Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SKETCH IN BLUE

I did something a little different the other day. Well, at least, it was something I've never done before. 

I wanted to participate in a sketch challenge put forth by the Paper Players. Not having any specific image in mind, I -- here is the different part -- reached into the drawer where I store all my Stampin' Up! clear mount stamp sets, shut my eyes, and randomly picked one. 

The set that came to hand was a beautiful Hostess Set, Bloom With Hope.

This loose interpretation of the sketch challenge is what I ended up creating:


I had great fun with the flower. In planning to do an emboss resist technique with it, I embossed the image in elegant gold, then used Sponge Daubers to add varying shades of blue to the petals and warm colors for the center. 

When I finished, the flower was just not prominent enough for my taste. The fix came as the result of adding a little Island Indigo Stampin' Write Marker on the petals and Calypso Coral in the center. 


The end result then was a more stand-out flower that is still elegant because of the gold embossing. 

Here is the sketch upon which my card was based:

http://thepaperplayers.blogspot.com/2015/01/paper-players-challenge-229-jaydees.html
So, anyway, I call this a Random Act of Creativity. Do you ever find yourself choosing a set and/or image randomly like I did for this challenge card?

Random
Smiles.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

SOARING

I had my wits about me enough last week to order a darling Hostess Set from the new Occasions Catalog that went into effect January 6. The set, Time to Celebrate, not only has a few good sentiments, but four of the cutest images ever. 

In fact, as soon as I saw the hot air balloon, I knew that I would be using paper piecing on my version. 


For the background I used, of course, Soft Sky. I stamped the balloon a few more times on Island Indigo and Calypso Coral Designer Series Papers and on Daffodil Delight cardstock. After carefully cutting out the various components, I adhered them to their proper places on the balloon. 

I repeated the color scheme by punching out a handful of banners for the top of the card.



Hot air balloons drift through the sky above houses, trees, people, etc. Right? In my experience, it is always a thrill to become aware of one peacefully making its way across a beautiful summer sky. 

Anyway, the balloon just drifting across the sky alone was just not enough. I recalled that I had a long-retired set that included houses, trees and clouds. Once again, I set to stamping the images in the same colors on Whisper White cardstock. After cutting out the various roofs, housetops and trees, I glued them all in place at the bottom of the Soft Sky piece. I also embossed in white a few clouds in the sky. 

Bitty Banners and the accompanying Framelits made easy work of the greeting, which I popped up in place between the balloon and the city below. 


In the midst of winter -- January, to be exact -- the image of a peaceful hot air balloon drifting by overhead is a harbinger of the sultry breezes of summer still too far around the corner. Sigh.

Right now, during Sale-A-Bration, if your order before shipping and tax comes to at least $150, you can not only order this cute set as part of your Hostess Benefits, but you ALSO GET THREE OF THE SPECIAL SALE-A-BRATION GOODIES FOR FREE. Something to think about. Get your own Time to Celebrate set and experience vicariously the soft gentle breezes of summer yet-to-come.

Soaring
Smiles.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

VALENTINE MASHUP

Wahoo! I must say "Wahoo"! I had so much fun creating this Valentine concoction! It made good use of my always-ready Paper Seedlings thinking cap.

You see, I've been a happyhappyhappy Paper Pumpkin subscriber for quite some time now. Many times, when I get the monthly kit, I do not use all the components that come with each kit. This leaves me with lots of cute little supplies. 

These leftover supplies are all separated and stored for future use, i.e., embellishments together, stickers together, stamps together. Well, you see where I'm going. And all these little goodies are stored in their own bright red Paper Pumpkin box. A happy stack of Paper Pumpkin boxes is enough to bring an anticipatory smile to anyone's face.

Well, I have been looking at that happy stack ever since we moved into our "new" house, almost two months ago now. Over the weekend, I finally came to the decision to use up some of these leftovers. 

One of the kits that I had never gotten to use yet is the one with the little pie-shaped boxes, because it came right in the middle of all the packing/moving turmoil. Picking up one of the triangular boxes, I realized that it would make an adorable container for Valentine treats. I then proceeded to embellish one as such.



As I accumulate the wonderful stamps that come with each monthly kit, I stamp each image in Marina Mist on one of two sheets: images and sentiments/words. (Actually, the latter of the two sheets has expanded onto a second sheet.) It is easy to lay out these sheets and gaze at ALL the Paper Pumpkin stamps I have available for me to use. 

For this project, I chose the blotchy background stamp on the larger heart, the small heart stamp on the center of the red heart and on the folded-over LOVE banner. The LOVE stamp came from another earlier kit. 

The red-and-white striped pieces were two of the "blades" from the pinwheel kit. The "pole" that supports the six small hearts is created from another of the blades from the same pinwheel, simply by cutting six of the red and white strips apart, then stacking them together. I added the red and white punched hearts to each of these strips. 

The partial doily was left over from another project, as was the hemp twine and the banner that is folded in half. 

The only things I added from my own personal stash were scrap pieces of Real Red and Whisper White cardstock, from which I punched the little hearts. And I used the Hearts A Flutter Framelits to create the two larger hearts from the rest of the scrap cardstock.


I know this piece is just a tad over-the-top. But, isn't it fun??!?

How do you use the leftover components from your Paper Pumpkin kits? Do you ever create a "mashup" like I did with this Valentine treat box?

JUST A SIDE NOTE: I received my January Paper Pumpkin kit in the mail just yesterday, a few days after I created this project. After opening the kit, I was struck by all the wonderful stamps that would have been ideal to use in this project. However, then I wouldn't have been forced to be as creative as I was in choosing from the non-Valentine stamps I had accumulated thus far. Paper Seedlings to the rescue! Wahoo!

Mashup 
Smiles.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

CALENDAR FOR THE NEW YEAR

For the past several years, I have made calendars in some shape or form for a few people on my gift list. They are fairly time-consuming. I'm sure there is an easier way to accomplish the same thing, but being fairly computer UNsavvy, I have yet to find it. So, suffice it to say, I find them time-consuming.

Usually I spend the month of November creating these calendars. HOWEVER, as you probably already know, my November, as well as my October,  my September, my . . . need I go on? were horrendously, well, horrendous. 

We downsized from 4,000 square feet to 2,500 square feet. I know, 2,500 still sounds like a pretty big house, but when you've filled up every square inch of 4,000 square feet, and you lose 1,500 of them, it is a huge challenge. Moving day was finally the day before Thanksgiving. 

Thus, I had absolutely no time to create these little lovelies.

My mom, one of my calendar recipients, never looks ahead to the design beyond the month we are currently in. On the first of each month, she shares her excitement with me when she sees what page she gets to look at for the next month. 

She sadly accepted the fact that there would be no calendar for this year. And I felt guilty.

The past few weeks, my dad has been very ill. His illness not only is taking its toll on him, but on Mom as well. I feel so helpless, living 100 miles away from all that is going on. 

Since my husband and I were off yesterday, we decided to take a drive down there to visit the two of them. I thought maybe it would be a little day-brightener for Mom if I would have a calendar for her when we arrived. So, I spent a few days working with my MDS (My Digital Studio), creating a 2015 calendar for her.

When I presented it to her, she was thrilled, and announced that she was not going to look ahead. And proceeded to set it up immediately. I'm glad I did it for her.

The last few years, the calendars were made to fit inside the cute little plastic cases that Stampin' Up! sold for awhile. Mom just keeps her case, and I fill it for her with 12 cute little seasonal pages that she will enjoy for the year to come.

This is what the calendar looks like standing up inside its open case:


Here you can see the array of all 12 months of the year:


And, finally quarterly close-ups:





MDS makes it so fun and easy to update calendars from previous years. Simply delete the prior year's month and replace it easily with the current year. You can then build your pages around the calendar portion. 

If you are so inclined, please keep my dad (and my mom) in your prayers?

Updated
Smiles.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

CHEERFUL CRITTERS TUTORIAL

It's been awhile since I've treated you all to a tutorial. I think it's about time that I do that once again!

Monday was my first Stamp-In Workshop in my new home. I haven't been able to host a workshop since October what with all the purging, packing, moving, unpacking, settling, etc. I promised the girls that I would hold one in January, and I DID! 

This is one of the cards that they created on Monday:


Cheerful Critters, a new set in the new Occasions Catalog (page 14), immediately struck me as completely PRECIOUS! Their deadpan expressions and their excited upraised skinny arms (the bunny and the bear anyway) endeared them to me. Since I am a demonstrator, I am lucky enough to be able to preorder items from an as yet unreleased catalog. So, I was able to get the set and have a sample ready for my girls to make right around the time that the catalog went live.

Although the critters' shirts already had a design via the stamping, I decided to elaborate on that by stamping their cute shirts on leftover scraps of DSP that I was hoarding for a project such as this particular one:


Would you like to try your hand at creating a cute happy card like this one? Here's how:

Supplies:
Cheerful Critters stamp set

Pool Party cardstock
Pear Pizzazz cardstock
Naturals Ivory cardstock
Assorted Designer Series Paper scraps

Black StazOn ink
Pool Party ink

Big Shot
Ovals Collection Framelits
Banner Punch
Stampin' Sponge
Paper Snips
Stampin' Dimensionals
Baker's Twine
Green Glue
Large Polka Dot Embossing Folder

Instructions:
Fold a sheet of 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Naturals Ivory cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Pool Party cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Large Polka Dot Embossing Folder. Adhere this piece to the card front.

Add a 1" x 5 1/4" strip of Pear Pizzazz cardstock about 1 - 1 1/2" from the top of the dotted piece.

On a scrap of Naturals Ivory cardstock, stamp the chick, including his sign. Cut him out with the appropriate Oval Framelit in the Big Shot. Sponge the edges of the oval with Pool Party ink. Adhere the oval over the green strip.

On Naturals Ivory cardstock scrap, stamp the other two critters. Carefully cut them out. If you truly HATE the cutting, you can eliminate their arms. But I think their little upraised cheering arms look so cute! Up to you.

From among your scraps of DSP, choose three that will be the shirts for your critters. Stamp the shirt portions in black. Cut out the shirts. On the bear, if you eliminated the arms, you can skip the arms of his shirt. Glue the shirts over the ivory-colored ones, including the one in the oval.

Add a couple Stampin' Dimensionals to the backs of these two critters and, overlapping the oval slightly, adhere them to the card front.

From the leftovers of your shirts, use the Banner Punch to punch out some banners. Cut a piece of the Baker's Twine. Tie it into a bow, and glue the bows to the banners. Once they have dried enough, attach the banners happily to the green strip with a Stampin' Dimensional on each one.

^ # ^ # ^ # ^ # ^ # ^ # ^ # ^ # ^ # ^ # ^

Before I close, I need to tell you about something WONderful that is going on at Stampin' Up! right now: their annual SALE-A-BRATION! This year, the event runs until March 31! 

During this time, for every $50 you spend (before shipping and tax), you can choose one FREE item from the special Sale-A-Bration brochure! Woo hoo! 

Free selections run the gamut from exclusive limited time stamp sets, accessory packs, Designer Series Paper packs, Project Life goodies, Specialty Designer Series Paper, AND packs of Blendabilities Markers! 

If you would like a copy of the Sale-A-Bration brochure, let me know, and I will get one mailed out to you! C'mon join the limited-time fun of earning wondrous FREE STUFF!

Cheerful
Smiles.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

A NEGATIVE HELLO

A NEGATIVE HELLO? Huh? Let me share with you a little story of how HELLO SPRINKLES can be transformed into A NEGATIVE HELLO.

Just a reminder of what the December 2014 Paper Pumpkin kit, All Shook Up, 
would look like if following the instructions as given:


And then my take on the kit, with the only change basically being that I set the greeting straight 
as opposed to the angled look as per the instructions:


To get the "hello", the word is peeled off of a strip of identical sentiments. The released word has adhesive on the back, so it's easy to put it in its place. 

Normally, I guess you would throw away the remaining negative space from which the word came. HOWEVER, as I was peeling mine off, I realized that the negative space is just as attractive as the original word, and could be used on another project. Hmmm. This way I could get TWICE the words from the kit! So, as I continued to peel, I carefully saved the inner pieces of the letters. After my word was peeled away, I put the inner pieces back onto the negative base with a dot of Green Glue.


Cutting the negative piece away from the rest of the sheet left me with a wonderful solid base. I was eager to put this wonderful element to good use. By adding a few solid colors, in this case Real Red and Daffodil Delight, I was able to create a card with a completely different look:


By using several of the other components that came with the kit -- sequins, stars, the hellohellohello stamp in gray on gray and the gray card base, it is easy to see that this card was still a result of this kit. But, with a different feel.

Have you worked with your All Shook Up Paper Pumpkin kit yet? Are you following the instructions precisely? Have you deviated from them at all? How? 

You say you didn't receive the All Shook Up kit? Ahem. Why not? Haven't you subscribed to this monthly dose of fun yet? Get your little self over to MyPaperPumpkin.com and get signed up! And tell them that I sent you! 

Negative
Smiles.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

THE WISE GOOSE

Way back when I first started my Paper Seedlings blog, I did a few pieces on MDS (My Digital Studio) featuring some of my favorite quotes.

I decided recently that I wanted to revive this practice. Instead of using MDS though, I thought I would present the quotes in the form of a bookmark.

All the bookmarks will be the same width because I will form the tag top with the Angled Tag Topper punch.

To make this bookmark, starting with a 2" x 12" strip of the Designer Series Paper I have chosen for my creation, I made the top of the tag with the punch. I then proceeded to hand letter the quote with a Stampin' Up! alphabet stamp set. I purposely was not careful about my letter spacing and evenness because I really think it adds to the handmade look of the piece. And I just like the way it looks.

Once I finished with the author's name, I added the weeds from the Wetlands set in Always Artichoke. I then added the goose from the same set over the weeds in VersaMark, embossing him with Black Embossing Powder.

At this point, I was able to determine just how long my bookmark would be. After cutting off the excess DSP. I sponged all the edges, then added a piece of the retired green denim ribbon to the top. Because this particular DSP was not as thick as I would like it to be for a bookmark that would be handled frequently, I backed it with a like size piece of black cardstock. This gives it strength and durability.


Isn't that Honest Abe just the smartest? There are so many wonderful quotes attributed to him.


Please let me know if you would like to see me continue to create these quote bookmarks on occasion and share them on Paper Seedlings. 

P.S. The lovely ecru doily shown in the first photo was crocheted by my mom. I love her doilies!

Quotable
Smiles.