Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 2015 Paper Pumpkin: Thank-you cards

I love getting my Paper Pumpkin paper-crafting kits in the mail; it's always so much fun to open them up and find out what's inside. The February 2015 kit, Layers of Gratitude, was no different. I loved the project idea in the kit, but I wanted to mix it up a little. So I combined the supplies in the kit with my own card stock, ink, stamps, and embellishments to make sixteen projects. I'll divide the projects into three posts so it isn't so overwhelming, and in this post I'm going to share eight thank-you cards.

Thank-you cards (A2 size) made with February 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit and Sycamore Street Designer Series Paper.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Kit: February 2015 Paper Pumpkin
Paper: Kraft, Sahara Sand, Tangerine Tango, Island Indigo card stock; Sycamore Street Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Accessories: Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, Sycamore Street ribbon pack, Regals Candy Dots, gold sequin trim, Glue Dots

I like the idea of the large felt letters -- they add fun texture to a card -- but I'll admit that the tangerine color was a challenge for me. So I pulled out my package of Sycamore Street DSP, which includes the color Tangerine Tango, and went from there.

I discovered that the felt letters would all fit on an A2-sized card if I arranged them in a block of two rows with three letters in each row. It's a little unconventional, but I think it works. And I like that they're gender-neutral because I have a tendency to make a lot of flowery thank-you cards. I kept the embellishments on these simple and solid-colored; I didn't really need to add any more visual interest, after all.

Thank-you cards (3-1/4" x 6-1/2") made with February 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit and Sycamore Street Designer Series Paper.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Kit: February 2015 Paper Pumpkin (Layers of Gratitude)
Paper: Sahara Sand, Tangerine Tango, Island Indigo card stock; Sycamore Street DSP
Accessories: Sycamore Street ribbon pack, Island Indigo baker's twine, white baker's twine, orange baker's twine, Regals Candy Dots, Brights Candy Dots, photo corner punch, corner rounder

These cards are 3-1/4" x 6-1/2" and fit in the open-end envelopes that Stampin' Up! used to sell. I still have a few packs of those envelopes, so every once in awhile I make a card to fit in them. But if you don't have that size envelope, you could use a 5" x 7" envelope or even make your own with the Envelope Punch Board. That would work great with a card design like this because you could use the same DSP for the card and to make the envelope.

That's the first batch of projects I made with the supplies from the February 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit. In my next two posts I'll share what I made with the stamps, boxes and accordion cards. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Resisted hardwood

After I made my first two cards with the Irresistibly Yours Designer Series Paper (DSP), I saw a sample from another Stampin' Up! demonstrator who had used a background stamp with a piece of this DSP. (Sadly, I didn't pin that particular sample or bookmark the site where I saw it, and I couldn't find it again to include a link.) I loved the effect, and I knew right away which background stamp I wanted to use.

Card made with Hardwood background stamp and the flower pattern from the Irresistibly Yours DSP.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Hardwood, Label Love
Paper: Whisper White, Soft Suede card stock; Irresistibly Yours DSP
Ink: Soft Suede, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Artisan Label punch, corner rounder, Artisan Embellishment Kit, Blushing Bride cotton ribbon, pearls, sponge dauber

I wanted to create the look of a fence with flowers growing in front of it, climbing up the boards or peeking between the slats. How did I do?

I stamped the Hardwood image with Soft Suede ink on the DSP and used a tissue to wipe the ink off the glossy printed design. Then I used a sponge dauber to cover the DSP with Crumb Cake ink and again wiped off the excess ink. I rounded two corners of the DSP and mounted it on a Soft Suede card base.

With the background done, I had to decide how to finish the rest of the card. I wanted to add a little color, but nothing too bold or bright. I thought of the Artisan Embellishment Kit, and I knew one of the Blushing Bride ribbon flowers from the kit would be the perfect color and texture. To create a base for the flower, I stamped and punched out one of the label images from the Label Love set. I glued the flower in the middle of the label and adhered it to the card with a piece of Blushing Bride cotton ribbon behind it. For a little extra embellishment, I added a small pearl to the center of a few of the white flowers on the DSP.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Butterfly Basics gift ensemble

I had a lot of fun this week with the Butterfly Basics stamp set and coordinating Butterflies Thinlits dies. As I mentioned in my last post (Butterfly Basics cards), one of the things I created was a butterfly-themed gift ensemble, which included a card, a small gift box, and a tag.

Gift ensemble (tag, box and card) featuring Butterfly Basics stamp set and Butterflies Thinlits dies. Colors are Crumb Cake, Calypso Coral, Crisp Cantaloupe and Wild Wasabi.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Butterfly Basics
Paper: Crisp Cantaloupe, Calypso Coral, Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla CS
Ink: Crisp Cantaloupe, Calypso Coral, Crumb Cake, Wild Wasabi
Accessories: Butterflies Thinlits dies, Gift Box Punch Board, chevron gift bag, Scalloped Tag Topper punch, Wild Wasabi stitched ribbon, Victoria crochet trim, Best Year Ever accessory pack, linen thread, gold sequin trim, large pearls, Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack, paper-piercing tool, mini clothespins (unknown), Glue Dots, Dimensionals

There really isn't anything complicated about any of the pieces; they're mainly ink, stamps and paper with a few embellishments and ribbons. Here are photos of the individual pieces and a few additional details:

Close-up of tag using Butterfly Basics stamp set and Butterflies Thinlits dies.
The whole ensemble started with this tag. I had a set of handmade note cards finished and tucked away in this chevron-printed bag, ready to give as a gift, but I wanted to make the presentation a little fancier. A tag seemed like an easy solution, and since it's clipped to the bag with a mini clothespin, the recipient could reuse it on a gift for someone else, adhere it to a piece of card stock for a quick and easy card, or even use it as a bookmark.

To make the tassel on the tag, cut your piece(s) of ribbon to about 4" to 5" in length. Place the ribbon(s) through the hole at the top of the tag and gather the ends together. Use another piece of ribbon, thread or twine to secure the ribbons. I like to use linen thread or baker's twine and wrap it around the ribbons two or three times before tying the knot. Then you can trim the ends of the ribbon to the desired length.

Close-up of small gift box made with Gift Box Punch Board, Butterfly Basics stamp set and Butterflies Thinlits dies.
To make the gift box (which is 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" x 1-3/4") I used Calypso Coral card stock and then cut, scored and punched it according to the directions on the Gift Box Punch Board. (I didn't, however, do the closure punch on the top flaps.) Then before assembling the box I stamped it using Calypso Coral ink. I eyeballed the placement of the line image on each side, and I was happy to find out that they lined up almost perfectly.

Once the box was assembled I tied a piece of ribbon around it to secure the top flaps. (The recipient can slide off the ribbon to open the box.) Then I attached a butterfly to the ribbon with a mini clothespin.

Close-up of card made using Butterfly Basics stamp set and Butterflies Thinlits dies.

For the card I stamped the images on a panel of Very Vanilla card stock using a layout similar to the tag. I distressed the edges of the card stock with my bone folder and layered it on a piece of Calypso Coral card stock. I adhered the panel to a Crisp Cantaloupe card base stamped with the lacy butterfly and small flower images.

To add the sentiment, I stamped it on a strip of Very Vanilla card stock and trimmed the left side into a V to create a pennant shape. I pierced a border around the pennant and adhered it to the right side of the card with Dimensionals. I tucked two small pieces of ribbon (leftovers from the tag) under the left side of the pennant.

Inside of card stamped with images from the Butterfly Basics stamp set.

I didn't want the inside of the card to be too plain, so after I stamped the sentiment on the Very Vanilla panel, I added a couple of ferns peeking in the right side and a striped line along the bottom. I don't always decorate the inside of cards, but I like the finished look it creates. And it doesn't take much time, especially if I remember to stamp the inside at the same time I'm making the front of the card. I should make it a goal to stamp the inside of my cards more often.

With all these butterflies, I'm definitely ready for spring. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Butterfly Basics cards

I was so excited when I saw the Butterfly Basics stamp set and coordinating Butterflies Thinlits dies in the 2015 Occasions catalog from Stampin' Up! I loved them immediately, and they were two of the first things I ordered. Way back in December. Since then I've cut out a few of the butterfly die cuts, but that was about it. Finally this week I pulled out the dies, stamp set, and four ink colors (Early Espresso, Pear Pizzazz, So Saffron and Calypso Coral) and created three cards.

Card featuring butterflies made with watercolor paper, ink refills and the Butterflies Thinlits dies or Bitty Butterfly punch.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Butterfly Basics, Gorgeous Grunge
Paper: Pear Pizzazz card stock, watercolor paper
Ink: Pear Pizzazz pad, Calypso Coral ink refill, So Saffron ink refill, Early Espresso pad and ink refill
Accessories: Butterflies Thinlits dies, Bitty Butterfly punch, pearls

I had an idea about making a watercolor butterfly, and I'm glad it turned out like I imagined. Here are the steps I followed:
Note: This can be a messy technique, so be sure you are working over a sink or an old towel to catch ink drips.
1. Trim a piece of watercolor paper to fit the die.
2. Wet the paper. I used a misting spray bottle, but you could also use a paintbrush and water.
3. Add drops of reinker in the desired color(s) to the paper. The wetter the paper is, the more the ink will spread, so you only need a couple of drops.
4. Gently tilt the paper different directions to spread and blend the colors.
5. When you are satisfied with the colors, set down the paper and place a white paper towel on top to soak up the extra ink and water. (This will lighten the colors a bit; on my paper the Early Espresso ink looked almost black until I removed some of the ink.)
6. Let the paper dry then punch or cut out the desired shapes.

After I cut out the large butterfly die, I used the Bitty Butterfly punch to punch out a few small butterflies from the remaining watercolor paper. I stamped a monotone card base -- I didn't want the background to compete with the colors of the butterflies -- and then adhered the bodies of the butterflies to the card, leaving the wings free. To finish the card I added a few pearls.

The fern image from the Butterfly Basics set is stamped repeatedly to make a frame for three stamped and die-cut butterflies.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Butterfly Basics, Gorgeous Grunge
Paper: Very Vanilla card stock
Ink: Early Espresso, Pear Pizzazz, So Saffron, Calypso Coral
Accessories: Butterflies Thinlits dies, burlap ribbon, Subtles Candy Dots, corner rounder, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

For this card I stamped the fern image multiple times around the edges of a Very Vanilla card base to create the look of a frame. It was a little too plain, so I added some speckles using one of the images from the Gorgeous Grunge set. For the focal point I stamped and cut out three lacy butterfly images: one each in So Saffron, Early Espresso and Calypso Coral. I embellished the butterflies with either a Candy Dot or a small bow (made with a strand from a piece of burlap ribbon) and used Dimensionals to adhere them in a column down the middle of the card.

Clean and simple collage-style card using Butterfly Basics and Butterflies Thinlits dies.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Butterfly Basics
Paper: Very Vanilla card stock
Ink: Early Espresso, Pear Pizzazz, So Saffron, Calypso Coral
Accessories: Best Year Ever buttons, Bitty Butterfly punch, pearls, linen thread, corner rounder, Dimensionals

This is a basic, clean and simple collage-style card. It's mostly just straightforward stamping, but the one thing I'll point out is that to make the lighter fern image, I applied ink to the rubber stamp, stamped the fern on the left and then stamped the fern on the right without reapplying ink.

I love how easy it was with this stamp set to simply stamp a few images, add a couple of embellishments and end up with a really pretty card. I know that receiving a card like this would definitely make me smile.

I know these stamps and dies will see a lot of use. I also created a little butterfly-themed gift ensemble -- birthday card, tag and gift box -- that I will share later this week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Creating a scene

I do not like being the center of attention; I'm much more of a blend-into-the-background kind of person. So I don't normally enjoy creating a scene ... unless it's stamped on a card. Here are a few stamped scenes I wanted to share with you:

Black card base with a kraft layer featuring a woodsy scene, including trees, dock, log cabin and birds, all stamped in black.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Pier Happiness (Raisin Boat), On Your Birthday
Paper: Basic Black, Crumb Cake card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Linen thread, Dimensionals

I love all the different elements in this stamp set and how easy it is to make an impressive card -- even a clean and simple one. I've seen cards made with this set that have beautiful coloring added to the images, but I wanted a quick, simple masculine card, so I used just Memento Tuxedo Black ink. I like how the black card base looks like a frame around the Crumb Cake panel.

To add a greeting and a little bit of dimension to the design, I stamped a birthday sentiment on a strip of Crumb Cake card stock, trimmed one end into a V, and wrapped linen thread around the other end. I used Dimensionals to adhere it in the bottom right corner, which was otherwise empty space.

Light blue card base with layer of kraft along the bottom for sand. Silhouette images of a palm tree, fence and two Adirondack chairs.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: By the Beach (Raisin Boat), Very Versatile
Paper: Soft Sky, Crumb Cake
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Ink, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Sycamore Street Designer Buttons, linen thread, Glue Dots

I wish I were in this scene right now! It's below zero today, and the wind has been whipping around. I'd take a warm sandy beach in a second.

For this card I started with a Soft Sky card base and used Memento Tuxedo Black ink to stamp the fence and palm tree along the middle of the card. I tore one edge of a piece of Crumb Cake card stock to create the look of sand, stamped the details in Crumb Cake ink and adhered it to the card so it covered the bottom edge of the fence. I stamped the two chairs, added a Crumb Cake flag with a sentiment and embellished it with a button tied with linen thread.

A Mossy Meadow card base with a Naturals Ivory panel stamped with a goose amidst rushes. A piece of Mossy Meadow ribbon and a row of pierced holes are along the bottom of the panel.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Wetlands
Paper: Mossy Meadow, Naturals Ivory card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Mossy Meadow
Accessories: Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack, paper-piercing tool, Mossy Meadow stitched satin ribbon, Glue Dots

To make this card I first stamped the goose image on a Naturals Ivory panel. Then I masked that image and stamped the rushes in Mossy Meadow along the middle of the card, stamping the image multiple times before re-inking to create different shades of green and a sense of depth. I removed the mask, stamped the sentiment and glued a piece of ribbon along the bottom of the rushes. For a final detail I added a row of pierced holes below the ribbon and then adhered the panel to a Mossy Meadow card base.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My favorite valentine

After I finished my one hundred valentines for Meals on Wheels, I realized that I hadn't made any valentines to send out myself. So that became last weekend's project. I wanted a design that was simple, but classic -- nothing frilly or mushy or too feminine. And since I needed to make about eighteen cards, which is more than I usually make of one design, I wanted a layout that I wouldn't get tired of. What I came up with may be my favorite valentine ever.

Naturals Ivory card base with a border doodled around the edges. Within the border are six hearts punched from paper with different patterns, colors and textures.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Basic Black, Naturals Ivory card stock; Natural Composition Specialty Designer Series Paper (DSP), DSP Patterns Stack - Brights, First Edition Specialty DSP, sheet music (unknown, recycled), cork sheet (unknown)
Ink: Project Life journaling pen
Accessories: Sweetheart punch, Lacy Brocade embossing folder, linen thread, rhinestones, Glue Dots

It just makes me so happy! It's perfect for anyone -- guys or girls, family or friends -- and the different patterns and textures add a lot of interest to the simple layout.

When I was making my Meals on Wheels valentines, one of the designs I really liked was a simple 4" x 4" card with four punched hearts adhered to the front. That was my starting point for this card, but I wanted to step it up just a little. In my paper stash I found a few neutral-colored prints and textures that worked well together, and then I added in a punch of red. The embossed Basic Black heart brings in another texture while also providing a visual break from the busy-ness of the different patterns.

I wanted to frame the hearts, so I doodled a border around the edges of the card front. If you're not a doodler, this might look hard or seem intimidating, but it's not. I just drew one wavy line all around the card, drew another line over it, and then drew a series of loops in one spot on each side. The best part is that each one looks different, and it doesn't have to be perfect. At all.

To finish the card I added a few simple rhinestones and a linen thread bow. I tied the bow, trimmed the ends of the thread and then used a Glue Dot to adhere it to the red heart. Here's a tip: If you roll the Glue dot into a tube, then it's small enough to hide behind the knot in the bow.

I hope you have a happy Valentine's Day. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A few flowers

I know it's only the beginning of February, but I'm ready for spring. Although this winter hasn't seemed as bad as some in recent memory (knock on wood), I seem to have less patience for it --especially the snow -- every year. So since I'm hankering for green grass and warm breezes, today I thought I'd focus on a few cards with flowers.

Multiple textures and patterns are combined in this card featuring a magenta and yellow flower with an ombre chevron background on a green card base.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Dictionary, Geo-Graphic (Paper Smooches)
Paper: Old Olive, Daffodil Delight, Purely Pomegranate, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Old Olive, Daffodil Delight
Accessories: Flower Fair Framelits dies, Brights buttons, Decorative Dots embossing folder, paper-piercing tool, 3/4" circle punch, white baker's twine

I love all the different patterns and textures on this card, as well as the bright, cheery colors. To make the ombre panel behind the flower, I used a chevron border stamp and Old Olive ink. For the top half of the panel (dark to light), I stamped the image along the top of the Whisper White card stock, re-inked the image and stamped again right below it. (This particular stamp is clear, so it was easy to line up the images, although my first one was still a little off.) For the next section, I stamped the image on scratch paper first and then on the card stock. For the lightest section, I stamped the image twice on scratch paper and then on the card stock. For the bottom half of the panel (light to dark), I just repeated the steps in reverse order. This was the first time I'd tried the technique, and I like the result.

Crumb Cake card with a focal image made from the negative space of a punched flower embellished with strips of washi tape.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Hardwood
Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Crumb Cake
Accessories: Fun Flower punch, Beach House washi tape, Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack, paper-piercing tool, rhinestones, Dimensionals

This is an easy technique that highlights the negative space created with a punch. Start with a piece of card stock that is the desired size and shape; my Crumb Cake card stock was about 3-1/4"square. Then punch the desired shape(s) out of the card stock and embellish the panel as desired: stamp, emboss, pierce, etc. (You can use the punched-out shapes inside your card or on the envelope to create a coordinating look, or save them for another project.) Cut another piece of card stock that will fit behind the punched-out shape in the main layer (I used a piece of Whisper White that was about 3" square) and cover it with strips of washi tape placed right next to each other. You also could use pieces of ribbon or patterned paper -- it's a great way to use up those little scraps that you just can't throw away. Adhere the piece to your card base (make sure you stamp or emboss the card base first, if desired) and attach the punched layer over it. I used Dimensionals to attach the punched layer to add more depth. Then finish your card as desired. I wanted to keep it simple, so I added three rhinestones in the lower right corner and one in the middle of the flower.

Light gray card with an embossed border, vanilla oval in the center and three light blue flowers.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: It's Your Birthday, Petite Petals
Paper: Going Gray, Soft Sky, Very Vanilla card stock
Ink: Going Gray
Accessories: Filigree Frame embossing folder, Petite Petals punch, Ovals Collection Framelits dies, Occasions Paper-Piercing Pack, paper-piercing tool, Subtles Candy Dots, pearls, sponge, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

The light gray and blue color palette, combined with the Filigree Frame embossing folder, creates a very soft feel on this card. For the focal point, I cut out a Very Vanilla oval, pierced around the edge and lightly added Going Gray ink with a sponge. I stamped the "Happy Birthday" sentiment and used Glue Dots to add three stamped and punched flowers. I adhered the oval to the middle of the card with Dimensionals and added simple embellishment with a few pearls and Candy Dots.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Vintage butterflies

For Christmas one of my friends sent me a present that included two vintage-style stamps: a typewriter and a butterfly on a text background. I wanted to send her a thank-you card, which was the perfect opportunity to use one of my new stamps.

Island Indigo card with a layer of Newsprint paper and a focal point of three butterflies.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Butterfly and text (unknown0
Paper: Island Indigo, Very Vanilla card stock; Newsprint Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Island Indigo
Accessories: Stampin' Spritzer, Beach House washi tape, Regals Candy Dots, pearls, yellow twine (Primio), 1/16" hole punch, sponge, Glue Dots

I don't make a lot of vintage-style cards, so it was fun to do something a little different. I started with an Island Indigo card base and gave it a distressed look by repeatedly tapping the surface of the Island Indigo ink pad on the card stock, changing the placement and orientation of the ink pad each time.

One of the prints in the pack of Newsprint DSP looks like old newspaper ads, and I thought that print worked well with the butterfly image. I cut a 4" x 5-1/4" piece of the DSP and tore off the right edge. To add a little color to the paper, I first tapped the Island Indigo ink pad on the paper a few times. Then I unscrewed the sprayer from a Stampin' Spritzer filled with Island Indigo ink and rubbing alcohol, and I let the liquid drip on the paper in a few spots. I also gently flicked the thin tube over the paper to make trails of ink. For contrast, I added two pieces of yellow washi tape near the upper left corner of the DSP.

Close-up photo showing the raised wings of the butterflies.
To adhere the DSP to the card base, I applied adhesive just along the left side, leaving the torn right edge free. Near the lower right corner I punched two small holes -- one on either side of the torn edge of DSP -- and tied a piece of yellow twine through the holes.

For the focal point, I stamped the butterfly and text image six times with Memento Tuxedo Black on Very Vanilla card stock. With three of the images, I trimmed around the text, leaving a narrow border. With the other three images, I cut out the butterfly shape, gently folded up the wings and used Glue Dots to adhere them over the full images. I like the little bit of depth and dimension that adds to the card.

I placed three small pearls on each butterfly and sponged Island Indigo ink around the edges of the rectangular pieces. I adhered the three butterfly pieces to the DSP in a column, leaving space between the bottom two to add three Crushed Curry Candy Dots.

Thanks for stopping by!