Saturday, August 29, 2015

Turning leaves into trees

When I saw the new Stampin' Up! 2015 holiday catalog, I fell in love with the Lighthearted Leaves stamp set -- it's a different style than my other fall-and leaf-themed sets, and it has a few great sentiments. I also noticed that a few of the leaf images also could work as trees. Hmm. So that was the first thing I wanted to try with this new set.

Fall-themed card made with Lighthearted Leaves stamp set.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Lighthearted Leaves
Paper: Thick Whisper White card stock, Into the Woods Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Soft Suede pad; Daffodil Delight, Old Olive, Mossy Meadow, Rich Razzleberry, Tangelo Twist markers
Accessories: Gold metallic thread, gold sequins, Fine-Tip Glue Pen, bone folder, Dimensionals

I love the way this card turned out. And don't those images make great trees?

For my focal layer, I started by stamping a tree on either side of a piece of white card stock. Then I stamped the sentiment twice: once next to the right-hand tree and then again on a self-stick note. I cut out the sentiment on the self-stick note (leaving a small border around the words) to make a mask. I placed the mask over the words stamped on the card stock and then stamped the third tree.

Using the colors of the Into the Woods DSP as my palette, I colored the leaves/trees with markers. (Because I stamped the images using Soft Suede, rather than a waterproof ink, I was careful not to color over the stamped lines too much.) I added three gold sequins around the stamped images and distressed the edges of the card stock with a bone folder. For a little more shine I adhered gold metallic thread to the back of the focal layer and then used Dimensionals to attach the layer to a white card base, which I had already layered with a piece of woodgrain-patterned paper.

Now I'm ready for the crisp air and colorful leaves of autumn. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A kaleidoscope of butterflies

Did you know that a group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope? I didn't, either. There are other labels, too, including a swarm or a rabble, but kaleidoscope seems much more fitting. It makes me think of a clear blue sky filled with colorful butterflies in ever-changing patterns, much like the optical instrument.

The card I'm going to share today isn't quite as colorful as that, but it does include a group of butterflies:

Card made with six butterflies die cut from different textured materials and patterned papers.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Mint Macaron, Very Vanilla card stock; vellum (Pretty Paper); The Thrift Shop paper pad (October Afternoon), vintage sheet music (unknown); gold foil paper
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Mint Macaron marker, Project Life journaling pens
Accessories: Cork sheet (unknown), burlap page (Canvas Corp), wood sheet (unknown), Butterflies Thinlits dies, gold metallic thread, gold sequin trim, rhinestones, 1/8" Basic Black taffeta ribbon, Lacy Brocade embossing folder, color spritzer tool, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

For my inspiration, I used the Valentine's Day card I made earlier this year. I love this layout, and using a repeated element, such as the butterfly shape here, is a great way to unify different textures, patterns and/or colors.

For this card I decided to use a neutral color scheme with pops of gold. For the background I spritzed the Mint Macaron card base with Mint Macaron ink and then used a black marker to doodle a border around the edges. From there it was just a matter of choosing the different textures and patterns I wanted to use.

The three natural-colored butterflies (burlap, wood and cork) are adhered flat to the card, and the other three butterflies are adhered just along the middle, with the wings pulled up slightly. (More precisely, the sheet music of the middle left butterfly is adhered to the card, and the vellum layer is adhered along the middle.) To finish the card I embellished a few of the butterflies and added a banner with a birthday sentiment.

So now I've used this layout with hearts and butterflies -- I wonder what shape I should try next. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Blossoms and birds

I still have two cards from my last donation to Operation Write Home that I haven't posted yet, so here they are:

Simple, feminine card made with Flower Filled stamp set.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Flower Filled
Paper: Blushing Bride, So Saffron, Calypso Coral, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Blushing Bride, So Saffron (pad and marker), Calypso Coral, Old Olive
Accessories: Large Polka Dot embossing folder, Banners Framelits dies, metallic foil doilies, white Perfect Accents, mini silver brads, Glue Dots, Dimensionals

I wasn't sure how this card was going to come together when I started, but I really like the end result. I started by stamping the flowers and stems on a white die-cut banner piece. I stamped the boots image on a separate piece of Whisper White card stock, cut it out, added a mini silver brad as the button, and adhered it to the banner with Dimensionals. (To get the darker color along the soles of the boots, I used my So Saffron marker to color over the stamped image.)

To embellish the banner, I added White Perfect Accents to the centers of the large flowers and adhered a silver doily (cut in half) behind the banner. I also added two narrower banners, in So Saffron and Calypso Coral, behind the white banner. I placed the focal element on a Blushing Bride card base embossed with large polka dots.

Thank-you card made with the Brick Wall embossing folder and For the Birds stamp set.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: For the Birds
Paper: Crumb Cake, Basic Black, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Ovals Collection Framelits dies, Brick Wall embossing folder, Neutrals Candy Dots, Occasions Paper-Piercing Pack, paper-piercing tool, colored pencils and blender pencil (Prismacolor), sponge, Dimensionals

I had fun coloring and blending the focal image with colored pencils, although I mixed up the colors of the birds. I intended to color the middle bird red and the top bird yellow so I didn't have the red bird holding the red heart. Oops.

For the background I embossed a piece of Crumb Cake card stock with the Brick Wall embossing folder; I thought the bricks were a good match for the idea of support in the sentiment. I sponged Crumb Cake ink around the edge of the focal layer as well as over the embossed background.

I struggled with embellishments for this card. I wanted it to be a little on the masculine side, so I wanted to avoid flowers and rhinestones. But it definitely needed something. I finally settled on a strip of Basic Black card stock to anchor the focal image and three Crumb Cake Candy Dots to add a bit of texture.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Easy watercolor tulips

Over the last few months I've been trying different watercolor techniques (some with more success than others). One experiment resulted in these clean and simple love cards:

Clean and simple cards featuring watercolor tulips from the set Awash with Flowers.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Awash with Flowers, Wonderful Words
Paper: Watercolor paper; Watermelon Wonder, Blackberry Bliss, Basic Black card stock
Ink: Watermelon Wonder, Blackberry Bliss, Old Olive, Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Aqua Painter, gold sequin trim, Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers), Glue Dots

For each card I inked the tulip image and then stamped it twice on a piece of watercolor paper. But because watercolor paper is textured, the solid image didn't stamp very evenly. To smooth out the color, I lightly "painted" over the images with water using an Aqua Painter brush. I love the soft look it created, so I followed the same steps to add the stems.

To keep the flowers the focal point, I stamped a script-style "love" sentiment across the bottom, rounded the top right corner of the watercolor paper, matted it with Basic Black card stock and added a few sequins. Then I adhered the whole panel to a card base of the same color as the tulips.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Garden update: Three months

It's been three months, and our garden is still going strong. It really is a little insane to see how big everything has become. (Check out my first garden post, one-month update and two-month update for comparison pictures.)

Our garden at three months (Aug. 10, 2015).
The garden at three months.

We're finally getting fruit on the strawberry plants.
It looks like we'll finally get some strawberries.

Purple pole beans.
Purple pole beans. We also have green and wax
(yellow) beans growing on the towers.
In the last month we've picked the rest of the lettuce, almost all the carrots (we left two that still seemed a little small, so we'll pick them later) and one pepper; enjoyed a second round of broccoli; eaten several tomatoes; picked quite a few zucchini; and harvested I don't know how many cucumbers and pole beans.

It's been fun trying out new recipes with our produce. (Well, my sister does most of the trying since she's more of a cook. But I enjoy the final products.) We've had refrigerator pickles; cucumber salsa; a veggie lasagna with zucchini noodles (as well as spaghetti-style noodles on another occasion); and stir fry with broccoli, beans and carrots. And I've made at least three batches of cucumber salad so far.

A painted serpent cucumber growing on the trellis.
A painted serpent cucumber. We forgot to measure it, but this one must have been at least two feet long.
When we set it on the counter it looked just like a curled-up snake with its head sticking up. I can definitely
see how this variety got its name.

A droplet of water on a broccoli leaf reflects its surroundings.
A droplet of water on a broccoli leaf.
One morning while I was in the garden I spotted several broccoli leaves that were holding perfectly formed drops of water. I had to take a couple of pictures, and I love that you can see the sky and the neighbor's fence reflected in this droplet.

Flowering scarlet runner beans.
Flowers on the scarlet runner beans.
Our peas -- four different plantings -- never did come up. (Stupid peas. Pffft.) But the scarlet runner beans we planted seem to be doing just fine. I don't know if there's enough growing season left to get any of the beans, but we're enjoying the vibrant red flowers.

A watermelon resting on a melon cradle.
A watermelon. This is the biggest one we have right now. I wonder if it will be big enough to eat by the
end of summer.
The sunflowers are at least eight feet tall.
Flower garden along the alley.
Our sunflowers are huge! The biggest ones are at least eight or nine feet tall (they're a mammoth variety, so they can get up to twelve feet tall) and are finally starting to get blossoms. We did have a sad event with our flower garden. One morning we came out and a bunch of the sunflowers, along with some of the milkweed and a few other flowers, were all pushed over in the same direction. It was very strange because the roots of several of the plants were coming out of the ground, so it wasn't like someone broke the stems. We don't know if it was an animal digging or what, but we ended up having to pull out quite a few sunflowers because they were dead or dying. We'll just have to get extra enjoyment from the ones that are left.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Summer trees

This month the challenge theme on the Raisin Boat blog is summertime. Although I don't really think of myself as a summer person, there are many things I do enjoy about the season: the sun setting later, thunderstorms, having the windows open, and relaxing outside with a cool drink and a good book to name a few. I also love to sit in the shade of the trees, so for this challenge I made a card featuring a little grove of summer trees.

Card featuring summer trees made with Raisin Boat's Central Park stamp set.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Central Park (Raisin Boat), Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Garden Green, Wild Wasabi, Cucumber Crush, Soft Sky, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Garden Green, Wild Wasabi, Cucumber Crush, Marina Mist, Smoky Slate, Crushed Curry (marker)
Accessories: Linen thread, corner rounder, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

I stamped the tree trunks at different heights on a panel of Soft Sky card stock using Chocolate Chip ink. Then I stamped the various treetops on Garden Green, Wild Wasabi, and Cucumber Crush card stock using the coordinating ink colors and cut them out by hand. For the largest trees, I stamped each circle of leaves three times and then trimmed them down so the scale was better. I adhered a few of the treetops to the card with Dimensionals to create some depth.

To finish this summer scene I added a little bird and a few puffy white clouds. I wrapped linen thread around the bottom of the panel, added a sentiment and adhered the panel to a Chocolate Chip card base.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A visit with friends

On Monday night I had a chance to get together with two good friends, Sarah and Andrea. We first met about sixteen years ago when we worked for the same company, but since then life has taken us all in separate directions. Although we keep in touch sporadically, it's been almost ten years since the three of us were together.

Andrea, who has lived in several states over the years, recently started a new job with a company based in the Cities, and she happened to be in town for a short business trip. I swapped a shift at work, and the three of us spent the evening at Sarah's house enjoying a delicious grilled dinner with her family, sitting on the patio and catching up.

Since Sarah was making dinner and Andrea was visiting from out of town, I wanted to bring a little gift for each of them. I decided to make two sets of cards with a friendship theme.

Cards made with Let's Chat stamp set (from Taylored Expressions).
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Let's Chat (Taylored Expressions)
Paper: Whisper White noted cards and envelopes, Whisper White card stock, Groovy Guava and Soft Sky Designer Series Paper (DSP) Prints
Ink: Groovy Guava, Soft Sky, Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Basic Black baker's twine, rhinestones, Stardust Gelly Roll pen (Sakura), 1/16" hole punch, Stamp-A-Ma-Jig, Dimensioanls

I bought this stamp set ages ago but haven't had a chance to use it yet. I knew it would be perfect for this occasion, though, so I designed a clean and simple layout and made eight cards: one set of four in Groovy Guava and the other four in Soft Sky.

I think most of the card design is self-explanatory, but here are a few tips:
- I stamped the frame image first and then used the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig tool to stamp the phone and sentiment inside the frame. I used a Gelly Roll pen to color in the dial on the phone and add a little sparkle.
- I hand-cut around the frame image.
- To add the baker's twine, I punched a 1/16" hole along the fold of the card, threaded the twine through the hole, wrapped it around the card front, and tied it in a bow on the right side of the card.

I'm so glad the three of us were able to spend some time together -- I hope it's not another ten years before we all see each other again. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Happy fourth blog birthday

Today marks four years of blogging for me. Happy birthday, Snippets! In honor of the occasion, I'm going to share a birthday card I made this afternoon.

Shaker card made with Celebrate Today stamp set and rectangle shaker pouch.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Celebrate Today
Paper: Daffodil Delight, Bermuda Bay card stock; 110-lb. white card stock (Recollections); Sno Cone rectangle shaker overlay (The Paper Cut)
Ink: Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Pool Party, Bermuda Bay
Accessories: Large Rectangle shaker card pouch (Impression Obsession), Lucky Stars embossing folder, Confetti Stars punch, In Color sequin assortment, red sequins (unknown)

To make the focal layer I cut a piece of white card stock just slightly larger than the shaker card pouch and stamped the images: first the banners, then the balloon and finally the confetti. (I wish I'd gotten more even ink coverage on the balloon image. But I was in a hurry and didn't have time to start again.) Here's a tip for stamping the confetti: I used the image meant to overlay the balloon and just applied ink to a portion of the stamp.

With the stamping done, I placed the confetti -- a combination of sequins and tiny punched stars -- in the middle of the panel. I peeled the backing off the shaker pouch and adhered it over the stamped images.

I embossed the overlay with the Lucky Stars embossing folder and adhered it over the completed shaker pouch. Then I attached the whole panel to the white card base.

A great big thank you to everyone who has followed my blog, pinned a project, read a post or left me a comment over the last four years. I appreciate your support. And to any new readers who come along, I hope you are able to find some creative inspiration, new ideas or helpful tips among my posts. Here's to another four years!

Thanks for stopping by!