Tuesday, June 30, 2015

PLAYFUL PAPER PUMPKIN PATRIOTIC PINWHEELS on PARADE

Do you remember the cute Paper Pumpkin kit from a year ago that provided all the fixin's to create 24 adorable pinwheels in an assortment of patriotic-flavored prints? 

I ended up only putting together eight of the cuties, so had leftovers for 16 more. What better use to put them to than string them all together in a long patriotic garland?

A close-up of a single pinwheel


The photo below shows not quite half of the garland. You can see that I got six distinctive looks for my pinwheels. There were three different two-sided designs of precut paper pinwheels in the kit, so I flipped them to get a variety of six combinations.


I apologize for the crazy color behind the garland in these photos. We hung it on a long wall downstairs with dismal lighting and a (pretty) gold-colored wall.


Another close-up. Notice that I snipped the straws into sections about 1 1/4" long and inserted them between each of the pinwheels. 


It looks terrible, I know, and I so apologize for that. But this photo shows the garland in its entirety. It's about 13 feet long, and this was the only unimpeded wall where it would fit.


Once again, I am so sorry for the poor quality of the photos. But, it's the best I could do -- and believe me, I corrected these photos unmercifully to get them to look even this good. 

I just wanted to share a patriotic garland with you in time for the 4th of July. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!

Patriotic
Smiles.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

STAR SPANGLED

This is a card that came together in itsy bitsy bits and pieces and lots of blood, sweat and tears. No, not really. But it sure seemed like it. 

I had such a good idea for a patriotic card, only to have it fall apart time after time. After time.

What I had planned to nourish the tiny Paper Seedlings in my brain was to use my Stars Framelits to make a stencil, disposing of the stars themselves. 

I started with a piece of scrap cardstock that measured 4" x 5 1/4" and placed three of the star Framelits randomly on top of that piece. Running it through my Big Shot and removing the resulting stars left me with a perfect stencil to work with.

I then took a similar sized piece of Whisper White cardstock and ran that through the Big Shot inside the Lucky Stars embossing folder. Laying my stencil on top of my star-studded piece, I sponged in red through the star stencils. 

THEN I grabbed a few of the stamps from past Paper Pumpkin kits and spangled those stars in blue. Well, at that point was when I was first frustrated. 

Of course, knowing color theory, I should have realized that stamping the spangles in blue over the red ink would give me, if not an actual violet (according to the color wheel), at least, an unfriendly dark blue. 

At this point, I thought it was so ugly that I set it aside for several days. I was ready to just write it off as an experiment gone bad.


I glanced at it a few days later and wondered if I could possibly salvage it. I mean, the sponging and the stencils looked pretty cool. I just did not like the "spangles". 

OK. Let's try a little blue sponging along the edges and into the card, leaving only a little of the pure white in the center. I did like the way it made the embossed stars POP! That helped. a. little. But not enough. Hmmm. What now?

The next thing I tried was adding dots with a Stampin' Write Marker around the perimeters of the stars. STILL not great.


So I set it aside again. I tried holding a few different things up to what I had so far. But it just DID NOT WORK.


I dug through all my leftovers from other past Paper Pumpkin kits. 

Well, do you remember the cute patriotic pinwheels of a year ago? I hadn't made up all the pinwheels, so had some of the little banners left. I grabbed the matching "celebrate" stamp from the kit and stamped three of those banners. 

Moving these little banners around on the card . . . well . . .

They were just too stark. No personality. 

So I decided that to echo the dots I made on the stars, why not add them to the banners? And . . . how 'bout a little BLING?

OK. I finally decided on the placement for these little embellished banners. I put the card together onto a red base. I STILL did not like it.

Should I just give up and consider it a completely lost cause?

By this point, I have lost track of how many times and days I had set this aside. (It's a good thing I started this brainstorm so early!)

Intermission. 

Days later:

I added the little corner trim in the form of a thin strip of paper and a 1/4" dot punched out of the same paper.

And called it good.


It has come to grow on me.

Comments?

Spangled
Smiles.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

FOCUS FRIDAY: ENGLISH DAISY


Why can't life be
like this
English Daisy? 
Perfect.
Flawless.

Well, it's not.
So,
isn't it WONDERFUL
that we have
such 
PERFECTION
to enjoy --
if we only 
notice it?

We are surrounded by
BEAUTY.

Think of all the beauty still left around you
and be happy.
- Ann Frank -

You are invited to check out more of life's beauty I have captured on 

Flawless
Smiles.



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

EMERGING COLOR HELLO TUTORIAL

I first introduced you to a fun technique called Emerging Color almost a year ago in this post. Following is the card I included to accompany this introduction and tutorial:


At my most recent Stamp-In Workshop in May, I reintroduced the technique to my stampers with this card:


When I finished with the background of the card, I wanted to add a little "hello" using the Hello You Thinlits. 

First, I diecut the word from Mossy Meadow cardstock. However, when I held it against the busy background, it was sort of lost in the forest, so to speak. I then cut the word again from Coastal Cabana. Same thing. Grrr. How to fix this? 

Ta da! I decided to layer the word pieces, shifting them just slightly to give a shadow effect, and -- YAY!! -- it worked!


You can see in the following image the way the embossed parts look by the way they reflect the light. I just love all the layering and new colors that occur with this simple technique!


In the sample from August 2014, I used a brayer to apply the background ink. I did it differently in this current card. Would you like to know how I made it? OK! Here goes:

Supplies:
Flower Patch stamp set

Pear Pizzazz cardstock
Mossy Meadow cardstock
Coastal Cabana cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Coastal Cabana ink
Pear Pizzazz ink
Mossy Meadow ink
VersaMark ink

Big Shot
Hello You Thinlits
Heat Tool
Embossing Buddy
Clear Embossing Powder
Stamping Sponge

Instructions:
Fold a half sheet of Pear Pizzazz cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Mossy Meadow cardstock to the card base.

Stamp the various flowers randomly across a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Whisper White cardstock in your chosen colors, cleaning the stamps each time you finish with a color. Try not to overlap the flowers at this point, except for stamping the darker centers in the large flowers.

Rub this piece well with the Embossing Buddy. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!

In VersaMark, stamp the largest flower around on this piece, overlapping some of the colored flowers, but not overlapping the VersaMarked flowers. You can hold the paper at an angle to see where you've stamped the clear flowers.

At the Heat Station, dump clear embossing powder over the entire piece, tapping any excess powder back into its container. Heat the embossing powder with the Heat Tool until it is completely shiny and set.

Back at your table make sure the embossing is cooled. Once it is, sponge Pear Pizzazz ink over the entire piece in a circular motion. You can keep adding layers of color to make it darker, so start off softly and fairly light. Once all the unembossed spaces are colored green, take a tissue and gently wipe any excess ink from the embossed flowers. Adhere this piece to the card front.

Use the Hello Thinlit to cut two hellos, one in Coastal Cabana and one in Mossy Meadow. First adhere the green hello with tiny droplets of green glue. Follow with the Coastal Cabana hello, offset from the green one just a bit so it looks like a shadow.

There! Wasn't that fun!?!?

Emerging 
Smiles.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

EMBOSSED TRANQUILITY


I'd like to wish all the dads out there 
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

The classic image of a Canada goose is perfect for a masculine card. Working together with the "watercolor" swaths from Work of  Art in green and blue (Pear Pizzazz and Marina Mist) and black heat embossing, gives this card a simple and elegant look. 


The following image shows off the embossing a bit better than the previous one.


It is sort of funny how this card actually came to be. 

I had set out bound for my Creation Station with the intention of making Father's Day cards for my dad and my husband. Besides intending to make two masculine cards, there was only one other thing that I surely wanted to incorporate into the card. 

I know. I know. I've been on something of a kleenex box kick lately. BUT, I had in my grubby little paws these two beautiful understated boxes in gorgeous shades of green and blue. And, by golly, I was going to use them in these masculine cards!

The two kleenex box colors coordinated beautifully with Stampin' Up!'s Marina Mist and Pear Pizzazz. Hmmm. What to do with Marina Mist and Pear Pizzazz and two strips cut from kleenex boxes. Riffling through my stamp sets, I first came upon one that . . . no. Hmm, how about this one? Uh uh. Aha! A Canada goose! 

And so that's what I did.


I truly love the effective simplicity of this Father's Day card. 

When making Father's Day cards, do you tend to lean towards the more serious, as I did, or something a tad more humorous? 

Tranquil
Smiles.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

FOCUS FRIDAY: BEE MINE


Here we are, 
back to
Black-Eyed Susan.
But
this time,
she has a
VISITOR.
A visitor 
with
quite a 
STING.
Please
Bee Mine.

Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as important 
to the child as it is to the caterpillar.
 - Bradley Miller - 

Be kind.

I'd love it if you would check out MY INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT.

Bee-ming
Smiles.

UPDATE: As the result of one of the comments on this photo, I realize now that I misidentified this little insect as a bee. Thank you, Hannah, for your helpful comment in pointing out that this bee-like impersonator is a HOVERFLY

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

FLORAL FRAMES SHAPED CARD

Something that is so much fun to do, but that I forget about, is making a shaped card. It is so easy to get into a rut and keep turning out the traditional 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card, either in portrait or landscape mode. 

A simple, but cute, way to make a shaped card is to use some of the larger Framelits that are available. 

Simply measure the size of the Framelit you'd like to use for your card. For example, if your Framelit measures 5" x 5", cut a piece of cardstock for your base that measures about 5 1/2" x 10 1/2". Use the Simply Scored to score the piece in half. Crease it well with a bone folder on the score line. 

Since the Framelits cut easily through the two layers of cardstock, simply lay the folded card base onto the plate atop the Magnetic Platform. When placing the Framelit, be careful that the fold of the card comes just INSIDE the top of the Framelit. Top the sandwich with the remaining cutting plate. 

Then, when you run it through the Big Shot, the fold will not be cut through, and your card will open. B.U.T. it won't be rectangular or square. It'll be shaped like whatever Framelit you used.

For my card today, I used the second largest of the Floral Frames Collection Framelits (page 173). When using this Framelit, it works best if you have two of the petal tips on the fold line. Then, it stands up better for display, rather than trying to balance it just on one petal. Not good.

Once you have your cute shaped card base, you can finish it off in any of a number of ways. I chose to emboss the front of my card. 

To create my flower, I grabbed another set of Framelits, the Flower Fair Framelits (page 172). The very center dot of the flower was punched with the 1/4" Hole Punch, and to make the "veins" on the leaves, I used the branch from the Bird Builder Punch (page 167). Otherwise all the other components were created with the Flower Fair Framelits. 

Gently sponging the edges with Pool Party ink gave the card a more finished look. At first, I was going to leave it un-sponged, but did not like how "bare" it looked. This looks much better.


The following photo shows the card from a slight angle so you can see just how cute it looks when it is standing up on display.


Use your imagination when looking at all the available Framelits. Which ones would make darling shaped cards? How about ANY of the sets on page 173? Think about even the Envelope Liners Framelits! One of those could be made into an adorable HOUSE! And it could be trimmed for Christmas. Or sent to someone who has just moved. A darling star card could be made with the Stars Framelits. The possibilities are ENDLESS! 

And, sometimes these cards become odd sizes. No problem! Grab your Envelope Punch Board, and make a custom envelope using coordinating paper to match your fabulous card!

Endless
Smiles.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

TISSUE FLOWERS

 OK. I love this card. I really do. 

But I would really like your input. Really.

Have you noticed the truly adorable boxes that kleenex come packaged in? I have. As I'm sure you remember from past posts. 

The left-side portion of this card is part of a kleenex box that I thought would be adorable on a card. 

When I first saw it, I was positive that the stamp set Summer Silhouettes (page 121 of the new catalog) would be the perfect set to use because a few of the flower components so closely match those in the box design. 

So, with that intention, I went to work with Summer Silhouettes. No go. While the flower portions complemented each other, I just did not like the two together. That attempt was a complete and utter failure.

Another problem I was trying to avoid is the possibility of covering too much of the kleenex design. I love every single silly little millimeter of the design. So, that's why I decided to make it a 2-part card, hoping that each part would not only be able to stand on its own, but look good together, forming a complete whole.

Back to not liking Summer Silhouettes with it. Yuk. C'mon, little Paper Seedlings. Start to sprout a bit more.

I turned to a few of the Framelits from Flower Fair (page 172). I also grabbed the Pansy Punch (page 167) and the largest flower punch, which is now retired. Paired up with matching colors, I created my version of the kleenex box flowers and foliage. 

And I know that I'm covering up some of the box design, but it was just not quite right if left as it was. So I created a paper bow and flattened it. (I always wondered what would happen to those perky, poofy paper bows we all love to make when they are sent through the mail. Even though this did not go the way of the USPS, I imagine this is what it would look like after its journey. And I LIKE it!)

I try NEVER to divide a card in half. And this card comes pretty close to two equal halves.







Here's where your opinion comes in. Does it work together as a unit, two designs working together, forming a single card? Or would it be more appropriate to have made the halves into two cards? And forget about the designs complementing each other? Or should I just have abandoned the experiment completely and left the poor kleenex box alone?

I know I have come up with a lot of drawbacks for this poor little card. But, even though, I still like it. And every time I look at it, I find myself smiling. And that's a good thing.

Complementary
Smiles.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

FOCUS FRIDAY: WATER DROPLETS


My absolute favorite time to photograph nature is
after a rain.


As I've said before,
moving into a "new" home
the day before Thanksgiving,
it was obvious that
spring was going to bring
LOTS OF SURPRISES.

We kind of thought,
by the look of the leaves
and the bud clusters,
that this was some type of
LILAC.

With rain drops on the
purple budlets,
they were ever so
CHARMING.

Let the flower you hold in your hand be your world
 for that moment.
- Unknown -

Won't you do me the honor of visiting My Instagram Account?

Droplet
Smiles.






Tuesday, June 9, 2015

ARGYLE GOOSE

What can I say about the majestic Canada Goose from the Wetlands set (page 116)? Other than that he is gorgeous, of course. And that he's the perfect model for a masculine card.

On my card, I used a brown that I don't use very often since Stampin' Up! introduced Soft Suede and Early Espresso several years ago. Those are my go to browns. Here I used Chocolate Chip. A nice change and it works so well with the now retired Naturals Ivory cardstock. 


For my background texture, I used the Boho Chic embossing folder Stampin' Up! introduced in their new catalog (page 174). I really love it, and know that I am going to be using it often. In this card, I especially like how the diamonds from the "argyle" trim are echoed in the embossing. It works.


I entered this gentle manly card into the Paper Players Theme Challenge #248 for this week:


Argyle
Smiles.



Saturday, June 6, 2015

EASY BUTTERFLY CARD


Would you like to learn how to create one (or MANY!) of the easiest -- and cutest! -- cards you will have ever made in your life?

The card below, in red and white, is the sample I used at my last Stamp-In Workshop for my girls to work from:




While I love the card in the red and white, I wanted to prove to all of you how quick and easy it is to create several at one time. So I went to work and was able to make the next three in about 25 minutes. And that includes choosing the papers and doing the die cutting.




One of the greatest aspects of these cards is that it is such a charming way to use up some of those small scraps of Designer Series Paper you couldn't bring yourself to throw away.




I also discovered in making these four cards total is that they look equally wonderful no matter which of our darling embossing folders you use:




The mere existence -- and possession of -- the Butterflies Thinlits, the Hello You Thinlits, an assortment of Stampin' Up! embossing folders and, of course, a BIG SHOT!,  makes it possible to create a whole horde of these darling cards:


And, here's how to do it:

SUPPLIES:
Big Shot
Magnetic Platform
Butterflies Thinlits
Hello You Thinlits
choice of embossing folder(s)
scraps of DSP
Whisper White cardstock (for a beautifully crisp-looking card)
My favorite green glue

INSTRUCTIONS:
Fold a half sheet of Whisper White cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Using the Magnetic Platform, lay the middle-sized butterfly onto a 5 1/4" x 4" piece of Whisper White cardstock, centering it exactly where you want it to appear on your final card. Run it through the Big Shot. (I do add a sheet of cheapo dryer sheets under my paper when cutting out these butterflies. Experiment with your Big Shot to discover what to use so the little pieces release as easily as possible.) 

Place the piece with the butterfly-shaped hole inside your embossing folder and run it through the Big Shot. NOTE: If you do the embossing first, rather than cut out the butterfly, your embossing will get flattened running it through the second time. So, always cut the butterfly before embossing the piece.

Select a piece of DSP large enough to fit behind the butterfly hole, but smaller than the cardstock so it doesn't stick out. Adhere the DSP behind the butterfly. I usually just draw a line of the green glue around the backside of the cut-out butterfly, then plop the DSP in place. 

Reattach the butterfly into its hole, but only secure it in place with green glue along the body. Gently tilt the wings upward.

With a piece of cardstock that matches your chosen DSP, create your word with the Hello You Thinlits.

Use tiny tiny drops of green glue to adhere your word in place on the lower portion of the embossed sheet.

Adhere this completed piece to your card front. 

Easy
Smiles.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

FOCUS FRIDAY: GOLDEN GLORY


Native to Wisconsin,
we are so lucky 
to be able to
enjoy these glorious golden yellow lovelies
each summer.

The Black-Eyed Susan.


Our greatest glory is not in never falling 
but in rising every time we fall.

- Confucius -

Golden
Smiles.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

HEART YOU

Today my husband, Pat, and I are married 42 years. I must say that the weather on this anniversary is a whole lot nicer than it was on June 2, 1973. It is said, "Happy is the bride it rains on". Well, I did have my little morning rain. But, since we got married in the late afternoon, that wasn't a problem. But WAS IT WINDY! Our outdoor photos are not wonderful.

Enough of a walk down memory lane. Back to the present.

I decided to go with lots of texture and white on white for Pat's anniversary card:



The following photo shows the card in more usual daylight 
rather than the dramatic lighting of the other pictures. 

 

The heart was sort of fun to figure out. I used Framelits from two different sets. The top, smaller. heart is popped up onto the larger scalloped heart with THREE STAMPIN' DIMENSIONALS stacked on top of each other. I needed that much lift to accommodate the bulk of the bow. 

I set a Basic Pearl into the center of one of our silver sequins to finish off the top heart. I think it adds a truly sweet touch.


Of course, the "you" comes from the Hello You Thinlits found on page 172 of the brand new catalog that goes into effect tomorrow, June 3! I get so much use out of those four precious little words!


Pat's comment when he opened the card was, "Wow, that's pretty fancy!" 


The card's ideas were based upon the Paper Players' Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge #247, as seen below. For the challenge, a participant is to choose any three items across, down or diagonally to use on her creation. As is probably obvious, I chose Die-Cut, Embossing and Sequins.


White 
On
White
Smiles.