Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM

My oldest daughter, Emily, had a big birthday this past weekend. I find Emily, a tremendously gifted illustrator/graphic designer, difficult to please with my cards. Although I'm sure she would beg to differ. 

So, I set out to really WOW her for a change. Just how to do that? A challenge I felt I was up to. 

Emily likes ice cream, so . . . 

I started with MDS and the stamp brush set, Sweet Scoops. First step was to resize the cute cone to a large, workable size. I then piled on three scoops of the ice cream, topped by a shiny cherry. 

The cherry didn't have any highlights and since I was going for realism (yeah, right!), I decided it needed highlights. There is probably an easier way to do this, but here is how I figured out to put two little highlights on the side of the cherry:

I added two of the circle punches, which, of course, were enormous, much too large for my little cherry. So I sized and resized, scrunched and moved, until I was happy with the look. I then filled in the little lopsided circle punches with Whisper White cardstock. This is so simple to do in MDS!

After printing out the ice cream cone on white cardstock four times, I proceeded to cut out all the separate pieces. I then lifted the various layers with Stampin' Dimensionals. 

Well, my ice cream cone was complete, but now what do I do with it? I thought that, for the biggest impact, it should be placed against a white background. But, how boring that was.

So I got out four of my Stampin' Up! Embossing Folders, and embossed four pieces of Whisper White cardstock, rounded the corners, and added them to the plain white background.

I neglected to mention that the size of this card is 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". Yes, a single sheet of cardstock folded in half. Exactly twice the size of the cards I usually make. So each of the embossed sections was 2" x 5 1/4". 



After I was finished attaching the cone to the embossed background, I stamped "enjoy" from an old Stampin' Up! set, adding a 1/2" yellow circle and a blue circle made from a regular paper punch to the center of the "o" to bring the ice cream colors into play once again.


I am delighted to report that Emily really liked the card! I feel so fulfilled.


Please take a little time to check out Emily's website, www.bluestarink.com. I guarantee you will be positively enchanted!

Ice Cream.
Smiles.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

PAPER PUMPKIN LOVE TOO

Do you remember from my last post what the projects from the January Paper Pumpkin kit were supposed to look like? Here's a reminder:


In that post, I showed you my take on the Coastal Cabana cards. Now, I will move on to the Calypso Coral projects.

Included in the kit supplies were four of the paper doilies Stampin' Up! carries. Never having worked with these cute little doilies before, I decided that I would give them a try in these two cards.

Once again, I turned my card base "inside out" so the stripes rather than the Crumb Cake side were the card front. Neither of these cards show the Crumb Cake at all. That color is just on the inside of the card. (Oops. My mistake. When the second card is completely closed, the Crumb Cake shows through the punched-out arrows.)

But back to the first card. Besides the Calypso Coral, I added just a few touches of Coastal Cabana for a  nice contrast. I crinkled the top of the two doilies I used to make it appear more lifelike and to give it added dimension. The bottom doily is adhered flat to the card.

I thought the cut-out arrows on the bottom seemed a little lonely, so I added a few of the kit's stickers -- the xoxo and the three arrows -- to give the punches some company.


In the center of the doily is the "heart" of the card. Smile. I used the Hearts A Flutter stamp set as well as their coordinating Framelits atop two circles created with the Circles Collection Framelits. The smallest heart is one of the stickers that came with the Paper Pumpkin kit. I finished off that heart with a Basic Pearl.


And . . . finally, for the last card, I just changed up the sample a bit to make it my own.

As you can see, I made only a few changes, three to be exact. Of course, I had the color rather than the Crumb Cake facing out. I also made it a horizontal card. And I added a strip of the arrow sticker to the bottom. That's it! Otherwise, it is the same card as in the sample.


I hope you enjoyed my little foray into the joys of Paper Pumpkin land! 

I absolutely love receiving these surprise kits in the mail each month! It is fun to make up the kits exactly as Stampin' Up! planned. Or, like me -- and I've always been a little disobedient when following directions -- you can switch it up as much as you want to make it uniquely your own.

Either way, the presentation of the kit, the supplies included (everything except the adhesive. And, often, there are even Glue Dots or Stampin' Dimensionals included), the monthly surprise and the chance to just get away from it all for a time, are some of the delights of these kits. 

A N D . . . you ALWAYS have supplies left over for future projects! A stamp set and an Ink Spot come with each and every kit. Often, you will have some of the other supplies left over as well. So, each of these monthly kits has supplies for many, many more creations than the one in the bright red box.

Until March 31, any new subscribers to Paper Pumpkin will also receive a pack of the In Color Stampin' Write Markers ($14.95 value!) along with your welcome kit. 

To sign up for this monthly delight, go to www.mypaperpumpkin.com. And don't forget to name me, Linda Kilsdonk, as your demonstrator!

Paper
Pumpkin
Smiles.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

PAPER PUMPKIN LOVE

I'm sorry to admit that I wasn't totally crazy about the January Paper Pumpkin kit samples. I did, however, LOVE all the supplies that came with the kit.

Here is what the four cards were meant to look like after following the instructions in the kit:


First of all, I must tell you that the insides of these card bases are adorable: one half of the inside is solid Calypso Coral and the facing side is Calypso Coral/white stripes. The other card is solid Coastal Cabana and striped Coastal Cabana/white. My first thought was, "What a waste of adorableness!" If the card bases had been solid Crumb Cake, fine and good, there wouldn't be a question of hidden cuteness. But they weren't!

I planned to use the supplies to create four different cards. I grabbed one of the Coastal Cabana pieces, and went to work, coming up with this for my first card:


I completely wiped out any sign of the Crumb Cake color in three of my four resulting cards. For the above card, I adhered a piece of white behind the triangles so the entire card was Coastal Cabana, Basic Gray and white. 

See the darling Coastal Cabana-colored embellishment in the upper right corner?? Adorable, eh? Stampin' Up! sent along with this kit a WHOLE CONTAINER of these In Color Boutique Details (page 141 of the big catalog), an $8.95 value. Isn't that just the coolest?

Anyway, while I liked the look of my first card, I am especially happy with the second Coastal Cabana one that I created:


As you, my readers, already know about me, I love to use pages of actual music in my creations. This card turned out to be a good showcase for my musical love.

Using the awesome new Spiral Flower Originals Die (page 32 of the Celebrate the Everyday catalog) and two sheets of music together makes a beautiful rose. I mounted it to a black doily made with the Delicate Doilies Sizzlits. I loved the way it looked, but I did not like the stripes showing through the holes of the doily. To fix that problem, I cut a circle of the music and adhered that to the back of the doily so MUSIC is what showed through the holes.


For the sentiment, I stamped Happy Birthday in the blank space provided in the label stamp from the hostess set, Morning Meadow. Did you notice that I stamped this on some of the music also? Doesn't it look cool? This label is cut out perfectly with the Apothecary Accents Framelits (page 187 of the big catalog). I cut another of the labels from Coastal Cabana, snipped it in half horizontally, and added it to my music piece.


Finally, I eliminated the Crumb Cake showing through the triangles by adhering a piece of the music behind them. 


I am very happy with this super-dimensional card. What do you think? 

Next time I will share with you my final two cards using the Calypso Coral card bases. A little teaser about them: I mostly fashioned one of the cards after the sample. But made it my own.

Musical 
Smiles.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

SMILING GOLDFISH

Remember a few weeks ago when I published this post? I asked you to join in a little contest of trying the guess the materials and techniques I had used to create the backgrounds in that post.

And then, a week later, in this post I announced the winner. Debbie, with the winning guess, chose this background for me to make her prize:


Well, I made her card, and here it is:


I have to admit that when I saw that particular background was her choice, my original intent was to make something fairly elegant. The design seemed to call for that. 

However, before I started the card, I was browsing through my big Stampin' Up! catalog, and came across my cute little stamp, Fishin' Around, on page 58. I wondered, if you use your imagination, could the turquoise designs look sort of like algae or some other sea plants? Hmmm. 


T H E N . . .  leafing through the newish Celebrate the Everyday catalog, page 31 jumped out at me! Aha! The FRINGE SCISSORS! Sea weeds! On top of sea WAVES! (Tasteful Trim on page 192 of the big catalog.) 

And my card idea was hatched!

For the fishbowl, I stamped the image four times: once on Whisper White, once on a Pumpkin Pie DSP, once on the tan, and once on the turquoise. I then cut out the water, the fish, and the treasure and sand and adhered them all onto the Whisper White.

Since there were pearls strewn about from the spilled treasure chest, I added a few "real" ones on the waves.


Debbie, I hope you like your card (and the rest of your prize!). It will go in the mail within a few days.

Fishy
Smiles.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

BE MINE

I just wanted to take this quick opportunity to wish you all 
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!


At my Stamp-In workshop this week, the girls made these Valentines. So I thought I'd send one to YOU too!

I designed the focal point of the card in MDS, then printed it out twice. The first time was the heart against the pretty Rich Razzleberry DSP background. I printed it once again, but this time, with no background so the banner was white outlined in Rich Razzleberry. 

We cut the image and its background to size and mounted it to a piece of Rich Razzleberry cardstock.. That was then adhered to the pretty embossed background in Whisper White, then mounted to a Rich Razzleberry card base.

The banner was carefully cut out and popped up over its counterpart on the patterned heart. The finishing touch was a classy fork bow created with our White Organza Ribbon.


I hope your Valentine's Day is filled with hearts, kindness and love! ENJOY!

Valentine
Smiles.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I HEART GARLAND

My daughter, Sarah, who is in the Army and stationed in Washington, asked me if I could make her seasonal garlands to hang.

So, with Valentine's Day coming up, I decided to make her a what ended up being a fairly simple <<but cute>> heart garland.


To create each of the "flags" for the banner, I used some retired red and white woodgrain-patterned DSP. I thought the woodgrain would make a darling backdrop for the red and white hearts I added. I folded each flag in half, and inserted the length of red and white ribbon along the creases of each flag.


Hearts A Flutter Framelits enabled me to create the cute nested hearts on each flag. I inserted small (non-Stampin' Up!) jeweled brads in the center of each white heart.

Sarah and I happened to be on the phone when she opened the package containing her garland. She was delighted, and hung it up while we were still talking. I'm so happy she liked it!

Heart-y
Smiles.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

SO MANY BIRTHDAY CANDLES!

I had so much fun creating this hybrid birthday card for my husband. MDS to the rescue -- ONCE AGAIN!


Using the darling row of birthday candles from my MDS arsenal, I colored them all in shades of blues and greens, with the burning flames an expected yellow, of course. I printed out several rows of the burning candles, and headed down to my Creation Station to finish the card.

To add a little dimension to the otherwise static row of birthday candles, I cut out random candles from a separate row I had printed, applied them over their counterparts and popped them up with pieces of Stampin' Dimensionals.



The candles were then matted onto Gumball Green and Marina Mist cardstock. To accommodate the extra length of the row of candles, the card needed to be oversized: 4" x 8 1/2" for a finished size.

Originally, I had just planned to mount the matted piece to the white card front. Uh uh. Way too stark. So I dug through some retired stamp sets, and came up with these cute dotted circles. I stamped them randomly across the background in Gumball Green and Marina Mist. 

Then to echo the tiny little lines under each flame, I added a narrow strip of black underneath the matted candles. 


Kind of a jaunty happy card to maybe ease the "pain" of growing another year older. I hope.

Birthday 
Smiles.





Wednesday, February 5, 2014

HEART TO HEART

created in MDS
I need to "talk" to you from the bottom of my heart. 

When I began my blog, Paper Seedlings, in September of 2012, I had such lofty, grandiose hopes and expectations. It took me several months to do what I thought I needed to "do it right" and finally write my first post.

As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator in demonstrator-saturated Central Wisconsin, I had thought that by sharing what I love through a blog would give me a much longer reach, virtually an unlimited reach, to instill creative ideas in others of a like mind. And hopefully gain new customers and paper crafting friends through my efforts.

Because I have bad arthritis in my hands and a terrible case of nervousness/klutziness, I decided immediately that I would not be able to touch my audience in a desirable fashion by offering videos as so many demonstrators do on their blogs. I had thought instead that by offering very concise tutorials a few times each month would appeal to my readers. I have had a few appreciative comments about my tutorials -- thank you! I had also several times asked that if you are ever inspired by anything I offered on Paper Seedlings and want to purchase items to maybe do a project that I presented, to please denote me as your Stampin' Up! Demonstrator when placing your order. It has never happened.

On a few occasions, I've attempted to offer contests and challenges with only very limited success. Most of the participants are wonderful people I already know.

My little quote ideas that I included from the start have garnered no interest whatsoever. I had thought there were lots of people like me who love and collect quotes, and that this would maybe be appealing. Nope.

You seem to love my little granddaughter, Stella, almost as much as I do by the comments I receive when I post scrapbook layouts of her I created in MDS. But, obviously I've never inspired anyone enough to want to jump on the MDS bandwagon.

THEN, a few posts ago, I thought maybe I'd hit upon a potential winner! When I presented my sanded embossed tissue box in a card, you seemed delighted. Yayyy! So, I decided I would move into projects that use nontraditional/unconventional materials in conjunction with my beloved Stampin' Up! products. You know, kind of "green" crafting? Recycle. Reuse.

So, along those lines, I created my mystery backgrounds, inviting readers to guess the technique and materials used in the eight backgrounds. I received a few responses. And people, in the comments I received, seemed interested and excited.

I could hardly wait to create a card from one of the backgrounds and present it, along with details on how they were made. Even though the post was published early Sunday morning, so far I have received merely one comment. And that is from a dear dear friend who lives about 40 miles from me and comes to my Stamp-In workshops.

I had promised myself that I would not whine, so I am going to pull on my big girl pants, and get on with it.

I have been feeling very, very discouraged at the lack of success I've experienced in attempting to plant little creative paper seedlings in my blog readers' minds. The other day I made a decision. If I still feel the same at the end of this month, I will discontinue my blog.

Which brings me to the big favor I'd like to ask of you. If you've been touched or inspired in some positive way by what I've been offering in Paper Seedlings over the past almost year and a half, please let me know. If you have any suggestions for ways that I could improve what I offer or any other ideas for me, please share them also.

In other words, make me want to keep on keeping on. I really do want to continue planting Paper Seedlings.

Paper
Smiles.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

MYSTERY SOLVED!

Hey, thanks to all of you who emailed me with guesses as to how my eight backgrounds from this post were created. I got a variety of guesses. Some of you were so close . . .

Here is the big reveal. It is a variation on the Faux Silk technique that I wrote about here. I had been cleaning -- loosely speaking -- in my crafting room, and came across an enormous box of packages of beautiful napkins I had been collecting for some time. I had completely forgotten about these lovelies, and when they reappeared, I felt -- you guessed it -- guilty. Since my initial interest in gorgeous napkins came from a newly-found technique utilizing them along with beeswax, and this interest has gone by the wayside, I needed to find another use for at least SOME of the napkins.

To do the Faux Silk technique, you use crumpled tissue paper meant for gift wrapping. I thought, well, napkins are basically tissue paper, right? Because most decorative napkins are two- or three-ply, meaning the napkin is made up of two or three layers, they would be too thick to produce those lovely myriad hills and valleys that give Faux Silk such appeal. So . . . I carefully peeled the first -- decorated -- layer from the rest of the napkin. If you start to pick at one corner, it is easy to grab that first layer and gently peel it off.

Once I had that thin layer, it was simple to finish the Faux Silk variation: I crumpled the napkin in my hands, unfolded it, crumpled, unfolded, crumpled, unfolded. The last unfolding should not make the napkin flat, just release the crinkles somewhat. If you flatten it completely, you will not get any texture.

I then used Stampin' Up!'s Anywhere Glue Stick to completely cover the surface of a piece of white cardstock. I gently placed the napkin, which had been cut to size just a bit larger than the cardstock, over the glued paper, and gently pressed downwards, pressing in those wondrous crinkles and wrinkles to give it its divine textured interest.

When the background is dried -- this only takes seconds -- use a pair of scissors to trim off the excess edges. Or you could use your favorite paper cutter. In fact, the piece I actually used on my card was cut a bit smaller than originally with the paper cutter so I could put a colored mat under it, then onto the card front.

With all that said, I present to you the card I made from one of the original eight I'd showed you in my Solve This Mystery post:


While the dark-colored oval underneath the flower oval looks almost black, it is actually Night of Navy to pick up the darker outlines on the background flowers. In real life, the color is much closer. 


I also stamped the poppy image onto Whisper White cardstock in Night of Navy twice. Using an Aqua Painter and Marina Mist ink, I "painted" the flower and bud on one of the stamped pieces. I then cut them out and adhered them over their counterparts on the other stamped piece. 

I am happy with how the card turned out, and am anxious to give the other backgrounds a try. 

N O W, I would like to announce the winner of the Solve This Mystery contest. Congrats to Debbie Adelt! And Debbie chose the turquoise and brown background for me to create her prize. Debbie, please email your snail mail address to me at lidna52@gmail.com, and I will get to work creating your card to send to you, along with a few extra surprises. 

So, the next time you attend a special function at which they have cool napkins, don't be just TOO messy and stick your <used> napkin in your purse, and head home to give this technique a try. It is so easy and gives such pretty and varied results.

Faux-ish
Smiles.