Friday, October 29, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge

It's Friday night and I'm back once again with the Stamping 411 weekly Sketch Challenge. I'm happy to report that even though I had a "You've GOT to be kidding me!" moment when I first saw this sketch - all is still well in the ol' stampin' studio.

I know. That's quite the sketch, now isn't it?
After scratching my head, walking away, mumbling something like "Holy sketches, Batman". I stampered up and went to work. (Ok, that's like 'man up', which we've been hearing a lot of in the news lately, but funnier, right?!)
Yeah, I'll get on with the card.....

Here you go, what do you think?

Yes, I KNOW it's busy - but hey, did you see that sketch?!!
And truthfully - I really do like how it turned out!

So, here's what I did - don't worry, it's easier than you may think.
The card base layer is Crumb Cake cut at 4 1/4" x 11" and folded in half to make an A2 size card 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". I sponged the edges with Always Artichoke ink.
The next layer is Cherry Cobbler (LOVE me some Cherry Cobbler!) cut at 4" x 5 1/4" and sponged with Cherry Cobbler ink.
Then I cut four strips of 1 1/8" x 3 3/4" Deck the Halls Designer Series Paper and sponged the edges in Always Artichoke ink.
The next layer is a piece of Crumb Cake cardstock cut out with my Big Shot and the Top Note Die. I stamped it with the Christmas Collage background stamp in Early Espresso ink and sponged the edges in Cherry Cobbler. I colored in the holly and berries with my Stampin' Pastels to add a little more color.

Now, for the focal point.

I pulled out the skaters from my all-time favorite stamp set Winter Post (may it never retire!) and stamped them with Black Staz-On onto Very Vanilla cardstock. (Note to Patti Chesky - now that you finally own this AMAZING stamp set, I can't wait to see what you are going to do with it, O queen of the sponge!)
I colored in my image this time with my Aqua Painters and ink from the lids of my ink pads. It was then punched out using the 1 3/4" Circle punch, sponged with Cherry Cobbler and mounted with 2 Stampin' Dimensionals onto the Top Note piece.
Then I used my Soft Suede Stampin' Write marker and my Color Spritzer tool to add some flecks - making it a bit more vintage, as if it needed it! But I digress......

Next, I mounted the Top Note piece to the DSP and Cherry Cobbler pieces and added a strip of Very Vanilla Seam Binding across it all. The bow was created by layering two pieces of Very Vanilla Seam Binding together, tying my bow and separating the pieces. I opened up the prongs of the Antique Brad and wrapped it around the middle of the bow and attached the whole thing with Mini Glue Dots to the card front.

Are you ready for more?
Ok, how about that tag!

I inked up the greeting from the Bells and Boughs stamp set with Cherry Cobbler ink and stamped it on a scrap of Very Vanilla cardstock. It's punched out with the Decorative Label Punch, sponged with Always Artichoke ink and speckled with the Color Spritzer. I punched the small hole with my 1/16" Handheld punch and tied it to the bow/button with a piece of Linen Thread. It's secured to the card front with a single Dimensional behind it.

Now, wasn't that easy?!! :)
Be sure to check out all the other operators creations by visiting the Stamping 411 blog this weekend. I know they will have some wonderful projects to share with you!

I hope you all enjoy your weekend. We are finally going on our annual apple picking trip on Saturday. Heading up to Marker-Miller Orchards in Winchester, VA. I LOVE going to this orchard. Not only do they have terrific apples, but they make homemade Apple Cider donuts that are truly one of the most wonderful things I've ever put in my mouth! I love getting them all warm and cinnamon-sugary right out of the bakery. We get a bag and some apple cider and go sit out on the big wrap around porch in a wooden rocking chair and eat till our hearts content! The view this time of year is glorious with all the fall colors and gorgeous apple trees spread out around us there. I'll be sure to take some photos tomorrow and share them with you next week. Tomorrow evening, we'll be home baking apple pies and making homemade applesauce. The pies we do each year, but the applesauce is new, inspired by my friend Pam at SU! corporate. We'll see how it turns out....... I'll let you know!

Sunday is another busy day - we have our annual Trunk or Treat at our church starting late afternoon. All the families participating decorate the trunk or hatchback of their cars, dress up in fun costumes and hand out candy to all who come by for treats. It's such a fun time of community and fellowship, not scary at all, but great for every family! I for one, am looking forward to the candy! You know me and chocolate!

Stamped blessings everyone!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's a Jolly Holiday!

I love easy cards - don't you? I mean, I think we all want to make something beautiful, but we don't always have the time to devote to a masterpiece each time we stamp. One of the reasons I love Stampin' Up! so much is all the coordinating products they offer us to work with. It really is the 'easy button' of stamping! Combine that with a basic 'formula' for a card and you truly can create some lovely cards and projects in very little time.

Earlier this month I was asked to present some Christmas Card ideas at my upline leader's local meeting. So, I pulled out my Jolly Holiday Designer Series Paper and used that as my starting point for these projects:

What's really funny is that when I first set out to make these cards, I had no intention of making them look like gift packages! But they sure turned out that way didn't they? :)
But, serendipity is always welcomed in my studio, so I ran with it!

All the Designer Paper pieces are cut at 3" x 4", allowing you 12 pieces from each sheet of Designer Paper. You can get 144 cards similar to these from just one package of Designer Paper! That's what I call a bang for your buck!
Here's a close up of one of the cards in the back of the group photo:

Don't you just love how that Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding shimmers? Oh, it's so lovely and so easy to work with too!
Here's the other semi-hidden card from the main photo:

It really doesn't get much easier than this simple beauty. If you come to my classes, I know you would say that the bow is the hardest part! HA!
Speaking of classes, would you like to attend a class and leave with 36 of these completed beauties?! I'm about to post my final class schedule for November and December and am considering offering this class so let me know if you are interested!

Have a great day everyone and be sure to come back and visit tomorrow to see the Stamping 411 Sketch Challenge card I have for you! If you like Vintage, you might like it a little bit!

Stamped blessings,

UDI Inspiration Challenge - A Rockwell Moment

I know what you all are thinking - "Who is this scrapbooker and what has she done with Robin?!" HA! I've been here all along, but I just got lost in all my card making! Not that that's a bad thing mind you, but my first love was always scrapbooking and I'm having oh, so much fun playing with my photos lately!

Here is the Inspiration piece from the UDI Blog Challenge this week:

I love, love Norman Rockwell - he's so iconically American! I'll elaborate at the end of this post and reminisce a bit too. But if you don't want to read all that here are the details of my creative project first.

Here's a photo of the whole 12 x 12 layout:

As you can see, I really tried to use the magazine cover layout and colors for my scrapbook page. I used Very Vanilla Textured cardstock for my page base and added cardstock panels of Pumpkin Pie, Basic Black, Chocolate Chip and More Mustard for the circles.

My letters were all cut out with my Big Shot in Basic Black and I added some Orange Glitter from the Fine Supernova Glitters that retired last year. It was easy using my 2 Way glue Pen to do this. The buttons are from the Brights and the Regals collections and tied with Linen Thread. I used the Tasteful Trim Big Shot Die to cut my zig-zag lines to mimic the magazine cover. The Circle element was cut with the Clear Circle Die and I cut the photo with the Scalloped Circles Die. (Ok, it's late as I'm writing this post and honestly, I can't remember the EXACT names of all the stuff I used on this layout AND my catalogs are downstairs in the studio - so bear with me, it's been a long day. Really, does anyone's day ever start out great when you have your yearly mammogram first thing?! Yeah, I knew you'd agree with me!)
There are about 17 Stampin' Dimensionals on this baby too. Love me some dimensionals! It made me feel better to pop everything up today. Yep, yep it did.

Here's another photo of the lettering. Don't you just love the glitter?! I will have to for a while - believe me, it's everywhere in my studio! I think I even have some on my neck - don't ask.....

This cute little pumpkin was cut with the Pumpkin Sizzlits and I added the face with Black Staz-On with the stamp from Autumn Harvest. I tied a bit of 1/8" Early Espresso Taffeta Ribbon around the stem, smudged a bit of Pumpkin Pie ink on it for depth and mounted it on a glittered circle of More Mustard with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Now, if you can ignore the absolutely disgusted look on my daughter's face as she sticks her hand into this pumpkin, you'll see this pretty little lace bow made with that Black Lace Trim in the Holiday Mini Catalog. Yes, the name of it escapes me at the moment, but it's in there! and this lace is so easy to tie and work with - love it! I simply tied another Brights button around it with a piece of Linen Thread for a cute accent!

So, before I share my Rockwell memories with you be sure to visit the UDI Blog and see what the other design team members created with the inspiration piece. I'll bet they are wonderful projects!

Norman Rockwell has always been one of my favorite artists. When I was growing up, my parents owned a picture framing business called Mr. Frame. They were in business for over 25 years in my hometown and you guessed it, I pretty much always worked in the shop. I grew to love Rockwell art because my parents always seemed to frame so many of his prints. Folks would bring them in all the time for custom framing and we also sold prints that we had framed and matted. They sold like crazy! Some of my favorite pieces of his were the Triple Self-portrait, the Four Freedoms series (Freedom from Fear, Freedom from Want, Freedom to Worship and Freedom of Speech), The Runaway and Girl at Mirror. I don't know, there was just something welcoming about his art that drew me in - encouraged me to look beyond the art and see the message and the meaning behind it. I think his art is probably interpreted a lot of different ways, but I just always felt comforted by it. Like he understood small town America in a way that others didn't. I grew up in small town America and loved it - even though my hometown has changed a bit, ok, a LOT over the years, there are still glimpses of the home I knew here. It's still possible to find kindness, manners, chivalrous gentlemen and really good sweet iced tea here and I love that there are still people who live here who remember me as a child. They are the ones who knew my family, knew my history and are such an important part of who I am at my core. This is the growing up I want my daughter to have, the memories I long to share with her as she creates new ones of her own.
We can all still be small town America. Even if your small town is in a big city. Being polite and kind to a stranger, sharing a smile or holding a door. Enjoying a soft-serve ice cream with friends on a Summer Day. Sledding down the best hill in town when the snow is so deep it covers your knees. Stopping to help change a tire or give a jump just because it's the right thing to do. Buying coffee for the policeman or fireman in line behind you and thanking them for doing their level best to protect you.
To me, this is what Norman Rockwell embodied in his art - the best attributes of a culture who looked after their neighbors even when they were strangers and a lifestyle of taking pride in your heritage and living up to all that America and Americans were born to be.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts here - I love to do that sometimes. I don't know if you all particularly like it, but it feeds the writer in me and since it's my blog - well, you'll just have to put up with me! :)
Have a wonderful day and go find a glass of amazing sweet tea - I think I'll do the same and share it with a friend!

Stamped blessings,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One Layer Cards - Simply Lovely!

Hello stampers! Over at the Stamping 411 blog one of my jobs is creating another installment of Clean and Simple Stamping each month. Since my artwork for this feature over there posted today, I thought I'd share it with you all here too! This month, I decided to focus on creating fabulous One-Layer cards and well, I was having so much fun, I got a little carried away!

At first you wouldn't think that a One-Layer card could have much personality - after all, it is just ONE layer - but with a little creative use of your stamps, inks and occasionally markers, you really can make gorgeous FLAT cards!

This first card begins simply with a piece of Naturals Ivory cardstock and a matching Medium Envelope. I cut the cardstock at 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" and folded it in half to make a standard A2 size card (4 1/4" x 5 1/2").

Using my French Foliage stamp set and four colors of ink pads - Old Olive, Cajun Craze, Crumb Cake and More Mustard - I inked the stamps and added the impressions collage style to the lower right corner of the folded card. The large leaf was stamped using the Rock-n-Roll technique by first inking it with More Mustard, then rolling the edges in Cajun Craze - I just LOVE that look, especially with these colors. The greeting, from the Because I Care stamp set, was inked with Old Olive and added to the left of the leaf collage.
To add the 'idea' of a layer, without really adding one, I simply took the fine point of my Soft Suede Stampin' Write Marker and drew lines freestyle around the edges of the card front.
After adding some leaf images to the envelope and inside of the card it was done and honestly, in less than 5 minutes! Now who doesn't love that?!

So, since I had SO much time left, I decided to pull out my pre-scored Note Cards with Envelopes and make a seasonal set of cards using this same design idea.
These Note Cards are a bit smaller folded (3 1/2" x 5") but make wonderful Thank You's or Gift Enclosures. And yes, you can mail them!
I did the first one using the same fall stamps and colors:

The next is for Winter and uses the Serene Snowflakes stamp set with Bashful Blue, Marina Mist and Night of Navy. This would be lovely with a bit of Vanilla Smooch Spray too!

Then I moved on to Valentine's Day and pulled out the I {heart} Hearts stamp set along with Pink Pirouette, Pretty in Pink and Rose Red - too cute!

Then I reached for Fifth Avenue Floral and did a Spring/Summer card with Pear Pizazz, Concord Crush and Daffodil Delight. I love how crisp this looks!

Ok, now I've been stamping for about 20 minutes - mainly because I took time to clean and put away my supplies between each card and I thought, well, I have a bit more time here so let's try one more thing - a One-Layer Debossed Panel card.

This was sooo easy I almost feel silly telling you how to do it! First I cut a piece of cardboard backing from a package of Designer paper at 3" x 4 1/2". Then, using a bit of Dotto (removable adhesive) I attached it to the middle of a folded Note Card and flipped it over. I then took my stylus and rubbed all around the cardboard edge on the opposite side of the cardstock, causing a raised frame to appear on the side of the cardstock that the cardboard was adhered to.
Once I finished, I removed the cardboard and removed the Dotto residue with my Adhesive Eraser. Then, I stamped my images - super easy!
Here, take a look:

I couldn't resist adding a little bling to this one so it has some Dazzling Diamonds on the flower and a couple of Rhinestone Jewels accenting the greeting.

So there you have it, something Clean and Simple that's quick and easy but still has impact.
I hope you'll take some time this week to try out a Clean and Simple card - it's very freeing for your creativity and your time limits too!

Have a great Wednesday everyone - see you back here tomorrow!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Beautiful RAK from Kerin

Welcome to Monday Stampers!
Have you looked ahead and figured out yet what kind of week you are going to have?!
We have lots of activity going on here this week, but so much to look forward to! I'll be doing design work this week for the rest of my Holiday Classes - be watching my Events calendar, you won't want to miss those...
But Thursday is my fun Stampin' Fools group, Saturday is our family tradition apple picking, pie making day and Sunday is Trunk or Treat at our church! Yes, busy - but oh so fun when it's spent with family and friends. I LOVE my life and feel so very blessed!

Here's yet another blessing - a beautiful card from my very talented friend Kerin Sylvester.

Kerin sent me this a while back and I have it proudly displayed in my stamp room. You know the best part of this card? She didn't have any specific reason to send it - she just did! And let me tell you, the day it arrived - I needed a blessing! Don't you just love going to the mailbox and finding happy mail that's just for you? Yep, me too! So I'm going to challenge you this week. Why don't we all step up and mail out one card each day this week, beginning today, to random friends just to tell them we are thinking of them and to bless their day.
We all need a little encouragement from time to time and I know that a handstamped card is a surefire way to spread some around.

Have a wonderful Monday stamping friends - I can't wait to hear about your card sending mission - I'll report back to you on Monday right here about mine this week, ok?

Stamped blessings everyone,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge - A Little Christmas

Hi there stampers!
This little blog post is gonna be as short and sweet as I can make it - I've had a very full, very fun day, first stamping with my ladies in WOW! Christmas Cards class, then at the ice rink with Emma, then visiting with my pal Kimberly. That's a lot of day for this ol' girl and I need to take myself off to beddy bye so I can do it all over again tomorrow! LOL!

Here is the sketch this week from Stamping 411. It was perfect for me this week as I was designing for my classes today and tomorrow and this layout fit my design idea perfectly - love it when that happens!

I love, love, love this sweet little Christmas girl. She is from the oh, so popular Greeting Card Kids stamp set - that I'd sworn not to order because I'm not a big watercolorer - but I saw SO many of my friends using it, I just had to jump in the pool too!

This is really short on details, but just so you know, I used the Winter Post stamp set (may it never retire!) along with my sweet little girl. The colors are Soft Suede, Marina Mist and Naturals Ivory. The watercoloring was done with my Aqua Painters and Re-inkers and I colored her fur trim with the White Gel Pen then added some Dazzling Diamonds Glitter.

The ribbon is the Victoria Crochet Trim paired with some Marina Mist 5/8" Grosgrain. I used one of the Candy Cane Big Designer Buttons and some Linen Thread with it.

And of course, I had to stamp the inside too. The greeting is from Many Merry Messages.

Yep, if you had signed up for my classes this weekend, you could be making 2 of these babies! But hey, at least I shared it with you! Now you can make it at home in your PJ's! :)

Be sure to check out the Stamping 411 blog and see what the other Operators designed for you this week. I know they will be awesome projects!
Have a wonderful Fall weekend everyone!
Stamped blessings,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

UDI Inspiration Challenge - A Pirate Kind of Day

Hey there stampers! I'm back in the swing of things here in the ol' studio and have been creating up a storm lately! I was so happy to open up this week's inspiration photo from the UDI Blog Challenge - even when I saw what it was! LOL!
Honestly, the first thing I thought of was my buddy Kimberly and her obsession with Johnny Depp AKA Captain Jack Sparrow.

Pirate ships generally aren't my thing, but I then realized that this was the perfect opportunity to finally do a scrapbook layout from our Stampin' Up! Southern Caribbean cruise in April. We, with some trepidation (fear of the "party boat") embarked on a pirate cruise on the Black Swan ship in Antigua. And you know what? It couldn't have been a more perfect day! In fact, as we look back on the trip, it was one of the highlights of the whole week!

Here is the full 12 x 12 layout:

I kept the colors neutral to kind of go with the Pirate ship theme and also to make sure that the colors in the photos really popped out.

The 3/8" Twill Tape is meant to mimic the rigging on the ship and I don't know why I stamped the little medallions from Artistic Etchings, but they look really cool, don't you think! HA! I stamped them with Early Espresso on Shimmer White cardstock, punched them out with the 1 3/4" Circle Punch and added an Antique Brad to the center. They, along with the photos, are popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals.

I used the Medallion stamp for the background, stamping it randomly with Crumb Cake ink for a tone on tone effect.

I really love these pictures! Emma looks so awesome in her floppy straw hat. I'll never forget shopping with her for it at Forever 21. She fell in love and opened up her wallet! That doesn't happen often! LOL!

To really make the photos stand out, I matted them each on pieces of Early Espresso cardstock and then added a strip of gathered Waffle Paper to the bottom of each one - cool, huh? That Waffle Paper is da' bomb! You have GOT to try it!

To make the title, I cut the letters from Early Espresso cardstock with the Naturally Serif Decorative Strip Die and then turned them gold by smooching the heck out of them with the Gold Glow Smooch Spray. The photo does NOT do them justice!

It felt so good to scrapbook again - I know it was for a challenge, but somehow this page seemed like it was just for me and that made Wednesday a perfect day for me!
Be sure to check out the other inspiration team member's projects by visiting the UDI Blog - you'll be saying "Ahoy, Matey" in no time - "Arrrgh!"

Stamped blessings,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Simple Season of Joy

You know what they say, "It's the simple things....." and this card definitely fits that description. Super cute and super easy!

This card is one we did at my Christmas in August Class and really, it was one that came together in minutes! Sometimes we don't have more than 10 minutes to create something pretty and isn't it nice to know that it can be done with just a few supplies?

For this card, we used Garden Green and Whisper White cardstock, Brights (Real Red) Designer Series Paper, and the Season of Joy stamp set. The coloring and inking was done with just a Real Red ink pad and three Stampin' Write Markers - Garden Green, Early Espresso and Real Red. You could use Daffodil Delight if you wanted a gold star on top. Add in a few Stampin' Dimensionals, a strip of Early Espresso 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon and some Dazzling Diamonds Glitter and you've got yourself a card!

If you like this one, but missed the Christmas in August class, you still have a unique opportunity to create a similar card or choose from several others as YOUR Christmas Card this year.

The first weekend of November, I am holding my first ever Christmas Card Boutique. You will come either on Friday or Saturday and preview a selection of Christmas Card choices that are designed to be time and budget friendly to make multiples of. You will place your order that day for the supplies you need to create your chosen card and as my GIFT to you, I will pre-cut all your pieces of cardstock and ribbon so all you have to do is stamp and assemble!
What could be easier?!
Well, since you asked, how about a day here in the studio with me that you can come and actually assemble all of your cards?
That's right, as part of this Christmas Card Boutique, you will be able to return on Saturday, November 20th and spend the day making sure that your cards are done and ready to mail out!
I am very excited to be able to offer this service to you and I know that we will have a fun day stamping together and enjoying the "girl time"!
So make your plans now to come and shop either November 5th or 6th and return ready to stamp on November 20th - it's going to be one of the "most wonderful times of the year" when you have your cards ready to mail before Thanksgiving!

Stamped blessings,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sweet Fall Treats!

The first Saturday of October I was spending the day in Baltimore at the Stampin' Up! Regional event with my downline team. It was a wonderful day and we all came away with some fabulous ideas that we are in the process of sharing with our clients!
I had quite a few team members with me that day and I wanted to make them a little sweet treat to let them know that I appreciated them taking the time to be there.

Don't they look yummy?!! And actually that Candy Corn Taffy was pretty good - you know I had to taste it to make sure! :)

These cute little treats were very easy and fun to make! I used the new Scallop Squares Die that is in the Holiday Mini Catalog along with some of the gorgeous Autumn Spice Designer Paper. Did you know that paper is textured and cardstock weight? It is really fabulous!

Each treat had four pieces of the taffy in one of our Small Cello Bags and I attached the topper with SNAIL. The ribbon wrap is that luscious Always Artichoke Seam Binding (I love the shimmery feel and look of it) and I finished it off with one of the Big Buttons in Very Vanilla and Crumb Cake from the Deck the Halls Collection tied up with some Linen Thread.

I don't know if my girls ate their treats or not, but at least they looked cute!
Have a great day everyone, I'll be spending most of mine in the studio finishing up project design for my WOW Christmas Cards Classes this weekend. Then it's off to the skating rink with Emma after school. I love being able to work from home and be the Mom that Emma needs me to be, that is such a blessing and I never take it for granted!

Stamped blessings!

Monday, October 18, 2010

GoDivas Vintage Christmas Postcard

Happy Monday Stampers!
I don't know about you, but Christmas is definitely on my mind this week - I have been in the studio all day today doing design and prep work for my WOW Christmas Cards classes this upcoming weekend. I think the gals who have registered for the classes are going to be thrilled at the wonderful cards I have planned for them - plus a few special treats too!

This card is probably NOT on the menu for the classes - at least this time - even though it would qualify as a WOW with all that watercoloring!
I created this one for my private swap group - the GoDivas, last month for our Christmas Cards round. I warned them all that watercoloring was not my strong suit, but no one complained after they got it, so I guess it worked out ok! LOL! What do you think?

I used the Bells and Boughs stamp set combined with the Christmas Postcard single stamp from the Holiday Mini Catalog - love those vintage images so much!
All the watercoloring was done with my Aqua Painters and various colors of re-inkers.

All the Crumb Cake cardstock was sponged with Crumb Cake ink to age it just a bit more (it shows up better in person) and I layered the focal image on the main card base with, what else, Stampin' Dimensionals.
The ribbon is that luscious Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding also from the mini and I added some Crochet Trim in Chantilly along with the Vintage Trinkets for a final touch.

The inside was simply stamped with the holly leaves once more and then I added a greeting from the God's Blessings stamp set.

All in all, I really loved how this card turned out - but I can tell you one thing - I wouldn't want to watercolor 30 of these babies again! I'll leave that to my buddy Diana - she's the watercolor queen and I've decided I'm farming out all my watercoloring to her from now on! HA!

Have a great evening everyone - we are having friends over to grill ribs and smores and homemade ice cream - yeah, I'm drooling already!

Stamped blessings,

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge - Fabulous Fabric!

"RIIIPPP!" No, that's not the sound of my pants splitting, LOL! It's the sound of fabric ripping though! I finally got up the courage again to tear my gorgeous Deck the Halls Designer Fabric to put on a card. I wanted to use a strip as ribbon for this week's Stamping 411 Sketch Challenge card.
Here's my finished card, what do you think? Does it work?

Let me tell ya, that fabric is gorgeous and is so easy to work with! I really hope that it's not exclusive to just this Holiday Mini Catalog - are you listening SU?!

Anyway, here is the sketch we had to work with this week, a nice, simple one!

As you can see, I flipped it, but only because my bow looked better on the left, empty side of my focal point.

I used the A Cardinal Christmas stamp set and stamped the beautiful state bird of Virginia with Early Espresso ink on to Naturals Ivory cardstock. I watercolored him (yes, the red ones are male! Show offs!) with my Aqua Painter and Cherry Cobbler, Always Artichoke, More Mustard and Early Espresso inks. It was layered on to Cherry Cobbler cardstock then smooched with Gold Glow Smooch Spray.

I took my torn fabric (I tore a strip about 1" wide down the length of the whole piece) and used about 12" of it to tie the bow. I opened up the points of an Antique Brad and wrapped it around the bow center and secured the whole thing with Mini Glue Dots to the focal piece.

The actual card is made with Naturals Ivory Cardstock, layered with Cherry Cobbler and then with a piece of the Deck the Halls Designer Series Paper. I did a little sponging on selected layers with Always Artichoke ink and then, I wrapped another piece of the torn fabric around the top two layers before assembling the card.
The focal point is popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals - of course! :)

Just to make sure the inside was not neglected, I stamped some holly leaves from the Bells and Boughs stamp set and added a greeting from A Christmas Wish.

So, there you go, another Stamping 411 sketch in the done box and one more Christmas Card completed for me! Yay!
Hope you liked the card - it may look complicated, but trust me, after the week I've had - it's NOT! Be sure and let me know what you think about the fabric bow, ok? I may have to do that again!
Be sure to stop by the Stamping 411 blog too and see what the other Operators designed for your viewing pleasure - I know their cards will be gorgeous!

Stamped blessings,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Autumn Spice Thank You

Hello everyone!
I feel like it's been since forever since I've posted here for you - it's only been since Friday night, but yeah, seems like a lot longer! I told a friend on the phone yesterday that if I go without posting for more than 2 days in a row, you know that I've been incredibly busy! I normally have projects designed ahead of time and pre-loaded so I can post at will. But these last three days haven't had much 'will' time. It's mostly been 'won't' time - you know, "Well, I WON'T get THAT done today!" LOL!

Today I do have a card project to share with you, but I first want to share a family moment with you. We had the surprise of our life this past Sunday morning when we walked into church. Mark's Dad and his wife Peg were standing there waiting for us! Since they live about 5 hours away, to say we were shocked and delighted would be an understatement! It was a lovely surprise to be able to worship with them and then share a great Sunday meal with them. Since we don't get to see them as often as we'd like this was the highlight of our Sunday! Here is a photo I took of Mark and Emma with them after lunch. Love you guys!

So, for those of you who came to visit today for a card project, I have this one to show you that I made for my team meeting swap in September.

This card was the easiest to make - it uses that gorgeous, textured Autumn Spice Designer Series Paper which, in my opinion, makes the card.
A little sponging, a couple of punched layers for the greeting and a little of the beautiful Crochet Trim with an Antique Trinket and that's it - sweet, simple and lovely!
Cards don't have to be complicated to be pretty and this one took about 10 minutes to complete from start to finish. Beauty and speed - now we're talkin'!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone! I'm headed to the salon to get my wisdom covered and my hair cut. I think I'll take a nap while the color sets - after the craziness of these past few days, I need it! :)

Stamped blessings,

Friday, October 8, 2010

Stamping 411 - Simply Grateful

For a week that started out kinda cruddy, it's ending on a few high notes!
It's true that dreary weather can really affect my mood sometimes and this week was no exception. But yesterday and today have been absolutely gorgeous here and we have a similar weekend to look forward to. It's beautiful days like this that make me want to stand up and shout "Yay God! Great job!"
Plus, my friend Laura decided to join my Stampin' Up! family and became a demonstrator yesterday! I am thrilled to now have her as not only my friend, but team mate as well! Welcome Laura!

Even though it took a while, once I got my mojo back this week, I had a little fun with this week's Stamping 411 Sketch. Here is the simple sketch:

And here is my card:

See a little shadow there? Yep! That's because I did a little something different with the card front - lookie!

See, it lifts up to show a hidden panel behind the card front. Actually, that is the card!
It was so easy to do! I just cut a piece of the Autumn Spice Designer Series Paper at 4" x 7 3/4" and scored/folded it at 2 3/4" creating the top flap. It's fun to use the contrasts of both sides of the DSP this way! And since this DSP is cardstock weight, it's perfect for this style of card. It was layered on a standard card size piece of Cajun Craze cardstock cut at 4 1/4" x 5 1/2".

I cut a piece of Old Olive at 4" x 1 1/4" and punched the edge with the Scallop Trim Border Punch. After attaching it to the flap, I wrapped the whole thing with a piece of Early Espresso 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon and again with a piece of Chantilly Crochet Trim.

See the inside view?

The Cajun Craze cardstock is cut at 3" x 4" and the Naturals Ivory Layer is cut at 2 3/4" x 3 3/4". These are the same measurements I used for the card front layers.
The design stamped on the inside is just second generation ink from stamping the front panel. I did sponge all the edges with Cajun Craze ink before layering anything.
Here's another look at the front:

Using my Days of Gratitude stamp set, I took out my Clear Block D and attached four of the stamps from the set to it, all three leaves and the acorn. I inked them up with Stampin' Spots (Old Olive, More Mustard, Cajun Craze and Early Espresso) and stamped the focal panel all at one time. Reinking, I stamped it again to make perfectly patterned paper! So easy and so fun! Shannon West showed us a similar technique at Regionals and it was a real "Duh!" moment for me! Thanks Shanny! Loved that tip!

Those two panels were adhered to the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals and then I added the greeting. It was stamped with Early Espresso onto Naturals Ivory cardstock and punched out with the new Decorative Label Punch. I punched out two more 1/2 pieces with Cajun Craze Cardstock and adhered them behind the greeting making a frame. The final touch was two Vintage Trinkets Button Brads in Copper on either side of the greeting.

I love, love, love this stamp set and these colors too! I am so ready for Fall now! Well, I will be after this weekend of nice weather! LOL!
Let me know what you think of this one, ok? And be sure to visit Stamping 411 to see what the other operators created from this easy-peasy sketch. You just might be inspired to join us! :)

Have a blessing filled weekend!

Finding My Mojo Again......

It's no secret that sometimes even the very best artists misplace their creativity for a time. That is a comfort to me on those days when I just can't seem to make stamps, ink and cardstock come together in way that makes me smile. I've had a few of those days lately and I don't know if it's because of the yukky weather we'd been having or being kind of stressed out over a LOT of 'busy'ness in my life, but I just couldn't make anything I liked!

So, what do you do when that happens, you ask.
One of the things I do is to sit down and CASE something that someone else has made. I remake it using my own supplies, but basically recreating the original project.
Tuesday I was really struggling so I decided to case a nice, clean and simple card from the SU! Demonstrator only website - Stampin' Connection. The original was created by Kristin Moore and is truly lovely in it's simplicity. I love that style at times. If you are a demo, you can see it at this link here.
If not, here is my re-creation:

I'll do a complete supply list for you at the bottom of this post, ok?

Next, I then make a version of the card, but stepping it up a bit, or in some cases rearranging the elements to more suit my normal style or using a 'go to' sketch.
Here is version two:

Lastly, now that I've put ink to paper and actually finished a project or two, I take the same supplies and change it all up. Adding here, deleting there and coming up with something that just comes from somewhere within. I keep changing and adding until I get to the point that I know I'm done - how do I know it? Well, I can't explain it, I just do.
So, you tell me, is it done?

I tell ya', when I finished up on Tuesday night, I felt like a new woman! I'd just needed some alone time with my stamps along with an already great project as a creativity booster, and voila! - Mojo restored!
Next time you find yourself in a creative rut, try this method. Choose a project that you like, copy it, re-make it, then REALLY re-make it so the end result looks nothing like what you started with. You'll be so surprised and pleased with yourself and have three finished projects to show for it! That's time well spent!

Come back for another visit tonight after 9 pm - my Stamping 411 Sketch Challenge Card will be posted and you can check it out along with the other Operator's projects. It was a GREAT sketch this week and I LOVE my card!
Good thing I got my Mojo back!

Stamped blessings,

Supply List (Shop my Stampin' Up! Website Online Store for All these supplies!)
Stamps: Snow Swirled
Inks: Cherry Cobbler, Sahara Sand, Crumb Cake
Cardstock: Cherry Cobbler, Sahara Sand, Crumb Cake, Naturals Ivory, Very Vanilla
Accessories: Rhinestone Jewels, Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding, Stampin' Dimensionals, Very Vanilla Satin Ribbon, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, 2 Way Glue Pen, Linen Thread, 1 3/8" and 1 3/4" Circle Punches, 1/16" Handheld Punch, Log Cabin and Vanilla Smooch Spritz