Thursday, July 31, 2008

Keeping it Simple (okay, TRYING to keep it simple...!)

In checking out different blogs and websites, I find I've been very inspired lately with the idea of a monochromatic color scheme.
I tend to be one who is always looking for fun new color combinations and trying to see how many I can use on a card before it's too much (sometimes I don't realize it until after I've gone WAY too far!).
But I've seen so many wonderful variations on this monochromatic theme, that I really wanted to give it a try. I love the simplicity of it, and how it adds depth in such a subtle way.
For the card I made here, I used Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke Textured, and Very Vanilla papers.
The Tres Chic background stamp spends a lot of time just sitting on my shelf, so I dusted it off and gave it a try. I'm still not sure it's my favorite choice for this, but I don't dislike it, either.
I was going for simplicity, so I opted for the stark branch stamp from the Embrace Life set which I love so much. For more interest, I used Mellow Moss and stamped it off first, then randomly stamped the Vanilla paper; then I stamped it it in the center with StazOn Black and water colored it with the greens. I also sponged the edges just a little with the Moss ink for more depth.
The wide ribbon is from Ribbon Originals "Theater", which is going bye-bye very soon, so I wanted to use it while I can, then I added some narrow Moss grosgrain over that. Just a few brads on the side and I was finished.
What I am NOT finished with, though, is this monochrome idea, so look for more attempts coming soon! (Plus, probably a little color-combining thrown in for good measure. I can't help myself!)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

From garden to Gift

I only planted 4 little zucchini plants this year, but for some reason, the amount of zucchini I've been getting is RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!! I've made every recipe I can find, and I just can't keep up!

So, I decided to share :) I picked some and bagged them up to give to our neighbors. But the plain brown bag looked so...well, boring. So, I thought I'd dress it up a bit.

Because it was zucchini and from the garden, I was drawn to the Wild Wasabi paper with its fresh, bright color. All I did was to:
- cut 2 strips, each 3" wide from the 12"x12" cardstock
- cut an inch off the end of each strip
-score both strrips 3" from each end and fold at score lines
-stick the tabs together on each end of both strips to make a "sleeve" for the bag
(This formula will be the right size for a standard brown lunch-size bag. Measure & adjust as necessary for other size bags)

Then I used my new "Enjoy Every Moment" stamp set and my Ticket Corner Punch to make a cute label, threw on a touch of ribbon and a button to fill the "O", and voila! What was boring is now a bit special. (Plus, I got to use up a TON of retiring stuff! BONUS!!)

I didn't want to go overboard, after all, it's just some veggies, but I still wanted it to be more than just a plain brown bag. Just thought I'd share an idea for how to add a special touch to an otherwise ordinary thing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Daddy's Little Helpers

We may have a seemingly endless list of renovation projects to do here, but at least we are never without the help of our crew of mini-contractors! Whatever the project of the day is, especially if it is one of those big, technical, hard-work jobs for Jeff, you can always find the boys close behind with their tool belts on and ready to work.

They have all really taken to pitching in on the house projects, it was quite a nice surprise. Now if I could only get them to be so enthusiastic about cleaning their rooms!

Little by little we are working our way through our mess, and of course, every project we start leads us to about 20 others that need to be done in order to finish the one. But we are a work in progress, and I'm going to be an optimist and say the operative word is "progress". As long as we can keep the boys helping out, it may even go a little faster!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Splurging on Pretties

I've had my SU Pretties Kit for a loooong time now, and I find there are STILL items that I've never used! I tend to hoard my little goodies like Hodgepodge Hardware and such, I guess maybe because they seem so finite in that case.

But I asked myself "What are they FOR?" Well, they are to USE!! And if I use them all, well, hey, SU will make more! Plus, some of my favorite paper colors are retiring, so I wanted to create something that highlighted all these elements.

Here is what I got. I used the Blue Bayou paper with my not-often-used Paisley Background stamp. I also used Soft Sky paper (sigh...) and sponged the edges for some depth.
I layered it with Vellum for a soft, elegant look. Then I water-colored some of those gorgeous silk flowers, added some ribbon, and best of all, some Pretties Kit BLING!

I heat embossed the words for a bolder effect, and I was pretty happy with my Pretties Kit results.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Glass of Lemonade for a Friend

Mmmmm, a cool glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. This was an idea I had when I first got the Tart N' Tangy stamp set which I LOVE and to which I am addicted. it turns out, great minds think alike and I was definitely not the only one to have this idea. One morning on the SU! website I saw another really cute variation on this, and the stamper who created it did it as Pink Lemonade. It was quite different from mine, but very cute.

I tried Glossy White paper for the glass and lemons, added Crystal Effects on the glass, cut the stamped lemon in half, and that is a real drinking straw!

I promised my good friend and Upline that I would show her MY glass of lemonade, so grab your lawn chair and sunblock and settle down for a nice sip of lemonade!

I Can't Stop!

I couldn't help myself! Once I started with that first pink bag, I just had to keep going. I had this idea in my head for a "purse" style bag, and I really wanted to find cute ways to showcase some of SU's retiring items like this gorgeous Fall Flowers paper. But...the result was the bag on the left, which I LIKE, but I don't LOVE...sooooo...

Enter purse #2, which I really like. I traded ribbon handles for paper and again used the Small Tag Punch for a closure. Doesn't it remind you of a Granny purse??

Oooooh, I just can't wait to have my new SU! Scallop Edge Punch, but until then, I'll go Old School and use my Slit Punch to make scallop edges.

Inspired Again!

Okay, so it's not just challenges that are inspiring. A dear friend sent me some photos of projects she is working on and I loved them so much I just had to sit and create!
This pink bag is based on her design, only I must admit, hers came out better. But I liked the elements of the scalloped bottom, the tab top, and the height, so i copied my little heart out!
Just think of all the goodies you could load up with for a nice gift, huh?

Layers of Inspiration

This was another "Challenge" from a wonderful stamper friend. This time around we were invited to an "Inspiration" challenge, in which we were provided a picture and were to create a card inspired by what we saw.

In this case, our inspiration was this gorgeous cake from Martha Stewart's website. I had to admit, I was not sure that I would feel "inspired" by some random photo or that I would have any idea where to start, but this cake was beautiful. I was most inspired by the colors and the dainty, graceful vine-like stems and flowers.

Here is what I came up with. Not too far outside the box, but just my own take on what the photo inspired in me. I find I am REALLY enjoying these challenges, they give me an excuse to sit and be creative just to see what I can make.

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