Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cute, fun and simple!

When a project is cute, fun AND simple, that's about as good as it gets for me. These adorable little photo holders are actually binder clips. (The box says large on it. I got a dozen in a box at Office Max.) Here is the big supply list: binder clip, one piece of designer paper (2 X 3 1/4), 2 felt flowers, 1 black brad, 6" Pumpkin Pie narrow grosgrain ribbon, pop up glue dot, glue stick. Yes, I used glue stick to adhere the paper, and it works great! You do want to have the ribbon on there. It holds the metal pieces together securely so the picture stays there. You could easily use a stamped image or a flower from the Pretties Kit in place of the felt flowers. I've also seen them with the big flower from the Pretties Kit secured to the metal clip so it's covered up.
P.S. The two cuties in the photo are my nephews Ted and Nat. They are sweeties!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Looking for some SU inspiration?

I am always looking for inspiration and ideas, especially for using Stampin' Up! products. That's pretty much all I own! If you're looking for that too, check out my new list of awesome blogs using only Stampin' Up products. It's over on the right side, down a little. All of these people are very talented and have promised to post a few times a week as well as feature SU products.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How to make a scalloped edge from the scallop circle punch

Here's a tutorial on how to make a scalloped edge from the scallop circle punch. As stated in my previous post, I did not invent this idea. I first saw it here on Mary Jo Albright's blog. Be sure to check out her blog as she has been going crazy with great punch ideas! When Mary Jo did hers, she cut out the center with paper snips. I am not that confident in my ability to cut it out straight! Then I saw on Patty's blog here that she used a circle punch to punch out the middle. That is more my speed! (Be sure to check out Patty's blog too! She has lots of new stuff from the catty.)First, punch a circle with the 1 3/8" circle punch.
Next, center the scallop circle punch over the hole and punch.
Snip it open in one spot.
Bend and manipulate the cardstock at each scallop to start straightening out the row.
Once you adhere it to the back of the other cardstock, you won't see all those little wrinkles. One strip is about 4 1/4" long.
Edited to add: Mary Jo Albright commented here with the following tip: "I have tried both techniques and found them both to work. If you try paper snips and cut really close, you won't have the breaks/little should lay flat in a straight line (just a little tip in my experimenting)."

Monday, January 28, 2008

What is a CASE?

A term you see used a lot in stamping is CASE. It stands for Copy And Share Everything. If you CASE a card or other project, you definitely want to give credit to the original artist. It is also good etiquette to change SOMETHING so you aren't totally copying.
One of my favorite artists is Debbie Olson. I decided it would be fun to CASE one of her cards and send it to her as a thank-you. I looked over some of her recent posts and chose this card to CASE. I decided to choose a card that didn't use SU stamps so that I could make more of a change to the card. I kept her color combo and sketch. It was really fun, and I hope she likes the card!
(BTW, I made the scalloped border using the scallop circle punch. I did not come up with this idea. But I will take some photos and post them later so you can see how it was done.)
Supplies (all SU): Stamps: Priceless, Taggers Dozen; Paper: Whisper White, Certainly Celery, Chocolate Chip, Pretty in Pink; Ink: Pretty in Pink (craft), Certainly Celery, Chocolate Chip; Accessories: Chocolate Chip wide grosgrain ribbon, 1 1/4 & 1 3/8 & scallop circle punches, Fresh Favorites buttons

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Swap card

I've signed up for one small new catalog swap. Usually I sign up for more and then stress out trying to get the swaps made. I love getting samples, but I'm trying to be practical about it now. Anyway, I love signing up for Crystal's swaps because the quality is always outstanding! So here is the card I came up with. I thought I'd tell you how I did it in case that helps you in your creative process.
First, I looked at the sets I wanted from the new catalog and decided which one to use. I decided on Boho Backgrounds because it's not very expensive, and that medallion goes perfectly with the scallop circle punch. Then I happened to be going through old swaps deciding what to discard and what to keep when I came across the card in the photo below. I really liked it! Then I looked on the back and saw that it was done by Laurie Schmidlin. She is so talented! She's one of the Dirty Dozen now on SCS. You can visit her blog here. I decided to use her layout for my swap card.
I changed the color scheme based on the paper I chose. I decided to use the Ginger Blossom paper. I wanted to use strips of the really cool piece that has big tree branch/plant stalk images on it, but there just wasn't enough color in it. So I chose the one you see on my card. Of course, the focal image is different too. I stamped the medallion 3 times, in Ruby Red, Cameo Coral and River Rock. I punched out the Ruby Red with the scallop circle punch, Cameo Coral with the 1 1/4" circle punch and River Rock with the 1" circle punch. (I got this idea from Crystal!) Then to make the circle behind the medallion, I punched the round tab punch twice in Cameo Coral and adhered them together to form the circle. Because most of it is covered by the scallop circle, you don't even notice the seams. (I didn't come up with this idea either!) I added the twill tape for a little accent. Finally, I stamped the sentiment in Groovy Guava. (In case you are wondering, I did end up cutting apart that one stamp and mounting each line onto dominoes. It makes stamping one part SO much easier!)
So that's the story of my swap card. Thanks for visiting!
Supplies (all SU): Stamps: Boho Backgrounds; Paper: Whisper White, River Rock, Cameo Coral, Ruby Red, Ginger Blossom; Ink: River Rock, Cameo Coral, Groovy Guava, Ruby Red; Accessories: cutter kit, 1" circle punch, 1 1/4" circle punch, scallop circle punch, round tab punch, twill tape

Thursday, January 24, 2008

2008 planner cover

For the last 2 years, I've gotten the demonstrator planner that Stampin' Up offers. But they are no longer offering it. So I decided to create my own cover for the planner I have (I bought a new calendar for inside too.)
I used Going Gray textured cardstock and rounded the corners. I stamped the swirl from Baroque Motifs in Basic Gray and then again in Whisper White craft ink. I added some small flowers (also from Baroque Motifs) in Rose Red and Elegant Eggplant. I stamped the flower from Priceless in Basic Gray onto Rose Red and Elegant Eggplant cardstock then punched them out with the 5-Petal flower punch. I thought that was too dark, so I stamped the flower again in Whisper White. I used silver brads for the eggplant flowers and black brads for the rose red flowers. I wrote 2008 Planner with a Basic Gray marker. (Not crazy about how that came out, but I don't have a good alpha left. All of mine retired!)
I got the color combo from the Scraptitude website. It's not always working, but when it does, it's awesome! Be sure to check it out.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Workshop sneak peek

This is one of the projects we will be making at my workshop next Tuesday. It is a CASE of a card by Carmi Walling that I saw on the Stampin' Up website. Her card was all gray. I changed the colors for Valentine's Day and used textured cardstock to add a little interest. For the other 2 projects, we will be using a SAB set and making a 3D item using the Flower Fusion Accents & Elements. Thanks for looking!

Supplies (all SU): Stamps: Priceless, Warm Words; Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black textured cs; Ink: StazOn Black, Real Red, Whisper White craft; Accessories: ticket corner punch, Real Red narrow grosgrain ribbon, Pretties kit

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Shirley!

Today is my MIL Shirley's birthday. Earlier this week, I posted photos of her gift. Here is her card. It's hard to tell from the picture, but this is the kickstand card that I posted the sketch for last weekend. So when the card is closed, you can see the inside of the card at the bottom. Originally, this card was going to be purple, but Shirley's favorite color is blue. I decided to use Soft Sky and Blue Bayou for the blue shades, and Mellow Moss with Always Artichoke for the green shades. (I got the greens from the Color Combo wheel.) The card base is Soft Sky with 2 inches cut off the bottom front. I stamped the Weathered bg in Mellow Moss before I cut off that piece. The stamp set is Blossoms Abound. It's 2-step stamping, which makes the layering of color really easy! The first stamp for the flower is almost solid with just some hints of the flower shapes. I stamped that twice in Soft Sky onto Shimmery White cardstock. The second stamp is much more open with more of the flower shapes. I stamped that in Blue Bayou. Since the first stamp is so solid, the flowers look great even if they aren't perfectly aligned. (Mine are definitely not!!) For the stem and leaf accents (this was all one stamp), I used Always Artichoke and then stamped the solid leaves over the top in Mellow Moss. I stamped the stem again for the flower on the left, but it ended up going onto the leaves; I won't do that again! I matted the focal image onto Always Artichoke; both layers got the ticket corner punch first. I took a strip of Mellow Moss cardstock, punched the bottom edge with the corner rounder and attached it to the bottom of the card front. (Two mistakes here: the mat was supposed to be Blue Bayou, and you can't even see the scalloped edge.) I tied a piece of Moss gingham ribbon around it where the 2 layers meet. After adhering the focal image, I stamped Happy Birthday in Bayou Blue. Tip for applying adhesive to the focal image: I turned my card over so the front was laying on the table. I lined up the focal image on the INSIDE of the card front so I could see where to stop applying the adhesive. (Hope that made sense!)
I told you about all of the mistakes on the card so that you can see that projects can turn out great even when there are mistakes!
If you still need some inspiration, don't forget to check out Beate's weekend sketch challenge or the challenge forum on SCS. Happy stamping!
Supplies (all SU): Stamps: Blossoms Abound, Weathered, It's Your Birthday; Paper: Shimmery White, Soft Sky, Always Artichoke, Mellow Moss; Ink: Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke; Accessories: ticket corner punch, corner rounder punch (retired), moss gingham ribbon

You Make My Day award

My friend Lorien gave me this award. What a day brightener! It's funny to call Lorien my friend because we have never met in person. We "met" on SCS when I signed up for one of her swaps. That led to "meeting" her friend and upline Crystal. I feel like I really know them from posting on SCS as well as their awesome blogs! Be sure to check out Lorien's blog here. She just posted some great pics of her new stamping space.

I'm supposed to pass the award on to up to 10 other bloggers who bring me happiness and inspiration. I'm going to take a little time to ponder that, and I'll let you know who they are so you can be inspired too!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New stuff!

I got my new stuff this week. I was very good!! This set is called Boho Backgrounds. I love that the round design goes inside the scallop circle punch. I am planning to use this for a swap I'm in. (The reason I haven't mounted the fourth stamp is because I am debating whether or not to cut it apart. I'm thinking I would use just the words more than the 3 borders. I'm going to see if they will fit on the dominoes I have left over from mounting So Many Sayings.)
This is the only SAB set that I ordered. It's called So Many Scallops, and it also goes with the scallop circle punch. This set is really versatile because you can layer circle punches over the center to either hide the design underneath or add layers of color.
This is the Flower Fusion Accents & Elements tin that I mentioned in the previous post. It has tons of flowers in different sizes. The 3 colors are Rose Red, Pumpkin Pie and Old Olive. The picture below is a close-up of the flowers on Shirley's tin.
Besides these things, I only ordered the 1" circle punch. See, I really was good!!

It's Shirley's birthday!

My MIL, Shirley is celebrating her birthday this weekend. I won't tell her age, but she looks great; you'd never guess how old she is! Anyway, Shirley does a little crafting but not a lot, so I can still give her stuff that I make. She does occasionally make cards, so I decorated this tin for her. Blue is her favorite color, so the Cutie Pie designer paper is perfect! I cut 2 inch strips of the lt blue and 2 1/2 inch strips of the stripe so they overlap just a little. I used matte Mod Podge to glue them down. The saffron ribbon is from Fairy Tale Ribbon Originals, and I put Bashful Blue narrow grosgrain around the lid. The ribbon is attached with mini glue dots. The felt flowers are from the new Flower Fusion Accents & Elements tin. Daniel actually picked out the flowers, put the brad in and stuck the flower to the tin with a pop-up glue dot! I'm going to put a supply of handmade cards in the tin for Shirley to use and enjoy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My latest challenge card

Here's my card for Beate's weekend sketch challenge. (See yesterday's post for details) I also started out with the color combo challenge but added Soft Sky. I can't believe I added a fourth color! I usually have trouble incorporating more than 3 colors into a card, but for some reason the card in my head needed that 4th one. Also, please note that there is NO stamping on this card!
I started with white textured cardstock and swiped my Barely Banana spot in both directions over the whole card front. I colored the 2 flowers from my Pretties kit with my spots and used an aquapainter to even out the color. I let the flowers dry overnight. (You could use a heat gun to speed up the process, but be sure to hold them down or they'll blow away!) I used a green brad from the Ice set to hold the flowers together.
Supplies (all SU): Stamps: none; Paper: whisper white textured, Soft Sky Prints, Blue Bayou, Wild Wasabi; Ink: Barely Banana, Blue Bayou; Accessories: Ice Circle rhinestone brads, Soft Sky & Wild Wasabi double-stitched ribbon, pop up glue dots, photo corners punch

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Need a creative jumpstart? Try a challenge!

Sometimes I know exactly what kind of project I want to work on, and sometimes I have no idea. A great way get started, especially when you have the post-holiday blahs, is to try a challenge. To help you, here are 3 challenges that I'm planning to work on this weekend.
First is Sketch Challenge 158 from SCS. This is called a kickstand card because the bottom of the card front is cut away, and the focal image helps the card stand up like a bike kickstand. You can change the size of the focal image. Mine will likely be bigger than the one in the sketch. Next is Beate's weekend sketch challenge. She always has great sketches! And she has a random drawing each week for a prize giveaway. In order to be considered to win, you have to link your card to the WSC thread on her blog. She also has links to other bloggers who make a card with her sketch.
And if the sketches aren't inspiring you, how about a color combo to try? This week's challenge from SCS (CC148) is Wild Wasabi, Barely Banana and Blue Bayou.
If these challenges inspired you, please post and let me know. Or tell me what inspires you when you're in a creative rut. Happy stamping!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Demo Planner Challenge Card

I made this card for the demo planner challenge on SCS. For this challenge we have 2 card layouts and 3 color combos to choose from. This color combo was Always Artichoke, Apricot Appeal, Bashful Blue and Cameo Coral. I don't really care for apricot and coral together, but I like the other 2 colors in combination with one or the other. I do like the layout.

For the tag, I cut each piece of cardstock to the width of the punch but made it longer. Then you just insert one end through the bottom of the tag punch to punch out the top part of the tag. That seems clear as mud, so I'll post some photos of that later.
Supplies (all SU): Stamps: A Beautiful Thing; Paper: Whisper White, Always Artichoke, Cameo Coral, Cutie Pie designer paper; Ink: Apricot Appeal, Bashful Blue, Always Artichoke; Accessories: small & large tag punches, 1/8" hole punch, Apricot Appeal narrow grosgrain ribbon

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Acrylic Post-it Note Holder

Sorry for the flash in the photo, but this picture is so much better than the other one without the flash!
If you've never made a post-it note holder, you've got to do it! They are so easy and fun. You start with a 4 X 6 acrylic picture frame. You can get them at Walmart or Target for about a dollar. Then put a 4 X 6 piece of patterned paper in it, stick some Post-It notes on it, embellish as desired, and you're done!
For this one, I used Almost Amethyst prints designer paper. I stamped the butterfly from Garden Whimsy directly onto the paper. I inked the whole stamp with Almost Amethyst then did the edges in Elegant Eggplant. After stamping, I used eggplant ink and a blender pen to go around the little circles on the wings. I stamped the greeting from Refuge and Strength in eggplant. I attached the notes using sticky strip. This is actually only 1/2 of a big pad in shades of purple that I found a while back at Walmart.
The pen is an RSVP pen. (That's the brand.) I just rolled up a piece of patterned paper and inserted it inside the barrel of the pen. The ink part of the pen is attached to the cap, so you just roll the paper around it and stick it back inside the pen. I tied eggplant ribbon around the cap of the pen and around the frame.
I can't wait to put this on my new desk when I start my new job on the 21st!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Featured Stamper challenge

I got to stamp again yesterday! I actually made 2 cards. So exciting! This card is for a challenge on SCS. Every Sunday, a featured stamper is chosen. You are supposed to go to the person's gallery and choose a card to CASE, making sure you change at least 2 things about the card. This week's featured stamper is Nancy Riley. Boy, is her gallery impressive! I had already found her blog and added it to my favorites.
The card I chose to CASE was a Christmas card done in Pomegranate and Black. I changed the stamp set, the colors and the designer paper. It isn't as good as her card, but I like it!
Suppies (all SU): Stamps: Priceless, Hugs and Wishes; Paper: Whisper White, Blue Bayou, Chocolate Chip, Soft Sky Prints ds paper; Ink: Blue Bayou, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White craft; Accessories: slot punch, five petal flower punch, crafters tool kit, chocolate chip satin ribbon, Pretties kit

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Great Tip!

SuG posted on SCS that she bought Christmas cards on clearance at Target FOR THE ENVELOPES!!! They were 90% off. She got 360 envelopes for $5. What a genius!

Triple challenge card

Work was totally crazy this week, but I was FINALLY able to stamp today. Whoohoo! I combined 3 challenges into one card. The layout is Beate's weekend sketch. (If you haven't checked out Beate's blog here, you are really missing out on some major talent!) The limited supplies challenge on SCS this week was to use no white or vanilla cardstock. And Sharon Johnson's challenge from LAST week was to use something new. (Sharon's blog here is a great inspiration to stamp simply and enjoy it.)
I decided to use Wanted, which I got over a month ago and hadn't used yet, and Celebrate Everything is also new. I used So Saffron as my neutral. I stamped the medallion in So Saffron craft ink and heat set it to bring out the true color. (It stands out more IRL.)
Supplies (all SU): Stamps: Wanted, Celebrate Everything; Paper: So Saffron, Blue Bayou, Close to Cocoa; Ink: So Saffron (classic and craft), Bue Bayou, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip; Accessories: cutter kit, chocolate chip satin ribbon, small star punch, scallop circle punch, sponge, Rich Regals brad

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Make your own swatch book

Here are photos of a swatch book I made. It's a great way to try colors together without pulling out whole sheets of cardstock. For the cover, I used 2 chipboard coasters that I covered with designer paper. The coasters are 4 inches square. I used glue stick to adhere the paper and then coated them with matte Mod Podge.

For the inside, I cut 3 3/4 inch squares of all 48 colors of cardstock and cut each square into 3 strips; each strip is 1 1/4 inches. (That math degree comes in handy sometimes!) My Tonic paper cutter from SU really made this job easier! I used my Crop-a-dile to punch holes in the cardstock. I was able to punch 10 sheets at a time, and I set the gauge for 3/8" so all of the holes were the same depth. No guessing!

The cardstock is organized the same way my cardstock is filed. It's alphabetical within each color family, and the color families go Soft Subtles, Rich Regals, Bold Brights, Earth Elements.

I punched the first hole in the cover at 2 inches then to get the other holes, I laid the cardstock pieces onto the cover and used them as my guide. It's held together by 1 inch notebook rings.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A new tutorial for the new year!

A while back, I made some Christmas cards with the Winter Bright SS kit, and I promised a tutorial for the border I made with the corner rounder punch. Well, 2 months later, I've finally done it! This was all made possible by some photo tips I read on Amy Rysavy's blog, Prairie Paper and Ink. She said you can make your digital photos sharper by using the macro setting, which looks like a tulip symbol on your camera. I have a tulip button, and it really did make my close-ups sharper!! (She also suggested reading the camera manual, but the odds are slim that I will find that...)

Anyway, this border looks like little cross stitches. I originally saw this on Cambria Turnbow's blog, and her aunt created it. (See link at left for Cambria's blog.)

Here is the original post that shows 2 different cards with this border. On one of the cards, I used it at the bottom of the card for a decorative edge.
I use the retired corner rounder punch. I don't have the new one yet, so it will look slightly different if you use the new punch.

First, carefully take the guard off the punch.

I usually start in the center of the paper and work my way right first.

Here is a slightly blurry photo of what you will see after the first punch.

For the second punch, line up the right punched edge with the left edge of the V.

Here is what you will see after the second punch. Continue across to the right until you get to the end of the cardstock.

Then work your way to the left by lining up the left punched edge with the right edge of the V.

When you are finished, this is what it will look like. I layer it over something with a lot of contrast so the edge really stands out.

I made this card with the new Bali Breeze paper. I would never have come up with the color combo, but I love it! The Taken with Teal layer above the pattern is actually the reverse side of the paper. The center of the flower is the Build-a-Brad. You punch an image with the 1/2" circle punch, adhere it to the brad and then put a little acrylic bubble over the top. The Pumpkin Pie circle is 2 round tab punches adhered together.
Supplies (all SU): Stamps: A Beautiful Life; Paper: Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Rose Red, Taken with Teal, Whisper White, Bali Breeze; Ink: Rose Red, Pumpkin Pie, StazOn Black; Accessories: retired corner rounder punch, 1/2" circle punch, scallop circle punch, round tab punch, Pewter Build-a-Brad, twill tape, Pumpkin Pie narrow grosgrain ribbon