Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Inspiration Challenge #45: Amelia Snap Pouch

I was browsing Etsy last night and came across this sweet little pouch by candyargyle. Isn't it too cute? I love the flowers and the colors. I was inspired by the fabric on the outside, but the lining fabric is fun as well - be sure you look at all the photos!

For my card I chose baja breeze, so saffron, kiwi kiss, and chocolate chip for my colors. I used the SCS sketch challenge for my layout. Did I go overboard? I was having too much fun putting lots of stuff on this card.

I wanted to make a flower pattern inspired by the pouch, so I took the smallest flower from Petal Pizazz and stamped it in chocolate chip, saffron, and baja breeze, using the Stamp-a-ma-Jig for alignment. I was able to do it in diagonal rows so that I didn't have to change ink color for every single impression. The large flower from the same set was stamped in baja breeze and chocolate chip, then I punched out the chocolate chip center with the 1/2" circle punch and added it to the baja flower. The leaves are stamped in kiwi.

For background I used the dot print from the kiwi patterns pack and a saffron paper from a retired Simply Scrappin' kit. I used a strip of baja cardstock with a bit of kiwi ribbon, and then added ribbon just at the top of the yellow panel with a big, fun bow. I had just enough room for the sentiment from Think Happy Thoughts. I used a lot of dimensionals on this one - this is definitely not a 42-cent card!

I am going to ignore the snow that's falling outside my window and think about spring with these fun colors. I hope you're inspired to join in! This week's SCS keyword is DSIC45. Please come and play, and leave a comment here so everyone can see!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Club cards for Valentine's Day

Oops, I never got around to posting these over the weekend! Time has a way of slipping through my fingers...

We had a very fun time at our first club meeting last Friday. We were going to do two cards but I ended up making three because I just couldn't decide!

The first one was the most labor-intensive. I wanted to teach the "Roll with the Punches" technique created by Laura Fredrickson. I used our new full heart punch, the So Swirly wheel, and riding hood red ink. To define the hearts I sponged around the punched-out hearts with the red ink and a dauber. I also used the eyelet border punch on this card. It's not too hard to make the square - I basically followed the SCS tutorial for making squares with the scallop edge punch. This punch I think is even easier because you can line up the eyelet holes at the corners. Try it - it's fun! The sentiment stamp comes from All Holidays and the designer paper is Candy Lane.

I wanted to do a card that the club members could give to their hubbies. You know that masculine valentines are not easy! Todd told me he thought the lovebirds were too cutesy, but I and my fellow stampers disagreed, LOL. These stamps are from Love You Much and A Happy Heart. I used some basic gray retired Halloween paper along with basic black and real red cardstock. I added just a bit of piercing at the corners to dress it up a bit.

This was a quick card that I added at the last minute, just in case they wanted to make a feminine card. The heart is also from Love You Much, the sentiment from A Happy Heart, and the paper is again Candy Lane. The combination of close to cocoa and pink pirouette is so soft and pretty.

That's it for today - wow, this day has flown by and I have yet to stamp a single thing. You know how it feels - a day without stamping is like a day without sunshine! :) Hope you all find a little sunshine in your day with whatever makes you smile!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Love Times Two

Here's a pretty quick Valentine that still looks elegant. I'm breaking out some more new SU stuff with this card, which I made for the featured stamper challenge on SCS. Today's stamper is Vicky Gould - she's an amazing artist with an enormous, gorgeous gallery! I picked the first card that jumped out at me, which was this one.

I was inspired by Vicky's use of the Cuttlebug birds and swirls folder to try out the new SU-exclusive texture plates from Sizzix. I used the swirly one - it's gorgeous. Based on some advice from other demos, I stacked up the sandwich with an additional layer of cardstock on top - that gives a deeper impression. I used the plate on whisper white, pink pirouette and bravo burgundy cardstock, and to highlight the swirls a bit more I wiped a paper towel dipped in burgundy ink over all of the swirls.

I decided to use the Love heart from A Happy Heart and make this a Valentine's card. I stamped it on pink and burgundy with Versamark, embossed with clear EP, and cut the hearts out. Then I made a scalloped rectangle with the scallop edge punch from the white swirl-embossed cardstock and mounted the hearts with dimensionals. I added white taffeta ribbon and put the heart panel over that with more dimensionals.

For my three brads I took the Heart to Heart punch and punched out three little hearts from burgundy cardstock, then mounted them on 1/2" inch white circles with brass vintage brads. I adhered them to the card with glue dots and stamped Happy Valentine's Day on the inside. How's that for (fairly) simple elegance?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The joy of a new catalog

Have I mentioned that I really love all the wonderful new stuff in the spring/summer catalog? Wow. It's just gorgeous. And how perfect was it that today's SCS inspiration challenge featured an image that let me use several new things on one card?

I started out with the stunning Parisian Breeze specialty papers. The colors of chocolate chip and baja breeze were perfect for this challenge. The stamp set is Friends 24-7, which has some really elegant images. It's definitely one of my favorites in the new catalog.

I chose the dot and floral papers and put two panels of them together, then covered the seam with baja breeze satin ribbon from the Valet Ribbon Originals. The flower is stamped on baja breeze cardstock in chocolate chip, with the damask stamp as a background. I used baja breeze ink stamped off once. Instead of a full layer I added a strip of chocolate chip punched with the eyelet border punch on one side. To think I wasn't going to get this punch - I think I'm going to be using it all the time!

The sentiment also comes from the same set. I hope it's readable - I really wanted to repeat the floral print in the bottom of the card for balance. I used the circle and scallop circle punches, and then to mimic the eyelet punch, I used the 1/16" inch punch on the scallops.

I have another idea for this challenge, so I hope I'll get to come back again later. I'd also love to show you what we made at club last night, which was really fun. Hope you gals enjoyed it! But right now I'm off to Jump On In for a birthday party with Ben. Thanks for stopping by and hopefully I'll have more for you later on!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inspiration Challenge #44: Nature's Curiosities

Wow, it's Wednesday already! This week's challenge is a set of prints called Nature's Curiosities. The link will show you all nine images, but here I'm showing you the two that were my main source of inspiration. These really reminded me of the set Flores Suaves from the SU Spanish catalog. For my layout I used today's SCS sketch challenge, which worked so perfectly.

I started my card with the colors very vanilla, close to cocoa, rose red/purely pomegranate, kiwi kiss, and baja breeze, and the background paper from Making Memories. I stamped everything with Timber Brown Stazon on watercolor paper, then watercolored with pomegranate, kiwi, and baja breeze reinkers and an Aqua Painter. For the center of the butterfly I used a mixture of close to cocoa and chocolate chip watercolor crayons. (I tried using rose red on the flower first, but it wasn't dark enough when watercolored.) I sponged cocoa ink on the edges of everything, even the butterfly. The sentiment is by A Muse, and I placed it in a retired copper Hodgepodge Hardware oval threaded with rose red grosgrain ribbon. For mounting I had to stamp the butterfly again in order to get the antennae, then I used that as a guide to positioning everything and mounted the butterfly on dimensionals.

Please come play along with the challenge this week! Your SCS keyword this week is DSIC44. Don't forget to put a link to your creation here so everyone can see!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a fun surprise!

I logged onto SCS this morning to check the color challenge, only to find it was based on one of my cards! After I made that card, I sent it to Emily as a suggestion for a color challenge, and she chose it for today. I was really excited, and I think people had fun with it. At least I hope so!

I wanted to participate in the challenge and make a new card. I really liked my original idea with these colors so in hopes of finding inspiration, I turned to some new stamps that just arrived yesterday. Before the new catalog preview ended I ordered Petal Pizazz, which has some very fun flowers in it. I think the one I used today is going to be my favorite. I stamped it in both bravo burgundy and regal rose, then cut out both flowers. I did the same for the leaves in kiwi kiss. Then I stamped the stems in kiwi and added the flowers and leaves with dimensionals.

For a subtle background I stamped the same flower with Versamark on a panel of regal rose cardstock. I thought the Cute & Curly sentiment was a nice way to echo the curve of the flowers. I layered that onto burgundy and then added a bow made from wide regal rose grosgrain ribbon, another layer of burgundy cardstock, and a white top-folded card.

Sorry that I was absent for so many days! My mom was here and I was enjoying spending time with her. One really good thing is that she helped me clean my studio - it's looking soooo much better now. Thanks, Mom! Let's hope I can keep it clean. I better go check if I put all my supplies away!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm a color combo junkie

Today's ways to use it challenge on SCS was a fabulous idea - to find a site with inspiration for color combinations. Julia suggested this Adobe site - wow, what a wealth of color possibilities are there! I will definitely be coming back to that site. I browsed a lot of combos but was basically looking for something that could be a valentine. I finally chose a combination called Samson, and from that I came up with rose red, bravo burgundy, kraft, garden green, and very vanilla.

Here's my card. I'm not sure what I think of this... I don't love it but I don't really know why! I stamped the flower image from Flower Fancy in rose red, garden green, and burgundy. I added the Hero Arts sentiment in burgundy at the bottom, then cut out the flower with Nestabilities and layered onto a scalloped burgundy oval. The rose red patterned paper is left over from a retired scrappin' kit. Over that I added some kraft taffeta ribbon. For layers I used a burgundy panel, then a kraft panel and a vanilla card.

I'm going to keep it short today - we have family coming and lots of cleaning to do! Hopefully I'll find some time to post over the weekend. It's going to be so cold here that we're not going to want to go anywhere. Hope it's warmer where you are, and if it is, I envy you!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Masculine valentines

If you want a challenge, try making a valentine suitable for giving to a man. Why is it so difficult? Last year when I did a vendor fair for Valentine's Day, it was a specific comment that I needed more masculine cards. So I'm trying to fill that need this year, but it's not easy making a valentine with no pink, ribbon, flowers, or anything else girly! Here are my first two attempts. Tell me if I succeeded in my quest!

This card uses a stamp from the retired hostess set So Many Sayings. I stamped it in riding hood red on white cardstock, then cut and embossed with Nestabilities. I covered a white card with a panel from the riding hood red patterns pack, then cut a strip of red cardstock, added three jumbo pewter eyelets, and mounted with dimensionals. The inside says "Happy Valentine's Day."

For this card, I stamped the heart (Northwoods) on vanilla cardstock with real red ink in two generations, then added another first-generation heart over the top of the lighter heart. I layered this onto black cardstock. I cut a strip from real red designer paper (in the hostess patterns pack) and stamped the sentiment (My Sentiments Exactly) in black. To finish I added four black vintage brads, vanilla accent strips, a black background panel, and a vanilla card. I stamped "Happy Valentine's Day" on the inside of this one as well.

What do you think? I like the clean lines of both of these cards - although Todd likes frou-frou things sometimes, I know most men don't, so I hope these will suit someone. They are going right into my Etsy shop - I'm behind in stocking my inventory with valentines!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Inspiration Challenge #43: Athleta Tunic Cami

Welcome back to my IC! It's been a very long time and it feels good to finally bring the challenge back. Let's hope there are no more unexpected interruptions like this one! This week's keyword for SCS upload is DSIC43. I hope you will come and play!

I'm starting off easy this week - great colors and images to work with in this cami from Athleta. This was one of those catalog items that made me gasp when I saw it, and I knew I had to use it right away.

I made my card a fairly literal interpretation. I did the top background panel first, which is a gorgeous B Line Designs damask background stamp, using baja breeze on vanilla cardstock. Then I stamped the Pretty Petals background, inking only the stems and leaves with a blender pen and kiwi kiss reinker. Next I added the flowers, which are from Eastern Blooms and A Beautiful Thing, using kiwi kiss, riding hood red, baja breeze, and chocolate chip. I used riding hood red cardstock for layering and riding hood red/vanilla taffeta ribbon to define the two stamped areas. Over these backgrounds I put the large branch image from Eastern Blooms with a Hero Arts sentiment. I cut and embossed both of these with Nestabilities and popped them up on dimensionals, then put it all on a baja breeze card.

Do you have a go-to layout that you use when you want something that never fails? This is probably mine. It's a good one to have in my back pocket for when I need it - I really love long and skinny images and it works every time!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. If you play the challenge, don't forget to leave a comment so everyone can see!

I thought I was keeping it simple today

So how did I end up spending over an hour on this card? I really wanted to do today's color challenge to use baja breeze, not quite navy, and kraft, and this is what I came up with. I also used Julee's Mojo Monday sketch for the week, which was a lot of fun.

I started with this large topper stamp by Stampendous. It's actually a Mother's Day stamp, so I just inked the circle and flowers with not quite navy marker and then added my own sentiment (also by Stampendous). I stamped onto vanilla cardstock then paper pieced the vase and flowers using Green Tea and Urban Garden papers. I cut out the vanilla circle and put that onto a kraft scalloped circle cut and embossed with Nestabilities. The rest is a strip of the same Green Tea paper on not quite navy cardstock, two strips of kraft taffeta ribbon, and three baja breeze buttons tied with hemp twine and adhered to 3/4" vanilla circles.

I'm all out of time now so I'll just say thanks for stopping by, and be sure to come back tomorrow for the return of the Inspiration Challenge!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Don't be alarmed

I know that Christmas is over, LOL. What am I doing making a Christmas card, then? Well, I'm not exactly sure. All I know is that I sat down to make a card to submit for the most recent Take Ten sketch challenge, and this is what I was inspired to make. If it's selected for publication, who knows when it might appear - so why not let my holiday cheer linger a bit? The sketch, by the way, was by Jen del Muro so you know it's a good one.

I wanted to have a nice mix of textures on my card, so I started with the stamp from A Christmas Cardinal and the Birds and Swirls cuttlebug folder. I really liked how the cardinal came out colored with markers at my Christmas stamp camp so I used that approach again, but using riding hood red instead of real red here. I cut the cardinal out with one of my rectangle Nestabilities and embossed it as well. I layered everything with black for a crisp look. The old olive houndstooth paper comes from the Holiday Treasures DP. For contrast I added a bit of black and white dot organdy ribbon, and then a Hero Arts sentiment with circle punches.

I'm really pleased with how this turned out! I almost hate to send it away. But since getting published was one of my New Year's resolutions, I might as well start now. I actually pulled five other cards from my stash to send to the magazine at the same time. We'll just have to wait and see what happens!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm back!

Ahhhh... the joys of being online at home again. After being offline for so long, I feel like I'm buried under a blizzard's worth of stuff to catch up on! I don't have anything else to post at the moment, but I'm hoping to be back with more soon.

On a side note, January is going to be a tough month because Todd is also buried, under mounds of paperwork trying to get research funding. It's been a rough couple of years but now it's really getting down to the wire. If you are the praying sort, I know it would be much appreciated. He has several deadlines coming in the next few weeks and I'm sure it's going to be a busy time for all of us. But I'm really hoping to keep my blog current as much as possible - at least more than I have for the past month, anyway!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm an Internet castaway...

... alone on my island with no online access! At least that's how I feel. I wrote that my internet access was down since the ice storm we had, and it appears that the storm somehow fried my modem. Verizon finally came out to look at it today and they'll be sending me a new one, but it looks like the earliest I'll be back online is the end of the week. It's so frustrating!

I guess I'll be absent from the blogging world this week. It was nice to be able to get online at my mom's over the holidays, and I'm going crazy not being able to do challenges and post stuff, or update my Etsy shop. It won't be possible to do my inspiration challenge this week, either, unfortunately. Hopefully by next week this will all be resolved!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Too... many... challenges!

Holy cow - I couldn't believe the overabundance of challenges yesterday. In addition to the usual sketch challenge and the special holiday challenge, SCS had a special day of challenges for New Year's Eve, and there were so many good ones! I hope I get a chance to make some cards today. Yesterday I managed to complete two cards so I thought I'd share them with you before I get busy making more.

This card was for yesterday's Holiday Challenge Extravaganza challenge. Katherine provided a great sketch that was perfect for an image that I watercolored a few days ago but hadn't done anything with yet. I had stamped the bouquet from Bloomin' Beautiful in basic black and then watercolored using tangerine tango, baja breeze, and old olive reinkers. Unusually for me, I didn't do any layers on this card. My patterned papers came from the tangerine patterns pack and the Hawaii Papaya collection. I used a new toy for this card - the Spellbinders Piercerabilities pinking border dies. These borders are so cool because you can cut and emboss the border and then add a paper-pierced pattern. To match I added piercing on the corners of the stamped panel, then inked the edges with baja breeze. I did the same with the oval-punched sentiment from Sincere Salutations, added some baja breeze ribbon, and mounted the flowers and sentiment with dimensionals.

Up next: a card that was for both the week's sketch challenge and the 7 P's New Year's challenge. This was a fun one, to use at least four of piercing, paper piecing, pink, polka dots, patterned paper, pop dots, and punches. I think I used all of them - it really wasn't that hard! I started with the Crazy for Cupcakes image, chocolate chip ink, and pink pirouette polka-dot paper from the patterns pack. I pieced the cupcake paper, then colored the candle and sprinkles with blender pen and pink pirouette reinker, and finally added glitter pen on the sprinkles and the flame. I used more dot paper for the background and also a strip of chocolate chip striped paper from Hawaii Papaya. The sentiment is from A Muse and was punched with the wide oval punch, then I added piercing around the cupcake and the sentiment. For the oval I used the plastic guide from the mat pack, repositioning the holes to match the curve of the oval. I added some pink pirouette ribbon and dimensionals - that was it!

I hope you all have a great day today with some time to play these super challenges. Thanks for stopping by!