Friday, March 30, 2007

Bargain Alert!

I know there are fellow font fiends out there, so thought I'd give everyone a heads-up that Scrap-N-Fonts is having their big $1 sale through 4/16. They have a huge selection, including many from CK. Oh, and lots of fun doodles, too (hint: increase the size, print them off and use them in your cardmaking) Best of all? No waiting for new goodies (and no shipping fees!!) as you download it right to your PC. Check it out! I know there are tons of freebie sites out there - and I have many of those installed as well - but sometimes it's nice to have a complete, well-designed font, KWIM?

Ooh, and check out these card starters, as well as the cute samples (just click on the links under "Ideas Using This Font")

Paper Bag Book

I know I haven't posted anything in awhile - lots going on here and I haven't had time to stamp. I thought I'd post pics of the Paper Bag Album I made for my daughter earlier this year, though. I'd been wanting to make one of these for quite some time, and I must admit it was a lot of fun! I deliberately kept this one small and quite simple, but you could get so much more creative with the pockets, pullouts, etc. Here's the completed book:

And the pull outs (inserted into the open bag ends; there's additional journaling on the back):

Tags that go into the pockets (made from the bag bottoms), and again there's more space for journaling on the backs:

And now for some specifics...

I made this book with only two bags (remember, I said I wanted to keep it simple!) I just folded them in half, added a teeny bit of glue down the fold, and then laid them together, the bottom one (which was the outside) with the open end on the left and the second one with the open end on the right. Hope that makes sense! I then folded them together and glued a bit of patterned paper along folded edge. I only glued it on the front, then pierced three holes, strengthened it with some mini brads, then once I fanned out the back of the brads I glued down the remainder of the paper spine on the back. The patterned paper is somewhere between copy paper and cardstock in weight; sturdy enough but not overly heavy. I used PVA glue for everything as I wanted a strong but flexible hold. I let that dry for about half an hour, then folded back each page along the paper spine so that the pages turn easily. After the creases were made, I used more PVA (with a toothpick), cramming it into the center between each page for added strength.

Some of the text was computer generated; I printed it out on regular paper, then once I was happy with it, I'd tape down my "real" paper right over the sample and run it back through the printer. Every thing else is from SU (much of it from the Winter Mini or Sell-A-Bration): Small Sayings and So Very stamp sets; On Board Simon Lower chipboard alphabet; Loves Me paper; Flirty ribbon; Sweet Nothings accents and elements; chocolate chip, close to cocoa, pretty in pink and cool caribbean cardstock; ticket corner punch; pewter hodgepodge hardware; soft subtles brads; markers and inks.

I promise to be back with more eye candy next week!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

In everything give thanks

Another card for our MOPS childcare providers, and I used the cuttlebug embossing folders again, too. This time I started out with Elegant Eggplant cardstock, embossed it with the "Textile" folder, and then went over it with my Brilliance Galaxy Gold pad. I sometimes wish that the color was a truer gold, but the soft brassy tone was just perfect for this project. Next I pulled out my Happy Harmony stamp set (SAB freebie). I inked the flowers with the Elegant Eggplant, but stamped off twice before the final impression. I added the verse - one I needed to be reminded of this evening - in Basic Black, then punched it out with my mega scalloped circle punch. I layered a bit of narrow cream organdy ribbon before layering it with basic black and then finally onto the Ivory Naturals cardstock. Another simple creation - but definitely elegant.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Happy spring!!

One of my downline came over last evening and we had a ball just playing around. I needed to make some more cards for those wonderful ladies who provide childcare during our MOPS meetings, and since it was the first day of spring, I felt the need for some bright, happy colors. After much goofing off, this is what emerged: I first stamped the card base with the Linen background, then ran it through the Big Shot with the "Stylized Flowers" cuttlebug embossing folder. I considered highlighting the design by rubbing some additional ink over it, but ended up keeping it simple. I stamped the flower from Easy Elegance once, then again without reinking, layered with a simple mat, then added the sentiment. Simple, but very pretty!

"How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it." - George Elliston

Monday, March 19, 2007

Eureka! It's autumn...

Yes, I am fully aware that the first day of spring is just days away, but several of us from the Eureka Stamps board decided to create some fall cards to submit to Stampington's Take Ten magazine: fall themed with traditional colors, including burgundy. I don't know whether they'll be chosen, but I did enjoy making them. This was my first card: I simply stamped the cornstalk image onto a Fabriano notecard, then colored it in with an aquapainter and some ink pads. I did brush over the stalks with Twinkling H2Os just to add a bit of shimmer. Tied on a ribbon and that's all, folks!

These next two cards featuring the "Tree Losing Leaves" took a bit more time and I love the results. (Side note: these also use the stamps that were created from my handwriting!) On the "greetings" card, I very carefully inked the tree, as I didn't want the entire image. I then finished it off with BasicGrey paper, fibers, and a metal button from K&Co. The transition card, though, is my favorite; it's 5x7, which is larger than I generally make, but I had to accommodate the immense tree. I colored it in with a variety of Twinkling H2Os to capture the rich tones of the season, then accented it with some Chatterbox paper, a hardware frame and a bit of ribbon and copper cord, and we're all done! They took quite a bit longer than ten minutes, but the guidelines for the publication are that the card could be recreated in that time frame, so hopefully I'm good...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Face the Music...

I got into stamping because I consider it pure bliss to ink up a slab of rubber, and watch it magically transform a piece of paper. Since becoming a demonstrator, I must admit that the "joy" factor has waned a bit, as I try to showcase the latest products and design projects based on my customers' preferences. I am now making it a point to sit down occasionally and just play... There are always plenty of opportunities for RAKs - and I certainly couldn't send something to a friend in plain old card-free envelope! I wasn't able to stamp yesterday as I had planned (muttering about the ice storm under my breath), but I did take some time this evening to make this one card. Definitely a departure from my usual - I think I'll refer to it as "collage lite." The patterned paper is from MAMBI (scrappy chic collection), and I dug through my embellishment box to add the black patterned mulberry paper (scrap of unknown origin), Prima flower, copper dragonfly brad, and May Arts ribbon. The sentiment stamp is from Stamp Francisco, and the woman is by Inkadinkado (Dawn Houser). Yep, stamping is still a whole lot of fun!!

Oh Baby!

I can't even tell you how many pregnant people I know right now. I started working on some long-overdue congratulatory cards last week, and even managed to cut into some new BasicGrey paper (gasp!) I had some credit with an online store and was not-so-patiently waiting for them to get the new collections in, and now have them in my possession. OK, so now on to the card details. The pregnant lady and the sentiment are both from the $1 bin at Michael's - can't beat that price! I stamped the lady on Sahara Sand cardstock, then colored with markers and carefully cut her out. The card base is Almost Amethyst, and it's topped with Celery grosgrain. The paper is from the BG Phoebe collection, and I accented the sentiment with a little heart brad from Making Memories. Rather simple card, but quite fun!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

More Artfully Asian samples

OK, I'm digging out some more samples of AA that I made last year. Both of these also use the Aida Cloth background image, which is great for adding some textural interest.

This first card is with So Saffron (one of my favorite colors!), Not Quite Navy, and Garden Green. The stitching is done with a paper piercing tool and a white gel pen, but appears quite real. BTW, if you're wary of gel pens, then you need to check out the white Signo pen that is sold through Stampin' Up. I threw out a sizable box of gel pens last summer that I'd probably used 2-3 times apiece, but none of them worked anymore. I tried freezing them, heating them - no dice. But this Signo pen is absolutely marvelous, and still writes like buttah after more than a year.

The next card is made with Apricot Appeal and Pink Passion - much brighter than my "usual," but I really liked it. I paired these two up when I was playing with the scraps on my worktable. See, good things really can come from chaos! I added a bit of glitter to the flowers, rounded off the corners and tied on a bit of ribbon for a somewhat elegant look. I also popped up the floral image on some dimensionals.

Enough with digging through my past creations - I want to share some new goodies! I still have some digging out to do in my craft pit, but I'll be stamping on Saturday whether it's completed or not. One of my downline is coming over for a "playdate" and I know we'll have a ball!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Artfully Asian Sympathy

Sympathy cards are my absolute least favorite to make - necessary, but definitely not fun. I generally go with dark tones and a simple layout with very little embellishment. I needed to send a sympathy card to a friend, so I pulled out this card I made last year. I really like the "Artfully Asian" set, and used the floral image to create the very simple pattern. I then stamped the sentiment from "Close as a Memory" onto a strip of white, which I then wrapped a few times with gold cord. Simple and somber, but most importantly it lets my friend know that I am praying for her.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Just checking in...

Wanted to pop in and say I'm still here. I haven't felt well for the past week, so my creative pursuits have taken a back burner. I have a few more things to get taken care of, and then there are some ink and stamps calling my name!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Feeling Punchy

Are you a punch-happy stamper? I know I have a huge collection, and I was delighted to see these awesome ideas for more ways to use them at Craft Critique. If you have a scalloped circle punch, then you absolutely have to check out all the cool ideas that Pam at Paris Estates has.

Happy punching!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Flower Pounding

Our ground is currently covered in snow, and I for one am ready to start seeing some flowers! Along those lines, I decided to pull out some cards I made last year by pounding some leaves and flowers from our yard. This is a very fun technique - simple and a great stress reliever. Collect various colored flowers and/or leaves, then grab some white cardstock and a hammer (a mallet would also work as long as it's fairly heavy). Next, position your flowers onto the cardstock, then cover it with something. I used parchment paper so I could see what I was doing, but plain newsprint or even copy paper would be just fine, too. Next, hammer away! You're pounding all of the gorgeous pigments from the flowers into the paper fibers, so you need to hit it pretty hard.

It's really fun to see what colors emerge from the flowers - the deep purple "so kind" card was from a burgundy mum, and the circular wreath type image was made from white flowers that are very similar to a hydrangea. I really love the leaf image from our Japanese maple, too. I know I'll be making more of these cards as the spring flowers appear, then through the summer and into the fall.

You can also use this technique on natural fabrics like cotton or linen; there are some gorgeous samples out there that quilters have created!!

Credits: "so kind" and "thinking of you" by Wordsworth, "Delight" verse by Uptown Designs. Patterned papers from K&Co

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Scrapper Extraordinaire

I must admit that I'm much more into cardmaking than scrapbooking - at this point in life, I generally don't have large blocks of time to spend crafting, and I love that I can crank out a completed project in just a few minutes. Well I stumbled onto Keeping It Real sometime last week, and was really inspired by this British scrapper. She has such amazing detail in her work, and it's fun to see the unique ways that she uses the various products. Seriously, even if you're not much of a scrapper, check out her amazing blog! I promise you'll enjoy the eye candy...

Monday, March 5, 2007

Cards for Troops

There are several people currently collecting cards for our troops, so I just want to encourage all you stampers to get involved!
  • Denise B is having a great drawing for some amazing goodies for all those who donate
  • DDDZStmpn is collecting cards as part of Operation Mom
  • For any of you fellow demos, sprtchick on SCS is collecting card fronts and making them into full cards and donating them. What better way to clear out your stash?!?

Please, PLEASE consider donating some cards. Whatever your feelings may be on the war itself, these men and women are risking their lives and deserve our support.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Another silly card

OK, one more slightly sarcastic creation to round out the week. I've always loved this saying - I first saw it on a T-shirt in a catalog somewhere, and I actually clipped it out and slapped it on the fridge. Such a good reminder to think before I speak (which admittedly I'm not very good at), especially as I'm representing the King! Now on to the stamping part... The image itself is by Emerson by American Art Stamp, which I paired with the saying from River City Rubber Works. The little swirl on the caramel paper is from SU Like it a Latte. I colored the image with Twinkling H2Os, which hadn't seen the light of day in awhile. Kind of fun to rediscover our neglected supplies, isn't it? I finished it off with a bit of hardware and some American Crafts ribbon.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Need a smack?

So there's a story behind this card. I stumbled onto the stamp sometime last year, and nearly spit all over my monitor after reading it. Looooove it! (But may I also add that I'm thankful that the Lord doesn't operate that way, or my head would be somewhere near Des Moines...) So anyway, ATRS had a big sale earlier this year when they rolled out their website redesign and I broke down and bought it. I have it sitting on my stamping table, and then finally made this card on Monday to send on to a fellow stamp-loving-sister-in-Christ. Had a lot of fun with it, and it still cracks me up every time I read it!! This is the same patterned paper from Making Memories that I used on the birthday card, and the sentiment is from Custer's Last Stamp. Colors were toned done with some sponging, edges distressed, and then finished out with some Michael's ribbon and a prima flower.

In other news, I think our camera needs some help. I was looking at some of the pictures I've taken in the last month or so, and the images are just not right. They're not sharp, and the colors are off, too. The camera took one small tumble that I know of when the kids accidentally bumped it just after Christmas, so now I'm wondering if something in there is out of whack. Time to do some internet sleuthing - hopefully it's just something I did with a setting somewhere...