Thursday, July 30, 2009

A totally different look

From the same card sketch as yesterday's post showing the little truck card, comes this card made with Designer Series Paper instead of cardstock and different colors for a completely different look. What is the same are all the measurements and the arrangement so the card came together quickly.
Ingredients: Stampin' Up! stamps Fifth Avenue Floral, message from Make It Count
DSP: Green Tea (I think, I'm going to have to go back and check that.)
Inks: Old Olive, Baja Breeze

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

For the Love of Reading

Often I think of things I did as a kid during the summer. Some are individual events like the first time I got to fly - by airplane of course, I didn't try to jump off the roof with homemade wings. I remember other trips we made by car to see relatives and explore new places. And there are the rituals, going for ice cream after my parents closed their business on a hot evening, riding my bike, laying in the hammock that Daddy hated because it was always in his way of mowing grass, but I loved because I could watch the cloud patterns. I loved visiting my grandparents. I remember, barely, watching the moon landing on my grandfather's black and white TV.

Some are fond memories of one time events and some are rituals. One constant was reading. While I got to read or had to read for school all year long, I got to read for myself in the summer. I remember my first Judy Blume books - boy, were there some eye openers there! I remember slowly devouring Judith Krantz's Scruples when I was in high school - more eye openers and still a favorite book. There were a lot tamer things too. I was hooked on Nancy Drew and collected and read all 56 books published in hard back. My grandmother would read them as well.

I still read for pleasure. My husband and I are avid visitors of our county library. One of us is in there every week exchanging books. These last few weeks, I've been 'laid up' a bit with an injury and have spent a lot of time in the house. My books have been my friends as always.

Today I clicked on a link from blogger to a featured blog and found the bloggers Shelfari list. Shelfari is apparently a site that lets you store a list of books you are reading, have read, are planning to read, and share that love of books with others. You can also add a widget to your blog with your 'bookshelf.' My bookshelf is on the right below my bio.

The book on top "A Goodbye Summer" is one I just finished along with A Whole New Mind - a non-fiction about how our society is moving from the information age to the conceptual age where right brain thinkers are more valued. Take heart. We left brained people have value especially those of us who exercise our creativity regularly!

Also included on my shelf are a lot of books I've read in past years but are favorites. Some are just one example of an author I love - like Mary Kay Andrews and Jane Green. I'm not into a lot of heavy stuff. I guess they call most of this "chick lit." Whatever, it is entertaining to me and I always learn something usually about people and relationships.

Being a reader means you are never alone, lonely or bored. While I love technology, I hope we never get so advanced that we stop printing novels and binding them up to hold in our hands and fill our hearts and our minds with pleasure.

Brighten Up

We had fun in our High on Impact, Short on Time class last night. Here is another of the cards we did. This one features a stamp I normally color either with markers or a blender pen. It's very cute ... and very time consuming to do that. In this design, the truck still makes a bold statement thanks to the Brilliant Blue and Only Orange cardstock and the little silver brads as the center of each 'hubcap.'

Tomorrow I'll post another card in exactly this same layout that looks completely different! Stay tuned...

Ingredients: Stamp Set: Loads of Love
Ink: Basic Black
Cardstock: Brilliant Blue, Only Orange, Going Gray
White grosgrain ribbon

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday - Double Ribbon, Save Ribbon

The original design I did for this card, had ribbon going all the way around the width of the card. That's about 15" of ribbon! If you are making several cards or short on ribbon, you might look for some other options. Here's one:

  1. Select two complimentary ribbons such as two ribbons of the same color in different widths. Or two ribbons pulling in different colors from your project. Here I used 1/4" black gingham and 5/8" Brocade Blue - the color of the cardstock.

  2. Punch two holes side by side. Depending on their location, you may be able to use the nifty double horizontal punch. I used the Crop-a-dile in this case.

  3. Feed the narrow ribbon through the holes so it ties on top.

  4. Before tying, slip a short piece of your wider ribbon in between so it gets tied up with the smaller ribbon.

The quantity you use of each will depend on how long you want your tales and whether you want a double knot or a bow with your narrower ribbons. Whatever, it is a cute look that takes half the ribbon.

Ingredients: Stamps by Stampin' Up! Brocade Motifs, Lovely Letters

Cardstock: Brocade Blue

Ink: Brocade Blue, Basic Black

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Amanda!

My stepdaughter, Amanda, celebrates her birthday this week. The floral ribbon on her card is from my stash. I think I bought it at Walmart a few years ago. They used to carry some great ribbons but unfortunately they have closed out their fabric departments at the Walmarts I go to. This is the first time I've used this ribbon and it hadn't occurred to me to cut the flowers out until I started playing with it and needed more flowers for balance. One of those fun 'found' embellishments.

Ingredients: Stamped greeting from Stampin' Up! All Holidays in Orchid Opalescence
Chipboard letter from Cloud 9 Design
Paper is DWCV
Brads are from Oriental Trading

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Simply Scrappin' Cards

I'm having so much fun!!! I've dived into my Happy B-day Simply Scrappin' Kit and have been making cards. I'm not sure I can stop!
Here are a couple of examples. We will use the Happy B-day kit in class on August 13. To register, e-mail or give me a call. Cost is $22 which includes half of a Happy B-day kit - 3 sheets of die cuts, 3 sheets of pattern paper and 4 sheets of textured cardstock. All products are color coordinated and make cardmaking really fast and fun. Of course, you can use these products for scrapbook pages, too.

I'll have coordinating stamp sets and embellishments for you to use during class.

Even though this kit is focused on birthdays, we will make a couple of other types of cards. The papers and many of the die cuts are multipurpose.

Here I've used the set along with an"On Your Birthday" stamp set greeting and the slit punch to create a gift card holder.

Come join the fun on Thursday, August 13 at 6:00 p.m.

(Pre-register by Thurs, July 30 so I can have your materials on hand for class.)

Ingredients: Happy B-day Simply Scrappin' Kit from Stampin Up!
Ribbon: Brocade Blue 5/8" grosgrain
Ink: Ruby Red

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday - Why Craft Ink?

Not too long ago someone asked me what the benefits of Craft Ink were verus Classic Ink. It's a good question. Craft Ink is more expensive and slower to dry so why would you want it?

Actually, I started with craft ink and bought all 48 colors! The main reason was embossing. Stamp an image in craft ink, sprinkle clear embossing powder over it and heat with heat tool - instant embossing without having to buy a specially colored embossing powder.

The other major benefit to Craft ink is that it will stick to surfaces Classic Ink won't. The word "Cherish" stamped from the Baroque Motifs set on this piece of designer chipboard is an example. The chipboard was is slick and when I tried it in Classic Ink, the image smudged. Fortuantely, it didn't dry instantly that time so I could just wipe it off. I tried again with Craft Ink and got a very clear image. It was further enhanced it with embossing.

This thickness makes Craft Ink perfect for coloring chipboard. It doesn't get absorbed as much as Classic Ink. I've used Craft Ink on fabric, ribbon, cork, chipboard - both finished and unfinished, and even photographs.

You can use Craft Ink when making coasters. Members of our stamp club remember making coasters a couple of years ago. Craft ink must be sealed but it shows up beautifully on the coasters.

The only drawback I've found besides drying time (and that is seldom an issue) is the thickness. When I'm stamping a particularly small font word or very detailed image, sometimes I prefer Classic Ink.

A great way to get Craft Ink is to buy Stampin' Spots. That is how I got all the 48 colors for a reasonable price. And the small size of the Stampin' Spots is great for directly coloring chipboard.

Friday, July 17, 2009

High on Impact, Short on Time

Having a card sketch and easy to follow instructions makes card making fast. In the High on Impact, Short on Time class on July 28, you can learn several techniques for turning out great cards in a hurry. For each card, like the one above, you'll get a recipe that includes "ingredients", "measurements" and "substitutions."
Speaking of substitutions, guess how many stamps you could substitute from the current catalog alone for this flower stamp above and still use all the same card cut measurments?
Over 50! Snag one of the last spots in this class to get all the great recipes!
Ingredients: Detailed instructions in the class. Stamp sets used are Fifth Avenue Floral and On Your Birthday.
Razzleberry Lemonade DSP, Crushed Curry Cardstock
Melon Mambo Ribbon

Thursday, July 16, 2009


A boy catching his first fish, a little girl wearing her first hats and scarves. We got to experience these firsts for Dillon and Nai Nai this summer. While Dillon fished with Granpa, Jaime and I let Nai Nai dress up on my clothes. She liked the scarves best and tried on all my '80's hats.
It was 'firsts' for us too. Grandchildren are sooo much fun!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fan Blocks

Finding quilting books that capture the stories behind the fabrics and the women who quilted are as much of a treasure as a beautiful quilt. Soft Covers for Hard Times is one of those books and has been in my collection for many years. It made me first fall in love with the fabrics and patterns of the depression era. When 30's reproduction fabrics starting becoming popular, I wanted to use them. So many though weren't really my style until I found this great stash from Keepsake Quilting ( As a reward for finishing another project, I ordered several color families.

Over the last few weeks, I've been making Grandmother's Fan blocks, a popular block from the 1930's. These will be part of the inset border. I'm doing the border first and then filling in the center with some still undetermined floral design. It is a weird way to do it but then I can be sure I have these on-point blocks fitting just right.

I only have a couple of hours a week to spend on these so the project will take awhile. That's just more time to enjoy these bright cheery fabrics.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday - Mounting Word Stamps

Usually the words are the last thing you add to a card. You are ready to wrap up your creation and put it in your card stash or drop it in the mail to a friend. The last thing you want is to stamp on a "Thank You" or "Happy Birthday" and have it come out crooked. And when you are stamping on a piece of decorative chipboard as in this example above, you don't get a second chance.

The key to easily aligned words starts when you mount your stamps. Here are my tricks for keeping my words on the straight and narrow...

First, when I mount rubber stamps, I get out my gridded ruler. Line up bottom edge of some of your wording with one line on the ruler. Align another line on the ruler with the straight edge of a block. This is of course easier with non-script fonts.
Then when you are stamping, you can use the straight edge of your block to help you place your word straight on your card.

See how straight my birthday wish is!

So what if you have already mounted your stamps or despite all your efforts, they just don't mount straight? Keep a little ruled paper handy for a test stamp.

Just stamp your image on your ruled paper lining up a straight edge of the stamp block with the ruled lines on the paper. You can then see how straight or angled your image will be. "Life" shown here was not mounted straight on the block and always comes out crooked.

At this point, you may need to reach for your Stamp-ah-ma-jig - a cool little tool from Stampin' Up that helps you line up your images perfectly every time. OR, often I'll just turn the stamp a little clockwise (or counterclockwise) to get a perfect image.

If you don't have a good straight edge to go by when placing your stamp on your paper or in this case chipboard, just use a gridded ruler again. Gridded rulers can be found in the quilting department of craft or sewing stores.

Ingredients: Stamp Sets all by Stampin' Up! Birthday, Baroque Motifs, and Make It Count

Friday, July 10, 2009

This was the scene of the first day of Dillon and Nai Nai's visit last year. We don't think Nai Nai, a city girl, had ever seen a wheelbarrow and while it is hard to see here, the expression on her face in the first photo shows how unsure she was about the whole thing. You can see by the last photo, she was excited and they loved their ride to the farm next door.

Capturing an event as it unfolds in pictures makes a great scrapbook page. The photos really tell the story. I try to scrapbook chronologically whenever possible so having this page of "Off We Go" is a good start to the rest of their visit. I've done a few other pages but of course I'm not finished yet even though they are already here for this year's visit!
Ingredients: Stampin' Up! DSP Western Sky
Stamps: Petal Pizzazz
Inks: Bashful Blue, Whisper White, Not Quite Navy
Chipboard arrows - unknown source
Chipboard letters are leftovers mostly from unknown sources. A few are Basic Grey.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday - Tone on Tone

In an earlier TIPsy Tuesday, I suggested raiding your storage spaces for other craft supplies you could use for paper crafts. Have you gone "shopping" in your cabinets and closets yet?

Paint was one of those things we all have a little of somewhere. I used some acrylic paint to quickly and completely coat these chipboard stars. However, they were a little dull with just paint as you can see in the photo. So to add some umph, I stamped them in a similar color ink using dotted circles and a dotted spray from Inkadinkadoo. This 'tone-on-tone' effect adds some visual texture without making the design busy. To achieve a good tone-on-tone affect be sure to make your ink color either the same shade or just a shade darker than the base layer.

The white star really sparkles thanks to some crystal embossing powder. After inking with Very Vanilla craft ink, I could just apply the embossing powder and heat. I LOVE craft ink because of its easy embossing feature.

So for some extra jazz or some extra class, try a little tone-on-tone in your projects.

(BTW, this is how we spent last 4th of July. My camera has a fireworks setting and it really works!)

Stamps: Circles and Dots from Inkadinkadoo, Stars from Autumn Leaves
Paper: Western Sky DSP and Kraft from Stampin' Up!
Silver star embellishments - source unknown
Ink Colors: Real Red, Riding Hood Red, Night of Navy, Very Vanilla,and Whisper White from Stampin Up!
Distressing Ink: Antique Linen from Ranger

Monday, July 6, 2009

True Friends

We had to say "So Long" to good friends this weekend. It isn't Goodbye as we plan to visit them in their new town on the west coast someday. To Susan and Howard, may your new home be filled with as many friends and even more joy in your future.

We are a tiny bit jealous of your new adventure. :-)

Ingredients: Card was Cased from
Stamp Sets by Stampin' UP!: Spring Solitude and Make It Count
Colors: Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Not quite Navy, More Mustard and Really Rust

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bloomin' Favorites

Gladiolus are my favorite flower. Sometimes they are considered old fashioned or a funeral flower. To me, they are the perfect flower because of the huge variety of colors. They are easy to grow in full sun. Best of all, they make wonderful cut flowers that last for days. I just keep pulling off the spent lower blooms and trimming the ends.

For Valentine's Day, a couple of years ago, Lenny restocked our gladiolus collection with 160 bulbs! And he promised to plant them for me. Well, that last part got lost in his 80 hour work weeks so I did most of the planting that year. He did dig them up and this year, we did several staggered plantings together. Just a few of the dozens we have already had bloom this year are shown here. So maybe the best part isn't the blooms at all. It is when someone asks "Did you grow those?" I can say, "yes, We did."

Friday, July 3, 2009

High Impact In Color

I made 5 of these this morning. Wish I had timed myself because I think all 5 took only about 20 minutes total. The rust color here is the new Dusty Durango In Color. This is one of our High Impact cards for my July 28 class. I have 2 spots left. Call or e-mail to reserve your spot today.

Not only will you make 5 great cards but you will leave with 'recipes' for using these sketches with several other specific stamp sets. Lots of tips and tricks provided.

Ingredients: Stamp Sets: Kind and Caring Thoughts; Spring Solitude for Greeting - although you could use pretty much any greeting here.
Colors: Dusty Durango, Choc Chip
Ribbon: Choc Chip Taffeta

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Month, New Notebook, NEW CATALOG!

It's time for a new notebook. I've filled up my last one with everyday stuff from January to June - lists, ideas, appointments, cryptic little sketches, phone numbers that I invariably fail to label, etc. In short, these little notebooks contain my day to day life. I purchase the notebooks from Office Max. They are Cambridge brand by Mead and have yellow ruled paper on one side and gridded paper on the other.

For this cover, I chose the Urban Garden designer paper from the Spring/Summer catalog. I embellished some of the flowers with some selective stamping from the now retired Kindred Spirits stamp set. Several of the flowers are cut outs from one of the papers in this pack. I've found that cutouts do fine on these notebooks as long as they get lots of glue on all the edges. Some Baja Breeze striped ribbon serves as a bookmark. I love these colors and am sad to see them go, but....

TODAY is the 2009/10 Stampin' Up! Catalog launch!!! So we will have many new products to fall in love with including the new In colors (see this post for samples of some of these.)

I have created a link at right for a link to the catalog. It isn't quite ready yet on the Stampin' Up! site but I'll post the link as soon as they have it on-line.
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