Thursday, May 29, 2008

Some awesome links...

I've got some great links for you to check out today!

First, there's an awesome tutorial over on Mel's blog Mel Stampz that shows you how to make the coolest "Tool Belt" box for Dad. She also includes templates and shares her technique for making faux leather.

In her post she links to another faux leather tutorial on the blog Penelope's Pitstop. And I've got to say that Penny has created some incredibly realistic looking old leather!

Then, Penny links to a tutorial over on Julie Koerber's blog Out to Impress that shows you how to make faux suede.

Talk about talent! I love finding inspirational blogs to spark my creativity, and all three of these ladies have shared some fabulous projects and techniques!!

Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Exotic Birthday Card

Stitched Exotics Birthday CardI love having coordinating stamp sets. Here is a card that I made for my SIL's birthday using the Stitched background stamp and the Stitched Exotics stamp set.

I created a faux multi-color striped ribbon by layering a strip of 5/8" Old Olive ribbon, Whisper White card stock, and Groovy Guava double-stitched ribbon.

I also used the Rock 'n Roll technique on the large flower image, but it's very subtle here. This technique involves inking a solid image stamp in a lighter color, then rolling the outside edges in a darker color ink. If you've never tried this - give it a whirl and I think you'll like the dimension it adds.

Stamps - Stitched Exotics, Stitched background, It's Your Birthday; Paper - Ruby Red, Groovy Guava, Old Olive, Whisper White; Ink - Groovy Guava, Old Olive, Ruby Red; Accessories - Old Olive 5/8" grosgrain ribbon, Groovy Guava double-stitched ribbon, 1-3/8" square punch, 1-1/4" square punch, 1/2" circle punch, Paper Snips, Glue Dots, Sticky Strip

God Bless,

Friday, May 23, 2008

Another Boho Grad Card

Boho Grad Card2This is the 2nd graduation card that I made for this past weekend. It is a replica of the 1st, but in blues. Here's the first card.

The only thing I did differently on the front of this card was to tone down the Night of Navy card stock by sponging on some Very Vanilla craft ink before stamping the medallion image from the Wanted set.

Boho Grad Card2 - insideI apologize for the blurry photos. My camera isn't good at close-ups.

This is how I did the inside. I wanted to have a pocket to place money and a birthday tag. Our nephew turned 18 the day after he graduated, so I turned this into a combination graduation/birthday card!

Boho Grad Card2 - inside closeupHere's a closeup of the sentiments on the inside. I used 2 of the definitions from Define Your Life.

Boho Grad Card2 - tag closeupHere is a closeup of the birthday tag.

I'd say that this is the most "complete" card that I've ever made. I really tried to create a finished look on the inside and carry the theme through from the front. I went back and completed the inside of the first Boho Grad card the same way.

Stamps - Paisley (background), Define Your Life, Wanted, Live Your Dream, It's Your Birthday, Sanded (background); Paper - Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Bashful Blue, Brocade Blue, Night of Navy, Very Vanilla; Ink - Brocade Blue, Night of Navy, Close to Cocoa, Very Vanilla craft; Accessories - Chocolate Chip 5/8" grosgrain ribbon, Night of Navy 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, Vintage Brads, Twill Tape, Dimensionals, Stamping Sponges, Key Tag punch, Scallop Circle punch, 1/16" Handheld Circle punch, Small Star punch, Paper Snips, Glue Dots, Snail, Sticky Strip

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Groovin' Scrapfolio

Well, we're back from our trip out of state, but I haven't had a chance to make anything new yet. So here's something fun we made at the first demo meeting I attended back in March. I don't know what it's called officially, but I'm calling it a Scrapfolio. It was a lot of fun to make and I hope you enjoy looking at it. I apologize in advance about the picture quality - I need to invest in a new camera and some photo editing software!

Scrapfolio coverThis is the front cover. I used the Live Your Dream set for the focal image and a sentiment from Enjoy Every Moment. The colors used throughout this project are the ones used in the Ginger Blossoms DSP: Groovy Guava, Ruby Red, and River Rock.

Scrapfolio - Left Flap OpenThis is a picture with the left flap open. There is a "card" on the opposite side of the front cover, and another "card" on the "outside" of the right flap. The next two pics show the left card open and then the right card open.

Scrapfolio - left flap - card openScrapfolio - right flap - card open

Scrapfolio - inside - both flaps and left card openThis is the inside of the Scrapfolio with both flaps open. The left "card" is also open. The center section is an "accordian file" made up of envelopes.

Scrapfolio - closeup of center accordian sectionHere is a closeup of the center section. It was made with 6 envelopes that had their top flap tucked inside and were then adhered together and attached to the scrapfolio. I used Snail in an "X" pattern to glue the envelopes in pairs back to back, and then those pairs were glued together (front to front). Sticky Strip was used to adhere the "accordian" to the folio.

I really loved making this album and I think it would look great displayed on a coffee table where visitors could open it up and discover all the neat little "hidden" pictures and journaling inside.

Stamps - Live Your Dream, Enjoy Every Moment, Totally Tabs; Paper - Textured Groovy Guava, River Rock, Ruby Red, Groovy Guava, Ginger Blossoms DSP, Whisper White; Ink - Groovy Guava, River Rock, Ruby Red; Accessories - Round Tab Punch, Stamping sponges, Sticky Strip, Snail; non-SU! ribbon

God Bless!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Elegant Thank-You Card

Elegant Thank-You CardThis is one of my favorite cards. And, I'll admit that it's a pretty close CASE of a card by Maren(mmbc). Click here to see her card. Several things to note: Maren used Close to Cocoa card stock and ink - I used Chocolate Chip; she used a piece of Afternoon Tea DSP - I stamped Soft Sky on Soft Sky to create my own patterned paper; she used the corner rounder to make her scallops - I used the slit punch; and if you look closely there's a few other minor changes, as well.

This was my first attempt at a really detailed layered card. I'm not completely satisfied with it, but I'm trying to curb my perfectionist tendencies and just let things go. It's really not too bad, if I don't say so myself! One thing I learned from this was not to try to ink the edges AFTER assembling the layers, lol!

By the way - this isn't the card that I promised in the previous post. I've got a specific card in mind for that - another CASE, btw ;-) We're going out of town later this week, so I may not get that card done until we come back. But I promise to post it when I get it done.

Stamps -Live Your Dream, All Holidays; Paper - Chocolate Chip, Groovy Guava, Soft Sky, Whisper White; Ink - Soft Sky, Groovy Guava, Chocolate Chip; Accessories - Chocolate Chip 5/8" grosgrain ribbon, Vintage brads, Large Oval punch, Slit punch, Ticket Corner punch, 1/16" handheld circle punch, Paper Piercer, Mat Pack, dimensionals


Bloomin' Mother's Day CardI just love the Bloomin' Beautiful set! Here's the second Mother's Day card that I made. This one showcases the
Ginger Blossoms DSP.

I really like using patterned paper on my cards. It's just a really fast, easy way to "kick it up a notch." Almost all of my cards, before signing up to be a demo, used patterned paper. But since becoming a demo I've made a conscious effort to NOT use as much DSP. I want to learn how to use my stamps to make my own coordinating "patterned papers."

The work of many talented ladies out there has inspired me to go beyond my "comfort zone" and keep on trying new things. If you're like me and always reach for that patterned paper when making a card, I challenge you to try making your own! You might be pleasantly surprised at how much you like it.

I think the easiest way to get started is to take an image from whatever set you're using and randomly stamp it on your card stock in Versamark. Sometimes that's all you need to add a little dimension to a card.

Another thing I've discovered - I LOVE Stampin' Up!'s background stamps. They're perfectly sized for a regular 4.25" x 5.5" card. And you can use them singly or together to create some really awesome "patterned papers." I'll work up a sample to show you what I mean.

But for now - take the challenge and try something you've never done before! Step out of your stamping comfort zone. Try one of the following -
  • Add more layers - or get creative with "shaped" layers
  • Add some distressing - this could include: replacing straight edges with torn edges; sponging some ink on the edges; crumpling and smoothing mat layers; using the Cutter Kit to make rough edges.
  • Make your own patterned paper - this could include: randomly stamping on colored card stock in versamark; using a background stamp with coordinating ink and card stock; combining 2 or more background stamps in several colors; combining a background stamp with other randomly stamped images
Have fun and let me know what you come up with!

God Bless!

Stamps - Bloomin' Beautiful; Paper - Ginger Blossoms DSP, Groovy Guava, Ruby Red, Whisper White; Ink - Groovy Guava, Ruby Red, Basic Gray, Wild Wasabi, Versamark; Accessories - Groovy Guava double-stitched ribbon, Ticket Corner punch, Embossing Buddy, Clear EP, Heat Tool

EARLY F/W Catalog Sneak Peek Purchase Opp

Wow!! SU is offering it's customers a really unique opportunity in June. They normally allow customers to preview a select number of items that will be coming out in the new catalog, but they don't let customers PURCHASE them early. Well that is about to change!

In June they're allowing you the opportunity to get your hands on one of the new stamp sets from the upcoming Fall/Winter Idea Book & Catalog AND a coordinating set of die-cut notecards with envelopes! There's two ways you can get them:
  • you can either purchase them - the Fresh Cut stamp set for $21.95 (set of 5) and the Fresh Cut Notes for $5 (with the purchase of the Fresh Cut set or $8.95 separately)

  • OR you can get them both for FREE when you hostess a $400 workshop (and that's in addition to your regular hostess benefits)!! What an awesome deal.

Fresh Cut Promo Flyer

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!

To every mother out there -- this is YOUR day! Let's celebrate the wonderful gift of motherhood. I pray that you have a great and wonderful day -- God bless you for all that you do! Happy Mother's Day!!
Bloomin Beautiful Mother's Day CardHere's one of the Mother's Day cards that I did this year. And below is a closeup of the layering. I popped a few of the flowers up on dimensionals to give it a more 3D look.

And here's a neat little trick to use when you don't have the right color of Craft ink and you want to heat emboss - load up the stamp first with Versamark, and then with the desired color of Classic ink. It will stay wet long enough to add embossing powder.

I didn't actually do that here, though. I stamped the sentiment in versamark, added the clear EP, and when it was heated, the color darkened. I love how it looks!
Bloomin Beautiful Mother's Day Card - Closeup LayersStamps - Bloomin' Beautiful (Occasions mini), All Holidays; Paper - Bashful Blue, Sahara Sand, Wild Wasabi, Whisper White; Inks - Sahara Sand, Creamy Caramel, Versamark, Wild Wasabi, Bashful Blue, Ballet Blue, Almost Amethyst, Lavender Lace; Accessories - Bashful Blue Striped Ribbon, Silver brads, Clear Embossing Powder, Ticket Corner punch, Photo Corner punch, Horizontal Slot punch, Corner Rounder punch, 1/16" handheld circle punch, Dimensionals, Aqua Painters

I also used non-SU! rubons and I gave the bashful blue base some "texture" by using a Fiskars brayer that has a textured pattern similar to the SU! Canvas background stamp. It's tone on tone so you can't really see it in the pic, but it gives it a subtle dimension IRL. I got this "brayer" at a "garage sale" at a nearby LSS and thought it would be a cheaper alternative to getting the Canvas background, but I had a hard time getting it to stamp evenly. The patchy look might be useful for some projects, but I'm definitely going to be buying that background stamp now. Sometimes "shortcuts" and "cheaper alternatives" just don't work as well!

Wishing you a blessed week!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Don't throw away your old CD's!!!

Most all of us have old software CD's lying around somewhere, or miscellaneous CD's we've gotten in the mail, or CD's or even DVD's that didn't burn properly. Well here's a great project that'll help you put those items to good use!

Altered CD Album - Priceless FriendThis is an altered CD album. Mine only has 2 "pages" but you could certainly add more to your album. The base for the inside pages could be covered CD's or just plain card stock, whichever you prefer.
Alterd CD Album inside - Priceless FriendHere's a tip for punching holes in CD's and even tougher things like tin pails - use the Crop-A-Dile. It has industrial strength punching power!

Stamps - Baroque Motifs, Weathered background, True Friend, A Beautiful Thing, Enjoy Every Moment, Priceless; Paper - Close to Cocoa, Certainly Celery, Pale Plum, Whisper White; Ink - Chocolate Chip, Perfect Plum, Versamark; Stampin' Write Markers - Certainly Celery, Old Olive, Perfect Plum, Pale Plum; Accessories - Chocolate Chip 5/8" grosgrain ribbon, Certainly Celery 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, Whisper White 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, vintage brads, Ticket Corner punch, 1/16" handheld circle punch, Key Tag punch, paper snips, Crop-A-Dile

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Going to Salt Lake...

Well, a lot has happened today! First of all, I'm going to Stampin' Up!'s 20th Anniversary Convention this summer in Salt Lake City, UT and today was the first day of registration. I almost decided not to go, because I found out late last night that the demo that I had planned on rooming with isn't going to be attending convention afterall. But I thought it over and decided that I'm going, even if I have to room by myself!! It's going to be a blast and I don't want to miss it.

Another big event for me today was that I finally got to talk to an advisor and sign-up for classes. After taking the last 3 years off to have 2 children, I've decided to go back to school and finish my degree! Needless to say, I'm going to be extremely busy this fall between trying to build my business, go to school, and balance both of those with family and church! But in the long run, it will definitely be worth it.

I actually managed to get 3 cards made yesterday, but I can't post them yet. Two of them were Mother's Day cards and I don't want them getting any previews. So Mom, if you're reading this - you're just going to have to wait until you get it in the mail!

Hope you all have a great day!

Friday, May 2, 2008

We're Sick But...Life Is Good!

Tart & Tangy Good Life CardSorry for not posting the last day or two, but we've been dealing with one of those nasty viruses that usually only last 24 hours. In our case it's been more like 48 hours.

But here's the perfect card to cheer us up. This was actually the first make 'n take we did at my first monthly demonstrator meeting. We have a great group of ladies in the Stampin' Daze group and Amy Smith was the gal who designed this for us. Thanks Amy!

I'm not a Bold Brights gal, but I really like this card. It uses the cute Tart & Tangy set from the Occasions Mini and the Level 1 Hostess set Make It Count. We used Stampin' Write markers to color directly on the rubber. A square punch (1-1/4" I believe) and the spiral punch complete the filmstrip look.

Those bold bright colors are just what you need to cheer you up, whether it's a rainy day or a sick day! And here's something else to cheer you up -- Stampin' Up! has extended the date for the Occasions Mini Collection. It was scheduled to end on May 31st, but you now have one more month to get these items. The Occasions Mini Collection will now end on June 30th.

Wishing you a healthy, happy day!