Saturday, September 26, 2009

Snowflake Pines

Welcome to another fun challenge from Our Creative Corner! This week we are making monochromatic cards (one color plus neutrals of choice). I decided to use one of my favorite colors - blue - which oddly enough I haven't used yet on an OCC card. I'm also breaking out several products from the holiday mini for the first time. This was fun, fun, fun!

I started out by stamping the trees from Patterned Pines (one of the hostess sets you can earn from the mini) with Versamark on night of navy cardstock and white embossing. I used white and bashful blue layers and the ticket corner punch. The background is embossed with the Petals-a-Plenty folder, and for embellishments over the background I used white satin ribbon and silver cord. The sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes (this is becoming my go-to sentiment set) and punched with word window and modern label punches.

I want to highlight my snowflake with a little mini tutorial. I really wanted to layer my snowflake (punched with the new snowflake punch) with both white and bashful blue, so I started playing around just to see what I can come up with. Here is a mini tutorial of what I did.

1. Punch the base snowflake (mine is whisper white) and set it aside.

2. Punch the snowflake you're going to layer on top (mine is bashful blue).

3. Snip off the larger of the "prongs" on each arm of the snowflake.

4. Cut each arm off at desired length (more on the length in a minute).

5. Using any glue pen (I used two-way glue), adhere the layered arms on top of the base arms. Here you can see where I made my cuts. Cut them longer first and see where you want them - if they are too short then the snowflake prongs overlap.

6. Place a small punched circle (mine is 3/4") on the back of your snowflake. This makes the snowflake more stable and also gives you something to put your brad through. I used navy cardstock so it would blend into the background.

7. Put a large brad (mine is a filigree brad) through the center and attach to your project. (Sorry for the slightly blurry photo of my finished snowflake!)

Here is another variation: you can leave a little more of the original snowflake and adhere directly over the base. This gives more of a two-tone look than a layered look. I actually made this one first but ended up using the layered one. I think they are both very cool, though!

OK, that's it from me. Be sure to check out the rest of the OCC team members' samples and prepare to be wowed! We hope you play along this week. Thanks so much for visiting!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

For my dearest husband...

It's that time again - time to make Todd an anniversary card! This year makes #9 for us. I can hardly believe it!

I had to combine my card with a challenge, of course - and the featured stamper challenge gave me the perfect thing. The featured stamper this week is Heather (aka tankgrl) and her gallery is amazing. I had a hard time choosing but found just what I was looking for when I went to the last page of her gallery - this card just called out my name right away.

Instead of using a text background stamp, I used a sheet from the Night & Day specialty paper (in the holiday mini) and stamped the French Filigree background stamp over top in basic black. I know that Todd thinks it's weird when you can read the words in the background, so I'm hoping to distract him from doing that - because if you read the words on this paper, they really are weird. They don't make any sense at all!

For my always artichoke panels I used the retired Juntos paper from the Spanish catalog, and I stamped a second-generation French Filigree onto those as well. My image is from Leaf Lines, and was stamped with black craft ink and embossed with clear EP. I used a sentiment from Short & Sweet and added retired Ribbon Originals black cord ribbon as an embellishment. My brads are faux brads - I decided I wanted to add them after the card was all put together. So I punched the circles with the larger hole on my Crop-a-dile and glued them down.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Razzleberry Pink

For the OCC this week, our challenge is a color challenge based on this photo. Don't those petit fours look yummy?

I'm not sure why but I had trouble getting started with this challenge - I think the hot pink threw me, LOL. Once I decided to use this DP from Razzleberry Lemonade and the coordinating Razzle Dazzle stamp set, my card came together pretty quickly. For my colors I used melon mambo and pretty in pink, along with chocolate chip and whisper white.

I first colored the "stripe" pattern stamp with markers and used my Stamp-a-ma-Jig to align two impressions of the stamp. (Unfortunately the two images didn't join quite correctly, but a little carefully placed taffeta ribbon took care of that!) I also colored the main image with markers and cut it out with Nestabilities. The sentiment is from the Autumn Harvest rub-ons, and I used 5/16" chocolate chip brads (with the prongs cut off) in the upper left corner. And that's it, really... I can't believe how much time I put into this card that was so simple in the end!

I hope you find these colors inspiring and come play the challenge this week! Be sure you also check out the samples from the rest of the team - they are amazing as always. Thanks for visiting my blog and have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge #12

I'm not sure how the idea popped into my head to do a challenge inspired by a cake. Did someone say cake? Yum.... oh, sorry, back to this week's challenge! There are so many wonderful cake photos out there and it was very hard to choose, but in the end I went with this one from Let Them Eat Cake.

When I sat down to make my card, I knew I was going to use chocolate chip plus some of the retired In Colors, along with the eyelet border punch. Other than that, I didn't have an idea ahead of time. I decided to use the For All You Do stamp set. I clear embossed the stem and flowers with kiwi kiss and riding hood red, then cut them out and assembled them on a baja breeze panel. The center of the flowers are pink pirouette buttons from Button Bouquet, threaded with brown embroidery floss. The sentiment is from Many Happy Returns (retired) and was oval punched and mounted on dimensionals.

When I was working on this card I found a riding hood red panel that I'd embossed with the Cuttlebug birds and swirls folder - for some project or other! I decided to try my trick of heat embossing the dry-embossed panel. (See this post for the tutorial.) Mainly I did this because with the flower having been embossed, the unembossed cardstock didn't look red enough. But I think the clear embossing looks very cool with this CB pattern. I added embellishments from the Hodgepodge Hardware (also retired) copper set and a bit of kiwi ribbon. The card base is pink pirouette with the edge run through the eyelet border punch. All in all I really like this card - although I think it didn't photograph well and it also turned out more pink and less brown than I anticipated! But that's one thing I continue to find fascinating about the artistic process - you never quite know where you're going to end up.

Be sure to check out the cards made by all the Divine Divas for this challenge!

Angela - this is unfortunately Angela's last challenge with us. A big thank-you from me for being such a wonderful DT member!







Hope you are inspired to come and play along. Just leave a comment here with a link to your card. We can't wait to see what you create! The keyword for uploading on SCS will be DDIC12. Have fun and look for the next challenge on October 1!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Please welcome the newest Divine Divas!

Our team is growing again! We are saying good-bye to Angela after this week's challenge - so sad to see you and your gorgeous work leaving us, Angela. But I'm happy to introduce to you our newest team members: Donna Duquette (aka Donnarie on SCS) and Kerri Michaud (aka girlydecou). You will love their creations! They will both be joining in on our next challenge on Thursday.

In the Divine Diva tradition (OK, so it's not a long tradition, but it's a good one!) here is the Q&A with our new DT members.

Donna says:
(1) Where is your hometown? I grew up in Enfield, CT
(2) Where do you live now (if different)? I'm still in Connecticut, but I live in East Granby now.
(3) How long have you been stamping? I've been stamping seriously for about five years and off and on for several years before that.
(4) What is your favorite stamping/cardmaking style? Good question! I appreciate any well-executed design and enjoy experimenting with different styles. But, I find that I gravitate toward clean and simple designs, and I’ve always loved the shabby chic style for romantic cards.
(5) What do you find most challenging or difficult when you're making a card? The one thing I find myself agonizing over time and again is how to place a sentiment on a card. I never seem to have the right size or font to go with my card design.
(6) What is your all-time favorite color? Green is my favorite, especially yellow-green colors like olive, kiwi, lime and celery. I must have 20 different shades of green ink, and I am forever having to replenish my green cardstock supply.
(7) What is your favorite technique? I love to color, and at the moment, my Copic markers and colored pencils are the media I reach for most often.
(8) What is your favorite embellishment? What do all of your cards have to have? Ribbon... A card without ribbon just seems naked!
(9) What do you usually start with when designing a card? The colors, the image, or something else? When I’m working on Design Team assignments, I almost always start with an image. When I’m making cards just for me, my starting point could be just about anything. I might have a piece of paper I want to use, a technique I want to try, a theme, or I might just need a birthday card for someone special. Some of my favorite cards started off with no particular outcome in mind. They just sort of happened.

Kerri says:
(1) Where is your hometown? I grew up in Laramie, Wyoming
(2) Where do you live now (if different)? Since my hubby and I married 9 years ago, we’ve lived in Grand Junction, Colorado, Greenville, SC, Pittsburgh, PA, and now Apopka, Florida - just north of Orlando
(3) How long have you been stamping? Just over a year!
(4) What is your favorite stamping/cardmaking style? I love lots of layers and something always has to be “popped up”!
(5) What do you find most challenging or difficult when you're making a card? The layout. I LOVE a good sketch :)
(6) What is your all-time favorite color? I would have to say Chocolate Chip. I think it looks great with everything!
(7) What is your favorite technique? Coloring with Copics is fastly becoming my favorite!
(8) What is your favorite embellishment? What do all of your cards have to have? Dimension, texture, and usually ribbon!
(9) What do you usually start with when designing a card? The colors, the image, or something else? Usually the image, then the dp. I build my colors around that :)

Thanks for visiting and welcoming the new team members. I hope you'll come back and play our challenge on Thursday!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Don't look now...

I actually played an SCS challenge. It's been a long time - about a month, I think! That might be a record. Well, I needed to make a birthday card so it seemed like the perfect chance to play the featured stamper challenge. And for today's challenge: the fabulous Shannan Teubner. You know her, you love her... she's amazing!

Out of all of Shannan's wonderful cards I picked this one for my CASE. I thought it would suit the style that my friend would like. I looked through my stamps and decided I would use the hostess set Asian Artistry. I went for softer colors, and I changed the layout quite a bit. I used brads but placed them differently, added some ribbon, and changed the sentiment treatment. I also made it a 5 1/4" square card - since I'm hand delivering this one, I don't need to worry about extra postage, and then I had plenty of room for my big circle.

First I stamped the image in chocolate chip on mellow moss cardstock, then added shading with white gel pen. Tip of the day: The white ink takes longer to dry than you might think! Watch out for smudges. I used Nestabilities for my circles, with really rust and chocolate chip cardstock. The background papers are from the retired Spanish set Juntos. I covered the join of the papers with chocolate chip taffeta ribbon, and I tried to add a bow but it didn't really fit on this card. LOL! The sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes, and I used whisper white textured cardstock for it and the base. I used the large oval and offset the words all the way to the left, punched a scalloped oval from textured rust cardstock, then punched a small oval out of chocolate chip and made a tab, with a Making Memories copper brad to hold it together. Then for balance I added three more brads in the upper left. I don't know if you can see, but there are lots of dimensionals on this card: the center moss and rust circles were adhered over the chocolate chip scalloped circle with them, as was the sentiment, and then I even used them to adhere the square to the card base. I figured I'd go crazy with popping things up since this isn't going in the mail!

This might be the only card that I get to make till the next DDIC on Thursday... sometimes I need to pay the bills, LOL. This is one of those weeks when I actually have some freelance work. But I'll definitely be back on Thursday, if not before. I also want to say thank you so much to all my new followers and subscribers - I'm really pleased to have you here and I hope you enjoy what you see!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thankful for Fall

Welcome to the OCC challenge for this week: Happy Fall, Y'all! I am enjoying the cooler temperatures - even though it hardly feels like we had summer here - and I'm also having fun pulling out my fall colors and papers. It feels good!

Anyway, the challenge is to make a fall-themed card, and here is mine. I knew I wanted to cut out my images, but I had a hard time choosing which ones to use. In the end I went with Trendy Trees. I stamped the trees with crushed curry, really rust, and chocolate chip on very vanilla cardstock, then cut them out. My DP is by October Afternoon. I sponged chocolate chip ink on the edges of the DP and cardstock panels, then mounted the trees with dimensionals.

I had the hardest time figuring out where to put the sentiment - I actually had to put this card aside for a while, which is what seems to work best for me when I get stuck. When I came back to it, the idea of the Nesties oval behind the tree panel just hit me and I love the result. The sentiment from Sincere Salutations was stamped in rust, then I added a bow of Making Memories ribbon and a mustard button from the Playground set (it looks a lot like the curry, I think!) tied with linen thread. And that's it! I had a great time with this challenge, and I hope you'll come and play along!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A historic week

Sorry that I haven't been around! This week both kids started school - Ben in kindergarten and Sarah at the same preschool where Ben went for two years. So it's been busy. Here are just a few photos - I didn't get very many of Ben getting on the bus because it was a bit of a madhouse. We are lucky to have lots of kids in our neighborhood and several of them are in the same school (K-2).

Anyway... here is Ben waiting for the bus...

and on the bus - you can just barely see him sitting in the left front seat. He seems to have that as his regular seat and he likes being in the front!

Sarah's turn, outside the preschool...

and after school, playing on the playground - she was having a great time playing peekaboo!

They both enjoyed their first day - and for Ben, he's had two days now. He is in full-day K four days and I think it's going to be great for him. After he got home yesterday, he said that when he got to school he was a little nervous but then he realized that kindergarten was going to be fun. That's my boy! As for Sarah, she'd be happy to get on the bus and go to school with her big brother, but I think she's going to love preschool and do great. I'm really proud of my kids - and in disbelief at how fast the time is going!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Putting on my demo hat...

This is a shout-out to anyone who lives in the area of Littleton MA and might be looking for a monthly Stampin' Up! stamp club, or even classes to attend. My club is in danger of not having enough people to run and I'm devastated about it! So if you or someone you know is in this area and looking for stamping events, please get in touch with me ASAP!

We always have a great time at club. We make two (occasionally three) cards and one 3-D project, usually learning a new technique (or two) somewhere along the way. I'm also totally open to requests for techniques, projects, or classes that my customers would like to have offered. I hope you'll contact me, or share this information with others! Thanks!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

This is an exciting day for me

I am so happy this day is here because I can finally share the news that I was selected to be part of the new design team for Our Creative Corner! When I got the email I was just beyond excited. I have played along with their fabulous challenges since the beginning and I was so honored to be chosen to be on this amazing team. I know there are lots of fun challenges coming up in the next few months so you'll want to be sure to check them out each Saturday.

This week's challenge was to use stars and stripes on our cards. It didn't have to be patriotic, though - and the first thing I thought of was a baby card. I mulled over a few ideas and finally chose the adorable bear from Cute & Cuddly. I colored him with Copics (E41, E42, E44, E47) on PTI vintage cream. I was aiming to match soft suede and based on some other artists' suggestions, I think I got pretty close!

The background is a creamy caramel panel with striped soft suede DP down the center. The sentiment from Nursery Necessities was punched with the word window and modern label punches. For embellishments I added punched stars with vintage brads (the same brads that I used on the sentiment) and some piercing in the opposite corners from the stars. Since this is a fairly simple card, I used lots of dimensionals to put it together and add a little bit more interest.

Thanks so much for visiting today. I am always so appreciative of all of you readers, followers and subscribers out there!

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's in the bag

The SCS inspiration challenge, that is! I'm happy to be guest hosting the challenge for this weekend. I decided that I would choose a site rather than a single photo for the IC this time. I think I settled on Moyna Bags because I had such a hard time choosing my favorites! I figured others would probably find plenty of inspiration here, too. I do ask, though, that you limit yourself to just the handbags. This site has tons of stuff and I don't want anyone (including me!) to be too overwhelmed! This photo is the bag I chose for my inspiration (click here to see the original).

I wanted to make the flowers and leaves on my main panel with very vanilla textured cardstock. The idea was a good one but it took a while to figure out how to accomplish that. The leaves came from the Summer Love rub-ons (which were in the spring mini catalog), and I cut them out and adhered the vanilla leaves to a kraft panel. Then I needed some flowers, and rather than using die-cuts (which was my first idea) I stamped this flower from Simple Friendship and cut them out with a bit of a border as I did with the rub-on leaves. To get a little sparkle in the center I used a Sakura clear glitter pen (hard to see in the photo, argh). I added the sentiment from Together Forever in basic gray - with the elegant flowers and color scheme I just felt like it should be a wedding card. The background uses more kraft cardstock and the Perfect Details texture plate. I added the gray ribbon (Offray) and basic gray layers, then adhered some vanilla pearls from the Pretties Kit for my final embellishments.

I'd love to see lots of gorgeous creations this weekend so I hope you'll play along! Thanks to Stephanie for asking me to step in. I always have a fabulous time and I hope you do, too!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge #11

These fun sets of magnets from Greener Grass Design really caught my eye. I could see all kinds of inspiration from this collection!

I haven't stamped in a while and I'm feeling rusty, so I went looking for a good sketch challenge to use. I liked the circles in Beate's most recent weekend sketch challenge so that's what I picked. As long as I was going with circles, I pulled out Circle Circus, which seemed to be the same sort of style as some of the magnets, and I pulled a color combo out of the whole set: rich razzleberry, not quite navy, and so saffron. A little adventurous, maybe... but I think they look great together!

I started by stamping and punching the two circle images. The sentiment from Upsy Daisy was stamped in the two other colors - can you see the rock 'n roll? I'd never done it on a sentiment before... kind of cool. I trimmed the end of the saffron cardstock like a ribbon notch. The patterned papers are from Razzleberry Lemonade and a retired Patterns Pack. To make the razzleberry panel, I used the Texture wheel and the small flower from Razzle Dazzle. I wanted to keep this pretty clean, so my only embellishments are saffron buttons from Button Latte, with white cardstock threaded through the centers.

Be sure to check out the cards made by all the Divine Divas for this challenge!






ETA: I'm sorry to announce that Chat has had to resign her position on the DT. She will be deeply missed!

Hope you are inspired to come and play along. Just leave a comment here with a link to your card. We can't wait to see what you create! The keyword for uploading on SCS will be DDIC11. Have fun and look for the next challenge on September 17!