Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Priceless CaSE

Yes, I did it again... I CaSEd another master. This time it was Jenn Balcer. You can see her original card here (it's the second card at that link). Isn't it wonderful to have a world of inspiration out there to copy when you don't have time to come up with an original of your own? Time is definitely something I'm short on right now. We leave tomorrow to spend the holiday weekend with my extended family (about 60 of us this year). So this card will have to hold you over until I return!

I used a couple of new things this time - one of which is the textured cardstock. The base card is Blue Bayou, but the bottom piece is textured Certainly Celery. The striped piece on top is from the Fall Flowers Designer Series Paper and the two are separated with Whisper White Taffeta ribbon. I also played with my new "Priceless" stamp set. The butterflies were stamped on Whisper White with Blue Bayou and the swirls were stamped with Certainly Celery. I then embellished them a bit with some Crystal Effects (can't tell in the photo). I also stamped the swirl onto the Celery cardstock with Versamark ink. Often times, I have trouble finding a spot for the sentiment, but this technique always works. I stamped a sentiment from the Short & Sweet stamp set and then punched it out with my Word Window punch. Tie it to the ribbon with some linen thread, add a small scrap of Dimensionals to keep it in place, and it's set!

Enjoy your holiday weekend and I'll "see" you next week - well, I guess technically you'll "see" me... but in any case, I'll be back next week!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Christmas Giraffe

I'm so crazy busy right now finishing up the final planning of my family reunion, but I feel so guilty for not giving y'all a dose of inspiration... so I compromised! Here's a new card, but it's not my idea. It originated from my dear friend, Marelle. You can see her original card here. Remember that to CaSE (to copy and share everything) is to be a truly dedicated stamper! I borrowed her brilliant idea of decorating this little giraffe with some brad ornaments. Isn't he cute?! He just looks so proud to be all decked out for the holidays. Here's my version:

I stamped him with So Saffron ink onto glossy white cardstock and then used my black pen to fill in his eye, mouth, and the ornament hooks. The star is drawn using the Rose Red pen. The base card is Old Olive with a touch of So Saffron and Rose Red. The sentiment is from All Holidays and was stamped with Versamark and embossed with clear powder. I finished it off with two layers of coordinating ribbon - White Taffeta and Olive grossgrain.

I will try to get another card posted before I leave for this reunion later this week... but it will probably be another CaSEd card! Hope you'll forgive my lack of originality for the time being! (that's the beauty of stamping - you are free to borrow ideas wherever you find them, and there are a lot of insanely talented stampers out there!)

Until next time...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Birthday Celebration!

Okay, okay... so it's been a few days! I'm sorry! But we've had big things going on here in the Force household... our baby turned ONE today! We had a wonderful time celebrating with our closest friends and family.

I am also sorry that I don't have a card to share with you today. Between planning his party and planning my big family reunion that will take place next weekend, I have not touched my stamp room... believe me, it hurts me more than it hurts you! But I would like to share a couple photos of something that was INSPIRED by one of my cards... does that count??!

This was his birthday cake, made by my dear friend, Michelle Bronnenberg. She made it to match the invitation, which I posted here.

And here is the small cake she made JUST for Maddox! Look, it even has his name on the bumper!!!

And to prove that I was really there (as if I'd be anyplace else), here's a picture of Maddox sharing his new-found treasure with me...

We had a fabulous time celebrating Maddox's big day. I can't believe he's already one... what joy he has brought to our lives.

I'd apologize one more time for not having anything new to show you today, but the truth is I try to keep my priorities in order and my family will always come before my craft. I know all of you out there won't fault me for that.

Now... back to work before I leave you again next weekend! (and I PROMISE that should be the last trip out of town until Thanksgiving!) Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

True Friend

I created this card last night. It's totally different than I had originally pictured in my head, but sometimes you just have to let the card do the talking. Apparently this one did not like the plans I had, so it asked for some modifications! I'll wrestle with the other one later.

I got to use a new Jumbo Eyelet - and the Crop-a-Dile sets it just fine! (Have I told you how cool this gadget is?!) I also used a new stamp set from the Holiday collection called "True Friend". The background is Flannel Plaid done in Mellow Moss ink and the Pick a Petal outline is stamped onto the Fall Flowers Designer Series Paper with Always Artichoke ink. I embossed the center of the flower with Always Artichoke craft ink and clear powder before setting the eyelet.

Here's a complete list of supplies:
Stamp sets: Pick a Petal, True Friend, Flannel Plaid background
Cardstock: Naturals Ivory, Always Artichoke, Really Rust, Fall Flowers Designer Series
Ink: Always Artichoke classic and craft, Mellow Moss
Accessories: Jumbo Eyelet, brads, Twill Tape, Crop-a-Dile, Clear Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Stampin' Dimensionals, Glue Dots

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Girls Club Tote

Here's what the girls (and their moms) made at Girls Club today!

Isn't it adorable? This little tote bag holds these three matching cards that we also made:

The colors are Almost Amethyst, Pretty in Pink, and Apricot Appeal with just a touch of Certainly Celery (sounds like a soup recipe). The flower is from the Doodle This set and we colored it with the Stampin' Pastels. The swirl on the background was stamped with Versamark. THEN... as an extra treat, everyone got to learn how to use the Crop-a-Dile to set the eyelets which hold the handles on. We also used the Crop-a-Dile to make the dry embossed "bumps" for the trim on the tote! They all did a fabulous job!

If you missed out on this fun workshop, no worries... I have one every month! Girls ages 8-15 are welcome to attend for $10. If Mom wants to stay and do the project too, the cost is $15. The dates for the next two months are September 9th and October 7th. Feel free to get your name on the list now before the spaces fill up!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Holiday Mini Catalog SURPRISE!

If you're a customer of mine, you should be receiving the NEW 2007 Holiday Mini Collection catalog in your mailbox very soon! (If you're not a customer yet, drop me a line and I can send you the catalog so you can BECOME a customer!) Well, I have good news to share... EVERY stamp set in this mini catalog will come DIE CUT! Yippee-skippy!!

In case you don't know what this means, let me show you. The rubber in regular stamp sets comes like this:

This is the Sassy Stems set. You normally have to trim the rubber yourself to assemble the stamps - which can take a little time (it's a piece of cake if you have the Craft & Rubber scissors though!).

But when they come die cut, they look like this:

This is the True Friend set from this new Mini Collection. Can you see how the die cut rubber will save you some time? And it comes just in time for the busy holiday season, too! Be sure to take advantage of this special opportunity by ordering your Christmas sets from the beautiful selection in this Mini Collection!

...and for the record, the rubber in the Three for You Punch Box (described in yesterday's post) comes die cut as well. Stampin' Up! is spoiling us pretty good!

Punch a Bunch!

I promised to show you some ideas for the darling little Love Notes that come with this month's special offer...

These little guys were so simple to whip up - took me just over a 1/2 hour to do all three, and that includes thinking up each idea. Imagine how fast they would be if you just wanted to CASE them? (CASE stands for "copy and share everything" and is a totally acceptable and widely used practice in the stamping community!)

Let me tell you again about this wonderful offer... For the month of August, when you purchase the beautiful Three for You Punch Box (pictured below), you will also receive a package of thirty (30) 3"x3" textured Love Notes (a $12.95 value) FREE! The package has ten (10) each of Wild Wasabi, So Saffron, and Purely Pomegranate notes along with thirty (30) envelopes.

The Punch Box contains the exclusive Trio Flower punch, a coordinating 9-piece Three for You stamp set, and three Stampin' Spots in Purely Pomegranate, Wild Wasabi, and Basic Black. All of these items come packaged in a sturdy tin box with a windowed lid - perfect to use as a gift box later on! The Punch Box is $45.95 which is a great value for all that you get, and even BETTER when you add on the adorable Love Notes.

Contact me to order yours today!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Birthday Boy!

I can't believe my baby Maddox is going to be ONE next week! I made his birthday invitation yesterday.

He's really into his cars right now, so I knew I wanted to have one on the invitation. This little car is from an old Stampin' Up! set called "Going Somewhere". I would've used the car in the current "By Land" set, but I don't have it. So this one will have to do. I colored it with my markers - Brocade Blue and Rose Red. And then I sponged the edges with Brocade. I say "I sponged it," but in truth, my dear husband did that part for me! He actually helped me make these last night! What a sport... and he helped me design it too by giving me thumbs up/thumbs down with the different ideas I brought to him. I love getting him involved!

The background paper is Bashful Blue with the Print Pattern done in Versamark. The striped strip is from the Cutie Pie designer series paper with a strip of Brocade Blue next to it. Those are both adhered to the inside of the card. The front was cut off short, that's why I'm holding this one in the photo - so you can see what it looks like closed. The ribbon is Purely Pomegranate (one of the new In Colors) but it matches nicely with the Rose Red that's in the stripes.

So by late next week, we'll be watching as Maddox discovers the pleasures of birthday cake! It's all downhill from there...

Slow down, baby boy... slow down.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Three For You Deal of the Month!

Here is the last card we created at last night's Stamp-a-Stack using the new Three For You punchbox. And keep reading for the deal of the month!

I had to hold this one so you could see what it looked like closed. The edge is torn with the Tearing Edge (gives a nice, straight edge) and then sponged with the same color ink as the paper to give a nice definition. The dots were stamped in black just down the left of the inside. We did it in two different colors:

This was my first time using my new punchbox and it's a lot of fun! It comes with the three little flower punch, 3 stampin' spots (black, Wild Wasabi, and Purely Pomegranate) and an exclusive stamp set. This month, when you purchase the punchbox, you get a set of Love Notes for FREE! This includes 30 small textured cards (10 each of 3 colors) along with envelopes. They are perfect for creating a quick little note. I'll work on some samples in the next day or so to show you.

Back to this card... the punch was used on pieces of the "Flowers for You" designer paper which is just a shade lighter than the background papers (Taken with Teal and Lovely Lilac). Then I stuck a scrap of Whisper White to the back of it, punched a small hole in the center of each flower, and added the black brads. The background flower also comes in the punchbox and I stamped it in Versamark ink. I wanted the sentiment directly on the background like I did on the Teal card, but I messed up on the Lilac. So I fixed it with a scrap of Lilac, sponged it, and then mounted it with dimensionals. See? Every mistake is fixable!!

Here's another offer I'm trying out... If you were unable to make it to the workshop last night (or live elsewhere in the US) and would like a kit to make the same cards we made (the cards from my last three posts), I'm offering the kits for just $15 which includes shipping. This includes all paper (cut to size and punched), ribbon, brads, eyelets, & envelopes. Let me know what stamp sets you don't have yet and I can prestamp some images if necessary. Contact me if you are interested!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Whole Set

I showed you the first card yesterday... here are the others:

We made these at tonight's Stamp-a-Stack workshop and they went over well. I'm glad, because it's out of my comfort zone. I tend to lean toward more soft, simple cards. This one is vibrant and sharp! I know that not everyone has the same taste as me (why not??) so I try to come up with different things. The colors here are Certainly Celery, Rose Red, So Saffron, and Bashful Blue. There's a little bit of Brocade Blue thrown in as well.

I already talked about how these were made in the previous post, but note that there are a couple subtle differences. You can't see the background on the blue card very well in this photo, but it's there. The blue and green cards do not have the Ginormous Flower in the background, only the Priceless swirly stamp. And on two of the cards, I used the paper piercer and guide to make a row of holes below the strip. On the other two, I tore the bottom edge. Other differences include the positioning of the flower vs. the sentiment, and the degree of contrast in the color scheme.

This just shows yet again how easy it is to take a card that you like and alter the colors a bit to come up with a fantastic set! These cards just need a box like the one I created here. I'll let you do that... I'm going to get back to my comfort zone now.

And speaking of boxes, this Sunday is Girls Club at 2pm. The girls will be making a box similar to the one mentioned above. Moms, if you missed the Stamp-a-Stack where we made those boxes, now's your chance! Come along and be a mother-daughter (or grandaughter, or niece, or neighbor, etc.) team! Contact me to reserve your seat.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm Back!

Hello everyone! I'm back home after a very long (but fun) week with my family... We took a cruise through the Caribbean and had a wonderful time. Did you miss me?? I'm ready to get back in the saddle again, so I'll start with this card:
I pulled out a couple punches for this one - the new 5-Petal Flower and the Spring Flower Bouquet. They work really well together! Of course, I also got to use the new Crop-a-Dile to set an eyelet in the middle. The background is stamped with Versamark using a stamp from both the Ginormous Flowers and Priceless sets. And the sentiment (isn't it beautiful?) is from All Holidays. Instead of just stamping it right on the background, I cut a small piece, inked the edges and then used dimensionals to raise it up a bit. This made it stand out much better. The polkadot paper is Cutie Pie with a strip of Certainly Celery behind it. I used the Tearing edge to tear it. It is the easiest way to make a controlled tear when you want it to look even. The other colors are So Saffron and Brocade Blue. And that's the White grosgrain ribbon, of course.

This card is easily done in alternate colors, and if you like it, plan to come to my Stamp-a-Stack tomorrow night (Aug. 14th) because we'll be making it then! Sign up now so you don't miss out!

I'm glad to be back home. Going without my stamps for over a whole week has been MURDER on me!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Signing Off For A Bit...

I am leaving again... I know, I know... I just got back from Utah and here I go, traipsing off again on another vacation! Well, all 5 of us are going to do something we've never done before: Take a cruise. Yes, baby Maddox included!

But before I leave you, I want to share just one of the cards we'll be making at my next Stamp-a-Stack workshop:

Looks like a torn piece of paper, doesn't it? It's not! On August 14th, I'll show you how to do this FUN and amazing technique. Sign up now!

At this workshop, you'll also get to try out the fantastic new Crop-a-Dile and see how easy it is to set eyelets! I can't wait to show you. I'll just add it to your order now (hee hee!).

So I'm off now to pack and finish getting us all ready to go. I look forward to the trip, but I also look forward to coming back home to my beloved stamp room - and all of you!

Bon Voyage!