Monday, October 31, 2011

A Big Announcement!!

I have been keeping a secret for weeks now and now I get to make a big announcement - - -

I am very honored and extremely excited to be a new member of the Sweet 'n Sassy Design Team!!!

I have been a fan of their images for years.  They have a wonderful array of clear stamps and digital stamps. Their stamps range from very elegant and sophisticated to absolutely darling.  And, being a Christian-focused company, their stamps are PERFECT for church card ministries! 

I wanted to have a card up today that gave you a taste of their wonderful stamps, but I quickly realized that one card wouldn't do it.  They have such a variety.  So I have put together two totally different cards. 

The first card shows just how elegant and inspirational their stamps can be.  I started out looking for a very unique sketch challenge or a new technique, but I quickly realized that this stamp doesn't need anything special.  With the beautiful flowers and the elegant font for the sentiment - I simply stamped on an oval and colored, then added a punch for the sentiment.  (OK...maybe I relied on some pretty dsp and a few pearls - but you have to admit that the focus is the stamps!)

This card uses Sweet 'n Sassy's Poppies & Greetings clear stamp set.

I also wanted to go an entirely different direction.  Sweet 'n Sassy has so many cute images.  For this card, I used one of their digital images, but they also have this image in a clear set called Snow Friends that has a number of coordinating sentiments.

Aren't they just the happiest pair?

I have many other Sweet 'n Sassy cards throughout my blog - just go to the "Labels" section on the left side and click on "By: Sweet 'n Sassy".

And I will have many more coming soon!  Look at EVERYTHING that is going on!

There are sneak peeks of the new stamps on Sweet 'n Sassy's blog. The new release caps off with a party the evening of November 3rd in the Sweet 'n Sassy's Splitcoast Forum.

There is so much going on this month - check out this link to Sweet 'n Sassy's Splitcoast Forum that lists all of the activities and sales (!) that are happening for November in celebration of their 4th birthday.

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Poppies and Greetings
  • Paper: Creative Memories dsp, Stampin' Up Riding Hood Red, Very Vanilla
  • Ink: Memento Black and copics, edged with Tim Holtz Antique Linen
  • Accessories: Nestabilities Oval and Lacey Oval, Stampin' Up Punch and Riding Hood Red Taffeta, Gunmetal Stickles (just on the very centers)
  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Snow Friends digital image
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Lucky Limeade, Elegant Eggplant
  • Ink: Copics
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Wisteria and Baja ribbon, Fiskars border punch, Cuttlebug embossing folder, Nestabilities Circle and Scalloped Circle, Martha Stewart Fine Crystal Glitter
  • Challenge: Cardabilities Sketch #42

Just Add Ink to Freshly Made Sketches

My husband's niece has a birthday and I needed a little inspiration for the card.  I found Just Add Ink's color challenge with pinks, then...I have an iPad app on which I keep all the challenges that I like sorted by day - and right next to the Just Add Ink challenge was this week's Freshly Made Sketch!

I had such fun with the sentiment.  Most of it comes from Papertrey's Heartfelt Basics set that includes
fill-in-the-blank sentiments with elegant add-in words...hope your day is filled with "love" and "laughter"...may your day be filled with "blessings", etc.  But with that embossing folder, I HAD to include cupcakes.  I found one of those clear $1 sets that had the sentiment "Cupcakes forever" - I inked it up and applied a post-it to the "Forever" and I have a nice but quirky sentiment!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Heartfelt Basics, Studio G
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Blushing Bride, Cherry Cobbler, white
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Blushing Bride, Cherry Cobbler, black
  • Accessories: Cuttlebug embossing folders, Nestabilities, Stampin' Up Cherry ribbon

Stamping 411 with SCS CAS colors

I had mentally tagged this week's Stamping 411 Sketch Challenge as a great way to use stamp sets from my overflowing box-of-stamps-that-will-not-be-put-away-until-they-see-ink.  Then the Splitcoast CAS challenge came along with its colors of ivory, chocolate and red and it all came together!

I really wanted to use the "Best Wishes" stamp from the Stampin' Up set Petite Pairs but it was a little small for the space that I had available.  Since this stamp set includes innies/outies, I simply included the "dot dot dot" with gems to lead to the inside sentiment of "to the new Mr. and Mrs.". 
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Floral Fillers, Petite Pairs
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Real Red, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Real Red, Chocolate Chip
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up gems colored with copics, Stampin' Up embossing folder, Stampin' Up heart punch and scalloped heart embosslit, misc ribbon and button

Sunday, October 30, 2011

i{heart}2stamp: Winter Owls

I spent Saturday afternoon at Archivers browsing Christmas papers and HAd to use this paper right away.  I thought I would use a tree image given its big graphic pine cones, but then I ran across this stamp with these darling, albeit very chilly, winter owls.

I'm actually posting this card an entire day before the monthly i{heart]2stamp challenge expires - that's early for me!  I did have to flip the sketch so that I could use one of its elements as a tree trunk.

  • Stamps: Memory Box
  • Paper: Little Yellow Bicycle Winter Woods (from Winter Twig line), Stampin' Up Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, Best Creations Glitter Cardstock
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip with Old Olive marker on the pine boughs, Tim Holtz Distress Tumbled Glass (sponged on edges), Copics
  • Accessories: Star Dust Stickles (on the branches), Papertrey Ink Woodgrain Impression Plate, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist over the image, Orange Souffle for noses, White pen and Pitch Black Spica for eyes

Friday, October 28, 2011

Less Is More: Polka Dots

I am coming in under the wire for this week's Less Is More challenge:

I had ordered a set of stamps from Sweet 'n Sassy called Polka Dot Silhouettes and so I put my Less Is More challenge card on hold until the stamps came.  I had a lot to choose from as the entire set is polka dotted - butterflies and kites and stars and balloons and many more, but I decided on simple and sweet baby cards.

NOTE: This is my second post today - keep reading!
  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Polka Dot Silhouettes
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Very Vanilla
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Barely Banana, Blushing Bride, Bashful Blue (Check out all the "B's" that I used for this Baby card!)
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Vanilla and Bashful Blue Taffeta, Nestabilities squares and scalloped squares, Cuttlebug embossing folder, misc pearl and gen

Twenty-two Years Ago...

 Twenty-two years ago today, on a beautiful fall day...

(My friend who was visiting yesterday saw the top photo on our wall and wondered who they were.  Thanks??!!??  She recovered fairly well and, instead of saying "your waist used to be so small" or "you didn't have a double-chin", she simply said "so much hair".  I don't see a lot of hair in the portrait - but I'll forgive her!)

We had a beautiful fall day for our wedding - so I wanted to use those colors in my card for my husband.

Of course, my husband doesn't go for mushy - so I had use a twisted (but true) sentiment...

I waited until the last minute and lucky that I did - look at this week's clean & simple Fall To Layout - it has a heart!!

We don't have any big plans.  In fact, we were just chatting about going to the library, then to Kohls for washcloths and then to lunch using a gift card that we had received.  Exciting, huh?  But...both kids are in school, we have all day without them and I'm sure we will enjoy every minute!
  • Stamps: Papertrey Text Style, Rubbernecker sentiment
  • Paper: Papertrey Fine Linen, Summer Sunrise, Stampin' Up Old Olive and black
  • Ink: Papertrey Fresh Snow (just to ink the raised part of the embossing folder to give the bricks a little dimension), Tim Holtz Distress Antique Linen
  • Accessories: Tim Holtz embossing folder, Stampin' Up branch die, Nestabilities Fleur de Lis Squares, misc heart punch
P.S. Hey Carol - do you remember asking if I had cleaned up before you came yesterday.  Here's the view this morning.  Does this answer your question?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blessings for You

I just spent the afternoon with a great friend.  We were designing cards for our church to use in the Thanksgiving baskets ministry.  We were also laughing about card disasters and looking up cards online and loaning stamps - my husband kept wanting to know what the giggling was about.  (Thanks Carol - it was a great afternoon!)

We quickly settled on Papertrey Ink's First Fruits as it is a wonderfully elegant and stylish set.  Then we spent quite a bit of time going a number of different directions, but ultimately decided that Susan, on her Simplicity blog, had already done the perfect card and we really couldn't do any better.  This is a CASE of Susan's cards with the only changes being the two-tone wheat which then necessitated a different color for the sentiment and the Paprika stickles.

We also found the perfect inside sentiment.  It's a stamp by DRS Designs...

May God Bless you Abundantly,
Love you Dearly
and Watch over you
on Thanksgiving and Always.

We ended up feeling really good about this card and the best part for us - - - we can mass-produce all that we need in under an hour!!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink First Fruits
  • Paper: white
  • Ink: Stampin' Up More Mustard, Chocolate Chip
  • Accessories: Paprika Stickles

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cocoa Mouse and a Sparkly Ornament

Yesterday I posted a card with a mouse and a caramel apple.  It was a Sweet 'n Sassy digi stamp that I bought yesterday just for an inspiration challenge.  But digi stamps are like potato chips - I cannot stop at one!  So, amongst others, I picked up this darling ornament stamp.

I knew when I saw it that I would use it for this week's CAS-ual Friday challenge which is to Just Add Color.

I wanted to color it in a way that I had seen on other fantastic cards - which was simply to color with Glitter Pens.  When I have seen it done, it adds a mass of sparkle.  But the crafting gods are not on my side this morning because nothing went quite right.  My light pink glitter pen is dry.  I can't find my red one.  My green ones are all fairly ugly colors.  So...I ended up with a card that simply uses Copics!  I did add a layer of glue and dumped glitter all over it - but it isn't quite the same as using glitter pens.

I wanted the embossed ornaments to "frame" the mouse - they get higher as you move toward the mouse, but I only had this vertical folder.  So I first cut my white strips (4" x 1 5/8") then embossed one with the ornaments to the bottom, the next with the ornaments near the middle and the last with the ornaments at the top. 

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Cocoa Mouse Ornament digi
  • Paper: Papertrey Dark Chocolate
  • Ink: copics
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart Crystal Fine Glitter, Cuttlebug Embossing Folder, American Crafts ribbon, Oval and Scalloped Oval Nesties

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cocoa Mouse and Caramel Apples

Today's Sweet 'n Sassy Inspiration challenge is a photo of baskets of apples.  What a perfect excuse to run over to their website and pick up their digital caramel apple image!!

I just love caramel apples.  A decade or so ago, we started shopping for a small second home in the Colorado Rockies.  Each time that we looked in the small mountain town of Frisco, we had to stop at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for their incredible caramel apples.  Within a month of looking, we found a place and, after we closed on it, I happily walked out the front door to head to downtown Frisco (all 3 blocks of it!) to enjoy a caramel apple.  Guess what had closed down?  (I had the same bad luck with a new job in Colorado Springs and a Taco Johns!)

Check out the thick layer of caramel on this card:

Here's the inspiration photo.  My use of apples is obvious, but I also loved the bamboo so included that in the background.

I really like Mojo Monday sketches and I knew my card was meant to be when the sketch fit the caramel apple and even gave me some space for punched apples!

While I was on line shopping this morning, I also picked up another darling Cocoa Mouse image for Christmas.  Come back a little later this morning to see more!

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy digital
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Old Olive, Riding Hood Red and More Mustard CS; Lucky Limeade dsp
  • Ink: Copics
  • Accessories: Cuttlebug embossing folder, Stampin' Up border punch, Martha Stewart apple punch, misc ribbon and brads

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sympathy in Blue

When I checked out the church card sales racks yesterday, we are almost out of sympathy cards.  I don't know why it happens, but the racks will be full and then, all of a sudden, all the cards will be gone disappear.  So I am dedicated to sympathy cards for the next few days.

Just yesterday, I admired a card on  Cards from Lynn's Loft .  The first part of this post includes some absolutely charming Christmas cards, but at the end she shows us the card that has gotten the most views on her blog.  It's a wonderful clean and simple sympathy card in blue.  I had to CASE although I changed the flowers and the way that I inked them.

This is my second post today - read further for a masculine CAS birthday card.
  • Stamps: Stampendous flowers, Simply Stamped sentiment
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Night of Navy, Marina Mist
  • Ink: Kaleidacolor Blue Breeze, SU Night of Navy (sentiment)
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Marina Mist ribbon

Splitcoast CAS Challenge: A Sketch

When I was at church on Sunday, I ran into two ladies during coffee hour who had scoured our card racks for a masculine birthday card.  With  100+ different styles of cards for sale at any point in time - guess what we didn't have?  Masculine birthday.

So today's Splitcoast CAS challenge was perfect as it is a sketch that can be totally masculine.  The inspiration card that we were working from included black stripes on a kraft background, then the tag had all of the detail and interest.  Since my tag includes only basic big block letters, I added my interest to the stripes adding dsp, CS and ribbon.

I do like the way this turned out and it is another great example of why I like challenges.  It would not have occurred to me to add five stripes and a tag for a great card!  And this card had the added advantage of using stamps out of my overflowing box-of-stamps-that-will-not-be-put-away-until-they-have-seen-ink!
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Word Play
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Espresso, Cajun, Crumb Cake, Marina and Confetti White CS; Well Worn and Outlaw dsp
  • Ink: Stampin' Espresso, Crumb Cake (on edges of tag)
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Artichoke Denim ribbon, Library Clips, Papertrey die (trimmed down), edge distressor

Saturday, October 22, 2011

One Layer with Stripes

This week's One Layer Wednesday challenge is simply to use stripes!!

Now that I look at this card, I can't say that "stripes" jumps out at me, but each row of the base is a separate stamp - inked and stamped one at a time.  The cupcake is from a different set.  After I stamped it, I masked the base and stamped one more strip.

 This is for an older gentlemen at church who is very, very special to us.  He's always active and involved, even as he has been fighting cancer.  Right now, he's our youngest son's confirmation leader.  He's been a commercial pilot and even a Vietnam vet - so I wanted to keep it very simple and masculine.

If you are totally observant - you might realize that today is the 22nd and I have underline October 21st as his birthday.  Yes, his birthday was yesterday and I'm late...but I will be handing it to him at church tomorrow.  It's fun that his wife's birthday is today!!  I'll be handing her a card that I showed you a few posts back.
  • Stamps: Hampton Arts Footlongs Numbers Borders, Fiskars Cupcakes and More
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Confetti White
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Not Quite Navy, Baja Breeze, Soft Suede

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Paper Players: Red and Green CAS Christmas

Do you ever feel like companies get carried away with success? 

Basic Grey paper is a great example.  Don't get me wrong - I do love Basic Grey.  But there was a time when I knew about and looked forward to each new release.  I could name all of the paper collections. I could picture the patterns in each release.  I always got the small pad and a good supply of the 12x12 patterns that I loved.  Now it seems like every time I turn around there is a new collection or multiple collections.  They come and go so fast - I can't keep track.  Of course, all of this could be impending old age as there is an unmentionable birthday in my future!!

Lately, I have been feeling that same way about embossing folders - and I LOVE embossing folders.  When Cuttlebug introduced them, each new release was a time of celebration for me - I'd order them all and use them all right away.  Now that we have Cuttlebug - including all their multi-packs and other permutations such as European Exclusives - and Sizzix, Quickutz, Crafts Etc., Darice and a whole bunch of European imports - they are all starting to look the same to me!! 

Having said, a great way for me to get excited again is to visit Sue Nelson's Heart Prints Gallery.  That woman does amazing things with embossing folders.  If you haven't been there, I highly recommend that you visit.  I particularly love her all-white cards using multiple folders.  Even in my overwhelmed state, just this morning I found folders I absolutely HAD to have and they are already on their way to me!!

Last week, I got an order that included this darling Sizzix stockings folder.  It's perfect for Stampin' Up's Stitched Stockings!

Embossing folders are always a perfect special touch for Clean and Simple challenges such as this one by The Paper Players: overwhelmed state hasn't slowed me down much - I am still adding embossing folders to my stash!  But perhaps I have become slightly more...selective!
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Stitched Stockings
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Garden Green, Poppy Parade, Whisper White, Silver
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Garden Green, Poppy Parade
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Stocking Punch and Scalloped Border punch, Stampin' Up Dots Embossing, Sizzix Stockings Embossing Folder, misc ribbon, Nestabilities Oval and Scalloped Oval

CardPatterns with Lab Colors

I was playing at a friend's house again yesterday (as if my own stash isn't big enough!) and she has the Stampin' Up hostess set Happiest Birthday Wishes.  I spent my afternoon matching those stamps up with various challenges.

This stamp worked well with the Card Patterns sketch and with Create, Ink's Color Lab (unfortunately, when I got home I discovered it was the LAST color lab so too late to post!)

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Happiest Birthday Wishes
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Basic Gray and Razzleberry dsp, Limeade CS
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Basic Gray and Razzleberry
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up white grosgrain, circle, scalloped circle, bird (for the branch) and label punches, filligree brads, gems

Monday, October 17, 2011

A clean&simple Cupcake!

I am having one of those cardmaking days - I almost like this card.  And I have spent way too much time trying to figure out how to really like it. 

I picked the cupcake for the Splitcoast CAS challenge today which was to ... use cupcakes!!  I had the tag die on my desk because I haven't used it since I got it and need to use it a lot to make it worth the purchase.  Then I was feeling creative as I tried to put my own spin on the Fall To Layout from clean&simple.  Even with all of that inspiration...I am still "almost" happy.

I think I will clean up the pile that has accumulated on my craft desk (this always happens when I am struggling with a card...I just keep pulling stuff out to try), then brew a fresh cup of coffee and try to find other card inspiration.  Oh...darn...I just look at the clock...and I already have to wake up the rest of the family.  (I'm a terrible mom who doesn't let their kids sleep all day on school breaks because it's too hard to get them back to a normal schedule!)  So I will see how willing and able they are to entertain themselves on a chilly, rainy day - and hopefully find some more stamping time!

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Create a Cupcake, Verve sentiment
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Daffodil and Banana
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Daffodil and Soft Suede
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Suede and Daffodil Ribbon, SU Tag Die, Crafts Etc embossing folder

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Freshly Made Sketches: Bright Hopes

My last card used the Stampin' Up set Bright Hopes which I used while "playing" at a friend's house.  I was visiting again today and used the same set.  I'm thinking I should put this one on my wishlist!!

The layout comes from this week's Freshly Made Sketches.  I did take some liberties with it as I needed my "door" to go all the way to the bottom of the page.

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Bright Hopes and Tiny Tags
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Garden Green, Real Red, Whisper White, Silver, Frostwood Lodge dsp
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Garden Green, Real Red
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Tag Punch, Scalloped Circle Punch and Scalloped Border Punch, Real Red Taffeta

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bright Hopes and a lot of sparkle!!

I was in the mood this morning for a sparkly Christmas card (I'll show you why at the end!).  I had a huge Stampin' Up order come in yesterday that included the Silver Glimmer paper - it is amazing!!  I've never seen so much sparkle.  So before I even opened up the new stamps (4 sets) and punches (the stocking) and mica flakes with the shaker frames and glitter and ribbons - I had to use the silver paper.  (The stamp on this card was not in the order, but used at a friend's house...but I'm thinking when I order about a dozen more sheets of the silver paper, I'll have to tuck this set into that order!)

I think I set a record this morning with number of pictures that I took of this card, in a number of places, with a number of different lights, at different angles, and a number of Adobe Photoshop adjustments.  I still haven't begun to capture the glitter and glow of this paper.'s what we woke up to this morning!  Sparkly snow (or at least it will sparkle when the sun comes out!)

Wow!  Even for the Denver area this is early...October 8!  Denver has a reputation for rough winter weather because we are the foot of the Colorado Rockies - but Denver is actually quite nice.  We have a few hard storms, they usually melt in a few days and we are back on our bikes or on the golf course.  Of course, I don't know if Denver itself is getting this snow.  I am in Parker, just to the southeast of Denver.  Denver calls itself the Mile High City (5280 ft.) but my house is over 6000 ft high so we have our own little weather patterns.

This is my teenager after I said "smile".  We had to leave at 7 a.m. this morning for a marching band contest - scheduled to be held outdoors!  By the time we got to the high school where they were going to rehearse and then bus to the contest, the contest was postponed, so we sat in the car while he napped.  Then, of all the strange things, they decided to hold the contest indoors, standing in place (aren't they MARCHING bands?), with no judges.  So I left him and came home!

This is what he and I wished we were doing...

Apparently the little one and the cat cuddled into dad's warmth while Andrew and I were out in the snow!

Happily, I get to spend the day indoors working on cards.  We had church cardmaking last week and there are a few card kits left over that I want to get done. Early in the life of this blog, I had done a five part series on Church Card Ministries (just click on Church_Card_Ministry under labels, then scroll to the bottom of the entries).  The final part was on fellowship which is truly one of the highlights of a church card ministry and, for that matter, cardmaking in general.  At our gathering this week, I was thrilled to see Valerie and Holly - two truly addicted cardmakers that I hadn't seen in months.  They come further than anybody else and, last year, they were the only ones that made it during an ice storm...and...they aren't even members of our church!!!  It was great to see you ladies!!

I know that I have Colorado readers, and many that shop at the same Archivers as I do so I know you are near Parker.  If anybody ever wants to join us - we meet the first Thursday evening of the month and the Friday afternoon after that.  We have cards that appeal to beginners and we have cards that showcase new techniques.  If you make three cards, you get one free.  But...most importantly, you get to enjoy the fellowship of fellow cardmakers - and there's no sales pitch - just enjoy!  Feel free to email me for details.

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Bright Hopes, Curly Cute
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Island Indigo CS and dsp, white, Silver Shimmer
  • Ink: Versamark
  • Accessories: Misc Silver Embossing Powder, Stampin' Up Island Indigo Ribbon, Fiskars border punch
  • Challenge: I used a Technostamper sketch from a few weeks ago...too late for the challenge but it worked quite nicely for this card!