Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Dark Side

No, I'm not talking about Star Wars. I'm talking about the most recent cards I made for the SCS Dare to Get Dirty Challenges. It's rare that I make cards with dark colors, which is odd, because I'm usually wearing brown (or my second favorite color, black). When I do make cards with dark colors, it's usually in the fall or for a monumental birthday! :)

This card combined shel9999's Distressing Challenge, iris's Chipboard Challenge, and WAXYO's Vintage Challenge. En Francais background and the flourish from Baroque Motifs were stamped on the River rock card base and panel with Versamark, then I chalked over them with Close to Cocoa and Chocolate Chip Stampin' Pastels. It created a much more subtle look than stamping with ink. The edges were sponged with River Rock, Close to Cocoa, and Choc Chip Classic Inks. The Old Olive, Choc Chip, and River Rock square panels were distressed with the Cutter Kit and the edges sponged with Choc Chip ink. I covered the pieces of chipboard from On Board Accents with Brocade Background Designer Series Paper, then sanded the edges and sponged with Choc Chip. I tied the new Chocolate Chip Taffeta Ribbon around the square panels and added Vintage Brads to the corner. The chipboard was mounted with Glue Dots. I stamped the sentiment from Hugs & Wishes with Choc Chip ink. I love the way this turned out -- I think I'll be doing some of these techniques again soon!

I made this card for jacksonbelle's challenge to make a Black and Brown Card. The Chocolate Chip card base was stamped with images from Polka Dots & Petals in Basic Black ink. The card base, Au Chocolat paper, and photo corner (made with the Photo Corners Punch) were all sponged on the edges with Basic Black. The Basic Black mat around the main image is paper pierced along the bottom. The tabs were made with a 3/4" Circle Punch. I punched a hole in each with a 1/8" Handheld Punch, then tied Natural Hemp Twine through them. The bicycle image is from Creative Mode (purchased at Gina K.'s site), and the sentiment is from A Muse. It is stamped with Basic Black ink, and the edges of the panel are sponged with Close to Cocoa. I added Vintage Brads to the photo corner, and I mounted the the image panel and photo corner on dimensionals.

I wanted to make this card in honor of Team Flying Fish. Team Flying Fish rides in the MS150 Bike Tour every year since 1999. The journey began when my husband Chris's brother, Tony, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in April of 1999. Since Tony's diagnosis, the Fischer family and countless friends have been involved in fundraising efforts to find a cure. Chris and Tony were the first (and only two) members of Team Flying Fish to cross the finish line --together -- after their first MS150 in June of 1999. Since then the team has grown to almost 60 riders, and they participate in MS150 tours in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. So, to all the members of Team Flying Fish, this is for you -- may the journey be your reward, and thanks for all you do to help find a cure!

All products are from Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted.

Scrapbooking Without the Scrapbook

I am not a good scrapbooker. There, I said it. I have a Christmas album I started about three years ago. It's still not finished. It's not even halfway finished. There's something about figuring out fresh, creative layouts that's daunting to me. I realize that's what I do when I create my cards, but the canvas is a lot smaller, and I don't have to figure in the placement of the photos. I'm also not a big fan of all the journaling! So, when I saw Stampin' Up!'s new On Board Clipboards, I knew I had to try them. They're such a great way to display your photos -- the clipboards can be altered in many ways, and the photos can be changed out whenever you want!

Here is a clipboard I made to keep in my Stamping Room. You can click on the photo for a better look. It's basically a CASE of the one on page 5 of the July 2007 Stampin' Success (a publication for Stampin' Up! Demonstrators). I wanted to use my Stampin' Up! products, so I figured why reinvent the wheel (remember, I don't like creating new scrapbook layouts...). I changed things a little, but the design is essentially the same. I used the 13 x 7 1/2" triple clipboard. I started by painting the clipboard with Accent acrylic paint in Antique White (a light yellow-y beige). I added a strip of Cutie Pie Designer Series Paper, cardstock (Certainly Celery, Purely Pomegranate, and So Saffron), and ribbon. I covered some pieces of On Board Accents chipboard with more Cutie Pie paper and made the tag using the regular and small Tag Punches. I added some sentiments and images from Office Accoutrement, Warm Words, and Polka Dots & Paisley. For the final touches, I sponged around the small oval, pierced the tag, and added Soft Subtles brads. The chipboard pieces were attached to the clipboard with dimensionals so as not to interfere with the photos. I added my most recent favorite photos of the kids, and I was finished!

That's it -- easy peasy! I can change the photos seasonally or as the kids get older. I can see this being a great gift for a college graduate or a new mom. You can match the colors and papers to your room decor, or coordinate with the seasons -- there are so many possibilities!!! I encourage you to try scrapbooking without the scrapbook -- I know I'm lovin' it!!! :)

All products from Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted

Monday, July 30, 2007

Featured Stamper Challenge

On Sundays Splitcoaststampers has a Featured Stamper Challenge, where one of the SCS stampers has her/his gallery featured. The challenge is to CASE (copy) one of the cards, making a couple changes to the original. This week's FS is Lauraly (Laurie Schmidlin). I am a BIG fan of her work -- her blog link is in the list of my favorites on the right. I chose this card to CASE. I used different patterns of the BasicGrey Romani paper and SU! Almost Amethyst & Very Vanilla cardstock. The stamp sets used are Simply Said and Sincere Salutations, both SU!. Laurie used the same sets, but I chose a different sentiment. I used Pumpkin Pie and Real Red Classic ink.

I ran the paper through my Cuttlebug with the Bloom Dots A2 embossing folder (Provo Craft). I love the added dimension it gives. The ribbon is from the retired SU! Flirty Ribbon Originals. The ovals were punched out with Marvy Uchida Mega Oval & Giga Scalloped Oval Punches. I added glitter glue (Selwyn Industries) to the Romani paper and around the scallops. For the gem in the middle of the stamped flower, I couldn't find exactly what I needed -- I came across this jewel sticker in Anna's stash of art supplies! Sometimes the five-year-olds have the coolest stuff! :) The scalloped oval is mounted on Stampin' Dimensionals.

I hope I did justice to Laurie's original card -- it was a fun card to CASE! Check out her gallery -- she's an amazing stamper!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Double Challenge

I had a little time this afternoon to get another Dare to Get Dirty Challenge card done. I combined trudee's Inspiration Challenge with StamperSharon's Sketch Challenge. The background is Print Pattern stamped with So Saffron ink on the So Saffron card base. I used Petal Prints for the main image -- even though it's retired, I just CAN'T part with it! :) I stamped the flower image in So Saffron, then stamped it again in Bashful Blue for the center flowers. I stamped the outline image in Night of Navy. I sponged the panel with So Saffron, then added a little glitter glue to the blue flowers. The narrow Night of Navy panel behind the image panel is dry embossed, although you can't see it well in the photo. I used my Cuttlebug and Textile Texture A2 embossing folder. The sentiment is from Much Appreciated and is stamped in Night of Navy ink. The ribbon is from the retired Seaside Ribbon Originals. I added Soft Subtles Brads on three corners and one Rich Regals brad through the Prima flower. The main image is mounted on Stampin' Dimensionals.
I feel so fortunate that I had so much stamping time this weekend! We had an "un-busy" Saturday and Sunday around here -- that doesn't happen very often! It was fun to participate in so many Dare to Get Dirty challenges. Splitcoaststampers is such a wonderful stamping site and stamping community! I have a very supportive husband and children who allow me to find my happiness in stamping -- I'm very lucky indeed! :)
All products used are from Stampin' Up! except the flower (Prima Marketing, Inc.) and the Cuttlebug & embossing folder (Provo Craft).

Cheerful Flowers

I hardly EVER use bright colors on my cards. So, when I saw jbalcer's Dirty Dare Challenge to use a cheerful color combination, I knew it was the challenge for me! I had plenty of the retired Dots & Dashes Designer Series Paper lying around (again, because I don't use bright colors on my cards), so I used that as my springboard for the card. Flowers seemed to be the natural choice for the image and embellishments. I created a card with lots of dots, flowers and scallops -- seems pretty cheerful to me! :)

I used the Polka Dot background stamp and Pixie Pink ink on the card base. The stamped image is from Sassy Stems, and the sentiment is from Warm Words Both were stamped with Basic Black ink. The flowers were colored with a Pixie Pink Stampin' Write marker, and the vase was colored using a Blender Pen and Tempting Turquoise ink from the ink pad lid. I sponged around the Whisper White panel with Green Galore ink, and stamped over the image with Itty Bitty Backgrounds inked with Tempting Turquoise. I added eyelets for the flower centers. The scallops were made with the corner rounder punch (paper guide removed). It can be done with the Slit Punch also. Julia Stainton has a great tutorial on how to make the scallops -- she's awesome! I punched a hole in each scallop with my 1/8" handheld punch. I put it all together, mounted the white panel on Stampin' Dimensionals, and added some Prima flowers. Hopefully I can use this cheerful card to brighten someone's day! :)

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Sassy Stems, Warm Words, Polka Dot, Itty Bitty Backgrounds
Cardstock: Pixie Pink, Green Galore, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White
Design Series Paper: Dots & Dashes (retired)
Classic Ink: Basic Black, Tempting Turquoise, Green Galore, Pixie Pink
Accessories: Pixie Pink Stampin' Write Marker, Corner Rounder Punch (retired), 1/8" handheld punch, flowers (Prima Marketing, Inc.), eyelets (unknown manufacturer), Crafter's Tool Kit, Stampin' Dimensionals
Techniques: sponging, scallops

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Double Dirty Challenge

Since I'm playing "Catch Up" with the Dare to Get Dirty Challenges, I thought I'd combine two of the challenges from Friday: Cambria's Pink Challenge and Julia's Sketch Challenge. All Supplies are Stampin' Up! except for the Prima flower. I used two background stamps on the card base, "fingerwalked" lightly to give a subtle image. I sponged around the Pretty in Pink and Whisper White panels, and I distressed the panels and paper with the Cutter Kit. The flowers were colored in with a blender pen and Pretty in Pink ink from the ink pad lid: When the ink pad was closed, I squeezed the top and bottom together. When I opened the lid, there was a pool of ink left there. I dipped the tip of the blender pen into the ink and colored the flowers. I used a Rose Red Stampin' Write Marker to make the dots in the centers of the flowers. The white panel and Prima flower are mounted on Stampin' Dimensionals.

I'm off to a graduation party, so that's all the challenges for me today! :)

Stamp Sets: Simply Said, Looks Like Spring, En Francais background, Linen background
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, Rose Red, Whisper White
Designer Series Paper: Petals & Paisleys
Classic Ink: Regal Rose, Rose Red, Pretty in Pink
Accessories: Blender Pen, Rich Regals Brads, Soft Subtles Brads, Cutter Kit, Stampin' Dimensionals, Stamping Sponge, Rose Red marker, Prima flower
Techniques: distressing, sponging, fingerwalking

Another Dirty Challenge

I haven't had as much time to do the SCS Dirty Challenges as I'd hoped. Anna was sick all day Thursday, and yesterday we were preparing for Kyle to have about 15 friends over -- all soon-to-be high school freshmen (eek!). Anyway, I'm catching up on my stamping today! Here's the card I made for Beate's Sketch Challenge from Thursday. It's a great sketch -- simple but full of possibilities! All supplies used are Stampin' Up!. I decided to play with the new Cutie Pie Designer Series Paper, and I pulled my colors from there. I used the Sanded background stamp -- again -- and this time I used it on the card base and on the designer paper. Actually, one of the reasons I HAD to have this stamp is to use it on patterned paper. You can easily achieve a shabby look, similar to that of the BasicGrey papers, simply by stamping over it with your choice of coordinating ink.

The first photo shows what the Cutie Pie paper looked like before I stamped over it. The second shows the paper after stamping over it with the Sanded background and White Craft ink. The difference is subtle, but it "ages" the paper just a bit. Click on the photos for a better look.

Now for the rest of the card! I stamped the sentiment from Happy Everything in Purely Pomegranate and Certainly Celery Classic Inks. I pierced the top and bottom of the white panel, matted it on So Saffron and Purely Pomegranate cardstock, and attached to the card with Stampin' Dimensionals. I punched a flower from another piece of the Cutie Pie paper using the 1" Circle Punch, then layered it on Bashful Blue punched with the 1 1/4" Circle Punch. I added a Rich Regals Brad and Purely Pomegranate Double Stitched grosgrain, then I mounted it on Dimensionals. I added a row of Soft Subtles Brads to finish it off!

Quick Tip: Use the Paper Piercer and Piercing Template to get perfectly positioned brads or eyelets.

I had fun making this card -- hopefully I'll have more Dirty Dare cards to share later! :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Walk in the Garden

I wanted to share some photos I took of the garden this week. I just love how it looks in late summer -- so many things are full and blooming, and the bees and butterflies are very busy! The first photo is of the Coneflowers & Purple Salvia along the deck ramp, and the second is of the Black-eyed Susans and Russian Sage next to the goldfish pond. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dare to Get Dirty...

...with the Dirty Dozen Design Team from Splitcoaststampers, that is! This week SCS is celebrating the 3-year anniversary of the FanClub! Fan Club members support the SCS site financially with dues each year, and in return get to view a members only gallery created by the Dirty Dozen! The DD is issuing four challenges each day this week -- for Fan Club members only! I was able to participate in two of them today before heading off to Megan's Diving Championships (where she placed 4th out of 16 and received a cool trophy!).

Stamp Sets: Baroque Motifs, Fine Lace background
Cardstock: Basic Black, Purely Pomegranate, Whisper White

Classic Ink: Basic Black, Purely Pomegranate Craft Ink: White
Accessories: Vintage Brads, Ticket Corner Punch, Purely Pomegranate double stitched grosgrain ribbon,stampin' dimensionals
Technique: sponging, rock n roll
Stamp Sets: Polka Dots & Paisley, Polka Dots & Petals
Cardstock: Regal Rose, So Saffron, Whisper White
Designer Series Paper: Petals & Paisleys
Classic Ink: Regal Rose, Rose Red, Tempting Turquoise, Old Olive
Craft Ink: White
Accessories: Rich Regals brads, Paper Piercer, Mat Pack, 1 1/4 in and 1 3/8 in Circle Punches, Stampin' Dimensionals
Technique: paper piercing
Here are the two cards I created -- the first for texasjodylynn's challenge to use brads on your cards, and the second for genie1314's sketch challenge. Actually, I used a lot of brads on both cards! :) All products are Stampin' Up!. For the first card, I used the Baroque Motifs set. I stamped the sentiment with Versamark, then I heat embossed it with Black Detail Embossing Powder. The medallion image was first inked with Purely Pomegranate ink, then rock n rolled in Basic Black. I sponged the edges in Purely Pomegranate, punched the corners with a Ticket Corner Punch, added brads and ribbon, and mounted on dimensionals.The second card is pretty straightforward. I followed Jen's sketch and made a 5 1/4 in square card. I pulled my colors from the Petals and Paisleys paper I used. I used Polka Dots & Paisley and Polka Dots & Petals stamp sets. I added some brads and some piercing in the corner of the main panel, and mounted the main panel on Stampin' Dimensionals.

This week promises to be a fun one with more challenges -- hopefully I can do some every day! Stop by the Splitcoaststampers Dare to Get Dirty '07 gallery and see what the Fan Club is up to! :)

Keep Your Fingers Crossed...

I'm pretty excited -- Last week I was contacted by the managing editor of Take Ten magazine. She had seen my cards at Splitcoaststampers, and she asked if I would be interested in submitting cards for possible publication! Well... YES! So, I worked this week on creating a set of ten cards to submit -- all with the same color combination, designer paper, stamp set, and technique (paper piercing). The cards in Take Ten are ones that can be done in about 10 minutes, yet still look nice. Hopefully the ones I'm submitting are what they're looking for! Keep your fingers crossed -- I'll let you know if I'm accepted!!

I had some images and scraps left over when I was finished with the set, so I made one more card -- a little more detailed than the ones I'm submitting, but with the same colors, stamps, and paper. All products are Stampin' Up!. I used two new background stamps, Sanded and En Francais, and inked them with So Saffron. Here's what I did for the stamped images on the main panel: one flower image was inked with Bashful Blue and rock n rolled in Always Artichoke before stamping. The other image was inked in So Saffron and rock n rolled in Bashful Blue before stamping. The largest image in the foreground was inked in Always Artichoke for a solid silhouette. I pierced the Always Artichoke panel, added Rich Regals brads and the new Very Vanilla taffeta ribbon (love it!), punched the corners of the main panel and mat with the ticket corner punch, and attached the panel with Stampin' Dimensionals.


Cardstock: So Saffron, Always Artichoke, Bashful Blue, Very Vanilla

Paper: Le Jardin 12x12 Designer Series Paper

Classic Ink: Always Artichoke, So Saffron, Bashful Blue

Stamps: Garden Silhouettes (hostess set), Sincere Salutations, Sanded, En Francais

Accessories: Paper Piercer, Mat Pack, Rich Regals brads, Very Vanilla 3/8 in Taffeta Ribbon, Ticket Corner Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals

Technique: Paper Piercing

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Color Challenge Card

Here's a card I made today for the Splitcoaststampers Color Challenge. I love doing the weekly challenges at SCS, because they really make me stretch my creativity! I haven't had much of a chance to stamp for fun this week, so this was a perfect opportunity! I used the sketch from Jen del Muro and some scraps of BasicGrey Perhaps paper, and it came together pretty easily! I got to use some of my new Stampin' Up! products, too! I stamped the new Sanded background stamp on the Pretty in Pink card base with Regal Rose ink. The flower image from Garden Silhouettes was also stamped with Regal Rose, and the sentiment from Hugs & Wishes was stamped with Old Olive. I used my paper piercer, piercing template, and Old Olive Stampin' Write marker to make the faux stitching. I added a couple Soft Subtles (Pretty in Pink) brads to the main panel, then attached it to the card with Stampin' Dimensionals. Pretty quick and easy, but I like how it turned out! :)

I'm officially a Blogger!!

Well, I've officially entered the world of blogging! This is something I've been thinking about and wanting to do for quite a while. My "hobby" of rubber stamping has grown into a passion. That, and my warm-weather passion, gardening, have been what keep me sane in an otherwise crazy life. With a very busy husband and four active children, I needed desperately to carve out some "me-time" so I could recharge. I've been a wife for 17 years and a mother for almost 15 years, and sometimes I forget to take a little time for myself. I decided to focus on kicking my stamping up a notch (or two), and I hope that by blogging and connecting to the other artists and bloggers who inspire me, I can achieve that goal. So, here it is: my journey as a wife, mother, and aspiring paper crafter!