Friday, July 31, 2015

Miss you two

Today I have two cute miss-you card designs to share with you. They would be great cards to send to far-flung loved ones or even a nearby friend you haven't seen in awhile because of life's busy-ness.

Miss-you card made with the For the Birds stamp set.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: For the Birds
Paper: Whisper White, Brilliant Blue card stock; 110-lb. white card stock (Recollections)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Colored pencils and blender pencil (Prismacolor), Arrows embossing folder, Nesting Squares Rounded Quickutz dies (We R Memory Keepers), linen thread, Bold Brights brads, Gingham Garden washi tape, Dimensionals

I'm trying to get a little more "artistic" with my coloring, so I worked on shading and blending with my colored pencils for the focal image on this clean and simple card. The shadows could have been a bit darker, but overall I think it's pretty good.

I die cut the image and layered it on a piece of Brilliant Blue card stock that was also die cut and then embossed and tied with linen thread. The small "flag" of washi tape accents the bit of yellow in the focal image.

Miss-you card made with Stitched Hillside Borders dies from Lawn Fawn and Up, Up & Away stamp set from Stampin' Up!
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Up, Up & Away
Paper: Soft Sky, Whisper White, textured Wild Wasabi card stock; Designer Series Paper (DSP) Patterns Pack - In Color, DSP Patterns Pack II
Ink: Real REd, Early Espresso
Accessories: Stitched Hillside Borders Lawn Cuts dies (Lawn Fawn), paper flowers - yellow aster and red starflower (Jolee's by You), Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

I used three different shades of green paper -- two patterned DSPs and one textured card stock -- to make the rolling hills for the scene on this card. I stamped, cut out and adhered the balloon to the card base with Dimensionals (the basket is stamped directly on the base) and then stamped the birds and sentiment. For a touch of color I added a few little red and yellow flowers, though I realize they're much too large in terms of perspective. Artistic license, I say. This card would work just as well with a different sentiment -- hello, thinking of you, etc. -- or even no sentiment at all.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Summer Smooches stationery ensemble

Last month one of my good friends celebrated her birthday. While I was shopping for the perfect gift, I came across a red ceramic berry basket that I really liked: it was both pretty and practical. I bought it and made a cute little stationery ensemble to tuck inside:

Stationery ensemble featuring Summer Smooches DSP in a red ceramic berry basket.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! except "Other items"):
Paper: Summer Smooches Designer Series Paper (DSP), Crumb Cake note cards and envelopes
Ink: Real Red, Tangerine Tango, Daffodil Delight, Lucky Limeade, Island Indigo, Rich Razzleberry
Accessories: Punches: 7/8" scallop circle, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, Bird Builder, corner rounder; ribbons: Real Red cotton, Pumpkin Pie taffeta, Daffodil Delight stitched grosgrain, Daffodil Delight 1/8" taffeta, Old Olive 1/8" taffeta, Lucky Limeade ruffled, Island Indigo cotton, Island Indigo 1/4" satin (from Sycamore Street pack), Rich Razzleberry taffeta; Glue Dots; Mono Multi liquid glue; sponge
Other items: Clothespins, Pentel RSVP pens, self-stick notepads, pre-cut notepad holder (unknown), magnetic strip

I love the bright, cheerful colors of the Summer Smooches DSP -- perfect for a summer gift. The ensemble includes six note cards and envelopes, a holder with two self-stick notepads, two pens and six clothespin clips with magnets on the back.

Stationery ensemble includes six note cards and envelopes, a holder with two self-stick notepads, two pens and six clothespin clips with magnets on the back.

Pentel RSVP pens decorated with Summer Smooches DSP inside the barrels and coordinating ribbons tied on the caps.

The notepad holder (below) I bought pre-cut at a rubber stamp expo years ago, and I've had it (and a few others) tucked away in one of my stamping bins since then. To finish it I just cut pieces of DSP to fit the back, front and spine of the holder and added a punched flower like those on the cards.

Inside I included two brightly colored self-stick notepads. I originally wanted to use white notepads, but I couldn't find them at the two stores I checked. I decided the next best thing was to use notepads that were a pretty close match to the DSP. All in all I think it works.

The rest of the decorating is pretty self-explanatory, so I'll just share the pictures. If you have questions about any of the steps or items, post a comment below.
Pre-made holder for self-stick notepads decorated with Summer Smooches DSP and a punched flower.

Magnetic clothespin clips decorated with Summer Smooches DSP and coordinating ink sponged on the edges.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Nautical thank-you card

I was excited to see the stamp set From Land to Sea in the new Stampin' Up! catalog last month. (I know a lot of people thought the jellyfish image was a weird choice, but I bet it would made a beautiful watercolored focal image.) I thought the images would coordinate beautifully with two other sets: The Open Sea and By the Tide. To test my theory, I made this nautical-themed thank-you card:

Cream and black nautical thank-you card made with The Open Sea, By the Tide and From Land to Sea stamp sets.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: The Open Sea, By the Tide, From Land to Sea
Paper: Basic Black, Very Vanilla card stock; Typeset Specialty Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Linen thread, Neutrals Candy Dots, corner rounder, Dimensionals

I love the crisp look of the cream and black color combo, from the Basic Black card base and DSP background to the images stamped on Very Vanilla card stock with black ink. I kept the embellishments neutral, too, with just a bit of linen thread and a Candy Dot.

The grid-style design is a great layout for these images. And it's easy to make if you have a piece of grid paper on hand. On your grid paper, outline the shape of the card (this one is a standard A2 size, 4-1/4" x 5-1/2"). Decide how much space you want to have between the pieces of card stock, and start drawing different boxes. Once you have an arrangement you like, determine which images fit in the boxes (you can even stamp on the grid paper to test them out). Then stamp the images on card stock, trim the card stock to the sizes of the boxes on the grid paper, and adhere them to your card base. As a variation, you could replace one or more of the stamped images with an embellishment. To add some visual interest on my card, I rounded opposite corners on two of the panels and added a layer of black card stock behind the sentiment.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Love and hearts

Today I'm going to share a few of the cards I made for my last Operation Write Home donation. These three cards, which all include a love sentiment and punched hearts, would make great non-traditional valentines, but they're also a great way to send a little love any time of year.

Love card made with Hello Love stamp set.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Hello Love, dots chubby stamp (Stamps by Judith & Heather)
Paper: Whisper White, Lost Lagoon card stock; silver paper
Ink: Going Gray, Crushed Curry, Lost Lagoon; Daffodil Delight Blendabilities markers
Accessories: Nesting Squares Rounded Quickutz dies (We R Memory Keepers), Lost Lagoon taffeta ribbon, corner rounder, Hearts Border punch, Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

To make the focal point for this card, I stamped the cloud and hearts image twice with Going Gray ink: once on the focal panel and once on scratch card stock. Using Crushed Curry ink, I stamped the sun on the focal panel so it overlapped the clouds. I wanted to have a solid sun image rather than an outline, so I filled it in with the darkest marker in the Daffodil Delight assortment of Blendabilities markers. I cut out the second cloud image and adhered it to the focal panel with Dimensionals and added a few tiny hearts punched out of silver paper. A few clusters of stamped dots was the perfect way to bring in some Lost Lagoon on the focal image.

Love cards made with KB's Leaf Branch and KB's Birthday Bird stamps (from Endless Creations).
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: KB's Leaf Branch, KB's Birthday Bird (Endless Creations); Sweetie Pie Frames
Paper: Whisper White, Chocolate Chip, Soft Sky, Going Gray, Watermelon Wonder card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Blendabilities markers: Daffodil Delight, Old Olive, Soft Sky, Skin Tones assortments; Cool Gray alcohol marker (Copic Sketch C1)
Accessories: Small heart punch, Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers), Crystal Effects, Dimensionals

I bought these bird and branch stamps at the rubber stamp show last month, and I love them. First of all, they're cute. But on each wood-mounted stamp you get two versions of the image: one side is the image facing right, and the other side is the image facing left. I also have a bunny and a couple of snowman images from this company, and I love being able to choose the orientation of the image. This clean and simple design is mainly basic stamping and coloring, but for a little pop of color, I punched a small heart out of Watermelon Wonder card stock, coated it with Crystal Effects and adhered it to the card front with a Dimensional. I also outlined the whole stamped image with a very light gray alcohol marker to add a little depth.

Love card made with hearts punched from scraps of patterned paper and a die-cut "Love ya" word bubble.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Gorgeous Grunge, Just Sayin'
Paper: Tip Top Taupe card stock; On the Bright Side 6" x 6" Designer Paper Pad (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Night of Navy, Real Red, Tip Top Taupe
Accessories: Large heart punch, small heart punch, Word Bubbles Framelits dies, Nesting Squares Rounded Quickutz dies (We R Memory Keepers), Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack, paper-piercing tool, Dimensionals

This card design is a great way to use up scraps of printed paper, and it's a snap if you have a pack or pad with coordinating colors and patterns. I just punched out a whole mess of small and large hearts and then mixed and matched them until I had combos that I liked. You could easily use different punch shapes to make the card suitable for any occasion, such as stars for congratulations or birthday, flowers for thinking of you, or snowflakes for Christmas or winter.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Garden update: Two months

It's been two months since my sister and I planted are garden, and it's growing like crazy. (For proof, check out my first garden post and my one-month update.) I took more than two dozen pictures yesterday, but I'll share just a few of them.

Our garden at two months.
So far we've harvested a ton of lettuce, some kale, four heads of broccoli, two carrots, a cucumber, and a few small zucchinis. Everything else seems to be coming along, except the peas. We planted peas four times and have had no success. When we planted the last time, we also planted a few scarlet runner beans with them, and the beans have sprouted. I don't know if we'll get to harvest any of those beans, but they're supposed to have pretty flowers. And at least we'll get something growing up the fun twisty poles.

We also haven't gotten any strawberries. The one that had been growing mysteriously disappeared. And the squirrels were digging in the pots, so I covered them with some netting. Since then the plants have flourished, but still no berries.

Kale, lettuce and cucumbers
Here are the kale, lettuce and cucumbers. The cucumbers are enjoying the trellis, and I'm sure we'll be harvesting a bumper crop, since the plants are covered with flowers.

A cucumber tendrill, all curled up
This is a close-up of a tendril on one of the cucumber plants. It's so amazing to me how they manage to find things to grab onto, and when they do, they hold on tight.

Beans growing up and over the bean towers
The beans love the bean towers. They got to the top and just kept going. For awhile it looked as if one of the plants was determined to reach the garage. Now they're all wrapped and twisted around each other into one big mass on top of the towers.

The beans are starting to grow!
The beans are starting to grow!

Indigo rose tomotoes
We've got a mess of indigo rose tomatoes. I love that dark purple color. They don't seem to be ripening very much, though. (When they're ripe the purple turns a little more brown, and the bottom gets red.) We picked a few to put in a paper bag in the house to see if that helps.

The "wild" flower garden
The flowers we planted are coming along, too. We've got a few blooms, and the sunflowers are getting taller. And tonight we saw a monarch butterfly flitting around the flowers and milkweed. Yippee!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Last OWH donation

Goodness, I've fallen behind on my blog posts the last couple of weeks, haven't I? I've been adjusting to a new job, and it's in retail so A) I'm exhausted by the time I get home, and B) I'm always working different shifts, so it's hard to get into a routine with crafting and writing blog posts. Those are my excuses, anyway. I'm trying to get back on track.

I do have a quick post for today. A little background info: Over the years I've sent several donations to Operation Write Home (OWH), an organization that provides handmade cards to servicemen and women so they can write to loved ones back home. In May, Sandy Allnock, the OWH Executive Director, announced that the organization would be closing -- for a good reason. With drawdowns and redeployments, the number of military units requesting cards is at a record low.

The final deadline for submitting cards to OWH is Aug. 1. I wanted to send off one more box of cards, so I spent some time making two dozen cards in a variety of themes: love, miss you, thank you, and blank cards. Here is my collection of cards:

A variety of handmade cards to be donated to Operation Write Home.

It's not a huge number of cards, but I think it's a pretty good group. I took individual pictures of the different designs, and I'll be sharing most of the cards over a series of posts. (The design with the sailboat and world map is actually one I've made before and already posted on my blog.) So now I have enough cards for at least two weeks' worth of blog posts, no excuses!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Let's toast

Happy Fourth of July! I have a short and sweet post today to share a fun summery card:

Card created with Love You S'More stamp set and dies (Lawn Fawn) and Confetti Stars border punch and Hardwood background stamp (Stampin' Up!).
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Love You S'More (Lawn Fawn), Hardwood
Paper: Crumb Cake, Night of Navy, Mossy Meadow, Wild Wasabi, Chocolate Chip, Real Red, Tangerine Tango, Pumpkin Pie, Crushed Curry, Whisper White card stock; silver paper
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Love You S'More Lawn Cuts dies (Lawn Fawn), Stitched Hillside Borders Lawn Cuts dies (Lawn Fawn), Confetti Stars border punch, sponge, Mono Multi liquid glue, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

Last month my parents celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary. Naturally I wanted to make them a card, but I didn't want it to be anything "mushy," so I created this "punny" little scene instead.

There is just a little stamping on this card: the Hardwood background stamp on the Crumb Cake card base and the "let's toast" sentiment on the banner. The rest is die-cut and punched shapes glued onto a Night of Navy panel. I used Dimensionals to adhere the campfire as well as the marshmallows and sticks. It's hard to see in this photo, but I also sponged a little bit of Crumb Cake ink on the bottom of the marshmallows to make it look like they were toasting. Inside the card I stamped the "love you s'more" sentiment and an image of a s'more with a cute smiley face. Love it!

I hope you have a safe and happy holiday weekend. And a heartfelt thank you to all those people -- past and present, civilian and military, famous and unsung -- who have fought for, defended, and protected the freedom we celebrate today.

Thanks for stopping by!