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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Quick Christmas Gifts

Need a gift to go fast?  How about something for the Grandparents who have everything.... Then you and I have something in common... This was my solution.  A simple collage, saving one frame for a little card front or scrapbooking action... there you go... Merry Christmas!

Collage frame (this one was from Kirkland's gift store)
Photos of your wonderful, awesome, children, pets, garden, vacation... whatever
Paper crafting tools used here:
Framelets Ornament Keepsakes dies (127186 $24.95)*
Ornament Keepsakes stamp set (128048 wood mount $34.95; 128501 cling mount $25.95)*
*The Framelets Ornament Keepsakes dies and coordinating stamps are sold together as a bundle for a 15%  discount
Spellbinders Nestablilites Vintage Ornaments [discontinued]

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to all!  This is a photo of the Christmas Card I sent out this year.

Supplies: Rejoicing With You stamp set (item 126300 wood $21.95 or 126302 cling $16.95)
Northern Flurries embossing folder (120902 $7.95) 
3 1/2 inch Circle die (122125 $17.95) 
Versamark Ink (102283 $7.50)
Gold embossing powder (109129 $4.75)
Uni-ball Signo gel pen (105021 $3.95)
Stampin' Dimensionals (104430 $3.95)
Brushed Gold Card Stock (102935 $7.95 for 10 sheets)
Natural White Card Stock (102316 $7.95 for 40 sheets)
Riding Hood Red Card Stock (111348 $6.95)
Stampin' Pads: Cherry Cobbler  (126966), Midnight Muse (126860), and Garden Green (126973) $5.95 each.
Sponge Daubers (102892 $10.95 for 12)
Retired items:  Round Tab Punch and Peaceful Wishes (branches)

I like to keep Christmas cards simple, because, like most stampers, I send lots of cards. 
First I cut all my card stock first, embossed the card front and stamped the back with my personalized stamps -name and website ;) .  

Next, I cut out all my "ornaments" from Riding Hood Red card stock using the circle die and Big Shot- the 3 1/2 inch circle die can cut 3 sheets of card stock at a time, so that went quickly.  I stamped the angel in Versamark Ink on Riding Hood Red card stock and heat embossed it with gold embossing powder.   That was the longest step in the process, and I did about 5 at a time to keep the assembly line rolling without drying too quickly.  

I sponged the edges in Cherry Cobbler Ink, and added little shiny marks with the Uni-ball Signo gel pen.  The ornament tops were cut from Brushed Gold card stock using the Round Tab Punch, folded and stapled to the ornaments.  

The last step for the front was to stamp the branches on the background, and sponge the edges.  The edges by the branches were sponged in Garden Green, the remainder of the edges were sponged in Midnight Muse.  The ornament was adhered to the background using Stampin' Dimensionals.

For the inside, I got clever - I scored a sheet of Whisper White card stock into 4 rectangles, 4" x 5-1/4" and stamped my sentiments in color and signed them with a Cherry Cobbler marker, and color copied it to make enough inserts for all my cards.  Slice slice slice and they were perfectly sized to glue inside the cards with the 2-Way Glue Pen (100425 $4.50) and was done!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stamping with Embossing Folders

Stamping with Embossing Folders

This technique is so easy it's ridiculous, and what's funny is that it took me so long to find out how to get this look! All you need is an embossing folder, card stock, and classic dye ink.

First, open the embossing folder and ink the raised portion on the inside.  This is the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder from Stampin' Up.

Next, carefully place your card stock squarely on the inked side of the folder.

Last, close the folder and press down with your hand, or use a bone folder or empty acrylic block to create nice even pressure. DO NOT RUN THIS THROUGH THE BIG SHOT. 

Just open the folder and, voila! A fabulous delicate background for your card.

Another way to stamp with embossing folders is to ink the “deep” side of the folder, place your card stock, and run it through the Big Shot. Gives a bold textured look.

Cleanup is a snap, just run the folder under the tap and dry it off. Very simple.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Acrylic Distress Technique

Happy October!

Here's a card that we made in my last class using the Acrylic Distress Technique. This is a very simple technique to try out, and it looks fabulous.

All you need is acrylic paint and a sponge brush, card stock (I used Very Vanilla (101650) but any light color will work); an embossing folder and your Big Shot; sand paper and ink. I used my new Stampin' Up sanding block (129367), it's a great little tool, and has a large sanding surface on the back and a narrow one on top.  It comes with sandpaper that has a Velcro backing so it just sticks right to the block.

First, paint a light coat of acrylic paint on the card stock to be distressed and allow it to dry thoroughly.  This color is "Key West" by Apple Barrel.

Next, run your painted card stock through the Big Shot using your embossing folder. Make sure the raised portion of the design you want to distress will come through on the painted side. I used the Lacy Brocade embossing folder from this fall's Holiday Mini Catalog (127819).

Cut or punch the painted card stock, if desired. I used the Apothecary Accents framelets dies (127003). Sand the raised area until card stock shows through.  Make sure your paint is thoroughly dry, otherwise the card stock will tear.

Using a sponge dauber, lightly sponge ink onto the sanded portions of the card stock. Be sure to sponge along the edges as well. The ink will stick to the exposed card stock more than the paint, darkening the design. Soft Suede (126978) is the color used on this card.

Finally, combine your acrylic distress background with your other card elements! Pop! Easy and elegant.  The phrase on this card comes from the World Treasures stamp set (126765w/126767c) and is also available in French (128228).


Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Welcome back from Summer Vacation!  Part of my vacation was taking the kids to visit my parents, and whenever Mom and I get together there's got to be craft time.  She had quite the project set up this summer.  In addition to my showing her all the new stamping techniques I'd been teaching in my classes this year, Mom had a stack of fresh scrapbooks and card stock just waiting for us to play with.  The project was to create 4 copies of a Scrap-Cookbook, one for me, my brother and our cousins.

Mom has done Scrap-Cookbooks before, usually to commemorate a family cook that's passed on.  While none of us are world renowned chefs, each matriarch has a genre that she's remembered for.  My great-grandmother Nana West's scrapbook was about cookies and candy making; Grandma Moore's book was all New Orleans food - Etoufee, Gumbo, etc...  Gammy, my grandmother Wilson, is still alive and kicking, and will be the first to be the first living cook in our family to be "scrapped".  Having been raised in Southeast Texas, her forte is "Tex-Mex", so we went with a bit of southwestern flair for the page designs.  

We used 1 package each:
Very Vanilla
Crushed Curry
Calypso Coral
Pool Party
and So Saffron card stock with some to spare.
2 packages of Domestic Goddess Designer Series Paper.  "Domestic Goddess" has retired, but 2 packages of any DSP can be used.
Tools of note:
Tasteful Trim Bigz XL die
Perfect Pennants Bigz L die
Scallop Circle, Scallop Square, and Scallop Square Duo Bigz dies
Window Frame (new!) and Labels Framelets dies,
Little Labels punch pack
2-3/8", 1-3/4" and new1-1/4" Scallop Circle punches
Scallop Trim Border and Scallop Border punches... even the old Eyelet Border punch made it into the book...

This is the new Window Frames Framelets set from the Holiday Mini Catalog by Stampin' Up.

Not all of her recipes are "Texican" and we went with a 1950's theme using the Domestic Goddess suite from Stampin' Up.

The paper clip heart on this page is a Sizzix die.

The paper clip flower is also a Sizzix sizzlits die.

Mom already had some of the recipes prepared - she took photos of the recipes that Gammy had penned and fired into tiles hanging in her kitchen.  This particular recipe is for sourdough bread, a signature favorite.  Funny though, it requires a starter, and right now she's the only batch holder... I'm still trying to figure out how to get a starter going and keep it going... Any bakers out there? Advice is welcome.

It's great to have some recipes in her own hand writing.  The opposite pages will have photos of Gammy through the years, from childhood onward.  The little "Kiss the Cook" tag is about the only thing that didn't come from Stampin' Up, and while I'd like to give credit where due, they had been in Mom's stash so long who knows where they're from, but they sure are cute...

The color "Calypso Coral" balances nicely with "Pool Party" and "Very Vanilla" - pass the cream puffs please.  That cute little scallop circle is part of the Perfect Pennants Bigz L die from Stampin' Up.

Here are the title pages and back pages - both are photos of tiles she painted and has on her kitchen wall...

Here's the ensemble all together, the 8 x 8 scrapbook with the pages.  Together Mom and I made 4 copies of this in less than 3 days.  She's putting the photos and the type-written recipes in the books, and making a few surprise additions that I'm looking forward to seeing at Christmas.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Do it Yourself Stamps

The Sizzix Big Shot is a great tool to have on the shelf... but mine never stays there. There's no paper crafting project that a few die cuts can't improve. I've found yet another way to use the Big Shot. The initial idea came from the great altered art sorcerer, Tim Holtz. The Great Tim had used his Big Shot to cut out 6mm Craft Foam with Bigz and Originals dies, and glued them to backings he cut from the stiff plastic packaging from some of his supplies. Voila! Stamps! Very clever! I decided to take it one step further and incorporate Stampin' Up's Clear Mount Cling Foam. Using the Cling Foam enables you to mount your newly cut foam stamps on your acrylic blocks and be able to reposition them and couple them together for whatever back ground composition you wish, and you can store them in the thin plastic cases made for our regular stamps!

Thin craft foam, any color. I prefer white, while it shows stains after a few uses it is still easy to see where the ink is on the stamp. While I experimented with both 6mm and thin craft foam, I found that when combining the thickness of the craft foam with the Cling Mount Foam, the thin stuff was easiest to run through the Big Shot and plenty thick enough to stand up off of your block. Tim used black craft foam on his blog, must be a guy thing.
Stampin' Up! Clear Mount Cling Foam. You get (2) 8 ½ x 11 sheets – enough to fill 4 or more Clear Mount Stamp Cases if you're thrifty.
Big Shot and Bigz or Originals Dies
Clear Mount Stamp Cases
Ink, Paper, etc...

  1. Measure the size of foam 1/8 th inch larger all around the die cut area to be sure to cover it completely. There is one clingy side and one sticky side of the cling mount foam, when making your “sandwich” for the Big Shot, the “cling” side will be down on the die if you want the stamp to look exactly like the finished die cut, or up toward the cutting pad if you want the stamps to print in the reverse image. “Up” or “down” might make a difference in your measurement, begin with the goal in mind.

  1. Adhere craft foam to Cling Mount Foam. Make it nice and exact as possible, you want both pieces to cover your die cut.

  1. Make your Big Shot “sandwich” - cutting pad, die, foam pieces, cutting pad. If you are wanting an exact image and your craft foam side is up, be sure that your cutting pad is new and smooth. The texture of a cutting pad will mar the foam if the cutting pad is heavily worn. What I do with my cutting pads is use one exclusively as a cutting surface and keep the other smooth. Then when the both sides of my cutting surface are excessively worn down, I swap it out with my smoother one and use one new cutting pad as a smooth backer. That way I don't have to use both my new ones in a set at once, and I always have a smooth sheet of acrylic to use to cut foam, ink up to load my brayer, or it can be used with Cling Stamps to create a large composition for decorating a greater area, etc...

  1. Run your “sandwich” through the Big Shot. It will be a little thick and you might need an extra hand, but it will come through just fine.

  1. Pop out your die cut stamp, peel the backing off the “cling” side of the foam and adhere to your acrylic block, ink, stamp, and clean just as you would a conventional rubber stamp. Works great with Classic Ink, Craft Ink, Versamark, watercolor techniques, “Kissing” techniques - where you stamp on the foam and then stamp the foam onto your paper, not what you do with your honey on Saturday night, what are you thinking?

The Stampin' Up “Lattice” Die was my personal favorite. Not only did it create an intriguing background, but you also get all the groovy inner pieces to make patterns with. Flowers, borders, relief patterns... so much to do with those pieces! I've photographed a few ideas but there's so much more you can do with this, give it a go!

The “Top Note” Die was a great one for watercoloring and kissing – really a unique look.

Sharing your creativity does make a difference to everyone around you. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ginormous Cards

My grandparents recently celebrated their 68th anniversary, and I wanted to commemorate the event with an extra special card.  The finished size of the card is 12" x 9-3/4", able to fit in a standard 10" x 13" mailing envelope.

2 sheets of 12 x 12 card stock
Hearts Framelets 
Big Shot
Tasteful Trim Bigz XL die
Small Heart Punch
Blossom Builder Punch
Scallop Trim Border Punch
Designer Series Paper
Tim Holtz' Grungeboard Numbers

Step 1:  I scored 1 12 x12 sheet of card stock at 9-3/4" and folded it along the score line.  This forms the spine of the card.  The second sheet of card stock I cut at 9-5/8", and adhered it to the inside of the small flap.  This makes the front and back of the card

This is the card, opened on my Simply Scored board to show the scale...

This is the finished card.  I used Tim Holtz' grungeboard numbers to trace the large "68" and cut it out with scissors... I'm too cheap to actually use them, I just keep tracing and cutting them for my projects :)

The stamp sets used are: Perfectly Penned and Elements of Style, ink and card stock colors used are Always Artichoke, River Rock and Calypso Coral, the little hearts were coated with Crystal Effects and let dry - takes about an hour.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Inspiration Everywhere...

Someone recently asked me where I get my inspiration for making cards.  There's inspiration everywhere!  A few good places to look are paper crafting magazines, which are great for demonstrating new products and techniques, another is blog-surfing - also a sure-fire way to find something new to try on your own projects.  Today, we're talking textiles.  In a recent blog, I demonstrated a card modeled after one of my grandmother's needlepoint creations.  This blog is about taking what you see everyday, and letting that fuel your creativity.

My 5 year old son took this photo of me in my favorite T-shirt.  It's a gray background with red, yellow and orange filigree chairs, and it says blah blah blah "coffee" blah blah etc... (I love coffee).  It's a very simple everyday item...

So now, here's the T-shirt in the form of a card - Basic Gray card stock, with Summer Starfruit lattice die cut, and a Riding Hood Red blossom.  The "Thank You" sentiment comes from the Perfectly Penned stamp set, #122890w/112892c stamped in Riding Hood Red classic ink.  Basic Gray is a fantastic launch pad for zany color.

This is a sweater from my church's coat closet... There's no telling who's sweater it is, but as I was hanging up my coat before church one morning, this sweater was there and I had to take a photo of it, it was just too brilliant.

I cut some concentric squares with my paper trimmer, 1-1/2", 1-1/4", 1" and punched a 3/4" circle of Whisper White card stock for the center.  The colors here are:  Elegant Eggplant, Perfect Plum, Wisteria Wonder (purples); Rich Razzleberry, Melon Mambo, Pretty in Pink (pinks).  Sponge the edges in the darkest color, pierce the center of the stack, give each layer a good scrunch, and hold it all together with at brad.  Stampin' Dimensionals are the best way to adhere the flowers to the card front, they give the brad a little cushion as well as popping the flower up off the surface.

The background is a 4" x 5-1/4" piece of vellum card stock, run through the Big Shot with the Houndstooth embossing Folder.  The Label background is Basic Gray card stock cut with a Label Framelets die, and run through the Big Shot with the Square Lattice embossing folder.  The leaves are Summer Starfruit, Lucky Limeaid and Old Olive card stock.  Like the flowers, I sponged the edges in the darkest layer color (Old Olive) and gave each a scrunch.  The leaf shape comes from an old stencil of a rounded triangle, and a little free-hand extrapolation.  Stamp set is Loving Thoughts #125843w/125845c

While neither of these examples are exactly like the originals, the inspiration comes from the forms and colors of the fabrics.  Take a fresh look at your decor, closet , or coat rack, and see what inspires you...


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Here's the color combo for the week:
Midnight Muse - card stock and classic ink
Wisteria Wonder - card stock and classic ink
VersaMark watermark ink for embossing
Regal Rose - card stock and Brights Designer Series Paper
Stamp Set:  Papaya Collage 126612 c $23.95; 126610 w $31.95
Embossing powder:  Whisper White
Background:  Top Note Bigz Die cut in half and flipped (113463 $21.95)
Sponge Daubers; Heat Tool; 1-3/4" Circle Punch; 2-3/8 Scallop Circle Punch

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ode to the Ornament Punch - Part 4

Ode to the Ornament Punch - Part 4 - Flowers

Recently my mom sent me a great birthday card with a focal point of a flower made out of punched circles.  It was such a cute embellishment, it seemed to be a great match for the Ornament punch!

Supplies (available from my Stampin' Up demonstrator website)
Real Red Designer Series Paper (From the Brights Collection Stack, #117155)
Summer Smooches Designer Series Paper (#125409)
Lucky Limeaid, Whisper White, Real Red, Pretty in Pink, Island Indigo card stock 
Island Indigo and Real Red Classic Ink Pads
Pursuit of Happiness set (#121907 wood, #121970 cling)
Multipurpose Adhesive Sheets (#120805)
Ornament Punch, Boho Blossoms Punch, 1" Circle punch

Step 1:  Punch 5 ornaments from the Real Red Designer Series Paper, 2 circles from the Real Red card stock, and 2 circles from the adhesive sheets.  Stick the adhesive circles to the card stock.  

Step 2:  Pinch a pleat into the base of the ornament to create a petal shape.

Step 3: Overlap the petals on the adhesive circle base.

Step 4:  Use second adhesive circle to cover the center and secure the petals in place.

Step 5: Embellish the flower center, here I used the Boho Blossoms Punch and layered a couple little flowers on the center, and polished it off with an adhesive pearl.  Flowers adhere best using Stampin' Dimensionals on the back center.

The background paper shown here is Stampin' Up's Summer Smooches Designer Series Paper.