Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Birthday from Melanie!

Here is another absolutely beautiful birthday card that I've received from another very good friend! This came from Melanie, just down the road from me... you may remember Melanie from this post? She's the one that brought me the gorgeous flowers - she's just that kind of friend! Here's the card she brought to me on Friday:

Isn't it beautiful?! Melanie has recently purchased some Stampin' Up! supplies of her own so she can start making cards at her own home in addition to the ones she comes here to make during my Stamp-a-Stack workshops!

Melanie, you did a FABULOUS job on this!! I cherish your friendship! ...and by the way, everyone, she's getting ready to have her 4th baby any day now, and I can't wait to show you the card I've already made to welcome his arrival!

Lastly, just so you know, my friends from Scotland arrived safely yesterday (Sunday) afternoon and I am having the time of my life visiting with them! Audrey and I have "known" each other for 5 years come next week, and although we've never officially met before yesterday, you'd never know it.

I have to say that my posts will be very brief while they are here as I don't want to spare a single minute away from her... I do hope you'll understand! And THANK YOU to everyone who has been sending me birthday cards!! I will keep posting them every-other day or so. You are all so, so kind to be doing this for me!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy Birthday from Cindy!

Here's another F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S card I received from Cindy, a good friend of mine who just recently joined my team as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator herself! She has a lot of retired stamp sets, some of which she used on this card. She found her inspiration by browsing through some old Stampin' Up! Idea Books... and then put different elements she liked together to make this card:

I absolutely love it!! There is just something about that Bashful Blue and Real Red together that grabs me! Now, to be fair, she sent this card to me before I made the request that the cards you send need to use current products. But when I saw this one, I thought, "I could re-create that using current stamps!" So I did... here is what came of that:

Now, to be completely honest, I like her card so much more! But this is just an exercise in showing you how you can substitute what you have on hand to recreate cards you see and like.

Cindy, thank you SOOOOO much for this adorable card! You're a wonderful friend, and I'm honored to have you on my team!

Recipe for my card:
Stamp sets: Print Pattern background, Tart & Tangy, Circle of Friendship
Ink: Bashful Blue, Real Red, Old Olive
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Real Red, Old Olive, Whisper White
Accessories: Real Red Striped Grosgrain ribbon
Tools: Scallop Circle punch, 1-3/8", 1-1/4", 1/2", and 1/16" Circle punches, Corner Rounder punch, Stamping Sponge, Dimensionals

Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Birthday from Marelle!

Happy birthday to me! Here's that card I told you about from my dear friend, Marelle:

Isn't it gorgeous?! But I must say that this photo simply doesn't do it justice. She embossed the flower from From the Garden (Hostess Level 1 set) in white on Vellum, and then tinted it from the back. Not sure if she used Pastels, or a blender pen, or what... maybe she'll leave a comment and tell us! (hint, hint, Marelle!) Then she trimmed the Vellum around the right side of the flower and attached it to the Pale Plum cardstock. The beautiful double oval sentiment (from All Holidays) is tucked in behind the vellum, and some half-back pearls from the Pretties Kit softens the look. Stunning!

Marelle, thank you so much for helping to make this a wonderful birthday!! oxoxo

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Birthday Idea!

Well, dear friends, tomorrow is my birthday... yup, I'm turning 24. (for the ump-teenth time). *giggle* I can't wait to show you a G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S card I received from my special friend down under!!! (my long-time readers should know who that is!) Then, I'll show you another F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S card I received from a good friend right here in Texas! ...then I got to thinking (uh-oh) and I came up with an idea...

...Background info: Do you remember me telling you that my dear friends from Scotland are coming to stay with us for two whole weeks? They arrive on Sunday and I am SO EXCITED! But I've been worried about how I'm going to keep my blog updated while they're here because, as much as I love you all, I'm afraid I will be putting you all on the back burner while they are here! This is their first trip to the States and we want to make it really special for them. I have made a few cards in advance, but still not enough to cover 2 weeks...

Soooooooo... my idea is a bit selfish, but I hope you'll see I'm actually thinking about all of you. :) How about YOU ALL supply me with the cards for these 2 weeks?? Send me a birthday card and, in turn, I will post YOUR cards! That would be a fabulous birthday gift (if I may be so bold to ask for one!) because it would relieve me of the stress of designing cards while my guests are here. YOU benefit because you'll still see fresh, new designs on my blog when you visit!

So here's the details: Send me an e-mail if you would like to participate, and I will give you my mailing address. I prefer that you only use CURRENT Stampin' Up! materials, as that's the only thing I put on my blog. And because I will be including your name in my post, you will want to send only your best work!! If you have a blog or SU! website you would like me to link to, please include that with your card.

Oh, one last thing... I will put each person who participates into a special Blog Candy drawing when this is all done! I haven't done any Blog Candy in awhile, so this is a perfect time to do it! I'll post those details soon... gotta figure out what to include first!

We'll see how this works out! I look forward to seeing your creations!

Touch of Nature

I'm back! How did y'all enjoy your eScape day?! Wow... how liberating that was! As much as I wish life were simple and slow, forcing myself to go without my electronic devices was very difficult! Darn them for inventing them in the first place, I say! Ah well, such is life in the 21st century.

In any case, I did spend some time working on some cards. I can't wait to show you those, but first, I'll show you this one I made earlier in the week.

This uses another retiring set, Touch of Nature, and the sentiment comes from Summer by the Sea. I watercolored the bird - I was aiming for a robin... did I do okay?

Maybe I have my birds mixed up, but I was thinking that robins have these rich colored tummies? In any case, I'm pleased with how it turned out... call it whatever kind of bird you want!

Stamp Sets: Touch of Nature, Summer by the Sea
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Black StazOn
Cardstock: Really Rust, Chocolate Chip, Confetti Cream, Afternoon Tea DSP
Accessories: Chocolate Chip Twill Ribbon, Aquapainter, Watercolor Wonder Crayons

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Feminine Birthday

Yesterday I showed you my step-father-in-law's birthday card... today I'll show you my mother-in-law's card! Their birthdays are only 5 days apart. Plus, I need to show this to you today because tomorrow is June 25th - Stampin' Up!'s eScape Day!! (See this post for more details). I will not even be turning ON my computer! And believe me, that is a HUGE challenge for me!! But I've got plenty to do to keep me busy... all of you who participated in this month's ribbon share, well, I need to get that cut and bagged. That takes a while. And I'm going to sit down and create a few cards while I'm at it, because this one here is only #13 toward my goal of 20!

I used the Embrace Life stamp set here, and I colored the main flower with a Blender Pen and the ink pad lids. This doesn't work well on a large area like this if you are striving for a smooth look. But I wanted some definition, which mimics the stripes in the DSP, so I chose this method on purpose. Here's a closer look at it:

You can also see how I dazzled it a bit with some Dazzling Diamonds! Nothing says feminine like a little bit of sparkle!

Stamp Sets: Embrace Life, Short & Sweet
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Really Rust
Cardstock: Really Rust, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla, Fall Flowers DSP
Accessories: Chocolate Chip Wide Grosgrain Ribbon, Dazzling Diamonds, Dimensionals
Tools: Blender Pen, Word Window Punch, 2-way Glue Pen, Embossing Buddy, Stamping Sponge

Happy Birthday, Sara! And to the rest of you, remember to spend tomorrow connecting with your loved ones withOUT using the "e"! Take a break from this electronic age and create something with your hands... and then feel the incredible satisfaction when you present it to that special someone. But be warned: you'll get hooked!

Please remember, I will not be responding to e-mail tomorrow. But I'll catch ya on Thursday!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Masculine Birthday

Here is card #12 in my quest for 20 this month. (Read this post for details). Friday was my step-father-in-law's birthday... hey, I said I'd send out 20 cards... I didn't say anything about them being on time! :)

I used a couple of retiring products on this one... the Carte Postale stamp set, along with Blue Bayou cardstock and ribbon. All of which will be bye-bye after August 10th. Since I try to steer away from bows on masculine cards, I thought I could sneak this knot in and still look masculine. I like how it turned out. The one thing I'd change on this is the placement of the "for you". In hindsight, I would rather have a white oval in the lower right-hand corner with the sentiment on it. Ah well. He's a man... he probably won't even notice it has a sentiment on it!! ...for the record, it does have "Birthday Wishes" stamped on the inside. I'm sure he'll see that one!!

Stamp Sets: Carte Postale, All Holidays
Ink: Blue Bayou, Versamark
Cardstock: Blue Bayou, River Rock, Whisper White, Le Jardin DSP
Accessories: Blue Bayou Double Stitched ribbon, Dimensionals

Happy Birthday, Nick!

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Retirement Special!

No, I'm not retiring... but several of our favorite stamp sets are! Here's just a sample of some cards I've made using sets that are about to retire. There's a whole lot more to say goodbye to, but this just gives you an idea...

Artfully Asian

Just Like You

The Snowflake Spot


Carte Postale

Blossoms Abound

So, for the remainder of the retirement period (through August 10th), I am offering the following special deal:

Purchase $50 in retiring items and receive a FREE Classic ink pad!
Purchase $100 in retiring items and receive 2 FREE Classic ink pads!
Purchase $150 in retiring items and receive 3 FREE Classic ink pads!
...and so on!

Click here to view the Retiring List in Alphabetical Order by stamp set.

Click here to view the Retiring List in Numerical Order by page number.

This applies to orders over the phone, through e-mail, and in person. Only US residents may participate. For non-local orders, I will send a PayPal invoice for payment and have the merchandise shipped directly to you at no extra charge. Orders may include non-retired items as well, but ink pads are earned with retired merchandise amounts only.

Please indicate the color(s) you would like when placing your order!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Product Line!

Yesterday, Shelli announced a new product line that will become available in just a couple weeks!! It's called Décor Elements, an extension of Stampin' Up!'s Definitely Decorative line! Décor Elements is a line of wall art made from vinyl used to decorate your home!

Want to see more? Contact me to receive an introductory sales brochure! (I am not allowed to post it here).

You can begin ordering yours on July 1st!! Awwwww, MAN!! ...just think. If you were to join my team as a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, you could pre-order your Décor Elements TODAY! You can bet that's what I'll be doing! ...just another perk to being a Demonstrator! I can't wait to start playing with these! I've used Vinyl lettering before, and it's SO MUCH FUN and looks TERRIFIC!

Thank you, Stampin' Up! for giving us something exciting and NEW to play with!

A Fresh Cut Trio

Last night, I played some more with my new Fresh Cuts stamp set and laser cut Fresh Cut Notes ... and came up with this fun trio:

This one was made using Groovy Guava and Purely Pomegranate... and a little reminder to stock up on these colors now as they won't be available after August 10th! I also used a scrap of Vellum cardstock for the 5-Petal Flower on the inside. That's a piece of Silver Hodgepodge Hardware in the flower center - fun! The ribbon is Purely Pomegranate Double Stitched, again, gone after August 10th.

This delicate design uses Bashful Blue and Brilliant Blue, along with some Bashful Blue Gingham ribbon and an Ice Rhinestone brad. I also dazzled the smaller flowers with a Glue Pen and some Dazzling Diamonds glitter - it looks so soft and delicate!

On both of the cards above, I cut a piece of cardstock to fit on the inside front flap (Guava on the top card and Bashful Blue on the 2nd) and then attached them to the inside front with dimensionals... this makes them stand "down" and gives a nice shadow effect through the flower, but leaves the other inside panel white for writing a note.

This last one uses Mellow Moss and Bravo Burgundy. I also used an Always Artichoke Stampin' Write marker to color in the solid parts of the rubber on the background stamp before stamping so they would stand out a little more. Again, there is a 5-Petal Flower punched out - this time attached to the inside, and a Bravo Burgundy button attached on top. The sentiment was punched with the Small Oval punch and then sponged to make it stand out more. Bravo Burgundy Narrow Grosgrain ribbon (to be featured in my July Ribbon Share - stay tuned!) finishes it off. On this card, the inside panel was attached to the right side (the side you write on), so you can see through the flower when the card is open. It looks nice, but the problem is that you'll also see the writing from the outside! Eeeeek! Guess I'll have to stick with the first method from now on!

As a reminder, this Fresh Cut stamp set will be in the upcoming Idea Book & Catalog, but during the month of June, you can purchase it now... and in doing so, you can also get the coordinating Fresh-Cut Notes for only $5! Click on the flyer above for full details.

Which card do you like best? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

PS: stay tuned for an exciting announcement about a new Stampin' Up! product line that I'll be sharing a little later today!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Morgan!

My middle son, Morgan, is 9 years old today. My, how time flies! I sat down bright and early this morning to make his card, and choosing colors was the easiest part. You see, Morgan and I kind of have this running joke about Only Orange. Refer to this post for an explanation. It's been one of his favorite Stampin' Up! colors ever since! Often times, when I'm working on a new card, he'll come in to observe and he'll ask, "Are you going to use Only Orange on this one?" So, I knew his card simply MUST have Only Orange in it! His other favorite color is blue, so I chose Brilliant Blue and Bashful Blue. The Color Coach approves of my decision, so I knew it would turn out well.

I must also remind you that this card uses both Big Pieces and Little Pieces stamp sets - both due to retire in August!! See this post for the lists. Eeeeeek! Best snatch those up while you still can! They make for simple cards and other projects (see the Tic-Tac-Toe board we made in Girls Club last month, too!). The sentiment comes from Family Phrases, which is NOT retiring.

Stamp Sets: Big Pieces, Little Pieces, Family Phrases
Ink: Brilliant Blue, Bashful Blue, Only Orange
Cardstock: Brilliant Blue, Bashful Blue, Only Orange, Whisper White
Tools: Word Window Punch, The Tearing Edge

What I love about Morgan... he's my avid game player. We love to play Bananagrams, Blokus, Labyrinth, Scene It, and many more together. He's softspoken... (which also means you have to say "Excuse me?" a lot!) He has a incredible love for animals, which he no doubt got from me. And he loves to play with my hair... from before he could even crawl, my hair has been his comfort. He is a kind, sensitive, and loving young man... my life is richer because he's in it. Happy, Happy Birthday, my sweet boy!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Retirement List!

It's always so hard to say goodbye to some of our favorite stamp sets, but if we just keep in mind that it means we will be saying hello to some NEW favorites in a short time, it makes the pain more bearable. :o)

Please visit the links below to view the retiring stamp sets.

Click here to view the list in Alphabetical order by stamp name

Click here to view the list in Numerical order by page number

Be sure to snatch up your favorites before they're gone! These sets will only be available through August 10th! Contact me to place your order!

Happy Fathers Day

I hope everyone had a glorious Father's Day! We sure did... the weather was beautiful (HOT, but beautiful), and we were all together. Just me and all my boys (Michael included)! Here is the card I gave to Michael today:

Oh, it felt so good to do some watercoloring! And this is absolutely one of my favorite sets to watercolor... it's called Summer By the Sea, and although it's not currently in the catalog, it IS still available. It costs $28.95 and includes 6 gorgeous stamps. Here's a close-up of the watercoloring:

Now, one of the other stamps I used on this card is the Flannel Plaid background stamp - a wonderful one to use on masculine cards. But I must mention that it is one of the stamps included on the Retiring List that was just posted today. I will be posting that list in just a little bit... but for now, let me give you the full recipe for this card:

Stamp Sets: Summer by the Sea, Flannel Plaid
Ink: Night of Navy Craft, Brocade Blue Classic, Black StazOn
Cardstock: Night of Navy, Bravo Burgundy, Brocade Blue, Watercolor Paper
Accessories: Linen Thread, Bravo Burgundy Eyelets, Clear Embossing Powder
Tools Used: Watercolor Wonder Crayons, Aquapainter, Crop-a-Dile, Mat Pack & Paper Piercer, Heat Tool, Stamping Sponge, Cutter Kit

Now I will post the retirement list... stay tuned!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Embrace Life

I've been working on those 20 homemade cards I'm committed to sending out in June (read this post for an explanation!)... and here's one that I made for our friends in Mexico whom we stayed with last weekend.

This card uses the Embrace Life stamp set. I had never used it before this card, but I like it!! My friend is partial to blues and browns, so I tend to use those colors when I make a card for her. I watercolored the flower with my Watercolor Wonder Crayons and an Aquapainter... seems like it's been awhile since I've done that, so it was nice to get them back out. Everything else is pretty self-explanatory, so I'll just leave you with the recipe!

Supplies Used:
Stamp Sets: Embrace Life, Artfully Asian (for the sentiment)
Ink: Versamark, Bordering Blue, Chocolate Chip
Cardstock: Confetti White, Ruby Red, Chocolate Chip, Bordering Blue
Accessories: Ruby Red brads, Chocolate Chip Twill Ribbon, Watercolor Wonder Crayons, Aquapainter, Stamping Sponge, Ruby Red Stampin' Write Marker

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fresh Cuts

I finally had a chance to sit down with my new Fresh Cuts stamp set! Okay, so I agree, the card I made looks very similar to the one on the flyer at left (click on it to view it full size)... but hey, I said I had time to sit down with it... not that I had time to get wild and crazy with it (yet)! But it really is a simple little set to use. And these laser cut note cards are just beautiful!

For this card I used an Old Olive flower from Die Cut Blooms, a button from Fresh Favorites II, and some Old Olive Twill Ribbon. I attached the Barely Banana background to the inside front with dimensionals so it would stand "down" and give more dimension. The background stamp (hard to see in the photo) was done in Barely Banana ink.

Don't forget... when you purchase this die-cut Fresh Cuts stamp set (edited to add: the set is $21.95) during the month of June, you can get a package of Fresh Cut Notes for only $5! Click on the thumbnail flyer above for more information.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Another Score Pad

I'm home! We had a fabulous time visiting our dear friends in Mexico City - despite all the rain we got. I wanted to give you a new post real quick before I hit the bed... I'm not sure how often I'll be able to post over the next few weeks. We are going to be super busy. But I'll try to give you fresh ideas at least 3 times a week - that's my goal!

Anyway, here is another score pad I made - you can see my other one here. I made this one to give to our friends in Mexico as they like to play cards. It's a fun, yet quick and simple gift for your game-playing friends!

I used one of my new favorite sets on this one - Bud Basics. You will recognize it from one of my Stamp-a-Stack cards this month... do ya think I'm overdoing this layout?! It's just so simple, yet beautiful! These spiral notebooks can be found at Target in all different sizes and styles... just decorate some coordinating cardstock, grab some ModPodge, and stick it to the front!

Stamp Sets: Bud Basics, Warm Words
Ink: Tempting Turquoise, Basic Black, Gable Green, Versamark
Cardstock: Gable Green, Basic Black, Green Galore, Whisper White
Accessories: Basic Black and Tempting Turquoise Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon (which reminds me... don't forget about my
Ribbon Share this month! Requests to join in must be received by June 20th!)

PS: How are you doing on that goal of sending out 20 homemade cards this month? (Read this post for details). I am a bit behind where I want to be, but I'll be working on those later this week.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Some Swap Cards

Coming at you from Mexico... Although I do not have anything that I have done to share with you, I did want to share with you my three favorite cards from the swap I recently participated in. You can see the card I sent to everyone here.

This first one was made by Alison Copes. You can find more of her beautiful cards by looking at Alison's Splitcoast Gallery. She is so talented!

I love the way she accented the Certainly Celery and Old Olive with Basic Black - I'm a big fan of outlining with black and I think that's why her card struck me the way it did. Great job, Alison!

This next one is from Terry Serman. You can see more of her fabulous designs on Terry's Splitcoast Gallery.

I like Terry's card because I have never used Sage Shadow very much and I really love how it works so well with the browns here! In fact, it was this card that inspired me to make the first Bud Basics card in this month's Stamp-a-Stack cards. Thanks for that inspiration, Terry!

And finally, my very favorite card from this swap...

This gem was made by Mary Haugen, and here is Mary's Splitcoast Gallery. I love the color combination she used - it helped me see this cute little rocket in something other than reds and blues! And the way she cut it out and mounted it with dimensionals absolutely makes the card! Mary, I can't wait to see more of your work!

There were so many other wonderful cards I received, but I wanted to narrow it down to my top three to showcase here. Ladies, thank you so much for letting me share your terrific cards!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Last Day of School!

This is it! The last day of school! It flies a lot faster than it did when I was the one in school... who can relate?! The good news for me is that I can sleep in a bit more now... well, as long as baby Maddox will allow, that is! Below you'll find the cards I made for the boys' teachers.

I made these using Bashful Blue bases paired up with Brilliant Blue and various patterns from the Jersey Shore DSP - and what fun they were! I started with the main element - the boy and his teacher. These were stamped with the All in the Family stamp set and I used the Stamp-a-ma-jig to line them up perfectly. In case you are new to my blog (welcome!), you may want to take a look at my Stamp-a-ma-jig Tutorial if you've never used this tool. All three cards are adorned with some Pumpkin Pie grosgrain ribbon - which is in my CURRENT Ribbon Share! See this post for more details on that! The sentiment comes from Family Phrases - great for when you're making a card for a kid or giving a card FROM your kid (as in this case). After making the first card, I just changed the elements a bit to create two more similar, but different, cards! Here they are close-up:

It's hard to believe that after today I will have a new 5th grader and 3rd grader... and one of them is almost as tall as me!! (well, that's not saying too much since I'm only 5' 2 1/2", but STILL!! Aren't they supposed to stay shorter than Mom until they're at least 17?!)

We're heading out of the country right after school lets out... so my posts may be sparse for the next few days. Enjoy your weekend!!