Monday, April 28, 2008

Wonderful Stitched Exotics

I'm feeling guilty about how long it's been since I've shown you a card! ...but I've not been slacking, honest! I had that coaster workshop on Thursday night, then I had a whopping 13 girls over here for Girls Club on Saturday (can't show you what we made until after Mother's Day!), and I'm having another ten or so ladies over again tonight for more coasters... whew!

In any case, I whipped this up just now hoping it would hold you over until I could focus on card making once again:

Whenever I need a quick card, I like to use a solid image stamp set and get wild with some colors. Then, to tone it down, I place a piece of Vellum Cardstock over the top. That's exactly what I did here... the colors are Ballet Blue, Lovely Lilac, Certainly Celery, and Summer Sun... these were taken directly from the Color Coach, except I used the celery instead of Sage Shadow so I could use some matching Certainly Celery grosgrain ribbon. The stamp set is, of course, Stitched Exotics, along with Wonderful Favorites. I also added some of the new beautiful Silver Hodgepodge Hardware for accents. If you like this look, take a look at this post and this post for more examples.

Some good news to share... Stampin' Up! has announced that they are extending the dates for the current Occasions Mini Catalog! You can now purchase products in this brochure through June 30th! ...and since they are all die-cut, this is a wonderful place to shop!

Oh, and one last reminder... the Free Wheelin' promotion ends in just a couple of days! Remember that the wonderful Pun Fun stamp set is a part of this promotion... and if you didn't join me through my Week of Pun Fun (shame on you!)... check out my posts from April 13th through the 19th, and then the 23rd. Be sure to get your order to me no later than April 30th.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

And Even MORE Coasters!

These coasters are so hot right now! No, really... these just came out of the oven a few minutes ago. They were almost too hot to handle when I took these photos! I had my Coaster Workshop this evening and had so much fun creating and socializing with everyone who came... and since this class was so popular, I had to open an additional date, so I've got a whole 'nuther group coming on Monday night! But in any case, the ladies who came tonight were so talented... I wanted to share a design that several ladies made tonight - and it all started with my friend Keri. After everyone left, I literally ran to the kitchen to re-create it! So keep in mind that this is not my design... but I'm tickled that I get to share it with y'all! You'll have to pardon all the "F"s... these are staying right here in my own home, so no other letter would do... well, except for "M" of course.

The colors here are Chocolate Chip and Brocade Blue, using the En Francais background stamp and the Baroque Motifs swirl. The monogram is using the retired Letterpress alphabet set. Here are close-ups:

And as if that weren't enough for you, here's one that IS my design... I just ordered this set - I've been wanting to for a long time and finally broke down and did it. It arrived this afternoon - too late for me to make a sample before tonight's workshop, but after I did the one above, I played around and made these two:

These use the gorgeous Blossoms Abound set (why didn't I order this one a long time ago??!) along with the Print Pattern background. The colors for the one on the right are Rose Red, Regal Rose, Old Olive, and Certainly Celery. The one on the left uses Perfect Plum, Pale Plum, Always Artichoke, and Mellow Moss. Close-ups:

Oh, what fun, what fun! And what FABULOUS gifts these make! I only charge $7.50 per set of 4, so not only is it a FABULOUS gift, it's an incredibly AFFORDABLE one at that!

Monday night's workshop is full (over-full, actually!), but if you are here in the local DFW area and are interested in attending one of these workshops, please contact me so I can add another date to the calendar. And forward this link on to a friend so they can come with you!

Thanks, ladies, for a fun evening! (don't I just have the BEST job ever?!)

EDITED TO ADD: I always receive questions about how these are made, and this time my "oven" comment apparently threw some of you... so here's the basic idea: Use CRAFT inks, coat them with clear embossing powder, and then bake at 350 for around 5-7 minutes or until all the powder is set. Hope that helps!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Forgotten Pun Fun...

Well, he wasn't forgotten... it's just that there's only 7 days in a week and there's 8 stamps in the Pun Fun set! So here is the one you missed during my Week of Pun Fun last week!

I envisioned this little kitty as orange and brown, so that's where I started. He's stamped with black StazOn ink onto Watercolor paper and colored with Watercolor Wonder Crayons and an Aquapainter. The base cardstock is More Mustard, with a layer of Basic Black and some So Saffron prints. The scallop was made with the Corner Rounder punch (guard removed) and the ribbon is the smallest size in the pack of Twill Tape. A couple of black buttons fastened on with Linen Thread balances it out - I had to pull out my Crafter's Toolkit for the needle to get the thread through the watercolor paper circles behind the buttons. I added those because I felt it needed a touch of white in that corner. They were punched with the 1/2" Circle punch.

Looking again at this cute kitty, I think he might be fun in gray! Hmmmmm.....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quick Birthday

Here's a quick birthday card you can whip up pretty fast... probably in the amount of time it took me to publish this post! (in a hurry today)

Stamp Sets - Think Happy Thoughts, Sweet Stars jumbo wheel
Cardstock - Bashful Blue, Basic Black, Rose Red, Cutie Pie DSP
Ink - Bashful Blue, Basic Black
Accessories - Circle punches (1-3/8", 1-1/4", 3/4", 1/16"), Scallop punch, Rose Red brad, Bashful Blue grosgrain ribbon

I hope you are all having a terrific week!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Girls Club Sneak Peek!

I can't show you the projects we're going to make this Saturday afternoon at Girls Club because they are Mother's Day gifts... but I'm going to give you a sneak peek at a couple of the projects...

Okay, so all you can get from that is a couple of colors... Hmmmm... and is that some sort of fabric? :o)

Anyway, if you haven't signed your daughter up to come, please do so quickly! The workshop is this Saturday, April 26th from 2-4pm. The cost is $10 per child. Please have the girls bring a sharp pair of snips and an adhesive runner (like our SNAIL).

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Week of Pun Fun - Day 7

Well, this is it! My Week of Pun Fun is coming to a close. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have! Here's one last card I have to show you:

I got a little wild and crazy with this one and I'm pleased with how it turned out! Sometimes you just never know, do ya? Anyway, I remember as a kid really liking pink and grey together, so I thought I'd give it a try with this cute little sheep. The base cardstock is Pretty in Pink with a layer of Basic Gray and then some Vellum that has been wheeled with the Sweet Stars wheel using Whisper White CRAFT ink. I stamped the sheep with black StazOn ink on Whisper White cardstock and colored him with my Stampin' Pastels again, and then went back with a Blender Pen and the Basic Gray ink pad lid to give him some darker areas. His nose is actually Pretty in Pink, but you can't tell in the photo. I tied some Whisper White Taffeta ribbon below for the soft look it provides. Then I punched some Pretty in Pink and Regal Rose 3/4" and 1" circles, arranged them, and stitched them on with my sewing machine. I saw this basic idea in a recent issue of Stampin' Success (for you non-SU! demonstrators, that's the fabulous publication we demonstrators get each month - chock full of inspiration and ideas!!). Anyway, I've never tried it, but I thought it was a nice compliment to the curly wool on the sheep.

Okay... so there you have it! My Week of Pun Fun! Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Oh, I really had fun - and I know this stamp set will get a lot more use. It's super easy to use, and makes for some super cute cards. And remember that if you purchase it before April 30th, you get the coordinating Sweet Stars Jumbo wheel for FREE! I used it on several of the cards this week, so you can see that it goes well with any of these stamps.

...but that's not all! I promised you an extra bonus if you purchased the set from me. If I have convinced you that you simply must have this set (those were my words from Day 1 - remember?), and you give me the honor of taking care of your order, I will make one of these cards specifically for you - YOUR CHOICE! That's right - choose your favorite card from Day 1 through Day 7 and I will mail it directly to you! That's my way of thanking you for putting your trust in me. But don't forget - you have to place your order prior to April 30th to get the Sweet Stars wheel for free! (US addresses only)

Thanks so much for visiting me every day and for leaving such sweet comments here and in my e-mail. I hope you'll continue to come back often!

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Week of Pun Fun - Day 6

We're on the home stretch now - almost done with my Week of Pun Fun! This little hippo card would make a great baby congratulations card, don't ya think? I'd use this one for a girl, but you could easily change out the pink for turquoise and you'd have a boy card.

The base color here is Lavender Lace, which I sponged and then wheeled with the Sweet Stars Jumbo wheel using Lavender Lace ink. Then there's a layer of Textured Certainly Celery, a swatch from Flowers for You DSP, and then some Regal Rose which I've faux stitched with a White Gel Pen. The hippo was stamped on some Whisper White cardstock using black StazOn ink and then I used that same new technique from yesterday, where I colored him a consistent shade of Lavender Lace using my Stampin' Pastels, and then gave him some dimension with a Blender Pen and the Lavender Lace ink pad lid. The cute bling-y (is that a word?) star is a piece of chipboard from On Board Accents which I coated with Tombow Multi Purpose Adhesive and then sprinkled on some Orchid Stampin' Glitter from the Fine Cosmo set. It's fastened onto the Certainly Celery Wide grosgrain ribbon with some Linen Thread, but I didn't attach it to the card - it just dangles there! Doesn't it just sparkle?!

Okay, so I only have one more card to show you!! Catch ya tomorrow!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Week of Pun Fun - Day 5

Need a Get Well... ahem... Get Whale Soon card? Pun Fun has got you covered! What I like best about this card is the color combination... It's Night of Navy, Tempting Turquoise, and a touch of textured Certainly Celery. Striking, isn't it?

I stamped the whale onto Whisper White cardstock using black StazOn ink. To color him in, I tried something new that worked rather well for me. Some of you may know that it is difficult to color in a large image like this with the blender pen and ink pad lids. Smaller areas are definitely much easier because you don't have a lot of time to "move" the color around with this method. So what I did here was I used my Stampin' Pastels to first color the whale a consistent shade of Brocade Blue. Then I pulled out my Blender Pen and the Brocade ink pad and gave him some depth along the edges! Voila! Problem solved! It worked beautifully! I colored the water with the Blender Pen and Tempting Turquoise (he must be in the Caribbean... *sigh*).

I sponged and wheeled the Tempting Turquoise layer with the Sweet Stars wheel and the same color ink. The Certainly Celery piece is pierced for interest, and the element in the lower corner is the Word Window punch with 3 Night of Navy eyelets. The card needed some more white, so I just tied on a scrap of Whisper White Taffeta ribbon, which mocks the whale's blow hole!

Only 2 more days left in my Week of Pun Fun! Have I convinced you to purchase it yet? Remember that on Saturday I will be telling you about an added bonus if you choose to purchase the set through me! Be sure to stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Week of Pun Fun - Day 4

Okay, so here's my favorite - so far... I still have a few more days to go, but as of now, I'm just loving this little rocket ship with this designer paper!

The base is More Mustard, which has been sponged and then wheeled with More Mustard ink using the Sweet Stars jumbo wheel - yours FREE with the purchase of this Pun Fun set! Then there's a layer of Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, and finally some East Coast Prep DSP. Again, I'm not usually a fan of bright colors, but since I keep liking them, perhaps I should stop saying that?! The rocket was stamped with black StazOn ink onto Whisper White cardstock and then colored using a Blender Pen and the ink pad lids. You can't see it in the photo, but the little window has Crystal Effects on it which is just darling!

...okay, I REALLY want you to see how cute it is, so I just went and took another photograph of it.

I think you can see a little glare now... but also imagine how it is raised up, a little "bump" of a window! Too cute!

I finished the card off with some Tempting Turquoise eyelets and a Clear Button with some Tempting Turquoise grosgrain ribbon. Again, the ribbon is threaded all the way through the card base (I used the 1/8" circle punch to make the holes) so there's no risk of it falling off.

I just love this card. Good thing I don't have anyone in mind to send it to because I think I'd have a hard time parting with it!! (we're entitled to keep some, aren't we?!)

Thanks for hanging with me... see you tomorrow for Day 5!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Week of Pun Fun - Day 3

Oh, isn't this fun? It's PUN Fun! :) Here is my 3rd card made using this wonderful set...

This one is for your best girlfriends... the ones you like to hang out at Starbucks with. I'm not even a coffee drinker and I still had fun making this. I love the combination of blues and browns, and I knew immediately that's the combo I would use for this one.

The base is Bordering Blue, sponged and stamped with the Sanded background using Bordering Blue ink. Then there's a layer of Chocolate Chip and some Berry Bliss DSP. The little teacup (or coffee cup in this case) was stamped with black StazOn ink onto Watercolor paper and colored using Watercolor Wonder Crayons and an Aquapainter. Then I started playing around with a Ruby Red piece from my Word Window punch and look what it turned out to be! A kiss and a hug, which is quite fitting for this sentiment! I made them stand out more with a White Gel Pen and then finished the card off with a little Button and some Linen Thread.

Hope you like it! And for all my loyal readers out there... I love you a latte!

PS: Have I convinced you yet?! Well you're gonna flip over tomorrow's card! It's my personal favorite so far. Remember that on Saturday I will announce an extra bonus for anyone who purchases this set from me! And also don't forget that when you purchase this set you will receive the coordinating Sweet Stars Jumbo Wheel for FREE!

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Week of Pun Fun - Day 2

Did you enjoy Day 1? Well, here is the second card I made with my Pun Fun set - and I think this little guy has my favorite sentiment... "I stink you're sweet" - Gotta love that!!

For this adorable card, I used a Pretty in Pink base with a layer of Basic Black, a layer of Regal Rose that has been distressed with my Cutter Kit, and a layer of pink polka-dot paper from Berry Bliss DSP. The little skunk was stamped with black StazOn ink onto Whisper White cardstock. I colored him with a Q-tip and my Stampin' Pastels - did you know that the Pastels come with a handy eraser for when you get chalk outside the lines? The flower was colored with Stampin' Write markers. I also used some Crystal Effects on his stripes and the little flower he's holding to make them shiny, but I don't think that shows up in the photo. I added a Photo Corner punch with some Pretty in Pink brads for balance, and then tied on some gorgeous Regal Rose wide Grosgrain ribbon.

I think this makes a darling card for a little girl - or it can even be a belated birthday card (hence the "I stink" part!).

Are you convinced yet??? Stay tuned for Day 3... Yippee!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Week of Pun Fun - Day 1

Okay, I don't normally do this. I feel it rude and pushy. But you're going to have to trust me on this one...

You simply MUST have the PUN FUN stamp set!

There. I've said it. Now it's up to me to back up that statement and I intend to do just that over the next several days. Every day, I will be showing you a new card I've made with this fabulous set! I'm going to tempt you beyond your wildest expectations! I can guarantee that by the end of the week, you will be convinced that my statement above is nothing but the utter truth! And what's better than that? Through April 30th, when you purchase this set, you will receive the coordinating Sweet Stars Jumbo Wheel for FREE! (See this post for full details).

But WAIT! There's more! On the final day of my Pun Fun week (Saturday April 19th), I will share with you an added bonus for anyone who purchases this set through me! ...but if I convince you earlier than that (which is a definite possiblity!), you can place your order at any time and on Saturday you'll just learn what the extra bonus is. Remember that I can ship anywhere in the US, and it is a high priority with me to provide the utmost in customer service. I accept payment via PayPal, immediately place the order, and I always e-mail the shipping information when I receive it so you know when to expect your goodies.

Ready to get started? Okay, here is PUN FUN - DAY 1:

Oh, I just love it, love it, love it! This set is too much fun! This cute card was made with a Brilliant Blue base that was wheeled with the Sweet Stars Jumbo Wheel (remember - it came FREE!) using Brilliant Blue ink. It also has a strip of sponged and pierced Bashful Blue, a layer of Pumpkin Pie, and a strip of Jersey Shore DSP. I stamped the birdie using black StazOn ink onto Whisper White cardstock and colored him with my Blender Pen and ink pad lids. The Clear Button is threaded all the way through the card (holes made with my 1/8" handheld Circle punch) with Pumpkin Pie grosgrain ribbon. This eliminated the need for a glue dot and the risk of it falling off.

He is only the appetizer... keep coming back each day for MORE Pun Fun!! Whoopee!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Challenge Became a Friend

Well, it all began with a challenge. I decided I would try my hand at one of the challenges over at Splitcoast. I always see the card sketches and thought it might be fun... so I tried this sketch. And this was the card I ended up with...

...only, I don't like it. I think it's lopsided and too heavy on the right. I like the way the Priceless stamps look all random on the Whisper White strip, and I like how the sentiment from Short & Sweet fits on the Large Oval punch (I had to use my Stampin' Write marker and position that by hand), but I just don't think this card is up to par. Disappointing.

But alas, not all is lost, I did like the color scheme I used! It's Lavender Lace, Certainly Celery, and Barely Banana. So I just played around some more and created the two cards below instead!

Totally different, but I like these much better... and even though they don't exactly "fit" the challenge, at least they were inspired by the one that does... does that count? :)

The strip across the bottom comes from the Hostess Level I set called A Little Bit of Happiness, and I colored them with my Blender Pens and classic ink pad lids. I mounted the strip onto some textured cardstock that has been pierced and sponged. The beautiful dear friend sentiment comes from All Holidays and is stamped with Lavender Lace ink on both cards. And some Whisper White Taffeta ribbon adds some balance. (speaking of Taffeta ribbon, I do still have some openings in my Ribbon Share... I'll be placing that order on April 20th, so be sure to get in on it before then!)

Finally, here is one more card that I made like this, only in a slightly different color scheme... this one is Apricot Appeal with Ruby Red and Certainly Celery.

I took the photo next to the envelope I mailed it in (it's on its way to my dear friend in Scotland - hope she gets it before she sees this post!) because I wanted to show you how I use the same stamp on the flap of the envelope. This works nicely given the shape of that stamp.

So there you have it... what started as a challenge turned into a dear friend!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


A good friend of ours lost his father recently, and I wanted to make a masculine sympathy card. This is what I came up with.

The base is Always Artichoke, with a layer of Chocolate Chip and then Kraft. The Kraft is stamped with the Sanded background and I embossed one of the trees from Lovely As a Tree with Always Artichoke craft ink and clear powder. I chose the "memories" sentiment from Define Your Life as opposed to the more typical "sympathy" saying... I felt it more fitting in this situation as he has a lot of memories with his dad. I added some Chocolate Chip wide Grosgrain ribbon along with a couple pieces from my Hodgepodge Hardware set - something about adding hardware always makes a card more masculine.


I wanted to mention that I have been going back through all of my former posts and labeling them... don't know why I didn't do that from the beginning... it's made for a long, tedious task trying to backtrack! In any case, now you can scroll down the left sidebar to find all of my categories... things like Altoid Tins, Watercoloring, Holidays, Masculine, Gift Ideas, etc. Just click on one and it will show you all of my posts in those particular areas. I still haven't finished labeling them all, but I'm about 75% done. I hope this helps you find more specific things you're looking for while browsing through my blog!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Wild About You Boxed Set

Here's a fun project I did a few nights ago... it's a little box with gift cards inside using the frisky Wild About You stamp set.

I found a pattern for a box like this on the Stampin' Up! demonstrator website, but it was the wrong size. So I made some modifications for it to fit the 3"x3" cards I wanted to put inside.

Edited to add: The measurements I used are as follows:

Box bottom: 9" x 3-1/2" with short edge scores at 1/2", 1-1/2", 4-3/4", and 5-3/4". The long edge is scored at 1".

Box lid: 9-1/4" x 2-3/4" with short edge scores at 1/2", 1-9/16", 4-7/8", and 5-15/16". The long edge is scored at 1-1/16".

Box band (the scalloped black part around the lid): 9-1/2" x 1", scored at 1/2", 1-5/8", 5", and 6-1/8".

I scalloped the edge of the black strip for the lid using a Corner Rounder punch (guard removed).

I have 4 little notecards and their matching envelopes in this box. This would be a cute gift for a teacher who gives notes to her students, or to a child (or parent of that child) who goes to a lot of birthday parties!

The colors I used are So Saffron, Real Red, Wild Wasabi, Bashful Blue (along with Designer Prints in those colors), Whisper White, and Basic Black. The sentiments on the little cards came from Short & Sweet. The animals are stamped onto a 1 1/4" circle, layered onto a 1 3/8" circle, and then onto a Scallop Circle. In hindsight, I think I would've liked the scallops on the cards to have the smaller 1/16" circle holes like the one on the box. I used the Horizontal Slot punch to make a space for the Black Gingham ribbon.

I hope you like it - it sure was fun to create!

I've Been Chosen

I have been chosen not once, not twice, but THREE times to receive the Arte y Pico award shown here! Thank you to the incredibly talented Silke, to my very kind new reader Suzanne, and to another sweet new friend Pam for all choosing little ole' me. I am truly honored to have been listed among their favorite sites to visit.

In following the rules, I will link to the originator of the award, but since this award has been making the circuit for quite awhile, it's going to be hard to find talented folks who have not been chosen already. Because of that, I will simply direct you to my favorite blogs - I've updated them and they are listed at the bottom of the left column of my blog. These people truly are my favorites, and when I do take the time to blog-surf (which isn't often), those are the ones I visit. I know there are a ton more out there that I would love to have on this list... but if I spent time searching and surfing fabulous blogs, then I wouldn't have time to stamp!! It's all about priorities, you know!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sparkly Friend

Here's a couple of new products I tried not long ago... the Sticky Cuts Letters with some Chunky Essentials in Red! Wow!! What a statement that makes!

The Sticky Cuts Letters are basically the same thing as the Sticky Strip - it's incredibly sticky. It holds that glitter and it 'aint lettin' go... know what I mean?! Well, I decided Bold and Bright was the only way to go on this card. The base is Real Red with a layer of Textured Only Orange on top. Then there's some Whisper White with some Old Olive Summer Picnic DSP. I scalloped the bottom of the Real Red strip with the Corner Rounder punch (guard removed) and then punched the small holes with the 1/16" Handheld Circle punch. The sentiment comes from the Level I Hostess set, For a Friend, and is done in Basic Black ink. I punched out three Old Olive flowers with the Three For You punch, and stuck a Real Red brad in the center of each one.

Now, when I showed this card to my husband, he said that he thinks it would look better if the Old Olive/Whisper White strip didn't go all the way to the edge. He thinks it should only go to the edge of the Only Orange... he may be right, but instead of dis-assembling the whole thing to find out, I thought I'd ask all of you what you think... ?? Should I hire him?? :o)

Friday, April 4, 2008

RAK From Jayne

Here's another beautiful card I received in the mail a few days ago. It's from my friend in Australia, Jayne Mercer of {Me}.

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this card! I think my favorite part of it is the three layers of pink cardstock that have been roughed up at the edges. It makes it look worn and loved... just beautiful!

Jayne, thank you so much for making my mailbox and me smile! I know this card took a lot of time to create - I am so flattered that it gets to sit on MY desk!