Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Non-Valentiney Valentine

I'm getting a little tired of red, white and pink.  Every class and workshop I am doing these days involves at least one Valentine's card and, while I like real red, whisper white and pretty in pink, I need a change.  So...I decided to try something a little different.  Here is my non-Valentiney Valentine's card:

Valentine's Card using Always Elegant and Artistic Etchings stamp sets.

Close up of sentiment

Inside of card
First, a little background...this past Thursday my Sale-A-Bration order arrived.  In it there were LOTS of new goodies, including the Always Elegant set (which I got for FREE!!) and Lap of Luxury DSP.  I opened up the DSP and fell in love with the colour combo.  Yes, I know, it still has pink in it, but the concord crush and basic gray offset the pink enough to make it almost unnoticeable.  I decided to try to create a Valentine's card that could also double as a wedding or even anniversary card.  I rather like the way it turned out.  Here is a quick rundown of what I did...
 Stamp the flourish image for Always Elegant in concord crush on very vanilla cardstock.  Stamp key and flourish from Artistic Etching set in basic gray, creating a collage of images.  Sponge the whole thing in pretty in pink and then the edges in concord crush.  Adhere collage image to a piece of striped pattern DSP that has been sponged with concord crush.  Wrap a piece of basic gray satin ribbon (retired) around and secure on the back with glue dots.  Adhere DSP to basic gray card base.  Punch a photo corner in concord crush patterned DSP.  Layer it under another photo corner that has been punched out of the whole left by a curly label punch.  Adhere in upper left corner using dimensionals.  For sentiment, stamp flourish from Always Elegant again in concord crush on very vanilla CS.  Punch a full heart, ensuring the flourish image is centred.  Stamp the sentiment in Versamark and heat emboss using silver EP.  Sponge the edges of heart in concord crush and adhere to a scalloped heart of hearts die cut in brushed silver.  Adhere sentiment to card using dimensionals.  Add three rhinestone basic jewels in the lower right corner of the cardfront and one to the photo corner in the upper left corner.
The inside is pretty simple and self-explanatory...I kept it fairly plain to allow lots of room to write a mushy love note! 
Stay tuned this week for more Valentines...of the traditional sort!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's Time To Sale-A-Brate!!

Click the header to view a PDF version of the catalogue!

It's FINALLY HERE!!  Stampin' Up's biggest promotion of the year has arrived!  Starting today until March 31st, earn free product for every $60 you spend.  You can choose from dozens of stamp sets, Designer Series Paper, embellishments, Decor Elements and more!
There is also no better time to host a workshop!  Workshop orders tend to be higher during this promotion as everyone loves FREE stuff, which means more hostess benefits for you!  Plus, hostesses earn an extra Sale-a-bration set free when their workshop reaches $395 in sales.  Call or email today and we can choose your workshop date.
If you've been thinking of purchasing the demonstrator starter kit, now is also a terrific time to do it!  Not only is the kit on sale for 15% off during Sale-A-Bration, but there is also an additional $60 worth of product added to the kit, making the total value of the kit well over $400...all for just $182.75!!   To learn more about the benefits of being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator and/or to join my team, give me a call or email.  I'd love to share what I love about Stampin' Up with you!

I just placed an order this morning and received EIGHT FREE Sale-a-Bration Items!!  Can't wait to play with it all and show you some fun projects!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ode to Cottage Wall...

One of my very favourite DSP packs by Stampin' Up! was the Cottage Wall DSP from last year's catalogue.  It featured the colours rich razzleberry, old olive and orchid opulence.  With the colour renovation and retirement of orchid opulence last summer, this beautiful paper was also retired.  The patterns have been reborn in this year's catty as Cottage Garden DSP, but the colours are now daffodil delight, peach parfait and old olive.  Don't get me wrong, I really like the new version (and I have a couple of cards to show you that use it) but I miss Cottage Wall.  Today's post is a little homage to that gorgeous paper; see what you think...

Thank you card using Just Believe set

Close up of focal image

Close up of sentiment

Inside of card
I am so pleased with this card!  It totally captures the essence of the Cottage Wall paper but uses all current product!  Here is what I did:
I started by inking the focal image from the Just Believe set using my rich razzleberry and old olive markers and then stamping it on whisper white cardstock.  I lightly sponged the edges of the cardstock in rich razzleberry and then adhered it to a slightly larger piece of old olive cardstock.  I then added a few little pearls to the centres of the flowers.  I then took a piece of rich razzleberry DSP from the brights stack, layered it on an old olive piece of Botanical Gazzette DSP and wrapped a piece of rich razzleberry grosgrain ribbon around it.  I adhered this to an old olive card base.  I adhered the focal image on the left side of the card front.  I tied and adhered a small bow from the same ribbon to the left of the focal image.  I then inked the sentiment image using my markers again and stamped it on whisper white.  I fussy-cut it out, added some pearls and adhered it to the right of the focal image using dimensionals.  I then ran a piece of vellum cardstock through my Big Shot with my Beautiful Wings embosslit, sponged two of the butterflies with rich razzleberry and adhered them to the cardfront using glue dots.  I bent the wings up so they had some dimension.  The final touch on the front was to add the pearls in the lower right-hand corner.
For the inside of the card, I stamped the same focal image in old olive ink.  I coloured and stamped the sentiment panel and cut it out.  I layered it over a piece of rich razzleberry DSP and adhered it using dimensionals, adding a little pearl to one of the flowers to tie it all together.
This card was pretty quick and easy...and is very Cottage Wall-y!  Just wait till tomorrow when I'll give you a little taste of the Cottage Garden DSP!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Weekend Me-treat!

Tonight I am posting from U-Treat...a weekend stamping and scrapping getaway run by my upline.  I'm sitting alone in my hotel room...nobody to bug me or interrupt...I spent the evening stamping and hanging out with my stamping buddies.  It truly doesn't get any better than this!!!  I will have LOTS to share after this weekend!

For tonight I am going to show you a birthday card I made for my stampin' buddy Christine.  Her birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I've been driving around with this card in my car since.  I finally got around to giving it to her tonight, so I can finally post it for you all to see! 

Birthday card using Fine Flourish A La Carte stamp and Watercolour Trio set

Close up of focal image

Close up of sentiment with lots of bling!

Inside of card...more bling here...

I even stamped the front of the envelope! this card is a wee bit over the top but I had to do my best for a good stamping friend.  Here is what I did...
Starting with a square piece of watercolour paper, stamp the Fine flourish image using Versamark and then heat emboss it in white.  Spray the whole thing with water and then add drops of reinker in baja breeze,  perfect plum and pretty in pink.  Allow the water on the paper to move the ink around.  Let dry (you can speed up the process by using your heat tool to dry it out!).  Once dry add rhinestones.  Layer the focal image on slightly larger squares in very vanilla and baja breeze cardstock that have been lightly sponged in perfect plum and baja breeze ink respectively.  Set this aside then take a larger square of Elegant Soiree DSP and add a border of dotted scalloped ribbon punch-outs all the way around it.  You will need to do some careful trimming at the corners, but it can be done!  Adhere the focal image to the DSP square using SNAIL adhesive.  Wrap some baja breeze seam binding ribbon around opposite corners; tie a bow and adhere it in the upper left corner.  Then adhere the whole thing to a 5" square card base in perfect plum.  For the sentiment, stamp in perfect plum ink on very vanilla cardstock and punch it out using the large oval punch.  Sponge the edges in perfect plum.  Adhere to a scalloped oval punch out in baja breeze.  Paper pierce each scallop on the oval.  Adhere this piece to a decorative label in perfect plum and another in very vanilla.  Add rhinestones and adhere to card using dimensionals.
For the inside, punch the lower edge of a square of DSP using the eyelet border punch.  Adhere inside card.  Add rhinestones.  Stamp sentiment in perfect plum on very vanilla, punch out using 1 3/8" square punch and round the corners.  Layer on a scalloped square in perfect plum and adhere using dimensionals. 
For the envelope image, I used the Fine Flourish stamp again but used the "rock and roll" technique with baja breeze and perfect plum before stamping it.
I was happy with the way this turned out and, I'm glad to say, Christine liked it too!

More from U-treat tomorrow...for now I'm off to bed to enjoy an uninterrupted night's sleep!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Girlie Valentines

So I've shown you my kid Valentines and my manly ones here is something for us girls.  I love the combination of pink pirouette and basic gray together.  Not quite the early 90's (for those of you who remember the dusty rose and gray decorating trend) but a fresh, feminine, update.  I also love the pink patterns in the Love Impressions DSP, so I used a bunch and came up with this little box and cards.

Feminine Valentines using Love Impressions DSP and Valentine Defined set

Card #1 using petal card punch and Cute By the Inch level 2 hostess set.

Card #2 also using the petal card punch (as the pocket for the full heart punch) and the Valentine Defined set.

Card #3 using Tiny Tags  set.
I think I like this set best of the three I've done.  I really like the pale pink and gray with the whisper white to ground it all.  Here is a quick rundown of what I did for each card:
Card #1:  Pink Pirouette base layered with Love Impressions DSP.  Basic Gray taffeta ribbon (from the Clearance Rack blitz last fall) wrapped around DSP before adhering.  Image from Cute by the Inch set stamped in pink pirouette on whisper white and cut out.  Adhere to basic gray petal card punch.  Add pink flower brad and adhere to card using dimensionals.
Card #2:  Pink Pirouette base layered with DSP.  Petal card punch in basic gray.  Fold in 2 petals and adhere to form pocket.  Stamp sentiment from Valentine Defined set in basic gray on pink pirouette cardstock.  Punch out using full heart punch.  Adhere inside pocket using glue dots.  Thread button with pink embroidery floss and adhere to front of pocket with glue dots.  Adhere pocket to card using Tombow. 
Card #3:  Whisper White base layered with basic gray and DSP.  Stamp sentiment from Tiny Tags set on whisper white and punch out using medium jewelry tag punch.  Adhere tag to back of brad using glue dot.  Wrap ribbon around brad and insert brad in pre-punched hole in top layer.  Adhere all layers using SNAIL.
There are two of each card design in the box along with little envelopes.  This set will be offered as part of my "Feel the Love" class in early February...stay tuned for details!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cute manly Valentines?

After creating my kids' valentines that you saw yesterday, I decided I had better do something for the men in my life (my hubby, brother, father etc).  I decided to stick with the mini-cards-in-a-box-theme and try to do a set that would be appropriate to give to men.  This is what I came up with...

Little box of "manly" 3x3 valentine's cards.

Design #1

Design #2

Design #3
Since I was trying to make these semi-masculine, I refrained from using most of my pretty little embellishments.  In fact, these cards are downright naked!  I pretty much stuck to DSP, cardstock and stamps.  The only exception is design #2 where I used one of our new bevelled window panes to highlight the word "love" in the DSP.  In order to attach the window pane I used a wee bit of retired taffeta ribbon and some embroidery floss.  As for the stamps I used, the typewriter image is from the Puns from the Past set and the valentine definition is from the Valentine Defined set.  The DSP is the Love Impressions pack from the Occasions Mini.  The box contains 2 of each design for a total of 6.  Now I just have to think of 6 men I know well enough to send these to...they just aren't pretty enough for my girl friends!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Valentines for kids

One of my favourite childhood memories of Valentine's Day is exchanging little Valentine cards with my friends and classmates.  We often made little mailboxes in art class that we would hang from our desks on the big  day and then at lunch time everyone would go around the classroom and deliver their Valentines.  Then, when it was time for our party, we were allowed to check our mailboxes and  read our cards. 

I think this memory is what inspired today's project.  I wanted to make some fun, kid-type cards and a little tin that could be used to keep special Valentines from friends.  Here is what I came  up with:

Tin o' Kids' Valentines

Valentine design #1

Valentine design #2

Valentine Design #3

Valentine design #4
Aren't these adorable?  I love the Pun Fun stamp set and think it is just perfect for doing Valentines!  I did play around with the sentiments to get what I wanted, but that's the beauty of inking with markers!  This set also gave me a chance to experiment with various forms of watercolouring...I have to say sitting and colouring these images was very relaxing for me! 

Each card is 1/8 of a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11" cardstock..very economical and perfectly sized for little Valentines.  They are single layer, so the greeting would be written on the back of each card.  I used the Love Impressions DSP as well as some retired epoxy brads and ribbon for embellishments.  The images were all stamped in black Staz-On on watercolour paper and then coloured using markers and a blender pen.

The tin is one of the skinny tins that are currently available in the online Clearance Rack DIRT CHEAP.  I used my Big Shot multi-purpose adhesive sheets to adhere the paper to the tin.  I also adhered some 1/8" taffeta ribbon all the way around the lid using sticky strip.  The polka-dotted ribbon is retired and is also currently available on the Clearance Rack.  The tag is just a decorative label punch of DSP layered over real red and basic gray punches.  I added a shimmer brad in real red and attached it to the ribbon with some retired silver elastic cord.  This really was a fun son is going to give these Valentines to his little friends!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

More fun with sketches

Yesterday I posted two versions of cards made from the same sketch in the current issue of Stampin' Success.  Today I have another pair of cards for you.  The sketch for this card was also in a past issue of Stampin' Success (though I can't remember which one!).  The first card was a make 'n' take designed, again, by my upline Jamilla Ivits for one of our team meetings.  The second is my Valentine's version.
Simple thank you card that uses DSP in several different patterns, yet is completely coordinated.
My Valentine version of the same layout using Artistic Etchings and Punch Potpourri sets and Love Letters DSP

Close up of heart feature.  Sentiment is from Tiny Tags set.  Heart image is from Punch Potpourri level 1 hostess set.

Inside of card.  Sentiment is from retired Watercolour Trio set.
Amazing how the same sketch could result in two so completely different cards!  To create my vintage Valentine here is what I did...
I started with the focal image collage.  I stamped several images from the Artistic Etchings set randomly all over a 3 1/2" square of very vanilla cardstock.  I used basic black and cherry cobbler ink (this was before I realized the red in the DSP was riding hood red...when I do this with my monthly clubs it will be the correct shade!) and stamped some images full-strength and others stamped off to give the collage some depth.  I also made sure to have some images going off the page.  I then antiqued the whole thing by sponging champagne mist shimmer paint all over it is a circular motion.  This will blur the images slightly but that adds to the vintage-feel of the card.  While that was drying, I took a crumb cake card base and adhered a 2 x 4 1/4" strip of DSP along the bottom edge.  I then punched a strip of cherry cobbler cardstock with my dotted scalloped ribbon punch (new purchase I am LOVING!) and adhered it along the top edge of the DSP using SNAIL adhesive.  By this time the collage was dry and I layered it over a black patterned piece of DSP and then glued it to my cardfront.  I punched out a couple of photo corners from cherry cobbler CS and DSP, layered them and adhered them at the top left corner of the collage using dimensionals. 
For the heart feature I stamped the heart image from the Punch Potpourri set in cherry cobbler on very vanilla CS and punched it out with my full heart punch.  I then die cut a scalloped heart of hearts in basic black and layered it behind my stamped image.  I then stamped the "4 You" from the Tiny Tags set in black on very vanilla CS, punched it out using my medium jewelry tag punch and  then layered it with two more tag punch-outs.  I used one of the cute mini library clips to attach the tags  to the hearts.  I then adhered the finished feature to the cardfront using dimensionals.
For the inside of the card, I layered a piece of the black patterned DSP behind a piece of textured very vanilla CS that I had sponged with crumb cake ink.  I added another strip of the red patterned DSP along the bottom edge.  I adhered a piece of basic black 1/8" taffeta ribbon along the top edge of the red DSP.  I stamped the sentiment (from Watercolour Trio set) in black on very vanilla CS, punched it out with my modern label punch, sponged the edges with cherry cobbler ink and then the whole thing with champagne mist shimmer paint.  I layered that behind two more modern label punch-outs and adhered the whole thing using dimensionals.
I like that this card uses a simple layout yet still has enough to it to give it a vintage-feel.  I hope my club members will  like it!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Playing with a sketch

Every month, we Stampin' Up! demonstrators receive a monthly magazine called "Stampin' Success" .  It is full of great business and stamping tips and always includes a card sketch or two.  This month's issue featured a sketch that is perfect for using up the scraps of DSP we all have laying around our craft rooms.  Last week at our monthly meeting, my upline Jamilla Ivits did the following card as one of our make 'n' takes based on this issue's sketch:

Colour combo from the Colour Coach.  DSP is Botanical Gazette and stamp images are from Clearly for You set.
I loved the simplicity with which this card went together and the fact that there is still lots of visual interest.  So I decided to try my own version of it using a Valentine's theme for some of my workshops this month.  Here is what I came up with:
Valentine's card using sketch from January's Stampin' Success magazine
As you can see, I kept many of the same features that Jamilla's card had:  the double line of piercing on the left, the taffeta ribbon around the top and the offset circles of various colours of cardstock and DSP.  I drew my colour scheme from the Love Impressions DSP which features real red, basic gray, whisper white and pink pirouette.  The stamped images are from the Valentined Defined set.  The sentiment, also from that set, was stamped in real red on whisper white cardstock and then die cut using my scalloped rectangle clearlits die and my Big Shot.  This die is see-through so it is really easy to position and centre over the stamped image. 

I love that using a simple, versatile sketch opens up so many possibilities for creating very different cards without having to come up with a whole new layout every time.  Tomorrow I'll show you another card I did from a different sketch in a previous issue of SS...see you then!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Valentine for my hubby

I just recently got  the Puns from the Past stamp set.  It is one that I have long covetted and am thrilled to finally own!  Last weekend I put it to good use creating this Valentine for my husband:

Masculine Valentine made  using Puns from the Past and Broadsheet Alphabet stamp sets

Close up of focal image

Inside of card
I was rather pleased with the way this turned out.  As with most of my projects I started not really knowing where it was going.  I knew I wanted to use the Love Letters DSP and the Puns from the Past set...other than that I had no real plan for this card!  In the end, here is what I ended up doing:
Using a large clear block, I positioned the "U" & "R" from the Broadsheet Alphabet set together and then stamped them on very vanilla cardstock in cherry cobbler ink (this was before I realized the red in the paper was riding hood red!).  I punched it out using my 2 1/2" circle punch.  I then stamped the typewriter in basic black and sponged the edges in the same colour.  I added a distressed piece of riding hood red striped ribbon and then layered the focal image on a 3" circle cut from Love Letter DSP using my Circle Scissor Plus.  I then layered that on a 3 1/2" circle cut from basic black cardstock.  On a separate piece of very vanilla, I stamped the sentiment again, punching it out with my word window punch.  Because the sentiment is quite short, I reinserted the punched piece into the punch and punched it again, shortening it.  I adhered the sentiment using a dimensional.  To construct the card, I started with a 5" x 5" card base in basic black.  I layered a 4 3/4" x 4 3/4" piece of Love Letter DSP on top and then added another layer of Newsprint DSP on top of that.  I adhered the focal image centred on the card base.  I punched out several hearts using my heart to heart punch and added them in the corners, popping some up with dimensionals.
For the inside of the card, I stamped the typewriter on a piece of very vanilla textured cardstock, sponged the edges in black and layered it on another piece of Love Letters DSP.  On a separate piece of very vanilla cs I stamped the "I" & "U" from the broadsheet alphabet set and punched it out using the 2 1/2" circle punch.  I sponged the edges in basic black, added another heart from my heart to heart punch and adhered the whole thing to the inside of the card.
Many of us stampers often struggle with making masculine cards.  That's one of the reasons I wanted the Puns from  The Past works really well for the men in our lives!  I think my hubby will like this one!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A day I will never forget...but wish I could

Today we buried my nephew, Angelo Buccieri.  Born 19 weeks too soon and too little to survive he died on New Year's Eve.  Today I watched as a tiny white coffin was lowered into frozen earth.  A tiny baby, who never took his first breath, laid to rest on a cold January morning.  He is buried with his maternal grandparents...a small comfort for his mother to think he is resting in the arms of his grandmother.  My heart broke for his parents as they had to leave their little one alone in the cold, not understanding what happened or why. 
Rest in peace, baby Angelo, you were so loved by so many.  May we finally meet one day...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Occasions Mini is LIVE!

The brand new Occasions Mini catalogue is now live and available for ordering.  Check out the latest offerings from Stampin' Up and call or email to place your order...or order online 24/7!  Don't have a copy of the mini  yet?  Either click on the image to the left to view the pdf version or email me  and I will send you a  hard copy FREE!

Now...the mini may be live, but I'm not exactly.  I've come down with some kind of bug that has knocked me flat.  I've spent the last 36 hours pretty much in bed.  It was bound to happen sooner or later...I teach a bunch of sick kids and have a husband and son who have been sick most of the fall.  Not sure how I managed to avoid it till now, but I sure wish I could have a little longer...being sick sucks!  But enough whining from me...on to more interesting things!  Here is another Valentine's card I did.  It is  the complete opposite of yesterday's post...very busy and over-the-top...a typical Victorian Valentine...

Victorian Valentine using Love Letters DSP

Close up of sentiment.  Heart image is from Punch Potpourri (level 1 hostess set).  Amour is from Artistic Etchings set.

Inside of card.  Sentiment is from Watercolour Trio set.
This is another one of those cards I just kept adding stuff to.  I tend to have a bit of an embellishment fettish...can you tell?!?  Even  though I used a ton of stuff on this card I still plan to do it for one of my monthly clubs...there are ladies in this group who will LOVE this card!  It may cost me a little, but my customers are worth it!
Anyhow...on to how I put this creation together...
I started by constructing the top note focal point.  I began with a scrap piece of 4" x 5" cardstock...doesn't matter what colour.  I applied a same-sized piece of Big Shot Mulitpurpose adhesive sheet to the cardstock...this essentially turned the cardstock into one big sticker.  Then I cut 1" x 4" strips of different patterns of Love Letters DSP and adhered them to the giant sticker, covering the whole thing.  I took this piece and ran it through my Big Shot with the top note die and easy-peasy focal point.  I then sponged all the way around the die cut with cherry cobbler ink (though I later realized it should have been ridinghood red, 'cuz that's the red in the  DSP...doh!).  I wrapped a piece of cherry cobbler seambinding ribbon around the die cut and tied a basic knot.
On a separate piece of very vanilla cs, using cherry cobbler ink,  I stamped the heart image from the Punch Potpouri level 1 hostess set.  I then stamped the sentiment from the Artistic Etchings set in Versamark, heat embossed it in black and then punched the whole thing out using my full heart punch. I sponged around the edges using cherry cobbler in and then I punched out another heart in cherry cobbler to layer behind it. I then remembered I had a little heart embosslit that layers perfectly behind the full heart punch outs.  I ran it through my Big Shot with black  cardstock and then layered the die cut behind the other two hearts.  To finish it off I took a little scrap of Chantilly lace trim, stuck an antique brad through it and added it to the hearts.  Then I added a large pearl to the centre of the brad.  I adhered the whole thing to the top note die cut using dimensionals.
To construct the card base, I started with basic black and then layered a piece of very vanilla cardstock, that I had punched with my eyelet lace edge punch, over top.  I then punched a narrow strip of red DSP using my scalloped border punch, layered that behind a larger piece of black DSP that I punched with my scalloped edge punch and then adhered over the very vanilla layer.  I then adhered the top note piece to completed the cardfront.  As a finishing touch I added more pearls on the points of the top note...I just couldn't resist!
For the inside of the card, I took a 4 x 51/4" piece of very vanilla cardstock and sponged the edges in cherry cobbler ink.  I stamped the same heart image in the lower right corner and then stamped the sentiment (from the retired Watercolour Trio set) over top in basic black ink.  I adhered it inside the card and then added a couple of photo corners punched out of the black DSP to finish it off.
A rather involved card, but worth the effort!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Furever Valentine

First day back at work after two weeks off and I feel like I never left...hmmm...

Fortunately I did enough stamping over the weekend to provide enough blog material for the week.  Today's post is another card I did using the Friends Furever set.  I'm starting to do Valentine-themed cards in preparation for this month's classes and workshops.  So here is one candidate...
Cute Valentine using Friends Furever set and Playdate DSP!

Close up of the little doggie with his Valentine

Sentiment and retired epoxy brads I purchased during the online Clearance Rack Blitz!

Inside of card

Close up of sentiment from the Valentine Defined set in the new Occasions Mini.
I like this card because it is one you could send to pretty much anyone.  I also like that it is clean and simple...something I haven't done much of lately!  Here is what I did:

I started with a small piece of watercolour paper on which I stamped the images using Staz-On ink.  (I had to mask the dog to get the Valentine to look like he was holding on to it.)  I coloured the images using my blender pen and ink pads in real red and basic grey.  I sponged all the way around the edges of the watercolour paper with real red ink and then adhered it to a slightly larger piece of basic gray cardstock.  Then I took a piece of basic gray cardstock and layered the heart patterned paper from the Play Date DSP pack on it.  I then adhered the focal image using dimensionals.  The I added the brads and then adhered the whole thing to a real red card base.  The sentiment is stamped using basic gray ink on whisper white cardstock and is punched out with the medium jewelry tag punch.  I adhered it to the back of the middle brad with a glue dot.
For the inside of the card, I adhered a 4 x 5 1/4" piece of whisper white cardstock to the inside of the card and then added a narrow strip of the DSP along the left edge.  I stamped the sentiment in basic gray, cut it out using my paper trimmer and sponged the edges in real red ink.  I stamped the first part of the sentiment again, inking it with my real red marker, and then punched it out with the word window punch.  I adhered that piece to the basic gray sentiment using dimensionals.  I layered the whole thing on a decorative label punch out in real red, popping it up again with dimensionals.  Then I glued the whole thing inside my card.

This was a quick and easy card, even with the bit of colouring and masking.  It may just make my monthly card class line-up!  Tomorrow is my team meeting, so I likely won't have time to post, but I'll be back on Wednesday with more Valentine ideas.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I Can't Believe its over!

How is it that two weeks can fly by so quickly when one is on holidays, yet they crawl when one is at work?  I simply can't believe I have to go back to work tomorrow!  I could SO use another couple of days to get caught up on all those household jobs that never seem to get done when one is working (you out closets, reorganizing etc).  I had a huge list and haven't even touched it!  Between Christmas preparations, visits with family and a wedding to attend, my list will have to wait until March break, I'm afraid.
I did manage to get some stamping time in and have some things to show you.  I'll start where I left off a couple of posts ago and show you the card my son and I did for my mom's birthday.  Well, he chose the stamp set and paper, I did the rest!

Card for grandma from my 3 year old using Friends Furever set

Close up of the cute little doggie focal image.

Inside of card with what my son told me to write to his Grammy.  This is a recordable sound card, hence the "press here" at the bottom.  We recorded my son singing Happy mom will LOVE it!
When the new catty came out last July one of the first sets that jumped out at me was Friends Furever...I just loved the little dogs and all the accessories that make this set so versatile.  I recently earned some free stamp sets through the Stampin' Start program and I finally got my hands on this sweet set.  When I asked my son to choose stamps to make Grammy's birthday card I was mighty pleased that this was the one he chose!  He also chose the Play Date DSP which made this card really easy to put together. Here is what I did...
Because I was using a recordable sound card, I began with a 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" piece of tempting turquoise cardstock.  I then layered a 5 1/4" x 4" piece of the DSP, which I had wrapped with a piece of so saffron grosgrain ribbon (left over from SAB 2 years ago!), on top.  For the focal image, I stamped the images on watercolour paper in black Staz-On and then coloured them using my blender pens and Stampin' Pastels.  I have to say I'm not the greatest when it comes to shading and colouring, but my mom won't notice!  I layered the coloured image on slightly larger pieces of so saffron and real red cardstock and then adhered them to the cardfront using dimensionals.  The sentiment is from the new Create a Cupcake set in the Occasions Mini.  I stamped it in tempting turquoise ink on whisper white cardstock, punched it out with the word window punch and then sponged the edges.  I adhered that to another word window punch out in real red and then adhered it to the card using dimensionals.  To add a little whimsy, I added a little real red button for the wheel of the wagon and three old olive buttons to the ribbon.
For the inside of the card I started the same way with tempting turquoise cardstock and Play Date DSP.  I then stamped the images on a larger piece of watercolour paper (the cakes are from the Birthday Bakery hostess level 1 set), and coloured them in the same way.  The sentiment is from another level one hostess set called Afterthoughts.  I punched it out and mounted it in the same way I did the sentiment on the front. 
My son was very pleased with how this turned out and must have played the recording of himself singing 15 times before I made him stop for fear he'd kill the battery before my mom even got the card!  I think she'll love it!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A sad start to 2011...

This morning we had a phone call from my husband's sister...they were supposed to be coming today for dinner.  She called to tell us that she had lost her baby...she was 21 weeks pregnant and had had a stillbirth.  We are all so sad...the loss of this little tiny baby came on the same day as my husband's late father's birthday.  If you are the praying-type, please keep my sister-in-law and her husband in your thoughts...they are struggling to make sense of it all. 
At times like this it is hard to know what to do, so I did what I do best...I made a card to send.  I know it won't even begin to heal the loss, but I hope it will remind them that they are not alone.  Here is the card I am going to send...

Card made using items from the new Occasions Mini including Clearly For You set
Close-up of focal image...the tiny butterfly for me represents the tiny baby
Inside of card...the two faded butterflies represent the grieving parents.
I actually made this cardfront the other day while at my upline's house playing with my stampin' buddies.  At the time I was just playing around with the new products, but when we got this news, I knew this was what I had made the card for.  I love the new Clearly For You stamp has so many gorgeous images that are set off perfectly by the new beveled windowpanes.  The little butterfly signifies the tiny baby that will never take a breath or spread its wings. 
The inside sentiment was chosen by my husband.  I had wanted to use a sympathy sentiment, but my hubby, who experienced the loss of both his parents while still in his 20's, chose the simple "thinking of you" as  being one his sister would appreciate.  I stamped the two faded  butterflies to represent my sister-in-law and brother-in-law as they struggle to find meaning in their sadness. 
I really hope this brings them some small amount of comfort.  Please do send them comforting thoughts...

Happy New Year!!

Hello 2011...glad you're here!  Can't wait to see what surprises this year holds!  I hope you all had a great evening doing whatever you chose to do to see out 2010.  My husband and I were in bed by 11:30!!  Ever since we had our son we prioritize sleep over fun anytime of the year!  Good thing, 'cuz our little darling was up at 5:00 am!!
Now on to something interesting...a card using new products to start the new year.  I made this one for my mom's birthday which is coming up this week.  I think she'll like it because she is a real garden/outdoorsy person.

Card for my mom's 68th birthday using the new Nature Walk set from the occasions mini.

Close up of the gorgeous images in this set!

Inside of card with sentiment from another new set called Create a Cupcake.
This card is LOADED with new products, all of which will be available starting January 4th...just 3 days away!  For starters, I used the new Framed Tulips embossing folder.  This folder is perfectly sized  for a cardfront, but also works with slightly smaller sized layers, as I did on this card.  After embossing the crumb cake cardstock I ran my distressing tool all the way around the edges and then sponged lightly with crumb cake ink to highlight the pattern.  I then stamped the floral image which I had inked using my marina mist and old olive markers.  I added the Chantilly lace trim and tied it in a knot.  I layered this piece on a slightly larger piece of early espresso cardstock and  then adhered the whole thing to a marina mist card base. 
The bird is stamped in early espresso on very vanilla cardstock.  I cut it out and then lightly sponged it with crumb cake ink to soften the image slightly.  I adhered it using dimensionals.  The sentiment, from a retired set called Watercolour Trio,  is also stamped in early espresso on very vanilla cardstock and then punched out using the large oval.  I sponged the edges lightly using early espresso ink and then  layered it on a designer label in marina mist and a wide oval in early espresso.  The entire thing is adhered to the card using dimensionals.  The final touch is one of the big designer buttons that I threaded with marina mist 1/8" taffeta ribbon and adhered over the knot in the lace trim using Tombow glue.
For the inside of the card I embossed another piece of crumb cake cardstock with the Framed Tulips folder.  I then sponged it using early espresso ink and adhered it inside the card.  I stamped another floral image and then stamped again without reinking to get a shadow effect.  The sentiment is from the new Create a Cupcake set and is stamped in early espresso on very vanilla.  I punched it out using the wide oval, sponged it with more early espresso ink and then layered it on decorative label punch-outs in marina mist and early espresso.  It is adhered to the inside of the card using dimensionals.
I hope my mom likes this I need to get busy making a card with my son for her!  I hope your first day of the new year is quiet and relaxing!
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