Friday, April 29, 2016

BEAUTIFULLY SAID: GOOD THOUGHTS




P.S. While I make mostly cards, this is not one of them. All of my Beautifully Said pieces are stand alone artwork. This particular one measures 8" x 10".

THE SMALL PRINT: 
This is my original artwork. Please do not print it out. For any other uses, 
please ask for my permission. Thank you for your respect.

Lovely 
Smiles.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

BLOOM FOR YOU

While preparing for my April Stamp-In Workshop, I wanted to dedicate one card to the soon-to-retire In Colors. The luscious combo due to leave us at the end of May includes Mossy Meadow, Hello Honey, Lost Lagoon, Tangelo Twist and Blackberry Bliss. 

I managed to use all but Blackberry Bliss on my card. I love the way these four colors play so well together. 

Since this card was designed, the retiring list has been released, which made me aware that I used even more of the soon-to-retire product than I had originally intended. You see, the stamp set I used for the flower, Bloom for You, as well as the punch to cut out the flower, Fun Flower, are going away. So is the darling 7/8" Scallop Circle Punch! Although I will miss all these products, the one retiring item that almost made me cry right out loud when I discovered it on the retiring list is SASSY SALUTATIONS! That set really rocked.

Anyway, with the retiring list now on view, this card turned out to be ever so much more of a tribute than I had even originally intended it to be.


Three good things about the products I used in this card though: The Timeless Textures set that lent itself so well for the edges of the card, the cute Framelit I used for the sentiment, as well as the Botanical Builder Framelits Die set that I used for the yummy leaves, will all remain with us for at least another year. Yay!


Would you like to say goodbye to these beloved products by case-ing this card? Here's how:

SUPPLIES:
Timeless Textures
Sassy Salutations (retiring)
Bloom for You (retiring)

Lost Lagoon cardstock
Tangelo Twist cardstock
Hello Honey cardstock
Mossy Meadow cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Lost Lagoon ink
Tangelo Twist ink
Hello Honey ink

Ribbons in Tangelo Twist and Lost Lagoon
Big Shot
Botanical Builder Framelits Dies
Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits
Fun Flower Punch (retiring)
1/2" Circle Punch
7/8" Scallop Circle Punch (retiring)
Stampin' Dimensionals

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

Use the distressed edge stamp from the Timeless Textures set with Lost Lagoon ink to create a border on a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock.

Stamp the Bloom For You flower twice on Lost Lagoon cardstock. Cut out the two flowers using the Fun Flower punch. Stamp the center of the flower in Tangelo Twist ink on the same color paper. Punch this out with the 7/8" Scallop Circle Punch. Follow once again with the circular center this time in Hello Honey on the matching paper. Cut this out with the 1/2" Circle Punch.

Put the flower together, first by staggering the petals of the two flowers, and adhering just the centers of the flowers together. Add the scalloped circle unit with a Stampin' Dimensional to the flower base.

Cut two of the tropical leaves from Mossy Meadow cardstock, using the appropriate Botanical Builder Framelits Die. Adhere these as you wish to the back of the flower.

Attach the completed flower to the card front, placing it somewhat up from the center point. Gently lift the petals of the topmost flower up a bit to give it dimension.

Overlap a piece of Tangelo Twist ribbon and Lost Lagoon ribbon and tape the ends of the ribbons on the back of the white background piece. Add a bit of adhesive under the very center of the ribbons to hold them firmly to the card front.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp desired sentiment in Lost Lagooon ink using the Sassy Salutations set. Cut this out with the frame from the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits. Finish off the edges of this label with tiny strips of the stamping that you did on the background piece, but being careful you don't cover up any of the letters.

Add the sentiment over the ribbons with two Stampin' Dimensionals.

Adhere the background piece to the card base.

Sad
Smiles.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

RETURN TO JAIL

I went to jail again on Friday. Yup. I was there for two hours. 

My initial visit to jail took place in mid-December. I have chronicled that experience HERE.

Since that visit went so well, when the possibility of doing it again came up a few months later, I signed on for another stint.

If you don't want to take the time to read my original post (but I really really wish you would), I'll admit that my visit to jail, our county jail, was to teach interested inmates to do cardmaking. 

On the docket for this visit was Mother's Day cards.

I was to plan for 20 participants and they would make two cards each.

Apparently Mother's Day cards do not have quite the draw that Christmas cards do as we had only 17 sign up for the session. It ended up dwindling down to just 14 guys because three of them had been transported to prison before the class.

The first card I created for them to copy is pictured below. The size of the card is somewhat smaller than the traditional A2 size, measuring just 3 3/4" x 4 1/4". I had had some cardstock in this size languishing in my stash for some time, so when I came upon it, I thought the pieces would make adorable cards. The envelopes we provided for them were larger than A2, and I worried about this small card getting lost in a large envelope. Not to worry. Lots of the guys had the butterflies extending beyond the edges. 

I had told them that this was just a suggestion, that the components I was providing them COULD make a card that looked like this. But, I encouraged them to do whatever they wished to make the card their very own.

Because if was a very VERY simple card to put together -- since I'd done all the work -- I was concerned that they wouldn't be kept busy enough with it. So, at the last minute I stamped out a flock of the butterflies from Papillon Potpourri (page 107 of the big catalog), the two butterflies with the flowers on them. I then punched them out with the two butterfly punches. This way, since they had markers, they could color them if they wished, leave them just stamped and fluttering around on the inside of the card, or whatever they wished. It was interesting to see the varying things the guys did.


Since they didn't have the luxury of using Tombow Multipurpose Glue (green glue) and were forced to use glue sticks, I told them to put the glue only along the body of the butterfly so the wings could be lifted upwards -- once again only if they wished.


The second card components were something of a pleasing fluke. You see, a few years back, I had stamped the flower image with text onto various Designer Series Paper scraps. I then fussy cut them, and mounted them again to the white card onto which I had already stamped the same flower image. Yup. Paper piecing. A lot of work. But, if I hadn't done anything with them for years, why not use them for these cards??

As I was handing out the supplies for this card, I was able to tell my students just how to do fussy cutting and paper piecing. I don't think they were impressed.

Anyway, I searched through my colored cardstock to come up with a few pieces that would "match" the cards no matter what color the flower was that they had chosen. I then did the same with the ribbons.


To demonstrate the different looks you can get by switching up and combining the colors, I presented two samples for them. 

Once again though, I was nervous that these cards wouldn't take long enough and not enough effort on their parts since I'd done most of the work for them. So, once again at the last minute, I grabbed a few of my flower punches and punched a garden full of flowers in the two cardstock colors that they could decorate with markers -- or not -- and glue inside the card. Or whatever they chose to do. It was again very interesting to witness their creativity. To the point that they were asking if there were any more of those flowers left. So, I was left to scramble between the work stations, trying to get together any of the little wayward flowers that weren't being used. 


Because this card design was fairly generic, in that it simply said "for you" on the front, I told them that they could make it for any occasion that they wanted. However, if they wanted it to be specifically a Mother's Day card, I had brought along a stamp (an old Paper Pumpkin stamp) that said "Happy Mother's Day" and, if they wished, they should let me know and I would stamp that sentiment inside their card. I was surprised that the majority of them politely asked me to come over and stamp it inside their cards, sometimes even requesting it be stamped at a jaunty angle or in a different spot than traditional.


All in all, the guys, mostly in their 20s and 30s, were well-behaved and courteous. And worked very hard. A few shook our hands (there were two of us there to facilitate the activity) and thanked us.

Lori, the instigator of the outreach projects for Goodwill, told the guys that we would try to set up another session in the future. One of them shyly said, "Father's Day?" 

So, obviously not only Lori and I, but our students also, enjoyed the couple hours we'd spent together.

Pleased
Smiles.


Friday, April 22, 2016

BEAUTIFULLY SAID: HOME SWEET HOME

HAPPY EARTH DAY!


Earthy
Smiles.

P.S. While I make mostly cards, this is not one of them. All of my Beautifully Said pieces are stand alone artwork. This particular one measures 11" x 14". 

THE SMALL PRINT: This is my original artwork. Please do not print it out. 
For any other uses, please ask for my permission. Thank you for your respect.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

BETWEEN THE LINES: PAPER SEEDLINGS

I am taking part in a really wonderful project. Katherine, from http://katherinescorner.com, has come up with a fascinating idea for a blog series.

She has gathered together a plethora of bloggers over the age of 50 who will share their feelings about blogging in the second half of life. Each Tuesday, starting on April 19, and running for ten weeks, Katherine will feature a group who will answer two questions pertaining to their blogging niches.

Following are the unabridged versions of my answers to the two questions I was asked by Katherine:

What were you most surprised to learn when you first began blogging?

While I was preparing to embark on my new career as a blogger, I was aware that I would need a certain amount of computer know-how. I was amazed to discover just how un-tech-savvy I actually was. Not being one of the young’uns  who grew up with computer technology, this proved to be a real eye opener for me.

I needed to defer to my graphic designer/illustrator daughter, Emily, on occasion to get my blog on the road. Setting up with Blogger was quite easy, but it was always good to know that Emily would be there to nudge me on. Being a part of Blogger herself, she felt she would be able to give me the most help if I chose that blogging platform for my own blog.

However, even with Emily’s help, I became stalled time after time after time in attempting to get things done. Not wanting to continue to bother her for help – after all, she is an illustrator who is greatly in demand and has a more than full schedule of her own – I have avidly <desperately> followed many Pinterest posts and any other resource I could unearth, as well as taking various blogging courses, to add to my blogging expertise. All pretty much to no avail.

Case in point: I have yet to be successful in making the right column of my blog the correct widths. I also want to update my blog header. But have no clue how to even begin.

My original intent for starting my blog, Paper Seedlings, was to inspire others in a love for papercrafting, more specifically cardmaking. I was hoping to instill a newfound interest in an activity that is not only  beneficial to the creator, but also to the recipient of the creations. If my reader was already an avid fan of papercrafting/cardmaking, I planned to be there for them in order to facilitate an ever-growing and enduring passion for the craft. Either way, I wanted to be there to share what I love with others.

I had been a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator since 2005, and held monthly workshops in my home. I felt that by starting Paper Seedlings, I would be able to extend my outreach to more than just my local vicinity. That said, my dream of extended outreach included the addition of new customers.

In the beginning of my answer to this question, I had referred to  Paper Seedlings as a “career as a blogger”.  After 3 ½ years of blogging, I have come to the realization that I definitely cannot consider it a career – as a career generally implies something that earns money.

This has not happened. I am disappointed in that because, being of retirement age, I was really hoping that the financial side of Paper Seedlings would take off and earn me a bit of income.

 I have finally come to accept Paper Seedlings more as a commitment – a personal commitment to simply share what I love with others and hopefully offer inspiration along the way. And to keep myself creative.



You make beautiful cards. Which occasion is your favorite to create?

Why, thank you so much!

It may sound somewhat odd that I am not able to choose a favorite occasion for which to create a greeting.

Take note that on many of the cards in my blog posts, there often is no occasion mentioned. In fact, I like to think that each of my cards is a little masterpiece in itself that could be used for virtually any occasion or no occasion at all. An appropriate sentiment can always be stamped inside the card. Or, the creator/sender of a card could write their feelings and greetings inside the card.


Being a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, and holding my monthly Stamp-In Workshops, I need to keep in mind the desires of my customers who are re-creating my designs. If I do specify a card for a certain occasion, such as a birthday, I always have other sentiments available for the girls to choose from to make it suitable for their own needs.



My favorite cards are almost always those that have no sentiment on the front of the card.



In fact, one card that I keep sitting on my desk alongside my computer is a fall-flavored one that features a sponged DSP diecut maple leaf with a stamped border, baker’s twine and a button. No sentiment whatsoever. It would be appropriate  for absolutely any occasion. Or just to enjoy looking at and eliciting a smile. 





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1. www.stylingrannymama.com  
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3. www.crestingthehill.com.au  
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6. www.turnips2tangerines.com  
7. www.interiorfrugalista.com  
8. marilynstreats.com  
9. nancyonthehomefront.com  
10. vanityandmeblog.blogspot.com  

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

ROSE WONDER

The classic color combination of red, black and white. Luscious. Add in a pop of green for freshness, and you have a real winner.

This card is one my girls created at a recent Stamp-In Workshop. A pretty card, it is simple to make with the use of a few of Stampin' Up!'s innovative products.

 

Here's how to re-create one of your own.

SUPPLIES:
Rose Wonder stamp set

Basic Black cardstock
Old Olive cardstock
Cherry Cobbler cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Black ink of choice

Big Shot
Rose Garden Thinlits
Botanical Builder Framelits
Basic Rhinestones

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

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

Run a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of  black carstock through the Big Shot with the vine die from the Botanical Builder Framelits along one of the long sides. Adhere this over the Cherry Cobbler piece with the diecut edge along the open side. Be sure to keep an even border on the top, bottom and left edge. The diecut edge will then fall in place.

From Cherry Cobbler cardstock, cut one of the small roses from the Rose Garden Thinlits. Then, cut just a single leaf from the large rose out of Old Olive cardstock.

Using miniscule drops of glue of choice, adhere the rose to the black piece. Then, after trimming the leaf, sneak it under the lower right portion of the rose, gluing it in place.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp your sentiment of choice in black ink. Cut it out with the label Framelit from the Rose Garden set.

OPTIONAL: Although I did not do it on my card sample, another option would be to stamp the label outline along with the sentiment. I think that would add to the feel of classicism.

Use two Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere the label to the lower portion of the card.

Add three Basic Rhinestones, one in each of the sizes.

The wonderful thing about this card is that you could use it for virtually any occasion whatsoever. 

Please keep in mind that the Rose Wonder bundle (page 18) and the Botanical Builder Framelits (page 26) are both from the Occasions Catalog that expires May 31. Not much time to get yours before they are possibly gone forever!

Stay tuned to my blog for a special announcement!

Classic
Smiles.

Friday, April 15, 2016

BEAUTIFULLY SAID: LOVE MANY THINGS




THE SMALL PRINT: This is my original artwork. Please do not print it out. Thank you for your respect.

Love 
Smiles.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." Profound words from Dolly Parton. And, oh, so true!

Which is why I used a darling raindrop Designer Series Paper (from the recently ended Sale-A-Bration) as the background for my card. 

Each and every life has at least a little rain, metaphorically speaking, in it. Despite the rainy times, we must remember that we "only go around once", so we should grasp at any reason to ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS. 

After all, I really believe that these little "enjoyments" are what happiness is. 


In fact, the blog post for the first of my Beautifully Said series reiterates that same idea, but only in different profound words: 



Because, of course, a little rain falling in all of our lives constitutes a type of shower, I am entering this card into the Stampin' Up! Only challenge (SUO) at http://suochallenges.com/?p=5243, the theme of which is All Kinds of Showers.


Just a note that in this card, besides the rainy DSP from Sale-A-Bration, the sentiment comes from a cute set called Enjoy the Little Things on page 33 of the Occasions Catalog, which, by the way, will be expiring on May 31. I also used a randomly-picked card from a Project Life kit for the base upon which I stamped my sentiment in Mossy Meadow ink (also retiring May 31!). I used my Fringe Scissors on page 168 of the big catalog to create the jaunty little fringe.

Always remember: ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS! They are what count for making you happy.

Rainbow
Smiles.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

TWO PRINTS

Uh oh. It's another case of marching to a different drummer, doing my own thing.

I took the basic components of a project from that recent workshop I attended and made a card all my own.

While cards made with the gorgeous flower from the Botanical Builder Framelits Dies (page 26 of the Occasions Catalog) all tend to look somewhat the same, i.e., very striking, what you add to the card makes all the difference in its overall effect.

This one, I am pleased to note, features two prints from Designer Series Paper. The paper in my card comes from the Wildflower Fields DSP pack that could be earned during Sale-A-Bration. I love that paper, and will never get enough of it.

The two papers both depict wildlflowers -- one in the blooming stage, while the other is in the end stage, with the seeds afloat in the air. Besides the common theme of wildflowers, the two papers share a common color palette. One is very lush in its design, while the other sparkles in its sparse look. Put together, the two papers coordinate beautifully and complement each other nicely.

Picking up a few more of the colors from the papers, especially the background piece, in my other embellishments, pulled it all together into a very pleasing birthday card.


The dimension in my added elements gives the card a lovely finished look that is always a feast for the eye.


There are only about six weeks in which to order the lovely Botanical Builder Framelit Dies, as well as the Rose Wonder Stamp Set and Rose Garden Thinlits Dies (page 18 of the Occasions Catalog) that I used for my sentiment! This catalog, as well as the big yearly catalog, both expire MAY 31, 2016! 

Several of the In Colors I used in this card -- Lost Lagoon, Mossy Meadow and Hello Honey -- will also be retiring at the same time.

If you have fallen in love with these products, now is the time to order them. I don't know if any of them will be available in the upcoming big catalog, so . . . don't wait!

Click on the catalogs in the right margin to check them out closer.

Botanical
Smiles.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

BEAUTIFULLY SAID: SMALL PLEASURES

My New Direction. 

Starting this week, I plan on publishing a blog post each Friday 
that I will call Beautifully Said. 

The first in the series:



THE SMALL PRINT: This is my original artwork. Please do not print it out. Thank you for your respect.

Small
Smiles.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

HELLO SUNSHINE REDUX

Usually when my Paper Pumpkin kit arrives each month, I am all over it immediately. This one, from February, was no exception. I ripped right into the orangey-red box, all excited to discover its contents. (I refuse to check out any previews that might be out there before I set eyes on my own kit.)

It must have been exceptionally busy, because I did not have time to sit down with that kit until just a few days ago. Imagine it languishing, so lonely, wondering why I wasn't playing with it. A truly sad vision, right?

I had used the darling stamps as well as some of the pre-designed envelopes that came with the kit in a few projects, even one for my Stamp-In workshop! But I hadn't touched any of the other pieces.


As I revisited my kit, my eyes were immediately drawn to the card I have pictured below, an enlargement of the one in the photo above, which is the instruction sheet that comes with the kit.


Cute card, yes. But I felt that I could do so much more with that flower-infused front of this card. I realized that I could create two, maybe even three, cards from this one piece of 4 1/4" x 5 1/4" paper. Rather than have the <busy> design be the star of the card, I could use it more of an accent.


I proceeded to cut the piece, first in half, away from its plain white back, then into three horizontal pieces. 

You can see in the photo below where the center strip is missing. I have saved the two pieces shown for a future creation or two. It is the center strip, the one with the least amount of design on it, that I have used in the card I am featuring in this blog post.


The colors, a typical Stampin' Up! palette, were so much fun to work with. And, this is the card I finally created:


Wow! Another of those optical illusions! It looks like the panel that I used with the sliver from the Paper Pumpkin kit islonger on both ends than the card itself. It is actually the exact same size as the card front. The illusion must come from the fact that instead of attaching it flat to the card front, I popped it up with Stampin' Dimensionals. Hmmm. Weird.

Anyway, I used the three smallest flower stamps that came with the kit and Pear Pizzazz, Calypso Coral, Blackberry Bliss and Pool Party inks to add a few more flowers into the mix, bringing the design a bit closer to my sentiment.


And, another photo of my
HELLO SUNSHINE REDUX:


An exciting quick note about Paper Pumpkin! To celebrate not only their third anniversay in existence, but also the sending out of their MILLIONTH Paper Pumpkin kit, Stampin' Up! is treating subscribers to a gift! 

In the April kit, they are including an EXTRA stamp set, a $17 value, to share their excitement. How cool is THAT!?

Sign yourself up by April 10 HERE in order to get in on this exciting extra offering! 

And, as always, don't forget to name me as your demonstrator when signing up or ordering any Stampin' Up! goodies! Thanks a bunch!

Paper
Smiles.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

QUILTED HELLO THERE

I don't think the message has gotten through that IT IS SPRING. IT IS APRIL. No more SNOW!

Yesterday, I drove to work in a snowstorm. Yuk. And right now it is 27 degrees and is predicted to be in the 20s and 30s for the next few days.

That being said, I thought a "quilted" card would help us feel a bit warmer.


How would you like to snuggle up underneath a little "quilting" project?? Here's how:

SUPPLIES:
Designer Series Paper
*Hello Honey cardstock
*Blackberry Bliss cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

*Blackberry Bliss ink

Greeting stamp of choice

Big Shot
Chalk Talk Framelits
Boho Chic Embossing Folder
Corner Rounder Punch
1 3/8" Square Punch (retired)
Old Olive Baker's Twine
Purple Button
Glue Dots

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

Run a 4" x 4" piece of Hello Honey cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Boho Chic Embossing Folder. 

Use the Corner Rounder Punch to round all four corners.

Using a rule and pencil, lightly mark the center of the piece.

Punch one square from each of four designs of chosen Designer Series Papers with the 1 3/8" Square Punch. Carefully snip each square in half, cutting from opposite corners. With the Corner Rounder, round the corners of each of the 90 degree angles.

Refer to the placement of the quilt pieces in this sample.

Start your pinwheel quilt by placing one of the pointed corners onto the center pencil mark. Continue in either direction by placing in a pattern order each of the pieces so all the rounded corners are tumbling the same way. Leave a small space between each placement.

Tie a length of Old Olive Baker's Twine through the holes of your chosen button. Attach the button to the center of the quilt with a Glue Dot.

Adhere this to the card base, leaving an even border at the top and the sides.

Cut a label from Whisper White cardstock using the appropriate Chalk Talk Framelits die.

Adhere a 1/4" x 3 1/4" strip of DSP that matches one of the papers used in the quilt to the bottom of the label, trimming off any excess.

In Blackberry Bliss ink, stamp sentiment above the DSP strip.

Tie a small bow from Old Olive Baker's Twine and attach it to the upper right corner of the label.

Use two Stampin' Dimensionals to attach the label to the bottom of the card.

ANOTHER OPTION: If you want a truly quilted look, don't emboss the piece until all the quilt pieces are in place. Then, run the entire piece through the embossing folder, thus "quilting" everything.

*PLEASE NOTE: Two of the colors I have used in this project, Blackberry Bliss and Hello Honey, will be retiring at the end of May. If you want either of these colors in any of the products Stampin' Up! offers, or any of the other three soon-to-retire In Colors, quick! Order them before they run out! 

The other retiring In Colors are Mossy Meadow, Lost Lagoon and Tangelo Twist. Don't forget to name me as your demonstrator when ordering!

Chilly
Smiles.