Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ColourQ and i{heart}2stamp Challenges

This is my second post today and this card is even brighter and bolder than the first card.  On my earlier post I freely admitted that I was way out of my comfort zone with the colors - I can't believe that I have done it again!  Of course, it isn't something that I would have ever attempted without some amazing inspiration from colourQ!

Their inspiration photo is so darn cute, my card won't measure up!!  (Actually, I am really happy with my card and I am wondering if I am turning into a "Brights" kind of gal in my old age?)

The layout comes from the i{heart}2stamp monthly sketch challenge, and check out the date - once again I have waited until the last day.  Their sponsor this month is Your Next Stamp.  I like to try to use that company's stamps on my card but I actually don't have any.  After browsing their site, I definitely have a wishlist.

Then, to totally top off my descent into the world of bold and bright colors, I had a card from last week mentioned in two different challenges.  Here's the card (details here).  It's as bold and bright as my last two cards and it is a colourQ courtier and a Paper Player Cut Above.

Details on the first card:
  • Stamps: My Cute Stamps Elegant Birds
  • Ink: Memento Black and copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Soft Suede, Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie, Crushed Curry
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up lattice embossing folder, Soft Suede ribbon, Nestabilities circles and scalloped circles, Stickles in Glam Pink, Yellow and Orange Peel

A Verve Kind of Day #4

I saw this morning's Splitcoast Color Challenge and walked away - definitely out of my comfort zone.  But...there is a reason they are called challenges.  So I decided to give it a try.  I forced myself to fully embrace these colors (vs. finding subtle patterned papers that matched) and I also went for a bold use of the dessert option: summer!!   Although I am happy with the final card, every decision and step of the way was painful!

The layout is from a May Viva La Verve Sketch.  Just one more to go for May and, for the first time, I will have finished that challenge!!
  • Stamps: Verve Miracles Blossom
  • Ink: copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Rich Razzleberry, Daffodil CS and dsp, Pacific Point dsp
  • Accessories: Mark Richards Yellow Glitter Domes and Black Nailheads, Stampin' Up Daffodil Grosgrain and Scalloped Border Punch, Nestabilities Pinking Circles, Papertrey Ink Fillable Frames and Clouds dies

A Verve Kind of Day #3

I had promised this post yesterday and I was all ready to go, but my family insisted we watch a History Channel special together.  No problem - I figured that I would just write up the words after the show.  But I fell asleep, I'm embarrased to tell you how early it was!  It was just so cozy curled up next to my husband and the kids weren't arguing - just quietly watching the show.

Of course, this is the kids earlier on their Memorial Day holiday!  The "lump" under the blanket is the teenager!

Here is my third card for the May Verve Sketch challenges:

  • Stamps: Verve Dare to Be
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Early Espresso
  • Paper: Kaisercraft Secrete Bird Society, Stampin' Up Early Espresso and Shimmer White, Papertrey Aqua Mist, misc vellum
  • Accessories: Spellbinders Tag (cut in half so it peeks out from each side of the square), Spellbinders Beaded Oval, Clear Spica pen (on each bead), Martha Stewart butterfly punch

Monday, May 30, 2011

SCS CAS: Folded or Scrunched

Today's Splitcoast CAS Challenge was to fold or scrunch your ribbon.  I really like the folded ribbon look - I did a quick tutorial here (scroll past the shimmer paint instructions).

I pulled out the retired Kiwi Kiss for this card since I had ribbon, buttons, ink and paper in that color.  Since I had retired colors out - I also used Ruby Red and Cameo Coral, one of my favorite combos!

As a total sidetrack - how many of my Colorado readers are being invaded by miller moths?  I thought the cold weather might stop them - but apparently not.

For non-Colorado readers - I found this brief description of what it is like in Colorado during miller moth season:

Multitudes of Moths

Here's what happens if you simply use a fly swatter.  That's the "dust" from one of them smeared across my computer screen!

Although I really ought not complain as I just read about this Bermuda blogger's giant centipedes and flying cockroaches!!
I will have more posts today as I am finishing up the Verve May challenges and I have three to go!
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Bold Blossom
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Kiwi Kiss, Ruby Red, Soft Suede
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Kiwi Kiss, Cameo Coral
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Kiwi Kiss ribbon, Butterfly embosslist, Playground buttons, gems

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Featured Stamper: Rosie

Today's Splitcoast Featured Stamper has a wonderful gallery.  I spent so much time studying Rosemary's cards and clicking the Favorite Heart, that I ran out of my morning "alone-time" so it took much longer to get a card made than usual!

I CASed this card.  Rosemary uses a lot of stamps that match nesties.  Her card uses an extra large stamp from Heartfelt Creations.  I have a number of stamps by them, but I had never ordered the extra large flowers - I may have to after seeing her card.  I used a similar set of stamps by Sparkle n Sprinkle that coordinates with Spellbinders Blossoms 3.  Since I didn't have an extra large flower, I used an arrangement of three flowers in place of her single flower.

  • Stamps: Sparkle n Sprinkle Blossoms, Papertrey Signature Greetings
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Melon Mambo
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Melon Mambo dsp
  • Accessories: patterned black brads from Oriental Trading, Nestabilities Blossoms 3

Saturday, May 28, 2011

LIM: Pick a Square

This morning, I realized that I work better under pressure.  I have a total of 15 minutes to put together a Thank You card (and to post it!) 

I checked out this week's Less Is More challenge which was to pick a box on this diagram, stamp in that one box and leave the rest white.

I had a older stamp set on my desk that had just come from an E-Bay purchase so I didn't even have to dig for stamps.

This came together in 10 minutes - 8 minutes of which was trying to get the thread through the tiny little butterfly button holes to make it look like antenna!  And I like this card better than I have liked anything I have done in my last leisurely few weeks!

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Oh My Word, A Muse Essential Ovals clear set
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Soft Suede (sponged on the edges of the vase), Soft Sky and Pear Pizzazz
  • Paper: white
  • Accessories: buttons (I have had them so long, I have no idea who made them) and white crochet thread

Lacrosse Stamps DO Exist!!

This card is not a great work of art.  It is a thank you card for my youngest son's lacrosse coach.  But I am posting it because it is a real struggle to find anything lacrosse related - even though it is very, very quickly gaining in popularity - and I found a lacrosse set!  It's at clear&simple stamps

Here's my lacrosse player!

Our day today is dominated by lacrosse.  He has a scrimmage in just a few hours, then a final barbeque.  Then we have to watch lacrosse for the rest of the weekend as, for the first time ever, a team from west of the Mississippi is in the NCAA Final Four - our very own University of Denver! (I'll probably hang out in my craft corner, but I am sure that I will hear every play replayed throughout the weekend!)

  • Stamps: clear&simple lacrosse
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Tangerine and Brilliant Blue
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Tangerine and Brilliant Blue

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Verve Kind of Day #2

Here is the second of my five cards for the Viva La Verve Sketch Challenge in May.  I have a number of Verve sets that I ordered during their last sale and I have sworn to not put new stamps away until they have seen ink.  This seemed like the perfect time to play Viva La Verve!

I just love how CR84FN uses inspiration photos for their color challenge.  These photos made the colors look gorgeous together so I had to give it a try!

  • Stamps: Verve Floral Symphony and Amazing Wishes
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Perfect Plum, copics on flowers
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Pale Plum, Perfect Plum CS and dsp
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart butterfly punch, Quickutz corners, Cuttlebug embossing folder, Martha Stewart seam binding, gems by Michaels (they have the tiniest little gems!!), Nestabilities oval to cut window.

A Verve Kind of Day #1

A month or so ago, Verve had a stamp sale and I ordered a number of sets that I had on my wishlist.  But they have been sitting under my desk unopened because I didn't want to "index" them. 

I actually take every stamp that I buy and stamp them into a three-ring notebook organized by sentiments and by themes.  So if a set has birthday, thank you, thinking of you sentiments and has flowers, leaves and flourishes - that's six different sections of my notebook!  It takes forever, but it's worth it to be able to easily page through and find the right sentiment or flower, etc.  Verve sets are particularly time consuming to index because you an amazing variety of stamps in each set.

I have time today to do it and I was thinking to make it more fun, I might play along with the Viva la Verve! sketches on Splitcoast, but there are five sketches for May and I hadn't even started them.  Totally overwhelming!

But when the Friday Free For All challenge was to use a freebie, my decision was made for me!  Verve sends a free thank you stamp with their order!!  Obviously it's the stamping goddesses sending me a message to work with Verve today!!

Here's #1:

  • Stamps: Verve Hope Blooms and freebie Thank You
  • Ink: Stampin' Up True Thyme, River Rock
  • Paper: Stampin' Up True Thyme, River Rock, Daffodil CS and dsp, Naturals White, K&Co Julianne
  • Accessories: Verve flower dies, SU True Thyme ribbon, Cuttlebug border die, Stampin' Up Spiral Border Punch, Martha Stewart microbeads (on flower center), gems colored with copics

Thursday, May 26, 2011

ColourQ and Paper Players Flower Fest

First - a disclaimer - I never look at the cards from the other participants in a challenge until I have completed my card or the challenge closes.  I am not that far removed from the days when I simply CASed cards and didn't have an idea of my own!!  So I figure if I don't see the others cards, my idea will be mine!

So today's story is even worse.

I was playing at my friend's house - the one that I mentioned yesterday who has even more stamping stuff than I do!  She has the new Stampin' Up set Flower Fest.  Frankly, it's not even on my wishlist but I have loved the cards that have used it with white embossing.  So I looked through my favorite challenges and thought it would fit perfectly with The Paper Players sketch.

I then chose the rich colors of colourQ.

Then this morning I got up to read today's blogs and  finish putting the card together - and surprise(!) someone else had done the same thing, with the same sketch - but different colors - and had won a different blog contest.  But...here's the embarassing part, when I checked back - it was one of the design team cards from The Paper Players!  I accidentally CASed one of the sample cards of the challenge!!!

So I bored you with that whole story because I am feeling like I shouldn't even post this accidentally CASed card, but it has ended up being one of my favorite cards that I have done in months and I am darn proud of it!!  Here it is...

Thanks for listening and looking!!
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Flower Fest, Stamp Oasis sentiment
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Early Espresso, versamark
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Early Espresso, Real Red, So Saffron CS and dsp, Daffodil, Kiwi Kiss
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up White Embossing Powder and border punch, circle and scalloped circle nesties

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stamping 411 with Fabulous Florets

I was playing at a friend's house today...a friend who, quite amazingly, has more stamping stuff than I do!!  Nothing on this card is mine - when I don't have a set, or embossing powder, or brads - I just head to her house and I am set!

The sketch comes from Stamping 411.  They just recently went all Stampin' Up and it is really enjoyable to browse the cards by their design team and all of the participants.  (Mainly because I have the stamps and can CASE many of the cards!)

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Fabulous Florets, Occasional Quotes
  • Ink: black, versamark
  • Paper: black, white, Wild Wasabi dsp
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up embossing powder in Mambo and Wasabi, Square Ice brads

Thanks Snow Much!!

This week's CAS-ual Friday Challenge is to use bling.  I decided I was going to let this jump start me into working on Christmas cards (or thank you cards for Christmas).

Then this morning, this was announced....I get to be the guest designer on the Sweet 'n Sassy blog during June!  You will see my cards each Tuesday.  So, of course, I had to use a Sweet 'n Sassy stamp for my card.

Finally, I realized that I hadn't used the Fall to Layout on the clean&simple blog in a long time!!

And that's the history of this card!!

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Snow Friends digi (and they have have a clear set with darling sentiments AND it's on clearance!)
  • Ink: copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake CS and dsp, Soft Sky, Blushing Bride CS and dsp
  • Accessories: Misc gems and glitter, various punches, shimmer spritz on the snowflakes, Cuttelbug embossing folder

Monday, May 23, 2011

JAI: Life Happens

I really like this week's Just Add Ink colors - they are so sweet and gentle.

I used them to sponge colors on the back of a vellum butterfly (the baja is hard to see in the picture but it's on the bottom.)  Then I saw that the butterfly was quite a heavy image so instead of keeping the card sweet and gentle - I had to go darker by adding some darker neutrals and by using a heavier sentiment.  This wasn't remotely where I was headed but I like how it turned out.

The layout comes from today's Splitcoast Clean and Simple challenge.

  • Stamps: There She Goes Spread Your Wings, Stampin' Up Full of Life
  • Inks: Stampin' Up Perfect Plum, Pear Pizzazz, Baja Breeze, black
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, black, white, Perfect Plum dsp
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up black ribbon

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Less Is More: Butterflies

This week's Less Is More Challenge is to use butterflies.  If you don't usually click over to Less is More to see all of the participants, be sure that you do it this week because already on the second day of this weekly challenge, the cards are stunning! 

Be sure to click on #72 - Sarita's card.  I follow her blog and literally gasped aloud when I saw this beautiful card - the thumbnail just doesn't do it justice.  Then there is an earlier card (#19) with a swarm of white butterflies that is just simply sweet.  Of course, I could list all of the 84 cards that are currently posted - I'm sure there will be hundreds by the end of the week.

Here's my humble entry:

  • Stamps: Just Rite Friendship Blooms Cling Set, Verve Thanksful Hearts sentiment
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Pear Pizzazz, Soft Suede
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Pear Pizzazz, Peach Parfait
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up embossing folder, Pear Pizzazz Taffeta and pearls, Nestabilities Labels 18, Martha Stewart butterfly punches

Saturday, May 21, 2011

For a Super Dad!

This is a seriously bright card - nothing subtle or stylish about this one.  It's way out of my comfort zone, but that is the great thing about being part of a church card ministry - I HAVE to get out of my comfort zone.  As I was making Father's Day cards, I pictured a little boy and wanted him to be thrilled to give a card to his dad.  I am hoping this is the one!

The inside simply says:
I'm so glad
you're my Dad!

I used The Sweet Stop Sketch for this week.

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Super Dad digi
  • Ink: copics
  • Paper: SU Basic Black, Daffodil, Poppy, misc patterned paper from Hobby Lobby
  • Accessories: Candy Cane Stickles, sparkly black brads, star punch

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Confirmation Weekend with Mojo

This upcoming weekend is the big weekend for our 8th graders being confirmed (an affirmation of their baptism).  They read their faith statements at two of our church services and are confirmed at the third.  There is an Evening of Honor Saturday night for which I had made this set of invitations.  I also made many other cards for the members of our congregation to choose from and give to the confirmands. 

Then I needed to mass produce some cards for the church to give to the confirmands, but I was fresh out of ideas.  Confirmation cards are the hardest cards for me to make.  They are for teenagers but they are for a formal occasion - those don't always go together!  Also, there are very few stamps specific to the occasion.

Luckily, the Mojo Monday sketch came up and I knew instantly that I was using it for these cards.  I think that the notched panel gave it a formal look as befitting this occasion.

My color choices were easy - these are the colors of our sanctuary.  (I do hope that the kids - or at least the parents of the kids - get the connection!)  I chose stamps that aren't specific to "confirmation" but at least make an appropriate statement.

I really took the sketch seriously - see the background on the sketch - here it is on my card!

There are a few more layers here than I would normally like to use for a mass-produced card, but cutting is an easy task.  There are no fancy techniques, just a little woodgrain texture on the background and I am done.

  • Stamps: Verve Artful Elegance background, Our Daily Bread sentiment, Clear Dollar Stamps small cross
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Dark Chocolate
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Creamy Caramel, Bravo Burgundy, Papertrey Pinefeather
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Burgundy grosgrain, Papertrey Woodgrain Impression Plate, misc gem colored with copics

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Deconstructed Sketch #1 and SCS colors

When I saw this morning's Splitcoast Color Challenge I almost didn't play.  In my opinion, Regal Rose and Rich Razzleberry are very "in your face" colors and I didn't see any way to put them together.  But then I rallied and realized that it is why they are called "challenges"!

Since the background colors are so rich, I kept the coloring on the flower quite muted.  (OK, I actually first tried coloring the flower in Regal Rose and Razzleberry and quickly realized that it was all totally overwhelming!)

My digital image is from Wax Fruit Company.  The artist and owner, Arielle, had recently announced on her Snappy Stamper blog that she was on the design team for a new sketch challenge - The Deconstructed Sketch.  So even though I started out scared of the colors - everything came together in the end!  Here's their first sketch...I look forward to more...

  • Stamps: Wax Fruit Company digital images
  • Ink: copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Rich Razzleberry CS and dsp, Regal Rose CS and dsp, Very Vanilla
  • Accessories: misc clear button (backed with Regal Rose dsp), misc ivory ribbon, All Night Media butterfly punch, Martha Stewart glass microbeads

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gifts for CAS and LIM!

I have been missing in action the past few days but I did warn you on my last post that my iPad was being delivered and being a total addict to my iPod Touch, I knew that I was going to spend all my free time setting it up.  More on this later!

This week's challenge at Less Is More is a one layer card using embossing - either dry embossing of heat embossing.  I use embossing folders virtually all the time, so I decided to challenge myself to use heat embossing.  I have many vials of embossing powders that I love, but it's been awhile since I used them and I had forgotten how that powder ends up everywhere!  My eyebrows are glittering!!

This morning's Splitcoast CAS Challenge is the word "gift".  I have some beautiful stamps regarding God's gifts so pulled those out.

And...in the end...it is all about the stamps.  CAS cards and especially one layer cards can be difficult.  I find myself hunting for fun and unusual techniques to show off on my CAS cards.  But, in reality, if I use a beautiful stamp, I have a beautiful card!

I did try to do something different on the sentiment, but likely I am the only one that can tell.  After I stamped it in Versamark, I used my fingers to sprinkle a little bit of the sparkly black powder on the main words.  I tapped it off and then added a plain black embossing powder on the rest.

  • Stamps: Clear Dollar Stamps Ephesians 2:8-9, Eureka Crosses Border (Eureka carries many Christian stamps)
  • Ink: Versamark
  • Paper: white
  • Accessories: Stamp 'n Stuff Starry Night embossing powder, Ultra Detail Black Embossing Powder, misc gem
Now...since I am practically giddy over my iPad2, you get to suffer through some of the really fun stuff I did regarding my cardmaking!!  You aren't going to be nearly as excited as I am - first, because I am more obsessive about organization than anybody that I know and second, these photos do not capture the spectacular clarity of the HiDef iPad screen!

I am going to do all of my blog reading on my iPad.  I found Feeddler Pro which totally replaces Google Reader.  (Another highly rated app - Reeder - just supplements Google Reader.  Feeddler lets me bring over categories, etc.)

I just click on a blog (the little blue circles tell me there are new posts) and here it is!  (Hi, Andrea!)

So then I found an app called Chronicle.  I am going to use it to save the challenges that I like to play.  When I am reading a challenge blog, I tap the photo of the challenge with two fingers, it saves it.  I pop over over to Chronicle and it's a simple touch of the button to bring it into the date of the challenge!  See the challenges listed for last week...

 Then I tap on the day of the challenge and up pops the sketches, colors, etc.!

The next photo is a really cool feature.  The app ibooks lets you download pdf files.  I have previously listed various sites that collect their challenges into pdf files (see the iPod app button at the top of my blog.)  Here they are all downloaded and nicely organized.  So...for example, if I click on that last file, a pdf of all of the Splitcoast Color Challenges opens up.  If I'm ever stuck on a card - I just come over to "ibooks" and I have files of ideas!!

FYI - the first document is actually the "pdf" download of all of the My Digital Studio stamps from Stampin' Up.  You can get that at the My Digital Studio website under Resources. 

This next one is going too far, even for me.  I have a number of databases to organize all of my supplies.  In this photo I have clicked on "Colors" and it shows me all of the PTI and SU colors with checkboxes as to whether I have cardstock, ink, refills, buttons, etc.  The ribbon column is really exciting, because I have another database with every ribbon that matches PTI or SU that I have - the database you are looking at runs over to the ribbon database and tells me the number of ribbons that I have!!

Even with my love of databases sometimes I just make lists.  "Manage" is a great little list make.  You can make tons of different lists, tag the entries, check them off - and even more fun, are the tools to highlight items or to handwrite little notes.  If you want a "color" list like I have in my database, you could make a list of the colors and then use the blue marker to indicate CS and the red marker to indicate ribbon and maybe highlight it if you need something!  So much fun!

So how many of you are totally laughing at how anal I am.  Not only am I anal, but I get absolutely giddy with excitement as I am organizing.  And just so you know, it isn't just cardmaking.  I also have apps for books to read, I have a checkbook, a todo list, facebook, cookbooks, etc.  It's organizing my whole life.

Of course, my kids have to play with it too.  Their favorite is the front-facing camera and an app that comes with the iPad2 called Photo Booth.  Here are my darling children distorting themselves!!

Now I have to go and start getting all of that embossing powder off of my desk (and my eyebrows) and...I'll probably do a little more iPad organizing!  (Or maybe I should do wash some dishes or do some laundry.)