Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Praying for you

This is a quick card that I put together using the set Thoughts and Prayers that I showed my mounting solution to in my last post.

I'll be making multiples of variations these for the church card ministry, so I needed them to be fairly simple and gender-neutral. I love the colors and patterns in this pack of paper - ETA - the name of the paper is SU's Bella Bleu. It has very calm colors with an upscale, decadent feeling.

The buttons are from Stampin' Up's Button Latte collection and they have paper "strings" in the button holes. The ends are tacked down on the back with a glue dot and then another dot to attach the button to the card front.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 30, 2009

From double-mounted to single

This isn't to say that I'm not irritated that I had to spend additional money to have my stamps single-mounted, but since Stampin' Up has promised NOT to double-mount sets other than alphabets/numbers, I've decided to just move on and deal with it.

This post doesn't even have any stamping in it, other than what I stamped on the blocks. I stamped on the blocks to show the full-size image, because when SU double-mounts a set, they give you labels that are more what I'd consider to be indexes, rather than full-size, since both sides of the block are covered with a stamp, leaving no room for a full label. You can see these little labels at the top of the picture immediately below.
The photo above is the set as it's mounted single-sided. To have enough blocks to mount them, I resorted to hitting the clearance section at Michael's and the Dollar Tree's stamp section.

The cheapest, largest stamp that I found to plunder was marked down to $3.99. Considering that I thought it unlikely I'd use the set nearly as much with the double-mount setup, I think the $3.99 was worth it. If I'd looked longer/other places, I might have brought my price point down further, but was it worth it to waste gas/time on that? Didn't seem like it, so I bought my stamp, took it home and sanded the other stamp's image off the block and peeled the stamp off the other side. This left me with a great block, ready to mount to.

I got out my Stazon permanent ink, laid out the tree image,

inked up the rubber

and carefully pressed the new naked wood block onto it. I repeated this process with the branch stamp as well. Once they were stamped, I mounted them like I would normally. I did this with the rest of the set as well.
Some of the other stamps could just be separated out among the provided blocks by cutting them in half, and others were mounted onto other dismantled stamps that I'd bought previously at the Dollar Tree store.

I marked where the block should be cut, and Ky cut them apart on our chop saw. I sanded the edges with a sanding block which is a sand paper adhered to a sponge so that it can follow contours - I like them because they don't have to be plugged in and are very low tech and user friendly.

It's better that you not have to deal with purchased stamps this way, but if it will help you use your sets, do what you need to to make them work for you!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Quickie birthday card

I showed you the card I had ready for my goddaughter's birthday, but when we bought the presents, they wrapped them for us, and they were done in primary colors. Hmmm ... that didn't go with my original pink/brown/orange color scheme.

Sooo, I whipped up a card for the new color scheme using Washington Apple designer series paper from Stampin' Up and paired it with the hostess set Window Dressing from last catalog.

The sentiment is from the set Big Birthday Candle, and it shows through using the Word Window Punch. I covered up the "to" from 'to you' with a little touch of ribbon because it just barely showed (and I didn't want it to).
The window is raised up on dimensionals and to make it look like it took longer, I added some layers and finished it up. Then I ran out the door to the party!!

Hope you're having a good weekend and spending time with those you love. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wagon card

This first photo has better color because I took it this morning in more natural light. It's the one you'll want to look at for the most true color representation. :)

I was blog hopping and saw this little Easter wagon. Unfortunately, I don't know who's special enough to get this, for the amount of time it took to make it! :) I'm wondering if I shouldn't frame it and enjoy it that way.

I used the set A Good Egg for the eggs and chicks. The paper is Delicate Dots (item #114674)- a free Sale-a-bration set w/ $50 purchase. It's a huge pack of paper for a freebie! You still have time to earn some of this paper for yourself through the end of March, but then it's gone! You can visit my demonstrator website to shop online day or night, and with $50 purchase you could pick this free paper up for yourself. Just click on shop now to enter your order.

Not sure why the color is so off between these two pictures taken at the same time with the same camera, but they allow you to see some of the egg detail anyway.

Here you can see one of the wheels and some of the glittered and punched details. The buttons are not Stampin' Up. I'm not sure where they're from ...

Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Simple birthday card

This card was paper-pieced using the set Simple Birthday Thanks. If you've seen it in the catalog, you'll recognize that it usually has a simple thank you note for kids' use in the middle of the cupcake base. When paper piecing, that part wasn't necessary. I colored the edges with markers so that I only go the outline to cut around. The designer paper used on this card is called Tea Party, and it has such wonderful springy colors.

I used my paper crimper on the base, added some glitter and Crystal Effects to the frosting and cherry and called it done!

The ribbon on this card is from the Sale-a-bration ribbon bundle (item 114618) and it is SUCH nice ribbon. You still have time to earn some yourself through the end of March, but then it's gone! You can visit my demonstrator website to shop online day or night, and with $50 purchase you could pick this ribbon up for yourself. Just click on shop now to enter your order.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Audrey's birthday card

I posted the birthday invitations yesterday, and here's my version of the birthday card. I used a leftover turtle centerpiece and with a little more time for a one-on-one project, I was able to take it up a level.

On the dotted paper I put some Crystal Effects and when it dried, I put on a circle of white gel pen. The brads were inserted into a 1/4" circle of paper and then I put Crystal Effects over the pair to make it look more like a unified element.

You can click on any picture for a closer look. Thanks for coming to visit today!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Someone has a first birthday coming

Our goddaughter is turning one at the end of this month. Here's a picture of her that I took while we were babysitting her recently. I touched it up a tiny bit, mostly for color, but her eyes are really that amazing!

Her mom was kind enough to let me help with her invitations. We wanted something that wasn't super girly, but which pointed out that it was a girl's birthday. We used the Sweet Always designer series paper which has some super cute polka dot paper with the unexpected color combination of orange and pink.

We made 20 copies, so we also kept it a simple card. We used the turtle from last year's Older & Wiser set, which was a hostess set from last year.

Just a couple pictures of the completed cards and envelopes.

Good thing it was just 20 because my table didn't have more room! They needed to be spread out like this to dry. Both the envelopes and cards had glitter on them that needed to dry.

Rats! In this picture you can't see that her shell is glittered! But they're cute as can be in person.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A couple new toys to play with

One of the first things to catch my eye in the latest Stampin' Up catalog was the chocolate chip corduroy buttons! They're larger rib and they're plush. Really like them in person. I used a typical twine placement trick for me on this card. Wrap the twine around the paper four times in this case, take a separate piece of twine, maybe two inches long, knot it around the four pieces, round it through the button holes and knot it twice. This just makes the twine fall exactly where you want it, and you're not having to juggle bits, and it allowed me to add the button after the twine was on there and in place.

This scene was laid out using a new set, Scene in a Garden. I just love those little boots! A whole family-worth. :) I colored in the elements by layering color in using Stampin' Up's stamp 'n write markers, followed up a little bit by blending color with an aqua painter if/when color needed smoothing out. I brushed color over the base of the cardstock to tone down the color and finished it off with some color spritzed on.

I didn't like my addition of the green glitter after I'd added it - it was just too flashy. So to help it look a little more in place, I added a little more glitter and shine by using Crystal Effects on some elements and a forgotten tool, Sakura glitter pen on the pumpkins.

As always, go ahead and click on the pictures for a larger look at them. Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping in!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bunny brings Easter gifts

There's just a little time to fit in some Easter card creation. I had such a good time coloring and paper piecing this bunny's dress and hair bow. Both were created out of Bella Rose designer series paper. All the coloring was done using Stampin' Up inks - in marker and inkpad form. The set is "An Egg-cellent Easter" and contains a couple bunnies in the Peter Rabbit style, meaning, they come in clothes. This card was another one done using only scraps that were precut, and in this case, bagged together from a previous project.

The ground/dirt was masked off and spritzed in layers of color (Caramel, Cocoa, Chocolate). I really like the dimension to this part of the card. Next came the sponging of the sky. I had already drawn in my horizon and grasses (stylings copied from Anna Wight's doodled grasses on this card). I don't have the original post address, but I just love how she grounds her animals by quickly sketching in some grass/ground.

I laid my main piece down on some scraps, and starting from the outside corners/edges, I sponged on color. This kept most of the color to the outside edges, highlighting the bunny with a whiter area. I started my hand in a circling motion before it got to the cardstock, and it gave a smoother finish.

Ky suggested that I add the bow to her head for some more girlyness and it really helped, but MAJOR kudos to Ky (again) because he suggested that she be trailing a little balloon behind her.
It just so happens that there's a stamp in the set that is PERFECT for a balloon. It's meant to be a hanging egg, I think, like when people blow out a shell and hang it from a branch for Easter decoration, but it sure works for a balloon, too!

Here's a picture of the whole set as shown in the upcoming mini catalog. I wouldn't usually show this, EXCEPT, if you're in the mood to start your Easter cards, you should know that you can purchase it before the mini catalog is even available in full.

View the PDF with pre-sale items, and feel free to contact me if you're wanting to order. Or, order online through my demonstrator website.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chicken punchy

I've been trying to get this post uploaded for days! And I still can't get the final picture up that I wanted, so you'll have to use a little imagination. This is mostly the card, all that's missing is the Crystal Effects that I finally put all over the egg for shine/dimension. And you can even see that in a close-up image below.

BEFORE (below):

AFTER (below):

I should have taken more similar photos of the before and after, but I didn't realize it was going to be an after until I'd sat with the card for a bit. The first version is fine. The chick on the card is modeled after the chicken in the "A Good Egg" set and the flowers and large egg shape are actually from that set. I stamped the big egg, masked it off so it wouldn't be stamped in, stamped my flowers, colored them in, and then layered over several colors using the Color Spritzer tool.

The bird's beak and top feathers are all made using the new Stampin' Up punch, Heart to Heart. I just punched them out of More Mustard cardstock and tucked a couple of the big hearts behind his head, using the smallest heart for his beak. Almost all layers are up on dimensionals. Finally, I put on some green glitter (from the Verve glitter set from Stampin' Up) on a few of the dots and all of the flower centers. This entire card was made using scraps! I had them left over from a stamp camp last fall. You can see the other card made with these papers here if you're so inclined.

My other project for the weekend (at least as far as stamping is concerned) was to reorganize my cardstock. It used to be in two drawers under and beside my desk, but when our home filing moved into a real cabinet that my husband was recycling from work, I decided to recycle the rattan filing for stamping. I made new label tabs using the pre-made labels offered through Stampin' Up in their big catalog. They're very cool, and even include the current "In Color" series of cardstock. They don't include labels for stock such as: Glossy White, Shimmery White, Kraft, Naturals (white or cream). But they do have one for all the cardstock in the neutral paper pack.

In those two empty drawers, I have decided to store my Janome sewing machine and my heat guns in one and in the other I have my paper towels, glass cleaner (I have a glass desktop that gets inky sometimes) and my Big Shot. Both the sewing machine and Big Shot used to just sit under my desk and it looked and felt super cluttered. Just by getting those out of sight, but near-at-hand, I have improved the look of my stamp room. And when it's neat and tidy in there, Ky even stops by to hang out sometimes. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In the pink

This was just a quick, simple card based on the colors in this Raspberry Tart designer paper from Stampin' Up. Because the colors and patterns are all over the place in the paper, I kept it simple, using the set Blooming with Love and colored in with markers. I used more of the Raspberry Tart paper to line the envelope for another little touch.

The puckered ribbon was inspired by a post by Diana Gibbs on her blog. You just take hold of a center thread at one end of your ribbon and pull. If it won't pull easily, switch ends and try from the other side.

Finally, I covered the flowers and vases with Crystal Effects for shine.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A new bag for spring

This project uses the Big Shot Top Note Bigz die and the new texture plates. I learned that you should cut out your Top Note pieces first, then run them through the texture plate "sandwich" one at a time. Although they fit side-by-side on the texture plate, they get squished out of the way and you end up about 1 1/2 textured. Before using the texture plate, spritz the cardstock with Alcohol so the stock has a little more "give" and accepts the texture more easily. (The alcohol tip isn't mine, but I love the idea of it because it won't stain and dries quickly so you can move on with your project).

This project had to be added to so I could be happy with it. It was simply too bright until I stippled on some blue for the sky. I had to mask the butterflies so they wouldn't be stippled also. I haven't used the stipple brushes much since being (brainwashed) inspired to purchase them after Stampin' Up convention.

I didn't want to stipple the orange cardstock, so I masked off the edges with some post-its. On a side-note, this picture reminds me of the time I got my hair highlighted and they pulled it through the little shower cap setup. Almost like the little bag looks a little embarassed. :)

Before the stippling, I also added a couple little flight trails in glitter coming off of both of the butterflies.

Here's how the bag looked before the blue was added. You can also see the little paper bag body in the picture. These are little goodie bags that I found at Target quite a while ago. I've also seen similar bags at Xpedx stores.

I'd also ordered new Filigree Brads with my last order, and wanted to give them a try. They are a really heavy-weight metal. Very sturdy! I used the large size on my project. The brads are separate, so you could also string ribbon through the flower center for another use.

I also felt pretty sneaky with my ribbon handle. This is likely not a new trick, but it was an ingenious moment for me. I love ribbon handles, but on some projects, a floppy ribbon handle just won't do. I cut a piece of coordinating cardstock 1/2" wide, layered the ribbon on top (used mini glue dots at either end of the cardstock), attached each handle end to the top of the bag and attached the Top Note pieces over that so no rough ends are showing.

I think this will also be a great pattern for some mini Easter treat bags. I'm looking forward to the spring weather staying around a while. We're already enjoying weather in the 60's this week!
Another sign of spring is our dog's haircut. I had to show this along with my changes to my card because as I was posting, I was thinking of what I saw as signs of spring. This is a big sign of spring for me (and probably for her, too). Once I think it's warm enough for her to get along with less hair, she heads to the groomers for an overhaul.



Just a little different, eh? I don't even think she looks like the same dog! Her recent haircut was extra exciting this spring because it was her first haircut since her ligament replacement surgery last summer, and the first time we really got to see her back leg without all that hair. Right after surgery, we worried because the muscles in the affected/repaired leg were atrophied a bit, but now, both legs look almost exactly the same which means her recovery is continuing to go well. It wouldn't take this long in a younger dog, but she's almost 10 years old, so the delay in healing/recovery isn't unexpected. :)