Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm a flower gal, too

Congratulations to Dawn (flowergal36), today's SCS featured stamper! Dawn's work is amazing. I love floral images so I picked a flower card to CASE - Dawn says she stinks at stamping them but I don't believe it! I changed a few things - flipped the sketch, added black accents, used different stamps, and changed the ribbon treatment.

My flower stamp is the Wild Rose from Cornish Heritage Farms. I stamped it with jet black Stazon on watercolor paper, then colored with a tiny brush and watercolor crayons (old olive and chocolate chip) and pink pirouette reinker. I added a sentiment from Hero Arts, stamped in basic black. The background is the Bella Toile stamped in pink pirouette on whisper white, then I used my Scor-Pal to create the grid. I added a strip of white organdy ribbon, then a strip of black satin ribbon, and layered onto black cardstock and a pink pirouette card base. The center panel is mounted on dimensionals. I love the softness of the image with the punch of the black - I think it makes a great combination. Thanks for coming by to check it out!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

ABC Blitz: Post-It Holders, 2008 version

I love playing around with post-it holders, and I wanted to make some using the Sweet Always paper and the coordinating Always stamps in regal rose, pumpkin pie, and chocolate chip. Here is this Christmas's incarnation of the post-it holder, in two versions. The first version uses a belly band to keep the holder closed. You can also see the matching beaded pens I made for these, using Rochelle's tutorial here. These were so fun to make! I'd never done them before but I had all the supplies on hand and wanted to try it out.

The second version of the post-it holder uses the Basic Grey magnetic snaps for a closure. I have to thank the awesome Gina K for helping me out with getting these to work! The trick is to bury the magnet under the layers of paper; otherwise the magnet is too powerful and will just pull off your cardstock after you close the cover. I have as many as three layers of paper in between the two magnets and it holds just fine. For this version I'm showing a monogram, using the Lovely Letters set.

Here is what the inside of the holder looks like. I had orange post-it notes on hand and this seemed like the perfect time to use them. I covered the inside flaps with patterned paper - this covers one half of the magnet if you're using them, but I also like how it finishes off the inside of the holder.

I don't have a full tutorial for you, but here is what I did:

Cut cardstock for holder to 3 3/4" x 8 3/8"
Score at 1 5/8", 2 1/8" from one end
Score at 2 5/8", 3 1/8" from other end

I like to use a square of thin cardboard, like the cardboard that comes with the SU paper packs, behind the center to make it a little sturdier. The size of that panel is 3 3/4" x 3 1/8".

You can change the orientation depending which flap you want to be in front. In the belly band version I put the smaller flap in front, and in the magnetic version I put the larger flap in front. You have to decide which way you're going to go at the point when you attach the post-its to the inside. I adhere the post-its to the holder with sticky strip. The size of the belly band is approximately 1" x 7.5" - since I covered the join with the scalloped circle, I wasn't too exact there.

I hope you'll try these out - they are pretty quick and really fun to do. And I'm curious to hear which of the two closure methods (if any) you like better - I can't decide!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Inspiration Challenge #41: Birdhouse Tree

OK, I have held out this long, but since it's Thanksgiving week and the start of the holiday season, I am just warning you... the next few ICs will most likely feature something related to Christmas. I love Christmas, Christmas stamps, Christmas paper... you get the idea. To kick it off, I thought this fun birdhouse tree from Jackson & Perkins would be a great challenge. Sorry this pic is so small - you'll definitely want to click the link and zoom in. Don't feel obligated to make a Christmas card - I didn't!

The layout for my card is today's SCS sketch challenge. I loved the white against the red so I first took the Boho Blooms background and stamped in whisper white craft ink on riding hood red cardstock. To make sure it was good and white, I embossed with white EP. I made it the large square panel from the sketch, and for something different I layered it with white cardstock and put it onto a black card base.

The rest of the stamps are from Bella Blossoms. I embossed the large flower twice, with Versamark and clear EP on riding hood red cardstock, and with black EP on white cardstock. Then I cut out the red flower and adhered over the black stem. On the white strip, I did some white on white embossing - can you see it? I used Versamark and white EP with the smaller flower stamp. I overlaid a band of narrow black grosgrain ribbon and the embossed sentiment oval, then mounted both the sentiment and the large flower on dimensionals.

Come and play - Christmasy or not, I'd love to see what you create! This week's SCS keyword is DSIC41, and don't forget to leave me a comment with a link so everyone can see.

Hope everyone has a very happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hey, check it out!

I am feeling quite proud of myself right now - I had a coupon and decided to purchase Photoshop Elements at Costco today. I came home and immediately started playing - how'd I do for my first banner attempt? It was way too much fun to make!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Urban Daisy Birthday

I needed a birthday card today and Beate's latest weekend sketch challenge was a great jumping-off point. I decided to look around for what supplies were out and unloved, and I settled on the Urban Garden papers with the Upsy Daisy stamp set.

I chose two of the prints and layered them with not quite navy cardstock. The daisy stamp was inked first in basic gray and then not quite navy, using the rock and roll technique. Since both of these inks are very dark, I couldn't really see how much of the blue ink had been applied - it turned out to be quite a lot! I used baja breeze cardstock to make white a less prominent color. The sentiment (in basic gray) is from the same set and was punched with the wide oval punch. I sponged a bit of not quite navy on both stamped panels.

For finishing touches I mounted the oval on dimensionals and added a bit of white taffeta ribbon. Quick but classy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Elephant Baby

A long while back I promised a friend a baby card. It was on my to-do list, which kept getting longer, and everything more urgent kept pushing it further and further down... until this week, when she actually needs the card! So here it is, and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

My two starting points were leftovers from the Rock-a-Bye Girl scrap kit and Jen's Sketch for You to Try from yesterday. I didn't stay 100% true to the sketch but I hope enough elements are still there!

I began by putting one of the sticker frames from the kit onto the pink pirouette dot paper. Next I used the coordinating Rock-a-Bye Baby stamp set for the elephant and sentiment (stamped in old olive) and layered them with Nestabilities on regal rose cardstock. For mounting I made a scalloped rectangle out of textured olive cardstock with the scallop edge punch (see this great tutorial from SCS) and then added the star in bashful blue. The sentiment and star are both on dimensionals.

To finish I added the striped panel, another layer of olive cardstock, a bit of bashful blue taffeta ribbon, and a white card. I think this is a cute way to use up the scrapbook kit elements and I'll have to make some more of these!

Kreativ Blogger Award!

Teresa is such a sweetheart - she nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thanks, Teresa! Here are the rules:

1. The winner may put the logo on their blog.
2. Put a link to the person that sent you the award.
3. Nominate 5 blogs.
4. Put links to their blogs.
5. Leave a message for your nominees.

Wow, who to choose? There are so many wonderful blogs out there. Here are my nominees:
1. Julie of When the Stars Fall from the Sky - I love her style, and we love to talk stamping! :)
2. Meredith - her blog is new to me but she has great stuff, so check it out!
3. Nola, my fabulous upline! She just started her blog so I'm giving her a shout-out.
4. Jill of Inkgenious - always wonderful for browsing!
5. Pam of Stamping with {Serendipity} - another fabulous blogging stamper!

Go check out all of these ladies' wonderful work!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

ABC Blitz: 2009 calendars

I'm challenging myself in the coming days to post some of the ABC (anything but a card) projects I worked on for the fair at Ben's school. (Incidentally, I did really well at the fair and sold a whole lot of stuff, so I'm really pleased!) My first post will be this year's version of the CD case calendar. If you remember, last year I made these. This year I decided to try something different - I liked the 12-page version but they were a whole lot of work and I wanted a simpler version this time around.

For 2009 I got tear-off calendars from Stamp On This. I ordered these quite a while ago, and now it looks like they are running out, so be sure you order early! I made white base panels cut to 5 7/16" x 4 5/8" - you'll want to check this size against your CD cases before you cut since I think the size may vary slightly.

Next I stamped the panels. I made six different ones, using either very large stamps or images that could be combined to make a nice allover pattern. The first one uses Inspired by Nature colored with pumpkin pie, old olive and chocolate chip markers. Next is the gorgeous Bella Blossoms flower in purely pomegranate and old olive over the Boho Blooms background in pink pirouette. I stamped the flower separately then cut it out and adhered over the stem. The smaller flowers were stamped directly over the background.

This one uses Organic Outlines in chocolate chip, kiwi kiss and so saffron (inspired by the card on p. 99 of the catalog).

Next, Baroque Motifs in soft sky, blue bayou, and river rock. (Can you tell I was enjoying getting out last year's In Colors for a change?)

Here I used Kindred Spirits in Night of Navy and Basic Grey. I'm not crazy about this one so I want to keep playing with this set to get something I like better!

This last one uses a stamp by Artful Stamper, stamped in Baja Breeze in two generations.

The final step is to cut a 3 3/8" x 2 1/4" panel for adhering the calendar. Then you just take your CD case, remove the front cover, flip it over, and reattach it so it becomes a stand. (Note: make sure you have the standard size jewel case and not the slim kind.)

There you have it - a pretty quick project with lots of possibilities!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Inspiration Challenge #40: Daily Tea

I love the kids' clothing from Tea Collection. They always find the coolest international inspirations! They also have great basics, which they call Daily Tea, and it's one of those lines that I've chosen for our challenge today. I love the different colors and patterns in this set. You can zoom in on the photo if you click on the link.

This challenge led me to a color combo I never would have thought of - kiwi kiss (it's the center of the dahlia flowers in the right-most top, and it's prominent if you look at the rest of this collection of Daily Tea), regal rose, and bravo burgundy. I decided to use the Always set since it has both a bird and a flower image.

I first took a sheet of white cardstock and my burgundy ink and stamped a pattern with the flower and my Stamp-a-ma-jig. (This is a really fun technique to play around with - a lot of stamps make amazing patterns this way, so give it a try!) To make the centers I stamped one of the small flowers from the set in kiwi, then punched out the very middle with a 1/4" punch and adhered with mini glue dots.

I liked the rose piping and tried to mimic that with my layers by using regal rose cardstock. I stamped the bird with burgundy and pierced a border around the square. Under the stamped layers I added a panel of burgundy cardstock with three vintage brads, then a panel of kiwi kiss patterned paper. The sentiment from Short & Sweet was oval punched, and the bird and sentiment are mounted on dimensionals.

Come give this challenge a try - these colors perked me up this morning! This week's SCS keyword is DSIC40, and as always leave me a comment here - I'd love to see your creations!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Honey, you're not old...

You're prehistoric! LOL. That will not be what I will say when I give Todd this card for his 40th birthday, which is tomorrow. He has had a thing for dinosaurs ever since he was little, so I of course had to purchase some of the Basic Grey Archaic papers when they came out. They seemed like the perfect choice for Todd's birthday card.

This card was also done for the featured stamper challenge. Today's stamper is Kendra, who has an enormous and lovely gallery. I picked this card but made some changes to it. I used eyelets instead of buttons, changed the focal shape, and added a sentiment oval.

Instead of stamping dinosaurs, I took the dino printed paper and used Nestabilities to cut out one of the images. They are so fun that I wanted to let this little guy show himself off! I stamped a sentiment from A Muse on a coordinating neutral from Bazzill and cut that out with Nesties as well, and then I used some Bazzill orange cardstock for layering. The underneath layer is made of three other papers from the Archaic collection. I mounted all the layers to an orange panel and then added jumbo antique brass eyelets with my Crop-a-dile and tied hemp twine between them. A few dimensionals for the shapes and a matching neutral card base and we're all set.

We had Todd's birthday party last evening - we had six people (three from the lab, three from MIT days) and a lovely time. Todd enjoyed his Mexican food, we had a great evening visiting, and the kids loved having some new people to show off for. Tomorrow may not be as celebratory since I'll be at the preschool fair for about nine hours... but I promised that I would make the decadent peanut butter and chocolate cake that I make for him every year, so we will at least have that!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Popping in briefly

Good heavens, I can't believe it's been nearly a week since I've posted. I have been crazily making as much stuff as I can for the fair at Ben's school next week. I have vowed that this year, I will not stay up until midnight making snowman soup and such things that people will buy but is just not enjoyable for me to churn out. So I'm having a blast and making things that I really love. Hopefully after this fair is over I'll actually have time to show them to you.

I thought I would quickly post a fun little project I did last week. One of my tasks for the fair is to come up with a donation for the raffle. I'm going to do a gift basket with a variety of stuff in it (not all of which I'm 100% sure of, LOL). This is one of the items.

I'd found these cute tins of cocoa and spiced cider mixes at HomeGoods a couple weeks ago. (If you are not lucky enough to live near a HomeGoods store, TJMaxx has a lot of the same stuff.) I didn't want to cover up the cute print on the outside, so I just used sticky strip to adhere some wide chocolate chip grosgrain ribbon and added a bow. The tag uses a snowflake background from A Muse and a sentiment from Hero Arts with my SU tag punches, and I tied it on with a bit of hemp twine. The colors are old olive and chocolate chip.

The top of the tin is probably my favorite part. This snowman from Inkadinkado is the perfect size. I colored him in with an old olive marker and some Tombow markers - I was trying really hard to match the colors on the tin. It's a sickness, I know.

I cut and embossed the circles with Nestabilities - I am so excited that I finally figured out the embossing sandwich that works in my Big Shot. If you're curious, this is what works for me:

1. Open the platform to tab 1 and place a cutting plate on top.
2. Put the die face up and the item to be embossed face down.
3. Cover with two Spellbinders tan embossing mats.
4. Cover with another cutting plate - I use a clean Cuttlebug B plate.
5. Put through the Big Shot without closing the top of the platform.

I hope that helps someone - I've definitely found that some experimentation is needed to figure out what works in your particular machine.

Unfortunately I'm going to have to take this week off from the inspiration challenge, but I expect to be back next week. I know y'all will understand!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Christmas card stamp camp!

I hosted my Christmas card stamp camp last Saturday and we had a great time. I also learned a lot about how to run this kind of event! I had made ten different cards and the stampers who came made one or two of each. Next time I think I'll cut the number of different cards down a little, LOL. I'm posting them here with very brief recipes so if you want to know any more details about any of these cards, please ask!

Card #1 is a CASE of Sharon Johnson with Ski Slope paper and the Punches Three set. Instead of Nestabilities I used the wide oval punch for layering. Colors: real red, chocolate chip, baja breeze.

Card #2 uses Fun & Fast Notes and Heard from the Heart. The kraft panel is 3" square and the 1 3/4" circle punch centers in the middle fairly easily. Colors: always artichoke, mellow moss, bravo burgundy.

Card #3 is done with Lovely as a Tree in baja breeze and handsome hunter - we all agreed this was an unexpected but really great color combo. More Ski Slope paper and sentiment from Many Merry Messages.

Card #4 uses the Always set in riding hood red, very vanilla, and always artichoke. I distressed the edges with my fingernail and added artichoke ink. Another sentiment from Many Merry Messages.

Card #5 is a CASE of one of Shannan Teubner's cards from the most recent Take Ten. I used the In the Spotlight set with paper from Holiday Treasures. Sentiment from All Holidays. Colors: riding hood red, chocolate chip, baja breeze.

Card #6 is in bashful blue and brocade blue with the stamp set from the Country Living kit. The snowflake fits perfectly in the scallop punch. The paper comes from the Rock-a-Bye Boy scrap kit. I added some accents to the large snowflake with white Signo gel pen.

Card #7 uses Holiday Treasures DP and the tree from Snow Swirled. The sentiment is from Warm Words.

Card #8 was embossed with clear and silver EP. The colors are night of navy and bordering blue with brushed silver for an accent. The angel is from Holy Triptych, sentiment from Holidays & Wishes, and swirl from Baroque Motifs.

Card #9 with the Christmas Cardinal is CASEd from the mini catalog in old olive, real red, whisper white and kraft. All stamping was in black and coloring was done with markers.

Card #10 is a bit of an oops - the snowman from Just Celebrate isn't current! I am without any current snowman stamps and I didn't realize what I'd done till Saturday morning. The small snowflake comes from Season of Friendship. The colors are nontraditional: kiwi kiss and pacific point.

Whew! That was a lot of cards. The good news is I have three of each of these, so I'm well on my way to having my Christmas cards done now!

Inspiration Challenge #39: Serendipity Tapestry Coat

OK, I'm keeping it quick today because (1) I'm sooo busy and (2) I slept wrong on my neck and can barely move it this morning! I picked an (I think) easy challenge piece this week and I hope you enjoy it. This gorgeous coat comes from NorthStyle and I just loved the elegant style and the colors.

For my layout today I used the SCS sketch challenge with the sentiment element added to the sketch. I picked baja breeze, not quite navy, chocolate chip, and old olive for my colors with the Baroque Motifs stamp set, along with paper from the Urban Garden collection and the Pattern Prints hostess pack. The sentiment is from Elegant Cheer, and to finish off I used narrow chocolate chip grosgrain ribbon and vintage brads and pop-up glue dots for the medallions.

This week's keyword for SCS upload is DSIC39 - come and play along, and have a great day!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A special day for Todd and me

Ten years ago today, Todd and I first "met." I put that in quotation marks because, as some of you know, we met through an online matchmaking site. I had just visited Boston for a conference and soon after I got back to Tallahassee, where I was working on my Ph.D. at FSU, I found a sweet message from this guy at MIT who sounded wonderful. And he was, and still is!

This card is for him. It's for the featured stamper challenge for today, featuring Becca Stamps - who is (coincidentally?) the guest designer for Jen del Muro's sketches this month! What a wonderful artist Becca is. I chose this lovely card for my CASE - although I ended up making a lot of changes, which wasn't my original intention!

I started by stamping the leaf (from Rubber Stampede) in chocolate chip on very vanilla cardstock. Like Becca I cut and embossed with Nestabilities. But my circle ended up so big that I had to adjust the layout. I added this panel of Cosmo Cricket paper, lots of layers of Bazzill cardstock with more Nesties shapes, the sentiment from Wonderful Words, and copper brads (Making Memories) and retired Hodgepodge Hardware with a bit of chocolate chip grosgrain ribbon. This came together quickly, which I needed today, and even though it's not much like Becca's card, I think it turned out well, and I hope Todd likes it!