Tuesday, September 30, 2014

exploration STAMPlorations sentiment builders: christmas (CTS, LIM, SSS)

Back with another installment of Exploration STAMPlorations and it's about Christmas again. And about words.

Tangent: Peroneus brevis. Two words. One more word. Ouch. Don't know how those cows grazing in the Alps do it, but after one day manually harvesting grapes on Nierstein's Red Slope my peroneus brevis are beseeching me to not go out and do it again today. But alas off I go...

So back to Christmas words. There are 29 of 'em in this set, 3 big sketched ones and 26 little ones. How's that for flexibility (unlike my ankle muscles)?

Sentiment Builders: Christmas

This is what I did with five of 'em.

Decided to concentrate the "wishing you" above and the "a merry" below the main "Christmas" sentiment. Stamped them in green then trimmed the panel into four strips. Inked all strip edges. Heat embossed the main sentiment red and adhered it with dimensional adhesive. A strip of washi and rounded corners finished the card off.

I was once again inspired by wonderful card challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Less is More - Mostly Words
CASE this Sketch #94

Thanks for coming by. You can check out all the stamps in the September release here. Leave a comment on my posts this week and you may be the lucky winner of one of the stamp sets I used. On Monday, October 6 I will randomly select a winner from all comments posted on my Exploration STAMPlorations posts.

Supplies :
Paper:  CS Bringmann
Stamps: STAMPlorations
Ink :  Lettuce Adirondack, Versamark
Other: red embossing powder Ranger, washi

Monday, September 29, 2014

exploration STAMPlorations holiday sketches: christmas flower (CASOS, SSS, Catered Crop)

It's time to explore the latest release from STAMPlorations (before November and the next release roll around!) If you missed the release blog hop you can check it out here. Stick around here this week and you'll see several of the sets in use.

Today and tomorrow are about Christmas. Cuz I love this poinsettia set. BTW, there's a bundle sale on the Christmas lot going on right now.

Holiday Sketches: Christmas Flower
I checked out the following challenges for inspiration.
CAS on Sunday - #43 Lift a Card :

and Catered Crop - Seeing Red
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes

Heat embossed the bloom red on red CS, fussy cut (nod to the negative die cut "smile") and stickled (nod to the gem) the center. Added strips of dark green and light green (nod to the twine) CS and a sentiment. I'm thinking that red bloom is luscious enough to cut the mustard at Catered Crop!

C'mon back tomorrow for more STAMPlorations fun. Have you heard that Shery has started an Anything Goes challenge over at STAMPlorations? Use your STAMPlorations stamps and link up your project. For every 50 entries, she's giving a random winner a free set! Check out the deets.

Friday, September 26, 2014

simply create too 71 (special occasion)

Any special occasions coming up in your life? There's a new challenge over at Simply Create Too - #71 It's a Special Occasion. You can join in on the fun until October 9th.

If you come around here often, you probably caught whiff of some special occasions in my 'hood. We just had a big party to celebrate 161 years of goodness (55 + 50 + 18 + 16 + 1 (our pooch) + 21 years of marriage). What a special year 2014 was for us. And 50 years ago, my aunt and uncle tied the knot. So that is definitely a special occasion worth a special card.

Now if you saw my last post, I shared a bit about how things inspire me to make a card. For this card, it was an IKEA napkin. I dig the retro colors and went with them considering the happy couple married back in 1964 - when did olive green actually become the color??? Lots of die cutting later, this card was finished.

I'm joining the fun at:
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge where it's Anything Goes this week.
Die Cuttin Divas where #184 is titled Fall is Here (I've got the fall colors going here).

Check out the other special occasion cards from the DT and create one yourself. See you over at Simply Create Too!

Supplies :
Paper:  CS Bringmann and Coredinations
Ink : 
Tools: oval die Sizzix, alpha die Memory Box

Monday, September 22, 2014

getting to know me blog hop

Hi friends! Today is your day to get to know me better! Last week my teamie from STAMPlorations, Cornelia of Stempel Spass, tagged me in her post for the "Getting to Know Me" hop. Let's hear it for tweezers - more on that later! Today it's my turn to answer some questions about me and then introduce you to a couple more designers whose work I admire. Ready? I'm long-winded today.

1. What creative projects are you currently working on?

This is funny because since I'm just gearing up again after a month vacation and then putting on a big party for our family, there's not a lot on my desk. The props for our photo shoot at our party were one of my last projects. Here's another party shot for you - the family.

My latest STAMPlorations stamps are waiting to get more loving. And I managed to produce some cards for a submission call. Can't share them, but let me just say "black/white wedding" and "critters". And my fingers are alcohol-ink-stained!

2. What inspires your designs?

This is funny too, cuz I'd sure love to know the answer. I can share a couple things I know for sure have inspired cards. First off was a set of sheets which made me pull out a bird die and some coordinating PPs to make this card. Then there was a color combo in a magazine photo which blew me away, so I had to make a card - I blogged about it here. And then there's good ol' Mother Nature. BTW, I do lots of card making in my mind's eye while out walking the dog ;) I guess this next example was actually pre-dog and more like post-garden-clean-up... Japanese cherry blossoms (I've always had a soft spot for them, especially in print form) really inspired me back here.

3. What method / process (if applicable) do you apply to each of your creative projects, and how long does each project take to complete?

May I dare say "funny" again? Let's take the last part of the question first. I just cranked out 16 cards for a submission call and basically lived in my laundry/craft room all weekend to do it. You do the math.

As to my "method" - more like madness. I'd be fine if I didn't procrastinate! Here's how I roll. Submission call category is "cute critters". I think of the stamps I have. Not a lot in this category. Decide on these cuties from Mama Elephant. Problem is, they've been hung on their balloons a zillion times by cardmakers already. What to do new and different? Think about their paws. What can I put in their paws? How about a garland! And these critters are so cute, how about welcoming a baby! So I pull out my pastel PPs and get to work.

One thing I have noticed about my modus operandi is that I often start with an idea for a sentiment. It may not be a sentiment stamp (with the critters, for example, I did not use the sentiments from the set). I'll often think of a word and go from there. Or google quotes related to the word. Weird, eh? I also love using alpha dies (I like words and I like graphic cards) like here. And here it started with a bow, which morphed to bow tie, then tuxedo, then shaker and finally required a PC-generated sentiment.

4. If you had to describe your 'signature' style, what would it be?

"Funny?" Not. I do appreciate humor in cards, but my cards are not always humorous. I actually kinda hate this question. How about you tell me in one word, what you think my "signature style" is??? Leave me a comment by the end of the month and I'll have DD pick a winner of some goodies. (This is your reward for actually reading my post :)

5. What are 3 crafting products/tools you can't live without?

OK. I can answer this. First off would be my white cardstock. It's what I have to reorder most often. I currently go through lots of white and creme 300gm paper from Bringmann and I use Neenah Solar White when I need a smooth surface.

Next would be my Big Shot. I seriously used to think I didn't need one - I could cut what I needed by hand. Ha! Dies are a cardmaker's best friend. And a pocketbook's worst enemy.

And third, I have to agree with Cornelia, are my tweezers. I love using them to hold things (like a die cut with adhesive on the back) as I move them around on a card while deciding on the final placement. Mine are like these.

So, (more than) enough about me. Who do I admire in the cardmaking world?

Anita in France.
And no, not just cuz she and I are wine country dwellers! If you're not living under a rock and you play at CAS challenges, you know her work or her blog, My Papercraft World. She's a master of stripes. I love it when she uses rainbow colors. And she uses the most gorgeous white cardstock. Here - a couple of my faves of hers.

Isn't her execution perfect? And her choice of sentiments is always spot on in meaning and style to match her card. What a sweet lady she is - always making the rounds and leaving meaningful comments. She's just joined her first DT over at Time Out - monkey clapping in order!!! You can get to know more about Anita on her blog on October 6.

Then there's Kate, of the Pacific Northwest.
Of Pinned and Penned fame. This gal has a personal relationship with every card she creates. There's "blood, sweat and tears" - well, maybe not blood - involved every time. She loves and nurtures and moulds and tweaks each one until it "feels right". Love that. I've enjoyed watching her style evolve. Fantastic creations. And talk about fantastic photos! We're talkin' eye candy, folks.

And would you believe, the next card was going to be CAS. But then it morphed. (Oh how familiar that sounds!)

As for the "Penned" part of her blog name, Kate has a way with words too. And she's not afraid to use big ones ;) Oh, one more thing. Every once in a while you get some wonderfully unexpected product tips. Get to know more about Kate on her blog on September 29. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and check out her coffee clipboard card (~amy~ you lucky girl!) Plan to spend time there losing yourself in Kate's creative world.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

talking nerdy ap (PCS)

After the party. That's what "ap" stands for. As in, my life before the party and after the party. Yep, I've made it to the other side!

Suffice it to say, a good time was had by all :) I'll share bits and pieces of it with you over time. For starters, here's the green table. The first one to your left when you came into the room...

And this made table numbers obsolete and allowed our 80 guests to quickly see with whom they would be sharing a table... Can you say "color blocking"?

But now on to the talking nerdy part. Playing catchup in blogland, I came across the Paper Crafts September challenge "Talk Nerdy to Me". Well, when I think nerdy the first thing I think of is Michael A. wearing his calculator on his belt in high school. But the next thing I think of is glasses. (Which Michael A. actually also had, but which I do now too). Which reminded me of a card I'd made for a submission call.

So I'm hooking it up to the gallery at PCS. There's still time if you have a nerdy card to share. Happy weekend, folks. It's nice to be back ;)

Paper:  white CS Bringmann
Stamps:  Lawn Fawn
Ink : Janny Bowlin
Other: washi, Glossy Accents

Monday, September 15, 2014

STAMPlorations sketch #20

All that glitters is not gold. It may be Holographic or Liquid Platinum embossing powder! And it may be on a hexaptych!

Meet the new sketch at STAMPlorations. See those five panels. I went a little cutter crazy. Oops.

Meet my card. I took a watercolored CS (from mopping up leftover ink from another project), sprayed it with some bronze perfect pearls water and did some random stamping of the water mark from Holiday Artsy using white pigment ink.

Then I did some major heat embossing on it using two feathers from VIGNETTE: Trendy Feathers. First using holographic embossing powder, but that didn't show up like I had hoped. So when it was cool, I stamped over the embossed feathers again (slightly offset) and embossed them with Jennifer M.'s fave, Liquid Platinum. That stuff is good enough to eat. Not really, but it is awesome. I dipped the edges of the panel into Versamark and embossed them too.

Cut the panel into strips and attached them using various thicknesses of foam adhesive.

For the sentiment, I heat embossed onto black CS and trimmed. Added a swatch of organza fabric behind it cuz I loved the touch of the gold stars! And then a strip of washi along the inside edge - cuz one can never have too much gold, right?

Show us your pentaptych! The challenge runs through September 26th. You might be chosen to be our next guest designer.

Supplies for just a note:
Paper:  cream CS Bringmann, watercolor paper
Stamps: STAMPlorations
Ink : Distress, Versamark, Hero Arts pigment
Other: embossing powder, organza

Thursday, September 11, 2014

cupcakes and markers and glitter oh my it's nonni's birthday (STAMPlorations)

Cupcakes and birthdays. They go together, right? Well my teamie, the oh-so-talented Nonni, of Korttikarkuri had a birthday and this is the cupcake I made for her. Nonni, hope you had a wonderful day. There is a linky party over at teamie, Sandie's blog if you'd like to share a card for Nonni, too.

And since I missed the post where my teamies shared photos of their pets for Nonni who has a new fur baby herself, here's a recent shot of Miss Ellie needing a grooming.

And it just so happens that this month over at STAMPlorations it's all about "Stamps and Markers" and what a fun combination that can be. Talk about getting extra mileage from your stamps. Color 'em up with markers and stamp. Or color then spritz with water and stamp like I did here. And your color choices are only as limited as your collection of water-based markers ;)

For this card I decided to showcase the unique advantage to coloring stamps with markers. Can you guess what I'm talking about? Notice the chevron border. See how it looks 3D? If I had inked it up with one ink pad I wouldn't get that effect. But I colored the sides of the chevron pattern with two different colored markers and voila! 3D. I used the same two-tone coloring on the arrows at the top and the sentiment too.  I even colored my toothpick purple to hold the sentiment. It's much easier to color small areas with a marker tip than to selectively ink them!

I also used marker scribbles on my craft mat misted with water to watercolor the cupcake and then picked up the excess to make the splatters. Added some clear glitter embossing powder to the watercolored frosting while it was still wet and heated it from beneath. It sticks enough to the wet area to work. And in a nod to another teamie, Shirley B., I gave her credit card swipe technique a try. Um, I obviously need more practice ;)

Thanks for looking. I'm between vacay and our big "161" party at the moment, so things are kinda quiet around here. CU with the regular programming again soon :)

Supplies for hb2u:
Paper:  CS Bringmann
Stamps: STAMPlorations
Ink : Memento and markers
Tools: waterbrush, die Spellbinders
Other: embossing powder, toothpick

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

STAMPlorations September Stamp Release Blog Hop

It's stamp release month at STAMPlorations! The other STAMPlorations girls and I are sharing projects we created featuring the new stamps. Visit and leave a comment on all the stops on the hop for a chance to win.

THREE (3) lucky hoppers randomly drawn from the designers' blogs will each win a stamp set of their choice from the new release and ONE (1) lucky hopper randomly drawn from the STAMPlorations blog will win a $25 gift certificate to use towards products in the STAMPlorations shop. You have until Monday, September 15, 11:55 p.m. PDT (GMT -700) to comment here and on my fellow designers' posts for a chance to win. Winners will be announced on the STAMPlorations blog on Thursday, September 18.  

Here's what I did with that lovely poinsettia (front and center in the graphic).

Some Lipstick Red ink from Simon Says and a couple masks allowed me to create the bunch of poinsettias which so remind me of a display I have in my kitchen every year. I buy several small plants and place them in a big plastic bowl whose outside I have covered with pine cones. Talk about bang for your buck. But I digress.

I dabbed some yellow ink onto the centers, fussy cut the bottom edge and adhered it flush at the top and raised along the bottom edge. Onto the deep green cardbase which reflects the green leaves of the poinsettia I gold embossed my sentiment. 

Is Christmas really only 105 days away? Jeez - I just got home from summer vacation!

If you're interested, the new STAMPlorations stamps will be available to buy in the shop during the hop. The Christmas bundle is $30 (15% off)

Hop along...

Cornelia | Debra | Deepti | Kylie | Maria | Monika | Nonni | Shery | Shirley|Vicki

Friday, September 5, 2014

STAMPlorations september challenge "stamps and markers"

Can't believe it's already September. It's time for another monthly challenge at STAMPlorations. And the theme this month is a fun one. Stamps and markers.

I'm sure coloring in of images comes to mind, but since that is definitely not my forte, I've colored an entire BG stamp with five or six colors of blue markers, spritzed it with water and stamped. TIP: If you use a stamp that is symmetrical, you can use that as a guide for applying the colors.

Then I applied some pearly white embossing paste through a stencil for a bit more interest, before adding my sentiment. I stamped the small complementary sentiments from SENTIMENT BUILDERS: Thank you in white on black CS and the main sentiment I inked up with marker and stamped onto white CS. Did some fussy cutting of the sentiments. Added some wispy silver metallic thread and a blue oval and corner before adhering my sentiments.

Quite the mixed media thing going on here too, eh? Speaking of which, have you checked out our sister challenge - The Mixed Media Card Challenge? The theme over there this month is "autumn colors". So maybe you want to pull out your markers and stamps and create a twofer!

And don't forget that if you enter all three STAMPlorations challenges in September, you will be in the running for a great random prize (in addition to the individual challenge prizes).

Supplies for thanks:
Paper: Bringmann
Stamps: BG Hero Arts, sentiment STAMPlorations
Ink : diverse markers, white pigment Hero Arts
Tools: stencil, die Spellbinders
Other: white embossing paste, thread

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mixed Media Card Challenge #3

Welcome. It's time for Challenge #3 at The Mixed Media Card Challenge and the theme for September is "Fall Colors" with the option of "leaves".

I may still be barefoot on the shores of Lake Huron, but I do enjoy the thought of fall approaching. There are still plenty of wine festivals, but you don't have to worry so much about sweat dripping down your back ;)

Here's a card I made with fall colors and leaves.

You may recall the rules of the game at MMCC - use stamps and ink and texture, dimension and/or technique.

Stamps - the sentiment.
Ink - lots. On the focal panel and card base.
Texture - not much real texture here, just implied.
Dimension - the angled panel and the sentiment panel on foam adhesive.
Technique - used a die to make leaf masks. Sponged the leaves through the mask and then inked a pattern on the leaves through a stencil.

Are you in the mood for fall? If so, give a mixed media card a try and hook it up at the MMCC Challenge #3. Be sure to check out the design team work. LOTS of eye candy for you.

Thanks for your visit.

Supplies for sending warm wishes:
Paper:  CS Bringmann, PP Basic Grey
Stamps: sentiment PTI
Ink : Distress, Versamark
Tools: square die Sizzix, leaf dies Impression Obsession, stencil Crafters Workshop

STAMPlorations sketch #19

Time for another one. No, not a drink, a sketch! Sketch Challenge #19 over at STAMPlorations.

Pretty generic. I kept it generic, used up some PP and even matted my focal panel. Wow, that's pretty mainstream for me!

Wanted to keep it masculine again. Stamped the wonky cake from Sketched: Birthday Cake in gray and then the sentiment from Sketched: Simple Gift in black over it. Five times. Added a black mat under it. And a die cut "you" per the sketch since I'd already included a few sentiments ;)

I covered the front of my cardbase with digi PP from Melstampz and a strip of chartreuse digi PP from All About Scrapping.

Join us. The challenge is open until September 12. The winner of the sketch challenge gets to pick three digi products from All About Scrapping and a guest designer spot too. And if you enter both sketch challenges  and the monthly challenge in September, you're in the running for a random extra prize too!

Supplies for happy birthday you:
Paper:  CS Bringmann, star PP Melstampz, grunge paper PP All About Scrapping
Stamps: STAMPlorations
Ink : Hero Arts, Versafine
Tools: you die Simon Says Stamp
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