Friday, August 31, 2007

Teacher Gifts

I meant to post this on Friday night, but life got in the way. My grandma isn't well. We know the cause of her recent headaches to be a brain aneurysm, which the doctors think they can treat. It's still been an emotional ride. My posts might be less frequent as we near her surgery date, but I promise to post updates. Thanks.
Every year on the first day of school, I send my kiddo's with a small token of appreciation for their teachers. I guess I have a two-fold reason for it:

1. My kids have to go up to their new teacher (both my kiddos can be a bit shy) and give them a gift. It's a great way for them to introduce themselves.

2. I want the teacher to know that we appreciate all the hard work they do - every day. I think it takes a special person to teach. I know I certainly don't have that skill.

I created a small stationary set for both teachers from the Simply Scrappin' kit from SU's Sell-A-Bration. I had one of them in the house and had yet to crack it open. I tend not to have 12"X12" cardstock, so this was a perfect solution. I used all the cardstock die-cuts for the front of the folder and for 4 general cards.

Rachel loved the blue one:

This was Jack's gift set:

They were a fast gift - perfect for the back to school frenzy! The teachers loved them too... so it was an A+ all-around!

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Christmas Wishes

Another card project from our stamp get-together was a Christmas card. I love the Peaceful Wishes stamp set. It can be a more labor intensive type of image... I tend to want to use a marker and direct-to-stamp technique for the mistletoe, but that would take days if I'm making 100+ Christmas cards...

This was my alternative option. The card base is Bordering blue, with a matte of Real Red and White (that's been stamped with the Weathered background). The technique for the main image is emboss resist on Confetti white cardstock. I sponged Bordering blue over the embossed mistletoe, feathering the color to the edge.

Time saving tips for mass production:

1. Use white cardstock for a layer - in this case, I added color by using a
background. A large pack of white paper will stretch the holiday card budget.

2. Use ribbon scraps. This is a perfect way to stretch your ribbon to
MANY cards.

3. Minimize coloring - either use solid surface stamps, color washes or sponging,
rather than watercoloring.

Kicked-up cards have a time and a place. Just not for the 110 holiday cards I'll need to make. LOL!

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Simple design

Once a month, I get together with a great group of ladies to discuss techniques of stamping. We have so much fun. Our August projects usually center on one layout and / or technique.

The design of this card is fairly simple. We made the card out of Soft Sky and used the same ink to add the swirls from Priceless. The offset fold is actually a bookmark (and we used the Cutter Tool kit's perforator). Some of the pull through design elements are the swirls and white dot enhancements. Taken with Teal is a perfect match with Soft sky, don't you think?

I had fun making this card with the girls. I'll post another one tomorrow.



Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jolie Fleurs

When I saw this set by Lizzie Anne Designs, I knew I had to purchase it. I've seen so many beautiful projects with this set. I thought I'd try my hand at a classy pretty flower card.

The card base is Pretty in Pink with CHF's Paisley backgrounder stamped for a tone on tone effect. The main image is the largest flower from "Jolie Fleur". I stamped it three times, cut out the multiple layers and used dimensional tape. The layers are So Saffron and Purely Pomegranate. I used my (small) collection of Copic markers to color the images (RV11-Pink, Y21-Buttercup Yellow, RV19-Red Violet, G21-Lime Green). Incidentally, I think RV19-Red Violet is a very close match for Purely Pomegranate.

The sentiment "you brighten my day" was stamped on So Saffron cardstock. It's from the Thoughtful Phrases inaugural set by Verve Visual - and it fits perfectly in the Word Window punch.

I really love how the card finished! It wasn't at all how I planned... but I'm rather limited in Copic colors right now. The colors I had dictated how I finished the card... wasn't that convenient?

Thanks for stopping by,


Monday, August 27, 2007

Gift Exchange - Part 2

Sorry to post so early in the day... I'm traveling for work and won't be home until late on Tuesday. I actually have multiple posts written that just require me to "publish". I think there is an auto-feature to Blogger that lets you publish at the date and time you want... I just haven't figured it out yet. So, you get this post early today...

Another requirement of the exchange is an item in Green and Purple...

This is a small handled bag (I used a box template) filled with Halloween treats. I made a mini-card from the "Booglie Eye" set to match. The images were colored with Copic markers. A few of the paper scraps were pressed into my crimper for a quick bag filler.

Hopefully she'll like this little addition to her gift box.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Gift Exchange

I signed up for a gift exchange on SCS. I really enjoy these swaps. I get to make a gift (or two) for a new friend... and usually have to shop for a few extra treats. I love this part... since I might get a few things for myself in the process. OK... I definitely shop for myself too. That's what makes it so much fun!!!! LOL!

This is part 1 of my gift. The challenge was to make something in Orange and Black.

Several months ago, I bought a couple frames from the dollar bin at Target (gotta love the dollar bin). I used the SU designer paper (Outlaw), which is "orange-ish". I trimmed the paper to reveal a bit of the black frame. Just a bit of Mod Podge was needed to adhere the paper.

I made a quick card to go with the frame, using the Outlaw paper scraps and the "Give Thanks" set. The pumpkin was colored with markers first and highlighted with colored pencils for more color variation and depth.

I hope my new friend likes her gift. I have another handmade gift I'll post later this week.

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Have An Ice Day

Maybe it's just because it's been SO darn hot in St. Louis... or maybe I'm starting to plan Christmas cards...

I'm a sucker for penguins. I don't know what makes them so sweet, but they are. These stamps are also from Hambo Arts and were irresistible!

I masked the penguin so he'd be sitting on the ice cube, added his friends and colored / highlighted them with Copic markers. I used the Snowflake duo to create a background on the Bashful Blue card base. I added glitter pen to the words and the ice cube for a little frozen glints!!!

Wishful thinking on my part! It's 98F today with 80% humidity. Summer in St. Louis!!! Brutal!

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Swimming Hugs!

OK... I did warn you that I've been playing with these Hambo Arts stamps and really enjoying them!

This is another really quick card. I just melted for the image... She's such a cutie! I wish I was swimming today, instead of working! It's a hot one in St. Louis!!!

The card is another square, Certainly Celery, with a Wild Wasabi matte. I used some of the designer series paper by SU in certainly celery to add some fun (and it's super fast). I stamped the little Pool girl in Adirondack Black by Ranger ink and colored with my small stash of Copic markers. An oval and scallop matte complete the central image. Super fast!

I know just who will be receiving this card. I think she'll get a kick out of it!

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Funny Little Man

I didn't get to stamp a ton this weekend, but what I did do was play with my new Hambo Stamps. They are SO much fun!

This was another quick card.
The card base is square, Brilliant Blue, with a matte of Only Orange. I stamped flipper boy in Adirondack Black ink by Ranger to color in with Copic markers. I punched an Oval scallop in scrap paper and used it to sponge light blue clouds.

The sentiment is a Fractured Funny... with the inside reading: "Wow, were we stupid or what?"

Very funny stuff!!!



Monday, August 20, 2007

Hambo Arts

I've lived under a rock! I swear it! I saw Asela's post that Hambo Arts was having a sale and thought I'd take a peek. Their stamps are HILARIOUS! In fact, their motto is "Go ahead, laugh at us!". And I did!!! I had a ball picking out a few things that I just HAD to have.

This quick card was a sweet one... I used the cherries and sentiment from Hambo. It's a small card (3" square) of Certainly Celery, Wild Wasabi, and Real Red.

I colored the cherries with Lipstick Red Copic marker and highlighted with Cool Gray. It's a fast card, but I really had fun. It's so easy to spend hours creating the perfect card, but it's the quick ones that make me smile... fast and fun!

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Unmounted Stamps Tutorial

I am, by no means, an expert on unmounted stamps. But lately, I've purchased several unmounted products. I've noticed that the term "unmounted" means something different to each company. It's all just fine to me... I just knew I'd need to come up with something standard for myself.

What I prefer is a cling mounted product that I can use with an acrylic block.
Some of what I've seen are:
1. Already cling mounted - you just need to trim.
2. Rubber only - this always leaves me a bit perplexed... I add the cling foam, since this is what I like.
3. Stamp with foam added... and it's ready to stick to a surface permanently, such as your own wood block.
In order to adapt, I found that I can easily use a product I already own to make these sticky unmounted stamps acrylic-ready. I'm sure seasoned stampers already know this trick, but I was rather proud of myself for figuring it out on my own.

Step 1: Lay out a layer of Saran Wrap.
Step 2: Remove the paper backing to reveal the sticky foam.

Step 3: Adhere the rubber stamp to the Saran Wrap and trim.

Step 4: Use with acrylic blocks. I've had to dampen the back of the stamp a bit to get it to cling to the block... but it works like a charm.

I hope this helps you out of a sticky spot!

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

NSR - Travel Pictures

I've been creating stamped artwork like crazy lately, but don't have pictures yet. I will have more time over the weekend to get a bunch uploaded and edited.

I thought I'd share a few pictures with you of my last trip to the UK. I work for a chemical company, which has several offices in the UK. My last trip was to the Gillingham production facility. Gillingham is in Dorset, which I think is southeast of London by about 2 hours.
During that week, I stayed in a hotel in Shaftesbury - a town near Gillingham, which was charming! One of the most stunning and picturesque places in Shaftesbury is Gold Hill. This LINK will take you to the Wikipedia listing for the site, in case you'd like a little history. I worked most of the evenings quite late with very little free time. To make sure I was able to take pictures of my visit, I woke up one morning at 4:45 am (YIKES!!!) and hiked into town. I think I walked and rambled for about 1 hour... made it back to shower, eat breakfast and head back to the office to work the rest of the day. It was perfect.

Here is Gold Hill:
And the Rector's house in Shaftesbury... my dream home (from the outside anyway - I don't know what it looks like inside):
Our drive back to London (so I could fly home via Heathrow) took us past Stonehenge. I asked one of my work colleagues if I could stop and take a few pictures from outside the gates. He was kind enough to humor me and even stood next to me while I aimed through the fence for a great shot. I was so amazingly stunned by how massive the structure is. Being there in person was wonderful.
Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble about my last business trip. I'll have stamping projects for you soon!



Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wedding Wishes

I have been in a card-making mode lately. I took a few minutes to make this quick card for a wedding in a couple of weeks (I know... can you believe it??? I'm being proactive!!!).

This card is really very simple. I love how it completed.

I started with a piece of Basic Grey Scarlet Letter designer paper. Now, I'm sure you're thinking I lost my mind, because the DP is clearly not on this card. I had all intentions of using the paper. The colors were inspired by the paper. The simplicity of the card would offset the complexity of the designed paper...

And then, it didn't work. I really liked the card better as a simple card.

The card base is a 3.75" x 9" card, perfect for a business size envelope, made of Ruby Red textured cardstock. I love using textured cardstock on simple designs because it lends to the richness of the finished piece. The central image is from the Oh So Lovely SU set (Sahara Sand is the shadow stamp). I watercolored the flower image and matted it with Old Olive and Basic Black.

The black matte has piercing around it's perimeter. The Old olive and Sahara Sand panels are faux stitched with black ink. Ivory grosgrain complete the center image - add is adhered to the card with dimensional tape. The sentiment, "warmest wishes" from All Year Cheer I, was stamped in Brilliance Black pigment ink. I think the pigment inks do better on the textured cardstock, since they are thicker and sit on top of the paper, rather than absorbing into the fibers. It just seemed to give the best results for me. If anyone has any preferences, let me know. I'd love to hear your opinions too.

Thanks for checking in with me!


Monday, August 13, 2007

Super Fast Birthday card

A colleague of mine celebrated her birthday last week. I always have my calendar up-to-date... I just often neglect to look at it in advance. I know... I should have some other organizational method to remind me of important dates. I'll have to create a better system, that's for sure.

In my effort to rise to the challenge, I created a super fast card for Katie.

The card base is a 4"x4" square of textured groovy guava and a matte of blush blossom. The flowers are from smARTworks Rubber stamps, specifically FL-16 / Real Stems and Flowers.

The links in the names are active to the stamp company's home page and the catalog page of the set, respectively. I randomly stamped the stems (in Garden green and Wild Wasabi) and flowers (Ruby red, Groovy Guava, and Blush Blossom).
The sentiment, "happy birthday", was stamped on a 1/2" strip of paper. I slid one end into the word window punch at a time to make a longer piece. It's anchored to the card with cord through the eyelets and dimensional tape.
It really was a super fast card... I'll have to remember that for the next time I need a card. Oh right... I was going to do something about that whole organizational thing, wasn't I?


Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Little Boy Blue

I made this card for a neighbor for his 5th birthday last weekend. It came together quickly.

The card is a 4.75" x 4.75" square. I really love square cards. I've shied away from them in the past if I didn't have the right sized envelopes... but I'll get to that in a minute.

This card is a base of Blue Bayou (LOVE this color), a rounded edged River Rock matte that was stamped with Aida Cloth background, and the center strip of Not Quite Navy.

The cheetah from the SU Zoofari set was watercolored with watercolor crayons. I used my Coluzzle to cut out a matte circle and the central image. I think I've said it in previous posts, but I LOVE my coluzzle. It's one of my favorite go-to tools.

I faux stitched - mimicking the Cuttlebug embossed stitched look that I highlighted on the central Cheetah. Wasn't that fun??? White grosgrain and greeting finish the card. Pretty quick, which was a good thing because the kids had to run to Liam's party. I think in total, this took me about 20 minutes.... but I did make two at once, so you might be able to finish faster.

So, to come back to the envelope issue... I ran out of square envelopes that I'd ordered from SU. I've tried making my one, but didn't have the right template. So... I was at Office Max (or maybe it was Depot), and found square CD envelopes. They are PERFECT! The round acetate window gives a perfect peek inside to the card... or you can use a small piece of tissue to wrap the card as you would a treat.

This is probably not a new tip for you seasoned stampers... but I was SO excited to find a ready resource. I think the package of CD envelopes I bought were $16 for 100 sleeves. That's a great deal.

Now I'll be ready for any square cards!

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Ready for Another Challenge Card?

I'm peppering you with them this week...

I love the sketch element of this card. The central image can either start as one image cut into three (and not necessarily equal parts) or can be three separate images that relate... like three types of flowers in the same style / size.

I decided that for this sketch, I wanted to start with a single panel cut in 3 equal strips. I did the panel first and cut into strips... only to realize I had misplaced one of them. Arghhhhh!!!! I really need to clean my desk!

I made a pocket card... albeit a top-heavy one. LOL! I had to use a stand to take the picture, as it wouldn't stand on it's own. The card base is Soft Sky (I'm really loving this color!), with mattes of Taken with Teal and basic black. Certainly celery is the accent color and a perfect counter balance. I used Baroque Motifs swirls as the focus of the central image.

The color inspiration came from a recent shopping trip. I saw a pillow in these colors and knew I'd make a card with them. I really love this combo! Maybe I should go back to buy that pillow!!!

Here's a side view of the inside. I like unique folds to cards... this would be a perfect layout for a gift card pocket.

Thanks for stopping by~


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

More Dirt!

Another challenge on SCS was to create a card, adding a ton of brads. I'm not one to scrimp on the details, but I tend not to overdo the hardware. Is it the frugal side of me? Maybe so... or maybe I'm just thinking ahead to all the postage it would take to mail the finished product. Oh wait... that's still frugal! LOL!

I decided to make this a 5" square card, using a stamp set I'd received from Rubber Stamping Fun as part of their stamp review program. It's yet to be released, but is absolutely beautiful! I posted in July my initial information on the set, which can be found HERE - this post has details about the set.

The card base is Kraft cardstock, layered with Basic Grey's Scarlet Letter. I LOVE all Basic Grey papers. They are just so decadent to me. This paper really seems to fit the personality of the stamp set. I used a black marker to stamp a piece of the sentiment -- I only wanted "live well" to be the focus. And... I add vintage brads. Six of them. I know... not as many as I could have.
All in all... I think this is a simple card, but I really liked the end results.

Thanks for stopping by~


Monday, August 6, 2007

Tag Challenge Card

I'm still stamping away at the long list of SCS challenges from last week. I really wanted to do all of them... and not double any of them on the same card. But, the work week is back and I'm more than likely not going to finish them all.
Yvette's challenge called for a tag card, any dimensions, that was created with only one stamp set. This card has dimensions of 5.5" x 9" - mine was a base of Soft Sky. I scored the length at 3" and 6". To get the rounded tops, I used my Coluzzle (a favorite tool of mine) and the oval template to create the domes.

I used the Priceless Stamp set as my lone set. Blush (one of my all-time favorite Basic Grey papers) was the color inspiration and is part of each panel as the matte or focal image. Using a Making Memories tag maker, I created a designer paper tag and a flower tag. There is a TON of faux stitching and piercing on the panels. I also made a pocket out of the last panel, which has the scallop circle peeking out the side. This is where I've hand-written a note for my friend.

I really like how this project completed. I'll have more to share with you later this week.

Thanks for checking in with me!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Awesome Product Review

I was contacted about 1 month ago on a card I created and posted on my blog. Diana Crick (SU Demonstrator, Inventor and stamper extraordinaire) emailed me about the card, because it features a folding technique she was wanting to highlight on her gallery. And she asked if she could picture my card.

Well, I didn't have to think about this more than one second... Of course!!!
Here's the link to her gallery and my card is right there! Can you believe it!!!! What an honor!

Diana's product is called Scor-Pal - the link on the product name is active to her home page. It's a template that is 12" wide and longer than that in length, with grooves at common widths for the perfect card creation. I can't tell you how many projects I've scrapped because I've scored incorrectly or wasn't straight.

I have since purchased the Scor-Pal and used it to make the Bright Tri-fold card. It was perfect! Anyone that knows me will agree that I'm a tool junkie, but I won't spend on something that I know is only single purposed. I can easily see that my Scor-Pal will be perfect for making boxes, complex card folds, mini-albums... and the perfect score on a standard card. If anyone has any questions about how it works or wants more details, feel free to email me or contact Diana at Scor-Pal directly. She's wonderful!

The gallery can be found at the link below:

Thanks again, Diane for featuring my card with such stellar stampers!


p.s. Little disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with Scor-Pal, nor was I asked to post this. It's just pure bragging on my part! LOL! I'm thrilled to have my card on the gallery site with so many of the all-star stampers.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Another Challenge card

Sorry I've been MIA for a few days. I traveled for work and then worked WAY too late tonight. But, I'm back.

This next card is one that I didn't think to be one of my best, but it was really fun, very cheerful and fairly simple to complete.

The challenge was both a sketch for the layout and a technique. A quick note on the layout... it was originally supposed to be a square card, but my central image lent itself to a regular A2 card.

The challenge is called "Out of the Box". I first stamped the tulips from Both Ways Blossoms on Georgia Pacific white cardstock. Using a ruler, I penciled in square around the flowers, deliberately letting a few of the flowers fall outside the perimeter. I used my Fiskers trimmer on the straight cuts and continued trimming around the flowers with my precision scissors. After the image was trimmed, I matted the flowers with Real Red cardstock (1/4" larger than the original size - as normal).

To add a little definition, I doodled an outline on both white panels.

Supplies: Paper: Summer Sun, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Georgia Pacific White
cardstock; Stamps: Crosshatch BG, Both Ways Blossoms; Ink: Brilliance Graphite
Black, Pumpkin Pie, Summer Sun; Accessories: Black journaling marker, Red
Grosgrain ribbon, Red Dotted organdy May arts ribbon, SU marker in YoYo Yellow,
Certainly Celery, colored pencils, blending stump.
To color the tulips, I used SU markers and colored pencils, using the tutorial outlined HERE (Vibrant Colors).

I loved how cheerful the card is. I think it will be perfect as a Birthday or Get Well.