Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Birthday boy's card

This is the card for my mom's husband's birthday. I was in need of a masculine card and could NOT think of what to do, so I went blog browsing.

Thankfully I found my inspiration. My card is based on Sharon Johnson's card from her blog. I left her a comment earlier this week thanking her for posting such a great card! :)

Happy birthday is from the set Teeny Tiny Wishes. The designer paper is from the retired Muirfield paper pack. Love it, love it. What do you think of my (our) card?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Stampin' Up! Clearance Rack

Shop early and often at the new Stampin' Up clearance rack! They're offering retired inventory at reduced prices, but only while supplies last. Today I saw that they had designer series paper, and ribbon and rub-ons at GREAT prices.

The only catch, and I can't really consider it a catch, is that you have to shop online for these deals. You can go through my site for these awesome deals. There isn't a set promotion timeframe, so you'll want to check back to see what's up there every so often and see what goodies you can find. :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fresh Fall Flowers

OK! Here's the final stamp camp card. I really like this one, a lot. There are lots of little elements to this card that I think make this card special. Brads, ribbons, striped paper, scallop punching, corner punch elements ... whew! But for all that, this is a very quick card. :)

These flowers and grass are from the Inspired by Nature stamp set. I pulled my color inspiration from the striped designer paper from the Autumn Traditions paper, and colored in my flowers using markers in More Mustard, Elegant Eggplant and Always Artichoke.

I'm off to cut paper for camp ... so if you're one of my stampers and you're coming, but haven't let me know - ahem - be sure to let me know as soon as possible so I'm sure to have supplies ready for you! :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall is almost here

I'm sorry the photo on this isn't the best, I'm just trying to get it out there before I head to bed tonight. :)

I think this is one of the cards that we're making for stamp camp this weekend. One more to design! You like my preplanning skills? Ha! I usually know which sets I want to use, and what the theme is, but don't have the final design in mind.

This card uses the set Season of Friendship and Tall Tales designer paper. The bird and ribbon are in the color Dusty Durango, and the other colors are chocolate chip, old olive and so saffron.

You may be reading this on a Monday and I hope if that's the case that your Monday is going great. Have a good week and stop by later for some more cards, including the last stamp camp card. Thanks!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

No stamping tonight

Instead, we are watching the Colorado Rockies live at Coors Field in
downtown Denver, just a few blocks from work. We're just 16 rows up in
my company's seats. They got turned in late when they couldn't be used
with clients, and since I was working late, I got to take them! Go
Rockies!! :)

Cupcake card

I think this is one of the cards we'll make at next week's stamp camp. Seriously, I really could use someone to tell me the truth, though! Is this card cute enough for others to make, or am I just fooling myself? I messed with it and messed with it and had the hardest time making it look good to me.

But once I figured out what I was doing, it wasn't a hard card to make.

This card uses two stamp sets, Crazy for Cupcakes and Everything Nice. The patterned paper is Razzleberry Lemonade, with Rich Razzleberry, Melon Mambo and Whisper White cardstock. The orange glitter is from the Fine Supernova set. It's very sparkly!

The cupcake stand is colored in Razzleberry, the frosting is So Saffron and the cherries are in Melon Mambo and topped with Crystal Effects for shine. I love that the In Colors are available in markers now! Finally, I watercolored in the cupcake wrappers with Soft Suede so that I could dilute the color a little bit.

The two main image pieces also have lines drawn in around the edges using Melon Mambo and Pumpkin Pie markers. Because the designer paper has sort of a doodle feel about it, I thought I could get away with that as a way to fill up space when I had too much white space still showing after the card was assembled. I think it's a casual way to bring in more color and vibrancy! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Frankenstein Treat Bucket

My project should have been up yesterday, but apparently, the end project that I had in mind, wasn't where the project wanted to go ... Instead, a little Frankenstein decided to come out, just a little later than anticipated!

It's kind of funny, but I had a hard time taking a picture of this project. I really do think it's cuter in person, by quite a lot! His eyes are done using a 1" circle and 1/2" circle project. His eyes and nose are punched out using the Modern Label Punch. The mouth was just doodled in with a permanent marker.

My original project that I started with used the Just Jawing set and this little bucket from the Target Dollar Spot. As you can see, there's no part of Just Jawing in here. :) I finished the feature piece with that set, but I'll have to post that later. I may be a little absent this week as I have a busy week at my day job.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Entering the teen years

Today's card is for our friend's son. He's entering the teen years on Monday. He's a great kid and I wanted to be able to give him a special card. As a new teen it doesn't seem like he'd appreciate a "kiddie" card, and I don't have a lot of teen-friendly stamps, so I opened Photoshop and made an image with the number 13 and then I flipped it before printing it on some brushed silver cardstock. I flipped it so that it could be cut out and still face correctly.

When I inserted my brads, they were too smooth and shiny so I took out a cotton swab and dipped it in the Platinum shimmer paint. I daubed it on the brads and let it dry - I think it gave it a nice, almost hammered finish.

I thought the background for this card would be perfect if I could replicate diamond plating. I pulled out some cardstock and my texture plates and ran it all through the Big Shot. I spritzed my cardstock with alcohol to help make the impressions deeper (used alcohol because it dries faster than water and doesn't affect the color).
Once the paper dried, I got out the frost white shimmer paint and a sponge and lightly brushed it over the textured paper, bringing out the texture even more.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy anniversary!

Today is my wedding anniversary. This is the card that I'm giving to my husband. Marriage is work, but it's the most fun work I've ever done. We'll probably go out to dinner ... or something. :) We don't worry about the celebration aspect too much because we feel like we have such a good life together anyway that we just enjoy anything we do to celebrate as a special time to spend together.

I don't have a lot of detail to share about this card ... I used the recipe stamp and "yummy scale" stamp from the set From the Kitchen Of and the i [heart] u is from A Happy Heart.

The black and white designer paper is from the Day & Night.

Shown above is the heart punched out with a 1/2" circle and inserted into a Build-a-Brad. The Build-a-Brads come in a kit and you have the base, you attach your 1/2" circle with a mini glue dot or drop of Crystal Effects and then put the self-adhesive acrylic bubble over that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy birthday, dude.

This card uses the truck from the retired set, Classic Pickups, with the greeting from A Little Birthday Cheer. This is for a guy who is a big fan of almost any kind of automobile. The kind of guy who has his first truck stored in a storage lot so that someday he WILL complete its refurbishment. Someone who doesn't care at all that his wife and I call the truck the calico beast. Someone who claims that the calico beast's tires aren't totally flat, they're just flat on ONE side.

For this friend, I thought I'd give him a sweet new truck to admire. Granted, the truck image itself is pretty small, less than 4" x 4" overall ... and it's 2-dimensional, but its chrome is all new (used the new Platinum Shimmer Paint for that) and its windows are all there (used a piece of clear envelope for that), and the paint is super-shiny (thanks to Crystal Effects and shimmery white cardstock as the base). This is a thick, heavy card, perfect for the hand-delivery tonight at dinner.

For color inspiration I had to find Ky and ask him what kind of truck this was. He guessed a '56 or '57 Chevy. Then I had to ask if our friend is a Chevy guy or a Ford guy. For a guy who cares, he's REALLY going to care, and I didn't want to insult him by giving the wrong make of truck. The Chevy was a good fit, so then I just Google for images of Chevy, truck and flame paint. I found a couple images to show me the way to making a good flame paint job. For this kind of realistic color job, I wanted an example to follow, even if it meant tweaking it from there.

Then there are manly details like these screw eyelets that I've been hoarding for quite a long time. I thought they were perfect for a car card! I was worried though that I had too many layers for them to go all the way through, but they were just perfect and the Crop-a-dile set them easily.

In the picture above you can see one of my tricks for adding dimension to a project. Stamp the image once on your background layer and then stamp it again on a scrap for painting/coloring, then cut it out, pop it on dimensionals, and voila! you have a shadow behind it and everything.

See? In the photo above is the Platinum Shimmer Paint on the wheel rims, grill and bumper. It's the most opaque of the three shimmer paints available, and I just sort of drew it on by dipping a toothpick into it and then dragging it on my project. Where it got messy and I lost some design elements, I just went back in with my permanent marker and dotted them back in. It worked great and was easy.

In the picture above here you can see my clear envelope-turned window, and the shine that the Crystal Effects gives to the truck's paint job. You can also see the Brushed Silver cardstock that I mounted the truck image and screw eyelets to. It's a subtle shine, but it was another way to work in a big silver metallic element.
In the picture below I show you a small tip. You know how sometimes you wonder if you go ahead and put in some brads if you'll regret it right after you do so?

I punched out some similarly sized black dots and placed them where I was thinking of putting my black brads. This allowed me to see what it would like and then decide. (Black brads shown on the project and in place above, black paper dots shown in place in the photo below.) They're not exact, but close enough to make a decision ....
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you're having a good week - mine's been good, but really busy at work, so I've been tired when I get home. Hoping to find some stamp time this weekend, but I know there are also a few chores to get done, too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bird and Bamboo

I've used the Level 2 Hostess Set, Asian Artistry, for today's card. This isn't a holiday-specific card so that I can use it for what I want to. I stamped the bird/bamboo image in Soft Suede (an In Color) on Confetti Naturals cardstock and then, using the ink on the inside of the stamp pad lid, I water colored in the little bird. Because my watercoloring diluted the definition of the bird's wing and tail feathers, I used the matching marker (new this year in In Color options) and drew the details in again. Each layer is also matted on Soft Suede cardstock. The card base is Kraft.

The More Mustard Designer Series Paper is from the Autumn Traditions pack. I liked its natural look to go with the bird and bamboo centerpiece. Around the middle layer I wrapped some hemp twine for some more interest and then placed my focal image over that on dimensionals. I apologize for the not-so-great pictures, I was trying to get an angle that would show you the gold border on the main piece. That border was done by masking off the stamped image and then sponging on some Champagne Shimmer Paint. I was surprised I couldn't get a photo of the shimmer on this! In person, it's really noticeable with the right tilt. It's still a translucent shimmer, so it isn't gaudy, it's just shiny! If you click on either picture, especially the one above in the upper left corner, you can get a hint of what I'm seeing in person. :)

I hope you all had a great weekend. Sorry there weren't any posts this weekend. We took off early and went to the mountains for a Scottish-Irish festival where we got rained on and shivered in the cold - just like real Scots. Fall is coming in Colorado! I'm ok with the season's change because I'm ready (for one thing) to start wearing some of my other clothes, and at the festival, I got a great knitted shawl/wrap thing, but I'd roast if I wear it now. What are you looking forward to this fall? Talk to you soon!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quickie Christmas

I still had Serene Snowflakes and the Season of Cheer rub-ons out on my stamping desk, so I decided to try another card with them. The wreath was created by sketching a circle in pencil, then repeatedly stamping over it with the smallest single snowflake in Old Olive ink. The ornaments were stamped using a pencil eraser on the ink pad, and then I swirled a little more of the Frost White Shimmer Paint over each of them. The ribbon was tied first for the knot and then I punched two holes through the cardstock and pulled the tails through the back so that it would be positioned as flatly as possible.

Finally, the rub-on "Merry Christmas" was applied. A little hint, if you move too fast with the rub-ons (like I did this morning), they don't apply nicely, and you can get cracks or tears in your completed image. If you get those, at least with rub-ons in Chocolate Chip, because they're an exact match, you can fill in the tiny gaps using the fine point of your Chocolate Chip marker. (Yay, Stampin' Up! for color coordination!!)

It's not my least favorite card ever, but I think it's kind of bland, and a little sloppy, and could use some finessing. Unfortunately, I was finishing it up in the minutes before leaving for work, so it was hurried. Maybe this is one I should challenge myself to remake ...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Holiday Hoppin'

I'm just holiday (card) hoppin' around here lately. Today's card is my first Christmas card of the season. As someone who handmakes each holiday card, you can't start too early! Of course, you also have to send the cards OUT. Last year I had all my cards done, but didn't send a single one. Hmm. Not so good. This year, I vow to send them out. I just hope I didn't get dropped from others' lists by being delinquent last year. :)

This card uses the new set Serene Snowflakes for the backgrounds and focal point. The words are rub-ons from the set Season of Cheer.

You can't see it so much in the original photos of the card, but I used the new Frost White Shimmer Paint from the current holiday mini. It's super easy to put on and the effect is soft, transparent and lovely. Below is the original snowflake panel:
And below that is the shimmery version.

See?! So pretty. You don't even have to heat set it.

Just shake the bottle, place a sponge over the top and tip it to get just a bit on. Then just swirl it over your project for a beautiful, easy shimmer. Let dry (it just takes a short time) and then adhere your newly shimmery piece to your project.

A half pearl from the Pretties Kit and some Chocolate taffeta ribbon finish the card.
I have to thank Nancy Riley for her inspiration for this card. Her card is more of a square card, and I'm square card challenged, but she completely inspired my card. Hers is so lovely. Thank you Nancy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Using Everything Nice

This is a quickie baby card for a baby boy. It uses the current set, Everything Nice, and the retired set, Ruff Day. The designer series paper is from Tall Tales.

I layered the buttons on each other and then "threaded" a skinny piece of paper through them, fastening the ends with mini glue dots on the back. The pup is mounted on foam dots for some dimension.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Home made thanks

New wood sheets (item 116309) from Stampin' Up were my inspiration for this card, along with the set Country Morning, which is a current Level One hostess set. The wood sheets cut really easily in the tabletop paper trimmer and can even be punched out using standard Stampin' Up punches. They're very cool! Lots of layers make this card interesting to look at, but simple to make.

The thank you sentiment is from the new set Teeny Tiny Wishes and punched out with the Word Window Punch, layered over a piece using the Modern Label punch.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Aww. Love bugs.

I was feeling happy last night because my husband finally got home from a week-long business trip. What's a stamper to do, but make her husband a card to celebrate?! So that's what I did.
This card uses the super-cute Stampin' Up set, Love Bug. This is a level one hostess set and everything in the set is cute!

This was a fun card to give him because when I show him a new card I've made, he always opens it, even though I don't put words on the inside of most of them to start. Well, he opened this one to where I HAD written a little note to him, and he looked up and said, "Hey! This card is for me!" He sounded super pleased, which in turn made ME super pleased.

This is one of the few times I've gotten to use my new In Color markers. Isn't it great that Stampin' Up is offering these to match this season's In Colors? They make coloring in a breeze.
The purple scalloped circle mat and the polka dot-stripe paper are both from the Designer Series Paper, Lovely Flowers. The purple is Rich Razzleberry and the yellow is the new Crushed Curry, and I'm trying to become friends with it. :)

I was getting a kick out of how I take my project photos their as-is creative environment. I just push everything else to the side and take the photo. I appreciate other stampers who have a light box, and set it all up just-so, but then I think "I would never get them posted ... and where would I store the light box!?" Does it matter to you how the photos are taken? Does it impact returning to a blog or posting comments? Just wondering ...

I hope you all are enjoying your weekend with friends or family and if you're a stamper, I hope you fit that in, too!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Halloween Haunt

I'm normally not one for decorating like crazy for Halloween, but this year I have a new Halloween haunt. Almost all of what was used on this house is Stampin' Up, but most of it is retired because I just don't have a big need for Halloween stamps and like many of us, I'm trying to use up what I have, instead of just leaping to buy new. The great thing about Stampin' Up is that using their core colors, everything continues to match, season after season.

All the characters used around the house are from the retired set Booglie Eyes. Here the spider dangles from the eaves from some silver elastic cording (currently available).
I don't know why, but Frankenstein is climing the tree from Seasons of Happiness. I needed somewhere to put him, and he's too small to be behind the fence! :)
The roof is "shingled" with strips that were punched with the (currently available) scallop punch and then layered from the bottom of the roof to the peak. I actually did some of the copper embossing on the shingles with the Versamarker and its refill. I poured a little Versamark refill onto the marker's tip and then used the Spritzer like I would with a regular marker. Then I embossed over it just like you normally would. This isn't a tidy outcome, but that wasn't the point.

The chimney is embossed with Copper embossing powder and then sponged with black Stazon ink. Around the base are some Sunflower dew drops because I wanted a little visual interest up there.
The fenceline is a stamped image from, I think, Martha Stewart's line, but you could easily sketch it out and then cut it out. I stamped it in Chocolate Chip ink onto some retired SU designer paper, then before cutting it out, I layered it on a piece of Chocolate Chip cardstock so it would have more body to it and stand up better on its own. See below for tips on cutting out the fence using punches to get into the little spaces.
On the back of each fencing panel I mounted some More Mustard grasses.

The mummy was colored on the lines with Going Gray and Creamy Caramel markers and then the color was "smooshed" around using a blender pen.

Here is the stamp that I used three times for the fencing around the house.
Around the edges of each fence top, I used my 1/8" round punch so I didn't have to squeeze in there with my snips, and then in between the slats, I punched out what I could using my 1/4" square punch. Where the 1/4" wouldn't go, I punched there with my 1/8" round punch again, just to give my snips somewhere to get in there.

And, just for reference, here's the naked birdhouse before I got started. You can usually buy these at any craft store. Before you start, I like to take a permanent marker in a complimentary color and color all the edges of the house, this way if your paper is imperfectly applied, you don't see the gaps through to the plain birdhouse body.

This project took a while, and I recommend using a ruler or scrap paper to measure out your pieces so you don't waste paper trying to get things to fit. Any questions about how I did something, please feel free to ask!