Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Autumn Leaves

I've been MIA again.  We had a fish fry on Sunday. I wanted to keep it small but I think Glen's concept of small is different than mine, about 45 people came.  Thank goodness we had beautiful weather and we had a wonderful day.  So I was busy getting ready and putting things back in order after the party and haven't been able to spend time in the craft room.  The party was also a birthday celebration for about 5 of us with fall birthdays.  Since I was one of the 5, I'm in need of about 20 thank you cards - I'd better get busy!

Since the air is beginning to get a little crisp, I was drawn to the challenge at Uniko Studio which is to create an Autumn/Fall card with an optional twist of Thanks. I started by sponging some white card stock.  I wasn't able to capture the subtle color changes in the photos, but they are quite lovely IRL.  I cut out the leaves with Tim Holtz's Tattered Leaves die.  I dry embossed one and crushed the other to get some dimension.  The leaves were too large for the original layout I had in mind so I explored other leaf images and nothing seemed quite right.  So I fussed around with the leaves until I had a layout I liked.  I dry embossed a hounds tooth pattern on the main panel, it reminded me a bit of a warm wool blanket.  I rounded out the card with a sentiment flag, a yellow border and a few of wraps of twine with a bow.

Happy Stamping,

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Watercolor Birthday

Today I'm playing along with TGIF Challenge!  The challenge this week is a theme challenge of a birthday card.  I always seem to need birthday cards.  I started out with the gorgeous floral patterned paper, a retired Stampin' Up pattern.  I love this paper and have been thoroughly hording it and thought it was about time it found itself on a card.  I die cut the gray background panel and lightly stamped a flower image on the panel behind it.  I added in a few blue cutouts to give it little punch.  I kept the elements pretty neutral to allow the patterned paper and sentiment to shine.

Happy Stamping,

Monday, September 21, 2015

With Sympathy

We received the sad news that a friend passed away.  He worked for Glen years ago and as moved across the alley from us about 8 years ago and we reconnected.  He was a young 58 years old and the world will miss his outgoing generosity.

I thought the color challenge at Fab Friday would make a good masculine sympathy card.  My first attempts landed in the scrap pile.  As I looked over the bits I was playing with I remembered the sketch challenge at CAS(E) this Sketch and realized I had something I could work with.  I started by dry embossing the card base in Soft Suede card stock.  The leaf and berry image was water colored with Old Olive and Rich Razzleberry and fussy cut.  I tucked it behind a strip stamped with a Paper Smooches sentiment.  Finally, I added a scattering of rhinestones.  I didn't take the sketch literally but followed the impression of it with the scattered images, horizontal element and a sentiment.  The resulting card isn't as masculine as I first intended, but I am pleased with the results.

Happy Stamping,

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Heart that Gives also Gathers

The Heart that Gives also Gathers.  Isn't that a lovely sentiment?  You may not be able to see it very well, but that sentiment borders the left side of this stamp.  When we were in Door County a couple of weeks ago, I was snooping in a lovely little confectionary/gift shop and I spied the familiar plastic cases from Stampin' Up's older stamp sets.  Of course I had to spend some time looking through the sets and ended up purchasing this very sweet set.  Since it has not yet seen ink, I thought I would submit another entry into Darnell's NBUS Challenge.  Sadly, my shelves are full of never been used stuff: too many aspirations - too little time!

I sponged some ink on the main panel and wanted to create an abstract of a beautiful sunset with oranges concentrated behind the flower part of the stamped image.  I heat embossed the image in black.  What next?  I played around a bit with adding another element in the bottom right of the card but in the end I decided to just let the sponging and flower image steal the show.  A simple border of black and then finally mounting to a card base.

Happy Stamping,

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Graphic Stems

I was drawn to the colors in the Paper Players challenge this week but fell in love with them when I put ink to paper - gorgeous!  I wanted to use a graphic image to repeat as the foundation of this card and my eye landed on the Stampin' Up Apple Blossoms set and knew that I found what I was looking for.  As a bonus, this poor set has not seen ink in many moons and it was about time it did!  The sentiment is also from another sorely neglected Stampin' Up set Basket of Blossoms.  A bit of splattering, snipping, layering and a colored pearl round out the card.

Swing by the Paper Players for lots of great inspiration using this fabulous color combination.

Happy Stamping,

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What a Great Sketch!

I immediately fell in love with the sketch challenge at CAS(E) this Sketch this week!  I think this sketch is a keeper that can be used for any occasion.  My first thought was to use Washi tape to represent the horizontal stripes.  But I really wanted the sentiment to overlap the top stripe and was concerned that I wouldn't get a clean stamped image on the Washi tape and the slight height difference with the paper would leave a gap.  I rummaged through my stamps for border stamps and selected 3 that I thought would make an interesting combination.  For color I chose 3 of Stampin' Up's 2014-16 In Colors (Hello Honey, Blackberry Bliss and Lost Lagoon).  I liked the kicky font from the Paper Smooches Sentiment Sampler for the "thanks".  A simple border of Lost Lagoon to finish off the card.

I wasn't quite done with the sketch though.  I kept going back to the Washi tape idea and the idea of using a die cut sentiment.  Most of my die cut sentiments were too big or too small until I remembered this sweet little hello.  I offset a black cut of the sentiment to give the blue a little depth, added a thin border and scattered on a few sequins to round this card out.

Happy Stamping,

Snowflakes and Stars in Gold

I try to only enter one challenge per project but sometimes the stars align as I am designing a project and that is what happened today.  The challenge at Time Out Challenges is to Make Your Mark with an optional twist of Monochromatic and the TGIF Challenge is a sketch challenge.

I love washi tape for the great designs and ease of use, but it is often under-utilized in my craft room.  I'm not sure why I don't use it more but wanted to use some as the "flags" in the sketch.  I then dry embossed the center panel with snowflakes.  I love heat embossing gold on gold and used that technique on the larger star.  I also heat embossed the smaller star & snowflake in gold on white card stock.  I used a gold Sharpie MARKer on a pearl for the center of the snowflake and on White Perfect Accents for the center of the star.

I'm behind on my Christmas cards this year and thought I'd better get cracking otherwise some folks on our card list might end up with a store-bought (gasp!) card.  This will be a nice addition to my very small stash.

Happy Stamping,

Monday, September 14, 2015

Never Before Used Schtuff: NBUS #5

I am so excited to play along with the NBUS Challenge!  Darnell at djkardkreations, her friends and followers have been so kind and supportive as I have embarked on the world of blogging.  The challenge is anything goes but you must use something that has never been used.  Boy, I do have my share of NBUS.  I think that I MUST have something and often the item sits on the shelf sadly neglected.

Today I am focusing on a Tim Holtz Stamp set that I NEEDED to fill out my collection of supplies to create masculine cards.  While I have used the tire track image from this set, ALL of the other images have gone un-inked.  Today that changes!  I used all of the images from the set so now they have all received a little bit of love.  I'm very happy with the final result and eased my guilt a bit along the way.

I started with a neutral main panel and randomly stamped all of the images in tans, grays, navy and red (I did stamp off most of them to get a subtle effect).  The flag is a bit of patterned paper that was in my scrap pile and it felt at home here.  The main image was stamped in navy.  All of the elements were given a little border of red or navy before adding to a card base.  I love the main image!  The service man looks so happy and ready to service your car.  I am old enough to remember when gas stations were indeed service stations and an attendant would pump your gas, clean your windshield and check your oil.  I do think that most stations were self-service by the time I started driving though.  It is still a happy memory of time gone by.

Darnell and friends have even arranged for a number of amazing prizes for this challenge.  I encourage you to stop by the NBUS challenge site and check out the fabulous submissions and the generous sponsors.  Why not play along too!

Happy Stamping,

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Flat Flowers

The challenge this week at City Crafter is "Flat".  I thought I might try to do a play on words and somehow incorporate something "flat" in my card...
Flat as a pancake (no pancake images)
Flat tire (I have lots of car images but they all have fully inflated tires)
Musical flat (this had promise)
Flat line (just plain morbid)
The Earth is flat (I do have a map of the earth background image)
In the end, I just decided to make a seriously flat, one layer card.  No embossing, heat or dry, just stamped images. I selected flowers from various stamp sets and stamped them in red, yellow and blue.  The leafy image is the fern from Stampin' Up's Butterfly Basics set and stamped in green.  A thank you sentiment in black and a quick clip of the lower right corner and the card was done.

Happy Stamping,

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fall Lattice Card

I immediately fell in love with the sketch at Mojo Monday, it's right up my alley.  I quickly decided that I wanted to use lace or ribbon for the horizontal element.  As I looked over my ribbon my eye immediately landed on this beautiful cream lattice ribbon, a purchase for a project that never materialized (does that happen to you too?).  I thought it would look gorgeous with Cajun Craze so I went down the path of creating an autumnal card.  Along with the Cajun Craze I used Mossy Meadow, Crushed Curry and Very Vanilla.  The stamp set is a Stampin' Up set from a couple of years ago, but still one of my favorites for autumn.  The background on the Cajun Craze and the Crushed Curry was stamped with an Illuminate stamp pad.  The photos don't do it justice though.  It has a very nice soft shimmer that plays on the soft shimmer of the ribbon.

For more great inspiration using this sketch, swing by Mojo Monday and see the fantastic examples by the design team and other submissions by those playing along.

Happy Stamping,

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I'm Back. . .

I've been MIA for a while as we enjoyed a lovely vacation in Door County with my parents and my brother and his family.  Door County is the peninsula that extends into Lake Michigan on the Eastern border of Wisconsin.  It is a popular destination in the upper mid-west and truly has something for everyone.  We spend 1 day on the lake on a pontoon boat and chartered a fishing boat another day. We spent some time shopping.  Glen and I enjoy antique shopping and spent most of our shopping time searching for treasures.  We also enjoyed a little rock shop (Glen is a bit of a rock hound) and the kids had a good time selecting and breaking open geodes as well as selecting some agates to bring home.  Of course we spent some time at the creameries for Wisconsin cheese and ice cream.  We enjoyed a wine tasting and a paella dinner, a traditional Door County fish boil and Swedish pancakes at Al Johnson's where they have a sod roof and keep goats on the roof.  The best part was just relaxing and spending time with family.

Al Johnson's Restaurant

Fish boils are a tradition in Door County.  They begin by boiling potatoes then add fish for the last 10 minutes of cooking time.  Kerosene is thrown onto the fire to cause the pot to boil over the oil and impurities resulting in an even bigger flare up. The show was fun and the dinner fabulous, even for this fussy fish eater.

Now, down to business...
The card I'm sharing today started with the color challenge at TGIF Challenge!  I stamped the flowers in Watermelon Wonder and the leaves in Mint Macaron and then fussy cut the image.  I cut the oval shape from Basic Black and dry embossed it to give the card a little texture.  I heat embossed the left border image in black and added the sentiment in Watermelon Wonder on a piece of Mint Macaron cardstock.  A bit more layering and the card is done.  It didn't quite turn out how it looked in my head, but I am happy with the end result as I really love this color combination.

Happy Stamping,