Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Didn't Remember "Island Indigo"!!

I had no intention of playing any challenges today because it's a very, very busy day - but I made the mistake of peeking at the Splitcoast Color Challenge and it included Stampin' Up's Island Indigo.  I stared at the challenge for quite awhile wondering what they meant by Island Indigo because I hadn't heard of it.  I thought they always used Stampin' Up colors - but what was Island Indigo?  This from a woman who owns every Stampin' Up cardstock and ink ever made back to those that retired 15 years ago.  Well...I wandered to my desk and there it was - a whole package of Island Indigo cardstock and an ink pad.  Where have I been?  Where is my brain?  It's gorgeous - and I have never had it out.  So...the full focus of my card today is Island Indigo...

  • Stamps: Hero Arts Antique Flowers and Butterflies stamp and die set, Hero Arts Newsprint background, Gina K Framed Greetings sentiment
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Island Indigo, Pool Party
  • Ink: Memento black, copics*, Colorbox Frost White
  • Accessories: Paper Trey Doily Die, Stampin' Up Indigo ribbon
     *see the side bar on my blog for a chart of Copics that match Stampin' Up colors

Monday, January 30, 2012

Merry Monday Shaker Cards

I was thrilled that one of my favorite cardmakers started a Merry Monday Sketch Challenge to get us ahead on  Christmas cards - unfortunately, she's on sketch #5 and I have only done one of the previous sketches.  I always have great intentions but then the week gets away from me with other card needs.  So this week, I decided to do it first thing Monday.

The sketch has a basic circle, so I thought I would put together my first ever shaker card.  Sounded like a fun thing to do and then to take up to my cardmaking group this week to duplicate.

NOT fun.

So not fun, that I will likely never do a shaker card again.

It's generally quite easy and there are great tools out there to help (check out the Shaker Frame adhesive by Stampin' Up).  The problem is static!!  Did  you know that if you google "static in shaker cards" you get 11 million hits!!  And the solutions are all ugly.  They all seem to involve old dryer sheets or Swiffer cloths, BUT...you not only have to de-static the little window, you should also pour the little glass beads into a cloth and "gently" roll them around until they are de-staticed also.  Seriously!!??

My 16-year old had to come watch every time that I tried something else, because I would hold the supposedly static-free plastic window over the glass beads and they would come "alive" and leap into the air to stick to the plastic window.

Finally, I read someone's plea for help that said she was at a gathering and they made shaker cards using page protectors, but now she is home using the fancy clear cardstock and everything is sticking.  Ding...ding...ding.  Forget the fancy stuff - I ran down to my husband's office and stole a page protector.  After I swore a few times when the stuff wouldn't punch and would barely cut with a nestability - it actually works!!

This is most definitely a case of expensive isn't better.

If anybody has had better luck or has advice, please let me know.

(Actually...don't let me know...I don't plan on doing these ever again.)

If you have read through that long saga - here's the card...

And I have only just realized that I was going to put three little white glitter dots in the bottom right corner to take the place of the sentiment in the sketch, but this card is most definitely DONE.

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink tag-its #9
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Green Galore textured CS, Melon Mambo, My Mind's Eye 12 Days of Christmas dsp
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Melon Mambo, Green Galore, Bermuda Bay, Papertrey Hawaiian Shores
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart doilies (the package calls them "tags"), Stampin' Up Mambo ribbon, Martha Stewart Glass Microbeads, Stampin' Up Shaker Frames, circle punches, page protector

Sunday, January 29, 2012

LIM Sketch: Comfort on a Difficult Day

This week's Less Is More challenge is a wonderful basic sketch.  I love sketches and I particularly love basic sketches because it allows each participant to go in wildly different directions.  I am looking forward to browsing their gallery this week to see the variety because what I have seen so far on some of my favorite blogs has been great!

I have spent the week working on sympathy cards for our church card ministry.  I particularly like the beautiful sentiment on this card to complement the simple scene.

I very lightly sponged the colors onto the white panel and then used a variety of stamps from Stampin' Up's Serene Silhouettes to create the scene.  As a final touch, I spritzed it with pearl glimmer mist.  In the photos, it just looks a little blotchy but IRL it has a dreamy look to it.

I have a busy card week this week - it's cardmaking at church so I have to put together a whole bunch of kits, it's release week at Sweet 'n Sassy - blog hop and release party on Thursday! - and . . . I have a fun announcement on Wednesday!  Be sure to check back!

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Serene Silhouettes, Verve New Mercies (sentiment)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Barely Banana, Basic Black, white
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Soft Sky, Pink Pirouette, Marigold Morning (light orange), black
  • Accessories: EK Success Border Punch, Tattered Angels Pearl Glimmer Mist, sponges

Friday, January 27, 2012

A CASual Friday Chocolate Cake

 Today's Splitcoast Free4All Challenge says that is is Chocolate Cake Day!!  So they challenged us to use Chocolate Chip and Crumb Cake on a card.  As much as I hate to do this on Chocolate Cake day, I really need to make sympathy cards for our church card ministry.  I originally started out with Cherry as an accent on this card, but I just couldn't get rid of the mental picture of a cherry on top of a rich chocolate cake - so a sympathy card just wasn't happening.  It worked much better for me when I switched to blue.

I also used the CAS-ual Friday sketch challenge.  I knew that it was meant to be when I saw that this week's sponsor is Sweet 'n Sassy and I actually already had pulled out their set Elegant Blessings to use on a classic sympathy card.

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Elegant Blessings
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake, Marina Mist
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up embossing folder, Marina taffeta, antique brads, and scalloped border punch

Thursday, January 26, 2012

LIM Cut It Out with ColourQ

Since last Saturday, when Less Is More announced a "Cut It Out" challenge (using a hole or aperture in your card), I've known what I wanted to do - but I am only just getting around to it now!  In the meantime, the CAS-ual Friday Challenge that I wanted to pair it with - using ONLY black and white - has expired.  I'm not going to get into their gallery - but if you haven't peeked - it's a fascinating gallery to look at.

Our church card ministry is always in need of sympathy cards, so I found a simple silhouette bird and used a die cut that resembled a bird cage.

Since I didn't make the black and white card in time, I decided to try to give the same card some color.  This week's colourQ challenge has some of my favorites!   (I really did use Olive ink - but after a dozen photo attempts - you are still seeing an entirely different!!)

  • Stamps: Stampabilities bird silhouette, Sweet 'n Sassy Peaceful Swans (sympathy sentiments), Verve  Small Phrases (I thought of you)
  • Paper: white
  • Ink: black, Stampin' Up More Mustard, Old Olive, Crumb Cake
  • Accessories: twine, SU Button Bouquet button, gems colored with copics, Papertrey die

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pink and Celery with a Tag

This morning's CAS Challenge at Splitcoast is to use Pink, Celery and White.  I had just received a very large flower from Layers of Color - so I knew right away I wanted to tone-on-tone the flower.  But I couldn't figure out what to do with a sentiment, until I remembered The Paper Players challenge which was CAS with a tag.  I thought a tag tied to the flower stem might be a perfect simple touch.

FYI - everything at Layers of Color is clearanced at 50-75% off so this very large Cottage Rose stamp is only $7.

  • Stamps: Layers of Color Cottage Rose, Daisy Bucket sentiment
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Certainly Celery, Pink Pirouette, Pretty in Pink
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Pretty in Pink
  • Accessories: The Twinery Honeydew baker's twine, Stampin' Up tag punches

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Cousins' Birthdays

Look at this handsome and very silly group of kids - my two boys and my brother's two girls.

They all have birthdays within two months of each other - so we got together for one big celebration this weekend!  (The little one was actually laughing hysterically - although this particular photo looks like she is upset.)

The birthdays meant that I got to make two birthday cards for little girls.  (It's such a joy to do that as my boys rarely care about the cards that I make for them.)  Here's the card that I made for Karina who is turning 4.  I used this week's sketch from Freshly Made Sketches and I am also going to enter this at Crazy4Challenges (which seems a little unfair as their challenge is to make a child's birthday party and the challenge came out on the day that I already had two cards to make!!)

I haven't used the elephant very often and I got a little chuckle when it called my name for this card.  It's for my 4-year old niece, Karina, who is a tiny itty-bitty little thing - she still fits into 2T clothes!  But she is a whirlwind - constantly on the move, non-stop chatter - probably where all her energy goes!

I put this card together for my 7-year old niece, Natasha.

There is a story behind this simple little card.  I was ecstatic recently when my sister-in-law told me that Natasha wanted to make cards just like "auntie Kim".  So, I put together a package of cardmaking supplies for her birthday gift.  This card was made in the style of the package I put together - I pre-cut a number of colors of background cardstock and I used a variety of border punches.

Check out her face after she stamps her first stamp!

And then see how proud she is to color it in!

And this happy auntie can now proudly present Natasha's card!  Look at her creativity - she even drew in tree branches for the bird!


  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Wild About You, Hero Arts Birthday Messages (balloon)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Melon Mambo dsp, Lucky Limeade and Pumpkin CS
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Going Gray and Melon Mambo
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart flower punch, Stampin' Up Pumpkin grosgrain
  • Stamps: Hero Arts owls, Studio G sentiment
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Melon Mambo
  • Ink: Memento black, copics
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart border punch, Smooch Pearlized Top Coat (on balloon)
ENJOY TODAY (Natasha's card!)
  • Stamps: Hero Arts Wonderful Birthday
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Tempting Turquoise
  • Ink: Memento black, Tombow markers
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart border punch, Jolee's flower stickers, Smooch Pearlized Top Coat (on hat)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Very Special Butterflies

I have been wanting to experiment with this dimensional technique and I though these butterflies were perfect!  So I created a swarm/rabble/lek of butterflies.  (I looked those words up. Aren't those strange and harsh terms for this beautiful group of butterflies?)

It's so easy to create this very dimensional grouping.  I've also seen it done with snowflakes which is absolutely lovely.  Simply stamp with white ink and another color ink (I went for tone on tone.)  Let it dry.  Then white emboss the top layer. You get so much dimension for these simple steps!

This card is for a very special young lady.  She's in fourth grade and for most of her life she has had to deal with the fact that her little sister has been through three full episodes of chemo.  I have a card for her sister too, but I never want to forget what big sister is experiencing.  The whole family could use your prayers as this time around is particularly intense.

I actually started out in a different direction for this group of butterflies...a single strip on a birthday card.  But in the midst of putting that card together, I realized that the look of the butterflies was EXACTLY what I wanted for this little girl - cute, but not cutesy...and I wanted a bigger group of them for her.  But I do like the first card so wanted to share it also.

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Polka Dot Silhouettes, Love from Rhubarb (You are Special), Happy Birthdays
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Hibiscus Burst, Stampin' Up Melon Mambo
  • Ink: Colorbox Frost White, Versamark, Papertrey Hibiscus Burst
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart Butterfly Punch, Stampin' Up punches: oval, scalloped oval, scalloped border, Papertrey Hibiscus ribbon, Baker's Twine from The Twinery, white embossing powder

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sympathy with Serene Silhouettes

Last week, I said that I needed to focus on Sympathy cards for the church card racks and that you would be seeing lots of sympathy - some even commented that they were looking forward to the ideas - and then I haven't made one since.  Sorry...

Here's my card for today's Splitcoast Sketch Challenge.  I have never focused on sympathy cards to send to men, but this silhouette set was perfect for the card.

No frills or ribbon or bling - just a simple sympathy.

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps Serene Silhouettes, Papertrey sentiment
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Going Gray, Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Going Gray, Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip
  • Accessories: Tim Holtz embossing folder, Quickutz die

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Copics 101 on Splitcoast

A few months ago, I did an entire post on Copic Tips and Hints (you can find the link at the top of my side bar).  I was asked to do a tutorial in the Sweet 'n Sassy forum on Splitcoast Stampers.  It's a subset of my first post and it has been modified to use Sweet 'n Sassy stamps - but if you want to peek - it's here.

This is the card that I used to demonstrate getting good coverage and shading.   (NOTE: this is not a great photo - in enhancing colors, I also "enhanced" the lines in the various Copic shades - but I am having some strange and bizarre computer issues - been using my son's to upload - and he is asleep and his PC is locked - so cannot fix it!!)

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Love from Rhubarb
  • Paper: white
  • Ink: Memento Black and copics
  • Accessories:  Sizzix embossing folder, various Nestabilities, Papertrey Hibiscus Burst ribbon, misc gems

Monday, January 16, 2012

Week 2 of Online Card Classes

Week 2 of Online Card Classes: Clean & Simple began with a video on a window card and a folded flower - it was gorgeous and I wanted to copy it exactly!!  But I needed to put my own spin on it and decided to try it with cupcakes??!!

I am going to give myself 3 points for creativity - but then deduct 2 for execution!!  I have a few issues with the card, but I like the concept enough that I am going to post it anyway.

First, even though I used a cupcake sentiment and cupcake embossing folder - I still don't think it is obvious that my embellishment are cupcakes.  I have tried adding candles and/or cherries (too busy) and after that I ran out of ideas to make it more cupcake-like.

Second, the sample card from Online Card Classes usew a patterned paper with distinctly different colors on both sides - it added so much interest when the folded part was a splash of color and I miss that on my card.

I do thank Kristina for all of her tips and hints...templates, how to line it up, etc...and now I am going to go exactly CASE her beautiful card.

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Create a Cupcake
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake CS and dsp, Pink Pirouette, Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose dsp
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Early Espresso
  • Accessories: Cuttlebug embossing folder, misc baker's twine and gem, Nestabilities Circle, Stampin' Up Cupcake Punch

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Another Idea from Online Card Classes

I am up to Day 3 of using the techniques and ideas from Online Card Classes.  So far, there have been five days of samples and videos and two bonus days(!) so I am just a little behind.  And now a new week is going to start...whew!

On Day 3, Jennifer talked about monochromatic cards and Tami shared a gatecard sample.  I put the two together to get this...

I used pop dots on my popped flower, but Jennifer had a marvelous technique in which she cut the die cut in the card stock and then six more of the same die cut in white.  She layered those all together to "pop" the diecut and in the end she had a wonderful white effect on the sides.  Gorgeous!  But I simply don't have the patience to cut and then adhere all of those layers.

My banner and sentiment treatment came right from the sample gatefold card (thanks Tami!)

  • Stamps: Hero Arts Sending You Love clear set
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Calypso Coral CS and dsp
  • Ink: black
  • Accessories: Papertrey Ink flower die cuts, Stampin' Up embossing folders and button embosslit

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Merry Monday #2: Dimensional Tree

I have to HURRY with this post, because my Denver Broncos, led by the national hero Tim Tebow, are already down a touchdown in the playoff game and the game just started.  They NEED to me to get with my family and start cheering.

Lesley, who does amazing sketches, has started a Merry Monday challenge to get us focused each week on a Christmas card stash.  It's the second sketch of the year.  I missed #1 but I hope never to miss again because our church card group makes SO many Christmas cards, a headstart would be such a relief!

This is a fold that has been around for some time and I never quite seem to get a card put together with it - but I love taking unique things up to the church card group and I think they will enjoy it!

It's an easy little tree to create.  Cut four squares - 1", 1 1/2", 2" and 2 1/2" (and you can keep going if you want).  Do these folds on each of the squares...

Fold it in half with your patterned paper to the inside.  Crease it and unfold it.

Fold it in half diagonally with your patterned paper to the outside (this is double-sided paper, but I am using the polka dots as my pattern.  Crease it and unfold it.

Fold it in half diagonally the other way with your patterned paper to the outside. Crease it and unfold it.

With your folds, you will be able to easily push the sides into the middle...

...and when they are all the way pushed in, you have a triangle.

Lay the triangle in front of you, base towards to you.  See the side that I have sticking up a little...

...fold it down so that the edges comes down the middle.

Then fold down the other side.

After you get all four sizes done - easily nest into each other to make a tree.  In this picture, I have already nested the bottom three - can you see how the top one is going to just slide right in!

Here's the Merry Monday sketch for this week.

Oh no, the Denver Broncos are now down two touchdowns!!

This is my second post for today - so read on!!

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Short and Sweet
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Old Olive, River Rock, Real Red, Dashing dsp (very old!)
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Old Olive
  • Accessories: Fiskars border punch, red gems, red baker's twine

With Sympathy...with help from Online Card Classes

I am thoroughly enjoying this session of Online Card Classes - it's all about my favorites - Clean and Simple cards!!

I am a number of days behind on trying new techniques.  This card is for Day 2, at which time we learned about visual triangles and using masking to create illusions of layers.

These particular stamps come with dies to cut each one out.  I used plain paper to cut out a center with a Nestability.   Then I used the die cuts for the flower and the butterfly to cut a mask.  I taped each piece together and lined it up on my cardstock before I stamped the script.

As a final step - I used the Nestability as a stencil and drew around it with a white pen.

  • Stamps: Hero Arts Antique Flowers and Butterflies, Papertrey Round and Round (sentiment)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up So Saffron
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Basic Gray, So Saffron pen, Colorbox Frost White
  • Accessories: dies from the Hero Arts stamp set, Nestability, white pen

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Refuge and My Fortress

We had out church cardmaking gathering last week and our cards racks are looking colorful and full!!!  That is...except for sympathy cards...so you will be seeing quite a few sympathy cards from me over the next few weeks.

This morning, I decided to play along with the Splitcoast Sketch Challenge.  It has a rectangular section that worked perfectly for this verse...

I had also just seen this week's colors at the Color Throwdown.

 I started this card with a very different vision.  I imagined that the colors would make a beautiful brayered or sponged scene behind the verse - a little rolling River Rock hill with a hint of Daffodil sunshine and a Soft blue Sky. A few weeks ago, I rearranged my desk and I put my box of dies on top of the desk and moved the box of brayers and sponges that had been on top of my desk...somewhere??!!  You have to realize two things - I have a craft CORNER and ... the box is bright green.  There aren't too many too many places that my box of brayers and sponges could be hiding.  But they are definitely hiding.  So I simplified my card and I am happy with the results.

Fun news:  my jaunty little fruits card was a Top Pick at Stampin' Royalty.

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Our Refuge and Serene Silhouettes
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Soft Suede, River Rock, Daffodil CS and dsp, Soft Sky dsp
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Soft Suede, Versamark Champagne Dazzle
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart butterfly punch, EK Success border punch

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Baby Set for a Special Teacher

Yesterday, Online Card Classes began their two-week Clean & Simple class.  I had taken their Holiday Boot Camp class in November and was so very impressed with the quality of their presentation, their unique ideas and all of the little tips and hints that I picked up - that I was absolutely thrilled when their current class is my favorite style - clean & simple!

The first class included three CAS layouts.  The video gave tips such as including dimension for interest and a great idea for masking the middle of the card. I always learn something from their videos - even though I have been crafting for a decade.

My task this morning was to create a card and a gift for my children's beloved 6th grade teacher who is having a baby!  (This is very special news since a little over a year ago, we had to send a sympathy card for the loss of their first baby.)

The sentiment treatment was taken from this BabiesRUs gift card. I used Stampin' Up's My Digital Studio to create the sentiment.  It would be very easy to create with stamps - probably stamping off first to get just a light color that will blend - I simply don't have basic alphabet stamps.

I also used the same colors but a different layout to create a set of six Thank You cards for her use.

The dimension that they talked about in the card class is found in the butterflies.  These are the two layouts that I used from Online Card classes.

Now I need to get the family up and off - but then I am going to settle in with the Day 2 cards and video and see what else I can play with today!!

  • Stamps: Savvy Stamps thank you
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Shimmer White, Pretty in Pink, Bashful Blue, Papertrey Ink New Leaf
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Border Punch, Pearls, Vanilla Taffeta, Beautiful Wings Embosslit (first card), Martha Stewart butterfly punch (thank you card)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Predominantly Purple with Die Cuts

I have put together two challenges for this card - this morning's Clean & Simple Challenge at Splitcoast Stampers is to use die cuts.  This week's Less Is More Challenge is to go Predominantly Purple.  I'm feeling a little guilty about the second challenge as I went "Absolutely Amethyst".  On the one hand, it's in the purple family.  On the other hand, I never really use purples, but I do use amethyst - so not much challenge there!!

My inside is a cute stamp that says "Just sitting here thinking about you".

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Every Little Bit
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Almost Amethyst CS and dsp
  • Ink: Memento black and copics
  • Accessories: Poppystamps (Memory Box) small window, Papertrey border, Stampin' Up embossing folder.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bear Hugs are the Best!

I still have one stamp set to show off from the new release at Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps.  I was browsing this morning's Splitcoast Inspiration Challenge which is not something I generally play along with (inspiration challenges are HARD) - then I stumbled on this Old Blue Owl Clock...

I really hate to say that this tired guy (who clearly had way TOO much fun last night) inspired me to make this darling bear card (Rhubarb is definitely NOT that kind of bear), but Rhubarb does have that sleepy kind of look.  I thought the wing patterns would be fun to duplicate - a little greenery (in white) and I like my card!

I am most definitely not a fussy-cutter - you can see my carelessness in this photo - but I wanted you to see the fun dimension on this guy!

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Love from Rhubarb
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Tempting Turquoise, Cool Caribbean, black
  • Ink: Memento black, copics
  • Accessories: Ek Success postage border punch, Cuttlebug embossing folder, Papertrey Woodgrain Impression plate, Espresso Dimension Pearls (eyes)