Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my dad's birthday, and this is the card that I sent to him. I wish I could be there with him, but since I can't, I hope it made it to Minnesota in time! I'm not sure that he'd agree that "birthdays are the BEST," but I think he'll like it anyway. :)

I used Vintage Violet, Thyme, Vanilla, and Rust as my color scheme. I thought they made for a cheerful, but masculine color theme.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I got an Easter basket!

Look at what Jeanine made me! Aren't these sooo cute? They're styrofoam egg shapes, covered in paper flowers and in a paper basket. Jeanine, you are too inventive. I may have to leave these babies out all spring. Thanks so much for making them!

You can view the full details of how she made these cuties on Jeanine's blog. Double-bonus, they're sweet as can be, but they won't rot your teeth. :)

Cuttlebug + Brayer = Oooh

This little notebook is from Target. It's sitting on an unfinished version of the same kind of notebook. I thought that this cute girl went so well with the delicate pattern of the textile texture. I had to decorate the notebook after reading on monika/buzsy's M.A.D Stamper blog about using the brayer to ink up paper that had been run through the Cuttlebug. It works GREAT and the finish is really clean.

The Cuttlebugged paper was run through my Xyron and attached to the front. The black and white gingham was adhered using Xyron tape strips. The button is from SU's Fresh Favorites I collection and has 2 black brads through the holes. The piece with the girl on it is mounted on dimensionals. I colored in her shirt, shoes, stripes in her skirt and flower in her hair with a blender pen and Cool Carribean ink (click the photo to see a larger, more detailed version). The other coloring is all done with SU markers. The ribbon on the spine is black grosbrain and white grosgrain that was hand-dyed to match with Cool Carribean re-inker.

The detail shot below is how I handled the snap-closure on the front of the notebook.

I cut out a 1/2" circle in the newly textured paper with an SU punch, then I cut out a 1/2" hole in a Cool Carribean scrap. Then in the same scrap, I cut out another 1/2" hole and punched around it with my 3/4" SU punch, and using my 2-way glue pen, I glued the circle with a hole in it to cover the edges of the hole in my textured/brayered paper to fit over the snap.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

We have a winner!

Using several of your suggestions, I've "revamped" the snoozer card. I had Ky draw names from those who submitted. I really like it now, and am excited about sending it out to the winner, Dawn Mercedes!

I couldn't really send out a coffee cup-themed card without a little Joe to go with it, so she'll be getting a Starbucks gift card. (see it peeking out of the card?) And then, because there's a saying that goes with the set about good friends with chocolate, I'm sending her 5 yards of various colors of chocolate ribbon - one yard of each pattern. And, as promised, she'll also get the card.

Dawn, please email me your mailing address and I'll get this out to you! Thanks so much to each of you for taking the time to comment on my card! It was fun reading all of them. :)

Here's a close-up of the coffee cup piece. I drew over the steam with my stardust glitter pen and restamped the cup in Cool Carribean ink, put Crystal Effects over it and let it dry, then cut it out and mounted it with 2 dimensionals in the center so the cup curves out.

The beans also have Crystal Effects over them. I pierced all around the edge of the Chocolate Chip piece, added 3 copper brads in the lower-right corner. I replaced the Close to Cocoa ribbon with Chocolate Chip ribbon, and tied a small piece of hand-dyed Cool Carribean ribbon in the knot.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A bit of a snoozer...and a give-away

I had high hopes for this card, but it's left me feeling a bit let down... There's nothing blatantly wrong with it, but it's not too exciting either. The tag inside the card is from this set and says, "sending warm thoughts your way." The steam is done in gray and is stamped a couple times and stamped-off, then stamped again a couple of times so there are layers of steam. I'm going to switch the ribbon out for a darker chocolate-colored ribbon, and Ky suggested the Crystal Effects for the cup and beans (which DID help), but now, I'm out of ideas.

If you have suggestions for some changes to make it more visually interesting, I'd love to have you comment on this post. If you give a suggestion by the 24th (Saturday) at noon (mountain standard time), I'll put your name in the hat and you could be the recipient of this card and a couple of other little goodies. Thanks for looking!

You can click the image above for a more detailed view.
Pre-Crystal Effects:
Interior view:

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

March incentive for my stamp campers

I've introduced a new incentive program for my stampers in 2007. They can earn tickets to be entered into a drawing for special prizes on a quarterly basis by:

  1. attending stamp camp
  2. bringing someone new with them to stamp camp
  3. making a purchase (of any amount) through the stamp camp

This altered notebook is one piece of what I'll be drawing for in March. It's a small 3"x5" notebook, perfect for slipping into a purse, or to leave by the phone. I took out the spiral wire to insert pieces of cardstock for the dividers marked by the colored tabs, then reinserted it after I covered the front piece with stamped cardstock. The flowers on the tabs are from Stampin' Up's triple-flower punch.


Last night and this morning I made two very opposite cards. The first is a card that was meant to be simply happy and bright. The one I made this morning is a sympathy card for the passing of someone's father. The sympathy card is based on the layout of the butterfly card from my last post, but I felt the fern was more masculine.
I hope that today you can find the joy in life and appreciation for those you are near. Have a great day, and if you're in Colorado like me, be sure to get out into the sunshine and soak it up while it's here!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Remember when...

I was saying that CASEing is really an approved manner of making cards? Well, in spite of creating quite a few cards lately, none of them jumped out at me as something I wanted to do for my stamp camps this weekend. My stamp camps generally total around 3 cards, so they're a lot fewer projects than most Stampin' Up demonstrators' versions of a stamp camp.

Since I was looking for inspiration, I went to my SCS "favorites" that I have selected over time from the Splitcoast Stampers site and picked some cards to CASE. Here they are, with links to their original inspiration cards.


I LOVE the color combination on this! The card that I CASEd can be found here. It was created by SCS member, kmastrorio. The difference between mine and hers are on the vanilla center piece. She sponged the edges of hers, and I believe she watercolored her butterfly. I colored mine in with a blender pen and then covered it in Dazzling Diamonds glitter.


The second card in my series of CASEd cards is by SCS member leslierich and can be found here. I love my Best of Cluck set, so this was an easy decision. I created a paper mask for the chicks so they didn't get sponged too. She used ribbon instead of the twine, but I didn't have a color ribbon that I liked, and she used Really Rust instead of Ruby Red (I liked the pop of color). She also had her Weathered-stamped piece layered on another piece of Cocoa cardstock (but given the butterfly card, I was tired of cutting layers. Especially knowing I had to cut enough for an entire group of stampers!


This creator of the card I CASEd for this sample is SCS member SophiaMom. Her card can be found here. The difference on mine is that I embossed the jar (hers was outlined in black, and she had a sentiment down the right side of the card. I didn't do this because I didn't have the same sentiment, and then, well, I messed up, so my image is actually moved over to cover up a mistake. I also added a green mat and faux stitching. Both cards have ribbon, but hers is around the jar top and mine is around the card body. Our colors are also slightly different, but I was definitely inspired by hers. The inside of the jar is very lightly watercolored with an aqua painter and Bashful Blue ink pad. Oh! She also had used the Canvas background, but because I already used Canvas for another project that will be being created at the same time, I went with linen for my version.

Have a great weekend and a very happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ten Quick Cards

These are the 10 cards for my March 10th class. You stamp one 8 1/2 x 11 sheet and use it to accent 10 card bases. Add in some ribbon, some brads and some sentiments -- attendees can choose what suits their needs or simply copy my design.

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope you're "sharing the love" with those you care about today!

Today's featured card is actually the Valentine that my Mom sent to Ky and me. I think this is adorable! Thanks for thinking of us, Mom!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Coaster Frames

**Edited to add: - the coasters were from Michael's $1 bins.**

Now that this project is with its recipient (Jeanine), I can show it to you! I partly made this for Jeanine because she has 3 cute kids, and I knew they'd look adorable, and partly just because she's such a good friend. Her two older kids are twins and I designed the far left for the boy and the far right for his twin sister. The middle panel is for their little sister. I liked that the twins' panels "shared" the similarity of the striped paper, but then the design diverged (practically on its own) and went their different ways with other paper options.

This is a frame for 3-2" circle photos, one on each piece (which are not shown). The base of this project are three chipboard coasters that I found at Michael's 3/$1. This project did take quite a while, but I think it would go faster now that I've done one. All the paper for the backgrounds were run through my 5" Xyron machine (that Ky bought me approximately 5 years ago(!!), but that hadn't been used much until now). It worked great for this project although I did run out of the Xyron adhesive roll, which Ky graciously picked up a refill for while out on a hardware store run.

The patterned background paper is mostly Petals & Paisleys which will be available in the Spring Mini catalog in March; the leafy green paper is retired SU paper, which I didn't realize until I was done. Most of the stamping is from Polka Dots & Paisley, also in the Spring Mini. The other sets used were for the E/Enjoy image on the far left and is from Be Happy, and the leaves on the center piece under the flowers are from Bodacious Bouquet. The "find joy in the little things" is punched out using the Designer Label punch, then has a 1-1/4" circle of So Saffron behind it and 1-3/8" Mellow Moss circle behind that, and finally, a Certainly Celery piece that was trimmed to outline everything. I thought I had a better resolution picture of this so you could see the detail of it all. If I can find it, I'll re-upload it to this post. I bought the buttons as part of an assorted mix at Archivers and the hinges are, I believe, Making Memories and were found at Michael's or Archivers.

The flowers on the center panel were stamped and then cut out and mounted on white 1-1/4" circles, then Mellow Moss 1-3/8" circles (punched out with SU circle punches). The upper and lower flowers were mounted on one layer of dimensionals and the middle one was mounted using the big, thick glue dots so it would stick up above the other two layers. The ribbon is all SU and is the color that matches Mellow Moss.

I wanted to explain how I got the flowers out of the Polka Dots and Paisley flowers because this is the outline of the flower that I used:

and this (although blurry here) is the round flower that is on the piece:

and I got it by rotating the flower and stamping it three times in a circle, like this:

This method allows even greater flexibility with this cute little outline stamp.

Bright birthday

This card's color scheme was inspired by the bright, shiny ribbon that I found at Michael's. I again wanted to use the rounded tab punch, but didn't have a sentiment to fit, so I hand-wrote it in Certainly Celery, then traced over it in Green Galore when it wasn't quite dark enough to read easily, then traced over that in my Sakura "stardust" glitter gel pen for sparkle. I also added some glitter touches to the center of the flowers. Here's a close-up of the writing so you can see the shimmer. It's not that blatant usually, and the writing remained more legible on the actual card, but if you've never seen one of these Sakura glitter gel pens, they're pretty cool!

The card uses Both Way Blossoms in black Stazon, then colored in with Stampin' Up markers in Pixie Pink (also used for the layer of cardstock with white gel pen doodling), Pink Passion, Certainly Celery (also used for background cardstock and ink), Green Galore, Pale Plum, and Perfect Plum. The background stamp is SU's Dotted.

Monday, February 12, 2007

They say it's your bird-day!

I have a couple of birthdays coming up and I've been wanting to use my new rounded tab punch. Also haven't used my "Best of Cluck" set in a while, and I've missed it. I watercolored under the chicks with 2 of my grey watercolor wonder crayons for the shadow. The chicks are done in three colors and covered in flocking which is a lightly fuzzy fiber so that the chicks are downy and soft to the touch. I used the 2-way glue pen and covered all the chicks in glue then dumped the white flocking on them and then tapped off the excess. I think if you click on the photo to enlarge it you can see the texture of the flocking.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Alphabet cards

Jeanine's stamp camp this weekend featured an alphabet theme. She always does such a nice job, but I thought these were all particularly cute. The cards on the far left and right feature Stampin' Up's monogram alphabet and the center card uses Letterpress alphabet. As always, her cards also featured several backgrounds so that they added a lot, without taking away from the focus of the cards. Thanks for having me, Jeanine!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Some cute for your Friday

No cards today. I was out playing Bunco last night while Ky took the dogs and went to his parents house for a visit. Doug and Nita always welcome the "grand-dogs" and we hope the girls are on their best behavior when they go visiting. Sounds like the dogs ate pretty well, too, talking them into sharing some crackers and a treat of salmon! Do you figure Lily used the face above to work her magic?

Have a happy Friday! The weekend's almost here...

As always, you can click on the photo to see the BIG version.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Quick Card

This is just a quick card for a neighbor who had oral surgery this week. She's not a girly-girl, so I went with a more masculine feeling.

The image is from the SU set Farm Fever and the background is SU's retired Chicken Wire stamp in Close to Cocoa on Creamy Caramel. The main image was stamped in Stazon and colored in with Prismacolor pencils and odorless mineral spirits (to smooth out the pencil lines. I was impressed with how this image came out and how much better it looks compared to other images colored this way since I applied the principles of Gina K's tutorial that I recently watched online. I may have to invest in a larger set of colored pencils if I keep this up. I found that I didn't have the variety of colors that I would have liked to have. The set I'm currently using is from my college art class days, and since I was an English major, I didn't have a huge need for lots of colored pencils. :)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

My choices are limited (and I'm thrilled)

I woke up last night (have got to stop doing that!) with an idea for a card for Ky. Here's hoping that he doesn't suddenly start reading this blog, but I cannot resist sharing this card with you.

This card was inspired by a card designed by Jeanine that I made at one of her stamp camps using the Big Blossom Sell-a-Bration stamp. However, for me, the Loves-Me, Loves-Me-Not tradition needed to be tweaked. When I think of Ky, all my petal options read "Loves Me." I am so blessed to have him that I just don't see it any other way.

Phew! That's enough mushiness.

This card is 5 1/2" x 5 1/2". I didn't worry about size because I won't be mailing it and I knew I wanted all of the petals on the page without having to cut off tips to make it fit. The blossom was brayered in Regal Rose and stamped on Whisper White then cut out using my paper snips. I then wrote "loves me" on each petal using my white gel pen. Then I taped them together so the petals alternated and punched out two 1/8" holes for the ribbon to pull through. The background (Bashful Blue) was wheeled on in coordinating ink. The "dream come true" sentiment is from the SU set of the same name and was punched out using the Word Window Punch. The flower is mounted using foam double-sided tape beacuse it would have taken a ton of dimensionals for such a big piece.

I doodled some swirls and a border on the Apricot Appeal side strip, then I doodled imperfect lines around the petal edges. I was inspired by (SCS's Sweet Miss Daisy a.k.a.) Anna Wight's Feb. 5th blog entry to try out doodling when I saw her card's main image and its doodling. I thought "Hey! I could do that!" I'm pretty sure I couldn't do some of the other beautiful things she does, but DO I like how my doodles turned out. I think the key is that if you are asking yourself if you should add more, then you know that it's time to stop adding more!

My Stamping Runneth Over...

...into this morning. When it really shouldn't have.

Last night Ky was out playing poker, so I was home alone for a while. I've had requests at work for Valentine's cards, so I've been focusing on that. I made this card half-heartedly because I was so droopy and just wanted to go to bed, but also wanted to stamp something (because I could). I do like the clean, minimalist feeling that this card has. I feel like it could use a little something more, but I'm not sure what...

The striped paper is Basic Gray, the punched out stamp border is a Cuttlebug diecut, the red piece behind the image is the inside piece using the same diecut, and the "love you" image is from the Stampin' Up set, A Light Heart. The ribbon is either from Joann's or Michael's. I originally had stamped the hearts and sentiment in Real Red and then put Crystal Effects over the heart images after putting it on the card using dimensionals. When I went in to my stamp room this morning, the CE had made the hearts kind of a sickly red color so I took off that piece and re-stamped it and punched it out again using the 1 1/4" SU square punch and re-adhered the new piece in place. As far as fixes go and how much effort they can sometimes take, this one was not too bad.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Awake at 2 a.m. ....

Well, something good came out of not sleeping during the middle of the night... I was in bed and awake for probably 20 minutes before I got up, with all kinds of unneccessary thoughts running around, so I decided to get up and do something else. But I wanted to be quick about it and hoped that it would clear out my brain so I could get back to the important business of SLEEPING.

This patterned paper is from a "slab" of patterned and solid papers that I got on clearance at one of the local craft stores sometime last year. The pages are 8" x 8" and the orange sticker on it says $2.95. Such a deal!

I cut a piece of the harlequin paper into a 5" x 3.75" piece, then ran it through the Cuttlebug and sanded it lightly. I stamped my Love phrase in Cranberry Crisp and sponged it with Creamy Caramel and then used the inkpad and rubbed it directly on the edges of the paper. Turned out that the patterned paper was just a little too busy-looking for a whole card front.

So I chopped it in half, stamped another Love sentiment and I had two cards-worth, so I made two of these cards. The Close to Cocoa paper was the perfect color to make the colors pop, without hurting your eyes. The lower right corner looked a little naked, so I added three little brads and it was done!