Saturday, April 30, 2011

Less Is More: Thank You

This week's challenge at Less Is More is to create a thank you or a congratulations card.  They say it is to thank us for our support and to congratulate us for our fabulous entries.  It should be a thank you to Chrissie and Mandi for inspiring us each week and a congratulations for creating such a wildly successful blog!

I used a double-embossing technique on this card that I think adds enormous interest.  In this case, I first embossed with a polka dot folder and then embossed again with this Cuttlebug flower folder.  I have done a number of these in the past.  This post is all about embossing folder fun - towards the bottom half are four other cards with the double-embossing technique.

This card also is the start of a project that I have had in my head for some time. 

First, you should know that I really don't have a creative bone in my body.  But I read blogs and study other cards to come up with ideas and then I try to put them all together into my work.  One of the things that fascinates me is the way people layer punches and dies.  A unique layering of punches can add so much - particularly to a clean and simple card.  I often get stuck in a rut of punching an oval and a scalloped oval and calling it done. 

I have collected a number of layered punch ideas over the years and I have wanted to put them together in a reference document (instead of the slips of papers and post-it notes that are cluttering my files!).  Since I added a layered punch to my card, I finally started this document!!  My most recent notes came from viewing the cards in my friend's craft room so these all come from her.  I have many more to add.


I would LOVE your help.  If you have created or seen a particurly nice layered punch or die idea (preferably using Stampin' Up product) - let me know.  Link to it in your comments or send me an e-mail.  I will add it to this document and will certainly credit you.  In a month or so - I will convert this to an on-line document and link it in my sidebar, then we can all have these idea easily at hand!

Thank you!
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Days of Gratitude (sentiment)
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Old Olive
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Peach Parfait CS and dsp, Pear Pizzazz CS, Very Vanilla CS
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up gems (colored with copics), Cuttlebug Swiss Dots and Everyday Greetings Combo folders, Stampin' Up Punches: Designer Label, 1" Circle and Modern Label

Friday, April 29, 2011

Confirmation Card - Sweet

I try to make a variety of Confirmation cards to give to the church's youth - sweet, fun, elegant, etc.  Here's my first card - the sweet one!

The sketch is from The Paper Players.

  • Stamps: Stampendous scripture
  • Ink: black
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Old Olive CS and dsp, So Saffron
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Olive Grosgrain, Scallop Border Punch, Oval and Scallop Oval punches

Could they be any different??

As usual, I have waited until the last minute to play the monthly sketch challenge at i{heart}2stamp

The sponsor for this sketch is Unity Stamps.  Although it isn't a requirement, I had wanted to use a Unity Stamp on my card, but I don't have many.  I have giant cupcakes which wouldn't fit.  I have some large sentiments.  And I have a Valentine's set.  So I gave up on Unity and went for another new set that I just received from Our Daily Bread.  It's a whole set that fits inside Spellbinders Labels 18 - each have birds and butterflies - absolutely beautiful stamps!

I finished that card, but before I posted it I decided to stretch and wander out to my mailbox.  I had a small package from a company from which I had ordered some copics.  When I opened the package, I was surprised because I had forgotten that I had picked up one Unity Stamp from their clearance section!!  And it was a square and the right size to fit the sketch!!  So here's my totally different second card:

Same sketch...totally different cards!

Praying For You:
  • Stamps: Our Daily Bread Birds and Butterflies Labels, Our Craft Lounge Prayers and Blessings sentiment
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip and a Baja Breeze marker
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip, Baja Breeze, Parisian Breeze dsp
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Baja Breeze Seam Binding, Spellbinders Labels 18, Martha Stewart Hydrangea Punch, misc pearls, Stampin' Up embossing folders
You're A Star:
  • Stamps: Unity
  • Ink: Memento black, copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Not Quite Navy CS and dsp, Daffodil Delight
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Real Red striped ribbon, misc gold brads

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I know that you come here for cards - and I promise to be back later today with cards - but my youngest son touched me so deeply with a poem that he wrote - I have to share.

First, some background - my mother was the founder of our church card ministry. (I talked about her here.)  After spending her entire life in South Dakota, she moved to our town, just a few miles from us, when my youngest son was born and became a daily part of my kid's lives.  She was a fun grandma - walks to the park, movies, and she was at every event that my kids were in.

She died very unexpectedly in May of 2006 at the age of 67 when my youngest was only 6 years old.  One of my biggest regrets was that, being so young, he would not remember his fun-loving grandma.

As a total side note - her death really woke up the women of our congregation to the fact that women feel heart attacks very differently than men.  In my mother's case, it was a severe back pain.  If you haven't read about woman's symptoms - please take some time to do so.

Erik (my youngest) had a sleep-over at her house the night before.  I had picked him up in the morning, but my mom was going to come over in the afternoon to pick both boys up for a movie.  She didn't show up.  After calling repeatedly, we all hopped in the car to go to her house.  I left the boys in the car and found that my mother had died.  I called 911 and given that the fire station was practically in her backyard, they were at the house with sirens blaring before I could go back out the car and talk to the boys.

Another side note - I want you to know that although I miss her - I cannot truly grieve her death.  My mother was a widow at 35 years old and she mourned my father for the remainder of her life.  She had great faith in the Lord and I know she is exactly where she had always wanted to be - at her husband's side in our Father's house. briefly take you out of this sad post - I have to tell you how the policemen came up with her time of death.  They knew that we expected her at 1:00 and, in her house, they found shopping bags from Hobby Lobby and Michaels with shopping receipts at 11:30.  She spent her last hours shopping for cardmaking!!!

Back to the point of this post.  Although we certainly talk about Grandma and we have many, many pictures, I have assumed that Erik has very little memory of her.  So when he came home with this poem that he had written, I was briefly saddened by his vivid memories of that day but then I felt so joyful that he remembered the "fun" and that he has the faith to realize that her death was not a "goodbye".

Waiting at your
house, waiting for you to
come out to have fun as
I hear the low wee-woo wee-woo
of sirens of trucks getting
louder and I know you
will not come out again.
No goodbyes.
Rest in peace Grandma.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Building a Cake in Red & Aqua

I just spent a couple of days ALL by myself with a good book, a fireplace, and a good bottle of wine!!!  We have a small place in Frisco, Colorado which is right in the middle of all of the ski areas in Summit County.  It's a great family area - skiing all winter, hiking all summer, plus tons of restaurants, festivals, etc.  Typically, we all go and spend family time. After active days, we spend our evenings with old-fashioned card games, puzzles and books.  But this time, I got to run away by myself (that probably means I was getting a little cranky and demanding at home because the boys happily sent me away!)

So I had to share a couple of pictures that I took April 25th!!!  I LOVE this weather!!

For all of you are shivering now (and even those that aren't) - now you need to go visit JENerally Speaking.  Not only does Jen make beautiful cards, but she regularly shares pictures of her home in Bermuda - - very different pictures than I just shared!

I only got one card made today.  The boys happily sent me away but it is funny that socks didn't get folded, jeans didn't get washed and homework wasn't finished - so I was a little busy today!

I had such fun with this Lawn Fawn Bake Me a Cake set.  Each layer is separate - you can build your cake any way you want - and there are tons of "frostings" and "decorations" to choose from too!!

I am rather proud of myself for thinking outside of the box - I started building my cake straight up and down - a perfect cake!!  Then I decided the card needed some interest so I started adding crooked layers.  This has definitely been out of my comfort zone!

I used today's Splitcoast Sketch Challenge.

And I used the color challenge from CR84FN.

  • Stamps: Lawn Fawn, sentiment from Stampin' Up Hodepodge Happiness
  • Ink: Memento Black, copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Poppy Parade, Papertrey Ink Hawaiian Shores
  • Accessories: Cuttlebug dots, Stampin' Up Scallop Border Punch, Papertrey Hawaiian Shores ribbon, The Twinery Baker's Twine, Quickutz tag die, Stickles and Martha Stewart glitter glue, misc red buttons

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Classic Graduation

I have hardly posted lately - it's definitely not lack of desire on my part - just a total lack of time!  Being a church musician and an active church volunteer near Easter can be very, very time-consuming!

I did have time today to finish up some Graduation cards that I wanted to get up to our church card rack.  I have done a number already (see Type: Graduation in the left column) - but none of them are traditional.  I definitely needed some classic black and white cards.

When I saw that this week's Less Is More Challenge was "off-centre" - I visualized this tassel hanging in the corner.  I used gold leafing to add the border.

The next card is based on the Techno Stamper Sketch Challenge.  (Techno Stamper is the challenge that allows me to link all of the other participants to my blog, so check out the bottom of this post to see the other players.)

And finally, I tried to use the CardPatterns sketch to showcase this wonderful sentiment.

The sentiment is from Heartfelt Creations and says:

God bless you and be with you
on your graduation day,
May He guide you and protect you
as you journey on life's way...
May He give you hope and courage
and faith that's strong and true
With the wisdom to achieve success
in everything you do.

I am now going to disappear from my blog for a few more days.  After church services tomorrow and lunch with my brother and family, I get the gift of a few days to myself in our mountain place.   My family has decided they can manage without me until Tuesday.  It's cold and snowy in the mountains and I am going to curl up by the fireplace with a number of library books that are almost overdue. 

"Off-Centre" Tassel
  • Stamps: Tassel is DRS Designs, sentiment is a Stampin' Up single
  • Ink: black
  • Paper: black and white
  • Accessories: scor-tape, gold leafing, gold brad
  • Stamps: Graduate is Stamp of Excellence, sentiment is DRS Designs
  • Ink: black
  • Paper: SU Black, Basic Gray, Going Gray, white
  • Accessories: Taylored Expressions star impression plate, EK Success border punch (from their American Girl line)
A Prayer for the Graduate:
  • Stamps: Heartfelt Creations (note: I cut up the stamp so that the I could use them in a different order)
  • Ink: black
  • Paper: black, white, metallic silver
  • Accessories: Cuttlebug dots embossing folder, silver cord, SU Large Designer Label Punch (just peeking out the top)


Here are the other participants in the Techno Stamper Sketch Challenge:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Confirmation Announcements

I haven't posted much in the last 4 days and what I have posted has been very quick and simple.  I am finally done with a big project that I have been working on and thought I would share.

Next month, our church's 8th graders are being confirmed.  This occurs after three years of Wednesday night classes, social events, worship services and service events.  The confirmation service is a public affirmation of their baptism and, in our church, is a very big deal.

The evening before Confirmation Sunday we are holding an Evening of Honor for our confirmands - a sit-down dinner, followed by a shower of honors, gifts and blessings.  My job was to create the formal invitations for this event.

This is the main invitation. It's a large 5x7 card done in the event's colors of blue and silver.

The Bible verse is the theme verse for the evening - I did it on the computer.  The insides of all of the cards are personalized in a very formal graduation card type format.

Here is a close-up of the texture.  These cards were my perfect excuse for purchasing Our Daily Bread's Fish Embossing Plate.

Inserted into each main card are two smaller (standard-sized) cards and envelopes that the confirmand can send to their extended family and friends to invite them to this special evening.

These are obviously modeled on the main card - just down-sized.  Each of these is also personalized.

Finally, we have included RSVP cards and envelopes.  Obviously the actual cards have real names on them!

Have you done the crosses that are on each card?  They are very simple to do, but require Stampin' Up's Sizzix Lattice die.  It cuts a square lattice that makes great quilt-look cards, but with a few snips, it can become a cross.  Here's a picture of a cross on top of the full diecut.  The bigger crosses that I used on the bigger cards just go down on scallop further.

These cards became a real group effort in my family.  My 15-year old son spent 2 1/2 hours on Sunday cutting out the crosses and embossing the backgrounds.  (He owes me money!)  My husband and I spent yesterday evening and all of this morning glueing everything together.  I cannot believe I did not get a picture of him hunched over my craft table, with his reading glasses, very carefully lining up everything he glued...and he calls me anal!!

  • Stamps: "You're Invited" comes from Papertrey Ink Round & Round (an anniversary set)
  • Ink: Adirondack Denim (only for You're Invited - everything else is computer printed)
  • Paper: Blue and Silver Bazzill purchased in bulk at Michaels - I didn't check the color names
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart border punch (on the main card), Stampin' Up Scallop Border Punch, Our Daily Bread Fish Embossing Plate, Stampin' Up Lattice Die, 1 1/2" circle punch, gems from Michaels

Impressionistic Misting

I am going to go ahead and post this card, because yesterday's post said that I would.  But...I am not thrilled with it. I have spent way too much time experimenting with this technique and am done with it. So...check out my card...then go immediately to the links to the people that can actually do this beautifully. 

This is an attempt to create an impressionistic look.  I was hoping that it would be stunning as I wanted it to be the centerpiece of this one-layer card for the One Layer Wednesday challenge: green, pink and never seen ink.  The flower stamp is from Garden Silhouettes which is an older stamp, but I just picked up a used set.  I guess that means the stamp has seen ink!!??  Oh well, it hasn't seen MY ink!

This technique is a two-step process.  First...mist your paper with water and  then stamp on the wet paper.  The ink will spread.

Then, when the paper is completely dry, stamp again to get the clearer image.

That's the I will send you to the two blogs of people who actually make this work!

Julie's Stamping Spot: Julie uses this technique on Stampin' Up Whisper White paper and then she slightly offsets the top image so it looks like a shadow.  But I simply could not make this work.  If I just misted a couple of times, the ink didn't spread.  If I misted enough to make the ink spread, the paper started to fall apart.  I absolutely love her work - I just can't replicate it.

The Diva Stamper: Lori does it on watercolor paper and just gets a faint halo of color.  Gorgeous!

Stamping with Monique: Monica was the first commenter on this post so I have edited my post to add her link as she has a beautiful card and great advice.  She talks about letting the water soak into the watercolor paper and then patting off the excess.  I didn't soak it that much - so maybe that's where I went wrong!?
If anybody tries this and has success - please let me know how to do it!!
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Garden Silhouettes, Thank You Kindly
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Pear Pizzazz and Blushing Bride markers
  • Paper: watercolor paper
  • Accessories: water mister

Monday, April 18, 2011

Misting My Leaves

Today's Splitcoast CAS challenge was a sketch that I have followed exactly - right down to the rounded corner.

The fun part of this card was misting the leaves to get the watercolored look.  It's very easy to do.  I have a small bottle that creates a very fine mist.  Mine is by Hero Arts.  I have seen the same type of bottle in the Ranger/Tim Holtz section of stores like Michaels. 

First ink the stamp using the lighter color.  Use a marker to draw lines along the bottom of the leaves.  You can be very random about this because the next step will blur the edges of what you have done.

Use your mister to spritz the stamp.  I did not go very heavy on this card.  I spritzed twice and I had the bottle at least 18" above the stamp.  If you spritz more often or if you hold it closer to the stamp you will get an even more mottled, misty look.  It's really fun to experiement with and see the different looks that you can get.

Stamp immediately.  In this case I like a smoother cardstock - like Stampin' Up's Whisper White - it lets your water droplets spread and gives it a little more of that watercolored look.

I'll be back a little later today with another fun look using water!

  • Stamps: Hero Arts Delicate Leaf Clusters clear set, cdstamps Tag Blessings sentiment
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Pear Pizzazz pad and Old Olive marker, Papertrey Plum Pudding pad and Stampin' Up Elegant Eggplant marker, sentiment is in Elegant Eggplant
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Old Olive
  • Accessories: Papertrey Plum ribbon, Quickutz embossing folder

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sweet n Sassy Birthday Hop

This month's customer hop at Sweet n Sassy stamps is to make a birthday card.  I had just purchased this digi Circus set so had to make a kid's card.  (FYI: the stamps are in clear also.)

The sentiment is on the Word Window punch from Stampin' Up - but it is bigger than the standard punch.  Here's the punch:

Cut a strip of paper just a tiny bit smaller than 3/8" - definitely no bigger than 3/8" or it doesn't fit.  Slide it into the punch from the backside.  Then do the other side.  A handy way to get a sentiment strip!

The colors on this card come from Picture Perfect Creations:

The layout is the Fall To layout from the clean&simple blog:

  • Stamps: Sweet n Sassy digi Circus Fun
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Not Quite Navy, copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Not Quite Navy and Riding Hood Red dsp, So Saffron CS
  • Accessories: Spellbinders Grommet Tags, Fiskars Border Punch, Creative Impressions star brads
This blog hop is one of the fun ones that allow me to show you everybody else who is participating!  Here they are (they will update as others join in):

Friday, April 15, 2011

More Fun with Shimmer Paints

One of the first posts that I did on this blog was a focus on Shimmer Paints - ten things that you can do with Stampin' Ups Shimmer Paints.  Well...I missed one!!  While I was enjoying my blog reading this morning - I found a video tutorial on Faux Mother of Pearl.  I can't believe that I didn't come up with this on the original Shimmer paint post because I had done if often in the past using Lumiere paint - it's a beautiful technique!

Basically it is as simple as using a ball of Saran Wrap to sponge on Stampin' Up's Frost White Shimmer Paint (made by Tsukineko).  When it dries you sponge the whole thing with any color ink to get the subtle pearlized look.  Dawn's video on this post walks you through the whole process and her sample card is gorgeous!

The colors on my card come from The Paper Players Color Challenge.

  • Stamps: American Art Stamp
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Baja Breeze, copics to match Poppy Parade and a green
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Baja Breeze, So Saffron, Whisper White, Black
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Frost White Shimmer Paint, Sizzix embossing folder, Martha Stewart butterfly punch, SU pearls, satin ribbon to match Poppy Parade

Friday Focus: Frames To Fill

There are a number of stamp companies that have "frame" stamps with a small opening to add a sentiment or a small image.  I own a number of those stamps.  But they never seem to quite fit what I am trying to do.  So recently, the light bulb came on that I have a huge supply of "frames" that will fit most anything - my Spellbinders Nestabilies cutting dies are a perfect stencil!!


I simply stamped my sentiment, then found a Nestabilities rectangle that fit around it.  I used a marker to draw around the inside of the nestie, leaving a gap for my three pearls.

This one-layer card is for two challenges: Less Is More which is to focus on the sentiment and the color challenge from CR84FN:


Before I drew my line, I laid the sentiment stamp on the nestie so I knew exactly how big a gap to leave in the frame.

This card is for two challenges: Splitcoast Friday Free For All which is to use a furniture stamp (although I actually have failed this challenge because you were also supposed to dust off a tool or product that you haven't used recently - and I definitely have used my nesties!) and for the Inkspirations Color Challenge.


Something that I really like about these frames is how easy it is to make a very clean and simple card.  That little frame really sets off the simple sentiment and image.

This card is for the color throwdown challenge.

Happiness in Friendships:
  • Stamps: Inky Antics sentiment, Stampin' Up Bliss
  • Ink: Black, Pink Pirouette, SU Marker in Going Gray to draw the frame
  • Paper: Very Vanilla
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up pearls colored with copics to match Going Gray, Anna Griffin butterfly punch
Need a Couch Day?:
  • Stamps: Papertrey On the Couch and Additions
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Regal Rose, Tempting Turquoise, SU Marker in Black
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Regal Rose, Crumb Cake
  • Accessories: Sizzix embossing folder, Stampin' Up Rose and Turqoise grosgrain, Papertrey dies to coordinate with On the Couch
The Best Cake Ever:
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Bitty Birthday, Hero Arts sentiment (coordinate inside sentiment is simply "...and many more!"
  • Ink: Black, copics to match Stampin' Up Celery, Taken with Teal and Summer Sun
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Taken with Teal
  • Accessories: Stampin' UP Celery grosgrain, Fiskars border punch, Stickles in Yellow and Lagoon

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ways To Use Body "Parts"

Today's Splitcoast Ways To Use It challenge is to use people OR parts of people.  Since I am in the midst of graduation cards and I have these graduation feet - I chose to use "parts"!

I'm not feeling entirely right about how the banner looks across the top - I'm not sure why I'm unhappy - I just am.  But, the banner stamp and die just came in the mail yesterday so I HAD to include it.  The stamp and die actually have cute little bows at each end - but they just didn't fit across my card.

Edited to Add: I really do need to start listening to my gut - because I truly do not like the banner - so here's a simpler attempt with another new toy that I got from Taylored Expressions - the star impression plate.  I like it MUCH better.

Card #1:
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Go Graduation (from My Digital Studio so sized to fit), Taylored Expressions Pennant A la Carte
  • Ink: Stampin' Up markers in Poppy, Marina, Summer Sun, Lilac, copics for gray robes
  • Paper: Stampin' Up black, real red
  • Accessories: Taylored Expressions Pennant Border Die, Stampin' Up b/w gingham and lattice embossing folder
Card #2 uses Poppy Parade and the Taylored Expressions Stars Impression Plate

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SCS Sketch and Graduation

I am a little late posting this morning as it took longer than usual getting my youngest son ready for school!

He's extra handsome today and
he KNOWS it!

These are his "girlfriends" helping
him smile!  This actually happened before
the first picture, thus explaining the
very red cheeks!

A few more of his classmates all dressed up!
Erik and his class are spending the day at the 27th National Space Symposium at the very luxurious Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.  Erik's teacher is an exceptionally good and very dedicated teacher who took the time to submit an application for a grant to teach about space exploration.  A "real-live astronaut" (but Erik couldn't remember a name) called the classroom yesterday to tell them that they had won!  Today they get to rub elbows with astronauts and major generals and government officials! 

Now...the real reason you are here...

My church cardmaking group met last week and we got all of our Mother's Day cards ready, but we did not get an Graduation or Confirmation cards done - so guess what you will be seeing on my blog for the next week or so!

BOTH of today's cards are based on the Splitcoast Sketch Challenge.

Wherever You Go:
  • Stamps: Paperbag Studios "Wherever You Go", Stampin' Up Itty Bitty Backgrounds (sprinkles)
  • Ink: black and "sprinkles" in Stampin' Up Creamy Caramel and Real Razzleberry
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Real Razzleberry, Black and Vanilla, First Edition dsp
  • Accessories: Metal Stickers Nailheads, SU Razzleberry Button, Southwest Corner punch, twine
Graduation Girl:
  • Stamps: Stampin' Bella graduation girl, Hero Arts sentiment
  • Ink: Memento black, copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Old Olive, Eggplant Envy (old), Bo Bunny dsp
  • Accessories: EK Success corner punch, SU Olive ribbon, gems and scalloped border punch, Stardust Stickles