April 4, 2020

WOVEN EASTER

My daughter, Emily, has a sparkly friend who is an art teacher (I once told her that I want to be one of her students!), at an elementary school near Madison. She and her work (and enthusiasm!) can be found at artroomglitterfairy.com. If you need a little pick-me-up, even if you don't see yourself as artistic at all, check her out, and you will come away from her site in smiles. Seriously.

During this time of pandemic isolation, she has a series on Instagram (you can access that from her site) she calls Cool Beans, in which she teaches little art projects that incorporate materials you most likely have around your house.

Just because she is so glittery and entertaining, I make it a point to watch these little episodes on a regular basis. They are not just meant for kiddos, but for any adults also who want to get a pick-me-up through creativity. 

Recently she had a little lesson on simple paper weaving. Since I love anything that involves manipulating paper, I watched her instructions, then went downstairs to my Creative Station to give it a try on my own, using Stampin' Up! cardstock.

The card shown below is the result of my experimenting.


I am just in love with this adorable little chick that is the star of the Full of Happiness set on page 44 of the Mini Catalog. I am using the cutie for all my Easter greetings this year, plus one of the cards my girls created at the March Stamp-In. (Please see my previous post.)


#artroomglitterfairy's instructions told me to fold my bottom layer of paper (I can never remember if it is the warp or the weft??) in half to make my cuts for the weaving. While that made the cutting ever so much easier, I was left with a fold in the middle of my project. 

To alleviate that situation, I tied the Highland Heather ribbon across the crease line and tied it in a bow. There! It looks like it was intentional, when it was actually hiding something I didn't want.


Since I'd added a fluffy bow that would require extra postage to mail it, I decided to add some dimensional-y "eggs" to the card. 

To color these eggs, I used Stampin' Blends that matched the colors I used in my card on these giant pearls that I'd had in my stash (Remember the pearls that were used in those COOL Christmas ornaments years ago?? Well, I still had some left.) I know they're not egg-shaped, but their colors are reminiscent of Easter eggs, so I thought they would work.


So, if you're craving some feel good projects -- and the entertainment value #artroomglitterfairy brings! -- check her out. You will be happy you did!


Watch her VIDEO!! Would't you love to be a student of #artroomglitterfairy?

Woven
Smiles.


March 31, 2020

HAPPY EASTER

At my March Stamp-In Workshop -- before all this social distancing began -- my girls created an Easter card I'd designed for them as one of their projects.


The previous photo did not show the color of the rhinestones very well. Actually, looking closer, this photo doesn't depict them very well either. But, the rhinestones are from the Noble Peacock Rhinestones (page 178 of the Annual Catalog).


I really struggled while designing this card. After I had the card prototype completed, I was not happy with the way it popped open to expose the inside before I wanted it exposed. I tried all sorts of clips as closures. But nothing seemed right. So I set it aside after several failures.

While discussing my dilemma with my very noncreative husband, he said, "Why don't you do something like you do for other cards, that band, or whatever you call it?" Why, yes, Pat! Excellent idea.

So I modified the outside of the card a bit from my prototype and came up with this -- belly band included! -- instead.


Are you ready to experience the grand opening? Here goes:


Ah! The chick is hatching! Oh, and a cute sentiment!


The chick is completely hatched! Welcome to the world, Little One! 
I left the bottom flap blank 
so the sender could write something and/or sign the card.


This adorable chick and the flower are from the Full of Happiness set, found on page 44 of the Mini Catalog. Isn't he just the cutest?


Keep on reading to discover how you can make a card like this yourself!

SUPPLIES:
Soft Seafoam cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
A pink striped retired strip of Designer Series Paper

Full of Happiness set (page 44, Mini Catalog)
Retired sentiment

Mango Melody ink 
Balmy Blue ink
Grapefruit Grove ink
Highland Heather ink

Noble Peacock Rhinestones (page 178, Annual Catalog)
Highland Heather ribbon
Stampin' Dimensionals
Tape

INSTRUCTIONS:
Take a 4" x 8" piece of Soft Seafoam cardstock, and, with the Simply Scored, score it at 2", flip it, and score at 2" again. Fold on the score lines to make a sort of gatefold card.

Ink up the striped half of the egg in Highland Heather ink. Close to the open edge, stamp the egg. Repeat this on the other flap so the two halves of the eggs meet nicely in the middle.

Now go to the inside of this piece.

Add a 3 3/4" square piece of pink cardstock to the center portion.

You will be doing the chick stamping on a 3 1/2" square of Whisper White cardstock. I started with the feet in Grapefruit Grove ink. Matching the body carefully over the feet, stamp the chick in Mango Melody. Add in a Grapefruit Grove beak, and eyes of Balmy Blue. I have stamped this chick several times since I created this card, and find it easier to start with the chick's body, then adding the feet, beak and eyes.

In Highland Heather ink, add a few flowers around his feet. Adhere this finished piece to the pink square already inside the card.

On a 1/2" x 3 1/2" strip of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the sentiment in Highland Heather ink. Add this to a 3/4" x 3 3/4" strip of the matching pink. Adhere this to the upper flap.

Leave the bottom flap clear for signing and/or a little note.

Now, on to the belly band:

Wrap a 1" x 9" piece of pink striped DSP around the closed card, tight enough so it looks neat, but not too tight that it cannot be removed or replaced. When you have this strip properly fitted, adhere it together. This joining will be on the top to be covered with the circle and sentiment.

Wrap a piece of Highland Heather ribbon around with the ends meeting at the center. Tape the ends together. I did add a bit of snail adhesive to the back of the ribbon to hold it in place.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp Happy Easter in Highland Heather ink. Cut it out with the Stitched Shapes circle die that measure about 2" across. Use a Stampin' Dimensional on the circle to cover the seams you made with the DSP and the ribbon. Add a few jewels.


Easter
Smiles.


March 28, 2020

MONDRIAN WANNABE

Did you, by any chance, miss me?

Normally I write and publish my blog posts for Paper Seedlings on Tuesdays and Saturdays without exception. Unless, of course, something occurs to prevent me from doing it.

Well, Tuesday morning I woke up to the dreaded blue screen on my computer. Oh no!! I tried everything that was recommended on the screen, such as diagnosing the problem, then fixing it automatically. I tried this and all that involved four times. Isn't that what they say the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over (and over), hoping for different results? Well, I proved that was true. I even restarted, rebooted (is that the same?), turned it off, unplugged it, everything my little nontechnical peabrain could think of. With no happy results whatsoever. I'd always been under the impression that the BLUE SCREEN is the KISS OF DEATH for a PC.

With that in mind, I ended up ordering a new computer, with my husband's blessing. When my husband came home from work (and I'd talked to him several times that day and he never mentioned this), and I had just completed the transaction for my new laptop, he mentioned that there was a guy in the next city that is supposed to be good at fixing computers. What?? Why didn't you mention that earlier? And what about the Kiss of Death?

So, I placed a call to this guy and explained my Blue Screen. He informed me that it isn't always the Kiss of Death and he'd look at it. Long story short, he was able to revive my three-year-old HP laptop. He told me I'd gotten a bad update. Huh? I thought updates were supposed to be improvements, not to make things worse. Anyway, I have my computer back and a new one slated to be delivered on Monday.

I'd had a card ready for my Tuesday blog post, but without a computer, it had to be pushed back until the Saturday post (my computer arrived back home yesterday). So, a few days late, here we go.

What do you think of the cool paper on the easel below?


This paper is part of the second release for the freebies from Sale-A-Bration. The Specialty Designer Series Paper is called Flowering Foils, and it is simply lovely. I'd shown you another card I made from this pack of DSP in this blog post, which is conveniently entitled Flowering Foils. 

I cut a portion of the above paper and took my Stampin' Blends to it. And, did I have a wonderful time! 


As I was busy coloring the paper, I had the thought that it sort of resembled the work of Piet Mondrian, a Dutch artist who worked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Considered one of the great artists of the 20th century, his work is fun to look at.

Below is a copy of Broadway Boogie Woogie, painted towards the end of Mondrian's life. If you're interested in checking out a little more about him and view more of his work, you can do that here


Are you reminded of his work at all when looking at how I treated this DSP?


When I took the photos for this post, the weather outside was crummy, and, no matter what I do, that crumminess is always portrayed in my photos. Very frustrating. 

I tried, unsuccessfully, to capture the beauty of the metallic foils on the paper. In the photo below, you can see a bit of the rose gold in the lines.


For my card, I used the following Stampin' Blends: Dark Calypso Coral, Dark Daffodil Delight, Dark Mint Macaron and Light Pretty Peacock.


The large label I used for my Smile sentiment is a die from the Stitched So Sweetly Dies, found on page 20 of the Mini Catalog. This set of dies is wonderful, so varied. I sincerely hope they show up in the new Annual Catalog. 

I colored in the word "smile" with the Light Pretty Peacock Stampin' Blend. 


To try to bring the composition together, I stamped some fluffy little things from a past Paper Pumpkin kit in matching colors, as well as adding a wider strip of Pretty Peacock cardstock topped by a thinner strip of Daffodil Delight cardstock.


This is a card that I don't plan to send to anyone for any occasion. I am going to add it to my growing collection of inspirational cards that I have in my computer room. Little reminders.


Sale-A-Bration ends in just three short days. This Specialty Designer Series Paper, Flowering Foils, is still available for free with a $50 purchase! Hurry!

Wannabe
Smiles.


March 21, 2020

FLOWERING FOILS

This afternoon, in the midst of all the confusion and angst that our world is experiencing currently, I was driven to do some coloring. And, how relaxing an escape it was! I so appreciate this Creative Therapy I am lucky enough to be able to indulge in during times of stress.


The second release of freebies you can earn during Sale-A-Bration has been available for a little while now. My favorite among these items is the elegant paper, Flowering Foils Specialty Designer Series Paper. 

I became super inspired by all you can do with this luscious paper while watching this video put out by Stampin' Up!. The sheet I used in my card is the one shown on the top of the pack as Natalie goes through the four designs in the video. 


I carefully cut the single flower I planned on coloring away from the rest of the sheet. I used Stampin' Blends in both shades of the Seaside Spray for the flower, Light So Saffron for the center of the flower, and the Light and Dark Soft Sea Foam for the leaves.

Once the coloring was finished, I fussy cut the flower tight against the image lines. I also fussy cut the little dangling buds.


The images on this set of DSP are done in an exquisite metallic silver and rose gold. Even though it is actually rose gold, I had some brushed copper cardstock that I thought complemented the color really well, so I used that as the larger circle that surrounds the smaller embossed circle in Soft Sea Foam on which the flower rests.

I made a mistake when creating the soft green circle for the flower, not following my own instructions that I always give at my workshops: When embossing and die cutting a single piece, ALWAYS do the die cutting first, THEN the embossing. With this card, I wasn't sure of the size of diecut I was going to use, much less the shape of it. So I embossed a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Soft Sea Foam cardstock with which to work. 

When I finally decided on the circle shape and size, I ran it through the Big Shot for die cutting. And -- woe is me! -- it slightly flattened the embossing. Which, happily, it worked to my satisfaction. The heavily embossed look was just a bit too much for the delicate flower, and would have overpowered it. At least, I tell myself that's the case. 

So, then when it came to using the same Basket Weave embossing folder (page 198 in the Annual Catalog) on the silver metallic cardstock, I first embossed it, and then -- you guessed it! -- I ran it through the Big Shot once more after removing it from the embossing folder to flatten it a bit too. 


Notice the soft embossing in the circle atop 
the equally soft embossing in the silver background. 


To carry on with the faux rose gold coloring by using copper embossing powder, I stamped and embossed the "Happy Day" sentiment from the darling Itty Bitty Greetings set (page 30, Annual Catalog).


After embossing my sentiment, I used the smallest rectangle die from the Stitched So Sweetly Dies on page 20 of the Mini Catalog. Don't you just love the scalloped edge and the stitching on this die? Perfection!

This is where I used the fussy cut buds I had saved. I just glued them at an angle on the sentiment label before adhering it to the card.


I must admit that, since this set of dies and the glorious Flowering Foils Specialty Designer Series Paper arrived on my doorstep on Tuesday, I have been completely infatuated. So, expect to see more featuring both of these products. I have a few things started already.


If you would like to get some of this beautiful DSP in your hands, there are only ten more days of Sale-A-Bration. Order $50 (before shipping and tax) and a pack of the DSP is all yours! Let me know if I can help!

Specialty 
Smiles.


March 17, 2020

MEERKAT CELEBRATE

During Sale-A-Bration, which is going on until March 31!, have any of you ordered the SAB freebie, The Gang's All Meer (page 3 in the brochure)? A darling -- very nonserious -- set, it can be used in so many ways. For example, do you remember the huuuuge gang I shared with you in this post, where I incorporated lots of masking? 

In these very uncertain times, we definitely will want to grab all the levity we can. Don't you agree? 


I had lots of <technical> fun figuring out the card my girls made at the March Stamp-In, shown below. With a vision in my head of how I wanted the card to function, it took some trial and error to get it right, so it opens and closes smoothly without any glitches.


The photo below shows the card starting its opening process.


A little closer, more detailed photo of the grand opening, 
I wanted to highlight the beautiful texture of the background 
made possible by a great new embossing folder, Coastal Weave Embossing Folder, 
found on page 39 of the current Mini Catalog. 


Here is a tutorial on how to recreate this card on your own. If you don't already have the Sale-A-Bration set, The Gang's All Meer, now's the time to make a $50 purchase and get your own set for free!

SUPPLIES:
Crumb Cake cardstock
Cherry Cobbler cardstock

The Gang's All Meer (Sale-A-Bration brochure, page 3)
Retired Celebrate stamp (still have yours??)

Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Light Crumb Cake Stampin' Blend
White Gel Pen

Big Shot
Layering Circles dies (page 193, Annual Catalog)
Coastal Weave Embossing Folder (page 39, Mini Catalog)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Take a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Crumb Cake cardstock, and, with the Simply Scored, score at 2 1/8", flip it around, and score at 2 1/8" again. Fold on the score lines and burnish the creases with a bone folder. You just made a traditional gatefold card.

Run two pieces of Cherry Cobbler cardstock that measure 1 7/8" x 5 1/4" through the Big Shot inside the Coastal Weave Embossing Folder. Adhere these to both gatefolds of the card base.

On a 3" piece of Crumb Cake cardstock, stamp the meerkat gang in Memento Tuxedo Black cardstock. Use the Light Crumb Cake Stampin' Blend to color them all in. No need to be careful with the coloring, except skip the teeth on the middle guy. Use a white gel pen to whiten his teeth. Set this aside so the white pen can dry completely.

Using the 2 5/8" die from the Layering Circles Dies, cut a circle from Cherry Cobbler cardstock. Surround this cut-out circle with the scallop die that measures about 3" in diameter. Once you have it centered in place, carefully add a few strips of sticky tape to hold it. Run through the Big Shot. You should have a scalloped open circle.

By now, the white gel pen should be dry. Take that piece with the meerkats on it, and using the same circle you used on the Cherry Cobbler cardstock, center the gang and cut it out.

Adhere the meerkat piece to the left gatefold, putting adhesive only on the left side. This should be approximately centered and about an inch or so from the top of the embossed piece.

Add adhesive to only one half of the scalloped circle. Carefully holding it in place over the meerkat piece for positioning, attach this frame to the left gatefold.

In black, stamp "celebrate" on a piece of Crumb Cake cardstock that measures 1 1/4" x 3". Adhere this piece to the left gatefold.


Katty
Smiles.