Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gray Skies

This card is my attempt at the January Week 3 sketch over at Viva La Verve.  I spent way too much time trying to make this work, so I'm going to post it even though I'm not entirely happy with it.  Hehehe, did you catch the pun?   :)

When I looked over the sketch, I thought of doing another sun in place of the circle.  Remember the sunshine card I posted on Friday?  Also, Julee Tilman posted a fun card using sketch 2 over at her blog, Poetic Artistry, which made me think of pairing the sun with the Rain or Shine set I had out earlier this week.  I have to admit, I like her card much better than mine!

I made the sun with a couple of Spellbinders dies.  My colors for the card were pulled from the inspiration photo option that was given with the sketch.  You can see it here.  I used three shades of gray, playing off the whole gray skies theme.  I wanted the yellow sun to really stand out, along with the small splash of purple on the umbrella.

Going Gray cardstock was embossed with the Cloudy Days folder and adhered to a Smokey Shadow card base.  I hand-cut two clouds out of Basic Gray cardstock and then embossed them with a dotted chevron pattern.  I wanted to do something different than swirls.  Perhaps I was thinking lightning bolts?  Shrug.  I lightly rubbed the clouds with silver ink, making it heavier on the bottom edges.  After all, every gray cloud has a silver lining! 

I cut off one side of the sun, glued it down, and covered the edge with a scalloped strip.  I chose scallops to mimic the cloud shapes.  Not sure that really worked though.  I put the two clouds in place of the two squares on the sketch.  For the central square, I used a piece of Going Gray cardstock and stamped it with my sentiment.  I stamped the umbrella over top and paper-pieced it with a print from the Sycamore Street pack.  The three raindrops were done with Basic Gray ink, after stamping it off first on scratch paper.  Then I rounded the edges.  Wish I had done that first!!  I used the wrong end of my corner chomper naturally.  Oh well!  I went ahead and glued it in place.

That's where I stopped and went to bed, still unsatisfied with the card.  In the morning, I got the idea to stamp the word "happy" on the yellow cardstock and then lay it over the gray.  (with a piece of cardstock underneath to raise it up slightly)  I also lifted the edges of the two clouds to give them some dimension.  That helped tremendously.  I do wish I had matted the sentiment with the darker gray, but I didn't want to take apart the card or redo it.  C'est la vie!

It's still a fun card and I'm sure a recipient would enjoy it regardless.  I'm a little too perfectionist for my own good sometimes.   :)   I do like the concept!

Stamps:  Rain or Shine (Verve)
Paper:  Basic Gray, Going Gray, Sycamore Street dp (Stampin' Up); Harvest Gold, Smokey Shadow (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Going Gray, Basic Gray (Stampin' Up); Tuxedo Black (Memento); Silver (Encore!)
Misc:  Cloudy Day embossing folder (Stampin' Up); Charles embossing folder (Cuttlebug); Standard Circles Small die; Classic Inverted Scalloped Circle Large die (Spellbinders); Blueprints 4 die (My Favorite Things)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sweet Friend

It's time for the Papertrey Ink blog hop!  I enjoy participating in these, although I did skip a few last year due to lack of mojo.  It seems to have returned in full force, thankfully.  I've been making lots of cards this month and having a great time in my studio!  Here's the challenge:

With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, it is the perfect time to pull out all of your favorite pink supplies and put them to good use!  Your challenge this month is to create a card only using the color pink with the option to use neutrals (such as white, cream, gray, black or kraft).  With all of the different shades of pink to work with, there are all kinds of creative possibilities!  Keep in mind that your project can be for any occasion, as long as you use pink!  We look forward to seeing your project (and the prettiest inLinkz list EVER!) on the 25th!

Who can pass up the chance to use pink?  Not this girl!  The inspiration photo triggered a few ideas, but I ended up going in a completely different direction.  After a post in the PTI forum reminded me of my very first purchases, I pulled out my Boxes, Bags & Tags stamp set.

I created a pretty background panel using several images from the set.  The pretty frame was stamped in Hibiscus Burst ink, followed by flowers in Sweet Blush ink, and then smaller Raspberry Fizz flowers on top of that.  For the four-petal flowers in between the frames, I used a small flower from Iconic Images in Smokey Shadow ink.  It's a lovely neutral that pairs nicely with all the pinks.

I pulled some wide sheer pink ribbon from my stash, first wrapping a knotted piece around the panel, and then adding a bow separately.  I don't use ribbon often, but this one worked well to add some oomph without covering up my pretty background.

For my sentiment, I stamped another Hibiscus Burst frame, adding some little Smokey Shadow filigree to dress it up and make it stand out more from the background.  The word "sweet" is from the Friendship Jars set, and the word "friend" is selectively stamped from a sentiment in Mixed Messages.  As a last touch, I added a little sparkly rhinestone.  The whole sentiment piece is popped up, again to make it stand out from the background.

The background was glued to a Smokey Shadow mat and then to a Hibiscus Burst card base.  I really love the finished card.  So soft and pretty!  It certainly could be used for Valentine's Day for a friend, but it can also work any time of year just to say thank you or let someone know that you care.

Stamps:  Boxes, Bags & Tags; Mixed Messages; Iconic Images; Friendship Jar (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  White, Hibiscus Burst, Smokey Shadow (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Hibiscus Burst, Sweet Blush, Raspberry Fizz, Smokey Shadow (Papertrey Ink)
Misc:  ribbon, rhinestone (Stampin' Up) 

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Bit of Sunshine

I got this little idea and just had to try it.  I'm not sure what triggered it either, but it was fun to play around and see how it worked.  It's a fun no-reason-at-all or thinking-of-you type of card.  I used a sentiment from the Think Big Favorites series by Papertrey Ink.

I stamped a vertical column of the word "hello", selectively inking the stamp to use just that portion.  I swiped a marker across each word in the colors of the rainbow and then trimmed the piece down to place on a Brilliant Blue piece that had been embossed with clouds.

I cut a Yoyo Yellow circle and inverted scallop circle for my sun, and then stamped the word "sunshine" in place.  (again, selectively inking the stamp)  I adhered it in the lower right corner and trimmed off the excess.  Once together, the whole thing was glued to a white card base.

Simple and quite cheerful!  Just right for sending a bit of sunshine to someone's mailbox.

Stamps:  Think Big Favorites #15 (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  Brilliant Blue, Yoyo Yellow (Stampin' Up); White (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Misc:  Cloudy Day embossing folder (Stampin' Up); Standard Circles Small die, Classic Inverted Scalloped Circles Large die (Spellbinders); Real Red, Only Orange, Yoyo Yellow, Green Galore, Brilliant Blue, Lovely Lilac markers (Stampin' Up)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

You Make My Heart Flutter

Obviously, I'm on a sketch kick this month.  If it gets me creating, that's a good thing!  This time, I used the Viva La Verve Week 1 sketch, along with the color combo option.  My card also fits the Diva Dare challenge to use hearts.  When flipping through my stamp inventory binder, I saw the All Aflutter butterfly as well as this wonderful sentiment from Twitterpated.  It's a match made in heaven!  :)

Don't you just love that pretty paper?  In my "new" stash of retired paper, I found this single sheet from the Ski Slope pack.  The colors are just perfect for the January Viva La Verve color challenge.  I love serendipity like that.

I layered the Ski Slope paper on Real Red cardstock and then on a Chocolate Chip card base.  The red strip was embossed with the Hugs & Kisses folder.  Yes, again.  I love it!  The sentiment "I'm yours"  was embossed on a piece of Chocolate Chip cardstock cut with the Jar Labels die and then tucked underneath the red strip.

The heart is actually an outline image from With Love that I filled in using a Real Red marker.  I wish Verve had this heart as a solid image.  It's a great size and shape.  I stamped my sentiment over top in black ink.  (and yes, I did try it over the heart outline first, but it didn't look right)

I embossed the two butterflies using Early Espresso powder and then colored then with a Baja Breeze marker, deliberately making them streaky.  I like the look!  I bent the wings for dimension and also raised one up using a pop-dot.

Inside the card, I adhered a white panel and strips of embossed red and the patterned paper.  Dresses it up nicely!  This card turned out to be one of my favorites that I've created this year so far.  Maybe I'll give this one to my hubby instead!   :)

Stamps:  All Aflutter, With Love, Twitterpated (Verve)
Paper:  Real Red, Chocolate Chip, Ski Slope dp (Stampin' Up); White (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento); VersaMark
Misc:  Real Red, Baja Breeze markers (Stampin' Up); All Aflutter die (Verve); Jar Labels die (Papertrey Ink); Standard Circles dies (Spellbinders); Hugs & Kisses embossing folder (Cuttlebug); Early Espresso embossing powder (Stampin' Up); white embossing powder (Filigree)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Simple Thank You

I first designed this card when I was visiting family last fall.  My sister and I enjoyed spending a day stamping together.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of our cards to post on my blog.  I've made these simple thank you cards a couple of times since.

For the colorful circles, I used a 1-3/4" punch and leftover cardstock from my scrap drawer.  The "thank you" is cut using the Wonderful Words: Thank You die from Papertrey Ink.  The words "very much" were stamped using the matching set.  Quick and simple!  The most time-consuming part of this card is gluing the diecut, which is a bit tricky due to the narrow pieces.  Otherwise, they take very little time to create.  This design makes a great gift set of cards!

Stamps:  Wonderful Words: Thank You (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  White, Dark Chocolate (Papertrey Ink); unknown colors
Ink:  Dark Chocolate (Papertrey Ink)
Misc:  Wonderful Words: Thank You die (Papertrey Ink); 1-3/4" circle punch (EK Success) 

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Very Big Heart

I combined two challenges for this card.  The layout follows Freshly Made Sketches #119 (found here) and the color combo is from a new challenge called The Card Concept.  (found here)  I chose to use a Clean & Layered style for my card.  I would venture to say that most of my cards fall in that particular style.

I dug this embossed pink heart out of my scrap drawer.  It's probably been in there a couple of years!  When I saw this sketch, for some reason I remembered it was there and decided to use it for my card.  The first challenge for The Card Concept was to use a kraft, pink, vanilla, and espresso color combo.  So pretty!

My card base is Early Espresso cardstock with a layer of Pink Pirouette.  I stamped my sentiment using Early Espresso ink in the lower right corner.  I used the generational stamping technique to add text to my Vintage Cream layer and deliberately made it uneven.  Not splotchy, but some parts of the text are darker than others.  I mounted the panel on Early Espresso and then adhered to the card at an angle like the sketch, trimming off the excess.

I cut a flag banner out of burlap fabric, glued it in place, and then put the pink heart over top.  With the sentiment I chose, this could be a thank you card as well as a Valentine's Day card.  Sweet and simple.  :)

Stamps:  Love You Much, Happy Heart Day, Friend By Definition (Stampin' Up)
Paper:  Pink Pirouette, Early Espresso (Stampin' Up); Vintage Cream (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Early Espresso (Stampin' Up); Fine Linen (Papertrey Ink); VersaMark
Misc:  Fishtail Flags STAX die (My Favorite Things; burlap, white embossing powder

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stand Under My Umbrella

I purchased this Rain or Shine stamp set from Verve last November and now it's finally seeing some ink.  I seem to have a weakness for weather-related images, especially umbrellas.  When I saw the new Mojo Monday sketch this week (found here), I thought it was perfect for this set.


I found this pretty cloud paper in the Sunshine & Sprinkles pack by Stampin' Up.  I paired it with Marina Mist and Pacific Point cardstock.  Such lovely blues!  On a piece of Marina Mist, I stamped several umbrellas using Marina Mist and Pacific Point ink.  I also stamped some little raindrops among the umbrellas by stamping off first to mute the color.  (generational stamping technique)

I stamped the "You can stand under my umbrella" sentiment on a white square and then embellished it with three Pacific Point raindrops.  Inside the card, I stamped "I'm here for you" from an MFT set. 

This card is intended to be a sympathy or moral support type of card.  We all have storms to weather and it's always nice to know someone is thinking of you when you're going through it.  Umbrellas are meant to be shared.  :) 

Stamps:  Rain or Shine (Verve); Get Well Soon (My Favorite Things)
Paper:  Marina Mist, Pacific Point, Sunshine & Sprinkles dp (Stampin' Up)
Ink:  Marina Mist, Pacific Point (Stampin' Up); Tuxedo Black (Memento)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I'm Mad About You

I was looking at Seize the Sketch #11 (found here) and thinking over what Kraftin' Kimmie stamp to use since they are the sponsor this time.  I didn't really want to color, because my colorless blender marker is dry, when all of a sudden, this crazy idea flashed in my head.  I chose a black and white color scheme with just a few splashes of red, plus a rather tongue-in-cheek sentiment.

My daughter laughed when she saw it.  It makes me smile too.  :)  "We're all mad here," to quote the infamous Cheshire Cat.  I love the Alice in Wonderland series of stamps at Kraftin' Kimmie!  I didn't have anything close to this sentiment in my stamps, so I printed one off using the computer.  I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to carefully stamp the Cheshire Cat so it would look as if he was sitting on the flag banner.  I cut/embossed several hearts using Pure Poppy cardstock and my Fashionable Hearts Embosslits.  I love the cute patterns it gives the hearts.

Inside the card, I adhered a white panel for writing a message (black is a little dark for that) and added two more hearts. 

Because the card is so understated, the red really pops, which was my intent.  It's very different than the other love cards I've been making and I love its quirky madness.   :)

Stamps:  The Cheshire Cat (Kraftin' Kimmie)
Paper:  White, True Black, Pure Poppy (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Misc:  Fishtail Flags STAX, Fishtail Flags Layers STAX dies (My Favorite Things); Fashionable Hearts Embosslits (Stampin' Up); corner chomper (Crop-a-Dile)

Friday, January 17, 2014

You Are The Bomb

Oh my goodness!  I just adore this card!  As each step was completed, I got more and more giddy over the total cuteness.  I love this stamp set.  It's just so much fun and I'm sad that There She Goes is now out of business.  This particular set was illustrated by Torico.

Don't you just love it?  I had a lot of fun making this card.  I used the latest Sweet Sunday sketch #202 for the layout.  (found here)  When flipping through my decorative paper, I saw this bold chevron and thought it was perfect for what I had in mind.  Bold and spunky!  I used another print from the same pack to paper-piece the girl's dress.

I colored the girl with Copic markers (except for the dress) and added a little touch of Stickles to the star on her dress.  How can you not love that bright ginger hair?  On the flag banner, I stamped small bomb bursts using Going Gray ink.  It makes a fun subtle pattern.  The sentiment is stamped in black over top.  I stamped and cut out the bomb, popping it up in place with a few pieces of cardstock for dimension.  Two of the card layers were matted with black and the whole thing was put on a Tangerine Tango card base.

I made three cards today and this one is seriously my favorite.  It turned out even better than I envisioned.  Love it!

Stamps:  Bomb Diggity (There She Goes)
Paper:  Tangerine Tango, Basic Gray, Basic Black, Howlstooth & Scaringbone dp (Stampin' Up)
Ink:  Going Gray (Stampin' Up); Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Copic:  0, C1, T1, T4, T6, E000, E00, E30, E42, R20, YR12, YR15, YR18, E19
Misc:  Fishtail Flags STAX die (My Favorite Things); Star Dust Stickles

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Two Birds on a Fence

This week's TCP Tuesday challenge is to use paper piecing.  I almost feel like I'm cheating because there isn't a lot of it on this card.  Just those two adorable birdies.  But seriously, that paper print is perfect!

When flipping through my Cat's Pajamas stamps, these little birds from Warm Fuzzies caught my eye.  I immediately thought they would look so cute sitting on a fence and that's where this whole card started.  One little idea at a time.

I cut the fence using Close to Cocoa cardstock and a picket fence die.  It looked a little too pristine, so I crumpled it up to make it look weathered and sponged it a bit using the matching ink.  (I think next time I should use a darker brown.)  I cut three strips of grass using another die, two in front and one behind the fence.  If you look closely, you'll see a few grass blades poking through the fence slats.

I stamped the two birds on a print from the Nook & Pantry Basic Grey paper pad.  Love the color and subtle plaid.  It just makes me smile!  Once they were glued in place, I realized that there was too much empty sky and I needed something to fill the space.  I don't have a tree die, so I found a fun file in the Silhouette store and cut it out on my machine.  I was able to resize the file to exactly fit on my card!  Happy sigh.   :)

Hmmm...would the tree be considered paper piecing since I had to hand place each of those leaves?  lol  No matter.  The tree is exactly what I needed!  I decided I wanted some clouds too, so I cut them with a die and crumpled them up for texture.  Underneath, I selectively stamped the word "Hello" from a sentiment in the Reel Experts set.

This card was the perfect antidote to the cold, rainy weather we've been having around here.  I'm glad the sun finally came out so I could take a picture of it!  :)

Stamps:  Warm Fuzzies, Reel Experts (The Cat's Pajamas)
Paper:  Spring Rain (Papertrey Ink); Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Garden Green, Gumball Green (Stampin' Up); Nook & Pantry 6x6 pad (Basic Grey)
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento); Close to Cocoa (Stampin' Up)
Misc:  Picket Fence die, Grassy Edges die, Fresh Cut Grass die (My Favorite Things); Echo Park Tree cut file (Silhouette); Clouds 1 & 2 die (Papertrey Ink)

Scraps of Love

Scraps.  As in patterned paper scraps, of course.  :)  Part of my new retired paper stash included four Stampin' Up sampler rings with small squares from the various patterned paper packs that were released.  My demo said she was sure I would know what to do with them.  lol

I follow way too many stamping blogs in Feedly and that includes several challenge blogs.  I came across a fun sketch on the Try Stampin' on Tuesday blog this week and the design immediately made me think of those sampler rings.  As much as the collector in me would like to save them forever (such a variety of pretty papers and so much fun to look through!), I am determined to use them for projects.  I only have so much room in my studio, after all.  :)

Those banner flags are the perfect size for paper scraps!  I flipped through the sampler rings and settled on these adorable papers from the Build-a-Bear Workshop Pawsitively Prints II collection.

So cheerful!  I picked five of the prints and cut them using the Fishtail Flags STAX dies from My Favorite Things.  I simply lined them up on a white card base and stamped my sentiment on one of the flags.  I embossed a Poppy Parade heart using the Hugs & Kisses folder from Cuttlebug.  Remember the card I posted yesterday?  I made this one first and that's what gave me the idea to use the same hearts for that other sketch.  One idea leads to another...

Stamps:  Lovey-Dovey Sentiments (My Favorite Things)
Paper:  White (Papertrey Ink); Poppy Parade, Build-a-Bear Workshop Pawsitively Prints II dp (Stampin' Up)
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Misc:  Heart Prints die (Papertrey Ink); Hugs & Kisses embossing folder (Cuttlebug); Fishtail Flags STAX die (My Favorite Things) 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Be Mine Forever

I whipped up this card for CAS(E) this Sketch #59.  (found here)  At first, I was a bit stumped for what to use since I don't have any feather stamps or dies.  I tend to take sketches literally.  After making a card for a different sketch, which will be posted tomorrow, and then sleeping on it (the idea, not the card), I got the inspiration to use hearts in place of the feathers.  Here's the result.

It's a quick and easy card.  I simply stamped the sentiment from Lovey-Dovey Sentiments by My Favorite Things, added some small flourishes to the corners using the same set, and then glued two hearts below.  They are embossed with the Hugs & Kisses folder by Cuttlebug.  The whole panel was placed on a Poppy Parade card base.  Very sweet and super simple!

Stamps:  Lovey-Dovey Sentiments (My Favorite Things)
Paper:  White (Papertrey Ink); Poppy Parade (Stampin' Up)
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Misc:  Heart Prints die (Papertrey Ink); Hugs & Kisses embossing folder (Cuttlebug)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kindred Spirits

I have one last card using this pretty piece of Parisian Breeze paper!  I was looking at the scraps and contemplating what else I could do when I remembered this quilt-style technique.  I got out my 1" square punch and cut fifteen squares from the remaining paper.  I adhered them very carefully to a piece of Crumb Cake cardstock and then zig-zagged the seams with my sewing machine.

After sewing the inner seams, I glued the pieced panel to a larger piece of Baja Breeze cardstock and then sewed along the outer edges.  I about squealed when I saw the finished product.  It was just too darn cute!!  (I also heaved a sigh of relief that I didn't mess it up.)

I glued the whole thing to a Crumb Cake card base.  For my sentiment, I cut more Crumb Cake with the Framed Greetings die and added faux stitching with a marker.   I stamped the sentiment and then dressed it up with some flowers fussy cut from the decorative paper.

I very carefully cut one of the last scraps of Parisian Breeze paper in half using an exacto knife and metal ruler.  (It was too small to use my big paper cutter.)  Whew, didn't mess that up either!  :)  I adhered them inside the card, making sure to use both prints to match the front.  In hindsight, it would have looked cool to stitch them together, but I'm still really pleased with the finished card.  Isn't the sentiment just perfect?   :)

Stamps:  Quilter's Sampler Sentiments (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  Baja Breeze, Crumb Cake, Parisian Breeze (Stampin' Up)
Ink:  Rich Cocoa (Memento)
Misc:  Chocolate Chip marker (Stampin' Up); Framed Greetings die (My Favorite Things); 1" square punch (EK Success); thread

Monday, January 13, 2014

Snowman Love

I made a card this afternoon for the current MFT sketch challenge.  (found here)  I've had the sketch on my desk since last Wednesday.  For once, I got it done before the deadline!  :)  I have oodles of printed MFT sketches that I have yet to use.  lol  Once I had an idea of what to use, it came together fairly quickly.

I have four sheets of Christmas Cocoa paper in my new-to-me stash.  (Can I say how much fun I'm having using all this paper?)  I used several pieces of it for this masculine card.  Each piece was matted with Soft Suede cardstock and assembled according to the sketch.  Because I added metallic brads to the upper strip, I backed it with Soft Suede cardstock for strength.  I did the same for the lower narrow strip so they looked the same.

For the snowman, I stamped the image on a white circle and then colored the scarf to match the striped paper.  I cut the hat and heart out of cardstock for paper piecing, using Soft Suede and Real Red respectively.  Finally, I stamped the word "love" on the heart.

I love this card (pun intended) and it's perfect to give to a guy for any love occasion, be it Valentine's Day or anniversary.  My husband likes it anyway!  He told me that before I even asked.  :)

Stamps:  Happy Heart Snowman (My Favorite Things)
Paper:  Soft Suede, Real Red, Christmas Cocoa dp (Stampin' Up)
Ink:  Soft Suede (Stampin' Up)
Misc:  Standard Circles dies (Spellbinders); Metallic Basics brads (Making Memories); Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Real Red markers (Stampin' Up)

Butterfly Love

Since I had this pretty paper out already, I made another card using the leftover pieces.   I used Freshly Made Sketch #118 for the layout.  This time I used more of the flower print on a Baja Breeze card base.

I embossed a smaller piece of the Baja Breeze with the Elegant Lines embossing folder.  I stamped my sentiment and the butterfly body using Dark Chocolate ink on a Crumb Cake cardstock square.  I stamped two sets of butterfly wings on Baja Breeze cardstock with the matching ink and then punched them out.  After I stamped the butterfly body on the top layer, I put them together, bending the wings for dimension, and then glued it in place.  I distressed the Crumb Cake edges to add more texture.

Inside the card, I added one more strip of the flower print to dress it up a little bit.  Voila!  A pretty spring-y card to brighten up this cold January.  You can see other cards using the sketch here

Stamps:  Flight of the Butterfly, Butterfly Prints (Stampin' Up)
Paper:  Baja Breeze, Crumb Cake, Parisian Breeze (Stampin' Up)
Ink:  Baja Breeze (Stampin' Up); Dark Chocolate (Papertrey Ink)
Misc:  Elegant Lines embossing folder (Stampin' Up); Butterfly punch (Stampin' Uo); distress tool 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lifetime Love

I've had this Verve set for over a year, but this is the first time I've inked it up for a card.  I really love the sentiments.  I used the latest Mojo Monday sketch and included hearts for the Diva Dare challenge.  How could I not?  The sketch had them already!  :)  (You can see other cards for the challenges here and here.)

I started off by stamping the word "love" repetitively across the red cardstock using the matching ink.  Once that was mounted on a black card base, then I embossed a strip of white cardstock with the Stylish Stripes folder by Stampin' Up and also matted it with black.

I stamped my sentiment and highlighted the word "love" with a Real Red marker.  I stamped the little arrow pointing toward the word "you" and underlined it for emphasis.  I matted the panel with black and added a black piece cut with the Labels One die underneath.  I then added small white dots along the curve.

For the hearts, I used white embossing powder on red cardstock and cut them out.  I also glued two more hearts on a white panel inside the card and stamped "Love Always" to continue the sentiment.  I really love this card.  It turned out fantastic!  My son thinks I should give this to my hubby for Valentine's Day and I think I will.  :)

Stamps:  Stronger Love (Verve)
Paper:  Real Red (Stampin' Up); White, True Black (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  VersaMark; Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Misc:  Stylish Stripes embossing folder (Stampin' Up); Labels One die (Spellbinders); white pen (Inkssentials); Real Red, Basic Black marker (Stampin' Up); white embossing powder (Filigree)

Hello Friend

In my new stash of retired paper (see previous post), there was one piece of pretty textured paper from a pack called Parisian Breeze.  I have to admit that I haven't really paid much attention to Stampin' Up decorative paper in the past.  I bought a couple of packs last year, but most of the time, I'm drawn to the stamps and that uses up my budget pretty quickly.  When I do buy paper, it's usually the 6x6 paper pads because the smaller scale prints work better for cards.  Looking through my old catalogs to identify my new 12"x12" papers really opened my eyes.  There have been some great papers released in the past.  I feel so lucky to have some of them to play with now!

This card uses the same piece of decorative paper.  I just took advantage of both sides of the paper.  (I only had one sheet from the original pack.)  Aren't they pretty patterns?  I used the latest Sweet Sunday sketch #201 for my card, matting each piece with Chocolate Chip cardstock.  The layered flower is stamped with both words and netting for more interest.  I used a Viva Pearl Pen for the center of the flower.

You can see other cards using this sketch here.  Inside the card, I added a piece of Baja Breeze cardstock and a strip of the Parisian Breeze patterned paper.

I actually made this card last Thursday night, but we've had two solid days of rain here in North Carolina and that's made it difficult to get a photo.  It's been one of those times when I wish I had a photo tent!  I was so glad to see the sun come out today.  :)  I made two other cards using this piece of decorative paper, so expect to see those posted soon.

Stamps:  Sweet Summer, Netting, By Definition (Stampin' Up); Little Labels (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  Baja Breeze, Chocolate Chip, Parisian Breeze (Stampin' Up)
Ink:  Baja Breeze, Chocolate Chip (Stampin' Up)
Misc:  Standard Circles Small die (Spellbinders); Beautiful Blooms II #1 die (Papertrey Ink); Cream pearl pen (Viva)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Good Neighbors

I received a wonderful gift last month.  My Stampin' Up demo decided to purge her remaining retired designer paper and gave it all to me.  Talk about a treasure trove!  It was so exciting to go through the box and see what was there.  She also gave me a stack of retired colors of cardstock.  Seriously cool!  In the box was a Welcome Neighbors 6x6 pad that was part of Sale-a-bration a few years ago.  I remember getting the Good Neighbors set at that time, but had not really noticed the paper.  I really love it!  It's full of pretty little patterns and I just had to use it to make a card.

Last week's Make It Monday video over at Nichole Heady's blog was an angled background technique using patterned paper.  I'd been meaning to try it out and the Welcome Neighbors paper was perfect for it.  I started with a white piece of cardstock and layered strips of different papers, starting at the bottom and varying the angles as I adhered them.  Then I trimmed the excess.  It made a fun background for my card!

I cut fishtail flags out of white and Bermuda Bay cardstock.  I stamped a Good Neighbors house on the white piece with Pumpkin Pie ink and added Bermuda Bay clouds.  Lastly, I stamped the word "thanks" underneath.

Inside the card, I used a strip of the house print paper and stamped the sentiment above it on a piece of Crushed Curry cardstock.  Very simple, but it adds so much.

Hopefully this card will convey my gratitude to my demo for her very generous gift!  I had a lot of fun going through my old Stampin' Up catalogs to identify the patterned papers.  Now everything is properly labeled and ready to use!  :)

Stamps:  Good Neighbors, Picture This, Flight of the Butterfly (Stampin' Up)
Paper:  Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Welcome Neighbors 6x6 pad (Stampin' Up); White (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Pumpkin Pie, Bermuda Bay (Stampin' Up); Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Misc:  Fishtail Flags STAX, Fishtail Flags Layers STAX dies (My Favorite Things)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Pink Monster Love

I've gone into my studio the last three days to make a card with no real progress.  (Darn those mojo-blocking fears!)  Today I was determined to push past it and create something.  My Favorite Things started a new Color Palette challenge this month with the colors pink, black and white.  (see it here)  I love that combo so I pulled out some Pretty in Pink cardstock and the Peek-a-Boo Squared die, and things just evolved from there.

After cutting out the Peek-a-Boo Squared die, I stamped some distressed diamonds using the matching Stampin' Up ink.  I also cut it out of white cardstock to use the inner circles.  I stamped some images from a retired MFT set called Monsters Ink.  Aren't they fun?  The long monster was stamped across the bottom circles and onto the white mat, and the other two monsters were stamped on the top two circles.  I added the black bowtie and hat, darkening them up a bit with a marker.  After coloring in the monsters with a Pretty in Pink marker, I stippled the bodies using the same color to give them a mottled look.

Once the pink square/circles were glued in place, I stamped some diamonds in black on the top left and then added my sentiment "so in love with you" on the sides of the square.  The "YOU" is actually part of a sentiment that says "Thank You", but I only inked up the one word.  The card needed something a bit more, so I diecut a Pretty in Pink heart (from the Homespun Birdhouse set), stippled it with dots, and then crumpled it up for texture.

Inside the card, I stamped some more diamonds in Pretty in Pink in the lower left corner and stamped a monster over the top.  I added the sentiment "today and every day" in black from yet another MFT set.  (Yes, I used three different sets for the sentiments! Five sets in total.)

So, this card is not entirely what I had in my head to start.  Isn't it funny how that works?  I just kept messing around and adding/changing things until I was happy with it.  It turned out pretty cute!  :)

Stamps:  Monsters Ink, Distressed Diamonds, Bold Statements, Sending Thanks, Celebrate Big (My Favorite Things)
Paper:  White, True Black (Papertrey Ink); Pretty in Pink (Stampin' Up)
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Misc:  Pretty in Pink, Basic Black markers (Stampin' Up); Peek-a-Boo Squared die, Homespun Birdhouse die (My Favorite Things); distress tool

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Card

"The woods would be very silent if no birds sang 
there except those that sang best."
 - Henry van Dyke

I got a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas.  :D  Squeal!!  Yesterday, I finally broke it out of the box.  I had installed the software the previous day and was dying to try it out.  My bundle deal (from the Black Friday sale) came with the Designer Edition software.  I've been saving the weekly freebies from the online store for the past year and the birch trees cut file caught my eye right away.

I cut it out of Dark Chocolate cardstock and layered it over Rustic White.  I cut the little red birds using my In the Meadow dies from Papertrey Ink.  I love how they pop against the trees.  I had this quote in mind as I made the card, but don't have it in stamp form, so I used Photoshop Elements to print it directly on cardstock.

Last year was tough.  Some personal experiences caused a lot of pain and self-doubt.  I did a lot of soul searching.  I learned who my true friends were and who honestly cared about me beyond their own goals and benefit.  It was a shake-down type of year.  Not a pleasant experience.  Still, it has made me stronger.  I survived.  It did not break me and I am moving on.  Am I still healing?  Definitely, but I am so much closer to complete forgiveness of those who hurt me.  I have confidence that with the continued help of the Lord, I will reach that point.  The Atonement is a glorious thing.

It doesn't matter that life took an unexpected detour.  It doesn't matter that I am just ordinary me.  It doesn't matter that I like to do lots of things and am master of none of them.  It doesn't matter than I am not a famous performer or well-known artist.  It doesn't matter that my quiet personality is often overlooked.  It doesn't matter that I have a sensitive soul.

I am ME.  Unique, individual me.  All of it makes me absolutely one-of-a-kind.  No one else has had all of my experiences, no one else thinks exactly like I do, and no one else can contribute in the unique way I can.  My small contributions matter.  If only the loudest and flashiest and most talented birds sang, the world would be a very quiet and boring place.  All songs matter.  Wouldn't it be nice if more people remembered that?

I'm not a prolific stamper, but I love the creations I make.

I'm not a sought-out performer, but I am a good actress.  I have a beautiful voice and have had many wonderful experiences, on-stage and off, because of that talent.

I am not Mother of the Year by any stretch of the imagination, but I have four amazing children who bring great joy and love into my life.  I wouldn't trade them for anything the world could offer.

I am loved, for better and worse, by a man who stands head and shoulders above the rest, mistakes included.  Twenty-two years together and still going strong.

I am surrounded by good friends and family who love me, flaws and all.  They love me just the way I am now and see my potential even when I am blind to it.  I am not my mistakes.  My mistakes do not define who I am.  We all make mistakes.  Despite that, we all keep trying and that is what matters.

Our song is not beautiful every time we sing.  But somehow, it all joins together in one big gorgeous symphony.  All songs matter and I will not stop singing.

I look forward to a brand new year full of possibilities.  To quote L.M. Montgomery from her book Anne of Green Gables, “Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

Happy New Year!!

Stamps:  none
Paper:  Dark Chocolate, Rustic White (Papertrey Ink)
Cut File:  Birch Trees (Silhouette)
Misc:  In the Meadow die (Papertrey Ink)