Friday, March 29, 2013

Flowers for my Mom

This card took longer than the average card to make, but the ones I make for my amazing Mama usually do, because she deserves the WOW cards... Happy Birthday Mom :)

This card is full of stuff I don't use often enough, but is so fun to play with when I do. The flowers are the Fleurettes II that I have never opened till now, and I colored them with my Wisteria Wonder and Pool Party markers and my Aquapainter, and used the white half pearls from the Pretties Kit. (The Fleurettes are still available on the Clearance Rack, along with a Bulk selection of Large Paper Daisies and half pearls).

For the Perfectly Preserved jar, I stamped the image on Window Sheet with Whisper White Craft ink, and then cut it out with the Cannery Set Framelits die. Then I cut out the same shape on Watercolor paper, and used Pool Party with my Aquapainter again to color the water. After slicing the opening of the jar, I slid my flower stems in and used Glue Dots to hold them in place at the back (and to stick the top half of the jar down, hidden invisibly behind the tops and crossing of the stems). Then I gently pried the bottom up and applied the  Crystal Effects to the "water" and also on top of the submerged stems, so they would look wet as well. To set it quickly, and spread the Crystal Effects from edge to edge of the jar, I ran it through the Big Shot and left it under the roller for a little while. Then I pulled it out, wiped off the excess that was squeezed out, and cleaned off my cutting pads. Perfect!

Another technique I used here was to shorten the frame for my banner tag. The two straight banner dies in the Bitty Banners Framelits set are quite different in length, so I adhered my stamped and cut sentiment onto the edge of the pre-cut larger frame, and then used the large banner die again on the other end to shorten it to match.

I also used the FanFair Letterpress on the Pool Party Core'dinations paper for just a slight emboss and then used the Stampin' Sanding Block to bring out the core layer just a bit. Didn't want any Designer Paper or heavy embossing to take away from all the soft and pretty eye candy in the center :)

Here are the challenges I used:

SUOnly - Spring is in the Air
Word Art Wednesday - Anything Goes
Use It Tuesday - All about Spring (Fleurettes, Window Sheet, Pretties Kit pearls)
Tuesday Morning Sketches - Sketch (see below) and was also inspired by the crochet to use these flowers
ColourQ - Palette (see below) Purples are usually hard for me, but it's my mom's favorite color and worked PERFECTLY for this card overall :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oh Happy Day!

This card is a bit of this year's Sale-a-Bration (the Vine Street folder and the sentiment from Bloomin' Marvelous), with one of my favorite papers from last year's Sale-a-Bration, and some great new punch and dies. To get the color on the ticket tag, I just gently swiped and dabbed it across the Lucky Limeade ink pad. Although, it is one of the classic linen pads, so I imagine the effect done on the new Firm Foam pads would probably be much more intense ;)

Challenges I'm entering this for:

Flourishes - Bring on Spring
Craft your Passion - Ribbons or Lace
Bearly Mine - Anything Goes
Ribbon Carousel - Spring is in the Air
Use it Tuesday - Dies, Punches and Cutouts (My hoard item here is pretty much any DSP from last year's Sale-a-Bration)
Card Makin' Mamas - Spring Colors
Dutch Dare - Spots & Stripes
Just Add Ink - Just Add Green

Curly Label Love

Punches that layer are one of the easiest ways to add some POP to a simple card, and this new Petite Curly Label punch is a nice change from the basic layering punch shapes. To add a little extra texture to the bottom layers, I misted/crumpled/dried them and then used the Color Spritzer to add some flecks of color. I also love the burlap look of the new Natural trim ribbon I used underneath the Sale-a-Bration ribbon.

On another note, I've been stocking up on Island Indigo and Pool Party as they are two of the colors I love and use most, and their turn to be "In Colors" is almost up... well, I just learned today that Pool Party and Calypso Coral WILL be in the 2013-2014 Catalogue, I assume as replacements for two core colors. That's all I know so far, but all my customers who love Pool Party as much as I do will be breathing a sigh of relief!

Challenges I'm entering this for:

Pile it On - Circles and/or Squares
Cute Card Thursday - Anything Goes
Creative Card Crew - Masculine
Dancing in Pajamas - Neutrals with one color
Delightful Challenges - Here's one for the Boys

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blues Skies are Coming!

This Up, Up and Away sets is one of my favorites for fun and cheerful cards, and the new Cloudy Day folder goes perfectly with it, and SO many other themes! Along with two Cupcake Builder punched clouds, and some light and bright colors, I just love how this all came together.

Challenges I'm entering this for:

Red Hot Stampers - Sketch
Frosted Designs - Up, Up and Away
Word Art Wednesday - Anything Goes
Anything Goes - Seeing Double
Flourishes - Bring on Spring
Bear-ly Mine - Anything Goes

Big Hearted

This is my favorite Valentine's sentiment stamp yet! And I really don't use these Heart Framelits often enough, so...

Challenges I'm entering this for:

ABC Challenges - Bring on the Flowers
Craft your Passion - Ribbons or Lace
Try Stamping on Tuesday - Sketch
PauseDreamEnjoy - Anything Goes

Layered Washer Necklaces

Back in December I posted my Shabby Chic Washer necklaces, using knotted fabric with wooden beads inside, but this is a simpler, yet still fabulous version, and a GREAT way to use some of your fabric little scraps of DSP and keep them forever! And for wrapping them up, I used the Two Tags Bigz Die, tucked it inside, and pulled the ribbon out the top and just kept wrapping.

Challenges I'm entering this for:

Pile it On - Circles and/or Squares
The ABC Challenge - Just as you like
Anything Goes - Seeing Double
Ribbon Carousel - Spring is in the Air
Craft Us Crazy - Anything But a Card
Paper Crafting Journey - Anything But a Card
Use it Tuesday - Diecuts, Punches, and Cutouts (Punches for the DSP circles, and Ribbon and DSP are my biggest "hoarding" items)
ABC Challenges - Bring on the Flowers
Craft Your Passion - Ribbons or Lace

Christmas Star

I found some challenge blogs that do Christmas cards all year long, so you have less to do at crunch time, so I'm going to give that a try, and I'm going to start making whatever I'm in the mood for, regardless of the holiday, so I'll have a more well-rounded stash :) Here's a clean and simple one to start my unseasonable posting...

Challenges I'm entering this for:

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Merry and Bright
Christmas Stampin' All Year Long - Sparkle and Shine
Charisma Cardz Challenges - Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge - Christmas in March
Word Art Wednesday - Anything Goes

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Playing with PhotoPolymer (Our new, limited CLEAR stamps!)

I was SO curious to try out our new, truly clear, photopolymer stamp set, and to see if the image quality truly is better than the clear stamps I've used (and been disappointed with) in the past. Well, I am IMPRESSED!!

The very first thing I did was try out the ability to shape the banner and arrows, and when I "hung" the banner and stamped it (using a fairly dry, very OLD Basic Black pad, which STILL looked fairly crisp with the stamp), my 5 year old said "That looks like teeth!" And so, I decided I had to make a cute monster card ;) The "hair" is leaves cut off of the Little Leaves Sizzlit, and I used the Itty Bitties and one of the clear stamps for the "sentiment" (clearly this monster doesn't speak proper English).

Now I'll show you some more "action shots" of the new set...

Here I wanted to test the theory that these will work best with the new foam pads. On the left is my Firm trial in Midnight Muse and Gumball Green, which were VERY crisp and clear. On the right though, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my old linen style Island Indigo and Lucky Limeade, both of which are nearly two years old, used frequently and have never been re-inked yet, STILL came out quite crisp and clear! YAY :)

Next I tried a few things at once... I wanted to see the arrow curved, I wanted to see if the image was just as clear with a very light color (also an old linen pad), and I wanted to figure out how to line up words that aren't "straight" and match the image perfectly. (Straight words are easy to line up directly on the block).

As you can see, even with Pink Pirouette it's a crisp, clean image. And to line up the word to match the curve of the arrow, I lined the letters up on the image and THEN placed the block onto the word, and then inked and stamped. Perfect!

Here, you can see the normal staining left on the used stamps, but rest assured, these clean off just as nicely as our red rubber, and the staining does not affect or transfer to future stamping. Overall, I'm excited to have the flexibility (literally!) and versatility of this stamp medium for some upcoming special sets!

Here are the Challenges I'm entering this Monster card for:

Pile It On - Circles and/or Squares
Try Stampin' On Tuesday - Sketch
Crafty Ribbons Challenge - One for the Boys
Riley and Company - Yellow, Green and Blue
By Lori Designs - Use the color GREEN
Stampin' for the Weekend - Child's Play
Pause Dream Enjoy - Anything Goes
ABC Challenges - J for Just as you like it
Fab and Funky - Add a sentiment (I hope my "monster speak" counts, lol!)
Word Art Wednesday - Anything Goes
V's Sweet Ideas - Masculine
Anything Goes - Seeing Double (While technically, the monster's eyes are the qualifier, it also kind of looks like HE'S seeing double ;) )

Clearance Rack Easter Basket

A few years ago, Stampin' Up! had a great line of Build-a-Bear stamps, dies and paper, but at the time I swore we would never get sucked into that trend, so I just bought a pack of the very versatile paper. Well, my boys each have one BAB now, and although we don't "collect" them, they do REALLY love the ones they have and they are in their top 5 special stuffies, so when they released the dies on the Clearance Rack, I snagged one of each, for cards and scrapbook pages. The Beary Hoppy Sizzlit has the perfect little easter basket that I thought would be a fun image for this card. These are still available, so feel free to click on the Shop Now button to order :)

Everything else I used here is current, except for the ribbons, one of which is still available as a Sale-a-Bration freebie until the 22nd, and the other is from last year's SAB. Don't forget though that Lucky Limeade is one of the 5 In Colors that will be leaving us at the end of May, so if it's one of your favorites, make sure you stock up!

Challenges I'm entering this for:

The Sweet Stop - Sketch
Sweet Stampin' - Easter
SU Only - Easter Parade
Riley and Company - Yellow, Blue and Green
The Ribbon Carousel - Srping is in the air
By Lori Designs - Use the color GREEN
DRS Designs - Basket

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pinwheels in the Clouds

   Can I just say that I LOVE the fun, easy and cheap Pinwheel Sizzlit?? I missed the deadline for the Stampin' Royals sketch I used, but I also used it for the Crafty Ribbons challenge for "Anything Goes with Ribbon", the Craft Your Passion challenge to use an odd number of embellishments, Crafts and Me challenge for Punches/Dies, the Crafting Cafe "Favorite Color" theme, and again, ABC Challenges "Anything Goes".

   Since I went sort of technique/time heavy on the other club card, I tried to give them a break on this one, but the two notable things we did was learning to ruffle the Seam Binding Ribbon (this also works with the Satin ribbon), by pulling 2 or 3 strands from the center with tweezers and scrunching the ribbon down to create this effect. Also, with the Teeny Tiny Wishes and the Itty Bitties images, (with so many combinations to choose from, many of my girls had completely different sentiments), I punched a Word Window out of Basic Black Cardstock to use as a template. Then we stamped our Teeny Tiny sentiment, and then laid out the template over the stamped sentiment and centered it top-to-bottom, with extra space on the right for the Itty Bitties image and stamped it in that space for a perfectly punched combo.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chalkboard Carnival Celebration!!!

   For this card I did with my monthly Stamp Club, I was worried I may overwhelm them with techniques, but as always, they zoomed through them and made fabulous cards :) I recently went on a search for more challenge blogs, as many of my favorites have quit over the last 6 months or so. I found some great resources and lists, so I have lots of inspiration to work with these days... for this one, I started with one I hope to use often called Pile It On. The theme this week was Happy Birthday, and who wouldn't love to have their birthday party at the carnival?  I used Color My Heart for my palette (I used Midnight Muse, Tempting Turquoise and Certainly Celery (sponged with Wild Wasabi for depth), Mojo Monday for the sketch, Fairie Challenges for the Celebrate theme, Card Makin Mamas challenge to use Green for a large portion of your card, and ABC Challenges "Anything Goes".

   As for the techniques I used, I started with the Chalkboard technique, where you use our Embossing Buddy, to tap, swirl and rub it onto Basic Black Cardstock to create a used/erased chalkboard look. Then you stamp in Whisper White Craft Ink, for which I thought the vintage, hazy Feeling Sentimental set from the Sale-A-Bration flyer (ending at the end of March), was a PERFECT fit for a chalkboard image!! Then I used the Oval Framelits to cut it out, the coordinating Piercing Pack to pierce the edge, and the white Watercolor Pencil Crayon to do the stitching, in keeping with the chalky look. (Instead of using the Uniball White Gel pen like I often do for faux stitching.)

   The other technique I used was to flatten a Soda Pop Top with the Big Shot (just use the bottom platform we rarely use, with no tabs, and the cutting pads, and push it through... perfect EVERY time I've tried!!). These tops are so much fun, and so fresh and funky on their own, but when you flatten them, they take on a whole new, more classic and versatile look to embellish any project with!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fun with flowers

Playing with some Sale-A-Bration stuff, some Spring catty stuff, and a couple regular catalogue items, I came up with this super bright and cheery birthday card, using the Inkspirational sketch which I flipped and then tweaked just a bit...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Petite Purse Diaper Bag

Oh my word, I had So much fun making this "gift tag" and coordinating card!!! I saw something like this done with the "Petite Purse" die before, and was waiting for  chance to expand on it. It turned out even cuter than I was hoping :)

I used this fun gift bag for my color inspiration, (Pacific Point, Lucky Limeade, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie and the retired Crushed Curry matched perfectly), Frosted Designs "Chevrons" theme, Southern Girls "Pennants and Banners" theme, Di'sDigiDesigns "All about Children" theme, Deep Ocean's "For a Boy" theme, CraftyRibbons "Anything Goes with Ribbon" theme, and Seize the Day's Masculine birthday sketch. While this was technically a baby shower card, I consider showers to be the first real birthday celebration for a precious new person, and this set in particular has a very fun, birthday party feel to it, so hopefully it still qualifies ;)

Happy Dirtday to my 8 year old!

First things first... I have not been ignoring this blog, I've just been so busy and so tired, that every time I planned on posting, something got in the way... so I'll catch up with some current, along with some other late ones like Valentine's that you can sock away for next year ;)

Ever since the 2012-2013 catalogue came out, I knew I'd have to have this set one day, and I finally made it a priority on my last order to get it for my son's card. It will be used many more times with all the nephews and other little boys in my life too :)

As with many of the cards I am  posting a little (or a lot!) late, I missed the deadline for a Texture challenge, which you can see, I used fully to inspire me, but the ones that haven't closed yet are Pile It On's challenge to use Sunshine, and Anythng Goes' challenge for a Manly card (I have another of those in the works too, and it's a more "grownup" one).