Monday, December 31, 2007

Scrappy Time Well Spent

More Time Well Spent blooms! These were watercolored with Purely Pomegranate and Regal Rose, and the green dots were colored in with a marker. This entire card was made up using scraps from my scrap bin. The flowers are stamped singly and cut out (obviously) and then mounted on dimensionals.

We'll be making a card very similar to this one for January's stamp camps. I'm going to work up some faux buttons.

Artful Cracked Glass

This weekend I stamped up a storm (a tiny, gusty storm, but more stamping than we've seen in these parts in quite some time) and I wanted to use my Artfully Asian set and some more hardware - I'm trying to learn not to hoard things I buy. I was admiring a card given to me by my friend, Jeanine, on my birthday where she used the cracked glass technique and it made me want to do some "glass" cracking of my own. I had to stamp two of these central images because I dragged my pinky (or something) across it and smudged the original beyond get-away-with-it-ability; after the first botched try, I went and washed my hands and then heat-set the color after every addition of a new color.

For this technique I used Ultra Thick Embossing Powder, and heated/layered/embossed it probably 4 times and then I popped it in the freezer for about 15 minutes - but it doesn't necessarily need that long, I just kind of forgot about it when I got distracted by something else; once the card kind of curls on the ends and feels brittle, yank it from the freezer and twist it so you get these little cracks running through!

This card is very similar to one that we'll make at my January Stamp Camps. Everything except the ribbon (Martha Stewart) and the hardware (We R Memory Keepers) are Stampin' Up! supplies.

Pomegranate watercoloring

This card showcases the new Level 3 Hostess set from the upcoming Stampin' Up! catalog. It was sent to demonstrators as a gift and as a preview.

I really enjoyed watercoloring this image with reinkers. That's how I got such a deep Pomegranate color. I did the outlines of each of the flower blossoms and some of the interiors with a very saturated color, and then brushed over it with a damp brush without picking up additional color and spread the tint around.

There's a slit punched on the spine of the card for the ribbon to slip through.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fast thank you notes

This is a shot of the quick (one layer) thank you notes that I'll be sending out for my Christmas gifts this year. The card and envelopes have been stamped to match one another. It was refreshing to remember that stamping doesn't have to be difficult or intricate. And in this case, I just needed to get it done so that I can get them out. I have a personal rule that I can't use my gifts until the thank you notes have gone out, and there are a few great things that I'd like to use! :)
Sets used for this were Snow Burst and Wonderful Words. The inks are Blue Bayou and Soft Sky. The cardstock is Whisper White.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Little Birdie Told Me ... Get Stamping!

I'm having a hard time having any stamping mojo right now, but this was a good, quick project to do as a warm up! This new set, A Little Birdie Told Me, is available in the new Stampin' Up! catalog available January 1. Demonstrators were able to purchase this set early to start working on samples, and I knew I had to have it as soon as I saw it. The striped paper is some of the retiring Wintergreen paper and the bird is colored in with markers.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas (post) catch-up!

If you'd noticed I wasn't posting, you may have been wondering where I was. I've been swamped at my day job and trying to get ready for Christmas. In the meantime I had a stamp camp and a stamp club meeting that I made projects for.

The gift card holders are Stampin' Up!'s preprinted holders that I embellished with a scallop punch done twice in different colors and then added grosgrain ribbon in either Old Olive or Real Red. These came out cute once I figured out what to do with them. I don't know if others were confused by them too once they had them in hand, but when I went searching for inspiration, there just weren't many examples out there!

The color is way off in these photos, but I'll show you the layouts just the same. The first is a catalog case as requested by my stamp club hostess for the month. All I changed was the use of rhinestone brads down the belly and the background stamping is a little different.

This second card is also a stamp club card. I'm so sad this set will be retiring so quickly! It hardly seems like it got a chance! The stitching was done with the cutting kit tool used for perforating - I just ran it over the Old Olive pad and then wobbled my way around the edges of the main image a couple times to replicate stitching. The star was colored in, covered in Crystal Effects and then doused in glitter.

Thanks for hanging in there with me! I cleaned off my stamp table and hope to show off more samples (more often) as the new year gets under way. :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Blessed Christmas

I wanted to send out wishes to you and yours for a blessed Christmas.

Christmas is a time for feeling blessed and being blessed. I wanted to share a few of the things that have been so poignant for me this year.

We had Christmas already with Ky's family, and had a wonderful time. We felt particularly blessed by our quality time spent in particular with our niece and nephew (10 and 13 respectively) and not to be too sappy, but I just really enjoyed our interaction with them and my heart felt warmed to have them as family. It really renewed my intention to try to spend more time with them before they hit the true teen years and lose interest in us! One particularly sweet moment for me came when my nephew asked my husband if he would be willing to teach him to throw pottery like he'd offered a while ago.

Earlier this month we had Ky's Christmas work party at one of our favorite restaurants and the company was wonderful. I was so pleased to get to see Ky be recognized for his efforts. He has been working long days and evenings and hiring really wonderful staff to make things work like they should, and in the president's speech, he mostly focused on Ky and his appreciation for him. The night was topped off when 4 of us (me, Ky, and Ky's co-worker that Ky initially followed to the current company and his wife) were left wrapping up the evening with the president of the company after everyone else had left. We mentioned that we're going to Hawaii in December 2008. At that point, the president said how happy for us to have that as something to look forward to and went on to say that because Ky has worked so hard to make things work better and run smoother for his company, he wanted to give us a Christmas gift and pay for our airline tickets. He told us when we buy our tickets, to send him the bill! I think at that point, my mouth may have actually fallen open.

Then yesterday, we donated our 1996 Jetta to charity (a bittersweet memory, as this is the first car Ky and I bought together before we were even engaged, and it's seen us through getting married, finishing college (for me), moving a couple of times, and over 9 years of marriage). The tow truck driver that came to pick it up came around dusk, and with Ky being the chatty fellow he is, he stepped out to talk to him. I glanced out the window, but didn't go with Ky. Later her related this story to me:

Ky greeted him with a Merry Christmas, and thanked him for coming to get the car. He said the man's face was transformed at the warm words and said Ky
was the first customer to wish him a Merry Christmas this season. They talked about how God and Jesus have been pushed from the season by political correctness, and that it almost feels rebellious to wish someone something other than Happy Holidays. They talked about how the driver was trying to get his own business started and that he donates his time picking up vehicles that were being donated to charity. Then the man turned to go to work putting the Jetta on his truck. Ky went inside to the box of new leather work gloves that I'd given him the day before when we opened presents with his family. He pulled out a pair (of the Costco three-pack) and took them outside. He handed them to the towtruck driver and again wished him Merry Christmas. He said the man nearly teared up seeing Ky's gift of the gloves. He turned his gloved hands palm-up and showed dirty, holey gloves and thanked Ky earnestly saying that he couldn't afford new gloves.

When Ky told me this story, I truly felt happy that we could help someone less fortunate than us, but I also feel so blessed to be married to a man who would give away part of his gift to someone who needed it more.

I hope you and your family have what you need this holiday season and that you can take time to note those things that are extra blessings.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Stamp club card and candle

These were the projects for November's stamp camp. I can tell I'm REALLY far behind because I've had our DECEMBER stamp camp since the last time I posted! I'll just have to do my best to post those soon.

The candle we altered started out as a plain vanilla pillar candle. We progressively layered paper, wrapping it around the candle and securing it with red sticky tape. The branch and flowers were stamped and the flowers and leaves were watercolored using ink from ink pads. It was then colored and attached with Crystal Effects. The ribbon is held in place by the brads that were pushed through it after poking a starter hole with the paper piercer. When everything was where we wanted it, and how we wanted it, the flowers and leaves were dabbed with Crystal Effects.

This card is the second project for the club. It relies on texture and dimension for its impact. I think this is a great way of showcasing how a few details can give a lot more visual excitement.

The three smaller leaves are on one layer of dimensionals, while the larger leaf has a double-layer of dimensionals to make it sit just a little bit higher and stand out more. The eyelets were placed using the Crop-a-dile, and the sentiment was positioned with the aid of the Stamp-a-ma-jig.
Thanks for looking!