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!!


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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!

 


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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 |

Color Fusers Blog Hop: June 2017

Aloha, all!

     The Color Fusers Blog Hop has been on a bit of a vacation the past few months. But now the group is up and running again, with many new as well as returning members. I'm so glad to see all the fun projects using this month's color challenge:

     I've been having so much fun practicing with my watercoloring this past month that I just latched onto those middle three colors and went with a Watercolor Words Stamp Set card.

     The reason that those colors really appealed to me is that all three of them are in the Stampin' Up! Watercolor Pencils set! So I stamped away with the outline flowers and leaves in the stamp set and then colored them all in with the watercolor pencils. After they were colored in with the pencils, I lightly brushed them all with a watercolor brush with just the teensiest bit of water on it. This worked perfectly with the Whisper White Cardstock that I used for the stamped layer.

     I picked the sentiment for this as I have a card I want to send to a friend this week, and it's a "just because I feel like writing" card. So "Just for You" seemed to fit that bill.

     As I've been working on some designs for a new tutorial booklet this past week or so, I came across a card layout I made 5 or 6 years ago, and I'd used four layers for a sentiment section to bring out two of the featured colors. So I did that with this card, too, especially as this is a color challenge type of blog hop.

     The ribbon is brand new in the Stampin' Up! 2017-2018 Annual Catalog. It's a new 3/8" Mini Chevron Ribbon, and the color is, for sure with this challenge, Bermuda Bay.

     And, no, you will not find Basic Gray in this card, althought I considered making little gray dots all over the background using a small dot from another stamp set. But, as I was making this card, I had my work table pretty much cleaned up awaiting my imminent Stampin' Up! New Catalog Product delivery. Once I get more than one stamp set out, neatness quickly deteriorates into messy. Not happenin' right now!

Here are links to the other stampers in our blog hop. All their work is terrific and I'm sure you'll enjoy the whole hop! Be sure to come back here later in the week so see what I've got to show off from the new catalog!

Paola Phillips
Jo Anne Hewins
Melissa Kerman
Robin Messenheimer – You're Here!
Pat Ertman
Debbie Henderson
Cindee Wilkinson
Sarah Wills
Barb Mullikin
Tammy Civello

 


Posted on : Jun 05 2017
Posted under Challenges, Color Fuser's Blog Hop, Stamping, Watercoloring |

An Early Birthday Card for My Husband!

Aloha, all!

     At the end of next week, my husband will celebrate his 75th birthday. That's a big one as far as I'm concerned. Actually, at our age, every birthday is a big one! But from now on, any that ends in a 5 or a 0 will get extra special treatment. Extra special in the case of Harry's birthday card is one that's made with the popular Pop Up Twist design. (OK – everyone I know calls is the "Twist Pop Up" card. But I just like the way it rolls off my tongue when I say, "Pop Up Twist."

     This is also the day that the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge group starts its next challenge, which is to make a Masculine style card. No frou-frou or flowers this time! But that doesn't mean that it can't be a really nice card, and I think that this one is!

     As with most of my recent cards, I made today's project using a retiring set of Designer Series Paper. Yep, just one retiring product – the Floral Boutique Designer Series Paper. And wouldn't you know that it's already beyond retired – it's gone! Don't forget – even though it might still be on a page in your catalog, if it's retiring, it could run out soon! So don't hesitate to order something you might really like! Order at my Stampin' Up! Online Store!

     To decorate the front of the card, I used the Balloon Celebration Stamp Set to stamp the "strings" and three solid balloon in the background. Then I punched balloons from the Designer Series Paper using the Balloon Bouquet Punch. I adhered two of them using SNAIL adhesive and two using Stampin' Dimensionals to pop them up a bit.

     For the inside of the card, after I'd adhered two sheets of paper to the top and bottom, I stamped the "Look Who's Turning" and "Happy Birthday" using stamps from the Number of Years Stamp Set. For the Pop Up section, I stamped two more balloons – this time just the outlines – on the two center sections. Then I die cut the 7 and 5 using the Designer Series Paper and the Large Number Framelits die set. I cut the two hearts using the heart shape in the Sunshine Wishes Thinlits set. That's all I put on this as you really need to keep the layers in the folded section a bit on the flat side so that the card will close cleanly.

     I debated adding some embellishments onto the front of the card. But my final decision was not to as I think this card has enough interest with its Pop Up feature. And those balloons on the front are in three different layers, and that seems to add a bit of interest.

     I hope that you like this idea for a masculine card and will try either this or some other design to enter into the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge this time. It runs through June 3rd, and that's actually my husband's birthday. We're going on a short vacation to celebrate, and I know he'll love this card. If you'd like to try out this Pop Up Twist technique, I highly recommend the Split Coast Stampers website. The video there was definitely helpful!

     Here are the products I used for this project. All of these products are in the current Stampin' Up! Catalogs AND will be in the upcoming 2017-2018 Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog!

    


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Posted on : May 22 2017
Posted under Challenges, Family and Garden, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Fun With Watercolor Pencils!

Aloha, all!

     I have just never been good with Watercolor Pencils. I've been through several iterations of Stampin' Up! Watercolor Pencils. I still have a set from years ago, along with the current set. Then this month's Paper Pumpkin set came along and I'd promised one of my downline that I'd put the kit together with her and her kit. So I had to just do it! The best thing ever was Sara Douglas' Paper Pumpkin video for the April set (which she designed). I didn't do too badly with that set, so I decided I'd better keep doing this so that I can finally get to be at least an intermediate watercolorist. Today I was kind of forced into doing this because it's time for another Stampin' Up! Only Challenge. And the challenge is Watercoloring!

     My first intent was to make this simple – just a few colors and not too complicated a design. The water lily stamp from the Remarkable You Stamp Set seemed to be just simple enough. It allowed me to use two colors (Rich Razzleberry and Melon Mambo). I was just going to stamp it on Watercolor Paper, but then decided it needed something else. Well, heck, it's a water lily, so why not some water?! So out came the Pacific Point and Bermuda Bay watercolor pencils, too.

     After that, I assembled the card with the sentiment stamped in Bermuda Bay Ink on a piece of Very Vanilla Cardstock that I punced using the Banner Triple Punch, tied it with some Bermuda Bay Thick Baker's Twine, and adhered to the card using Stampin' Dimensionals.

     The key part of the watercoloring that I've been paying attention to is how much water is on my brush. I had been using an Aqua Painter in all my watercoloring efforts. But with the Watercolor Pencils, I just don't need as much water as I thought I needed. My basic watercolor training back in the day used tubes of paint, and I knew how to use the paint out of the tube to do my dry brush painting. I don't think I can do dry brush painting using Aqua Painters. So I'm back to using a brush (thank you, Paper Pumpkin kit!), and I have a nice selection for just about any project I might try. Oh, and for the watercolor pencils, i squeeze most of the water out of the brush. Who knew!?

     I hope you have fun with your own watercoloring! Why not try a project over the next two weeks and join our challenge? You don't have to use the Watercolor Pencils – just get a bit of ink from your favorite stamp set and start watercoloring away!

     Here is the one product I featured today that is retiring this month:

     And here are the other products I featured, all of which are current and will continue in the new Stampin' Up! 2017-2018 Annual Catalog:

 


Posted on : May 08 2017
Posted under Challenges, Paper Pumpkin, Stamping, SUO Challenges |