Peaceful Chair

I created this card using products from the Color Theory Suite from the big catalog. The Essex Stamp club ladies made this card at their July meeting a couple of weeks ago. This was the easier card for the evening – although both of them were pretty quick that particular gathering. I have seen so many wonderful and diverse creations using this bundle, and I was happy to showcase it so that gals could check it out.

I used this sketch here as the launching point for this card. I deviated a little bit in the placement of my sentiment, but I think you can still see the sketch in the final creation.  I was happy to use a piece of the beautiful ombre paper in Old Olive for the vertical strip on the card. I especially love the creations that I've seen using those particular papers in the pack – the color change is so gradual, but you can totally see it. One of the gals changed up the color scheme using papers from the first project and the Crushed Curry ombre paper for the strip, and it was absolutely gorgeous!

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Posted on : Aug 11 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Ribbon Thoughts

I have known far too many people that should have received this card. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when our son was 18 months old. Thankfully, after surgery and chemotherapy she was declared cancer free 5 years later. But it was a tough fight. I have lots of other friends and acquaintances that have been diagnosed with breast cancer (and other types of cancer, too). Some have completed their treatment, and a couple are in the process right now. I think that they might enjoy receiving a handmade card to lift their spirits. Do you have someone in your life that would appreciate a card like this? 

This is the "easy" card that we made at the So. Burlington stamp club gathering on Wednesday. I wanted to show the group the amazing bundle for the Ribbon of Courage stamp set and the Support Ribbon Framelits. I really love the versatility of the bundle, and you can make a creation that is the right fit for the recipient.

Another cool thing about this card is the gingham pattern in gray in the strip across the front of the card. The ladies were wondering where the patterned paper was for that piece when I handed out the supplies. The cool thing is that you make it yourself – using the Diagonal Stripe background stamp. All you do is stamp the paper twice (re-inking the stamp between); after the first stamp, rotate the stamp 90º and stamp a second time. Voilá – instant gingham! We even talked about changing ink colors between the first and second stamp to create a plaid image. I haven't tried it, but I think it would be pretty cool. The stamp club gals were pretty tickled with how easy it was to create this element.

I used this sketch here as the basis for my card design. I didn't do anything tricky with the sketch in my creation, you can easily see that I followed it pretty directly. Many of the examples that I found used patterned paper for the center layer. I was happy to try out a new embossing folder to add some texture in that spot. I really am quite pleased with how the finished card turned out. What do you think?

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

Bright Wishes

I had a lot of fun playing with some items from the Eastern Palace Suite when I created this card. I mainly used the colors in this panel of the pretty DSP in the coordinating paper and added Soft Sky flower diecuts to tone it down a little bit. This is actually a quick to assemble card, and I think it is pleasing in its simplicity.

I used the new In Color called Lemon Lime Twist for the base of this card. At first I was thinking that I should use it sparingly since it is so bright, but I decided that the other layers in the card tone it down a little bit – and I love the contrast. I have seen so many demonstrators having fun with this and others of the new In Colors. I'm glad that I resisted the urge to tone it down on this card.

I used the sketch that you see here as the inspiration for this card. I love the simplicity of this design, and I appreciate the versatility of the diecuts from these amazing dies. The dies that I used are unique because they cut the outside and partially cut the inner "petals" so that you can pop them out and create some extra dimension. This sketch allowed me to play with the dies and create the finished card very quickly. And that's the power of a sketch!

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Posted on : Jul 21 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

For Becky

I received the new catalog when I was at the Savannah On Stage event back in April. After they handed out the catalogs, they gave us a few minutes to pore through it and ooh and ahh over all the new things. Every so often you would hear an outburst when someone discovered something that they were excited about. I let out a loud cheer when I discovered that glossy cardstock was BACK! There are so many fantastic techniques that you can do with glossy cs, and I now I can share them with you again. And I immediately thought of my friend Becky who was so bummed when the glossy cardstock was retired a few years ago. I was so excited to tell her that it was back again! 

I featured the crayon resist technique on this card at the June stamp club gathering. It is really easy to do, but glossy cardstock is an absolute requirement in order to pull it off. In fact, this card was so easy that we finished up our club meeting for the month in record time! Here are the steps so you can have fun with crayons and glossy cardstock:

  1. Stamp line art images on the glossy cardstock with Basic Black ink (or StazOn if you have it).
  2. Add highlights to the image using a light colored crayon – I used a pale yellow one when I did the sample. A white crayon is ideal, but it can be a little difficult to see where you've added highlights until you are applying the ink (which is too late).
  3. Add colors in a circular motion using a sponge dauber for each color. Blend the colors into each other where they meet so that the full panel is colored.
  4. Wipe off the top with a paper towel to get any residual ink that may be hanging out.
  5. Use your artwork panel in a project like you would use patterned papers.

I used this old color challenge that you see here for the design of this card. In case you couldn't guess, it originally came out in the Halloween zone of the year. But – purple and orange flowers with green leaves seems like a great color combination in the spring/summer, too. I noticed that several of the designers on this old challenge made non-Halloween cards with the color scheme, so I decided to go with it.

And I used this oh-so-versatile sketch as the layout. There was a special challenge on the blog site when this sketch challenge was active because it is the 200th one. So many different companies offered "swag" to challenge participants to celebrate this big milestone for the blog site. I'm proud to say that Stampin' Up! was one of the sponsors – because they are simply awesome. I do really like this simple sketch because I think it is so easy to create something with this layout. I have revisted this one before, and I'm sure that I'll do so again and again.

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Posted on : Jul 11 2017
Posted under Color Combo, Sketch Challenge, Stamping, Techniques |

Black-eyed Susan

I created a few of these cards a couple of weeks ago so that I could send Thank you notes to some people that had recently placed orders with me. A few years ago I used a stamp/punch combo to create some black-eyed Susan flowers and I thought it would be great to do it again with our new, fabulous Daisy Delight bundle. I'm really quite pleased (if I do say so myself) at how these flowers turned out. I do miss the small oval punch that would have been absolutely perfect for the centers of the flowers, but I am still happy with the results using a small circle punch. I embossed the circles with an embossing folder to give them a little texture which adds a little bit to the end result.

I used the sketch that you see here as the inspiration for the card. I really didn't deviate very much from the sketch and the layout is great for lots of designs. I bet you can't guess what Designer Series Paper I used for the angled strip… it is from the "B" side of one of the papers in the Pick a Pattern pack. I'm not super excited about the cute-sy images in the "A" side of several of the papers, but I really appreciate that Stampin' Up! has put more monochromatic/non-thematic patterns on the reverse of each of the papers in this pack. This paper is on the backside of the sheet with the campers/moose/bunnies/mountains/etc. This feature is a real plus (imho) of Stampin' Up!'s Designer Series Papers. I also used part of the color scheme of this DSP for the color combination on this card. That's another great thing about Stampin' Up!'s papers; the packs are labeled with the various colors that are used, so it is easy to coordinate.

I'll gladly share with you how I crated these pretty flowers. The stems are stamped on the Whisper White layer. I stamped the daisy from the stamp set on Crushed Curry paper with Crushed Curry ink. After I punched them out with the coordinating punch, I cut the flowers in halv and glued them together in the center with the petals a little offset. I then glued the punched and embossed flower center where they meet to hide that joining section. I then attached these units to the center panel, over the top of the stamped stems, using Stampin' Dimensionals. And voilà, you have black-eyed Susans!

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Daisy Punch


Posted on : Jul 03 2017
Posted under Punches, Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Happy Birthday Colin Hay

Colin Hay and the group Men at Work was part of the music soundtrack of my youth. Yes – I do know that I'm showing my age here. surprise I fondly remember listening to "Down Under" and "Who Can It Be Now?" while I was hanging out in my room working on homework. I also purchased a music book that included their songs – I played flute in junior high and high school. It was a lot of fun practicing my skills on contemporary music. Now, their songs are probably considered "Classic". *sigh*

Last evening was the June gathering for the South Burlington stamp club group. Due to illness/other commitments we had a small group, so we zipped through our card making very quickly. This was the second/easier card of the night, and the ladies seemed to really like it. I am loving the metallic/kraft Specialty Designer Series Paper in the new catalog, and we used the Soft Sky stripes on the center panel of this card. I brought the full paper pack with me so that the gang could see the pretty colors and patterns, and there was a proper level of ooohing and ahhhhing. The colors on the Specialty papers are Berry Blast, Soft Sky, Tangerine Tango, and Lemon Lime Twist. All of the colors look fabulous paired with the kraft paper, and the different patterns are great, too. I definitely encourage you to check them out when you get a chance.

I used the sketch that you see here as the basis for this card. I extended the center strip to be the full length of the card, and I moved the focal point panel to be lower on my card, but I think it is still a valid interpretation of the sketch. 

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Posted on : Jun 29 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

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 |

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