Thursday, July 28, 2016

Get well wishes

I did it -- three posts in one week! Whew! I knew I could do it, since I've done it before, but knowing and doing are often two different things. At any rate, today I have a simple card to share that would be good for many different occasions -- or no occasion at all. I used it as a get well card for my aunt who had ankle surgery, but you'd just need to change or omit the sentiment as needed.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Treemendous (Raisin Boat)
Paper: Thick Whisper White, Hello Honey card stock
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Garden Green, Mint Macaron, So Saffron, Flirty Flamingo, stardust clear Gelly Roll pen (Sakura)
Accessories: Beautiful Wings Embosslits die, pearls, Glue Dots, sponge

This card is mostly basic stamping, so there's not much to explain. But I will point out a few details that may be hard to notice:
- The leaf stamp for the trees is the same image I used for the leaves on the flower stems.
- I colored over the flower buds on the tree with a clear glitter pen to add a little sparkle. Originally I had also used the glitter pen on the centers of the larger flowers, but I didn't like how it looked, so I covered it up with pearls.
- The sentiment is actually one long stamp. To break it up, I used pieces of washi tape to cover parts of the sentiment, inked the rest of the stamp, took of the washi tape and then stamped the words on the card. Then I cleaned the stamp and repeated the process with the next part of the sentiment. With a photopolymer stamp it's easy to do this and still keep everything lined up.

Sometimes simple cards like this, with just simple stamping, are some of my favorite ones to make. What about you? Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pocketful of Sunshine card set

Obviously, I love to make cards. I love to send them, too. But most of the cards I send are for specific occasions, such as birthdays, and I'd like to get better at sending cards "just because." Are you the same way? Well, here's a set of cards perfect for sending a quick note or letting someone know you're thinking about them.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Pocketful of Sunshine stamp and die combo (Taylored Expressions), Just Jeans
Paper: 110-lb white (Recollections), Dapper Denim card stock; Let's Polka in the Meadow paper (Lawn Fawn)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Dapper Denim, Crumb Cake, Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Pool Party, Pear Pizzazz, Lucky Limeade, Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: Sweet Buttons Embosslits die, linen thread, googly eyes (Inkadinkadoo), Mono Multi liquid glue

Aren't they cute? I used the Pocketful of Sunshine stamp and die combo (from Taylored Expressions) with some basic coloring and paper piecing to make these clean and simple cards.

To start, I stamped the Just Jeans background stamp using Dapper Denim ink on Dapper Denim card stock and then die cut the pockets. I love the extra detail the background stamp adds to the pockets.

Once I decided where on the card I wanted to place the pockets, I stamped the main images directly on the card bases. I colored the image of the envelopes and flowers, adhered the die-cut pockets to the cards and stamped the sentiment below the pocket on each card.

After I colored the flowers I didn't like the color combination I'd used on the largest flower, so I added a die-cut button in the middle. Just another opportunity for embellishment, right? I also decided the pockets needed a little embellishment, so I added a small linen thread bow to each one.

For the cards with the frog and chick, I decided to paper piece the animals to add a little pattern and visual interest to the images. After I stamped the images on the card bases I stamped them again on patterned paper. I cut out the patterned images, glued them over the images on the card bases and colored in a few details with markers.

Both of the little critters have big round eyes that are perfect for googly eyes, so I had to add those for the cuteness factor. I think it's impossible to look at something with googly eyes and not smile -- at least it is for me.

I think the pocket die that came in this set is very versatile, and there are many ways it could be used without the coordinating stamps. You could make a back-to-school card (or accent for a scrapbook page) by having a couple of punch-art pencils and/or a ruler sticking out of the pocket. Small die-cut flowers could make a three-dimensional bouquet to tuck inside the pocket. And mini silver brads at the top corners of the pocket would look like rivets. I guess I have some ideas to try!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

No matter how you slice it

I've been trying to keep up with my two-posts-a-week goal, and then last night I was busy with other computer work and completely forgot about my post until just after midnight. Poo. So I'll try to get three posts done this week. I actually have plenty of things to share right now; it's just a matter of making the time to write the post. So without further ado, here is a fun pizza-themed birthday card:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Pizza My Heart (Lawn Fawn), Perfect Pairings
Paper: Thick Whisper White, Creamy Caramel, So Saffron, Watermelon Wonder, Smoky Slate card stock; Collectable "Unforgettable" Designer Paper Pad (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Watermelon Wonder, Close to Cocoa, So Saffron, Wild Wasabi, Sahara Sand, Cajun Craze, Smoky Slate, Memento Tuxedo Back, Project Life journaling pen
Accessories: Large Stitched Rectangles Stackables dies (Lawn Fawn), Woodgrain embossing folder, sponge, Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

I'm always on the lookout for fun stamp sets that work for kids' birthday cards, and this one fits the bill. It's definitely whimsical, but not strictly "kiddish." It includes some great sentiments, and it's fun to be able to customize the pizza however you want.

For my pizza and slices, I stamped the main image in Close to Cocoa ink on Creamy Caramel card stock. Then I stamped it again with Watermelon Wonder ink on So Saffron card stock. (It sounds like an odd combination, but it was the perfect colors to look like tomato sauce and cheese.) I cut out the second image around the wavy line and then lightly sponged a bit of Watermelon Wonder ink along the edge. I glued it onto the first image and then stamped my pizza toppings: mushrooms, pepperoni, green peppers and shredded cheese.

For the background, I wanted to use a red gingham printed paper to look like a tablecloth at an Italian restaurant. Unfortunately I didn't have any red gingham, but I think this one works well. To add the stitched border, I cut the patterned paper with a stitched rectangle die. Then I shifted the paper and partially cut it again to make a stitched square. I adhered the paper to the top of the card base, added the pizza, slice, and pizza cutter with Dimensionals and then stamped a little steam image above the pizza.

For the bottom of the card front, I added a strip of Watermelon Wonder card stock embossed with the Woodgrain embossing folder and sponged around the remaining white edges. I stamped the greeting using two colors to add another pop of red. (And shout out to Lawn Fawn customer service here. I realized while making this card that I had a tiny flaw in one of my stamps. It didn't really affect the use of the stamp, but I contacted them and they promptly sent out a replacement stamp. Awesome!)

Inside the card -- and I apologize for the weird lighting on this photo -- I stamped a couple more sentiments and added two more pizza slices. Did you notice that the pizza slices all have different faces? I love that Lawn Fawn stamp sets come with separate face images so you can decide which face you want to use -- or leave off the faces altogether.

That's one post down and two more to go. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Fintastic birthday fishes

In case you couldn't guess from the post title, today I have a couple of "fishy" birthday cards to share with you.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Fintastic Friends, Year Four (both Lawn Fawn)
Paper: Watercolor paper (Strathmore); Brilliant Blue, Tempting Turquoise card stock
Ink: Jet Black StazOn; ZIG Clean Color Real Brush pens - 050, 061, 020, 024, 037, 036, 066, 803, 080 (Kuretake); Project Life journaling pen
Accessories: Fintastic Friends Lawn Cuts dies (Lawn Fawn), Tide embossing folder (Lifestyle Crafts), Rhythm 'n Blues sequins (Craft Medley), Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers), water brush with detail tip (ZIG), Glue Dots, Dimensionals

I had fun watercoloring these images with my ZIG Clean Color Peal Brush pens. My technique is getting better, although I wish I'd made the water a little darker. I am especially proud of the orange fish because I had to blend together red and yellow pens. I think the color turned out perfectly.

To add a birthday aspect to the card I stamped a balloon on a scrap of watercolor paper, colored it and cut it out. I attached it to the focal image above the fishbowl and hand-drew the string to make it look like the balloon is tied to the fish's tail. I embossed the card base so it looks like waves or water and added a few blue sequins for bubbles.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Fintastic Friends (Lawn Fawn), Essential Messages (Hero Arts), Remembering Your Birthday
Paper: Thick Whisper White card stock; Designer Series Paper (DSP) Patterns Stack - Brights, window sheets (Judi-Kins)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Jet Black Staz On; Pumpkin Pie, Pacific Point markers; Blendabilities markers: Skin Tone, Smoky Slate, Old Olive, Daffodil Delight assortments; BT4 marker (Spectrum Noir); E19, YG09 markers (Copic)
Accessories: Fintastic Friends Lawn Cuts dies (Lawn Fawn), Rhythm 'n Blues sequins (Craft Medley), silver glass glitter, natural ribbon trim, Corner Chomper (We R Memeory Keepers), foam adhesive strips, Glue Dots

The fish tank image is great for a little shaker element on this card. To make the shaker, I first die cut the tank shape out of a piece of DSP that was slightly smaller than the card front. I place the DSP on the card (without adhering it) and then stamped the image onto the card front through the opening. I stamped a few images in the tank, as well as the fish and food canister on scratch card stock, and colored everything.

I taped a piece of window sheet on the back of the DSP and then added pieces of foam adhesive strips all around the opening, making sure there weren't any openings where sequins could escape. (I also added pieces of foam strip on a few other places on the DSP so it would be level when attached to the card base.) I placed a few sequins, a bit of glitter and three die-cut fish in the middle of the focal image and then carefully placed the DSP on top.

To finish the front of the card I added a natural ribbon wrapped around the DSP and knotted in front, a stamped greeting (made by combining two different stamp sets) on a banner, a colored die-cut image, and a few additional sequins.

Inside the card I stamped a birthday sentiment and added three more little fish to tie in with the front of the card.

I hope your day goes swimmingly! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Quick Critters note card set

A couple of weeks ago I posted a piggy hugs card and mentioned that I had used all of the animal shapes in the Quick Critters stamp and die combo (from Taylored Expressions) to make a set of note cards. As promised, here is that set:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Quick Critters stamp and die combo (Taylored Expressions)
Paper: 110-lb white card stock (Recollections); Kraft card stock; Beachside, Let's Polka, Mon Amie and Let's Polka in the Meadow patterned papers (Lawn Fawn)
Ink: Early Espresso, Regal Rose, Pumpkin Pie, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Ovals Collection Framelits dies, In Color sequin assortment, Occasions Paper-Piercing Pack, paper-piercing tool and mat, Dimensionals, Fine-Tip Glue Pen

I die cut two of each animal shape out of patterned papers and then stamped their faces with Early Espresso ink and colored them in with markers. A quick note: For the dog, cow and pig, I wanted to reverse the direction of some of the die-cuts, so I made sure to cut one of each with the back side of the patterned paper facing up. Then I flipped it over before stamping the face. (I hope that makes sense.) I grouped the animals into four different pairs and went to work on the rest of the card design.

For the background of each card I die cut a small oval out of kraft card stock and then pierced a border around the edge to add little texture. I adhered the oval just above the middle of the white 3-1/2" x 5" card base and stamped a sentiment below the oval in Early Espresso ink. I used a different sentiment for each card, and there were two additional saying stamps in the set: "You make my heart happy" and "XOXO."

I used Dimensionals to adhere a pair of critter die-cuts over the oval on each card. I wanted a little bit of embellishment on the cards, and I was happy to discover that the colors in the retired In Color sequin assortment coordinated almost perfectly with the papers I had used for the die-cuts. I chose three sequins for each card and glued them on with the Fine-Tip Glue Pen.

And that's it for this clean and simple card set. I included kraft envelopes with the cards because I liked how it coordinated with the kraft ovals. Unless I need this set  for some gift-giving emergency, I'll be saving it to use as a prize for my cousin's wedding shower in the fall. I'll have to make at least a few more sets for the occasion, so I may pull out this stamp set and die combo again.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

An 'upbeet' card

I thought I'd continue the garden theme from my last post and share this fun, lighthearted card:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Rooting for You, Hello Sunshine (both Lawn Fawn)
Paper: Pool Party, Chocolate Chip, So Saffron, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Pool Party, Smoky Slate, Basic Gray, Sweet Sugarplum, Blackberry Bliss, Wild Wasabi, Garden Green, Whisper White craft
Accessories: Rooting for You, Hello Sunshine, Simple Stitched Hillside Borders, Picket Fence Border Lawn Cuts dies (Lawn Fawn); Winter White embossing powder, Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

Isn't it adorable? I bought this Lawn Fawn stamp set, Rooting for You, earlier this year, but this card was the first time I used it. I love the set. And this card, if I do say so myself. I even have a recipient in mind who would appreciate a cheerful greeting.

I didn't use any particular techniques for this card, just basic stamping and die cutting. The only detail I may need to explain is with the watering can. I stamped the watering can with Smoky Slate ink and then used the narrow point on my Basic Gray marker to color over the base, the inside and the end of the spout to add shading.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have an "upbeet" day, too!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Lettuce and tomatoes and beans! Oh my!

We are having some crazy thunderstorms here today, but a couple of days ago it was beautiful and sunny - perfect for a few quick garden pictures.

This time around I only took close-up shots of a few plants in the garden so you can't see how weedy it is. Keeping up with the weeds is not my favorite thing to do, especially when the garden gets full sun for most of the day. The sunshine is great for the veggies, but not for me and my fair skin. (I've never understood how people can just lie out in the sun and bake. Ugh.)

At any rate, the bibb lettuce seeds have sprouted quite nicely. I did thin them out a little bit, but I've discovered that it's hard to thin plants when they're growing. They're just sitting there minding they're own business and becoming tasty vegetables when someone comes along and yanks them out of the earth. How mean. I know it's technically no different than pulling weeds, but it seems different. Maybe it's because I don't plan to eat the weeds. Who knows.

The shadow to the left of the lettuce is from the red leaf lettuce. Only one of those plants survived, but it's doing well.

The cucumber vines are plugging along, too. I love their pretty little yellow flowers. This one is the Marketmore cucumber, and we also have a bush crop cucumber. I don't think I caught any of the baby cucumbers in this shot, but my sister says there are at least a dozen between the two plants.

And here is a zucchini blossom. I never really think of vegetables as having flowers, even though I know they do, so it's always a little amazing to me to see the flowers blooming on our vegetable plants. They're just so beautiful. (I just found a very interesting article about flowering vegetables in Gardens Illustrated online. I wouldn't have ever thought about using vegetables to make bouquets.)

We have three different types of tomato in the garden, and all three plants have tomatoes growing. This one, a Nyagous tomato, was the first one to sprout. The tomatoes will be a dark color and are supposed to have a sweet, smoky flavor. I haven't tried them before, so I can't wait to taste them. We also planted a Moskovich tomato and a Brandywine tomato.

And the beans, the crazy beans. This year we're trying French Gold Pole Beans, and they sprouted just days after we planted the seeds. I would love to watch some time-lapse video of the beans, because there was one day that I swear they grew about six inches. We have two bean towers, and I'm going to try to keep track of how many beans we pick this summer. Last year it was in the hundreds, but I don't know more than that. (I just asked my sister how many beans she thought we harvested last year, and she said, "Gobs and gobs." Ha.)

And a couple of shots from the flower garden. The flower on the left is a giant marigold, and on the right is milkweed. We try to let as much of the milkweed grow in the garden as we can (yay! a weed I don't have to pick!) so any monarch butterflies that happen by can enjoy it. It's also coming up in some rock beds on the side of our house, and we let the landlord know what it was so he wouldn't come by and pull them out.

Speaking of monarch butterflies, this guy just happened to pass by while I was out with my camera. He did not want to settle anywhere for more than a second or two, though, so I couldn't get a great shot. This one is pretty good -- at least his wings are open -- but you can still see that he was moving. He checked out a few of the milkweed plants, so they must be working.

Overall it looks like we'll have another successful garden harvest this year. (Assuming these storms don't wash everything away. Sheesh.) I'll try to focus on the other garden plants (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mini sweet peppers and sunburst squash) in my next so you can see how they're doing, too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

In honor of the Independence Day holiday in the U.S., here are a couple of cute patriotic 3" x 3" cards:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Perfect Pennants, Endless Birthday Wishes
Paper: Thick Whisper White, Night of Navy card stock; silver glimmer paper
Ink: Night of Navy, Real Red
Accessories: Stars Framelits dies, red sequins (unknown), paper-piercing tool and mat, Glue Dots, Dimensionals

This card has a layout that gives a nod to the U.S. flag. For the stripes, I stamped the two long, narrow images from Perfect Pennants and hand-cut them, trimming one end of each strip into a V. The star portion, a square of Night of Navy card stock with a pierced border and a silver glittery star in the middle, is adhered over the stripes with Dimensionals. To finish of the card I stamped a simple sentiment and added three red sequins.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Work of Art
Paper: Thick Whisper White
Ink: Real Red, Night of Navy
Accessories: Regals Candy Dots, Dimensionals

This card uses just a few supplies -- one stamp set, one type of card stock, two ink colors, one embellishment and one adhesive -- which proves you don't need a ton of supplies to make a cute card. I stamped the chevrons and one stripe directly on the card base. Then I stamped the heart on a separate piece, cut it out and added to the card with a Dimensional. It needed something else, so I added three Night of Navy Candy Dots, although rhinestones, pearls or sequins would have worked just as well.

If you are celebrating the Fourth of July today, I hope you have a fun, festive, and safe time with your friends and family. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Variations on a Paper Pumpkin

A couple of weeks ago I had fun completing my May Paper Pumpkin kit. I loved the die-cut card bases (and other kit contents), but I wanted a little more variety than the pre-designed card. So I pulled out some different papers and stamps and created eight different cards. I'm sharing all eight of the cards I made below (the first one was made following the kit directions) without any commentary. If you have any questions about supplies or techniques, post a comment below.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Kit: May 2016 Paper Pumpkin
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Kit: May 2016 Paper Pumpkin
Stamps: Essential Messages (Hero Arts)
Paper: "Mirror" paper (unknown - leftover from a gift set package)
Accessories: Enamel hearts (past Paper Pumpkin kit), opal Deco Foil (therm-o-web), 1/8" Scor-Tape (Scor-Pal)
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Kit: May 2016 Paper Pumpkin
Paper: "Mirror" paper (unknown); Tempting Turquoise, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Cucumber Crush card stock
Accessories: "Thanks" die (Taylored Expressions), Fine-Tip Glue Pen

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Kit: May 2016 Paper Pumpkin
Stamps: Tin of Cards
Paper: "Mirror" paper (unknown), Designer Series Paper (DSP) Patterns Stack - Brights
Ink: Real Red
Accessories: Fine-Tip Glue Pen
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Kit: May 2016 Paper Pumpkin
Paper: Black glimmer paper
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Pool Party
Accessories: Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Kit: May 2016 Paper Pumpkin
Stamps: Flowering Fields
Paper: Wildflower Fields DSP
Ink: Lost Lagoon, Soft Sky, Hello Honey, Old Olive, Basic Gray, Smokey Slate
Accessories: Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen, rhinestones, linen thread

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Kit: May 2016 Paper Pumpkin
Stamps: Three Amigos (Mama Elephant)
Paper: Textured Soft Sky card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Pansy Punch, Itty Bitty Accents punch pack, white Perfect Accents
Past Paper Pumpkin kit leftovers: gold foil, DSP, leaves, mini banner
Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Kit: May 2016 Paper Pumpkin
Stamps: Seriously Amazing (August 2014 Paper Pumpkin)
Paper: Crumb Cake card stock
Ink: Crumb Cake pad and marker
Accessories: Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen, white Perfect Accents

Thanks for stopping by!