Happy New Year to a Special Group of People!

Aloha, all!

     Beginning in 2013, I had several years of being sick on and off pretty much all of the time. Because of that, I had to have frequent lab work done. The ladies (and the occasional gentleman) in the lab and I developed a friendship born of the need to make what could have been a difficult time a bit more enjoyable. Of course, I made them little gifts and cards when occasions came up – it's what I do, after all! They have a large refrigerator in the lab and every year they displayed my Christmas or Thank You or New Year's card on the front of it.

     At the beginning of 2017, I'm now in good health, and it's been a while since I've had to go to the clinic. But yesterday I had to go there for a regular physical, which gave me the opportunity finally to take my friends in the lab a New Year's card. When I walked into the lab, there on the refrigerator was the 2016 card, still in a place of honor. I almost cried. They explained that they knew I'd bring them a new card, and they thought my 2016 card was so beautiful that they didn't want to take it down until they had a suitable replacement. Now they have it.

     All sorts of thoughts went through my mind when I was trying to decide what kinds of papers and layout I should use for this card. Most of what's out on my work table right now is birthday-related, and that just wasn't appropriate. When I opened up my paper box, Valentines papers were at the top and I nearly dismissed them as inappropriate also. But, no! Anything with a heart is TOTALLY the right thing to use for a group of people who deal with blood all day. My heart's pumping the stuff just fine these days, so why not highlight that!

     The first thing I did was to decide that the card would have a top-folded 5-1/2" high by 4-1/4" wide card base. The main reason is that last year's card had a landscape orientation with 2016 across the card. I really wanted something with a different layout, but wanted to have the year's numbers on the front. Once I had that settled, I grabbed the heart border framelit from the Love Notes Framelits Dies and used it to cut the right front of the card. Then I trimmed the back of the card so that the hearts stood out from the whole card, not just from the front.

     I cut the Large Numbers Framelits 2017 out of a piece of paper from the Sending Love Designer Series Paper Stack and then mounted that onto a piece of Whisper White Cardstock. Both of these pieces are narrower than usual because the heart framelit trimmed the size of the card front down a bit.

     Once I had this all put together, I needed a place to put the Happy New Year. My first thought was to put it on the inside of the card with my note. But then I realized that those little hearts gave me a perfect place to tie a tag! Out came the Classic Label Punch and a piece of Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine, and I tied the greeting onto the right side of the card. Nice! One little side note about the hole I punched into the end of the Label-Punched piece: While the 1/8" Handheld Circle Punch is available, I find that I get a much nicer hole for a project like this by using the smallest holes in the Owl Builder Punch. There's no wasted paper because those little holes are right at the edge of the punch, so I just slip the punched label in and I've got my nice hole for the Baker's Twine!

     Now I've got those pretty letters that I punched out of the Designer Series Paper! I'll be making another New Year's Card today for sure!

    


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Posted on : Jan 13 2017
Posted under Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Love the New Succulent Garden Designer Series Paper!

Aloha, all!

     On Tuesday, I shared a project using a Mint Macaron sheet from the new Succulent Garden Designer Series Paper set. Once I had that paper out, it was hard for me to put it away!

     So here is a project with a whole card front made out of the paper, with a mat of the solid Mint Macaron Cardstock. Love it! I may have to buy a new pack of paper just to stock up on this design.

     If you're a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, you may recognize the layout of this card. We demonstrators get a bi-monthly magazine with ideas from Stampin' Up!, and this basic layout was in an article in the current edition, though the focus there was on watercolor. I'm not working with watercolor right now (soon – but I've got other stuff I want to do first!), so I read right past that project. It was one of my downline who came over to play with new stuff who suggested the layout. Fun!

     You can see certainly see how easy this layout is. Just pick a piece of paper (3-3/4" x 5"); a coordinating piece of cardstock (4" x 5-1/4") and some complementary cardstock (5-1/2" x 8-1/2", folded to make a card base). Then pick a sentiment (any sentiment, any stamp set), a coordinating piece of ribbon (8" or so, folded or cut in half and trimmed at an angle on each end), and a bit of Baker's Twine or Cord for the greeting element. And you're done! (The gold cord I used is a Stampin' Up! product, but no longer current.)

     I promise tomorrow's project for this first week of the New Year will  NOT have this paper in it – though I dare say you'll see it again before too very long.

 


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Posted on : Jan 05 2017
Posted under CASEing Projects, Punches, Stamping |

Color Fusers Blog Hop – January 2017!

Aloha, all!

     And welcome to the very first Color Fusers Blog Hop for 2017! This month we have four colors from which we had to choose at least 3 for creating our project. I really wanted to use all 4, but, with all the holiday busy-ness going on, I didn't have much crafting time, and so just settled for 3.

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     The colors I picked for my project were Tangerine Tango, Crushed Curry, and Very Vanilla. You may recognize the Stylish Stems Framelits Dies from yesterday's project. If I didn't think you'd like it better if I showed off lots of different products in these blog posts, you might just end up seeing this Framelits set all week for the whole month of January! But I won't do that – I'll branch out a bit. That's not a problem at all with all of the fabulous products in the upcoming Stampin' Up! 2017 Occasions and Sale-a-bration Catalogs!

     The framelits set not only has the dies that cut negative shapes into cardstock, it also has the outlines for those negative image dies. I promise I will show some of that over the next 5 months of the Occasions Catalog. But I also used the outline dies for the cardstock that I put behind the negative images to "color them in." That saved me a bunch of the Tangerine Tango Cardstock that's the main color behind the two flowers. To bring in the Crushed Curry color, I punched some Crushed Curry Cardstock using the Blossom Punch and adhered those punched flowers behind the die-cut flowers using Tombow Multipurpose Liquid Glue. That was easier that trying to figure out exactly where to place them by adhering them to the larger Tangerine Tango die-cut outline images, which I adhered behind the flowers simply by using standard transparent tape.

     I actually thought about just layering the Very Vanilla top layer over a layer of Tangerine Tango Cardstock. But I really wanted to emphasize the Crushed Curry color a bit more, so made that the layer that mats the top layer. It's really going to be fun seeing what I can do with this set of framelits!

     Finally, I added a bow using the Very Vanilla 1/4" Satin Ribbon that will be in the Occasions Catalog, and stamped the sentiment from the already-current Greatest Greeting Stamp Set.

     Fun project! As I said yesterday, I'll post Wednesday with the products for the projects for yesterday, today and tomorrow, when you'll be able to order all the new "stuff" I'm using now. I'm sure you'll love it all!

     And now I hope you'll continue on this blog hop by checking out Pat Ertman's project which features other new Occasions Catalog products – that I'll be buying this month for sure!  Here are those Stampin' Up! demonstrators who are participating in this month's hop:

Patty Bennett

Paola Phillips

Jo Anne Hewins

Melissa Kerman

• Robin Messenheimer – You're Here!

Pat Ertman

Debbie Henderson

 

 


Posted on : Jan 02 2017
Posted under Challenges, Color Fuser's Blog Hop, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Last Minute Christmas Favors!

Aloha, all!

     This is the time of the year when everything seems like it's last minute! I've been making Christmas and other Holiday Greeting Cards since the summer, and I've even made a few gifts to give to local friends. But wouldn't you know that I got the bright idea to make favors for those who will be coming to our Duplicate Bridge game on Sunday! Yes, my husband, who is the director of the Hilo Bridge Club, asked if anyone wanted to play bridge on Christmas Day as it's one of the days when we have a regular game. Sure enough, we have 14 people (he and I included) so will have a 3-1/2 table bridge game on Christmas Day. I couldn't go without something festive to put on the tables!

group

     With so much else going on this weekend, I had to do this quickly – and I didn't have much time to get too creative! The good news was that I had two bags of Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares in the house, so little chocolate square holders would be the thing. I found some unused Presents and Pinecones Designer Series Paper in my stash, and, not wanting to take the time to use my Big Shot, I pulled out a couple of punches to decorate the outsides – one old, one new. The Medium Star Punch is in the current Stampin' Up! catalog, but the Tree Punch is retired. There are some punches that I just cannot bear to give up, and the Tree Punch, as well as the retired Word Window Punch, are two of them. I like punches for projects like this because everything goes so much faster!

inside

     The inside of the holder is really quick and easy, too. Under normal circumstances I'd have done a bit more decorating, both inside and out. But this will do just fine! See how nicely the Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares fit in the pockets?!

     As I'm in a bit of a hurry (last minute Christmas gifts, too!!!), I'll not go into too much more detail. BUT I'll include a tutorial for making this in my next Newsletter, right after the first of the New Year. And, no, it won't be using Christmas papers! It will be for Valentine's Day. It's a FREE TUTORIAL, but you have to be on my newsletter mailing list to get it! Sign up form is up on the left at the top of the page!

     Happy Holidays everyone!

    

 


Posted on : Dec 23 2016
Posted under 3D Projects, Announcement, Punches, Stamping |

Quick Christmas Cards – Part 2

Aloha, all!

     When Stampin' Up! first introduced it's newest product, the Stitched Shaped Framelits, it also had a stamp sale and created some cards to highlight both product lines. Today's card is a quick CASE (Copy And Share with Everyone) of one of those cards.

happyheart

     As I said in yesterday's post, today's card uses the same Designer Series Paper and stamp as yesterday's: Warmth and Cheer DSP, and Suite Seasons Stamp Set. It also uses one of the Stitched Shapes Framelits which are on back order until next month. But as with yesterday's card, there are other products that will help you make an equally quick card.

     For today's card, I used my favorite non-Stampin' Up! product in my craft room –  and the MISTI stamp aligned. With this tool I easily stamped the image using different colors. Oh, I know that I could have just used my Stampin' Write markers to color each word differently. And I did!!! And I recolored and restamped and there's not a single misstamped spot!

     I used the Sweetheart Punch to cut the papers, which made it a lot quicker than using even more Framelits than the Layered Oval Framelits I used for the stamped image.

     This card seemed to me to need a bit more texture than the punched and stamped images gave it. So I used the ?Softly Falling Textured Impressions Embossing Folder for the background. Finally I tied the whole thing together with some Cherry Cobbler ribbon from the Silky Taffeta Combo Pack of ribbon in the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog.

     I hope I've given you some ideas for some quick Cards for this last weekend before Christmas. There's still plenty of time to get them all in the mail! Next week I'll share the last of this year's cards, of the quick and easy variety for the REALLY last-minute mailing!


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Posted on : Dec 16 2016
Posted under Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

In the Midst of the Holidays – A Wedding Card!

Aloha, all!

     Just before we left on vacation, a friend called to say she needed a wedding card. Not only that, she needed it that afternoon! So I brushed all my Christmas card supplies to the side of my work table, and got out my current favorite stamp set and thinlit combo to make the card!

weddingcard

     

     I first cut the heart using the Bloomin' Hearts Thinlits Die set, using Very Vanilla Cardstock. Then I went looking for Designer Series Paper – and immediately spied the brand new, not yet for sale, Falling In Love DSP that had just arrived in my craft room. It didn't take long for me to pick out the Sweet Sugarplum color from that set to use as my main color. 

     To give the card some texture, I chose the Happy Heart Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. After I put these layers all together, I decided to stamp the flowers using Sweet Sugarplum ink. I decided to stamp the outline flowers only, then I used a Blender Pen to color them in with more Sweet Sugarplum ink. Lovely!

     For the sentiment, I used the Teeny Tiny Wishes Stamp Set, stamped in Sugarplum and punched with the classic Label Punch. I adhered it to the point of the heart with mini Glue Dots, then added a bow that I made with the also brand new, Very Vanilla 1/4" Satin Ribbon. You're going to love this ribbon!

     So that's my newest wedding card! Here are the products I used, though the paper and ribbon won't be available until January. Well worth the wait! Oh, and after I took this photo, I realized that those little flowers definitely needed some Pearls! So I added them just before my friend arrived and whisked the card away – no photo!

     A fun side note is that, for the first time, I managed to write a whole blog post using just my Mini iPad. Not the easiest, but doable!

 


Posted on : Dec 13 2016
Posted under Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Birthdays Even Happen at Holiday Time!

Aloha, all!

     I have a BFF who has a birthday at Thanksgiving time. Yup, it happens every year. No matter when Thanksgiving is, her birthday is within no more than a few days of it. With all my Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff out on my craft room table, I always really make an effort to make a card with her favorite color (blue) and with NO Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any other holiday products.

janetbirthday

     OK, I have to admit to having added some Mint Macaron ribbon from a the 3/8" Ribbon Trio Pack from the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog. But other than that, this card is mainly made up of images from the Birthday Blossoms Stamp Set. The flower, the leaves and the sentiment are all from that stamp set. And what a pretty design they make, especially with the flowers backed by the fab new Stitched Shapes Framelits circles. (Remember that, as of this writing, these framelits are not orderable. But that's just to give Stampin' Up! time to get the stock replenished. If you use the number below to try to order them right now, you'll get a pop-up box in which you can enter your e-mail address to be notified when they arrive back in stock. There is no purchase requirements – you just get notified. But I'm sure you'll want these when they're available!)

     The main colors in this card are Pacific Point, Mint Macaron, and, of course, some Whisper White.  There's also a bit of Peekaboo Peach in the center of each of the flowers. To accent that Peach center, I added a Pearl Basic Jewel to the center of each. White a nice elegant touch for this somewhat fancy card!

     This project is the second in the last week that prompted me to drag out my heat embossing tool, this time using it with White Stampin' Emboss Powder. It's been ages since I've done any heat embossing and now twice in one week. Well, the heat tool is out and about again, so I daresay you may be seeing more as December comes in!

     Oh, and about those cut-out shapes! While I hand-cut (or "fussy cut" as stampers call it) the leaves, there is a punch that punches out those flowers, called the Pansy Punch. While these flowers may have a pansy shape, they're certainly not pansies, at least in the parts of the world where I've lived in my life! But whatever they are, they're blue, and perfect for my friend! Happy Birthday, Janet!

 


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Posted on : Nov 26 2016
Posted under Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

And Finally – Happy Halloween!

Aloha, all!

     Whew, I made it with all my Halloween Cards this year! This was not the last of the cards that I made. But I thought I'd share it with you today as it would also made a fun Thanksgiving, or just a fall-themed, card!

halloweencard3

     I had a lot of fun making this card. In fact, this little scarecrow was the ONLY reason I bought the stamp set, Cookie Cutter Halloween. The little crow is cute, too, and I might even add him to a few fall-themed cards during November. The the rest of the stamps in the set are lying there unused. I may hold onto them until next year. We'll see.

copics     The best thing about Mr. Scarecrow is that he's so much fun to color. With the bits of shading throughout, I'm sure you must recognize that I used alcohol markers to color him. They are just the best, and I do hope that Stampin' Up! is able to find some to include in its catalog again some year. But for now, I'm using my slowly-growing collection of Copic Markers, including these that I used for this little guy. Oh, and I punched him out using the Holiday Catalog's Cookie Cutter Builder Punch!

     I'm sure you recognize the paper I used for the top background layer. It's one of the sheets from the Halloween Night Specialty Designer Series Paper set. As there is not actually a Halloween design on this sheet – or on several of the other sheets, I'll be using this paper for projects up to and including Thanksgiving. So it won't go to waste for sure!

     I accented the Pumpkin Pie color of the paper with Dapper Denim Cardstock. I think it really adds a country touch to the overall look of the card. And I also made good use of the Layering Ovals Framelits Set, counting 4 different sizes in this card. Oooooh, wait until tomorrow when I get to show off pictures of Stampin' Up!'s newest product line. Woo-hoo, my order will be in as early as possible!

     So that's it for Halloween 2016! Have great fun if you're going out Trick-or-Treating with the kiddos, or just waiting for them to knock at your door. We don't get to do either as we live in a rural area where the houses are far apart as well as down long driveways from the main street. Besides that, there are only two children in the whole neighborhood! Sniff. I miss Trick or Treat (well, the treat part of it).

 

 


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Posted on : Oct 31 2016
Posted under Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Happy Halloween Eve!

Aloha, all!

     There's one more day until Halloween, and this is the very last of this year's last minute Halloween cards! But there's actually no reason at all that you can't use this design for just about any holiday or event – or even just for a note card with your favorite papers!

halloweencard2

     All I did for this card was to cut 1/2" or 3/4" strips of different papers from the Halloween Night Specialty Designer Series Paper set. I would like to have wrapped some ribbon or twine around the top of the card, but for some reason I managed not to order the Halloween Night Baker's Twine set in time to make this card. But I did have the Halloween Night Designer Washi Tape, so I used that to cover up the tops of the strips of paper.

     For texture on this card, I added two elements: First, I texturized the top background layer using the Seaside Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.  While it's supposed to be a shape reminiscent of waves in an ocean, I think it evokes thoughts of creepy fog drifting through the air just as well! So perfect for a Halloween Card. Then there are the Pumpkin Glimmer Paper stars sprinkled around the card front. To make those I punched the glimmer paper using the Confetti Stars Border Punch. If you've even tried to punch anything heavier than plain cardstock with this punch, you might well be asking how I managed to punch out the glimmer paper. It's easy when you put the glimmer paper in the punch, put it on the floor, and step on it! I'm sure Stampin' Up! would have fits if they knew I was recommending this perhaps somewhat dangerous way to punch. But, hey, it worked for me!

     The sentiment is from the "old faithful" stamp set, Teeny Tiny Wishes. I punched it using the Classic Label Punch. Then I adhered it to a piece of Pumpkin Pie Glimmer Paper, and then hand-trimmed the glimmer paper to mat the punched sentiment.

     And that's that for this quick and easy card. Try it for Christmas! Ooooh, I may do that before very long myself! And don't forget that all the wonderful Halloween products in the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog are still available for purchase. A couple of these products are going to be saved for next year in my Craft Room (if I can find a place to store them!).

 


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Posted on : Oct 30 2016
Posted under Punches, Sizzix, Stamping |

Challenge Card: Thanks and Thanksgiving

Aloha, all!

     It's been a busy week! I spent most of last week getting ready for my card-making class on Friday plus being involved in activities of two clubs to which I belong. Finally today I can take a breather – and yikes, October will be over before the week is! And then it's November and the holidays really begin in earnest.

     The Stampin' Up! Only Blog Challenge focuses on just this realization that the holiday season is almost upon us. We usually wait until late October/early November before focusing on Thanksgiving projects. But many of our readers live in Canada, where Thanksgiving is celebrated much earlier than in the United States. And then there are those who are in Europe where Thanksgiving is not a holiday, or in the Southern Hemisphere, where Spring is in full swing, and the harvest we celebrate is a good half year away. So the challenge this time included just "Thanks" as well as Thanksgiving. My card could be a bit of both.

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     I loved this set from the first time I saw it in the Stampin' Up! 2016 Holiday Catalog. Also ever since I saw the two images that make up the basket of vegetables, I wondered if I'd be able to do the masking needed to fit the veggies into the basket. The veggie stamp is really made to fit another basket in the stamp set, and that would have been an easy group to stamp. This, however, was a bit more complicated.  Usually, when you want one image to appear on paper in front of another image, you stamp the front image first, mask it with another copy of the image stamped on sticky note paper and then cut out. And finally, you stamp the image that's to appeard behind the first over the masked image. Simple!

     But that wouldn't work well with this basket. If I did it that way, the whole basket would be either in front of or behind the veggies. But I wanted one of the basket handles to be in front and one behind the veggies. There are the steps I took:

  • I inked up the basket with Early Espresso Ink. Then I wiped the ink off the part of the handle that would be on the left of the stamped image.
  • I created a mask for the basket, and cut out the part of the handle that I didn't stamp in the first step.
  • I stamped the veggies on top of the masked basket image. The part of the veggie image on the right appears stamped behind the right side of the basket handle.
  • I created a mask for the veggies and placed both the veggies mask and the partial basket mask over the stamped images.
  • Finally, I stamped the basket again over the masked images, just inking up the left side of the handle. This allowed parts of the basket handle on the left to show through where there were no veggie images.

     Now that I've got the masks all ready to go, I may just have to stamp this image again!

     As you might think by looking at the image, I used a LOT of Stampin' Write Markers to color in the veggies: Elegant Eggplant, Pumpkin Pie, Pear Pizzazz, Crushed Curry, Perfect Plum, Garden Green, and Always Artichoke. Then I used two more markers, Crumb Cake and Soft Suede to color in the basket. I think I got a cramp in my arm from pulling all those markers out of their storage spots and then putting them back! Who needs adult coloring books when you've got Stampin' Up! stamps like these!

     I cut the image out with one of the Layering Ovals Framelits, matted it with a slightly larger scalloped oval made of Soft Suede, and then a much larger scallop oval in Pear Pizzazz.

     For the sentiment, stamped in Soft Suede, I clipped the ends using the Banner Triple Punch, matted it with Soft Suede Cardstock, and then arranged a piece of 5/8" Burlap Ribbon and a small strip of Pear Pizzazz Cardstock to place undernearth the sentiment layers, which I adhered using small pieces of Stampin' Dimensionals. Oh, and this sentiment just cried out for hearts from the Regals Collection Enamel Dots (Always Artichoke color).

     There are quite a few Textured Impressions Embossing Folders that would have worked with this layout. I chose the Brick Wall Embossing Folder, mostly because it was already out on my work table (no, I hadn't cleaned up from my class yet when I made this).

     I hope you enjoyed my perhaps-not-very-clear instructions for doing the double masking. I certainly enjoyed doing it! And here are the featured products from Stampin' Up! that I used for today's card. Click on any of the images to learn more about them and buy them from my store, especially if today's project has inspired you to do that!


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Posted on : Sep 26 2016
Posted under Challenges, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |