Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's Time to SALE-A-BRATE!

Those of you familiar with Stampin' Up! know that February is an exciting time! Each year, we have a wonderful opportunity for anyone to earn free stamp sets - not just hostesses! That time used to be called Sell-a-Bration, but they've changed the name to SALE-a-Bration!

The way it works is that from February 1st through March 17th, for EVERY $50 you spend, you can choose a FREE stamp set from the Sale-a-Bration brochure!

The even better news is that all the stamp sets in the Sale-a-Bration brochure are die cut! (If you don't know what this means, see this post.) Here's a quick card I made using one of the Sale-a-Bration stamp sets called So Many Scallops. This set is designed to team up with the Scallop Circle punch to make quick focal points for your cards:

The base color is Purely Pomegranate topped with some So Saffron designer prints paper with a couple of Old Olive eyelets that I set using my Crop-a-Dile. Then I added a layer of Old Olive that I dry embossed using my Crop-a-Dile (quite a handy tool!) and then sponged, and some Pomegranate double-stitched ribbon. (Speaking of that ribbon, I do happen to have a couple spots left in the Ribbon Share - I had to place another order to accommodate some new folks, and that group didn't get entirely full. If you're interested, contact me to see if a spot is still open.) My scallop is Pomegranate with a 1 3/8" circle of Old Olive and a 1 1/4" circle of Whisper White with the sentiment. To get the different colors for the sentiment, I colored the rubber stamp using my Stampin' Write markers.

Back to Sale-a-Bration... there are two other ways to earn these free sets. You can:

...hostess a $300 workshop during those dates, and receive a free Sale-A-Bration set in addition to the regular hostess benefits!

...OR, sign up to be a Stampin' Up! demonstrator during Sale-a-Bration and select any set (up to $47.95) from the current catalog - FREE!!

Contact me to receive your copy of the Sale-A-Bration brochure so you can decide which sets you want to earn over the next 6 weeks!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

RAK From Jackie

This post is long overdue... but I have been hanging on to these photos because I want you to see this really neat card that Jackie Matyasovski sent me back in December! It's called a "Flip-Flop" card, and here are the photos to show how it works:

Isn't that neat? If you'd like to know how it's made, I encourage you to go check out Jackie's blog where you can contact her directly.

Thank you, again, Jackie for the smiles!

Monday, January 28, 2008

"Mourning" Glories

I had the perfect opportunity to use my new Morning Soft set the other day. A friend's mother passed away, so I wanted to make something soft and beautiful for her. Plus, I knew I wanted to use my Watercolor Wonder Crayons because she has recently ordered some and I want to show her some ways they can be used.

I have to say... I think this turned out to be one of my favorite cards. I love Morning Glories anyway, but to be able to color them and show them off like this... it was a breathtaking experience! The base card is Night of Navy with a layer of Old Olive on top. The Morning Glories are stamped onto a full sheet of Watercolor paper (so now you can truly see what size it is) with black StazOn ink. The flowers are watercolored with Brocade Blue, Night of Navy, and a touch of Perfect Plum. The leaves are Old Olive, Always Artichoke, and a touch of Chocolate Chip. Now... I certainly don't claim to be a watercoloring expert - far from it, in fact! But I do enjoy playing around with it to see what I can create. Here's a close-up of the flowers:

I distressed the edges of the watercolor paper using my Cutter Kit (yes, it's been found... was MIA for a long time!), as that always softens the hard edges. The sentiment is from Sincere Salutations, stamped with Night of Navy onto Old Olive cardstock and layered on top of some Night of Navy grosgrain ribbon. At that point, I thought the card was finished... I even took a picture of it like that, but it looked top-heavy to me. So I added some last minute Old Olive brads to the bottom and that was the icing on the cake.

TIP: Did you know that you can remove a layer that's been glued down by heating it with your heat gun? Gently pry your bone folder under the piece you want to remove while you're heating it and it releases quite easily. It's the perfect way to make changes without ruining your cardstock.

You'll probably see more of these beautiful flowers... I think I'm ready to try them in some pinks or reds!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Valentines Anyone Can Make!

Do you have kids who need Valentines for school parties? Are you a teacher who'd like to give your students something special? Let me show you a super-simple homemade Valentine that you or your kids can give... one that's infinitely better than the generic box of corny Valentines you get at the grocery store... and you can fill this one with whatever goodies you'd like!

This first set is for girls using Pretty in Pink and Almost Amethyst cardstock, coordinated with Regal Rose and Lovely Lilac Classic ink and Stampin' Write markers.

This next set is for boys using Mellow Moss and Brocade Blue cardstock, coordinated with Always Artichoke and Brocade Blue Classic ink and Stampin' Write markers.

Aren't they darling?! The back of the tag can be used to write who it's to and from.

If you are interested in making some of your own, I have two options available to help you:

Option 1: Reserve a spot for my Valentine Box Workshop on Saturday, February 9th at 2pm. I will provide all the supplies for the boxes shown above, and personally show you how to assemble them. The cost of this workshop is $25 for 30 boxes withOUT candy OR $30 for 30 boxes WITH candy. (For quantities over 30, the price will be prorated.) This way, you can choose to have your kids help you fill them at home, or use the assorted wrapped candy I'll have available so you can finish them before you leave my house!

Option 2: Order the supplies by mail (or pick-up if you're local). With this option, I will prepare kits in sets of 10 for $8.00 per set. Order as many sets as you need! If shipping is required, it will be at a flat rate of $4.60 for Priority Mail (US addresses only). You can choose any combination of the colors shown above and each kit will contain enough of the following supplies to complete 10 boxes:

Cardstock in the colors you choose (pre-cut, unscored)
Coordinating color cardstock for large tags
Whisper White cardstock for small tags
Whisper White Taffeta ribbon (pre-cut)
Linen thread (pre-cut)
Detailed step-by-step instructions with photographs

Additional supplies used to complete this project are listed below:

Happy Heart Day stamp set (#111089 $20.95)
Small Tag punch (#108264 $15.95)
Large Tag punch (#105934 $15.95)
Crop-a-Dile (#108362 $29.95)
Sticky Strip (#104294 $6.95)
Paper Cutter for scoring (#104152 $24.95)
Bone folder for scoring (#102300 $6.95)
Paper snips (#103579 $9.95)
Classic ink pads (#varies $5.25 each)
Stampin' Write markers (#varies $3.25 each)
Ink colors are Regal Rose, Lovely Lilac, Always Artichoke, and Brocade Blue

If you need to purchase any of the additional supplies to complete this project, I can get those ordered and delivered right to your door... but we'll need to have your order in by February 3rd so you'll have enough time to complete the boxes before Valentine's Day! And remember... for every $50 Stampin' Up! merchandise order you place in February, you get to choose a FREE Sale-a-Bration stamp set! (note: the price of my box kits do not count toward the Sale-a-Bration promotion.)

I hope that one of these options will work for you... and together we can check one more thing off our February "To Do" lists - and in such good taste! :o)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Crabby Valentine?!

Can a crab be given as a Valentine? Well, sure! Especially since the stamp set Crab & Company has a sentiment that says "Shore do love you"... so why not?

These may not be typical Valentine's Day colors, but there is a reason for this madness... I knew I wanted to color this little guy Ruby Red. So I pulled out my handy Color Wheel and turned it to Ruby Red. Nothing leaped out at me there, so I continued turning the wheel looking at all the possibilities that include Ruby Red until one caught my eye... Perfect Plum! So that's where the base color came from. When I layed a piece of Ruby Red on top of the Perfect Plum, I knew that's what I wanted.

The crab is stamped with black StazOn ink onto Naturals White cardstock. Since Naturals White is not the best surface for watercoloring (it doesn't allow much movement of the color as it dries too fast), I chose a different approach than I normally use. On this one, I took my Watercolor Wonder Crayon (Ruby Red, of course) and used it like a crayon, scribbling some color onto the crab. I scribbled more color in the areas I wanted darker, and less in the areas I wanted to be highlights. Then, using an Aquapainter, it becomes like those Paint With Water books we all did as kids! I also scribbled in some Close to Cocoa and More Mustard for the sand. I layered the crab onto some Basic Black and Ruby Red cardstock, making the Ruby Red layer larger so I could stamp a frame using a couple of smaller stamps in the set.

The bottom of the card was made by taking a separate strip of Perfect Plum, wheeling it with the Sandy Shells wheel in Basic Black ink. Then I tore it along the top edge and dabbed some Perfect Plum ink along the edges with a Dauber. The sentiment fit perfectly inside the Small Oval punch, so I got to layer it with Ruby Red using the Large Oval punch. Then I inserted some Black brads using my Crop-a-Dile, and threaded some Black grosgrain through to finish it off. To hold the ribbon in place, I notched two half circles in the edge of the card using a 1/4" Circle punch.

And speaking of Valentines, I must mention that I will be having my Second Annual Valentine Workshop on February 5th from 7-9pm. Just like last year, we will be making a Valentine for our husbands (or significant others) using my supplies. The cost of this workshop is ABSOLUTELY FREE with no order required... but I won't turn away an order if you want to place one! :o) And you may want to, because February 1st marks the start of Stampin' Up!'s Sale-a-Bration!!! ...oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself. This is enough for one post...

Ribbon Share - Last Chance!

Hi folks - thanks for the well wishes. I'm starting to feel a bit better, so hopefully I'll be back at my normal speed by the end of the week.

Just a reminder that I'm putting in the order for the Double Stitched ribbon tomorrow (Friday, January 25th) and I'm looking for just TWO more people to even out the last grouping. Please see this post for the details, but it only costs $13 (includes shipping and tax) and you get 3 yards of each of 6 beautiful colors - that's enough ribbon to wrap at least 40 cards!! This is a perfect opportunity to have all the colors, but not buy 6 whole spools (which would cost you over $60). Think about it... but hurry! I'll need to hear from you by noon on Friday! Don't miss out!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Get Well... PLEASE!!

You wouldn't know it by visiting my blog, but I've been sick. Me and the baby both. It's been about 6 days now that we have been fighting this nasty, nasty cold. I still can't breathe through my nose (isn't that the pits?!) and I can't smell a thing... Maddox caught me off guard 3 times now where he had a stinky diaper and I had no clue. But that also means I can't smell the beautiful Tiger Lillies I put in my bathroom last week. Anyway, I've been pretty bummed. Especially since Michael and the big boys have been going out and doing all sorts of fun things without us!

So, I decided to cheer myself up by making a get well card... for ME!

I like the combination of blue and yellow, so I started there. I pulled out some So Saffron for the base, and added a layer of Night of Navy with some Old Olive as an accent. I also knew I wanted to use the darling Just Like You set because I have a friend coming over in a few days and we're going to design a card for her using that set. I used my Stampin' Write markers to color the flowers, using two different shades of blue - Brocade and Night of Navy, as well as the Old Olive for the stems. I stamped this onto Whisper White for a fresh, clean look. Here's a close-up:

Then I used two more stamps from that set and made a little patch of flowers in the lower corner with So Saffron ink and VersaMark. The sentiment comes from Sincere Salutations, and the ribbon is Night of Navy and Apricot Appeal - believe it or not, that Apricot ribbon matches nicely with the Saffron paper! And one thing I found, it was really hard for me to go back to the narrow grosgrain after I've been spending so much time with the wide! But this card needed the more delicate look that the narrow could provide.

So... here's to hoping Maddox and I are back to ourselves again real soon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Friends in Lilac

...and yet another card in these yummy colors! I promise my infatuation with them will wear off soon!

This card was made with the Level 3 Hostess set called Time Well Spent. This set was a special gift from Shelli Gardner (our cofounder and CEO) who sent it to all demonstrators over the holidays! (I tell you, the benefits of being a demonstrator just go on and on!) I stamped the flowers onto Whisper White cardstock, colored them with my Stampin' Write markers (Regal Rose, Rose Red, Almost Amethyst, Lovely Lilac, & Certainly Celery) and then cut them out. The base card is Lovely Lilac, with the same flower image stamped randomly using VersaMark ink. The sentiment was also colored using the markers, and then layered onto Regal Rose and Certainly Celery. And once again, the gorgeous Regal Rose wide grosgrain ribbon (yours FREE when you purchase the Valentine Bundle) takes center stage! One thing I should mention, the fold for this one is on the side. I really like this twist on a landscape orientation, but after designing it and seeing which direction I wanted the ribbon to wrap around, it would've been more suited to have the fold at the top. But alas, my cardstock was already cut, so I just used a craft blade and made a slice in the crease for the ribbon to fit through. (there's a work-around for everything!)

Happy Monda... er wait... it's Tuesday already! I'm going to be off on my days all week since yesterday was a holiday! In any case, have a great one!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cleaning House!

Out with the old and in with the new... it is time for me to say goodbye to some wonderful stamp sets... and it is time for you to say hello to some good deals!

I have several retired stamp sets that I need to clear out so I can make room for all the fun new stuff. You can see what I have at this link. I have photographed each of my sets, both front and back, so you could see for yourself the condition they're in. Several of them are still BRAND NEW! The prices are listed on each page, and shipping information is on the main page. If you see something you are interested in, drop me a line to see if it is still available. I will take payment via PayPal on a first come first serve basis.

Happy shopping!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Big Heart... Big Ribbon!

Here's another card I whipped up the other day... I'm sure I don't have to tell you again which stamp set this is... but for the sake of anyone new visiting, it's the Happy Heart Day... and I LOVE IT!! And lookey there... I even used some of the delicious Regal Rose wide grosgrain ribbon that's included in the Valentine Bundle! Have you ordered your bundle yet? There's still time... the promotion runs through January 31st. See this post for details.

Yes, I used the Flowers For You Designer Series Paper (again), so it got teamed up with a Regal Rose card base along with some Lovely Lilac and Tempting Turquoise layering. The cute little mousey was stamped onto Naturals White with Black StazOn ink and then colored with a combination of Watercolor Wonder Crayons and Stampin' Write Markers. Remember when you color images like this to always "ground" them... that means to give them something to stand on. You see here I watercolored a bit of Going Gray under his feet so he's not just floating in mid-air. Although you may not be able to see it, I used a glue pen on the flower and the stripe on his sweater, and then sprinkled Dazzling Diamonds over it to give him some pizazz. The sentiment was stamped with Lovely Lilac ink.

By the way, I do still have openings for my January 26th Stamp-a-Stack. See this post for photos of the cards we'll be making along with all the details. Let me know if you'd like to join us, or if you'd like me to send a packet to you by mail.

Hope you have a great day!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Blog Candy Winner!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to EVERYONE who left a comment on my blog candy post! You are all so kind and so supportive... I'm honored that you continue to visit me regularly!

...I won't beat around the bush. At noon, I had 51 comments and my random number generator picked #10 as the winner!! That's this comment from mochamama...aka Cheryl from "God and I on the Railroad Tracks":

"I get so excited when I find a new Blogsite to fall in love with and yours is the next one (fear not, I don't fall out of love with the others, there is enough of me to go around) I love your little sewing kit, your mailboxes are adorable and your cards are very creative. I love to see the picture of your family right at the top."

Thank you for your kind words, Cheryl! I checked out your profile and see that you're in Canada. I love getting visitors from far away... you're far, but my Australian visitors have you beat, I think! Anyway, please e-mail me your mailing address and I'll get the mailbox packaged up and mailed off to you. Oh, and by the way, I see that you have me listed twice in your list of favorite blogs... does that mean you visit me twice as much as the others?! (*teasing*)

Thank you again, everyone, for putting me well over the 20,000 hit mark. Here is a Thank You card I created just for YOU!!

This was made with the elegant Artfully Asian stamp set. The base card is Naturals Ivory with a layer of Mellow Moss over it. I stamped one of the flower images up the right side, which made a nice background. The main image was stamped with Basic Black and colored by dipping a Blender Pen into a puddle of ink on the lid of my stamp pads (Groovy Guava and Mellow Moss). I layered it on top of Chocolate Chip and added a stripe of Always Artichoke behind it... oh, and LOOK! There's that yummy Double Stitched ribbon!! Did you know that you can get some of that along with all the other In Color ribbon for a GREAT price?! See this post for details on my Ribbon Share. (okay, I'm done with the plug!) The sentiment was stamped with Chocolate Chip, and some Vintage brads finish it off.

So thank you... every one of you. I love what I do, but your comments are icing on the cake!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Want Some Ribbon?

A new year brings with it new ideas, and I'm going to try something new this month... a Ribbon Share! I was inspired by the wonderfully talented Ali Manning - she's been in my list of blogs down on my sidebar for a while now... if you haven't checked out her blog, you really should!

A Ribbon Share is where you can get some of ALL the colors of ribbon for a LOT less than if you were to purchase entire spools of each. I'm going to start with the delicious Double Stitched ribbons in the 6 In Colors. That includes Wild Wasabi, Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, Purely Pomegranate, Groovy Guava, and River Rock... pictured here in that order.

Here's the details: For only $13 you will receive 3 yards of each color! Let me put this into perspective for you... when you consider that it takes roughly 15-17" to wrap a card and tie a knot (depending on which way your card is turned), you could embellish about 40 cards with this amount!! (or lots more if you weren't tying it around the entire card.) What could be better than that? Well, these prices include shipping and tax! Wow!

Anyone can participate - you do not need to be here in the DFW area. You can pay via PayPal and I will simply mail you the ribbon at no extra cost. I will be placing the order on January 25th, so if you want to participate, please let me know right away!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy Elephant in Lilac

Wow! The response to my blog candy has been outstanding! Thanks for all of your wonderful comments... talk about getting a big head? Mine's about to pop! If you haven't left your comment to try for the mailbox yet, see my prior post while there's still time... I'll be picking the random number on Friday at noon. I know that my comments aren't numbered, but the first one is 1, the second is 2, and so on. Good luck!

Now for another new card. Like I said (countless times now!), I love the Happy Heart Day stamp set. And while playing with this card, I fell in love with the combination of Lovely Lilac and Certainly Celery. I don't guess I've ever used this combination before - bright colors usually aren't my style - but this was fun to put together!

The elephant was stamped on Naturals White with black StazOn and colored with an Aquapainter and the Going Gray ink pad lid. The rest was colored with Stampin' Write markers (Regal Rose, Certainly Celery, and Tempting Turquoise). When you are coloring this image, I recommend using the fine tip of the marker to go over the words - it really makes them stand out more. I used a glue pen and some Dazzling Diamonds glitter on the hearts and the toenails to give it some shimmer. Tempting Turquoise is the layer behind the elephant. I scalloped the top of the Certainly Celery strip with the corner rounder (guard removed), and I pierced the bottom of it with my paper piercer and Mat Pack. The striped strip underneath the Celery is from Flowers For You DSP... another one of my current favorites! The flower image on the background was stamped with Lovely Lilac. I added another flower that I punched and layered with Regal Rose using the 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" Circle punches for interest, and it is adhered using dimensionals. Tempting Turquoise grosgrain ribbon finishes it off.

**Don't forget to order your Valentine Bundle before January 31st! This is a terrific promotion with great products - for only $33.40, you get the Happy Heart Day stamp set, a package of 50 medium cellophane bags (great to use for treat bags!), a spool of wide Real Red grosgrain ribbon, and a spool of wide Regal Rose grosgrain ribbon! What a fabulous package! You can see this post for some pictures and ideas. If you haven't ordered yours yet, let me know and I'd be happy to get it ordered and shipped directly to you. I accept payments through PayPal, you can send a check, or I can call you for a credit card number.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Would You Like to Have This Mailbox??

I love this Happy Heart Day stamp set... oh wait, have I told you that already?! Here is another mailbox I made, featuring the adorable little elephant. And to find out how it can be YOURS... keep reading!

The ribbon on this mailbox comes from the Fairy Tale Ribbon Originals, with some Tempting Turquoise grosgrainto line the edges and Certainly Celery grosgrain for the tag.

I colored the elephant with an Aquapainter and the Going Gray ink pad lid. The rest of the image was colored with Stampin' Write markers. I used a glue pen and the Dazzling Diamonds glitter on her toenails and the heart in her trunk.

To line the mailbox, I used my current favorite Designer Series Paper called Flowers For You, along with the Ginormous Flowers stamp set paired with the 5-Petal Flower punch and some matching buttons. The flower colors are Regal Rose, Certainly Celery, and Tempting Turquoise - LOVE this combination! I really am on a fettish right now for these colors... you'll be seeing more of them in the coming days.

Now... for the exciting part! Would YOU like to own this mailbox? You can! In celebration of my blog hitting 20,000 hits (WOW!), I am giving it away as BLOG CANDY! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me what you like the most about my blog. Like anyone, I love good compliments, but my intentions are really to find out what you want to see MORE of! This Friday, January 18th, at noon I will choose a random number and I will post the winner that afternoon.

Good luck and thanks for visiting!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Garden Whimsy Spotlight

What?? Two posts in one day?! Well, I don't like to leave too much text on here... you all come for the PICTURES, don't you?! So I will go ahead and reach into my files for a card that never got posted. You can tell this one is older because the photo was taken outside instead of under my new Ott light!

This is a fun technique called Spotlighting... where you draw attention to one small piece of your image by coloring it in, while leaving the rest very plain (or uncolored). I used Garden Whimsy on this card, and inked the flower in Going Gray (or Basic Gray... can't remember) onto Naturals White cardstock. That was then layered onto Basic Black. Then I inked the flower back up with a Rose Red marker and stamped it onto some scratch paper. I punched the colored tulip out with the 1 1/4" circle punch and matted it onto Basic Black that I punched with the 1 3/8" circle punch. I lined it up with the gray flower and popped it up with dimensionals (which is why you see the shadow so prominently in the photo). The Rose Red strip below the flowers was dry embossed using the Crop-a-Dile and layered onto a Basic Gray base. The ribbon is the Basic Gray Taffeta, and the sentiment is stamped with Rose Red, sponged, and punched with the Large Oval punch.

There. I feel better about leaving you now! ...but I'll be back on Monday. I've got another mailbox to show you!

I've Been Tagged...

Actually, I was tagged back in late December... but I forgot! I've been so excited about tins and mailboxes and such!

The lovely Diane Noble of Diane's Designs was who tagged me. I am supposed to list seven random things about myself. So here goes:

1. I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and moved to Texas when I was 18. My parents and my brother moved before me, but because I was a senior in high school, I stayed behind on my own to finish. I guess you could say I was a pretty responsible teenager and my parents knew I wouldn't wreck the house. (and i didn't)

2. In high school, I was the President of the Drama Club. My first major in college was theatre... I don't really know why that didn't stick. But alas, Hollywood was not in the cards for me.

3. My husband and I only knew each other for 3 months when we got engaged. We were married 3 months later at the tender age of 21. Now, 15 years and 3 kids later, I guess we knew what we were doing despite all those people who doubted us!

4. When I'm not stamping (which isn't often!), I love to read. My favorite books are historical fiction - stories of pioneer families with all their struggles. The strength that they had to have in order to survive inspires me. I still hold to the belief that I was born in the wrong generation! I am a simple person, and long for simpler times... times without cars and electronics, times where we weren't all rushing from one errand to another. Times where food was cooked from scratch without artificial flavors or preservatives. Times where children knew what hard work was and understood that it was necessary to survive... I could go on and on.

5. I am an animal lover. I've had pets of all kinds - cats, dogs, rabbits, birds (finches), hermit crabs, turtles, fish, hamsters... currently we have 2 cats, 1 dog, some fish, and a snake. Never thought I'd own a snake, but out of EVERY pet I've EVER had, she is by far the easiest! Her name is Bailey and she's a 2 year old Brooks Kingsnake. I could say I got her for the boys... but I'd be lying.

6. I would really love it if I could find the time to learn sign language. I took an ASL (American Sign Language) course in college and loved it. Maybe some day I can go back and continue.

7. I have a fear of choking... not myself, but mainly my kids. I choked on a piece of hard candy when I was 7 and my teacher saved my life. It was pretty bad... everything she tried failed, so she had to resort to sticking her finger down my throat. The whole experience has scarred me for life. I suppose my kids are affected, too, as I do not allow them to eat hard candy! They know it's irrational, but they understand my fear and know that when they're out on their own, they can have all the hard candy they want. (secretly I hope they won't ever feel the need for the teeth-rotting stuff!)

Well, there you go! I have looked for people to tag, but since I waited so long on this, I think everyone else has already been hit. I'm sorry, Diane, for taking so long! Love your blog, and thanks for your kind comments on mine!

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Happy Heart Thank You!

Here is a card I sent to my dear friend, Audrey, in Scotland to thank her for spoiling us this Christmas... she is just too much!! I wanted to create a special card for her, and this is what I came up with:

You can't tell from the photo, but I used Crystal Effects on the hearts and on the elephant's toenails. It added a lot to the look!

I no longer have the card in front of me (she has the original and it's the only one I made!) so I'll do my best at recalling the recipe... I think the base cardstock is Blush Blossom, and there is a background (hard to see) which was either done with VersaMark or Ruby Red stamped off a couple times (I hate that I can't remember... it wasn't that long ago that I created this!!). I do know that I layered the elephant with Ruby Red, and I believe he is stamped on Naturals White. I colored him with my Watercolor Wonder Crayons - had to pull out my neutral set for the elephant! I'll say it again... this set (the new Happy Heart Day) is SO much fun! I have really been enjoying it! The ribbon is from the Fairy Tale ribbon originals, and the Thank You is punched out with the 1" circle punch. I rubbed the Ruby Red ink pad around the edge to make it stand out before attaching it with some linen thread.

Audrey, I hope you know how special you are to us...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Stamp Camp Tins!

I'm having so much fun making these Altoids tins! I promise I'll get back to cards real soon, but I have a couple more of these to show you first... and FINALLY... these are the tins we will be making at the Stamp Camp at the end of this month!! Keep reading for all the details...

For this first one, I was going for a more classic, old fashioned look. My idea is to keep it in your purse and use it as either a sewing kit or a first aid kit, but there are so many other ideas you could use it for... like holding gum or mints, or a little tablet and pen for times when you need to jot down a phone number. What about your lipstick and a small mirror? Or if you prefer your own kind of tea bag and/or sugar packets at restaurants, you could keep them handy in this darling little case! What other ideas can you think of? Share them with us!

Here it is filled with a little sewing kit:

And here it is with first aid supplies (everything shown here fits inside... the cough drops were pushing it's limits, but if you had to have them, they'd fit!):

Wouldn't this be a great little gift for your Mom, Grandmother, daughter, friend, Aunt, teacher, new neighbor, hair dresser, mentor...?

And on a more "cutsie" note, here is the other one I created... this one was originally designed with a little girl in mind, but I've already had several adult girls tell me that they want this one for themselves!

How do you like those Rhinestone brads? Nothing like a little bling for your purse, I always say (*giggle*)! Here's the inside without anything in it so you can see the adorable polka-dot lining...

If you like this one for yourself, you don't have to make it with a handle like shown here. It could be easily made like the first tin where there's just a little ribbon tab at the opening. You could change the sentiment on the front, too. But for a little girl, it looks darling as a purse filled with tiny makeup products:

I have also filled this with a little foam stamp set, or some short gel pens and a pad of paper... I'm sure you can imagine all the neat things you could find to put in here for your niece, daughter, granddaughter, or any young girl's birthday. It would even make a lovely Valentine gift with some jewelry in it!

Okay, so now that I have you interested (*hee hee*) here are the details on the Stamp Camp I'll be holding:

First of all, you may be asking, "What IS a Stamp Camp"? Well, it's a workshop where we make something a little more involved than my typical Stamp-a-Stack cards. It may be a gift item (like these tins), a home decor item (like the coasters we did in December), or even a more elaborate card with techniques that require more time or special accessories.

So here's the scoop:

January Stamp Camp
Tuesday, January 29th

7:00 - 9:00pm
At my home in Allen
Cost is $8.00 per tin

This includes:
All the supplies (tins, cardstock, ribbon, brads, etc.)
to make tins like the ones shown in this post!

Please bring your own adhesive.

Contents of tin are not included.
Please specify how many of each tin you'd like to make.

Be sure and sign up early to reserve your spot!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lovely As A Tree

I had two special masculine birthdays to make cards for, so I pulled out my new Lovely as a Tree set (not new to the catalog, but new to me). I've seen so many beautiful cards made with this set and I couldn't wait to give it a go myself. I am not 100% satisfied with these, but after spending too much time staring at them, I had to just call them finished and get them in the mail - they were both late as it was!

This first one uses the Le Jardin DSP on a Mellow Moss base. The trees were stamped with Basic Brown on Naturals Ivory cardstock layered onto Chocolate Chip. Then I used my Watercolor Wonder Crayons and an Aquapainter to give them some subtle (hard to see in the photo) color. Masculine cards always beg for hardware, and I welcome the opportunity to pull out my Hodgepodge Hardwarde tin! I've never really used these buckles, but they were a lot of fun to play with... just the touch I was looking for on this wide Chocolate Chip grosgrain ribbon. The sentiment comes from Sincere Salutations, inked in Always Artichoke and punched with the large oval punch.

I got a little experimental on this second one. I stamped the trees with black Craft ink onto Watercolor paper and then embossed them with clear powder. Then I lightly brushed some color on with the Aquapainter and Watercolor Wonder Crayons to give the appearance of a sunset. Using watercolor paper is SO much nicer than any of the other natural paper... it gives you a lot more flexibility and allows you to blend the color better. Here's a closer look:

I roughed up the edges of the watercolor paper with my fingernail... I WOULD'VE used my handy Cutter Kit that has a fantastic distressing tool, but it has gone MIA. I miss it... well, my FINGERNAILS miss it most! The base cardstock is Always Artichoke and the sentiment comes from All Holidays. The ribbon on top comes from the Sherbet ribbon originals and I layered that on top of the wide Chocolate Chip grosgrain and secured them both with brads. Again, I added a buckle because a bow just doesn't seem right on a man's card!

Early January birthdays are so hard to be on time for, don't you agree?! After Christmas and New Years, I always feel like I should be done celebrating for awhile... but there's ALWAYS something to celebrate, right?! So there's ALWAYS a reason to create a beatiful card! And better late than never... I suppose.

Monday, January 7, 2008

It Was My Husband's Idea...

...and it was AWESOME!! After I showed him the cute little Altoid's tin from this post, he said (and I quote)... "it would be neat to have one look like a little suitcase with pictures from your trip inside."

Well... you all know what can happen when an idea like that lands in the lap of someone who thrives on being creative!!

Here it is:

Isn't it just ADORABLE?! I am sorry to report that I used some retired products in the making of this masterpiece. This project literally screamed to use the paper is from Sentimental Journey in the 2006-2007 catalog and the ribbon is the old narrow Chocolate Chip grosgrain (now we have the wonderful WIDE Chocolate Chip grosgrain which works beautifully on cards, but would NOT have worked here!). I used the smallest little buckles in my Hodgepodge Hardware kit, and paired with that narrow ribbon, an old fashioned suitcase was born! The label here was printed on my computer onto some ivory paper and layered onto Bravo Burgundy cardstock punched with the Designer Label punch. I will confess that I got meticulous here and actually trimmed the ivory paper down by hand since there's not two sizes of that punch (not something I recommend!).

I stamped the back with an image from Carte Postale using Chocolate Chip ink, just to add some interest.

I even put brads on the bottom to mock the little metal "feet" that suitcases have. It stands up nice and straight on these little feet, as you saw in the above photos.

The edges were trimmed with the same narrow Chocolate Chip grosgrain, and I wrapped a strip of Chocolate Chip cardstock around the bottom edge.

On the inside, I printed a list of the ports of call we visited during our cruise and layered it onto some Bravo Burgundy which serves as the "lining" of the suitcase.

I made another accordian pull-out and added photos from that trip to the front and the back.

So there you have it... our husbands really CAN have great ideas, can't they?! I'm actually very lucky in that regard. In fact, I have plans to show you something my husband built for me recently... but it's not quite ready to be showcased yet. Soon, my friends, soon.

Lastly, I did mention earlier that I am working on different ideas for Altoids tins so that I can have a Stamp Camp for adults. Although the tin in this post is definitely adorable (if I'm allowed to say so myself!), it will not be the one we make in class... this is mainly due to the fact that I used retired products and don't have enough of it for everyone. I have a couple other tins I'll be showing you in the coming weeks though - tins that we can all make together. So use this one as inspiration... and stay tuned for more!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Valentine Mailbox

Well, I thought I was so clever, but it turns out that these little mailboxes from Target's $1 spot are all over Splitcoast!! I don't know how I missed seeing them!! Anyway, here's my version:

I was striving for something soft and feminine... it was a perfect opportunity to pull out my Pretties Kit! Here are some closer looks at the mailbox:

I also used my new Eastern Elegance Rub-ons, which were a lot of fun! The Flowers for You DSP was not going to allow the Rub-ons to show, so I brought out some Vellum cardstock to tone it down. I used my Tearing Edge to give the vellum a softer edge.

The flowers from the Pretties Kit are super easy to tint... I just ran the brush tip of my Pretty in Pink and Almost Amethyst Stampin' Write markers over the petals from the center out. I didn't color the whole flower, just enough to give it a soft look. The pearl in the center is also from the Pretties Kit, and I just stuck them on with Glue Dots.

I used a lot of Sticky Strip on this project - it's the easiest way to adhere ribbon around the edge of something. In this case, I stuck Whisper White grosgrain around the lid. I also put some Pink Gingham just behind the lid, but that's secured with a couple glue dots on the bottom.

The flag was covered with Almost Amethyst cardstock that had been dolled up with a Rub-on and a flower... and, of course, more ribbon!

The notecards were the easiest part... I created these little 3"x3" gems (that fit perfectly in the box) after I did the mailbox, so I just copied the elements over. I enjoyed using the Rub-ons (did I already say that?!)... you may have noticed that not a single stamp pad or stamp was used on this entire project! It's nice to have options.

So, run to Target and pick up a few of these little guys and go nuts!!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Valentine's Bundle

Well, Christmas may be over, but it's already time to start thinking about the next fun holiday! Valentine's Day is right around the corner and there's no better time (...okay, so Christmas is a good time too) to make a homemade card! But Stampin' Up! is making things easy for you this Valentine's Day with their Valentines Day Bundle promotion.

When you purchase the bundle for only $33.40, you get a spool of Regal Rose Wide Grosgrain ribbon for FREE! Here's what's included:

The NEW adorable Happy Heart Day stamp set
($20.95 value)
A package of Medium Cellophane bags ($4.50 value)
A spool of Real Red Wide Grosgrain ribbon ($7.95 value)
A spool of Regal Rose Wide Grosgrain ribbon ($7.95 value)

Here are some ideas of what you can do with this package deal:

Look at all this great stuff!!

Here's a closer look at the project samples I've made:

This Happy Heart Day stamp set is so adorable and so much fun to color! I'll be showing you more cards in the coming weeks using it. For this one, I used a slice of the Flowers for You DSP and the colors coordinate with it. I find that this is a super easy way to choose colors for your cards... start with the DSP and then just pull the colors from it! No guesswork! The colors here are Lovely Lilac, Regal Rose, and Tempting Turquoise. The base cardstock is Almost Amethyst (a lighter shade of the Lovely Lilac). I watercolored the image using my Watercolor Wonder Crayons - the elephant is actually a light shade of the Turquoise, but you can't see it very well in the photo. ...and, of course, I used the yummy Regal Rose ribbon to finish it off! I find that I use the wide Grosgrain ribbon more and more lately... it just really adds a powerful element.

These bags are actually the small size - I didn't have any medium ones on hand. So just imagine these a litle bigger... with MORE candy in them!!

You know what? Holidays are just so much more fun now that Stampin' Up! is in my life!! I LOVE creating these cards and things... and they give me all the tools I need. I'm one happy stamper!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Girls Club - January 26th

I'm so excited about this project!! Here is what we will be making during Girls Club this month:

It's a little purse made out of an Altoids tin! Some of the products used here are retired (the paisley DSP is Sarah from the 2006-2007 Idea Book & Catalog, and the grosgrain ribbon is the old Bluebird which matches Brocade Blue) but I used the new Time Well Spent stamp set that is SO adorable! Here is another view:

The ribbon is secured with the two Brocade brads, which keeps the inside nice and flat - better than tying knots. On the inside, I created a vellum pocket to hold little notes or name cards...

...while the other side has an accoridian pull out to hold photos and journaling, or even autographs from friends! I got the idea for the pull out from this post on Splitcoast. The photos I've used here are of my dearest friend Audrey's two precious little girls. They live in Scotland. ("Hi Audrey! xoxo")

So that is what the girls will make on Saturday, January 26th at 2pm. Girls ages 8-15 are welcome - sign up now to hold your spot! All supplies are included with the exception of adhesive. I recommend the girls also bring a pair of snips so they don't have to wait to use mine. The cost is $10 per child. Moms are always welcome (and encouraged for the younger girls) to stay and help! Normally I offer the same project to Moms, but I won't be doing that this month because of the complexity of this project.

HOWEVER... I've got more great ideas for these little tins, and I'm working on samples to show you. So stay tuned! I will be holding a Stamp Camp in the coming weeks where the big girls (ie. adults) can come and make one!

I hope to see you soon!