Saturday, June 30, 2007

Dad's barbeque

No reason for making this card other than that I got this stamp from Gina Krupsky's site (I don't know why, but I love her last name!). It's colored in with my Prismacolor markers (red and black), Stampin' Write markers (gray), and my silver Zig Painty pen. The smoke is from the Stampin' Up set, Happy Camper, and the background is SU's Flannel stamp. The tab is the Rounded Tab Punch with "dad" handwritten. I dressed it up just a little bit by putting a black brad on the wheel and colored over the smoke with a Sikura gel stardust pen.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Flip flops for Friday!

Here's another pair of flip flops from the batch I found at Joann's last summer. This is a card made up from wanting to use several items that I'd bought and then had set aside. The "friends" dimensional sticker is where the colors were all pulled from and it's made by K & Company. The sentiment stamped in Cool Carribean is from the Stampin' Up set, In My Thoughts, and I was so excited when it fit in my punch so perfectly!

I hope you all are having a great Friday wherever you are!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Oh where, oh where can my new catalog be? Stampin' Up demonstrators all over the U.S. and Canada have begun receiving their catalogs, and so far, there aren't any at my house. I keep staring at this little card and wishing I could just let it go, but I'm on the brink of obsession.

This card only has stamping on the background piece using the Aida Cloth background stamp. These little flip-flops were found last year at Joann's and came in a pack of 8, I think. They're all different patterns and colors. I love them because I'm a HUGE flip-flop shoe fan. I wear them all the time in the summer.

I hope you're having a relaxing day wherever you are!

I haven't been stamping - I've had the blues!

No cards from today. I worked until 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday night and on Wednesday, Ky and I went to see Tab Benoit play at Herman's Hideaway, a local concert venue. We don't have video from tonight, but I'm linking to a previous performance of his elsewhere. He was AMAZING. This video does not, however, show off his incredible speed and skill with the guitar. Ky and I had a great time on our date!

Also playing tonight as his opening act was Erica Brown and her band. They did a great job with high energy on the part of Erica Brown and we really enjoyed the guitarist from her band, too. They are a local Denver band, and we always like supporting local artists. Here's her website if you're interested, but when you open it, beware, it plays a music clip automatically.

Tab Benoit - Garbageman blues

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Niece and nephew birthday cards

Can you tell that I got my new Bugs & Kisses set? I had been waiting to make sure that it wasn't retiring this year because I just didn't need any more sets that I couldn't demo. My nephew and niece were born 3 years and a week apart so I needed cards for them at the same time.

This is the card for my nephew, Nathan, who turned (eek!) 13 this year. I'm hoping that this card isn't taken as too babyish by him... When I first met him, he was only about 3 years old, and Ky and I weren't even engaged yet.

This card also features some stitching done on my new Janome sewing machine purchased primarily for card making purposes. They were having a sale on it and I got free shipping, so I couldn't pass it up.

This next card is for our niece, Katelin. She turned 10 this year. I'm sure she's excited to be in the double-digits. I met her just a few days after her birth when I wasn't familiar enough with my (wonderful) sister-in-law, Kirsta at that time to visit her in the hospital immediately after she had the baby.

The background is the SU paisley stamp and the lady bugs are made with the 1-1/4" circle (black body), the 1-3/8" circle (wings, cut in half) and the 1/2" circle (head) punches. The dots on the wings were made using black Stazon and a pencil eraser. The eyes are googly eyes that were glued on last. The sentiment is punched out with the Designer Label punch and layered on red 1-1/4" and black 1-3/8" circles.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Congratulations graduate

Someone at work was looking for graduation cards. I don't have any stamps that imply graduation... So I turned to papercrafting instead.

I used my new Hugs & Wishes sentiment set, my 1 3/8" square punch, silver cording, black brad and Basic Grey paper layered onto Old Olive cardstock. I really like how they turned out, and MAN, were they quick to make!

Card for a co-worker

This card is for a co-worker who is undergoing chemo treatments. She's a really sweet woman who is missed around the office. The sheep (from Stampin' Up's set Farm Fever) is covered in Liquid Applique that I let air dry and then hit with my heat gun. The designer paper is all from a 6"x6" pad of Basic Grey paper. The scallop piece is Cranberry Crisp.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Stamping in reverse

Did you know that you can use your stamps - in reverse? I just got the new Stampin' Up set, Zoofari (available in July from your Stampin' Up demonstrator), and while I think they're so cute, I really wanted this zebra to be looking to the right. But the original stamp looks to the left.

I was able to use the reverse of the stamp, by inking up the zebra stamp and then stamping onto the flat piece of rubber from the center of the Monogram O stamp (also Stampin' Up). I then huffed on the O rubber and pressed it onto my cardstock, resulting in a right-facing zebra!

Because the O piece wasn't mounted on a block of wood (or anything else), I ended up with a slightly smudgy zebra, but this worked for me because I was going to make it into a pull toy and wanted it to look a little soft. I drew the platform for the zebra and cut the whole thing out, omitting the stamp's tail. I pulled apart a piece of black grosgrain and used it for the tail and mane. The wheels are punched out using the 1/2" and 1/4" circle punches with a More Mustard colored brad in the center. The string for the toy is silver cording with a knot at the end.

Here's the completed card. More pulled apart white grosgrain tied into the knot for softness.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Pick a Petal - Love it!

This is my first time playing with the Stampin' Up set, Pick a Petal, which will be available in July. HOLY petals, batman. I love this set. I love the size of the flower you end up with too!

The sentiment is a Michael's dollar stamp that I have permanently altered. It used to have presents off to the right of it, but I kept finding that I was markering (sure that's a word) the sentiment only, and avoiding the packages. So, when I made these cards, because I was working with a dollar stamp, I just took my Xacto knife, cut between the words and images on both the stamp and label, and ripped off the package portion from both. So liberating!

Shirt Birthday

Hey look! It's another shirt card. :) This was just a quickie to use up another of the many origami shirts that I made last week. I used the Stampin' Up set Happy Everything, and on the Sahara Sand cardstock I spritzed it with my color spritzer and a gray marker. I do like that this shirt looks like something someone might wear to work on casual Friday - which I'm so happy is finally here!

Delight in Life - birthday scallops

This is a 4.25x4.25" card. Mostly, I just wanted to play with some things I hadn't used in a while. I made two of these cards because the white scrap I stamped using the Stampin' Up sell-a-bration set, Delight in Life, made enough for two white centers. I figure that if I'm taking the time to make a card, I've been trying to make at least two and take advantage of everything already being out.

The gold-ish dots are from my Sakura glitter pen. Sorry for the weird shot, but I wanted to show that the sparkly dots are there.

Oh! and after I took the picture, I took off the mustard circle behind the scalloped pieces because it was distracting to me.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Big Bloom birthday multiples

A while back I had stamped a sheet each of various Big Bloom flowers in Elegant Eggplant, Really Rust, and Apricot Appeal. I wasn't sure what to do with them, but I knew I was going to cut them out. I cut them out while I was hanging out with Ky and watching TV. Then, I had a nice little stack of blooms that I still didn't know what to use them on. So they sat on my desk for a while. Then, ala Michelle Wooderson's advice on her blog, I decided to just crank out a few multiples. I found a couple papers (Mellow Moss and Not Quite Navy) that would work with my colors and went to work. I was able to assemble 6 cards in about 20 minutes. They're all a little different, but with the same bones.

Other stamps used are the Dotted background and the new sentiment set, Hugs and Wishes, which will be available in the Stampin' Up catalog in July.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Edible, ornamental, alien

I just thought I'd take a moment to show you some of the things we have growing at our house this spring. We have some very tasty strawberries that the birds and I are fighting over. It's a matter of who spots them first when they're actually ready to eat!

Then we have some plums that we suspect may just be ornamental, but we'll be giving them a try later when they're bigger and soften up. These are particularly interesting to me because we've lived in this house, with this same tree for five years, and this is the first time that ANY plums have ever appeared.

And finally, we have a tray of corn kernels that I'll be planting this evening. A couple seasons ago a worker at a local garden store gave us a tip on helping corn along before it ever gets in the ground. You spread out the kernels between layers of paper towel and wet them daily. It softens up the kernels so they sprout and then they don't take as long, or need as much water to get started. Don't they look weird? Ky and I say it looks like we're growing sheets of alien babies. :0 We're late getting the corn in this year, so it's good that it has a healthy head start.

Monday, June 18, 2007

June stamp camp cards

These are the cards we made at Friday's June stamp camp. I couldn't believe how fast these cards went for the group. Everyone was done in under 2 hours!

I know, this isn't an overly masculine card, but I figure the shirt puts it enough into the category that we can maybe get by with it. The base of the card is a long note from the spring mini, which I really enjoyed using because I didn't have to cut them!! My stampers all got a kick out of making the shirts, and seemed pleased that they weren't as hard to fold as they anticipated. I did hover by that station to lend a helping hand, but they also assisted each other. It's so funny to me, but I just love watching them work together to get things made.

This flower card was mostly patterned paper and then I spritzed the white watercolor paper and stamped the flower on it. It was super quick and a sentiment can be added when it's ready for use. I love how happy this card looks.

And here's the final card from the camp. I've really been enjoying using these classic cars. They're great for a masculine feeling. The color combination on this card was suggested by Ky. There's Crystal Effects on the bumper and headlights. Also, I used black Stazon because I prefer the true-black of it to the Stampin' Up classic stamp pad.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fun to know!

This card was made with one of the preview sets from Stampin' Up. Because it's kid oriented, I decided to use the It's Your Day set saying, "Each and every year you grow, you just become more fun to know." For the front, I used a marker and just inked up the "fun to know" portion of the saying - the full stamp was used inside. The rhinos were masked and layered then watercolored in using the new '08 In Color color, Soft Sky. Then the teeth, toes and horns were too blue, so I went over them with my white gel pen.

I love the grins on these guys!

Blog banner and watermark services are going strong

Did you notice that for a while there I wasn't stamping and kind of went away? That's because I was focusing on designing blog banners and watermarks.

If you're looking for someone to help you with a custom banner for your blog and/or watermark design, please think of me! I've been working with several women to create their perfect designs for their blogs and would love to work with you!

Please check out my design blog: Kulesa Designs. I guarantee to work with you until you're happy and that you'll get a quick turnaround on your project.

Another striped shirt card

I sold out yesterday, so last night I made a few more cards. I wanted to show this one because of it's modern feeling in contrast to the patterned paper I used on yesterday's cards. This paper is from an 8"x8" stack that I found on clearance. It just happens to go with the new Stampin' Up color, Soft Sky, and last year's Cranberry Crisp. What a happy coincidence!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Masculine cards - heavy on the starch!

There was a recent challenge on Splitcoast Stampers using origami folds to make little shirts and incorporate them into cards. These shirts are perfect for Father's Day, and I wanted to make them. Thankfully, Cambria Turnbow did a great little photo tutorial on her blog that I was able to follow along with. The folds stay the same, no matter what size paper you're using as long as you increase the paper size so that you are working with a rectangle. The following are cards that I'm going to take to work to sell this week because I've been getting requests for Father's Day cards. All these shirts were made using Stampin' Up double-sided designer paper. I made more than just these four, but the general look was the same so I don't want to be overly repetitive... Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Custom baby card

One of my co-workers requested a card for a new baby in her family. She requested that I use the Wash Day wheel for it because she'd seen an earlier Wash Day card and thought it was very cute. I just love that little bunny dangling by his ear!
Coming soon I'll show a little tutorial of a gadget that I won as blog candy that worked particularly well with this wheel.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Swapping FINALLY! (and an injury)

I haven't had my stamping impetus in place for several weeks now. I don't know where it went, and because it was missing, I'm terribly late getting my June swaps done. These are for our local demonstrators' group swap, and the theme is simply, Summer. I'm glad to have these done and glad to lift off the weight of guilt for not getting my swaps done (at all) on time. Both swaps were done using brand new, never-before-inked stamps, and it was fun to break them in.

On the card above, the Big Blooms blue flower is cut out and raised up on dimensionals. I have had this card in mind for a couple of nights now and it was good to ink them up and stamp them out.

This set is Artfully Asian and once I saw it was safe for the coming year's catalog, I went ahead and got it. The stamps were colored with markers and then colored in further with additional markers. The flower outlines are Rose Red colored in with Cameo Coral and the branches are Garden Green filled in using Certainly Celery.

CAUTION: possible squeamish alert for the following content!!!
As I was stamping the thank you notes, Ky called up the stairs, saying, "Melissa? I'm really sorry...but we need to go to the emergency room." Never good when he's just ready to go to the ER because I've previously had to talk him INTO going for stitches and such. The following photo is the very sanitized version of his cleanly bandaged and numbed thumb.
I did great until we got to the hospital, checked in, into an exam room, and then I was pretty sure I was going to pass OUT. I'm not normally a fainter, but the upper right corner of Ky's left-hand thumb is GONE, and it started to really sink in. After a little walk through the halls and a purchase of a Diet Coke I was fine. He had x-rays, and numbing shots, and it was cleaned out and wrapped up - no stitches this time because there's nothing to sew back together. He is completely fine with no bone damage - though he is banned from using the table saw anytime soon. It's is kind of cool (not that I'd recommend trying it out on your own fingers), but apparently, when he cut it off, the heat produced by the blade cauterized the wound so it really didn't bleed very much. We're to schedule with a hand surgeon on Monday for an earliest-available appointment. I'm very hopeful that the narcotic painkillers prescribed for him are VERY good or he'll be in a lot of pain.