Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Seasons Set for CAS Lovers and a Little Give-Away

I have a number of sets from Hero Arts that spotlight the seasons. I bought these sets years ago (they were among my first stamp purchases, actually), but I hardly use them except on the occasional scrapbook page. They're just hard to make cards out of, for some weird reason. Until now. This set of four cards makes my heart twitter in an ecstasy of Clean and Simple perfection. It's so easy, why did I never think of it before?

Each uses the season stamp, rocked and rolled in layers with several colors to represent that season. I got the idea from a spectrum ink pad I have. It's just good for autumn, though. So I improvised with various chalk inks instead. I "embellished" with another small stamp that reflected the season (butterfly, flower, leaf, snowflake) stamped just once to fit into the spectrum of the season stamp. And I was done. Oh, my.

Go, me!

So, now for the little give-away. Leave a comment telling me which season is your personal favorite and why. I'll send one random lucky person the set of four cards! Plus a little "something something" just as a surprise because I am oh so grateful that so many people visit my little blog. And I thank you.

Submission deadline is Tuesday, June 2, 2009, at 11:48pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time...a random time for a random drawing.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wishing You Well with an Orange Tree

This card uses one of my favorite stamps...the swish from a Hero Arts clear set called Friendship Messages. This swish makes a great "ground" for all sorts of other stamps. Here, I used it for an orange tree and get well message. The simple layout gets its punch from the bright green galore color and the orange bling.

Simplicity Tip: Instead of coloring all the leaves one color, I colored the half of the leaves on the tree with a green galore marker and the other half with a gable green marker, with pretty random placement and no shading. Not sure if my picture conveys the added interest and depth this gives, but IRL it makes a huge difference.

Cardstock: PTI white, SU green galore
Ink: Palette chocolate, and SU green galore, gable green
Stamps: Hero Arts
Accessories: light orange rhinestones (Hero Arts), dark orange rhinestones (bougth at Michael's), SU dimensionals

Monday, May 25, 2009

CAS16, A Make-Over Challenge

The Clean and Simple Challenge #16 is posted. This is my last week on the Design Team, and it's been so much fun working with Carolina, Angela, and Jen to get the CAS challenge off the ground and running strong! My heartfelt thanks to Jen for starting the challenge in the first place, and to every person who has posted their CAS cards. CAS is good, very good, and it's so gratifying to see it celebrated by so many people.

Good luck to all who threw their cards in the ring for the next DT. Every one of you deserves to be on the team!

Here are my cards for this challenge, which was a make-over challenge. It's been a very weird week that left little for creative play, but I like the way these two cards turned out. Both are cleaner and simpler than their original versions.

Let's start with the tree card. I like the way I matted the original, but it has five layers. I did not particularly like how I stamped the tree (in Ancient Page Azalea ink). That was easy, and the waterproof ink allowed me to use stickles without smearing and looking icky. But without pretty matting, the card needed a strong and interesting focal point, so I used markers to ink it up, huffed, and then stamped. I like the more natural look much better.

And rhinestones just make a girl happy, you know?

The bamboo card original made me singularly unhappy. I couldn't and still can't pinpoint what I don't like, so I decided to rethink the layout completely. I needed a thank you card, and Artfully Asian's sentiment works well with the bamboo stamp. Eliminating layers and the circle made this version much cleaner. You might recognize the layout as a variation from my previous challenge card here. The stickles on the dragonfly doesn't really show up in the photo but looks very nice IRL. It's not an exciting card, to be sure, but it is balanced and rather zen in its serenity and peacefulness. I need a little zen in my life this week!

I hope you'll play along with the challenge at SCS. I'll be checking back in the CAS16 gallery there regularly for inspiration!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Samples of a New Year's Resolution

One of my New Year's crafting resolutions was to use every image stamp I own on a project. (Note I specified image, not sentiment, stamps, seeing as a lot of the sentiment stamps that come with otherwise great sets are pretty useless.) I don't have to finish this resolution in 2009; it's going to take a while to get through my many, many stamps. But I'm working steadily at using them all.

Here's my procedure, if you're interested. I pull out a set, use all the images on cards, and then mark it on a list as "keeper," "okay until something better comes along," and "get rid of it." It's interesting what sets are really easy to work with, which ones take more effort, and which ones simply aren't worth the effort for me. Very often, the results surprise me.

PTI's Friends 'til the End is a keeper for sure. Here are two cards I made with it. The leaves are not as nice as the flowers to me, and are a bit harder to work with, but I was proud I used that big one on a decently CAS card.

If you're interested, hop on over to Questioning my Intelligence for my Memorial Day tribute. It's got pictures and everything! (*wink)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

CAS15 Playing with Color

This challenge--to use black and white and one bold bright--ROCKS! When I went to my embellishment drawers (organized by color) to see what fun bold bright stuff I had, I discovered turquoise, hot pink, and bright purple gemstone flowers. Perfect! I only posted the turquoise version at SCS, but here are the other two as well. Which is your favorite color? I love them all!

Cardstock: Papertrey White
Stamps: Hero Arts
Ink: Palette Noir
Accessories: gemstone flowers

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Clean and Simple Challenge #15

Black and white and one bold bright! So much fun! Thanks to Jen for another great challenge.

stamps: Echoes of Kindness (SU)
paper: PTI white, SU green galore
ink: Staz-on black, SU green galore
accessories: ribbon, anywhere hole punch, cloud deco scissors

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What is a B-1 Stamp?

My DH was an officer in the United States Air Force for twenty years. For most of his USAF career, he flew as a Weapons Systems Officer in the back seat of a B-1 Bomber, affectionately referred to as the Bone. (B-1 spelled out is B-one, or Bone.) I bought a B-1 stamp years ago. It's his favorite stamp, and he threatened to make my Mother's Day card with it. Hence my surprise at the lack of a B-1 on the card he made.

Here's a card I made for him with it...and a warning. This card is a little naughty. If you are easily offended by married people being a little naughty, don't scroll down.

I bet everyone scrolls down. I would.

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Husband Made Me a Card!

This is my Mother's Day card made by my own dear husband. Notice the shocking lack of B-1 images! He did this all by himself while I was out of the house. He used PTI's vintage cream cardstock, the tulip is from Hero Arts, and the ink is SU's close to cocoa. The ink's case confounded him briefly, but he persevered. Inside the card, he stamped another flower from Hero and the Happy Mother's Day from a Papertrey clear set. He figured out how to mount the clear stamp on an acrylic block, though he admits at first he was stumped.

I'm so proud of him! This is definitely my favorite card he's ever made for me. But I still can't believe he didn't use the B-1 stamp and even checked the back to see if he'd hidden it there. Nope. He resisted.

Isn't that sweet!?!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A CAS14 Christmas Set and Another Easy Technique

These Christmas ornaments from Hero Arts work perfectly for the Rock & Roll technique, but I've spotlighted another technique that is a great way to add interest to holiday cards: outlining with a metallic pen.

Simplicity tip: Use a thick metallic marker, a raised metal ruler (one with felt or cork on the bottom), and scrap paper. Place your stamped panel on the scrap paper, and put the ruler 1/8th inch inside the panel from an edge. Run the marker along the ruler, lift the ruler carefully, and reposition on the next edge. Repeat until all four edges are finished. Just remember to make sure the metallic ink is dry before you set the ruler down again, and you can wipe the ruler between sides to prevent smudges.

It's such a great way to add a "layer" without adding bulk.

Cardstock: PTI white, SU bravo burgundy, brocade blue, celery
Ink: various chalk inks
Other: ribbon, metallic markers, dimensionals

Monday, May 11, 2009

More CAS14 Cards

Here are a few more cards for the CAS14 Rock and Roll Challenge. It's a fun one, so I encourage you to check it out!

This card is a bit different for me, but it turned out really nice, mainly because of that scruptious gemstone brad. I adore those things, and with a little scrap of ribbon tucked into it, it's such a simple way to dress up a card. (Sorry for the strange angle of the card...definitely not done on purpose!)

This card is quite different (at least in stamp style) from what I normally make, even though it's a one-layer card. When I first started stamping seven years ago, I loved natural-looking images. Now, I lean more toward stylized or geometric images (like Papertrey's), so this was a trip back in time for me. I love how it turned out and may start using some more of these older stamps in a CAS way.

Isn't this a cheery card? Summer sun is a powerful, eye-watering color if used in large doses, but with a lot of white around it, it's just so happy! The bling makes this card, I think.

So which one of these three cards is your favorite? Inquiring minds want to know.

Supplies: I'm lazy today. If you really want to know more, check out my gallery at SCS. Thanks!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Clean and Simple Challenge #14

This week's CAS challenge will be announced shortly. Here's one of my cards for it. The challenge is quite versatile, so over the next few days, I'll be posting other cards that look quite different from this one. I really tried to stretch out of my usual comfort zone on a few of them. Can't wait to see what you think of the results!

This card is well within my comfort zone, though. It's one layer, with the scene grounded by a fun Hero Arts shadow stamp. It looks a tad nekkid in the upper right for some reason, but every time I tried to add anything, the rest of the card looked odd. I decided to leave well enough alone, and really like it. Hope you do, too!

Supplies: stamps: Papertrey Father Knows Best and Hero Arts shadow; cardstock: Papertrey white; inks: various chalk inks; dimensionals.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Making guy cards is hard. At least for me. It seems most paper crafting products are designed to appeal to estrogen producers rather than testosterone producers. Yet we women have men in our lives who don't really appreciate flowers or pink or yummy satin ribbon on their cards. This hormone divide is pronounced in my house, given that my DH spent years flying bombers in USAF and then started doing Ironman triathlons because he's, well, insane.

Here's a conversation between DH and me last night.

Me: I'm taking care of my Mother's Day present. You can just get me a card.

DH: [relieved] Okay. Can I make your card?

Me: As long as you don't use the B-1 stamp again.

DH: Come on! That's the perfect stamp for Mother's Day.

Me: No.

See what I mean?

This card makes me happy because I think I hit "dude" right on the money. It's got dude colors, dude embellishments, and a non-flowery main image. I combined three sets here: the main image is from Trendy Trees by SU!, the sentiment is from Floral Frenzy by PTI, and the leaves on the rectangular panel are from Father Knows Best, also by PTI. I cut the ovals with Creative Memories oval cutter system (love it!). The inks are chalk (either Versamagic or Colorbox, can't remember 'cause I use both interchangeably) and I used the Rock and Roll technique to ink the leaves on the main image. The background leaves are stamped in certainly celery on SU celery cs. The dark green cs is always artichoke and the kraft cs is from PTI.

Hope you like it!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wedding Thank You

This card was made possible by the kindness and crochet talents of kstamper. She sent me a packet of her very own crocheted flowers, and I finally parted with three of them to make this card, which was actually inspired by this card kstamper herself posted on SCS.

Thank you, Karen, for such a wonderful, inspiring gift!

For the card, I scored two lines across the bottom to create a border (hard to see in photo, lovely irl!). The sentiment is embossed in silver to match the frames of the pearl brads at the center of the flowers.

Supplies: crocheted flowers by Karen, aka kstamper; PTI white cs; Scorpal; pearl brads; sentiment by Anna Griffin; silver colorbox pigment ink; silver embossing powder.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Clean and Simple Challenge #13

The CAS13 Challenge at SCS is AWESOME, and this week's challenge made me sooo happy. It's a sketch challenge based on jpardoe's card HERE. Isn't it wonderful? The card above is particularly satisfying to me because I actually used Form and Function (SU background stamp) on a card that makes me happy! Yeah! I love office supply stuff but sometimes struggle with using it on cards. Here, I punched out circles from an image of Form and Function and used them for my two rows.

Simplicity Tip: Punch a hole in your card and tie a ribbon knot over it. This allows you to wrap around one side of cs and not have to go all the way across to the other side.

I've made a bunch of cards off this sketch , and here are two more.

This one uses PTI's Quilter's Sampler...without having to color in the image. I blogged earlier about avoiding coloring by stamping outline images in color rather than standard black. It worked beautifully here. I also switched the shape from circles to squares...sometimes it's hip to be square!

(I'm sorry about that pun...I'll try not to let it happen again.)

I love hearts, especially now that I have PTI's Heart Prints set and the coordinating punches. This was just such an easy card to make, and I love the lime and amethyst colors on a white background. Very clean, don't you think?

Supplies: Posted on my scs gallery. It's getting late and I'm tired, LOL!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Birthday Card Inspiration

My sister's birthday is today! Her Word of the Year is LESS, as in less stuff, less clutter, less spending, less eating, less running around like a chicken with her head cut off.

She's doing pretty well with LESS, so for her birthday, I didn't want to add to all the stuff she's trying to purge. I gave her a check to put toward her camera gadget fund and found this pack of dish towels at Target as a little something useful to add color to her summer. Now she can get rid of some drab and stained dish towels and have pretty ones, instead. Net gain of "stuff": ZERO!

Of course I had to make a card to match, and I immediately thought of this card from CAS11. I have a tough time with more than three colors on a card...who am I kidding? I have a tough time with more than two colors on a card! The CAS11 quilt-inspired card worked perfectly to use all the colors of the towels.

Yeah Me!

And Happy Birthday, Lisa. You are the best sister EVER!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Amazing Blog Candy

Steph has some AWESOME blog candy! Check it out! And while you're there, check out the rest of her blog. I was particularly taken with her simple scrapbook layout on this post. Wow! I gotta start scrapping again, and this is some wonderful inspiration.