Friday, February 29, 2008

Meeting the Challenge

Big news today! Two of my cards made it into Take Ten magazine. I am very excited. This is the first time my creations have made it into print. The two cards below are the ones that made the cut. They are based on the Take Ten Challenge in the Autumn 2007 issue.

Live in the Moment
Stamps used: Bonnet Girl (Beeswax); Live in the Moment (Stampers Anonymous)
Ink: Old Olive, Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up)

Many Faces
Stamps Used: Red Heart Label (Oxford Impressions), House Plans (Stampington) and Three Women (Magenta)
Ink: Taken with Teal (Stampin Up)

Can't rest on my laurels (minimal as they are). I am off to create!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Inkadinking with Acrylics

Picking up supplies at the craft store the other day, I ran across the new acrylic sets from Inkadinkado. I decided to set myself a challenge of making some quick and simple cards...for once!

My first effort was a little lackluster but it has grown on me over the last couple of days. This card can be made with one full sheet of cardstock, one 3" square of a secondary color and an incredible 2" square of patterned paper. Great for using up your scraps!

I love this big flower from the Inkadinkado Garden Delight acrylic set. I used a sentiment from the Inkadinkado Chelsea Sentiments set. The camera did not capture the rich turquoise or deep evergreen colors of this card. It is much more vibrant in person.

The next card I tried started out much different than it looks now. This card also uses the Inkadinkado Garden Delight and Chelsea sentiment sets. Originally, the flowers were going to be orange and pink. After trying that configuration, I realized that the card needed something to ground the various images. I chose my favorite neutral, chocolate brown, and the rest came together quite well. This card is a five minute card even when you add in the little touches like the corner rounding detailing and the addition of the thread wrap.

My next project will be to get going on my Easter and Passover cards and some generic "thinking of you" cards.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Blessed...But Not With Time

Not much stamping happening at my house these days. Nevertheless, I was able to take a few minutes to try out one of my newly mounted stamps from Lost Coast Designs. This is one of my favorite techniques to use, maybe because it was one of the first I really used on a regular basis. While basically a straight-forward spotlight, the ripped edge makes a nice transition between the spotlight and the main image. Well, I think so anyway.

Stamps: Winged Girl (Lost Coast Design); Weathered background (Stampin' Up); Blessed from So Very (Stampin' Up)
Inks: Bordering Blue (Stampin Up) and Midnight Blue (Staz On)
Cardstock: Taken with Teal and Bordering Blue (Stampin Up); white
Embellishments: 6 silver brads

Here are some other samples of a ripped spotlight that I have done over the years:

Fairy Love
Stamps Used: Victorian Fairy (Stamp Francisco), Je T'aime (Penny Black), Paris Moments (Hampton Art Stamps)

Eldorado Note
Stamps Used: Eldorado (Inkadinkado); Paris Moments (Hampton Art Stamps); Just a Little Note (Savvystamps)

If I had to do Eldorado Note over again, I would create a background with a different color base, probably more in the brown tones so as not to overwhelm the image.

Herbal Notes
Stamp Used: Herbs (Inkadinkado

I loved the simplicity of this card. It was a little tricky to line up all the herbs, but I think it was well worth it in the end.

Now, to wrap my head around the upcoming holidays of Easter and Passover. They're early this year! Why didn't anyone tell me?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Apres Valentine's Day Organization

I have not been doing a ton of stamping, but I have been doing a lot with my stamps. I decided to take time over the long weekend to create order from chaos. I took time to sort and file all my paper by color, 12 x 12 in drawers and 8 1/2 x 11 into vertical holders. My punches are all sorted by size and placed in drawers. My stamps are all sorted and actually in the lovely pizza boxes I bought last year.
The best thing about the weekend was that I was able to organize all my unmounted stamps onto plastic boards. I decided that the only way to stay sane and find anything was to organize the unmounteds by manufacturer as so many stamps could go into so many different categories. The end result was 5 binders nicely arranged alphabetically. I love this way of organizing as it lets me keep stamp plates together. I made an index sheet for each board and placed the index in a plastic page protector.

Once all the stray unmounteds were put away I could get to the business of mounting all those lovely stamps I got over the holidays. So many new images to play with! Whoohoo!

So while I didn't stamp this weekend, I did set the stage to make my future stamping ventures easier!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Saving the Best for Last

All I ever need is love so I guess this card shows how mushy I really am. This card is for my beloved and amazing husband!

I thought the image of the very serious wedding couple was fun. I overstamped Love across the images with white to break up the darker tones and to re-enforce the overall message of the card. One of my favorite parts of the card was a detail added at the last minute, the stamped lace on the ecru background. I was very pleased to find out that Antique Linen Distress Ink makes a quite lovely impression on ecru paper. I am sure that this detail will find its way into future cards.

All You Need is Love
Stamps: Wedding Couple from Beloved plate (Oxford Impressions); Love from My Story plate (Oxford Impressions); All You Need is Love (Hampton Art); Lace (Above the Mark)
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Bashful Blue, Lavender Lace, River Rock, Always Artichoke, Mellow Moss, Brocade Blue (SU); ecru (unknown)
Inks: Vintage Photo and Antique Linen (Tim Holtz Distress Ink); Moonlight White (Brilliance)

For the next card, I reverted to cute but that's because the recipient is also cute, my dear little daughter. I love this series of Penny Black stamps. They just make me smile everytime I use them. These stamps are also fun to watercolor. I again stayed away from traditional colors and instead went with some of my daughter's favorites, light blue and purple.

Bunny Love
Stamps: Spring Joy (Penny Black); flower from Delight in Life (SU); loved from So Very (SU)
Cardstock: Elegant Eggplant, Bashful Blue (SU); watercolor paper
Ink: Elegant Eggplant, Bashful Blue, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa, Cameo Coral, Garden Green, Old Olive (SU); Timber Brown (Staz-On)
Embellishments: gold brads
Tools: Round Tab punch (SU); aquapainter (SU)

Thank goodness, St. Patrick's Day does not come with the same requirement for cards. Of course, Easter and Passover will upon me faster than usual this year. Sigh. Well, maybe I will take a couple days off to do some silly stamping before I tackle the next holiday with gusto!

Happy Valentine's Day to all!
- Shar

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Some Bunny Loves You

For this Valentine, I was looking for a fun image and happened on this sweet bunny from Penny Black. The layout was inspired by Technostamper's 4th Monday Lunchtime Sketch Challenge. Once again, I chose very non-Valentine colored papers for this one. I wanted to express freshness and Spring, which I hope is around the corner.

Cardstock: Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip and So Saffron (Stampin' Up); white watercolor paper
Inks: Pumpkin Pie and So Saffron (Stampin' Up); Moonlight White (Brilliance); Timber Brown (Staz-On); various Stampin' Up colors used for the watercolor treatment
Stamps: Bee and pansy from In Full Bloom set (Stampin Up); Bees & Bunny (Penny Black) - too cute!; Be My Valentine (Paper Inspirations)
Tools: aquapainter (Stampin' Up)

Okay, tomorrow is the big day! Stay tuned for cards for the Darling Daughter and Beloved Husband!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

True Friend Valentines

Last time, I got stuck on a color. This weekend, I was stuck on a stamp set I just got. True Friend (Stampin' Up) has a wonderfully bold feel and lends itself to many applications. As I may have mentioned before, pink and red Valentines are not my thing.

Here is what I came up with using True Friend.

This one is done in greens because why not? My only regret was not selecting a deeper color for the sentiment.

Inks: Glorious Green and Green Galore (Stampin Up), Moonlight White (Brilliance)
Cardstock: Glorious Green and Green Galore (Stampin Up) and a basic white
Embellishment: white organdy ribbon (Stampin Up)
Stamps: True Friend set (Stampin Up) and Happy Valentine's Day (Savvy Stamps)

Next up, a clean green look.

Inks: Glorious Green (Stampin Up), Moonlight White (Brilliance)
Cardstock: Glorious Green and Green Galore (Stampin Up) and a basic white
Stamps: True Friend set (Stampin Up) and Happy Valentine's Day (Savvy Stamps)

And, of course, a "true" blue card.

Inks: Brocade Blue and Bordering Blue (Stampin Up), Moonlight White (Brilliance)
Cardstock: Brocade Blue(Stampin Up) and a basic white
Paper: blue background from a stack by ProvoCraft
Embellishment: shiny blue ribbon (who knows?)
Stamps: True Friend set (Stampin Up) and Happy Valentine's Day (Savvy Stamps)

Okay, 2 days until Valentine's to go. Stay tuned for more non-pink Valentines.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Feline Geisha

My seventeen year-old niece just loves anything Japanese and has a soft spot for cats, so when I saw this cute stamp (Pink Cat Studios) I knew exactly what I had to do.

Using the now second-nature Winter 2008 Take Ten sketch and some very pretty handmade asian papers from my collection I was able to put this card together with ease. I selected red to offset the softer colors in the papers. I used those soft colors as a jumping off point for coloring the cat in with watercolor pencils that were then softened using a blender pen.

As part of her birthday gift, I also made her these note cards using Stampin' Up's Kanji set. I picked a very simple design so that the characters really stood out. Also, I just LOVE this layout. It is easy and elegant at the same time. The colors were all inspired by the background paper.

Here's a close-up of "Wisdom".

Valentine's are calling! Stay tuned for more quirky versions of Valentines.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Valentine Crunch...the Start

Yes, Valentine's Day is the same day every year. Yes, one should be prepared for the inevitable. Yes, there is quite a bit of down time between the December holidays and Valentine's. These are all givens. Another given...I never get my Valentine's cards done on time.

These cards are for two of my nieces. The first one is for the 10-year-old and the second for the 6-year-old.

On both cards, I created the background first using a Technique Junkies technique on the coral cardstock using white and coral ink and heart and rose stamps from the Stampin' Up set, Wing It. I stamped each sentiment in Timber Brown Staz-On. I then stamped the poodle, again in brown, on both a sheet of white cardstock and on to the background. I also stamped the portion of the image with the bows onto a spare piece of coral. The poodle was cut from the white cardstock. Glitter was added to the "fluffy" parts of the poodles before I attached it to the card. The last thing to go on were the paper pieced coral bows.

Stamps: Poodle (Pink Cat Studio); Be My Valentine (Paper Inspirations); Heart & Rose (Stampin' Up)
Paper: Cameo Coral (Stampin' Up); white
Inks: Moonlight White (Brilliance); Cameo Coral (Stampin' Up); Timber Brown (Staz-On)
Other: white glitter

Stamps: Poodle (Pink Cat Studio); Happy Valentine's Day (Savvystamps); Heart & Rose (Stampin' Up)
Paper: Cameo Coral (Stampin' Up); white
Inks: Moonlight White (Brilliance); Cameo Coral (Stampin' Up); Timber Brown (Staz-On)
Other: white glitter

Well, back to work. I still have cards to make for my 17-year-old niece, my Mom, my extremely cute daughter and my amazing husband.

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