Saturday, April 15, 2017

May is for Mother's Day!

My monthly challenge for my Facebook craft group this month is creating a Mother's Day project since May will be here before we know it, so I thought I would share this challenge on my blog too! I love creating projects for my mom and my mom-in-law because they both love something that I love too: beautiful blooms and gardens! They are both kind, generous, selfless women who mean the world to me.

My mom-in-law's card was created with bright colors and tons of flowers! This little set came as a freebie for Sale-a-Bration last year, and it is tiny but mighty! It creates beautiful backgrounds and focal points.

My mom is an avid gardener, so for her card I cased the glassine envelope project from page 112 of the Stampin' Up annual catalog and created a pocket card. This Butterfly Basics set was on my list for a long time, and I know it will become a staple in my stash! I added a few of my own touches to the envelope (if I'm honest, some of my "touches" were added to cover up whoopsies. Whoopsie!) I added a flat panel inside where I added some more butterflies and a sentiment. 

Mint Macaron is a new addition to my color collection, and it is a stunning blue/green!

Here's a cheer for all the moms out there! I'll add a cheer for all the sisters, aunties, grandmas, and strong women in my life who teach me daily lessons and serve as incredible role models for my daughters. Thanks for all you do!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

More Birthday Color!

Many of my daughters' friends have birthdays in the spring, so I'm busy stocking up on some brightly colored birthday cards for a group of fun, energetic, kind young teens. I am so grateful for this group of amazing girls!

I passed the Sweet Cupcake stamps and dies in the annual Stampin' Up catalog a hundred times before I gave them a look. For whatever reason, they weren't "my style" and didn't grab my eye. I was looking to add to my birthday stamps recently and wanted a set with some larger images, so I decided to pick the bundle up with some rewards I had earned. OH MY WORD. The catalog does not do this set justice. In person, the results are show stopping. 

The best part about this set might be its ease of use. Even though the cupcake and frosting each have three steps, they are a breeze to line up. I used Blushing Bride for steps 1 and 2 on my frosting and Strawberry Slush for step 3, and the dimension is incredible in real life! For the cake, I used So Saffrom for Step 1, Daffodil Delight for step 2, and Crushed Curry for step 3. The dies also come with some great extras that make them a great value.

Lesson learned! Don't judge a stamp by its catalog page alone!

While I was at it, I decided to pull out an old favorite and recreate a card I've made many times for many birthdays! This z-fold card is fun and easy, and the birthday balloons in Celebrate today look great in a variety of color schemes!

I would love to know about your favorite all-time birthday designs! What sets (retired or current) do you find yourself returning to over and over? 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Spring Flowers

Spring is in the air, and so is my love for girly spring colors! Even though 2/3 of my wardrobe is black or gray, I seem to love pastels in my paper crafting. (Do you have a paper crafting alter ego, or is it just me?)

During a recent watercolor kick, I decided to try some stamping effects on watercolor paper, and I love the results! (As my crafting companions know, this is not always a guarantee!)

I used Papertrey Ink's Brushed Blooms for this card and decided to try the stamp spritzing technique. I stamped the base in Calypso Coral ink after spritzing the inked stamp with water and repeated the top layer in Rose Red. The leaves are stamped in Pear Pizzazz and Lucky Limeade - also spritzed with water before stamping. I added some additional water with a water brush to spread the color a bit more and then dried thoroughly. The greeting was stamped with watermark ink and embossed in gold. I added a few gold flecks with Tattered Angel spray to finish the center oval off.

For the card background, I scored vertical lines every 1/2 inch to create a diamond pattern and added a drop of pink Perfect Pearls to the intersection of every set of lines. 

This was a fun technique, and I think it lends itself especially well to solid floral images. I hope you'll give it a try!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Colorful Birthday Treats!

Maybe it's the months of dreary Montana weather, but my creativity has been taking a bright and cheerful turn lately! I have been having so much fun creating colorful birthday cards and projects using some of Stampin' Up's latest and greatest products!

Early in March, my craft group met at my place for a project night. We had so much fun exploring the new Cool Treats stamps and dies from the Occasions catalog, and we created these colorful gift bags using the gift bag punch board, white paper, and a variety of bright and cheery ink colors!

I love Lauren's take on the project!

Stacy reversed the banner and added some chocolate swirls and sprinkles!

Lindsay is a new crafter, but you wouldn't know it by her projects! And of course Gia's project looks as amazing as ever!
(Erika and Jae, I'm sorry I missed getting a photo of your amazing projects this time around. Shoot!)

I couldn't get enough of these Cool Treats, so I created a second gift bag just to showcase the adorable strawberries that come in this set. This gift bag has a stamped background and features die cut ice cream and sprinkles. Yum!

Of course, March's order came with some additional goodies because of Sale-a-bration! I snagged this adorable Tasty Trucks set as my freebie and had a blast creating a few more colorful projects.

For this project, I stamped the truck once on watercolor paper, painted with reinkers, and fussy cut to create my main image. I stamped the background at an angle in multiple colors, and then stamped and colored cupcakes on the center truck. I filled the window of my cut out truck with vellum and attached with dimensional adhesive. A strip of black paper and white gel pen created the perfect highway for my little truck!

This Tasty Truck can double as a taco truck too, so couldn't resist trying a little emboss resist on some watercolor paper using all of the cute foods that come in the set. The quirky greeting topped off this little project just perfectly!

I hope nature is providing some spring color wherever you may be! Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fun with Watercolor Critters

These little critters by Stacy Yacula have been in my stash for a few years, and when I received my new Stitched Hillside and Slide on Over dies in the mail from Lawn Fawn a few weeks back, I couldn't wait to pair them up with a fun interactive card!

(I apologize for the poor quality of my photos. The weather here in Montana is so dreary this weekend! I had to use the light on my craft desk. Sad face.) 

I watercolored this adorable bunny and fox with Stampin' Up ink refills and my aqua painters, and used some white glitter paper for a snowy hillside. These two can slide back and forth on the card front to "visit" each other.

I had a blast creating this project, and I can't wait to use the little bear and fox from this collection on a project soon!

Merry winter, everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sketch Challenge #4: All That Glitters!

I can't believe we're already on the fourth and final week of our November sketch challenge. I have been hosting a little contest on my crafting group's Facebook page during November, and the entries in these challenges have been phenomenal! I can't wait to give a $20 gift card away to one of the amazing members of my local crafting club at our annual weekend craft-a-thon in December!

Our final theme this week is "all that glitters," and your challenge is to use the sketch below to create a project with some sparkle using glitter, glitter glue, glitter paper, rhinestones, sequins, or any other sparkly item! This project does not have to be holiday themed.

Local craft club members will receive one entry into the drawing for using the sketch, one entry for adding sparkle to their project, and one entry for using at least one Stampin' Up product. This week you can get an additional drawing entry if you make a tag that matches your project!

Here is an example project I made over the weekend. I apologize for the poor lighting. It was cloudy and dreary all weekend!

For this card I swapped used vellum for several layers of my card and tag. The gold printed vellum is from last year's Winter Wonderland Designer Vellum Stack, and the glittery deer is a PTI die from my stash. Embossing on vellum can be a great option for cards with lots of layers, so I thought I would add a layer of that as well. I love the soft pastel colors on this card/tag combo for Christmas!

I can't wait to see what you come up with this week! Wishing you all the very happiest of Thanksgivings!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sketch Challenge #3: Scene It!

Hello, friends! Today I'm back for week 3 of our November sketch challenge, and this week's theme is by far my favorite!

I absolutely adore anything miniature. I love creating scenes on my cards more than just about anything else, and since this is a popular idea in the crafting world right now, I'm in hog heaven!

Here is this week's sketch:

Local craft club members will receive one entry into our holiday drawing for using the sketch, one entry for creating a "scene" on their project, and one entry for using a Stampin' Up product somewhere on their project. For a bonus entry this week, make your card "interactive," using sliders, pop-ups, spinners, or creative folds. Projects do not have to be Christmas or winter themed. Entries need to be posted on our Facebook group no later than midnight on Monday, November 21, 2016. I will link to some of my favorite technique videos below.

First, here are some examples of scene cards. The first uses the retired Stampin' Up set called Wonderful Winterland. My favorite element of this card has to be the interactive sled that uses a penny slider! I will link a technique video showing how to create this element below. This card eliminates the frame on the original sketch to use the whole card front for the scene.

My second example card uses a new release from Papertrey Ink called Winter Village. Boy is this one right up my alley! The frame came from last year's PTI Make it Market kit. I hand cut the hills and layered them over a piece of Pool Party card stock that I inked and splattered with water. I may have scorched the house a little when puffing up my faux snow (darn it!), but I hope it's not totally obvious since this card is so busy. I adapted the sketch by eliminating the corner embellishment and moving the sentiment to the left side of the card front.

Below are some of my favorite technique videos for interactive elements that really work well with scene cards. I can't wait to see what you create this week!

Window Scene:

Penny Slider Tutorial:

(Note: This techniques does NOT require special dies. A craft knife and ruler works just fine. Use small washers in place of pennies for smaller images.)

Gate Fold Scene:

Try putting your scene on the inside!

Step Panel Card:

It lights up! WHAT??

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Sketch Challenge #2: Inktastic!

Hi, everyone! Our second November sketch challenge begins today, and our theme this week is ink! If you're a member of our local craft club playing along for points, you will receive one entry into our prize drawing for using the sketch below, one entry for using some kind of ink effect on your project (sponging, watercolor, or emboss resist for example), and one entry for using at least one Stampin' Up product. For a fun bonus entry, use an animal somewhere on your project!

Here's the sketch:
Here's an example project I made using a watercolor background created with Pool Party ink and a lovely layered deer set from Hero Arts. I pulled out a vintage Stampin' Up greeting for this card and embossed it in silver on a strip of vellum and added a few silver sequins for a little sparkle.

Local craft club members will have until midnight on Monday, November 14 to post a project on our Facebook group. I can't wait to see what you will create! Thanks for playing along!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sketch Challenge #1: Texture

During the month of November I will be holding a fun sketch challenge for members of my local craft club. We have been meeting on a near-monthly basis for almost six years! We have been through a lot together, and I wanted to say a special thank you to them this holiday season. (We are missing two wonderful ladies in this photo, but they know who they are.) These amazing women all have such a special place in my heart!

Each week I will be posting a card sketch and one or more example projects. Local members can earn points for entries in a holiday drawing for a $20 Stampin' Up gift certificate by posting a project on our Facebook group during the week of the challenge, but I thought I would post here as well so that anyone who wants to can play along just for fun!

Here is this week's sketch:

For this challenge, local members will earn 1 entry in the giveaway for using the sketch, 1 entry for using texture on their project, and one entry for using at least one Stampin' Up product. Projects do NOT have to be Christmas themed. You can flip and reorient the sketch any way you please, and for this project texture might mean dry embossing, texture paste, fabric or ribbon, or another material of your choice! Let your imagination run wild!

Here is an example I created using the Cable Knit deep embossing folder and Hang Your Stocking bundle from Stampin' Up, along with the Warmth and Cheer Designer Series Paper Stack:

Here's a second project with a different tag shape and a stamp set called Make a Mitten from the Stampin' Up "vault!"

The challenge is ON! Local members have until Monday, November 7, at midnight MST to post a card in the Facebook Group!

Thanks so much for visiting today!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Stamp Spritzing

Hello, friends! Fall is definitely upon us, and I have been at my craft desk lately creating some fun fall projects! I pulled out my watercolor paper and new Warmth and Cheer paper stack and created this warm and cozy card.

I used the Fall Fest stamps and dies for this project, along with one of my favorite stamping techniques for solid images. To create this pretty watercolor look, I inked up my stamps and spritzed them lightly with water before stamping onto watercolor paper. This technique creates such an artistic, soft effect!

While I was digging for paper in my file drawer, I found a pre-cut kit I had made for a Stamp Club class years ago, and it was begging to be finished! The second project uses one of my favorite past paper designs and a quilting technique.

To create the quilted panel on this card, I layered 1" squares over a piece of vanilla cardstock and then cut a label shape with my dies. I then dry embossed the whole piece, layered it over an embossed panel, and added some fussy cut leaves and a wood embellishment. 

Fall is my favorite season, and I plan to enjoy every minute! I hope you are enjoying it as well!