Monday, September 18, 2017

Sparkly Halloween

I love Halloween and I love the pumpkin carving party my hubby and I have thrown every year since 1999. I also love making invitations for the party and I was super excited when I came up with this year's design. It's a fun mix of stamps, patterned paper and sparkly ribbon that is almost elegant but not stodgy, if that makes any sense. Because the ribbon is so shimmery, I'm sharing the card with this week's Simon Says Stamp Monday Blog Challenge: Shimmer and Shine and also with QKR Stampede Friday's anything goes challenge.

The springboard for the design was definitely the sparkly orange sequin wired ribbon I found at the Dollar Tree. I decided to pair it up with a piece of fun retired Halloween mosaic patterned paper. I adhered both next to each other to a 4" x 5x1/4" mat of basic black card stock. Even though the mat is covered up, I needed it to wrap and hide the edges of the ribbon and hemp twine. Using SU snail adhesive on the gold wired edges of the ribbon worked perfectly to adhere it to the mat.

I used memento tuxedo black ink to stamp the sentiment from the Halloween Bash set on more mustard card stock. I added a basic black mat, rounding the corners of both layers with the small corner rounder punch. I placed the sentiment where it straddled the ribbon and designer paper and attached it with 3M double sided tape. I find that tape is plenty strong to handle the different textures of the two surfaces.

I stamped the spider image from the Piece of Poison set on Really Rust card stock with versamark ink and heat embossed it with detail black embossing powder. Even though the embossing powder isn't metallic, it still helps the spider catch the light and shimmer a bit along with the ribbon. I punched the spider out with the large oval punch and added a basic black mat punched with the scalloped oval punch. I then punched a hole in near the spider's rear end with the 1/16" hope punch and threaded a piece of black hemp twine through, securing it in the back of the basic black scalloped oval with more 3M double sided tape which also served to attach the spider to the ribbon. I ran the hemp twine up and wrapped it around the mat to look like the spider's thread.  The last step was to attach the mat to the basic black card base with yet more 3M double sided tape.

I hope you and our party guests like this year's sparkly Halloween party invite as much as I enjoyed designing it.


Paper: basic black, more mustard, really rust, Creepy Crawly designer series paper
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, versamark
Stamps: Halloween Bash, Piece of Poison
Accessories: detail black embossing powder, large oval punch, scalloped oval punch, small corner rounder punch, black hemp twine, orange sequin wired ribbon by Greenbrier Inc.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Jolly Christmas Stocking

It's been a busy week; the kind of busy that doesn't leave a lot of time for stamping and even less for blogging. Still, I wasn't completely unproductive. I dug out some long-forgotten stuff out of my craft stash and cranked my big shot to make some cards for this year's Christmas stash. There was very little stamping on these as most of the work was done with die cutting and dry embossing, but I'm happy with how they turned out. I know the image shows only 1 card, but there are 9 more that are identical to this one with the super cute patterned envelopes and seals to go with them. I think they will make a good impact when they arrive in our families' mailboxes this Christmas season.

It all started with me digging out an invitation kit I bought on clearance years and years ago, back when I still had some weird ambitions to throw the kinds of Christmas parties that required mailed invitations. Needless to say, the parties never materialized so it was high time to find an alternate use for these supplies. Looking at the 8.5x 5.5" patterned invitation cards, I instantly thought of the SU Holiday Stocking die which (for reasons I still don't understand) is slightly too large to use on a standard A2 card but is actually the perfect size to use on this background. I trimmed 1/8" off all sides of the invitation and attached it in the center of a 8.5x5.5" white card base. I then got a good workout on the big shot cranking out 10 stockings in real red and 10 of the top, heel and toe stocking trims in whisper white, and them embossing all of them with the Snowburst, Petals-a-Plenty and Northern Flurries embossing folders. I take no credit for my choice of embossing folders - I totally CASEd Nendy Kerr's idea, which you can find in this post on her blog. I attached all the pieces of the stocking using 3m double sided tape, adding hanger loop at the top made from a strip of red card stock, and attached the completed stocking to the card.

I stamped the sentiment from the Tags 4 You set in real red on whisper white card stock and punched it out with the label bracket punch. To add a little interest and color, I attached a green galore card stock snowflake that I die cut with a thinlit from the Snowflake Card assortment to the back of the sentiment. For me, the easiest way to center the snowflake on the sentiment was to lay the sentiment upside down, add 3m double sided tape and then center the snowflake on top of the adhesive so that little bits of the shorter snowflake "arms" extended beyond the four corners between the "brackets" on the punched shape, as shown in the photo. I then added two more strips of double sided tape on top of the snowflake so that there was plenty adhesive to attach the snowflake/sentiment combo to the top of the stocking.

I like these cards because they are impactful without being too difficult or fussy to make, they're pretty flat for mailing, and also because they helped me clear out a little space in my craft stash. When you're a supply collector (or, as my husband would put it, probably more accurately, a hoarder) like me, you have to celebrate even these little victories :).


Paper: Whisper White, Real Red, Green Galore, Invitations from Holly and Berries invitation kit by Ampad
Ink: Real Red
Stamps: Tags 4 You
Accessories: Holiday Stockings Die, Snowburst, Petals-a-Plenty and Northern Flurries embossing folders, Label Bracket Punch, Snowflake Card Thinlits

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Plumber Thank You

hand made thank you card using the Guy Greetings and Plane and Simple sets from Stampin' Up!
I was in a race to make this card today. Unfortunately, my hubby discovered that one of our toilets was leaking so we needed a visit from the plumber, which was scheduled this morning. Fortunately, the plumber is a neighbor from down the block who is really cool and has a great sense of humor. As he was working, I decided that I wanted to make him a quick thank you card. I finished it, but just barely. He works fast!

I saved time by using Cathy's  really cool sketch from this week's splitcoast sketch challenge. It's a straightforward sketch which makes it perfect to make quick cards - I love it.

I embossed about half of the front of the kraft card base with the Measuring Tape embossing folder by Sizzix and added a piece of retired SU designer paper to the other half. (This scrap of designer paper is so old - it dates back to when SU sold single sided designer paper - wish I could remember what it was called). I found another scrap of retired SU designer paper for the center rectangular panel and mounted it on a mat of dusty Durango card stock before attaching both to the card front. I stamped the tools and saying form the Guy Greetings set on a scrap piece of manila folder in soft suede ink and die cut it with a framelit from the starburst assortment, attaching it to the card front with dimensionals. Finally, I stamped the sentiment form the Plane and Simple set on another scrap of manila folder and punched it out with the word window punch before mounting it on a mat made of a piece of not quite navy card stock punched with the modern label punch.

It's a pretty simple card but I think our neighbor will appreciate it, especially knowing it was made while he was working. I had fun making it and this was the best reason to make a card, even if I had to rush.


Paper: manila folder, dusty durango, not quite navy, SU retired designer papers, kraft card base from Neutral Smooth A2 cards and envelopes assortment by Darice
Ink: Soft Suede
Stamps: Guy Greetings, Plane and Simple
Accessories: Starburst Framelits assortment, word window punch, modern label punch, measuring tape embossing folder by Sizzix

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Three Cupcakes

I made this card to satisfy a couple of challenges. The first was last Thursday's Ways To Use It 3s and Thirds challenge.  The second was Monday's technique challenge which was speedy cards fro good causes. At first glance this may not look like a speedy card, but really it took almost no time to put together.

I started with a chocolate chip base and a strip of retired SU designer paper (don't recall the name) that gave me the color pallet for the card. I stamped the cupcake image from the Little Layers Plus set and the sentiment from the For a Friend set  in chocolate chip ink on whisper white card stock. I colored both with markers in bashful blue, certainly celery, close to cocoa and daffodil delight. I punched the cupcake images out with the 1 1/4" square punch and punched three 1 3/8" square punch out of chocolate chip card stock. I added a 1/8" certainly celery mat to the sentiment.

I punched a 4 x 5 1/4" piece of bashful blue with the double rectangle punch and wove a piece of retired striped bashful blue ribbon through the holes. I added a chocolate chip strip mat to the designer paper and attached both to the bashful blue card stock beneath the ribbon. I attached the matted sentiment to the bottom corner of the bashful blue piece with regular adhesive and attached the matted cupcakes to the designer paper with dimensionals. That's it - no embossing, die cutting or fussy cutting, no complicated stamping techniques, and a pretty simple layout. A quick and easy card to put together that looks pretty impressive to those not in the know ;-).

True confession? These "old school" cards are sometimes my absolutely favorite. They may not be as gorgeous or artsy or sophisticated as the more complicated cards, but for me they're like grilled cheese and cream of tomato soup - warm and comforting.


Paper: whisper white, chocolate chip, bashful blue, certainly celery, retired SU designer paper
Ink: chocolate chip and markers in bashful blue, certainly celery, close to cocoa, delightful daffodil
Stamps: Little Layers Plus, For a Friend
Accessories: 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" square punches, double rectangle punch, retired SU striped bashful blue ribbon

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Time to Bloom

Sorry it's been so long since my last post - the week got away from me and blended into a long weekend with too much going on to make it into the stamp room. I managed to make up for some of it today, but I'll post my creations one per day so I don't leave this blog hanging if I get busy again. I made this card to meet three challenges, though two of them are virtually the same so it's a bit of a cheat. The first challenge is from QKR Stampede, whose challenge this week was Wild West or Anything Goes. (As an aside, I'm thrilled to bits that my crazy cat yarn balls card got picked into the top 5 in QKR Stampede's challenge last week. It's a real honor and it will keep pushing me to stamp outside my comfort zone.)  Coincidentally, Go West was also the theme chosen for this week's splitcoast clean and simple card challenge. I took a somewhat unorthodox to the western theme by featuring blooming cactuses, and I stamped three of them to meet last weeks splitcoast's Ways to Use It challenge, which was all about 3s or thirds.

I started with a strip of whisper white card stock onto which I stamped three cactuses from the P.O Southwest Magna Stamp set from Clearbox using pear pizzazz ink and a wild wasabi marker with the thumping technique. I then used my stamp-a-ma-jig, melon mambo marker and a flower stamp from the Bella's Bloom set to stamp the large and small flowers. I used an aquapainter with crumb cake and soft suede inks to watercolor a sandy surface at the bottom and used the same technique with soft sky ink to create the sky.  I layered the whisper white strip onto a soft sky mat and distressed the soft sky layer edges with the SU distressing tool. I then added three pink gemstones to the centers of the large flowers for a bit of bling.

I used the wild wasabi and melon mambo markers to ink up the sentiment from the Bella's Bloom set and stamped it on a scrap of whisper white, which I die cut using framelit that coordinates with a Tim Holtz Sizzix coffee stamp set. The actual framelit is longer than I needed, so I simply moved the strip over and ran it through the big shot twice to get a shorter piece. I added a soft sky mat and freehanded the diagonal corners before distressing the soft sky edges.

Finally, I used the Wonderfully Worn background stamp and crumb cake ink to stamp the crumb cake card base. I then attached the image strip and the sentiment to the card base with dimensionals.


Paper: whisper white. soft sky, crumb cake
Ink: soft sky, crumb cake, soft suede, pear pizzazz, wild wasabi, melon mambo
Stamps: Bella's Bloom; Wonderfully Worn, P.O. Southwest Magna Stamp set from Clearbox
Accessories: Aquapainter, Stamp-a-ma-jig, distressing tool, Tim Holtz Coffee Time framelits by Sizzix, Multicolored Bling from Want2Scrap