Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One-Layer Wednesday 56: Father's Day

Before we start the OLW discussion, I just want to thank you for your fun comments on yesterday's post. I was howling at the "horny" misunderstanding and especially at Lu C's comment. OMGosh, the pear jokes never get old, do they? *giggle*

Okay, back to business!

This week's OLW challenge is to make a card for a special father in your life...your own, your children's, or a father figure who is special to you.

This card will go to my uncle Darius. He and my grandfather walked me down the aisle at my wedding. Darius taught me how to turn a cartwheel, do a penny drop on uneven parallel bars, and swim. He also grills a mean steak. He's been a godly, strong, stable, solid influence in my life, and he taught me how to climb trees, so Papertrey's tree from Father Knows Best seemed perfect for his card.

How-To Tips: This card is deceptively complex. First, I used the square frame from Papertrey's Framed, but altered it by expanding the opening for the sentiment using a ruler and post-it note. The sentiment is from Hero Arts. Then, I stamped the tree in Memento Bamboo and Rich Cocoa on PTI's natural cardstock. The tree looked, well, boring, so I used colored pencils (Prisma olive and sepia) and a clear blender pencil to add shading and interest. LOVE this easy technique for enlivening simple block images, and if you'd like, I'll do a tutorial on it.

OLW Rules

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

2. Make a Father's Day card (for a father or special father-figure in your life). Remember to keep embellishments to a minimum.

3. Upload your card somewhere online and link back to it using the InLinkz button on the sidebar of Simplicity.

4. The most important rule of all: HAVE FUN!!!!!

stamps: Papertrey Father Knows Best, Framed; Hero Arts sentiment
ink: Memento
paper: PTI natural
accessories: post-it, ruler, prisma pencils, clear blender pencil

Monday, May 30, 2011

CAS121 Folded Ribbon

So. It took a federal holiday to get me playing along with the Clean and Simple Challenge at SCS this week. I love this challenge, was even on its first design team over two years ago, yet I rarely have time on Mondays lately to play, and it just seems so after-the-fact to play later in the week. This week, I made the time. Go, me!

The challenge was to Fold and Scrunch Ribbon. Fold, yes. Scrunch? Homey don't scrunch. It looks untidy. Don't misunderstand. Scrunched is a look that works beautifully on cards made by people who are not a certain kind of retentive and obsessive compulsive. Check out this card by cookiebaker (Charlene) and this one by ReginaBD, and you'll see scrunching used to perfection by talented stampers who are clearly not mentally ill.

Homey, however, is mildly AR/OC. So homey don't scrunch.

Homey does fold, though. Oh, yes. Homey folds.

Homey also likes shimmer and pulled out her Smooch to liven up this monochromatic image from SU's Pocket Silhouettes. She popped the scallop oval on two layers of dimensionals, and the smooth oval on one.

That's a lot of popping and means this card will be hand-delivered or included in a package rather than simply mailed in an envelope. Because homey is AR/OC. Remember?

Check out the close-up. Homey's rockin' down to the rad shimmer.

Doesn't it annoy you when people refer to themselves in third person?

I would never do this.


stamps: StampinUp Pocket Silhouettes
ink: Ancient Page calypso
paper: Mark's Finest 120lb white
accessories: SU oval punches, dimensionals, Smooch, Ribbon (Mark's Finest Papers)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Know When to Say When, and Give It Away...with Enthusiasm

I was messing around and wasting a bunch of washi tape...which bothered me at first until I realized that if I never used it at all, that would be a bigger waste. So it was better to use it and fail than to never use it at all.  And then this card happened. It's not great, but at least it didn't end up in the trash!

Today's post is really about how some products seem like awesome ideas, but in practice, well, they are a LOT harder to use than it seems they should be. There are a few times when I've worked hard and overcome my blocks with products (Bic/Sharpie shading comes to mind), but sometimes it's okay to Just. Say. No.

Washi tape seems like it should be a whole lot easier than it is, at least for me. So I decided I'm going to send six partially used rolls to a) whoever wants to experiment with it without actually laying out money for it, in which case I wish you better luck than I had, or b) whoever has already figured it out and knows s/he can do a better job than I have done.

FOR THE GIVE-AWAY...All you have to do is to share your own experience with trying something new (craft related or otherwise) and deciding to walk away. Just like I walked away from majoring in chemistry in December of 1984 when organic chemistry kicked my brain's butt.

If you've never failed at anything in life, then please stop reading my blog because, seriously, you need to get out and start doing stuff.

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." --Sir Winston Churchill

Comments will close for the drawing on Wednesday, June 1, at 10:00 pm EDT. Everyone is welcome to comment. I'll mail this stuff anywhere.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Variations on a Set: A Wreath for All Seasons, Part 2

I went square with the berry wreath and got jiggy with my Smooch!

First, I stamped the vine part of the wreath in rich cocoa Memento ink, then the berries in angel pink. Then, using my hot pink Smooch, I added shimmery dots over the angel pink. LOVE the shimmery effect and how it makes the wreath look so much more dimensional and interesting.

Take a closer look!

This weekend in America, we're celebrating Memorial Day Monday. We have parades and picnics and ceremonies honoring those who have died in service to our country. But there are people all over the world who have put on a uniform and fought--and died--so others can live in freedom. Let us honor their memory not just Monday but every day.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Variations on a Theme: A Wreath for All Seasons, Part 1

I saw a card using A Wreath for All Seasons from Papertrey in Card Creations, and it inspired me to do my variations on a theme on that set. My first layout uses the basic idea of the inspiration card by Maile Belles to accent the wreath with a button and punched leaves that you can see here.

I, of course, took her pretty card down to one layer and vastly simplified it because a) I don't have that patterned paper and b) I can't help myself. Here's the first layout using it...one card for each season!

Spring has pretty Memento angel pink berries on it (they show lighter than they are in the photo, though) and a darker pink for the sentiment. The button has a few leaves tucked under it just like Maile's

For Summer, I used cantaloupe and tangelo inks, and a fun flower button.

Fall uses potter's clay for the berries and sentiment. The brown button is the center of an improvised sunflower, made with two daisy punches layered askew.

Finally, the Winter card is stamped with red ink accented with a poinsettia (another, larger daisy punched twice and layered). The center is a gold half-bead rather than a button because none of my yellow buttons looked right.

For the record, I prefer buttons to have a bit of thread on them, as Maile's card shows. BUT given the super simple design of these cards, thread, which I tried, looked sort of busy. For once, I didn't thread the buttons, and for once, I'm good with that.

See? I told you yesterday there would be LOTS OF WHITE today.

Several of you commented yesterday that you own Dot Spot from PTI and haven't used it. Oh, the tragedy! I love that set and consider it the best $15 set PTI has ever offered for sale. Hope you can pull it out soon and discover its joys for yourselves!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Return of the Colored Card Base

Yes, I have fallen off the use-all-my-colored-cardstock wagon. Sheesh. Just wait until you see tomorrow's post. White cardstock EVERYWHERE!

So I thought today I'd share the one colored-base card I've made in weeks. I like it. Lots.

This wasn't inspired by a single card but rather by a number of cards I've noticed in magazines lately that use the SU Top Note die (or similar) going off the edge of the card.

I, of course, do not have the Top Note die or any other die, seeing as I don't have a die cut machine, but a fun template for my Fiskar's Shape Cutter provided and clean and curvy substitute. This card uses product from four of my favorite companies: cardstock from SU and MFP, ribbon from MFP, sentiment from Hero Arts, and Dot Spot flower from Papertrey.

A Few Pieces of Business

1. I haven't forgotten about sharing my stamp index with you. I've just stalled in creating it. I will also do a quick tutorial on lining a punched border with colored cardstock and on modifying the PTI Framed stamps to accommodate wider sentiments. If there's anything else I've promised and haven't delivered or that you just want to see or know, pester me until I do it.

2. I've started a tab for my favorite products. It covers stamps right now, but I'll be adding a segment on cardstock, soon.

3. Y'all are the absolute best blog readers ever. I thank you for your support.

OLW55 Again

Here's another card for the OLW55 Challenge: Cats and Dogs.

stamps: Hero Arts (dog and sentiment), SU Oh, So Lovely (background)
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: rhinestones

OLW55: Cats and Dogs

This week's OLW challenge, hosted by Jennifer, is to make a one-layer card with a cat or dog. Oh how I love this kitty from Hero Arts and she just popped right into my mind as soon as I saw the challenge!

Click over to Jennifer's Blog to play along with the OLW this week!

Also, please note that Blogger and Google are having serious issues with commenting. I'm completely unable to comment on Blogspot blogs right now using my Google profile. Hopefully, Blogspot will have this fixed soon. It figures: I finally have time to comment on the OLW54 cards, and comments aren't working.

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: markers, tiny black pearls
I had to trim this card down to roughly 5" x 3 5/8" because I stamped the row of hearts a little too high.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Inspired by Beth Opel

Remember Wednesday is OLW day on Jennifer's Blog!

Yet another card maker inspired me through Card Creations magazine. This time, it's Beth Opel's fabulously colorful and clean get well card that uses three strips of designer paper and three brads. How cool is this?!?!?!

I sifted through my much-neglected designer paper and didn't find anything comparable to Beth's strips. But I DID find this funky polygon paper in a soft pink and browns, which meant a different color scheme...softer and girly but still a bit graphic. My stash of stamps also didn't have a comparable sentiment, so a little simple repetition gives a similar effect. I used brown half-pearls in place of brads.

My ribbon stash had some fun, bright colors, so I wondered what would happen if I used a landscape-oriented card and ran ribbons all the way across. [Note: the ribbon is attached with Scor-Tape and trimmed flush to the sides of the card.] Moving the sentiment up and to the right still balances the rhinestones across the wider space. Another way of unifying this design was to stamp the sentiment in the same color as the bottom ribbon. Black would have looked out of place here.

Finally, I remembered my Papertrey polka dot paper and paired it with this fun sentiment from Hero Arts. No need for brads or rhinestones, which would have been too much. Oh how I love the flatness of this card...yet the colors really make it fun and interesting!

I really hope these inspiration posts are helping those of you who are intimidated by adapting other cardmaker's designs feel better about the whole process. If you loosen up and play around, it's really not that hard to use someone else's cool idea as a jumping off point for your own variations. Too many times, beginners or stampers who think they aren't creative feel they have to copy cards exactly. In fact, varying ideas with what you already have on hand is lots of fun!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Favorite CAS Layout

Posting a tad early tonight seeing as we've got a nasty huge thunderstorm bearing down on us. Yikes!

This is one of my favorite clean and simple layouts. You see this particular layout a lot in magazines with layers where I put the border stamp, mats under the stamped panel, ribbon and other embellishments, and colored card bases. But stripped down to its basics, the layout is still super lovely!

stamps: Papertrey Floral Frenzy, Retro borders
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey Ink white
accessories: rhinestones, dimensionals, Corner Chomper

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Inspired Goodness...and a Way to Use Ribbon Scraps!

Today's post contains four cards of my own making and one card--the one that inspired my four--from Card Creations magazine. Like I've said before, this issue of Card Creations is stellar, superb, out of this world! *squeal*

I can't contain my glee. Especially when such super-cool ideas as the one Vera Yates shares in this card send me into spasms of creativity.

You see, just the day before I saw Vera's card, I looked at my very full jar of ribbon scraps and thought, "Huh. You need to do something with those."

Then Vera's card then led me to do this:


I used my Fiskar's Shapecutter system to cut the heart and Scor-Tape to adhere the ribbon to the card base. The stamp is from October Afternoon. The only two tips I have are 1) make sure your ribbons don't extend beyond the popped-up mat and 2) put plenty of dimensional tape around the opening in the mat so it doesn't sag. Also, if you want to do the faux stitching or tie a ribbon around the mat, do these things BEFORE adhering the mat to your card with dimensionals.

Just sayin'.

Since I had the Fiskar's out, I tried a couple more shapes. This leaf has a lovely curve that allows the sentiment to nestle in so nicely, don't you think? The sentiment is from Papertrey's First Fruits.

And what comes after Thanksgiving? Christmas, of course! I did Vera's faux stitching on this card and really like the effect with this much larger image, which required a 5" x 7" card. It looks sort of country-ish and warm because of the stitching.

Finally, I decided to try a punched shape, but found the restrictions of punches (that you can't punch anywhere on the paper...just on the edges) a bit frustrating. This 4.25" square card uses a big flower punch from StampinUp and button from Papertrey.

If you're looking at a huge pile of ribbon scraps, give this a try! Obviously, if you have a die cut machine and some interesting dies, you'll have more options than I have. If you have a Fiskars, you can certainly have fun. Punches are a bit harder just because of the narrow margins, but they still work.

But please, if you have a pear die, don't go there. Just don't. *wink*

Sunday Post?

Life has been pretty hectic lately, so Sunday this week will definitely be a day of rest. I hope you all have a fabulous day, with lovely weather outside and a chance to stamp inside!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Inspired by Lindsay Amrhein and a Link to a Lattice Tutorial

This adorable kraft-base card by Lindsay Amrhein appears in the latest issue of Card Creations, which is my favorite issue EVER. It's loaded with tons of clean and simple inspiration.

Lindsay paper pieced her sweet bowl of cherries using turquoise and red designer papers, and I loved those colors against the kraft.

I kept the colors (though my turquoise is a lighter aqua) and rather than piecing, I opted for the much easier punching. At first, I was going to punch circles for the flower centers, but then I remembered these giant brads, so I used them instead. The three brads form a visual triangle around the sentiment, and the top large flower and bottom small flower are popped up on dimensionals. Lindsay rounded all four corners, which makes sense given the curves of her focal point, but I felt the pointy flowers on my version needed at least some pointy corners. Rounding the opposite corners gives a nice dynamic feel to an otherwise static design.

Scor-Pal Tutorial: For those of you who asked for a tutorial on yesterday's embossing, please thank blog reader Susan who linked to an awesome Gina K tutorial on the subject. Gina's tutorial shows a much tighter lattice than the one on my baby card, for which the lines were scored at one-inch intervals. I used a Scor-Pal (12") rather than the smaller Scor-Buddy. Also, my card is one layer, so I began with a 4.25" x 11" card base and scored at 3.5 and 5.5 inches...the 5.5" score was the fold for the card, and the 3.5" score, which is covered by ribbon on my card, gave me a guide for scoring the lattice on the lower two-thirds of the card.

For those of you who aren't using your Scor-Pal for more than folding cards, DON'T WORRY. That's what I use it for 99% of the time, too. It's worth every penny even if that's all you ever do with it!

stamps: Papertrey Ink's Green Thumb
paper: Mark's Finest Kraft, PTI's polka dot paper
ink: Memento
accessories: brads, dimensionals, Corner Chomper

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One-Layer Wednesday 54: Baby Cakes

This week's One-Layer Wednesday Challenge is to get inspired by these fabulous Sunday Sweets on the Cake Wrecks blog to make a baby card. I chose the last cake for my inspiration:

Some of you have told me you are intimidated by inspiration challenges, but a way to make it easier is to look at the "pieces parts" of the inspiration cakes, not the whole cake. Is there a single design element that appeals to you? Perhaps it's the color scheme, or an image, or a border element that stands out for you. Take just one or two of the elements you like and see what you can do.

Don't be afraid to mess up, either. I dorked up my first attempt, and the mistakes in it resulted in a much better card the second time around.

But please don't snip your pinky finger with scissors when cutting ribbon like I did. Ouch.

For my card, I used the harlequin debossing on the bottom and added pearls all over the design, not just a row at the top. I moved the ribbon up from the bottom, too.  The bow was made with a Bow Easy, and the blue ribbon is taped down on the inside neatly using scor-tape. I didn't put tape under the ribbon on the front so I could tie a piece of string to gather it under the white bow. I originally made a card with the pink and green of the cake, but I didn't like the way the bow turned out, so I changed the colors to blue (because I had plenty of blue pearls!) and white.

Rules for OLW54

1. Make a one-layer baby card using this post of Sunday Sweets as your inspiration.

2. Remember that a one-layer card is a single piece of cardstock folded in half...no other layers are allowed. Keep embellishments to a minimum (...says she who used 13 pearls and a big bow on her card!).

3. Post your creation somewhere online and link to it using the InLinkz box on the sidebar of Simplicity.

4. The most important rule of all: HAVE FUN!!!!

stamps: Papertrey Mega Mixed Messages
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Hero Arts pearls, Mark's Finest Papers satin ribbons, Scor-Tape, Scor-Pal

Monday, May 16, 2011

Variations on a Set: Paper Tray

Papertrey's "Paper Tray" set (very weird name, don't you think?) got a thorough workout from me last month, but I forgot to post this picture, which spotlights my new favorite color combo: more mustard and baja breeze.

Really, I would never in a gazillion years put these two colors together. The idea came from somewhere and now cannot remember where. So thank you, nameless inspirational person. These colors ROCK!

Mindless chatter: This week is insane with end-of-year school activities for my two boys. I'm going to Muffins with Mom, Jack's regular class picnic, Jack's autism class's party, Thursday PM and Friday AM working the book fair, and (maybe) the 5th grade family dance. When the volunteer sheet for field day (next week) came home, I told Nick, "I'm not working Field Day this year. No WAY!" He started off disappointed and whined, "Why not?!?!" Then he remembered and said, with a very matter-of-fact tone, "Oh, yeah, you're not exactly athletic, are you, Mom?" Gee, son, thanks for noticing.

I thought next week would be easier, but the first thing just went on the schedule, and I suspect much more will follow, including a trip north to a veterinary orthopedic surgeon to look at Daisy's knees and a sleep study for me. Calgon, take me away!

Thank you for listening to my whine. Now, here are the supplies for the above card, as if you really needed to be told again.

stamps: Papertrey's Paper Tray
ink: baja breeze, more mustard
paper: PTI
accessories: Corner Chomper

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mini-Tutorial on PTI's Framed

I've expressed  my difficulties with Papertrey's Framed set before. Getting a good impression was tough, and I ended up wasting a lot of cardstock trying to make it work. Grrr. I snooped around online looking for solutions, and one that came up repeatedly was using a giant gridded block. Well, my gridded block wasn't quite large enough, so I used a coupon and bought Martha Stewart's large block at Michael's.

This particular block comes with a detatched handle thingy. Not sure what it's supposed to be used for. It would not be good for stamping small stamps because you'd have a hard time seeing where to place it through the handle, and if it's supposed to be attached to the big block, well, I like my blocks simple. A handle will just get in the way.

Whatever. The giant gridded acrylic block is DA BOMB and is truly necessary for getting good impressions with the Framed stamps. If you buy the Framed set, definitely budget for a big grid block. I was getting good impressions about 50% of the time with my old, non-grid block. With the new grid block, I'm stamping about 90% good images. THAT is a number I can live with.

Step 1

Mount the frame onto the gridded block as shown. Leave more lines at the top so you can align it properly over the card to stamp. Once the stamp is stuck, turn the block over and press the trapped air out from under the center flashing (the part of the stamp that doesn't stamp) to minimize ink transfer where you don't want it.

Step 2

Ink the stamp. I use Memento inks in the dewdrop pads for better ink control. When I get ink on the flashing, I use my finger to wipe it off before stamping.

Step 3

Holding the block above the cardstock, center the image so the grid is evenly spaced between the top and sides of the cardstock. Lower the grid to the paper as evenly as possible, press firmly straight down, and lift straight up from the cardstock.

Note: I always stamp clear stamps on a large stamping pad I bought at JoAnn's years ago. I get much better impressions when using this pad. Also, I use a post-it note to hold the card closed. PTI's cardstock doesn't want to lie flat on the fold, and with it sticking up, you'll get smudges. Mark's Finest Snow Storm heavy cardstock does a better job of lying flat when scored and folded and the crease burnished.

And that's it! Getting the right tool to stamp this big frame has made all the difference. Here are a few finished cards I made to give you a feel for the set.
First, use the rectangle frame on a portrait-oriented card with the sentiment sticking out. The strong vertical of the flowers and frame is balanced nicely by the strong horizontal sentiment.  The flower is from StampinUp's Stem Silhouettes and the sentiment is from PTI's Signature Greetings.

Here's the same idea with the square frame on a landscape-oriented card. The flower silhouettes are from Clear and Simple Stamps, and the sentiment is from PTI's Signature Greetings.

Next, I stayed entirely in the frame with a simple winter scene. The trees are from PTI's Masculine Motifs, the bird is from Through the Trees, and the sentiment is from Faux Ribbon.

And finally, my favorite card I've made with this set. The butterflies (Martha Stewart punches) are punched from light blue vellum, the branch is from PTI's Out on a Limb, and the sentiment is from Clear and Simple Stamps limited edition Thank You set. The bling is olive from Hero Arts. Don't be afraid to stray outside the box just like my wandering little butterfly!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thinking Out of the Frame

When playing around with Papertrey's Framed, I decided to see if I could do something that used the frame stamp as something other than, well, a frame. Combined with Signature Greetings, Framed looks a little different here, doesn't it?

I stamped the sentiment first (in black) and then used the frame to create these off-the-edge boxes.

The Framed mini-tutorial is coming up tomorrow, along with a few more cards using Framed. It's taken me a while to hit my stride with this set, but I think it's grown on me!

Have a lovely Sunday!

stamps: Papertrey Framed, Signature Greetings
paper: PTI white
ink: Memento
accessories: giant gridded acrylic block (Martha Stewart)

Friday, May 13, 2011

OLW53 Home Sweet Home

Blogger messed up my Wednesday and Thursday posts. I've recreated them, so if you read Simplicity in email, you've probably already seen the two posts below this one. This one is new for Friday.

The OLW this week is over on Jennifer's Blog, and it's to make a new home card with two different colors of ink. I have no idea if my card for OLW53 will count, seeing as my two "colors" of ink are white and close to cocoa, but I LOVE how this card turned out anyway!

I used a kraft card base (I KNOW!!!! ME!!!!) and stamped the row of houses from Hero Arts in close to cocoa, masking the big house so it didn't ink. Then, I inked just the big house in white SU craft ink and stamped it using a stamp positioner. The cloud is from Up, Up, and Away and the little scalloped border is from Faux Ribbon (both sets from Papertrey Ink). The congratulations sentiment is from Sign Language, also by PTI.

So it took three clear sets from PTI, one wood-mounted rubber stamp from Hero Arts, and ink from StampinUp to make this card.

I love my stash!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Winner of the Gift Certificate Is...

#15, DenaJ! Congratulations! please send me an email at susanraihala at woh dot rr dot com with your choice of online crafting vendor and your email address!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Card Creations and PTI's Framed

Check out all those post-its. And that's just an initial run-through. There's TONS of clean-and-simple goodness in this magazine. I mean TONS!!! Also there are a few embellished cards that are simply begging to be CASified. It's been a while since I've felt inspired to do that. I've already used one idea from the magazine (Kelley Eubanks' bling idea on yesterday's post), and can't wait to dive into more! If you can get one, please do so as soon as possible!

For today's card, I'm giving you a preview of my (very simple) tutorial for using Papertrey's Framed set.

I stamped the frame, sentiment, and branch in Memento rich coffee ink, then added the outline leaves. I colored in the leaves with a pear tart marker. It looked a little blah, so I pulled out a Sakura Stardust clear pen and added shimmer to the leaves. LOVED that, so I took a scrap of green vellum, punched the butterfly, added Stardust to that, let it dry, and added it with a bit of olive Hero Arts bling.

Here's a little close-up that shows the shimmer a bit better. Click it to see it bigger.

Thanks for the input about tabs and labels. I'll leave the labels and add a tab with a list of all the tutorials, include acronyms on the FAQ, and list all the OLWs (though that might take a while!).

stamps: PTI Framed and Out on a Limb, Clear and Simple sentiment
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white, green vellum
accessories: Sakura Stardust, rhinestone, post-it (to mask)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Variations on a Set: Hero Arts Just a Note Last Card

I hope all the moms out there had a lovely Mother's Day! Looks like I'm getting a new water heater for my gift. Ours died on Saturday (moment of silence, please).

Thank goodness we're members of the YMCA so I can have hot showers until it can be replaced.

Fortunately, I don't need hot water to stamp. Today's card is the last of my Variations on the Hero Arts set Just a Note. I went for a totally different look, with a chocolate chip card base...LOVE IT!!!!

How-To Tips: There are tiny brown pearls on the envelope fastener, and the envelope is popped on dimensionals over the rulers, which are there to anchor the envelope visually. I masked the just out of the sentiment so it would fit on the lower envelope flap. Inside, I lined the card with cream cardstock so I wouldn't have to use a white pen to write in it.

Why is it that white pens ALWAYS dry up in the middle of writing on a dark card base? This will be one of my questions for St Peter. I'm not going through the pearly gates until I get an answer!

Coming Up This Week: Oh how I'm in love with Card Creations Volume 9 from Papercrafts Magazine. In. Love. People. We simply must discuss it. Also, I have a new Variations set that is oh so cool, to be released on Tuesday at Mark's Finest, with a patriotic theme. I'm feeling very patriotic these days, and have four cards to share!

But wait!

That's not all!

At no extra cost, I'm adding some tabbed pages to the blog and will happily take suggestions for what you'd like to see on them. I'm going to do a Favorite Supplies page to help newbies, and an FAQ page. Other suggestions? Also, does anyone care about the Labels on posts, or do you all use the Search box when you want something? I'm hating the labels lately and wanting to ditch them from the sidebar, but if you like them, I'll leave them.

Are you thinking, "Gee, is she ever going to shut up?"

Yes. Yes, I am.

The Winner of the Round-It-All Is...

Ruth V!

Ruth wrote:

It is nicer than any Hallmark card!
Yesterday I made 20 3x3 Mother's Day cards for a friend who heads up a nursing home ministry. They are visiting on Sunday. Ruth V

May 2, 2011 10:49 AM

Congratulations, Ruth! Please send me your snail mail address at susanraihala at woh dot rr dot com.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the drawing. It was so much fun reading people's ideas for mulching friendships!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

If you want to say "awwwww," please check last Friday's Post on my other blog to see my son's Mother's Day card to me. *sniff, sniff*

To all the mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day!

I found these cards, made last December, tucked in the wrong folder on my computer. I'm pretty sure they haven't been posted yet, so I decided to share them today. They show an excellent way for me to use up some colored cardstock. Must get to work on that!

stamps: StampinUp Growing Green, Hero Arts sentiment
ink: SU white craft ink
paper: river rock, baja breeze, white
accessories: white embossing powder

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Variations on a Set: Hero Arts Just a Note

Will be announcing the winner of the Zutter Round-It-All on Friday!

I've decided for simplicity's sake (*wink*), I'm going to title posts that show my resolution to make four cards from every set with Variations on a Set. I won't post all four variations on one post, though. Gotta spread them out a bit! But you can expect all four cards for a set to be posted within the same week, usually in two posts (two cards per post).

What I hope YOU get out of this resolution are ideas for using sets YOU own with more versatility. I've already completed four sets for this resolution, and it's really interesting to think about them from this angle. I highly recommend you give it a try!

Both of today's cards are one layer and both are colored with markers, but they are different layouts. First up, I LOVE the pencil stamp in this set, and I used it in a similar way to the line stamp on my blinged birthday card.

Next up is an arrow note. Obviously, the dominant design here is the visual triangle. Now that I'm looking at it on my screen, I REALLY wish I'd made the top arrow point down. Duh. That would make so much more sense. Oh, well.

Happy Friday, everyone.

stamps: Hero Arts Just a Note clear set
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white (pencils), PTI cream (arrows)
accessories: Memento Markers

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

OLW52 Round and Round

This week's One-Layer Wednesday Challenge is to use a circle or multiple circles on your card. You can get really creative with this. For instance, the centers of some flowers are circles, brads are circles, pierced holes are circles. All those would count. Or you can make a round card, punch a round window into a card, or accent your card with bit of polka-dot ribbon. I'll bet y'all can think of LOTS more creative ways to incorporate circles into a ONE-LAYER card.

My sample for today is one of my favorite cards I've made lately, mainly because it's about as minimalist and clean as a stamper can get. One thing I've been reminded of this week as the Featured Stamper is how not everyone is clean and simple. Some people actually cannot NOT layer and embellish. I salute them and love looking at their art. But for me, this card is what I'm all about: white space, clear message, clean edges, pretty colors, not an embellishment or layer in sight.


This card uses the color challenge at SCS last week: baja breeze, bashful blue, certainly celery. And yes, there's a tiny triple circle on it...one of the flower centers for the cute flower in Papertrey Ink's Paper Tray set.

I did improvise a bit with the set. The all-caps YOU is actually from a stamp that says YOU'RE. The stand-alone you in the set is lower case. I wanted the whole sentiment to be in caps for balance, so I masked the 'RE with a small post-it note, inked the YOU, removed the post-it (don't forget to do this...like I have!), and then stamped.

I got the perfect alignment here with the gridded acrylic block and the help of a pencil-drawn line. First, I stamped the whole thing on scrap paper, and measured how wide it was. Then, I drew a pencil line on the card where I wanted the sentiment to be (slightly above the middle) and marked the width of the sentiment so it was exactly centered. Then, I stamped the THANK with the T lined up on the left-hand mark, stamped the YOU so the U was lined up with the right-hand mark, and then stamped the circle in the center between the two words.

Wow, that took a lot of words to explain.

Anyway, now it is your turn. To make this more fun, and to celebrate A WHOLE YEAR of One-Layer Wednesdays, I'll give a $20 gift certificate to one random participant in this week's challenge. The electronic gift card will be to the online stamping vendor of the winner's choice (US dollars, but open to all participants regardless of country of residence--hey, it'll help pay the shipping on a PTI order, LOL!).

Happy stampin'!

OLW52 Rules

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

2. Use a circle or circles on your card. Get as creative as you like! And remember to keep embellishments to a minimum.

3. Post your card somewhere online and link back to it using the InLinkz button on the sidebar of Simplicity.

4. The most important rule of all: HAVE FUN!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Just a Note Variations on a Set: The Love Series

My new resolution is to use every set I own in four different layouts, so I pulled out Just a Note from Hero Arts for some fun office-supply themed cards. And then I proceeded to make this series of Love Notes, all using one layout. Please also note the use of 2.5 sheets of pretty in pink cardstock. GO, ME!

Whimsical Love

Elegant Love

Sweet, Yet Vaguely Obessive-Compulsive,  Love

Swirly Love

Directional Love

All the cards are top-fold, except the last. The arrow sort of required the card to open in the direction the arrow pointed, now, didn't it?

Which one is your favorite? I think mine is Swirly Love.

I didn't keep track of all the random hearts and sentiments I used. If you HAVE to know what one of them is, I'll try and figure it out. The notebook paper, however, is from the Just a Note set. I used a 1/8" circle punch to punch the holes, and popped each note on dimensionals.

Anyway, I have three more cards with this set to show you on Thursday. Tomorrow is, of course, One-Layer Wednesday. Hope you had a chance to play with Jennifer's OLW challenge last week!