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Friday, February 29, 2008

You Spin Me Round (Like the Easter Bunny, Baby...)

A double challenge card today using the Sketch Challenge at SCS and the "Ways to Use It" challenge which was to let music inspire you (hence the somewhat lame song title for the card...) :-) I had such fun with my little elephant from "Happy Heart Day". I knew I'd be able to use him for something other than Valentine's Day! I think he has great ambitions for Easter this year, don't you? He's obviously been practicing... :-) I went to town with my Color Spritzer to get a real Easter egg feel to my white background, using Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Pretty in Pink, and Opulent Orchid all over. The eggs (which I stamped twice, top and bottom, to form a circle) are from Tags So Much (retired) and dabbed with sparkly American Craft markers from A.C. Moore.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Who doesn't like to Double Dip?

Sale-A-Bration is still going on strong (I've got way too many cute stamp sets to prove it {grin}!), and from March 1 through March 17 you can double dip -- enjoy free stamps from the Sale-A-Bration catalog with every $50 in products plus order exclusive new stamps, hardware, rub-ons, glitter, ribbon and notecards from the spring Occasions Mini Collection 2008. Fewer calories, more drippingly-delicious stamping!! :-)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

SCS Color Challenge Card

This beautiful color combination challenge of Basic Black, Whisper White, and River Rock was neat to play around with. I created a kickstand card using the sentiment from my Sale-A-Bration "Friendship Blooms" set and my beautiful "Always" heart. Two sets of Designer Prints -- Brocade Backgrounds and Holiday Harmony -- have River Rock tone-on-tone designs which added intricacy to my backgrounds without any stamping. A wraparound of black grosgrain ribbon and a few silver brads add a touch of elegance to the card. It's hard to see in my photo but I re-stamped the floral image from inside the heart over my sentiment to add a bit of depth to it. The nice thing about mixing two different Designer Prints papers together is that it also fits the SCS Technique Lovers Challenge.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Another productive day...

I love what delicate coloring using a sponge can give to a flower -- it's amazing how something so simple can give such depth. This is the flower from "Embrace Life" and the sentiment is from "Artfully Asian". I combined Bashful Blue, So Saffron and Groovy Guava in various spots throughout the card. I used Ginger Blossom designer paper along with the Bashful Blue Prints DP that is in the Prints Pack hostess gift (yay free stuff!!) Once again I'm loving the silver Hodgepodge Hardware -- this sweet slide works wonderfully with my taffeta ribbon. It's a little hard to see in my photo but I Versamarked the dragonfly from another hostess set ("Infinite Goodness") and added Dazzlin' Diamonds glitter to it.

Some of you may be thinking "wow, she's made a ton of cards lately!". Next weekend I'm participating in a fundraiser for a local shelter for mentally challenged adults and am hoping to sell lots of my cards there. Well, you gotta have the product to make the sale, right?! So I'll be busily putting my "StampMom" logo and Stampin' Up! Angel stamp on all my cards before next Saturday's event at The ARC of Central Virginia. If you want to stop, I'll be there from 9 until 2. Come say "hi!" :-)

That's one sparkly fish alright!

This card was inspired by one that Cambria Turnbow did on her blog with the Fine Cosmo Stampin Glitter and "Flowers for You" designer paper. I had both of those at my Inspiration Station and wanted to try my hand at using the new glitter (which I promptly got all over my workspace -- note to self: do not use glitter in children's workshops...) so I thought to myself, "Self, what sparkles? Fish!" I promptly got out my retired "Fishy Friends" supercute stamp set and got to work. I definitely need to practice my glitter & glue technique, this isn't fully filled. After I sponged my shimmery white cardstock with Tempting Turquoise & Certainly Celery, I stamped my fish with Staz-On Black and dotted my 2-Way Glue, adding glitter in 3 separate sessions to avoid mixing too much of it together. I sprayed the image lightly with some glossy acrylic sealer to avoid getting *more* glitter everywhere. I think this would make a wonderful good luck-type of card to someone before a big event (school play, prom, graduation, etc.).

Monday, February 25, 2008

Fun with Rub-ons!

Did you know you can put Stampin' Up! rub-ons directly on Twill Tape? Really easy, inexpensive, and adds a different twist to your projects. For this card, I used the hostess stamp "From the Garden" (which will be perfect for Easter cards) with Old Olive ink stamped on Blush Blossom card stock. I'm stamp-challenged when it comes to using the larger stamps but my brayer makes it easy to get a full and consistently-inked image. I ran the edges of my stamp pad along the sides of the pink cardstock to add a little definition. Two creamy half-pearls from my Pretties Kit add a simple luster to the twill, which is adhered to Old Olive Designer Prints paper on top of Regal Rose cardstock. My Old Olive rub-on is from the "Love & Happiness" set in the Sale-a-Bration catalog. I like the curvy look that the Slit Punch gives when threading ribbon over and under.

Easter Inspiration Station

Once again in an attempt to maintain organization in my sea of stamping chaos, I've created an inspiration station filled with stamps, embellishments, paper and tools that I want to keep "front and center" as I work on upcoming holiday cards, in this case Easter. I'll be doing a children's workshop to create Easter cards in March so I need to focus on clean, simple designs for that (not too much of that Tombow glue, LOL!) as well as some cards for a technique class I'm kicking around in my head (embossing, anyone?). So I've got my new papers (Berry Bliss, Spring Silhouettes, and Flowers for You), my Pretties and Flower Fusion kits, my Love & Happiness rub-ons, my Build-a-Brad kit and other SU! brads and buttons, my Fine Cosmo Stampin' Glitter, a plethora of stamps (spring flowers, eggs and a little bunny), and an egg-shaped cutting system from Creative Memories. Now I'm ready for the Easter muse to strike with creativity and productivity! :-)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wild Butterflies

Playing around with combining some more challenges -- Jen del Muro's sketch challenge and Julie Buhler's color challenge -- while experimenting with my new silver Hodgepodge Hardware and "Live Your Dreams" stamp set, both from the upcoming "Occasions" catalog.
The color concoction combines Wild Wasabi, Bordering Blue and Pumpkin Pie. I started with a base of Very Vanilla and sponged the edges with Wild Wasabi and Pumpkin Pie. The rectangles are Wild Wasabi Prints from the Prints Pack hostess set (on the left) and Spring Silhouettes DP (on the right), adhered to a background of textured Pumpkin Pie cs (from the Fall 2007 Creative License Simply Scrappin' hostess set -- thanks Lauren!) The multi-petaled flower is simply four layers of the 5-Petal Flower Punch, made from Bordering Blue & Wild Wasabi cs and two different patterns from the retired Porcelain Prints DP, with a silver brad from the Hodgepodge Hardware kit. Two leftover snippets of Wild Wasabi ribbon peek out from both sides of my horizontal sentiment. I stamped the butterflies in Pumpkin Pie, cut them out and popped them up with SU! dimensionals.

Weekend Sketch Challenge

Over at "fresh & fun", Beate created another simple sketch to inspire creativity. I had fun using my new silver Hodgepodge Hardware (coming March 1 in the Occasions catalog!) and finally took some time to figure out how to set eyelets with my Crop-a-Dile. The butterfly is from the "Merci" stamp set in the Sale-A-Bration catalog. I'm using this set more than I had originally thought -- it's got lots of open space for watercoloring. Bashful Blue, Pretty in Pink, and Sage Shadow Wonder Crayons filled in the butterfly, and some 2-Way Glue and Dazzling Diamonds really make it pretty. The designer papers are from the Prints Pack hostess rewards set, and the matching brads are from the Soft Subtles brad pack. I stamped the flower from "Live Your Dream" (also new in the Occasions catalog) in Sage Shadow on Shimmery White paper, adding a little corner from the retired Wintergreen dp to match.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Flourishes Challenge Card

The Stamp Simply Challenge for this weekend was just to use a flourish, any flourish, in your card. Sharon always stresses that making cards can be simple and she might look at my card and say I made it too difficult *but*... it's all made from scraps. Really. The hearts (from "Always" and "Priceless" stamp sets) were already stamped and cut out, leftover from a card I never made for Valentine's Day, and the ribbons were leftover snippets. All I had to do was use the SU! "Love & Happiness" white rub-ons from the Sale-a-Bration catalog (my flourish) and adhere everything with my Snail adhesive, glue dots and SU! dimensionals. A quick snip with my corner rounder and I was good to go.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Another tantalizing Occasions card...

Ribbon and silver and rub-ons, oh my!! This card combined this week's sketch challenge and the color combo challenge on Splitcoast Stampers. I wouldn't usually use green, purple and orange together (or in SU! colors, Certainly Celery, Orchid Opulence and Pumpkin Pie) so it was fun trying to figure out how to make this wild combo pleasing to the eye. I watercolored the flower with both Pumpkin Pie and Certainly Celery to pull the card elements together.
Isn't that cute little ribbon buckle neat? It's in the new silver Hodgepodge Hardware set coming out, as is the Old Olive 1/4" twill ribbon that fits perfectly in it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Occasions Sneak Peak: Live Your Dreams

Some of you may have already received the new Occasions catalog from Stampin' Up! I was delighted when I saw what was going to be available -- silver hardware, 1/4" ribbon, new rub-ons and beautiful, compelling stamps. Being an American Lit major, I was immediately taken with the Thoreau quote in the "Live Your Dreams" set. I combined it with the deep rich tones of Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, and Always Artichoke in the "Brocade Backgrounds" designer paper. A few butterflies make their path across the card thanks to some SU! dimensionals. I sponged the edges of the sentiment with Old Olive to add further depth.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sale-A-Bration Continues until March 17th...

... and I used one of the sets ("Merci") for this card, based on a color challenge (Rose Red, Pretty in Pink and Chocolate Chip) and the Featured Stamper at Splitcoast Stampers. The designer paper is the wonderful two-sided Rose Red Prints. I colored the heart/flower image with my Wonder Crayons and blender pen -- so easy. Of course I'm becoming quite a fan of my new photo corner punch, which adds such a nice frame to any focal point I want. The card base is Whisper White but I stamped the flower on Shimmery White for a little extra oomph.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Let's Try This Again...

Thanks for the suggestions about fixing my "oops". I decided to use some adhesive ribbon that my SIL Julie gave me for Christmas. Its colors are fairly close to my original Tempting Turquoise, Cameo Coral, and Wild Wasabi. I framed my page with the tape, then layered my word window around "wonderful" from the Warm Words stamp set. Some photo corners and Pretties (colored with Coral and Wasabi with a Turquoise brad) and voila! The page as it is now:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Embrace Friendship sketch challenge card

Another weekend, another great sketch from Beate at "fresh & fun". I wanted to use the trendy light blue & brown color combo you see everywhere these days. The flower image is from "Embrace Life" and the sentiment is from "Celebrate Everything". I used my Wonder Crayons to color the flowers with Bashful Blue after stamping them in Old Olive. The blue paper in my large flower and background layer is from the Le Jardin Designer Paper pack. So Saffron DP and Close to Cocoa DP add subtle patterns throughout. My ribbon is Bashful Blue taffeta, matching the Bashful Blue brads from the Soft Subtles brad pack. I liked the look of a triple-layer made by my Word Window punch.

Can YOU save this layout???!!!

Has this ever happened to you? You're in the middle of a project, cruising' along, and something distracts you -- maybe a phone call or someone at the door, maybe a child needing help -- and the next thing you know, you're staring at your work saying "now how am I gonna fix THAT??!!" Somehow I managed to flip my "loved" stamp around and now I can't figure out the best way to fix it. Of course it's the bottom layer of my 6x6 scrapbook page. Anybody got any ideas? Maybe a piece of ribbon? Some big heart brads? I dunno... HELP!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wasabi Easter

Even though it's Valentine's Day, a cardmaker's thoughts are never far from the next holiday. I've skipped ahead to Easter with this challenge card based on Sketch Challenge #163 on Splitcoast Stampers.

I started with a 5 3/8" square base of Soft Sky, layered in Wild Wasabi cs and Spring Silhouettes designer paper. The next square is 4" of Soft Sky, with photo corners of Certainly Celery DP. the middle square is 2 1/2" of Wild Wasabi around Soft Sky DP, and the sentiment is stamped in Wild Wasabi on a 2" square of Very Vanilla. I played with my Pretties Kit to build the hatpin of crystals & pearls, and used my 5-Petal punch to create the layered flower with a pretty rhinestone (also from the Pretties Kit) in the center.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

WOW -- Special Upcoming Hostess Promotion!!

Special Upcoming Hostess Promotion
March 18 - April 30, 2008

Host a $350 workshop between March 18 and April 30, and earn an EXTRA $25 in hostess awards! You can use your additional $25 on any regular catalog or mini-catalog merchandise. I know we all love free stuff. Call or e-mail me today to book your spring workshop -- after all, Easter and Mother's Day will be here before you know it...

Spring is coming???

Some fun bright colors to play with on a dreary icy day -- two from the Bold Brights family (Green Galore and Tempting Turquoise) and Kraft Brown. These were the colors for the SCS Color Challenge this week. Gave me chance to play with some new goodies -- my Flowers for You DP, my Cutter Kit with a cool paper distressing tool, my Love & Happiness rub ons from the Sale-a-Bration catalog, and my Pretties Kit. It was super easy to color the flowers with my markers to get a true color match.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Latte Love

Another SCS challenge, this card is based on one the Featured Stamper of the week, Sarah, did. Hers had flowers, but I changed them to hearts in honor of the big Valentine's Day coming up. The heart from the "Like it a Latte" stamp set fit perfectly in my 1" circle punch, and the "strings" are actually flower stems from the Stem Silhouettes stamp set. I think I might play with it some more but it's getting late and I've got Valentine's Day kids workshops to prep for...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

So Very Sweet Challenges

Another great Weekend Sketch from Beate's "fresh & fun" blog made me dust off my "So Very" stamps tonight -- I've found there's nothing like stamping to unwind after a busy day. I found a neat color challenge created by Julie Buhler using Cameo Coral, Apricot Appeal, Certainly Celery and Ballet Blue. My spiffy Color Spritzer did a great job adding multi-colored speckles to the "So Very" background.

Baroque Valentine

This is another card for my workshop today using the Baroque Motifs stamp set. I love the flair & curves of the large background stamp in this set, especially as it echoes the swirls in the Rose Red Prints Designer Paper. I used one of my pearls from my new Pretties Kit -- I have to make sure my stampers don't raid the kit for more this afternoon. I need to hoard it for other projects this spring, LOL.

Ginger Blossom Rocket Pocket

Isn't this a neat little Valentine's Day treat holder? I found directions for it on Julie Buhler's Paper Pleasing Ideas blog. You can make 4 of them out of one piece of cardstock. She calls it a "Rocket Pocket" because she's in Canada and they apparently call Smarties "rockets" up there. Anyhoo, this is one of my workshop projects for today. Lots of fun things going here: I used my new SU! Love & Happiness rub-ons from the Sale-a-Bration catalog to put the little heart into the Build-a-Brad. The stamp set is called "Happy Heart Day" and the paper is the new Ginger Blossom Designer Paper. The base is Groovy Guava cardstock, and the ribbon is also Groovy Guava. It's hard to see in the photo but each of those little hearts in the tag have Dazzling Diamonds adhered to them with my 2-Way Glue.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Sweet One

Several of my friends are expecting babies this spring so I was delighted to see this sweet stamp in the Sale-a-Bration catalog. It's from the "So Many Scallops" set and coordinates perfectly with my Scallop Punch. I added a subtle crosshatch pattern to the base with my Versamark and "Looks Like Spring" (retired) background stamp, and used the alternate background in Barely Banana on the background behind my scallop. Don't miss the Barely Banana sponged edges of the scallop, which add a little more definition & depth. I used my 2-Way Glue Pen to adhere the Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter to the moon. The ribbon is Certainly Celery. My crescent moon brad, tucked among the stars from the retired "Stars and Swirls" stamp set, is part of my stash from Michael's.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pomegranate Love

Another great Sketch Challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers. I combined it with the Stamp Simply #20 challenge, which was to use one of your prettiest things. Well, I happen to think the heart from the "Always" stamp set is the most gorgeous stamp I own, and the satin ribbon is a close second in the "pretty" department. Here's the sketch:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Whimsical Birthday Double Challenge Card

Use staples and follow a sketch -- come up with a great birthday card for my mother-in-law. I love it when the stamping planets align!
This card follows the Sketch Challenge 161 on Splitcoast Stampers and also the Ways to Use It Challenge, which required the use of staples. The new stamp set "Birthday Whimsy" is one from the Sale-a-Bration catalog and is only available until March 17th. I used Certainly Celery, Cameo Coral, and Barely Banana as my main colors. Love the hemp twine dangling from each balloon. Think she'll like it??

Monday, February 4, 2008

To My Maine Folks

Made this card as a CASE for the Featured Stamper challenge on Splitcoast Stampers this week. It seemed appropriate, given that we almost hit 60 degrees in VA today and my parents are digging out from snow & ice up in Maine. The stamps are from "A Tree for All Seasons" and the retired "Like It a Latte". I stamped both trees in black and then just hand-colored with my markers & blender pen. I love the little redbud tree peeking out from behind the snowflake paper (which is from the Wintergeen designer paper pack).

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Beate's Weekend Challenge

If you want to improve your stamping, the fastest way is to just put ink to paper and participate in some challenges. The one I did today was Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge. She provided a terrific sketch, and I just took it from there. What do you think? Here's her sketch and my card:

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mardi Gras Uptown

Mardi Gras is early this year and our house is filled with the smells of jambalaya and gumbo. My husband loves to throw an annual Mardi Gras party and cooks for days beforehand. Tonight is finally here and we're bustling around to clean, but there's always time for stamping, right??! :-) I found this empty container that I had decorated for Christmas and decided it was ready to change holidays, so here it is done up Mardi Gras-style. The designer paper is called "Uptown" and of course I used my large and small tag punches to make the "celebrate" tag. The stamp is one of those $1 stamps from Michael's that they tempt you with as you're checking out. I knew it would come in handy for just such an occasion as this! Now to go fill it up with beads & coins. Happy Mardi Gras!!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Valentine Coaster Scrapbook

This little mini-scrapbook was made from blank chipboard coasters, cardstock, Cerise and Dashing designer papers, and the almight Crop-o-Dile which managed to make perfect holes through all of them so I could bind it with ribbon. I kept the inside pages relatively free from embellishments two reasons. First, I didn't want it to become too unwieldy, and second I wanted the person I give it to to be able to play a bit on her own once she decides which pictures and journaling will work best for her. Once again I relied on the beautiful intricacy of my "Always" heart to provide the main image