Saturday, April 30, 2011

My First Card as a "Guest Designer"!

If you've been over to the A La Card Monkey blog today, you've likely already seen this card.  It is the one I designed for my guest designer role this week.  So that it makes sense, here is the sketch:

...and here is my card:

Card designed for this week's A La Card Monkey challenge using the Touch of Kindness set from the new Summer Mini.
I just love this stamp set!!  This isn't the first card I've done using this set coupled with the Play Date DSP from the main IBC.  I just love how sweet and cheerful it is and I had such fun watercolouring it.  The good news is the the Summer Mini goes live tonight at midnight and you'll be able to order your own copy of this set.  The mini is chock full of fantastic new'll love every single page!  If you would like your own FREE copy, drop me a quick email with your mailing info and I will get one out to you.  In the meantime, here is how I made this card:

Starting with a 5 1/4" x 4" piece of so saffron cardstock, I ran it through my Big Shot with the perfect polka dots embossing folder.  I then cut a circle from the flower patterned Playdate DSP using my clear circle die.  I adhered it to the embossed so saffron piece so that it extended off the right edge slightly.  I trimmed the excess off with my paper cutter.  I then cut a 4" strip of real red cardstock and punched it using my dotted scallop ribbon punch.  I adhered that across the cardfront.  I then cut a piece of 1/4" tempting turquoise grosgrain ribbon ( came in one of my Grab Bags!!) and laid it over top of the real red scalloped strip, so that only part of the dots and the scallops were peeking out underneath and then secured it on either end with a glue dot.  I took another small piece of the ribbon, wedged it between the prongs of a real red glimmer brad and then poked the prongs through the cardfront, gathering up the adhered piece of ribbon as I did so.  I opened the prongs on the back to secured the "bow".  I then took a piece of watercolour paper, stamped the cat image and one of the little birds from the birdbath image in Staz-on and then watercoloured it using my ink pads and blender pen.  I watercoloured the background using my aquapainter.  Once the paper was dry, I sponged all the way around the edges using tempting turquoise ink.  I layered the image piece on a slightly larger mat of tempting turquoise and then adhered it to my cardfront using dimensionals.  For the sentiment, I stamped the flower in tempting turquoise ink on whisper white cardstock and punched it out using my 1 3/4" scalloped circle punch.  I then stamped the sentiment in real red on so saffron cardstock, punched it out with my 1 1/4" circle punch and then sponged the edges of both pieces in tempting turquoise.  Setting these aside, I stamped the stem in old olive ink on the same coloured cardstock and fussy cut it out.  I adhered the stem to the back of the flower and then adhered the whole thing to the cardfront.  I adhered the sentiment to the centre of the flower using dimensionals.  I then adhered the whole cardfront to a tempting turquoise card base.
Cute and fun!  Check out the challenge and play along...I'd love to see what you all come up with for this sketch!

I Made the Showcase!!

What a great surprise to wake up this sunny Saturday morning to find that I have made the Showcase over at Stamping 411!!  This is my first time entering one of their challenges, so it feels great to have my design chosen.  To see the winning card, click here

I'll be back later today with a real post...I have to go get ready for my Spring Stamp-a-stack this morning!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mommy and Me Class Preview #2: A Tooth Safe!

What the heck is a tooth safe, you ask?  It is a special place for little ones to put their lost teeth as they await a visit from the Tooth Fairy, of course!  (It is also where the magical lady herself can leave the cash in exchange for the tooth!)  I've done a girl version and a boy version...

FINALLY...a use for all those empty brad and button containers!

A soft spot inside for those special teeth!

One for the boys!

Why is the Tooth Fairy always depicted as female???
This cute little project is the second part of my Mommy and Me class coming up in May.  For details about the class click on the Upcoming Events tab at the top of this page.  To register, call or email by May 9th.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Vintage Paris

Yes...two posts in one day!  Hard to believe, I know!  I just had to get this up so that I can enter  the Stamping 411 sketch challenge for this week.  The challenge closes tomorrow morning at 8:00, so I had to get it posted tonight.  Here is the inspiration sketch:

And here is my version:

Card for SSC200 - rotated and flipped the sketch!

A tale of many stamp sets:  Artistic Etchings, The Open Sea, Define Your Life and En Francais!  Doncha love it when a card comes together?!

Inside of card - sentiment free...but it could be for a graduation, retirement, bon voyage etc...
So...I had some vintage fun with this one!  Here is what I did to create this card:
Starting with a strip of very vanilla cardstock, I ran it through my Big Shot using my Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, which I had brayered with early espresso ink.  I then sponged the raised images with cajun craze and distressed the edges with the tool from my cutter kit.  I sponged the edges and then set it aside.  I then took a narrow strip of cajun craze and tore  it using my tearing edge.  I crumpled and winkled the cardstock and then adhered it to the embossed very vanilla piece.  I wrapped a piece of the new early espresso  baker's twine (from the Summer Mini) around the whole thing a couple of times, tied a knot, added a trinket key and tied it into a bow.  I secured the knot wth a glue dot.  Setting this aside, I took a narrow strip of very vanilla carrdstock and stamped the eiffel tower image from Artistic Etchings in early espresso ink.  I then inked the medallion from the same set in cajun craze, stamped off once and then stamped over the tip of the tower.  I stamped again in the lower right corner.  Finally, I inked my en Francais background stamp in early espresso, stamped off once and then stamped over the entire image.  I tore the top edge, distressed the others and then  inked all of them in cajun craze and then early espresso.  Setting that aside, I stamped the globe in early espresso (stamped off once) and punched it out.  I sponged the edges of the globe in early espresso.  The sentiment, from the Define Your Life Set, was again stamped on very vanilla in early espresso ink and then punched out with my decorative label punch..  I distressed and then sponged the edges, as well as lightly sponging the entire label.  The rest was easy...just assemble the various  elements on the card as in the photo! 
For the inside, I layered a piece of very vanilla on a mat of cajun craze after stamping both the globe and the tower (stamped off once).
I can't wait to show you the cute "Tooth Safes" I designed for my Mommy and Me class...stop by tomorrow to check them out!

Mommy & Me Class Preview

I have long desired to hold a class where my customers could bring their little ones to have fun creating together.  When I saw the new Summer Mini and the new Simply Scrappin' Kit, called Playful Polka Dots, I had a great idea for a mini album project that any mom and daughter (or son!) could create together.  Check it out:

Front Cover

First two pages

Close up of page one

Close up of page two

Pages 3-4...these can be done as a combined layout or as two individual ones.  I did it here as a combined one that could accommodate a larger photo.

Centre of book...this again could be four individual pages or as one big page, depending on your photos.

Back cover.
The nice thing about this album is that kids can help to decorate the pages!  Everything I used is from the Playful Polka Dots Simply Scrappin' Kit.  All of the die cuts are self-adhesive, so no messy glue to contend with.  Moms can build the book and the kids can decorate it.  The whole thing can be done in about an hour, so kids won't get bored and lose interest before it is finished.  The album will hold 5-9 photos, depending on the size and how you set up your pages.  The finished project is one that both mom and child will treasure, knowing they created it together.  Tomorrow I will post the second project we will do in this is one every child will need, so don't miss it!
If you're interested in attending this class with your child, click the Upcoming Events tab at the top of the page for more details.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Black and White and Square... the theme for this week's Friday Mash-up Challenge.  Here is the inspiration photo:

With this in mind, here is what I came up with:

Black & White & Square card for MU3 challenge.  How could this be anything but a wedding card???

Inside of card.

Ok, so I have to fess up...this card uses a non-Stampin' Up item...that big brad on the front is one that I got ages long ago that I don't even remember where I got it!  I just knew that it would be perfect for this card, though, so I had to use it.  My apologies to  my SU customers...I got this long before I was a demo!  I'm happy to say that everything else on this card is from Stampin' Up!.  The stamp set I used is Baroque that I love and hope stays when the new catty comes out in July!  I double embossed the front using my Perfect Polka Dots and then my Framed Tulips embossing folders.  Such a pretty effect!  I added a little bling with a mat of brushed silver and some rhinestone basic gems and the sentiment from the Teeny Tiny Wishes set.  A really easy card to pull together...thanks to the gals at Friday Mashup for the inspiration!

Monday, April 25, 2011

More Summer Mini previews and the Stamping 411 Colour Inspiration Challenge 155

Ok...I'll admit it...I'm becoming addicted to online stamping challenges!  I just love the way they jump-start my mojo without too much effort from me!  The colour inspiration challenge over at Stamping 411 was one for which I immediately knew what I wanted to do.  Here is the colour combo...

...and here is my card:

Surf's Up! card for Stamping 411 Colour Inspiration Challenge #155 using the new Summer Splash set from the upcoming Summer Mini (only 6  more days till it goes live!).  Sentiment is from the Word Play set.

Inside of card
I love this colour immediately made me think of sand and beaches and Hawaiian shirts!  This card was designed before I even put ink to paper.  I had fun with it though, trying my hand at a brayered background.  I still need more practice, but am happy for my first attempt.  This set is so much fun and perfect for summer.  I actually bought it in wood mount (gasp!) because it will be perfect for my son when I am finished with it.  It has lots of fun fishy images and an octopus that he LOVES.  In fact, when this set arrived in my pre-order, my son was the first to grab it and use it!  He got to ink my virgin stamps before I did!!!  You are going to LOVE the new mini...but don't forget that there is less than a week to stock on up your favourite items from the Occasions Mini before they are gone...maybe for good!  Don't miss out if there is something you love and have been meaning to order, but haven't gotten around may not be around after April 30th!  Call or email me if you need to put in a last-minute order.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

One More Quick Easter-themed Post!

Today was a great day...we had an egg hunt for my some this morning and then a family dinner this afternoon...a fun day spent with family...just the way Easter should be!  I have one more Easter card for you that I created for the A La Card Monkey challenge this week.

Here is my version...using a long-retired set called "Gifts of Spring"

MU Challenge 53 Easter card

I recently rediscovered my bottle of Crystal Effects, so I added a little to the bunnies' eyes and to the really makes them come to life!
Lately I've been on a bit of a watercolouring kick, so I had fun colouring these cute little bunnies!  This set is really old (like 2005'ish!) but it is still one of my fav's for spring.  The colour scheme for this card came from a bunch of scraps I had laying on my table...sometimes inspiration strikes in the midst of chaos! 
Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!  The best part for me is yet to be...another day off tomorrow!!  WOOT!

Happy Easter!!

Today's post will be short, as I am busy cooking dinner and hiding eggs for my family.  I did want to take the chance to wish you all a very blessed Easter and to show you some cards from a recent swap I participated in.  Each month at our team meetings, my upline issues a challenge we have the option of participating in.  Those who do, generally make enough cards to swap with the rest of the group.  This month's challenge was to create Easter cards using the Regals colour family.  This was tough because we generally tend towards Subtles for spring and Easter.  That said, we all did a pretty good job and, interestingly, most gravitated toward More Mustard in our colour schemes!  Check these out!

This is my be honest, I threw it together in the hour I had between getting home from work and leaving for the meeting!  (It kinda looks that way too!)

I do like this cross from the Crosses of Hope pretty!  By the way, the colour combo here is from the Colour Coach...gotta love that thing!

Card by my sideline and friend, Christine Kokiw

Inside of Christine's card

Card by my upline, Jamilla Ivits

MDS Hybrid card by my brand new sideline (and fellow teacher), Shelley Shaw.  This is really cool as she used acetate for the card base...hence the depth in the background.
See what I mean about the More Mustard??  Whoda thought it was a spring colour?!?
I hope you enjoyed these cards and have a wonderful day with family and friends.  I wish you all a very blessed Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Touch of Kindess

Long time, no post, I know!  I've been a little busy with Easter celebrations and preparations for my family.  Tomorrow  we are hosting my husband's sister and her family and my brother and sister-in-law (and the bun in the oven!) for Easter dinner.  Some time yesterday I got it in my head that my son and I should make cupcakes for everyone for dessert.  Well...those of you who know me know that I don't do anything half-way, is what we did:

One would think I had learned my lesson after the Lightening McQueen cake...but Easter is special and so is my family!
Every "blade" of  grass is a squeeze of the icing bag!!

Didn't think it was possible, but these took LONGER than Lightening McQueen!!

So...that's my excuse for not I forgiven??  I do have some great news, though!  I was chosen to be a  guest designer for this week's A La Card Monkey challenge!! 

Now, even though the name of this challenge is remarkably similar to the name of this blog, I have nothing to do with the running of the challenge site blog.  I just enjoy playing along when I get the chance.  You can see the card that earned me the "guest designer" honour here.  The challenge I am designing for starts next Friday, April 29th, so you'll have to wait till then to see what I come up with!  In the meantime, I've been having some fun this evening with some more new goodies from the upcoming Summer Mini.  One of the sets that really appealed to me is one called Touch of Kindness.  It isn't my usual realistic imagery in this set...rather it is just cute and cheerful and I knew I just had to have it when I saw it in the mini.  So...since I can't show you the actual set, here is a card I made using it!

Thank you card using the Touch of Kindness set from the Summer Mini

Not sure if you can tell, but I added Crystal Effects to the water droplets to give them dimension and make them more realistic looking

Cute little kitty...I used silver smooch accent ink for his tag.

Inside of card.

 Doesn't this card just make you smile?  I just love those little birdies and that fat Kitty!  I had great fun watercolouring the images in this will too!!  AND there is only one more week till the Summer Mini goes live!!

If you get a chance, hop on over to the  A La Card Monkey blog and check out this week's challenge!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Out-With-The-Old-Swap Cards

Last month I participated in a swap in which we were to use up our retired Stampin' Up supplies.  Since I have TONS of retired stuff hanging around, I jumped all over this one!  I entered a masculine birthday card category and here are the two cards I did...same layout but using different stamp sets:
For this one I used the Still-Current Nature Walk set, but everything else is retired!

This one even uses retired stamps!
I have to admit I was really sad when I found out Close to Cocoa and Creamy Caramel were among the colours being retired in last year's colour renovation.  Both of these browns were ones I used regularly on masculine cards and in punch art.  I bought up several packs of each colour so that I would have plenty for future projects.  Here's the thing...I haven't used ANY of it!!!  I just love the new colours so much I don't even miss the old ones!  This swap gave me an opportunity to dust off those neglected colours and some stamps that I love but rarely have time to use any more.  I also used up lots of bits of retired Hodgepodge Hardware sets that I still have as well.  Of the two cards, I have to say I like the second one best.  I kind of like the bike images that change as one matures...from a trike to a motorcycle!  Since both men in my life (my hubby and my son) are both fond of their respective bikes (motorcycle and new two-wheeler) I thought this was an appropriate set of images for a masculine birthday card.  I hope my fellow swappers enjoyed these cards!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

PPA89 Challenge

Here is yet another card I did for an online challenge.  This one is for Pals Paper Arts  challenge 89.  The inspiration for this week was this photo:

Aren't these flowers gorgeous?!?  When I saw this photo I immediately thought of the new Flower Garden embossing folder from the upcoming Summer Mini.  It came with my preorder and had sat unopened for over a week!!  Time to crack it out and have some fun!  Here is what I came up with:

PPA89 - Flowers!!  card using the new Flower Garden embossing folder and coordinating Beyond the Garden DSP

Inside of card  using Fabulous Florets stamp set (can we say COORDINATI|NG PRODUCTS?!?  Dontcha just love SU?!?) also from the upcoming Summer Mini.
This card is so bright and summery and cheerful...I just can't help but love it!  The best part is that I made it on a day when we were having a major spring snow storm!!  (Thankfully none of the snow stuck around, but it was NASTY here yesterday!).  I hope it brightens your day as much as it did mine!

Monday, April 18, 2011

May's Card Class Preview

I am really trying to do a better job of getting the samples for my classes prepared well in advance.  Sometimes it truly is a struggle to keep all the balls in the air as I juggle my family, teaching commitments and Stampin' Up! business...I never quite seem to be caught up!  This month, thanks to taking a wee hiatus from workshops for a bit, I've been able to focus on other things...planning ahead is one of them!  You'll be happy to know that I have my May monthly class samples ready to go (and photographed, even!).  Our feature stamp set this month is Pocket Silhouettes...see some of what this versatile little set can do.  Here are the three cards we'll be working on this month:

This set is so versatile!  It can be pretty and feminine...

...bold and masculine

...and rich and elegant!  Who knew this little set had so much potential!

Inside of wedding card with sentiment from Word Play set.
 Pocket Silhouettes was one of the very first stamp sets I bought when I started stamping and it is one that I recommend to my customers who are new to stamping as well.  I still love it and reach for it often. 

If you'd like to join me to make these three cards, click here for more information  about my monthly class and then drop me a line to let me know you'd like to come.
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