Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One Page Wonder Challenge

At Card Club in February we were given a single sheet of 12”x12” Stampin’ Up! Designer Series Paper. With it we were to create cards (however many was up to us) utilizing this paper. Here are the two sides of mine:

(I have no idea what this paper is called; I looked everywhere and cannot find it. If you know what it is, then please let me know…just for sanity’s sake. It has various brown stripes on one side and multi-colored polka dots on the other.)

I think “challenge” was an understatement; I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do. I decided that I would make as many cards as I could (since they will all be donated to the Ronald McDonald House for use by its residents). Over the next few days I will be sharing these various cards with you.

To begin, here is my monochromatic card: all browns:

I was able to work with the striped side of the paper and added a little bit of many different aspects: dry embossing, ribbon, heat embossing, and sponging (what would a project be without a little sponging, right?). I wanted to show that you don’t need to have every color in the rainbow to creative an intriguing card.

Recipe: Four Square stamp set, Close to Cocoa classic ink, Versamark craft ink, Close to Cocoa and Chocolate Chip card stock, Mystery Paper (I wish I knew the name of it…), square scallop punch, scissors, Flirty Ribbon Originals, sponges, and dimensional spots.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March W'ink

The March meeting of the W’ink Stamp Club was an ordeal…to say the least. Overnight, Sharon received lots and lots of snow which questioned whether we would all be able to make it out to her home. With the volunteering of her home, we were able to have it here in town at the home of one of the lovely ladies in club.

On of the techniques we learned was the shaving cream technique; I have been so intrigued by this technique, but had never done it. It was so much fun to swirl the colors and the “just mush” our papers in it. I was a bit apprehensive as I looked at the mound of shaving cream sitting on my paper (what was it going to look like underneath…), but the wait was worth it when I scraped away the goo to reveal a truly one of a kind pattern.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A rose by any other name…

Where to start; where to start?

We received our W’ink challenge for March’s club: Purple and Green…that was it. Pretty much, we could do whatever we wanted as long as the focus was on purple and green. Because old habits die hard, I mentally “shelved” it for three weeks…not only because I am a big procrastinator, but also because I had not clue what I was going to do. Monday before club rolled around and I realized that I had five days to figure something out to bring to club. As I was trying to sleep my mind was racing through different card ideas/layouts/etc, but none of them gave me that big “light bulb” moment.

A couple nights of that brings us to Thursday afternoon. I decided to skip the gym and focus the whole evening on not only figuring out what I was going to do, but also executing it. I had thought of a few ideas during the day and sketched them out when I got home (sketching and coloring in the middle of an accounting department isn’t looked to kindly upon). Something wasn’t right: yes, they were all fine, but fine was just not good enough. My mind kept going back to flowers…purple flowers…green leaves…purple flowers…green leaves, but I kept dismissing it (for some reason, I don’t know why). I finally embraced the purple flowers/green leaves idea, but knew I wanted to try something new; I did have all evening to do it. I remembered seeing Gretchen’s post about hand-made roses and thought that maybe I could do something like that, but I wasn’t sure. (Ok, side-note: so in case you haven’t notice, I am not very decisive; something which drives my sweet husband crazy; I need to work on that) After some inner debate, I decided to use the roses and make a pull-out pot card which seemed to be everywhere a while back.

I went to Gretchen’s blog and realized that she got the paper rose idea from someone else (yes, this surprised me since I think she is amazingly creative and inginuitive). After following the trail, I found the instructions to the rose on Julie William’s Blog Simi Stamper. I read over it and thought, “I can do that.” I noticed the steps were similar to making fondant roses from my cake decorating classes and I was pretty good at that, so how much more difficult could this be, right? Oh, so wrong. I realized (and maybe I knew it all along, but just didn’t want to admit it) that paper is not as cooperative as soft fondant. Anyway, long story short (I know: too late) I was able to get four purple roses complete and added them to the rest of my pot card.

I really like the way it turned out; I do think the pot was missing something (it looks a bit bare to me), but knew that if I added something to it, then it may detract from the roses which, after all the effort I put into them, were definitely the focus. If you have some time, try making some paper roses; though they are a bit daunting, I think the final result is very worth it…especially if it is for someone well deserving.

Now if I can find a way to do it without using so much Crystal Effects…that would be great!
Recipe: Whimsical Words and Itty Bitty Background stamp sets, Creamy Caramel and Pale Plum cardstock, Old Olive designer paper, Lovely Lilac, Old Olive, Creamy Caramel, and Close to Cocoa classic ink, sponges, sticky strip, crystal effects, and flower punch (oh, and lots and lots of patience).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Masculine Birthday

Have you ever gotten into a crafting rut? Sometimes I find myself doing the same thing over and over again; it takes an outside influence to snap me out of it. That is the case with the swap theme for March’s Card Club; the theme being “masculine birthday.” This is not what worried me; what did worry me was that it was “suggested” that we not use any ribbon, flowers, etc. on our card. Though I do not completely agree with the banishment of such accents (for example, I think that ribbon, used in the correct manner, can be masculine) I thought I would do my best with the guidelines.

Recently I have been taking what precious spare “crafting” time I have available to see what everyone else has been up to with their crafting; I think this card is the culmination of all of that “research.” I have seen so many projects with only opposite corners rounded and am glad that I was able to take advantage of that “new” shape. Also, color is so much fun for me; I fell in love with Soft Suede when Stampin’ Up! introduced it last year and enjoy seeing it used with various colors. I saw it used with Certainly Celery and Night of Navy and thought it was so striking a combo that I wanted to use it myself; adding the Bashful Blue, I thought, brought just the right balance to the darkness of the rest of the card. Among other things, I have seen lately a vast use of oversized background stamping; I had this birthday background set and thought it took advantage of this recent trend. Finally: embossing – who doesn’t like embossing? I thought this helped to keep the colors coherent and not detract from the overall look.

One last thought on this card: my original plan was to have another “rectangle” in the lower corner in So Saffron; I asked my husband what he thought and he said that it, “makes it too girly.” What do you think? Would you have added the saffron?

Oh, ok…there is one more thing (sorry): since I am usually in such a rush most of the time, I do not always note from where my ideas/inspirations come. If you see an aspect in my design/project (or any other project) which looks like something you created (and I hadn’t given you credit already for it), then let me know and I will be sure to recognize the oversight; I apologize in advance.

Recipe: Happy Birthday Greetings and Four Square stamp sets, Night of Navy, Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery, and Soft Suede card stock, Versamark ink, Crystal Clear embossing powder, corner rounder punch, 1¼” square punch, heat tool, and dimensional spots.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Not just another cupcake…

Our challenge for February’s Card Club was to make “anything but a card.” It took me weeks to figure out what I wanted to make and still, that was a long shot. I really could not think of anything. Actually, that is not true: I thought of many things, but nothing of which I wanted to make nine to swap. I started surfing the crafting super-highway and came upon a string of posts: one lead to another who referenced another who got her idea from someone else…and on…and on…and on – each tweaking or adding something to make her cupcake unique. By the time I got to it, it was a container which held treats (as is my cupcake), but the top was wrapped with twisted paper to simulate piped icing. I decided to, instead, cover the top with some white fleece I had and then add a red cherry to the top (some cherries were brads covered with red mulberry paper where others where clear buttons backed with the same red mulberry paper). I think they turned out so cute…almost like real cupcakes.
(I placed all of the different cupcakes in my cupcake holder...
I thought it was absolutely adorable!)

Granted, I fell in love with my cupcakes and hoped that everyone at club would too. I was so surprised and the different types of items created for the swap. Check out Anne’s blog to see all the different items. Which is your favorite? Let me know and after a bit I will post what mine is.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Got Milk?

Ever since I saw this template hit the “crafting scene,” I wasn’t exactly sure why it appealed to so many people and why someone would want to purchase it (probably because I couldn’t see that many diverse uses for it). At February’s W’ink club, Sharon demonstrated this adorable little (and I do mean little) milk carton template. Though it did take a little time to determine where to put the adhesive and what folds under and what folds upward…granted, it was our own fault since we were doing a little chatting while she was showing us…I think it turned out fantastic. She provided us some mini M&Ms for inside our cartons.

What do I think of it now? Well, I do think that this project was fantastic and I have seen others which were equally creative, but overall I don’t think my opinion of the milk carton has changed much: I think it is cute, but I don’t see the application of it for different occasions. Let me know if you think I am way off base with this; in this instance, I would love to be proven wrong.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I love waterfalls

…not just the beautiful waterfalls found in nature, but also waterfall cards. For the longest time they fascinated me so much: I loved receiving them and watching the different panels flip over and back and over again. I decided I would figure out how to make them; many (many, many, many, and still many more) YouTube tutorials later (thank you to everyone who posts videos…I love watching them) I thought I had a pretty good handle on what I needed to do – it didn’t hurt that one tutorial actually listed out all of the pieces I needed with measurements.

Ever since my first attempt, I can’t seem to make enough of them.

Here are two examples that I received recently: one is for Valentine’s Day from my mother and the other is from a fellow stamp clubber (she made them as her “favorite technique” in for our January card club). I love them both; the diverseness adds to notion that they can be used for anything. What will be next? Oh…I just got an idea…I’ll need to find a reason to make it now….
This is so exciting!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

11 Years of Dating!

That’s right – on this day eleven years ago my husband and I went on our first date. And after all this time, even now that we are married, he still takes me out on dates. He is the best ever; I am so blessed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Two Fresh Cards

Honestly, I do not know from where these cards came (I sincerely apologize if either of them are from you), but I love them. I was “reacquainted” with them as I was sorting through my office; I was surprised how they both made me think of citrus though they are completely different: the boho style of the one contrasting the picnic style of the other. It blows my mind to think that two so diverse cards could be made with, basically, the same color palate and evoke the same overall feel.

What do you think? Do you get the same feeling as I did?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I know I am a bit late…for 2010, but just think of it as 51 weeks early for 2011!
My sister sent me this ‘Patty’s Day package a few weeks ago and I love it! She prepares holiday treats for her son’s (my nephew) class and make a few extra for me.

The “Happy St. Patrick’s Day Tube” is actually a mini M&M tube (complete with candies) that she covered with a festive label and tied with ribbon. The “Pinch Proof Medallions” are attached to gold…well, gold Werther’s Originals candies (you can never find those chocolate gold coins when you need them). Finally, an adorably simple card: not too “over the top ‘Patty’s Day”…just the way I like it.

As always, “Thanks, I love it!”

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ode to All Natural

During one of my “cleaning” spells in my office, I located these two cards which I thought were great depictions of how a card doesn’t have to be filled with bows, flowers, or “cutsie-ness.”

This is a thank you card from my mother, Susan. She and my father joined myself, my husband, and our two girls (ok, technically they are our two dogs, but as any of you who have dogs know: they are just like kids) in the Pecos Forest for a quiet and relaxing weekend. I think she must have used at least four different sets, but they all work well together and create a natural and creative card.
This a Christmas card from Sharon. What is more fitting than a pine bough with some strategically place cones? I love the simplicity of this mini note card and its use of negative space. Sharon’s well edited and reserved eye is so well exemplified in this card.

I love them both!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Smells like a nice gift

January card club was a time for some creating with a few new products. Anne offered us bottles of reed diffusers to decorate (my flavor was Fresh Mist) with rub-ons and a little “bling.” She also provided us with a pattern and coordinating designer paper for a gift container. We were also introduced to elastic cording, mini envelopes, and the “clear-mount” stamps by Stampin’ Up!

Thanks Anne.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ronald McDonald Challenge

At January’s card club we were given two packages of supplies with which to create cards for the Ronald McDonald House Charity. Here are the results of my two kits:

Purple Paradise
This kit included the white card base, the lilac panel, the black panel, and the smaller white panel. What to make…what to make…. I had recently purchased two stamp sets which seemed to coordinate well with each other, so I thought I would give them a go. Wanting to stay true to this challenge, I wanted to stick with the supplies provided as well as I could; I moved some pieces around and came up with this straight forward layout. After looking at it for a bit, I knew it needed something more, but I couldn’t figure out what. It took a bit longer, but then I recognized another card’s layout in this…it was from Halloween time. I loved it then and I love it now: all I need is some ribbon and a grommet and I was set.

Recipe: Vintage Vogue and Vintage Labels stamp sets, Basic Black, Whisper White, Very Vanilla, and Lovely Lilac card stock, Basic Grey, Lovely Lilac, and Versamark Ink, large white grommet, wide black organdy ribbon, ½”circle punch, sponges, black embossing powder, heat embosser, Lovely Lilac Stamp-n-write marker, and dimensional spots.

Seeing Stripes

This pack contained a completely different group of pieces (for one, there were lots more, and two, nothing “clicked” at all): navy, red, green, yellow, white, confetti…holy cow (I was certain Anne set out to drive me up the wall with this combo)! It took some time, but I determined that the best theme for this would be a natural one. Most of the pieces layered really well together (yup…that is 5 layers on that center panel), but doing so left me with so many small pieces. What to do with these? I wanted to use them, but how? I cut them into various strips and aligned them around the edge. Something was still off with that center panel: the words I used seemed a bit narrow for the space (since they did end up going all the way to the top and bottom), so I added a bit of twine to fill the empty space. A bit of sponging around all the edges tied in all of the rough edges.

Recipe: Sidekick Sayings and All Natural stamp sets, Ruby Red, Old Olive, More Mustard, and Not Quite Navy classic inc, Ruby Red, Old Olive, More Mustard, and Not Quite Navy, Confetti White, and Whisper White cardstock, hemp twine, dimensional spots, sponges, and Not Quite Navy Stamp-n-write marker.