Monochromatic Dragonflies!

Aloha, all!

     After a card with a definitely Autumn theme, I'm back with something that reminds me so much of summer – dragonflies! And it just so happens that today is the start of the next bi-weekly challenge from the SUO Challenges Design Team, with its theme of "Butterflies and Dragonflies."

     I started out thinking that I was going to make a "Clean and Simple" (or CAS) card with a single butterfly and a bit of texture. But as I walked to my work table, I saw my newly-arrived early release Christmas bundle, Carols of Christmas. Oh, no! As much as I love making Christmas Cards, it's even too early for me to be blogging about them. There will certainly be a Countdown to Christmas e-mail program going on before too long. But that's an e-mail program with signups, and only those who want early Christmas projects will be signing up for that! You who just like to read about what's happening now can rest assured that I'll not be overdoing Christmas until after Halloween.

     The way that the Carols of Christmas set got into this card is in the Thinlit Border, which is one of the elements in the Card Front Builder Thinlits Die set. Now, you don't see the word, "Christmas," in that product name, do you? That's because this lovely card border can be used for so very many kinds of projects, not just those for the holidays.

     The thinlit that's in the set is just half of a card front thinlit. First you cut the thinlit around the top or bottom of the card. Then you line up the two little holes in the middle of the sides and cut the thinlit around the other end of the card. It took a few tries for me to say, "I think I've finally got it down!"  Did I mention that I tried this with a few pieces of Night of Navy Cardstock that were also hanging around on my work table? (Back to my old habits of not putting stuff away.)  So there I was with this large expanse of Night of Navy cardstock in the middle of this die-cut piece, and not a clue with how I was going to handle it. So I started going through my butterfly and dragonfly thinlits/framelits, and I saw this lovely shape, with the dragonflies flying in some sort of formation, in the Detailed Dragonfly Thinlits set.. That was it, and the card was almost done.

     To find a sentiment to go with this, I first went to my Dragonfly Dreams Stamp Set (this was a dragonfly card, after all). And there was a sentiment that was just perfect for this! I heat embossed it using White Stampin' Emboss Powder, and I thought my card was done. But, after I took my first photograph of the card for this blog post, I decided that it needed a little something to brighten it up. So out came my Rhinestone Basic Jewels and each little dragonfly got a little bit of bling!

     There are lots more dragonfly card ideas – along with a butterfly or two – on the SUO Challenges Blog. I hope you'll be inspired by at least one of us to make your own lovely card and enter  it in our challenge! You have until a week from Saturday (6 am USA Eastern Time) to enter!

 


Posted on : Aug 14 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Color Fusers Blog Hop – August 2017!

Aloha, all!

     Oh, my, didn't July seem like a really long month! It certainly did to me as I felt as if I spent a whole month at home, but I also traveled for 2 weeks. Part of it seeming so long, I think, is that it's not until today – August 7th – that we are having the first Monday of the month Color Fusers Blog Hop! The 7th is about as late as one can get with that.

     I've been so busy with traveling and recuperating from same the past several weeks that I wasn't sure how I was going to approach this color challenge. I kept putting this off, and finally I realized I had to do SOMEthing. When I get to that point with a project, my tactic is to make some other rules for myself. This time I set the rule that I could only use ONE stamp set for the project. Then I turned to my collection of stamp sets (not all that large, believe me) and pulled out the Oh So Eclectic Stamp Set and the coordinating Eclectic Layers Thinlits dies. I had never used either of these sets, and had bought them as a Bundle to round out a purchase I'd made last month.

     Once I'd had the stamp set and thinlits picked out, it was just a matter of how I was going to arrange them AND how I was going to use the colors! Believe me, I tried several different ideas before I hit on this combination.

     The primary color in this project is Berry Burst. The gorgeous new Berry Burst 5/8" Crinkled Seam Binding takes center stage in this card for me, even though it's in the lower left corner of the card front. Then there's the layer of Berry Burst Cardstock that I've die-cut using one of the dies in the Thinlits set. The die is mostly rectangular in shape, but I also cut the cardstock with the die a second time, this time at a bit of an angle to original cut. That gives this the look of a larger die-cut than if I'd just used the single die.

     After that color, the Powder Pink comes into play as both the background layer for the card front and for the background color in the three stamped flowers from the stamp set. For the background layer, I used Powder Pink Cardstock and stamped a flower onto it using Powder Pink Classic Ink.

     I was a bit sneaky in the way in which I introduced the Smoky Slate color to this project. If this had been any other project, I would have made the stems of the flowers some sort of green. But, as there wasn't a green in this challenge, guess which color I used to make the stems? Yup, Smoky Slate!

     The final two colors in this challenge are Basic Black and Whisper White. Both were fairly easy, especially the Whisper White Thick Cardstock that I used for the card base, as well as the Whisper White Cardstock on which I stamped the flowers. Basic Black was what I used to stamp the stems of the flowers and also to make one of the mats for the card's layers.

     Even though I had an embellishment in the ribbon that tied the flowers together, I still felt I needed a bit more for this project. So out came my new Rhinestone Basic Jewels. These are "new" because they're being offered by Stampin' Up! in a different configuration than they have the past few years. I like that we're not stuck with strips of rhinestones when all I (among others) wanted just some individual rhinestones to accent a card front, gift or tag. So I added some of those lovely single rhinestones to the top left of the die-cut layer, and I do like that touch!

     I do hope you've enjoyed my contributions to this month's Color Fusers Blog Hop! Here are the others who are involved in this fun monthly hop, and I hope you'll visit each blog to see what my compatriots have done with this color combo – marvelous all!

 

 


Posted on : Aug 07 2017
Posted under Challenges, Color Fuser's Blog Hop, Sizzix, Stamping |

Birthdays Happen All Year Long!

Aloha, all!

     Usually when I post a birthday card, it's because someone I know is having a birthday. Today's card is no exception. Yesterday was the birthday of a really good friend that I don't get to see often any more. And, while this post is a day late, I do think it got to Dana on time. And wouldn't you know it – the challenge for the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge this time is to make a Birthday Card (or Gift, if that's your preference). This card was a special card for Dana, so I think it's perfect for this challenge!

     Ever since I first tried my hand at using the dies from the Window Box Thinlits die set, I thought the small squares would make a good die-cut image for a card front. But this is the first time I actually tried it, and I really like the result. There are three square images in the set, so a 3 x 3 layout works beautifully, with the birthday candles showing up nicely on the top and bottom rows.

     For this card, I used the new Berry Burst Cardstock as the background for the design, and used a Daffodil Delight pattern from the Birthday Memories Designer Series Paper set. Both the ribbon and the enamel heart are in the Crushed Curry Color. My original intent was to use Berry Burst Ribbon. But when I tried the Crushed Curry 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon with the project, I was quite happy with the result. Then, when I finished, I added a Crushed Curry Enamel Shape, too, even though I did have a Daffodil Delight heart in my stash. It went nicely with the ribbon!

     Here are the products I used for this card. Be sure to check any of them out at my Stampin' Up! Store by clicking on any of the pictures. And, when you've finished ordering what you'd like, head on over to the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge blog and add one of your own projects!

 


Comments Off on Birthdays Happen All Year Long!
Posted on : Jul 31 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Old Stamps and Other Stuff!

Aloha, all

     I found myself at Bear Lake in Minnesota having some time on my hands, with no company in the cabin, and having just finished a book. What to do with myself? I had chosen not to try to travel with a kit of stamping supplies because (1) I thought I wasn't going to have much crafting time, and (2) I just didn't have enough space in my luggage to stash all the stuff I really want to have when I'm making cards or scrapbook pages.

     Now what?

     "What" happened was that I started to look through drawers in the back room of the cabin and found – ta da! – an old Stampin' Up! stamp set! The set is called "Just Buzzin' By" and has the cutest bees ever.  But to do anything with this find, I had also to find ink and paper at the least. 

     Without going into boring details of the hunt, I found the following: "Stampin' Kids Stamp Pads," some 5" X 8" lined index cards, Crayola markers, and Elmer's School Glue glue sticks. Oh, and the best find (well, second best) was an old Fiskars cutter with, wonder of wonders, a sharp blade. Shows how much paper crafting gets done at the lake!

     Anyway, off I went to make a card. The stamp pads weren't really juicy, but with a lot of tap-tap-tap, then pound-pound-pound, I got those stamps inked up. The old Stampin' Kids black stamp pad wasn't really black, but a kind of grayish dark blue. Nonetheless it created the images just fine. Once I got the images inked, I had the challenge of finding a group of colors that I could use not just to color, but also to do some shading. This was made a bit more difficult as several of the markers were definitely dry. Or the points were no longer points, to be expected as these were kids' markers. As you can see, I was able to figure something out. Watercolor it's not, but it would do just fine.

     The next trick was to be how to make this into a card. I used that trusty Fiskars cutter to cut the stamped card down to a size that was two sizes down from a full-sized folded card (1/2" vertically and horizontally). Now I needed a mat. There was not so much as a scrap of construction paper to be found! Can you guess how I made the mat? Hint: it involved a marker.

     So I had myself some crafting time and now that's out of my system for today! Tomorrow we leave the lake and start our traveling towards the west coast. I do believe. I will not find myself bored again for a while!

 


Posted on : Jul 23 2017
Posted under Challenges, Stamping |

I’m Still Enjoying my New Stampin’ Up! Products!

Aloha, all!

     I have thoroughly enjoyed showing off lots of my new Stampin' Up! products from the 2017-2018 Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog. But would you believe I haven't even touched the surface of what I've bought to make projects for you?! The problem is that so many of what I have that's new I like so much that I've been using them over and over again. Take the Climbing Orchid Stamp Set – I've made at least a dozen cards using that set. Not all of them were great successes, but enough of them have been that I'll be sharing even more with you over the next few weeks.

     But for today, I picked out a card that has several products on it that I've not yet shared with you. And the timing is perfect because the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge this time is to feature a Stampin' Up! product that's new to me. In my project there is more than one such product, and most of them are also new in the Stampin' Up! Catalog!

     I was inspired to make this card after I attended an art show earlier this month that featured Ikebana designs. Oh my, they were all so gorgeous! And, no, I am definitely not even a teensy bit educated or experienced in this art form. But I still felt as if I could use my own tools and skills to create something that in some way resembled the feeling that I got when viewing the real thing.

     The new products, that I've not shared with you here before, include the Decorative Ribbon Border Punch, which is just perfect for decorating one edge of a layer on a card. I added this to the Rich Razzleberry layer, which is the mat for the main artistic layer.

     All of the flowers and stems in the stamped picture, with one exception, are from the new Beautiful Bouquet Stamp Set. While there is a set of Framelits that coordinates with this stamp set, I chose to hand cut the leaves and larger flower as I did not want there to be any white edges around them. They were pretty easy to cut, so I can't even call it "fussy cutting." The one stem that's not in this stamp set is the thin stem holding the stamped flowers out to the right. This stem comes from another new stamp set, Tranquil Tulips. (This set is a "Hostess Stamp Set," which can only be purchased with Stampin' Rewards which one gets from placing an order of at least $150 or hosting a party with at least $150 in sales.)

     The final new product – though not new in this blog – is the short strip of the Garden Green 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon. Not new to me, but still not something that I've used a lot, is the Artistically Asian Stamp Set. As Ikebana is an Asian art form, my mind immediately went to that stamp set when I started this project. The Japanese writing at the top means, "Friendship," which goes nicely with the sentiment at the bottom of the card. The dish in which the floral arrangement sits is also not very new. It's the "boat" image in the Swirly Bird Stamp Set. Who knew it would make such a nice dish!

     I had so much fun making this card, and hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed making it. If you have a new product that you'd love to show off (and it doesn't have to be new to the new Stampin' Up! catalog), do check out the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge blog and enter a project you make with it!

     Here are the "new" products that I used in this project. You can click on any one of them to go to my personal Stampin' Up! store to learn more about a product and to buy it right there! No muss, no fuss!

 


Posted on : Jul 17 2017
Posted under Challenges, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Summer Fun – At the Beach!

Aloha, all!

     Off and on during my long life, I've had the chance to spend some of my summers at a beach – or two or three! When I was really young, those beaches were Ocean City, Maryland, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. As I and my family grew older, we found ourselves at Virginia Beach (different spots). Now, when I get to an Atlantic Ocean beach, it's always in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, somewhere near Kill Devil Hills or Kitty Hawk. It's in these latter beach areas that I really enjoy not only the beaches, but also the wonderful Lighthouses that dot the edge of North Carolina as it meets the ocean. To me, being near a lighthouse, walking on the beach, is the epitome of Summer Fun. With "Summer Fun" being the current challenge at the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge blog, out came the High Tide Stamp Set from Stampin' Up!

     Today's card features a Lighthouse, though not any particular lighthouse as far as I can tell, and certainly not a Lighthouse I've ever seen. But it nonetheless reminds me of the wonderful times I've spent in North Carolina's Outer Banks. In fact, my husband and I were married on a beach in North Carolina, not too far from several lighthouses.

     The best time to really enjoy summer fun at the beach for me is early in the morning, when I can escape the hot midday sun, and watch the little (and not so little) shore birds running up and down the water line searching for whatever it is that waterbirds search for – breakfast at that time of the day, I'm assuming. And then there are the seagulls and other flying birds floating in the sky over the water looking for their turn at breakfast.

     This card is not a card with a standard fold. It's a design called a "Center Step Card." I stamped the whole image on one piece of Whisper White Cardstock, and then cut it to fit on the center and two side sections of the card. It did this for a class I held last week that featured this stamp set, and one of the class attendees had specifically asked for a card that had some rope on it. You may recognize the "rope" as a piece cut from cardstock texturized with the Cable Knit 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.

     For the class, I prepared three cards using this stamp set. As it's apparently a pretty popular stamp set, I thought I'd share the tutorials I made for my local class with those who are on my Newsletter Mailing List. I'll be sending out my next newsletter within the next week before I go on vacation in Minnesota – no lighthouses this time, unless we take a drive out to see Split Rock Light on Lake Superior (it's been a few years, so it's on my wish list for this year for sure). Anyway, if you'd like this class, just sign up for my newsletter and you'll get it soon!

     For now, here are the products I used for today's project. But before you check them out, be sure to check out the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge blog and see if the Design Team and other entrants might give you some ideas for making AND ENTERING a card of your own for the challenge!

 


Posted on : Jul 03 2017
Posted under Challenges, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Color Fusers Blog Hop – July 2017!

Aloha, all!

     It's time for the monthly Color Fusers Blog Hop, and my brain hasn't yet wrapped itself around the combination of colors and the stamp set I chose to use. But it's here, and I do think it's growing on me!

     First the colors for the month:

 

     Now my card – then an explanation about what was going on in my head when I designed it!

 

     The day before I designed this card, I had been looking around the Internet for some ideas about how to use the new Stampin' Up! Stamp Set, So Many Shells..The only samples that I could find that used several of the shell stamps in one card had the same basic layout, including a sample card in the Stampin' Up! Catalog. But I wanted to plan a class using this set, and I just couldn't figure out what my designs were going to be in the time I'd allotted myself to come up with the class plan. So I put the So Many Shells Stamp Set away, and focused on another set that seemed more versatile.

     Then along came a reminder that it was time for this blog hop. At that point, I realized that So Many Shells was still firmly fixed in my brain as a set I wanted to work with. But with these colors? Oh, why not!

     So here you have three of the four shells in this set, cut out and accenting an oval shape – made with the Layering Oval Framelits – in which the sentiment appears. That's pretty much the one design I'd seen. But instead of using the natural colors that designers were using in their cards, I just sent with the challenge colors. One thing I played around with was using a neutral color – Smoky Slate in this case – to accent the shells. While the challenge for this hop is to limit ourselves to the prescribed colors, we are still allowed to use neutrals as accents. But, after I'd stamped the conch-style shell using Soft Sky and Smoky Slate, I wondered if having both stamps for this image was really necessary for the kind of card I was making. If you look at the Soft Sky scallop shell over to the right, you'll see a shell with just the one main image, and no second color. I'm not sure which I like better, but you have a chance to see both in this photo.

     The real kicker in this color combo with this stamp set was the Lemon Lime Twist. I originally thought I'd just make some sea grass with that color. But somehow I ended up using it as the background color for the design. I added some stamped shells, using Lemon Lime Twist ink, and, voilà, I had a background design.

     While it was a no-brainer to have Dapper Denim as a mat for the Lemon Lime Twist Layer, once I had the shells arranged, I was reminded about the dark cracked paper design in the Color Theory Designer Series Paper Stack. So out that came, and I think it's the perfect accent!

     The final touch was a bit of embellishment using the new Glitter Enamel Dots. I used two sizes of the circles and three different shades of the Dapper Denim, which is one of the colors in the set. I love that there are different shades rather than just one dark or one light shade of each of the colors.

     The more I look at this card, the more it grows on me! I may just have to try some different color combos more often! For sure I'll be doing that at least once a month with the Color Fusers group! I'll be back with another fun project on August 7th.

     Here are the blogs in this month's Color Fusers Blog Hop. Please visit them all and get some fab ideas for using this color combo!

     And when you come back here, you might check out some of the products that I used in this project. Just click on any of the pictures below to go to my Stampin' Up! shopping spot to learn more about them – and order them once you find out how much fun they can be!

 


Posted on : Jul 03 2017
Posted under Challenges, Color Fuser's Blog Hop, Sizzix, Stamping |

Patriotic Colors!

Aloha, all!

     Tomorrow is the official beginning of the season of Summer (in the Northern Hemisphere of this fair planet) and it's definitely time to be thinking of the summertime activities that the month of July brings. For us in the United States and Canada, July brings with it our celebrations of Independence Day – July 1st for Canada and July 4th for the United States. Today also brings the latest Stampin' Up! Only Challenge, with its very seasonal theme for us of Patriotic Colors. In the United States, it's Hooray for the Red, White and Blue! So those are the colors I picked for this challenge (of course!)

     I'm not by any means an expert in which Red and which Blue we're supposed to use for patriotic colors of the United States. But I have to tell you that Night of Navy, a true blue Stampin' Up! dark blue, was just too dark for me to use in this project. I wanted something a bit lighter and airier. So out came my Pacific Point. This has nothing to do with the fact that I live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Oh, wait. Maybe it does? Oh, whatever – that's the blue I picked, so there!

     I've been trying as much as possible to show off cards here that have both an image and a sentiment to feature so that those of you who like to copy what I do can just pull out one stamp set. And, if you're thinking of buying something that you could use for the project, you only have to shop for one stamp set. This time it's the set, Watercolor Words, with that fun sketched star and the "hooray" sentiment.

     After I put the Real Red Cardstock on the Whisper White Cardstock layer, I thought it needed some texture. While the Softly Falling Textured Impressions Embossing Folder was initially meant to invoke the idea of snow, I think it does an equally nice job of evoking of the idea of fireworks falling from the sky. So Softly Falling it was for the texture. After that, I definitely needed some stars, so I selected two different colors – at the top there are 3 gold stars from the Metallics Enamel Shapes set, and at the bottom 3 Real Red stars from the Brights Enamel Shapes set. After the final mat of Pacific Point Cardstock and the card base of the Whisper White Thick Cardstock were added, the card was done! Red, White and Blue it is!!


Comments Off on Patriotic Colors!
Posted on : Jun 19 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping |

My 2 Favorite New Colors!

Aloha, all!

     With 5 brand new colors being offered by Stampin' Up! in its latest catalog, I've quickly come to the realization that Berry Burst is my favorite new color. The realization was courtesy of my being down to my last sheet of the Berry Burst Cardstock! Not to worry. I have a whole pack on order. But there is a number 2 in the running for favorite, and that's Tranquil Tide. And boy do they go nicely together!

     I was looking for another stamp set (can't remember which one) to use for a challenge card. The challenge involved using new colors as well as Designer Series Paper. When my fingers flipped past the Artistically Asian Stamp Set, I stopped and went back to the set. I pulled it off of the shelf and the layout immediately came to mind.

     The most difficult part of this project was getting the floral image to stamp cleanly. I colored the image using my Stampin' Write Markers, and, as this is a rubber stamp not a photopolymer stamp, I had to continue to move my stamp around in the light to make sure that I was getting all parts of the image colored with the correct color. Applying the Berry Burst Marker was the hardest. After some practice on scrap paper, I moved over to the Color Theory Designer Series Paper I planned to use and applied the stamp being guided by my Stamp-a-ma-jig. And, yes, I did have to stamp it more than once. I have to say that all the effort was worth it!

     The next part that I had to work a bit on was using the Stitched Shapes Framelits to make both of the shapes I wanted to make a part of my layout. The square was easy as the framelits are square (or round or oval – but square for this card). To make the smaller rectangle, I first cut another square of the same size, with the sentiment towards the bottom of the die-cut square. Then I ran this through the Big Shot again, having moved the top of the framelit down so that it was just above the sentiment. I slide the framelit around a bit until it felt like the "stitch" notches fit properly into the already die-cut piece. It worked! I'd done this before, but I don't do it enough not to worry about it, especially when I'm using up Designer Series Paper pieces!

     To finish, I had to make a choice about which of the two colors I was using: which would be the cardstock background and which would be the ribbon. You can see my choice, and I think that this is just lovely. If I didn't have so many new stamp sets and other papers and colors to use right now, I might actually try this card again reversing the colors! Maybe in the future. We'll see.

     Meanwhile, you might be interested in the products that I used for this project. If so, please click on the photos below to learn more about them and even to order them in my Stampin' Up! Store – which is open 24/7/365!

 


Comments Off on My 2 Favorite New Colors!
Posted on : Jun 17 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping |

Out In the Garden With Delightful Daisies!

Aloha, all!

     With all the new Stampin' Up! Catalog excitement, I haven't forgotten that today is the day for the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge post! Believe it or not, we picked these themes for the challenges many months ago. We had no idea that Stampin' Up! was going to give us Demonstrators the opportunity to pre-order the lovely  Delightful Daisy Suite of products from the new catalog. This has just got to be THE perfect suite of products for this challenge.

     I was tempted to get out my new Daisy Punch and show off the Daisy Stamp from the Daisy Delight Stamp Set. But the punch is already on back order (can you believe that Stampin' Up! demonstrators snatched them all up?! I can because we all want to show them off to our customers so you'll buy them, too! But Stampin' Up! is taking care of that and promises the punch will be back in stock soon.

     So then I was going to use the smaller stamps in the stamp set (lovely all!) until I started looking at paper to feature in my card. There, right in the middle of a sheet of paper from the Delightful Daisy Designer Series Paper set was this lovely (am I overusing that word?) bouquet of flowers. Yes, there are some daisies in that bouquet. But there are also some fun tulips that will go beautifully with the new hostess set, Tranquil Tulips. But that's for another post.

     Let's just say that I figured I could not make a prettier bouquet than this one. So I cut it out with an oval from the Layering Ovals Framelits Set, matting it with the pattern on the other side of the same sheet, using a scalloped oval from the same Framelits set.

     I did finally use something from the Daisy Delight Stamp Set when I stamped the sentiment. I tried to curve the sentiment stamp a bit to fit into one of the banner shapes from the Banners for You Stamp Set, and almost made it just as I envisioned it. I need more practice! Then I punched the banner out using one of the dies from the Bunch of Banners Framelits set, mounted that and the oval die-cuts onto a piece of Old Olive Cardstock that I'd embossed using the Petal Burst Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.

     I tied the card front all together with a piece of the brand new Daffodil Delight 1/4" Double Stitched Ribbon. I'm so excited about all the new ribbon in the catalog this year! And I'm sure that this is going to remain one of my favorites!

     So that's it for today's project. The challenge over at SUO Challenges goes for two weeks. Maybe you'll have some new products related to your garden that you'd like to show off? If so, be sure to go over to their blog post and enter the challenge!


Posted on : Jun 05 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |