Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Different strokes

A month ago when I was one of the card-contest winners at a local stamp show, one of the items I purchased with my prize money was a stamp set called Strokes of Wisdom from Raisin Boat. Before I had to pack up all my stamping supplies (sigh), I made four cards with this set.

Supplies (all Stampin Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Strokes of Wisdom (Raisin Boat)
Card stock: Confetti White
Ink: Riding Hood Red, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Gumball Green, Pool Party, Basic Black
Accessories: 1/8" Basic Black taffeta ribbon, Simply Scored tool, rhinestones

Aren't they fun cards? Each colored stroke is a separately stamped image. I just inked the stamp with the first color, stamped the image, cleaned the stamp and repeated the process with the next color. The set also includes a few words in a large calligraphy font and several phrases in a small typed font, so you can combine them to make whatever sentiment works for your card. I decided these bright rainbows needed a birthday sentiment, so I went with "Celebrate your day." I embellished the cards with ribbon, simple scored lines and a few rhinestones.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Strokes of Wisdom (Raisin Boat)
Card stock: Confetti Cream, Baja Breeze, textured Soft Suede
Ink: Soft Suede, Baja Breeze, River Rock
Accessories: Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, pearls, small and large metallic brads (making Memories), Simply Scored tool, Tombo Mono glue

For these two cards I went with a more subtle, almost beachy, color combination, and I used the straight stroke stamp instead of the curved one. I made the card of the left a bit more feminine by adding a few punched flowers with pearl centers. To give the card on the right a masculine feel, I repeatedly stamped the set of three strokes in two different directions, scored several lines along the bottom of the card and added a few metallic brads.

I love how easy it was to make these single-layer, elegant cards, and I'm looking forward to making more once my stamps are allowed to see the light of day again. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dreaming of my craft room

I am definitely in the throes of moving. My sister and I have cardboard boxes everywhere in our apartment. Empty ones, full ones, big ones, little ones. And bags. Umpteen bags filled with recycling, trash and things to donate. I can barely reach our dining room window, and you almost have to walk down the hallway sideways. Seriously. I want to curl up in a ball and hide under a blanket. Thank goodness it's just a few more days until we can move the first load to our new place.

One thing I am getting very excited about, though, is my new craft room. The room isn't huge (I think it's about 9'8" by 9'10"), and I know that my desk and filing cabinet will be in the room along with the shelving unit that currently holds all my bins filled with stamps. But other than that it's a blank slate. At least it was until this weekend.

On Friday afternoon my dad called to see if I wanted to go to The Home Depot to see some Martha Stewart craft furniture. Now I'm personally not a fan of Martha Stewart, but my dad seemed impressed by the furniture. And even better, it was on clearance for half off! It's hard to beat a good sale, so I decided to take a look.

The cabinet. The drawers have dividers that can be
adjusted or removed. I'm planning to use the shallow
drawers for punches. I'll be able to see them all!
When we got to The Home Depot, the table my dad had seen the day before was already gone. And the one three-drawer cabinet was marked "paid." (He was so disappointed that I didn't get to see the table. He said he should have just bought and given it to me.) All that was left was a hutch for the cabinet.

We tried another store, but still no tables. The second location did have a few cabinets, hutches and sets of cubbies left, but I just wasn't sure what I wanted, so we left.

The hutch. The four dowels at the top
are for wrapping paper, but I'm going to
replace them with smaller ones to hold
ribbon. I think my dad had a hard time
understanding that, yes, I do have
that much ribbon.
Back at home I looked at a few other furniture options online, but I didn't really see anything that looked better for a cheaper price ($100 for the table, $150 for the cabinet, $50 for the hutch). So about an hour later I called my dad and told him I decided to get the cabinet and hutch. He went back to the store and picked them up for me (and agreed to store them in their garage temporarily). Yay for dads!

The table. I'm planning to put my two
back-to-back. And I can keep scissors,
adhesive, etc., in the drawers.
Not one to give up easily, my dad called me yesterday morning to say that he was at another The Home Depot store, and they still had the table: one floor model and one in a box. I told him to go ahead and get the one in the box. Then I promptly called back and told him to buy the floor model, too. (I had always hoped to have either one really large table or two smaller ones in my craft room so there's room for two people to have plenty of work space.) Yippee!

It's been about three weeks since I packed up my stamping supplies, and I know it will be several more weeks before I have everything moved, unpacked and set up. But I can't wait to get back to stamping. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wrapped and accessorized

As I promised in my last post (All Wrapped Up), today I am going to share two more cards made with the Stampin' Up!® stamp set All Wrapped Up. These cards also use the coordinating set All Wrapped Up Accessories.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: All Wrapped Up, All Wrapped Up Accessories, Happiest Birthday Wishes
Card stock: Gumball Green, Basic Black, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Gumball Green, Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Lovely Lilac
Accessories: Scallop Edge Border punch, Real Red brad, Simply Scored tool, Dimensionals

To create the look of the filled jar, I used the masking technique. First I stamped several gumdrop images on a self-stick note, making sure that the sticky part of the paper was behind at least part of each stamped image. I cut out the images, trimming just the tiniest bit inside the stamped image.

After stamping and cutting out the jar, I selected the first gumdrop color and stamped a few images randomly inside the jar. I covered those stamped images with the masks (the pieces cut from the self-stick notes), selected the second color and stamped a few more gumdrops, overlapping parts of the previously stamped images. I repeated the process, moving the masks as needed, until the jar was filled.

To add an extra touch of fun to the card, I stamped one gumdrop of each color, cut them out and adhered them to the card front as if they spilled from the jar. Inside the card I again used the masks to add a few gumdrops along the bottom of the white card stock layer.

I love the whimsical, bright look of this card, and I think it's a perfect birthday card for a child. Or anyone who has a little sweet tooth.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: All Wrapped Up, All Wrapped Up Accessories
Paper: Basic Black, Real Red, Whisper White Going Gray card stock; Prints Pack Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Jet Black StazOn pad, Real Red marker
Accessories: Red brads (unknown), Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch, Tombow Mono glue, Dimensionals

With this card I first stamped and cut out the jar. Then I stamped and colored several ladybugs inside the jar as well as a few additional ones on a scrap of card stock. I wanted the jar of ladybugs to look as if it were sitting on a table, so I used a piece of polka dot DSP and added a scallop border to create the look of a tablecloth. I stamped and cut out the jar cover and adhered it next to the jar and then glued a few "escaping" ladybugs on the DSP and over the jar. I didn't add a greeting to this card, so it could be used for any occasion, but I think it would be an especially cute card for saying "I miss you."

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

All Wrapped Up

In the current Holiday Catalog from Stampin' Up!® there is a new stamp set called Perfectly Preserved. It includes images of a mason jar and cover as well as different items that can be stamped inside the jar (apples, cherries, pear, flowers, etc.) It's an adorable stamp set, but I haven't bought it yet because I have a similar stamp set from several years ago called All Wrapped Up.

Lately I've been seeing many cute cards made with the Perfectly Preserved set, so I decided to pull out my old set and put it to use. I made four cards with All Wrapped Up; I'll share two of them today, and the other two, which also use the coordinating set All Wrapped Up Accessories, I'll share in my next post.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: All Wrapped Up
Paper: Whisper White, Pool Party card stock; Brights Collection Designer Series Paper (DSP) Patterns Stack
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Pool Party pads; Old Olive, Daffodil Delight markers
Accessories: Aquapainter, 1/8" Daffodil Delight taffeta ribbon, pearls, Little Labels punch pack, Dimensionals

I stamped the jar, stems and flowers on Whisper White card stock, and then I watercolored the inside of the jar with an Aquapainter and Pool Party ink pad. I stamped two extra flowers on a separate piece of card stock, cut them out and adhered them to the focal piece with Dimensionals. I punched small holes on either side of the top of the jar to allow me to tie a piece of ribbon around the jar.

To finish the card, I added a strip of Daffodil Delight DSP to the card front and then adhered the focal image over it. I glued a couple of small punched labels to the right side of the focal image and added a pearl to the center of each label.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: All Wrapped Up, On Your Birthday
Card stock: Crumb Cake, Pool Party, Peach Parfait, Whisper White
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Crumb Cake, Pool Party, Peach Parfait
Accessories: Aquapainter, linen thread, Simply Scored tool, decorative-edge scissors (unknown), 1/4" circle punch, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, Word Window punch, Dimensionals

In addition to the jar, the All Wrapped Up stamp set also includes an image of a little bag. I added this cute goldfish inside the bag, watercolored the fish and bag with an Aquapainter and then cut out the bag. To add a bit more detail and some texture, I wrapped a piece of linen thread around the top of the bag several times and tied it in a bow.

I used Dimensionals to adhere the bag over a strip of Pool Party card stock. The strip has randomly spaced scored lines, but unfortunately they don't show up at all in this photo. I adhered punched circles above the bag to resemble air bubbles from the fish and to add interest to the top of the card. I finished off the card with a greeting and another piece of linen thread around the bottom of the card front. (And that thread is supposed to be straight; it slipped before I took the picture.)

Next time I'll share my other two All Wrapped Up cards. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Masculine thank-you cards

Last week I sent my most recent batch of cards to Operation Write Home. Since a lot of my cards are flowery and feminine, I made a special effort to include a few masculine thank-you cards. Here are the designs I created:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Background Sampler, Wonderful Words, Define Your LIfe
Card stock: Sahara Sand, Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler, Bashful Blue, Midnight Muse
Ink: Sahara Sand, Cherry Cobbler, Bashful Blue, Midnight Muse
Accessories: Simply Scored tool, rotary piercing tool (EK Success), large and small star punches, 3/4" circle punch, Dimensionals

I decided to go with a variation on the classic red, white and blue color combo with Sahara Sand as the neutral. For the card on the left, I used the striped stamp from the Background Sampler set as a mini background for the stars. For the card on the right I used that stamp as well as two others from the set to stamp on Cherry Cobbler, Bashful Blue and Midnight Muse card stock, using the coordinating ink color for each. Then I punched stars out of the stamped images and "scattered" the stars across the card front. On each card I stamped a sentiment and pierced lines of holes along the edges of the card front.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Wonderful Weaves, Just Perfect Alphabet
Paper: Naturals Ivory, Cajun Craze, Always Artichoke, So Saffron card stock; Patterns Pack Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Cajun Craze, Always Artichoke, So Saffron, Early Espresso
Accessories: Vintage brads, 3/4" circle punch, Modern Label punch, Dimensionals

This was a pretty quick card to create, so I made three or four of this design. To make the letters I used the same technique as I did for the stars in the card above; I stamped the images from the Wonderful Weaves set on Cajun Craze, Always Espresso and So Saffron card stock then I punched circles out of the stamped images. (I love how they look just like patterned paper.) Then I used a darker ink to stamp the letters for "thank" in the circles. The "you" is stamped (unfortunately, a little bit off-kilter) directly on a layer of DSP on the card front. I embellished the card with just a few metallic brads.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Have you sent a card today?

Last week I was off work for our summer vacation. I'd been looking forward to it since the spring and was planning to relax, read, maybe go to Minnehaha Falls and just enjoy myself. Did I get to do any of those things? Um, no. I went to a funeral on Monday and then spent most of the rest of the week in my apartment cleaning, sorting and packing for our move. Sigh.

For two of those days I was parked on the floor in the living room watching the Olympics and looking through all -- and I mean all -- of the cards and letters I've saved over the years. Birthday cards, Christmas cards, valentines, Halloween cards, long letters and little notes. The list goes on. I think I had about thirteen shoeboxes going back to 1996, but I have a feeling that there are more hiding somewhere. I didn't reread all the letters (that would have taken a week by itself), but it was fun to look back through those memories. I ended up saving all the letters, a few of the store-bought cards and all the handmade cards (except a couple that were falling apart) condensed down to one shoebox and five small plastic bins.

I don't know if anyone else is as obsessive as I am about saving correspondence (I'm going to try to be better!), but there's just something about holding those cards and knowing that someone was thinking about you. I was reminded how finding a simple card or a quick note in the mail can brighten someone's day. It doesn't have to be a handmade card (although those are extra special!) or a long letter. Something that seems very small to you can mean a whole lot to someone else.

I need to do a better job of sending all the cards I make -- Heaven knows I have enough of them! I do pretty well getting birthday cards mailed, and I always send Christmas cards. Occasionally I'll mail cards for other holidays, such as Halloween or Easter, but I don't very often send cards just to say "hi" to someone. So I think I'm going to try to send at least one card per week; I could easily do more, but I'll start with a manageable goal. And I challenge you to do the same: Once a week, write a card or note and drop it in the mailbox, tuck it in a backpack or briefcase, or leave it on a desk. Let someone you care about know that you are thinking of them.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cheery Christmas lights

Last weekend I had a mini marathon stamping session and made enough cards for about six blog posts. It's a good thing I did, because yesterday and today I've been busy packing up all my stamping supplies. So even if I suddenly have time to make a card, I'm pretty much out of luck. Sigh. But I try to remember that when I get to unpack everything, it will be in my own craft room!

The card I'm going to share today is another clean and simple Christmas card made with the Stampin' Up!® set Jolly Bingo Bits.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Jolly Bingo Bits, Sweet Essentials
Card stock: Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black, Lucky Limeade, Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Island Indigo markers
Accessories: Dazzling Details

I used markers to color the light bulb and base on the stamp and then stamped the image several times across the upper left portion of the card. Once I was happy with the color and arrangement of the lights, I used a marker to draw a line connecting them, randomly adding loops between the bulbs. To give the lights a little sparkle, I used Dazzling Details to create a few "rays" shining from each light bulb. The last step was to add the greeting on the bottom of the card.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Favorite layout

I haven't made too many Christmas cards yet this year, but with the ones I have made, I've noticed that I'm really drawn to clean and simple designs. My stamping style has always leaned more toward the simple than the elaborate, but I'm even making more single-layer cards.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!®):
Stamps: Jolly Bingo Bits, Sweet Essentials
Card stock: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Soft Suede, Riding Hood Red
Ink: Soft Suede, Riding Hood Red
Accessories: 1" circle punch, 1-1/4" scallop circle punch, corner rounder, Cherry Cobbler baker's twine, pearls, Dimensionals

As I mentioned in the description of the second card in the post "Movin' on up ..." I have become obsessed with this card layout. It's classic, eye-catching and definitely my current favorite. It also works perfectly with the small images of the Jolly Bingo Bits stamp set. I love to select three stamps from the set that fit a theme. Here I chose three Christmas treats; in the card in the post linked above, I used three wintery images (snowflake, mittens and ice skate).

I used circle punches instead of squares for this card, and I added just two embellishments: baker's twine wrapped around the card front three times and tied in a bow and a pearl on either side of the greeting. I also rounded the two bottom corners of the card.

I won't be very surprised if come December I have at least a few dozen Christmas cards that have this layout. If you haven't used it yet, try it out. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Barrettes for a birthday

Over the past year I have been making a set of ribbon barrettes for my cousins' daughters on their birthdays. Tomorrow, one of these cousins-once-removed (yes, I had to look that up to make sure I had it right) is turning one year old. So my task this afternoon was to make her set of barrettes.

Supplies (all ribbon and accessories from Stampin' Up!®):
Ribbon: Soft Sky stitched ribbon, Wisteria Wonder ruffled ribbon, Gumball Green stitched satin ribbon, Jersey Ribbon Originals
Other accessories: Flower Fusion Too, Neutrals brads, Pretty in Pink corduroy brads, Accents & Elements Fleurettes, Brights button, white crochet thread
Other tools: Single-pronged curl clips, glue gun, wire strips

These barrettes are very easy to make (see the link above for step-by-step instructions and photos); the hardest part is always deciding how to embellish them because the possibilities are almost endless. I gravitate toward flowers, but I like the look of the buttons and large brads, too. Here is one tip for using brads, such as the pink corduroy brads in the photo: If the prongs of a brad are longer than the brad itself, you can use wire snips to cut off the prongs before gluing the brad onto the barrette. If you just fold the prongs down, they may be visible underneath the brad.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It's a blog birthday!

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday, dear Snippets.
Happy birthday to you!

Today my blog is one year old! It's hard to believe it's already been a year. At times it's been more work than I expected (partly because I have to make sure I'm actually taking time to create things so I have something to write about!), but it's been fun. Now, every birthday needs a few birthday cards, right?

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Central Park (Raisin Boat)
Card stock: Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake, Kiwi Kiss, Real Red, Bashful Blue
Ink: Crumb Cake, Kiwi Kiss, Real Red, Bashful Blue, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Finishing Touches Edgelits dies, Bashful Blue taffeta ribbon, mini pearls (Doodlebug Design Inc.), Tombo Mono glue, Glue Dots, Dmensionals

I love how this card turned out. I started out by stamping the tree trunks on the Very Vanilla layer so there was random spacing between them. Then I stamped three different treetop images on the colored card stock (one of each style in each color) and cut them out. I adhered the treetops to the card at various heights and used Dimensionals and Glue Dots for some of them to add dimension. I added a die-cut strip for grass and a little bird in one of the trees. To finish the card I stamped the music notes and greeting, tied a bit of ribbon around one of the trees and added three light blue pearls.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Central Park (Raisin Boat), Kind & Caring Thoughts (for inside greeting)
Card stock: Whisper White, Going Gray, Basic Gray, Daffodil Delight
Ink: Going Gray, Basic Gray, Daffodil Delight, Gumball Green
Accessories: Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, Decorative Label punch, pearls, Gumball Green stitched satin ribbon, Tombo Mono glue, Dimensionals

I think this is a fun color combination; I love the classic yellow and gray with little accents of green. I collage (or random) stamped the layer of Whisper White with four different images, one image for each color, and then mounted it on Going Gray card stock. I  stamped the sentiment on white card stock and punched it out with the Decorative Label punch, positioning the sentiment at the top of the punch instead of in the middle. I glued the punched piece behind the ribbon and then adhered the ribbon around the bottom of the layered panel. I used Dimensionals to adhere the entire panel to a Basic Gray card base.

To add just a little embellishment, I placed three layered yellow flowers with pearl centers around the greeting and added a pearl in the upper left corner.

Once I finished the card front, I had a strip of the stamped card stock left. Rather than toss it in the recycling, I decided to add it to the left side of the inside panel for a little touch of color. I might have to go back and add a few yellow flowers, too.

I hope you've enjoyed the cards and other projects I've shared during the past year. As always, thanks for stopping by!