Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Circle Tagged and Something Scrunchy

If that doesn't make you pop over from your Google Reader or RSS feed, I don't know what will! Yesterday my Stampin' Success magazine came, and it featured a 3" x 3" card using Circle Circus. The unique embellishment, accessory, element, whatever you want to call it that it included was a metal edge circle tag. A light went on in my head--"I have some of those!"

I went to my craft room, played for awhile, and this is the result. I made myself use the new InColors because I knew if I didn't, I probably wouldn't, and I want to like them. I made it easy on myself and chose the three Earth Elements colors of Crushed Curry, Soft Suede, and Dusty Durango. The CC is really good in small doses, I think, because it's a pretty green yellow. The SS is yummy, and also has a bit of a green tinge to it. I think it's my favorite so far. DD looks like Really Rust to me.

I stamped the largest circle with the flowers directly onto the tag, which has a vellum center just for this purpose. It didn't jazz me, though. So I repeated the inking with DD and stamped it on Whisper White card stock this time. Then I stamped the largest flower on the circle again and colored it with CC and colored another flower on the circle in SS. I cut out the CC flower and popped it up on stampin' dimensionals.

Then I looked around my desk for something to coordinate with this focal image. I have some dotted printed window sheets--which are carrying over from the Occasions Mini to the new catalog!--and thought that that would do nicely! The card size is 2 7/8" x 11", so although I could've used an entire sheet, I just didn't want to overwhelm the design with this element. I cut it in half, and that was just the right amount of visual interest that didn't compete with the focal image.

One of the newest fads in ribbon use is a sort of shabby chic look that's a messy pleat that's sewn onto the card. I don't have the InColor ribbon yet--it's a cool thing this time around; dotted on one side and solid on the other!--so I tried my hand at replicating the look using card stock. It was a little trickier than I anticipated and came out looking more scrunchy than pleated, but I'm pleased with how it turned out, and it's fun to look at AND fun to feel! The card stock used was CC, and the strip was just .25" wide. I achieved this look by folding, very randomly and not all that successfully, and then going back and putting mono adhesive on the back to make the pleats stick to each other. I secured the strip with glue dots.

The sentiment is stamped in SS on DD, a second strip only .25" wide. It's from God's Blessings, and I used the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig to create the sentence and to selectively edit the original message (to fit the space constraints).

What do you think of these new colors? I know you're probably getting tired of this set, but it's all I have from the new catalog, and I also want you to see how many ways you can make one set work! Am I succeeding? Hope so...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

New Stamps, Soon-To-Be Old Colors

The 2008-2009 InColor Collection is about to be history, and I still have plenty of card stock and ink. I was asked to make a card for a friend who is under a lot of stress because of the care she's providing to her mother who's dying of lung cancer and is living with her and her family.

The card is supposed to be encouraging, so I went with Pacific Point card stock and the bolder colors of Riding Hood Red and Tangerine Tango to create a cheerful look, and supplemented those with Kiwi Kiss and Baja Breeze. I've really enjoyed working with this palette, and I know already that the new InColors are going to have to grow on me before I'll use them as readily as I've used these.

The layout for this card was inspired by a card I saw by Lorri Heiling. She was kind enough to send me the measurements so I could craft something of my own instead of just admire hers! She calls it a "gate fold" and here they the specs: 4.25" x 11". Score at 2", 3.75", 7.25" and 9". Thanks, Lorri!

The sentiment is on the outside of this card because the friend who requested it wants it to be signed by a group. To me, that meant I needed to leave lots of interior white space for messages. There are two panels that are not shown in the photo, besides the center square, so I think this will be sufficient space.

Just for the record, this sentiment is from Gratitude, a set I picked up 3 years ago and is my "go to" message for encouraging someone. It's stamped in RHR.

Hope you're enjoying a quiet Sunday. Since my husband and Dad read my blog from time to time, I want to say "Happy Father's Day" and sorry for forgetting to post a card in time!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Customized Birthday Wish

My twin nieces are turning 4 this weekend, and there are two very cute little jean jackets on their way in the mail to them as we speak. Also included in said package is their birthday card. This isn't just any birthday card, and the reason why it's special is one of the things I like best about stamping my greeting cards--personalizing.

The twins' names are Rachyl and Cydney. With these unique spellings, they'll never find their names on the keychains or bicycle license plates or bracelets in Claire's Boutique. Because of this, I've made it my goal to create cards for them that have their names on them.

This year was no exception. I used my jumbo outline alphabet, which I believe is retired, and stamped it on some of my favorite ever DSP, a pattern from SAB three years ago that I know is retired. It took awhile to cut out all the letters, but I love the look against the Regal Rose card stock.

The interior came to me as I was finishing , and I'm tickled with it! I used the sentiments from also-retired (do you sense a theme here?) Birthday Whimsy to create an exclamation point. Sometimes your mind will do things that surprise you, if you just give it room to breathe. This was stamped in RR and Close to Cocoa.

If you have someone in your life who ha a unique name, or who has a keepsake-worthy occasion, consider personalizing. You'll be remembered long after the event has passed!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Continuing Creations with Circle Circus

Remember those 6 circles of In Colors that I showed you yesterday? Well, I couldn't just leave them to languish on my desk! I wanted to play with my only set from the forthcoming 2009-2010 Idea Book & Catalog, so I gathered those circles and began to think.

As I shared, there are a variety of sizes of patterned circles in this set, so I went back to the one I used yesterday. No dice. It doesn't fit inside the dotted circle. The next one I grabbed worked, so I stamped it 6 times and cut it out. The pattern on this stamp reminds me of a pattern in Kristina Werner's now-retired DSP Haiku, and there's a second stamp in the set with this icon in smaller relief.

I thought about creating a background using the second stamp, so that the icon that's in the focal images would be repeated, subtly, on the card base. I seem to be stuck in this mode of wanting to use this set in non-traditional ways! When I finished stamping the base, there were holes, so I cut out four circles and used them as masks to fill in those gaps.

Once that was done, I needed to figure out a sentiment. I inked only a portion of the focal image stamp in Basic Black so that I could fit something in the center. It was too small on its own, so I created a black circle to mimic the others.

The new catalog is coming July 1, and I'm looking for interested hostesses to have classes with friends, neighbors, work colleagues...Be the first to see and use what's new!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Creating with Circles...a Sneak Peek!

I have a thing for circles. I like the patterns they create, and I like combining different sizes of them--just look at my blog header if you need any confirmation of this fact.

So it should be no surprise that I chose a set called Circle Circus from the 2009-2010 Idea Book & Catalog preorder that was made available to demonstrators on the 1st. The circles above are of the new In Color Collection, and here are the names of the six (from top left): Rich Razzleberry, Bermuda Bay, Soft Suede, Melon Mambo, Crushed Curry, and Dusty Durango. These will be available, ALONG WITH COORDINATING STAMPIN' WRITE MARKERS, July 1. Woot!

Circle Circus has 10 different circle patterns in a variety of sizes, but there were two I was drawn to immediately. The interlocking circle was the one I inked first; I wanted to see if I could make a pattern with it. It turned out I couldn't--at least not without a lot of work with the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig (SAMJ). I was too antsy to do all that, so I started just stamping and cutting. This one can be punched out with the 1.25" circle punch, and I did that. But I was wanting to see what more this set could offer than strictly circles...and I found a flower among these circles. You'll see it in a minute if you don't already.

This is the other circle I found intriguing. I created a circular background pattern using a Papertrey Ink (PTI) set awhile back, and I wanted to see if I could produce something similar. I did a practice run using retiring Tangerine Tango, and I liked it! So I pulled out my Basic Black classic ink pad and the SAMJ and recreated what I'd just made. I colored the eye-shaped spot created by the intersecting circles with the new markers. What a treat! Such an improvement from reinkers and blender pens.

Combine these two, and this is the result. I love the modern look, and the circle "flowers" really pop when placed with Stampin' Dimensionals. The sentiment is from Flight of the Butterfly.

As fast as this month is going by, July 1 will be here before you know it, and you'll be able to see the whole catalog and its goodies! Let me know what you think of this set and the new colors.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

CASE'ing: Sometimes You Can't Improve On Someone's Design

Nancy Riley posts her iPicks each week, and this week was a stunning collection of great cards. Because I want to prove to you that it's not necessary to reinvent the wheel, I'm going to show you a CASE (Copy And Share Everything) of a card I saw on Christine's blog, Christine's Creations.

In case you haven't been following the direction I've been going the past couple of posts, I'm featuring stamp sets and accessories that are on the Last Chance List. This means they're not going to be available after June 30, and I want you to know so that you can get them before it's too late!

Doodle This is one of said sets. It has been a great one. You can check the labels sidebar to see the cards I've made with it and the Stampin' Wheel that goes with it. If something this good is retiring, I can't wait to see what new is coming!

Christine's card featured three of the retiring InColors, Riding Hood Red, Tangerine Tango, and Kiwi Kiss. She paired these with Basic Black for a stunning card with lots of visual interest. At first, I tried to use another trio of InColors, but I gave up that and went with what obviously worked! Using BB is new for me, but I really liked how this looked in Christine's card, so I incorporated it into mine as well.

I did two things to change this up a bit: I turned the design so that the card was oriented horizontally instead of vertically. Although she didn't say, I'm guessing that her design is from SCS's Sketch Challenge 231. This week's hostess didn't provide measurements, but my card is 4.25" x 11" and each panel is 1 1/8" x 5". The BB panel is 4" x 5.25" and was punched with the spiral punch.

I laid all the panels side by side and stamped the largest spray stamp three times across them. I also added Pink Pirouette to this color scheme with the small flower and the "hello" tag. I left off the ribbon Christine had, but other than that, it's a pretty close CASE.

I decorated the interior of the card using the large flower and the swirly doodle. I'll probably use the wheel on the envelope when I get around to sending it.

If you want this set, just click on the "shop online" icon in the upper right corner and identify me, Jenn Nahrstadt, as your demonstrator when you place your order. It'll come right to your door! Don't forget--this set is gone forever June 30. Don't wait!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunshiny Day with Sunshine Garden Simply Scrappin'

It was a beautiful, summer-like day here, so I celebrated by making another shutter fold card using elements from the Sunshine Garden Simply Scrappin' Kit. This kit is not going to be available after the end of the month, so I wanted to make use of the supplies in my Stamp-A-Stack coming up this Saturday.

This fold is so cool and gives you so many areas to stamp, write in, and embellish! It's hard to know where to start, but the large flower and stylish stem seemed good for the front panel. The base is Baja Breeze. Oh how I will miss this color when July rolls around! I've heard rumor that some of the InColors may make a return appearance, which would be amazing. We'll just have to wait and see.

The Simply Scrappin' Kit doesn't come with any sentiments, so I used another one on the Last Chance List, Absolutely Fabulous. I stamped the entire phrase on my Stamp-A-Ma-Jig, then colored each word individually and stamped them vertically to accommodate the small space I had. The back panel was left blank so that I could write a note there. The rest of what you see is stickers that come in the kit.

Unfortunately, this kit has already sold out, so if you like what you see, let me know and I'll make a deal with anyone interested with what I have left after my SAS. If you leave a comment regarding this, be sure your profile allows me to see your email address so that I can contact you.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cash Always Works...

Here's another card for Father's Day. I CASE'd this from Lorri Heiling at Confessions of a Stamping Addict. I don't know if this idea originated with her or not, but I want to give her credit because she's the first one I found who supplied detailed measurements. Thanks, Lorri!

This is straightforward and much easier than it looks. That's always good, right? I think it's a good facsimile of the real thing, and would be fun to fill. I'm not going to repeat all of Lorri's measurements, except to add that I made a bit smaller because I was having a brain freeze and didn't realize that I had card stock that was 9" long--HELLO! Anyway, go with her measurements and it'll all work out just fine.

I used Sahara Sand card stock and swiped the same colored classic ink pad over the surface to achieve a weathered look that might look like leather if you squint. I also used my Mat Pack piercing set and created the appearance of faux stitching around the edges. As you can see, this has 4 pockets that will hold gift cards, as well as a long pocket that will hold real bills. I think this could be made even more meaningful for dear old dad if the kids made "gift cards" good for hugs, mowing the grass, washing the car or just a little note saying how much he is loved and appreciated.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Warm Place to Rest My Soul...

Since I've started hosting Stamp-A-Stacks, I've struggled with the Father's Day card I wanted to create for the June class. The biggest hurdle for me has been that every Father's Day set that SU! has published hasn't fit my honey or my father AT ALL. This year's version in the Occasions Mini was a pun-oriented set, and selections from the main catalog have included tool sets, old cars, and fishermen. Okay, that one would fit my honey and my FIL, but it didn't come with any sentiments! So, I've avoided purchasing any of these and put myself in a bind for three years running.

I persevere, though, because I know there's something that will work. What I found this year is actually the rediscovery of a technique I learned in 2007 and deployed first in the form of a baseball bat card for my nephew Drew. It's called woodgraining, and has been used to create this faux hardwood floor.

Woodgraining is a simple technique with big WOW. Simply choose a color of card stock (mine for the card is More Mustard; it was So Saffron for the baseball bat), drag one or more classic ink pads over it, and a "grain" pattern that simulates wood is created. The inks I used for the floorboards were Really Rust, Ruby Red, and Chocolate Chip. On the bat, I used Creamy Caramel. Some crafters even streak the card stock with Whisper White craft ink before using the darker colors. I tried this, but didn't like it as well.

The "planks" were created by scoring the card stock at 1" increments and then going back and inserting perpendicular lines. The "nails" are pewter brads.

Now to the focal image. It's supposed to be a rug on the floor. Did I succeed or not? I hope so! The interior of my Father's Day card is going to say something like, "Thanks for being a warm place to rest my soul." Corny? Probably, but I know my dad will like it. The card the gals make at SAS will be blank inside so that they can write whatever they want to their fathers.

Well, it was a bit rainy here this morning, and my dogs are now muddy. This means I need to go give them a quick bath with the hose. "You play, you pay" is my saying! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Technique=Renewed Desire to Create!

It's amazing how little it takes to get me excited these days. I received an email this morning from Gina K. Designs and StampTV, alerting me to a new video Gina had posted. She featured a technique with pastel chalks, and after watching it, I was excited to try it.

I went into my craft room and saw the postcard I'd used to jot down the color combinations I'd seen in the House Beautiful magazine and hadn't been able to translate into a card, and suddenly I had what I needed to be successful!

One of the things that gives you a good indication about the versatility of a stamp set is how many times you reach for it, regardless of the technique you're using. Such is the case with Wonderful You. A quick count of the files I have in my Picasa account, I have made at least 6 different cards with this set, and it's just right for this card too. Since this month is your LAST CHANCE to get this set before it's GONE FOREVER, I also thought it would be a good choice.

The video for this technique, which she calls "pullin' pastels", can be found here, so feel free to take a few minutes and watch it before you come back and see my finished card.

Is that easy or what? I just chose three coordinating chalk colors, in this case Taken with Teal, Tempting Turquoise, and Whisper White, and applied them in a random pattern to Kraft card stock using daubers. The white one looks blue because I used it to blend all the colors better before stamping.

Well, it's stamping, but it's not. I inked up my solid image flower and leaves stamps with Versamark, and when I stamped each one and removed it, the chalk was pulled off the card stock. Way cool, way fast, and way beautiful results!

The base is Very Vanilla, and it's just a 4.25" x 5.5" piece, so this is more of a postcard kind of card. The layers are made with Taken with Teal and Very Vanilla and Kraft. Just before I placed the layers, I remembered that the Taste of Textiles pack had some striped Kraft. I got that out and held it up for approval, but then I saw the dotted vellum! AHA! Its dots are done in Not Quite Navy, which is also a coordinating color with Taken with Teal. In fact, when placed against the VV base, they almost look more teal than navy. Marvelous, dontcha think?!

This card is going to be one of those we make at this month's Stamp-A-Stack, and there's still time to RSVP. Just let me know by Friday if you can attend. Interested, but don't live in GA? We can do this by mail, so leave a comment or click on my profile to access my email if you're interested. If you leave a comment, please be sure your profile has an email address listed, or I can't contact you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mojo...by Mail

I know I reported several days ago that I had no desire to create. Well, some of you must've said prayers or something, because I was able to create a card today, and this innocuous envelope, besides delivering my son's last middle school report card and standardized test scores, brought some mojo back to my stamping. I know that seems highly unlikely, but remember, things were a bit dire.

It all began as I opened said envelope, and a really cool pattern emerged. Okay, so it was the security pattern, but still! I'd never thought about how it might serve as a form of patterned paper before, and I bet you haven't either.

I opened it carefully, read the contents, and put it on my craft table and went to work. When I arrived home, I wasn't feeling like doing any cleaning (doing SO much of that at work each shift), so I wandered into the craft room to see what might happen. Sometimes putting yourself in the environment with the right frame of mind produces results. This can happen in the kitchen too when you're feeling uninspired about dinner, but that's another story and it usually happens to my husband Bob, not to me.

I loved that long, narrow rounded opening, so I cut away the flaps that made the envelope and tried to peel the plastic covering from said space. No go, so I cut it away with scissors.

Since I learned today that Wonderful You is retiring, I pulled it out to see what could be done to fill that rectangle. I stamped sample leaves with Brocade Blue and Ballet Blue before landing on Bashful Blue as the best match to the pattern. Then, before stamping on the envelope, i tested it on a part I'd cut off, to see how it would look. It really was cool, so I stamped randomly all over it.

The envelope is a bit narrower than 5.5" wide, which is my card size, so I added a strip of Brilliant Blue to add some more color to the pallette. Since I have a thing for blue and orange together, I added a strip of Tangerine Tango to this. Then I used these colors for the flower, going direct to rubber with a BB Stampin' Write Marker and a blender pen and TT reinker. Old Olive is on the stem.

I chose the sentiments from long-ago retired Love Matters, because I wanted something other than the set offered, and it needed to be small. These were stamped in Bashful Blue in two steps so that it would fit inside the space.

I'm quite pleased with the finished product and will be on the lookout for more of these envelopes to arrive among the junk mail that usually stuffs my box. In fact, I have another piece of mail that came over the weekend that has potential. We'll see what I can come up with using that.

Don't forget that this awesome set is retiring, and you'll have until the end of the month to get it. See Monday's post for more details...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Last Chance List Published--It All Goes Away June 30

Hey stampers! SU! has just released the lists of items--stamps, DSP, accessories, etc.--that will be retired June 30. ACT NOW to insure you get what you want before it's GONE!

Follow this link to see both lists. DON'T WAIT, or you'll be sorry!