Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mambo, Anyone?

As in Melon Mambo...This is one of the new InColors, and it's growing on me. I'm SO not a pink person, and this color reminds me of my sister's bridesmaids' dresses (as in watermelon), but still. Paired with Chocolate Chip and some retired felt ribbon (with the cream stitching colored MM, thanks to the new InColor Stampin' Write Marker in the same hue), it's stylin'.

I used Circle Circus and the sentiment from Great Friend, as well as the Scallop Circle Punch, the 1 3/8" Circle Punch, and the 1.25" Circle Punch. Alright, that's enough capitalization.

Thanks to Brooke for the inspiration. She's part of a 12-blog tour, all featuring stamps and accessories from the new 2009-2010 Big Idea Book & Catalog. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sweet Storage Reminiscent of Crayons...

The minute I saw this fabulous flip top box created by Kirstin Davies of, I knew I had to do whatever it would take to make one of my own. For the small price of $5 to purchase the tutorial, I had detailed, step-by-step instructions, complete with pictures, for 2 sizes of these great boxes. Think Crayola crayon box, but for cards!

The one I made is the smaller of the two versions she demonstrates how to construct, and it isn't really full with 9 cards in it! It uses 2-8.5" x 11" sheets of card stock, and it's quick and easy. The decorating was the part I lingered over, including a 30 min. experiment of creating the button closure, and it was a very relaxing, therapeutic venture.

The base is Baja Breeze (please bring it back, SU!), and the coordinating DSP is from A Walk in the Park, which I'd also love to see return.

I can't share the details of this creation here, but if you'd like to make this and some cards with some friends, I can make that happen. These will make great coworker, neighbor, teacher Christmas gifts. Why not get ahead of the holiday craziness and plan a time to get some of these socked away? You'll be glad you did and so will the friends you invite. Contact me for details.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Simple Card. Great Cause.

This Thursday, I'm heading down to one of our Atlanta Ronald McDonald Houses to host a night of card making for those in residence. I've been told there will be about 20 parents and kids who could choose to participate in this activity. I saw this card on Tessa Wise's blog and adapted it for kids who have fine motor skill issues. Since many won't find using scissors something fun to do, all they'll have to do is stamp the hearts on the squares, glue them down, and someone will help with the ribbon and the "i love you" sentiment (all stamps from retired Love Matters set). The card stock used for the 1 3/8" squares is Ballet Blue, Certainly Celery, So Saffron, and Pumpkin Pie. The base is Riding Hood Red. I love that I can put my just-retired InColors and some older ribbon to good use!

This is the card I'm bringing for the adults to make. It too uses retired InColor card stock, but these folks won't know and won't care! It also has just one color of ink used--Basic Black. This simplifies and expedites things, since the stamps won't have to be cleaned between uses. I've stamped the flower and the leaves so that all that will have to be done once the panels are stamped and the edge is punched is some cutting. I hope they'll like them!

Being able to encourage people through cards is the main reason I craft. Being able to invest some time in order to make a small difference in the day of someone who is in the midst of a trial I couldn't begin to imagine jazzes me so much!

There are many ways you can be involved at your local Ronald McDonald House. Find your area's house by clicking on the link. The house manager will be happy to inform you of volunteer opportunities available so that you can encourage these families during their time of need.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Another Day, Another Card...Don't Fall Over from the Shock!

This is a shameless CASE of a stunning card I saw and fell in love with on SCS. Her color combination just popped off the page; however, I didn't possess enough of said colors to recreate it exactly, so I chose three similar colors from the new InColor collection. These would be Bermuda Bay, Dusty Durango, and Crushed Curry. I added Old Olive for snicks.

The most interesting technique I used was for the "outline" of the butterflies. It's called bouncing, and uses the brush tip of the Stampin' Write Marker, in this case DD, and it is tapped along the edge all the way around the image after it was inked in CC. Such a cool effect and so easy!

I'm off to TN today to attend the fundraiser dinner for Amazima Ministries Int'l (see icon/link in sidebar). The founder's mom ordered an 8"x10" version of the invitation as a keepsake, so that'll be fun to present to her! Perhaps I'll have pics and a report when I return Saturday.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Rose by Any Other Name...

There's a technique that's wildly popular in stamping blogland right now, and it's called watercoloring with reinkers. Basically, you stamp a line art image that lots of white space, emboss it, spritz it heavily with water, and color it using reinker ink and an aquapainter.

This card was made using this technique, which I thank Crystal French and Patty Bennett for making famous. The most important ingredient, besides adequate water, is Shimmery White card stock, which I finally remembered to order (after forgetting at least 3 times in the past 2 months!). There's a great tutorial that Patty has posted, and I won't attempt to reinvent the wheel. The only caveat I would make is that you need to have pooling water and be patient as you add color to get the depth you want. I'm going to work with my stampers on Sunday with it, so it'll truly be learning together.

This is a gate fold, which is always hard to photograph because it has to be held closed! Pardon my fingers...See my archive for the scoring specifics. The color scheme is Real Red, Only Orange, and Summer Sun with Whisper White card stock.

I'm supremely pooped from two huge weeks at work, so thanks for your patience in the days that have passed between posts. I value you and love it when you comment.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Simple Is Best...and Fast!

Hey all! I'm tuckered out from a 35-hour week at Starbucks. I know; some of you work that plus 5 every week. You do not, most likely, work in the food service industry. It's a WORKOUT! Normally, I work around 25 hours, but with 3 partners out this week, there were more than enough hours to go around! I have a sore knee and I've had to wear my arm brace to combat the inflammation of my cubital tunnel syndrome (carpel tunnel of the elbow, for those who care). But, I survived, and to treat myself, I wanted to stamp!

The card was inspired by this layout at Clean and Simple Stamping. This blog specializes in layouts, and it's great when someone else volunteers to do the thinking for you! Vicki from It's A Stamp Thing made a card using this layout, and attached a link, so thanks, Vicki!

I used the sweet circle flower stamp from Flower Power to create the focal images. I paired Pretty in Pink with Soft Suede. It's a yummy combo! I can't tell you how happy I am that SU! finally manufactured Stampin' Write Markers for the InColor collection! They're fantastic for small images.

The circles are 1" and 1.25". I created a 2.75" x 4" template from cardboard, rounded the corners, and traced around it to create the border. "Best Wishes" is from the Level 3 Hostess Set Kind & Caring Thoughts.

One of my stampers requested birthday cards, so this is for next Sunday's SAS. The little detail in the middle of the center flower is a clear 3/8" button tied with linen thread and mounted with a glue dot. To save time, I think I'll tie these ahead of time for my friends, since some are intimidated by bows--you know who you are! :-)

After the week I've had, I'm going to finish this day reading, relaxng, (okay, doing a little laundry--we have to have clothes!), and letting my dear husband cook. If you don't live local, but would like the cards featured in this month's SAS, I can mail you all the pieces-parts; all you have to provide is the stamps. The cost is $25 for 10 cards/envelopes or $12 for 5 cards/envelopes, plus the cost of postage.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Kind and Caring Garden

As you know, the new catalog has debuted, and one of the coolest benefits of being a demonstrator is getting to pre-order items so that I have samples of new stuff to show you.

We are always allowed to purchase a Hostess set, and this time around one of those available was Kind & Caring Thoughts. It is a gorgeous Level 3 set with 12 stamps. Not only does it have nice images, it has a FANTASTIC array of sentiments. I'm all about good sentiments, and if the set has Kristina Werner's handwriting in it, all the better!

This afternoon I wanted to make a card just for the sake of making something. No agenda, no occasion. Just creating for the fun of it. Several months ago I saw a color combination and loved its crisp, bold look. I can't remember any more about it than that it used Brilliant Blue, Green Galore, and Whisper White.

I had scraps of these colors sitting on my desk already, so I pulled out my new set and went at it. I also pulled out one of my favorites, retired Garden Silhouettes, since I knew it would coordinate so nicely with one of the main images I wanted to use--the gingko branch. (At least that's what I think it is; if you have horticultural knowledge I should have, please share.)

The other color I was going to use was Tempting Turquoise. But then I thought about Bermuda Bay, one of the new InColors, and wondered what it might look like with the others. I did a sample stamping and liked the BB better. I used my 1 3/8" square punch with the GG, cut 4 1.25" squares in WW, and the strip of BB is 1.75" x 6.5".

Besides adding a random length of WW 1/4" grosgrain that I had laying around, the final piece that completes this card is the sentiment. Isn't that an amazingly wonderful sentence to have in stamp form to be able to send to a friend?!? I think so. Double click on the photo of the set at the top of the post to be able to read all 6 of the sentiments. It's a great set.

How can you get your hands on this set? You have three options:

1)You can host a class for your friends and neighbors where I'll teach everyone how to make beauties like this with their own two hands.

2)You can host a catalog order party, where you show your friends, neighbors, Sunday School classmates, the local barista at your favorite coffee shop, and your work colleagues the new Big Idea Book & Catalog and take orders from them for what they want to purchase.


3)You can place an order yourself for merchandise totaling $500. With all the amazing new creations in this catalog, it wouldn't be too hard to do! I'd love to help you get your hands on this set. Let's talk!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Big Shot Bag on Sale!

I told you that every week in July SU! would place a special product on sale. This week's item is the Big Shot Bag, a cute houndstooth bag that holds all kinds of stuff, including the Sizzix Big Shot die cutting machine.

Click my "24 Hour Shop Online" icon in the upper right corner, and enter product number 113474 when you get to the online site, and you'll save $20!

I am working a 35 hour week at Starbucks starting tomorrow, so posts may be few and far between. Just know I'm thinking of you and hoping you're going to join me for stamping at my house on July 19! The deadline to RSVP for this month's SAS is this Friday, July 10.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My "I Don't Hate My Scallop Edge Punch Anymore" Card

I've been seeing this layered frame on blog after blog after blog, but every time I would try to make my own, something would go awry. I got so frustrated that I shelved my scallop edge punch, banishing it for making me look bad.

Enter Nancy Riley. Here she comes to save the day! The mystery is solved, and I am no longer punishing said punch. All I have to say is, "Accurate measurements work wonders."

The other stamper I have to thank for this card is Lisa Somerville, of Splendiferous Creations, who showcased a great card using a new color combination: Basic Black, Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Going Gray, and Whisper White. I wish I'd come up with such a cool name for my blog. "Splendiferous" is one of my favorite words! It is in the dictionary, in case you were about to challenge my Scrabble triple word score. Sorry, I digressed...I'm a word person, and I'm easily distracted.

So, this is about the loudest card I have ever made, but I think it's pretty classy. In case you're too engrossed in my writing to have followed the above link, the Bermuda Bay frame starts as a piece of 2.75" square card stock and is punched on each side. The procedure is repeated on the CC 2 5/8" square, with the resulting layered look. The Basic Black square in the middle is 1.75" square, and the sentiment square with the cute cupcake from Party Hearty is 1 5/8" square. I'm not sure about this piece of the card--is it too casual for everything else going on?

I struggled with this main focal image for at least 45 min., turning it this way and that, putting layers under it vertically and horizontally. The creative process is WORK, peeps! It finally occurred to me to create the little borders on the top and bottom, using BB and the 3/8" Basic Gray taffeta ribbon. Voila!

If you have been wondering if you should purchase a scallop edge punch, hopefully you have been swayed by this post. If so, your timing is excellentamundo (not a M-W dictionary approved word), as SU! has said punch on sale 30% off until 10am (MT) tomrrow, July 5. Click on my "24 Hour Online Shopping" icon in the upper right and you can have said punch as soon as you can say, "CHARGE IT!" Today's our country's birthday--a little present to yourself would be a way of celebrating, don't you think?

Happy 4th!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Catalog Debuts and Already There's a SALE!

Hey y'all...I've been absent for awhile because it's summer and I've been enjoying life! I've been:
1)practicing to be an "empty nester" with #1 son away at a high school retreat for 5 days
2)enjoying the time alone with my man and
3)walking with some of my dear regulars at Starbucks who are dealing with the deaths of loved ones.
I know that's a downer way to begin, but I'm just keepin' it real, and life isn't always rosey, even in blogland.

While I was away, the new 2009-2010 Big Idea Book & Catalog debuted on the 1st, and there are so many lovely new things, it's hard to know where to begin to list them all.

There are:
--sets with coordinating papers for creating amazingly beautiful wedding invitations
--stamps with robots, aliens, a pheasant, and farm animals
--Stampin' Write MARKERS for the InColor Collection
--some really cute party kits for pirates and princesses having birthday parties
--a photo card kit for Christmas
and so much more I don't have space to list!

You can go online and view everything by clicking on the "24 Hour Online Shopping" icon in the upper right corner of this blog or you can get your hands on a catalog by letting me know you'd like one! Leave a comment or send me an email (see my profile for the address) or come to a class and I'll make sure you have a copy for oogling, dogearing, and highlighting!

To incent you even further to shop this month(and who really needs much nudging?), SU! is having a sale EVERY WEEK until August 1! The scallop edge punch, which I used to create one of the sympathy cards I needed this week, is 30% off! Just shop online and enter product code 112091, and the punch is $10.99 instead of $15.95. This offer is only good through 9:50 am (MT) July 6, so don't dilly dally! The next Deal of the Week will debut July 6 at 10am, and there are a total of 5 specials, so stay tuned to this blog for all the deets!

Here's the card I made Monday night after hearing that one of my customer-friends had received word that her brother had died. She's a daily regular, so we know her well, and all the partners will sign this. I used Basic Grey as my base, layered with some retired Urban Garden DSP, and kept it simple, creating a little scallop edge border in Basic Black for the sentiment. This layout was designed by Julee Tilman. I got the idea to flip it from Nancy Riley. Thanks, Nanc!

The sentiment is from God's Blessings (product code 114972) and is a great mix of 8 messages for everything occasion, including sympathy. I used the recently retired Wonderful You as the background images. The simple white 1/4" grosgrain completes the look. Oh! I almost forgot...the "just because we care" oval isn't just 1 stamp. It's a retired Hostess set that really reads "just because I care", but I masked out the "i" and stamped "we" from another stamp.

Take some time to think about how you're going to get your hands on or feast your eyes on this new catalog! I have a Stamp-A-Stack coming up July 19 at my house, and you can paw through it when you attend, or I can put one in the mail to you. You could also earn lots of the cool new stuff FREE if you host a class and invite your friends to learn how to create beautiful handcrafted cards like I post here regularly. Or, click on the icon in the upper right and shop to your heart's content!

Happy 4th! Enjoy the weekend!