Monday, August 13, 2012

Three-Tiered Birthday Advice

My dear friend Melissa turns 40 on Wednesday, and that milestone birthday warrants a special card.  As I perused Pinterest today, I came upon this card design by Heather Summers from Canada.  She's a two-time Artisan Award winner with Stampin' Up!, so I knew I could trust the design and instructions.   You can try your hand at this card by following this link.  The trickiest part is creating the sliders for the second and third tiers, but with careful measuring, it can be done. If Heather can go to all the effort to convert it from metric for us Americans, I think you can get past your fear of the measuring.  Keep Calm!

What I love about this card is that the design is the WOW factor, so you don't have to do much else to embellish it.  I kept it simple, using a retired "Happy Birthday" stamp, numbers cut with the Big Shot, and a fun sentiment from the new stamp set, Carry On.  Isn't that advice appropriate?!

The Designer Series Paper I used is from a Simply Scrappin' Kit called Pinwheel Parade.  It pulls together Midnight Muse and Summer Starfruit, two of the new InColors for 2012-2014, and Riding Hood Red.   I think it's a stellar combination, and working with the DSP made me rethink my opinion of the new InColors.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

12"x12" Paper Basket

While looking around on Pinterest yesterday, I found a pin for a cute little box made from a sheet of 6" square card stock.  The tutorial by Rachel Ricks is excellent, and resulted in the creation of the cute little basket shown above.  While adorable, it doesn't hold much, so I grabbed a sheet of 12"x12" card stock and began adapting the dimensions to create a large basket.  It was so easy!

Score the 12" square card stock at 4" and 8".  Turn the paper to the unscored side and repeat the scoring.  You will now have a grid of 9-3" squares.  Score the outer 4 squares (upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right) vertically at the 1", 2", and 3" lines.  This will give you four sections that have four strips.  If this doesn't make sense, refer to Rachel's original tutorial so that you know which squares I'm talking about.  Cut each of the score lines like Rachel does in hers.  In each of the two center panels between the sections with the 4 strips, cut a triangle like she does.

Fold along all score lines and begin to assemble your basket sides like Rachel shows you.  Instead of using any adhesive to stick these to each other, I just held them all together and punched a hole through all the layers using the smallest hole punch on my Crop-a-Dile.  Then I used a brad to hold them all in place.  This goes a lot faster than using adhesive, and works just as well!  If you don't have a Crop-a-Dile, then use glue dots.  I recommend the large size, since there is quite a thickness of card stock resulting from all the layering.  I used them on the small basket too, with equal success.

Cut 2-1"x12" strips and use your Crop-a-Dile again (smallest hole punch option) to make holes for the handles.  Done!

The dimensions of this basket are 7.5" long, 5" wide, and 3 5/8" high.  The only limitation to what could go in this would be the weight the basket could hold.  I'm going to use mine to give cookies to a new family that moved in during the week!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Masculine Birthday Card Made Easy

I was going through my RSS reader this week and came across a great color combination from Color Q Challenge.  If you're ever stumped for good colors that complement each other, this blog is your solution!  The colors suggested are pulled from a photograph and assigned SU! hues.  Since I have my Card Club this Monday--yes, I operate best under deadline pressure--and I wanted to provide a guy card, I immediately gathered scraps of More Mustard, Basic Grey, Cajun Craze (Dusty Durango is retired), and Basic Black.  

I played around with the argyle pattern, substituting black 3/4" squares, made using my 3/4" square punch, for the grey ones.  I decided that the black was just too harsh as part of the pattern and would work better as the accent.

I positioned the squares on the 3.25"x12" textured Whisper White base (scored at 6"), and decided to split open the argyle to insert the greeting.  The greeting is from the Hostess Set Happiest Birthday Wishes.  This set really should carry over to the next catalog; sadly, that is something SU! never does.

The card comes together very quickly and you can decide if you want to add the faux stitching around each square.  I ended up doing it around the interior blocks as well, but I like it just as well without any at all.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April's AMAZING Sneak Peek!

There's something so exciting to share with you that you get not one, but two posts today! There are some changes happening at SU! Most notably, the new catalog is getting an easier-to-say name, the Annual Catalog instead of the Big Idea Book & Catalog, AND AND AND it's coming out June 1 instead of July 1!!!

Even better than this news is this is that SU! has unveiled a Sneak Peek of some items that will be in the new Annual Catalog, and now through April 30th you can get your hands the product that makes these ADORABLE Petite Purses! The Petite Purse Bigz L Die makes making these so easy, they practically assemble themselves!

You can see by the eraser I put in the photo that they're not very big. They're big enough, though, to hold party favor treats--you could still get this in time to crank out a mess of these for Easter, money for cash gifts for graduation, and small presents, such as necklaces or earrings. They're just screaming with cuteness, aren't they!

My monthly club has different hostesses each month, and next month's hostess wants to do a sweatshop of boxes! When I showed her this die, she nearly flipped! We're going to get all the group's Big Shots together and go to town! The cost of the die is $32.95, and now through the 30th, you can order it.

You also may be wondering about the cute Designer Series Paper used to create the purse on the left in the first picture. That's another part of the Sneak Peek--Summer Smooches DSP! It utilizes colors from the Brights and InColors Collections: Daffodil Delight, Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Lucky Limeade, Island Indigo, Tangerine Tango, and Rich Razzleberry.

I'm pretty picky about DSP; I don't like everything. This paper is so cute! It pairs with a stamp set called Bright Blossoms, which is available in wood mount and clear mount. The paper also has coordinating fabric and cloth covered brads! And you can order every item I just mentioned--NOW--instead of waiting until June 1st! This is an amazing offer is something I haven't seen SU! do on this scale before now. Here's the flyer with all the details and great pictures! Summer Smooches and April Sneak Peek Deal!

If you'd like to order immediately, you can do so two ways: you can contact me via my email, and place an order, or you can go to Stampin' Up! directly, set up an account and name me as your demonstrator (Nahrstadt is my last name), and everything your little heart desires from this special offer will come right to your doorstep!

I'd love to show your friends these great new products! Contact me if you'd like to partner with me to host a night/afternoon of stamping and die cutting at your house.

Sophisticated Treat Boxes for Easter

I saw this little treat box on Amy Celona's blog, and she offers a FREE PDF with pictures for it! All you'll need is a scoring tool, an 8.5"x11" sheet of cardstock, and some Sticky Strip or strong adhesive. I think these are adorable with the clear window, but if you don't have something to create a hole with, like the Framelits Collection diecuts, they'll still be adorable.

What really sold me on these is the cleverly attached notecard! So sweet! I'm making a bunch of these to take to the girls at Jesse's House this weekend. You're never too old for a bit of Easter candy, right?

Thanks, Amy! You're so generous to share your talent freely with the stamping world!

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's a Southern Thing

If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times since I moved to the South 5.5 years ago: You're So Sweet! Funny...none of my friends in the North EVER described me that way. Makes you wonder who's telling the truth, doesn't it!

When I saw the Sweet Cake stamp set in the Occasions Mini, available through April 30, I wasn't smitten. I didn't really find the image to be quite my style either. I needed a sentiment for Valentine's Day for a treat box tag the hostess of my monthly club had asked me to make, and I decided that having some versatility wouldn't be a bad thing. The set has Be Mine, Valentine, You're So Sweet, and Happy Birthday, so I was going to get two sentiments that would work for the holiday by purchasing a set that wouldn't be limited to being used just for Valentine's Day.

The cupcake image is retro, and it can be stamped all one color or colored direct to rubber for a multi-colored look. It would also allow me to try a new product, which I'll share about in a minute. I knew I wanted to pair the image with the Twitterpated Designer Series Paper, so I used my Stampin' Write Markers in Basic Grey, Blushing Bride, and Baja Breeze to ink the image. Love how easy SU! makes creating cards by doing all the hard work of figuring out which colors complement each other! Once I had finished coloring and stamped it on Whisper White card stock, I was ready to put to use my new product.

Almost everyone has a food memory of what vanilla frosting smells like, and SU! has developed scented embossing powder so that you can make that image make your card recipient's mouth water! All I had to do is use a Versamarker to apply the sticky ink (perfect for embossing) where I wanted it--on the frosting, naturally! A quick sprinkle and a hit of heat from the heat tool, and my image smelled like vanilla! The scents available include cherry, so I could've also scented the fruit on top of the cupcake. (Melon is the third scent, and it pairs with a stamp set called Mouthwatering.)

I used the Polka Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder to create great texture on my Basic Grey card base. I layered a piece of Twitterpated DSP on the bottom half and used a strip of Baja Breeze to cover the seam. Another great product in the Occasions Mini is the 3/8" pleated satin ribbon. It adds great visual appeal and another layer of texture to this card! It's available in Blushing Bride and Baja Breeze as well.

Hiding behind the main image is one of the Labels Collection Framelits. I love how versatile these babies are! In this application, it helped anchor and highlight the image at the same time. I used Blushing Bride in order to pull out some of that color from the DSP and the frosting.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pleated Patterned Paper Post

Say that fast three times--HA! I have Diana Gibbs to thank for this technique. It looks really hard, but it's very easy and creates such a cool effect that it can be the main element of the card.

This is harder to explain than it is to execute, but I'll do my best to make it simple. Take a 1"x12" strip of Designer Series Paper and score it at .75" and 1" the length of the strip. This will give you more pleats than will fit on the card, but it's better to have more than you need. After you have the length scored, hold your strip vertically in your hand. Fold the 1" score, which will be your 2nd score, back over the top of the .75" score. Go to the next score line and fold it down over the top of the 1" score. This will create your first pleat. Continue this the length of the strip, and you will end up with 5 or 6 pleats.

Now center four of the pleats along the length of the card base, which is 5.5"x4.25". Run strips of adhesive along the valleys of the pleats and adhere to the card base or matting. You will have excess to trim from the edges. The matting measurements are 1.75"x5.5". Mine was done in Whisper White to contrast with the red pattern from the Twitterpated pack of DSP.

I layered the Whisper White mat on top of a piece of Riding Hood Red that measures 3"x5.5". The DSP that's adhered to the base of the card measures 4 1/8"x5.5". The base is Island Indigo, which coordinates with the blue in the DSP.

The greeting comes from the Apothecary Art stamp set I've been featuring this week. It comes in clear and wood mount, and I like the clear mount option for being able to position the stamps. There are two greetings in the set, Happiest Birthday and So Grateful: two sentiments that are very useful, as the majority of cards needed are either birthday or thank you! I stamped it in Riding Hood Red on a scrap of card stock. I punched a hole in it and threaded 1/8" Whisper White ribbon through it and through the first pleat. I neat bow secures it.

I encourage you to give this technique a try. If you encounter any problems, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to help.