Saturday, May 31, 2014

Oh Happy Day!

Happy Saturday Everyone!

We have plans to do something besides gardening today, since Jon is finally NOT on call this weekend, so before I get caught up in our exploring plans, I will post this fun layout to my blog.  We will be making this at my next scrapbooking class on June 13th.  Come on over and create with us if you like!

These pictures were of my son's 3rd birthday.  He was hugely into fire trucks at that time, and his Nana had gotten him a special fire truck outfit for the occasion.  AND, I had tried my hand at making a fire truck cake.  Jon did a great job of capturing his three year old sheer excitement on camera!  I just LOVE the focal pic of him clapping his hands and that grin lighting up his whole face!  Next week my cute little boy turns nine!  He is quickly turning into a handsome young man.  Wow where has the time gone.....

I got the idea for this layout from a sketch I saw from a CTMH layout on Pinterest.  That layout was very elegant and beautiful, but I wanted to go a different direction with my layout and use primary colors and bold imagery as I thought it suited these 100% boy pictures.  The white panels you see on the layout, are stamped in Real Red ink with an image from the "Starburst Sayings" stamp set.  I then used a scrunched up pc of Saran Wrap to add some textured color in Crumb Cake ink around the bold red images.  The beauty of this layout is that you can change the stamps used on those background panels and change the entire look of this layout -- for example, the lovely flourish stamp from either the Everything Eleanor or Flowering Flourishes stamp sets, would look lovely stamped randomly over the panel.  Then, instead of the bold embellishments on the lower right corner of the right hand page, add some stamped/punched flowers or a die cut flower and a die cut flourish.  And, instead of using the bold "Happy Day" title (also from the Starburst Saying stamp set and cut with the coordinating framelits) use a more elegant die cut stamped with a more elegant title.  Other products used on this card:  Regals DSP paper stack, Brights DSP paper stack, two sheets of Whisper White 8 1/2 x 11" card stock, Sahara Sand 12x12 card stock, Daffodil Delight stitched grosgrain ribbon, Regals and Brights candy dots, and Real Red photo matts and journalling strips.  To make that interesting Sunburst variation of DSP on the left hand page, start by cutting a 12x12 pc of designer paper into 8 x 12".  I then cut the paper in pie shaped strips -- not measuring accurately -- cause it's okay if your strips aren't all the exact same size.  Cut 2 each of six different designer paper colors. You then arrange them on your layout the way you want them to look -- starting with the two center strips and working out from there like a fan.  In the center where the strips meet, it will appear kind of messy where all the strip points converge.  Being careful not to cut too much, lay your title pc over the points and then trim those messy ends underneath where the title is going to go -- it will cover your messy ends quite nicely. :)  That's really all there is to this layout!

Happy Day to each of you! and remember! tomorrow is the last day to order from the Occasions Catalog, so if there are treasures in there you want, get em now.  Monday, June 2nd is the first day to order from the NEW CATALOG! and June 4th is the last day to order from the current catalog, so there is a little crossover there where you can order from BOTH!  There are also still some great treasure in the retired products blowout sale as well as the Clearance Rack -- so hop onto my website and check them out.

Monday, May 26, 2014

New Catalog Sneak Peeks!

Hello Everyone!  How has your long weekend been?  We (my hubby and I) have been finishing planting the garden, our blueberry patch, flowers, and yard work.  My shoulders are sunburned and now I'm ready for a break from the sun today! :)  So,.... what better thing to do than post to my blog? Oh, and maybe clean my messy house, too! but that can wait...

Ok, on to the cards!  I've been really enjoying playing with some of my pre-order goodies.   These cards that I'm featuring in this post, are ones we are going to make at my upcoming New Catalog Open House on June 29th.  This is a FREE event where you can come, eat chocolate, drink wine (if you wish), make three free projects --featuring brand new, hot off the press SU products -- shop the new catalog and my retiring table full of discounted retired stamp sets and accessories.

This first card features the Blendabilities markers again -- the Pumpkin Pie set.  These are new alcohol based markers that come in sets of three shades of the same color.  You can learn more about the techniques for coloring with these in this post.  For this card, I inked up just a portion of the Poppies background stamp and stamped it on a 2" by 4 1/4" panel and then used my scalloped tag topper punch to punch the top.  I used the Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, and Old Olive markers to color the flowers.  You can make this card easier by just doing the "spotlighting technique" where you stamp the poppies a second time on a scrap of Whisper White card stock and color the poppy in, then punch it out with the 1 1/4" round punch, layered on a 1 3/8" Mossy Meadow circle -- then put dimensionals on the back and line your spotlighted circle up with the stamped image on the tag.  Less coloring in this version.   Check out the new In Colors in this card -- Tangelo Twist and Mossy Meadow (a distant relative of Always Artichoke, but a much nicer version, in my opinion).  The designer paper used at the bottom of the card is from a new paper stack called "Moonlight".  Of course, I used the honeycomb embossing folder to emboss the Tangelo Twist panel.  Other products used on this card: (retired) Summer Starfruit stitched statin ribbon, Pumpkin Pie chevron ribbon, scalloped tag topper punch, large oval punch, scalloped oval punch, and the dotted scallop ribbon border punch.

This next card features the new In Color -- Blackberry Bliss.  This is a dark, but vibrant purple -- really quite close to the color of blackberries.  I LOVE this new color.  It is simply gorgeous in real life.  This is a super simple card, but I love it none-the-less.  I stamped the flourish image from the "Everything Eleanor" stamp set in Pear Pizzazz ink and the sentiment (from "Million and One" stamp set) in Memento Black ink.  I then used a brand new punch pack called "Itty Bitty Accents Punch pack".  It's a set of three punches -- one is this cute little four petaled flower, that looks kind of like a dogwood flower to me, a cute little star, and a small heart.  Definitely a must have -- this little set of punches.  I punched the flowers out of Pink Pirouette card stock, used my piercing mat and a stylus to  squish the flower centers in just a little to add dimension, and a little pearl in the flower centers.  I also gently sponged the tips of the petals with Blackberry Bliss ink.  The ribbon you see on the left hand side of this card, is the Blackberry Bliss stitched satin ribbon.  LOVE this ribbon -- ties so easily and a lovely result.  It's hard to see in the photos, but there is a little paper piercing in the corners of this card as well.

This final card, is another guy card.  I've been trying to incorporate at least one masculine card into every class I do, because we all need cards for the guys, too, right? :)  New products we're using here are the new In Colors -- Lost Lagoon (a lovely new blue), and Hello Honey -- truly a lovely honey colored yellow.  I used the starburst sayings stamp set and their matching framelits set.  This is available as a 15% off bundle for $38.95, and it is carrying over to the new catalog.  At first this stamp set and framelit set didn't seem like my style, but the more I have used it, the more I am really loving it.  The saw tooth looking edges have a really fun look in real life.  Also featured in this card: the "Moonlight" paper stack again, Itty Bitty punch pack accessories (the star punch), stylish stripes embossing folder (that returned from the last Holiday Catalog), the new Lost Lagoon stitched satin ribbon, and Hello Honey, Lost Lagoon ink and Regals and Neutrals candy dots.  Nothing fancy about this card, but still fun for the boys in your life.

Enjoy the last of your long weekend, and may we pause to reflect on the true meaning of this holiday!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Easel cards -- second attempt!

Happy Saturday morning!  Before the day gets crazily underway, I wanted to post my second easel card attempts.  This card features the soon to be gone "Happy Watercolor" stamp set from the Occasions catalog which expires June 1st.  So,... if you need this beautiful set :), get her now!

On the first card below, we used the Cherry Cobbler Blendabilities markers (wonderful new alcohol markers coming out in the new catalog) to color the poppy in.  The club ladies loved these new markers and were surprised at how easily they colored this gorgeous poppy.  The easel card was created by scoring an 11 x 4 1/4" black card base at 5 1/2 and 9".  I then took a 2 x 4 1/4" strip of white card stock, used the wide scallop framelit to cut the edge, then used the coordinating embossing folder from the "delicate designs" pack to emboss the scalloped pattern.  We then used a brayer to add  Cherry Cobbler ink to the embossed design -- "brayered embossing" technique.  Colors used in this first card are: Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive, and Whisper White card stock.  The Labels Framelits were used to create the graduated die cuts.

For this second card, I was showing the ladies how you could create an abstract kind of look just using stamps from this stamp set.  The set contains a brush stroke looking stamp -- that when stamped looks like a brush was swiped across the paper.  It's a look that you kind of have to get used to -- if you tend to always think inside the box, the abstract look might throw you off.  Interestingly, one gal at my class really liked the look and made her card this way, while the others colored their poppy.  Goes to show you, different strokes for different folks!  We don't all see art in exactly the same way, which is what makes life interesting, right? :)  For this card, we used Strawberry Slush card stock and ink rather than Cherry Cobbler.  Also shown here, is the soon to retire Strawberry Slush ruffle stretch trim.  Beautiful feminine ribbon that I'm sorry to see go!

There is a big Blowout sale going on right now -- select retiring products are 25-50% off while supplies last!  Whoo Hoooo!  To see what's on sale, click the shop button on my website, pull up the retiring list, and scroll on down looking for the red numbers which indicate the items on sale.  Gotta love a sale! :)

Ok! off to plant my flowers!  Happy Memorial Day weekend, Everyone!  May you have a few creative moments to yourself!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Father's Day Silhouette

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

Here is a quick card to share with you from my last Stampers' hostess club last Sunday.  This stamp set, Serene Silhouettes, is one of my all time favorites.  The tree can create a cool African safari type look, like I did on this brayered sky card or just a simple sponging effect like this one, and the branch with the birds on it makes an awesome Christmas card -- with the branch sticking out of a glittery snow bank.  Yep! versatile set that I reach for over and over.  AND it's carrying over to the new catalog, so it will still be available for purchase.

I have had a request to make my club cards a little less complicated, so I tried my bestest to do that this time around.  This card looks hard and has a lot of layers, but is actually pretty easy.  I stamped the Island Indigo panel in Island Indigo ink with the Hardwood background stamp -- from the Occasions catalog.  Then, I stamped the tree in Early Espresso ink on Very Vanilla card stock.  I punched out a circle from a  sticky note with my 1 1/4" circle punch, and placed the circle where I wanted the "moon" to appear.  I then sponged the panel with Island Indigo ink at the top and Old Olive ink at the bottom.  Some linen thread wrapped around and some of the Naturals wood buttons and ta da! and nice little masculine card for you that you could use for any occasion.

Colors used in this card: Early Espresso, Old Olive, Island Indigo and Very Vanilla card stock.  Inks: Old Olive, Island Indigo,  and Early Espresso.  The dimensions for the card stock: Early Espresso -- 5 1/2 x 8 1/2", Old Olive -- 4 1/8 x 5 3/8" and 3 3/4 x 2 1/2", Island Indigo -- 4 x 5 1/4", Very Vanilla -- 3 1/2 x 2 1/4 and 4 x 5 1/4".  There are a lot of layers to this card, but I felt they were all needed to tie it together beautifully.  And, after all, it's a stampers techniques club card, so it needs to be amazing, right? :)

The new catalog is right on the horizon!  It goes live June 2nd -- and the last day to order from the current catalog, is June 4th, so there is a little crossover of the two where you can order from both for a couple of days.  I am planning a New Catalog Open House in late June, so stay tuned for those juicy details coming up.  I have created some super cute samples using the brand new In Colors and some new stamps and accessories.  There will be great food, great stamping, a bunch of discounted retired products to shop, and BEST OF ALL!, this is a FREE class.  So round up some crafty friends and plan to attend!  Date to be determined very soon.

Have a fantastic day, everyone!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My new crafty BFF!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

I have something very exciting to share with you today.  SU has come out with their own alcohol markers, called Blendabilities,  in SU colors, of course!  These are like a SU version of the artsy, expensive Copics markers. I have been wanting these for years, because the deep, rich colors you can create with them are incomparable to other coloring techniques.  I took a class on using the Copics markers several years ago, and honestly wasn't that thrilled with what I colored, AND the HUGE selection of Copics colors left me feeling overwhelmed with which colors to blend together to produce the results I was wanting.  So, here is where I am thrilled with the SU solution: these markers come in a set of three for $11.95 -- they are three shades of the same color -- so there is NO guess work involved as to which one to use for your lightest, medium, and darkest color.   AND they are less expensive than their Copic relatives.  For best results, use the Memento Black ink pad (a new, non-smearing fabulous black ink pad that SU will be selling in the new catalo) to stamp your image with that you are going to color with the Blendabilities.  Also, Whisper White card stock works well as your card stock.

When you use these markers, you want to work with a couple of petals at a time -- start by coloring with your darkest marker first.  Here I worked from the tips of the petals in.  Next, use your medium colored marker and color in little circles incorporating the darkest color into your medium color.  Lastly use your lightest color and blend that one into your medium color.  You want to complete your blending while the inks are still a little wet for best results.  I've read that some people color the whole petal with their lightest color and work backwards from there, but I found that starting with the darkest color first worked best for me.  Also, you will want to get the color lifter marker -- this one lets you remove some color where you've colored outside the lines or where you want to create shading.  Notice on the flower featured below how wherever the petal is folded over, I made that part lighter to create a more realistic result.

These markers will be available for customer purchase hopefully within the next couple of months.  They are featured in the new catalog coming out on June 2nd, but won't be available to customers right away due to a production issue, apparently.  BUT, I couldn't wait to show them to you, so here you are!  And I'm no pro colorer -- and yet I still love what I made on my first few attempts.  I can officially say I am IN LOVE with these new markers!  I've heard it said that coloring helps release seratonins in your brain, so I think I'll be good to go for the next year or so in that department!

 These first ones were done using the Pumpkin Pie, Cherry Cobbler and Daffodil Delight marker sets as well as a brand new single stamp that will be available in the new catalog called Blended Bloom.  It is a great little stamp to practice coloring with.

This card featured below is done using the Rich Razzleberry and Daffodil Delight marker sets.  Also featured on this card are three new In Colors! -- Blackberry Bliss (a gorgeous new rich purple), Hello Honey -- a lovely shade of yellow, and Mossy Meadow -- a new green that is a relative of Always Artichoke, but a much prettier green in my opinion.  I also used some of the new Blackberry Bliss stitched satin ribbon.  Lovely ribbon that ties effortlessly.

One last card to share.  These are done with the Coastal Cabana set of markers, and it was the first flower I colored.  You can see that I didn't do as good of a job of blending the markers as you can see the lines between the darkest to lightest colors.  There is a bit of a learning curve with these babies, but once you practice a bit, you will be thrilled with what you create!

Did I mention I LOVE these new markers????  "Fabulous is what they are!"  I will be featuring them at my upcoming class this Sunday, May 18th at 1:00 if you would like to stop by and give them a whirl, as well as my New Catalog Open house happening in late June.

As for current specials, there are new weekly deals that just went on sale yesterday and go through next Tuesday -- the Tasteful Trim die (which is retiring) is on sale this week for 25% off.  I have used this die a ton -- for card making and scrap booking, too.  So grab it while you can!  If you want to put it in with the order I'm placing this week, email me or call me.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Happy Friday, Everyone -- AND Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  I have the utmost respect for our teachers -- in my opinion, they have the hardest job of all, and I truly appreciate their commitment to their students.  I am involved in the PTO for my son's school, and headed up the teacher appreciation gifties again this year.  I planned a simpler batch of gifts this time, so it wouldn't be so very time consuming for the "faithful five" who I knew would show up to help me make them.:)

This first one is made with my new favorite tool -- the scalloped tag topper punch from the Occasions catalog.  Simply cut a strip of card stock 8 1/2 by a hair less than 2" -- score it appropriately to accommodate the treat of your choice, then punch each end and tie it up into an easy peezy treat holder that looks like it took much more time than it actually did!  A VERY great idea when you're cranking out 75 of them.  We gave out gifts on Mon, Wed and Friday this week.  This was the Monday gift.  A free coffee was the Wed gift, and a darling little pansy pot was the Friday gift.

We made the star ones for the guy teachers, and the little rolled flower ones for the girl teachers.  I used the Gorgeous Grunge stamp set to stamp the backgrounds for the boy ones -- such a great versatile set for so many applications, and used my favorite flourish stamp from the Everything Eleanor stamp set for the girl gifties.  Of course, I used a bunch of my retiring stash of card stock and DSP  and ribbon for these, as well.

For our Friday gift, we gave out these little flower pots.  Our good PlantLand friends provided the lovely pansies at a reduced cost to put in the little clay pots.  I cut the four packs apart and put a little single pansy into each clay pot.  My wonderful crafty friend, Leah, spent an entire evening cutting out all these little flags and hot glueing them to skewers to stick into the pots.  This stamp is from a new set in the Occasions catalog, Starburst Sayings -- that coordinates with the Starbust framelits.  I helped deliver all of these little flowers this morning and it was priceless to see the smiles on so many faces!

To all you teachers out there: Happy Teacher Appreciation week!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

My first Easel card

Good Saturday Morning to you!!!  I have been wanting to try making an easel card for a while, and the hostess for my next stampers club requested to make one, so I decided to showcase the new set, "Happy Watercolor" from the Occasions catalog.  This beautiful set is NOT carrying over to the new catalog coming out in June. Sniff!! :( Boo!!! I love it -- because it has a poppy in it, of course... :)   So,... if you want this lovely set, better snatch it up before it's gone!  Anyways, on with the cards.  I'm actually not completely satisfied with the end result of this card, but was trying to keep the card a little less involved to make -- something I'm, Ahem..., not very good at.

The techniques I was showing on these cards, besides the easel card, is how to use markers to color, then stamp your image, and then use an aqua painter to carefully blend the stamped image in to make it look watercolored, without adding any extra ink.  You want to make sure your aqua painter tip isn't too wet, or the image gets destroyed -- so blotting it on a paper towel worked pretty well.  I think this poppy looks better stamped in black and watercolored the more traditional way, but was trying to show something different.  In addition, I was showing the brayered embossing technique -- here I embossed the 2 x 4 1/4" white strip at the bottom of the front of the card with the Delicate Designs folder, then used a brayer and cherry cobbler ink to brayer over the embossing, making the ink stick just to my embossed design.

To make the card base for the easel card, I started with a 4 1/4" by 11" strip of card stock.  I scored it at 5 1/2 and 9".  You fold the card in half on the 5 1/2" mark, and then you attach your card front just to that 2" strip at the bottom front of the card -- below that 9" fold line.  To make the card stand up, attach a sentiment to the inside of the card up on dimensions, so you have a little "ledge" for the card front to stick behind.  You can, of course, make a much more involved easel card using many other die cuts, etc, but this was designed to show how to do it in a more simplified way.

Products used on this card: Cherry Cobbler, Garden Green, Rose Red, and Whisper White card stock, Delicate Designs embossing folders, small oval, and scalloped oval punches, Gumball Green stitched satin ribbon, Window box framelits, brayer, and two way glue pen with Dazzling Diamonds glitter.

The second card below features another stamp from this set -- which looks like a Larkspur flower to me, or perhaps a Delphinium.  Whatever the case, it is so pretty.  I colored it with Elegant Eggplant and Garden Green markers and then stamped it and blended a little with my aqua painter, then added a touch of yellow to the centers of the flowers and added some Dazzling Details sparkle glue to the centers.  So elegant and pretty!

Now for a wee spoiler about the new catalog!.....  I have seen it online (just another awesome perk to being a SU demonstrator), and I love so many of the new stamps and accessories in it!  One new accessory that I am SUPER excited about are the new Blendabilities markers -- they are an alcohol based marker that is kind of like a SU version of Copic markers -- you know, the super expensive artsy, fartsy markers that you can spend a fortune on, take classes on to get "Copic certified" etc.  I actually went to a Copics class once, and didn't feel like I loved the results of what I made enough to justify the cost of purchasing all those markers -- AND the huge range of colors to choose from was overwhelming.  And here is where I can see a huge advantage with these SU ones -- they come as sets of three (for $11.95) -- three shades of the same color! so there is no guess work as to which marker to choose for your lighter shade to darkest shade.  I have pre-ordered these babies, and CANNOT WAIT to get them and show them to you!  If you like to color at all, then these will be your new best friends.  The new catalog goes live on June 2nd.  I will be doing a New Catalog open house in late June, where I will be selling off a bunch of my retired stamps and accessories, as well as showing off the brand new, amazing catalog.  Can you tell I'm excited about it? :)  There is an amazing peacock stamp in it that will be awesome to color with my new markers..... You're gonna want to be there, I'm telling you!

Oh yes!  One more great thing that's coming -- a Memento black ink pad.  It is a non-smearing, perfect stamping, black ink pad.  For those of you who have purchased a SU basic black ink pad and had issues with how it stamps, try this new Memento black ink pad.  I can't believe the difference.

Ok! off to enjoy the day with my family!