Monday, January 28, 2008

Slightly Bent Challenge Cards

As I mentioned yesterday, I don't really like to color inside the lines. I love the inspiration of sketches but I feel compelled to put my own spin on the design.

Here are some of my very slightly tweaked versions of the challenge:

Gold Threads
Paper: Basic Grey Stella Ruby
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Really Rust
Images: Prickley Pear
Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On
Embellishment: gold embroidery floss

Carpe Clocks
Paper: unknown grey clock patterned paper and yellow clock patterned paper
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Summer Sun
Images: pocket watches (Stubby Stampers & Oxford Impressions); Carpe Diem (Stamp Francisco)
Ink: Jet Black Staz-On

These are went in the mail today! Mission accomplished!

Now as promised, my daughter's awesome take on the Take Ten Winter 2008 Challenge:

Didn't she do an awesome job? I sure think so.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Take Ten Challenge Revisited

Planning to submit challenge cards to Stampington's Take Ten magazine on time and actually doing it proved to be two very different goals. Apparently, my planning forgot to take into account .... well, basically any of my activities over the last month. So, this weekend marked a stamping frenzy as I am too stubborn to just give in or give up.

Here are some of my attempts at the Winter 2008 Take Ten Challenge that follow the basic sketch:

Cat's Meow
Paper: BasicGrey; Cardstock: Stampin' Up; Images: Pink Cat Studios

Blue Rose Love
Paper: blue rose (unknown - it was from a stack); Cardstock: Stampin' Up; Images: Stampin' Up

Well Read
Paper: Imaginisce; Cardstock: Paper Company; Image: Stubby Stampers

If you have been reading the blog, you know I came across a piece of patterned paper this week that completed obsessed me. Here are the final batch of burgundy cards:

Gibson Femme
Paper: Deja Views, Colorbok; Cardstock: Stampin' Up; Images: Gibson Girl (Paper Inspirations) and Femme (Oxford Impressions)

Live Out Loud in Burgundy
Paper: Deja Views, Colorbok, unknown; Carstock: Stampin' Up; Images: Cello Player (Non Sequiter), Live Out Loud (Hampton Art Stamps)

Tomorrow I will post the cards I did that didn't quite follow the sketch. You knew I couldn't color inside the lines for too long!

Also, coming tomorrow, my daughter's challenge card. She's 8. I think the card is a 10.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Brandishing Burgundy

Sometimes I get in a color rut. Today, it was the combination of Bravo Burgundy (Stampin' Up) and a gorgeous piece of paper (Cherry Damask - Fresh Print from Deja Views) which kept calling to me.

It all started when I was sorting my scraps and I came across some abandoned images I had done for the last Take Ten Challenge. I had stamped these in Bravo Burgundy on white. The bride and flowers are from the Beloved plate (Oxford Impressions) and I am sure I will figure out where I got the lovely lady on the right from soon.

Wanting to add some visual contrast with a paper, I began routing through my "red" drawer of paper and came out with this pretty damask paper. It had a lighter pink color in it so I went back to the drawers and came up with a striped paper (Colorbok) and an unidentified polka dot.

Thinking I would make a Valentine, I started fooling around with different configurations. Working to create a non-red Valentine is a hobby of mine. One year, I made a green and brown Valentine for my husband and a purple one for my daughter. I do not work well with rules and traditions. This year is a tame departure in comparison.

You'll notice that the polka dot paper did not make it onto the card above. It did, however, fit well into the next card.

Over the last two days, the Technique Junkies list has been jumping with great cards sparked by a sketch challenge on the Techno Stamper blog. I decided to use the same wonderful colors to create a card using this fabulous sketch. The image and sentiment used are from Oxford Impressions, the Beloved plate.

I still had paper left, so there had to be a final card. The image or should I say l'image is from Rubber Cottage. The sentiments are from the So Very set (Stampin' Up). The papers remain the same.

Tomorrow may see me in a teal turmoil, a green groove or a fushia furrow. Then again, there is a card-sized piece of Cherry Damask left...hmmm.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Freestyling with Fragments

Since I began stamping and scrapping, I have become a paper hoarder. If it is larger than 1"x 1", it somehow finds its way into my scrap drawer.

Recently, I used my scrap drawer as a way to jump start my creative process. The idea was simple. Pick one piece of paper and one image and see where it led me.

I picked out a piece of newspaper print paper first which had a green tinge to it. I paired this with two shades of green paper and a few images from nature, leaves and the ever-striking swallow from Carte Postale (Stampin' Up).

Cardstock - Old Olive, Handsome Hunter (Stampin' Up)
Paper - vintage ads (K & Company)
Stamps - Carte Postale and Stippled Stencils (Stampin' Up)
Inks - Old Olive, Handsome Hunter (Stampin' Up)
Embellishments - white buttons, thread, white organza ribbon

The second scrap I laid hands on was a piece of slate blue with lovely script all over it. A piece of vintage cartography paper shared the same shade of blue so I grabbed that piece too. Again, I wanted to offset the very man-made feeling of the maps and writing with natural images. This time, I picked the flower from the Heartful Thanks set. To mirror the colors in the papers, I selected blue, brown and deep green for its coloring.

Supplies: Cardstock - Creamy Caramel, Handsome Hunter (Stampin' Up)
Paper - blue script paper, vintage map paper (K & Company)
Stamps - Heartfelt Thanks, Canvas (Stampin' Up)
Inks - Creamy Caramel, Handsome Hunter, Not Quite Navy, Chocolate Chip (Stampin' Up)
Punches - corner rounder
Embellishments - white organza ribbon

The final card was created from leftovers I had from invitations I had made for a Summer party last year. The retro flowers called out for a bird to sit among them. I selected the bird from my Touch of Nature set as its more traditional tone was a nice contrast to the open, modern feeling of the flowers. To tie in the paper, I used a blender pen to color the bird in pink with yellow and brown accents after I had stamped it on cream paper. I then framed the bird in the remaining colors in the paper, blue and brown.

Cardstock - medium brown, cream and light blue (The Paper Company)
Paper - retro flowers (Paper Pizazz)
Stamps - Touch of Nature (Stampin' Up)
Inks - Close to Cocoa, Old Olive, Pixie Pink, Barely Banana (Stampin' Up)
Tools - blender pen, paper piercer
Embellishments - blue ribbon flower and 2 gold brads

This activity is not only a great way to jump start your designs, but it also is quite effective in using up those dozens of scraps left over from other projects. To further push myself and my designs into new places, I not only grab a random scrap but also a random stamp. The results can be fantastic, refreshing, disastrous, jarring or completely out of the ordinary. No matter what the outcome, it is a great way to exercise your design muscles and add to your repertoire.

If you are feeling the urge to stamp but don't have an idea in mind, grab a scrap and envision it as a fragment of a new project in progress!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Theme Scene

Sometimes when I am suffering from design deficit, I start with the papers instead of the stamps. In this particular set of cards, I started out with the audience, my mom, and a great 6" x 6" pad of paper.

My mother is a long-time sewer. When I saw this gorgeous paper, Stella Ruby by BasicGrey, I knew I would just have to make something for her with it. The pages incorporate vintage styling with overlays of sewing pattern marks.

My next step was to gather all my sewing related stamps together. I managed to find a very pretty stylized sewing machine (Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps) along with some coordinating sentiments. I also ran across an acrylic set I had purchased ages ago, So Diva by Hampton Art Stamps.

Once I had the materials together, the designs began to reveal themselves.

Here is a closer look at the results:

So, go and grab some lovely paper that you have been hoarding and create something fresh!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Taking the Take Ten Challenge

The first page I turn to in each issue of Stampington's Take Ten magazine is the Challenge. For the past two issues, I have tried to make it a personal goal to create and send in submissions to the Challenge. Tuesday night saw the production of my first attempt at the current challenge which uses a full circle, a half circle and a bar as its main elements. If you wish to see the template yourself, check out the template and submission information on the Stampington site. All submissions for this challenge are due by February 1, 2008. That gives me just under 2 weeks to panic!

Carpe Gibson was created with Taken with Teal, Tempting Turquoise, Bravo Burgundy and River Rock cardstock and Bravo Burgundy and Night of Navy ink (Stampin' Up). The patterned paper is also Stampin' Up. The images used include Gibson Girl profile (Above the Mark), Carpe Diem (Stamp Francisco) and Polka Dot (background stamp from Stampin' Up).

Teal has a special attraction for me and I love using it. For this challenge, though, I wanted to push myself so I took inspiration from a sister magazine to Take Ten, Stamper's Sampler, whose challenge this month is to use turquoise and red. As I have a naturally dark disposition, I altered this combo to the deeper shades afforded by burgundy and teal. River Rock is a neutral with personality so I had no trouble coming to the conclusion that it was the perfect bridge between the two disparate colors.

Here's what I sent for the last challenge.

Stay tuned for more attempts over the next 9 days as I try and produce something publishable.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Playing with the Rules

My regular stamp night with my fav stamping gal pal pushed me to get in gear for the new year. About time too! It is the middle of the month already.

Here are some of the cards I produced using a wonderful technique from Technique Junkies. I love this technique with its great look and easy production. The images are from Oxford Impressions and Starving Artistamps. I wanted to create a real guy card here, so I picked blue (Night of Navy) and green (Old Olive) from my Stampin Up supplies. The yellow (Summer Sun) gives a nice sharp contrast.

Of course, as soon as I did the "guy" card, I felt the urge to take it in the opposite direction. Here is my "Femme" card. Many of the objects are from Oxford Impressions. The ladies are from Above the Mark. I used Stampin Up paper and inks again, working with Pumpkin Pie and Burgandy with an accent of Cameo Coral.

I love the movement of the central image. She seems to want to dance right off the card.

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