Monday, June 30, 2008

Having fun with Fresh Cuts

Okay, stampers, one more day until demos get to see (and preorder from!) the new catalog preview brochure. Cannot wait! For the month of June we had to be satisfied with our one new set so far, which is Fresh Cuts. We're also offering cute laser-cut 3x3 notes that coordinate with the stamps. I have yet to play with those too much, but I've made some cards with the stamps that I thought I'd share. I purposely made these simpler than a lot of my cards so that they would be easy to demo. I also used a lot of In Colors since I love them and they'll be gone soon!

These first two cards were made for a swap organized by my upline. This one is a 4x4 square of groovy guava cardstock with the vine image stamped in guava up the left side. I stamped the large image in white craft ink and attached to the card, then added "for you" stamped in blue bayou in guava and oval-punched, plus a small blue bayou scalloped strip done with my corner rounder punch. The small flower stamp is blue bayou stamped on white and cut out, then mounted with a vintage brad and a little bit of guava ribbon.

Here I used wasabi paper from the Afternoon Tea collection, along with white and black. The vine stamp is trailing along in the background behind the large image stamped in wasabi, trimmed closely, and edged in black. The sentiment comes from Sincere Salutations and was stamped on the same paper then scallop punched. I added black grosgrain ribbon and mounted the square panel on dimensionals, then added a black layer and a white card.

For this one, I took the front of one of the Fresh Cut notes (I messed up the inside but didn't want to waste it) and stamped all over with the vine stamp in taken with teal. I had to do a little creative masking to cover the whole thing. Behind the cutout I put a square of basic gray cardstock, then put the small flower in regal rose in the center. I used the ticket corner punch then added vintage brads and a layer of rose cardstock. Finally that went on a basic gray panel with taffeta ribbon and a white card. The sentiment is in rose and is (again!) oval punched.

This might be my favorite of the four. I don't know if anyone has thought of this - probably, but I've never seen it done. If you save the cutouts from the front of the note, you can attach them to the back of a flower punched with the five-petal punch and make a lovely larger flower. Then I added the small flower in soft sky in the center. The main image is stamped in Versamark on pomegranate cardstock and embossed with white. I stamped the vine in soft sky up the left of the soft sky card, then added the sentiment in pomegranate and a knot of ribbon threaded through punched slots.

This is a fun set, and you can bet that when I get more new preview goodies, you'll see them here, so stay tuned!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What a difference a weekend makes

I'm feeling so much better after yesterday's SCS inspiration challenge - I was overwhelmed (in a good way!) by the positive response to the challenge. I really wanted to pick something that everyone would love, and it seems they really did! Thanks to everyone who has played, and keep 'em coming! I'm trying to stay caught up in commenting on everyone's cards, since I loved seeing all the different takes on the challenge. But I have a newfound appreciation for the effort Stephanie makes to do that every Saturday!

Today I managed to squeeze in a little time to do the featured stamper challenge. Today's stamper was Chelemom - I think she is new to me, but I enjoyed seeing her gallery. Congrats Michele! I picked this card to CASE - although I think I ended up changing quite a bit!

I wanted to keep the Cuttlebug embossing, since I'm new to the CB and haven't used it yet on a card. But since I'm new I only have a couple folders, so I chose the textile texture. I intended to keep the layout the same but ended up changing it a bit to work with my images. I totally changed the colors, obviously, but used a similar ribbon treatment and kept the sponged edges on all the panels. Actually the entire CB panel is sponged, since when I did the edges the contrast was pretty strong so I went over the whole thing lightly. Not sure if that was the right thing to do, but it's done now!

I decided to use very vanilla, blush blossom, groovy guava, certainly celery and always artichoke for my colors. I did the CB embossing on blush cardstock and set it aside. For the large panel I decided to use a piece of celery dot paper, and for the horizontal strip I used the It's Beautiful wheel. I inked it with guava and then rolled off some to get a lighter color. I sponged everything with artichoke and layered onto artichoke cardstock, with an extra guava panel behind the CB layer. The flower from True Friend was colored with celery and artichoke marker, and a guava "marker" made from a blender pen and a reinker.

For final touches I took the "Thanks" stamp from Live Your Dream and stamped with artichoke ink on blush cardstock, then punched blush and guava ovals. The dewdrops (from Michael's) are clear but I punched a 1/4" circle of guava and adhered to the back with Crystal Effects so they would stand out.

When I assembled the card, I decided to put the ribbon on the larger celery panel instead of the strip. I tied a knot with guava ribbon, then added just a knot of celery grosgrain and a dot ribbon that matches the guava really well. It was from my LSS - I don't know who made it. The celery panel is mounted flat, then the wheeled panel is up on foam tape. The flower is on foam tape at the top but flat adhesive over the wheeled panel. The sentiment is on dimensionals.

This was a fun one - I'm sure I'll be doing more CB cards in the future!

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm all punchy!

I was so excited when Stephanie, the host of the weekly SCS inspiration challenges, asked me to fill in for her this weekend. Of course I said yes! I had a terrible time deciding what to choose, but in the end I went with this gorgeous State Fair bedding from Garnet Hill. Click the link to zoom in and get a close-up view of all the fabulous fabrics they used!
For my card I couldn't reproduce everything they did, so I went with red flowers, blue stripes, and the small blue flowers with red centers. I picked whisper white, ruby red, soft sky, and chocolate chip for my colors.

Let me start by talking about how I made the punched flowers with my five-petal punch. I have to thank my sideline Deana for the idea - she saw it on a web site that she called Stamping Dog, but I can't find it - if anyone has the link, pass it along! I'm sure others have had this idea as well, but it was new to me, so in case it's new to you, here's how it's done. ETA: it's - I knew someone on SCS would know. Thanks!

First punch a flower in the color that you want your flower to be. (Mine were soft sky, but here I'm using chocolate chip so that you can see it better.) Using two-way glue in the removable way, or any removable adhesive, put your flower on a scrap with one point facing down (the reverse of how you punch the flower normally).

Now you're going to punch the flower again - but this time, position the punch so that you are evenly splitting each petal of your original flower into two smaller petals.

Here is what you get:

And just because it's cool, Deana discovered that you can also offset how you line up the punch, dividing each petal into one large and one small petal, and it looks like this:

Here are my three finished flowers, with a 1/2" circle punch of ruby red in the center. Before putting them on my card, I sponged them with chocolate chip ink to shabby them up - let me tell you, sponging a 1/2" circle is no easy task!

Now for the rest of the card. The stripe panel uses the Cornish Heritage Farms ticking stripe backgrounder, stamped with soft sky on white cardstock. I used the ticket corner punch and mounted it to a chocolate chip layer and a soft sky card. Let me say that all panels were distressed with my fingernail and the edges sponged with chocolate chip.

To get the red flower panel, I colored just the flowers from the large stamp in the Live Your Dream set with ruby red and chocolate chip markers, then stamped repeatedly to make my own designer paper. Once I mounted it to the chocolate chip layer, I added a soft sky ribbon bow. The flower panel is mounted on dimensionals, and then I attached my three punched flowers to a chocolate chip strip and placed it in the center, with dimensionals at the outer edges and regular adhesive in the middle.

Finally I added the sentiment, which is from Impression Obsession, stamped in chocolate chip. I thought it was the perfect finishing touch for a card that I think turned out very sweet itself.

I had so much fun planning this challenge and making this card, and I hope everyone enjoys playing along. I can't wait to see your creations! The SCS keyword this week will be IC134. If you're not on SCS but still want to play, just leave a comment here with a link to your blog or wherever else your card can be found. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Belated birthday post...

Here's a card I made earlier in the week but never got around to posting. This was for the watercoloring with reinkers technique challenge that was posted on SCS on Monday. This technique wasn't new to me, but I did learn something new from the guest hostess, which was to put water on the stamped watercolor paper before taking the color to it. It was really fun playing around with doing it this way - unfortunately a lot of my experiments went awry, but I liked how this card turned out.

I've been so busy with my freelance work that all my stamping has had to be quick - maybe that's part of my feeling blue. But this was another fast card. I stamped the bird from Fun & Fast Notes in black Stazon, and then watercolored using soft sky, river rock, and purely pomegranate reinkers. (I don't have very many reinkers yet - mostly the In Colors, so that's what I used. Twist my arm...) The flower and bird were done by making the paper wet first and then coloring - I liked how the shading turned out. (I don't know if you can tell, but the flower is up on dimensionals because I first did it in guava and didn't like how it turned out, so the pomegranate one was cut and mounted on top!)

I punched the bird and then mounted to a scalloped square that I paper-pierced all around the edge. I used soft sky paper for the background and stamped the Hugs & Wishes sentiment in pomegranate directly onto the dot paper. I added a layer of pomegranate cardstock, punched the corners with a Marvy punch, and tied on some dot pomegranate ribbon that came from a retired scrappin' kit. Short and sweet!

I'm in a stamping funk

It hasn't been the best week in my stamping world. I guess I have to admit that I didn't win the Paper Crafts contest - I knew the odds were against it but I was kind of excited about the possibility. Maybe someday I'll post my cards... right now I look at them and only see the things I don't like about them.

I lost a couple blog subscribers - I've tried hard to build my readership so it makes me sad when people unsub. I'd love to hear feedback on what you like about my blog or what could be improved. I've been bummed that only a couple people have played the inspiration challenges. I love doing them so I know I would still do it anyway, even if it weren't an official challenge - but I'm curious if I should be doing something differently to encourage more players.

I could really use your mojo coming my way this weekend. Saturday something special is happening (I'll let it be a surprise for now) and I hope it'll be great. And tonight and tomorrow, I'm working on plans and hopefully laying the groundwork to take over a fellow demo's monthly stamp club after she moves overseas. I'm super excited about the possibility - I just hope the three ladies in the club want to continue with me! Later in the summer I'm planning to do an open house and free stamping night for them and anyone else who might be interested, and I really want these events to go well. Tomorrow night is my second time to meet with the club as they are having their last meeting with their current demo hostess. Some good things happening would go a long way toward boosting my mood!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Inspiration Challenge #26: Little Sparrows

Have you ever browsed the hand-crafted offerings at Etsy? If not, go! Now! It is one of my latest take-a-break-from-work activities to see what's just been listed. I haven't made too many purchases (yet!) but I love looking for new inspiration pieces there. This week's challenge comes from this Little Sparrows print by yumiyumi. Her work is lovely!

When I picked this piece, I didn't think too much about the fact that I don't really do bird stamps. I see other people making lovely cards with them, but they are just not my thing. But then I realized, I do have a couple bird stamps in my Christmas collection: peace doves. With my Mennonite background, that's one of my favorite Christmas motifs. So I decided to do my Christmas card for the week for today's challenge. (I know, I've been slacking on my Christmas card challenge the last couple weeks. I need to get back on the wagon!) And I used the SCS sketch challenge for the layout - which was a fun sketch full of squares from the ever-talented Jen del Muro.

This card was really quite simple to do. The first thing I did this morning was stamp the mistletoe from Peaceful Wishes (another set I'm very sad to see retiring) all over a tempting turquoise cardstock panel with whisper white craft ink. While it dried I punched nine 1 3/4" squares from real red cardstock with a Marvy punch. They fit perfectly into a grid on a 5.5" square white card.

Once the white ink was dry, I cut nine 1 5/8" squares (alas, no punch this time) and added them onto the grid. Then I took a crimson Prismacolor pencil and colored all the berries to get the punch of red that the inspiration piece features. I accented the stems with my Sakura clear glitter pen.

For the center square I first stamped "peace" (Hero Arts) in first and second generation using my turquoise marker. The marker allowed me to only color the word and not the flourish going out from it on each side, and the shadow left from the previous inking told me exactly where to color each time. Over that I stamped the dove (PrintWorks) in real red and accented with glitter pen. The white square is 2.5" and the red layer is 2.75".

The red swirl ribbon (is it A Muse? it was from my LSS and comes in lots of colors) I just found yesterday when I was cleaning. I wrapped a bit of it around two corners of the square, then made a bow and attached it to the lower corner. I mounted the center square on foam tape.

I'd love to see your creations based on this inspiration piece. The keyword for uploading to SCS this week is DSIC26. Thanks for visiting and have a great day!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dotty for Diane!

I had to make time to play the featured stamper challenge today. Beth chose Diane (a.k.a. Lost in the '60s) and I love her work, and often see her sweet comments on others' cards - including mine!

I picked this card - which happens to be her most recent upload. And I purposely didn't look at the challenge gallery before making my card, because I have a feeling this one is going to be a popular choice! I changed the image and sentiment, and I kept the soft sky and basic black from Diane's card but left off the kraft.

I started my card with the vase, which is by Great Impressions. The paper is from a Target pack by Making Memories, and I actually used the thumbnail of this print from the back of the packaging - the actual paper has a much larger print, but I wanted the tiny flowers here. The stamp has a pattern on the vase, but I didn't want that to show so I inked the outline of the vase with my basic black marker.

I stamped the flowers (Savvy Stamps) twice in black ink: once on soft sky cardstock and once on white. Then I cut just the flower parts from the white image and added to the soft sky image with dimensionals.

The dot panel comes from the same Target paper pack. I liked the dots so much that I repeated them on the background, which is from the soft sky designer paper pack. I added soft sky ribbon to the black dot panel.

For the sentiment, I took the stamp from Lots of Thoughts and covered the bottom of the image with a post-it, then inked the top, removed the post-it, and stamped on the background. I tried it with a marker but it just wasn't bold enough.

I decided to keep this one crisp and clean, with some black layers and a white card. Maybe in the coming days I'll have time to do a two-hour card, but not today!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Accomplishments of the week

Well, I've been busy this week - not doing a whole lot of stamping, though. I'm feeling good that I've started cleaning up my entire stamping room - which has been a catch-all room for the last five years and now needs to be shaped up for what I hope will be my new stamp club (more to come on that at a later date...).

This week I managed to sort through my SU patterned paper - the Container Store has great 12x12 size folders with lots of pockets, so I was able to sort my papers by color and/or collection. I am also going through my piles of scraps, trying to figure out the best way to organize them. I'd love to hear your tips for this task - it just stumps me!

Tonight we had a team meeting and cookout with my upline, and it was lots of fun. I took a luggage tag project for my make & take, and maybe I can get those posted sometime soon.

I've been spending many hours on my freelance projects. Two are (I think) getting close to being finished. Two more are going to be getting under way in the next couple weeks, so I guess the busy-ness is not quite behind me yet!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Inspiration Challenge #25: Hibiscus Print

I chose this print for the challenge this week because the fleurs de lis in the lower left corner reminded me of Carte Postale. It's one of my favorite stamp sets, and it's on the retired list (sniff, sniff) so as of August 11 it will no longer be available. I think it's one of those sets that I will never part with. Anyway, the print is by Carol Robinson and it's available at

For colors I chose always artichoke, certainly celery, chocolate chip and very vanilla. I also used today's SCS sketch challenge for the layout.

I wanted to reproduce some of the different textures from the print on my card. I thought the (presumably retiring) Leaves a la Carte wheel would be perfect for the small strip of cardstock specified on the sketch. I inked the wheel with my chocolate chip ink pad and rolled it on vanilla cardstock. The French Flair background (which is of course also retiring) was a natural choice for the large panel, and I stamped in artichoke on artichoke cardstock.

The striped panel was the most involved. I took a piece of celery cardstock and used two large post-its to mask off and make a stripe, which I did with a paper towel and artichoke ink. Then I repositioned the post-its (just eyeballing it) to make more stripes. Finally I used the fleur de lis stamp and my Stamp-a-ma-Jig to add the pattern. I put the leaf panel and the striped panel together onto a chocolate chip layer and then added chocolate chip taffeta ribbon.

For the sentiment I stamped the leaf image in celery on vanilla cardstock and then added the sentiment from Fresh Cuts. I wanted a flower on there somewhere, so I punched the smallest flower from the Boho Blossoms punch and used a vintage brad in the center, then used the 1 1/4", 1 3/8" and scallop punches and mounted on dimensionals.

Please come and play along - I'd love to see what this piece inspires you to create. The SCS keyword for uploading this week is DSIC25. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I can't resist Soft Sky

I knew that when I saw today's color challenge, I wouldn't be able to let it pass me by. Soft sky is just one of my most favorite colors and I think it always will be. Today Emily paired it with kraft and basic black - a very striking combo!

I thought this big cake stamp by Savvy Stamps would look great with paper piecing done on the soft sky floral paper from the Afternoon Tea pack. I stamped it in black on the paper and also on kraft cardstock, then cut out just the cake from the paper and adhered it onto the cardstock. I love black layers for a dramatic card so I knew I'd use them today.

For the background I used a panel of soft sky designer paper, a kraft layer with paper piercing, and a black layer with a scalloped edge done with the corner rounder punch. I added a bit of black satin ribbon then put it onto a soft sky top-fold card. The sentiment is also from Savvy Stamps.

Had to keep it pretty quick today. Todd's horrible crunch time at work is supposed to be done tomorrow, but I'm still under the gun with my freelance projects. I'll be hard at work this week but I feel much better having taken a break for some stamping!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Oh yeah, I remember challenges

How long has it been since I did a challenge? About a week and a half... it feels like forever! And I probably wouldn't have done one today if it weren't for needing a Father's Day card for Todd. I combined it with the inspiration challenge on SCS, which was to use the Acacia catalog. What a wealth of inspiration there - I'm sure you'll be seeing something from there in a future IC here on my blog. For today I chose the Botanical Wall Art that Stephanie posted. The layout is Jen's Sketch for You to Try - with a slight alteration that I moved the circle on her sketch up.

I should start by saying that getting an accurate photo of this card at this time of night was impossible. Sorry! The colors I picked based on the art were chocolate chip, sage shadow, really rust, and more mustard (actually this is a Bazzill paper that matches because I couldn't find my SU mustard cardstock - I really, really need to clean my stamping space...). The first thing I did was score a 1" diagonal grid on a piece of sage cardstock - Beate gives great instructions here. I turned it over and sponged the raised lines with chocolate chip ink, with a little extra on the edges. It's layered onto rust cardstock.

I knew I wanted to do some copper embossing - I just love copper anything. I made the background by stamping the large swirl from Stitched Exotics in Versamark on chocolate chip cardstock and then embossing with copper EP. I mounted it on a mustard card.

Once the background was embossed, I decided all the rest of the stamping had to be as well or it would just pale in comparison! The mustard panel combines the large swirl and leaf from Stitched Exotics, and the rust panel uses just the leaf. The sentiment is from All-Year Cheer and was punched with Marvy punches. I did a little embossing resist on all of these, sponging the chocolate chip ink over and then rubbing off any that got on the embossed areas.

Three Making Memories copper brads, a couple chocolate chip layers, and pop-up glue dots for the sentiment, and that was that. The planning for this one took a lot more time than the execution! I hope I get to do more stamping in the coming week... I didn't complete my Christmas card challenge for this week, even. But I guess I had a few other things going on. We are all just too stressed out around here so cross your fingers that everything calms down soon!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My first gift set

Tomorrow we have to say good-bye to our babysitter, Laurel, who has been with us for almost 3 years. She's spending the summer as a camp counselor and then heading off to college. We are really going to miss her, so I decided to make a little send-off gift set for her, with her college days especially in mind. For simplicity I used the same color scheme and a lot of the same supplies, and everything here is pretty quick and simple, but I hope still reflecting of how much she means to us.

Here is the thank-you card I made. The flowers from Live Your Dream were colored with turquoise and black markers, and I edged the petals with the side of the black marker. The dot paper is from Doodlebug and the dot ribbon is from Michael's. I stamped the sentiment from Short & Sweet in turquoise and used my oval punches - it's just attached to the ribbon with sticky strip.

The gifts are going into an altered Maya Road chipboard box. I covered the window on both sides; the outside uses the same stamping technique as the card, but with turquoise designer paper from SU and rounded corners. (So mad that I smudged the turquoise with the black marker on this one!) The sentiment (also from Live Your Dream) had to be cut into bits to make it fit the space.

Here is some of the little stuff I put inside. Two domino magnets (these were already made from craft fairs past), two matching pens, two Post-It pads, and a roll of quarters. The cover for the quarters is a Bazzill scrap stamped with an Anita's bubble stamp and embossed. I did this before I decided to make everything matchy matchy - hope it's close enough!

I purchased a gas card (not that it will go very far...) and made this quick little holder for it. Tutorial to come sometime in the near future...

Here's a set of 10 very simple monogrammed notes. Pretty Petals background, Lovely Letters monogram, with circle and scallop punches. The size is 3.5" x 4.75" - perfect for the leftover wedding thank-you note envelopes I have lying around! I'll add a book of stamps to go with these.

I made a quick badge holder album (tutorial is available on SCS here) to put a few photos of the kids in. (I also made one for myself and took it to Virginia with me.) I did minimal stamping for the sake of time - the front and back cover were done on the computer.

The journaling shape shown was stamped with the journaling image from Enjoy Every Moment. This was a really fun little project that I'll definitely be revisiting. Tip of the day: As people were looking at my album earlier this week, the ribbon knots constantly kept coming undone. For this one I tried two things: making the ribbon pieces longer and tying them in double knots. I need a bit more practice on making the double knots look as good as the singles, but hopefully this will hold together better.

Here's the back cover - I thought this scripture was perfect to send her out into the big wide adult world!

In other stamping news, before I left on Monday I sent off six cards for the Paper Crafts Stamping Royalty contest. They are supposed to call the winners by the 17th, so wish me luck... I'm sure it's a long shot, but I really wanted to enter and just see what happens!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Well, that was a travel nightmare

I'm home - and when, you ask, did I arrive home? At 4:30 this morning.

Yes, I spent a lovely 7.5 hours at Dulles airport yesterday. My brother dropped me off at 6:45 - a bit early so he could get to his flight at Reagan - and only then did I find out my 8:55 flight was delayed till 10:30. At some point (9ish?) we were told our plane hadn't left Boston yet - it was supposed to depart around 7. So we all sat, and sat, and sat... they were charging to rebook for today (boo hiss, Jet Blue) so we just had to wait it out. Finally at 12:30 a.m. the plane left Boston - it arrived around 1:45 and they had us boarding at 2. I was impressed that they turned it around so quickly - but right now I am sooo tired. Needless to say, no challenge today - sorry, but I'm just not up to it! I'm supposed to be catching up on work but who knows if I'll even be able to get started.

Despite travel nightmares, I'm really glad I was there for my grandfather's funeral. It was really lovely (although like everywhere else on the East Coast - it was HOT). My brother was asked to give a tribute representing our generation and he did such a wonderful job - he had probably been closest to Grandpa because they had had a lot of discussions about faith in the past few years. Brian even received Grandpa's Bible that he'd been using since 1981, full of notes and thoughts and ideas - just an amazing thing to see. My dad had composed a choral piece that used a couple hymns that Grandpa had chosen, and they played a CD of it during the funeral. It was so beautiful, and moving - I didn't find out till afterward that my dad was sobbing while it was playing. I'm so glad I was there - it was such a testament to Grandpa's life and faith, and really made me think of the legacy he has passed on.

I also wanted to add this little anecdote. I already knew that before my grandma died, my grandpa whispered in her ear that he'd see her soon. What I didn't know till this week was that she answered him - "The sooner the better." I hope this was soon enough for both of them. It warms my heart to think of them reunited again.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sorry I've been quiet

I've been working on lots of stuff - just stuff I can't post! I was asked to do a Fresh Cuts swap, and I'm also putting together some cards for a contest - I'll need to send them off Monday so it's been a little nuts around here. Plus Todd is getting ready for a special archeology event for kids at his lab tomorrow, so we haven't seen much of him. Last I saw he was busy burying artifacts (real ones!) in strata of Jell-O for kids to dig out with a spoon!

I found out this morning that my grandfather passed away last night. He was 91 and had been diagnosed with liver cancer at the end of last year - right after his wife of (I believe) nearly 70 years passed away before Christmas. I am glad that he is no longer suffering and is reunited with my grandmother now.

I'll be traveling down to Virginia for the funeral on Monday and returning late Tuesday. With everything else going on here in the meantime, I may not be able to post until I get back - just wanted to offer a heads-up. Also there may not be a challenge next week - we'll see. Thanks for understanding - I'll be back just as soon as I can, I promise!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Inspiration Challenge #24: Pastiche Jewelry

For today's challenge I chose this cool jewelry set from Viva Terra. Click the link to zoom in - lots of great detail on this one that you won't want to miss!

I used the colors basic gray, groovy guava, pixie pink, and certainly celery, plus some silver embossing. I also used the SCS sketch challenge, which featured a large circle that seemed like the perfect opportunity to find inspiration in the circular earrings.

I first stamped the leaf and flower outline stamps from Wonderful You with Versamark on basic gray and white cardstock. For the large circle I cut the gray with my Coluzzle and then layered onto a larger celery scalloped circle (done with the corner rounder punch again). For the center I cut out a flower from the gray cardstock and mounted with a dimensional over a scalloped-punch circle of striped guava designer paper. The pink flowers were cut from white cardstock and colored with pixie pink ink and blender pen, and I set them aside to use later.

The sentiment panel repeats the same striped paper, with a sentiment from Hugs & Wishes stamped in basic gray. The pixie pink strips are layered on basic gray and accented with celery grosgrain ribbon, and to mimic the jewelry's shape I added one of the ribbon slides from the mini catalog Hodgepodge Hardware set. Thanks to my upline Nola for sharing some of these with her team!

The last panel I did was the guava background. I wheeled the Stems & Silhouettes wheel on my guava ink pad then rolled along the left edge. Once I was ready to assemble, I took a celery card and added the largest gray panel. Next I attached the two guava panels. The panel with the ribbon slide went next, and I put one of the pink flowers on with a dimensional in the lower left corner. I then added the other pink panel and the large circle, and put the second pink flower in the upper right.

If you decide to play along with my challenge today - and I hope you will - today's keyword for uploading to SCS is DSIC24. I'd love to see some fun cards with this inspiration piece - I'm in a little bit of a funk and maybe lots of bright colors would cheer me up!

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'll have the scallops

I love scallops - both the seafood kind and the papercrafting kind! So I'm thrilled to see Papercrafts magazine calling scallops one of the hottest trends. I hope they stick around for a long time!

I worked all morning on this card, pretty much. The first Monday of the month is always a contest on Julee Tillman's blog, using her mojo sketch for the week. And this sketch was really and truly a challenge. But after my morning's efforts I'm really happy with how my card turned out.

My color combo here is old olive, ruby red, basic black and whisper white. I picked this while thumbing through Real Simple and seeing this combo used in one of their article illustrations. Isn't it striking?

This was my first time using the preview set Fresh Cuts. (Contact me to find out how you can own this wonderful set now, before the new catalog comes out in August!) I decided to stamp the large block image and then cut out a circle with my Coluzzle. The top part of the image looked bare, so I took the small flower stamp and added those at the top.

For layering I cut a slightly larger black circle with the Coluzzle and scalloped it with my corner rounder punch. Beate said once that you scallop your circles this way - it was the first time I tried it. And she's right - you can! But here is my Tip of the Day: When you punch, make sure the circular edge is as flat into the punch as you can make it. This is especially important when you move to the next spot to punch. Line it up, and then roll the circle into the punch so you're sure it's flat. I noticed I had a much greater tendency to overlap my punches and ruin the scallops than I do when I punch straight pieces. Also, some experimentation may be required to get the scallops to come out evenly... I speak from experience here!

Moving on, the smaller circle is stamped on olive with basic black. The flower stamp is in ruby red on whisper white, and then I added adhesive half-pearls from Martha Stewart. I edged the circles with the black ink pad and the flowers with a black marker. I used the side of the brush tip and then you can get into those grooves with a very light touch. I mounted the flowers with dimensionals.

For my background I chose the large swirl from Baroque Motifs - there is a little bit of this swirl on the block and flower images from Fresh Cuts. I stamped it in black on ruby red and white cardstock, then cut the smaller blocks to go behind the circles. I also added a swirl to the sentiment panel at the bottom (sentiment is from Hugs & Wishes). Again the outside edges are inked with black.

Finally, the ribbon panel - it's just a strip of black cardstock with some olive satin ribbon from May Arts (available at Stamper's Dream). This ribbon was just the right elegant touch. I added a thin scalloped panel in ruby red cardstock underneath, with the scallops again edged with marker. When I put it all together, the bottom layers and the ribbon panel are flat, and the circles are mounted on foam tape.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Wedding Silhouette

Man, I am soooo tired from staying up too late last night! But I'm still humming the songs from Enchanted all day today. Now, moving on...

Today's featured stamper is Maren (aka mmbc) - Beth says maybe we haven't noticed her yet, but I have! Her gallery is lovely. I chose this card for my CASE, and unlike my usual method, I made some significant changes. The main thing was that this was one of Beate's sketch challenges originally, so I changed the layout a little by making the floral background three pieces instead of four and offsetting the division between the top two small panels, and I also reoriented the focal panel. I changed the stamps, the ribbon placement, and the colors - I kept the chocolate chip, since I did originally intend to use the same yummy satin ribbon, but didn't in the end. I liked the idea of blue and green and used bashful blue and mellow moss.

My main panel is quite different from Maren's - I thought it might be fun to see what it looked like with white stamped on chocolate chip instead of the other way around. What do you think? The couple and sentiment are my beloved To Have and To Hold set. I had intended to do my brads and corners just like Maren, but I cut the panel so close to the words that there wasn't room. So I rounded the corners on the underneath blue layer instead, which I think looks kinda cool, and added some piercing since I wasn't doing any paper piecing like Maren did.

The background is the Garden Silhouettes flower stamp colored with bashful blue and mellow moss markers. I stamped it several times on whisper white to get a nice allover print but still leaving some white space. I wanted to add brads so I did the ticket corner treatment on these corners instead.

When it came to the ribbon, I decided that the chocolate chip ribbon would just make that color overpowering, so I used moss taffeta ribbon to bring in more of that color, plus a moss card base. Thanks for dropping by today - I'll catch you later because I need a nap!