Monday, January 31, 2011

Bella Butterfly

Good morning stampers!
I think I promised to post this card for you all last Friday - it's another Letterpress plate card. So sorry about that! I've had a busy, busy weekend and my Friday really got away from me! Emma was off school for the third day in a row and my bff Lissa and I took our girls to the mall to get all of us out of the house for a while. Needless to say, not much work was accomplished that day!

So, here is the card - of course it's hard to see the Letterpress background in the photo:

I had seen a similar card on Barb Mullikin's blog a while back and loved it so much that I decided to make my own version. She tells me that her card was a case as well, so that just goes to show that a good idea, is a good idea, period!

For my card, I took a piece of Pink Pirouette cardstock, cut lenthwise and folded in the center. After unfolding it (just wanted to find the middle) I laid it on the Letterpress plate and ran it through my Big Shot. Next, I sponged Pink Pirouette ink on the edges and rubbed it a bit over the surface of the card front.

I used the Lattice Die next and cut a piece of Riding Hood Red cardstock for that element. The butterfly came next, Very Vanilla with the Beautiful Butterflies die. After the Butterfly was cut out, I stamped it with the Bella Toile background stamp and Pink Pirouette ink. Those edges were sponged as well. I also used the background stamp on the inside edge of the card for a little interest there. My ribbon bow was made with Very Vanilla Taffeta and attached with Mini Glue Dots. Actually, there is no SNAIL at all on this card - it's all adhered with Glue Dots. :)

You can see the Letterpress a little better in this photo, not great, but better!
The final touches on this card are the Pearl Jewel on the Butterfly, which I curled with my Bone Folder, and the little banner stamped with the greeting from the New Level 2 Hostess stamp set in the Occasions Mini Catalog. It's called Something to Celebrate and has some fantastic greetings in it!

I just thought this was a sweet, simple card and the ladies at my January card classes loved it too!
Thanks for stopping by today - hope you get time to stamp something fun!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch - Sympathy in Saffron

Welcome back to my blog stamping friends!
Have you had a good week? Things have been a little odd here this week, but all good - really! With the snow we had, Emma had 3 days off school so we've spent a lot of time in our pj's the past few days - it's kinda nice to be honest. But I have a feeling that if I do that too often then one day Mark will come home from work to find me right where he left me - probably not a pretty sight! Good thing I have the lure of stamping to get me up and moving! :)

This week's Stamping 411 Sketch turned out to be perfect for me. I needed to make a sympathy card for an old friend who lost her Father a few days ago - always hate to have to make these cards - and the focal panel was the perfect size for the image I wanted to use.
Here's a look at the front of my card:

I hadn't used So Saffron in like, forever, and I thought it would be a nice color for this card - sending my message, but in a soft, feminine way. I started with a card base of 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" which is a standard A2 sized card. I layered it with another piece of So Saffron cardstock that I ran through the Big Shot with my Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder. It's sized at 3 1/2" x 5 1/2". After I texturized it, I sponged it all over with So Saffron ink to give some depth to the embossing. Using the sketch as my guide, I added a thin strip of Wild Wasabi across the bottom of the embossed piece, the added a scalloped border piece of Vellum Cardstock. I used the Scalloped Border punch on the Vellum.
Here's a look at the sketch:

I followed it pretty closely this week, just adding the ribbon and bow under the focal panel.
The focal image came from the Thoughts and Prayers stamp set, actually all the stamps I used are from that set, and I used my Stampin' Write Markers to color it in on the block before stamping. Wild Wasabi and So Saffron - soft and lovely for a sympathy card. The focal panel was popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals over the ribbon, and I added 3 Gold Brads across the top left. The greeting was punched out with the Scalloped Oval Punch and adhered to the front of the panel with Tombow adhesive.
Here's a look at the inside:

For the floral image, I simply huffed on the already colored stamp to re-moisten the ink and stamped it on a piece of Naturals Ivory cardstock. It lends a softer image for the inside of the card and doesn't distract from the greeting. I sponged this piece around the edges as well as the front focal panel. To me, sponging in a light color just adds softness and makes it more inviting.

So that's it for this card - it was lovely to work with these soft, pretty colors again, I sure hope the card and it's message let my friend know that she is loved.
Be sure to stop over at the Stamping 411 Blog and see what the other Operators created for you. We love it when you visit us!

Happy stamping everyone!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

UDI Blog Inspiration Challenge - It's Pretty Pink...!

Today's post opens with two disclaimers -
1) I'm working off a very old camera that I found in a drawer - it's so old even Photoshop won't recognize the software to download the pictures. So they are darker than normal.
That being said
2) You may still need sunglasses to view this project and the Inspiration piece - it's really Pink!

Ok, here you go:

Don't be distracted by the chocolate - it doesn't exist anymore anyway, it was very tasty!
It's pretty pink isn't it?

Well, what do you expect when this is your inspiration piece:

Yeah, baby! Now THAT's pink!
I really, really wanted to go to the store and buy some pink bunny peeps and design my own marshmallow sculpture, but since this is a PAPER crafting blog, I controlled myself. That and the fact that it was snowing like crazy outside kept me home. So, I did the next best thing - a pink box with a sparkly daisy containing equally, but not marshmallowey good chocolate!

Do you likey?
I actually likey VERY much!
I used the Bitty Box die and my Big Shot to cut out the box from Melon Mambo Cardstock.

The layered daisy, was cut out with my Daisies Die on the Big Shot using Melon Mambo Designer Paper - the polka dots pattern. I then inked them all up with Versamark and embossed them with Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder. I thought it mimiced the sugary Peeps bunnies very nicely!

I attached the daisies to the lid of the box with Mini Glue Dots and then added the Early Espresso Button from the Sweet Stitches Big Designer Buttons. See the blingy center? Yep - that's a Neutrals Glimmer Brad. I added that because my bff Tiffany was in my head saying "I don't like naked buttons!" Thanks for THAT mental picture Tiff!

Now let's move on to the yummy goodness inside the box -

I have a huge bag of Hershey Nuggets in the studio - it was new until I opened it for this project and now it's not so huge..... :)
So, I took out four of the silver wrapped ones and covered them with a piece of the Ice Cream Parlor Designer paper from the Sale-A-Bration brochure. You know, the FREE paper you can get with a $50 order! I also wrapped a 1/2" strip of it all around the box edge, just for pretty.

I was - help me, I can't resist - TICKLED PINK when I finished this project! heehee! Really, I liked how it turned out - what do YOU think?!

Be sure to stop by the UDI Blog to see what the rest of the Design Team pinked up for you!
Stamped, snowy blessings everyone!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Letterpress Questions

Well, I just posted my Letterpress card this morning and I've gotten a lot of questions about using those plates. While I'm not an expert, I'll just tell you what I've discovered, ok?

For my Big Shot the sandwich is: platform open to Tab 1, Letterpress plate, cardstock, cutting pad. Yes, only one cutting pad.

I had best results with Versamark ink or no ink at all. The Versamark looks very rich and deep on the darker colors of cardstock. When I used no ink, I sponged over it with the same color afterwards to bring out the impressions a bit more.

I also experienced the back side of the pressed cardstock being roughed up a bit. Don't know if it's my machine and cutting pad or just a by-product of using this type of plate.

When I inked the plate with Craft ink, I had nice results, but personally found the clean-up to be messy. The best way I found to clean my plate was simple dish soap and water. I've not tried it in the dishwasher yet.

Hopefully this has helped answer your questions. I have another card using the Letterpress plate that will post on Friday, so stay tuned for more samples!

Happy Stampin'!

Letterpress Love

Happy Snow Day peeps!
Yessiree Bob - no school today so Emma is sleeping in while the ground outside turns icy white. We are getting mostly ice right now, but the weather folks are saying we'll have 6 -10 inches of snow here by the time it's all over tomorrow. Yay.
Can you feel my lack of enthusiasm? I gotta tell ya, I am NOT snow happy this year. After the pounding we took last winter snow does not make me smile right now. I'm really hoping for a non-event today - anyone know of an anti-snow dance I can do?

Ok, enough of the gloomy gus - how about a cheerful card for you guys?!
I was experimenting in the studio a while back with the Letterpress plates and look what came out:

I cut a top note with my Big Shot out of Rose Red cardstock. Next, I ran it through the Big Shot again after inking up my Letterpress plate with Versamark ink. I thought it came out awesome!

I also used the Big Shot and the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder on the Very Vanilla layer then lightly sponged it with Pink Pirouette ink to bring out the polka dots. That layer is on another piece of Rose Red, which is mounted on a Pink Pirouette card base.

The focal point is that gorgeous Be My Valentine A La Carte stamp. I stamped it twice on Very Vanilla, once in Pink Pirouette and once in Rose Red. I cut out the pink heart image then layered it with the cut out rose banner. After popping it up on Stampin' Dimensionals , I added a button from the Subtles collection with a bit of Linen Thread tied through it. For a last little bit of personality, I used my Color Spritzer tool and added some Rose Red spritzes to the card front and inside as well.

I have to be honest and tell you that when I first finished this card, I didn't like it much. But the more I look at it - it's out on my counter in the studio, the more I like it. So I don't know, what do you think? I'd love your opinion!

Have a wonderful day everyone - if you're having bad weather like me, I hope you have some time to stamp! :)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An Unexpected Gift

I have to tell you, being asked to serve on Stampin' Up!'s Advisory Board was probably one of the greatest honors I've ever received. Being asked to serve two years in a row just blew me away - such a trememdous blessing. I truly love the work we do on the board and love that I have the honor of being a voice for our amazing demonstrator base and for our company as well.
But you want to know the really best part?
It's the friendships that I've formed with the ladies I'm serving with. Last year, and this year, most of the ladies on the Board with me were known to me, but not in my circle as we rarely crossed paths. But the crucible of this task draws us together like no other, creating for me, friendships that I know will be there always. As much as I treasure the relationships and bond I formed with my girls last year, this year brings a whole new set of blessings and friendships. It's really a wonderful experience and I know, the highlight of my demonstratorship and a most wonderful gift.

Here are a few photos of my girls from this year at the Advisory Board Breakfast at Leadership this month.

L to R: Georgia Giguere, Jan Wakeland and Me

L to R: Karen Duke, Me, Jodi Reinert

Stella Mackay and Me

Me and Megan Wheeler

Here's a fun group shot of us around the fountain outside the Old Hickory Steakhouse where our breakfast was held.
I almost didn't make the breakfast! I'd set my wake up call the night before for my regular time, not thinking about the breakfast being early! But, I was only a 1/2 hour late, so I still got to eat and spend time with my girls!

Here is the card I made for each of the girls:

I used lots of fun stuff from the new Occasions Mini on this one - the new Fun Flowers Big Shot die, Springtime Vintage Designer Paper, the gorgeous Satin Rosettes and that yummy new Framed Tulips Embossing folder.
Take a look at the side view:

I used the Elements of Style stamp set and the Cottage Garden stamp set with Pear Pizazz, Not Quite Navy and Crumb Cake ink. The dimension on the flower was created by curling the petals with my Bone Folder and I added the antiquing by spritzing on a little Crumb Cake ink.

The girls loved their cards and that made my heart happy - just like their friendship!

Have a blessed day everyone,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Casing LeAnne

Happy Monday stampers!
I hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was wonderful - I had my downline meeting with my team of stampers and it was so fun! We were making up for having to cancel the December meeting when I was so sick and had a fun name tag contest, handmade gift exchange and some great stamping demos! I have a few photos and I'll share them later this week.

Today I'm sharing a card that I cased from the amazing LeAnne Pugliese. I often get asked who or what inspires me and it's truly a variety of people and things. I love LeAnne's style and often look at her work for inspiration. I saw this card here on her blog recently and decided I needed to make my own version of it for my Firehouse Stamp Camp last week.
Here's my card:

It's so clean and simple - I love the stark red with the white, it's so contemporary feeling. My fave part of this is the Real Red Glimmer paper heart. That stuff is so cool - it doesn't flake off when you cut or punch it out - love that!
If you're coming to Just Cards tomorrow morning - we'll be making this card then too, so I hope you like it! :)
Guess what else happens tomorrow?
Yep! Sale-A-Bration starts! WooHoo!!!

Remember, for each $50 order you place you get FREE Stampin' Up! products! For every $300 in sales a hostess gets at her party, you get FREE Stampin' Up! products! AND if you join my team of stampers, you not only get a discount on the starter kit, you get an additional $50 in FREE products from Stampin' Up!
I love this time of year! :)

Have a great day everyone and let's get ready to Sale-A-Brate!

Stamped blessings,

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stamping 411 - Red Velvet Valentine

Good evening stamping friends!
It's time for another Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge - and this week's took me down memory lane big time!
Here is my card for this week:

and here is the sketch:

Now let me tell you, I was so inspired by a Real Red Monochromatic card that I saw demonstrated at Leadership last week, I just couldn't get it out of my head. When I sat down to do this week's sketch for the Operator Team, my first thought was to do red monochromatic. And since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, that's the direction I headed.

My entire card is Real Red and I started with a standard cardbase of 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" folded cardstock. It's layered with another piece cut at 4" x 5 1/4". On that layer, I embossed the background stamp French Filigree using Versamark ink and Clear embossing powder. Oh, it just looks luscious in real life - I wish you were here to see it!~
That layer was wrapped with Real Red Satin ribbon and the bow was added after I had my focal layers attached.

I am so in LOVE with the Real Red Glimmer Paper - who doesn't love glitter that doesn't come off? Amazing I tell ya'! I cut a piece at 2 1/4" x 4" and then punched the bottom across with the Pinking Hearts Border punch. The next layer is cardstock cut at 2" x 4" and I adhered it with Tombow Multi Adhesive. That works very well with the Glimmer Paper.
The glimmer hearts were cut out with my Big Shot and the Scalloped Heart of Hearts Embosslit and each one has a red cardstock heart mounted on top of it with Stampin' Dimensionals. The center heart was embossed before I punched it out with more Versamark and Clear Embossing Powder. I used the large heart image from the Filled with Love stamp set. The cardstock hearts were all punched out with the Large Heart Punch. For a final touch, I added a single Rhinestone Jewel to the center heart - just a little bling for sparkle!

Now here's the Memory Lane part for me. Today is my Dad's birthday, yep, he is 75 years old today and we are so fortunate to still have him with us this year. Anywho, when I was little, Valentine's Day always came on February 15th. You see, we didn't have a whole lot for extra so my Dad, who didn't want Mom and I to not have a Valentine at all, would go to the store on the 15th and purchase us each a heart shaped box of candy for half price. I never cared that he got it on sale, I just loved that he cared about me enough to make sure I had a Valentine's goodie. Making this card today reminded me of the beautiful heart shaped boxes that he brought me as a child. Some were embossed red foil, others red velvet, but all beautiful and truly straight from his heart. My Dad is just a beautiful person inside and out. He would say that he wasn't a very good Dad, but I beg to differ. He worked two, often 3 jobs just to make our ends meet in the middle and never a day went by that he didn't tell Mom and me that he loved us. He missed some events in my growing up years, but I never doubted where his heart was and he was always there when I truly "needed" him. And really, isn't that what counts?
So Dad, if you are reading this today - your special day - please know that you are my hero and I love you with all my heart. Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Now, for all of you folks that have read this far, wipe your eyes and be sure to check out the Stamping 411 blog today. The other Operators have created some wonderful projects for you and you surely don't want to miss them!

Stamped blessings,

Pretty in Pink Punch Bunch - A Sale-A-Bration Sneak Peek!

Hey there everyone - are you glad it's Friday? I actually can't believe it's Friday! This week has just flown by in our house. I've had Emma home three days this week, two for school closure and today she is home sick. Poor baby, she's had this awful cold/flu and just can't shake it. We took her to the doctor on Monday and even with the meds she got, she's still sick. As a Mom, don't you just want to take it all on yourself so they don't have to be miserable? I wish I could just snap my fingers and have her better, but hopefully the rest, extra sleep, meds and lots of love will heal her up soon.

Anyway, I have done a LOT of stamping this week - had my fun Firehouse stamp camp last night - and my downline meeting is tomorrow, so there has been lots to do! Here is one of the cards we did last night and it's another little sneak peek from the upcoming Sale-A-Bration Brochure! Don't forget, Sale-A-Bration starts on the 25th! You don't want to miss the FREE stampin' supplies you receive with each $50 order! It's the best time of the year for stampers!

This card was really the easiest one from stamp camp last night, but easy doesn't mean ugly! I love clean and simple stamping!
We used Very Vanilla cardstock and ran it through the Big Shot with the Elegant Bouquet embossing folder. Then we just sponged over it lightly with Pretty in Pink ink, bringing out the floral empression. The centers were colored in with the Early Espresso Stampin' Write Marker.

It's hard to see in the photos, but the stamped greeting - from the Punch Bunch stamp set - is actually stamped twice and layered. The bottom layer is just stamped in Early Espresso then punched out with the 1 3/4" Circle Punch. Then I cleaned the stamp and used my markers to color just the flowers and greeting. This was punched out with the 1 3/8" Circle Punch. I added a Pearl Jewel and popped it up on a dimensional before adhering it on top of the piece of Early Espresson Satin Ribbon. The ends of the ribbon are under the greeting so the ribbon looks pretty inside the card as well as the outside!

Stamping the envelope was a great final touch and I even sponged the edges with pink!
Thanks for stopping by today - hope you like this little sneak peek!

Stamped blessings,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

UDI Blog Inspiration Challenge - Are You Ready?....

Hello and happy Thursday everyone! This week has simply flown by here as I am playing mad catch up from being gone so long! As you read this in the morning, I am frantically cutting cardstock getting ready for my Stamp Camp tonight at the Manassas Volunteer Fire Company. I stamped and stamped and stamped some more yesterday creating cards especially for this fun camp and now I have got to be ready to stamp with my friends!

But, I also stamped something else yesterday..... Are you ready for a little glimpse of Summer?!
Well, here ya' go!

It's also a little sneak peek at the Sale-A-Bration FREE products that begin NEXT Tuesday! Yahooo!!!! That's right, the biggest give-away of the year for Stampin' Up! begins next Tuesday, January 25th! For each $50 you purchase in Stampin' Up! Merchandise, you get FREE Stampin' Supplies!! Choose from stamps, ribbon and buttons, a digital images cd, Decor Elements, more stamps and the supplies I used for today's card - the Ice Cream Parlor Designer Paper and Quick Accents package.

Here's the inspiration photo we had to work with this week:

I love the feelings that these lovely candles brought out, but in the end, I went with the colors - so bright and inviting. They made me think of Summer and since it's so cold here, I just went with it!

There is only one stamped piece on this card - the little greeting tag. I stamped it from Tiny Tags with Melon Mambo and punched it out with the Medium Jewelry Punch. It's just tucked into the flower for a sweet accent. I created the little bow with the Ice Cream Parlor Ribbon - yes, from Sale-A-Bration - it's such pretty ribbon, I know I'll be enjoying that a lot!

I used Whisper White and Old Olive cardstock, but everything else is designer paper or sticky die cuts from the gorgeous pack of supplies! Love these fun summery colors together and I love how this card came together in literally 15 minutes!

This card just makes me smile when I look at it and I hope it does you too! After you leave a comment, please stop by the UDI Blog and see what the other design team members created - I'm sure it will be wonderful!

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

GoDivas Swap - Robin's Chocolate Box

Good morning stamping friends!
I am enjoying a lazy morning in my pj's, laptop in hand, fireplace on and coffee nearby. School's closed today, so I get to be home with my girl today and that makes me smile! This works out great for her because she is still trying to get over her nasty cold/flu stuff, so the extra day off was welcome news. Mark on the other hand, had training today and had to travel a hour west of here on the icy roads. At least he's in his police car and not our car!

Today I wanted to share my card from my recent GoDivas Swap round. This is my private swap group and can I just say that these gals are amazing?!! Just tremendous stampers and I'm honored that they choose to be in this group.

It's no secret that I LOVE, LOVE the new Eat Chocolate stamp set - of course, they made it just for ME! So for my swap, I wanted to create my idea of a chocolate box. So tell me, what do you think?

I used Brushed Gold Cardstock for the 'lid' and tried out the new Double Dry Embossing Technique with my Big Shot. I saw that technique a few weeks ago on someone's blog and knew it would be fabulous for this project. It's so EASY! All you do is take your cardstock and run it through the Big Shot with your choice of Embossing Folder - here I used the Finial Press folder for the first run through - then used the new Framed Tulips folder and ran it through a second time. You see the second folder's design more prominently which was exactly what I wanted for my Chocolate Box! Isn't that cool?!!
Once I embossed the cardstock, I wrapped the corners with ribbon; Very Vanilla Satin and Early Espresso 1/8" Taffeta and then popped up the whole piece on Stampin' Dimensionals.
The double bow was added afterwards.

Here is a close up of the focal point:

I used a combination of punches and Big Shot Circles for the layers. The image is simply stamped in Early Espresso ink on Very Vanilla cardstock. If you look really close, you can see the Crystal Effects on the piece of candy - it looks awesome in person! I added one of those fantastic Pearl Jewels and layered it all up with more Stampin' Dimensionals.

So tell me, does it look like a box of chocolates? I think so! Maybe even Forrest Gump would like it! :)

I hope you all have a wonderful day today - I'm going to do some stamping and just enjoy my day with Emma. That's a winner in my book!

Stamped blessings,

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Special Invitation

Good morning stampers!

I have something special to share with you today - just look at this card that I received in the mail a few weeks ago:

Isn't it gorgeous?!! Trust me, the photo cannot do it justice - it's just so beautiful in person!
I don't know who made it, but it came from Stampin' Up! and was my invitation to the Advisory Board Alumni Breakfast at Leadership last week.

Being on the Advisory Board had been a truly wonderful experience - and I'm thrilled that I was chosen to serve a second year! It's an honor and a privilege to serve the company that I love so much in a completely different way than my everyday demonstratorship does. The ladies I've been allowed to serve with have blessed my life tremendously as well as the amazing professionals on the Corporate Team.

If you like this card, I'm going to recreate it for an upcoming class - it's just too beautiful to NOT share with you!
Thanks for stopping by today to visit. I'm in the process of catch up from being gone, posting my class schedule for January and February (yes, I'm a little behind!) and uploading photos from Leadership. So stay tuned - I have a LOT to share!

Stamped blessings,

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch - Vintage Framed Flowers

NOTE: I've edited the content of this post to include card details at the bottom for you! Thanks for being patient with me!!

Hey there everyone! I am just stopping by quickly to get this card posted for you all.

I had ZERO time to post while I was in Nashville for Leadership Conference - it was wonderful and I am anxious to tell you all about it, but that will have to wait until Monday when I finally get home and get my photos uploaded.

For now, I'm back at Tiffany's house where she had her downline meeting today and I was the featured speaker. It just occurred to me that I'd not gotten this card posted for the Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge so I hopped on here to at least get the post up for you!

Here's my card:
I also made this for my private GoDivas swap group at Leadership.

And here's the sketch this week:

Here's a little close up of the focal image and details:

I used a bunch of fun new stuff from the Occasions Mini for this one and I PROMISE that I'll come back on Monday and fill you in on all the details, but for now I'm going to log off and encourage you all to go visit the Stamping 411 Blog and check out what the other Operators created this week! I know the projects will be amazing!

Stamped blessings,


Card details:

I used Very Vanilla cardstock for my base and cut it lengthwise for a piece that was 4 1/4" x 11". I folded it in half to get the center crease, and added a piece of the Springtime Vintage DSP to the lower part after tearing it and sponging the torn edge with Crumb Cake ink. I opened up the card again and ran the front through my Big Shot with the new Framed Tulips embossing folder. Next, I sponged Crumb Cake ink lightly all over the embossed areas to highlight them.

For the focal point, I used a piece of Rose Red cardstock, layered with a piece of Crumb Cake cardstock that had been stamped with the Teahouse Background stamp and Rose Red ink - love how this looks like wallpaper! Using the Baby Blossoms Stamp Set from the Mini, I stamped the frame image with Crumb Cake ink on more Very Vanilla and used my Paper Snips to trim it out. The flowers were stamped a scrap of Very Vanilla and punched out with the Wide Oval Punch. After sponging all of these pieces with Crumb Cake ink, I layered them up, using Stampin' Dimensionals under the oval piece and the Rose Red piece. I added two of the Pearls Jewels to the frame and then a sweet little bow of Pear Pizazz Seam Binding to finish it off.

Sweet, simple and pretty - it reminds me of something my Grandma would have loved, how about you?

Thanks for waiting on the details for this one - I have the BEST readers out there! I'd love to know what you think of this card!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Buttons Galore!

Hey there stampers!!
I am currently on my way to SU!'s Leadership Conference in Nashville, but before I get there tomorrow, I was able to come to my bff Tiffany Bauer's house today! I flew into Louisville, KY (after a few hours of tense delay in Chicago for weather!) and she picked me up so we could spend time together before driving down tomorrow to the conference. I'm really excited because when we come back to her house on Saturday, I get to be the featured speaker at her downline meeting!
We've been stamping for the last few hours but I wanted to take time to post a project for you all today. I can finally show this card I made for my bff Tara Bazata's swap - I think everyone has theirs by now. It uses the new stamp set from the Occasions Mini called Button, Button.

I used that stamp set last week on the very CAS black and white card and was surprise to hear from many of my blog followers that they were stumped on how to use it. This card here was actually the first one I'd made with it and my first thought was to use the stamps for a cool background. I stamped using Real Red Craft ink and clear embossed them for a fun effect. Combined with the Puns From the Past stamp of the sewing machine and the Newsprint DSP, it created a fun, nostalgic feel! I loved it!

Here's a close up of the focal image:

The embellishment was my second favorite part - I combined a Crumb Cake Big Designer Button with some Crochet Trim, 1/8" Real Red Taffeta Ribbon and some Linen Thread. The wrap around ribbon is the 5/8" Taffeta in Real Red.

So tell me, what do YOU think? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Here's a peek at how I used the stamps to make my background:

I mounted every stamp from the set on Clear Block F. They were simply laid out in a random fashion. Then, I just inked the entire thing with my ink pad and stamped! Super easy! I love how the clear blocks make it easy to combine images to get even more use from our stamps!

Here's another view from the opposite side of the block:

So, there you go - a really easy card and a fun, new technique!

I'm so glad you stopped by today! Is it snowing where you are? It's snowing here - and in a lot of places where other demonstrators are trying to get flights in to Nashville for the conference. Please say a few prayers for safe travels for us all!

I hope to post again tomorrow, so check back if you have time! I have projects ready to show you, but didn't have time to get all the posts written before I left home. I'll probably have time in the hotel tomorrow - cross your fingers!

Stamped blessings,


Monday, January 10, 2011

With All My Heart Card

Good Monday morning stampers!

What a wonderful, busy weekend we had! We were in Lowell, MA for my daughter's skating competition. Her synchronized team, the National Blades, traveled to the 2011 Colonial Classic and skated an amazing program to finish with a 4th place medal! This is such an an awesome accomplishment considering not only the high level of competition that was there, but all the difficulties her team has had to overcome this year. They just did a fantastic job and I couldn't be prouder of them!

So, after our 10 hour drive home last night, I'm a bit draggy this morning - to say the least!
Good thing I had this card already loaded up to share with you!
It's a pretty simple one and I like that it can be for Valentine's Day or another occasion. You may not even guess right away that it uses the Jolly Holiday Designer Paper. It's not just for Christmas you know! :)

This card uses the With All My Heart stamp set and the Fine Flourish single stamp. My Big Shot and the Polka Dot embossing folder and a few punches add dimension and special touches to make it a card that anyone would love to receive.

I hope you all have a wonderful day today!
I'm looking at a busy, busy day as I do all my packing and prep to leave for Leadership Conference tomorrow! Wish me luck!

Stamped blessings,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stamping Fun and a BIG Surprise!

I had such a fun, wonderful surprise last night!
It was already a great night because I got to go over to my friend Selene's house to just hang out and stamp. That may not seem like a big deal, but seeing as she lives 9 hours away from me, I think it's pretty cool! Not to mention the fact that I had enough down time while we are up here for Emma's competition to even have some "me" time - well, that's pretty amazing!
But my evening got even better when I found out that Gina McGinnis was going to be able to join us - she is Selene's team member and was my private nurse at convention 2 years ago when I got hit in the head with a beer sign. But that's a story for another day.......

But look, do you see a fourth stamper at this table?!!

Yep, I got such a shock as we were just sitting down to dinner when Kerin Sylvester showed up to surprise me! Kerin is my friend and fellow Stamping 411 Operator AND an amazing stamper too! Kerin lives about 2 hours from Selene and after e-mailing her earlier this week to see if we could get together - and it not seeming possible - I'd given up on the idea. So you know I was thrilled when she walked through the door last night! She, Gina and Selene had pulled off a wonderful surprise!

When Selene's husband Brian came home, he took a few photos for us and you can see that we really were having fun stamping! What a mess we made! :)
But do you know what? They didn't do any stamping for themselves, they helped me work on my swaps for Leadership because they knew that I had about ZERO time to get them done.
Now THAT's friendship!
Thanks so much girls!

Selene has a rockin' studio area - you should see her cardstock cabinet! I was in studio envy! :)
Anyway, it was a really fun evening - something that I don't get to do nearly often enough, and boy I needed it!
Thanks girls for such a great time and fun surprise!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch - Granny's Butterflies

Howdy stamping friends!
You'll never guess where I am! Ok, yes, I did tell you yesterday that I'm in Lowell, MA for Emma's skating competition this weekend. That's true, but you'll never guess where I am tonight as I'm posting this!
I'm at my buddy Selene Kempton's house! You know, THE Selene Kempton that founded the Stamping 411 Blog?! Yep, that's the one! She lives within 20 minutes of where the skating team is staying - and since I had a few hours of down time tonight, she brought me over to her house so we could stamp! How fun, right?! I'm so lucky because Emma's team skates up here every January so we always get to meet Selene and her family at The Owl Diner for breakfast. Usually that's all the time we have, but this year we had to come a day early so we get play time!

So, now that you know all that stuff, would you like to see my card?
Ok, here you go!

I have to tell you that when I first saw this sketch, I was less than enthused. But when I started to get the vision for my card and began to build it, I just loved the result!

That's the beauty of making the sketch your own - it's all in how you interpret it, just like the inspiration challenge I do each week. I've found that some of my best work comes as a result of one of these sketch challenges - they are a great jumping off point to let your creativity run free.

For this week's card, I started with a base of Pear Pizazz and built up from there.
The Designer Paper is the new Springtime Vintage from the Occasions Mini. Let me tell you - that paper is drop-dead gorgeous! You HAVE to own it or you will regret it.
Anyway, both the lower portion of the main panel and the butterflies are made with it. I love how all the patterns work so beautifully together.

I used Very Vanilla for the panel base and ran it through my Big Shot with the Perfect Polka Dot embossing folder. Then I rubbed Crumb Cake ink all over it - actually, it's rubbed all over everything to give it an aged look. The greeting is from the amazing Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set and I used the Modern Label punch to punch it out.
The bow is some of that yummy new Pear Pizazz Seam Binding and I added a Rose Red Vintage Flower Adornment to the center. Just beautiful! You are going to LOVE those too!

Now check out the other side of the card:

That oval is cut with my Big Shot and the Scalloped Oval Frame Die. I simply cut it to make my layer and then added the little Pearl Jewels. The butterflies were curled with my Bone Folder - kind of like how you curl that thin ribbon for a package. I mounted them with Mini Glue Dots and baby, this card was done! :)

So, another Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge - too fun! Be sure to check out the other operators creations by visiting Stamping 411 - and while you are there, play along with us this week! We love to see your creations!

In the meantime, I'm going to go enjoy my stamping time and skating time this weekend! Have a great one and come back on Monday - I'll have a new post for you!

Stamped blessings,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

UDI Inspiration Challenge - Tuxedo Buttons

Folks, I have a VERY Clean and Simple card for you today.
But, I can pretty much guarantee that after you take a gander at the wild inspiration piece that our UDI Challenge mom chose for us you'll come running back to this very simple card if for no other reason than to rest your eyes!
Ok, here is my card:

And here is the inspiration piece that I started with:

Ummm, yeah, that's pretty much what I said too - but maybe not as colorfully as you just did! :)
This is actually why I LOVE doing this weekly challenge - it truly does present a challenge to me each week to design based on what I see. I can pretty much guarantee that I wouldn't have given that picture a second glance unless I had to, and since I had to, I thought I'd just apply my style to it and see what I could come up with.

I kept it VERY, very simple, just stayed with the Black and White. I mounted four of the stamps from Button, Button on one clear block and stamped them with Basic Black Craft ink in a border of sorts. I heat embossed them with Clear Embossing Powder and my Heat Tool.
The greeting is from the Three Little Words stamp set and I stamped it with Black Staz-On.

The bow was very simple, just Basic Black Satin Ribbon wrapped with a large Clear Rhinestone Brad to mimic the starbursts in the inspiration piece. I popped up the main panel with Stampin' Dimensionals and that was pretty much it. When it was all done, it reminded me a bit of a tuxedo, hence the title of today's post. I think it's an appropriate card for anyone really, but I will say that if it weren't for the challenge, I probably would have added at least one color to it. Maybe done one of the buttons in Real Red or something. Let me know what you think? Would you like to make this at card class this month?

Be sure to visit the UDI Blog and see what the other designers came up with this week. I, for one, am very interested in their perspectives on this one!

On a personal note, we are headed up to Lowell, MA today for Emma's Synchronized Skating competition. Her team, the National Blades, is competing in the Colonial Classic at the Tsongas Arena this weekend. I'll still be posting creative projects for you and hope to be able to post updates from the competition here as well. Definitely check Facebook for updates from my phone!
Go National Blades! WooHoo!!!!

Happy Stamping,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cupcake Time!!

I was so excited on Christmas morning this year!
First of all, I wasn't expecting any gifts under the tree - we had to have both of our cars repaired and our hot water heater blew up all in one week right before Christmas, so needless to say, if it hadn't been bought yet, it wasn't going to get bought!
Mark and I got new Wheel Hubs and a Transmission Flush (among other car repairs) for Christmas! And yes, that was a blessing - so glad to have our cars still running!

Now here's the fun part! Mark's Mom came up a day early this year for the holiday and Emma wanted to go shopping so she could buy gifts for the family, so off they went to Kohl's.
Emma was especially excited for me to open my gift, so I went first. And I was completely mystified as to what she had purchased for me that she was so excited about. And that box was heavy too!
Here's a photo of us on Christmas morning with my wonderful gift:

Several months ago, we were out shopping and I'd seen this super cute, but totally un-practical Babycakes Cupcake Maker. And it came in Pink!
Well, my precious daughter remembered how much I'd loved it (the idea of it) and decided that practical or not, she was buying me one for Christmas! Have I mentioned that I have the best daughter in the world? Yep, I do, no question!
So, needless to say, I was a happy cupcake maker on Christmas day! :)

I just have to tell you, this baby makes 8 mini cupcakes in under 8 minutes and they are moist, yummy and delightful! We made a batch of Devil's Food ones last night and I'm ashamed - I mean - proud, to say that I ate 6 of them! With Vanilla icing! Yumm!!
It also makes brownies, tarts, muffins and mini savory appetizers too. I can't wait to try out all the recipes!

So, I know you didn't come here to hear all that, but it seemed like the perfect time to share the cute little cupcake picks that I made last summer with you!

I created these when I presented at a special event in Salt Lake City last July and actually displayed them in cupcakes we purchased at the Sweet Tooth Fairy, a local bake shop. If you live out in the Salt Lake City area, those cupcakes are da' bomb!
Anyway, I used the Homemade A La Carte stamp with Early Espresso ink. I punched out the center with the 1 3/4" Circle Punch and mounted them with Stampin' Dimensionals on cardstock scallops punched out with the 2 3/8" Scallop Circle Punch. I used extra long toothpicks for this project, but regular ones would be my choice for mini cupcakes.
The ribbon is the Early Espresso 1/8" Taffeta and I used a little bit of Dazzling Diamonds glitter on each one as well. The icing on the cupcakes is colored with Stampin' Write markers to match the color of the background cardstock.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a SWEET day today!
Stamped blessings,