Sunday, August 31, 2008

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, and a little card, too.

I thought this was such a sweet idea! Not MY idea, of course, but a lovely lady hosting a challenge on you-know-where.

The instructions were to create a project using the little Wedding Day poem of Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue.

Those were the guidelines, the rest was up to us. For the "Old" I chose to use my long-retired Square Steps Punch to create the bottom edge, plus I threw in some Retired Soft Sky elements, which also took care of the "Something Blue" part of the game. I just love that color, and it gave such a soft look to the card.

For my "New" element, I used my Styled Silver Hodgepodge Hardware, which I have had for a little while, but had never used until this card, so it was "new" to me!

And for my something borrowed - not as easy as you might think! I not only do not live near other stampers from whom I can borrow items, I live near almost NO people at all! But I have a nice lady nearby who was willing to lend me that pretty organdy ribbon. Lucky for me!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My...Card??

It has been raining for what seems like an eternity down here in VA, so this seemed like the perfect time to post this little card. This is another 4 1/4" inch square - see, I really love this size!
This was yet another challenge - there are stamping geniuses in this world and lots of them hang out over at Splitcoast Stampers, so if you are ever in that online neighborhood, you should stop by - there is inspiration galore!
And for this Inspiration, we got to check out some of the cool umbrellas by a company called Marimekko. They had lots of styles, but the happy colors on this one would make any rainy day brighter, so this was my choice.
I loved how the circles on the umbrella were not quite perfect and had a really "mod" feel, so after I punched my circles, I trimmed them by hand to get that same look.
I added the white-on-white circles by dry embossing with my Seeing Spots Classy Brass template, then adding a little Crystal Effects. Kind of made me feel like there were real raindrops! Had to have a touch of black, so I added it with the Gingham Ribbon and the words.
Very simple and not too outside the box, but hey, an "Inspiration challenge" is all about how something makes YOU feel. What are YOU inspired to create? Rainy day or not, go make something fun!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tickled Pink

It is dismal, gray and cloudy here in South Side Virginia today, so I needed some happy colors to brighten things up!

Now, as far as my use of retired SU! and non-SU! items, let's just say I expanded my horizons a little for this one. I sure had fun with it, though!

This is a really neat size card to make. It is 4 1/4" square, not too big and so quick and fun to whip up! I used Pretty in Pink with White & Celery, which turns out bright & cheery (okay, and a little preppy, too). I used scraps of leftover paper for the whole thing, too, so it was very economical supply-wise.

The large pink circle is that handy trick of punching the Round Tab Punch twice, then sticking those pieces together to make the circle. I used my Black marker to color & stamp the pig and the words separately (since they are on the same stamp) and I was just "tickled pink" with the result!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ready for Fall...almost

Since the last post was all about the summer, I figured it was about time to get used to the idea that Fall is just around the corner.

What better way to do that than with Pumpkins and fall colors? This little box (it's really very small, 2 inches high and 1 1/4 inches wide) is one I made for a swap I joined recently. The theme was Halloween, and I signed up for "anything but a card". It is just the right size to hold 4 Peppermint Patties, or whatever other small goodies you might want.

I made my Happy Jack-O-Lantern using the Small Oval Punch sponges to shade the edges. His stem (and basket handles) is Twill Ribbon and the leaves are half of a flower from the Boho Blossoms Punch. For his face, I used a little trick of the stampin' trade: I took the Jack-O-Lantern stamp from the Festive Four set, colored ONLY the face using my black Stampin' Write marker, then stamped it on my own Pumpkin. Ain't we stampers just the carftiest? ;P

I used Kraft paper with the Canvas background stamp and "flicked" the edges with Close to Cocoa ink for the background. The Ticket Corner Punch added some pizazz to the corners. I added the button with some Lined Thread to the bottom, and (at my hubby's suggestion - I think it was a GREAT idea!) I tucked some Raffia in the corner.

Okay, I cheated a teensy bit, that is Retired Designer Paper wrapped around, but it just seemed to fit so well with my theme! And besides, this swap did not limit us to ONLY current product, so I went with it! Fall is almost here, time for us all to think Pumpkins, Halloween, and back to school, and now I think I'm ready...well, almost!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Summery State of Mind

When is a bathing suit related to stamping? When it's the inspiration for a Stamping Challenge!

Recently, in honor of the end of Summer, the wonderful offerings of Athleta Swimwear were put out as the inspiration for a stamping challenge. TRY simply viewing Athleta's website and NOT shopping - close to impossible! Also impossible NOT to get inspired, they have SO many gorgeous colors and styles!

I finally chose this one from which to create a project. I just love the bright colors and bold design. I could not match that fabulous Magenta exactly, but I tried!

This is my project. I loved the triangular suggestion of the neckline, and how the touches of white made the colors pop. I also thought the brown was a really rich background color that complimented it all nicely. Those were the elements I tried to add to this card. Hope it puts you in a summery state of mind!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Clearly a Good Idea

Here is a project I made for a Challenge on Splitcoast. I thought this was SUCH a cute idea! It is a little box made out of card stock and clear acetate, so you can see the goodies inside.

Of course, this could be used to hold ANYTHING...candy, votive candles, tea bags, cocoa packets, crayons, beads, ribbon...the list is endless! What popped into my head was this was a great size for the birdseed people give wedding guests to throw over the bride & groom (instead of rice, which hurts the little birdies!)

Okay, I admit, this is not ACTUALLY "birdseed", it is leftover food from my son's hamster. I looked all over, but there was no birdseed in the house, so I improvised! This is just a sample, anyway, I promise, I will not be pelting any newlyweds with rodent meal!!

This was a LOT easier than it looks (okay, well it looked tricky to me when I saw it!). I just used White cardstock, some ribbon (not SU!), my SU Pretties Kit for those lovely flowers and beads, and one Overhead Projector Sheet that I bought from Staples. I will post the exact dimensions and directions in a later post, I want to make sure I give the correct info.

But just think, in the meantime you can dream up all sorts of possibilities for how to use this, and have plenty of time to make sure you have Clear Acetate to get started! (Staples can thank me anytime... :) )

Saturday, August 16, 2008

After the Storm

How do I love Satellite Internet, let me count the ways...uhm, I don't. We are so far out in the boonies here that regular DSL is not an option for us, so we have to have Satellite for Internet & TV, and EVERY time it rains, we are outta luck!

So, if it seems like it has been a few days since anything new has shown up here in my little blog, it HAS, and I'm sorry. Every time we have rain (or wind, or clouds, or AIR) we just lose our connection. I'm trying to hurry, the sky is clouding up...!

But, after the storm had gone, I thought this happy little "Thinking of You" card would be a nice entry to get back into the game. Plus, I needed to play with some new colors! This yummy shade of blue is called Baja Breeze, and is one of SU's new "In Colors" for this year. I was so sad about retiring Soft Sky, but this color might just make me happy yet!

Okay, so I cheated a teensy bit by digging out some retired Rub-Ons (Love & Happiness form the last mini catalog), but they just seemed to go so perfectly, I couldn't help myself.

There was a lot of stuff on my stamp table, and I just grabbed for anything within reach and went to town. Stamp sets, ribbon, brads, background, craft blade,'s all there. Sorry if I don't list an exact recipe, but you'd be reading all day. Strange how a simple-looking card ended up using so much. This was one of those projects I did just for the enjoyment of making a card for a friend, so I didn't even try to keep track

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One Scrappy Family

I don't know why it hasn't hit me before, but looking through past posts, I realized I had no entries of Scrap Book Pages. Go figure!

I wish the photo was better quality for a clearer view of the details. I promise I'll try to work on my photography as hard as I work on my stamping!

In selecting one to be the first, I decided to show a simple layout with a subject matter that is dearer to my heart than any other: My Family. :)

This is a 12" x 12" page that I made with a Scrap Booking Class I taught at the YMCA in Keene, NH. We used 12" x 12" Ballet Blue cardstock as our base, then added some Bashful Blue CS and Certainly Celery DP.

We used the "So Swirly" Jumbo Wheel in Ballet Blue ink to create a subtle border on one side, then went in with White Gel pen to add accents. The word "Family" is stamped with the Jumbo Outline Alphabet and colored with coordinating Stampin' Write markers.

For accessories, we used Bashful Blue Striped Ribbon, along with Certainly Celery and Brocade Blue Grosgrain. A few White Eyelets finished the layout, and some cherished family photos (and my messy hand-written journaling!) completed the page.

I can't explain it, but finding a nice layout and the perfect photos for a scrap book page always feels SO satisfying to me. Maybe because it lets me have a "scrappy" showcase for our happy family!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Inspiration for projects seems to come from SO many places. I'm inspired by nature for colors and images, by the stamps themselves, and I am also very inspired when I see the work of other stampers.

Everyone has their own style, we have colors and images we love, or favorite accessories. One thing I love is that those differences are not only wonderful to look at when I see someone else's work, but they get me wanting to try those elements in my own stamping.

I get so excited over all the stamps, colors, and accessories, it's hard for me to scale down and simplify. Many stampers who have an ornate style seem to achieve that "Wow!" factor without going overboard, and the result is amazing. But many stampers are also able to achieve a beautiful, clean-lined look with simplicity which also creates a "Wow!" factor of its own.

That simplicity is one of the hardest things for me to get right. Believe it or not, for me at least, there's a delicate balance between getting a crisp, simple project that still packs a punch without being "boring" or not having "enough".

So I tried for crisp, clean lines, and a couple of eye-catching factors that allowed the images to "pop" and stand on their own. Plus I got to use my little Tart-N-Tangy fruit set (I know...AGAIN!), which always makes me happy!

Just 3 colors, and I tried to keep the layers and shapes bold and simple, but I threw in a little piece of Designer Paper (again, with simple design) for interest. I also added Crystal Effects to the cherries and embossed the simple, graphic "thank you" for dimension.

Oh, and that "circle" or red behind the Scallop with the cherries on it? That's actually the Round Tab Punch. I punched it twice out of Red, then stuck them together so they create a circle the perfect size for layering.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's not just "pink", it's "PINK!!!"

They don't call that shade of pink "Pink Passion" for nothing!

This card layout was based (of course, you know I love 'em!) on another "Challenge" that was put out for all of us obsessed and crazy...OOPS!, I mean dedicated and enthusiastic...Stampers.

I wanted it to "pop", so I went for bold graphics and eye catching color. Turned out bold and eye catching alright, you practically need sunglasses!

I tried to use only ONE stamp set (instead of my usual 3 or 4). The words and the berry branches are stamped in StazOn Black, but the Heart is embossed with Black EP on White paper. I used a Blender Pen with Pink Passion ink to color most of it, but left some flowers white so they'd stand out.

I actually embossed 2 heart images, cut the colored one out around the smaller, solid line; left the other white and cut IT out along the dotted line, then layered one on top of the other.

For more "pop", I "flicked" the edges of the Pink strips on the Black ink pad, and after I Paper Pierced the dotted lines, I even used the fine tip of my Black Stampin' Write Marker to poke into each hole to give it definition.

After that, a few brads (ran out of Black, so I used Silver and embossed them with Black EP!) a little Gingham Ribbon, and a bit of White Gel Pen and this one was ready to assault the senses!

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Daisy Kind of Day

Aren't daisies just about the "happiest" flower there is? I mean, seriously, take a look at some daisies in a field or a vase or a garden, and just TRY not to feel a little smile coming on, I dare you!
I get so inspired with all the flowers I see, in nature of course, but also in the art that other people create because they are also so inspired. I've seen so many wonderful variations on flowers, that I just felt like making some, too.
This was SO easy! Just the Scallop Punch, the 3/4" circle punch, and some paper snips for the big ones; and the 3 Flower punch with the 1/4" circle for the small ones. Some strips of Celery paper for stems, a few knots of coordinating Celery ribbon for leaves, a few swipes of the Bashful Blue ink pad over the coordinating paper, and a scallop strip for my grass.
The words are from rub-ons that we haven't seen since the last mini catalog - you know the catalog with my fave Tart-N-Tangy stamp set? Well, these rub-ons coordinated with that set, and I figured if the STAMPS are sticking around, maybe, just MAYBE...hey, a girl can dream, right? At least until someone with a new catalog puts me out of my misery!
Anyway, hope the daisies made you grin and you have a happy daisy day!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Timing Was Almost Spooky!

Lots of Stampers have these fantastic tools like Nestabilities and Cuttlebugs, which ( if you have lived under a non-papercrafts rock for a while) are wonderful inventoins that cut fancy edges, layers, and do dry-embossing like magic.

In short, these things are wonderful. My sad story? I don't have either one yet. I am not feeling sorry for myslef, but I DO love the effects you can get from these machines.

So, I set about trying to figure out how to get a similar look even without the technology. What I came up with was to use an SU dry embossing Classy Brass Template.

I cut my layers first (each 1/4" larger than the last), then Dry Embossed the edges. When I put them together, I had a look I really liked! The cute egdes went well with the adorable Srawberry from the Tart -N-Tangy set that I just LOVE! But I worried whether that stamp set, which is from a temporary Mini Catalog, would still be around when SU launches its new Catalog in a couple of weeks, AND when I could get my hands on a cool tool so my fingers would stop cramping from pressing with the stylus.

So, what does all this have to do with spooky timing? Well, if you don't want some surprise spoilers, STOP READING...but...(and I am not giving away TOO much info, but just a little peeksy...)

As it turns out, my layering and embossing woes will soon be over because SU will be offering THE gadget. Can you say "Big Shot"?? What IS a Big Shot...just ask me in a couple of weeks and will I have news for YOU! PLUS...I just MAY not have to worry that my precious little fruit stamp set will be gone...

That's it, that's all I'm saying. How do I know such things? I am privileged to know some of the best Stampers on the planet, AND there are LOTS of people at the SU convention as we speak, AND some bloggers are kind enough to update us, AND, well, you get the picture.


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