Friday, July 28, 2017

Hip hip hooray!

I've been busy trying to reorganize my stamps the past couple of days. It's fun, but time-consuming, and I haven't quite finished yet, so I have a quick blog post tonight. Here's a fun, festive birthday card that would work for just about anyone:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Party with Cake
Paper: Basic Black, Marina Mist, Whisper White card stock; silver glimmer paper; Subtles Designer Series Paper (DSP) Stack
Ink: Marina Mist
Accessories: Party Pop-Up Thinlits dies, Dimensionals, Mono multi liquid glue

When I made my cousin's shower invitations last summer, I cut eight layers of card stock and DSP in each of nine colors. I ended up not needing the Marina Mist pieces, though, so they've been sitting around my craft room for months. I decided to use one set of the pieces to make a birthday card.

I adhered the two Marina Mist pieces to a Basic Black card base and covered the seam with a strip of silver glimmer paper. I die cut the "hip hip hooray!" piece from Basic Black card stock and glued silver glimmer paper to the back so it showed through just the letters. The I attached the piece to the card front with Dimensionals.

I had some black confetti pieces leftover from the die-cut piece on the front, so I decided to glue a few of the streamers on the inside of the card around the stamped sentiment. It's a fun little detail that connects the inside of the card to the front.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Berry Burst Tranquil Tulips

Tulips are one of my all-time favorite flowers, and I rarely pass up a tulip stamp set. So when I saw the Tranquil Tulips hostess set in the 2017 - 18 Stampin' Up! catalog, I knew it would be at the top of my wish list. I love that the images in the set are solid, two-step images with shading built in -- it's a great set for quick, beautiful cards like this one:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Tranquil Tulips
Paper: Whisper White, Fresh Fig card stock
Ink: Fresh Fig, Berry Burst, Old Olive
Accessories: Metallics sequins, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, Dimensionals, Glue Dots, Fine-Tip Glue Pen

I really like the Tranquil Tulips card on page 223 of the catalog, so I used it as the inspiration for the layout of my flowers. I stamped the tulips on Whisper White card stock using Berry Burst for the petals and Fresh Fig for the stamen. I cut out the flowers by hand and used Dimensionals to attach them to a Whisper White panel stamped with Old Olive stems and leaves.

I added a few small Fresh Fig flowers and framed the bouquet by doodling a border around the the white panel with a Fresh Fig marker. I adhered the panel to a Fresh Fig card base and finished it off with some sparkle -- a little Wink of Stella on the flowers (which doesn't really show up in this photo) and a few iridescent sequins.

I'm excited to try stamping tulips in a whole rainbow of colors. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fins and feathers

I've been having so much fun lately playing with new crafty toys from stamp shows and various online orders. I have a ways to go before I use everything, though. And I still have a bunch of "old" projects to share before I post my newer projects, so I'd better get on it! Today I'm going to share a few cards that feature fish or birds.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: All Wrapped Up, Banner Surprise
Paper: Pumpkin Pie, Bermuda Bay, Pacific Point card stock; watercolor paper (Strathmore); Wood Designer Cardstock Paper (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: StazOn Jet Black, Pumpkin Pie, watercolor pencils
Accessories: Linen thread, Scalloped Ribbon Border punch, Rhythm 'n Blues sequins (Craft Medley), Aquapainter, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

For the focal image on this card I stamped the fish and bag on watercolor paper, colored them with watercolor pencils and used an Aquapainter to blend the pencils. I tied the top of the bag with a bit of linen thread to add some texture.

I wanted to create the look of bubbles on the background, but I couldn't find a stamp that seemed just right. But when I pulled out the Banner Surprise set (from a past Paper Pumpkin kit) to use the "Happy Birthday" sentiment, I discovered that the circle of dots would work. So I stamped the circle randomly on the top part of the card base and added three blue sequins to reinforce the idea of bubbles.

I needed to anchor the focal image on the card base, so I cut a strip of patterned paper that looked like weathered wood and added a blue scalloped border to the top and bottom. I used Bermuda Bay for the top scallop and Pacific Point for the bottom border to mimic the light-to-dark tones of the "water" in the bag.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Under the Sea (Heartfelt Creations)
Paper: Pacific Point, Emerald Envy,  card stock; window sheet; watercolor paper (Strathmore)
Ink: Jet Black StazOn; Color Burst (Lemon Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Pthalo Green, Orange) (Ken Oliver Crafts)
Accessories: Water brush, Layering Squares Framelits dies, Under the Sea craft dies (Heartfelt Creations), Leafy Branch 5 die (Elizabeth Craft Designs), Woodgrain embossing folder, Rhythm 'n Blues sequins (Craft Medley), foam adhesive strips, spearmint and gold twine (The Makery), Stardust Clear Gelly Roll pen (SAkura), Art Glitter Glue (Art Institute Glitter)

I haven't used my Color Burst powders a lot, but I really enjoyed using them to make this fish and the watercolor wash background. (I had tried a few other coloring methods first, but I didn't care for the results at all.)

To make the "seaweed" in my shaker I die cut a green branch, snipped off a few small parts and glued them to the background. I added a variety of blue sequins to the shaker, gluing a few of them to the background so they're not all at the bottom of the shaker when the card is standing up.

I wanted to add a wavy look to the card front, so I used the Woodgrain embossing folder turned sideways. I couldn't fit the whole card front in the folder with it turned, but I think it's okay like this; it reminds me of the sky meeting the sea.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Labeler Alphabet, Fox & Friends, Essential Messages (Hero Arts)
Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Soft Suede, Lost Lagoon, Blackberry Bliss card stock
Ink: Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Lost Lagoon, Blackberry Bliss
Accessories: 1-3/4" circle punch, Finley's ABCs dies (Lawn Fawn), sponge, Dimensionals, Fine-Tip Glue Pen

These owl images were left over from a project I did ages ago -- I love when I can use odds and ends. For this card I punched three card stock circles in the same colors as the owls and then used Dimensionals to attach each owl to a circle of a different color. I arranged them in a grid pattern in the center of a card base, and in the fourth space I arranged the words for a punny greeting.

I finished the sentiment inside the card with die-cut letters and then stamped "happy birthday" to finish the card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Feathered Friends (Elizabeth Craft Designs), Hello Love
Paper: Bashful Blue, Crumb Cake, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Crumb Cake, Memento Tuxedo Black, colored pencils and blender pencil (Prismacolor)
Accessories: Feathered Friends dies (Elizabeth Craft Designs), metallic foil doilies, Crushed Curry baker's twine, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, Pattern Party decorative masks, light molding paste (Golden), rhinestones, Dimensionals

I think the whimsical bird images in this set are really fun -- partly because I don't have to worry about coloring them the "right" way. (My skills in the department of realistic coloring leave a lot to be desired.) After I colored and die cut the bird, I used embossing paste and a stencil to create a sky full of puffy clouds for the background of the top part of the card. For the bottom of the card, I repeatedly stamped a flower image on Crumb Cake card stock. A sentiment stamped on a banner and a few embellishments -- rhinestones, gold doily and twine -- finish off the card.

Whew -- this post was longer than I intended. If you made it to the end, I'm impressed! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Five basket cases

Last weekend I attended a stamp show with my best crafting buddy, and we had a great time. We saw a lot of fun products and amazing samples, did some creative make-and-takes, learned new tips and tricks, and, of course, spent a good chunk of money. (Just doing our part to help the economy. You're welcome.)

The company that runs this particular show, Rubber Stamp Events, does a card contest every year.  There is a theme for each day of the show, and you're allowed to submit up to two cards for each day. (You can only win on one day, though.) I've entered five of the last six years and won first place twice. The prizes are money to be spent at any booth at the show, so it's worth it to enter. I tried again this year, but no luck this time. I do, though, want to share the cards I made as part of the contest.

The contest theme for the day we attended the show was "basket case." You're allowed to interpret the theme however you want, as long as there is stamping on the front of your card, so I made a total of five cards that all feature a basket filled with something. I had a hard time deciding which cards to enter, but I eventually settled on the first two cards below. (Since I have several pictures in this post, I won't include many details about each card. If you have questions, post a comment and I'll respond as soon as I can.)

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Fabulous Fruits, From the Garden

Paper: Pool Party, Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Wild Wasabi, Garden Green, vellum card stock
Ink: Wild Wasabi, Garden Greem, Riding Hood Red, Ruby Red, Crumb Cake, Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Berry Basket Bigz die, Handpicked Framelits dies, Beautiful Wings Embosslits die, Grassy Border Lawn Cuts die (Lawn Fawn), Square Lattice embossing folder, Pool Party solid baker's twine, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, delicate white doily, rhinestones, Dimensionals, Art Glitter glue (Art Institute Glitter)

This was the first layout that popped into my head when I thought about a basket, and it actually turned out pretty close to what I imagined. I stamped and hand cut all those strawberries and tops using two shades of red and green.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Feathered Hope, Language of Friendship
Paper: Soft Suede, Shimmery White, textured Old Olive card stock
Ink: StazOn Jet Black; ZIG Clean Color brush markers: 036, 037, 065, 066, 050, 061, 020, 024, 041, 043 (Kuretake)
Accessories: Water brush (Kuretake), Stitched Shapes and Layering Circles Framelits dies, Tiny Attacher (Time Holtz), Corner Chomper (We R memory Keepers), Stylized Flowers embossing folder (Cuttlebug), linen thread, pearls, Dimensionals

When I first colored this image I wasn't crazy about it, so I set it aside and figured it would just be a practice run. But when I came back to it the next day it didn't seem so bad, so I decided to use it for a card after all.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Basket Full of Wishes (Unity Stamp Co.)
Paper: Very Vanilla, Pool Party card stock; Going Places Designer Series paper (DSP) Stack
Ink: StazOn Jet Black; markers: Pool Party, Daffodil Delight, Real Red, Basic Black, Rich Razzleberry, Soft Suede, Smokey Slate; Pool Party ink refill
Accessories: Pattern Party Decorative Masks, light molding paste (Golden), Layering Ovals Framelits dies, Stardust Gelly Roll pen (Sakura), paper flowers (Jolee's Boutique), Subtles Candy Dots, gold twine, micro pop-dots (Forever in Time), Art Glitter glue (Art Institute Glitter), Corner Chomper (We  Memory Keepers)

Even though I didn't end up submitting this card (or the next two) to the contest, I love how this card turned out, especially the background. I mixed a bit of Pool Party ink refill in white molding paste and then added it to my card front over a brick stencil.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Serene Spring
Paper: Soft Sky, Basic Black, Shimmery White card stock; thin cherry veneer (Creative Imaginations)
Ink: VersaMark, Soft Sky; ZIG Clean Color Brush markers: 036, 043, 901, 021, 061, 041, 066, 037, 050 (Kuretake)
Accessories: Burlap trim, detail black embossing powder, Espresso Yourself mini prills (USArt Quest), delicate white doily, Tiny Attacher (Tim Holtz), Art Glitter Glue (Art Institute Glitter), Color Spritzer, sponge, water brush (Kuretake), Dimensionals

I love the two sweet images in the Serene Spring stamp set. It's an old set, but I think it's one I will always keep.

The wood on the bottom of the card is actually a very thin wood veneer, not just a patterned paper. I thought that worked well with the image of the basket.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: A Flower for All Seasons
Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Real Red, Berry Burst, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight card stock; Neutrals DSP Stack
Ink: Jet Black StazOn, Soft Sky, Crumb Cake, Old Olive, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Berry Burst, Daffodil Delight
Accessories: Stitched Shapes and Layering Squares Framelits dies, Metallics Sequin Assortment, copper trim, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, Dimensionals

Tulips are one of my favorite flowers, and I think this is a sweet image. But it's a little small to be the focal point on a standard A2-sized card. So to give it more "oomph" I stamped the image four times and colored the tulips a different color in each image. I matted each image with the same color card stock as the tulips.

I had a lot of fun making these cards, even if I didn't win the contest. Better luck next year! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July garden update

We planted the garden a little over a month ago, so I thought it was time for an update. I took these pictures last week, and it seems like so much has already changed in just those few days -- it's amazing how quickly Mother Nature works.

Here's the whole garden. With the exception of the cauliflower, everything is doing really well. But cauliflower is supposed to be a little finicky and hard to grow, so we're not to worried about that one.

The cucumbers are one of my favorite plants to watch grow. I just love the delicate-looking tendrils wrapping around the trellis and the bright yellow flowers. You can see a baby cuke in this picture near the lower left corner -- that one is pretty close to picking stage now.

As usual, the beans are thriving. There are lots of flowers, and this over-achieving stalk has already passed the top of the bean tower.

The pepper plants all have fruits. They haven't gotten much bigger the last week, but we'll be patient.

The San Marzano tomato (above) is growing like gangbusters. The night I took this photo, my sister counted about thirty tomatoes, but tonight she reported there are fifty-four. I can't wait until some of them are ripe so I can make margherita pizza with our tomatoes and basil.

We also have about fifteen black plum tomatoes coming in (below). The third tomato plant, Mr. Stripey, has blooms, but not any fruit just yet.

I didn't get pictures of the Swiss chard or sunburst squash, so I'll be sure to include them in the next update. I do, though, have one last picture of the vegetable garden -- the rhubarb.

That's my sister's hand so you can get a better idea of how big the rhubarb is. It amazes me every time I look at it. I really need to use some of the rhubarb this year; I have a delicious recipe for frosted rhubarb cookies from my aunt.

The flowers by the alley are also starting to bloom. First is the echinacea, and then the Prairie Blazing Star.

So our late start in the garden doesn't seemed to have hampered anything. The weeds are thriving, too! While we don't have to do a lot of weeding in the garden because of the black covering on the ground, we do have plenty of weeding along the edges of the garden, in the flower bed and on the sidewalk and patio. One of these days we'll have to tackle that project.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth of July

A couple of weeks ago I organized a service project at work to benefit a local charitable organization. We donated items for care packages for service members stationed overseas and wrote thank-you cards to be included in the packages. I made the cards myself -- a group of twenty simple patriotic cards, and I thought today would be the perfect day to share them.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Work of Art
Paper: White card stock (Neenah), Night of navy card stock, silver paper
Ink: Real Red, Pacific Point, Smoky Slate
Accessories: Various large and small star punches, small heart punch, corner rounder, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

If you celebrate the Fourth of July, I wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday. And a heartfelt thank you to all the brave men and women who have and who still are fighting to protect our freedoms.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Always be a unicorn

Unicorns are pretty awesome. They're magical and sparkly and all that good stuff. They're also perfect for a couple of fun girly birthday cards.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Little Dreamer - Cardmaking (Close to My Heart)
Paper: Soft Sky, Berry Burst, Whisper White card stock
Ink: Soft Sky, Berry Burst, Lemon Lime Twist
Accessories: Large and Small Stitched Rectangle Stackables Lawn Cuts dies (Lawn Fawn), Frost White shimmer paint, Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen, Go Green sequins (Craft Medley), glitter ribbon, sponge dauber, Glue Dots, Dimensionals

I love this saying. It just makes me smile, and if I'm honest it's probably the reason I bought this stamp set. But the unicorn, which has separate stamps for the body, snout, horn, mane and tail, is pretty fun, too.

As befitting a unicorn, there are lots of glittery, shiny things on this card. For the background I used a sponge dauber to apply Frost White shimmer paint to two different star images and then randomly stamped the stars around the outer edges of the Soft Sky card base. (I've used this technique before with snowflakes, and I love the way the images catch the light.) On the focal image I brushed Wink of Stella glitter on the unicorn's mane, tail, snout and horn. And for embellishments I added a few iridescent light-green sequins and a strip of glittery ribbon. I think all the sparkly bases are covered.

I added a little magic inside the card, too, with a sentiment banner and three stamped and hand-cut stars. Oddly, I didn't make these stars sparkly. I may have to go back and add Wink of Stella so the stars don't feel left out. Or maybe just a few sequins? What do you think?

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I created this card with the intention of using it for a birthday. But there isn't actually a birthday sentiment on the card, so you could use it for encouragement, thinking of you, or just to give someone a smile.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Little Dreamer - Cardmaking (Close to My Heart), Stylized Birthday
Paper: Soft Sky, Whisper White
Ink: Soft Sky, Berry Burst, Lemon Lime Twist
Accessories: Layering Ovals Framelits dies, metallic foil doilies, Go Green sequins (Craft Medley), Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen, Lucky Stars embossing folder, Dimensionals, Glue Dots

While I was stamping one unicorn, I went ahead and stamped a few so I could try out some different layouts. I stuck with the same color combination for this card -- I'm still not sure how I feel about Lemon Lime Twist, but I think it's growing on me.

I also stuck with the sequins and star background, but I switched it up a bit by embossing the stars rather than stamping them. I added a little emphasis to the stars by painting them with my Wink of Stella brush pen.

Instead of matting this focal image with a layer of card stock, I used a silver doily (shiny!), which I cut in half and glued to the back of the oval.

Since I used the magical day banner on the front of this card, I needed something different for the inside. So I stamped "Happy Birthday" with Berry Burst ink and added a few Lemon Lime Twist stars that were left over from the first card. Again I don't have any glitz inside the card, so I may have to add some.

Thanks for stopping by! And remember, always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.