Saturday, November 12, 2011

Old and New

I still have quite a supply of "old" card stock hiding in my file drawer, and I draw on it when I make cards to donate. I needed to make a few small sets of cards quickly this weekend, so out came the retired colors!

Here I mixed old card stock (Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa, Mellow Moss and Cameo Coral) with current shapes and styles. I used Blender Pens to watercolor the (retired) Hostess Set image stamped with Basic Brown on a circle I die-cut with my Big Shot and the #2 Circles die. The Top Note die is a quick way to infuse a little interest in the mat, too.

I used another Top Note die-cut on the inside, and stamped it with the elegant sentiment from Wellness Wishes ("Praying for you during your illness"). The other stamps in that set are more light-hearted, including a feverish puppy and a Band-Aid with a sad face. It is nice to have a mix of styles in one set.

A second set of four cards used more retired colors paired with a current stamp set (Thanks for Caring). While the sentiments in this set are designed for use with sympathy cards, they work well for general "thinking of you" type cards as well.

On the inside of these cards I used the longer sentiment from the set, "May you find peace and comfort in this difficult time and know that you are loved." One hidden feature of this set is that it doesn't use "I" in the sentiments. I am often making cards to be sent from a group (our church), so all my "I" sentiments just don't quite fit. This set is right on the mark.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Faux Cloisonne Thanksgiving

Time to make some Thanksgiving cards! I pulled out an old stamp set (Tags & More) today, and paired it with current colors and designer papers.

Check out SU!'s Holiday Mini catalog--page 16--to see the inspiration for my layout. Following this design took me out of my comfort zone a bit. I wouldn't have used the Soft Suede panel on top of the same color base without a contrasting mat unless I had seen it done successfully, but I like it.

The main focus of my card is the gold-embossed leaves: I used the Faux Cloisonne technique. I stamped the leaf image onto a magazine page using VersaMark ink, and then embossed with gold ep. Cutting out the leaves was the most time-consuming part of making these cards, but my trusty Paper Snips was more than up to the task.

For the main panel, I layered a few strips and a 3 3/4" square of Well Worn paper on Soft Suede card stock, and popped that whole piece up with Stampin' Dimensionals. Mini Glue Dots were perfect for adhering the cut-out leaves, keeping them secure while allowing the edges to curl up slightly for dimension. I added a loop of 1/4" Basic Black grosgrain around the panel, too.

When I use dark card stock for my card base, I usually line the card with a light piece of card stock. For this set of cards, I cut pieces of Very Vanilla, stamped with leaves in both Cajun Craze and Soft Suede inks, and also added a Thanksgiving sentiment (from another retired set) in Cajun Craze.

One of my favorite ways to dress up a card is to add a liner to the envelope. I had just enough of the paper I used on the front of the cards to line all eight envelopes with the same pattern. Stamping one Cajun Craze leaf on the front of the envelopes was my final touch.

Thanksgiving is a perfect time to remember those in our lives for whom we are thankful. Why not make a few handmade cards to send off? Happy stamping!

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Silhouette Trio

Part Two of my six-card set was this group of cards made using the Plaid Silhouette technique.

Similar in versatility to the Rock and Roll technique I posted last week, Plaid Silhouette extends the range of your bold-image stamps. I love the combination of this technique with the elephant stamp from Animal Stories.

Here is a close-up of the card with a Rose Red base.

Again, I kept both the layout and stamping simple.

The Plaid Silhouette technique uses three ink colors. Here I selected So Saffron (light) and Rose Red and Old Olive (darker). After inking the stamp with the light ink, turn the stamp over and press the edge of one of the darker ink pads on the stamp to make a series of lines. Turn the stamp 90 degrees to make crossing lines. Repeat with another dark ink pad.

If you haven't tried this one, you should. You'll love the look you get.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An Old Favorite: Rock and Roll

I made a quick set of six cards last weekend. To save time and also make good use of some of my plentiful designer papers, I limited my stamping to one image. The rest of the detail of the card design is built right into this nifty (retired) patterned paper from Stampin' Up!.

I picked three of the colors from this paper to carry through in the cards: Old Olive, So Saffron and Rose Red. Each color served as one card base, and then I used two of the colors in the stamped owl images on each card.

Here is a close-up of the card with the Old Olive base.

After choosing the part of the design I wanted for the scenery/background, I stamped three owl images from Animal Stories. I used the Rock and Roll technique to add both Old Olive and So Saffron ink to the stamped image. It's simple. Ink the stamp with So Saffron ink. Roll the stamp on the Old Olive pad, so that the edges pick up the darker ink, but the center retains the lighter ink color. You can see that I used progressively more of the darker ink with each image I stamped.

Try this technique with some of your bold-image stamps for a fun new look!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Perfect Sentiment

Sometimes things just work out right. A mere two days after I received the new Ronald McDonald House Charities benefit stamp set, Turtle & Co., I was called on to make a card for a church member who had foot surgery. Not only are the images in this set cute and upbeat, but one of the sentiments is "hope you're back on your feet soon!"

For this card, I combined a layered look with a CAS style, giving the card a rich yet simple feel. I like it!

The Wisteria Wonder ruffled ribbon paired with Real Red card stock and ink helped to carry the cheery theme, too. I added a touch of texture with the small polka dot Texturz plate, and used a Blender Pen to add color from my ink pads to the turtle.

With the Real Red card base, I needed to line the inside, giving me a perfect excuse to add this cute little snail in Real Red ink. As a former Life Science teacher, I can't help but chuckle as I pair the word "feet" with a smiling, one-footed gastropod.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cherishing Beau Chateau

The colors in the Beau Chateau dsp are real winners for me: Soft Suede, Pink Pirouette, Marina peaceful!

This card is for an anniversary. I'm hoping the brown and blue accents balance out the pink card base, for a gender-even effect. I inked the Medallion stamp with Soft Suede Classic ink, and then added VersaMark before stamping directly onto the dsp and embossing with clear ep. There is a halfback pearl in the center.

I trimmed the sheet with a printed frame to fit the inside, and stamped the sentiment with Soft Suede ink.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sunny Birthday

I'll admit to being somewhat confused by the new Blogger interface. I guess the more birthdays I have, the more new things I'll have to try to figure out.

My birthday is this week, and my present to myself is to spend some quality time with my stamps and ink! I made this card on commission. It is a riff on a card in the 2011-2012 IBC, and it is also a slight variation of one of the projects my Club ladies completed at our September meeting.

Who doesn't love the Upsy Daisy stamp set? I paired it here with the Beyond the Garden dsp, and chose Tangerine Tango for the focal image--orange in honor of Fall. For a bit of class, I used two halfback pearls on the small green panel.

The inside features another big piece of the dsp, and a reprise of the daisy image, too (this time in Daffodil Delight). When I designed this card, I thought maybe it was too spring-like, but our weather here in Minnesota is in the 80s and sunny all week long, so I guess it fits!

I hope you like this card enough to give it a try yourself!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

You're on my mind

I stumbled across this color combination several months ago: Night of Navy and Cajun Craze. The mellow tones hit me just right.
There are a few people whom I've been thinking about lately, and I hope this simple card will brighten a day this week. The design is really straight forward: just a small rectangular image panel (actual dimensions don't matter too much), with the sentiment stamped directly onto the dark (Night of Navy) card base.

Using the Whisper White craft ink for to stamp "you're on my mind" cleans up the design by eliminating the need to add another panel and mat. The stamp set is the retired Delight in Life. These gentle flower images are some of my favorites. I stamped off the main image many times, and added a lot of sponging for softness.

If you like this card, consider putting on your crafting hat and relaxing with a little stamping this weekend! Thanks for looking.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dusty Blue Tag

The Dusty Blues VSN Challenge was to use a blue, ivory and brown color combination.

I ran my Naturals Ivory card stock base through the Big Shot with the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder. (I love the deep impression you get with these folders!) To add some depth, I sponged Baja Breeze ink across the top, so that the embossed image is colored, but the debossed portion remains mostly white.

The stamped image is from a retired set I've had for quite a while. I still like the quirky images/sentiments in So Cool for a youthful feel on my cards and scrapbook pages. Here I used Baja Breeze card stock with Early Espresso ink, and cut the tag out freehand with my Paper Snips. The edges are sponged lightly with the Baja Breeze, too.

To attach the tag to the card front, I punched a small hole and threaded the Linen Thread through there before warapping it around the card front and tying off in a bow.

I think the "randomness" of the design is accentuated by the halfback pearls, which also add a needed feminine touch.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Upsy Daisy Card with Stamp-a-ma-jig Tutorial

I stumbled across some retired red Hemp Twine while looking for supplies to complete some challenges for the August 2011 Virtual Stamp Night at I made this very simple card for the challenge to use a cowboy rope.

Here I satmped the flower image from Upsy Daisy in Cajun Craze ink onto Very Vanilla card stock.

To correctly position the sentiment, I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig (samj). It's easy!

1) Align the plastic sheet in the corner of the T-square. Stamp the desired image on the plastic sheet with the stamp block flush along both sides of the T.

2) Position the plastic sheet on top of your card stock, right where you want your stamped image to end up. Place the T-square on the same corner as it was when you stamped onto the plastic.

3) Remove the plastic sheet, but leave the T-square in place. Ink up your stamp, and stamp the image, making sure the sides of the stamp block are flush (just like when you stamped on the plastic sheet).

That's it! My words ofen end up crooked if I try to eyeball this stamp, so I'm glad I have this simple tool to help me out.

I finished my card by layering the image panel onto a piece of Well Worn dsp and a So Saffron card base. The image panel is popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals, and the twine runs around that panel a few times before I tied it in a simple square knot. Of course, I had to add some Early Espresso sponging around the edge the image panel. My fingers got pretty messy today!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Blue Bandana

The second challenge I completed for the August 2011 Virtual Stamp Night at was Dusty Trails. We were challenged to use a bandana print technique as well as paper piecing to create a card.

You can check out the gallery for this awesome challenge here. I strayed a bit from the beaten track, and used the theme as my guide, rather than going for a truly authentic bandana look.

Here I stamped the Medallion image with Not Quite Navy Craft ink directly onto this piece of Well Worn dsp, then embossed with clear ep to help the image pop off of the background.

I incorporated paper piecing by using the retired SU! stamp set Polka Dot Punches. This fits in pretty well with the bandana look, I think. I stamped the flower image in Cajun Craze ink onto another piece of the Well Worn dsp, then punched out with the coordinating 5 Petal Flower Punch.

To finish the card, I creased the petals a bit with my Bone Folder and added an Antique Brad to the center of one. I distressed the edges of the Well Worn dsp and sponged Cajun Craze, Soft Suede and a bit of Not Quite Navy inks on the edges and over the Medallion image.

Hope you like what I came up with. Give it a try!

Faux Leather (Masking Tape) Technique

I was inspired by the video tutorial on by Beate Johns for the Faux Leather technique using masking tape. This past weekend was another SCS Virtual Stamp Night (VSN) set of challenges. The theme was Rodeo.

I didn't think I would get a chance to play at all, since I had to work on Saturday at the Great Minnesota Get Together. This afternoon, though, I pulled out some of my toys and managed to complete 5 of the challenges! It helps that there is a 45 minute time limit, but I was way under that for almost all of my cards. I think I used the full 45 minutes for this Dragon Skin card, though.

I used my newest stamp set, Dinoroar, which I got for my youngest. I think it is pretty cute! (Even if this image is of a flying reptile, not technically a dinosaur.)
I also took advantage of the current (until Wednesday 8/31) offer from SU! of buy 3, get 1 free on Designer Series Paper. I used the Well Worn dsp on this card and also on several others I made today.

Here's a quick tutorial for this method of Faux Leather.

1) Cover a piece of card stock (doesn't matter what color) with small pieces of masking tape. Try to cover any straight edges with a ripped piece.

2) Add a dark brown (here Early Espresso) ink to the torn edges of tape by rubbing a sponge across the surface.

3) Sponge a lighter shade (here Soft Suede) over the top (don't rub) to add color to the centers of the tape pieces.

4) Cover the sheet with clear embossing powder and heat set. (I noticed that some of my tape pieces curled up during the heating process, but I could easily push them back down when the piece had cooled.)

5) Finish the project! I ran my faux leather piece throught the Big Shot with the Top Note die to make the background for the pteranodon. He's stamped with Cajun Craze ink on Very Vanilla card stock. I used my Paper Snips to cut him out, and sponged the edge with Soft Suede ink.

There is more sponging around the edge of the dsp background (from Well Worn), and the card base is Cajun Craze. On the inside, I stamped the T. rex and a bit of the grass.

I'm planning on featuring this technique at the September meeting of my Techniques Club. Contact me if you are interested in joining. We have room for you!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sunset on the Farm

Anyone who has stamped with me knows that I love sponging. It is easy, fast and cheap. It also gets your fingers dirty.

These cards use both the Farm Life stamp set from Stampin' Up! and also a John Deere tractor stamp I have from a different manufacturer.

Colors are Cajun Craze, More Mustard, Wild Wasabi and Very Vanilla. I also added Daffodil Delight, So Saffron and Elegant Eggplant inks. Both images are embossed with black ep.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Embrace Life

A tried and true stamp set: Embrace Life. I used it a few weeks ago to make some Get Well type cards for my parents to use. I took the colors from the CreativeCrew Challenge over on Splitcoaststampers.

Here I've used the poppy image with Baja Breeze, So Saffron and Poppy Parade. I ran the card stock mat through my Big Shot with the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder. Don't you love the deeply embossed image?

The image is stamped with Basic Black and colored with a Stampin' Write Marker (Poppy Parade) and a Blender Pen (with a So Saffron pad). I used my (retired) Coluzzle to cut the circles. SU! has a neat new tool, the Circle Scissors Plus, that allows you to create a mat of just about any size you want. With my old tool, I'm limited to 1/4 inch.

I went to town on the inside with the stamping and coloring. That was fun! Also, I had to pull out my Stampin' Sponges to soften the edge of my circle.

The sentiment is from With Love & Caring.

This second card used the bamboo image from Embrace Life as well as the sentiment from that set. The Spotlight Technique is a quick way to add some color and dimension.

I used the Square Lattice embossing folder for the texture on the Poppy Parade accent here. I find that the card stock shortens up slightly when using the embossing folders, so I trimmed this piece to match the card front length exactly after running it through the Big Shot.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Birthday Buddies

I made a few birthday cards with this fun new stamp set, Barnyard Buddies.

Here I stamped the tractor image in four different ink colors (Soft Suede, Night of Navy, Poppy Parade and Pear Pizzazz). I popped each 1 1/2" square up for dimension, and also added scored lines behind the images. The greeting is from the retired Wow Flowers set, and is attached to the card front with Linen Thread and a Mini Library Clip.

I went moved to a circle design on the second card. The pig is stamped in Soft Suede ink, and I layered the 1 1/4" Circle Punch over the Scallop Circle (that's Night of Navy again--SU!'s darkest blue). The Very Vanilla circle behind the image is the largest circle from the Circles 2 Die. I used the Color Spritzer Tool to add some Pear Pizzazz splash. The Poppy Parade accent strip is dry embossed with a Texturz Plate and my Big Shot.

I kept the circle theme going on the inside of the card. Poppy Parade is a good barn color, I think.

The images in this set are a nice combination of realistic but cute. I think I will have a lot of fun using this set to make cards and scrapbook pages for many different occasions.

I earned both the Barnyard Buddies and Love & Sympathy stamp sets free when I hosted my own Club meeting in July. Stampin' Up!'s new Hostess Rewards allow you to "spend" your rewards on any products, including exclusive Hostess-only stamp sets. To be honest, I wasn't sure I'd like the new system, but I have to say I'm pretty happy with how it has worked out for me so far.

If you would like the chance to earn some free stamps, card stock, inks or embellishments, let me know! We can set up a low-key Workshop in your home.

Inside Out Joseph's Coat Take 2

I wanted to give the Inside Out Joseph's Coat technique another try. We learned this technique at the July meeting of my Stamp Club.

Stamp a detailed background stamp on neutral card stock using either Basic Black or StazOn black ink. Here I've stamped En Francais in Basic Black Classic Ink. Sponge up to three Classic ink colors over the background stamp. Cover the whole piece of card stock. This project has Pink Pirouette, So Saffron and my new favorite color Wisteria Wonder.

Clear emboss a solid image stamp over the card stock. I got my Hostess Rewards today, and that meant two new stamp sets to play with. This pretty flower image is from the new sympathy set, Love & Sympathy.

Bray the entire piece of card stock with a dark Classic ink color. I used Concord Crush.

Use a very slightly damp paper towel to remove the ink from the embossed portions of your panel. The dark ink should rub off easily, revealing both the bright colors and the detailed background image underneath.

Finish your card!

The new year of Stamp Club will start in September. We still have room for two or three more stampers. Please contact me if you are interested; I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sew Suite

Last night I pulled out my Sew Suite stamp set and the Sweet Stitches dsp, and made a set of cards. I wanted a design that was both uncluttered and quick, and I'm happy with the result.

The first card features the dress form stamp. With the clear mount stamps, it is really easy to center the image on the card stock, and I had no trouble placing the sentiment just where I wanted it.

For a quick variation, I turned the Very Vanilla image panel to accommodate the slightly longer "congratulations" sentiment.

On the inside I used the "If at first you DO succeed, try not to look astonished" stamp from Full of Life. You never know when someone will do something great, and it is good to be prepared.

Stampin' Up! has a big variety of double sided designer papers, and they're all on sale in August. Buy 3, get one free. You can browse and order through my website.

Thanks for checking out my blog, and happy stamping!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July Technique Club

My group met last night, despite the heat, and enjoyed each other's company while learning a new technique and making several different cards. We have a relaxed and enjoyable group of stampers, and we would love to welcome you to our bi-monthly meetings. Our new year of Stamp Club starts up soon! Let me know if you have questions or would like to join.

Here's a quick post with some cards we made. Our focus was two-fold: lots of Big Shot practice and the Joseph's Coat Inside Out technique.

This is a form of emboss-resist: using clear heat embossing to mask portions of the card stock. Here I used Pink Pirouette, Baja Breeze, Pacific Point and Basic Black inks; clear ep; Herb Expressions and Medallion stamp sets; Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder; and the Pinking Hearts border punch.

A pretty simple card features a stamp set from the new IBC: Not So Seriously.

We used markers and/or blender pens and ink pads to color the image. I trimmed the image freehand with the Paper Snips, adhered it to a backing of Concord Crush, and trimmed again to create a mat.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Quick Tango

As promised, here are three more card designs in a monochromatic, uncomplicated style. This go 'round, I used the C is for Cat stamp set and Tangerine Tango.

This is the simplest of the group. I used a simple Basic Gray card stock triangle for a background, and added two little concentric circles of paper piercing (from a Classy Brass template) on my image panel. The only other detail is the Paws wheel which I rolled on the inside edge of the card in Tangerine Tango ink.

One of my favorite looks is a quilt-style card, and I used some inchies and Linen Thread to produce that look here. Making the design was pretty quick, but it did take me a little while to tie all those knots. Good thing I wasn't trying to make a real quilt, I guess. I hope this card will warm someone's heart, even if it isn't cozy enough to keep a chill off.

I took alternate stamped inchie panels and arranged them for this standard card. Some sponging adds depth, and I like the look of the Scallop Border Punch.

Hope you like this set--Stamp On!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Razzleberry Friends

Over Memorial Day weekend, our family spent some relaxing time at the Lake. I brought a few--just a few!--stamping supplies with me, and worked on developing my monochromatic style.

I'm pretty sure I promised someone (besides Mary--see earlier posts) a set of handmade cards. Now, if I can just remember whom to send them to...

All three of these desings are very simple, and none uses any fancy or time-consuming techniques. My colors are Rich Razzleberry (sorry that my images have such a brown tint, it is really more of a purplish berry color), Crumb Cake and Very Vanilla.

For the first card, I used a Rich Razzleberry base, and put the fold on the left side. I like to do this sometimes for a "landscape" style layout, because then the card will sit up a bit longer before the fibers tire and the card slumps. The cute little tree image is from Forest Friends, and the sentiment is from Best Yet (retired). The Scallop Border Punch is a fast and easy way to create a bit of dimension to the mat.

I wanted to really focus on a CAS style for these next two designs, and starting with a Very Vanilla card base helps. Simple image panels and mats, embellished only with paper piercing and some fibers, allowed me to finish these cards in a very short time and with a minimum of clutter on my work surface.

I left the insides of both cards blank, but couldn't resist using the sentiment from the Happy Together stamp set on my owl-and-bunny card.

I hope you enjoy these cards, and maybe you will find some inspiration here, too! Check back soon for another set of monochromatic cards featuring Tangerine Tango.