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 |

Old Stamps and Other Stuff!

Aloha, all

     I found myself at Bear Lake in Minnesota having some time on my hands, with no company in the cabin, and having just finished a book. What to do with myself? I had chosen not to try to travel with a kit of stamping supplies because (1) I thought I wasn't going to have much crafting time, and (2) I just didn't have enough space in my luggage to stash all the stuff I really want to have when I'm making cards or scrapbook pages.

     Now what?

     "What" happened was that I started to look through drawers in the back room of the cabin and found – ta da! – an old Stampin' Up! stamp set! The set is called "Just Buzzin' By" and has the cutest bees ever.  But to do anything with this find, I had also to find ink and paper at the least. 

     Without going into boring details of the hunt, I found the following: "Stampin' Kids Stamp Pads," some 5" X 8" lined index cards, Crayola markers, and Elmer's School Glue glue sticks. Oh, and the best find (well, second best) was an old Fiskars cutter with, wonder of wonders, a sharp blade. Shows how much paper crafting gets done at the lake!

     Anyway, off I went to make a card. The stamp pads weren't really juicy, but with a lot of tap-tap-tap, then pound-pound-pound, I got those stamps inked up. The old Stampin' Kids black stamp pad wasn't really black, but a kind of grayish dark blue. Nonetheless it created the images just fine. Once I got the images inked, I had the challenge of finding a group of colors that I could use not just to color, but also to do some shading. This was made a bit more difficult as several of the markers were definitely dry. Or the points were no longer points, to be expected as these were kids' markers. As you can see, I was able to figure something out. Watercolor it's not, but it would do just fine.

     The next trick was to be how to make this into a card. I used that trusty Fiskars cutter to cut the stamped card down to a size that was two sizes down from a full-sized folded card (1/2" vertically and horizontally). Now I needed a mat. There was not so much as a scrap of construction paper to be found! Can you guess how I made the mat? Hint: it involved a marker.

     So I had myself some crafting time and now that's out of my system for today! Tomorrow we leave the lake and start our traveling towards the west coast. I do believe. I will not find myself bored again for a while!

 


Posted on : Jul 23 2017
Posted under Challenges, Stamping |

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 |

I’m Still Enjoying my New Stampin’ Up! Products!

Aloha, all!

     I have thoroughly enjoyed showing off lots of my new Stampin' Up! products from the 2017-2018 Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog. But would you believe I haven't even touched the surface of what I've bought to make projects for you?! The problem is that so many of what I have that's new I like so much that I've been using them over and over again. Take the Climbing Orchid Stamp Set – I've made at least a dozen cards using that set. Not all of them were great successes, but enough of them have been that I'll be sharing even more with you over the next few weeks.

     But for today, I picked out a card that has several products on it that I've not yet shared with you. And the timing is perfect because the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge this time is to feature a Stampin' Up! product that's new to me. In my project there is more than one such product, and most of them are also new in the Stampin' Up! Catalog!

     I was inspired to make this card after I attended an art show earlier this month that featured Ikebana designs. Oh my, they were all so gorgeous! And, no, I am definitely not even a teensy bit educated or experienced in this art form. But I still felt as if I could use my own tools and skills to create something that in some way resembled the feeling that I got when viewing the real thing.

     The new products, that I've not shared with you here before, include the Decorative Ribbon Border Punch, which is just perfect for decorating one edge of a layer on a card. I added this to the Rich Razzleberry layer, which is the mat for the main artistic layer.

     All of the flowers and stems in the stamped picture, with one exception, are from the new Beautiful Bouquet Stamp Set. While there is a set of Framelits that coordinates with this stamp set, I chose to hand cut the leaves and larger flower as I did not want there to be any white edges around them. They were pretty easy to cut, so I can't even call it "fussy cutting." The one stem that's not in this stamp set is the thin stem holding the stamped flowers out to the right. This stem comes from another new stamp set, Tranquil Tulips. (This set is a "Hostess Stamp Set," which can only be purchased with Stampin' Rewards which one gets from placing an order of at least $150 or hosting a party with at least $150 in sales.)

     The final new product – though not new in this blog – is the short strip of the Garden Green 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon. Not new to me, but still not something that I've used a lot, is the Artistically Asian Stamp Set. As Ikebana is an Asian art form, my mind immediately went to that stamp set when I started this project. The Japanese writing at the top means, "Friendship," which goes nicely with the sentiment at the bottom of the card. The dish in which the floral arrangement sits is also not very new. It's the "boat" image in the Swirly Bird Stamp Set. Who knew it would make such a nice dish!

     I had so much fun making this card, and hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed making it. If you have a new product that you'd love to show off (and it doesn't have to be new to the new Stampin' Up! catalog), do check out the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge blog and enter a project you make with it!

     Here are the "new" products that I used in this project. You can click on any one of them to go to my personal Stampin' Up! store to learn more about a product and to buy it right there! No muss, no fuss!

 


Posted on : Jul 17 2017
Posted under Challenges, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

A Musical Note

Aloha, all!

     Tomomorrow I'm leaving my beautiful Island of Hawaii to visit equally rural Northern Minnesota for a visit with family and friends. Usually this summer trip is the only time we see many of our friends each year. But this year we saw many of them at a wedding in April in Virginia. So we've really been getting around this year!

     But there are still a few friends we'll miss, so a note to them will be in order. And i have a perfect stamp to use to decorate a card for a note!

     The stamp is a one-stamp 'set' called Sheet Music. It's a large background stamp and could fill an entire card front. I chose just to use part of it, though I stamped the whole image. I'll use the other part of it for another card. While I certainly could have used any color I wanted, I chose a black-and-white theme because I was participating in a swap that required a black-and-white theme. I think this works well!

     I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the Basic Black Shimmer Ribbon when I bought it – I'm a sucker for Ribbon, so I had to have it! – but it works beautifully for a card like this!

     The sentiment is from an older – but still current – set called Flourishing Phrases. Perfect for this, don't you think?!

     This whole blog post has been an experiment for me, so it's a bit shorter than usual. The experiment is that I wrote this whole post using my Mini iPad. I usually try to write posts in advance of a long trip so I can continue to share with you what I've been doing. This time I wanted to try sharing some of my vacation exploits with you as well as a card or two or three. Darned if it's not working beautifully! 

     Thanks for reading this far! I'll have some airport time tomorrow, but I'm not sure if it will be enough for a post. I'll have to see how things go, but I'll be sure to stay in touch!

 


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Posted on : Jul 14 2017
Posted under Announcement, Stamping |

Time for a Little Housecleaning!

Aloha, all!

     Well, it's not the whole house that needs cleaning – it's my Craft Room! Boy, have I let things get out of hand this past week. Between making cards for 4 different swaps, for blog posts, and for samples for two different classes, I made a real mess.

     Actually, the original mess was a lot worse than this. It wasn't until I put several pieces of Designer Series Paper away that I realized that I might as well show you some of the not-so-wonderful side of crafting as much as I do. Oh, would that I were one of those people who used a product then put it away before taking out and using another. The good news is that my craft room really is a room of its own, and, except for the scraps that fall on the floor to be dragged into another room under foot or paw, how messy it is doesn't impact the rest of our lives. But today it got to the point that I couldn't find 3 products that I needed for a new project and I realized that enough is enough. So out came the cleaning brigade (i.e., me).

     I would be fibbing if I told you it stayed like this. As I was writing this post, I decided an "after" photo would really seal the deal. But between the time of the original cleaning and the point at which I am writing this, I created another project. So when I turned away from my computer to go take the new photo, yikes! All the stuff from that project was still there!!! Oh, my. I think this is in the realm of the "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" aphorism. Heavy sigh. But as I am writing these words, this is how the work table looks! I still have another hour to finish today's projects, though. One can only hope that I can managed to straighten up afterwards!

     Oh, and there was another cleaning project in the middle of all of this. One of the set of products that needed to be put away was just about my entire collection of the acrylic blocks that I use for stamping. For this week's class, we used just about every stamp in the High Tide Stamp Set, which used up most of my regular blocks as well as blocks I've received in kits and as part of Paper Pumpkin – a lot of them! And as I started collecting them to put away, I realized how dirty some of them were. In fact, one of my class attendees mentioned that in the class before last. So what you see below is a beautifully cleaned set of acrylic blocks – and all the others in my collection are clean, too!

     I even cleaned out the container – who knew it could get so dusty?! To clean the blocks, I actually had to use Goo-Gone on some of them, and Stazon Cleaner on others. Of course, I finished them all off with a good bath of warm water and soap. Ready to go for next week's class!

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Posted on : Jul 08 2017
Posted under 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 |

Summer Fun – At the Beach!

Aloha, all!

     Off and on during my long life, I've had the chance to spend some of my summers at a beach – or two or three! When I was really young, those beaches were Ocean City, Maryland, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. As I and my family grew older, we found ourselves at Virginia Beach (different spots). Now, when I get to an Atlantic Ocean beach, it's always in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, somewhere near Kill Devil Hills or Kitty Hawk. It's in these latter beach areas that I really enjoy not only the beaches, but also the wonderful Lighthouses that dot the edge of North Carolina as it meets the ocean. To me, being near a lighthouse, walking on the beach, is the epitome of Summer Fun. With "Summer Fun" being the current challenge at the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge blog, out came the High Tide Stamp Set from Stampin' Up!

     Today's card features a Lighthouse, though not any particular lighthouse as far as I can tell, and certainly not a Lighthouse I've ever seen. But it nonetheless reminds me of the wonderful times I've spent in North Carolina's Outer Banks. In fact, my husband and I were married on a beach in North Carolina, not too far from several lighthouses.

     The best time to really enjoy summer fun at the beach for me is early in the morning, when I can escape the hot midday sun, and watch the little (and not so little) shore birds running up and down the water line searching for whatever it is that waterbirds search for – breakfast at that time of the day, I'm assuming. And then there are the seagulls and other flying birds floating in the sky over the water looking for their turn at breakfast.

     This card is not a card with a standard fold. It's a design called a "Center Step Card." I stamped the whole image on one piece of Whisper White Cardstock, and then cut it to fit on the center and two side sections of the card. It did this for a class I held last week that featured this stamp set, and one of the class attendees had specifically asked for a card that had some rope on it. You may recognize the "rope" as a piece cut from cardstock texturized with the Cable Knit 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.

     For the class, I prepared three cards using this stamp set. As it's apparently a pretty popular stamp set, I thought I'd share the tutorials I made for my local class with those who are on my Newsletter Mailing List. I'll be sending out my next newsletter within the next week before I go on vacation in Minnesota – no lighthouses this time, unless we take a drive out to see Split Rock Light on Lake Superior (it's been a few years, so it's on my wish list for this year for sure). Anyway, if you'd like this class, just sign up for my newsletter and you'll get it soon!

     For now, here are the products I used for today's project. But before you check them out, be sure to check out the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge blog and see if the Design Team and other entrants might give you some ideas for making AND ENTERING a card of your own for the challenge!

 


Posted on : Jul 03 2017
Posted under Challenges, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Color Fusers Blog Hop – July 2017!

Aloha, all!

     It's time for the monthly Color Fusers Blog Hop, and my brain hasn't yet wrapped itself around the combination of colors and the stamp set I chose to use. But it's here, and I do think it's growing on me!

     First the colors for the month:

 

     Now my card – then an explanation about what was going on in my head when I designed it!

 

     The day before I designed this card, I had been looking around the Internet for some ideas about how to use the new Stampin' Up! Stamp Set, So Many Shells..The only samples that I could find that used several of the shell stamps in one card had the same basic layout, including a sample card in the Stampin' Up! Catalog. But I wanted to plan a class using this set, and I just couldn't figure out what my designs were going to be in the time I'd allotted myself to come up with the class plan. So I put the So Many Shells Stamp Set away, and focused on another set that seemed more versatile.

     Then along came a reminder that it was time for this blog hop. At that point, I realized that So Many Shells was still firmly fixed in my brain as a set I wanted to work with. But with these colors? Oh, why not!

     So here you have three of the four shells in this set, cut out and accenting an oval shape – made with the Layering Oval Framelits – in which the sentiment appears. That's pretty much the one design I'd seen. But instead of using the natural colors that designers were using in their cards, I just sent with the challenge colors. One thing I played around with was using a neutral color – Smoky Slate in this case – to accent the shells. While the challenge for this hop is to limit ourselves to the prescribed colors, we are still allowed to use neutrals as accents. But, after I'd stamped the conch-style shell using Soft Sky and Smoky Slate, I wondered if having both stamps for this image was really necessary for the kind of card I was making. If you look at the Soft Sky scallop shell over to the right, you'll see a shell with just the one main image, and no second color. I'm not sure which I like better, but you have a chance to see both in this photo.

     The real kicker in this color combo with this stamp set was the Lemon Lime Twist. I originally thought I'd just make some sea grass with that color. But somehow I ended up using it as the background color for the design. I added some stamped shells, using Lemon Lime Twist ink, and, voilà, I had a background design.

     While it was a no-brainer to have Dapper Denim as a mat for the Lemon Lime Twist Layer, once I had the shells arranged, I was reminded about the dark cracked paper design in the Color Theory Designer Series Paper Stack. So out that came, and I think it's the perfect accent!

     The final touch was a bit of embellishment using the new Glitter Enamel Dots. I used two sizes of the circles and three different shades of the Dapper Denim, which is one of the colors in the set. I love that there are different shades rather than just one dark or one light shade of each of the colors.

     The more I look at this card, the more it grows on me! I may just have to try some different color combos more often! For sure I'll be doing that at least once a month with the Color Fusers group! I'll be back with another fun project on August 7th.

     Here are the blogs in this month's Color Fusers Blog Hop. Please visit them all and get some fab ideas for using this color combo!

     And when you come back here, you might check out some of the products that I used in this project. Just click on any of the pictures below to go to my Stampin' Up! shopping spot to learn more about them – and order them once you find out how much fun they can be!

 


Posted on : Jul 03 2017
Posted under Challenges, Color Fuser's Blog Hop, Sizzix, Stamping |