Friday, September 30, 2011

Snowbuddy to the rescue

I'm a little off today. First I left work this afternoon and forgot my key card. In four years I've never left my key card at work. Luckily I realized right away and went back to get it. (I would have been seriously bummed when I got to work at 6:30 Monday morning and couldn't get in.) Then I was looking at a bus schedule and read the Saturday times instead of weekday times. I went to the bank to deposit a few checks and get some cash, and I couldn't remember my PIN. I remembered which numbers are in it, but I couldn't get them in the right order. I tried three or four times. The teller finally took pity on me and said she could just look at my ID. Sigh.

There are a few other examples, but basically all this leads me to believe that I shouldn't do any crafting today. I don't think I trust myself. I'd probably make my cards upside-down (which I've done before) or spill glitter all over the floor or cut my finger or experience some other unfortunate incident. For my own safety and/or sanity I decided I should share a card I'd already made. So this little snowbuddy came to my rescue:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!®):
Stamps: Snow Much Fun
Card stock: Whisper White, Pool Party, Lucky Limeade
Ink: Jet Black StazOn®, Pool Party; markers: Basic Gray, Pool Party, Peach Parfait, Lucky Limeade
Accessories: Basic Gray satin ribbon, 5/16" neutrals brads, corner rounder, 3/4" circle punch, Lace Ribbon Border punch, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch, Dimensionals, Stamp-a-Ma-Jig

The "snowflakes" on this card are actually the inside of the Lace Ribbon Border punch. You could also use the shape as flowers. To make them, I punched a strip of white card stock and then cut the flakes apart. I backed them with the blue circles so I could close the brads without seeing the prongs.

I think this little snowman is adorable, and I love the images in this stamp set. However, I have a little grammatical gripe about the greeting: "Snowbuddy likes you as much as me!" Now, I don't mind the pun. What nags at me a little is that it should read "Snowbuddy likes you as much as I do!" The way it reads now, it's like you're telling the recipient, "Hey, everyone likes me better than they like you." Of course I know that's not the intended meaning, and I'm sure if I sent this card to someone, they wouldn't be offended or probably even notice it. But it still bugs me. I can't help it; it's the English major in me. I know I don't write or speak perfectly all the time (where's the fun in that?), but there are just certain things that are like fingers on a chalkboard to me -- misspelled words or unnecessary apostrophes, for example (when you make a word plural, you don't add an apostrophe!).

Oh, well. I guess I'll just have to let this one go. Or if I ever feel particularly mean, I could edit the greeting by just stamping "Snowbuddy likes you" and then make cards for some of those not-so-special people (insert evil laugh). OK, maybe not, but the thought makes me smile just a little ...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cats and dogs

Are you a cat person or a dog person? If I had to label myself as one or the other, I guess I'd say I'm a cat person. Mainly because I grew up having cats, and my sister and I have two cats today, Pirate and Mielle. Here they are looking all cute and innocent (Pirate is on the left). Hah! This is one of the rare moments when they've been snuggling together ... at least one of the rare times they've been caught. More often they ignore, tolerate, chase or just fight with each other.

But even though I've never owned a dog, I definitely love them, too. So today I wanted to share a couple of cards for all the cat and/or dog lovers out there.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Cats Galore (Inkadinkado)
Ink: Basic Brown, Pool Party; markers: Going Gray, River Rock, Creamy Caramel, So Saffron, Pool Party, Peach Parfait
Card stock: Very Vanilla, Pool Party, Peach Parfait, So Saffron
Accessories: Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, 1-3/8" square punch, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch, Crystal Effects, 5/8" So Saffron grosgrain ribbon

For the focal point on this card I used a piece of Peach Parfait card stock with a little scallop edge on the top and bottom. To make the scallops, I punched a strip of So Saffron card stock with the Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch, cut the strip in half and then glued the two pieces to the back of the Peach Parfait, so just a little bit of the scallops are showing. I stamped and punched out the same cat image three times and colored each cat a different color for a little variation. To embellish the So Saffron ribbon, I punched out some blue circles, glued them on the ribbon and coated them with Crystal Effects for a little shine.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Dog's Life (Inkadinkado)
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Blue Bayou, Old Olive
Card stock: Crumb Cake, Basic Black, Close to Cocoa, Blue Bayou, Old Olive
Accessories: Dog brads (Around the Block), 1" square punch, 1/8" Basic Black taffeta ribbon, 1/8" circle punch

I really like the diversity in the types of dog images in this set: cartoonish, realistic, detailed, silhouettes. For this card I tried to select a couple images of each of the different types, so there's a little something for everyone. But I think my favorite detail on this card is the touches of black in the paw-print brad, the square layer and the ribbon on the bottom. This is a pretty simple layout, but it was a fun card to make!

Well, if you're an animal lover (or even if you're not!), I hope you loved my cards, too. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Halloween spirit

I think it's so fun to see the Halloween decorations and costumes popping up in the stores this time of year. I don't really do much celebrating around Halloween -- except eating way too much candy -- but I love the holiday. To get into the Halloween spirit (no pun intended ... well, maybe a little intended), I made a few cards yesterday, so I thought I'd share them.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Carved and Candlelit
Ink: Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive, Jet Black StazOn®
Card stock: Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive
Accessories: Black tag (Fiddlers Creek), silver and black fibers (On the Surface), Pumpkin Pie taffeta ribbon, Old Olive brads, Perfect Polka dots embossing folder, Dimensionals

For the focal point on this card, I stamped and cut out a jack-o'-lantern and used Dimensionals to adhere it to a black tag wrapped with silver fiber. Then I added a row of brads along the bottom of the tag and ribbon at the top. For the background I embossed the card with the polka dot embossing folder and then lightly rubbed the Jet Black StazOn ink pad over the raised dots to add a little color. With a white gel pen, you could use the tag as a gift tie-on (like I'll be doing with the Halloween tags I made for my toddler class) instead of on a card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Warmest of Wishes
Ink: Soft Suede
Paper: Soft Suede, Tangerine Tango, Very Vanilla, Brights Collection Patterns DSP Stack
Accessories: Owl Builder punch, Perfect Pennants die, Nestabilities Standard Circles Large dies (Spellbinders), 5/8" Old Olive grosgrain ribbon, Chit Chat rub-ons, google eyes (Inkadinkado), corner rounder, Perfect Polka dots embossing folder

I love this little owl! I stamped the owl image twice: once on Very Vanilla and once on Tangerine Tango. I cut out the trick-or-treat bag and mask from the Tangerine Tango piece and glued them on the first owl. And I couldn't resist the google eyes! I embossed the background, added a rub-on greeting on the ribbon and framed the owl with a scallop circle and patterned paper. Simple, but pretty cute.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Spooky Bingo Bits, Too Cute to Spook (Unity Stamp Company) (greeting unknown)
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Early Espresso, Bordering Blue
Card stock: Bordering Blue, Wild Wasabi, River Rock, Whisper White
Accessories: Spooky Fence die (Amuse Studio), Cupcake Builder punch, 3/4" circle punch, Dimensionals

I saw the die for this fence at the Rubber Stamp and Scrapbook Expo on Saturday and new immediately I had to buy it. It works perfectly in this not-so-spooky graveyard scene, but my friend Lisa pointed out that it would also be cute with flowers as a springtime card. For the rest of this scene on this card, I stamped a tree in the background and layered two pieces of torn Wild Wasabi card stock for the "grass." I stamped and cut out a few gravestones and tucked them into the grass, gluing them at angles so they look like they've been there awhile. Then I added a black cat, ghost, moon and a few clouds. Boo!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Bingo Card, Spooky Bingo Bits
Ink: Soft Suede, Lucky Limeade, Rich Razzleberry, Pumpkin Pie
Card stock: Soft Suede, Lucky Limeade, Rich Razzleberry, Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: Brights Glimmer brads

I figured since the stamp set with these cute little Halloween images is called Spooky Bingo Bits, I should actually try using it with the Bingo card. For this card, I randomly stamped the three greetings from the set on the card base. I stamped the Bingo card, cut it out and adhered it to the card front at an angle. (The whole Bingo card is a bit too big to fit on a standard A2 card.) Then I chose six images, stamped them on Pumpkin Pie, Rich Razzleberry and Lucky Limeade card stock, cut them out and glued them to squares on the card. I know a few people who enjoy going to the casino to play Bingo, so this card may just be for one of them ...

I hope these cards gave you some ideas for Halloween. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Halloween tags

Yesterday I went to the Rubber Stamp and Scrapbook Expo with my friend Lisa. We look forward to the event every spring and fall, and as usual, we had a great time finding fun new stamping supplies and "oohing" and "aahing" over the stamps and adorable and artistic sample cards.

As we wandered around, I was especially focused on Halloween stamps. I don't really need any Halloween stamps; I have several sets already, and it's not as if I use them more than once a year. But I just think Halloween stamps are so darn cute. (Well not the realistic, creepier-looking ones, but I don't tend to gravitate toward those anyway.) I was a little indecisive about what I wanted to buy (shocking!), but I finally made up my mind and put some of my new stamps to work today:

Stamps: Too Cute to Spook, Best Witches (Unity Stamp Co.)
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, markers (Stampin' Up!®): Rich Razzleberry, Lovely Lilac, Green Galore, Gable Green, Only Orange, Crushed Curry, Blush Blossom
Accessories: White tags (Fiddlers Creek), black rhinestones (EK Success), Dazzling Details (Stampin' Up!), google eyes (Inkadinkado), various fibers and ribbons (Stampin' Up!, EK Success, On the Surface, American Crafts), Crystal Effects (Stampin' Up!)

I'm planning to use these tags for the little Halloween gifts I bought for the toddlers in my class at work (three boys and one girl). I'll just add a "to/from" at the top of the tags and tie them on their gift bags. Simple and sweet. I know they're too young to really appreciate hand-made things, but I still like to make them. I hope the parents think they're cute!

After I stamped and colored the little monsters, I added a black rhinestone on each of their bow ties and Crystal Effects on the lollipops to create a little shine (it's hard to see in the photos). I also doodled a border around each tag using the same color marker as the monster's boots. The tassels are made with five or six pieces of various ribbons and fibers that are tied together with a black fiber.

I was going to be done at that point, but I decided to try out the google eyes, too. I'm glad I thought of it, because they're perfect! I did make each of the monster tags a little different by using different color combos and different ribbons and fibers.

For the witch tag, I did my stamping and coloring and then added Dazzling Details glitter glue to the heart on her dress and the buckles on her hat and shoes. I also outlined the tag with Dazzling Details and added a few black rhinestones along the bottom of the tag. A girl's gotta have a little sparkle!

These tags were fun to make, and they would be really easy to use as the focal point on a card. In fact I made a Halloween card today using a black tag with a pumpkin on it as the focal point. I'll share that card and a few others in my post tomorrow.

Until then, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

'Charm'-ing cards

In my quest to use some old supplies last weekend, I came across several packs of charms I bought quite a few years ago. I often seemed to have a hard time creating a layout I liked that used a charm. Probably explains why I still have so many left. But this weekend I was on a mission. So here's what I created with two packs of charms:

Three bright birthday cards featuring charms as the focal images.

The top two cards were made from one pack of charms. I split up the pack and created a girly card and a more boyish one. The charms on the bottom card all came together in one pack.

These were quick cards to make. I selected colors that coordinated with the charms, used brads to attach the charms to punched shapes and then played with the arrangement until I had a layout I liked. I also added a little detail to the background of each card: an embossed background on the purple card, scored lines at random intervals on the blue card and a bit of stamping on the green one. Here is a closer look at each card:

Purple card embossed with polka dots and three charms: balloons, "happy birthday" and cake.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Card stock: Lavender Lace, Whisper White, Lucky Limeade, Daffodil Delight, Regal Rose
Accessories: 1-3/8" and scallop circle punches, corner rounder, 1/16" hole punch, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, silver brads, Lil' Charms (American Traditional Designs), Dimensionals

Turquoise card with embossed lines and three charms: star, "celebrate" and a present.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Card stock: Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Real Red 
Accessories: 1-3/8" and 1-3/4"circle punches, 1/16" hole punch, Simply Scored tool, silver brads, Lil' Charms (American Traditional Designs), Dimensionals

Green card with four layered squares and a present charm in each square.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Happiest Birthday Wishes
Ink: Lucky Limeade
Card stock: Lucky Limeade, Island Indigo, Real Red, Crushed Curry, Lavender Lace 
Accessories: 1" and 1-3/8"square punches, 1/16" hole punch, Stamp-A-Ma-Jig, silver brads, Lil' Charms (American Traditional Designs), Dimensionals

I think my favorite is the card with the present charms. I probably wouldn't have put those colors together on my own, but I think they look pretty festive!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A cast of characters

I'm kind of a nerd. Always have been, always will be. When I was a kid I used to give my dad a notebook and ask him to make up math problems for me to solve. For fun. Seriously. Well, sadly I don't do too many math problems anymore (unless they're part of the number puzzles in the puzzle books I like to work on), but I have taken to expressing my nerdiness by building with Legos.

On Saturday I put together my Lego Creator Cabin set and added all the minifigures I've been collecting. Look, here they are! (The cabin opens, and there are a few more minifigures inside.)

Once that was done I decided I needed to name the characters and create a little back story for each of them. Later on I may even create some sort of Lego drama and write episodes complete with pictures of the minifigures acting out the story lines. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First the introductions (from left to right in each picture):

Kiki, surfer girl, travels from island to island in search of the perfect wave -- and a cure for her fear of crustaceans.

The three gnome triplets, Harry, Larry and Perry, were the gardeners on the estate of a famous celebrity until they were caught blabbing to the tabloids.

Hank built an air-conditioned dome over the pond in his backyard so he can go ice fishing all year.

Riordan is a Guinness-loving poet who hopes to win a Nobel prize in limerick writing.

Samson is working toward his life-long goal of back-packing in every state in alphabetical order. So far he's finished Alabama.

Joe (peeking through the cabin window) is a CIA agent working undercover as a sailor.

Francois studied art under the masters in Paris, France, and has two paintings hanging in the Louvre.

Frank studied art under the masters in Paris, Texas, and has two paintings hanging in the 'Loo, a truck-stop diner along US Highway 271.

Chip (in the background) quit law school to go to clown college. He graduated with honors and now works as a freelance entertainer.

Charlie grew up as part of a traveling circus. He may be able to tame a lion, but he's terrified of spiders.

Paul, a distant grandson of Paul Bunyan, is starting a lumberjack fashion line called Woodz.

Breck is a high school JV soccer coach. He likes to talk in rhyme -- if he has time.

Sherrie ends each of her workout sessions with a few good high kicks to "Girls Just Wanna' Have Fun."

Leif is a die-hard Vikings fan and wants to audition to be the next Ragnar. Until then he's a mall cop.

Johnny retired from the Green Army and became a professional shepherd. Who needs a dog when you've got a jeep?

Skyler is a prep school kid with wicked skateboard skills. He's broken each of his limbs. Twice.

Marty was a crop duster for forty years. Now he's afraid of standing on the ground.

(Inside the cabin)
Wolfgang carries around that bone to protect his rep, but he's really the world's only vegan werewolf.

Monty is a pediatric nurse, but he can't get a job because his communication skills are lacking and he scares the patients. He's a little bitter.

Isabella is working on landing the first quintuple axel. Unfortunately that's all she talks about.

Leo, the Lizard Man (looking out the door), is founder, president, treasurer and secretary of the organization Society for Lizard-Mammal Equality (SLiME).

Well, there you have it. That's my cast of characters (for now). This took me a lot longer to create than I thought it would, so at this rate I'm not sure how many episodes I'll be able to write. But I do have a couple of ideas brewing.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Brightening a rainy day

It's a bit of a dreary, rainy day today (which is good because we really need the rain), so I wanted to make something bright and fun. I think getting one of these cards would brighten anyone's day!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Circle Circus
Card stock: Whisper White, Basic Black, Crushed Curry, Almost Amethyst, Regal Rose, Real Red, Lucky Limeade
Ink: Crushed Curry, Almost Amethyst, Regal Rose, Real Red, Lucky Limeade, Jet Black StazOn
Accessories: Corner Rounder punch, Boho Blossoms punch, Greetings Ice Dots (KI Memories)

I chose my color combo from the colors in the pack of "ice dots" I used for embellishments. (One more old supply used up! Yippee!) It's more colors than I might normally use at once, but I really like them together. I stamped Whisper White card stock with the Circle Circus set (one stamp for each color), cut a 2-1/2" x 5-1/2" piece for each card and then rounded the corners. I matted each piece with a 2-3/4" x 5-3/4" of colored card stock and then adhered them to the 3" by 6" cards. And In my slightly obsessive compulsive way, I made sure that the same two colors of card stock weren't used together on any of the cards.

For each card, I punched the largest flower from the Boho Blossoms punch in the same color card stock as the mat and glued it in the middle of one of the black circles on the card. Then I glued on the ice-dot embellishment that matched the color of the main card. And that's it! Definitely quick and easy.

I like how placing the embellishments inside the stamped black circles helps them stand out a little; otherwise they could have become lost on the relatively busy background. And I like how that puts the embellishment in a different spot on each card -- it gives them each a bit of personality.

I also stamped the envelopes so they coordinate with the cards. I don't always do that when I make a card (generally because I just don't think of it), but it really is a nice finishing detail. And while it's always awesome to get a handmade card, it's even better when the envelope is pretty, too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Oldies but goodies

I love buying new stamping supplies: papers, ribbons, brads, various trinkets. It's all good. The problem is that I seem to have a hard time using them up. Occasionally I love something so much that I want to save it until I have the perfect project for it. But more often than not, what seems like the cutest embellishment or the most beautiful patterned paper is just replaced with the next latest and greatest thing, and it gets pushed to the bottom of the stack or back of the drawer.

So every once in awhile I decide to focus on using some of my older, neglected supplies. Here is the latest group of cards I made with some of these oldies but goodies:

Supplies (Stampin' Up!®, unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Touch of Nature, Curly Cute, Whimsical Words
Ink: Mellow Moss, Blue Bayou, Really Rust, Soft Sky
Card stock: Very Vanilla, Mellow Moss, Blue Bayou, Really Rust
Accessories: Beautiful Wings embosslit, 1-3/4" Circle punch, Ticket Corner Punch, Corner Rounder, Aged Copper Hodgepodge Hardware, Mellow Moss grosgrain ribbon, copper and silver brads (Making Memories), circle tag (Creative Imaginations), woven label (Me & My Big Ideas), hemp cord (The Finishing Touch), stapler (Making Memories), Dimensionals

I used collage-style stamping with the retired Touch of Nature stamp set and several retired colors to create the background paper. I cut a piece of the background paper for each card and then just added greetings and embellishments. Well, I say "just," but it actually took me longer than I thought it would. For some reason I struggled with these cards. I'm not sure if it was the colors or images or maybe the combination of the two. Who knows.

I think my favorite cards are the two with the Curly Cute greetings; I like the simple layouts. The circle tag on the birthday card has canvas material inside the metal rim. Cool, right? That's what I thought until I decided to use it. I tried stamping on it, adding flowers, putting an eyelet in the hole. But nothing seemed right. I finally settled on adding the woven label and hemp cord. Not quite what I was going for, but I think it turned out okay.

I've pulled out some other forgotten supplies (in some ways, it's almost like getting new things), so maybe I'll continue my mission tomorrow. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A little birthday bling

First of all, I want to say that I find it pretty amusing that on Monday I was sweating in shorts and a t-shirt, and now I wish I had my winter clothes out. From 90° to 35° in about two days. And there's a freeze warning tonight. I know it's cliché, but only in Minnesota.

Birthday card with yellow background and three pink and brown cupcakes.
Anyway, with the cooler weather comes the beginning of birthday season in my family. Quite a few of those birthdays are among the seven-and-under set (the first party is this Saturday), and tonight I realized I don't have many kid-friendly cards in my stash. So I decided I'd better work on that.

Inside of card with stamped sentiment and one punchced pink and brown cupcake.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!®):
Stamps: Bring on the Cake (inside card)
Paper: Early Espresso, Regal Rose, Daffodil Delight, Brights Collection Patterns DSP stack
Ink: Early Espresso
Accessories: Cupcake Builder punch, Ticket Corner punch, Early Espresso 1/8" taffeta ribbon, Daffodil Delight pom-pom trim, basic rhinestones, Dazzling Details

I used a piece of Designer Series Paper (DSP) in Daffodil Delight as a simple but fun background for the three cupcakes on this card. I wanted to add a little bling, so I placed rhinestones in the corners and on the middle cupcake. Then I used Dazzling Details to put some sparkle on the yellow "sprinkles" on the other two cupcakes as well as on the candle flames. A strip of ribbon and some fun pom-pom trim finish off the front of the card.

Inside the card I stamped a greeting and added one more cupcake. I didn't put any rhinestones on this cupcake because I thought they would affect how the card closes. But I think I might go back and add Dazzling Details, at least on the candle flame. A little more sparkle never hurts, right?

Stay tuned for more birthday cards in the coming weeks. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The big stamping day

I held my stamp-a-stack card-making event on Saturday, Sept. 10, and I think everything went well. I had eight attendees, and everyone made twelve cards (four each of three designs) and a Halloween treat bag. (I did end up using the card designs pictured in my August 13 post with just a couple of tweaks. I changed one of the colors and the ribbon used on the pennant card pictured on the left.)

I had a couple of brand-new (or almost brand-new) stampers, a few seasoned stampers and a couple somewhere in the middle. Everyone seemed to like the projects, although a couple of the card designs were a little more detailed, so they took a bit longer to complete. I tried to make simple cards, but I always worry that if I make things too simple, people will be disappointed in them.

The hardest part of the day for me was definitely the set up. I held the event at the childcare where I work, and since I figured nobody wanted to stamp at tables that are about two feet high (although I sit at them all day long), I planned to bring up a couple of folding tables from the basement. Well, when I started setting up on Saturday morning (by myself), I discovered that A) the tables were much heavier than I thought they would be, and B) they had to be maneuvered around a corner to get them up the staircase. Awesome. After about twenty minutes with no success, I was tired, sweaty and very close to just leaving those tables downstairs and letting everyone deal with preschool-sized tables and chairs. But I moved some other furniture out of the way, gave it one last try and somehow managed to drag the tables upstairs. All day long I was dreading having to put everything back, but thankfully my brother stopped by in the afternoon and helped me carry them downstairs.

As they were working on their cards during the event, a few of my friends and family members asked when I was going to have my next card-making day. Hmm ... I was exhausted by the end of the day, and I slept about eleven hours Saturday night, so I think I need a bit of time to recover from this one first. Whew!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering September 11th

On Sept. 11, 2001, I was working in the Corporate Communications department at American Express Financial Advisors (AEFA). It was the beginning of the day; people were still coming into work, getting settled, drinking coffee. Another ordinary day at the office. Then my manager walked past my desk and said that a plane had just flown in to the World Trade Center. I remember thinking -- and maybe I even said it out loud -- "A plane flew into the tower? How does a plane fly into a building?" At that point, the thought of a deliberate attack hadn't even entered my mind.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Majestic mosaic

Years ago I bought a pack of pre-cut oval and rectangle frames from Stampin' Up!®, and I don't think I ever used them. I actually forgot I even had them until I found them in my stamping supplies last week. So today I used one of them to make a card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Zoo Review
Ink: Basic Brown
Card stock: Naturals Ivory, Chocolate Chip. Close to Cocoa, Cajun Craze, More Mustard
Accessories: Watercolor pencils, blender pen, hemp twine, pre-cut frame, Multipurpose Liquid Glue, Dimensionals

I love this majestic lion -- and all the images in the Zoo Review set. (I was excited to discover that almost all the images in the set will work in these frames. The giraffe is just a tad too tall, but if I trim the bottom of the image a bit, then that one will work in the frames, too.) I used watercolor pencils to color the lion: a mustardy color for his body and two shades of brown for his mane. Then I used a blender pen to soften the pencil lines and blend the colors. I also tried coloring the lion with markers and ink/blender pen, but this was by far my favorite. It's nothing fancy (I'm definitely no coloring expert), but I really like it.

The frame, which was a neutral color similar to Naturals Ivory or Confetti Cream, needed some embellishment, and I considered several different ideas: sponging/spritzing on color, covering it with patterned paper, stamping on it. I'm not exactly sure how I came up with the idea to create a mosaic, but that's what I went with. When I started cutting and gluing, I thought it would take forever to finish (and I briefly considered quitting), but once I got into a rhythm, it actually came together fairly quickly.

I wanted to add a little something to the mosaic frame, and since the card has a masculine feel, I didn't want to go over the top. So I wrapped some hemp twine around the left side of the frame in a criss-cross pattern and tied it off at the top. I think it adds just the right detail.

All in all I'm really pleased with how this card turned out, especially since I often have a harder time with masculine cards. Now I need to get busy using the rest of those frames!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dahlia fold cross

Today I'm sharing the card I made for the baptism of my cousin's daughter a few weeks ago. This has become one of my go-to designs when I need a more religious card because I don't have any particularly religious stamps. It's a pretty quick card to make, and it's a great way to use up smaller pieces of patterned paper.

Baptism card made with blue patterned paper folded into a cross using the dahlia fold technique.Supplies (all Stampin' Up!®):
Paper: Whisper White card stock, Paisley Petals DSP
Accessories: Basic Pearls, corner rounder, Button Latte buttons, 2-1/2" circle punch, 1-3/4" circle punch, Perfect Pennants die, crochet thread

I first saw a card like this posted on a blog by another Stampin' Up! demonstrator, so I can't take credit for the original idea. To create the cross you use punched circles with a technique called the dahlia fold. (When I have more time I'll create tutorial for this technique.) Basically, you create folds in four circles and glue them to the card in the shape of a cross. The trick to making it look like a cross is to use a larger circle on the bottom so the bottom leg of the cross is longer.

To help the cross stand out a little more on the patterned paper, I placed a white scalloped circle from the Perfect Pennants die behind the cross. (It really is a circle; the way it is placed creates the illusion that it's a square.) Then I added a few simple embellishments: a button and pearls in two different sizes. That's it!

I really like the soft look of this cross, and it's fun to be able to see both sides of the patterned paper at once! I hope you like it, too.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bye, summer!

I made it to the State Fair yesterday (thankfully cold-free, although it made a reappearance this morning), and my friend Kay and I started out the wonderfully cool day with breakfast at one of the church dining halls. I had chocolate milk and an English muffin breakfast sandwich. We spent about the next nine hours walking, people watching, browsing, sightseeing and of course eating our way through the Great Minnesota Get-Together. I ate a Pronto Pup (like a corn dog, but with flour batter instead of corn), a deep-fried Snickers (split with Kay; I think I like Milky Way better), a peach (something healthy!), risotto poppers (risotto, mushrooms and cheese fried in a ball shape and on a stick; they did not look appetizing on the inside, but were quite tasty), deep fried apple pie with cinnamon ice cream (yum!), french fries (one of my State Fair staples) and just a few cheese curds (I don't think I could eat a whole order myself). Whew! I missed Sweet Martha's Cookies and the deep-fried cookie dough. Sigh. I guess there's always next year.

Now that the State Fair is over, the weather has taken a decidedly cooler turn, and everyone will be back to school tomorrow, it feels like we really have reached the end of summer. I am ready for fall. It's always my favorite season; I love the sights, smells and sounds of autumn. And it also means I get to sign up for community education classes again, which I've been enjoying the past couple of years. I haven't enrolled yet, but this fall I'm hoping to take Mandarin Chinese (totally new to me) and belly dance (will be about my sixth belly dance class).

Anyway, I thought I'd make one last summery card before I move on to all the leaves and pumpkins. Here's what I put together:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!®):
Stamps: Tart & Tangy
Card stock: Soft Sky, Creamy Caramel, Whisper White, Riding Hood Red
Ink: Riding Hood Red, Chocolate Chip and Wild Wasabi markers
Accessories: Wild Wasabi double-stitched grosgrain ribbon, crimper, small heart punch, paper piercer, Multipurpose Liquid Glue, Dimensionals

Fresh strawberries (and raspberries and other garden goodies) are one of the best things about summer. And this little basket is overflowing with them! For the basket, I ran a piece of Creamy Caramel card stock through my paper crimper, then turned it 90° and ran it through again to create a weave-like pattern. I rounded the bottom corners freehand, attached another piece of card stock to the top with Dimensionals and added faux stitching around the basket.

I embellished the top of the basket by adding a piece of Wild Wasabi ribbon and a bow. The bow is easy to make -- it's just a large loop of ribbon with a small loop wrapped around the middle -- and it's adhered to the strip of ribbon with a Dimensional. I punched a small heart to hang from the bow like a little tag.

To make the strawberries, I colored directly on the stamp with Wild Wasabi and Riding Hood Red markers. After I stamped the strawberries (ten of them), I used the fine tip of the Wild Wasabi marker to add the darker green lines on the strawberry tops. I cut out the strawberries and glued most of them inside the basket. I added these two to the bottom of the basket to bring some color to the bottom of the card.

The doodling around the edges of the card is the final detail. The card is 5-1/4" square because I made the basket a bit too big for a standard A2 size card. But I think everything came together to make this card look good enough to eat! Thanks for stopping by!