Friday, September 25, 2009

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge #SSC118

Happy Stamping 411 Sketch Challenge Day! I'm back and creating again - I sure missed not posting a card with the other operators last week, but I know they did a fabulous job inspiring you with another sketch challenge!

My card for this week is rather simple, but it made me happy when it was all finished - I love the bright color combination. It's actually the color combo from last week's Blogger's Challenge - which I didn't complete either - but the colors were still laying out on my table and I took my inspiration from there.

The card begins with a piece of Whisper White 8 1/2" x 11" cut in half to make a piece 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". I folded it with my Bone Folder to make a card sized 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". The layered focal point has a bottom piece of Chocolate Chip cardstock cut at 2 3/4" x 5". I've added two pieces of the Razzleberry Lemonade Designer Series Paper. One is cut at 1" x 4 3/4" and the other cut at 1 3/4" x 4 3/4". After adhering them to the Chocolate Chip cardstock with SNAIL, I covered up the seam with a piece of Chocolate Chip 5/8" Grosgrain ribbon.

Now, the fun part! I pulled an old, old favorite stamp set, Pick A Petal and inked up the polka-dotted petal with Crushed Curry ink. It's stamped 6 times on Whisper White cardstock. Before cutting the petals out with my Paper Snips, I used my Stamp-A-Ma-Jig and added the Smile Petal outline in Melon Mambo ink. After trimming them out, I used a bit of SNAIL on each petal tip to adhere them together and then I added the flower center. That was stamped with Melon Mambo ink on Whisper White cardstock as well and then punched out with my 1" Circle Punch. I added the adorable Chocolate Chip Flower Brad to the center and used the brad to connect the petals to the center.
I used a bunch of Stampin' Dimensionals on the back of the flower to get it to pop up nicely and then added the cute sentiment at the bottom right. It's from the Hostess Stamp Set The More the Merrier and I stamped it in Melon Mambo. That was it, so simple, but really a fun card. I LOVE it and hope you do as well!

Be sure to check out the other Stamping 411 operators creations and then take a little bit and play along with the sketch challenge. It's got some fabulous possibilities, I'm sure you can create a masterpiece!
Happy stamping everyone!

Blogger's Challenge #118 - Designer Series Paper Focus

Hello my stamping friends! I know, it's about time I posted something again! I arrived safely home from the Founder's Circle trip and my Advisory Board Retreat on Wednesday night and I've been working to catch up ever since! But it's wonderful to be home and over the coming few days, I have lots to share with you so stay tuned!

Well, this week's Blogger's Challenge gives me the chance to show you all this fun card that I cased from our Convention Make and Take projects. I waited till I got home from convention this year to make mine and I'm glad I did because it allowed me to put my own spin on it. If you were at my Christmas in August stamp camp last month, this is one of the cards you got to make! I think it was a big hit because it uses only one ink pad and one stamp set, the rest is all accessories!

The card base is made of Garden Green cardstock and the insert is Very Vanilla. I used the Garden Green ink pad for all the stamping and the stamp set is the cute, new Sweet Season that SU! gave us FREE at convention - how cool is that?
I used the pretty snowflake stamp all over the outside of the card to create the tone on tone background and then sponged all the edges to give it depth. The same snowflake was used down the left side of the insert to add a little interest there and then I used it again for the medallion piece on the belly band of Designer Series Paper. Isn't it great how one stamp can do so many things on one card? The only other stamping on this card was the cute greeting on the inside!

To create the belly band, I took a strip of the Merry Moments Designer Series paper cut at 1 3/4" x 12" and wrapped it around the folded card. It overlapped a bit in the back and I used SNAIL adhesive to stick the ends together. I kept it in place on the card and added the Very Vanilla 5/8" Grosgrain ribbon placing the ends on the front of the card so the medallion accent would cover them up. Yes, I know, that's clever! At least I thought so! :)

The snowflake stamp was stamped twice on Very Vanilla cardstock and punched out with the Scallop Circle Punch and the 1 1/4" Circle Punch. I also punched out a piece of Real Red cardstock with the 1 3/8" Circle punch and placed it between the stamped layers. They are held together with a Gold Eyelet, neatly set with the Crop-A-Dile tool. It's attached with two Stampin' Dimensionals after the edges were sponged with more Garden Green ink and that's it - completed Christmas card! Don't you love it when it's THAT easy?!

Be sure to check out all the other talented stampers in the Blogger's Challenge group by clicking on the link in my sidebar. I'm sure all their use of Designer Series Paper will convince you to stop hoarding it and USE it!
I also hope you'll come back later for the Stamping 411 Weekly Sketch Challenge - I have a really fun card to show you all!

Stamped blessings everyone!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Founder's Circle Swap card

Hello stampers! Happy Saturday to you all!
I am still at the Founder's Circle retreat and unfortunately cannot get my internet to work in my room to post pictures! :( I'm so sorry about that, but I leave for Salt Lake City tomorrow and maybe the internet will work better from my room there. I'll try again, I promise!

Since I DO have use of the hotel computer in the lobby, I wanted to go ahead and put up the swap card I created for this event. Our swap was last night and boy, were there some gorgeous cards swapped out! I can't wait to get home and case some of them for my upcoming classes!

My card is pretty simple, it uses the stamp set, Serene Snowflakes from the Holiday Mini catalog along with a greeting from Teeny Tiny Wishes. As you can see, I used Real Red, Whisper White and Brushed Silver cardstock for my layers. The large Real Red layer was texturized with my Big Shot and the Texture plates. It's a bit hard to see in the photos.

I stamped my images with Real Red and Silver Encore ink and added a piece of the Mistletoe Ribbon to finish it off.
I love this card and hope you do too!
Have a wonderful weekend and I'll be back soon with more stamping fun!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Casing a Friend!

Happy Thursday stampers! Yes, I have been silent here for almost a week! BUT, I was frantically working on swaps for Founder's Circle and doing three events before leaving! I did however pre-load some projects for you so there is something new to see while I'm gone.

I am currently at the Founder's Circle retreat and let me tell you, it is FABULOUS so far! I have been taking a few pictures and when I get a spare minute, I'll post them for you. This Sunday, I leave here for the Advisory Board retreat and will return home late Wednesday night. I can't wait to see you all again and share the fun swaps and info I've learned here.

Today's card is almost an exact replica of one I found on Gretchen Barron's blog - Inspiration in Action. She inspired me with her Tuesday stepped up cards and I wanted to create my own version. The biggest difference is the popped up pumpkin on the focal point panel. I stamped it separately and after watercoloring and cutting it out, I attached it to the card front and applied Crystal Effects to make it shine. This is a very fun technique and takes no time at all to do!

I hope you like the card today - the supply list is below for all the inquiring minds out there! Have a wonderful day and I promise to be back soon!

Stamps: Autumn Harvest, Thank You Kindly
Inks: Pumpkin Pie, Really Rust, More Mustard, Close to Cocoa
Paper: Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, More Mustard cardstocks; Autumn Traditions DSP (Holiday Mini)
Accessories: Aqua Painters, Crystal Effects, Chocolate Chip Taffeta ribbon, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge #SSC116

Wow! Is it Saturday already? This week has simply flown by - we've all gotten back into our fall routines with school, work and skating. It sure makes me miss our not-so lazy summer days!
I'm so glad you've stopped by today to check out my card for the Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge. If you'd like to play along with us, simply create your project and upload it by using the Mr. Linky widget on the Stamping 411 blog. Did you know that we pick 5 of our favorite cards each week and showcase them on Thursdays? Yep, and sometimes there is even blog candy!
Here is the fun sketch for this week:
And here is my interpretation of the sketch:

Did you notice that I've used some NEW bling on this card? It's the Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint from the Holiday Mini Catalog! I got my very own little jar on Wednesday and haven't stopped playing with it since! A very little bit goes a long way when it's applied with a sponge brush. And it dries super quickly which is perfect for paper.

For my card this week, I've cut a piece of Whisper White cardstock in half lengthwise so it measures 4 1/4" x 11". It's folded in half to make a card that measures 4 1/4" x 5 1/2".
The stamp set used here is Winter Post, my very favorite from last year's Holiday Mini. You bet I was doing the Happy Dance when this one made the Idea Book and Catalog this year!

I've taken the snowflake stamp and painted it with the Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint and stamped it randomly over the card base. The snowflake on the upper right though is taking the place of the embellishment in the sketch.
My next layer is a piece of Real Red cardstock cut at 2" x 5". I ran it through my Big Shot with the new Petals a Plenty Impressions Folder. Then I painted the surface with more of the Shimmer Paint.

For my focal point, I've used a piece of Christmas Cocoa Designer Series Paper which is super gorgeous in real life! This piece has snowflakes that echoed the stamped snowflake and I loved the pattern as well. It's cut at 3 1/4" x 3 3/4". The cardstock layers on top are Real Red (2 1/2" x 2 3/4"), Soft Suede (2 1/4" x 2 1/2") and Whisper White (2" x 2 1/4"). The Whisper White is the same size as the wood block the skater stamp is on. This is a great way to figure out the proper sizing for layers, start with the block size and go up 1/4" for each layer underneath.

I've stamped the skaters in Soft Suede and painted a little bit more of the Shimmer Paint underneath them to mimic a frozen lake.

This close up shows the shimmer so well. You can see that I edged the layers under the skaters with the paint also. For my greeting, I stamped the Merry Christmas from the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set in Real Red on Whisper White. It's punched out with the Large Oval Punch and layered on a piece of Soft Suede punched out with the Scalloped Oval Punch. I've also added more Shimmer Paint to those edges before mounting it to the card with a Stampin' Dimensional.

The inside of my card is finished with a piece of Sahara Sand cardstock, cut at 4" x 5 1/4". The center greeting is from the Many Merry Messages stamp set and the other images are from Winter Post. All are stamped in Soft Suede.
This card was so, so easy to complete and I had it done, design and all within a half-hour! Be sure to check out all the other great design team operators projects today too! I know you'll be inspired!
Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you on Monday with something new and fun!

Blogger's Challenge #116 - Thinking of You

This week's theme for Blogger's Challenge was Thinking of You, and truthfully, I started to make a patriotic themed card since it is Patriots Day in remembrance of THIS day, 8 years ago. However, after watching the news this morning, I wanted something a little bit softer, maybe to calm my spirit a bit. I know many of you share the same emotions as I do about this day, and I know that I'll never forget. I'll also never take for granted those who have given their lives to protect our great nation since that life changing day as well. Our service men and women, our emergency workers - police, fire and rescue and countless others who put themselves in harms way for us - THEY are on my mind today; with much gratitude for the service they've given.
My prayer is that God will bless them and continue to bless our great and free America.

I'll let the card speak for itself today. Thanks for stopping by to visit.

Go hug someone you love today and make sure they know how much they mean to you.
Stamped blessings,

(All supplies are current SU! - supply list upon request)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's a Razzleberry Christmas!

Happy Wednesday, stampers!

I'm just popping by today to show you a card I created recently for a swap I participated in. The group of swappers are ALL from the SU! Rising Star ranks over the years and I must say, these ladies are fabulous stampers. No wonder they earned a Rising Star position in their first year as demonstrators!

My card is one of my favorite sizes, 4 1/4 square. I've used the Rich Razzleberry cardstock for my base and stamped it at the top left and bottom right corner with one of the stamps from the NEW Serene Snowflakes set in the Holiday Mini Catalog. YOU will be seeing a LOT of this stamp set this season. Not only is it Gorgeous, but so easy to work with too! For this card, I stamped the corners with Rich Razzleberry ink which gives a tone on tone effect, subtle, but a lovely accent on the card.

The next layer is Brushed Gold cardstock cut at 3 1/4" square and I've layered it with a piece of Very Vanilla cut at 3" square. The Very Vanilla layer is stamped with two more of the images from Serene Snowflakes, this time using Gold Encore ink. You can heat emboss this ink, but I chose not too, allowing the shine to be more of a matte gloss. It does take longer to dry completely though. As you can see, I've added some Rich Razzleberry ink to the edges of this layer with my Stampin' Sponge to give it a little 'pop' from the gold cardstock. Once these two layers were adhered together with SNAIL adhesive, I wrapped them with Gold Elastic Cord for an accent.

(My Swap cards didn't have the cording, only because I didn't have enough for EVERYone, so I left it off. It was pretty without it though!)

The close up photo shows the greeting, which was pretty simple. I've punched a piece of Brushed Gold cardstock with the Modern Label punch and used the Word Window punch to create the Merry Christmas greeting on Very Vanilla cardstock. I stamped the words first in Rich Razzleberry then punched it out - much easier to line it up that way! The greeting comes from the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set, which if you are a frequent stamper with me, you've seen a lot of lately! It's one of the MUST own stamp sets from the new Idea Book and Catalog. After sponging more Rich Razzleberry on the vanilla cardstock, I SNAILed the pieces together, added Stampin' Dimensionals to the back and mounted it to the card front.

The entire Brushed Gold layer was mounted to the card base with more Stampin' Dimensionals and there you have it! A simple but elegant Christmas card! Just add a piece of 4" square Very Vanilla cardstock to the inside and you have great cards to send to everyone on your list!

If you are attending my Christmas in September card class on the 26th, you'll be making 2 of these babies along with 8 other cards! Space is filling up, so RSVP soon if you want to be stamping with us!

Have a fabulous day everyone and I'll leave you with my new favorite quote from fellow Rising Star Dawn Byers -

"Everything looks better with Glitter!"


New Tutorial at Stamping 411

Just a quick note to let you know that I've written and posted a NEW tutorial over at Stamping 411 today!
It's all about Conditioning your stamps to get clean, crisp images every time you stamp. I hope you'll pop over there for a minute and take a look-see!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mom's Birthday Card

Happy Labor Day Monday, everyone!

I hope you are all getting to spend some quality time with family and friends today. My hubby is working today (easy OT for him) and I'm getting a few things caught up in the studio before spending the rest of the day with Emma getting her ready for her first day of 6th Grade tomorrow! Yikes, where have the years gone?

Today I wanted to show you the card I made for my Mom's birthday. Her special day is not until 9/11, but we celebrated yesterday with a cookout since we can't be together on the actual day.

Mom's first name is Iris, thus the image I chose to use just for her. The stamp is one I purchased about 10 years ago with the express idea of stamping her some cards. Sadly, making this card is the first time it has seen ink. In fact, this stamp is so old, the company that made it has gone out of business! Good thing I can always count on SU! to be around for me!

The stamp was inked with Basic Brown ink onto Very Vanilla cardstock and watercolored in with my Aqua Painters and Stampin' Up! ink refills in these colors: Old Olive, Rich Razzleberry, Crushed Curry, Close to Cocoa and Pacific Point. I am not much of a watercolorer, so I appreciate how easy the Aqua Painters make it for me to blend color on an image. It's kind of like paint by number. I put the most ink on the darker areas of the image and work out from there. At least, that works for me!

I gave this an antiqued feel by tearing the edges of my cardstock and sponging it with Old Olive ink. After curling the edges a bit, I put Stampin' Dimensionals on the back so I could easily mount it to the front of the card.

The card base itself is Soft Suede cardstock. I've taken a piece of Old Olive cardstock and run it through my Big Shot with the grid side of the Perfect Details Texture Plate. This was then sponged with Old Olive ink to give it depth and bring out the texture. I've layered this piece onto a piece of Rich Razzleberry cardstock to emphasize the color of the flowers.

For the final touch, I used a piece of the NEW Old Olive 1 1/4" Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, wrapping it lengthwise around the layered cardstock. It's attached with SNAIL to the back and these layers are attached to the Soft Suede with Stampin' Dimensionals.

I was so happy with the final result of this card, and best of all, my Mom loved it! She used to be an oil paint artist and I'm always a bit worried that my "art" won't quite measure up. I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, I can't even draw a decent stick figure, but I love that I can let my stamps be my guide to express my creative streak!

Thanks for checking in today - be sure to stop back tomorrow for another creative project idea! If you were inspired by any of the fabulous Stampin' Up! products that I've used here today, you can always shop from my website 24/7:

There is even more creative inspiration to be found there!

Stamped blessings,


Friday, September 4, 2009

Stamping 411 - Saturday Sketch Challenge #SSC115

Welcome to our 15th week of Saturday Sketch Challenges! As one of the Operators over at Stamping 411 I know I speak for all of us when I say, we are so glad you are checking in each week and playing along with our fun, easy sketches!

Speaking of, here is the sketch for this week:

And here is my take on it:
I was inspired by the fall-like weather in Virginia this week, it has been so gorgeous here, bright blue skies, fluffy white clouds and just a little 'nip' in the air at night and in the mornings. I like to wrap up in a blanket and drink my morning coffee on the deck as the sun comes up - that's a start to a perfect fall morning for me!

Anyway, I started my card with a piece of Naturals Ivory 8 1/2" x 11" cardstock, cut in half to 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". This was folded in half to make a finished card base of 4 1/4" x 5 1/2".

I then inked up the oak leaf cluster stamp from the Lovely As a Tree stamp set with Basic Brown ink and random stamped it all over the card front. Then I used my Sponge Daubers to rub ink from the Really Rust, Crushed Curry and Close to Cocoa ink pads on the leaf clusters. Then, I took my Aqua Painter and dipped it in a bit of Taken with Teal re-inker and brushed it lightly over certain leaf areas. I allowed the cardstock to get pretty moist and as it dried, it curled up a bit, giving it the rustic feel. The water from the Aqua Painter also caused the rubbed colors to run together a bit - my desired effect.

Next, I used the new Jumbo Texture Wheel inked with Close to Cocoa and rolled it all across the card base. Lastly, I used a Stampin' Sponge and rubbed it on all the edges and lightly across the card. Basically I created my own Designer Paper/Cardstock.

For my middle layers, I cut a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock at 3 1/4"x 3 1/2" and stamped the Tres Chic Background on it in Really Rust ink. The oak leaf cluster was stamped on it as well in Close to Cocoa ink, but only after inking it and stamping off 3 times on scrap paper to lighten the image. Then I ran it through my Big Shot with the woodgrain texture plate. Next, it was sponged all over and on the edges with Close to Cocoa ink. The cardstock layer under it is Really Rust cardstock cut at 3 1/2" x 3 3/4" .

For my focal point, I chose to use Chocolate Chip cardstock for my border layer. It's cut at 2 1/4" x 5". The sentiment is stamped on a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock cut at 2" x 4 3/4". It's from the new Hard to Say stamp set and stamped in Close to Cocoa ink.

Next I layered a piece of Really Rust cardstock cut at 2"x 4 3/4". It's torn and distressed with the Distressing Edger in the Cutter Kit. I've also inked the edge with more Close to Cocoa ink.

The top layer is a piece of Razzleberry Lemonade Designer Series Paper cut at 1 1/2" x 4 3/4". It too is torn across and inked with Close to Cocoa before being layered with SNAIL adhesive. I then inked the entire piece with Close to Cocoa and a Stampin' Sponge.

The final touch is done with a Mini Library Clip that has a small piece of Linen Thread tied in an easy bow through the top. It's just clipped to the Really Rust cardstock to the left of the sentiment to accent it.

I really hope you've enjoyed the project today. I haven't done much vintage-y stamping lately and I've missed it. It's one of my favorite styles and it feels good to be working there again. Leave me some comment love and tell me what you think! And then....head on over to Stamping 411 to see what the other operators have created for your viewing pleasure. They are a fantastic group of stampers and I'm so honored to be working with them!

Have a great Labor Day weekend, everyone!


Blogger's Challenge Friday! - Baby Card

Hey there stampers! This is definately a TGIF kind of Friday - some of you reading this really know what I mean!

I'm so glad to finally be showing you all this card that I made back in July! I'd actually designed it for Stampin' Spa iin June, but I had one left over and I made it for someone special as a congrats for the news that she is expecting! (K, if you are reading this, give that baby a kiss for me!)

The card uses one of the sweetest Baby stamp sets EVER from SU! called Cute and Cuddly. I just love the images and of course this sentiment "I'm kind of a BIG Deal." Well, heck yeah, baby!

I used So Saffron cardstock for the base making this a 4 1/4" square card - one of my favorite sizes. It's layered with that beautiful (now retired- boohoo) Sweet Slumber DSP and a piece of Baja Breeze Striped Grosgrain ribbon, also retired.

I stamped the cutie-patootie teddy bear with Black Staz-On on Whisper White Cardstock and colored him in with Stampin' Write Markers - Chocolate Chip and Sahara Sand. His sweet little belly is paper pieced with another piece of the DSP. I stamped the greeting below him - before I owned the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig I might add - the stamp was inked first in Baja Breeze ink, then the middle word was wiped off with a cotton swap and I colored it in again with a Ruby Red Stampin' Write Marker.

Add a layer of Baja Breeze cardstock and a Whisper White edge border punched with the Eyelet Border Punch and you've got yourself a card! You know I did use Stampin' Dimensionals for the focal point - can't live without those babies!

I hope you like my sweet little baboo, baby card today! Even though some of the products are retired, this is a really easy layout to reproduce with what you can purchase from SU! And if you have time to look at the catalogs on my website, you are sure to find something!

Be sure to check out all the other Blogger's Challenge players projects this LABOR day weekend - I got it Lisa, haha - you are sure to be inspired!

I'll be back tomorrow with the Stamping 411 Sketch Challenge Sample for you!
Ciao for now,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Glorious Day with my Family!

Where was I today? Playing hooky with Mark and Emma on the National Treasure Tour at Mt. Vernon! It was a GLORIOUS day on the Potomac River, perfect for time away from work, worry and life!
I've posted some of my pics from the day, unedited, but you can see how gorgeous it was and I hope you enjoy the view! Love and hugs to all!