Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Garden Whimsy

I pulled out another new set last night - Garden Whimsy! I also pulled out some new 5/8" inch grossgrain ribbon, which makes an elegant knot. The colors here are Chocolate Chip, Kraft, Ruby Red, Certainly Celery, and Whisper White. I used the markers to color the rubber on the tulip stamp so I could get the two different colors. When you do this, just remember to "huff" (breathe like you're fogging up a window) on the rubber before you stamp. This re-moistens the ink. The green tab was made from the Word Window punch, folded in half, and then secured with an antique brad. The edges of the Kraft background are sponged with Close to Cocoa ink. To make the knot, I cut a piece of ribbon a little wider than the card, tied a knot, and then secured it around the back of the Kraft with glue dots. The tulip piece is raised above it with dimensionals.

You may have noticed my banner changing around a bit... it's like a motion picture! I'm still playing around with it, so it could change some more. Hope you're enjoying your week...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Gettin' Fishy Again!

I still felt the urge to play with my Silly Sealife set... this time it's a whale.

The color scheme here is Bordering Blue, Not Quite Navy, So Saffron, along with a "splash" (pun intended) of Sage Shadow. The whale was stamped with black StazOn and then watercolored with the Wonder Crayons and attached with dimensionals. I used the same Whimsy wheel for the background using Not Quite Navy ink. The ribbon is from the new In Color double stitched series - Bayou Blue. I am loving that ribbon! The sentiment is from Curvy Verses and stamped with White craft ink. The scallop was done with the corner rounder punch and the buttons have a scrap of linen tied on them before they were attached with glue dots.

Maybe the reason I'm feeling drawn to this set right now is because of our upcoming CRUISE! We leave Saturday - yes, I'm leaving again... don't hate me.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Boxed Sets

We had a good time at the Stamp-a-Stack workshop this morning! We made two boxes with four cards in each. You've seen some of this before, but not all pulled together. Be sure and read on, as I have a treat stuck in the middle of this post!! Here's what we made:

Let me start by saying that the tab on this box is Certainly Celery, but I couldn't get it to look that way in the photo. This box uses a small velcro circle as a closure as you can see below:

You've seen these cards on my blog before, but here they are again:

The backgrounds are wheeled with the Jumbo Petal wheel and Whisper White craft ink. The other colors are Certainly Celery, Almost Amethyst, Ruby Red, and Marigold Morning - which is retired, so we used Apricot Appeal in the class. The animals come from the "Wild About You" stamp set, and the sentiments on the tabs came from the retired All Year Cheer I and II sets (I made these cards long ago).

Now for the other project. You've seen this box too...

...but I have a treat for you! You can now see my tutorial and make one of your own!

Here are the cards we made to go inside:

I kept them fairly simple, as we ran short on time the way it was. The nice thing about these cards (and the box) is that they are completely stamped using VersaMark ink! The only other ink we used was some Close to Cocoa to sponge on the edges for an aged look. The swirl and emblem are from the Baroque Motifs set, and the sentiments are from the Hugs & Wishes and Holidays & Wishes stamp sets. The cards have an antique brad on the emblem, but the box uses one of the new Fire Rhinestones.

My next Stamp-a-Stack workshop is on August 14th. Reserve your seat now as I'll be pulling out some exciting things from the NEW catalog! I can't wait to show you!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Feeling Fishy!

I got to stamp last night JUST FOR FUN! I finished preparing for Saturday's Stamp-a-Stack workshop (I'll show those projects later), so I decided to just pull out one of my new sets (this one is called Silly Sealife) and have fun! This is what I made:

See how well our fish, Jarey, posed for this photo?! I started by choosing my colors. I grabbed my Color Coach (have I told you how much I love it?!) and spun it to Sage Shadow because I knew I wanted to use that color. It told me to go with Brocade Blue, Bravo Burgundy, and Creamy Caramel. So I did! The turtle is watercolored using those colors, and the background is wheeled with the new Whimsy wheel in Brocade. I think it makes a nice underwater look! I inked the Smile stamp in Sage Shadow and then rocked it in Brocade for more interest. I scalloped the Creamy Caramel strip using the new, smaller, corner rounder punch. Then I grabbed another new tool - the CROP-a-DILE!! How GREAT is THIS thing!! I've been playing with it and it is simply awesome! On this card, I used it to punch through the Twill Tape and then set the eyelets... EYELETS!! I haven't used eyelets in SOOOOOOO long! All that hammering made me crazy, so now I can do it silently and with EASE! Oh, what a happy, happy day.

Anyway, I hope you like my little fishy (okay, turtle-y) card!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Another Chicken by Marelle!

I have a treat for you today (and for me too)! I actually get to post a gorgeous card that my dear (and incredibly talented) friend Marelle made! (In fact, as I was preparing the photo for posting, I realized I needed to alter my watermark to say "stamped by Marelle" instead of "Michele"... I hope you don't mind me making a watermark on your behalf, Marelle.) Anyway, this card was waiting for me when I returned from Utah. I had sent her some things a couple weeks ago, including the dreaded chicken images she initially wanted to behead and send back my way. But I think that from the look of what she's created with them, that she's gotten rather attached to them! Take a look at her blog to see the rest of her flock!

For all of you here in the US, keep in mind that this fun set (called "Best of Cluck") is retired. But maybe you are "clucky" enough to have it in your stash and can recreate some of these fun ideas that Marelle has shown us. She's in Sydney, Australia, so she gets the pleasure of working with these chicks for several more months! Although, from the way she talks, I think she's colored her last chicken. Too bad, really. She's really quite good at it, wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pardon the Construction...

For those of you who may be watching my blog as I'm working on it, you'll have to pardon the dust. I'm obviously working on the title banner... hopefully I'll have it figured out soon.

Thanks for your patience while I wrestle with this HTML...

I'm Back Home!

Hi everyone! Maddox and I are back home from beautiful Utah... time to get back to play... er, I mean work. Well, I promised to show you what Angela and I worked on while I was there. Remember that it does not use any Stampin' Up! products, except for a couple of stamps. Angela saw this pink patterned paper in a scrapbook store and wanted to use it, so that's what we started with. We didn't make it too elaborate since she had to make so many, so I copied this design from Morgan's birthday invitation (see my June 12th post) - it's a simple pocket card.

Here's a close up of the sentiment (which is from the "Curvy Verses" set):

And here's what the inside looks like - Angela and I both just love the adorable little footprints (from the "I'm Here" set)! They are stamped on the background paper while the invitation is printed on vellum and attached with a tiny pink safety pin.

I am now working on finishing up the preparations for this Saturday's Stamp-a-Stack workshop where we will be making 8 cards and 2 card boxes. Please be sure to let me know if you are coming so I can prepare enough supplies!

Although I like to keep this blog "business only", I want to leave you with a few photo from my trip. This first one is me hiking up to gorgeous Stewart Falls with Maddox on my back.

This is Angela relieving me of our precious cargo. (He's quite heavy and Angela is in much better shape than I am!)

This is me and Angela on top of the Conference Center after seeing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

And this is Maddox with Lisa on Sunday morning. She said that he did great (he went to church with them) and that her kids were all fighting over him. I'm so glad he was such a good boy.

Thanks, Lisa, for the beautiful gift and making it possible for Angela and I to have the morning free.
Thanks, Mallory and Michal, for being so willing to always watch my happy boy.
Thanks, Clarine, for a wonderful lunch and for the even better company.

And thank you, Angela, for such a fabulous time! I always enjoy coming to Utah to hang with you and your wonderful family...

...and to beat you at cards. :)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

In-Color Combinations

Hi there! Still in Utah, but I wanted to share a link with you. You have read about how I rely on the Color Coach a great deal... but it doesn't include the In-Colors. So Stampin' Up! puts together a separate document that gives some dynamite combinations using these 6 trendy colors. Visit it here!

I am having a wonderful time in sunny Salt Lake City... Angela and I took a beautiful hike (with Maddox on our back, mind you!), we've had some fabulous meals, I've visited with Angela's wonderful family, and we are even trying to squeeze in a little bit of card creating in the midst of all the busy-ness. Angela needs to make a baby shower invitation, so we've been working on that a little. She needs to send out around 50 of them, so we're not going to make it too elaborate, but I'll take a picture when we're done so you can see that I did do SOMETHING!! It won't be using much of Stampin' Up!'s wonderful products, though... because Angela doesn't have much of it. (I really must remedy that situation for her, don't you think?!) But as a head designer for Lisa's QVC shows, Angela gets buried in products from every craft manufacturer out there. It's like a scrapbook store right here in her home! Tomorrow, Lisa is going to keep Maddox so Angela can take me to see the incredible Mormon Tabernacle Choir - what a treat!

Okay... gotta run. We're going out shopping today!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Greetings from beautiful Utah! I just thought I'd pop in when you didn't expect me and surprise you with a card I snuck in before I left town (I know, I know... I was supposed to be taking a stamping break. But I just can't stay away!).

I really like how this one turned out - and I learned a couple of cool techniques quite by accident. Let me share them with you! First of all, the acorns, in all their neat colors, are embossed. I started by using the markers to color the rubber on the stamp. I did the acorn crown in either Chocolate Chip or Close to Cocoa, and the acorn nut in either More Mustard or Really Rust. Then I "rocked" the stamp into the Chocolate Chip or Close to Cocoa (they're different) to give the edges a shaded look. "Rocking" means to hold the inked stamp at an angle over a darker color ink and with a rotating motion, let just the edges of the image touch the pad. Cool, huh? Well, then I decided that I wanted them embossed, so I tried rocking them into Chocolate Chip CRAFT ink with horrible results. So I brought out my never-been-used Versamark PEN and just colored over the entire acorn, powdered it, and then heat set it. Beautiful!! Worked perfectly and I'm so excited about the possibilities this opens up! Folks, for those of you who do not have a lot of Craft ink pads, invest in the Versamark pen. You can fake it a long way!

The second trick I learned has to do with those gorgeous leaves that make up the background. I knew what I wanted - multicolored leaves that remind me of Autumn. I started by rocking the leaf stamps into two different colors of classic ink. That worked really well, but I wanted it to be more subtle for the background. Then I got the bright idea of inking them in Versamark and then rocking them into the same color ink as the paper - More Mustard. My heart skipped a beat with the first one I stamped! It was beautiful and just what I was looking for! They have a somewhat transparent look to them which is ideal for a background. I'm certain someone else has done this before, but it's brand new to me, and maybe you too!

So there you go... some surprise tricks to hold you over until I return! I hope you enjoy it - let me know!

Stamp Sets: Autumn Fest, Holidays & Wishes
Cardstock: More Mustard, Naturals Ivory, Chocolate Chip
Ink: Chocolate Chip (craft & classic), Close to Cocoa, More Mustard, Really Rust, Versamark (pad & pen)
Accessories: Clear embossing powder, Paper Piercer & mat, Chocolate Grosgrain ribbon, Stamping Sponges

Monday, July 16, 2007

Christmas in July

I decided to start making a Christmas card every week or so in order for us to get a feel for what we might like to use when the holiday season is upon us... and we all know it will be here before we know it! I made this one using my new favorite set, Baroque Motifs:

I started by choosing my colors. I wanted to use the gorgeous new Purely Pomegranate, so I paired it up with Mellow Moss. Not your typical Christmas green, but a green none-the-less! It creates a more soothing Christmas palette, I think. The neutral background color is Naturals Ivory with the Baroque swirl done in River Rock ink (another beautiful new In Color). The Merry Christmas sentiment is from the new Holidays & Wishes set and it is stamped on a piece of the Brocade Background designer series paper. For the emblems, I used Mellow Moss and Purley Pomegranate inks with clear embossing powder. Here's a trick for you - I have the Mellow Moss in craft ink, so embossing was no problem. For the Pomegranate, however, it only comes in classic ink which typically doesn't stay wet long enough to get the powder to stick to it. But for some reason, this stamp pad is inky enough and if you do it quickly, it works! This means having your powder container open and ready (I use a plastic dish with a spoon), stamping the image with your right hand while your left hand already has a grip on the corner of the paper to lift it up and hold it over the powder dish. You normally don't have to heat set the powder right away, but when you're doing it with classic ink, go ahead and do it immediately. Boom, boom, boom... stamp, powder, heat. Do all three steps very quickly and you may be able to defy the stamping law that says you can't emboss with classic ink! After I broke the law myself, I used a couple of Rhinestone brads to give the card a little sparkle. For the ribbon, I had to cheat. I am still waiting on all of my new goodies to arrive (Mr. Brown should bring them TOMORROW - yippee!!) so I didn't have any of the new double stitched Purely Pomegranate ribbon. So I used a piece of Olive Organdy (now retired).

So Merry Christmas here in sunny (finally) July!

Now for some bad news... I will be signing off for a week. Maddox and I are going on a trip to Utah to visit a very dear friend of mine and I am going to close the door on my stamp room until I return. I need to prepare for the trip, and quite honestly, I need to rejuvenate my creative mind. My friend, Angela, happens to be an artistic genious, so I look forward to coming home with all sorts of new ideas to share with you! Her expertise is in scrapbooking (she is Lisa Bearnson's sister - the founder of CK magazine) and so we will be doing some scrapbooking... something I haven't done in ages! Hopefully I'll have a page or two to show you when I get back. I'm taking my Stampin' Up! Simply Scrappin' kits with me, and I'm eager to give them a test run! (So see? I'm not abandoning my job altogether!)

So goodbye for now... Happy Stamping, and I hope you'll visit again when I return!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Breakfast in Bed

My sweet son, Mason, made me breakfast in bed this morning. No, it's not my birthday. It's not Mother's Day. There's nothing in particular that needed to be celebrated - other than the fact that I have a wonderfully thoughtful son! I layed in bed (at 6am, mind you) and enjoyed my Toaster Strudel and glass of water and then had him climb up next to me. He's been having a hard time sleeping lately, so he welcomed the opportunity to snuggle in Mom & Dad's bed - and he managed to go back to sleep for a couple more hours. As I lay there next to him, thoughts were filling my head about a card that I could make just for him. This is what transpired:

His favorite color is red, so I started with that. The Color Coach suggested Old Olive and Creamy Caramel, so I trusted it again... (you REALLY should have one of these! Takes the guesswork out of choosing colors!) So Old Olive and Real Red lended itself well for this cute little snake from the new set "Zoofari". I used the markers to color in the snake and then dabbed some Crystal Effects on the red stripes and the tongue. I embossed the the "Wild About You" sentiment with Whisper White craft ink and Winter White embossing powder. The hearts are from the "All About U" set and I embossed them too. The Old Olive diamonds were an afterthought - it really needed some of that color in that corner to balance it out and you have seen from the last few posts that my method of solving this is to just add a small circle, brad, or some other little bit like this.

Inside the card, I wrote something like, "Thankssssss ssssssso much for bringing me breakfasssssst in bed..." I haven't given it to him yet, but I can't wait to see his reaction. My boys watch me make cards all the time, but they're not usually the recipient of them! I think I'll make cards for them more often...

Stamp Sets: Zoofari, Wild About You, All About U
Cardstock: Creamy Caramel, Old Olive, Real Red, Whisper White, Basic Black
Ink: Old Olive and Real Red markers, Whisper White craft, Basic Black, Versamark
Accessories: Black Gingham ribbon, Clear and Winter White embossing powder, heat tool, gold brads, Ticket Corner punch, 1/4" square punch, Crystal Effects

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Doodle This!

I had a fabulous time at the Stamp-a-Stack workshop tonight! Why? Well, because I sat down and made the cards too! I don't usually get to do that, but I had a smaller crowd, so I took advantage of the time to stock up on some cards myself. Here's my favorite of the night:

It was funny - we each liked a different card, but this one grabbed me. I created it just this afternoon after this stamp set arrived at my door! It was screaming turquoise at me, so I just sat right down and got busy. I stamped the big flower in black StazOn and then used my blender pens and a well of ink in the lid of the stamp pads to color it in (you create this well by squeezing the stamp pad while it's shut). You may not be able to tell from the photo, but the flower has some glitter on it - one of my new favorite techniques. There's also some glitter on the coral dots in the corner, just to tie it all together. And for the record, my flower is off center on purpose. I liked it better this way, but some of the ladies tonight decided to center theirs. It's nice to be able to tweak the designs to suit individual preferences.

Supplies used:
Stamp Sets: Doodle This, Hugs and Wishes
Cardstock: Tempting Turquoise, Certainly Celery, Confetti White
Ink: StazOn, VersaMark, Tempting Turquoise, Cameo Coral, Certainly Celery, Taken with Teal
Accessories: 1 3/8" square punch (to punch out the window), Blender Pen, Dazzling Diamonds glitter, 2 Way Glue pen, Tempting Turquoise grosgrain ribbon, 1/4" Circle punch

I also want to share some feedback I received about my earlier post using the Carte Postale set (the card that I attempted twice). We discussed it tonight - funny how people will give me their honest opinions in person, but are afraid to online! It was pretty much unanimous that the card was not a winner - I already knew that. But when I brought it out in person, they all started changing their tune! Apparently it looks much better in real life than it did in the photos. But whatever it is about that card that we don't particularly like, none of us could come up with what needed to change. So that just goes to show you that we all need a "Card Graveyard" for the ones like this that you just wouldn't want to send to anyone! Ha!

Lastly, I want to thank those of you who are reaching out and leaving comments! I enjoy hearing your thoughts about the cards I post.

Until next time... Toodle-loo!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Seeing Spots!

That's the name of this fun set... Seeing Spots!

I had a lot of fun with this one. I used the same colors as a previous card - Apricot Appeal, Pumpkin Pie, and Certainly Celery (I left out the Lavender Lace this time). I used a silver brad and a Stampin' Dimensional on the Thank You spot to help it stand out. I also used a Dimensional on the Pumpkin spot on the strip. I paper pierced the Certainly Celery and attached that element with glue dots. You should always use glue dots whenever you paper pierce, because the holes on the back stick out a bit and prevent SNAIL from getting a good grip on whatever you're adhering it too.

I like this card so much that we're going to do it at Thursday night's Stamp-a-Stack workshop! There are still seats left, so let me know right away if you'd like to join us!

Attempt #2

Well, I reworked it as promised.

I kept all the same colors and elements, but just changed it up a bit. I also pulled out my new trusty sew mini machine and gave it some stitches. I used the Cutter Kit to distress the edges of the emblem thing - that tool is neat! Sure beats using your fingernail to do it! I also decided to see what it looks like with the "Mon Amie" sentiment stamped on the inside, framed by the big oval punch. That's why I had to hold it in the photo - so you could see it (I think I prefer stamping directly on the front of the card). I used a piece of Hodgepodge Hardware to add the ribbon so I don't have the frayed ends as before. And to give it a little balance, I added a couple More Mustard dots (I think it may work without those, though). Anyway, what do you think? Improvement? Or not? You can be honest - it's still not one of my favorites, so you won't hurt my feelings! Creative criticism is what makes us all better.

Supplies used:
Stamp Set: Carte Postale
Cardstock: Bordering Blue, Night of Navy, Chocolate Chip, More Mustard, Confetti Cream
Ink: Chocolate Chip craft, Versamark, Night of Navy (for sponging)
Accessories: Mustard grosgrain ribbon, Hodgepodge Hardware, Cutter Kit, Large Oval punch, stamping sponges, clear embossing powder, Heat Tool, 1/4" Circle punch, Crystal Effects, sewing machine and thread

Now I will put this card to rest and finish up a *NEW* one that I started... maybe my slump is over?! Stay tuned and I'll post it soon!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In a slump...

I guess I'm out of practice. It's been a few days since I've made a new card and when I sat down today to create, I had nuthin'. I forced myself to come up with something, and here's what came of it.

It's sure not my favorite, but I decided to share it with you anyway to prove that even I have slumps! I don't like how the brads frayed the ends of the ribbon, and it just seems plain and off balance to me. Normally I would've chunked this one without even finishing it, but I am taking the advice of a friend (you know who you are!) who always finishes a card regardless of how it's turning out. She told me to never let a card get the best of me - good advice. I think I'll try again tomorrow and show you a new and improved version... deal?

By the way, I put a new link on the sidebar - it goes to the *new* catalog so you can view it online whenever you'd like. I also added a counter, but I had no idea what to start it at since this blog has been up since late May. I just put 300... probably conservative since I'm already over 380 in just a day.

Anyone built an ark yet? Perhpas we should start thinkin' about it.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Tag... I'm it

I've been tagged! Andrea Walford of Andrea's Stamping Blog tagged me. I am to share 7 things about me and then tag 7 others. So here goes:

1. I can't whistle. Very sad, actually, because I used to be able to when I was little. But I lost the ability somewhere down the road and it hasn't been found since.

2. I snap my fingers differently than most people. I use my thumb and RING finger instead of the tall finger. The ability to do this "properly" must've run off with my ability to whistle.

3. I am PHOBIC of cockroaches. (Is there a scientific name for this disorder?) I mean it, people... I freak out at the sight of one. My skin crawls and I get the eeby-jeebies. If I actually have to be the "mommy" and kill one, well, it ain't a pretty sight. Fortunately, I've only seen ONE in our house and that was a long time ago. I hope I killed it before it found a girlfriend and had... well, you get the idea. I have to stop thinking about this and move on.

4. I have a pet snake named Bailey. Even though I have 3 sons, Bailey is MY pet. She's a 1 1/2 year old Brook's Kingsnake. Very sweet little girl. Never thought I would have one, but I'm actually quite fond of her! (Yes, people, I can hold and feed a snake, but I climb the walls at the sight of a roach. Makes no sense, I know.)

5. I think I was born in the wrong century. I love the 1800s and how life was so simple - no electronic anything, no super highways, no private gyms, no ginormous grocery stores on every corner. Men and women worked very hard with very little and saved what little they earned. Kids were taught to cook, sew, plow, and harvest. Sundays were reserved for worship and family. Preparing for Christmas meant making homemade gifts, not fighting the crowds to buy one. There were no telephone poles, power plants, or worthless billboards to clutter up the beautiful landscape. I could go on and on... I have such respect for our ancestors and the lives they lived and the legacies they left behind. One small paragraph is simply not enough to express my thoughts on this topic.

6. My husband proposed to me 3 months after we met, and we were married 3 months later at the tender young age of 21. Now, 15 years and 3 kids later, we will both tell you that our marriage is our single most greatest achievement. We are truly blessed and we try very hard to not take any of it for granted.

7. My favorite movie (okay, it's a mini-series) is Lonesome Dove. See #5 above. 'Nuff said.

Okay... now I'm supposed to tag 7 others, but I am having a hard time finding people who haven't been tagged recently. I've spent too much time searching already, so for the sake of my family who would really like dinner before 10pm, I'm just going to do 3. I hope I don't cause myself to have 7 years of bad luck or whatever else happens if you don't follow the rules exactly. :)

1. Tami at Addicted to Stampin'
2. Wendy at Wickedly Wonderful Creations
3. Lori Craig at Make a Difference

Very talented ladies! Thanks for playing along.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Big Pieces is Back!

I am so glad that Stampin' Up! brought back the Big Pieces stamp set! I loved using it when it was in the mini catalog, and now I'm thrilled to pull it back out and be able to use it for at least six more months (and it's baby brother, Little Pieces, too). This is the card we made today during Girls Club:

I used the dynamic duo of Apricot Appeal and Pumpkin Pie together with Whisper White. For the complimenting colors, I referred to the Color Coach and it suggested Certainly Celery and Lavender Lace. Never would've picked them myself, but I gave it a whirl - and I like it! It's so crazy how you can look at that wheel and say to yourself, "there ain't no way those colors will look good together!" But then you try it and you have to stick your foot in your mouth because that little wheel knows what it's talkin' about! Or you could just ask my 8 year old son - he has a pretty good track record at selecting colors (see my June 12th post!).

I also want to remind you that I am having a Stamp-a-Stack this coming Thursday night from 7-9pm. There are still seats available, so if you'd like to come, drop me a line!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Feel Better Soon, Audrey!

This one's for my dear friend, Audrey, who lives in Scotland. I really want to do something to cheer her up, so I thought I'd make her a card... but it would take days to arrive by mail, so voila! Instant gratification through the wonderful world of internet!

This was made with the new Hostess set, Vases in Vogue. The base card is Mellow Moss, with Always Artichoke, Really Rust, Confetti White, and Basic Black. I poked two small holes on either side of the vase to tie the bow (Moss gingham) around it. I didn't have any black brads left, so I used an Antique Brass one and rubbed it in my StazOn ink pad (there's a new trick for you!).

Audrey, I sure hope you're feeling better VERY soon! I love you!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Girls Club THIS Sunday!

I only have a couple seats left for Girls Club this Sunday, July 8th at 2:00pm! We're going to make a fun card first, and then we'll make an altered letter! Here is another example of one I made today:

The cost is $10 for each girl (ages 8-15) or $15 for a mother/daughter pair. Contact me NOW to save your seat!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

With Sympathy

I don't make very many sympathy cards - and that's a good thing. But when the need arises, I want to create something that has soft elegance. Baroque Motifs came to my rescue... have I told you yet how great this new set is?! I made this for a friend (and customer) who lost her sister-in-law recently.

I used the now-retired Warmest Regards hostess set because it's the only stamp I had with this type of sentiment on it. I really must remedy that situation... hmmm, I know just where to look - my shiny (but already well-thumbed through) new catalog! I also used the still-current Touch of Nature set and watercolored the flowers. The Baroque Motif swirl was stamped in Versamark and then I sponged Close to Cocoa over the edges of everything to give it a worn look. I really like to sponge when I'd rather not have the hard lines that the "direct to paper" technique causes (that's when you hold the stamp pad upside-down and rub it over the edges of your cardstock). Sponging creates a softer look. For interest, I also paper-pierced a row below the strip - no sewing this time! I then made a matching envelope with the same swirl and also sponged those edges too. For color reference (I don't know how these photos look on everyone else's computers!) the base card is Rose Red with a Confetti Cream strip.

Making homemade cards is not only incredibly enjoyable, but it serves a practical purpose as well. It is so rewarding to be able to make something with your own hands to send to someone in need of a hug. Beats those sterile store-bought cards ANY DAY. Wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy Birthday, America!

I sat down at my desk to make a patriotic card, not knowing how I'd even begin! So I just started by pulling out Brilliant Blue and Real Red and hoped it would flow from there... and it did! I thought of fireworks and that made me think of a particular stamp in the "Big Pieces" set (I'm SOOOOO glad they brought that one back!). So I went to town on a piece of Whisper White making blue and red *fireworks*, complete with sound effects and the standard ooooohs and aaaaaaahs after each one. :) When I got done with that, I decided it was a bit too much (I guess I got a little carried away). So no big deal... I just toned it down with a piece of vellum! Solved that problem. Then I decided to jazz up the vellum, so I used the "Little Pieces" version of the same stamp and embossed it using Whisper White craft ink and clear powder. You'll have to look closely to see it, but it's there, and it gave the fireworks "show" some nice depth! Then I embossed the word Celebrate from the "All About U" set, gave it a few snips with my ticket corner punch, and fastened it on with some Real Red grosgrain ribbon. Add a couple buttons for balance, and here we are with a very patriotic tribute to our nation's birthday. What do you think of the show?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Camp & Stamp Conclusion

Good Monday morning to you all! Here's the last project I made while camping:

I wanted to show Dianne how to make Faux eyelets, so that was the reason for this card... plus, it gave me another chance to play around with Baroque Motifs! The base color is Really Rust, the strip is Close to Cocoa, and the emblem is on Mellow Moss and Always Artichoke. You probably can't tell from the photo, but since I showed how to make the eyelets look like metal (ie. Crystal Effects), I also put some Crystal Effects on the emblem and a few drops placed strategically in the lovely swirl.

I hope you enjoyed my camping creations! If so, show me some love and leave a comment... Marelle's getting rather lonely in my comment world all by herself!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Creative Camping

I'm back! While camping, I completed four little projects. I'm going to share three of them tonight, and the other one tomorrow. Here are the first three:

You'll have to pardon the quality of the photos on these cards... I didn't exactly have the full set-up to ensure they were properly lighted, etc. Add to that the fact that they were taken on top of this green picnic table, and, well, you get the idea! But since I sent all of these projects home with my stepmother-in-law, Dianne, I don't have them here to redo. I'll now share them individually, but if you would like to know more specifically what supplies and/or colors I used, just drop me a line so I don't take up too much space here.

This one above is actually a card I used for my last Stamp-a-Stack workshop. I created it again while camping so Dianne could see how it was done. It's taken straight from Marelle's brilliant idea to stamp one full sheet and then cut it into fourths to create the card fronts. She has hers posted on her blog now too (see her June 29th post) so you can see them done by the master herself with a different stamp set.

This one, I'm quite fond of. Dianne's lucky I let her take this one home - ha! She wanted to see how to make a box to hold cards/envelopes, so I just pulled out some stuff and started throwing it all together. I give her credit for the color selection, as I asked her what colors she wanted to use. If memory serves me well, it's Ruby Red with Not Quite Navy and More Mustard. I think it turned out rather nicely! Unlike others I have made, this one has a belly band that holds it closed. The blue strip slides off easily so you can open the box. In a perfect world (ie. right here at my stamping table!), I would've embossed the emblem and the sentiment so they stand out more. I also sponged Close to Cocoa on the edges of this box to give it a worn look, and I even used one of the *NEW* Fire Rhinestones in the center of the emblem (have you seen the new catalog yet?! Go to my Stampin' Up! website and click on "online catalog")! I am really enjoying this new Baroque Motifs stamp set!

Now aside from the poor lighting on this photo, this card could use a bit more work. I didn't have everything I needed with me, so we had to just make do with what we had. For a frame of reference, this card is Blush Blossom with the new In Color Purely Pomegranate. The reason for this card was to demonstrate the Dazzling Diamonds glitter. If you zoom in and look closely, you may notice that the little heart on the vase is glittery. If I had this card here with me now, I'd trade the polka-dot strip for a different shade to match the flowers better. I just didn't have the right stuff with me. But it's a cute, simple card using the Level 3 Hostess Set, "Vases in Vogue". You'll see this set more often, too!

So there you have it! That's proof that you really CAN stamp anywhere you have a mind to! I will leave you with a photo of a beautiful view we had... perhaps the scenery was the catalyst for my creative camping trip! Although you can't make them out, that's actually my husband (Michael), my father-in-law (Larry), and my two big boys (Mason & Morgan) canoeing among those gorgeous trees as Maddox and I watched from the shore near our campsite.

It's late Sunday while I'm posting this, so I'll see you in a few short hours with the photo of my last creation...