Wednesday, November 27, 2013

THANKSGIVING WISHES

I just wanted to wish you all an enjoyable, safe and 
blessed Thanksgiving Day.


(You can find the original blog post featuring this card with the directions HERE.)

Grateful
Smiles.

PLEASANT PHEASANTS

I turned to my trusty MDS to create the focal image on my Thanksgiving card for this year. Autumn Harvest has two beautiful pheasants facing each other.


After perusing images of pheasants I found on the Internet, I was able to "color" mine so they were fairly close to actual coloring. Without the shading, I ended up with a more color-blocked image of pheasants. The coloring tool in MDS makes this an easy and fun process.

Once the pheasants were sized and colored the way I wanted them, I copied and pasted the duo seven times on a sheet of white cardstock, and printed it out.

The skinny strips of two pheasants facing each other sat on my work table for a few days. OK. Now what?

Rounding the corners and sponging the edges with Cajun Craze was a step in the right direction. I turned to my Framelits. The large frame from Apothecary Accents in Always Artichoke was the perfect shape and size for my birds. But it looked a little bare, needing another layer. I opted for a Cajun Craze oval from the Ovals Collection Framelits. I popped up my pheasants atop the layered Framelits with a few Stampin' Dimensionals.

Laying it against the chosen Naturals White cardstock base . . . whoa . . . Not good at all.

I grabbed another set from the Holiday Catalog, Truly Grateful, and stamped the wood background twice in Cajun Craze on Naturals White. After trimming this piece to the exact size of the wood, I sponged all the edges with Cajun Craze. Oh yum.

This whole unit adhered to the card front with only the bottom edge of the card sponged in Cajun Craze was just right.



P.S. I used the Stamp-a-Ma-Jig to get my sentiment placed on the Cajun Craze oval.

Pleasant
Pheasant
Smiles.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

BEADY POINSETTIA

As you already know, I am in love with one of Stampin' Up!'s new Christmas stamp sets, Joyful Christmas. You've seen it on my blog a few times already. This is probably not the last time you will see it on Paper Seedlings.

Joyful Christmas is an exquisite set, begging to be used with a wide variety of techniques. This card happens to feature paper piecing once again.

This was one of the projects at my November Stamp-In workshop:


They had a choice of several red/pink-toned Designer Series Papers in a small print, as well as several greens. It seemed that, no matter which print in any color they chose, it was always a gorgeous-looking flower when they were finished.

Since the center of a poinsettia flower is those weird yellowish things, I thought yellow beads would work great on the card.


Even though the center of the flower was going to be covered by beads, I did paper piece in yellow the stamped center of the flower. As you can see in this closeup, the one bead -- upper right -- that didn't land on top of some of the yellow paper doesn't look quite as nice. So, if you do one of these cards on your own, be sure there is yellow paper underneath all the beads, especially if the beads are somewhat transparent as these are. Opaque beads would work just fine, even without the yellow paper under them.

If you'd like to give my card a try, here you go:

Supplies:
Apothecary Art stamp set
Curly Cute stamp set (retired, so so sad)
Joyful Christmas stamp set

Small-print red/pink and green Designer Series Paper
Naturals White cardstock
Basic Black cardstock

VersaMark Ink
Black StazOn Ink

Big Shot
Petals-a-Plenty Embossing Folder
Yellow beads
Paper Snips
Heat Tool
Black Embossing Powder
Stampin' Dimensionals
Tombow Multipurpose Adhesive
Embossing Buddy

Instructions:
PLEASE NOTE: This is another project where your Embossing Buddy is your BEST FRIEND!

Emboss a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Naturals White cardstock in the Big Shot inside the Petals-a-Plenty Embossing Folder. Adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Basic Black cardstock to a card front created from an 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of Naturals White cardstock. Adhere the embossed piece over the black.

After first rubbing the paper well with your Embossing Buddy, in VersaMark, stamp the poinsettia twice on red/pink Designer Series Paper (DSP). Cover the images with Black Embossing Powder. Heat to emboss. Repeat this same process with your choice of green DSP and the leaf image, except stamp the leaf three times. Also stamp the center berries once on a yellowish DSP.

Carefully cut out the full poinsettia, then the smaller center part of the flower. Adhere together with a Stampin' Dimensional. Cut out the three leaves, and glue them to the back of the flower petals. Cut out the center berries and glue them in place. Use Tombow Multipurpose Adhesive (green glue) to attach the poinsettia to the embossed surface.

Dot green glue onto the stamped berries, and place yellow beads over each of the stamped ones. Set this aside. The beads stay wobbly for some time.

Ink up the banner portion of the Apothecary Art stamp with VersaMark and stamp it onto a scrap of Naturals White cardstock AFTER RUBBING IT WELL WITH YOUR EMBOSSING BUDDY. Cover with Black Embossing Powder, and heat to emboss. Stamp the sentiment in the center of the banner and heat emboss in the same manner.

Cut out the banner. Adhere it to the embossed background with pieces of Stampin' Dimensionals.

Beaded
Smiles.




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

NOEL AND HOLIDAY SALE

This month's Paper Pumpkin?? Adorable! I was so thrilled when my red Paper Pumpkin box arrived in the mail, and could hardly wait to open it. Contained inside my box was a kit to make four darling Christmas cards:


I was enamored and wanted to get started right away. Unfortunately, much as I needed a creative escape RIGHT THEN, Life coerced me to put it off for a day. 

Last night, after enduring a rough day, I promised myself I would sit down an CREATE! And I did.

I fell in love with the darling little star garlands. In fact, I thought they were SO cute, I wanted to show them off a little better than what was given in the instructions. So, I cut off a miniature garland of six stars, and draped that across my tag. I glued down only the two end stars, so the rest wiggle and twinkle. 

Since it already said "NOEL" on the front of the card, I opted to omit the longer sentiment on the bottom of the tag. 

I stamped the cute red star in the "O" of NOEL, as in the directions. And called it finished. Cute cards!

However, as I slept, I realized I could make it just a tad more my own.

For my workshop last Monday, I had made a strip of Real Red glimmer paper (my homemade variety), and there was a little left over. So, I grabbed my retired little star punch from Stampin' Up!, and punched out stars from my glimmer paper. I then popped them up over the red stamped star with a piece of Stampin' Dimensional. By doing this, I added a bit more dimension, besides echoing the glitz in the stars in the garland.

I realize that by doing this, I ended up not using either of the stamps that came in the kit. No matter. I am positive I will be putting them to good use on another Christmas card!

Anyway, now I have some more of the darling garland and two stamps left! Yay!

Here's my take:


Just a quick FYI for those of you not familiar with Stampin' Up!'s Paper Pumpkin monthly subscription. Each month, your kit comes with EVERYthing needed to create that month's project, except adhesive. This card was very very easy to create. The striped cardstock was scored and ready to be folded, the Very Vanilla tag came diecut and with "NOEL" preprinted on it. Very Vanilla envelopes were included. Actually, for this kit, you didn't even need adhesive because it came with Stampin' Dimensionals. The cute star garland was precut and packaged. Two clear-mount stamps, the star and "Wishing You a Merry Christmas", were included, as was a Real Red Stampin' Spot, and very concise instructions. It's a win-win situation all around! And LOADS of fun!

* ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * ^ * 


I'd like to announce some EXCITING STUFF
Starting Wednesday, November 20, and running through Monday, December 2, Stampin' Up! is holding a 
HOLIDAY SALE! 

During these 13 days only, you can get incredible discounts -- up to 50% off! -- on some of your favorite products. 

 *** ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, ONLY, THEY ARE HAVING A 24-HOUR SALE. DURING THOSE 24 HOURS, YOU CAN SAVE 30% ON THREE PRODUCTS: THE STAMPIN' TRIMMER, THE SIMPLY SCORED DIAGONAL PLATE, AND MANY MARVELOUS MARKERS. THIS 24-HOUR SALE ENDS AT 11:50 P.M. (MOUNTAIN TIME) ON NOVEMBER 20. ***

Check out the flyer here: HOLIDAY SALE

Don't forget to name me as your demonstrator 
when ordering these fabulous deals!

Holiday
Smiles.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

HOLIDAY GARLAND

I recently finished a holiday garland for my mom's birthday. The paper I used in the the garland, unfortunately, is not Stampin' Up! paper. But the ornaments were created with the Holiday Ornaments Framelits which coordinate with the Ornament Keepsakes stamp set that was introduced to such high acclaim last year and is still available for order. (Ornament Keepsakes is item number 128051 in Clear and 128048 in Wood. The Framelits, item number 127816, sell for $24.95.) I didn't use all of the dies, just an assortment of five of them to make the garland.


Since I was planning to mail the garland, I wasn't sure how to package it for safekeeping. I hit upon some semi-stiff cardboard and gently wound the garland around it to keep it nice, neat and untangled.


To further protect it and to make good storage for it when it's not in use, I grabbed my new favorite tool, the Envelope Punch Board. After finding the dimensions of  the garland-wound cardboard, I used the trusty measuring guide on the Envelope Punch Board, and made the perfect-sized envelope!


To make it easy to open and close, plus add some style to the envelope, I added two circles of cardstock created with the 3/4" Circle Punch and secured to the envelope with brads. I then knotted a length of crochet cotton (baker's twine would work wonderfully too!) around the top circle. Now, just like professional envelopes, the string can be wound between the two circles to hold the garland neatly.

Pleased
Smiles.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

TRULY GRATEFUL

Combining four Stampin' Up! sets results in a beautiful Thanksgiving card. The sets used in this card include: Gorgeous Grunge, Wetlands, Truly Grateful and Teeny Tiny Wishes.


The sketchiness of the line drawings of the goose from Wetlands and the row of acorns from Truly Grateful works well to give just the right amount of visual punch. Texture and "faux" texture coming from the Houndstooth embossing folder and the lines in Cajun Craze from Gorgeous Grunge are nice counterpoints to the images. Cardstock in Cajun Craze and Sahara Sand are a good fallish combo with the Early Espresso ink.

Interested in giving this card a try?

Supplies:
Gorgeous Grunge stamp set
Wetlands stamp set
Truly Grateful stamp set
Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set

Sahara Sand cardstock
Cajun Craze cardstock

Early Espresso ink
Cajun Craze ink

Big Shot
Houndstooth Embossing Folder
Paper Piercing Tool and foam mat
Silver 1/8" Mini Brads

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

In Cajun Craze ink, stamp the lines from Gorgeous Grunge onto the lower right corner of the card front.

Run a 2" x 3" piece of Cajun Craze cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Houndstooth Embossing Folder. Distress the edges with your fingernail. Adhere this piece to the upper right corner of the card front.

Stamp the acorns three times in a row in Early Espresso on a 1 1/2" x 3" piece of Sahara Sand cardstock. It is easier if you do the middle one first. Adhere this directly underneath the textured piece.

Stamp the goose in Early Espresso a little towards the top of a 2 1/2" x 4 1/4" piece of Sahara Sand cardstock. Add the Happy Thanksgiving in Early Espresso towards the bottom.

With the paper over the piercing mat, pierce three holes in a row centered underneath the sentiment. Insert tiny silver brads.

Adhere this completed piece to the card front.

Smiles.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

FESTIVE FLURRY

You haven't missed one of the many wonders in the current Stampin' Up! holiday catalog, called Festive Flurry, have you? HAVE you?

The bundle consists of the stamp set and matching Framelits. The largest of the four snowflakes measures a little over 4", while the smallest is a precious 2". By letting the Framelits do all the fussy cutting -- the EASY way -- you are treated to luscious detailed snowflakes without all the work.

This set simply begs to be made into ornaments, and that's just what I did:


This photo, taken more at an angle, shows the dimensionality of the ornament, achieved by separating the  various snowflakes with Stampin' Dimensionals.


My basic colors, on top of the Whisper White, were Bermuda Bay and Embossed Silver. When I stamped the two snowflakes in  Bermuda Bay ink, they seemed flat and without dimension and richness. What to do? I ended up first inking the stamp with VersaMark, then with Bermuda Bay. I added Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder to the stamped images, and heated to emboss.

The same process can be used with Clear Embossing Powder in place of the Iridescent Ice. A more subtle look, but it's still embossed. Isn't this a great way to do embossing in ANY color??!? And so easy. 


The center of attention is one of the Frosted Finishes Embellishments found on page 28 in the same catalog. M photo simply cannot capture the true elegance and sparkle of these pieces. When I first saw them in the catalog, I thought they were pretty, but not for me. However, once I got sight of them up close and personal, I discovered they were true works of art. 

To balance the bling somewhat, I added Basic Rhinestones to the tips of the largest silver snowflake. 


So the reverse side of the ornament didn't feel left out, I used the second largest Framelit to create a snowflake from Bermuda Bay cardstock. I then stamped the coordinating snowflake in Bermuda Bay on Whisper White, this time without the embossing, and layered it flat on top of the Framelit snowflake. So, even though I don't plan on this side showing <much>, if it happens to turn, the view will still be a pretty one.

Flaky
Smiles.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

FRENCH FOLIAGE CASE

If you  have read my little About Me on my blog, you will discover "I need to use my creativity every day in order to stay happy and sane." Well, I'm not completely sure about the "sane" part, but creating certainly does boost my happiness quotient. And days when I miss out on doing something creative are days like . . . well, without sunshine to someone who suffers from SAD. Very sad indeed.

Sometimes, if I've had a rough low self-esteem day, and I don't have any pressing projects, I treat myself to a bit of a challenge to cheer myself up. I randomly reach into the stack of all the pages I have saved for years, and do whatever is on the selected page. It could be a new or forgotten technique, a photo of a good card layout, a 3-D project. Whatever it turns out to be is my assignment.

Recently I had one of those days, and this is what I randomly chose for my personal creativity challenge:


I believe I had saved this page from an old issue of PaperCrafts magazine. Of course, being created with the French Foliage stamp set -- one of my all-time favorites -- was a big draw in selecting it to save. The artist of this original card was Angela Fehr. If you're reading this, Angela, thanks for the challenge. Lovely card!

My version of this card is here:


I distressed my card more than the original, both by adding sponging -- on the edges and sporadically across the design -- and working those edges. I brought a little more of the Cherry Cobbler into play by mounting it onto that color, as well as framing my sentiment with it.. 

To create the mat for the sentiment, I used the tabbed label from the Apothecary Accents Framelits set. To change the label up a bit, I sliced off the tab on the left side. I then used the remaining tab as a resting place for my button with baker's twine. Oh, the sentiment is from Blooming With Kindness. 

Ah, after that, I feel so much better.

CASEing
Smiles.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

DAYDREAM MEDALLIONS

The Daydream Medallions stamp set in combination with the Floral Frames Collection Framelits is a marriage made in heaven. Stampin' Up! is so smart that way!


Add layers, Stampin' Up!'s scrumptious red hues, embossing and an elegant antique brad, and you have a winner.


How would you like to try your hand at this 4 1/4" square card? Here you go:

Supplies:
Daydream Medallions stamp set

Cherry Cobbler cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Cherry Cobbler ink
Raspberry Ripple ink
Primrose Petals ink
Strawberry Slush ink

Big Shot
Fancy Fan embossing folder
Floral Frames Collection Framelits
3/16" Corner Punch
Stampin' Pierce Mat
Paper Piercing Tool
Antique Brads
Stampin' Dimensionals
Glue Dots

Instructions:
Fold a 4 1/4" x 8 1/2" piece of Cherry Cobbler cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Run the front of the card through the Big Shot inside the Fancy Fan Embossing Folder.

Round the two open corners of the card.

On a half sheet of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the largest medallion in Cherry Cobbler ink, the next largest in Raspberry Ripple, the second smallest in Primrose Petals, and the smallest in Strawberry Slush.

With the appropriate Framelits, cut out each of the medallions, using sticky notes (or the Magnetic Platform) to hold the Framelits in place.

Stack the three largest cut-out medallions, separating the layers with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Place the smallest medallion over the Piercing Mat, and pierce a hole in the center. Insert an Antique Brad into the hole. Adhere this piece to the rest of the stack with Glue Dots.

Use green glue to attach the completed medallion to the card front. Or, you could adhere it to the card base with a couple of Stampin' Dimensionals for added dimension. 

If you are organized, this project would be simple enough to do assembly line fashion for multiples of the card. Switch it up to your favorite color combination!

Smiles.