Saturday, August 31, 2013

Farewell, summer

I can't believe it's already the last day of August. Where did the month go? Where did the whole summer go? While there are things I love about the season -- listening to thunderstorms, reading a book in the shade of a tree, seeing the sun when I leave for work in the morning -- I'm not really a summer girl at heart. So I'll bid farewell to summer with two very simple cards featuring some of the Chiyogami papers I bought at the beginning of the month (see Pretty papers post).

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Lucky Limeade cardstock, Chiyogami paper (The Japanese Paper Place)
Accessories: Lucky Limeade 1/8" organdy ribbon, small tropical sheer blossoms and leave (Creative Impressions), glitter brad (unknown)

I absolutely adore this purple and green floral print, so I just let it have the spotlight on this card. A little embellishment of ribbon and a flower were all I needed to add. I wish you could see all the shimmer on the paper!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Four Frames, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Pool Party, Whisper White, Blushing Bride cardstock; Chiyogami papers (The Japanese Paper Place)
Ink: Pool Party, Encore gold
Accessories: Decorative Label punch, clear embossing powder, Pool Party seam binding ribbon, mini jewel (Doodlebug Design Inc.), Dimensionals

I like how the frame image on this card complements the soft, delicate feel of the flowers in the Chiyogami paper. I stamped the frame in gold to pick up the gold in the paper and then embossed it with clear embossing powder. A sparkling jewel and bit of ribbon complete the card.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for autumn. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cards with camo

While I was stamping last weekend I decided to make more cards with the Undefined stamp set I carved a few weeks ago. Since I put the effort into carving it, I should use it, right? So I pulled out the stamp that looks like an amoeba -- or coral if you want a beachier comparison -- and started to fill a whole piece of cardstock with that image. (I used to do that in college while I was listening to lectures. Of course I drew each one by hand back then, which took a lot more time than stamping.) As I got going, I realized it was looking like a camouflage print, so I put it to use on a couple of masculine cards.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Undefined, Yukon
Cardstock: Naturals Ivory, Baked Brown Sugar
Ink: Baked Brown Sugar
Accessories: Burlap ribbon, Candy Dots - Neutrals, Dimensionals

What do you think? I originally did the stamping in two colors of ink, but it didn't look quite right to me. I switched to a monochromatic color scheme, and I like it much better. (I do like the idea of multicolored camo, though, so I'll have to give it another try later.) I wanted to add a few embellishments -- but nothing too girly, of course -- so I adhered a strip of burlap ribbon to the background and placed three Candy Dots on the focal layer and another one in the lower right corner. These Candy Dots are from the Neutrals color collection, so they are actually Soft Suede, but I think they work very well with the Baked Brown Sugar cardstock and ink.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Undefined, Wolf
Cardstock: Whisper White, Smoky Slate, Basic Gray
Ink: Smoky Slate, Basic Gray
Accessories: Candy Dots - Neutrals, linen thread

I had a little more trouble with this layout since this focal image was quite a bit smaller than the first one. I switched the orientation of the card from vertical to horizontal and added a narrow strip of Smoky Slate cardstock next to each side of the stamped background. I tried something different with the linen thread and cut several short pieces, which I adhered behind the focal layer. I added a couple of Candy Dots on the main image and stamped a paw print in the lower right corner to fill up a little of the empty space.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

One-layer cards for him and her

I've been feeling a bit under the weather lately, and the heat and humidity have kicked up again, so I haven't done much stamping the past few days. Mostly lying on the couch and reading a book or playing games on my Kindle. But I needed a change of scenery today, so I spent a bit of time in my craft room. I wasn't in the mood for fussy or complicated crafting, so I created four one-layer cards, two feminine and two masculine.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Four You, Bright Blossoms
Cardstock: Shimmery White
Ink: Soft Suede, Old Olive, Strawberry Slush
Accessories: Season of Style washi tape, Simply Scored tool

Both cards started with a Shimmery White cardstock base, and I stamped a sentiment and flower image near the bottom of each card. For the card on the left, I placed a strip of washi tape below the images and added a scored line below the washi tape and around the three edges of the top of the card. For the card on the right, I scored a border all around the card after stamping and then added a piece of the washi tape below the stamped images and inside the scored border. The washi tape was a bit wider than what I needed, so I just trimmed it to the width I wanted before adhering it to the card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Four You, By the Tide
Cardstock: Naturals Ivory
Ink: Crumb Cake, Island Indigo, Early Espresso
Accessories: Season of Style washi tape, Simply Scored tool

I used a similar layout for the masculine cards, but I switched to a horizontal orientation. On the left card, the scored lines are just on the upper corners, about 1" across and down on each side. On the right card I  placed the two strips of washi tape after stamping and then added score lines to continue the edges of the tape. I scored these lines from the front of the card, so the lines are debossed instead of embossed.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tape It revisited

Last week I shared a couple of cards made with the Tape It stamp set. I have to say that I think this set and the Gorgeous Grunge set are going to become two of my go-to sets for backgrounds. You can add one or two simple elements to a card or fill an entire card front. Here are two more ideas for ways to use Tape It.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Tape It, Four You
Cardstock: Whisper White, Crushed Curry, Basic Black
Ink: Crushed Curry, Gumball Green, Bermuda Bay, Jet Black StazOn, Basic Black marker
Accessories: Candy Dots - Neutrals, Dimensionals

I'm so glad that Stampin' Up! brought back Crushed Curry and Bermuda Bay to add to the color collections; they were both In Colors a few years ago, but I didn't really start to like them until their In Color "reign" was almost over. It's fun to use them again with new colors, and I love them in this combo with Gumball Green.

For this card I stamped three of the Tape It images across a piece of Whisper White cardstock. They're not perfectly straight or even, but I'm OK with that for this type of card. I stamped the sentiment in Jet Black StazOn on a strip of Whisper White cardstock, tore the ends to mimic the stamped images and adhered it to the card with Dimensionals. I wanted to add more black to the card front, so I made a faux stitched border with my Basic Black marker and placed three Candy Dots in the upper left corner. I layered the white panel on a piece of Crushed Curry cardstock and adhered it to a Basic Black card base.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Tape It, Dictionary, For You
Cardstock: Sahara Sand, Whisper White
Ink: Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Gumball Green, Sahara Sand, white gel pen
Accessories: Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, Candy Dots - Neutrals, Glue Dots

I didn't realize until I took this picture how crooked the sentiment is. Bummer. Anyway, I stamped the Tape It images on Whisper White cardstock and cut them out. I also cut the chevron image in half so all the pieces were about the same length. I adhered the pieces across the Sahara Sand card front, which I had already stamped with the Dictionary background stamp. I stamped the greeting on another piece of Sahara Sand cardstock and adhered it across the faux washi tape. I wanted to add a few simple embellishments, so I doodled a border around the card front and greeting layer with a white gel pen and added a small flower (made with one of the Itty Bitty Shapes punches and a Candy Dot center) to the focal image.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 19, 2013

More hexagons

Last week I posted a "quilted" hexagon card made with the Six-Sided Sampler stamp set (that's a mouthful!) and the hexagon punch. It's a fun combo, so today I'm going to share two more cards made with both of those items as well as the Honeycomb embossing folder.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Six-Sided Sampler
Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Chocolate Chip cardstock; Season of Style Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Honeycomb embossing folder, hexagon punch, 2-1/2" circle punch, Old Olive grosgrain ribbon, Candy Dots - Brights, Dimensionals

To make the focal image for this card, I started by stamping the hexagon outline image seven times on a piece of the Season of Style DSP and punched them out. Then I punched a 2-1/2" circle out of scrap cardstock and adhered one of the hexagons in the middle of the circle. I added the other hexagons around the center one by lining up the edges. For the center of the "flower," I stamped the outline image and a sentiment on Whisper White cardstock, trimmed it out by hand and adhered it to the center hexagon with Dimensionals. I added Old Olive ribbon behind the flower to look like leaves and then attached the flower to the Honeycomb-embossed background with Dimensionals. To add another touch of Old Olive I placed a Candy Dot in the lower left corner.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Six-Sided Sampler
Cardstock: Smoky Slate, Whisper White
Ink: Smoky Slate, Crushed Curry, Coastal Cabana
Accessories: Honeycomb embossing folder, hexagon punch, corner rounder, Coastal Cabana ruffle stretch trim, pearls, Dimensionals

For this card I chose three of the hexagon images from the Six-Sided Sample set and stamped each image in a different color (Crushed Curry, Smoky Slate or Coastal Cabana) several times on Whisper White cardstock. I punched out the hexagons and adhered them to the Honeycomb-embossed background. I added some emphasis to the sentiment by adhering Coastal Cabana ruffle stretch trim behind the hexagon. With all the straight lines and angles on this card, I love that little touch of frill. I also added a pearl at each spot where at least two of the hexagons met. I love the idea of the pearls, but after I finished the card, I thought they might have been a bit too much. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Warmth and wonder at Christmas

I think I've mentioned before that I really like to make nature- and animal-themed Christmas cards. So I was excited to see the Warmth & Wonder hostess set in the 2013 holiday catalog from Stampin' Up! (It's an easy set to miss -- it's on the last page of the catalog, and it's pictured slightly smaller than actual size.) I especially love the deer and the tree in the set, so I decided to make a card with those two images first:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Warmth & Wonder
Cardstock: Whisper White, Soft Suede, Bermuda Bay
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Bermuda Bay 1/8" taffeta ribbon, small oval punch (retired), Dimensionals

Doesn't that deer look regal in this winter forest scene? To make the trees, I inked the stamp with Soft Suede and stamped the image once. Then I repositioned the stamp and stamped the image again. I repeated that a third time before reapplying ink to the stamp, which results in three different shades of Soft Suede and creates a sense of depth. I stamped the deer image between the trees and added a few pieces of torn Whisper White cardstock to create the look of snow. After adhering the panel to a piece of Bermuda Bay cardstock, I tied a piece of coordinating ribbon around the bottom and attached it to a Soft Suede card base.

The open space between the treetops seemed to be waiting for a greeting, so I stamped the sentiment on a strip of Whisper White cardstock and trimmed the ends of the strip into V shapes. (I know a lot of people are done with this flag/banner trend, but I think it adds a nice finishing touch.) I wanted to add just a bit of Bermuda Bay at the top of the card, so I punched a small oval out of Bermuda Bay cardstock, glued it to the card and then used Dimensionals to adhere the sentiment over it.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Warmth & Wonder
Paper: Whisper White, Chocolate Chip cardstock; Season of Style Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Cherry Cobbler, Baked Brown Sugar, Always Artichoke markers
Accessories: Labels Collection Framelits dies, Festive Paper-Piercing Pack, paper-piercing tool and mat, large oval punch, corner rounder, burlap ribbon, pearls, Dimensionals

For my second card, I wanted to create something with a little more color. I knew I wanted to use the Season of Style DSP, so I selected two prints -- one lively and one a little more subtle -- and cut two 1-3/4" by 2-3/8" pieces of each print. (That size allows for 1/4" border around the card and between the pieces of DSP.) I used a corner rounder to round just two corners on each piece of DSP and then adhered the pieces to the Chocolate Chip card base.

To create the focal image I used markers that coordinated with the DSP and colored directly on the rubber stamp. (Note: The green I meant to use -- and the color that is in the DSP -- is Old Olive. I mistakenly used Always Artichoke, and I didn't even realize it until I put the marker back in the case when I was finished with the card. Oops. I need to distinguish the caps of those two markers some how, because that's not the first time I've used Always Artichoke when I wanted Old Olive.) After stamping the image on Whisper White cardstock, I punched it out with the large oval punch. I wanted to give the focal image a little more "weight," so I die cut a label shape from Chocolate Chip cardstock, paper-pierced around the edge and used Dimensionals to adhere it to the stamped image. For some embellishment I added a piece of the new burlap ribbon (I frayed the ends a little bit) and a couple of pearls.

It's fun to make two very different-looking cards from the same stamp set, and I'm sure I'll be using this set to make more Christmas cards. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Simply Sketched

I'm still busy playing with new stamp sets from my latest Stampin' Up! order, and one of those sets was the Simply Sketched hostess set. I don't use watercolor painting on my cards very often, but this stamp set just seems to scream for it.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Simply Sketched, Gorgeous Grunge, Hope for Comfort (inside card)
Cardstock: Crisp Cantaloupe, Very Vanilla
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Crisp Cantaloupe, Pear Pizzazz, Basic Gray (inside card)
Accessories: Adorning Accents Edgelits dies and embossing folders, Ovals Collection Framelits dies, Aqua Painter, Dimensionals

I don't like having a need for sympathy cards, but I actually do enjoy making them. I think it's because the colors and images have a peaceful feeling. For this card I stamped the flower image in Jet Black StazOn on Very Vanilla cardstock and watercolor painted it with an Aqua Painter and Crisp Cantaloupe and Pear Pizzazz ink. I used Crisp Cantaloupe for the card base, and I also cut an extra piece of that cardstock measuring 4-1/4" by 5-1/2". I used one of the Adorning Accents Edgelits dies to cut decorative edges on the long sides of the extra piece of cardstock and then embossed the edges with the coordinating embossing folder. (Note: Be sure to die cut both edges before embossing; if you cut and emboss one side first, the embossing will get flattened when you die cut the other edge.)

Using Crisp Cantaloupe ink I stamped the sentiment on the bottom of the die-cut cardstock and used one of the stamps from the Gorgeous Grunge set to add some spatter-type images to the background. I cut out the focal image with one of the Ovals Collection Framelits dies and then used Dimensionals to adhere the oval to the die-cut cardstock and to adhere that piece of cardstock to the card front. I love how the focal image is framed by the two die-cut edges.

I also really like how the inside of this card turned out. I stamped the same image from the front of the card on the inside panel using Crisp Cantaloupe ink. I did stamp the image on scratch paper first, so it was a little lighter inside the card. Then I stamped the greeting in Basic Gray over the flowers.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Simply Sketched, Gorgeous Grunge
Cardstock: Soft Suede, Very Vanilla, Old Olive
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Old Olive, Crushed Curry, Soft Suede
Accessories: 1/8" Old Olive taffeta ribbon, linen thread, Candy Dots - Regals, Aqua Painter, Dimensionals

For happier occasions, here is a gender-neutral birthday card. As with the previous card, I stamped the focal image in Jet Black StazOn on Very Vanilla cardstock and watercolor painted it with an Aqua Painter and ink. I used Old Olive for the grass and Crushed Curry for the bird, highlighting a few details with Soft Suede. I tore off a strip of cardstock from the right side of the focal image and added a piece of Old Olive ribbon and some linen thread to the left side.

I stamped two images from the Gorgeous Grunge set on the Soft Suede card base and stamped the sentiment in the lower right corner. I adhered the focal piece to the card with Dimensionals, added three Crushed Curry Candy Dots to the left of the image and glued a narrow strip of Old Olive cardstock below the sentiment.

Thanks for stopping by!

This is the life

Soft, cozy bed? Check. Patch of warm sunshine? Check. Nothing to do but sleep all day? Check. This is the life.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tape It

Washi tape is still a fairly new crafting supply for me, but I'm quickly becoming a fan. I love how washi tape makes it so easy to add a touch of color or a pattern to any card or papercraft project. And now with Stampin' Up!'s Tape It stamp set, I can create the look of washi tape in a variety of patterns and in any color I want. Perfect!

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Tape It, Four You
Cardstock: Whisper White, Strawberry Slush, Soft Suede, Bermuda Bay
Ink: Strawberry Slush, Soft Suede, Bermuda Bay, Soft Sky
Accessories: Rhinestones, white baker's twine, Petite Curly Label punch, Dimensionals

This card was so quick and simple to make: I stamped the greeting and the tape images, layered on a cardstock mat and punched shape, and added a couple of embellishments. Since washi tape generally has a casual look and feel, I didn't worry about having the stamps perfectly straight and even. Of course, you could always use the Stamp-a-ma-jig tool if you wanted to be more precise. And you could easily change the sentiment and/or color scheme to make this layout suitable for any occasion.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Tape It, Label Love
Cardstock: Basic Gray, Summer Starfruit, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Gray, Summer Starfruit
Accessories: Label Card Thinlits dies, Artisan Label punch, Cupcake Builder punch, Summer Starfruit stitched satin ribbon, Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

For this card I decided to use all eight images in the Tape It set to create a background panel. Since there are so many patterns, I used just one color, Basic Gray, to keep the background from becoming too busy.

I added a few touches of Summer Starfruit to the gray and white color combo: the mat behind the background layer, some ribbon and the sentiment. To create the sentiment I used the new Label Card Thinlits dies. The die doesn't include the dot for the i, so I used one of the circles on the Cupcake Builder punch to create a dot. To adhere the sentiment to the Artisan Label punch, I used Mono Multi liquid glue. This would be a great design to use for a card set -- stamp six or eight background panels and just change the accent color for each card.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 12, 2013

'Quilted' hexagons

Two of the things I was really excited to get in my latest Stampin' Up! order were the stamp set called Six-Sided Sampler and the coordinating hexagon punch. I had a chance to play with them this weekend, and I wanted to try making a card that had the feel of a quilt. Here is my first attempt:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Six-Sided Sampler
Cardstock: Whisper White, Wild Wasabi
Ink: Wild Wasabi, So Saffron, Perfect Plum
Accessories: Hexagon punch, Square Lattice embossing folder, Bitty Buttons, white crochet thread (DMC), Glue Dots, Mono Multi liquid glue

To make the background, I cut a piece of Whisper White cardstock to 5-3/8" x 4-1/8". I stamped and punched out the hexagons -- cutting up some of them to fill in the spaces around the edges -- and used Mono Multi liquid glue to adhere them to the white cardstock. I trimmed the stray pieces around the edges, embossed the panel with the Square Lattice embossing folder and adhered it to a Wild Wasabi card base.

I wrapped a piece of So Saffron ribbon around the card front and made a coordinating bow by forming a loop with a piece of ribbon and then adhering another small piece around the middle of the loop. For a last embellishment, I tied crochet thread in several Bitty Buttons and used Glue Dots to adhere the buttons to the middle of the So Saffron hexagons.

So what do you think? It honestly doesn't look quite as "quilt-y" as I was hoping. I think a different arrangement of colors might have helped; maybe I'll have to look up some quilt patterns made with hexagons. I also was hoping that the embossing would have been a little more defined, so I might try an extra shim next time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Undefined doodles

One of the new products Stampin' Up! introduced at Convention last month was the Undefined Stamp Carving Kit. The kit comes with everything you need to create your own stamp set: a sheet of rubber, foam, four wood blocks, two carving tools and a marker for $19.95 (U.S.).

I love the idea of having custom-made stamps, and I've seen many, many cute Undefined stamps online (including Shannon West's breakfast foods stamp set). But when my kit arrived in my Stampin' Up! order yesterday, I had no idea what kind of stamps I wanted to make. Flowers? I have a lot of flower stamps, so maybe something different. Pets? Sea animals? I love animal stamps, but I didn't know if I could draw and then carve images I really liked. Birthday candles, balloons and cake would be cute, but not really all-occasion. I tried sketching some ideas and looking at online clip art for inspiration, but no luck there, either. Hmm. After much deliberation, I decided that since I am a doodler, a stamp set of "doodle-y" images would be perfect. Here is the result:

What do you think? I was pretty pleased with the way these stamps turned out. The carving part wasn't too bad, although I made a mistake by starting with the image of all the little circles. Uff da. I should have tried the spiral or the large splotch first. You'll notice that I actually have five stamps in my set; the amoeba-looking image, which is sort of a signature doodle for me, was carved with a sample I received at Convention. But everything else you see here comes in the kit. The back of the lid has a pocket with instructions, sample images you can copy and a few postcards to stamp and send. You can also buy a refill kit with just the blocks, foam and rubber for $9.95 (U.S.).

So, do you want to see what I made with my new stamps? Here is the inaugural Undefined doodles card:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Undefined, Four You
Cardstock: Whisper White, Old Olive, Island Indigo
Ink: Old Olive, Island Indigo, Soft Sky, River Rock, Early Espresso
Accessories: Early Espresso stitched grosgrain ribbon, Candy Dots - Subtles, Dimensionals

Nothing too complicated here. I stamped each image in a different color on Whisper White cardstock, overlapping them as needed. I layered that piece on Island Indigo cardstock, added Early Espresso ribbon and adhered it to an Old Olive card base. I stamped the greeting and the dashes on Whisper White cardstock, trimmed it into a flag, added a narrow Island Indigo flag behind it and adhered it to the card with Dimensionals. I added two Candy Dots on the focal image and one in the lower right corner.

I'm looking forward to making more cards with my stamp set. Have you tried the Undefined kit yet? What stamps would you carve? Thanks for stopping by!

Washi tape holder

Today is my last day of vacation. Sigh. My outing this morning included a stop at Caribou for a sparkling green tea lemonade and time to read a chapter of my book and then a visit to a local store called ArtScraps. The name pretty much says it all; it's a little shop filled with odds and ends you can re-purpose into whatever your heart desires. Everything in the store is donated -- by individuals, businesses, manufacturers -- so the stock changes all the time. There are traditional craft supplies, such as fabric remnants, beads, buttons and many different kinds of paper. But there are also more unusual supplies that may challenge your creativity, such as barrels full of bottle tops, empty cassette-tape cases, corks, empty baby food jars and old calendars. Today there were even shelves filled with old player-piano rolls for only $3 each. I'm telling you, if this place had been around when I was a kid, I would have been in heaven.

There are always good deals at ArtScraps. A lot of things are sold in bulk (maybe $5 for a grocery bag full), but there are plenty of little treasures for ten, twenty-five or fifty cents each. Today I bought eight gift boxes (two gold, two silver, four white), some double-sided adhesive tabs, two giant binder clips, two small cotton pouches, a 12" dowel and a 2" square piece of granite for less than $5 total. Sweet! What am I going to do with these goodies? Well, the gift boxes will be for Christmas, I'm going to try stamping on the pouches to make gift bags, and the binder clips will probably be covered with patterned paper to make cute desk accessories or photo holders. But the granite sample and dowel have already been put to good use:

Washi tape holder made with a dowel glued to a 2" square piece of granite.
Ta da! I made a holder for my washi tape. As I've started slowly collecting more washi tape, the rolls have been stashed in different places in my craft room. And when they are tucked away, I don't always remember to use them on my cards and other projects.

Now they are together in one place. Even better, they can sit on my table where I will see them and maybe use them more often. And they only take up a few inches of space on the table. Don't they look pretty?

Washi tape holder made with a dowel glued to a 2" square piece of granite.
This holder was really easy to make. I think it took me about five minutes, if that. (I swear it took me longer to figure out where I had put my darn hot glue gun.) The first thing I did was add a piece of cork to the bottom of the granite so it didn't scratch my table. I just traced the block on the cork, cut out the cork, covered the bottom of the granite block with Scor-Tape and adhered the cork. You could also use felt or fabric, but then you might want to use a hot glue gun for the adhesive.

To attach the dowel I put some hot glue on one of the ends and then placed it on the top of the granite, holding it for a minute or two while the glue set. I eyeballed the middle, but you could measure the granite and then mark the middle with a marker if you want to be precise. (I also noticed that my dowel isn't perfectly straight, but for a project that cost 75¢, I'm not going to let it bother me.) I added the washi tape, and I'm ready to go!

Where do you find unusual craft treasures? Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A day at the Falls

My vacation week of mini outings is continuing to be a lot of fun. Yesterday I spent the day at the Science Museum of Minnesota. I'd given myself three hours to see the special Maya exhibit, thinking that would be more than enough time. Wrong! The exhibit was fascinating, but longer than I expected. I also didn't pace myself very well at the beginning, so I had to skim the last few sections in order to be on time for lunch with my sister. After lunch I went back to see the Omnitheater film, explore a few of the other exhibits and, of course, browse in the gift shop. I didn't buy anything, but I seriously considered getting a couple of books about math. I love numbers and nerdy books.

Today was a relaxing day at Minnehaha Falls and Park. The Falls are so close to me -- technically walking distance, but I chose the roughly 15-minute bus ride instead -- but I don't get there nearly enough. So I packed my camera, beach towel, lunch and a couple of books and was on my way. Here are just a few of the pictures I took:

My view while lying on my beach towel.
View of the Falls from the overlook.
I walked down a lot of stairs to take pictures from
the bottom of the Falls ...
... and then I had to walk back up them. Sheesh.
View from the bottom of the Falls.
Of course I couldn't resist some flower shots. I even
captured a little bee in this photo.
Looking down on the Falls.

I have about eighty more photos, but I think you get the idea. It was an awesome day. (My box of new Stampin' Up! goodies also arrived today, which made the day even more awesome. Can't wait to play!) Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pretty papers

This week the childcare center where I work is closed for summer vacation. Yippee! Normally I would spend the week at home vowing to do all kinds of craft projects and instead end up watching a lot of TV. Now, I have nothing against that. I am a great supporter of relaxing stay-at-home vacations. But this year I decided to add a bit to it, so each day this week I'm going to try to go out and do something. Nothing big; just a fun outing.

Yesterday afternoon I went to see a movie -- Despicable Me 2, which was really cute -- and then did a little shopping (books, scented goodies, handmade chocolates from a local candy shop). In the evening I walked over to a local art supply store, Wet Paint. I love to wander around that store and drool over all the paints, brushes, canvases, papers and other materials, wishing that I knew how to use them all. I did buy three rolls of washi tape and two packs of origami-type papers: one pack was smaller and all the papers were coordinating blues, and the other pack was sort of a grab bag with all different sizes, colors and textures. See all the yumminess?

Today I went to a lecture/discussion about Sherlock Holmes that was part of a Chatauqua program at my alma mater, St. Catherine University. It was very interesting and entertaining. Did you know that there are some Sherlock Holmes societies whose members contend not only that Holmes was a real person, but that he is still alive? I certainly didn't. Side note: I absolutely love, love, love the CBS show Elementary, which is a modern-day version of Sherlock Holmes, set in New York. If you haven't seen it yet, I would highly recommend it.

I also had a little time today to make some cards with a few of my new papers. They are all clean and simple cards because I wanted the papers to be the focal point.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Coastal Cabana, Strawberry Slush cardstock; Chiyogami papers (The Japanese Paper Place)
Ink: Coastal Cabana
Accessories: Simply Pressed Clay and Buttons and Blossoms molds, Aqua Painter, gold cord, Modern Mosaic embossing folder, Mono Multi liquid glue

It's hard to do justice to these papers in photos. There is a delicate gold outline around all the flowers and leaves, and it's amazing when it catches the light.  I love the little clay flower over the gold cord.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Early Espresso cardstock, Chiyogami papers (The Japanese Paper Place)
Accessories: Very Vintage Designer Buttons, gold thread (On the Surface), colored pearls (Doodlebug Design Inc. - Baby Boy assortment), Mono Multi liquid glue

I only had thin strips of the blue and gold flowered paper, so I trimmed the ends at an angle, mixed in a couple of coordinating papers and adhered them to the card base at different heights.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Night of Navy cardstock, Chiyogami papers (The Japanese Paper Place)
Ink: Night of Navy (left card only)
Accessories: Autumn Accents die, Woodgrain embossing folder, gold brad (unknown), gold thread (On the Surface), linen thread, Little Labels punch pack, Aqua Painter, Mono Multi liquid glue

This bright red paper printed with blue, green and yellow leaves immediately made me think of fall, so I used my Autumn Accents die to make some coordinating leaves from other pieces of the Chiyogami papers. Here is a tip for working with handmade or mulberry papers: If you want to create a torn-looking edge, as I did along the bottom of the pieces of printed paper, use a small paint brush with a little bit of water or an Aqua Painter to make a light line along the place where you want to tear. This will weaken the fibers a little so you can pull them apart more easily.

I still haven't used the washi tape I bought -- that might be a goal for Friday, when I think I might actually have a crafty day. Tomorrow I'm going to the Science Museum to see an exhibit and maybe an Omni theater show about the Maya and have lunch with my sister. Then if the weather cooperates, on Thursday I'm planning to spend the day at Minnehaha Park and Falls. Hope you have some fun plans in store for this week or weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Christmas challenge

In addition to the SplitCoastStampers challenges I worked on yesterday, I also made a couple of cards for the Christmas in July challenge on the Raisin Boat blog.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Off to the Lake (Raisin Boat), Heaven and Nature
Cardstock: Soft Sky, Whisper White
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Garden Green
Accessories: Ovals Collection Framelits dies, Occasions Paper-Piercing pack, paper-piercing mat and tool, rhinestones, Dimensionals

I always love making Christmas cards with images of nature and/or animals. As I get older I wish more and more that people would focus more on peace at Christmas instead of spending money. Don't get me wrong, I love the gifts, but I think living in harmony with each other and nature would bring us more benefits than most things you can purchase. Okay, off my soapbox.

For this clean and simple card, I started by stamping the tree (inked with markers) on Soft Sky card stock. Then I cut it out with an oval die and added some torn Whisper White card stock at the bottom for snow, trimming it along the edge of the oval. (It would have been more efficient to add the white cardstock first and then die cut the shape, but unfortunately I didn't think of it first.) I added a torn piece of white cardstock along the bottom of the card base and played around with the positioning of the focal image until I found a place where the torn edges were aligned. Once I was happy with the placement, I carefully pierced around the oval before adhering it to the card with Dimensionals. To complete this clean and simple card, I added a sentiment and scattered rhinestones to look like either stars or snowflakes.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Off to the Lake, Central Park (both Raisin Boat), Holiday Hedgehogs
Cardstock: Whisper White, Garden Green
Ink: Garden Green, Cherry Cobbler, Midnight use, Crumb Cake marker
Accessories: Rhinestones

So, this card was supposed to look like three ornaments hanging from a Christmas tree. But the Cherry Cobbler ink stamped so dark that the two oval ornaments ended up looking like pine cones. I was a little disappointed, so I asked my sister if the card looked weird. She said, "No. It looks like two pine cones and an ornament." Doh! Oh, well. At least pine cones are wintery.

At any rate, for this card I used stamps in unusual ways. The tree branch is actually the same pine tree stamp I used for the first card. I just stamped it multiple times at different angles using Garden Green ink. And the ornament stamps are actually stylized tree tops. I used a Crumb Cake marker to draw the strings for the ornaments, and then I added a rhinestone at the top of each ornament. Another quick and easy Christmas card.

Thanks for stopping by!