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 |

Dragonfly Beauty

The other day I shared this card with this watercolor background technique. That card had a large embossed greeting highlighted with the watercolor wash I created with the ink refills. This time I used the beautiful dragonfly image from the Dragonfly Dreams stamp set. I really do love how this technique turns out – I really encourage you to give it a try.

This was the second card that I swapped at the OnStage gathering in Savannah. I made a dozen of these and a similar quantity of the multi-banner card that I shared the other day. I was flying to get to the event, so I didn't want to have loads of stuff that I needed to transport back and forth. Also, since we are nearing the end of the current catalog time, most of the swaps that I would receive will have a limited life span for use as a demonstrator. I used this stamp set because I knew that this one was one of the sets carrying over into the new catalog (Stampin' Up! gave us a list of a few carryover sets). This time of year is fun and challenging as a demonstrator. We are saying goodbye to so many beloved products, but that is all to make room for some gorgeous new products that we'll be able to purchase real soon. One of the perks of attending OnStage is that I got my copy of the new catalog at the event. Being able to see what is coming (and trust me, there's some wonderful stuff) takes a lot of the edge off the retirement announcement. Stay tuned to get more details on retirement and new products.

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Posted on : Apr 21 2017
Posted under 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 |

Happy Kites

I created this for the March meeting of the Essex stamp club. This was the second card of the evening, and I thought it would be the simpler one of the two. The first one was the sunburst card that I shared recently. As it turned out, they thought that this card was the more challenging one, and they found the sunburst to be quite easy. Honestly there was a bit of waiting for stamps and ink with this one, so that slowed us down a little bit. The challenging part was lining up the two separate stamps that make the kite image that you see here. This card did show off some of the versatility of the super-cool Swirly Bird stamp set.

I used the sketch that you see here as the launch point for this card design. The greeting on this card is what is in the "Any Shape" spot, and the kites are flying above this great sentiment.

I used this color challenge to pull together the colors for this card. Kiwi Kiss and Not Quite Navy are both retired, so I had to make a substitution using current colors – Wild Wasabi & Island Indigo. They aren't an exact match, but I do like how these colors all go together. What do you think – did I make a fair substitution?

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

Fabulous Friend

As this post hits the internet, I'm busy enjoying a day of stamping fun at a Stampin' Up! event called "OnStage". I attended the very first one of these specific events a year and a half ago in Baltimore – this time I've traveled to Savannah Georgia. I'm hanging out with a group of friends that I made at the Baltimore event, and I'm sure that we are having a blast. This is the group that are the lucky recipients of the cute boxes that I mentioned the other day. We are all participating in a gift swap – I wonder what I'll get in exchange. They are a very fun bunch of gals – I'm sure that I will come home with some great stories!

I designed this card for an organized swap scheduled for lunch time at the OnStage event. I also made a few extra to swap with the group that I'm hanging out with. Prior to the event, Stampin' Up! shared a small list of stamp sets that are carrying forward into the new big catalog (this is getting unveiled at OnStage). This card features the Banners for You stamp set, which is one of the sets on the "safe" list. As demonstrators, we would prefer to swap with sets that we know will be around for a while. I totally took a gamble with the diagonal stripe stamp, tho. I have my fingers crossed that it makes it past the retirement chopping block, too. Also, since I wanted my card to have a long shelf-life for my swapping partners I had to think long and hard about using DSP on my design. Then I had the brilliant idea to use some of the Brights DSP stack (hopefully that won't retire). I am quite confident that the regular DSP will all retire, but I hold out hope for the color family stacks and the In-Color 2016-2018 Envelope Papers.

I used the sketch shown here as inspiration for my design. I've recently started to pay attention to the sketches from this site, and I have to say that I think they are pretty great. I haven't ever used the products featured on their site (since I'm totally a Stampin' Up! gal), but I really like several of their sketches. So, don't be surprised if you see more of them show up here in my blog as creation inspiration.

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

Watercolor Background Greeting

I created this card for my South Burlington stamp club gals for our March gathering. They were all wondering why I asked them to bring a cutting board to club, and they weren't sure what I meant – actual kitchen cutting board, or a paper crafting cutting mat. Thankfully any of the above work for this technique. 

To create this artistic look, do the following with your watercolor paper:

  1. Emboss an image using white embossing powder – it is hard to see it until later, but trust me it works great.
  2. Tape down your paper to a cutting board using painters tape – I tape down all 4 sides to keep it as flat as possible
  3. Wet the area around the stamped greeting using an aquapainter
  4. Use the lightest ink refill first to add color in one section – again you use your aquapainter
  5. Add a darker ink refill to add a different color in another section – let the colors bleed together so that they blend nicely
  6. Set the cutting board aside until the panel is fully dried
  7. Remove from cutting board and build your card

The ladies had fun with this, and it was neat to see how each one turned out a little bit different. With this technique, no two creations will be exactly the same. And, I think that adds to the beauty! Stay tuned, soon you will see another creation that I have made using this technique.

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Posted on : Apr 07 2017
Posted under Stamping, Techniques |

Pretty Boxes

I created these two cute little gift boxes for a recent stamping workshop that I held for a friend. I found directions on the inter-webz on the blog of an amazing demonstrator from the UK (here is the blog post she shared). She used her creation to hold some jumbo tea lights from Ikea – I filled mine with some maple candies from a local shop. It is maple season here in VT, after all!  These boxes were door prizes at the party, and the two recipients were thrilled to receive them!

I loved making the boxes so much that I made 10 more of them using retired DSP for a demo gift exchange I'm participating in this weekend. If I get a chance, I'll try to share a pic of the exchange so you can see how much fun a group of demos can have. wink These boxes are a great way to use up some scraps for Designer Series Paper, and they really are a great size for a cute little gift.

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Posted on : Apr 05 2017
Posted under 3-D Projects, Stamping |

Blue-ish Sunburst

I decided to revisit the sunburst technique to show these papers off to the Essex stamp club ladies. A couple of years ago I was quite enamored with this look and shared a few cards here. This stamp club started up at the beginning of this year, so I can dip into my bag of tricks to introduce various things to these fun ladies. These sunburst cards are a fantastic way to use up paper scraps that you have, and they work wonderfully with the pretty double-sided papers that Stampin' Up! offers. The fact that the colors coordinate wonderfully makes it that much easier.

This card features the gorgeous Blooms & Bliss Designer Series Paper (DSP). There are two colorways featured in this pretty paper, for this card I focused on the blue-blue/green patterns. The other one is a pink-plum scheme (which is also gorgeous). I'm starting to look ahead to the new catalog, which means that the 2015-2017 In Colors will be retiring. I will dearly miss Mint Macaron which is one of the key colors in this card. That color goes so wonderfully with so many colors, and it has been incorporated with many different DSP packs. It will really leave a hole when it is gone. *sniff* Which reminds me… if you love the 2015-2017 In Colors, now is the time to stock up. Soon we will enter the days when inventory will be depleted and not replenished, and I would hate for you to miss out. As a reminder, here are the colors that will be leaving soon:

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Posted on : Apr 03 2017
Posted under Stamping |

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