Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cuttlebug revisited

Do you have any tools that you just HAD to have and bought and then...forgot about? I do that all the time! The Cuttlebug is one of those items. Just had to have it and...I don't use it much. It is a stretch for me because I am a stampin girl and that is where I look most. I decided I needed to pull out the bug and play with it yesterday. I also got a few new embossing folders to help me know, new stuff always inspires creativity! This first card was made using the Allegro folder and black Stampin' Up! cardstock. I ran the cardstock through and then gently rubbed the raised design with Stampin' Up!'s white craft pad. The faint white looked a lot like Bashful blue so that is the color I chose for the card base. I wrapped a strip of white satin ribbon around the front and overlapped it on the front. I used a metal edge tag over a Groovy Guava scallop as the focal point and also as the 'closure' for the ribbon. I attached the scallop with dimensionals and made sure I had them positioned on both ends of the ribbon so they would hold the ribbon on. I stamped the A-always from the SU Always set in Basic black. The tag looked a bit plain so I squeezed out some clear stickles onto it and spread it around with my finger. To finish it off I rounded the corners on the right side with my corner rounder.

The other new embossing folder I got was the Perfect Paisley folder. Very cute, but....what to do with it! I think the problem for me is that the embossed image is so very pretty it tends to take center stage. What do you put with it? I obviously need more practice with these things. I used a piece of Coral cardstock this time in the folder. I cut the cardstock into strips and put one of the front of the card and one on the inside along the right edge. The card base is barely banana. I wanted to soften up the paisley a bit so I used a sponge dauber to rub some summer sun chalk right onto the raised images. The stitched edge is not my sewing maching this time....people were is my SU crafter's kit at work. I used the paper piercer and the handy dandy hole guide to punch these perfectly spaced holes and then attached them with the white gel pen for a faux stitch look. For the focal point, I used a scalloped oval I had previously cut with the Nestabilities die (also using my cuttlebug0 and instead of layering another oval inside that, I used the sponge dauber again with the summer sun ink to make an oval shadow. The E is from a kit I got somewhere...Prima maybe?? Anyway, I punched a hole in it with the Cropadile and stuck a fire rhinestone brad through a felt flower and the E to make it a bit more girly. The white ribbon on the left is just your average WalMart ribbon. I used my corner rounder again on this card to finish it off. I think these bright colors will be perfect for my girl friend. She is a bright and sunny person.

The last card today is one I did for my workshop yesterday. I used the new Blossom set from the Stampin' Up! Occassions mini catalog. It is a beautiful set! I started with a whisper white card base. I cut a strip of designer paper from the new Afternoon Tea collection to fit the left side. I stamped the Text from the Blossom set onto the designer paper using Groovy Guava ink to give it more texture. I stamped the flower twice with Black Staz on and cut out the front petals from one flower and mounted them over the other with dimensionals. The flower is colored in with the blender pen and ink from Groovey Guava and Wild Wasabi ink pads. I added a bit of Dazzling Diamonds glitter to the center to give it some life and added some paper piercing to the corners. "Bloom" is stamped with black Stazon onto vellum cardstock and adhered with gold brads.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Chocolate and happiness

These two things go together so well! I apologize for being so tardy with my Friday Challenge. My internet decided to stop working again. The 'cable guy' came out and tried to fix it only to tell me I had to have another guy come out and 'rewire' my house. yay fun. I would have done it today, but with all the soccer, piano, birthday parties, and egg hunts...there just wasn't any time! My internet is working for the moment, so hopefully I will get my cards posted before it quits on me!

The challenge this week was to use Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, Real Red and Chocolate chip together. Not exactly my choice of colors for Easter weekend, but I gave it a shot! We did a card at our stamp a stack and scrap Thursday night using the Loads of Love set, and my mind started getting ideas. I just HAD to make this card today! It would most likely look better with more Easatery colors but, I think it still works. I started with a card base of Blue Bayou and a layer of Soft Sky layered onto that. I added a strip of whisper white with Real Red and Blue Bayou strips on the edges. I stamped my truck onto whisper white and also onto a piece of designer Soft sky (can you see the paisley in the background??) I cut out the soft sky truck, omitting the wheels and cutting out the window. I put the soft sky truck over the truck I had stamped into whisper white using dimensionals. I colored in the wheels with close to cocoa. I cut out an egg shape freehand and added a paper ribbon and bow made from real red cardstock. What could be better than a truck sized Cadbury egg?? My FAVORITE Easter treat! I stamped the "loads of" with basic black and hand wrote the 'chocolate' in a font close to the rest...I hope! I punched out the words with my circle punch and layered it onto a scallop punched piece of blue bayou. I added some white gel pen dots and stuck it on with more dimensionals. I think it is kind of cute...but I think I would like it in different colors.

The second card here is one I almost did for our stamp a stack and scrap. The base is celery stamped with the Print patterns background using Versamark. The focal point is from Tart and Tangy. I used my Markers to color directly onto the stamp to get the multicolor image and cut out one strawberry and popped it up with dimensionals. The photo corner punch is on the corners and then the whole thing is layered onto real red. I added a Real red wide grosgrain ribbon on the left and 'happiness' from Warm words on the right. My daughter said it looked like Christmas...I think it looks like a picnic!

I guess I better go color eggs with the kids! Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Beate's challenge

My how the day flew by today! Even the yoga class I went to this morning was quick. That was a good thing since the teacher was a shall I say it.....'odd.' I don't know about you, if you are a yoga person, but for me, half the class is about the instructor. I really have to 'click' with them. I went to a twice weekly yoga class a couple of years ago religiously and loved it! The teacher was awesome! She knew what she was doing, she could talk while she did the positions, and the music was great! When she quit teaching, I quit going. I know, pathetic excuse for the shape I'm in, but I just didn't like the new instructor! Today, my daughter wanted to go with me so I went. I had my doubts about the 'guy' teacher and I was pretty on. First off, NO music. What is that? Second, he kept making me laugh! Not a good thing when you are in a vulnerable position. And by vulnerable, I mean, no make up and in work out clothes that don't hide all my extra padding. No really. He was okay and I 'might' go back on Thursday .... we shall see.
In stamping news, I was checking out all my favorite blogs this morning and came across the challenge by Beate. I always like her challenges so I decided to play along. You can see her inspiration piece HERE. I started with a piece of Stampin' Up!'s Bashful blue for my card base and added a piece of Cutie Pie designer paper to the bottom 2/3 of the card. I punched out several stars using Stampin' Up!'s big and small star punches in Celery, Bashful blue, Rose red, and Whisper white. I arranged the stars somewhat randomly across the seam of the two papers and adhered them with snail. I added some outlines on the stars with my white gel pen and on the white stars, a rose red marker. The rose red ended up looking a bit thin so I went back and traced over that marker with my clear stickles. Now it has a bit of shimmer, as stars should! I punched out a window with my word window punch and stamped For You from the Happy Everything stamp set in black. I think is a pretty boyish card, which is something I usually have more of a struggle with.
Hope your day was great!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hippo day!

Ah, internet. Where would we be without it? I remember when I first became a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. We called in all our orders. We didn't even have a website! I remember when we first got one and frankly, there wasn't much there. Today, we have a rockin' website full of information and great ideas. We've come a long way! As wonderful as the internet is, I get so darn frustrated when it doesn't work for me! I have become totally dependent on it and, well, totally spoiled! I bring this up because I am downstairs on the 'family' computer updating my blog and the internet keeps going on and off. arg! Hopefully I will be able to finish this without too much hair loss!
I realized I should have done a green card today in honor of St. Patty's day but, green just isn't the color that grabbed my eye when I went to my desk tonight. Instead, I saw some very appealing Rose Red designer paper. I was also in the mood for what I would call a 'Bety' card. Check out the link to her site at the left. She does amazing cards. Mine isn't nearly as fabulous as hers, but she did inspire me.
I started with a square card base in Rose Red. I wanted to create a faux scallop border so I punched a bunch circles out of whisper white with my 1 inch circle punch. I started in the corner and lined them up against the edge of the card. Next I layered a piece of Designer rose red over that so the circles now looked like a scallop border. Since I was using scraps, my designer paper wasn't quite wide enough so I put a strip of the same paper with the stripe side showing along the left edge. I punched a 1/8 inch hole in the lower left hand corner and fed a white taffeta ribbon through that. I didn't punch a hole at the top but instead wrapped the ribbon around the top. I felt like that balanced out the white scallops in the opposite corner. I used my Crafter's kit to pierce around the border of the designer paper and then used the white gel pen to make faux stitches. I know, my sewing maching would have been way quicker, but everyone was asleep and I didn't want to wake them. Besides, that would have involved walking across the room and I already worked out today. ;o) I stamped the Hippo from Pun Fun in basic black on whisper white and used my aqua painter to pick up ink from the Blue Bayou pad to color him in. The shadow under him is made with Soft sky ink. The balloon is with rose red. I inked up the bow area of the hippo with black and stamped it onto a scrap of designer paper and cut it out. I used the 2-way glue pen to stick it on over the bow. Kind of a cute little detail. I mounted the hippo square onto rose red and again onto white paper and stuck it on with dimensionals. I added a pink rhinestone to the bottom right....just because! As a final detail, I used my white gel pen to add some shine to the hippo's toe nails. This guy is too cute!
I'll be planning for my stamp a stack and scrap tomorrow so hopefully I'll have more to share.
See you then!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Challenge and full of beans!

I was feeling pretty proud of myself, I have to say. I was updating my blog every day and I had the whole schedule thing figured out I thought. But, I forgot about the Friday challenge! I should have done it on Thursday so it would show up on Friday. Today was a crazy day. Okay, so I did go back to bed after the kids got off and slept til noon....I have a cold! I have an excuse! The rest of the day was busy with grandpa in town. I did manage to get a board to finish off my trash to treasure are on their way! I also managed to do some canning. I have so many empty jars around it really drives me crazy! I decided to can some beans. They are fairly inexpensive to buy dry and I hadn't tried them yet so I went for it. They turned out awesome! I did some pinto, kidney and have a bunch of black beans to do tomorrow. And yes, I did do them in the oven. Full jars! yay!

Okay, on to my Friday Challenge! Our challenge this week was to make a Birthday card. Perfect timing since I need a few of those. I started with a color I don't use very often, Stampin' Up!'s Not Quite Navy as my base. I stamped the paisley background onto white cardstock with the same color ink. I trimmed it down and stuck it to the front of the card. The white taffetta ribbon is wrapped around the front of the card and fed through a jumbo eyelet that I set into a star that was punched out of Not quite navy. I stamped "happy birthday" from the Happy everything set using NQN ink onto white cardstock and layered it onto more NQN. I wanted a bit of sparkle so I used my 2 way glue pen to trace around the border of the sentiment and then dumped some dazzling diamonds glitter onto that. I put dimensionals on the back and placed it at a slight angle to keep it fun. This was a pretty quick card so I made three while I was at it.
As I was cleaning off my desk, I decided to make another quick card. I grabbed a 5-1/2 square card base of Eggplant and layered a rectangle of River Rock onto it. I used the Sale-a-bration rubons to add the vine at the left. I loved the bold elegance of the rubons! I used my metallic pencils to color in the flower and leaves to warm it up. The sentiment is from the Define Your Life set, stamped in black onto white and layered onto black. I used some random ribbon on the right to pull the black across the card. The inside of the card says Birthday. I love green and purple together!

I better get some sleep...big basketball finals tomorrow! Have a great weekend and be sure to check out the other Bloggers Challenge players on the left. :o)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thoughtful thanks

I am being drawn to the vintage style lately. I went shopping for old fabric today for some crafting projects and found some neat stuff. I'm not sure what I will end up with, mind is racing! I'll be sure to share what I make. Being in this kind of mood pulled me towards my HUGE stash of patterned paper. I have loads of yummy paper. The paper I used for this card is from ScrapWorks and BasicGrey. I love the textured look and the aged feel these papers have. I can't wait to get my next Stampin' Up! order because the new patterned paper in the Occasions mini is just like this! Totally yummy!

I started with a 5-1/2 square card base in Creamy Caramel. I cut a piece of the floral Basicgrey paper to fit and then put the strip of Scrapworks over that. I used my Stampin' Up! crafters kit to pierce a faux stitch line along the edge of the red to compliment the fabric look of the papers. The yellow ribbon is from a little packet of samples that came with a kit from JoAnns. The scallop oval is from a Nestabilities die. I actually punched out a bunch of different scallop shapes the other day while I had my Cuttlebug out. Now I have a stack on my desk that I can just grab from. Saves me loads of time! I pulled out the retired Thankful Thoughts stamp set from Stampin' Up! I always liked this set. It reminds me of the silhouette pictures my grandma used to have up on her wall. Perfect for a vintage type card, don't you think? I stamped the image with close to cocoa ink and rubbed the edges with my sponge dauber and some rust chalk.

Yesterday was a great day. My boys played outside all together. It is one of my favorite things! The big boys used cardboard boxes to make a 'working' airplane and gocart for the little boys. It was the coolest thing! There is not much that is better than your kids getting along!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Beate's challenge and the One armed Bandit

I am feeling so inspired today! I woke up early, made blueberry muffins, got the kids and DH off to school, showered, thought up plenty of reasons NOT to work out today, and went straight to my craft room. :o) I checked out Beate's blog early this morning and noticed that she had a challenge. I tell ya, these challenges are a great way to jump start your creativity! I decided I would give it a try. You can see her inspiration piece here. I thought I would break out of the norm and use the inspiration to make a scrapbook page instead of a card today. I've been feeling the scrappin urge for a few days now. My first challenge was to try and make the red paper up in the right hand corner. I have to say I 'ruined' a few sheets of paper before I came up with something that would work. To get this effect, I used a 12 x 12 Paisly backgroun stencil from Crafter's workshop. I put the stencil over a piece of scratch paper and then sprayed it with some red fabric spray paint. I then turned the stencil over an pressed it onto a piece of Stampin' Up!'s vanilla cardstock. I liked the texture this technique gave me on the paper. I cut it down to size and layered it onto another piece of Vanilla. For the caramel at the bottom, I used my SU vanilla pad directly onto the paper by dragging it across carefully. The stripes at the side are from an unknown source...I 'think' Paper Wishes?? Anyway, I wasn't sure if the colors really went together so I rubbed some brown ink on all the edges. But then, after putting my picture on, I thought pink highlights might be better. And then for good measure I added some blue highlights too. Golly I wish SU carried these little chalk option pads! I love them! I used some foam stamps from Creating Keepsakes for the black swirls and added a black photo corner and one blue brad. I tied the F-tag on with linen thread and stuck the tag down with dimensionals so it would stay put. Finally, I added three Heidi Swapp ghost flowers down the left side with more blue brads. I don't know if it is anywhere near the inspiration piece but, I was inspired by the inspiration to make this so, that works! Right?

In other news, my son got his cast off his arm yesterday. We actually got to the Doc's office 10 minutes early! I guess Thor was excited. Everything looks good. The doc told him to take it easy for a week or so and to avoid PE. This is easy since we now home school. Wouldn't you know it, a couple hours later I hear him screaming bloody murder as he comes running in the door holding his just healed arm. "I broke my arm again!!!" He had been playing basketball next door with not only his brothers and the neighbor boy, but also his dad! You'd think....never mind. After much calming down efforts, a bag of ice, and 'the real story,' his arm was fine. I did ground him from basketball for the rest of the week tho...sheesh!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Always Vintage

I have to type quietly because my hubby is sleeping. Poor guy worked the launch all night. He said it was spectacular! I admit, I didn't get up to see it. 2:30 am is a bit too early for me. Besides, the clouds were so thick I wouldn't have been able to see it from here.

I was able to sneak into my stamp room this morning and play around with the Faux Linen technique again. I really like this one!

My card base is Stampin' Up!'s close to cocoa cardstock with cameo coral and garden green layered on it. I stamped my Wild Rose onto glossy paper with Cameo coral, Ruby red, and Garden green. I shot it with the heat tool to make it dry quick and then did the sanding over top of it. I used Creamy carmel to rub over the scratches to give it that old fabric look. After I did that I decided to try and sand again and I really liked the look of that. It seemed to intensify the look of linen. I wrapped a satin ribbon around the front....most likely a WalMart ribbon. I stamped the Always and verse with close to cocoa onto vanilla cardstock that I had cut into a scalloped rectangle with my Spellbinders Nestability die and then rubbed the edges with the close to cocoa ink. I stamped the bird with Ruby Red onto vanilla and then cut it out. To get the piece from between his little legs, I had to use my hobby blade. I stuck the bird and rectangle on with dimensionals so when I go to the part of the bird that didn't overlap the rectangle, I had to use two dimensionals stacked. It really gives it some depth! The card measures 5-1/2 square. I was going for a vintage look. Do you think I achieved it?

Monday, March 10, 2008

A little catch up

I am finally feeling better! yay! Of course, once I go see what state my laundry and kitchen are in I just might go back to bed anyway! Oh well, the rest was delightful and much needed.

I did a bit of catching up on some stampin projects today. I had promised some gifts to my downline so I made some mini notebooks. These are easy to make and totally cute! The notebooks are 3 x 5 inches. I used Stampin' Up!'s purely pomegranate cardstock to wrap around the notebook. I cut it to 5-1/4 x 6-1/4 and scored it on the long side at 3 inches in from each end. That gave me a little box side for the notebook to snuggle into. I glued the notebook in with SU!'s new Liquid Tombow glue. This stuff is awesome! We used it at the calendar class on Friday night and, I just fell in love with it! It is liquid so you can move it around, but it adheres and dries super quick without getting stiff! I cut a piece of Cutie Pie Designer paper to 2-3/4 x 5 inches and stuck that on the front. I wrapped a piece of pomegranate around the notepad to make a belly band. When you do this, make sure you don't make it too snug. You want to be able to put it back on after you take it off. I wrapped a strip of pomegranate stitched ribbon around the belly band leaving a loop on the right side for a pen to slip in to. I layered a white scallop under two 5 petal flower punches and held them together with a rhinestone brad. I stuck the flower combo on with some dimensionals. I think they look really cute in person and I hope my downline members like them!

My other project today was for my good friend Katie. She asked me to make some pins for her kids. They are preschool age and just starting to dress themselves. I thought it was a cute idea! I knew my All in the Family set would be perfect for this. I stamped the little boy and girl in basic black and colored them in with my markers. The words are stamped with the rough edge alphabet. I used a Marvy 3" circle punch to punch them out. It was a quick easy project. I hope her kids like them.

My next project is dinner. Yay. My DH is working the shuttle launch so, I'm on my own tonight. Too bad I already used up the pizza money for the month!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cosmic stampin'

Today I am actually having a 'day of rest.' I am usually really busy with church and family on Sundays, but today I am home sick. Not deathly, but enough to really not have the energy to get everyone ready for church. Including myself. For once, my oldest son went. I was shocked when he asked for a ride! yay for him! The rest of the kids have been playing nice all day. (i.e. getting out every toy they own, building forts, taking food throughout the entire house and sliding down the stairs) I'm sure I'll pay for this tomorrow and the following week, but I'm letting them have free reigh today. I have actually been playing in my stamp room uninterrupted so, how can I complain?!
Today I played with a technique called Reinker Splash. It is an easier, less messy version of Polished stone. If you would like the instructions, visit Pat Huntoon's site HERE. She has a great step by step tutorial and tons of great samples. Be sure to let her know I sent you!
For my colors I used ballet blue, eggplant, and silver encore inks. The papers are basic black and shimmery white. I stamped my little rocket ship from Stampin' Up!'s Pun Fun set with craft black ink and embossed him with clear embossing powder. I colored him in with my markers in the same colors. I wanted him to stand out a bit from the background so when the ink was all dry I put him upside down on my Versamark pad and inked him up good. Then I dumped clear embossing powder over him and heat embossed him. HINT: If you are going to do this, I would highly recommend that you do it before you cut him out. I did it the hard way and had to chase my flying rocket ship around and trying not to burn my fingers. I blame the illness..... I stuck my little rocket ship on with some dimensionals and added the traily thingies...there is a word for those....with some crystal effects. I used CE because I wanted it to stick quick and not come off. I added some silver brads to the corners to help hold it all together and repeat the silver from the background.
This next background was made at the same time as the other one but tuned out a bit more blue. You'll understand when you see Pat's instructions. I thought it kind of looked like water so I went with it. This little whale is also from Pun Fun. I trimmed my background along the ink lines that resulted when I made it and then layered it over whisper white to mimic waves. The whale is stamped with basic black onto whisper white and colored with ink from the ballet blue classic pad and an aqua painter. I cut him out and stuck him onto a 2" white circle. I layered that onto some ballet blue cardstock and used my pathetic old scallop shears to cut around that. As an after thought, I could have used my scallop punch, might have been too small. I added a bit of blue gingham and a purple rhinestone to the bottom and then called it good. What do you think? Did I achieve the water illusion? I was going to just stick the whale on there without a layer but he got lost.
I think I have 'worked' enough so I'm going to go veg in front of a movie or something. I hope you are all well and happy! Have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Monkeying around

Just for the record, I don't have time to be sick. With six kids and a busy husband, I have to be well! Unfortunately, somebody didn't get the memo. I have a very annoying head cold. I've tried sleeping it off, guzzling OJ and taking meds and it just isn't budging. I haven't even felt good enough to do laundry! I did manage to slip in some stampin time tho. ;o) I was thinking of my baby sister so of course, monkeys came to mind. I know this set is not in the current Stampin' Up! catalog, but I just had to use it! I love these little guys! My card base is Garden Green with ruby red and whisper white layered over it. I stamped the vines with Garden green, the monkeys with Chocolate chip, and the heart with Ruby red. I cut the heart out and stuck it on with a dimensional. I sponged the edges of the white with more garden green to soften it up. I really wanted a shadow under the girl monkey, but my head wasn't up to concentrating like that. Besides, I am shadow challenged. My Kindergartener on the other hand, draws shadows under everything. It is so totally cute. He usually starts with a shadow and builds his other stuff on top of it. You gotta love the sweetness of a kindergarten artist! I wanted some green ribbon but, didn't have any so I used my garden green marker to dye some white taffetta. It looks like velvet ribbon in person! Very cool! I added two vintage mini brads in the corners to balance it all out and a heart on the inside of the card. OH and the best part! The little 'grass skirt' on the girl monkey is actually a small daisy from the Pretties kit that I colored with my garden green marker, folded in half and stuck on with a mixture of glue dots and crystal effects. Isn't that cute? Yes, I was feeling pretty clever......

Hopefully I will be well tomorrow and able to do more stamping! I'm off to find more meds....

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Easter in March?

Is it just me or does it seem like this year has been weird? At least in Florida anyway, we are just barely having what one might call winter weather in paradise. That is late! And then, February just kind of disappeared and now we are in March and we are getting ready for Easter? I have never understood the reason that Easter is when it is. All I know for sure is that it will be on a Sunday. I remember a year when Easter fell on my birthday, which is April 24th. How in the world is it now going to be in March? That is like, a whole month earlier! Ah well, ours is not to question why, only to make cards for the occassion. ;o) I have to admit that I don't usually make Easter cards. I know, slacker! I will blame that on the ever changing date of Easter and my inability to keep up with it!
I was inspired today by a project on Andrea's blog. She is so clever! I loved the project she made but I don't actually have that cute little easter egg set so....while I was lying in bed tonight with my head cold, I had an idea! Why not use Stampin' Up!'s Happiness background stamp for this card?! I had to get up to get some advil anyway, so I decided to try my idea out while I waited for the advil to kick in. I had too much fun making this! I made the little Easter egg basket first. (You can get a template and instructions for this on Andrea's site. Tell her I sent you! ) I am not a real 'instruction follower'....I glanced through the instructions and then just did it my way. I'm sure it is close...Anyway! I started by making the little egg box with whisper white cardstock. Then I inked up my Happiness background stamp with a Versamark pad and stamped it onto Barely Banana Cardstock. I used my sponge daubers to rub chalk onto the stamped image to get the multi colored image. The white gel pen added some pop to different areas and a mellow moss marker filled in the flower stems. I used my Coluzzle (pronounced "cah-looozel") to cut out ovals from the banana paper and adhered them to the sides of my box. Besides adding more color, this also increased the integrity of the box. I filled a cello bag with some ribbon salad and a 'springy' stamp and tied it up with some celery grosgrain ribbon. This will be my hostess gift for my workshop on Monday. Since I had everything out, I decided to make another card. This time I started with creamy caramel as the card base. I folded my card so it opened at the bottom and again used my coluzzle to cut out the oval, going through both layers and leaving a section of the fold uncut so it would still be a card and not two eggs. ;o) On this one the only real difference is that I stamped the row of flowers with white craft ink on a strip of caramel and layered it over the Vmark row of flowers so it would really pop. I haven't used this stamp much but I really enjoyed using it tonight! I just might bring it out of hiding more!
I think my Advil is working, I'm off to bed now!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Faux Linen

One of the bloggers challenge players had a card last week using a technique that was new to me. It was called Faux Linen. I thought it was so cool I gave it a try. I stamped the branch from Stampin' Up!'s Embrace Life stamp set onto glossy white cardstock with Not quite navy classic ink and colored in the flowers with a brocade blue marker. I let it dry for a minute and then used the sanding block to gently sand across the paper in both directions. Then I took a sponge and inked it up with the Not quite navy pad and rubbed it across the sanded paper. The ink highlighted the scratches and makes the cardstock look like linen! Isn't that cool? I mounted my new faux linen onto a piece of Not quite navy, brocade blue and then not quite navy again as the card base. I used mini brads from the hodge podge hardward kit in each corner and tied a white tafetta ribbon around the front. The scallop punch highlights words from the Lots of Thoughts Sellabration set. I used my NQN marker to ink up the words so I could omit the bottom line. It fit better that way. When I was all done, I went back and highlights some flower centers with my white gel pen to brighten it up. The card was fairly quick to make. Give it a try!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Stinkin sweet!

When I lived in California, I remember getting my Stampin' Up! orders from that big brown truck and racing to see if I could have at least one stamp mounted and inked before the truck was off my street. I usually could! And, I lived on a pretty short street! Times have changed and my UPS truck doesn't come til later in the evening. Sometimes 7 pm! Because of dinner and other family stuff, I just can't drop everything and ink up that virgin rubber as quick as I used to. Still, I just HAD to use this new set before I went to bed tonight. I have been wanting it since it came out last fall and finally gave in and bought it. I think the images in this set, Pun Fun, are just so adorable! I can't decide if I like the hippo, rocket or skunk the best. They are SO cute! I decided to use the skunk tonight. I started with a chocolate chip card base and added a strip of patterened paper from the Ginger Blossom collection across the bottom. The green stripe is a strip of wide Celery Grosgrain just snailed to the front. I stamped my little skunk on a piece of white naturals paper by inking it up with my black marker so I could omit the words and the flower. I did not cut the words apart from the images on this set because they were a bit too close for comfort. I didn't want to risk damaging either part. Because I used the black marker, I had to be careful coloring the little guy in so the ink wouldn't smear. I used my watercolor pencils to lightly color him in and then blended the color with my blender pen. I added some blue shading around him with the chalks. I used my black marker to elongate the stem so I could put a bigger flower on there. The flower is made from two flowers in the Pretties Kit. I used my aqua painter and ink from summer sun and real rust stamp pads to color it in. I stuck an Ice rhinestone brad in the center to hold the flower on and to repeat the read from the bottom. I had a little tag on my desk with a round bottom so I stamped the words on there and trimmed it down. I just wanted it to peek out from the bottom. I put the skunked paper onto a piece of river rock and put the whole thing on with some dimensionals. I added the three silver brads to the bottom corner to repeat the silver in the rhinestone. I think I may have to play with the hippo tomorrow....can't wait!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Babies galore!

I believe there may be something in the water at church. Every other woman there is pregnant! It is kind of fun for me, since I am past the child bearing stage of my life. I get to hold all the little ones and cuddle them and then hand them back to their mommies when they cry. Life is good! Because of all the babies on their way, I needed a few baby cards. I needed both a girl and boy card so you get to see my variations on a theme. While picking out the paper for these cards I was once again reminded of one of the reasons I LOVE Stampin' Up! The colors are so easy to combine! For the boy card, I started out with a 4-1/2" square card base in Bashful Blue. I layered a 4-1/4 " square of patterned paper from the Cutie Pie collection on top of that and added a partial circle cut from the same packet on top of that. I added some faux stitching with my piercing tool and the white gel pen. Using the hole guide from the crafter's kit with the piercing tool is essential if you want nice even holes that aren't gaping craters! If you just turn it a slight bit as you work your way around the curves, the straight guide works great on the circles. I didn't have any celery ribbon so I used some white taffeta and colored it with my celery marker. SO easy! For the focal image I stamped the baby buggy from Fun and Fast Notes with basic black onto whisper white cardstock. I actually stamped it twice and cut out one buggy topper and mounted it over the other one to give it some depth. I colored it in with my Stampin' Up! markers and used the chalks to add some yellow around the image....not sure if you can see it in the picture, but it really softens it up. I mounted the image onto a piece of celery cardstock and stuck it onto the card with dimensionals. Because I had cut the image away from the words before I mounted this stamp set, it was easy to stamp them separately. I added the words at the bottom with black ink.

The girly card is the same basic idea, just with different colors. The patterned paper I used on this one is actually from a retired Stampin' Up! collection called Slumber party. If you have it use it! Right? I did have pink taffeta ribbon for this one but....can you tell the difference from the markered ribbon?

I hope they like the I just need some gifts!

On another note, I am honored to be the featured Stampin' Up! artist on Andrea Wolford's blog starting on March 3rd! Be sure to check out her blog here. She does amazing work and is very sharing with her wonderful ideas.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Where did Friday go?

I had big plans to get my Friday challenge up yesterday but somehow, the day totally got away from me! My good friend Katie showed up at my door in the morning to see a 'dumpster treasure' I had found and we ended up totally re arraning/decorating my living room! Then I HAD to take her to lunch to say thank you and by then, the kids were on their way home! Of course, Ben didn't want to ride the bus so I had to drive to the school and ended up talking to his (wonderful!) teacher for half an hour. I stopped by the store on the way home, helped Jared get ready for his camp out, moved my 'treasure' into the library and had a practice calendar class wtih Shari. Suddenly, it was 11 pm! I actually had a really great day. It is amazing to me how moving your stuff can change your life. I just needed that little push from Katie to get me to try something new. I can make cards and scrap pages all day but when it comes to decorating...I do my best work in front of DIY! I always think I need new stuff to make it look good but you know what? I didn't spend a dime yesterday! Well, except for lunch, but that doesn't count!

Anyway! Here are my Friday Challenges, finally! I decided to post two because I think I cheated on the first one. The challenge was to use the sympathy care on pg 44 as our inspiration. This is a pretty basic card. I made my first card 5-1/2 square using Purely Pomegranate as the base. I used a strip of patterned paper from the bali breeze collection. I mounted that on a strip of River rock and used those same colors to layer my focal point. I used the True Friend stamp set for the flowers. I inked up just the stem of the flower with the Artichoke marker and stamped that upside down to get a different angle. Then I washed my stamp real good and inked up the leaves. I turned my stamp the right way and stamped the leaves on the stem I had already stamped. I cleaned my stamp again really good and inked up the stem and just the right leave and stamped again. That is how I got my two flower stems going in opposite directions. I inked up the flower with the Pomegranate stamp pad and cut it out. I added some pink rhinestones to the centers and stuck them on with dimensionals. I used my sewing maching to do the stitching around the edges and....I was so impressed with myself when my start and end hole ended up exactly right! (sign of a good day!) I pulled the threads to the back and stuck them down with a piece of scotch tape to keep them from coming undone. Before I stuck the focal point down, I added a bit of pink tafetta around the front because....I just had to! In the example, the words were stamped below the focal point and I just couldn't fit mine there so I stamped them on the focal point. So...I think I cheated just a bit with this one. Because of that, or because nobody was calling for me at the moment, I decided to make another card using this challenge. I have to say that the thing about the challenge card that really appealed to me is the little tear in the bottom right corner. I think it is perfect and really goes with the 'sympathy' theme of the card. I wanted to use that same technique. I used a left over piece of river rock and made my card 4-1/2 square. The dotted strip across the middle is from the Dashing paper from the last SU catalog. I used my M3 to ink up the puff flower from the Heartfelt stamp set using Perfect Plum and Mellow Moss. I love using the markers with this set because the stamp is etched in such a way that it holds the ink really well. You can really load it up and get several images out of one inking. I stamped the puffs onto confetti cream paper and tore the edge with my 'finger scissors.' In order to get the little bit of plum to show I had to cut the straight edges of the torn off corner just a bit. I glued it all down to some plum paper and headed off to my sewing maching again. I added a bit of hodgepodge hardware and some white taffeta to the upper corner and then used dimensionals to put that onto a piece of barely banana. I made sure I placed this focal point high enough for my sentiment to fit along the bottom. I liked the look of this card but just had to go back and some dazzling diamonds. I am in a glitter mood!
I hope these inspire you. Pick out your own card to use an an inspiration and see what you can come up with! Be sure to check out the other members of our Blogger's challenge group on the left and see what they came up with.

Have a wonderful weekend!