Thursday, November 24, 2011

Time to Give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American visitors.  We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, but I think it is nice to have a day where you take time out to focus on things that you are thankful for.  Before I get onto this weeks challenge I thought I would share a few of the things I am thankful for at the moment ... I am so very thankful for my family, my wonderful husband of 20years and beautiful daughter; I am thankful that I am in a job and field that I love and makes a difference in people's lives; and I am thankful that I have stability and a degree of security in my life that fewer people have these days.

Now onto this week's inspirational picture, you can use this picture in any way to inspire your creation. You can use the colours, theme, layout, or just part of the picture like the clouds or the rays.  I look forward to seeing your entry so pop over to Paper Lovin' Gals and see what the other Design Team members have come up with and add your entry.

I chose to use the layout and colours, and kept "Thanks" as the sentiment.  I sponged over punched out scallop circles with So Saffron and More Mustard to make the clouds. I also used More Mustard on a sponge to lightly colour the Velvet Designer Ribbon from the upcoming Summer Mini Catalogue that goes live here in Australia on 1st December. I was happily surprised at how well it took the colour. The sentiment, from Short and Sweet is on a piece that has been doubly cut with the Decorative Label Punch. 

I stamped the sentiment and then punched once, ensuring the sentiment was toward the bottom of the punch. I stuck the punch out onto the back of a post it note to give me something to guide it into the punch with and lined it up and re-punched.  The picture shows how this lines up, and the little tabs on the sides are just perfect for pearls, bling or brads.  I just love finding extra uses for the tools I have, it makes them really versatile and great value.  

Happy Stamping

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Playing With New Toys

Don't you just love playing with a new stamp set for the first time?  I certainly do, and it was definitely the case on this card, my first with the Kindness Matters stamp set.  I received this set as part of my final gift from my Secret Sister, and so happy she sent it to me, it's such a cute little set with pretty butterflies, swirls and sentiments I think it will be getting a real work out.  

I was inspired to use it in the Freshly Made Sketches challenge this week. I enjoy the simple lines of the Freshly Made Sketches, not too many layers and there is a lot of room to be creative.  I chose much softer colours than I would normally put together, I think the delicate nature of the butterflies steered me in that direction.

I used a Baja Breeze base for my card and layered the First Edition Specialty DSP which I gave a spot of colour to using my Stampin' Pastels.  I find Pastels give a softer finish than sponging and that was just what I was looking for with this card.  If you look closely the typed passage is all about butterflies, so it went really well with this card.  I stamped the three butterflies onto Very Vanilla and then ran it through the Big Shot with the rectangle Designer Frames embossing folder and trimmed off the excess. I usually would only use an image that fits within the frame, but lately I have seen so many where the image is larger than the frame I thought I would give it a go!  I used Pastels again on this piece on the edge of the frame and in the centre to match it up with the Baja Breeze and So Saffron that I used on the DSP.  I also used some sponging right on the edges of the frame, and used my Stampin' Write Marker to highlight the inner crease of the frame. 

I finished the card off using the Lace Ribbon Border Punch layered with Crochet Trim, and then a single piece from the same punch as the embellishment with one of the flower shaped buttons from the Subtles Buttons.

Happy Stamping

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Back to Mashing Things Up!

I went to look at which Friday Mash Up we were up to and was shocked to see it is challenge number 33 this week, wow how time flies!  Anyway, onto the challenge "Everything's Coming Up Rosettes!" ...

 This week we had to use the sketch, or use a rosette, or mash it up and use the sketch with a rosette.

As I often do I chose to mash it up and do both.  My rosette is made from the Cherry Cobbler Striped Grossgrain Ribbon, it lost some of it's ruffles when I adhered it to the card!  I used the Flower Fest stamp embossed in gold and cut them out using the 5-Petal Flower.  The DSP is from the Letters to Santa, blue isn't a traditional Christmas colour but I am really liking it, especially with the Early Espresso. 

I enjoyed playing along with the challenge again, pop over to the Friday Mash Up to check out what the Design Team and other entrants have come up with this week.

Happy Stamping

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Paper Lovin' Bookmark!

I was a bit fascinated by this square wreath in the inspirational picture at Paper Lovin' Gals, and just knew it was what I wanted to feature on my card.  What inspires you in this picture?  The colours, shapes, theme, layout, or something else?  What ever it is come and join in this week's challenge.  If nothing immediately pops out at you visit Paper Lovin' Gals and see what the other Design Team members have been inspired to create.

Now, as you can see I didn't make a card at all.  I got a bit stuck with how to incorporate this into a card, I had a few false starts and nothing was coming together for me at all.  It happens like that sometimes, so I put it aside and did some other things and then when I came back I threw out the idea of a card and decided to do a book mark instead.  Part of the inspiration for this came from one of the presentations at our recent Stampin' Up! Regional Training, one on the long list of things I have been wanting to try.

I stamped the background using More Mustard, which I then coloured in patches with my Stampin' Pastels in More Mustard and Old Olive.  I just love my pastels for this kind of thing.  I then stamped on the cute little birds from the same stamp set, Clearly For You.  I finished it off by attaching a large Bevelled Window Pane to the image using Adhesive Sheet and added Old Olive Satin Ribbon doubled over, tied with some twine and covered with an Antique Brad.

I was really pleased with the result.  I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with for this week's challenge.

Happy Stamping

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Inspired by Love

Time for another inspirational photo over at Paper Lovin' Gals!  I just love the white picket fence, and the red hearts against the white of the flags, and of course the word 'love'.  

 What inspires you? Is it the texture, colours, theme, or the layout?  Let your creativity flow and come join us this week.  The thing I like most about inspirational photos is that there is no wrong interpretation!

As I said, it was the picket fence that inspired me and I just knew I wanted to make a fence made from the Tiny Tags Punch, to make the pailings I took a piece of Whisper White card stock and dragged my Choc Chip ink pad over it creating the lines which I think look a bit like wood grain.  Then I cut it into strips 9mm wide, then put one end of the strip into the punch from underneath, so just the end was inside the top of the tag and punched it out, then cut to length.  I guess I could have just made the join lie under the cross beam but that would take too much lining up!  Instead of the hearts I was inspired to use the butterfly and sentiment from the Butterfly Prints stamp set, highlighting the Love with a Real Red marker.   

I hope this has inspired you to come and join in this week, or if you need more inspiration pop on over and check out what the other Design Team have made.  

Stamp: Butterfly Prints
Colours: Lucky Limeade, Real Red, Whisper White, Choc Chip.
Other:  Punch - Jewelry Tag, Punch - Decorative Label, Punch - Butterfly, In-Colour Paper Stack, Pearls

Happy Stamping

Fancy Fold Christmas

A couple of years ago I recieved a Christmas card and the design had me intrigued, so I kept the card and recently used it as the make and take for a workshop I had with a couple of friends.  I just love cards that look a bit different, and this one is no exception.

The top picture is the card closed up, I had to put it into a bag so I could take the photo, these cards just don't like being contained!  You can see what it looks like in the bottom picture, it sits up on the front point.  You can embellish the sides of the card, or as I did, use a decorative paper as a feature.  I used the stamp from Tags til Christmas that goes with the Ornament Punch, and embossed it in gold, and embellished it with pearls.  

Here is another one I made with the Jolly Holiday DSP from last catalogue.  These cards will fit into a regular C6 envelope for easy posting.

Happy Stamping

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Another SS Gift

I hope you liked the last lot of things my Secret Sister sent to me, I know I did :)  This time I want to share with you my October gift which completely blew me away.  Isn't she a clever lady! I want to show you each of them separately so you can see what work has gone into them.

 Firstly the little packet of thank you cards.  These are the ones I copied for my last workshop I was so taken by them.  My SS has used the Morning Mocha Speciality paper, why is it special? Because the black pattern is made from velvet, it feels amazing - I am quite tactile and just love the richness of these.  She has even stamped the bag topper with the matching stamp from Elements of Style set.

 The next part of the gift was a cute little soap in a tin, which my lovely SS has decorated with the same DSP. The soap is scented lightly with Grapefruit and Mandarin and smells so fresh, I think I will just take it out of the wrapper and leave it on my desk to add the soft citrus scent to the room.

Finally this is a beautiful 2012 diary which has been covered with the same amazing paper, it almost is too good to use ... almost!  But good news is I have been able to put my first workshop booking for 2012 in it already so the timing was great.  The ribbon on the front with the flower is actually a bookmark made from a length of ribbon, a hair elastic, and the beautiful flower.  I have been wanting to try one of these for a while (on my very very long to do list), they are so neat. The hair elastic allows some give in the book mark for when you are sliding it over the pages.

Here is a close up of the flower, you can see my SS has embossed it with the Petals-A-Plenty embossing folder, and cut the layers of the flower with the Fun Flowers Big Shot Die. You might not be able to see in the picture but she has actually cut them out of black leather, and then spritzed them to give that effect, they look so great in person, and the Antique Brad in the centre of the flower is a great finishing touch.

As you can imagine I feel pretty spoiled right now, I can't wait to find out who made these lovely gifts for me. We have the big reveal at the end of November so I don't have to wait too much longer.

Happy Stamping

Monday, November 7, 2011

Workshop Cards

I wanted to take some time out from challenges to share a couple of projects that I presented at two workshops I did recently.  I love doing workshops and sharing new techniques with people, because I know how much I love it when I get shown something new.

Just for you,So Saffron
Belinda's Card
My Take on Belinda's Card
The first one is a card inspired by a fellow Stampin' Up! Demonstrator Belinda Neil, I kept most of the card identical to hers but changed the colours because I wanted to showcase the bleaching technique.  I used Baja Breeze for the base and Soft Suede for the embossed panel.  I just love the satin ribbon put on as a little feature.  I think the "Just For You" stamp from Tagtastic set is such a good stamp to show off the bleaching technique because of that lovely banner in the centre.

This is the project from the second workshop I did, also using the Tagtastic stamp set.  The cards were inspired by the lovely Secret Sister gift I received in October (I will post a picture of that in the next few days), and the little card holder was inspired by something we were shown at our Regional training day - I told you I love learning new things!  The little card holder is made from the Two Tags die and holds 4 little 3"x3" cards and envelopes.  I used the bleaching on the embossing as well on the stamp to highlight it.  

The little cards are quite easy to make, the embossed oval is the perfect size to hold a piece of DSP or even a stamped image punched out with the large oval punch.  For these ones I punched the flourish from one of the sheets in the Beau Ch√Ęteau Designer Series Paper.

Happy Stamping

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Treat Yourself ...

Paper Lovin' Girls  #4
This is my first creation as part of the Design Team for Paper Lovin' Gals, and what a great picture we have this week to inspire your creativity.  You can use the colours, lay out, or just pick one feature of the photo and use it to inspire your creation.  I just love all those balls hanging down and knew immediately they would be my inspiration and the focal point of  the card.

I made these balls from some of the DSP paper stacks, there was of course a limit to the number I could fit on the card, so I stopped at three!!!  The scene in the picture made me want a room just like this so that I could just spend the whole day in bed reading, dozing and nibbling on chocolate.  With this in mind I knew exactly which sentiment I wanted to put with this card "treat yourself like your own best company".  The bed cover reminded me of the new SU fabric from the Beau Chateau collection and I just had to re-create that centre cushion by using a button and pearl.

I hope you join us in this week's challenge, pop over to Paper Lovin' Gals blog and see what the other talented DT members have made to inspire you this week. 

Happy Stamping

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pick Me, Pick Me

Have you ever said that, without really believing you would be picked?  Well this time the silent wishing has actually paid off.  Well if it wasn't the wishing it was the entries I put into the last three challenges at Paper Lovin' Gals because I have been chosen as one of the three new Design Team members!  I got the email today and was so very excited, yes there is a happy dance and a little song that goes with it, but I really don't need to share that with you all!

Anyway here is my new badge, and please come and join in at Paper Lovin' Gals.

Happy Stamping