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Monday, November 27, 2017

Christmas is Snow Much Fun!

I seem to be challenging myself for the past couple of months to make a card that will fit as many Splitcoaststamper challenges as possible.  After looking over the challenge possibilities, I was actually able to meet seven challenges.  YES! I did say seven.  I am thrilled that I am getting Christmas cards done as well.

I did have in mind to use more of my leftover re-cycled gift wrap; therefore, my first thought was to check out the Inspiration Challenge to see if anything jumped out at me to give me ideas to start with.  I found a cute little wool Toolies' sheep (see picture in The Story below) that reminded me of a specific re-cycled paper waiting to be used.  His little orange nose gave me the idea to use a snowman with an orange carrot nose, incorporating the Toolies' colors in my snowman's top hat, scarf, and boots, along with the recycled gift paper, which were a perfect match!  I am really thrilled with the way this card turned out, and I plan to make several somewhat similar for other Christmas cards I need for family and friends.  Take a peek below at my finished card.

Ingredients:  Papers:  Stampin' Up cs--Pacific Point, Whisper White.  Express It Blending Cardstock (use with Copic Markers).  DCWV White and Silver Glitter paper.  Stash--Recycled Silver & Dot gift wrap.  Stamps--SU: Snow Much Fun (retired).  Ink: Memento--Tuxedo Black.  Dies: Memory Box: Snow Burst.  Punch: Recollections Mini Snowflake.  Embossing Powder: SU: Iridescent (retired). Stash ribbons:  1-1/2" White Mesh; 1/2" Satin Snowflake.  Copic Markers.  Computer sentiment. 

The Story 

(come back later...UNDER CONSTRUCTION)!

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Birth of Christ!

Well, I'm still on a roll for using my re-cycled gift wrap stash.  The next paper I want to use is super's a matte foil with shinier polka dots.  I'm excited to see how it looks as foil cardstock is so expensive and re-cycled gift wrap isn't!

I also want to enter some challenges on Splitcoasterstampers, so I decided to check out several before I got started and get some design mojo going on how best to use my gold foil.  This resulted in being able to enter five challenges.  Check out the story below on how the design and construction evolved with my card, which you can just see below.

Ingredients:  Papers: Stampin' Up cardstock--Basic Black; Gold foil dot re-cycled gift wrap.  Die: Lifestyles--Labels 9 (discontinued); Cottage Cutz--Nativity Silhouette, Birthday (modified to Birth), Christening (modified to Christ), Thinking of You (used only "of").  Ink--Stampin' Up Craft White.  Wink of Stella--Black.  Technique: Yarn Block (for snowy night sky).  Stash: rhinestones.  Size:  4-3/4" x 6".  

The Story
For the Splitcoaststampers challenges, I definitely wanted to try to catch up on the Alphabet Challenge, specifically for Letter B with the double challenge, Letter Y: use a Yarn Block, which means to wrap yarn around a block or chipboard, then dip in paint or ink to make a pattern on your card. 

After looking at the Featured Stamper challenge and visiting byHelenG.'s gallery, I chose this card from her gallery as my inspiration:

I knew then, that ny card's Alphabet Challenge Letter B would be all about the Birth of Christ.  To meet the Yarn Block requirement for the Alphabet Double Challenge, I decided to make a snowy black sky as my background.  I cut two piece of chipboard 1-1/2" x 5" and adhered them together.  I wrapped a single layer of fine yarn with a metallic thread running through it around my chipboard "block."  I used the narrow edge of the chipboard with yarn and my Stampin' Up Craft White ink.  Holding both ends of the chipboard piece at each end, I inked up the yarn on the edge and gently stamped a diagonal pattern on my black cardstock from diagonal corner to diagonal corner.  I made sure to ink up my yarn each time before touching it to my cardstock.  I turned the cardstock around 90-degrees and applied the inked yarn again diagonally across the paper from diagonal corner to diagonal corner in an opposite angle as the first application.  The finished product was a lot of  snowy white speckles all over my cardstock.  I was was exactly what I was looking for.

With Virtual Stamp Night coming up in early December, our hostesses are featuring some pre-VSN challenges.  The first challenge is to make a monochromatic card; therefore with my gold foil re-cycle gift wrap in mind, I decided to use gold as my color with black as my neutral instead of white.  Therefore, to keep my nativity monochromatic, I deviated from the Featured Stamper's colorful card.  I decided to use a black silhouetted nativity scene with an underlying shaped, gold foil mat. 

I will also enter in the Free-4-All Challenge - Birthdays are Best.  My card celebrates the birth of Christ.  Finally, the fifth challenge will be the Use It Challenge requiring us to use old, forgotten or never used items from our stash.  Three of the four dies I used have been in my cardmaking stash for over a year and have never been unwrapped.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Christmas Medallion has Pzazz!

I'm needing to catch up on more cards for this Christmas season as well as my Splitcoaststampers' Alphabet Challenge.  I'm way behind in both categories!  Letter "M" is the current alpha challenge and it just opened with a bonus challenge added to use Letter"N" in the form of material with a nap or the Nib of your marker.  

I wanted to work those requirements into a Christmas theme, and I already had something brewing in my head using more of my Christmas gift wrapping paper from my re-cycle stash.  By planning carefully, I was able to fit my card into three Splitcoaststampers' challenges.  

While making this card, I learned that with the MISTI stamp tool, I can actually stamp a sentiment on gold glittery paper as long as it is the type that is fairly smooth without much of a nap, BUT you have to stamp over and over at least 10 times to get more and more depth of color and be patient to let it dry well.  I was going to use a gold shimmer vellum, but I did not have Navy embossing powder and the Stampin' Up ink did not dry well on the gold shimmer vellum so that I could use clear embossing.  

TIP:  When working with wrapping paper, which tends to be thin, I cut a 6" by 6" square of gift wrap and adhered it with my Scotch 3M tape runner to cardstock scraps to give it thickness and body.  If I used more than one scrap, I used scotch tape on the back side over the seam to be sure it was stabilized.  I also made sure I ran a double row of tape on the sides to allow for trimming my 6" square to fit any card size I planned to make, plus I ran a few tape rows toward the center horizontally and vertically.

Even with all my adjustments and changes as I put this card together, I'm pretty happy with the finished look. . .take a peek below, and then see "The Story" of making the card below the card picture.

The inside design and verse are under construction...check back later for posting.

Ingredients:  Paper:  Stampin' Up Night of Navy cs; DCWV Glitzy Glitter Stack (gold); Christmas re-cycle gift wrap (navy/ gold embossed).  Stamps: Stampin' Up--Hang Your Stocking (sentiment).  Ink: Stampin' Up Night of Navy.  Dies:  Stampin' Up Layering Circles Framelits (scalloped).  Punches:  Stampin' Up--1-3/4" circle; Curvy Corners (retired).  Stampin' Up Foil Snowflakes (medallions).  Ribbon: 7/8" Offray Shimmery Sheer--yellow (color modified with Copics: Y28/ YR23).  Size: 4-3/4" x 6".

The Story

I started my card with the look of a present or gift in mind and used a sheer shimmer ribbon vertically and horizontally like gift wrap.  I didn't have the exact color I needed, but not to worry...I colored my pale yellow ribbon using the wide angle nib of my Copic marker pens YR23 and Y28 to colorize it to the perfect gold!  Now, my card fits the Alphabet Challenge Letter "M" for Medallion and bonus Letter "N" to use material with a nap or the Nib of your marker.

I saw that the July Dirty Dozen Christmas Challenge asked you to create card with presents in mind...bows, boxes, old wrapping paper, or great a gift.  Old wrapping paper works just great for me!

For the yearly 2017 Christmas Card Challenge, my card does not fit any of the specific categories for the months, except December, which is "Anything Goes!"  Fortunately, in this challenge, we are given the monthly themes for the entire year, and we can post to any of the months at any time!  So, hey, I'm early for something for a change!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Christmas Gift Wrap Goes A Long Way!

I have been saving gift wraps of all kinds to re-use on future gifts and even on my crafting.  I find they work well for cardmaking, but to take care of the too thin paper problem, I adhere it to a piece of scrap cardstock using my Scotch tape gun with several strips running vertically and horizontally so that it becomes one piece.  Problem solved!

I decided to drag out my gift wrap scraps and see what I had saved for Christmas, because I was in the Christmas mojo mood.  I found a lovely gold and maroon damask foil that my Mom used on my gift last year.  It's a beauty!  I wanted to use a Memory Box Christmas flower tree die that I've had for over a year, and I thought this recycled glitzy gift wrap and this die might really make a pretty card together.

In the process of deciding on what to do with my recycled gift wrap and my Christmas Flower Tree, I found I could fit five of Splitcoaststampers' challenges:  
  • 2017 Christmas Challenge for September:  make a card using a Christmas tree.
  • The May 2017 Dirty Dozen Christmas Challenge:  make a card with a Christmas tree or parts of a tree, i.e., wreath, pine garland, etc.
  • Alphabet Challenge:  Letter "E" for Elegant/ double challenge: Victorian.
  • Free for All..."Did You Say the Kitchen Sink?":  make a card with lots of "stuff"...layers, embellishments...extra challenge: add ribbon.
  • "Use It" challenge sponsored by Julie Gearinger: which reuqires you to use unused or forgotten stamps, dies, etc. to make a card.
I finished my recycled Christmas card, and I'm pretty please with the way it turned out.  Take a peek below:

Ingredients:  Paper: Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler; Recycled Gold/ Maroon Glitzy Christmas wrap; Recollections: Gold Sheen cardstock.  Die: Memory Box--Flowering Christmas Tree.  Morex Ribbon: 5/8" Merry Christmas (sentiment).  Stash: 1-1/2" Sheer Wire ribbon.  Size:  4-3/4" x 6."

Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Dedicated 12th Woman Seahawks Fan Birthday!

I was checking on challenges opening at Splitcoasterstampers and found three that motivated me to get started on a card I will be needing in the month of November.  See more about these challenges in "The Story" below the finished card presentation. 

My oldest son's long-time girl friend has a birthday in November, and she is an avid Seahawks fan...a real 12th Man/ 12th Woman!  An explanation of what this means is in "The Story" below the finished card presentation.  As you can see, the perfect card for Katrina's birthday has to be a card with a Seahawks theme, using layers of Seahawks colors: navy, gray (silver), and lime green.  It should also have lots of icons that depict football and Seattle as well!  Take a peek below...I think Katrina will love her card!

I finally finished this card's inside decor just in time for delivery to the birthday person!  I created the inside to coordinate with card front, and its verse with a Seahawks fan theme!  Take a look below:

Ingredients:  Papers:  Stampin' Up--Night of Navy cs; The Paper Company--Textured Linen cs (Cool Mint pack); Scrapbook Customs--Poster Diagonal Mascot/ Grungy Dots.  Darice Glitter paper--Silver, Lime (color Copic modified).  Dies:  Savvy Dies--Space Needle (Lg); MemoryBox--Cityscape Nightline; QuickKutz--Washington.  The Paper Company: Stickabilities--Football.  Pretty Pink Posh: Sequins.  


The first Splitcoaststampers' challenge I spotted was the new Inspiration Challenge, which features a company called Frontgate.  Browsing around their website, I came upon a sports game, called Galaxy Football Toss Game.  The game is very colorful and reminds me, to some degree, of the Seattle Seahawks colors and that inspired me to get started on a card I knew I needed in November.  But, this wasn't the only challenge that inspired me to get start on this same card.  Another is the Traveling Teapot challenge, where we are to create a card depicting apples or a city, i.e., The Big Apple...mine, of course, will be Seattle, Washington, home of the Space Needle and the Seattle Seahawks.  After deciding that my card would be a Seattle sports card, I saw the Free for All challenge: "Did You Say the Kitchen Sink," which requires "lots of stuff or layers or both."  Now, for me this wouldn't be difficult as it's right up my alley for the type of cards I love to make!

For those of you who are not football fans or who do not know about the Seattle Seahawks, their fans are called the 12th Man.  Why are they called this, you might ask?  As there are 11 players for each team on the playing field for each play, the Seattle fans represent the Seahawks' 12th Man, though they are not actually on the field but rather in the seats.  We are such dedicated and savvy fans, we know when to make noise and when not to, which helps our Seahawks team and often unsettles their opponents when playing in our home field, Century Link, thus giving our Seahawks great home field advantage.  The Seahawks organization retired the number 12 jersey in honor of their fans in 1984, and  authentic jerseys are made and sold in the team store specifically for the Seahawks' fan base.  In 2016, Seahawk's fans took on the nickname, "The 12's, to denote fans specific to the Seahawks and no other organization.  A flagpole was also installed at the south end of Century Link, and the 12's Flag is raised by a celebrity in honor of the fans before each and every home game.  We LOVE being 12's!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Happy Day to A Card-Making Buddy!





A lovely lady, who is a Stampin' Up demonstrator and cardmaking buddy, has an early November birthday, and I wanted to make and send her a birthday card.  I also wanted to use her card to catch up on the newest rounds of the Alphabet Challenge.  Letters A through L have already opened.  I've submitted a few cards for letters that are out of sequence, but have not designed and submitted for Letter A yet. There is a bonus challenge attached to each letter as well, using the alphabet letters backwards; therefore, A = double challenge Z for zebras and we are required to use black and white stripes on our card to meet the double challenge.

With these requirements in mind, I decided to use a cute little punch-art Asian geisha girl that I ran across on Pinterest for Dar's card and use a black, red, and white color scheme with a background of black and white stripes.  The original punch art character was designed by LeeAnn Greff, and I thank her for the idea!

To determine what my layout might be, I decided to check out other challenges on the Splitcoasterstamper website to see if any would give me ideas.  As it turned out two challenges wanted you to get inspiration from specific galleries...My Favorites and a Featured Stamper's gallery.  They both worked perfectly to get my mojo going.  Both had similar layouts, but with different embellishments and/or enhancements, i.e., like matting, ribbon, shaped mat for your focal point, etc.  My layout ended a using ideas from each inspiration card's layouts.

I think my little geisha girl turned out really cute.  After finishing the basic punch art tutorial, I added Wink of Stella-Clear to her hair and shoes for a light sheen, plus rosy cheeks using a Copic Marker, and a mouth with a fine-tip red pen.  To dress her up, I added scallop cuffs to her sleeves, and bitty black pearls on her belt and her hair.  I finished the inside with a bit of coordinating patterned paper borders and composed a verse.  I think Dar will get a kick out of her birthday card...take a peek below!

Ingredients:  Paper:  Stampin'Up Cardstock--Basic Black, Real Red; My Mind's Eye--Everyday Basics Pad (blacks); Doodlebug--Petite Prints/ Ladybug Daisy; Little Yellow Bicycle--Once Upon A Christmas/ OC-102; Photoplay--Holiday Cheer/ Holly Jolly.  My Favorite Things Dies:  Stitched Oval Scallop Frame (used inside cut-out/ red); ZigZag Stitched Oval STAX #2.  Punches:  Stampin' Up--1-1/4" Circle (head/ hair), 1/2" circle (shoes/ trimmed...Heart to Heart punch better), Extra Large Oval (2"x1-3/8"--body/ dress), Dotted Swiss Double Border (retired--trimmed: belt/ cuffs).  Queen & Co.--Black pearls.  Ribbon: 7/8" BoBunny Double Dot Sheer.  Computer sentiment/ verse.  Size: 4-3/4" x 6". 

Friday, October 27, 2017

New Hat for Spooky Kitty!





I need to make some Halloween cards, but I also wanted to enter some challenges on Splitcoasters this week.  I found several challenges to inspire me and give me ideas, and ended up with four challenges to enter.  I found my actual idea through this week's Inspiration Challenge, and a Halloween pumpkin pillow (see below).   Knowing what I needed to meet the requirements for the other three challenges made it easy to fit each one as I created my card. 

The Inspiration Challenge brought to mind a card I made several years ago, and I so loved that Poppystamp Kitty Cat Face die that I knew just what I wanted to do.  I decided to take my original card and re-design it, adding to it and dress it up a bit more.  My first card was done super quick because I needed to have it ready in just a few hours to send it along with the Halloween Witch Deco Wreath my daughter and I made for the younger daughter/ sister.  I was motivated to try my hand at a little more intricate version of the same card with new colors and added embellishments.

I came upon a Cottage Cutz Witch Hat die that I bought last year and didn't get a chance to use it.  I thought it would make a darling hat for my little kitty's head.  This time I decided to use lime green glitter paper for the cat's eyes and the moon, star, and brim of my witch hat.  I added two layers of glitter paper to my card base before adding the card front, and then added a few sequins to dress it up even more.  I am much more pleased with this second version, though the first was still cute!  What's not to like about the cute cat's face!

Finished the instead design and verse and now it ready to be sent off to my Mom in California.  I think she will enjoy her sparkly Halloween card.  Take a peek below:

Recipe:  Darice cardstock: Midnight Black.  The Paper Company cardstock: Victoriana 5-pack (tan).  Recollections Glitter Pad: Haunted (orange/ lime).  SU: Seasonal framelit dies (spooky - Holiday 2015).  Poppystamps die: Kitty Cat Face.  Cottage Cutz dies: Witch Hat.  Pretty Pink Posh: sequins. Size 5" x 6-1/4".

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Halloween Glitz

Halloween is coming, and it is one of my favorite cardmaking holidays!  I've been eyeing the Splitcoaststampers Falliday Fall Challenges taking place during with the month of October.  In the back of my mind, I had been toying with the idea of making a card somehow with a big glitzy gold moon and a Halloween silhouette image.  When the Falliday challenge "From Trash to Treasure" came up several days ago to use something recycled on your card, I remembered this pretty black and gold shimmery striped gift paper that I had saved on one of my husband's Father's Day gifts.  I began to get excited and felt the itch to get to my craft table, because I was also remembering my Halloween card idea semi-formed in my mind.  Below is the Halloween card that evolved as I worked on it...

This is the inside design and verse that I created to coordinate with the outside.  I've decided this is the perfect card for my youngest daughter and husband.  I think they will be delighted. . .they are all about Halloween!

Ingredients:  Papers: SU Basic Black cs, Core'dinatins Black Tie Glitter, DCWV Glitzy Glitter Stack (gold), Recycled gold/black stripe gift paper (stablized w/cs).  Dies: My Favorite Things--Stitched Circle STAX, Savvy--Haunted House, Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations--Halloween Shadows (bats).   Busy Kids Flip Flop Rhinestones.  Ribbon/ Twines: Offray--7/8" Black Satin Ribbon, BoBunny--Sheer Dot ribbon, MayArts--Metallic Gold/ Black Twine.  Wink of Stella-Black.  Computer-made verse (inside).  Size: 4-3/4" x 6".

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fall Flowers for a Birthday!





One of my cardmaking buddies celebrates her birthday in October, and several of her friends are taking her out to lunch and shower her with birthday cards!  At first I thought I might give her my "A Peek at Fall" card, but then I got a bee in my bonnet and decided I wanted to make her a fall garden card as she is quite the gardener.

I love using elements on my card other than paper, and I haven't done that much lately, so I thought a little cork, a little felt, some buttons, and patterned paper would be just great to use for a change.  I sorted through my numerous stashes of patterned papers looking for colors that I had pre-selected that had a bent toward fall, rather than spring.  I think I found some great.

I wanted to enter my card into the Alphabet Challenge for sure on Splitcoaststampers (SCS), and chose Letter C, with the double challenge being to use Letter X for X-acto on the card.  Of course, C works just fine, as my card's focus is flowers, but to meet the X-acto challenge, I had to cut my fishtail banners with an X-acto blade, which I thought would be easiest as it was a straight line!  I'm not so good with the X-acto knife, so I fussy-cut my fishtails with scissors.  I also cut the edges of my felt leaves with my pinking shears for a more jagged look.

I wanted to enter the Inspiration Challenge as well, which required me to find inspiration through the Victorian Trading Co. website. . .a great site to browse.  Another challenge I will enter is the Featured Stamper, who's SCS nickname is beechwood.  I found a couple of Victorian Trading Co. ideas and a beechwood card named Sunflower Pop-Up Book Card, that both gave me color inspirations, thus why my colors were all pre-selected as mentioned above.  The beechwood card also gave me the design element ideas of using fishtail banners, flowers with leaves, and circle layers with plain and scalloped edges.

Take a peek below at my friends card, which I think she will enjoy for her birthday:

Ingredients:  Papers:  Stampin' Up--Natural's cs (retired), Old Olive, Soft Sky.  Patterned paper: MME-MIss Caroline--Dilly Dally, Dolled Up, Fiddlesticks plus miscellaneous scraps.  Dies:  Spellbinders--Big Scalloped Circles LG #3--2-inch; Nested Leaves (traced/ cut w-pinking shears)   Punches: Stampin' Up--Circles--1-inch, 1-1/4-inch, 1-3/4-inch, Curvy Corner Trio (retired), Word Window (retired), Scallop Edge Border; EK Scalloped--1-1/4-inch; Zutter--Corner Rounder.  Colorbox Chestnut Roan (ink distress).  Stash: Felt (leaves, Cork (flower layers), Buttons, Embroidery Floss, Sequins.  Computer sentiment/ verse.  Size: 4-5/8" x 5-7/8".

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Birthday is Coming!

My son-in-law's birthday is just a few days after my youngest son's birthday.  The family has been celebrating them together, as it is becoming more and more difficult to carve out time when all of us are available at the same time, and my darling daughter-in-law has graciously offered to host a dual party for both of them!

I decided to case and modify a card I saw on Pinterest by Mary Fish using cardstock color strips, the large Stampin' Up "Happy Birthday" die, and a white baker's twine wrap and bow.   Because I wanted my card to lean more toward the masculine side, I decided to make my card horizontal and added more color strips, an Island Indigo (teal) color mat behind the strips on a white cardbase, and leave off the twine and bow.  I cut my "Happy Birthday" die using white glitter paper and used enamel dots that I colored to match my color strips and to change them from their pastel shades to darker shades.  Take a peek below at my finished card for Josh:

Ingredients:  Stampin' Up cardstock:  Whisper White, Island Indigo, Night of Navy, Fresh Fig, Blushing Bride, Berry Burst, Lemon-Lime Twist, Garden Green, Crushed Curry, White Glitter cs.  Stampin' Up die: Happy Birthday Thinlit.  EK punch: Vintage Medium Corner (double off-set layered).  SU Glitter Enamel Dots (Copic color modified).  Size: 4-3/4" x 6".  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Peek at Fall!





I have been mulling over creative ideas in order to use my Adirondack chairs, which is part of the new die set in Stampin' Up's annual catalog named, "Seasonal Layers."  It a great set with many different dies besides the chair, and it coordinates with the "Colorful Seasons" stamp set.  I went to a card class in June and made several cards using both items, but I have not cracked the seal on my own set, and I was anxious to do so.

I had an idea for an anniversary card, which was my focus when I started this card, with the sentiment inside..."Life is better when there are two," thus the reason for using two Airdondack chairs, but I am undecided, and may use it for one of the many October birthdays on my "To Do" list.

I also wanted to enter the card in several Splitcoaststamper challenges, which helped me come up with my color scheme and making it a fall card.  Take a look below if you are interested how the card design developed and the challenges I am entering it into.  Meanwhile, here is the finished card below...take a peek to see how my Adirondack chair card turned out.

Ingredients:  Stampin' Up products:  Cardstock--Old Olive, Cherry Cobbler, Gold Glimmer.  Stamps--Hardwood, Happy Scenes (retired).  Inks--Crumb Cake, Daffodil Yellow, Pumpkin Pie, Cherry Cobbler.  Dies--Leaflets Framelits, Seasonal Layers Thinlits.  Embossing Folder: Woodgrain.  Linen Thread.  Dazzling Diamonds Glitter.  Glitter Enamel Dots (colored).  Other products:  Inks--Encore Gold Metallic, Memento Tuxedo Black, Colorbox Chestnut Roan.  Copic markers.  Offray Burlap Weave.  Techniques:  Stamping, Sponging, Coloring.  Size: 4-3/4" x 6".  (Woodgrain stamped bg  and the chairs are also Woodgrain embossed to add texture.  Chairs are popped up).

Information Tidbits


Friday, September 15, 2017

Birthday Jazz for Youngest Son!





When making birthday cards for people I know well, I try to choose a theme for the card that relates to that person in some way.  For my youngest son, and the youngest of my four children, I thought I would make a card focusing on his talent as a musician.

During his youth, in elementary school and as a teenager, he was very much into music.  He first learned how to play the clarinet and was promoted the next year to a saxophone.  He was really very good and became a member of the jazz band and concert orchestra starting in his junior high years.  With the jazz band, his focus was on his alto sax, but for concert orchestra, you could see him on his sax, playing the oboe, or any of a variety of other reed instruments in which the orchestra might be short of instruments for a particular piece of music.  Mark was a quick study and able to pick up many other reed instruments very rapidly.

I wanted to enter Mark's card into several challenges at Splitcoaststampers, so I did a little research before beginning.  The result was a Nu-Jazz style focus, using black, white, cream, tans, and reds.  "The Story" follows below if you are interested in more tidbits about the whys and wherefores of this birthday card.  Meanwhile, take a peek just below at the musical, jazz card that I ended up making for Mark's birthday...I think he will really like it!

Ingredients:  Papers: Stampin' Up--Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler cardstocks; Recollections--Antique Parchment stack.  Patterned paper: Graphic 45--Fashionista Collection/ Debutante (stripe); A Proper Gentleman (paisley).  Googled digital images.  Ink: Colorbox Chestnut Roam (age distressing).  Dies: Reverse Confetti--Edge Essential (black square edges); My Favorite Things--First Place Ribbon (fishtail).  Darice Foam Sheets.  Pink Posh: sequins.  Stash: black/ gold metallic baker's twine.  Knit fabric covered button.  Computer-made sentiment (Font: Budmo Jiggler/ 32).  Stampin'Up Marker: Cherry Cobbler (sentiment circles colored...very difficult to see).  Size:  5" x 6-1/4".

"The Story"

Because I wanted this to be a birthday card for son, Mark, about his musical talent, but I also wanted to enter it into SCS challenges, I did a little research on the challenges available before beginning my card.  For the Alphabet Challenge - Round 7, I needed a card using some element that starts with the Letter N, with the double challenge that it be "not feminine."  Well, that one was easy...a card for Mark would not be feminine and because his jazz band played a great variety of types of jazz, including the Nu-Jazz style, my card would focus on that style of jazz.

The second challenge I wanted to enter is the Inspiration Challenge, using inspiration from the website Design Seeds and their color palettes.  From their coffee hues, I decided to make my card, black, white, creams, tans, and reds.

The third challenge that would work well is the Mix-Ability Challenge, which requires the card to focus on Black, White, and "Read" All Over...a challenge all about colors as well.

The fourth and final challenge is the Featured Stamper, who is Rachel (stampinrachel).  The goal is to visit the Featured Stamper's gallery and find a card for inspiration in making your own card.  I chose a card from Rachel's gallery that used the inchie-style for the layout.  It was the inspiration to use that style in my card as well...check out Rachel's card with this link: Winter Thank You by stampinrachel.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Improving on the Christmas Oldie but Goodie!





In my last blog post, I made a card from an old, never used 1995 PBX stamp with a verse from the poem, The Night Before Christmas.  I entered it in several Splitcoaststampers challenges, and one in particular, the Alphabet Challenge, Round 7, it was entered for Letter J = "Just dies."  The kicker is, the very next challenge for Letter I is "Improve upon your last card," which means I needed to do another card using this same stamp, CASE the card, and change it somehow by improving upon it.  Now, I really like my previous card, so all the while I was making it, I kept saying to myself, "Now, don't go overboard, because you have to leave something to do to it to improve upon it."  Take a peek is my improved upon card.  I have also included the original below it so that you may see what I did to improve it:

Newest Version...improving upon the original.

Original version.

Ingredients:  Papers: Master's Touch 140# Watercolor Paper (WalMart); Core'dinations Silk Glitter Opulent Oval cs; Stampin' Up--Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer cs (retired), Night of Navy (card base).  Stamp: PSX (Personal Stamp Exchange)--Dasher Dash Away All!  Ink:  Stampin' Up--Night of Navy, Rose Red, Marine Mist; Versamark--Watermark Ink.  Paint: Folk Art Metallic Pearl White (splatters).  Gelly Roll White Gel Pen.  Stampin' Up White Embossing Powder. Dies:  Spellbinders--Layered Poinsettias; MemoryBox--Poinsettia Trio Blooms.  Offray Ribbon: White/Silver Striped Organdy (stash).  MISTI Stamping Tool.  Techniques: Heat Embossing; Watercolor background; Splattering.  Size: 4-3/4" x 6".  Inside: Computer verse.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Christmas Card from an Oldie But Goodie!





I own what is now considered a vintage stamp, produced in 1995 by Personal Stamp Exchange (PSX) Stamps.  It is a stamp I have actually never used, but always wanted to.  There is, of course, a story behind my owning it, but never using it.  Well, I decided it was time to dig it out and use it to make my second Christmas card for 2017, and enter some challenges at Splitcoaststampers as well!  Take a peek below at my finished card, and then jump down to "The Story" below if you are interested.

Ingredients:  Papers: Master's Touch 140# Watercolor Paper (WalMart); Core'dinations Silk Glitter Opulent Oval cs; Stampin' Up Night of Navy (card base).  Stamp: PSX (Personal Stamp Exchange)--Dasher Dash Away All!  Stamp: Ink--Stampin' Up: Night of Navy, Rose Red, Marine Mist; Versamark--Watermark Ink.  Paint: Folk Art Metallic Pearl White (splatters).  Gelly Roll White Gel Pen.  Stampin' Up White Embossing Powder.  Offray Ribbon: White/Silver Organdy (stash).  MISTI Stamping Tool.  Techniques: Heat Embossing; Watercolor background; Splattering.  Size: 4-3/4" x 6".  Inside: Computer verse.

"The Story"

In 1996, I was the office manager for a brand new elementary school to which our staff had been transferred.  The principal was a very classy lady with whom I got along famously.  She really wanted our Christmas card for our new school to be very original, handmade, and using our school colors, which were navy, forest green, and maroon.  I went out on a search for the perfect idea, thus visiting Joanns, Michaels, and the local craft store.  I found this Night Before Christmas stamp that I fell in love with, but didn't really know if it would suit the principal...I could see it with gold stamping mat layers of navy and forest green, with some possibly in navy and maroon.  

I was crafting, but if you've read my blog at all, you will know that I did not become a cardmaker until 2008!  I knew nothing about papers, stamping, ink, embossing, etc., I had no idea how any of this could be accomplished, but I decided when we made a decision on what we'd do, I learn somehow!

I bought the stamp personally, because I thought it was too pricey for our school budget, and I love it.  My youngest daughter, who was a teen-ager, loved to stamp thinks and had lots of little stamps and cheap inks, so I figured eventually it would not go to waste, right!  I inked up the stamp and tried to stamp it, and found it had lots of gaps in the printing, and I could not get a good, clean we did not use it at school.

When I began making cards, I did not learn embossing right away, so still didn't use it.  I did find that I did not LIKE wood stamps because it was difficult to tell where they would land and were often difficult to ink up, especially if my stamp continue to stay buried away.  As the years passed, I see it every now and then at Christmas time, but by then I really didn't like wood stamps and knew it didn't ink up well.

A year ago or so, I learned wood stamps can be unmounted and made into rubber stamps used on an  acyrlic block, but not being too familiar with this trick...the stamp continue to sit.  Then came my MISTI, and I seriously became interested in unmounting this lovely Christmas stamp to see if I could get a better imprint with my MISTI.  Recently, I saw a challenge on Splitcoaststampers called "Oldies but Goodies," and I seriously became interested. 

A few nights ago, I wasn't sleeping well, so up I popped, the stamp to the microwave and stripped it with foam pad attached from its wood.  The image on this stamp was not an acyrlic sheet glued to the wood, but rather it varnished right onto the wood, therefore, I could not remove it.  My solution for this problem is to ink up the stamp and stamp on a small sheet of white printer paper just larger than the stamped image.  I take this stamped paper and many strips, vertically and horizontally, of my tape runner, and glued it down to the foam pad.  Next, I cover this stamped paper with 3" wide clear 3M tape covering the entire paper surface (at school, we called this library tape) and then fussy-cut around the taped paper up to the edge of the rubber.  When I'm ready to stamp with it, I run a few very small tape strips on the clear tape and stick it to my MISTI.  Now, it's ready to use just like any other stamp!

My first card above is done with Versamark Watercolor Ink in order to apply an embossed this case white embossing powder, which is heat set with your heat embossing tool (like a very hot mini blow dryer).  When the powder is heated, it becomes shiny.  The stamp was still difficult to ink up and took 6 applications over and over of Versamark to get it all inked, especially the word Vixen and Away, after Dash!  But, I managed and I do LOVE the stamp!!  I'm so excited that I finally used it!

Monday, September 4, 2017

First Christmas for a Little Husky Named Zhanna!





You would not believe how long this card has been in the making!  I colored the image at my Girls' Craft Get-Away in late May!  I only brought coloring with me because it was so soon after my knee replacement surgery, and I knew I wouldn't be getting up and down a lot.  See my first Christmas 2017 card below.  The "story" follows.

Ingredients:  Papers:  Recollections--Punchy Florals Pack (card base); Core'dinations Silk Glitter Opulent Oval cs; Stampin' Up--Silver Glimmer; Stampin' Up--Winter Frost dsp (retired).  Digital image/ Copic coloring.  Dies: Spellbinders--Floral Ovals; MFT--Stitched Oval Scalloped Frame; MemoryBox--Snow Burst (snowflakes).  Punch: Recollections--5/8" Snowflake.  SU: Glitter Enamel Dots.  Size: 4-3/4" x 6".

The Story!

I was about half way through coloring my little image and was putting finishing touches on my little girl before moving onto her shoes and the puppy, when I applied the wrong color of Wink of Stella (gold instead of clear) onto her furry coat bottom.  After getting back from my craft retreat at the end of May, it took two weeks before I could get into my craft room...the knee was just too painful to sit and twist in and out from under a table.  The get-away kind of took a tole on me and my recovery.

In the second week of June, I re-colored my little image once again.  I used some mojo and came up with a pretty clear idea of my layout, and completed the white oval glittery frame for her, which is actually two dies together.  See Ingredients below for die names.  That's when I came to a screeching halt! I wasn't able to do much crafting yet, and I had two get well cards, two graduations, five birthdays (that I got done), two Father's Day cards, an anniversary, and an award card that interfered with finishing this card.  Three months later, I've actually finished the card!  (Theatrical bow being done!)

I worked on this cute little image so long that I gave my little Eskimo girl and her little female Siberian Husky puppy names.  The little girl is Lara and little husky's name is Zhanna, which is a Russian name.  This puppy will grow up to be a sled dog, and I wanted her to have a strong name, because she will be a glorious sled dog, probably a lead dog, and her name needs to fit her heritage and who is is!  Because of Zhanna, I will be able to enter my card into the Splitcoaststamper's Alphabet Challenge, Round 7, Letter Z.

I will also enter this card into two other Splitcoaststamper challenges.  To finalize my card, I used the colors from a fellow Splitcoaster in the Featured Stamper Challenge, and Christmas in July, because that was my original intended time to finish this card.  Alas, that did not happened, but I'm entering late.

In addition, she will be entered into a fourth challenge that was her original purpose when I first got started on the idea for the card, which is the very first Christmas 2017 for January with the theme of making a card using a sled, snow tube, snowboard, or skiing.  We have all the themes for the year, and we can make them whenever we want, BUT, I think I can safely say I am way behind!  My challenge to myself was to make 24 cards/ two each for each month's challenges, and here we are in September and this is my first!  Shame on me!