Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March Classes and SU News

I thought I'd let my sweet Olive Jane welcome in the new month, all dressed up in her pretty green dress.  Tomorrow starts a brand new month and that means brand new opportunities for stamping fun.  As soon as she's old enough, I'm sure Olive Jane will want to join in with the stamping.  In the meantime, here she is with lots of stamping news!
Here's what's cookin' in March:

March 5:
     Hostess Scrapbook Club (6:00-8:30)

March 8:
     Team Meeting / Opportunity Event (10:00-noon) --- Contact me to reserve your spot.

March 12:
     Scraps and Prayers (6:00-8:00)

March 15:
     Art With Heart (4:00-6:30)  (I'll be donating several of my creations, along with note card sets.)
Come join us at 201 W. North Street / Decatur, Illinois

March 17 OR March 19:
     Saturday Morning Brunch Bunch  /  Monday Morning Brunch Bunch
     Both Brunch Bunch Classes meet at 9:30-1:00.

Don't forget that we have Sale-A-Bration going on for the entire month of March.
  • It's the best time ever to host a workshop and earn LOTS of great product.
  • For every $50 you spend, you get to choose a free product.
  • For every $50. you spend, you get your name added to my 50/50 board.  Once the board is full, Toby Joe gets to choose 1 lucky winner to go on a $50. shopping spree!!!
  • Don't forget that you can try out My Digital Studio for 30 days FREE!!   Go to and click on the MDS box to see all the details.
  • Consider signing up to becoming a Demonstrator.  This is a great time to give it a try!!!
Take your stamping skills to the next level and SAVE up to 60% with the Sale-A-Bration Starter Kit Deal! 
  • SAVE $50 on the Stampin' Up! Starter Kit (NOW $125).  Includes up to $340 in products and ships FREE.  Choose and customize either the Standard Starter Kit or Digital Starter Kit.
  • SALE-A-BRATION STARTER KIT BONUS!  Receive your choice of either FREE Designer Series Paper (you pay for shipping) or a FREE My Digital Studio Download (no shipping charge) EVERY MONTH that you are active, from Feb. through Dec., 2012.  Up to a $120 value!
  • HOBBY STAMPERS!  Test drive demonstrator discounts and benefits thru June 30, 2012 with no obligation to purchase anything further or host workshops.  There's no penalty to drop.  
So, I've given you lots to think about today.  I will look forward to hearing from you!

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012

    A Gorgeous Color Combo / Vintage Cards

    Would you like to try a gorgeous color combo?  Try Marina Mist, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede and a touch of Very Vanilla.  It's a winning combo!
    Today's sketch was inspired by another sketch challenge.  I want to show you why I get my creative juices flowing by starting with a good design.

    In today's post, I will show you 2 cards -- both inspired by the same sketch design.  The first card is has a feminine, vintage look.  The second card is all guy.  I decided to stay with the same exact color scheme, so you can readily see just how easy it is to follow a good sketch design and go most any direction that you'd like to try.
    The first card uses the Elements of Style stamp set, along with snips of ribbon, seam binding and crochet lace trim.  I added lots of texture by using textured CS on the Soft Suede layer, using one of the framelits dies (1/2 on each side of the focal piece), and embossing the Crumb Cake layer with the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder.  An embossed image from the Notably Ornate stamp set adds even more texture to the Soft Suede background.  The text is punched out with the Modern Label punch.  The circle punches are 1" and 1 1/4" circles -- for the little accent piece.  I actually used Stampin' Write Markers to color all the stamps, except for the embossed image in the background.  I love the look of this technique in stamping.

    The second card is all guy --- a cowboy!  I started with all the same colors / same layers, including the embossed image from the Notably Ornate stamp set.  I used only 1/2 the piece cut from the framelits die this time and added embossed horseshoes to go with the cowboy theme.  The cowboy and horseshoes are from the Out West stamp set.
    I tied a few knots along the hemp, to give the look of barbed wire.  One horseshoe is 'hanging' on the 'barbed wire' and the other 2 are hooked together.  I don't know if my arrangement is lucky or unlucky.  I'll hope for the best:)
    Both cards have lots of layers, lots of texture and lots of dimensionals. 
    I've never really had any trouble coming up with my own designs, but I just love the challenge of trying to follow a given sketch.  I think it's always good to push yourself to try new challenges, new color combinations, new styles, new everything --- just to keep yourself motivated and constantly growing as an artist ... and to keep your designs fresh and alive.

    I hope this post inspires you to really jump in and try creating cards using design sketches for a good place to start.  Plan out your colors and choose your stamp sets.  You can plan out embellishments to compliment your design as you work through your project.

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    A Visit From my Favorite Little Girl

    Aunt Jenn sent a toy piano for Olive Jane to try out.  She got her first opportunity tonight to check it out.

    She really had a good time with it.  Check back soon and see what I create for scrapbook pages, with my sweet little Olive Jane playing the starring role.

    Green, Green and Neil Diamond

    I wanted to show you a card today that will get some music flowing through your mind.  My card design is inspired by a sketch challenge and I chose to do it in a monochromatic color story -- thus, the Green, Green song in my head.
    I used the stamp set My Friend and, because it contains text stamps for 'hello' and 'my friend,' my daughter calls this stamp set our Neil Diamond stamp set -- thus putting yet another tune in my head.  I do love this stamp set.  It's surprisingly versatile and a lot of fun to use.
    I used 2 of our In Color brads and made a double layer of my text strip, to create added interest.  I sponged the edges of both of the strips, to give extra texture.  The little knotted bit of ribbon is created by tying a knot around a tiny sprig of our crochet lace trim.
    I used the Big Shot to cut a circle for stamping and then cut a larger scalloped circle to layer behind it.  My colors are Lucky Limeade, Always Artichoke and a bit of Pear Pizzazz.  The vertical strip is created using a technique called Mother of Pearl.

    Here's how you do the Mother of Pearl technique:
    • Place a bit of Frost White Shimmer Paint in a small container.
    • Wad up a small piece of plastic wrap.
    • Dip the plastic wrap into the paint and dab randomly over a piece of glossy white CS.
    • Set aside to dry.
    • Once the paint is dry, lightly sponge over the piece with Lucky Limeade ink, using a circular motion.
    • Tissue off excess ink, as desired.
    So today, I challenge you to go try this fun technique on a creation of your own.  Enjoy!

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    Gnome Fun

    I didn't need to do an extra post today, but was inspired by a color challenge I saw while blogging.  I had to rise to the challenge because I love Cherry Cobbler and Daffodil Delight together and the challenge included these 2 yummy colors AND Lucky Limeade working together in vivid, perfect harmony.  I earned the Gnome Sweet Gnome stamp set with some free Hostess Dollars and wanted to play around with it.   My design was inspired by a quirky little sketch challenge that I thought lends itself to some whimsical fun.  Here's my little yard ornament:
    I used some Lucky Limeade DSP scraps for the 2 strips in the background.  The diagonal strip is textured Lucky Limeade CS.  I wanted to add the flowers to the strip for some extra fun and texture.  The Daffodil Delight flowers are from the Fruit and Flowers stamp set.
    I stamped an extra hat for my little fellow and attached it with glue dots, for added dimension.  I did the same for the 2 mushrooms.  My little guy is holding a punched glimmer paper flower ('painted' with Lucky Limeade reinker).  I added a clear button over the sparkling flower and then added touches of clear Dazzling Details sparkle to the flowers, my gnome's belt buckle, the frog's eyes, and the polka dots on the mushrooms.  The card front is framed with the Framed Tulips embossing folder.  I finished off the project with a little knotted bow of Daffodil Delight taffeta ribbon.

    So, once again...

    A Hybrid Card

    After my husband's car disaster this morning, I wanted to chase away the gloomy feeling by creating a very vibrant and cheery card.  I chose Poppy Parade, Concord Crush and Daffodil Delight.  I decided to use the Mojo Monday card sketch challenge to plan my layout.
    Here's what I came up with, including some work with MDS:
    The flowers are from the Fabulous Florets stamp set.  The flowers stamped on the Whisper White background are actual stamps.  The larger (daffodil delight) flowers were created using MDS.  The beauty of a hybrid card is that you can still coordinate all your images, but you can also create the size that you need to work with your design.  I printed mine on Whisper White CS and then cut them all out and attached them with dimensionals.
    The center flower has extra layers of just parts of the image, to give even more dimension.  I used Poppy Parade ribbon and the text is from the Fabulous Florets stamp set.  I sponged the edges of the piece with the text.  You can also see that I added a layer of Everyday Enchantment DSP behind my little strips of CS.  Once again, I have a card with lots of layers, texture and dimension.  I added a bit of Frost White Shimmer Paint/alcohol mixture spritzed over the top of the completed card.

    I hope you'll try creating a vibrant project.  It really perks you up as the colors just sing together.

    Goodbye, Favorite Car!

    Some days just don't start out too well.  After a 'not so good' night with my asthma, I decided to stay home from church this morning.  I was just about to get up to do another breathing treatment, when I heard my husband coming back in the door.  After our scary weekend with his seizure, just 3 weeks ago, I wondered to myself:  "What now?"

    He came into the bedroom and started out with:  "I'm alright but..."
    Then, I was on full alert.

    His story is that he was distracted with something in the car seat next to him and swerved --- right into a mailbox just down our street.  Well, he must have hit one of the mailboxes that is inside a sturdy brick enclosure, because my favorite old car was just wrecked.  After getting our new Sienna a year ago, we were planning on keeping my old Bravada a little longer.  Well, maybe not so long, now.

    Take a look:
    I am so sad.  I still loved that car the best of any I'd ever had.  It was easy to drive, a good size, and had the most comfortable seats ever.

    My husband has never been a fast or reckless driver, but geez... what a mess!

    I will want to hear a LOT more about how all this happened when he gets back from church.  In the meantime, I will calm down, do yet another breathing treatment and again ask:  "What next?"  After my treatment, I WILL go stamp something.  I must do something sane today, so I won't kill him:)

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    Thank You! ... and A Snowman Layout

    I would like to start today's post with a huge 'Thank You' from my heart
              --- to all those who have taken the time to leave a comment and/or sign up as a follower.  It means a lot to me that you take the time to do this.  I love to share what I do with others and your actions inspire me to continue to do so.

    Today's post seems unusual to me because it involves snow and a snowman and I feel like we've hardly had any snow this winter.  Now, I'm not complaining.  I think one good snow per winter is enough for me.  I can admire the beauty of it and then be ready to move on:)  I'd be quite content to live in my Birk's year round.  I did like creating a snowy layout for one of my recent classes, so meet my chubby snowman!
    My color story is Baja Breeze with Concord Crush.  This color combo really sets off the snow and punched snowflakes.

    If you look very closely, you can see that I added tiny touches of clear Dazzling Details to the snow and to each snowflake.  It just adds a bit of sparkle to the layout.
    I used our Concord Crush ribbon for his scarf.  It is easy to fray the ends to look like the fringe on a scarf.  I tore the snowman (and 'coal' pieces) free hand from card stock.  I cut his hat to fit his head.  The hat band is a piece of Concord Crush ribbon that is cut to 1/2 the width.  His nose (Tangerine Tango) is created  with the pennant punch.  Cut 1 side; attach a sticky note (to hold onto it) and slip the nose back into the punch so you can cut down the other side to a narrower width; round off the larger end of the nose with paper snips.
    Since we didn't have much snow this winter, I will have to dig out some old snowy photos or save the layout for a winter with more snow.  In the meantime, my little snowy guy has a happy, silly grin and seems content to wait for someone to join him in some snowy fun times.

    I don't plan on making too many more winter layouts just now because Spring is calling my name.  I will be sharing other layouts with you soon, that's for sure.  Now, go dig out some of your favorite photos and get scrapbooking.

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    to my friend...

    Here's another card I made to send to a friend.  I've used Island Indigo, Pool Party and Whisper White.  The ribbon accents are done with Pear Pizzazz Pleated Satin Ribbon.  The In Color brads add a little extra embellishment.

    In the close-up, you can see that I used markers to color directly onto the stamp.  Once you huff, you're ready to stamp a vivid image onto your Whisper White CS.  For more tips on this method of coloring, check my previous post.  I sponged around the white layer, to give it more depth.

    After I completed the card, I added a layer of Pool Party to the inside, to make it easier to see the message.  I also added a bit more texture and glimmer by using the Color Spritzer with an Island Indigo marker on just the right hand portion of the card, mostly at the top corner.  I then came back and spritzed the entire card front with my Frost White Shimmer paint/alcohol mixture.  Yes, I use this a lot; it just adds the perfect finishing touch.
    The stamp sets I used are Up in the Air (Hostess Set) and Friendly Phrases.  To attach the Pear Pizzazz Pleated Satin Ribbon (Say that 3 times fast! :)  --- here's what I did:
    • I cut my Pool Party piece, using one of the framelits dies.
    • I cut off part of the shape, to lay it flat against the straight edge of the card.
    • I laid the piece down onto the card front and drew around it lightly with a pencil.
    • I removed the cut piece and traced the pencil line with Liquid Tombow adhesive.
    • I then gently pressed the ribbon into the wet adhesive.  It attaches really well.
    • Next, I traced around the back edges of the Pool Party piece with Liquid Tombow so it would attach well to the ribbon.
    • I also added dimensionals to the center area of the Pool Party piece, to accommodate the height of the ribbon.
    After that, I just finished the rest of the layers for my card.  I plan to use this one in the Clean and Simple blog challenge.

    I love this color combo together and hope you'll give these colors a try.  I am always amazed at how easy it is to work with the pleated ribbon.  It comes in other colors, too, so you can come up with other great color combos that you like.  Try finding a favorite new color combo to try today.

    Thursday, February 23, 2012


    I still hear their little voices echoing in my head as my children called
    "Dad, Dad, Dad..."
                       over and over until he would answer them.

    Sometimes, it took a while to get his attention because they said it so much that he kind of became immune to hearing it:)  I can't help thinking of the memories when I see this 'Dad' stamp.  Don't you just love the argyle design?

    Today, I wanted to make a big and masculine card, so I chose to create one that is a 5 1/4" square when closed.

    When I think of a masculine card, I think of the rich colors in the Mocha Morning Specialty DSP and I think of lots of layers and texture --- a manly kind of thing.
    My colors are Crumb Cake, Basic Black, Soft Suede, Early Espresso and a touch of Very Vanilla.  After I took the photo below, I went back and slightly curled up the ends of the flags, using my bone folder, so it now has even more dimension.
    Compare the photo above with the one below.  That's the difference you can make in layering, just by gently curling the 'flags' with your bone folder.
    I certainly prefer the additional texture after the curling:)

    I used the Scallop Edge Border Punch to create the edge on the left side of the Soft Suede layer.  The focal piece is created with the oval frame from the Designer Frames embossing folder set.  I used our distressing tool to rough up the edges and then sponged them lightly.  I also sponged lightly over the embossed oval, to make it stand out more and have even more texture.  I stamped 'Dad' with the stamp from the Loved Ones stamp set.  This is a darling set and covers all your relatives!  After I stamped the 'Dad' stamp, I punched it out with our large oval punch, lightly sponged the edges, and attached it inside the embossed oval.
    I used the 1" square punch to create the v-shape at the ends of the 'flag' strips.  I added more texture by using the Square Lattice embossing folder on the Early Espresso layer.

    After finishing it, I realized that it qualifies for two blog challenges --- a sketch challenge and creating a masculine card challenge.  I feel like I'm stretching my creativity by trying new challenges and coming up with how I will create them.  I hope you enjoyed today's post.  Now, go stamp something!

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Beautiful Island Indigo

    I just had to try yet another card today --- with my beautiful Island Indigo.  This time, I've used the Movers and Shapers die, so I could have a window for my card.  I needed a window, so I could hang my birdhouse.  I've combined Pear Pizzazz, Lucky Limeade and Pool Party with my Island Indigo card and I think it speaks of glorious Spring.
    I've tried to photograph the card from several angles, so you could get a better idea of all the details.  I stamped the doily using the Hello, Doily stamp.  I actually stamped it again, at the edge, to give the effect of layers of a doily falling gently over the edge of the card.
    I used Baker's Twine to hang my birdhouse.  I decided to add a little bling to it, using a rhinestone over the 'door' of the birdhouse.  The scalloped strip peeking out under the pleated ribbon was cut using the Tasteful Trim die.  I trimmed the front of the card a quarter inch shorter, so the Pool Party strip (attached to the inside) could still be seen when the card is closed.
    I stamped the branch and birdhouse image several times, so I could cut out pieces and layer them, using glue dots.  The image is from the Up in the Air stamp set.
    I stamped the image again on the inside of the card, along with the sentiment which is from the Friendly Phrases stamp set.
    I used Lucky Limeade, Island Indigo and Pool Party markers to color in the image.  It is stamped and embossed, to make the coloring easier.
    I'm entering this card into a 411 sketch challenge.  Here's hoping they like it:)
    If you've never tried the Movers and Shapers die, you should check it out.  With the variety of shapes that you can use to cut a window, along with them being on movable magnets, the possibilities are endless ..... and so..... the fun is endless:)

    Just for You!

    Today, I wanted to make a card for a dear friend of mine.
    I decided to use the colors for this color challenge.  I also wanted to use a stamp set that I haven't played with for far too long.  I chose one of our Hostess Sets --- Precious Butterflies.
    The color challenge was to use these colors together:
    • Chocolate Chip
    • Lucky Limeade
    • Melon Mambo 
    This is a great combo and lends itself well to a card for a friend.
    I used the #2 Scallop Circles Die for the Big Shot, another circle die, a 1 1/4" circle punch, the wide oval punch and the Decorative Label punch.
    In the close-up, you can see that I've spritzed it with my Frost White Shimmer Paint/alcohol mixture -- to give it a nice shimmer.

    I hope this card will brighten my friend's day when she receives it and inspire you to create a card for a friend, too.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Happy Birthday, Mr. President(s)!

    Yesterday, I was inspired to create a 'red, white and blue' birthday card for Presidents' Day.  I used Cherry Cobbler, Whisper White and Island Indigo.  These shades of red and blue are just plain yummy together.
    In memory of good old George, I used the cherries stamp from the Mouthwatering stamp set.  I love the size of these stamps.  They will be great for future scrapbooking layouts.
    My text is from the Perfectly Penned stamp set.

    The Island Indigo DSP is from the Sweet Shop specialty papers.  I like it with the dotted Cherry Cobbler ribbon.  The Island Indigo scallop circle and Whisper White circle are both cut with dies on the Big Shot.  The 2 sizes layer nicely together.

    You may have noticed that the sentiment is on a strip of Whisper White with a little 'funky fold' at each end.  I marked off score lines with my Simply Scored tool and then folded the ends down and back.  This is just to give a little added interest to the sentiment.  I attached the piece with dimensionals
    I enjoyed trying my cherry scented embossing powder, too.  After stamping the cherries, I colored over them with a VersaMarker and then embossed with the Scented Stampin' Emboss Powder.  And yes, it smells like cherry!  We also have vanilla and melon scents.

    Tips for stamping directly with 2 or more colors:
    • When you have a new stamp that is a larger, solid stamp (like the cherries), condition it first by rubbing it several times over your Stampin' Scrub pad to prepare it to accept the inks better.
    • Color directly onto the stamp with a marker, huff, and stamp.
    • Hold your stamp on your CS for several seconds to allow the inks time to be absorbed into the CS.  You'll get a much more vivid image.
    • To give your embossed image more depth, after embossing (while the image is still hot) quickly cover it again with EP, flick off the excess and heat it again.
    I have more good news!  Today, SUO announced the top 3 winners for their last challenge and I was chosen as one of the top 3!  This is the card that I created for the challenge.

    Here's another card I made -- for our church to send out for the March birthdays.  I used more of the glimmer paper that I'd 'painted' with Lucky Limeade reinker.  My idea was to create a March birthday card that reminded you of a St. Patrick's Day theme, but did not use any actual shamrocks.  The leafy background stamp is from the Best Friends Forever stamp set.  I used Lucky Limeade and Pear Pizzazz with the Whisper White, for a clean and crisp card.  I try really hard to not create too many layers for the cards I make for our church to send out because I don't want them to have to pay extra postage.

    Basically, it's the same design as the card above.
    I'm pointing this out because I want you to look at my card design ideas and then try creating your own cards, using the stamps and supplies that you already have on hand.  Let my designs be just the starting place for you to begin your own designs.

    The next SUO challenge is to create a birthday card, so I will go ahead and submit today's card for this next challenge.  Maybe good old George will help me to win.

    So, Happy Birthday, Mr. President(s)!

    Now, how about going to your CS stash and choosing a yummy color combo.  Choose one of my designs that inspired you and stamp up something beautiful.
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