Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Crafting a Goodbye

My friend Sara died Saturday evening after a long battle with Akylosing Spondylitis. I struggle to put into words the impact her life had on me. Sara and I did not have a regular friendship. We knew each other through her blog, Choose Joy.

I know it sounds weird to say you're friends with someone you only know through an online community. But Sara was.not.ordinary. Whenever I connected with her, whether it was through exchanged comments on a post or an email or a card, she was able to infuse JOY, selfless JOY into my day. She was transparent about her challenges, but she refused to be defined by her illness or let the disease steal from her the JOY God had to provide her with through each day's moments.

A quote by Henry David Thoreau describes what she accomplished in her life: "To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts." That is what Sara did. By the attitude she chose, moment-by-pain-filled moment (that stretched on for hours and days at a time), and her artful, thoughtful sharing of that outlook on life through her words, she altered the course of my days many times. She elevated life from a focus on circumstances to a meditation on the person of Jesus. I will never be the same.

I made this card using a video tutorial by Wendybell. I've embedded the video link so you can watch how this is made. It's really quite simple and it's beautiful and unique.

I like that it hides the message you'd like to send in a pocket of sorts, and that the flap tucks into the diamond square in the front to keep it closed. For another occasion, I think it would make an excellent invitation. I really hope the family finds some small bit of comfort from it. It's what I found to do to share in the grief of a large community of people who loved Sara. Oh that my life will leave such a legacy.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I know you're probably focused on the fact that this weekend is Fourth of July, but in SU!land, another reason to celebrate is the launch of the new 2011-2012 Big Idea Book and Catalog!!

I've included a link on my sidebar so that you can peruse it online, but if you want to get your hands on a copy, just let me know by leaving me a comment. I've been poring over it for days and I still haven't decided which new stamp sets I'm going to purchase first. There are 84 NEW stamp sets!

There's also a NEW Hostess Program! The chart shows you the deal: starting with a $150 order or workshop total, you get $25 to spend AS YOU WISH! Now you can spend those dollars on specially priced Hostess sets, and there are no levels so you can choose any set you want! If you don't favor any of the Hostess sets, you can use your money toward anything you want! And the money you have to spend increases with every $50 additional dollars that your order/workshop tallies!

When you get to $400, you get $65 PLUS you get to choose 1 item and only pay HALF PRICE for it! Been eyeing that Big Shot diecut machine or a set of Stampin' Write Markers? You can get it HALF PRICE--sweet, huh!

There are also five NEW colors for the InColor Collection debuting with this catalog. Pool Party, Island Indigo, Lucky Limeade, Calypso Coral, and Wisteria Wonder are beautiful--the picture of the stamp pads doesn't really do them justice!

The greatest thing about the InColor Collection is that the InColors from last year's catalog DIDN'T RETIRE!! InColors are now on a 2-year rotation, and there is word from SU! that some might be incorporated into the permanent color families when their time as ICs concludes. That's FANTASTIC news because now you don't have to be hesitant about adding these to your crafting color options! There are classic stamp pads and refills, adorable ruffled ribbon, card stock in 8.5"x11" and 12"x12" (smooth and textured), patterned Designer Series Paper, Markers, and brads for these colors. WOW! That's a lot of crafting options for something that's "limited edition".

I hope you're as excited as I am about this event this weekend! Don't let the lazy days of summer get away from you. If you schedule a get-together with your friends and let me introduce them to all this fabulous NEWness and your workshop order total $150 or more, I'll GIVE you a stamp pad or a pack of 8.5" x 11" card stock from the new InColor Collection! This is only available for the first 5 people who contact me, so don't overthink this and miss out! You can host a catalog show if you don't live near me. Let me know you're interested and I'll give you all the details.

I have dates available this month and before school starts, so don't delay--book today!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summertime, and the Living is Easy

Hey Stampers! No, I haven't fallen off the planet. I've just been enjoying the relaxed routine of summer. My son finished his sophomore year of high school the week before Memorial Day, and so we've been in that mode since. Hope you have been enjoying some R&R too.

I saw a telescoping card online and decided I wanted to put my own twist on it. It was created by Lisa Zwolanek, and I think it's such a unique, yet EASY card to make. It'll really make someone's day, I just know it.

As you can see, it starts out as a pile of concentric circles. My card has 5 layers and the layers are attached using brads. This allows them to swivel as they open, and it's just so cool!

I used 3 circle dies for the Big Shot--the 3.5", the 3", and the Circles #2 plate, which has 4 sizes--2", 1.75", 1.5", and 1". I used the 2.5" circle punch as well. That's a LOT of circles, but trust me, it's just a matter of layering card stock to get the number of circles you need in the colors you want. If you don't have a Big Shot, you could trace circles or use a smaller set of graduating circle punches to achieve the same effect.

Once I had my circles cut out, I chose the Circle Circus stamp set, in keeping with the card's obvious theme! It allowed me to create some backgrounds for the words I chose, which are from Best Yet (retired). I used the current InColor collection for the card stock and the inks, and I'm looking forward to recreating this in the NEW InColors, which premiere July 1 when the 2011-2012 Big Idea Book & Catalog becomes available for ordering.

Click here to shop online.

If you'd like to get your hands on a new catalog, just leave me a comment and we'll connect! Even though you can't order from it until July 1, I can get it to you NOW! Isn't that great!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sail Away Father's Day

As I shared with you yesterday, the new Sail Away a la carte stamp in the Summer Mini is a great investment for masculine birthday cards. I'm also enjoying using it to create Father's Day cards.

My dad has always been intrigued by sailboats and old ships with masts, although he's not a waterbug at all. For years, there has been a picture of a boat called the James Arnold, coincidentally my father's name!, hanging in my parent's home, and until a recent move, a large model of a ship with several sails was displayed on the fireplace mantle.

My father-in-law is the one responsible for instilling a love of the water in my husband. From the time my husband was in elementary school until the present, summer weekends have been equated with Lake Puckaway in Wisconsin, and Lake Puckaway has been equated with boating. So I know both my fathers will appreciate this image this Father's Day.

I followed the lead of a card I saw on Stampin' Connection, a private gallery for SU! demonstrators (you could join my team and get access to thousands of great card ideas--ask me how!), and stamped the image with Whisper White craft ink and embossed it on Not Quite Navy card stock with white embossing powder. Then I cut a matting of Cherry Cobbler card stock and planned to mount all that on Whisper White card stock. Then I started playing around with incorporating the Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine into the design, and I framed the image with it! The whole thing was too stark on the Whisper White, so I pulled out some Sahara Sand card stock for a base and it all came together.

The sentiment is from another new set in the Summer Mini called Best Dad Ever. It has 4 sentiments in masculine fonts--FINALLY!--including Happy Father's Day. There is also an image of ties; poor dads, they get ties most of the time for this holiday, don't they? I bought the set for the sentiments, and for $14.95 for clear-mount, it's a great deal!

Rmember that you can shop online by clicking on the Shop Onlie 24/7 button on the sidebar. Click on the picture of the Summer Mini to view it online too!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sailing Birthday Card

My brother-in-law LOVES being on the water. He moved from the suburbs of Chicago to Madison for two reasons: 1) it's only 30 min. from the family's summer lake compound, and 2) there are 2 lakes IN TOWN! Fishing, wakeboarding, skiing, jet skiing, ice fishing, and canoeing all bring Rick into his element.

So, when I saw this a la carte stamp, Sail Away, in the Summer Mini catalog, I knew it was just what I was going to use to make him a great birthday card. Be on the lookout for a fantastic Father's Day card I made using this too, because this stamp is wonderfully versatile! And it's only $9.95. LOVE THAT!

The image was stamped on Crumb Cake using Early Espresso classic ink. Then I stamped it again on a scrap of Whisper White card stock and cut out the sails. I popped them up with Stampin' Dimensionals to create a little more visual interest. I copied a card layout from the Stampin' Success magazine, a publication for demonstrators that is full of previews of upcoming stamps and such. I layered Cherry Cobbler and Baja Breeze, tearing those edges too.

Then I was faced with the question of where to place the sentiment. I tried it across the bottom third, but I didn't like it. What I did like there is this new Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine, which I threaded through the seam of the card by creating holes using my Piercing Tool and Mat Pack and threaded the twine through the holes using an embroidery needle.

That left me with the upper right corner of the card. I stamped my go-to "Happy Birthday" from It's Your Birthday (retired) on a scrap strip of Whisper White and was surprised when I liked its position running vertically down the side of the card.

This will be one of the cards we make at my June Stamp-A-Stack, and I hope some of you who haven't had the time all school year to attend will be free to join me Sat., June 11, from 10a-1p.

Like I said, stay tuned and I'll show you a quick and easy, yest stunning Father's Day card.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Builder Wheel Birthday

Sometimes the best cards have the least number of elements. Such is the case with this masculine or appropriate for a child birthday card. It's created using the Builder Wheel system, Designer Series Paper, and a card stock base. A card like this can be modified in some easy ways, which I'll detail later in this post, resulting in several different looking cards using the same layout and supplies. Because May is a HUGE birthday month in my family--my sister, my sister-in-law, my brother-in-law, my nephew, and my other brother-in-law--I need to be able to crank out LOTS of birthday cards.

The color palette for this card was determined by the Designer Series Paper, Celebrations. It combines Pacific Point, Bashful Blue, Real Red, and Old Olive. So, let's see, which colors should I choose? I like simple, don't you?

After cutting the Bashful Blue card stock and panels of the DSP to the size I wanted, I inked the wheel with Real Red and rolled it on Whisper White card stock. Mine was loaded with two wheels of Candle Crazy and Birthday in the middle. I pulled out the Pacific Point, Old Olive, and Bashful Blue markers and colored the candles and mounted it on a Bashful Blue mat.

Now, let's talk about some simple modifications that can be made to make this card appear different without creating a new layout.

1) Change the card base color. This automatically makes the card appear different, and you've hardly done anything!

2) Change the mat color. By using one of the other colors in the DSP as a matting for the main image, you alter the card without creating a lot of work for yourself.

3) Change the ink color for the wheel. You could go with one of the other colors in the DSP or use Basic Black.

4) Change the colors you color the candles. I could've chosen to color all the candles Pacific Point, and made the matting Old Olive.

5) Choose a different DSP! This keeps the layout exactly the same, but changes the feel, especially if you choose a DSP that has feminine colors.

6) Eliminate the DSP and roll directly on the card base. Paper, ink, and stamps is really all you need to make a great card!

I hope these tips will help you make efficient use of your crafting time, and let you focus more on being creative.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Letters and Flowers

A friend asked me to design a card that could be monogrammed so that she could make some for her kids' teachers as end-of-the-year gifts. This is what I came up with, using the Lovely Letters alphabet and Flower Garden Textured Impressions Folder from the new Summer Mini (you can view the entire catalog by clicking on the icon on the sidebar!). The goal is that the card can be mass produced quickly, and I think the design lends itself to this.

I used Peach Parfait card stock from the InColor Collection (did you know our InColors are kept around for 2 years now, instead of 1? It's GREAT!), and lined up the TI Folder on the outside edge instead of the inside fold. I tried it both ways and this is the way I liked best.

The monogram is created by stamping my "J" from Lovely Letters in Poppy Parade classic ink and punching it out with a 1 3/8" Circle Punch. Then I punched out 1.75" Scallop Circle and punched out the center with the same circle punch, creating a frame for the monogram.

This could've been placed on the card front, but I liked the idea of placing it on the card's interior, so I punched a hole through the card front with said circle punch and placed it inside using a Stampin' Dimensional. What do you think? This design could be used with any color card stock and coordinating ink to match the recipient's favorites.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pressed Flowers, the Big Shot Way

When the new Summer Mini Catalog debuted May 1, one of the first things to go on my order was the latest addition to SU's line of Textured Impressions Folders for the Big Shot. This one is called Flower Garden, and it creates a LOVELY impression of four flowers! I had seen it used a bunch of different ways, all of them seemingly quick and easy. Here's my first attempt. Trust me, there will be more to follow.

I embossed a piece of Whisper White card stock and used my Stampin' Pastels for this project. With the help of sponge daubers, I was able to place the chalk right where I wanted it. The color scheme here is Pink Passion and Certainly Celery. This was so easy! A set of these cards would be a perfect end-of-the-year gift for a teacher, wouldn't they?

The sentiment is from Because I Care, a Level 1 Hostess set. I stamped it using Old Olive classic ink, because my Color Coach told me that it is a Dynamic Duo to Certainly Celery. Love tools that eliminate guesswork.

Here's an embellished version that I created for my sister's birthday card. Her day is today--happy birthday, little sister! The sentiment is from Best Dad Ever, a set from the Summer Mini that I'll be profiling later this week.

Tomorrow I'll show you a prototype for a set of monogrammed cards using this same TI Folder.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mother's Day, After the Fact

Because I'm still catching up from my blogging hiatus, let me show you the card I sent my mom for Mother's Day. I want you to see it because it is a unique take on the Framed Tulips Textured Impressions Folder. The folder embosses 4.25" x 5.5" card stock, but if you follow a few steps, you can transform your rectangle frame into a square! I first learned of this option for this folder from some wonderful demonstrator in blogland who provided step-by-step instructions. I can't remember who it was, but I'm grateful to be able to pass it along to you!

First I embossed the standard size card stock with the folder set up so that the Sizzix label was face up. It's important to note the position of the folder before you open it up to move the card stock around, because if you don't, you might end up with a square that has the pattern embossed on the sides and debossed on the final side. NOT what you want, trust me!

Reposition the card stock without flipping it over by moving it down 1.25" from the top of the start of the design, NOT from the top of the folder. I marked my folder on each side with a Sharpie so that I wouldn't have to remember this. This will position your card stock so that you use the bottom of the frame to create your square. (The reason there are 2 sets of marks is because I wanted to have the option to put the folder in the other way and get the impression from the top. I tend to overthink things, though, so just pretend those aren't there for now.)

Place the folder back between the plates used to make the impression and place the part of the folder where the embossing is going to be done at the front of the machine. Then, slowly crank just until the folder barely begins to be pressed, then reverse direction. If you go too far, you run the risk of creating a double impression, and you don't want that. The picture shows the newly created square!

For my card, I used the flower image from Silhouette Sentiments, colored direct to rubber. I stamped it on an oval created using the Ovals Original Die that I had sponged with Baja Breeze and Certainly Celery. I applied the Whisper White taffeta ribbon using Snail adhesive and then bunched it on both sides of the focal image. A few strategically placed glue dots helped keep the pleats flat.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Stamping is Good for the Environment

Ever make something that just doesn't turn out just the way you intend, but you're reticent to throw it away? Well, those pieces and parts can spark creativity when you least expect it, so don't throw them away!

This happened to me recently. I was making a quick card after I returned from visiting a friend and seeing her new kitchen when I spied a scrap of debossed card stock that I had colored using my brayer. Immediately I was reminded of the walls of my friend's kitchen and interrupted my work on the card I was making to use that scrap to make a card for her!

I didn't have to do much to incorporate this element into a card, other than cut it in half so I could use it as a border to the sentiment I chose. I had another left over sitting around too--a card base that I had embossed with the Framed Tulips TI Folder that didn't go through quite straight. The frame was still usable as an element, though, so I trimmed it and mounted it on a Riding Hood Red card base, which matched the scrap of textured card stock.

I added the sentiment from Inspired by Nature that communicated what I wanted to write to her about and the card was complete! Another morale to this story? Stamping is good for the environment; it reduces waste and recycles!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I hate puns, but I couldn't resist using one to express the main technique used in this card. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Textured Impressions Folders for the Big Shot, and this card uses one of my go-to folders--Vintage Wallpaper.

This is another of the cards I designed for a birthday card sweatshop stash making event. I started with a piece of Very Vanilla card stock and centered it on the VWTIF (I love acronyms!). After the Big Shot did its job and created a lovely, deep impression, I pulled out my brayer and Riding Hood Red classic ink and began layering color over the debossed side of the impression. This is quick and easy and fun because you control how much color ends up on the panel. The only tricky part is not pressing too hard and applying color to the debossed pattern side.

Once I was done with that, I looked for an appropriate sentiment that wouldn't be overpowered by the background piece I'd just created. It couldn't be too small or too large, and this one from All Holidays was just right.

I chose only one color to complement the RHR--More Mustard. I enjoy working with earthtones, and these two work as well together as the traditional hot dog condiments!

The final touch I thought to add was using the same TIFolder to deboss the envelope flap for the card. It creates such a stunning look so easily, and when it is found in the mail pile, whoever's getting it will be so impressed!

When making multiples of a card in one sitting, I recommend following this process:

1) Cut all your card stock: card bases, mats, and sentiment pieces.

2) If employing a particular technique, such as embossing or applying color with a tool, do all these at once and then put away your tools.

3) Stamp all your sentiments at once, using a Stamp-A-Ma-Jig if need be to insure all line up as you like.

4) Put the cards together assembly line style.

Before you know it, you'll have a set of cards. It's great to have these ready to go, because you never know when you'll need a card!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm Back

Don't fall off your chair! I did so much housework yesterday that I find myself with a free afternoon (and I already know what we're having for dinner!). So, here's another of the cards I've made in the past few weeks but neglected to share with you. Until today.

This card is one I designed for a group of my stampers who want to make a stash of birthday cards to have on-hand. They call it a "sweatshop" when we make all these at one time, and there are 5 different designs that I grouped together for this event.

This one uses Soft Suede as the base, with a wide strip of So Saffron down the middle. I embossed a piece of Whisper White with Petals-A-Plenty TI Folder and colored the flower centers with the SS marker that matches the strip behind it. I used my Decorative Label Punch to create a spot for the sentiment. I punched that out BEFORE I embossed the card stock. I tried it the other way and it tore the paper. I popped up the panel with Stampin' Dimensionals and I really like how it creates a window effect for the sentiment.

The greeting is from Well Scripted, which is retired (but I hope it gets included in the new Big Idea Book & Catalog). This one comes together quickly, and when you're making lots of cards in one sitting, that's what you want!

Don't hold your breath, but I might be back tomorrow too!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I'm Supposed to be Making Dinner

I have no idea what I'm supposed to be making for dinner, but I know that you, my blog readers (hello? anybody still out there?) have not had a post in 3 weeks, so instead of trying to figure out dinner, I'm going to show you a card I've made. Because it's not that I haven't been making cards; I just haven't had time to write about it!

This is a card I made after I saw one like it on Dawn O's blog. I created this for the girls at Jesse's House to make during our monthly get-together on Sunday afternoons. They loved the little froggie image from A Flower for All Seasons, and each one put her own twist on my original design. It was so fun to see them expressing and nurturing their creativity. I used Pear Pizazz DSP from the InColor pack of 6"x6" sheets that is an freebie option for hostesses, and used my Daffodil Delight marker to add some accents on the center panel. The froggie image was colored using Crumb Cake, Pear Pizazz, and Daffodil Delight.

This is the other card the girls made that afternoon. It was so fun to teach them how to make clouds using a template made from scallop circle punches that I cut in half and attached in a row. A little piece of sponge and some Baja Breeze classic ink, and we had a great sky for the butterfly from Flight of the Butterfly to flit along on. I love the color combination of Wild Wasabi, Baja Breeze, Daffodil Delight, and Whisper White. It screams SPRING!

There's more, I promise! Thanks for your patience.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Deals--30% OFF Sale!

May is National Scrapbooking Month! While I'm not a scrapper, I love a good deal, and SU! has put a bunch of stuff on sale that stampers can use for cardmaking as well! There are stamp sets that are THIRTY percent off!

If you own My Digital Studio, there are three different bundle packs THIRTY percent off. If you don't own MDS yet, you can purchase the full version or the express version as well.

Bundle #1
124229 Sunset Serenade Kit $4.95
122754 Sunset Serenade Stamp Brush Set $7.95
122133 Jewelry Tag Punch $ .95
125753 Hip & Handsome Overlays Stamp Brush Set $5.95
124465 Nursery Alphabet Letters Stamp Brush Set $9.95
Total Retal Price $29.75
Bundle Price (Save 30%!) $20.83

Bundle #2
124408 First Edition Digital Designer Series Paper $3.95
124409 First Edition Stamp Brush Set $1.95
124413 First Edition Alphabet Stamp Brush Set $9.95
122164 Antique Brads Pack $1.95
121432 Paper Daisies Kit $3.95
124020 Seam Binding II Ribbon Pack $3.95
124330 Basic Pearls and Rhinestones $1.95
Total Retail Price $27.65
Bundle Price $19.36

Bundle #3
125757 Tickets and Tokens II Kit $5.95
118119 Just Perfect Alphabet Stamp Brush Set $9.95
122168 Spiral Border Punch $0.95
122138 Ticket Corner Punch $0.95
120168 Textured Card Stock $4.95
125166 Textured Card Stock Add-On Pack $2.95
124432 Word Play Stamp Brush Set $7.95
Total Retail Price $33.65
Bundle Price $23.56

All of these can be purchased via my online store (click on the "shop now" button underneath my name), so shop til you drop!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mother's Day--The Only Time I Choose Pink

I am not a fan of pink, which I'm sure you could surmise by the lack of it you see on this blog. For some reason, though, I choose this color for Mother's Day cards. I don't do it on purpose; it must be some sort of subliminal message the color sends out each year. Don't believe me? Check out the archive tab for Mother's Day. So why I chose Pretty in Pink, Perfect Plum, and Rose Red for my Mother's Day card this year? Who knows? My mother doesn't even like pink! I'm tellin' ya--it's a conspiracy!

This card was inspired by a reminder from a fellow demonstrator of what you can do with border punches to make cool frames for images or sentiments. Thanks, Dawn! I used the Scallop Trim Border Punch, centered it on each side of a 3" square piece of Perfect Plum, and this was the result! Easy and such a cool look! I created the mat for the sentiment by using the complementary Scallop Trim Corner Punch and a piece of 2.25" square Rose Red card stock.

I stamped "wonderful mother" from Well Scripted and used the butterflies from Great Friend to complete the focal image. That cool frame embossed into the Pretty in Pink card base? That was made using the Framed Tulips Textured Impressions Folder for the Big Shot. It's available in the current Occasions Mini, which is only current through April 30. If you'd like to order, you can do so through my shop 24/7 button in the upper right of this blog.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The BIG 4-0 Card

George, a good friend of my husband's, turned 4-0 a few weeks ago. Bob asked if I would make him a card.

I don't have large dies that cut numerals for me, but long before I even knew what a diecut machine could do, I created my own stencil by enlarging some numbers on the computer to fit on a standard 4.25" x 5.5" card base. Now THAT'S old school!

I traced these onto some Celebrations DSP and cut them out, embossed a Bashful Blue piece of card stock using the Square Lattice TI Folder, and used my Stars #2 die to quickly add some stars. After I adhered all that to a Whisper White base, the card was ready to go.

George is quite the smartypants, so Bob gave him a copy of Radioactive Boy Scout along with the card. He also treated the office to Birthday Cake Pops from Starbucks. I think George felt properly embarrassed, I mean celebrated. Glad I was able to have a small hand in the festivities.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Tisket, A Tasket

It's time for an Easter basket! When I saw Carrie Gaskin's card where she explained how she took her oval punches and made an Easter basket, I looked at my Petal Cone die and the scallop edged half circle that is created, and then I pondered the half circle flaps on the cone, I thought I had the makings of my own Easter basket WITHOUT the punches!

Here's how I made this sweet basket. I used Sahara Sand card stock and ran my Petal Cone die through the Big Shot. This gave me 2 scallop edge half circles and 2 half circles that I could cut away from the cone shape. I used Carrie's tip and created a basket weave look using my Sahara Sand marker and a ruler. Then I trimmed the scallop edge horizontally and removed 2 of the scallops. I punched holes in the scallops using my Mat Pack. To make the handle, I cut a rim off the second half circle and adhered it to the back side of the basket base.

Then it came time to make the eggs. I wanted not a round shape, but an oval, because eggs are more ovals than balls. I grabbed my 3-Heart Punch and punched out hearts in almost every color from the Brights collection, using the fattest of the hearts. Then I cut the heart in half and adhered half of it to the basket, arranging them so that they looked like they were laying against each other. Some Daffodil Delight 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, and the basket was complete!

I used a frame left over from cutting out a Top Note with the Big Shot and created some grass using a strip of Certainly Celery and my Paper Snips. The sentiment is from a retired set, Well Scripted. This was stamped in Pacific Point so that every color in the Brights collection would be used!

If you'd like to make this Easter basket card, join me April 16 at my monthly Stamp Camp at my house! Just leave a comment to RSVP or to inquire about details.

Friday, March 25, 2011

It Isn't Tuesday? or Playing Kissy Face

I know, I know. I said I'd have a post for you Tuesday about a technique I did and how I married it with this flower for another card. I was too tired and distracted with other things and it kept getting pushed to the bottom of the "to-do" list. Better late than never, right?

Okay, here's what happened. I have a group of teenagers that I make cards with once a month. They're temporary residents at Jesse's House, a shelter for girls who need to be away from their homes due to domestic violence or abuse. They're a sweet, polite group of girls, and I wanted to offer them something to do on Sunday afternoons, which can be long, and to show them how to use cards to encourage someone in their lives.

But here's the deal: I'm not hip or cool. While that's no secret to those who know me, I wanted the girls NOT to have that impression of stamping. So I tried my best to come up with a card that was pretty cool. Turns out they liked it, so I guess I succeeded.

What did I do? Well, I took the Extreme Elements set and stamped it on Whisper White card stock. A technique came to mind as I was doing this that made me rethink the card entirely. I eyed a scrap piece of card stock that had been embossed with the Square Lattice Textured Impressions Folder for the Big Shot. I wondered if the "kissing" technique would work using the paper instead of a stamp.

Don't know about kissy face in the stamp world? Well, "kissing" with stamps involves taking a solid image, inking it, pressing it on a patterned stamp, and then stamping it on paper. The pattern on the stamp that "kisses" the original stamp stays on the original stamp and some cool stuff happens.

So, I tried inking my stamp, stamping it on the debossed side of the scrap, which transferred the pattern, and stamped it on the base for my card. Squeal--it worked! And it looked cool and hip, at least in my mind.

I used Old Olive classic ink, and for the flower, cut from the Fun Flowers Bigz Die for the Big Shot, I chose Melon Mambo, Tempting Turquoise, Daffodil Delight and Pumpkin Pie, all from the Brights Collection. The sentiment is from Friends Never Fade. It made the perfect sentiment for this card, although a few of the girls asked if I had any "Mom" or "Dad" stamps. Made me sad.

None of the girls had ever stamped before, and now they're hooked. I'm going back in April and want to do something else hip and cool, but I might have used up all of that on this card. Any thoughts on what I could do that teenaged girls would like? Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fun Flower Card

The Fun Flowers die for the Big Shot is great for creating fabric flowers, but it's also great for making quick cards. I took advantage of the deal available during Sale-A-Bration of getting the Ice Cream Parlor DSP and Quick Accents FREE for placing a $50 order (SAB ends MARCH 31), and I really liked the Melon Mambo floral DSP with the sweet scalloped edge at the bottom of the sheet. This became the catalyst for the entire card, and it came together in a few short minutes!

I used Whisper White and Melon Mambo to create a three-layered flower. I added a Melon Mambo button from the Brights Collection Designer Buttons pack. Then I wanted to have some leaves, but the diecut doesn't include them. I thought a minute and realized that I could use the bird body from the 2-Step Bird Punch! Some scraps of Old Olive, and a few squeezes, and I had what I needed.

I added a little knot of 1/8" Old Olive taffeta ribbon using a glue dot. Then I decided I wanted to add a sentiment, so I pulled out another FREEBIE from SAB, So Happy For You, and stamped "birthday wishes", one of 4 sentiments in the set, in Old Olive, and created a little banner.

I used my Scallop Edge Border Punch to mimic the scallop on the DSP and created a little extra border along the card's bottom. It's nice to change up a card from a standard straight edge look once in awhile.

I have another card I made using this diecut and a cool technique that I'll be back to share tomorrow.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

5 Minute Writing Challenge: Waiting

You may not know this about me, but I'm a writer. I graduated from college with a degree in journalism and worked as a features writer and editor for a small Chicago suburban newspaper for a year. I worked for a book publisher for 2 years. I've done freelance writing and editing off and one for years. I enjoy expressing myself with words, and I really enjoy reading other people's thoughts that they publish. Perhaps that's why I'm addicted to reading blogs. Blogland is a marvelous place for someone with my bent.

That's why I've begun participating in Five-Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo at gypsymama. She picks the topic, and the rules are these:

set a timer.
write for 5 min.
publish--UNEDITED--what you write.

Here's mine. More papercrafting on the way next week.

"When I think about waiting, a song by Shannon Wexelberg comes to mind:

You are in the waiting,
in that moments of my life
when my faith and hope collide.

While my heart's anticipating
just how and when You'll move
that's when You prove
You are in the waiting too."

I'm not very good at waiting. I have had to work on it over the years, so that means God has more for me to learn in this area. I feel like I'm always waiting, really. Waiting for my husband to come home from work, waiting to pick my son up from school, waiting for the light to turn green. Waiting for my friends to have time to connect, waiting for God to tell me what I want Him to reveal about what He wants from me. It's not the most pleasant exercise, but I'm coming to be more at peace with it. It's just part of life, so I might as well accept it, right? If I don't, I may never learn what I'm supposed to. Good things come to those who wait. Especially on the Lord. They have strength renewed, and who doesn't need that? Perhaps the strength is renewed so that there's more patience for the wait."

Why don't you try this? It's good to just write and not over think your thoughts. If you try it, let me know and link up with Lisa-Jo.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fabric Flowers for Your Hair

Okay, so yesterday got away from me, so what I meant to share yesterday I'm sharing NOW. When I started gettin' my fabric mojo flowin' using the Springtime Vintage cloth now in the Occasions Mini, I decided to try my hand at making something for my downline, Bekah. She welcomed Mary Ellen to the world in January.

Having only one child, a boy, I have NO experience with girls, so I wasn't sure what I was attempting to make would even be wearable when I was done. I shouldn't have doubted myself so much. The Fun Flowers die and the Big Shot made it so easy!

I used my hot glue gun again and layered the flowers together, using a pencil pressed in the middle of the flowers that were in the palm of my hand (that was too hard to photograph, so I used the ironing board) to create fluffiness. When I was finished, I adhered a corduroy Baja Breeze button (retired) to the top and stuck the whole thing on a stretchy headband I found at a big box craft store for less than a dollar!

I wish I'd thought to take a picture of Mary Ellen wearing it! She looked so so cute! She attended an area SU! demonstrators meeting with me and her Mama, and all the ladies oohed and aahed over her and how fashionably she was accessorized for our get together.

Since I was on a roll, I made another flower only using the smallest flower. I had purchased some barrettes with the little hinge at the end, the kind you pinch to open and just slide into your hair to place, and I attached the flower to that. I gave that to Bekah too, because Mary Ellen will have enough hair one day to sport this little beauty.

I'm planning on taking these samples to my Club meeting Monday night. Many of them are moms to little girls, so I think they'll be a big hit!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring, a Fat Quarter, & Flowers

I'm so not a flower kind of gal. I'm lovin' spring and all the blooming of tree leaves and those kinds of flowers, but I don't have much use for flowers otherwise. I'm weird, I know. I'm comfortable with myself. I also don't have a sewing bone in my body. I can sew a button on, but other than that, I'm lost.

When my Club hostess for this month said she wanted to do something with the new Springtime Vintage FLORAL FABRIC, I almost broke out in hives. But, I'm a full-service SU! demonstrator, so I ordered the fabric and the latest floral diecut for the Big Shot, Fun Flowers. It took me several days to work up the courage to pull everything out and start creating. It turned out to be WAY EASIER than I anticipated, and I was kicking myself for waiting so long to try this form of crafting!

Perhaps the reason it worked out so well is that there was no sewing or pattern piecing involved. I layered pieces of fabric--3-18"x28" swatches come in the "fat quarter" SU! sells (I don't even know what "fat quarter" means!)--on the 3 flowers on the Fun Flowers die and ran it through the Big Shot. The machine/die will cut 8 layers at a time, so that makes quick work of preparing lots of layers, which is what makes the flower pin I made so full.

I used a hot glue gun and pressed in the center with my finger or a pencil (the pencil makes for a fluffier flower) until the glue set. I repeated the layering--I used 4 of each of the two smaller sizes--until I had the look I wanted.

Then I added a corduroy Baja Breeze button and used just one of the largest flower from the die to serve as the base. I glued a 1.5" latch pin from the craft store to the back and positioned it on a hat I already owned. I had received this hat as a gift, but I found the same style in khaki on Amazon, so I ordered 1 for me and offered them to my Club gals. I'm going to give one to my niece for her 12th birthday that's coming up at the end of the month.

Check back tomorrow to see what else I made using this beautiful fabric.