Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dapper gentlemen

I am on the HR team at work, and one of my responsibilities is to plan the team calendar each month, including fun activities to have available in the break room. Occasionally I design and prep the materials for my coworkers to make a simple card, which is what I did last Father's Day. I realized recently that I never posted that card design, so here it is:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black, Soft Suede, Chocolate Chip, Bashful Blue, Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive, Real Red card stock; various Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Accessories: Stitched Shapes Framelits dies, Hipster Icon dies (Hero Arts), banner punch, Tiny Attacher (Tim Holtz), Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

I had to keep the design simple enough to be completed in fifteen minutes (by people who are not stampers or card makers), and at first I wasn't sure where to start. I poked around online looking for some ideas, and when I came across the set of Hipster Icons dies, I knew they would be perfect. So for my card layout I settled on a white card base with a large layer of DSP, die-cut pieces in various colors glued on a white oval, and a small banner stapled near the upper left corner of the card. (I made these cards with some of the leftover pieces after Father's Day, and I added the Basic Black layer behind the DSP.) I also wanted to keep the design generic enough to be used for a variety of occasions, just in case anyone didn't specifically need a Father's Day card, and I think this layout fits the bill nicely.

Thanks for stopping by!

Prize winner!

Last week Taylored Expressions celebrated their ninth birthday, and as part of the festivities they had a birthday sketch challenge. Nine challenge participants were randomly selected to win a prize package filled with crafty goodies, and I was lucky enough to be one of the winners! Here is what was included in the package:

Isn't that awesome?! It's a great selection of stamps; dies; an embossing folder; coordinated paper, ink and embellishments; and even some candy to nibble while crafting. I didn't have any of these products yet -- and Swedish Fish have been one of my favorite candies since I was a kid -- so I'm looking forward to trying them out!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Fall is in the air

I really wanted to make one more card for the Taylored Expressions ninth birthday sketch challenge, so I took some crafty time to play after work, and now I'm whipping through my blog post so I can get in just before the deadline.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Soft Sky, Early Espresso card stock; watercolor paper (Strathmore); 6" x 6" Wood designer cardstock paper (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Color Burst: Cadmium Scarlet, Gamboge, Burnt Umber (Ken Oliver)
Accessories: Stitched Shapes Framelits dies, Build-A-Scene - Trees dies (Taylored Expressions), Leaves die (Taylored Expressions), Softly Falling embossing folder, burlap trim, Tiny Attacher (Tim Holtz), Aqua Painter, Dimensionals, Art Glitter Glue (Art Institute Glitter)

There was a touch of fall in the air today, and since autumn is my favorite season, I decided to make a card featuring some fun fall trees. (In my first entry for the sketch challenge, I used these same tree dies to make some Muppet-like characters.) To make the foliage, I wet a piece of watercolor paper and then gently tapped on a tiny bit of three different Color Burst powders (the pigment is concentrated, so a little goes a long way). I used an Aqua Painter to spread and blend the colors, and when the paper was dry, I die cut the tiny leaves and tree tops. I cut the tree trunks out of dark woodgrain patterned paper, glued the pieces together and adhered them to a Soft Sky circle.

For the background I stapled a piece of burlap trim to a piece of embossed Early Espresso card stock and then adhered the panel on a Soft Sky card base. I used Dimensionals to attach the circle with the trees and scattered a few tiny leaves along the bottom of the card.

I've had a lot of fun playing along with this sketch challenge. This time I decided to rotate the sketch (on the right) to create a landscape card. I made the middle layer larger (almost as big as the card base) and used ribbon for the accent strip. The leaves were perfect for the confetti. If you would like to see my other cards for the Taylored Expressions sketch challenge, check out these posts: "Happy ninth birthday," "A few birthday candles," "Simply Sitting Pretty," and "Stamping friends are the best!"

Thanks for stopping by! Happy birthday, Taylored Expressions!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Stamping friends are the best!

I'm back tonight to share my last card for the Taylored Expressions birthday sketch challenge. (Well, I think it will be my last one. I suppose last-minute inspiration could still strike tomorrow or Tuesday!)

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Wanda (Taylored Expressions)
Paper: Whisper White, thick Whisper White, Bermuda Bay, Berry Burst card stock; Wood 6" x 6" designer cardstock paper (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Blush Blossom, Smokey Slate, Powder Pink, Berry Burst, Bermuda Bay, Soft Suede, Chocolate Chip, Dapper Denim
Accessories: Layering Ovals Framelits dies, paper piercer, Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack, mini pinking scissors (Fiskars), 4mm and 6mm sparkling clear sequins (Pretty Pink Posh), Art Glitter Glue (Art Institute Glitter), Dimensionals, Glue Dots

This card will be headed to a great friend and stamping buddy, and I hope it makes her smile. I chose these colors because she really likes rich jewel tones, and this image is very appropriate for all the crafting fun we have. I may just need to invest in a crafty tool belt...

I think everything about this card is pretty self-explanatory, but I'll do a quick rundown. I stamped and colored the focal image and then die cut it with an oval die. I stamped the sentiment on a strip of white card stock, trimmed it into pennant ends and adhered it to the oval. I wanted to give it some dimension, so I attached two Dimensionals on top of each other and placed them behind the middle of the banner. Then I attached the two ends with Glue Dots.

For the card base I used thick Whisper White card stock and added a layer of woodgrain patterned paper matted with Bermuda Bay card stock. I wanted a little more detail on the base, so I pierced a border all around the edge of the card. Slightly above the middle of the panel I adhered a strip of Berry Burst card stock stamped with the two small images from the Wanda set and trimmed with a mini pinking scissors for an extra detail. I used Dimensionals to attach the focal image onto the card base and then added several clear sequins. Inside the card I stamped the sentiment "Stamping friends are the best!"

If you would like to see my other cards for the Taylored Expressions sketch challenge (see the sketch to the right), check out these posts: "Happy ninth birthday," "A few birthday candles," and "Simply Sitting Pretty." Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Simply Sitting Pretty

I've been having a great time making cards for the birthday sketch challenge at Taylored Expressions. So far I've made two birthday cards (a colorful kids card and a simpler, shimmery card), and now I have an all-occasion card to share:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Hardwood
Paper: Soft Sky, Wild Wasabi, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White, vellum card stock; Wood 6" x 6" Designer Cardstock Paper (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Frost White shimmer paint
Accessories: Sitting Pretty and Sitting Pretty Accessories dies (Taylored Expressions), Stitched Shapes Framelits dies, Shine and Sparkle sequins (Hazel and Ruby), sponge dauber, Art Glitter Glue (Art Institute Glitter), Dimensionals

I have a confession to make: Sometimes the products that I am most excited to buy are the very ones that I have the hardest time using. I think it's because I get intimidated and worry that my finished projects won't live up to the amazing-ness of the products themselves. The dies I used on this card were some of those products.

When I went to the stamp show in July, the Taylored Expressions booth was on the top of my must-see list, and I fought through the crowds to make sure I got the Sitting Pretty, Sitting Pretty Accessories, and Sitting Pretty Nautical Accessories dies. But then they sat in their packaging ... until today.

I decided to use the shelf as the horizontal element in the sketch (see below) with a couple of accessories in front of a vellum circle, sort of like a spotlight. I wasn't sure if it would work, but in the end, I really, really like how this card turned out. It's clean and simple (my favorite) but still has fun details, like the wood-patterned shelf and frame, the stitched border on the vellum circle, and the woodgrain "texture" of the white background panel.

I played around with a couple of different ideas for that background panel. I wanted something subtle, so it didn't detract from the focal image, but I also wanted it to look like a wall or wallpaper to fit in with the shelf and accessories. In the end I decided to stamp the Hardwood background stamp on white card stock using Frost White shimmer paint. It's distinct but not overpowering, and it has a beautiful shine when it catches the light.

The sketch for Taylored Expressions's
birthday challenge
 My friend Lisa was crafting with me today, and I have to credit her with the idea to use vellum for the die-cut circle. I love how it mutes the background stamp enough to let the shelf accessories stand out, but it doesn't take over the card.

The trickiest part of using vellum is finding a way to adhere it without seeing the glue or tape. I used clear-drying glue to adhere the shelf, frame and vase to the vellum circle. Then I applied glue to the back of the vellum so it was hidden behind the die cuts and attached the vellum to the stamped background panel. (The edges of the circle aren't completely flat against the card stock, but I'm okay with that.) I attached the panel to the card base with Dimensionals and added a few simple sequins.

I think I'm all blogged out for today (and I'm fighting a nagging toothache), so I'll post my last challenge card tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!