Sunday, December 30, 2012

MUSICAL BUTTERFLIES

As you already are aware, I love to use music in my work. A portion of a musical score was the perfect backdrop for these three lovely butterflies. A fairly simple card to create, it is elegant
and refined.


To give the large central {realistic} looking butterfly even more dimension than the stamp 
alone achieves, I stamped it once again, added color, punched it out with the Butterfly Punch, 
and popped it up with Stampin' Dimensionals over the butterfly I had already stamped on the Naturals Ivory strip.



To make your own Musical Butterflies, here is how you do it:

Supplies:
Papillon Potpourri stamp set
Kindness Matters stamp set

Soft Suede card stock
Naturals Ivory card stock

Soft Suede ink
Black StazOn Ink

Music Score
Stamping Sponges
3/16" Corner Punch
Stampin' Dimensionals
Big Shot
Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder
Apothecary Accents Framelits
Elegant Butterfly Punch
Watercolor Wonder Crayons
Aqua Painter
Paper Piercing Tool
Essentials Paper Piercing Pack

Instructions:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Soft Suede card stock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Ivory Naturals card stock through the Big Shot inside the Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder. Round all the corners. Sponge all edges with Soft Suede ink.

Using the largest of the Apothecary Accents Framelits in the Big Shot, cut a frame from the music. Sponge the edges with Soft Suede ink.

With the musical piece positioned underneath the appropriate mat from the Essentials Paper Piercing Pack, pierce all along the edges. Adhere to the card front.

On a 1" x 3 1/2" strip of Naturals Ivory card stock, stamp the big butterfly in Soft Suede ink, 
as well as one of the smaller butterflies on each side of the large butterfly. Round these corners and sponge the edges.

On a scrap of Naturals Ivory, stamp the large butterfly in Black StazOn ink. With the Watercolor Wonder Crayons and an Aqua Painter, paint the butterfly in your choice of color.When the butterfly has dried completely, punch it out and adhere it over the previously-stamped large butterfly with a Stampin' Dimensional. Gently pull the wings upward to add to the 3-D effect.

Attach this completed strip to the center of the music with three Stampin' Dimensionals.

Add your sentiment of choice inside the card with either of the inks.

If you enjoy my tutorials, and would like to recreate your own cards, I would very much appreciate if you would order your supplies through me as your demonstrator. Simply click 
on the appropriate box(es) on the right side of my blog.

Smiles.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

BALLERINA MOUSE

One of the {many} good things about Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio (MDS) is the fact that you can keep adding to your stash of goodies digitally, and they are always always there when you need them. And though some of the items may retire from the big (hard) catalog, they never "retire" from MDS. Once you have them stored digitally, they are available to you forever. No need to sell off space-hogging retired stock to make room for more.

I have a retired set, Under the Big Top, in my MDS stash. When it came to making a special birthday card for my granddaughter, Stella, to commemorate her fifth birthday, and I rediscovered the ballerina mouse from that set, I knew immediately that was the image I would base her card on.

You see, Stella is an avid up-and-coming ballerina. Not serious ballet mind you. Just Storybook Ballet classes geared towards preschoolers. But she loves, loves, loves it. So Ballerina Mouse it is.



I printed the her four times in actual size. The first time was simply on white card stock to form the base for my mouse. I then printed her another three times, adding a different Designer Series Paper to fill in the stamp with each printing. I knew I wanted her belly to be a pink print, her mouse body to be in a neutral print, but wasn't sure about the tutu.

When I found the perfect swirly DSP, I decided to make her tutu orange, since I love orange and pink together.  I printed only the first layer on card stock to give it stability. The other three images were printed on copy paper so it wouldn't become too thick.

I then cut out the various pieces I needed. More of my beloved paper piecing. When I placed all the pieces atop my base like a puzzle, it just seemed sort of flat and one-dimensional. Before I glued the pieces in place, I sponged the edges. This added the needed dimensionality and livened it up just right.


I added a little glitter to her tutu and mounted her onto some retired sparkly Specialty Designer Series Paper from last year cut with the Oval Accent Bigz Clear die in my Big Shot. Adding a few Basic Rhinestones and embossed paper with sponged edges was just what it needed.

Being that her birthday is actually tomorrow, Stella was given her gifts this morning before she and her family left from their Christmas visit. So I got to see her when she opened her card. She loved it. And I am thrilled that she did.

Smiles.


Monday, December 24, 2012

A BANNER CHRISTMAS




Since I own the Perfect Pennants Bigz L die for my Big Shot, I decided to make a very special Christmas banner using it. I wanted it to hang from the bottom of two picture ledges we have
in our great room, so the color scheme was important.

I decided upon two current Stampin' Up! colors and two retired ones. The current colors are Cherry Cobbler and River Rock, while the retired colors are Handsome Hunter and Pear Pizzazz.


I actually did waste quite a lot of time and paper trying to decide upon all the various combinations: the colors, the embossing folder, the dies. 

During the designing process, I tried so many things that I didn't like. For example, for the bottom points of each of the pennants, I had originally planned to adhere a tiny spiral flower 
in Cherry Cobbler. I made 17 of those teeny little things, only to lay them all in place and 
discover that they looked horrendous! So I set them aside for another project (they are still 
set aside . . . waiting), and went back to the drawing board. That's when I hit upon using 
the Sweet Buttons Embosslits to create framed circles. I then added antique ivory buttons 
to each one. I LOVED the look of that. 

Originally, I had created rosettes that would grace each of the three blank pennants. Nope. 
Too much.

The pennants themselves seemed a bit bare, so I found a (non-Stampin' Up!) Sizzix die that 
would provide an open edge trim that would echo the circles surrounding the letters and those 
at the points. It was the perfect finish. (And I apologize to Stampin' Up!, but I DID use the die 
in my Big Shot!)



The most tedious part of this project was the creation of the letters. I stamped each one on 
River Rock in Cherry Cobbler ink using one of Stampin' Up!'s retired alphabet sets. Then . . . 
I cut each one out. 


All, in all, I am delighted with the results of my three-week-long quest for a Christmas banner.

(The following picture shows four of my photographs. If you click on the photo, you should be able to see them a bit better.)


I send to you and yours wishes for a very very merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays!) and a 
safe and happy 2013. 

Smiles.



Sunday, December 23, 2012

HELLO CHRISTMAS

When I created this card, I had barely begun delving into all that Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio (MDS) is capable of. Which I guess just goes to show how easy it is to use the digital program.




The circles are digital circle punches, filled in with Whisper White. I then added various brush stamps from the Jolly Bingo Bits set. The stamps are automatically black, so I used the coloring tool to make them just exactly the colors I wanted them to be. I "inserted" digital brads between all the circles to unify the composition. 

After I printed out the front of the card, I added a few finishing touches to give it a bit of sparkle. Dazzling Diamonds, a Basic Rhinestone, and a little Cherry Cobbler Bakers Twine gave 
it a more dimensional look.  I then mounted the digital panel to a red card base. 

Without pulling out your stamps, punches, and all those separate colors of inks, it is easy to create a card that definitely says "Hello Christmas". And with the capability of placing four identical card fronts within a single page document, it would also be a simple matter to print 
out several pages of them to mass produce. By pairing digital work with "real" supplies such 
as glitter, bakers twine, and rhinestones, and then mounting it on a traditional card front, 
you have produced a hybrid card. 

Sending a virtual "Hello Christmas" your way.

Smiles.

Friday, December 21, 2012

WELCOME HOME

My daughter comes home today! Not such a big deal you say? Oh, but it is! You see, Sarah just arrived back in the U.S. a few weeks ago after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. She is a Combat Medic with the Army. I am so glad she made it back safely.

Anyway, we will be picking her up at the airport this evening, and it will be so good to see her! She will be with us for about two weeks over the Holidays.

A few years back, when Stampin' Up! introduced their pirate-flavored stamp set Ahoy Matey, Sarah fell in love with it. She informed me that each and every card I ever make for her in the future must be made with this set. Oh? Oh. OK.

As she was leaving for her Basic Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, I dragged out her favorite little pirate to wish her luck and safety. I used Stampin' Write Markers to make the little pirate into a camo-clad soldier.


Here is a close-up of his little Army outfit:


You may ask why I have this card in my possession. It's because Sarah isn't at all sentimental, and she didn't take it with her. That's OK. Every time I look at it, I smile, and then pray for her safety. 

Welcome Home, Sarah!

Smiles.




Thursday, December 20, 2012

A NEW YEAR

When I discovered the Desktop Display Calendar Case on page 22 of the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog, I immediately decided to create calendars for the members of Linda's Stamp-In Club
for Christmas. Each year, I make something a little more special for my members to show them how much I appreciate them.

The Calendar Cases are meant to be used in conjunction with the Designer Calendar shown on
the same page. I decided to make my calendars a bit more personal and hands-on. In other words, I wanted to make them, not just slide the darling calendar pages inside the Calendar
Case and call it done.

I printed small monthly calendars off the Internet, and proceeded to enhance each of the Naturals White pages with appropriate stamping. Unfortunately, after I glued the monthly calendar onto the page and stacked 12 of them together, they could not be inserted into the slit to contain them in the case. The pile was just a tad too thick. Gulp. I had already spent a few hours on them. Now what? I wanted them to all be contained within the case, and this was not going to work. Put on thinking cap.

Being a fairly new lover of My Digital Studio, I set out to give that a try. Within the program
are calendars that can be used in MDS projects. You are able to choose the type you want,
change the year, the font, the size, etc., until you have what you need.

I used the digital brush stamps to "stamp" appropriate monthly images on each page of my calendar. I am so pleased with how they turned out. And they fit perfectly within the Desktop Display Calendar Case. (The cool thing is that the cases will be available beyond the end of
the Holiday Catalog, which is January 2.)


This is how the completed calendar looks when it's closed, just lying flat.


Here it is with January inside the open case and all the other months arrayed around it. 
Of course, all the months, when stacked together, fit just right inside the case.

It was really a lot of fun to create this unique calendar in MDS. The stamps could be resized, tilted and recolored. I even used more than one color on five of the months: July, September, October, November and December. And, I now have it saved on my computer, so if I need an extra calendar, I can just print it out without hauling out all my traditional stamping supplies. 
Ah, the modern age.

Smiles.







Tuesday, December 18, 2012

SNOWMEN IN THE ROUND

Every year, I make my precious little Stella, my only grandchild (who will turn five right after Christmas!), a really special ornament. I hope she treasures these ornaments as she gets older and realizes how much love her grandma put into each and every one of them.

This year, I decided to go with a snowman theme. I have worked the two snowmen from Snow Much Fun to the bone (uh, do snowmen have bones??), so decided to give them a little break, and veer towards some of the smaller of Stampin' Up!'s recent snowmen (most of which are, alas, retired).

I stamped 20 of the snowman in Black StazOn on white card stock. I then used a variety of Stampin' Write Markers to give them a little color. My next step was to cut each one of these cuties out. Once that was done, I placed them on the outer edges of a six-inch chipboard circle just to make sure they all fit nicely. I glued a piece of retired Designer Series Paper to cover the chipboard. A snowflake came into being using the old retired four-inch die in my Big Shot, and was affixed to the center of the DSP-covered circle. I then adhered all the snowmen around the edge of the circle, a few of them overlapping bits of the snowflake here and there. Hmmm. A little drab. So I added Dazzling Diamonds to the snowflake along with a few turquoise rhinestones to add that necessary bling for a five-year-old. I tied a silky turquoise ribbon at the top for a hanger.


Here are a few close-ups of the little snow buddies:




Doesn't Stampin' Up! make just the cutest snowmen?? I love 'em!

I hope Stella likes her ornament for 2012. 

Smiles.




Sunday, December 16, 2012

EMBOSS OR DEBOSS

I love snowflakes, so as soon as I saw the new Snow Flurry Bigz Die that Stampin' Up! introduced in their Holiday Catalog this year, I knew I had to add it to my arsenal. You know how that is.

While snowflakes are traditionally white, I thought, why not create red-and-green snowflakes,
the oh so traditional Christmas colors? I picked some retired Designer Series Paper in the basic colors of Real Red and Wild Wasabi and went to work. Since the polka dots in the Real Red paper were Very Vanilla, I based the card upon Very Vanilla card stock, a little bit more of a departure from the expected blues and white.

To add a bit of bling to the otherwise mundane look of the snowflake, I added one of our retired Clear Rhinestone Brads to its center, a perfect touch. Although its dimensionality does make it necessary to add that extra postage stamp to the envelope when mailing it.



Emboss or deboss? If you look at the photo of the cards closely, you will see that the snowflakes
in the background of the card on the left are DEBOSSED, meaning that the normally raised details that come from using the embossing folder in the Big Shot are turned towards the back of the card, so the small snowflakes are indented rather than raised. The card on the right shows it
the normal way it would be used, with the raised details facing outside = EMBOSSED.

I am just not sure which one I prefer. The one on the right definitely has a more dimensional quality, while the one on the left has a more subtle feel. It's just one of those dilemmas where
it turns out to be purely a matter of taste.

Even though both the Clear Rhinestone Brads and the Snow  Burst Textured Impressions Embossing Folder are both now retired (sigh), they can be found on the Stampin' Up! Clearance Rack which you can access here: http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/ItemList.aspx?categoryID=1136. There are hundreds of items on the Clearance Rack, at up to an 80% discount!

If you would like to make snowflake cards of your own, here's how to do it:

Supplies:
Snow Swirled stamp set

Real Red card stock
Very Vanilla card stock
Designer Series Paper (DSP) in Real Red and Wild Wasabi

Real Red Ink

Big Shot
Snow Flurry Bigz Die
Lot of Tags Sizzlits Die
Paper Piercing Tool
Piercing Mat
Snow Burst Textured Impressions Embossing Folder
Stamping Sponge
1/2" Circle Punch
Red and Very Vanilla Polka Dot Ribbon (retired -- sigh)
Stampin' Dimensionals
Stamp-A-Ma-Jig (optional)

Instructions:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Real Red card stock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Very Vanilla card stock through the Big Shot inside the Snow Burst Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. Decide whether you want your background to be debossed or embossed, and sponge the edges of your choice with Real Red ink. Set aside.

Using the Snow Flurry Bigz Die, make a large snowflake from the red DSP and a medium-sized flake from the green DSP. You can do both of the snowflakes with one run through the Big Shot. From a scrap of the green DSP, punch out a 1/2" circle. Adhere the snowflakes together, adding the green circle to the top. With the Piercing Tool, create a hole in the center of the snowflake, and insert a Rhinestone Brad. Bend the legs of the brad as tightly to the paper as possible. Use small dots of Tombow Multipurpose Adhesive on the center and the large round dots of the snowflake and adhere it to the embossed/debossed piece.

Wrap a 6-inch piece of the polka dot ribbon around the lower portion of the embossed piece, securing the ends of the ribbon on the back of the panel.

Cut a label using the Lots of Tags Sizzlit in the Big Shot from Very Vanilla card stock. Stamp the greeting in Real Red ink. Using a Stamp-A-Ma-Jig makes this process easier to line up exactly. Sponge all the edges of the label with Real Red ink. Attach label to the ribbon using three Stampin' Dimensionals.

Smiles.

Friday, December 14, 2012

TRACKS

We had a pretty snowfall here in Central Wisconsin this week.

During this season in the past, we have had a lot of wildlife traveling through our property.
In fact, years ago, when it was still permissible to feed deer, my husband had placed two big wooden feeders fairly close to our house that he kept filled with corn to try to entice our
beautiful guests. And it worked. We had constant wild entertainment.

The deer would travel together along a single path coming from the woods, with our feeders as their destination, always arriving about the same time each day. The buffet is open! Since our viewing window is on the backside of our house, and is raised up to the second story, we had a perfect vantage point to view our visitors. At one moment in time, we had 32 deer in our yard!
It was the most wondrous sight I've ever seen.

Since it is prohibited to feed deer now in recent years, we rarely see any of these ethereal, graceful beings in our yard. Sigh. At times, we see trails of tracks left by deer passing through. But usually not the animals themselves.

This week's snowfall provided a beautiful cover to preserve the proof of their presence -- their tracks. Then, a few days ago, eight turkeys -- which we did see in person -- ambled through the yard, leaving behind a very different variety of tracks. And, of course, the bunnies leave their trails too. The way the various trails crisscross in the snow yields interesting visual appeal.

The other day, the light was so exquisite, and the trails of tracks showed up so beautifully,
I just had to grab my camera and try to capture the sight.


I selected my favorite photos from the day and compiled them all in a 12" x 12" layout in My Digital Studio. I hope you enjoy my memories.

Smiles.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

ALL THAT GLITTERS


Each month I hold a workshop in my home. Some of the papercrafters who attend the workshops choose to be members of Linda's Stamp-In Club. One of the perks I give to my members is a little something I created just for them in their order bag each month. For November, I decided to give them some glitter for their Christmas tree.


I chose the heart shape to symbolize my love and appreciation for them. 

To create these little beauties is very simple -- although a bit messy. These ornaments are the clear glass shapes you can find in the big box craft stores. Simply take off the top cap -- it pops out easily -- add several drops of your choice of Stampin' Up!'s reinkers, then add glitter. I used some of the fine glitter that Stampin' Up! carried awhile back. 

Before adding the glitter, make sure that the entire inside of the ornament is coated with the reinker. Add the glitter -- as much as you want since the excess will be tapped back into the container -- and tap and tap and rotate until all the colored insides are covered with glitter. I let them dry for 10-15 minutes before putting their tops back on. Tie your choice of hanger onto the loop in the cap, and voila!, you have a gorgeous sparkly ornament.


May your Season be filled with glittery wonder and happiness.

Smiles.



Sunday, December 9, 2012

CHRISTMAS CARDINAL

I had always thought that the cardinal from the Christmas Cardinal, a retired Stampin' Up! stamp set, was so regal in his bearing.

A sight I don't often enough see is that of a male cardinal further gracing the already beautiful snowy branches of an evergreen in a Wisconsin winter. That bright spot of cheery red is a welcome sight amidst the neverending white of a snowy landscape. It never ceases to bring a smile to my face and brighten my day considerably. Sort of a sure sign of hope. Maybe it's a good thing it is such a rare occurrence; otherwise, I might not appreciate the beautiful sight as much as I should.

Never having purchased the Christmas Cardinal set for myself, I was delighted that it was available as a download for My Digital Studio (MDS), and bought it immediately.

To create this card, I brought the cardinal image into a blank MDS project, sized him perfectly
for a card front, and printed him out onto white card stock.

There! Now I had my very own coloring page of a beautiful cardinal. I decided to share this with the girls at that month's workshop, so printed out enough copies for everyone to enjoy.


We used Watercolor Wonder Crayons and an Aqua Painter to color in the cardinal and leaves, leaving the berries a shiny black to not detract from the red of the bird. Setting the bird onto 
one of the diecut shapes from the Labels Collection Framelits seemed wonderfully appropriate. Sponging the edges of the frame in red unified it all a bit more.

To further enhance the elegance of the card, the cardinal panel was set against a piece of 
our Cherry Cobbler Core'dinations Card Stock. I ran it through the Big Shot inside the new 
Lacy Brocade Embossing Folder. The top surfaces of the design were then gently sanded to 
give it an especially elegant look. It reminds me of that flocked wallpaper of years past.

Smiles.

Friday, December 7, 2012

GOLD EMBOSSED TREE

When I set out to create a few Christmas cards for my workshop this month, I wanted one to portray elegance -- the epitome of posh.

I am totally in love with Stampin' Up!'s Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder, and thought it would work wonderfully well with the tree from the Snow Swirled set. I was right!

What is more exquisite than gold (or silver) heat embossing against Night of Navy card stock? Nothing, I say. Add to that the fact that the card is doubly embossed -- both dry embossing and heat embossing


Do you see what I mean? It possesses a sort of a Byzantine eloquence without the overt 
religious symbolism. Once again, Wikipedia gives a bit more insight into my reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_art

The card, while appearing to be fairly complicated, is really quite easy and fun to create. 
To recreate this double embossed card:

Supplies:
Snow Swirled stamp set

Naturals Ivory card stock
Night of Navy card stock

VersaMark Ink

Big Shot
Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder
Heat Tool
Embossing Buddy
Gold Embossing Powder
Metallic Star
Stampin' Dimensionals
Bone Folder
Brayer

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

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Night of Navy card stock through the Big Shot inside the Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder.

Rub this embossed piece with the Embossing Buddy. Ink up the brayer well with VersaMark Ink. Lightly roll the brayer over the raised embossed surface. Continue reinking the brayer and running it over the embossed piece until all the raised surfaces are equally shiny with VersaMark. Be careful to not push on the brayer too hard; you don't want any ink to get onto the non-raised surfaces. Just skim the tops of the design.

Sprinkle inked surface with Gold Embossing Powder, tapping excess powder back into its container. Use the Heat Tool to emboss. Be sure that all embossed surfaces are shiny and set.

Adhere the embossed piece to the card front.

Rub the Embossing Buddy well over the surface of a 2 1/2" x 3 1/4" piece of Naturals Ivory card stock. Use VersaMark to stamp the tree. Cover the tree with Gold Embossing Powder, and use the Heat Tool to emboss.

Adhere the embossed tree piece to a 2 3/4" x 3 1/2" piece of Night of Navy card stock. Attach this finished panel to the card front with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Add a metallic gold star to the top of the tree.

Smiles.



Monday, December 3, 2012

SNOWMAN AND FRIENDS

I am one of the legions of fans of snowmen. Especially in card making. And the two snowmen who are part of the Snow Much Fun stamp set are especially handsome. Don't you agree? 

This guy, the taller of the two, decked out in Marina Mist and Cherry Cobbler, looks great mounted on top of some of the plaid Christmas DSP that Stampin' Up! introduced last year! I did remove his boots, so he is a smidge shorter than the way the stamp comes.


When the Paper Players set their challenge for this week as snowmen, I HAD to jump in with my guy and his friends. 


Smiles.


Friday, November 30, 2012

DUET

I had great fun with a sketch challenge put forth by the Paper Players. After much debate on
a color combination, I finally decided on Wild Wasabi, Cherry Cobbler, Island Indigo and More Mustard, all set against White Naturals.

The Keepsake Ornament stamp set called to me once again, and I decided to use two of the smaller, less showy ornaments. My "bling" is kept to a minimum: simply one Basic Rhinestone.
A little bit of the gold cord that Stampin' Up! retired a few years ago (so sad) added a bit more sparkle. Elegance arrived in the heat embossed tree branch, done with Wild Wasabi Embossing Powder.

The banner on the bottom of the card is from Apothecary Art. I simply embossed it with Cherry Cobbler Embossing Powder. I then added the sentiment from the Curly Cute set, once again embossing it with Cherry Cobbler. I cut out the scrolled banner and attached it to a piece of Wild Wasabi card stock to balance the tree branch at the top.



To give the ornaments a bit more dimension, I popped them up against the background with Stampin' Dimensionals. 


This is the sketch my card was based upon:


Smiles.



Thursday, November 29, 2012

I BELIEVE IN SNOWFLAKES

Snowflakes, snowflakes, snowflakes! Aren't they beautiful? Especially those fluffy perfectly-formed snowflake-looking snowflakes we get a few times a winter here in Wisconsin! I love it when those delicate little masterpieces land softly on my black winter coat. I always take the
time to examine and admire them. Smile. Feel somehow warm inside. And then walk on in appreciation. What a mysterious gift!

For winter cards, I tend to gravitate toward snowflakes. As snowflakes gravitate toward the Earth.

Another person, Wilson Bentley (1865-1931) also gravitated toward snowflakes. He came up with a way to  capture snowflakes on black velvet to photograph them in all their intricacy before they melted and disappeared forever. His photographs are incredible in their perfection. I am always fascinated with his work, and even own a book about him and his frosty friends.

If you are interested in more detail on Bentley and his snowflakes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson_Bentley Here is a copy of one of his photos, in all its icy wonder.


Anyway, Stampin' Up! introduced to its adoring public a new stamp set, Snowflake Soiree 
(page 5 of the Holiday Catalog), which I immediately fell in love with. This stamp set called 
to me to use it with emboss resist. And I responded with this card:


We created it at my November workshop. Instead of the traditional way of doing an emboss 
resist by sponging with ink, this one uses reinker instead. It's a little messy, a little less predictable, and I think, a lot of beautiful. 


I know they're not as beautiful as Bentley's snowflakes, mostly because these snowflakes 
are merely (wo)man-made. And not the real thing. You can see how the inks run and flow 
into each other to form marvelous marblized areas of mystery, evoking a wintry sky. 

To create your own Believe snowflake card:

Supplies:
Snowflake Soiree stamp set

Tempting Turquoise card stock
Whisper White card stock
Glossy White card stock

Reinkers in various light blues and purples (I used three retired Stampin' Up! inks)
Tempting Turquoise ink
VersaMark ink

White Embossing Powder
Heat Tool
Aqua Painter
Water Spritzer

Directions:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Tempting Turquoise card stock in half, and crease it well 
with a bone folder.

Stamp the various snowflakes randomly across the Glossy White card stock with VersaMark 
ink. (I did not use the largest of the snowflake stamps.)

Cover the stamped snowflakes with White Embossing Powder, tapping the excess back 
into 
the container. Heat to emboss. Make sure ALL the snowflakes are shiny!

Drop a single drop of each of the three reinkers on a scrap of glossy card stock. Spritz 
the embossed piece with water. With an Aqua Painter, pick up a bit of one of the colors 
and randomly drop it here and there among the wet snowflakes. Continue doing this with 
each of the colors until your background is covered with blended inks. Use the Heat Tool 
to move the colors around and to dry the piece. Isn't that pretty?

Wrap a length of Tempting Turquoise Grosgrain Ribbon around the snowflake piece, securing 
it on the back. Adhere this piece to the card front.

On a 1" x 3 1/2" piece of Whisper White card stock, stamp "Believe" in Tempting Turquoise. 
Use a square punch to create the flagged end. Attach this over the ribbon with Stampin' Dimensionals. Tie a bow in a piece of Tempting Turquoise ribbon, and attach it to the card 
with a Mini Glue Dot.

Now, enjoy those real snowflakes when they make their appearance!

Smiles.




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

TIME FLIES

You know what they say: time flies? And that it gets worse as you grow older? As I age, I am discovering how so very true that old adage is. And I'm dismayed.

However,





That's absolutely right. We alone are in control of how we spend this precious gift we've been given called "time". Be sure to spend it wisely.

Smiles.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

FAUX CLOISONNE

I had seen several examples of a technique called Faux Cloisonne, and thought it would be a wonderful way to depict an elegant ornament on a Christmas card. Using random pages from
a magazine is the secret to this technique.

Cloisonne is a method of decorating metal objects. Design compartments are added to the
metal object by soldering or adhering silver or gold wires. These compartments are then
filled in with enamel that is then kiln-fired, rendering the soldered compartments visible
in the finished piece. In ancient times, the technique was utilized in decorative pieces and jewelry. I have in my possession a few pieces of modern cloisonne in the form of necklace pendants and a pill box. It is lovely and elegant. For further information on cloisonne, you
can check here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloisonn%C3%A9

Here are two examples of the card I created utilizing the Faux Cloisonne technique.



Even using such contrasting colored pages as black and red proves that each of the 
ornaments glows with its own special beauty. Any shiny page from a magazine is grist 
for the Faux Cloisonne mill. Or, for that matter, any combination of colors or patterns 
as long as it is subtle enough for the beautiful embossing to show. At times, I have 
thought I had chosen the perfect magazine image for my ornament, but after finishing,
it just didn't look as I had envisioned it. 

You can see here the closeups of both of the cards in my samples:



In my examples, I used the Stampin' Up! Pewter Embossing Powder and our Ornament 
Punch. 
A perfect combination, eh?

If you would like to create your own Faux Cloisonne Christmas cards, this is how I did 
my samples:

Supplies:
Baroque Motifs stamp set (unfortunately retired, but Stampin' Up! carries several swirly 
designs that would work admirably with this technique)

Whisper White Card Stock
Sahara Sand Card Stock

VersaMark Ink

Ornament Punch
Corner Rounder Punch
Big Shot
Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder
Designer Frame Embossing Folder
Basic Rhinestones
Heat Tool
Pewter Embossing Powder
Embossing Buddy
Early Espresso 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon (retired)
Magazine pages

Instructions:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Sahara Sand card stock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White card stock through the Big Shot inside the Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder. A piece of 2 1/4" x 3" Whisper White card stock is also run through the Big Shot, but this time inside the Designer Frames Embossing Folder. Round the corners of this piece.

Adhere the smaller frame piece to a 2 1/2" x 3 1/4" piece of Sahara Sand card stock. Round the corners of the Sahara Sand piece also. Attach this larger piece to the embossed background, then to the card front.

Go through magazine pages, and select a colorful background that you think would make a wondrous ornament. 

Rub the Embossing Buddy over the portion of magazine page you have chosen. Stamp with the swirls from the Baroque Motifs (or your choice) in VersaMark. Sprinkle with Pewter Embossing Powder and heat to emboss. 

Use the Ornament Punch to punch out your ornament, choosing the most pleasing place in the swirls for your ornament. From a scrap of card stock, punch another ornament. Adhere these 
two ornament punches together to give the flimsy magazine page some stability. Attach to the center of the embossed frame with two Stampin' Dimensionals. Place a Basic Rhinestone onto your ornament.

Tie ribbon into a bow and attach it above the ornament with a Mini Glue Dot.

Although I didn't show the inside of my cards, rub the Embossing Buddy over the inside of the card and stamp a sentiment of your choice in VersaMark ink. Emboss with Pewter Embossing Powder. This just carries the elegance found on the front of the card throughout the greeting.

As always, you can order the needed supplies for your Stampin' Up! projects by clicking my button on the side of my blog. 

Smiles.









Thursday, November 22, 2012

WISHES

Wishing you and yours the happiest and safest of Thanksgivings!


Smiles.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NO TWO SNOWFLAKES ARE ALIKE

I finished up my first batch of Christmas cards last night. My usual plan is to make a bunch --
any arbitrary number -- of one type, a bunch of another design, etc., until I have the number
of Christmas cards I need to send out for any given year. Usually by this time of the preseason
I am much farther along than this, and I was starting to get that panicky feeling.

Yesterday, snowflakes were on my plate. I used the new Stampin' Up! Bigz Die called Snow
Flurry (page 14 in the Holiday Catalog). I thought the snowflake that was produced when all
three of them were stacked together was just the neatest, and I wanted to feature it on one
of my Christmas card designs for this year.

I used various retired patterns of Night of Navy and Not Quite Navy Designer Series Paper for
this project. I ran the pieces of DSP through the Big Shot inside another new Stampin' Up! product, the Lacy Brocade Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (page 6 in the Holiday
Catalog) to give them some elegant texture. I then sanded the tops of the embossed design
to bring out some white from the core of the paper. I thought this added a nice snow-flecked effect.

A little less than half of the cards I made yesterday have the Not Quite Navy background:


And the rest are on the Night of Navy background color:


You can see that both of the cards pictured are on a polka dot background. I mean, 
obviously you can't compare oranges to apples, right? I can't decide which one is my 
favorite: Card Number 1 on Not Quite Navy, or Card Number 2 on Night of Navy. 
What's your opinion on this important matter?

Smiles.


Monday, November 19, 2012

BLACK FRIDAY A LITTLE EARLY

Starting today, Stampin' Up! will be holding an Online Extravaganza, their version of huge Black Friday savings. The promotion will run November 19 through November 28.



On Monday (today) only, you can save on three of their popular products: the Simply Scored Diagonal Plate, the Big Shot Doctor's Bag, and the BIG SHOT!! Remember, these savings are for Monday only.

Then Wednesday, November 28, the last day of the promotion, they are running specials on their Clear Blocks and storage.

For the entire promotion, November 19-28, you can save big, from 20% - 50% off the regular prices of many items.

Check out the flyer for the Online Extravaganza here: http://www.stampinup.com/us/documents/Online_X_flyer_US.pdf  Or click on the icon for the Online Extravaganza to the right on my blog.

To take advantage of these super savings, shop at my Online Store: http://www.stampinup.net/esuite/home/lindakilsdonk/

While you are there, be sure to check out the Clearance Rack -- savings up to 80% off!!

Have a blast!

Smiles.

Friday, November 16, 2012

JOSEPH'S COAT LEAVES

I know this will seem like deja vu to you all, but here it is again: French Foliage!

This card utilizes a really cool technique that is perfect for this time of the year --
the Joseph's Coat Technique.


I know it has been said before, but this photo definitely does not capture the true beauty 
and depth of colors in the card. It has much more of a golden, warmer cast. But this gives 
you an idea of what can be done.

There are several ways to do this technique, but following is how this particular card is created. (Please keep in mind that if you ever want to recreate any of my cards, I would be thrilled if 
I could be your Stampin' Up! demonstrator by having you order your supplies through my site 
via the button on my sidebar!)

Supplies:
French Foliage stamp set
Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set

Whisper White card stock (Yes! Does it look like Whisper White anywhere on this card??)
More Mustard card stock
Cherry Cobbler card stock

Cherry Cobbler ink
More Mustard ink
Always Artichoke ink
Cajun Craze ink
Basic Black ink
VersaMark ink

Brayer
Heat Tool
Clear Embossing Powder
Black Embossing Powder
Embossing Buddy
Word Window Punch
Paper Piercing Tool and Mat
Gold Brads
Big Shot
Matchbox Die
Stamping Sponge
Stampin' Dimensionals

Instructions:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of More Mustard card stock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Using Stamping Sponges with the matching inks, sponge all over a 5 1/4" x 4" piece of  Whisper White card stock. The inks used at this time are Cherry Cobbler, More Mustard, Always Artichoke and Cajun Craze. Keep adding splotches of the various colors until the entire piece is filled with color. Make some areas a little lighter, some a littler darker. The contrast will be good in your final product.

Over the colored area, stamp the leaves in varying positions in VersaMark, trying not to overlap the leaves just too much. Cover the entire area with Clear Embossing Powder. Use a pair of tweezers to hold the paper while you use the Heat Tool to heat set all the leaves.

Roll a clean brayer across the Basic Black ink pad several times, always in the same direction. Brayer the black ink over the leaves. The coverage won't be very pleasing until you have done
 this quite a few times. Continue reinking and brayering in different directions until you have pretty solid coverage. With a piece of facial tissue, buff all the leaves to remove the excess
ink. All of your beautiful colors should shine through the embossed leaves!

Adhere leaf piece to card front.

Create a Cherry Cobbler label using the Matchbox Die in the Big Shot.  You can also substitute
any of a  number of other labels if you don't have the Matchbox Die.

On a scrap of More Mustard card stock, stamp the sentiment (could be replaced with Happy Thanksgiving if you choose) with VersaMark ink. Add Black Embossing Powder to the sentiment and use the Heat Tool to emboss. Turning the Word Window Punch upside down, insert the sentiment and center in the window to punch it out. Adhere the sentiment to the red label.

With the Paper Piercing Tool over the piercing mat, pierce a hole on either side of the sentiment. Insert a gold brad into each hole

Adhere the label to the card front with two Stampin' Dimensionals.

And, with this card, I promise I won't bother you with the French Foliage stamp set anymore -- well, at least, for awhile.

Smiles.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

ORNAMENT KEEPSAKES

I thought I would show you a few of the possible Christmas cards I have come up with thus far.
I always make several different cards so I have a nice selection to choose from when sending
my greetings of the season.

The first card utilizes something really cool from the Holiday Catalog: The Ornament Keepsakes Bundle. You see, you have a choice. You can either order the Ornament Keepsakes stamp set
and the Holiday Ornaments Framelits to die cut the stamped images separately. OR, Stampin'
Up! had a great idea this year. They bundled the two items to save you 15%.

I'm sure you've already seen lots and lots of ornaments and cards using these two products
around the Internet. And why not?? They are gorgeous, completely gorgeous. Here's my take:


When using one of the nine ornaments that come in the stamp set on a card, you have several options on how to do it. You could heat emboss one of the ornaments with your favorite metallic embossing powder, or even one of the cool colored embossing powders Stampin' Up! carries, cut it out with the appropriate Framelit, and adhere it to a card front. You could do that with a selection of maybe three of the different ornaments. Instead of embossing, you could simply stamp them in different colored inks. There are any number of variations on that same theme.

I opted to go with the three-dimensional ornament look. I simply stamped and die cut three of the identical ornaments. Fold them all in half, adhere them back to back to each other. Then mount it to the card. The back of the ornament will be flat against the card. The cool thing is that -- to save that extra 20 cents postage -- the front two layers of the ornament lay down flat for mailing. The recipient then just rejuvenates it by pulling the two flattened side upwards. Voila! (You may have to come up with the extra 20 cents though if you add the bow. The knot gives the USPS a problem.)

The beautiful embossed background that is the perfect home for this ornament is made with the new Holiday Frame Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. The Gumball Green ribbon is some of the 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon that comes in this year's In Colors, Midnight Muse, Primrose Petals, Raspberry Ripple, Summer Starfruit, and of course, the Gumball Green. The elegant greeting comes from the Snow Swirled set, and it is stamped on a label from the Lots of Tags Sizzlits set. And, of course, I sponged the edges with Gumball Green (I'm a big sponger!), and mounted it over the ribbon with Stampin' Dimensionals.

I think it makes a pretty card. Do YOU like it?

Smiles.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

GOLDFINCH IN CATTAILS

My mom has a birthday coming up on Saturday, so I wanted to make her a really special birthday card. She loves having birds come to their feeder outside the kitchen window, and talks about them frequently to me.

I have had a stamp set, Every Moment, that is, unfortunately retired now, for awhile, and never used it. One of the images in the set, a bird in cattails, was especially appealing to me. The real reason I purchased the set. So, here was my chance to finally use it and make someone happy.



Since American Goldfinches are bright bright yellow (in the summer), I decided to stamp it in Basic Black onto a retired card stock color, Yoyo Yellow. The perfect yellow for a finch. I added a few finchlike characteristics to him and cut him out. I stamped the image once more on Naturals White card stock and colored in the cattails with Stampin' Write Markers. I then popped the cut-out finch over the stamped one with a few pieces of Stampin' Dimensionals.

I framed the finished piece with one of the Labels Collection Framelits diecut in my Big Shot, then used a larger Framelit to create the Soft Suede mat around it. Adding two antiquey brads to the top and bottom of the mat seemed to anchor the image. Stampin' Up!'s new Woodgrain Embossing Folder used with Always Artichoke card stock seemed to be the perfect background for this natural scene. A bow created from Always Artichoke Seam Binding Ribbon added the needed feminine touch.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Smiles.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

EMBOSSED OAK LEAF

Here I go again! I used French Foliage in this card one more time. I just cannot get enough of that stamp set.

At my October Stamp-In workshop, my girls made another fallish card. Fallish? VERY fallish.

Initially, when I had the background of leaves finished, I thought it looked kind of drab and flat. What could I do to perk it up some, to make it look more REAL? Hmmm. I know! Grab French Foliage! That always saves the day. 



After adding some of the French Foliage leaves and dots, even though it was subtle, it was enlivened enough to please me. Here's a close-up.


If you would like to add a little more fall to your life -- maybe a Thanksgiving card?? -- here is how you do it:

SUPPLIES:
French Foliage Stamp Set (surprise!)

Crumb Cake Card Stock
Bravo Burgundy Card Stock
More Mustard Card Stock

Crumb Cake Ink
Cherry Cobbler Ink
Pumpkin Pie Ink
More Mustard Ink

Big Shot
Autumn Accents Bigz Die
Houndstooth Embossing Folder
Linen Thread
Paper Piercing Tool
Gold Brads
Stampin' Dimensionals
Sponge Daubers
Apothecary Accents Framelits
Stamping Sponge

INSTRUCTIONS:
Fold a piece of 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" Crumb Cake card stock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Distress the edges of a 5 1/4" x 4" piece of Bravo Burgundy card stock in the manner you wish. Attach this piece to the card front.

Create a stencil for the background leaves by placing a piece of card stock or quilting template plastic over the Autumn Accents Bigz Die and running it through the Big Shot. Use the negative spaces for your stencil. Save the leaves for another project.

On a 5" x 3 3/4" piece of Crumb Cake card stock, place the stencil here and there, holding the stencil in place each time with blue painters tape or another removable tape. With Sponge Daubers in the appropriate colors, stencil (sponge) in the leaves.

Use the leaves and distressed dots from the French Foliage set to stamp randomly across the leaves in Crumb Cake ink. This is a subtle effect, but enough to give the sponged leaves a bit more dimension. 

Run a 4 1/4" x 2" piece of Bravo Burgundy card stock through the Big Shot inside the rounded end label from the Apothecary Accents Framelits. Make sure the Framelit is centered because this will be your actual frame. Repeat with a 2" x 4" piece of Crumb Cake card stock. This one doesn't need to be centered because you are just using the label itself. Sponge the edges of the Crumb Cake label with Bravo Burgundy card stock with a stamping sponge.

Use the Piercing Tool over the foam mat to create holes in both of the rounded ends of the label. Insert gold brads into the holes.

Nestle the Crumb Cake label inside the Bravo Burgundy label frame and adhere to the card front.

Run a 2 1//4" x 3 1/2" piece of More Mustard card stock through the Big Shot to create an oak leaf with the Autumn Accents Bigz Die. Run the leaf through the Big Shot once again inside the Houndstooth Embossing Folder. Sponge all the edges of the leaf with Bravo Burgundy ink. I also sponged lightly inside the leaf.

Tie a piece of Linen Thread around the stem of the leaf in a bow. I added small knots to the ends of the thread. Attach the leaf to the card with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Enjoy the creating!

Smiles.