Friday, August 29, 2008

When the Chocolate Speaks...

you have to listen, right? Then why am I having such a hard time unwinding tonight? What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Flower Power to the People!

I am NOT a child of the '60's. I was a child IN the '60's. IN, not OF. So, to me, Flower Power is all about cards!

Let me explain. Flower Power Card Elements is a new product by SU! that has supplies to make 9 cards. Sold separately, but that coordinates with this, is a stamp set called Wow Flowers. These two items are in a line called Simply Sent, introduced by SU! in 2007 to help new stampers be able to create cards quickly and easily. The supplies set and the stamps used to be sold together, but this catalog marks the debut of them as coordinating, but not joined at the hip tools.

The Flower Power Card Elements comes with the following items:
6-8.5" x 11" sheets of textured card stock
2-8.5" x 11" sheets of designer series paper
brads, buttons, and ribbon
2 sheets of self-adhesives (otherwise known as stickers)
step-by-step instructions

I bought the coordinating set, although you could use any sentiment stamp sets you already own. Once I organized everything, the biggest challenge was deciding what to do first! I am really bad when it comes to stuff like this, because there's a limited amount of it. That means I want to hoard it and not use any of it frivolously. Oh the choices! Finally, I decided to make one of the cards using the instructions.

What I like about these is that there are words AND pictures. So, if you're not the type to read, but can figure out something by looking at a diagram or a photo, you're golden. This came out exactly like it was supposed to, and that inspires confidence.

When making the second card, I wanted to follow my own whims...well, sort of. Having already stated for the record that I get paralyzed by too many choices and it also being a well-documented fact that I like getting inspiration from those in cyberland, you should not be surprised that my second attempt was my own interpretation of this card by Diane Gilbert that I found on SCS.

I liked how she used one of the flower stickers and the sentiment from the Wow Flowers set to make a stem for it, thereby creating a focal point. What I did to kick it up a notch was use the stamp that looks like a 1000% enlarged asterisk and added glitter to said sticker. I was really stoked to figure out that that image fit inside that flower perfectly. Whoever designed this stuff was thinking! I was even more excited when the sticker didn't curl or freak out when I applied the heat tool to it to melt the Heat and Stick Embossing Powder so that the Dazzling Diamonds could stick to it!

I used some scraps of More Mustard and a rectangle of Perfect Plum to create a matting for the striped DP (oh, how I love STRIPES!), and the ribbon from the kit finished it off. The little leaves are a cut up felt flower from my Felt Flowers Accents and Elements kit.

I bought extra card stock in the colors of this elements kit because I really like the combination of Perfect Plum, Rose Red, Old Olive, and More Mustard. If you'd like to own either of these items, just contact me and I'll be happy to tell you how you can have them delivered directly to your doorstep!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Celebrating Again and a New Card

Fourteen years ago today I had a baby boy. He was named after his paternal great-grandfathers, "Mike" and Bill. That boy weighed 8 lbs. 2 oz. and was 21" long. Today, Michael William is 5' 6" tall, weighs over 100 lbs. and wears a men's small shirt and size 12 shoes! AAAAACKKK!! Where has the time gone?

He is absolutely fabulous, and a delight to have around--I'm not kidding! He even tolerated having his mug shot and the moments of his special day preserved for posterity. My day started early because I forgot that he wanted an ice cream dessert for his "cake" (not a big fan of the stuff for some reason), so I trotted off to Kroger before taking him to school to get the supplies I needed. Ice cream sandwiches with a fabulous "glue" or "frosting" of Cool Whip, hot fudge, and peanut butter. While I was there, I picked up powdered doughnuts, one of his favorites. He's not much of a breakfast guy, as you can see by the photo.

He went to school, but it was early release today--the perfect gift from the school system--so he was home by 2:15 instead of 5:00. For his birthday meal from Mom's Restaurant, he ordered parmesan chicken, rice orzo pilaf, and the aforementioned dessert. Note the glaring absence of a fruit or vegetable to balance the meal. He's a typical guy! The best meals contain meat and starch and end with sugar! I couldn't stand it; I steamed some broccoli for me and Bob.

He chatted on the phone with his friend and birthmate, Emily, and is enjoying some time online playing a computer game that he has been on a leave of absence from so as not to be distracted during this first month of school. The special dispensation to play brought a big smile to his face.

Okay, thanks for tolerating that bit of family news. Here's the card I made this evening while Michael's online and Bob's at a meeting. The design is called a pop up card, and I tried it because I saw Mary Jo Albright's tutorial at SCS today. I chose Sage Shadow, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, and Very Vanilla as the color scheme for this card because of a car seat pattern I saw at Target this afternoon. Inspiration is everywhere, so keep an eye out for it!

I know that in the first picture it doesn't look like a pop-up at all, but I wanted you to see what it looks like for mailing. It's great that it folds up and fits in a regular A2 envelope!

I'm really happy with how this turned out--the Always set never fails me--and I enjoyed adding little details, like the border and CTC 1/4" grosgrain ribbon around the base. It doesn't show in the photo, but it's on both sides. I like the idea of this card. It can sit around and serve as a reminder for someone in need of encouragement. It could even hold a photo, although it would have to be pretty tightly cropped. ( idea for Christmas cards?) I'm going to write out a message on a separate piece of VV and attach it to the back before I send it.

Well, tomorrow's another day off for me, so I hope to make another card, this time featuring another new product from the SU! F-W Catalog--Power Flower Card Elements. Come on back and see me then!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


As I shared earlier today, my anniversary was yesterday. Tonight we went out to dinner as a family, since our son's birthday is tomorrow. The restaurant choice was mine--Rice, a sushi bar with traditional Asian food as well.

We started off with an appetizer plate, and Michael enjoyed the chicken satay--thus the menacing spear--but he really enjoyed the crab rangoon most. I was proud of him for trying something new! Bob tried a smoked salmon sushi and liked it.

Then we moved on to the main course. The guys had traditional entrees, but I knew I wanted sushi, so I took the recommendation of our waiter and had the house's featured roll, aptly named the Yummy Roll. Raw salmon and tuna with a bit of cream cheese and blanched pencil-thin asparagus, wrapped the traditional way, then lightly battered with a tempura and quickly fried. It was soooooo good! I think what I like best about sushi is the texture. It just has great mouth feel, as well as tasting marvelous!

After dinner we went to the Verizon store and upgraded my phone and Michael's. We both chose the LG Voyager. Michael has been using my old phone for the past 2 years, and he wanted one that had a texting keyboard. He was very surprised and pleased with his present.

Tomorrow my boy will be 14. I can hardly believe it! Only 4 more years with him and then he'll be off to college. I've been told not to blink.

Crafty Mini Backpack

Meet Custard. He's Michael's, and he stuffed him with love and gave him a heart many, many years ago on an end of the year field trip to Build-A-Bear with his kindergarten class. Custard has been sitting on a shelf in the basement since our move, but he willingly came out of hibernation to help me show you a new project I made today. I figured that having Custard model it will help provide some proportion perspective. Besides, he looks really cute with it, and I think there are lots of kids and moms who might have a really good time making this project for a special doll or stuffed bear.

Isn't this just one of the cutest little things you've ever seen? This mini backpack (finished dimensions are 3.5" x 6" x 1.75") is such a fun project! HUGE THANKS goes out to Tonya Klar, who took a template that was posted on SCS without any measurements and revised it into something VERY VERY helpful. She also went to the effort to make this video so that those who are visual learners would have a resource to help them be successful with this project. I utilized both, and am so thankful to Tonya for what she did for the stamping community.

This project utilizes 1-8.5" x 11" sheet of paper for the main body of the backpack,a half sheet for the outside pocket and flaps, and one-fourth of a sheet of designer series paper. I used 2' of ribbon, 12" per strap.

The little girls I know who have American Girl dolls of their own moved to California recently, so instead this will go to a friend I have who's in need of some encouragement (without Custard, of course). I'll be using my sneaky ways to get this to her. I made a coordinating note to slip inside it, along with some chocolates. Did you know Dove makes a new individually wrapped milk chocolate infused with a hazelnut caramel center?! Yum...

Tonya has posted her template for anyone to download, although it needs a few little adjustments. I've informed her of those, so hopefully she'll make those little fixes. It's a great project, and I want to make another, so don't be surprised if this becomes a special class soon! Let me know if you'd like to see this on my schedule of events, or if you know some moms and daughters who you'd like to gather and have me help you make these. They'd be a great little teacher encouragement too, or a very creative way to package her/his Christmas gift card.

Guess you know what this means...I have to go clean the bathroom now.

Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head--YAY!!

It's a beautiful day here in north GA because Fay is finally dropping a motherload of RAIN on our area! It started raining yesterday, off and on, and it has been raining steadily all day today. It's creating a large red dirt puddle and small stream just off our deck in our backyard (which conveniently slants away from the house!), but bring it on--we'll take it!

I don't have to work today, so I'm spending the day in the craft room or on the couch reading or in the bathroom cleaning (I'm avoiding the last task as long as possible!). The sound of rain pattering on the roof and pinging down the gutters is one of my favorite things. I just hope the ground can absorb it, or that all the runoff finds its way into our lake and returns it to full pool--we're about 12 FEET below normal!

In other news, yesterday was my 18th wedding anniversary! I made this card quite awhile ago, but had saved it for just the right occasion. Well, yesterday certainly was the right occasion.

Let me tell you about my wonderful husband. We met 19 years ago, dated 3 months before getting engaged, and were officially married before we'd known each other a full calendar year. When you know, you know, and we were certain about our love for each other, even when others weren't. I have been so blessed!

I have a husband whose unconditional love for me is steadfast, whose support of my abilities and talents is unwavering, whose wisdom and gentleness set the tone for our home, and whose friendship makes me feel so secure. I so love you, Bob! We have had, by the grace of God, a strong, stable, fun life together. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. Thanks for all of you that you give so generously to me, day after day, year after year.

Since our anniversary happened to fall on piano lesson night this year, we're going out to dinner tonight. We're bringing our son along because his 14th birthday is tomorrow! I'll post pictures tomorrow of our meal out, because I'm hoping to get "my boys" to try sushi!

There's a break in the rain--hey, the sun's peeking out!--so I have to run out and try to pick up some Velcro dots so that I can post a picture of this WAY CUTE project I found online this past weekend and made this morning. Before I go, though, I wanted to post two cards I received this week. I'm just like everyone else--I LOVE REAL MAIL!--and these two cards are beautiful, aren't they?

I hope you're not hoarding your cards. Get them in the mail! They really will make someone's day. They don't have to say much. Just sending a little message communicates more than you know. Thanks, Lydia!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thumbs UP for Upsy Daisy and Urban Garden DSP!

I was under the gun last night. I had not come up with a fifth card for SAS that I was just thrilled with, although the other experiments I'd made had turned out fine. I wanted something that was different, unique.

I had all the card stock and ribbon and supplies culled together for the other four cards, so I had dinner with my family and watched the Olympics we have stored on TiVO. (Marvelous invention!) So, now that it was 9:30 pm, I had to get down to business.

I had ordered Upsy Daisy because it coordinates with Inspired by Nature and Pocket Silhouettes, two sets I already own. I ALSO liked it because it has a variety of very useful sentiments. I ALSO liked it because it's on special from now until Sept. 30 at 15% off. Stamps on sale? I'm there.

This flyer has all the details. Click to enlarge and see ALL that's on sale!

The other thing I reached for at the late hour last night (keep in mind I'd been up since 3:30 am to work an 8-hour shift at Starbucks) was a package of Urban Garden Designer Series Paper (DSP). This too has been designed by SU! to coordinate with Upsy Daisy, as well as 4 other stamp sets, ribbon, rub-ons, chipboard, brads, and some accents and elements adhesives. With all that work having been done before I even pick these things out of my pile of goodies, how can I fail?

I CAN'T! This card came together almost by itself. It's so lovely that the only reason I can stand to part with it because I know the person I'm sending it to will love it too. The soothing combination of Basic Gray, Baja Breeze, and Whisper White just puts me in a mellow mood and creates a certain calm, don't you think? It certainly had that effect on me last night. After I'd chosen the color combo, I looked over all the pattern options in the DSP pack and chose a portion of one page as the focal point.

Then I took the main silhouetted image of flowers and inked it with Versamark. I wanted to repeat the floral image that's in the DSP in the background, and so I began stamping and this pattern emerged. Stamping an image UPSIDE-DOWN intentionally is really "coloring outside the lines" thinking for me, but it was late and my creativity took over the rational part of my brain. If this is the result when that happens, conquer away!

The other design tip to share is that I inked the sentiment with my Basic Black Stampin' Write marker and stamped off once to get the "gray" you see. I should also mention that the beautiful ribbon is the new SU! Whisper White taffeta ribbon. So soft and elegant...

I also want to point out, in case you missed it, that the envelope is featured in the picture with the card. Don't forget to do this! It really makes everyone at the post office wonder what's inside, and it alerts the recipient--who's mindlessly thumbing through her junk mail--that she's about to have an encounter with beauty and encouragement because someone cared enough to create for her.

The gals who came for SAS today really enjoyed their time together. At one point, my husband looked at me from the other room and asked, "Are they still here?" They were so happily ensconced in their creating that they didn't need to speak! It was great to be back together. Hope you can join us next month--the date is Sept. 27!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Springy Butterfly Redux!

I am home this afternoon, cutting card stock and ribbon for tomorrow's SAS. As I looked again at the springy butterflies card, I grew more concerned that it was going to take up too much time. After all, as originally crafted, this card has 8 small butterflies to stamp and cut and mount. We make 2 of each card at SAS, and the bottom line was that all that detailed cutting was going to chew up minutes we didn't have.

But I'd promised here that those who attend tomorrow's class will learn how to make a card using springs, and keeping my word is very important to me. So, I thought and thought, and came up with this solution!

I adapted the 4.25" x 4.25" card I made earlier to accommodate the spring! Yay for my brain! I am much happier with the card lineup now, and can't wait for the gals to arrive in the morning. Some have yet to see the new catalog, so they're in for a double good time!

As I've gone back and collected all that I need, I've realized that I'm using some items, like ribbon, and some colors from the new InColor 2008-2009 Collection more than once. At first this concerned me, but then I realized that I'm showing those who attend how to use limited supplies to create multiple cards! Again, yay for my brain! It was so smart that it did that without telling me!

I have other new stamp sets to initiate, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow afternoon...back to cutting and prepping. Don't you wish you were coming?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Peach of a Card

My brain started mulling over a color combination as I peeled and sliced some famous southern grown peaches last night. Hmmmmmm....what would this translate to in SU! colors? I came up with Rose Red, Groovy Guava, and Apricot Appeal.

Today my first order from the new Fall-Winter Catalog arrived--JOY OF JOYS!! As I happily sorted out what was mine from the box, I snatched up my new sets--5 in all--and sat down to assemble them. Some of the new sets are die cut, which means NO CUTTING before assembling. Just pop them out of the rubber, peel off the sticker, and adhere them to the wood block. What used to take at least 20 min. now takes about 10. It's such a beautiful thing.

Pocket Silhouettes was the one I was dying to work with, so that was assembled right away. It seemed natural--no pun intended, truly!--that these plant images would look great in vases, but there is no vase image that comes in the set. Michelle Zindorf and Lydia to the rescue!

Lydia learned this quick little way to make vases for any floral images you have from stamping genius Michelle Zindorf. It necessitates the use of an oval punch. Alas, I do not own said punch. HOWEVER, I do own an oval Coluzzle system, and the second sized one was perfect! I sliced off the top third, and a vase appeared. I created a shadow on the right side by sponging on some AA ink.

The rest is pretty straightforward. I think it might be cool to do the images in copper metallic next time, as I think this would be an excellent complement to the other colors. I'm also not sure whether or not this is going to be a SAS card. We'll see how creative I am tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Moooooooo La La La La Marvelous Mac!!!

WARNING: DO NOT READ THIS POST ON AN EMPTY STOMACH! If you're not a foodie as well as a stamper, skip down about halfway to see a new set of stamps that came in the mail today. The main content of this post, however, is the story of an AMAZING macaroni and cheese experience my family had this evening. Try not to drool on your keyboard as you read!

A few days ago, my friend Lydia posted this picture on her blog and taunted her readers with this caption: "Are you jealous? You should be. You should covet my mac & cheese." I was not the only one who responded to this by pleading with her for the recipe. Being that she's a good sharer and plays well with others, she obliged.

Armed with the ingredients list, I trotted off to the grocery Sunday afternoon. Imagine my sticker shock when I began adding items to my cart!! Yes, the sum total of JUST THE CHEESE was $26.67! But I wanted to KNOW if this macaroni & cheese was as near to a controlled substance as she said it was, so I put those thoughts about this meal costing as much as 8 gallons of gas out of my head. I loaded everything perishable into the fridge when I got home and waited for a reasonable amount of time to occur in my schedule so that I could enjoy the crafting of this dish.

This afternoon I could stand it no longer. I didn't have a leisurely amount of time I was wanting, though. I had 1 hour to get dinner on the table, and I decided it was time to see if this dish lived up to the hype.

I shredded cheese with abandon while the roux and whole milk simmered on the stovetop. My red tri Aussie Carly was right underfoot, very quietly licking up the cheese fragments that fell to the floor so that our other dog, Shadow, would not get in on these marvelous morsels. I had everything ready to go by 5:24 pm, so I stuck it into the oven for its 30 min. baking time and moved on to the rest of dinner.

Oh, and I also took a few minutes to mount these stamps that arrived today!! This is the set that was handed out to all demonstrators FREE at the last session of convention. They are a gift from UPS called Say it with Scallops. This set is our Ronald McDonald House charities set as well. More on that later...

Back to our story...this is what my macaroni & cheese looked like when I pulled it from the oven. Lydia's recipe calls for cubed bread to soak up any excess butter that comes to the surface during cooking, but my Dad's mom used saltine crumbs, so did the same.

OOOOOOHHHHHHH MMMYYYYYYYYY WWWWWOOOOOORRRRDDDDD!!! This macaroni & cheese should be a controlled substance! Our 13-year-old son called it Crack Macaroni. He had 3 helpings and I had to swat his fingers away from grabbing a few more nibbles. The only word that really describes this is WOW. The blend of the three cheeses is just right, and the mouth feel is velvety. Food memories are powerful things, but hard to recapture once the person who made the dish has passed away. This macaroni & cheese brought back wonderful memories of my Grandma Blum. She used to make it from scratch and paired it with fried liver. That may wreck the entire image for you, but it's my food memory, so deal!

Do whatever you have to do to give this dish a try. The only caveat to the recipe I'd make is that I made half a recipe of the sauce, and I still needed 1 lb. of noodles.

It's my turn to taunt you. What are you gonna do?

Hostage Freed!

I had 2 cards to show you yesterday, but the camera was being held hostage by the Chevy Silverado's center console and couldn't be liberated until this morning! Thankfully it is fully charged, so without further ado, here are the cards you've been waiting patiently for.

This first one is a CASE of Jessie, the Featured Stamper of the week over at SCS. Here's her gallery. This is the card I chose to emulate. It's actually one she made for a Dare to Get Dirty challenge using a layout by Jenn Balcer! See--what comes around goes around in this beautiful community of stampers, so don't be afraid to Copy And Share Everything someone else has done! Just try to give credit where credit is due.

I used the new InColor Pink Pirouette as my base, paired with Chocolate Chip. This combination was one that, when it first became popular years ago, I just didn't understand. It has grown on me so much that I like it now, but initially I was not convinced! The branch is from Eastern Blooms, and I inked it entirely in PP, then used a blender pen to REMOVE the PP from the branches and inked them with my CC SU! Stampin' Write marker. I tried twice to get it just perfect, but I still managed to get a little on a few of the blooms. Oh well...I'm not going to make myself crazy over it.

The scallop edge punch helped create the detail at the bottom of the PP layer, and I used my 1/8" hole in my Cropadile to make the holes. I wanted SU!'s 5/8" wide CC grosgrain for the ribbon, but don't have enough for all the SAS gals coming on Saturday, so had to go with plan B.

This second card was inspired by one of the samples I saw in the new catalog! That book is CHOCK FULL of great color combinations and layouts to give anyone needing inspiration fuel! I tweaked the combo a little and went with Barely Banana as the base instead of Very Vanilla. The other colors are Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, and Not Quite Navy. The layout is one I saw somewhere, either on a blog or on SCS. To paraphrase the late sports broadcaster Jim MacKay, I span the WWW to bring you a constant variety of stamping! (The Olympics just aren't quite the same without him...)

The squares are 1 3/4" and stamped in the aforementioned colors with the large hibiscus (?) bloom from Eastern Blooms. The tailored white bow made with SU!'s 1/4" grosgrain is another technique I'll be teaching the SAS gals this weekend, and it makes quite a nice statement on this card. Here's a little hint: it's all held together with glue dots!

The bottom of this card is very naked. It's waiting for a new sentiment stamp set that is arriving tomorrow. We have a saying in my immediate family about someone who is waiting impatiently when we're late. We say, "So and So's probably 'standing on her left ear.'" Don't ask me what it means, but it makes sense to us! Well, that's how I feel about my order from SU! It can't arrive fast enough, and I can't make the 2 final cards for Saturday's event until it does.

So if you see me achieve the aforementioned feat, would someone call Bob Costas at NBC Sports? Perhaps it could be an exhibition Olympic event in 2012!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday, Monday

This day of the week is one I welcome, but dread at the same time. Why? Because it's a return to routine, which I really like (call me crazy, but I'm not a fan of weekends), but it's a really hectic day.

Since I don't have a card for you today, I thought you'd enjoy following this link to view one of the most creative cards I've seen in a LONG time! Enjoy!

I'm off work tomorrow, so I'll post a card then!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Butterfly Squared

This is the card I made for the girls to make at today's open house. I found the design on SplitCoastStampers by Jackie Wright, and I really liked the simplicity of the layout and the 4.25" x4.25" size.

Do you like those little flowers in the grass? They're part of the Flight of the Butterfly set, and I think they add such whimsy! The scallop edge punch was used on the Kiwi Kiss strip across the bottom (which picks up the color used to stamp the grass), and the InColor combination of Tangerine Tango and Riding Hood Red created the butterfly. It may be hard to see in the photo, but I stamped one of the sentiments--hope your day is as happy as happy gets!--in Baja Breeze. I tried Pacific Point, but it was just too overwhelming.

Hope you're having a marvelous weekend! The weather here is ideal--sunny, low humidity, mid-80s. Compared to the past two years when it was 100 daily during the first week of school, this is bliss.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fun and Fast Birthday with InColors

When a girl gets on a roll, watch out! I want more new stamps to play with, but, alas, they have not arrived yet. So, I thought I'd pull out some of the InColors and work with another combination. This one is Pacific Point, Baja Breeze, and Riding Hood Red.

It all started when I saw this layout at Taylor VanBruggen's blog. How cute is that?!? So I had my color palette, I had my layout, but what stamps to use? I decided to pull out Fun & Fast Notes, since it is the one in the $99 Demonstrator Starter Kit deal going on now through Oct. 11. You read right--for just $99, you can become a Stampin' Up! demonstrator and enjoy all the benefits of owning your own business AND saving 20% on everything you order from SU! **This has been a commercial for the $99 Demonstrator Starter Kit. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog entry.**

Now where was I? Oh yeah. Explaining this cool card. I was crafting away, adding detail to the PP base with another stamp from the set and coloring the images in the center panel, when I saw something in my peripheral vision. It was laying there so innocently, but I knew it was tempting me to put it to use in this design. So, if one's good, two would be better, right? Or at least more balanced. So I made a cohort in bouncy fun for my innocent one on the craft table and stuck them underneath the Whisper White portion of the center panel. And I used to think I was going all out when I popped something up on a dimensional!

It's hard to photograph this bouncy card now, but I hope you can envision it. One more little tip from this card, and then I'll be on my merry way to have Publix ham salad on Vinta multi-grain crackers. (Springy things put me in such a happy place mentally!) If you'll look closely at the first picture of the card, you'll see the shadow I created for the cake BEFORE I realized I was going to be taking it to new heights. Here's how I accomplished it. I stamped the cake image in BB slightly left of center. I colored it with a blender pen and BB ink, but only on the left side, thereby creating the look of a shadow for the cake.

If you're interested in the $99 Demonstrator Starter Kit deal, leave me a comment and I'll tell you MORE! Yes, there's MORE...are you curious?

A Spring Loaded Summer Smiler

WARNING!If you're not in the mood to smile, you may not want to finish reading this post. This card I made is guaranteed to make your lips curl upward, so if you want to persist in grumpiness, better log off.

This technique was part of a breakout session at convention called Demonstrator Theater, and it featured three demonstrators, all of whom presented fabulous, WOW cards for us. This idea came from Canadian demonstrator Marlayne Hardy, and it's amazing. Not only is it simple and versatile, it's just COOL!

This is the front of the card, and I used the Inspired by Nature grass again. That stamp is going to see a lot of ink this year, I can tell! I stamped it with Green Galore from the Bold Brights, and sponged it using a dauber with Glorious Green to give the blades some dimension. The saying, which is such a good perspective on change, is from Flight of the Butterfly, the other set deployed for this card.

When I started making this, I cut the card at 4.25" and scored it at the usual 5.5". I decided that that was a bit too wide, so I cut it down to 3.5". Here's a closeup of the sentiment and the bitty butterfly. I stamped it first in Versamark ink, then coated it with Heat and Stick Powder. When the heat tool had melted the powder to the glossy state, I turned off the tool and sprinkled the little 'fly with Dazzling Diamonds. The glitter stuck to the powder and will not fall off. Love whoever came up with that stuff! It's mounted with one of the edge pieces of Stampin' Dimensionals. Waste not, want not!

Here's what happens when you open the card! AAAHHHH--isn't that GREAT?! All those little butterflies flutterin' around in their Bold Bright colors. I usually "tell all" and explain everything about how I put a card together, but I'm not going to with this one. Only those who come to the August Stamp-A-Stack will learn how to make this.

Have you RSVP'd yet? Don't wait!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Not Quite Ready to Let Go...

of the InColors from 2007-2008, and I don't have any new Designer Series Paper from the new Fall-Winter 2008 Catalog, so I decided to pull out one of my favorite combinations from this past year and try it with a new set of stamps, Eastern Blooms.

This set is another of the gifts from convention, and it's much more my style. The card layout was inspired by Amy Westerman, who took the joy fold layout and turned it on its head. Genius!

It's pretty straightforward really, but I wanted you to see the different elements at work. The three flowers on either side of the front panel are actually one stamp. This really helps with alignment. The center flower is the largest flower from the set, and the detail just makes me think of Hawaii every time I look at it. I'm going back to Maui someday, I swear!

The branch, which I used to make a background paper with, is also part of the set. I used it on this project in Whisper White Craft ink, but this time you can see what it looks like when it's in full color. The interior message is from a retired set, but I thought it fit with the flower theme well, and it communicated what I wanted for the recipient.

I was happy that I had success with the scallop edge punch this go around. I used the 1/8" hole in the Crop-a-dile, set to a depth of 1/2" and eyeballed the center of each scallop in order to create the design you see on the Chocolate Chip card stock. There are 2 pieces of retired Afternoon Tea DP peeking out as well.

Here are a few other pictures that I thought you might want to see. The first is of the curtains in the master bedroom. They add such a nice finishing touch, even if they don't serve to darken the room much. We decided that we could do without the venetian blinds, and it's so much cleaner looking.

I also received a package yesterday from the demonstrator who recruited me, Laura Barto. We had a hard time connecting during convention; 5700 women can do that, even when they're not trying! She had this for me while we were there, but couldn't get it to me, so she sent it. The notebook features the new Bella Rose Designer Series Paper, and a commemorative stamp that has SU!'s Statement of the Heart: to love what we do and share what we love, as we help others enjoy creativity and worthwhile this we make a difference!

She also included this beautiful card using Enjoy Every Moment. The flowers that embellish the "o" are from the 3-flower punch, and the flowers across the top of the Kraft card stock were wheeled on using the jumbo wheel Daisy Dash. If you like this look, you can purchase everything necessary to recreate it, because it's all in the new catalog.

Thanks for stopping by today! I'd love to get your feedback on what you're seeing here...don't be a lurker. Then we can't be blog friends!

I Know How to...

take something really simple and make it really hard. I laughed the other night when Bob said that it takes me 90 min. to make a card. I denied it! Well, there was an example online last night of a really cute, seemingly simple idea for a card using the new set, Flight of the Butterfly. I thought I'd start out my card making fest this morning with my interpretation of this example.

This turned into a much more complicated card the minute I decided to add more images. If one's good, three would be better, right? It's a simple concept--I can replicate it and make that much more of a WOW! WRONG! My version involved way more measuring and cutting than stamping, and precision cutting with an exacto knife at that.

When I finished cutting my first butterfly, it floated instead of being somehow magically still attached to the sides of the rectangle. Don't ask me how I didn't see that comin', but I didn't. That meant improvising, and that involved acetate.

I tried to be better with the remaining two images of adorable butterflies, but I thought it looked sad that they were imprisoned in their spaces. So I freed those 2 butterflies as well and spent more time than I have to cutting them just so and getting acetate in place for them to float on.

A sticky mess on the backside where I adhered said pieces necessitated the addition of an interior panel, and THEN I got the idea that they'd look good floating above the grass (introduce Inspired by Nature into this scenario).

I really am better at CASE'ing (Copy and Share Everything) others' work, so perhaps I should stick to that and not exasperate myself trying to improve upon something I already think is beautiful.

So, here's my card--at least 90 min. later. It was too stark without the bow, but I'm not sure how I feel about that either. Not everything turns out the way you think it will. Back to the crafting board...