Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Announcing 31 Days of Holiday Cards

I admit it. I always end up stamping my holiday cards in late November and early December. This year I want it to be different. I have decided to challenge myself to make at least one holiday card design every day in October.

Each day I will suggest a card inspiration. I have created a theme for each weekday.

Shape Up Sunday - drag out your cutters and punches, we are going to use shapes!
Motif Monday - these days will focus on using all those common embellishments hanging around your craft space
Toolbox Tuesday - time to get back to those basic tools of the trade
Wondercolor Wednesday - this will be a color challenge day
Thursday's Technique - don't panic, these are all very simple, very common techniques
Free Form Friday - the inspiration for these days will be a stamp image theme
Saturday's Sketch - I will post very simple sketches on the 4 Saturdays

You may notice my overuse of the word "simple". I want to get my Christmas and Chanukah cards done so I want to "Keep It Simple Stamper" so that I don't abandon the project midway!

If you want to play along, you can drop by the blog each morning and check out the suggestions or you can subscribe using Feedblitz. I will be changing my newsletter distribution to daily just for October and this challenge.

If you have a blog, post a comment to my blog with a link to your card on your own blog. I will include your link in my next blog posts (whenever possible - life sometimes does intervene).

Here are a few of my holiday cards from the past to get those holiday juices going:







Hope to see you tomorrow!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Stubby Stampers Mystery Game

I recently joined the Stubby Stampers yahoo group. I am participating in one of their challenges which involves using a single Stubby Stampers stamp image for 3 different cards. Of course, doing the 3 cards isn't everything - the cards need to fit into 3 of 10 categories. Very fun! I love a challenge...no pun intended!

I chose an art deco woman reading a book as my image. I made cards in the categories of monochromatic, one stamp card, and fall colors.

To make the monochromatic card, I decided to try some cool blues. I also decided to finally try out a technique from the June/July issue of the Technique Junkies newsletter called Marker Watercoloring. Once I colored the image in, I mounted the panel on a piece of designer paper festooned with roses. The huge oval I used to frame the image obscures most of the roses but the card still has a soft look. Guess it is the thought of the roses more than their actual presence.

Lady Reads the Blues
Stamps: Art Deco Woman Reading and Enjoy Life's Little Pleasures (Stubby Stampers)
Paper: blue rose paper from a Provocraft stack purchased many years ago
Cardstock: Paper Store medium blue; watercolor paper
Ink: Midnight Blue (StazOn); Marvy Markers No. 60 & No. 100
Tools: Oval cutter (Creative Memories)
Embellishments: one fabric flower

My second card used black and white paper to set up lots of contrast. I added little splashes of red through paper piecing and some matting.

Well Red
Stamp:
Art Deco Woman Reading (Stubby Stampers)
Paper: Imaginisce (sorry, don't know this particular paper's name)
Cardstock: Paper Company deep red; generic white
Ink: Jet Black (StazOn)

The final card was to be done in Autumn colors. To use the stamp a bit differently, I used a technique called Warhol which I learned from the Technique Junkies newsletter.

Autumn Styling
Stamp: Art Deco Woman Reading and vine border (Stubby Stampers)
Cardstock: Barely Banana, More Mustard, Really Rust, Chocolate Chip and Summer Sun (Stampin Up)
Ink: Timber Brown (StazOn); More Mustard (Stampin Up)
Tools: 1" square punch

I think these challenges get me going. It's nice to have a place to start when I sit down at my craft table!

Something Borrowed Something Coo?

Yesterday, I made two Halloween cards and a birthday card from sets borrowed from my friend and fellow stamper, Ali.

Taking a break from the stamping spooky cards, I decided to dive into a bit of whimsical stamping. One of the sets I borrowed is called A Little Bird Told Me (Stampin Up) and it is just adorable.

I love doing paper piecing and this set sure makes this fun and easy technique a breeze. I picked a brightly colored paper to add a bit of pizzazz.



Birdie Birthday
Stamps:
Little Bird and It's Your Birthday from A Little Bird Told Me set (Stampin Up)
Paper: flower paper unknown (been in my scrap drawer for a long, long time)
Cardstock: Pixie Pink & So Saffron (Stampin Up)
Ink: Timber Brown (StazOn)
Tools: corner rounder

Isn't he cute? I thought so! One of my projects over the next few months to create several birthday cards. I am always making them the week before the birthday. This year, I am going to try and create unique designs for each birthday card needed at least 2 months ahead of the actual birthday. It's a goal anyway.

Here's one I made for my brother-in-law's recent birthday.


Birthday Greetings
Stamp:
Cakeabella (Stamping Bella)
Paper: chocolate/blue polka dot (unknown - also in scrap drawer and I used bit with the name on it)
Cardstock: Bashful Blue and Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up); generic white
Inks: Timber Brown (StazOn); variety of Marvy markers
Tools: blender pen

I also got my husband's birthday card stamped today, but you will have to wait to see that one until after his birthday. He is so sweet, he actually reads my blog and I don't want to spoil the surprise.

Happy stamping!

Don't forget that October will feature the 31 Days of Holiday Cards Challenge!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Something Borrowed Something Boo

On Friday, my friend Ali was kind enough to lend me two Stampin Up sets, House of Haunts and A Little Bird Told Me.

Using these two sets, I created 2 Halloween cards and a birthday card. I loved the owl in the tree from the House of Haunts set as soon as I saw it. I didn't necessarily want to use conventional colors so I focused on possible colors for the image rather than the theme. I came up with Briliant Blue on Lavender Lace (Stampin Up). To add to the spooky woods feel of the card, I ran my base panel through my Cuttlebug using my Distressed Stripes folder.

Happy Owlween
Stamps: Owl in Tree and Happy Halloween from House of Haunts (Stampin Up)
Cardstock: Lavender Lace & Brilliant Blue (Stampin Up); generic white for base
Ink: Brilliant Blue (Stampin Up)
Tools: Oval and scallop punches, bone folder for distressing, Cuttlebug machine and folder

While I had my Cuttlebug out, I decided to use it for the base panel of my next card as well. I just got this great Spider Web folder a few weeks ago. I wanted to use some more great images from House of Haunts. I decided to use the owl in the tree again and the haunted house. I went to my own Where the Haunt Is set (also Stampin Up) to complete the look with a witch on a broomstick. I decided to use a variation of the Layered Collage technique from Technique Junkies. I decided to forgo a background stamp to keep the look clean.


Haunted Collage
Stamps:
Owl in Tree and Haunted House from House of Haunts set and Witch from Where the Haunt Is (Stampin Up)
Cardstock: cream (Paper store); Elegant Eggplant (Stampin Up)
Inks: Creamy Caramel and Elegant Eggplant (Stampin Up)
Tools: Cuttlebug machine and folder

Hope you had a good weekend! As you can see, mine was inky.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Quickie Cards

I decided to do some quick cards for a change. Rather than spend a lot of time on coloring or embossing the image, I decided to let the images stand on their own with little interference from me.

I grabbed my Artistic Outpost binder for this project. Here are two of the cards that resulted:


Heart's Direction
Stamp: Home plate (Artistic Outpost)
Cardstock: Brocade Blue and Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up)
Paper: g.c.d. Whoop De Doo Collection - Sky Swirls
Ink: Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up)

It's hard to tell by the photo (I'm blaming lack of natural light) but this card is a warm dusty rose plaid. Very homey just like the name of the plate I used.

Greetings in Rose Plaid
Stamp: Home plate (Artistic Outpost)
Cardstock: Cream (Paper Store)
Paper: Paper Pizzazz Yellow/Rust Plaid (really it is dusty rose in person)
Ink: Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up)
Embellishment: 1 dusty rose prima flower

Back to work! One of my friends lent me two Stampin Up sets for the day! Off to have some fun.

Want to get your Holiday cards done before Thanksgiving? Join me in a Holiday Card Challenge in October and make a new Christmas or Chanukah card every day in October. Stay tuned for details and inspiration prompts.

This means, of course, that I must do all my Halloween and Thanksgiving cards this weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Plucky Pumpkins

As everyone knows, I love vintage. I was excited when Artistic Outpost came out with their vintage Halloween plate. That said, my passion for stamps does not always coincide with my time to use them. So, after having this plate in hand just days after it was released, I only got to sit down and use it this weekend.

I had a lot of fun playing with colors and I was happy to find Halloween papers that were slightly different. I was also pleased to find out that SU's More Mustard cardstock made an almost perfect match with my new Halloween paper from Imaginisce.

This card uses the sweet little witch from the plate:

Vintage Witching
Stamps:
Vintage Halloween plate (Artistic Outpost)
Cardstock: More Mustard & Elegant Eggplant (Stampin Up); generic white
Paper: Imaginisce Hallowhimsy Eeks and Shrieks
Inks: Timber Brown (StazOn); Elegant Eggplant (Stampin Up) picked up with a blender pen
Embellishment: prima flower

Whimsy was at play when I created this design. I love this little pumpkin whose visage seems steeped in mischief waiting to happen.

Pumpkin Moon
Stamps: Vintage Halloween plate (Artistic Outpost)
Cardstock: Only Orange, Summer Sun, and Handsome Hunter (Stampin Up)
Paper: Flair Designs Spellbound Collection Going Batty
Inks: Timber Brown (StazOn)

The chilly air has made me feel very much in an Autumn mood! The mood waited to be just in time for all my Christmas and Chanukah stamps to arrive...... stampers always have to be one season ahead.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Horsing Around with Penny Black

This weekend I played with some of my Penny Black horse-themed stamps. My daughter is an avid rider so I wanted to make some cards she would think were fun. Here are the results:




A Million Little Things
Stamps: Heart to Heart & Friendships (Penny Black)
Cardstock: Cream (AC Moore house stock); Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up); watercolor paper
Paper: Scrapbook Walls Statue Plaid
Inks: Timber Brown (StazOn); various Stampin Up inks



Horsing Around
Stamp: Minding Shelty (Penny Black)
Cardstock: Old Olive and Pixie Pink (Stampin Up)
Paper: Scrapbook Walls Rosey Nook Plaid
Inks: Timber Brown (StazOn); various inks from Stampin Up
Embellishments: two dark green buttons



Mon Cheval, Mon Ami
Stamps
: Meeting Shelty (Penny Black); Mon Ami (Stampers Anonymous)
Cardstock: Lavendar Lace & Night of Navy (Stampin Up)
Paper: Paper Pizzazz Purple Plaid
Inks: Midnight Blue (StazOn); various inks from Stampin Up
Embellishments: twine

Well, it's off to our riding lesson!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sign of the Times

I decided to break away from cards for once. Inspired by an idea from a dear friend of mine, I worked with an antique flash card to create this piece.

Using several different papers and an adorable collage image from Artchix, the sign really came together. To add a bit more interest to the flashcard, I backed it in black and used a floral flourish from Oxford Impressions around the edge. I then layered several papers on the right side to balance out the white.

I may try some more of these!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fabulous Fabric Paper

I got this wonderful paper awhile ago at my stamp store, Absolutely Everything, which is aptly named as they do have EVERYTHING.

I had no idea what I was going to do with this paper when I bought it....yup, what was I thinking? I know what I was thinking. It was pretty and it was shiny. That's all that was penetrating the brain cavity. I think I must have some magpie DNA.

My good experience making the bird journals inspired me to make some more and this rich paper seemed a fantastic fit.

Secrets & Pearls Journal
The collage photos are from Enchanted Mercantile. For Secrets & Pearls, I used the word "secrets" from the My Story plate by Oxford Impressions. The beautiful paper didn't have a manufacturer printed on it. The flowers are generic silk. The pearls are from K & Company. All the card stock is Stampin Up.

Fresh Flower Journal
Well, I am off to get some inspiration or better yet just get to work.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bound Birds

Inspired by a little visitor outside my window, I decided to finally use this beautiful piece of paper I got last year. It was one of those lovely huge panels that you find in specialty paper stores. Unfortunately, upon getting it home I realized that the images were too big for cards and too dense for scrapbooking. Today, it struck me - journals!


Birding Notebooks
Stamps: Bird's Nest plate (Oxford Impressions)
Cardstock: River Rock and Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up)
Ink: Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up) and Merlot (ColorBox)
Embellishments: prima flowers and antique brass brads

A closer look:

Some details:

Can't wait to see what is outside my window tomorrow!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Setting with Stampin Up

I got my new sets from Stampin Up, Tart & Tangy and Best Yet. Tart & Tangy has great simple images of fruit and Best Yet has some great little sayings. In addition to the sets, I got some SU designer paper too. Okay, I'm a bit behind as most of this stuff was in the Occassions Mini but I missed the deadline and had to hope it was all in the new catalog!

Here's what I did with my new purchases:

Apple Friendship
Stamps: SU Tart & Tangy set, SU Best Yet set
Paper: SU Designer Series - picnic?
Cardstock: SU Very Vanilla, Garden Green
Ink: SU Chocolate Chip, Kiwi Kiss
Tools: circle and scallop punches

Cherries to You
Stamps: SU Tart & Tangy set, SU Best Yet set, SU Polka Dot
Paper: SU Designer Series - picnic?
Cardstock: SU Very Vanilla, Ballet Blue, Certainly Celery, Real Red
Ink: SU Real Red, Certainly Celery
Embellishment: green polka dot ribbon

A little different for me but I still liked the outcome. Back to vintage soon!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Honorable Mention in Design Team Tryout

I finally got my act together and started trying out for design teams. The first one I tried out for was Firecracker Designs by Pamela as I have so many of their stamps. The new design team was announced today and while I was not one of the lucky 8 new design members, I was given an honorable mention! I think that is pretty good for my first time! I was just happy that Firecracker Designs gave me the opportunity to try out at all.

Here are two of the cards I submitted using their awesome stamps:


Possibilities
Stamps:
pilot from Gentlemen plate (Firecracker Designs by Pamela); possibilities from Relax plate (Firecracker Designs by Pamela)
Cardstock: Mellow Moss, Ballet Blue, Bashful Blue, Night of Navy (Stampin Up)
Ink: Night of Navy (Stampin Up); Vintage Photo (Ranger Distress Ink)

My Precious
Stamps:
Generations, woman and girl from Heritage plate, and My Precious from acrylic words set (all Firecracker Designs by Pamela)
Cardstock: Pale Plum, Elegant Eggplant (Stampin Up); generic white
Ink: Pale Plum, Elegant Eggplant (Stampin Up)

The experience of actually putting together a group of projects was a lot of fun. Since my submission to Firecracker Designs by Pamela, I have sent in two other applications for design teams. Keeping my fingers crossed for the next opportunity!

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