Saturday, 25 February 2012

Home Sweet Home!

I love the Decor Elements, Home Sweet Home, in the Sale-a-bration booklet.  The fact that it comes in an assortment of colours is the icing on the cake.  I chose one in Chocolate Chip in the first order for which I qualified for Sale-a-bration and decided to display it in a frame with some of the Neutrals Collection DSP behind it, arranged as if it was quilted.  I added a couple of  scalloped circles cut from the Sale-a-bration Everyday Enchantment DSP with my Scallop Circle Punch and added some Soft Suede cardstock for good measure.  The finished product is really quite nice.
Tomorrow I'm attending the local Optimist Club's big all-day scrapbooking crop (just as a participant) and I've donated a similar framed Home Sweet Home as a fundraiser.  This time I've made it with the white version of the Home Sweet Home but I've backed it with the much darker Chocolate Chip DSP and Chocolate Chip cardstock.  As it happens, the same Sale-a-bration Everyday Enchantment DSP looks great with this version as well and so I'm using it cut with the Scallop Circle Punch once again.  The finished product is very similar but at the same time, is quite different.  I wound up having to buy a slightly larger frame this time around and so had to redraft my measurements, but I'm liking the results.  What do you think?
Since the frame is larger than the one I first used, the lettering seemed too crowded in the centre, so I cut apart the Home Sweet Home into three strips and placed them slightly further apart than they are actually designed to be.  I think the Chocolate Chip gives it a totally different look as does the white of the Decor Element.  I had to sponge some Chocolate Chip ink onto the Everyday Enchantment DSP scalloped circles to make them fit into the colour theme better.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Elegance in Black, White, Grey and Pearls.

I had so many emails and positive reactions to my Card Gift Case as well as questions about other possible colours for it and the cards within it.  Of course the only limit to that is one's imagination (and the cardstock and Designer Series Paper on hand) but it did start my creative juices flowing again.

This time, rather than using the romantic blossoms and those wonderful deep reds and blues in the Twitterpated DSP that I used last time, I began thinking along the lines of simple elegance.  Well, what could be more elegant than using Black, Grey, White and pearls?  It's like designing a card or case to go with that all-too-important little black dress every woman wants.  Right now I'm leaning towards the simple black and white design in the Twitterpated DSP and designed two cards using it to see how that might go.

For the first one I used the Sale-a-bration stamp set, Fresh Vintage and kept simply within the black and white within the Twitterpated DSP and added a bit of Basic Grey cardstock as well.  I absolutely loved its simplicity:
With the addition of three tiny pearl accents, this card was complete.

My second one was identical except that I used the Elements of Style stamp set instead.  That little stylized hummingbird and a piece of the large flower stamp filled the framlits Labels Collection die perfectly and gave the card a completely different look.  As before, I added tiny pearls, one as the hummingbirds's eye and the other one on the "postage stamp" flower again.

I'm still incubating the third card, trying to decide whether it will simply highlight another stamp set or mix up the colour elements a bit.  For the Card Gift Case, however, I'm pretty sure I will continue with the Twitterpated white and black DSP...but we'll see.

How do you like the series so far?

Monday, 20 February 2012

Creating a Gift

Whether it's for the hostess or a special gift for a friend or relative, this Card Gift Case is sure to be appreciated.  I love making 3-D projects and so possible projects are forever incubating in my busy brain.  Yesterday I suddenly had a "vision" of a cute Card Gift Case and, of course, I had to try to make it a reality.

I had bought the Twitterpated DSP when it was first introduced but hadn't used much of it in any projects.  The darker flower pattern, with the Basic Grey as a background, had been left untouched.  This time I decided to use it, not only as the main focal point, but also to decide the colours of cardstock which I would use in the project.

It was easy enough to choose the colours listed for the DSP.  The Riding Hood Red cardstock was a perfect match as were the Basic Grey cardstock and the Blushing Bride cardstock.  When it came to the suggested Baja Breeze, I came to a standstill.  The dye colour in my DSP was in no way related to the Baja Breeze.  Actually the only cardstock that didn't "fight" with the blue in the DSP was the Marina Mist, and so I went with that choice.  Every light source (and even my camera) confirmed that this was the right match.

I had decided to use 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" cards and the matching envelopes (5 3/4" x 4 3/8") in this project therefore I knew that the Card Gift Case had to be larger than the envelopes in order to fit everything easily.  I also knew that I had to allow some space in each pocket as well.  The following template allowed for easy closing of the Gift Card Case as well as easy insertion of the cards and the envelopes.
The broken lines on the template denote scoring lines.

I used the Marina Mist for the 6" x 9 1/4" cardstock and then cut another piece the same size in the Twitterpated DSP.  I scored both as shown in the template.  Because I find nothing sticks better than the Sticky Tape, I used that along the sides and also in the centre between the fold lines.  Lining the two up was one of the most challenging portions of this project.  Once the Sticky Tape sticks, it won't let go so be very careful doing this step.

I chose to do one pocket on the inside in Marina Mist cardstock and the other pocket in the Twitterpated DSP.  Really, it's anyone's choice here, as is the addition of the scalloped edge.  You can see where the pocket has two scored lines along three edges.  This is necessary in order to give sufficient depth to the pockets so that cards or envelopes can fit inside without ripping the pocket or bulging out.  Again, I used Sticky Tape along the 1/4" fold so that the pockets would be permanent and not give during the insertion of the cards or envelopes.

The rest...the "bling" and the decorations are up to the individual.  I can see where this would have a totally different personality if it had been done in, for example, the Well Worn DSP or another DSP.  I love the old-fashioned "feel" that this Twitterpated DSP gives my project, but I can see myself doing it again in totally different paper.

I chose to do the cards using the same Twitterpated DSP, having each card's main cardstock in a different colour within the Twitterpated DSP.  Therefore one card has Basic Grey as its main background colour:
Another card has Riding Hood Red as its main background colour:
And the last card has the Marina Mist as its main background colour:
Even with the added layers and "bling", the cards fit easily into the Card Gift case and it closed nicely.  To make sure it stayed shut, a person could add a ribbon at the centre bottom front and back and tie it closed with a pretty bow or even put a velcro spot or magnet on the inside centre of the pockets to keep it closed.

I left mine without any "closure" since it stays nice and flat and shut without help.

I hope you'll enjoy making your own version of this Card Gift Case.  Blessings to all. :)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Be Mine, Valentine

Valentine's is the day for hearts, hearts and more hearts.  You can't go into a store without seeing a heart somewhere.  Naturally that has been a favourite theme for cards and projects lately, too.

I fell in love with some of the wonderful 3-D Hearts that have been posted by stampers and crafters lately.  I'm one of those people who figures, "if they can do it, so can I!"  Without a pattern or looking at any tutorials, I began working on my own version, using those terrific framelits dies: Hearts Collection.  Believe me, these dies make the whole process a lot easier.  This is what I came up with.

I've shown the box from three different angles.  I love the roses, too, and figured out how to make those when someone mentioned that you can make them by using a scalloped circle, cutting a spiral, and then rolling it into a rosebud.  The leaves are done with a crimper and then snipped.  I had a lot of positive feedback on this project.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Time for Tea?

I do love my coffee when I first get up in the morning.  There's nothing like a jolt of caffeine to wash away the cobwebs left in my head and prepare me for the rest of the day.

But I do love tea!  Green Tea and Peppermint are my current teas of choice.  Naturally when "The Tea Shoppe" stamp set was released, it appealed to the tea-lover in me.  For a change, instead of using one of the delightful cup stamps in the set, I decided to use the "white peony" oval stamp.

First I cut a 6" x 12" piece of textured River Rock cardstock with my Fancy Favor Bigz XL the way the score lines are automatically added when you use that die!  Then I used the oval Designer Frame embossing folder in the centre of one of the unscored panels.  Of course I used the pink Sticky Strip to glue the bottoms and sides of the Fancy Favor together...I didn't want the goodies inside to fall out due to failed adhesive.

Then I used the large Oval Punch for Calypso Coral which fit perfectly into the embossed oval frame.  I used the "white peony" stamp with Old Olive ink on Very Vanilla cardstock and cut that out with the "Scalloped Oval" punch and coloured the leaves in with my Lucky Limeade Stampin' Write marker.  Then I used the dimensionals to mount that onto the Calypso Coral.  I went a bit crazy with the flowers, using that wonderful Boho Blossoms punch on two DSPs (Neutrals collection River Rock and In-Color 2011-2013 Calypso Coral) as well as Whisper White cardstock.  For the centres of some flowers, I added a flower punched with the flower shape of the Itty Bitty Shapes punches.  The leaves were punched with my trusty and well-loved Bird Builder punch using Lucky Limeade cardstock and the butterflies were punched with that wonderful embosslit die: Beautiful Wings.

The finished product was filled with teabags and given to one of my dear friends...a total success.

Sharing Ideas...Creating Inspiration

I've visited countless Blogsites and Websites and have marvelled at some of the great cards or projects others have created.  Normally I don't copy from these samples I've seen, but sometimes I do get inspired and do it "my way".  I'm sure there are people who have looked at the few samples I've managed to post so far and have either copied or become inspired by them to do them "their way".  It's humbling to realize that if even ONE person uses a small part of an idea or design that I made and then that person has sent that card to another person, and that person has smiled.....I had a tiny part in that, and isn't that wonderful!  It's a way of reaching out and touching others that just wasn't possible once upon a time.

I believe that we as "creative people" are given a gift, that, when shared, can have an impact on another person in a way we may never know.  Let's not hide our bushels...but share them and watch them grow and "nurture" others.  

Monday, 6 February 2012

Prize-Winning Card! So, so, so happy!

I haven't been stamping very long...less than a year, in fact.  I love it and find it gives me the artistic, creative release that I crave.  The LNS challenge during the Super Bowl was my opportunity to test my card-making abilities against those of others.  I knew I had made a nice card.  My husband and son-in-law even liked it and they're tough to impress.  So I decided to submit it thinking that at least I was participating rather than hanging back and observing like I too often do.

My card can only be described as a masculine-type.   I used a stamp set that I saw in a card once and fell in love with...but couldn't find in the current catalogue.  When I was looking through the actual stamps listed on the Stampin' Up site, however, I found it and was ecstatic when I was finally able to order it.  It's called "The Open Sea" and includes five stamps:  a boat in full sail, an anchor, a compass, a globe, and a large block of what I assume if the ship's log in old script.
For my card, "I Miss You", I used all but the anchor.  I had just received an order of glossy white paper which I decided was perfect for what I envisioned for the card.

The actual stamp is just the boat, no background, and a bit of water directly around the bottom of the boat.  Everything else I had to fill in.  I had tried a cloud technique on a number of cards and decided to do that for this card and I had an idea of what could be done for the water but it meant having to stamp the boat first, stamping it again on another piece of cardstock, and then cutting the second image as close as possible to the stamp lines so that it would exactly match the boat and allow me to bring the clouds and sea up to the stamped image but not onto it.

It went better than expected.  I had virtually no touch up and was thrilled with the look of the clouds.  The water was still my big challenge.  For that I tried a sponge technique that I plan to submit to the LNS Technique Share.  I doubt it would have worked with "normal" cardstock.  The glossy white surface doesn't absorb the ink quickly and allows movement and blending.  And that is the key to this technique.

So there we have it...another milestone.  There is a prize of stamps...for which I am truly grateful...but my biggest prize is already here:  I won First Place!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Taking a break from Valentine's

I love Valentine's and all the great cards you can make for the occasion: funny cards, sweet cards, downright mushy cards and everything in between.  But sometimes you need a break and today I decided to do anything but Valentine's Day cards.  Looking at all the stamp sets that I've bought and haven't gotten around to using, I realized that today would be the day I would use at least two of the sets...if not more.  The first one I chose was "Heaven Sent".  A perfect title under the circumstances.

I decided to make a tri-fold 4" x 4" card by taking a 4" x 12" piece of Very Vanilla textured cardstock and scoring it at 4" and then again at 8".  Then I chose one of the cheeriest of the Sale-a-bration DS papers and cut a 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" piece, centering it onto the front of the card.  I used the third from the smallest framelits Labels Collection die to cut a window in the centre of the front of the card.  I set the cut out label aside to use later.

Then I cut a piece of Pool Party cardstock to match the blue in the SAB paper and used the Snail glue to attack it to the back of the front of the card.  Using the second from the smallest of the framelits Labels Collection die and lining it up from the front, I cut a window in the cardstock, effectively making a double-framed window in the front.

Using Very Vanilla cardstock, I stamped the little boy collecting Easter eggs with Early Espresso ink and then cut the image out with the same die I used for the window in the Pool Party cardstock.  I coloured the image using Watercolour Pencils and a Blending Pen.  The colours match the SAB paper perfectly, which I love!  I used Pool Party ink and a sponge to shade around the label and then used Snail glue to centre it onto the next page through the front of the card.  It worked perfectly and the boy is as visible from the front of the card as he is on the next page.  Under that label, I glued a "Happy Easter" sentiment which  was stamped on Very Vanilla cardstock with Pool Party ink and cut with the Word Label Punch and then shaded the edges with the same ink.
You can just see the three pages of the card in this picture.  On the last page I used the set aside Label from the front of the card which showed off the SAB paper.  I glued that onto the page and then stamped the long sentiment from the set onto Very Vanilla cardstock and cut it out with the Modern Label Punch, shaded the edges with Pool Party ink to match the sentiment, and glued  that down onto the SAB label.

It's cheery, it's colourful, and best of's not a Valentine. :)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The "How-To's" of Hemp

I've used the Baker's Twine to loop around the centre of a punched out butterfly to give it the illusion of a body and antennae but it's a bit droopy.  I've also been eyeing the Hemp Twine in the catalogue because I thought I could use a sponge and ink on it to make it any colour I wanted and it looked as if it would have more body.  Well, I was right.  It definitely has more body!  Compared to the Baker's Twine, it stands at attention and waits for a command. ;)

I decided to try it on a card just to see what it was like using it.  I wasn't using butterflies but it's not like that's the only way to use twine, after all.  In this case I thought it might make a unique border but it didn't have enough presence.  One strand was simply too thin to make it as a border.  So I cut three strands and proceeded to braid the strands loosely.  The result was exactly the right finishing touch for my card.  I'm going to use the Hemp Twine a lot in the future!

I love the way the braided hemp surrounds the Very Vanilla.  I stamped the VV first with my large Net Stamp using Crumb Cake ink, then I used my large Scallop Circle Punch to cut a medallion of that beautiful Everyday Enchantment DSP (I'll miss it when Sale-a-bration is over) and used my 2 1/2" Circle Punch for the Soft Suede backing.  All in all I'm very happy with the results.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Prize When We Reach 50 Members - JOIN TODAY!

To make things interesting, when this Blog reaches 50 members,  I am going to draw among the 50 names and send a beautiful one-of-a kind hand-made card as well as 5 yards of assorted ribbon to the lucky winner.  Become a member today!

Out of My Comfort Range

Doesn't everyone have favourite colours?  I know I sure do.  And even though I have a lot of wonderful Stampin Up colours, I find that some are getting close to running out and some of my packages are barely beyond being opened.

Rich Razzleberry is one of those colours.  I liked it well enough to order a package when I was initially bringing in all my supplies but then I discovered that it's not a colour I gravitate towards.  So I decided to challenge myself.  The challenge was to find at least three colours or Designer papers that I never seemed to touch and design a card.  I came up with the Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive, and the Well Worn DSP.  That was the easy part: finding the paper.  So I began playing around with the paper.  I cut the Rich Razzleberry into the standard 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card size and began scoring diagonal lines on what would be the front of the card.  I scored a lot of lines!

When I looked through the Well Worn DSP and found some paper that had Basic Black and Old Olive in a vintage print on dirty white, I knew that it would be the "key" to the design.  And I was right!
The Old Olive strip that I was using along the one side just appeared so plain but with the busy pattern of the DSP and the diagonal scoring on the Rich Razzleberry, I was reluctant to add any more embossing.  So I used the "spatter" in the French Foliage stamp set with Olive Green ink to dress up the cardstock.  The wonderful Labels Collection of framelits worked perfectly to cut the centre shapes.  Finally adding the dotted black scalloped ribbon (without the dots showing) and the Beautiful Wings cut from the elegant Brushed Silver cardstock finished up the card.

Sometimes it's worth challenging yourself!  Have you tried a colour-challenge lately?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

"My Digital Studio" - FREE for one Month!

Try “My Digital Studio” FREE for 30 Days!!!
Just “click” on the Shopping Cart symbol on the right and download NOW.
This is a terrific digital program with which you can create:

  • scrapbooks and scrapbook pages
  • cards
  • calendars
  • flyers, newsletters and letterhead
  • to personalize my blog
  • and I love using it as a design software with Stampin' Up! images
Now you can TRY IT FREE for 30 Days!!

“Click” on the shopping cart (right hand side), "click" on the MDS Express (item 129600) at the top of the right column and start playing with your FREE TRIAL today!  At the end of the 30 days, if you wish to continue to use the program, you will have the option to purchase either the 2 disc My digital Studio program or the Express download version.  If you’re like me, you’ll want to keep using it. 

Once you get it installed, email me at if you want some help using it.  I'd love to give you some ideas and lead you through it.  

What I love to do is to use some  of the paper, stamps and punches that I don’t own and create a base card from those.  Then I print it out on Whisper White and use the tools, embellishments, and materials that I do own to finish it up.  Voila!  A hybrid card is born.
After printing out this card, I used the new framelit die, Adorning Accents, to cut the side, added Basic Black also cut with the die, and then added Whisper White, cut with the die and embossed with the matching embossing folder.  Along the right edge of the back page of the card, I added Basic Black to make it "pop".  A couple of "diamonds" to add a bit of bling, and I have a great card.