Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Thanks

When I sat down to write and send my Thank You cards earlier this week, I realized I was one card short! Tonight I took a break from my studying and pulled out another old favorite stamp set, Pun Fun.

The card with the cow ("Like no udder") will go to the woman from MDA who helped us learn about organic farming. She owns and operates a small organic dairy!

Colors are Pretty in Pink and Wild Wasabi card stock with Elegant Eggplant and Soft Suede markers.

I used the other card bases I had left over from last month's Stamp Club meeting to make some cards with this cute little pig from the same set. One card has SU halfback pearls, the other has recycled rhinestones.

I used my paper piercing tool and mat pack to add some accents to the Wild Wasabi mats (it is hard to see in the photo). The ribbon is the soft and supple Satin ribbon from SU.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bright Thanks

Quick and easy, CAS cards I made and sent to state employees who presented at the workshop I coordinated in April.

I love the bright colors! Melon Mambo, Dafodil Delight and Tangerine Tango are offset by Old Olive and Crumb Cake. I used the bright designer buttons and some Real Red grosgrain ribbon for accents, too.

The stamp is an oldie, but a goodie: Big Blossom.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Inspiration and Punch Challenges

Don't you just love the excitement of opening that box and pulling out some new goodies to play with? I know I do! Last week, I got two new products for my stamping pleasure: Sweet Stitches paper, an energetic new sewing-themed dsp, and the Big Sweet Stitches Designer Buttons (both from the Occasions Mini Catalog).

These products are a fantastic example of how easy it is for us to coordinate projects using Stampin' Up! materials. Paper, card stock, buttons and ink in this card feature SU!'s exclusive colors Chocolate Chip, Melon Mambo, Tangerine Tango and Daffodil Delight, among others. I also love how the images in the Sew Suite stamp set coordinate so perfectly with the Sweet Stitches dsp.

I created this card to meet the specifications for two challenges at Splitcoaststampers.com: the Clean and Simple (CAS) challenge for April 11, which was an inspiration challenge, and the Creative Crew SU! Demo Challenge for April to use some of our versatile punches in our design.

Our CAS challenge hostess wanted cards inspired by an ad for infant bibs, so I used the Small Tag punch with the Sweet Stitches paper to mimic the layout of the ad. The card base is Melon Mambo, with a panel of Whisper White on which I stamped a collage of images from the Sew Suite stamp set (I have the clear mount style). I used Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight and Chocolate Chip inks.

What new toys will you play with next?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ink, Spray, SmashTutorial

The Ink, Spray, Smash Technique not only has a memorable name, it also produces a unique, groovy background. I've tried the technique a couple of times, and now I'm ready to share it with you!

Here is the card I made this weekend. I decided to use a nice big piece of the smashed background to show off the colors. I followed the color combination for the SCS Color Challenge for this past week, using Certainly Celery and Baja Breeze. I had to sub Pacific Point ink for Marina Mist, but stuck with Marina Mist card stock.

The first step is to cut Glossy White card stock to a workable size. For this project, the pieces are 3 3/4" x 5"; I've used pieces as small as 3" x 3". I wanted to cover the card front with the pattern, but still leave room to mat or frame the panel if I wanted.

Use your Classic Ink Refills for this technique. Start with a light color, and put at least 4 drops right on one of the Glossy card stock pieces. Depending on the size of your panel, you may want more or less ink. Also take into consideration how many times you will want to "smash" another piece on top: the more times you "smash," the more diluted your ink will get, and the more subdued your design.

Add up to 3 drops of a lighter ink.

If you are using 3 ink colors, add 1 or 2 drops of the darkest ink. (Note: it is pretty easy to let the dark color overwhelm the lighter colors, so go heavy on the light colors and easy on the dark inks.)

Now comes the fun (messy) part! Use a small misting bottle to SPRAY BOTH your base piece (that you just inked up) AND another piece of Glossy card stock with water.

Then SMASH! the clean piece on top of the inked piece. The ink will seep out the edges, so this part is a bit messy (but fun).

Peel the top piece back, set aside to dry, and keep going as many times as you want. (Remember, the more ink you put on, the longer your color will last.)

I wanted to use my background for some Easter cards, so I added a butterfly image from the Time Well Spent stamp set (I got this set free a few years back, and it is fabulous), and included the Easter Wishes sentiment from my new clear-mount Hostess stamp set Something to Celebrate.

I dressed up the butterfly by adding tiny drops of Crystal Effects to his wings. CE is a fabulous adhesive, and if you are patient, it also gives you the cool "dew-drop" look you can see here. I'll be honest: I had to do this part right before I went to bed, so I wouldn't stick my finger in it while it dried. Then in the morning, with a little ribbon and the sentiment, my card is finished!

Thanks so much to the folks over at Splitcoaststampers for helping me learn this technique. I modeled my tutorial on theirs. Also, my favorite 10 year old, HF, helped me with the photos for this post.

Friday, April 1, 2011


I just had to try out the Bargello Technique featured this week on Splitcoaststampers. I always have a lot of very nice designer series papers, just waiting for me to find a good use for them! This is an excellent technique for me!

For this card, I used the retired Stampin' Up! dsp, Le Jardin. The colors in these papers are So Saffron, Always Artichoke and Bashful Blue. To start the technique, you cut several strips of the different patterns. Each strip is 3/4" wide and about 5 1/2" long. Line them up on a piece of plain card stock (I used Whisper White) and adhere (I used the 2-Way Glue Pen).

Next, cut strips of varying widths, across the grain of the original strips.

Offset the strips, so that the different patterns don't quite line up. Play around with the patterns until you find the look that is right for your project. At this point, you can either adhere the strips to another piece of card stock, or--like I did here--use Sticky Strip to hold them together.

After trimming the piece, I peeled off the red backing on the Sticky Strip and mounted the design on another piece of dsp. You could mount directly onto your card base, or onto a different mat, too. Another idea is to use a die to cut your Bargello piece in a particular shape. (I want to try this with the both the Top Note and with Butterflies Dies.)

As they say on SCS, finish your card! I stamped the flower image from Embrace Life in So Saffron with the bamboo leaves in Artichoke, rounded the corners and sponged with Artichoke and Bashful Blue inks. The Whisper White Satin Ribbon makes a nice square knot, and is balanced by a corner embellishment of 5 halfback pearls.

I hope you'll give this one a try. It will certainly be a featured technique for my Stamp Club to work on in the coming year.