Saturday, February 28, 2009

Two best friends

These little guys showed up at my house this week. They have other buddies with them that I'll have to ink up soon because I think they're super cute. These pups are based on my friend Maggie's two dogs who are yellow and chocolate labs. They're the same stamp, stamped twice and cut out. The hydrant is also cut out and all are mounted on dimensionals, as are the torn pieces of brown cardstock in front of them.

The trees behind (from the set Branch Out) were stamped in Chocolate Chip and then loosely outlined with the Creamy Caramel marker for some definition. The dogs and hydrant were stamped in Sahara Sand where I was going to place the item, again for definition. Finally, the sky was lightly watercolored with Bordering Blue because the white cardstock was just TOO white. I love that the gray-blue color gives the card a little bit of a fall look with the bare trees.

Noses and eyes were colored in with a Chocolate Chip marker, and then the noses were touched with some Crystal Effects for shine - you want them to have a healthy look! :)

I'm off to Lynn's stamp party today! We're getting together with some of her friends and we'll make 3 cards together. We're using glitter, dimensionals, ribbon, watercoloring ... LOTS of good and fun stuff. A great way for a group of friends to spend some time together on a Saturday. I'm so looking forward to meeting everyone and getting some stamps inky.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Relaxing in the garden

I have a weakness for tree sets, I think. This is a combination of "dry" stamping and watercoloring. I stamped some on the dry paper, spritzed it with water, markered on a little, then spritzed again with water and stamped from the ink pad onto the damp paper.

The little flowers are just dotted on with markers and then watercolored over top. I like where my little sentiment flag is, but really, it's serving to cover up a 'blurp' of color at the top of my little boots. Also, the tension was off on my sewing machine, but since this card is a little raggedy in nature, I just let it go and finished my path around.

The words used on this stamp came FREE with my qualifying purchase during Sale-a-bration. You can get free goodies, too, through Stampin' Up's promotion. Want to order through me? You can order online through my demonstrator website(, or if you have questions, please drop me a line. Hurry though, you only have through the end of March.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Copy-cat birds

I'm showing you my "AFTER" card (above) and my "BEFORE" card (below).

I was fiddling with this card, trying to get it to look just right, and I wanted to include some grass, but thought it wouldn't match to have green where there wasn't green anywhere else on the card. But after I added it, I think it looks great. Before it was just too plain, and I was having trouble tying together the reds and oranges, but with the addition of the flowers, I got to add more red, and a little green which I felt gave me permission to add my green grass. I also doodled in a horizon line to ground my little birds, and now I'm super happy with my results.

I saw this card in blues and greens on Scrapnextra's blog. I don't have the paper she used. Hmph.

I was considering doing this card on the cheap (ha! cheep, cheep) for a workshop, meaning I needed to stretch my designer paper for a larger quantity of cards. If possible, because the designer paper comes in 12x12 sheets, I like to use even increments so that all the paper gets used as fully as possible, with minimal tiny scraps/waste and as many pieces as possible. So for this card, I split the papers I used. I used Riding Hood Red DSP Patterns paper in a 4x2 piece and Washington Apple paper in a 4x3 piece. There's a small overlap of the two behind the focal point, covered with some Tango Tangerine striped ribbon.

Just like in my inspiration piece, I stamped the birds twice. Once on the main piece of watercolor paper and another time on a scrap of watercolor paper. I colored in the "scrap" birds, cut out just their bodies and then popped them up on dimensionals over the plain bodies for some more interest.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Finally inked my skull

Another VSN challenge card. Challenged to use a set you don't like, I knew I'd go for Just Jawing. I earned this set a couple months ago, and while I'd mounted it, I never expected to use it. Looking for a color inspiration, I saw the stitched Regal Rose ribbon, and I was off! I'm not sure you can see it in this picture, but the skull is mounted on dimensionals over the crossed bones behind. I watercolored the skull in pink for pop and so that I had the option of coloring in a little more dimension. This ribbon usually is also stitched across the top, but it was too wide for where I'd (ahem) slapped on my sentiment. A couple brads for a more industrial/heavier feel.

I'm really pleased with this card, because it came out much better than expected. I'm thinking I may make my neice's birthday card using this set. She'll be 12 this year, and I've been wondering what to do for her card.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Punchy puppy

This is another VSN challenge w/ the 45 minute timeframe included. This was my first challenge card of the night, and I think it turned out fairly cute! The criteria for this card was to represent something you love. I'd seen a cute puppy done with punches on Mercedes' blog, so that was my inspiration because after my husband, my dogs are closest to my heart. You had to make a standard size card and include a large circle, large heart and a piece of paper/cardstock that was a 1/2" smaller than the card base.

To make my circles look purposeful, I used the dotted paper and punched out my sentiment using more circles. The heart is just hand drawn and then cut out. Over top of the heart I sponged on some chocolate ink, then covered it in Versamark ink and Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. The embossing isn't a very smooth coverage, but I wanted it that way. It reminds me of a dog's wet nose. :) Finally, for a little detail, I added brads in the corner and a quick strip of wide ribbon for more texture.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oh, Baby.

I participated lightly in this weekend's VSN challenges on Splitcoast. These are challenges that anyone can participate in, but you have to follow the hostess' directions/criteria. For this one, quickly explained, you had to choose whether you would base your design on white, milk or dark chocolate, and then you had to use the prescribed color scheme that went with it. I chose the color scheme of chocolate, apricot and coral. I haven't gotten to use the set By Ones & By Twos that is now retired as much as I wanted to while it was current.

I wanted to soften the colors so I went with the watercoloring. Added a few layers of cardstock, and I'm overall pleased with this card. I think I could have worked it to where I loved it, but these challenges come with a 45 minute window for creation, and that's tough. I added a brad for the hanger to "hang" from and a couple strips of ribbon for more softness, and I had to call it good.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stamp camp samples

This weekend I held my stamp camps in two sessions and I got to hang out with several of my stampers. We made two birthday cards and a more general card. This first is a monochromatic card with Certainly Celery and Old Olive cardstocks and the set Pocket Silhouettes. I wanted to bulk up these little images by adding matting and layers behind the stamped images. This is a good way to make small images have more visual weight.

All the layers except the top two are flat, but the top images are popped up on dimensionals.

The next card uses Crazy for Cupcakes, crystal effects and glitter - a combination that is frankly adorable.

The following picture shows a close up of the glittered frosting and the cherries with the crystal effects on top! The polka dot paper is Stampin' Up's Candy Lane designer paper.

And finally, the last card was a quickie birthday card for the guys. I used the Word Window punch on the happy birthday and popped it up on dimensionals for a little more interest. With the striped Manchester designer paper, I didn't want things to be too busy.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Well that isn't fun either ...

After my "goodbye, cruel world!" post, I realized I had some (what I feel are) super cute projects that I made for my stamp camp attendees this weekend. I will be posting those, probably tomorrow after the camps are over, but I guess what I would really like to encourage you to do is to make an effort to post on those posts that really jump out at you. Let the poster know that you're liking what you see. And I don't just mean on my posts. I know that it can be a pain in the butt to stop your browsing (I use and love Google Reader, too), but I think that most of us could also use some encouragement. When I see a project that I think is particularly above and beyond the ordinary, I like to stop, go to the actual blog and leave a note, and I'd encourage you to do so, too.

Thank you to those of you who took the time to comment, telling me not to stop blogging and that you enjoy my posts. Thank you also to my nearby friends and fellow stampers and relatives (Mom that means you) who tell me in person that you like my projects. I create for my own enjoyment and sanity, but TRULY appreciate hearing that you liked my projects, too.

Have questions on what I did or how I did it? Leave me a comment. I do love sharing my tips, advice and even my downfalls so you can learn from me, but I don't know what you need to hear. And if you comment on my blog, I always try to visit your blog for a look around and a comment or two. Let's bolster each other up. That's what stampers do!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Signing off

I know that many of us are feeling like there isn't enough time for everything, and I'm kind of thinking that this blog is one of those things I'm going to phase out. Sometimes my sister comments, but other than that, it's radio silence.

I would like for this to be an unselfish process where I could just humbly post without caring what others think, but when you have a blog and there's never feedback, it really feels like you're just launching it into the ether. I'm looking forward to just creating to create.

It's been a pleasure, but I'm letting this go. Thank you, and good night.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Big Birthday Candle - first time inked!

This is going to be one of the cards for my February stamp camps being held later this month. I tried to keep it completely monochromatic, but using just one color kept it looking boring! I'll have to keep trying for that single-color look. I think it would also help if I got myself up to my stamp room and actually created something on a regular basis. When I don't "practice" the ability kind of fades away.

Anyway, I like the final results, and that's what counts! The candles and flames are up on dimensionals, and under the glitter, there are even wicks made of linen thread. For a more masculine look, I think I'd leave the glitter off ...

Thanks for coming by! I'm so glad we're midway through the week. Can't wait for another weekend! :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Decor element sign

This is another try at the now new-ish decor elements from Stampin' Up. The sentiment was placed on top of the glass, while inside the frame I layered some designer paper and some cut out leaves (lower left corner) and finished it off with some photo corners in the (duh) corners.

This is the second time using this product, and they're SUPER easy to apply. I needed to move the topmost "season" down just a little so it wasn't half on the yellow and half on the brown (leaving it partly behind the frame). I just got out my Xacto knife, slipped it under the letters and lifted them up one-by-one. I had to move slowly, but it wasn't difficult.

When placed on the glass, they give the project a little more dimension than they might if I'd used die cut letters inside the frame. They even project a little shadow onto the papers inside the frame.

I take this sign to be intended as a Thanksgiving decoration, but because the colors aren't terribly autumnal, I think you could even do something like placing it near family photos ...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Signs of Change

I am one to absolutely prowl the clearance racks/endcaps in stores, particularly craft stores. Often I don't even care what the actual item looks like, I care about the structure (and the reduced price!). This "relax" sign below is an example of this. Here in land-locked Colorado, there isn't a lot of beachiness happening, not a lot of nautical needs either. But, when I saw these signs posted for $1, I was compelled to buy a few ... ok, five.

I've only used one sign so far for a little Valentine sign. I covered it in kraft colored cardstock and then used some Bella Rose designer series Stampin' Up paper. The letters were punched out of light chipboard and DSP and I glued them together to give them just a little more bulk. The alphabet dies that I used are the Big Shot "Serif Essentials" sold through Stampin' Up. The stamps used are from the set "A Happy Heart" and the scallop punch is also a Stampin' Up goodie.

I am REALLY pleased with this cute little sign, especially for how quickly it came together! This is a project that could have lingered on with me just not finding the right combination of items. But not this time. I think I finished it in a short evening's span.

The ribbon is a combination of Stampin' Up and other scraps that I had handy. I punched through the metal sign to set a few corner eyelets making it look like the sign had been the way I had designed it for a long time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Candy results

I appreciate you visiting my blog! The candy drawing was done just now and the candy winner was chosen!

The winner is Pat S.:
Can you use this post instead of my first one? I forgot to tell you who I love and why. It's the gals in my stamp club. Why? Because we all went to school together, and after many years going in different directions, we reunited and formed our stamp club...picking up friendships where we left off. Thanks. -- February 2, 2009 9:20 AM

Pat! Email me with your address of where to mail your goodies.