Saturday, June 30, 2012

Peaceful silhouettes

On Thursday morning I went out to take a walk before work (I made it out every day this week. Yay, me!). At one point I realized that I couldn't hear any city sounds -- no traffic, no humming power lines, no droning air conditioners. Just a few birds singing and leaves rustling in the breeze. I stopped walking so I couldn't hear my footsteps on the pavement and closed my eyes. It was only a moment or two, but it was a peaceful way to start a busy day.

I wanted to make a peaceful card to reflect that feeling, and when I saw the Upsy Daisy Masked Butterfly video tutorial by Stampin' Up!® demonstrator Tami White, I knew it would be the perfect technique. Here is my card:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Silhouette Sentiments
Card stock: Glossy white, Basic Black
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Baja Breeze, Not Quite Navy, So Saffron, Peach Parfait
Accessories: Window sheets, Labels Collection Framelits dies, sponge daubers, Elementary Ribbon Originals, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, pearls, Tombow Mono multipurpose glue, Dotto repositionable adhesive

I'm very pleased with how this card turned out, but it took me a few tries to get it right. On my first attempt I used Whisper White card stock. But I was having trouble sponging and blending the colors; I could really see the circle shape from the sponge daubers, which I didn't like. So I decided to switch to glossy card stock.

My first try with the glossy card stock worked fine. But when I removed the mask, some of the adhesive was left stuck to the card stock. I got out my adhesive remover, but for some reason that just created smears on the glossy card stock.

So the third time was a charm. Well, almost. I did end up with a few mistakes on this card, but I was able to cover them up with embellishments. A few of the flowers I stamped didn't come out very well, so I adhered punched flowers with pearl centers over them. (I think I like the extra dimension better anyway.) I also somehow ended up with a smudge of Peach Parfait ink on the bottom part of the card, which I covered with ribbon and a bow. (To make the bow, I took a piece of ribbon and adhered the ends together to make a loop. Then I wrapped another piece of ribbon around the loop and adhered the bow to the strip of ribbon on the card front.) To finish the card I stamped a greeting and added a few more pearls.

I hope you are able to find a few peaceful moments in your day. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Little birds of happiness

Yesterday a friend of mine was frustrated by a few different things and was just having a "blech" kind of day. On the plus side, she was excited about the new cell-phone cover she'd bought, which had cute pink and orange birds all over it. (Sometimes it's the little things that make us smile, after all.) So today I decided to make her a little pick-me-up card inspired by her cell-phone cover.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Cheep Talk, Warm Words, Pursuit of Happiness (inside card)
Card stock: Pool Party, Very Vanilla, Soft Suede
Ink: Soft Suede, Lucky Limeade, Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight
Accessories: Labels Collection Framelits dies, Polka Dots embossing folder (Cuttlebug), Word Window punch, Modern Label punch, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, pearls, paper piercer, Dimensionals, Tombow multi-purpose liquid glue

To create the multicolored stamped images, I colored directly on the rubber stamps with markers. Then I used the thin tips of the markers to add a little extra detail to the stamped leaves and birds. I freehand pierced the holes around the edge of the die-cut focal point. (Stampin' Up! will have a piercing template for these Framelits dies in the upcoming Holiday Catalog, but I had to make do with my own little eyeballs.)

I did struggle a bit with the bottom right corner. I knew it needed something, but I couldn't quite figure out what. I tried a ribbon and then a tag, but neither worked. So I looked through several stamp sets to find just the right word, punched it out and then matted it with another punched shape. I don't know that it's perfect, but the more I look at it, the more I like it.

For the inside of the card, I first stamped the greeting and then added one of the birds on each side of it. To mirror the front of the card, I used a slightly larger Framelits die from the Labels Collection to cut out the stamped images.

I'm pretty pleased with how this card turned out. I was happy making it, and I hope it spreads a little bit of happiness, too. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Triple Time Stamping technique

Today I found another new (at least new to me) stamping technique to try, Triple Time Stamping. Another Stampin' Up!® demonstrator, Dawn Olchefske, has a great video tutorial for Triple Time Stamping on her blog. After I watched her video, I pulled out one of my older stamp sets and made this card:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Balmy Breezes, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Card stock: Very Vanilla, Soft Suede
Ink: Soft Suede, Baja Breeze, Kiwi Kiss
Accessories: Hemp twine, button (unknown), Dotto repositionable adhesive, Dimensionals

Isn't that fun? And it was easy, too. In a nutshell, you layer together just the three light card stock pieces (I used Very Vanilla) with a bit of adhesive and stamp them at the same time. Then you take them apart, mat each light piece with a contrasting color of card stock and reassemble the layers. The measurements for the stamped layers are: 2" x 3-1/4", 3" x 4-1/4" and 4" x 5-1/4". The mat layers are: 2-1/4" x 3-1/2", 3-1/4" x 4-1/2" and 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" (this is the card base). If you need any clarification, check out Dawn's video in the link above.

I love these colors together, and when combined with this stamp set I can almost imagine sitting on a lounge chair by the beach enjoying the salty sea breeze and reading a book. (I'd much rather be doing the real thing than just imagining, but I guess I'll take what I can get. Sigh.) I added some hemp twine, which I almost always include on "beachy" cards because it has the perfect look and feel, and a great button for a little embellishment. (I think the button is from an estate sale, and it's a bit thicker than what I would usually use on a card. But it seemed to work so well; I'll just have to mail this card in a padded envelope.)

I also stamped a few images on the inside of the card to continue the theme. I did stamp these images on scratch paper before stamping them in the card so they are light enough to write over.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Acetate and Tissue technique

I admit that I'm not much of a "technique stamper." I tend to prefer straightforward stamping, with layering and embellishments, of course, because it's less fussy. But I often see beautiful cards made with different techniques, and I think, Someday I should try that. Well, today was that day. I decided to try the Acetate and Tissue technique, and here is my card:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Betsy's Blossoms, Curly Cute
Card stock: Wisteria Wonder, Whisper White, window sheet
Ink: Cotton White StazOn ink, Wisteria Wonder, Elegant Eggplant (pad and reinker)
Accessories: Clear Oval Accent die, Apothecary Accents Framelits dies, Stampin' Pierce Mat, paper piercer, Paper-Piercing Pack Essentials, Grey Violet Pearl Ex powder (Jacquard Products), Crystal Effects, Wisteria Wonder baker's twine, Dimensionals
Other: Tissue paper

There is a great tutorial for the Acetate and Tissue technique on SplitcoastStampers, but I'll point out just a few details of my card:
• I used white StazOn ink instead of black. I think the white worked better for this card with the Elegant Eggplant color, but the black might give more solid coverage of the image.
• After I added the re-inker, I also sprinkled on some Pearl Ex powder to create a little shimmer. You can see a little of the powder in this picture to the right of the flower (sorry about the glare from the flash).
• I didn't have any rubber gloves on hand to spread the ink and Crystal Effects on the window sheet, so I just used a piece of plastic wrap bunched up a bit.
• I didn't adhere the window sheet and tissue paper to card stock. I simply let the piece dry and then cut it with the Clear Oval Accent die.
• To create the layered greeting, I die cut the stamped greeting with one of the Apothecary Accents Framelits dies. I placed the same die on Wisteria Wonder card stock, traced around the lip of the die and cut it out by hand.
• I added a bit of baker's twine and some paper piercing for additional details.

I think I used a bit too much re-inker on this card. It was only a few drops, but the color is so dark it kind of took over. Guess I'll just have to practice some more. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Spinning hamster

I know I've said before that I love animal stamps. Especially cutesy, cuddly, adorable animals. So when I saw a stamp set with hamsters at the Stamp Expo last month, I couldn't pass it up. I mean, how often do you find a stamp set of hamsters? Well, if you're me, only once. I used this set to make a couple of fun cards this week.

Card with the image of a hamster in a ball that spins back and forth across the card.Supplies (all Stampin' Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Hug a Hamster (Raisin Boat)
Card stock: Whisper White, Soft Suede, Basic Black
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Soft Suede, Blushing Bride
Accessories: 1-3/8" circle punch, Word Window punch, Modern Label punch, Dimensionals, large clear adhesive dots (Zots)
Other: 1/4" washer, penny

This was a fun card to make. The hamster in the ball (which is two separate images stamped over each other) is actually a spinner, so when you tip the card left and right, he rolls back and forth. Hee! Here is a quick rundown of how I made this card:

1. Cut a piece of card stock for the card front. For this card the layer is 4" x 5-1/4". Place the top edge of the card stock in the Word Window punch. Be sure to push the card stock right up to the back of the punch and about 1/2" from the side.
2. Punch once and leave the card stock in the punch. Slide the punch along the card stock and punch again. Repeat one more time, stopping about 1/2" from the other side.
3. Stamp the punched layer as desired. 
4. Stamp the image for the spinner and punch or cut it out.
5. Using an adhesive dot, adhere a penny or a washer to the middle of the back of the spinner. Pennies seem to work a bit better because they are a little heavier than the washers. But sometimes, even though they are just pennies, I hate to use them in case they just get thrown away. (I compromised by using a washer for this step and a penny for Step 8.)
6. Adhere a Dimensional or foam dot to the washer/penny. Adhere a second Dimensional/foam dot right on top of the first one.
7. Place the layered Dimensionals through the punched slit in the card stock layer so the front of the spinner and the front of the card stock layer are facing the same direction.
8. Adhere another penny or washer to the second Dimensional/foam dot. You should now have one penny/washer on each side of the card stock with two Dimensionals or foam dots in between them.
9. Use Dimensionals to adhere the punched card stock layer to the card front. You will need to use a double layer of Dimensionals to make sure there is enough space for the spinner to move.
10. Decorate the rest of the card as desired.

I forgot to take a picture of the inside of this card, but I stamped the hamster and ball again with the saying, "Have a ball!" I think this card has to make you smile at least a little.

Card with the image of a hamster in a cage with an exercise wheel. Sentiment says "Up all night, sleep all day."
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Hug a Hamster (Raisin Boat)
Card stock: Whisper White, River Rock, Pool Party, Soft Suede
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Soft Suede, Blush Blossom, Chocolate Chip, Going Gray, Pool Party, Riding Hood Red, River Rock
Accessories: Dimensionals

This is a pretty straightforward card: mostly stamping and coloring. Just a couple of details to point out: I used a marker to make the dotted border around the focal image, and I randomly stamped the sunflower seed image on the Soft Suede card stock to create a background. I love the saying on this card, but I did have a hard time choosing between this one and "I love the nightlife" -- they both made me giggle.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A little bit of good

Patterned paper is a fun, quick and easy way to add color or detail to a card. I love patterned paper, but I try not to buy it too often because sometimes I have a tendency to hoard it for that perfect project, which never seems to materialize. But when I saw the new Naturals Composition Specialty Designer Series Paper (DSP) in the new Stampin' Up!® catalog, I knew I had to get it. It's similar to kraft card stock, so it's heavier than paper, and it's printed with tone-on-tone glossy patterns. (There are twelve sheets of DSP in the pack, two sheets each of six different one-sided patterns.) I used some of this DSP to make a card yesterday:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Pursuit of Happiness, Language of Friendship
Paper: Baja Breeze, Early Espresso card stock; Natural Composition Specialty DSP
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Apothecary Accents Framelits dies, Bird Builder punch, Boho Blossoms punch, pearls, Mini Glue Dots, Dimensionals

Isn't that DSP gorgeous? It's hard to see the gloss in this picture, but it adds a great visual and textural element to the card. I almost didn't want to hide the DSP at all, and I think that this paper would make a beautiful simple card with just a piece of ribbon tied around the card front and a greeting stamped on a tag and attached to the ribbon. But I wanted to do something a bit more elaborate here.

I knew I wanted to use one of the greeting stamps from the Pursuit of Happiness set, and I thought this quote from Desmond Tutu was perfect. I stamped the greeting and cut it out with one of the Apothecary Accents Framelits dies. I decided I would place the greeting along the left edge of the card in order to cover up as little of the DSP as possible, so I positioned the greeting to the side of the Framelit die before cutting. To make the mat, I placed the die on the Early Espresso card stock, traced around the lip of the die and then cut it out by hand.

With the greeting ready, I stamped and punched out the bird and branch. I struggled briefly with the flowers; I wanted to punch them out of the DSP, but I didn't want "waste" any of the paper. Light bulb! Before I adhered all the pieces of the card together, I punched the flowers from the left side of the DSP, which would be hidden by the greeting. (I've heard and used this tip before, but I always seem to forget about it ...) Finally I assembled all the pieces on the card and added a few pearls for embellishment.

If I can bear to part with it, I might try using a piece of the Natural Composition DSP as the whole card base next time. Then the back of the card would look pretty, too! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Christmas in (almost) July

When the temperature is above 90°F, which it is here today, there are many ways to beat the heat. Relax at the beach, take a dip in a pool, run through a sprinkler, or sit in the shade sipping iced tea and reading a book. All of these would have been fun activities today, but I went in a little different direction: I made my first two Christmas cards of the year with a new stamp set from Stampin' Up!® called Stylin' Snowfolk.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Stylin' Snowfolk, Tiny Tags
Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White card stock; Polka Dot Parade Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Real Red, Marina Mist, Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Soft Suede
Accessories: 1-1/4" circle punch, Apothecary Accents Framelits dies, 1/8" Basic Black taffeta ribbon, Vintage Trinkets, Jewelry Tag punch, paper piercer, Tombow Mono multipurpose liquid glue, Dimensionals

I love this adorable little snow family! For this card, I decided to punch circles from Whisper White card stock to use as the snowpeople's heads, and then I stamped and adhered the features and accessories on the circles. (The Stylin' Snowfolk stamp set does also come with a snowman image. See the card below.) I even managed to stamp all the features pretty evenly without getting out my Stamp-a-Ma-Jig. They aren't perfect, but then a real snowman isn't perfect, either!

I glued each snowperson's head onto a piece of Crumb Cake card stock that was die cut with the Apothecary Accents Framelits dies. Then I added three strips of DSP to the front of a Crumb Cake card base and used Dimensionals to adhere the snowpeople to the DSP strips. I tied a piece of ribbon around the card front and used a small safety pin to attach three mini tags to the knot in the ribbon.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Stylin' Snowfolk, Curly Cute
Card stock: Island Indigo, Whisper White
Ink: Island Indigo, Rich Razzleberry, Baja Breeze, Basic Gray, Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, rhinestones, Tombow Mono multipurpose liquid glue, Mini Glue Dots, Dimensionals

This little snow-woman looks like she's resting peacefully on a snowy winter night. There are a couple of differences in stamped images from the previous card that I want to point out. First, the scarf in this card is longer than the ones above. I wanted shorter scarves for the other card, so I just inked a portion of the image. Second, I stamped the eyelashes upside-down on this card to look like the snow-woman has her eyes closed. On the card above I stamped the eyelashes right-side up over the eyes for a different look. It's nice to have that versatility.

For the background I embossed polka dots for a little texture and then randomly added small rhinestones to some of the dots to create a sparkling snowflakes. I also used a rhinestone to dot the "i" in the greeting.

Once winter gets here it really doesn't take long for me to tire of the snow and cold. But for a hot day in June, it was actually kind of fun to spend some time thinking about snowmen. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Daisy trios

So today I have a couple of flower cards to share. I know, I know, shocking, right? Well, it dawned on me this morning that since it's Father's Day I really should have planned better so I would have had some masculine cards to post. Bummer, dude. Well, if you're looking for some masculine card ideas, feel free to scroll down to the "cards - masculine" category on the right-hand sidebar and check them out. In the meantime, here are my cards, made with the new Stampin' Up!® set Reason to Smile.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Reason to Smile
Card stock: Basic Gray, Whisper White, Pool Party, Island Indigo, Calypso Coral
Ink: Basic Gray, Pool Party, Island Indigo, Calypso Coral
Accessories: Basic Gray taffeta ribbon, In Color printed designer brads, 1-3/4" circle punch, Decorative Label punch, bone folder, Dimensionals

This is a pretty straightforward card with a little stamping, punching and layering. I used my paper cutter and bone folder to make the two scored lines near the bottom of the card. I love the pops of color against the gray background, and the printed brads work perfectly as the centers for the flowers. 

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Reason to Smile
Card stock: Chocolate Chip, Pool Party, Island Indigo, Rose Red, Summer Starfruit
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Island Indigo, Tempting Turquoise, Melon Mambo, Rose Red, Daffodil Delight, Summer Starfruit, Chocolate Chip 
Accessories: Polka Dots embossing folder (Cuttlebug), Lucky Limeade ruffled ribbon, 5/16" Neutrals brads, Dimensionals

This stamp set reminds me of Gerbera daisies, so I wanted to use bright colors for this card. But once I had the flowers stamped, colored and cut out, I struggled with a layout. I finally decided to layer them on circles of coordinating card stock to really make them stand out, add ribbon "stems" and adhere them to a light blue layer to look like the sky. I like the idea of this card, but I'm still not completely happy with the execution. I think if I were to make it again, I might skip the card stock circles and use narrower ribbon.

Thanks for stopping by. And I hope all the dads, grandfathers, uncles and other father figures out there have a wonderful Father's Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Adorable animals

One of the first stamps sets I bought from the new Stampin' Up!® catalog is called Storybook Friends. It is ah-dorable. Six stamps, each with an animal image and short sentiment. I broke it out yesterday and have made two cards so far:

Gender-neutral baby card with the image of a lamb and the greeting "so sweet."
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Storybook Friends
Card stock: Sahara Sand, Naturals Ivory, Gumball Green
Ink: Basic Gray, Sahara Sand, Gumball Green
Accessories: Aquapainter brush, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Finishing Touches Edgelits dies, Labels Collection Framelits dies, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, Basic Gray satin ribbon, paper piercer, mini silver brads, Dimensionals

I love this little lamb, and I think he's perfect for a baby card. (I really don't need any more baby cards right now, but I couldn't resist making this one.) I chose a neutral combination of Sahara Sand and Basic Gray with just a few pops of Gumball Green. Non-traditional for a baby card, but still sweet. I lightly watercolored the lamb with Sahara Sand ink using an Aquapainter brush. I embossed polka dots on the bottom of the card and added a bit of ribbon, a decorative die cut edge and a few flowers.

Gray card with yellow accents and the image of a kitten playing with a ball of yarn.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Storybook Friends
Card stock: Basic Gray, Naturals Ivory, Summer Starfruit
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Basic Gray, Summer Starfruit
Accessories: 2-3/8" scallop circle punch, 2-1/2" circle punch, Adorning Accents Edgelits dies, Argyle embossing folder, Aquapainter brush, white baker's twine, Dimensionals

I think this kitten might be even sweeter than the lamb. (Though I will admit that I'm slightly confused as to why it says "friends" when there is only one animal. Is she supposed to be friends with the yarn? Couldn't there be two kittens playing with the yarn? Random things such as this sometimes consume me. But then I remind myself that there are bigger things to worry about, and I move on.)

There are several elements on this card that are similar to the previous one -- a watercolored image that is punched/die cut, a neutral color scheme with touches of color, a decorative cut edge and some embossing for texture. I'm not sure yet how I feel about the new Summer Starfruit color. I haven't played with it too much, but so far I've had trouble combining it with other colors. I do, though, like it paired with the gray, which really pulls out the green tones in it.

I hope you enjoyed these adorable animals. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Simple gift box

This weekend I am getting together with one of my friends to celebrate (belatedly) her birthday. I needed to wrap her present, but instead of using wrapping paper, I decided to use some rub-ons to personalize a plain gable-style box. 

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Kraft gable box, Love & Happiness rub-ons, Raspberry Ripple and Crumb Cake card stock, ribbon (American Crafts "Dunk Tank" Elements), 1-3/4" scallop circle punch, crochet thread (DMC), Dimensionals

I wanted a simple color combination, so I used only white rub-ons, which stand out nicely against the kraft box. For the front of the box I placed a swirl and flowers on the left side and three butterflies on the upper right corner. On the other three sides of the box, I randomly placed small flowers, singly or in groups of two or three.

To add a punch of color, I tied a bow of raspberry red ribbon around the handle. I made a gift card (approximately 2-1/2" square) out of Crumb Cake card stock and added another touch of the accent color by placing a rub-on on Raspberry Ripple card stock, punching it out with a scallop circle punch and adhering it to the card with Dimensionals. I wrote my happy birthday message inside the card and used white crochet thread to tie the tag onto the bow. Voila!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A little punchy

I love stamps that coordinate with punches. It's so fun and easy to just stamp an image, color it if needed and then punch it out. What could be better? Hmm ... maybe a stamp that coordinates with multiple punches. The Quint-Essential Flower stamp from the new Stampin' Up!® catalog coordinates with not one, but five different punches -- the 2-3/8" scallop circle, 1-3/4" scallop circle, 1" circle, 3/4" circle and 1/2" circle -- which presents a lot of different opportunities for layering. Here is the first card I made with this stamp:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Quint-Essential Flower
Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Island Indigo card stock; Summer Smooches Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Island Indigo
Accessories: 2-3/8" scallop circle punch, 1-3/4" scallop circle punch, 1" circle punch, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, Apothecary Accents Framelits, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Neutrals brads, Dimensionals

I decided on a classic red, yellow and blue color combination, and I stamped the flower three times, once in each color. Then it was time to get punchy. I punched out the whole red flower, the middle of the yellow flower and the center of the blue flower and layered them together with Dimensionals.

When I looked at the pattern in the flower stamp, I thought it would coordinate well with the Summer Smooches DSP, so I selected three different prints from the DSP that matched the color combo. I die cut a shape out of the blue print for a background, and I used strips of the red and yellow prints to create pennant shapes for the bottom of the flower.

I punched two mini blue scallop circles and adhered one to each side of the blue die-cut. At the center of each of those mini scallop circles I used a white brad to attach the die-cut to a piece of Crumb Cake card stock embossed with polka dots. Finally I used Dimensionals to adhere the layer of Crumb Cake card stock to the card front and to adhere the flower to the blue die-cut.

I'm really pleased with how this card came together, and I'm looking forward to use this stamp with other color and punch combinations. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Whatever floats your boat

This morning, for the first time ever, I made a card before work. That may not sound like a big deal, but honestly I was pretty impressed with myself. Here's a little back story: For the past few weeks, I've been trying to get up extra early so I can walk for about 30 minutes before getting ready for work. My shifts start between 6:30 and 7:30 every day, so that means my alarm goes of a bit before 5:00. I've been doing pretty well, and I've only missed a couple of days, but this morning when the horrendous beeping started I was just not feeling it. So I snoozed my alarm several times, did a few yoga stretches, got dressed, made my lunch, ate breakfast and then sat down to stamp!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Go Fish (Raisin Boat)
Card stock: Brilliant Blue, Bermuda Bay, Whisper White
Ink: StazOn Jet Black, Bermuda Bay, Brilliant Blue, Real Red, Soft Suede, Basic Gray, Basic Black (and inside card: Cajun Craze, Bordering Blue, Garden Green, River Rock, More Mustard)
Accessories: Cupcake Builder punch, wavy-edge scissors (Provo Craft), sponges, Dimensionals

I decided to make a Father's Day card, and I was excited to try out this new fishing-themed stamp set. I started with a Brilliant Blue card base and a piece of Bermuda Bay card stock, trimmed at the top with a wavy-edge scissors.

On the Bermuda Bay layer I stamped a few fish with bubbles and the greeting. I stamped the boat at the top of the Bermuda Bay card stock (so it went off the top edge) and on Whisper White, and then I colored and cut out the boat stamped on the white card stock. Before adhering the Bermuda Bay card stock to the card I sponged the edges of both the card front and the layer with their respective colors.

I glued the Bermuda Bay layer to the lower portion of the card front. Then I used Dimensionals to adhere the cut-out boat over the image I had stamped on the Bermuda Bay layer. I used the Cupcake Builder punch to create a few clouds for the sky.

In all honesty, that's as far as I got this morning. But when I got home from work, I decided that I also needed to continue the fishing theme on the inside of the card. (Actually, I think I added the clouds on the front of the card this afternoon, too.) So I stamped and colored a few more images on a layer of Whisper White card stock and adhered it inside the card. I love the image of the little worm with the SOS sign. (One of my least favorite things about fishing is having to tear big nightcrawlers in half. I can put a worm or a leech on a hook, and I can take a fish off -- unless it's completely swallowed the hook -- but I hate trying to tear worms in half. Ugh.) I left some open space on the bottom part of the card so I can write a little message.

I think this card has inspired me to make a few more masculine cards, so maybe I'll have to chance to do that later this week. But probably not before work.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A walk in the garden

Today I have three floral cards to share. Each one uses a different stamp set, but they were all inspired by the idea of a walk in the garden, which seems fitting now that we've definitely turned the corner into summer. (All supplies are from Stampin' Up!®.)

Stamps: Raining Flowers
Card stock: Naturals Ivory, Concord Crush, Old Olive, Riding Hood Red
Ink: Concord Crush, Wisteria Wonder, Riding Hood Red, Old Olive, Always Artichoke, So Saffron, More Mustard
Accessories: Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch, Beautiful Wings Embosslits die, basic pearls, Mini Glue Dots, Dimensionals

I often struggle with this stamp set because all the flowers have just a little bit different style, so it's hard for me to put them together. But I'm pleased with how this card turned out; I especially like the two pops of red.

Stamps: Greenhouse Garden
Card stock: Naturals Ivory, Old Olive
Ink: Tangerine Tango, Poppy Parade, So Saffron, More Mustard, Wisteria Wonder, Concord Crush, Old Olive, Always Artichoke
Accessories: 1/8" Old Olive taffeta ribbon, corner rounder, Dazzling Details, Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots

This is my favorite type of card to make with this stamp set. It's actually not hard to create, but it does involve a fair amount of cutting. Happily for me, I don't really mind all the fussy cutting; it can be sort of calming and therapeutic. Once the flowers are cut out, it's just a matter of layering them over the stamped flowers with Mini Glue Dots and Dimensionals to create different levels of depth. It's hard to see in this photo, but I also added a bit of Dazzling Details glitter glue in the flower centers. (Here's a fun tip about this set: The little violet flower also makes a good four-leaf clover if, like me, you someday find yourself needing to make something for St. Patrick's Day without any Irish-themed stamps.)

Stamps: Heartfelt Thanks
Card stock: Very Vanilla, Old Olive, textured Soft Suede
Ink: Daffodil Delight, Old Olive, Soft Suede
Accessories: Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Daffodil Delight stitched grosgrain ribbon, Dimensionals

This is a simple card, but I created a little visual interest by adhering the focal piece to the card at an angle instead of centering it on the card front. I also added a bit of texture by embossing polka dots on the background.

I hope you enjoyed this little walk through the garden. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Birthday 'cake'

A few months ago I posted a birthday ensemble that included a tealight candle birthday cake. It was a fun, cute and easy project, so I decided to make another, this one with a coordinating gift box.

Stamps: Essential Messages (Hero Arts)
Card stock: Beautiful Go-Go Boots printed paper (KI Memories), pink and tan card stock
Ink: Dark brown chalk ink (Color Box)
Accessories: 1/16" and 1/4" hole punches; medium and large scallop circle, oval, scallop oval, scallop edge, corner rounder and 1-3/8" circle punches (Stampin' Up!); Pretty in Pink corduroy brad; Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles (Ranger); mini jewels - Lily White assortment (Doodlebug Design Inc.); Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder (Stampin' Up!); white crochet thread; paper crimper (Fiskars); Scor-Pal; Scor-Tape (Scor-Pal); Tombow Mono Multi liquid glue
Other: Battery-operated tealight candle

There is a great tutorial for this project on Splitcoaststampers. I made a couple of modifications to the tutorial: The strip I used around the tealight is 7/8" instead of 3/4" to hide the on/off switch on the bottom of the candle, and after Step 5, I tested my scallop circle to be sure it fit over the "flame," and then I punched a 1/4" hole in the center before gluing it down.

For this candle, I crimped the strip of pink card stock before gluing it around the candle. Then I put Stickles glitter glue in the grooves. For a little more bling I placed mini rhinestones on the scallops of the patterned paper "frosting."

I wanted to make the cake look as if it were on a plate or doily, so I punched a large scallop circle from tan card stock and embossed it with polka dots. Before I glued it to the bottom of the candle, however, I punched a 1-3/8" circle out of the middle to allow access to the battery and on/off switch.

I made the box out of the same card stock colors and patterned paper as the candle. I glued a strip of card stock with a scallop edge along the inside of the box cover and placed a corduroy brad in the middle of the cover. To make a little tag, I stamped the greeting "bring on the cake," punched it out with an oval punch and, to continue the scallop theme, layered it on a scalloped oval. I tied a loop of white crochet thread on the tag and then wrapped it around the brad. A cute little gift wrapped and ready to go!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Basket full of wishes

Today I'm going to share a fun card that would be great to send for a birthday, congratulations or even just a little pick-me-up.

Stamps: Basket Full of Wishes (Unity Stamp Co.)
Paper: Neutral ivory card stock (The Paper Company), Tea for Two mini deck (Cosmo Cricket)
Ink: Basic Brown pad (Stampin' Up!); Wild Wasabi, Riding Hood Red, Close to Cocoa markers (Stampin' Up!)
Accessories: Classic Scalloped Ovals Large Nestabillities dies (Spellbinders), Scor-Pal and Scor-Bug embosser (Scor-Pal), paper piercer, mini flower punch (Punch Bunch), green ribbon, 3 mm red brads, Mono Multi liquid glue (Tombow), Dimensionals (Stampin' Up!), Mini Gllue Dots (Glue Dots)

For the background, I used three coordinating pieces of patterned paper cut into different sizes of squares and rectangles. I adhered them to the card front leaving about 1/4" between each piece and around the border. (I don't have a scientific way for doing this. I just started with one piece of paper in a corner and worked out from there, switching up patterns and sizes.) Then I pierced lines of holes along the borders of ivory card stock.

I stamped and colored the bicycle image and then cut it out with a scalloped oval die. (I also pierced holes in the scallops of the oval.) To make the bicycle even cuter, I placed a mini red brad at the center of each wheel and punched several flowers to glue in the basket. (The stamped image does have flowers in the basket, but I wanted a little more dimension.) I used a leftover piece of one of the patterned papers -- the floral one in the top left corner and bottom middle -- to punch out the flowers so they're multicolored and they coordinate nicely with the background. The final touch on the focal image was a double bow tied with variegated green ribbon.

Inside the card I stamped the greeting "A basket full of wishes." I like this type of multipurpose greeting because it's great for many different occasions, and I can personalize the card for the recipient. Another option would be to stamp this greeting on the front of the card with the bicycle and then stamp a more specific greeting (happy birthday, congratulations, etc.) inside the card.

I also had some leftover punched flowers that I decided to glue inside the card. It looks like the flowers here are a bit shadowy, but that's because I used just a drop of liquid glue to adhere only the centers of the flowers, so the petals are sticking up a bit (and creating a shadow from the flash on my camera).

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pair of card sets

Yesterday morning I finally sat down to organize all the cards I've been making the past couple of months and put them into the box that holds my stash of cards. (I had been just dropping them into a shoebox.) But it didn't take me long to realize that they weren't all going to fit. Apparently I've been making more than I've been sending. So when I sat down to make some cards, I wasn't sure what to do. Clearly, I don't need anymore cards myself at the moment. And I just sent cards to Operation Write Home last week. So instead I decided to make a couple of card sets for friends' birthdays coming up later this month.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Botanical Blooms
Card stock: Very Vanilla, Kiwi Kiss, Cameo Coral, Chocolate Chip, Apricot Appeal
Ink: Kiwi Kiss, Cameo Coral, Chocolate Chip, Apricot Appeal
Accessories: Framed Tulips embossing folder, Lace Ribbon Border punch, Decorative Brads - Pewter
Round 2 (Making Memories)

I made eight of these cards, two of each of the four colors, and embossed the front of each card with the Framed Tulips embossing folder. I used collage, or random, stamping on a sheet of Very Vanilla card stock and then cut the sheet into eight pieces (about 2-3/4" by 4") to make the center panels for the cards. To create an embellishment for each card, I punched a small strip of card stock with the Lace Ribbon Border punch and cut apart two of the flower shapes from the punched strip. I gently crumpled the flowers and then attached them to the stamped panel with a decorative brad.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Betsy's Blossoms, Petite Pairs
Card stock: Whisper White, Pink Passion, Ballet Blue, Yoyo Yellow, Green Galore
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Pink Passion, Ballet Blue, Yoyo Yellow, Green Galore, Basic Black marker
Accessories: Basic Rhinestones, Dimensionals

This card set has a bolder color combo than the first group. I do like these colors, although I'm not sure they're quite right with this stamp set. But I was going for bright and cheerful, and I think I got that.

Again, I made eight cards for this set, two for each greeting. But I mixed up the color combos so none of the cards use the same two colors. I used a clean and simple layout with just a few rhinestones for embellishment. I also doodled a border on the Whisper White layer on each card for another little detail.

For both sets, I also stamped the envelopes to coordinate with the cards. And to package them, I put each set of cards and envelopes in an organza bag. Now I have two birthday gifts ready to go! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Simple blooms

I love to take pictures of flowers. I'll be honest, my pictures don't always turn out great, but that hasn't stopped me. I don't often, however, do anything with those pictures. So I decided to take a stab at making a scrapbook page focused on flowers.

Scrapbook page with pictures of flowers and the title "bloom."
Card stock: Black (Bazzill), periwinkle (Core'dinations)
Ink: Summer Sun, Pixie Pink Stampin' Write markers (Stampin' Up!); Pure Black Millennium pen (ZIG)
Accessories: "Just Because" Cards cartridge (Cricut); rick rack (unknown); paper flowers (Just Blooms - Close to My Heart, By the Sea Color Assortment - Mulberry Street); mini pearls - Baby Boy Assortment (Doodlebug Design Inc.); 1-1/4", 1-3/4", Dotted SCallop Ribbon Border punches (Stampin' Up!); Mini Glue Dots, Dimensionals, Tombow Mono Multi liquid glue (Stampin' Up!); 1/8", 1/4" Scor-Tape (Scor-Pal); sandpaper

I took these pictures a couple of summers ago during my first trip to Salt Lake City for the Stampin' Up!® convention. One free evening during convention, a few of my new stamping friends and I went to The Gateway, an outdoor mall.

When I made this page I left a lot of white space (or in this case, black space) so the bright colors of the flowers are really the focal point. To make the title, I used my Cricut to cut out the word "bloom" from textured card stock, and then I sanded it to make the core color of the card stock visible. I also punched and sanded a strip of card stock to make a scallop border on the left side of the main image.

Close-up of pink flower embellishment on "bloom" scrapbook page.
I used markers to color the two pink paper flowers and the small yellow one, which were all originally white. The "leaves" behind the flowers are actually another paper flower that was already green. I layered the flowers together and added a pearl in the center.

Close-up of flower pictures punched into circles on "bloom" scrapbook page.
I didn't think this page needed too much journaling, but I did want to include where and when the pictures were taken. I could have written directly on the black paper with a white gel pen. But instead I decided to make a mat for one of the circular pictures along the bottom of the page and wrote the details around the picture.

I'm pleased with how this page turned out. And I think instead of putting it a scrapbook, I might just frame it to hang on the wall. Thanks for stopping by!