Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Folk Art Fox

   Today I'd like to share an easy and fun technique for adding a folk art feel to your cards using symmetrical stamping.

    I created this simple card using the Good Times stamp set from My Mind's Eye, the fox from Love You to Pieces from Papertrey Ink, the Book Cover Details stamp set from Papertrey Ink, the small circle from the Rosie Posie set from Papertrey Ink, and a sentiment from Stampin Up's retired set, Notably Ornate.

  

     I started by stamping the leaf garland from the MME set in green, curving the stamp slightly to create a more rounded garland shape. To make this technique work, follow the rule, "whatever you do to one side, do to the other."  I built on the image with the orange flowers from the MME set and the blue swirl from PTI Book Cover Details. I added a few spots using the small circle from PTI's Rosie Posie stamp set, and finally, I stamped the cute fox from Love You to Pieces in the center. I used an old sentiment from Stampin' Up's Notably Ornate stamp set to complete my project.

    I think this card turned out to be an adorable quirky mish-mash, and in my mind, that's just right! Thanks for stopping by today!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Howdy!

     Today I'm here to share a blatant copy. A case. A rip-off. I shamelessly copied a design and made it. And it was SO MUCH FUN!

  A huge thanks to Erin Lincoln at Procrastination Station for the inspiration. Sometimes we all need to just get crafty; to bust out our stash of scraps and have fun creating our own version of a design. I think this can be the ultimate stress relief!

  I cased Erin's design using my trimmer, three shades of cardstock, my hexagon punch, some scraps from my stash, and my On the Farm stamp set and dies. This is a super easy design that would be fun to make for country lovers for any occasion!


      This is one of my favorite sets, and this go-to design could also be stamped with the hexagons and florals in the Rosie Posie set for a fun alternative. Thanks for stopping by today, my friends!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Book Lovers Unite!

     I have been coveting Papertrey Ink's Book Cover Card Die from the moment I laid eyes on it, so when it came in my latest haul, I couldn't wait to try it!

     Instead of coming up with my own inspiration, I settled for Pinspiration from my constant muse, Melissa Phillips. 


     Just like Melissa, I used the Rosie Posie and Rosie Posie II stamps on my book cover, along with a few elements from the Book Cover Details mini stamp set. I glued my cut sentiment over a foam layer for a little added height.

     As much as I enjoyed this die set, I had an issue with one of the die's design elements. Instead of scoring the book's spine, the die cuts through it nearly all the way, leaving a tiny section attached at the top and bottom. This makes the card base very unstable at the fold. I created two layers for my card and washi taped over the cuts in the spine on the inside layer for added stability. This was a moderately frustrating step when one little tweak in the design could have solved the problem completely! It would be much easier to cut a spine (one rectangular strip) than to reinforce every card base this way until the end of time. (*insert bemused smiley face here*)

     Other than this one tiny complaint, I really enjoyed playing with this product and will have fun using it. It would be much easier to cut using extended cutting pads as a standard cutting pad just isn't *quite* long enough, and I ended up running all the pieces through twice.

     I can't wait to add a cute bookmark using my All Booked Up stamps and dies! Thanks for stopping by today, my friends!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Inspired by ... Houndstooth

    I'm having lots of fun playing along with the anniversary challenges going on at Papertrey Ink's blog in my little bit of free time this week! I've been watching closely for a couple of challenges that I found particularly fun or interesting, and when I saw a challenge asking us to create a project inspired by a favorite piece of clothing, inspiration struck right away!



     I'm a fan of classic and retro clothing, so this skirt from my Pinterest board is on my must-find list. When I remembered the large houndstooth stamp in the Autumn Pattern Pieces stamp set, this card almost made itself!




     I had a terrible time getting a good photo of this card because of the lousy, dark weather here in Montana today, but playing with this pattern was tons of fun! I drew a horizontal line in pencil with a ruler to keep my pattern straight, added some gold embossing, and embellished with the beautiful flowers from the Brushed Blooms stamp set.

     I hope you have the chance to check out PTI's fun challenges and giveaways this week!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Guiding Lights

     The Guiding Lights stamp set from Papertrey ink has some absolutely lovely images, and I was excited to try it out when it came in my latest PTI haul! My sister came over for a crafty play date, and we did our darndest to enjoy our first go with this set. Let's just say that our experience was one part fun and two parts frustration.

     I have never, ever had a bad experience with PTI, and I wouldn't say I did this time, but I will warn you that this set isn't for the faint of heart. I'm a fairly experienced stamper, but try as we might, getting the multiple layers of this set to line up reasonably well was nigh impossible. After stamping these lighthouses more than 10 times each, I finally got a reasonably passable combination for this Melissa Phillips inspired birthday card:


     Because PTI's dies are not framelits (as in you can't see your image through the center of the die), you must cut first and stamp second. Lining up a series of tiny images atop an equally tiny cut shape was absolutely maddening.

     Of course, with great frustration comes great ingenuity, so I had a moment of sheer joy when I realized I could create a die cutting "mask" on a clear window sheet and then use that to place my die in the proper position for stamping before cutting. This will eliminate half the difficulty, even if you still have to fiddle with lining up all those tiny pieces correctly as you stamp them.

     Practice makes perfect, so I practiced some more with another card and some Scene It elements from PTI's Petite Places line:


     The second go was a little easier. It only took me four tries to get a lighthouse I could live with. My stamp positioner worked much better when I could stamp onto paper first and use my die cutting mask to line up my dies. 

     The moral of the story is practice makes perfect in crafting, as in life!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My Favorite Occasions Catalog Product!

     Do you ever forget how many projects you can create using just dies? Guilty. I forget that these little gems have a life outside of just cutting out my stamped images. I fell in love with the Cups and Kettles die set in Stampin' Up's Occasions 2016 catalog at first glance and knew it had to be my first purchase. I loved the dies, but since I already own several tea and coffee themed stamp sets, I realized that this set would be useful all on its own.
    


     The first card was inspired by Melissa Phillips and uses just dies, a small sentiment from one of my other tea-themed sets, and a few little stamps from Papertrey Ink's Garden Variety set for the spines of the books. The paper was leftover from one of my favorite paper collections ever ... that has unfortunately become anonymous after living as a scrap in my box for years and years.


     The second card uses basically the same formula, with a background of resist paper that I left nearly unaltered. I added a stamped image to my kettle on this card with versamark ink and pounced gently with chalk. 

     I hope this post inspires you to comb through your die box in search of hidden treasures!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Papertrey Ink Color Recipe Challenge

     Hi, friends! This week I've been playing along with a few of Papertrey Ink's 9th Anniversary Challenges. Since I just ordered the City Scenes stamp set along with the matching dies and sentiments, I decided to use this set for the first fun challenge!

     For this challenge, PTI's design team members created projects using different color palettes and challenged us to create our own project using one of their color "recipes." I chose Ashley Cannon Newell's color recipe:



The fresh spring colors on Ashley's recipe inspired me to create this card that incorporates a few of my favorite Petite Places backgrounds along with my new City Scene stamps and sentiments:



(I picked this sentiment mostly because of my crazy love for The Vicar of Dibley ... "Blimey, blimey, there's juice loose about this hoose!" If you haven't seen it, go look it up on Netflix now. NOW!)

I added a hot pink interior to my card for a pop of color along with a belated birthday sentiment. I love this stamp and die set!



Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you'll head over to Nichole Heady's blog and play along with some of PTI's anniversary challenges!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

It's Sale-a-Bration Time Again!

     Since I buy tons of stamping products (hence the name of the blog), I'm always excited when free stuff accompanies the stuff I buy. It's Stampin' Up Sale-a-Bration time again, and this year's freebies are adorable!

     My all around favorite is this cute little chick from Honeycomb Happiness. I had some scraps from a summery scrapbooking project laying around, and I thought this little guy would make a super sweet baby card when combined with some bright colors. 


     I colored my little chick up with colored pencils, cut him out, and layered him over a journaling card for a super quick and simple card. I suppose this card could be used for just about anything, but I definitely had a sweet little bundle of joy in mind when I was coloring this baby chick!

     May your stamp stash grow, your glue never get plugged, and your cutting blades never dull, my friends. (Crafter's blessing ...)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Nuts About You

     I've been working on a few Valentine's Day projects lately, and I must include a card for the special guy in my life! Matt and I are coming up on our 17th anniversary this spring, and my jelly bean loving best guy pal needs to be remembered on V-day too!

     I have had the Nuts About You hostess set from Stampin' Up for ages and never used it. I guess I sometimes have a hard time figuring out what to do with solid "cartoony" images, even when they are as adorable as this one! I completely copied this project from Pinterest, and I am grateful to Kimberly Van Diupen for the inspiration.

     I had tons of fun recreating a version of Kimberly's card, along with a "hang in there" variation using the cute little opossum that also comes in the set.


    
     The most (and only) frustrating part of this project was trying to figure out how to make my leaves green and my tree trunk brown since the stamp is all one image. Markers gave a really streaky effect, so I tried inking up the whole stamp in brown, wiping off the brown on the leaves, and then coloring them with a green marker. This still gave a dull effect until I remembered to use Stampin' Up cardstock with my Stampin' Up inks. It really does make a difference!

  I hope winter is passing quickly and uneventfully wherever you are! I'm already antsy for spring even though we have a long way to go here in the north. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Love You to Pieces

     My poor neglected blog is getting a Valentine's day update today! I've been working on a few little Valentine's Day surprises for my daughters' friends over the last week or two using the Love You to Pieces Fox stamp set and dies from Papertrey Ink. 

     This is the only valentine themed set I own, and I don't think I'll ever need another! This set, along with the additions, has basically every cute phrase you could possibly want, along with an adorable 3-D fox designed to be cut and assembled from coaster material.



     I created custom coaster-sized envelopes in a variety of bright colors to hold the small cards and 3-D foxes. I plan to tuck a small treat into each belly band as a fun favor.

     Thanks for visiting today despite my many weeks of inactivity. Real life often gets in the way of my crafting and blogging time these days, but it's fun to have a place to share my projects!