I have some friends with whom I like to get together occasionally for coffee. As of last month, we finally have a new bakery/coffee shop right nearby where it's a joy to meet. For those of you who live in cities, you cannot possibly imagine what this shop is like. It's been set up in an old metal building that used to be a car repair and tire sales shop. Yes, the floor is concrete, and the furniture is a collection of odd tables and chairs and whatnot. It's a hoot – and the baked goods are to die for! The Tin Shack Bakery in Pahoa, Hawaii, is a fabulous place for a fun time with a friend and some coffee.
I finally broke down and bought the Stampin' Up! Stamp Set, Perfect Blend when I thought of sending a card to one of my friends suggesting a date for coffee. What a change from phone calls and e-mails! I know it will bring a smile to her face!
The layout for this card is a CASE of a CASE! The magazine that we Stampin' Up! demonstrators get from Stampin' Up! often has articles about how to copy some of the basic features of another card while still making it our own unique creation. This month's magazine showed how someone at Stampin' Up! CASEd another card. And then I CASEd the second card. I changed out the colors, the stamps, the ribbon and embellishments. But there's no doubt that I got the idea from that other card!
My colors for this card are Cherry Cobbler and Old Olive. The printed papers are both from the Designer Series Paper Set, Season of Style from the Stamin' Up! 2013 Holiday Catalog. For the layer with the notched bottom, I sponged Cherry Cobbler Ink onto a piece of Whisper White Cardstock.
The Coffee Cup Stamp is made up only of the outline. To make this stamped image, I stamped the cup twice – once on some Whisper White Cardstock and once on the small polka dot design from the Season of Style paper set. The first thing I did was stamp the saying onto the center section of the cup, using my Stamp-a-ma-jig stamp aligner. Then I cut out the whole cup from the printed paper, and only the lid and center section from the Whisper White cardstock and glued it to the printed paper copy of the cup. What really makes this an easy job is that there are all those sketch lines along the edges of the cup and its parts. So I could place the two white pieces almost perfectly. Even if I wasn't perfect (and I wasn't!) you'd hardly notice!
The original design had nothing in the way of an embellishment on the bottom part of the card. Sometimes I like uncluttered spaces. But this time I thought something was called for, if only for a subtle accent. I chose one of the Needlepoint Border Embossing Folder designs, and it took care of that blank space nicely!
So now to mail off the card and look forward to some fun conversation with my friend some morning soon – at the Tin Shack Bakery, of course!
Has it been 5 days since I last posted here? Oh, my! But I've been very busy with two big projects I was designing for others. One project was for a class that I presented to a local group, and they loved it (at least that's what I heard)! It's based on a Crazy Quilt idea I presented here a few weeks ago. I'll be sharing the tutorial with those who are signed up for my newsletter – and my November newsletter will be coming out soon! The other project was for the Create with Connie and Mary 2013 Winter Collection, and only those subscribed to this collection will be able to get the tutorial. It's not too late to subscribe! I've loved all the projects so far and they'll all be fabulous for Christmas, which is still six and a half weeks away – plenty of time to do those projects!
But now I'm back to my regular fun crafting, and I did two projects yesterday, one of which I'm sharing with you today.
I loved this poinsettia stamp from the Stampin' Up! Stamp Set, Joyful Christmas, since I first saw it. Of course I ordered it back when I could first order from the Stampin' Up! 2013 Holiday Catalog – and I've never used it until today! Now that's sad. But now it's in use and I'm sure I'll be doing a lot more with it.
Another Stampin' Up! product that I haven't used is the Gold Foil, which is in the same catalog as the stamp set. Once I had those out, the idea to emboss the poinsettia was not far behind. Actually, I've had that idea all along – I first saw this embossed in Gold on page 10 of the Holiday Catalog and I've seen lots of gorgeous poinsettia projects done in gold since.
I did my poinsettia a bit differently than the project in the catalog. For that project, the artist stamped and embossed the flower on Cherry Cobbler cardstock. I stamped and embossed mine on Whisper White Cardstock and then colored it in with a Real Red Stampin' Write Marker. But if you look closely you'll see that I didn't color in the whole flower in red. I have poinsettias in my garden and I can see through the flowers where their stems attach to the base branch. So I colored the very center spaces with an Old Olive Stampin' Write Marker. Then, when I adhered the flower to the Old Olive Cardstock, there is the impression of seeing through the flower stems!
I colored the "berries" in the center of the flower using a Crushed Curry Stampin' Write Marker. Then for a bit more definition, I added several Crushed Curry Candy Dots. I love that I don't have to use full brads any more to get the texture of these little circles!
Of course, the Petals-a-Plenty Embossing Folder is perfect for this project as the flowers in that folder are little poinsettias!
I cut both the Old Olive Cardstock and the Gold Foil with dies from the Deco Labels Framelits collection. The poinsettia I cut by hand (I'm getting better and better at that with practice!).
The Gold Foil is very light and, at least in the humidity of the Hawaiian Rain Forest (where I live) curls up almost as soon as it's out of its package. So I adhered that layer with SNAIL Adhesive all around the edge, not just in spots as I do with some layers. I adhered the Old Olive cardstock to the foil with some strips of Sticky Strip Adhesive as I've had a bit of difficulty getting SNAIL to adhere to the foil for any length of time. I added the poinsettia to the card with Stampin' Dimensionals, and adhered the whole design to card made with Real Red Cardstock.
And that's my first project for the weekend! Today's another busy day with lots of Sunday activities, but I'm sure I'll be getting another project done before the day is over, and I'll share that with you later in the week, too!
It's going to be so much fun just working on my own projects with no deadlines for awhile!
This week's challenge on the SUO Challenges Blog has been one of my favorites. As soon as I started working on this project, I knew what mine was going to be. I just love the little, "You Made my Day!" stamp in this year's Stampin' Up! Stamp Set, Best of Greetings.
When we decided on this for a theme at SUO Challenges, I was equally sure that I would be in the mood for a fun Christmas greeting. After all, Christmas is next month! But now that the time is here, I find that I'm just a wee bit tired of Christmas because I'm working on two big projects that involve Christmas. So, for a short time at least, I needed a break from Christmas. So not only am I using a non-holiday greeting in my card, I'm not even close to using Christmas colors! In no stretch of my imagination do I see Tangering Tango and Pear Pizzazz as Christmas colors!
I'm always in need of some kind of "Thank You" note. I love the "You Made my Day" stamp because it's perfect for a card to send quickly to someone who has done something to make me smile. I have a customer I hadn't heard from in a while call to chat and ask for information about current Stampin' Up! products. Sharon made me smile and I had just the card to send her with some flyers I put in the mail that afternoon. She made me smile and this stamp makes me smile just thinking about her calling!
Flowers seem to go well with this kind of a happy Thank You note, too. I made a quick scan of the stamp sets on my shelf and picked out the Stamp Set, Too Kind. You know from another recent SUO Challenge post that my favorite technique is Two-Step Stampin, and Too Kind is a Two-Step Stamp Set – perfect. Two "favorites" in one card!! In this set, the two stems are part of one stamp. I first stamped that on my Naturals Ivory cardstock. Then I stamped the bottom layer of each flower with Tangerine Tango Classic Ink that I'd stamped off once on scratch paper – so it's lighter than the full Tangerine Tango ink that I used for the stamp that's the top layer of the flower images.
And of course flowers need to be tied into a bouquet! So I cut a piece of Pear Pizzazz 3/4" Chevron Ribbon to wrap around the card with the tie arranged just over the stems of the flowers.
For the greeting, I first stamped it in Tangerine Tango (full strength!), then cut it with a small framelit from the Ovals Collection Framelits. For the Pear Pizzazz cardstock mat, I traced around the outside of the same Framelit shape and cut it out by hand. Then I adhered the stamped oval to the mat and adhered it to the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals that I placed on the top and bottom so that the oval element straddled the Chevron Ribbon. Finally, I adhered all the layers – the stamped layer, then some Pear Pizzazz cardstock and a piece from the Designer Series Paper Set, Sweater Weather, before putting the whole card front onto a base card of Naturals Ivory.
As I was getting ready to call the card, "Done," I decided there was just a bit too much white space in the upper right section of the card front. I tried a few different ideas, and finally settled on some Tangerine Tango Candy Dots. And just for good measure, I added two Pear Pizzazz Candy Dots to accent the greeting. Here's a little technique hint: To get the Candy Dots just where you want them to make them even, as up in the right corner, I use a shape from a Paper-Piercing Pack and a sharp pencil to mark where I want the dots to go. In this case, I used a square from the Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack.
Now I could call it, "Done"! And I think I got enough of the non-holiday stuff out of my system that I'm ready to go back to a bit more of the festive Stampin' Up! products! Now that I've had a break, I'm sure I'll have fun with it!
This week with the Create with Connie and Mary Winter Collection the challenge is (finally!) a color challenge. I LOOOOOVE color challenges! (Have I mentioned this before? I'm sure I have!)
To top off the fact that there was a color challenge, it comes just as November begins and I really start thinking about Christmas cards. And my favorite colors (as of this week) are the challenge colors, Cherry Cobbler and Old Olive. Of course in a challenge, Connie and Mary feel they have to add in a third color (OK, I understand that's a typical challenge; but I could do something just with Cherry and Olive!). The third color is Crumb Cake (formerly – like a long time ago in the Stampin' Up! world - "Kraft").
But Crumb Cake does make a really nice accent for these two favorite colors, so I gave it its time in the sun!
My favorite part of this card was breaking out the banner shape from the Sizzix Hearts a Flutter Framelits set. And the best part about this was that I was able to find a stamp in the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog as well as in one of Stampin' Up!'s newest stamp sets, the Christmas Tagables Photopolymer Stamp Set, that both used the banner framelit! The Holiday Catalog set is a Hostess Set, Perfectly You, and that's the one that's on both the left and right "hanging" from the piece of Old Olive 1/8" Satin Ribbon. The stamp from the Christmas Tagables set is in the midde.
To provide a bit of extra color in the banners, I stamped all of them in both Old Olive and Cherry Cobbler, and then cut out some of the text in each stamped image to adhere to the others. The shapes have such nice clean edges that it didn't seem necessary to use markers to color them before stamping. I did, though, use my Stampin' Write Markers to color in the ornaments on the Perfectly You stamps. And, yes, I did use Crumb Cake as one of the colors in the ornaments!
As you might imagine, I fretted a bit over what I might include as the horizontal element under the banner. But once I realized that there was a enough color and shape "interest" in the banner, I decided just to add two horizontal score lines and some more of the Old Olive 1/8" Ribbon to complement the ribbon in the banner. I tied all three bows individually from short strips of ribbon and adhered them in place with Mini Glue Dots.
There's one feature of this card with which I have finally felt comfortable – and that's making the bows (as those in the two upper corners) sit above and to the left and right of the card's edges. The reason for this is that I now can make envelopes – using the Stampin' Up! Envelope Punch Board – that are just slightly wider and taller than a standard card that would usually fit in an A2 envelope! So I'm not going to have to bend and squeeze those bows that have sneaked up and out of the main card shape to get them into an envelope!
So many fun and new products in today's card! And I have one more Christmas card done. Woo-hoo! I may actually (finally!) be on a roll, Christmas-wise! I hope you're getting there, too. One way to get there more quickly, of course, is to subscribe to the Create with Connie and Mary Winter Collection! Fabulous ideas there, and I'll be using some of them in my own cards this year for sure!
But no matter what you're doing to make your Christmas – or other holiday – cards, I certainly do hope you're having fun with ti!
After I presented a September class focused on making some cards that mimicked some pieced quilt designs, I decided to try to try some cards with a different take on paper piecing. I'm still not just where I want to be in understanding how to get the effect that I want. But I finally am feeling that I'm almost there – maybe just one more try before I'm at the point where I can actually write a tutorial and present a class. Yay!
For my latest try at my idea, I used the Stampin' Up! Ovals Collection Sizzix Framelits. Using the Ovals was an idea I got yesterday by participating in an online chat that challenged us to use circles or ovals on a card. And here I had been focusing my ideas on trying to use squares or rectangles. What a great idea to get away from the straight lines in favor of a few curves!
Since Halloween is this week, I chose the Halloween paper set, Witches Brew DSP. The colors in the four sheets of paper that I used are Basic Black, Pumpkin Pie, Summer Starfruit and Very Vanilla. For the background, I focused on the Black, Pumpkin and Vanilla colors. I think that the Starfruit color is a nice accent for the center of the card; but no matter how I tried to use it, it detracted from the rest of the background.
As you might imagine from the layout, this card is wider than a standard card. In fact, the card is 5-1/2" square, making the top layer on which I placed the oval 5" square. This is just a bit too wide for the Square Lattice Embossing Folder that I wanted to use to cover the whole layer. I was going to try to overlap the textured pattern, but then tried just embossing the center of the layer to see what would happen. What happened is that I ended up with a nice border on the left and right, just perfect for adding a bit of a Pumpkin Pie 1/8" Satin Ribbon accent. I also used a small piece of the same ribbon on the Basic Black Button in the center of the small oval.
To finish off the card with a greeting, I used one of the stamps from the set, Best of Halloween, stamped in Black on Vanilla and punched with the Modern Label Punch.
As you may have noticed, I used my Basic Black Stampin' Write Marker to outline all of the cut lines in the oval element. I'm not sure I like that effect and hope to get some feedback from some of my stamping friends about it. Just one more little thing to decided before I write that tutorial!
For now, though, I have at least one more Halloween Card I want to make – and not many days left to get it done so I can give it to one of my friends! I've had quite a bit of fun with the Halloween cards this year, and hope you are having fun with whatever you're doing, too!
I thought you should all know that I frequently have help writing my blog posts, including assistance in researching the Stampin' Up! products that I use and keying in the correct information!
As I was preparing yesterday's blog post, our cat, Cholla (like the cactus in New Mexico where she was born), decided that I needed assistance. I had to give her a little help to climb onto my lap as she's an elderly lady. But she watched very carefully to make sure that I copied the correct information from Stampin' Up!'s Holiday Catalog. I was thinking that this could be a cute photo when my dear husband happened by. My camera was right within reach and he snapped a few candids for my "purrsonnel" files!
Gotta love it when the staff purrs in appreciation of all my hard work!
Finally last night I had a chance to get back into my craft room and actually make a card! Oh, I've been in my craft room since I've been home from my 3+ week trip. But that was mostly to unpack a couple of boxes of Stampin' Up! goodies that I ordered while I was away. Stampin' Up! has been having short little sales that come and go like the wind, and I wasn't going to let a little thing like a trip 6,000 miles away from home stop me from snatching up those goodies!
But I digress. The big news of the day is that this is the end of the first week of the Create with Connie and Mary 2013 Winter Collection! Of course that means that there's a Saturday challenge. Even though I'm just a Guest Designer for this edition, I still get to participate as part of the Winter Edition Design Team for the challenges! This week the challenge is a sketch challenge (and you know Sketch Challenges are one of my FAVORITE kinds of challenges!)
When I first saw this sketch, I wondered how I could make anything that was much better than the sketch itself – it's a great card (well, it does need some stamping!). Given that entering the sketch into the challenge was not an option, I had to think of something!
And this was what I finally came up with! I had to look at it in quite a few directions before I decided that I liked the card enough actually to submit it to the challenge. And, yes, I frequently make cards that, while they're "finished," they just don't look right when photographed and put online. I think this one looks better in a photo than it does in person. Go figure!
The top and bottom elements of this sketch are both made using the Sizzix Gift Bow Die from the Stampin' Up! 2013 Holiday Catalog. I used both sizes of bows (which you've seen me do before) to form the top element of the card. I used both sides of one sheet of paper in the Season of Style Designer Series Paper set, one side for the larger bow and the other for the smaller. I glued both of these together and then wrapped a single rectangle of one color around both bows (the rectangle is part of the die).
Then I cut four pieces of the notched "ribbon" ends and arranged them to mimic the notched element in the sketch.
Finally I stamped a greeting from the stamp set, Christmas Messages, and cut the stamped layer 2-1/2" wide by 2-1/4" high. I matted this with a layer of Old Olive Card Stock 2-5/8" wide by 2-3/8" high, and applied the layered element to the middle of the card using Stampin' Dimensionals. For a final accent, I added a Cherry Cobbler Candy Dot in each of the corners of the stamped layer.
Besides Cherry Cobbler and Old Olive in these sheets of Designer Series Paper, there is quite a bit of Crumb Cake; so I used that color to form the card base. I decided to cut the base to form a card with the fold on the top as I thought that accented the layout better than a card folded on the side would have.
One of the really nice features of the Christmas Messages Stamp Set is that there are both an outside greeting and an inside sentiment. For the "Deck the Halls" greeting, I used the sentiment, "Hoping your Christmas is trimed with the love and warmth of family and friends." How cool is that!
Oh, but it's not as cool as all the projects in the Create with Connie and Mary Winter Collection! For every project there are full color tutorials, and there's a project every day but Saturday! Even if you "missed" the first week, you actually never miss anything in one of the Connie and Mary Collections because you always have access to the full Collection no matter when you join! And, of course, you'll want to see my project, which will be coming up in a couple of weeks – and you can ONLY see it on the Create website!
Now I'm off to have some more fun in my craft room – check back on Monday for my latest project!
I'm back from my travels and all unpacked! I'm exhausted, but I had a great time. I knew when I left that one of the first things I'd have to do is to come up with a project for my SUDSOL Online Demonstrator group's CASE (Copy and Share with Everyone) challenge for the week – so I did it ahead of time (surprise! – not!)
For once, I pretty much used the entire design as it was originally presented. But you would probably not be surprised if I told you I changed the colors!
I stamped the background using one of the images from the Truly Grateful Stamp Set, using Chocolate Chip Ink on Crumb Cake Card Stock. The original card was the size of the top layer of this card, which is smaller than a standard 4-1/4" by 5-1/2" card. I decided I wanted a full-sized card, so I layered up the original design using Pumpkin Pie and Cajun Craze card stock. Hmmm, as I write this, I realize that both of these colors have become my "go to" colors for this season! Not a bad choice.
The stamped element on the front of the card is one of the designs in the Tags For You Stamp Set. The other stamps in this set are for Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day and all go with the brand new Label Bracket Punch. I love it when Stampin' Up! introduces stamps and punches that go together like this. And if you buy both of them together as a bundle you get a 15% discount on both!
To create a bit of interest behind the stamped image, I added a piece of Cajun Craze Card Stock cut with notches in either end, and then a small strip of Sweater Weather Designer Series Paper to accent it. I tied this all together with a double length of Linen Thread (also a "go to" embellishment for the season) made into a bow – nice finish!
After today, I start with new projects and some brand new stamp sets that I ordered before I returned from my trip. I'm so happy to be back home, and to be able to play with my Stampin' Up! toys in Robin's Craft Room! I'm definitely going to have fun with it this weekend!
Today is the day that we return from our loooong trip to visit friends and family on the United States Mainland. And it's also the day for the Stampin' Up! Only Challenges biweekly challenge. This time the theme is, "Harvest Time." Usually I don't see too much of Harvest Time scenery where I live in Hawaii. But believe me, I saw a lot of it everywhere we went on the mainland!
For the first time in a long time, this is a card that I have not copied from myself or anyone else! It started out to be a card without any layers other than the card base itself. But I think I'm constitutionally incapable of making such a card! OK, I've made one or two. But it's been hard. It was downright impossible for me this time around! In fact, the only elements that remain from my original idea is the Pear Pizzazz Sponged Background, and the wheat image from the Truly Grateful Stamp Set. I won't even go into what I originally planned because I'd have to preface it with, "What was I thinking?"
The other stamped image – the one that covers the Burlap Ribbon – is from another Stamp Set, Harvest of Thanks.
My main image color for this project is one I haven't used for awhile – Chocolate Chip. I tried other browns, but this one worked the best with the design I ended up with. I stamped the main image three times and cut pieces from two of the layers to adhere to the background layer. The background layer itself is Chocolate Chip. Another layer was Cajun Craze, from which I cut the "Harvest" image and the small oval image at the bottom. For the corn, I used my Pear Pizzazz, Cajun Craze, and Crushed Curry Stampin' Write Markers to color on the rubber of the stamp using Blender Pens.
When I decided I wanted to have a layer of the Burlap Ribbon, I also decided to cut it with the same Apothecary Accents Framelit that I used for the main stamped image. As I wanted the Burlap Ribbon to be longer, I first folded it in half and placed the fold of the ribbon at a point beyond the half-way point of the framelit shape. When I finished cutting, I unfolded the ribbon and there it was – just a bit longer than the paper layer!
The wheat images have a raffia bow built into their design. I liked that but wanted it to stand out a bit more. So I cut some lengths of Linen Thread and tied two bows – each with two pieces of thread – and adhered them to the wheat images with Mini Glue Dots.
Finally I wanted a bit of texture. By this time, I'd already put the whole card together, so I was limited in what I could do. I chose simply to make two embossed lines on either side of the design using the Stampin' Up! Simply Scored Tool. It worked like a charm even with all that "stuff" on the front of the card!
So – it's Harvest Time, and I'll bet you're already thinking about making some Harvest season cards. If so, why don't you finish them up this week or next and enter them in the SUO Challenge Blog! Just post your card online somewhere and click here to enter!
Living in Hawaii, I rarely get to experience the colors and scents of a brisk fall day. This year is a welcome exception as we're traveling on the U. S.. mainland at just the right time for a fun autumn experience. In Pennsylvania and Maryland, the colors were gorgeous, and wind took lots of colorful leaves and painted the ground in lush fall colors. In North Carolina there were many houses fully decorated for Halloween, and I really miss that experience where we live as well.
So Fall and Halloween it is for today!
Once again, I made a project based on one that I made during my first few months of blogging and my first few months as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator in 2008. But this project is more than just a card. It's a card with a fun pull-up feature. When I looked at that 5-year old project, I almost skipped over it because I thought it was just made for that one stamp set that Stampin' Up! no longer sells. But then I remember saying that just about any kind of a project can be made with a number of stamp sets. So I did!
If you've subscribed to my new newsletter, you've already seen the tutorial for the two projects I'm going to share today – it was in the first issue that I published late last month! If you haven't signed up yet, you can still get the newsletter with the tutorial by signing up before the end of the month as I always send my current newsletter out to new subscribers!
The first project using this pull-up design is a Halloween card, just as the original 2008 design was. And I think the Halloween Happiness Stamp Set if anything makes a nicer card! Those little pumpkins always make me smile! This time, I used some different colors for the pumpkins, including Pumpkin Pie (of course) and the Pale Plum that I used for the card base.
When the card is closed, all you see of the pull up part is the cute little bat from the Halloween Hello Stamp Set. I used some Wild Wasabi Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon to use to pull up the inside of the card. It's adhered to the pull up card stock with a Wild Wasabi Candy Dot on a Candy Dot Brad Base. Wild Wasabi is the same color green I used for the stems and vines on the pumpkins. To make the outside of the card a bit more fun, I stamped two of the candy images from the Halloween Hello stamp set using Perfect Plum ink on the Perfect Plum Card Stock.
Then when the inside of the card is pulled up, the words, "Halloween Hello" below the bat show up, and there's a surprise layer just behind the central motif on the front of the card with the image from the Halloween Stamp Set, "It's all about the Candy." I matted the central element with paper from the Witches' Brew Designer Series Paper set and the top and bottom inside elements with Pumpkin Pie and Wild Wasabi Card Stock, respectively.
As I realize not everyone really likes to make projects for Halloween, I also made a Pull Up card with a Thanksgiving or Harvest Theme. The main image on the front is from the Stamp Set Best of Autumn. I really enjoyed coloring that picture in with some rich Stampin' Up! colors! This image was a bit smaller than the Halloween image, so I matted it twice, with the first mat a piece of Cajun Craze Card Stock and the second still from the Witches Brew DSP. I added in a strip of the new Burlap Ribbon that I cut with one of the framelits from the Apothecary Accents Framelit set. To decorate the outside of the card stock base, I stamped the Woodgrain Background Stamp to help with the feel of autumn.
For the inside of the card, I used images from the new Stamp Set, Truly Grateful (the acorn) and from the Petite Pairs Stamp Set. I can see lots of opportunities for other pull up cards using that Petite Pairs stamp set. It's perfect for this design! Oh, and the ribbon at the top is some of the 7/16" Natural Trim from the Stampin' Up! Catalog, adhered with a Cajun Craze Candy Dot on a Candy Dot Brad Base.
As I said, there is a tutorial all done and waiting for you to have if you don't already! Just sign up for my New Newsletter, and you'll have it in no time!