Monday, July 31, 2017

Organic Thanks

The "try a new technique" challenge on Splitcoast Stampers today asked us to use salt and glossy card stock to make a background. I tried, but the end result was rather disappointing. Maybe it was the fact that the only salt I had was table salt, or maybe it was trying to dry the cardstock with a heat tool instead of waiting patiently, but when I scraped off the salt it left no evidence of its presence behind. That's the bad news.

The somewhat better news is that the background itself was a salvageable soft watercolor, so I decided to use it anyway. I was already combining today's challenge with last week's color combo challenge, and since the salt thing went bust I decide to add in last week's sketch challenge and last week's ways to use it challenge by heat embossing the images from the Organic Grace set and the sentiment from the So Many Sayings set with wild wasabi embossing powder.

I cut out a portion of the background and used it for the panel on which I stamped the fern. I stamped the sentiment on a strip of glossy cardstock that I colored with daffodil delight ink and an aquapainter. I stamped the dragonfly on a piece of glossy card stock as well, colored it with pacific point ink and an aquapainter and fussy cut it out so I could mount it to the background panel using dimensionals. I like the final product, I only wish I had actually managed to make the salt technique work.

Paper: glossy white, daffodil delight, wild wasabi, pacific point
Ink: daffodil delight, wild wasabi, pacific point, versamark
Stamps: Organic Grace, So Many Sayings
Accessories: Aquapainter, wild wasabi embossing powder

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Tropical Birthday

In this week's Ways To Use It challenge on Splitcoast Stampers, Lisa challenged us to "warm it up". We could use heat embossing, images that are hot like fire or iron, or use other techniques that use hot tools. I decided to go for a double. I used heat embossing, but I use this technique all the time, so that didn't seem like enough. To really challenge myself I decide to try the wax paper resist technique combined with an embossing folder. This involves dry embossing a piece of wax paper with an embossing folder and then using a hot iron to transfer the embossed image onto card stock, creating a "resist".

Let me just say that I hate ironing, so only a challenge could get me to finally try this technique. To make it worth my while, I embossed several pieces of wax paper with different folders, so I have a bunch of wax resist backgrounds I can use on future cards. I'm not sure if they'll be really useful, though, because I'm not sure I did this right. Maybe my iron wasn't set high enough, but even though I did get a bit of a resist, it wasn't nearly as crisp and white as I was expecting. Oh well.

To create this background I sponged dazzling daffodil, calypso coral and melon mambo inks over my background. I thought these fiery colors not only suited the tropical nature of the background, but also the "warm it up" part of the challenge. I then stamped images from the Summer Collage set by TPC Studios in Tangerine Tango in the center of the background.

I stamped several flowers from the Tropical Party set in rich razzleberry for the large flowers and Tangerine Tango for the small flowers on whisper white card stock that I then sponged with the inks used on the background and fussy cut all of them before attaching them to the card base. I did the same with the coconut drink image from the same set (minus the sponging). Finally, I stamped the sentiment in versamark and heat embossed it with white embossing powder before attaching the finished layer to the already dry embossed 5x7" card base.

The card didn't turn out exactly as I originally imagined, but I thought this was a really fun challenge and I appreciate the push to try yet another new to me technique.


Paper: whisper white, A7 Embossed white card base by DCWV
Ink: dazzling daffodil, calypso coral, melon mambo, tangerine tango, rich razzleberry, early espresso, versamark
Stamps: Tropical Party, Sassy Salutations, Summer Collage from TPC Studios
Accessories:  Summer Flowers A6 embossing folder by Sizzix, white embossing powder, spomges.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Wonderful Farmyard

In today's Free For All challenge on Splitcoast, Shirley challenged us to use something on a card that could be found on old MCDonald's farm. I would have been stuck for ideas, had I not just re-discovered my wheels, including the Farmyard jumbo wheel.

With the wheel, all I had to so was color the images with my blendabilities markers and my sharpie water based white paint marker (for the sheep and the cloud highlights) and the card was practically done. I just added a strip of soft sky card stock embossed with the clouds embossing folder and a strip of marigold morning embossed with the cross-stitch pattern from the needlepoint assortment, plus two thin strips of old olive to set off the wheeled scene. I wasn't sure of how I would use this card so I used a versatile  "wishing you a wonderful day" sentiment from the Bring on the Cake set.

Since today's QKR Stampede challenge is "Down on the Farm or Anything Goes," I'm going to submit this card for that challenge as well.

Paper: Whisper White, Old Olive, Soft Sky, Marigold Morning
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, blendabilities markers in various colors
Stamps: Farmyard jumbo wheel, Bring on the Cake
Accessories: Needlepoint Embossing Folder, Clouds Embossing Folder

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sunflower Sympathy

If you're thinking this looks an awful lot like the Country Birthday card from last week, you're absolutely right. I had some extra pieces left over from that project and I thought they would work well with the sunflower image from the Measure of a Life set. I stamped it with versamark on whisper white card stock twice, added the sympathy sentiment from Teeny Tiny Wishes to one of the images and heat embossed both with detail black embossing powder. I colored both sunflowers with summer sun and close to cococa markers.  I sponged the image with the sympathy sentiment with crumb cake ink. I then fussy cut the sunflower from the second image and attached it over the other sunflower with a dimensional for a little extra dimension. the rest of the card is pretty much the same as the Country birthday card except the crumb cake base was stamped with the netting background in crumb cake ink and the gingham was sponged with crumb cake ink.


Paper: crumb cake, basic black, whisper white
Ink: versamark, crumb cake, ruby red, summer sun and close to cocoa markers
Stamps: Serene Sunflower, Measure of a Life, Teeny Tiny Wishes, Netting background, Gingham wheel
Accessories: Floral Garden Burlap Ribbon by Greenbrier International, Border Scoring Plate and Stampin' Up! Scorer, detail black embossing powder, stampin' pastels

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dragonfly Sympathy

I really liked yesterday's color combination challenge on SCS and I was inspired by justampin, who made a gorgeous sympathy card using these colors. I never would have thought to combine these colors for a somber occasion, but they do work well with the dragonfly image from the Measure of a Life set.

For this card I stamped the image and sentiment in versamark and heat embossed both with detail black embossing powder. I colored the dragonfly using daffodil delight, wild wasabi, pacific point inks and a blender pen. I then used daffodil delight ink and the rough texture jumbo wheel to add the background.I added the background to the daffodil delight mat with the very vintage jumbo wheel and daffodil delight ink.

Paper: whisper white, daffodil delight, wild wasabi, pacific point
Ink: Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi, Pacific Point, Versamark
Stamps: Measure of a Life, Close as a Memory, Rough Texture jumbo wheel, Very Vintage jumbo wheel
Accessories: Wide black organdy ribbon, detail black embossing powder, dazzling diamonds

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ink Splat Birthday

Just a quick card for today's SCS color challenge, which was to use pacific point, wild wasabi and daffodil delight. The idea was to make the card look like graffiti on a white brick wall. Not sure I quite got the right look for graffiti, but paint splatters on a white brick wall work too.

I first inked up a Tim Holtz Alterations Ink Splats embossing folder with daffodil delight ink and spritzed it with water before using it to stamp whisper white card stock. I then stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment in Pacific Point. I've had this stamp for a long time and there are no identifying marks on the label whatsoever. If anyone knows who put out this stamp, please leave me a comment - thanks!

The next step was to add ink splats in wild wasabi using a couple of stamps from the Gorgeous Grunge set and some dots using a stamp from the Itty Bitty Backgrounds set in pacific point. When everything was stamped I embossed the image with the Tim Holtz Alterations Bricked embossing folder and attached it to a white card base with dimensionals.


Paper: whisper white
Ink: Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi, Pacific Point
Stamps: Gorgeous Grunge, Itty Bitty Backgrounds, unknown Happy Birthday image
Accessories: Tim Holtz Alterations Bricked and Ink Splats embossing folders from Sizzix

Friday, July 21, 2017

Country Birthday

Today I made another scored gingham card, but this matches more closely the original concept I had in my head. The QKR stampede crew didn't spell out exactly what the twist is for their "anything goes with a twist" challenge this week (or if they did the invisible ink doesn't show up on my computer screen), but based on the title (#253 Up, Up and Away) and the designer team's awesome samples I'm going to guess it has something to do with things that can fly? If so, I think my rooster may qualify, but even if not, the card will fit the "anything goes" part of the challenge. Click on the link to check out the challenge and submit your own card. It's fun!

On the black layer, I first scored the two parallel scallop lines using the border plate for my Stampin' Up! scorer. These scallops happen to match the large scallop edgelit from Stampin' Up!, so I used that next to give me the perfect edge. I then stamped the sunflowers from the Serene Sunflower set in versamark ink and colored them by tapping with sponge daubers coated with stampin' pastels, also known as the chalkboard pastels technique.

The gingham layer was created with the gingham wheel in ruby red ink on very vanilla card stock. Just as an aside, yesterday I rediscovered my wheels. These are the only stamps left in my stamp room that I haven't indexed and I apparently forgot how many and which wheels I had. I will index them this weekend and then I anticipate I will use them much more often.

The kraft card base came from the Neutral Smooth A2 cards and envelopes assortment from Darice. I stamped it in versamark ink with a stamp from the Itty Bitty Backgrounds set.

The image and sentiment were stamped on watercolor paper in black stayzon ink and then colored with watercolor wonder crayons and an aquapainter. I tore the edges of both and mounted both on pieces of Floral Garden Burlap Ribbon by Greenbrier International.

I really like the rustic country look and feel of this card and I think the recipient will appreciate it as well.


Paper: kraft card base from Neutral Smooth A2 cards and envelopes assortment by Darice, basic black, very vanilla, watercolor paper
Ink: black stayzon, versamark
Stamps: Itty Bitty Backgrounds, Serene Sunflower, Country Morning, Occasional Quotes, Gingham wheel
Accessories: Watercolor Wonder Crayons from Earth Elements, Rich Regals and Neutral Assortments, Stampin' Pastels, Aquapainter, sponge daubers, Floral Garden Burlap Ribbon by Greenbrier International, Border Scoring Plate and Stampin' Up! Scorer

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Scored Gingham Birthday

Today I wanted to make a card that satisfied two of SCSs challenges. One was a mixed media challenge that required us to use gingham in some form and the other was a Ways To Use It challenge to use scoring. I started out with an idea and then I made a mistake so, of course, instead of scrapping the idea and starting over, I improvised.

I'm not sure how I feel about the result. Not really what I wanted but I think it works as a simple masculine birthday card. I am happy with the corner scoring (using the small zigzag pattern on the Simply Scored borders scoring plate) although I wish it was a little more noticeable. Also, while I used gingham with regular ink and heat embossed the greeting using craft ink and clear embossing powder, thus technically meeting the bare minimum of the mixed media challenge requirement, I can't help wishing I had done more "mixing". The good news on that front is that I already have another idea, so hopefully I'll have time to make that one tomorrow.


Paper: whisper white, buckaroo blue, night of navy
Ink: night of navy, night of navy craft
Stamps: Grunge Rock, Gingham Stampin' Around wheel
Accessories: clear embossing powder, Stampin' Up! Scoring board and borders scoring plate

Warm Window Wishes

Today I made a window card. Hopefully you can see the corner of the inside of the card base behind the snowmen.

I had a totally different idea for a card when I went into my stamp room, but somehow it morphed into this. I'm happy with the final result, even though die cutting the windows turned out to be more difficult than I first thought. For some reason the camera isn't capturing the vibrancy of green galore. This card looks much "happier" in real life.

The snowmen were stamped on a window sheet with black stayzon ink and colored in using Bic permanent markers and a sharpie waterbased white paint marker. The red mat was stamped with snowflakes from the Snowflakes set in versamark ink. The sentiment from the Snowflakes set was stamped on glorious green in versamark and embossed with white embossing powder, and then die cut using one of the ovals from a Sizzix Ovals Framelits assortment (these are narrower than the Stampin' Up! oval framelits).

I used glorious green and real red for the mat and white for the card base. I die cut the window in the base and the mats using Stampin' Up! Ovals Framelits and used partial pressure to make sure I only cut part of the oval. This actually took several passes through the big shot and some manual trimming with my craft knife and a metal edge ruler to make the straight edge. A bit of a pain, to be honest, but it turned out OK in the end.

Once everything was cut to size, I attached the acetate to the red mat with SNAIL adhesive and hand trimmed it around the oval. I then attached it to the green mat. I added the white baker's twine bow and the sentiment to the front and then attached the whole assembly to the white card base, making sure to match up the die cut windows. I toyed with stamping the inside of the card with snowflakes, but decided to leave well enough alone so as not to distract from the cute snowmen.

Definitely not a card to mass produce, but it will hopefully make a nice surprise for someone worthy of a special card.


Paper: Whisper White, REal Red, Green Galore, Window Sheet
Ink: Versamark, Black Stayzon, Bic permanent markers, Sharpie water based white paint marker
Stamps: Snowflakes, The World Over
Accessories: White Embossing Powder, Sizzix Ovals Framelits, Stampin' Up! Ovals Framelits, white baker's twine

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Metallic Plaid Christmas

I enjoyed making my own plaid background so much yesterday, I decided to give it another go. This time I wanted to use my metallic markers and make a clean and simple Christmas card. I used very vanilla card stock for the plaid background, the card base and the sentiment, with a small piece of brushed gold card stock for the sentiment mat. I stamped the sentiment and snowflakes with versamark and heat embossed them with gold embossing powder. For the plaid background the thin silver and gold stripes are made with silver and gold metallic sharpies. The wider gold stripe was made with Stampin' Dazzle gold marker by drawing two thin lines and filling in the space in between. All the layers are popped upon dimensionals. The shape on the short ends of the sentiment very vanilla layer was created using the rounded tab punch.


Paper: Very Vanilla, Brushed Gold
Ink: Versamark, Gold and Silver Metallic Sharpie markers, Stampin' Dazzle gold marker
Stamps: Snowflakes, Greetings of the Season
Accessories: gold embossing powder, rounded tab punch, corner rounder punch

Plaid Notebook

This was just a quick project for my hubby, who wanted a little notebook to keep in the car to jot down reminders. I happened to have a few mini comp books that I picked up at Dollar Tree (I believe they came in a package of 4) but even though he would have been happy to take one as is, I wanted to make it a little nicer. Fortunately, when I looked through my paper stash I found this great patterned paper that looked like four different plaid papers bound together with a leather cord. I immediately knew I had to use this paper to cover hubby's notebook, with the leather binding centered so that it looked like it bound the notebook itself. This project took less than 1/2 of the 12x12 sheet, so I have enough paper to cover one more notebook in the future and scraps left over to decorate cards!

Above you can see how I went about covering the notebook. First, I cut my patterned paper to size and "dry" fitted it around the notebook, lightly creasing it so that I would have a good idea of where everything needed to go once the adhesive was in place. It may not be obvious from the picture, but for this notebook the paper is slightly longer than needed because I wanted to wrap it into the inside of the covers.

Once the dry fitting was done, I used a piece of sticky strip on the spine to attach a piece of chocolate chip ribbon to serve as a bookmark. I then added more sticky strip over the ribbon and along the entire length of the notebook spine, as well as in the corners of the front and back covers of the notebook. What is not show in the photos is that I covered the remaining edges of the front and back covers with 3M double sided tape to make sure none of the edges of the paper I was using to cover up the covers would stick up or get snagged on something.

With all the adhesives in place and the red tape peeled off the sticky strip, I attached the paper to the notebook. In this step you have to be very careful that everything is lined up exactly right - the sticky strip is very unforgiving and does not let you move the paper around once it's down.

I stamped five different images form the Six Sided Sampler set in Memento Tuxedo Black ink on very vanilla card stock and pinched them out with the hexagon punch. I lined the backs of two of those images with sticky strip and attached them back to back to each other over the chocolate chip ribbon to form the bookmark tab. I attached the other three punched hexagon pieces to the front of the notebook for a bit of non-fussy decoration and to give hubby a space to label the notebook if he wants. In the next photos I show the front and back of the notebook as well as the two sides of the bookmark.

I really like how this notebook cover turned out, and especially how realistic that leather cord binding looks. It adds so much to the project! I also love how the plaids in the hexagons continue the whole plaid theme. Since this project meets the criteria for last Wednesday's Simon Says Stamp Wednesday blog challenge (Simon Says: Use Plaid) by featuring both plaid patterned paper and stamps, I will happily submit it there.


Paper: very vanilla, Patchwork Plaid patterned paper from Colorbook
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Stamps: Six Sided Sampler
Accessories: Hexagon Punch, Chocolate Chip Ribbon

Monday, July 17, 2017

Neon Chalkboard Plaid

Today's Try a New Technique challenge on Splitcoast Stampers was to incorporate DIY plaid. Even after watching the excellent tutorial, I'll admit this was super intimidating, mostly because I'm definitely not good at drawing straight lines. Still, I just got a set of liquid chalk markers that have interchangeable chisel and bullet tips, and this seemed like a good technique not only to play with the markers but also the tips.

I thought the best way to test chalk markers would be on black cardstock. I decided to use one marker (the blue) with the wider chisel tip and two (green and purple) with the narrower bullet tips. The grid on my Stampin' Up! paper mat helped me stay somewhat straight as I drew my lines. I was actually really happy with the background even when I only had lines drawn in one direction, but since the challenge was to use plaid, I went ahead and finished the other set of lines too.

The background ended up so bright, it made me think of birthday celebrations and balloons. I die cut the balloon and the sentiment from white card stock and decorated the balloon with dots using the same three markers I used for the background. Once I attached the die cuts to the background, the card only needed a white base.

I'm really happy with the card, the markers and the new technique. Big thanks to Sabrina, the challenge, hostess, for steering us to this technique. And since last week's Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge was also to use plaid, I'll be posting this card to that challenge as well.


Paper: Black, White
Ink: Blue, Purple and Green Liquid Chalk Cedar Markers
Accessories: Jen Long Happy Birthday To You Thinlit from Sizzix, Stephanie Barnard Balloons Triplits from Sizzix

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Dreamcatcher Card Set

Today I was supposed to be cleaning up the stamp room, but since my new dreamcatcher set was still out as were most of the other elements I needed, I took a little time to put together this card set for my niece. She's the one who gave me the Boho patterned paper and she loves dreamcatchers just like I do, so I'm hopeful she'll like these too.

The cards were all pretty simple to make. The first one just involved stamping and matting, as did the second, though on that one I used the rock 'n roll technique to get the light sea foam color in the center of my stamped images with the darker purple on the edges.

On the third card I used a fun verigated floss to add a little interest.

The fourth card is probably the most elaborate, but still pretty straightforward. On that card I sponged some dry embossed card stock to use as a mat for both the dreamcatcher and the quote, which was printed on vellum that allows the sponged embossed pattern to peek through). I also sponged a strip of a used dryer sheet in lieu of ribbon and wrapped it with sparkly floss.

Recipe (not all products used on all cards):

Paper: whisper white, elegant eggplant, soft sky, purple from the paper company, Boho patterned paper stack from Recollections, 12x12" vellum quotes Fresh Verse(tm) from Deja Views
Ink: Color Splash Ombre from Recollections
Stamps: Color Splash from Recollections
Accessories: Misty Mountain Sew Easy fancy floss (verigated tertiary) and Grape Soda Sew Easy fancy floss (glitter secondary) from We R Memory Keepers; used dryer sheet, message frames framelit assortment by sizzix, 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" circle punch, small and large corner rounder punch, curly label punch (all punched Stampin' Up!), Stampin' Up! Apothecary Accents framelit assortment,  Tropical Paisley embossing folder from Sizzix

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Picket Fence with Ivy

Today's "Ways to Use" challenge on SCS was to create a card that includes a fence. Carla, the challenge hostess, was inspired by Tom Sawyer Days in Hannibal, Missouri, the town where Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) spent his childhood and met people who inspired his characters. As it happens, my hubby and I recently visited Hannibal, so I couldn't pass this challenge up.

I stamped the fence and ivy image from Grienbrier International in Memento tuxedo black ink on whisper white card stock. I used the blendabilities markers from the old olive assortment to color the ivy. I then stamped and cut out a mask of the fence to enable me to sponge in the sky and greenery. (True confession, I only cut out one of the spaces in the center of the fence, and then simply moved the mask as needed. Because the soft sky color was lighter than the already colored ivy, there was no need for more precise masking.) I also used a couple of stamps from the Watercolor Minis set to create more textured greenery at the bottom of the fence.

I mounted my image on a piece of pear pizzazz card tock and stamped the sentiment from the Kind and Caring thoughts set in black. I wanted to add ribbon, but the piece of satin ribbon I had was so wrinkled it looked, as my grandma used to say, "like a dog chewed on it and spit it out". I hate ironing, so that wasn't going to happen, but I still wanted to use the ribbon so I decided to love its flaws. Instead of trying to straightened out the wrinkles, I twisted the ribbon and knotted it before adding it to the card. I think it turned out pretty cool and interesting and no one but us will ever know it wasn't what I intended all along.

The final step was running the soft sky mat through the big shot with the Perfect Details texture plate to give it a little more dimension and interest. Then it was simply a matter of attaching the soft sky layer to the white card base and attaching the pear pizzazz piece tot he mat.


Paper: whisper white, soft sky, pear pizzazz
Ink: Memento tuxedo black, pear pizzazz, soft sky, old olive, Old Olive blendabilities marker assortment
Stamps: Picket Fence and Ivy by Greenbrier International, Kind and Caring Thoughts
Accessories: blue satin ribbon, Perfect Details Texture Plate

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

cherry on top birthday

Between the funeral of our family friend and other family obligations, it's been a busy week. So busy that I literally did not have a minute to set foot in the stamp room. Even today, I only went up there for a little while to make this card only because I've had this idea for a card for this week's "clean and simple" SCS challenge to make a card using summer fruit since Monday, and it was killing me not to get it made. Fortunately, the card came together very fast. Unfortunately, the next time I go into the stamp room it will have to be to clean and put away all my stuff in its rightful place. Yes, I know it's shocking, but I'm not a clean as you go stamper. (In truth, I'm not a clean-as-you-go anything - cleaning always comes last).

Anyway, there was nothing too difficult in making this card except for the fussy cutting to paper piece the cupcake and cherry. I stamped the cherry on whisper white card stock and colored it in real red and old olive with markers so that there were no spots of white showing through in case there were any places where the glitter didn't cover completely. Then I covered the cherry with two way glue and applied the fine red glitter, and I followed with two way glue on the stem and green fine glitter. The cherry was attached to the "frosting" with dimensionals. On the pink pirouette textured cupcake "frosting," I covered the dots on the image with mini glue dots. I heated them just a little with my heat gun before covering them with the glitter. I'm not sure if this is totally necessary, but it seems to help the glitter adhere completely and not flake off all over the place.

For the sentiment, I used a marker to stamp technique to color only the words in the sentiment from the A Cherry on Top set. Then I die cut it using a shape from the Apothecary Accents assortment. I attached the die cut sentiment to a band made from a piece of rose gold file folder scrap that I ran through my crimper.

The base of the card is a pearly silver. I like the way it provides a subtly shiny background without competing with the glitter.


Paper: Pink pirouette plain and textured, whisper white, scrap of target patterned file folder (see the bargello birthday post for details), SU retired DSP from my scrap box (don't recall name), silver pearl A2 card base from core' dinations by Darice
Ink: memento tuxedo black, real red,  old olive (to cover the cherry stem - not visible on finished card)
Stamps: Simple Birthday Stamps, A Cherry on Top
Accessories: Apothecary Accents die cut assortment, crimper, red and green fine glitter, mini glue dots.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sad stamping night

I stamped a lot of cards one night this week, but it wasn't a happy occasion. We found out that a close friend of the family passed away last weekend. He had been sick for some time so the news wasn't completely unexpected, and yet we weren't ready for it. Since the friend in question had four daughters, I suddenly needed four sympathy cards ASAP. Now, sympathy cards are difficult for me on the best day, but having to make four of them that were all going to the same family so they couldn't be too similar or too different - that was a challenge, especially since I wasn't exactly in a great frame of mind.

I managed to get through it by making pretty basic, "old school" cards. No embossing folders, minimal punching and die cutting, no embossing folders and a lot of  reliance on designer papers. I even CASEd a card I made recently because by the time I got to the fourth card it was late and I was running out of ideas. Oddly enough, that card ended up my husbands favorite and I think it actually turned out better than the original. Go figure.

I'm posting all four cards together because that's the only way they make sense to me. None of them are unique or impressive enough to merit their on posts. Also, having four separate sympathy posts in a row on a stamping blog would be too much. This way, if anyone is looking for sympathy card ideas, they'll find several in one place.

The one lesson I took away from this experience is that I need to make some more sympathy cards soon so that I have them ready to go when I need them. It's not the kind of stamping I really enjoy, but it's far better to be prepared than to try to be creative at a time when creativity may be the last thing from my mind.

Recipes (all products Stampin' Up! unless otherwise indicated)

Card 1.
Paper: Perfect Plum, Smoky Slate, Whisper White, Cambridge DSP
Ink: Perfect Plum, Always Artichoke
Stamps: Close as a Memory
Accessories: Slate baker's twine from Neutrals collection by We R MemoryKeepers

Card 2.
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla, Brocade Background DSP
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Stamps: Thoughts & Prayers
Accessories: Word Window Punch, Gold ribbon from Cream City Ribbon

Card 3.
Paper: River Rock, Always Artichoke, retired SU DSP (don't have name)
Ink: Always Artichoke
Stamps: Love & Sympathy, Kind & Caring Thoughts
Accessories: Decorative Label Punch, Key Tag Punch, thick twine (don't know source)

Card 4.
Paper:  Basic Gray, Basic Black, Whisper White, Vellum
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Stamps: Bloom with Hope
Accessories: Wide black organdy ribbon, pewter brads, corner rounder punch, Lori Whitlock Ornate Label Thinlits by Sizzix

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Bargello Birthday

One of the techniques Sabrina pointed us to in the write up for her Ways To Use paper strips challenge last week was the Bargello technique. This technique involves first creating a pattern using a bunch of different stips and then turning it 90 degrees and cutting that pattern into additional strips which can then be offset in a variety of designs. I've seen beautiful cards made with this technique but never tried it myself, so I decided this was the perfect time to do it.

The strips I used were not designer paper. Don't get me wrong, I have tons of designer paper strips in my scrap box, but I also happened to have these scrap strips on my work table from another project. So if they're not designer paper, what are they? They're patterned file folders I picked up a while back at my local Target. The original price of $1.00 for 3 was not bad, but I got them on clearance at a significant discount so they were well worth it.

I bought the folders as well as coordinating small 3 ring binders to make card holders. I cut each file folder in half and used them to make six pockets for inside the binder. The project left me with strips of the three folders and I had no idea what to do with them until I read this week's challenge.

I really liked how this technique let me use all three of the outside folder patterns and even the inside solid part, which is a lovely metallic rose gold color to match the dots on the outside. I cut my strips from the striped pattern you can see in this picture and offset them to create my background. I  then pondered what stamped elements to add that would work with the design without taking too much attention from it. I settled on the image and sentiment combo from the Happiest Birthday Wishes set, which I inked up using the marker to stamp technique.

I stamped the image on whisper white card stock and punched it out using the extra large oval punch. I cut a scalloped oval mat for the sentiment out of Only Orange card stock using a framelit from the Message Frames assortment by Sizzix (it came with a coordinating stamp set from Hero Arts, which I did not use on this card). I then used my double rectangle punch to punch holes on both sides of the oval and wove in narrow black grosgrain ribbon. I attached the sentiment to the mat over the ribbon with dimensionals and attached the matted sentiment to the striped background. I added a basic black mat and attached the whole thing to a coastal cabana card base.

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up! except as otherwise specified):

Paper: coastal cabana, only orange, basic black, whisper white, Target patterned file folders
Ink: basic black, coastal cabana, only orange (all in markers)
Stamps: Happiest Birthday Wishes
Accessories: Extra large oval punch, double rectangle punch, narrow black grosgrain ribbon, Message Frames Framelits assortment from Sizzix.

P.S. I'll be heading to my Target tomorrow to see if there's anything worthwhile in the post 4th of July clearance bin.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Shaving Cream Embossing Part 2 (with tutorial)

Last night I spent a bit more time in the stamp room experimenting with the shaving cream embossing technique and I think I figured it out. Just to be clear, this isn't embossing card stock after it has been colored with dyed shaving cream. Rather, it's a technique where the shaving cream dyed with reinkers is pressed into the crevices of an embossing folder before the folder is run through the big shot with white card stock in it. The goal is to get the color only on the parts of the card stock that are raised/embossed.

Unfortunately, I don't think this technique will ever turn out as sharp and marbled as the shaving cream stenciling technique does, but that's OK. A little imperfection is what stamping is all about. What this technique lacks in sharpness it makes up in letting you use very little shaving cream and reinker with it (a dallop of shaving cream with a drop or two will do - I explain this in the process I used with the flames folder, below) and you can also utilize this techniques with the messy shaving cream you have left over after you create some backgrounds using other shaving cream techniques (as long as you still like the colors, of course).

The background for the dreamcatcher card, above, was my 5th or 6th attempt with this technique, and it gave me a really nice clean impression. I hope it's clear from the picture that the color is only applied to the raised (embossed) portion of the card stock, leaving the rest mostly white (again, this technique will never give precise, crisp and sharp results, but this background got close).  There's not as much color variation in this background because by the time I did it the colors had pretty much all blended together, but I think it still came out nice.

The best wishes card has more color variation, but the lower left hand corner of the embossed background was quite messy, barely any white left at all. This was one of my first tries at cleaning off the excess shaving cream, and I obviously did not do a great job in that corner.

I'm including a step by step tutorial with pictures. I know the pictures aren't great, but hopefully they're good enough to give you an idea of what needs to be done.

Step1: spray shaving cream onto a plate (I used my Stampin' Up! small powder pal tray and drop in two or more colors of reinkers. I used way too many drops here of almost amethyst and soft sky. Use toothpick or another similar instrument to marble the colors together. I "muddied" mine too much, because I wanted to avoid white spots in the folder. Unfortunately, that didn't work as well as I wanted it to.

Step 2: use an old credit card, gift card or something similar to pick up the dyed shaving cream. You need something sturdy with a hard enough edge to drag along the embossing folder.

Steps 3 and 4: drag credit card along the embossing folder so that the dyed shaving cream settles in the crevices of the folder. Do this in several passed until all crevices are full of shaving cream. Make sure the shaving cream is in the parts of the folder that you want to see raised in your background. On some folders this takes a bit of consideration. Also, try to make sure the shaving cream in the crevices is dyed. White shaving cream in the crevices (like you see on the sides of the embossing folder in these pictures) means no color on the embossed design.

Step 5: wipe all dyed shaving cream off the credit card with a tissue (or rinse it off in a  sink and dry). Wrap a tissue around the once again clean and dry edge of the credit card and drag it along the embossing folder to wipe off excess shaving cream. This is to make sure the excess doesn't spill into the flat spaces as the folder is squeezed together by the Big Shot. You may need to use several tissues to complete this step, as a clean tissue edge is critical every time. It's best to hold the card almost perpendicular to the embossing folder as you do this.

Step 6: this is what your folder should look like when you're done with step 5. You can use a tissue to clear off any stray shaving cream off the edges. Place a piece of white card stock in your folder and close it, then run it thought your big shot as you normally would.

As you can see in these pictures, the almost amethyst/soft sky combination did not yield great results because despite all the mixing I still had a lot of white shaving cream on the edges of the folder. Also, the soft colors resulted in minimal contrast against the white card stock.

My next experiment involved using the three shades of green reinkers: gumball green, green galore and glorious green. My initial tries with this combination were sort of a disaster, so I won't show them here. After a while, though, the colors all bizarrely mixed together into this seafoam green color, which I actually kind of liked. I added just a drop or two of the amethyst reinker and this combination finally started yielding results I liked.

This next picture shows the folder and the after results with the background that I used on the best wishes card. Obviously it came out much better. The color variations really show in this one. And isn't this Tropical Paisley embossing folder from Sizzix fantastic? I just love it.

After I was done with the seafoam green, I experimented with yo yo yellow, only orange and real red and a Darrice flames embossing folder. You can see the results in the picture showing my other samples. for this folder I sprayed three small spots of shaving cream and added just a couple of drops of reinker to each, then mixed them to give me three solid colors. I applied the dyed shaving cream one color at a time, filling in only a portion of the folder with each color. To keep the colors from muddying too much, while applying the second and third colors I dragged the credit card away from the "border" where two colors touched instead of towards it. The colors at the border blended as I cleaned off the excess shaving cream  in step 5.

The difficulty with this flames folder was the large areas that were going to be embossed, which made it difficult to clean off the excess shaving cream without lifting it out of the crevices. The final result wasn't perfect, but I still like it and  I'm sure I'll be using it on a future card. The same is true for the other samples seen in this picture (except, of course, for the one I already used on the dreamcatcher card.)

While all the above makes sense to me, I know some of you may have questions. Feel free to leave those in the comments and I'll answer as best as I can. Thanks for reading!

Recipes (all products Stampin' Up! Unless otherwise indicated)

Dreamcather card:

Paper: whisper white, wisteria wonder, vintage violet
Ink: wisteria wonder, Color Splash Recollections Ombre Inkpad (only seafoam green color used), reinkers in green galore, gable green, glorious green and almost amethyst
Stamps: Dreamcather from Color Splash by Recollections; Feathers by Inkadinkado
Accessories: Lacy Brocade embossing folder, stampin' sponge.

Best Wishes Card:

Paper: whisper white, wisteria wonder
Ink: Color Splash Recollections Ombre Inkpad (only seafoam green color used), reinkers in green galore, gable green, glorious green and almost amethyst
Stamps: Oval All
Accessories: Tropical Paisley embossing folder by Sizzix

Monday, July 3, 2017

Shaving cream embossing

The Technique challenge on SCS today had stampers looking back to shaving cream. I really love the shaving cream technique, but I was especially intrigued by a link to a tutorial for shaving cream stenciling. Once again I found myself intrigued by a technique, but none of the few stencils in my collection called to me. Still, the wheels kept spinning and I began to wonder if there was a way to use a similar technique in an embossing folder.

I'd tried inking up an embossing folder, but the downside of that technique is that the ink covers the non-embossed portion of the card. It's a neat look, but I kept wishing I could color the embossed part. Shaving cream colored with reinkers seemed like a good way to get color into the crevices which would become embossed.

So how did it go? Let's call it an experiment in progress. My first two attempts, which are used on this card, were not as great as I'd hoped. I did learn that I'd get a better result using folders with smaller and more uniform patterns. I also think fewer colors would be better, or maybe three colors but from the same color family so that when they are mixed they would not get as muddy. Finally, I need to come up with a  way to better wipe the shaving cream off the flat part of the folder without disturbing the shaving cream in the crevices. I have an idea how to do it, but I need more time to try it out.

I'll post here if the technique gets more refined. In the meantime, today's card is a little bit busy but, as my hubby said, that makes it festive :)

Recipe (products Stampin' Up! unless otherwise indicated)

Paper: yo yo yellow, brilliant blue, only orange, whisper white
Ink: yo yo yellow, brilliant blue, only orange
Stamps: Birthday Whimsy
Accessories: Darice Circles embossing folder, Sizzix embossing folder form Birthday Surprises assortment; Sizzix Framelits coordinating with Echo Park Everyday stamp set 

Quilted Christmas

What's great about challenges is that they really make you either try things you've never done before or re-visit stuff you haven't one in a long while. This particular card took me back to one of the first cards I made when I started stamping posted to SCS nearly 11 years ago. I was inspired to re-visit quilt cards by girlgook101's Saturday SCS inspiration challenge to use designer paper and by AJ Bodine (Rutabagapie) and Julie Warner (justwritedesigns), the challenge hostess who chose AJ as the featured stamper for the SCS featured Stamper challenge a couple of Sundays ago. Click here to see the card in AJ's gallery that inspired mine.  Since this week's QKR Stampede challenge is Christmas in July, I'm going to enter this card in that one as well.

I was super impressed with all the details on AJ's card, and I especially loved her quilt block die cut. However, without that die cut there was no way I was going to attempt cutting the pieces for that block by hand. Instead, I decided to go for a simpler design, simpler even than the Annie's Choice block I chose for my card 11 years ago. This time I used the Sarah's Choice quilt block pattern and made things even easier for myself by assembling the star pattern on top of an uncut 4"x4" piece of old olive designer paper. To make things a little more interesting, I pieced the center square on another piece of 2"x2" card stock before adding it to the card. This, along with the woven four square element in the center of the star creates a telescoping layer effect.  I'm not sure if I like this effect, but once I adhered the pieces, it was too late to change my mind.

I kept AJ's two tone blue color scheme, but I added old olive to the mix. Since I didn't have a stamp for the cute little house, I opted to die cut Christmas trees in two different designer papers instead. I hand cut the "snowdrift" layers at the bottom and added some dazzling diamonds to the edges for a bit of sparkle. The top snowdrift layer and the trees are popped up with dimensionals.

I don't usually make cards with so little stamping (just the sentiment, in this case) but it was appropriate for this card. My hubby liked it and asked if I could make 40 more. Um.... no. Way too complicated to be our Christmas card for this year. Still, I had fun making this one.

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up!)

Paper: bashful blue, pacific point, whisper white, Holiday Thyme DSP, Prints/Patterns DSP in bashful blue and pacific point.
Ink: pacific point
Stamps: Warmest Regards
Accessories: Holiday Collection Framelits, dazzling diamonds

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Sunshine Greetings

In yesterday's Free For All challenge on Splitcoast, Wendy challenged us to use background stamps. This was a challenge right up my alley. I like my background stamps so much, I found it hard to choose just one, so I decided on two backgrounds that might work well together.

I first stamped a piece of very vanilla card stock with the Aida Cloth background in sahara sand.  Then I inked up the Sunflower background with the daffodil delight ink pad and filled in the center with my chocolate chip marker and stamped the sunflower right over the stamped aida background. I thought this card could use a bold sentiment, so I chose one form the Feel Goods set and stamped it in chocolate chip ink. I added a chocolate chip mat and attached the matted image to a sahara sand card base.

The card looked fine, but I thought it could use some embellishments. I used a Martha Steward punch to punch out the butterfly out of very vanilla card stock and sponged it with daffodil delight and calypso coral. I glued on the sponges butterfly in the center of the sunflower and added some sequins.

The card still needed something, so I reached for my photo corner punch, but the solid proto corners seemed too heavy. Remembering my tutorial on how to make modified photo corners, I decided to experiment with the Martha Stewart double scallop corner punch. I loved the way it came out so I made two corners from chocolate chip card stock and attached them to the card.

I included step by step pictures of how I created the corner. I hope this helps you create your own corners or perhaps inspires you to reimagine the use of your punches. Nothing's better than looking at the supplies you already own and figuring out how to use them in a whole new, cool way.

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

Paper: very vanilla, chocolate chip, sahara sand
Ink: daffodil delight, sahara sand, chocolate chip, calypso coral
Stamps: Aida Cloth, Sunflower, Feel Goods
Accessories: sponge, photo corner punch; Martha Stewart butterfly punch and double scallop corner punch, gold sequins from Dollar Tree

Big Chef makes top 5 in QKR Stampede weekly challenge

I'm so excited! Earlier this week I entered my Big Chef Birthday card in the QKR Stampede weekly challenge and guess what? Their team chose the card as one of their Top 5 picks. WOW! I'm sure it's just beginner's luck, but better beginner's luck than no luck at all. And maybe it was the big chef himself? There's a reason so many stampers love that set - the chef is pretty compelling.

The best part is there is a blog badge to go with the Top 5 pick, so of course I had to immediately add it to my blog sidebar. Yay! Nothing's better for a newly returned blogger than some new blog bling!

Huge thanks to the QKR Stampede challenge team. You made my week!

A new Christmas in July or anything goes challenge started Friday, so check it out and submit a card for a chance to win.