Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Party Bird

This is another of the cards that we made at stamp club this past Friday. This card was made with the new Pun Fun set. It also features the Berry Bliss designer paper. The pink and brown color combo was an all-around hit. I was going to make a Valentine initially, but then the new set was sitting there on my desk (and I was procrastinating / experiencing a block), so I switched to a bird-day card.

The watercoloring on this one is very simple, and uses my premise of trying to give the images dimension by coloring from darker to lighter, either working from just one side of the image to the other side, OR, by working from both sides to the middle. The watercolor paper is particularly forgiving for this process because you can spread the color more easily as well as blend more smoothly as you layer the color.

Also, the picture doesn't show it much, but there are Dazzling Diamonds on the hat's pom-pom.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Many birthday wishes!

This first card was one of the two Stamp Club cards that we made on Friday. While I was cutting cardstock for the projects, I cut a few extra pieces. After the club, I made different styles, using the same basic pieces.

This poor little bird! When I colored him in originally, I kind of obliterated his eyes. So I went back in with my white gel pen and put two careful dots over where you could barely see his eyes. I let the white dry and took a fine-tip pen and re-dotted him some new eyes. I think this adjustment makes him look very alert. :)

Then there's this guy. He's partying it up with some glittery confetti. I colored the dots that were already there in bright colors (plus dotted in some more), covered them with Crystal Effects and Dazzling Diamonds glitter, and voila! A party in the works.

And finally, this little monkey is dropping in to celebrate a fun birthday. He's colored with markers and sponged around him to make him pop a bit more. I added panels of color to his solid parachute and put on some white dots. I covered the parachute with Crystal Effects and when it was dry, I went back over it again with my gel pen to re-highlight the dots and lines in the 'chute. I think he must be ready for some tap dancing, too, because he's wearing patent leather shiny shoes. :)
Have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

At the Dew Drop Inn ...

I found this post sitting in my "drafts" file from 1/8/08. This is a card that I made for my good friend, Jeanine. The original post follows below. :)

I got to try out my new Dew Drops which arrived today (4 days after I ordered!) from Ellen Hutson's site. I bought other stuff that I'll show off soon. I partly wanted to put the bottle with the card so you can see the scale of the bottle that the Drops come in.

I don't mean this in ANY disparaging manner, but the bottle is a LOT smaller than I anticipated. HOWEVER, it's jam-packed up to the tippy-top with Drops, and they're really beautiful with lots of speckled dimension to them, and they ARE little ...

Soooo ... how many Drops do you think came in my little bottle of "Men" colored Dew Drops?
Maybe the better question is - why did I feel the need to count them? I don't know, but count them I did, and I found that there were 490 Drops including the three used on my card! I'm now plenty assured of the value of these little bottles.

I would also completely recommend Ellen's store. This isn't the first time that I've purchased from her online store, and I am once again very impressed.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Wildly colorful Valentine card

You may be quite relieved to hear that (for a while) this is the last of the Happy Heart Day cards that I've made up. The scallop-bordered piece was done with my Nestabilities that I bought from Ellen Hutson. I feel like I finally have them figured out without pressing them deeply into the top plate of my Cuttlebug when I use them. The paper is retired SU! designer paper and the card base is Old Olive stamped in Old Olive ink on my Polka Dot background stamp. Buttons and brads are both Soft Subtles items from Stampin' Up! with the exception of the black brad which is from a Stampin' Up brad collection a while ago. And the heart has Crystal Effects on it with the layered buttons set into it before it dried.

Tonight I have my first Stamp Club meeting of the new year that I'm looking forward to. We're figuring out logistics of who is hosting in which month, and then we'll top it off with stamping a couple of cute birthday cards! I'll share those with you after the club gets together.

Then on Saturday I get to get together with my friend Jeanine to stamp while the guys play poker, and we'll do a little prep-work for our Opportunity night late Sunday afternoon. If you're in the Denver metro area and would like to attend and find out about hostess opportunities or becoming a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, drop me an email and I can send you the details.

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Two elephants in one!

Two elephants in one post, that is. I love how you can get a totally different look from a set, just by changing up the colors. This layout is essentially the same, except the ribbon knot changed sides, and the main image piece moved over just a touch. They even use the same style of flower stick-pin embellishment.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

He recommended pink

This card was made with the Happy Heart Day set while Ky and watched a movie this weekend. ALL of the paper is from scraps, as is the ribbon! The heart and sentiment both have Crystal Effects on them. The heart was faux stitched with a white gel pen, then covered with CE. Then the stitching wasn't as bright as I wanted, so I just did it over again on the CE and it worked great! The actual heart isn't this bright in real life, but it IS that shiny.

The title of the post comes from when Ky recommended that pink be the color for the ribbon on this card. He was kind enough to look at the card without ribbon and consult with me on it. Then when he recommended pink ribbon, he kind of seemed like he couldn't believe he thought something needed PINK on it. :) He's such a help. I really appreciate that he actually gives a thoughtful opinion on my cards - even when, unlike in this instance, it isn't something I want to hear!

And again, don't forget to check out the stamp sets I have for sale. I managed to get four small sets in a priority envelope (for the lower mailing cost) this morning!

Monday, January 21, 2008

In the Pink

This is a fun, bright, cheery Valentine card. The "love" sentiment comes from the retired set, A Light Heart. I love the strong color combinations of Pretty in Pink, Purely Pomegranate, Regal Rose and Whisper White. The ribbon, I believe, is a spool from Michael's.

The stripes on the vertical piece are from a piece of designer paper, backed with a piece of Purely Pomegranate, and topped off with some faux stitching done with a white gel pen.

The heart in the O is part of the stamp, but I punched it out with my 1/2" punch, put it on a dimensional and reset it. I'm obsessed with Crystal Effects right now. I always like it, but it's just working great for all these Valentine cards. I covered the word, and the newly raised heart dot, with Crystal Effects, and I think they look good enough to eat!

You're seeing so many Valentine cards because I sell them at work, so I really try to kick up production! I hope you're not tired of them!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My heart is bigger than an elephant

Heh, heh, get it? Bigger than an elephant? Sorry, I really shouldn't write the text for my blog so late at night. I get slap-happy.

The elephant is from the Happy Heart Day set. I colored in the elephant with a Going Gray marker and you can see the lines. I may try using a blender pen to smooth out the marker lines. The heart at the end of the elephant's trunk is colored in with a marker and covered in Crystal Effects.

TIP: When coloring in something that I know I'm going to color in one color and then cut out, I simply color from the outside of one side of the image right on through the image to the other side. For the elephant I then went back in and colored in the toe nails with my white gel pen.

This card features retired Stampin' Up! designer paper. I cut the heart out by lightly folding a square of the designer paper in half and eyeballing/cutting out a heart like we used to do in elementary school. I used my Janome sewing machine to add some stitching around the top layer. The button in the upper right corner with the gingham ribbon threaded through it is hiding the start and end of my stitching.

TIP: when threading ribbon through button holes, cut the end of your ribbon at a very sharp angle and thread it through the top of the button and then back up from the back using the same end. This reduces the need to have two sharply angled cuts on both ends of the ribbon. This is only important because the cut end going through the button hole becomes very frayed, so you do waste a little ribbon, but there's no sense in losing waste from both ends of the piece. You can also do this while the ribbon is still on the roll and then tie your knot and snip off the second end. The cuts down on waste - no pun intended. :)

Edited to add comments that I've received:

Simone says:

"Use a floss threader to thread the ribbon through the button, then you only have to clip the end once. Works great for me." When I emailed her, thinking she was talking about a needle threader (I was picturing something like cross-stitch floss, not dental floss) She was nice enough to clarify, and said, "Nope...tooth flosser thingy. In the aisle of floss there are things called threaders, they are thick like fishing line and have a loop on one end and a point on the other.

Put one end of ribbon through the loop part and pull through with the flosser, then clip to make pretty. Sometimes the ribbon frays when I try to just thread it with a good point, like you do, but with the flosser I don't have to cut the pointed end at

Look for them, it's like $1 for 5 or 10. I use them on all kinds of things. The needle threader is too flimsy (I broke mine) but the floss threaders are perfect."

And Melissa also commented with her solution:
"Singe the end quickly with a lighter, then it won't fray at all. The S.U. ribbons work amazingly well for this."

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to check out my stamps for sale in the post before this one!

Retired Stamp Sets for Sale

UPDATED: August 10, 2008

These sets are tired of sitting in the dark in my stamp room closet, and I'm sure they got all excited today thinking they were back in the game, but alas ... we had a good time, but it's time for us to go our separate ways. Won't you give these stamps a chance? :)

Email me if you're interested in any of the stamps listed. First come, first reserved. Stamps will be sent out promptly once payment is confirmed. Stamps in negotiation will be grayed out.

Gently Falling - set of 4 - $7
Cute Converse - set of 12 - $9
Happy Harmony - set of 6 - $8 (new and unmounted)
In Any Event - set of 6 - $8 (new and unmounted)
Best Blossoms - set of 6 - $8 (new and unmounted)
Springtime Stems - set of 8 - $10 (new and unmounted)
Noteworthy - set of 9 - $7
Too Terrific Tags - set of 6 - $8 (new and unmounted)
Too Terrific Tags - set of 6 - $8 (new and unmounted)
Booglie Eyes - set of 8 - $12
Letter Patterns - set of 3 - $6
Looks Like Spring - set of 6 - $12
Spring Bouquet PUNCH (coordinates with Looks Like Spring set) - set of 1 - $8

Background Stamp - Word by Word - set of 1 - $12

If a set is listed twice, it means I have two sets available. All sets are gently used and come from my smoke-free home. I can accept either PayPal or credit cards.

I am selling to U.S. addresses only at this time. Sets will be mailed via United States Postal Service (U.S. addresses) will be $4.60 for one stamp set (priority envelope) or $8.95 for a flat rate box that can fit multiple stamp sets.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Don't forget we're friends

This is another stamped image from the Happy Heart Day set. The elephant was watercolored in with Going Gray reinker and an aqua painter. Grass and flowers were colored in with markers. The dotted paper is from the Stampin' Up! Bali Breeze designer paper. Other cardstock colors are Certainly Celery, Purely Pomegranate, Regal Rose, Old Olive, Pretty in Pink and Whisper White. The flowers/hearts also have Crystal Effects for some nice shine. The ribbon is Pomegranate stitched ribbon.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

White Uni-ball Signo Gel Pen - bringing it back from the dead?

I have several that I can SEE have ink, but they won't write!

If any of you crafty people out there know how I can bring my white gel pen back to life long enough to use the remaining ink in it, would you please leave a comment or email me?

Polka dot birds

This is my follow-up paper pieced card from yesterday's post. Those primas were a pretty way to use up supplies while covering up a cheesey chip smudge. Don't these birds look ready to party?!

I added some additional details to dress it up. A clear Spica glitter pen was used on the flowers, dots and party hats.

And small dots of Crystal Effects were added to the stars on the patterned paper for additional texture.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tips on A Little Birdie Told Me

Tip One: Do not eat cheddar sunchips while stamping or you'll have to find a way to cover up your cheesey fingerprints (hence the giant Prima flower stack that you'll see on a similar card in a later post).

Tip Two: Pay attention when lining up your phrase or it makes the whole card look a little drunk.

Tip Three: attach metal embellishments with Stampin' Up! mini glue dots with great stick-a-bility. To get the dots off the waxy, non-stick paper onto your item, press your item onto the dot, the dot will pull away with your item, and you won't have to fight to get the dot off your finger.

Stamp mounting TIPS for the little birdies: Before you even mount your stamps, you may notice that the large bird and the central phrase are on the same piece of rubber and are meant to live together that way forever.

But it doesn't have to be this way. You can mount them separately! I preferred them separate from one another so that I can put the sentiment wherever I want to.

However, you need to remember to remember that you did this, rather than thinking it came that way because otherwise, you'll spend needless time scouring your work surface patting piles of scraps, looking under your desk, incriminating your dogs, only to find, when you go back and count the stamps, that there are 12 in the set, and you count 12 blocks ... Learn from my mistake, people.

Back to the actual act of stamping these birds for paper piecing. Stamp your birdies' bodies on small scraps of designer paper - and don't worry about the legs.

[said in your best monster truck rally advertising voice:]
Stamp the bodies, BODIES, BODIES, because you'll NEVER NEED THE LEGS!
Ahem. Back to stamping.

Then cut them out of your designer paper, snipping off the tops of their legs, and even their beaks! Cutting off the beaks was figured out after this picture was taken, but you can see the clean lines that resulted from this decision in the first picture in this post (from a different card front), versus the second picture.

Stamp your two whole birdie buddies on a piece of cardstock that you'll use for your central image. Add hats, umbrella, flower, whatever you'd like at this point. Since these are B-day birdies, they've got hats.

Fill in birdie body #1 with some glue - I used Stampin' Up 2-Way glue. Try to stay in the lines, but don't freak out if you don't.

Lay your birdie body cutout over your glue covered silhouette, and press it into place.

TIP! You may have some glue overlap, but that can be handled with an Adhesive Remover. This little gizmo is just under $2 and lasts for months and months. It works to remove adhesive spillage from 2-Way glue, rubber cement, glue sticks, etc. Anything but actual tape. You just let your adhesive dry and then rub the Remover over the affected area and it balls it up for removal.

TIP! This results in adhesive "boogers" being stuck on the corners, but when enough pile up, just take your scissors (but probably not your "good" scissors), and snip, snip them off! Good as new, and only marginally smaller.

Thanks for looking, and let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

[Retired] Layers of love

This card uses the retired items A Light Heart stamp set and Petals and Paisleys designer paper. A couple of things that make this card work, I think, are the bold Purely Pomegranate with the softer colors of the card base and the designer paper. I also love the use of the stick pin for a little flare.

You can see though that this pin has a SHARP end to it. My solution for this situation if I don't have a pin cap/sleeve, is to simply put a dot of Crystal Effects on the tip. It's pretty clear in this picture, but on the card itself, you hardly notice it, whereas if I didn't do something about the tip, someone would likely poke their finger, and then they'd notice it for sure!

The picture above also shows the ribbon groove that I punched out. Stampin' Up! has a little slot punch that's perfect for this size slot, but clearly, it wouldn't reach that far in.

So, I just pencilled in a little box as a guideline, and then took my Crop-a-dile and punched consecutive circles down the box until I had a slot. Then I cleaned up my edges with my paper snips and I was ready to go! At that point I put the ribbon up through the white piece and taped on the Pomegranate piece along the long sides only so the ribbon was sandwiched between them but was still adjustable for when the whole card was assembled.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Kissy-Kissy Face

I was stamping at Jeanine's and she has the Happy Heart Day set (and I don't) so I stamped out a BUNCH of V-day cards with these little guys. I had put Crystal Effects on his nose, but it came out in an unfortunately large dollop [user error]. I let it dry to see if it was ok, and it just wasn't. So, after I got home, I ripped off the CE dot, and punched a hole through his nose [ow!] and popped in a black brad. Because the paper had torn behind the original CE his nose has a bit of a halo around it, but I actually like it.

I had also put more appropriately sized dots of CE in the corners of the Old Olive layer, but then to tie in the brad on the flower piece, I went ahead and added brads to the corners instead.

The designer paper on this card is from the Bali Breeze set. This paper is GORGEOUS in real life, and has a lot of applicability for many different occasions.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Calm, manly goodness

The background idea for this card is taken from Nicole Heady's project here. Well, really the whole card is inspired by hers, I just used Stampin' Up! stamps instead. Below is a photo of the card without the sentiment. I think that the earthy colors and natural stamp make this a very masculine card. As Ky put it, it has a very Zen feeling to it, adding that that was impressive since Dante's not usually a Zen kind of guy. :)

TIP: When you have a small image that you want to have impact, add layers as well as items to draw the eye toward it. Notice how my hemp string is tied so that they almost make arrows pointing inwards?

I used the sets Embrace Life and the hostess set, Infinite Goodness.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Feedblitz subscriber boom

Hello to all my recent Feedblitz subscribers. There have been so many of you lately that I'm wondering if you wouldn't mind telling me what I did to get so many new viewers! :)

I'm glad you've joined me!

Two Genuine Cards and the ATG tape gun

I'm going to try to make up a batch of masculine cards to have on hand. Since this doesn't come naturally to me all the time, I thought I'd use a masculine set, and try to CASE something from the Stampin' Up! catalog to get the creative juices flowing.

Then in real life, the actual card was VERY lifeless and boring. I couldn't believe it! I showed it to Ky and he agreed it was plain and not very interesting - but he thought the same thing of the card in the catalog (on p. 107 if you want to check it out for yourself). So I reworked the card(s) completely using the already prepared "Genuine" pieces and I like both my cards. These cards are made of all scrap material and I'll count it a success. :)

I also got to use my new tape gun. It's an ATG 714 which uses 1/4" tape. Using it is a snap, once you figure out how to load the gun! I plan to take pictures and post them because there's nothing very hard about it, but it isn't explained well. I bought my tape gun from, but I'd recommend using the links for the gun or tape because you have to dig on the site to get to them. I like the tape pretty well, too, so far. It seems to stick really well (even on the uneven surface of the crumpled paper) and is kind of similar to Snail or mono adhesive, but it's got a little more brawn to it and doesn't seem to pull apart from itself or the project like the snail and mono sometimes do.

TIP: to make the paper easier to scrunch up for the card on the right, I misted it very lightly with a spritz of water to soften it.

And apparently, what's stamping without pups to support you? Here I am sitting in my chair with Lily under the desk, resting her head on my pseudo-crossed ankles. Boy, am I a sucker for this dog!!

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Friday all!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Simple birdy

I was trying out my new rectangle Nestabilities, but I got a little frustrated. I'll have to go back to it again, but in the meantime I got this rectangle with no problem, so I decided I should make a quick, simple card. I was going to put a sentiment, but then decided it was just fine like it is. :)

The little bird was colored in with Stampin' Write markers in layered colors from light to darker. Do you think this card needs something more?

Stamp: Fun & Fast Notes; Paper: Wintergreen DP (retired), Kraft.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

And the stamp room crowd goes WILD ...

I just had to share these photos of my stamping "audience" and their obvious enthusiasm for my hobby. Look closely and you'll see our blonde dog who is barely visible on her blanket on her bed on the floor.

And a closeup of Lily:

And here's Berkley's closeup:

In any event, they're very good company, and I had a good time looking over my shoulder and seeing my little buddies were hanging in there with me. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Waiting for my candles to come...

I've been trying to decide if I need the new set, Big Birthday Candle, and in the meantime, I tried to find a workaround. These "candles" are made from the invitation information stamp in the Eat Cake set.

I stamped the image, and then I trimmed it down to make my candle bases.

I don't know ... how do you think it turned out? Should I get the actual candle set? :)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Birthday One-Sheet-Wonders

These 10 cards were based around one sheet of Stampin' Up!'s Ginger Blossom designer paper. Because birthday cards are the most popular cards at my stamp camps, I think I may do a OSW class with these cards. At the bottom of this post is the graphic showing the measurements that I used for the designer paper for these cards. Two of the cards used two slips of designer paper, rather than just one (they show on the template at the bottom of this post in different colors). The designer paper is fun for OSW cards because you're not just stuck with one choice of patterned paper as a focal point and instead can use either the front OR the back for different looks.

You can click on any picture for a larger view.


Used silver brads, River Rock stitched ribbon, words from Happy Everything, and flowers from Simply Said.


Used flowers from Doodle This, Ruby Red brad, River Rock stitched ribbon, punch tab, and "for you" from Happy Everything.

Three (uses two pieces of dp):

Used silver brads, River Rock stitched ribbon, and 2-step stamped flowers from Bud Basics.


Used silver brad, scallop punch and 1/8", 1-1/4" and 1-3/8" circle punches, hemp twine, flower stamp from Bud Basics, and "happy birthday" stamp from Think Happy Thoughts.


Used "celebrate" stamp from Celebrate Everything, silver brads, 1/2" circle punch, 1/8" circle punch, Word Window punch.

Six (later added hemp twine circled around the main image and knotted in front):

Used Happy Everything and flower from Doodle This stamps.


Used Scallop punch-out cut in half (see page 3 of Spring-Summer IBC for inspiration piece), Artfully Asian flower stamp, twill tape, Crystal Effects applied after watercoloring the leaves.

Eight (uses 2 pieces of dp):

Used Sincere Salutations stamp for birthday phrase and twill tape with unraveled ends.


Used silver brads to ground the faux-belly band and stamp from Holidays & Wishes set.


Used twill tape and Groovy Guava stitched ribbon tied with hemp twine. Birthday stamp is from Fun & Fast Notes - watercolored and then used Crystal Effects on candle tips, frosting, and platter.


Please feel free to use this template and my examples, but if you copy them exactly, please give me credit. Thanks!