Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Butterfly Thoughts

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by me!

When I did this sketch, I had envisioned a big beautiful water-colored flower.  Clearly I didn't go in that direction!!

FMS Butterfly Thoughts

This is what I love about sketch challenges.  I virtually guarantee that a someone playing along or a design team member will do my big water-colored flower.  Someone else will do a Christmas tree.  Someone will do a big sentiment.  We are all constrained to a layout, but from there our creativity takes flight!

I love this die - it's a full-size cutting plate but I just trimmed part of it.  It gives lots of interest and dimension yet can still remain so clean and fresh.  There are matching butterflies so you could always top them with die-cut butterflies in a riot of colors.  (Did you know a group of butterflies is called a "kaleidoscope" - isn't that wonderful?!)

FMS Butterfly Thoughts Flat

I hope to see you playing along!


Thursday, September 13, 2018

AAA Cards: Big Purple Balloon

I've had a workmate's birthday on my calendar, but had not realized that she was leaving on vacation before her birthday.  It's a fairly small office so I knew that she knew that I always made cards -  and I couldn't just miss her birthday.  AAA Cards Challenge to the rescue!!

I had seen their sketch and instantly envisioned a big beautiful balloon.  My friend at work is totally into purple.  So clearly a big purple sparkly balloon was just the ticket!!

AAA Purple Balloon

It's simple - or as simple as a shaker can be.  Although having said that - I love doing flat shakers like this where the entire top panel is lifted.  I still tape around the inside of the balloon to hold the sequins in - but it doesn't have to be small and precise like if I were just lifting the balloon frame.  

I found a couple of different purple sequins in my stash then added some silver stars.  I wanted interest in the shaker so embossed the background with a confetti folder.

AAA Purple Balloon flat

Here's the sketch that helped me through my panic.

Stamps: Papertrey Ink Sketched Shapes (the sentiment)
Dies: Impress Balloon die, Taylored Expressions Balloon Strings
Embossing Folder: Taylored Expression Confetti
Sequins: Simon Says Stamp Orchid, Cartwright (the dark purple - I didn't write down any other details), Pretty Pink Posh Silver Stars

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Freshly Made Sketches: Floral Wishes

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Linda.

I had lots of ideas for this sketch.  First I thought birthday candles - but I didn't have any stamps or dies that easily made three sizes - so wouldn't have been true to the sketch.  Then I thought I'd cut little windows and have flowers peeking out but I would have had to be the master of creative die-cutting to get it to work - so it would have been more difficult than I wanted it to be.  So what do I do?  I totally stray from the sketch - not true to it at all.  And I cut an intricate die cut, did some blended distress oxide and glued down an intricate sentiment - way too difficult!!  Go figure!!

FMS Floral Wishes

I know I strayed a little too far from the sketch when I feel compelled to explain what I did.  The sketch has a vaguely triangular look in those three strips so when I saw this corner flower die in my stash, I thought it could be that triangle.  Then I gave a nod to the trio of strips by sponging three different strips of color.  Can you see it now??  (I'm not even sure I can see it, but I definitely wouldn't have created this card without the inspiration of the sketch!)

I definitely had a friend in mind as I was making this card - and it's in the mail now.  So fingers crossed she's behind on reading blogs!!

I hope you play along with us this week at Freshly Made Sketches.

Stamps: Clearly Besotted Happy Birthday ("wishes"0
Dies: Memory Box Wildflower Corner, Birthday Jotted Script
Ink: Distress Oxides in Ripe Persimmon, Old Paper, Seedless Preserves
Cardstock: Taylored Expressions Plum Punch, Stampin' Up River Rock (perfect with Old Paper!0
Embellishments: Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear Jewels

Friday, September 7, 2018

Taylored Expressions 10th Birthday: Cupcake!!

It's the final day of our mini release and mega party!  I hope you've joined in the fun with our new products, the party favors and the big reunion!  All the products you've seen this week are already available!!  Check out all the inspiration at the Taylored Expressions blog then shop the new products here.

 The Iconic Wishes line of stamps already includes a variety of holidays and themes.  They are an image with the words as part of the image.  For the big birthday party, Taylored Expressions is bringing back Iconic Wishes - Birthday!!  Isn't this a fabulous cupcake?!

Taylored Expressions Iconic Wishes - Birthday

You can also just see a glimpse of the other new product on this card - the Sweet Sprinkle background.  It's a full size background of confetti!!  I inked up just a portion of it in a rainbow of colors and used it for interest behind my sentiment.  (FYI - it's easy to ink up a variety of colors with the mini ink pads.)

Taylored Expressions Iconic Wishes - Birthday

To complete the celebratory look, I added a bit of gold using Gold Fine Detail Embossing powder on the sentiment and a trio of golden sequins.

I love products like this cupcake - it makes it so easy to create a fun card because all of the detail is right in the stamp!  Here's what I used on this card.  Be sure to check out the TE blog for even more inspiration.


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Taylored Expressions 10th Birthday: Yippee!!

We've been having a big celebration of Taylored Expressions' 10th birthday!!  Prizes and party favors and reunions...and a mini release of birthday products!  I want to show you another new product today - then be sure to pop over to the Taylored Expressions blog for more inspiration and then to the Taylored Expressions store to shop and get some party favors!!  All the new products are already available!!  Check them out here!

Taylored Expressions does cute little critters so very well and Yippee Critters Stamp & Die Combo is no exception.

Taylored Expressions Yippee Critters

I created a happy little scene for my kitty using a variety of previously released products.  First I swooshed on a background using very watered down Cookie Monster Liquid Watercolors.  I started at the bottom of my scene so the color got lighter as I moved upward.  Then I die-cut the ground, added a fence and a little butterfly which are all from Build a Scene - Calendar and Build a Scene Calendar 2. (BTW - these die sets have "calendar" in their names but they are useful for so many other things, particularly little scenes like these.)

Taylored Expressions Yippee Critters

Yippee Critters comes with stamped balloon strings so I embossed one in white and then added a balloon from Little Bits - Balloons.  The sentiment is also from Yippee Critters.

Remember - the entire mini release is available now and there are party favors!


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A Big Reunion for Taylored Expressions 10th Birthday!

It's such an exciting day!  It's a reunion!!  There are over 40 designers that have come together for the big 10th birthday celebration for Taylored Expressions.  Don't miss anybody - there's a complete list on the Taylored Expressions blog.

I created this card using the new Celebrate Script die, the Celebrate Script Backer - Mixed Media die and the Big Bold Balloons Stencil.

Taylored Expressions Celebrate Script and Balloon Stencil

For the balloons, I used my Clarity Stencil brushes and deliberately kept the stencil loose on the paper so that some of the bristles added color under the stencil giving it a soft look (check the left edges of the balloons).  

I also did a slightly different layout of the balloons and used blue instead of pink.

Taylored Expressions Celebrate Script and Balloon Stencil

I used basic craft fun foam to add the dimension - which I could easily do because the Celebrate Script Backer is a Mixed Media die so it easily cuts through thick foam!!  On the pink card, I cut a piece of foam slightly smaller than the card front then used the backer die to cut a recessed area from the foam.  The second card came about because I had that foam backer piece and decided to do a card with a raised celebrate!

Taylored Expressions Celebrate Script and Balloon Stencil

I have Taylored Expressions products dating way back in my stash.  I stamp all my stamps into binders sorted by occasion or holiday.  I've been stamping well over 10 years and Taylored Expressions stamps start very early in these binders. I know I don't have the very first sets - check out the very first release post here on the Taylored Expressions blog - but I have to have sets soon after that.

I was thrilled to be a guest designer for Taylored Expressions in November of 2014. (This set of cards still rate at the top of my favorite cards ever.) Then I was honored to become part of the creative team in January of 2015.  I'm passionate about their products - I couldn't have been with them this long unless each and every product thrilled me!  They have cute; they have Christian; they have elegant and they have snarky - anything I could want.  Their products work with any style.  They have since added cardstock and matching ink and even liquid watercolors.  They have paper and sequins and embossing folders and stencils.

I am also proud that I work for a company that shares joy...

At the heart of Taylored Expressions is a mission to share joy through the gift of handmade cards. As part of their 10th birthday TE is continuing that mission with the launch of a special Share Joy campaign focused on providing birthday cards to those in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities across the U.S. To make as deep an impact as possible TE is inviting card makers everywhere to join the campaign. Will you join us? Find out how to participate by viewing their Share Joy page.

I was having so much fun stenciling balloons that I added a balloon inside the card (this is for the pink card) and then used a beautiful sentiment from the new The Inside Scoop - Birthday.

Taylored Expressions The Inside Scoop - Birthday

All new products were released last night during the big kick-off party and are available here. Hope you have fun hopping and shopping!!!


Freshly Made Sketches: Dandelion Wishes

It's time for a new sketch at Freshly Made Sketches! Today we have a sketch by Jen Mitchell.

I have had the Stampin' Up set Dandelion Wishes in my stash since the catalog came out and, sadly, it's never quite made it to a card.  I love the airiness of these images - they are wonderfully soft and gentle.  So I stamped and embossed it on the new Balmy Blue, added some very light sponging in white to soften it even more, splattered on some white and black acrylic paint and added a few sparkles.

FMS Dandelion

I go back and forth on whether I should have added the hint of stripes.  I do like the card better with them than without.  Before I added them, the black banner was just too heavy so I felt I needed some splashes of black to balance it.  I think it works for that - but I feel the straight stripes might be too rigid for the image.  And yes...I overthink everything!! 

I like this image with the blowing seeds (although now that I live in a house with a lawn vs. the wide open prairie, I'm sure I'll come to resent them!)  There's another stamp in the set that is a trio of dandelions - it's a lovely, graceful image.  Then there are three sentiments in a gorgeous mix of fonts - they were just too big to use on this layout.  Clearly this set needs to hang out on the corner of my desk, begging to be used before it goes to hide in my stash!

I hope to see you playing along this week!


Stamps: Stampin' Up Dandelion Wishes, And Many More (sentiment)
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Balmy Blue
Embellishments: Stampin' Up Glitter & Clear Epoxy Shapes