Friday, August 30, 2013

May this year be your best ever

I have a confession to make.  I'm not too great at sending birthday cards.  I have good intentions!  Just not the greatest follow-through.  I missed both my sister's and mom's birthdays this summer.  {hangs head in shame}  Luckily, I get to see both of them this weekend when I head out to take my oldest daughter to college.  I found a great card in my stash for my mom.  (previously posted here)  This card is the one I just made for my sister.  Love it!

I used the newest sketch from Freshly Made Sketches which you can see on their blog here.  I love their CAS style sketches.  They're great for jump-starting a card design.


It's a very simple design and came together quickly, except for the paper piecing, which took time to cut out.  Several of those pieces are quite narrow!  I used some pretty patterned paper from Basic Grey's Knee Highs line.

Inside the card, I used another narrow strip of patterned paper and stamped my belated birthday sentiment.  (since my card is, you know, over two months late)

So happy with this card!  I hope my sister really likes it.  Of course, it will help that a present accompanies it.  lol   :)

Stamps:  Big Birthday Wishes, Birthday Sentiments (My Favorite Things)
Paper:  White, Spring Rain, Leaf Green (Papertrey Ink); Knee Highs 6x6 pad (Basic Grey); denim paper (K&Company)
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Copic:  E000, E00, E30, E42, R20, C5, BV29, E55, E57, E59
Misc:  Fishtail Flags STAX dies, Fishtail Flags Layers STAX dies, Grassy Edges die (My Favorite Things) 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Seriously. Geeking. Out.

Can you believe it??!!  There are no words to describe how excited Emily and I are about this announcement.  We started jumping up and down like crazy people when we saw THIS.

You can see the announcement on Nichole Heady's blog right here.  How cool is that??!!

It was a personal goal of mine to complete all ten Stamp-a-faire challenges.  Lack of enough sleep wasn't going to stop me.  :)  I was already feeling great for achieving my goal.  It sure wasn't easy!  I didn't expect to win Top Chef.

Seriously.  Geeking.  Out.

Thanks to Papertrey Ink for a fun weekend of challenges, inspiration, and stamping!  I can't wait to spend that gift certificate.   :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Stamp-a-Faire: Sweet Sugar Coated Embellishments

Woohoo!  Last card for the Stamp-a-Faire challenges!  I managed to do every single one.  (by the skin of my teeth)  It was definitely a challenge to do so many projects in one weekend.  I wasn't entirely sure I would make it by the deadline today.  I'm not a fast stamper, plus it takes time to photograph each project, upload and edit the pictures, and write the blog posts.  Whew!

Glitter was the star of this challenge.  I actually used glitter on quite a few of my Stamp-a-Faire cards.  For this one, I decided to create a snowy winter scene.

Check out all that sparkle!  I first stamped and diecut my pine tree.  For the snow, I added raised globs of liquid glue (a la Dawn McVey) to the branch edges and then shook on a healthy dose of glitter.  I did the same thing to my white hill edges and snowman.  This was all done last night so it could dry while I was sleeping. 

I love the look!  In hindsight, I should have used white glitter on my tree because the glue dried transparent (duh!) and my crystal glitter just doesn't look snowy enough with the dark green showing through.  There are some flecks of Carrara Marble glitter, because I shook it on afterwards, which does help a bit.  Next time I do a tree, I'll use that one instead.  The crystal glitter looks great on the snowman and hills though!

If you look closely, you can see that I deliberately added my glue in a jagged manner.  It looks more like real snow that way.  Love all the sparkle!!

For the sentiment, I just diecut a piece of Aqua Mist cardstock (so it would blend with my brackground) and stamped it in black.  Isn't that the perfect sentiment for this card?  Oh, and I embossed teeny white snowflakes on my Aqua Mist card base before gluing everything down.

So happy with this card!  It almost makes me long for winter.  Almost.  I admit to singing "Winter Wonderland" during the process.  Just couldn't help it!   :)

My daughter Emily also made a card for this challenge using some pretty pink glitter and diecut flowers. 

This was quick and easy.  She stamped her leaves, glued on the flowers, added a yellow butterfly leftover from our Kool-Aid experiment, stamped her sentiment, and put it all on a Hibiscus Burst card base.  Done!  She says I take too long.   lol   Love my sweet girl!  It was so fun to stamp with her this weekend.

Stamps:  In the Meadow (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  White, Aqua Mist (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento); VersaMark
Misc:  In the Meadow dies, In the Meadow Silhouettes dies (Papertrey Ink);  Fishtail Flags Layers STAX dies (My Favorite Things); Crystal fine glitter, Carrara Marble glitter (Martha Stewart)

Stamps:  Turning a New Leaf, Floral Frenzy, Polka Dot Basics (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  White, Hibiscus Burst (Papertrey Ink); watercolor paper
Ink:  Smokey Shadow, Ripe Avocado (Papertrey Ink); VersaMark
Misc:  Beautiful Blooms II #1 dies; Heart-2-Heart #10 die (Papertrey Ink); Cotton Candy glitter (Martha Stewart)

Stamp-a-Faire: Custom Accents from the Oven

If you can believe it, this was the first time I've used shrink plastic.  I've had it in my studio for ages, but just never got around to playing with it.  While checking out the design team projects, I fell in love with Dawn McVey's adorable snowflakes here and just had to recreate them.

It was hard to capture the sparkle in a photograph, but here's a closer look.  Hopefully you can see it better.  I just love this snowflake!

I kept my card pretty simple.  The card base is Hibiscus Burst stamped with some wintery words in VersaMark ink.  It looks like a watermark.  I added random dots of Frosted Lace Stickles to mimic falling snowflakes.  I embossed the sentiment in white on a strip of Smokey Shadow cardstock and matted it with white.  Then I just glued my sparkly snowflake in place!

Stamps:  Snowfall, Snowfall Additions (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  Hibiscus Burst, Smokey Shadow, White (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  VersaMark
Misc:  Frosted Lace Stickles; white embossing powder (Filigree); matte shrink plastic (Grafix); Crystal fine glitter (Martha Stewart); Glossy Accents (Ranger)


Stamp-a-Faire: Gallon Quart Pint

The principle behind this challenge was to use three colors in measured amounts for balance.  I used Spring Moss for my gallon, Pure Poppy for my quart, and Ripe Avocado for my pint.  Since I was pressed for time and needed inspiration, I case'd Ashley Cannon Newell, one of the design team members.  (her card is here)  I also got the inspiration for my flowers from another challenge participant, Luanne Ford.  (you can see her card here

White is considered a neutral for this technique, so I used it for my card base and sentiment panel.  On the Spring Moss cardstock, I stamped Background Basics: Text Style using VersaMark ink.  I really like the subtle look.

I stamped my flower and leaves using black ink, and then fussy cut around them before putting them on the card.  I love detail work like that.  (but I still want the matching dies!)  I was in quite a hurry when I glued everything down and realized too late that my sentiment was higher than I wanted.  I would fix that if I were to recreate this card.  Oh well!

Stamps:  In Bloom, Background Basics: Text Style (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  White, Spring Moss, Pure Poppy, Ripe Avocado
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento); VersaMark 

Stamp-a-Faire: Mixing Mists

My daughter Emily and I tried this challenge with mixed results.  (pun intended)  lol  I only own two Papertrey Ink reinkers, Scarlet Jewel and Enchanted Evening, and both mists came out really dark.  We embossed some butterfly images on white cardstock first.  When we sprayed the mists, the color really overwhelmed the stamped butterflies.

Caution - don't use clear embossing powder.  It didn't show up much at all.  Use white embossing powder!  Also, immediately blot over the embossed image after spraying to get the color off the lines.  Otherwise it will be difficult to see.  At least, that was our experience with dark reinkers.  Emily hated how hers looked so she decided not to make a card.

Since I was determined to do every challenge, I salvaged my piece by cutting it down into a strip and backing it with a narrow strip of white.  I mounted Scarlet Jewel cardstock onto a white card base and then added my misted panel.  Last step was to add my sentiment on staggered lengths of white banner flags.

Stamps:  Butterfly Kisses, Friends Til the End (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  White, Scarlet Jewel (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento); VersaMark
Misc:  Double-Ended Banner dies (Papertrey Ink); homemade spray mist using Scarlet Jewel reinker (Papertrey Ink),, white embossing powder (Filigree)

Stamp-a-Faire: Rolled Dough Designs

This was a fun challege!  I loved all the neat tutorials by the design team.  Emily and I used Delight Paperclay, colored it with reinkers, and added glitter to sparkle it up.  Once it was dry, we cut it with metal dies.

My card base is Vintage Cream stamped with text in Dark Chocolate ink that had been stamped off first.  I also sponged around the edges.  I stacked my paperclay hearts on a Dark Chocolate cardstock strip and added one paperclay button that was stamped/sponged and tied with brown thread.  I stamped my sentiment in the lower right corner and it was a happy accident that the tiny paperclay heart was the perfect size for it!

Here's a couple close-up shots so you can see the glitter in the hearts.  It's also easier to see the distressing on the Dark Chocolate strip edges.

My daughter Emily wanted to do flowers, so she stamped her leaves in Simply Chartreuse ink and added button centers.  It turned out pretty cute!

Stamps:  Background Basics: Text Style, 2010 Love Tags (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  Vintage Cream, Dark Chocolate (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Dark Chocolate (Papertrey Ink)
Dies:  Heart Prints, Buttoned Up #1 (Papertrey Ink)
Misc:  Delight Paperclay, Scarlet Jewel reinker (Papertrey Ink); Crystal fine glitter, distresser tool

Stamps:  Turning a New Leaf, Boutique Borders: Birthday (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  Soft Stone, Spring Rain (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Simply Chartreuse, Smokey Shadow (Papertrey Ink)
Dies:  Beautiful Blooms II #1 (Papertrey Ink)
Misc:  Soft Stone buttons (Papertrey Ink)

Stamp-a-Faire: Sprinkle of Salt Challenge

This technique didn't work out very well for me.  I think it needs some more experimentation.  However, since I'm trying to get all these cards done and posted on time, I went ahead and used it.

I used Enchanted Evening reinker to watercolor my white panel.  While wet, I sprinkled it with sea salt and let it dry.  It needed a little something so I added black brads in the corners.  Then I simply adhered it to an Enchanted Evening card base.  Pretty simple card!

Stamps:  Think Big Favorites #5 (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  White, Enchanted Evening (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Misc:  black brads (Making Memories

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Stamp-a-Faire: Limited Ingredients Challenge

I've got another card for Stamp-a-Faire over at Papertrey Ink.  This one is for the Limited Ingredients challenge.  Emily decided not to do it since she thought it was "boring", but I found it interesting to create my own design using a set list of supplies.

I started my cutting my 1-inch strip of Soft Stone cardstock, as per the instructions.  After looking at my colors for inspiration, I punched a circle from each color of cardstock and started playing with placement.  I liked how the strip looked on top of the circles.

The white card base was too blank, so I stamped an open polka dot background using Smokey Shadow ink.  Then I took a tiny dot included in the Polka Dot Basics set and randomly used the three colors of ink inside the circles.  Let me tell you, random isn't easy for this gal!  :)

I needed to add my sentiment somehow (and cover a mistake - lol), so I punched three more color circles, cutting them into three wedges and piecing them to create a narrow border behind another white circle.  Then I stamped my sentiment in Smokey Shadow ink on top.

Watching a challenge video from the glitter challenge gave me the idea to add glitter lines to my Soft Stone strip.   I used two widths of Scor-Tape, making it quick and easy.  It adds lots of sparkle.  For a finishing touch, I added glitter to the border around the sentiment as well.

Stamps:  Polka Dot Basics, Tag-Its #10  (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  White, Soft Stone, Melon Berry, Aqua Mist, Harvest Gold (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Melon Berry, Aqua Mist, Harvest Gold, Smokey Shadow (Papertrey Ink)
Misc:  1-3/4" circle punch (EK Success); Crystal fine glitter (Martha Stewart); 1/8" and 1/4" Scor-Tape

Stamp-a-Faire: Scent-sational Cards

Emily couldn't wait to try this one.  We used a strawberry Kool-Aid packet to make our own custom scented embossing powder.  It turned out much darker than we expected so instead of stamping strawberries, we stamped grapes and raspberries.

We chose Scarlet Jewel ink because the color blended well with our embossing powder.  It makes a great, dark rich color for the berries!  These little 3x3 cards were quick and easy to make.  (well, unless you are super picky and try several times to get the placement and masking just right)  lol

I added my sentiment in the corner and then traced lines with a black Pigma pen to frame it out.  Love the result!  Emily had finished her card and gone to bed by then.  When she saw mine this morning, she really liked the lines but decided she didn't want to add them herself.  She's a get-it-done-and-move-on kind of girl!   :)

We also made some Watermelon-scented embossing powder, but discovered that I don't have any bold watermelon stamps.  Shock!  I'll be adding the Fruit Fusion: Melon set to my next order for sure.  lol  This was a fun technique!

Stamps:  Fruitful, Floral Frenzy (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  White, Scarlet Jewel (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Scarlet Jewel, Pinefeather (Papertrey Ink); Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Misc:  black Micron Pigma .01 pen, homemade scented embossing powder

PTI Fast Food Blog Hop Challenge

Unbelievable.  I've missed several Papertrey Ink blog hops this year, mainly due to lack of mojo once I got in my studio. (usually at the last minute)  This time, I got it done AHEAD of time.  Almost a week early.  There is hope, folks.
This month's blog hop challenge is a color and sketch combo called Fast Food with six different choices.  I was immediately drawn to this simple sketch and yummy color combo with a gorgeous layer cake.  Who wouldn't love a slice of this?

Doesn't that look divine?  Super easy sketch too!  I knew exactly what I was going to do.  In fact, I ended up making two cards.

I simply took each color, die cut a strip using the Double-Ended Banner die, stacked them on my card like the sketch, and then stamped my sentiment.  I decided it needed a little something extra, so I stamped a large flourish in VersaMark across the strips.  So quick!

Once I finished my first card, I saw the extra banners lying on my desk (the die cuts two sizes) and decided to make another one, but this time off-setting the strips enough to leave the banner edge.  I love how it looks! 

There was a Make-It-Monday video sometime ago on glittered buttons and I've wanted to try it ever since.  This card was the perfect excuse!  I searched through my stash to find similar buttons in each color.  Not an easy task.  I got pretty close though.  I covered the top with liquid glue and then covered them in crystal fine glitter. 

So deliciously blingy!  They are the frosting on the cake.  :)  lol  Letting those dry was the only part that took some time.  I added them to their matching strip of paper in a stack.  (like the cake, naturally)  Then I just stamped my sentiment and called it done.

These cards were quite easy and very fun to make.  Glad I could participate in the blog hop this month.  If you want to see more, check it out here.

Stamps:  Boutique Borders: Birthday, Fancy Flourishes, Boutique Borders: Thanks (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  White, Hibisicus Burst, Summer Sunrise, Harvest Gold, Spring Rain, Aqua Mist (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento); VersaMark
Dies: Double-Ended Banners (Papertrey Ink)
Buttons:  Hibiscus Burst, Summer Sunrise, Harvest Gold, Spring Rain, Aqua Mist (Papertrey Ink)
Misc:  Crystal fine glitter (Martha Stewart)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Stamp-a-Faire: Staining Techniques

For the tea staining challenge, there were several staining techniques demonstrated.  (found here)  Emily immediately chose the Kool-Aid technique, of course!  This project took most of the afternoon since the Kool-Aid butterflies and various laces needed to dry.  I also tea-stained some muslin to use later.

We mixed up three Kool-Aid dye baths for our projects - Cherry, Grape, and Peach Mango.   Then we gathered up some various laces from my sewing stash and also diecut some butterflies from watercolor paper.  (which I had to run out and buy - note to self, do not go shopping on the Saturday before school starts - the traffic and crowds were not fun)  We clear-embossed images on the watercolor paper before putting them in the dye.  It made a cool resist effect!

Here's the results of our experimenting.  They look so pretty!

Unfortunately, the wide flat lace didn't take the color very well.  We dyed it in the Peach Mango bath, but the pretty yellow-orange color faded as it dried.  It does have touches of color, but it's difficult to see in the photo.  I love the scallop lace the best.  Such a pretty pink color!

I used three of the pinkish-yellow butterflies on my card, along with some swirly flight trails from the Happy Trails stamp set.  I also added some polka dots by stamping off first so they would be a bit more muted.  In hindsight, I wish I had used black for the sentiment, but either way, I still really like the card.  The colors are so cheerful!

Emily layered some of the lavender and yellow butterflies for her card.  She stamped the grid background using Smokey Shadow ink, as well as her sentiment.  Then she added a piece of dyed lace to finish it off.  Cute!

We definitely had a lot of fun doing the Kool-Aid staining.  We also got our cards made for the scented embossing powder challenge, but won't be able to take pictures of them until tomorrow.  Too dark outside now.  Look for that post in the morning!   :)

Stamps:  Butterfly Kisses, Butterfly Dreams, Happy Trails, Polka Dot Basics (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  White, Berry Sorbet (Papertrey Ink); watercolor
Ink:  Berry Sorbet, Smokey Shadow (Papertrey Ink); VersaMark
Misc:  Butterfly Kisses die (Papertrey Ink); clear embossing powder, Kool-Aid

Stamps:  Butterfly Dreams, Polka Dot Basics (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  Lavender Moon, White (Papertrey Ink); watercolor
Ink:  Smokey Shadow (Papertrey Ink); VersaMark
Misc:  Heart-2-Heart #10 dies (Papertrey Ink); clear embossing powder, lace 

Stamp-a-Faire: Breakfast Bake & Take

Good morning!  Well actually, good afternoon!  It took me most of the morning to come up with this design.  The first challenge for today's Stamp-a-Faire is a color and sketch combination.  Six choices for each.  Pick one color combo and one sketch.  Seems easy enough.  NOT!  Did anyone else find the color combos difficult?  I really struggled getting it to work.  After trying several of them, this is the color combo I finally used.
It has two neutral colors, which gave me a better chance at getting this card done so I can move on to the other challenges.  lol  Must be the perfectionist in me.  I like doing things in order!  I picked a different sketch originally, but then decided on this fun sketch instead.
I love the circles!  Once I figured out what I was doing, it was quick to punch all the circles out.  Playing with the arrangement took the most time.  For the sentiment, I embossed a vellum strip with a fun dot pattern and then stamped the sentiment at the bottom.  I love how it turned out!

What do you think?  It would totally work for a masculine card.

Emily is not nearly as indecisive as me.  She picked her color combo and sketch immediately.  lol  I helped her cut out the pieces, gave her a few suggestions, and then let her do it on her own.

She's been done for quite a while and has been asking for the past hour if we could please start the Kool-Aid dye challenge.  lol  Good thing she has siblings to distract her.   :D

Stamps:  Inside & Out: Thank You (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  Ocean Tides, Autumn Rose, Canyon Clay, Smokey Shadow, Soft Stone, vellum (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Misc:  Dot Matrix embossing folder (Sizzix); 1/2" circle punch, 7/8" circle punch (EK Success)

Stamps:  Polka Dot Basics, Spiral Bouquet (Papertrey Ink)
Paper:  Winter Wisteria, Limeade Ice, Hawaiian Shores, Aqua Mist, Smokey Shadow (Papertrey Ink)
Ink:  Winter Wisteria, Aqua Mist, Smokey Shadow (Papertrey Ink)
Misc:  Beautiful Blooms II #2 (Papertrey Ink)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Stamp-a-Faire: Friday Night Meet & Greet

It's Stamp-a-Faire Eve!  My daughter Emily and I have been looking forward to this for the past month.  Since I don't have many stamping buddies here, we decided to make it a mother-daughter all day date.  We've got our supplies and we're ready to stamp!

We're from beautiful North Carolina.  Beautiful and wet.  It has been the mildest and wettest summer ever.  Hopefully the sun will stay out for Stamp-a-Faire tomorrow so we can take pictures of our projects to share here on my blog.  :)

We are just a tad bit silly too.  It's going to be a fun day.  Rumor has it that Reese's Pieces and dark chocolate M&M's will be involved.  Oh, and Pop-Tarts for breakfast.  I am officially the cool mom.  lol

Be sure to stop by the blog often this weekend.  Our goal is to participate in every single challenge.  Ambitious, that's us!  I also have a post scheduled on Sunday morning for the monthly Papertrey Ink blog hop.

We can't wait to see everyone's projects!  Uh oh.  It just started raining again.  Okay, pouring.  Enter song cue:  "The sun'll come out tomorrow.  Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sun."  Either way, we'll make our own sunshine.  Bye!!

Time's fun when you're having flies

I'm just popping on to share a card for the ColorQ #203 challenge.  I love the colors and the inspiration picture really jumped out at me.

I immediately thought of two Stampin' Up sets I own, Paradise and Hoppy For You, one for the bold graphic leaves and the other for the frogs.  I first stamped three frogs in Lucky Limeade and then added several leaf images in the other colors.  Then I took circle images from both Simply Circles and Itty Bitty Backgrounds to fill in the blank areas, obviously inspired by the bag in the picture.

I sponged some Early Espresso ink around the edges after rounding two of the corners, and then distressed the left edge to add some texture.  I stamped my sentiment on the Lucky Limeade flag banner, layered it offset on an Early Espresso banner, and added it to my panel.  I stitched along the left edge using indigo blue thread I found in my sewing stash.  Originally, I planned on using dark brown, but couldn't find it.  I really like how the indigo thread looks anyway!

I adhered my stamped panel to a Lucky Limeade card base, again inspired by the picture.  For a last touch, I added Star Dust Stickles to the fly wings.  It gives them a little iridescent sparkle!

If you want to see more inspiration using these colors, check out the ColorQ challenge here.

Stamps:  Paradise, Hoppy For You, Simply Circles, Itty Bitty Backgrounds (Stampin' Up)
Paper:  White (Papertrey Ink); Lucky Limeade, Early Espresso (Stampin' Up)
Ink:  Island Indigo, Pacific Point, Lucky Limeade, Early Espresso (Stampin' Up)
Misc:  Fishtail Flags STAX dies (My Favorite Things); Star Dust Stickles, thread