My Favorite Christmas Colors!

Aloha, all!

     After several weeks of making Christmas Cards, I'm just about ready to start making some cards with colors that are outside of the range of my favorites. So it's fitting that the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge this time is to share a project (card or other paper-crafted project) that shows off my favorite Holiday colors.

     Since my childhood, Red and Green have been my favorites. No matter what time of the year it is, when I see Red and Green together, I'm reminded of Christmas. A red rose with green leaves in June – Christmas. The Manila Palms in my front yard have large, bright red seeds in their inflourescence, and that reminds me of Christmas no matter when they happen. Hey, even others nicknamed the palm the "Christmas Palm."

     For my Stampin' Up! Christmas Cards, I've either used Garden Green and Real Red (with the Christmas Quilt Suite) or Garden Green and Cherry Cobbler (the colors in the Be Merry Designer Series Paper). It's this latter set of colors that I picked for today's SUO Challenge Project. And it's a fun "Fun Fold"!

     This pattern is called a "Tri Shutter Card." I'm not sure why it's "tri" as there are 4 folds and 5 panels. So I'm guessing that it's the 3 strips from left to right that give it its name I could not find a specific pattern I liked for a very specific reason. I like to make cards that use 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock. The main reason is that I conduct card-making classes, and sometimes it's a pain in the neck to find enough 12" square sheets of cardstock of the same color to make my samples as well as provide cardstock for the whole class. The smaller sheets comes in packs of all one color, so that makes using them a lot easier. So this card is made with 8-1/2" x 11" cardstock AND the finished card fits into a standard A2-sized envelope, such as the medium envelopes sold by Stampin' Up! 

     Now back to the Red and Green. This is one of the many cards I've made lately with the Be Merry Designer Series Paper that can be found in the Stampin' Up! 2017-2018 Annual Catalog. There are so many pretty designs in this set, and I'm so glad to have been able to use them in so many different ways. But this is the first card that's allowed me to use FIVE different patterns from the paper as primary layers. The Happy Christmas greeting is from another product from the Annual Catalog, the Oh, What Fun Stamp Set, as is the Oh, What Fun stamp on the back panel. The cross-stitch style stamps are from the Smitten Mittens Stamp Set, from the Holiday Catalog. Unhappily, this stamp set and its coordinating framelits will be retiring after the Holiday Catalog sales period ends. But I've certainly enjoyed using it this year, especially with the coordinating sheet in the Be Merry paper set!

     For those of you on my newsletter mailing list, I'll be including a tutorial for this card in next week's newsletter, along with Year-End sale updates.

 

 

 


Posted on : Dec 04 2017
Posted under Challenges, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

A Fun Fold For Christmas!

Aloha, all!

     Today was my monthly card-making class, and the theme was "Fun Folds." Today I'm sharing one of the cards with you. Even better, next week I'll be sharing the tutorial for this fun fold with those on my newsletter list. My class attendees loved this and I know you'll enjoy making it too.

 

     What a cute use for the fun (the word of the day) Smitten Mittens Stamp Set and the so very well coordinated paper from the Be Merry Designer Series Paper Set. But I think that this picture of the card showing the inside is even cuter:

     And, to complete the full picture of what the card looks like in real life:

     The only time consuming part of this card's construction was stamping and cutting the little pieces from the Stamp Set using the Many Mittens Framelits Dies. But the outcome is so worth it. Of course, I'll be sending this card to someone special for sure. Now just to figure out who it will be? Maybe one of my Stampin' Up! downline???

     Here are the products I used for this project. Just click on any of them to check them out in my very own Stampin' Up! Store!

 


Posted on : Nov 20 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Thankful for Stampin’ Blends!

Aloha, all!

     Two events have crossed paths in my Craft Room this first week in November, and today I get to talk about them both!

     FIRST – It's, once again, time for the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge. The theme for this month of Thanksgiving in the United States is, "Thankful." I truly love making greeting cards with Fall colors, and our Thanksgiving time provides the perfect occasion for many types of cards.

     SECOND – We're in the first week of offering Stampin' Up!'s newest product – Stampin' Blends – for sale. These are Stampin' Up!'s newest and best alcohol markers that coordinate with Stampin' Up! colors. Over to the right there's a link to a page with much more information about these wonderful projects. Stampin' Up! demonstrators have had them already for several weeks and we're just having a blast with them. It makes coloring projects so easy to shade.

     That's how I came to have this particular card, colored with Stampin' Blends for the new SUO Challenge!

     Last year I made quite a few cards using this beautiful basket of gourds from the Basket of Wishes Stamp Set. But this year I could actually shade them much better, including adding several colors that blend together so well (thus the markers are called Stampin' BLENDS!).

     Here is a sample of the colors that I used for this project as I started designing this card.

     Once I finished coloring the basket, I decided to use one of the papers from the Wood Textures Designer Series Paper Stack as a mat for the colored-in stamped image as well as the sentiment, from the same stamp set. After that I just matted it with the Pumpkin Pie and Old Olive Cardstock, both colors in the stamped image, tie them with some of the Jute Twine that's in the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog, and mount it all on a Whisper White Cardbase. I have to tell you that that was just about the ugliest card I have made in years. Oh, I've made some doozies. But this one just took the cake. I have no idea what I was thinking when I just lined all those images up on a matted card. So, no, that's not what you see on this page.

     What you do see on this page is the central design that I rescued from the less than wonderful card. I had to lighten up and bit and make the card a lot more interesting if I was going to show it off anywhere buy in my craft room (even then I might have hid it somewhere). So I found a lovely Old Olive Print in the Petal Garden Designer Series Paper Stack. When I went looking for something else to add to the layering, I finally found what I really wanted and that was a bit of bling for the design – Gold!  I first added one of the Gold Foil Snowflakes from the Stampin' Up! 2017 Holiday Catalog

     For my second piece of gold, I got out my Gold Metallic Thread and played around with it a bit trying to make it work between the two stamped elements on the card front. Then I remembered all the cording I had made when I used to do counted thread work, and made some gold cording out of the thread. For those of you who make cording, I used three 30" pieces of the thread, folded the group in half and twisted the threads until it was a fairly lightly-wound cord. I let it fold back on itself. It was plenty long to be able to wrap in around to the back of the stamped layer and the wood print paper and adhere it in the back.

     Once I added the stamped layers to the card using Stampin' Dimensionals, I added several Gold sequins from the Metallic Sequins Assortment.

     This card is SOOO much better than the original. And, no, I didn't photograph that one before I started. It just wasn't worth a photograph. But the stamped and colored design was definitely worth keeping. I'll be sharing some more projects with Stampin' Blends later this week, with a bit more information about our best new product for this fall (my humble opinion).

     Here are the products I feature in this project. Let me know if I can answer any questions about any of them – and even the Stampin' Blends!

 


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Posted on : Nov 06 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, SUO Challenges |

Christmas Treats!

Aloha, all!

     Once again it's time for the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge at SUOChallenges.com. This time, as we're headed inexorably towards Halloween, the challenge is Treat themed. But, while I do enjoy making Halloween cards, I do not have any stamp sets that feature Trick or Treat or even any kind of Halloween Treat. So I decided to look forward to Christmas. I am a bit short on Christmas treats, too. But I do have the very delicious-looking Gingerbread Man from the Cookie Cutter Christmas Stamp Set.

     Last year I made myself a note and stuck it into this stamp set reminding me that Soft Suede Ink was the best color to mimic the color of Gingerbread for this set. So Soft Suede it is for this card. But my favorite part of this card, which I could not have made last year, was being able to stamp a little strip of mini Gingerbread men for the top and bottom of this card front. These little cuties are from the new Iconic Christmas Stamp Set. When I first saw this stamp set, I wasn't sure that it was something that I wanted to tackle – too many little parts! On the other hand, the next few times I looked at the set in the catalog, I realized that I could have a lot of fun with those little images, even if I didn't stamp the big tree that's the featured image. Sure enough, those two little Gingerbread men were just perfect for this card.

     To make the line of minis, I mounted both the outline and the filled-in stamps on one small stamp block (B block). Then I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to place them on the Whisper White Cardstock that I used for the front of the card. By the way, I stamped the three strips of Gingerbread people on three separate pieces of cardstock because I wasn't entirely sure where I was going with this card. Once I figured it out, I figured I could just stamp everyone on one piece of cardstock and mount that onto the Real Red and Garden Green Cardstock, before mounting the whole grouping onto the card base.

     The ribbon is the Quilted Christmas 1/4" Ribbon. I used that for the "bow tie" for the middle large Gingerbread Man that I punched out using the Cookie Cutter Builder Punch. The bow ties for the other two images also were punched out using the punch and some Real Red Cardstock.

     If you'd like to try to recreate this card, the stamped Whisper White cardstock layer is 5-1/4" wide by 4" high, which is a pretty standard measurement for this kind of layer. Just stamp the minis very close to the top and bottom edges and then center the larger Gingerbreads between the two rows of minis.

     Here are the products that I used for this project. It's definitely neither too early nor too late to buy these products to make your own Sweet Treat Christmas Card! You can get to my personal Stampin' Up! webpage by clicking on any of the icons below. There you can find out more about any of these products and purchase them all if you'd like. My hostess code for October is P6YZS2N6. Enter it when you first start your order and you may be one of my customers who receives a surprise crafting gift in November! If you are going to order $150 or more, please do not use this hostess code, but just be sure to collect your Stampin' Rewards when you complete your order! Call me if you have any questions or concerns!

 


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Posted on : Oct 23 2017
Posted under Challenges, Punches, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

A Favorite from the Holiday Catalog!

Aloha, all!

     With that kind of a greeting, how would it be possible for me have as a favorite from the 2017 Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog anything other than A Beachy Little Christmas! With a tree decorated with seashells, a Palm Tree sporting Christmas lights, a Crab in the sand carrying some mistletoe (or maybe some other greenery), or a Beach Shack with a fun Surf Board, this stamp set just cries, "Hawaii"! Well, there are Floridians and Californians and others who claim this stamp set as "theirs." But for today, it's mine!

     This is one of the cards that I made for my monthly card-making class, which happened to be yesterday afternoon. Several of my local customers have purchased this set (well, I can says its "theirs," too, I guess, as they're here in Hawaii with me) and one of them sweet talked me into doing a whole class featuring this stamp set. As the week goes on, I'll share some more of the cards we made in the class – all so different from one another, but from the same stamp set – and no others.

     I first tried my hand at coloring in the images on this card using Stampin' Up!'s Stampin' Write Markers. But they were just a tad too dark and the line art in the images was hidden by the colors. Instead, I broke out my blender pens and colored everything in a bit more lightly. The only exception to this was the little crab (or is she a lobster?) which I colored in using full-strength markers.

     Here are the products I used to make this card. I'd love to have you buy any of them from me – even the Beachy Little Christmas Stamp Set, no matter where you live!

 


Posted on : Oct 09 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Fun With the Quilt Builder Framelits Never Ends!

Aloha, all!

     Last week I had a class in my Craft Room and one of my customers had asked me to demonstrate the new Quilt Builder Framelits. These Framelits are part of the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog Quilted Christmas Suite of products. We were sure that we could make some fun quilt projects without having to get into Christmas Cards in our classes quite yet. So that's where we started out. The following photo shows just a part of where we ended up!

     Sure, you can make just one quilt card using the fun Framelits. But when you make them as we did, there are lots of pieces left over! We wanted to have one color for the frame and two coordinating colors and/or patterns for the four different shapes inside the frame. That's easy! You just cut a large square of each and start mixing and matching!

     But then – there are all kinds of left over pieces AND at least two left over frames. We couldn't waste those, could we??? So our came some more card bases and off we went to put the rest of the pieces together in different groupings. As we all had chosen different colors with which to start, you can just imagine how this progressed. I cannot tell you how happy I was that this project was the last of the four for this class! We spent an extra hour trying to get all the pieces used up – and I still have two frames and two sets of triangles and squares left, along with two different colors of the parallelograms.

     Do you know what the best part about this whole operation was (besides that we got a lot more cards than we bargained for)? It was that we'd followed someone's advice to use Sizzix Multipurpose Adhesive Sheets for this die before we cut any papers or cardstock. So, yes, all those spare pieces have adhesive backing on them and are ready to go only a card – unless I just toss them in the trash can first! Hey, enough is enough!!!

     Here are the products I used for projects. We actually made each card without a sentiment adhered to it so that we could use one of our choice when the opportunity to send one arose. Good idea, don't you think?

 


Posted on : Sep 25 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Autumn Colors!

Aloha, all!

     I cannot begin to tell you how busy I've been the past week or so – and it's going to continue into this coming week. After that I do believe that life should slow down a bit. I had a summer-long commitment with one volunteer organization and an early fall commitment with one another, and wouldn't you know they overlapped during the first two weeks of September. Yikes, I'm really going to try not to let that happen again!

     But that never stops me from participating in the biweekly Stampin' Up! Only Challenge Design Team, and the new challenge starts today!

     I actually made this project for a greeting card swap that I joined at the beginning of August. These products weren't available for you to order – and have fun with! – back then. But they're definitely available now! And now, of course, is the time to start making Halloween Cards if you send a few of those out to your friends and family. I love to send them, because they are so unexpected, but so much fun to make!

     The stamp set that I used for this project is Merry Cafe. The images I used are the stamped words on the coffee cup as well as the little spider web up in the corner. They are just SOOO cute – and there are others in the stamp set, too! For the cup, which I made with the Coffee Cup Framelits set, I used a design from the Spooky Night Designer Series Paper set. I also found those fun witch hats in that paper set, and cut them out by hand before adhering them to the card with some Stampin' Dimensionals. The final fun accents on the central set of images are those fun Black Rhinestone Jewels. Those really added to the fun of making this card!

     The background was fun, too. Now we really get into my favorite Autumn Colors and the SUO Challenge. Pumpkin Pie and Cajun Craze are my go-to and definitely favorite Autumn Colors in the Stampin' Up! Collection. To make the top background layer, I got out my Brick Wall Textured Impressions Embossing Folder and inked up the raised side of the folder with a Stamping Sponge and some Pumpkin Pie Ink. Then I ran a piece of Very Vanilla Cardstock through the Sizzix Big Shot with the embossing folder and what a fun, almost spooky, look resulted! Note that this was the very first card I made for this multi-card swap. Once I saw it finished, I made one change, and that was to sponge not only the Pumpkin Pie layer, but also the brick wall textured layer. Boy, did that made a good difference!

     Finally, I layered everything up, first on a layer of Cajun Craze Cardstock and then a layer of Pumpkin Pie Cardstock, before adding it all to a card base made up of Thick Very Vanilla Cardstock.

     SOOO much fun! Here are the main products I used in this card. I do hope you'll think about buying one or two of them to help you with your own Halloween Cards! Just click on any of the icons below and you'll be whisked away to my very own Stampin' Up! store where you can purchase any of them!

 


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Posted on : Sep 11 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stampin' Up! Tools, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

Stampin’ Up! Only Challenges – A Blast From the Past!

Aloha, all!

     As the current challenge at the SUO Challenge Blog is a celebration of its 7th Anniversary, we've chosen the theme, "A Blast From The Past," to celebrate! What I did for my Design Team Entry in this challenge is to recreate the very first project that I made as a member of the Design Team back in 2011.

     And here's the project that I made for that first challenge:

     I definitely remember when I created this card – and a couple of similar cards – back in 2011. At that time we had in our Stampin' Up! Catalog some of the old original Sizzix Circle Dies. These are thick dies that could cut through lots of layers of paper, cardstock, fabric and other materials. I loved them! I used the 3-1/2" and 3" circle dies for the larger circel. Then I had a 2-1/2" Circle Punch that I used for the mat in the smaller group. And finally I had to use the Circle Scissors Punch to make the stamped circle. My goodness – all those products!

     But in today's project, all I had to do was get out my Layering Circles Framelits to make ALL the circles! After that, the process for making the card was probably about the same as I made the 2011 card. I texturized the top background layer, this time with the Layered Leaves 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. I stamped a sentiment, this time with the Thank You from the Rose Wonder Stamp Set, and added some Pear Pizzazz Enamel Shapes, though not as many as the Rhinestones in the 2011 card. But that was a wedding card, and today's card is a simple Thank You card.

     The color that I chose to accent this card was Peekaboo Peach, which is one of the colors in the Naturally Eclectic Designer Series Paper sheet that I used for the front layer in the larger circle set. Peekaboo Peach is one that you'll see me use a lot this fall, including the Peekaboo Peach 5/8" Crinkled Seam Binding Ribbon, which is so much fun to tie into a bow!

     It really was fun going back to see what I was doing 6 years ago, and I'm sure that the other members of the SUO Challenges Design Team had fun with their projects. Be sure to visit the SUO Challenge Blog and see what they made with this theme – and maybe you'll be inspired to create your own "Blast from the Past" project and enter it in the challenge. There's blog candy this time at the Challenge Blog!

     Here are the products that I used in the project with the current products. Of course the Whisper White Cardstock is not only still around, it's still got the same product number that it's had for years and years!

 


Posted on : Aug 28 2017
Posted under Announcement, Challenges, Punches, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |

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 |

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 |