Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bendy Foldy Birthday Card

When you make cards regularly like I do, you get tired of using the same old layout. There seem to be only so many ways to fold paper and arrange it. So, when fellow demonstrator and friend Lydia found this card made by Emma Fewkes and featured the layout on her blog, I contacted Emma ( and she sent me the tutorial she wrote, complete with pictures!

After I'd created the card the way Emma instructed me to, using Bashful Blue as my base and two panels of Celebrations Designer Series Paper, I decided I wanted to make a birthday card. Those two bends are perfect for words. The Billboard die worked just as I'd hoped, and then I thought I needed a pennant banner along the top of the card. Pennants are all the rage in blogland these days, and they scream "birthday"!

I used my Stars #2 Originals die and chose the second largest star to begin my pennant making.

All I had to do to get the Isosceles triangles I needed was cut the tips off the stars! If you have a Star punch, you could do the same thing using it.

Then I laid them out along the top of the base before I adhered them to get the proper "swag". The bow in the middle is made using the 1/8" Whisper White taffeta ribbon. After I'd placed the banners, the card still seemed lacking pizazz. I don't have any diecuts for numbers (getting the Simple Numbers Bigz die will rectify this), so I sketched one and cut it out by hand. It adds just the right amount of dimension, don't you agree?

The final addition is the little tag from Party Hearty, which I colored direct to rubber using the Real Red, Pacific Point, and Old Olive Stampin' Write Markers. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this turned out! Thanks Emma, for such a great tutorial!

This card will be part of my Feb. 5 Stamp-A-Stack. If you are interested in attending,
please RSVP via the comments section.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Four Square Treat Box

I saw this tutorial by Beate Johns last week, and thought it would be an interesting way to package candy as a gift for a friend, coworker, neighbor, or teacher for Valentine's Day. It's super easy and goes together quickly--it's all about scoring and cutting squares in 4 different sizes. A few eyelets and some ribbon and it's ready to be filled. The best part about this project? It can be scaled to accommodate a very small amount to a very generous amount of treatness. Let me show you how this is done.

My box started out as an 8.25" square piece of Basic Black card stock. I scored it at 2.75" and 5.5" so that I had 9 quadrants. Next I scored the four outside squares diagonally. Creasing the folds well is essential for this project to be a success. Then I set about to cutting squares.

The squares are 2.75" square, so the Basic Gray squares are 2.5" square. Red Glimmer Paper, a product featured in the new Occasions Mini Catalog, measures 2.25" square. This paper is fantastic!!! I love the shimmer and bling of glitter, but I HATE the mess. As far as I'm concerned, SU! could manufacture this in every color and I would be a very happy crafter!

The squares that have been scored diagonally to create the corners for the box measure 2.75" as well, but to accommodate the scoring, the Whisper White card stock is cut at 2 3/8" square, and the Hugs and Kisses paper from Love Impressions Specialty Designer Paper is cut at 2 1/8" square and then cut diagonally.

The only thing to be aware of when using this paper is that the words need to be positioned so that they are readable when in their final orientation.
I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch small holes in each of the triangles and placed silver eyelets from the Metallic Eyelet collection to reinforce the holes.

I threaded Basic Gray taffeta ribbon (retired, but there's Real Red and Basic Black and Whisper White that would all work beautifully) through the holes and cinched the corners together and tied a neat bow.

This box holds an entire bag of Dove Dark Promises (which I chose because I like dark chocolate and because their wrapping matched the color scheme!), but Hershey's Kisses would look adorable in here too.

It's not too late to order these supplies and whip up a few of these! You can order through my online store or contact me through the comments section.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sweet Treat Holder

There are many fun ideas floating about the internet for packaging treat size candies for Valentine's Day. One I enjoyed making was designed by Sue Bendinsky, fellow demonstrator. I like that it didn't rely on any diecuts from the BigShot. It's just folded card stock, which means it's easy for kids and parents to make together!

The Whisper White card stock base for this is 4.25" x 8.5", scored at 3" and 6.25" along the 8.5" length. Now I know I just said you don't need a BigShot for this project, and you don't. I just couldn't resist jazzing mine up a bit by using my Square LatticeTextured Impressions Folder. Don't worry; it'll be very cute without this element!

I used the Scallop Edge Border Punch along the edge, and my Small Heart Punch for the nine hearts. The hearts were punched from Pretty in Pink, Melon Mambo, and Rich Razzleberry card stocks. These are all in the Brights Collection, so they coordinate with Real Red, also part of that collection, perfectly. They are adhered with Mini Glue Dots, which makes placement quick and easy. A 16" length of 1/8" Real Red taffeta ribbon holds the package closed. That ribbon comes in 14 colors, so you could change up the color scheme here and still have plenty of options!

The "friend to friend" sentiment is from Love You Much. I think it's just right for valentines for kids at school. The pocket is held together with two strips of Sticky Strip, double-sided tape that's only 1/4" wide.

It's not too late to order supplies to make these cute holders before Valentine's Day! All the items you'll need are highlighted in this post. You'll have plenty to make for several classes of children, with leftover supplies. If a group of you wants to go together to purchase the supplies and share them, that can be arranged. You can shop online through my store or you can contact me directly by leaving a comment with an email address and I'll get you set up!

For easy list making, here's what I used:

Whisper White card stock 100730
Brights Collection card stock 119706
Scallop Edge Border Punch 119882
Small Heart Punch 117193
Mini Glue Dots 103683
Sticky Strip 104294
Love You Much stamp set 113756

Happy crafting!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Well Wishes for a Friend

One thing I've really enjoyed about Facebook is getting in touch with friends from high school. It has been 25 years since those days, and FB has helped me learn about marriages, births of children, careers, and locales of those I ran with back then.

While most of the information I've gleaned has been pleasant, the first news from Brady about our friend Jeff, who has developed a rare disease that has life-threatening implications, was difficult to hear. My first thought? Jeff needs a card.

Another masculine card? This makes 3 this week! What kind of stamp set do you use to make a greeting for someone facing such a difficult trial? I chose Cute By the Inch, a Level 1 Hostess set. Pacific Point is a strong color--I didn't want the card to be too somber--and men like blue, right?

I used my Stamp-A-Ma-Jig to space the images evenly on the 4" square card base, leaving the middle open for a sentiment. I chose "The Best is Yet to Be" from Best Yet (retired) for two reasons. I wanted the card to convey encouragement and a forward focus. I also know that Jeff is a Lutheran minister, so I know that he knows that this life is not all there is, and that Heaven awaits if his time comes. I inked that in Tangerine Tango and added just a portion of each of the tile image to the corners. I matted it on TT and Daffodil Delight to infuse more cheerfulness into the greeting.

It'll take the card awhile to get to CA, but I trust it will communicate that he is being prayed for and thought of and that we remember well and value the wonderful person he is.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Medallion Sympathy

I never like making sympathy cards, but this one was particularly difficult to create. My brother-in-law's sister, only 44, died Tuesday morning. When you live far away from your loved ones, it's more challenging to communicate adequately your care and concern, so I wanted to get this right.

I thumbed through my archive of cards for inspiration and came across one I'd made using the Medallion background stamp inked in earth tones. Finding a suitable color palette for a sympathy card is a struggle for me, so I took this as direction and pulled out More Mustard, Cajun Craze, and Bravo Burgundy, all from the Regals Collection. I patted each pad directly on the stamp, layering color and creating some interesting texture. I used Very Vanilla card stock for this image.

I chose More Mustard for the card base because the darker colors are harder to read handwriting on, and pulled out my retired Linen background stamp and added Bravo Burgundy to it to give the card base a textured look.

I only had 3 scraps of Cajun Craze and none of Bravo Burgundy, so I went with a simple layout. I crumpled the strip of CC and then ran it over the same color ink pad. I like that it looks a bit like leather. At the last minute, I felt it need something to soften it a bit, so I added some Victoria Crochet Trim.

The sentiment is from Word Play and it said just what I wanted to say. I used Bravo Burgundy ink to coordinate with the rest of the color palette.

Friday, January 14, 2011

An Extreme Word Play Birthday

I love a good color combination. It takes a lot of the thought process out of a project and allows one to focus on being creative with other elements. Such is the case with this card by Karen Thomas, which I adapted slightly but CASE'd mostly.

Some of the colors Karen used have been discontinued, so I used More Mustard, Crumb Cake, and Not Quite Navy.
The main stamp set in use is Extreme Elements, one that grows on me more each time I use it. It just creates a really cool vibe without much effort, and I need all the help I can get to craft a hip look!

The base barely shows here, but More Mustard is one of those colors that's best used sparingly. Two mats, Not Quite Navy and Crumb Cake, cover the base mostly, and the CC piece was stamped in CC ink with the Wonderfully Worn background stamp. The Very Vanilla panel was stamped with More Mustard, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, and Not Quite Navy, using half of the design pieces from the set. Wish Big, from Word Play, is stamped in Soft Suede. I love how different one stamp can look when paired with a different layout and a different set of stamps!

The stars were made using the die for the Big Shot. If you don't own this machine, you really should consider investing in it or asking for it for Valentine's Day. I use it so much and it adds so much to my cards--texture, cutting shapes, letters--quickly and simply cannot be overstated.

The last feature of this card is the use of the Decorative Label Punch with a Jumbo Eyelet to create visual interest and an anchor for the twine. I folded the punch in half and punched a hole for the eyelet in it using my Crop-A-Dile. The correct tools make things easy peasy!

Here's a Snowpocalypse update for those interested: the entire week of school was cancelled, and the kids have Monday off in observance of Martin Luther King Day! We went back to work on a normal schedule Friday, but the roads are still a bit dicey in the subdivisions, exit ramps, and intersections. This is one storm that will not quickly be forgotten!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Word Play Birthday Presents

There's always need for a birthday card, and when my new downline, Bekah, found a card by Angie Leach on the gallery for demonstrators only that she wanted to make, I knew I'd be using the layout too. It's just too cute and really quick to assemble! I used the Designer Series Paper Patterns Stack for the InColor Collection, which features Concord Crush, Pear Pizazz, Poppy Parade, Peach Parfait, and Blushing Bride. These colors are in the same order as the packages, with BB featured as the card base. The boxes measure 1.75" wide x 1.25" high, 1.5" wide x 1.25" high, 1" square, and .75" wide x 1" high. There are many many different patterns to choose from, so I could make this card again using the same paper but the flip side of the DSP, and it would look different. That's BOING for the buck, friends! The bow at the top is made using Whisper White 1/8" taffeta ribbon. Can't believe we didn't have this width ribbon as an option for cards before this year! I use it all the time! It's adhered with a glue dot. The sentiment is colored direct to rubber using the Stampin' Write Markers for the InColor Collection. I don't own the stamp pads for these colors, but with the markers in my supply cabinet, I can color coordinate my card anyway. Wish BIG is from Word Play, a versatile new set featuring 12 different sentiments crafted using unique font combinations. When Bekah made this card at her workshop, she gave the gals the choice of sentiments. It was fun to see how a different stamp can make the card applicable for a completely different occasion. Tomorrow I'll show you how the same sentiment, combined with Extreme Elements, makes a fantastic birthday card for a guy. See you then!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Snowpocalypse and More Love

Hey all! I've been a little distracted this week with the 6" of snow that the good Lord dumped on the Atlanta area Sunday night. I've been responsible for getting the store's workforce to the building each day, since I'm the only one with a large vehicle capable of traversing snow with 4 wheel drive. The shift supervisor stayed at my house for 3 nights because she lives too far from the store to make it in in this weather. We were open 3 hours on Monday, 5 hours yesterday, and will be open 8 hours today. Three days later there are many still trapped in their subdivisions, since those roads haven't been plowed at all and they're hilly and glazed with ice.

It has been quite an adventure, and I hope that things will get back to normal by the weekend. The boy hasn't had school all week, and who knows if he'll go Friday. All the built-in "inclement weather" days the school system had in the calendar have been used, and it looks like we'll be losing some extra days around President's Day and Easter. Michael could care less what it means for the future; he's just happy to have had all the time in the world to play computer games!

Before the storm struck, I did make some cards, which I'll share with you over the next few days.

My last post was of a card using Lots of Love Letterpress Plate for the Big Shot, and this one is another example. This is a CASE of Lydia Fiedler's card. I used Crumb Cake and inked the plate with Whisper White craft ink. I love the look! I mounted it on Cherry Cobbler and added the heart from Always, also stamped in Cherry Cobbler. I added some Victoria Crochet Trim and Cherry Cobbler seam binding and made it wavy by adding tape to the back and scrunching it against the card stock as I went. I'm still not sure how I feel about this way of adding ribbon to a project, but I'm going with it and hoping it'll grow on me. What do you think of it?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Letterpress Love!

SU! debuted a new product in the Holiday Mini Catalog. It's called a Letterpress Plate, and with it and the Big Shot, you can create the look of letterpress. The items have carried over to the new Occasions Mini, and they bring elegance to Valentine's Day cards. The first photo is of what the letterpress--entitled Lots of Love--looks like after it has gone through the Big Shot. It's subtle but stunning. One of the other things you can do, just like with traditional letterpress plates, is add ink. That's what I chose to do while I was experimenting with this technique, and a lovely accident occurred.

I added Frost White Shimmer Paint and used Basic Gray again as the card stock. Then I added Clear Stampin' Emboss Powder and heat embossed it. Somehow the ink and EP combined to create this tarnished silver look that is so cool!
I matted the main image with Whisper White and Basic Black and mounted it on a 5.5" square card of Basic Gray.

I decided this card needed very little embellishment, except these little items. They're called Trinket Keys, and there are 4 in a set. Couple this with a new stamp set called You're a Gem that includes the phrase "key to my heart" and a perfect symphony of elements coalesces--cue Michael Buble magic. What man wouldn't want to know that he has the key to your heart? As you can tell, I haven't received my latest order, or you'd be viewing the card attached to the front with silver cord.

You can order everything used to create this card by making a list of the highlighted items and using my online shopping link, or you can attend my monthly Stamp-A-Stack on Jan. 29 and make it! Leave a comment if you'd like to register your attendance.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year, Same Holidays

Hope your personal version of 2011 is off to a great start. Having worked in food service retail for 10 years now, I know a thing or two about January.

1) Everyone tries in some way to do better in the new year. They diet, they curb their spending, they make resolutions. I love a fresh start as much as anyone.

2) Retailers want to skip January and steer people right toward The Next Big Thing, which, obviously, is Valentine's Day. At Starbucks, we have Valentine's mugs, tumblers, bears, and red velvet cupcakes on display already. Yes, it's only Jan. 6.

Since there is something to be said for planning ahead, and if you can't beat 'em you might as well join 'em, here are two cards I made for Valentine's Day. Each uses Love You Much, a very diverse set that coordinates with the Heart-to-Heart Punch.

The first card came together after a conversation with my ex-pat friend Elisabeth. We were discussing how to create the look of patterned paper using stamps, and how you can cut a window in a card and have a cool look that still a single layer card. I started by stamping the "love" image INSIDE the 4.25" square Whisper White card base with Black Stazon ink. I knew I wanted to "fill" the vase with "water" using Marina Mist, an Aqua Painter, a Versamarker, and Clear Stampin' Emboss Powder. Using Stazon meant that the image wouldn't bleed. I applied the MM ink with the Aqua Painter. I colored the area with Versamarker and heat embossed it with the clear EP. Voila--the look of water in the "V" vase!

I used a Real Red flower button from the Bold Brights Designer Buttons pack and added a little silver cord bow with a mini glue dot. Then I decided to create the look of a crystal vase by adhering Dazzling Diamonds Glitter with Tombow Multi-purpose Adhesive. Valentine's Day is synonymous with bling, dontcha know. Click on the image to see it up-close and get the full effect.

I used the heart image to stamp around the window I'd created, then colored parts of the hearts with my Basic Black Stampin' Write Marker (100082). It created exactly the look I was going for!

The second card is a takeoff of the first. I had stamped the Love image in the center of the card base, but I wanted some dimension. I had the window I'd cut out of the first card available, so I adhered it temporarily and stamped the Hugs and Kisses image in each corner. Then I traced around the square with the fine tip of my marker.

After I removed it, I realized that I liked the idea of a slightly raised image, so I restamped the Love image in the middle. I used the Small Heart Punch on a scrap of Real Red card stock and covered over the original flower image. I stamped another of the H&K image, cut it out, and colored it with just enough red to provide some more accent color. A few Stampin' Dimensionals, and the card was complete. Or do you think the Love needs to be colored black?

Are you in the mood for love now? I am. One of my New Year's resolutions is to be present, in the moment. I'm a future-oriented thinker, so I miss moments because I'm preoccupied with what's coming. And Valentine's Day is coming, folks. Just not today. Still, make it a point to tell someone that you love them today. You may not have tomorrow like you think you do.