Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring Flowers In A Message For Mom

Stampin' Up! Peace Within Messages For Mom

I'm celebrating Spring and Mother's Day all at once today. And I'm knocking out two challenges at the same time ... woo hoo!  The theme over at SUO Challenges is Mother's Day and the So Shelli Creative Challenge for April is "springtime", so I think this card pretty much covers it.

The focal image is from the stamp set Peace Within and I just love it. If you like watercoloring, this is a great set to have. I'm really starting to have a lot more fun with watercoloring lately. I also used the Messages For Mom stamp set, which I really like because it's quite versatile. In addition to the fab artwork, it has several sentiments appropriate for numerous occasions - and they don't even have to be for Mom!

Messages For Mom stamp set by Stampin' Up!

Watercoloring 101
For best results when watercoloring, I have two major bits of advice:
#1 - Use quality watercolor paper. Yes, it costs more. Yes, it matters. Look for thick (90 lb. or higher), cotton, cold-pressed paper. Stampin' Up! Watercolor Paper (#105019) is 100% cotton pulp, cold-pressed, 140 lb. and comes precut (3-3/4" x 5") with 20 sheets per package.
#2 - Use StazOn ink or "wet" emboss images first. StazOn is permanent ink that dries quickly and won't run or smear during watercoloring. This is the best choice for images that have very fine, detailed artwork. Another option is to emboss the image with embossing powder. Once you've heat set it, the embossed image is ready for watercoloring. This method works very well for less intricate images.
Class dismissed! Ha!!

cardmaking watercoloring techniques and tips

For today's card, I used both an Aqua Painter and a Blender Pen along with classic ink pads to color my image (stamped using StazOn).  The basket has several "layers" of color. Always start with the lightest color first and continue to add darker layers, letting each layer dry a bit between applications.

I snipped off a corner of my watercolor paper, then used the distressing tool from the Cutter Kit to rough up the edges all around. The template in the Mat Pack provided the nifty pierced pattern in the corner of my Marina Mist layer behind it.

Ribbon Trick
I figured out a little ribbon trick while making this card. I wanted the ribbon to wrap around the background piece, but I wanted both "tail ends" of the ribbon on top of the background piece. I solved this dilemma by punching a hole in the background piece for the ribbon to thread through. It's completely hidden by the focal image layers and my ribbon looks just as I imagined. Gotta love when THAT happens!

Thanks for visiting. Let me know you were here ... leave a quick comment!

To order Stampin' Up! products online CLICK HERE.

Stamps: Peace Within (W-114312), Messags For Mom (W-117016, C-118580)
Ink: Marina Mist (119668),  Daffodil Delight (119667), Old Olive (102277),  Pumpkin Pie (105216), Real Red (103133), Chocolate Chip (100908), So Saffron (105213), Jet Black StazOn (101406)
Paper: Marina Mist (119682), Whisper White (100730), Watercolor Paper (105019),
Tools: Aqua Painter (103954), Blender Pens (102845), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430), Mat Pack (105826), Paper-Piercing Tool (116631), Cutter Kit (106958)
Accessories: Daffodil Delight 1-1/4" Striped Grosgrain Ribbon (119770)

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Big Wedding Day

Stampin' Up! Springtime Vintage Wedding Card

Congratulations to William and Kate on their beautiful royal wedding. I only caught the last half of the ceremony, but I'm sure I'll get to see replays of all the important parts! Also, congrats to all the other couples who chose this day for their wedding too.

Stampin' Up! Occasional Quotes Wedding Day Card

I didn't start out to make a wedding card. I decided to play along with this week's Mojo Monday Sketch Challenge. I don't usually go for the round/square challenge, but I liked the sketch and wanted to play, so I went for it. At the last minute, I decided to change the focal image to a sentiment and the wedding one from Occasional Quotes (Level 3 Hostess Set) seemed to suit the card best.
Dyed ribbon rosettes in Stampin' Up! Baja Breeze
When I saw the sketch, I knew immediately that I would use those darling vanilla rosettes from the Occasions Mini Catalog.

(I dyed them using Baja Breeze Classic Ink and an Aqua Painter.)

Once I finished the card, it occurred to me that I should wait and post it today in honor of Will and Kate. Wanna guess what happened in the meantime?

Stampin' Up! sold out of the rosettes and will not be getting future shipments.  None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
I hope YOU already got yours!

You really can't tell from the photos, but the sentiment area has a light spray of Frost White Shimmer spray over it. It's very shimmery in person!
(Go here for instructions on making Shimmer Spray.)

Stampin' Up Itty Bitty Punch Pack Flower

Do you still have a few things (other than rosettes, ha!) on your mini catalog wish list? Let me know ASAP or head over to my online store ... that mini catalog EXPIRES tomorrow! I don't want you moping around next week with a big pouty face because you forgot to order something. ;-)

Speaking of mini catalogs ...
Have you received your new Summer Mini Catalog in the mail yet? If you are on my mailing list and haven't received yours, please contact me and I'll make sure you get one right away. Not on my mailing list yet? I'll be happy to add you! Click here to find out how.

Have a royally wonderful weekend
(Insert "queen wave" here)
Thanks for popping in!

CLICK HERE to order your Stampin' Up! products online 24/7.

Stamps: Occasional Quotes (W-117048, C-120142)
Ink: Not Quite Navy (103008), Baja Breeze (111833)
Paper: Very Vanilla (101650), Baja Breeze (105120), Not Quite Navy (101722), Always Artichoke (105119), Springtime Vintage Designer Series Paper (121782)
Tools: Scallop Edge Border punch (119882), Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (113439), Scallop Circle #2 Die (113469), 3" Circle Die (122125), Mini Glue Dots (103683), Two-Step Bird Punch (117191), Aqua Painter (103954), Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack (118309), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430), Crystal Effects (101055)
Accessories: Vanilla Rosettes (sold out), Baja Breeze 1/2" Seam Binding Ribbon (122331), Basic Pearls (119247), Frost White Shimmer Paint (116854)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bravo! Build a Blossom from Stampin' Up!

Stampin' Up! Build a Blossom Stamp Set with Blossom Petals Punch

Today's card was created a while back for my Mother's birthday (hi Mom!) and I can safely share it now that her birthday has come and gone. I think this would also make a beautiful Mother's Day card as well, with a simple change of sentiment.

Calendar alert: Mother's Day is May 8 - right around the corner!

While the Build a Blossom stamp set and coordinating Blossom Petals punch make beautiful cards without adding extra frills, I immediately thought of heat embossing when I saw this stamp set in the Occasions Mini Catalog. I also wanted to try using a rich, darker color and incorporate Vellum into the mix after seeing a few samples doing the same. I love how this card turned out. (And Mom loved it too!)

Build a Blossom embossed birthday card

The Vellum background piece was created using the Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder (run through the Big Shot). I recommend using Vellum card stock for this technique. I only had Vellum paper on hand, and while it did work okay, I had to adjust the "sandwich" thickness so it wouldn't actually CUT through the paper rather than deeply emboss as desired.

Build a Blossom is a Two-Step Stampin'® set, which means the stamps are designed to be used together (usually in pairs), one image stamped over the other to create one two-tone image. On the larger petals of my card, I only used the detailed stamp - inked with VersaMark, covered with clear embossing powder and heat set. The smaller petals, stamped on Vellum, were created using the background stamp first (stamped off once for a lighter effect), followed by the detail stamp full strength.

Bravo Burgundy Build a Blossom stamp set by Stampin' Up!

TIP: Stamp the petals in a row along a strip of card stock, then punch them out. Don't try to match the placement of the pieces as laid out on the punch itself.

The "curls" in the center (another great idea I stole borrowed from a fellow demonstrator) are easily created with narrow strips of card stock. The tricky part is carefully tying the strip without tearing it. (wink, wink) Then gently use your bone folder to curl the strips as desired. LOVE this look.

Baja Breeze Build a Blossom with Blossom Petals punch

If you prefer a simpler version, I also did the same layout with Baja Breeze - and no embossing powder, just classic ink. See what I mean? A beautiful card on it's own, without extra frills.

Build a Blossom Tips and TechniquesTIP: When assembling the petals to create your blossom, try adhering them to a piece of card stock first and THEN attach the entire blossom to your project.  Give your petals dimension by slightly bending or curling them using your bone folder.

Got blossoms?
If you haven't yet ordered the Build a Blossom stamp set, you'll want to hurry. The last day to order from the Occasions Mini Catalog is Saturday, April 30. Don't forget to order the Blossom Petals punch - you don't REALLY want to cut out those petals by hand do you? Hee!

I hope you enjoyed today's creativity. Thanks for visiting!

To order your Stampin' Up! products online CLICK HERE.

Stamps: Build a Blossom (W-121923, C-121994), Fabulous Phrases (W-117002, C-120501)
Ink: Whisper White Craft (101731), VersaMark (102283), Always Artichoke (105219), Bravo Burgundy (105214)
Paper: Bravo Burgundy (105123), Whisper White (100730), Certainly Celery (105125), White Vellum Paper (101839) or White Vellum Card Stock (101856)
Tools: Big Shot (113439), Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder (120175), Eyelet Border punch (119853), Clear Emboss Powder (109130), Heat Tool (100005), Blossom Petals punch (121808), Mini Glue Dots (103683), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430)
Accessories: Basic Pearls (119247), Neutrals Designer Buttons (119743)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Great Swaps At Stampin' Up! Regionals

Anniversary Wedding Card with Stampin'Up! Always Elegant stamp set

Monday, I said I'd share some swaps I received while at the Stampin' Up! Spring Regional event in Orlando last month.

First I have to show you MY swap! It's a pretty simple card, but I love the gold on gold embossing and wanted to keep it simple. This will make an elegant anniversary or wedding card and you can customize the card to the wedding colors if you know them. That strip of patterned paper? It's from the (sneak peek) Spring is Blossoming promotion going on now. It's called Paisley Petals (Designer Series Paper) and it. is. gorgeous. This pattern is one of the few muted ones in the bunch.

Gold embossing on Stampin' Up! Brushed Gold card stock

The inspiration for this card came from Marika Lemay, a Stampin' Up! demonstrator in Canada. Her version was brown and gold and equally stunning. I love that demonstrators from all over the US and Canada can share creative ideas (and business tips too!) on our "demo community" website. It's a fabulous resource and a great perk of being a demonstrator.

Gold on gold embossing with Stampin' Up! Brushed Gold card stock
Gold on gold embossing
This really looks stunning in person and it's easy to do. Simply ink your stamp with VersaMark or you can use Encore!™ Metallic Gold ink (Stampin' Up! retired this last year, but if you have it, use it). Stamp on our Metallic Gold card stock; cover with gold embossing powder and set it with the heat tool. Be sure to use your Embossing Buddy on the card stock first - it eliminates static and you won't have stray embossed specks on your card.

More please
Enough of my card ... Here are several of the cards I got from our team swap. I don't want to get any names/cards mixed up, so I'll just name basic stamp sets instead. That's really the important part anyway, right?

Mothers Day card Build a Blossom with Baroque Motifs background

Build a Blossom with All Holidays and Baroque Motifs

Stampin' Up! Elegant Soiree Designer Series Paper On Your Birthday

On Your Birthday

Greeting Card Awash With Flowers by Stampin' Up!

Awash with Flowers

Stampin' Up! Bring on the Cake with Build a Blossom

Build a Blossom with Bring on the Cake

Stampin' Up! Nature Walk stamp set with Framed Tulips Embossing Folder

Nature Walk

Easel card for Every Moment stamp set by Stampin' Up!

Every Moment

Aviary stamp set by Stampin' Up! with red Glimmer Paper

Build a Blossom and Blossom Petals Punch by Stampin' Up!

Build a Blossom

Aren't these great cards? I hope you are as inspired as I was. Comments are welcome!!

p.s. The countdown is on . . . only three more days to shop from the Occasions Mini Catalog and take advantage of the Spring is Blossoming (sneak peek) promotion - both will expire April 30.


To order Stampin' Up! products online 24/7 CLICK HERE.

Stamps: Always Elegant (W-116976, C-120477)
Ink: VersaMark (102283), Always Artichoke (105219)
Paper: Always Artichoke (1051190, Very Vanilla (101650), Brushed Gold (102935), Paisley Petals Designer Series Paper (122367)
Tools: Heat Tool (100005), Powder Pals trays (102197), Embossing Buddy (103083), Gold Emboss Powder (109129), Scallop Trim Border punch (118402), Scallop Oval XL punch (119856), 1-3/4" x 7/8" Oval punch (119855), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430)
Accessories: Very Vanilla 5/8" Satin Ribbon (117291)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Where's Waldo? And Where's Waldo Been, Anyway?

Gayle with Shelli Gardner, Co-Founder and CEO of Stampin' Up!

I've been on a bit of a semi-forced hiatus lately, and I'm super excited to get back into the swing of things around here at Stampingville. I was going to give y'all the Soap Opera Digest version, but that would take up too much valuable real estate, so let's just say life got in the way and demanded a lot of attention! And by the way, that can really be a mojo zapper too.  :(

So anyway ... I've got a LOT of catching up to do! I managed to get over to Orlando for the Stampin' Up! Spring Regional Event last month and it was great. We were just getting situated at our tables, when Shelli (Gardner, Co-Founder and CEO of Stampin' Up!) suddenly appeared and our group mobbed her for a photo op. She was a great sport and indulged us for a few minutes. I limped over as fast as I could (with my newly broken foot) and managed to get a picture with her. The photo isn't the best, but hey ... it's the one and only shot of me with Shelli so far. (You should see the lines at convention when she does organized photo op's.)

We saw lots of presentations by the Stampin' Up! staff and several demonstrators, and they were all wonderfully creative and we got a boatload of new ideas. And of course, there were make and takes! We each received the Nature Walk stamp set (featured in the current Occasions Mini Catalog) to use for the make and takes and they were really fun projects.

Stampin' Up! Big Shot Petal Cone Banner

My absolute favorite project was the CREATE banner. I'm not really much of a "banner person", but this one is so CUTE and it was really fun to make. The main banner pieces? Created using the new Petal Cone Die for the Big Shot (die cut pieces were cut in half). Isn't that clever?! It may move around from place to place in the Stampingville studio, but it's going to be up for a long time to come! LOVE IT!

Nature Walk + Botanical Gazette samples by Stampin' Up!

We also used the coordinating Botanical Gazette Designer Series Paper on several of the projects. It's really quite lovely. As usual, the snippets in the Mini Catalog don't do it justice. (Click on the photo's to view them larger; then hit your "back button" to return here.)

Our group swapped full cards while we were there too (yes, we had LOTS of creativity flying around all weekend!) and I'll try to get a few of those posted this week. For now, I think I hear my craft table calling me! Toodles!

Thanks for visiting!

To order Stampin' Up! products online CLICK HERE.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Wishes For You

Holiday Greeting Card Featuring Four Frames Stamp Set by Stampin' Up!

Happy Easter! From glorious sunrise services to Easter bonnets, baskets and egg hunts to scrumptious dinners and treats - I hope you are having a wonderful day today.

Today's card was one of our Hostess Club projects earlier this month. It features several products from the Occasions Mini Catalog, including the Springtime Vintage Designer Series Paper, the Framed Tulips Embossing Folder and the sweet little vanilla rosettes.

Four Frames Stamp Set with Decorative Label Punch by Stampin' Up!

TIP: We colored the rosettes using a classic ink pad and an aqua painter and it was SUPER SIMPLE. Squeeze the ink pad case a few times before opening to deposit ink on the inner lid. Use the aqua painter to pick up the ink from the lid of the ink pad and just brush the color onto the rosette. Because YOU control the amount of water coming through the aqua painter, you can dye the rosette as light or as dark as you wish to coordinate with any project. (Super trick we learned recently at a Stampin' Up! Regional Event.)

The card also features a sneak peek stamp set from the upcoming Idea Book & Catalog! The Four Frames stamp set is not only pretty (and versatile), it coordinates with the Decorative Label Punch - making quick work of tags, frames for sentiments, and lots of other creative uses! Want it now? No problem! Just place an order of $20 or more and you qualify to purchase this stamp set now.  Don't forget - the Occasions Mini Catalog AND this special offer both expire April 30.  Don't miss out the products you've been wishing for.

Thanks for stopping by today.
Happy Easter!

To order your Stampin' Up! products online CLICK HERE.


Stamps: All Holidays (114916), Four Frames [Sneak Peek Stamp Set] (W-123440, C-123442)
Ink: Rich Razzleberry (115658), Always Artichoke (105219), Rich Razzleberry Stampin' Write Marker (120970)
Paper: Rich Razzleberry (115316), Very Vanilla (101650), Springtime Vintage Designer Series Paper (121782)
Tools: Aqua Painter (103954), Stamping Sponges (101610), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430), Decorative Label Punch (120907)
Accessories: Rich Razzleberry 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon (119957), Vanilla Rosettes (118774), Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (113439), Framed Tulips Embossing Folder (121809)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Not So Fluffy Flower Bunny

This bunny has been a work in progress ... a minute here, a few minutes there. I'd like to make the flower a bit more realistic looking, but apparently - since TOMORROW is Easter - I don't really have time for that!

I totally ripped off this idea from a local florist's ad. As soon as I saw it, I was obsessed with creating one using the Build A Blossom stamp set and the Blossom Petals punch.

Oh, and I have a few serious (as in seriously b.u.tee.ful) cards to show you using this stamp/punch combo. But I'm saving that for later. Yes, I know - such a tease. But I've got eggs to hide! Hee!!

Have a wonderful Easter.


To order Stampin' Up! products online, CLICK HERE.