Monday, August 13, 2012

Three-Tiered Birthday Advice

My dear friend Melissa turns 40 on Wednesday, and that milestone birthday warrants a special card.  As I perused Pinterest today, I came upon this card design by Heather Summers from Canada.  She's a two-time Artisan Award winner with Stampin' Up!, so I knew I could trust the design and instructions.   You can try your hand at this card by following this link.  The trickiest part is creating the sliders for the second and third tiers, but with careful measuring, it can be done. If Heather can go to all the effort to convert it from metric for us Americans, I think you can get past your fear of the measuring.  Keep Calm!

What I love about this card is that the design is the WOW factor, so you don't have to do much else to embellish it.  I kept it simple, using a retired "Happy Birthday" stamp, numbers cut with the Big Shot, and a fun sentiment from the new stamp set, Carry On.  Isn't that advice appropriate?!

The Designer Series Paper I used is from a Simply Scrappin' Kit called Pinwheel Parade.  It pulls together Midnight Muse and Summer Starfruit, two of the new InColors for 2012-2014, and Riding Hood Red.   I think it's a stellar combination, and working with the DSP made me rethink my opinion of the new InColors.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

12"x12" Paper Basket

While looking around on Pinterest yesterday, I found a pin for a cute little box made from a sheet of 6" square card stock.  The tutorial by Rachel Ricks is excellent, and resulted in the creation of the cute little basket shown above.  While adorable, it doesn't hold much, so I grabbed a sheet of 12"x12" card stock and began adapting the dimensions to create a large basket.  It was so easy!

Score the 12" square card stock at 4" and 8".  Turn the paper to the unscored side and repeat the scoring.  You will now have a grid of 9-3" squares.  Score the outer 4 squares (upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right) vertically at the 1", 2", and 3" lines.  This will give you four sections that have four strips.  If this doesn't make sense, refer to Rachel's original tutorial so that you know which squares I'm talking about.  Cut each of the score lines like Rachel does in hers.  In each of the two center panels between the sections with the 4 strips, cut a triangle like she does.

Fold along all score lines and begin to assemble your basket sides like Rachel shows you.  Instead of using any adhesive to stick these to each other, I just held them all together and punched a hole through all the layers using the smallest hole punch on my Crop-a-Dile.  Then I used a brad to hold them all in place.  This goes a lot faster than using adhesive, and works just as well!  If you don't have a Crop-a-Dile, then use glue dots.  I recommend the large size, since there is quite a thickness of card stock resulting from all the layering.  I used them on the small basket too, with equal success.

Cut 2-1"x12" strips and use your Crop-a-Dile again (smallest hole punch option) to make holes for the handles.  Done!

The dimensions of this basket are 7.5" long, 5" wide, and 3 5/8" high.  The only limitation to what could go in this would be the weight the basket could hold.  I'm going to use mine to give cookies to a new family that moved in during the week!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Masculine Birthday Card Made Easy

I was going through my RSS reader this week and came across a great color combination from Color Q Challenge.  If you're ever stumped for good colors that complement each other, this blog is your solution!  The colors suggested are pulled from a photograph and assigned SU! hues.  Since I have my Card Club this Monday--yes, I operate best under deadline pressure--and I wanted to provide a guy card, I immediately gathered scraps of More Mustard, Basic Grey, Cajun Craze (Dusty Durango is retired), and Basic Black.  

I played around with the argyle pattern, substituting black 3/4" squares, made using my 3/4" square punch, for the grey ones.  I decided that the black was just too harsh as part of the pattern and would work better as the accent.

I positioned the squares on the 3.25"x12" textured Whisper White base (scored at 6"), and decided to split open the argyle to insert the greeting.  The greeting is from the Hostess Set Happiest Birthday Wishes.  This set really should carry over to the next catalog; sadly, that is something SU! never does.

The card comes together very quickly and you can decide if you want to add the faux stitching around each square.  I ended up doing it around the interior blocks as well, but I like it just as well without any at all.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April's AMAZING Sneak Peek!

There's something so exciting to share with you that you get not one, but two posts today! There are some changes happening at SU! Most notably, the new catalog is getting an easier-to-say name, the Annual Catalog instead of the Big Idea Book & Catalog, AND AND AND it's coming out June 1 instead of July 1!!!

Even better than this news is this is that SU! has unveiled a Sneak Peek of some items that will be in the new Annual Catalog, and now through April 30th you can get your hands the product that makes these ADORABLE Petite Purses! The Petite Purse Bigz L Die makes making these so easy, they practically assemble themselves!

You can see by the eraser I put in the photo that they're not very big. They're big enough, though, to hold party favor treats--you could still get this in time to crank out a mess of these for Easter, money for cash gifts for graduation, and small presents, such as necklaces or earrings. They're just screaming with cuteness, aren't they!

My monthly club has different hostesses each month, and next month's hostess wants to do a sweatshop of boxes! When I showed her this die, she nearly flipped! We're going to get all the group's Big Shots together and go to town! The cost of the die is $32.95, and now through the 30th, you can order it.

You also may be wondering about the cute Designer Series Paper used to create the purse on the left in the first picture. That's another part of the Sneak Peek--Summer Smooches DSP! It utilizes colors from the Brights and InColors Collections: Daffodil Delight, Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Lucky Limeade, Island Indigo, Tangerine Tango, and Rich Razzleberry.

I'm pretty picky about DSP; I don't like everything. This paper is so cute! It pairs with a stamp set called Bright Blossoms, which is available in wood mount and clear mount. The paper also has coordinating fabric and cloth covered brads! And you can order every item I just mentioned--NOW--instead of waiting until June 1st! This is an amazing offer is something I haven't seen SU! do on this scale before now. Here's the flyer with all the details and great pictures! Summer Smooches and April Sneak Peek Deal!

If you'd like to order immediately, you can do so two ways: you can contact me via my email, and place an order, or you can go to Stampin' Up! directly, set up an account and name me as your demonstrator (Nahrstadt is my last name), and everything your little heart desires from this special offer will come right to your doorstep!

I'd love to show your friends these great new products! Contact me if you'd like to partner with me to host a night/afternoon of stamping and die cutting at your house.

Sophisticated Treat Boxes for Easter

I saw this little treat box on Amy Celona's blog, and she offers a FREE PDF with pictures for it! All you'll need is a scoring tool, an 8.5"x11" sheet of cardstock, and some Sticky Strip or strong adhesive. I think these are adorable with the clear window, but if you don't have something to create a hole with, like the Framelits Collection diecuts, they'll still be adorable.

What really sold me on these is the cleverly attached notecard! So sweet! I'm making a bunch of these to take to the girls at Jesse's House this weekend. You're never too old for a bit of Easter candy, right?

Thanks, Amy! You're so generous to share your talent freely with the stamping world!

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's a Southern Thing

If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times since I moved to the South 5.5 years ago: You're So Sweet! Funny...none of my friends in the North EVER described me that way. Makes you wonder who's telling the truth, doesn't it!

When I saw the Sweet Cake stamp set in the Occasions Mini, available through April 30, I wasn't smitten. I didn't really find the image to be quite my style either. I needed a sentiment for Valentine's Day for a treat box tag the hostess of my monthly club had asked me to make, and I decided that having some versatility wouldn't be a bad thing. The set has Be Mine, Valentine, You're So Sweet, and Happy Birthday, so I was going to get two sentiments that would work for the holiday by purchasing a set that wouldn't be limited to being used just for Valentine's Day.

The cupcake image is retro, and it can be stamped all one color or colored direct to rubber for a multi-colored look. It would also allow me to try a new product, which I'll share about in a minute. I knew I wanted to pair the image with the Twitterpated Designer Series Paper, so I used my Stampin' Write Markers in Basic Grey, Blushing Bride, and Baja Breeze to ink the image. Love how easy SU! makes creating cards by doing all the hard work of figuring out which colors complement each other! Once I had finished coloring and stamped it on Whisper White card stock, I was ready to put to use my new product.

Almost everyone has a food memory of what vanilla frosting smells like, and SU! has developed scented embossing powder so that you can make that image make your card recipient's mouth water! All I had to do is use a Versamarker to apply the sticky ink (perfect for embossing) where I wanted it--on the frosting, naturally! A quick sprinkle and a hit of heat from the heat tool, and my image smelled like vanilla! The scents available include cherry, so I could've also scented the fruit on top of the cupcake. (Melon is the third scent, and it pairs with a stamp set called Mouthwatering.)

I used the Polka Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder to create great texture on my Basic Grey card base. I layered a piece of Twitterpated DSP on the bottom half and used a strip of Baja Breeze to cover the seam. Another great product in the Occasions Mini is the 3/8" pleated satin ribbon. It adds great visual appeal and another layer of texture to this card! It's available in Blushing Bride and Baja Breeze as well.

Hiding behind the main image is one of the Labels Collection Framelits. I love how versatile these babies are! In this application, it helped anchor and highlight the image at the same time. I used Blushing Bride in order to pull out some of that color from the DSP and the frosting.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pleated Patterned Paper Post

Say that fast three times--HA! I have Diana Gibbs to thank for this technique. It looks really hard, but it's very easy and creates such a cool effect that it can be the main element of the card.

This is harder to explain than it is to execute, but I'll do my best to make it simple. Take a 1"x12" strip of Designer Series Paper and score it at .75" and 1" the length of the strip. This will give you more pleats than will fit on the card, but it's better to have more than you need. After you have the length scored, hold your strip vertically in your hand. Fold the 1" score, which will be your 2nd score, back over the top of the .75" score. Go to the next score line and fold it down over the top of the 1" score. This will create your first pleat. Continue this the length of the strip, and you will end up with 5 or 6 pleats.

Now center four of the pleats along the length of the card base, which is 5.5"x4.25". Run strips of adhesive along the valleys of the pleats and adhere to the card base or matting. You will have excess to trim from the edges. The matting measurements are 1.75"x5.5". Mine was done in Whisper White to contrast with the red pattern from the Twitterpated pack of DSP.

I layered the Whisper White mat on top of a piece of Riding Hood Red that measures 3"x5.5". The DSP that's adhered to the base of the card measures 4 1/8"x5.5". The base is Island Indigo, which coordinates with the blue in the DSP.

The greeting comes from the Apothecary Art stamp set I've been featuring this week. It comes in clear and wood mount, and I like the clear mount option for being able to position the stamps. There are two greetings in the set, Happiest Birthday and So Grateful: two sentiments that are very useful, as the majority of cards needed are either birthday or thank you! I stamped it in Riding Hood Red on a scrap of card stock. I punched a hole in it and threaded 1/8" Whisper White ribbon through it and through the first pleat. I neat bow secures it.

I encourage you to give this technique a try. If you encounter any problems, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to help.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Apothecary Art Birthday CASE

I found this card on Pinterest and knew immediately that I would be replicating (CASEing) it. Often I need to see how someone else uses a stamp set before I can picture myself using it. This is the one that made me believe I might like Apothecary Art, which is a current offering in the Occasions Mini Catalog. This catalog will be available until April 30, so you have a few weeks left to decide if this is a set you'd like to own.

I used watercolor paper and black Staz-on ink to create the focal image, and I used Riding Hood Red, Blushing Bride, and Pear Pizzazz, colors in the Twitterpated Designer Series Paper, again from the Occasions Mini. This time I did use an Aquapainter , which works like a paintbrush with a continuous supply of water, to smooth out the colors after I'd used the markers, and I like the subdued effect. I used the 3rd size from the Labels Collection of Framelits to die cut the image when I finished. So much easier than hand cutting it, although that can be done.

I took a chance and ordered another new item that didn't seem at first to be something I would like. It's also available from the OCM and is a two-pack of Adorning Accents Edgelits. Edgelits are dies that cut the edges of card stock to make interesting edges on cards! There's the one featured on the top and bottom of the Pear Pizzazz mat on the card, and the other one is a scalloped edge, which is shown in the Riding Hood Red strip that's also on the card.

The card is complete with the addition of a piece of Twitterpated DSP. I'm not a big fan of Blushing Bride as a color, but in conjunction with everything else going on on the card, it complements. The ribbon is Baja Breeze seam binding.

This card proved to me that it's good to step outside your comfort zone and try new products that don't appeal to you immediately. More to come from this set!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

These Things Come in Threes, Right?

That's what they say about bad things. That they come in threes. I'm not sure I believe that, but in the past month I've had to make 3 sympathy cards for friends whose parent has died. NEVER my favorite to create, but probably the most important cards I send. I don't feel it's important to be prompt in sending a sympathy card. With all the upheaval of the wake and the funeral, I think it's nice to time my card to arrive AFTER all that ceremony has passed, so that the person knows someone is aware that I know he/she is still grieving.

This card came together after seeing a similar card on Lydia's blog. I liked the idea of sepia toned leaves for the focal image, which is from Apothecary Art. I have been surprised at how much I've liked this set, since its style, vintage and shabby chic, is SO not my style. It pairs nicely with the Labels Collection Framelits, which debuted in the Occasions Mini (which you can purchase products from until April 30).

I used three of the Labels for this card, which is 5.25" square. I stamped the image on watercolor paper first with black Staz-on ink. Staz-on is waterproof, which makes it the best choice when you want to use an Aquapainter to apply color. While I didn't end up doing that--I used the Crumb Cake Stampin' Write Marker instead--I lean toward watercolor paper when I'm trying to achieve a more antique look. There's more texture in the paper than Very Vanilla card stock has.

The sentiment is from Love & Sympathy stamp set, and the patterned paper behind the image is from the Mocha Morning Specialty Designer Series Paper. It has several sheets that are flocked, which add nice visual and texture touches to the card. The base is Crumb Cake and all the Label Framelits are mounted on Basic Black card stock.

I'll show you some more cards featuring this set and its coordinating Framelits in the other posts I'll put up this week.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hearts & SAB

Once a month I make cards with some sweet sweet sweet teenagers. The girls are staying at Jesse's House, a local organization that houses girls who have removed from their residences by the county court because the environments aren't safe. The location is so secret that I can't even reveal to the other members of my family where it is. I wish there wasn't a need for such a place, but this is a good place if you have need of it.

Whenever I go, I try to create a card that ties to an upcoming holiday or is something a teenager would find hip. I'm SO not HIP, y'all, so this is quite a challenge for me! With Valentine's Day being just about 2 weeks away, I thought this would be the perfect time to see what I could come up with using the Heart Framelits from the Occasions Mini Catalog. More about that in a minute.

I chose the 3 smallest hearts and placed them on the Whisper White panels, which measure 1 7/8" x 5.25". A quick run through the Big Shot and I had a cute overlay for the base panel of Melon Mambo, which measures 2" x 5 3/8". This is a shutter card, which just means it measures 5.5" x 8.5" and then it's scored along the 8.5" side at 2 1/8" and 6 3/8".

The WOW factor for this card comes inside (which was hard to photograph, so excuse the slightly blurry pics!). I was inspired by this card by Heather Summers of Canada. Check out her video to see how this card opens and closes, creating the peek-a-boo effect. To create this, take 2-3" x 2" strips of patterned paper and cut a triangle shaped notch out of one end. Then you overlap them over the image that's peeking through the circle created by the 1.75" circle punch. A little adhesive in the right place (watch the video), and you have a place for a secret Valentine-y message to be hidden and revealed only to your sweetie.

Now, some other news. I've already shared that we have a new Occasions Mini, but what I haven't told you is that it's SAB time! Sale-A-Bration time! SAB is a great 2-month period every year when SU! rewards you for buying stamping goodies.

Pick out $50 (before shipping and handling and taxes) of ANYTHING--from the Occasions Mini or the Big Idea Book & Catalog--and you'll get to choose a FREE FREE FREE product from the special Sale-A-Bration brochure! ANYTHING you can think of to purchase qualifies you for FREE STUFF. What's better than FREE STUFF? Nothin', if you ask me! If you choose to host a get-together of your friends and the gals' orders total $150 (or you place an order all by yourself of $150), you get this cool tote bag! If the orders from your get-together or your personal order total $400, you get a FREE bundle of coordinating stamps, Designer Series Paper, and ribbons and brads. Seriously, this is a WIN WIN proposition.

So follow the link above to the new Occasions Mini or click on the picture of the Big Idea Book and start shopping! All you have to do to place an order is contact me. Leave a comment on this post with your email address, and I'll get in touch!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Little Love with Framed Hearts

I saw this card on Pinterest. The original blog isn't in English, and when I translated it, I still couldn't tell who the crafter is. Still, she or he deserves credit for a very cute card that is simple and stunning. After admiring it, I set out to copy it.

I mentioned in my last post about some new goodies called Heart Framelits that debuted in the Occasions Mini Catalog, which went live Jan. 4. Here's the link if you want to sneak off and peruse its contents.

Framelits are thin diecuts that are shapes and they cut that entire shape out of whatever you place them on top of. Therefore, they can be placed anywhere on a surface and when you run them through the Big Shot, they create, in this case, heart-shaped holes in the middle of your card stock. They're fantastic! The link shows the shapes the framelits cut, but not the framelits themselves. I think you get the idea.

The littlest heart fits sweetly inside a 1.25" square. Here's how I made the squares. I cut a strip of Whisper White card stock 1.25" wide and left it 8.5" in length. I centered my framelit and ran it through the Big Shot. THEN I cut the paper to 1.25" long to create the square. Much easier than trying to center a framelit in the middle of such a small piece of card stock.

Each little heart window is backed with 1" squares of the latest Designer Series Paper offering, Twitterpated. Fun word, huh! It's not in Merriam-Webster, but according to the Urban Dictionary, it means to be completely enamored with something/someone. I'm not sure if you'll feel this way when you see this paper, but it is pretty romantic. If you want to see what the patterns look like, feel free to click on the word to view them.

ANYWAY, after I used the Twitterpated DSP, I created a mat using 1.5" squares of Riding Hood Red. The colors that coordinate with Twitterpated include Riding Hood Red, Basic Gray, Island Indigo, Pear Pizzazz, Blushing Bride, Baja Breeze, and Whisper White. You'll see that I used Blushing Bride, RHR, and Baja Breeze when I stamped the sentiment. It's from Three Little Words, and it's just the right size.

You might be wondering how I created that embossed frame that runs .25" around the entire base of the card. I used the Simply Scored Tool. It is so easy and the trickiest part was remembering that I needed to score on the inside of my card so that I would have a raised line on the outside (front) of my card.

Hope you enjoyed this introduction to Framelits. If you'd like to order anything you've read about, feel free to click on my shop online 24/7 button on the right sidebar. That will take you to my demonstrator website. Click on the shop now button and you'll be redirected to SU!'s online store. Set up an account and the goodies will come right to your front door! Sale-A-Bration is going on right now too, so you'll get something FREE from a special catalog for every $50 you spend! More on that tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Valentines for Ronald

Last night I met up with some other demonstrators and we facilitated stamping for some families at the Ronald McDonald House. SU! is offering a few a la carte stamps in its Occasions Mini Catalog, and "Be Mine, Valentine" is one of them. While I have other ambitions for this stamp (don't those hearts remind you of Conversation Hearts?), I like that it stamps up nicely in a single color too. That makes it easier for the stampers at RMH too.

I saw the card that inspired this one on Pinterest. Oh.My.Word. Don't get me started! I could get LOST on that site for HOURS, if I really knew how to use it! Anyway, a shout out of thanks to Lisa A. for posting this there!

While she only used her 3-Heart Punch 2 times, I used it 4! By rotating the position of the punch and what side of the card base you punch it through, you can get the heart patterns to mirror each other. It sounds much harder than it is. I offered several different kinds of Designer Series Paper scraps as backings for the heart holes, and they came out very cute! This is an excellent way to use up retired patterned paper.

I'll be back later this week--or maybe tomorrow--with another card for Valentine's Day using a new product from the Occasions Mini--Heart Framelits! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This is My Idea of Snow in January!

I'm a born and bred Hoosier, but in my 6th winter in the South, these are the kind of snowflakes I find myself preferring more and more. I don't mean to rub it in, but today is sunny sunny sunny and the temperature is 61 with NO WIND. It's glorious! Now, it was 43, cloudy, and rainy rainy rainy yesterday. Yesterday? Who cares about yesterday--it's SUNNY today! Alright, enough about the weather and more about the card.

This card's snowflake art started out as a lightweight cardboard box top protecting chocolate fudge. It had my attention at "chocolate fudge". The image was just a nice side feature. The ribbon came as part of another Christmas gift, I think. Anyway, they found themselves in proximity to each other on my dining room table one day, and instantly I knew there was a quick and easy card in my future. I'm posting this I'm thinking you might be like me and still have some Christmas cards lingering around your house that may have nice images that could be repurposed. That would make you feel better about them than you would if you threw them away, wouldn't it? I knew you were like me!

I cut the box top down to 4"x5.25" and mounted the ribbon scrap around the corners. I took a strip of Whisper White card stock and stamped "thanks so much" from Three Little Words in Real Red and mounted it across the middle. DONE!

Hope you find some gems in your Christmas card stash. But don't wait around too long to sort through them. Who knows? You might have spring in February and then your moment to use your wintry scenes will have passed!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Don't Faint!

Hey! Happy New Year! A friend of mine said that she has been checking this space in hopes of finding something new here, so I decided to surprise her and post something. If you've missed me, would you give a shout out? Honestly, I need to know there are readers out there who want to know what I'm crafting; I need a nudge.

This card was created for Ruby, one of the partners at my Starbucks who has been in the hospital with ketoacidosis. It's a nasty side effect of having diabetes, and it almost killed her 2 years ago. Thankfully she's on the mend, but I wanted her to know we're thinking of her. All of us will sign this and get it in the mail to her this week.

I used the Morning Cup set and an unusual color combination for me--Daffodil Delight and Basic Grey. I wanted something cheery and I remembered seeing this combo on someone else's blog. Since there are many fine line art images in this set, they lent themselves easily to creating a background by stamping with Basic Grey classic ink.

I had the idea to create a belly band to hold the card together. I scored a 2.25" strip of Basic Grey at 2.75" on each end. It didn't result in an overlap, but that was just what I wanted. I used a 3" circle from my Circles #2 die for the Big Shot that I had left over from another project. Then I layered a 2.5" circle in Whisper White.

The most fun I had making this card was incorporating the tiny "perk up!" sentiment around the edge of the circle. It was easy to do using my Stamp-A-Ma-Jig! The little flower buttons were almost an afterthought, but I like the feminine touch they add.