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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Nice Warm Latte for You

For those of you enduring frigid temps, a bit of warm coziness. I love this retired latte stamp set and used it to create a card for local college students to make at my workshop tonight. College = Coffee, if I recall correctly! :-) A card base of Close to Cocoa is warmed up by So Saffron. I used black as an accent color because the College's school colors are black & yellow. Earth Elements Ink spots used are Close to Cocoa, Creamy Caramel, and Chocolate Chip, with a little Real Red peppermint stick.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Kindred Dragonflies

I love the gallery of this week's featured stamper on SCS -- gave me a chance to use my beautiful dragonfly stamp from the hostess set "Infinite Goodness" again. This design is a great way to use up those little leftover snippets of ribbon we all have lying around. The sentiment is from "So Many Sayings", a hostess set from this fall. It's difficult to see in my picture but I used Versamark to stamp the flower from "Infinite Goodness" all over the Blush Blossom cardstock.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dragonfly on Maine Blueberries

Sunday's are a great time to mosey around and see what bloggers are up to. I decided to play around with a sketch at "My Time, My Creations, My Stampendence" and am really pleased with how it turned out. This has a real woodsy feel to it, specifically evoked by my summers spent on a blueberry-lined lake in Maine. I watercolored the little dragonfly with Old Olive & Vintage Violet, then added Dazzling Diamonds & popped him up with SU! Dimensionals. The berries are colored with a blender pen, picking up Vintage Violet & Old Olive directly from the ink pads. The paper is Brocade Backgrounds, Old Olive and Chocolate Chip.

New Lazy Stamper T-Shirt Design

What do you think? Kinda funky & cute, eh? My hubby and I worked on this design the other night and it's available online along with all our other fun stamping items -- bags, coffee mugs, magnets, bumper stickers. Take a look!

A few more challenges under my belt...

I haven't used this bird from my new "Always" stamp set and really wanted to find a sentiment that specifically referred to birds. I found this one and printed it out on Whisper White cs. It says "To love a person is to learn their song and sing it to them when they have forgotten." This card uses the colors from the SCS color challenge (Real Red, Blue Bayou, & Soft Sky) and is based on Jen Del Muro's Saturday sketch from i{heart} to stamp shown here:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Perfect Pear Weekend Challenge

Just fitting in a little card making between weekend errands and Sudafed-induced naps. Splitcoast Stampers diva Beate has her Weekend Sketch Challenge on her "fresh & fun" blog and I decided to tackle my scrap pile to create an anniversary card for my in-laws. The sentiment I printed out on my computer reads: "You two make the perfect pear." It's corny, but so are they. :-) I think this Infinite Goodness hostess stamp set is so pretty and versatile.
Here's the sketch and my take on it:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Star Love Note

This was another card from yesterday's workshop, using the new Star Punch and sweet little 3x3" Soft Sky Love Notes. I used the swirl from the "Priceless" stamp set for the background, the strips are done in Blue Bayou and Wild Wasabi, and the stars are from the pack of Rose Red DP. They also look really nice using Soft Sky DP for a more tone-on-tone look. The star brad was from my embellishment stash. The torn paper edge was done especially to meet the Stamp Simply Challenge #18 on Sharon's No Time to Stamp blog.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

SALE-A-BRATION is Coming Soon!

SALE-A-BRATION is Stampin' Up!s annual customer appreciation sale and runs from February 1st through March 17th this year. Special stamp sets offered exclusively during this promotion will never be offered again. Here's how it works:

CUSTOMERS: For every $50 in Stampin' Up! purchases, you get to select an exclusive Sale-A-Bration (SAB) set FREE! There is no limit. You will earn your choice of a Sale-A-Bration stamp set for every $50 you order.

HOSTESSES: When you hold a workshop with at least $300 in sales, you get to select an SAB set FREE! This is in addition to the regular great hostess benefits you receive. Hosting a workshop during this time frame usually creates higher sales (everybody wants to get their free stamp sets!), which means the hostess (you!) gets more free stuff too.

DEMONSTRATORS: Anyone who joins Stampin' Up! as a demonstrator during SAB can choose any stamp set from the Spring/Summer catalog - a value up to $47.95.

If you want to host an SAB workshop in February or March, contact me soon! It's the perfect time to make Valentine's Day and Easter cards, spring wedding & baby cards, or just a few thank you notes to keep on hand.

Asian Flowers for You

This card was inspired by Sharon Johnson's darling giraffe card on her blog. I stamped the Artfully Asian apple blossom branch in Staz-On black ink on shimmery white paper (love that stuff!) and then watercolored the flowers (Regal Rose) & leaves (Always Artichoke) with my handy dandy Blender Pens.
I finally got the Photo Corners Punch and I can see how easy it would be to get addicted to adding them to everything, LOL. The flowered paper is from the designer paper pack "Flowers for You" and other colors used are Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Pretty in Pink, and Regal Rose.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy Heart Day

We'll be making this card with the new Happy Heart Day stamp set tomorrow at my SIL's workshop. I adore the Ginger Blossom DP in the new catalog and I also wanted to feature the new felt flowers. The card base is Groovy Guava. The little mousie was stamped in black, colored with my Going Gray marker and I colored his clothes using blender pens and Groovy Guava, Ruby Red, and Cameo Coral. I added a little felt flower with a Ruby Red brad over the stamped flower in the heart. I wrapped a little Groovy Guava double stitched ribbon on the right to add interest.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Happy Snow Day!

No stamping today, just enjoying a little snow day, a rarity in Virginia. Even Dad got to stay home to help the boys build this friendly snowman. I knew there was a reason I kept those Thanksgiving gourds lying around on the front porch -- they make a great nose! :-)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bali Breeze Sketch Challenge

Made this card for the sketch challenge that Jen Del Muro did at her blog "i {heart} 2 stamp". It's a sweet little card, only a 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch square, but I like the way it makes the small flower from Bali Breeze designer paper really seem voluminous. This is the sketch if you want to take a crack at it:

Ways to Improve Your Cards

If you're like me, lists become an important key to functioning optimally once you hit a certain, ahem, age... Whether it's a "to do" list for the day, the week, or winter vacation, I need something tangible to continually jog my memory. Of course some things get delayed or completely deleted from the list, but it's a good starting point. Teasing out this idea a bit, I developed this basic "to do" list to keep handy when creating cards. It may be helpful to you, too!

Ways to improve your cards. Have you…

• Layered your cardstock and/or added Designer Paper?

• Altered your edges and/or larger pieces (tearing, sponging, piercing, stippling, folding, crimping)?

• Stamped a background with ink or Versamark using an individual image, wheel or brayering a large background stamp?

• Used punches for large layered shapes, tags, words, corners, borders?

• Colored your images (markers, Blender Pens, Stampin' Pastels)?

• Cut out your image for layering or 3-D affect?

• Masked your images to add additional stamped images or sponging?

• Embossed your images?

• Used markers, paper piercer or white pen to add borders & highlights (3-D effect, faux stitching, dots & squiggles, doodles, etc.)?

• Added embellishments (flowers, glitter, brads, buttons, ribbon, hemp, etc.)?

• Stamped your envelope to match the card?

Always My Valentine

This is the Make 'n Take I had at my Spring/Summer 07 Catalog Open House last night. I love this heart stamp in the new "Always" stamp set -- I almost feel like I'm cheating at Art 101 when I use it, it's so beautifully detailed. The paper is from the retired "Dashing" DP -- I'd lost track of it in all the Christmassy red & green paper from that pack, LOL. I used my Mat Pack to precisely align my silver brads, and my corner punch to nick out each corner. The "love you" sentiment comes from the "Short & Sweet" stamp set.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Delightful Challenge

Beate has another Weekend Sketch Challenge over on her "fresh & fun" blog and I thought I'd play along. I wanted to use up some of my random paper stash, and I had a pretty Provo Craft plum floral paper from Michael's that I used to select my SU! colors of Pale Plum and Perfect Plum. The card is a 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inch square, folded at the top. The sweet flower stamp is from Delight in Life (retired), as is the swirl. I stamped in black on Perfect Plum for the dark flower, and hand-tinted the lighter flower with Watercolor Wonder crayons in Pale Plum. The swirl was stamped with Versamark to heighten interest along the edges.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Tall & Skinny (the card, silly, not me!)

Another fun challenge over at No Time to Stamp -- make a tall and thin card. I love the lean look of it, works great with the Celebrate Life stamp set. Still using my beautiful Porcelain Prints DP with the Blue Bayou and Brushed Silver cardstock. The flower is from Garden Silhouettes, colored with Always Artichoke & Rose Red markers.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Bali Breeze Friendship

This card was for Splitcoast Stampers Featured Stamper challenge, based on Nancy Riley's beautiful card gallery. I chose to case this pretty card and switched out the paper and images. The vibrant colors of the new Bali Breeze DP from the Spring/Summer catalog work perfectly with a card base of Taken with Teal, and are accented by Pumpkin Pie ribbon. I stamped the small bloom from Baroque Motifs in Versamark to form the background on the card. The berries are from the Infinite Goodness hostess set and were hand tinted with Watercolor Wonder Crayons in Rose Red and Old Olive.

Just a Few Naptime Cards

My 3 year old actually took a nap this afternoon -- woohoo! -- so I got some uninterrupted stamping time.

My first card uses the retired Like It a Latte stamps and is a case of this beauty done by Julesiana on SCS. I used Close to Cocoa Prints DP and Soft Sky Prints DP and cardstock. The cute steamin' cup of Joe is popped up with SU! dimensionals.

For this sweet Valentine's Day card, I used my new brayer to cover my En Francais "big momma" stamp with Purely Pomegranate ink for the background and sponged around the edges to give it some depth. The heart is from "Sketch It" which, I'm sad to say, is also retired... sigh... The bottom panel is from my Holiday Harmony DP stash, and I wrapped it all in Purely Pomegranate satin ribbon. The silver heart brads were in my stash, I think I got them at Target last year(?).

Valentine's Day Inspiration Station!

I have seen this idea on several blogs and it sounded like a fantastic way to organize all my "stuff" in a thematic, less-chaotic way. So this is my Valentine's Day Inspiration Station, a basket full of all the goodies I want to play with to make my Valentine's Day cards & 3-D projects. The paper is the new Ginger Blossom DP, Cerise DP, and Rose Red Prints DP, plus some silver cardstock to play around with.

The stamp sets I plan to dip into for images & sentiments are: Baroque Motifs, Embrace Life, All Holidays, Wonderful Words, Warm Words, Artfully Asian, En Francais, So Very (retired), and Sketch It (retired). And of course I've got my stash of ribbon & other embellishments tucked into the basket as well, all within easy reach of my stamping area. This might be something for you to try as well! Next month, I'll replace my love stuff with springy St. Patrick's Day and Easter goodies.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Triple-Play Wild Embrace

Well, I'm nothing if not a multi-tasker (like every mom I know!) so I combined 3 challenges to create this pretty card. The Color Challenge was to combine Wild Wasabi, Barely Banana and Blue Bayou. The Limited Supplies challenge was to create a card without using any variations of white or vanilla cardstock. And last but not least, the Stamp Simply challenge at No Time To Stamp was to create a long and low card to fit inside a business-sized envelope. Phew! That's a long list. :-) But I think I succeeded. What do you think? Besides the colored cardstock I mentioned, I also used Porcelain Prints Designer Paper. The scalloped square is a Marvy punch I got at A.C. Moore -- love that store!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

SC158, Kick Stand Sunflower Card

Another fun morning spent creating a challenge card, this time from Splitcoast Stampers. The challenge was to create a kick stand card, so this was a new technique for me. I wanted to use my Serene Sunflower stamps, and I chose the colors of yellow and black because they, along with the sunflower, are the school colors & traditional emblem for Randolph College. I'll be doing some cards with their students later this month, so this came along at the perfect time. Here's the sketch and here's my take on it. The DP is Uptown and the other colors are So Saffron, Basic Grey and Basic Black. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge

One of my New Year's resolutions is to participate in more challenges using sketches, color combinations, scraps, etc. I know it will help me beef up my stamping skills and keep my mind limber as well. So with that in mind, I tackled Beate's Weekend Challenge today. Beate is an amazing stamper & huge contributor to the Splitcoast Stampers community. Here is her sketch for this weekend:

And here is my take on it:

What do you think? The cute elephant is from Year After Year.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Splitcoast Stampers Challenge #157

I'm having fun with my pear stamp from Infinite Goodness (hostess set for Spring/Summer) and the sentiment I printed from my computer: "You two make the perfect pear..." It's a terrible pun, I know, but somehow the pretty pear image tones it down and just makes it sweet.

The base is Wild Wasabi textured cardstock, with Porcelain Prints DP. I stamped the pear in Creamy Caramel and then sponged it with Creamy Caramel, So Saffron, and More Mustard. It's popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals. I used my Mat Pack to help with evenly spacing the brads, which I totally cannot do on my own. A snippet of River Rock ribbon picks up the muted colors of the pear.

More Silhouette

Still using up my Holiday Harmony DP & Purely Pomegranate satin ribbon, and of course I hadn't cleaned up my desk from my previous Garden Silhouette card, so everything sort of fell together on this one. I like the challenge of using leftover scraps -- keeps the neurons firing on all 4 cylinders, right?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Uptown Garden Silhouette

I spend lots of time every day visiting people's stamping blogs as I continue to learn new design tips and techniques. I found a beautiful card using Garden Silhouettes on Thinking Inking and just had to use it as a template for my own thank you note. I used my Uptown designer paper to add to the color scheme, playing off the So Saffron and Certainly Celery that had already been used.

I got to try a new technique with this one. I don't have a Certainly Celery ink pad but I have a Watercolor Wonder crayon in the same color, so I colored my image, spritzed it lightly with water and then stamped. Awesome! But then I decided my flower looked a bit stark, so I used my Color Spritzer to spritz a bit of so Saffron on the background. Much better. Thanks for looking!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Purely Pomegranate Present

When I saw this design on Splitcoast Stampers by spadagirl74, I saw an opportunity to use my stash of Purely Pomegranate satin ribbon and Purely Holiday DP. The present image is from Year After Year. I really like the style of the drawings in this versatile set, very fresh and contemporary with a bit of whimsy, and I foresee using it for so many things: birthdays, thank yous, baby showers, graduation, weddings, Valentine's, Halloween & Thanksgiving, Christmas... truly a very flexible set. I stamped the swirl from "Season of Joy" in Versamark for the background on the upper part, and the sentiment is from "Fall Whimsy".

Le Jardin Thank You

God bless "Star Wars" -- it's allowing me a bit of time to make thank you cards. This one uses Le Jardin DP over So Saffron cardstock, with the large flower image from "Embrace Life". Some Very Vanilla 5/8" grosgrain ribbon and a brad in the center of the flower adds a dainty touch.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Embrace Life Thank You

This is my favorite thank you note thus far -- I managed to make it while my hubby and kids were out of town visiting his distant relatives. Sometimes an empty house is absolutely necessary for mental sanity, wouldn't you agree? Anyhow, this card utilizes the new Embrace Life stamp set from the Spring/Summer catalog. Cutting out images is time consuming for me, but it always ends up adding extra "oomph" to a card. The "thank you" is from the All Holidays stamp set.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

SU!s Valentine's Day Bundle

Stampin' Up! has a neat limited time offer (only until January 31st) to help you get the jump on celebrating Valentine's Day with friends and loved ones. The Valentine's Day Bundle includes not only the cute "Happy Heart Day" stamp set but also 2 rolls of wide grosgrain ribbon in Real Red and Regal Rose, plus cellophane bags that make it perfect for teacher gifts, classroom treats, Valentine's Day cards, and thank you gifts/treats.

Also just a quick reminder that during January only, when you reach $350 in sales at a workshop, you'll not only receive your regular free merchandise, but you can choose a set from our preview brochure valued up to $29.95! Contact me ASAP if you want to schedule a workshop this month.

Christmas Thank You Notes

I've been diligently working on my thank you notes for all the fabulous gifts I received for Christmas. Does anybody else hate to actually send their cards off to somebody else after all their hard work?? LOL. I love love LOVE the new Embrace Life stamp set from the Spring/Summer catalog and the way it works perfectly with the Ginger Blossom designer paper. I can tell I'm gonna have lots of fun with these! BTW, I have the new catalog available now for anyone who wants it. And of course you can get it for free simply by hosting a workshop. Valentines' Day and Easter will be upon us quicker than you can say "Let's Make a Card!"