Saturday, March 31, 2007

A blast from the past

Last night I posted that I wanted my card for the shoebox swap to be quick and easy, yet impressive, and I actually thought I achieved that in my design. Tonight I changed my mind. The design it anything but impressive -- it's just too simple to impress anyone. You'll see when I post it here later. But oh well -- it's much too late to change it, so it will have to do.

I was finishing getting ready for the swap -- it takes surprisingly long to cut card stock for 49 cards and pack all the materials into individual baggies. Hence this post is technically a day late. Sorry!

Anyway, since I didn't have time to stamp tonight, I thought I would horrify you with a picture of a card I made last year, when I was just starting to stamp. Nothing in this card is Stampin' Up and it shows! (I know, what was I thinking?) The base is a bizarre fluorescent orange that I dry embossed with a fiskars texture plate -- nice look, but you don't want to do it more than once. (What a pain -- literally. My hand was starting to cramp on me towards the end of the dry embossing process.) I'm not sure of the manufacturer of the stamp -- I got it only because I wanted to make Easter Cards and it was too late to order any SU sets. I have no idea where the white tag came from and the ribbon, well, it's just too hideous for words when combined with the rest of the card.

I actually think I'm quite brave in posting this card -- what will you think of me now? But hey, everyone has to start somewhere. This weekend I'll try to post the card I want to give to all my relatives this year -- I'm hoping it will turn out to be a lot better than this one!

Don't forget -- you can still win 6 assorted inspiration sheets just by leaving a comment with a guess as to which two sets I ordered with my $39.95 credit in SU merchandise. I'll announce the sets on Monday, so leave a comment before then

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Quick and easy!

Wow -- this was a busy evening. This Saturday I'll be participating at a Shoebox swap organized by Sarah Moore (Staramaze) on Splitcoast. A shoebox swap is an event where a bunch of stampers get together, each having designed a card and prepared materials necessary to make that card plus a sample card and directions. Each stamper then sets up a station for their card and then everyone goes from station to station making all the different car designs. This particular swap will be made up of 2 groups of 40 stampers, with additional cards designed by "Star Stampers" -- uber talented stampers including a current and former member of the Splitcoast design team -- the Dirty Dozen! It'll be a super fun Saturday -- 6 hours of non-stop stamping -- and I'm really looking forward to it. But before i can enjoy the day, I have to design and prepare materials for 40 cards, plus assemble an additional 8 cards -- 6 for the Star stampers, 1 to donate to Ronald McDonald fund, and 1 sample for other stampers to follow. So that's what I was doing tonight.

I know this isn't the case for everyone, but I always agonize over designs for shoebox swap cards. I wanted the card to be impressive, but I also know we will only have about 10 minutes to stamp each card, so it couldn't be too difficult. Plus, with this swap there is the additional restriction that there is no embossing or glitter allowed. Since I like using those techniques for an easy WOW, not being able to use them feels really restrictive.

After all this talk, I'm sure you;d like to see the final design and I would love to show it to you, but on the off chance that one of the swappers will visit this blog before Saturday i will not, because I don't want to ruin the surprise. I will, however, post it on Saturday, so you will be able to see the fruits of my labor. I really kind of like the way it turned out. It's far more simple than most of my cards, but it should be quick and easy to assemble.
Speaking of cute and easy, I knew I had to show you something new tonight so I stamped anther card just for my blog readers. This particular layout and color combination was suggested in the April section of the Stampin' Up! demo planner. That's the cool thing about being a demo -- Stampin' Up! really supports us with all sorts of resources, including providing different layout and color combinations for the different months in the demo planner.
For this card I used Mellow Moss, Perfect Plum and Pale Plum card stock, perfect plum and mellow moss classic inks, perfect plum craft ink, eggplant grosgrain, handheld rectangle punch, a mixture of very vanilla and iridescent ice embossing powders and dimensionals. I also use bitty backgrounds, Sketch it and In Full Bloom stamp sets. On the mellow moss piece, I first stamped the larger dots in mellow moss ink, but the background still looked too plain, so i added the smaller splatters with mellow moss ink. I think it gives the card just the right amount of depth. The flower is embossed with a touch of iridescent ice powder added in to make it sparkle.
If you liked this card, let me know in a comment below, and don't forget to guess which two sets I selected as part of my free $39.95 in SU merchandise that I won on Monday for your chance to win 6 assorted inspiration sheets. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

That was creepy!

I haven't had a chance to watch ANTM yet, so that discussion will have to wait until tomorrow, but did you see Lost! Wow! What a creepy ending. I won't give it away just in case you haven;t watched it yet, but let me say this was a cool episode. Definitely makes me want to dig out my DVD of Season 1, KWIM? There were definitely some plot holes, but overall it was far more interesting than watching the Others. Plus we saw the return of some characters that we thought were gone, so that was neat. And, of course, lots of Hurley and Sawyer -- do you remember me mentioning last week that those two were the only ones who could save the show? Well, I'm still thinking you can't go wrong focusing on these two. (Though, to be fair, the previews of next week looked pretty good too).

OK, enough about TV and on to some stamping talk. Tonight I'm featuring the last of the Four Seasons Inspiration Sheet class projects -- four 3x3 cards with envelopes and a little tote to hold them all. I designed the tote to serve as a gift bag -- there's even a tag on the front to write in the name of the recipient. How happy could you make someone by giving them this tote with the little cards inside? It's so cute! And, of course, it all coordinates because I used the four seasons designer papers which coordinate with Stampin' Up! exclusive color families. Plus I used the Perennial Favorites stamp set, which coordinates with the designer paper. Totally awesome -- there's no need to think about what will go with what, because Stampin' Up! already did the thinking for you.
These photos show two different views of the tote -- front and form the to, to show how the buckle opens and all the cards inside. Each of the card is decorated with paper and stamps from a different season. Don't they look cute together?
Don't forget, you have until Monday to guess which stamp sets I chose as my free stuff from Glenda. The lucky winner -- either the person who gets it right or, if no one does, than a random winner -- will get an assortment of 6 SU inspiration sheets. Just leave a comment with your guess.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Since no one wanted to offer any suggestions as to what stamps I should get from Glenda, and I have absolutely no patience when it comes to ordering free stamps, I went ahead and selected two sets. But I won't announce what they are until Monday, so if you want to take a guess those 6 inspiration sheets are still up for grabs! Just leave a comment with your guess and the first person who guesses right will win. And if no one guesses right I'll still give the inspiration sheets away t one of the readers who left a comment at random!

In the meantime, here are two photos of another project from the four seasons inspiration sheet class. But these photos look totally different, you say? How can they be photos of the same project? Well, they are photos of a little desktop scrapbook frame made out of two 4x4" chipboard coasters attached with card stock "hinges". The front side is decorated with winter and spring papers and the back is decorated with summer and fall. There are spaces left on each side for a small photo -- about wallet size, and some extra space for journaling.
I call this a scrapbook frame because the pictures are attached right to the designer paper with adhesive -- you don't actually slide anything into a frame. But if you want to switch out the pictures you can use temporary adhesive, like dotto!
The great thing about this frame is that you'll get to see cool pictures no matter which side of the desk you're sitting on and you can flip the frame around depending on the season. Pretty cool, huh? Check my Stampin' Up! web site for details! Hope to see you at class!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Of pinwheels and favors

Since I'm completely wired from my big win tonight (see my other post, below) I decided to share not one but two four seasons designer inspiration sheet class projects. The first is a card featuring pinwheels made out of the double sided paper.
Pinwheels are awesome -- remember when you were a kid and you used to have a pinwheel on a stick and what fun it was to watch it spin in the wind? Well, these pinwheels don't spin, but they still take me back to that happy and carefree time of my life. And they're perfect for featuring both sides of the designer paper!
On this sample I cut out the stem and leaves freehand out of old olive card stock, but I think at class we'll stamp these, perhaps with the Fresh Flowers set. I found that freehand cutting is not as easy as it looks and adhering these small pieces of card stock tot he card base can be a challenge as well. So at class we'll avoid that challenge by stamping our greens. :-)
The second project is a little party favor pouch. The one I made is filled with kisses, but you could just as easily fill it up with jelly beans, jolly ranchers, or any other small candy. The double sided paper is enough in itself to make an adorable favor pouch, but the leaf medallion really makes it look sharp! Just imaging making these for your Thanksgiving guests. How excited would they be to receive such a lovely gift? And, to make these even more useful, you could tuck in the name of each guests into the back of the pouch, making these do double duty as place card holders.
If you like these two projects, be sure to sign up for the Four Seasons Inspiration Sheet class on April 21. See my web site for more details.

I Won, I Won, I Won!

As many of my readers know, nothing gets me more excited than free stamps! I loved all the free stamp sets I earned during Sell-A-Bration, as a new demonstrator with the Stampin' Start program, and under the consistency counts program. So it's no surprise that I'm absolutely over the moon tonight because I won a drawing for $39.95 of free Stampin' Up! products from my totally awesome up-up-upline Glenda just for bringing display items to our demonstrator meeting this evening.

What display items did I bring? Well, you've already seen all of them on this blog. I brought in samples of the projects we'll be making at tomorrow's pastels class and at April's Polka Dots and Petals Bundle class and Four Seasons Inspiration class. The three displays got me three tickets in the drawing and one of those babies got pulled as the winner! Woo Hoo! Best of all, I can pick a couple of lower priced sets, as long as the total does not exceed $39.95. This is great, because those are always the sets I'm most reluctant to buy for myself and never get free under the other programs because I feel like I'm not maximizing my "free" value.

Now I need to think about which sets I want to get. There are so many in the Idea Book and Catalog that I still want -- I don't know how to prioritize them. If you have any suggestions, leave a comment! The first person or people who suggest stamp sets that I actually end up using will receive an assortment of six Stampin' Up! inspiration sheets!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Another Four Seasons Inspiration Sheet Project

As promised, here is a photo of another project we'll be making at the Four Seasons Inspiration class on April 21 (please see my web site for more details). In this card I tried to feature the beauty of the double sided paper by using it as a mat and folding it over so that designed from both sides are visible. I loved how easy it was to make this card using the designer paper -- most of the decoration was done for me before I even started! I just added a sentiment from the sincere salutations set plus some flowers punched with the spring bouquet punch and stamped images using the coordinating perennial favorites set. I think it's a pretty cute card. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Thanks!

A thanks from Nikki

This card was sent to me by one of my customers as thanks for helping her with shower favors for her future sister-in-law. Sorry the photo is so blurry because the card is so cute in real life! I like the combined sentiments and the star punch out with the little heart inside! Plus I loved getting a thank you card for doing something I really enjoyed! So thanks, Nikki -- you really made my day! And great job on your card!

PJ party projects

Today I was able to take pictures of the projects I made at Jen's house last night. Unfortunately, for some reasons the pictures are really blurry -- sorry! But you'll get an idea anyway.

The first project is a cool little photo wallet. This was a project designed by Stamipn' Up! Demonstrators who attended the Stampin' Up! leadership convention this year could order these Make and Take kit projects, and so Jen ordered some for us. We stamped the wallet using the Doodle This and Doodle Alphabet stamp sets. It's a cool little mini scrapbook. It's held closed by a belly band. When you slip the belly band off, inside you have room for 3 photos or journaling on the black card stock and the 6 additional more pages for photos or journaling on the color card stock that pulls out of envelope pockets. Very Cool! If you would be interesting in learning how to make a similar photo wallet post a comment below or send me an e-mail to and if there are enough people interested I will schedule a class.
The next project was an On Board Art Journal. This little journal is new in the Spring Mini Catalog, as is the spiral punch that I used to create the holes in the designer paper allowing me to cover the chipboard cover perfectly. I used the Notations double sided designer paper to cover both the cover and the chipboard "m" from the on board simon lower chipboard assortment, which to me stands for "memories". The 20 inside pages are very vanilla card stock, and you can also add other colors of card stock pages because you can use the spiral punch to make the pages easy to insert.
I love this little journal (inside pages measure 5.25x5.25) because it's perfect for so many occasions. It would be a great memory book for a graduating senior -- a place for photos and reflections from friends. It would also be a beautiful gift for mother's day or father's day or, filled with advice, a beautiful gift for a baby or bridal shower. It's easy to customize the journal simply by choosing different designer paper or stamp set to decorate the covers and inside pages. And the best thing? Priced at only $6.95 it's one of the best bargains around!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday Night Stamp Party!

Tonight I spent the evening with my upline, Jen, and my sideline, Sharon, stamping, eating pizza, drinking wine and watching "13 Going on 30" -- all in our PJs. It was such a fun girl's night! We made a photo wallet and decorated an on-board art journal. I didn't have time to take pictures, so I will have to post those tomorrow, but I just want to send a huge shout out to Jen and thank her for a terrific party! Woo Hoo! So much fun!

So, as promised, tonight I'm sharing the last two cards from the Polka Dots & Petals bundle class, as well as the magnet picture frame and the toe that is designed to hold all the projects. As you can see, there is a definite yellow and green theme running through tonight's cards. Both cards also use just a touch of ribbon to add some texture and visual interest.
I think it's pretty cool how much a small bit of knotted ribbon adds to a card. And, of course, Stampin' Up! ribbon is designed to coordinate with our exclusive color families, so there is a ribbon to fit just about every card.

The magnet picture frame is made with two chipboard coasters. The opening for the photo is punched out of the top coaster, which is then covered with designer paper and decorated with a sentiment and embellishments. The bottom coaster is then adhered to the top coaster, leaving the space at the top open so that a photo can be slipped into a frame. A magnet is adhered to the back and, voila, you have a cute little refrigerator ornament!

Last, but certainly not least, is the tote. Decorated with the petals jumbo wheel, designer paper, grosgrain ribbon and brads, this is a very classy way to store your cards.. It also makes a great gift bag if you;d like to make cards for someone as a present. Or how about using this tote to hold favors at a wedding or bridal shower, or a graduation party? The possibilities are endless!

Tune in tomorrow for photos of the projects I stamped tonight, as well as more pictures of the Four Seasons inspiration class projects. In the meantime, hope you're having a fantastic weekend!

Friday, March 23, 2007

More Polka Dots & Paisleys plus an April Inspiration Sheet class sneak preview

Tonight we're taking a closer look at two more cards we'll be making at the Polka Dots and Petals bundle class on April 14. I left this card without a sentiment because it seemed appropriate for just about any occasion. This is a perfect example of a card you can stamp ahead of time and add to your "emergency" card stash.. Then, when you need a birthday, anniversary or thank you card, all you need is to grab the appropriate stamp and ink pad and stamp it on the card. You'll never have to scramble at the last minute for a card again! And the best part? The recipient will be so impressed that you made a card just for them, and they'll never know that you just had it lying around. What a perfect way to make someone feel very special without having to go out of your way!

The next card can also be used for just about any occasion, and I think it's such a happy card. I love all the scallops and the polka dots! The paisleys (or amoebas, as my husband calls them) are trimmed by hand, highlighted with the signo white gel pen and popped up on dimensionals. Isn't it amazing how many different looks you can achieve with just one stamp set, on wheel and some coordinating designer paper? This really just may be the most versatile bundle of products ever. And if you purchase this bundle before the end of March, you not only get the opportunity to attend the Polka Dots and Paisley class for only $5.00 (a $10.00 savings off the regular class fee) but also may choose any other item from the spring mini catalog at 50% off. What a bargain!

Tune in tomorrow for detailed pictures of the remaining three Polka Dots & Paisley bundle class projects. But before I go, I'm so excited that tonight I finished all of the class projects for the April inspiration sheet class! You can read all about this April 21 class on the events page of my website, and next week I will also post detailed photos of each project (not to mention that you already got a sneak peak at the triangle fold card earlier this week) but here is a photo of all of the projects grouped together. These are all made using the Four Seasons double sided designer paper an the Perennia Favorites stamp set. Aren't they adorable?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Heat Embossing Rules!

I love heat embossing, especially that magical moment where you can see the embossing powder melting and turning all shiny! The whole process is a WOW for me every time. SO of course I had to use heat embossing for at least some of the cards we'll be making at the Polka Dots and Petals bundle class.

In this first card the petals wheel is used with versamark ink and detail white embossing powder to create the so saffron border. The flower image is also embossed in detailed white on so saffron card stock, and outlined in rose red. The image is then layered onto pretty in pink and rose red card stock, with the layers secured with white eyelets. The image is then centered on a piece of pretty in pink designer paper. I think this color combination is somewhat unexpected when first looking at the designer paper, but it works really well. I'd love to hear what you think -- leave me a comment below!

The second card also uses detail white heat embossing with the petals wheel, this time on a certainly celery base. The two border strips were hand trimmed out of the designer paper and the flowers on the designer paper were outlined using the signo white gel pen. The trimming and outlining of the flowers were inspired by "Creativechoicedesings" on SplitCoast Stampers.

On the sentiment medallion, a piece of old olive card stock is stamped with the flower outline in white craft ink, and then the corner rounder punch is used to create the scallops. The wrought iron corner punch is used to create a frame for the designer paper. The sentiment "Happy Things" is stamped in tempting turquoise ink on certainly celery card stock.

And now that these two cards are posted, we can talk about all the stuff that's going on at Seattle Grace. I have to admit, at this point I wouldn't mind at all if both Izzie and George suffered some severe medical trauma! I mean, how many people's lives does Izzie have to ruin before she's satisfied? And I'm not giving George pass either -- he's a first class heel! The only satisfaction I have is knowing that some day Callie's father is going to make George suffer! What do you think? Is this storyline working for you? And what about the contest for the chief of staff position? Are we seriously expected to believe that the chief is going to step down? Feel free to comment below!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring Fever

OK, I know this is a stamping blog, but before I get to stamping can I just say that the photo session on tonight's episode of America's Next Top Model was really disturbing and that I am once again so very disappointed in the actions of John Locke on Lost?

I'm not sure what a public admission that I actually watch ANTM will do to my credibility with you, my readers, especially since I could be watching Bones instead, but for some reason this is the last reality show that I somehow can't give up. Then again, if the photo shoots continue to be as macabre as the one tonight, giving the show up may be easier than I thought. Anyone else out there think that posing these girls as if they killed each other is just a little too sick?

And on Lost, John Locke used to be one of my favorite characters. Then last season the writers reduced him, literally, to a button pusher. This season I thought he might be returning more to the character we knew and loved in season 1, but that hope was destroyed tonight. It's too bad, really. That show had so much unrealized potential, but too many characters were added in and too many questions went unanswered and now I'm not even sure I care what the answers are. I will still continue to watch every week, because things may change, but the glow is definitely gone for me. The only things that could save it now would be a few episodes in a row centered around Sawyer and Hurley.

The good news is that no matter the quality of the TV shows tonight, I still had a little time to stamp and I was able to finish the projects for the Spring Fever bundle class. Not to toot my own horn, but I really like the way they turned out. The Polka Dots & Paisley stamp set, the Petals wheel and the Polka Dots & Petals double sided designer paper just go so well together -- designing projects using these products is a snap!

The April spring fever bundle class will be open to everyone in April, though anyone who takes advantage of the Polka Dots & Paisley Bundle special in March will be able to attend this class at a reduced fee. Please see my web site for more information about the class and the special.

I really had a lot of fun stamping these projects, and the best thing is all the cards and the magnet picture frame will fit into the tote, so it's a terrific way to store them or to package them as a hostess, mother's day or teacher's appreciation gift. Tune in throughout the coming week for more detailed photos of each card. Registration deadline for the class is April 6, but you must contact me on or before March 31 to take advantage of the Polka Dots & Paisley Bundle special.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My awesome gift and a sneak peak at April!

The first thing I wanted to share with you tonight is this totally awesome notebook! This was a gift from Barbara for inviting her to stamp with us at stamp camp last weekend. I appreciate it so much! It's just so beautiful and elegant! The photo doesn't even begin to do it justice. In real life it's all sparkly and blingy. I don't think I'll ever be able to use it -- it's just too pretty! Thanks you so much, Barbara! You shouldn't have, but I'm so glad you made it anyway. Now I'll need to think of something really impressive to make for you the next time I'm in your neck of the woods.

The other thing I wanted to share is a sneak peak at one of the projects form the April Inspiration sheet class. The class will take place on April 21. You can get all of the details on the events page of my website. All of the projects will use the four seasons double sided designer paper and the Perennial Favorites stamp set, like the triangle fold Mother's Day card pictured here. This card was heavily inspired by a card designed by Rhonda Favreau. In stamping this card I used pumpkin pie, apricot appeal and chocolate chip card stock along with chocolate chip, pumpkin pie and versamark ink. The sentiments are from All Year Cheer II and III. The card is tied closed with apricot grosgrain. I really like the way it turned out and I think this unusual fold will impress every mom!

Monday, March 19, 2007

It's a pastel world!

This is it -- the two final pastel techniques and projects I'll be featuring at the Technique Tuesday Stampin' Pastels class on March 27. I had so much fun coming up with these projects!

The technique in this In Full Bloom card is just fundamental coloring with pastels. The fact that the pastels come in all 48 exclusive Stampin' Up! colors is great, because they can easily function as ink substitutes when coloring lined images. On this card, I not only used the pastels to color in the flower, I also used the ruby red pastel to shade the edges of the whisper white card stock, much in the same way I would use a stamping sponge with ink.

The 3x3 Easter card features the Marbled chalk background technique. As you can see, this technique creates a "speckled" unique watercolor background. You will literally never see the same background twice! I thought this would be the perfect background to use with soft colors for a little Easter card. I had fun combining the images from baskets full of fun and loads of love accessories and using the new round tab punch!

Just in case you missed some of the earlier posts, you can see all 8 projects we'll be making at the class in the photo below. Registration closes on Wednesday, so if you'd like to attend please let me know ASAP.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pastel Birthday

Well, I tried the spectrum pastels technique again and I'm much happier with this card -- this probably will be the card we'll make at class. The colors I used are orchid opulence, tempting turquoise, gable green and whisper white. The Happy Birthday sentiment from Cheery Chat and the flower from Doodle That are stamped on a background created with stampin' pastels. This is a great way to feature a greeting -- just surround it by a frame made by repeatedly stamping a smaller image. Once again I used the doodle flowers because they really allow the pastel background to shine! And check out all that green!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Round and round

Another sample card from the stampin' pastels class. On this card I used a stamping pastels technique invented by Brendalea of splitcoast stampers. I inked up the large swirl stamp in versamark and then applied the stampin' pastels in not quite navy directly to the stamp, huffed and stamped the image on whisper white card stock. The image produced is similar to poppin' pastels, but without needing to worry about the "halo" effect. The ruby red mats on this card are created by layering several shapes punched with the new round tab punch. The sentiment is heat embossed with detail white embossing powder.


Sometimes no matter what you do the creative juices just will not start flowing. I've had a pretty good run lately, so I guess I should have known my good fortune was due to run out. All this week I've been working on cards featuring stampin' pastels techniques in preparation for my class. I'm not sure tonight's technique has a name -- I would call it spectrum pastels because the ultimate effect is something like the effect you would get with a spectrum ink-pad. In essence, you use the pastels to create a multi-colored background, and then stamp images on that background. Open and airy images, like those in the doodle style stamps work best for this technique, because the beauty of the background is never hidden.

Tonight I tried to come up with a class-worthy project, but even though I will post the card I came up with, I'm fairly confident it will not make the class roster. Why? Well, to be frank, I seem to be stuck in a rut with the "horizontal stripe" layout. I love how easy this layout is to work with, but as I look over the cards for the class, I found they are all starting to look too similar. So never fear -- I will come up with a new, more interesting card for the class. In the meantime, though, here is your sneak peak at the spectrum pastels technique.
The background was created with stampin' pastels in more mustard, ruby red and old olive. The flower from Doodle That was then stamped in Ruby Red and the background from itty bitty backgrounds was stamped in always artichoke. The three panes are matted with more mustard card stock with earth elements brads in opposite corners. They are adhered to the ruby red strip with dimensionals. the ruby red strip is adhered to a strip of always artichoke, which is attached to an old olive base. The sentiment from much appreciated is stamped with always artichoke.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Limited Supplies

I don't know about you, but I have the kind of personality George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley sang about back in the 80's (am I dating myself here? Probably!). You know: "everything she wants is everything she sees"! At least that's true when it comes to stamping supplies. Unfortunately, since I don't have unlimited funds, I can't always have everything I want at the moment I want it. That's why I sometimes enjoy a reminder that very attractive projects can be accomplished with just a few supplies.

For example, this card uses only two colors of card stock -- shimmery white and brushed silver -- and one type of ink -- versamark. It also only uses one stamp set -- sincere salutations. In fact, you might notice that it doesn't have any layers, background stamps, or even images. The decoration comes purely from the detail silver hear embossing on the sentiment and the multi-layered flowers created with the spring bouquet punch and brads attached to a strip of wide organdy ribbon. there are no elaborate bows or techniques and very little color, but the simple elegance of the card speaks for itself. I think it would make a lovely wedding or anniversary card.

This card is far more colorful and it uses more card stock: whisper white, basic black, green galore, only orange and yo yo yellow, but it still keeps to only one type of ink -- versamark. The colors on the main image are applied using versamark ink and stampin' pastels. Because the Stampin' Up! stampin' pastels include all 48 colors from our 4 color families, they coordinate perfectly with our card stock. And at a price of only $24.95, they're by far the most economical way for a stamper to get all of the 48 colors. On this particular card the technique I used is stampin' pastels. the image created with stampin' pastels is slightly softer than an image created with inks, but the effects created by mixing and blending the pastels can be quite spectacular! Hope you like this bright, sunny card, as it will be one of the cards we'll be making at the stampin pastels class on March 27th.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It's pastel embossing, baby!

First of all, can you believe the stuff that happened on Grey's Anatomy tonight? I know that's not exactly stamp-related, but I was stamping this card while watching -- LOL! Is anyone out there as annoyed with Izzie as I am? Feel free to comment below.
OK, now back to stamping. As promised, this card features another pastel technique -- pastel embossing. This is a great technique, especially when you want the look of color embossing but don't have the exact right color of embossing powder or craft ink. So, as you've probably guessed by now, the colors on the embossed letters in this card were added with stampin' pastels. I only wish I could take a photo that did this technique justice because, unfortunately, this particular picture does not show how cute this card is in real life. I like how it's a twist on traditional baby cards -- bright primary colors created with pastels!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Back to School

Today's post will be short, because I still need to stamp a couple of cards and a new episode of Lost is only a half hour away!
The pastel technique featured on this card takes us back to our younger days in the classroom. Did you ever draw on a chalkboard with colored chalks? Remember how bold and vibrant the colors looked? Well, this technique is reminiscent of that look and so it is aptly named the chalkboard technique.
Although typically chalkboards are black, because we're already using black card stock to create our pullin' pastels card at the March 27 stampin' pastels class, I thought on this card we could improvise with an elegant eggplant chalkboard, matted with barely banana card stock on a rose red base. I'm pleased with the way it turned out! What do you think?

Be sure to come back tomorrow to see a photo of another pastel project!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pullin' Pastels

I love the Pullin' Pastels technique. It's so simple yet so magical. Find out why at my Technique Tuesday stampin' pastel class, where we'll be using the pullin' pastels technique to create the background on this card. I'll be posting the other class projects here throughout the week, so keep checking in!

I also wanted to post this photo from last Saturday's party pieces scrap class. Look familiar? The photographs and journaling aren't affixed yet, but that's one of my scrap map layouts from an earlier post translated into a real scrap page. I know it's not the "be all and end all," but considering I don't scrap I think it's pretty cool!
And the best part is that it was put together by Wendi, a first time stamper! Wendi is a scrapping dynamo, and I have this feeling that just as I introduced her to the use of stamps in her scrapbooks, she's going to convince me to broaden my horizons beyond cards and into scrapping. How fun!

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Luck of the Irish

This Weekend is Saint Patrick's day, and I thought this card was perfect for the occasion. I used the square steps corner punch to create the lacy border by taking off the paper guide and punching across a strip of whisper white card stock. I created the clover pattern by stamping the clover from Tag Time repeatedly with versamark and then covering each clover with glorious green pastels using a sponge dauber -- a technique called poppin' pastels. I swirled on some more glorious green pastels in between the clover for a bit more visual interest. I stamped the sentiment in versamark and heat embossed with detail white embossing powder.

I'm quite pleased with the effect. I think the card kind of looks like an Irish lace tablecloth.

If you like the card you might want to sign up for the stampin' pastels class on March 27, where we'll be covering poppin' pastels and other cool techniques using this versatile coloring medium.

And if you like Saint Patrick's Day and want to experience some luck of the Irish this year, check out my Saint Patrick's Weekend Special.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

April Schedule updated

For those of you who like to plan ahead, I just updated the events schedule on my Stampin' Up! web site with all my April events. I also added a link to the April events in the right hand column of this blog. Check them out and let me know which events you'd like to attend.

Oh, Happy Day!

Today was a great day in Chicago! The weather was beautiful and we sprang ahead into daylight savings time which means that it's light outside even as I'm typing now! It really feels like spring has finally arrived, just like in this card.

I really love the In Full Bloom set (page 122 of the idea book and catalog). It was a gift from my friend and upline Jen last fall for promoting to Supervisor status (thanks Jen -- you rock!). This was a set Jen used for a project at the library class where I got hooked on stamping, so it's really special to me. I usually use the flowers in this set and ignore the little bee, so I wanted to make her the star attraction this time. And what a happy day for her as she found the perfect flower to feed on!

The base of this card is so saffron with the border stamped twice at the top and bottom of the front of the card in basic black ink and colored with so saffron, regal rose and certainly celery markers. The middle strips are basic black, so saffron and regal rose, with the flower on the regal rose strip stamped in regal rose ink. The main image has basic black and so saffron mats. The flower is stamped in regal rose on whisper white card stock and colored with regal rose and so saffron markers. The stem is stamped in certainly celery. The sentiment from the Nice and Narrow set is stamped in basic black on a certainly celery tag punched with the new round tag punch. The entire medallion is popped up on dimensionals.

The bee was stamped on a separate piece of whisper white card stock in basic black ink, colored with basic black, so saffron and bordering blue markers, then trimmed out and popped up on a dimensional.

I really think this is the perfect card for a perfect (almost) spring day!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

How did they do that?

This morning at the party pieces scrap class Wendi asked an interesting question -- how did SU get two colors on the same wheel on the card on page 4 of the Idea Book and Catalog? After looking at the recipe, my best guess was that they rolled the wheel in cool Caribbean ink, and then hand markered the dots and dotted circles in old olive. But, of course, I needed to find out if this could work, so a challenge was born.

Not having the wheel in question, I used Polka Dot Blocks. I inked up the wheel on a real red ink pad, then wiped off the red ink from the "frames and markered them in handsome hunter. I wheeled across a strip of very vanilla and, PRESTO, it worked! So then all I had to do was add the cute stockings from Little Somethings and color them with markers. I also sponged the squares with real red. I matted the very vanilla strip with a strip of real red which I scalloped using the small corner rounder punch. I created the "lace" effect with the 1/16" handheld circle punch. I stamped the sentiment in versamark and heat embossed it with vanilla embossing powder. And Voila, not only did I get to practice a new technique (which is somewhat laborious, but produces cool results), I also have another Christmas card done. Hurrah!

After Bedlam

Bedlam was so much fun! I think my favorite part of stamping is just getting together with other stampers and sharing ideas as we work on projects. Well, last night I didn't get to work on too many projects myself, but I was so happy to help everyone who attended find just that "special something" they were looking for.

Diana wanted a template for a "different" kid of Easter card. We found her a basket template that is actually fairly easy to make, but loos so unusual that I think it will really wow all of her friends and relatives!

Kathy used the gift card template (see the fun filled gift card in my March 5th post) to make a great Mother's Day card (she's really planning ahead -- I'm not even done with Saint Patrick's Day yet) and also made a couple of card stock "milk carton" containers from a pattern provided by Stampin' Up! These will make great gifts, especially when filled with chocolate!

Wedding showers were also popular last night. Nikki diligently worked on the shower favors for her future sister-in-law. It' never easy to make a large number of the same item (at least it's not easy for me -- I like variety) but Nikki was a real trooper, stamping and punching and scoring the night away! I saw one of the finished favors and they're look awesome!

I also saw the card Nikki made for the shower. She had the inside of the card all done before last night and it looked fantastic! She made a 8.5x5.5 card, which is twice as large as a typical card, so we really needed to come up with a cool image for the front of the card, and I think we did. We used markers, the stamp-a-ma-jig and the Pretty Princess and Fun Filled stamp sets to create a really cool multi-layered cake. I can't show you her card (forgot to take a picture and even if I had I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise) but I can show you the card I made with our first attempt, which also turned out pretty cool.

So here it is. The cake from the pretty princess set was stamped twice, using the stamp-a-ma-jig to achieve perfect alignment. The first time I omitted the top layer. The second time I omitted the bottom layer and the candle at the top. To finish off the top of the cake we used the "bow" from the fun filled set.

This image was stamped on very vanilla card stock using the pretty in pink marker, and then colored with barely banana, regal rose and blush blossom markers. Dazzling Diamonds stampin' glitter was added to the "frosting" with a 2 way glue pen. I used a stamp from itty bitty backgrounds in pretty in pink to "frame" the image, and lightly sponged the edges with pretty in pink. I wanted to mat the image with barely banana card stock using the wrought iron corner punch in opposite corners, but I made the barely banana mat a little too big. No problem, I cut a second mat in bashful blossom just a tidge larger than the very vanilla, and double matted the image. The base of the card is regal rose.

I really love the way this card turned out and can't wait for the next occasion to use it. Nikki's card is a bit different -- using different colors and slightly different stamps -- but it looks really classy and has just the right touch of sparkle with the glitter. In fact, glitter was also the order of the night yesterday, as both Lisa and Renee added glitter to the cards they were working on. I think after last night, I will dub this trio "the glitter gals," because they all really loved the sparkly effect and have sparkly personalities to match!

So that's it. Time to get ready for my scrap class. I hope this evening I will be able to post some of my completed layouts for you to enjoy. In the meantime, let me know what you thought of the wedding card, and don't forget to mark April 13 on your calendars -- that's the next Bedlam and you don't want to miss the fun!

Thursday, March 8, 2007


Sad to say, I spent most of this evening cleaning up the stamp room. I'm getting ready for my open stamp/scrap night tomorrow and even though I'm calling it Bedlam I would prefer if the room didn't start off looking like an insane asylum. However, I did get a chance to stamp this card with the Polka Dots & Paisley set. This set is part of the Spring Fever March bundle special. You can read more about the special on my web page.

The background is stamped with certainly celery ink on certainly celery card stock. The paisley pinwheel is stamped with regal rose ink on so saffron card stock. I used the corner rounder punch not just on the corners of the two mats, but also to create the so saffron ric rac. This card is a bit of a departure from my typical style, but I like the way it turned out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

No time to Stamp

Tonight was a pretty busy night, so no time to stamp. Instead, I worked on completing my scrap map for a Party Pieces scrap class I'm teaching this Saturday. Admitedly, cards will always be my first love in stamping, but as long as I don't think about choosing the photographs, designing a scrap layout is pretty much the same as designing a cardfront --only slightly larger. When I think about it in those terms, creating scrap maps is actually pretty fun.

Here are two of the 2-page layouts I will be demonstrating this weekend. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Special Occasions

One of the things I like most about stamping cards is that a hand-stamped card makes a special occasion even more special. Last year a co-worker asked me to make a card for his anniversary, so I created one with a verse he specially selected in his wife's favorite colors. She still has the card on display. So this year, he asked me to make another card, and I am happy to oblige, especially since I get to use my new favorite stamp set - Wild Rose.

This card measures 8.5x5.5" in size, so it is twice as large as standard stamped cards. In order to make the sentiment really stand out, I first stamped the floral background in pale plum on whisper white card stock and then stamped the sentiment in Perfect Plum craft ink and embossed it with clear embossing powder. I then double framed the sentiment in oval frames made out of sage shadow card stock and Enchante double sided designer paper.

The roses were stamped in pale and perfect plum classic inks. The leaves were stamped with sage shadow classic ink and accented with dazzling diamonds stampin' glitter. The top of the card is decorated with white wide organdy ribbon.

I hope my co-worker's wife will like this card as much as last year's card, and that my co-worker will get bonus points for doing more than stopping at a store on his way home to pick up a generic greeting, so that this anniversary will be a truly special occasion for them both!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Try before you buy

It's always fun to play with a stamp set you've been coveting for a while but don't own yourself. No matter how great a stamp looks in the catalog, there is nothing like inking it up and trying it out. I've found that I often don't realize all of the possibilities of a given stamp set until I actually have the stamps in hand, and there are many stamp sets in my collection that I would not have bought if I had not had tried them out first.

I've been thinking about getting the Wild Rose stamp set for a while, but it is a set that people either love or hate, and I needed to find out which camp I fell into before I actually bought it. Fortunately, my friend Jen owns this set and was generous enough to let me borrow it for a few days to try it out. Well, the verdict is in, and I definitely LOVE IT!

This is just one of the cards I stamped with this set. I love how the Roses coordinate perfectly with the Recollections designer paper! The base of this card is mellow moss, stamped with the Linen background in always artichoke ink. The flowers are stamped on very vanilla card stock in cranberry crisp and bravo burgundy inks with so saffron centers. The leaves are stamped on very vanilla card stock in mellow moss and always artichoke.

A random edge was first painted on the Recollections paper with an aqua painter, which makes it oh-so-easy to achieve a nice and clean torn edge on the designer paper. The sentiment from the Designer Label punch box was stamped on very vanilla card stock in bravo burgundy ink and then punched out and popped up on a dimensional. The smaller flower and leaves were similarly popped up on a dimensional.

I think this turned out to be a very classy thank you card. Leave me a comment and let me know if you agree.

And if you want a chance to try out my stamps, stop by my house this Friday night for Bedlam -- my open stamping and scrapping night. You can find more details on the events page of my web site. See you there!

I just have to share

OK, I was only going to post one of my Fun Filled Sunday cards here, but I like this buckle gift card holder so much I just had to add it too. The base of the card is close to cocoa, stamped with the swirled background fromthe Fun Filled set in close to cocoa ink. The buckle is chocolate chip. The purse is stamped with chocolate chip ink on some of our new Au Chocolate double sided designer paper, available in the spring mini catalog.

Inside I punched tabs to hold the gift card with the slit punch. I also stamped two gift images which will be there after the gift card is removed. The gift card goes perfectly with the "I'd rather be shopping" sentiment on the front of the card. It's just the perfect card for any occasion!
If you like this card as much as I do, sign up for the Fun Filled Sunday class and make this along with 5 other cards using the Fun Filled set. See the events page of my web site for more details.