Thursday, October 23, 2014

Grateful for You

I'm grateful for you, my faithful blog readers, who are very patient with my intermittent posting! My new session of club is kicking off this week, so it was time to get my supplies out. I wanted to do a fall(ish) card and I really liked this one (the second card, specifically) by Sylvia Nelson. With that as my inspiration, here is what I came up with. I'm entering the Paper Players clean and simple challenge and Stampin' Royalty's anything goes challenge.



I used several different stamp sets on this card. (For a vintage look, everything is stamped off and sponged with Early Espresso ink, on naturals white card stock.) I stamped the large leaf from For All Things in Rich Razzleberry, and the spray of branches (same set) in Hello Honey and Early Espresso. Using an espresso marker, I colored in just a block of script on the large stamp from the set Postage Due. The last step was some splotches from Gorgeous Grunge, stamped in So Saffron. The bird and wing are punched out of areas I stamped with images from Gorgeous Grunge and Work of Art, using Blackberry Bliss and Hello Honey ink. The card base needed something else so I added some more espresso leaves around the edge, the For All Things sentiment, and sequins (In Colors and gold).

Time is running out so I may not be able to post any more club projects before tomorrow. I definitely wanted to post at least one so you know I'm still alive! ;) Hope to be back soon with more!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tweet, tweet!

Yes, I've decided to join the world of Twitter. When I post to my blog, add listings to my Etsy shop, or just want to share Stampin' Up! news, I'll send out a tweet and you'll know right away. Just follow @divastamper for all the latest!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Last-minute stamping

Today is my 14th wedding anniversary. How time flies! Especially since last night I realized I hadn't even thought about the card I would need to make. So I looked through my stamps and found a couple challenges and ended up with this card. I hope it's not too girly - he's getting it, even if it is!


The challenges I chose to play are Pink Elephant's sketch and autumn colors from SUO Challenges. Looking through my stamp sets, I decided to use Choose Happiness. The leaves in Mossy Meadow and the elegant frame in Early Espresso both come from that set. I liked the idea of a wood grain inside the frame, but the stamp in Choose Happiness is already in a banner shape, so I used the wood chevron background from Truly Grateful (stamped off once with Crumb Cake). To bring in a bit more fall color, I punched and glued teeny tiny dots from the ribbon border punch in Tangelo Twist. I love how it looks but it's not something I would have my club members do! The sentiment is from A Dozen Thoughts.

The background is Mossy Meadow card stock with a faux suede look. To achieve this I ran the card stock back and forth over the edge of a table, in all directions, to loosen the grain of the paper. Then I was able to peel one layer off to leave this thinner textured piece. A burlap banner anchors the bottom of the card, and then to balance the orange berries I added thin strips of Tangelo Twist card stock. I think that's it for this card - I'm happy to have this finished with some time to spare!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Testing the waters...

Wow, it's been a long break from posting for me. I haven't done much stamping in a couple months - travel and a busy summer took my attention elsewhere. But my club will be starting again soon and I have lots of new products that haven't even been opened yet. Time to dust off my stamps and get back to creating!

What better way to jump start my creative juices than a few challenges. I found inspiration for my card at Freshly Made Sketches, SUO Challenges (embellishments - I used pearls), and colourQ (Blackberry Bliss, Hello Honey, So Saffron, Going Gray, and white). (I used Smoky Slate instead so that all my colors would be current.) Here is what I came up with:


All of the stamps on this card come from the new set called Kinda Eclectic. This was one of the first sets from the new catalog to go on my must-have list. These images are fun to combine and
the butterfly punches are always fabulous. I'm feeling really rusty, so a fairly simple card fit the bill for tonight. Let's hope this is the start of a lot more stamping for me - I've missed it more than I realized!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New month, new toys!

Wow, July? How did that happen? I've been busy with my kids since they got out of school and we've been having a lot of fun. But since the first Blendabilities markers are available to purchase today, I felt like making a card to focus on them. I haven't had a lot of time to play with them yet, so I'm looking forward to more coloring in my future. So far I think they are fabulous!


I found a bunch of great challenges to play along with. I used the tic-tac-toe challenge at the Paper Players (I picked twine, patterned paper, and embossing); the color challenge at Hand Stamped Sentiments (although I cheated a little since I wanted to use the Blendas); and Friday Mashup (hello plus sequins - hey, I used one!). The main image is the single stamp Vivid Vases - I used a post-it note over the sentiment when I inked it up so I could just use the flowers.

So, more on the Blendabilities and the colors I used. HSS's colors were Lost Lagoon, Hello Honey and Tangelo Twist - all new In Colors for 2014-15. The Blendas I used are officially Coastal Cabana, Daffodil Delight, and Pumpkin Pie, but I found that by focusing on the darker shades in the marker sets, I could match the orange and yellow. The vases are a bit more green than Lost Lagoon, so it's not a perfect match. But by blending the darkest Coastal Cabana marker with the lightest (the middle one has a lot more green, so I avoided that one) I was able to come close. I finished off with the polaroid die from On Film, the "hello" trimmed from the sentiment in the new set Hello Darling, a couple punches, one of the new sequins (I think it's officially Baked Brown Sugar, but it seemed to work), and a little twine looped behind. I've seen a lot of stampers doing this with twine, but this is my first go at it... I'm not sure if I did it the "right" way but I like the result!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Typeset Traveler

Happy Father's Day to all the dads! I had one more card to make, for my dear hubby and wonderful dad to our two kids. I'm throwing this out there for two challenges, Friday Mashup (Father's Day) and Create with Connie and Mary (sketch).


When I saw the Traveler stamp set I knew it was perfect for Todd with his love of antiques and artifacts. I paired it with the new Typeset specialty paper and a sentiment from Delightful Dozen. The background and two small punched banners all come from this great paper pack. I kept it pretty simple with only a few dimensionals and a strip of black satin ribbon as extras. I think Todd will like it - I hope he knows how much we appreciate him as a dad and husband!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

"Honey, do you have..."

"... a card I could send to my dad tomorrow morning?" That's the question I heard from my hubby when he got home from work, and with Father's Day coming up I shouldn't have been surprised by it, right? I took care of my awesome dad's card yesterday (can't post that one yet here!) but my sweet father-in-law deserves a card, too. So if I need something quick, I look for challenges to inspire me, keep it simple, and use what's already out on my stamping table. Here's what I came up with.

There are three challenges represented here: SUO Challenges (stamping in the background), Stampin' Royalty (ombre effect), and Freshly Made Sketches. I admit, my ombre effect isn't fantastic - I brayered the Woodgrain background with Early Espresso and didn't get quite as much variation as I wanted. The background is stamped with Gorgeous Grunge, the tree image comes from Summer Silhouettes, and the sentiment is from Delightful Dozen.

I hope my father-in-law loves it - it was a quickie, but he loves working outdoors and building stuff, so I think it's great for him. Thanks for visiting and a warm welcome to my new subscribers this week! I'm so happy to have you all here!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

It's time to celebrate!

I needed a card today to take to a dear friend's party this afternoon. She has spent the last two years getting licensed as a psychologist in Massachusetts and it's time to celebrate! I didn't have a lot of time to make the card, though, so I turned to challenges and kept it simple. I'm playing along with a couple challenges that I've been looking at for ages but never had a chance to try: CASE Study and Fab Friday. The colors in the Fab Friday challenge seemed close to the inspiration piece: Crisp Cantaloupe, Summer Starfruit, Pool Party, and Coastal Cabana. Here's my card:


I kept pretty close to the inspiration card by Wida Miller, which is a real beauty. I stamped, watercolored and fussy-cut the flower from Happy Watercolor, then mounted it on a watercolor wash background with horizontal lines instead of arrows. I added sequins from the gold trim (the only sequins I have right now!) and the perfect sentiment from Friendly Phrases. The main watercolor panel is also on dimensionals, at an angle (again) on a Pool Party card base.

That's it for today! Hope everyone is having a good weekend. I'm getting ready to party! Woohoo!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Two sketches, two cards

Working on my two cards for club this week, I ended up using two sketches that look kind of similar. The first is Freshly Made Sketches and the second is Seize the Sketch. That's the order I made the cards in - first this one for FMS (oriented horizontally instead of vertically).


This card demonstrates three ways to use washi tape that I found on Pinterest. The rosette is a 1 1/2" x 11" strip of Whisper White card stock. Just attach the washi tape to the paper, turn over to score (I did every 1/4"), then fold and put together with hot glue. I covered a retired button with washi tape too - just cover the button with tape and trim the sides. To get the holes open again, use a paper piercer - make sure you move the piercer around inside the hole to flatten down the tape. Just piercing a hole won't make it big enough to thread the twine through. Last I folded over pieces of the washi tape for the little banners. The washi tape and paper are both the retiring Gingham Garden collection, and the stamp comes from Chalk Talk (in Melon Mambo) with the corresponding die.
 
Here's the second card, which I made for Seize the Sketch, but it turned out to kind of work for FMS as well.
On this card I wanted to feature all the new In Colors and the Work of Art stamp set, which I got for free at the catalog premiere event last month. I used generation stamping and also added in the dots from Gorgeous Grunge. The stamped Very Vanilla panel is framed with the On Film framelit. I added the pansy punch flower, a little tab of Tangelo Twist ribbon, and gold sequins - you can pull them off the sequin trim and use them individually. How fun is that? Also, this is really hard to see in the photo, but I tried Sylvia's technique of using a hammer with the Decorative Dots embossing folder on the vanilla background. It seems more subtle on my card for some reason. Maybe because I used the flat side of a meat tenderizer instead of a hammer? LOL. I couldn't find a hammer but I knew right where the meat tenderizer was. I put some foam under the card stock to soften the blow on the table - my stamping table is wood and it came from my grandma's house, so I didn't really want to bang away on it. Anyway, if you have done this technique (or if you try it out after reading my post) I'd love to hear what you did and how it worked for you. We'll see what my club ladies think tomorrow night!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Still playing catch-up

The challenge at SUO inspired me to just get this posted already - tea and cookies qualify as yummy in my book! This was another of my previous club session projects. I love these boxes and I've been saving lots of photos of how others decorated theirs. (See here, here and here for examples of where I got my inspiration.) Here is how my box turned out.




I featured the Kind & Cozy stamp set to go along with the tea theme. The colors go along with the designer paper (So Saffron, Calypso Coral, Lucky Limeade, Island Indigo, Very Vanilla, Basic Gray - yeah, it's old paper...) The tag was punched with the tag topper punch, and I made the tassel with coral baker's twine. I embossed the plastic sleeve for the box with the hexagon embossing folder, which goes along with the hexagons in the DSP. See the little bit of crimped ribbon? I was reading about someone doing that on Splitcoast Stampers and decided to try it. The ribbon is 5/8" vanilla satin ribbon, which will be available again in the new catalog - yay! I also used the new Fast Fuse tape runner adhesive - it's stronger than SNAIL but just as easy to use. I covered a 5/8" strip of vanilla card stock with adhesive, attached the ribbon, and ran it through the crimper. Just make sure that the strip of paper is completely covered with adhesive - the ribbon will only crimp where it's attached to the paper.

Here's a side shot. The cookies are really thin European style and I found them at Walmart. They fit perfectly in the box - and they are indeed yummy! You can't see this but I put a little card stock divider inside the box to separate the tea from the cookies, and the cookies are in a gusseted cello bag.


I'd better get back to working on my projects for THIS week's club. I think I'm coming up with some cute stuff and I hope I get time to share it soon!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Lovely Reflection

Hey, I know it's been a while. I've been a little - okay, a lot - swamped. I didn't even have time to post my club projects from last time, and it's almost time for our final session before the new catalog! Maybe I'll have better luck this time around.

Well, at our last meeting we tried a technique that's been around a while but I had never done it: reflection stamping. I think my take on it has a bit of an impressionistic feel, which I love. With the tree and embossed background, this is a perfect card for the Friday Mashup challenge. And over at The Pink Elephant they're doing "anything goes" - so I guess that fits!

Lovely as a Tree is a great stamp set for this technique. I used the small single tree on watercolor paper. To get the reflected image you stamp on plastic - window sheet, those clear bags you can put cards in - whatever you have. First stamp the main image, then stamp again on the plastic, turn it upside down, and rub the stamped image from the plastic onto the paper. Since I planned to watercolor, I stamped the tree with black Stazon ink on watercolor paper. With the texture of the paper I got a more subtle reflected image, and I kind of like it this way. For the watercoloring I used Wild Wasabi, Pool Party, Early Espresso, and (for the grass) the new In Color called Mossy Meadow, and I cut it out with one of the oval Framelits. The sentiment comes from A Dozen Thoughts and the idea for the punch treatment using the mosaic punch came from LeeAnn Greff. I thought the woodgrain embossing folder would be the perfect background, along with a strip of wasabi DSP. Candy dots and scalloped trim from the ribbon border punch served as the finishing touches.

My club members were excited to see a more masculine card - I do tend to be a bit girly. You could leave the scallops off if you think those are too feminine and it would still look great. We had fun with this project, and in case you are wondering, Lovely as a Tree is sticking around for at least another year! I think that has to be a record or something. Anyway, I hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Not much stampin' goin' on...

Hey, y'all! I know it's been ages since I posted. I've been busy with work and gum graft surgery earlier this month laid me up for a while. Tonight I'm excited to be going to the new catalog reveal party and I wanted to make some swaps, but I've been sick for the last week with a horrible cold. I really tried to get something together - there just wasn't enough time or energy for mass production today. So I decided rather than kill myself to make a bunch of simple card fronts, I'd step this one up a bit and post it here instead.


The idea for this card has been in my head for a long time and I just never had time to play with it. My daughter got a new water bottle for her school lunches and it used these colors with an embossed floral design. I thought those would make a great card and this is what I ended up with. The colors are Smoky Slate and Rich Razzleberry on Whisper White. The stamps that make up my handmade designer paper are from Simple Stems and Summer Silhouettes. Over that I added popped-up flowers from Flower Shop and a banner sentiment from Simply Celebrate. Just to add a bit more interest I embossed the slate background with the chevron folder and stuck those sweet candy dots in the flower centers. Considering all the floral elements I'm entering this card in the SUO Challenges flower challenge that's running right now - go check them out if you want to see some really beautiful creations from their team!

OK, I'm off to rest and recuperate a little before the big party tonight. I hope to be able to spend a bit more time stamping and blogging once I get my new catalog and my preorder goodies. Thanks for stopping by in the meantime!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Million and One

Almost the first day of spring - maybe that means our snow will be melting soon! While I'm waiting for warmer weather I felt like using some nice springy colors, which led to today's card. The layout is from the Deconstructed Sketch, and this also qualifies for the Pink Elephant challenge for this week (recipe challenge to use lots of layers, ribbon, and a touch of green.



I used the Woodgrain background stamped with Chocolate Chip on Crumb Cake card stock. For a little distressing I sponged the edges and stamped a couple splatters from Gorgeous Grunge. I folded a doily and adhered it to the background, then added strips of Wisteria Wonder and Daffodil Delight. The beautiful sentiment comes from the set Million and One, and I surrounded it with flowers from the Petite Petals set and Pear Pizzazz leaves made with the bird builder punch. For final accents I used chevron ribbon for the banners and pearls for the flower centers.

I think I feel better already - nothing like a little stamping to brighten your day. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you get spring weather where you live soon!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Coastal Bermuda Party

That sounds like a party I'd like to be at right now! There is so much snow on the ground and I'm so tired of it. Maybe that's how I ended up with this monochromatic color scheme of Pool Party, Coastal Cabana and Bermuda Bay (with Early Espresso). I took the layout from Freshly Made Sketches and ran with it - maybe I ran a bit too far, but I like how it turned out.


I made the background first: strips of card stock that measure 1 1/2" x 3 1/4". Before stamping the collage with the Summer Silhouettes stamp set, I taped the three strips together from dark to light. After I stamped I ran the panels through the Big Shot with the houndstooth embossing folder. The decorative strip was stamped twice to make it long enough to go across the whole card. I chose a flower from Secret Garden, which I stamped on all three colors of card stock then fussy cut into layers. The Little Leaves sizzlit die seemed to go perfectly with the background, then I added a sentiment from Banner Greetings to finish everything off.

That's about it for today! One more project to go and I'll be ready for club. Hopefully I'll have time to share that project with you later this week. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Trying to get the feeling back again...

I know it's been a long time since I posted. We've had illness, travel, busy schedules, snowstorms, house renovation plans... you name it, it's been keeping me from stamping. And to be honest, my mojo has just felt like it took a long vacation and hasn't come back yet. But this weekend I have my club so I need to find some inspiration. I hope it'll be the start of better times, but the busy-ness isn't going to go away and my craft supplies may have to take a back seat in the coming weeks... or probably months...

When I have trouble getting started on a project I turn to online inspiration - and I've wanted to CASE this card by Amy O'Neill for a while. I used the Stampin' Royalty color challenge and the Paper Players sketch challenge. This also qualifies for the Splitcoast CAS challenge to use a colored (non-neutral) card base.



First I stamped Off the Grid with Crushed Curry ink on the card stock base. Then I added banners of Real Red DSP and white card stock I stamped in Island Indigo with the Positively Chevron stamp. The sentiment (in black) comes from the set Four You. The finishing touches: three stars and three black candy dots, and finally a tiny strip of black card stock that seems to anchor the bottom of the card. Tip of the day: If you run out of black candy dots, like I did, just cover another color with a Sharpie. I'm sure this would work with other Sharpie colors too.

I think maybe there's a spark of creativity coming back to me... I enjoyed making this card, even though I feel very rusty. Hope you like it and thanks for visiting!