Friday, December 30, 2016

A sweet season

I wanted to make a little holiday gift for the team leaders at work, but I didn't really have a lot of time. I decided to mix up a little sweet treat that the recipients could use in a variety of ways -- jars of cinnamon sugar.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Holiday Bingo Bits, 1-3/16" wood stamper (JustRite Stampers)
Paper: Thick Whisper White, Real Red card stock
Ink: Early Espresso, Real Red
Accessories: 1-3/8" and 1-1/2" circle punches, linen thread, ribbon, hot glue gun (unknown)
Other: Spice jars, cinnamon, sugar, cinnamon stick, whole star anise

For the cinnamon sugar mixture I used 1/4 cup sugar to 1 tablespoon cinnamon, and I think each jar held about 1/2 cup.

To make the tag, I spelled out my message using a customizable circle wooden stamper, stamped the sentiment on thick Whisper White card stock and punched it out. I added a stamped candy in the center of the circle, adhered the ends of a piece of linen thread behind the circle and glued it onto a slightly larger Real Red circle.

To complete the jars I wrapped a piece of ribbon around the top of the jar, tied a knot around a cinnamon stick, slipped on the tag, and trimmed the ends of the ribbon into a V. For a finishing touch (and a nice scent) I hot glued a whole star anise onto the ribbon.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Snowman tealight ornaments

Merry Christmas! I hope you and your loved ones had a joyful celebration. And now that the holiday is passed and gifts have been exchanged, I can share the projects I made for my friends and family. I'll start with some adorable tealight snowmen ornaments:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Thick Whisper White, Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Chocolate Chip, textured Real Red card stock; red, gold glimmer paper
Ink: Crumb Cake
Accessories: Circles Collection Framelits dies; Gumball Green, Cherry Cobbler sweater trim; metallic sequin black paint (Plaid); black buttons (Michaels); hear tborder punch; snowflake punch; 1-3/8" circle punch; twine; Mono Multi liquid glue; Scor-Tape (Scor-Pal); sponge
Other: Battery-operated tealight candle, wooden skewer

Cute, right? I had a bunch of battery-operated tealights that I wanted to make into ornaments, so I did a Google search and found some adorable ornaments made by Karen Day. That was my inspiration.

I used two dies from the (retired) Circles Collection Framelits for the snowman's body pieces. I sponged the edges of each piece with Crumb Cake ink and punched a 1-3/8" circle so the back of the tealight candle was accessible. (I sandwiched the ends of a piece of twine between the two circles when I glued them together.) A punched snowflake with the "branches" snipped apart provided the arms, and I hand-cut the top hats.

To make the face, I used some black acrylic paint and a wooden skewer. I squeezed a little paint onto a plastic container, dipped the flat end of the skewer in the paint and then touched it onto the candle.

I struggled to find a ribbon that I liked for the scarves -- nothing seemed to be the right size or color or texture. (And that surprised me because I have a good-sized ribbon collection.) I finally settled on the sweater trims since they look warm and cozy. But it is skinny, so I wrapped the trim around the candle twice to give it a bit of oomph.

I think they all turned out pretty adorable (I believe I made fifteen of them total), and I'm pretty sure all the recipients liked them, too. And the fun thing about snowmen is that you can leave them out all winter -- and in Minnesota that's a long time!

 Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 23, 2016

'Tis the season

For my last Christmas card design, I had to pull out one of my all-time favorite Christmas sets: Polar Bears.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Polar Bears
Paper: Kraft, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Early Espresso, Real Red, So Saffron, Pumpkin Pie, Cucumber Crush, Pink Pirouette
Accessories: Gold-striped washi tape, Candy Cane Lane baker's twine, rhinestones, Dimensionals

I don't think I'll ever get tired of this stamp set, and I don't think I've ever made a card I didn't like using this set.

For this card I stamped the image on Whisper White card stock, colored it with markers and cut it out. I didn't use permanent ink to stamp the images, so I colored carefully and tried not to go back and forth over the outlines.

I used Dimensionals to attach the image to a Kraft note card and stamped the sentiment directly on the card base a little below the image. Below the sentiment I added gold-striped washi tape and wrapped a piece of Real Red baker's twine around the card, tying it in a bow. Of course I needed a little sparkle, so I added three rhinestones surrounding the polar bear.

I hope you and your loved ones have a peaceful holiday season. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Winter night

The last few days before Christmas are just flying by, and I think I might actually get everything done. It was more stressful than I would have liked, and I'll be wrapping presents on Christmas Eve, but at least I'll be finished.

One of the things I have to wrap up (pun intended) is to post my last two Christmas card designs. I'll share one of them tonight, and the other tomorrow.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Christmas Story (Penny Black)
Paper: Night of Navy, Shimmery White card stock; gold glimmer paper; snowflake vellum (unknown)
Ink: Night of Navy
Accessories: Ovals Collection Framelits dies; Country Houses and Country House Roofs and Background (Poppy Stamps); gold glitter ribbon; gold sequins (The Makery); Dimensionals, Glue Dots, liquid adhesive (Art Institute Glitter)

This batch of cards was a little time-consuming because I had to cut out and then glue together the layers of the houses. (They used four dies: one for the outlines of the whole piece, one for the back of the trees, one for the back of the houses, and one for the roofs.) But I love the end result, especially with the Shimmery White card stock to create the look of a snow-covered village. And with the gold glimmer paper peeking through the windows and doors, it looks like a cozy little village on a cold winter night.

I used a Night of Navy card stock stamped with a Christmas background (in Night of Navy ink) for the card base and adhered an oval piece of  snowflake-printed vellum near the middle of the card. Using Dimensionals, I attached the houses at the bottom of the vellum and added three gold sequins. For another gold accent, I adhered a piece of gold glitter ribbon along the fold of the card base.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Simple and jolly

With a snowstorm last weekend, another one on the way, and temps near 0°F, it is very clear that winter has arrived in full force. I am not tempted to be outside in this weather (Not. At. All.), so I thought I'd share a card featuring a jolly snowman whom I'm sure would think he was in heaven.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: KB's Heart Looking Up (Endless Creations), Christmas Sampler (Paper Smooches)
Paper: Whisper White note cards and envelopes
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Pool Party, Cucumber Crush
Accessories: Frosted sequins, Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers), fine-tip glue pen

This is about the ultimate in clean and simple card design. I used a white note card for the base, stamped the image and sentiment directly on the card, added a bit of color with markers, and used a few silver sequins to create the look of falling snow. I also rounded the two right corners just to give a little finishing touch.

Do you like to make elaborate Christmas cards or do you stick to simpler designs? I do love some of the fancy, over-the-top cards, but I find that when I look back over the cards I've made, I always seem drawn to these "clean" cards.

Well, that's it for me for today. I've still got a plethora of Christmas tasks to accomplish, so I've got to get busy! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Most wonderful time of the year

I did my first Christmas shopping this afternoon. I didn't have a lot of success -- partly because I'm not exactly sure what gifts I want to give -- but it felt good to at least get a start. And it was great to support some local stores and socially conscious and responsible companies (go, Penzeys Spices!). And now tonight I'm back to share another Christmas card with you.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Wonderful Year
Paper: Garden Green, Mint Macaron, Very Vanilla card stock; Christmas on Market Street 6" x 6" Designer Paper Pad (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Basic Black, Garden Green, Mint Macaron, Poppy Parade markers
Accessories: Ovals Collection Framelits dies, Dotted Scalloped Ribbon Border punch, Christmas on Market Street enamel dots (My Mind's Eye), gold baker's twine, Dimensionals

I wanted the Wonderful Year stamp set as soon as I saw it in the Holiday Catalog. I love the different fonts, the accent lines and swirls, and most of all the large size of the image. This sentiment is the perfect size to take center stage, which is exactly what I did.

I wanted to combine this sentiment with some pretty paper, so I selected the pattern I was going to use, chose colors to coordinate, and then used markers to apply ink directly to the rubber stamp. After I stamped the image, I cut it out with an oval die.

For the background, I cut the patterned paper into strips 2" wide. (I wish I had taken this photo during the day so the flash wouldn't have washed out the patterned paper. The colors are so rich and vibrant, and the gold accents are perfect.) I punched strips of Mint Macaron card stock with the Dotted Scalloped Ribbon border punch, cut the strips in half length-wise and then glued the pieces behind the patterned paper so just a tiny bit of the scalloped edge is showing.

I adhered the strip down the middle of a Garden Green card base and then attached the stamped oval with Dimensionals. For embellishment I glued a gold baker's twine bow to the oval and added three enamel dots (one on the oval and two in the upper right corner).

This is probably my most "traditional" Chrsitmas card this year, at least in terms of color, and I'm really happy with the end result. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Peaceful banners

I finally finished making my Christmas cards this week. Whew! I was starting to get stressed about them, which makes it harder for me to come up with ideas, making me more stressed. It's a vicious cycle, I tell you. But then I realized that I had quite a few cards left over from last year, so I was set. Yay! (When I send out Christmas cards, I hand-write out a long list of recipients and next to each name I jot down which card I send them, so I don't have to worry about accidentally sending someone the same card they received last year.)

I used a couple of kits for quite a few of my Christmas cards this year, so I only created about half-a dozen new designs. I've already shared a couple of the designs (in my Same pieces, different cards and Merry Christ-moose posts), and I'll be revealing the rest in my next several blog posts. I'll start with a card featuring an elegant, but non-traditional, gold, white and gray color palette:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Basic Gray card stock, gold foil sheets, Christmas on Market Street 6" x 6" designer Paper Pad (My Mind's Eye)
Accessories: Banners Framelits dies, Christmas Greetings Thinlits dies, pearls, gold baker's twine, Mono Multi liquid glue

(Sorry the picture isn't the greatest. It gets dark so early now that I have a hard time finding a good time to take pictures.)

I tried really hard not to buy any Christmas patterned paper this year because I already have more than I need. But I couldn't resist the Christmas on Market Street pad; the colors are gorgeous, and there is a great variety of patterns -- some "basic" patterns that are good accents and others that could easily be the focal point of a card. (And really, what's one more 6" x 6" pad of paper, right? It takes up hardly any space.)

For this card design, I used three of the gold foil patterns  from the Christmas on Market Street pad and die cut a banner from each piece. I adhered the banners along the top of a Basic Gray card base and then wrapped a piece of gold baker's twine around the card, tying it off in a bow. I die cut the word "peace" out of a gold foil sheet and adhered it to the bottom right corner of the card. Three small pearls around the word are the perfect accent.

And that's it! This design could work for any occasion by just changing the patterned paper and die-cut word (or using a stamped sentiment instead).

Now I need to start getting all these cards in the mail! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Merry Christ-moose

Happy December! I can't believe Christmas is just a few weeks away. As usual I feel like I'll never get everything done. But I did manage to cross one task off the list today: making gift bags for our UPS, FedEx and USPS carriers. The gift bags aren't fancy, but I enjoy making them and spreading some holiday cheer. Of course I have to include a handmade card, and this year I designed a clean and simple card with a festive moose.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Jolly Friends, Winter Wishes
Paper: Crumb Cake, Close to Cocoa, Naturals Ivory, Real Red, Marina Mist card stock
Ink: Real Red, Marina Mist, Early Espresso, Smoky Slate
Accessories: Hat punch, mini jingle bells, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

I love this moose, and he's one of the main reasons I bought the Jolly Friends stamp set. He's even cute with this cozy hat and scarf.

There's nothing very complicated on this card; mostly just your basic stamping and a fair amount of "fussy cutting." I did use the hat punch for the red part of the heart, but everything else -- moose head, antlers, scarf and hat trim -- I cut out by hand. It really wasn't too bad since I only made six cards of this design, and  I actually like cutting things out.

To add a little embellishment to the card I painted clear Wink of Stella glitter on the trim of the hat and glued a mini jingle bell to the tip of the hat. I don't use the jingle bells on cards very often because I think they're a little too big to go through the mail. But it's a perfect addition here since these cards will be tucked into a gift bag.

Speaking of the gift bags, here's a shot of one of the finished bags. I tucked a card, a pack of flavored cocoa, three tea bags, a coffee shop gift card and three chocolates into a gusseted cellophane bag. I tied the bag closed with a piece of white sweater trim and added a piece of Real Red pompom trim in the bow for another pop of color.

It feels good to be able to cross one thing off my to-do list. Now I'm off to make my Christmas card list so I know how many more cards I still need to make ...

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Greeting cards made with Project Life cards

Back in September when we hosted a bridal shower for my cousin, I purchased the Bloom Edition Project Life kit to make a scrapbook for her. I asked the guests to bring a favorite quote or piece of advice, which they wrote on a Project Life card and then inserted in an album. (I had added a few photos and stamped/embellished cards to the album ahead of time, so at the end of the shower my cousin was able to take the album home.)

After the shower I still had oodles of Project Life cards left. Since I don't do any Project Life-style scrapbooking (at least not yet), I decided to use the cards to make greeting cards. Below are six cards that I've made so far.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Essentials Messages (Hero Arts)
Paper: Basic Black card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Bloom Edition Project Life kit (American Crafts), Balloon punch, sequins (unknown), clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, Dimensionals

For these first two cards I trimmed a 4" x 6" card to use as a background on a Basic Black card base. I punched out balloon shapes from three coordinating cards and painted one of them with clear Wink of Stella glitter

I stamped a sentiment in the banner portion of the cards, adhered the balloons to the card bases with Dimensionals and added a few sequins for embellishment.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Happiest Birthday Wishes
Paper: Raspberry Ripple card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Project Life journaling pen
Accessories: Bloom Edition Project Life kit (American Crafts), metallic foil doilies, pearls, Flower Fair Framelits dies, 5/8" Neutrals brads, 1/8" Basic Black taffeta ribbon, Dimensionals

Again I used larger Project Life cards as backgrounds for these two cards. I used a smaller card as a focal panel. For the second greeting card I used a third Project Life card to die cut a coordinating flower. Here's a tip: For the pink layer on the flower, I cut the shape out of the Project Life card behind the flower. The hole is hidden, and I didn't have to cut into another card for a little shape.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Inside and Out: Birthday (PTI)
Paper: Crumb Cake card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Bloom Edition Project Life kit (American Crafts), Big Designer Buttons - Candy Cane, crocheted lace trim (Target), gold baker's twine, Swirly Scribbles Thinlits dies, cork stickers (Little Yellow Bicycle), Mono Multi liquid glue

For this first card, I used three Project Life cards: one for the background, one for the contrasting strip, and one for the swirly die cut. I added a large button with a bow and crochet trim.

For the second card I used a small Project Life card layered on a large one. (I got stuck in a rut with that layout; I'll have to be more creative next time I make more of these cards.) I stamped a sentiment in the lower right corner of the smaller card, and for the embellishments, I added a cork banner with a baker's twine bow and a few pearls.

Now that I've gotten a little practice using Project Life cards to make greeting cards, I think this would be a great way to make a lot of cards in a short amount of time. And I've still got a ton of Project Life cards left. I'd better get busy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Let patterned paper be the star

I have a short post tonight with a simple card. But a simple card doesn't have to be boring when you have pretty patterned papers to play a starring role.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Grunge Elements (Artistic Outpost)
Paper: Mint Macaron, Soft Suede card stock; The Mariposa Mat Stack (DCWV)
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Very Vanilla seam binding ribbon, gold sequins (The Makery - Hazel and Ruby), sponge, Dimensionals

Last year I shared a card set I made with Mariposa Mat Stack card stock. I pulled out that stack again recently when I was looking for patterned paper to use with some Mint Macaron card bases I had left over from a Paper Pumpkin kit.

I chose a piece of card stock with good focal images and plenty of sparkle. I cut the piece in half and mounted each piece on a piece of Soft Suede card stock. I tied a Very Vanilla ribbon around the panel and added three gold sequins.

I wanted to give the card base a vintage feel to match the patterned paper, so I stamped a few textural images in Soft Suede ink and then sponged ink around the edges. That also helped tone down the mint color which didn't strictly "match" the paper. Then I adhered the panel to the middle of the card using Dimensionals.

So the next time you're struggling to create a card, choose a pretty piece of paper -- maybe even that piece you're saving for the perfect project -- and let it shine. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Meet Shawn and Gus

A few weeks ago I mentioned that we adopted two cats. They're doing very well, although they're still adjusting to their new home and tend to jump at any loud noise (which happens more than I would like with our upstairs neighbors). But they are getting braver and have moments, especially in the evening, when they are very cuddly.

They are brothers about a-year-and-a-half old. The light orange tabby is named Shawn, and the gray tabby is Gus. They're named after the main characters in one of our favorite TV shows, Psych.

They look pretty innocent here, but they've already caused  plenty of mischief. After we'd had them for a week, I discovered that they'd made a hole in the bottom of my box spring so they could sleep inside of it. Once I closed off that hideout (with the help of black duct tape and a clear shower curtain liner) they made a hole in the fabric on the bottom of the couch so they could hide in there. We haven't had a chance to repair that one yet, and Gus especially likes to sleep there.

They also are very active at night. They thump around the house chasing each other, and every once in awhile something crashes to the floor (Shawn really likes to jump). It's been awhile since we've had young cats, so that's been an adjustment.

But they are cuties, and they have tiny little kittenish meows. They also both love belly rubs and will roll on the couch until they accidentally roll onto the floor.

There's never a dull moment, that's for sure. The next challenge will be to see if we can put up a Christmas tree this year. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Same pieces, different cards

Last summer a good friend of mine sent me a box of craft supplies that she wasn't using. It was like a little treasure chest delivered through the U.S. Postal Service. Among the tools, embellishments and other goodies in the box was the "guts" of an old Stampin' Up! Simply Sent card kit called Good Things. The stamp set and ink spots weren't in the box, but the rest of the kit contents were there, including:
  • Ten Kraft card bases and white envelopes
  • Ten pieces of More Mustard card stock (2-3/4" x 2-3/4")
  • Ten pieces of Old Olive card stock (2-1/2" x 4-1/4")
  • Ten pieces of Real Red card stock (2" x 3-1/2")
  • Ten pieces of Whisper White card stock (2-1/2" x 2-1/2")
  • Black gingham ribbon
  • Real Red buttons
  • Glue Dots and Dimensionals
Using these supplies, along with various stamp sets and some of my own materials, I designed three different card layouts. (I've listed the additional supplies for each card below.)

Additional supplies used (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Big Day
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Real Red, Basic Black, Crumb Cake, More Mustard markers
Paper: More Mustard card stock
Accessories: Basic Black baker's twine, star confetti punch, Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen, Mono Multi liquid glue

I decided to start with birthday cards, since I'm still trying to bulk up my birthday card stash and make cards for my grandma. I needed to find a focal image that fit on the Whisper White layer, and I thought this cake was perfect -- not too big and not too small.

I left out the Old Olive layer for this design and stuck with Real Red and More Mustard. I stamped the Real Red layer with candles to add a bit of interest to the background. After I stamped and colored the cake image I used a black marker to draw a border around the Whisper White card stock, and I think it works well with the style of the stamps.

I actually forgot about the gingham ribbon from the kit while I was making this card (I think it got buried under all the creativity on my table), so instead I added a bow of black baker's twine to the cake stand. For a little extra embellishment I punched a few tiny stars out of a scrap of More Mustard card stock, painted them with Wink of Stella and glued them on the card.

Additional supplies used (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: A Flower for All Seasons, Hello Sunshine
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Crumb Cake, Real Red, Old Olive, More Mustard, Chocolate Chip markers
Accessories: Vine Street embossing folder, Vintage Photo Distress Stickles (Ranger), linen thread

This potted sunflower was another perfect image for these cards; it was the right size, and it combined all the colors in the card. I colored the image with markers and added some Distress Stickles to the center of the sunflowers.

This layout was the only design of the three where I used all of the elements (card stock and embellishments) from the kit. I embossed the Old Olive piece with a vine texture and wrapped the bottom of the panel with a piece of the gingham ribbon. The Real Red and More Mustard panels are layered behind the focal image, and I added linen thread to the red buttons before adhering them to the card.

Additional supplies used (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Jolly Christmas
Paper: Whisper Whisper White card stock
Ink: Crumb Cake, Real Red, Old Olive markers and ink pads; More Mustard marker
Accessories: Gold baker's twine

This design is definitely my favorite of the three, and I actually ended up making six of this card. (My original plan was to make two cards of each of five different designs.)

I bought this stamp set on sale after last Christmas, and I hadn't had a chance to use it yet. When I pulled out the set I was excited to realize that this sentiment just fit on the Whisper White layer. I used markers to apply ink to the rubber stamp and make the image different colors. It was a little time-consuming, but I love the look. I also stamped a few snowflake/sparkle images on the card base.

I trimmed the piece of Old Olive card stock by about 1/4" to layer it behind the More Mustard panel, and I trimmed one end of the Real Red piece into a banner. For the buttons on this card, I tied them with gold twine instead of linen thread.

I also took a picture of the inside of this card since I did more than just stamp a sentiment. I started with the deer image, which I inked with Crumb Cake, stamped on scratch paper and then stamped in the middle of a piece of Whisper White card stock. I stamped the sentiment in Rel Red over the deer image and added a few Old Olive snowflakes/sparkles.

It's fun to see the different looks you can create with the same basic elements. Every person will have a different approach. In fact, that would be a fun activity to do with a  group of friends -- give each person the same pieces (card stock and/or embellishments) and then compare everyone's finished projects. You're sure to find some new ideas and inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Elegant but simple wedding card

Last weekend my cousin got married, and I wanted to make an elegant but not-too-complicated wedding card to celebrate the occasion. A few die-cut shapes and a little sparkle made that an easy task.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Paper: Smoky Slate, Perfect Plum card stock; silver glimmer paper
Accessories: Sunshine Wishes and Swirly Scribbles Thinlits dies, rhinestones, Mono Multi liquid glue, Dimensionals

The wedding invitations (handmade by my aunt and my cousin) were shimmery plum with silver accents, so I used that as my color inspiration. I chose Perfect Plum and Smoky Slate card stock, but switched the dominant color. I started with a Smoky Slate card base and added a die-cut wavy image, also in Smoky Slate, to create some subtle background texture.

For the focal image I die cut two "scribbly" hearts from Perfect Plum card stock and adhered them to the card so they overlapped. I used Dimensionals to adhere a silver glimmer "love" die-cut and added a bit more sparkle with three little rhinestones.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

One crazy cat

I had good intentions of making Halloween cards this year, and I even bought a new Halloween-themed stamp set. But as so often seems to happen, the days got away from me, and the only Halloween cards I sent out were a few I made last year.

I did actually start a Halloween card this year, but with a little revision I was able to turn it into a birthday card instead:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Purr-fect Halloween (Close to My Heart)
Paper: Crushed Curry, Tangerine Tango card stock; watercolor paper (Strathmore); Brights Designer Series Paper (DSP) Patterns Stack
Ink: Crushed Curry (marker and pad), Tangerine Tango (pad), Rich Razzleberry (marker and pad), Old Olive (marker and pad), Smoky Slate (pad), Jet Black StazOn
Accessories: Fuschia sequins (unknown), Rich Razzleberry cotton ribbon, Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers), Aqua Painter, Glue Dots, Dimensionals

I watercolored the cat, banner and hat using an Aqua Painter and ink pads. Then I used coordinating markers to add darker details to the hat and banner. (For the Halloween version, I was going to use a mask and a witch's hat instead.)

I cut out the hat and banner and used Glue Dots to add them to the cat. To finish the panel, I rounded the corners, painted a light shadow below the cat, and added three sequins.

I mounted the focal image on piece of Tangerine Tango card stock. For the card base I used a piece of Crushed Curry card stock and added a piece of Old Olive DSP to the bottom of the card front. I adhered a piece of Rich Razzleberry ribbon along the top of the DSP and then used Dimensionals to add the focal panel. Inside I stamped "You're one crazy cat" and "Happy birthday."

I'm not crazy about this color combo, but I'm glad I was able to use my new stamp set and "re-purpose" a Halloween card. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Save those scraps!

After making all the cards I shared in my last post, I had quite a few scraps of patterned paper left over. Instead of tossing them, I used them to make a quick background for this card:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Seasons - Summer 6" x 6" paper (Authentique Paper), Very Vanilla card stock
Accessories: Butterflies Thinlits dies, burlap ribbon, gold sequins

I love this simple card, and I think it would be a great design for a card set. With the butterfly die-cut, it's a little more feminine than the previous cards using these papers, but it's still not too frilly and frou frou.

Whew! I just barely got my second blog post in for the week. It's been another busy one. The latest news is that we adopted two cats from a rescue organization today. I hope to have pictures to share soon -- they're both pretty shy and have been hiding most of the day.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Not my usual style

One of the projects I worked on during my recent crat weekend was designing cards using a set of blueprint-style Tim Holtz stamps and a pack of 6" x 6" patterned paper that I bought ages ago as part of a kit from a paper-crafting store. The kit came with instructions for three small cards, so I started with those designs and transformed them into full-size A2 cards. It was a bit of a struggle because they aren't my usual style, but I think they turned out pretty well.

Here are the supplies I used for all of the cards (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Blueprint stamps - clock, gears, bulb (Tim Holtz), Secretary Pool (Artistic Outpost), Stylized Birthday, Party with Cake
Paper: Seasons - Summer 6" x 6" paper (Authentique Paper); Basic Black, Island Indigo, Tip Top Taupe card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Basic Black marker, Stardust Gelly Roll pen (Sakura)
Accessories: Silver 3mm nail head stickers (Mark Richards), metallic glitter tape, burlap ribbon, vintage newsprint washi tape (unknown), screw brads (Making Memories), Corner Chomper (We Are Memory Keepers), Dimensionals

For the focal images on the first two cards, I stamped the clock image twice: once on a piece of blue paper from the pack and once on a piece with a very small newsprint. I cut out the clock face from the newsprint clock and glued it to the center of the first clock. I added a silver nail head in the center and colored in the rest of the image with a Stardust Gelly Roll pen to add sparkle.

I wanted to focus on making birthday cards, so I tried to think of sentiments that worked with the images. For these two cards, I decided on the word "time." For the first card I cut out individual letters to spell out "party time," and for the second card I used just part of sentiment stamp ("It's time to celebrate with cake").

For both cards I used a marker to doodle a border around the background paper and added a few scattered nail head stickers.

On the second card I used the Gelly Roll pen to color in the letters in the first part of the sentiment. I love the extra sparkle (see the close-up photo below).

The light bulb image for the next two cards was also stamped twice and paper pieced, in this case with the small newsprint for the whole image and a yellow paper for the top part of the bulb. I used the Gelly Roll pen to trace the filament part of the image and the base of the bulb.

The sentiment was a lot more challenging for these cards. I finally decided to use a set of small alphabet stamps to spell out a sentiment: "Have a brilliant day" for the first card and "Have a brilliant birthday" for the second. I used black ink for all of the words except "brilliant," which I stamped in yellow to play off the yellow light bulb.

For the third stamp, the gears, I used the image for the background instead of the focal piece. I stamped the gears several times on a piece of patterned paper, turning the stamp to vary the orientation of the image. Then I randomly colored in some of the gears with the Gelly Roll pen.

I used the stamped paper on the bottom half of the card and then added a strip of yellow paper and a piece of washi tape. I stamped a "Happy Birthday" greeting on a piece of the small newsprint paper, rounded two of the corners, drew a border with the Gelly Roll pen (see the close-up photo below) and matted it with a piece of blue paper. I attached the focal image to the card base with Dimensionals and added a screw brad in the lower right corner.

I liked this card design so much that I made two of the same layout. The only change I made on the second card was that I used the Gelly Roll pen to trace over the sentiment instead of drawing a border.

All in all, I think these are fun, out-of-the-ordinary masculine cards that made me stretch my creativity. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

What a week!

I know this is my only blog post for the week, but it's been a busy one. It started with craft weekend, then there was a birthday celebration for my brother, an evening volunteer event at a local school, and a dinner out with a good friend. That's all on top of eight straight days of work (five down, three to go). Whew! I'm actually pretty pleased I'm getting this post done.

Craft weekend was, as always, great fun, and I was especially productive this year. I had an impossible time trying to decide what projects to work on, so I finally settled on completing some kits. I packed five Stampin' Up! kits -- two Paper Pumpkin, Oh Happy Day, Designer Tin of Cards and Stitched with Cheer -- and finished all of them! That's a total of seventy cards. Not too shabby, right? And they were needed, too. I've almost depleted my stash of birthday cards, and I need to start a collection of cards to give to my grandma, too.

I don't know yet if I'll post any of those cards on my blog since I mostly followed the kit instructions while making them. But I did also make a few of "my own" cards, including this one, which uses several leftover kit pieces.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Mint Macaron card base (from Paper Pumpkin kit), floral pattern strip and striped banner pieces (from Oh Happy Day kit), Basic Black card stock, Wood designer 6" x 6" card stock paper (My Mind's Eye)
Accessories: Butterflies Thinlits dies, metallic foil doilies, gold sequins (The Makery - Hazel & Ruby), yellow and white twine (from Oh Happy Day kit), Glue Dots

I really like how this card turned out with the combination of "shabby" from the weathered wood patterned paper and shiny from the sequins and doily. And I have to thank my friend Lisa for the idea to add a butterfly, because I could not figure out what to use as the focal image. I was thinking about a large die-cut flower, but the butterfly is perfect because it leaves more of the patterned paper visible.

That's it from me this week. Thanks for stopping by!