Saturday, August 27, 2016

Festive card and treat pouch

Do you know how many stamps or stamp sets you own? I certainly don't. I know it's a lot, maybe more than two hundred, but I've never tried to count them. And sometimes, even with all those stamps, it's fun to use just paper (and a few embellishments) to create a card. That's exactly what I did for my cousin's fifth birthday party a few weeks ago.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Fiesta Forever card stock stack (DCWV)
Accessories: Metallic foil doilies, Mini Treat Bag Thinlits dies, Go Green sequins assortment (Craft Medley), metallic glitter tape, mini silver brads, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

To make this card and pouch I used parts of four different pieces of card stock from the Fiesta Forever card stock stack.
1) I cut the treat bag from a piece that was printed with all different numbers -- the treat inside is a chocolate number five, so I thought that print was perfect.
2) The banner letters on the card and the "happy day" piece were from a sheet with different elements designed to be cut out and used as accents and embellishments. The pieces have a glossy coating, which gives the focal images a little more "oomph." On the card I attached the pennants together with mini silver brads, and for an extra touch on the pouch I matted the "happy day" piece on a silver doily before attaching it to the treat pouch with Dimensionals.
3) The card base was made from a third sheet; it's hard to tell in this photo, but there is a very faint pattern on the card stock, so there is some visual interest to the background. It also coordinates with the background on the pouch. The card is an odd size; I don't have the measurements anymore, but I sized the card so it would fit inside the treat pouch. Unfortunately, with the treat inside, it was a little too tight for the card.
4) The two die-cut bows are from a leftover scrap from a fourth sheet.

The glitter tape was a bit of a necessity; the card stock on the bottom of the pouch was beginning to split just a tiny bit, so I thought the glitter tape would be a festive way to keep everything together. I also placed a strip along the bottom of the card to further unify the card and pouch. Finally I added three green sequins to the front of the treat pouch and the card.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Baby bear

I bought the Thankful Forest Friends stamp set last fall because I love the adorable images, and I love most things associated with autumn. But I wanted to expand its horizons a bit, so when I needed a baby card last month, I decided to pull it out.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Thankful Forest Friends
Paper: Early Espresso, Very Vanilla card stock
Ink: Early Espresso, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Labels Collection Thinlits dies, Subtles Candy Dots, Filigree Frame embossing folder, sponge, Blushing Bride ribbon, corner rounder, Dimensionals, Glue Dots, Stamp-a-ma-Jig, sponge

Isn't he cute? Or I suppose it might be a she in this case. I started by die cutting the label shape out of Very Vanilla card stock. Then I stamped the border image in Crumb Cake along the top and the bottom, using the Stamp-a-ma-Jig tool to get the images centered. Finally I stamped the bear in the center of the label and sponged along the edges with Crumb Cake ink.

For the Early Espresso card base, I embossed the front using the Filigree Frame embossing folder and rounded the bottom two corners. I adhered a piece of Blushing Bride ribbon around the middle of the card and then used Dimensionals to adhere the stamped label over the ribbon. I tied a bow with another piece of ribbon and adhered it to the bottom of the label. For one last touch of pink, I placed a Blushing Bride Candy Dot near each of the points on the label.

It's fun to find a way to use seasonal stamp sets outside of their designated seasons ... but I'll admit that I'm looking forward to autumn and pulling out my fall stamps to make cards filled with colorful leaves and cute woodland animals. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bold birthday blossoms

I have a quick PSA before I share my card today: We're more than halfway through August (I can't believe how quickly the days are passing by!), but there's still time to get some happy mail from me. If you would like me to send you a handmade card as part of my #31DaysofHappyMail challenge, just leave a comment on my "A blog anniversary - and you get a card" post by Aug. 31, 2016. There's no catch -- just provide your address, and I'll drop a card for you in the mail (and I won't post your address for others to see). I'd love to send some happy mail your way!

Now on to the regularly scheduled post and a card that definitely makes me happy:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Inside and Out - Birthday II (Papertrey Ink)
Paper: Basic Black, Elegant Eggplant card stock; watercolor paper (Strathmore); Newsprint Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; ZIG Clean Color Real Brush Pens: 080, 803, 065, 041, 043, 061 (Kuretake); Elegant Eggplant marker
Accessories: Hydrangea outline stickers (Krazy Kreations), linen thread, Shine and Sparkle sequins (Hazel and Ruby - The Makery), color spritzer, Glue Dots, Dimensionals

I love these hydrangea stickers, and I especially love how they look painted in bold, vibrant purple. (I shared a few other cards made with these stickers in the post titled "Watercolored hydrangeas.") It's a little hard to see in the picture, but a few of the blossoms are separate stickers that I painted, cut out and adhered over the main image with Dimensionals.

I didn't want the rest of the card to distract from the focal image, so I kept the layout and embellishments pretty simple. I adhered a piece of Newsprint DSP to a Basic Black card base and then spritzed it with Elegant Eggplant to add a touch of color. For the focal panel, I layered the watercolor paper on a piece of Elegant Eggplant card stock, which I tore along the bottom to add a little texture. I wrapped some linen thread around the panel a couple of times and tied it off in a bow. I had wanted to add the stamped "Happy birthday" onto the thread like a tag, but I didn't leave enough space to punch a hole. So instead I used a Glue Dot to attach it to the focal image and tucked one corner under the thread. I adhered the panel to the card base with Dimensionals and added a few sequins for a little sparkle.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Quilt card set

Are you a quilter? My mom does amazing work on quilts, and I even started one myself once ages ago. (I only finished one square, though, because naturally I had to choose a challenging and fairly intricate pattern for my first quilt and got frustrated and/or bored with it.) But I do appreciate all the work that goes into a quilt, and I love to look at quilts -- and bundle up with them during the cold winter months -- so when I saw a paper-crafting die that cut out a quilt pattern, I knew I had to get it.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Basic Black thick Whisper White, Crumb Cake, Lost Lagoon, Old Olive, Hello Honey, Calypso Coral card stock; Wildflower Fields Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Basic Black, Old Olive, Hello Honey, Calypso Coral, Lost Lagoon markers
Accessories: Quilted Cutting Plate, Buttons, Needle and Thread dies (Taylored Expressions); white baker's twine; Mono Multi liquid glue

For this set of cards, I die cut the quilt paper four times: once from Basic Black card stock and then with four different patterns from the Wildflower Fields DSP collection. I first planned to just make the card on the upper right. I love the bold black outlines with the different patterned shapes. But once I had all the pieces cut, I figured that I might as well combine the rest of the pieces and make a whole set.

When it came to placing the pieces, I used the same pattern for each card, For example, in this card the middle square and surrounding large rectangles and chevrons are all the same pattern. So on all the other cards, those pieces are the same pattern, although the pattern/color changes for each card (i.e., on one card they are all the Lost Lagoon pattern, on another they are all the Hello Honey pattern, etc.).

The assembly was a little time-consuming, but not hard. (The trickiest part was making sure I didn't lose any of the little shapes!) I just used a few tiny drops of liquid glue for each piece. You also could put your card stock or DSP on a sheet of double-sided adhesive before die cutting. Then you'd basically have a bunch of little stickers, and you'd just need to peel off the backing before fitting each piece in the "frame."

To finish the front of the cards I die cut a card stock button, tied it with white baker's twine and adhered it in the middle of the center square. For each card I used a different color of card stock for the button, and I chose the color to coordinate with the print in the small rectangles and triangles near the top and bottom of the quilt pattern.

To decorate the inside of the cards, I added a die-cut needle and spool of thread. (The thread inside the card matches the button on the card front.) I used a marker to draw a single "thread" from the needle across the bottom of the card.

For one last detail I used the Wildflower Fields DSP to line the envelopes for the cards. I'm trying to use more DSP, and this set of a cards was a fun way to do that. I'm looking forward to making another set of cards with this die to experiment with other colors and patterns.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Oh how the garden grows

It's been about a month since my last garden post, so I thought it was time for a quick update.

These are the flowers on the scarlet runner beans. My sister planted the beans in large pots with our twisty beanpoles, and the squirrels (or maybe the chipmunks, it's hard to say) keep digging in the pots. A few of the sprouts didn't make it, but the rest of them are tall and flowery and are starting to get beans.

Cucumbers! These three (and one or two others) have been picked since this photo was taken, but there are literally at least a dozen more coming along. I'm sure they'll all be ready to pick at the same time, too. We'll have to share some with friends and family (which we've already been doing).

The broccoli seems to be a bit slow this year. The plants have been growing, and they're a pretty good size now, but only one of the plants has florets. I'll be patient, though, because it will be nice if we have fresh produce later in the season (along with the Brussels sprouts).

This is one side of the garden. In the foreground is the broccoli, then the zucchini, sunburst squash and Brussels Sprouts in the back.

This is the sunburst squash. I love, love the bright yellow flowers. It was a bit of a challenge to get this shot -- crouching down and holding up the leaves all at the same time -- but it looks like a little squash forest.

And here is one of the baby sunburst squash. I'm not a huge squash fan -- at least not the autumn squash, although I am beginning to appreciate butternut squash more as an adult -- but I do enjoy summer squash. And these guys are just so cute.

I know I posted about the beans last month, but seriously. Go back and look at that post (it's the fifth picture), and then look at this picture. That's in a month. I feel like these are the flora version of Cousin Itt from the Addams Family. So far we have picked 1,074 beans. Crazy.

And here you can see several bunches of beans ready to be picked.

Here are a couple of the bite-sized peppers. We haven't picked too many peppers, but a few here and there is good enough for me.

We haven't had too many tomatoes, either, but there are several growing on the stems. These just need to ripen and then I can enjoy a few tomato sandwiches.

After I was done taking pictures of the garden, I noticed this big fuzzy bumblebee flitting around the flowers in the hosta plants. The bees are so fascinating to watch; I just wish they would stay at one flower for a little longer. But they have a lot of work to do, so I guess they can't dawdle.

I always give the bumblebees a little cheer when I see them -- "Go, bee, go!" (Yes, I actually say that out loud. Usually after I say hello to the bee first. We're all creatures sharing the earth, after all.)

So here are the harvest totals thus far (assuming I've done my math correctly):
1,074 beans
20 cucumbers
8 tomatoes
7 zucchini
4 sunburst squash
19 peppers (some red, some green)
Red and green lettuce


Remember if you would like me to send you a card as part of my #31daysofhappymail challenge, leave a comment on my "A blog anniversary - and you get a card" post by Aug. 31, 2016. There's no catch -- just provide your address, and I'll drop a card for you in the mail. Thanks for stopping by!