Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday - Reducing Bulk

I made the cards in this post for friends who are moving to California. I've printed their new contact info inside the card so they can send these to friends and family here or wherever. I wanted to make sure these had no problem being mailed.


My first effort was this version with the brads in the upper right corner - a blank area that cried out for a little embellishment as balance. While I love the look, a card like this is likely to either get rejected by the post office, require additional postage, or get ripped in their long trip across the country. So I tried a similar look with three punched holes using the small punch of my Crop-a-dile (shown above). I backed the holes with scraps of gray designer paper or cardstock.

Another simple and non bulky embellishment is to use paper piercing. If you don't have the Stampin' Up! mat pack for paper piercing, it is a definite buy. I love this technique.

I don't always worry about bulk and really haven't had any problems. If I think something will have issues being mailed, I use extra postage. The rule is that an envelope must fit through a 1/4" high slot in order to go without extra postage. Of course, there are size requirements for a single first class stamp also. Details are at USPS.com.

Ingredients: Stamps: Loads of Love and Loads of Love Accessories from Stampin' Up!
Watercolor paper, Watercolor crayons and markers from Stampin' Up!
More Mustard cardstock and Basic Gray DSP from Stampin' Up!
Blue cardstock and gingham ribbon from unkown source
Light gold designer paper from My Mind's Eye

Monday, June 29, 2009

Stamping on Fabric

The new Stampin' Up! catalog will be available this week! (I'll post a link as soon as it is available on-line.) I received mine as part of a demonstrator order earlier in the month. One of the things I really like about the new catalog are the projects. The nearly 200 page catalog is full of great project ideas as usual. In this catalog I thought the projects were particularly applicable to cards and gifts that I would like to make. One of the projects showed stamping with Watercolor Crayons on twill tape. I didn't have wide enough twill tape to do what I wanted so I figured it would work on fabric, too - and that is something I have tons of!




I cut these fabrics out of discontinued fabric sample books and washed them out to get the finish off. It may have worked without washing (something I'll have to try next.) Anyway, the light part of the flowers on the card here on the right was stamped by coloring the image using a pale plum watercolor crayon, misting the fabric, and then stamping. The words and the outer edges of the flowers were stamped with craft ink onto the fabric.



You can use classic ink, too. The card on top was stamped with Kiwi Kiss and Ruby Red in classic. I love this card; you really can't get a feel for the texture here on the screen. Now here is an idea for some savvy computer company - give us screen where we can 'feel' and 'smell' - Ok, maybe that is going a bit far.



Well, my cat just climbed onto my lap and is trapping my arms so that is my queue to stop this rambling. Until tomorrow, Tipsy Tuesday....

Ingredients: card on top Stamps: Kindred Spirits and Baroque Motifs
Ribbon from unknown source
Chipboard from ---
Gemstone brads from Oriental Trading

card at right: Stamps All Holidays and from Stampin' Up!
Metal embellishment from unknown source

Saturday, June 27, 2009

From Paper to Card

Here's the card I made with the leftovers from the scrapbook page below. Those circles I cut out for photos contained these pretty glittered flowers. With a little gingham ribbon and a stamped greeting, they made a bright birthday card.

Ingredients: Stampin' Up! A Little Birdie Told Me for greeting
Ribbon from Paper Studio
Paper from DCWV

Thursday, June 25, 2009

From Paper to Page


Browsing my stash for a little something different to work with, I found this decorative paper as part of a paper pack I bought probably 2 years ago. I trimmed out the top of the scalloped paisely intending to cut it up and and use it on cards. Then I thought this would make a really neat scrapbook page if I used some of the circles to hold photos. It turned into a fairly quick page.

Typically I pick papers to fit my photos but this time I went in search of photos to work with a paper. The most important design decision for me is getting papers, embellishments and ink colors that communicate the feelings from the photos. I love how the vibrant colors reflect how much fun it was to have Dillon and Nai Nai visit us last summer. So much of my scrapbooking is about our travels, hiking and such, that it is a refreshing change to get to use a bold paper for a scapbook page.

Ingredients: Decorative paper from DCWV - Pocket Full of Posies
Chipboard letters are Hip from Basic Grey
Ink is Lovely Lilac from Stampin' Up! Gold brad is also Stampin' Up!
Cardstock, buttons and ribbon from unknown sources.

Monday, June 22, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday - Use It Up


The motto "Use it up" from the depression is so appropriate today. We are all looking for ways to save a little money. Saving money though usually means less shopping - the All American Therapy. And that is depressing. What about 'shopping' at home for free?

One of the many great things about card making and scrapbooking is that just about anything goes. Take a walk through your home, browse cabinets, rummage that junk drawer, old storage containers under the bed, in the closet or scan the basement with a fresh pair of eyes. Look for things you can use in your crafts.

Some ideas:
  • buttons - bet you have a button stash where you keep all those extra buttons that come attached to your clothes. Chances are many of those buttons are from clothes that are long gone so why not use them on your cards.


  • other craft supplies - did you knit, crochet, macrame, or bead at another time? Do you really need to keep all those other supplies just in case? Yarns make great additions to cards in place of ribbons. I found some old velcro that wasn't strong enough for any of my window treatment projects requiring velcro (I bought it long before I started my business) and now use it when I make paper boxes and bags for closures.


  • embroidery thread - who among us didn't do crossstitch. If you still do, that's great. If not, embroidery thread can be used to handstitch on cards and pages or as decorative ties for buttons. Or do you have a crosstitch or needlepoint kit that you know you will never finish?


  • fabric- fabric can be used so many ways on cards and scrapbook pages. Using leftover fabric is how I got started making cards.


  • paint - a little acrylic paint goes a long way on paper crafts. Scrapbooking magazines often have ideas on how to incoporate paint on your projects. I'll try to do a blog post soon on this cheap and useful material. One idea: dry brush just a little paint on a piece of textured cardstock for a background page.


  • office supplies - I found some linen resume envelopes - a #10 business envelope we sent out resumes in probably 20 years ago. Those envelopes still look and function just fine and a 4" x 9" card fits great and is a nice change from the usual sizes. Also, do you have some transparency film? Stamp on it; you'll love the results. Extra paper clips, binder clips - all can be put to use.

  • silk flowers - an old arrangement gathering dust? Some flowers can be pulled apart and used for decorations on cards.

Even the bathroom cabinet has makeup sponges you can dip into your inks and apply to paper for a great look.

I'll bet you can find many more treasures just waiting to be put to good use. Cheaper than 'retail' therapy and just as valuable.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Switching it up



Whenever I make several cards, I almost always switch things around a little. Sometimes I don't have enough of one ribbon or buttons. Mostly I just get bored if I tried to do too many of the same thing. I love to experiment. Here are a couple of Thank You's from a set made recently. I used a card from Splitcoaststampers.com as an inspiration.


Ingredients: Stamps from Stampin' Up! So Many Scallops, Define Your Life, One of a Kind, Little Flowers
Ink: Brocade Blue, Cameo Coral
Striped Paper from Three Bugs in a Rug

Happy Father's Day!

My Dad's favorite colors are yellow and blue. I remember him bringing me a gift when I was in high school. I can't remember where he had been but the opportunity to purchase bath towels came along. Odd, I know. Anyway, he bought me a set of yellow towels with embroidery on them for my 'hope chest.' I kept wondering why he picked yellow when I hadn't been collecting that color for my future home. Then it dawned on me, my room was in blue and yellow and those were his favorite colors too.

The office in my home now, the room originally used for my sewing room, is done in blue and yellow. No matter what the trends we will all always gravitate toward colors we love.

When you make your own cards, it is easy to give someone you love a card made in their favorite colors. Yet another perk of this fun hobby! (And another excuse, I mean, reason to buy more paper!)

Ingredients: Paper from My Mind's Eye
Ribbon source unknown
Chipboard from
Stamps:
Stickers:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Last Chance Birdie

With a new catalog comes new colors and great new stamp sets. Unfortunately, to make room, some sets have to be discontinued. "A Little Birdie Told Me" is going away at the end of this month. I love this set because the birds are so cute and there are several accessories such as an umbrella, the party hat, and a flower. Most of all this set, has several greetings that make it a true all occasion set.

Here is the link to the Last Chance (discontinued, retired, whatever they are going away) sets available only until June 30, 2009 --> http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/CategoryPage.aspx?categoryID=310

Call me if you would like to order any of these sets or accessories before they are gone for good. Keep in mind that Stampin' Up! makes their own stamp sets so they will fill orders on discontinued sets through the end of June. However, accessories like buttons, paper, and ink are available only while supplies last.

Ingredients all by Stampin' Up!: Stamp set: A little Birdie Told Me
Apricot Appeal Designer Paper
Cardstock: Not Quite Navy, Bashful blue, Whisper White, watercolor
Button: Apricot Appeal
Inks: Basic Black, Not Quite Navy, Soft Subtles watercolor crayons, Earth Elements markers

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"In" with the New



Tuesday I anxiously awaited the UPS man and sure enough, he brought me the 2009-10 In Colors, paper and a new hostess set I preordered. Most importantly, the box contained the new catalog! I've been through it about a hundred times already with little post-its sticking out from several pages. Choosing Christmas sets is going to be especially hard.

This card was made using two of the new In Colors - Soft Suede and Bermuda Bay. The lighter shade of brown here is Kraft paper. Soft Suede may be the first In Color I fall in love with because it mades an excellent distressing color. I used a sponge dipped in a little Soft Suede to get the warm brown edges to my torn paper. I really needed a very natural brown because most of our travels are focused around nature so that is an important color in my scrapbooking.

Rich Razzleberry is somewhere between a burgandy and a purple and is indeed very rich. I've used it here with Pale Plum cardstock and some Chocolate Chip taffeta ribbon for a quick card to demo at a workshop on Monday.
Visit the blog again soon for more new colors and for cards made with those beloved "Last Chance" sets - available through the end of June.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday - New Life for Old Stamps



We could also call this New Life for Old Blog post. ha!

I posted this photo and idea very early in the blog but I liked it so much (and I have been really busy) that I thought I'd capture it under a TIPsy Tuesday.

Stamps like anything decorative can be trendy and go out of style or you can just plain get tired of them. This chick is from a relatively old set -circa 1998 - called Funky Favorites. I bought the set mainly for some of the other images. I didn't have any idea what I might do with this chicken. Inspiration struck when I saw the idea of repeating images stamped in a dark neutral on various solid colored backgrounds - sort of an Andy Warhol like.

As well as giving your old stamps a little action, it is also super fast because you are using the same color of ink for all your repeating images. You could use this idea with scraps making several cards in different color palettes. Just keep your neutral ink the same and get a variety of looks.

Another feature of this card is the 'ribbon.' It is really a strip of fabric.

So rummage through those old sets and see how lively they can be.


Ingredients: Stamps by Stampin' Up! Funky Favorites, Words are Acrylic Stamps (source unknown)
Ink: Walnut by Ranger, Ruby Red by Stampin' Up!
Striped Paper by My Mind's Eye

Monday, June 15, 2009

Video Vs. Photos

Lenny wanted a camcorder for his birthday. I probably started it as I'd mentioned wanting one to shoot some video on card making for my blog. He has mentioned a camcorder many times in the past and I've always talked him out of it. My feeling was that he would shoot video of an event and look at it maybe once if at all. Whereas with still shots, they make it into scrapbooks and get revisited. Plus there are all the artistic things you can do with photos. And the really great bonus of not having to listen to your own voice. Does ANYONE like their own voice???

My argument was upheld when I asked him how many times he had looked at our wedding video. "Ah, ah, I don't know," meaning the one time we looked at it together was it. He doesn't even know where it is - fortunately I do.

My frustration with videos came from childhood. My father had a 9 mm camera that he used to shoot footage of my Mother and me when I was a baby and also of trips they took together in the early years of their business. I can remember seeing these films exactly once! Since the film was never converted to another media it is beyond salvaging at this point. Plus, since Daddy was the only one who was comfortable with the camera, I dont' think he was actually in any of the video. Then again, it is hard to remember from that one viewing. There were a few snapshots taken, too. Yet far too much emphasis was placed on getting things on the movie film and thus lost forever.

Now I know it doesn't have to be that way. We can continue to take still shots and we can save our digital video to various types of media and hopefully remember to convert it in the coming years to whatever is current. I just had this hang-up. Still, Lenny wanted the camera and nothing else so we all went in and got him a nice camera.

I suppose this is where you are expecting me to say I'm a total convert; I love the camera, should have had one years ago. Well...no. I don't love the camera. But I do like it. I do like the fact that we captured some fun memories of his daughter's visit this weekend and of his birthday party. I did fail to get some of the snapshots I'd planned on. I can not operate two cameras at once. Note to self: Buy tripod!

What I like best about the camcorder can be summed up in the photo above. Amanda and Jaime are watching a playback of themselves 'exercising' on the Wii with their Dad. The expressions on their faces: Priceless.

Credits: Photo courtesy of my Fugi Digital Camera

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Little Treat


We made the pink box with M&M's in it on the left at Stamp Club last Saturday. I did the blue one (very close to Pacific Point) yesterday. My stepdaughters arrive today and I wanted to put a little treat by their beds. It is tradition to put flowers and magazines in their room to welcome them. Although it has been many years since we had them both here at the same time and they are grown up with homes of their own, I wanted to dust off a few traditions.

They will find one thing very different. They are now sharing 'their' room with my ever encroaching craft space. I shoved boxes under the dresser and hid work-in-progress in drawers. The 'linen closet' is now at least partially used for storing paper. I had to move the night stand back beside the bed. It is normally a printer table. And all my Craft Ink Stampin' Spots are still in the drawer. Oh well, at least the room is put to good use when we don't have guests. If only I could keep it this neat all the time...

Ingredients: Stamps: Fresh Cuts, One of a Kind, God's Beauty
Paper: Pink Pirouette, Whisper White, Kiwi Kiss, unknown source of blue, DCWV for pattern paper.
Inks: Basic black, Pink Pirouette, Kiwi Kiss, a variety of markers for coloring butterfly
Ribbon: Kiwi Kiss/Vanilla from Stampin' Up!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday - Paper Tearing

Wonder which way to tear paper for the desired look?




Remember the three T's.

Tear from the Top, Toward you.


The part in my left hand is what I want to keep so I also remember: Right/White


That means that when I tear with my right hand bringing that side toward me, the piece in my left will have an exposed edge. If it is designer paper, it will be White. Of course, if it is Stampin' Up! cardstock, the paper will be solid but you'll have that layered edge showing.


So if I tear with my left hand coming forward, the opposite happens and I don't have any white showing.




When tearing cardstock, you can always just flip it over. It is only with designer paper that you really have to pay attention to the direction you tear.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Coming Up Roses

Last week I dug into my latest Stampin' Up shipment and experimented with watercolor crayons. Today I finally got around to finishing the cards. Both of roses below are stamped in Purely Pomegranate - an in-color from '07-'08. (If you like this color, you are sure to like one of the new '09-10 In Colors coming up soon!).
This first card, the image is stamped on Whisper White cardstock and watercolored with a blender pen.
In this card I stamped on Watercolor Paper which I love. The Pomegranate ink blended a little more here than on the Whisper White. I liked working with the watercolor paper more but I think I like the card above best. Lots of options...




Ingredients: Stamp Set by Stampin' Up! Fifth Avenue Floral, one of the messages is from Funky Favorites
Ink: Purely Pomegranate
Watercolor Markers also by Stampin' Up!
Designer Paper:
Ribbon: source unknown

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fill Up Your Hearts

At today's Stamp Club, our demonstrator, Jean, helped us to create the card on the right with the button. We used her Big Shot to texturize 3 pieces of cardstock at once and then punched out the hearts. She suggested we punch in the center to leave us with three pieces of very pretty cardstock with heart shaped openings.

When I got home, I made the card on the left by stamping 3 hearts on Whisper White cardstock and attaching them to the back of the cutouts with dimensionals. This card is 4" x 9" which fits into a #10 business envelope.
.
Waste not, want not. Scraps always have a place in paper crafts.
.
Ingredients: Stamps: Dots and Punches
Cardstock: Riding Hood Red, Kiwi Kiss, Tangerine Tango, Pacific Point
Designer Paper: Bella Rose
Button: Button Bouquet
all of the above from Stampin' Up!
Red Ribbon: Offray

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Road Less Traveled


This serene photos belies the real truth here. This was a bumpy road!
.

We just returned from our annual trip to Hilton Head. Hilton Head Island is our place to go to rejuvenate. We like to travel to new places as much as we love to have our favorite beach to return to year after year. We can relax, play tennis (I'm being very generous to call our inabilities on the court 'tennis'), ride our bikes all over the island, build sandcastles and stroll on the beach early and late. We watch sunrises, take naps, dine at our favorite restaurants, watch a movie or two. It is pure heaven.
.

Sometimes we throw in a new adventure. This year we took a day trip to Daufuskie Island. The only way to arrive is by boat. A ferry took us to and from with a pleasant sail through protected waters - the only way to sail in my opinion. Our tour included a golf cart for navigating the island since very few cars are allowed. I figured the roads would be dirt or gravel. What I didn't figure on was all the recent rain turning them into a form of mild torture. We met a few other cart riders along the paths and everyone waves and are happy to give directions. Lenny got a real kick out of my mistaking barking dog for some killer beast. It was a poodle - the full size poodle. And really, who brings a white poodle to an island filled with dirt roads and swamp? Anyway, there isn't much to see on Daufuskie but I'm glad we went anyway. All that sandy beach of Hilton Head, afternoon naps, and good food can get a little boring. (just kidding)


Lenny drives our 'torture chamber.'

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday - Card Record

Do you have a bulging stash of cards but can't part with them? There is a simple way to keep your beautiful creations and share them with others. Take photos!

I often hate to part with my cards. I've put a part of myself into each creation but I can't keep them all and I really don't want to. I make cards to share with others. My simple solution is to take photos of cards and store them in a designated folder on my computer. To do this, just create a folder called My Cards under the folder My Documents. Whenever you make a card or when you get ready to send one, just snap a photo. Everytime you download photos, drop the card photos in the My Cards folder.

Three bonuses to this method:
  1. Whenever you need inspiration for future cards or if you are just stuck, browse the My Cards folder. It will give you a smile to see all the beautiful things you have made.
  2. You have a record of cards you made for different people. You can rename a photo with the person's name. Example: AmandaBday09.jpg for Amanda's Birthday card for this year.
  3. You gain space in your stash!
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