Wednesday, February 3, 2016

LOVE YOU QUILT

Hey, it's time for another Valentine! And, guess what! For a change, I made a paper quilted card! Yeah, I know. I never do that, do I?

Anyway, I thought a loving Valentine quilt would be cute and cozy. Not a really tough design, but I do like how it turned out.

I used the Love Blossoms Designer Series Paper Stack on page 17 of the Occasions Catalog for my quilt strips. The strips are 1/4" wide. And the center square is made with the 3/4" Square Punch. 


The finished card doesn't have a whole lot of dimension. Mainly just in the little heart that I popped up with a Stampin' Dimensional and the Basic Rhinestone in the center of the heart. That's it for dimension. The rest of the card is utterfly FLAT.


Just a little close-up of the "quilted" portion of the card:


I first of all finished up the quilt piece, then layered it onto a piece of Crumb Cake cardstock, and topped it onto a Blushing Bride cardstock base. 

For a few days, the card -- in that state -- just sort of took it leisurely on my work table. Because I wasn't sure where to go from there.

Obviously, I knew I wanted it to be a Valentine. But I had such a narrow space on the bottom of the card to finish off, and nothing was clicking. I tried planting a few Paper Seedlings, but nothing was taking root.

A few days later, I came down to my Creation Station and took another look at the unfinished Valentine. 

As I was searching through my Framelits for something that would work, I came upon my "Hello You" Thinlits set. I liked the idea of planting the "you" on the bottom of the card. But that didn't seem to be enough -- by a long shot. 

Hmmm. Hmmm. Hmmm.

My gaze landed on a newer set I had acquired: Bloomin' Love, found on page 17 of the Occasions Catalog. By using a Rose Red Stampin' Write Marker, it was easy to magically change the LOVE YOU stamp into simply "LOVE". And that worked great with the diecut "you". 

Still too bare though. I decided to use another stamp from this set since it coordinates with the DSP I used in my quilting. Thus, the little Rose Red heart/flower was born.

It STILL needed something. 

Finally, finally, I hit upon the little dotted line from a Paper Pumpkin kit of a few months ago. It was absolutely PERFECT! Yay!

And, another little thing I really like about my final decision. The bottom is quite whimsical and asymetrical, while the quilted portion is completely linear, totally in order. To me, a nice contrast!


Do you ever get stuck on a project like I did? How do you handle this? Do you keep on pushing until the card is done -- maybe not to your liking, but done anyway? Or, like me, do you let it rest for awhile, maybe even a few days, and try again? Do you ever just give up in frustration and toss the "failure" in the round file?

Let us inside your creative head!

Love YOU
Smiles.



Sunday, January 31, 2016

SPOTLIGHTED BLOSSOM

One longtime favorite technique that I haven't played with for awhile is the Spotlighting Technique. There are various ways of doing spotlighting, but I think the most striking path to take is framing the spotlighted area in a coordinating circle just a wee larger. It remains part of the whole, but brings it to the fore just perfectly.

I have always loved this sprig of spring blossoms. Although I'm never able to decide whether it is apple or cherry blossom. Whatever. I guess it doesn't matter. It is just so lovely. And -- as a matter of fact -- it is perfect for the spotlighting technique.

The individual blossom that I had chosen to spotlight seemed to be the ideal choice since it was the only flower fully facing the viewer. Also, I like the fact that its position is not quite centered, a spot that makes a composition more pleasing to the eye. I used to have a professor who always said, "There's a reason they call it DEAD CENTER." True, so true. 

To add color to my spotlighted flower, I brought out my beloved Prismacolor Pencils. And went to work with varying shades of pink. 

Unfortunately, I colored my flower first. THEN I was left with the task of matching the cardstock colors to the pinks I had chosen. Alas, none of the current Stampin' Up! pinks were quite right. So, I was forced to dig into my retired stash of cardstock for both the pink and the green. That's always OK with me because so many of those retired colors are still lovely in my eyes and I still am thrilled to be able to bring them into my creations once in awhile. 


I must admit that, with the exception of the Whisper White cardstock, the circle punches and the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits, this card is basically created with retired product, including the pretty and versatile Fancy Fans embossing folder, the ribbons and the cardstock colors.


A little view from the side shows the beautiful contrast in dimension when the spotlighted portion is popped up with a Stampin' Dimensional right over the matching area that had been stamped in plain ol' black.


Do you have an oldie but goodie technique that you revisit on occasion? Share with us what that might be. 

Spotlighted
Smiles.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

JUST FOR YOU

For my January Stamp-In Workshop, I featured some of the new product from the Collections Catalog, as well as possible freebies from the Sale-A-Bration catalog in my projects.

On one of my cards, I used the Botanicals For You stamp set, shown on page 4 of the Sale-A-Bration flyer. This set includes the huge sentiment, "Just For You", a few finishers for that sentiment, and five of these darling flowers and branches.

I also used a little of the Wildflower Fields Designer Series Paper on page 12 of the same flyer. This pack of paper has so many darling designs to choose from, it is difficult to settle on just one.


After the workshop was over, I needed a birthday card for my niece, who was turning 18. So, I revamped the original design a bit to hopefully appeal to the "grown-up-ness" of a new 18-year-old. I changed the DSP choice, the color scheme just a bit, and the embossing folder.


The sprightly stamped flowers in conjunction with the Decorative Dots embossing folder gives a truly winning look.


For a more "mature" look, I opted for the Arrows embossing folder combined with the flowers and branches.


And the two cards side by side:
It must be an optical illusion that the card on the right looks so much wider. They are identical sizes. Hmmm.



How about creating one of these cards on your own? Following are the supplies and instructions to make the card that was created at my Stamp-In Workshop.

SUPPLIES:
Wildflower Fields DSP (page 12 in SAB catalog)
Botanicals for You (page 4 in SAB catalog)

Old Olive cardstock
Calypso Coral cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Basic Black cardstock

Lost Lagoon ink
Old Olive ink
Black ink
Calypso Coral Stampin' Write Marker

Big Shot
Decorative Dots embossing folder
Lost Lagoon Ribbon
1/4" Hole Punch

INSTRUCTIONS:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Old Olive cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Stamp the flowers randomly close to the edges of a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock in Lost Lagoon ink. Follow with the little branches in Old Olive.

Insert this finished piece inside the Decorative Dots embossing folder and run it through the Big Shot. Use the Calypso Coral Stampin' Write Marker to color in the centers of some of the flowers.

Wrap a 5" piece of Lost Lagoon ribbon around this piece so the bottom of the ribbon lands about 
1 1/4"  above the lower edge. Tape the ribbon ends onto the back.

Adhere this piece to the card base.

In black ink, stamp "Just for You" in the center of a 2" x 4" piece of Designer Series Paper of choice. Please keep in mind that your DSP should not be just too BUSY; otherwise the words will get lost in the busy-ness. Adhere this to a 2 1/8" x 4 1/8" piece of black cardstock.

Adhere this to the card base over the ribbon.

From a scrap of Calpyso Coral cardstock, punch two 1/4" circles. Adhere them to each side of the ribbon.

In black, stamp the rest of the sentiment inside the card. I used ". . . on your special day".

Just for YOU
Smiles.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

BEAUTIFUL BOTANICALS

Of course, first on my wish list of goodies from the new Occasions Catalog was the bundle, Bloomin' Heart/Love, that could create the unprecedented detailed beauty to be found in this card:



Next on my wish list from the new Occasions Catalog was another incredible bundle: the Botanical trio found on page 26. Well, I ordered it with my last Stamp-In Workshop order. I could hardly wait for this to arrive!

The Botanical Builder Framelits Dies are phenomenal. An almost infinite number of combinations can be achieved by mixing and matching the dies as well as paper color choices. 

I had seen a suggested color palette consisting of Bermuda Bay, Pool Party, Pear Pizzazz, Daffodil Delight and Tangelo Twist, so decided to go ahead for my first foray into playing with these dies with this color combo:


I certainly haven't popped up these components as much as they could be, but don't you just love the dimension, even the way I did it??


Let me tell you a little <horror> story about the sentiment on my card. Now, don't be TOO scared, 'cause you see, the story does have a happy ending.

After planting my flowers along a two-edged border made from Washi Tape, I had intended for that to be the sole dimension on the card. To achieve that goal, I stamped the sentiment (from the Rose Wonder stamp set on page 18 of the Occasions Catalog) in Pear Pizzazz right on the card base. It looked . . . OK. Just OK. That vast expanse of WHITE WHITE WHITE below and to the right of the sentiment bothered me considerably. So I thought a few splotches from the Timeless Textures set (page 29 of the Occasions Catalog) here and there, also in Pear Pizzazz, might give it just the right finishing touch.

Now -- ARE YOU READY?? -- here comes the scary part. Not realizing that I had sloppily inked up my splotches stamp and gotten a little "u" of ink on the edge of the stamp, I transferred this completely UGLY "u" to my card base along with the desired splotches. This was after all the flowers were in place and the hard work was done!! I mean, really, Linda. How long have you been stamping??? You know better to be more careful.

O.M.G. How am I going to fix this?!? I needed to fill up quite a bit of space to cover my mess-up. I couldn't come up with any single element that would do the trick. That stupid little "u" of Pear Pizzazz ink kept sticking out and LAUGHING at me.

Finally, finally, I came up with a solution that turned out to be perfect.

I stamped the sentiment  on Whisper White and cut it out with one of the Framelits from Chalk Talk. All well and good, but the "u" was still there.

So, I added a bit of the matching Washi Tape to a scrap of Whisper White and punched it out with the Banner Punch. After adhering the little coordinating banner to the back side of my label, I popped the whole thing up with a few Stampin' Dimensionals, and VOILA!! It covered up the whole mess.

For balance, I added a Candy Dot to the bottom of the tag. I liked that because it was an echo of the Candy Dot I had added to the center of one of the flowers.


I simply adore the look especially of the many-branched center of the flower below. I am going to use that A LOT! I guarantee that.


Now, I am excited to play with the Botanical Gardens Designer Series Paper that comes with this bundle. There are some awesome things you can do with this DSP. Stay tuned . . .

Botanical
Smiles.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

TWISTED RIBBON

The other day I was in the mood to play with some Paper Pumpkin. 

At times, I will do part of a kit, and then set the rest of it aside for another future play date. The October Paper Pumpkin kit is a perfect example of this happening. 

I had previously made up a few of the cards using components from the kit. 

The story of one of them, pictured below, can be found BY CLICKING HERE.


The post about this one can be found HERE.



So, to continue the saga of the October Paper Pumpkin kit, below is a photo of my latest card. 

For this card, I went a little crazy with the stamps that came with the kit. They are featured, of course, on the sentiment. I stamped the teeny tiny flowers and matching leaves all over the watercolor-look background that came in the kit. A portion of one of the stamped flowers formed a border arounnd the Lost Lagoon piece. I LOVE the stamps that came with this kit, knowing I will be using them often.

The watercolor background was actually a two-color piece, twice the size of that on my card. The other half was in Calypso Coral. Intending to utilize the entire piece initially, I stamped the double layer with the flowers and leaves. However, when it came to actually using it like that, I just could not make it work to my satisfaction.

I got out my trowel and planted some Paper Seedlings, and this is what grew. I simply cut the piece in half and set aside the Calypso Coral portion for a future card. Yay! Now I had much more to work with. So, that's when I went for the multiple layers. 

I loved the banners that came with the kit. But, for this card, I opted for a two-layered look by nesting two tags created from retired Framelits. This approach gave a bright and snappy look to my sentiment. It also gave me the opportunity to add in a little Calypso Coral to add one more pop of color.


I was happy enough with the way the card was coming together at this point, thinking that simply adding a little strip of Lost Lagoon ribbon would be the perfect finish.

When I laid that strip of ribbon in place, it somehow fell flat. No personality. 

To perk it up a bit, I did something I had never tried before. I TWISTED THE RIBBON. Just softly. I didn't want to flatten out the twists by making them too tight.

It's not perfect, but I really like the way it looks! And it was a good embellishment with some personality, as well as a pop of dimension.


As generous as these Paper Pumpkin kits are in the supplies included, I still have many pieces left from this kit alone to make up several more cards. Stay tuned to see what I come up with!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Speaking of Paper Pumpkin, during Sale-A-Bration, Paper Pumpkin is ON SALE! A 3-month Prepaid Subscription is normally $59.85. But, during Sale-A-Bration, it is on sale for $55.00. When you set yourself up with a 3-month subscription, you qualify for ONE FREE SALE-A-BRATION ITEM!


Don't miss your chance to save on a 3-month Paper Pumpkin subscription and get a FREE Sale-A-Bration item. 
Contact me today!

Paper
Pumpkin
Smiles.



Sunday, January 17, 2016

BLOOMIN' HEART

So, have you seen the beautiful, wondrous items on pages 16 and 17 of the new Occasions Catalog that went live January 5???? REALLY?? You HAVEN'T?? Get over there. (Click on the icon on the right!)

The moment my eyes fell on these pages, I knew I had fallen irretrievably in love! Just looking at the tiny pictures that accompany the information about the Bloomin' Heart Thinlits Dies made me think of a puzzle, just waiting for me to put it together. 

These items were the first thing I pre-ordered from this catalog. And, yes, I ordered the BUNDLE. Because, well, just because! I mean, did you notice the adorable stamp set that accompanies the set of Thinlits? Yup. They were mine. Bundle, here I come! And, besides, buying the bundle saves me 15% over purchasing the items separately. A no brainer, for sure.

I wanted to create a card with these items that would make my customers fall in love with it, just like I did! The girls created their own on Monday, January 11, at my monthly Stamp-In. 

And, this is the card I came up with:


A close-up view of the detailing:


I love the intriguing profile the card boasts when it is standing up. And the dimension! LOVE IT!


Showing what it looks like opened. Notice the neat little hinging at the top:


Would you be interested in re-creating this card for yourself? Well, you're in luck, because below you will find the complete directions to do so.

SUPPLIES:
Bloomin' Love stamp set (page 17 in the Occasions Catalog)

Blushing Bride cardstock
Calypso Coral cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Calypso Coral ink
Calypso Coral Stampin' Write Marker

Big Shot
Circles Collection Framelits
Bloomin' Hearts Thinlits (page 16 in the Occasions Catalog)
Precision Base Plate (page 19 in the Occasions Catalog)
Scallop Border Punch
Stampin' Dimensionals
Basic Pearls
Simply Scored

DIRECTIONS:
With the Simply Scored tool, score a 5" x 10" piece of Whisper White cardstock at 5". Crease on the score line.

Cover the folded piece with the large scalloped Circle Framelit, making sure that the fold line is a bit down from the edge of the Framelit so it doesn't cut through at the fold. Run through the Big Shot.

Also with the Circles Collection Framelits, cut a 4" circle from Calypso Coral cardstock. Adhere this piece to the scalloped circle card base.

Draw dots insidee each of the scallops with the Calypso Coral Stampin' Write Marker.

Run a 4" x 4" piece of Blushing Bride cardstock through the Big Shot covered by the Bloomin' Hearts Thinlit, making sure you are using the Precision Base Plate. Run it through three times. Use the fine end of the scoring tool to rid the heart of the excess pieces of paper. (I do have the Big Shot Die Brush -- which I've heard is THE BOMB! -- on order, but didn't have it when I created this card.)

Adhere the heart to the Calypso Coral circle, using minute drops of glue.

On scraps of Whisper White cardstock, stamp two of the large flowers and three of the small ones in Calypso Coral ink. Using the proper flower Framelits, cut out each of the flowers. You can cut one large and one small at the same time.

Adhere the cut-out flowers into their places on the heart with a BIT of Stampin' Dimensional. Add an appropriately-sized Basic Pearl to the center of each flower.

Use the (retired) Scalloped Border Punch on a piece of Blushing Bride cardstock that measures 1 1/8" by 3/4". Use the Simply Scored tool to make a crease along the approximate center of this piece. Then, applying glue to both edges, adhere this piece over the fold at the top of the card.

Inside the card, in Calypso Coral ink, stamp the banner, followed by your sentiment of choice in the center of the banner.

NOTE: When I initially had my card completed, I simply HATED how it looked at the fold line. I tried several ideas, not liking any of them. Until I finally came up with the solution of the Scalloped Border punched hinge that I added. I am very happy with the looks of this! 



If you would like to make exquisite cards for all your Valentines, just click on the Occasions Catalog icon on the right column of my blog, and order all the essentials! While you're there, order the Big Shot Die Brush on page 19, instead of waiting like I did.

Have fun!!

Bloomin'
Smiles.



Thursday, January 14, 2016

FOCUS FRIDAY: THAT'S LIFE


THAT'S LIFE.

Ponder on 
THIS PHOTO.

The various
ASPECTS
of it are 
graphically
representative 
of all the
FACETS
of  
LIFE
being
lived.

Is there any
DENYING
the various
TRIALS and TRIBULATIONS,
JOYS,
UNCERTAINTIES,
THORNY SITUATIONS,
HOPES,
BUMPS and BRUISES,
we all 
EXPERIENCE
as we make our way through this
LIFE
we've been given?

THAT'S LIFE.

It is your reaction to adversity,
not the adversity itself,
that determines how your
life's story will develop.
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf -

Please visit me on

Life
Smiles.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a photo of a wild cucumber, plants that quickly get out-of-hand. You can see further images of this plant HERE.