Friday, April 30, 2010

Everyday Classics

As I eagerly await this year's PTI Special Edition Anniversary set (given to customers who purchase 12 or more sets in one year), I realized that last year's Anniversary set Everyday Classics was feeling lonely and needed some attention. I had used a few of the images but not all, so I resolved to use every image stamp in the set. Here are two that turned out nicely.

The stack of teacups is not an original idea, but I'll be darned if I can remember where I saw it. The idea for the pairs of large and small bling scattered over the design comes straight from the Hero Arts catalog. It didn't need the bling, though, as the completely flat card really was fun without it.

Sometimes, I bling and it really doesn't make a whole lot of difference in my feelings toward a card. Other times, bling takes a card from "eh" to "ahhhhhh" this one:

The small flowers were relatively easy to cut out and pop up, and the bling really brings this card together.

The ink on both cards is Memento, which is quickly becoming my new favorite. I bought all 24 colors at Michael's when it was 40% off. It stamps beautifully, and I'm finding the colors match either PTI or SU cardstock pretty well.

Generally speaking, I'm not as wild about companies giving free sets as I am about sales on sets I DO want. But PTI is a class act, and their free sets from the last two years are outstanding, versatile, and packed with simple, stylish sentiments. Can't wait to see this year's set!

There are only two left of the SU sets for sale: Ho Ho Holidays ($8) and Fine Lace (background, not in clamshell box, $6). Let me know if you are interested!

I will be organizing some Hero Arts and other stamps into lots to sell soon.

stamps: PTI Everyday Classics
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: bling, corner rounder

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Inspired by Jessica Witty's Sketch

As far as I am concerned, Papercrafts Go-To Sketches was worth the price for this sketch alone, not to mention all the other ones I've used and plan to use. This one, however, is my favorite.

My first stab at it is a pretty literal interpretation of the first sample in the magazine, at least colorwise. I stamped my paper using Hero Arts Designer Windows set and then punched, rather than using designer paper, however. The interplay of patterns and arrangement of colors is very close to the original.

The second version I made uses another Hero Arts set...a quarto set of snowflakes. Oh, my! This is such a versatile sketch!

Then, I made another Christmas card using some of the stamps from my first version above, a musical background stamp, and a star ornament stamp (the saffron circles).

What a fun, fun sketch! I'm not done with it yet by a long shot!


Don't forget, you can link to your OLW2 Challenge cards using the InLinkz box in the sidebar of the blog. For details of OLW2 if you missed them, click HERE. And if you get a chance, check out what other people have done for the challenge and leave a little love!

I'm selling stamps HERE.

And for those who have prayed for Lincoln Hammett and his family, there is a new CaringBridge update HERE.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

StampinUp Sets For Sale

This is today's second post. Please scroll WAYYYY down for today's One-Layer Wednesday challenge!

All prices listed below DO NOT include shipping. If you want a set or sets, please email me with your snail mail address and the names of the sets you want. I will take the package to the post office, get the exact postage, and email you with the final price, including postage. Payments will be accepted through PayPal or via US money order. I will ship internationally, but please be aware that shipping may cost more than the actual stamps in those cases.

Obviously, I can't run to the PO every day, but I will make every effort to ship within two business days of receiving payment.

About condition and pricing: I used these sets. That means there may be (often are) ink stains on the wood blocks, though I have cleaned the rubber with PTI's stamp cleaner and all stamps themselves are in good condition. My pricing is slightly below half of the original list price for the sets. The sample card shown on this post will be included with each purchase. If you want to see the complete set, please check the SCS gallery for the index card.

Please note: My sample cards often include sentiments that are NOT part of the set and are NOT included in the purchase!

Ho Ho Holidays, set of 6 (sentiment stamp not included), $8

Seasons's Sketches, set of 8 (sentiment not included), 2-step stamping, $14 SOLD

Something to Celebrate, set of 9 (sentiment not included), $12 SOLD

Good Things Grow, set of 8 (sentiment not included), $9 SOLD

Garden Whimsy, set of 8 (sentiment not included), $13 SOLD

Botanical Blooms, set of 7, 2-step stamping, $5, SOLD

Buggies and Booties, set of 7, $11 SOLD

Looks Like Spring, set of 6, $14 SOLD

In the Wild, set of 6 (sentiment not included), $9 SOLD

Artifacts, set of 7 (sentiment not included), $11 SOLD

In the Sky, set of 4 (sentiments not included), $6 SOLD

Hey, it's two-fer-one on this set!

In addition, I'm selling:

Noteworthy, set of 9, $5 SOLD

Fine Lace (background, not in clamshell box), $6

All the Best, set of 7, 2-step stamping, $9 SOLD

OLW2: Flock or Glitter

See bottom of post for complete rules for the challenges.

This week's One-Layer Wednesday Challenge (OLW2) is to make a one-layer card with either flock or glitter.

[Please note if you don't have flock or glitter, some other textural substitute may be used...sand, salt, sugar, a texture embossing plate, Flower Soft, a rubbing, a faux treatment, etc.]

Both of my cards showcase Doodlebug flock, which I bought in a 12-pack of adorable tiny glass containers at Hobby Lobby for 40% off. I stamped with the Essential Glue Pad, poured a generous amount of flock over the image, pressed firmly with my fingers, then shook off the excess onto a scrap sheet of copy paper. (That glue pad works pretty well with flock but not so well with glitter, in my experience.) Flock is a great way to take a simple, flat design and kick it up a bit.

First up, an orange flower using PTI's Dot Spot and Mixed Messages. This much fuzziness on one card is so pretty and tactile!

The second card uses all three of my favorite stamp companies on one card. The tree is SU's Trendy Trees, the sentiment is from PTI's Sign Language, and the swish is from Hero Arts Friendship Messages clear set.

So if you have some flock, break it out and have some fun!

Simplicity Tip: Getting flock or glitter to stick is sometimes a challenge. Some of my favorite products are red tape (great for making lines of glitter or flock on a card), large sheets of adhesive (great for punched shapes), the essential glue pad (for flock won't hold glitter well), and the Quickie Glue Pen (best glue pen I ever used and will hold glitter okay, not perfectly). For glitter, however, my hands-down favorite is Stickles because there is no mess.

Here are the official requirements for the One-Layer Wednesday Challenge at Simplicity:

1. A one-layer card is defined as a single piece of cardstock folded in half. No other layers of cardstock are allowed.

2. Ink is always welcome.

3. There will be one other requirement to each challenge. It may be a color challenge, a product challenge, a technique challenge, an inspiration challenge, an occasion challenge, whatever.

4. If you do not have the exact product or color to meet the challenge, you may substitute whatever you have that is closest or fake it with a faux treatment. No one will be discriminated against for lack of supplies. Work with what you have and know you are welcome!

5. Each challenge will be open for one week. Upload your cards through InLinkz. See the link in the sidebar.

That's it!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

CAS64 Happy Birthday, Miss Boo

This week's challenge is in honor of Miss Boo (Jen, the woman who runs the challenge). She likes orange and it's her birthday, so the challenge is to make a CAS birthday card with orange.


For the first card, I used the most basic CAS layout ever, but made the focal point an orange library card. *squeal* I love library cards. I miss library cards. A whole generation is growning up never having signed a library card, not even knowing what a library card IS! How totally sad is that?

But this card isn't sad. It's very, very happy and would love to accompany a birthday gift of a book, don't you think?

A paper clip with ribbon! Ohmygosh, this card makes me totally happy!

The second card borrows its layout from Papercrafts Go-To Sketches. I would never in a million years come up with this, which is the whole point of using do new things and learn stuff.

This layout uses the design idea that angles love curves. All the right angles on this card are offset by the round flower and card. The contrast increases the visual interest. Pretty cool, huh?

Please note that I used a giant outside my box...with a giant inside my box. And the box is round this time, which sort of makes me feel like I'm in a foreign country and don't speak the language.

You want to know my favorite part of this card? Can you guess? It's those little squares. I love them irrationally and will be using them again. For sure.

If you'd like to play along with CAS64, upload your birthday card using orange to SCS using the keyword CAS64. And please tell Jen happy birthday because she's amazing.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sale at StampinTreasures!

Okay, third and last post for Monday! Scroll down to see cards and the winner of the Kraft Week give-away but I had to pass this on RIGHT NOW because I love you all!

StampinTreasures is having a 24% off sale on all orders over $24! It's for one day only (until midnight tonight, presumably west coast time) to celebrate Diane and Larry's 24th wedding anniversary. Just put LarryDiane in the PromoCode box when you check out. The discount applies to sale merchandise as well.


StampinTreasures sells the complete line of Hero Arts stamps and accessories, and a bunch of other stamps (including Memory Box) and stamp stuff. I've been buying from Diane for about six years now and find her customer service to be super! Not sure about international shipping charges, though.

And yes, I did order a few things. Why do you ask?

Quickie Tribute to Retiring Colors

This is Monday's second post. Please scroll down to the first post for the announcement of the winner of the Kraft Week give-away!

Here are a couple of very quick, punchy cards to pay tribute to some of StampinUp's retiring bold brights (and one soft subtle).

This card uses gable green and green galore for a fresh, monochromatic birthday card. I will miss these two colors most of the bold brights that are retiring.

The purple card uses almost almost amethyst and lovely lilac.

Simplicity Tip: This type of card is perfect for those times when you need something fast, including a gift set! SU's Sincere Salutations has eight sentiments that are pretty and big enough to be the focal point of a card and cover most possible card-giving situations. Punch three shapes (all the same, or two small and one large) for two opposing corners to add interest to an otherwise boringly symmetrical card. Add a few spots of bling or pearls, and pop a layer, and you're done.

stamps: SU Sincere Salutations
ink: Palette Noir
paper: white; SU gable green, green galore, almost amethyst, lovely lilac
accessories: various punches, dimensionals, pearls

Kraft Week Winner!

The lucky winner, chosen at random from a total of 1,050 comments on My Pink Mexico and Simplicity, is number 1,015, who wrote:

Jenine Isawa said...
So simple! So Cute!

April 23, 2010 4:16 PM

Jenine, please contact me and Mary Dawn with your email and snail mail addresses to claim your prize of--drumroll, please!--a BIG BITE and a $25 gift certificate to Papertrey Ink! My email is susanraihala at woh dot rr dot com. Mary Dawn's is mypinkmexico at gmail dot com.

Many, many thanks to ALL of you who played along and encouraged Mary Dawn and me last week with over a thousand comments. AMAZING! We had so much fun we'll just HAVE to do something like this again.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Peek at What's Coming!

Here is a sweet little card using one of the StampinUp sets I'm selling called Noteworthy, which was either a hostess set or Sale-abration set, so it's going for cheap.

I'll post all the sets when I figure out the logistics of doing this, especially shipping. I will also ship internationally (had said I wouldn't but changed my mind) but will charge actual shipping.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

stamps: Noteworthy
ink: Palette Noir, SU markers
paper: Marco's small pre-made card

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Christmas with Kind Thoughts

Give-Away Reminder: To enter in the Kraft Week Give-Away, you must leave comments on Kraft Week posts from last Monday through Friday on Simplicity and My Pink Mexico. At one comment per post, you have ten chances to win our give-away of a Big Bite and $25 gift certificate for Papertrey Ink. Comments close tonight (Saturday, April 24) at midnight. The winner will be announced on Monday!

I was going to kick off selling some StampinUp sets, but I'm still not set up to accept Paypal payments yet. Sigh. Hopefully, I'll get my act together early next week because I've made some awesome cards with each stamp set and I'm eager to share them with you. I may show one tomorrow just as a teaser!

The mess in my basement distracted me from figuring out Paypal. Good news is I took a whole carload (station wagon!) to Salvation Army, organized an emergency shelter under the basement stairs just in time for tornado season, and threw out a leaf-bag of garbage. That felt wonderful!

Today's card is loosely based on a sketch from Papercrafts Go-To Sketches. I don't have a die-cut machine to cut the shape of the sketch, but I do have a few Fiskars shape-cutter templates, one of which worked just fine as a substitute on this pretty Christmas card.

For once, a card I made looked WAYYYY better on a colored base than on a white base. The white-on-white looked much too subtle with the thin lines of Cool Caribbean. The Cool Caribbean base, on the other hand, really accents the fake snowflakes (seven points...I know, I know, but I love this set used on a Christmas card!).

stamps: Kind Thoughts (SU), Hero Arts (sentiment)
paper: Cool Caribbean (SU) White (PTI)
ink: Cool Caribbean
accessories: Fiskar's shape-cutter template and cutter, dimensionals, rhinestones, SU oval punch

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kraft Week Day 5: Kraft Bold and Bright (Edited)

Today is the last day of Kraft Week, and I must say, it's been a blast. Aside from the heart palpitations yesterday's card caused, of course. (And yes, the idea for a vintage kraft day was mine...because I'm stupid that way.)

I want to thank Mary Dawn of My Pink Mexico for issuing this kraft challenge in the first place because I have certainly stretched my creativity in ways I didn't know it could stretch and have overcome my anxiety about kraft paper in general.

I hope you've enjoyed it and been inspired, too!

Today's card isn't much of a stretch; I think it's got LateBlossom written all over it! Using bold and bright colors always makes me break out the white cardstock, and I adore how this turned out with the kraft strip...definitely clean and simple.

Also, graphic and happy!


Give-Away Reminder: The last day to post comments on Kraft Week posts here and at My Pink Mexico is Saturday night at midnight, Eastern Daylight Savings Time. Everyone may post once on each of the ten posts for a total of ten chances to win the one give-away. What does the winner get? A Big Bite and a $25 gift certificate to Papertrey Ink. So head on over to My Pink Mexico and check out Mary Dawn's adorable owl card!

Edited to Add: Yesterday's card had no green on it, though several people commented that it did. I'm sorry if some people's screens are showing green, but the card kraft, cream, and pink, and it looks right on my screen. Wonder what is going on?!?! Anyone have any ideas?

stamps: PTI Mega Mixed Messages
ink: pink passion
paper: PTI white, kraft; SU taken with teal, tempting turquoise, pretty in pink, pink passion, pixie pink
accessories: dimensionals, circle punch

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kraft Week Day 4: Vintage Craft



I don't know....

After perusing a bunch of magazines for inspiration for this challenge, I broke out in hives and wanted to throw up. So I went shopping (natural response, don't you think?). I got this crazy idea that I needed to use something from the trim department. JoAnn's has beautiful lace and trim, so I bought a few different ones, went home, and got to work.

A few things I learned. Trims are soooo pretty, but they are really thick. You can't wrap them around a one-layer card like you can with grosgrain or satin ribbon. Also, the cut ends of many trims unravel, so cutting them off on the edge of the card NO WORKIE!! This means you must wrap them on a panel that's popped up on dimensionals. In some cases, a double layer of dimensionals is necessary to prevent weird bulges.

Oh heaven above. Can you just feel us moving further and further away from CLEAN AND SIMPLE? Uh-hu. It's all Mary Dawn's fault. Blame her.

I'll leave the details of my angst and panic and heart palpitations and cursing of Mary Dawn to your imagination and say this: no matter how NOT simple and NOT clean today's card is, I LOVE IT.

Yes, it doesn't look like I made it, but that's not the point. The point is, I DID MAKE IT. AND IT FELT WONDERFUL....

to do something like this once.

Never again.


Give-Away Reminder: Make sure you leave a comment on today's post here and on Mary Dawn's blog My Pink Mexico where she is posting a GAWGEOUS vintage kraft Mother's Day card to maximize your chances to win our give-away of a Big Bite and $25 gift certificate to Papertrey.

How I made this card: The trim-wrapped panel was sponged with Vintage Cream ink from PTI (love that stuff) and popped up on a double layer of dimensionals. The stamped vintage cream panel is stamped and inked with a pale pink. It is also popped, but on a single layer. The top prima is attached to the paper with the brad because I thought one would do, but once I attached the stamped panel, the single prima looked stupid. It needed company. So I attached the second prima with a glue dot. Looks much better because the two brown brads form a visual triangle with the brown sentiment.

stamps: PTI (sentiment), SU Letters from Friends
ink: close to cocoa, VersaMagic pixie pink, PTI vintage cream
paper: PTI kraft, vintage cream
accessories: trim, dimensionals, prima flowers, brads, sponges

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kraft Week Day 3: Christmas Kraft

One-Layer Wednesday will return next week!

I enjoyed using kraft cardstock so much on Christmas cards for today's challenge that I actually made three cards. One of them used patterened paper (I KNOW!!!!), and one was a one-layer card (no surprise there). You'll see both next week. But my favorite by just a smidge was the one inspired by the awesome Kelley (AKA keuby at SCS) and her fabulous one-layer krafty holly card (third down on this post of her blog).

Because my kraft cardstock allowed the Bic Mark-Its to bleed through, I ended up doing layers and OH.MY.GOSH. Can you believe how that ticket punch totally makes this card special? I simply could NOT resist.

And why, yes! That IS red Stickles for the berries. Thank you for noticing! That's two days in a row of bling-on-kraft, which makes my heart go pitter-patter.

I think it's pretty funny that Mary Dawn's Christmas Kraft card is, indeed, one layer, while mine has three. I'm going to CASE hers because I have that set and it's an awesomely clean-and-simple card. So click on over to My Pink Mexico to check it out.

And remember...leave a comment here and on My Pink Mexico each day this week to maximize your chances to win the FAB give-away we're doing: a Big Bite and $25 gift certificate to PTI!

On a different note, this week's CAS63 Challenge is WONDERFUL! If you haven't seen it yet, please go check it out. It was too fun for just one card, so my cards are here, here, and here.

stamps: Penny Black (holly); Hero Arts (sentiment)
ink: Palette dark chocolate
paper: PTI Kraft, SU real red
accessories: SU ticket punch, red Stickles, dimensionals, Bic Mark-Its
Size: 4.25" square

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kraft Week Day 2: Designer Paper


Designer paper. And kraft. On one card. Made by me. *squeal*

I know you're shocked. Do you need a minute to recover? Take all the time you need.

Because here it is, waiting for you, and it only took about twenty minutes from start to finish.


This dp (no idea who made it...anyone recognize it?) was a piece I bought several years ago and posted on my inspiration board just to admire because it was sooooo pretty. But no way could I use it on a scrapbook page since I have boys. Besides, pictures would cover up the beauty, wouldn't they?

Well, now, several years later, I felt perfectly justified in making it earn its keep. The first piece I cut didn't quite work with the butterfly because the flowers weren't placed right, so I cut another piece (I KNOW! SHOCKING!) and tried again.

Oh, me. Oh my.

The rhinestones are champagne colored, so their pinkish tone was perfect. This card looks even better IRL. I love, love, love it so much.

And we have Mary Dawn to thank because it never would have happened if not for her throwing down the gauntlet. So click on over to My Pink Mexico and see what wonderfulness she's posted today. And remember...leave a comment here and on My Pink Mexico each day this week to maximize your chances to win the FAB give-away we're doing: a Big Bite and $25 gift certificate to PTI! BTW, to see yesterday's card made with burgundy button and sentiment, visit Mim's blog. She did a lovely job kicking that card up a notch with dude color added to the brown!

stamps: PTI Simple Little Things
ink: VersaColor Burgundy
paper: PTI kraft, unknown DP
accessories: Martha Stewart butterfly punch, champagne rhinestones

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kraft Week Day 1: Rustic Dude Kraft

So, Mary Dawn of the awesome blog My Pink Mexico challenged me to use more kraft. I mean, really challenged me! Of course, I couldn't resist a challenge, so I went for it. Hook, line, and sinker.

Especially the sinker part. At times, I felt like I was drowning in brown. But it was SOOOOO worth it. *frabjous joy!*

And you're gonna LOVE Mary Dawn's kraft creations, too! She's the Kween of Kraft. I'm merely a pretender.

We decided on a different theme for each day this week, and today's theme is Rustic Dude Kraft. I'm pretty sure this took longer than any single card I made for the whole week. But it makes me so very happy!

OMG, sponging and distressing on one card! Please acknowledge that you know how HARD this was for me!!!! In fact, most of this week's posts stretched my creative horizons.

Stretching is important, you know. But not too far, of course. This is still clean and simple.

Each kraft square (1 3/8" square) is stamped with Close to Cocoa with a different background stamp, some of which I have hardly ever used. The screen background, for instance. I was considering giving that stamp away. It'll be harder now. Much harder.

Anyway, I sponged each square on all four sides and distressed only the tops and bottoms by running the cardstock over a scissor blade. Then I attached all four squares with glue to a natural cardstock base, added the twine and button (lawsy, that was a pain to figure out) and stamped the sentiment in more close to cocoa.

To attach the button, I wrapped the twine around the card and ran both ends up through the holes in the button. I put a glue dot where I wanted the button and pulled the ends of the string down until the button was stuck. Then I tied a knot.

I just love the texture of this card. It positively SCREAMS dude, don't you think? With a monochromatic color scheme, texture adds interest. So does that button. Making this card helped me realize I'm really short on interesting brown buttons, though. Wouldn't it look even better with a PTI rustic vintage button instead of the SEI plain one? And in retrospect, I think it would have looked awesome with a dark blue or red button with the sentiment stamped in the same color.

Someone please make that variation on the card so I can see what it would look like with a dark-colored button and sentiment. I'd be grateful.


Mary Dawn and I will choose one random commenter for the week to receive our prize. What is the prize? Well, it's a Crop-o-Dile II BIG BITE and a $25 gift certificate to Papertrey Ink! YES!

To enter, comment on at least one of the Kraft Week posts (one comment per post, of course). Mary Dawn will post five times, and so will I. That gives you ten entries for the drawing if you comment on all the Kraft Week posts. The more posts you comment on, the more chances to win!

stamps: PTI Simple Little Things; four random background stamps
paper: PTI natural, kraft
ink: close to cocoa
accessories: twine (PTI), button (SEI), scissors, sponge

Sunday, April 18, 2010

CAS63...A Little Late

My brain was too preoccupied with next week's excitement with Mary Dawn to jump right into the CAS62 Mackinac Island challenge. I've been to Mackinac and loved the experience, but struggled to get a grip on the challenge. I wanted to do a lamp post card but don't have a lamp post stamp and couldn't get my mind redirected.

Until I got this Martha Stewart punch and thought, hmmm, red and yellow tulips sound nice.

And they are!

I made the tulips by punching them out of green and yellow/red cardstock, cutting the tops off the yellow/red ones, and sticking the tops onto the green stems. I added the bling because they looked a bit plain. Notice that there are three spots of yellow cardstock and three spots of red cardstock on the card.

Hopefully I will be more with it Monday morning and jump right on the upcoming CAS63 challenge. But at least I got there eventually for CAS62!

BTW, welcome to all the new subscribers who've joined Simplicity in the past week. Oh, my!

stamps: PTI Mixed Messages
ink: real red
paper: PTI white; SU yo-yo yellow, real red, green galore
accessories: MS tulip punch, unknown sun punch, ribbon

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Signature Greetings ROCKS!

Thank you for listening.

The flower stamp is from Hero Arts and is colored with SU markers (razzleberry and old olive). I colored the pearls with a Bic Mark-It to match because plain white just looked funny.

How's that for a sophisticated design explanation? Plain white just looked funny. That's as sophisticated as I get on Saturday morning before my mocha.

The coffee is calling me. I hope you have a fabulously wonderful weekend. And don't forget...Mary Dawn and I have cooked up something fun for next week that you won't want to miss. There'll be a giiiiive-awaaaaaaay.

See. Now you have to come back.

stamps: Hero Arts, Papertrey Signature Greetings
ink: SU razzleberry and olive
paper: PTI white, SU old olive
accessories: half pearls, Bic Mark-It, SU scallop border punch

Friday, April 16, 2010

Best Wishes with *gasp* a Few Layers

Are you sick of this color combination yet? I'm not. But today will be the last card posted with it for a while. I'm cooking up something extra-special for next week. My partner-in-crime is Mary Dawn of My Pink Mexico. Boy, howdy! Y'all are gonna love it!

In the meantime, feast your eyes on this.

The sentiment on this card is darker IRL but for some reason washed out in the photo. The pearls are also a bit more subtle. But I love this classic layout and it was fun playing with layers to frame the image, too. The colors are a touch too subtle to stand alone on a one-layer card, and the double matte brightens the whole thing up considerably!

I hope y'all are planning a wonderful weekend full of springtime fun (fall fun for those down under) and creativity. Make it a great one!

stamps: Hero Arts, PTI
ink: VersaMagic
paper: PTI white, SU cool caribbean, gable green
accessories: satin ribbon, dimensionals

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Floral Frenzy Meets Martha

First of all, I want to thank everyone who's linking to one-layer Wednesday challenge cards. Y'all are blowing me out of the water with your ink-and-paper cards. *gleeful giggle*

Now, for today's card:

The Martha Stewart grass border punch is all JulieHRR's fault. Dang, she rocks that punch. So I used it with my color combo for this week. The gemstones are actually green, though I'm not sure the picture shows that.

I'm so undecided about the leaves from Floral Frenzy. Ordinarily, I attach the narrow end to the stem, but then I saw several other stampers use it the other way. Now, neither way looks right to me. Sigh. Sometimes a person should not over-think things.

Am I the only one who over-thinks? Please tell me I am not alone.

Still, this card is fun and happy and what girl wouldn't want to receive it for her birthday? Speaking of which, have you seen the sneak peeks at PTI this week? MASCULINE stuff, people. I'm so glad I had a gift certificate left over from Christmas 'cause I'm all over this release. Nichole used the wood-grain stamp to simulate water on a card on her blog yesterday, and OMG, how completely perfect!

Stamps: PTI (Floral Frenzy, Green Thumb, Mega Mixed Messages
ink: cool caribbean, green galore, Palette noir
paper: PTI white, SU gable green
accessories: rhinestones, grass border punch

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sharing Your One-Layer Wednesday Cards

Sue asked me to explain how you can share your cards here.

Step One: Upload a digital photo or scan of your card to any online place (such as flickr, SplitcoastStampers, your blog).

Step Two: Once your upload is complete, select the url for that page you posted to, right click, and select "Copy."

Step Three: Come back to the One-Layer Wednesday post on Simplicity and leave a comment. Right click and select "Paste" to paste the url for your card into the comment box. Post the comment.


I have never tried Mr. Linky and am not sure what it is. Perhaps someone can enlighten me if it's easier than this....

One-Layer Wednesday: Hero Arts Three Designer Leaves

Yes, I'm starting a new feature on Simplicity called One-Layer Wednesday. Every Wednesday, I'll try to post a totally flat card that is nothing but one folded piece of cardstock and ink. Wouldn't it be fun if you played along and shared links in the comments? Just a thought.

This small set of three stamps (one not shown today) jumped right into my cart at Michael's last week.

I wonder how that happens?

Anyway, making a one-layer card with brand new stamps made me happy.

I hope it makes you happy, too.

stamps: Hero Arts, SU (sentiment)
ink: VersaMagic sea breeze, lime, sahara sand
paper: PTI white
accessories: stamp positioner

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Appreciate What Is

Let's dive right in, shall we?

Get it? Dive right in? Sorry.

Today's card uses an old (discontinued) Hero Arts shadow stamp for the watery backdrop. If you don't have the shadow stamp, you could get a similar look by making a rectangle with post-it notes and sponging. I sponged Ancient Page inks in various shades of blue directly onto the stamp, starting with the lightest color, then the medium shade, then the darkest.

The plant is actually a Posh Impressions pussy willow but I think it looks nice as kelp. It is stamped in an even darker shade of blue (indigo), as is the sentiment (Hero Arts).

The whole card was intended to be a single layer of white cardstock, but I stamped the rectangle slightly crooked. The frame really does help the card, though, so it was a fortuitous mistake.

The sea horse was punched out of tempting turquoise that had been lightly sponged with Ancient Page ink. The gemstone eye was colored with a sharpie since I didn't have a small enough gem in turquoise.

Last week, I told you I reorganized my SU cardstock by rainbow colors rather than the old color families. One thing that showed me is that I have an obscene amount of colored cardstock. That realization, combined with the success of this card, convinced me to make a bunch of colored-base cards. I'm mainly doing this to thin out the stash, not as a major shift in my cardmaking philosophy.

Don't worry. I'm still loving white OLCs. They're my favorites, forever and always. One's coming up tomorrow. I promise.

stamps: Posh Impressions, Hero Arts
ink: Ancient Page
paper: PTI white; SU tempting turquoise, night of navy
accessories: sponge, sea horse punch (Martha Stewart), dimensional, sharpie, gemstone

Monday, April 12, 2010

Colors I Will Miss, Part 1

While it's perfectly clear even to the casual reader of Simplicity that I will not miss Orchid Opulence, I haven't really moaned about the colors I most certainly WILL miss when StampinUp's new color program starts in July. I haven't yet decided if I'll stock up on some of these discontinued colors or not, but hope that writing about them here will bring some clarity.

Among the top colors I will miss are gable green and green galore. I know, I know. Plenty of people detest these two shades of green. But using the bold brights as I do (which is sparingly with lots of white), they're not nearly as offensive as you might think.

See what I mean?

Combining gable green and green galore with cool caribbean and tempting turquoise results in an oceanic/tropical color scheme that you'll be seeing repeated here for the next few days. For some reason, this palette called to me all last weekend. It's so fresh and fun and clean.

These flowers consist of four 3/4" squares of punched cardstock with two opposing corners rounded with scallop scissors. Yes, scallop scissors. You did not give those things away, did you? For shame if you did. They're right useful.

To get everything placed so perfectly, I lined the card up on my gridded cutting mat so the center of the card was obvious. Then, I placed the squares (unglued) where I wanted them. Once everything was where it belonged, I removed each square, one at a time, put a dab of glue on the back, and using tweezers, placed it where it belonged. It sounds much more tedious than it is.

Notice how the light and dark colors are arranged consistently in each flower? That was on purpose. All these different pieces parts could make the card busy, but by having the colors so regularly patterned, the eye isn't so confused.

At least, my eye isn't confused. I sure hope your eye is as happy as mine.

Happy Monday, everyone!

stamps: PTI Birthday Basics
ink: Palette noir
paper: PTI white; SU gable green, green galore, cool caribbean, tempting turqoise
accessories: bling, scallop scissors, glue

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Snowflake Peace

It's hard to think about snow when it's 70 degrees outside, but if I'm going to make over 200 Christmas cards this year, I've got to get cracking.

By the way, I make 100 Christmas cards for my own use (military families have long Christmas card lists!) and 100+ for the troops to send home to their families.

Today's cards started with a sketch in Papercrafts Go-To Sketches but then went wild enough that they share precious little with the original sketch. Cards like this seem so simple when they are done that I feel like an idiot for taking so long to make them. But I'm not an idiot...just slow. There's a difference, don't you think?

Which do you like best? The blue version above or the black/clear bling version below? The photo for the black/clear version doesn't do it justice. Sometimes editing these white-on-white photos is a pain in the tushy.

I hope you're enjoying a lovely spring. Unless of course you live in the southern hemisphere, in which case I hope you're enjoying a lovely fall. Y'all are closer to snow than the rest of us!

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: bashful blue, palette noir
paper: PTI white
accessories: various snowflake punches, gemstones, glue pen

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coffee Cup Inspiration

I went to Barnes and Noble Friday (what a surprise...not). Anyway, while waiting for my dark cherry mocha, I saw this coffee cup. It called to me. It said, "Susan, you must buy me, take me home, and use me to make some cards."

Really. I tried desperately not to fall victim to its siren's song. You see, I've been ranting recently about how we have TOO MUCH STUFF in our house and need to get rid of stuff. We have lots of coffee cups. We don't need another. But this darn butterfly cup kept calling and calling and calling to me. It wouldn't shut up. For such a pretty thing, it sure is noisy.

The first card I made was dreadfully busy, just like the cup. And then, simplicity took over and I made this.

Be still, my heart! Amazing! I had to do it again, only experimenting a bit with different leaves.

This color combination is DA BOMB. I used Baby Blue VersaColor ink, Tea Leaves VersaMagic, and SU's rich razzleberry cardstock. The punch is Martha's large monarch double punch.

Martha doesn't know we're on a first-name basis.

But I do.

The sky isn't blue in my world. It's rich razzleberry.

stamps: PTI Turning a New Leaf, Faux Ribbon
ink: Versacolor baby blue, Versamagic tea leaves
paper: SU rich razzleberry, PTI white
accessories: MS large double butterfly punch, glue pen

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bye-Bye, Fairy Vomit

This is my second post today. Please scroll down for the first post.

Sue Berker simply will not leave me alone. She's pestering me to use Orchid Opulence (or, as I like to call it, Fairy Vomit) on a card. She's even got a poll up on her blog regarding OO/FV. Please go vote your conscience on this one.

I'm going on record as saying that pretty much any color, even goose-poop green (see Brilliance pearlescent olive on this card), can be used effectively. Sue made an incredibly elegant card with OO/FV on this post, and I just received an adorable OO/FV card from Patti Moffett as well. (Thanks, Patti!) Neither of these cards, however, changes my mind.

Here's your card, Sue. Hope you like it because it's coming your way soon. And thanks for pestering me 'cause I sort of like it!

Fairy Vomit, may you rest in peace. Forever.

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: SU orchid opulence, old olive, bashful blue
paper: PTI white
accessories: not a blessed one

Christmas Sketch Inspiration #2

Today's card, which is 4.25" square, is based on another sketch by Teri on page 9 of Papercrafts Go-To Sketches. I moved the sentiment up a bit, but otherwise it's pretty close to the sketch. It's nice to make a Christmas card that isn't red and green, LOL!

This Christmas tree stamp is from Hero Arts. All those swirls make me happy, and blinging them makes me even happier!

For those who asked, the Picasso quotation stamp Marty sent me is by Inkadinkado.

Update on Lincoln Hammett: Lincoln is home and happy and playing with his two big sisters. Unfortunately, he isn't healthy enough to have chemo, so the cancer cells are spreading unchecked. Please continue to pray for him and his family.

stamps: Hero Arts, PTI
ink: Memories soft silver, Palette Noir
cardstock: PTI white, SU basic black
accessories: corner rounder, dimensionals, silver ribbon, clear bling

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Get a Deal on Papercrafts Go-To Sketches

This information was posted by kind reader berryblue:

My magazine should be on my way to me. Can't wait to see it in person. ...and for those looking for the magazine, today is the last day you can order it directly from PaperCrafts and get 20% off and free shipping! Use code "SKETCH20" in the promotion box when you checkout. Here's a link... Papercrafts order page.

Happy shopping!

Christmas Sketch Inspiration #1

Papercrafts Magazine just came out with a special issue called Go-To Sketches. It's a bit expensive, so in order to justify the cost, I came up with an elaborate and possibly stupid plan to use as many of the sketches as possible.

To make Christmas cards.

Because it's April, and I'm behind in making Christmas cards.

"Behind?" you ask.

Yes, behind. I'll make about 200 Christmas cards this year, with very few exact duplicates because making more than one or two of something is tedious and dull and completely incompatible with my crafter ADD. Mass production would drive me crazy and make me pitch all my stamps in the trash.

We don't want that, now, do we?

Of course not, because then I'd have to go into therapy and psychologists are so annoying sometimes (not you, Donelda...never you!). So I'm going to use as many of the sketches in Go-To Sketches as I can to make Christmas cards and USE MY CHRISTMAS STAMPS. Or at least as many as I can.

If you care to join me, please go buy the magazine. I'm not going to post photos of all the sketches because I'm sure that would violate copyright or habeus corpus or e pluribus unum. Well, you get the idea. I'm no lawyer like Joan B, but I whacked knuckles in freshman comp classes when students plagiarized.

Besides, we've had enough papercraft magazines fold in the last few years. I wept when Simple Scrapbooks stopped printing and have barely scrapped since. I'd like Papercrafts to hang around.

The first sketch I'm posting is from Teri Anderson. Isn't she DA BOMB!?!? I've admired her work for a long time. She's very versatile, and her designs are so fresh. I'd never in a million years come up with a sketch like this.

I moved the three little embellishments to the bottom because something about my version looked weirdly unbalanced. I think it might be that the poinsettias are too big/heavy/dense for the white space and wonder if I used the outline version of the stamp instead of the solid block stamp if that would lighten it up enough to follow the sketch more precisely. Or maybe I just need to use the smaller poinsettia in the set. Whatever. The samples in the magazine that follow the sketch exactly are LOVELY.

But then, so is my version. *giggle*

stamps: PTI Merry and Bright (sentiment), Peaceful Poinsettia
ink: Colorbox chalk, Palette Noir
paper: PTI white, SU real red
accessories: cool little bling sent to me by twinkletoes, dimensionals

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thank you, Marty!

Yesterday, I retrieved our mail and found a bubble envelope with my name on it. Huh? I hadn't ordered anything. The return address said it was from Marty Ferraro, a lovely woman who comments frequently here and on my other blog, Questioning my Intelligence. Oh.My.Gosh. Another RAK!

Y'all are spoilin' me...and I love you for it!

Inside the envelope, I found two stamps and a lovely card, which I will post later. I ran (literally RAN!) upstairs and made a card I've wanted to make for YEARS but never had the right stamp for. Thanks to Marty, I was able to make this:

This works for the CAS61 challenge, too. I've seen cards like this for years with clever sentiments like "you color my world." But Picasso's statement truly speaks for me. I'm so dependent on my creative time that I can't believe I once lived without an artistic outlet in my life. Art is better than therapy (believe me, I know!) and definitely washes the dust of life away in a rainbow of happiness.

Yeah, I'm sappy that way.

This card was made using watercolor crayons colored directly on the pre-made watercolor card (Fabriano Mediovalis...that's not how you spell it, but it's close. I think). Anyway, I colored the crayons on the card, then took a wet watercolor wash brush (flat and broad) and smooged water over each color, allowing them to blend in between. I cleaned the brush between colors. The black gemstones are Hero Arts.

Marty, thank you so much for your kindness in thinking of me and sending such a special package. YOU ROCK!!!


Imagine my surprise when I got an email from alert reader Prema yesterday telling me orchid opulence had been discontinued. WHAT?!?! I went straight to SCS and saw multiple threads on the changes in SU's color families.

Change is scary and frustrating...especially if you're a new demo or customer who only recently invested in what are now discontinued colors. For people in those positions, I'm sending you cyber-hugs. Big ones.

I'm not a demo and also not an SU-only stamper, so I'm not frustrated. Last night, I reorganized my SU cardstock and inks by color rather than family--something I've been too afraid to do until now. It'll take getting used to, but I bet I'm going to love it. I'm also thrilled that pink pirouette, river rock, and wild wasabi are coming back (I missed the pink last time around and will definitely be buying it). But why oh why isn't cool caribbean coming back?!?!?

I'll surely miss some of the discontinued colors, especially bordering blue and almost amethyst (not fairy vomit, though). But I'll also be using more of my PTI cardstock and investing in the coordinating inks.

In the end, my most used color of cardstock is WHITE, so really, there's no need for me to be concerned. Right now, I'm just happy fairy vomit is going away.

For those who are feeling like your world just got rocked, and NOT in a good way, try to let it all out, cuss, shout, use ALL CAPS. I understand.

Hugs to you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

CAS61 Meets Big Gems

This week's CAS61 Challenge is to use only a sentiment stamp to make a other stamps allowed. Yesterday's card fit the challenge by coincidence. Today's card uses big bling like yesterday's and a sentiment stamp from Hero Arts.

Simplicity Tip: Use a ruler to get precise placement of items on a line. On this card, I used a pen and quilting ruler to draw the line. Then after scooting the ruler over a bit, I was able to place the bling precisely, with even spacing. I started with the large bling, then filled in the smaller bling.

Unfortunately, the colors are a bit off in the photo. The gems are purple and teal, and they are lighter in real life.

FYI: Several people have asked lately about gemstone brands. I use Hero Arts' gems a lot, but they don't have the really small ones. Michael's carries a brand (Recollections, I think) that has three different sizes of gemstone on one sheet, including the really small ones. These are much better quality than the Hobby Lobby brand (those look sort of cloudy to me, while the Michael's ones look very clear). Some of my giant gems come from packs that have an assortment of sizes and even tiny little flowers I haven't used much of yet; these came from Target. I haven't tried the A Muse twinkles yet but plan on ordering some soon. Basically, I buy whatever gems I can find. Hope this helps.

Sue Berker chastized me for my unkind reference to orchid opulence as fairy vomit. She challenged me to use that color on a card. Hmmm. Maybe I'll hold my nose and do it. We shall see. Frankly, I'm thrilled to put my children on the bus again this morning after over a week of spring break. I'm hoping to spend a large chunk of my day in the craft room, and another large chunk finishing up the de-molding of the antique furniture. Whatever I do today, at least the noise of bickering boys will not annoy me...until 4:00, when big boy realizes he has to go to rehab while little boy gets speech therapy. Oh, the long-suffering boredom of waiting!


Thanks for listening.

Monday, April 5, 2010

BIG Gems

What does one do with those giant gemstones? I mean, I have NO PROBLEM using the small ones (for proof, see this card, and these cards, and this card). The big gemstones, however, keep accummulating like sheets of orchid opulence when I buy multiple bold brights assortments. (Sorry, but I despise orchid opulence, or as I like to call it, fairy vomit.)

Anywho, I sat down the other night determined to use some of the big gemstones that are stacking up.

Problem solved.

I could make dozens of these in several different colors. But the blue works beautifully, don't you think?

stamps: PTI Birthday Basics
cardstock: PTI white
ink: SU brilliant blue
accessories: flower punch, large gemstones, glue pen

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, everyone! Every year, I come to Easter with different feelings. Some years, it's all pastels and bunnies...a celebration of the warm fuzzy of salvation. Some years, it's all crosses...a focus on Christ's suffering and death. Some years, like this one, it's all gold and butterflies...Christ the living king who set our souls free of death. However you're feeling this Easter, whatever your faith or belief or non-belief, I hope that you feel joy today for life and love and hope. I sure do.

Blessings to you all.