Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wake Up and SMELL the Coffee!

Good mornin'! This card was created for a challenge that was to be inspired by something we enjoyed smelling. As I type this, coffee's brewing...

I've used this stamp so much that the rubber is just about worn off! This cute cup comes from the Pun Fun set, which is a versatile set of images and sentiments. The sentiments are on the bottom of each image, but using the masked inking technique that I demonstrated in this video, you can choose whether to include them or not.

I thought I'd "turn up the volume a little" (to borrow a phrase from one of my faves, the Barefoot Contessa) and use some funky colors suggested by my new Color Coach. I'm having more fun with that tool! The Wild Wasabi paper (from the Woodland Walk Designer Series Paper) is beautifully offset by the Perfect Plum and So Saffron card stocks. I added polka dots using my Big Shot to coordinate with the dots on the DSP. Finally, I wanted to coordinate the ribbon with the project, but there's no Perfect Plum grosgrain. In a flash, I used my Classic Ink Pad to dye the Very Vanilla ribbon to match. Be on the look-out for a quickie video demonstrating this simple solution...

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Pun Fun

Papers: Woodland Walk Designer Series Paper (DSP), Very Vanilla, Perfect Plum and So Saffron card stocks

Inks: Perfect Plum and Wild Wasabi Classics

Accessories: Very Vanilla narrow grosgrain ribbon, Blender pen, Scallop Edge Punch, Big Shot, Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Stampin' Dimensionals

Thanks for your visit! Hope your day gets off to a great start!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Not Quite Willing to Give up Summer

Hello, Studio Guests!

After the lukewarm summer we experienced in my area, I'm just not willing to accept that colder, rainier days are coming. Today's card is a shout-out to the sun... I think I'll make a stack of these, as they might be welcome once it gets dreary around here.

Disclaimer: Don't get me wrong -- I love fall. In fact, it's one of my favorite things about living here (we got loooooooooong falls and looooooooooong springs here). I just need a coupla more weeks of sun...

With this particular card, I was also entering a challenge for 365 Cards for which we were to create a card with three pieces of patterned paper for the background. I couldn't quite cover the entire card face without letting a little of that vibrant Poppy Parade peek out, so I used my Five Petal Flower punch to give me the "negative" effect. It's a super-quick, easy way to add "punch" to your project and the added bonus is that I have three punched flowers from the Sunny Garden DSP to use in a future project (which is like having six, as the DSP is double-sided, giving me six options!)!!
I used my favorite new photo corner treatment, too, with the Modern Label Punch...
Finally, the flowers that I stamped in Daffodil Delight and Peach Parfait are "stamped off," which means they've been inked, stamped on scratch paper and then stamped on the project. I chose to do this because I wanted a slightly more subtle effect.

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Cottage Garden

Papers: Sunny Garden Designer Series Paper (DSP), Poppy Parade and Whisper White card stocks

Inks: Poppy Parade, Daffodil Delight and Peach Parfait Classics (In Color!)

Accessories: Modern Label, Five Petal Flower and 1/16-Inch punches, white embroidery floss

Hope your week has gotten off to a good start! Thanks for your visit!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Need Notecards...

On my To Do list of stampin' projects is to make some plain notecards. I like to take a simple design, make a ton and then have the flexibility to stamp a sentiment as the need arises. For example, I might use this card for a masculine birthday, as a Thank You note, for any autumn birthdays (man or woman), as a "Get well!" card or naked, as it is now, as a simple notecard.

The inking is the trickiest part and it's not too bad. I used my Stampin' Sponges, cut into fourths for more ease of use (and to stretch that dollar!). I first inked the sponge in So Saffron and applied it to the outside of the tree. Next, I inked a different sponge with Always Artichoke and sponged the innermost part of the tree. Finally, I inked a third sponge with Cajun Craze and sponged the space between the So Saffron and Always Artichoke.

Sponging is a pretty safe bet when you're blending colors like this, because it's not likely that you'll ruin your ink pads by pouncing on one color with something else. That said, I always use separate sponges for each color (and keep that sponge dedicated to that color, be it "Always Artichoke" or "Dark Green" -- either works). I also always start with my lightest color and then gradually work to the darkest. This is a principle I use when I watercolor, too. Finally, to make multiple cards, I simply swipe the stamp's surface with a baby wipe. I'll save my Stampin' Scrub for a final cleaning, but I don't want the stamp to get too wet between spongings. It's somewhat time-consuming, but considering it's the only stamping I'm doing right now for this project, I feel it is manageable. Plus, there's nothing like an assembly line to streamline the process when I'm making a larger quantity of the same card.

Finally, I added a strip of Twill Tape and tied a bow of Linen Thread around it. I also punched the small corner using the Photo Corner punch and a scrap of Always Artichoke.

Simple and versatile! Now I don't need to sweat it when the need arises for a handmade card!

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Pendant Park

Inks: So Saffron, Cajun Craze and Always Artichoke Classics

Papers: Sahara Sand, Cajun Craze, Always Artichoke and Whisper White card stocks

Accessories: Photo Corner punch, Twill Tape, Linen Thread, Stampin' Sponges
Thank you for your visit! I hope you found this useful!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Because of You and a new punch idea...

The theme from "Welcome Back, Cotter" is playing in my head right now... Thank you for being so patient as we travelled about this summer, went camping, and then got back into the swing of school. While I was able to carve out a wee bit of time for stamping projects, posting about them has fallen by the wayside... Happy to say, as Jack would (but in a much less scary context), "I'm baaaack!" (Interesting side note: Stephen King wrote The Shining about a hotel in my hometown. While the Jack Nicholson/Shelley Duvall movie wasn't filmed there, a TV version was, as was "Dumb and Dumber".)

Anyhoo, on with the show...
This card was created for a 365 Cards challenge for which we were to use our favorite tool for adding color and our favorite technique for adding dimension. One of my favorite tools (as I have a couple) is my Blender Pen. I love to use them for watercoloring, as I did here. They're super easy to use, a tremendous value (not only do you get three for $9.95, but they last for a VERY long time) and they're quite versatile... Perhaps I'll write a future post as "An Ode to the Blender Pen"...

I simply squeezed my ink pad (Classic) with the lid closed to get some ink on the inside of the lid and then picked up that ink with my Blender Pen. To be sure my stamped image didn't run, I inked it in Jet Black StazOn first. I usually don't have trouble, but I wanted to be safe.

The technique I love that adds dimension and texture to every project is one I've used a lot here... It's what I call "Sueded Card Stock." I crumple a dry piece of card stock until the fibers are good and broken down and then I peel apart the two layers. I can then use the soft, "sueded" side of the card stock, or the outside of the card stock, which just shows the wrinkles. I chose the outside this time. I love the effect! Not only is it a "free" way to use what you've already got, but you get twice the mileage out of a piece of card stock. Your pieces can also be punched post-crumple, too! I have a card for which I did that and I'll post that soon...

Finally, I wanted to describe the embellishment in the upper left corner. I simply used the Modern Label Extra-Large Punch on a scrap of Perfect Plum, gently folded it around the corner of my bigger piece (be careful -- that Always Artichoke was pretty malleable), fed a piece of Linen Thread through two small holes (1/16-inch punch) and tied a bow. Voila! So easy and so cute! Love those versatile punches! I'll definitely be using that technique as I scrap -- talk about fun photo corners!

Stampin' Up! Supplies:

Stamps: Because I Care (A Hostess Freebie with any $150 merchandise order)

Papers: Sahara Sand, Perfect Plum, Always Artichoke and Whisper White card stocks

Inks: Pretty in Pink, Perfect Plum and Always Artichoke Classic Inks, Jet Black StazOn

Accessories: Modern Label Extra-Large punch, Blender Pen, 1/16-inch handheld punch, Linen Thread
It's so good to be back! Hope you've enjoyed today's project!