Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thank Yous

It's Sunday.  Something about Sundays says to me, "You should try and accomplish absolutely nothing today."  Okay.  I can do that.  It's 4:18 and I'm not entirely sure where my day went.  I certainly didn't do anything very constructive.  Wait!  I sorted the dirty laundry and did a load.  Okay, half a load.  I threw it in the washing machine and asked my dear husband to hang it up.  I did make myself a giant plate of hashbrowns and scrambled eggs this morning.  That must count for something.  No?  Fair enough.  How about the steaming cup of hot chocolate I'm sipping on right now?  It took a good 10 minutes to make.  This is no ordinary hot chocolate you see.  It is heavenly hot chocolate.  It contains one half of a Purdy's Milk Chocolate bar, and about a tablespoon of Nutella.  These three ingredients come to life over a slow burner, after being whipped to perfection.  I was out of whip cream however, so it's not quite as good as it should be.  Certainly making that counts.

Okay, non-sequitur finished.  I did make a few things in the old craftroom today.  The first was this little thank you container I put together for one of my stamping ladies.  She's quite a lovely person and I think I am going to persue that friendship a little more.  She used to be a demo years ago, and is now down-sizing her supplies.  I went over one afternoon and looked through her stuff with her and helped her sell a huge lot of it.  She gave me a bunch of re-inkers and a lovely set that she didn't want, so I wanted to say thank you.

I cut up a stack of Twitterpated into 6 X 6 squares and wrapped it with some baker's twine.  That didn't satisfy the depth of my thanks, so I made a card and this little guy to do with it.  It didn't take me long to put together using my scallop punch to make the scrunchy flower (see previous post if you don't know how to do this).  I punched another scalloped circle out of Twitterpated and added it to the top of the container.  To finish it all off I used some Pear Pizzazz ribbon to make a couple of loops underneath,  Inside I put some lengths of ribbon to match the DSP so she'd have everything she needed to make a few cards with this lovely series.

I'm not sure if you can purchase these little containers, but I think they would make lovely favours.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Flower Girl

I love embellishments.  They take a card from being lovely to stunning.  They also take your postage price from $0.61 to $1.29, but that's a whole other story.

I've got a workshop coming up next weekend with some ladies that are already stampers so I wanted to show them a few tricks to make their cards really stand out.  I was trying to think of techniques that they might not already know, but I was stumped.  I love my Big Shot, but for a hobby crafter, it isn't always the most likely purchase.  I also love my heat tool, but people already know how to use it.  Then I was thinking about punches.  I love, love, love my collection of punches.  I think there are probably only three that I don't have.  I always include these anyways, but I figured showing how to use them for less conventional things was a good idea.  Then it hit me - flowers!

 There are so many ways to make beautiful little (or big) flowers to add to your card.  I spent some time this morning making samples of a number of them.

I thought about making a little video showing how to make each of one of them but then I realized that I would probably spend an entire day writing a script for it, doing 800 takes, fussing and cussing, and finally scrapping the idea because I don't like the sound of my voice and I have horrible sausage fingers which don't need to appear on camera.  Also, someone else has already gone to the trouble to make such videos, so here are some links.

Scalloped Circle Punch flower (top row, first flower)
Satin Ribbon flower  (top row, second flower)
Rolled flowers (bottom row, first 2)  (starts at 3:02)

The other two ribbon flowers (middle flower and bottom row, last one) are super fast and easy.  I punched out a circle of cardstock and a matching one from a double-sided sticky sheet, then stuck them together.  I then peeled off the remaining sticky side.  I worked from the outside in, adhering the ribbon onto the sticky circle.  Tip:  rather than cutting a piece of ribbon off your spool, work directly from the spool so that you don't waste any, or come up short.

One of our make and takes is going to be using Wisteria Wonder, so I wanted all of the flowers to match it.  Sadly, the only ribbon you can get in WW is the In Colour Ruffled.  No problem.  I played around a little and made my own Seam Binding and Satin versions.

I dampened the strips of Very Vanilla Satin and Seam Binding ribbon by spraying a glass baking pan with water and then pushing the strips around inside it.  This seemed to be the best option for getting them just slightly damp.  Having the ribbon damp allows the ink to soak up a little more easily and uniformly.  After that I lay the tips of three of my fingers across the ink pad and ran the ribbon under them a few times until I got the richness of colour I was looking for.  It's certainly not the same as the solid colours that the actual ribbon gives, but it looks lovely anyways.

This last flower was made with Seam Binding ribbon.  I did the scrunchy ribbon technique (starts at 2:23) on it, then adhered it like I did with the ruffled stuff.  I love it the way it looks.  I think this flower would be the one I would most likely choose for a vintage card.

Please leave me a comment if you try any of these techniques for the first time, or if you've got some to share!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A La Card Monkey Guest!

For the past few weeks I've been playing with the sketches from the girls over at A La Card Monkey.  Imagine my delight when I opened my email to find an invitation to be a guest designer for one of their challenges!  I squealed with pleasure and immediately told my husband.  He probably couldn't have cared less, but he pretended to be excited.  I was left unsatisfied, so I called my best friend who reacted exactly how I hoped.  She squealed too.  Much better.

I bought the Curly Label punch for myself quite a while back, but it hadn't yet found its way onto any of my cards.  Perhaps this is because I love my Decorative Label punch so much, so when I saw it on the sketch I had the perfect opportunity to pull it out.


I wanted to showcase the Sale-a-bration paper Everyday Enchantment and this layout let me use a couple of the designs.  I was also able to slip in the large image from Fresh Vintage (it's in the background, under the sentiment).  The sentiment was just a little too stark up against the Very Vanilla layered on Poppy Parade, so I used Pool Party and stamped the image off once to make it a little less bright.

Sale-a-bration continues through until March 24th.  This is the perfect time to host a party or place an order to get free goodies!  Please contact me to set up a date if you're interested.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch Challenge 243

On Monday night after work my husband and I came home and had leftover turkey dinner and sat down to watch a movie.  The plan was to watch a movie and then go to bed and read for a bit, but the movie was over at 8:00, and I couldn't convince him to go to bed that early.  So what did I do?  Came into my craftroom and started blog surfing.

I found this sketch on Stamping 411 and the card popped into my head immediately.  I love it when that happens.  Instead of taking an hour from start to finish, I whipped up this card in less than 30 minutes.  It's amazing what you can accomplish with a sketch and a stamp in mind.

I love the colour combo of Soft Suede and Very Vanilla.  I usually want to turn cards like this into wedding cards (think "Happy I Do Day" in place of the "Stay" sentiment), but I figured I'd stick with friendship for now.

The card looked nice with the Doily stamp but I felt the need to emboss it as well.  Makes it nice and rich.  I love layers and textures so I'm pretty please with the whole thing.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Brayer Technique

My best friend was here from out of town this weekend so on Saturday night we had a few people over, got a little silly, and stayed up wayyyyyy too late.  Of course I was still up at 6:30 but stayed in bed until 7:30 so as not to wake up our guests.

7:30 was still a sleep-in so I felt the need to get up and get going.  I'm not sure everyone else felt the same, but I had promised a nice big breakfast upon waking, so I didn't hear any complaints.  Now, it's after noon and I am the only person in the house that is awake.  Aforementioned best friend has a three year-old son (bouncy bouncy bouncy) and doesn't often get time away from him.  However, he's out ice fishing with his dad today, so mama gets a little well-deserved rest.  I had grand plans for us to make cards all afternoon, but a rare nap seems too good to pass up so I sent her back to bed for a bit.

Knowing that I had company this weekend, I left all of my work in my office, so I found myself with some guilt-free surfing time.  I've been meaning to try out some techniques with my brayer and I finally did.

I watched a tutorial and then flew at it.  It took a few tries before I could get it to look how I wanted, but I'm pretty pleased.

The picture doesn't really capture all of the colours very well, but it's So Saffron layered with Calypso Coral.  I love how the back matting makes such a bold statement.  I was going to stamp a sentiment up in the right corner, but I like it plain - I think.

Happy crafting!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A La Card Monkey #96

I love challenge blogs that post later in the week.  I can't find time to craft for challenges that close before Saturday, so the Card Monkey challenges are great for me.

As soon as I saw "moments" on the sketch I knew which set was coming out to play!  My dear friend, Elements of Style.  I love this set for two reasons:  a)  It's stunning  and  b)  It doesn't judge me for eating almost a whole bowl of Turtle Cheesecake dip in one sitting (I did also use about two whole apples to scoop it up with, though I cannot lie and say I didn't think about using a spoon).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Vintage Butterflies

While I was eating dinner the other night this card popped into my head.  As soon as I finished eating I raced to my room and started putting it together.  The lighting in my craft room isn't great, but I knew that it was going to be beautiful as soon as it started coming together.

You really can't go wrong with blues and browns (I think I've said that a few times before) and Pool Party with Soft Suede is no exception.

I usually use my brayer when inking an embossing folder, but this time I just rubbed directly from the pad onto the folder so that the ink wouldn't be uniform.  I was delighted when I pulled the paper out, but felt that the Pool Party was a little bright so I daubed a little ink over a few of the raised parts as well.  I played with a few of my vanilla ribbons before settling on the Victoria Trim.  None of the others could hold a candle to its match with the distressed antique look.  The French script (thank you once again En Francais) and the little pearls on the butterfly put this card over the top.  Though I didn't want to part with it, I sent it off to my mother in law for her birthday.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Keepin' the love coming

I know, I know.  Valentine's Day is over.  I don't care.  I love this card and had to share it.  I've found a new challenge blog (Hand Stamped Sentiments) and the challenge for this week is love, love, love!  So here's my card.

Speaking of love, I LOVE the fun flowers die.  I use it time and time again for embellishments on cards, journals, bookmarks, gift bags/boxes.  It's just a great die all around.  I love how all of the layers give this card a vintage feel.  I'm not in love with the vanilla shade of the Victoria trim, so I would swap out something white next time, or maybe forego it all together.  Either way though, I still think this is a decadent card.  I foresee this layout making several colour combo appearances.

I saw a card similar to this one a while back, but I can't find it again, so if you were my inspiration - thank you!  Leave me a comment so I can give you credit for ir.

Wedding season is coming!

I was up in the staff room the other day with some pieces of cardstock I was using on a workshop card when one of my colleagues came in.  I had the papers lying on the counter and she looked at them, quite thoughtfully I might add, saying, "Those are pretty colours."  Well, with Wisteria Wonder and Elegant Eggplant, of course they are.  She's getting married in Scotland this year so I asked if she was thinking about wedding colours. Turns out, she was.

We started to have a chat about invites and I suggested to her that she make her own, rather than purchasing something far less pretty, for a far greater price.  She mentioned how she had found some online, but that she wasn't in love with them.  I promised to make her a few samples with this colour scheme and that I would help her put them together.

Here's the first one that I cam up with.  It's simple and elegant.  Perfect, in my mind, for a hand-made invite.

Monday, February 13, 2012

For My Love

One my my club members used to be a demo years back, so you can imagine the size of her collection.  She's just a hobby stamper now, and needs to clear out some room for new goodies.  This weekend I spent some time with her going through the piles of stamps she no longer wanted, pricing them for sale.  We came across this set and I remarked that it was still a current set.  She's had it since 2004 though, and is "so sick" of it.  I piped up that I would like to buy it, but she insisted that I have it as a thank you for helping her pare down her collection.  Sounds good to me!  I've wanted this set for a while, but haven't gotten around to buying it yet.  Now I don't have to!

I needed a nice Valentine's Day card for my husband and this was the perfect set!  I used Night of Navy and silver cardstock for the base, and then some Valentine's Day paper from last year.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  I'm sure he'll love it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A La Card Monkey #95

One of my husband's friends texted me yesterday asking if he could get me to make a Valentine's Day card for him.  Pretty sweet.  So this morning I was playing around with a few different styles when I found this cute Card Monkey sketch.  I loved the layout and though it was perfect for using the new Hearts Framelits.  It's a really simple card, but really sweet as well.

This card has nothing to do with the Card Monkey sketch, but I had the frame from the previous card and I wanted to use it somehow.  I also have 800 of these tiny little hearts left over, so I figured this was a good way to use some up.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I Heart Hearts + Pals Paper Arts 128

This evening I've got a workshop booked with 16 ladies!  I usually plan my workshops for about 8, so when my hostess told me there would be 16 stampers coming to play, I knew I had to change my game plan.

The first card was a quick fix - I'm just going to make 2 samples using 2 different sets.  I'll post the pics of these tomorrow sometime.  My second card is a Valentine's day card.  Here's what I had planned on doing.

However lovely this set is, it's not a card to do with such a large group of ladies.  I did it with my stamper's club last month and even with only 5 of them it took a long time.  

While drinking my morning coffee and surfing, I found a perfect Valentine's Day challenge.  Pals Paper Arts this week is a colour challenge using any three reds.  I always like to showcase punches in my workshops and I have a TON of red & pink paper lying around so I came up with this little baby.  Not only it is a great way to use up little scraps that I've been hoarding, but you get the chance to play with the small heart stamp and the amazing new Framelits collection.  I love the combo of Riding Hood Red, Real Red, and the Red Glimmer paper.

It still needed a little something extra so I ran the matting piece through the Big Shot with the Vintage Wallpaper EF.  After that I took a pearl acrylic paint dauber and ran it over the cardstock to give it a nice shimmer.  I'm pretty please with the outcome.  Now I just need to get started cutting the paper for it!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Wow.  I have really been lacking in the blog department lately.  I'm going to try and get back to writing an entry each Saturday, but don't hold your breath...

Last month (actually, it was only 2 weeks ago), we put together this card for one of my stampers' clubs.  It's a super simple layout and we put it together in a jiffy.  I love the different layers and textures, but the ribbon flower really takes the cake on this one.

With Stampin' Up's new pleated ribbon, this flower came together in a matter of seconds.  I punched a 1 1/4" circle out of a double-sided sticky sheet and peeled one side off so that I could attach it to a circle of cardstock to give it some weight.  After that, I simply started with my ribbon along the outside edge of the circle, pressing it onto the adhesive about 3mm in depth.  Try and make the ribbon lie flat as you adhere it to the circle so that you really get to see the detail of the pleats.  Once I got to the inside I clipped the end off and added a pearl for a final detail.  Note:  I'd suggest NOT cutting a length of ribbon to make your flower.  Just use the ribbon as it comes off the roll and then clip it where you want.  This way ensures that you won't run out before it's finished, and you won't end up wasting any that you don't need.