Thursday, August 28, 2008

Recommended Reading :)

First off, have you ever had questions about proper etiquette when using monograms? Well, the JustRite team lays out all the guidelines here.

If you have a Big Shot/Kick, Cuttlebug, or pretty much any die cutter, then you need to hop over to Indigo Inklings. Tons of information, such as avoiding extra lines on your cardstock with the cuttlebug embossing borders, and she also provides lots of photos for clarification. Look for the tutorial box on the right hand menu bar.

I've had the link to Stamphenge on my sidebar for awhile, and due to some server issues it's recently moved. Lots of goodies on the site, including everything you ever wanted to know about minibooks. To celebrate the move, she'll be hosting three giveaways. Check it out!

And last but not least, I want to make sure you know about Whether you're looking for a challenge to participate in, product reviews, or projects done with a particular stamp line, blog search is a fabulous tool!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thankful for You

Quick card to share today, this time featuring Hands Collage. I simply stamped it, colored the hands with prismacolor pencils, then went over the background with a marker. I layered it with some brown (punched with a Martha Stewart border) and accented it with three wooden beads. The sentiment is from the Thankful set; there are so many great sayings in that one! A very easy card to just let someone know that you appreciate their friendship...

Also wanted to let you know that Dina has posted the layout for next week's Tea Party - get all the details here. We'd love to have you join in the fun!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A few more challenges

Two more cards to share from Virtual Stamp Night at SCS this weekend. This one was for the "Fancy Nancy" challenge, and as soon as I read the description, this stamp came to mind. It's from a Prima set that I purchased earlier this year, but had yet to actually use. I stamped it then traced it with stardust stickles (not that you can really tell from the photo!). I layered it with a bit of 7gypies paper, and then mounted it onto a card base that I'd lightly spritzed with pink taffy glimmer mist. The final touch was the sentiment (Stampington), and I think this would be a great "Thanks for your hospitality" card.

This card was for the purple challenge. I pulled out some retired SU Vintage Violet, as I wanted to make a card for a friend and all my other purples just seemed a bit too bright. I embossed the panel using the folder from the Friends Forever die/emb set. I just swiped it with white ink, then added the sentiment (Melissa Frances). Tie on some ribbon, glue it down, and all done... I honestly think this might be the quickest card I've ever made!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Feeling Challenged

This weekend was Virtual Stamp Night on SCS, and since my hubby is out of town, I figured that was a good excuse to make a few cards :) I also had a few sketches that I wanted to do, so managed to incorporate some of that in with the other challenges.

This first card was for the "warm & fuzzy" challenge - we were to incorporate felt or flocking. I also wanted to do Taylor's challenge, and I had this little felt cupcake that was an impulse buy from Joann's. Only problem with it was that the top had some really ugly sequins on it... Well, I pulled them off, then "iced" it with white liquid lead paint (similar to liquid applique, but no heating required, and you can apply a nice, thin line). I think it looks more like a truffle now, but there's certainly nothing wrong with that :) I pulled the colors from the ribbon (American Crafts), and then added some turquoise rhinestones. The sentiment is from Inkadinkado (mini set).
The second card was supposed to be for the mojo challenge, but my finished card doesn't resemble the sketch much at all. Oh well, it's just supposed to be a starting point, right? I needed a sympathy card for a former neighbor back in Montana, but I didn't want to make it feel too heavy. I used the image from smARTworks' Standing Tall and stamped it repeatedly with black and light blue. I used the sentiment from Sympathy/Thoughts (oval cut with a sizzlet die). I also spritzed the main panel with silver glimmer mist, just so the white tag would stand out a bit more.
Back with more tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tea Time!

Ready for a couple more "trio" creations? These cards feature the Teapot set and sentiments from Cup of Tea.

On this first one, the teapot was stamped with Palette toile pink, Versamagic pink grapefruit , and SU cameo coral ink. For the background panel, I embossed coral cardstock with the Fiskars lace plate, then swiped it with some white ink to really bring out the design. I wrapped that with some white lace from my stash, and then stamped the sentiment onto a scrap of patterned paper. Isn't that a great saying?

For this card, I created teapot paper using SU apricot appeal & orange inks; I didn't use the solid base image on this. I let the teabag that I had dictate the colors on this one :) For the pocket, I just took a scrap of heavyweight vellum and wrapped it around the teabag to form a pocket, then stamped and mounted it to the card. Quite simple, but I thought it was a nice way to pass along a little "extra" with the card.

In other news, I'm thrilled to say that the smART Cookie Tea Parties will be starting back up again! We'll be making a few changes, and would love for others to join in the party. Dina will be our first hostess, so be watching her blog for the first announcement. Can't wait!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Simple Challenge Cards

It's been awhile since I've done any challenges, so I decided it was time to seek out some sketches, etc. to jump-start my creativity. I started out at Card Positioning Systems, and played around with sketch #78.

On this first card, I used the "With Gratitude" cuttlebug embossing set (and on a side note, I am absolutely loving the coordinated sets!). I started by embossing the brown base, then cut the sentiment and three flowers. The flowers are sprayed with glimmer mist (pink taffy) so that they stood out a bit better. I then layered on some ribbon, and added a rhinestone to each flower. Pretty simple, but I love the result!

I also used the CPS78 sketch as the starting point for this second card, but I also wanted to make something for "Easy, Peasy" Birthday Challenge at Daring Cardmakers. I stamped Big B-Day onto some Chatterbox paper and embossed (Adirondack Moss), then adhered it to a blue card base and finished it off with the lovely die-cut felt border (Queen & Co). Definitely something that's easy to make at the last minute! Well, except for that felt border... I'd love some advice from anyone else who's used this stuff - I love the look, but it's such a pain to get the backing off and actually get it adhered to the project. Anyone with a good hint or two?!?

That's all for today; I hope to be back tomorrow, but I have a dentist appt and am also getting hubby ready to fly out Thurs morning, so no promises.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy as a... turtle?

So today's the day you can see what each member of the smARTworks Design Team did with the set Emerge. There's an adorable hatching turtle, and some great sayings to go with it as well.
After playing around the little guy for awhile, I ended up creating his "egg" from old paper distress crackle paint; unfortunately you can't see much of the detail in the photo. I stamped the turtle onto green cardstock then trimmed him out, and then backed it with black. I thought my idea with the rolled edges was quite original, but obviously several of the other ladies' possess the same creative gene :) Anyway, I still like the card and can't wait for someone to graduate college with a degree in marine biology just so I make another card just like it! Check out the other designs here, and enter for a chance to win a set of your own at the smARTworks blog!

On a side note, after I was already done with my card, I googled "hatching turtle" and discovered that my colors were all wrong (oops!)... but I also discovered this fun little cartoon that I figured was worth sharing.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fun with Cupcakes

As promised, I'm back with a fix for your sweet tooth :) These cards were made with the Inkadinkado clear "Birthday Cupcake" set; I'd been eyeing up the set for awhile, and Joann's just happened to be running a good sale and the set ended up in my basket... Anyway, this first one is super simple. I stamped the image onto a piece of white cardstock that I'd previously cut with the scalloped oval nestabilities, then a bit of color with prismacolor pencils. They needed some personality, so I "frosted" them with stickles (frosted lace), then topped each with a single dew drop. I grabbed some coordinating American Crafts ribbon, and used Bazzill for the card base.

This second one started out with the sketch from Taylor's Cupcake Challenge, but I ended up deviating in a big way. I took the colors from the ribbon - one of those "Ooh, cute!" thoughtless grab-n-go purchases from Michael's. Yes, I like it but the colors and pattern make it pretty tough to incorporate... Anyhoo, I think I pulled it off here :) I used a pre-glittered card base (DCWV), and the brown panel is embossed (Fiskars rose plate), then edge punched (Martha Stewart). The cupcake was colored with prismacolor pencils, and I layered that panel with another pre-cut scalloped panel from my scrap pile (with a flubbed image stamped onto it). I added some strips of brown cardstock to accentuate the ribbon, and then added the sentiment, which I die cut with a nestabilities oval. It's definitely bright and fun, and I'm thinking that it will be mailed off to a niece soon.

Check back tomorrow for the latest smART Cookie challenge - I think you'll like what emerges!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Roses

Both cards here feature the Rose Trio #3 set. I love the "budding" image, so it seemed natural to pair it with the sentiment from the Rose Trio #2 set. I didn't use the solid rose image with this one, but started with the 2nd layer - I inked it with Rose Romance and Mellow Moss inks (SU), then stamped off once on scratch paper. I then did the final layer with the ink at full strength. I cut the rose out using a Sizzix die, and then layered it with a scalloped rectangle (cut with Spellbinders Nestabilities). I did sketch a little border with a fine tip black pen just to break up the pink, and then tied on a bit of American Crafts ribbon to pull the colors together.

For this second card, I went with a long, narrow card base, and chose colors based on the gorgeous BasicGrey LilyKate paper. I created the rose using almost amethyst ink (SU) for the base, then Pretty Petunia & Sage versamagic inks for the next, and finally brilliance pearlescent lavender & pearlescent olive inks for the final layer. I love how the top layer really adds some shimmer. I then pulled out some long-neglected magic mesh (come on, I know you have some of that stuff buried somewhere, too! :) then some purple and additional white cardstock. The sentiment is from To Life! I added a little acrylic dot on each corner; these are the little thingamabobbers that Michael's in their floral section earlier this year, and I believe many people are now calling them skittles. They're a bit larger than Dew Drops, and nearly all of them have bubbles in them so I personally don't think that they're quite as elegant, but I think they work well here.

I have a few cupcake cards to share tomorrow - I figured it was better for me to create them from ink rather than actually eating them :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Penciled Daisy

Well, we're back from our little excursion, and it's time to start sharing my pile of cards. This one features the Daisy Trio #2 set, but I only used one "layer." I stamped the image with sepia versafine ink, then colored it with prismacolor pencils. I love the look of light pencil over dark ink, and the white daisy seemed like a good time to use that technique. I pulled a bit of the color off the stem with my blending pencil to add the shading around the edges. The sentiment is from Flowers Everywhere.

The background paper is a 2 sided print from Chatterbox; I love using that stuff, as it makes the card come together so quickly. For a final embellishment, I punched two holes in the upper right corner and tied on some May Arts ribbon. Definitely an easy way to incorporate bits of ribbon!

Well, I'm off again, but will be back with more tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sweet scrapbook page

Just wanted to share this 6x6 scrapbook page I did. It's an Antiquities photo (done as a fundraiser for our MOPS group), and it's the only studio pics I have of the kids together. I really need to remedy that! Anyway, I created this with the Rose Trio #1 and Sgl Leaf Trio sets, and the words are from Combo Sentiments. The roses were done with twinkling H2Os, so there's some lovely shimmer in person.

And on a side note, here is what happens when the aforementioned "sweet kids" get ahold of Mommy's old paper cutter :)

I have a ton more to share, but our family is headed out for a much needed vacation (camping at a nearby state park). I'll be back next week with more!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Catching Up

Things continue to be crazy at our house, but I thought I'd share just a couple of the cards I've made recently. They're all made from the Flower Girl set with a variety of patterned papers (BasicGrey and Cosmo Cricket), and the very fashionable "purple lady" was cut from a library discard. Hopefully things will be slowing down a bit soon, and I'll be back on the blog...