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!