Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Sketch

For this sketch challenge (always a sketch at 365 on Sundays), I opted for two of my favorite sets: Circle Circus and Baroque Motif. While the sketch suggests pompom trim, I don't have any of that (and I like to keep my cards to SUO, or Stampin' Up! Only materials). I chose to string baubles from Circle Circus and use half-circles in the middle instead of triangles.
I also thought I'd fiddle with the In Colors and so I enjoyed playing around with Bermuda Bay, Dusty Durango, and Soft Suede.
Stampin' Up! Supplies:
Stamps: Baroque Motifs and Circle Circus
Papers: Bermuda Bay, Dusty Durango and Soft Suede card stocks
Inks: Bermuda Bay, Dusty Durango and Soft Suede Classics and VersaMark
Accessories: Natural Hemp Twine, 1 3/4-inch and 1/2-inch Circle Punches, Linen Thread, Stampin' Dimensionals

I'm zipping off with the fam, so I have to keep this brief. Hope you had a great weekend and that your week starts off well! Stay tuned to the Studio this week; I'm hoping to post my first video and I'm teaching a class this coming weekend for an auction winner on basic card-making and I'll post our projects here...
Thanks for your visit!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Woodsy Happy Birthday to Uncle Coot!

First of all, I wanted to wish a very happy fortieth birthday to Uncle Coot! We love you very much and are so lucky to have you in our lives!

Uncle Coot is an avid outdoorsman, so for his birthday card, I went to one of my all-time favorite sets, Lovely as a Tree. Since he is also a woodworker extraordinaire (he does exquisite homebuilding, finishing work and has built some amazing furniture for my kids), I was also anxious to use the background stamp, Woodgrain. In an effort to capture rugged outdoorsman in papercraft, I opted to use three of my favorite techniques for texture. First, for the Bravo Burgundy piece, I sueded it and mounted it on a piece of Very Vanilla. The second rugged piece is a crinkled and crumpled piece of Brilliant Blue that I crumpled big-time, smoothed out, and then fed through my Big Shot with the Top Note Bigz die. Finally, for the piece with the pine tree, I used the Distressing Tool from the Cutting Tools to rough up the edges.

The birthday sentiment was inked in Garden Green then stamped on Very Vanilla and punched out using the Modern Label Punch. Finally, to make it stand out more and to tie it in with the rest of the card, I inked the edges with Bravo Burgundy. It's adhered to the Brilliant Blue piece with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Woodgrain, Teeny Tiny Wishes

Papers: Garden Green, Brilliant Blue, Bravo Burgundy and Very Vanilla card stocks

Inks: Garden Green and Bravo Burgundy Classics and VersaMark

Accessories: Big Shot, Stampin' Up! Top Note Bigz die, Distressing Tool, Modern Label Punch and Stampin' Dimensionals

Thank you so much for your visit to the studio! I will leave you with the beautiful morning we were given today... Not very rainy for the Pacific Northwest in January, but you won't hear me complaining!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Couldn't Do without You, Birdie!

The gals over at 365 Cards challenged us to create a card with a rhyming sentiment. With all of my stamps, you'd think I would have lots of rhyming words. Nope! Just this one: "Couldn't do without you!"

The body of the card is Always Artichoke (the heart from this stamp set is inked in VersaMark and randomly stamped over the face). I added a four-inch-square piece of So Saffron and rounded its corners.

I fed a piece of Brilliant Blue and a piece of Rose Red through my Big Shot with the Circles #2 die (using the big circle) and then cut them both in half.
The Little Birdie was stamped on Whisper White card stock, using Always Artichoke Classic Ink. It is attached using a Stampin' Dimensional. To make the rhyming words of the sentiment stand out, I've stamped one in Brilliant Blue and one in Rose Red Classic ink (and used a Dimensional to *POP* it out).
This is such a fun set! I love the simple images and fun sentiments...

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Best Wishes & More

Papers: Always Artichoke, So Saffron, Brilliant Blue, Rose Red, Whisper White card stocks

Inks: Always Artichoke, Brilliant Blue, Rose Red Classics and VersaMark

Accessories: Big Shot, Circles #2 Bigz die, Whisper White Narrow Grosgrain, Paper Snips and Stampin' Dimensionals

Thank you so much for your visit! Hope your week is off to a great start!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Movie and a Makeover

As my DH and I are watching "Ocean's Thirteen," I fiddled with some new colors and textures for the blog here. What do you think? Is it easier to read? While I liked the black background for its distinction, I was afraid it was tough to read.

RW at helped me create a third column in this template. Look, Ma, I'm editing HTML! ;)

While I was at it, I thought I'd choose some Valentine's Day-themed stamps from the My Digital Studio software to update the header of my blog. I love the blues and snowflakes of the last header, but I know snow is hard to embrace for lots of you who've seen your fill of it lately. Thought the happy Melon Mambo and heart and flowers from the Always set would be nice... The edges of my header are from the "Torn Edges" set on My Digital Studio.

Now I'm off to the brick-and-mortar Studio to work on some challenges for 365 Cards. Stay tuned!

Please let me know what you think of the new look... Thanks for your visit!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


This card was created for a challenge from a couple of weeks ago at 365 Cards... The challenge was to create a card that was inspired by the cover of the CD soundtrack to the TV series, "Glee." It's hard to see, but I stamped the balloon image once on the Yoyo Yellow and stamped the balloon again on red so that I could cut it out and make it pop off the card with a Stampin' Dimensional. I did basically the same thing (minus the Dimensional) with the candle and flame on the cupcake. It's called "Paper Piecing" and it's a fun way to add a little oomph to an image. I've had to use this technique when I've been without a certain color of ink... Make your supplies stretch farther!

This is such a fun television show and I was thrilled to get to use its CD as inspiration for a card...

"Don't stop believin'!"

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Crazy for Cupcakes

Inks: Basic Black, Yoyo Yellow and Real Red Classics

Papers: Yoyo Yellow, Real Red, Whisper White card stocks.

Accessories: Modern Label punch, paper snips, Blender Pen, Stampin' Dimensionals

Thanks so much for your visit! Leave a comment and let us know your favorite song from "Glee"... :) "All You Single Ladies..."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

White Space with Vintage Vogue

Hey, hey and welcome to the Studio!

For today's card, I participated in a white space challenge over at 365 Cards. I've never tried a white space challenge before and found it to be a fun and interesting one. Basically, the rules were that stampers could do whatever they wanted outside of the oval, but that the oval in the middle had to stay, well, white...

I was excited to get to use one of my favorite sets from the new Occasions Mini Catalog. It's Vintage Vogue...
As you'll notice, I used my Backgrounds I Texturz Plate ("Flourish") to add some dimension and visual interest to the white vellum oval in the center.

The "Friends" piece was inked with Elegant Eggplant and stamped on Whisper White card stock. I tore the edges to give a bit of a shabby chic effect...
I love the look of layering punches (stay tuned -- that's going to be a post all its own someday). Anyhoo, this sentiment and flower were too big to do a Word Window/Modern Label combo, so I trimmed the sentiment/flower piece to replicate that effect, using my Paper Snips.
Finally, since Valentine's Day is in the offing, I chose to use Pretty in Pink card stock (with images from Vintage Vogue inked in Classic Elegant Eggplant) and the softness of a satin bow. The Pretty in Pink portion was adhered to the card body using Stampin' Dimensionals. Speaking of the card body, I used an 8 1/2- x 11-inch piece of card stock and cut it in half lengthwise ("hot dog" style, to my former students), or at 4 1/4-inches. Then at the 5 1/2-inch mark, I folded it in half to create the card body.

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Vintage Vogue (please refer to the link on the right for the Occasions Mini or contact me for your own hard copy)

Ink: Elegant Eggplant Classic

Papers: Elegant Eggplant, Pretty in Pink and Whisper White card stocks, Vellum paper

Accessories: Big Shot, Stampin' Up! Backgrounds I Texturz Plates, Paper Snips, Modern Label Punch, Whisper White Satin Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals

Hope you have a great start to your short week! Thanks so much for joining me here!

Stay tuned for a post about Stampin' Up!'s new clear mount stamps...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Just Hanging Around with Vintage Vogue...

Welcome to the Studio! When I made this card, I was interested in creating a little "movement." I wanted the flower to be the focal point of the card, but I also wanted it to move a little. Here's how I did it:

  • I stamped the large flower image from the Vintage Vogue set on Whisper White card stock, using Dusty Durango Classic ink. Then I used my Paper Snips (they have super-sharp tips) to cut right along the edge.

**Studio Suggestion: Be careful when you return your snips to their sheath (REALLY! They're *THAT* sharp!), as you can permanently bend the tip if it gets caught funny going back in...**

  • Punch a small hole in the center of the flower and add the Chocolate Chip Jumbo Brad.

  • Lay a piece of Linen Thread so that the middle of the thread is over the middle of the flower image (the piece I used was about five inches to start). The flower image was then attached to Dusty Durango card stock and the flower is once again cut out, using Paper Snips, along its very edge.

  • For the "banner" at the top of the card, I inked the stamp in Soft Suede Classic ink and stamped it on Very Vanilla card stock. I also inked the edges of that piece of card stock with Night of Navy Classic ink. **Be sure to let that dry** and then distress it with the Distressing Tool from the Cutter Kit.

  • Punch two tiny holes (with a 1/16-inch Punch) and thread the two ends of the linen thread through, making sure that the flower is centered and then knot.

  • Adhere the Very Vanilla piece to a piece of Night of Navy card stock that has been sueded.

  • Finally, for the textured Garden Green piece, run it through your Big Shot with the "Flourish" Texturz Plate from the Stampin' Up! Backgrounds I set.

  • Attach the banner at the top of the Garden Green piece and then add to the Very Vanilla card body using Stampin' Dimensionals and you're finished!

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Vintage Vogue

Inks: Dusty Durango, Soft Suede and Night of Navy Classics

Papers: Dusty Durango, Night of Navy, Garden Green and Very Vanilla

Accessories: Big Shot, "Flourish" Texturz Plate from Stampin' Up! Backgrounds I set, Jumbo Brad, Distressing Tool, Linen Thread, Paper Snips, Stampin' Dimensionals

Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have a great end-of-the-week!

Monday, January 11, 2010

For My Dear Friend...

Good morning and happy Monday! Despite the fact that we had a rare rain-free weekend here in the Pacific Northwest, I spent a ton of time in the studio stamping. Stay tuned! I've got a lot to show you over the next coupla days...

One of my dearest friends celebrates her birthday soon and so this was the card I cooked up to give her.
I love the richness of the colors found in Cottage Wall Designer Series Paper.

The body of the card is Very Vanilla and I've dry embossed the large piece of Elegant Eggplant using the "Flourish" Texturz Plate from the Stampin' Up! Backgrounds I set. That set of Texturz Plates, used with the Big Shot, is a bargain at $11.95. The set comes with four plates and each side has a different texture. That's eight textures for $11.95!
I dry embossed the Orchid Opulence flower that I created using the 5-Petal Flower punch with that same "Flourish" Texturz Plate. It's adhered to the Very Vanilla piece with a Stampin' Dimensional. I also used a Dimensional to attach the punched flower from the "With All My Heart" set that I inked on Elegant Eggplant on the same color card stock. I punched it out with the Trio Flower Punch, which fit it exactly! Using the Distressing Tool from the Cutter Kit, I roughed up the piece of Very Vanilla.

The Scallop Edge Punch finishes the bottom edge of the Elegant Eggplant piece onto which the Very Vanilla is layered.

The flowers and sentiment are both from the new "With All My Heart" set from the Occasions Mini. Given the option, I chose to purchase the clear-mount stamps (though wood-mount are still available). I'm thrilled with them -- that's a whole different post, though!

Other details in the card include Very Vanilla 5/8-inch Grosgrain Ribbon and a layer of Old Olive card stock. Since each package of Designer Series Paper comes with so many designs, it's easy and quick to design a card with eye-catching detail and interest! Once again, I'm turning to my
Big Shot to add touchable texture (dry embossing).

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: With All My Heart (from the new Occasions Mini -- email me for your own hard copy or refer to the right side bar of this post for a PDF version)

Paper: Cottage Wall Designer Series Paper, Elegant Eggplant, Old Olive, Orchid Opulence and Very Vanilla card stocks

Ink: Elegant Eggplant and Old Olive Classics

Accessories: Big Shot, Stampin' Up! Backgrounds I Texturz Plates, Trio Flower, 5-Petal Flower, and Scallop Edge punches, 5/8-inch Very Vanilla Grosgrain Ribbon, Distressing Tool, Stampin' Dimensionals

Thanks so much for looking! I really appreciate your visit and hope you have a great start to the week!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sale-A-Bration has begun!

It's that special time in my studio when I tidy up from my Christmas projects, take inventory of what needs restocking and then PLACE MY SALE-A-BRATION order! **YIPPEE!!**

For those of you who've never heard of this madness, the way it works is with every $50 merchandise order, you can choose from myriad options for a free gift. This year is the first year that Stampin' Up! is offering items from the "Big Catalog" as gifts as well (77 of them!).

If you're interested in seeing the Sale-A-Bration Mini Catalog, please click on the link to the right (for a PDF of the catalog). If you want your own hard copy, please email me with your snail mail address and I'll pop one in today's post to you...

In addition to Sale-A-Bration freebies, today's also the day we can start ordering from the new Occasions Mini Catalog. Get inspired for spring with all of the fun new ideas inside! Its link, too, is available on the right or it can be sent directly to you in hard copy.

Finally, for those of you who've fallen in love with Stampin' Up!'s Definitely Decorative line of vinyls and stencils, there's a new catalog for you, too!

To recap, the items in any of the current Stampin' Up! catalogs (Mini or "Big") qualify to earn the Sale-A-Bration gift. The order must reach $50 before shipping and tax. If you place a $150 merchandise order, that qualifies you for three free items *PLUS* Hostess Benefits. Now is a favorite time of year for a lot of my customers to host a workshop (in-home or Catalog Party), as the hostess benefits are so good.

Any time of year, though, you can place an order through me without a workshop. Even if you just need a few things, you can place it yourself using my website (link is down a bit, on the left). If you're local, call or email me and I can tack your items on an order of mine (I place them all the time) and perhaps I can save you some pennies on shipping.

Grab a cuppa and enjoy perusing. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Time to Write Thank You notes

This weekend marked the end of Christmas Break and at our house, that's the deadline for writing Thank You notes for Christmas gifts. As is often the case with making all of those Christmas cards, I'm left with bits of this and that (each step was made in mass quantities to make the process more efficient). I always seem to miscount and end up with extras of some of the pieces (and just enough of others -- go figure!). I hate to waste, so I incorporated them into my design... I also wanted to use my "From Our House" set.

The scalloped design from that set really stands out (in real person -- trust me!) when it's inked in Night of Navy and then embossed using Clear Detail Embossing Powder.

**STUDIO SUGGESTION: I use my VersaMark ink, followed by my choice of color in Classic Ink to ink my image (Craft Ink works here, as well, minus the VersaMark step). Once the image is stamped, I dump Stampin' Up! Clear Detail Embossing Powder all over it (in a Powder Pal or over a piece of scratch computer paper to catch the unused powder). Using my Heat Tool, I heat-set the image. The particles in the Detail Embossing Powders are so fine that they work well in small or detailed images really well. Another benefit of using the Clear Detail Embossing Powder is that it allows you to use it with *EVERY* one of Stampin' Up!'s great exclusive colors...**

I used my I'm-Cheaper-than-$4!! tool (Paper Piercing Tool) to pierce each dot in the scalloped image to add more texture.

You'll recognize the snowflake/scalloped circle/vellum circle piece from my family Christmas card. I also had the die-cut and embossed vellum circles, Bravo Burgundy circles, and polka-dot embossed Night of Navy pieces left-over to use in this card.

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Berry Christmas (from 2009 Holiday Mini)

Papers: Bordering Blue, Night of Navy and Bravo Burgundy card stocks and Vellum Paper

Ink: Whisper White Craft

Accessories: Big Shot, Finial Press and Petals-A-Plenty Textured Impressions Folders, Stampin' Up! Backgrounds I Texturz Plates (Small Polka Dots), Scallop Circle #2 Bigz Die, Merry Details Sizzlit, Scallop Circle, Modern Label, Small Oval and 1/16-inch punches, Circle Scissor Plus, Silver Brads, and Stampin' Dimensionals

**THANK YOU!!** for visiting today! ;)

Friday, January 1, 2010

O, Christmas Card...

Happy New Year!

As I was tidying up from Christmas, I realized that I never posted the card that our family sent out this year. I love Bordering Blue and Night of Navy (they're among my favorite color combos). This year I included Bravo Burgundy, as well.
This was the first year that I utilized my Big Shot in our Christmas card. What a fun way to add some delicious texture (and I could feed multiple layers of Vellum Paper through to make the card-making more efficient).

I embossed the Night of Navy piece with the Stampin' Up! Backgrounds I Texturz Plate (small polka dots).

The large Vellum Paper Scalloped Circle (made with the Scallop Circle #2 Bigz Die), Vellum Paper (Modern Label Punch) and Bordering Blue Scalloped Circle (Scallop Circle Punch) were fed through the Big Shot with the Finial Press Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.

The vellum circle over the Bravo Burgundy piece was embossed using the Petals-A-Plenty Textured Impressions Folder, but that is in the Holiday Mini, which is only available until January 4, 2010. Same goes for the snowflake, which was punched out, using the Merry Details Sizzlit and the "Merry!" from the Berry Christmas set, which was inked in Whisper White Craft Ink on a Small Oval Punch of Night of Navy card stock. I'm hopeful that the Petals-A-Plenty, Merry Details, and Berry Christmas set will show up in the 2010-11 Idea Book and Catalog...

It's hard to see in the photo, but the snowflake is attached to the Bordering Blue Scalloped Circle and Vellum Paper circle with a silver brad and adhered to the Bravo Burgundy piece with a Stampin' Dimensional.

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Berry Christmas (from 2009 Holiday Mini)

Papers: Bordering Blue, Night of Navy and Bravo Burgundy card stocks and Vellum Paper

Ink: Whisper White Craft

Accessories: Big Shot, Finial Press and Petals-A-Plenty Textured Impressions Folders, Stampin' Up! Backgrounds I Texturz Plates (Small Polka Dots), Scallop Circle #2 Bigz Die, Merry Details Sizzlit, Scallop Circle, Modern Label, Small Oval and 1/16-inch punches, Circle Scissor Plus, Silver Brads, and Stampin' Dimensionals

Since I make a slew of these (I won't tell you how many), I can't use bows or knots because they can sometimes result in extra postage. Take a lesson from my dear friend, Lori... If you make a card (or several) with a knot or bow, take it to the post office and have someone at the counter feed your card through their plastic template. If it gets hung up (because of thickness), the card will require more postage. Dear Lori didn't know her card was over 1/4-inch (I think that's the limit -- I'll verify that) and she got ALL of her LOVINGLY HANDMADE Christmas cards back in the mail due to insufficient postage...

Even without a bow or knot, I still take mine to the post office to make sure that they're not too heavy (due to photos) or thick (even this year, I wasn't 100% sure with the brad+Stampin' Dimensional combo).

I hope 2010 brings you good health and much joy. Thank you for your visit!