Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CASE of a CASE!

Today's card is one that I CASE'd from my upline, who CASE'd it from Wendy Weixler, a very talented demonstrator from the southern US.  I love the layout and CAS design and just had to replicate it for my one of my monthly groups.  Check it out...

Cheeky Thank you card featuring the Rue des Fleurs stamp set.

Inside view
I love the cheekiness of this card...so much fun!  I also love that it is so simple!  The stamped image really pops and I think the pleated satin ribbon peeking out from behind the sentiment panel is reminiscent of frilly underthings peeking out from under a hemline (or above cleavage!).  I really love this card...so much that I think I will be using this design to send to all of my parent volunteers at school...they'll get a kick out of it!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ready for spring

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you had a great weekend.  Inspired by a sunny afternoon yesterday, today's card holds the promise of warmer weather and the colours of summer.  I designed it for one of my monthly groups in the hope that they would be as ready for a hit of summer colour as I am.  Have a look...

Bright and cheerful card featuring the Mixed Bunch stamp set with sentiment from Tiny Tags.

Inside view
Isn't this just a happy card?  It reminds me a little of a vinyl picnic tablecloth or a beach towel.  I love those daisies and the colours just make me smile.  After the drabness of winter I am so ready for some colour and the combination of melon mambo, tempting turquoise and lucky limeade fit the bill!  This is one of those cards that is really easy to put together...it really just uses stamps, ink and paper and then I added a glimmer brad and some baker's twine to finish it off.  The highlight of this card, though is that blossom...made super simple with the Mixed Bunch stamp set and coordinating blossom punch...I SO love that duo!  I foresee many more blossom-filled cards in my future!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

...and Something for Mom!

I didn't want the moms among us to feel left out so after designing the Father's Day card I posted yesterday I decided to do one for Mother's Day as well.  For this one I pulled out another of my favourite IBC sets:  Field Flowers (I know, just about every set is my favourite!).  I also drew on an oldie but goodie...Inspired by Nature...have a look:

Something for Mom featuring the Field Flowers and Inspired by Nature stamp sets with sentiment from Family Reunion.

Inside view with sentiment from Teeny Tiny Wishes
Ok, so I'm hoping you all noticed the distinct lack of ANY embellishments on this card!!  If you've been following this blog for a while you likely know that I LOVE embellies...ribbon, buttons, brads...they all make me smile and no card is complete with out at least one of the above.  So when I create something that DOESN'T use any of the above it is a momentous event.  So, why did I leave this card so darned naked?  I was thinking of my own mom when designing it.  She is not a girlie girl by any stretch...how many 69-year-old women do you know who own their own chainsaw?!?  Ribbon and buttons just don't suit her style, so I opted for the naked look.  She is, however, an avid gardener and living in Northern Ontario she often incorporates the natural wildflowers native to the area in her gardens.  The images on this card remind me of a snapshot of her acres (and I'm not exaggerating) of gardens.  So, here is what I did to create this simple mom-worthy card...
Starting with a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of very vanilla cardstock, I stamped the grass image from the Inspired by Nature set in pear pizzazz ink.  I stamped it a couple of times to fill the space.  I then stamped the stems from Field Flowers in garden green ink right over top of the grass.  I stamped the solid flowers in perfect plum and then the line flowers in elegant eggplant...gotta love two-step-stamping!  I added the solid centres in more mustard for contrast.  I then sponged the edges of the stamped cardstock using pear pizzazz, going heavier along the bottom edge and lighter along the top.  To add a little interest I used my paper piercer and mat pack to add the detail in the top left and bottom right corners before adhering the whole thing to a pear pizzazz card base.  For the sentiment, I stamped the "To my" from the Family Reunion set in pear pizzazz on some scrap very vanilla cardstock and then the "Mom" in elegant eggplant.  I punched it out with my large oval punch and layered it on a scalloped oval in elegant eggplant.  It is adhered to the card with dimensionals.
For the inside I stamped the stem and blossom images again, but stamped them off first to give the more faded image.  I omitted the more mustard centres to keep it looking muted and soft.  The sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes and is stamped in elegant eggplant on very vanilla and then punched out with the word window. 
A simple card made quick and easy thanks to SU's Two-Step-Stamping ingenuity.  Sure hope my mom likes it!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Something for dad

Sometimes it is nice to CASE oneself.  Today's card is a masculine version of the card I posted yesterday.  It uses DSP instead of fabric and is decidedly more manly...

Masculine card for Father's Day featuring the tried-and-true Lovely as a Tree stamp set as well as leaves from French Foliage and sentiment from Teeny Tiny Wishes
I don't know what it is about the Lovely as a Tree set...but it is one that I seem to gravitate to whenever I have to do a masculine card. Its not like I don't have other masculine sets but there is something about the images in that particular set that I really love.  I hope it never retires!
For this card I used DSP from two different packs:  Petals and Paisley and Well Worn.  I distressed the DSP and inked the edges with soft suede ink and then adhered them to an always artichoke card base that I embossed with my houndstooth embossing folder.  I stamped the image on very vanilla cardstock using soft suede ink and then sponged on always artichoke and marina mist ink for the grass and sky using my daubers.  Such a quick and easy way to add colour!  I again distressed the edges and then sponged them lightly with soft suede.  I stamped the sentiment on a scrap of very vanilla, punched it out with my decorative label punch and then adhered it along the bottom left edge of the focal image.  I wrapped a piece of linen thread around the stamped layer and then adhered it to the card base using dimensionals.  The final touch was two leaves from the French Foliage set that I stamped in bravo burgundy (I think that's the first time I've used that ink pad!!) and always artichoke and then fussy cut out.  I adhered them to the back of an always artichoke button that I had threaded with more linen thread and then stuck the whole thing to my card. 
I had originally intended for this card to be part of my Card Buffet line-up, but after putting it all together, decided it was a wee bit too involved for that particular event.  It may just end up in another class though!
Speaking of my card buffet, check out the samples under the Events tab at the top of the page to see the six designs available at that event.  In the meantime, have a great weekend...and happy stampin'!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

More Fabric Fun

Today's post is based on a layout shown by Shelley Gardiner (Stampin' Up's co-founder and CEO) during one of her presentations at last year's convention.  Shelley's version used Spice Cake fabric and was fall-themed but I decided to give this birthday card more of a spring-feel.  See what you think...
Birthday card featuring Twitterpated designer fabric and the Perfectly Penned stamp set.

Inside view with sentiment from the Blessings from Heaven set.
Whaddya think?  I designed this card for my team meeting last month.  If you'll recall we were looking at ways to incorporate fabric into our projects and this one is a REALLY way easy to add a pop of colour and texture.  Here is what I did:
Starting with a piece of confetti white cardstock I spritzed it with blushing bride Smooch (from the Occasions Mini).  This is by far my favourite Smooch colour yet!  So quick and easy to use and such a great effect!  Setting that aside to dry, I stamped the sentiment in island indigo on a piece of scrap confetti white cardstock and then tore it out, attempting the keep the image relatively centred.  I then sponged the torn edges using both blushing bride and island indigo ink.  Going back to my spritzed cardstock, I distressed the edges using the tool from my cutter kit.  I then cut a 3" square of Big Shot Multi-Purpose adhesive sheet.  That stuff is the BEST adhesive for adhering fabric to your projects.  Easy to use and in-expensive too!  I adhered one side of the double-sided sheet to the centre of the card and then peeled off the backing to reveal the very sticky adhesive.  I then tore strips of Twitterpated fabric and layered them over the adhesive, again attempting to centre them somewhat.  I layered the stamped sentiment overtop using Tombow multi-purpose liquid glue.  The last touch was one of the big designer buttons I picked up from the Clearance Rack and threaded with a bit of island indigo ruffled ribbon. 
On the inside of the card I wanted to incorporate the fabric somehow and so I tied a narrow strip into a knot and added it as a detail in the upper left corner.  The sentiment, one of my favourites, is from the Blessings from Heaven set in the main catalogue and is stamped in island indigo on confetti white cardstock.
Another quick and easy card using our fabulous fabric...have you ordered yours yet?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mixed Bunch Birthday

Even though this winter hasn't really been typical for this part of Southern Ontario (little snow and more  above zero days than below) I am done with it.  I am ready for spring; for green grass and new leaves and soft spring flowers.  Today's card is one that embraces everything I love about my favourite season...bright, cheerful colours and, of course, blossoms!
Cheerful birthday card featuring the Mixed Bunch stamp set and coordinating blossom punch.

Inside view
I have to say that one of my favourite new products from the current Occasions Mini is the Mixed punch stamp set and coordinating blossom punch.  I love the shape of the blossom and the way it layers so beautifully.  For this card I pulled DSP from two different packs:  Flirtatious and Twitterpated.  I wanted two different patterns featuring daffodil delight...after all, what says spring like daffodils?!?  I cut the DSP into narrow strips and layered them on a mat of pool party cardstock.  I then cut a strip of whisper white cardstock on both long sides with my new Edgelit die.  I then ran each side through the Big Shot with the scalloped Adorning Accents embossing folder, being sure to offset the scallops.  I stamped the sentiment (from the Bring on the Cake set) using island indigo ink and then layered the whole thing on top of the DSP panel.  To stamp the flower, I first inked my stamp using daffodil delight ink and then rolled the edges in pool party (Rock and Roll technique).  I stamped the image on whisper white and then punched it out using my blossom punch.  I punched two more blossom shapes from daffodil delight and pool party cardstock and layered them behind the stamped flower.  To get the petals to curl I simply used the end of my bone folder to curl them up.  The button in the middle is threaded with a bit of pool party baker's twine.  It is one of the big designer buttons that retired last year.  I bought a bunch when they were on the Clearance Rack a while back because I love them!!  Just one adds such a statement to any project. 
For the inside of the card I stamped the flower image again and added the label (from the P.S. I Love You set) and sentiment from Bring on the Cake. 
Such a bright and cheerful card...can't wait to see my garden filled with the same bright cheerfulness!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fun with Fabric

Some of the members of my Tri-City Stampers team were asking for ideas as to how to use Stampin' Up's designer fabrics on their projects.  I decided to incorporate fabric in this month's make-n-takes for our team meeting.  This is the first card we made, using the Flirtatious fabric, which is available during Sale-a-bration for FREE!
CAS card featuring Flirtatious designer fabric and sentiment from the Sincere Saluations set

Flower detail
This is the perfect workshop card, which was another reason I chose it for my team meeting.  It is one that comes together quickly and easily and whose sentiment can be swapped out for just about anything.  It also uses several of my favourite tools to create:  the Big Shot to cut out the flowers and the Simply Scored to add the scoring detail at the bottom.  I also used my Stamp-a-ma-Jig to place the sentiment, as the Sincere Salutations set is only available in wood mount.  To get the flower to pop off the card I used a large 2 3/8" scalloped circle that I punched from whisper white cardstock and then crumpled and smoothed out again.  I layered the flower on top and added the brad to hold it all together.  The stiffness of the cardstock allows the flower to have more shape and dimension.
I love this fabric and have several other projects to show you over the next little while that use fabric to add texture and colour...stay tuned!

Friday, February 17, 2012

R is for Retire

...boy do I wish that applied to me!  Sadly I still have another 14 years to go before I can enjoy the freedom retirement brings.  Lucky for a colleague of mine, freedom is her reality.  She recently retired after more than 30 years at our school.  She is an institution there and her absence is already being felt!  It is only fitting that I create a special card to honour someone who has done so much to enrich the life of the countless students who have walked the halls of our high school.  This is the card I designed for her...
Retirement card featuring the Broadsheet and Occasions Alphabet stamp sets .

Inside detail with stamped images from the Vintage Vogue stamp set
I have to say I quite like this colour combo.  I took it from the Attic Boutique DSP:  pool party, daffodil delight and soft suede.  It is hard to tell in the photo, but I heat embossed the R using a long-retired embossing powder called Gold Glory.  I sure wish SU would bring that one back...it works perfectly with soft suede for an aged, vintage look.  I created the 3D flowers by punching them out with my boho blossoms punch and then burnishing them with my stylus on the foam mat from my mat pack.  They curl right up, making them easy to layer for pretty three dimensional flowers.  This card took a while to put together but was worth the effort.  I know my colleague appreciated the details I added and it was fun creating a fussy card after all the CAS ones I've been doing lately! 
This is the Family Day long weekend here in Ontario and I am SO excited to have nothing planned at all.  I have an intro to My Digital Studio class tonight and then I have the whole weekend to stamp and spend with my family.  I can't wait!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you are feeling loved today.  We are keeping it pretty low-key around here.  Max had his pre-school Valentine's party and had a blast!  He came home with lots of loot, so he was happy.  My darling hubby surprised me with beautiful roses when I got home from work this afternoon.  I know there are many out there that think Valentine's Day is over-rated and all about the commercial hype, but I have to say it is the ONLY day of the year I get flowers, so I'm loving it!  So, to wish you all a happy heart day, here is my LAST Valentine's project of the year...
Valentine's card featuring the Take it to Heart and Outlined Occasions stamp sets.

Inside view with sentiment from the P.S. I Love You set
This card is loosely based on a Mojo Monday sketch from a week or two ago.  It was inspired by a card I saw on our demonstrator forum.  It really was simple to put together, despite all the layers.  I enjoyed playing with different patterns and textures to create interest...and I FINALLY got to use my new Hearts Framelits!  Too bad my need for die-cut hearts will be considerably less now that Valentine's day is behind us!  Ah well, there's always next year!
I hope you've had a great day...I can't wait to show you some of the other projects I've been working on!  See you tomorrow!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Super Simple Valentine's Card

Well, it's two days till V-day...are you prepared?  My son is SO excited about his Valentine's party at pre-school...he's been counting down for two weeks already!  We've got his Valentines all made for his classmates and he's decided which red shirt he is going to wear.  Honestly, he's more excited about this than he was for Christmas!  Ah to be four-and-a-half again!
Today's card is a quick and easy one I created quite a while back.  The best part is that I stamped it all in two easy steps, thanks to the ability to mount multiple clear-mount stamps on the same block.  Have a look...
Simple Valentine featuring the P.S. I Love You Stamp Set
Told you it was simple!  I stamped all of the basic gray images at once by mounting them all on a single block and then stamped the two different red images individually.  Talk about quick and easy!  All that stamping took less than two minutes!  I then added a few little accents with the red glimmer paper and some little silver mini brads.  The whole thing is mounted with dimensionals on a cardbase that I ran through my perfect polka dots embossing folder.  So quick and easy, but still effective.
Hope your weekend is going well...and that you find some time to stamp!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fur-ever Love


TGIF!!  What a week this has been!  The first week of a  new semester at school is  always hectic and this one has  been no different.  I'm left with almost no voice and am completely exhausted.  My bathtub is calling my name, but first I wanted to show you this cute card I designed for my techniques class last night. 

Cute Valentine's Card featuring the Friends Furever and P.S. I Love You Stamp sets.
  This card may look simple, but it sure took us a while to make last night!  Starting with the background, we sponged layers of ink from the  lightest to darkest shade on whisper white cardstock.  The colours we used were pretty in pink, real red and cherry cobbler.  Then we "inked" our circle stamp with bleach and stamped randomly all over.  The ink instantly disappeared revealing the white cardstock underneath.  Then we stamped with real red ink using the line-art heart image.  The result was the sort of whimsical DSP-looking background.  We then set to watercolouring the focal image using watercolour crayons and blender pens.  I really love using the crayons to colour and need to do more of it!  For the sentiment, we used a portion of one of the sentiments from P.S. I Love You for the "Love You" and part of one of the sentiments from Furever Friends for the "fur-ever" part.  The result was a cute sentiment, perfectly suited to this card. 
This is going to be my son's Valentine for my parents...they'll love it!
Now I'm off to that bath I mentioned...have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

X-O-Lent Treats

Today's post is a Valentine's treat holder I designed for my monthly techniques group that meets tomorrow night.  It uses the bleaching technique...have a look:
Valentine's treat holder featuring the P.S. I Love You stamp set

Top view
Now that I've told you this uses the bleaching technique, I realize that you can't see much of the bleaching in this photo!  You can make out parts of a two bleached hearts along the left side of the label.  To create this project I stamped two different heart images using bleach instead of ink on real red cardstock and then heat set it with my heat tool.  I then stamped the circle of hearts and another line-art heart using real red and cherry cobbler ink respectively.  The result is  a collage effect that gives interest to the plain cardstock.  To add further interest, I ran the whole die cut through my crimper after I stamped it but before I folded the score lines.  I then assembled the box and added the die cut labels and little red bow.  I filled a small cello bag (item 103104) with red and white jelly beans, tied off the top with some baker's twine and added a little tag.  This little bundle of treats will find its way to someone special next Tuesday.  As my son says...only 6 more sleeps till Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Another Sale-a-bration Make-n-Take

Yesterday I showed the first of the two make-n-takes the guests at my Sale-a-bration Open House made on Saturday.  Today I have the second card for you.  My goal in creating this card was to show that the fabulous Everyday Enchantment DSP is SUPER versatile.  It is obviously perfect for gorgeously feminine and vintage looks; however I wanted to demonstrate that it can also be used for more masculine designs as well.  Have a look and you'll see what I mean:
Card using the Sprinkled Expressions, Extreme Elements and Good Grid stamp sets.

Inside view with sentiment from the Workshop Words stamp set.
Whaddya think?  Not so girlie, huh?  I love the more geometric patterns in this paper as much as the floral prints.  This card is perfect for just about anyone...including the men in your life.  The sentiment on the inside is from a stamp set we received at convention last summer called Workshop Words.  It is a great set for us demonstrators as it has all sorts of sentiments we frequently use like "thanks for your order" and "thanks for being such a great hostess".  This one is to congratulate team members on their achievements...which is how I will be using this card in the future!  As for the colour scheme on this card, I drew it from the paper itself:  pool party, lucky limeade, poppy parade and soft suede.
I hope this example shows all those of you who are "not into the vintage thing" that this year's SAB DSP is super versatile and has something for everyone.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Sale-a-Bration Open House

Yesterday I held my annual Sale-a-bration Open House.  It was a great success and think all who attended had a good time.  We had games, prizes, special offers and, of course, make-n-takes!  Here is one of the cards my guests made...
Simple any-occasion card using the Elementary Elegance SAB stamp set.
Now, I thought it only appropriate that we make projects that feature SAB products for this event, so I designed my make-n-takes to use LOTS of stuff that is available for FREE during Sale-a-bration.  This card uses the Everyday Elegance DSP, the Elementary Elegance stamp set, poppy parade cardstock and the Everyday Enchantment ribbon and brads.  I don't think I could have gotten more SAB product on this card if I tried!  I kept the layout simple but did get to use my Simply Scored to add the detail along the left side and my Mat Pack and Piercer to add the detail in the upper right. My guests seemed to enjoy this simple project and everyone who attended made one.
Now, I need to take care of a little business...I must announce the winner of my door prize draw!  My impartial judge (my 4-year-old) drew the winner last night after everyone had left.  And the winner is...

Chris Light

Congratulation, Chris!  I will make arrangements to get your prize to you this week.  Wondering what was in Chris's bag of goodies?  Here is a list:
  • an On Board Journal
  • a package of Fresh Cut note cards
  • a roll of satin ribbon
  • a package of big designer buttons
  • a package of felt flowers
  • a glue stick
  • a sanding block
  • the Packed for Mom a la Carte stamp from the Occasions Mini 
Not a bad haul, huh?  Don't you wish you'd made it to my open house?  If you missed it, don't fret...I'll be holding another BIG event when the new catalogue comes out in June.  Mark Saturday, June 2nd on your calendar...you'll be glad you did!  Now...off to prep for this week's classes!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Elegant Valentine

Happy Groundhog Day!  There was no sun in Cambridge today, so here's to an early spring!  Mind you, we haven't really had winter yet, so I'm not complaining, but an early spring sure would be nice!  I miss my flowers!
Speaking of flowers, today's post is one I designed for my Big Shot club meeting last week.  As I mentioned yesterday, we were focusing on the new Framelits and Edgelits from the Occasions Mini.  It turns out that this card also works for this week's challenge at Pals Paper Arts which is to use any shade of red in your design.  Well, this card certainly fits the bill!  Have a look...

Elegant Valentine for PPA128 using the Fresh Vintage SAB stamp set and sentiment from P.S I Love You

Inside view with sentiment from Word Play
I have to say I really like this card!  The best part of it is that it could easily be changed for just about any occasion (including Christmas!) by simply changing up the sentiment.  Since we are in the season of love I decided to make it a Valentine's card.  Now this one used my Big Shot to the max...I embossed the card base with the Elegant Bouquet folder. I cut AND embossed the label with my Framelits dies (more on that later) and I used my Edgelits and Adorning Accents folder to add the decorative white detail on the front and the inside of the card.  Talk about getting the most from my favourite tool!
Now, I'm sure you're all wondering how the heck I embossed the frame around the label.  SO easy, I tell you!  Here's the sandwich (from bottom up):  multi-purpose platform on tab 1, cutting plate, framelit die with knife side DOWN (against the cutting plate), cardstock, Texturz Silicone rubber, Texturz Impressions pad.  After you run this sandwich through your Big Shot, use the next size larger Framelit to cut out the embossed frame as usual.  Now, if you want to frame a stamped image as I did, you'll need to stamp first and then emboss the frame.  It is a bit tricky getting your stamped image centred when you have to put the cardstock on top of the die...just hold it up to the light and you'll see the stamped image through the cardstock.  Then just be very careful laying it down on the cutting plate.  My club members really liked this slick little trick!  I so love finding new uses for things! 
I don't know if I'll have time to post tomorrow...I have to get ready for my Sale-a-bration Open House on Saturday!  I SO love this time of year!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Gnomeo, Gnomeo...

I absolutely adore the new Gnome, Sweet Gnome set in the Occasions Mini.  Coupled with the Gnomenclature sentiments, it is just too darned cute!  The best of all is that I earned it for free through a demo incentive Stampin' Up was running in the fall!  Today's card is a Valentine I designed for my Big Shot club which met for the first time last week.  Our focus this month was on the new Framelits and Adorning Accents.  Have a look...
Valentine card using the Gnome, Sweet Gnome and Gnomenclature stamp sets

Focal image detail

Inside view
Isn't he the sweetest??  This is actually going to be my hubby's Valentine's card.  We have a bit of a history with garden gnomes from when we were first married.  He will totally get the significance of this card...and hopefully smile! 
Now on with the the nitty gritty details.  To create the frame, I nested two framelits inside eachother and then cut the chocolate chip cardstock.  The result is a perfect frame every time...SO easy!  I popped the frame up with dimensionals, as you can see in the detail photo above.  Then I wanted my little gnome to look like he was stepping out of the frame, so I popped him up with TWO layers of dimensionals...again, you can see that in the photo.  I then added the glimmer heart that I popped up with a single dimensional on the part that overlapped the frame and a glue dot on the part that overlapped the gnome's hand.  This way it has dimension but doesn't look like it is floating above his hand!  The rest of the card is pretty straightforward.  I diecut the little hearts using my Fashionable Hearts embosslit, adhering the larger ones flat and the smaller ones with a trimmed dimensional.  I added some interest at the bottom of the card with the hearts Adorning Accents folder and then wrapped some island indigo baker's twine around it.  The sentiment was hand-cut into a banner and adhered with glue dots.  On the inside, I repeated the embossing along the bottom and added a couple more hearts and the sentiment, which is from Teeny Tiny Wishes.
I have to say I really like this card...and so did my club members!  I can't wait to do more with this adorable stamp set!
On another note, there is exciting news from Stampin' Up!  Starting today and for the entire month of February, SU is offering a FREE 30-day trial of My Digital Studio (MDS) Express, our digital scrapbooking software.  This is a fantastic opportunity to take this fabulous program for a test-drive before investing in purchasing it.  You can access the free download by clicking the SHOP NOW button on my business website.  Download it today and get creating...you have absolutely NOTHING to lose!  Once you've downloaded the software, sign up for my FREE Introduction to My Digital Studio class on Friday, February 17th at 7:00 pm.  Just bring along your laptop with MDS installed and I'll show you the basics of how to navigate this powerful and versatile software.  Click the Upcoming Classes and Events tab at the top of this page for further details.

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