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!

  

 


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

Fun With a Coloring Technique!

Aloha, all!

     Most of you know by now that my favorite way to "attack" a card design is to construct a layout with layers of different sizes, colors and textures. I just love to stand at my work table and figure these things out as I go along until I find something that is pleasing to my eye. Today, however, I decided to try out a technique that a fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrator – Cindee Wilkinson – has been showing off on Facebook.

     The main layer of this card is made with a technique that I'm calling Reinker Blending.  To make this layer, I used three Stampin' Up! products: Glossy White Cardstock (yes, it's back in the catalog!); Reinkers; and Stampin' Spritzers. The technique involves applying drops of two or more Reinkers on a piece of Glossy Paper and then spritzing them with plain water (or add a bit of 70% alcohol if you wish), allowing the colors to blend together. Cindee used bolder colors and heavier spritzing in her projects, and that works beautifully, too. But I really wanted a softer feel to my card so I spritzed from a bit of a distance (10" – 12") and tilted my card back and forth and around a bit to get the look that I wanted.

     Now for the particulars of this card! My colors are Sweet Sugarplum and Berry Burst. I used an equal number of dots of each Reinker, about 6 drops of each. I used plain water and, as I said, spritzed it on the card front about 10" – 12" away. As the colors started to blend a bit, I spritzed a bit closer to the centers of the dots to make the color spread out a bit from them.

     I had been thinking about using another technique that I came across on the Internet last week called the Camouflage Die-Cutting Technique. This involves die-cutting a shape out of the colored paper and then replacing it over the negative space from which the die-cut image came using Stampin' Dimensionals. But I have also been thinking about using the Reinker Blending technique in a class I'm having next week in which the Climbing Orchid Stamp Set from Stampin' Up! will be featured (a class request). So, before I applied the Reinkers and spritzed the water, I stamped one of the images from the stamp set onto the glossy paper, using Jet Black Stazon Ink (not a Stampin' Up! product; but you can find it at most crafting stores). Once the paper was dry, I die-cut the orchid. My next step was to adhere the inked paper onto its mat of Sweet Sugarplum Cardstock, and then to adhere the die-cut orchid back into its spot using Stampin' Dimensionals. It's the same basic technique as the Camouflage Die-Cutting Technique, but, with the orchid image stamped, it's not really camouflaged.

     About the water and drying time. First of all, I applied water fairly sparingly which is what happens when you spritz from more of a distance than up close. The piece of paper dried beautifully in less than half an hour.  As with Cindee's project, water pooled at the edges of the Glossy Cardstock. But I had cut my paper larger than the size I was going to use in the actual card. So, rather than wicking pooled color up, I just let it dry on the edges, all of which I cut away to make the size I had intended to use.

     When I stamped the sentiment on the card as I was about to finish it (with Jet Black Stazon Ink again), I realized I could have stamped the orchid AFTER I'd colored and dried the paper. Either way, it seems to work just fine.

     And here I go again tying my project up with some of the great new ribbon in the Stampin' Up! catalog, this time the Berry Burst 1/2" Finely Woven Ribbon. Boy, that makes a nice bow!

     Here are the Stampin' Up! products I used for this project, and they are all well worth having in your stash of stamping supplies! It's easy to get them, too. Just click on a picture below and order any of them from my Stampin' Up! store.

 


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Posted on : Jul 06 2017
Posted under Sizzix, Stampin' Up! Tools, Stamping |

Color Fusers Blog Hop – July 2017!

Aloha, all!

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

     First the colors for the month:

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

My New Favorite Stamp Set!

Aloha, all!

     As you might imagine, if you've seen a copy of the new Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog, it's finally come to me that my real favorite stamp set from this catalog really should be the Climbing Orchid Stamp Set. After all, I live on the "Orchid Isle" in the Hawaiian Islands, and there are orchids growing in trees and baskets all over our garden. How could I not want to start turning out orchid card after orchid card?!

     For this card, I copied the color scheme from a photograph I found online. It was a soft yellow Phalaenopsis orchid, with just a tint of a pinkish color. So I picked So Saffron Cardstock for the base of the flower. I stamped the line art flower from the Stamp Set using Rose Red Ink, and then applied some Flirty Flamingo Ink using a Blender Pen to add highlights around the edges.

     The layout of the card is CASEd from the Stampin' Up! Catalog, page 21. I wanted to use some of the Crushed Curry paper with the cracked design from the Color Theory Designer Series Paper Stack. To conserve my paper, I cut the 6" square piece in half, so it's only 3" wide as opposed to the wider paper in the catalog's card. For the other piece of paper, I chose one of the lighter wood designs from the Wood Textures Designer Series Paper Stack, cut to 3" for the same reason as with the Color Theory paper. Before mounting the orchids, which I die cut using the Orchid Builder Framelits set, onto the papers, I stamped the 3 stems as well as the sentiment (also from this stamp set) using Early Espresso Classic Ink.

     The background cardstock is a piece of Flirty Flamingo Cardstock that I texturized using the new Layered Leaves 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. It gives these and other cards with floral designs a beautiful background feeling!

     The card base, which I usually make using either Whisper White or Very Vanilla Thick Cardstock, this time is made of the So Saffron Cardstock. It's a nice weight for a card base, and light enough for writing a note inside.

     Here are the Stampin' Up! products that I feature in this card. You can click on any of the pictures below and be carried off to my very own Stampin' Up! store. Do definitely click on anything that interests you. There's no obligation to purchase anything and I won't bug you afterwards – I have no idea when someone visits my store! So you can learn more about these products at your own pace, any time 24/7/365!

 


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Posted on : Jun 22 2017
Posted under CASEing Projects, Sizzix, Stamping |

My 2 Favorite New Colors!

Aloha, all!

     With 5 brand new colors being offered by Stampin' Up! in its latest catalog, I've quickly come to the realization that Berry Burst is my favorite new color. The realization was courtesy of my being down to my last sheet of the Berry Burst Cardstock! Not to worry. I have a whole pack on order. But there is a number 2 in the running for favorite, and that's Tranquil Tide. And boy do they go nicely together!

     I was looking for another stamp set (can't remember which one) to use for a challenge card. The challenge involved using new colors as well as Designer Series Paper. When my fingers flipped past the Artistically Asian Stamp Set, I stopped and went back to the set. I pulled it off of the shelf and the layout immediately came to mind.

     The most difficult part of this project was getting the floral image to stamp cleanly. I colored the image using my Stampin' Write Markers, and, as this is a rubber stamp not a photopolymer stamp, I had to continue to move my stamp around in the light to make sure that I was getting all parts of the image colored with the correct color. Applying the Berry Burst Marker was the hardest. After some practice on scrap paper, I moved over to the Color Theory Designer Series Paper I planned to use and applied the stamp being guided by my Stamp-a-ma-jig. And, yes, I did have to stamp it more than once. I have to say that all the effort was worth it!

     The next part that I had to work a bit on was using the Stitched Shapes Framelits to make both of the shapes I wanted to make a part of my layout. The square was easy as the framelits are square (or round or oval – but square for this card). To make the smaller rectangle, I first cut another square of the same size, with the sentiment towards the bottom of the die-cut square. Then I ran this through the Big Shot again, having moved the top of the framelit down so that it was just above the sentiment. I slide the framelit around a bit until it felt like the "stitch" notches fit properly into the already die-cut piece. It worked! I'd done this before, but I don't do it enough not to worry about it, especially when I'm using up Designer Series Paper pieces!

     To finish, I had to make a choice about which of the two colors I was using: which would be the cardstock background and which would be the ribbon. You can see my choice, and I think that this is just lovely. If I didn't have so many new stamp sets and other papers and colors to use right now, I might actually try this card again reversing the colors! Maybe in the future. We'll see.

     Meanwhile, you might be interested in the products that I used for this project. If so, please click on the photos below to learn more about them and even to order them in my Stampin' Up! Store – which is open 24/7/365!

 


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Posted on : Jun 17 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping |

Coffee in a CASE!

Aloha, all!

     The "CASE" in the subject of this post refers to a stamper's practice of using someone else's design as the basis for a new – or nearly new – project. CASE stands for Copy And Share with Everyone. In this case (double meaning here!), I was given the challenge of CASEing this project on page 126 of the latest Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog.

     While I love the Daisy theme, I had another stamp set in my new collection that I'd yet too use. So out came the Coffee Café Stamp Set and Coffee Cups Framelits Dies.

     I even used the coordinating Coffee Break Designer Series Paper set for this card! This set of paper has become my go-to favorite to use with lots of different stamp sets. When you look at a set of Designer Series Paper in the Stampin' Up! catalog, don't be too distracted by the designs that seem to be made for just one stamp set. Every sheet has another side to it, and sometimes those are the best sides as far as I'm concerned. While I'm sure I'll eventually use the sheet from this set that has coffee pots and cups all over it – or coffee beans or branches all over – I'm definitely going to be using the "other sides" a lot this coming year. There are two of those on this card.

     A fun part of the Coffee Café stamp set is that there are two sentiment stamps that fit right onto the coffee cup shape. Love this! And finally Stampin' Up! has given us a gorgeous roll of ribbon in the Garden Green Color – one of the 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon spools that has had other colors featured in past catalogs. And the final touch for this card is that I added a few of the Metallic Sequins Assortment.

     This was a fun and easy card to make, especially since I didn't have to do too much in the way of figuring out a layout. And I got to use yet another of my new stamp sets! If you'd like to experience some of the fun, be sure to check out my very own Stampin' Up! Store, which is open online just for you 24/7/365. Or click on any of the pictures below to learn more about that product before you order it!

 

 


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Posted on : Jun 15 2017
Posted under CASEing Projects, Sizzix, Stamping |

Introduction to New Stampin’ Up! Products – Part 1: The Coffee Cafe Bundle!

Aloha, all!

     While I wait for my new Stampin' Up! products to arrive on my doorstep (well, my lanai here in Hawaii) I thought I'd share some of Stampin' Up!'s introductory videos of some of my favorite new products.

     One of the first products on my list of "must haves" is the new Coffee Cafe Bundle, as well as the paper that goes with it. I just love coffee, and a lot of my friends and relatives do, too. In fact, when we travel to visit family and friends on the U. S. mainland, we always travel with several bags of Kona Coffee to give as housewarming gifts. It's the best!

     Here's the video, and the best way to go to order these products is to check out my very own Stampin' Up! Online Store, search for the Coffee Cafe Bundle number (145331). You save 10% on the price of both the Coffee Cafe Stamp Set and the Coffee Cups Framelits Set when you buy the bundle. The item number for the Coffee Break Designer Series Paper set is 144155.

 

     This will surely be one of the first sets I show off when my box of new goodies arrives!

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Posted on : Jun 02 2017
Posted under Announcement |

Thinking of Friends

Aloha, all!

     My husband and I have moved long distances twice during the last 25 years. And each time that we've moved, we've left good friends behind. Some of them we were fortunate enough to have had the chance to visit when we were on our trip last month. But some were away when we visited, and others have themselves moved to different places. But as I thought of many of them when we were traveling, I thought it might be a nice idea to send them notes to let them know we were thinking about them. Today's project is the first of the cards that I made to send to a friend in Florida.

     And, yes, there are retiring Stampin' Up! products featured in this card! The most prominent of these is the delightfully lovely Fruit Stand Designer Series Paper. My original intention was to stamp images from the coordinating Fresh Fruit Stamp Set. But when I decided on the sheet with the peaches on it, I realized that I could do just as well (if not better) by die-cutting some of the fruit from the paper. Once I made that decision, it was just a quick step to pull out my Stitched Shapes Framelits and arrange them on a card front.

     Once I had the shapes on the card front, I needed a sentiment to fit in that little space down in the right front of the card. The sentiment I chose is from the retiring, Love and Affection Stamp Set. The final touch for this card was a little bow using the Peekaboo Peach 3/8" Ruched Ribbon. While Peekabook Peach is a color that will be around for at least another year, the whole set of Ruched Ribbons will be retiring at the end of this month. I'm almost out of the Peekabook Peach!

     Oh, and the color I chose to mat everything on this card was Pear Pizzazz Cadstock. That's not going anywhere, but it seemed to be the right color to use for this!

     Here are the products in this project that will be retiring this year:


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Posted on : May 05 2017
Posted under Sizzix, Stamping |

Birthdays Don’t Take a Vacation!

Aloha, all!

     As soon as I got back from my travels, I had to get right into making birthday cards for friends and family members who had birthdays coming right up. Neither of the soonest birthday girls seemed willing to delay their birthdays until I could get a card made, so I definitely hustled. One may have made it a day or two late (takes longer for mail to get places from here in Hawaii!). Actually, it was this one, which I sent to my sister-in-law. Hopefully she'll have it by the time it shows up here!

     And, of course, since May is the month of retiring Stampin' Up! products, I used a whole bunch of them for this card.

     Both stamp sets that I used for this card are retiring, one of them from a few years back, and one from the most recent (and still current) Stampin' Up! 2017 Occasions Catalog. The Petite Petals Stamp Set has been around for a while, along with its coordinating  Petite Petals Punch. I didn't use the punch for this project, but I probably will in some other project this month, just to give it a proper, "Goodbye." The sentiment is from the Balloon Adventures Stamp Set, which I really liked, and which I hope to use for a few more birthday cards as the month progresses. So sorry it was only around for a few months!

     The Blooms and Bliss Designer Series Paper is one that you're going to see more of this week as I really, really like this paper and hope to use up most of my remaining stash before it retires. As of the time that I'm writing this post, there is still quite a bit of this paper left, so it's probably not too late to order some (the yellowish icon over to the right).

     Finally, I'm rapidly using up my one last spool of the Blushing Bride 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon. This is another product that's still available as I write this, but other colors in this kind of ribbon have already sold out, so this may not be far behind.

     Still in the upcoming 2017-2018 Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog will be the Lots of Labels Framelits, which I used to cut the stamped sentiment layer as well as its mat, as well as the Subtles Enamel Dots (love the heart shapes in these sets!).

     Here are the products that I used in this project that will be retiring at the end of this month:


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Posted on : May 03 2017
Posted under Family and Garden, Sizzix, Stamping |

It’s Almost April!

Aloha, all!

     The theme for this week's Stampin' Up! Only Challenge is, "My Favorite April Theme." For me that's easy as I only ever think of April in terms of two ditties: "30 Days Hath September, April, June and November…." and "April Showers Bring May Flowers." The former of these two doesn't really add itself to being the theme of a greeting card. But the latter certainly does, especially when there are raindrops on Designer Series Paper and an Umbrella in a favorite Stamp Set!

     The Designer Series Paper used throughout this project is from the A Little Foxy Designer Series Paper Stack. And the lovely lady with the umbrella is from the Beautiful You Stamp Set from the Stampin' Up! 2017 Occasions Catalog. (By the way, this Stamp Set will NOT retire at the end of the Occasions Catalog's Sales Period. Yay!)  The sentiment on the card is made up of two of the many words in the Crazy About You Stamp Set.

     It's been quite a while since I've done some paper piecing with a stamp, but I just had to try it out with the image of the lady with the umbrella. To make this work the way I wanted it to, I stamped the image THREE times.

  • The first time I stamped it using Memento Tuxedo Black Ink onto the top layer of Designer Series Papers.
  • The second time I stamped it (same ink) onto Whisper White Cardstock, which I cut out by hand and adhered to the first stamped image. (I used a retired Blush Blossom Stampin' Write Marker to color her legs and upper back. There are ways to mix current Stampin' Up! colors to get a nice light flesh tone, too. But I prefer the Blush Blossom as long as I have it. If you'd rather have skin with a darker color, one that I've found that looks nice is Soft Suede applied with a Blender Pen.)
  • The final time, I stamped the image (same ink) onto a piece of Calypso Coral/Whisper White print from the A Little Foxy paper set. Then I cut out the dress and umbrella and adhered that to the Whisper White image.

     One of the idea cards in the Occasions Catalog gave me the idea for using the Delicate White Doily as an embellishment on the card. It gives the Calypso Coral Cardstock background a bit of texture. I thought the Pool Party 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon was also a nice way to separate the two sections of the card. Then the sentiment element brought the two sections back together nicely. I stamped the two words using Calypso Coral Classic Ink, and cut both the sentiment and the paper used to mat the sentiment using one of the dies from the Bunch of Banners Framelits Set.

     The final touch was a mat for the whole card cut from Basic Gray Cardstock. Smoky Slate is one of the colors in the Paper set, but I wanted a darker edge for the card, so went with the Basic Gray.

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     And now a bit more about April. I am going to be away from home and my craft room for most of the month of April. I've found that, when I'm gone for such a long time, I haven't been really successful in trying to keep my blog going for the whole period. In fact, this time, in getting ready for our trip, I've been a bit on the sporadic side in terms of posting. So I've decided to give my blog a bit of a vacation while I'm gone, and start it back up when I get back. I'll post when I leave, but I thought I'd give those of you who have read this far a heads up!

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     Here are the products I used in today's project. As always, just click on any of the photos to go to my very own Stampin' Up! store to ready more about the product and even buy it for yourself! Even when I'm gone, my store is always open – 24/7/365!

 


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Posted on : Mar 27 2017
Posted under Challenges, Sizzix, Stamping, SUO Challenges |