Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dipping Into The Heap

Back in November or December, I'd planned to have a Stamp Camp card with a Sahara Sand base and Taken With Teal layer, then I changed my mind, undoubtedly because I did not have enough of the DSP to go around. But me being me, I'd already cut the card stock, so I've been looking at it for a while now. Yesterday I actually USED some of it. Crazy, I KNOW!

First up we have one of my new irreverent sentiments, and I chose some of the swirlier Sweet Pea papers to go with it:

[heh heh] I'm not sure when you'd actually send this card to someone, but I think it's pretty funny. So I made two of these, then I pulled out another piece of the Sweet Pea papers and made this one:

The green DSP is the opposite side of the top pattern. I just sliced off about 1 1/2 inches and flipped it over. I was going to use one of the little houses from the new SAB set, but instead I spied this dog set just sitting out on the floor (no more room on the table), waiting for me to get a clue. Dogs take walks, and dogs like trees (especially boy dogs), so this worked out well, I thought.

I stamped the dog in Choc Chip craft ink, embossed him with clear EP, then cut him out. He's popped up on Dimensionals. That Olive ribbon is some of the yummy stuff that we no longer carry, and I did not hoard in nearly large enough quantities.

That's all I have for now. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sew What

I've been mostly horizontal for a day and a half - something I ate, I think. I hope. Now that the system has been purged, so to speak, I am now too weak to do much of anything. But in an effort to remain a functional member of society, I did drag myself off the couch and out from under the cat to fix some tea and to try and stamp something.

As I sat at the Captain's Table, I spied the two negatives from my floofy bird die cuts and decided I needed to save some of the inch or so along the side before I tossed them. Once I had the strips of precious paper, it took me the better part of two hours, but I made two cards:

Yep, this was all because of the 1 1/2" strip of paper I could not bear to throw away. Can you tell I still had that sentiment still out and available? How convenient! ;-)

Here's the other one:

These are the same except this one has a shorter yellow piece. I'd pulled this piece of So Saffron from the Mega Scrap Heap and embossed it, but I soon found out it had stamping on one side of it and I'd embossed the wrong side, so I had to cut it off.

Did you notice something new and different here? I sewed! I DID! I took out my old Kenmore that I got as a wedding present a looooong time ago, and I used it! Obviously, I have a bit of a problem with the corners, but I embellished them in the hope that it looks like I meant to do that.

And ya know what? I might just be bold and enter these two in Dreena's color (colour) challenge since they use the same piece of paper as the others. Yeah, I am SO going to do that! YOU should play, too! You have until the 10th, so come on over and join us!

Now I need a nap. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Challenge Two-fer

I call this a two-fer, but it may actually qualify as a three-fer. The two-fer is because it is for two challenges: Dreena's color (colour) challenge, and this week's SCS sketch challenge. The three-fer would be because right now I NEED two birthday cards, so making these as birthday cards just sealed it.

The colors for the color (colour) challenge are Real Red, Night of Navy, Crushed Curry and Whisper White. Here's what I made tonight:

I used up the remaining piece of the Graphic 45 paper - cut it in half and used it on two cards. Gotta stretch that stuff, you know!

I took a few liberties with the sketch:

...but it's pretty close. Here's a girlier version of the same card:

The only difference is the scallop instead of the plain circle under the sentiment. The first one is going to my son in college who may not appreciate the scallop version in the presence of his buds, if you know what I mean.

That's all I have - thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Color Challenge

My Tweep Dreena is having her second color (colour) throwdown, and this time it is Real Red, Night of Navy, Crushed Curry and Whisper White. I CAN DO THIS! These are MY colors. So I dutifully went to my cupboard that houses every color of SU card stock, retrieved a piece of each of the colors, and placed them on my remaining 8"x8" workspace.

Then I went over to my Scrap Heaplette to see if I could find any patterned paper to go with these colors, and voila! I found a piece of Graphic 45 paper that was P-E-R-F-E-C-T !!!! Then I got a wicked idea: why not just use the paper all by itself? Why not, indeed! THEN, I thought I'd open and use one of my neglected Sizzix dies, which I did. And now I bring you the results of my 3 minutes of effort:

This is one side of the paper, and this is the other side:

I couldn't decide, so I made one of each. The base of the card is textured Whisper White card stock, and the ribbon (GOTS to have ribbon, plus it looked nekkid without it) is from my stash of retired SU Ribbon Originals, probably the Preppy flavor.

NICE, huh? I totally giggled to myself the whole time I made these. Okay, technically I'd say this red is more Ruby Red, and the blue is more Not Quite Navy, and the yellow is more So Saffron, but STILL. It had to be done. heh heh

SORRY, Dreena. I promise I'll play nice and make a real card now.

heh heh (that was fun)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Well, Now That You Mention It ...

Tonight I thought I'd show you something normal before I hit you with the irreverence du jour. This is a quick card I made using some of my new Basic Grey papers:

They are so pretty! And with no sentiment, it can work even after Valentine's Day! I love a good multi-tasker!

Okay, are you ready? Here she is:

... and because the sentiment is so tiny:

I love that lady stamp. She gets to say the darndest things! All of the card stock and paper (ALL of it) was from the Scrap Heaplette, except for the card bases. A little nibble here, a little nibble there ... I'm working on it ...

To answer a question from yesterday, that Pint O'Powder - a whole pint of clear embossing powder - is from Viva Las Vegas Stamps. It says it works on detail, but I have not opened it yet. I'll report back on when I do.

In other news ... um ... er ... well, there is no other news. Well, I could tell you I went to Lowe's to return something and they told me I couldn't return it since I bought it at Home Depot, but that would be embarrassing. Then I could tell you I recovered by hitting the Hot Food Bar at Whole Foods and bought myself some Pot Roast for dinner. Well, I could tell you that, but I won't. Hmph. Yeah, the excitement is just too much to contain, can you tell?

On that note, I think I'll go to bed and read for a while. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Time For A Little Sass

It's been a long time coming, but the irreverence is back! I got a shipment of stamps from Viva Las Vegas Stamps, and they were so inspiring, I made not one, but TWO cards tonight. Actually four, two of each design, but who's counting? *I* am counting, that's who! heh heh

When I saw this sentiment stamp on their Web site, I laughed out loud and clicked Add To Cart:

And here's the whole card:

I knew immediately I'd pair it with one of my ladies - this time I chose an SU image (Sassy Suzie). I just love this one. I especially like that the blue patterned paper is from my growing Scrap Heaplette.

I also made two of my old stand-by:

I can say "old stand-by" because I keep selling out of them. What I love about this one (outside of that sentiment, of course) is the paper is from the Scrap Heaplette AND the ribbon is from my cache of retired "must have them all" SU ribbon collection. yes!

Along with the new stamps I also picked up this:

... a full pint of the world's best embossing powder (so they say). Do you think I have enough for a while? I got it because I have failed repeatedly to get the mix right for the scratch-n-sniff technique, and I thought this would help me get over the "oh my gosh I've used a whole container of EP and it's still not working" hurdle. A girl can dream.

I'll add these cards to my etsy store tomorrow. Right now it is long past my bed time!

Thanks for stopping by!

Chocolate Bunny: A Controlled Test

Today I bring you a controlled test. I knew I wanted to use my Choc Chip Craft ink and emboss this bunny, but stamp him on what? Thus, the controlled test.

This version of the card, I believe, is my favorite of the bunch, but let me go through all my steps for you so you can make your own educated decision. Well, as educated as you can, with the limited information I am about to provide.

It all started when I wanted to make an Easter card. Seeing as I don't do Easter, I needed help, and a lot of it. As every Demo knows, the SU Idea Book & Catalog is a wonderful resource for ideas, as are the Mini Catalogs. Since this stamp is in the Occasions Mini, I just opened it to the Bunny page and voila:

I CAN DO THIS! I even have all the parts-is-parts! However, the last time I used that Leaf Sizzlet die, it won, and I swore I'd never use it again. Plus, if you look at this photo, there are not one, not two, but three pieces that require the use of the Big Shot: the leaf, the white shape, and the dotted embossing folder. Now we all know from past experience I am really good at creating projects that require doubling-up on punches or the Big Shot, but tripling up? Even *I* cannot be that bad. So for the first few versions below, I used the leaves from the bird punch. You'll see what I'm blathering about here in a sec.

Here is Version #1:

This uses the bunny stamped on Choc Chip card stock and clear-embossed. You can see the two punched leaves from the bird punch tucked behind Mr Bunbun. I also chose to wrap the yummy blue satin ribbon around the embossed piece instead of tying it in a knot (1) as a treat for The Ladies ... they weary so of my incessant knots and (2) because I could not figure out how to tie the darned thing without the tails of the knot covering his face. I had the button held up there, too, but it looked out of place, so I bagged it. (I even HAVE them, too!)

Eh? I think it's okay, once I get over that whole "white space" thing again. The example in the mini used textured card stock for the base card, I believe, and if I do that, it may be just enough to kick it up a notch.

Moving on. Here is another version with the Choc Chip on Choc Chip bunny:

This time I bowed to pressure and tied the ribbon in a knot. It has to be a little higher up on the card to not cover the embossed piece, and when I lowered the bunny a little bit, the tails of the knot did not get into his face too much.

Eh? Jury is still out. I like it, but, well, we'll see.

Here is a close up of Mr. Bunny in Dark Chocolate:

Next, we have what I call the Milk Choc version - Choc Chip craft ink embossed with clear EP on Close to Cocoa card stock:

I also broke out the leaf die, and I WON! I finally got it to pop out of the card stock, though it took a little convincing.

I'm back to the no-knot option here, and I kinda like it.

Here's a close-up of the Milk Choc bunny:

Next is a version with my first stamping of this image on Very Vanilla:

Not my favorite. Plus, the vanilla bunny on the white die-cut shape was not a good choice, but I was too lazy to cut a vanilla one at this point.

Here he is close in:

Then, I got all wacky and decided to make a BLUE bunny, and I'm not talking ice cream here! Lookie:

Heh heh. I inked up the stamp in Versamark, then went directly to Brilliant Blue, stamped it on Brilliant Blue card stock and hit it with the clear EP. The Versamark is 'on top' once you stamp it, so it takes the EP and embosses very nicely.

I am also back to the multiples of branches from the bird punch, largely because I'd already punched them and they were convenient. I think you could go either way with these or the leaf die. After all, it's all about the bunny, am I right?

Here's the close-up of the blue bunny:

And you know what? Guess what I took out and never used? This:

Nope. I decided to not stamp it on the card front at all. I'll give The Ladies the option of stamping it on the inside, and if I make any of these to sell, that's what I'll do, too.

So I guess I like the Milk Chocolate version of the bunny the best, and I like the no-tie option for the ribbon, though I do think the tied knot adds a certain something to the whole thing.

So that's it. Please let me know what you think. I am open to suggestions and comments!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Color Inspiration Card

I've been thinking about this color combo since my co-worker picked up her purse, held it next to her sweater, and I made her pose for a pic:

I thought these two colors went together quite well, and decided they needed to be made into a card. I originally called it Teal and Eggplant, but when I got home and got out the card stock, I decided it was more Bermuda Bay and Rich Razzleberry.

One week later ... I am still trying. This is what I just made:

That's Rich Razzleberry and Bermuda Bay, and the top layer is Pale Plum, though my camera refuses to capture them as they really are. What is it with purples and blues that make them so camera-shy? In real life, the 'blue' has a lot more green in it, and the 'purple' has more red. Maybe I should learn how to adjust the camera...

I wanted to use this stamp set on a card for my February Stamp Camps. I think that center panel needs some help, or maybe I need to learn to accept white space. ;-) What do you think?

Okay, I'm off to create some more. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Four Baby Peas and a Birthday

Yes, MORE baby cards. This time I was sucked in by the new PTI Baby Button Bits set - too cute! I got not only that set, but a few more, to, well, you know: justify the shipping.

I started to work on the design for this baby card last night, and it finally came together this morning. It incorporates a bunch of things I've wanted to try, too, so it was win-win for me!

Here is the yellow one:

I stamped the pea pod twice using New Leaf ink - once on PTI Spring Moss, and once on the PTI white. I cut out the green one and stuck it onto the white one, giving me the two-tone pea pod, which was my goal. Also, there was NO WAY I was going to cut out those little curly things, so this two-step stampin' effort worked out well for me.

I punched the corners of the white layer with a MS corner punch, then embossed it with my Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder. (I did a controlled test, and it did not seem to matter if I embossed first or punched first. Good to know!) The small white layer is popped up on Dimensionals, and the ribbon conveniently slips under it. These yellow buttons are not PTI, but the ones on the three cards below are from PTI's Holiday Mix.

Here's the pink version:

... and the green version:

On this one, I found I was actually OUT of PTI's Spring Moss dotted ribbon, so I used a piece from my SABLE collection, and I think it goes pretty well.

And here's the blue version:

On all of these, I made the radical decision to NOT adhere the pea pod leaves, so they are loose and add a bit more dimension. Baby cards - done. For now.

THEN, I actually made two cards to use up some PTI paper pieces left from another project:

Simple and to the point. And yes, there is ANOTHER button. I must be on a button kick ... please just bear with me. It shall pass soon enough. I hope.

Wow, it's not yet noon and I've done all of this! Yay! This afternoon I plan to stamp some more, so I hope to have something to show you tomorrow. I also have a color challenge brewing, but it will wait until I get my own cards made for it. It's the right thing to do.

Have a good Saturday, everyone, and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 22, 2010

For The Pea

One of my Tweeps goes by the name @BrownEyedPea, and one day she said she wished she had some personal stationery or note cards, and I offered to play to see if we could come up with something acceptable.

She actually found two stamps online that she liked and I used them for her creations. She even gave me permission to share the end result with the world, so here we go!

First are the note cards*:

I printed the sentiment on the computer in a color I thought was close to Mellow Moss, but turned out to be a little darker, which actually turned out to be a good thing. The pea pod is stamped in Artichoke Craft Ink and embossed with clear EP.

The stamped image and coloring breaks several stamping rules, and even though I thought there was a reason I should stop, ever the rebel, I waited until I was all done to check on it.

You see, I did several mock-ups, and in the end, she liked the embossed outline for the pea pod, and I liked the coloring with the Copics better than dye ink markers. As I colored more and more of them, I got a niggling feeling I was not supposed to mix alcohol markers and heat-embossed images. Did it stop me? No!

After I was all done, I sent out a plaintive plea to my Tweeps, asking if these cards would eventually disintegrate in the hands of the recipient. Apparently alcohol inks are supposed to dissolve embossing, but my crazy-good coloring skills (HAHAHA! not) did not seem to have caused that to happen, so I am safe. SAFE! Perhaps if I colored over the lines instead of between them it would have been ugly. Or maybe the alcohol markers are a different formulation than alcohol inks. Either way: Phew!

Here is a close-up of the pea pod:

You know what? I've just decided close-ups are a bad idea in my world. I can now see all the spots that are not perfectly colored. I intensely dislike seeing that. Hmph. ANYway, you can see the embossed lines and the two different colors of green I used (peas are YG63 and the pod is G85), and the outline (W-1). There is no science to my selection - I just liked those two greens together.

We also made some cards for Valentine's Day using the pea pod plus a sentiment:

The pea pod is colored here with YG63 (I went over the top of the pod with extra strokes to make it a little darker) and the hearts are R11. I stamped the sentiment in Artichoke.

And the obligatory close-up:

I think these came out pretty nice! It's a fun play on her Twitter name, don't you think?

I also had some fun with packaging. I am trying to improve in the packaging arena this year, and to that end I got a bunch of different sizes of clear boxes with my last shipment of the clear bags I use for my cards. This is what I did for each of the two sets of cards:

(Please look away from the glaringly-bad lighting in this photo.) I was very happy they all fit in the box size I'd selected. *wipes brow* These boxes are 1/2" deep, and just a bit larger than the open cards in length and width. I decided I wanted the boxes to hold the cards open (not folded), as it would be easier with larger quantities. Plus, I've had professionally-made stationery in the past, and all of them came not-yet-folded, so I figured there was probably a good reason for the practice.

I have all the cards laid out on top, the envelopes are split into two stacks under the cards, and they just fit in the box.

Let's try a side view:

The red line I made over there on the right denotes the stack of note cards. The blue lines show the two stacks of envelopes underneath the cards. It worked out fit-wise quite well.

So thanks, Pea, for the opportunity to make you something special and unique. And thanks for the dry run on my packaging. ;-) This was fun!

* The cards are all Very Vanilla Raised Edge Note Cards from SU, now sadly retired. I was fortunate enough to have hoarded them at the time, and I stocked up when they hit the retirement list. My collection is running dangerously low, and I'll be shopping for replacement cards very soon.

That's all I have for today. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No Balloons Were Harmed in the Creation of These Cards

This post was going to be a painfully detailed explanation about why I do not like futzy projects, complete with twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was, but GIMP, my photo-editing software (yes, I DO edit these ... lemee alone) blew up mid-edit at least three times, so I decided to cut my losses and quit while I was ahead. And THAT, my friends, might be the world's longest run-on sentence. Whatever. YOU are the winners, because I only managed to crank out 4 pics in an hour, so that's all you'll get.

Tonight I decided to play with the remaining PTI patterned papers from this post, and I ended up with a layout totally different than I'd expected. Check it out:

LOTS of stuff going on here. As you can see, I broke out one of my new MS punches. It's kind of busy for this patterned paper, but I wanted to live dangerously. I had the obligatory ribbon out (this time, I'd selected the pale purple color to match the dots), but once I started to "fill in" the blank spaces with balloons, I decided to make the balloons front & center, so I had to skip the big, purple ribbon. (I KNOW!)

The balloons are done using an old SU punch. I originally painted the tails gold, then I ended up cutting them off and replacing them with gold thread. I kinda like how they came out. The ribbon holding the balloon threads was a scrap on my table from Christmas.

I struggled with the sentiment piece. Tried it all sorts of ways until I ended up with what you see here. I had originally tucked it under the main piece, but decided it needed to stand free(ly). Square was not making me happy, so I rounded the top of it. Eh, it's okay.

Here is some detail of the gold threads tied to the balloons:

The balloons are darker than the card stock layer because I colored them with my Versamarker and embossed them with clear EP. Have I mentioned futzy yet? I only blew them onto the floor three times. Did you know that when you use a metal tweezers to hold down one balloon while heat-setting it, the metal gets really, really hot? Ask me how I know.

Not totally satisfied with my first effort, I went in for another:

This time I decided to turn the sentiment the other direction and have the balloons hold it up like a hot air balloon. It only took me 20 minutes to figure out how to deal with those threads. And yes, I tied 5 more of them to the balloons, THEN tried to figure out the basket part. I'm telling you, *I* was nearly a basket (case) after this one.

Look what I did:

The middle three threads are just taped down to the card base, and the tape is cleverly hidden by the basket. Only the two side pieces are wrapped to look like they are holding the basket.

Well, THAT was a lot of work, especially since the original two cards took me about 10 minutes to make. Given my druthers, I think I prefer the 2-in-10 variety, but these were a good exercise, nonetheless. I do think it's safe to say I will not be mass-producing these. Oh, yeah.

That is all I have to share this evening (OMG, it is NIGHT!)

Thanks for stopping by!

A Tour of The Captain's Table

As promised, I bring you a tour of the Captain's Table. From afar it looks like a disaster, but if you get closer and look at all the stampy goodness, you will realize, as I do, that it is a treasure trove of inspiration.

The only problem is - there is so much going on, I am unable to focus. Let's call it sensory overload. All the possibilities spin inside my brain until I need to just walk away.

Let's get started, shall we? Oh, and let me warn you - this could be the most boring thing you've ever read. You've been warned.

First up, we have this stamp that I guilted myself into taking out of its shipment box and placing it on the table so I'd maybe use it or something. I did eventually mount it the other night. Baby steps.

Next we have another stamp I forced myself to take out of the shipping box and place on the table:

I've mounted this one, too. Even introduced it to some ink. Then I got distracted.

In case you are wondering, I am doing a show in March, so having maybe one or two Easter cards in stock might be a good idea. So far, like I've said, the stamps have made it to the table. I have no idea what I'll do with them. Another baby step.

Ah, a new die I just had to have:

It's unwrapped.

A stamp I bought at Angela's, undoubtedly swayed by a cool sample card on the wall:

Still no ink yet.

And in front of the stamp are left-over bird parts from last week's classes:

WHAT? Throw them away? Are you nuts? I actually have an idea for a card with these birds. No, really, I do!

Next we have my Tessa Ann button collection in its new home:

I love these buttons. I want to look at these buttons. I want to be inspired by these buttons. One day I may even use these buttons.

Then we have the Hero Arts Woodland Creatures set:

I want to make more cards using the other images (I've used the squirrel and the row of mushrooms and one sentiment so far) so I cannot put it away. Did you notice that pad of BG papers under the stamps. Mmm-hmmm.

Oh, here's a stamp I took out over a week ago:

My plan was to CASE a card I saw, and maybe use it for my February Stamp Camps. That's still my plan, but since I have not made a card with it yet, here the stamp sits.

Here I have a mostly-hidden container of new brads:

Yeah, I even put in a red arrow so you could find the container in all that mess. I got three packs of the chocolate epoxy brads from the Occasions Mini, and fully plan to use them on a card for February. I hope.

Here is a calendar I bought from the last mini catalog:

As you can see, I also got the brown magnetic-closure box. LOVE that box. Also please notice the calendar is unadorned, much like the chipboard easel poking out from under it. Wanna take any bets on my success at completing the January page before the end of January?

I also pre-ordered the egg decorating kit:

... NOT to decorate eggs, mind you, but because it is full of cool die-cut shapes that should help me crank out some Easter cards. Uh-huh. I just opened the pack and looked at it the other night. Hey, it's open. Baby steps. Oh, the kit also comes with a sheet of adhesive bling - YAY!!!!! SU bling!

And lastly, I bring you yet another Easter set I got:

... that is (1) mounted now and (2) sitting here on the lamp base because there is no other room on the table.

The end.

Do you now understand my dilemma? I have a bazillion options here for card creations, and I have no idea where to begin, so I do nothing. I sometimes go in there and look at things, then I retreat. Monday night, instead of touching any of this stuff, I made two completely out-of-the-blue cards, which reminds me: I now have some scraps from those papers that I need to address, as in "use".

It is truly an embarrassment of riches. I only hope I can kick-start my Easter mojo in time to make some cards for my Feb Stamp Camps and my March show. I will be doing some major CASEing for Easter. Oh, yeah.

Tonight I hope to actually STAMP something, maybe even with one of those items I have mentioned above. Wouldn't that be a nice change!? Wish me luck!

Thanks for stopping by!