Saturday, January 31, 2009

You're in Luck

So, here's my non-traditional St. Patrick's Day card! I used yellows because cute little Sprinke happens to be sitting in a leprachaun's pot o' gold. I used a Technique Junkie technique called Warhol for the design.

You're in Luck!
Stamps: Pot O' Sprinkle and You're in Luck (The Cat's Pajamas)
Cardstock: Mellow Moss, Chocolate Chip, Summer Sun, So Saffron and More Mustard (Stampin Up)
Ink: Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up)
Tools: Word Window punch (Stampin Up)

Hope you find a little golden moment of luck today!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lovely Way to Start Friday

Amazingly talented Michi has been extra sweet and nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award! Extra cool! Thank you so much, Michi!

Now it's my turn to show my admiration for 7 blogs that I feel are luscious and lovely! Please check out these dynamic, creative artists and their blogs.

New England Stamper - Ali

Queen of Grunge - Gerrie

InkBlocks - Nancy

Trash to Treasure Art - Lynn

CraftChaos - Hetty

Debby's Stuff - Debby

Stamped Smiles - Vicki

New cards coming soon! Stay tuned. Meanwhile, enjoy the gorgeous art on these great blogs.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Little Bit of Blarney

St. Patrick's Day is coming up, so I thought I would make a couple of cards as a nod to the wearing of the green.

Once again, I have turned to a Splitcoast Stampers Sketch from the archives to create a simple but fun card. This is SCS02. It's a great sketch and very versatile.

Bit of Blarney
Stamps:
Through the Shamrocks and A Bit of Blarney (The Cat's Pajamas)
Paper: dark green stripe from Provocraft stack
Cardstock: Certainly Celery, Chocolate Chip and Whisper White (Stampin Up)
Ink: Always Artichoke (Stampin Up)
Embellishment: emerald green ribbon

Stay tuned for my inevitable non-traditional St. Patrick's Day card!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Birthday Butterfly Dreams

All my nieces have their birthdays within a few months. My smallest niece will be celebrating her 7th birthday in mid-February. I wanted to create something soft and delicate so I decided on a Spring theme with butterflies. To achieve a soft look, I decided to resort to my favorite coloring technique, watercoloring, using soft pastel colors.

Butterfly Birthday Dreams
Stamps:
Happy Birthday from Warmest Regards set and Butterfly from Natural Beauty set (Stampin Up); Looking at Butterfly (Stamp Francisco)
Paper: Oh Baby from the Gracie line (BasicGrey)
Cardstock: Pumpkin Pie and Real Red (Stampin Up); watercolor paper
Ink: Timber Brown (StazOn); Pumpkin Pie, More Mustard, Really Rust, Ruby Red, Blush Blossom, Old Olive, Garden Green, Chocolate Chip and Close to Cocoa
Embellishment: novelty button
Tools: aquapainter

I used two different colors on the grass to try and give it a bit more depth. I brushed on Old Olive to start and then outlined all the stems of the flowers with Garden Green. I then used a more watered-down version of Garden Green to wash over random areas of grass.

I tried to keep the girl very soft. I decided to use several tones of yellows, oranges, reds and browns using my designer paper as a jumping off point. I painted the image and let it dry and then painted shadows and outlines to give a more dimensional appearance to the image.

Three nieces and three very different cards.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Couldn't Resist Making a Card

I really wanted to use the paper that inspired the color scheme for my latest ATC, so I knew what I had to do. I had to make a card with it.

I had made one extra ATC while trying to work out how it would go together so I used that to create this card.


What You Do Is Important
Stamps: Dance Partner, Photographic Studio, and What You Do Today (Stampers Anonymous)
Paper: from a stack from K & Company
Cardstock: Mellow Moss, Barely Banana, Old Olive, Blush Blossom, Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up); glossy cardstock
Inks: Barely Banana, Old Olive, Blush Blossom, Pretty in Pink, Really Rust (Stampin Up)
Marker: Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up)
Embellishments: 4 copper brads; 2 prisma flowers
Tools: blender pen, heat tool, clear embossing powder, paper piercer

Have an ink-filled weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stamper's Anonymous ATC Swap

I finally did a swap! Yes, this is the first one I have done. I like ATCs but I don't often make time to make them and I rarely have time to swap so these one time swaps are awesome.

I had a basic idea of what I wanted to do with this ATC, but I had no idea what colors I wanted to use. I stumbled across this cool piece of paper from what I think was an old K & Company stack while I was sorting scraps. I loved the colors and intended on incorporating the paper into the ATC. Well, the best intentions don't always translate into action even in art.

For this one I stamped the Dance Partner stamp on Barely Banana cardstock with coordinating ink. I then overstamped it slightly off with Old Olive ink. I then added the sentiment which was part of a larger stamp. I had isolated the "What You Do" using my Chocolate Chip marker.

My last step was to use my Photographic Studio stamp. I stamped the image on glossy paper with Timber Brown Stazon and added color using my blender pen. To fix the color, I clear embossed the whole thing and then cut out the two figures I wanted and affixed them to the ATC. I finally matted the whole thing on Chocolate Chip paper.

What You Do ATC
Stamps:
Dance Partner, Photographic Studio, and What You Do Today (Stampers Anonymous) Cardstock: Barely Banana, Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up); glossy cardstock
Inks: Barely Banana, Old Olive, Blush Blossom, Pretty in Pink, Really Rust (Stampin Up)
Marker: Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up)
Embellishments: 3 copper brads
Tools: blender pen, heat tool, clear embossing powder, paper piercer

Stay tuned for the card that I made using one of the ATCs.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Playing a Little Game of Valentine Tag

I am having lots of fun with these Splitcoast Stampers Sketches. For this card, I used Sketch SC01. I figured if I was getting back to basics, I might as well start at the beginning.

Violet Valentine
Stamps:
sentiment and chocolate box from Cutie Pie sheet (Artistic Outpost)
Cardstock: Almost Amethyst, Lavender Lace and Elegant Eggplant (Stampin Up)
Ink: Lavender Lace and Elegant Eggplant (Stampin Up)
Embellishments: lavender flower ribbon (Michael's); paper flower; antique silver brad
Tools: Cuttlebug folder and machine; heart punch; paper piercer; lots of glue dots

Enjoy your week and tag someone you love with a fabulous card!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Valentine Beauty

Another Artistic Outpost sweetie from their new Cutie Pie sheet! This is the third card in my vintage valentine series. As I am known for using unconventional colors in my various holiday-based cards, I decided to use a yellow and green combo for this one. I used colored pencils and a blender pen to give a soft look to the image.

Following my resolutions this year, I did two things with this card. I tried something new, a Splitcoast Stampers Sketch, and I used up some scraps (read small pieces of paper that I usually mislay).

I decided for fun to give myself a challenge to make at least one card with each Splitcoast Sketch that has been posted so far. This sketch is SCS04.

Valentine Beauty Queen
Stamps:
Beauty Queen and sentiment from Cutie Pie sheet (Artistic Outpost)
Paper: abstract green/yellow paper (Provocraft stack)
Cardstock: Yoyo Yellow, Gable Green and Glorious Green (Stampin Up); generic white
Ink: Glorious Green (Stampin Up); Jet Black (StazOn)
Pencils: Derwent Aqua No. 01 Zinc Yellow & No. 63 Venetian Red; Derwent Studio No. 44 Water Green; Derwent Watercolor No. 7 Naples Yellow; Crayola Watercolor Red; Hunter Green, Glorious Green & Certainly Celery (Stampin Up); Prismacolor No. 928 Blush Pink & 927 Light Peach
Tools: blender pen

Watch for my next Valentine using this set. It's not pink or red...but you already knew that, right?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Oh Boy, It's Another Valentine!

Today, I finally got a chance to play with my new Cutie Pie set from Artistic Outpost again! It is too darling. This time I decided to make a more boy-friendly card. I watercolored the main image with soft colors and matted on Chocolate Chip and then mounted on a panel of patterned paper. I added a strip of Bashful Blue for the sentiment. Quick and easy!

Football Flirt
Stamps:
XOXOX and Football player from Cutie Pie set (Artistic Outpost)
Paper: Lil' Man from The Goods line (American Crafts)
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up); watercolor paper
Inks: Bashful Blue, Ballet Blue, Pumpkin Pie, Really Rust, Blush Blossom, and Pretty in Pink (Stampin Up); Timber Brown (StazOn)
Tools: Aquapainter (Stampin Up)

Stay tuned for more Valentines.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Primary Color Challenge

I am suffering severe post-holiday momentum loss. To shake myself out of my stupor, I decided to do the new color challenge over at Stubby Stamper's Yahoo Group. The January challenge is to use at least one primary color in a project. I decided to try and use all three - blue, red and yellow. Why not? That's why it's called a challenge, right?

I have been dying to use this little guy for ages. He makes me smile. I grabbed some Real Red, Brilliant Blue and Yoyo Yellow paper and inks and got to work. The card evolved around the watercolored image. First, I decided he should be in a circle as the overall shape of the image seemed to be circular in nature. I wanted some contrast so I selected a stripe to give not only a color contrast but also a visual one as well. Thinking about the colors and not wanting too bright a card, I picked blue as the base, yellow for the sentiment (visibility was on my mind) and red for the accent. You can almost see in the picture that I added a border of pine trees along the bottom in Brilliant Blue to add some texture.

Warmest Bear Wishes
Stamps:
Bear Head #1445, Warmest Wishes #3843, and Tree Border #2649 (Stubby Stampers)
Cardstock: Brilliant Blue, Real Red, Yoyo Yellow (Stampin Up); watercolor paper
Ink: Brilliant Blue, Real Red, Yoyo Yellow, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa, and Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up); Timber Brown (StazOn)
Embellishments: 5 snowflake brads
Tools: Aquapainter (Stampin Up); paper piercer; circle cutting system (Creative Memories)

I think he's pretty cute!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Love a Parade

I looked at the calendar today and realized ...ahhh... it's only a month until Valentine's Day!

I decided to get working with this sweet new set called Cutie Pie from Artistic Outpost. As you all know, I am a total softie when it comes to the vintage look. I just love it! So, this set was exactly what I needed.

Watercoloring seemed to be the best fit for the colors I chose today, so this card was nice and simple and, best of all, quick. Yes, I know, I did a Valentine that is actually pink! What was I thinking?

Be Mine Majorette
Stamps: Majorette and Be Mine from Cutie Pie plate (Artistic Outpost)
Paper: Baby Girl (Heidi Grace Designs)
Cardstock: Rose Red and Basic Black (Stampin Up); watercolor paper
Ink: Rose Red, Regal Rose, Really Rust, Pretty in Pink and Blush Blossom (Stampin Up); Jet Black (StazOn)
Tools: Aquapainter (Stampin Up)

I will be working on some more Valentines so stay tuned!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Getting it Together

Okay, Getting Some of It Together...
This weekend, I decided to stop procrastinating and put my paper scraps away. My prior solution to stray bits and pieces is no longer working. To be honest, it doesn't work because I don't sort and file my paper back where it belongs directly after a completing a project.

My original idea was to place paper "temporarily" in some pocket folders and then once a week I intended to file everything in a 9" x 6" x 5" index card file box which contained dividers for each Stampin Up color. Anyway......

That obviously didn't work so I purchased a couple of multiple pocket hard-sided organizers to create order where there had been none. Each organizer has 19 pockets and is 15.5" x 10" x 5". The longer length was essential as any scrap I had over 8.5" had been shoved in a drawer, which unfortunately won't open at the moment due to, let's say, capacity issues.

Another drawback of the old index card file boxes was that I had typed all the color names on nice white labels with the best intentions of being neat. The result was that it took forever to find the right divider to put things away.

While at Ali's, I saw that she was much more sensible and had used her Round Tab punch (Stampin Up) to punch out tabs for her dividers. I decided to follow her lead with my organizers and punched two sets of tabs. Each pocket contains 3 different colors. I arranged them alphabetically by color family. The thought process behind this move was to hopefully place very different colors together to eliminate any color confusion. This strategy mostly worked and the only very similar colors that ended up together were Pink Passion and Pixie Pink. I can never tell these two colors apart on a good day, but having them side by side shows their subtle shade difference.

I stapled the tabs to the pockets and had everything put away in no time. When I was in doubt of a certain color, I could just compare my scrap with the most likely tabs.

In the second organizer, I used the extra tabs to create 12 pockets (4 colors each) for colors and 5 pockets for themed designer paper (Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter/Christmas). I sorted by the base / background color of all my designer paper scraps and matched them as closely as possible to my colored tabs.

The piles of random paper quickly decreased and I was able to "discover" some great papers for projects I have on the go.

I also took time to punch out a 1" square of each color. I used the squares and a metal ring to create a little palatte of colors. These squares I marked with the official name of the color and, in the top right corner, with an abbreviation for the color family. I arranged these squares by color - blues, greens, browns, etc - so I could quickly find the best match to the designer paper I was filing.


So now, these nice neat organizers are all that's left of the paper mess!

I know all of you thought of these simple measures to minimize mess ages ago. None of these ideas are original, but I feel like my whole stamp room has evolved into something new and different. I am happily imagining being able to find the left-over half sheet of a fab piece of paper I used two weeks ago without causing a paper tornado.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Another January Birthday Card

I went from a card for a 9-year-old to a card for an 18-year-old. Big leap, but I think I did okay with it.

My niece loves eclectic things so I used this gorgeous paper from Fancy Pants Designs which had deep red and teal flowers and white flourishes. I used my Birds and Baubles set from Stampers Anonymous to add a sentiment, a bird, a couple more flourishes and a chandelier. Everyone needs a chandelier, right? My Ruby Red and Taken with Teal inks from Stampin Up were an almost perfect match.

Dream of More
Stamps: bird, chandelier, sentiment, flourish from Birds and Baubles set (Stampers Anonymous)
Paper: Bluebell (#837) from Fancy Botanical line (Fancy Pants Designs)
Cardstock: Taken with Teal (Stampin Up)
Ink: Ruby Red, Taken with Teal and Tempting Turquoise (Stampin Up)

The sentiment reads: "To be all that is possible we must attempt the impossible. To be all that we can be, we must dream of being more."

Here's to big dreams and attempting the impossible!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Something Old, Something New

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

So, the old saying doesn't just apply to weddings. While I was visiting family, we all sat down to do a little stamping. For the first card, I borrowed a stamp from my mom to make this cute spring-themed card. I used a favorite technique, Vanilla Double, from an older Technique Junkie newsletter to create the background with the solid and outline flowers from my "old" Heartfelt Thanks set from Stampin Up. I used a newer Technique Junkie technique, marker watercoloring, to color the bunny. I decided not to put a sentiment on it as I thought it could be used as a "thinking of you" card, a nice thank you or even a Valentine.

Bunny Love
Stamps: Rabbit (Anita's Stamps - sorry don't have a link for this one); flowers from Heartfelt Thanks set (Stampin Up)
Cardstock: pink, red & white (Paper Reflections)
Ink: Rose Red, Regal Rose (Stampin Up); Frost White (ColorBox)
Markers: light pink and brown Plume II markers (Marvy Markers)

The next card was for my rockin' daughter who just celebrated her 9th birthday. As she is getting so much more grown up, I decided to go with a little bit more grown up theme. I used my brand new Stamping Bella Rockabella for the image and chose blue, my daughter's fav, for the color scheme. Do you like how I incorporated a "9" into the card?


Rockin Birthday
Stamp:
Rockabella (Stamping Bella)
Paper: Pocket Full of Posies Matstack (DCWV)
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Real Red and Whisper White (Stampin Up)
Ink: Jet Black (StazOn)
Pencils: Aquatone Crimson No. 20 & Light Blue No. 33 (Derwent); Studio No. 23 Imperial Purple (Derwent); Watercolor No. 18 Rose Pink (Derwent); Watercolor Red (Crayola)
Tools: Oval cutter (Creative Memories)

It's a new year and I have some new goals to work on! I have lots of projects, themes and surprises planned for 2009. Wish me luck in getting at least some of them accomplished.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cool!

You may have seen this little frosty fellow previously posted, but I found out on New Year's Day that he was selected as the January Home Page art for the Wow Stampers group to which I belong.



The group is filled with wonderful stampers who are also amazingly sweet people! Check them out for yourself on their Yahoo Group.

Pretty cool for a softie of a snowman!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Little Rider

I am still using up all the delightful bits and pieces from my scrap drawer. Isn't this little guy cute?


Little Rider
Stamps:
boy on tricycle from School Days plate, touch of plant life from Trick or Treat plate and sentiment from Country Girl plate (Oxford Impressions)
Paper: Haven't even a clue about the paper
Cardstock: Old Olive and Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up); glossy white cardstock
Ink: Timber Brown (StazOn); Tea Dye and Vintage Photo (Ranger Distress Ink)
Chalk: touch of Blush Blossom and Old Olive (Stampin Up)
Embellishment: antique brad and photo tab

Here's to new beginnings in a brand new year! Welcome 2009
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