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 |

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 |

Coffee in a CASE!

Aloha, all!

     The "CASE" in the subject of this post refers to a stamper's practice of using someone else's design as the basis for a new – or nearly new – project. CASE stands for Copy And Share with Everyone. In this case (double meaning here!), I was given the challenge of CASEing this project on page 126 of the latest Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog.

     While I love the Daisy theme, I had another stamp set in my new collection that I'd yet too use. So out came the Coffee Café Stamp Set and Coffee Cups Framelits Dies.

     I even used the coordinating Coffee Break Designer Series Paper set for this card! This set of paper has become my go-to favorite to use with lots of different stamp sets. When you look at a set of Designer Series Paper in the Stampin' Up! catalog, don't be too distracted by the designs that seem to be made for just one stamp set. Every sheet has another side to it, and sometimes those are the best sides as far as I'm concerned. While I'm sure I'll eventually use the sheet from this set that has coffee pots and cups all over it – or coffee beans or branches all over – I'm definitely going to be using the "other sides" a lot this coming year. There are two of those on this card.

     A fun part of the Coffee Café stamp set is that there are two sentiment stamps that fit right onto the coffee cup shape. Love this! And finally Stampin' Up! has given us a gorgeous roll of ribbon in the Garden Green Color – one of the 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon spools that has had other colors featured in past catalogs. And the final touch for this card is that I added a few of the Metallic Sequins Assortment.

     This was a fun and easy card to make, especially since I didn't have to do too much in the way of figuring out a layout. And I got to use yet another of my new stamp sets! If you'd like to experience some of the fun, be sure to check out my very own Stampin' Up! Store, which is open online just for you 24/7/365. Or click on any of the pictures below to learn more about that product before you order it!

 

 


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Posted on : Jun 15 2017
Posted under CASEing Projects, Sizzix, Stamping |

Introduction to New Stampin’ Up! Products – Part 3: A New 3D Dynamic Impressions Folder!

Aloha, all!

     For my Stampin' Up! Only Challenge project yesterday, I chose a new Stamp Set, Designer Series Paper set, and fun ribbon for a "Thinking of You" greeting card. Do you know what would have made that an even better card? The newest 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder – Layered Leaves! The reason that I didn't have that is because I just ordered it last Thursday when the new Stampin' Up! Catalog went live! I was able to order the other products BEFORE the Catalog went live (we demonstrators do get some privileges!). But I could not order the embossing folder.

     Here is a video that Stampin' Up! has published as we start the new catalog year, and I'm sure you're going to see just why I can hardly wait to get my hands on this! The video also has some great tips for using the 3D Embossing Folders, too! As of the newest catalog, there are now 5 of these folders in the Stampin' Up! collection.

     I am going to be SOOOO confused trying to figure out which of my new Stampin' Up! toys I'm going to use first when my box arrives! I can see that things are going to be even a bit crazier than usualy around my Craft Room for the next few weeks!

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Posted on : Jun 07 2017
Posted under Announcement, Sizzix |

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 |