September 19, 2017

AUTUMN COLOR I

With fall only a few days away, I was moved to make a couple of fall-themed and fall-colored cards. I was hankering to do an emboss resist, so . . .

For this card, I embossed the leaves from the Vintage Leaves stamp set on page 125 of the catalog in a gorgeous copper color. Then, using a Stampin' Sponge and the autumn colors of Cajun Craze, Crushed Curry, a little Cherry Cobbler and Old Olive, I did my resist thing. I varied the intensity of the sponging to achieve a nice contrast of light and dark. 


I used a soft copper metallic cardstock as a mat to complement the copper embossing. Very sharp. The card base itself is Sahara Sand.


Have you noticed the beautiful diecut leaf from the Seasonal Layers Thinlits (page 216)? Cut from metallic copper cardstock, it is exquisite in and of itself. However, layering it atop the busy emboss resist background, it simply disappeared, sort of being absorbed in the busy-ness. 

In order to allow it to have its own importance, I diecut the solid maple leaf from Sahara Sand and attached the copper leaf to the solid leaf just by adding glue to one spot: the circular area just above the stem. This allows the rest of the leaf to flutter freely -- not that it actually does. But I like the feel of the leaf not being attached flat.

I added a bit of sheer and silky copper-toned ribbon to the bottom right of the leaf to finish it off.


The play of the copper metallic is so sharp, isn't it?


A couple of shots that show the subtle dimension of the card:



The following photo shows how the sponging was built up over the copper embossing. For this card, I increased the strength of color with further sponging, while leaving some of the areas only softly colored. This contrast allows the beauty of the embossed leaves to show through in various intensities.


The sentiment is also embossed in copper onto Sahara Sand cardstock.


Now, in my next post, I am going to present the second card, a card that is similar to this one, but with a few notable changes. I'd like to hear from you the pros and cons of each of the cards. 

In the meantime, Happy Fall 2017 starting on Friday! 

Autumn
Smiles.



September 16, 2017

JUST BREATHE

 Fall is almost upon us. I heard two flocks of geese honking their way overhead today. A sure sign. The leaves on the trees are slowly changing their colors to become vibrant and radiant in hue. This is one of the best parts about living in Wisconsin.

I had gotten my hands on a die set by Paper Smooches of four little leaves awhile ago. With the oncoming autumn, I decided I would make a miniature fall scene using these dies. I dug through all my tiny scraps of leftover Designer Series Paper, selecting the ones that depict the beautiful season the best. I moved my Big Shot to a table in front of me so I could sit and cut out piles of autumn leaves. And what a good way to use up the tiny scraps of DSP that I just did not have the heart to throw out!


On Monday, my Stamp-In girls had enjoyed a project that utilized the Shaving Cream Technique. All the supplies were still out, including a small pile of precut white cardstock. 

Since I didn't have to drag out all the supplies, I decided to use this technique to create a fall sky and proceeded to select a blue/turquoise combo of retired Stampin' Up! reinkers for my creation. 

I had a blast and probably made close to 20 sky pieces. Some were delightful, some not so much. Just like life, eh? A few, although quite beautiful, did not portray an autumn sky just as I'd wanted them to.

Sifting through my dried sky pieces, I came upon the one that I thought would be the perfect choice as the backdrop to my precious autumn leaves. You can see it below. 

The photo below also shows a bit of the cool paper I found to surround my finished leaf portrait. At first glance, you would think it might be a piece of really rough cork. I'm not sure where I got the paper, but I've had it forever, just saving it for the right project. You understand, don't you?

Anyway, it truly IS paper, obviously a very thick, dimensional handmade paper. I thought it complemented my autumn tableau admirably.


My pretty leaves obviously needed a tree, right? I used the branch from the Seasonal Layers Thinlits, found on page 216 of the big catalog to die cut the branch from Early Espresso cardstock. After adhering the branch against the sky, I then added my leaves to it.


 Sometimes life can get to be a bit overwhelming or frustrating or . . . whatever. So I decided to add the sentiment, "just breathe" from the coordinating stamp set, Colorful Seasons on page 147. I stamped it in Early Espresso.


Just another close-up of the pretty leaves upon the fall sky:


Initially I had intended that this would, of course, be made into a card. But the longer I worked on it, the more I decided that . . . no, not a card. Maybe something I could frame?

I have enough new frames in my house that I could probably open my own framing shop. So, I went downstairs to my stash, and shopped for the perfect frame. After I had decided to make it into a non-card, I proceeded to make the finished size a standard 5" x 7", knowing full well that I would be able to find something in my personal frame store that would work well with this image.

I managed to dig up a beautiful elegant frame that consisted of a nice combination of fall-ish colors.

And, here it is in its new home:


Does that ever happen to you? You have a good idea for a card and you set out to turn your idea into reality. As you are working on your "card", you see that it just needs to be framed instead. A card would just not suffice. So, framed piece it evolves into. Ah. Just breathe.

Autumn
Smiles.

September 12, 2017

DIMENSIONAL BIRTHDAY

Before I get started with my blog post for today, I need to make an announcement. As promised in my last post about my 5-Year Blogiversary, a winner has been randomly chosen by my unbiased husband. And the winner of the set of four cards is ANGIE CHURCH! Angie, please contact me with all your pertinent information so I can get your prize out to you. CONGRATULATIONS, ANGIE!

A new product in the annual Stampin' Up! catalog is Embossing Paste (page 201) and its accompanying accessories, Pattern Party Decorative Masks and the Palette Knives, also pictured on page 201.

Being a mixed media type of girl, I was anxious to get my hands on all of these products. To introduce this new item to my Stamp-In girls, I created a card that features it:


Borrowing stamps from the Happy Birthday Gorgeous set on page 77, 
I was able to add even more fun with the spotty balloon and 
the awesome birthday greeting.


I used the diamond-shaped mask for my dimensional background. 
I was not at all careful or precise about my application of the Embossing Paste. 
This was totally planned. Really. 
I wanted it to blend in with my "confetti", so I did want any regularity at all.


The rest of my confetti came from the dots and circles in 
the Playful Backgrounds set on page 150. 


Tying baker's twine to the balloon adds a lot of realism, right? 
Stampin' Dimensionals also add to the dimensional look of the card, 
along with the Embossing Paste.






It's just such a fun and lively card, it is sure to make the recipient smile.


Would you like a tutorial on how to re-create this card? Just catch the supplies list and instructions that follow.


THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER WHEN USING EMBOSSING PASTE IS THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOU FINISH WITH IT, USE WARM WATER TO CLEAN THE PALETTE KNIFE AS WELL AS THE STENCIL. IF IT'S NOT COMPLETELY REMOVED, IT WILL HARDEN AND RUIN THE TOOLS.

SUPPLIES:
Blushing Bride cardstock
Calypso Coral cardstock
Whisper White cardstock

Playful Backgrounds stamp set (page 150)
Happy Birthday Gorgeous stamp set (page 77)

Calypso Coral ink
Real Red ink

Big Shot
Stitched Shapes dies
Embossing Paste (page 201)
Pattern Party Decorative Masks (page 201)
Palette Knives (page 201)
Baker's Twine
Stampin' Dimensionals
Heat Tool

DIRECTIONS:
Fold a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of Blushing Bride cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

You will be building a background base on a piece of Blushing Bride cardstock that measures 4" x 5 1/4". Randomly stamp the open circles in Calypso Coral, followed by the solid circles in Real Red.

Now, you will be adding the texture: Lay the diamond mask over the cardstock. With one of the palette knives, gently scrape small amounts of the Embossing Paste through the mask in random places. You don't want to actually build up a pattern; this is just to add some interest and dimension randomly.

IMPORTANT: As soon as you finish the previous step, wash off your tools with warm water!

Hit the Embossing Paste briefly with the Heat Tool. Set this aside to dry completely while you finish the rest of the card pieces. The Embossing Paste really does dry quite quickly.

On a medium-sized Whisper White Stitched Shapes oval, stamp the sentiment in the center. First stamp it in Calypso Coral. Clean the stamp and ink it up with Real Red ink. Since this is a clear stamp, visually align the stamp over the first image, but moving it JUST SLIGHTLY to the right, and stamp, to give the sentiment a shadow effect.

Glue this piece to the largest Stitched Shapes oval, cut from Calypso Coral.

On a scrap of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the dotty balloon in Real Red. If you have the balloon punch, use that to punch it out. Since I don't own it, I fussy cut my balloon leaving a fine white edge around the balloon shape.

From Blushing Bride Baker's Twine, tie a small bow, and glue it to the bottom of the balloon. Tape one end of a small length of the same Baker's Twine to the back of the balloon.

Put the card together: Use Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere the confetti layer to the card base. With Stampin' Dimensionals, pop up the oval piece against the confetti backdrop. A Dimensional will finish it off with the balloon being added to its spot. Add a drop of glue to the bottom of the balloon string to secure it to the card.

Dimensional
Smiles.

September 9, 2017

BANDANA TECHNIQUE

The Bandana Technique is one that adds a bit of simple fun to a stamped image. For my example, I stamped this oldie paisley image and stepped it up with the Bandana Technique. 

It's so simple! Just fill in certain portions of the image and add dots and/or dashes of your own with a white gel pen!


While this image -- which works so well for the technique! -- is no longer available (unless you have it in your stash of faves!), there are several in the new catalog with which it would work so well: the wreath and the flowers in Hello Friend on page 17; Flourishing Phrases, page 24; Flirty Flowers on page 25. You could have fun with the images from Big on Birthdays, page 73. Bloomin' Love on page 88 offers a couple of images that would be even cuter with the Bandana Technique. Imagine the dots on the filigree images in Inspired Events on page 111. The snowflakes from Flurry of Wishes, page 116, would look even prettier with this technique. How about Paisleys & Posies, found on page 128? The beautiful flourish could be even more beautiful with white gel dots added, page 143. The dots could be incorporated into a colored version of the Hello Color images on page 168. 

These are just a few examples of current stamp sets that would be lovely with the Bandana Technique. Browse through the catalog to discover other options that I didn't mention! Maybe you even have something in your stash that would work great. It is so easy -- and so fun!


When embarking on an experiment with the Bandana Technique, it is important to use cardstocks that are medium-hued. Anything too dark will, of course, not allow the stamped image to show up enough, and if the cardstock is too light, the white dots would be difficult to see. Experiment! See what works best for you! And, most of all, have fun!


Grab that gel pen and have a grand time!

Dotted
Smiles.

September 5, 2017

HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY -- FIVE YEARS OF SHARING



Five years ago today, September 5, 2012, the little seed I'd planted emerged full-blown as Paper Seedlings, the blog you are reading right now!

My first blog post, On Track, explained where I thought this blog might be headed into the future. I know I was all excited about recently having acquired My Digital Studio through Stampin' Up!. I saw a GREAT future of digital creativity with that program. In fact, the header of my blog was created in My Digital Studio. (Unfortunately, this program is no longer available from Stampin' Up! But, I have lots of fond memories of MDS!)

In that post, I featured a little MDS-created decorative quote, a quote that I've always loved and is so true:

Even if you're on the right track, 
you'll get run over if you just sit there.

Will Rogers gave us that nugget of wisdom, one that each and every person setting out on a journey that requires some effort to succeed is duly reminded to take heed of constantly.

The post for my first blogiversary, A Year of Inspiring Others, acknowledges the fact that, even though I felt I'd made progress in my first year of blogging, I still have a long way to go. I also mentioned that I continue to struggle with the looks and workings of my blog, and hoped to make improvements.

I guess that I did not realize that I was celebrating my second blogiversary in September 2014. I never acknowledged it in the posts surrounding that date. Huh. Disappointing. It seemed it was just business as usual that September.

Having just completed three years as a blogger, I published this September 2015 post, Celebrating Three Years of Blogging. As I perused the contents of this celebratory post, I smiled a few times. You see, I was talking about re-working my blog and creating a new header, expressing the hopes that, if I could figure out the technical stuff, I hoped to get this done in the next few months. Funny. We'll talk about that in a few years, I mean paragraphs.

Unfortunately, I guess I didn't realize that I was celebrating another year of blogging in 2016. I always acknowledge this important date within my own mind, but I guess that's where all the celebrating remained, since I didn't mention it in any September 2016 posts. Oh well. It was four years since I'd started to plant those little creative paper seedlings, and I am proud to report that, even four years later, I hadn't wavered from my initial intent one bit. One more unfortunate bit of info about this next year's milestone: My blog was still in the deplorable condition it was a year ago. Ah. The best laid plans . . .  

This year, however, I am very cognizant of the fact that it is FIVE YEARS AGO THAT I FIRST HIT PUBLISH! Happy Blogiversary to ME!

I am still sticking to my original plan for the blog -- I am still all about planting those little creative paper ideas, Paper Seedlings. And I am proud to have clung to that initial intent for five years, without wavering at all. I still love to share with all of you, hoping you become inspired enough through what I share to jump on the Creative Journey with me!

OK. NOW is the time to address the very old problem of an outdated, not-working-well blog. Even though my original header has had just a slight makeover, it remains true to my roots in its overall look. I am thrilled to announce that about two weeks ago, my blog finished undergoing a complete makeover! Not by me. Oh no. I have not progressed technically as I'd hoped. I actually hired a wonderful lady to do all the improvements for me. And I think she did a beautiful job! 

I now have a larger header, my blog posts fill up the screen, my right column looks sleek and slick, and everything fits nicely. AND she added little buttons underneath my header with which you can access all the various areas of my blog! 

One of the things she added to these buttons and also on the right side, is a button that reads "Shop Now". This enables you to shop directly with Stampin' Up! through me! And, if you click on either the Events or Specials button, that click will bring you to my DBWS -- my demonstrator website. There are so many cool ideas on there, not only from me, but from Stampin' Up! too!

Please take a close look at the new and improved Paper Seedlings blog. I thought that by doing this blog makeover, it would be a perfect way to commemorate my five years of blogging. And I am right! I am so thrilled with the results!

Now, to celebrate my five years of planting Paper Seedlings, I would like to host a little giveaway. 

In order to enter to win the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post any time before 5:00 p.m. CST Tuesday, September 12. 

That evening, when I write my blog post, I will announce the winner, which will be picked randomly (the old-fashioned way, with slips of paper) from the comments I receive up until 5:00 that day. 

The winner of the giveaway will have two choices of prize. 

I show two photos below. The first photo is a set of four cards featuring images that were stamped and fussy cut from Designer Series Paper. The second photo shows the set of four quilted Christmas cards that I featured in this blog post

If you are the winner, you will choose whether you want the set of four floral cards or the set of four quilted cards. The quilted cards don't necessarily need to be Christmas themed. If you would prefer non-Christmas quilted cards, I will create that set for you. 

When I contact the winner, you will give me your snail mail address as well as your choice of prize.



Now, get down there and leave me a COMMENT! I can't wait to hear from you!

Blogiversary
Smiles.

September 2, 2017

PINWHEEL PETALS

In looking through my ancient issues of Stampin' Success, the publication Stampin' Up! demonstrators are lucky to receive, I came across a project that I thought could be made into an adorable card. The issue, from 2008!, has an article entitled "Punch It Up". Of course, it requires punches that were current product at that time, but have since been retired.

As a devoted aficionado of almost everything I've ever purchased from Stampin' Up!, and since I am very reluctant to give anything up, I, of course, still had on hand the punches the article requires. If you'd like to give this project a try, maybe you too still have your Tag Punch? If so, grab it! If not, there are lots of punches and dies on the market now that would work equally as well. Maybe the shape would be a bit different, but it would still work. The punch I used measures 1 3/4" tall by 1 3/8" wide.

I do apologize that my flower is created from retired Designer Series Paper. You see, I wasn't sure how it was all going to work, so I just grabbed something to give it a try. It turned out so cute that I decided to go ahead and use it on my card. I hope you don't mind.

Anyway, this is the card I came up with, using the Tag Punch for my Pinwheel Petal creation:


There actually is a lot of current product at work in this card: the Basic Gray cardstock, the Whisper White cardstock, the Softly Falling embossing folder (page 211), the sentiment from Basket of Wishes (page 125), the center of the flower from the Hello Color set (page 168), the scallop edge die from the Seasonal Layers Thinlits (page 216), and, of course, the pearls on page 197.


The following photos merely show various angles of the Pinwheel Petal flower. This next photo shows just how cute the small flower from Hello Color is as the center of a larger flower. The flower is not perfectly centered, thus the little bit of lopsidedness when punched with a circle punch.


Before I added the embossed dots on the Basic Gray background with the Softly Falling embossing folder, the card was quite boring. This little bit of dimension adds a perfect punch of interest.










Following is the actual process for creating each petal. The first photo is what the DSP looks like when punched with the Large Tag Punch. There are only two simple steps:

The first step is to fold the bottom edge of the tag so it lines up with the left edge of the tag. (See the center photo.)

Finally, fold the top layer back so the original bottom edge of the tag lines up with the folded edge. (the last photo) Looking at all three of the pictures, can you visualize that?

Once that second fold is made, you have now completed one petal. To make a flower like the one on my card, you need to make eight of these petals.

To build the flower, start with a circle punched with the 1 3/4" Circle Punch. I found the center of the circle to start the first petal, and, if the petals are lined up against one another, it should come out perfectly. Once this is put together, this will be the back of the flower. The front center of the flower can be built up, first starting with another 1 3/4" circle, then adding layers as desired.


Here is a little awareness scenario for you: Look at my completed flower in the photo below, and note that the inside folded edge -- which is the reverse side of this DSP -- is completely white. Now, look at my photos above. See that annoying burgundy piece interfering with my pristine white? As I was making my petals, I noticed that this happened on three of my petals. And that bothered me. Thus, I ended up punching and folding 11 petals for my 8-petal card so that the inside of each of them was pure white. That's OK. They were good to use for my pictorial instructions. Right?




Does it bother you that I use retired product at times in my blog posts? I just love all my goodies so much that I really need to play with them! If you don't own the actual products that I am using, there are so many current items available through Stampin' Up! that would work similarly in each of my projects. Since I can't afford to replace things that I already have, I can't always feature current product in my posts. I simply present my projects as a starting point, as an inspiration, enticing you to try these technique with other options if you need to, and make them your own!

As always, if you would like to purchase Stampin' Up! product through me, just click on the Shop Now button, either at the top under my header or on the right side. 

Pinwheel
Smiles.