Balloon Prototype

I created this card when I was coming up with different designs for the Cards for Cancer stamp-a-stack that happened earlier this month. I always have fun coming up with cards for these events, and this year was no different. I decided against this design when I was all done because I felt that it was too involved. All those balloons was going to be wayyyy too much. Either it was loads of stamping up front by me, or using the same stamps with multiple inks at the event (a recipe for an ink disaster). Given all that, I knew that I had to simplify. The layout is the same on the card that I did go with, and the embossed panel even uses the same embossing folder. This card will go in my stash for my own purposes – I'll send it to a friend (or family member).

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Posted on : May 23 2017
Posted under 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 |

Eastern Palace Deal

Stampin' Up! is offering two very special bundles of new products from the new catalog. These bundles include products from the gorgeous Eastern Palace Suite and 3 of the new In Colors. These colors will knock your socks off! Each of the bundles include a free bonus gift of a product that is also new to the next catalog. You can click on the image above to view the different bundles, and purchase them at my on-line store. And while you're there, you can add retiring and clearance products to your cart. Gotta love getting a deal!

Stampin' Up! has put together an advertisement video that highlights some of the products in the Eastern Palace Suite that are included in the bundles. The beginning doesn't show stamping products, but please keep watching. Check it out by clicking this link.

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Posted on : May 09 2017
Posted under Announcements |

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 |

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 |

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