Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Jalopy for My Brother!

My brother's birthday is coming up in May, and I wanted to get his card started early so I could take my time while still recovering, slow but sure, from knee replacement surgery.  It uses the stamp set I order in March from Stampin' Up named, Country Livin', which is perfect for my brother because his hobby is restores old jalopy cars and pickups into beautifully restored vehicles.  Take a peek below at the finish card both inside and out.


Ingredients:  Paper:  Stampin' Up cardstock--Dapper Denim, Soft Suede, watercolor paper; DCWV The Guy Stack (grid).  Stampin' Up stamps: Country Livin' (truck), Guy Greetings (sentiment), Hardwood (bg).  Stampin' Up Ink: Garden Green, Soft Suede).  Stampin ' Up Embossing Folder: Woodgrain (ret.).  Stampin' Up ribbon: 5/8" Burlap.  Copic Markers.  Hand-cut double fishtail.  Computer verse.  Size:  4-1/2 x 5-3/4".  

"The Card Story"

This card started out in a Stampin' Up card class with the original design by one of our hostesses, Dar Peterson.  I did not finish the card, because I wanted to modify it a bit to fit the Round 8, Alphabet Challenge...Letter J for jalopy and also to use Copic markers to color the stamped image instead of Aqua Painter and inks.   

I also reviewed several other Splitcoaststamper challenges to see if I could glean any additional ideas, and I found I was on the right track to fit several others as well.  I even got affirmation from the current Inspiration Challenge at the Smithsonian Institute under the "America on the Move" collection discussing the history of vehicle transportation in the U.S.  Under pickup trucks, it features a nice blue 1949 GMC pickup.  My idea to have a blue truck color would work perfectly, though my truck depicts a jalopy truck in need of restoration.

Not only did I change the coloring medium to Copics from the original design, but I also ended up modifying the card's sentiment from Father's Day card to a birthday card.   In addition, the alpha challenge I planned to enter has a double challenge to add Quadrille (grid) paper, which I did in the form of the soft blue DCWV grid paper for the sentiment background.  I also added this grid as an extra mat layer as well.  In addition, I decided my woodgrain background would be even nicer if I embossed it with the Woodgrain embossing folder.  I'm really pleased with my end results, and I think Mike will be equally pleased to show off his sister's card on the mantel at home!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Birthday Hugs!

One of my dearest friends celebrates her birthday in April; therefore, a birthday card is definitely in order!  Since my right knee replacement, I have not been back to my crafting table for several reasons:  1) it is still early in recovery to have my knee in an unelevated position and bent to 90 degrees for any great length of time; 2) stair climbing, where my crafting table is located, is still quite painful and difficult; and 3) lengthy standing and getting up and down from a seated position repeatedly is painful and difficult.  So, needing this card, I decided now was the time.  All this said, I did get the card done, but now I think a day of elevated recliner rest is needed.

Take a peek below at Sandy's finished birthday card; the inside verse and design follows; and if interested, "The Card Story" can be seen even farther down.

Ingredients:  Papers: Recollections Kraft pack; Stampin' Up cardstocks--Crisp Cantaloupe, Very Vanilla; DCWV French Country stack; scanned music sheet on vanilla cs (butterflies).  Dies:  Spellbinders Labels 17.  Punches:  Martha Stewart--Monarch Butterfly; Three-in-One Butterflies; Stampin' Up--Elegant Butterfly.  Pearls: Stampin' Up.  Offray Ribbon Roses.  Hug Snug Apricot Seam Ribbon.  Maya Arts Jute Twine.  Stash: Black & Rhinestone button trim.  Chatterbox verse/ computer-prepared.  Size: 4-5/8" x 5-7/8".

The Card Story

I have had the layout for Sandy's card in my mind's eye for several months, and just before surgery, I made a quick sketch in my layout idea book for future reference.  I also knew I wanted butterflies and music paper on the front and on the butterflies.  Before I actually began, I checked a few SCS challenges to give me some inspiration for the colors I might use with my music paper. 

I had the idea of a two-panel veritical layout, but I wanted the edge to be curvy rather than just boxy straight lines, but did not have a wavy edged border die that would work where the two patterned papers would meet.  Then, I had a "light-bulb moment". . . I thought maybe a decorative rectangle or square die might work if I only ran it partially through the Big Shot.  I found the Spellbinders Labels 17 fit my idea and the biggest die in these nested dies would be large enough for the height I wanted my card to be.  

Take a peak at the card above and note where the black music paper meets the floral rose patterned paper.  I die-cut my "rose" paper only allowing part of the die to enter under the Big Shot roller press and then cut the top and bottom straight just after the corner curve was complete with my paper cutter.  A smile appeared, showing how pleased I was about how well it worked and how good it looked with the two papers joined together!

My butterflies were the next item to work out.  I decided to punch my butterflies out of cream background music paper that I made by scanning a song sheet onto a piece of vanilla cs with my printer.  My butterfly punch that was just the right size for my little square mats is the Martha Stewart "Monarch" punch with lacy holes in the butterfly wings.  It was pretty, but it some color peaking through the lacy holes, but I did not have a solid butterfly that matched the "Monarch" shape.  Another "light-bulb moment" when I thought of trying the solid Stampin' Up "Elegant Butterfly" punch, which is a bit smaller and has a totally different wing shape than my Monarchs.  It didn't really seem to matter about the shape as long as it filled most of the lacy holes on the wings and as a bonus, I really like the little bit of the cantaloupe cs peaking out on the bottom of the wing.  From this point, the card fell together like clockwork, and I was totally happy with the results as I think my friend will be.

Monday, March 12, 2018

A "Warframe Game" Shutter Sentiment for David!

I am always looking for ideas for birthday cards that suit the recipient, such as hobbies, sports favorites, entertainment favorites (movies, Pokemon, video games, etc.), and even food.  My oldest son, David, is a video gaming hobbyist and that should be in capital letters!  He had a birthday this past week, thus, I needed a card for our celebration held this past Sunday.

His current video game favorite is Warframe, so I started my research campaign a few weeks ago to find out what this game was all about.  I Googled it, asked other members of the family who might know, etc., because  I wanted his card to be authentic.  It took a number of hours to gather enough knowledge to begin.  I resorted to downloading colored digital pictures from numerous searches, and then I was ready to begin.

This game takes place in the future on Earth and in outer space with the players as representatives of the Tenno, descendants of an ancient and mystical civilization.  I wanted to make a galaxy night sky in watercolors inks, which I did using Stampin' Up re-inkers and spritzed watered-down metallic sapphire acrylic paint, which give it a pretty, almost silvery blue sheen.  I also wanted to try out the shutter technique for the inside sentiment area.  My card is larger than the typical A2 size, so I had to find my own measurements for the parts to make the shutter panel and lens.

The shutter technique is used with a gatefold card style and has a bellyband sleeve to hold the gatefold closed.  On my card, this bellyband hosts the Warframe game logo, which is an abstract lotus flower...quite pretty, I think.

When the bellyband sleeve is removed, a picture of Earth is visible where the inhabitants of the game reside at some time far into the future.  I added this element so the card front isn't so bare once the sleeve is removed.

The card inside features a picture gallery of a few of the characters one might run into while playing the game.  On the left panel at the top is The Lotus, the advisor of the Tenno, saviors of Earth, and below her is Alad V, who becomes an occasional ally when it best suits his interests.  At the top right is Captain Vor and below him is Vay Hek, who are leaders of the armies that the Tenno must defeat.  When the card is opened, the personalized birthday verse (made by Mom) is revealed as the eye of the shutter lens opens.

Ingredients:  Papers: Stampin' Up cs: Night of Navy, Rose Red; Recollections Seaside Cardstock Pack (Lt. blue); Ranger Watercolor Paper.  Warframe Colored Digital pictures.  Stampin' Up Inks: Night of Navy, Marine Mist, Rose Red.  Folk Art Acrylic Paint watered down for spritzing.  Dies:  Stampin' Up Starburst Framelits; Spellbinders Circles LG and Circles SM.  Recollections Opaque Marker: Snow.  Score-Buddy creasing tool.  Computer created verse.  Size: 5" x 6-1/8"

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Miss Callie's First Birthday!

My granddaughter is having her first birthday!  Oh, how exciting and so much fun to make her a one-year old birthday card!  I've been busy making ice-cream cakes for the birthday party event, so have left myself little time to get her birthday card finished!  I did start on it because I wanted to try a technique that I've been eyeing for more than a year called Faux Tile Sponging, which is similar to Delft Tiling, except you don't stamp a pattern on the tiles to get a similar look to Delft pottery.  The two techniques are similar in that you do make a diagonal grid scored background on both and sponge ink onto scored grid by using a mask over your score lines and sponging color onto the edges of your tiles. 

Before I figured out what cute focal point I wanted to use or planned my layout design, I visited the Splitcoaststamper challenges forum to see what inspiration I might find.  I planned to use the Alphabet Challenge, Round 8, Letter Y for yellow, but when mojo arrived from the Inspiration Challenge, I decided to go with Letter G for giraffe!  I found the foundation for my layout by visiting the Featured Stamper's gallery of Bronwyn Eastley.  I did modified Bronwyn's original layout quite a bit to make it fit my baby theme for my card!   Take a look below at granddaughter Callie's birthday card, plus the inside design with Grandma's created verse.  I'm thinking she will like it, especially when she's around four to five years old!

Ingredients:  Stampin' Up cardstock:  Very Vanilla, Lemon-Lime Twist.  Stampin' Up Ink: Daffodil Yellow, Lemon-Lime Twist.  Precious Moments Coloring Pages digital image.  Copic Markers.  Wink of Stella-Clear.  Die: unknown/ gift.  Ribbon: stash.  Stampin' Up Pearls.  Technique: Faux Tile Sponging.  Size: 4-3/4" x 6".

Friday, February 23, 2018

A Floral Birthday Bouquet!

I needed another birthday card, and of course, I seem to work best under stress, so I allowed myself little time to complete my card.  I checked out Splitcoaststamper challenges for a bit of inspiration.

The Inspiration Challenge helped me with my color choices and several card layouts from the Featured Stamper Challenge helped me decide on my layout and some embellishing elements.  My inspiration Featured Stamper cards also gave me the idea to include the Alphabet Challenge, Round 8, Letter "F" + the double challenge within that challenge of needing something on my card with swirls. 

My card also took on some features from a card presented at a card class I attended several weeks ago.  That card was presented by one of our hostess, Luci Kirschenbaum, so I want to give her some thanks for inspiration as well.  Take a peek at my finished card for my friend's birthday, plus the inside coordinated design with my composed verse:

Ingredients:  Papers:  Stampin' Up CS--Kraft, Whisper White; Recollections CS--Essentials (Violet).  SU Stamp: Lots of Lavender (2018-SAB), Happy Birthday Gorgeous.  Ink:  SU--Wisteria Wonder, Mossy Meadow, Crumb Cake; Memento--Tuxedo Black.  Cuttlebug Embossing Folder: Birds and Swirls.  Pretty Pink Posh: Gold Sequins.  SU: 5/8" Burlpa Ribbon.  Copic Markers.  Size: 4-1/2" x 5-3/4".

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Love You Much Valentine!

I finished a half-made Valentine card that I started several years ago when I thought I was going to need a quick card for a short notice invitation, but it turned out to be a false alarm.  It has been residing in my "To Do" Stash ever since.  I needed two cards for my cardmaking buddies, and further motivation came from seeing some Splitcoaststamper Challenges I wanted to enter as well!

After seeing the  Splitcoaststampers' Dirty Dozen February Monthly Themes MORE is MORE challenge, I thought this would be the perfect card to finish and then do a more elaborate version to meet the challenge requirements, which requires a simple card be modified and elaborated upon to make a more complex version.  I will also use it to start the new Alphabet Challenge Round 9. . .pre-alphabet card, which is to make a Valentine card.  I am making two of the stepped up version #2 for my two cardmaking buddies.

My first and simple version is the card front with several mat layers and a cardbase.  My second, and more elaborate version sports an embossed heart and places the card front and two matted layers on a Basketweave Edged card base.  Take a look below at Version #1 and Version #2.  Version #2 also has a finished inside with a created verse.

Version #1

Version #2

Version #2 with completed inside

Ingredients:  Stampin' Up products:  Cardstocks--Coastal Cabana, Melon Mambo, Very Vanilla.  Washi Tape--Retro Fresh (2014-15 Annual/ retired).  Stamp--Best of Love (2013 Anniversary celebration Best of... stamps).  Ink--Melon Mambo.  Embossing Folder: Perfect Polka Dots (retired). Punchs:  Full-Heart (retired); Boho Blossoms (smallest blossom- retired); What's Up? (arrow-retired).  Essentials Punch Pack (heart piercing).  Rhinestones.  Stash: crochet ribbon.  Punch: EK Medium Scallop Photo Corner.  Created verse.  Size: 5: x 5-1/2".  

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A "So Sweet" Valentine for Hubby!

I decided I should finish a card that was demontrated in a card class hosted by Stampin' Up demonstrator Liz Thayer a few years ago.  Its parts have been languishing in my "To Do" box for quite awhile.  Of course, I have to tinker a little to make the card a bit more my own.  

I added a black cardbase to add more layers and because I thought a black and red edging would look ever so much more striking than just red, plus I widened my layered edges to be more like a frame.  I re-arranged my heart colors a bit, plus added rhinestones to the curlicues on the sentiment.  The inside to tie-in with the front is entirely my own design, including the created verse, which I used on all my Valentines this year.  I used to do a different verse on every seasonal card. . . finally the lightbulb went on after feeling way overburdened.  "Why do that,"  I said to self. . .so obviously I stopped!

I plan to enter this into the SCS Alphabet Challenge for Letter double challenge for me on this...I just couldn't quite see a hot glue design that would in any way enhance the look of my card...LOL!  Hot glue reminds me of buggers to be quite blunt and honest!  Didn't think hubby would appreciate that!  Although, one clever lady wound yarn around her glue ball as her focal point was all about cats. . .that glue ball did work well!  

I found a few other challenges it might fit into as well.  Now it's time to take a peek at hubby's finished card inside and out below:

Ingredients:  Stampin' Up papers:  Cardstock--Basic Black, Real Red, Whisper White; Pattern--*Stacked with Love Pad.  SU stamp: *You Plus Me.  SU Ink: Real Red.  SU Punch:** Sweetheart; **Itty Bitty Accent Punches--Heart.  **1/8" Taffeta Silver Edge ribbon: Red and Black. SU catalogs: *2015 Occasions/ retired.  **2014-2015 Annual/ retired.  SU Rhinestones.  Created Verse.  Size: 4-5/8" x 5-7/8". 

Friday, February 16, 2018

X is for XOXO Valentine!

Another two Valentines to design, of which I plan to make two. . .one for son and his wife and one for youngest daughter and her husband.  This one will focus on meeting the Alphabet Challenge, Round 8 "Letter X". . ."X" = XOXO!  I am using an old stamp to get XOXO onto my card to meeting the Letter "X" challenge, and I decided early on not to try for the double challenge of C for collage, as it seemed to me it would have to lean toward vintage to achieve a collage look.

Based on the WORD Challenge for "TEMP" in the new February Dirty Dozen Monthly Themes, I must use items on my card that start with each letter of the word TEMP.  My already planned stamped sentiment will be the printed word XOXO.  I will use a background stamp that is retired name En Francaise (retired) for my letter E.  My letter M will be the hot pink color I plan to use with  black and white as well...Melon Mambo, and the P will be the punches that I will use.

The third challenge is the 2018 Use It challenge to use materials and tools that have not been used in a long while and never used.  This will be no problem for me, as I have challenged myself to use all already-on-hand materials and tools and to bring out those gathering dust for this year's session in Valentine cardmaking!  Everything is old, as it turns out...perfect for this last challenge!  Take a peek at the finished card inside and out.  I think my children and their spouses will like their Valentine card!

Ingredients:  Stampin' Up Cardstocks:  Whisper White, Basic Black, Melon Mambo, Silver Glimmer.   SU Stamps (retired): En Francaise (background stamp), Oh, Goodie! (XOXO-2013 Occ), You Plus Me (heart-2015 Occ), Oh, Hello (inside corners chevron pattern-2013 Occ).  Ink: SU-Melon Mambo; Memento-Tuxedo Black.  Die: Nellie Snellen--Dots Circle.  Punches: SU--1-3/4" Circle, 1" Circle, Itty Bitty Accents-Heart (retired); EK Medium Scallop Corner.  SU-3/4" Black Chevron (retired).  Created verse.  Size: 4-7/8" x 6".  

Note: I have borrowed a several years old design by Liz Thayer that I made at a card class she hosted.  I've added layers, lowered by area of background stamping, changed my ribbon knot to right side, enlarged my circle focal point and added a die-cut bottom layer. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Valentine in the Pink of Things!

I have another Valentine card to enter on my blog.  This one is especially made for my first daughter, and she gets one made with pink and punches to fit my Splitcoaststmper Alphabet Challenge, Letter "P" for just that...PINK and PUNCHES!  The double challenge for this letter was "K" for kraft.  The description indicated that kraft could also be bleach white, like that used on large envelopes or gift paper bags.  I went in search of the big white envelope that came in the mail with my insurance papers in it.  I cut a piece of white from it, and used it to stamp on my little Valentine plant.  Sure hope this meets the double challenge requirements!

I am also trying to meet a self-imposed goal to use a lot of my old Valentine materials and tools in my stash rather than buying new things. . .though I have to admit I did buy a few new stamps because I just couldn't help myself, but they haven't actually arrived, so I won't be using them this year!

I really delved deep for Michele's card and pulled out a stamp set I bought way back in 2011 that I haven't used in at least four years called Valentine Defined by Stampin' Up.  I really like this set for its variety of stamps that can be so creatively used.  I decided on the little long-stem tiny heart plant, the LOVE sentiment, and the string heart border that I used to make my own stamped paper.  I also added my own punched hearts from red glimmer paper to add some bright colors and glitz!  I needed to use pink on my card to fit the alpha challenge so I used pink cardstock and pink ink distressing on my white kraft panel.  In addition, I used all punches and no dies to be sure I was spot on with Letter "P."  First three layers where adhered together flat (gray cardbase, red and pink layers) to form a set of three layers.  The remaining layers were adhered together flat and popped up off the first set of three layers.  I used a foam sheet to "pop up" the top set of layers, which is difficult to see in the photo.  Take a peek below at my finished card both inside and out!

Ingredients:  Paper:  Stampin' Up cardstocks--Basic Bray, Real Red, Pink Pirouette, Red Glimmer; Envelope Kraft White (recycled).  SU Stamp: Valentine Defined (2011-Occ/ retired).  SU Inks: Basic Gray, Real Red, Pink Pirouette.  Punches:  SU--Scallop Edge (retired), Heart to Heart (small heart-retired).  Stamped patterned paper (part of stamp set).  Darice Foam sheets.  Stahs: 1/2" Red grosgrain ribbon. Ink Distressed (Pink Pirouette ink).  Computer verse.  Size: 4-3/4" x 6."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Numbers for Valentines!

I found an old piece of XOXO Valentine patterned paper by My Minds' Eye from the Love Me collection.  It seemed like a good masculine piece, so I thought it would work for my oldest son's Valentines card.  

I am still working on finishing Splitcoasterstampers Alphabet Challenge, Round 8.  I have Letter N, Letter P, and Letter X for which I thought this paper might work. . .N=Numbers, P=Punches, and X=XOXO (the paper pattern).  For Letter P, I was thinking that might work if I used all punches to make the card.  I could not make up my mind, so I work with all three letters being a possibility, and I thought I'd figure out which challenge to go for at the end, based on what other Valentines I had yet to make that might fit one or the other of these letters.  I also checked out the current Featured Stamper's gallery (Michelery) and found several possible layout ideas that I thought would work, especially with my Numbers idea.

I decided to use primarily red and kraft cardstocks.  The flip side of the Numbers Grid paper is a grid of calendar numbers with a 
2 ♥14 showing up on every two or three rows.  I decided to make a circle focal point of the 2 ♥14 numbers to fit Letter N for numbers.  I add a kraft circular layer under my top 2 ♥14 layer.  These first two punched layers were easy because I have lots of sizes of plain circle punches, but I wanted a final decorative red mat to finish this focal area.  I did not have a large enough scallop circle or a circular heart edged punch, so I built my own using a Martha Stewart lacy heart punch in my stash.  I punched four of these and overlapping their tips in the center to form a circle.  I was pretty please with the final effect and it was the perfect size.  

I used some additional old punches to make a scalloped decorative band across the card and added a red strip for color.  The band would host my punched sentiment and its under layer that I positioned on the left side of this band.  I then popped three large red pearls on the right to finish off the band.  In my mind's eye, the card needed a bit more, so I punch curved corners all around on the patterned dsp.

This is one of those cards that starts with a simple design idea that grows as it is put together.  When I was finally satisfied with the front, I moved on to designing the inside and adding my personalized verse that I completed on the computer that I planned to use on most of my family Valentines.  I think son, David, will be very please with the end result.  Take a peek below at the finished look inside and out!

Ingredients:  Stampin' Up cardstocks--Kraft, Real Red, and Very Vanilla.  Patterned paper: My Minds' Eye - Love Me/ Numbers Grid.  Stamps: P.S. I Love You.  Ink: Early Espresso.  Punches: Stampin' Up--1-1/4" Circle, 1-1/2," SU retired--Scallop Border, Modern Label, Word Window, Triple Corners (inside); Martha Stewart--Lace Scallop Heart LG; Zutter--Corner Rounder.  Recollections Pearl: LG - Copic colored.  Dovecraft Pearls--Christmas Basics--smaller pearls.  SCS Alphabet Challenge - Letter N!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Valentine Dots & Hugs for Friends!

I'm going to a Stampin' Up cardmaking event in the next week, and I wanted to make some Valentines cards for the two ladies our hostesses.  This was especially since I was unable to get my Christmas cards finished and mailed due to hand and bone issues where I was forced to wear thumb braces 24-7 to help try to get the pain and swelling under control.  I am now down to several hours a day without the braces, so I will take advantage of that time for cardmaking, and hope I do not find myself right back to the same issues all over again.  Meanwhile, a cortisone shot in my left thumb joint has helped considerably, which is my worst hand.

Moving on. . .  I decided to use the Basketweave Edging (aka Braided Edge) technique, which is fun to do and gives such an amazing look of added elegance to a least in my humble opinion.  I want to enter my card into the Splitcoaststamper Alphabet Challenge for Letter D for DOTS, using a dot embossing folder to feature dots on my card, which also inspired my blog title, Valentine Dots & Hugs for Friends!

I also looked into other possible challenges to enter as well before beginning.  I was inspired to branch out in that I am not creating a card in the traditional Valentine colors of black, red, pink, or white.  Mine is to be sapphire blue, medium pink, and yellow and sports a peek-a-book washi tape heart.  I was inspired by the Inspiration Challenge Spoonflower website for my colors and the Ways to Use It for my peek-a-boo heart.

I created a peek-a-book heart window and used an embossing folder on the card front to create some dimension.  I threw in a little washi tape for added interest in the peek-a-book heart and the "hugs" die-cut sentiment!  Take a look below at my finished card; I made two identical cards for my hostess friends.  I'm sorry to say that I forgot to take a picture at the card interior designs with their personalized computer verse before I gave them away, so I am unable to share that with you.

Ingredients:  Cardstocks:  Stampin'Up--Whisper White, Pretty in Pink (retired); Recollections Cape Cod Blue pack (sapphire blue shade).  Stamps: Happy Day (flower center punched out).  Ink: Melon Mambo.  Dies:  Technique Tuesday--Di Heart Hugs.  Punches:  SU retired: Full Heart, Boho Blossom (medium flower); EK Medium Victorian Corner punch.  SU Embossing Folder: Perfect Polka Dots (retired).  SU Washi Tape: Gingham Garden (2012-13 annual catalog).  SU Ribbon: 3/8" Pretty-in Pink Stitched Grosgrain (retired).  Wink of Stella-Clear.  Rhinestones.  BasketWeave Technique (aka Braided Edge).  Size:  4-1/2" x 5-3/4."      

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A 2018 Valentine for Mom!

It's time to make a Valentine card for my Mom!  I sure miss her...with all my knee and hand issues starting over two years ago, I've missed three of my traditional semi-annual trips to visit her.  I will not be able to go until this coming fall due to my second knee replacement in March!  Mom will be a spry 93-years old in August, 2018.  We always spend lots of time cardmaking together on my visits, along with my sister who lives in the same town in California!  We usually schedule a week-long girls' get-away to Mt. Shasta...what wonderful memories!

I pulled out some of my old stamps, paper, and tools to make Mom's card.  I so loved so many of the Valentine Stampin' Up products I bought in 2015 and 2016, and I have lots papers leftover.  Now that her card is finished, I will check out some Splitcoaststamper challenges to see if any of them fit, as I already had the colors and papers in mind before beginning.  My card is finished inside and out...take a peek below.  I think Mom will be pleased!

Ingredients:  Stampin' Up papers:  Cardstock--Whisper White, Basic Black, Crisp Cantaloupe (retired); Patterned dsp--Stacked with Love.  SU stamps: Hello Life (2016-retired).  SU: Happy Heart EF.  SU punches: Itty Bitty Accents Pack (2016-retired); 1/2" Circle; 2" Circle; 2-1/4" Scallop Circle.  SU-Rhinestones.  Wink of Stella-Clear.  Computer-composed verse.  Size: 4-1/2' x 5-5/8".

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Vintage Valentines!

I need to make about eight Valentine's cards, and I really want my first one to be along the vintage lines as it has been sometime since I've made this style of card, and it's one of my favorites.  I am earmarking this card for a very dear friend.

According to what has been my "norm" in the last six months, I also want to enter it into some of the Splitcoaststamper challenges.  Following my usual pattern, I checked out possible challenges that would fit a Valentine's theme, and I found about seven challenges that would allow me to make a vintage Valentines card and also meet requirements for each challenge's specifications.  Take a peek below at the finished inside and outside of my card, which fits all seven of my selected challenges.  Look below the Ingredients area, if you are interested in the back story of the design and the making of this card.

Ingredients:  Papers: Stampin' Up (SU)  - Cardstock--Whisper White, Pool Party; Recollections Soda Pop pack (mint green); DCWV: The Glitter Cardstock Stack (white); Pattern: Prima (stash). Dies: Cottage Cutz Expressions--Happy Valentines; Spellbinders--Woodland Wreath; Spellbinders--Hearts Nestabilities.  May Arts: 3/8" Sheer Dots ribbon.  SU: Pearls.  Colorbox--Chestnut Roan Ink (distressing).  Personalized computer verse.  Distressed Edge Technique.  Size: 4-3/4" x 6".


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tool Time Waterfall Birthday!

It is my husband's birthday in a few days, and as he's quite the handyman; therefoe, I decided on a tool card for him.  I had been itching to do another waterfall card, and I thought this technique would work well with tools for each stage of the waterfall.  This will be my third waterfall card, but it's been almost two years since the last one, which was for Easter 2016.

I have three stamps sets that have carpentry tools on them.  Two of them are about four years old, and the other is just about a year old.  I have made cards with all three, but I wanted my tools to be a bit more realistic and not so cutesy or toy looking, so I surfed the web for Google blackline images and found several that I liked.  I did use the nuts, bolts, screws, and nails from one of my stamp sets.

I wanted to enter a few Splitcoaststampers' challenges, so I looked up what was available before getting started to see if I could fit parts of one thing or another into one or more challenges.  I ended up being able to enter these five challenges...Alphabet Challenge/ Letter W for waterfall/ Extra Double = use decorative scissors (I used old pinking shears); Ways to Use It - Give Me a Second Chance (use old stamps/ tools/ old pinking shears); Inspiration Challenge...something from Needlepoint website to inspire you (colors came from here...serendipity...the kitty even had tools); Use It 2018 (bring out unused or never used crafting items; and the Technique gallery for Waterfall card.  I entered one more...Free 4  All/ F4A415, but I might be fudging a bit......create a pop-up card or use things with a popping theme, i.e., popcorn.  In my Waterfall technique...the waterfall items "pop up" one by one when you pull the ribbon.  There is interaction, but not quite like a "pop up" card, but it still seems like it might fit!

I'm thinking my husband will be very please with his card.  Take a peek below to see what you think.  There will be four views as a waterfall card is interactive and you'll need to see it in each of its stages as it flips up through the layers.

Ingredients:  Solid Papers:  Stampin' Up cardstock - Basic Black, Real Red, Hello Honey, Silver Foil (embossed).  Patterned Papers:  Michaels Open Stock: Golden Grid; Joanns Open-Stock: Silver Check Designer.  Google Search Digital images: tools + 6" ruler (from stash).  Copic Marker colored.  Stampin' Up stamps: Nailed It (bolts, nuts, screws, nails, only).  Dies:  Spellbinders: Circles LG, Pinking Circles LG, Lifestyles Circles (retired).  Punches: 1/2" Circle; 1/8" Hole punch; Zutter Corner Rounder.    Decorative Scissors: Pinking shears.  SU Embossing Folder: Argyle (retired).  Recollections: Screw Brads.  Stampin' Up Ribbon: 1/8" Black w/silver grosgrain.  Fussy-cutting.  Waterfall Technique.  Computer verse/ sentiment.  Size: 4-3/4" x 6".

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Keeping in Touch!

I wanted to send a "remembering a friend" card to one of my Splitcoaststampers forum teammates, who is on leave for a few months, just to touch base.  I had a finished friend card in my stash that I made over two years ago at a card class given by SU demonstrator, Liz Thayer.  Though there were a few changes I made from the sample design as I built my own card, I still was not totally happy with mine, but I couldn't put my finger on what bothered me.  I couldn't do much else with it at the class, so I took it home knowing I wanted to do something different, but what! 

In the past few months, this card kept surfacing and catching my eye every time a delved into my "to do" box for whatever reason.  I had an itch to pull it out and remodel it several times, but at the time, Christmas cards beckoned.  Then, this week I needed a "friend" card, and I remembered the card.  It was time to pull it out and re-evaluate it.  What I found was that it had been marinading in the recesses of my creative mojo, and I was excited because I immediately had some ideas!  

Take a peek below at the remake of my "remembering a friend" card.  I'm  really happy with it, and I look at it and I say, "What took you so long!"  I think my friend will be pleased with the results!  Following the card front is the inside design that I created with a little homemade verse for my friend.  In addition, if you are interested in the back story of the makeover, scroll down beyond the ingredients list and read on!

Ingredients:  Papers:  Stampin' Up - Cardstock--Very Vanilla, Mint Macaron, Calypso Coral; Pattern--Wildflower Fields DSP; Corrugated Kraft (retired).  SU Ink: Early Espresso.  SU Stamps: Bloomin' Love.  Dies: SU-Bloomin' Heart; Bitty Banners; Reverse Confetti-Lacy Scallop Frames.  SU trims: 1/4" Venetian Crochet Trim (retired); 1" Dotted Lace Trim-Cucumber Crush (retired); Metallic Thread-Gold.  Rhinestones (colored with Copics). Size: 4-3/4" x 6".

The Make-Over Story

I actually liked the basic bones of the class sample design, but as you can tell from my words above, there was just something about it that I knew needed to be changed.  As I made my original card, I changed the placement of some of the elements, which were subtle changes, but as I said before, I liked the balance the changed elements made, however subtle they were. 


For starters, on my original card, I dropped my lacy heart about 3/8" lower and folded less over at the top, making my heart a bit bigger, plus I added five flowers instead of only four as on the sample design.  I also used only the larger flowers rather than a mix of small and large.  For me, elements are in harmony when they are presented in odd numbers rather than even; otherwise, they just seem off.  These slight changes enabled me to have the placement of my lacy bands lower on the card; thus, there wasn't as much negative space at the bottom...the sample design seemed a bit top heavy.

My finishing change on my original card was to wrap several strands of gold metallic thread around my vanilla lace and make a small multi-strand looped bow under the banner sentiment and to slant banner and top it off with a coral rhinestone.  This little rhinestone tied in the orange color from the top toward the bottom of the card.  (The sample design had big loose loops of metallic thread under a vertical sentiment with wrapped strands and no rhinestone.  For me, the area needed to be a bit more tidy and the vertical banner just looked wrong.)  I was happy with these small changes as well.  But, in reality, I still felt my card needed something, it resided in my "to do" stash for two years!  I have a photo of my original finished card before its reconstruction yesterday.  Take a look below and see if you can follow where I made my original changes described in the sentences above.

Yesterday, I was excited to get started remodeling my two-year old card, because I finally realized what changes I needed to make to be really happy with the final version!  First, there wasn't enough color overall, but second was the color palette.  The sample design used contrasting colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel, of which I'm not often a fan, especially with green, blue, and orange shades.  It has to be just the right balance of each color, or it can seem a bit jarring to me.  That was the crux of my dissatisfaction, and I really wanted to work on that feature for sure.

My thoughts were, if I was going to continue with the contrasting colors of mint green and orange, I needed more orange than just the few rhinestones for flower centers.  I sure did not want to start the card all over, because as I said, I like the bones of the design, it just needed something added.

I decided to switch from orange to Calypso Coral as my contrast to the Mint Macaron...the coral is a softer hue and compliments the mint better.  That would be easy because so far the only orange on the card was my five rhinestones.  Second, it sorely needed more coral to balance all colors and bring continuity throughout the card.  I decided more coral could be added by using a mat just beneath the front kraft corrugated cardstock layer, and I would add a mint layer sandwiched between the coral and the vanilla cardbase.  I also had the idea to add faux stitching or a die-cut pattern around the coral mat edge to dress it up.

I found a patterned paper of wispy dandelion seedlings on coral that I thought would look great for my coral decorative die-cut layer.  I cut a second decorative layer of coral cardstock and adhered the dandelion seedling die-cut to the cardstock die-cut to add extra thickness and sturdiness to this layer.  I trimmed my corrugated front layer smaller, both horizontally and vertically, to allow the coral decorative edges to peek out about 1/4" around card front.  Next, I added the mint mat layer between the coral mat and the vanilla cardbase.  Doing all these paper additions and size changes actually allowed my card to grow from the standard 4-1/4 x 5-1/2-inch card to my favorite larger size of 4-3/4 x 6 inches.

Yeah!  I was finally happy with my card!  Don't you think the change from orange to coral was the right thing?  I felt the orange was not a soft enough hue against the mint.  Remember that word "jarring" used above in another context.  It was my problem with the orange as well.  The card need more color...just not bold orange!

I am entering this card and my original version into Splitcoaststampers Dirty Dozen Monthly January Themes:  MORE IS MORE.  The instructions are to take any card or project in its first or "minimal" version and then "stepped up" it up in a second version.  The "stepped up" version or remake the card is posted at the beginning in this blog,  and the "minimal," or first version, is the second card picture further down in this post.