Sunday, June 28, 2015

Card contest winner

Yesterday I had a great time at a local rubber stamp show; I watched demos, did a few make-and-take projects, spent plenty of money ... and won a card contest! This is the second time I've won the card contest at this particular stamp show (the first time was in 2012), and first prize is $100 to spend at any of the vendors at the show. Yippee!

I have to confess that both of the cards I made for the contest were a challenge. The theme for the contest on Saturday was "Hobo Joe" (Sunday's theme was "Masquerade"), and my first thought was "What?! How do I make a card about hobos?" I don't have any hobo-themed stamps, so I had no idea what I was going to do. The only thing I could think of was the kerchief pack tied on a stick (which I learned is called a bindle), but beyond that I was stuck. After a few Google image searches to get some ideas, I focused on the idea of riding the rails for my first card:

Card made for a Rubber Stamp Events contest with the theme "Hobo Joe." First-place winner.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Wonderful Weaves, Hardwood, Love You S'More (Lawn Fawn), word stamp kit (Magnetic Poetry)
Paper: Whisper White, Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Soft Suede, Marina Mist, Wild Wasabi card stock; Newsprint Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Real Red, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Linen thread, Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

As I was looking over a sheet of Newsprint DSP, I discovered a few sections that looked like train schedules. I decided to cut out those sections, distress them a bit (by lightly rubbing them with Crumb Cake ink and curling up the corners) and create a scene that looked like the schedules were posted on a fence. To make the fence I stamped the Hardwood stamp on Soft Suede card stock using Chocolate Chip ink. I cut a little notch at each vertical line in the image to create the look of the separate boards in a fence. I adhered the fence to a Marina Mist card base and then added the pieces of DSP.

To make the bindle, I stamped an image from the Wonderful Weaves set on Whisper White card stock using Real Red ink. On the back of the image, I sketched an outline for the shape I wanted and cut it out. I used Chocolate Chip ink to add shadows and give the pouch some dimension, and then I tied a piece of linen thread around the top. I stamped and cut out the image of a stick (from the Lawn Fawn set Love You S'More) and glued it to the back of the pouch. I used Dimensionals to adhere the bindle to the card.

To finish the card, I added a few patches of grass (cut free-hand from Wild Wasabi card stock) and the words for the sentiment. I was pleased with how this card turned out, and I guess other people liked it, too, because this was the one that won the contest.

Card made for a Rubber Stamp Events contest with the theme "Hobo Joe."
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: World Map, Rough Edges Alphabet, Wanted
Paper: Bordering Blue, Real Red, Crumb Cake
Ink: Soft Suede, Bordering Blue, StazOn Cotton White
Accessories: Woodgrain and Square Lattice embossing folders, linen thread, medium metallic brads (Making Memories), corner rounder, sponge, Dimensionals

I decided to make the bindle the focal point for the second card, so I made it larger this time. I stamped a paisley pattern in white on Real Red card stock (I wish the white looked bolder) then embossed the card stock to create a textured, fabric look. I cut out the shape of the pouch and used Soft Suede ink to distress it. To make the stick, I drew the shape on a piece of Crumb Cake card stock, cut it out, embossed it with the Woodgrain embossing folder and sponged it with Soft Sued ink.

For the background of the card, I stamped the World Map stamp on Bordering Blue card stock using Bordering Blue ink. I rounded the bottom corners of the card, sponged Soft Suede ink around the edges and used Dimensionals to adhere the bindle to the card. I used a mini alphabet set to create my own sentiment and added a metallic brad in the upper right corner.

So, are you wondering what I bought with my winnings? Well, I had thought about it ahead of time and decided I really wanted to try the watercolor stamping technique by Art Impressions, so that's what I did. I was able to buy a starter kit, a bunch of markers, and four stamp sets, and I only spent a little of my own money after my prize winnings. I'm so excited to try out my new goodies!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Simple washi tape card set

Recently a friend mentioned to me that she was almost out of the handmade cards I had given her. Well, we can't have that now, can we? So I sat down to make her a new set of cards as soon as I had a chance.

Set of clean and simple cards featuring washi tape and the Just Sayin' stamp set.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Just Sayin'
Paper: 110-lb white card stock (Recollections)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Word Bubbles Framelits dies, Retro Fresh washi tape, yellow chevron washi tape (unknown), Avocado washi tape (We R Memory Keepers), silver sequin trim, glue dots, Dimensionals

This friend doesn't do a lot of crafting herself, but she fell in love with washi tape last winter when I was helping her with a little holiday project, so I knew I needed to use plenty of washi tape on my card set. And when I came across a Halloween card designed by another Stampin' Up! demonstrator, I knew that would be the perfect layout. The full set includes eight cards, two of each design pictured.

I didn't measure the washi tape as I was tearing pieces, so the background for each card is just a little different. For the focal images I used the Just Sayin' stamp set and Word Bubbles Framelits dies, and I added three silver sequins to each card for a simple embellishment. To dress up the envelopes I placed a strip of the yellow washi tape along the bottom of each envelope. I even made a box and tag out of kraft card stock (and washi tape, of course) to package the cards, but unfortunately I didn't get a picture of those.

And that's it! A quick and easy way to use washi tape to make a fun set of cards. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 19, 2015

A pair of Over the Rainbow cards

One of the stamp sets I was really excited about in the new Stampin' Up! catalog is Over the Rainbow. I love rainbows and rainbow colors and arranging things in rainbow order and anything else rainbow-y, so this set went right on my first order.

I had a chance to play with this new set last week, and here are the cards I created:

Card made with Over the Rainbow stamp set.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Over the Rainbow
Paper: 110-lb white card stock (Recollections)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Cucumber Crush, Tempting Turquoise, Pacific Point, Rich Razzleberry
Accessories: Chalk Talk Framelits dies, Decorative Dots embossing folder, Brights Sequin Assortment, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

I think this is such a cheerful-looking card; it would be the perfect way to encourage someone going through a tough time or just having a not-so-great day. I started by stamping the word "rainbow" on white card stock and then filled in the letters using the small "smudge" stamps in the set. I cut out the word by hand, which actually wasn't too bad since it's mostly straight lines. I made the clouds by embossing two die-cut word bubble shapes and adhered them to the ends of the "rainbow." I decided where I wanted to place the focal image (without adhering it), stamped the sun and sentiment, and then attached the rainbow to the card with Dimensionals. I added a few blue sequins to look like raindrops.

Card made with Over the Rainbow stamp set.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Over the Rainbow
Paper: Soft Sky, Whisper White card stock; gold paper (retired)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Smoky Slate
Accessories: 1-3/4" scallop circle punch, 1-1/2" circle punch, Chalk Talk Framelits dies, gold dot washi tape (Kamoi Kakoshi Co.), Bitty Buttons, gold thread, sponge, Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

This card just uses one stamp from the Over the Rainbow set: the sentiment. I love the fonts used in this set, and the sentiments are very different from others that I have, so it's a great addition to my collectoin. I think this card is pretty self-explanatory, so I'll just point out a few details:
- To make the sun I punched a scallop circle from gold paper and then punched it again, rotating the shape so the points for the second punch are in the middle of the scallops. (If you stick the scalloped circle on a self-stick note, you'll have a little handle so it's easier to make the second punch.) I also added a solid circle in the center. I used this technique on another recent card, and I love it.
- The clouds are lightly sponged with Smoky Slate ink to add a little dimension.
- I'd die-cut two clouds (which are really word bubble shapes), but I decided I wanted to have three clouds on the card. Solution? Cut one cloud in half and glue the pieces right to the edge of the card.

I'm looking forward to seeing what other designs I come up with for this set. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Garden in Bloom set sampler

One day last week I came home from work to find a box filled with Stampin' Up! goodies on my front porch. Yippee! One of the things I was excited to try out was the new Garden in Bloom stamp set. Originally I wasn't going to get this set because I have so, so many flower stamp sets. But I love flowers and flower stamp sets, so ... I caved.

I wanted to try out some different colors and layouts with the Garden in Bloom images, so I made a little set sampler: four one-layer cards that also use the sentiments from the set Four You and the Simply Scored tool.

Card made with Garden in Bloom and Four You stamp sets.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Garden in Bloom, Four You
Paper: 110-lb white card stock (Recollections)
Ink: Hello Honey, Delightful Dijon, Pear Pizzazz, Mossy Meadow, Soft Suede
Accessories: Simply Scored tool, Vintage Photo Distressed Stickles (Ranger), gold sequin trim, Glue Dots

I think this card is my favorite of the four; I love this combination of colors. I added a little sparkle by applying some Stickles glitter glue to the middle of the flowers and adding three gold sequins. With the Simply Scored tool I made a debossed (indented) border on this card. I used the stylus to make a score line 1/4" from the edge all around the card, skipping over the parts where the stamped image crossed the score line.

Card made with Garden in Bloom and Four You stamp sets.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Garden in Bloom, Four You
Paper: 110-lb white card stock (Recollections)
Ink: Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, Pear Pizzazz, Baked Brown Sugar, Soft Suede
Accessories: Simply Scored tool, Blushing Bride sequin trim, Glue Dots

For this card I used the same flower as the first card, but without the outline part of the image. I also used the flower bud image to fill in the white space. (Both layers of the flower bud are stamped in Calypso Coral; the bottom layer is stamped on scratch paper first to get a lighter shade.) I added three Blushing Bride sequins around the sentiment and used the Simply Scored tool to add an embossed border 1/4" from the edge all around the card.

Clean and simple card made with Garden in Bloom and Four You stamp sets.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Garden in Bloom, Four You
Paper: 110-lb white card stock (Recollections)
Ink: Bashful Blue, Marina Mist, Pear Pizzazz
Accessories: Simply Scored tool, White Perfect Accents

This layout would work for just about any occasion by changing the sentiment. In fact, it would make a quick and easy card set by doing a group of cards with a variety of colors and/or sentiments. For a simple embellishment I added the new White Perfect Accents as the flower centers. For the border on this card, I made the score line across the top of the card and then partially down each side, stopping about 1-1/2" from the bottom of the card.

Clean and simple card made with Garden in Bloom and Four You stamp sets.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Garden in Bloom, Four You
Paper: 110-lb white card stock (Recollections)
Ink: Hello Honey, Calypso Coral, Marina Mist, Baked Brown Sugar, Soft Suede
Accessories: Simply Scored Tool, pearls

For something other than flowers, I used the butterfly image to make this birthday card. I stamped the first layer of the butterflies in Hello Honey, Calypso Coral, and Marina Mist. Then I stamped the darker layer in Baked Brown Sugar and the outline in Soft Suede for each one. A couple of pearls, a sentiment, and an embossed border are the finishing touches.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Garden update: One month

This year I decided to take pictures of our garden each month and write a brief update for my blog. My plan is to do the update on the 13th of each month, since I wrote my original garden post on May 13, 2015. So far I'm right on track. Here are the June pictures:

Garden on June 13, 2015.
A view of the whole garden. Most of the herbs are coming up in the pots; the dill, in the reddish pot, is definitely in the lead.

Zucchini flower on June 13, 2015.
There are several blossoms on the zucchini plants.

Cucumbers on June 13, 2015.



The cucumbers are growing slowly but surely. I know once they get going they'll be crazy, so I'm okay with the slow start. We've been giving them a little help by guiding them toward the trellis.

Kale and lettuce on June 13, 2015.
The kale (left) and lettuce are going strong. We've already harvested lettuce twice. We just pull off a few of the outside (bottom) leaves from each plant when we want some for salads or sandwiches. (You can tell we need to do some more weeding here. It's a really tricky area because it's kind of blocked in on all sides: the rhubarb on the right, trellis in front, bean towers on the left, and the garden fence in the back. We'll have to keep that in mind for next year.)

The beans are starting to grow up the bean towers (June 13, 2015).
The beans are starting to vine up the towers. We only had about nine sprouts come up from the first planting, so a couple of weeks ago we planted more seeds, and now I think we have close to twenty.

Pepper blossoms coming (June 13, 2015).


The pepper plants are getting buds/flowers. We have one plant each of red, yellow, and green bell peppers. I also planted a red pepper seed pod that was starting to sprout. Unfortunately, I pulled the leaves when I was over-zealously weeding one day. Bummer. I'm not sure if that one will come back or not.

The back of the garden and the flower bed (June 13, 2015).
Here is the back of the garden (from left to right): pepper cages, poles for the peas, carrots, and watermelon. We are having no luck with the peas, and we've planted seeds twice. We might try one more time just for the heck of it. The carrots are starting to sprout (see photo below), but the watermelon hasn't gotten much bigger. We've had a lot of rain over the past month, which is great, but I think the watermelon would prefer the weather to be a little warmer and drier.

Carrots on June 13, 2015.
Here are the carrots. I'm glad they finally started coming up; every time I went out to pull weeds I was sure that I was probably pulling out the carrots. Now it's easier to tell what's weeds and what's baby carrots.

Tomatoes and eggplant on June 13, 2015.

The three tomato plants have grown quite a bit -- two of them have blossoms -- but the eggplant is taking its time. We also had a garden surprise when two stalks of asparagus came up between the tomato cages. The first one didn't last very long, but the second one, which is really skinny, just kept growing until it was taller than the tomato cages and then it went to seed. It's the feathery-looking stalk on the left side of the photo.

Our first tomato, an Indigo Rose (June 13, 2015).
We even have one tomato already growing! This is an Indigo Rose tomato plant.

Broccoli and Brussels sprouts on June 13, 2015.



The broccoli (top) and Brussels sprouts (bottom) are coming along, too. I'm especially amazed with the broccoli, because last year the rabbits feasted on our broccoli; as soon as a leaf appeared, it was gobbled up. But with the fence up this year, we haven't had any problems with the rabbits. We do have an adorable baby bunny who likes to hang out in our backyard, but he seems perfectly content eating grass and weeds, which is fine by me.

Our first strawberry (June 13, 2015).
The strawberries are getting big, too, and we have one berry so far. These plants are an everbearing variety, rather than June-bearing, so we should get strawberries all summer rather than just one early crop. That is, of course, if we can get to the berries before the birds and squirrels.

Milkweed (June 13, 2015)



This picture and the next one are from our flower bed by the alley. (You can see it in the picture above with the twisty poles and the watermelon.) This plant is milkweed, and there are actually several of them in the flower bed. It came up by itself after we pulled out the black plastic-y ground covering, and we weren't sure what it was at first. We had bought a few milkweed seedlings, but they haven't really flourished, so we were excited when we finally realized that's what this was.
Sunflowers (June 13, 2015)
The sunflowers are coming up, along with a number of other flowers -- we scattered lots of different flower seeds over the flower bed. The sunflowers are a mammoth variety, so they can grow up to 12 feet tall. I'm curious to see how tall ours will actually get.

When we look at the garden every day, it doesn't seem like it's changed much. But when you compare these photos to the ones in my first garden post, you can see there's an amazing difference. I wonder how much the garden will change during the next month. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Just under the wire

I've been on a roll with card-making challenges, so I decided I would participate in one more this week. When I checked the Raisin Boat blog, I discovered that the deadline for their monthly challenge was tomorrow. Talk about getting in just under the wire. So with no time to waste, here is the card I created this evening:

Graduation or congratulations card made with the Off to Party stamp set from Raisin Boat.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Off to Party (Raisin Boat), Essential Messages (Hero Arts)
Paper: Soft Sky, Cucumber Crush, Chocolate Chip, Crushed Curry, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Cucumber Crush, Chocolate Chip, Crushed Curry, Pacific Point, Real Red, Smoky Slate, Basic Gray, Delightful Dijon, Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: 1-3/4" scallop circle punch, 1-1/2" circle punch, Cupcake Builder punch, Pacific Point striped grosgrain ribbon, sponge, Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

The theme for this month's Raisin Boat challenge was graduation. As it happens, I don't need any graduation cards this year, so I decided to make a card that would work for several different milestones, including graduation, a new job, retirement, or moving away.

I started with the set Off to Party and stamped the car in Pacific Point. I stamped the bottom part of the car again in Smoky Slate and Memento Tuxedo Black for the fender and tires. I cut out all the pieces and glued them together. I also stamped, colored, and cut out the image of two suitcases and adhered them behind the cut-out windshield. For the final touches I colored the taillights Real Red and stamped the "personalized" license plate.

To create the scene I started with a Soft Sky card base and added a hill (Cucumber Crush) and a road (Chocolate Chip). I sponged the road and the hill with the same colors of ink to add a little depth. The punch-art sun happened to be sitting on the table, left over from a card I made yesterday, and it was perfect for this card. Yippee! To make the sun, I used an idea I read on another stamper's blog: I punched a scallop circle from Crushed Curry card stock, then punched it again, rotating the shape so the points for the second punch are in the middle of the scallops. (If you stick the scalloped circle on a self-stick note, you'll have a little handle so it's easier to make the second punch.) I punched a solid circle for the center and sponged both pieces with Crushed Curry ink before gluing them together. The Cupcake Builder punch was the perfect way to make a few fluffy clouds.

The last step was to add a sentiment to the card. I stamped the sentiment on a strip of Whisper White card stock, cut the ends into banner shapes, and added two folds at each end to create some dimension. A small piece of ribbon on each end of the banner was the perfect finishing touch.

Thanks for stopping by!

A spring garden and a new challenge

A few days ago I happened to come across a new challenge blog called Stamp, Ink, Paper. This week is the very first challenge, so I decided to play along. The theme for the challenge is "Getting to know you" (now I'm humming that song from The King and I), and the only requirement is to make a card using your favorite stamps, ink colors, and paper. Here is what I created:

Card made with Spring Garden stamp set and Brick Wall embossing folder.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Spring Garden
Paper: Regular and thick Whisper White card stock
Ink: Certainly Celery, Old Olive, Mossy Meadow, Daffodil Delight, Real Red, Lovely Lilac, Baja Breeze, Soft Suede
Accessories: Brick Wall embossing folder, linen thread, Brights Sequin Assortment, Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen (ZIG), corner rounder, Glue Dots, Dimensionals

I don't know if I could choose one favorite stamp set, but Spring Garden would definitely make my top ten. First of all, it's flowers. 'Nuff said. And second, I don't think I've ever made a card I didn't like using this stamp set. (Though I do remember making a card that was upside down. It had some of the yellow flowers on it, and when I finished the card front, I realized the opening was at the top. Oops.)

Here are some other things this card reveals about me:

Colors
I don't necessarily have favorite ink colors -- what I like depends on my mood, what I'm creating, and heck, maybe even the weather -- but I do so love Baja Breeze. I admit that I was a little sad when Stampin' Up! retired that color. So I had to use that color for the butterflies on my card. And the flower colors (Real Red, Daffodil Delight, and Lovely Lilac) are definitely my go-to colors for this stamp set.

Stamp, ink, paper challenge 1: Getting to know you.
Clean and simple
Most of the cards I make are clean, simple, and generally unfussy; they might be just a stamped card base or have one layer of card stock with the focal image (like this one), and they don't usually have a ton of embellishments. I don't dislike those "fancier" cards (I do make those cards, too), but it's not my natural card-making style. While this card has a lot of color in the focal image, the rest of the card is basic white with a little texture in the background and a simple linen thread bow.

Sparkle
I like to add a little sparkle on my cards, and I'll confess that when I make a masculine birthday card, for example, it's hard not to add a few rhinestones. Lately I'm obsessed with sequins, and I love the Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen. So on this card I added three green sequins, and I brushed glitter on the butterflies' wings. Unfortunately, you can't see the sparkle on the butterflies because it's a rainy, dreary day here, and I was having a heck of a time taking a decent picture (this was my third different set-up). You'll have to imagine it.

'Fussy cutting'
I actually like cutting out stamped images; for some reason I find it relaxing. Or maybe meditative is a better word. Even when I have Framelits or other dies that will cut out a stamped image, I often prefer to just grab my paper snips and trim it by hand. So after stamping my three butterflies, I cut them out and used little pieces of Dimensionals adhesive to stick them on the focal layer.

Well, that's a little about my card-making style and a few of my favorite things (okay, now I'm singing that song from The Sound of Music). I had a lot of fun with this challenge and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 8, 2015

French country style for a color challenge

Since I had fun creating a card for the last Fab Friday challenge -- and my card was even chosen as one of the Fab Four! Woo hoo! -- I decided to take a stab at the next challenge, too. This round was a color challenge featuring Hello Honey, Marina Mist and Night of Navy.

Card made with the Carte Postale stamp set and the colors Hello Honey, Marina Mist and Night of Navy for the Fab Friday 65 challenge.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Carte Postale
Paper: Marina Mist, Night of Navy, Very Vanilla card stock
Ink: Marina Mist, Night of Navy, Hello Honey ink pads and markers
Accessories: Chalk Talk Framelits dies, Lacy Brocade embossing folder, Hello Honey stitched satin ribbon, Shine & Sparkle sequin tubes (Hazel & Ruby), color spritzer, sponge, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

These colors would be a great combo for a Father's Day card, but they always make me think of French Proven├žal or French country design. (I even noticed these three hues on a chart of Provence colors.) So I pulled out an old French-themed stamp set, Carte Postale, and created a card with a feminine feel.

I started with a Marina Mist card base and stamped the branch image repeatedly across the card front using Marina Mist ink. I added a touch of darker blue to the background by spritzing the Night of Navy marker over the stamped images and sponging ink along the edges

To add a little texture I embossed a small piece of Night of Navy card stock with the Lacy Brocade embossing folder. I tore a bit of card stock off the top and the bottom of the strip and adhered it near the upper left corner of the card base.

Fab Friday 65 color challenge: Hello Honey, Marina Mist, Night of Navy.
For the focal point, I used Hello Honey and Marina Mist markers to apply ink to the floral image and stamped it on Very Vanilla card stock. I used one of the Chalk Talk Framelits dies to cut out the image and then sponged the edges of the shape with Night of Navy ink. I stamped the bird on a separate piece of Very Vanilla card stock, cut it out and adhered it to the focal panel with Dimensionals. I stamped "Bonjour" in Marina Mist, added a bit of Hello Honey ribbon and attached the focal panel to the card base with Dimensionals.

To finish off the card I stamped "Mon Amie" in the lower right corner using Night of Navy and added a few simple sequins.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Masculine cards in neutral colors

I'm finally getting to the end of the birthday card stash I gave my uncle last month. In this post I'm going to share the last three cards, which are all masculine designs featuring neutral colors. Although I created these as birthday cards, the designs also would be great for other occasions -- such as thank you, retirement, or Father's Day -- by just changing the sentiment.

Note: I apologize for the poor, very shadowy pictures. If you have any questions about something that is hard to see in the photos (or anything else), please leave me a comment, and I will respond as soon as I can.

Masculine birthday card made with embossed background and 3D stamp paint.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Vintage Labels
Paper: Crumb Cake, Basic Gray card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Clockworks embossing folder (Cuttlebug), Basics Glimmer Brads, 1" circle punch, copper cord (unknown), Walnut Brown and Silver 3D stamp paints (Viva Decor), distressing tool (Making Memories), spouncer stencil brush (Plaid)

Combining an embossed background and 3D stamp paint is an easy way to make an impressive background. For this card I embossed a piece of Basic Gray card stock with the Clockworks embossing folder and then used a spouncer brush to apply Walnut Brown and Silver 3D stamp paint all over the card stock. (The paint dries almost immediately, so there's very little waiting time.) By applying the paint in a circular motion, the colors blend together in some spots.

I embossed a second piece of card stock, cut out the largest gear and painted it. I used a metallic brad to attach the gear to the panel, so it actually turns. I distressed the edges of the card stock panel, wrapped copper cord around the bottom portion, tied on a Crumb Cake tag stamped with "Happy Birthday" and adhered the completed panel to a Crumb Cake card base.

Masculine birthday card made with Papa's Pocket stamp set.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Papa's Pocket, It's Your Birthday
Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla card stock
Ink: Basic Gray, Early Espresso ink refill
Accessories: Linen thread, Naturals Designer Buttons, distressing tool (Making Memories), Aqua Painter

For this card I made my own background by repeatedly stamping images from the Papa's Pocket set using Basic Gray ink on a Crumb Cake card base. (Tip: When stamping a collage-style background, start with the largest images and work toward the smallest ones so it is easier to fill in empty spaces.) Then I used an Aqua Painter brush to pick up a little bit of Early Espresso ink and lightly tapped the brush to make the spatters. I stamped the sentiment on a strip of Very Vanilla card stock, tore the right end of the strip and accented the left side with a wooden-looking button tied with linen thread. To add to the vintage feel of the card, I used a distressing tool along the edges of the card front.

Masculine card made with Wolf stamp set.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Wolf
Paper: Basic Black, Sahara Sand, Shimmery White card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Hello Honey, Sahara Sand
Accessories: Wood sheets, Birch Tree embossing folder (Darice), Cappuccino baker's twine (Hemptique), Aqua Painter, Dimensionals

For the focal image on this card, I stamped the wolf's head on Shimmery White card stock. Using an Aqua Painter brush, I applied a quick wash of Sahara Sand ink over the image and then added a bit of Hello Honey ink to the eyes to make them stand out. I tore the edges of the card stock around the image to add some texture.

For the background, I embossed a piece of Sahara Sand card stock with the Birch Trees embossing folder. I adhered a strip of the wood sheets across the top portion of the embossed card stock and tied a piece of baker's twine around it. (You can't tell in the photo, but the baker's twine is actually a subtle cream and white stripe.) I used Dimensionals to adhere the focal image over the knot in the twine and then attached the completed panel to a Basic Black card base.

Thanks for stopping by!


Birthday cards with 'short on time' tips

Are you ready for more birthday cards? Here are three fun and festive designs that will help make the recipient's special day even better. And while all three cards are already pretty clean and simple, I've also included tips for modifying the designs so you can create each one in just a few minutes. Perfect for those times when you need a last-minute birthday card.

Birthday card made with Banner Blast stamp set and coordinating punch.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Perfect Party, Banner Blast
Paper: Lucky Limeade, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Lucky Limeade, Island Indigo, Pool Party, Hello Honey
Accessories: Banner punch, wooden stars (from Hooray It's Your Day card kit), Mono Multi liquid glue, Glue Dots

My first step for this card was to stamp several little banners on Whisper White card stock and then punch them out. I played around with the arrangement on the front of the card and then adhered them when I was happy with the design. (I had enough punched pieces left over to also include a banner on the inside of the card.) Then I simply stamped the sentiment and glued on a few wooden stars.

Short on time? Skip stamping the banners and just punch the pieces from coordinating patterns of Designer Series Paper (DSP). Use self-stick embellishments (e.g., rhinestones or candy dots) instead of the stars so there's no drying time for glue.

Birthday card made with Woo Hoo! stamp and polka dot-embossed card base.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Woo Hoo!
Paper: Real Red, Basic Black, Whisper White card stock; silver glimmer paper
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Blenabilities: Soft Sky, Daffodil Delight, Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive, Skin Tones assortments
Accessories: Decorative Dots embossing folder, foam dots (unknown)

I love this stamp with all the different birthday greetings and fonts. And it's easy to use -- just stamp and color. I hand cut around the scalloped edge and mounted it on a piece of Basic Black card stock that is about the same size but angled so you can still see the color at each corner. I embossed the card base, added a bit of silver glimmer paper (this piece was left over from using the Tasteful Trims die) for a little sparkle, and adhered the focal point to the card with foam dots.

Short on time? Skip the "fussy cutting" and cut or trim the focal image on the dashed-line border around the words. Color in just the slice of cake for a pop of color and use a straight strip of glimmer paper. Omit the embossed background or replace it with a simple layer of coordinating DSP.

Birthday card made with Endless Birthday Wishes stamp set. Stamp the words to create a background and add the cake as the focal point.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Endless Birthday Wishes
Paper: Smoky Slate, Old Olive, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Smoky Slate, Memento Tuxedo Black; Blendabilities: Smoky Slate, Old Olive, Daffodil Delight, Soft Sky assortments
Accessories: Honeycomb embossing folder, Scallop Edge border punch, Regals Candy Dots, 1/8" silver ribbon, Mono Multi liquid glue, foam dots (unknown)

The Endless Birthday Wishes stamp set has a number of different words and phrases that you can combine to make different sentiments. For the focal image on this card I stamped several of the individual words with Smoky Slate ink to make a background. I stamped the cake image over the words and created a quick shadow with a few marker strokes. Then I stamped the cake image again on a separate piece of Whisper White card stock, colored it, cut it out and glued it over the cake image on the focal panel. I layered the piece on Old Olive card stock, added a scalloped Daffodil Delight border (love how that mimics the decoration on the cake) and placed a Candy Dot in the upper right corner. To finish the card I wrapped a piece of silver ribbon around the embossed card base and adhered the focal panel with foam dots.

Short on time? Stamp the cake once on the focal panel, color it (if desired) and stamp one word below the cake. Omit the punched scalloped border or replace it with a mat of Daffodil Delight around the whole focal panel.

Did you like the "short on time" tips? Were they useful or too obvious? If you found them helpful, leave me a comment below, and I'll try to include them in future posts. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Birthday cards for kids

I'm back to birthday cards for the next few posts so I can finish sharing the cards I gave my uncle for his birthday last month. Today I have four card designs that are great for kids.

Kids birthday card using Calling All Heroes stamp set.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Calling All Heroes
Paper: Pacific Point, Crushed Curry, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Pacific Point, Crushed Curry, Real Red, Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Arrows embossing folder, extra-large oval punch, Real Red cotton ribbon, stapler (Making Memories), Dimensionals

This is a fun card for any superhero or comic book fan. I stamped the faces on Whisper White card stock, punched them out, and adhered them to an embossed Pacific Point card base. For embellishment I added three stars and a lightning bolt (stamped and cut out of Crushed Curry card stock) and stapled on a small piece of Real Red ribbon. If I were to make this card again I would switch the placement of the two faces on the bottom so there would be some Real Red on the right side of the card.

Kids birthday card using Sweetie Pie and Sweetie Pie Frames stamp sets.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Sweetie Pie, Sweetie Pie Frames
Paper: 110-lb white (Recollections), Whisper White card stock
Ink: Smoky Slate, Memento Tuxedo Black; Blendabilities: Skin Tones, Soft Sky, Old Olive assortments
Accessories: 1/8" silver ribbon, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

I bought the Sweetie Pie stamp set when it came out because I thought it was really cute (and to be honest, partly because it seemed like everyone else was buying it or wanted it; I didn't want to miss out). But once I got it, I wasn't sure how to use it. So it sat, neglected. When I decided to use it for this birthday card, I remembered seeing a card by demonstrator named Lydia (she is amazingly talented and artistic). She had stamped all the faces to make a background and colored in just one as the focal point. So I decided to take a stab at it.

Originally I was going to stamp each face separately, so I was worried my spacing would be off. But then I realized that -- duh! -- I could put all the images together on my largest clear block and just stamp the background once. So to line up the stamps, I marked off a 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" section on a piece of grid paper. I placed all the stamps in that section, image side down, adjusted them until I was happy with the arrangement and then just pressed my clear block down on the stamps. After I inked the stamps, I stamped them on my grid paper to double-check the placement. (I cut out that section of grid paper and saved it with the stamp set, so next time I can just place the stamps directly over the images to get the same placement.) Then I stamped them on my card base. For the focal image, I stamped just one of the faces on a separate piece of white card stock, stamped a frame around it, and colored the images. I hand-cut the image, adhered it to the card base with Dimensionals and added a silver bow. Inside the card is the sentiment "It's all about you. Happy birthday."

Festive birthday card using the Packed for Birthday stamp.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Packed for Birthday
Paper: Tempting Turquoise, Basic Black, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; markers: Chocolate Chip, Baked Brown Sugar, So Saffron, Real Red, Tangelo Twist, Daffodil Delight, Old Olive, Tempting Turquoise
Accessories: Large Polka Dot embossing folder, Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack, paper-piercing tool, Dimensionals

The Packed for Birthday stamp is a fun one because you can ink up and stamp (or cut out) just some of the images or use the whole stamp, as I did here. I chose bright, festive shades to color in the images and then matted the piece with Basic Black card stock. I pierced holes around the edges of the black card stock and adhered the panel to a Tempting Turquoise card base embossed with large polka dots.

Kids birthday card made by using small pieces of patterned paper to create presents.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Remembering Your Birthday
Paper: Crumb Cake card stock, Pawsitively Prints Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Bow Builder punch, Mono Multi liquid glue, Glue Dots, Dimensionals

This design is a great way to use up scraps and small pieces of DSP. For this card I cut three different DSP patterns into squares or rectangles then chose coordinating prints to make strips for "ribbons." I used the Bow Builder punch to make a bow for each present. Then I layered them on the card base and stamped a sentiment. Easy peasy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 1, 2015

May 2015 Paper Pumpkin: Alternate card designs

I was pretty excited about the May 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit, Birthday Bundle. Who couldn't use a few extra gift bags and birthday cards to have on hand, right? I sat down yesterday to assemble my kit, and I put the bags together following the instructions. I liked them as-is, and it was easy to decorate them and then leave them folded flat to store with my other gift bags until I need them.

When it came to the cards, though, I wanted to play around a little. The suggested card design was fine: It coordinated with the bags, was suitable for any age or gender, and would be easy to create for a last-minute card. But it was a little plain for me. I thought about just adding a few simple embellishments, like ribbon, rhinestones, or sequins, but instead I decided to change up the layout and create some new designs.

Six alternate card designs for the May 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit, Birthday Bundle.

Below are pictures of the individual cards as well as the supplies used for each. In general I used the three other coordinating ink colors (Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, and Crushed Curry) in addition to the Island Indigo included in the kit, I added embellishments, and I used a few different punches. The only extra paper I used was silver glimmer paper and vellum card stock.

Note: All of the following cards were made with the May 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit, Birthday Bundle. Additional supplies used are listed for each card. All materials are from Stampin' Up!

Alternate card design for the May 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit, Birthday Bundle.
Additional supplies:
Ink: Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, Crushed Curry
Accessories: Rhinestones

This layout is the most similar to the design in the kit instructions. I cut 1/2" off one end of the patterned strip of card stock and then trimmed each end into banner points. I stamped the three balloons on one of the white circles included in the kit (I had an extra because I didn't use the circle on one of my cards) and cut them out. I stamped the balloon strings on the card base and used Dimensionals to adhere the balloons and sentiment layer on the card. I added a few rhinestones for a little sparkle.

Alternate card design for the May 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit, Birthday Bundle.
Additional supplies:
Accessories: Daffodil Delight pompom trim, Calypso Coral baker's twine, Bermuda Bay sequin trim, Best Year Ever buttons, Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack, paper-piercing tool, Glue Dots

This layout is also similar to the suggested design; it's simply turned on its side. This time I trimmed just one end of the patterned strip into banner points, and I placed the straight end right at the top of the card. To add some interest to the focal point, I pierced a border around the circle and added pompom trim around it. (Tip: It helps to use a double layer of Dimensionals to adhere the focal point to the card because of the thickness of the pompom trim.)  For extra embellishment, I added a Calypso Coral button tied with a bow of Calypso Coral baker's twine and a few Bermuda Bay sequins.

Alternate card design for the May 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit, Birthday Bundle.
Additional supplies:
Stamps: All Shook Up (December 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit)
Ink: Bermuda Bay
Accessories: Calypso Coral baker's twine, Bermuda Bay sequin trim, Glue Dots

I love that this card looks like a fun present. To achieve this look, cut the patterned strip into three strips 1/2" wide. Adhere two of them to the card, one horizontally and one vertically, to look like ribbon on a gift box. You can use the third strip to create a bow, which I did, or adhere it inside the card for a fun pop of color. For stamping I used one of the extra tags from the kit instead of the white circle. (The circle was used on the first card above.) I did have to find a different birthday stamp to fit on the tag; this one happens to be from the December 2014 Paper Pumpkin Kit, All Shook Up. If you don't have another stamp handy, you could use the "To:/From:" image from this kit and fill it out like a gift tag. Then you could tuck a gift card inside the card, and there you go: card and present in one. To embellish this card I added Calypso Coral baker's twine and Bermuda Bay sequins.

Alternate card design for the May 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit, Birthday Bundle.
Additional supplies:
Paper: Vellum card stock
Ink: Calypso Coral, Crushed Curry
Accessories: Banner punch, white baker's twine, Bermuda Bay sequin trim, Glue Dots, Mono Multi liquid glue

For this card I punched twelve banner shapes out of the patterned strip from the kit. (I used six on the card front and six for a banner inside the card.) But the little banners were overpowered by the bold stripes of the card base, so to soften the stripes I used a 4" x 5-1/4" piece of vellum. (Tip: Adhere all the pieces onto the vellum first. Then apply the adhesive on the back of the vellum so it is hidden by the balloons and banners.) The balloons were stamped on the white card stock circle and then cut out. I adhered baker's twine to the back of each balloon and then placed a tiny drop of glue at the bottom of the vellum to keep the twine straight. I finished the layout with a few sequins (I love those things!).

Alternate card design for the May 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit, Birthday Bundle.
Additional supplies:
Paper: Silver glimmer paper
Accessories: Island Indigo cotton ribbon, large star punch, Itty Bitty Accents punch pack, Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack, paper-piercing tool, Glue Dots

For this card and the next one, I didn't stamp any birthday sentiments. These cards could be used for celebrating a variety of different occasions, such as graduation, a new job, or another milestone or accomplishment. For this card I wrapped Island Indigo ribbon around the card base and tied it in a knot. Then I cut the patterned strip of card stock in half and adhered the two pieces to the card base so they formed a block of color. I pierced holes along the edge of the white card stock circle and then punched a large star in the center. I adhered the circle to the patterned layer with Dimensionals and added a small silver star in the center. A cluster of three silver stars in the upper right corner finishes the card.

Alternate card design for the May 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit, Birthday Bundle.
Additional supplies:
Paper: Silver glimmer paper
Ink: Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, Crushed Curry
Accessories: Daffodil Delight pompom trim, Itty Bitty Accents punch pack, Glue Dots

This card definitely has a cheerful, celebratory feel to it, doesn't it? I started by cutting the patterned strip in two strips each 3/4" wide. Then I trimmed 3/8" off the long edge of the card front -- I saved that strip and used it inside the card -- and adhered one of the patterned strips to the back of the card front. I cut the second strip in half and trimmed one end of each piece into banner points. I glued the pieces to the card front so they look like the tails on a blue-ribbon award. For the focal image I stamped the "celebrate" sentiment several times in different colors on the white circle and then adhered pom pom trim around it. I used a double layer of Dimensionals to adhere the circle over the top of the "tails" and added a few silver glimmer stars as embellishment.

I'm excited to add these cards to my stash, and I hope the recipients enjoy them. Thanks for stopping by!