Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Inspiration Challenge #19: Zen jewelry

Until tonight I had no real idea what this week's challenge was going to be. Really, none. And then I went to my class, and we were handed a packet of materials to help us keep going with our mindfulness practices. And in the packet was a catalog, and in the catalog was some jewelry that just captivated me, and I knew I had my inspiration. You can find out more about the jewelry here. If you click on the link to the bamboo jewelry, you can see more from the same artist, and if that one inspires you, go for it. But the plum blossom necklace was what especially caught my eye.

This was a card that didn't come easy. I started over several times before I was happy with the way it was headed.

I wanted an Asian image I could watercolor, so I chose this stamp from Artfully Asian. I stamped the flowers (are they cherry blossoms? close enough!) with jet black Stazon on watercolor paper and colored with my Aqua Painter and watercolor crayons. To get a really rich red I colored the flower centers with burgundy crayon then touched my Aqua Painter brush onto the red crayon and filled the flowers in. I used just a bit of garden green for the leaves.

I wanted to have some element of a circle on the card, so I punched out some of the flowers and a not quite navy layer with my largest Marvy punches. Then to add some more embellishment and color, I chose some white and red Prima flowers. They are held together with red DCWV brads that match perfectly and adhered with glue dots.

For one last touch I used the horizontal slot punch in the upper right corner and threaded through some gorgeous, deep red ribbon. I don't know who made it or where I got it, sorry! The background is bordering blue stamped with the same image in bordering blue ink, using generation stamping. The sentiment from Art Impressions is stamped in not quite navy on top of some of the lighter flowers. I layered it onto a not quite navy panel and a white card.

I hope you'll play along this week, and if you do, please leave a comment here with a link to your creation so that everyone can see! If you upload to SCS the keyword this week is DSIC19. Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A very special card

Tonight is the last meeting of my stress reduction course. It's been a challenge for me to fit the meditation practice into my already busy life, but when I've been able to do it, I do think I've felt better, so my goal is to incorporate it into my routine in some way.

Doing the course has brought me a few good things: I think I've made a new friend, in another mom who has kids the same ages as Ben and Sarah; I've been introduced to yoga, which I have really enjoyed and want to seek out; and I've had time to reflect on myself and where I am right now. Learning about mindfulness has been really interesting. I feel like I'm more aware of how I handle situations and how I'm feeling about my life.

For the last class tonight, we were encouraged to bring something to share with the class to reflect on our experiences. It didn't occur to me right away, but I decided that I would make a card to bring in. I thought long and hard about what kind of card would represent how I was feeling and what I've learned. This is what I came up with: the theme of the card was my yearning to be at peace with myself, hence the sentiment, and my desire to treat myself with softness and kindness instead of harshness.

The layout is Julee's Mojo Monday sketch for the week. In wanting a soft card, I rounded all the corners and made the panels ovals instead of rectangles. I used my Marvy oval punches, the corner rounder punch, and my EK Success scalloped corner punch.

I chose one of my favorite color combos, soft sky and chocolate chip; some of my favorite papers, the Afternoon Tea pack; and the matching stamps, Live Your Dream, which may be my favorite set of all time so far. I colored the images with a blender pen and soft sky reinker, and chocolate chip and mellow moss markers. I spritzed watercolor paper with water and then stamped, filling in the soft sky places with blender pen as needed. After I punched the ovals, I decided to cut off one edge on each to line them up with the layers on each side, then for definition I sponged the edges in chocolate chip ink. The sentiment is from a Hero Arts Christmas sentiment set.

When I put it all together, I added the chocolate chip taffeta ribbon and mounted the sentiment on dimensionals. That upper left corner didn't look balanced so I added three vintage brads up there.

I do feel peaceful when I look at this card. I was also trying to be mindful of the experience as I was making it, and I realized how much cardmaking restores my soul. Of course there are times when it frustrates me, or when I get frustrated by my lack of organization, but really, stamping has turned my life in a completely new direction, and I'm excited about the possibilities. Thanks to everyone out there who reads my blog and shares in this passion of mine - you've all been a real blessing to me!

Monday, April 28, 2008


When I got home last night and got online to check out some blogs, I was pleasantly surprised to find that both Beate and Jen chose sketches this weekend featuring a large panel - perfect for some of the new Paper Inspirations stamps that I found at Stamping Memories. Remember the wedding card I did for last week's inspiration challenge? I found stamps from the same line for mother, father, graduate, and husband. I love them because the sentiments are beautifully worded, and they make such a nice statement with not much time required. Always a good thing when I'm up against a deadline!

I did Beate's sketch first, using the graduation stamp. I found the background paper at Stamping Memories as well; it's from American Traditional Crafts. I paired it with kraft cardstock and stamped in chocolate chip ink. The diamond panel uses a stamp from the retired set Looks Like Spring. I layered all panels with chocolate chip cardstock, adding round copper brads from Making Memories to the diamond panel. The sentiment is mounted on dimensionals. It all went onto a kraft card base and that was it - quick and easy but I think very classy.

For Jen's sketch I wanted to do something really feminine. In making her card Jen said that she used paper she'd just bought instead of hoarding it - well, I am terrible about hoarding so I decided to look through my stash for some pretty papers to use. I thought these Imaginisce Loves Me papers would be perfect. I used the two floral panels as a background with a strip of the striped paper across the front. The sentiment is stamped on the reverse side of the larger floral print in cranberry crisp ink. I layered onto cranberry crisp cardstock and a Bazzill textured cardstock base, again mounting the sentiment on dimensionals. For embellishments I added pretty in pink taffeta ribbon and three pink acrylic baubles. I really love how this turned out!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

We're back

We are home from our trip and we had a good weekend - but not without its challenges. Here's a short recap:

Friday was spent visiting two large used book stores (for Todd) and one small but densely packed stamp store (I think you know who that was for!). I promised that I would only get things I'd never seen elsewhere since we are trying to keep spending to a minimum. They had some great things for Mother's Day, Father's Day, and graduation cards, so I supplemented my collection in those areas. And I couldn't resist picking up two of the Cornish Heritage Farms backgrounder stamps - I'd never seen them in person before, and this store had a whole bunch. It was Stamping Memories in Laconia NH - if you pass through, be sure to stop, because it's amazing!

Saturday our first activity was the Conway Scenic Railroad. Unfortunately we were a little disappointed - the scenery was pretty, but we thought we were going to go up in the mountains more, and the train was not as old as we were expecting. Sarah was not too happy to be semi-confined to the train seat, and she also was very tired by the end, which overlapped her usual naptime. Ben liked the train ride. But when asked later what his favorite part of the day was, I was a bit dismayed - but not terribly surprised - that it was the elevator ride at the LL Bean outlet!

Our time at the outlets was rather brief since Sarah fell asleep as soon as we were in the car. I thought the best part of the day was an impromptu stop at a park, where the kids happily played. Sarah likes the swings the best right now. The kids sat together on the teeter-totter (with a girl of about 10 on the other side!) and did that for quite a while. Sarah wanted to keep "bouncing" all day and screamed when it was time to go!

Today we pretty much headed for home, but stopped for a bit more outlet shopping in Freeport and Kittery, Maine. I really didn't intend for outlets to be the primary destination of our weekend! But it just kind of worked out that way. I think we learned that trips like this will be better when the kids are a bit older, especially once Sarah can sit in a restaurant without throwing a tantrum (or two, or four...) every single time. But it was still good to have some family time. Now we will have to face up to a very busy week ahead - my "baby" turns two, lots of relatives are coming to visit, and of course I'm still getting ready for the May 7 fair. Yikes!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Headed out for the weekend

Tomorrow we're leaving for a two-night family getaway. We will be hitting some outlets and doing some other fun activities - I think we're all looking forward to it.

Sorry that I didn't get anything posted to show you today. I was busy yesterday making photo holders, and I think they came out quite nicely, so I'll try to get those up when we get back. It's going to kill me to miss doing the challenges this weekend, but I'm not going off without a little project to work on - so maybe I'll be able to show you that as well early next week.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Inspiration Challenge #18: Container Store wrapping paper

This is not the challenge I had planned for today - the only photo of my original idea is on my currently unavailable PC, so I hope I'll be able to come back to it when I get my new hard drive. In the meantime I'm going with a backup idea, which came from a wrapping paper flyer I got from the Container Store. The papers featured on it were the ones in the first photo, but then I went to their web site and found several other collections - so there is lots of great inspiration here! Pick your favorite(s) and play along - I had to do two myself. I chose the original one I'd seen and also a gorgeous wedding collection.

I did the wedding one first. This card uses today's SCS sketch challenge for the layout. It was perfect to showcase this marriage stamp from Paper Inspirations. I stamped in Versamark on whisper white cardstock and embossed with Ranger princess gold EP. This powder seemed to best capture the fine detail of all the words. I matted the sentiment on some gold cardstock I had left over from Christmas, and used my ticket corner punch to dress it up.

The blue paper panel is by Anna Griffin - she has such lovely papers for elegant wedding cards. I used more gold cardstock and a scrap of gold organdy ribbon. The background is the swirl from Baroque Motifs embossed as before on white, then layered onto my last piece of gold cardstock - I couldn't believe I had just enough. To pick up the blue in the paper, I used a bashful blue card base. The sentiment is mounted on dimensionals.

For the second wrapping paper collection, I decided to do another photo holder. I was inspired by the colors and the feel - I chose the Enjoy Every Moment stamp set and certainly celery, real red, and pretty in pink. The background is a Doodlebug paper that was originally black and white; for more color, I used my celery marker and pink and red Sharpies to fill in the leaves and flower centers.

The sentiment is stamped in red on whisper white, then I punched out a celery circle and a pink flower to go inside the O and put a vintage brad in the center. I mounted on black cardstock and wrapped a strip of pink grosgrain ribbon around, attaching on the back of the coaster.

Next I did the large flowers, which were stamped in red and pink and cut out. I layered the celery dotted circle and small flowers in the center with brads to match the O, then mounted them on dimensionals. Finally I added the "every moment", which was stamped on red for a punch of color.

I'd love to see what you come up with for this week's challenge! If you upload to SCS, the keyword this week is DSIC18. Have fun!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'm still behind

This computer problem is driving me crazy, and so is the laptop! According to the computer place, my hard drive crash was a really bad one, and they're not sure how much they can save. I can't believe I might lose so much stuff. I can't even bear to think about it.

Yesterday I started working on the SCS technique challenge. I don't usually do these challenges, for various reasons... but it was a gift card holder yesterday and I'd been wanting to make some for the fair, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity. It took me till this morning to finish them up. I actually made several different ones, but I'll only show my two favorites here.

I made all of mine using my jumbo wheels, as one of the tutorials linked on SCS showed. This one uses the Watercolor Vines wheel in mellow moss on barely banana cardstock; I used the wheel on both sides of the cardstock before folding. I liked the belly band technique for keeping them closed - the band is 1" wide and held closed with a glue dot. It just slides off to open the card holder. The bouquet is from Close as a Memory; I stamped it first in mellow moss and then in perfect plum, and cut out some of the purple flowers and glued onto the moss image. The sentiment is by Inkadinkado.

Here is how the inside looks. I borrowed an idea from the catalog and added some cutout plum flowers to the vines. For punching the opening for the gift card, I didn't have the word window punch that the tutorials were using, so I used my large oval punch and then my 1 1/4" circle punch. I think it looks pretty this way!

The second one I'll show you is the It's Beautiful wheel inked with old olive on river rock cardstock. I was doing a lot of these and so constrained myself to using the ink cartridges that I have instead of the ink pads, so that limited my color choices. I paired it with the One of a Kind set. I stamped the large flower once in olive on olive cardstock, and once in pomegranate on river rock cardstock, then cut out both and layered with one of the flowers that goes with the Boho Blossoms punch and a brass vintage brad. The sentiment is in olive on river rock, with a little pomegranate colored on the tiny flower and the remaining punched flowers over the oval punches. On the inside I added a few more pomegranate flowers to punch up the color.

I really enjoyed making these - they go pretty quickly, and I'll definitely be making more. Tip of the Day: If you want an envelope to go with these, SU sells notecards that come with envelopes that are the perfect size (3 5/8" x 5 1/8"). However, you may be lucky like me and have a leftover stash of envelopes from your wedding thank-you notes - they are this same size and I have a ton of them! Speaking of weddings, I should probably make a couple of these that are wedding-themed... maybe this afternoon!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Catching up

Well, the diagnosis for my PC is not good, according to my friend. She thinks the hard drive is dead. So it's off to the computer repair place it goes, and I'm already fretting over all the things I won't be able to access for several weeks. Not to mention all the photos, video, and other stuff that I hope they can rescue...

I did manage to get my camera software loaded onto the laptop, so at least I can post photos now. I'm kind of amazed that the CD with the software was right where I thought it was and I was able to locate it in just a couple minutes of looking. That's a miracle, let me tell you.

So here is my post to catch up on the SCS featured stamper challenge from yesterday. The chosen stamper was sparklegirl, Silke Ledlow, who is very well known in the stamping world. In browsing her gallery I saw two cards I wanted to CASE and I even found time to do both yesterday.

The first is this card, which I CASEd from Silke's card here. I remembered this one from Beate's inspiration challenge (being the lover of ICs that I am) and had to turn it into a Mother's Day card. I changed the colors, the background stamp, and the sentiment, and also added an additional chocolate chip layer.

The blue paper is from the Porcelain Prints pack. I cut a 2 5/8" x 4" panel and then attached it to another panel of the same size, which I stamped with the En Francais background. I used chocolate chip ink but stamped off once first. I dirtied the edges with chocolate chip and stamped the flowers from Close as a Memory in chocolate chip in the center.

The sentiment from All Holidays is stamped on soft sky with chocolate chip and layered on chocolate chip. I liked how it looked with the panel offset to the left, since the blues didn't overlap so much that way. I used the chocolate chip poly-twill ribbon from the mini catalog (thanks to my upline for giving us all some at our last meeting!) and mounted the sentiment on dimensionals.

The second card I chose to CASE was this one. When I saw it I immediately thought that it would make a nice photo holder (see this post for instructions). I liked the dots but used them for the background, with the apricot paper from the hostess pack. I used the old olive paper pack for the floral panel and tempting turquoise for the accent color. I kept the same layout and stamps, and used vintage brads in the same places. I think it looks pretty sweet this way! I'll be looking for more ideas for these photo holders in the coming days since I'll need to make more for the May 7 fair.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gaah! Argh! Rats!

This morning I can't get my PC to turn on. By sheer coincidence a friend that knows a lot about computers is stopping by this afternoon, so I'm hoping she will help me get it working. But I can't post any pics on the laptop so until I figure out what's going on, there won't be any blogging from me, at least not with photos! Please cross your fingers that I'll be back soon... I even had a card I wanted to post. Argh!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Going quiet

I'm definitely back in pre-craft fair mode. Making cards that are quicker and feeling more frantic about how quickly the time is going. That's made worse by the fact that the next two weekends I won't really be getting anything done - for good reasons, but still...

I spent some time watercoloring today, and I did one card to go with Beate's weekend sketch #44. The stamp is by Lockhart - they have some really lovely floral images. I stamped with black Stazon on watercolor paper and used my watercolor crayons (apricot, moss, and a few different blues!) to color it. I stamped the Savvy Stamps sentiment in brocade blue and added a corner rounder punched scalloped edge and some doodling (with white Signo gel pen) on the brocade layer. The papers come from the hostess pack in apricot and bashful blue. I did more doodling around the outside of the bottom layer - it just seemed to need something - and tied white taffeta ribbon around. I don't know what I think of this... I was going for something more sweet than elegant, and I guess I achieved it! I don't usually doodle on my cards, though, so maybe that's where my uncertainty comes from.

This card is a shameless CASE of Andrea Walford's card here. I thought it would make a great graduation card. The paper is by 7 Gypsies, and I matched it up with brilliant blue, ruby red, chocolate chip, and a bashful blue card base. The sentiment comes from Hugs & Wishes. I just love how you can combine the two star punches this way!

Finally, a card I did yesterday: I have been looking everywhere for some ribbon to match sage shadow (I must be one of those rare people that actually likes this color, LOL) and I found some at Michael's yesterday in the $1 rack! So I had to use it. I stamped the From the Garden flower in sage on vanilla cardstock, then colored in with pastels (sage, banana, apricot, and mustard). The background is barely banana cardstock and ink with the linen background, and the sentiment is from Great Impressions. I don't think the photo on this one really captures the color well - that's what I get for taking it at night.

Sorry if I'm not around much in the coming couple weeks. Tomorrow I'll be meditating for six hours (wish me luck) and whenever possible I'll be working on craft fair projects. I'll try to post what I can!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Inspiration Challenge #17: Real Simple magazine cover

This was a new source of inspiration for me: I received the May issue of Real Simple magazine in the mail this week and I knew as soon as I saw it that it would be this week's challenge. Come play along with me, and if you upload to SCS, this week's keyword is DSIC17.

I used the SCS sketch challenge from today for my card again this week. The first thing I noticed on the cover was the tall flower in a bottle, so I was inspired to use a similar stamp. I also love cottage style and the feel of the cover seemed very much in that vein so I wanted to recreate its colors and look.

I first stamped the large flower from Live Your Dream on whisper white cardstock. I inked the whole stamp in pretty in pink, then wiped off the stems and leaves. I used blender pen to pick up some pixie pink ink from the ink pad to color the centers and then colored the stem and leaves with certainly celery marker. (I'm starting to see why the markers are such a great tool to have - but I'll have to make do until I can get more colors!)

I used the same coloring technique on the strip that goes across the card. I thought that stamping in celery and then cutting out pink flowers would be faster than coloring the stamp multiple times - boy, was I wrong!

I decided to do the out of the box technique for the main flower. I penciled in a rectangle around part of the stamped image and then cut it out, letting the flowers and leaves come out of the box where necessary. This way I was able to make the pixie pink panel under the flowers smaller so that more of the background would show.

The background papers are certainly celery and pretty in pink. I chose the same pattern in each color (the pink is in the hostess pack that's in the current catalog). Before assembling I stamped the sentiment from All Year Cheer in pixie pink on the pretty in pink paper, then used my fingernail to distress the edges of the panels. I added celery grosgrain ribbon to the long strip and then put it all together, with the main flower up on dimensionals. I used two layers of dimensionals under the top and bottom of the flower so it's popped up nice and high.

I am hoping that the next card you see from me will *not* be a Mother's Day card! I'm ready to do something different. What that will be... I'm not sure yet, but stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

True to my word...

I made another color combo challenge card! This one uses Julee's Mojo Monday sketch #33. I think I'm up to almost 20 Mother's Day cards now... I don't really know how many I need, but I'll be ready to take a break from them soon!

The central image on this card is by Stampendous. I stamped it in Stone Gray Stazon on watercolor paper, then used my Aqua Painter with watercolor crayons (blush blossom, basic gray, certainly celery) and my groovy guava reinker to color it. I cut it out and mounted on dimensionals over basic gray taffeta ribbon and a panel of guava paper layered on basic gray cardstock.

The small panels use the same floral DSP as in my first card, with more gray cardstock and some vintage brads. The card base is 5 1/4" square and made from the same textured Bazzill cardstock. Pretty simple - when you have a big focal image like this one, the card practically makes itself!

I've been enabled

When I saw Jen del Muro's card sketch sample on Saturday, I fell in love with the shimmery flowers she used. And I bet I'm not alone! I just had to go to Michael's this morning and see what they were all about.

Here's what they look like. They are in the bridal section and they're actually table confetti. For $5 you get this whole pail - plus, wouldn't the pail itself be a cute altering project? They come in white and ivory, and I think they are just gorgeous and fun.

Once I had them, I knew they were destined for today's SCS color challenge. What an amazing combo today: blush blossom, groovy guava, and basic grey. I love it! I think I'll have to do another card this afternoon.

The flowers were the first thing I did, since I didn't know if they would require drying time. For the guava flowers I colored them with a blender pen and reinker, and for the blush flowers I used a sponge dauber and my ink pad. I'll have to play around more to know if the color took better with the blender pen, or if the blush is just so light that it's more subtle. For the centers, I used tiny acrylic gems from the floral section. I think Jen also used these on her blog recently. They were on clearance, woo hoo! So I got all the colors they had, clear, pink, and turquoise. You will be seeing these again, for sure! I punched out 1/4" circles from the paisley groovy guava designer paper, glued to the back with two-way glue, and then glued the bauble to the flower with Tombow Mono Multi adhesive. I'm not sure you can actually tell that it's paper under the acrylic, but at least then I could use a glue that dries clear on top of the paper and the Tombow on the bottom.

The rest of the card was super quick. The card base is actually Bazzill textured cardstock because (gasp!) I ran out of blush blossom. I only had one tiny scrap left! But this color is exactly the same. I cut a panel of basic gray cardstock and scalloped the bottom edge with my corner rounder punch. Then I adhered a panel of flowered guava paper and tied on some basic gray taffeta ribbon.

The sentiment is from Wordsworth and is stamped in basic gray on guava cardstock. I used my Marvy punches to punch out the sentiment and the scalloped blush blossom oval. Then I adhered it to the card and put the flowers on with dimensionals. Super quick and I think super cute!

Tip of the Day: The acrylic baubles vary in how clear they are the whole way through. Some have a very visible bubble in the center that affected how the paper looked behind them. So I dug through until I found 5 that were as clear as possible.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Trying some different techniques

I started off the morning not sure what cards I wanted to make today - some days I wake up knowing what stamps or colors or sentiments I want to pull out, but today wasn't one of those days.

I wasn't inspired by the SCS technique challenge today, but as I was browsing my blog subscriptions, I came across Linda's technique video tutorial for the week: faux layers. As Linda says, it's not a technique that you really *need* to do, but it's cool! So check out her video this week for all the directions. I pretty much did just what Linda did and also CASEd her layout, although I changed the stamps and colors. I also made it into a three-layered card instead of a single layer. It's probably just me, but I can't let those brads show through the inside of the card, LOL!

First I took a panel of soft sky and stamped the linen background in soft sky ink. Then I stamped the sentiment from All Year Cheer in chocolate chip right onto the panel. I masked with post-its just like Linda and sponged in the faux layers, first with not quite navy and then with chocolate chip.

Next I stamped the flowers from Garden Silhouettes onto the background. I did have to cover the sentiment panel, but since I had already done the background I didn't have to mask the flowers. (Can you imagine cutting out this image? Yikes!) I colored the flowers with not quite navy marker and the stems and leaves with always artichoke.

The final touch was to make the chocolate chip layer look like hardware. For me this would be the reason to use this technique, because I don't have the hardware frames that look like this. Plus, you can make your frame whatever size you need. Linda shows on her video how to use a punched-out scallop template to draw in the faux hardware, then you just add your brads. These are by Making Memories.

I mounted the panel onto a chocolate chip layer and then a white card. This card is by no means perfect, which as you know bugs me to death, but I wanted to post it anyway because I thought you should see Linda's technique. Try it out and see what you think!

I did a second card this morning - another CASE. Actually it's a CASE of a CASE. For the featured stamper challenge yesterday I almost chose this card from Kharmagirl's gallery but didn't. Another SCSer did, though, and it was beautiful. So I'm CASEing Kathy's CASE of Jodi!

I wanted to use the same stamp set and wheel but change the colors. I chose this combo of very vanilla, bordering blue, always artichoke, and basic black using my favorite color combo web site. This site has all the SU colors and you can pick up to 5 at a time and see how they look together. If you know you want to use one or two colors and want to see what goes with them, you can put in the ones you want and then search for combos that use them. If you come up with a combo that isn't in there, then you can save it for others to find. And for fun, you can click "surprise me" and it'll give you a random combo. Sometimes they are even good, LOL!

I used the weathered background with bordering blue ink on matching cardstock. The wheeled panel (Stems & Silhouettes) is artichoke ink on matching cardstock. The card and layers are basic black. The ribbon is mellow moss - I really wanted to use taffeta and I think it matches pretty well here.

For the flowers, I stamped the solid flower in bordering blue and then did the rock 'n' roll technique (for the first time, if you can believe it) with artichoke ink. I stamped off once first before putting the final images on my vanilla cardstock. To get the speckles, I used a technique I read about on Technique Junkies, where you wet your watercolor crayons with an Aqua Painter and then tap the Aqua Painter against your finger to make speckles. I did it a little differently, since I couldn't bear to get the crayons wet - I know you can use them like that, but I have some hangup about messing up my stuff! I picked up ink from the ink pad lids with the Aqua Painter instead. Then I stamped the outline in artichoke and sponged both colors on the edges before mounting.

The sentiment is a Judy Melvin clear alphabet set, stamped in basic black on a scrap of the background. I circle punched and mounted on dimensionals, and then the Happy Mother's Day is on the inside. This was soooo close to being SUO, but it just couldn't quite get there!

Hey, where did my morning go?? Only two hours left to eat lunch, meditate, and do some cleaning before the sitter goes home. Never enough time in the day for everything, is there? Sigh.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Solid stamp watercoloring (with mini-tutorial)

I had so much fun with the featured stamper challenge on SCS today. We were to CASE Jodi, aka Kharmagirl, who has an amazing gallery. I chose this card as my starting point.

I kept the layout of Jodi's card and also the blue bayou and wild wasabi, but I used groovy guava instead of barely banana. The wasabi floral panel is from the Afternoon Tea collection in the mini catalog. Such pretty papers in that set! I used the Watercolor Vines wheel for the background (blue bayou ink and cardstock), edged everything in blue bayou ink, and made my own word window punch for the sentiment (Savvy Stamps).

I wanted to have my main flower image look watercolored, but I needed to use the solid stamp from Live Your Dream - so I played around with how to achieve that and I think I may have hit on something new. At least I've never seen it anywhere that I know of, but correct me if I'm wrong! It's really just a combination of some other watercoloring and stamping techniques. I'm calling it solid stamp watercoloring, for lack of something more imaginative. Feel free to suggest something better, LOL!

Basically what I did was this:

1. Color solid stamp image with markers (or in my case, blender pen colored with reinkers, since I was using the In Colors).

2. Lightly mist watercolor paper with water. You don't want it to be too wet, and you don't want any water drops that are so large that they will blur your image.

3. Huff on the stamp and press onto damp paper. Your image may look something like this:

4. Using a drop of reinker and Aqua Painter (or press ink onto the lid of your ink pad and pick up with Aqua Painter), color in the areas that didn't stamp evenly and shade as desired. Naturally when I tried this for the second time, it didn't come out as well as the first - I think with this you need to be prepared for some trial and error!

Catching up from yesterday

I was really in wedding card mode yesterday - after I finished my glitter challenge card, I did two more! Here is the first one.

The starting point for this card was the marriage definition background from Rubber Stampede. I stamped it on very vanilla cardstock with chocolate chip ink, then tore diagonally across the bottom and edged it with more chocolate chip.

The silhouette couple by Inkadinkado seemed perfect to contrast the detailed background. I stamped with Versamark on vanilla and embossed with copper EP, then cut out and edged with chocolate chip.

To pull it all together I added some brown satin ribbon from the Michael's $1 bin and a pinstripe close to cocoa DSP panel behind the definitions. The image is mounted on dimensionals and it all went on a vanilla card. And that's all, folks! This was a quick and easy card to do.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Trial and error, and more trial, and...

Well. I wanted to do Jen's Sketch for You to Try today to make a wedding card. But when I got all the elements together, the sketch didn't really work. So I went in my own direction with the layout so that I could still use what I'd already done. I did complete another challenge, though: Sharon's Stamp Simply challenge to use glitter. I really had some fun with that aspect of this card!

The first thing I did was the center panel. I stamped the couple from To Have and To Hold in basic black on whisper white cardstock. Then using my soft sky reinker and a blender pen, I added a touch of color to the image, highlighting some of the lines and coloring in the flowers and bow tie. For glitter I used stardust Stickles on the veil and flowers. Somewhere in my blog browsing recently I read the tip to put a dollop of Stickles on a scrap and use a little piece of paper to paint wherever you want the Stickles to be. So whoever gave that awesome tip, thank you! It allowed me to put just a dot of sparkle in the center of each flower.

While that dried I worked on the background. I guess you could say I made my own designer paper again - I did say yesterday that I love doing that, right? I took the small flower stamp from the same set and stamped all over a white panel with soft sky. Then, as long as I had the blender pen inked up, I colored in the flowers so there would be a bit more color. I went over all the swirls with my Sakura clear glitter pen and dabbed Stickles in the centers of these flowers as well.

The sentiment (from the same set) was stamped in black and the frame added with the Stamp-a-ma-Jig. I did more blender pen coloring inside the frame and added just a bit more glitter pen. The subtle sparkle is just enough, I think!

It was when I went to put it all together that things fell apart. No matter what I did, it just didn't come together. So I turned the strips the opposite way, which gave me lots more room to showcase the image and put the sentiment underneath. The sentiment and couple are both on dimensionals, and behind the sentiment I put a strip of black satin ribbon. Not sure I made the right choice there, but it's done now!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Chuckles from the kids

I know I haven't said much about family stuff lately. There hasn't been too much to report! But the kids said and did some funny stuff this week so I thought I'd put it here for posterity.

Here are some things that made us laugh this week:

Sarah picking up a calculator, holding it to her ear, and saying, "Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh."

Ben finding a picture he'd done at school last fall, before there was a Ben M. in his class and he was just Ben and not Ben R., and after we discussed how he was just Ben back then, saying, "That was before I got my R."

Sarah getting a still-wrapped tampon out of the bathroom cupboard, and thinking it resembled the cereal bars they eat for bedtime snacks, saying, "I need help to open snack."

Hip to be square

What, more square cards? from moi?? Beate had a square card for her weekend sketch challenge (click here) and I decided to stick with the square for the two cards I made. She loves square cards, and maybe I'll become a convert yet!

The first thing I thought of when I looked at the sketch was using a wheel on the left-hand panel. Of course wheels are part of one of the current SU promotions so I thought I should showcase one of them. Never mind that I didn't use it with the stamps that SU bundled it with - the It's Beautiful wheel lives up to its name all on its own! Seriously, I could rhapsodize for a while on this gorgeous wheel. But it's late so I'll just move along...

I inked up the wheel using my purely pomegranate ink pad, then rolled it onto blush blossom cardstock. How pretty do these two colors look together? I layered a strip of it with pomegranate cardstock and attached to a 5 1/4" square blush blossom card. I kept the background completely plain - that's unusual for me to have so much "empty" space, but now you can see the pretty images in all their glory!

The sentiment from All Holidays is stamped in chocolate chip on blush blossom and layered with chocolate chip. To dress it up I stamped the three flowers from One of a Kind and punched out, then attached to the sentiment panel with glue dots. I added just a bit of the chocolate chip wide grosgrain ribbon to the wheeled panel, then attached to the card and mounted the sentiment up on dimensionals. This was very quick to do but I think it makes quite a statement.

Now, I hadn't really intended to make a second card with the sketch. But I had gotten out the From the Garden stamp this morning, intending to use it sometime this weekend, and it just called out to me. In order to use the flower, which is just ginormous, I made the bottom panel larger for this card. If you haven't seen this stamp, my card shows just a small portion of the whole image, and it's incredible. It's only available through hostess benefits but it's a must-have.

I first stamped the flower in river rock on whisper white cardstock and cut it down until it seemed small enough to fit on the card. I edged in basic black with the ink pad, then cut river rock and black panels for layers, edged the river rock, and mounted together.

The side panel is whisper white on basic black. The swirl stamp is from Stitched Exotics, and I liked how it picked up the swirls in the background paper. These are second-generation stamps in river rock, since I didn't want it to be overpowering. The sentiment is from Short and Sweet and is stamped in black, and the black brads are from the vintage brad pack.

The background paper panel is a 5" square of river rock designer paper. I edged it in black again, added the narrow black grosgrain ribbon, and then centered it on a 5.5" square white card. I thought the stamped layers looked cool overlapping the bottom layer in different ways; both are mounted on dimensionals.

One final note on this card: since it says "Best wishes" it must not be a Mother's Day card, right? LOL. I intended it to be a wedding card. Is it wedding-y enough? Should I seal the deal and stamp a wedding congrats sentiment on the inside? I haven't done it yet, so tell me what you think!

Right up my alley

Today's SCS limited supply challenge was perfect for me: to make your own designer paper. This is actually something I do all the time, but I always love doing it so I was happy to play. I made two cards and each used a different kind of handmade DP, both being ideas I hadn't played around with before.

Here is the first card I made, another Mother's Day card. The stamp set featured here is Live Your Dream from the current mini catalog - I just love this set and I hope it makes it into the next big catalog! I first stamped the Weathered background in river rock on vanilla cardstock, then stamped the small flower image repeatedly in river rock and second-generation not quite navy. It seemed like it still needed something to fill in the holes so I added a few second-generation stamps in river rock anywhere a blank space was bothering me. The edges were sponged with river rock, and then I added the river rock ribbon and mounted onto a not quite navy panel.

The small panel is also stamped over the weathered background. I inked the stamp in river rock and then wiped away what ink I could from the petals and colored over with not quite navy marker. I cut it out and sponged the edges with more river rock. I laid it all out and couldn't figure out where a sentiment would go, and then I remembered the handwriting LSC Jen gave us a few weeks ago. I wrote "mom" over the top of the panel with the writing end of the marker, then mounted with dimensionals and stamped "Happy Mother's Day" on the inside.

I did something very different for my second card, which is for Father's Day. I took the journaling stamp from the Live Your Dream set and made a pinstripe background using my Stamp-a-ma-Jig. What a great little tool! I can't believe I ever tried to stamp without one. The ink is chocolate chip and I used kraft cardstock just to add a little more visual interest.

The panel I ended up with was square, so I decided to make this a square card. It's not something I do too often, but I think it really worked well here. The vanilla card is 5 1/4" square, the chocolate chip layer is 5 1/8" square, and the striped panel is 5" square. I used my ticket corner punch for the corners.

For the image panel, I first cut four 2 1/4" squares of vanilla cardstock. I took the outline stamp from Wonderful You and stamped in chocolate chip on three of the squares, and then used the solid stamp on the fourth square. I mounted them onto a chocolate chip scrap and then eyeballed it to trim it down, so I guess the size of this square is about 4.5". Before I adhered the vanilla squares I used the ticket corner punch on each outside corner and did the same to the chocolate chip layer.

The sentiment was the final touch. This stamp is from Memory Box; I wanted something small that wouldn't take away from the images. It's stamped in chocolate chip on vanilla, cut out, and layered onto more chocolate chip. I only corner punched the vanilla panel this time so that I could add vintage brads in the corner of the chocolate chip rectangle. I mounted it on dimensionals and that was that!

I think both of these cards took about 30 minutes to do. Just goes to show that you don't have to spend hours and hours to get a card that you really like!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Two cards are better than one...

especially when you're getting ready for a fair!

I'd seen a card using Ranger alcohol inks and glossy cardstock on this blog a while back, and wanted to try it. You already know I love alcohol inks for making my dominos, but I'd never used them on a card. If you haven't tried alcohol inks, you should! They are so much fun and totally addictive.

I liked Diane's simple layout so I decided to CASE her card to some degree. I ended up with two cards that are pretty much the same - just a different flower stamp and color scheme. I did mine a little differently than Diane did, though, so here are the steps I followed.

Diane said that she stamped first on glossy white cardstock in black ink and then added the alcohol inks over top. Well, I'm not sure what I did, but it didn't work for me. I tried both Stazon and basic black inks and both of them bled when I added the alcohol ink. After some experimentation, I did the alcohol background first, then let dry for a few hours - I really wanted to be sure it was dry! Then when I stamped with the basic black ink and again let it dry for a while, it worked.

My first card uses the same combination of alcohol inks as Diane's card: red pepper, raisin, and meadow, dotted onto the felt applicator and then onto the cardstock until I had the area covered. I used very little of the meadow and a lot of blending solution to get it looking this light and pink. The second card uses the same technique with eggplant, denim, and meadow inks. The stamps are by Memory Box (flowers in vase) and Inkadinkado (tulips).

Tip of the Day: I found that when stamping on the glossy cardstock, I needed less pressure than I use in my stamping normally. It seemed unusually easy to press too hard and get a blurry image, so I recommend a light touch.

To finish my cards I used my Marvy oval punches. Both cards use perfect plum, along with pretty in pink and bashful blue. I chose the same dot paper from the hostess prints pack for the background, and stamped the Inkadinkado sentiment in black onto the paper. For the ribbons I used the stacked ribbon technique that had been featured in Monday's challenge, with wide white organdy and the pink and blue SU taffeta ribbons. I mounted the ovals on dimensionals and that was it! I kept it simple so the pretty backgrounds would be able to shine. Here are close-up photos of the alcohol ink images:

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Inspiration Challenge #16: Elegant Water Lily prints

I'm cleaning up my stamping space (yes, still - it will take a while) and one of my projects was to go through my huge stack of inspiration ideas. I've been gathering these for months now and I had to admit that some of them weren't going to be used. But I found a few that I'd forgotten about and really loved. One was this set of water lily prints from Ballard Designs. If you click here you can zoom in to see all the gorgeous detail up close.

This card came out quite different from my initial vision of it, but I really like it. I started it yesterday but knew that I would use today's SCS sketch challenge if at all possible. So once I saw the very unusual layout we were to use, the card had to go in an unexpected direction! I figured the quickest way to get the oval shape would be to use my Marvy punches.

I wanted to do some watercoloring for this card - I wish I had a water lily stamp! Instead I went with the flower and leaf images from the level 2 hostess set called Infinite Goodness. I stamped and masked both images with jet black Stazon on watercolor paper until I had a nice-size area covered. For the coloring I used my Aqua Painter with vanilla and apricot watercolor crayons for the flower petals, cocoa for the flower centers, and olive and artichoke for the leaves. Then I took my soft sky reinker, dropped one drop onto the open lid of the ink pad, and colored in the background with the Aqua Painter. I think I'll have to play with this style of watercoloring some more - I love that SU products offer so many different ways to get this effect.

I did all the coloring yesterday and then set aside my watercolored panel until I saw the sketch this morning. I was a little heartsick to think I was going to punch something out of it to get the oval. I mean, I spent a long time doing the coloring, and I had a good-sized panel. I really hesitated with my punch - thinking, do I really want to do this? I moved the punch around several times and finally held my breath and just went with it. What I liked was that I had a complete flower that I could cut out from another part of the panel, so I mounted that over the bottom with dimensionals. Then I put it onto a larger scalloped oval punched from olive cardstock, sponged the edges with cocoa ink, and felt happy with the result.

Now on to the rest. To imitate the script panels, I wanted my background to look aged, so I very lightly rubbed some cocoa and olive ink over soft sky cardstock with a paper towel. Then I stamped the En Francais background with basic black. After I cut my panel to size, I inked the edges with more cocoa, and layered it onto an olive panel that also had been edged with cocoa.

The last step was the sentiment - I couldn't figure out where to put it so I got out the 5/8" olive grosgrain ribbon and hemp twine so I could make a tag. I stamped "wonderful" from Warm Words in black on soft sky, then punched out and layered onto an olive tag, inking edges in cocoa again. Once I tied the olive ribbon on, I punched a 1/16" hole from the tag and attached it to the ribbon with the twine. Then I layered everything onto a vanilla card. And in case you're wondering, it's a Mother's Day card - it says Happy Mother's Day on the inside.

If you want to upload a challenge card to SCS please use keyword DSIC16 this week, and don't forget to leave a comment here so everyone can see!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My first graduation card

I had the idea that for the May 7 fair, I should probably have some cards for the other occasions that are coming up and not just Mother's Day - Father's Day, graduations, and weddings. I'd never made a graduation card before today. This one is quite different from my usual style, I think!

For the layout I went hunting and chose a sketch from the Page Maps September 2007 card map page. No time to come up with my own layout today, unfortunately! The colors are today's SCS color challenge, which is to use real red, night of navy, and glorious green. Well, glorious green is one of those colors that I don't even own because I'm not too fond of it! I subbed in wild wasabi, which is still a challenge for me because I'm not a huge fan.

I knew that I wanted to try a super-cool technique I saw on Laura's scrapnextras blog - she calls it Roll with the Punches. She gives complete directions on her blog, but basically you punch out shapes on a template, then roll a wheel over the template so it inks inside the punched-out parts. I used my large and small star punches (guess none of the small ones are actually visible, LOL!) then rolled my Spunky Spots wheel with night of navy ink. To make the stars stand out I sponged navy ink over the template.

I wanted to mix stripes and dots on my card, so I used the polka dot background in navy on a red card base, then stamped the stripe from the Happiness stamp repeatedly with navy on wasabi and punched out a large star. I adhered it to navy cardstock and cut out, then did the same with red. I distressed the edges with my fingernail and sponged navy ink over the whole star. To add another stripe pattern I put a small piece of striped wasabi ribbon behind the star and attached with a vintage brad.

The sentiment is by Inkadinkado and is stamped on real red. I layered it with navy and wasabi, layered the star panel with wasabi, and distressed and inked all edges, including the card base. I added two more brads on the sentiment panel, adhered the strips, and then attached the star with foam tape.

Tell me what you think - I definitely feel more comfortable in my usual elegant style, but it was kind of fun to venture in another direction today.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Me and my sweet tooth

Y'all who know me do understand the depth of my honest-to-goodness sweet tooth, but that's not the kind I'm talking about today! I had to get another sweet little treat for myself on Friday - I had a $20 frequent buyer coupon at one of the stamp shops in the area so I decided to go get myself some of the new Basic Grey papers. The last couple lines from them haven't wowed me, but they have five new ones and they are all stunning!

I think one of my favorites is called Sugared (click here to see everything from it, as well as the other new collections). These papers seemed to call out to me when I saw the SCS featured stamper challenge for today. She is Kristi, aka Mommylvs2stamp, and she has a lovely gallery. I picked this card because I noticed the Basic Grey Blush papers right away, and I also loved the shape and the layout.

I think the influence from Kristi's card should be clear, so I'll just tell you what I did. First I cut a white top-fold card and rounded the bottom corners. Then I cut panels from two of the Sugared prints and rounded the corners of the striped paper to match the card. Before adhering the top panel I added the ribbon - sorry, I have no clue what it is, but isn't it gorgeous? - so that it wouldn't show on the inside of the card. The scallop and stripe in the center are cut from another Sugared print and adhered over top. I used just a bit of always artichoke on the edges.

With my flower image I did embossing on vellum just as Kristi did. I chose the large flower from One of a Kind and stamped it with Versamark, then embossed with some old hand-me-down pink EP. It looked a little too pristine so I dirtied it up with Ranger vintage photo distress ink and cut it out. Behind the flower is a layer of white cardstock with the same flower stamped in third-generation vintage photo. I added the copper brad (American Traditional Designs) in the center and adhered with foam tape.

For the sentiment I used Ranger aged mahogany distress ink and a stamp from Wordsworth. Then I stamped the little flower from One of a Kind in pretty in pink all around the words. It wouldn't have looked right if I didn't make it nice and shabby, so I rubbed all over with the vintage photo ink. I didn't mean to get it quite this dirty, but I didn't have time to do it over!

This is one card that I think looked better in my head than it turned out, so I'm curious to hear what you all think. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

For a savvy mom

Believe it or not, I actually found time to play the SCS inspiration challenge today! There is also a VSN stamping weekend going on with lots of fun challenges, but so far I haven't had time to participate. We'll see what tomorrow brings. In the meantime...

The challenge today was some very cool bedding by Boodalee. I loved the color combo of taken with teal, certainly celery, and basic gray.

My stamps on this card are (gasp!) not SU! I needed a few new things to supplement my Mother's Day stamp selection. I loved these images for the challenge, which had such a bold, geometric feel. The flowers and sentiment are by Savvy Stamps, and the vase is by Great Impressions. It took several steps to pull this together. First I stamped the flower image in celery to get the stems. Then I stamped it again in teal and cut the flowers out, then glued them over the celery flowers. Finally I stamped the vase on basic gray cardstock with basic gray ink, cut out, and put it over the flowers so they look like they're in the vase. I did something unusual with my celery ribbon and ran it under the vase before I attached it. I left it hanging loose until I mounted the image on the layers, then tied the knot.

The background paper here is by American Crafts - I thought it had the perfect geometric look and color. I used my photo corner punch and some Making Memories pewter brads to dress up two of the corners. Finally, I stamped the sentiment on celery in basic gray, then created my own word window by trimming and using my corner rounder punch on one end. One more brad and dimensionals and that's it! I really like this one and hopefully someone will love it for their special mom.

Coaster photo holders: a quick tutorial

I really get frustrated by my schedule at the end of the week sometimes. It's so hard to find any stamping time, especially since I'm supposed to be meditating for an hour a day!

I did have an assignment for this week, though. I was in charge of bringing the make and take to our team meeting, which was last night. We usually don't do cards, so I wanted to find something else fun that was also fairly quick and easy. I saw a cute photo holder made with chipboard coasters on someone's blog - I can't remember who it was, sorry! - and they linked theirs back to this one by I'mVeronica on SCS. I didn't have any directions so I just figured it out myself, and I thought I would post a little tutorial here.

2 4x4 chipboard coasters (I get mine from Stamp on This)
Mod Podge
Foam brush or paintbrush (about 1" wide)
Tombow Mono Multi adhesive
2 4x4 squares of designer paper
Sanding blocks (optional)
Corner rounder punch
Stamps, cardstock, embellishments of your choice

1. Use the corner rounder punch to round corners of your designer paper squares.

2. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the coasters. Make sure it gets all the way to the edge.

3. Adhere the paper to the coasters, smoothing out to the edge to make sure the corners don't curl up.

4. Apply a liberal coat of Tombow adhesive to one side of the clothespin and attach to the blank side one coaster, then add glue to the other side of the clothespin and attach the second coaster on top. Use a little pressure to make sure it adheres, and check that it's aligned correctly before you set it aside to dry.

NOTE: I attached mine with the top of the clothespin lined up with the top of the coaster. The advantage is that the clothespin doesn't show, and it seems to help keep the coasters from bowing out as much at the bottom. The disadvantage is that the photo has to be further down inside the holder so you lose more of your image. If you wish, you can line up the clothespin with the top of the metal spring at the top of the coaster. Then you can either paint the clothespin to match or use a large stamped image to hide the clothespin when you decorate the front.

5. Allow to dry - if you're like me, by the time you have everything figured out to put on the front, it'll be dry!

6. Optional: sand edges of coasters with sanding blocks.

7. Decorate as desired. I only decorated the front of mine but you can do both sides if you wish.

Here is my recipe for my photo holder. I have way too much of the retired Wintergreen paper, so I chose one of those prints. I thought I might give it to Todd for his desk, until he informed me that he didn't like the stripes, LOL!

I used the Artfully Asian stamp set and the Linen background. The first thing I did was stamp the linen in certainly celery on whisper white cardstock. I experimented with varying amounts of pressure and generation stamping to see what level of intensity of color I would get. I think I ended up just using the first-generation stamp, though.

The leaves were inked in both celery and artichoke. I played again with some generation stamping over the background. The final image I used has three of the leaf images, one in celery and two in artichoke (first and second generation). I tore out the assymetrical panel, used my fingernail to distress the straight edges, and inked all the edges with artichoke.

The sentiment also has the leaf stamp over the linen background. This is a second-generation stamp in celery. I inked up the sentiment three words at a time and centered the second half under the first so that it would fit on the coaster. Honestly I can't believe I only had to do this once! The edges are similarly distressed and inked, and I mounted it on an artichoke panel with torn and inked edges.

When I went to put it all together it just seemed like that upper right corner needed something else. So I added another torn and inked artichoke piece with three vintage brads. My teammates liked it - it was something kind of different, I guess! I finished off by mounting it to the coaster and then popping up the sentiment panel on dimensionals.

I think I'll be making some of these for the Mother's Day fair - we'll see how they do. I ordered a whole bunch of coasters so I'm sure you'll be seeing them on other projects for a very, very long time!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Inspiration Challenge #15: Adria quilt

I decided to postpone the inspiration piece I found in my home and chose instead this quilt and sham set from Garnet Hill. Only then did I remember we just did bedding two weeks ago - oops! Well, I hope you'll play anyway. If you click here you can zoom in on Garnet Hill's photo, or even buy it for yourself!

I loved these colors together - I've used light blue and brown together a lot, but never a darker blue and brown, so I wanted to give it a try. The two cardstock colors are blue bayou and chocolate chip, and to reproduce the gorgeous baroque print I used night of navy ink. The stamp set featured here is One of a Kind. I thought the large flower stamp would make a pretty allover pattern since it's fairly bold and would show up well.

I liked how the quilt has two different patterns of brown fabric, so using white craft ink, I stamped a background first with my polka dot background stamp and then used the argyle lines from the retired Looks Like Spring set to make another background. The argyle one is a smaller stamp so I decided to use it as an accent rather than the allover background.

After I'd stamped all those navy flowers I wasn't sure what to do with them - and then I hit on the idea of using the sentiment from One of a Kind and making one of the flowers stand out from the rest. I cut out each of the two layers from an extra stamped image, then used the three-flower stamp and coordinating punch to make the rest of the layers. So that the flower would stand out even more, I went over the outer edges of each flower with my Sakura clear glitter pen. I used a pewter vintage brad to hold it all together and attached it with foam tape.

The rest came together fairly quickly. I cut a thin border of the argyle pattern, added white organdy ribbon, and attached at the bottom of the flower panel. The sentiment was stamped in navy and cut out, then mounted over the ribbon. I stamped "MOM" with one of my clear My Sentiments Exactly alphabet sets, then used two Marvy scalloped rectangle punches for the "frame" and added two more brads to tie it in with the flower. That is also mounted on foam tape. It all went onto a whisper white card.

This week's keyword for the challenge is DSIC15 if you want to upload on SCS. I'd love to see what you come up with!

In other news, I had 96 eBay auctions close yesterday, and I sold 77 of the items! I'm thrilled with how well that went since I've been without freelance work for a couple weeks and the money will come in handy. So my next task is to get all of those packages sent out. If I'm not posting for a couple days, you'll know why!