flag sticking out of the top.

The "sweet baby girl" sentiment, from Verve's new Small Phrases set, fits the theme and is the perfect size! Quite a few of the other sentiments work well, too ... "sweet baby boy," "bundle of joy," "welcome, baby," "happy birthday," "precious little one." I'll be using "you are loved" on a second cupcake (made from the matches of these three socks) and packaging the two cupcakes together for a sweet baby gift. Now I just need a recipient!

So cute, so fun, and practical, too! I combined tips and how-to from these three videos:

Baby Socks Cupcake
Fabulously Artsy -- Hey, Cupcake! 
Sock Cupcake

Have a happy day!

Stamps: Small Phrases (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe collection, Papertrey Stamper's Select White card stock
Ink: Versamagic Tea Leaves
Accessories: Scor-Pal, Papertrey button, Webster's Pages tulle, The Twinery baker's twine, Prima paper flowers, Li'l Inker Designs sentiment flag die, paper piercer/needle/thread, Making Memories heart stick pin, Target baby sock 3-pack

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hugs to You

When the coloring mood strikes, I love to reach for the wonderfully detailed Stampavie images. This one, illustrated by Sarah Kay, is called Josephine Cuddling Her Pet Cat Kiki, and is available at Stamper's Dream. The last time I colored this image, I used a much different color palette, and although I liked it okay I guess, personally, I find the earth tones that I used today much more appealing. Just my taste though -- I'm certain Josephine would look darling no matter how she's colored! Today's tones were drawn from one of my favorite paper lines -- Prima's Reflections 6x6 pad. I made this for a friend who could use a big hug right now and was delighted to find the perfect sentiment, Hugs to You, in my JustRite stash.

The pretty paper flowers are also from Prima. The trim is by May Arts and the gold string (hemp?) is from my stash. I did a lot of distressing, with both ink and an edge distressing tool. The image is colored with Copics for the most part. I did add some french gray shadowing with Prismacolor pencils.

Before I go, wanted to give you the heads up to tune in to Splitcoaststampers tomorrow morning at 8 am Central, as past and present "dirty girls" (it's been two years, and I still marvel at the honor of having held that title!) host the annual Dare to Get Dirty extravaganza for Fan Club members. It's always such a fun time!! If you're not a member of the Fan Club, whatcha waitin' for? I'll be posting my challenge samples here on my blog, too -- can't wait!

Have a fantastic Friday, friends!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Great Night For Fright

I sure hope it's not too early to start posting Halloween projects -- I couldn't wait to play with JustRite's new Happy Halloween set! The six centers and borders are too darling! I pulled out some Halloween paper from last year, The Girls' Paperie Toil & Trouble. Coloring is with Copic markers and Prismacolor pencils. The black medallion is die-cut with a Spellbinders Fleur de Lis Doily Accents Shapeabilities die. Oh, and boo-boo alert: I forgot to color the belt buckle! Please tell me I'm not the only one who does that ... forgets to color some aspect of an image? I did actually go back and color the buckle and would have re-taken the photo, but I ended up botching the hat while adding some shading. Seriously ... I haven't colored that far out of the lines since kindergarten! Good thing it's a super quick image to color. I can whip up a new one -- right after my overdue playdate with Barbie and friends :)

Hope you're having a fab day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Marci Celebrates Summer

I just got back from a week at the beach and let me just say I *wish* I looked as cute as Beach Marci, one of the newer La-La Land Crafts images available at Stamper's Dream! I colored her with Copic markers, trimmed her out, and placed her in a "scene" (I use that term loosely) created with Pink Paislee's Hometown Summer paper collection. It's hard to see in the photo, but the sentiment "Celebrate Summer," from JustRite's Elegant Charms cling set, is stamped onto the smaller cloud to the left. The waves are die-cut with the Catch A Wave Die-namics die from My Favorite Things. The number banner along the bottom is from Pink Paislee's Hometown Summer border sticker collection. The clouds and cork sun are also die-cut with MFT Die-namics dies -- Sunshine and Flat-Bottom Clouds.

The layout is the July Sketch For You To Try, sponsored by My Favorite Things. Check out this post for all the participation details and the linking widget where you hook up your entry -- happy stamping! Remember, those who participate in all twelve sketches for the year will be eligible for a mega grand prize drawing in December. Hard to believe we're more than halfway through the year now!

I'm going to scoot -- lots of catching up from being away last week, including an email backlog. If I owe you a response, you'll be hearing from me shortly. My blog has been a little quiet lately, but it's about to get wild and crazy! The next few weeks are going to be super exciting and busy -- I cannot wait!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Life is Good

There's a new Diva Dare challenge going on over at the Verve blog, and today is my day to answer the dare! Here's how it works ... following each release, Verve posts a theme that we dare you with, and you'll have two weeks to complete the challenge. During those two weeks, the Verve Divas will post their creations and tell you how they answered the dare! This month, the theme is Sentimental About Paper! It's time to dig into all that gorgeous patterned paper you've been hoarding! Showcase a sentiment stamp (no images) to create a new and never-before-seen project! Verve stamps are not required, but if you've got 'em, we love to see 'em! Have you played along yet? If not, there's still plenty of time!

I hope you'll visit me over on the Verve blog today for more card info plus a chance to win some Verve! Life is good!

Stamps: Life is Good Plain Jane
Paper: Webster's Pages Yacht Club, Papertrey Vintage Cream and Kraft card stock
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Versamagic Wheat
Accessories: Wilton lollipop stick, foam adhesive, MFT Flat-Bottom Cloud Die-namics, The Twinery twine, paper, Papertrey button, edge distressing tool, sewing machine
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Monday, July 18, 2011

I'm Not Finished With You Yet

I have loved reading Max Lucado's Hermie: A Common Caterpillar to each of my children throughout the years. As Hermie, a "common" caterpillar with seemingly no noteworthy characteristics, repeatedly asks why God made him so plain, God answers again and again, "Be patient, Hermie, I'm not finished with you yet." By the end of the story, you can guess, Hermie has become a butterfly. Whenever I read Philippians 1:6, I can't help but think of Hermie and his transformation. We're all works in progress, something I would do well to remember every time my perfectionism rears its ugly head!

Philippians 1:6 is the newest Scripture stamp in Verve's Plain Jane collection. I love the font treatment Julee has put together -- it feels so dainty and sweet. I die-cut the sentiment with a Spellbinders Lacey Circle die, sponged the perimeter (with the die in place), and accented with two red mini roses and some foliage (stamped with a leaf image from Bloom & Grow, then die-cut with Verve's Elegant Leaves die). The papers are from Cosmo Cricket's Odd & Ends 6x6 Mini-Deck. I'm just loving the combination of the tiny red flower pattern and the blue polka dot print. The layout is from Chupa's Sketchbook Saturday Challenge #18 from a couple of weeks ago -- great sketch!

The card as I've shown it above is a slightly re-worked version of a card I made for Verve's most recently release. I wasn't all that happy with the original (it just felt like it was missing something), and in the process of doctoring it up, I was reminded of the "Less Is More/More is More" comparisons the SCS Dirty Girls upload to the Fan Club gallery each month. I thought it might be fun to show both!

Here's the original:

Changes I made:
+ switched to a Kraft card base for a little more contrast
+ added a strip of red double-stitched ribbon behind the twine, again for more contrast and "pop"
+ stitched along the embossed ridge on the Lacey Circle

Sentiment detail, before:

Sentiment detail, after:

And after all that, I'm still not sure I like it any better than the first one! Don't get me wrong, I don't hate it, it's just not my favorite card ever :)

Hope your week is off to a great start! I'm pre-posting, so if all has gone as planned, I'm sitting on a beach in North Carolina soaking up some rays. Doctor's orders, too {*grin} -- my Vitamin D levels are extremely low! That'll surely go on my "you know you're stamping too much when ..." Top 10 list -- teehehe!

Stamps: Philippians 1:6 Plain Jane; Bloom & Grow (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey Vintage Cream and Kraft card stock; Cosmo Cricket Odds & Ends dp
Ink: Versafine Onxy Black, Versamagic Wheat and Tea Leaves, Brushed Corduroy Distress
Accessories: Verve Elegant Leaves Die, Recollections mini roses, Spellbinders Lacey Circles Nestabilities and scalloped border die, sewing machine, Papertrey twine, Pizazz Aplenty pearls, Papertrey ribbon, paper piercer/needle/thread
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Saturday, July 16, 2011

From The Bottom of My Heart

Hey there, stampers, today I have a challenge two-fer. Verve Diva Maureen has been busy this week, hosting two different Verve challenges -- the July Get Your Diva On (your chance at a future guest design spot) and this week's Viva La Verve sketch challenge.

For the Get Your Diva On challenge, Moe has challenged us to use a pretty plastic gift card for inspiration. Those little things sure do come in such fun designs these days! You can choose to be inspired by a gift card you already have on hand, or use the photos Moe uploaded to the challenge thread. Here's the one I used:

And here's the Viva La Verve July Week 3 sketch:

You can find all the Viva La Verve Sketch Challenge details HERE.

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Best Wishes

JustRite has a whole slew of new stamps that have just released, including many brand-new Christmas, winter, and Halloween designs. You can the newest JustRite sets at Stamper's Dream. Try as I may, I just haven't been able to summon the spirit to get started on Christmas cards. I admire and envy those who have been plugging away diligently since January! From what I'm seeing of the CHA previews, holiday card-making mojo may be only a new paper collection away -- can't wait for all the new goodies to start hitting the stores!

In the meantime, I played around with the new Elegant Charms set and Cosmo Cricket's Odds & Ends 6x6 paper collection. This set coordinates with the JustRite Custom Charm Dies by Spellbinders to make tag-making a breeze! But tags aren't the only possibility. Here, I've focused on the flower image. The inside of the image is open in order to hold some of the sentiments included in the set. Instead of stamping in the flower centers, I filled them in with a punched circle of patterned paper, then added the sentiment as a tag (die-cut with the JustRite Nested Frame set by Spellbinders).

The upper left was looking a bit bare, so I added a cute little book print banner made out of notched flags and a strip die-cut with Papertrey's Victorian Lace border die.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Light Tomorrow With Today

Happy Monday! If you missed out on Verve's release party last Friday, be sure to check out the Verve store for all the new goodies! Today, we're having an After Party over on the Verve blog, a special post featuring the Divas' favorite cards from this release. So much eye candy all in one post -- check it out!

One of my favorite cards from this release features the Light Tomorrow Plain Jane. Beautiful sentiment (die-cut with Verve's Classy Label die), gorgeous font, lovely The Girls' Paperie papers (Jubilee collection), some crinkled and dyed seam binding, and a fabulous layout from Tosh's Viva La Verve Sketch Challenge ... this card practically made itself!

Also, today begins a new "Get Your Diva On" contest -- your chance to strut your stuff for a shot at a future guest designer spot! Maureen is our challenge host this month, and has come up with something really fun -- Pretty Purse Plastic, where your challenge is to use gift cards as your inspiration. Check out all the details HERE.

Julee is including a fabby goody bag with each purchase over $75!!  Awesome new Verve stamps AND free papercrafting doesn't get much better than that!!

You won't want to miss the July 2011 Stamp Collection!  All three brand new sets (Small Phrases, New Mercies, & Words Cannot Express) and 3 new Plain Janes (Light Tomorrow, Philippians 1:6, & Life is Good) are all bundled together at a 15% discount!  Prices are good through July 31st, while supplies last.

So glad you stopped by for a visit! Have a fantastic day and week!

Stamps: Light Tomorrow Plain Jane (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey Vintage Cream and Kraft card stock, The Girls' Paperie Jubilee dp
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Ranger Brushed Corduroy and Walnut Stain Distress, Versamagic Wheat
Accessories: Verve Classy Label Die, Pizzazz Aplenty yellow pearls, Recollections rhinestone flourish and yellow mini roses, May Arts burlap string, MemrieMare (etsy) crinkled seam binding, sewing machine, edge distressing tool

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Life is Better With Friends

Couldn't wait to play with JustRite's new Spread Your Wings set. Birdhouses and birdcages are a weakness of mine, and these are especially pretty! Spread Your Wings and many other new JustRite sets have recently been added to the Stamper's Dream store, so be sure to hop over and see all them under New Arrivals. I've also been itching to play with Echo Park's For the Record paper collection. The patterns I used are the larger 12x12 prints, but Echo Park has since released this collection in the increasingly popular, card-friendly 6x6 size. Yay!! Thank you, Echo Park!

I think today's card is pretty straightforward, so I'll go easy on chit-chat. Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!!

Stamps: Spread Your Wings (JustRite)
Paper: Echo Park For the Record paper collection, Neenah Classic Crest Solar White card stock
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Tumbled Glass Distress, Versamagic Tea Leaves
Accessories: Maya Road flower, May Arts burlap string, seam binding, Papertrey buttons, Stampin' Up corner rounder, Spellbinders scallop border die, paper piercer/needle/thread, foam adhesive
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Friday, July 8, 2011

Verve New Release Spotlight: Small Phrases and new PJs

It's Verve's last day of New Release Spotlights leading up to tonight's big release party and release (9-11 pm, here in the Verve Forum). We're taking a look today at a set called Small Phrases, as well as three new Plain Jane stamps (Plain Janes is a line of value-priced stamp singletons).

1. Amber 7. Laurie
2. Amy 8. Robin {Guest}
3. Andrea 9. Sankari
4. Charmaine 10. Teresa
5. Jackie 11. Tosh
6. Julee

TODAY'S Featured Set:

plus the Philippians 1:6, Light Tomorrow and Life is Good PJ's

New Verve is something to celebrate, so we've hidden a big PRIZE on one of today's hop spots! Just leave a little shout-out in the comments as you hop about for a chance to win the entire July release! You can check out the Verve Blog for all the prize details and deadlines. 

Don't be fooled ... Small Phrases is anything but small! The sentiments themselves may be small in size, but the complete set is huge and overflowing with sentiments for all occasions that can easily be tucked into any design - cards, tags, gift packaging, altered items. My idea list for these sentiments is a mile long! I picked out the sentiment "you rock my world" to show first. The layering is done with both Verve A Cut Above dies and Spellbinders dies ... first are the Verve Charming Ovals, next is the largest of the Floral Circles (the gray/white polka dot patern), behind that is a Spellbinders Fancy Tags Three piece, and last is a gray Labels Fourteen decorative square.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: Small Phrases (Verve Stamps)
Paper: Papertrey Smokey Shadow and Stamper's Select White card stock, Crate Paper Restoration dp, My Mind's Eye dp
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Pumice Stone Distress
Accessories: MemrieMare (etsy) silver glass glittered star, Verve Charming Ovals and Floral Circles dies, Spellbinders Fancy Tags three and Labels Fourteen, Papertrey stitched ribbon and twine, Stampin' Up wide striped ribbon and corduroy button, paper piercer/needle/thread, foam adhesive
Size: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Verve New Release Spotlight: Words Cannot Express

It's Day Two of Verve's New Release Spotlights, and today the Verve Divas are featuring a set called Words Cannot Express. With its collection of amazing and heartfelt gratitude sentiments, Words Cannot Express is the stamp set you've always wanted for those occasions when a mere "thank you" is somehow insufficient.

For my spotlight card, I've combined one of the sentiments from Words Cannot Express with the leafy branch from yesterday's New Mercies. Even though we stampers are getting totally spoiled with dies that do so much of our cutting, I still love to hand-cut with my scissors and my hobby blade, which is what I did for the branch cluster.

Do check out the awesomeness the Divas have prepared for today. You'll find the full hop list posted below. And remember, there's a big PRIZE hidden on one of today's hop spots! Just leave a little shout-out in the comments as you hop about for a chance to win the entire July release! You can check out the Verve Blog for all the prize details and deadlines.

1. Julee 7. Amy
2. Robin {Guest} 8. Teresa
3. Sankari 9. Laurie
4. Amber 10. Jackie
5. Tosh 11. Andrea
6. Charmaine

TODAY'S Featured Set:

Enjoy today's hop!

Stamps: Words Cannot Express and New Mercies (Verve Stamps, to be release Friday, July 8)
Paper: Papertrey Rustic White card stock, Stampin' Up Pink Pirouette card sock, My Mind's eye dp
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Ranger Old Paper Distress
Accessories: Prima flowers, crinkled seam binding, large rhinestone, trim, May Arts burlap string, distressing tool, Martha Stewart butterfly punch
Size: 4 1/4 x 5 1/2"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Verve New Release Spotlight: New Mercies

It's time to shine our sneaky Verve spotlight on some brand new stamps! We're counting down to Verve's release party this Friday night, July 8, with THREE days of Spotlight Hops! And since new Verve is something to celebrate, there's abig PRIZE hidden on one of today's hop spots! Just leave a little shout-out in the comments as you hop about for a chance to win the entire July release! You can check out the Verve Blog for all the prize details and deadlines.

1. Andrea 7. Tosh
2. Jackie 8. Amber
3. Laurie 9. Sankari
4. Teresa 10. Robin {Guest}
5. Amy 11. Julee
6. Charmaine

TODAY'S Featured Set:

New Mercies is easily one of my favorite Verve sets ever! Beautiful and varied imagery combined with Scripture and sentiments of comfort and hope. A must-have set for both sympathy and encouragement during any difficult time. Truly WOW! I can't wait to see what the other Divas have posted ... hoping today's spotlight casts a wide view of the abundance that's in this set!

For today's spotlight, I wanted to combine the "morning by morning" sentiment with a fresh, sunrise scene. So easy to do ... torn paper hills, a blue gingham sky, a stamped sun peeking up from the horizon, and some fluffy, white stamped clouds. I rescued both the butterfly (stamp from Chicks Rule, die-cut with Verve's Flutterby die) and the heart border circle (die-cut with Spellbinders Heart Circles Nestabilities) from my scrap bin, thinking they fit the theme of God's unending love and mercy perfectly!

Happy hopping! Your next stop is Charmaine!

Stamps: New Mercies (Verve Stamps, releasing Friday, July 8), Chicks Rule
Paper: Papertrey Aqua Mist, Kraft, and Stamper's Select White card stock, My Mind's Eye dp
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: Verve Flutterby die, Copic markers, Spellbinders Heart Circles Nestabilities and scallop border, Stampin' Up tab punch, Papertrey buttons and satin ribbon, May Arts wide ricrac, The Twinery twine, lace trim unknown, paper piercer/needle/thread
Size: 4 1/4" x  5 1/2"