Sunday, July 27, 2014

MARBLE-OUS ORNAMENTS

Here it is, almost the end of July, and I have yet to share with you a CHRISTMAS IN JULY card! What with the Paper Pumpkin boot camp, these past six weeks seem to have just flown.

So, here you go: my MARBLE-OUS ORNAMENTS:


I had checked on the Stampin' Up! demonstrator website for the list of Christmas stamp sets that will still be available; in other words, current. My beloved Ornament Keepsakes was still on the list, so I pulled it out and went to work. You see, I had discovered a cool technique that I thought would work perfectly on solid stamps like the ornaments in this set.



As is obvious from looking at the close-ups of the two ornaments on the card, no two pieces using this technique will ever look the same. In that sense, they are similar to a monoprint. In another sense, they are always a surprise, albeit not always a good one. Since the technique is easy enough to do though, you can redo it until you are happy with the results.

Since I want to offer a card similar to this one, using this technique, at my next Stamp-In, I would really rather not reveal anything about the technique until after the workshop. Feel free, however, to speculate on how you think it might have been done. Who knows? From your ideas, new little Paper Seedlings may be planted in our creative brains. Share any ideas you have in the comments section.

The embossing folder I used for my background was intentional in that I thought it strongly resembled regimented branches of an evergreen tree on which to hang the ornaments. Unfortunately, this darling embossing folder is now retired, but still available, here on the CLEARANCE RACK.


I wish July wasn't almost ended. I am just getting into the Christmas card mood. Oh well. You will probably just have to put up with a few Christmas in August cards. 

Ornamental
Smiles.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

SHOWER OF GIFTS

I am always so excited when someone asks me to create a card for a special occasion. The other day I was commissioned to make cards for a bridal shower and a wedding. Without hesitating, I agreed. I've made many wedding cards, but, to tell the truth, I don't think I've ever made a bridal shower card.

Wow! Talk about planting LOTS of little Paper Seedlings! I had ideas flurrying around in my brain like crazy!

Of course, my first thought was to use a cute Stampin' Up! umbrella stamp from a set I'd had forever. It was large enough that it would have served perfectly as the focal point of the card. Unfortunately, after digging through my huge stash of stamps, I failed to find it. As you know, I had done major purging a few months ago, and I would be willing to bet it was among the 80+ Stampin' Up! sets I sold. Great great great.

I just had umbrellas in my head, so I searched for something else that would suffice. I even would have ordered a set if I'd found the perfect one in the new catalog. But nothing in there either. Umbrellas. Umbrellas.

Hey! How about MDS (My Digital Studio)??? Surely there would be an umbrella image in all my downloads stash. Search. Search. Nope. What now???

OK. I could make an umbrella shape -- from DSP maybe? I spent lots of time digging through my DSP for something that would make a cute umbrella. I finally found one from a retired pack. It would make a CUTE umbrella! I browsed through all my Framelit sets, hoping to discover something that would give the impression of an umbrella.

Aha! Eureka! The two larger Framelits from the Floral Frames Collection look like modified umbrellas. Don't they?? So I cut a half flower with the second largest Framelit from my chosen DSP. An umbrella? Nope. A half-flower. So, I scored along the "ribs" of the would-be umbrella, and creased along these ribs. Now, we're getting somewhere.

Hmmm. Adhere the "umbrella" to the top of the card and . . . have RAIN falling from it?? Uh. No. How about GIFTS??!?

Back to MDS -- because I knew there were several cute little giftie packages in there, and I could make them in various sizes. Perfect!

I got all my little gifts in place, resized and tilted the way I liked them. Ugh. It still looked empty. Something was missing. So I added MDS confetti! Perfect! Then I went to work "coloring" all the gifts and confetti in Melon Mambo, Island Indigo, Lucky Limeade and Daffodil Delight, to match the flowers in my "umbrella".

After printing this out, I went to work putting the card together. I used more Framelits, including the new Project Life Cards & Labels (page 230), and the Ovals Collection. To mimic the confetti, I embossed the white background with the Decorative Dots Embossing Folder (page 226). I rounded the corners of the card with the new Project Life Corner punch (page 222).

At this point, I was ready to add the umbrella.



Gulp. Is THIS the look I was actually going for? Busy busy busy. 

The other side of the DSP umbrella was a bit less busy. How about reversing the creasing and trying that?


Um. NO. Definitely NO. 

PLEASE NOTE: We must keep in mind that, at this point, the sentiment was not on the card. I just temporarily added these "umbrellas" after the card was finished for illustration purposes, to demonstrate how even the most carefully planted Paper Seedlings can go very awry. You know, they always say, "Less is more." 

You will be relieved to know that I rolled up that ol' umbrella, stashed it away, and this is what I decided to go with:


I must admit that without the sentiment, the card still looked bare and unfinished. I was glad that I decided to finish it off like this:



Whew! What a journey! I hope you enjoyed taking it with me. Thanks for tagging along!

Umbrella
Smiles.




Sunday, July 20, 2014

ZIGZAG BIRTHDAY

The final challenge of the Paper Pumpkin Boot Camp that I am participating in is to have four new people sign up for Paper Pumpkin. If you would like to help me to meet that challenge, you can subscribe HERE for any length of time to receive Paper Pumpkin. Please name me as your demonstrator so I can use your sign-up in achieving my goal. You need to sign up and activate your code no later than Sunday, July 27, in order for it to count for this Boot Camp. Thanks!! I appreciate it more than I can say!

The card below was 98.23% created with components of the May Paper Pumpkin kit. 

As a reminder, this is what the cards in the kit should have looked like as per the instructions included.


As you can see, I've changed it up somewhat. I had already made a Father's Day card and a birthday card from the kit. I still had some of the components left, so I opted to go for another birthday card.


In this card, I was extra-ecologically sensitive in that I even used the SCRAPS that were left over after I removed the stickers! These green strips are not all that special, but . . . 


how do you like my ZIGZAGS?? One edge of each zigzag was the diecut bottom edges of the blue pieces. I then used scissors to cut the other side of the zigzags away from the white paper, and added two of them to my project. 

Another major change was the addition of the stamped stars. This row of five cute little stars is one of the stamps from the June Paper Pumpkin kit.


I guess my real purpose in writing this post is to encourage you to look at EVERYTHING you have available as potential card crafting supplies. EVEN THE SCRAPS that you would normally feed to the garbage can. 

Seriously, imagine this card without the green strips and the blue zigzags. Pretty plain, eh?

Zig
Zag
Smiles.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

POLKA DOT BUTTERFLIES

I want to tell you a little story. A story of how some Paper Seedlings grew . . . and grew. Beyond my wildest dreams. (hyperbole)

Finding myself in need of a few generic cards that could be used for a variety of occasions, I planned to make a handful of them yesterday, my day off.

Knowing that I was going to be doing this the next day, of course, the night before, I dreamed of a design. The plan came together in my dreams so perfectly. You know how creative dreams are. Anything is possible -- and beautiful. Wondrously beautiful.

Since I wanted to make several identical cards, I needed the design to be fairly simple and straightforward. Assembly line style.

Thus, according to my dream, I was going to use a set of four related small stamps. The examples that came to me in my dream were the fruits Stampin' Up! had out a few years back. You know the one: with the orange/lemon, apple, strawberry and apple. The other option was the one with the same tree in four different seasons.

I was going to stamp each image individually, mount each one on a complementary cardstock, then mount all four onto a single piece of a coordinating cardstock. Two over two. Simple. But with either of those sets of images, cute. Right?

Ach. When I got to my Creation Station and checked out these two sets, my dream cards vanished. The idea was sort of . . . blah.

I still was certain I wanted to use a few small images, so went digging for an alternate set that would work. I came across Kindness Matters, one that is now retired. This set contains two small butterflies and one larger one. A lightbulb went on.

OK. I don't need FOUR images. Three will do. A little departure from the visions of my dreams, but I am happy with the result:


The orange butterfly is stamped in the new In Color, Tangelo Twist. The other current color I used is Island Indigo. This card gave me the opportunity to use some darling retired ribbon in Gumball Green.

BUT . . . I truly think the STAR of this card is the textured polka dot background. This is achieved with the darling Decorative Dots embossing folder that can be found on page 226 of the new big catalog.

Please share any of your creative dream experiences with us!

Dotty
Smiles.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

EMBOSS RESIST



This probably won't come as a surprise to  many of you, but . . . Others may be comPLETEly surprised to learn that the blue background of this card started out as Whisper White! Cool, huh?

To those not already acquainted, let me introduce you to EMBOSS RESIST. It is an incredibly easy and SATISFYING technique that you should definitely have at the ready. It is perfect for so many instances. This one, for example.

A word of warning though: When doing Emboss Resist, be sure to diligently use your Embossing Buddy. The results of this technique are not nearly as pretty as they should be if you have little dots and spots of stray embossing where you do not want them. So, before starting anything, carefully rub your Embossing Buddy over the surface of your Whisper White (or whatever color you are using) cardstock. This will minimize the incidence of stray powder being embossed onto your project. Can be VERY unsightly!

Basically, you stamp your image(s), in this case, the two corner flower stamps, in VersaMark ink. Since this card started out as a white background, you could use either Clear Embossing Powder or White Embossing Powder. The reason Clear would work equally well is that the white of the cardstock will show through after it is heat embossed. For this card, however, I used White Embossing Powder.

Once your image is stamped in VersaMark, dump Embossing Powder liberally over the stamping. Then funnel the excess powder back into its container. When embossing, very little of the powder goes to waste if you are careful. Flick the back of your piece with your finger to release the final excess powder. Then, heat to emboss, making sure your images are completely shiny. If there are any powdery areas, hit those spots again with the Heat Tool.

To do the resist, take a Stamping Sponge, dab it into your ink (I used Marina Mist here) and with a circular motion, starting off the paper, add the ink to the entire background. Start out softly and gently. You can always add more color. But you cannot take it away. And it can get sort of out of control quickly if you are not careful. For my card, I went over the entire background three times with the ink until I was satisfied with the intensity of the blue color. Once finished, take a tissue and carefully wipe the excess ink off the embossed areas.


I tried to show the raised characteristics of heat embossing in the following photo:


Unfortunately, this lovely stamp set is retired. I went through the current catalog though and discovered the following current sets that would work equally well: you'd have to be creative, but Apothecary Art on page 57 would be lovely; Everything Eleanor on page 69 would be awesome, using the swirl for the emboss resist, and the flowers formed into a bouquet for the center focal point; Flowering Flourishes, page 118, would work wonderfully for Emboss Resist, as would Garden Party on page 138; and several of the images from Flower Patch, a photopolymer set on page 156, would work well. For your focal point, depending on how you want to treat that, MANY sets in the current catalog would work beautifully.

Would you like to give this project a try? Here's how:

Supplies:
Choice of stamp set(s)

Whisper White cardstock
Marina Mist cardstock
Watercolor Paper

VersaMark Ink
Black StazOn Ink
Summer Starfruit Ink
Marina Mist Ink
Strawberry Slush Ink
Gumball Green Ink
Calypso Coral Ink

Big Shot
Ovals Collection Framelits
White Embossing Powder
Heat Tool
Embossing Buddy
Aqua Painters
Ribbon
Stampin' Dimensionals
Mini Glue Dots
Stamping Sponge

Instructions:
Fold an 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of Marina Mist cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Adhere a 5 1/4" x 4" piece of Whisper White cardstock to the card front.

Rub a 5" x 3 3/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock well with the Embossing Buddy. Stamp the corner flowers in two of the corners in VersaMark Ink. Sprinkle the stamped flowers with White Embossing Powder, tapping excess powder back into its container. Heat to emboss, making sure all the flowers are shiny and embossed.

Gradually, in circular motions, sponge Marina Mist Ink onto the embossed piece. Repeat this until you are satisfied with the intensity of the color, making sure the ink is blended evenly for the best appearance.

On an oval of Watercolor Paper, stamp the floral bouquet in Black StazOn Ink. Using an Aqua Painter directly on the various ink pads, "paint" in the flowers, either as in the sample or as you desire.

Adhere the oval to the Emboss Resist piece with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Wrap a piece of ribbon around the bottom of this piece, taping the ends on the back side. Create a bow with more of the ribbon, and attach it onto the flat ribbon, overlapping the bottom of the oval a bit, with a Glue Dot.

Resistable
Smiles.






Sunday, July 6, 2014

ZOO BABY

The stamp set, Zoo Babies, is perfect for creating a darling new baby card. Several of the critters even lend themselves to paper piecing for adding a little dimension.

This card is loosely based upon a card sketch I found online. As I worked through my creative ideas, I deviated away from the sketch a little bit. But it is still fairly true and recognizable as created from the sketch.

I used Designer Series Paper, punches, Framelits and a stamp from a Paper Pumpkin kit! A little heat embossing, buttons and baker's twine, Basic Pearls, Paper Snips and Stampin' Dimensionals all added their own special touches.


Do you see how the elephant's ear is stamped onto the heart DSP, and then cut out? I love how it looks like little matching dots poking through the grid of the stamp. 

And the arrow stamps underneath the heart-festooned banners are from a Paper Pumpkin kit! See how versatile and forever-useful those Paper Pumpkin kits are?!?


Contact me if you would like to learn more about how wonderful Paper Pumpkin is! 

Smiles.