A Fun Double Espresso!

Aloha, all!

     I had so much fun with this project, and it's certainly much larger than most cards that I make!

     This pattern is called a Double Center Step Card, and it's 8-1/4" wide by the standard 5-1/2" high. Of course you can see why I chose the title for this blog post – this card is a double in every way! Just look at all those Coffee Images, taken both from the Coffee Cafe Stamp Set and the Coffee Break Designer Series Paper. The final "coffee" related Stampin' Up! product I used for this project was the Coffee Cups Framelits Set

     I love the colors in the set of Designer Series Paper – Garden Green goes oh so well with the Early Espresso and Soft Suede colors of the coffees, pots and cups in this set. I even love the touch of Pool Party blue, that I've accented with the Pool Party Shimmer Ribbon bow that finishes the project off.

     One thing that I noticed when I first used the Coffee Cups Framelits Set was that there was no stamp in the Coffee Cafe Stamp Set that went with the little coffee cup framelit. I quickly learned that there are some perfect little coffee cups in the sheet from the Designer Series Paper set that features coffee pots and cups. You can see one of them in the step image at the left of the card – that's one that I die cut with the framelit and placed on the right background of the card. There's another one (peeking in from the left side of the card) that I cut and put on the left background layer.  Sneak Peek:  There will be a stamped image in a Stamp Set in the upcoming Stampin' Up! 2017 Holiday Catalog! 

     Thanks for taking the time to read about this project! If you're interested in a tutorial for making this style of card, there will be one in my next Newsletter, which will be published at the end of this month, right when the new Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog is released. Hint: I may just use that new Stamp Set from the new catalog for the tutorial! If you're not on my newsletter mailing list, you can fix that right now by clicking in the box at the upper left of this page!

     Here are the products that I featured in this project. Don't forget that, by clicking on any of the images below, you'll be whisked away to my very own Stampin' Up! store, where you can read more about the products and purchase them directly from me! That would really make my day!

 


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Posted on : Aug 20 2017
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

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 |

That Fun “Happy Birthday” Thinlit!

Aloha, all!

     As I was preparing a project for the current SUO Challenge, Birthdays, I went through lots of stamps that have birthday greetings. But did you know that you can make a fab Birthday Card with no stamps at all? The Happy Birthday Thinlit is just the thing for that. Today I'm going to share a few cards that I made with this thinlit just to give you some different ideas about how you could design a card with it.

     This is the first card I made in which I featured the new Berry Burst color.  I cut the thinlit out of Berry Burst Cardstock and punched the balloon with the Balloon Bouquet Punch. I adhered both the thinlit and the punched balloon to the card front, made from one of the sheets in the Color Theory Designer Series Paper Stack, using Multipurpose Liquid Glue. Then I matted this layer with a slightly larger layer of the Berry Burst Cardstock before adhering the whole thing to a card base made with Thick Whisper White Cardstock.To make the card sparkle a bit, I added some sequins from the Iridiscent Sequin Assortment, also using Multipurpose Liquid Glue.

     This second card is a bit more of a masculine Happy Birthday Card. I chose the Garden Green color for this card, using Garden Green Cardstock and Garden Green Stitched Satin Ribbon, along with a piece of paper from the Coffee Break Designer Series Paper set. As an extra mat, I used a piece of Early Espresso Cardstock, which also coordinates with the Designer Series Paper. For a bit of glitter, I added some of the small circles from the Metallic Enamel Shapes set.

     This final card was for a 90th Birthday Celebration (how did you guess?!). It's a bit larger than most cards, but we had more than a few people who were going to be signing it. This is the one card in today's showcase which actually uses some birthday paper – a sheet from the Birthday Memories Designer Series Paper set. I chose to use the Pumpkin Pie Cardstock to accent this Designer Series Paper. When I finished cutting the Thinlit, I found it really easy to snip the two words apart to put one at the top of the card front and one at the bottom. I fussed around a bit with different ways to add the "90" to the card, and finally decided simply to die-cut them into a square of Whisper White Cardstock. For the bit of glimmer in this card, I added some enamel shapes from several different sets.

     And there was NO STAMPING AT ALL on these cards! So, when you're feeling like you'd like to make a quick birthday card but don't want the inky mess to clean up afterwards, bring out the Happy Birthday Thinlit!


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Posted on : Aug 03 2017
Posted under 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!

 


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Posted on : Jul 31 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Orchid in a Jar

Aloha, all!

     I'm still in the north woods of Minnesota, and I'm definitely missing our tropical garden in Hawaii. What I miss most of all are the orchids growing all over our garden. They don't bloom all the time. But when we left, there were several to enjoy.

     Stampin' Up!, though, has made it easy for me to enjoy an orchid any time with its new Climbing Orchid Stamp Set

     Besides a spray of orchids, this card includes a not-so-fancy "vase" in the medium sized jar from the Jar of Love Stamp Set that's been around for a while. I also used a stamp from another new set, Colorful Seasons, to make the long stem so that the orchid spray could reach the water. The other stems are all from the Climbing Orchid set.

     For these orchids, I stamped the small orchid pieces on Flirty Flamingo cardstock, using Berry Burst ink. Then I matted the whole card front onto a layer of the same Flamingo Cardstock. The Hello greeting is from the Orchid stamp set. This is a fun card to make, and you'll be hearing more about it when I return from vacation!

     Another short post, but I'm starting to get the hang of posting on my mini iPad. On the other hand, our grandchildren have now arrived at the lake, so I may be short of time for such things as this for the next few days. It all depends on whether they want to hang with us old folks!

  

 


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Posted on : Jul 20 2017
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

Fun With a Coloring Technique!

Aloha, all!

     Most of you know by now that my favorite way to "attack" a card design is to construct a layout with layers of different sizes, colors and textures. I just love to stand at my work table and figure these things out as I go along until I find something that is pleasing to my eye. Today, however, I decided to try out a technique that a fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrator – Cindee Wilkinson – has been showing off on Facebook.

     The main layer of this card is made with a technique that I'm calling Reinker Blending.  To make this layer, I used three Stampin' Up! products: Glossy White Cardstock (yes, it's back in the catalog!); Reinkers; and Stampin' Spritzers. The technique involves applying drops of two or more Reinkers on a piece of Glossy Paper and then spritzing them with plain water (or add a bit of 70% alcohol if you wish), allowing the colors to blend together. Cindee used bolder colors and heavier spritzing in her projects, and that works beautifully, too. But I really wanted a softer feel to my card so I spritzed from a bit of a distance (10" – 12") and tilted my card back and forth and around a bit to get the look that I wanted.

     Now for the particulars of this card! My colors are Sweet Sugarplum and Berry Burst. I used an equal number of dots of each Reinker, about 6 drops of each. I used plain water and, as I said, spritzed it on the card front about 10" – 12" away. As the colors started to blend a bit, I spritzed a bit closer to the centers of the dots to make the color spread out a bit from them.

     I had been thinking about using another technique that I came across on the Internet last week called the Camouflage Die-Cutting Technique. This involves die-cutting a shape out of the colored paper and then replacing it over the negative space from which the die-cut image came using Stampin' Dimensionals. But I have also been thinking about using the Reinker Blending technique in a class I'm having next week in which the Climbing Orchid Stamp Set from Stampin' Up! will be featured (a class request). So, before I applied the Reinkers and spritzed the water, I stamped one of the images from the stamp set onto the glossy paper, using Jet Black Stazon Ink (not a Stampin' Up! product; but you can find it at most crafting stores). Once the paper was dry, I die-cut the orchid. My next step was to adhere the inked paper onto its mat of Sweet Sugarplum Cardstock, and then to adhere the die-cut orchid back into its spot using Stampin' Dimensionals. It's the same basic technique as the Camouflage Die-Cutting Technique, but, with the orchid image stamped, it's not really camouflaged.

     About the water and drying time. First of all, I applied water fairly sparingly which is what happens when you spritz from more of a distance than up close. The piece of paper dried beautifully in less than half an hour.  As with Cindee's project, water pooled at the edges of the Glossy Cardstock. But I had cut my paper larger than the size I was going to use in the actual card. So, rather than wicking pooled color up, I just let it dry on the edges, all of which I cut away to make the size I had intended to use.

     When I stamped the sentiment on the card as I was about to finish it (with Jet Black Stazon Ink again), I realized I could have stamped the orchid AFTER I'd colored and dried the paper. Either way, it seems to work just fine.

     And here I go again tying my project up with some of the great new ribbon in the Stampin' Up! catalog, this time the Berry Burst 1/2" Finely Woven Ribbon. Boy, that makes a nice bow!

     Here are the Stampin' Up! products I used for this project, and they are all well worth having in your stash of stamping supplies! It's easy to get them, too. Just click on a picture below and order any of them from my Stampin' Up! store.

 


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Posted on : Jul 06 2017
Posted under Sizzix, Stampin' Up! Tools, Stamping |

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 |

My New Favorite Stamp Set!

Aloha, all!

     As you might imagine, if you've seen a copy of the new Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog, it's finally come to me that my real favorite stamp set from this catalog really should be the Climbing Orchid Stamp Set. After all, I live on the "Orchid Isle" in the Hawaiian Islands, and there are orchids growing in trees and baskets all over our garden. How could I not want to start turning out orchid card after orchid card?!

     For this card, I copied the color scheme from a photograph I found online. It was a soft yellow Phalaenopsis orchid, with just a tint of a pinkish color. So I picked So Saffron Cardstock for the base of the flower. I stamped the line art flower from the Stamp Set using Rose Red Ink, and then applied some Flirty Flamingo Ink using a Blender Pen to add highlights around the edges.

     The layout of the card is CASEd from the Stampin' Up! Catalog, page 21. I wanted to use some of the Crushed Curry paper with the cracked design from the Color Theory Designer Series Paper Stack. To conserve my paper, I cut the 6" square piece in half, so it's only 3" wide as opposed to the wider paper in the catalog's card. For the other piece of paper, I chose one of the lighter wood designs from the Wood Textures Designer Series Paper Stack, cut to 3" for the same reason as with the Color Theory paper. Before mounting the orchids, which I die cut using the Orchid Builder Framelits set, onto the papers, I stamped the 3 stems as well as the sentiment (also from this stamp set) using Early Espresso Classic Ink.

     The background cardstock is a piece of Flirty Flamingo Cardstock that I texturized using the new Layered Leaves 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. It gives these and other cards with floral designs a beautiful background feeling!

     The card base, which I usually make using either Whisper White or Very Vanilla Thick Cardstock, this time is made of the So Saffron Cardstock. It's a nice weight for a card base, and light enough for writing a note inside.

     Here are the Stampin' Up! products that I feature in this card. You can click on any of the pictures below and be carried off to my very own Stampin' Up! store. Do definitely click on anything that interests you. There's no obligation to purchase anything and I won't bug you afterwards – I have no idea when someone visits my store! So you can learn more about these products at your own pace, any time 24/7/365!

 


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Posted on : Jun 22 2017
Posted under CASEing Projects, 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 |