Tuesday, November 25, 2014

PP HAPPY HOLIDAYS

I tell you I am going positively CRA-ZEE. No one should be subjected to the fiasco that is the moving process! Today was supposed to be our moving day, but that has been postponed. The recent past for us has been nothing but trauma after trauma.

And I NEED some Creative Therapy. Badly.

My November Paper Pumpkin kit arrived the other day. After hastily opening the darling red box, I discovered, to my immense delight, that there are such wonderful components to this kit, and I am so excited to get started on it.


I mean, really, look at these scrumptious stamps!


I was so enthused about this kit when I first unpacked it. The directions that came for the projects are adorable. But, after I spread out all the components, I became inspired to not only make up some of the projects as instructed, but to change it up a bit to make some of the projects my very own! Yayyy!

Uh oh. Reality hits. My acrylic blocks are packed away, languishing inside some dark and dreary moving box. Hardly able to breathe what with all the nasty tape blocking the air. 

So, I was so desperate to get going on this kit that last night I untaped and dug through a few boxes marked "SU" just trying to rescue those little buggers. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in my search and was also making more of a mess than I needed at this point. So I reluctantly gave up.

As they say, desperation makes us do crazy things. Yup. Today when we run into town to sign some papers at the bank, I am going to stop at a craft store and buy one <non-SU> acrylic block. Maybe being able to tackle this darling kit will make me feel better?

Does being creative help you get through the tough times in your life?

CRA-ZEE
Smiles.



Saturday, November 22, 2014

THANKSGIVING AND ONLINE EXTRAVAGANZA

We are in the <agonizing> throes of getting ready to move. This process seems to be never ending, and is causing tons of undue stress in my life. To be perfectly honest, I could do with a great session of Creative Therapy right about now. 

Alas, a real hands-on creative session is not possible. You see, even though I kept out a Paper Pumpkin kit, thinking I could work on that in times of dire need, I have made even that plan go awry. Paper Pumpkin kits come with everything you need to create, except the acrylic block that arrives with a subscriber's first kit. My acrylic blocks have been packed away, and I know not where they have gone. My daughter, Emily, was here last weekend, and she took charge of all my Stampin' Up! goodies. With the stacks and stacks of sealed up boxes adorning that area, I wouldn't dare even try to locate them.

Well, I needed to create SOMEhow. So I turned to my ever-present MDS (My Digital Studio) for my hit of creativity. I know it's not the same as getting all inky and running stuff through my Big Shot, but I could still turn on my creative juices and get some satisfaction.

I came up with this little Thanksgiving greeting for all of you:


I am thankful for all of you who read my blog and especially when you leave me those precious comments. I hope that through Paper Seedlings, I have been able to inspire you in some aspect of your creativity. 

* = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = * = *

Speaking of Thanksgiving makes me think of Black Friday. Although, working in retail, unfortunately it should now be called Black Thursday, as our store opens with all its wonderful deals at 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. 

Anyway, Stampin' Up! has their own version, Online Extravaganza, starting on Monday, November 24, and running through Monday, December 2. You can check out all the details here: http://su-media.s3.amazonaws.com/media/Promotions/NA/2014/11_November/OnlineX/Online_Extravaganza_Products_US.pdf

Honest, it is truly an Extravaganza! There are special Doorbusters just for Monday, November 24, as well as different Doorbusters only for Monday, December 2. During the entire week of the Extravaganza, you can enjoy deals of 20-50% off the regular prices of catalog yummies. Items are as low as $2.48!

When you are ready to lap up all this Extravaganza goodness, remember to name me as your demonstrator! 

Love to you all.

Happy
Thanksgiving
Smiles.



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

AUTUMN BIRTHDAY

When I was finished with the background of this card, it just seemed to me to fall flat. No zip whatsoever. I had simply stamped the leaves and acorns in various autumn colors randomly across Naturals White cardstock. It just wouldn't do.

Now, I needed to put on my Paper Seedlings thinking cap, and come up with a way to give this drab ol' background some snappy pizzazz.

What I ended up doing was pat VersaMark ink sporadically over the blank paper and the leaves. I then sprinkled the sticky ink with Gold Embossing Powder. Before I heat embossed it, I flicked away a lot of the embossing powder, so it wasn't very thick in any one place. After I heated it, there was a precious gold glimmer in enough places to make it look really interesting and a little rustic.

Unfortunately, this is one of those cards that looks MUCH better in real life. The photo just did not capture the metallic richness the embossing gave it.


This close-up photo, although it looks sort of awful at this distance, shows the glimmer of the gold a bit better. 

I think this card is just like the Impressionist paintings: Don't look at it too closely; it looks much better from a distance.


After sponging the edges of the background and the piece that holds the sentiment, I mounted them onto black cardstock to make everything pop even more. I also embossed the sentiment in Gold, but did not use my Embossing Buddy so I would have stray specks of embossing powder to echo the background. An antique button with Baker's Twine adds just the right touch to the sentiment. Layered onto Rich Razzleberry, the card is complete.

Have you ever experienced this same thing? You've created something that looks great a foot or so away from your eyes, but get it closer, and it isn't nearly as appealing? Frustrating, but it worked for the Impressionists, so it works for me.

Autumn
Smiles.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH


I realize that I have already shown you this card in a previous post. You can see it here: http://www.paperseedlings.com/2014/09/peace-on-earth.html, when I was displaying all the different ways that I had been experimenting with the lovely stamp set, Nature's Peace, found on page 26 of the Holiday Catalog.

But, this time I am going to share a tutorial with you on how to create one of your own.


My favorite feature of this particular card is the beautiful watercolor look you get when you employ this technique:


Because I cut out the image with the largest of the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits, the card needed to be a little off-size from the traditional 5 1/2" x 4 1/4". There is only 1/4" difference between the two sizes, which makes my card measure 5 1/4" x 4 1/4". 

The Framelit size is a little goofy, and because I wanted the card to fit inside a traditional A2 size envelope, I needed to adjust a bit. This is what I came up with:

The reverse side of the card
Like to give it a try? Here's how:

Fold a 4 1/4" x 10 1/2" piece of Island Indigo cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Choose 2-3 colors of Stampin' Write Markers. I used Island Indigo, Old Olive and Soft Suede. With the SIDE of the brush end, randomly color all of the stamp, first doing one color -- preferably the lightest color -- and then moving on to the next until you have the entire image colored in marker. Keep in mind that if you do too much overlapping of colors, you may get a muddy brown. Spritz VERY LIGHTLY with water so all of the stamp is re-wetted. IF YOU GET TOO MUCH MOISTURE ON THE STAMP, IT WILL BLEED AND RUN. AND YOU'LL HAVE TO START ALL OVER WITH THE COLORING. SO, BE PRUDENT.

When the stamp is properly moistened, stamp it onto a half sheet of Naturals White cardstock. 

With the largest of the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits, cut out the image, trying to keep the bottom of the Framelit about 1/4" from the lower edge of the stamped image and centering from side to side.

With the Simply Scored board, score at 5 1/8'. Fold on this score line, and adhere the lower portion to the card front. The scored line on the white piece should match with the score line of the card base.

Round the bottom corners of the card base with the Corner Rounder.

Tie a piece of Island Indigo ribbon around the top back of the card in a knot so the two ends of the ribbon protrude over the top of the card. Trim ribbon ends at an angle as needed.

Stamp desired sentiment inside the card in Island Indigo or Soft Suede ink. If it bothers you to stamp and/or write on a fairly dark cardstock such as Island Indigo, glue inside the card a piece of Naturals White cardstock measuring 4" x 5", and proceed with stamping the sentiment.

By the way, this card is actually a monoprint. This means that you can only get one image from the stamping, and no two images will ever be the same. 

How are you coming along with your Christmas card making? How many cards do you plan on creating? And, will they all be the same design? If not, how many of each design do you plan to make? Do you have any "assembly line" card creating tips to share with us?

Peaceful
Smiles.




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

CALYPSO CORAL STRIPES

Have you ever given a gift to someone that consists of a set of handmade generic greeting cards?

I've done just that for my mom on a few occasions. She loves receiving a batch of cards that she can personalize for any special event or to thank someone. She does hesitate to use them though.

This set of eight cards was a lot of fun to make. The layering just continued and continued. An easy card to create assembly line-style, it utilizes punches and the Big Shot to make short work of the variety of shapes.

The card base of Naturals Ivory cardstock partners well with the other colors: Calypso Coral, Pool Party and Crushed Curry. No stamping was involved in the creation of these cards.


The scalloped center of the flowers was simply punched from a Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper. Kinda cute, eh?

After the flowers were completed, they were popped up with Stampin' Dimensionals atop a label using the Chalk Talk Framelits, which was layered on top of an oval from the Ovals Collection Framelits.


My original intent was to make a box to house the cards. But, then I ran across a darling cloth-covered box with a plaid ribbon tie in which the cards fit beautifully. So that is where they will be stored for when Mom needs one.

A side note here: My life is in quite a state of upheaval these past few weeks and for the two weeks yet to come. You see, we had put our house up for sale in mid-May. Thinking it would take a year or so to sell it, we were astounded when the second party to view it gave us a very reasonable offer for it. 

But the timing is horrible. Only a few weeks to purge and pack up our stuffed-full nearly 4,000 square foot house. We needed to find and make an offer on another residence in only a matter of a few days once everything was rolling. We will be moving to a house that is 1,500 square feet smaller than the one we're in currently. 

Needless to say, I feel like an overwhelmed chicken with her head cut off. Still not sure I will make it through this and remain sane. Thus, until things are more settled, I will still post on my scheduled Sundays and Wednesdays. But, the posts probably won't be as in depth as you are accustomed to. I don't have any time for  Creative Therapy -- at a time when I need it more than ever. 

Head 
Cut
Off 
Smiles.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

ROCK AND ROLL ON FAUX SILK

Thanksgiving Day, a.k.a. Turkey Day, is just around the corner, as they say. So, it's time to get going on those Thanksgiving cards to express your gratitude for all your blessings.

Stampin' Up!'s beautiful set, For All Things, found on page 41 of the Holiday Catalog, is perfect for not only fall-flavored cards, but for Thanksgiving greetings as well.

To make my Thanksgiving card, I incorporated a few cool techniques.

Do you remember the bright yellow "Caterpillar" tissue paper I had used in a few of my cards with the faux silk technique? Well, when I was creating this card, I wanted to use that technique with the Caterpillar tissue, and opted to stamp on the reverse side of the tissue.

My original intent was to stamp the oak leaves first onto the smooth tissue. After I was finished stamping and had crumpled my paper, I realized that I hadn't stamped far enough out to fit my cut base cardstock. I glued it in place anyway, figuring I could fill in at the edges with a few more stamped leaves.

When I attempted to fill in with a few leaves on the glued-down tissue, there, but to my wondering eyes, I made a serendipitous discovery! When I stamped the oak leaves onto the crumpled adhered tissue, the leaves looked VEIN-Y! Yes, vein-y, a very technical term.

I loved the more realistic, more rustic look of the leaves that resulted from this newly-discovered way. So, I decided to start all over from scratch. For this card, I crumpled the paper first, adhered it to the cardstock base, and then stamped the leaves all over the background.


I love the effect you get when you stamp the sentiment over the little watercolor-y background. 


For my taste, on this card, I thought the oak leaves were a bit blah when stamped merely in Cajun Craze ink. So, I decided to groove to some rock and roll. By rocking the edges only into a contrasting color ink once the stamp had been inked in Cajun Craze, it gives a touch of extra color, and thus more interest.


Inside the card I stamped the cute little acorn trio, then followed with the greeting in Cajun Craze.


Even though this Caterpillar tissue paper is not readily available, you can use any neutral-colored tissue for this project. I simply wanted to upcycle something that had been given to me.

Now, would you like to duplicate this card for your own use? It's easy. Here's how:

SUPPLIES:
For All Things stamp set
Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set

Soft Suede cardstock
Cajun Craze cardstock
Very Vanilla cardstock

Cajun Craze ink
Soft Suede ink

Striped Grosgrain Ribbon
Linen Thread
Glue Sticks
Tissue Paper
Paper Snips
Big Shot
Chalk Talk Framelits
Stampin' Dimensionals

INSTRUCTIONS:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Soft Suede cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Cajun Craze cardstock to the card base.

Crumple a piece of tissue paper measuring about 5" x 7" several times in your hands, unfolding and repeating a few times. Slightly flatten the piece. Cover the entire front of a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of scrap cardstock with glue stick. Carefully place the tissue paper onto the glued surface. Gently pat down on the wrinkles to create a veined look. Adhere extra edges of tissue to the back of the piece.

Stamp the oak leaf randomly, overlapping SLIGHTLY, onto the veined piece. When satisfied, adhere this piece to the card front.

On scraps of Very Vanilla cardstock, stamp two oak leaves: FIRST, CLEAN THE STAMP. Ink up the oak leaf stamp with Cajun Craze. With the Soft Suede ink open and sitting on the table, gently rotate JUST THE EDGES of the stamp into the Soft Suede. Check to see if you like the effect on the stamp. You can always add a bit more brown by rocking and rolling it once again. Keep the center of the leaf Cajun Craze. Stamp. Repeat with the second leaf.

Carefully cut out the leaves, leaving a border of plain paper at the edges. Tie a piece of Linen Thread into a bow, and glue this to the stem of one of the leaves. Adhere the plain leaf flat onto the card front. Attach the leaf with the bow with a couple Stampin' Dimensionals at an angle to the first one.

On a scrap of Very Vanilla, stamp the shady background, STAMPING OFF FIRST. Over the shaded portion, stamp the sentiment in Cajun Craze. Cut out the label with the Framelit from Chalk Talk Framelits in the Big Shot.

Cut a "V" into one end of the striped ribbon. Tape the straight end to the back of the label. Use Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere the label and ribbon to the card front in the lower right corner.

Inside the card, stamp first the three little acorns in Soft Suede, stamping off first. Stamp "Happy Thanksgiving" across the acorns in Cajun Craze.

Now, share with us: How many, if any, Thanksgiving cards do you send each year? Are they all handmade?

Thankful
Smiles.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

PIRATE CHEF

Do any of you remember the cute stamp set, Ahoy Matey? When it came out, my daughter, Sarah, who was an adult at the time, fell in love with the set. She informed me that every card I make for her for the rest of her life should be made with this set.

Of course, I deviated in my choice of stamps I used in cards for her over the years. But, occasionally I recall her request and drag the little pirate out again for another encore.

I've used him a few times over the years, but only once since I've been blogging. The occasion for using the set most recently was when she joined the U.S. Army. After her deployment to Afghanistan, and her return home, I resurrected the card I had made for her awhile back. You can see it here: http://www.paperseedlings.com/2012/12/welcome-home.html. I love the pirate's camo outfit. 

Scroll ahead to the present. Yesterday, Sarah had a birthday. I thought it would be fun to create her birthday card using the Ahoy Matey pirate. While she was still stationed in Washington, she began taking culinary classes. Now, that she is out of the Army, she is continuing her culinary schooling. The students have to dress the part of a chef during all their hands-on classes. 

I thought it would be so much fun to dress our little pirate guy as a chef for Sarah's birthday card:


I made little patterns from the clothes the pirate was wearing in the original stamp. Using these patterns, I recreated the pieces into chef's attire.


Inside the card, I included the pirate bird from the set. Of course, he needed to match his master, so I made his wings and tail in the same checkerboard as the chef's fancy pants.


For the background, I had used the Large Polka Dot embossing folder. While I love the look of the huge clean polka dots on the crisp white background, I thought it needed just a bit more "punch". So I punched 1/2" circles from black paper, and added them to the center of each of the raised dots.


I think her mail must be taking a little trip around the country, because when I talked to her last night, he still hadn't arrived to relay his own personal birthday wishes. I hope she likes him when he finally shows up.

Do you own any stamp sets that you continue to go back to time after time after time? Share with us some examples and why the stamp set(s) appeal to you!

Pirate
Smiles.