Saturday, July 30, 2011

i{heart}2stamp Sketch with a Kite

I almost missed this month's sketch from i{heart}2stamp and I knew exactly what I was going to do from the day that I saw it at the beginning of July!

The sponsor for this month's challenge is My Favorite Things.  When I saw the sketch, I had just purchased these fun kite and cloud dies so I knew I was going to make a summer scene.  I had originally intended to include one of their sweet Pure Innocence children, but the paper and colors of the card just took over and I didn't end up doing any stamping at all!  I deliberately left off a sentiment because I think it is a perfect fit for many different occasions.

(This is my second post today)

  • Paper: Stampin' Up Island Indigo, Poppy Parade, and Confetti Cream; Papertrey Ocean Tides, Harvest Gold, and New Leaf; WeR Memory Keepers Comstock Sky (background paper), Cosmo Cricket Togetherness Mini Deck (kite)
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Creamy Caramel (on edges), Papertrey Ocean Tides (on clouds)
  • Accessories: My Favorite Things Kite and Cloud dies, Quickutz Sun Die, Papertrey buttons in Fine Linen, Lemon Zest and Pure Poppy, Papertrey Ocean Tides ribbon, Stampin' Up Scallop Border Punch

CAS-ual Long and Short with Color Lab

I am finally back!!  I was only gone last weekend for a long weekend but I got back to this mess and it has just been too darn hot to clean it up. 

Plus, Scott, Erik and I have been working at the local pool's snack shack most days - think small, unairconditioned room, with multiple refrigerators, freezers, microwaves and pot of hot water generating even more heat.  Technically, the high school marching band runs it every summer as a fundraiser, but the flaw in that plan is that they have a two week marching camp in July and they go back to school early August (even though the pool is open until Labor Day) - so we parents get to run the snack shack!  Wave at my boys...

Enough whining!!

Here is my card for CAS-ual Fridays (to make a 4x9 card) and for this week's Create Ink ColorLab.

I LOVE this sentiment!!

I had a real problem getting back into cardmaking - I had two full false starts on this card...  (I didn't spend any time editing these pics)

This one just seems too dark!

This is my favorite of the batch
but I see "wedding" when I
look at it!

I even failed on my posted card.
I had originally colored the candles
in Coral thinking it would highlight
the yellow stickles, but it just
looked orange!!

I am so hoping that my cardmaking block is over...I have a wonderful weekend of cards in front of me and I am thrilled to be back in my craft corner with ink on my fingers and glitter on my eyebrows!
  • Stamps: Lawn Fawn images, Morningstar sentiment
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Calypso Coral, Baja Breeze, Daffodil Delight
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake and a small piece of Baja Breeze dsp
  • Accessories: Oval and Scalloped Oval Nesties, Yellow Stickes, sheer ribbon rubbed across the Daffodil pad, small piece of linen thread

Thursday, July 21, 2011

FTL and Stamping Bella

Just a quick post showing you a card that I did for clean&simple's Fall To Layout

I am leaving town in about 5 minutes through the weekend.  I am driving back to my hometown - about a 7 hour drive that I am really looking forward to...seriously...I like the "alone-time" with a good audio book.  A childhood friend is celebrating a big birthday and a new home and I want to celebrate with her!
  • Stamps: Stamping Bella image, misc sentiment
  • Paper: Papertrey Sweet Blush, Stampin' Up Going Gray and Vanilla
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Going Gray, Versamark, copics
  • Accessories: Papertrey ribbons, Stampin' Up Scallop Border and embossing folder, Silver Pearl Embossing Powder

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Deconstructing with Colors

For today's challenges, I am playing along with the Splitcoast Color Challenge (Pool Party with Wasabi Chips??!!) and the sketch from deconstruction jen.

No time for chit-chat today. Andrew's high school marching band runs the snack shack at a community pool as a fund-raiser.  The problem is that marching practice has already begun, school starts August 8th, and the snack shack stays open until Labor Day - so...we parents get to run the snack shack.  My husband and I are doing two days this week.  Yesterday I cooked more corn dogs and made more smoothies than I ever want to see again!  If I survive the heat of today, I'll be back tomorrow with more challenges!!
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Sweet Summer, sentiment from Vintage Labels
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip, Pool Party, Wild Wasabi, Au Chocolat dsp
  • Ink: Memento Brown and copics
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Chocolate Satin and embossing folder, Cinnamon Stickles (on flower centers), misc gems colored with copics, Fiskars crimper

Monday, July 18, 2011

Splitcoast CAS: Pink Hurricanes

What a way to start a Monday morning!!!  With Splitcoast giving us this as a CAS inspiration!

I didn't get too creative and went right for the drink!  Check out the frosted rims...

  • Stamps: A Muse image, Papertrey Ink On the Couch sentiment
  • Paper: Papertrey Hibiscus Burst, Raspberry Fizz, New Leaf
  • Ink: Memento black and copics
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart Coarse Crystal Glitter, twine from Divine Twine, Nestabilities Squares

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Crazy 4 Challenges: Joy Folds

I just updated my Favorite Challenges tab at the top of the page and I had hoped to do every challenge this week, but my goal is already quickly failing - there were 8 challenges this weekend and this is only the third challenge that I have done!!

But it's a fun one!

Crazy 4 Challenges challenged us to do a Joy Fold card which has always been one of my favorite folds - it's very easy but packs a big impact.

The top layer opens up (the edge of the button holds it closed), then the bottom layer opens down and here is the inside.  (That poor little flower on the inside really needs some leaves which I plan to do - but what I don't want to do is take the photo, connect to the computer, edit the photo and re-post - so you get to see it looking lonely!)

There are great, detailed instructions here on Splitcoast Stampers including a video, but the concept is very simple.  The big layer is 4 1/4" x 8 1/2" and you score at 5 1/2".  This leaves one side the same size as a standard size card and the other side about half-size.  The smaller layers is 3" x 8" and is scored at 4".  Then you just decorate it as you would like.

I said that I was going to have "proud-mama" photos today and here they are!

The Colorado Rockies present the Chaparral High School band performing the national anthem!

Here they are leaving the stadium. My guy is the saxophonist between the two tubas.

The weather really is as bad as it looks...

But the storm passed over and the game only started one hour late.  I occupied the waiting time taking photos.  Do you see that lighter line of seats way at the top of the seats just below the shadow?  That's a purple row of seats marking an elevation above sea level of one mile - thus our city's nickname - the Mile High City!

Finally the sun did come out and it was a great game - my youngest was really into it.

This is what baseball players get paid $15 million to do!

All in all, I thought it was a wonderful Saturday night, but my boys don't agree as the Rockies lost 7-8 in a very controversial and tough loss.

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Love and Caring
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Pear Pizzazz CS and dsp, Old Olive, Daffodil CS and dsp, Bali Breeze dsp (the pumpkin piece)
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Markers in Pear, Olive, Daffodil, Pumpkin
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Pumpkin Corduroy button, Daffodil grosgrain and border punch

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Less Is More: Circles...and The Paper Players Colors

I thought it was absolutely serendipitous (word of the day!!) that when I woke up this morning and saw that the Less Is More Challenge is "Circles" and one of the new sets that I have on my desk to use before I put away is Papertrey Ink's Simple Circles and the matching die!

I wanted to make this appropriate for a teen boy, so I went for The Paper Players color challenge for this week:

I have just updated the tab at the top of my page for "Favorite Challenges".  I added new ones that I have discovered and deleted a couple that I found I simply wasn't playing.  My goal this week is to play each challenge so you can see what is involved in each - but no promises! 

I'm sure that I will be behind already today as there are a lot of Saturday challenges and I have to leave at 2:00 to take my son down to the Colorado Rockies game to play The Star Spangled Banner with his high school band!  I'm pretty sure there will be "proud mama" pictures on this blog tomorrow!
  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Boy Basics Simple Circles, Penny Black sentiment (it's at least 10 years old)
  • Paper: white
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Baja, Poppy, Basic Gray, Crumb Cake
  • Accessories: Papertrey Simple Circles Border Die, star punch, stars spritzed with Frost Glimmer Mist, misc red button

Friday, July 15, 2011

CAS-ual Friday: Sweets & Treats

I'm feeling a little bit like this poor little ice cream cone lately - droopy, melty, falling apart!

This week's CAS-ual Friday challenge gave me the perfect chance to make my sad little ice cream cone!

In my whole life, I have never lived any place humid, so I am absolutely not used to it.  The last few weeks in Colorado have been monsoon season.  Every afternoon/night, drenching thunderstorms come through.  Our humidity has been up to 60%.  (I know that many of you just fell over thinking how LOW that is - but I'm used to less than 10%).  My house has a swamp cooler - which only works in dry air - so I can't even cool my house while the temps have been in the 90s.  (I know that right now there are a lot of you who are thinking how COOL that sounds).  But I HATE it!

And nobody is getting good sleep so my whole family is cranky.  The storms have been coming through nightly.  Two nights ago, we had a storm come through around 10:30 the other night that rattled the walls and filled the sky with constant lightning.  The cat sat in the hall and howled.  Yes, I said the cat!  The dog hid in the bathtub. 

The big mystery of my life is the frogs.  Even when the storm has passed, the air echoes with the fairly creepy sound of frogs.  Where did they come from??  I've never heard frogs in Colorado.  It's dry here.  It's like they are dropping out of the sky with the hailstones!

But...Colorado weather won't let me down for long.  Soon the humidity will drop, my swamp cooler will work and I will return to my cheerful self!

  • Stamps: Judikins
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Vanilla, Crumb Cake, Blushing Bride, Soft Suede, PaperTrey Fine Linen
  • Ink: Versamark
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Embossing Folders, Martha Stewart Cupcake Punch (I handcut the ice cream cone), misc red gem, Creative Impressions Snowfall Embossing Powder, Stampin' Up gingham ribbon

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SCS Sketch: Heaven Sent

Today's whole card was made so that I could use this ribbon!

When Stampin' Up or Papertrey Ink comes out with new cardstock colors, the first thing that I do is cut a sample that I can keep in my billfold.  Then when I am in a craft store and the ribbon is on sale, I try to find ribbons that match the cardstock.

Yesterday, I had a sample of the new Stampin' Up color - Pool Party - and I found this beautiful, satiny, ruffled ribbon at Hobby Lobby.  It's so soft and sweet.  (FYI - for this card, I did layer on a sheer polka dot ribbon too - that's not part of the actual ribbon.)

So I knew that whatever today's Splitcoast Sketch Challenge was, I would be using this ribbon!

I used some Plum Berry and Clear Smooch to give it some shine and I added a few drops of Crystal Effects to the wheels.

The image is a digital image from Designed2Delight.  (FYI: It is not part of their weekly free deal that I have talked about in the past.)  Being part of a church card ministry, it was such a happy find to have a baby carriage that says "Heaven Sent".
  • Stamps: Designed2Delight Baby Buggy, sentiment from Papertrey Ink Bitty Baby Blessing
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Pool Party, Wisteria Wonder
  • Ink: copics
  • Accessories: "Pool Party" ribbon from Hobby Lobby, sheer ribbon is May Arts, Smooch - Plum Berry (mini bottle from Michaels) and Pearlized Top Coat (sold by Stampin' Up), crystal Effects, EK Success Border punch, Stampin' Up Scallop Border, Cuttlebug embossing folder, safety pin from Creative Impressions

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

SCS Colors and Christmas in July

Today's Splitcoast Color Challenge included two blues and a red, but the optional dessert option was to do a Christmas card.  This was good timing as I got it in my head just yesterday that our church card group would hold an extra session in August to focus on all of the upcoming holidays!

I am not 100% convinced that I like this card.  I like the CAS layout.  But I was going for a wintery look on the wreath with a bright, festive red bird - singing his heart out - and it just feels "off".  Perhaps I am just a very traditional red/green cardmaker unless snow or snowmen are involved??

The festive aspect of the card is better IRL when you can see the sparkle.

What do you think??

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Berry Christmas, unknown sentiment
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Not Quite Navy, Baja Breeze
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Not Quite Navy, Baja Breeze, Cherry Cobbler
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up gems colored with copics, Frost White Shimmer Paint (from SU), SU bird die

Monday, July 11, 2011

Less Is More: Things with Legs

I am so not a summer person.  I love fall and winter.  I love the colors of fall and winter.  So I am already putting away pastels and flowers and butterflies and thinking ahead to rich colors and autum leaves and Halloween images.  The Less Is More challenge this week - Something with Legs - was easy - a spider!!  They definitely have legs!

I am such a geek!

Let me tell you the story of this card.

I knew that I wanted this spider dangling into a frame with a fun sentiment in the corner.  The problem was that I didn't have an appropriate sentiment.  So I hopped online and googled "Halloween Digital Stamps", then I realized I got better results with "Halloweed Word Art".  And as I was looking at those results I found a fun Word Cloud site.  Word Clouds have been around for awhile but I certainly haven't done anything with them.  But they are so fun and so easy.  Here's how...

I used Wordle.  It was the first one that turned up when I checked popularity.  There are many others - but this one had a lot of great options (although it does appear rather "bland" on the surface).  It was also a site that clearly stated you could use your clouds for anything - print them, on your blogs, make T-shirts. 

Click on Create and then you can type a bunch of words (or copy text from elsewhere).
  • The size of the words in the Word Cloud is based on how many times the word appears in your text.  As I was using a spider image, I typed "spider" and "web" more often to get them a little bigger.
  • You don't need a lot of words.  I typed the words you see on the card, just typing "spider" three times and "webs" a couple of times.
  • If you want words to stay together in a saying, such as "happy fright night", you type them with a tilda between each word, i.e. happy~fright~night.
  • Be warned that once you create a word cloud, your typed words are no longer there to edit.  So, I actually typed my words into a Word document then copied them over then I could change them and re-use them as needed.

At this point, just type "Go" and it creates your cloud.  And now the fun begins!!  You can play with that cloud until you like what you see. 

The menu that includes "language", "color", "font" and "layout" is the fun part.  If you click on "language" you can choose upper case, lower case, etc.  "Layout" lets you pick if you want horizontal or vertical words or a mix.  "Color" and "font" are probably self-explanatory.

I wanted my cloud to have open space for the spider.  First I changed the colors knowing I want blacks and grays.  Then I just kept playing in the Layout section until I got one with open space.

FYI: On your word cloud, you can delete a word.  Just right click, the remove.  But...the entire layout changes when you remove a word.  I was so close to the layout that I wanted, I just had one word hanging out too far, so I removed it.  Bummer - everything and my layout was GONE.

Now you need to get it to your card.  Wordle has an FAQ section and they talked about converting to PDFs and then special software, etc.  You do not need all of that.

I simply took a "Screen Print".  In Windows, on my particular keyboard, I just hit "Shift" and "Print Screen".  When you do that, nothing seems to happen, but it is actually sitting out on a Clipboard.  So I popped into Word and pasted - there it is!!

Of course, because I copied the entire computer screen, I had EXACTLY what was on my screen, e.g. all the internet stuff also.  So I simply clicked on the picture and got options for formatting.  I selected crop and simply drug the edges in until the only thing left was the cloud.

Then, for my card, I stretched it a little horizontally so it fit a standard card front.  I copied and moved it around on my "landscape" Word layout until they were on the bottom half of the paper and I could get two cards out of it.  I printed onto white cardstock and I was ready to decorate.

To complete my card, I stamped the spider.  Then I used a rectangle nestability as a template to draw a square frame leaving it open near the spider.  I also left some small white openings on the upper right side so that I could dab on some Stickles.  Then I used a straight edge to add the little line of web down to the spider.  A bunch of Orange Peel Stickles and a little bow of Martha Stewart twine and I have my first Halloween card of the year!!

I hope you enjoyed this.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

  • Stamps: Memory Box Spider
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Markers in Basic Black and Basic Gray
  • Paper: white
  • Accessories: Orange Peel Stickles

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Less Is More: Shades of Blue

This week's Less Is More challenge is a color challenge...we are to use Shades of Blue.

I used some of the new Stampin' Up In Colors - Pool Party and Island Indigo, then added the sentiment in Not Quite Navy.  The stamps are done by inking them up in Pool Party and then "thumping" randomly on the stamp with the Island Indigo marker.  Everything is more toned down than the actual colors because as a last step, I dipped a sponge dauber into Frost White Shimmer Paint and coated the stamp before stamping.  (See my Shimmer Paint tutorial for more details.)

I wanted to get this Shades of Blue challenge done because I had to tell you about the BLUEjay that has adopted my cats!  I have assumed this was a truly evil bird as it sits in the tree outside our sun porch and squawks at the cats.

But then one day, my husband let our indoor cats outside to have a go at this bird.  After rolling happily in the dirt for awhile, they sat under the tree and looked at the bird.  The bird was just above them. Then they started swatting at the bird.  He jumped up one branch...just out of the way.  Then they started jumping.  He just kept moving slightly out of the way!

So my husband announced it was all a game for them.  I was quite skeptical until one day, the cats were in the windowsill in our upstairs bedroom.  That darn bluejay was sitting on the gutter and you could just see its head peeking over the edge, looking the in the window. 

Now I have realized that whatever room the cats are in, the bird is right outside the window.  Or...I have noticed the cats going from room to room looking for the bird.  It's definitely keeping them amused!!

I just wish bluejays weren't quite so loud.

FYI: I am heading up to the mountains this afternoon.  The little town of Frisco is the PERFECT place to celebrate the Fourth of July.  It starts with everybody walking down to the fire station for a pancake breakfast, followed by a parade in which the highlight are the kids riding their decorated bicycles.  The festivities continue all day ending with fireworks shot off over the big lake. We can actually sit on our sailboat and see them immediately over us. (Of course, we also have to deal with cleaning up the ash on the boat the next day!)   I will be back and hopefully cardmaking again this Friday.

This is my second post today so keep reading!!

  • Stamps: StampingScrapping Spellbinders Matching Stamps, Stampin' Up Bliss
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Not Quite Navy, Island Indigo, Pool Party
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Island Indigo, Pool Party
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Frost White Shimmer Paint, gems colored with copics, Spellbinders Fancy Tags, misc ribbon

A Polaroid Center Step!

Isn't that just the strangest title?  A Polaroid Center Step??

This week's technique at PaperTrey Make It Monday is to create a Polaroid effect using various masks to get the white halo around the image.  They have a great video and a beautiful card to demonstrate this technique.

Since I was already branching out of my comfort zone with a new technique, I decided to play along with Crazy 4 Challenges which was to create a Center Step card.

Now, does the title make sense??!!

Here it is!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Wishing You (the mini dragonfly on the chartreuse side panels is not in Wishing You)
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Berry Sorbet, Simply Chartreuse, Dark Chocolate, Fresh Snow, Versamark
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Simply Chartreuse, Kraft
  • Accessories: Papertrey buttons, Berry Sorbet satin Ribbon, May Arts white sheer dotted ribbon

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stamping 411 With Love and Caring

One of the cardmakers in our church group had surgery this week and I wanted to make sure I had a card waiting at home for her when she's released from the hospital.  She is a wonderful lady who goes to a different card group from 9-5 on Thursdays and then comes up to church for cardmaking in the evening.  Such dedication!!

I really like this week's Stamping 411 Sketch Challenge so had to base the card around it.

I had the Olive and Cajun marker laying on my desk so colored the flowers in with those.  Then I went to my paper stash and was thrilled to see that the new Paisley Petals had an Olive pattern. I haven't used any of the patterns from that pack...although I love the patterns, I am simply not good with big prints.  But this card might have changed my mind!  I love that big print behind the simple flower!

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Thanks For Caring
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Old Olive, Cajun Craze, Early Espresso
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Early Espresso and Vanilla CS, Cajun Craze dsp, Paisley Petals dsp
  • Accessories: Misc ribbon to match Espresso, Stampin' Up border punch, Stampin' Up Copper cord, misc brads