Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My swaps

It's been a while since I posted anything that I actually designed myself, so I thought this morning I would show you the swaps I took with me to Denver.

I was really short on time so I only took 90 swaps -- 30 of each card. That's not a lot compared to what some of my friends brought, but I was happy with the swaps I received in return and I took lots of photos of other samples so that I can be inspired at home via a computer slide show. I also purchased a copy of the "Art From The Heart" CD, which features a lot of the Convention displays projects. So overall I think my "strategy," such as it was, worked well.

I made this first card for an SCS organized Christmas card swap. This was rather time intensive, although in retrospect I think I made it more difficult than it needed to be. The base of the card is whisper white with a large night of navy mat that is embossed with three different snowflakes from the snow flurries set. The snowflakes were stamped with craft white ink, craft bashful blue ink and encore silver ink, and then heat embossed with clear embossing powder.

The central snowflake image from perfect presentations was stamped in bashful blue craft ink on whisper white card stock and embossed with clear embossing powder. I then used my night of navy marker and the emboss resist technique to color the actual snowflake and inserted a silver brad in the center. The image was then adhered to mats of night of navy, encore silver and bashful blue card stock, and adhered to the base with dimensionals.

The joy sentiment was stamped on whisper white card stock in encore silver ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. It was attached to a bashful blue mat and then adhered to the card base over a strip of narrow whisper white grosgrain ribbon with dimensionals.

The next card was stamped with the baroque motifs stamp set. i used close to cocoa ink to stamp the flourish image twice on the close to cocoa card base. I then used the close to cocoa ink to stamp the flowers and square medallion on the very vanilla strip and the cherish sentiment on another very vanilla strip. I used the direct to paper method to edge the sentiment and to stamp the round flowers in groovy guava ink on groovy guava card stock. I then punched just the centers of the flowers with the spring bouquet punch and attached the punched flowers onto the center of the images stamped in close to cocoa.
The last step was to mat the very vanilla strip with groovy guava and to use two way glue to add dazzling diamonds to the flowers.

For my final card i used the perfect presentations Level 2 hostess set. I first stamped the tree image onto very vanilla card stock using old olive ink and added a star at the top with more mustard ink. I added a mat of ruby red and a punched 1/2" circle in chocolate chip. I used the 1/4" circle punch to create a faux large eyelet and tied a piece of narrow more mustard grosgrain ribbon through the "eyelet".

I stamped the joy sentiment in ruby red ink on very vanilla card stock and the little snowflake randomly on the more mustard card base with more mustard ink. I tore an edge off a strip of chocolate chip card stock that I used as a mat and a narrow strip of old olive card stock which served as a mat for the sentiment. I then adhered the tree image to the base with dimensionals.

I know these cards are not exactly thrilling, but give the time constraints I was pretty happy with them and I hope the demos who swapped with me at convention were happy with them too.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lori's take on the last challenge

Sorry I was so lame and just couldn't finish the last challenge in the time allotted. But you all say Teresa's great cards and there was another player, Lori, who made two really cool cards using the Bud Basics Set. Lori posted both of her cards side by side, so you can check out the difference the color change makes.

I must admit that I tend to veer towards the earth element color family myself, so while I think the bold brights card is pretty, I really love Lori's second card. It's just gorgeous, and not the designer paper Lori used as a mat. Both cards are awesome -- check them out and leave Lori some nice kudos both for her fantastic cards and for her ability to finish what turned out to be quite a difficult challenge!

Sunday Morning Challenge

I feel like I've lost a little bit of my credibility with these challenges a little, since I didn't even have the time to complete my own challenge from 2 weeks ago. But I promised I would post today, so here it it. I created what I hope will be a fun layout and used rules that will limit supplies but not to the point where the challenge is impossible -- there's still a lot of room for creativity.

You can see that besides the base of the card and the layered main image, there are three layers on the card with jagged edges. Those edges are meant to indicate either tearing, distressing, or any other interesting edge technique (so the edges on your card can be straight, just as long as you're featuring some interesting edging technique).
You can use up to 2 current Stampin' Up! stamps sets, including sentiments and backgrounds, so choose wisely.
Your color selections are fairly liberal. You can use any colors from up to 2 of Stampin' Up!'s current color families (including the new in-colors) plus up to 2 neutrals.
You have two weeks to play with this sketch because next Sunday I will be in Colorado and may not be able to post. Plus I probably won't have a chance to tackle this challenge myself until I return from Colorado. Please post links to your creations in the comments to this post. Because I will probably have only sporadic e-mail access, if that, over the next couple of weeks, if you e-mail me your creations to stampwithdiane@comcast.net I will upload those cards towards the end of the challenge period. Enjoy!


Isn't this card adorable? This was one of the cards I made at stamp camp this morning. We used a new set called Priceless. The butterfly is actually stamped twice --once on the card and another time on a separate piece of paper so it can be trimmed out and attached over the original butter fly for a more 3-d effect. Really cute! The colors are super too -- I must remember to make a card using this color combo!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm on a roll

Yes, I'm still paying with my block party set. This set was exactly what I needed right now. I'm so swamped with swaps and getting ready for a party I'm hosting tomorrow that I have not time for elaborate detailed cards, so this is right up my alley. Today I decided to use my other favorite coloring medium -- stampin' write markers. I combined the markers with one of my favorite color combos and came up with this little card. Just the party stamp on a couple of mats with a ribbon accent and then the cake from the Voila set stamped on the side in tempting turquoise. I guess some people would say that inking up a stamp with markers is a lot of work, but it really took almost no time at all. So have I convinced you to order this set yet?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

So Loving My Block Party

As Hannibal used to say on the A-Team back in the 80s- I love it when a plan comes together! I just knew that this set would be my perfect workshop set and tonight proved it. Check out this card -- cute, quick and simple. A perfect party card. And it uses one of my favorite Stampin' Up! products -- stampin' pastels. I used the poppin' pastels technique on both the main image and the background. On the main image I combined pastels in old olive, more mustard and ruby red to create a rainbow effect. On the background I used just the old olive to create a tone on tone look that is just slightly more prominent than versamark alone. And did you notice that I even used the same stamp for the background? I just stamped it several times, stamping off at different intervals so that it would look "tiled" I like the photo corners but I think they might be too big. No problem -- the photo corner punch gives me corners in two different sizes, so next time I'll just use the smaller corners.

I like this card so much I might keep working on it and make it into a swap for convention. I will probably use a different background, just to save a little time, and I might add something to the corners, but I think this is a good start. How about you?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Great Night for a Block Party!

Nope, not the kind of block party with an inflatable castle and lots of neighbors -- the kind of block party you trim and mount -- as in new stamps! And, better yet, FREE new stamps! Yippee!

Earlier today I received the Block Party set from Stampin' Up! -- this was my selection of a free set I earned for meeting the criteria of the consistency counts promotion. I fell in love with this set from the moment I saw it in the catalog and I simply had to have it, so how cool is it that I was able to get it right away without paying a dime? Did I mention that I love being an SU demo? Yup, sure do! And clearly SU loves me right back! Ha!

I didn't have a lot of time to play with this set tonight -- way too much other stuff to do -- but just as I thought when I first saw this sample in the catalog -- this card was a snap to make. Yes, I copied it directly from the catalog and only changed a couple of things to suit my personal style and supplies.

I didn't have the polka dot ribbon from the ribbon originals collection yet, so I substituted the purely pomegranate double stitched grosgrain ribbon. I also changed the dimensions of the card a little. The sample in the catalog is a 3x6" card, with the circle scallops hanging over the side. Well, I wasn't too crazy about the hanging over part, so the front of my card is 6x2.5" and the scallops reach to the edge of the back of the card which is 6x3.

This card came together in just about 5 minutes and I will be using different variations of it at many of my fall workshops. So what do you think? Do you love this set as much as I do?

Monday, July 16, 2007

By Popular Request -- Flip Book Tutorial

First of all, I want to remind everyone that I did not come up with this project, so I take absolutely no credit for the creativity that it took to be its first inventor. I merely found the directions on SCS and modified them only slightly in the way I attach the ribbon closure. So I'm sure if you were to do a search on SCS or even on the world wide web, you would find lots of places that list the instructions or have tutorials for this little project. But since I post these so often and so many people ask me for directions, I thought I would do a quick tutorial. Many thanks to my DH Bill, who served as the photographer (which made the whole thing go a lot faster than it does when I try to demonstrate and take pictures at the same time).

For the base/skeleton of the flip book (which is the only subject of this tutorial) you will need: paper cutter, paper scorer, sticky strip double sided adhesive, ribbon (I used certainly celery narrow grosgrain), and 3 sheets of 12x12 card stock, 2 sheets of 1 color and 1 sheet of another coordinating color. The 1 sheet will be the cover of the book.

Start by taking one of the 2 sheets of 12x12 card stock that are the same color and cut it in half into two 6x12" pieces. Set one aside.

Trim the remaining piece lengthwise by 1/4" so that you have a 5.75x12 piece of CS. From the other 12x12 piece of the same color card stock, cut 2 pieces each measuring 5.75x12".

Take all 4 pieces of card stock you just cut and score all of them at 3" from each end. If you look at the close-up you will see that I like to position my card stock just slightly to the right of the 3" mark before I score.

Fold each piece of 5.75" card stock along the score lines and put them in a row like you see in this picture. You will be attaching the 3x5.75" edges to form a long strip.

Use sticky strip along one 3x5.75" panel, peel the red tape off and adhere it to another panel. be sure that all the edges are exactly aligned.
Repeat with another 3x5.75" panel. You should now have a long chain of card stock, with 2 3x5.75" pieces forming a "gate" in the center.

Take the other piece of 12x12" card stock and cut it into 4 squares, each measuring 5.75x5.75"

Take the 12x6" piece of the first color card stock and score it at 2.75" from each edge so that there is a 1/4" "spine" on each side.

Fold the card stock along the score lines. It's profile should look like this picture.

Use sticky strip on 1/2 of one of the 5.75" squares of contrasting color card stock. Peel the red tape and adhere the square to one of the 2.75x5.75" panels, making sure to leave an even 1/8" margin all around the three visible contrasting sides. Repeat on the other side. Use sticky strip to cover the entire perimeter of another 5.75" square and adhere it to one of the other contracting color squares so that the overlap over the yellow "flap completely. Do not adhere the last square yet.

Close the flip book and wrap a length of ribbon around it to make sure there is enough ribbon to tie a bow closure. Cut ribbon with your snips.

Use sticky strip to adhere ribbon to cover where the last square had not been adhered yet. This will be the front of the flip book. Add sticky strip all around the perimeter, peel the red tape and adhere the last 5.75" square so that it directly overlaps the other 5.75" square.

Open the flip book and stretch out the ribbon along the outside of the cover so that it lays flat. Use snips to mark a point right above and below where the ribbon falls on the 6x6 panel of the first color. I prefer to do this on top of my fiskars trimmer to make sure I don't scratch the surfaces below. You can also use your paper piercer or hobby blade for this task.

Move the ribbon out of the way and using your snips (Or hobby blade or cutting blade on the cutter kit) cut a line between the two points on each side of the 6x6 panel.

Use the points of your snips to push in just enough ribbon into the slot to enable you to grab it from the inside and pull it all the way through. Repeat on other side. You may prefer to use a stylus for this task as its tip is not as sharp.

the inside of the book should now have the ribbon running through it and coming out the other side in the back. Add sticky strip all along the perimeter. I also like to use a small piece of sticky strip to keep the ribbon in place in the center. Peel the red tape and adhere the long strip of the first color of card stock so that the center panel of the long strip is centered on the center panel of the book cover.

The profile of the flip book should now look like this.

When you close the book and tie the closure it should look like this photo. That's it -- the flip book is now ready for you to decorate as you wish!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. It came at the expense of my Convention swaps, but that's how much I love my readers!
Besides, I didn't have much time for swaps tonight anyway -- we spent most of the evening at best Buy returning our wireless router, buying a new router and hiring some geeks from the geek squad. That's right -- I am no longer willing to spend hours of my time trying to money with network setup. So now the geeks will be invading our home in August (that's the earliest date we could find when they were available and we would be home) and doing the installation for us. They're not cheap, but if they save me another week of of misery they will be worth their weight in gold!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Grr- Part 2

In the spirit of nothing ever going smoothly, I now have my camera but my access to the internet is sporadic at best due to the continuous crashing of my wired and wireless network. I think it's time to face the truth that, at least in the near term, my dream of being able to work on the computer in the stamp room is not going to be realized. With everything else that is going on right now I just do not have the time to spend hours every night trying to fix connectivity problems. So the router and wireless card are going back to BestBuy tomorrow and I'm giving up. Happy Birthday to me!

Of course, all the time I wasted on this stupid stuff meant that I didn't spend any time stamping. So since I don't have any new things to show you, here is a card I stamped last month when I first got the Pick-A-Petal set. The card is based on a design by Scrapbookgirl44 from SCS. I used different colors (purely pomegranate and blush blossom) and a different greeting, but the layout and images are basically the same as on her card. For the polka dot center I simply stamped the polka dot petal in blush blossom ink on whisper white card stock and then used the 3/4" circle punch to punch out the center. At the time I made the card I didn't have any of the double stitched in-lcolor grosgrain ribbon but I felt I needed a ribbon for a little bit of interest, so I improvised by using my blush blossom stampin' write marker to dye white grosgrain ribbon. I was very pleased with the final result and hope you enjoy it too.

A new little something

Later today (I can't believe it's Sunday already!) I will be attending a friend's' baby shower. She just recently gave birth to two little girls. I wanted to make her something very personal and special as part of the gift, so I made her a flip book.

I won't bother showing you every page, because you've seen plenty of these on this blog already, but I thought I'd show you the cover and a couple of pictures of the inside. I'm really happy with how it came out, especially with the double stitched grosgrain ribbon stem and leaves on the cover.

To make this flip book I used the Special Delivery Girl Simply Scrappin' Kit. Pretty much everything I needed to make the book (actually, to make up to 2 books) was included in the kit. I only added some ribbon and a couple of brads. I also used a couple of our brand new punches -- the scalloped circle punch on the "flower" on the cover and the 5 petal flower punch to make the flowers that help keep closed the little "file folders" that will hold the journaling notes.

All of the other card stock, designer papers and adhesive die cuts came from the kit. And I have to say I really like this kit, and not just for baby girls. While the kit is clearly intended for scrapping baby girl photos, the fact that the colors are not necessarily traditional baby colors and that the adhesive die cuts are not all geared towards babies makes it possible to use this kit for other occasions as well.

Each Stampin' Up! Simply Scrappin kit kit includes 2 sheets each of 3 different designs of adhesive die cuts, which was also for this project, because it allowed me to create identical little data pages for each twin. Note also that on the front cover, where the adhesive die cut that is used for the center of the flower normally says girl, I actually changed it to say girls. This was my friend Jojo's brilliant idea -- she suggested that I simply use the Signo white gel pen to write in the letter "s" at the end of the world girl. I did that, but the "s" seemed a little disjointed, so I solved that problem by outlining all the other letters in the white gel pen as well. Now you can't even tell that the word "girls" wasn't there from the beginning.

So did you notice anything else about tonight's project post? How about the photos? Yup --I have a new camera! Yay! This means that tomorrow I will be able to finally start sending e-mails to the GiftRAK whiners and also that I will no longer have to upload "flat" images to the blog. It also means that I am assured of being able to take lots and lots of photos at Convention, which I will be able to share with you upon my return. I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


EDITED To take out all the negative vibes!

OK -- sometimes you do something when you're frustrated that you end up regretting later -- like my post from last night. The good news? I can erase the post from last night and write another one. So this morning I decided that I would take a few minutes to monkey around with the computer and figure out if I can fix what was wrong with the connection. And I think I did it. For some reason my dial-up modem kept trying to trigger a connection and I think it was interfering with the cable modem. So I disabled it and now everything seems to be working. In the words of Kids in the Hall: "We're safe, but for how long?"

So now you can see the card I made last night -- the first card of the Sunday Morning challenge. I'm still frustrated that the Idea Book and Catalog listed the wrong color in the recipe for this card, because I do think it would look much better with regal rose instead of pretty in pink, and I'm even more frustrated with myself for not listening to my own instincts to ignore the recipe, but it is what it is. It's not a horrible card, just a little washed out. I do like the rhinestone brad, though -- a nice bit of bling!

I will try to rehabilitate this card with my second different color combo on Thursday. I have high hopes! Remember, the challenge is just to change the colors, so the layout and the stamps will stay the same. Now I'm really curious to see what will happen, Aren't you?

And if you go to leave a comment and can't understand the first two don't worry -- they were posted before I completely revised this entry. Happy Wednesday everyone! Tonight I get to go see the new Harry Potter movie and maybe meet the twins who play Fred and George, who will be at the theater. Woo Hoo!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Taken with Baroque

This was another card I worked on this weekend. The layout for this card was inspired by a swap I received from Jen back in December of 2006. She had used this layout and colors to create a card with the Like it a Latte set, and I shamelessly copied her card for make and takes at several workshops during this year's Sell-A-Bration.

I kept the extra card packets in the hope that the set would make a triumphant come back in the Fall-Winter collection, but that was not to be. Still, I had all these card packets made up, so I thought surely I could come up with an alternate design using the same layout. And here is what I came up with, using the Baroque Motifs set.

I know it's hard to tell from the scan (nope still no camera -- even though I really tried to get one this weekend I just could not find one I liked in the price range I'm comfortable with), but I added a little bit of Dazzling Diamonds glitter to the centers of the close to cocoa flowers and to the outer "teardrops" of the center medallion. I think it turned out pretty well. Thanks Jen for designing a card that keeps on giving!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sunday Morning Challenge

Edited to Add: Congratulations Charlotte from Pensacola -- You got the right card! E-mail me your snail mail address at stampwithdiane@comcast.net and the vases in vogue card will be on its way! Isn't it fun to browse though the older idea books? Some of the stamp sets may be retired, but the layouts, color combinations, ways to use embellishments, etc. are still applicable and a fantastic source of inspiration.

So if you go to Page 83 in the 2005-2006 Idea Book and Catalog you can see Stampin' Up!'s take on this card! Check it out and then do today's challenge using a current set!

Today's challenge is a wholesale CASE of one of the layouts from one of the older Stampin' Up! Idea Books -- if you know the year and page of the catalog post it in the comment here and I will send the first person who has the correct answer my Vases in Vogue card. I'll even trite on a post-it so the card is re-usable! I know it's not a very rich prize, but this is just for fun!

Anyway, the whole goal of the challenge is to create something and then re-create virtually the same thing with different colors to see the difference. So this week we'll be making 2 cards. You can choose any current SU sets and can use any techniques or use any embellishment that you can do using stuff from the current SU catalog. On the first card the colors will be Pretty in Pink, Tempting Turquoise, gable green and whisper white. On the second card, which will use exactly the same stamps, techniques, embellishments and layout, you will use your favorite combination of 4 Stampin' Up! current colors, in colors, neutrals or specialty papers (brushed silver etc.)

I'm really looking forward to this challenge, to see how big of an impact a simple color change can make, leaving everything else the same. I hope some of you will play along! If you upload a challenge card please leave a ling in a comment to this post or e-mail me a photo or scan of your card and I will upload it here. Have fun!

Saturday, July 7, 2007


"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
Tell the truth now -- do you know the meaning of the word Serendipity? Until today I sure didn't. Mind you, I had an idea of what it meant from the context I had heard it used in, and failure to know the exact definition didn't exactly stop me from using it it my speech, but I didn't know the real meaning until I decided that it would be the title of my post tonight and thought I should probably be darn sure it meant what I thought it meant before I made myself look like a total idiot.
The good news? I wasn't totally off base. The bad news? I wasn't right on target either. Apparently the definition of serendipity is "good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries." Well, OK. Honestly, I thought it was more like a fortunate coincidence, but at least I knew the fortunate part, right? Oh well. You learn something new every day.
But the real good news is that the word still works as a title to this post, because my discussion of the Level 1 hostess sets yesterday led me to the discovery of this layout, which I mentioned I wanted to case, and that was fortunate because today's limited supplies challenge on SCS was to CASE a layout from the new catalog. So I didn't have to think about it at all -- I knew exactly the layout I wanted to CASE.
And here it it -- Card B from page 17 but with a different stamp set (Double Line Doodle instead of Event Full) and different colors (I used barely banana, not quite navy and purely pomegranate, thought he last did not scan so well). I followed the layout pretty closely but I chose not to use the brads (because they would have been visible on the inside of the card and I don't care for that) or the staple (because I think regular staples on cards are often just too stark). I know the scanner kind of washed out this card, but it looks really nice in real life!
I know I promised my reflections on the other hostess sets tonight, but it was a late stamping evening. But I'll be back tomorrow with more of my ramblings, so take cover!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fun with Chipboard

Last weekend one of my goals was to create some projects for a chipboard class I'm planning for August. I wanted to use not just the chipboard, but also my new stamp sets and my new heat and stick powder. I purchased the heat and stick powder because Julie, a fellow demo, did an awesome technique using the powder and dazzling diamonds glitter. For a long while now I wanted to cover the large heart piece from On Board Accents with the romantic red glitter, but I didn't want to use the 2 way glue or crustal effects. I knew heat and stick powder was the answer, but I always forgot to order it. Well, once Julie showed off her technique I put it at the top of my list, so now I'm a proud heat and stick powder owner.
For this card i went totally overboard with the glitz. Both the heart and the sentiment frame are covered with romantic red red glitter. The sentiment is heat embossed in black and the flourish in the background is embossed with iridescent ice, so it shimmers beautifully. to top it all off, I attached the sentiment frame with some of our new round rhinestone brads from the fire collection.
My DH and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary this August, so I kind of see it as my anniversary card to me. (The one I'll make for my DH will be slightly more masculine -- LOL!)
And I know what you're thinking -- I posted a photo and not a scan. But it's not good news because I took this photo on Saturday right before the camera died. So I'm still without the ability to photograph.. Hopefully that will be remedied this weekend.

New GiftRAK winners!

As promised, here is a list of this round's winners, in the order they get to select their gifts. Woo Hoo!

1. Rachel M, who posted a comment on June 22
2. mands****y@comcast.net
3. A****l@comcast.net
4. Tammy, who posted a comment on June 11.

For the subscribers I already have their e-mail addresses (redacted here to protect their privacy). Since I do not have the commenter's e-mail, I will need Rachel M. and Tammy to contact me at stampwithdiane@comcast.net. Then, as soon as I have a camera and can take some photos, I will e-mail you your choice of gifts, starting with Rachel.

Congrats everyone but bear with me please, it may take a little while. So far my research has not led me to a camera I like, and I'm actually contemplating buying the same model off e-bay. I'm familiar with it and like it, and it's perfect for my needs. I'm just a little reluctant to trust e-bay to come through a working camera for me. What do you think? I could use some advice (keeping in mind that a latest and greatest camera with all the bells and whistles is not in the budget right now)!

Thanks again everyone for supporting me and the blog! Thanks to you I have a blast posting. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail with any suggestions on how I could improve the blog. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Does this card look familiar? If you're a long-time regular reader you might recall my card from the March Chicagoland Shoebox swap. I had a few packets of card stock already cut up for that card, but since both the In Full Bloom set and the square steps corner pocket punch are now retired (snif , snif , snif) I figured I needed to do something dirrefent with the pieces. Since I stil only have the one sample with the Double Line Doodle set, I figured that was the right set to use. And you know what, I might have been right. Becasue the card turned out really cute! In fact, with a little sprucing up, it might just be a workshop card some day!

Becasue the card stock awas already cut, I followed the same theory I used on the last card -- no black ink. The three color pannels are each stamped tone on tone with matching ink. Then, in the main panel, I used all of the coordinating inks. It's a super simple card, perfect for beginner stampers!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A couple more challenge cards.

The first card today comes from Teresa, and let me announce it publicly right now, I will definitely be CASEing this card! (I hope you don't mind, Teresa, because I really like it, but of course if you do mind just let me know and I will restrain myself!) Teresa used just two stamps form the Baroque Motifs set, but boy did she make an impact! She stamped the square medallion in chocolate chip and really rust for her main image, along with the cherish sentiment, and then she used the same square medallion in a tone on tone fashion to create a nice, soft background on the sage shadow layer. And is that a new ice rhinestone brad adorning the center of the slit closure? It looks fabulous! Check out Teresa's card here and make sure you gush appropriately in your comments!

And this is my second challenge card, stamped with the vases in vogue set. It's very, very simple, but I knew I would have to scan it so I didn't want to add a lot of hardware or dimension. the dots on the sage shadow layer were taken from the vase -- I just colored the stamp with my sage shadow marker, making sure not to ink the vase outline. The background on the chocolate chip layer is made with the same flower stamp as I used in the main image. This time I used the large and small oval punches to cover the slit closure. It won't win any art contests, but I've certainly stamped worse. More catalog musings and a list of GiftRAK winners will be posted tomorrow. And if things go well maybe I can get a camera to morrow as well. Cross your fingers for me!

Monday, July 2, 2007

A Visual Feast

Today I went to see a play with my friend Wende and I will talk more about that in a sec, but first I want to give props to my buddy Nancy Chassee, who stamped this gorgeous card for my Sunday Mornign challenge. Nancy used the Serene Sunflower set for her sage shadow background and the bee on the "closure" and the Touch of Nature set for the main image. She also used the spotlighting technique on the main image, which is such a fantastic technique but one that I have been afraid to try. I guess I'm just always afraid that i will not be able to lne things up properly, whcih I know is silly. But this card by Nancy may just have inspired me for good. Thanks for playing Nancy, adn thanks for the inspiration.

If you love this card as much as I do, be sure to leave Nancy a comment on this post! And there's still pleanty of time for other people to participate. I know the layout and colors are a little unconventional, but I think once you try them you will be glad you did!

So now for more news about the play. Wende, a fellow demonstrator who last week earned the Stampin' Up! incentive cruise to Bermuda -- Woo Hoo! -- has a wonderful husband who scored us free tickets for the opening night of the Mary Zimmerman play "Mirror to the invisible World", now playing at the Goodman Theater in Chicago. I was so excited about this! I really love Mary Zimmerman -- she is a fantastic director who really knows how to stage a production! How can I describe her plays in stamping terms? Well, they're kind of like cards by Waxyo (Meg Shumaker) and Markie's Mom (Faith Hofrichter) -- full of layers and layers of visually stunning details.

This play, like every other Mary Zimmerman play I've ever seen, was a feast for the senses. The set was gorgeous, the costumes were sumptuous, and even the music was fantastic! The play was a bit bawdy. It was adapted from an obscure poem about a prince who marries seven wives and pends each day of the week with a different wife as the wome regale him with stories. There are a lot of sexual references and innuendos, and my favorite line by far had to be "how can my unskilled tongue give you pleasure" delivered by a princess before she began her story. What a perfect double entendre! becasue the cast was made up of seven women and one man, the women played a lot of male roles as the stories unfolded. Wende and I both came to the conclusion that the play would have worked better if the women had been slightly more masculine when playign the male parts, but this was a minor flaw in this great, funny, and at times abit strange play. Overall I would highly recommend this production, even if you go for no other reasons than to see the set and costumes. It was a fantastic evening -- thanks Dave and Wende!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Who would have thunk it?

If a few months ago anyone would have told me that I would some day love to use sage shadow or a doodle set, and especially in combination, I would have recommended that they check their temperature. Until very recently sage shadow was one of my least favorite colors. I had convinced myself that it didn't go with anything and I was incapable of incorporating it into my cards. And then, slowly, things started to change.

First Stampin' Up! released the Enchante double sided designer paper in the winter mini catalog, and suddenly I found that pale plum, prefect plum, certainly celery and sage shadow went really well together. Then a color challenge on SCS showed me that sage shadow works well with real red and basic black. Then Trina, one of Jen's friends, pointed out that sage shadow went really well with the new soft sky and blue bayou in colors and sure enough, she was right. And now this -- Stampin' Up! pairing sage shadow with really rust (one of my favorite colors) and shades of brown in the new Boho West collection. WOW! I guess sometimes I'm really slow, but I'm sold! Sage shadow just became my new BFF (or at least until I "discover" another hidden gem color).

So needless to say when I started thinking about my challenge card I was excited about the color combo, but I didn't know which Stampin' Up! sets I wanted to use. When I came into my stamp room my eye fell on a sample stamped with the Double line Doodle set, and I started feeling very guilty.
You see, Double Line Doodles has been a silent and unused resident of the stamp room since last August, when I received it while attending the Stampin' Up! Chicago Regionals. At the time the doodle trend was just beginning, and everyone was excited to know that we could look forward to seeing this set in the new idea book and catalog. Everyone except me, that is.
You see, I've never been a doodler, and so this set just didn't appeal to me. So I tucked it and the samples we stamped at Regionals away in a drawer and forgot about it until very recently.

When I was getting ready for the launch of the new catalog I took the stamp set out and looked at it again with fresh eyes. And I found that my tastes have changed, or maybe it was the context that had changed. Looking at the set now I find it really cute. I love the paisley stamp and all the flowers and I even like the funky bird. But even though I now liked the set, I still didn't stamp with it because I was so in love with my other new sets! So when I walked into the stamp room today I knew that this was it -- this was the day I would design my first card using double line doodles!

I turned the challenge set 90 degrees so that the card was vertical instead of horizontal. I started with a 4.25x5.5" piece of sage shadow as a base, which I sponged with really rust. I layered a piece of 4x5.25" of chocolate chip card stock on top. I then used a 3.75x8.5" piece of really rust card stock, punched a at one of the short edges and folded the card so that the edge fir perfectly under the slit. I unfolded the card and stamped the paisley stamp as a background in really rust ink just on the flap. I then re-folded the card and stamped the "I Just Love You" sentiment on the really rust piece of card stock showing underneath the flap in chocolate chip ink.
I stamped the small flower on sage shadow card stock in chocolate chip ink and punched it out with a 3/4" circle punch. I adhered it over the slit and secured it with a vintage brad. I then adhered the whole really rust piece to the base.

For the main image I took a piece of sage shadow card stock and sponged the edges using chocolate chip ink. I then stamped three flowers and corresponding stems on a piece of very vanilla card stock in chocolate chip ink and colored them in using stampin' pastels and my blender pen. I sponged the edges with really rust ink and added three brads in the upper left hand corner. I adhered the image to the sage shadow mat and adhered the whole thing to the really rust flap.

If the image you see at the beginning of this post seems really flat, that's because the camera is still dead and we haven't had time to get a new one, so my only recourse is to use the scanner. Sorry about that! But I still think the card came out cute, so let's hear it for Boho West, sage shadow and Double Line Doodles! Woo Hoo!

Sunday Morning challenge

Happy New Year! Stampin' Up! New year, that is. The retirement list is last year's news as are all the stamps that were on it. It is now officially July 1 and the new catalog is ready for action! Woo Hoo!
In honor of the new catalog, I decided to use the colors that Stampin' Up! chose to coordiante with the new boho west like of products. I never thought of myself as either western or bohemian, but I have to admit I love this collection. There's something about the colors, shapes and images that really appeals to me! Hope you will feel the same way too!
The layout is actually one I used very recently on one of my cards which you can see here. Obviously the colors are not right for this challenge, but it will give you an idea of what the layout is like in real life.
The colors are Chocolate chip, real rust, sage shadow and very vanilla. MMMMM, I love this combination just thinking about it, and even more looking at the sample card on page 4 of the Fall/Winter 2007 Collection.
The stamp sets must be current Stampin' Up! sets, which means they must be listed in the Fall/Winter 2007 collection. If you do not have a catalog and are not sure which stamps sets made it in, click on the catalog link in the right hand column. You may use up to 2 sets.
The techniques and embellishmetns are a little limited this time. You may use any type of stitching (real or faux), brads, eyelets, paper piercing, twill or ivory/vanilla grosgrain ribbon, punches, sponging , direct to paper and faux suade. I think this is the first time I realy limited the techniques and embellishments, but I'm confident that you all will be jsut fine even with these limitations.
There you go -- hope you have fun with this challenge!