Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stamper's Block - A Tale of Woe!

Welcome to Tuesday here on the ol' blog!
Before I tell you my tale of woe, let me tell you what a wonderful time I had shopping with my girl yesterday! We went with one of my BFF's Lissa and her daughter Bethany who is one of Emma's BFF's to Tysons Corner Mall - one of the best clothing shopping malls in our area - and shopped til' we dropped! We had such a great time checking out the stores, trying on clothes and eating yummy cupcakes we were kind of reluctant to leave. But, dinner sounded pretty good and the girls cooked up a scheme for a sleepover so at least their fun didn't have to end!
I just love that Emma and I can actually shop together and have fun doing it - we don't often have the angst filled dressing room sessions I've heard about and she really considers the things I suggest before she rejects them - guess I can't ask for much more, huh? But, even with her at 12, I've learned which clothing hill I choose to die on so as long as what she chooses follows the rules and the budget, I don't say a whole lot. She usually figures out once she gets something tried on what I already know most of the time looking at it on the hanger - it's going to suit her or it's not. I LOVE being right, but I don't say I told you so! :)

Now, after you see these two cards and read my tale of stamper's block woe, you might be saying I told you so, but let's find out, shall we?

I have a great friend in Arizona - Diana - who is an amazing stamper. Earlier this year, she invited me to be in her swap group (and she joined mine) and just recently, our Holiday Mini Catalog round was due. Well, we choose what stamp set we are going to work with at the beginning of the swap each time and since we were all given the new Paisley Prints at convention, I volunteered for that because frankly, my budget doesn't always have room to buy the new stamps I want and I figured I'd at least have that one!

So, I'd set aside a chunk of time to design and produce the swaps for Diana's group and sat down at my counter to do it - and nothing happened. I took out the stamps and mounted them, unmounted them and re-mounted them, one at a time, hoping that by touching them some magic would happen and this magnificent idea would come to me. Nothin'! Nope, no magic here.
I really, really wanted to use either the pumpkin or the leaf from the set and tried coloring them with markers and sponge daubers and succeeded in making - no, not nothing - a mess! Ugggh!

I finally decided to go an entirely different route and try making these whimsical designs a bit more elegant so I pulled out my Gold Embossing powder and heat tool. Now we're talkin'!
But after stamping with Versamark and heat embossing it, I didn't know what to do with it. I finally stamped a background with the Woodgrain background stamp on Soft Suede cardstock and did some layering with Brushed Gold cardstock and Rich Razzleberry. Ok, now it's going somewhere, but how to finish it?
I took out my Gold Brads and added some of them and then decided to layer some ribbon across the middle and do a little Smooch Spray. I still wasn't satisfied - it just seemed to be missing something - and not a greeting, because I wanted to leave it all-occasion on the front.

So, I was talking to my friend Tara on the phone and she says "It can't be that bad." and I said ok, wait, I'll send you a picture......

and while I won't tell you exactly what she said (actually it was very kind), I will say that I love being right - remember, I said that earlier in this post! :)

But, the one thing she did say is that she loved the combination of Rich Razzleberry and Pear Pizzazz together and that got me thinking what a cool, non-traditional combination that would be for a Christmas card! And VOILA! - this card was born:

I love it so much better than the first one - and those colors are AWESOME together for a Christmas card!
Here 's a close up of the focal point:

Gold Brads, Gold embossing and Whisper White Satin ribbon combined to up the elegance factor of this card, but it still kept the whimsy suggested by the stamp itself and the polka dot designer paper.
Whew! Stamper's Block cleared - and Diana got her swap package on time last week!
I hope everyone likes them!
I shared that whole long story with you as an encouragement - even someone like me who stamps a LOT can sometimes have difficulty, actually probably more often than you realize! But, either just keep messing with it, or walk away for a while and you can most of the time make your ideas take shape on paper - even if it's entirely different than what you started out with!

Have a wonderful day stamping friends - I'd love to hear your thoughts on these cards - just be kind like my friend Tara! :)
Stamped blessings,


  1. Hey sweetie, I love the first card, but I LOVE the second one better, and I am so glad you are in my swap, happy happy joy joy!

    Love ya,

  2. love, love, love this one! using two of my favorites (christmas trees & paisley) you have done it again! I'm definately borrowing this one along with the many I have already because I haven't found a dud made yet! 8-)

  3. Hey Robin!
    I actually kind of like your first card. I agree that it needs some tweeking, but I love the idea of the woodgrain background and the leaf as a focal point. In my humble opinion, it doesn't work to have the leaf embossed in gold, but I hope you will rework this rather than abandon it all together. I am confident you can still turn it into something fabulous.

  4. Love both cards, but will have to CASE the second one. it is really nice.

  5. I love that you showed your "fail" along with your success! :) I love the end result!

  6. Love the 2nd one sooooo much and loved watching you sort it all out in the stampiin' studio. :-)

  7. It's not hard to be kind to a creative genius! :) I love them both, and I don't even like that stamp set! LOL

    Big hugs!

  8. I LOVE this version, Robin!!! :-D


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