Monday, April 29, 2013

Dots and stripes

Today I thought I'd share a card I made last weekend with two Stampin' Up!® stamp sets that will be retiring at the end of May: Up, Up & Away and Distressed Dots.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Up, Up & Away, Distressed Dots, Very Versatile
Card stock: Pool Party, Wild Wasabi, Naturals White
Ink: Pool Party, Wild Wasabi, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Wild Wasabi 1-1/4" striped grosgrain ribbon, corner rounder, Dimensionals

I love the cute scenes you can create with the Up, Up & Away stamp set. For this card I used Pool Party to stamp the clouds; Chocolate Chip for the birds, balloon stitching and basket; and Pool Party and Wild Wasabi for the stripes on the balloon (I used markers to color directly on the stamp). I don't think I would ever have combined Pool Party with Wild Wasabi on my own -- I found the combination in my Color Coach -- but they work well together.

For the background of this card I used the Distressed Dots stamp. I just bought this stamp about a month ago, and I love it. (I wish I'd bought it a long time ago!) When stamped tone-on-tone it provides a quick, subtle background that doesn't overpower the main image. But I also want to try a color combination such as Real Red dots on Whisper White card stock for a more vibrant background. (I'm picturing a possible Christmas card ...)

I just used one simple embellishment on this card: a piece of wide striped grosgrain ribbon with the end cut into a V. I like how the stripes are repeated in the balloon but also contrast with the polka dot background. I added a birthday sentiment in the bottom right corner, but just about any greeting would work with this card, or you could omit the greeting all together.

I'm glad I have both of these stamp sets, and even though they are retiring I think they will stay in my collection for quite awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Stepped up Simply Sent kit

When I got home from work on Friday, I found a box of happiness on the doorstep: the goodies I preordered from the 2013 - 2014 Stampin' Up!® catalog (along with a few retiring items) and my copy of the new catalog. I hadn't even peeked at the catalog online, so I was more than anxious to see it. But I exercised an extreme amount of self-control and did a few household chores first. I cleaned my bathroom, swept and vacuumed the whole house and did three loads of laundry all before I even opened the box. Impressive, right? I thought so.

I did eventually dig into the box, admire my new goodies and spend the evening studying the new catalog. But before I actually started crafting with my new supplies this weekend, I wanted to make the last unfinished card kit I had from Convention 2011 (see April 21, 2013, post Unfinished projects). And here it is:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Think Happy Thoughts
Card stock: Pretty in Pink, So Saffron, Whisper White, textured Rich Razzleberry
Ink: Rich Razzleberry
Accessories: Great Day Simply Sent kit, 1-1/4" and 1-3/8" circle punches, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, flower brads, crochet thread (DMC), Dimensionals, Glue Dots

This Great Day Simply Sent kit was in the Stampin' Up! catalog a few years ago, and all the attendees at Convention 2011 received one of the kits as a gift. On the left side of the photo above you can see the card that was designed for this kit. Most of the flowers and circles are preprinted on the cards, and there were stickers, buttons and ribbons included in the kit for embellishing the cards. To me the sample card looked a little empty -- like it was missing a few things -- so I used some of my other supplies to step it up a little.

The inside of the main Bashful Blue flower seemed like the perfect place for a sentiment, and I happened to have a stamp set with just the right size circular greetings. There are four greetings in the set, and the kit made eight cards, so I made two cards with each greeting. I stamped the sentiment on Whisper White card stock, punched it out with the 1-1/4" circle punch and matted it with a 1-3/8" circle of either Pretty in Pink or So Saffron card stock. I added a coordinating flower brad in the middle of the layered circles and adhered the piece to the middle of the large flower on the card base.

The circles on either side of the blue flower are stickers from the kit. I embellished them by adding a mini scalloped circle (from the Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack) in Pretty in Pink, So Saffron or textured Rich Razzleberry card stock. I tied a small piece of white crochet thread in a flower button and adhered it above the printed design on the card. I added a couple more stickers -- a small blue flower on the left side of the card and the scalloped So Saffron strip near the bottom of the card -- and then tied the Bashful Blue ribbon around the card front.

When I was done making all the cards, I had some stickers leftover: eight scalloped Rich Razzleberry strips and eight small Pretty in Pink flowers. I decided to add those to the envelopes so they coordinated with the cards (the small pink flower is on the envelope flap). And that's one more project done.

Thanks for stopping by -- and come back later this week to see a few cards made with some of the products that will be in the new Stampin' Up! catalog.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Veteran thank-you card

A couple of weeks ago in an online forum I came across a post from a Stampin' Up!® demonstrator with a special card request. She was asking people to send cards for a World War II veteran who was participating in an Honor Flight to the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C. I was happy to be able to help with the request, so I made this patriotic card:

Supplies (all Stampin Up! unless otherwise noted):
Card stock: Riding Hood Red, Not Quite Navy, River Rock
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Star punch, Stripes embossing folder, Square Lattice embossing folder, paper piercer, Scor-Bug embosser (Scor-Pal), hemp twine, Cherry Cobbler baker's twine, sponge, Dimensionals

It's a simple card, but I love how the layout is reminiscent of a flag. I embossed a piece of Cherry Cobbler card stock with the Stripes embossing folder and then added a row of pierced holes between some of the stripes. For the upper left corner I embossed a square of Not Quite Navy card stock with the Square Lattice embossing folder and punched a star from River Rock card stock. To add a distressed look, I sponged the edges of all three pieces with Soft Suede ink, and then I assembled the card. For a little embellishment, I tied a piece of hemp twine and a piece of Cherry Cobbler baker's twine together around the bottom of the card.

Once I was done I wrote a short note inside the card thanking the veteran for his service, and sent the card on its merry way. This was a simple card to make, but it was for a great cause. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Grandma's kitchen

Every year Mother's Day seems to surprise me. May just sneaks up on me, and before I know it I'm saying,"Mother's Day is this weekend?" (I think that may be especially true this year since winter just hasn't wanted to release its cruel grip.) But this year I have a little head start -- a finished Mother's Day card for my grandma.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!® unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Grandma's Kitchen (Raisin Boat)
Paper: Whisper White, Riding Hood Red, Close to Cocoa, Creamy Caramel, Going Gray, vellum card stock; Patterns Pack II and III Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Jet Black StazOn pad; Riding Hood Red, Brocade Blue, Creamy Caramel, Basic Black markers
Accessories: White crochet thread (DMC), 3 mm brown brads (unknown), corner rounder, snips, Glue Dots, Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

Lots of paper-piecing on this card, and I love the finished product. For the background if this card, which is 4-1/2" long and 4-1/4" tall, I chose a piece of Mellow Moss DSP that had a wallpaper-looking print. I stamped the shelf image on the DSP and then again on Close to Cocoa card stock. I cut out the Close to Cocoa shelf along the straight lines and adhered it over the image stamped on the DSP.

I stamped the pot holders and teacup on pieces of Brocade Blue DSP and cut them out. I also used a marker to color a few accents on the teacup. Using Glue Dots I adhered the pieces where I wanted them and then added the mini brown brads on the shelf to look like hooks.

I stamped the pie, sugar canister and jar of hearts on card stock and cut them out, paper-piecing and coloring as needed. To give the jar a little transparency, I used vellum card stock. I just made sure to place the adhesive behind the cluster of hearts so it isn't visible through the vellum.

The greeting was a little too long to fit on the DSP background if I stamped it straight. But because it is a clear stamp I was able to curve it a little before placing it on the block, making the sentiment just the right size. To finish, I rounded the corners of the DSP, adhered it to the card base and added a bit of crochet thread along the top.

Now once I decide what I'm going to give my grandma to go with this card, I'll be on a roll. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Washi tape shapes

Last weekend I had a chance to play with the products in the new This and That line from Stampin' Up!®. I really like the colors in the products, the patterns on the journal pages and the Designer Series Paper (DSP), and the coordinating stickers. I haven't decided how I want to use the journal yet (right now I'm thinking maybe a summer 2013 mini scrapbook), but I decided to use the DSP to make some cards. It was also the first time I had ever used washi tape, which is a repositionable decorative tape that is thin enough to tear with your fingers. I discovered that if you place strips of tape on a piece of card stock, you can use punches (or dies) to create different shapes from the washi tape -- almost like make-your-own DSP. I'm sure I'm not the first person to "discover" this technique, but I thought I'd share it for others who may be new to the world of washi tape. I created three different cards, each with different washi tape shapes.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Paper: Calypso Coral, Very Vanilla card stock; This and That Epic Day DSP
Accessories: Pop 'n Cuts Card Base die, Houndstooth embossing folder, Elegant Butterfly punch, Bitty Butterfly punch, This and That Epic Day washi tape, Basic Gray stitched grosgrain ribbon, rhinestones, Mono Multi liquid glue, Dimensionals

The base for this card was made with the Pop 'n Cuts Card Base die. This die cuts a standard-size card base with the fold on the short side of the card. But I love the extra little touches of the decorative front edge and the little tabs to  hold the card closed. I embossed the front of the card base with the Houndstooth embossing folder to add some texture while providing a subtle background for the butterflies.

The Calypso Coral butterflies are punched from one of the patterned papers in the Epic Day DSP, and the striped butterflies are made with washi tape. I adhered the washi tape to Very Vanilla card stock because I wanted the Basic Gray stripes to really stand out, but you could get a different look by using a different card stock color. It would even be fun to try applying the washi tape on a piece of DSP. I added a rhinestone to the middle of each layered butterfly for a hint of sparkle and attached them to the card with Dimensionals.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Curly Cute
Paper: Calypso Coral, Very Vanilla card stock; This and That Epic Day DSP
Ink: Basic Gray
Accessories: 1-1/4" and 7/8" scallop circle punches, Itty Bitty Shapes punc pack, corner rounder, This and That Epic Day washi tape, Neutrals brads, Printed Designer Brads, linen thread, Dimensionals

On this card I used two different washi tape patterns: the larger flowers are made with Calypso Coral washi tape with a subtle hexagon print, and the striped circles in the middle of the flowers are made with the same striped washi tape as the butterflies in the previous card. Layered between those two shapes on each flower is a Very Vanilla scalloped circle. To create petals on the flowers, I snipped between the scallops toward the center of the circle.

For the background of this card I used a piece of DSP from the Epic Day pack, rounded the corners and added a strip of another DSP pattern (the chevron pattern is actually the back side of the polka dot design). I added a Calypso Coral brad and a piece of linen thread wrapped around the card twice and tied in a knot. The one thing I think I should have done differently (and may still go back and change) is the sentiment -- I should have stamped it on a separate piece of card stock (or a lighter DSP print) so it is easier to see.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla card stock; This and That Epic Day DSP
Accessories: Honeycomb embossing folder, This and That Epic Day washi tape, Star punch, Merry Minis punch pack, mini silver brads, Dimensionals

OK, this card gave me fits, and to be honest, I still don't like it very much. I like the different elements, but I couldn't get everything to come together right. I just don't think I do "funky" designs very well. Give me a cute or clean and simple card any day. So this may be one of those cards that gets disassembled in a couple of months. We'll see.

At any rate, I used a piece of the Calypso Coral washi tape across the top of the three DSP strips. (I cut the end instead of just tearing it because I wanted a smooth edge.) I adhered the Crumb Cake washi tape, which has numbers and lines on it and reminds me of a ruler, to Very Vanilla card stock to punch out the stars. To make the Calypso Coral hexagon shapes on the embossed layer I used the Honeycomb embossing folder to emboss a piece of Epic Day DSP and then I just cut the shapes out of the embossed lines. I like how the coral hexagons repeat the pattern in the washi tape, but I wonder if it would have been better to leave them off of this card. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 22, 2013

My first MDS creation

I have been thinking about getting My Digital Studio (MDS), Stampin' Up!®'s software for digital scrapbooking and card-making, for several months. But for various reasons it never made the final cut on any of my orders. Well, last month Stampin' Up! lowered the price of MDS to just $19.95 (U.S.), and I couldn't pass it up any longer. Over the weekend I installed the software on my computer and then stayed up way, way too late playing around with my new toy. Here is my first card:

Birthday card created using MDS. Large flower-shaped punch filled with floral pattern.
Created by Andrea Borries. Images © 2013 Stampin' Up!

What do you think? It's actually not a full card yet; I've only finished the front of the card so far, and the inside is still blank. I know this card isn't especially fancy or intricate, but it was fun watching it come together. I still have a lot to learn about all the tools, techniques, tips and tricks of the software, but I can definitely see the benefits of using MDS to create multiple copies of the same project or to have a way to be creative when you don't have access to stamps, ink and paper. I know for me it won't replace my "real life" crafting supplies, but I can never have too many creative outlets. And now I can start perusing all the different downloads to see what templates, stamps, paper designs and other goodies I want to add to MDS!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Unfinished projects

Last week I registered for the Stampin' Up!® convention in July, reserved a hotel room with a few of my awesome stamping friends and even booked my flights to Salt Lake City and back. (And I just want to point out that flights are not cheap right now. Egads.) It's Stampin' Up!'s 25th anniversary, and I'm really looking forward to seeing my buddies, so I know it will be a fun and exciting trip. But while I was card-making today, I realized that I still had some unfinished card kits from the last time I went to convention, in 2011. Whoops! I decided I wasn't going to another convention with those projects still unfinished, so I completed one of the kits this afternoon.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Easy Events
Card stock: Whisper White, Daffodil Delight, textured Melon Mambo, Whisper White note cards and envelopes
Ink: Jet Black StazOn pad; Lucky Limeade, Daffodil Deilght, Melon Mambo markers
Accessories: Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, Melon Mambo polka dot ribbon, rhinestones, Mono Multi liquid glue, Dimensionals

This "kit" was assembled for demonstrators to use at a workshop; it included enough supplies for ten guests to make the same card. But I rarely have workshops, so instead I decided to make the cards and put them all together as a card set to give as a gift. On the left side of the photo above you can see the card that was designed for this kit. It's a very cute card, but I wanted to change the design because A) I didn't want to give a set of ten of the same specific birthday card, and B) I wanted the envelopes to be closeable instead of open holders for the cards to slide into.

I used the same stamp set for my design, but I switched the image (these flowers are my favorite stamp in the Easy Events set) and omitted the sentiment so the cards are suitable for most any occasion. I also used a  layout and color palette similar to the sample card, but I added some texture by embossing the card front. I love this clean and simple, but still eye-catching, design. I even stamped flowers on the envelopes, too, so they coordinate with the cards.

One bonus of redesigning this card was the leftover ribbon. The kit contained ten 14" pieces of the polka dot Melon Mambo ribbon -- enough to wrap a piece all the way around each card and tie into a knot. Well I used just about 3-1/2" of ribbon on each card, so I only needed two and one-half of the pre-cut ribbons. I used the last 7" of the third piece to decorate the bag for the card set -- I stapled the bag closed and used strong tape to adhere the knotted ribbon over the staple -- so I have seven pieces left to use however I want! That's an extra fun treat because I never bought any of this style ribbon.

Now I have one less unfinished project sitting around and four card sets all made and ready to give as gifts. Of course, I'll be giving away at least three of them in the next few months, so the "work" never ends.

I have one more convention card kit left to finish, and I'll share it with you as soon as it's ready. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Designer Typeset card set

We're having a crazy April snowstorm today, and with all the white I have to look at outside, I thought I would share something bright and colorful on my blog. So here is a set of cards I made with Stampin' Up!®'s Designer Typeset photopolymer stamp set.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Designer Typeset
Paper: Kraft note card set (Paper Reflections), Very Vanilla card stock; Brights Collection Designer Series Paper (DSP) Stack, First Edition Specialty DSP
Ink: Jet Black StazOn
Accessories: Pacific Point stitched grosgrain ribbon, Basic Black 1/8" tafetta ribbon, Dimensionals

Aren't they fun? I started with a set of Kraft note cards and envelopes I've had for ages. The note cards are 4" x 5-1/2", so for the background I cut several 3-3/4" strips of DSP in various widths (using up quite a few scraps in the process!). I used mainly the Brights Collection DSP Stack, but I also added in pieces of First Edition Specialty DSP, Pacific Point stitched grosgrain ribbon and Basic Black 1/8" taffeta ribbon. I randomly adhered the strips to cover the card bases.

The set includes six cards, so I decided to make two cards each of three different sentiments. I stamped the speech bubble on Very Vanilla card stock and then spelled out the sentiments. When I use alphabet stamps to spell out words, I often purposely stamp the letters so they are uneven -- it's much easier to hide imperfections that way than to try lining them up. That's what I did for "hey there" and "what's up." (Speaking of "what's up," I had thought there was a question mark in the stamp set, but when I finished stamping the letters I realized there wasn't. Bummer. So I added an arrow instead. The lack of the apostrophe also grates on my editor nerves, but I'm letting it go.) But with the clear photopolymer stamps, it was easy to line up the letters, so I decided to stamp "hello" in a straight line. I like the mix of the two styles.

To finish the cards, I just added a layer of Very Vanilla card stock on the inside for writing. Now I have one more card set done -- little by little, I'm rebuilding my stash. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Best of Butterflies card trio

This year Stampin' Up!® is celebrating its 25th anniversary. As part of the celebration, each month during 2013 Stampin' Up! is releasing a "Best of" set featuring several retired images and one new image. (All of the sets will be available through March 2014, so you have plenty of time to collect them.) April's set is Best of Butterflies, and yesterday I had fun making cards with three of the five different butterfly images in the set.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Best of Butterflies, Distressed Dots
Card stock: Sahara Sand, Baja Breeze, So Saffron, Certainly Celery, Perfect Plum
Ink: Sahara Sand, Baja Breeze, So Saffron, Certainly Celery, Perfect Plum
Accessories: Elegant Butterfly punch, Postage Stamp punch, corner rounder, pearls, Beachfront Ribbon Originals, Dimensionals

This butterfly is the new image in the Best of Butterflies set, and as you can see it coordinates with the Elegant Butterfly punch. I started this card with a neutral Sahara Sand base stamped with Distressed Dots in Sahara Sand ink. I stamped the butterfly image using four different colors from the Subtles Collection (Baja Breeze, So Saffron, Certainly Celery and Perfect Plum), punched them out and used Dimensionals to attach them to pieces of Sahara Sand card stock punched with the Postage Stamp punch. I adhered the squares in a column along the left side of the card (place the ribbon under the third butterfly before attaching it to the card) and added a small pearl just above each butterfly. I love the tone-on-tone look of this card and how the butterflies stand out against the background.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Best of Butterflies
Card stock: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Regal Rose, Peach Parfait, So Saffron, Wild Wasabi, Baja Breeze, Perfect Plum
Ink: Regal Rose, Peach Parfait, So Saffron, Wild Wasabi, Baja Breeze, Perfect Plum
Accessories: Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, rhinestones, Mono Multi liquid glue, Dimensionals

This card has two of the same elements as the previous card: a background full of dots and a vertical line of butterflies. But the color combination here is brighter and more playful (even though three of the colors are the same). I think this would be a perfect birthday card for a little girl, or even a not-so-little one. I started by stamping the column of butterflies on a piece of Very Vanilla card stock. I eyeballed the placement, so they aren't perfect. If you want more precision, I would recommend using the Stamp-a-ma-jig tool. I adhered the stamped piece to the Crumb Cake card base with Dimensionals and then glued the punched circles in rows aligned with the butterflies. To add a little sparkle, I placed a rhinestone on each butterfly and a few of the punched circles. (Note: This card is actually a bit shorter than a standard A2 card because I didn't have the spacing for the circles quite right. After I finished gluing the circles, I had extra space on the right side of the card. It wasn't enough space to add another circle, though, so I just trimmed off 1/4".)

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Best of Butterflies, It's Your Birthday
Card stock: Island Indigo, Lucky Limeade, Pool Party, Whisper White
Ink: Island Indigo, Lucky Limeade, Pool Party markers
Accessories: Secret Garden Framelits dies, Square Lattice embossing folder, Lots of Tags Sizzlits dies, large oval punch, Pool Party baker's twine, rhinestones, Dimensionals

This card is my least favorite of the bunch, although it is growing on me a little. I like the different elements of the card, I'm just not sure I like them together. To make the butterfly I colored directly on the rubber stamp with markers, starting with the lightest color and moving to the darkest. For the background, I die cut three leaves with the Secret Garden Framelits dies, used Mono Multi liquid glue to adhere them to a piece of Island Indigo card stock and then embossed the whole piece with the Square Lattice embossing folder. I wrapped Pool Party baker's twine around the panel (it looks white, but it is Pool Party, trust me), adhered it to the card base and attached the cut-out butterfly with Dimensionals. I stamped the birthday sentiment on Whisper White card stock, punched it out and layered it on a Pool Party tag. I added a couple of rhinestones to the sentiment and one on the butterfly's body.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What a croc!

This afternoon I was playing with the new Designer Typeset photopolymer stamp set from Stampin' Up!®. I wanted to make a card with the banner image -- I've seen some adorable birthday cards made with that stamp -- but my ideas just weren't coming together. The banner was reminding me of teeth, so I switched directions and created a crocodile card instead. And if I do say so myself, I think it may be one of the cutest cards I've made.

Card shaped like a crocodile face with triangle teeth and large round eyes.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Designer Typeset
Card stock: Gumball Green, Whisper White, Basic Gray
Ink: Basic Gray, Uni-Ball Signo white gel pen
Accessories: 1-3/4" circle punch, 1" circle punch, 3/4" circle punch, Square Lattice embossing folder, Mono Multi liquid glue, Sticky Strip

Isn't he a cutie? He even fits in a standard A2-sized envelope. And really, he wasn't that hard to make. Here is a step-by-step tutorial:

Scored green card base for crocodile card.
Step 1. Cut a 5-1/2" by 7" piece of Gumball Green card stock. Measuring along the longer side, score at 3/4" and 4".
Embossed green card base for crocodile card.
Step 2a. Emboss the two end panels with the Square Lattice embossing folder. Leave the middle panel smooth because that will be where you write or stamp your greeting. Note: My Square Lattice embossing folder is one of the smaller folders, so I am able to put it through my Big Shot sideways. If you have a longer folder, you could emboss separate pieces of card stock and then adhere them directly to the end panels.
Folded green card base for crocodile card.
Step 2b. Fold down the large end panel and then fold up the small end panel.
Tracing a circular container to round the edges of the card base.
Step 3a. Turn the folded card over so the smooth panel is face up. (The fold for the large panel should be on the top.) With a pencil, trace something circular to mark rounded corners along the top edge. I used an embellishment container, but you also could use a punched card stock circle or whatever else is handy.
Cut along the traced lines to make the round edges
Step 3b. Cut off the corners along the traced lines.
Stamp a triangle banner image twice on white paper to make the teeth.
Step 4. Stamp the banner image from the Designer Typeset stamp set for the teeth. The banner is eight triangles long, which is enough for the bottom row of teeth. You will need nine triangles for the top teeth, so stamp the image once and then line it up and stamp again to add one more triangle. (Don't worry about extra stamp or ink marks since the teeth will be cut out.)
Cut out the triangle banner images.
Step 5. Cut out the teeth. For the bottom teeth, you can leave the straight connecting line as well as a little card stock below the line. This is where you will put the glue. For the top teeth, carefully cut off the connecting line, but don't cut the triangles apart. (You could leave the connecting line with the teeth if you prefer; I liked the look better without it.)
Adhere one of the bottom images to the card for the bottom teeth.
Step 6a. Put a thin line of Mono Multi liquid glue along the bottom edge of the bottom teeth. Glue them to the inside of the small embossed panel.
Be sure the line connecting the triangles on the front of the card isn't visible.
Step 6b. The straight connecting line along the bottom of the teeth should be just below the edge of the Gumball Green card stock, so it isn't visible on the front of the card.
Attach the other banner image for the top teeth.
Step 7. Place a drop of glue on the back of each of the top teeth. Holding the card closed, adhere the teeth to the top panel so they line up with the bottom teeth. Trim off the points of the end triangles so they are even with the edges of the card.
Punched circles for the crocodile's eyes.
Step 8. Punch out the following circles for the eyes: 2 1-3/4" circles of Gumball Green, 2 1" circles of Whisper White (shown here on Basic Gray card stock so they are easier to see) and 2 3/4" circles of Basic Gray. Emboss the Gumball Green circles with the Square Lattice embossing folder.

Layer and glue the circles together.
Step 9. Assemble the eyes with Mono Multi liquid glue. Use a white gel pen to add accents to the Basic Gray circles. Add pieces of Sticky Strip to the bottom of each eye.
Adhere the eyes to the back of the card.
Step 10. Adhere the eyes to the back of the card just below the top fold. Be sure that the card is no taller than 4-1/4" so it will fit in an A2-sized envelope.

That's it! You just need to stamp or write a greeting inside the card and then send this croc on his merry way. I like to use "I'm wild about you!" with animal-themed cards, and I think that would perfectly here.

I have to say I'm pretty tickled with the way this card turned out, and I hope you like it, too. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Poppy birthday parade

Often when I sit down to make cards, I plan to use a specific stamp set (or sets if I've recently received a new order). But yesterday I decided to focus on a specific color instead: Poppy Parade. I think Poppy Parade is a beautiful color, but I've always struggled with the vibrant red-orange hue. So I used my Color Coach to find two color combinations with Poppy Parade, one feminine (Poppy Parade, Baja Breeze, So Saffron) and one masculine (Poppy Parade, Not Quite Navy, Sahara Sand), and I created two birthday cards for each combo.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!®):
Stamps: Bring on the Cake
Paper: Naturals Ivory, Poppy Parade, Baja Breeze, So Saffron, Old Olive card stock; In Color Designer Series Paper Patterns Pack
Ink: Poppy Parade
Accessories: Floral Fusion Sizzlits die, Finishing Touches Edgelits dies, Bird Builder punch, Decorative Label punch, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, pearls, Dimensionals

I cut out the flowers with the Floral Fusion Sizzlits die, gently folded up the petals and then adhered the layers together with Dimensionals. (Tip: If you want to emboss the flowers, cut them out first, and then use an embossing folder to emboss them. If you emboss first, the texture will be flattened somewhat with the Sizzlits die.) The stems are the branch from the Bird Builder punch; I glued a punched branch behind each flower so just one of the leaves was visible.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: It's Your Birthday
Card stock: River Rock, So Saffron, Poppy Parade, Baja Breeze, Old Olive
Ink: Old Olive
Accessories: 1-1/4" scallop circle punch, Bird Builder punch, corner rounder, 5/8" Neutrals brads, pearls, Glue Dots

For each of these flowers I punched two 1-1/4" scallop circles. On one of the circles I snipped between the scallops to create petals, gently bent the petals up, adhered it to the second scallop circle and added a large Very Vanilla brad. The leaves are actually the wing shape from the Bird Builder punch -- they were pieces leftover from punching out the branches/stems for the previous card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Bring on the Cake
Paper: Poppy Parade, Not Quite Navy, Sahara Sand, Whisper White card stock; In Color Designer Series Paper Patterns Pack
Ink: Poppy Parade, Not Quite Navy, Sahara Sand
Accessories: Tasteful Trim die, Color Spritzer Tool, Essentials paper-piercing pack, paper-piercing tool and mat, linen thread, rhinestones, Dimensionals

I struggled a bit with this card because the main panel is so much larger than the stamped image; no matter where I placed the tag it seemed out of place. So I spritzed some Not Quite Navy ink on the background and wrapped linen thread around the panel. That helped break up the Poppy Parade and anchor the tag. I was aiming for masculine with this card, and I think I could have gotten away with it if I'd stopped at the scallop trim. But the rhinestones are probably a bit too girly; I should have reached for the brads instead.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Bring on the Cake
Card stock: Poppy Parade, Sahara Sand, Not Quite Navy, Whisper White
Ink: Sahara Sand, Not Quite Navy, Poppy Parade
Accessories: Stripes embossing folder, Decorative Label punch, Merry Minis punch pack, Color Spritzer tool, linen thread, Dimensionals

I stamped the "wish big" image in Sahara Sand, Not Quite Navy and Poppy Parade, punched them out with the Decorative Label punch and added a second, solid-color, Decorative Label punch behind each one. I embossed the card front, spritzed it with Not Quite Navy ink and wrapped linen thread around the bottom of the card front. Then I adhered the labels and a punched star to the card.

Once I got into a groove, I found it wasn't so hard to work with Poppy Parade (although I admit I like the first two cards, with just touches of color, better). Is there a color (or two or three) that you find challenging? Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Summer Silhouettes card set

Last week Stampin' Up!® announced some changes coming to their color collections with the next annual catalog. I think my biggest disappointment is that Baja Breeze will be retiring. Baja Breeze is one of my favorite blues, and even though I'm excited to see Pool Party stay and Soft Sky come back, I will miss it. I wanted to make a set of cards using Baja Breeze, and I decided to combine it with another retiring color, Certainly Celery, and Blushing Bride, which is coming back to join the Subtles collection.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Summer Silhouettes, Sweet Essentials
Card stock: Very Vanilla, Baja Breeze, Certainly Celery
Ink: Baja Breeze, Certainly Celery, Blushing Bride, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Pearls, Baja Breeze seam binding ribbon, Masterpiece Ribbon Originals (Certainly Celery ribbon), 1/8" hole punch, 1-1/4" circle punch

The complete set includes eight cards, two of each sentiment, and I really like the softness of these designs. The stamping part of the cards is pretty straightforward, but I'll explain two other aspects of the cards. First, I used the 1-1/4" circle punch to round the upper right corner of the cards. Holding the circle punch upside-down, insert the corner of the paper into the circular hole in the bottom and slide the point between the layers of metal. Then close the punch, and just the corner is cut off. When I was done with the punch I used a scissors to smooth out the places where the rounded corners meet the straight edges.

The other trick I used was a no-tie "knot." To make the knot, first punch two holes near each other with a hole punch. (The size of the hole you will need depends on the thickness of the ribbon, but I would use at least 1/8".) Take a piece of ribbon and push one end down through each hole from the front of the card stock. Pull the ends snug, but not too tight. Turn the card stock over, cross the ribbon ends, and push each end through the opposite hole to the front of the card. Adjust the tightness of the knot if needed, and then trim the ends. I haven't made this kind of knot in ages, but it's very easy to do, and because it's flatter than a real knot, the card is easier to mail.

I didn't take a picture of the inside of the cards, but I added a layer of Very Vanilla card stock stamped with a single flower in the coordinating color. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring flowers

It's hard for me to believe, but this is my 300th blog post. Thanks for being a part of my blogging adventure!

Easter seemed to sneak up on me this year, and I didn't have a chance to make and send any Easter cards. So instead I decided to make a few spring cards to send to my friends and family. (Because spring is coming. Sometime. Even though it snowed yesterday. Sigh.) I used one of my all-time favorite Stampin' Up!® floral sets: Spring Garden. With the watercolor-like images, it is amazingly quick and easy to stamp a beautiful card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Spring Garden
Card stock: Almost Amethyst, Pear Pizzazz, Very Vanilla, vellum
Ink: Almost Amethyst, Pear Pizzazz
Accessories: Elegant Butterfly punch, Bitty Butterfly punch, rhinestones, Dazzling Details, Fairy Tale Ribbon Originals, Glue Dots

I made multiples of both of my spring cards -- four cards of each design -- so I used simple color palettes and layouts. To create the illusion of depth on the focal panel of this card, I stamped a stalk of flowers and then stamped it again without re-inking the stamp. I kept the embellishments simple: a layered butterfly with rhinestone accents and a piece of Almost Amethyst ribbon from the Fairy Tale Ribbon Originals set. I also applied a touch of Dazzling Details to the two stalks of darker flowers on the left side of the card for an extra little glimmer.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Spring Garden
Card stock: Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, Very Vanilla
Ink: Pretty in Pink, Pear Pizzazz
Accessories: Beautiful Wings Embosslits die, Pear Pizzazz stitched poly ribbon, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

For my second design I used the tulip image from the set. My favorite color combination for this stamp is Old Olive stems and Real Red flowers on a Crumb Cake card base. But I wanted a lighter look for spring, so I used Pretty in Pink for the flowers and Pear Pizzazz for the stems. I added three embossed butterflies and a piece of Pear Pizzazz ribbon.

Stamped flowers are great, but I can't wait to see some real ones blooming. Thanks for stopping by!