A Fun Double Espresso!

Aloha, all!

     I had so much fun with this project, and it's certainly much larger than most cards that I make!

     This pattern is called a Double Center Step Card, and it's 8-1/4" wide by the standard 5-1/2" high. Of course you can see why I chose the title for this blog post – this card is a double in every way! Just look at all those Coffee Images, taken both from the Coffee Cafe Stamp Set and the Coffee Break Designer Series Paper. The final "coffee" related Stampin' Up! product I used for this project was the Coffee Cups Framelits Set

     I love the colors in the set of Designer Series Paper – Garden Green goes oh so well with the Early Espresso and Soft Suede colors of the coffees, pots and cups in this set. I even love the touch of Pool Party blue, that I've accented with the Pool Party Shimmer Ribbon bow that finishes the project off.

     One thing that I noticed when I first used the Coffee Cups Framelits Set was that there was no stamp in the Coffee Cafe Stamp Set that went with the little coffee cup framelit. I quickly learned that there are some perfect little coffee cups in the sheet from the Designer Series Paper set that features coffee pots and cups. You can see one of them in the step image at the left of the card – that's one that I die cut with the framelit and placed on the right background of the card. There's another one (peeking in from the left side of the card) that I cut and put on the left background layer.  Sneak Peek:  There will be a stamped image in a Stamp Set in the upcoming Stampin' Up! 2017 Holiday Catalog! 

     Thanks for taking the time to read about this project! If you're interested in a tutorial for making this style of card, there will be one in my next Newsletter, which will be published at the end of this month, right when the new Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog is released. Hint: I may just use that new Stamp Set from the new catalog for the tutorial! If you're not on my newsletter mailing list, you can fix that right now by clicking in the box at the upper left of this page!

     Here are the products that I featured in this project. Don't forget that, by clicking on any of the images below, you'll be whisked away to my very own Stampin' Up! store, where you can read more about the products and purchase them directly from me! That would really make my day!

 


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Posted on : Aug 20 2017
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

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 |

Next Month is Autumn???

Aloha, all!

     Here we and much of the rest of the United States are under heat advisories. And yet I just looked at next month's calendar and saw the phrase, "First Day of Autumn," right there in black and white!!! Yikes (with more exclamation points).

     The good news for me and my stamping friends, though, is that this means we get into a season of special papers and colors that provide so much fresh crafting opportunities. Yes, I'm still working on using all the goodies that I ordered from Stampin' Up!'s Annual Catalog. But I am so excited to have received my first pre-order of products from the upcoming Stampin' Up! 2017 Holiday Catalog!

     The flowers and leaves in this card are from the gorgeous new stamp set, Painted Harvest. I could hardly wait to try it out and I definitely couldn't wait to show it off to you.

     These flowers really do look to me as if they've been watercolored – or "painted." But the petals are two different stamps, with variegated texture. For this card, I used Crushed Curry Ink for the base stamp and Peekaboo Peach for the top stamp. I had the stamps in my hands and I still cannot believe how those two colors blended together so well to create these flowers! I used Chocolate Chip Ink for the center of the flowers, adding just a touch of Peekaboo Peach or Crushed Curry to the centers to add a tinge of color.

     I found the leaves equally magic in the way they turned out after I used Wild Wasabi Ink for the base and Old Olive for the top stamped layer. And, while I "fussy cut" the center flower (adhered with Stampin' Dimensionals), I punched the leaves with the brand new Leaf Punch made to go with this set (but so useful otherwise, too!). The stamp set and punch will be offered as a bundle at 10% off the price of the two products if purchased separately.

     Current products that I used for this project include the luscious 1/4" Copper Trim that I tied into a bow, and the Copper Foil that I used as one of the mats for the stamped layer. The sentiment is from the Thoughts and Prayers Stamp Set. In the product grid following this post, I included a link to the Clear Mount version of this stamp as, whenever it's possible, I purchase only clear mount or photopolymer stamps – such space savers! But I've owned this stamp set for so long that, not only was it around before there were Clear Mount Stamps Sets, it was around when Stampin' Up! was still selling some stamp sets that had to be double-mounted on wood. But the set still works beautifully, so I'm definitely not replacing it!

     Unfortunately, I had to use this stamp set for the first time for a sympathy card for a colleague of my husband whose own husband just died today. But I know that this card will be especially appreciated as it was made just for her. I try to have some sympathy cards in my stash. But when someone is close, I feel better if I create something just for her.

     These are the current products that I used in this project. All can be ordered whenever you'd like.

 


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Posted on : Aug 10 2017
Posted under Punches, Stamping |

Color Fusers Blog Hop – August 2017!

Aloha, all!

     Oh, my, didn't July seem like a really long month! It certainly did to me as I felt as if I spent a whole month at home, but I also traveled for 2 weeks. Part of it seeming so long, I think, is that it's not until today – August 7th – that we are having the first Monday of the month Color Fusers Blog Hop! The 7th is about as late as one can get with that.

     I've been so busy with traveling and recuperating from same the past several weeks that I wasn't sure how I was going to approach this color challenge. I kept putting this off, and finally I realized I had to do SOMEthing. When I get to that point with a project, my tactic is to make some other rules for myself. This time I set the rule that I could only use ONE stamp set for the project. Then I turned to my collection of stamp sets (not all that large, believe me) and pulled out the Oh So Eclectic Stamp Set and the coordinating Eclectic Layers Thinlits dies. I had never used either of these sets, and had bought them as a Bundle to round out a purchase I'd made last month.

     Once I'd had the stamp set and thinlits picked out, it was just a matter of how I was going to arrange them AND how I was going to use the colors! Believe me, I tried several different ideas before I hit on this combination.

     The primary color in this project is Berry Burst. The gorgeous new Berry Burst 5/8" Crinkled Seam Binding takes center stage in this card for me, even though it's in the lower left corner of the card front. Then there's the layer of Berry Burst Cardstock that I've die-cut using one of the dies in the Thinlits set. The die is mostly rectangular in shape, but I also cut the cardstock with the die a second time, this time at a bit of an angle to original cut. That gives this the look of a larger die-cut than if I'd just used the single die.

     After that color, the Powder Pink comes into play as both the background layer for the card front and for the background color in the three stamped flowers from the stamp set. For the background layer, I used Powder Pink Cardstock and stamped a flower onto it using Powder Pink Classic Ink.

     I was a bit sneaky in the way in which I introduced the Smoky Slate color to this project. If this had been any other project, I would have made the stems of the flowers some sort of green. But, as there wasn't a green in this challenge, guess which color I used to make the stems? Yup, Smoky Slate!

     The final two colors in this challenge are Basic Black and Whisper White. Both were fairly easy, especially the Whisper White Thick Cardstock that I used for the card base, as well as the Whisper White Cardstock on which I stamped the flowers. Basic Black was what I used to stamp the stems of the flowers and also to make one of the mats for the card's layers.

     Even though I had an embellishment in the ribbon that tied the flowers together, I still felt I needed a bit more for this project. So out came my new Rhinestone Basic Jewels. These are "new" because they're being offered by Stampin' Up! in a different configuration than they have the past few years. I like that we're not stuck with strips of rhinestones when all I (among others) wanted just some individual rhinestones to accent a card front, gift or tag. So I added some of those lovely single rhinestones to the top left of the die-cut layer, and I do like that touch!

     I do hope you've enjoyed my contributions to this month's Color Fusers Blog Hop! Here are the others who are involved in this fun monthly hop, and I hope you'll visit each blog to see what my compatriots have done with this color combo – marvelous all!

 

 


Posted on : Aug 07 2017
Posted under Challenges, Color Fuser's Blog Hop, Sizzix, Stamping |

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 |