Friday, May 31, 2013

My MIL's Birthday Card

Well, camera battery recharged without a hitch. I'm awesome. Or not.

The punches are my new Martha Stewart hydrangea punches, which look so lovely layered in colored card stock. I've purged so much colored card stock lately, it's a miracle there's still some to work with. Oh, wait. I had a million pieces of card stock, so if I purged, let's say, 75%, that means I still have 250,000 sheets.

But I was an English major. Maybe I did the math wrong.

The card stock is Papertrey...I think they are terracotta tile (or maybe canyon clay...not sure) and melon berry. They are among my mother-in-law's favorite colors, so she's getting this card for her birthday.

At first, I only had the large flower on here, but it looked too plain. So I added the two small ones, moving them around until I found a nice balance.

Those hydrangea punches are DA BOMB.

Have a lovely weekend!

stamps: Gina K (sentiment, Hello Sundshine), Hero Arts (background, discontinued)
ink: Memories Sand, Archival Ink Sepia
paper: Papertrey Ink
accessories: Martha Stewart punches, glue pen, light brown half pearls

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Technical Difficulties and Good Things

Don't you just hate it when you screw something up because of stupid? At least if it's someone else's stupid, you have the satisfaction of blaming them. When it's your own stupid, however, you have no one to blame but yourself.

I don't have a picture of a card for you today because of my stupid. There are cards to be photographed, but there is no camera with a charged battery with which to photograph them.

So you're getting a picture I took yesterday before I killed my camera battery (oh, yeah, my stupid). Instead of showing you something I made with my new toys, purchased at Michael's and ever so much fun, I'm sharing the photo of the toys themselves.

It's hard to tell in the photo, but the Martha Stewart punches are the hydrangea ones. Can you just imagine the joy with which I dove into all this goodness yesterday afternoon? Oh, yeah.

If you're looking for goodness to buy, I'll be posting some more grab boxes of stamps and other stuff (but mostly stamps) on this here blog thingy sometime next week. As always, the boxes will be a flat price, including shipping, and will be available for sale to people in the United States via PayPal. 

What good things for stamping have you bought lately? What things are you looking at for possible purchase? Inquiring minds and all that....

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

OLW142 and Ardyth's Birthday Surprise!

This week is Ardyth's week for the One-Layer Wednesday Challenge. Today is also her birthday. She combined both of these things into an inspiration challenge. Make a card in her style or in a theme that she would like. She gives lots of ideas on HER BLOG POST and what a fun challenge it is!

Unknown to Ardyth, Darnell of djkardkreations contacted a bunch of Ardyth's friends to surprise her today with a birthday celebration by making cards that CASE Ardyth's! Here's my card for both the OLW142 and Ardyth's Birthday Surprise!!

This card reminds me of Ardyth because it has a spectrum of bright and happy colors, a trio of images, plenty of white space, and GLITTER!

Oh, it's so sparkly!

Happy Birthday, Ardyth! I hope your day is super!!!

stamps: Hero Arts, Papertrey
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: Memento markers, Stickles (lime, yellow, orange, and red)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dome Sticker Fun

Every now and then, it's fun to play with an embellishment you hardly ever use. I saw a sheet of dome stickers in my neutral-colored embellishment drawer and thought it was time to use some of them. Here's what happened.

4.25" square card

First, I stamped a piece of scrap paper with a largish circle stamp in Ancient Page Neptune and Memento Pear Tart. Then, I stamped the bird and flower (from Technique Tuesday's One of a Kind set) in Memento Espresso Truffle, punched out 3/4" circles, and mounted the dome stickers over the circles.

Tip: to get the bird and flowers attractively arranged under the dome, I stamped very large circles of color, then the images. To punch, I turned the punch upside down and centered the images where I wanted them. This eliminates the need for precise stamping yet yields perfect results. Love that!

Then, aligning the dome and punched circle is easy using your finger tips. Hold the dome sticker (with the dome toward your palm) in the fingertips of one hand and push the punched circle into the circle of your fingertips. The pads of your fingers will guide the paper right onto the dome sticker nicely. It'll stick perfectly centered every time.

The "happy" definition is from a Hero Arts clear set called Dictionary Greetings, and it's stamped in Espresso Truffle. The stamped panel is 2.75" square, and the mat is 3" square.

I just love the pops of stylish color on the side!

A totally non-stamping related tidbit...I gave the cookies to the students today, and they gave me a wonderful handmade book with a thank-you note and artwork from each student. Jack presented the book to me and read his note, which included a request for me to be the room helper again next year. When I thanked him and said that yes, I would, the whole class cheered...except for one of the fifth graders who will be moving to another building. She yelled in despair, "I won't be heeeeeeeeeere!!!!!"

That made me feel good. So did lots of hugs.

The teacher gave me a gift card to Michael's. That made me feel good, too. ;-)

stamps: Technique Tuesday One of a Kind, Hero Arts Dictionary Greetings, random circle stamp
ink: Memento, Ancient Page
paper: Papertrey Ink
accessories: 3/4" circle punch, dome stickers, glue

Sunday, May 26, 2013

OLW141 Repeat After Me

Karen is sponsoring this week's OLW, which is to create a repeat background using the same stamp. Here's my entry!

What a fun challenge! I used stamps from Gina K (Hello Sunshine) and Papertrey Inks Faux Ribbon set. When I'd finished the stamping, the card needed a little sumpthin' sumpthin', so I pulled out some bling in a darker teal and kicked it up a notch. The card still needed tweaking, so I rounded the bottom corners to echo the circles and round flowers on the bottom of the card. So happy with the results!

There's still time for you to play along. Click on over to Karen's post, and see what you can make!

stamps: Gina K Hello Sunshine, Papertrey Faux Ribbon
ink: VersaMagic Sea Breeze, Key Lime
paper: Papertrey Ink
accessories: corner rounder, rhinestones

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Gifts for My Buddies

Before we get to the gift tags I made, I want to thank you all for your input on the book. You're really helping me gel my ideas into something do-able. Thank you so much!

Now, I volunteer most Fridays in my son's special education class. Over the past year, I've gotten to know 14 kids--4th and 5th graders--who spend part of their day in the Resource Room receiving modified curriculum instruction and part of their day in regular classes with aide access. Basically, these kids have learning disabilities, behavior issues, autism spectrum disorders, or cognitive challenges. For some, I honestly have no idea what their problems are. For others (especially the ones with ASD and ADHD), I can make a good guess.

I love walking into that room and having them fight over who gets to work with me first. I spend 5-10 minutes with each of them, usually in groups of two. They tell me things. Lots of things. Some of those things make me laugh with them or try hard not to laugh at them (because OHMYGOSH kids!).

But some of the things they tell me break my heart. Break it right in two.

I wanted to do something fun for the students, their aides, and their amazing teacher for our last week together, and as none has dietary restrictions, I bought some outstanding sugar cookies from a local gourmet store and made gift tags to attach to each bag.

The stamps are from a discontinued Hero Arts clear set, and I colored them with Sharpies and Bics in three color combos to coordinate with the cookies. Then, I used a Sakura Stardust pen on the clouds to add some sparkle. Note that I used Gina K card stock since I was coloring on these one-layer tags with Bics and Sharpies. Gina K's stock doesn't allow bleed-through!

I made extras to give to the aides and teacher, too.

There really aren't enough cookies in the world to show my appreciation for these kids and the grown-ups who work with them. The little notes on the back of these tags don't say all I really want to say to them.

But I think they'll get the point anyway.

stamps: Hero Arts (discontinued)
ink: Memento
paper: Gina K white
accessories: Fiskar's corner punch, hole punch, Sakura Stardust Pen, assorted Sharpies and Bics

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gears, OLW 141, and a Couple of Announcements

My final card--for the time being--using the Uniko Time set...

It's two layers because those are brads on the gears, and brad butts bother me and must be covered up.

I don't really have anything more to say about this card except it would be great for a guy and I love that quotation.

Check out the OLW Challenge this week on Karen's blog. It's a good one on repetition, and I hope to participate this weekend!

Announcement #1
In case you haven't heard, Google Reader is going away. After hours of frustration trying to figure out how to migrate my account to a couple of other options, I finally succeeded in switching to Bloglovin. I hate the name, but it works, and all my subscriptions are there. It's taking a little getting used to, but eventually, I'll like it, and then it, too, will disappear. Whatever.

If you use Google Reader, I recommend Bloglovin, if only for the idiot-proof transfer from GR. You may also receive this blog via email if you want. The email subscription box is in the sidebar. Just don't forget to click on the link in the verification email you receive shortly after subscribing. If you don't get the verification email, please check your spam filter or junk mail folder.

Please don't leave me just because Google abandoned us!

Announcement #2
Some of you may have seen this on my other blog, but I've decided to write an e-book about stamping. What would you like me to put in it? I expect there will be words (likely of the funny, encouraging, and occasionally useful kind), cards, and maybe a title, table of contents, and some chapters. But what would you like to see? Just cards? Other paper projects? Handmade books? Jokes? A pop-up card of Channing Tatum? What?

stamps: Uniko Time
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: brads, dimensionals

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Time on My Hands

I realized that my new set Time from Uniko has several clock images that I've not used yet because I've been so busy using the spirograph flowers, so here are three cards about time.

4.25" square card
The square card uses circle punches to frame a simple clock face. The multiple layers of white are fresh and clean, and the clock face is classic Roman with a fun twist of the spirograph flower.

Here we have a dude card, complete with pocket watch, olive and dark red color scheme, a triangle of dark red brads, and a few abstract gears to fill in the empty spaces. The raised panel is off-center to add interest.

Finally, we have a patriotic thinking of you card. The red metal thingy isn't a brad; it's a nail head. I thought this card would be perfect for Operation Write Home.

And there you have it...what I've done with some time on my hands.

stamps: Uniko Time
ink: Memento (Cards 1 and 3); Brilliance (Card 2)
paper: Papertrey
accessories: circle punches, dimensionals, nail head, corner rounder, rhinestone, brads

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Riffing on Card Creations: Inspired by Lisa Adessa

Today's inspiration comes from Lisa Adessa's fabulously graphic thanks card on page 112 of Card Creations Vol 11:

My photo distorts her colors a bit...the red
is actually magenta, while the teal and
olive are pretty accurate.

What a fabulous concept!!! Using the negative space of the punched circles in the white panel to frame colorful stamped and punched circles...utterly brilliant! Note how the font of Lisa's sentiment is modern and fresh and very strong...totally appropriate and balanced for the strong colors and contrast of the circles.

On an expert design note, please notice how Lisa oriented the asymmetric circles in a way that emphasizes movement around and toward the sentiment. Those colorful circles were not just slapped down any old way. Lisa planned that beautifully.

My favorite round thing lately has been the spirograph flowers from Uniko's Time set, so I decided to stamp the medium-size flower in the negative space of the punched circles. This simplifies Lisa's design a bit. I also wanted to use Brilliance iridescent inks for these, which meant spring-like colors rather than the bold colors Lisa used. 

Given the lightness of my images, the shimmer of the inks, and the pastel color choices, a strong sentiment like Lisa used was out of the question. Instead, Gina K's Hello Sunshine stamp set provided a softer, lighter sentiment that works well.

A little bling adds the finishing touch. My first instinct was to use large bling (because, BLING!), but when I held them up to the nearly finished card, they looked like too much. The tiny blings (color-matched to the inks using Sharpies and Bics) keep the overall effect light and airy.

Bold and strong, or light and airy...this layout is a knock-down, drag 'em out winner. Thanks so much to Lisa for the inspiration!!!

stamps: Uniko Time, Gina K Hello Sunshine
ink: Brilliance (jade, lavender, yellow), Memento black
paper: Papertrey Ink
accessories: dimensionals, rhinestones, Bic and Sharpie markers, circle punches

Monday, May 20, 2013

Riffing on Card Creations: Inspired by Kelly Rasmussen

Kelly Rasmussen made this most excellent card for Card Creations Vol. 11:

There are so many wonderful things about this card. First, it uses washi tape perfectly, something I was never able to pull off. Second, the layout is perfect, the color combination is perfect, and the baker's twine is perfect.

In short, everything about Kelly's card is perfect.

I don't have washi tape and thought long and hard about how to duplicate her layout with stamps. The card below was actually my third attempt...the first two didn't work at all. The big problem was focal point. Kelly's card makes the sentiment the focal point...the bright washi is background. I found using other stamps shifted the focal point to the strips and away from the sentiment.

After staring at my stamps for about twenty minutes trying to think of something for a background, I gave up and decided to make my focal point stamped images rather than the sentiment.

This completely reworks the layout (and not entirely successfully).

Instead of geometric designs, I used three long, tall flower stamps from Gina K's Hello Sunshine set. There was only room for three on the card, and when I squished them together like Kelly did with the washi, it just didn't work. It looked too busy and chaotic. Leaving space between the strips looked better.

I decided to use a very simple, one-line italic font (Papertrey Simple Little old anniversary set) to keep the focus on the flowers, but the one-liner didn't have enough visual weight to stand up on the card. Bling and a wider strip of white card stock gave it a bit more umph.

To my eye, Kelly's card is definitely more successful and unified than mine, but mine is not bad for a knock-off. I like it, especially the colors.

Shifting focal point is a major alteration of a layout, especially when the original uses a specific product as the basis for the design. Washi is good stuff, and those stripes, chevrons, and dots just work together so very well under her expert design.

My flowers...not as much. Which is just fine by me. It's all a learning process, trial and error. Sometimes it works, sometimes not at all, and sometimes sort of. This is a sort-of circumstance. Doesn't matter. It's all good.

Of course, I'll bet someone who's a master of shabby chic style could make strips of lace trim work for Kelly's layout. Anyone care to take that challenge?

stamps: Gina K, Papertrey
ink: VersaMagic Tea Leaves, Ocean Depth, Turquoise Gem
paper: Papertrey
accessories: dimensionals, rhinestones, Bic/Sharpie to color bling

Saturday, May 18, 2013

OLW140 Borders

I was able to spend some time stamping today, and made these two cards for Heather's OLW140 Borders challenge!

The above card uses Papertrey's Text Style border with key words highlighted with a light gray marker (Marvy). The Thinking of You sentiment is from Hero Arts Sending Smiles set.

The second card uses a stamp from Faux Ribbon (Papertrey) stamped three times, and a sentiment from a limited edition Clear and Simple Stamps set called Thinking of You. I added random turquoise rhinestones!

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend and have time to play along with OLW140!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Riffing on Card Creations: Inspired by Kalyn Kepner

Yet another gorgeous card from Card Creations, Vol 11 inspired me to make a variation. This one was a bit complicated to adapt to my style, so I took a few photos of the process to share with you.

First up, Kalyn Kepner's fabulous card uses K & Company stickers in an amazingly pretty CAS layout that shows off a lot of white space.

The incredible detail and coloring of the stickers would be pretty much impossible for me to duplicate with stamps (plus, I'm not doing that much fussy cutting for all the coffee in South and Central America combined). My original intention was to keep Kalyn's colors of olive, purple, and blue and to stay as true to her layout as possible. Everything else was up for simplification.

I used Gina K's Hello Sunshine set for the flowers and leaves in my first attempt, and Brilliance inks. Instead of fussy cutting, I punched variously sized circles to arrange in roughly the same layout, thinking the stylized block stamps would look great on circles. Here's the first mock-up attempt.

Two things struck me as deeply wrong here. First, and most noticeably, the olive ink is too harsh for the blues and greens on white card stock. The Brilliance olive is a weird color anyway, but the leaves also look too busy and strange punched in circles. Secondly, there needs to be more variation in the size of the circles...these are all too close in size, even though I used three different punches.

So I ditched the olive altogether for a more harmonious analogous color scheme (colors adjacent on the color, lavender, purple). Then I pulled out Beautiful Butterfly from Papertrey and stamped a large and two small butterflies. This gave a bit more variation in the circle sizes, and everything fits into its circle nicely. This keeps the busyness of the design more visually logical.

The numbers are more pleasing, too. Rather than two of everything, we have one dark-blue flower, two purple flowers, and three lavender butterflies. The arrangement is not quite right yet, but it's getting closer.

And here's the finished card.

After I'd stuck everything down, I realized it was just a bit too low on the card...maybe a quarter inch too low. Too late to fix that, but a single rounded corner helped. So did adding bling to the butterflies.

Bling makes everything better.

What I love about both cards is how they show up the value of a good, solid layout. A good layout can be the basis for any kind of style!

stamps: Gina K, Papertrey
ink: Brilliance
paper: Papertrey
accessories: assorted circle punches, dimensionals, ribbon, corner rounder, rhinestones

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Well, the fact my son coughed in my face Monday is bearing fruit today. I've lost my voice, which usually happens once a year because God wants to remind me to shut up occasionally. So tonight I'll just do a quick post of a quick card.

I really, truly love these spirograph flowers from Uniko. The biggest is nice and big...big enough to carry a one-layer card with nothing more than a sentiment and giant rhinestone. I rounded the corners because the image is round and having four pointy corners looked...wrong.

stamps: Uniko Time
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: rhinestone, corner rounder

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Riffing on Card Creations: Rachel Narens Izakowicz

While reading through the latest issue of Card Creations, I found an adorable card by Rachel Narens Izakowics (and I thought MY last name was hard!). Isn't this just perfectly inspiring? I'm smitten!

Card Creations Vol 11, page 86

Of course I had to riff on it because, well, it wasn't optional. It's such a great design! Rachel used lots of special touches, like the stitching around each square and the fab mixing and matching of colorful patterned paper combined with a gray sentiment. But that little heart by the sentiment...brilliant!

I've never been able to combine patterned paper so skillfully, so I, obviously, CASified (if you're new, that means Clean-And-Simplified). I pulled out my new Uniko Time set and used that fabulous spirograph flower...the smallest in the set. Still, it was big enough that I had to use a standard 5.5" x 4.25" card rather than the 5" square Rachel used.

I picked six bright, cheerful colors, stamped them onto punched squares, and colored clear bling with Sharpies to match. Then I used gray for the sentiment as she did, although I didn't add an embellishment next to the didn't need it given 1) how clean the card is and 2) the altered proportions of the card.

The wonderful thing about Rachel's classic design is that you can CASify it or complicate will work with almost any style you want to throw at it. Shabby chic? No problem. Country-cutesy? Sure! Collage? It's practically begging for ephemera on inchies!

Thank you, Rachel, for making such an inspiring card!!

Why don't you give it a try this weekend?

For now, however, skip on over to Heather's blog for this week's One-Layer Wednesday Challenge: Borders. That's what I'm going to work on for Thursday!!!

stamps: Uniko Time
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: assorted Sharpies, clear rhinestones, dimensionals, square punch (I think 1 1/4")

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Today's card is an experiment in em-PHA-sis. My sister and I sometimes deliberately mispronounce the word emphasis, as in, "He put the em-PHA-sis on the wrong syl-LABLE."

Silly, yes, but we're sisters.

Anyway, I wanted to stamp the flower from Flower Power #1 (Uniko) multiple times in pale ink and once in dark ink to reinforce the sentiment "I'm here for you." Here's how the experiment turned out.

I'm on the fence. I don't really like the green I used for the dark stem (too dark and not enough yellow in it to flow with the pear tart of the other stems). On the other hand, I really like the layout and idea of the card.

Although...looking at it now on screen, I think I'll add a couple of small light pink blings to the light flowers. Hmm. That might help the balance and distract from the odd green combo.

I'll let you know if it works.

I've been at home for the past two days with sick children: Bloody noses and pink eye and tummy troubles, oh my! Seriously, Monday, Jack took a shower and I went in to check on him after he had a chance to dry off. His bathroom looked like a set for a horror movie. Nekkid 10-year-old with blood literally pooling in his belly button! It took forever to get his nose to stop and then another forever to clean up all the mess. Daisy helped, though: she licked the blood off the floor. Ewww.

If I come through this without getting sick myself, it'll be a miracle.

May you all stay healthy and may your noses not gush blood.


stamps: Uniko Flower Power #1
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: rhinestone

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pretty in Pink Conditioning

I wanted to experiment with the lovely tree from Waltzingmouse's Blessed by You set. It sorta kinda worked and shows the importance of conditioning clear stamps before use with dye inks.

I inked up the whole image in a pale brown from Memento and then used a Pretty in Pink marker from StampinUp to color the leaves. I was going for the blooming tree effect I was seeing all over town that was making me happy and sneezy at the same time.

The light brown was light enough to be covered by the pink nicely, but as you can see if you click on the image to see it bigger, it's a bit blotchy.

This is why it's important to condition stamps before using them. Fresh from manufacture, both clear and rubber stamps can have a film on them that makes ink pool, like water pools on your freshly waxed car. To strip off this film, you can use either a soft emery board or a white eraser. Then clean the stamp well, and it's good to go.

Some people like to ink their clear stamps with VersaMark ink (which is colorless and clear) first, then dye inks, to prevent pooling.  This works, but I've always found it annoyingly two-step. VersaMark and other sticky inks (VersaMagic, VersaColor, Brilliance, pigment, etc.) rarely if ever pool. Runnier inks like SU classic, Memento, and Memories are much more likely to pool.

Some people like the distressed look of pooling ink. Generally, I'm not one of them. But this time, I make an exception. It's a sweet and dreamy look on this particular card.

But you can bet I conditioned this stamp after I made the card.

That's the kind of neat-freak I am!

stamps: Waltzingmouse Blessed by You
ink: Memento and SU marker
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: ribbon, half pearls

Sunday, May 12, 2013

When Sentiments Don't Fit

I started off making this card as one layer, but the "scene" was a tad too low on the card front and looked odd.

No worries. Cut it out and pop it up all nice and centered, and like magic, it looks great!

But there's no room for a sentiment. Where would I put it? You wouldn't believe how I hemmed and hawed and fretted for probably twenty minutes. Anyone who says Clean and Simple is also easy LIES. Like a rug.

A bad rug.

Or a comb-over.

Whatever. They're lying.

I wanted to use these Uniko stamps to make a collage of pink and red and love how it turned out. Wouldn't this be a great thank-you card for Christmas? The flower in red looks poinsettia-ish. It's a great design, and the sentiments that come with the set are almost all really useful. This is my first time using Uniko stamps, and it won't be the last.

And no, Uniko isn't paying me in any way. I bought two sets (Time and Flower Power #1) and fell hard in love with them. So much fun new stuff to play with! Also, I'm in the US and Uniko is in the UK, but I got my goods quickly and easily.

I hope no one minds my enthusiasm for new companies. I know how irritating it can be when DT members gush over stamps day in and day out, and I hope my, um, unaffiliated and uncompensated status makes this fun and not annoying.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who are mothers!

stamps: Uniko Flower Power #1
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, dimensionals

Friday, May 10, 2013

Gift Set and a Card Received

I made the first two cards today as part of a set of 8 to give to a friend as a farewell gift. She's moving to Canada, and I hope she will use the cards to stay in touch with her friends here in Ohio.

They use two stamps from the Gina K set Hello Sunshine, and each is accented with a touch of Crystal Stickles. The sentiment is from Papertrey's Peaceful Garden.

The final card was made by the oh-so-talented Heather Telford and sent to me with the sweetest note inside. Squeeee!!!

Gorgeous Card by Heather Telford, so please disregard that
copyright notice!

I just love that gorgeous watercolor she did...all those shades and brilliant colors!!! This work of art will stay on my inspiration board for a very long time! You can read how she made this on her blog post HERE. But I have the real thing, people. The real thing!!!

To all the mothers out there, have a very Happy Mother's Day! To everyone, have a very wonderful weekend.

stamps: Gina K, Papertrey
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: Stickles, clear notecard box from Papertrey to hold the set of 8 cards and envelopes

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Oh how I love this save. In trying to make a standard card, I made a mess. Y'all know how it add that one little thing that is too much. TOO MUCH!

Staring at it in frustration, I suddenly had an epiphany. If I cut the card down to 3" x 3", it would be perfect for Cheryl's OLW139 Challenge! I just love it when a non-plan comes out even better than the plan!

This is yet another card using brand new stamps. These are from Gina K's set Hello Sunshine.

I'll admit I was hesitant to order a set that costs so much but really liked it and decided to give it a go. SO GLAD I DID!!! This set is incredibly versatile and well-designed, and it's lovely for CAS cards. The sentiments are useful and well-thought-out, too.

Just remember that clear stamps often must be conditioned before use. That just means rubbing them vigorously with a white eraser, cleaning well, and then stamping. Memento and other dye inks will pool on them otherwise, and leave your images looking blotchy.

The color combination here makes me so happy: lavender, sprout, and pale yellow. The colors are from Memento, but to get the pale yellow, I had to off-stamp and huff the yellow.

stamps: Gina K Hello Sunshine
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: corner rounder

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rockin' the Visual Triangle

Scroll down to see the winner of the OLW-Waltzingmouse give-away!

Next time someone asks me to explain what visual triangles are, I'm going to refer them to this post.

A picture is worth a thousand words....

But of course I have a few words. Note that the triangle is not an equilateral triangle. Equilateral triangles tend to look too...mathematical. (I was an English major; you do the math.) Generally you should have a nice long hypotenuse and one fairly short side on your triangle. That unevenness is pleasing to the eye.

Tomorrow (Thursday) morning, I'm going to Moms and Doughnuts with my younger son. It used to be call Moms and Muffins, but the Moms protested that the Dads got Dads and Doughnuts, which is way cooler and tastier. So now it's Moms and Doughnuts, which isn't alliterative but sure tastes better.

While all the other moms and children will be eating doughnuts courtesy of our very nice PTO, I have to bring my son's doughnut because he has autism and ohmygosh don't even try to feed him a doughnut that isn't his doughnut because he won't eat it. No, sir. Not gonna do it and nobody's gonna make him.

I'm going to organize three of our six Krispy Kreme chocolate glazed doughnuts in a visual triangle on the cafeteria table and then eat all three. Because that will help me lose the twenty pounds I need to lose, right?

Of course. Visual triangles solve everything!

stamps: CASual Friday Wish Big, Papertrey Birthday Basics
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: purple rhinestones

And the Winner Is...

OLW138 Entry Number 4, Gillian R!!! Congratulations, Gillian!

You can see Gillian's beautiful spring entry on her blog HERE.

I think it's ironic that, due to an ordering snafu (entirely my fault), I ended up with two of the sets from Waltzingmouse, which shipped from Ireland, and now I'm mailing one of the sets back to the Isles (not Ireland, but close by) where Gillian lives. The stamping world is really a very small (and extremely nice) place in many, many ways!

I want to thank Claire at Waltzingmouse for allowing me to give the extra set away on the OLW, and I want to thank all of you who entered the give-away. I hope you had fun, and I hope you all will check out Waltzingmouse Stamps (if you're not already a customer). They make awesome quality, gorgeously designed stamps, shipping is fast as can be (even to the States), and customer service is over-the-top nice.

Now click on over to Cheryl's blog and dive right in to the OLW139 Challenge!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm Here for You

First of all, this week's One-Layer Wednesday challenge will be on Cheryl's blog. We're so glad to have Cheryl back in the saddle for this one. YAY!

Second, I'll be announcing the winner of the OLW-Waltzingmouse give-away tomorrow!

Third, Technique Tuesday's One of a Kind set has this wonderfully simple, stylized wheat stamp (at least, that's what I think it is but I'm no botanist). I wanted to make a cheery, glittery orange card with it. This is super easy, would be great to mass produce with a variety of sentiments and colors, and uses baker's twine, which makes me happy all by itself.

stamps: Technique Tuesday One of a Kind
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: Stickles, baker's twine, small glue dot

Monday, May 6, 2013

Thank U

A Public Service Announcement...
I have received a number of questions about my friend Joan, whose blog has disappeared. Here is an official statement from her: "I am fine. I had a note on my blog about taking it down but obviously removed the blog too quickly and I am sorry about that. I appreciate everyone's thoughts. I am busy working and trying to adjust to all the changes in my life.  It's all good." While I and lots of other people are sorry to see her disappear from the blogosphere, we can surely offer up our best wishes to her as she has fun with all the positive changes in her life!

Back to Regularly Scheduled Programming...
I am perpetually torn by texting shortcuts. On the one hand, they are convenient. On the other, if what we have to say is important, isn't it worth saying correctly? When I text with my husband, I spell out "okay" and use apostrophes, even though it means extra taps on my iPhone screen.

Did you see how I casually let drop that I have an iPhone? Smooth, eh. You're impressed, right? That's why I got impress people.

Or maybe I got it because it was free with my usage plan and I like free stuff.

Whatever the reason, I've discovered the delights of texting, but cannot bring myself to abbreviate or use shorthand. The new-to-me set Wish Big from CASual Fridays has a graphically fabulous 'Thank U" stamp, however, that I didn't hesitate to use on these two cards. Isn't it wonderful?

Completely flat, one-layer cards with kicky color combos and mod layouts. What could be better than that?

Well, a free iPhone would be better, for sure. But still. The cards are swell, aren't they?

stamps: CASual Fridays Wish Big
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: not a blessed one

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Fun with Repetition and Scale

The CASual Friday's set Wish Big has some fabulous stamps in different sizes. It's fun to play with layouts that use the scale of the stamps effectively. It's even more fun to use the stamps the same number of times on each card.

The magic number is, of course, three.

Let's start with three of the small border stamp...with lots of white space and happy bright colors. Note the bling matches the ink colors for a clean and simple effect. Yum!

Next, let's move to the medium border, with two colors in a symmetrical arrangement. There's less room for white space, and the simpler color scheme works well. Bling still matches the ink color.

Finally, let's use the big single stamp, repeated three times, with the same pattern of color as the medium stamp border.  To add interest, I used only hot pink bling, even on the orange images. Subtl different, but so much fun!

Do you have a favorite? Why? How can you have fun with repetition and scale using stamps you already own?

Make Monday FUN!

And don't forget about the OLW and the Give-Away of a Waltzingmouse Set!!!!

stamps: CASual Fridays Wish Big, Papertrey Birthday Basics
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: various rhinestones

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Another Bright Idea

Really? This card was just an excuse to use orange and teal together. I needed that.

Have a complementary weekend, everyone!

stamps: Technique Tuesday Bright Idea, Papertrey Faux Ribbon
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: a tiny little rhinestone

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

You Can Do Anything

So, Technique Tuesday's Bright Idea set has called out to me for a long time. Light bulb, lamps, punny sentiments...photopolymer fun, right? The stamps are nice quality and really right up my alley.

I wanted to make an encouragement/graduation card for our nephew, who was due to graduate from college on the five-year plan (long story) this month. He's not sure what he wants to do with his life and is feeling a tad insecure about it because his younger brother chose to become a diesel engine mechanic and is already fully independent from his parents and has a solid plan for the next ten years of his life.

Darn younger brothers....

Anyway, older nephew needs encouragement, especially since he recently learned he needs to go to summer school before he can graduate. Sigh. The university changed the degree requirements and added a specific class that he didn't have to take under the old requirements. Something like this should be illegal, but alas, poor guy's gotta wait even longer before having that sheepskin to hang on his wall.

To make this card, I stamped the bulb from Technique Tuesday's Bright Idea set on a scrap of paper, colored it with Bic/Sharpie markers and punched it out using a 7/8" circle punch. I wanted to use a clear dome sticker on it, but unfortunately, those are 3/4" and it looked silly. I really didn't want to mess with whatever that liquid crystal stuff is called (senior moment at sad is that?) and decided a little kick of yellow Stickles would add a little sumthin' to it without being a huge pain.

The circle is popped on a dimensional over another stamped image of the bulb, and the whole stamped panel is raised as well.

The sentiment is from CAS-ual Friday's Breathe set.

Hope the nephew realizes he's a bright bulb and really can do anything. Well, anything within reason that requires a degree in Communications.

stamps: Technique Tuesday (Bright Idea), CAS-ual Friday (Breathe)
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: markers, Stickles, dimensionals