Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A pinwheel for you

Well, sometimes time is a tyrant and there's just not enough of it to do everything we would like to do. So, predictably enough, tonight I only had time to make one card, which means the card I posted yesterday will stay in the class roster.

Tonight's card is a pinwheel card. Whenever I think about the best way to showcase a double sided designer paper I always think of pinwheels. They're fun and take me back to my childhood days. But for this card I knew that I wanted to do something other than just an ordinary pinwheel, so I made a pinwheel that actually spins. Of course it;s impossible to show the spinning in a photo and it's not the kind of spinning you see in a typical spinner card, since the pinwheel does not actually travel anywhere but merely spins on its axis. And you do need to push it along with your finger -- just blowing on the card doesn't quite do the trick. Still, if you're anything like me you don't mind having to manually spin the pinwheel. Just the fact that the darned thing moves is fun enough!

I will do a tutorial on this spinner card, but it will have to be after I come back from vacation. In the meantime, here are all the cards that we'll be making at the double your pleasure card techniques class in November. Each card will showcase fun ways to use the double sided designer paper. The class is on Monday, November 12, and the cost is $15.00. Contact me to register or for more information. I will get back to you as soon as I return from my vacation.

Monday, October 29, 2007

copy cat

Normally I like to show you cards I designed myself, but all I had time for today was to stamp this card, which is a complete copy of a card featured in our monthly demonstrator magazine -- Stampin' Success. Now, granted, Stampin' Up! actually wants us to use these ideas in our business (hence the little "demo it" seal they put on certain projects) and the card is cool in the way it shows off our fun brocade backgrounds designer paper, our hodgepodge hardware and our cool taffeta ribbon, but I still feel like it's cheating somehow. So I haven't decided yet if i will use this for the Double Your Pleasure card techniques class or if I will come up with two new projects. I guess we'll find out tomorrow. Only two days to go before my trip and I still haven't started packing, so this may have to do.

Stamps: baroque motifs

Ink: chocolate Chip

Paper: old olive, brocade backgrounds double sided designer series paper

Accessories: chocolate chip taffeta ribbon, antique copper hodge podge hardware.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Just one stamp

Well, Bill and I spent the whole day today packing away Halloween decorations and I'm happy to say that my stamping area is almost back to normal. I'll have to do a little extra clean-up tomorrow, but I was able to get to enough stuff to make this card tonight. And, as the title of the post implies, I only used one stamp.

This will be another project for the double your pleasure card techniques class. This particular card fold is a bit unusual and it would look great with just a stamped image on the front, but adding a layer of double sided designer paper and folding the paper over to mirror the diagonal cut really makes the fold "pop". Add to that the flower made with more prints double sided designer series paper and several punches plus some ribbon and a single word stamped sentiment, and you have a wonderful card.

stamps: warm words
ink: rose red
paper: almost amethyst, certainly celery, whisper white, prints double sided designer paper in rose red, almost amethyst and certainly celery
accessories: five petal flower punch, spring bouquet punch, 1/2" circle punch, handheld rectangle punch, rich regals brads, certainly celery narrow grosgrain ribbon.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

simply petals

Tonight's card is simple by necessity -- my stamp room has been taken over by the spirit of Halloween present. In other words, all of the stamping stuff had to be put away to make room for party decorations. So with only very limited supplies at my fingertips, I had no choice but to make a simple card.

Of course this card also showcases how easy it is to make simple cards with our double sided designer paper. I took a piece of our Polka Dots and Petals double sided designer paper and folded one side over to create a side boarder. I used the handheld rectangle punch to make two holes through which I wove some tempting turquoise ribbon. I loved the floral design of the paper and toyed with just leaving it alone, but in the end I stamped a couple of flowers in pretty in pink ink, trimmed them out and used dimensionals to attach them to the designer paper.

On the card base I stamped an outline of the flower in pretty in pink and I stamped the "happy" sentiment in tempting turquoise. And that's it -- the card was done.

Stamps: Polka Dots and Paisley
Paper: pretty in pink, whisper white, polka dots and petals double sided designer series paper
Ink: pretty in pink, tempting turquoise
Accessories: handheld rectangle punch, tempting turquoise grosgrain ribbon, dimensionals

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Triangle wishes

So are you ready for another double sided designer paper project? Good, because I just happen to have one for you. Tonight it's all about a love triangle. Not the kind on a soap opera, though. It's a card maker's love triangle, meaning a triangle fold love note.

The triangle fold is a great way to showcase both sides of your designer paper. And since our double sided paper is rather sturdy, it's perfectly fine to use it for a card base, especially if you reinforce it with a couple of card stock layers like I did on this card.

For the main image on this card I used the In The Spotlight level 2 hostess set to stamp the main image. I love how the 5 petal flower in this set just coordinates perfectly with the 5 petal punch. Not having to cut these flowers by hand made stamping this card a breeze.

On the inside of the card I used the same card stock layers as on the outside, stamping another flower from the In The Spotlight set and a greeting from Hugs and Wishes. I also folded the corners of the triangles under to emphasize the double sided nature of the paper. I think it turned out pretty neat and it was such a quick card to make. It would work very well as a card attached to a birthday, anniversary or wedding gift, don't you think?

Stamps: In the Spotlight, Hugs and Wishes
Paper: Soft Sky, Whisper White, Groovy Guava, Groovy guava prints designer series double sided paper
Ink: Soft sky, groovy guava
Accessories: white taffeta ribbon.

Oh, and in answer to Diane's question from yesterday, SNAIL is the Stampin' Up! double sided adhesive in a handheld mess-free dispenser. The initials stand for Simple, Neat, Affordable In-Line. The dispenser also looks a little like a snail shell, but I personally think it's called snail because when you drag it it leaves a slimy sticky trail -- LOL! HTH!

ETA: For those of you that wanted the measurements,I started with a 3"x9" piece of designer paper, scored at 3" and 6". I then folded the first panel in half on a diagonal down towards the first score line and folded the last panel on a diagonal up towards the score line. I unfolded both panes and folded the "upper" triangle down so that the corner met the new diagonal fold line. I did the same on the back panel, only the fold was up towards the new diagonal fold line. I secured these last folds with adhesive, then added more adhesive and re-folded along the diagonal. Now, when both outside panels fold to the center they create a square front that measures 3x3".

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Apple Cider Holiday

As you may have already heard, Stampin' Up! is cooking up an awesome special for us in November. If ever there was a time to splurge on our awesome designer papers, next month is it! That's because in November you will get a free pack of designer paper for every three you buy. Totally awesome!

I use Stampin' Up! designer papers in my cards and scrapbooks all the time. I love that the colors of the designer papers match the colors of our card stock, so that I don't have to think about what will go with what. I also love that very often the designs coordinate with one or more of our stamp sets, taking even more guesswork out of paper crafting. And the fact that the paper is double sided is awesome too, because there are so many different ways to take advantage of both sides.

In honor of the upcoming double sided designer paper sale, the theme for my techniques classes in November will be "Double Your Pleasure" and we will explore different ways to incorporate the double sided paper into cards and scrapbooks. I have so many ideas for projects for this topic that I almost don't know where to start. So tonight I decided to get a little daring and step out of my comfort zone.

I started with a piece of apple cider double sided designer paper from the holiday mini. I love the really rust and river rock design because it looks really rich and sophisticated, but I also like the reverse side print of river rock and very vanilla. And I love the way the two go together.

To showcase both sides of the paper I started with a square and used my coluzzle system to cut out a circle. I rounded the corners of the square mat and adhered it to a slightly larger mat of really rust card stock. I rounded the corners of the mat and adhered the circle I previously cut out in the center of the designer paper mat, but with the opposite side facing up.

For the center of this really cool mat I decided to use a star made out of the same designer paper. The star design came from the holiday issue of papercrafts magazine last year. it took me a year, but I finally found a way to use this pattern - LOL!

I attached the star to the card by using snail at every point of the slightly flattened star. Even though the star is flattened, as you can see in the second photo it is by no means flat. In fact, while this card will fit in a regular envelope you would definitely need extra postage to mail it and I would be very concerned about the star getting squished. I guess this is really a card you hand deliver!

I finished the card off with the Holiday Greetings sentiment form Sincere Salutations. Even though the colors of the card are not traditional Christmas colors, the star just said Christmas to me. But, of course, there is no reason whatsoever why this card could not be used for Thanksgiving, birthday or any other occasion.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

When bad cards happen to good people

Or, if your prefer, "Enough with the bed linens already. Isn't there a Coldwater Creek catalog you can look at for inspiration?"

LOL! This one is kind of bad. When I saw this bedding in a photo from a linens 'n things flyer I fell in love with not just the colors, but the look and feel of the whole ensemble. So I set out to duplicate it as best as I could.

If you look closely at the yellow print in the photo, it's a damask, so to mimic that look I stamped the flourish from the Baroque Motifs set in versamark on a so saffron card base and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. I also added a Christmas Greeting from the Holidays and Wishes set because these colors reminded me of Christmas. The greeting was stamped in always artichoke craft ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder.

Next I tried to mimic the striped pattern, so I alternated strip of always artichoke, brushed gold and purely pomegranate card stock. I adhered these to the card base and then used the square stamp from Baroque motifs to stamp a pattern in versamark and embossed it with gold embossing powder. This was meant to be reminiscent of the gold stitched pattern on the stripes in the bedding. It might have looked a little better if I had used a stamp-a-ma-jig to line up that top image but, again, I was too lazy to get it out before I started stamping.

Which leads me to the lesson for the day. Make sure that when stamping a non-traditional pattern on a card you have the right tools for the job right from the start. That Stamp-a-ma-jig should have been on my stamping table before I ever opened the versamark pad. Now, as a result of my laziness, the card is not only weird, it's also flawed. I guess in a way this is a good thing, because I won't be tempted to send it to anyone, but still.

Anyway, I promise after this little fiasco I will stay away from bedding for a while. It shouldn't be hard, since I have to design some class projects for November and I don't want any of hem to look like sheets -- LOL! But next month, watch out! I think I already spotted my next inspiration in the Wal-Mart flyer (yes, Diane, you read that right -- Wal-Mart!). I bet you can't wait!

Thanksgiving Projects

I already showed you the garland in an earlier post, but here a a few more ideas for Thanksgiving.

I used the Autumn Fest set to stamp the candle in colors taken right out of the apple cider designer series paper for a great coordinating look.

I think for my Thanksgiving Brunch I will stamp several more candles in different heights to create a centerpiece grouping.

I used the Autumn Harvest, Warm Words and Short Order Alphabet sets along with the apple cider designer paper, river rock and naturals ivory card stock and wild wasabi double stitched grosgrain ribbon to make the chipboard coaster place card. This is actually two coasters adhered together at the top. The bottom of the back coaster is bent out to create an easel so that the place card can stand next to a place setting without needing a separate holder.

The Gratitude journal is decorated with apple cider paper and wild wasabi card stock and stamped with an image from Sidekick Sayings. I used the river rock double stitched grosgrain ribbon to
create a bookmark. I think it would be fun to pass this little notebook around this year so that everyone can make a permanent record of what they're grateful for. Another option would be to make a journal for every guest so they can write down what they're grateful for throughout the year.

I used the Autumn Harvest and the Think happy Thoughts sets, along with the Acorns wheel (which is on the dormant list) to make this cute little treat holder. When you slide down the belly band and open the flap you'll find a bite-size Hershey chocolate bar inside. Cute and simple!

So there you go, my Thanksgiving projects so far. And I'm not quite done yet. After all, Thanksgiving is still more than a month away, so I have plenty of time to come up with still more decorations.

Monday, October 22, 2007

You look Marbleous!

No, the title to this post is not another one of my spelling errors. It's just meant to reference tonight's eighth and final pastels techniques card. The technique tonight is Marbled pastels background and, unfortunately, it's so subtle it's very difficult to capture in a photo. If you click on the photo itself it brings up a slightly larger image where you can (hopefully) see some of the marbling.

This technique is fabulous to use with outline stamps, like these petals from pick-a-petal, because they do not block the beauty of the background. As you can see, I left the images pretty basic. I could have done a better job lining up the sentiment and at class I will have a stamp-a-ma-jig handy for the students, but tonight speed was of the essence.

Stamps: Pick a Petal, Amazing to Zany
Card Stock: Cameo Coral, Not Quite navy, Close to Cocoa, Whisper White
Ink: Not Quite Navy, Cameo Coral
Accessories: spiral punch, 1/2" hole punch, dimensionals, stampin' pastels

If you're in the Chicagoland area and are interested in learning the different pastes techniques and making the 8 cards I featured here in the past few weeks let me know. Right now I am filling up the sessions scheduled for demonstrators, but if there is enough interest I may also offer a session or two for customers.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

How about that game?

What game, you ask? The game where the Chicago Bears snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the last 9 seconds! Woo Hoo!

In honor of Chicago keeping our playoff hopes alive this year I quickly stamped this card. It's not exactly complicated, but it gets the point across. Go Bears!

Stamps: wildlife reserve, rough edges alphabet
Card Stock: Whisper White, only orange, night of navy
Ink: night of navy
Accessories: ticket corner punch.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Garland Joy

Today's project is a garland that we'll be making at my Christmas Home Decor class in November. It's actually a slight modification of the garland featured in the Stampin' Up! Holiday mini collection.

What are the differences? Well, to start, I used certainly celery prints double sided designer series paper instead of old olive. I did this only because I didn't happen to have the old olive designer paper in the house, but I actually really like the design with the certainly celery designer paper as well. (Class students will be able to choose the paper color they prefer at the time of registration.)

Also, since I didn't have the On-board Trimmings chipboard assortment, I decided to substitute the snowflakes that are included in the On Board Garland Greetings assortment. Unfortunately, these were a bit smaller than the ones used by Stampin' Up!, so in order to make them a bit more prominent I attached them to a double mat of real red and certainly celery card stock, which I cut out using my coluzzle cutting system.

Finally, it will be difficult to see in this picture, but I did not actually stitch around the letters. Instead, I use my crafter's tool kit to paper pierce around the edges and then used my white signo gel pen to add the faux stitch lines. Great look without having to drag out my sewing machine!

I must say, I have really enjoyed making these garlands for the various holidays. I don't think I ever posted my Thanksgiving Garland effort on the blog, so I thought I would do so now. As you can see, I pretty much followed the example prepared by Stampin' Up!, which you could easily do as well, or you could be creative and use different colors and designer paper to match the decor of your home. Either way, don't miss out on the fun!

As an aside, it seems that Shannon and Melody both like the little Frankenstein of a card I put together and posted here last night. Trust me, ladies, it's only because you haven't seen it in person. It's quite the oddity, if I say so myself.

But Melody, since you actually would like to see it in person (LOL- sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for) if you want to send me your snail mail address to I will happily send you the little monstrosity, as long as you promise never to show it to anyone else as an example of my work (Oh, the horror!).

And Shannon, please tell me that you and Diane (dd2njoy) know each other! It's not every day that I get to send mail to Canada, so imagine my surprise when I found myself addressing two envelopes on the same day to the same town in Canada. I have no idea how big the town you commenting on the same card on my blog? Let me assure you, my readership is not that large, so I'm thinking the odds would be very small indeed. Which is why I think you two must be stampin' buddies. If not, maybe you should be - I'd love to think of my blog as a little stamper buddy matchmaking service -- LOL! That would be cool!

Friday, October 19, 2007

hey there little red riding hood

You know, there are a lot of very good and important lessons in fairy tales that we sometimes don't really appreciate until things go drastically wrong. Like what, you ask? Well, for starters, we learn that going into the woods is not always the best idea.

And so it was with this wood challenge. I did say that I would create a new card using wood and since I was distracted by linens yesterday, tonight was the night to fulfill that promise.

I didn't want to use twigs again, but the stampable wood supply around the house is a bit limited. I finally found this -- a sample of some wooden shades we were considering for one of our rooms. The sample had paper wrapped around both sides to prevent unraveling, so the first order of business was to cover that up with wide grosgrain ribbon. But then what? I was really stuck with how to turn this "thing" into a card.

I ended up stamping some images from the Happy Thoughts set onto very vanilla card stock in basic brown and regal rose, punching them out with the 1 1/4" circle pinch and layering them onto a regal rose 1 3/8" circle and a creamy caramel scalloped circle. For the dotted circles, instead of using the stamped flower I punched a flower from regal rose card stock using the spring bouquet punch. I added a rhinestone brad to the center of the "Friendship" circle and used silver brads for the other two. I adhered everything to my wood "mat" and adhered that to a creamy caramel card base using glue dots.

Frankly, I don't know what to make of it. I don't hate it, but it's not a card I would consider giving anyone. If it wasn't for that promise I wouldn't even post it here. But maybe some good will come out of it, if you let this be a warning to you to make a better plan than I did before incorporating wood into your card making.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A funny thing happened on the way to the woods

What can I say? I'm easily distracted. The original plan was to showcase the last pastels technique tonight. But this morning there was a cool "ways to Use It" challenge on SCS. The challenge was to use wood on a project, which reminded me of the card I made back in August using a twig as a branch. So my focus shifted to making another card using some sort of wood. Until I came home from work, that is, when I found the Linnensource, Inc. catalog in my mailbox. Well, you all know how much I get inspired by bedding!

Leafing through the catalog I spotted this masculine ensemble. Now, you have to keep in mind that i don;t always necessarily know what is and is not "masculine". Sometimes I make what I think is a masculine card and my DH calls it "girly". But even I can tell that this particular pattern and color combo screams "guy".

So, of course, I had to make a card in these colors. And here's what I came up with. Hopefully this will be a good masculine card that we can save for an upcoming birthday. Here's the recipe:

Stamps: Wildlife Reserve, Lovely as a Tree, Eat Cake
Ink: Basic Gray, Basic Black
Card Stock: Basic Gray, Basic Black, Going Gray and Kraft
Accessories: None
Techniques: Tearing

It's a really basic card, but I like how the colors go together. I was going to add eyelets and twine, but at the last minute decided to leave it alone. I think the intended recipient will appreciate it just fine as is.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pastel Party

Today's technique is poppin' pastels. This is a cool technique that can really wow stampers who have never seen it before. Heck, even I get wowed every time I see an image appear out of nowhere after applying a little chalk.

For this card I used the Block Party set -- this is one of my favorite new sets precisely because it lends itself so well to this and other WOW techniques. Also, as most of you know, I love things that perform double duty, and this set is a perfect combo of image and sentiment all rolled into one. It makes designing cards so easy!

The color choices for this card are a bit of a stretch for me. I knew I wanted to use the soft subtle color family, but not any of my regular and "safe" combinations. In fact, my challenge to myself was to incorporate blush blossom into the card. Once I chose blush blossom, sage shadow followed kind of naturally, and I added almost amethyst on a whim. Fortunately the three turned out to work pretty well together and I will need to keep this combination in mind for future projects.

The only ink I used on this card is versamark. The color comes from stampin' pastels and sponge daubers. The background is one of the stamps from the background basics set.

So now there's only one pastels technique left to show. But don't worry - I'm working on some other stuff to show you as well!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bold Bright Birthday

I guess Blogger photo uploads are working again. Hurrah!

Today's pastels technique is embossing pastels. It's a fantastic technique to use when you want to heat emboss in color but you don't have the specific color of embossing powder or the specific color of craft ink.

To illustrate this technique I chose one of my favorite stamp sets, Eat Cake. I love this stamp set because of its versatility and because it has the right mixture of main images, background images and sentiments in it so it works well on its own.

I chose a bold bright palette for this card because this makes the card work for any sex and any age. Other than the embossing pastels technique I used tearing for a little texture and three brads for additional interest.

Stamps: Eat Cake

Card stock: only orange (base), yo-yo yellow, real red, brilliant blue

Ink: versamark, brilliant blue

Accessories: white embossing powder, stampin' pastels, blender pen, real red and brilliant blue brads from the bold brights assortment, stamping dimensionals, 1/8" handheld circle punch.

Only two more pastels techniques to go -- which will show up tomorrow?

Monday, October 15, 2007

teacher, teacher

Another day, another pastels technique. Today

the technique is chalkboarding. This is a great technique to use when you want to create really bright images on black or dark card stock. I find that this technique works best with pastel colors that are bright and, preferably, bold (although they do not necessarily need to belong to the bold brights family).
On this card I used the images from Serene Sunflower, Aida background and Sincere Salutations sentiment. I used craft white, classic basic black and classic summer sun inks. The card stock is basic black, green galore and summer sun. The only accessories are sponge daubers and stampin' pastels.
So have you noticed a trend? I'm quite deliberately designing simpler cards that are perfect for a workshop or a class. No muss, no fuss -- just straight stamping and technique. (Well, OK, adding the background stamp to this card was a little fussy, and maybe unnecessary, but with the last couple of cards being textured free I just needed to add this little something.)
So what do you think? Are you enjoying the pastels samples so far? I sure hope so. There'll be another technique tomorrow! Wonder which one?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Somewhere over the rainbow

Wow, Ladies, I am so impressed with the explanations everyone came up for the vignette in yesterday's card. You were actually more inventive than I was and I think I like your stories better! My "story" was that the witch was going to use the little froggie as an ingredient in her concoction, but he got the best of her! But based on all your answers I think I'm going to add a little caveat, that he's smiling because he's hoping that by drinking this new brew he'll turn into a prince!

As of right now five of you left a comment plus Susan, who e-mailed me her guess, so I decided to change the rules. And I can do that, because it's my blog - Ha Ha. I decided you will all get a copy of the Halloween card, as long as you e-mail me your snail mail address that is. (Susan, I have yours, so you're good to go). So please just drop me an e-mail with your info and I will get the cards out Tuesday! And thanks for playing!

So now for today's card. This is the card we'll be making at the pastels class for the rainbow background pastels technique. This technique is great when you want to create a multicolored background but do not have a spectrum pad or a brayer.

I used Year After Year for the elephant image and Fun and Fast Notes for the sentiment. The colors of the card stock are bashful blue, certainly celery, perfect plum and whisper white. The ink is basic gray and the only accessory is the stampin' pastels plus some sponge daubers (though cotton balls would do nicely as well).

Well, I've shown you 4 class samples so far and there are 4 more to go. Which technique will be featured tomorrow? Be sure to come back to find out!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What's the Story?

I actually worked on a couple of pastels projects today, but I spent most of my time working on these cards, which will serve as invitations to our annual Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest Party.

I showed Bill different designs and he chose this one because of the "story" in the main image.

Which brings me to the title of the post. You see, Bill thinks the story is easy to spot. I'm not so sure. So what do you think? Can you tell what the "story" is behind this stamped vignette? You might be able to see it better in the next photo.

The first person who gets the right story will get a copy of this card in the mail. I know -- it's not a particularly glamorous prize, but at least it's a practical one -- you'll be able to send it on to someone else this Halloween.
So give it a shot and post a comment with your guess about the "story".

Oh, and if you want to re-create the card on your own, the main image uses the Haunting Halloween and Bitty Boos Too stamp sets. The sentiment is also from Haunting Halloween and the ghostly eyes are from Carved and Candlelit. I used the following card stock: pumpkin pie, elegant eggplant, naturals ivory; and the following inks: Basic Gray, elegant eggplant, pumpkin pie, old olive, more mustard, summer sun, basic black, and versamark. I also used an aquapainter. It was a fun card to make, but I really hope the recipients "get it".

Friday, October 12, 2007

turtle wishes

Today we're back to working with stampin' pastels. This will be the class card using the water coloring with pastels and blender pen technique. It's a simple technique and a simple card, so they go pretty well together.
I found during the last class that the cards I designed could have been a bit easier for everyone to complete within the allotted time, so this time around I'm really trying not to complicate things. And this card is about as uncomplicated as it gets. An image and a sentiment, both stamped in basic gray. Creamy caramel, bordering blue, always artichoke and whisper white card stock, photo corner punch, tearing and water coloring with pastels. Super easy!
On the other hand, I do think its a nice card for a guy, and the lack of ribbons and hardware means that it won't be subject to any postal surcharges. So overall I'm really pleased with this design. Hope you like it too.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's all Good

You may have thought you'd be seeing another pastels card tonight, but you get a reprieve. I've been getting the stamp room ready for my open stamp night tomorrow night and didn't have much time to design . (By the way, there's still room if you want to come. Contact me for details.)

So instead I'm showing you a card that I sent out to the ladies in my downline who had significant business accomplishments last month. Hopefully they all received their cards and I'm not spoiling the surprise by posting this here.

The sentiment in the center of the card is from a new set called It's All Good. I stamped it in bashful blue because I wanted it to be reminiscent of this year's convention logo and added night of navy and so saffron mats. For the main image I chose stars and I found two stamps featuring the same pattern in different sizes, which I thought went great together. The smaller star, stamped in bashful blue, is from a set called Starstruck. I used another star from this set to stamp a background in versamark on the bashful blue card base, but it's hard to see in this photo. The larger star, stamped in so saffron is from the Level 2 Hostess set Perfect Presentation. This is just an awesome hostess set and perfect for this time of year since it features all Christmas and Winter themed stamps. And remember, there are only two and a half months to go before this and all the other hostess sets retire!

After I centered the sentiment on the stamped main image, I added a mat of so saffron and a larger mat of night of navy which I paper pierced all around (to mimic the dots around the star images) and then adhered to the bashful blue card base. I do hope the ladies in my downline liked this card and that they look forward to receiving more stamped cards each month they have significant accomplishments in their busienss. Congrats Ladies! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

stampin' pastels techniques again!

If you've been reading this blog for a while you know that I'm on a mission to eradicate pastel-o-phobia in the stamping community. Seriously! I'm not sure why, but so many demonstrators are so afraid of their stampin' pastels they never even take them out of the plastic wrapping. Shocking, I know, and yet I've seen it with my own eyes. It's almost as if those little squares of chalk were permeated with a deadly virus or something. LOL!

Well I love pastels, and so last spring I offered a stampin' pastels techniques class to the demonstrators in the Stampers in Stitches. And a really surprisingly large number of them took me up on my offer. In fact, we had to have three different sessions to accommodate everyone. WOW!

But that was last spring, and now we have a number of new demos in our group and I've been requested to do the class again. Great! . . except that all of the cards I designed for the last class used sets that have since retired. So now I need to come up with a new design for each technique. As you can imagine, in the next few days it may be all pastels, all the time, as I experiment with different designs. And here are the first two.

This first card uses the Stamping Pastels technique (what I like to call direct to stamp pastels) with my own little twist that I don't think I've seen before. I'm not going to spill the beans just yet, because I don't want to spoil the surprise for my students, but I rather like the very soft effect created with this technique.

The second card uses the Pullin' (ETA: in the original post I said poppin' instead of pullin'. Sometimes I'm such a dork!) pastels technique, which is very difficult to photograph because the photo does not really show the velvety texture that you see in person. But in real life this technique is a total wow for me every time -- I never get tired of it! And its sheer simplicity makes it a perfect technique for beginner stampers too!

Anyway, I hope you like pastels. You will be seeing more over the next few days. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It's all about the bedding!

This weekend inspiration came from Pottery Barn bedding, and now here's a card I stamped based on this photo I found in a Linens and Things flyer. I think this bedding is just yummy, with the combination of very vanilla, always artichoke and groovy guava, so of course I had to stamp a card. Too late into the process I got hit with a strong sense of deja vieu and I realized that I've become a one-trick pony. Not only did I revert to my current favorite layout, but I even used the same stamp and color combination I had used previously for this card. Oh well, no matter. The card is just barely different enough not to be a complete CASE of myself -- LOL!

So here it is. I used the Leaves a la carte jumbo wheel inked up in always artichoke for the background. I added some groovy guava prints double sided designer paper. For my main image I chose the flowers from year after year stamped on very vanilla card stock in always artichoke and colored with blender pen and groovy guava and mellow moss inks. I double matted the main image with groovy guava and always artichoke, then added it to a large mat with a bit of groovy guava double stitched ribbon and the sentiment from all holidays.
So no, it's not particularly original, but I still like it. Hope you do as well.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Happy World Card Making Day!

So what did you do today? I sure hope that between chores and errands and all the other stuff you had to get done today there was just a little bit of time to make at least one card.

I was actually pretty lucky in that I had a chance to stamp quite a few projects. Of course, I won't show you everything today, because the upcoming week is going to be busy and I want to have some uploads in reserve just in case there are evenings when I *gasp!* can't stamp. But I can show you this silly little card I stamped for today's inspiration challenge on SCS.

I do not normally participate in the inspiration challenge, but when I saw this photo of Pottery Barn bedding I knew I would not be able to resist. So I grabbed my pick-a-petal set and came up with this card.

The final product is not exactly what I saw in my head and I wish I had the time to re-stamp it to do a better job with the spacing, but overall I think the card invokes the spirit of the bedding, which is all I wanted. And Liz, if you're reading this, the only thing that was cut out was the large flower center and a couple of petals for masking. So this is very nearly a single layer card.

Tune in tomorrow when I unveil my new Season of Joy stamp class by mail offer. All the samples have been made and all photos taken, so you'll be able to see the cards you can make in the comfort of your own home! See you then!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

All the Pick A Pocket cards

Here are the 4 cards pocket that we will be making at the October card techniques class (you can see details on two of these cards in the posts below). The first picture shows the fronts and in the second picture you can see the various items tucked into the pockets. See the events page of my website for more details about the class and note that payment and registration for both sessions is due this Monday, October 8, 2007.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Pocket Gift Card Holder

Hubris a/k/a/ excessive pride. The downfall of every hero and villain alike. A reminder from every famous playwrights that it's not good to be overly pleased with one's own accomplishments. Maybe that's why I feel a little nervous when I like a card I created as much as I like this one? But what can I do -- I'm in love.

This is the pocket gift card holder we'll be making at my Pick-A-Pocket Card Techniques class this month. Designing this card was so much fun! It wasn't easy, mind you -- there were a lot of false starts, but the final product came out even better than what I had in mind.

From the start I knew the fold I wanted to use, so that was the easiest part. I also knew I would need some sort of a flower or large element to help with the card closure. I decided to reach back to the Office Accoutrement stamp set, which was one of my favorites from last year's spring mini catalog and, fortunately, made it into the fall-winter collection. My colors would be purely pomegranate and certainly celery. I also wanted to use the faux shaving cream technique on the larger flower image and I love how that turned out!

Basically the fold of the card forms a pocket into which you insert a separate card stamped with the greeting and augmented by a strip punched to hold a gift card. In this picture you can see what the insert looks like outside of the pocket with the gift card in place.

And this is what the recipient would see after the gift card has been removed. Really, it's a pretty neat card and with the holidays coming up fast this particular card layout could be just the thing to take a gift card from generic to WOW!

Click here to see details on this month's card technique classes and to find out how you can learn to make this and three other pocket cards, including the double pocket card shown in the post below!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pick A Pocket Card Techniques Class

In October I decided to celebrate pockets, so the theme for both my card techniques and scrap techniques classes will be Pick A Pocket. This is one of the cards we'll be making at the card techniques class.

This is a cool little double pocket card. This card fold was originally designed by Beate Johns, a super talented stamper and Stampin' Up! demonstrator. My only modification to her design was using the really rust base of the card to create an easel-like stand so that the card can be displayed standing up. As you can see, the card really does not involve much stamping, as most of the decoration comes from the use of the gorgeous Apple Cider double sided designer paper. But I did stamp the tab with a stamp from the Party Punch level 1 hostess set and the Thanks So Much sentiment from Sincere Salutations. The tab is attached to a bite-size chocolate bar which is inserted into the top pocket and a little note card on which you can write a message to the recipient is tucked into the lower pocket.

If you would like to make this card, along with a criss-cross card, a pocket gift-card holder and a single pocket card for $15.00 sing up for my card techniques class on October 13 or 15. Register and pay by tomorrow, Wednesday, October 3 and make 2 cards of each of the 4 designs. Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Something old, something new

Did you think you were going to see a wedding card? Sorry! Hee Hee -- I had a little fun with the title tonight. But you know, the little wedding poem actually fits this card to a tee. How? Well, it's something old -- the snow flurries set that first made its appearance in the 2006 holiday mini, and something new -- the pictogram stamp set for the sentiment, something borrowed -- the card was actually designed by one of the stampers in stitches last year -- sorry, I don't remember exactly who designed the card but I know it was not me, and something blue -- the new soft sky and blue bayou combination.

Once again, I love the simplicity of this card. The silver snowflakes and the silver on silver embossed greeting glitz the card up just enough and go great with the two new in-color blues. Pretty cute, right?