Monday, February 29, 2016

More Chick-y Cuteness

Happy Leap Day, everyone!  And farewell to February! 

What a weekend!  Mine was extremely busy.  How about yours?  Did you get some time to relax and recharge?  I hope so! Can you even imagine a time when people didn't know what a weekend is?  I was reminded of that last night when watching a show on The Manners of Downton on OPB.  The Dowager Countess hears the term "weekend" at dinner and asks in a very aristocratic tone "What is a weekend?"

Well, we all know now what weekends are for, don't we?  Unlike most people's, my weekends have been anything but relaxing. Because it is Sale-a-bration, mine are all about stamping. I'm happy to be busy with so many stamping parties and events, though I will enjoy some rest and relaxation once Sale-a-bration is over for another year on March 31st!

Here's another card featuring that cute chick in the Honeycomb Happiness stamp set that's one of the freebies you can get with a $50 purchase.  We made this one yesterday at my card design class.  This layout is a great one, even though there are many layers... six to be exact.  Take a peek...

I love this  layout because it gives the opportunity to use a couple of complementary colors along with a neutral and some DSP as well.  The focal panel is not overly large, so many medium-sized images work well with it.  There's room on the focal panel for a greeting as well.  You could cut the elements of this card in advance, then add the image and sentiment later and have a card that is quickly stamped.  The DSP that is flagged at one end provides some design interest and works well with all sorts of cards... for men, women, or children.  You could also reduce the size of the focal panel, making it a square instead of a rectangle, which would work better with a smaller image.

The chick is stamped on watercolor paper in the new Archival Black ink from Stampin'Up! and then colored with stamp pad ink and an aqua-painter.  The color flows on so easily with an aqua-painter, so it's very forgiving if you get too much color in one spot. 

How is your Monday shaping up?  Got lots to do?  I've got to run, as I have many stamps, stamp pads, and accessories to put away.  My stamp room looks like a hurricane blew through it! 
I hope that leap day is a happy one for you!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Cute Chick!

Hello there, stamping friends!  Happy, happy Friday to all!

Wasn't yesterday just a fabulous sunny day?  It would have been a perfect day to drop everything and head to the beach, but I'm a working girl so I spent the day sweeping, swiffering, and mopping the hardwood floors, cleaning bathrooms, and scrubbing sinks.  I hate to admit it, but I get a kick out of cleaning... especially on a sunny day when it's warm enough to open the windows.  Mr. Rodgers, aka "yard boy" was busy weeding the front yard.  The sound of lawnmowers and the smell of freshly-cut grass wafted in my open windows... ah, spring!  

Here's another sure sign that spring is on its way... an Easter card!

Isn't this little chick just the cutest?  And you can have him take up residence in your stamp room for free, when you make a $50 purchase, because he's part of the Honeycomb Happiness stamp set that is a Sale-a-bration freebie.  The lovely Easter greeting is from the Suite Sayings stamp set on page 41 of the Occasions catalog.
I stamped the chick on So Saffron card stock, then carefully cut him out with my paper snips and popped him up on a dimensional after wrapping some backer's twine around his neck.  There's another chick stamped underneath him... see those feet?  I was not about to try cutting out those tiny feet, so I just stamped the chick, colored the feet with my Pumpkin Pie marker, and then added the cut out chick on top.  Easy, peasy!

I hope you've got some fun stuff planned for the weekend.  You know me... I'll be stamping both Saturday and Sunday, but it's Sale-a-bration and that means "there's a whole lotta stampin' goin' on!"
Hugs and happiness,

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What I Love

Hi there!

I'm going to be busy today, getting all my ducks in a row, so to speak, for the upcoming weekend when I've got two stamping events going on. Sale-a-bration is definitely my busiest time of year and it's go, go, go for three months!  Sale-a-bration keeps me so busy that I don't have time to go to the mall, so think of how much money I'm saving!  My big day out is going grocery shopping.  Doesn't sound very exciting, does it?

However, I hope you'll find that my card today is exciting.  It's one of those clean and fresh cards with lots of white space...just the kind of card that's perfect for a fresh early spring day.  I know it's not early spring yet, but my daffodils are poking up and I've seen them blooming in yards and along the freeway, so it must be almost spring.    Here it is, so take a peek...

I wanted to use the very narrow Bermuda Bay 1/8 inch stitched ribbon that's on page 35 of the Occasions catalog, so I decided to repeat the very narrow look with a very narrow mat of Bermuda Bay card stock behind my focal panel and the base panel.  I usually use a mat that is 1/4 inch larger, but this time my mats are only 1/8 inch larger.  The flower/leaf images are from the free Sale-a-bration set called "What I Love."  This is a three-step set and I stamped each layer of the flower in the same color, Calypso Coral. The leaves are Old Olive, which has been my favorite green forever.  After stamping the flower, I cut it out with my paper snips and popped it up on a dimensional.  Then I painted over the whole flower with my Wink of Stella pen to give it a pearly, iridescent sheen.  Sorry you can't see that little detail in this photo.  I think a pearl might look pretty right in the center of the flower, but sometimes you need a card that you can pop in the mail without worrying about a bump, which can tear the envelope and mangle the card inside.  

That's it for today, my friends!  I'd love to stay and chat, but I've got paper to cut. I hope that YOU will be one of the stampers I'll see this weekend!
Hugs and happiness,

Monday, February 22, 2016

Collage card with Grateful Bunch and Timeless Textures

Hello Stampers!

It's Sunday night and you know what that means!  I'm typing fast and furiously on my keyboard to finish my Monday post before Downton Abbey comes on at 9 o'clock.  I cannot believe that we have tonight's episode and then only one more and Season Six is finished and the whole amazing things is O.V.E.R.  Next Sunday night is going to be a sad, sad night around here, with no more Downton to look forward to.  

I realize that some of you aren't Downton Abbey fans, so I'll quit with the complaining and get right to the card.  

This pretty sympathy card could be sent to one of your Downton-loving friends who is as sad as I am over the end of this series.  Of course I'm not being totally serious here.  It should probably be sent to someone who is truly mourning the loss of a loved one and needs to feel your love, concern, and support.

Did you know that collage style cards are my very favorite type of card?  I love to take images that aren't necessarily meant to go together and through the use of color and the placement of the images, come up with a pleasing composition.  To make this card I cut some strips of Very Vanilla card stock that measure 1 1/8 " wide by 4 1/4 " long.  I placed them on my stamping surface with their edges touching, and then when I was finished stamping, I pulled them apart and glued them to a base that measures 4 x 4 1/2 inches. If you want, you can use some painter's tape or masking tape to hold the pieces together while you stamp, then remove the tape when you're finished. 

I used two stamp sets from the Occasions catalog for this card:  the Grateful Bunch stamp set on page 22 and the Timeless Textures set on page 29.  I used a panel of Lost Lagoon as a background for the stamped strips and then I used Early Espresso, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Lost Lagoon, and Soft Sky for the various images.  The sentiment is from Thoughts and Prayers, a classic stamp set on page 26 of the annual catalog. Some stitched satin ribbon in Crumb Cake adds a horizontal element to the card.

Why not look through your stamps and find some images that you like and create your own collage?  And while you've got everything out, you might as well make several sympathy cards.  They are always needed and it's good to be prepared as we usually don't have much advance notice.

Thanks for reading my blog!  You are truly appreciated and I hope that you feel inspired to be creative with stamps, ink, and paper!
Hugs and happiness!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Yikes! It's Friday!

Hello stampers!

How did Friday arrive so quickly? Wasn't Tuesday just yesterday?  Needless to say, I've been a busy bee this week, and being busy just makes the time fly by.  When there's nothing much going on, the days seem to go by at a much slower pace.  Remember those summers when you were a kid?  The days seemed to stretch on forever, with swimming and bike-riding and lazing around with a book or just lying on your back on the grass, looking at the clouds. Then we grew up and took on life as adults and now the seasons flip by with ever-increasing speed that is just plain scary!  

Well, I know you came here to see a card, so let's get to it, shall we?

Isn't this a dramatic card?  I love how the yellow and green "pop" against the black background.  This lovely card was made by one of my downline members, Janet Jones.  She used the gorgeous Botanical Gardens suite of products to create this beauty.  The DSP on the right-hand side of the card was cut with the curvy leaf framelit from the Botanical Builder Framelits set.  The flowers and that pretty tropical leaf were also cut using the Botanical framelits.  
The only stamping on the card is the sentiment, which is from the 
Butterfly Basics stamp set on page 124 of the annual catalog.
Thanks, Janet, for allowing me to show your card on my blog!

The weekend is almost here, so if you can, slow down just a little.  Yes, I know you have a lot of things on your "to-do" list, but you'll never come to the end of all your "shoulds."  As soon as you cross one off, another one pops up to be added.  So I'm giving you permission to ignore your list for a few hours and just play with your stamps and ink.  You'll find it incredibly refreshing to take a break and be creative, even if it's just for a couple of hours.  
Relax and enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Easter Lamb, Stampin'Up!

Hi there!  

This week I'm working to use stamp sets that haven't seen any ink.  I've got quite a few sets that fall into this sad and lonely category. One of  my upcoming hostesses has requested Easter cards for her party, so even though Easter is over a month away, I opened up my Easter Lamb set (page 24 of the Occasions catalog) and made a fresh springy Easter card.  

To make the stamp more versatile, I cut off the "happy Easter" sentiment so I can use the lamb by itself if I want.  Here you go, take a peek...

The card starts with a standard 5 1/2 by 4 1/4 inch white card.  I added a panel of Pink Pirouette that's 5 1/4 by 4 inches.  Next, I stamped the lamb in Archival Basic Gray ink on a 3 by 3 inch panel.  I sponged a little Soft Sky ink for the sky and then some Pear Pizzazz ink for the grass.  I added the stamped panel to the top of the pink panel.  The top layer is a panel of Whisper White that measures 5 by 3 3/4.  I used my 2 1/2 inch circle punch to punch the hole in the top panel.  I used the Softly Falling embossing folder to add texture.  The sentiment is from the Circle of Spring set in the annual catalog.  I used both the 1 1/4 and the 3 3/4 inch circle punches for the sentiment.  Some smooth and pretty Pink Pirouette seam binding completes this pretty pastel card.  That cute lamb will only set you back $10 and he could be used not only for Easter, but he would also make a fun card to welcome a new baby.

I hope your week is perking right along.  After today, you'll be on the downhill side of the week and that's always a happy thing.  Saturday is my big 15th anniversary celebration at my house.  I signed up to be a Stampin'Up! demonstrator on February 20th, 2001 and it has been 15 years of fun and friendship.  There's more stamping inspiration to come, so please stay tuned!
Hugs and happiness!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Balloon Celebration, Stampin'Up!

Hello Stampers!  Happy Presidents' Day!

How was your weekend?  I hope you had a chance to relax a bit and maybe have some fun too.
We had quite an exciting weekend around here, with our daughter Amy, husband Eli and the three grandchildren.  We finally opened our Christmas presents. So happy to have that out of the way, as I was tired of seeing those gifts piled up just waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more!

I've got a fun card for you today, made with the very versatile Balloon Celebration stamp set on page 12 of the Occasions catalog.  The minute I saw the great cards made with this set in the catalog, I knew it would be a "keeper" as there's so much you can do with it.

Here's my card...

I chose a very pastel palette of Blushing Bride and So Saffron, but imagine how fun this would be with brighter colors.  I stamped the balloons first with the solid image, then overstamped them with the tiny dots, which give dimension to the balloons. I added the sentiment "celebrate" from the Endless Birthday Wishes set on page 6 of the annual catalog.   Next, I ran the stamped panel through the Big Shot with the Softly Falling embossing folder. Then I punched one balloon out of Blushing Bride card stock with the matching Balloon Bouquet punch, stamped it with the little dots in Blushing Bride and popped it  up on a dimensional.  For the final touch I tied a little knot of Blushing Bride cotton ribbon and added it to the card with a glue dot. I just love how this turned out and hope you like it too!  I'm looking forward to using this set to make more great birthday cards.

I'm still working on using sets that haven't been inked yet, so I'm planning to have something NEW to show you on Wednesday!  See you then!
Hugs and happiness,

Friday, February 12, 2016

Christmas in February???

I had a fun morning with the Coffee and Cards gang on Wednesday. We enjoyed some yummy brunch-y food and coffee, then made two fun cards.  I'll share one of them with you in a few minutes, but first I've got a confession to make. 

After the Coffee and Cards group went home, John and I put up our small artificial Christmas tree in the great room.  Then we decorated it.  I can't tell you how strange it seemed to be decorating a Christmas tree on February 10th.  We also hung the Christmas stockings on the mantel and arranged the gifts around the tree.  Are we nuts, or what?  Actually, the Seattle group arrived yesterday and we'll be opening those gifts tonight. First they were sick, then we were sick, so this is the first opportunity we've had to get everyone together.  I certainly hope that we'll never have to celebrate Christmas in February ever again!

OK... enough rambling!  You came here to see a card, and here it is...

This is one of the cards we made at Coffee and Cards.  We used the Envelope Paper ( page 149 of the annual catalog) to line the inside of our envelopes and then we also used it on the card.  It is a text-weight paper, which makes it perfect for creating your own envelopes with the Envelope Punch Board, but it's fun to use like DSP on a card as well.

For this "happy spring" card, I used the Gift from the Garden stamp set on page 81 of the annual catalog.  This great set us chock-full of fun gardening images.  I used the new In-colors of Watermelon Wonder, Cucumber Crush, Tip Top Taupe, and Delightful Dijon to add bright pops of color to this card.  We're getting closer to spring all the time, so why not make a few of these to send to your friends who are into gardening? 

Before I go, I'd like to issue an invitation to join our Coffee and Cards group.  We meet the second Wednesday of each month at 10:30 at my house.  I'll feed you some good food (on Wednesday we enjoyed a Southwest Sausage Bake along with home-made banana bread and pumpkin bread) and coffee and then you'll make two cards with envelopes.  We wind up the morning with some door prizes.  The cost for this relaxing and creative morning is $10, or it's  free with a $35 purchase.  We'd love to have you join the group!

The weekend is here, so whether you are working on your income taxes, having fun with friends, catching up on your household chores, or maybe catching up on your sleep... enjoy the change of pace that the weekend brings!
Hugs and happiness,

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Beautiful Ride Stampin'Up!

The last couple of days sure have been "a beautiful ride," haven't they?  If only the sunshine could continue for a few more days! 
Even though I've got a lot of work to do, I've made getting outside a priority.  Being outside in the sunshine is good for the body and the soul and so I've been taking advantage of the good weather to be outdoors more than usual.  I know the rain is going to return and I'll soon have plenty of opportunity to get my work done.

Here's a card that I thought you might enjoy, especially those of you who ever owned a "Love Bug."  I've never owned a VW, but my sister bought a brand new bright orange one in 1969.  That was just a few years ago, wasn't it?  Here's the card...

I thought about doing this car in bright orange in honor of my sister's VW, but decided it would look too "Halloween-y."  Check out the DSP I used on the card.  I discovered this pattern in the Go Wild DSP stack at the top of page 144 in the annual catalog.  I thought it looked like tire tread, making it perfect for a car card.
I stamped the car in the new Archival Basic Black ink onto watercolor paper.  Then I used a Crushed Curry stamp pad and my aqua-painter to color the car.  I added the dog and colored him with Basic Gray.  The wheels have a Basic Gray candy dot for the center. I used the sentiment "Life is a beautiful ride," but there are lots of other great sayings in this set so you could use it for a birthday, wedding, or a "just because" card for a friend. 

Has your week gone smoothly so far?  I hope so!  But even if it hasn't, today is "hump day" and once it's over, we'll be headed downhill, just coasting toward the weekend.  So hang on, you'll get some rest, relaxation, and free time soon!
Hugs and happiness,

Monday, February 8, 2016

Grateful Bunch Stampin'Up!

Who is excited about the sunshine we're enjoying??
Wasn't yesterday just the most beautiful day?  Waking up to sunshine has a way of energizing us, doesn't it?  We accomplished quite a lot yesterday, before Super Bowl 50 came on and our chores ground to a halt...everything from cleaning the garage to planting primroses to blowing off the patio.  We even ate lunch outside and that hasn't happened in a long, long time.  I wish we could say that spring is here, but I'm afraid we've got quite a lot of rainy and cold weather ahead of us before spring arrives.  This break in weather is truly a gift, so let's enjoy it for as long as it lasts!

I've got a card for you today that is like a breath of fresh air... clean and fresh with some pretty pastels.  Take a peek...

This new stamp set is called Grateful Bunch and you can find it on page 22 of the Occasions catalog.  It's got some great sayings and some nice images too, but what I like best about it is that there's a coordinating punch that punches out three flowers at once.  Now that's my kind of punch!  With just two punches I was able to punch out the 6 flowers. 

I stamped the flowers in the new Archival Basic Gray ink (page 28 of the Occasions catalog) on So Saffron and Soft Sky card stock.  Then I quickly punched them out with the Blossom Bunch Punch that coordinates with the Grateful Bunch stamp set.  You can get both the stamps and the punch in a bundle for $33.00.  Once my flowers were punched out, I added them on top of the leafy image with some dimensionals. The little splatters of color were added with the dots from Gorgeous Grunge (page 123 of the annual catalog). What you can't see is the beautiful glittery sheen from the Wink of Stella pen (page 24 of the Occasions catalog).  This pretty iridescent ink flows on so easily and since the Archival Basic Gray ink doesn't bleed, my flowers turned out so sparkly and pretty.  A pearl in the center of each flower adds the perfect finishing touch.

You'll be seeing more of this stamp set, as there are some images that I'm planning to use for a collage-style of my favorite things to stamp.

Whatever you've got planned for today, I hope it includes getting outside to soak up some sun.  You'll get a burst of vitamin D and your body will thank you for it! 
Have a happy day!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Time for Tea!

Hello there! 
So nice of you to stop by today!

I wish we could sit down together and enjoy a nice hot cup of tea and some yummy cookies to go with it.  Since that's not possible right now, how about a nice card with a tea theme?  Here it is...

What a fun card to send to one of your tea-loving friends!  Everything about it is feminine, from the embossed background to the doily and teacup to the Wisteria Wonder seam binding and the little silver spoon.  The spoon is actually cut from silver foil card stock, but unfortunately it didn't catch the light just right so you can't see the shine. 
The stamps, framelits, and designer paper that I used to make this card can all be seen on pages 34 and 35 of the new Occasions catalog.  I stamped the tea cup and the lemon slice in Daffodil Delight and then stamped the sentiment in Elegant Eggplant.  The Wisteria Wonder background panel is embossed with the Elegant Dots embossing folder.  The designer paper is from the "Have a Cuppa" collection on page 35.  The spoon framelit is part of the coordinating framelit set, which also includes a knife and fork, a teapot, 2 different teacups, a coffee mug, and other goodies.  You get 12 dies in the set!

What fun things do you have planned for the weekend?  Whatever you do, try to find a couple of hours to be creative!  I know weekends are a good time to catch up on housework, laundry, etc., but you deserve a little fun thrown into the mix as well.
Happy stamping!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Number of Years, Stampin'Up!

Hi there, stampers!
I feel certain that all of you realize how quickly time is passing.  The minutes, hours, days, and years are flying by at a truly alarming speed.  I don't need to mention that just a quick glance in the mirror will reflect what none of us want to see... new wrinkles where there once were none, gray hair that is taking over our heads, and let's not even think about the sags and bags, shall we? 
But let's be grateful we're still here, above ground, going about our busy lives... cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and grocery shopping, gardening, spending time with family and friends, and let's not forget stamping!  In spite of aging, life is good! 
The card I'm going to show you today is made with a new stamp set called "Number of Years" and this great set can help you celebrate the passing years in a memorable way.

The colors I used for my card are Rose Red for the background panel, Old Olive , Rose Red, and Pink Pirouette for the flowers, and Rose Red for the numbers.  I stamped the banner and the word "birthday" in Basic Gray.

You might be wondering why I picked the number 39 for my card. 
I'm cringing as I admit that my first child is turning 39 this summer.  I can well remember the trauma of turning 40, so to think that my baby girl is going to be 39 is almost unbelievable, until I realize how old I'm going to be this summer.  Let's not think about it and just focus on how happy we are to be alive. 

This new stamp set comes with coordinating framelits so you can easily cut out the stamped numbers.  Or, you can use the framelits alone and cut numbers from card stock or designer paper.  Check out this fabulous set on pages 10 and 11 of the Occasions catalog.  It makes great birthday cards for both children and adults as well as anniversary cards.  No more frustration as you try to find a card for a 42nd wedding anniversary or your grandchild's 15th birthday.  It is almost impossible to find those in a store.  Stampin'Up! says that this is the best-selling set in the new Occasions catalog and I can see why. You'll be the queen of personalized cards with this set in your collection!

I'm working on using all of the new stamp sets I've ordered, so please come back on Friday to see another new card!  I hope you'll get out some stamps, ink, and paper and stamp something pretty today!
Happy stamping!

Monday, February 1, 2016

a birthday card for a dear friend

Hi stampers!

Happy February!  I know that spring is nowhere near, but my thoughts always turn toward spring in February, mostly because I start seeing primroses outside the grocery stores.  Once I see their bright and happy faces, I know that spring is on its way... Yay!

Speaking of primroses.... Al's Garden Center will be having their primroses on sale for 79 cents each, beginning on February 4th.  I went out there this past weekend, thinking that they were already on sale and I was disappointed to learn that the sale doesn't start until Thursday.  I guess you know where I'll be headed first thing on Thursday!

Here's a pretty pastel card that would be just perfect for a dear friend.  And if you've got just a garden variety friend... one who's not "dear," you can leave "dear friend" off the card and it will still be a great birthday card...

This is one of the cards we made at my Great Eight card design class.  This is a clean and simple layout that can be used again and again for all sorts of  cards.  The stamps, designer paper, and embossing folder can all be found on page 9 of the Occasions catalog.  I stamped the sentiment in Mint Macaron, then added tiny flowers and dots in Blushing Bride and Crumb Cake.  What you cannot see well in this photo is the Wink of Stella iridescent glow on the small pink flowers.  This new product can be seen on page 24 of the Occasions catalog. It comes in two colors... "clear" which
gives an iridescent shine to your project and gold, which is a glittery golden color.  I'm pretty sure that you all know how much I hate glitter because it is so messy and ends up everywhere.  But the Wink of Stella pen is another story!  It has the sparkle and shine of glitter without the mess!  I think I'm in LOVE!  And I think you will be too, once you try it.  It goes on like a dream and is so pretty. 

I'm going to be busy this week making new cards with new stamp sets that I haven't used yet, so please come back on both Wednesday and Friday to see what I've been working on.
May the week ahead be a great one!
Happy Stamping, everyone!