Monday, March 8, 2010

Important Notice!

Due to technical difficulties with the Blogger platform, I have made the difficult decision to switch my weblog publishing platform. I will now be using WordPress. For many, that's a technical detail that doesn't mean much. However, there will be a change in accessing my weblog.

From now on, you can reach my blog directly by using the following address (URL): (link here)

So you will need to update your bookmark (if you are using one). As I will be leaving Blogger, I will no longer have an opportunity for you to "follow" this blog. Instead, on my new blog, you will have the option to subscribe to an e-mail notification to let you know when my blog is updated. (Of course, this is entirely optional.)

Most of the transition went smoothly. However, there were a few issues with spacing and picture sizing. Some posts may look a bit odd, but all the information is there. Hopefully, this move will help prevent further such problems.

I'm still tweaking the site, but it's basically up and running.

So again, if you will bookmark or type into your browser, you will find my new home on these crazy Internets.

I look forward to meeting you on the other side. I will not make any other posts on this blog. Everything will happen in my new posh cyberspace digs.

Thanks for putting up with me...and I hope you'll come along for the journey.

Giveaway #3--Sentimental Winner

Thank you all for your interest and for sharing some wonderful songs and vivid memories. By random draw, the winner of a new ProvoCraft Cricut 'Sentimentals' cartridge is:

nikki said...
What song makes me Sentimental - Can't help falling in love with you. U2's version. :) First dance at my wedding in 1991 to my high school sweetheart. We were 18 at the time :)

Thanks for the giveaway!

Congratulations NIKKI! I've sent you an e-mail and your cartridge will be on its way shortly. Thank you again to everyone who participated. Your sharing is truly appreciated--as is your readership.

Of course, this means it is now time to announce Giveaway #4! I'll give you three hints: 1) The giveaway will be officially unveiled on Wednesday, March 10, 2010; 2) There will be more than one prize up for grabs; and 3) It's an all Stampin' Up! giveaway.

So check back on Wednesday....and every day (hopefully). A special "Thank You" to those of you who have taken the time follow my blog and leave comments. I read them all and try to respond where possible. If you ever have questions or comments you'd rather not leave in a public forum, my e-mail address is available on the sidebar. Your input is invaluable.

Have a SUPER Monday!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


While I dabble in many other types of papercrafting/crafting, I am at heart a cardmaker. I think in many ways it has for me the same appeal that creating ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) does. You have a limited blank space--or canvas--upon which to laydown your ideas, thoughts, and designs. Though there are many different sizes and shapes of greeting cards, I tend to work in the A2 (4 1/4" x 5 1/2") size the most. Every card maker has their own set of "patterns" that guides their work. Do you start with the paper choices first? The event or sentiment? The design idea or embellishments?

Even though I do have a specific pattern to my card building, many times it is just altered by happenstance. Sometimes it will be finding a terrific piece of decorative paper that inspires an entire card. Other times, it might be a person or place that gets inspiration flowing. Sometimes, I think we tend to be too rigid in our patterns and methods. When you let the card make itself, you can find surprising results. This particular card is an example of that for me.

While I LOVE decorative and designer papers as much as the next crafter, sometimes I love to play around with textures and stamps to create my own background images and patterns. What surprised me with this card is the seemingly lack of cohesiveness between all of the elements of the card. What sounded like a wreck in my mind, actually turned out to be an interesting end result (or at least I thought so).

The materials list for this card project is as follows:

  • paper: Stampin' Up! textured cardstock in Crushed Curry (5 1/2" x 8 1/2"); Stampin' Up! cardstock in Kraft

  • inks: Stampin' Up! Classic Ink in Soft Suede

  • stamps: Papertrey Ink fleur di lis tile stamp from Giga Guide Lines set; Stampin' Up! Vintage Labels (#119122)

  • embellishments: K & Co. Grand Adhesions Butterfly from the Que Sera Sera collection

  • tools: Stampin' Up! 1 1/4" circle and scalloped circle punches, Stampin' Dimensionals, Scotch ATG 714 adhesive, Stampin' Up! sponge dauber

  • To begin, I scored my base cardstock at 4 1/4". I then used a single image stamp to repeatedly stamp the background image over the face of my card. I used a sponge dauber to take the same ink and darken the borders on all edges of the card. Because the paper has a textured finish, the stamping has a raw look to it and the imperfect imprinting adds a certain old-world charm to it. The sentiment is stamped on a punched circle of the Crushed Curry cardstock--and then stamped again with the circular frame border. I layered the circle on a scalloped punch circle of Kraft cardstock that has been sponged with the Soft Suede ink to darken it. Stampin' Dimensionals were used to attach the sentiment to the card. The butterfly embellishment was a weird afterthought that in hindsight is an interesting contrast to the repetitive pattern on the background. Though it's not clear in the photographs, the die-cut butterfly has a layer of clear transparency film on top of it to which glitter has been applied. It gives the butterfly a nice sheen and a bit of light reflection which helps it stand out from a busy background pattern.

    Don't forget that Sunday is the deadline to enter Giveaway #3 (see sidebar for details). May your background always be pleasing and always star in your foreground. Keep crafting!

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Crazy For Cupcakes

    What is it about cupcakes that fascinates us so? Yes, they are my tummy will attest. But, for over a year now, cupcakes seem to be all the rage in paper crafts and home decor. Of course, one can perhaps argue that cupcakes are never out. Maybe it's their size? Or the vast array of colors and textures? The frosting and assorted sprinkles? Hmmm. The world of cupcakes is just a place of fluffy goodness that always seems to bring a smile to our collective faces.

    Today's quick and simple card project celebrates all things cupcake. The materials list is a follows:

  • papers: Stampin' Up! cardstock in Summer Sun (5 1/2" x 8 1/2"); Basic Grey decorative cupcake paper from 'Nook & Pantry' collection; Stampin' Up! Whisper White cardstock

  • ink: Stampin' Up! Close To Cocoa; Tsukineko Memento in Tuxedo Black; Copic Sketch markers

  • ribbon: Stampin' Up! polka dot grosgrain ribbon in Crushed Curry

  • stamps: cupcake image and sentiment from Pink Cat Studio

  • tools: Stampin' Up! scallop edge punch; Zutter 1/2" corner rounder, Cutterbee scissors, Stampin' Dimensionals, ATG714 adhesive, Zig two-way glue pen

  • I stamped three cupcake images on Whisper White cardstock with Tuxedo Black ink. I then colored each image in with blends of Copic Sketch markers and trimmed around the images. I played around with the grouping of the three cupcakes and when I found a layout I liked, I tacked them together with the Zig glue pen. The cupcake decorative paper was punched top and bottom to create the scalloped edge and the edges were slightly inked. I then wrapped the ribbon around the paper and adhered the mat to the cardstock base using my ATG714 adhesive gun. I used Stampin' Up! Stampin' Dimensionals to attach the handcolored cupcake trio over the ribbon. The Dimensionals lift the cupcake cutouts up and away from the decorative paper and give it more of an illusion of depth and creates interest for the eye. I rounded the corners of the card and stamped the sentiment--and cupcake madness ensued.

    Hey, Cupcakes! Thanks for stopping by...and as always, keep crafting!

    Friday, February 26, 2010

    Vintage Meets Chic

    Today's card project is a quick and easy example of highlighting stamping on a card.

    The supply list for this card is as follows:

  • Paper: Stampin' Up! Glossy White cardstock; 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up! 'Vintage Vogue' (flowers); Stampin' Up! 'I {Heart} Hearts' (vined heart); Stampin' Up! 'Whimsical Words' (sentiment)

  • Inks: Stampin' Up! 'Always Artichoke' and 'Handsome Hunter'; Tsukineko Memento in 'Tuxedo Black'

  • Embellishments: Prime eLine Pearls & Crystals in Hunter Green and Teal Blue

  • Tools: Zutter 1/2" Round-It-All

  • While the stamps are clearly meant to evoke an overall vintage feel, something happens to them when you stamp them on a glossy cardstock. Suddenly, the vintage feel gets a "pop" from the shiny, sleek modern paper. It's a very interesting contrast in moods and creates a totally new feel for the card than if you had simply stamped on a matte cardstock.

    To begin, I scored my glossy cardstock at 4 1/4" inches and then rounded all the corners with the Zutter tool. I then stamped the large and small floral images and decided the heart image was a nice compliment to the flowers. (TIP: When stamping on glossy cardstock, it is imperative that you use a steady hand and consistent pressure or else your stamp will slide and blur your image. You may have to practice a few times before you get the technique down. Also, you'll want to allow a bit more drying time for the inks as the glossy coating on the paper does not absorb the ink as well as other types of cardstock.) Once, my stamping was dry, I decided the centers of the flowers could use a little bling. A few halfback adhesive pearls and faceted crystals in complimentary colors give the card another layer of vintage meets chic--with a touch of bling.

    I hope you all have a Happy Friday and an even better weekend! Don't forget to sign-up for Giveaway #3 (see sidebar)...and as always, keep crafting.

    Thursday, February 25, 2010

    Giveaway #3--Let's Get Sentimental

    Yes, Kids! It's time for Giveaway #3. Up for grabs is a brand new Cricut cartridge from ProvoCraft entitled "Sentimentals". I've had this cartridge for a bit now and I have to say I've grown fond of many of the images contained therein. This cartridge has the following creative features: Layer, Phrase, Tag, Card, Envelope, and Shadow.

    To enter for a chance to win this cartridge, just leave a comment in this post answering the following question: "What song makes you sentimental?" You don't have to explain your answer (though you can if you'd like to share). The deadline for entering is Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. MST. The winner will be chosen via random draw and announced on the following Monday. If you haven't already become a follower of my blog, I'd love for you to consider it (but it is certainly NOT required).

    {Finally, just as a point of information (and because I have had an inquiry on the subject), all prizes given away on my blog are purchased with my own funds. I do not have any corporate or vendor sponsorships. It's good to give...}

    Every Day Is Magical

    There is a fine line in the world of paper crafting. It's a line you get more accustomed to the more time you devote to your crafting. Nonetheless, it's a line that whether you are a beginning crafter or a very experienced one, you deal with on nearly every project. The line? When is too much too much? As crafters and souls obsessed with sparkly things, we tend to love our embellishments--perhaps a bit too much. Knowing when a project is done or needs just "a little something" is in the end a matter of personal taste and artistic vision. I know that I've been guilty of overdoing a design or using one too many embellishments. Sometimes, too much can be a good thing and you'll discover an odd color combination or a surprisingly appealing excess of bling that you might not have otherwise discovered unless you allowed yourself the freedom to let go and experiment. In the end, it is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Don't be afraid to try new things, mix different textures and elements, play with odd color combinations--because it your art and your expression. Not everyone has to "get it" every single time. Being creative means coloring outside of the lines now and again.

    This particular card project is a fine example of trying to find the point where you tow the line and say, "This is done...or maybe...".

    To start the project, I chose the following papers to work with:

  • (1) 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Stampin' Up! cardstock in Rich Razzleberry
  • (1) 4" x 5" piece of SEI cardstock from the 'Jolie Chocolat' collection
  • (1) 3 3/4" x 4 1/4" piece of Stampin' Up! cardstock in Whisper White
  • (1) 4" x 5 1/4" pice of Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Amethyst

  • The Rich Razzleberry cardstock is my card base and is scored at 4 1/4" to create an A2 card size. The Whisper White cardstock is my stamping and embossing base. I used the Stampin' Up! scalloped edge punch on the top of the cardstock. The two stamps I used (fairy and sentiment) are from Unity Stamp Co. I heat embossed the fairy image with a silver tinsel embossing powder after stamping it in Versamark. The sentiment was heat embossed with a fine black embossing powder.

    Next, I used my ATG714 adhesive gun to adhere the decorative SEI cardstock to the front of my folded card base.

    Before adhering my embossed mat to the decorative cardstock, I thought it would be fun to use my Ranger ink blending tool and some Tsukineko Dew Drop ink in Lilac Posies to ink the edges of my stamped piece. The replaceable sponge pads on the tool are really wonderful to work with and give you so many different looks and techniques to try.

    At this point, I seriously considered stopping. It was a nice card and very colorful. Yet, something still gnawed at me. After looking at it for a while, I decided it needed another pop of "oomph" to really meet the standard of being magical. My eye zoned in on the top flower of the embossed image and decided it needed more interest, bigger presence. The solution was to take three die-cut flower images and layer them with Stampin' dimensionals to create an image that leapt off the card front. A bit of glitter, a Prima pearl in the center, and a chocolate heart stick pin and now the fairy really had something magical to gaze upon.

    Finally, because of the deep color of the Rich Razzleberry cardstock, I adhered the piece of Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock to the interior to have a place to write a note or sentiment.

    As always, thanks for stopping by....and may your days be filled with magic always!

    Monday, February 22, 2010

    We're The Perfect Pear...

    It's no secret that my favorite color is green. I love all shades of green--but honestly, I tend to really love the odd end of the scale--olive, chartreuse and lime. Last night while keeping tabs on the all-absorbing Winter Olympics from Vancouver, I worked on this card. I was ready for something Spring-y and Kermit-y.

    The base cardstock is Papertrey Ink cut at 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" and scored at 4 1/4" with the Scor-Pal. I used my Stampin' Up! ticket corner punch to shape the card. All along, I knew I wanted to make this wonderful Unity Stamp Co. pear stamp the focal point of my card. But, I also knew I was going to need "something" more to keep the card from swallowing up the stamped image.

    I stamped the image with a Versamark pad onto Stampin' Up! Whisper White cardstock and then heat embossed it with a fine black embossing powder. I used my Stampin' Write markers to color the embossed image and then trimmed around it. (TIP: I found through trial and error that sometimes using Copic markers to color a heat embossed image is a bit tricky. The alcohol based ink can tend to smear some embossing powders, putting unsightly black streaks into your coloring. However, the Stampin' Up! Stampin' Write markers do not smear any embossing powders that I have tried thus far.)

    To set-off my pear image, I decided to use a Cricut cut from the 'Picturesque' cartridge. I chose a swirled tag image cut at 4" from some dark green textured Bazzill cardstock. I used another piece of Papertrey Ink pear colored cardstock to create a backing shadow cut for the open swirl tag. For the hole in the top of the tag, I chose a polka dotted Making Memories brad, cut off the backing prongs, and used Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere it to the tag. Finally, I found a piece of scrap Stampin' Up! designer series paper in a green houndstooth pattern and cut it down to creat a horizontal mat to break up the tag and add another layer of visual interest. Now, it was time to put everything together using my ATG714 adhesive gun.

    After I finished the card, I was getting ready to pull and envelope and a poly storage bag to file it away. But, I decided to try something a bit different--and I have to say I really like this idea for presentation purposes. Instead of using an envelope, I chose a glassine envelope/pouch to put my card in. It fits perfectly and I love the fact that you can see some of the card detail through the glassine paper. I picture this stuck in a wicker basket of fresh Bartlett pears as a wonderful neighbor/housewarming gift.

    As always, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to stop by and see what's crafting on my blog. Wherever the day takes you, I hope you have a pear-fect one....

    Keep Crafting!

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Monkey Love

    This is a quick and easy card made predominantly of Stampin' Up! supplies. I am in absolute love with this monkey stamp. He is too cute for words!

    The base of the card is Stampin' Up! cardstock in 'Soft Suede'. The bottom mat is Stampin' Up! 'Kraft'. The images were stamped on 'Whisper White' cardstock. The edges of the white mat were puched using an EK Success Postage Stamp Edge punch and inked with Chai tea stain.

    The monkey stamp is from the Stampin' Up! clear mount set 'Fox & Friends' (#118565, $14.95). The heart stamp is from 'I {Heart} Hearts' (#118571, $18.95). They were stamped in a random pattern using Stampin' Up! Chocolate Chip Classic ink. I also used a piece of Stampin' Up! 1/4" grosgrain ribbon in Chocolate Chip as a matching embellishment. A bit of Sakura Stardust clear glitter pen accents the outline of the white mat.

    Happy Thursday...and I hope your day includes a little bit of monkeyin' around!

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Giveaway #2--Hearts Flutter Winner

    Thank you to all who entered Giveaway #2! This is turning out to be a lot of fun getting to know some of you a bit better. Of course, that means you're probably learning a bit too much about me--which can be scary. Before, I name this week's winner, please be on the lookout for Giveaway #3 popping up in the next couple of days.

    The winner of the Hearts Flutter Valentine's package is:

    scrapgranny said...
    My heart flutters over new crafty things!! Thanks for the chance to win!
    January 31, 2010 12:31 PM

    Congratulations Scrapgranny! I hope your new goodie bag makes your heart flutter and spurs your creativity. If you will please e-mail me with you mailing information, I will get your package in the mail.

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    A Little Less Conversation...

    Today is a quick and easy card day. I also had a strange idea and made a bizarre discovery--but we'll get to that in a minute.

    I'd received some new Cuttlebug embossing folders that I've been wanting to try out. So this card uses one of the new 5" x 7" folders entitled "Conversation". This folder is one of six in a new set coming soon from ProvoCraft called 'Love Is In The Air'. (This is also the same set that was an early release to HSN and sold as 'Romance'.)

    The base of the card is a piece of Bazzill Bling textured cardstock in the color "High Heels". The mat for my card is a piece of scrap red cardstock (not sure of the brand) cut to 4" x 4 1/2". I ran the mat cardstock through my Cuttlebug in the "Conversation" folder. I was pleased with the overall look, but thought it needed a little bling. That's when I had the bizarre idea. I took some Tsukineko Dew Drop Brilliance in "Pearlescent Beige" and used Kleenex to apply a light buff coating to the embossed mat. The result is rather remarkable. It gives the conversation heart a bit more definition, while imparting a sparkly sheen to the paper. It really mimics the look of a mica cardstock (which is typically much more expensive). So, I suppose the lesson is EXPERIMENT. Find new ways to use old products in unexpected ways. Perhaps it won't always work, but for every failure you're sure to find numerous new discoveries to set off your work. I'm not sure what possessed me to try beige ink on red paper--but the result was totally unexpected and perfect for this particular card project.

    The sentiment is also done with the Cuttlebug. I used an A2 die from a combination die/embossing folder set entitled "Love Language". The final touches were a piece of Stampin' Up! silk ribbon in "Real Red" and a couple of punch-outs using the SU! Small Heart Punch (#117193, $5.95). I love the look the heart punch-outs have against the darker color of the cardstock interior. Visual interest is always so important in creating eye-catching projects. Until next time, as always, keep crafting!