Saturday, February 28, 2009

Extra-ordinary


I made these pillows a few years ago for a client to add to her bed ensemble. The plain side (shown below) was supposed to be the front, but I love to play with patterns so I did something a little special with the 'back.' She was delighted and immediately made the back into the front. I've done this many times over the years and it has become a standard for me whenever I can to mix fabrics or turn fabrics in such a way as to create a unique placket (the thing that covers the zipper) for the back.




This week I've been doing some simple pillows and am having to restrain myself from making a fancy placket like the one above has. The ones I'm making are sofa pillows. No one wants to recline against covered buttons and extra cording so they need to be simple corded pillows. In this case an extra would be an unwelcome distraction.

It takes a little more work to make something ordinary into extra-ordinary but isn't it worth it? I love to see my customers delighted with the extras. I like to have options and I want you to have them, too.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Card Stash


Yesterday and today, I've been working in the workroom (window treatment crafting area). I've been trying out a new pattern and today making some simple corded pillows.

For photos today, I pulled a couple of cards from my stash. I love having a stash of cards handy for birthdays, get well and unfortunately too often these days, sympathy. Making cards has made me much better at sending my wishes along to others. I always meant to send a get well wish or a sympathy card when needed but I wouldn't have one handy or didn't get to the store. Now I can go to my card basket if I don't have time to make up something fresh.

The card above was part of a set I made last summer for my stepdaughter, Amanda's, birthday. I made several birthday cards using the same colors, papers and stamp set (Office Accoutrement) just mixing them up with different embellishments and swapping the solid colored cardstock around. I personalized some with names and for Amanda, the birthday year. This is the last one left. I won't tell you Amanda's birthday year last year but this year is going to be a big one!

Here is a card from an old set "Funky Favorites." One way to revive an old set, a.k.a. 'out of style' is to stamp an image in black or dark brown and give it the Andy Warhol look. Stamp the image several times on different colors of cardstock. I saw something like this in a magazine for a more serious tone. I used the Hens and "Hey Chick" message for a light-hearted look.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Love that Kit!

Check out these scrapbook pages using Stampin' Up! Simply Scrappin'





I wish you could see these in person, the texture really makes them!

I was in the mood to try something a little different yesterday. The card I had in mind needed really needed some materials that are in transit from Stampin' Up! to me so I decided to play with a few more things from my demonstrator kit.

Thanks to the advice of my upline Jean, I took advantage of the great deal on the Scrapbooking Add-on when I signed up to be a demonstrator. For $50 I got about $80 worth of stuff including a Simply Scrappin' kit. I was planning to try one of these last fall and just never got around to ordering one. Wow! I had so much fun putting together these pages and I have a ton of stuff left over.

I always thought a kit would be restrictive but that couldn't be further from the truth. There are so many options for how to use the self-adhesive die cuts ('stickers' with class). The second page above came together quickly. I spent a lot more time on the first page deciding on how to mat the photos finally going for the simplier approach.

The kit comes with 8 sheets of textured 12x12 cardstock in 4 colors. I've used Baja Blue on these layouts. There are 6 sheets of double sided designer paper in 2 styles plus 6 sheets of adhesive die cuts. These die cuts included the flowers and stems plus journaling blocks and my favorite, very fine scallop edge strips that really give a finishing touch. They are repositionable at least for awhile so you can really play. The only things I had to add were my photos and some chipboard for the titles. I added a button, one grommet, and a little Baja ribbon for a pull-out journaling block just because I had them. Of course everything color coordinates to the Stampin' Up line so it was easy to match ink colors for the chipboard.

I know I'll make more pages from this kit and probably some cards, too.

Materials (all by Stampin' Up!):

Sunshine Garden Simply Scrappin' kit
Ink: Baja breeze, So Saffron
Grommet: Square Fire Yellow
Ribbon: 5/8" Grosgrain Striped Baja Breeze

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chipboard Challenge


A popular activity on crafting sites is to host a challenge. For card making, these are often color challenges. Someone selects colors that you might not think to put together and people post cards they make with these colors. It really expands your ideas on what colors work together.

I'm issuing myself a challenge. Use some of my expansive chipboard collection in a new card design each week. How did I get an expansive chipboard collection? I fell in love with chipboard, almost as much as I love paper and fabric. I particularly like alphabet chipboard and I use it often for titles on scrapbook pages. Through trial and error I discovered a preference for unfinished chipboard - which happens to be what Stampin' Up! sells, but I made that discovery before I ever tried their chipboard. I like the flexibility of creating any color or pattern that I need. I dislike the frustration of not having a use for that green or blue patterned chipboard I loved in the store and then only used a few letters of once I got it home. Where am I ever going to use a large bright blue "Z"? Seriously, if you have any ideas, please let me know.

Chipboard always comes in sets. Many of my sets contain tags and label frames. I keep saving them for scrapbook pages but I know I'll never use them all. Plus, if I use them up, I'll have to buy more. :-)

To escape the trap I talked about yesterday of only making one card of each type, I selected chipboard I had more than one of and made in this case two of the same card. I also like this card because it uses only one stamp set, ironically called- One of a Kind.

You'll have to check back and make sure I keep up my challenge to whittle down my stack of chipboard and build up my stash of cards.

Card Ingredients: Stamps: One of a Kind from Stampin' Up!(r)
Ink: Basic Gray, Basic Black, Whisper White
Chipboard is also Stampin' Up!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Early Cards


After I finished my second blog post last night, I realized it sounded like I only made cards based ideas I found in magazines and on the Internet. Actually I started making cards that were totally unique. They were so unique, I could only make one of each kind!

Through my window treatment business I offer a variety of beautiful fabrics for my customers. Over time, the fabric samples will be discountinued and I'm left with swatch books. About 3 years ago after the schools I donated to had their fill, I decided to use some of these fabrics for crafts just to see what I could do with them. I had made a couple of cards using pattern paper and figured I could substitue patterned fabric.

These cards were fun to make and a great creative outlet. It felt good to be using up something that would just be discarded. The only drawback was the time. Most fabric samples are small and I'm lucky to have one full flower or other design per sample, per color. (Apparently I only had half a flower on the one below.) So for every card, I had to locate companion papers or fabrics and arrange the text I would print in Word to work with the placements of the fabrics. It often took an hour just to make one card and I had nothing left to make a duplicate!



So one of the things that really attracted me to stamping was the ability to take an image and use it over and over with subtle changes or use it in a totally unique way. Stamping has given me the best of both worlds. I can create a quick card similar or just like one I've done in the past. Or I can combine my stamped image with other embellishments and fancier techniques to create that extra special work of art.

I still sometimes create fabric cards or use fabric along with my stamped images and chipboard. The beauty of cards is that just about anything goes.
(The card here uses some discontinued printed fabric with leaf designs, sheer fabrics, and leather strips glued to a card printed from Word.)


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Petal Pizzazz - Act One, Scene One


















I love this new set, Petal Pizzazz, from Stampin' Up! It is one of the sets I chose for my demonstrator kit. Demonstrators can personalize their kits by swapping out stamp sets, ink colors and papers. I spent hours pouring over the catalog deciding on my sets and I'm really glad I selected this one. I've already created three different card styles with it. The one above is based on a card I found on the Split Coast Stampers website.

Have you been to Split Coast Stampers? If not, this is a tremendous resource for anyone using Stampin' Up! stamps. The galleries show a listing of all stamp sets - current and retired. There are often dozens, sometimes hundreds of cards made from each set. You really see the versatility of a set. To get there:

  1. http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/
  2. Then click on Gallery at the top of the screen.
  3. Scroll down and click on SU Gallery.
  4. Scroll down and select the section for your stamp set - sets are grouped alphabetically.

Just don't forget to come back and visit my blog for more ideas.

The card above is made with Petal Pizzazz stamps in Tempting Turquoise, Yo Yo Yellow, and Green Galore. I used the message "Many Thanks" from an old set called Funky Favorites. You could use most any message with this versatile card.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Welcome!

Hi! Welcome to my blog! I hope this site will be a place where you can get creative ideas. I'll be concentrating here on paper crafts such as card making and scrapbooking. I'm sure I'll also talk some about my design work and window treatments and maybe share some other areas of my life, too. To me a blog is a place to share ideas, to educate, to learn, and occasionally to vent a little.

Those of you who know me know that I love to create beautiful and useful things. I also love to teach. So I'm very excited to become a Stampin' Up (r) demonstrator! I get to teach people how to use rubber stamps and many other products to create cards, make scrapbook pages, and decorate their homes. There are tons of wonderul things you can create with rubber stamps.

How did I get started with Stampin' Up? I've always been a crafter. Since I was 7 years old, I can't remember a time when I didn't have several projects going. A few years ago an old friend came back into my life and she learned that I liked to make scrapbooks and cards. A year and a half ago, she invited me to a Stampin' Up! workshop at her home. I have to admit that at first I was reluctant to go. I'd tried a lot of scrapbooking products over the years and I wasn't that excited about the couple of individual rubber stamps and the acrylic stamps I'd tried. (Now I know why, but I'll save those reasons for later.) As her workshop date approached, I looked at the Stampin Up catalog on-line and began to get exited about the neat things you could do with stamps. At the workshop, we made Christmas cards. I'd made my own cards the year before using my computer but doing it with stamps was so much more interesting. Soon I joined a Stamp club and have gradually began adding stamps and inks to almost all my scrapbook pages. I love to make cards! Now I get to take my backround in corporate training and teach people how to do something I really love - create beautiful things for themselves and to share with others.

I'm sure I'll want to share more about why scrapbooking and card making have become such important crafts for me. I'll also want to tell you about my plans for using stamps to make cards and other products for sale. For now though, I'd like to get to the purpose of the main purpose of this blog - to share creative ideas with you.

When I make cards, I almost always make more than one of a kind. It's easy to make several when you are using stamps. But what about when you have only a limited supply of a material? Here I had two rub-ons that said "Friend." I saw an idea for using this rub-on in a magazine but it only used one of the colors. These are from Stampin' Up! and here is what I did with one in white and one in black:





Other Stampin' Up! products include the Baroque Border wheel and Basic Black Classic Ink.


Hope you will come back again to see more cards and ideas! Thanks for stopping by...

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