Lemon-y Greeting

We had the Essex stamp club meeting last evening, and I was super-excited to showcase a few new items from the shiny new catalog. This card that you see here was the easier project of the two for the evening. The most challenging part ended up being punching out the stamped lemon pieces – those tricksy papers slide around on you in the punch as soon as you take your eye off them. wink I will admit that I find the builder punches to be a little challenging because they punch out multiple pieces at once. If you don't plan your stamping carefully, you can mis-punch a section of one stamped image when you are punching out a second one. I try to plan the paper pieces that I'm using so that I stamp on a piece that is only the size needed for the image I want to punch – and I make sure (most of the time) that the paper is long enough so I have a "handle" to hold while lining up and punching.

I used this sketch that you see here as the inspiration for this card. Sometimes I struggle a bit to pull something together from a sketch, but this card actually came together pretty quickly and easily. And, I'm pleased with the finished product (even if I do say so myself). Can you see the sketch elements in the finished product?

This card features many new products from the new catalog that came out earlier this month. In fact, the only thing that isn't new are the cardstocks and inks. All of the other elements and tools are brandy-dandy new.  Here's a tip – the light background that you see is created using one of the new masks and a stamping sponge.

Isn't this a great summer-y greeting? I had a great time playing with some new toys to create this card for the club gals.

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Posted on : Jun 16 2017
Posted under Punches, Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Congrats Grad!

This is the graduation card that I created for the South Burlington stamp club gals. When we met in April, one of the ladies requested that we do a graduation card at our May session. Actually, several of the members of this club have a student that is graduating this spring, so this project helped out several of the participants. I designed this card to use the South Burlington colors, but I swapped the colors for one gal who has a student graduating from Rice Memorial. 

I used this older sketch as the inspiration for this card. You can clearly see the sketch in my interpretation here. After I created this sample, it occurred to me that it would be fun to include an embossed starry background, and the participants agreed. I brought along my stars embossing folder, and they all embossed the white panel with it before moving on with the rest of the assembly.

Almost all of the elements on this card are retiring at the end of this month (ahem – that's tomorrow). If you want any of them, then I strongly encourage you to go out to my online store to grab them before they are gone for good. And just so you know, the fun tassel that you see on the side is from the Embellishment kit from the Occasions catalog. It seemed like the perfect touch to add to a graduation card.

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Posted on : May 30 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Bird Cage Cuteness

I created this card for the Essex stamp club meeting in April. I'm not sure why I've been so long in getting this cute card posted… at any rate, I've gotten off my duff and I'm sharing it with you today.  Actually, I do know why – I've been caught up in working on my homework for the Mystery Quilt class that I've been taking. We had our big reveal class on May 13th, and I have to say that the finished design is a stunner. I have finished my quilt top, so I can now re-focus on stamping again.

This card was the more involved project of the two at the stamp club gathering. The front actually doesn't seem too crazy, but the inside involved some multi-step stamping to decorate the panel. I've got a (somewhat dark) picture here that shows the inside of the card. I enjoyed playing with this stamp set so much, I'm very sad that it is retiring and not carrying forward into the new catalog that starts up on June 1st. Tuesday is the day when availability of retiring stamps is no longer guaranteed. If you are interested in this stamp set, I encourage you to order it in my online store before it is gone.

In fact, a few of the items that I used on this card are retiring. The patterned paper that you see at the top and bottom of the front panel is already gone (*sigh*). The Calypso Coral thick bakers twine is also retiring along with the Tip Top Taupe cardstock. We do have some great new products that will be unveiled at the beginning of the month, but I will definitely miss some of these retiring goodies. Thank goodness that the brick wall embossing folder is hanging around – I am still totally in love with that one!

I was inspired by this sketch when I designed the front of this card. It is an almost exact lift of the design for the finished card. The only thing that I changed is the bow next to the greeting is a substitution for the heart shape on the sketch. I am pleased with the finished result on this card, and I hope that you like it, too.

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Posted on : May 22 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Celebrating Bono

I have enjoyed many U2 songs over the years, and I would love to send a birthday wish to Bono as he celebrates his special day today. He has done so much to bring enjoyment to many people, and his advocacy for many social causes is especially noteworthy. I hope that he gets to enjoy a special celebration today!

This was the easier card that I created for the Cards for Cancer event I participated in on Sunday. I pre-stamped and punched the balloon and embossed the Pumpkin Pie layer, so the guests stamped the string and assembled the card. It went together lickety split! Several of the guests commented that they appreciated the bright cheeriness of this card as well as the ease in assembly.

I used this sketch here as the launch point for this card design. I didn't include the little strip with the sketch name as part of the design, but the rest of the layout is a direct match to the sketch. For some reason I tend to create cards that are vertically oriented, so it was nice to make one in a horizontal orientation instead.

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Posted on : May 10 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Succulent Prettiness

This was the more involved card that I created for the Cards for Cancer stamping event that I participated in yesterday. Even though there were several stamping steps involved to created that image in the circle, this card actually was pretty easy for the guests to put together. I had them start by stamping the outline images first, and so many of them were pleasantly surprised that there are stamps to fill in the color. They thought that they would have to color in the image by hand. They also discovered that the images are really easy to line up, so they were much more pleased with the outcome than they expected.

I used this sketch for the inspiration for this card. The square panel and circle are a little smaller in my version so that you can see more of the pretty brick embossed layer behind it all. I didn't want to have the circle image dwarf the card; rather I wanted it to be a clear focal point, but the other aspects still get some visual attention.

I can't get enough of the brick wall embossing folder, and I am so glad that it is not retiring at the end of this month. Many other elements on this card are retiring – the stamp set, DSP, ribbon and the colored cardstock. If you want these things then I encourage you to order them quickly before they are gone for good. I'm especially sad to be saying good-bye to this stamp set because I have not given it this love this year that I should have. Succulents continue to be popular and I'm sad to see these images go away.

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Posted on : May 08 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Awesome Christine Baranski

Today is Christine Baranski's birthday, and I think that she just might appreciate a hand-made card. She is a fantastic actress with an amazing set of accomplishments. The most recent role that I have personally enjoyed is Dr. Beverly Hofstadter (Leonard's mom) on The Big Bang Theory. Steve and I love that show, and I especially enjoy the desert-dry wit of her character. I hope that her birthday celebrations are wonderful!

I created this card for the Essex stamp club ladies who had their April meeting last Thursday. Several of the items that I used on this card are retiring at the end of this month (or sooner if supplies are exhausted). In fact, the Cupcakes & Carousels DSP stack and coordinating embellishment kit are discounted 40% and 30% respectively. The label and ribbon that you see on this card are from the embellishment kit. They are just absolutely gorgeous! I still have several other pieces from that kit to use for other projects – I just need to put on my thinking cap to design something to use them. If you are interested in any of the products that I used on this card, I encourage you to shop without delay since these items will be all gone very soon.

I used the sketch that you see here for the inspiration for this card. My project is pretty much a direct interpretation of the sketch. In fact, the genesis of my card was my desire to use the labels from this embellishment kit so I went searching for a sketch that used a similar element. The fact that I was able to incorporate other elements that are retiring was totally icing on the cake. smiley

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Posted on : May 02 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Pope Francis Strength

Let me start by saying that I'm not Catholic, I'm actually a very happy member of our local UCC church. That being said, I'm very impressed with the actions and words we have seen from Pope Francis. He really is a great teacher and leader showing us the ways that we are all supposed to reach out and support all of our neighbors. So, I was thinking that it would be nice to send him a card to let him know that I appreciate him and his message. This card may be a bit feminine with the flowers, but they are just popping up now and they are a sign of rejuvenation and rebirth.

Happily all of the products that I used on this card are carrying forward in some fashion. I used the Falling Flowers bundle for the die cut flower images – the bundle is on the retiring list, but the constituent parts are in the new catalog. Also, I used some of the basic pearls in the center of the small flowers. Those are retired (in fact, they are gone), but new ones in different sizes will be available in the new catalog. I am pleased with how this card turned out – I originally designed it for a stamp club, but I ended up deciding that it was too fiddly and designed something different.

I used this sketch as a starting point for this card. I don't have a separate piece with the sentiment, rather I stamped it directly on the layer with the oval. To create the oval image I diecut an oval in copy paper and termporarily placed it on the Sahara Sand layer before stamping with the Diagonal Stripe background stamp. This was actually the fiddly bit – I really had to press down pretty hard all over on the stamp in order to get a crisp-ish edge on the oval when I removed the mask.

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Posted on : Apr 28 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Thank You Bee

I created several of this card to include with the orders for the guests at a recent party held by a friend. I used a Post-It to give my wishes to the recipient so that they could re-use the card if they wanted. This is a great trick that you can do when sending a card – I encourage re-use whenever possible. Multiple people that can smile from the same card is a great thing, in my opinion.

I was inspired by this older sketch challenge to create this card. I've mentioned several times lately that I've really been liking these sketches, and here is another one that I just couldn't resist. The flourish image in the sketch screamed to me to use the Flourish Thinlits. Isn't this die-cut flower gorgeous?!? If the bundle that includes this set of dies is on your wishlist, I encourage you to purchase it while you can still get the bundle pricing. Thankfully the dies and coordinating stamps are carrying forward, but it is on the spendy side, so 10% off for bundle pricing is especially valuable.

I did a trick with one of the Tags & Labels Framelits dies to create the scallop-y end of the stamped tag. I cut the paper the width of the opening in the die, and ran it throug the machine with only end under the top of the tag; the rest of the strip of paper was poking up through the top of the die so that it wouldn't get cut when I ran it through. I also only ran it part-way through my Big Shot so that there wasn't an impression squeezed into the paper from the lower portion of the die. This is a great trick to get some more usages out of your dies.

I also used the retired circle dies to create the background large circle because our current circle dies aren't quite as large as what I wanted for the card. Circles are pretty easy tho – if you don't have dies that do what you want, you can trace the bottom of a small plate, mug, whatever circular object you have and then cut with scissors. Not as easy, but do-able for anyone.

I dug into the history books to find this color combination. I have to confess that Melon Mambo is not a color that I use very often, but I have been pulling it out a little more often lately. I do love how all of these colors look together, so I very well use this combination again. I think the colors go together beautifully for an eye-popping (in a good way) result.

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Posted on : Apr 26 2017
Posted under Color Combo, Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

That Saying Again

Recently I posted a card with a really large image of "Live Laugh Love", and here we have those words again, in a smaller form with more text. This greeting is part of a go-juss artistic stamp set called "Beautiful You"; there are many useful greetings in the set along with some great outline images of women. You can't see it here, but on the inside I stamped a Whisper White panel with the dancing lady from the stamp set and gave her a red skirt with one of the swoosh stamps in this set. I encourage you to check this set out.

I created this card for "general" swapping while at the Stampin' Up! Savannah OnStage event. In advance we received notice of a few stamp sets that are carrying over into the new main catalog, and Beautiful You is one of them. That is why I decided to use it for a swap card. I wanted to trade cards that would hopefully be useful to demonstrators beyond the current catalog phase. Alas, I rolled the dice with the Brights DSP and the red ribbon you see on here, and I lost. Both of those products are on the retiring list. Oh well – the card will still be useful for a couple of months to the few demonstrators that I swapped with.

I used the sketch you see here as the inspiration for this card. Recently I posted that I had discovered these sketches from *ahem* another stamp company. That is part of what I love about sketches – they are product "agnostic" and can be followed using products that I have. I added the oval greeting so that it isn't just banners on this card. I'm sure that I'll be creating more based on sketches from this site, so stay tuned.

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Posted on : Apr 19 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Sunburst Birthday

This is the second card that we made at a party I put together for a friend in March. She was interested in the tag bundle from the Occasions catalog, so I got to work designing this card. This was actually a pretty quick and easy card, and the guests seemed to enjoy working with the dies and stamps in this bundle. I used the color scheme from the Fruit Stand DSP for the colors that you see here, and the DSP panel in the middle is from that pretty pack of patterned papers.

Yesterday I shared the retirement list with you, and this project features so many things that are on the list. In fact, several of the products are discounted, too! If this card has inspired you to purchase the stamp set and coordinating thinlits, please make sure to order them separately because both of the individual components are on sale, but the bundle is not. I understand that it is confusing, but I want to make sure that you get the best deal possible. If you do want to purchase any of the retiring products, I encourage you to do it ASAP to ensure that you can get everything that you want. For instance, I know that the rhinestones are already sold out. We have carried them for a number of years, so hopefully you have some of that bling on hand.

I went to my favorite sketch challenge site for inspiration for this card. I wanted to have the tag as a focal point on the card, and this sketch suited my purposes.  FYI – I have a wee tip for you to recreate this tag if you get the stamps and dies. To get the stamped greeting, we stamped the greeting first in Tangerine Tango and then stamped the outline with Cucumber Crush. That order of stamping allowed us to line up the images better than doing the outline first and then the greeting. After we had it stamped, we die cut it with the sunburst die so that it would be cut exactly as needed to fit into the middle of the sunburst. Pretty cool, huh!

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Posted on : Apr 14 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

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