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.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Thinking of You Pandas!

I went to a Stampin' Up cardmaking class a few weeks ago, where the Sale-A-Bration promotion supplies were introduced.  We made the cutest card with the freebie stamp "Party Pandas."  All the time while making this darling little card, I had ideas running around my head on things to do to dress it up.  Most card designs at classes are relatively simple due to cost and time constraints.  Our lovely hostesses encourage us to take an idea and run with it.  The original card design was made by Dar Peterson, and I've found a similar one on Pinterest by JoAnne Hewins.

I changed my card to a "Thinking of You" card instead of a birthday card, and I replaced one of the panda heads to eliminate his birthday party hat.  Several other changes I made were to add two more mat layers with the idea of adding more color.  The new card base color is Always Artichoke, and the second mat layer is a die-cut stitched scalloped mat in Certainly Celery (retired).   I added a Copic-colored sun to add a little good cheer, and some gold sequins for a bit of sparkle.  My panda placements are also a bit different as well.  I did use the Color Theory 6x6 paper pad's paint chip design for my bamboo stalks as in the original card.  I thought that was quite clever!

I will be sending my panda card to one of my Splitcoaststamper forum teammates, who lives across the country from me in Georgia.  She was the Teapot Party destination for the week of January 9, 2018, because she was in an automobile accident, and though not hospitalized, is in need of cheering up.  Take a peek at these cute little pandas below, who are ready to travel and send hugs across the nation:

Upon finishing with the re-inventing of my card front, I went to work creating an inside design that would coordinate with the theme, and also a verse befitting the occasion.  Here is what I came up with.  I think my SCS friend and teammate will enjoy her card, and will also let her know I'm wishing her well. 


JUST A NOTE:  I find it interesting the inconsistency of the coloring with the exact same lighting and the exact same paper colors.  The panda card front is almost just like the card, but the inside seems way off!

Ingredients:  Stampin' Up Paper:  Cardstock - Always Artichoke, Certainly Celery (retired); Patterned dsp: Color Theory. SU Stamps: Party Pandas (SAB-2018).  Ink: Memento-Tuxedo Black.  Dies: Stampin' Up: Bouquet Bunch Framelits (leaves); Simon Says: Scallop Stitches.  Stenciled sun-Copic colored.  Crystal Effects glaze.  Sequins: Pretty Pink Posh.  Computer sentiment: Font-Viner Hand ITC 16.5/ Bold.  Fussy-Cutting.  Double Fishtails: hand-cut.  Size: 4-3/4 x 6 inches.  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Best of 2017 Favorites @ Splitcoaststampers!

I'm in 7th Heaven!!!!  I've had nine of my 2017 cards chosen in the Splitcoaststampers' Favorites - Best of 2017 recently, and three of these were chosen twice!   I also had one card chosen in the CAS Favorites - Best of 2017.  Now that was really a surprise, because rarely do I make a clean and simple card!  I'm speechless and so grateful to the wonderful and crafty multitudes at Splitcoaststampers for giving me so many honors.  

As I have had my cardmaking curtailed in mid-December due some severe hand problems, especially the left, and a right knee flair up, I've been kind of down a bit without my hobby to entertain me.  I've also been absentee blog posting as some may have noticed.  With that said, I thought I would post those cards BESTed again for your browsing!  

Favorites - Best of 2017 Cards

Let It All Hang Out Birthday - posted 8/28/17
 Blog link:

 First Christmas for a Little Husky Named Zhanna! - posted 9/4/17 (chose 2 times)
Blog Link:

Christmas Card from an Oldie But Goodie! - posted 9/8/17 (chosen 2 times)
Blog Link:

Improving on the Christmas Oldie But Goodie! - posted 9/12/17 (chosen 2 times)
Blog Link:

A Dedicated 12th Woman Seahawks Fan Birthday! - posted 11/5/17.
Blog Link:

My Son's First Father's Day! - posted 6/18/17.  (inspiration from Dar Peterson).
Blog Link: 

Anniversary Twosome Sail with the Breeze! - posted 7/31/18
Blog Link:

Birthday Jazz for Youngest Son! - posted 9/15/17
Blog Link:

A Peek at Fall! - posted 9/20/17
Blog Link:

CAS Favorites - Best of 2017 Cards

New Hat for Spooky Kitty! - posted 10/27/17
Blog Link:

Monday, December 18, 2017

A Christmas Nativity Bauble!





Sorry, I've been missing in action most of December!  Usually, my blog is loaded with all kinds of Christmas cards...not so this year!  I have been unable to do much crafting with some hand issues that may require surgery, especially my left hand.  The right one is working on it, but not quite there for surgery yet.  I have some "lovely" thumb guards (sarcasm dripping) that I am to wear pretty much 24-7, with a short timeouts if absolutely necessary.  So...that's the story...not able to do much crafting, as that really sets off the pain and swelling in the entire hand!

I did manage to get to my craft table and work up this little Christmas Nativity bauble.  I worked with several dies and modified my Cottage Cutz Nativity to fit inside the bauble.  I now have a baggie full of date trees, little sheep, and the Star of Behtlehem.  I used some more of the gold glimmer wrapping paper that I stabilized with a cardstock backing and lots of tape runner, row after row, especially with the paper used to die-cut the pine boughs.  

I tried a new stamp set to get gold embossed stars on the night sky.  I was really unhappy with how it turned out.  The stamp was not a background size, but an odd shape, like an amoeba, with totally uneven curves and bulges, so it was difficult to even get it stamped evenly over the paper.  I also sprinkled Gold  glitter embossing powder, and wasn't too happy with that left smudges.  

I planned to make several of this design, so I will definitely be trying something different to my starry sky.  I seem to be liking the black and gold glimmer look this year, and I was pleased with my overall design, but not the sky, so take a peek below at what not to do on your starry background sky!

I will also be entering this into several Splitcoaststampers Challenges:  

  • December 2017 Dirty Dozen Christmas Challenge:  Nativity scene.
  • Alphabet Challenge (Letter O=Ornament/ Double Challenge = Letter L for lightfastness; Encore Metallic Gold a pigment, oil-base ink with slow drying time.
  • Free for All - Merry December.  Christmas my favorite December holiday.
  • 2017 Christmas Card Challenge - June = Religious card.
  • Dirty Dozen November Word Theme:  JOYS.  J=Jesus; O=Ornament; Y=Yule card (archaic for Christmas); S=Shiny, sparkle.
  • Inspiration Challenge IC628 - Dept. 56 as the inspiration website.

Ingredients:  Paper:  Stampin' Up--Basic Black cs; Recycled Gold Dot gift wrap.  Stamps: Christmas Pines (sky stars).  Dies:  Cottage Cutz--Nativity Silhouette; Stampin' Up Thinlits--Delicate Ornaments, Pretty Pines.  Ink:  Encore Gold Metallic (coloring edges of gold paper, ornament and pine needles).  Offray 1/4" ribbon, Black Fun Foam, Computer verse (inside).

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!