Friday, June 30, 2017

Get Well with "gum wrapper chain"

Sabrina, this week's hostess of this week's SCS Ways to Use It challenge, is a woman after my own heart. How did she know that I can hardly ever get myself to toss even a scrap of card stock or designer paper? The result is bins of scraps, including lots of thin strips of designer paper that I'm sure I will be able to use on a card some day. LOL! I guess some day was today, at least for a couple of those strips.

Yup, you guessed it. The challenge today was to use strips on a card. Sabrina was awesome in pointing us to a bunch of different techniques that utilize strips, but I wanted to try something different. Now, I know what you're thinking. This card doesn't look like I used any strips on it. But indeed I have, even if the final result kind of transforms the strips into an embellishment that more resembles a checkerboard or a chevron.

Did you ever make gum wrapper chains as a kid? I didn't, but my hubby did, so I'm familiar with the concept. I thought it might be something that could translate into a cool embellishment for a card and guess what? It did!

To make the embellishment I cut thin strips of Notations double sided designer paper (from 10 years ago - I kid you not! Did I mention I was a hoarder?) into shorter strips and kind of wove them together, alternating the design. The picture shows what the weave looked like before I used snail to adhere everything together. Now, I know technically this isn't how gum wrapper chains were made, but the look is the same and I didn't need to waste any more of my precious designer paper strips than necessary to achieve it. Ha!

Not only did the resulting embellishment look cool, it was also substantial - almost the thickness of chipboard. Hopefully you can see that in the side photo of the card. Because it was so pretty and so weighty, I thought it would be best showcased on a clean and simple card. And when I say clean and simple, I mean really minimalist, at least for this card. I merely used the marker to stamp technique to stamp the get well image from the Tag It set in chocolate chip and certainly celery. I then cut it out using one of the framelits from the Chalk Talk assortment. For the mat I used sahara sand card stock and another framelit from the same assortment which I then dry embossed it with the Chevron embossing folder to echo the chevron shape of the "gum wrapper chain" embellishment.

To finish the card I merely adhered the sentiment to the mat using dimensionals and then attached the mat to the card base. I attached my "gum wrapper chain" embellishment below using snail. I think it all works well together and makes for a card that can be used for anyone, regardless of age or gender.

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up!)

Paper: whisper white, sahara sand, Notations DSP
Ink: chocolate chip and certainly celery markers
Stamps: Tag It
Accessories: Chalk Talk Framelits Assortment, Chevron Embossing Folder

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Big Chef Birthday

Today's post is a celebration of one of my favorite Stampin' Up! sets - one that retired many years ago. This set was introduced the year I became a demonstrator and I immediately fell in love with it. Not only is it great for birthdays, but with so many things to pile on top of the plate, it really can be used for just about any occasion. It can even be used to make twisted cards, like this one I stamped once for Halloween. It's also a great set for paper piecing, which is the technique I used on this card. The chef's hat and coat are paper pieced with certainly celery patterned paper. I will be entering this card in the QKR Stampede Challenge #249 Paper piecing or Anything Goes

There is nothing particularly complicated about this card, but the chef image is so awesome there really isn't much else that needs to be done. He captures attention all on his own.

For this particular card I also stamped and paper pieced a birthday cupcake from the Birthday Best set on the front of the envelope.

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up!)

Ink: basic black, sahara sand, so saffron, certainly celery, bashful blue
Paper: crumb cake, whisper white, certainly celery prints DSP, Delicate Dots DSP; bashful blue prints DSP on envelope
Stamps: Voila, Birthdays Best (on envelope)
Accessories: Hodge Podge Hardware

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Celebrate Faux Tie Dye

This morning I opened the Splitcoast newsletter to find a link to a new tutorial for a Tie Dye Background technique by Kim Jolley. It's a great technique that uses coffee filters and baby wipes in combination with regular ink pads to create a truly amazing tie dye look. I wanted to try it right away, but my coffee filters are unbleached and I don't have any baby wipes. Bummer!

Well, necessity being the mother of invention, I decided to try something a little different. I happen to have an overabundance of used dryer sheets (because come on, they have to be good for something other than the sparkly dryer sheet technique, right?) so I used a dryer sheet instead of a coffee filter and a sponge instead of the baby wipe. I liked the color combination challenge colors this week, so I went with those, except I didn't have any watermelon wonder and used strawberry slush instead.

What's the upshot? The results are not as nice as Kim's. The dryer sheet is more transparent than a coffee filter and also does not seem to absorb or bleed inks as well. Consequently, even after I spritzed both the dryer sheet and inked up sponge with water, the tie dye effect was much less pronounced. But I thought of a quick and dirty fix (which is why this is a faux instead of a pure tie dye technique). To make the colors stand out more, I simply sponged the colors in stripes onto the white cardstock in the same place as they would be after the dryer sheet was glued to the card stock. That worked pretty well. Still not as good as Kim's brilliant technique, but it will do in a pinch when you don't have the right supplies and have to improvise.

Because I wasn't completely in love with my faux tie dye results, I didn't use the background on the whole card. Instead, I cut it using one of the die cuts from the Banners assortment. I used a larger die cut to cut an elegant eggplant mat, which I dry embossed with the decorative dots embossing folder.  I also used a smaller die to cut a strawberry slush mat.

For my main image I stamped the cake from the Happy You set in Tuxedo Black Memento ink and colored in the cake using Soft Sky, Strawberry Slush and Elegant Eggplant markers. I used a yet smaller banner die to cut the image out and then hand cut a thin mat in soft sky.

I used a white card base and added a mat of designer paper. Now, I'm not 100% sure of the source of the paper, because I got  a sheet of it from my niece who was using a whole pack of this stuff to make a scrapbook for her friend. I know she got it at Michael's and looking on their website it may be from the Boho line by Recollections, but that's just my best guess. I loved the colors on the paper when I saw it and today I realized it would be the perfect background for this color challenge. I stacked all the banner shapes and attached the stack to the matted card front. Far from a masterpiece, but still cute. I can't wait to show my niece how I used the designer paper!

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up! unless otherwise indicated):

Paper: whisper white, elegant eggplant, strawberry slush, soft skye, Boho DSP by Recollections (best guess)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Elegant Eggplant, Strawberry Slush, Soft Skye
Stamps: Happy You
Accessories: Banners Framelits; Decorative Dots embossing folder, dryer sheet, stampin' sponges.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

New Badge

There's a new badge in the sidebar of the blog and it's one that I'm really excited about. This week Muscrat, one of the lovely stampers on Splitcoast, listed my Monochrome Sympathy card as one of her favorites for the week ending June 25. I was so excited! After taking such a long break from stamping and posting it was a little bit daunting to jump back in and I'm thrilled with every comment I get. With so many super talented stampers on the site and with me not exactly keeping up with current trends, having one f my cards chosen as a favorite of the week is as surprising as it is thrilling. And it lets me add the shiny new badge to my blog. So yay! And thank you so much Muscrat! You totally made my week. Heck, you made my month!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Log Cabin Season

I had so much fun making the last card for the free-for-all challenge, I decided to make another. This time, I combined it with last week's mixability challenge, which was to use kraft (or in my case, crumb cake) card stock.

I used an Inkadinakado log cabin stamp for my main image. I stamped it in chocolate chip craft ink and embossed it with clear embossing powder. I used the aqua painter and watercolor wonder crayon in handsome hunter to add color to the pines, the ruby red watercolor wonder crayon to add color to the window frames, porch and chimney, and the brocade blue crayon to color in the smoke. I like how the colors are subtle on craft card stock, but still noticeable. For the large areas of snow I used a sharpie water based paint marker and for the more detailed areas a signo white gel pen.

I dry embossed a 4"x4.25" piece of chocolate chip card stock with the snow burst embossing folder. This gave me a 1/4" margin along the sides of the image. I added a piece of designer series paper from the Christmas Cocoa pack at the bottom so that both the image and DSP together would measure 3.75" in height and I tied a piece of handsome hunter grosgrain ribbon along the seam.

I stamped the sentiment from the Snow Swirled set in chocolate chip craft ink and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. I used the ticket corner punch to give the sentiment a little more interest. I also stamped the snowflake image form the Christmas Punch set in encore gold ink and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder before punching it out with the coordinating boho blossoms punch. I attached both sentiment and snowflake to the DSP strip with dimensionals and attached the image to the chocolate chip embossed card stock.

The card was almost done, but with a large strip of the crumb cake card base exposed at the bottom, it needed just a little bit more. I stamped the entire card front with the Linen background stamp in versamark ink. It gave me exactly the subtle bit of texture I was looking for. I attached the chocolate chip piece to the base and the card was done.

Recipe: all products Stampin' Up! unless otherwise indicated):

Paper: crumb cake, chocolate chip, Christmas cocoa DSP
Ink: chocolate chip craft, Encore gold, Versamark
Stamps: Snow Swirled, Christmas Punch, Linen, Log Cabin from Inkadinkado
Accessories: Watercolor Wonder Crayons in handsome hunter, brocade blue and ruby red, Aqua Painter; Signo White Gel Pen, Sharpie water based white paint marker; handsome hunter narrow grosgrain ribbon; Snow Burst embossing folder, clear embossing powder, ticket corner punch, boho blossoms punch.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Old Wood Birthday

I stamped this card today for this week's Splitcoast free for all challenge, which was to stamp something made of old wood. I had a lot of fun, especially playing with the watercolor wonder crayons, which I hadn't had out for ages. The rustic look makes this card suitable for men and women, not always easy to achieve.

I first stamped the swing image from Summer Afternoon in black stayz-on ink on watercolor paper and colored it in using watercolor wonder crayons in: chocolate chip, close to cocoa, creamy caramel, really rust, garden green, old olive, bordering blue, brocade blue and night of navy as well as my aqua painter. I then stamped the sentiment from the A Little Birthday Cheer set in brown timber stayzon ink on confetti white paper and added a watercolor background similar to that in the image with my watercolor wonder crayons and aqua painter. I added a really rust mat to the sentiment. For the image mat, I used a bit of crumb cake card stock that I had left over from another project that had already been stamped with the woodgrain background stamp in chocolate chip ink.
I embossed a 4"x5.25" piece of chocolate chip card stock with the Tim Holtz woodgrain embossing folder from Sizzix. I then mounted this mat to a 4.25"x5.5" confetti white card base. I used some natural hemp twine to create a knot and wrapped it around a strip of really rust card stock, which I then attached to the chocolate chip mat with dimensionals. I then added the image and the sentiment, both also attached with dimensionals.

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up! except as indicated)

Ink: Black and Timber Brown Stayzon, Chocolate Chip
Paper: Watercolor paper, Confetti White, Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake, Really Rust
Stamps: Summer Afternoon, A Little Birthday Cheer, Woodgrain
Accessories: Watercolor Wonder Crayons Earth Elements and Rich Regals assortments, Natural Hemp Twine, Tim Holtz Woodgrain embossing folder from Sizzix

Friday, June 23, 2017

Monochrome Sympathy

This card was for my neighbor, whose father passed away this week. It's pretty self-explanatory from the recipe (below). The only tricky part was stamping the sentiment on vellum, die cutting it with the ornate thinlit, and then trimming off just the "ornate" portion, and that's only because apparently I have a problem lining things up exactly straight under the cutter arm.  Took a couple of tries, but I got it pretty quick.

One tip - punching a hole for the brads through the ribbon with a hole punch can bunch up the ribbon. It's better to use the paper piercing tool on a paper piercing mat.

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up! unless otherwise indicated):

Paper: whisper white, basic black, vellum, dark gray card base from the Neutrals (5x7 pack) by ms. sparkle & co (tm)
Ink: basic black
Stamps: Creative Elements, Close as a Memory
Accessories: Diamond brads, corner rounder punch, wide striped black ribbon, Lori Whitlock Ornate Labels Thinlits by Sizzix

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Clear Mount Stamp Miracle Tip

If space wasn't an issue, all of my stamps sets would be rubber and wood mounted. I know not everyone feels that way, but I personally love the feel of the wood block in my hand. However, for most of us who have been stamping for years, space eventually does become a problem, and the solution is to compromise via rubber stamps that are intended to be temporarily mounted on clear blocks. (For the purposes of this post, I'm ignoring the existence of clear unmounted polymer stamps.)

Trouble is, in my experience (and apparently some others' experience too) the darned so-called "clear-mount" rubber stamps rarely want to stick to the clear blocks. Ugh! My frustration with this grew so bad that at some point I stopped using the clear blocks altogether. Not a good solution. Basically, I tried to avoid my "clear-mount" stamps as much as I could.

But not anymore, thanks to Stampin' Up! demonstrator France Martin a/k/a Frenchie. She recently shared a tip that is so simple yet so practical that I could just hug her. I tried it and it really works! A miracle. My clear mount stamps no longer fall off their clear mount.

Wanna know what the tip is?  Lip Balm. Ah, so mysterious. Since Frenchie shared the tip, it's only fair to send you to her blog for an explanation. If you watch the video and listen to how excited she is in it, that's how excited I was too! Yippee! Thanks, Frenchie!

Now, the miracle is not all encompassing. While your stamps will not fall off the clear block, they have a tendency to slide on the block so it's really important to stamp directly up and down and not to apply too much pressure that might cause the stamp to shift on the block and give you a fuzzy image. This is good stamping practice anyway and a small price to pay for the image actually sticking to the block!

Throwback Thursday - Banner & Cupcake Birthday

I stamped this back in December 2014 for my niece's 11th birthday. She loved pink and teal, so I chose those colors for her card.

I started with the birthday banner from the Patterned Party set stamped in taken with teal ink on whisper white card stock.
I then used the direct to stamp technique with summer sun and taken with teal markers and stamped the "1" candle from the same set twice directly onto the same whisper white layer. I stamped the cupcake top from the Cupcake Party set onto pretty in pink card stock with regal rose ink and punched it out with the cupcake punch. I stamped the bottom of the cupcake from the same set in taken with teal ink on whisper white card stock and punched that out with the cupcake punch.

I added a surface for the cupcake to "sit" on by punching a strip of pretty in pink card stock with the eyelet border punch. I then stamped another sentiment from the Sweet Little Sentiments set below it in taken with teal. I assembled the main layer and it was almost ready but I didn't like how the cupcake frosting hid the "feet" of the number candles, so I stamped them again, fussy cut the bottoms and glued them to the frosting. In retrospect I probably should have just fussy cut the entire two numbers. Not sure why I didn't. Most likely I was running short on time.

I added a taken with teal and regal rose mats and attached everything to a pretty in pink base. Looking at it now, I wish I had taken a little more time to line up the candles and bottom sentiment a little better, but my niece didn't much care. In fact, I think maybe she liked the reminder that adults didn't always do everything perfectly :).

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up!)

Paper: Whisper White, Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, Taken with Teal
Ink: Taken with Teal, Regal Rose, Summer Sun
Stamps: Patterned Party, Cupcake Party, Sweet Little Sentiments
Accessories: Cupcake Punch, Eyelet Border Punch

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Root Beer Birthday

The new technique challenge on Splitcoast this week was to spell something out on a card using alphabet stamps and not have it be a typical greeting. My mind jumped to my niece, who is a root beer fanatic and connoisseur. This challenge was the incentive I needed to make a root beer card for her birthday.

1. I cut a 2" strip of whisper white and punched it with the scalloped tag topper punch. I then stamped the bottle form the Boys Only set by Doodlebug Design for Hampton Arts in tuxedo black Memento ink. Below the bottle I stamped the "all you need is" greeting from the Painted Posies set  in tuxedo black ink (I omitted the word "love" at the end of the greeting by not inking it.)

2. Finally it was time for the challenge. I took out my Alphabits set. I love this long-ago retired set, but I don't have a lot of occasions to use it. For this card, the italicized script font worked best with the font of the stamped greeting. I first stamped the entire image on my imaging sheet using the stamp-a-ma-jig. Then I cleaned the stamp off and started inking up single letters, lining them up using the stamp-a-ma-jig. I used my chocolate chip marker to ink the stamp because I wanted the words "root beer" to stand out a little. It turned out not to make much of a difference, but oh well.

3. I colored the bottle image using pumpkin pie and daffodil delight stampin' write markers. For the "root beer" I made a shadow outline on the left side of the bottle with my chocolate chip stampin' write marker, but then filled in the rest of the bottle with the brown marker from the flesh tone assortment of Blendabilities markers because I wanted a smooth color finish over the larger surface.

4. I used my paper cutter to trim off 1/8" off each side of the whisper white tag. I punched another tag out of a 2" strip of Daffodil Delight card stock. I layered the tags and added the multicolored striped Dashes, Dots & Checks ribbon that I bought at Michaels. I also added a strip of gold rhinestones that I cut from a Floral Garden Diamond Wrap ribbon that I picked up at Dollar Tree. (I love that diamond wrap ribbon, by the way, so much bling for a buck!) I trimmed off three more rhinestones and added them to the bottle to imitate soda bubbles. I adhered the rhinestones to the card stock using Tombow mono multi glue.

5. I used the three star stamp from the Starring You set to randomly stamp a piece of 4"x5.25" piece of whisper white in Daffodil Delight ink and adhered the white mat to the 4.25"x5.5" pumpkin pie card base. I also stamped the bottle cap image from the Boys Only set (a really unfortunate name, by the way; since when have soda bottles been only for boys?) three times in tuxedo black ink on whisper white card stock and used the coordinating framelit die to cut them out. I colored two of them with pumpkin pie and daffodil delight stampin' write markers. For the third bottle cap I used the pumpkin pie marker to color the entire cap. I did this because I knew I would be covering up the star image with the birthday greeting, which I stamped in basic black ink onto daffodil delight card stock. I used just the center of the image from the Engraved Greetings set by inking it up using my marker. I liked it because it was small enough to fit on the bottle cap and incorporated the star motif. I punched out the greeting with a 1/2" circle punch and adhered it to the bottle cap with snail.

6. The final step was to attach the tag and the bottle caps to the card base using dimensionals.

I think my root beer loving niece will love this card, and since her nickname is "Bling," she'll likely appreciate the rhinestones as well. Normally I'd have to wait until December to give this card to her, but this year we decided to celebrate her and her brother's 1/2 birthdays in the summer, so I'll be able to give it to her very soon!

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up! unless otherwise indicated):

Paper: whisper white, daffodil yellow; pumpkin pie
Ink: Memento tuxedo black, chocolate chip, pumpkin pie, daffodil delight
Stamps: Boys Only by Doodlebug Designs for Hampton Art, Painted Posies, Engraved Greetings, Starring You, Alphabits
Accessories: Dashes, Dots and Checks striped ribbon from Michael's; Floral Garden Diamond Wrap ribbon, scalloped tag top punch, 1/2" circle punch, Boys Only framelits from Sizzix

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Doodle Cupcake Birthday

  I didn't have a lot of time to stamp this week, but seeing the different challenges appear on Splitcoast throughout the week had my fingers itching for rubber and ink. Finally today I got a chance to sneak away to the stamp room to make a quick card. With time limited, I decided to combine three different challenges: the sketch challenge; the color combination challenge; and the ways to use it challenge

1. I used the marker to stamp technique to stamp the sentiment then fussy cut it and attached it to a mat punched with the scalloped circle punch out of tempting turquoise.
2. On my whisper white strip I first stamped the background image from the Work of Art set three times in tempting turquoise, crushed curry and pumpkin pie, then stamped the cupcake from the Out of the Box set in chocolate chip ink on each of the backgrounds. I added the candle from the Bitty Bolds set in chocolate chip ink to each cupcake. 
3. I matted my white strip first with crushed curry and then with tempting turquoise. I added the strip to a piece of pumpkin pie designer series paper.
4. I stamped the tempting turquoise card front with the stamp from the Itty Bitty Backgrounds set in versamark ink and attached the assembled pumpkin pie piece on top. I attached the matted sentiment to the white strip with a dimensional.
5. I could have left it there, but the doodles on the image from the sketched birthday set gave me an idea, so I added the white doodling in the same style to the tempting turquoise strip with my signo white gel pen and I added a simple doodled zig zag to the crushed curry strip with my chocolate chip marker. 

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up!)

Paper: Tempting Turqoise, Crushed Curry; Whisper White; Cast a Spell Designer Series Paper
Ink:  Tempting Turquoise, Crushed Curry, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip, Versamark
Stamps: Backgound Basics, Sketched Birthday; Out of the Box, Bitty Bolds, Work of Art
Accessories: Signo white gel pen, Scalloped Circle Punch

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thursday Throwback - Newlywed Hearts

I made this card back in 2015 for my step-sister's wedding. The wedding colors were turquoise and lime green, so I made a card to match using tempting turquoise and green galore.

I had seen many cards that use hearts to represent the bride and groom, so I did the same but on steroids. I used the entire 8.5x11 sheet of tempting turquoise for a base, scored at 2.75 and 5.5 inches. I used one the framelits from the hearts collection to partially cut two adjoining cards at the top of the card base. I wish I had thought to take interim pictures, because this part was actually fairly involved and I was so glad when it actually turned out the way I wanted. Not sure if this explanation will be of much help without the visuals, but I die cut one partial heart at a time and used the magnetic platform with the long narrow plates normally used for decorative strips to help me apply partial pressure exactly where I needed it. I used the same technique and the same size framelit to cut the green galore mat. It might have been easier to just die cut the hearts and glue them in place, but the card wouldn't have looked as seamless.

I used the same size framelits to make the bride and groom hearts from whisper white and basic black card stock. I die cut the white heart twice. The first was to serve a shirt behind the 'V" I cut freehand in the black card to create a tuxedo jacket look. I embossed the "shirt" heart with the striped embossing folder, making sure that one of the raised stripes was in the center of the heart to look like the button ridge on a shirt. I added black brad buttons, a green galore grosgrain bow and a boutonnière made with a small flower from the Pretties Kit with a turquoise glimmer brad center. I embossed the bride heart with the hearts border embossing folder from the Adorning Accents assortment. Since this is not a full size folder, I had to carefully line up the hearts and the plates as I ran the heart through the big shot several times to cover the entire heart. I added some white organdy ribbon topped with lace ribbon from the Dress Up Ribbon Originals assortment and the added several layered flowers from the Pretties Kit for the bouquet with turquoise and green glimmer brad centers.

To finish the card I stamped the three sentiments from the Cheers to Love set in versamark ink on tempring turquoise cardstock. I then heat embossed them with white embossing powder. I punched the Mr. and Mrs. sentiments with the large heart punch. The "for the newlyweds sentiment was originally cut using a framelit from the apothecary accents assortment - the one that is rectangular with two semicircles at the ends. I then made a straight cut at the bottom of the semicircles to create the rounded edges. I made the rounded top edge with a framelit, but I honestly can't remember if it was a circle or an oval or another framelit from the apothecary accent. Suffice it to say, I didn't make this shape freehand. If I had to re-create the card I'd try different framelits and choose the one that best follows the arc of the sentiment.

I include a side-view picture of the card to show how it's supported. Because the top was die cut and because the card itself was rather large and heavy, I used the other half of the card stock to make a support for the card front to lean against with a more normal top fold for the inside. It made the inside of the card only 2.75" x 8.5" (2.5x8 for the white mat) but that was plenty of space to stamp in a sentiment from the Word Play set in tempting turquoise ink and write in our good wishes.

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up!")

Paper: tempting turquoise, green galore, whisper white, basic black
Ink: versamark, tempting turquoise for inside
Stamps: Cheers to Love, Word Play
Accessories: Pretties Kit, Brights Glimmer Brads, Hearts Framelits Assortment, Large Heart Punch, Apothecary Accents Framelits Assortment, Black Brads, Green Galore Grosgrain Ribbon, White wide organdy ribbon, Lace ribbon from Dress Up Ribbon Originals pack, Stripes Embossing Folder, Hearts border Embossing Folder from Adorning Accents assortment, white embossing powder.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Stampin' Pastel Birthday

I stamped this card recently for my mom's birthday and it not only took me out of my comfort zone, it reinvigorated my love of stamping. I know the photos I've been posting are not that great (I didn't take them with the blog in mind, so they're not lit up correctly) so you'll have to take my word for how pretty this looked in real life. It's a mixed medium card because in addition to traditional ink stamping, I also used stampin' pastels.

Long-time readers of the blog might remember that I absolutely adore using stampin' pastels, but for whatever reasons I haven't done so in a really long time. Even when I did use them more frequently, I never used them in quite this way. I'll admit it was time consuming, but well worth it in the end.

Now, I know Stampin' Up! no longer offers pastels, so it may be a little unfair to rave on and on about them since many people cannot get their hands on them anymore. Still, for those like me, who may have let their pastels gather dust, I hope this card inspires you to take them out and play!

Here are the details for my card:

  1. The card base is 5"x7" and it was pre-dry-embossed with a striped pattern.
  2. I used the Sizzix embossing folder for the main image. The folder is slightly bigger than 5.5"x4.25", which makes it perfect for this bigger card. After I dry embossed a piece of whisper white card stock, I used cotton swabs to apply stampin' pastels to the raised areas. Of course, the beauty of using SU stampin' pastels is that they match perfectly with the SU inks. I'll admit I had a couple of mishaps where the color slipped onto the base, but the eraser that came with the Stampin' pastels quickly took care of those. 
  3. I stamped the sentiment in the center of the card and the cake slice to the side. I colored the cake slice with stampin' pastels as well.
  4. Last but not least I stamped the flowers on a separate piece of whisper white, punched them out and attached the to the card front with dimensionals. I added a mat to separate the main image from the card base and voila!
I was shocked at how easy it was to use the pastels to color even the most detailed parts, like the dotted swirls. I can't wait to use the pastels on more embossed cards. 

Recipe (Stampin' Up! products unless otherwise indicated)

Paper: Rose Red, Whisper White, A7 Embossed white card base by DCWV
Ink: Lovely Lilac, Basic Gray, Rose Red, Regal Rose, So Saffron
Stamps: Sassy Salutations, Sketched Birthday, Petite Petals
Accessories: Stampin' Pastels, Petite Petals Punch, Dimensionals, A6 Birds and Branches Embossing Folder by Sizzix

Friday, June 9, 2017

Beachy Birthday

Today's Free for all challenge on Splitcoast  asked for beachy cards. I really wanted to play, but we're going out of town this weekend so I didn't have enough time. However, I had stamped this card back in February for my MIL's birthday. At the time, we were a month away from a family cruise that my MIL treated us all to, so it made sense to make her a beach-themed birthday card. She loved it, but I never uploaded it to SCS. Since it fits today's challenge, I decided to cheat a little and upload it now.

The card is a stairstep card, which is a little easier to see in the second photo. There are two shorter layers in front of the back layer to give the beach "scene" extra depth. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take any pictures from the side :(. 

I fussy cut almost all of the stamped images from the Shore Thing, Sentimental Journey and Summer Splash sets by hand (and should have done a much better job on the sun - oh well), except for the sanddollar images that serve as kind of faux brads on the birthday sentiment die cut - those were punched with the 1/2" circle punch. The sentiment label and banner were die cut using framelits form the Banners and Apothecary Accents assortments.

I embossed the soft sky background with the cloudy day embossing folder and I tore and sponged the sea and beach layers as well as stamping those layers with the wave and sand images from the Shore Thing set. I tore four separate layers for the middle tier of the card (two blue and two crumb cake) to create the look of perspective both on the beach and in the sea. The Gone to the Beach sentiment was a $1 stamp from Michael's that I picked up years ago and finally had a chance to use. It was just perfect for this card.

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up! except as indicated):
Paper: Whisper White, Soft Sky, Ballet Blue, Crumb Cake
Ink: Crumb Cake, Ballet Blue, Pumpkin Pie, Creamy Caramel, Summer Sun
Stamps: Shore Thing, Sentimental Journey, Summer Splash, Sassy Salutations, Gone to the Beach (c) Village Arts Press
Accessories: Banners and Apothecary Accents Framelits, Cloudy Day Embossing Folder, 1/2" Circle Punch, dimensionals.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Throwback Thursday - Easy Graduation Card

Obviously, this card dates back to last year and there's really not a whole lot to it. I cut out the two pieces of the graduation cap out of basic black cardstock freehand. The mortarboard was attached to the card base with dimensionals. The only stamped image is the sentiment from the All Year Cheer III set stamped on the mortarboard with versamark ink and then heat embossed with white embossing powder. The center of the mortarboard is a large white brad. I made the attached tassel with white baker's twine. I die cut the numbers for the year using Tim Holtz Alphanumeric Thinlits from Sizzix.

That's it. Couldn't be easier. (OK, maybe it could if you used rub ons or stickers for the greeting and numbers - especially if you didn't have heat embossing tools and/or the thinlits on hand.) Sometimes quick and simple is more important than elaborate and artistic, especially knowing that most graduates focus much more on what's tucked into or attached to the card :).

Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black
Ink: Versamark
Stamps: All Year Cheer III
Accessories: white baker's twine, large white brad, white embossing powder, Tim Holtz alphanumeric thinlits from Sizzix

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Time to Wish Big

I guess one Tim Holtz inspired card wasn't enough. I was on a roll and decided to make another, this one more masculine. I was inspired by this clock card and this clock tag. I'm still a long way from truly capturing Tim's style, but I'm reasonably satisfied with the way this card turned out.

As with the Perfect Form Birthday card, I'm including pictures and descriptions of the process. My blog audience is small to nonexistent right now, so no one may care, but if nothing else, it will refresh my recollection if I ever try again down the road. It's like having  a visual diary of my stamping journey.

1.  I started by stamping a collage background on a piece of basic gray card stock. I used the memento tuxedo black ink to stamp the clock images from the Sense of Time and Clockworks sets. I then stamped the grid and
swirls from the Clockworks set in crushed curry ink and the splatter from the Gorgeous Grunge set with marina mist ink. I added the vertical lines form the Gorgeous Grunge set with soft suede ink and the diagonal line pattern with basic gray ink. If I had to do it again, I think I would have heat embossed the clock images in black. Something to consider for next time.

2.  The next step was to add a few gears that I die cut out of brushed silver card stock using the Tim Holtz Gadget Gears die by Sizzix. I like the shine that the brushed silver cardstock adds to the background.

3.  Maybe I should have left well enough alone at this point, but I felt this need to do one more thing, so I ran the background through the big shot in the Print Blocks Set embossing folder by Sizzix. I then sponged the card with basic gray ink to make the letters stand out more. I then mounted the background on the front of a smoky slate card base.

4. With the card base done, I moved on to the other elements. While working on my Father's Day Tool Box card the other day, I stamped a piece of bliss blue card stock with the gears from the Sense of Time and Clockworks sets. While I didn't like this piece on the other card, it was perfect for this one. Of course, I couldn't just leave it there. I sponged the card stock with basic gray ink and the edges with soft suede ink. I punched gears using the Stampin' Up! Extra-Large Cogs Double Punch and basic gray card stock and glued them to the bliss blue layer, then I inserted it into the tag topper punch before running it through the big shot in a Clocks embossing folder by Sizzix. To make the embossed clock images more prominent, I sponged them with whisper white craft ink. Again, in retrospect I might have sponged them with silver ink. To finish the tag, I tied basic gray taffeta ribbon through the tag hole.

5. For the sentiment, I wanted to use the ticket motif.  I stamped an image form the That's the Ticket set in memento tuxedo black ink onto kraft card stock and punched out the image using the ticket duo punch. I stamped the ticket with the Happy Birthday greeting from the King of the Grill set  in the same black ink, but it just wasn't enough. I realized that the word "Happy" would fit into the mini ticket on the Ticket Duo punch, so I stamped in it black on Bliss Blue card stock and punched it out, attaching the mini ticket to the kraft ticket. I sponged the edges of the ticket in soft suede ink and then called this element done.

6. The clock is from the Clocks set from Graphic 45 by Sizzix, which also comes with coordinating framelits. I stamped the clock in memento tuxedo black ink onto kraft card stock, and then used Stampin' Blendabilities markers to color portions of the frame. I stamped the image of the face onto crushed curry card stock and cut it out using one of the framelits from the Stampin' Up! circles collection  before attaching it onto the main clock image. I stamped the face again onto whisper white card stock and colored the small second clock with stampin' blendability marker before cutting it out by hand and attaching it to the crushed curry clock face. I stamped the clock hands onto bliss blue and the pendulum onto crushed curry card stock and die cut them using coordinating framelits. I attached the clock hands to the clock with a black brad and glued on the pendelum. Last but not least, I stamped the "wish big" sentiment fom the Pennant Parade set onto crushed curry card stock and die cut it with the smallest circle from the Stampin' Up! circles collection framelits before attaching it at the bottom of the pendulum with a dimensional. You can see this on the final card. Fun fact: this clock is the only thing on the card that I did not sponge.

Another fun fact: this is the same color combination I used on the Father's Day card last week. I really liked it and all the inks and papers were still out on my stamping table, plus I think they worked well with this theme as well. I cleaned up now, so I probably won't use this color combo again for a while.

7. The last step was to attach the layers of elements to the card base. With only three elements, it was easy to settle on a layout.

So what do you think of my Time to Wish Big card? Leave a comment to let me know. I'd love to hear from you.

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up! unless otherwise indicated):
Paper: basic gray, kraft, whisper white, smoky slate, crushed curry, bliss blue, brushed silver
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Basic Gray, Soft Suede, Crushed Curry, Marina Mist, Whisper White craft, Stampin' Blendabilities from the night of navy, daffodil delight and skin tone assortments
Stamps: Sense of Time, Clockworks, Gorgeous Grunge, That's the Ticket, Pennant Parade, King of the Grill, Clocks by Graphic 45 from Sizzix
Accessories: Ticket Duo Punch, Extra-Large Cogs Double Punch, Angled Tag Topper Punch, Circles Collection Framelits, Basic Gray Taffeta Ribbon, black brad, dimensionals, Tim Holtz Gadget Gears die by Sizzix, Clocks framelits by Sizzix, Clocks and Print Blocks Set Embossing Folders by Sizzix.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Perfect Form Birthday

This card was so much fun to make, even though it took quite a bit of time to get it just right. I was prompted to make it by Saturday's Inspiration Challenge on Splitcoast Stampers, which was to make a card inspired by Tim Holtz. Now, I'm a big fan of Tim's style, but it's far more elaborate than my typical cards. Still, challenges are a great way to unleash untapped creativity, so I jumped right in. Happily, I found a great  inspiration card that worked with the supplies I had in my stamp room.  You can find the card that inspired me here.

My card isn't as bold as the inspiration, but it includes many of the inspiration elements. I love the way it turned out and I know exactly who I'm going to give it to when it comes time for her birthday.

Here are the details on the making of the card:

1. I started with a so saffron base, to which I added a layer in crumb cake and very vanilla (layers pictured here). The crumb cake layer could have been blank, but I happened to have a piece left over from another project using collage stamping and I liked the way the Woodgrain stamped image peeked out from underneath the very vanilla layer edges.

2. The very vanilla layer was embossed with two different embossing folders, both from Sizzix. I've been wanting to use the  Sewing embossing folder forever, and finally found the right project. Because I wanted the image of the scissors to be visible horizontally  on top of the card (where it ordinarily would be vertically in the center,) I actually used the folder twice. I changed the orientation of the folder to place the scissors near the top, and then I used partial pressure and the normal orientation to emboss the bottom. This left the space on the left side a little too blank, so I added the corner swirls from the Flourish embossing folder by Sizzix, using more partial pressure so as not to disturb the other embossed portions. I stamped the blank spaces with the flower image from Bella's Blossoms in pink pirouette and then sponged the layer with pink pirouette and crumb cake ink. Finally, I sponged the edges of the layer with soft suede ink.

3.  The pink pirouette layer was also more complicated than I first anticipated. On the inspiration card, this layer includes bold newsprint and ad images. I initially thought the quilt image from Inkadinkado would work great as a substitute (I included the stamp in the photo to show the full image). However, once stamped, I thought this image was too busy and stole focus from the rest of the card. Rather than discard it completely, I decided to use the quilt border while adding a pink pirouette layer on top that was stamped with images fom the Stitched Exotics set in crumb cake and pink pirouette inks. I sponged the edges of both of these layers with soft suede ink.

4. I also added the embossed buttons made with the Stampin' Up! sweet buttons embosslit. I lightly sponged the buttons with whisper white craft ink to make the embossing stand out.

5. I stamped the sentiment form the I Like Your Style set in soft suede on very vanilla and punched it out with the scalloped oval punch. The larger So Saffron scalloped oval was die cut using the Stampin' Up! magnetic movers and shapers punch window assortment.

6. The dress form was die cut using the dress up framelits from Stampin' Up! The ball on top of the dress form started out as a clock hand in the Clocks stamp and coordinating framelit set from Sizzix. I trimmed it with scissors so that it would not show on the sides of the dress form neck. I show the back of it in this photo because it makes it easier to see how the three pieces were put together. In the photo of the finished card you can also see I embossed the dress form with the diamonds embossing folder from Sizzix and sponged it with pink pirouette ink in the center and soft suede ink on the edges.

7. I also show the deconstructed button/bow combination. The button was die cut in soft suede and pink pirouette using the buttons #7 sizzlit from Sizzix. I then used the perforated line on the button as a guide to cut away the pink pirouette petals, leaving just the center, which I layered on top of the soft suede flower button. I threaded natural hemp twine through the button holes, wrapped the twine around the middle of the dress form and tied it into a bow.

8. The final touch was adding a safety pin from the Stampin' Up! vintage trinkets assortment to the very vanilla layer and tying a piece of pink gingham ribbon to the safety pin.

This was by no means a quick and easy project, but the end result was well worth the effort.

If you're still reading this, please do leave me a comment here or on Splitcoast to let me know what you think. Feedback, good or bad, is always appreciated.

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up! Unless otherwise indicated):
Ink: crumb cake, pink pirouette, soft suede, whisper white craft
Paper: so saffron, pink pirouette, crumb cake, very vanilla, soft suede
Stamps: I Like your Style, Bella's Bloom, Stitched Exotics, Woodgrain, Quilt image from Galerie Vernissage by Inkadinkado
Accessories: scalloped oval punch. magnetic movers and shapers punch windows assortment, vintage trinkets, pink gingham ribbon, natural hemp twine, sweet buttons embosslit, dress up framelits, clocks framelits by Sizzix, fleurish, sewing and diamonds embossing folders by Sizzix

Monday, June 5, 2017

Graduation Owl

I stamped this card last year for a friend's son's junior high graduation. He loves birds, so I thought he'd get a kick out of a graduation owl. Cute, right?

1.  I stamped the owl image from Punch Bunch and then punched it out along with the black "gown," the beak and eye pieces using the owl punch.
2  I liked that the white edge around the punched owl image helped it stand out from the background, so I tried to match it on the fussy cutting on the cap.
3. The cap is form the Sock Monkey Accessories set. I stamped it with basic black ink on whisper white and then colored it in with a black marker.
4. I used the direct to stamp method on the sentiment from the Blue Ribbon set so that I could have the black cap with the kraft sentiment.

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up!):

Stamps: Blue Ribbon, Punch Bunch, Sock Monkey Accessories
Paper: Sahara Sand, Kraft, Whisper White, Basic Black Pumpkin, Pie
Ink: Basic Black, Kraft
Accessories: Owl Punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, designer label punch, black 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, natural twine, stylish stripes textured impressions embossing folder, dimensionals

(Note: I no longer have the card so I can't be positive about the colors. The recipe includes my best guess, but it may be that the base and the layer under the owl were kraft and the owl itself and the designer label were close to cocoa.) 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Father's Day Tool Box

I had such a great time putting this card together today. The inspiration came from a couple of challenges on Splitcoast Stampers. Wednesday's sketch challenge and today's Free 4 All challenge. I needed to make a Father's day card for my step-dad, so the F4A challenge that called for use of tool or machine stamps was perfectly timed.
Although I love using embossing folders, I find that in doing so I often forget about background stamps. I was happy that on this card I found uses for both dry embossing and a couple of my favorite background stamps. 
It may sound strange, but the thing that makes me happiest about this card is the color combination, mostly because I kind of stumbled into it while coloring the tool box image. The tool box is simply too busy to use only my go to browns and grays, so I was forced to inject some color and chose the blue and yellow shades almost randomly. I love how well they work together and sort of wake up the card. 

I really like the way this card turned out. Hopefully my step-dad will too. Fortunately he has no idea this blog exists, so I don't have to worry about posting it early ;-).

  1. card base is chocolate chip.
  2. Crushed curry layer is stamped with wonderfully worn background in crushed curry ink.
  3. Bliss Blue layer (no, that's not a misprint, just a blast from the past) is stamped with the Hardwood background in basic gray ink. As an aside, Bliss Blue was the best match from my scrap pile for the middle hue in the Night of Navy Stampin' Blendabilities assortment. Marina Mist and Brocade Blue were close, but just a bit too bright and not bright enough respectfully.
  4. Basic gray layer is topped with the smoky slate layer, which has been embossed with the Sizzix wood grain embossing folder.
  5. The toolbox was stamped on whisper white with the memento Tuxedo Black ink and colored with Stampin' Blendabilities before being die cut with the Sizzix framelit.
  6. The sentiment was stamped in chocolate chip ink on whisper white and punched out using the word window pinch. The chocolate chip layer behind the word window punch was die cut using on of the Lori Whitlock Ornate Labels Thinlits by Sizzix.  I really love the Ornate Label assortment. So many great layering pieces for sentiments and the larger labels are great for main images too.  

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up! except as otherwise indicated):
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Crushed Curry, Bliss Blue, Basic Gray, Smoky Slate, Whisper White
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Basic Gray, Chocolate Chip, Crushed Curry, Stampin' Blendabilities from the following assortments: Night of Navy, Daffodil Delights, Smoky Slate and Skin Tone.
Stamps: For Father, King of the Grill, Wonderfully Worn, Hardwood
Accessories: Silver brads, dimensionals, Word Window Punch, Sizzix wood grain embossing folder, Lori Whitlock Ornate Labels Thinlits by Sizzix, Hero Arts Everyday Eclectic Framelits by Sizzix

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Throwback Thursday - Decorated Candle Jars

This project goes way back, so far back that if I hadn't taken pictures, I might have forgotten all about it. As it is, I have a vague recollection of the occasion I needed these for, but I won't mention it here just in case I'm wrong. They make super versatile gifts, though.

I started out with some pretty candle jars. (Sorry, I don't remember the brand or where I got them.} I really liked the shape and the ombré colors of the wax layers, but the best thing about the jars were the labels on the lids. That made it much easier to decorate them with my Stampin' Up! rub-ons. The white flowers looked so pretty against all the different colors of wax. To make the jars look even more festive, I added some white organza ribbon bows using mini glue dots to keep the ribbon in place.  
I also decorated the lids using a stamp from the Punch Bunch set and some scalloped circle and plain circle punches.
Here are all the jars in their decorated glory. So cute! Who wouldn't want to get one of these?
Recipe (all products Stampin' Up!):
Paper: Creamy Caramel, Ruby Red, Old Olive, Lovely Lilac, Almost Amethyst, Certainly Celery, Rose Red, Regal Rose, Whisper White.
Ink (All markers): Creamy Caramel, Ruby Red, Old Olive, Lovely Lilac, Almost Amethyst, Certainly Celery, Rose Red, Regal Rose.
Accessories: Circle punches, scalloped circle punches, whisper white organza ribbon, Love & Happiness rub ons, Urban West rub ons.