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.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

STARSHINE 4TH

I thought creating a sunburst/starburst card in patriotic colors would be a good idea for the Fourth of July, since the rays of the pattern look a little like bursting fireworks. 

Instead of placing all the rays tight up to each other as is normally done in this technique, I left a gap between each of them. For the gaps I used Whisper White cardstock embossed inside the Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder. By having the white white gaps between the rays, it gives the card a lot more of a POP -- or BANG! or SIZZLE? or PIZZAZZ? How about KABOOM?!? 


At the spot where all the rays intersect, I created my focal point using two sets of Framelits: Apothecary Accents. Do you notice that I have TWO of these pieces, one each in red and blue, staggered so the points resemble -- once again -- something of a starburst or fireworks. I also used the Circles Collection for my happy little sentiment. I stamped and cut out stars complete with sparkle(rs) to pop up around the circle.


I hope you have a happy happy happy 4th of July -- and that you and yours all stay safe!

Starry
Smiles.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

PATRIOTIC GRUNGE

This card came together fairly nicely, without just too much strain on the brain. 
I had planned that the end result would be a play on the American flag. 
Well?

Gorgeous Grunge was used in two spots on the card. Of course, the red stripes are quite apparent. Then, you may recognize the big ink blot from Gorgeous Grunge in the stars.

But, wait. What's that? That is NOT how the Gorgeous Grunge stamp is.


To achieve a bit of extra texture and interest in the stars, I did a technique Stampin' Up! refers to a REVERSE KISSING. 

I first inked up the ink blot stamp with Pacific Point. Then, before stamping, I took a DRY STAMP of polka dots left over from a previous Paper Pumpkin kit and stamped into the ink. That lifted a bit of the blue ink and gave it its interesting look. 

The dots were actually INVERTED rather than OUTVERTED(????). Uh huh. I just mean that the dots themselves were sunken into the stamp rather than protruding. Oh Linda, just go down to your Creation Station and grab the stamps so they know what you're talking about!

CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP

Puff puff. I'm back. Here are the stamps:

You can see the big ink blot from Gorgeous Grunge, covered with the leftover Pacific Point ink.

To give it the kiss of dots, I took the UNINKED circular photopolymer stamp from a Paper Pumpkin kit, and pressed it against the inked stamp. 

NOW, since the dots were sunken rather than protruding, it was the area around the dots that pressed against the inked stamp. Thus, you get a much different look than if the stamp was just the reverse, with the dots protruding and the area around them sunken. Do you know what I mean? 

Do you notice the ink residue solely on the surrounding areas? 

Oh man.

OK. Here is your assignment: Try this Reverse Kissing technique with two different dotted stamps: one with the sunken dots like I used, and another with protruding dots. Report back the difference you see.


Anyway, here is the close-up result you get with inverted dots: 


I do love the interesting, lively look the Reverse Kissing technique gave to these stars.

Grungy
Smiles.