Since late last year, I have had a bit less time for my paper crafting, but not because I'm too busy with chores. I've been learning how to crochet a breast prosthesis called a Knitted Knocker. How these got their name is a fun story, but I'll leave it for you to research that online at KnittedKnockers.org. What's more fun for me is that I now am able to make these breast prostheses for women who have had breast cancer and have not had reconstructive surgery. I feel as if I'm really doing something to help with those who have had breast cancer and not just by donating money to research. This was especially true yesterday when I gave a friend my very first completed set of Knitted Knockers (which, in my case, were crocheted, not knitted).
Isn't that a delightful color of blue?! It's a color that my friend picked out from a box of yarn I'd ordered and received just a few weeks ago. No matter where you are around the world making these, they're made with soft yarn and either knitted or crocheted very tightly so that they can be stuffed with polyester fiber fill. The yarn that our group uses is Cascade Ultra Pima 100% cotton yarn. For this set, and for any that I give to someone directly, I stuff them as full as I can and then the person who is going to use them can remove however much she wants to make them comfortable.
The group to which I belong that started making these in our area of East Hawaii not only gives these to friends and neighbors, but also distributes them to oncology and other cancer treatment centers in our area. Those, too, are stuffed and ready to wear, with slight adjustments as needed. The group also sends knitted and crocheted items to the national Knitted Knockers in Bellingham, Washington, because that is where most requests for these are received. But wherever and to whomever we give these, we do not charge one cent for them. So if you, or someone you know, would like to have one or two of these, just get in touch with KnittedKnockers.org, and they'll help you get your order placed.
Of course, my Stampin' Up! stash helped with the packaging of this delivery! That bag is a gusseted cellophane bag from Stampin' Up! And I punched the tag that went with this using the Scalloped Tag Topper Punch. I really can't make anything these days without pulling stuff from the paper-crafting side of my craft room! Click on either of the pictures below to learn more about the products AND to purchase them from my Stampin' Up! store.
Earlier this week, I told you about my project that I used for the biweekly challenge blog, Stampin' Up! Only Challenges. I had CASEd (Copy And Share with Everyone) a project from the latest issue of CardMaker Magazine. For today's project, I have a project that I CASEd from one of the other SUO Challenge Design Team members – fellow Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, Pam Staples.
I didn't quite copy Pam's design entirely, but the layout of the stamped and embellished layer is pretty close to hers. The main differences were that I used Soft Sky as the color for the splashed background, I used Gold Foil for the arrow and little hearts, I used one of the square Stitched Shapes Framelits for the sentiment element, and I didn't emboss the lips. Emboss the lips? You bet – with the fun Real Red Glitter Embossing Powder that carried over from the 2016 Holiday Catalog. The Sealed With Love Bundle, that includes the stamp set and framelits is from the 2017 Occasions Catalog. The splashed background is from the Gorgeous Grunge Stamp Set that's in the 2016-2017 Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog. And those two little hearts? They're from the Owl Builder Punch. I hardly ever use that owl figure much any more. But the heart and the circles in that punch are oh so useful! So lots going on here with a variety of Stampin' Up! Catalogs and products!
And of course now I have made a Valentine's Day card with a color other than Red! But I still want to try out some other different color combos before I finish with this year's Valentines. I have another few days before I have to quit and get mine sent out. I'll be sure to share them here.
For now, here are the products that I used for this card. There are a lot more than I usually use in a card. But I was on a roll when I started pulling products off the shelf in my Craft Room!
The Stampin' Up! 2017 Occasions Catalog and the 2017 Sale-a-bration Catalog have some products that are just perfect to use for Valentine's Day cards. But as I've mentioned before, the Stampin' Up! 2016-2017 Annual Catalog also has products that are just as perfect. For today's project I'm mixing them all up!
In the Sending Love Suite of products in the Stampin' Up! 2017 Occasions Catalog, there is a bundle that includes a stamp set and a set of framelits. The bundle is called the Sealed With Love Bundle, and includes the Sealed With Love Stamp Set and the Love Note Framelits Dies set. The stamped image inside the center heart is from that stamp set and the heart edge on the Real Red Cardstock layer is from the framelits set.
Then there's the background layer – all lacy and stamped with two images from the Sale-a-bration Stamp Set, Delicate Details. Put that together with two hearts from the Sweet & Sassy Framelits set from the annual catalog, and you have a fun and fabulous Valentine's Card!
I've managed once again to make a Red and White Valentine's Card. But I just LOVE that combo! On the other hand, one of my favorite Stampin' Up! demonstrators had a project in the latest Stampin' Up! Only Challenge this week that made me want to try to add another color into the mix. So I'll try that out for tomorrow!
Meanwhile, here are the products that I used for today's project. You can order them any time, 24/7/365, at my Stampin' Up! store – which you can find by clicking on any of these product pictures!
Yesterday I featured a Valentine's Card using both paper and stamps from the Sending Love Suite in the Stampin' Up! 2017 Occasions Catalog. For today I'm using more of the paper – but no stamps. It's wonderful what you can do with Stampin' Up!'s Sizzix Thinlits!
The Thinlit that I used for this fun Valentine's Card is the Sunshine Wishes Thinlits set. It's in Stampin' Up!'s 2016-2017 Annual Catalog, and it's perfect for Valentine's Day! It's perfect for lots of other things, too. But as we get into the month of February, Valentine's Day Cards are my focus!
There are four different sheets from the Sending Love Designer Series Paper Stack on the front of this card. I just love that this year's Valentine's Paper is just Red and White AND that there are some sheets that are primarily one or the other. That allowed me to make this card with the mostly white background sheet, and three mostly red papers for the images.
It works in reverse, too!! Here is the very same layout (well, with an additional mat layer, but nothing different on the design layer!). But this time there's a primarily red background sheet (the same sheet as I used for the little hearts in the first card), with three primarily white layers. Oh, and by the way, the little heart is part of the Love Notes Framelits Dies set that's also part of the Sending Love Suite of products.
I just love this, and it was so easy to make. If there weren't other card layouts I'd like to try out this week and next, it just might be my go to Valentine's Card project for the year!
Here are the products I feature in these projects. Lots of fun! It's not too late to order these products for your own Valentine's projects! Just click on a picture and you'll be taken to my Stampin' Up! store where you can order them today!
It's time for another edition of the Stampin' Up! Only Challenge, and I think this is always my favorite of the whole year. It's time to get all those Valentine's Day Cards done, and that's the challenge!
I have been working like crazy to get lots of Valentine's Cards done this year because I think that the Sealed with Love Stamp Set and the Sending Love Designer Series Paper (DSP) Stack in the 2017 Stampin' Up! Occasions Catalog is one of the best combinations I've seen in a long time!
Add to that paper and stamp set combo the wonderful shapes from the Love Notes Framelits Dies, and you have just about everything you need for great Valentine's Cards (well, except for the Real Red Ink and Whisper White Cardstock, which you probably already have in your stash)!
For today's card, I also added a gorgeous stamp (IMHO) from the FREE Sale-a-bration Delicate Details Stamp Set. That's the lace stamp across the card, under the hearts. I used the small heart Framelit from the Framelits Set to cut hearts from scraps of paper from the Sending Love DSP Stack.
Oh, and I love how the teeny white hearts are spaced on the sheet of the DSP that I used for the mat for the stamped layer of this card. They are spaced perfectly to be cut to sizes that typically appear as layers on a 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" card base (this fits into an A2 or "medium" size envelope).
My final touch on this card was a sprinkling of Pearl Basic Jewels.
If you are a reader of CardMaker Magazine, you just might recognize this layout. Yes, it's a CASE (Copy And Share with Everyone) from a card in their article about simple Valentine's Day Cards using small hearts. I've created a couple of other cards using these layouts, and am sharing them with you this month also. It's just a great magazine for ideas even though they use Stampin' Up! products a bit too infrequently for my taste. Nonetheless, I can usually find Stampin' Up! products to make with their design ideas!
Speaking of products, here are the products that I featured in today's project. Click on any of the pictures to go to my Stampin' Up! Store to order any of them. Or just give me a call, and I can help you place the order if you'd prefer!
DID YOU NOTICE!? Buy the Sealed With Love Bundle and the Sending Love Designer Series Paper – and get the Delicate Details Stamp Set FOR FREE!
Yes, indeed, I did put ALL my Inside the Lines Designer Series Paper (from the 2017 Sale-a-bration catalog) away, as part of a general clean up of my Craft Room yesterday. But as I got into the later hours of the day, where I typically go through any scraps lying around to file them (either with their "parent" papers or in the circular file on the floor, depending upon size) I came across a VERY large scrap of Inside the Lines paper. Large as in 4" x 5-1/4" or just the right size for the top layer of a card.
So what could I do but stop cleaning up and start coloring! As in my last card, I wanted a limited number of colors because I didn't want it to be too cluttered with a lot of colors that might or might not be a good combo when all was said or done. But I didn't want just two colors as I thought a variety of shades would create a nice effect. So I picked out my Watermelon Wonder, Flirty Flamingo, and Calypso Coral Stampin' Write Markers for the flowers, and Mint Macaron and Wild Wasabi for the stems and leaves.
I started coloring just using one of the flower markers first, coloring in different places on the paper. Then I did the same with the other two colors, finally finishing up with coloring some of the leaves with the greens. I stood back a bit and added some colors in a few spots and called it done. I was tempted to color all the flower and leaves in, but held myself back. Now that the card is done, I'm glad that I did.
I picked the Watermelon Wonder and Mint Macaron as my accent colors. I like the Wild Wasabi, but I don't have ribbon in that color, and I thought ribbon would tie this card together nicely. So Mint Macaron it was.
The sentiment is from the Love and Affection Stamp Set that's in the 2017 Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog. I stamped it using Watermelon Wonder ink on Whisper White Cardstock. Then I cut it, along with a piece of Watermelon Wonder Cardstock with the smallest die in the Banners Framelits set. Then I trimmed the stamped die-cut shape a bit on the top and bottom and straight end and adhered it to the Watermelon Wonder piece. I then adhered it to the card front, over the ribbon, using Stampin' Dimensionals. I didn't use actual hexagonal dimensionals. I cut two edge pieces and adhered the straight edges to the top and bottom of the banner element so the adhesive fit above and below the ribbon.
This coloring in paper is kind of fun! The good news is that I have some other papers that I want to use, too. So I'll leave the Inside The Lines paper alone for a while – unless I find another piece hidden on my work table somewhere!
I mentioned in a post last week that I've received my Spring 2017 CardMaker Magazine and I'm loving all the projects in it that I can CASE (Copy And Share with Everyone) using Stampin' Up! products. Unfortunately, there are very few Stampin' Up! products featured in CardMaker, but the good news is that many of their projects can be used with a wide variety of products – including Stampin' Up!'s!
The stamp is from the Sealed with Love Stamp Set and the hearts are die-cut using the small heart in the Love Note Framelits Dies set. You can buy each of these products separately, OR you can buy them together in a bundle and get a 10% discount! Love those discounts! Plus, if you also buy the Sending Love Designer Series Paper set, you'll have spent enough $$$ to order a FREE Stampin' Up! Sale-a-bration product. Think that luscious Inside the Lines Designer Series Paper that I showed off in my last post!
Back to today's project. I drew the lines on which the hearts are "hanging" using a Real Red Stampin' Write Marker, and spaced them 3/4" apart. As I wasn't going to place any of the hearts right next to each other, this was plenty of room for arranging those little cuties. Besides following the original design with the lines and hearts, and a stamped sentiment in the lower right corner of the card, I also used its idea of having embellishments in the upper left and lower right corners of the card. For my card, I used Stampin' Up!'s Pearl Basic Jewels. The mat behind the stamped layer is one of the printed sheets from the Sending Love Designer Series Paper set. I really wanted some little hearts to show, but I'd already added the pearls to the card, making using any of my cutting tools difficult (impossible?) to use – the pearls would get in the way. Instead, there are just a few teensie parts of the hearts peeking out from the edges.
The one element in this card that's not a Stampin' Up! product is the stitched rectangle edge around the stamped layer. As Stampin' Up! has already released its Stitched Shape Framelits (no longer on back order, by the way), I'm really hoping that we'll also see some of the larger rectangle shapes in the next Annual Catalog. Crossing my fingers and toes!
Now here are the products I feature in today's card.
Here I go again with leaving "stuff" out on my work table, only to have it be right there when I needed it. Maybe I'll never learn to tidy my work area right away when I should! Anyway, I'm back with yet another card that I made using the FREE Stampin' Up! Sale-a-bration Product: Inside the Lines Designer Series Paper.
This paper is just black and white sketches, just like you might find in a coloring book – and it's meant to be colored in, as much or as little as you'd like. For today's project I decided just to color in a few of the tropical rain forest images and leave the rest uncolored.
The reason that this was just the paper to use on this project is that I made it to send a Thank You note to a customer who just placed a large Stampin' Up! order from my online store. One of the items she ordered – because she spent enough money on other products to get it FOR FREE! – was the Inside the Lines Designer Series Paper. So what better paper to use for her Thank You note than this!
I colored in the plants in front (that look to me like Ti, though I didn't color them as beautifully as the Ti in our garden because my coloring-in skills are not all that finely honed) using Pear Pizzazz Stampin' Write Marker. I colored the ferns using an Old Olive Stampin' Write Marker, which I also used to accent the Ti at the bottom of the card. Unfortunately, I was not able to find just the right color in my stash of current Stampin' Up! colors that I wanted to use for the fern's stems and "fiddleheads." I wanted something bright and rich-looking, and the only color I could find that was close to what I wanted was the (sadly) retired, Creamy Caramel. I sure would like to see a color like this come back into the Stampin' Up! collection!
Once I got that part of the paper that I wanted to use colored, I went looking for ideas for including a "Thank You" or "Thanks." Flipping through my Framelits and Thinlits, I came across the Tags and Labels Framelits. It didn't take me long to find a piece of the same Designer Series Paper where the little "Thanks" from the Endless Thanks Stamp Set would fit without being overwhelmed by the paper's design. I matted it with some Old Olive Cardstock, tied on a Linen Thread bow, adhered the tag to the card with some Stampin' Dimensionals, and I was done!
I need to get into making some Valentine's Cards, so I'm thinking I'll put this paper away for now. Yes, I'm going to straighten up my craft room. Right after….
I can't believe I waited until yesterday to open my brand new pack of the Stampin' Up! Sale-a-bration Designer Series Paper, Inside the Lines. I've not been much into the adult coloring book craze that's been going on for the last couple of years. After all, I have stamps that I can color in and that keeps me quite satisfied coloring-wise, thank you very much.
But now I have this Stampin' Up! paper that can be colored in. My first reaction, was, "yawn." But the fact that it's FREE with any $50 Stampin' Up! purchase helped me change my mind. After all, I could probably give it away as a gift, couldn't I? But then I saw a card in the latest CardMaker Magazine (page 30, Spring 2017 issue) that gave me the idea to use some of the Inside the Lines paper as a background layer for a card.
So off I went to my pristine pack of Inside the Lines Designer Series Paper and picked out the one with the small flowers. I chose Blushing Bride and Mint Macaron color for the paper for the simple reason that the Blushing Bride 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon and the Blushing Bride and Mint Macaron Stampin' Write Markers were out on my work table – still not put away from a Valentine Card making session earlier in the week (old habits never change around here). So those two colors were going to be my theme for the Inside the Lines paper.
I cut a piece of the Designer Series Paper 4" wide by 5-1/4" high. Then I colored in the flowers and leaves with just the Blushing Bride and Mint Macaron markers (not bothering to color in the center section of the paper that would be covered with the smaller layers). When I was all finished, I decided to use some Watermelon Wonder to color in the centers of the flowers that had circles on them. That was a nice accent, and gave me an extra color to use in the top stamped layer.
When I started this project, I had no idea what stamp set I was going to use for the center stamped layer. I didn't have a sense of what the finished colored DSP layer was going to look like. Once I did, though, I went right for the Love & Affection Stamp Set, which I haven't used at all since last summer. Time to get it out again! Stamping the 2-7/8" by 4-1/8" piece of Whisper White Cardstock was so much fun – the design just flowed – three larger flowers, some leaves and little flowers stamped all over. What a nice complement for the colored-in paper!
I cut both Blushing Bride and Mint Macaron mat layers for both the Designer Series Paper and the stamped layer, moving them in and out until I decided that both layers would have a Mint Macaron mat and the card base would be Blushing Bride. I cut the mat layers 1/4" wider and higher than the layers they were to mat, leaving a 1/8" border all around. Pretty standard stuff.
I photographed the card and had it all ready to post when it occurred to me that those larger flowers on the stamped layer needed Blushing Bride Candy Dots from the Subtles Collection of Candy Dots. Here's the original photograph, without the Candy Dots. It's funny how different a project looks on the computer screen than it does in real life. I just didn't see the need for the added embellishments until I saw it on the screen AND completely edited and ready to post!
I've seen some other artistic ideas of what to do with this paper set, and I definitely plan to use more of it this week. Coloring really is fun!
I love it when each month's Paper Pumpkin Kit from Stampin' Up! arrives. Now, I may not always be thrilled with the kind of project when I first see it. But all it usually takes is a few minutes of thinking about the possibilities of the new goodies that have landed in my Craft Room. The January 2017 Paper Pumpkin Kit was one of those. On the front of the booklet that comes with every kit I saw 6 treat bags. Oh, great (no exclamation point here). What was I going to do with 6 kits. They're cute, but even the smallest club to which I belong has 10 people these days. What the heck was I going to do with this – well, use the stamps of course.
NOT! There in teeny print below the cover's picture was, "Kit contains supplies for 24 treat bags." Now that deserves an exclamation point!!! Or three!
That's the good news. With 24 kits, I can easily take a basket of treat bags to my Book Club Meeting later this month – we frequently have 20 or more people at our pot luck lunches.
The not so good news is that, to make these lovely treat bags – all 24 of them – takes well over 2-1/2 hours. It will be close to 3 if you don't take some short cuts. This is not your 30-minute Paper Pumpkin kit. How do I know about the time? I had an afternoon all to myself yesterday, and I decided to have a go at the kit because who knows when I'll have a day to myself before the Book Club meeting, so I might as well get them done. They're not actually completely done because I do not have treats to put in them on hand. But putting treats in the bags and sealing them should only take another 15 or 20 minutes max. Nonetheless, I timed myself and did not let myself get side tracked while I was working on them.
Since my original post, I have found my treats for the bags – Small packages of Dry Roasted Almonds that fit in the Treat Bags folded in half. Here is one important thing more than I wrote about in the following paragraphs: When the bag is folded on the top, it is very bulky, in fact too bulky for the little heart seals that come with the kit to stay in place for long. My solution was to trim off the top of the bag except for the front flap. Then the heart seal stayed put. I tried it on one bag and it did fine for almost two days. Now the rest are done and my treat bags are ready to give away at our meeting on Thursday! Oh, and this whole process added about an hour more to the total time for the kit construction, bringing it almost to 4 hours!
Here are my notes on trying to get this project done in full in 3 hours:
- Definitely make this one of those projects you make assembly line style. Do all of one thing, then go onto another.
- Stamp the hearts before you punch them out. Those little critters are hard to hold onto when stamping individually. I know it looks easy in the Stampin' Up! video, but I did not find that to be true in my Craft Room. A possible downside is that, if you overstamp a heart you may end up getting ink on another heart. How did I come up with that? Guess. So I ended up stamping some of my hearts on the "back" side of the sheet that held them all.
- Think about just using one sentiment on all your bags. It was an easy decision for me because all of the book club members are my friends. But that way you're only inking up one stamp.
- Adhere the banners to the bags before you construct them. It's just easier to adhere the banners on a flat surface.
- If you have any vellum tape, use that to attach the vellum banner to the white banner. The time and fuss of putting two glue dots on each of 24 banners adds up quickly. I used the Tombow Vellum Adhesive in a tape runner like SNAIL's.
- Wait until the bag is made before pinching the gussets. It's tempting to fold them while you're folding the other scored lines, but you'll save time folding them at the end.
- Watch how you put the hearts on the dowels. The bottom of the heart is supposed to be the point on the arrow.
- I did not add the Gold Thread behind the hearts. The metallic threads and I do not have a good personal relationship. Heaven help me if I've allowed any adhesive to be out on my work surface because that thread is going to find it and stick to it! You can see the photo above. I think the gold thread is just a bit too much.
- Buy the treats to go into the bag first. Now I'm going to have to get them all out again and do the last few steps.
The bottom line with this project is that it's fun. I'll enjoy the oohs and aahs and smiles when my book club friends pick them out of the basket. That's worth every minute!