Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Something Just For Me ...

I have a mid year's resolution (like a new year's one but just 6 mths late!).  I want to be more organised and I knew I needed a tool or two to help me achieve my goal.  I love "To Do" lists but find that the paper variety just don't work for me, I jot down notes on them, they get messy as I cross jobs off.   A white board would work, but I don't have a handy wall to hang one on, not where I would see or easily reach it.  My solution was to make one out of a picture frame.

The Beau Ch√Ęteau DSP has a sheet with a lovely flourish in the top corner and lines all down the page, perfect for the task at hand.  I used my paper trimmer to cut it to size, and then did some fancy cutting around the flourish.  I added another sheet of the Beau Ch√Ęteau DSP behind this, choosing a soft pattern in Blushing Bride.  The "To Do" is done using the Junior Type Alphabet dies.  The glass in front makes a perfect surface to write my list on, and with a whiteboard pen the jobs I do wipe straight off - the pen sits in the Blushing Bride tube you can see attached to the front of the frame - no losing the pen now!  Best of all it sits near my desk nice and handy but not in the way.   

I decorated the front of the frame with three flowers, two made from the Fancy Flower punch and the larger one from the Blossom Punch.  On the inside of each is a single layer punched using the Blossom Bouquet Triple Layer Punch.

It is really nice to make something just for me, and it was so easy to do I might even make myself another one for my work desk!

Happy Stamping

Monday, July 30, 2012

What A Week

I love doing challenges, I find they help me to create outside my comfort zone with sketches, colours or themes that I would not normally do on my own.  I certainly don't do them to be rewarded, but I have to say it is such a lovely surprise when one of my little creations is chosen as one of the top picks for the week!  This week I had the major surprise of having my creations chosen as some of the top picks in two different challenges.

Top Picks
The first one I received was for the lovely gift set I made for my friend for her birthday and entered in the Stampin' Royalty Challenge #133 - "Anything Goes".  

The second was for the cute little card I made for The Friday Mashup Challenge #68 - "Lazy Summer Days + Sketch"

Thank you to the Design Teams from both challenges for choosing my projects, and congratulations to the other creative artists who were also chosen, I was in some very good company!

Happy Stamping

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Merry and Bright

When someone wishes you a Christmas that is Merry and Bright I wonder if my creation today is what they had in mind!  I took inspiration from three challenges for this one Festive Friday for the colours, Mojo Monday for the sketch, and Friday Mashup which was a mash up of Christmas and a card decorated on the inside.

Aren't these great bright colours for Christmas?  I wanted to use a Christmas DSP, but not surprisingly didn't have any in the required colours!  I chose the black and white DSP from Letters to Santa, and cut it to the required size for the sketch.  I then coloured each piece separately using my brayer, I love the brayer for nice clean consistent colouring of paper.  

Here is the inside of the card, decorated with one of the stamps from Delightful Decorations, stamped in Melon Mambo and coloured with a combination of silver, Lucky Limeade and Tempting Turquoise markers.  Now all I have to do is decide who will get this bright Christmas Greeting!

Happy Stamping

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Just a Quick One

Just a quick post tonight before I head off to bed.  I wanted to make a card tonight, something I don't often do mid-week as I am generally too tired, but wanted to distract myself by getting outside my comfort zone just a little bit.  What better way to do that than combine three challenges - sketch (Freshly Made Sketches), colour (Colour Throwdown) and theme (Stampin Royalty - use buttons).

I had a rough idea in my mind when I saw the sketch that I wanted to use the Bright Blossoms stamp set and the oval frame, but needed some colours.  I liked the brightness of the colours in the Colour Throwdown and knew I had ribbon, bakers twine and buttons to match.  For the bow I wrapped the first piece around the DSP and adhered on the back, I then cut the smaller piece and lay it over the top, securing in place with the twine ad button.  I did sneak a little glue dot behind it all to hold it in place before adding the tiny tags underneath..

Happy Stamping

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Days

I made this card yesterday for the Just Us Girls and Friday Mashup Challenges.  The JUGS colours this week felt very summery to me and the mashup was to use the sketch and/or a Lazy Summer Days theme. I guess because it is still winter here in Australia, with freezing nights and frosty mornings I decided I could do with something to remind me of lazy summer days!

What says summer better than the cute images in the Summer Fun stamp set?  I chose the cute little swimmers from the set and used the Framelits dies to cut out the image and layer it, this shape is achieved by cutting out with the die once, and then turning it 90 degrees and cutting again.  I did a combination of water colouring and sponging to create the water, and then some masking and sponging to create the summer sun in the sky.  The water I added some Frost White Shimmer Paint to to give the feel of waves on the water, I like how the effect turned out.

I love cards like this that are so cute and so simple and quick to make.  

Happy Stamping

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just Add Layers

Just Add Ink have a colour challenge this week, Black and White and artist's choice for a third colour, for me Real Red was the colour I chose as I just think it really pops against the black and white.

I have seen a few of these triple layered cards lately and knew it was perfect for this colour combo.  Dawn at Do Stamping With Dawn has a great video, if you want to give it a go yourself.  

I am getting 'better' at decorating the inside of cards, and with the base of this card being Basic Black I thought it would be good to add an inside layer.   Again I have used Petite Pairs on the front and on the inside of the card. 

Happy Stamping

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Little Bit of Christmas Mojo

I have had such a lovely day today, it started by being inspired to make a card for the Mojo Monday and Festive Friday challenge.

I was quite taken with the sketch, but decided to turn it on its side to fit with what I had in mind.  I chose Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake and Very Vanilla as my colours to keep it with a vintage feel.  Instead of adding green for the branches I used the Creative Elements flourish on the Crumb Cake layer, and then added some gold twine.  This card fits with the Festive Friday challenge last week too, that was to using a ribbon in some way other than as a bow or knot.  Shame I can't enter both!

Here is a close up of the ornament, I punched the main ornament out of red Glimmer Paper, then covered some card stock with self adhesive sheet and covered with super fine glitter before cutting out a large oval.  Placing this behind the ornament punch gives the ornament a bit of a different look.

It feels great getting such a head start on my Christmas cards too!

Happy Stamping

Anything Goes Birthday

Stampin' Royalty have an "Anything Goes" challenge this week and I am entering with the gift made for my ex-upline and always friend Kasey.  It was so great to be able to share her birthday with her in person this year, a great night out at an Ethiopian Restaurant.

If you have read any of the comments Kasey leaves on the blog you might know that she calls me the queen of 3D, so I knew I just had to make her something 3D for her birthday.  I wanted a soft feminine look to the project so chose DSP from Attic Boutique which I cut out with the Fancy Favour die. I cut a second strip from the same set of papers to create a band for the centre of the box, and added some pearls to the band. 

I made the pennant using the Pennant Parade die and cut the biggest triangle from Soft Suede, then layered the two doilies in Daffodil Delight and Pool Party.  I found that even though Daffodil Delight is a very bright colour, teaming it with Soft Suede and Pool Party, with the help of a little sponging, really tones down the brightness.  I used the Circles #2 die to cut a 2" circle out of the matching DSP and layered a "K" cut from Soft Suede.  The 'K' is covered with a mix of Dazzling Diamonds and Crystal Effects (I know Kasey loves the sparkle!).   To the top of the flag pole I adhered a collection of ribbons, tying one into a bow. 

The box was filled with Lindt Chocolates, and I also included this little tag which contains a gift voucher.  To make the tag I cut two of the rectangle tags from Soft Suede then cut another from a piece of DSP folded in half with the crease just inside the base of the tag die.  I used this piece of DSP as the outer layer of the tag so that it opens like a book.  On the front I used a combination of the Four Frames and Pettite Pairs stamps, colouring them with markers. 

Here is the inside of the gift card tag, and you can see how I added the gift card to one side and the sentiment to the other.  I just love Petite Pairs with the two matching sentiments it makes it easy to decorate the inside as well as the outside of your cards.   

I love creating projects and I get so much pleasure making something special for someone special.

Happy Stamping

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sugar Shortbread

Yesterday I had the day off work to spend some time with my lovely daughter, as it is school holidays here.  We both love cooking so I borrowed my friend Cathy's Cookie Stamps so we could have some fun in the kitchen. These lovelies are going to be available in the Holiday Mini Catalogue that will go live on 1st September.  Cathy was lucky enough to win some at prize patrol at Convention this year, and was lovely enough to lend them to me for a couple of days - sadly they are going home tomorrow.  
There are three images in the Holiday set, a heart, snowflake and Halloween pumpkin face. They are a silicone stamp that fits over a wooden handle so you can easily press them into the cookie dough before baking.  The set comes with two recipes - one for sugar cookies, and the other for sugared shortbread.  We chose the sugared shortbread and they are yuuuuuummmmmmy.

I will be getting my hands on my own set of cookie stamps as soon as they are available for purchase here in Australia, maybe they will be in the sneak peek for demonstrators!

Happy Stamping

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Changes Are Coming ...

We are coming up on a very exciting time in the Stampin' Up! year, with quite a few things happening.  I thought I would share some of them with you before all the fun starts.

  • 31st July - end of the Autumn/Winter Mini Catalogue
    • Possibly your last chance to get items from this mini, some may appear in the next catalogue but some will be gone for ever, unfortunately we don't know ahead of time which will stay and which will go.  So if there is something you like, contact me soon to get the items you are after.
  • 1st August - Retirement List announced
    • Stampin' Up! will release a list of all the products that are not going to appear in the next catalogue.  Some will be at reduced prices, but all are "while stocks last" so again if there is something on the list you are after then get in early with an order.
    • 1st August is also the pre-order period for Australian and New Zealand Stampin' Up! demonstrators so you can expect to see some sneak peek items appearing on your favourite blogs!
  • 1st September - New Annual Catalogue
    • You may have noticed the change in name!  There are a few changes with the catalogue starting this year.  Firstly it will be much closer in line with the US catalogue, meaning a bigger range of stamps and accessories. 
  • 1st September - New Holiday Mini Catalogue
    • Yep on the same day as the new Annual Catalogue we will also have the release of the new Mini Catalogue.
    • There are some major changes with the Mini, firstly it is much earlier than usual, and secondly it is chock-a-block full of great Stamps, DSP, Fabric, Scented Embossing Powders, Ribbons, Buttons, Dies ...  I could go on!  As a demo I have had a sneak peek at this catalogue and I am IN LOVE and have a long long wish list!
I will be uploading links to the two new catalogues on 1st September so make sure you pop back and check them out.  I will also be uploading some sneak peek items made from the new catalogues - I received some at Convention this year, and I will be getting some more during August - as a Demonstrator we get to order from a sneak peek list which is super exciting.

Happy Stamping

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Throw It Down and Mash It Up!

Sounds like something you might hear on fight night, but not so violent as all that, it is just a double challenge from The Colour Throwdown and The Friday Mashup!

I am headed out today with the family to celebrate the birthday of a lovely little girl who is turning 1.  First birthdays are always fun, especially as the person with the birthday often wants to play with the boxes more than the gifts inside them!  I loved the idea of the mash up challenge this week, which is to use a flag or banner and/or create an envelope to match the card.  I had so many ideas for this, but not all fit well with a little person's birthday.  So I went in search of a fun and bright colour combo and the one at Colour Throwdown was perfect.

I wanted to keep the card fairly simple and used my Memorable Moments stamp set, we received this set as part of our make n takes at Convention in May this year and I just love it, it will be so useful for birthdays and anniversaries.  I haven't used the Cupcake Builder Punch in a while so dusted that off for the little cupcake, cutting the base out of DSP and the top out of cardstock which I then ran through the Elegant Lines embossing folder to get the swirly detail on the icing.  To decorate the envelope I used the matching cupcake base stamp and added some sprinkles to the icing with my retired Silver Encore ink.

Now all I need to do is get changed and head off to the party!

Happy Stamping

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Non-Traditional Christmas

It is not often I have been able to create mid week, however tonight I was browsing through my favourite challenge blogs and came across the Festive Friday Challenge, which this week had an interesting colour combo to use. Not traditional colours at all for a Christmas card, but I liked the look of the samples done by the design team.  Then I went looking for a sketch to inspire me and came across the Just Us Girls sketch, so I combined the two challenges to create a mid-week card!

For this card I have used the Delicate Doilies stamp set for the background, stamped in Early Espresso, Crumb Cake and Blushing Bride.  I wanted to keep a vintagey feel to the card so embossed the ornament in a mix of Dazzling Diamonds and Clear Embossing Powder then added some pearls and twine.  The sentiment is from the Curly Cute set of sentiments

Happy Stamping

Monday, July 9, 2012

Dynamic 411

This weekend I had the time and mojo needed to make a couple of cards and join in a couple of challenges! Great achievement all things considered!  The two cards I made I will post next week as they are birthday cards for my mum and niece, and as mum checks my blog I don't want to spoil the surprise. I joined in two challenges with this card Stamping 411 and Dynamic Duos, Rich Razzleberry and Old Olive were two of my favourite colours when I first joined Stampin' Up! as a demonstrator but I don't use them as much as I used to, and certainly not together.

I tipped the 411 layout onto its side and added the sentiment window - the window is cut from the DSP and the sentiment is stamped onto the base card stock. I have used the Fun Flowers Die for the bottom two layers of the flower, one in card stock and the other in Newsprint DSP stamped with Creative Elements.  The top layer of the flower is stamped with the flower from Button Buddies embossed in white.  I am totally loving white embossing powder and the crisp bright white effect it gives you.  The base layer of DSP is actually from the Christmas papers Letters to Santa. 

Happy Stamping

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

18th Birthday

Today I want to show you the second card I made for my daughter's weekend of birthday celebrations.  This one is for a lovely young lady who is turning 18 this week, they had a sleepover on Saturday night, and surprisingly actually got some sleep!  

Because I was on a purple roll I decided to make this card with Wisteria Wonder and Island Indigo. Because the birthday girl is a fun loving girl I wanted to make a fun sort of card for her, and wanted to use Mixed Bunch stamp set in some way.  I punched one of the flowers out of the front layer of DSP and embossed one of the flower stamps with White Embossing Powder, I just love how the white gives a project real 'pop'.  The flower I punched out made a backing for another Wisteria Wonder flower embellished with a White Jumbo Brad.  The other flowers all have a rhinestone in the centre for a bit of bling.

Here is a look at the inside of the card, you can see there is a middle panel that has a hole in it and you can see the second part of the sentiment through it.  Petite Pairs stamp set is just perfect for this style of card, and I can see me making a few more with this design.  I added a lovely sparkly "18" with my Timeless Type Junior Alphabet dies, I just love these, especially teamed with glimmer paper!

Here is the centre of the card photographed at a different angle.  I also wanted to point out that the paper the card is sitting on to be photographed is a personalised matching wrapping paper that I made using an A3 sheet of photocopy paper that I have stamped on in Wisteria Wonder and Island Indigo using stamps that matched the card.  I also added some light sponging.  It looked so cute together when the gift was wrapped, and of course I stamped on the envelope to match.

Here is the video from Dawn, it is well done with clear instructions and has all the measurements up on screen to make it easy to follow.  You can also find more of Dawn's samples on her blog Dawn's Stamping Thoughts.

Happy Stamping

Sunday, July 1, 2012

16th Birthday Card & Gift

This weekend my lovely daughter had two birthdays celebrations to go to and I offered to make her a couple of cards to take. The first one I will show is the 16th card and matching gift box holding a very special hand made gift.

The first thing I made was the gift box.  I tried a couple of options, but the Box #2 die worked best with the gift (sorry no pic of that) but I will tell you about it.  I wanted to use the Framelits die for the cut out on the front of the box as I knew I could then use the larger frames on the birthday card.  I knew the birthday girl likes purple (I think a lot of 16yo girls do!), and so chose Elegant Eggplant, a colour I used to love but haven't used in ages.  I decided it would go very well with Pool Party, to give it a lift.  I chose Pool Party Seam Binding ribbon to tie up the box and hold the lid shut.  The sentiment is from Memorable Moments, stamped and than hand cut.

With the colour pallette for the project sorted out, and knowing I was going to use the Framelits all I had to do was come up with the card - sounds easy right?  Well it mostly was, I started with the Very Vanilla layer, stamping the flourish from Creative Elements in Elegant Eggplant, and then colouring in the leaves in Pool Party with my Stampin' Write Marker.  The Elegant Lines Embossing Folder seemed to go quite well with this so I embossed the Pool Party layer to give some extra texture.  I still wasn't quite happy, so used the oval from the Designer Frames lightly sponged with Elegant Eggplant to give a subtle highlight to the frame.  I added the Happy Birthday sentiment from Perfect Punches punched out with the Extra-Large Oval punch and sponged around the edges with Pool Party.  I finished off with a little bit of bling on the sentiment, Seam Binding to tie it in with the gift box,  and "16" cut out with my Junior Type alphabet die.

 Here are the two together.  Now what is in the box?  My daughter had to design a project for her textiles class this semester, the criteria was that it had to be affordable and easily manufactured.  She did a bit of research and came up with a concept, the first I knew about it was "Mum can I borrow your Big Shot?"!  She had decided to decorate a Bobby Pin with some material cut out with the Perfect Pennants Die, using two different colours of material.  Her project was chosen as one of two in the class!!! I found out while I was at Convention and actually sold one of her creations to one of the demo's there!  So she had decided to make two of these for the birthday girl, one in purple and a dark brown, and the other a purple and cream one.  They look great and are her first creations as McCrazzy Designs!

Happy Stamping