Saturday, June 24, 2017

Floral papers in the spotlight

In my last post, I mentioned that I had two cards left to share from my spring craft retreat. Well, as it turns out I actually have four cards. So I'll share two today, and two in my next post, and then I'll be ready to move on to newer projects. Today's cards feature a couple of different layouts with floral patterned papers.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Essential Messages (Hero Arts)
Paper: Berry Burst card stock, Pocket Blossom Stack (DCWV)
Ink: Berry Burst
Accessories: Delicate white doilies, burlap ribbon, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, cup sequins - Baby assortment (Craft Medley), Tiny Attacher (Tim Holtz), Glue Dots, corner rounder

This is a very clean and simple layout, but I love the pattern on this paper and wanted it to be the focus of the card. I also love how well it matches Berry Burst, one of Stampin' Up!'s new In Colors -- probably my favorite so far -- so I used that as my card base. To add a bit of embellishment to the paper I wrapped a piece of burlap ribbon around the card front, tucked in a small piece of white doily and attached the ribbon to the card with two tiny staples. I also added three fuchsia sequins and, although it's difficult to see in the photo, painted Wink of Stella clear glitter on the dark pink flowers in the paper.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Delicate Details
Paper: Basic Black, Calypso Coral, Very Vanilla Old Olive card stock; Pretty Petals Designer Series Paper (DSP) Stack
Ink: Calypso Coral, Old Olive
Accessories: Secret Garden Framelits dies, Shine & Sparkle sequins (Hazel and Ruby), Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen, Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack, corner rounder, sponge, Mono Multi liquid glue

The Pretty Petals DSP Stack is another favorite of mine, and this layout, which I found in an idea book, gave me a chance to use several of the prints in the pack. I love the bold flower print with the smaller, monochromatic patterns. For the focal image, I die cut a couple of Calypso Coral flowers and a branch of Old Olive leaves and sponged the edges with ink to add some depth. I used two mini Very Vanilla scalloped circles for the flower center and painted Wink of Stella on the top circle. Three sequins and a strip of stamped lace finish off the card.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A bit of inspration

I know it's been a few weeks since I've shared any cards, but that's about to change. I still haven't posted all the cards I made at the craft retreat back in April (was it that long ago already?), so here are a couple of cards that feature inspirational quotes or sayings as the focal point.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Book Club (Papertrey Ink)
Paper: Crumb Cake, So Saffron, Whisper White, thick Whisper White, Basic Black card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Flower Fair, Layering Squares, Stitched Shapes Framelits dies; Liquid Glass (Close to My Heart); Itty Bitty Shapes punch pack; Dimensionals; Mono Multi liquid glue

This is a pretty straightforward card, so I'll just give you a couple of tips about the daisies. The die I used to cut the flowers has five petals, so I cut two of them for each flower and layered them together, offsetting the petals. I glued a So Saffron card stock circle to the center of each flower and coated it with Liquid Glass to make it shiny. I gently curved the petals up and attached the flowers to the card with Dimensionals.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Plot Twist (Taylored Expressions), Geo-Graphic (Paper Smooches), Choose Joy (Papertrey Ink), Delicate Details
Paper: Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Baja Breeze, Very Vanilla
Ink: Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Baja Breeze
Accessories: Burlap ribbon, Tiny Attacher (Tim Holtz), corner rounder, sponge

I used stamps from four different companies on this card, which is something I don't do often. But I think it works well here. I used Soft Suede for the card base and layered on a piece of Crumb Cake card stock that was 1/4" smaller than the card base on three sides. I stamped background dots along the left side of the Crumb Cake card stock and sponged all the edges with Crumb Cake ink.

The pocket is Baja Breeze card stock with a lace image stamped across the top and faux stitching drawn along the other three sides. I also stamped a Soft Suede heart in the lower right corner. I sponged ink along all four edges of the pocket, but it still feels a little plain to me. I think I also should have stamped it with a texture-style background stamp, such as a linen or denim. What do you think?

Here is the tag that fits inside the pocket. I stamped the sentiment and sun accent on Very Vanilla card stock, trimmed the top corners at an angle and sponged the edges with Crumb Cake ink. Instead of adding a tassel, I took a small piece of burlap ribbon and stapled it to the top of the tag.

I could have attached the tag to the front of the card and used it as the focal point that way. But I really like the idea of having it be a separate piece. This way, the recipient could use the tag as a book mark, attach it to the fridge or tuck it in the corner of a mirror to have a frequent reminder of the encouraging message.

It might be fun to have a whole stack of pocket cards, without the tag inserts, made and ready to go. Then when I wanted to send one I could just stamp an appropriate message (or image) on the tag, place it in the pocket and write my message inside. I'll have to file that idea away for future stamping projects.

Alright, I think I have just a couple more retreat cards to share, which will be my next post. And then I'll start on more recent cards and projects. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 16, 2017

The beginning of the garden

We've had our garden all planted for about about a week and a half, and so far everything is progressing nicely. I'll do an update in a few weeks, but before I can do any updates, we have to have a starting point. And here's where our garden started:

Ugh. Dandelions, creeping charlie, and dead stuff from last year. And I think this is even after I had done a bit of "clean-up."

And here we are after lots of weeding and tilling. (Except for the back flower patch by the alley. We tackled that the day after this photo.) We decided this was good enough and laid down some black fabric-y weed barrier. Then we added all the cages and towers and got to planting.

Starting in the bottom left and going clockwise, we have rhubarb, cauliflower, cucumbers and Swiss chard, beans, peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. And of course the strawberries in the corner.

Our chicken-wire fencing and stakes are looking a bit worse for wear. This is the third summer they've been in the garden, so they're a bit weathered and wobbly. We had originally planned to redo the fence this year, but we got such a late start that we didn't want to spend time messing with the fence. Once the garden is filled with vegetables, you won't even notice the fence, right?

Here is the cauliflower. We haven't tried growing cauliflower before, and from what we've read it can be a bit sensitive. This is cheddar cauliflower, so it will be orange instead of white. Side note: The rhubarb, to the right of the cauliflower, is huge. Some of the leaves have to be at least two feet wide.

Here are the cucumbers, which will grow up the trellis, and the Swiss chard growing below. In the background are the eggplant (by the upper left corner of the trellis) and then three tomatoes: San Marzano, Mr. Stripey (my sister found that plant at the farmer's market and had to get it) and then black plum.

And here we have our two bean towers. We planted a variety of different beans, so we should have lots of pretty flowers and, if the past is any indication, thousands of beans. Behind the bean towers and to the left are three peppers (tangerine dream, chocolate sweet pepper and lady bell). Near the center of the photo is the eggplant again.

This is a view from the back of the garden.

And here's the flower patch by the alley. In between the hostas we planted prairie blazing stars, and on either end we planted echinacea. We also planted sunflower seeds all along the fence. There are a few milkweed plants growing in this patch, too, although we had to pull out several that were covered with aphids.

There you have it! It was a lot of work, but now that everything is in the garden, I'm glad we did it. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Great Strawberry Expansion ... and our first harvest

Three years ago when we moved into our current house and first planted a garden, I really wanted to try planting strawberries. So we bought a pack of four small strawberries plants along with our garden veggies and planted them in a corner of our new garden. They didn't do well for a variety of reasons. A large neighborhood bunny population. A fence that didn't keep out said bunny population. A couple of good storms. And so on, and so forth.

The old strawberry pots, empty so far this year. That little area is being overrun
by the raspberry bush.
The next year, two years ago, I wasn't sure if we should try growing strawberries again. But then I remembered that we had two very large pots that were sitting unused in the yard, and I figured, why not? At least the pots would keep them off the ground and safe from the bunnies. So we moved the pots next to the garden and planted four more strawberry plants.

The plants did pretty well in the pots, although we didn't get many berries that year. They did produce off-shoots, or runners, that grew over the edge of the pots and planted themselves in the corner of the garden. "Hey, look at that," we said. "The strawberries are growing outside of the pots." We didn't think much more of it.

The "Mary Berry Patch." All of the plants with the rounded leaves are
strawberries. The raspberry bush is in the back along the fence. The taller
plant with long leaves in the lower left corner is milkweed, which we leave
for the monarch butterflies whenever possible.
Until the next spring, which was last year. The strawberries didn't come up again in the pots, which really didn't surprise us. We were surprised, though, that the strawberry plants reappeared in the garden. And not just in the little space where they'd planted themselves the year before. They'd spread and basically taken over the whole corner of the garden.

We affectionately dubbed that corner our "Mary Berry Patch" (fans of The British Baking Show will appreciate that). The plants did well in the garden, and we even got a few strawberries here and there.

 Fast forward to this spring when green things were finally starting to poke out of the  unfrozen ground. Lo and behold the strawberries have continued to grow along the outer edge to almost the
middle of the garden. The Great Strawberry Expansion.

Creeping Charlie and dandelions keep popping up in the middle of the
strawberries, and it's tricky to pull the weeds and not the berries.
Silly strawberries. They had runners trying to grow even farther along the edge of the garden, but we redirected them to head back the other direction since we do want to grow a few more things than just strawberries in the garden. We did consider digging up some of the strawberry plants from the end and moving them back to the corner, but honestly with all of the other weeding and planting to do, that was an extra chore that I didn't feel the need to tackle.

Our first garden harvest
The berries are certainly flourishing, though. We noticed early on that the plants were full of flowers. And then there were lots of baby strawberries, more than I remember seeing in previous years.

I waited (maybe not so patiently) until some of the berries were nice and red and finally picked these four -- our first harvest (before the rest of the garden was even planted). Truth be told, they probably could have used another day or maybe two to ripen, but I was afraid that if I waited too long, the squirrels or birds would find them first. And they have a terrible tendency to pick something, take one bite and then just leave the rest sitting on the ground. (I mean if you're going to take my food, have the courtesy to eat all of it. Or at least don't leave it right out in the open. Seriously.)

We've picked several more berries in the last few days, and we even have the rest of the garden planted. I'll be back soon with more garden photos -- and cards, too! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fun florals

I can't believe today is already the last day of May. Where does the time go? This afternoon we finally got to the garden center to buy some veggies for the garden and flowers for planters. It will be a few days before we get the garden planted, but it was such a beautiful evening that we planted the flowers as soon as we got home. And that put me in the mood to share some fun floral cards.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Happy Wishes (WPlus9 Design Studio), Inside & Out: Birthday (Papertrey Ink)
Paper: Thick Whisper White, Whisper White card stock; Raspberry card stock (Close to My Heart)
Ink: Raspberry, Blossom, Willow (Close to My Heart); Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Happy Wishes and Happy Wishes Words dies (WPlus9 Design Studio), rhinestones, Dimensionals

I love the fabulous pink flowers on this card. I stamped several flowers and branches on white card stock, cut them out with dies and played with them (and the pieces of the sentiment) until I had an arrangement I liked. I used Dimensionals to pop up one flower in each cluster as well as the die-cut "wishes" and the two banners with the stamped sentiment. A few simple rhinestones add a little sparkle.

After I finished the card front I realized that everything was a little too high, making the card feel top heavy. To balance it out I added a strip of dark pink card stock along the bottom of the card front.

I had a few extra stamped and die-cut flowers left from the front of the card, so I added a small cluster to the bottom right corner inside the card. I do like the "finished" look when I decorate the inside of a card; I'll have to work on doing that more often.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: With You (Close to My Heart), Inside & Out: Birthday (Papertrey Ink)
Paper: Thick Whisper White, Crumb Cake card stock
Ink: Wisteria Wonder, Calypso Coral, Apricot Appeal, Old Olive, Pear Pizzazz, Memento Tuxedo Black; watercolor paint (Close to My Heart)
Accessories: Water brush (Close to My Heart), Clear Faceted Gem, Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen, linen thread, Dimensionals

For this card I stamped the flowers and stems on a square of white card stock. Each flower is made up of two stamps: a solid shape and a detailed image. I used one color ink for each pair of stamps. First I stamped the detailed image using the desired color. Then I applied the same color ink to the solid image, stamped the image on scratch paper, and then stamped it over the detailed image, creating the lighter background tone.

I layered the panel on a piece of Crumb Cake card stock. I wrapped linen thread twice around the left side of the Crumb Cake card stock and tied it off with a bow.

To make the background I dipped a damp paintbrush in watercolor paint and tapped it to create color spatters on a white card base. I hadn't tried that technique with paint before, but it worked great! I just had to make sure the paint on the brush wasn't too thick.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Crumb Cake card stock, Hello Lovely paper (Close to My Heart)
Accessories: Picture My Life card (Close to My Heart), Shine and Sparkle sequins (Hazel & Ruby), Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen, Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers), Glue Dots, Dimensionals

Here's a card with no stamping at all. I started with a Crumb Cake card base, rounded the corners and added a strip of floral patterned paper across the middle of the card. Here's a tip: If your strip isn't long enough to go across the whole card, but the middle will be covered up, just cut it into two pieces and adhere one piece to each side of the card.

In the middle of the card base I adhered a designed card made for pocket-style scrapbooking. In the center of that card I used Dimensionals to adhere a bouquet of flowers hand-cut from the patterned paper. (Note: This is the same paper I used in the second pair of cards in my "One hour, four cards" post if you want to see more of the pattern.) I also cut the largest flower from a second bouquet to add a little more dimension.

To add some sparkle to this simple card I applied clear Wink of Stella to the roses and added three sequins around the flowers.

I hope the flowers we planted today do well. And I'll be back soon (I hope!) with a first garden post for the season. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 26, 2017

One hour, four cards

At the craft retreat I went to last month, one of the activities we did was to fill a BINGO-style card by completing different tasks and challenges. One of the challenges I took on was to make four cards in an hour using the same layout sketch. Here are my cards:

Supplies - flower card (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Celebrate Everything (Paper Pumpkin kit)
Paper: Whisper White, thick Whisper White, Calypso Coral card stock; patterned paper (Close to My Heart)
Ink: Calypso Coral, Old Olive
Accessories: Clear faceted gems, Dimensionals

Supplies - coffee cup (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Thanks a Latte (Paper Pumpkin kit)
Paper: Whisper White, thick Whisper White, Baja Breeze, Soft Suede card stock; Zoe paper (Close to My Heart)
Ink: Baja Breeze, Soft Suede, Signo white gel pen
Accessories: Pearls, Tiny Attached (Tim Holtz), Dimensionals

Well, as it turns out, I finished the cards in an hour, but then I spent another hour touching them up. Details, details. All four of the cards (the other two are below) are simple, but I think they turned out cute. Although I think I should have used Soft Suede for the square mat on the coffee card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Oh Happy Day
Paper: Whisper White, thick Whisper White, Old Olive card stock; Hello Lovely paper (Close to My Heart)
Ink: Old Olive, Sea Glass (Close to My Heart)
Accessories: Delicate White doilies, rhinestones, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, blender pen (Close to My Heart), Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

For the second pair of cards I used a really pretty double-sided floral patterned paper; each side of the paper is featured on one of the cards. I hand cut some of the flowers from the paper to use on the focal panels on the cards. I also added a little sparkle to the flowers with a Wink of Stella brush pen, although it's hard to see in the photos.

This was a fun challenge and one that I just might do again on my own. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Starry, starry birthdays

We've had almost nonstop rain for the past week, but I am glad to report that the sun is finally shining today. And it's a good thing, too, because as much as I love a good thunderstorm, I think the interminable clouds were beginning to turn me into Oscar the Grouch. We do have a front yard that is now a field of dandelions, but that's a problem for another day. Today I want to share with you a couple of birthday cards featuring sparkling stars.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Cricut Artiste Collection Birthday (Close to My Heart), Sprinkles & Smiles (Penny Black)
Paper: Pacific Point, Whisper White card stock; gold glimmer paper; gold foil sheets
Ink: Pacific Point
Accessories: Confetti Stars embossing folder (Close to My Heart), star dies (Close to My Heart), Dimensionals, Mono Multi Liquid glue

As it turns out, I ended up making a "boy" birthday card and a "girl" birthday card, and this is the masculine version. (Not that you couldn't give a blue card to a girl, of course; I just happen to think that this card would be perfect for several of the boys in my extended family.)

I started with a Pacific Point card base and embossed it with a star embossing folder. I die cut several stars in different sizes using gold glimmer paper and gold foil sheets. For a few of the stars I nested the dies to create the star outlines and add some variety to the solid stars. I adhered the stars to the upper left and lower right corners of the card base, suing Dimensionals to pop up a couple of the stars. For the sentiment, I stamped a banner image with the saing "Hip-hip-hooray," cut it out by hand and attached it near the middle of the card with Dimensionals.

Inside the card I added a layer of white card stock stamped with a sentiment in Pacific Point. A few more small die-cut stars finish off the card and add a little more sparkle.

I do really like the look of the gold glimmer paper combined with the gold foil. The rougher glimmer paper adds a bit of fun texture, and the smooth foil brings lots of shine.

Looking at this card now, I realize that it doesn't even have to be a birthday card. It also would be perfect for celebrating just about any accomplishment, such as graduating from high school or college, receiving an award or honor, getting a new job, or giving an end-of-year school presentation or performance.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Strictly Sentiments (WPlus9 Design Studio)
Paper: Thick Whisper White card stock; Pansy card stock, Kaleidoscope paper (Close to My Heart); gold glimmer paper
Ink: Pansy (Close to My Heart)
Accessories: Stars dies (Close to My Heart), Celebrate die (Close to My Heart), Diamond embossing folder (Close to My Heart), Tiny Attacher (Tim Holtz), Mono Multi liquid glue

And here's the more "girly" starry card. I tried a new technique for this card. I'm not sure if it has an official name, but I'll call it the inlaid die-cut technique. I started with a piece of Pansy card stock that was the size of an A2 card (4-1/4" x 5-1/2") and die cut the word "celebrate" from the middle of the card stock. I set aside the die-cut word to use on a different card, but I made sure to keep all the little pieces from inside the letters. Then I embossed the piece of card stock and layered it on a card base. I used a white card base, but you also could use the same color as the top layer. Note: When you emboss card stock, the paper can "shrink" a little bit, depending on how much of the paper is pushed up into the design. So you may need to trim your card base down just a bit to match the size.

The next step is to cut the same die cut out of a contrasting card stock or patterned paper (I used a fun multi-colored patterned paper called Kaleidoscope). I carefully glue the second die cut into the negative space on the card front. There were a couple of places where it didn't fit exactly because parts of the purple layered moved just slightly while I was gluing the layer onto the card base, but it's nothing too noticeable. The really fun part was then gluing those tiny little purple pieces back in the middle of the letters. Obviously those pieces didn't get embossed like the rest of the purple card stock, but they're so small it's hardly noticeable. Of course you could solve this whole problem by just using a solid die-cut shape.

I finished the front of the card with two narrow banners of coordinating patterned paper stapled in the upper left corner and three gold glimmer paper stars.

Inside the card I stamped a simple birthday sentiment and added a larger gold star. And again, if you wanted to use this card for a non-birthday celebratory occasion, you would just need to change or omit the inside sentiment.

That's it for me today. I'm going to see if I can sit outside and read for a bit before the clouds roll back in. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Beautiful butterflies

Happy Mother's Day! I want to wish a wonderful day to all the moms, grandmas, godmothers, aunts, cousins, sisters, friends and other mother figures out there. And in honor of all those who nurture and care for us, today I'm sharing the Mother's Day card I made for my mom as well as a couple of other cards that each feature a die-cut butterfly.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Mother's Day (Close to My Heart)
Paper: Crumb cake, Calypso Coral, Very Vanilla card stock; Pretty Petals Designer Series Paper (DSP) stack
Ink:Crumb Cake, Calypso Coral
Accessories: Scallop embossing folder (Close to My Heart), Bold Butterfly Framelits dies, pearls, sponge, Glue Dots

I love the colors and patterns in the Pretty Petals DSP stack; so much so that I bought a second pack when it was on the Clearance Rack recently. (And that's saying something, because I really try to limit my patterned-paper purchases since I don't use them up very quickly.) I used an idea book for the basic layout, layering patterned paper and embossed card stock on a Crumb Cake card base. For the focal image I stamped a sentiment and border on a square of Very Vanilla card stock and sponged the edges with Crumb Cake ink. (I also sponged the edges of the patterned paper.) A Crumb Cake butterfly with a pearl in the center finishes off this card. A simple but pretty card perfect for a spring day. This design would be great for a set of cards -- just change the background DSP and the sentiment for each card in the set. Hmmm ... something to add to my to-do list.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Basic Black, Old Olive, Very Vanilla card stock; Pretty Petals DSP stack
Accessories: Bold Butterfly Framelits dies, pearls, Mono Multi liquid glue

No stamping on this card, but there is more of that Pretty Petals DSP. A layout like this one is a wonderful way to use up those scraps of patterned paper that are too pretty to just recycle. Or for a more subtle, monochromatic look, use scraps of the same color card stock but emboss them with different textures to add a different type of visual interest.

To create this card, I started in the lower left corner and then filled in other pieces, trimming as necessary and trying to balance colors and patterns. Don't start adhering paper right away; just move around pieces until you have an arrangement you like. (Sometimes I use my grid paper for this step. I draw an outline the size of the card, and then I can use the grid lines to make sure the edges of the pieces are even.) When you are ready to adhere, it's helpful to use a liquid glue because it gives you just a little time to wiggle the paper if you don't get it down in exactly the right spot.

When I make cards like this I always seem to end up with one spot that is just too small for a piece of DSP. That blank space is a perfect place to add an embellishment -- or just cover it up with a focal panel, as I did with this card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Delicate Details
Paper: Soft Suede, Crumb Cake card stock; Zoe patterned paper (Close to My Heart)
Ink: Soft Suede, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Butterflies Thinlits dies, delicate white doilies, pearls Picture My Life card (Close to My Heart), burlap ribbon, sponge, Dimensionals, Mono Multi liquid glue

I don't do a lot of scrapbooking (I have a San Diego scrapbook from a trip in 2010, I think, that I haven't touched in years), but pocket-style scrapbooking cards also make great elements on cards. This card was one that was in my goodie bag at the craft retreat, and I love the colors, images and subtle text on the background. I used the card as my focal layer on this card by adding a large die-cut butterfly to the top of the card and a bit of paper doily on the bottom.

For the card base, I cut a piece of patterned paper, sponged the edges with Crumb Cake ink and adhered it to the bottom half of the card front. I stamped a lace image along the top of the paper and wrapped burlap ribbon around the card front between the paper and stamped lace image. I attached the focal panel to the card with Dimensionals and added a strip of pearls to the butterfly's body and a single pearl in the upper right corner of the card.

Now that spring is here -- and seems to be staying this time -- I suspect I'll want to add butterflies to lots of cards. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Two more note card sets

This week has just flown by! I guess that's what happens when you're busy with work, a few family commitments and beautiful weather that makes you want to nap in the lawn chair in the backyard. (Not that I dozed off while I was trying to read or anything. I was just resting my eyes. Ahem.) But I'm back to share more of the cards I made at the craft retreat a couple of weeks ago, specifically the other two sets of note cards.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Plot Twist (Taylored Expressions)
Paper: Thick Whisper White, Whisper White, Basic Black card stock; Pansy card stock and Kaleidoscope paper (Close to My Heart)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, watercolor paints (Close to My Heart)
Accessories: Stitched Shapes Framelits dies, rhinestones, black baker's twine, water brush (Close to My Heart)

Like the previous two card sets, this set uses a set of inspirational/meaningful quotes and sayings as the focal images. (I absolutely love the sentiment in the upper left card in the picture above -- "When something goes wrong in your life, just yell 'Plot twist!' and move on." -- and it's the main reason I bought this set.) But these quotes have a little more oomph in terms of their visual style, so I used a bold black and white color scheme with little hints of color.

I cut thick Whisper White card stock to note card size (3-1/2" x 5") and used a water brush to splatter purple watercolor paint on the card bases. I adhered a strip of Basic Black card stock along the left side of the card base and tied a length of black and white baker's twine over the black strip. For the focal images, I stamped each sentiment on Whisper White card stock and die cut them with either a stitched oval or stitched circle die, depending on the size and shape of the image. I attached four strips of card stock or patterned paper behind the right edge of each circle/oval and then adhered the piece to the card base. I finished off the cards with three rhinestones.

And finally ...

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Labeler Alphabet, Sunday Stroll (Mama Elephant)
Paper: Whisper White note cards and envelopes; Whisper White, Basic Black card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, colored pencils and blender pencil (Prismacolor)
Accessories: Brick Wall embossing folder, rhinestones, black fine-line felt tip pen (Staedtler), Dimensionals

This card set was a little more involved than the others. I bought this stamp set, Sunday Stroll, ages ago because, obviously, it's adorable. But I haven't used it a whole lot because I'm not the most skilled at putting together little stamped scenes. Since I had time to play around with it during the craft retreat, I decided to make several simple scenes with sentiments to match and make a card set.

I stamped the images on Whisper White card stock and used a fine-tip pen to draw the wavy line representing the ground (the tufts of grass are a stamp). I colored the stamped images with colored pencils, but I left the background of the scenes white so the figures really stand out. (Let's be honest: I was too lazy to color in all that background.) I layered each scene onto Basic Black card stock and used Dimensionals to adhere the panel onto an embossed white note card. A row of three rhinestones finishes each card.

For the sentiments I settled on six all-occasion greetings and matched them up with the stamped scenes. Then I stamped each sentiment using the Labeler Alphabet set, black ink and white card stock. Here's a tip: When I need to stamp multiple words with this set, I pull out a bunch of scrap strips of card stock and work on all the words simultaneously. For instance, for "thanks" and "hello," I stamp the T on one strip. Then I stamp the H next to the T, and I stamp another H on a different strip of card stock to start the other word. It's much faster than trying to do each word individually. I keep a large clear block near me on the table, so if I know I will need to use a letter again further along in a word, I set the stamp on the extra block rather than putting it back on the index sheet in the stamp case.

In all honesty, I wasn't crazy about this card set when I first made it, but the more I look at it, the more it grows on me. I hope you like it, too. In my next post I'll start sharing the individual cards I made at the retreat. Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Two clean and simple card sets

Last weekend I had a great time at a craft retreat with my aunt and three new crafting friends. It was so much fun to stay up late (I was up until 2 a.m. every night, and Sunday morning I didn't hit the sack until 5 a.m.!), sleep in, eat good food, laugh and make loads of cards. The weather was chilly and rainy all weekend, which normally I would complain about, especially if I were spending the weekend at a lake cabin, but it was perfect for our crafting productivity. I made a total of forty-four cards, which I think is pretty good.

My first order of business at the retreat was to make some new sets of cards. I like to have a selection of card sets on hand to give as gifts, and my stash has been pretty low. For the first two sets I used a great set of sentiment stamps from Papertrey Ink as the focal images for my cards.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Choose Joy (Papertrey Ink)
Paper: Whisper White note cards and envelopes, Pocket Blossom Stack (DCWV)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Pear Pizzazz, Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, So Saffron
Accessories: Delicate white doilies, linen thread, Shine and Sparkle sequins (Hazel and Ruby), Mono Multi liquid glue, Glue Dots

I chose six of the sentiments in the stamp set and stamped each one with black ink on a white note card. For embellishment I cut a strip of printed paper with a small floral pattern and snipped each end into a V. I glued a small piece of white doily behind the strip and then attached the strip to the card below the sentiment. A linen thread bow and three silvery sequins finish off each card.

I also stamped a small flower inside each card and on the corner of the envelope so everything coordinated.

For the second card set I used the same sentiment stamp set, but instead of using patterned paper, I added a stamped border along the fold of each card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Choose Joy (Papertrey Ink), Geo-Graphic (Paper Smooches)
Paper: Whisper White note cards and envelopes; Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, So Saffron, Pear Pizzazz, Baja Breeze, Wisteria Wonder card stock
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, So Saffron, Pear Pizzazz, Baja Breeze, Wisteria Wonder
Accessories: Itty Bitty Shaped punch pack, rhinestones, glue dots

For this card set, another clean and simple design, I chose a rainbow of pastel colors and used one color for each card. I stamped a patterned background image along the spine using the color and then stamped the quote in black about one-third of the way down the card front. For a simple embellishment I punched a small flower in the coordinating color and adhered it and a few sequins to the right of the sentiment. Here are pictures of the individual cards:

I know these aren't fancy cards, but they are very much my style, and I love the way they turned out. I have two more card sets to share in my next post. Thanks for stopping by!