Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Copper is the New Gold

Hi, friends! I want to share a quick card with you today using the "Bitty Bouquet" stamp set from Papertrey Ink, and the latest on-trend product in papercrafting (apparently), copper embossing.

Gold has been the in thing for a while now, but recently I've seen copper popping up all over. On my project this week I decided to add a touch of copper embossing to an otherwise simple card to dress it up a bit.


I die cut and stamped the floral sprays in Lucky Limeade, Blushing Bride, Melon Mambo, Pool Party, and So Saffron, then layered the bouquets over one another with dimensional adhesive. Some little pearls add a touch of pretty.

What do you think of this new copper trend? I would love to see your projects!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Dinosaurs!

My daughter has been obsessed with dinosaurs since she started school. Yep, my daughter. And I think it's great! When she was in second and third grade she checked out every book in the school library about them, and we began our annual subscription to our local dino hot spot, the Museum of the Rockies, where they have outstanding collections of fossils on display. I don't know what sparks her interest and imagination, but as she grows older, she continues to love dinosaurs.

At school this year, her 7th grade social studies teacher assigned something called a "Passion Project." The kids are supposed to spend one class period per week working on a project they are interested in that they think would make the world a better place. Her second project for the year has been working up scientifically accurate drawings of commonly mis-imagined dinosaur species using current scientific research. Yup, really. I'm not sure how it makes the world a better place, but maybe she makes it a more interesting one!

The stamp set from Stampin' Up called "No Bones About It" is so cute, and it's great for dino obsessed kids of all ages! Since her friend group has similar interests, I made up a few birthday cards for the dino lovers in our lives!


The first is a catalog case that is super simple! I used the brights paper stack and a simple collage stamped panel on Whisper White. I stamped the dino and sentiment twice, then fussy cut and layered one over the other with dimensional adhesive.

The second card is just magic! The two step stamps in this set are perfect for layering and for fun color changing or window projects. Pull the tag on this card and a colorful version of the image appears!



My favorite tutorial for creating magic cards can be found on Splitcoast Stamper's YouTube channel here. Their channel contains great tutorials on all kinds of fun card folds!

Thanks for visiting my blog today! Hope your day is dino-rific!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Partial Die Cutting

In my last post I talked a bit about partial die cutting and what a fun technique it can be to expand the usefulness of dies. Stampin' Up has a lovely set of butterfly dies in the current catalog that are great for this technique, and I just found out that they are going to be in the new catalog as well! 

I used the sweet stamp set called "Watercolor Wings" to create a card using partial die cutting and a fun interior pop up element! The possibilities are endless for these butterflies since stamping in different colors will create a whole new look each time!


I stamped my sweet little butterflies in Pear Pizzazz and So Saffron and added a few elements from "Timeless Textures" for interest. A pop of Pool Party on the interior creates a contrast against the butterflies when the card is closed.

Here are a few pictures of the pop up element, which is super basic but a fun surprise when the recipient opens the card.



My interior butterfly uses So Saffron and Blushing Bride for a bit of a color change that is still soft and pretty. Directions for creating this pop up can be found at Julie Davidson's blog here. Julie has a tutorial for a vertical pop up as well! Thanks, Julie!

Jennifer McGuire has a great tutorial on partial die cutting here if this technique is new to you. She has a wonderful YouTube channel with tons of useful information!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Time for Teacher Gifts!

I have a tremendous appreciation for teachers. My sister is an incredible (and nationally recognized - brag, brag) elementary school teacher, so I hear all about the heartbreak, hard work, and amazing successes that come with her job. Now that my girls are in middle school, we have to spread our appreciation through gifts a little more widely than we used to, but I always try to send a special thank you at the end of the year for all the hard work these amazing people have put in to teach my kids.

To get started on this year's end-of-school cards, I pulled out my PTI Teach and Inspire stamp set. This set has some great heartfelt teacher-themed sentiments, and since you can't have a teacher card without an apple, I also grabbed my Apple Prints set and coordinating dies.


This card layout was originally created by Nichole Heady, and I have made several incarnations of it over the years. I adore scrunchy seam binding bows, and the partial die cutting along the edge is an easy technique with a fun wow factor. 

To create a border using any die, position your top cutting plate so that it is part on and part off your die. The section sandwiched between the two cutting plates will cut through, and the section without a top plate will remain attached. Then trim with a trimmer or craft knife in a straight line between your cut images. Hard to explain but easy to do! Here's a card I did using the same technique and some Halloween pumpkins a while back:


Partial die cutting is an easy way to make dies more versatile. Anyway, back to the topic at hand! My second teacher card uses the images from Teach and Inspire. I love this cute tree, and the sentiments in this set are some of my favorite in all of my extensive stash. (Insert guilty grin.)


I plan to create a nice card for each teacher to pair with a modest thank you gift or treat. I am so grateful for the teachers in my life who inspired me to pursue the things I still love today. What a gift they are to the world!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

An Old Favorite

It's so easy to lose touch with old friends. I was reminded of this the other day when one of my besties from our years in Oklahoma sent me a beautiful note in the mail, and I realized how long it has really been since I talked to her. I wish there were more hours in the day and quick travel between places far away. Maybe in the future the quick travel part will become even more of a reality!

In the spirit of old friends, I pulled out a stamp set from years past that I just love. Back when it was shiny and new (and trendy) I used it all the time, but now that the vintage trend has passed, it is neglected and in the back of my stash gathering dust. Not this week! Out it came to do three projects using different techniques.


The first is a vintage inspired wedding card. I watercolored my image twice and die cut a butterfly out of one version to pop up over the second so the little wings are a bit three dimensional. Quick, simple, and the watercolor breathed new life into an old favorite image.

 
For the second card, I pulled out all the vintage tricks and created a collage focal panel with white embossing as the top layer. A scrap of trim and a little tag, and this card is shabby chic enough to live in 2010. Those were the days. 


The third card is pretty and pastel and a little more clean and simple than the others. I added a layer of vellum over this butterfly for a touch of softness. Easy and best of all ... easy to mail!

I hope you be inspired to pull out an old favorite crafting tool and maybe even to a send your creation to an old friend!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Coffee is Real Magic

Hi, friends! Have you heard of Jessa Frieg and Useless Trinkets? Now you have! This great blog features several hilarious and adorable free digital stamps with tons of multi-lingual sentiments. Thank you, Jessa!

I couldn't resist this adorable unicorn named Cookie Jar. I created two card versions of Cookie Jar in different sizes and used two of the matching sentiments.



For both cards, I used a die cut cloud as a mask and sponged several pastel shades of ink in layers to create a sky background. I colored up Cookie Jar with Copic Markers and layered some clouds in the foreground. A touch of white Wink of Stella glitter brush pen to adds some subtle sparkle.



This cute little Narwhale card is a birthday card for one of my daughter's friends. I used the same masking process to create the water background. I created the wave mask using a scallop edge die and a piece of copy paper.



I hope you'll check out Useless Trinkets! Thanks for visiting my blog today! If you do use any of these images on your own projects, I would love to see them!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Stampin' Up Goodbyes ...

Alas, it is that sad time of year again when all of the beautiful things on my Stampin' Up wish list retire to make way for new beautiful things. It might be a bit sick that someone with upwards of a gazillion stamp sets can still have a wish list as long as mine!

There were two sets on my list that I couldn't let go. The first was the simple but sweet set called "Summer Solstice." This set took a long time for me to discover since it's rather unassuming, but the pieces lend themselves to the collage style I love so much.


The second was a set called "World of Dreams" that features several really lovely silhouette images that will compliment some of the other sets in my stash.


This simple card was inspired by Lisa Young. In fact, it was blatantly cased. Thanks, Lisa! You sold me on this one! The orchids are gorgeous, and all of the elements work together beautifully.

I can't believe summer is here already. Today my mom and I took our annual field trip to the garden store to buy our flowers for the season, since it is just about safe to plant! The green grass and trees against the blue, snow-capped mountains is just breathtaking. How amazing to be alive!

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!