Monday, June 29, 2009

Simple Set with Amber Bling

In my effort to use every image stamp in my collection, I've had to stretch myself to use the odd little pieces in the Papertrey sets which I had hitherto avoided. This set of cards uses the little stamps from Everyday Blessings to make borders for the various sentiments in that set. The gemstones are amber colored and look so nice with the Hint of Pesto ink. I used the grid acrylic block from PTI to line everything up for the repeat stamping.

Simplicity Tip: When repeat stamping like this, it's hard to line stuff up so the repeats look even at both ends. Look at the borders of the first two cards to see what I mean: the first is uneven, the second is even on the card and looks better. To do this easily, just cut the card down to fit the stamping AFTER you stamp the border. Don't stamp the sentiment before cutting, as this will throw off the balance of the card. (Ask how I know this....) These cards are various sizes to accommodate the repeats evenly. Of course, you only need this tip if you are AR/OC like me. Otherwise, don't worry about repeat stamping being even. Really, it doesn't matter to normal people.


cardstock: PTI white
stamps: PTI Everyday Blessings
ink: Versamagic Hint of Pesto and dark brown
accessories: gemstones

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Happy Heart

Here is a simple little card using a soon-to-be-retired StampinUp set called Wild About You and heart stamp from some other company. Hope you like it!

I will be unplugged for the next five days but want you to know that your comments and support of Simplicity are much appreciated. I'll be back next week with a really cool set of cards I'm so excited to share with you!

stamps: Wild about You, unknown heart, sentiment from Hero Arts
ink: Brilliance
paper: PTI white
accessories: silver metallic pen, dimensionals, black pen

Monday, June 22, 2009

Card for a Friend

This layout is classic CAS...and a perfect way to showcase a lovely flower. I stamped this one in palette noir ink, colored it with Bic Mark-It markers (the poor girl's Copics, LOL!), and cut it out. The sentiment was stamped on a scrap I had, and I popped the flower on dimensionals and added the gemstone. Done.

Hope you like it!

stamps: PTI Friends 'til the End, Green Thumb
paper: PTI white, aqua mist
ink: Palette Noir
accessories: Bic Mark-Its, dimensionals, gemstone

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Card

I want it noted that I ACTUALLY USED a piece of Hodgepodge Hardware on this Father's Day card for my wonderful husband. JulieHRR laughed at me in the SCS forum a while back (a l-o-n-g while back, LOL!) when I stated I would eventually use my Hodgepodge and wasn't really hoarding it. I think this is proof I was right.

Sort of.

stamps: PTI Pond Life
cardstock: PTI natural; SU artichoke, night of navy
ink: SU artichoke, night of navy, chocolate chip, close to cocoa
accessories: Hodgepodge Hardware, ribbon

Friday, June 19, 2009

Using Ribbon Scraps

After accumulating a huge number of small scraps of ribbon, I decided to use a bunch on some easy cards. I believe this idea first came to me from the Hero Arts's a technique the folks at Hero Arts use frequently. I adore their catalog as it's full of fun ideas like this.

I sorted the scraps by color, then used either a monochromatic scheme or mixed and matched. The sentiments on all five cards are from Hero Arts as well.

I made about a dozen cards total (duplicates of these) and slashed my small-scrap ribbon stash by about half. These went together very quickly, too.

I used a coordinating colored pen to doodle a border around each sentiment since they looked a bit plain without matting.

Hope you enjoy these!

cardstock: PTI white and kraft
stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Palette noir and dark chocolate
accessories: various pens, dimensionals, ribbon scraps

Thursday, June 18, 2009

CAS19 Sketch Challenge

Check out the details of CAS19. It's a sketch challenge using this card by Natasha (tashers). Isn't it wonderful!

I whipped out about ten other cards with this sketch in record time by following it literally, and I highly recommend using it when you need to get a set of cards together quickly. It's soooo versatile and easy.

These cards take a slighly different twist on the original. First up, I used a background stamp from Hero Arts rather than random stamping. I used Brilliance lime ink, a lime rhinestone, the word window punch, and dimensionals. The sentiment is from PTI and stamped in Palette noir ink.

Next, I got really adventurous with a text background stamp (these are all the rage lately), Brilliance pearlescent beige ink, and some embellies pulled from my neutral embellishments drawer: photo corners, prima flowers, buttons, and thread. I also used a tag punch for the sentiment, which is from PTI and stamped in PTI's vintage cream. Collage can be clean and simple! It's also hard to photograph...IRL the card is more balanced color-wise, but I did my best.

Finally, I dug out an old stamp from PSX to make a birthday card for my uncle (an ornithologist). I hate coloring in birds for him since he knows what they are supposed to look like (scientists can be so particular, go figure), so I usually opt for a simpler, monochromatic approach with his cards.

I hope you like these cards and take some time to play the CAS19 challenge. This will definitely be a "go-to" layout for me in the future.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Plea for Mercy

Here is an actual email exchange between my husband and me. I'll bet many of you can relate....


I really, really, really want to place an order at PaperTrey for some stamps. REALLY! I know you find this hard to believe. Anyway, it would be $63 plus tax (shipping's free on orders over $55), and it would make me really, really, really happy. Seriously.

BTW, you're gonna love your Father's Day gift. If that helps my case at all. I'm not above begging.

Your mildly obsessed wife

Stop laughing


Well, let's see...since we saved a bunch of money on my birthday present (or lack thereof), we should have plenty of cash for your stamps, so I suppose you're good to go.


Harsh. Very harsh.


[insert evil laugh here]


Really, your Father's Day gift from me and the boys will more than make up for my thoughtlessness on your birthday. All will be forgiven. [insert gleeful laugh here]


You really seem sorta desperate...I think you need to go to Stamper's Anonynomous....


Nu-uh. I just need the damn stamps.


Bwaaa-ha-ha-hahaa....this is sorta fun...normally I'm the one begging for crap...I feel drunk with power...


Just remember who is usually the Minister of Finance. May I remind you that your hobby is definitely more, um, expensive-gadget-oriented than my hobby? Just think what new and wonderful piece of high-tech gear could currently be under development in the bowels of R&D at a gadgety corporation right now.... Abuse of power will come back to bite you in the butt at some point in the future.

I'm just sayin'.

Besides, this conversation is going up on my blog. You want to look kind and generous, don't you?


Resorting to threats will get you nowhere, Ma'am....


Threats? Who, me? I just described the situation like it is and hope you will find the mercy in your heart to let me confirm my order.


Confirm the order?? You've got that sucker all ready to go, and just have to hit the "confirm" button, doncha?

So very, very sad. SIGH. I guess I'll take pity on your poor, wretched, stamp-addicted existence and allow this purchase, although I do feel as if I'm becoming an enabler.

This better go into some sort of good-will savings-bank for my next bike....mine are getting pretty long in the tooth, anyway....seriously....


Actually, I needed to go to the checkout and put in all my information, but my shopping cart was loaded. Thank you, dear. I've been an enabler for you for years, so don't sigh. It's karma.

BTW, your Infinit* order came today.

*Infinit is a custom nutrition product for endurance athletes. Seriously, stamping is nowhere near as expensive as triathlon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

More Christmas in June

I make approximately 200 Christmas cards each year. Roughly one hundred go to the troops overseas for their use, and I send the rest to our family and friends.

That's a lot of cards for someone who does not generally make multiples. No, I'm not obsessive; absolutely not. Um, really.

Here's how I do it. I usually pull out a set of stamps and play around with different color schemes, tools, techniques, etc., to mix things up and keep from boring myself to sleep. I may make a couple of cards with one set, or I may make a dozen cards. Very rarely, I may make three or four of the same card, but usually, each one is at least a little different from the others.

Sometimes, cards made with the same set are very different, as with these two cards using Papertrey's Snowflake Serenade set.

For the red card, I edged the stamped panel with a gold metallic pen and added gold half-beads to the dots on the Peace image. Still not sure I like this one, but it's not bad, all things considered.

The blue and white card is my favorite of these two. The colors make me happy (red just doesn't convey "peace" as well as blue does), and I love that Martha Stewart border punch. The blue gemstones are more harmonious than the gold beads in the red card because there are five of them rather than four...I really prefer odd numbers, and adding the snowflake let me add a fifth gem. They balance this card nicely.

What do you think?

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Looking at this card makes me happy. I'm really easy to please, LOL!

Doesn't it look like the little stars have fallen out of the big one? The star stamps are from different companies, and I get so tickled when stamps from different companies work so well together. Makes me feel creative to mix and match, you know?

Thanks for visiting!

cardstock: PTI white
stamps: PTI small stars, sentiment; Hero Arts large star
ink: summer sun, night of navy
ribbon: navy blue grosgrain (looks black in photo...sorry about that!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

OLC Christmas Cards

When you make as many Christmas cards as I do, OLCs (one-layer cards) are particularly appealing. They are generally fast, easy to reproduce, and just, well, easy.

Simplicity Tip: When making OLCs, quality cardstock is a MUST! When you only have one layer, flimsy cardstock just doesn't cut it. I use Papertrey Ink's stampers select white or vintage cream or kraft paper, and I hear that Gina K's cardstock is also very high quality. I buy PTI paper in bulk. That way, I don't feel bad if I mess up. I just flip it over and use it for layers on other cards.

The card above works really well because of that yummy chocolate ribbon sent to me by Ali Manning in a bag of blog candy. Love it! The stamp, from SU!'s Sleigh Bells Ring set, looks great colored in by other stampers, but not by me. So I just stamp it in a festive color and let it stand uncolored. So easy!

The second card uses several shades of soft purple chalk ink and PTI's Snowflake Serenade set. The clear rhinestones bling it up a bit. These flakes beg for bling, don't you think?

Finally, this kraft card is super simple and definitely looks better in real life. The photo looks a tad flat, but the PTI vintage cream ink looks fab, and the sheer ribbon with its satin border gives a nice balance to the card. The stamp is from Snowflake Spots, a discontinued set from SU!. The sentiment is from PTI's Take a Bough, I think.

Hope you enjoy these! If you want more details, check my SCS gallery later today.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

CAS Challenge 18

This week's Clean and Simple Challenge is to use kraft, pinks/corals, and another color of your choice. This one turned out to be particularly fun for me, and I made three cards in a fairly short amount of time. I love them all!

First up, this OLC, which is pretty self-explanatory, I think. I stamped the sentiment twice: once after inking "laughing" in pomegranite while masking the rest in post-it notes, and once after inking the rest in wasabi while masking "laughing." Turned out pretty cool, don't you think!

stamps: PTI, Hero Arts
cardstock: PTI kraft, SU pomegranite
ink: wasabi and pomegranite
accessories: flower and circle punches

The next card is hopelessly simple. I love the 3x3 grid for cards, and this practically made itself.

stamps: Trendy Trees
cardstock: PTI kraft, SU pretty in pink and chocolate chip
ink: chocolate chip
accessories: circle punches, ribbon, dimensionals

Here is my card that sort of meets the requirements of CAS18, but I love it so much I don't care if it's not exactly right. It uses three shades of pink, and kraft paper, but no other color (unless you want to count white as a color, which I generally don't).

stamps: Papertrey Beautiful Blooms, Floral Frenzy
cardstock: Papertrey white and kraft
inks: pomegranite, rose red, pretty in pink
accessories: circle punches, corner rounder, ribbon

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Check it out!

My husband has started a photography blog called George Raihala Photography. If you enjoy nature photography, please click over and check it out!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Speaking of Christmas...

This set, Spirit of Love, comes from Stampin'Up! and is very old, one of the first sets I ever bought. I love the image, but it drives me batty trying to make a card with it every year. It looks cheesy colored in (at least colored in by ME), and it's pretty big, so there's not a lot of room for background variation and such. Embossing or stamping in Brilliance or metallic ink seems to serve it best.

I hope you like them!

cardstock: PTI white
ink: (top) Colorbox gold in the Christmas chalk queue, (bottom) SU not quite navy
accessories: gold and silver metallic pens, dimensionals, sheer white ribbon

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Christmas Thanks

I always need lots of Christmas thank you cards, and this one is very, very simple, and thus easily reproduced. Plus, it uses PTI's Out on a Limb. I just love that set! I used the berry stamp that fits over the limb, and then went back in with the little leaf stamp to add the leaves.

Hope you like it!

cardstock: PTI white, SU real red
stamps: Out on a Limb
ink: can't remember
accessories: dimensionals

Friday, June 5, 2009

Classic CAS Layout #1

I've made lots of cards with this particular layout. Seems like I've seen it lots of places but never could put my finger on where, largely because it's a classic that's been around forever. From my Simplicity perspective, those are the best kinds of layouts. In fact, I used it on a whole set of cards for my very first post on this blog.

Then I saw THIS LOVELY CARD by Diane Cramer (fionna51 at SCS) and read her inspiration for it and thought, "YES!" I have a Life is Good tee in my dresser drawer with three citrus slices (orange, lemon, lime) on it. If only I had a citrus slice stamp, I'd use it for sure! Diane, thanks for making that connection for me and inspiring me to go straight to my craft room and make these two cards!

The tees don't have a line around them, of course, but for some reason, these cards begged for a line frame. Who am I to argue?

Simplicity Tip: For drawing line frames, I use a gridded, L-shaped, clear ruler. When I use the inside of the "L" to draw the lines, the corners look better than just using a straight-edge and trying to match the ends up. As you can see on the Lots of Love card, sometimes drawn lines don't turn out perfectly, but I am not a computer and can't be perfect. Sigh.

Hope you like these two classics!

Supplies for both cards:
cardstock: PTI white, SU!
stamps: Hero Arts clear stamps, PTI simple alphabet
ink: various (sorry, can't remember exactly, but not SU, probably chalk inks)
accessories: circle punches, MS scalloped circle, rhinestones, dimensionals, markers, black stickles

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ask and It Will Be Given to You

This very simple card showcases one of my favorite embellishments at the moment: Hero Arts half-pearls. They come in several soft, pretty colors, including this pale green. So pretty! Several companies make pearls like these, and while I adore rhinestones, the pearls are so subtle and lovely.

The only oddity here is that the card is A6 size (6.25 X 4.5) rather than standard. The sentiment needed more space to breathe.

cardstock - PTI white
stamps - Hero Arts (background); sentiment ?
ink - SU wild wasabi, Palette noir
accessories - dimensionals, Hero Arts light green half pearls

And the winner is....

#15, Ali Manning! Congratulations, Ali!

newenglandstamper said...
These cards are stunning - I love how you make sets like this. Believe it or not, my favorite season is winter!
June 2, 2009 6:31 PM

My firstborn drew Ali's number out of a hat. So, Ali, email me your address and I'll send your prize out ASAP!

Monday, June 1, 2009

CAS17 Inspiration Challenge

What a GREAT challenge! Inspired by Lands End beach towels and totes.

Here's my first card, based on this towel. I'd love to chatter about it, but it's really quite simple. And I LOVE IT!!!!

Inside, it says, "I'm here for you" from PTI's Floral Frenzy set. Let's shout out how wonderful the sentiments in that set are. Yeah!

And here is an orange card, inspired by the polka dot towel. Because orange is a happy color, and I'm feelin' much more orange than blue.

The positive and negative dot stamps are from Hero Arts. I punched them out with a 3/4-inch square punch.

A girl can never have too many thank you cards on hand, don't you think?

Thanks for looking, and, as always, comments are very much appreciated!

Don't forget to comment on THIS POST before tomorrow night at 11:48 Eastern DST for a chance to win a little blog candy. One comment per person, please.

Happy Monday!