Saturday, August 30, 2014

Holly and trees

In my Aug. 14 blog post I shared how I made my own stamps using Big Shot dies and some extra rubber from my clear-mount stamp sets. Fun, right? Well, today I'm going to show you two cards I made with those stamps.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Made from Stocking Accents die
Paper: Very Vanilla, textured Real Red card stock; Wild Wasabi Long Notes card base
Ink: Wild Wasabi, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Itty Bitty Accents punch pack, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch, chevron twill ribbon, silver baker's twine, silver chrome Pearl Pen (Viva Decor)

I discovered that the best thing about using these stamps is that you can tell exactly where you are putting the image. Because the stamps were cut from a die, the entire piece of rubber is what you stamp; there is no rubber border around the images. That made it very quick and easy to line up the trees on this.

I started this card by stamping the Crumb Cake tree. I eyeballed the placement about one-quarter of the way in from the left side of the Very Vanilla card stock. Then I stamped the Wild Wasabi trees, one on the left and two on the right of the Crumb Cake tree. To embellish the trees I glued a punched red heart to the Crumb Cake tree and used a Pearl Pen to add silver dots on the green trees. I adhered the Very Vanilla panel to the Wild Wasabi card base and covered the right edge of the panel with a piece of chevron twill ribbon (the reverse side of the ribbon is plain twill), a bit of a scalloped red border and a piece of silver baker's twine.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Tags 4 You, holly stamps made from Stocking Accents die
Paper: Very Vanilla, Real Red card stock
Ink: Real Red, Old Olive (ink pads and markers)
Accessories: Corner rounder, Old Olive grosgrain ribbon, Large Polka Dot embossing folder, Dimensionals

To make the background for this card, I stamped groups of two or three Real Red circles on the Very Vanilla card stock for the berries and then stamped the Old Olive leaves. The images needed more detail, so I used the coordinating markers to add faux stitching on all of the leaves and berries. I rounded the corners of the panel, embossed it with the Large Polka Dot embossing folder and wrapped it with a piece of Old Olive ribbon. I adhered the panel to a Real Red card base and added the tag and ribbon tails. (There is a punch that coordinates with the tag image, but I don't have it, so I cut this one out by hand.) This card is a little busier than most of my Christmas cards, but it's definitely festive.

Have you made any of your own stamps yet? Give it a try and then see what you can create with them. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Masculine vintage simplicity

This week I'm organizing a friend's stamping and scrapbooking supplies. I know that doesn't sound fun to a lot of people, but I enjoy it. It's like a big warm fuzzy for my left brain. I've got a ways to go, though, so today I have just a quick blog post featuring a clean and simple masculine card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Feeling Sentimental, Lovely Little Labels
Paper: Crumb Cake, Basic Black card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Linen thread, Vintage Trinkets, Jewelry Tag punch, sponge, Dimensionals

I kept the supplies for this card to a minimum: two neutral colors, a few stamps and a couple of embellishments. My first step was to sponge Crumb Cake ink around the edges of the layer of Crumb Cake card stock to create an aged look. I stamped the bicycle image in Crumb Cake ink and then stamped the "Celebrate" sentiment in black so it partially overlapped the bicycle. For the top part of the card I wrapped a piece of linen thread twice around the Crumb Cake card stock and tied it in a knot. I put two small tags -- one with a stamped key image and sponged edges -- on a safety pin and pushed the pin through the knot in the thread. To add another metallic element I placed a mini button brad in the center of each wheel. Using Dimensionals I adhered the entire panel to a Basic Black card base.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cupcakes, stitches and dots

I've found that when I buy a coordinating punch and stamp set, I often end up punching the shapes out of plain card stock or patterned paper rather than punching out the stamped images. So I gave myself a little challenge to use the Cupcake Builder punch with the coordinating (retired) Create a Cupcake stamp set.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Create a Cupcake
Paper: Whisper White, Chocolate Chip, Coastal Cabana, Calypso Coral card stock
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Coastal Cabana, Calypso Coral, Crisp Cantaloupe; white gel pen
Accessories: Cupcake Builder punch, corner rounder, Note Tag punch, Large Polka Dot embossing folder, Subtles Candy Dots, Coastal Cabana ruffle trim, Mono Multi liquid glue, Dimensionals

I started by stamping, punching and gluing together a whole bunch of cupcakes in various combinations of Calypso Coral, Crisp Cantaloupe, Chocolate Chip, Coastal Cabana and Soft Sky, but I ended up using just three of them, which was perfect since the card was for a three-year-old's birthday. I used Dimensionals to mount each cupcake on a card stock tag created with the Note Tag punch, and with a white gel pen, I created a border of faux stitches around the tags. For the center tag I also adhered a piece of Coastal Cabana ruffle trim around the back of the tag.

To make the card base I embossed the front of the card with the Large Polka Dot embossing folder. I then rounded the bottom corners and added a faux stitched border. Using Dimensionals I adhered the tags to the card. For a little embellishment I added three Calypso Coral Candy Dots.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Extra stamps!

I hate putting exclamation points in my post titles -- it's the editor in me -- but I was so excited about my latest discovery that I couldn't help it. Let me back up a bit. Normally I buy stamps in wood-mount style rather than clear-mount because I prefer to have them permanently mounted on wood blocks. But when it comes to Christmas stamps, I've been buying more clear-mount stamps because A) I only use them for a limited time each year, B) they're cheaper, and C) they take up less space.

So this afternoon I was going to use my new Bright & Beautiful and Nature's Peace stamp sets (from the soon-to-be-released 2014 Holiday Catalog from Stampin' Up!) for the first time. As I was pulling the die-cut stamps out of the piece of rubber, I realized that there was a lot of extra rubber with these sets, and several places that would be big enough for another stamp. Light bulb!

I looked through my Big Shot dies for ones that had smaller shapes, and two of them -- Autumn Accents and the retired Stocking Accents -- were perfect. I cut apart some of the bigger pieces of extra rubber, placed them over the die on the shape I wanted to cut and ran them through my Big Shot as usual.

And just like that I have a few "new" stamps. And because the rubber was from a clear-mount set, I can just peel off the paper, stick them on a clear block and stamp away. This also would work with the extra rubber from wood-mount sets, but you would need to either have extra wood blocks on which to mount the stamps or add the cling foam so they could be used with clear blocks.

I know this isn't a huge discovery, but I was excited to find a way to use something I otherwise would have thrown out -- and to get a few extra stamps, too. (Note: To see a couple of cards I made using some of these stamps, check out the "Holly and trees" blog post dated Aug. 30, 2014.) Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ombre silhouettes

For awhile now I've been admiring hand-made cards that feature ombre techniques, which are shaded or graduated tones of a single color. Last week I finally tried the technique myself, creating this masculine birthday card:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Pocket Silhouettes, It's Your Birthday
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Pear Pizzazz, Wild Wasabi, Garden Green card stock
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Chocolate Chip taffeta ribbon, Houndstooth embossing folder, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Dimensionals

For my focal layer I chose three shades of green card stock: Pear Pizzazz, Wild Wasabi and Garden Green. I cut a 1-1/2" x 3-1/4" piece of each color and taped them together on the back so they wouldn't move while I was stamping. I used two of the images from the Pocket Silhouettes set and stamped them several times across the top half of the green card stock. To hide the bottom edge of the stamped images, I wrapped a piece of ribbon around the card stock, and then I stamped the sentiment along the bottom of the focal piece. I matted the piece with Chocolate Chip card stock and then used Dimensionals to adhere everything to an embossed Chocolate Chip card base.

This card could be used for any occasion by simply changing the sentiment. You could even make a set of cards with this design and use different colors for the ombre technique. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Inspiration with For the Birds

When I give my friends and family hand-made cards, they often seem to think I have ideas just spilling out of my head. But here's a secret: I don't. When I sit down to create, I might have a notion of a particular stamp set or color combo I want to use, but rarely do fully formed card ideas pop into my head. (And when they do, they usually seem to end up looking different on paper anyway.) More often I just start creating and see where I end up.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: For the Birds, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Whisper White, Marina Mist, Soft Sky, Real Red card stock
Ink: Jet Black StazOn; markers: Basic Black, Smoky Slate, Marina Mist, Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Pear Pizzazz, Soft Sky
Accessories: Large Polka Dot embossing folder, Scalloped Tag Topper punch, Banner punch, Subtles Candy Dots, Real Red 1/4" cotton ribbon, Dimensionals

If I'm short on ideas one trick I use is to pull out a stamp set with images I can color. Once an image is colored, it's easy to turn it into a clean and simple card. Just choose two of the colors in the image and use one as a layer behind the image and one as the card base. You can stop there and call it done, or keep playing with your layout. I made this card a bit fancier by embossing the card base, making the focal image a tag, and adding a few embellishments. I used two card stock banners instead of a mat around the focal image, and I also omitted the greeting that is part of the image and stamped a different greeting at the bottom of the tag.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: For the Birds
Paper: Soft Sky, Island Indigo, Hello Honey, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Jet Black StazOn; markers: Hello Honey, Island Indigo, Daffodil Delight
Accessories: Clear buttons, crochet thread (DMC), Island Indigo 1/4" cotton ribbon, Cloudy Day embossing folder, 3/4" circle punch, paper-piercing tool, Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers)

Another way to get my stamp mojo flowing is to recycle a layout I've used before. It's fun (and at times a little cringe-inducing) to go back and look at my old cards. Sometimes I still love them; other times I wonder what I was thinking. But it's all part of the creative process. Last year I made a birthday card with the For the Birds stamp set that I really liked. Keeping that card in my head, I created this new one. I kept the same basic layout, but I changed the colors, modified the embellishments and added layers.

Do you have tricks that you use when you need some stamping inspiration? Share them in the comments below -- I'm always looking for new ideas!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Baby card and gift box

I attended a baptism today for one of my cousins' sons, so naturally I made a card. But since my gift was on the smaller side, I decided to make a coordinating gift box as well.

Matching gable gift box and baby card using the Fox and Friends stamp set.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Fox & Friends, Best Yet (inside card, see below)
Paper: Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake, textured Chocolate Chip card stock
Ink: Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip, Baja Breeze, Pear Pizzazz, Baked Brown Sugar
Accessories: Gable box, 1-3/4" circle punch, Circles Collection Framelits dies, Button Latte buttons, linen thread, Chocolate Chip satin ribbon, sponge, Dimensionals

4" x 4" baby card made with the Fox and Friends stamp set.
The card is 4" by 4". I stamped four animals from the Fox & Friends set in different colors and punched them out with the 1-3/4" circle punch. I also punched a circle out of textured Chocolate Chip card stock. For each animal circle I sponged Crumb Cake ink around the edges and added faux stitches with a Chocolate Chip marker. (I also used this process to make ten animal circles for the gift box.)

Using a ruler I found the center of the card front and marked it with a pencil. I adhered the Chocolate Chip circle in the center and then the animal circles partially over that one, placing one animal circle near each corner and making sure the edges of the circles just touched each other. I added faux stitching around the border of the card and adhered a Chocolate Chip button tied with linen thread in the upper left corner.

The inside of the baby card: "a little something for a little someone."
I wanted to continue the circle theme inside the card, so I used one of the Circles Collection Framelits dies to cut a circle about 3-1/2" in diameter. Again I sponged around the edges and added faux stitching, and then I stamped the sentiment.

I forgot to take a separate picture of the gift box, but it's pretty self explanatory. I wrapped a piece of Chocolate Chip satin ribbon around the gable box and then evenly spaced and adhered the animal circles along the ribbon (two on each short side and three on the long sides). To make the gift box more elaborate, you could tie coordinating ribbon(s) on the handle and/or make another animal circle to use as a to/from tag.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

First Christmas card

Before I get to my card, I just want to say, on the record, that I am not ready for snow. No way, no how. I am perfectly content with the summer we are having and would continue to be perfectly content if we didn't see any snowflakes until December. Or even January.

On the other hand, it's never too early for snow or snowmen of the rubber stamp variety. And this little guy makes me especially happy:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Snowman (Endless Creations)
Paper: Soft Sky card stock
Ink: Basic Gray (pad and marker), Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Pool Party, white chalk marker
Accessories: Ice White Pearl Pen (Viva Decor), Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers)

He almost makes me wish for snow. Almost.

The stamped image includes the snowman and part of the wavy snowbank he's sitting on; I used the fine point of my Basic Gray marker to continue the line to both sides of the card.

I also used my markers to color his carrot nose, heart buttons and striped scarf. Then I carefully colored in his head and body with a white chalk marker. I like the soft look of the chalk marker, but if I make more of this card, I'll probably stamp the snowman a second time on Whisper White card stock, then cut out that image and adhere it over the one on the card base.

To finish the scene, I added a few falling snowflakes with my new Ice White Pearl Pen. I loved the clean look of this card -- it's even just one layer, which I don't do often -- so I left the front wordless. I'll stamp a sentiment inside the card before I drop it in the mail.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Happy blog birthday

Hip-hip-hooray! Today is my blog's third birthday. Usually when it comes to birthdays, I am of the "Where did the time go?" school of thought. But for some reason with my blog it seems like it's been a lot longer, so my reaction is more "Really? Only three years? I thought it had been four." I do remember that I tried to celebrate my blog's third birthday last year and was close to publishing the post before I caught myself and realized it was actually two years.

But today does actually mark three years of blogging for me (I've double-and triple-checked), so it seems appropriate to share a fun and festive birthday card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Big Bold Birthday,  Remembering Your Birthday (inside card, see below)
Paper: Whisper White, Regal Rose card stock; silver glimmer paper
Ink: Regal Rose, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Decorative Dots embossing folder, Deco Labels Framelits dies, Chocolate Chip polytwill ribbon, Silver Chrome Pearl Pen (Viva Decor), action wobble spring (Raisin Boat), Dimensionals

I probably also should have mentioned that it's a girly card. And sparkly. A fun, festive, girly, sparkly birthday card. It's hard to beat that. At least I hope the eight-year-old who received this card agrees.

One of my favorite details on this card is the sprinkles on the cupcake, which I created with a Pearl Pen -- I love that extra little bit of dimension. To continue the sprinkles theme, I embossed polka dots on the card base and stamped pink and brown confetti on the background layer. But the best thing about the cupcake, which you can't see in the picture, is that it is mounted on a little spring, so it wobbles back and forth when you move the card. Adorable.

I love the inside of this card almost as much as the front. I used markers instead of an ink pad to apply ink to the greeting stamp, so I was able to highlight the words pink and sprinkles with a different color. As a finishing touch I stamped some pink and brown confetti along the top of the layer of Whisper White. It was a last-minute decision, but I think it really pulls everything together.

Whether this is the first or fiftieth post you've read on my blog, thank you for being a part of the last three years. I hope you've found something to inspire you.

As always, thanks for stopping by!