Tuesday, March 24, 2015

THREE BANNERS

The new sketch from the Paper Players called to me. LOUD. 

I admit that I have SO MUCH of the Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper, all retired (unfortunately), that I have been hoarding. For what??? And now it's not even current. 

So, for this card, I gulped deeply and grabbed the darling birthday-flavored DSP.

Several of the patterns from this DSP pack would have been ideal for my birthday project, but aren't these party hats just the cutest? I decided to go with them, and actually CUT INTO THE SHEET OF PAPER! I'm glad I did because I love the look of it!

For my birthday cake focal point, I once again selected a stamp from the hostess set, Time to Celebrate. This spiffy birthday cake was the only image in the set that I hadn't played with yet. 

My tendency was to color in the cake elements with Blendabilities. But no. They're not available anymore. Wahhh! So I grabbed my trusty Stampin' Write Markers in Bermuda Bay, Cherry Cobbler and Crushed Curry, and did a "sprinkling" of coloring. 


I liked where this card was going, but I do think that the real "icing on the cake", so to speak, are the three little banners on the right side. I stacked them and varied their lengths, and I am so happy with how they turned out! I added a little strip of Cherry Cobbler cardstock to finish off the area.


This is the Paper Players sketch my card was based on:


I have decided that I would use this card as a project for my upcoming April Stamp-In Workshop. I hope my girls like it!

Banner
Smiles.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

THE BOW TUTORIAL

Remember my post of a week ago in which I gave you the tutorial for how to  make this cute basket? 


Well, as promised, you can now finish off the basket with the bow by following my tutorial. They are so fun and easy to make! 

Are you ready?? Grab your Envelope Punch Board and a cute DSP, and let's get started!


SUPPLIES:
Envelope Punch Board
Designer Series Paper
Bone Folder
Green Glue

INSTRUCTIONS:
Cut your chosen DSP into pieces measuring 1" x 6", 1" x 3 1/2" and a strip about 1/2" wide and torn to the correct size, about 1 1/2" long.


Put the 1" x 6" piece on the Envelope Punch Board at the 3" mark. Punch. Flip it to the other side and do the same thing.

Take  note of where that tongue sticks out on the Punch Board on the punch portion. Place one end of this same piece at the very top of the tongue at the point where it goes vertical. Punch. Flip it over and do the same thing to that end. Repeat both punches at the other end. 

Put the 1" x 3 1/2" strip on the Envelope Punch Board, placing one end at the 1 3/4" point. Punch. Do the same to the other end. 

Slide each end of this piece so it is centered under the punching area. Punch. This forms the tails for your bow.

This is what your pieces should look like:


Use a bone folder to curve both ends of the larger piece towards the middle. Put a drop of green glue in the center and attach both ends to the middle of the bow. Hold in place until the glue sets, a few seconds.

Wrap the small thin strip around the middle to form the "knot", trimming the ends as necessary. Glue this in place on the back.


Bend the fishtail piece slightly in the middle so the two ends tilt downwards. Glue it in place at the back of the bow.

Attach the bow to the basket with a Glue Dot.


I'll tell you, these darling bows are so so so much fun to make that I find I just can't quit! Below you can see several more that I have created. The navy and white one has the knot formed from the reverse side of the DSP. This gives more of a contrast so a busy DSP design doesn't hide the knot.

And the pink one in the center was made with the fishtail piece unbent so it is straight across, even with the bow. 


Have a blast making these little cuties and adding them to all kinds of the baskets you will be creating! Happy Easter Basket!

Bow-tiful
Smiles.

FRAGILE POPPY

This delicate poppy flower and bud has always tugged at my heartstrings. I'm not sure why. I think it just because it is so perfectly drawn. And, besides that, it begs to be "watercolored". 

Making clean and simple cards is sort of out of character for me. I always seem to find more to add when I often should have considered a card creation finished. I mean, I love to add embossing, buttons, dots, etc. 

But, I think I achieved the clean and simple look with this card. It was so much fun -- and gratifying -- to complete. You know what they say, "Less is more". And that is just right for this card. It says "hello" to its recipient beautifully and simply.


Now that Blendabilities are out of the picture (BOO HOO!!!), I needed to resort to a more "old-fashioned" tried and true way of coloring the poppy. I used reinkers and the small Aqua Brush. The colors I used were Calypso Coral (what did I ever do before the invention of this color??), Cherry Cobbler and Always Artichoke. "Painting" like this brings great pleasure to me and, I think, a nice watercolor look.


My Fragile Poppy card is being entered into this week's The Paper Players challenge #236, Clean and Simple: Floral:


Yay, me!

Share with us your favorite challenges you take part in. And, do you do several a week, one a week, one every so often? Does playing in challenges help boost your creativity? What are your favorite types of challenges: card sketches, color challenges, combination challenges, challenges based on something found in nature or in the home?

Fragile
Smiles.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

BOW BASKET TUTORIAL

This past Monday, I held my monthly Stamp-In Workshop. At this workshop, the girls created a darling spring-y basket. While all the baskets themselves were created from some of Stampin' Up!'s retired textured paper, I had pre-selected an assortment of Designer Series Papers that I thought would look cute on the pink basket for them to choose from and create their bow. So, they had the opportunity to make theirs totally unique simply by choosing a different DSP for their bows.

The basket measures about 4 1/4" wide by 2 3/4" deep and 4 1/4" high with the handle. Without the handle, it is approximately 2" high. Both the basket and the bow were created with the gracious help of my Envelope Punch Board. 


With Easter right around the corner, I thought you may be interested in making a few of these cute baskets for Easter treat giving. Here is a tutorial with photos on how to make the basket:

Supplies:
Envelope Punch Board
A 6" x 6" piece of cardstock + a 1" x 8 1/2" strip of matching cardstock for the handle
Scotch Tape
Adhesive

Directions:
Line the left edge of the 6" square up with the 1 1/2" mark on the Envelope Punch Board. Punch. Score. Repeat this on all four sides, lining up at the 1 1/2" mark on each side before punching and scoring. 

Go around all four sides once again, but this time line the tongue on the Envelope Punch Board  up with each score line you had previously made, punching first, then scoring. Do all four sides like this.

Once you are done with the Envelope Punch Board, your "basket" should look like this:


Fold on all the score lines. On one corner cut along the score lines on either side of the point up to the next score line. Flip the piece and do the same on the opposite corner. Now you have this:


Bring the flaps that were created on one corner together until they form a straight line across. Secure this meeting place with a small piece of tape. Repeat on the other side. You have now formed the two long sides of your basket, and it should look like this:


Fold the flaps over this taped portion and glue them in place. Repeat on both sides. Fold in and glue in place the two flaps on the narrow sides. Here is what this step should look like:


Once again, this is what your finished basket will look like, but shown with the bow in place. 


In an upcoming post, I will post a tutorial of how to create the darling bow.


Darling
Smiles.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

WORM WISHES

Woo hoo! This is my 300th blog post! 

I cannot believe that I have penned 300 posts since I began my Paper Seedlings blog in September of 2012. I hope that in the course of all these words, projects, photos, I have inspired you in some way.

That was my intent when I began Paper Seedlings; thus the name of the blog. My goal was to help plant some little Paper Seedlings in your brain to help you on your path to serenity and happiness through creativity. As I call it,  Creative Therapy. If I HAVE inspired you in any way, I would love to hear from you. In the future, my intent will remain the same. I want to share what I love with you in hopes of helping you along your road to becoming <more> creative..

My daughter, Emily, tells me constantly that I should not fret about my numbers when I am blogging. That I should be doing it to make myself happy. Blogging for just me is sort of boring and senseless. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, I am blogging for YOU, my readers. It saddens me a bit that I haven't reached as many creatives or those desiring to become more creative. According to my number of followers and pageviews, I have not succeeded in reaching me as many as I had hoped.

If any of you who ARE reading my 300 posts have any suggestions for improving my blog and extending my reach, I would also love to hear from you. Being not terribly technically savvy, some blog improvements are beyond me. I apologize if my blog's appearance isn't as up-to-date and technically beautiful as many are. But, it's just little ol' me. And I truly am doing the best I can.

But, if you have any ideas or suggestions of how I can improve content or anything else that I have control of, well . . . you know. Let me know!

As I've mentioned, my dad had been having some serious health issues these past months. And my mom, his caretaker, frets over him constantly and, because of this, she herself is having some difficult times in feeling overwhelmed.

Since I live more than 100 miles away from Mom and Dad, I don't get the opportunity to see them in person as often as I would wish. So I call Mom every day just to show her my support and love.

Recently I thought I would send her my wishes a little more tangibly. How? Why, a cheery card, of course!

Once again, I turned to the nifty hostess set, Time to Celebrate. But this time I picked on the little worm in the set. Since I see him as more of a caterpillar, I wanted him to be green, so stamped him in black onto Wild Wasabi cardstock. I colored in his stripes with Pacific Point Stampin' Write Markers.


To add a little punch to the otherwise not too exciting image, I stamped the flower he had clutched in his mouth on Whisper White, colored in the center, and cut it out, popping it up with Stampin' Dimensionals. 

The star shapes surrounding the image were cut with the Stars Framelits and raised away from the scholarly caterpillar with Stampin' Dimensionals. I love the look! Do you?


And, what do you think of the dots? I sponged them onto Whisper White cardstock using Wild Wasabi ink and the dot design from the Dots & Stripes Masks (page 205 in the catalog). 


I guess the theme of this card is pop, pop, pop (dimensional!) and cheery happiness. Mom loved it when she received it. Good! It accomplished what I had hoped. 

And, since the card was square, I used my trusty Envelope Punch Board to make a custom envelope to fit it perfectly!

Worm
Smiles.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

A SONG OF SPRING

I must admit that the card shown below was a true CHALLENGE of a challenge. For Fab Friday, the challenge this time was a color challenge: Calypso Coral, Hello Honey and Blushing Bride. Yeah, I might be comfortable using Calypso Coral and Hello Honey on the same card. But throw in the subtle Blushing Bride? Oh my.

Well, since it was a challenge, I decided to take them up on it. And went to work. With their color choices. Oh my again.

Grabbing my Petite Petals set, I used the most "realistic" of the flowers in my card, stamping each of them once in their own color. I wanted to set the flowers against a piece of music, but the flowers simply matted with Calypso Coral looked truly wimpy. When I put a narrow mat of Basic Black to work with the color of the music, it was much too stark. So I opted for skinny mats of Basic Gray. Which proved to be the right choice.


The cool thing though about my flower blocks is the technique I used on them. Wanting them to resemble ceramic tiles, after stamping the flower images, I covered each one of them with VersaMark ink. I then dumped onto the sticky flowers some of Stampin' Up!'s retired thick embossing powder. This gave the three squares the "tile" look. I think you can see what I mean in this photo:


This is probably the most challenging of color challenges I've ever participated in.. 

What are your thoughts, either on the color combo itself or how the card turned out? What would your take on the challenge have been?


Fab
Smiles.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

PAPER PUMPKIN THANKS REPURPOSED

I bet this will come as a huge surprise to you, but I LOVE MY PAPER PUMPKIN SUBSCRIPTION! It is just amazing how those Stampin' Up! designers can keep coming up with all of the fabulous ideas month after month after month! 

The February 2015 kit was no exception. Here is what the eight thank you cards in the cute kit look like if you put them together as per the instructions included:


The components of this kit are simply astounding: the exclusive Layers of Gratitude stamp set (many of which I will be showing you in the upcoming photos), TWO Stampin' Spots, one in Daffodil Delight and one in Pool Party, eight (very impressive!) accordion card bases, eight adorable kraft boxes, 48 felt letter stickers, six yards of orange and white baker's twine, and 24 adhesive strips. Whew! It wears me out just thinking about all these creative goodies that I can use however I want!

Well, it seems like practically FOREVER that I've been interested in the process of creating books. As soon as I laid my eyes on this kit, I decided that was exactly what I wanted to do with it. Well, at least one of them! 

For my book, I added one more ink color: Calypso Coral. The Calypso Coral, Daffodil Delight, Pool Party trio are enchanting indeed. 

I started by changing up my book cover a bit from the kit instructions. As you can see in the above photo, the kit's covers were minimally decorated and tied closed with a simple bow created from the baker's twine that came in the kit.

Do you see the cute Calypso Coral dot on the circles in the photo below? That was one more of the stamps that the kit provided. And one that I am sure I will use OFTEN! Think of all the cute polka dot backgrounds I can make with this stamp. 

Here I will tell you what I added to my book from my personal stash, the few things that did not come with the kit: Scraps of Crumb Cake cardstock, the Calypso Coral ink and the teeny silver brads. That's it!

This is a photo of what the front of my book looks like closed:


Here it is from the back:


The cuteness of the stamps continues when the closure is released:


The book pages are attached to the base of the book case. Here they are somewhat spread open:


Because I wanted to utilize all eight of the accordion pages, I cut a piece of Crumb Cake cardstock to measure the same size as the rest of the pages and attached it to the last page. I then anchored it with glue inside the book cover. Obviously I used two of the stamps to decorate even this piece:


Here it is again partially open, but showing the base piece:


Another view: Isn't it just the CUTEST?


I took photos of the individual pages in the three colors I used. The only stamp that I did not show close-up is the rows upon rows of triangles.

This page of thick lines is just one line stamped over and over again:


This stamp is just two rows. 
They fit together exactly to make a stack of the cute designs as high as your little heart desires:


And these big lopsided circles are just one stamp that you can position 
on a page any which way you'd like. Wondrous!


This is the bottom flap of the front in an open position:


I am so pleased with how this turned out! So many times in the past, I have created a book only to discover that I didn't want to tarnish its purity by adding anything to it. So I have a bunch of handmade books that contain absolutely nothing. Of course, I have filled books also, but more frequently they stay pristinely EMPTY. 

This one though I do have plans for! The size of the pages are perfect for little mini prints of my Instagram photos. I plan to have printed eight of my faves and adhere them to the pages. 

Now, here is my problem. And I would love your input: Do you ever have Instagram prints made commercially? If so, where do you have them done? I am interested in 2" square prints, or somewhere around that size. 

If you would like to see my assortment of photos I am going to be choosing from, here is the link to my Instagram account. While you are there, do you have any opinions of which photos I should put in my Paper Pumpkin book?

Check out other entries in the My Pumpkin Challenge. Lots of really great ideas!

Bookish
Smiles.