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!