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.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Faux Brass Patina with Vintage Wallpaper Folder

Sorry for the long title, but this is what I did yesterday afternoon. Following directions posted by Angie Leach, I created the central focal image that looks like brass does when it's allowed to weather outside (thus the greenish patina). This technique uses several layers of ink and the Vintage Wallpaper Textured Impressions Folder for the Big Shot.

The card stock is Whisper White, which is hard to believe when you view the finished product. I ran it through the Big Shot in the folder that had been inked on the debossed side with Crumb Cake classic ink. Then I inked it with Marina Mist classic ink. Then I layered Always Artichoke (all I had was craft ink in this, but it was just fine to use it for this), and finally Early Espresso. I used some Clear Embossing Powder and Versamark to give it a slight sheen. Cool, huh?

The card base is Very Vanilla, which I used the folder on again, only I chose to position the folder so that it debossed the pattern. Then I sponged it lightly with Crumb Cake. A 3" wide mat of Soft Suede, a 2" mat of Always Artichoke, and some Very Vanilla seam binding help highlight the patinaed "tile".

I left a sentiment off this, as it's good to have some blank cards on hand. I think it would be nice for a masculine birthday though.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Little Birdie Told Me

My aunt had double knee replacement surgery last week. Yes. Double. While the recovery may take longer, at least when she's feeling better she won't be facing the prospect of rehabilitation AGAIN. I think this is very efficient, and I applaud efficiency. My mom, her sister, suggested I send her a card. Good idea, mom!

This one was inspired by Mary Fish, fellow SU! demonstrator, who profiled this little quickie technique of sponging a lawn and a sky with two colors on a circle. Well, I wanted an oval, so I changed things up a bit. The two colors I chose were Certainly Celery and Baja Breeze. The bird on a branch is from Silhouette Sentiments, a Level 1 Hostess set. It's colored using Soft Suede, Wild Wasabi, which my Color Coach told me was the Dynamic Duo for Certainly Celery, and Riding Hood Red.

I used some CC patterned DSP for a mat, using my Ovals Originals die for the Big Shot, and then I pulled out my newest favorite thing: my Framed Tulips Textured Impressions Folder {squeal}!! Tulips are my favorite flower, but you can't have them when you get married in August. Now I can have them anytime I want, thanks to this little folder that's only $7.95 in the current Occasions Mini. {happy sigh}

The inner dimensions of the frame are 3 1/8" x 4 3/8", so I added some BB there. Stamped the little phrase from Apple Blossoms (another Level 1 Hostess set), tied some non-SU! {shhh} ribbon around the focal image, and the card was complete. Some Stampin' Dimensionals helped the simple image stand out from the card base.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Oodles to Share--Day 7: Another Sympathy SAB

Like I said, I'm NOT happy about all the sympathy cards I've had to make this year. This card is for a friend whose grandmother passed away.

I was inspired by Carol Valentine's card that I saw on Stampin' Connection. Sorry, she doesn't have a blog I can link to to show you the original. I used my Big Shot and Petals-A-Plenty Textured Impressions Folder to emboss the Wild Wasabi base. Then I took the branch image from Sweet Summer, a Sale-A-Bration FREEBIE, and stamped it multiple times around the edge of the Very Vanilla card stock. I pulled out my Marina Mist, Wild Wasabi, and Peach Parfait SU! Markers and colored the line art. I stamped the sentiment from So Happy For You in Early Espresso and matted the whole thing on Crumb Cake card stock.

The Peach Parfait decorative strip was made using the Scallop Trim Border Punch. It's such a delicate accent; I love this look and will probably use it again soon.

Well, that's the end of the week of Oodles to Share! If you'd like to get in on Sale-A-Bration, you have until the 31st to do so. Simply purchase $50 of merchandise--nothing is off-limits--and you'll get to choose an item of your choice from the SAB brochure. I'll email that to you when you email me with your order: Happy shopping!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oodles to Share--Day 6: Three Little Words Sympathy

Ugh. This has been the year to have to make sympathy cards, and I've made more than I wanted to in the first two months of this year. This card was for a friend of ours whose mother passed away very suddenly. We had just been talking with him, checking in for an update on the health of his dad, who had had a heart attack during the holidays, and so we were shocked when we heard of his mom's passing.

I didn't get around to getting this card in the mail as promptly as I would've liked, but with sympathy cards I feel it's almost better to be belated than on time. There's so much hubbub around the funeral and there's a lot of attention from friends and family. But the grieving process is a long one, and getting a card a few weeks after the fact is my way of letting my friend know that my husband and I haven't forgotten his pain.

I selected this set as one of my FREE items with a qualifying order of $50 I made recently. Sale-A-Bration is a great time to purchase items you need to have in your stash and get something for nothing at the same time. Three Little Words is a versatile set, with five sentiments, the phrase "three little words" and a flower.

For this card I used River Rock as my base, and Not Quite Navy as my complementary color with Very Vanilla. I colored the flowers with my Stampin' Write Markers and did the same thing with the embellished "T". I cut it out and mounted it on top of the original stamped image, in truth because I'd colored it another color before, but also because I liked how it accentuated it. I kept it simple because it was for a man, and I didn't want it to be too froo-froo.

Is there someone you need to send a card to, but think the time has passed? It's probably not too late, and that someone will be glad to hear from you. Make it and send it today!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Oodles to Share--Day 5: Birthday Flowers

This is another card that was inspired by one I saw on another stamp company's blog. It featured their stamp set, but when I saw it I saw our Boho Blossoms Punch and the wing from the 2-Step Bird Punch and knew I could craft my own version using SU! products.

I chose a panel of Crumb Cake as my base and drew 2 lines using my Wild Wasabi Stampin' Write Marker for the stems. I punched out 14 leaves using the 2-Step Bird Punch (from retired DSP) and positioned them along the stem lines. I punched out 7 of the largest flower in Whisper White and an equal number of the smallest flower in Rose Red. Quickly and easily, and with no stamping at all, I had the flower border I wanted!

I thought about adding a little button to each flower, but decided to use Hemp Twine knots instead. Glue Dots made it easy to place these right where I wanted them. I used one of the sentiments from You're A Gem, as well as a retired Happy Birthday stamp from It's Your Birthday, all inked in Rose Red. Then I decided to personalize the card by using an alphabet from the stamp company whose name I cannot mention where I originally saw the card design. She loved it!

Don't be afraid to adapt a design you see using another company's products. With a little creative thinking, it's easier than you think!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Oodles to Share--Day 4: So Happy for You SAB

Hope you're enjoying these consecutive days of posts. I've had many occasions to craft cards for, just not enough hours in the day to write up descriptions of them.

My youngest cousin and his wife just had their second baby, a surprise BOY (they didn't find out at their ultrasound--hurray!). There have been only three boys amidst a slew of girl second cousins, and none to carry on the Schwartz family name. Enter Kiptyn Dale! Everyone's very happy.

I saw this card on Stampin' Connection, a site just for SU! demonstrators to share their creations (don't worry; I linked you to Tessa's blog). Tessa's design was so clean and just my style, so I CASE'd it. It features the star from So Happy For You, a FREE stamp set available only during Sale-A-Bration (SAB) with the purchase of $50 in merchandise of your choice. I loved her color scheme but chose Marina Mist, Poppy Parade, and Peach Parfait, paired with Whisper White, Bashful Blue, and Crumb Cake card stocks for my card.

I stamped the stars on the WW first, then stamped them again and colored over them using my Versamarker. Then I sprinkled them with a combination of Clear Embossing Powder and Dazzling Diamonds and heat embossed them. I cut them out and popped them up on dimensionals--it only took 1/4 of one for each star, to give you some idea of the size of this stamp.

The panel is mounted on Bashful Blue that has been stamped with the A to Z small background stamp using Marina Mist classic ink. The A to Z stamp is one you can choose as a FREE selection from the Big Idea Book & Catalog during SAB, which ends the 31st. The A to Z stamp is really great for baby cards.

I used the Scallop Edge Border Punch and a scrap of Peach Parfait to make a border along the bottom, using my Mat Pack and Paper Piercing Tool to punch little holes in each scallop. Not too girly, I hope! The linen thread tied around the main piece adds some nice visual interest.

I colored direct to rubber in my colors the "so happy for you" sentiment from the set by the same name. It not only includes the star, but a heart, a four leaf clover, a flower, and a butterfly, AS WELL AS five sentiments. A 10-stamp set you can add to your collection FREE--it's a great deal, SAB is!

Put together your needs list of supplies, be it stamps, ink, card stock, markers, adhesive, ribbon, brads, you name it. Then leave me a comment or contact me via email ( and I'll hook you up with a SAB brochure so that you can choose your FREE item! It's super easy, but only available til the 31st.

Hooray for baby BOYS!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oodles to Share--Day 3: Fine Flourish for SAB

I saw this color combination of Rich Razzleberry, Peach Parfait, and Cajun Craze on another SU! demonstrator's blog and wanted to create my own card using this unique color combination.

I started with the RR base because I wanted that to be the dominant color. Now I wish I'd used PP instead. It's a little dark for spring. I chose the Fine Flourish small background stamp, which is one of the stamps you can select as your FREE item if you purchase $50 in merchandise between now and the 31st. I stamped it in RR classic ink on Very Vanilla card stock and accented it with the PP marker from the InColor set.

Then I decided to do some direct to rubber coloring on my Elegant Thank You, another choice from the list of FREE stamps available during Sale-A-Bration. After I stamped it, I matted it on PP and inked the edges of both layers with RR.

I matted everything on a piece of Cajun Craze that I'd stamped with the Linen background (retired). After I placed that on the card, it felt like something was missing. I pulled out the Medallion stamp and stamped it in the middle of the card base. While it's mostly covered, I like how it peeks out and adds just the visual balance the card needed.

Do you need some new stamping supplies? If so, this month is the time to purchase what you need. Purchase anything--card stock, ink, stamps, glue dots, etc. etc. etc.--totaling $50, and you'll be entitled to 1 FREE item from the Sale-A-Bration brochure. At the back of the brochure is the list of stamps from the Big Idea Book & Catalog that are also available for you to choose from. It's a sweet deal that only happens once a year, so don't miss out! Put your wish list together, then contact me, and I'll send you a brochure via email for you to peruse!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oodles to Share--Day 2: Aviary Background 2

When I created this patterned paper using a trio of birdcages from the Aviary stamp set, I ended up with enough for two cards. For this one, I chose Marina Mist as the coordinating color to the Very Vanilla card stock, a Crumb Cake mat, and Crumb Cake ink. I stamped the popped up birdcage in Early Espresso this time, and I like the boldness of the contrast. I added a little 1/8" Very Vanilla taffeta ribbon because it was laying on my desk, begging to be used.

The tiny word "friends" is from the Tiny Tags that was designed to scale for the Simply Adorned jewelry line (see my post on this here). I'm happy I found a use for it with cards as well. I copied my layout from my other card I made, but when I mounted it on MM, the wheels began to turn again. I had seen a card that had what looked like a bookmark as a design element on it, and I mimicked that a bit on my card.

I added some 5/8" Victoria Crochet Trim and used one of the stamps from You're A Gem, currently offered in the Occasions Mini, and had the look I wanted. I love that the coordinating Stampin' Write Markers that SU! offers make it easy to create elements that are two-toned and match the color scheme of the card.

Just because cards are fun to make, and I'm glad I have these in my stash for when the occasion arises to encourage a friend.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oodles to Share--Day 1: Aviary Background

Today's card is my take on a card I saw on another stamp company's blog. The creator had used a birdcage to make a background paper. As soon as I saw it, I thought to myself, "I can do that!" I pulled out Aviary and positioned three of the cages together on one acrylic block. I used Crumb Cake classic ink and Very Vanilla card stock and had a sheet of patterned paper in a matter of a minute!

Then I inked up the smallest of the three I'd used and stamped it in Soft Suede classic ink. I stamped the owl--so cute!--in Cherry Cobbler classic ink and cut out the image and popped it up on dimensionals. Actually before I mounted it, I took the tiny phrase "thinking of you" from Silhouette Sentiments (Level 1 Hostess) and stamped it in CC ink in a small space left after I'd created the background.

I mounted the entire piece on a mat of CC cardstock and then mounted that on a base of Crumb Cake. Then I began to ponder what else I could do with it, because it seemed just a little bare. I eyed my retired Mark the Date set with its months stamps and I knew what I would do. Using my Stamp-A-Ma-Jig, I stamped each month on the sides. Now whoever receives this will know that I'm thinking of them every month of the year! Check in tomorrow to see the other card I made using this background paper.