Monday, February 28, 2011

Before and After: Color and Scale

It's really amazing how color and scale can affect a card...especially a clean and simple card where there is no place to hide! If you make a card that doesn't seem quite right, ask yourself if a simple change in color or scale (or both, in this case!) might make a difference.


This card has two problems. 1) The green (Memento Pear Tart...yummmm!) is too light to stand up to the orange rhinestones. 2) The rhinestones are just too, too big.


To fix it, I switched to Old Olive ink from StampinUp (which sadly doesn't stamp as crisply with the PTI stamps sometimes), and found some tiny rhinestones to mix in with the small ones.

stamps: Papertrey Way to Go, Kiddo; Birthday Basics
ink: Memento pear tart; SU close to cocoa, old olive
paper: PTI white
accessories: Rhinestones, scallop scissors to round the corners of the card

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snail's Pace

I spent an excessive amount of time Sunday stamping. Very little productive came out of that time, but perhaps my mojo is returning, if only at a snail's pace:

Today's card uses the Papertrey set called Way to Go, Kiddo. I used the Martha Stewart grass border punch to create, well, the grass. I know you don't need to be told that. Sorry. Just call me MOTO: Master Of The Obvious.

I like Lady Blingsalot better, though.

Also, I'm too chicken to put eyes on the snail, but that hardly matters since a snail's eyes in the real world are on the ends of its tentacles. Which means I'm spared the necessity of adding dots for eyes and having them look dreadful, which they would because before I learned snails' eyes are on their tentacles, I practiced. The results were not pretty.

Sometimes, Mother Nature really helps us stampers out. Thanks, Mother Nature. But we have to talk about this whole perimenopause thing, because I'm soooo not enjoying it.

stamps:   Papertrey Way to Go, Kiddo
ink: memento canteloup, SU close to cocoa
paper: PTI white, spring moss
accessories: Martha Stewart grass border punch, dimensionals, rhinestones

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mojo Holiday

My mojo has gone on holiday without me. Darn it. Just a month ago, I was doing double posts to share my mojo overdrive. Now, I got nothin'. The stampin' mojo will return, I'm sure. But in the meantime, I decided to shamelessly exploit my golden retriever, who is really much cuter than any card I've ever made.

Darth Daisy Gives You the Evil Eye

Darth Daisy: "Say what?"!!!

Daddy Walked My Paws Off

Thursday, February 24, 2011

One-Layer Wednesday 42: I've Got the Music in Me

Hello! Jennifer has given us a really fun challenge: music! Check out the challenge on her blog here.

My first card looks better in real life. For some reason, the red bling doesn't show up as well on the photo (and I took five or six photos!). Oh well, it's still cool. The note is from All Night Media and the word note is from Papertrey's Paper Tray set. I contemplated adding an a before the word note, but ultimately, I really liked the single word. I rounded the corners with scallop scissors.

I couldn't stop with one card, though. Last week's Christmas challenge got me a very early start on this year's cards. Since I make about 200 or so Christmas cards and rarely make duplicates of a design, this is a good thing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Using Stuff: Colored Vellum

Today's card is flawed, but I have several reasons for showing it anyway. Well, reasons other than it's absolutely the only card I have photographed and ready to show you. It was this or nothing.

But today's card taught me several things. First, be careful what ink you use when you use colored pencils. I used Memento ink for this and when I was about half-way through coloring, I was shocked to find it smeared. Oh my. Not expecting that. Has anyone else had this problem?

Second, the light pink prisma colored pencil does not work well. This was my first time using it, and I now understand why people have complained about Prisma pencils. It wouldn't smooth out with a blender pencil at all, so the pink areas look sort of diseased. Perhaps using odorless mineral spirits would work, but I will not buy them. Sigh.

Third, blue vellum makes AWESOME water. I have had this sheet of blue vellum for at least eight years. You read that right: eight years. As part of my resolution to use or ditch old supplies, I decided to try it with the Martha Stewart wave border punch and see what happened. I LOVE this and will likely use the entire gawgeous sheet making ocean cards. But I won't use that pink prisma again.

stamps: Hero Arts (whale is from Oceans of Joy, sentiment is from a discontinued WM set)
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white, blue vellum
accessories: Prisma color pencils

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


StampinUp's Thoughts and Prayers is such a pretty set...and enormously useful to us cardmakers. Get well soon just seems so bossy and boring sometimes, especially for people who have prolonged illnesses, multiple procedures, etc. This set has this wonderful sentiment to add some variety to the whole get well greeting.

I started with the embossed lines to make a ground for the tree, which is stamped in Memento's Pear Tart (yummy!) and using a stamp positioner. Pearls complete the soft yet still cheery card.

Sadly, I have nothing pithy or witty or amusing to say about this card. I just really like it.

Remember to keep an eye out for the OLW42 on Jennifer's Blog. I can't wait to find out what fun she's cooked up for us this week!

My younger son's room is the most pathetic in the house, and I'm determined to fix that this week with fresh paint, new bedding, new curtains, and some art. I spent a big chunk of Tuesday shopping for a new bedspread. Who knew it would be so hard to find boy bedding that wasn't too juvenile, too dark, or too sophisticated? Seriously, this is a huge gap in the bed linen world! I finally settled for a set from Target. It's colorful. It has lots of blue. And he loved it, squealing with delight and blissfully shouting, "Thank you soooo much, Mommy!" Awesome.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Setting Makes a Difference

Unfortunately, I am in need of a few sympathy cards, so I pulled out my soft pinks and browns. I chose a curved stem from Stem Silhouettes and nestled a small sentiment from Papertrey's Mixed Messages inside the curve. I love how the stem seems to be giving a hug to the words.

As much as I love white-on-white layering, sometimes it seems...lacking. That's the case here. I think this version is just so subtle that it's, well, boring.

So I decided to try a layer of Papertrey's sweet blush cardstock as a matte. That's definitely better. The stamped panel seems so much more anchored visually to the card.

But then I wondered if it wouldn't look even better and more balanced on a sweet blush card base with a close to cocoa matte.

Ding, ding, ding!!!!! We have a winner!!!!! Still clean and simple, but definitely the way to go with this particular combination of images and color.

If only the card weren't for such a sad occasion. *sigh*

stamps: SU Stem Silhouettes, Papertrey Mixed Messages
ink: VersaColor cinnamon and umber
paper: Papertrey white, sweet blush; SU close to cocoa
accessories: dimensionals

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Caribbean Birthday


CAS = Clean and Simple
OLW = One-Layer Wednesday Challenge
OLC = One-Layer Card
PTI = Papertrey Ink (an awesome stamp company)
SU = StampinUp (another awesome stamp company)

I hope this clarifies some confusion as I occasionally forget to explain my shorthand.

And now on to today's card. I wanted to use an older, neglected stamp, and found this Stampabilities medallion that I've had for centuries. You've seen this layout before from me (and no doubt elsewhere since it's not original to me), but it's one of my favorites.

How-To Tips: Stamp the medallions on scrap paper and cut them out with a clear quilt ruler and craft knife. This is MUCH easier than trying to stamp on small squares with a wood-mounted rubber stamp...and much neater than trying to cut them out by hand. To place them on the card, arrange them where you want them and then carefully lift them, one at a time, and glue them into place. I think these are spaced a little too far apart, but it doesn't bother me enough to remake the card. I'm just happy to use an old stamp and the utterly fabulous Cool Caribbean.

Many thanks to my friend Patti for sending me the re-inker that made this card possible!

stamps: Stampabilities, Papertrey
ink: Cool Caribbean (SU), Memento black
paper: Cool Caribbean, white
accessories: black pearls

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

OLW41 It's Christmas...

I've been saving this one to spring on you when you least expect it. Surprise! It's Christmas in Green and Red on White or Cream. Here's mine:

My card is uber-clean, but not so easy...placement is critical here. Even a little off or crooked or smoodged (that's a word), and the card is ruined. That's why I used my gridded acrylic block. Notice how I used the rule of thirds here in two ways: 1) the line of stamping is on the bottom third line (well, close enough), and 2) the flourished C of the sentiment is centered over the point of the second third of that line, right on the sweet spot. Sweet, yes,  and LOADED with white space!

OLW41 Rules

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

2. Make a Christmas (or Season's Greetings, if you prefer) card, but you must use green and red on white or cream. Feel free to be creative with the shades of green and don't have to stay traditional. You can also use natural-style cardstock, watercolor paper, or textured paper as long as it's white or cream. Keep embellishments to a minimum. Extra points if you do like I did and use an image that isn't specifically holiday!

3. Upload your card somewhere on the internet and link to it using the InLinks button in the sidebar of Simplicity.

4. Most important of all, HAVE FUN!!!!

stamps: Papertrey Faux Ribbon, Silent Night 
ink: cherry cobbler, wasabi
paper: PTI white
accessories: gridded acrylic block

Monday, February 14, 2011

Missing You for the Troops

After being a bit whiny about PTI's huge product line yesterday, I decided to show what I love about PTI: great stamp designs. Simple settings allow these gorgeously designed stamps to shine. This card started with the fish, from Masculine Motifs. I liked the Memento tangelo ink for it, but waffled about with the base color. White Orange looked I had an already-cut piece of kraft lying on my desk and thought, "Nah, kraft will never work."

Oh how wrong I was.

A chocolate chip matte sets it off, and I really love the results. And the rounded corners were made with a pair of cheap scallop scissors.

Can't you just see a female soldier sending this card to her honey back in the States?

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the comments yesterday. They were brilliant! And like many of you, I totally agree with Super Jen's comment...

Do you remember that scene from Amadeus where (I can't remember who) someone says "Too many notes." It's not just PTI or this hobby, it's everything. I almost spit out my coffee the day PTI announced their radio show, facebook contest and daily tweets about additional challenges. I simply do not have time for that. CAS is not just for cards, it's for life too. I have two young children and work full time. It is absolutely essential to cut out the unnecessary layers and get down to the fundamentals. Maybe one day I'll have more time and energy or maybe I'll just realized that I don't really need them and and know that what I have is enough. More than enough.

I see cards on PTIs blog, think they are lovely, sum up the cost of the supplies I would need for one card, throw in the time it would take, pause and think "if only" and then move on to your blog. I love they way you are able to distill an idea into your CAS style and how you are able to take a design and mimic it using what you have on hand instead of shelling out big bucks on the newest trendy toys.

YES, I remember that scene in Amadeus!!!!! Too many notes. Perfect. Thanks, Jen, and I hope the use of $0.50 deco scissors purchased almost ten years ago to round corners on today's card makes you happy, 'cause it sure tickled me!

And any of you who missed my Craving White Space in a Carnival World post on Questioning my Intelligence might enjoy it in light of yesterday's discussion.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day Followed by Lunatic Ravings

For those of you reading this in email (which is now over a thousand of you...I'm still not able to process that number), you'll get it on Monday. So Happy Valentine's Day! For those reading it on Sunday, Happy Day-Before-Valentine's Day!

I love you all no matter what day it is. You know that, don't you?

Anyway, here's a very traditional red Valentine, with velvet ribbon no less. Now that I see it on the screen, I'm wishing I'd put a red rhinestone on top of the cage, even though in real life when I contemplated that, it seemed egregious. Oh well. I still love the velvety, romantic feel of this.

Although I do have to ask...why is it that two birds in a cage symbolize love? Love is a prison? Is this just a prettier version of ball-and-chain?

I'm not going to think about that too much.

Warning: If you want to read the following lunatic ravings that definitely result from thinking WAYYYYY too much and four days of non-stop cold medicine, please read on. If not, have a lovely Monday. I understand. Really. I do.

I've been contemplating the fact that there are so many wonderful options for stamping style for a long time. Despite the fact I am all about extreme CAS, I adore that there are so many fabulous options for stampers when it comes to style, and I enjoy perusing the different styles in magazines, at Splitcoast, and on blogs.

But there are times when it all becomes overwhelming. That's why, about five years ago, I decided to limit myself to two stamp companies: Hero Arts and StampinUp, mainly because they both had large catalogs and warned you when they were discontinuing product. I was still trying to define my style, and it felt easier to limit my choices. It was easier, and I have no regrets about that choice.

Since then, I've gradually added stamp companies, such as Papertrey, Mark's Finest, Shady Tree Studio, and Clear and Simple Stamps. I feel like I now know who I am as a stamper, and branching out feels right. I like experimenting, trying new things (even if sometimes some of you don't think those new things look like LateBlossom, LOL!). Trying new stuff and playing are integral to artistic stale and boring it would be to get in a rut and do the exact same thing over and over again!

Papertrey's anniversary festivities have left me feeling overwhelmed, though. I find myself scanning Nicole's blog posts rather than reading every word as I used to. At first, I thought it was the huge and diverse product line that PTI has developed, especially in the last year. There are so many designers that I can't keep track of who is who anymore. Many of the products they've introduced are products I simply can't use: the dies, for instance, and all the products that go with them such as felt. I participated in a PTI button share run by the fabulous Krystie Lee a few years back, and found that buttons are not exactly my thing. I love the look, but they're just too bulky to be practical.

And I'm nothing if not practical.

As I thought more about this, however, I realized that I also skim the Hero Arts blog now, though I still carry the catalog around like a blankey, seeking comfort and inspiration in its pages. And then it hit brain needs repetition to feel comfortable. When a million things come at it all at once, there's no time to process everything. It's totally visual sensory overload on the internet. I can peruse a catalog at my leisure, over and over again. That's hard to do when the internet is overloading you images and new product scrolling down the screen as fast as you can finger the roller on your mouse, and each new click brings an avalanche of new stuff for you to look at.

A few days ago, I had over 300 unread blog posts in my Google Reader. I'm not keeping up with the contests at PTI because there are just too many of them, too many details, too much information. I would LOVE to win free PTI stuff. I could keep what I wanted and give the rest away on Simplicity to you wonderful readers who could use it. How fun would that be?!?!?!

I cleaned out my Reader, which now shows just two unread by Nancy at Shady Tree that I want to respond to and kept unread while I process what she has to say. My apologies to any bloggers whose stuff I missed in the rush to unload and clean out. I'm so happy when I can keep on top of things and comment when I can. Heck, I still haven't commented on all the OLW39 cards, and they were AMAZING!

I guess what I'm trying to say, in a convoluted and cold-medicated way, is that we are beyond blessed to have so many wonderful choices in our hobby. We just each have to find our own way of coping with the choices.

And it's all good. It really is all good.  

stamps: Papertrey Ink Love Birds
ink: Memento black, SU real red
paper: PTI white
accessories: velvet ribbon, rhinestones

Saturday, February 12, 2011

In Over My Head but Trying

Reader Lisa left a comment saying that my feed hadn't updated in her Yahoo reader in three months, and she wants to know if anyone else is having problems with the feed.

I don't speak Feed, but I have gone into Google's My Feeds and optimized all three of my blogs' feeds to be compatible with any feed reader, whatever that means. I hope it worked. But if anyone else is having issues, please let me know.

And if anyone knows what a feed is and how it works and can explain all of this in terms an idiot can understand, please share your wisdom.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

If You're Sick of Red, Pink, and Black Valentines...

...why not try a tarty lime green and gray?

Pear Tart, by Memento, is my favorite green EVER, and now that I have the markers to go with the dew drop pads, I can edge a stamped panel, pop it up, and feel ever so clean and simple! 'Cause I've yet to find a cardstock to match this yummy shade of green....

Thanks for all the well wishes on yesterday's post. I'm chugging the cold medicine and eating lots of oranges and using my Vicks-infused Puffs. This too shall pass. Sooner rather than later would definitely be better.

stamps: Papertrey Love Birds
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: marker, dimensionals

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Not Quite an OLW40 Card

My plan Wednesday was to work on several challenge cards, including Jennifer's fab OLW40 challenge. Instead, I got sick. As in my throat is on fire and Ricola is my best friend. As in get me ten boxes of Puffs Plus Lotion with Vicks, STAT!

Needless to say, my cold-medicated self channeled weirdness into my other blog (you can read it here) and left nothing for stamping. So today's card is one I stamped last month that I've been saving for just the right time. And now is that time.

Believe it or not, this took three tries. First, the dogwood stamp didn't give a good impression (user error in inking, actually), plus the sentiment used too dark a brown and looked really harsh. Second, the dogwood looked great but the sentiment got smooshed on either end. This stamp, from Papertrey's Everyday Blessings set, is hard to stamp evenly, and I'm not sure why. This was my third and final attempt, and the sentiment still doesn't look perfect. But three's my limit.

And I love how the dogwood image and sentiment work so beautifully together!

Will someone please pass the Puffs?

stamps: dogwood (Hero Arts), sentiment (Papertrey)
ink: I can't remember
paper: PTI vintage cream
accessories: not a one

Jennifer's OLW40

Two for the Show: Use two image sentiments, no bling, no embellishment of any kind. All you can do is heat emboss or color an outline image with markers.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Little of This, A Little of That

First of all, I just want to thank every one of you who has emailed me or left me a comment lately. Today, I cleaned out my inbox (hadn't done it for about six weeks) and deleted over 2,000 emails, most of which pertained to Simplicity. I'm feeling the love. If, perchance, you sent an email with a question that I haven't answered, please ask again. I'm really trying to stay on top of things, but stuff MUST be slipping through.

Second, someone (Susan?) asked about a source for small envelopes (that hold 4 7/8" x 3 1/2" cards). I buy mine at Marco's Paper. I've never had luck navigating their website, but look for a #4 envelope, which is standard and can be ordered, I imagine, from lots of different places.

Third, edie3 asked (months ago) how I decide color choices. Wouldn't it be super cool if I had a fool-proof system for color combining? Well, I don't, other than to keep combinations simple simple simple because then I'm less likely to screw them up. But I do keep my eyes peeled for cool color combos pretty much anywhere and everywhere, and I found this one in the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

Love the soft tan and two shades of orange together, so I played with it using my brand new Papertrey set, Way to Go, Kiddo!

Not sure if you can see the Stickles on the orange 'shroom, but it's pretty sparkly in real life. And as part of my resolution to use older, neglected supplies, I pulled out my grosgrain ribbon for this one. I found a color of ribbon that would work here, but since I made this card, I have FAILED to find matching ribbon for three other cards. Please tell me how one woman can have SO MUCH RIBBON and still not have what she needs? Seriously. And I'm not buying any more until I've used up most of what I have, which will take years.


Fourth, I'm giving this away to anyone living in the United States who wants it. The first person to leave a comment saying they want it will get it.

I'm not going to tell you why I have two of these because that would be embarassing. I mean, no way would I forget I bought a magazine and actually buy a second copy. That would be monumentally silly, wouldn't it?

Of course it would be.


Who are you looking at?

Monday, February 7, 2011

And the Sizzix Folders Go To...

Chris Simon! Chris wrote:

Just because 4,893 other people can make cute cards with that stamp set, doesn't mean that I can. Knowing my style, and more importantly, what's NOT my style, is useful.

February 3, 2011 6:31 PM

So very true, Chris! Congratulations! Please send me your snail mail address at susanraihala at woh dot rr dot com.

I cannot tell you how wonderful the comments were on the give-away post. Y'all outdid many funny words of wisdom, insights, and observations about our obsession hobby. If you haven't read through all 192 comments, please take time to do so. They are wonderful!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Musings on Stuff

There have been lots of threads at SCS lately lamenting the massive quantity of stuff we papercrafters collect, and then my PSF, the totally awesome Joan B, started a thread about how none of the new products companies are releasing wow her. Lots of people agree with her. Including me.

But then, I'm into extreme clean. I've been stamping for almost a decade, and if you consider my AR/OC tendencies, you can just imagine how I was in the early days...needing to try every single technique, every single stamp I could buy, every single product I could sneak into my house. I made paste paper, stamped with bubble wrap, and tore wet mulberry paper. I added acrylic paint and dish detergent to water, blew bubbles in it through a straw, and made bubble paper. Heck, I pounded flowers with a hammer onto paper. I had no shame.

After a while, though, I found out that what really made me giddy was a clean-and-simple style, largely free of techniques and very sparse in product. I don't need a bunch of what I have to achieve my style and have slowly been purging the unneeded supplies. Designer paper doesn't do much for me (though if I start scrapbooking again, that might change). I don't have or want a die cut machine, and the embossed look isn't something I've ever been able to carry off well.

I've found fabulous cardstock, inks, and cutting tools, and it would take A LOT to make me change any of them. I love my Scor-Pal but don't feel the need to upgrade it. Now, the products that get me most giddy are stamps. I have tons of them, but new ones still excite me, still make me giddy enough to reach for my check card. And yes, I recently placed a couple of orders for new stamps. I love buying new stuff and will certainly continue at the controlled and reasonable pace I've set for the past three or four years.

But all this talk about too much stuff and nothing wowwing people has got me thinking. I know, I know. Thinking is dangerous, but I just can't help myself. And it's led me to add a new resolution to my crafting goals. I will quite consciously drag out those older supplies and stamps and use them. My plan is to get excited about what I have, get creative with it...HAVE FUN.

Yesterday's cards that combine new stamps and old ones are a good start. Today, the stamps are all old. The flower stamp and sentiments are discontinued Hero Arts stamps I've had for years. The first card looks pretty fresh to my eyes, not dated at all. The second card looks dated because of the font of the sentiment, but only those of us who stamp AND keep up with trends would know that. The person who receives that card will have no idea.

Do any of you care to join me in this resolution?

stamps: Hero Arts discontinued
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white, SU pixie pink
accessories: rhinestones

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hero Arts Sending Smiles Message Set

Perhaps I should start a regular feature on Simplicity. We could call it "LateBlossom Enables." 'Cause that's what I'm doing today. Shamelessly enabling.

HELLO! This set from Hero Arts makes my CAS-lovin' heart very happy. You see, it contains five sentiments (in a fairly large, cursive font) and five coordinating sayings for the inside of the card. GENIUS! Add a simple image, and you've got a complete card, inside and out!

I chose these watercolor flower stamps from Hero because I hadn't used them in a while. They felt neglected and were whining about it. The flowers are made to look like watercolors when colored with markers...super easy. I used SU markers for all of these flowers and the matching pads for the sentiments.

And of course, I forgot to take a picture of the inside of the purple one...shame on me.

So, run right out and buy this set. It's just toooooo useful. The fonts are pretty neutral and can be used with any number of images, and there's not a silly sentiment in the set. You know what I mean. No "enjoy the happy moments in life" nonsense.

You can thank me later.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Birthday Cards for Children

I pulled out Oh Boy, a clear set from Clear and Simple Stamps, to make some birthday cards for children. The focal images on these three cards are from that set.

First up, a train. So cute! I used the birthday sentiment from Papertrey's Birthday Basics set to ground the train, a variety of markers to color it, and a pair of brown brads to balance the image (echoing the wheels) and the sentiment with a visual triangle. Don't you love the smoke coming from the funnel? Too cute!

Next up, a puppy. This is my favorite image in the very cute, and easy to color, especially if you leave him mostly white, LOL! I stamped the pup and masked it, then stamped the swish, which is from Hero Arts
(Friendship Messages, I think is the name of the discontinued set). The sentiment is from Papertrey's Mixed Messages.

Finally, a paper airplane. I colored it with two shades of red Copics (remember, I won three red Copics from Sue Berker's blog...very cool!). The sentiment is from the Oh Boy set.

I love this set for children's birthday cards!

Dee asked me what I do inside cards, and the answer is, usually, not much. I enjoy writing notes and leave myself plenty of space, but for birthday cards, I always add a stamped sentiment to the inside, usually one from Papertrey's Birthday Basics. I'd really like to start adding a little something to the insides of cards...perhaps a little image to coordinate with the outside of the card. We shall see.

I'm blown away by the sheer number of comments on the Give-Away post, and have loved reading what y'all have to say! Thanks so much to all of you who have commented. Remember if you haven't commented yet, you have until Sunday night at midnight.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Postcard, Some Random Thoughts, and a Give-Away!!

I was walking down the stamp aisle at Hobby Lobby around my birthday last November, and the stamps were 50% off, and this Penny Black postcard stamp just called out to me in such a pitiful way I had to bring it home and give it some inky love.

The part that says "Message" doesn't stamp right (it looks smooshed even with a light touch...this was my second try), but it's also superfluous, so I'm just not going to ink it up in the future.  The postcard is 3 5/8" x 5 1/4". The front is decorated with a StampinUp umbrella and a sentiment from Papertrey's Round and Round Anniversary set.

To finish it nicely, I rounded the corners with scallop scissors. I expect to have LOTS of fun with postcards in the future....

The other night, after thumbing through some stamping magazines, I jotted down some random observations about stamping and thought you might enjoy reading them. Feel free to disagree with me...these are just MY random observations, some of them sparked by cards in magazines and some by sitting in my craft room at 12:30 in the morning when I should have been sleeping. Your feelings on these topics might be quite different, especially if you're not obsessive-compulsive, an insomniac, or weird like I am.

1. Just because something is "original" or hasn't been done before doesn't automatically make it a good idea.

2. Hat pins on cards look dangerous.

3. Loose glitter makes a mess. Stickles does not. Usually.

4. Coloring is harder than it looks.

5. No matter how many ink pads you own, you'll never be able to match all the paper you own.

6. You can never have enough stuff, but you can have too much stuff. I don't understand how this is possible, but it is.

7. Extra postage can be worth it...but not as often as the magazines make you think.

Now, for a give-away! This lovely set of embossing folders has come into my possession from Mark's Finest Papers, and seeing as I don't have a machine to use them, I figured one of YOU might appreciate them.

I will pick one random commenter on this post who shares one or more of her/his own random observations about stamping. The deadline for the drawing will be midnight Eastern Standard Time on SuperBowl Sunday night, February 6th. One comment per person, please. For those of you who read Simplicity in your email, make sure you click over to the blog and leave a comment to be included in the drawing!

And if you're like me and can't use embossing folders, please still comment. I'm really eager to read what you all are thinking about our obsession hobby. Just mention that you don't want the folders.

And because I just can't shut up tonight...if you have a problem getting a comment to "take" on the blog, keep clicking. I've found on many blogs using Blogger that it can take four or five attempts to get a comment to post. If you accidentally double-post, I'll delete the extra for worries.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One-Layer Wednesday 39: Inspired by Vanessa Menhorn

Note: I'm posting this early because of our incredible ice storm and the fact that I don't trust Blogger to post a scheduled post on time. The InLinkz button will not go live until midnight, though, assuming I have power long enough to get it set up and on the sidebar! 

Today's One-Layer Wednesday Challenge is to use 1) an image, 2) a border stamp (or stamped border), and 3) bling (rhinestones or glitter). It's time to get creative and see how many different things we can do with these three basic elements.

This challenge was inspired by a simplification I did of a gorgeous card by Vanessa Menhorn that was published in the current issue of Papercrafts Magazine. Let's take a look at Vanessa's card first:

Vanessa used printed digital elements, ribbon, rhinestones, and stamps to make her elegant card, so it's got layers. I decided to CASify (or clean and simplify) it, and here's what I came up with:

I liked it so much in blue I decided to see what it would look like in pink!

I liked them both so much I decided they would be the basis for the OLW this week!

Rules for OLW39

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

2. Use a) an image, b) a border stamp (or stamped border if you're short of border stamps), and c) bling (glitter or rhinestones...doesn't matter). You may add small CAS embellishments to this list (embossing, ribbon, twine, or a charm, for instance), but you may NOT use a sentiment stamp or cardstock layers.

3. Be as creative as you like on your layout, colors, and choice of stamps. I stuck close to the inspiration card, but you DON'T HAVE TO! For instance, your border might not span the whole card, you might use lots of colors, you might make a shaped card, you might emboss with glittered embossing powder, etc. The point is to see how many different things we can do with three basic elements.

4. Upload you creation somewhere on the web and link to it using the InLinkz button on the sidebar of Simplicity.

5. Most important rule of all: HAVE FUN!

stamps: Hero Arts (small chandelier), Papertrey Ink (Text Style border set)
ink: Memento 
paper: Papertrey Ink
accessories: rhinestones