Friday, February 26, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge - SSC140

Oh, YAY, it's Saturday!
I am SO happy for the weekend this week - it's been a very difficult week here personally - just some family issues going on and Mark and I are feeling very emotionally drained. Thank goodness we not only have our faith and each other to lean on, but such a great kid in our daughter Emma and tons of friends who love us lots! You KNOW who you are and we love you back! :)

Now, I know you didn't come here for jibber-jabber about my problems, so how about I show you this great sketch from our sketch Queen Selene over at our Stamping 411 blog.
I {heart} this sketch so much - I think it has wonderful possibilities and I can't wait to see what you all will do with it! Be sure to hop over to the Stamping 411 blog to see what the other Operators have created with it too! I love working with these ladies, not only are they great artisans, but great friends too!
Here is the sketch for this week:

and here is my card!
I KNOW what you are thinking - you just saw this color/dsp profile YESTERDAY!
Well, isn't it still pretty? :)

I actually created this card on Tuesday of this week and I loved working in these colors so much that when I needed to do yesterday's tote box, I pulled them out again! AND, I made another card too, but I'm saving that till next week and only if you really want to see it!

For today's card, I started with a card base of Orchid Opulence cut at 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" and folded in half to make an A2 card 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". This size fits in SU!'s Medium Envelopes.
The first thing I did was to stamp my greeting in the lower right corner. I wanted it to still be even after adding the texture to it. I used the Thank You Kindly stamp set (Free with Sale-A-Bration!) and Chocolate Chip ink.
Using my Perfect Polka Dots Embossing folder and my Big Shot, I then dry embossed the card front giving it this beautiful texture. I am so enjoying this embossing folder - it really fits many styles beautifully.

The two center panels were cut next. The Certainly Celery piece is cut at 3" x 4 1/4" and the Shades of Spring DSP is cut at 2 3/4" x 4". I simply used SNAIL to adhere them together. The center is wrapped with Chocolate Chip Wide Grosgrain ribbon, adhered to the back with SNAIL and scotch tape. (taking no chances that it will slip out!) I popped this panel up on Stampin' Dimensionals so it would stand out.

For my "elements" I decided upon a single flower instead of multiple things there. And I had my first try at these gorgeous ruffled paper flowers that my friend Jan McClurg taught us all how to make at the Phoenix Regional. (Jan, you ROCK! and YES, they are THAT pretty!)
To make this particular flower, I altered her directions a bit and cut my strip of cardstock at 1 1/4" x 12" using So Saffron to coordinate with the dsp. I punched one entire side with the Eyelet Border Punch then ran the strip through my Crimper 4 times to make it very pliable.

I punched out a piece of the Sticky Pages with my 1 3/8" Circle Punch and put a bit of Dotto on the white side of it to stick it to my Grid Paper while I made the flower. Peeling off the red cover to reveal the adhesive, I then started on the outside edge and slowly pleated the crimped cardstock strip around the circle, working in towards the center as I went around. Once I had my flower layers done, I used my fingers to scrunch it up and shabby it up a bit. It looks so soft in person. The Chocolate Chip Brad was added through the center and it reminds me a bit of a Black-Eyed Susan. Since the entire back side was sticky, no other adhesive was needed and I simply peeled off the white barrier and stuck it to the card front.

But, I still had to do the inside -

You can just see the stamped polka dots peeking out on the Whisper White layer inside. I cut that piece at 4" x 5 1/4". The dots were stamped with Orchid Opulence ink and the Dot, Dot, Dot stamp AND my Stamp-A-Ma-Jig. Imperative to get these babies straight! I stamped the polka dots all the way across the bottom edge and it just looks fresh and pretty on the inside.

So, that's my take on this week's sketch - what will you create? Be sure to head over to Stamping 411 to upload your project using the Mr. Linky widget provided. You only need to have added it to your blog or an online gallery first in order to play along - and we sure hope you do!

Enjoy your Saturday everyone and hug the ones you love!

Blogger's Challenge - Boxes or Bags

Happy Friday stampers! Time for another Blogger's Challenge to share with you. This week, our challenge Mom, Lisa asked us to create a box or bag. Well, I'm not sure my project is either, it's kind of a tote instead. I started with the Fancy Favor Box die, does that count? I sure hope so because I really like the finished project and I hope you will too!

I've put 3 photos of it here for you so you can see most of the angles ( I didn't photograph the back - there is no bow back there - it's just plain except for the dsp.)

I've made a few of the little handled carriers from the Box #2 Die and my Big Shot, but I wanted something bigger to hold more stuff (chocolate!) and thought the Fancy Favor Box die would fit the bill nicely.

Here's what I did to make the base box/carrier:
I used two pieces of Orchid Opulence cardstock cut at 6" x 12" and cut out two boxes with the Fancy Favor Box die. Before I folded the creases, I trimmed off the scalloped edge, making the panels 3 1/4" top to bottom. After I assembled the two boxes with Sticky Strip, I used more Sticky Strip and attached the boxes together, back to back, using two vertical pieces of the adhesive, one on each side of the back of one box.

To create the "carrier", I cut two pieces of Orchid Opulence cardstock at 3" x 5 1/2". These were run through the Big Shot with my Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder and then I used my Corner Rounder on the top two corners of each. Next, I adhered one of those pieces to the back inside of one box using SNAIL, rounded corners up, bumpy side facing out. I then used my Large Oval Punch and punched through the top, centering it between the edges.
The other embossed piece was added the same way, and only after it was adhered against the other one did I punch the hole, using my first punched oval as a guide. I did use a little Sticky Strip at the top above the ovals to secure the pieces together well.

Next, I cut 4 pieces of Shades of Spring DSP - I really love this paper and am determined to enjoy it! Two pieces for the front/back were cut at 2 7/8" x 3" and the two pieces for the sides were cut at 3" x 4 1/4". These sizes leave a nice border of Orchid Opulence to frame them out. To adhere these pieces I just used SNAIL on all four sides corner to corner - (yes, Nancy - I DID! You and Brent would have loved it!) Sorry, inside joke! :)

For my ribbon band and bow, I cut 35" of Chocolate Chip Double Stitched Grosgrain ribbon and simply wrapped it around, tying the bow in the front. And if it makes you feel better, I did NOT get it perfect right away. Pretty bows have to be made to bend to your will, so you just have to be patient and mess with them a bit. And really, it's still not perfect, but it is still pretty!

The little gift tag was made with two Sale-A-Bration Free stamp sets - Vintage Labels and Happy Moments. I used Chocolate Chip ink on Very Vanilla cardstock for the label frame, punching it out with the Curly Label Punch. The flowers were inked using Stampin' Write Markers colored directly on the stamp. I used Orchid Opulence, Old Olive and So Saffron, which doesn't show up real well in this picture, but is really pretty in real life. Once I stamped them in the frame, I overstamped the greeting with Old Olive to finish it off. It is attached with a piece of Linen Thread which I frayed on the ends to give it a little oomph! It's much prettier than the plain ol' string.

So there you have it, my Tote Box, all ready for gift giving. I'm thinking a lot of Dove Dark Chocolate Easter Eggs would look really good inside this, but then again, they wouldn't last long in my house! :)
Be sure to check out all the other Blogger's Challenge players this week to see their fun ideas for Boxes, Bags and maybe some cute surprises too! Their links are found by clicking the badge in my sidebar.
Most of all, I hope you have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

UDI Inspiration Challenge

Hi everyone! Welcome to another Thursday - and that means another Inspiration Challenge from the UDI Blog. A few of you have asked me what UDI is, and it stands Utah Divas International. It's a group of international SU! demonstrators that was started by my friend Maxine Conrad, who not only is a demonstrator, she works for Stampin' Up!. Talk about a great life! :) Anyway, she started the group as a way to bring demos together from all over the world to share ideas, challenges, business tips and a bit of our lives as well. The blog aspect of UDI is a great resource for all SU! project ideas and there is a new post and/or challenge every day of the week. Several months ago, I was honored to be asked to join the design team for the Thursday Inspiration Challenge - and it's one of the best things I ever did. Not only is it fun, but it forces me outside my box in terms of design, style and color.
Anyone can play along with any of the challenges - just post your creation online either on your blog, or to a public gallery and share the link in a comment on the challenge post. We LOVE to see your take on the inspiration piece each week.

Speaking of, here is the piece that our challenge Mom, Maria gave us this week:

Talk about a bold, bright pattern! I LOVE it! The photo here on my blog doesn't show the grey/silver tones very well, but they were integral to my interpretation of the piece. And without further ado, here that is:

I tried something that I hadn't done in a while - a Z fold card. I was reminded of this great fold by a photo of a swap my friend Christy sent me this week.
To make the card folded this way, simply cut your cardstock base at 4 1/4" x 11" and score it at 5 1/2" across. Then score one of the 5 1/2" sections in half at 2 3/4" and fold it back out towards the first fold. Is that clear as mud? Here, maybe this view will help:

NOW you see it, right? :)
I was so happy to be able to use some of my Going Gray cardstock and ink, I know I haven't used it in eons! I cut two pieces of Going Gray cardstock, one at 4" x 5 1/4" and the other at 2 1/2" x 4". Then I cut two pieces of Whisper White cardstock, one at 3 3/4" x 5" and the other at 2 1/4" x 3 3/4".

The large piece of Whisper White was stamped with images from the stamp set With All My Heart in Real Red and Going Gray. I stamped the greeting first and used my Stamp-A-Ma-Jig to get it straight, since my stamp set is Wood Mounted (and a freebie from Stampin' Up!). Then I inked up the large flower image with Going Gray and stamped off one time on Grid Paper to lighten the tone before stamping it again without reinking on the cardstock. That is a technique called Graduated Stamping or Stamping Off and I love it because you can get multiple colors from just one ink pad. That stamped piece was adhered to the large Going Gray piece with SNAIL and then both were adhered to the Basic Black cardstock I used for my card base.

The small Whisper White piece was stamped with the smaller flowers from that stamp set in Real Red and Going Gray. I adhered that piece to the small Going Gray piece of cardstock with SNAIL and then used my Paper Piercer to punch holes in the centers of the gray flowers so I could add the small Clear Rhinestone Brads to them. Gotta have a little bling!

Those layers were adhered to the top of the Z fold and then I tied a 16" piece of yummy Real Red Satin ribbon around it in a knot, trimming the ends to look like flags.
All in all, a pretty simple card, but with a lot of impact using that fun fold!

Thanks so much for stopping by today and I hope you'll take a minute to check out the UDI Blog and maybe even play along with us! You'll have fun, I promise!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Oh, Baby!

Before you get too far into this post, I have to make sure you ALL know that I am NOT expecting a baby! I more than have my hands full with the current occupants of my home, 2 and 4 legged! :) No, today's post is just sharing a couple of cards the girls did at stamp class last week. They made one of each, pink and blue so they would be prepared for the occasion!

I got the basic idea for this card from the new SU! demos only website Stampin' Connection - a great resource for us since it is just not possible to be 100% creative yourself 100% of the time. The original card used different stamp sets (Teddy and Train) and different ribbon (Chocolate Chip 5/8" Grosgrain) and if you are a demonstrator, you can view the card I cased HERE. It was a super cute card and I knew my gals would love it too.

Here is my version in Pink:

And in Blue:

It was really an easy card to do, so if you find yourself in a pinch needing a baby card, this would be pretty easy to re-create using what you have on hand. Mine uses all Stampin' Up! materials and my supply list is below for you.
The only 'technique', if you can call it that, on this card is the use of the Aqua-Painters and classic ink to color in the little teddy bear. Other than that, simple, quick and cute!

I am off for a day of stampin' in the studio. I've got design team work to finish up, a tutorial to work on and a scrapbook album sample to finish! I should have stayed in yesterday when it was cold and gray outside - the sun is shining bright out my window and oh, boy do I want to go out and play!!!!

Have a wonderful day everyone!
Supplies used:
Stamps: Cute and Cuddly, Little Angel
Inks: Black Staz-On, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla, Bashful Blue, Pretty in Pink
Accessories: Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, Big Shot, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Aqua-Painters

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Daffodils on White

Whew! What a day I had yesterday - Emma finally went back to school with no snow delay and I had the house and studio to myself - it was heaven! I spent most of my day working on my sample for the "My Heart" Scrapbook class this Saturday - had the tunes cranked up loud in the studio (I have new cd's from Jeremy Camp, Mercy Me and Britt Nicole) and tried very HARD to stay away from the chocolate!
When I stamp, I like to nibble. Well, my nibbling has translated into tight jeans and I have GOT to get my act together if I'm gonna wear a bathing suit of any kind on cruise in April. Believe me, no one wants to see it now! HA!

But I know you didn't stop by to read about my bad habits, you want to see a CARD! Ok, I've got one for you and it's actually a CASE of myself! The original is in this post here, and it won the recent embossing contest over at Late Nite Stampers! That was pretty cool!

For this card, I just changed it up with a new stamp set, Abundant Hope from the mini catalog, and the Crushed Curry Polka Dot ribbon. I LOVE the yellow and white together, especially today when I look outside at the gray skies we have. Aren't we all hungry for spring?

The Daffodils were colored with Stampin' Write Markers - Old Olive, Crushed Curry, So Saffron and Creamy Caramel. I love how this image is so delicate and fine and really photos don't do the image justice. It just stamps so pretty! For the flowers, I did layer the color for a little contrast, coloring the So Saffron first then adding a bit of Crushed Curry on top in the middle of each flower.

The ribbon bow was done the same way as my first card, tags and all. Again, I just changed up the colors.

I am off today to run some errands and drive Emma to a freestyle skate after school. I will be so glad when her skating schedule settles down a bit and we figure out which rink(s) we are going to use until our home rink is rebuilt. Ah, the joys of parenthood! :)

Have a daffodil kind of day everyone!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sharing My Artwork

Welcome back to my blog everyone! Do you know how much I love that you visit me here? Well, I do! I love that you enjoy what you see enough that you come back day after day to view the artwork that comes from my heart. And I love that you allow me to post things about my life and my family that are special to me and that you respond to that too! It is always an encouragement and a delight to read your comments and e-mails - I love to share what I love with you!

And Sharing is what I want to address here today.

My close stamping friends know that my philosophy about sharing my ideas and stamped creations is an open one. I have always felt that ideas are free. The artwork I produce with love from my heart and a spark in my mind and then share with you here is meant to be enjoyed and shared with others.

Nothing makes me happier than to know that you liked something I created so much that you wanted to Copy and Share It (CASE) with others to bring a smile to their faces! I consider it the sincerest form of flattery and the highest praise. It is especially heartwarming when you e-mail me and ask my permission to CASE my artwork for your classes, clubs or just for your personal enjoyment. That tells me that you recognize the love and creative energy that went into my designing the item you are inspired by. The courtesy and respect you show in those instances is so very much appreciated.

Likewise when you CASE one of my creations, post it on your blog or online showcase, link back to my original piece and let me know you have done so just makes me smile too. Again, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

What hurts my heart is when I discover that someone has CASE'd an original creation of mine and has placed it up for sale in an online marketplace without acknowledging the original or asking my permission to do so. Something else that breaks my heart is when someone CASEs an original creation of mine and enters it into a contest as their own work.

Please don't do this. Please don't sell my - or anyone else's for that matter - ideas as your own. Please don't use my ideas to gain a prize or recognition for yourself.
What I share freely and openly with you is meant to bring joy, not to turn a buck or to win a prize.
I urge you to think about the times you have created something straight from your heart - knowing that it would bring joy to those you would share it with - and the reaction when it did just that.
Isn't that the best feeling? How would you feel if in turn, someone took your heartfelt idea as their own and sold it on the open market? Or enters it into a contest or challenge claiming it as their own?
I am not naive, I know this does occur, but because it does doesn't make right. And in the process it cheapens the sharing spirit we are meant to enjoy.

Thanks so much for visiting me here, and thanks for allowing me to share my heart with you. I hope you will continue to visit as I share what I love.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge

Hey, it's time again for the fun Saturday Sketch Challenge over at Stamping 411! I am super excited about this week because with a sketch this open, the sky is the limit - you can really do anything! I can't wait to see what all the participants come up with through the week. We have some great players over at the 411 and we'd love for YOU to join us!

Here is my card from the sketch:

Bright, huh? :) I told you in my last post that you'd need sunglasses! But I hope the cheerful colors will help brighten things for you - at least on your computer monitor!

The measurements for this one are really simple:
Card base - Bermuda Bay - 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" folded to make an A2 card - 4 1/4" x 5 1/2".
Layer 1 - Crushed Curry - 4" x 5 1/4"
Layer 2 - Whisper White - 3 3/4" x 5"

I stamped the Medallion stamp with Crushed Curry ink on the Whisper White layer and then added my two pieces of Polka Dot Ribbon - Bermuda Bay and Crushed Curry. The little bow was added with Mini Glue Dots and then I added the Rhinestone Ice Brad to the center of the Medallion. It does go through the top two layers.

Next, I turned my attention to the greeting:

It was stamped with the Well Scripted stamp set in Bermuda Bay ink on a Whisper White scrap. I punched it out with the Wide Oval Punch, sponged on some Bermuda Bay ink and then I stamped in the center for a final accent. The stamp is from Boho Backgrounds and it's inked with Crushed Curry, stamped off twice onto Grid Paper and then just overstamped onto the greeting. I popped this piece up with Stampin' Dimensionals and THAT was THAT!

Love, love, love simple cards with impact and this one fits that order - dontcha think?
Be sure to click over to the Stamping 411 blog to see how the other operators played this sketch and then play along yourself! The directions for uploading your creation are right on the home page of the blog, so whatcha waitin' for - get stampin'!


Blogger's Challenge - Sketch Time!

Finally! I am able to get this project posted! I got it finished this morning, but when I went to take a picture, my camera battery was as dead as a doornail! So after searching high and low for the charging cable, I had to wait for Mark to come home at lunch to locate it for me and then you know, it had to charge ALL afternoon! Sheesh!
Sorry you had to wait all day for it - but hopefully it will make you smile so it will be worth it! :)

Our challenge Mom, Lisa, gave us a sketch to work with this week:
And since I hadn't inked up this adorable Chocolate Bunny stamp yet - you are getting an Easter card! (And yes, the stamp really is called 'Chocolate Bunny'! SU! knows what Mama likes!)

I had a lot of fun with this one, but as much as I wanted to mutiltate him by chomping off his ears -that is the tastiest part - the card was just too "pretty" for that! Wouldn't you agree Diana?! Maybe next time.......

Anyway, I partially embossed the card base with my Perfect Polka Dots folder before layering on the punched Designer Paper, cardstock and ribbon. I had already adhered those elements together and added the brads to just that strip.

The greeting was simply stamped on a piece of Very Vanilla, punched out, sponged and then I added the pink jelly beans. It sure does look like Mr. Bunny is eyeing those jelly beans. I wonder if he's hungry?

Ol' Mr. Bunny himself was stamped on a piece of Very Vanilla that I cut out with my Big Shot and the Circles Die. He is stamped with Chocolate Chip and then the piece was sponged. Now, the ruffly ribbon edge was super easy to do! I just put Sticky Strip all the way around the back of Mr. Bunny and gathered the ribbon in little pleats, sticking it down as I went around the circle. I then added another piece of circle cardstock over the ribbon with Sticky Strip to make sure it stayed in place. The whole thing is attached with Stampin' Dimensionals.

So, he's all ready to go hoppin' into an Easter basket near you! But beware Mr. Bunny - you are probably gonna be a goner! Especially if you come to my house. :)

Thanks for stopping by today and be sure to check out the other Blogger's Challenge players by clicking on the link in my sidebar. They will have some fabulous creations for you to see!

I'll be back later on with tomorrow's Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge! Bring your sunglasses! :)

Under Construction!

Good morning everyone!

Just popping in here to tell you that I do have a new project coming to show you today, just trying to get some admin stuff done first!

AND, since so many of you have asked for a tutorial on yesterday's Teddy Bear Picnic Basket and Bears, I will be working on that this weekend and posting it next week. It will be a photo tutorial since the video thing escapes me right now - LOL! But I'll make sure you can recreate the project with the instructions, ok?

Back later!

PS. Thank you SO much for your overwhelming response to that project - I loved making it and am so glad you LOVED it too! :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

UDI Inspiration Challenge #83

When I first opened the inspiration photo file from our challenge Mom, Maria, the children's song "Teddy Bear Picnic" started running through my head. And I wanted to run screaming out of the room! :) You see, when Emma was a baby, we had one of those musical red/black/white toys strung across her stroller to 'entertain' her while she sat waiting patiently for us to finish whatever we were doing. Well, the center toy was a teddy bear head and when she pressed the nose, it played that song. Let's just say that she pressed that button a lot!
Well, she's still pressing our buttons, but we love her anyway! And, I didn't run from the song or the photo this week and REALLY had fun creating my project!

Here is the inspiration photo:

And here is my interpretation of it:

It was so cool to see this idea in my head really come together - as I got closer to finishing, I was doing the happy dance that it was all coming together! :)

I started with the basket because if I couldn't get that to work, then I knew I'd need to punt! It's created with two pieces of 8 1/2" x 11" Creamy Caramel cardstock plus three strips cut from a 12" x 12" piece. I did weave this flat, but I'm already planning to try another one but round this time. I used to sell baskets for another company (13 years!) and I tried to create this one similar to what I remember the weavers doing at that company. The top bands and handle are secured with Silver Brads.

The Daisies were all cut with my Big Shot and the Daisies Die. I just layered all three pieces and used my Bone Folder to curl the tips. The Summer Sun Corduroy Brad completes the center.

I used Garden Green strips of cardstock for the flower stems 1" wide and folded to 1/2" for strength. I used Sticky Strip for all the adhesive on this project.

I've always had a thing for jointed teddy bears - there is quite the collection of Boyd's Bears in my home - so I thought it would be fun to take our wonderful Build-A-Bear Big Shot dies and see if I could make them work as jointed bears.
I used Close to Cocoa cardstock and sponged all the pieces with the same ink color.
More Silver Brads and some Real Red Gingham Ribbon with a little black cardstock behind the faces completed them. It was actually pretty easy to create these! Hey, I actually "built-a-bear"! :)
For the finishing touch, I cut a piece of 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" Whisper White cardstock and using a template made of cardstock, sponged Real Red ink on it to make the picnic cloth.
So, no stamping on this project at all, but tons of fun! Start to finish, it took me about 3 hours, but now that I know what I'm doing, it would be a lot faster to recreate.

I'd love to know what you think of this little project - and be sure to check out the other inspiration projects over at the UDI Blog. I know they will be fabulous!
Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Green Challenge......

So, lately I've had a bit of a conversation going on with a certain group of my demo friends about the color Glorious Green. The general consensus has been that we despise this color and either have never used it or have a very tough time using it. Personally, I love green, but just not this one. Now, I have used it before for classes and camps and on those occasions, my clients there have loved it for those projects. Two in particular come to mind - a shamrock card using the heart punch for the leaves and a fun Christmas card with a snowman and red striped grosgrain ribbon.
When I was designing cards for my classes yesterday, I decided to make myself use Glorious Green on a project that wasn't seasonal just to prove that it CAN be done! Ha! It is very hard to be creative with a color or product that doesn't personally appeal to me, but since I need to stretch myself from time to time to be a better stamper this was a great challenge for me to tackle.

So, after much debate about co-ordinating colors, here is my card:

What do you think? Does it hurt your eyes? :)
Since Glorious Green is such a BRIGHT color, I decided to go FUN with it and pulled out my Circle Circus stamp set. And I love purple with green so it was easy to pull out those colors, (I used Lovely Lilac and Orchid Opulence) but the hang up was the 2nd green shade. I finally settled on Certainly Celery because I thought it would tone down the bright green somewhat.

The card itself was pretty simple to put together. I used Glorious Green for the folded cardbase and layered it with Lovely Lilac and Whisper White that had been embossed with my Big Shot and the Perfect Polka Dots folder.

The stamped panel is on Whisper White and I used my stamps from largest to smallest, beginning with the lightest color first to give more of a balance of color and not be too heavy with the brightest green - my nemesis! That panel was then layered on another piece of Glorious Green to frame it. The greeting is from the Sale-A-Bration stamp set Vintage Labels and is stamped in Lovely Lilac on white. I used a simple label frame from the Styled Silver Hodgepodge Hardware to showcase it.

I also added another Whisper White panel to the inside stamped in the same way as the cover piece.

The ribbon and brad accent was my final challenge as I really wanted something darker in that area - again for balance. So, I went with a layered ribbon of lighter colors - Whisper White Taffeta and Certainly Celery Narrow Grosgrain and then added the flower brad to it.
I mixed up a little Lovely Lilac reinker with Crystal Effects and painted it in the brad to make the flower stand out. I was very happy with the way that turned out - it's been a while since I used that technique!

Now it's time for your input - I would love to hear what you REALLY think about this card! I can share with you that everyone who came to class yesterday loved it and they were happy to use the bright, fun colors. So, leave me a comment and tell me your opinion and tell me also what color you struggle to use well. We all have one I think!

On a side note, did you guys catch the Men's Ice Skating at the Olympics last night?! Wow! Evan Lysacek gave the performance of his life! And proved that you don't need a Quad jump to skate an amazing program! He is currently in 2nd place with the Long Free Skate still to come. WooHoo - Go USA! Go Evan!
Yeah, I'm an Olympics junkie, just bear with me, ok?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Vintage Blue Friends

I have a pair of Levi's blue jeans that are so old, they almost pre-date my daughter. But those jeans are like a great friend, comfy, worn in the right places and they feel so good when they hug me I just can't bring myself to part with them even though they are a bit ragged around the hem. They've been with me in good times: I had them on the first time I walked through the Riverton offices at Stampin' Up! - I'd just gotten off the plane - and I was wearing them the next year when I checked in and found out that I'd earned Founder's Circle for the first time. And they've been with me in sad times: I was wearing them when we visited Ground Zero in NYC after 9/11. Yep, just like a great friend - always there.

The card I'm sharing with you all today is one we are doing in Just Cards today and tonight, and it reminds me of those jeans. But, I won't be wearing it - I promise!

I used a little new, a little old for this one. The stamps are Vintage Vogue and the Very Vintage Wheel from the Mini Catalog and the cardstock is Kraft, Bordering Blue and Naturals White. Soft Suede ink and Bordering Blue paired up beautifully - I love this combo - and a bit of Soft Suede Polka Dot ribbon for a touch of whimsy!
As you can see, I sponged all the edges, even on the flower. It just looked too 'clean' without the sponging.

The flower accent is just two flowers stamped with Bordering Blue on more Naturals White cardstock and I curled up the edges with my Bone Folder. They were adhered together with a Clear Rhinestone Brad and it's popped up with a Stampin' Dimensional.
There you go, sweet and simple!
Sometimes that's just all you need!

Monday, February 15, 2010

And Pink is for Friendship!

Hello again Stampin' friends! Did you have a nice Valentine's Day? I hope that you got to spend it with someone you love AND that you got to eat Chocolate (if that's your thing - and if not, why not?!). I got to spend the weekend with Mark and Emma in Hershey, PA and YES!, we ate lots of Chocolate! And I brought home a bag full from the Chocolate World store! I should be stocked for months, well.....weeks, ummm, yeah, days? Whatever! :)
We were there for Emma's last synchro competition of this season and it was super exciting and wonderful - I have great news to share - and a few tears too - but that's for another post, I'm still working on the pictures!

For now, here is a very special, one-of-a-kind card for one of my very best bff's in the whole world! I took a photo of it before I sent it off in the mail last week and hopefully, she will have gotten it before she reads this and sees it!

I was having fun with the rose image from Bloomin' Beautiful and did this one that looks pink. I actually used my Watercolor Wonder crayons Real Red color, but it didn't turn out red, so I decided to go with it and see what would come out! I paired it with Pretty in Pink and Old Olive and I love how fresh this combination looks! I am so ready for warm weather! ;)

There is nothing fancy or super challenging on this card, so I'll just leave you the supply list below and if you have any questions, just send me an e-mail, ok?
I'll be back tomorrow with another project to share and I hope to have my post done about the skating competition in Hershey too!
Stamped blessings,

Supplies (all SU!):
Stamps: Bloomin' Beautful, Simple Friendship
Inks: Black Staz On, Old Olive, Pretty in Pink
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Old Olive, Whisper White
Accessories: Watercolor Wonder Crayons, Aqua Painter, Pretty in Pink Satin Ribbon, Soft Subtles Brads, Mini Glue Dots, Stampin' Dimensionals, Big Shot and Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge - SSC138

Hi there! I'm so happy you stopped by today! We Stamping 411 operators were given a marvelous sketch to work with this week and I can't wait for you to see my card! I loved the layout so much that I also used it yesterday for my daughter's valentine card. You can see that post here.

For today's card, I turned the sketch on it's side - here is the original way:

And here is my card:

I got a little carried away with all the details on this one, but it was so fun to make and I just love how it turned out! It's funny, I don't know if I have a particular 'stamping style' - I seem to go from super vintage to very clean and simple, but most of the time, I really love what I make and I hope you do too!

Here are the details on this one, ok?
Kraft cardstock base, cut at 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", folded to make an A2 card (4 1/4" x 5 1/2")
*Layer 1 - Naturals White cardstock - 1 3/4" x 5 1/4", torn and sponged with Close to Cocoa ink
*Layer 2 - Shades of Spring DSP - 1 3/4" x 5 1/4", edged with the Spiral Notebook punch, crumpled and sponged with Close to Cocoa ink
*2 pieces of Kraft Taffeta Ribbon, wrapped around the card front and secured under the focal point layer
*Kraft cardstock - 2 1/4" x 2 1/2"
*Certainly Celery cardstock - 2" x 2 1/4"
*Naturals White cardstock - 1 3/4" x 2"
*"F" letter is on Naturals White cardstock - details below

I used my Vintage Vogue stamp set for this card and started by stamping the vine randomly on the folded Kraft card base with Whisper White Craft ink. It was heat embossed with White Embossing Powder and my Heat Tool. I then lightly sponged Close to Cocoa ink all over.

For my focal image, I stamped the 'F' with Certainly Celery ink onto the Naturals White cardstock, then sponged and distressed that piece and the layers. Then I stamped it again using Whisper White Craft on Naturals White and heat embossed it with more White EP. I then brayered over it with Certainly Celery ink for an emboss resist effect, trimmed it out with my Paper Snips and sponged on a bit of Close to Cocoa before mounting it with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Next came the ribbon bow....

I've wanted to try this technique for ages and I finally got around to it here. I made my bow first then frayed the ends enough to find a string in the middle and pulled gently, creating the ruffle. When I first saw Shelli demo this from stage at convention, I thought "No way I'm going to ever do that!" but the more I saw it on other projects, the more I liked it and I think it's perfect for this particular card. Very frilly and feminine.
After I got the ruffle done, I just trimmed the ragged ends and attached the bow with Mini Glue Dots to the card.
For my final touch, I used my Color Spritzer and the Close to Cocoa marker to add speckles to the whole thing, ribbon and all. It may be a little over the top, but sometimes that's a good thing - like chocolate! :)

We at Stamping 411 would love it if you played along with us this week! The sketch is super accomodating for many different styles and images - so give it a try! Be sure to upload your project using the Mr. Linky widget provided on the Stamping 411 blog so we can see your artwork. We have a Stampers Showcase each Friday and you never know if you might be chosen for it - now wouldn't that be exciting?

Have a wonderful Valentine's weekend with your loved ones - be sure and tell them how much you love them and love having them in your life.
And don't forget the greatest love of all time - the love that Christ showed for us all when He gave himself as a sacrifice so that we might have eternal life. That is true love my friends - He loves you and so do I!


We Have a Winnah!

Hi there stampers!

Just popping in to announce winner of my blog candy from Tuesday! Remember the card in this post HERE? Well, I said I would give it away to one lucky commenter on my blog, so I had my daughter Emma pick a number from 1 - 30 and she chose #19!

Here is the comment left:

I guess layering is the key... my cards sometimes seem unfinished so more layers it is!! Thanks for your wonderful designs!

Now, this Dawn is anonymous on my blog, so I have no e-mail address to notify her! If this is you, please e-mail me or leave a comment here so I can send you your card!

Have a great evening everyone!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blogger's Challenge - Valentine's Day!

Hey there all my stampin' friends! Today on my blog is officially Emma day!
Our Blogger's Challenge theme this week is appropriately enough, Valentine's Day, and I'm showing you the card I made for her this year. We will be celebrating early because this Sunday, she and her skating team will be skating in a competition in Hershey, PA. So today, I'm taking her to see the new movie "Percy Jackson and the Olympians - The Lightning Thief". She and her bff, Bethany made orange Camp Half-Blood t-shirts and clay bead necklaces to wear to the show - to say they are superfans of the book series is an understatement! I'll try and get some pictures and share them with you later on.

Now, for her card. You may see an unfamiliar image as my focal point - it's actually from a very long retired stamp set called From the Heart. I just {heart} this little girl image and since my girl is growing up so fast, I thought I'd better use it while she will still appreciate it!

I used Barely Banana for my card base and stamped it all over with the polka dot heart from the I {heart} Hearts stamp set in the same color. The sweet little paper ruffles were made with the Tea Party Designer Series Paper. I used part of a technique that my good friend Jan McClurg taught us at the Phoenix Regional last month. I cut a strip of paper 1 1/4" x 12" and punched all along one edge with the Eyelet Border punch. Then I ran it through my Crimper several times to scrunch it all up. To make the ruffles here, I ran a piece of Sticky Strip along the card front and just pleated it across the adhesive until I got to the end. I trimmed the excess off with my Paper Snips. I used another piece of Sticky Strip for the top layer and then added the piece of Chocolate Chip Double Stitched ribbon to cover the edges and make it look finished.

The focal image was stamped in Black Staz On ink on Very Vanilla cardstock and colored in with Stampin' Write Markers. It was then layered on both Pretty in Pink and Barely Banana. All the layers were sponged lightly with Close to Cocoa ink as was the card base and paper ruffles. I used Stampin' Dimensionals to pop it up over the ruffles.

My greeting comes from the stamp set Three Little Words - which you can get Free during Sale-A-Bration! I stamped it in Close to Cocoa on Very Vanilla. It's punched out with the Small Oval punch and layered on a piece of Pretty in Pink punched out with the Large Oval punch. It's sponged as well and attached with another dimensional.

Now here is where I would say that I hope she likes her card, but I know she will like it because someone (me) left it laying out on my studio counter and she already saw it! Oh well, she said she'd be surprised when she opens it! Love that girl!

I love it especially when she spends time with me in the studio. I was working on my card for Saturday's Stamping 411 Sketch and she came in to stamp with me. She used the Sale-A-Bration stamp set Good Neighbors to make this lovely creation!

She hand drew the sun, grass and flowers; mounted it on the Chocolate Chip card backer and added the ribbon hanger herself - so cute! I think Grandma is going to be the recipient of this particular piece of art! And we know she will love it!

I'm glad you stopped by today to visit and I hope you like the card! Be sure to stop by the other Blogger's Challenge players blogs and see their creations as well. You'll be in the Valentine's spirit in no time! Have a great day and come back tomorrow to see the card I was working on for Stamping 411!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

UDI Inspiration Challenge #82 - A Rose for You

Welcome back stampin' peeps! It's Thursday and that can mean only one thing at this blog - I have a new inspiration project to show you! This challenge team I'm on is so much fun - I love being given a starting point for a project that allows me to just create from what I see, no restrictions, all creativity! This week, as soon as I saw the photo that Maria sent us to work with, I knew immediately what stamp I wanted to use. In fact, I'd been thinking about it the other day because it is so beautiful and I've not pulled it off the shelf in months!

Here is our inspiration piece:

And here is my card:

I've never done an all white cardstock card before, but after seeing the end result of this one, I'll probably be doing it again. I just love, love how this turned out, even better than I'd envisioned. Isn't it great when a plan comes together? :)

The rose image is from the Bloomin' Beautiful stamp set, which I originally purchased because of the gorgeous hydrangea stamp in the set. I have found however, that I turn to this image most often though. It just speaks to me in it's simplicity.
Now, you have to know that I'm not much of a watercolor person, in fact, I avoid it when possible because I'm just not confident that my skills there are the best - my Mom was an incredible oil artist before she gave it up and it's always intimidated me a bit. But, for YOU, I'll try again, ok? :)

I simply used my Aqua Painter and my re-inkers and colored in the image with Real Red by putting the most intense color on the shaded areas of the image (I'd stamped it first in Black Staz-On) and then moving the color outwards toward the edge of the petals. Not a ton of shading, but it IS a red rose, they seem pretty solid to me.
I used Always Artichoke for the stem.
There are 4 layers of Whisper White cardstock on this card, I mounted the focal image to a larger piece of white so it would have a subtle frame. This is popped up over the dry embossed piece with Stampin' Dimensionals.
I used my Big Shot and my Finial Press Embossing Folder to create this layer and it's simply mounted on a standard Whisper White card base. I did add an additional Whisper White insert to it to provide some additional stability to the card.

My favorite part is the bow:

I used the new stamp set Tiny Tags and the new Medium Jewelry Tag Punch to make the little tags and tied them around the Red Satin ribbon bow with some Linen Thread. A few Mini Glue Dots later and voila - it was done!

Please take a minute and stop by the UDI Blog to see what the other design team members have created this week - I know they will inspire you! I'm glad you came by to visit me today - I'd love to hear what you think about the card if you have time to leave a comment. It makes my heart happy to know you enjoy coming by here!
Have a great day everyone, stay warm and dry and come back tomorrow - it's Blogger's Challenge day and the theme is.....yeah, you guessed it, Valentine's Day!


A Place for Memories

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that my life basically revolves around 4 things - my faith, my family, stamping and skating. My daughter Emma has been ice skating since she was 4 years old, she's 12 now, and has been competing both in singles and with the National Blades Synchronized Skating teams for the past 4 years. So, each week, 3 to 4 days a week, all year long, we make the 1/2 hour trek to our local rink, Prince William Ice Center. It's a pretty easy assumption to say that a good part of our lives revolves around available freestyle sessions and team practice ice.

The photo below shows our home rink on what appears to be a beautiful Summer day. It's one of the most familiar sights to our family and I can't begin to count the number of times we've been in and out of those front doors.

This is the front entrance to our rink as it stands today.

I have no words for this.

Usually I can be counted on to find something appropriate to say in whatever situation, whether witty or comforting, but today, I am just beyond sad.

It is a fortunate thing, I think, that in my life, I've been blessed to have never experienced the devastating loss of home or property to the extent that so many countless others have when disaster strikes. My heart always goes out to them, but somehow that always seems so far removed from me too.
Today, I think I understand a little bit better.

Our record setting snows this past week were just too much for the roof to handle and it collapsed under the weight of it all. No one, fortunately, was inside when it gave way, but what remained was the intangible feeling of home.
While this building didn't 'belong' to me and my family, we feel as if we've lost, at least temporarily, our home. To see it this way, so broken, just tears at my heart.

This ice rink was more than just a building, it was home to our community of families and friends brought together because of our collective love of skating and hockey.
Some of our dearest friends were made there. We shared joys and heartbreak, injuries and illnesses, births and deaths. You knew that when you were there on a Monday, you'd get to visit with one set of friends and on Wednesday, another group.
I have so many memories from this place - Emma's first skating lesson, holding the hands of her instructor, Marina; her first ice show performance in her blue velvet skating dress that made her feel like a princess; her first synchro team practice/try out where she left the ice crying because it was so hard - and the little girl who convinced her to come back and try it again.
Emma earned her first singles Gold Medal at this rink, and I got to put it around her neck.
Our ice rink was a constant in our lives, a place of wonderful memories and those yet to be made, a place where friends and families met - laughed together, cried together and stuck together.

And we will stick together.
The rink owners have said they are committed to rebuilding - and quickly. That makes my heart happy.
So, over the next many months, our 'family' will be scattered to whatever rink we can get to for ice time and coaching, but we have the knowledge that we will all be together again. Under a new roof, assuredly, but the spirit will be the same. Home.
To quote Emma's synchro coach, "Tough times don't last, tough people do."