Sunday, September 30, 2007

I just love pockets!

I just love pockets! I don't know why. Maybe because for some reasons women's clothing designers never put pockets in our clothes, creating massive pocket envy? Hmm. Maybe I'm getting too analytical?

In any case, there's just something fun about being able to pull something out of a compartment, be it on clothing, a card or a scrap book. So this month the theme for my technique classes is Pick A Pocket and we'll be exploring the different ways we can incorporate pockets in our cards and scrap books.

In connection with the October technique theme, I thought I'd show you a pocket card I stamped this weekend. This card may be one of the cards we'll stamp at our Christmas stamp a stack this month, although the final selection has not been made yet. But it is cute, so I wanted to share it anyway.

It's just a basic straightforward single pocket card stamped on confetti cream card stock with the It's Snow Time set. The card was super easy. All of the images were stamped with basic black and colored in using the stampin' write markers in Always Artichoke and Ruby Red (plus some close to cocoa for the tree trunks and pumpkin pie for the snow men's noses). I stamped the Happy Holidays sentiment in Ruby Red and accented the card with Ruby Red brads.

I stamped the inside sentiment with Always Artichoke and added a ruby red and always artichoke mats plus some always artichoke grosgrain ribbon for an accent.

I really love how simple and quick this card was to put together and I can imagine the recipient using the insert after the holidays are over as a bookmark, so it's kind of like a card and a gift at the same time! So much fun!

If you would like to stamp your Christmas cards this year but are stuck for ideas feel free to contact me. I would love to help you design a card that's easy to reproduce so that you can impress everyone on your list by sending them a hand-stamped masterpiece. And if you like to send picture in your cards don't worry -- we can create a design that will work great with your photo!

As a bonus service, if you purchase your stamping supplies for your Christmas card design from me I will cut your card stock to fit your design and ship it to you you at no additional charge (other than the initial shipping fee from Stampin' Up!), making your card project that much easier! Don't miss this opportunity to maximize your holiday stamping time and minimize the prep time -- contact me to create your custom holiday card design today!

Friday, September 28, 2007

How Apropos

In case you never read down that far in the sidebar, the quote for today (Saturday) is:

"Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.Gilbert Chesterton(1874-1936)"
I'm not sure I agree with Mr. Chesterton about the frame, but the part about art consisting of limitation sure reads true just as I'm about to show you a card I stamped yesterday for a limited supplies challenge on SCS. The challenge was to use a Halloween stamp set with a non-Halloween sentiment. What a great challenge! At first nothing came to mind, until I realized that the house from Home is where the haunt is isn't necessarily have to be haunted. What if it was just a handyman's special and someone with the right skills moved in?
SO i used my stampin' write markers to create a creamy caramel sided house with a close to cocoa roof and a ruby red chimney. After I stamped the house I used my more mustard marker to add curtains and my ruby red marker to color the door. I added a chocolate chip and ruby red fence and some trees which, with the aid of garden green and ruby red markers and some sponging turned in to apple trees. I matted the image on garden green card stock and adhered it to a creamy caramel base which I first stamped with the sanded background in creamy caramel ink. I added the "just moved" sentiment from loads of love accessories stamped with chocolate chip on a petite tag, sponged the tag with garden green and more mustard and matted it with ruby red. I added some caramel gingham ribbon and I was done.
So what do you think? Pretty nice home in move-in condition, right? You'd never think of this place as haunted :-)

Regionals swap cards

Today was the day of the Stampin' up! regionals meeting in Orlando, FL and my new team member Jill was able to attend. We literally got her a ticket at the last possible minute, before she was even officially a demonstrator, and I'm so glad we did because when we tried to find a ticket for her new downline later on we just were not able to do so.

I really wanted to go to the meeting with Jill, because I had so much fun going to my first regional meeting with my upline, Jen, but unfortunately I just could not justify the cost of travel to Florida. But I wanted Jill to have the whole SU meeting experience, including swapping, and since she is so new I knew she probably would not have had the time or materials to make swaps herself, so I stamped 24 swaps for her and 24 more swaps which Jill could swap out for Nancy. I thought this not only would give Jill a chance to participate in the swapping experience, it would also give her and Nancy some great samples to show their new customers!

The first batch of swaps were made using the pullin' pastels technique and the spooky skyline wheel along with some creepy crawly designer paper, the new scalloped punch and the batty for you set. The pullin' pastels part of the card doesn't show up great in this picture -- it looks better in real life.

The second batch of swaps was made with pieces of the Autumn Fest one sheet wonder (see my posts earlier this month for a more detailed description) as well as the textured jumbo wheel, everyday flexible phrases, the designer label punch and the new wide chocolate chip grosgrain.

I already heard from Jill tonight and know she had a great time at the meeting, made some new friends, and had a good time swapping. I can't wait to see her photos and to hear all about her regionals experience on Sunday, during our first ever Stamp with Diane team teleconference! It's all just so darned exciting! Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's September 26 -- Do you know where your hostess sets are?

If they are still in the catalog instead of in your stamp room, for goodness' sake do something about it now!

I don't mean to alarm anyone, but September is almost over, which means that there are only three months left to earn all of the absolutely awesome hostess sets from this year's Fall-Winter collection before they're gone forever! That's right, in case you didn't realize, all of the hostess sets in this collection will retire on January 1. And since the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's are notoriously difficult for hosting any direct sales parties, practically speaking you really have less than 2 months to book a party with your demo so you can own some of these beauties. So don't delay, book your party ASAP before all of the good days are snapped up!

Why do you need these hostess sets? Because it's so easy to make fantastic quick cards with them, of course! Check out this card I stamped using the Oh So Lovely and So Many sayings -- both level 1 current hostess sets.

The card base is going gray and I added a strip of the celery prints double sided designer series paper for interest. I used pale plum to stamp the background texture from the Oh So Lovely set on a panel of whisper white card stock. I stamped the main image with basic gray and water colored it using an aquapainter with perfect plum and certainly celery inks.

I added a perfect plum mat to the image and adhered the image to the card front. I punched a large oval from certainly celery card stock and stamped the sentiment from so many saying in perfect plum on pale plum card stock. I punched it out with the word window punch and adhered it to the large oval, which I attached to the card front with a dimensional.

And there yo have it, a lovely little card with minimal effort. Even the water coloring was easy, thanks to the basic gray ink. It really is the perfect ink for water coloring! It's softer than basic black, yet still dark enough to see the outline after it is water colored. I love it!

Joyful stamping

Tonight I had a great time stamping with the Season of Joy stamp set from the holiday mini collection. If you read my mini collection impressions you may recall that at first I didn't really like this set, but when I saw what other stampers had done with it I fell in love! Thanks to my friend Sara, who let me borrow the set for a couple of days, I was able to confirm for myself that I absolutely, positively must own Season of Joy! It really is just as fun and versatile as I thought it would be.

I spent a lot of time this evening CASEing cards designed by other stampers, but I came up with a couple of original designs as well. This first one is in shades of blue and silver, which I absolutely love! The base of the card is bashful blue and it was stamped with the larger flower image in versamark. The silver strip was stamped in versamark with the snowflake image and embossed with silver embossing powder. The central image was stamped on silver with night of navy craft ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. Both the main image and the strip were matted with night of navy card stock and the main image was adhered with dimensionals. It's not a complicated card, but it looks really pretty in real life.

Next I wanted to create a card with this set that had nothing to do with Christmas or even winter. I started with the flourish stamp, inked it up with certainly celery ink and stamped a boarder around a 3.75x5" main panel of whisper white. I added the birthday sentiment from Sincere Salutations to the center of the panel, stamped in purely pomegranate. I then added a bunch of the little flowers stamped in pretty in pink. I stamped the large flowers in purely pomegranate onto pretty in pink card stock, trimmed them out by hand and adhered them in the corners of the main panel with dimensionals. I then added a purely pomegranate mat and adhered the whole thing to a pretty in pink card base. And there you have it -- an everyday card made with Season of Joy!

I could have stopped there, and may be should have, but I got the idea to add glitter to the large flowers. I painted the petals and centers with 2-way glue and covered everything with dazzling diamonds stampin' glitter. And here is the final product. What do you think? I like the sparkle but I also like the color intensity of the flowers stamped in the purely pomegranate ink when it's not muted by glitter. Either way, though, I love how fun it was to put this card together and how the design can be used for just about any occasion. Needless to say, Season of Joy will be making its was onto my next order :-).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lovely thank you

This was a fun card to stamp. When I started out tonight I was going to stamp a Christmas card, so I took out the Real red, certainly celery and river rock card stock. But as I was looking for an appropriate Christmas set, the "Oh So Lovely" level 1 hostess set caught my eye, and I decided to stamp with it instead.

I first used river rock ink and the texture stamp to create a background on the river rock card front and on the whisper white strip. I then stamped the poppy in basic gray classic ink, wanting a slightly softer outline than I would get with basic black. I grabbed my aquapainter and colored the flower in real red and the stem in certainly celery.
For the sentiment I first punched the back out of real red card stock with the designer label punch. I added a 1" circle punched out of certainly celery. I stamped the thank you sentiment from the vases in vogue set on whisper white card stock and punched it out with the 3/4" circle punch. I used the horizontal slot punch to make slits for the river rock double sided grosgrain ribbon and secured the ribbon using real red brads. This last part was a little tricky. I started with one brad in place, then figured out how much ribbon I would need, carefully slipped the sentiment medallion off the main image and secured the second brad, then slipped the whole thing back on and secured the image to the card base.
My friend Lisa e-mailed me tonight and mentioned that lately she has not been feeling particularly creative with her stamping, and I know when I'm in a funk nothing gets me going line a challenge, so here's a challenge for Lisa and everyone else out there as well. Take an element of this card and create your own card with that element. It could be anything. Maybe you want to use the color combination, maybe the layout, or maybe you'd like to duplicate the way I added the sentiment. Or maybe you'd like to use all three elements just with different stamp sets. Whatever you choose, if you decide to participate post the link to your creation or e-mail me a picture so I can upload it here. Have fun and may the mojo be with you!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Today started off just hideously! Somehow yesterday I manged to set my wristwatch alarm for 4:15 a.m. and the stupid thing went off in the middle of the night! Adding insult to injury, every time I thought I turned it off apparently I only activated the snooze function, because 10 minutes later it went off again, and then again 10 minutes after that, each time just as I was falling asleep! I finally got up and put the watch in another room where I wouldn't be able to hear it. GRRRR.

Fortunately things did get better after that! This morning I picked up Eileen from the airport and before we even came home we stopped at a local Greek store to pick up some home-made Greek yogurt, fresh-baked Greek bread (it was still piping hot!) and Greek honey with mixed nuts! Then we went home to meet up with Bill where we added some freshly ground Mackinaw Island Fudge coffee and chocolate covered strawberries and had ourselves a super little feast for breakfast! Yum!

After breakfast we sat around a bit while I told Eileen all about stamping and what's been happening in the year since I last saw her. And she is such a good friend that not only did she listen patiently while I rambled on and looked at all of the stuff i showed her, but she actually asked me more questions after I offered to stop talking! WOW!

It was a simply gorgeous fall day, so we decided to spend the afternoon at the Morton Arboretum. We had a blast! We walked through the hedge maze and the children's garden, watched a drum concert (I think the drummers were Chinese and the whole thing was as much of a dance as it as a concert -- really fun to listen to and watch!) and participated in an Autumn Equinox walk. Eileen even got to play the part of the North star in the part of the walk where the arboretum docent explained what the equinox was all about. She had to wear the sillies head gear and sunglasses -- if only I hadn't left the camera at home!

In the evening we went to Tree Guys Pizza (continuing with the arboretum theme!) and had an awesome Chicago-Style deep dish pie for dinner! MMMMM. . . it was delish!

After dinner I drove Eileen to her hotel downtown so that she can get some rest before her meeting starts tomorrow (unlike me, she actually woke up at 3:30 a.m. central time in order to catch her early morning flight to Chicago). As usual, the visit was too short, but it was so great to see her. Of course, we are now way overdue for a visit to NYC, so maybe you'll be hearing about that in the coming months!

Because Eileen was in town I did not spend a lot of time in the stamp room, but since I wanted to show you something new tonight I actually took out my Build-a-Flower Accents and Elements tin and put together these two cards. Neither of them are particularly difficult and obviously the only thing stamped on each card is the sentiment, but I have to admit that nothing beats these fun adhesive die cards for making a super fast and cute cards.

In fact, I liked making these cards so much that I decided to offer a stamps by mail class that will incorporate this accents and elements tin. Watch this blog in the next few days for more details!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Palm Springs, CA - here I come!

Woo hoo! I'm so excited! Thanks to the wonderful ladies in my downline, today I promoted to Senior Supervisor! This was definitely a career goal I set for myself this year because I very much wanted to be able to attend the Stampin' Up! leadership meeting in Palm Springs, CA this January. Now that I've accomplished this, I'm heading out to California and I can't wait!

Along with a chance to go to he leadership meeting, this promotion also comes with $100 in free Stampin' Up! merchandise! WOW! I'm sure going to have a lot of fun picking out my free stuff!

But with all the excitement today and all the other stamping events taking place, I didn't really have a chance to do a lot that was new. Here is my sole effort tonight and, I admit, it leaves something to be desired. I used a couple of sentiments from the So Many Sayings set and the flowers from simply said. The card stock was night of navy, bashful blue, so saffron, and whisper white. I used night of navy to stamp the sentiment and the flowers, and my bashful blue and so saffron markers to color in the flowers. I added some paper piercing in the corners of the so saffron layer, and decided to add some gingham ribbon with a so saffron brad to the whisper white layer. The problem is that the ribbon kind of blocks the paper piercing. If I had more time I might have re-done it, but as it is I have to get some rest. Gotta get up early tomorrow to pick up my friend Eileen at the Airport. She's flying in from New York for a meeting on Monday but we get to hang out together all day tomorrow. Woo Hoo!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Welcome to the Family!

Woo Hoo Cammy and Nancy! Congratulations on becoming Stampin' Up! demonstrators and welcome to the Stamp With Diane team! Nancy, Jill already has your welcome card. Cammy, yours is all stamped and will be on its way to you shortly!

And, of course, congratulations to Jill on becoming an upline in her first month of being a demonstrator. Way to go!

I also want to give a shout out to Wendi, whose application is on its way to Utah as we speak. I'll do a separate welcome message next week once the application is processed and your demonstrator status is official, but sometimes a little unofficial congrats and welcome is fun too!

And what about the rest of you? There is only one week left to submit your application and take advantage of the fantastic free family of ink pads with purchase of starter kit promotion.

If you're still undecided and have some questions that you need answered, now is the time to ask your potential upline or post them here, anonymously if you'd like, and I'll try to provide you the information you need to make up your mind.

And if you're in the US and looking for an enthusiastic upline who likes to help others reach their goals (don't believe me? Just read my "what color orange are you" profile a couple of posts down :-)!) feel free to contact me and ask me what resources I have available to help you reach your stamping and demonstrator goals, whatever they may be. I'm part of a fabulous demo group and we would all love for you to join us in our stamping adventures!

Bitty Boos Too fun

I pretty much like all things related to Halloween, so the Bitty Boos Too set appealed to me ever since I first saw it in the 2005-2006 catalog. But that was January, and by the time last year's Halloween rolled around I was a demonstrator and was focusing my purchases in the card stock/ink/accessories department and just couldn't afford to buy all the Halloween sets I wanted. And boy am I glad now, because this month I picked up this little gem of a set at 30% off! And tonight I finally got a chance to play with it!

I used the color blocking technique on a basic black card base. The card stock and ink colors are pumpkin pie, lavender lace and gable green. The images from Bitty Boos Too are stamped in tone-on-tone fashion to create three different backgrounds. The Big Deal Alphabet letters were stamped on whisper white and trimmed out. The eyes were made with whisper white, lavender lace and basic black card stock punched with the 3/4" 1/2" and 1/4" circle punches. I must confess, I rather like the finished product! Boo!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I love nicknames! I love them so much I even give my self nicknames. When I became a demonstrator I gave myself the nickname "scraps" because I loved -- can you guess? - yes, that's right, scraps! So when I needed to put together a quick card for the blog while my customers were stamping their Christmas cards, I reached for scrap pieces of the Autumn Fest One Sheet Wonder I worked on this weekend. I had several narrow strips left over, not really wide enough to make a decent boarder or even an accent, but a little too nice to just throw out. So I decided to create a background with them. I took a panel of Ruby Red card stock and adhered the strips to the card stock on a diagonal with SNAIL. I added an old olive mat and adhered the whole thing to a so saffron base.

I stamped the Get Well Soon sentiment with Old Olive Craft ink on more mustard card stock and added an old olive mat. I centered the sentiment on the card, but it was still missing something. So I reached for the delicate little leaf stamp from Lovely As a Tree and stamped a boarder pattern on the so saffron card base with so saffron classic ink. I also stamped one leaf on the sentiment piece. I needed some sort of coordinating ribbon and decided that Ruby Red would be perfect. Of course, Stampin' Up! does not sell Ruby Red ribbon. No problem, I just took a piece of whisper white ribbon and my ruby red marker and in a few seconds I had ruby red grosgrain ribbon. I tied it into a know and attached the knot to the card with a glue dot. Obviously I wouldn't (and couldn't) make this card every day, but i do like the fact that I managed to use most of my OSW scraps!

I'm Pumpkin!

And I'm glad! No, not a pumpkin, as in fruit -- Pumpkin as in Pumpkin Pie the color!

I really love all shades of orange so I decided to take this silly little quiz about what color of orange I was and while it's not particularly sophisticated I think the results actually describe me pretty well. Try it for yourself!

You Are Pumpkin

Realistic and practical, you see the world for how it is.

You know what it takes to succeed in life...

And you're happy to help others reach their goals.

My stamping favorites

Thanks to everyone who responded to my post yesterday requesting a list of your stamping favorites! It was fun reading what everyone's favorites were. Of course, now comes the hard part -- I have to list my favorites, which is really, really hard! But since you were nice enough to do it, I have to follow through too, so here goes:

1. What is your favorite Stampin' Up! color? Really Rust. I love the whole earth elements family, but this earthy color just seems to go with pretty much everything. Love it!

2. What is your favorite current Stampin' Up! stamp set? Lovely as a tree. You knew that would be the answer, right? I mean, it's just so versatile an the images are so pretty. I just love it!

3. What is your favorite all time stamp set? OK, I don;t want to list Lovely as a Tree twice (thought I easily could, so I'll choose Best Fiends. I adore Halloween and I really loved the images in that set. Snowflakes would be a close third!

4. What is your favorite stamping technique? Pullin' Pastels. I will never forget the first time I saw this technique -- it was such a wow for me! It still gets me every time. I love just about any technique involving pastels, but that one is definitely my favorite.

5. What is your favorite stamping tool/accessory? Definitely the SU punches! I love how easy they are to use and I love coming up with unusual ways to use them so that each punch can do a bit of a double duty.

6. Where is your favorite place to stamp? I bet you'd expect me to say my stamp room and I really do love to stamp there, but my favorite place to stamp was actually last December aboard a cruise ship. Yes, I was crazy enough to bring stamping supplies with me on a cruise and while the rest of my family were baking themselves topside, I found a comfortable table near a window on the lido deck and spent a few lovely hours stamping and occasionally looking out at the water rushing by. It was fabulous!

7. What is your favorite time to stamp? Just about any time, but I most prefer late, late evening. I am a night owl and it seems that I am most creative after dark. I actually really wish that wasn't the case, because then I wouldn't feel so wasteful any time I go to bed before midnight, but it is what it is.

So there you have it -- all my stamping favorites revealed. They were actually a lot harder to pinpoint than I expected, but this is probably a good thing. And I have to add this caveat -- all favorites subject to change any time :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Your turn!

A blog is a bit like an on-line diary. But a cool thing about a blog, rather than a diary, is that it's interactive. You come here to read some of my random ramblings and to see the cards I've been working on and I, in turn, get a kick out of reading your comments.

I've noticed in blogland there is this phenomenon of "tagging" where you get tagged, list a bunch of information called for in the particular tag, and then tag other people. Well, the truth is, I'm not very good at that game. I always either forget to answer or have a hard time figuring out whom to tag or forget to tag others. Plus, some of my readers don't have blogs, so they can't be "tagged".

Well today I've come up with a solution. If you're reading this post, this request is for you. I would absolutely love if you would leave a comment with answers to the following questions:

1. What is your favorite Stampin' Up! color
2. What is your favorite current Stampin' Up! stamp set
3. What is your favorite all time stamp set
4. What is your favorite stamping technique
5. What is your favorite stamping tool/accessory
6. Where is your favorite place to stamp
7. What is your favorite time to stamp

You don't have to leave your name if you do not feel comfortable doing so. And no, there is no blog candy associated with this since, as you know, I'm not really all that into the candy for comments thing. I just would love to get to know all of you a bit better through your stamping preferences, and through this would be a good start. And So that I don't prejudice your responses with my own, I'll answer all of the questions in a post tomorrow. I look forward to reading your responses!

Lovely Fall

I spent a lot of time stamping today. I will upload some of my creations later this week or early next, but since I'm sending them to someone I want them to be a surprise. Fortunately, Bill reminded me tonight that we needed a Get Well card for a friend's dad, who I am very certain does not read this blog, so I am able to upload at least one card tonight.

I needed the card to be masculine, and Lovely as a Tree is the most masculine current stamp set I own. I really do love this set -- it's perfect for so many occasions! If it were up to me this set would be a permanent fixture in every stamp room in the country, if not the world! But I digress.

For my color combination I used chocolate chip, really rust and river rock along with naturals ivory. No, I didn't think of this color combo and, for a change, it did not come out of the Coldwater Creek catalog. This just happened to be the color challenge on SCS today. It was a fortuitous coincidence that it was the prefect color combination for this card.

I started by stamping the oak leaf image on the card base with chocolate chip ink. I added an unadorned strip of really rust over the middle of the card. I inked up the oak tree in river rock ink, then used my chocolate chip and really rust markers to add color to the stamp (the ability to use this technique and thus stamp a multi-color image is just one of the reasons why I love our stampin' write markers). After I stamped the tree I used my aquapainter and sole river rock ink to full in the tree and color the ground. I used my close to cocoa Stampin' Write marker to color the tree trunk and added the sentiment at the bottom in chocolate chip ink.

I sponged on some really rust ink over the edges of the natural ivory panel and I sponged river rock ink over the edges of the river rock panel. I like the very subtle textured effect created by tone-on-tone sponging! I adhered the image panel to the river rock card stock and added two really rust eyelets at the bottom. I adhered the river rock card stock to the card base and the card was done. And I'm happy to report that it received the DH stamp of approval! Yay!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Plums and Roses

Tonight I really wanted to use the Wild Rose stamp set. It's been a while since I last used it and I missed working with these beautiful flowers.

The layout is pretty simple. A perfect plum base with centered mats of going gray and pale plum. The roses are stamped with pale and perfect plum classic inks on whisper white card stock using the masking technique. The leaves are stamped with River Rock and Mellow Moss. The sentiment is stamped at the bottom of the pale plum panel in perfect plum ink and a basic gray taffeta ribbon is used as an accent.

Other than the masking and the use of the stamp-a-ma-jig to achieve good alignment of the two-step stamping process, there's nothing fancy about this card. But then as you might have noticed, recently I've developed a whole new appreciation for simplicity. Hope you like it too.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

It's Quite Elementary

OK, this is the 6" x6" layout I told you about yesterday. Isn't it adorable? Talk about doing a great job featuring the elementary essentials set! It's exactly what I pictured when I first saw this set in the Fall Winter Collection Catalog. (please note that I didn't actually design this layout -- this is the creation of my super up-up-upline Glenda!)

I knew I would have to get this set to scrap pages for my niece and nephew, so you can imagine how excited I was when I saw that this month I could purchase this set at 30% off (with a $30.00 purchase of regular priced merchandise). What a fabulous bargain!

The other great bargain this month is the Autumn Fest set, which I used to make this card. The image panel you see here is actually part of a One Sheet Wonder -- a whole 8.5x11" sheet covered with a leafy pattern. My friend Liz, who was over Friday night for Bedlam, made a couple of awesome One Sheet Wonders using this set (Liz is the queen of One Sheet Wonders!) and inspired me to do the same.

I just love the fall feel of this card. The background is so saffron and the leaves are stamped in versamark, only orange and ruby red craft inks and embossed with clear embossing powder. After I embossed the leaves, I went over them with a dauber that I first loaded up with chocolate chip stampin' pastel. that's what gave the yellow leaves (previously clear) the slightly variegated look which is, I think, more natural than plain saffron. I swirled the chocolate chip pastel lightly all over the background, added some swirls of old olive pastel and sponged on a little really rust classic ink for texture. I tied a bit of the 5/8" old olive grosgrain at the bottom of the panel and added a strip of old olive card stock for balance at the top. I attached the whole panel to a ruby red card base and stamped the Happy Thanksgiving sentiment in Chocolate Chip. I like the card and I really love the set -- I can't wait to use it on more fall cards!

Remember, the two sets you're seeing here as well as 4 others are on sale through the end of September for 30% off with a $30 regular priced purchase. Don't miss out!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Recognize this layout?

If you're a regular reader you know that once I stumble onto what I think is a good idea I find it very hard to let go. And so it is with this layout.

I made one simple card and now I can't stay away! I made these two cards last night at Bedlam. The colors are night of navy, bashful blue and so saffron prints double sided designer paper. The flowers are from the "simply said" set as is the "friend" sentiment. The you make me happy sentiment is from so many sayings. The only accessory is a bit of bashful blue taffeta ribbon. I think they're both pretty cute!
This morning I went to Stamp Camp where I made a lot of cute projects. I think my favorite were 2 6x6" scrap pages using the Elementary Essentials set (which coincidentally is one of the 6 sets that you can get at 30% off with a $30 purchase of regular priced merchandise). Unfortunately, since I stayed up late last night for Bedlam I was a little late getting to stamp camp this morning so while I stamped all of my pieces, the scrap pages still need a bit of assembly. I'll try to finish them tonight and post tomorrow for your enjoyment!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ovals and Scallops

As promised, here is the tutorial to create a card base with double scalloped ovals, like the one used for this wedding card.

For this project you will need a paper scorer, card stock, designer paper, coluzzle cutting system for ovals (2 templates -- starter template from SU and companion template that cuts the 1/4" increments between the SU starter template), SNAIL, 2 way glue, paper snips, scalloped circle punch from SU, small corner rounder punch from SU.

First take a 8.5x5.5 base and fold it in half. Score the front of the card along the 2 1/8" mark

Keeping the coluzzle mat underneath your card base, center the SU starter oval template
over the scored line. Insert tip of coluzzle knife into the 4th oval from the center. Holding the knife perpendicular to the cutting surface, cut the oval shape only to the right of the scored line. DO NOT CUT TO THE LEFT OF THE SCORED LINE!

Use paper snips to join the two cut sections.

Fold out the card front. Looking from inside the card it should look like this.

Use the same template and some designer paper to cut an oval shape of the same size (4th from the center)

Use snips to cut out the oval.

Use the Stampin' Up! scalloped circle punch to punch 3 circles from coordinating card stock.

Use paper snips to cut each scalloped circle in half, and then to cut the halves into three pieces, two with 2 scallops and 1 with 3.

Using 2 way glue on just the bottom of the resulting 2 scallop piece, adhere the piece to the front of the card so that the scallop sticks out beyond the oval.

Layer the next piece over the first one so that one scallop overlaps.

continue in this fashion all around the oval.

Place the designer paper over the scallops. From now on you will need this top oval to serve as a reference do the placement of the rest of the scallop pieces. You may apply the two way glue to the entire pieces -- on this side there's no need to omit the scalloped pat since it will not be sticking out over any edge.

Depending on how the placement of the scalloped pieces works out, you may not need to overlap the last piece, as shown here.

This is what the completed front looks like covered with the designer paper.

this is what it would look like from the inside of the card.

Use the coluzzle cutting system to cut out the biggest oval out of the designer paper.

Gently take the corner guide off your small corner rounder punch.

Insert the designer paper oval into the punch and press.

Continue to punch around the oval but note that in order to cut the perfect scallop you need to place your punch so that you can just see the end of the last scallop, and then move the punch to the right just a smidge so you can no longer see that edge. I cannot emphasize this enough! If you can still see the edge of the last scallop through the window in your punch your scallops will look pretty bad! You might want to practice on a sheet of typing paper to get a feel for this before you reach for your designer paper.

Next you will need to use the coluzzle to cut out the white mats for the picture and sentiment. Here is where things get a bit tricky. The coluzzle oval template that comes with the cutter system allows you to trim out ovals spaced 1/2" apart. But for this project that was just too much. Now, you could cut the ovals to the same size as your original and try to eyeball the proper distance cut or you can find another source for a companion oval template that allows you to cut ovals for the 1/4" increments in between the 1/2" increments of the SU template. That's what I did (so I guess I did use something not offered by SU - *blush*), cutting the small front oval 1/4" smaller than the designer paper and cutting the large oval for the sentiment 3/4" smaller than the designer paper oval.
And here is what the final card front should look like. Decorate as desired and give to someone really special!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tutorial coming tomorrow!

Yes, you read that right. It's long with lots of pictures which all need to be edited, so unfortunately I was not able to finish it for tonight. But tomorrow I'll definitely show you how to create oval scallops with everything you see here (yes, I'm a tease!). So check out the other card I made tonight (in the post below) and tune in tomorrow for ovals and scallops! Woo Hoo!


Tonight I wanted to share a very simple card that has me eating crow. Why? Well, when I first saw this set in the catalog it really didn't grab me. The sentiments were OK as were the images, but there was something about the font that just didn't appeal to me, so I honestly thought I would be able to pass this particular hostess set by. Then I received an awesome swap at convention featuring the Christmas stamp, and I knew I was sunk. I had to get the set just for that stamp. But I still wasn't interested in the other two stamps, no sireebob!

But one of the stamps from this set was just perfect for tonight's card. And just look at how well it turned out! It's so sleek and streamlined. I really love it! It's a perfect card for a workshop or a stamp-a-stack because it goes together so quickly and easily!

The base is basic gray, the new gray color introduced by Stampin' Up! this year. What an awesome color that is -- goes with everything. Not too dark, no too light. It's just perfect! Once I chose basic gray for the base, I decided to use our classic going gray for a contrast and certainly celery for color. I used a trip of the certainly celery prints double sided designer paper for a bit of interest. I stamped the sentiment in basic gray on whisper white and colored the leafy stem with my certainly celery stamping write marker (did I mention how much I love my markers - LOL!). I matted it on a piece of certainly celery card stock and added some basic gray taffeta ribbon at the bottom. I then added a going gray mat and adhered the panel to the base. And that's it -- done! It couldn't be any more simple! So what do you think? I know, it's nothing fancy, like my card from yesterday, but just as cool in its own way, doncha think?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A labor of love

Did you ever dream of a card idea and the dream stayed with you so that you just had to try to turn it into reality? That's what happened with this card and it truly was a labor of love -- labor because it took quite a bit of work to get it done and love because I love the final product! Now all I need is for someone to get married so that I have someone to give it to!

I have to thank my friend Liz for this card, because I would have never been able to do it if she had not loaned me her coluzzle cutting system. Liz doesn't particularly care for this system, and she loaned it to me so that I could make sure I liked it before I ordered it. Well, I don't just like it -- I love it! Truly, I had a blast cutting out all of these ovals.

Now I know what you're thinking. Stampin' Up! doesn't make scalloped oval anything, and no one makes a scalloped oval punch as large as the one made with the Prints Double Sided Designer Series paper underneath the sentiment. Well, never fear, I did not stray from SU products. In fact, I just used my beloved Stampin' Up! punches. But you'll have to wait for another day to find out the secrets of this card, not because I want to keep you in suspense, but because the batteries in my camera died so I couldn't photograph a tutorial. As soon as I get new batteries and have a little time, all shall be revealed.

I guess looking at this card I think it's pretty classic, which, thanks again to my buddy Liz, seems to be the consensus on my card making style. Thanks ladies for helping me figure it out. I rather like the thought of being a classic card maker!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yeah, it's a little weird

Tonight I attended a demonstrator meeting at my upline's house. Jen organizes these meetings for her downline every once in a while so that we can do our recognition, cover some business topics and, of course, stamp! We had a great time and I could have posted photos of the projects we stamped, which were really cute, but when I came home tonight I just felt the need to stamp a little something extra.

And this is the final result of that creative urge. As the title suggests, yeah, it's a little weird. But even though I recognize its weirdness, I still kind of like it. Go figure!

The whole card is stamped with the pick-a-petal set. the brocade blue base is stamped with the circles in brocade blue ink./ The bashful blue triangle layer is stamped with the solid flower in bashful blue ink. the petal outlines are stamped on the cameo coral layer in came coral ink and the cameo on came flower center is punched out with the 1" circle punch. The second layer of petals is stamped on bashful blue card stock in brocade blue ink. The cameo coral layer is adhered to a creamy caramel base and a bashful blue taffeta ribbon is used as an accent at the bottom of the creamy caramel layer.

Other than the bizarre color combination, this card does not scream "Diane stamped me," or at least it doesn't scream that to me. Maybe that's why I like it?

Since you may not actually want to comment on this card, I thought I would pose a question today. I'm curious how my regular readers, i.e. those familiar with my cards, would describe my stamping style. I've thought about it a lot, actually, and I can't think of a good description except eclectic. Do any of you have a better idea? Please share! Thanks!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A La Mexico

When my DH saw this card he said the colors reminded him of Mexico, and I guess he's right. It's the kind of color combination that would fit in well in Mexico or the Caribbean. It was inspired by, what else?, a skirt from the Coldwater Creek catalog. I've stopped even trying to get color combination from other places -- Coldwater Creek is all I need.

In designing this card I deliberately wanted to get away from the horizontal orientation with a strip across the length of the layout type card. I noticed today that this basically described the last three cards I uploaded here and I thought that was quite enough. That layout is one I turn to again and again -- it's my stamping equivalent of comfort food. But every once in a while I need to spice things up, and I don't think I could come up with a spicier card than this.

I started with a real red base stamped in real red with the Sanded background (I know it's hard to see in the photo). I then chose my three other colors -- elegant eggplant, tempting turquoise and only orange. I stamped the only orange panel with the sanded background inked up with real red classic ink too, just to tone down what would otherwise be a very bright front panel.

I used the wanted set for my main images, stamped in elegant eggplant on real red, tempting turquoise and only orange. I used the scalloped circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, 1/2" circle punch and star punch. For the sentiment I initially just stamped the "congratulations" from the Hugs and Wishes set in elegant eggplant on only orange car stock, but Bill suggested that I "frou frou" it up a little, so I added the two stars on either side, trimmed them out by hand and added punched tempting turquoise stars in the back.

Not too long ago I asked my friend "Jo" how she would describe my card style and, after thinking about it for a moment, she said "unusual color combos". I guess I have to agree with her and, by that definition, this is a quintessential "Diane" card. Hope you like it!