Monday, March 31, 2014

Background or focal point

Last week I walked over to our local art-supply store to get a new Sharpie marker. I'm a firm believer that you can never have too many Sharpies. Or any marker or fancy pen. In fact, after I found the Sharpie I needed, I picked out a few other markers that I had to have, too. And then since I was already sucked in, I did some browsing to see what other creative supplies I couldn't live without.

One of my finds was a rubber stamp with "Happy Birthday" printed in many different sizes. I made two cards using my new stamp: one with the image as a background and one with it as the focal point.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Happy Birthday Background (Inkadinkadoo)
Card stock: Whisper White, Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, So Saffron
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Accessories: Cupcake builder punch, corner rounder, rhinestones, Mono Multi liquid glue, crochet thread (DMC)

When I first picked up this stamp in the store, the idea that popped into my head was similar to this layout, except I pictured a floating balloon instead of a cupcake. I started making this card with that plan in mind, but I didn't have a balloon stamp that looked just right. So I took a slightly different path and went with a punched cupcake instead. I added a bow around the cupcake and a few rhinestones for a little sparkle.

I typically wouldn't leave such a large plain white border on a card, but I really like the way this card turned out.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Happy Birthday Background (Inkadinkadoo)
Card stock: Whisper White, Ballet Blue, textured Taken with Teal
Ink: Riviera Kaleidacolor (Tsukineko)
Accessories: Chalk Talk Framelits dies, balloon die (unknown), Decorative Dots embossing folder, crochet thread (DMC), Dimensionals

I wanted to make a second card with the stamp, but using it in a different way. I pulled out one of my old multicolored inkpads and stamped the "Happy Birthday" image on Whisper White cardstock. Then I cut it out with the largest tag in the set of Chalk Talk Framelits dies.

I was still stuck on the idea of a balloon, so I found a die-cut balloon shape in my craft supplies and tied on a string of crochet thread. I didn't want the string to just hang down, so I wrapped it around the tag before using Dimensionals to adhere the balloon and the tag to the embossed card base.

After I took this photo I went back and added a little highlight to the balloon with a white gel pen to give it a bit more dimension. I still feel as if there is something missing from this card, but I'm not exactly sure what. (If you have an idea, leave me a comment.)

So which do you like better: the stamp as a background or as a focal point? Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cakes and candles

I did it! Today I finally finished the collection of cards I've been making for my grandma. I have fifty cards for her: forty-five birthday cards and five blank cards, which she can use as additional birthday cards or as get-well, sympathy, thank-you or thinking-of-you cards.

I'll be sharing the last of the birthday cards over the next week or two, starting with two cards that feature images of birthday cakes with candles.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Blooming with Happiness
Card stock: Whisper White, Basic Black, textured Melon Mambo
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Smoky Slate
Accessories: Melon Mambo scalloped polka dot ribbon, rhinestones, Dimensionals

I've always loved this flowery birthday cake. It's cute, fun and feminine and makes a great focal point for a clean and simple card.

For this card I stamped and colored the cake and embellished it simply with a few rhinestones on the cake stand. I wanted to add a bit of color between the image and the Basic Black mat, but I didn't want another layer of card stock. Instead I took a strip of scalloped grosgrain ribbon, cut the piece in half lengthwise and then trimmed the two sections into pieces to fit around the focal image. I adhered the ribbon pieces behind the white layer so just the little scallops are visible around the edges. I think that was just the right detail for this card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Bring on the Cake
Card stock: Whisper White, Pumpkin Pie
Ink: Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Coastal Cabana, Soft Suede
Accessories: Alphabet Press embossing folder, Deco Labels Framelits dies, Daffodil Delight stitched grosgrain ribbon, Soft Suede polka dot grosgrain ribbon, Coastal Cabana ruffled stretch trim, Dimensionals

As I was looking through the box of finished cards for my grandma, I realized that I didn't have any orange card bases. So that was the starting point for this Pumpkin Pie card. From there I chose the rest of the color pallet: Soft Suede, Daffodil Delight and Coastal Cabana. I wanted a neutral pallet, and I think this fits the bill nicely.

I used markers to apply ink to the rubber stamp so I could create a multicolored image. I die cut the image, matted it and used Dimensionals to apply it over the ribbon and embossed background.

I really enjoy making cards to give to other people -- and I know my grandma will appreciate them -- but it still feels good to have this project done. Now I can move on to other things (Easter cards, maybe?) without feeling guilty. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Button rainbow

Button, button, whose got the button? This card has six of them, all lined up in a rainbow. Things in rainbow order make me happy -- that's how Crayola markers must be arranged in the box, by the way -- and I love how this clean and simple card turned out.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: It's Your Birthday
Cardstock: Naturals White
Ink: Jet Black StazOn
Accessories: Brights buttons, white crochet thread (DMC), Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers), Glue Dots

The most time-consuming part of this card was tying the crochet thread on all the buttons. Once that was done, I stamped the sentiment on the card base and played with the spacing of the buttons. When I was happy with the layout I attached the buttons to the card with Glue Dots (start with the middle buttons so you can adjust the spacing and keep everything even as you go). You could change the sentiment  -- or even omit the sentiment all together -- to make the card appropriate for just about any occasion.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sailing on a world map

I was excited to get the World Map background stamp in my last Stampin' Up! order a few weeks ago. But when I finally had a chance to play with it this weekend, I was a little stumped; I had an idea in my head that wasn't translating very well to paper. So I scrapped it, started over and ended up with this one:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: World Map, Sail Away
Cardstock: Marina Mist, Whisper White, Close to Cocoa
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento), Marina Mist
Accessories: Island Indigo baker's twine, Antique Brass jumbo eyelet, Mono Multi liquid glue

I wasn't sure how the overlapping images would work, but I'm actually really pleased with how the card turned out.

I started by stamping the World Map image in Marina Mist ink on a Marina Mist card base. I stamped the boat image in black ink over the background and then stamped it again on scraps of Whisper White and Close to Cocoa cardstock. I cut out the white sails and the brown boat and glued them over the corresponding parts of the image on the card.

I wanted to add a little embellishment, so I added a jumbo eyelet in the upper right corner -- they always have a very nautical feeling to me. I also wrapped a piece of Island Indigo baker's twine around the left side of the card and tied it in a knot.

I stamped a birthday sentiment inside the card, but this would be a great masculine card for many different occasions. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Itsy bitsy spiders and green, speckled frogs

If you have young children, there's a good chance that you have sung The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Five Green and Speckled Frogs many, many times. As I childcare teacher for the past nine years, I'm in the same boat. This month I created a bulletin board for each of those songs, and I think they turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

This might just be one of my all-time favorite bulletin boards. The brick background is from a roll of bulletin board paper. I hand drew and cut out the downspout and grass, and the toddlers helped make the rest. They glued cotton balls on the cloud shapes and decorated the flowers with dot paints. But I think the highlights are the raindrops and, of course, the spiders.

To make the raindrops, the toddlers used sponges to paint dark blue and turquoise paint on light blue paper. I cut out the tear-drop shapes and taped them onto pieces of fishing line. I tied the top of each piece of fishing line to a push pin to add a little dimension and give them a little space to move. I did have to weight each strand with a penny taped to the back of the bottom raindrop; without the extra weight, the strands curled up because the paper wasn't heavy enough.

To create the spiders, we used handprints. For each toddler, I painted the palm and four fingers on one hand with black paint and then pressed it on white paper. I wiped the paint off that hand (important step!) and repeated with the other hand, lining up the second handprint so the bottoms of the palms were touching.

Once the paint was dry, I cut out the "spiders." I always let my toddlers put on their own googly eyes, so you never know where they'll end up. But that's what makes them extra cute.

This bulletin board is a close second in terms of favorites. The cloudy sky and blue water are bulletin board papers (although I added the dark blue waves). To make the log, I drew the shape on a large piece of brown packing paper with a permanent marker. (It was paper from an old Stampin' Up! order, actually. I've used that packing paper more than once on bulletin boards.) The paper was large enough to cover our table, so all the toddlers painted together -- some on the log, and some on the rest of the paper -- and then I cut out the log.

I wasn't exactly sure how to go about making five green and speckled frogs when I only have four toddlers, so I improvised. They each made a frog, and I made the legs of a fifth frog, jumping into the pool.

To make the frogs, each toddler painted white, yellow and green paint onto a piece of bubble wrap, popping a few bubbles along the way. When they were done painting, I placed a frog shape on the paint and had them help me rub over the paper to create the "speckles." We added the eyes when they were dry.

We made some "most delicious bugs," colored with markers, to finish off the scene. I folded up the wings on the bugs before adding them to the bulletin board to create some dimension.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Remembering Your Birthday

I've been having a lot of fun with my new Remembering Your Birthday stamp set; I love the coordinating sentiments for the outside and inside of cards. For these two cards, I combined the sentiments with a couple of my retired birthday-themed stamp sets.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Big Bold Birthday, Remembering Your Birthday
Cardstock: Smooth and textured Whisper White
Ink: Pacific Point, Old Olive, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: Striped Pacific Point ribbon, Brights Candy Dots, Dimensionals

For this card I used markers to ink the sentiment with different colors. It's a fun and easy way to give emphasis to specific words in a greeting. I stamped the sentiment on a Whisper White flag and tucked the end under the ribbon.

For the rest of this clean and simple card I stamped and cut out three presents, added Candy Dots at the center of the bows and adhered them to the bottom of the card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Crazy for Cupcakes, Remembering Your Birthday
Cardstock: Positively Pink, Whisper White, Baked Brown Sugar
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Baked Brown Sugar, Chocolate Chip, Daffodil Delight, white gel pen
Accessories: Ovals Collection Framelits dies, Occasions Paper-Piercing Pack, paper-piercing mat and tool, Dazzling Details, Pink Essentials ribbon (American Crafts - Elements), Glue Dots, Dimensionals

To make the focal image for this card I stamped the cupcake twice: once on Whisper White and once on Positively Pink cardstock. I cut out the icing part of the pink image and adhered it over the other image, using Glue Dots to provide just a hint of dimension. After coloring the rest of the cupcake, I added a little bit of Dazzling Details glitter glue to the candle flame and sprinkles. A girl likes a little sparkle, right?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Be original

I'm taking a little break from the birthday cards to share a card I made for a coworker who was moving on to other adventures.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Zoo Review, Define Your Life
Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White cardstock; silver glimmer paper
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Brights Collection markers, Basic Gray marker
Accessories: Stripes embossing folder, corner rounder, Merry Minis punch pack, Dimensionals

I love that rainbow zebra! This card was for a guy, so I couldn't make anything too frilly. But on the other hand, he was a guy who worked in child care, so I knew it didn't have to be too hard-core masculine, either. Before I started I had the idea of a card with several "normal"-looking animals and one different one. I settled on this zebra from the Zoo Review set, stamped three of them and cut them out. I colored two of them with Basic Gray, and the third one got rainbow stripes. (I often use Basic Gray instead of black when coloring something that is supposed to be black. The gray is dark enough, but it still allows a little of the image details to show through.)

With the zebras done, I focused on the layout. It's hard to see in this photo, but I embossed the Basic Black card base with the stripes embossing folder to play off the zebras' stripes. I stamped the sentiment on Whisper White cardstock and rounded the two left corners. I adhered the sentiment layer to the upper right side of the card base and then lined up the zebras underneath, using the embossed stripes as a guide. I used Dimensionals to pop up the rainbow zebra as well as a silver star by the sentiment.

This card could be used for many different occasions: encouragement, congratulations, good luck, or even just thinking of you. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Balloons and banners

I'm back to share two more birthday cards, these featuring simple, bright balloons and banners.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Crazy for Cupcakes, Remembering Your Birthday
Cardstock: Whisper White, Basic Black, Bermuda Bay
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento), Bermuda Bay, Old Olive, Pool Party
Accessories: Corner rounder, Brights Candy Dots, Dimensionals

This was a very quick and easy card to create, which is great. And even better, I love the end product. One little tip: To make the strings shorter on two of the balloons, I just applied ink to part of the rubber before stamping. I matted the Whisper White focal layer with Basic Black and then used Dimensionals to adhere it to the Bermuda Bay card base.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Banner Blast, Create a Cupcake
Cardstock: Smooth and textured Whisper White
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive, Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo
Accessories: Banner punch, Simply Scored tool, rhinestones, Dimensionals

I made a simple border on this card by scoring a line 1/4" from each edge. It's a little detail, but I think it adds a finished look to the card. To add some depth, I used Dimensionals to adhere the banner on the left. And here's a secret: I added the rhinestones to cover up a mistake. When I stamped the sentiment, the edge of the stamp caught the ink pad and left some Rich Razzleberry ink just above the word "Happy." I didn't want to start over, so I improvised. I placed a large rhinestone over the extra ink, added a couple of smaller ones to make a little cluster and then placed three more rhinestones near the banners. It wasn't intended, but it works!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Party animals

I've been plugging away at making birthday cards the last few weeks; I'm determined to have a box full of them to give to my grandma by Easter. Here's a fun card for a birthday boy or girl:

Kids birthday card with images of a monkey, turtle and fox and the greeting "They say it's your birthday."
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Fox & Friends, Big Bold Birthday, It's Your Birthday
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Early Espresso, Garden Green, Cajun Craze
Ink: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Wild Wasabi, Cajun Craze, Jet Black StazOn
Accessories: Natural Chevron ribbon, 1-3/8" circle punch, Neutrals and Regals Candy Dots, Dimensionals

I love all the circle elements on this card with the contrast of the straight lines in the chevron ribbon. I stamped the animals and punched each one out so part of the image was outside the circle. Then I used Dimensionals to mat each one with an offset circle of coordinated cardstock. (I didn't realize until the card was finished that I accidentally stamped the turtle in Wild Wasabi ink and used Garden Green cardstock for the mat. But the colors are close enough that I decided to leave it as is.) I repeated each of the colors with a Candy Dot above the ribbon, which I trimmed and adhered to the card to call attention to the stamped sentiment.

When I first finished this card I wasn't sure I was happy with the layout, but these party animals have grown on me. Hope you like them, too. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Baby thank-you card

Next weekend I'm going to a baby shower for my cousin and his wife. As part of the gift for the new mother, I made a set of twelve thank-you cards.

Simple thank-you note card with a mini banner and the greeting "so kind of you."
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Banner Blast, Sweet Essentials
Cardstock: Whisper White note cards and envelopes, Whisper White cardstock
Ink: Pear Pizzazz, Almost Amethyst, Crumb Cake, Pool Party
Accessories: Banner punch, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, Envelope Punch Board (for corner rounder), rhinestones, Mono Multi liquid glue

I chose a neutral color palette -- the gender of the baby is going to be a surprise -- and a clean and simple layout. I like that the design, while definitely baby-appropriate, isn't baby-specific, so the cards could be used as thank-yous for other occasions as well.

To make the cards, I used four of the banner images from the Banner Blast stamp set. I stamped each image in a different color on Whisper White card stock, then punched them out and added a coordinating mini flower with a rhinestone center. I adhered the banners in a curved line in the upper left corner of the white card base and stamped the sentiment in the lower right. I rounded all the corners of the card to soften the edges a bit. And to add a little detail to the envelopes, I stamped a small heart (also from the Banner Blast set) on the back flap.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cards from the Heartfelt Banner kit

When I saw the Heartfelt Banner Designer Kit in the Stampin' Up! Sale-A-Bration (SAB) brochure, I was intrigued. First, I fell in love with the little felt balls. I wanted to put them in a container on my table and just admire the happy colors. Second, I realized from the item description that the banner pieces were just the right size for including on cards. So I got the kit as one of my free SAB items and got to work.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: It's Your Birthday
Cardstock: Calypso Coral, Basic Black
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Accessories: Heartfelt Banner Designer Kit, Deco Label Framelits dies, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Neutrals Candy Dots

I started with the printed cardstock banners in the kit; there are two each of three different designs. The banner on this card is printed with Calypso Coral flowers, so I started with a Calypso Coral card base and embossed it with polka dots. I used black as a contrasting color, stamping a birthday greeting in black ink on the banner and adding a die-cut layer of Basic Black cardstock behind the banner. I adhered a paper doily -- which is also included in the banner kit -- to the left side of the card front and placed the banner over it. A few Basic Black Candy Dots finish off the card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Label Love, Gorgeous Grunge
Cardstock: Pear Pizzazz, Whisper White
Ink: Pear Pizzazz
Accessories: Heartfelt Banner Designer Kit, Artisan Label punch, white baker's twine, InColor printed brads, Dimensionals

I love the simple, monochromatic color scheme of this card. I stamped the splatter image from the Gorgeous Grunge repeatedly on the card base to make the background. Then I tied the polka-dot banner on the card using baker's twine and adhered the punched label with Dimensionals. I also added a polka dot brad in the bottom right corner, but I just realized that the color of that brad is Lucky Limeade, not Pear Pizzazz. Oops. It looks okay in person, but I think I'll go back and replace the brad with a different one.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Medallion, Petite Pairs
Cardstock: Smoky Slate, Coastal Cabana, Whisper White
Ink: Smoky Slate
Accessories: Heartfelt Banner Designer Kit, Large Oval punch, Scallop Edge Border punch, Decorative Label punch, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, Everyday Essentials paper-piercing pack, paper-piercing tool and mat, pearls, Mono Multi liquid glue, Dimensionals

I combined the straight, strong stripes in this chevron banner with plenty of round edges and scallops. I used the Medallion stamp for a tone-on-tone Smoky Slate background and added punches of Coastal Cabana with the scalloped edge at the top, the small punched flowers at the bottom and the Decorative Label punch behind the greeting. For a little embellishment, I pierced a border around the greeting and added pearls as the flower centers and at the top of the banner.

I made two of each of these cards to use up the cardstock banners, so now I just need to decide on projects for the rest of the kit contents (canvas banners, doilies, linen thread, mini clothespins). And find a container for the felt balls; I'm thinking about a clear glass votive holder or small vase. Then I'll be set. Thanks for stopping by!