Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Winter Wedding...

One of my colleagues at school is getting married tomorrow evening.  She is a wonderful teaching partner and friend and I am so excited and honoured to be attending her wedding.  I was also very honoured when she asked me to help her design her wedding invitations last spring.  She came over one afternoon and we played with some ideas until we came up with something she liked.  She then went off and made ALL of her invitations herself.  At the time she was a novice stamper but has certainly earned her stripes with this undertaking!  Check out this gorgeous invitation:

Winter wedding invitation using the Medallion background stamp.

Reverse side with reply cards and event information tucked neatly in.

Embossed snowflake from the retired Patterned Pines hostess set.
Didn't she do a terrific job on these?!?  I was so proud of her!  Her wedding colours are Soft Suede, Crumb Cake and Very Vanilla, so, knowing this, here is the card I made for her big day:

Wedding card using the Style Beautiful set

Close up of sentiment from Occasional Quotes Hostess set.

Close up of focal image and background.

Close up of vanilla rosettes and crumb cake seam binding ribbon (available Jan. 4th in the Occasions Mini!)

Inside of card

Close up of sentiment from a retired set I can't remember the name of right now!
So, I wanted this card to be as special as the recipients.  I started by creating the background for the focal image.  I basically followed the same technique as for the faux-mother-of-pearl technique in my previous post, but used champagne shimmer paint instead of white.  I sponged crumb cake and soft suede ink over the dry shimmer paint.  The result almost looks like marble, though the photo doesn't quite capture that!  I then stamped two of the images from the Style Beautiful set using timber brown Staz-On ink and layered it on a piece of brushed gold cardstock.  I added some pearls to give it that wedding-y elegance. I adhered that to a piece of very vanilla that I had embossed using my Big Shot and a texture plate from the Backgrounds #1 set and then lightly sponged with crumb cake ink.  Before adhering the whole thing to a textured soft suede card base, I wrapped some crumb cake seambinding ribbon and Chantilly Lace trim around opposite corners.  The sentiment is stamped in soft suede ink on very vanilla cardstock, punched out with the wide oval punch and then layered on a decorative label punch in brushed gold.  It is adhered using dimensionals and embellished with more pearls.  The final touch on the front of the card is the cluster of vanilla rosettes I embellished with still more pearls.  They are adhered using Tombow.
For the inside of the card, I used a piece of Elegant Soiree DSP and sponged the edges.  I then stamped one of the flourishes I used on the front of the card in soft suede.  The sentiment is stamped in soft suede on very vanilla cardstock and then punched out using the decorative label punch (can ya tell I REALLY like that punch?!?) and matted with two more decorative labels in brushed gold and soft suede.  Because I am addicted to embellishments, I had to add a few more pearls inside the card too.
I hope she likes this card and understands how much care went into it.  She will be a beautiful bride and I know it is going to be a great evening.  What a way to say good-bye to 2010!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Oh, what fun it is to play...

...with my stamps on Christmas Day!
Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope your day has been filled with loved ones, good food and good company.

Christmas in the Girsa household is a day I look forward to all year.  We are as low-key as it gets.  Our 3 year-old is  still working on unwrapping his presents...and it is nearly 6 pm!  He just has to play  with every single thing he opens and there is NO rushing him!  We've been asking him all afternoon if he'd like to open some more presents and we keep getting a polite "no thank you" in reply.  We will be unwrapping presents on New Years at this rate!  None the less, we have had a quiet day at home, no one has gotten out of their jammies and it has been absolute heaven!  No place to go, no one expecting us, just a calm, relaxing day at home.  Ahhhh....

And then there's the stamping...

Today was the first time in months that I have been able to just sit and play and boy, did I have fun!  While my son and husband played air hockey (one of many gifts Santa brought) behind me, I played with some of my neglected and unloved stamps.  I completed a few projects but I have to save some for later.  Here is my favourite of the bunch...
Card using faux mother-of-pearl technique

Close-up of new trinket keys from the Occasions mini...oooh I love 'em!

Close up of mother-of-pearl background and my fudged embossing that I actually kinda like!

Inside of card with sentiment from the Notably Ornate set.

Close up of inside sentiment

Ok, so remember how I mentioned my stampin' buddy Christine came over to play last week?  Well she showed me this cool technique that apparently is "everywhere" but I somehow missed.  It is called Faux-mother-of-pearl.  It looks so cool IRL, the photos just don't do it justice.  Here is how to create it:
Start with glossy white cardstock.  Using a bunched-up piece of plastic wrap (the kind you wrap your leftover turkey in) dab white frost shimmer paint randomly all over the cardstock.  Let the paint dry COMPLETELY and then sponge your choice of classic ink all over.  You can also use a brayer, but mine is currently dirty, so I used a sponge!  For this card the ink colours I used were Bashful Blue, Pretty in Pink and Perfect Plum (in that order).  I love the soft, aged look that results. 

For this card I did a 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"  mother-of-pearl panel and then stamped the flourish image from a new set available FREE during Sale-a-bration called "Bliss".  I have to say that I am in L-O-V-E with this set!  Anyhow I digress...I stamped the flourish in Versamark and then embossed it with silver EP.  I forgot to use my embossing buddy (REALLY important because the shimmer paint is quite tacky and the EP sticks to it!!).  I tried to brush off as much as I could and then went ahead and heated it.  The result was a less-than-perfect image I actually quite like.  I think it works quite well with the background.  I mounted that on a brushed silver cardstock mat.  To put the card together I used Concord Crush cardstock and the DSP that comes in the Level One hostess pack.  The little flourishes on the Concord Crush at the bottom are from the Tiny Tags set and are stamped using White Frost shimmer paint again.  I like the way they tie in with the focal image.  My favourite thing about this card are the embellishments.  I love the shimmer brad (from the subtles set, available in the current and the up-coming Occasions Mini), the Basic Gray satin ribbon (retired from last summer's mini) and most of all, the trinket key (also available January 4th in the Occasions Mini.).  The keys are beautiful and so detailed...a truly lovely addition to any project.
As most of you know, I like to make the insides of my cards as pretty as the outside, so I stamped the same flourish vertically in concord crush that I had stamped off once.  The sentiment is from the Notably Ornate set and is stamped in full-strength concord crush, punched out with the modern label punch and then layered on a wide oval and a decorative label.  To add a bit of sparkle to the inside I added a couple of basic rhinestone gems. 
Not exactly a quick and easy card, but one I would love to give (and receive!).

Tomorrow we are heading to my parents' place up north for a couple of days, celebrating a belated Christmas with family.    No boxing day sales for me this year! 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Season of love...

As we finish last-minute preparations for the BIG day tomorrow, I have a card for the other season of love...Valentines Day!  This was made with more items from my Occasions Mini pre-order...check it out!
Valentine's Card made using the new Love Impressions DSP & Valentine Defined set from the Occasions Mini

Close up of the sentiment...I love this 'cuz its perfect for just about anyone.

Close up of inside sentiment

Full view of inside of card
Isn't this cute?  I am not big into Valentines Day...beyond making a card for my hubby and my son, I really don't do much.  But the new Valentine Defined set may just change that!  I like that this set has something for everyone, making it easy to create cute Valentines projects for friends and family.  This set and the coordinating DSP go on sale January 4th when the Occasions Mini goes live.  This mini is full of great new products.  If you still need a copy, drop me a line and I will send you a copy for FREE!

In the meantime, good luck finishing that last-minute wrapping and have a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Plays well with others...

One of the things I love most about this hobby is the social aspect and the opportunity to just sit and play with ink and paper while hanging out with  friends.  Today one of my stampin' buddies came over to play and we had fun experimenting with my Occasions Mini pre-order stuff.  She also taught me a cool new technique that I used to make a wedding card for a colleague who is getting married next week.  I can't post that card till after the wedding to ensure she doesn't see it before her big day, but I do have a card that my buddy Christine made using some of my new stamps.  Check this out!

Pretty vintage style birthday card using a new set called "Bliss" available for FREE during Sale-a-bration.

Close up of the sentiment from the retired Watercolour Trio set.

The butterfly is stamped in Bravo Burgundy and then sponged lightly with Champagne shimmer paint...unfortunately the sparkle doesn't show up in the photo!
Isn't this such a pretty card?  Christine is not an embellishment kinda gal...I, on the other hand, can't seem to stop adding stuff to my cards.  So I just kept suggesting things she could add and ways she could layer.  She certainly was pushed out of her comfort zone, but I think she was happy with the end result!  Thanks, Christine,  for an afternoon of stampin' fun and for the sweet treats too!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last day for Holiday Bundles!

Tonight is our Christmas concert at school, so I am completely swamped, but I just wanted to post a quick reminder that today is the last day to take advantage of the holiday bundles offer.  Click here to go to my website and enter my online store to save 20% on selected holiday products.

One more day till the Christmas break...I'm counting the hours...

Monday, December 13, 2010 pre-order has arrived!

Buh-bye Christmas cards...hello Occasions mini!  I am so done with Christmas and ready to move on to new and exciting my pre-order stuff from the Occasions mini and Sale-a-bration!  Mr. UPS dropped a big box of goodies off on Friday and I was so busy with Christmas baking on the weekend my poor box sat unopened until today!  (A crying shame, I know!)  When I finished with dinner tonight I wasted no time in getting down to my stamping corner and inking up some of the GORGEOUS new stamps from the upcoming mini and Sale-a-bration.  Check this out! pretty!!  I am in L-O-V-E with the new DSP

Close up of focal image.  Stamps are from Clearly For You and Bliss sets.

Inside of card.
Close-up of inside sentiment
Well, where do I start?  The new mini is full of terrific new products and I've used many of them on this card!  Here is a list of some of the new goodies you have to look forward to:
Clearly For You stamp set, Bevelled window panes (coordinate with images in Clearly for You set), Nature Walk DSP, Crumb Cake seam binding ribbon (yes, same stuff as is in the Holiday mini but in fresh, new spring colours!), ribbon rosettes.  The butterfly image is from a Sale-A-bration set called Bliss.  This set is so beautiful I actually paid to get it on pre-order (even though I will most certainly earn it during SAB!!) 

There is just so much to love in both the upcoming mini and Sale-A-Bration, you won't want to wait to receive your catalogues!  If you'd like me to send you one of each for free, drop me an email with your contact info and I will put one in the mail!  Don't forget, the last day to order from the Holiday mini is Jan. 3rd and the Occasions mini goes live Jan. 4th.  Sale-a-bration starts Jan. 25th, so call and book your workshop early before my calendar fills up!  You could earn all of the great products I used in the card for free!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Wow...a non-Christmas card!

It has been so long since I've done a card that isn't for Christmas I was afraid I had forgotten how!  I was looking through some old posts and realized I've been doing Christmas since AUGUST!!  Time  for a change, folks!  Today's post is a cute birthday card I made for a friend of my son's.  She is turning two and I had fun making this girlie little card!
This is the first time I've use my number dies with my big shot!  LOVE how easily it cuts chipboard!

Close up of that slick chipboard number and the polka dot embossing.  I love my Big Shot!

Finally some stamping!  The Happy birthday image is from a retired set called Say it with Scallops.  The sentiment is from the current level one hostess set called Birthday Bakery.

Isn't this sweet?  I broke out my virgin blushing bride ink pad for this card.  I've had all of the in-colour inks since the summer but haven't even used most of them yet!  I kept the colour scheme very feminine...just pink and white.  The patterned paper on the front of the card is from the 6x6 DSP stack  level one hostess option.  I love that there is the option to get the DSP for the in-colours this way.  I raided my button stash for this card as well.  They are a cute little addition to the flower border at the top and bottom of the card.  The recipe for this one is pretty simple...just get in touch with your girlie side!
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