Nailed It!

I created this card ages ago for a demonstrator swap featuring products from the Occasions catalog. I signed up to create a card featuring the Nailed It stamp set, and I'm happy to share it with you here. I love participating in these swaps because I get some fantastic samples to share with people and I appreciate having a commitment with a deadline to get the creative juices flowing. For this card I also pulled in a few products from the main catalog that I think coordinate nicely with the featured set for this finished card. I especially like how well the "congrats" greeting from the Sunshine Wishes dies goes with the "Nailed It!" sentiment in the stamp set.

I drew inspiration for this card from the sketch that you see here. This sketch was a challenge from last summer, but I love to say that they never 'go bad', and these sketches are always available for future inspiration. I thought it was a good fit for the elements that I wanted to feature in the card.

You may be wondering how I created the shape around the "Nailed It!" sentiment on this card. I used a small window-like die from the Bunch of Banners Framelits. The die is longer than the shape you see here, tho. To achieve this look, I die cut the full shape once. Then, I ran the die cut through the Big Shot again, but moved in the other end of the die so it would only be cutting one end of the shape. You can use this technique to create smaller shapes any time that you want, and increase the versatility of your dies.

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Posted on : Mar 07 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Balloon Smiles

This was the more complicated project for the stamp club gathering that happened earlier this month. We started the evening with this card, and ended with the Valentine that I shared a few posts ago. I pulled the colors for the gradient of the balloon from the pretty DSP along the edge. It did take us a while to assemble the balloon, but the end result is soooo worth it. This is one of the sets that I'm really hoping will carry forward into the next big catalog because I want to be able to create with it for a long time. 

We used both parts of the bundle for this card – the stamps for the greeting and the clouds, and the dies for the gorgeous balloon and cutting out the clouds. I really love the font on the greetings in this stamp set, but in my opinion the dies are the true workhorse in the set. There are loads of dies in the set, and this balloon was created wholly from the dies. What I'm trying to say, is that I think you can purchase the dies alone and still be happy with what you can do. I haven't yet created something with the coordinating balloons and outline dies, so maybe I'll change my opinion.

I used this sketch to create my design for this project. I created the card while the challenge was still active, but I didn't want to share here and ruin the surprise for the stamp club gals. I'm quite pleased with how the finished result follows the sketch, and I hope to use this sketch again in the future.

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Posted on : Jan 27 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Baby Bear Banners

I created this card for a demonstrator swap for Sale-A-Bration (SAB) products. You can faintly see the banners hanging from the line in the upper-right panel. Those stamps are the SAB product that I used for my swap submission, they are called Any Occasion. These stamps are very versatile and can be used for loads of different occasions (hence the name wink). I have seen some great creations online using this set with lots of different banners. I'll have to create some more with it to experiment some more.

I also inked up the Baby Bear stamps for the first time. I purchased that set when it was on sale a couple of months ago, and I was very happy to get to use it. I did learn a trick to ensure success when stamping this one. To create the depth of the image, there are three different stamps and you do what Stampin' Up! calls "Two Step Stampin" which is building up layers of different colors. Typically you start with the lightest color and work your way to the darkest. I found that I could line up the stamps for this image perfectly when I stamped from darkest to lightest, matching the bottom of the bear.  The darkest color is the image that has the least stamped area, and the lightest is the most solid image.

I followed this sketch to create this card. I am drawn to grid-styled cards, and I've been looking at this particular sketch for a while now. I did try to use a vanilla panel in the upper right section to better show off the stamping of the banners, but that made the card feel off balance with too much of one color on the right. So, I substituted a Sahara Sand panel instead. I do like the balance better, but I'm still not in love with the lightness of the banners. To be honest, I was scrambling to meet the swap deadline, so this had to do. I envision using this sketch again for cards that use up some patterned paper scraps. 

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Posted on : Jan 20 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Sending Love

I created this card for the January stamp club gathering we had last week. I designed this one to be the easier project of the pair (we always do two things). We all agreed that it is best to start the evening with the "complicated" project and end it with a simpler one. The ladies cruised right through this one and had it wrapped up super quick.

I got my color inspiration from the gorgeous patterned paper that you see at the bottom of the card. The patterns in the paper are so soft and pretty, I can't wait to use it for more projects. I think that the patterns will be especially wonderful for wedding related projects. We are past the time of attending weddings regularly, but we do have a friend that will be getting remarried this summer, so I'll have to create a special card for the couple. Stay tuned to see what I come up with!

I used this sketch as the basis for the card. This actually was a challenge that was active last week; I'm just a few days late in being able to participate. Dang! Nevertheless, I do enjoy this sketch, and I'm happy to share my creation here. I used the wavy edge of the long Swirly Scribbles die to make the bottom edge of the Very Vanilla paper. The heart is cut using a die from the Sunshine Wishes Thinlits – we all joked about how ugly the inner heart is that is left over from the die cut. laugh I also busted out three different stamp sets to created the grung-y look for the stamped sentiment. Easy-peasy lemon squeez-y.

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Posted on : Jan 16 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Sympathy with a Flourish

In 2016 I offered an In Color club to feature the gorgeous colors that came out with the new catalog. Each month the participants received an ink pad, an ink refill, a marker, a pack of cardstock, a roll of ribbon, and a card sample that I created all in one of the colors. This card is the sample that I created to feature the oh-so-gorgeous Flirty Flamingo. It really is a gorgeous pink, and I really like how it looks paired with some lighter pinks to soften the look. I'm so glad that the In Colors are around for two years before they are retired, and I look forward to getting lots of use out of this color (and the others).

The watercolor-y background is a stamp that has been around for a while, and I am glad to show it here again. The flourish and sentiment image are from an absolutely gorgeous set that came out in June in the "big" catalog. It is bundled with some amazing dies. I admit that it is a spendy bundle, but there is so much included, and it is so versatile that it really is a great investment. I also added a touch of the lovely Clear Wink of Stella on the flower images – alas you can't really see the subtle glimmer in the photo.

I used this sketch as the starting point for the design of this card. I swapped the side for the focal image and the banner due to the orientation of the large flourish stamp in the set, but I think you can still see the sketch in the finished result.

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Posted on : Jan 12 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Welcome 2017

I know that I'm a little late in posting a New Year's Day card – I was down for the count with a truly horrible bug that grabbed me a bit before the New Year and finally released it's grip. I'm feeling much better now, and I'm now ready to welcome 2017 with gusto, and not just a whimper. I hope that 2017 proves to be much better than 2016 ended up being. Actually, I'm suffering from recent-ism… the second half of 2016 was awful on so many different fronts, but the first half wasn't too bad. So, here's hoping for some great things in a fresh beginning!

This was the "easier" card that we made in our December stamp club gathering. And this one truly is super easy! The snowflake patterned paper along with the glittery numbers does all of the heavy lifting on this card. The pretty starry swoosh stamp below the numbers was the biggest challenge here, and it really is no challenge at all. The gals seem to appreciate a quick and easy card after I've made them work on something more complicated. I'll share soon the challenging project for the evening – it's really cute.

Speaking of that starry swoosh stamp, that was from the Holiday catalog, but I'm super happy to share that it (and the coordinating Thinlits) are on the "carryover" list and still available for purchase. In fact, the list of items that are still available from the Holiday catalog is quite extensive. You can use this link to view all of the products that are still available from the Holiday catalog. I'm so glad that they carried over so much because that set is just plain stunning and I'm glad you'll still have the chance to get it! Remember, Christmas may have just passed, but you can always get an early start for next year. Believe me, you may think I'm silly, but you'll be glad you did.

I followed this sketch when creating this card. The sentiment in my finished card is clearly smaller than in the sketch, but that's the beauty of sketches – they are a launching point, not a contract. 😉 I think that the glittery numbers more than take up the slack. I'm really pleased with how this card turned out, and I look forward to sharing more with you in 2017. Happy New Year!

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Posted on : Jan 05 2017
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Rustic Noel

Sorry about the quality of the photo here – I snagged this one on a sunny day way back in early September. Remember back then when it wasn't cloudy and gloomy all the time? This was actually my first creation with the amazing Christmas Pines bundle – I made it for a demonstrator swap that I joined to get ideas for the Holiday catalog products. I am so in love with this bundle, and I'm so glad that the stamps and Thinlits will continue to be available past the end of the Holiday catalog period. They coordinate so wonderfully and make it very easy to make gorgeous Holiday cards. In fact, all of the elements that I used on this card will continue to be available because the remainder of the supplies come from the "big" catalog, so they'll be available for a while.

I drew inspiration for this card from this sketch from another fantastic sketch challenge site. I like the way that they make their graphics for their challenges, some of them make it pretty easy for me to step off and get crafting.

Clearly I can't get enough of the Hardwood stamp set lately – I love pairing it with the Christmas Pines sentiments and coordinating diecuts. I sponged the edges of this card to make it seem more rustic; sponging freqently adds just the perfect touch to finish off a card.

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Posted on : Dec 23 2016
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Jolly Tree

This was another of the cards from the Stamp-A-Stack event that I held earlier this month. I pre-cut the "jolly" and circle diecuts to save time at the event, and the gals just zipped through assembling these cards. As always, there were lots of oohs and ahhs over the versatile Hardwood background stamp. I hope that Stampin' Up! NEVER retires that one – I love to use it for so many different purposes.

The exciting thing about this card is that all of the elements are from the big catalog – except the stitched circle die. But those dies will continue to be available, once Stampin' Up! has replenished their supply of this popular item. If you don't have those dies, you can substitute a regular circle die and it will still look great.

I drew inspiration for this design from a recent sketch from Freshly Made Sketches. I'm not posting while the challenge is still active, but I'm pretty sure that I created the design shortly after the sketch came out. This is such a simple look, and I can readily see lots of ways to use it so don't be surprised to see it come back in the future. I loved the opportunity to use the diecut words for this card – the "jolly" just pops right out in a wonderful way. Hmmmm – perhaps I can come up with a Valentine's day card using this design…

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Posted on : Dec 20 2016
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Mistletoe Kisses

dsp_banner_christmasLast weekend I held a Christmas Stamp-A-Stack for some gals that wanted to add to their Christmas card stash. One of the gals was straight out with Stunt Night for Rice Memorial High School, so we held off on the class until that event was over. Happily her daughters class took first place, and she was able to relax a little bit with several other fun women and create some pretty cards.

This card was inspired by one of the sketches that Stampin' Up! shared in October to feature their Designer Series Papers that were on sale that month. This card was perfect for a stamp-a-stack event because it goes together pretty quickly, and it looks special when you're all done. The DSP, the stamp set, and the ribbon I used here are all on the Holiday catalog retirement list, so if you want them place your order ASAP before these lovely items are all gone. I love the pretty greens on this card – it's so bright and cheerful!

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Posted on : Dec 17 2016
Posted under Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

Brad Paisley (not)

paisleys & posiesI created this card back in August for a demonstrator swap that I participated in for the new Holiday catalog. When I saw the various products in the Paisley suite, I totally plotzed! I have always been a huge fan of paisley patterns; I don't know why but it is definitely true. When shopping for fabrics for my other crafty love (quilting) I am suckered in every time if I see a paisley print.

I used this old color challenge for the combination of colors that you see in this card. I knew that I wanted to use Rich Razzleberry because I just had to incorporate that new ribbon into this card (the swap requirements include an embellishment). The colourQ site allows you to search for all combinations for a specific color, and I used that feature to find this gem. I deviated a little bit when I added some of the go-juss Copper Foil paper for the paisley die cut that you see on the finished card. That's what I love about using old challenges – there are no rules or requirements and I can let my creativity flow unconstrained.

I also drew inspiration from this sketch for the layout of my card. Again, this is a "historical" sketch so I was free to interpret as I desired. Acutally, the finished card is pretty darned close to the sketch layout, so I didn't deviate much at all. I looked at the cards that were submitted for the challenge when it was active and this particular sketch seemed to be especially popular. I have seen a lot of designs the last few months that have a diagonal component on them and it really is a great way to add some visual interest easily. Don't be surprised if you see me use this design again in the near future – I really do like it a lot!

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Posted on : Sep 16 2016
Posted under Color Combo, Sketch Challenge, Stamping |

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