A Challenging Card to Make!

Aloha, all!

     It was a very busy week here in Robin's Craft Room.  Or maybeI should say it was busy OUTSIDE of Robin's Craft Room.  I have a volunteer job as treasurer for our local concert society and the season ticket sales were keeping me away from paper crafting.  Not good – especially when I finished up with that and looked at my craft table and couldn't figure out what I wanted to do.  I even had a box of brand new Stampin' Up! products, but none of them seemed to grab my attention.

     So I went looking for online challenges, where a group challenges us to make a card with a theme, specific group of colors, or a sketch.  I finally had a little bit of an idea after I saw my third challenge, and that was all I needed to get going.  You have to know that color challenges are not my favorite, but I had this idea so I had to run with it!


     The colors I had to use for the first challenge – Create with Connie and Mary challenge #268 – were Soft Sky, Wisteria Wonder, and Pistachio Pudding.  While those are colors that are just a bit too light for my taste, it actually felt good to get out of my comfort zone a bit.  Then I came across another challenge, from my online demonstrator group, SUDSOL, to use the brand new Stampin' Up! Sizzix Gift Bow Die, from the Holiday Catalog

     The first thing I did was to try to find pieces of Designer Series Paper (DSP) in those colors.  No luck with Soft Sky (though I could have used the DSP Patterns paper which comes in every color).  I did find a nice Pistachio Pudding print in the Venetian Romance DSP Set, and a piece of Wisteria Wonder in the Afternoon Picnic DSP Set.  The pattern in the Pistachio Pudding set mimics script writing, which gave me the idea of pulling out my Pretty Print Embossing Folder, also from the Holiday Catalog.  I settled on Crumb Cake Card Stock as my neutral color for this card, and then just needed to find some Soft Sky for an accent.  I finally found some Soft Sky 1/2" Seam Binding Ribbon, lurking unused in the back of my ribbon stash, to accent the two paper bows I'd made with the Gift Bow Die, and all I needed was to decide on my simple layering layout to end up with an almost-finished card. 

     I had been thinking about taking some time this weekend to sit and write notes to some friends, so the Thinking of You stamp from the Wetlands Stamp Set was perfect.  I used Wisteria Wonder Classic Ink for the greeting, which I stamped onto one of my scraps of the Pistachio Pudding print, punched it with the Large Oval Punch and then mounted it on a piece of the Wisteria Wonder print punched with the Scallop Oval Punch.  The card was done!  I feel as if I've broken through a mental barrier, as I'm ready to tackle some more projects.  Actually some of those other challenges I came across look like fun, and the word "fun" is my mantra while I'm in my Craft Room!

     Have some fun in your life on this late summer weekend, too!




Posted on : Sep 14 2013
Posted under Challenges, Create with Connie and Mary, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Fun with TWO Challenges!

Aloha, all!

     While I'm procrastinating on doing some chores today (chore is NOT a fun word!), I looked for some online Stamping Challenges to keep me busy.  Not only did I find one challenge that seemed like it would be especially fun, I found a second challenge for which I could use the same project as I had in mind for the first.  Two-fers are good things!

     The first challenge that got me started was from my online Stampin' Up! Demonstrator group, SUDSOL. The challenge there was to use something from the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog in a non-Holiday way.  I'm always trying to make use of seasonal stamp sets in a way that's different from their stated purpose so that I can help you (and me, of course!) justify buying a seasonal stamp set.

     Then, as I was building my challenge list for the day, I came across the Create with Connie and Mary Color Challenge for the week.  Aha!  Some fall colors that go with a set of Designer Series Papers, Sweater Weather – in the Holiday Catalog!  I was off and running…


     …to make a Birthday Card!!   The stamp set with the pile of gifts is from the Christmas Set, Wishing You, on page 23 of the Holiday Catalog.  And, of course, I jumped right on that Sweater Weather paper set to accent the Christmas set.

     All of the papers, except for the Very Vanilla Card Stock that I used for the stamped image and the card base, are from Sweater Weather.  I focused on the colors from the Create with Connie and Mary color challenge, which are Tangerine Tango, Crushed Curry, and Chocolate Chip. 

     The gifts are all in one stamp.  I stamped the whole image, using Chocolate Chip ink, onto a piece of Very Vanilla Card Stock, then cut it out using two dies from the Stampin' Up! Sizzix Framelits Set, Chalk Talk.  It's really easy using the small piece through which I ran the Baker's Twine to make the bow.  The outside edge of that little piece fits nicely right up to the inside edge of the larger framelit die.  I then stamped the image separately in Tangerine Tango, Crushed Curry and Chocolate Chip (again!), cut out the 3 "gifts," and adhered them to the main image to give the card a bit of texture.

     Now about that Baker's Twine:  There is no really small ribbon in the current Stampin' Up! lineup that features any of the colors I was using today.  So I decided to tint some White Baker's Twine with some Tangerine Tango Ink.  I did this by laying one end of the cut Baker's Twine on my Tangerine Tango Stamp Pad and then I used a Blender Pen, with which I picked up some color from the stamp pad, and colored onto the Baker's Twine that was lying there.  This way both sides of the twine were colored with the Tangerine Tango.  I ran the twine across the stamp pad in small sections until it was all colored.  If you do this, wait a while for the twine to dry, and run it through a paper towel or tissue to catch any leftover ink.

     Oh, and that "Birthday Wishes" stamp is from the annual catalog set, For You.

     So here I am with a card that meets both challenges!  Anyone can join in the Create with Connie and Mary challenge just by clicking here and adding your own project using the link at the bottom.  If you are a Stampin' Up! demonstrator and don't belong to SUDSOL, you can try this fun group out for two weeks for free! Just click here to check it out!

     It's been a while, but I thought perhaps I might try to get back into some layout sketching.  So here's my sketch for today's card.  I hope you have fun with it!


     Now off to do some more procrastinating.  Maybe those chores will just go away?



Posted on : Aug 29 2013
Posted under Challenges, Create with Connie and Mary, Layout Sketch Provided, Sizzix, Stamping |

Starting to Have Fun with Fall Colors!

Aloha, all!

     For the most part, Fall Colors in Hawaii are a bit different than Fall Colors in the more temperate climates of North America and Europe.  We do have different flowers blooming as the days get a bit (but only a bit) shorter, and it does cool down a bit.  Nonetheless, as we approach the end of August and September starts to get closer, those of us who started our lives in the "lower 48 states) or Canada begin to think of golds and reds and rusts and browns. 

Sketch     And so it was when I looked at the Create with Connie and Mary Sketch Challenge this week.  I wanted to use a large stamp to cut into the four rectangles in their sketch, which is shown at the right. As I looked through my stash of stamps (not nearly a large enough stash!!) I came across the Sunflower Stamp.  This is a large stamp that is often used as a background, but just as often used to be the center of attention on a card.  So out came my Fall colors for this traditionally autumn flower.


     To create the color for this image, I layered up some colors using a stamp pad (for the lightest color, So Saffron), an Aquapainter (for the watercolor effect on the petals, using Crushed Curry, Pumpkin Pie, and Cajun Craze), and a blender pen (for the Baked Brown Sugar and Chocolate Chip in the center of the flower).

     The Sunflower image itself is about 5" square, so I needed to crop it to make it fit into the space I'd allocated for it.  The nice thing about cropping is that I can pick and choose the parts of the image that colored up the best.  Actually, in this flower, the whole thing was colored up about the same, and it almost seemed a shame to cut part of it out.  But then it couldn't have been part of the challenge!

     After I cut the four rectangles, I matted each of them with a piece of Baked Brown Sugar that was 1/16" larger than each of the pieces on all sides.  To do this, I cut each piece 1/8" larger in width and height.  The width of my four stamped pieces was 1-1/4", with the width of the mat at 1-3/8"; the two shorter pieces were each 1-1/2" high and the mats were 1-5/8"; and the longer pieces were 3-1/4" with 3-3/8" mats.

     To add just a bit of texture interest, I added a butterfly made of a piece of Cajun Craze Cardstock punched with the Elegant Butterfly Punch and a piece of Crushed Curry punched with the Bitty Butterfly Punch.  I added some Pearls for just a little bit of bling.

     The greeting is one of the 9 different Thank You greetings from the Lots of Thanks Stamp Set.  I stamped it in Early Espresso Ink as that seemed to show up better than the Chocolate Chip for this image.  Finally, I mounted the whole card front onto a base of Baked Brown Sugar Card Stock.  A lovely card for a Fall Thank You note – if I say so myself!!

     The Create with Connie and Mary Challenge is open for entries for another five days.  And if you miss this one, there's a new challenge every Thursday – and they're always fun!



Posted on : Aug 08 2013
Posted under Challenges, Create with Connie and Mary, Stamping |

Fun With a Color Challenge!

Aloha, all!

     This week at Create with Connie and Mary, the Thursday challenge is a Color Challenge.  When I saw the colors, one of them reached out and grabbed me before I had a chance to move on with my traditional, "Oooh, I don't like color challenges."  But this was a bit different as you'll see in a few days, because it included a color with which I spent a lot of time this week, and immediately made me think of one of the Stampin' Up! stamp sets that I'd been using with it.

     The color is Bermuda Bay, and the stamp set is By the Seashore


     I just LOVE this blue!  And living so near the ocean myself, I just LOVE this stamp set!  The other colors in the Color Challenge were Smoky Slate and Basic Black.  I knew immediately what I was going to do with this, though I wasn't sure how I was going to fit the Smoky Slate in.  To give myself a bit of time to think, I started to unpack my first order from the Stampin' Up! 2013 Holiday Catalog.  As soon as I saw the Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Pretty Print, I had my design finished – at least in my head!

     Back to the seashells, I decided that I wanted to emboss the shell designs from the stamp set, but I also wanted the shells to be stamped in Bermuda Bay ink, which is not an ink with which one can easily emboss, nor does Stampin' Up! carry Bermuda Bay embossing powder.  So, carefully using my Stamp-a-ma-jig, I first stamped each shell in Bermuda Bay on Smoky Slate Card Stock, and then overstamped it with Versamark.  With the Versamark in play, I could use clear embossing powder and achieve the look I wanted! 

CloseUp     If you look closely at these shell stamp sets, you'll see that the fill lines are made up of lines that look very much like script writing – and so is the design in the Pretty Print Embossing Folder.  That's why the I wanted to use this folder for texture for this design – the stamps and the folder design are so complementary!

     For the Basic Black color, I added a layer of one of the Basic Black designs in the Neutrals Collection Designer Series Paper Stacks.  Finally, for my greeting I added one of the stamps from the Lots of Thanks Stamp Set.  While that's not in the Holiday Catalog, I included it in my latest order from Stampin' Up!, so it was right in front of me, too!

     The embellishment accent for this card is a Bermuda Bay Candy Dot on one of the Candy Dot Brad Bases.  I actually considered adding some ribbon – the Basic Black Chevron Ribbon would have been a cool accent for the Paper Stack pattern.  But the card would have been much too busy for that.  And, after the other card I'd just made, I definitely didn't want busy!  You'll see what I'm talking about in a couple of days! 



Posted on : Aug 02 2013
Posted under Challenges, Create with Connie and Mary, Sizzix, Stamping |

My Cup of Tea!

Aloha, all!

     Am I ever glad to have a project to share with you today.  Actually, it's already "tonight" on the U. S. East Coast!  But here in Hawaii it's just the middle of the afternoon.  And I had every intention of posting this project earlier, but my computer had other plans for me.  The good news is that I know my way around those electronic critters and am quite familiar with how to beat them at their own games.  Note that I'm writing this on a computer, and so far it hasn't just deleted my blog post!

     But I'm all relaxed now and enjoying my paper crafting!


     This is a Sketch Challenge from Create with Connie and Mary, and you know how much I like Sketch Challenges!  I have three more such challenges on my craft table, and hope to get to them before too long.  For today's challenge, I chose the Stampin' Up! Stamp Set, Tea Party.  It's new in the 2013-2014 Stampin' Up! Catalog, and I'm really enjoying using it.  In fact, you'll see another stamp from the set in tomorrow's blog post.

     The colors that I used for this card are Soft Suede, Pool Party, Bermuda Bay and Early Espresso.  I used the Early Espresso on the tag because I thought it showed up just a bit better than the Soft Suede.  The background paper is a Soft Suede piece from the the Neutrals Collection Designer Series Paper (DSP) Stack.  There are four designs in these stacks, in all of the Core Color and In Color groups of colors.  I thought that Bermuda Bay Card Stock would be a nice accent piece for the Soft Suede, but also thought that it needed some texture.  As I was looking at the Designer Series Paper, I realized that this design is very close to the design in the Fancy Fan Embossing Folder.  So out that folder came, and I think it goes very nicely with the DSP!

     The sketch for the challenge showed an oval element and two tags crossing along the bottom of the design.  One of the reasons I chose the Tea Party Stamp Set was because it had some oval shaped stamps.  The oval with the tea party design fit best as I could punch it with the Extra-Large Oval Punch.  For the tags, I used some Pool Party Seam Binding Ribbon to accent the Pool Party Card Stock card base.  I tried several colors for the stamped tag, and ended up with another Pool Party element in the card.  For this, I just colored in the sentiment from another of the stamps in the Tea Party Stamp Set, using my Early Espresso Stampin' Write Marker.  I hand notched the tag and adhered it, as I had the oval element, using Stampin' Dimensionals.

     A fun card and I know just the person who's going to be on the receiving end of it!  That's where I have the most fun – writing notes in my own hand-made cards and sending them to friends and relatives.  I hope you get to use your own card projects that way, too!


Posted on : Jul 01 2013
Posted under Challenges, Create with Connie and Mary, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Venetian Romance Designer Paper – Fun Designs and Colors!

Aloha, all!

     This week I am beginning to open up all those packs of Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper (DSP) that I bought with my first order from the 2013-2014 Stampin' Up! Catalog.  There are so many new products in this catalog, that I haven't paid one lick of attention to the DSPs.  Until this week!

     The first set of paper I opened is called Venetian Romance.  I spent more time that I should have (well, maybe not) examining the fresh new patterns in this paper set.  The swirls and splashes are definitely going to be fun to use.  But I chose two traditional designs for today's greeting card.  This card, by the way, has a layout inspired by this week's Create With Connie and Mary Sketch Challenge.


     The first thing that I do when I open a new pack of DSP is to turn one sheet of each pattern over so I end up with 12 sheets of DSP that show 12 different patterns in front of me.  This has its down side when I end up choosing the patterns that are on opposite sides of the same sheet of paper.  I ended up cutting two sheets instead of just one.  But as this is such a small card (4-1/4" square) there are still some large-ish pieces of both sheets left for other projects.

     When I first cut the darker patterned side, I didn't pay attention to the design.  After I started to put the card together, I realized that I could make the background more symmetrical by being a bit more careful with my cutting.  So off I went to cut yet another piece.  I like how the left and right designs frame my central image!

     And I'm not limiting myself to just brand new DSP this week!  I'm also going to get into some of the brand new stamp sets that I've not used yet.  Today that "set" is the single stamp, Five-Way Flower. It didn't take me too long to figure out how I was going to do the layers using both this stamp and the four punches that work with it – the 2-3/8, 1-3/4, 1-1/4 and 7/8" Scallop Circle Punches.  Hmmm.  That would be ALL the scallop circle punches!  I stamped the image for the 2-3/8" (Tangerine Tango) and 7/8" (Island Indigo) punches, and used the 1-3/4 and 1-1/4" punches to punch coordinating Card Stock – Pistachio Pudding  and Crisp Cantaloupe, respectively. 

     And I finally used the Brad Bases for one of the new Candy Dots (Tangerine Tango) to hold all those layers together.  One great thing about the new Candy Dots is that they're in EVERY one of the core colors in the Stampin' Up! catalog.  No more having to make do with a Pumpkin Pie Brad when I really want a Tangerine Tango Brad!

     I used the new Hostess Stamp Set, Express Yourself, to stamp the sentiment using Island Indigo Classic Ink on the Pistachio Pudding DSP layer.

     Finally, I tied my project together with some Very Vanilla Seam Binding Ribbon.  Pretty card, don't you thinik!!?  And it's so  much fun getting the new products out!  I hope you have some brand new Stampin' Up! products to use.  Don't forget that you can always order some through my personal Stampin' Up! store by clicking right here!


     A big thanks to all of you who commented on my 5th Blogaversary post this past weekend!  The blog Candy Winner was Kathy Clark, and I'll be communicating with her by e-mail to get her CDs off in the mail this week.



Posted on : Jun 24 2013
Posted under Announcement, Challenges, Create with Connie and Mary, Punches, Stamping |

A Fun Celebration!

Aloha, all!

     Here I am participating in another challenge – this time one of the weekly Create with Connie and Mary Challenges.  Of course if you spend any time here on my blog, you have to know that I'm a big fan of Connie Babbert and Mary Brown.  They are both so very talented and energetic and I definitely pay attention when they post their projects on the internet.

     This week's challenge is another sketch challenge.  But this time I went for the stamps first, and not the colors.  We're already in March, and my daughter's birthday is in March and I have just been dying to make a card with the stamp set, Happy Hour, for her birthday!   Carrie is forever making jokes about her kids driving her to drink and Happy Hour seemed to be the perfect fun set for the occasion. 

     Once I decided on the stamp set, it was going to be easy to decide on the colors.  With this fun set, you just have to have fun colors.  So I selected Tangerine Tango, Lucky Limeade, Tempting Turquoise, and Melon Mambo.   I have to tell you that I did NOT stress over this project at all.  I just decided to have fun and I just started stamping, cutting and punching away.  I just love the way that this ended up. 

     The Designer Series Paper is part of the Summer Smooches set of papers, and the ribbon is the Tangerine Tango in the Sycamore Street Ribbon and Button Pack from this year's Sale-A-Bration catalog. 

     This really is a fun challenge this week, and I hope you'll try to participate in it.  All you have to do is create a card, post a photo of the card on the internet, and then follow the instructions for challenge on the Create with Connie and Mary blog!  I hope I see one of your projects there!

Posted on : Mar 03 2013
Posted under Challenges, Create with Connie and Mary, Stamping |

Fun With a Spring Kit!

Aloha, all!

     Ah, the final weekend for the Spring 2013 Edition of Create with Connie and Mary (which is not to say it's over – the whole edition is still available for EVERYone who wishes to subscribe!).

     But the projects have now all been shared and all of us on the design team have completed our final challenge projects!  This week, the challenge is a horizontal sketch challenge, and I was just itching for a chance to use the Pop-Up Posies Designer Kit for it!  I've been waiting for this sketch to make this ever since I saw it back over a month ago.

     Then – In between the time that I decided that I wanted to use the Pop-Up Posies Designer Kit for this design and now, something else came our way in Stampin' Up! land – the Sent With Love Stamp Designer Series Paper!  Wouldn't you know that one of the Pop-Up Posies colors was Calypso Coral AND one of the colors in the Sent with Love Papers was ALSO Calypso Coral!  What fun it was putting those two sets of products together! 

     Oh, and did I mention that Island Indigo was also one of the colors in the Designer Series Papers?  When I first saw the Designer Series Paper set, I had this idea that I would feature Calypso Coral throughout the project – I really do like monochromatic designs on occasion!  But then I noticed that Island Indigo Ruffled Ribbon right next to the Calypso Coral Ribbon on my work table, and there went my monochromatic idea out the window.  The Indigo and Coral colors are SOO much fun together!

     The good news for me in all of this is that I'm really finally feeling that I'm almost back to my old creative self!  I really feel as if I'm having fun with my paper crafting and not having to force myself to keep going "Just because I always have."   So you'll be seeing more of me around in the weeks to come!

Posted on : Feb 22 2013
Posted under Challenges, Create with Connie and Mary, Stamping |

Swingfold Variation!

Aloha, all!

     As it happens so often, the first time I see a stamp set or sizzix die, I instantly have an idea of something that I want to do with it.  And so it was the first time I saw the fun dresses that are part of the All Dressed Up Bundle in the Stampin' Up! 2013 Spring Catalog.  I immediately thought of the Swingfold that I'd made a year or so ago.  The idea is that there's a two-sided piece in the middle of the card that shows one side when the card is closed and the other when the card is opened to the inside.  I had the idea that the front of the piece for my card would show the front of a cut-out dress and the inside/back would show, well, the back of the dress!

     So here we are with the fourth Saturday of the Create With Connie and Mary 2013 Spring Edition and a color challenge – AND an opportunity for me to try out my Swingfold Card idea!

     This is the front of the card. opened out a bit so that it will stand up.  I've cut a piece of Daffodil Delight paper from the Parker's Patterns Designer Series Paper from the Spring Catalog, using one of the shapes from the Dress Up Framelits Dies.  I added some pearls at the neckline, and a sash of Not Quite Navy 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon with a small flower punched from the Boho Blossoms Punch, and a pearl accent.

     Did I mention that this was a color challenge?  I've mentioned two of the colors – Daffodil Delight and Not Quite Navy.  The other two for this challenge are Crumbcake (formerly called "Kraft") and Marina Mist.  I stamped two of the floral designs from the Madison Avenue Stamp Set from the Sale-a-bration Catalog (you can get this stamp set FOR FREE with just a $50 purchase of Stampin' Up! products during the sale!), and added the punched flower with the pearl where I stamped most of the larger floral shapes.

     This is the inside of the card, and the back of the piece that's the "swing" fold.  To make this look more like the back of a dress, I needed to make the neckline higher.  To do that, I only ran the framelit and its paper through to the bottom of the sleeves before backing it out of the Sizzix Big Shot.  Then I traced the top part of the original dress, extending a line across the shoulders, and cut that out by hand.  It only took a minute.  To accent the back, I extended the idea of the sash, tying it in a bow at the back of the dress. 

     I do have a short set of instructions for cutting and scoring the basic Swing Fold Card here.  If you have any questions or comments, please let me know!

     And don't forget that it's definitely not too late to sign up for the Create with Connie and Mary 2013 Spring Edition.  After all, the Spring Catalog runs through the end of May – and that's several months away!  You'll have lots of time to use all the fun ideas that the Design Team has been showing off – you won't miss a thing! 

Posted on : Feb 15 2013
Posted under Challenges, Create with Connie and Mary, Sizzix, Stamping, Tutorial |

A Valentine Treat!

Aloha, all!

     Once again it's Saturday and time for the Create with Connie and Mary Spring Edition weekly challenge.  This week, our challenge is to make and show off a treat holder.  What fun!  It so happens that I made a bunch of these treat holders for Christmas Party favors, so I had one ready made.  Not only that, right now I'm feeling well enough to write a short tutorial on how to make them!

     This is what the inside of the treat holder looks like, with two Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares slipped into the slots formed by a piece of the Sunshine and Sprinkles Designer Series Paper from the Stampin' Up! 2013 Spring Catalog.

     Also from the 2013 Spring Catalog are the Heart Clip from the Elements Cute Clips, the Happy Valentine's Day Ticket stamp from the That's the Ticket Stamp Set, and the lovely Melon Mambo 3/8" Striped Organdy Ribbon.  Oh, and the heart "punched" in the middle of the paper on the front (also the back, though not shown) is the small heart from the Hearts a Flutter Framelits Set!

     If you'd like to try this VERY simple project, just click here for a FREE copy of the tutorial for making it! 

     I hope you have fun with it! 

     Oh, and it's definitely NOT too late to sign up for the Create with Connie and Mary 2013 Spring Edition – don't forget the catalog will be around until the end of May – and the projects in the Spring Edition are fantastic!

Posted on : Feb 08 2013
Posted under 3D Projects, Challenges, Create with Connie and Mary, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping, Tutorial |