Friday, April 29, 2011

Takin' It to the Top Revisited!

Having been inspired by the 411 Challenge in my previous post, I decided to redo this Less Is More off-center card posted on April 25th. (First photo.)

First, I used a scalloped square Nestability die for the bird image and sponged the edges with Sahara Sand chalk ink. For texture, I die cut a square of wavy green cs with a larger Nestability, mounted the bird in the center with dimensionals and set it aside.

With Crumb Cake cardstock as my base, I stamped the roses in Versamark to create a background and then mounted the squares on the cardfront. I made a new bow using green and cream embroidery floss, adding it below the image--a little brighter and warmer than on the original card. After sponging the small flower (Hero Arts) with Sahara Sand ink, I chose a small green button and a pearl for the center, placing it on the lower right corner of the image with a glue dot. (Second photo.)

Finally, I stepped it up once more by adding an additional white flower with an antique brad in the center. I also rounded the corners for a softer look. (Last photo.)

Thank you, Gretchen, for encouraging us to look at our cards in a new way!

Takin' It To The Top Challenge

This was a fun challenge suggested by Stamping 411 HERE.

To start, I pulled a simple birthday card from my stash and looked at it with new eyes. It was okay, but not really that special.

For Step 2, I decided to add some contrast with the purple strip from a scrap which happened to match the ink I used for the flower. Using a Martha Stewart punch complemented the scallops around the image. The embroidery floss "tied" the two colors together and added some texture.

For Step 3, I rounded the corners and added a double vellum butterfly. I'm much happier with this card now!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stamp Storage/Organizing

Here's how I have organized my stamps so I can find what I need quickly:

On the closet shelf are seasonal, less frequently used stamp sets. The drawers on the left contain Fall stamps, Spring stamps and JustRite stamps and handles. The Fall and Spring drawers are swapped out as the seasons change. On the right are quilling supplies, House Mouse stamps and Lettering sets. (Not shown is a file drawer underneath my table where I keep evertyhing Christmas, stamps in the top drawer and file folders below with assorted Christmas designer papers.)

Behind closed doors in the cabinet behind where I sit are all the stamps I currently am using. Stacked on the top shelf are all word stamps, with Bible verses on the far right. The containers below are labeled: Birthday (words), Misc. (year-round words and images, such as music notes, all-purpose phrases, backgrounds), Bible verses. The bottom shelf holds All-purpose images, Spring trees and flowers and finally, Cats. Next month, I'll swap out the Spring container and switch to summer flowers.

On the shelf above the doors (not shown) are two plastic containers, one for SU clear mount sets and the other for all my clear stamp sets divided into birthday, nature and florals. Two other containers house my small punches. The larger punches are stored on top of the adjoining cabinet.

Also not shown is a bookcase in the hallway just outside my "tower" door which holds all my older SU sets arranged seasonally and swapped out every now and then according to what I'm currently working on. Magazine holders on the bottom shelf house old catalogs and magazines for inspiration.

I hope this little "tour" helps with ideas for your own stamping supplies!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Stair Step Card

At Mothers Class last Wednesday, we made these Stair Step cards. What fun!

Although they're not too difficult to cut and fold (see SplitCoast Stampers for tutorial,) I purchased a couple of packs of these pre-cut cards for use in the class so that all we'd have to do is add the embellishments.

The daffodils were stamped on white cs first, then restamped on white scraps to pop up the two main blossoms over the first image. After rounding the corners, it was taped over the "grass" on the front layer. Next, the "sky" was mounted on the back step after rounding the top corners. Clouds were cut from a die with the Cuttlebug, added to the sky and outlined with Stickles.

Butterflies were cut from a SU die, in metallic paper and vellum. The large one is layered with vellum over gold metallic with TomBow liquid glue in the crease and yellow Stickles down the center (which hides the glue.) The two smaller ones were done, one in gold and the other in vellum and attached with the same glue. (The TomBow glue holds really well!)

After tying yellow embroidery floss around the center step and adding the greeting in front, the cards were ready for mailing in the envelopes that were included. They also fit in regular A2 envelopes if you make your own.

I used this card for a thankyou note, which I wrote separately and added to the envelope. You could also use the back for a note and signature. Give it a try--it's not as difficult as it looks!

LESS IS MORE--Off Center

The Less Is More challenge this time was to stamp off center. I'm not sure I'm completely satisfied with this one, but it was fun trying.

First I stamped the bird (Hero Arts), then masked it and stamped the roses over it. After coloring with markers, I added the greeting and embroidery floss.

Yes, it is finally Spring here in Northwest New Jersey, and the birds are returning. The daffodils are in full bloom and the buds are swelling on the trees. It has been an unusually long and snowy winter and cold, wet Spring so far.

Monday, April 18, 2011

MFP Challenge--Collage

One of the things I learned at the Allentown Stamp Show last week was how to do a collage; so when Mark's Finest Papers (HERE) issued this week's challenge, I was up for it!

First, I started with a Hero Arts clear design "T" set for the large letter, greeting, swirl and tulips. Then I added some other images from stamps I had on hand. I find it easiest to start with a color scheme and stamps of various sizes. The dots stamp is a nice long one to use across the cardstock (even though most of it is hidden under the T.) The tulips worked nicely over them. I then filled in the open spaces with butterflies and flowers--very Spring-y!

After gluing the "T" to purple metallic cs and carefully cutting around it, I mounted it to the card with dimensionals. Crystal Stickles add some glimmer for the final touch.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

ODBD Challenge--No Coloring

How refreshing to just use stamps and dsp on a card without having to color anything. That was the challenge this week HERE at Our Daily Bread Designs.

After applying dsp to a green card base, I added a coordinating strip to run vertically. I then used another piece of dsp with a muted design for the Bible verse. After adding extra blossoms on the corners, I used some Crystal Stickles for the centers and assembled all the pieces onto the card.

Of course, ODBD Bible verse collections are beautifully lettered--an art in itself!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

God's Timing

Since I'm still down with Bronchitis (all week!) and finally taking antibiotics, I was reminded by the verse on this card I made today that God's timing is perfect. I'm thankful that this illness came before Easter so that I wouldn't have to cancel our family celebration next weekend.

You'd think that with being housebound all week I'd have tons of cards made, but it doesn't work that way. I finally made two cards today that took me all afternoon. Lack of creative energy is the problem. Oh well... (sigh)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Back in the Tower Again

After being clobbered with a nasty head cold and bronchitis this week, I'm finally recovered enough to do some stamping.

Using a window card I purchased at the Stamp Show, I "filled" a sticker vase with a bouquet of flowers sitting on a "table" inside the window. Leaves and flowers were stamped using peg stamps and various inks directly on the "wallpaper" behind.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Allentown Stamp Show

What a smashing success! We had such a good time at the show, and even got to meet one of my favorite bloggers, LeAnne Pugliese of Wee Inklings! Here she is with me and one of my Mothers Class "alumni," Jackie O.

We came home with lots of new "toys" to use and post on our blogs, so stop in again soon.

Only 363 days until the next Show!

Monday, April 4, 2011


...the "I'm too cute to be square" Kitty! (Especially following a mouse card. *wink*)

The OLW challenge this week was to use the sketch of a square card with a border around the center square. I balked at first because I don't usually make square cards; but this one turned out much better than I expected. It also gave me another excuse to use my peg stamps.

For a look at other cards using this sketch, click HERE.

UPDATE: I just realized that I not only matted this image ( a no-no for OLW cards) but double-matted it besides! ...duh... How could I have forgotten that OLW cards have to be one layer??? Don't answer that...

Spotlight Challenge

Speedy the Cat has challenged us to highlight an animal image, so what could be better than a House Mouse scene. Here are the infamous mice "wrapping" swiss cheese squares for gifts...too cute!

For a little sparkle, I used a Sakura clear star pen over the purple ribbon. (Thank you Gina K. for recommending these pens--they're great!) The large circle was then attached with a SU dimensional, the smaller one with ds tape. (Click for a closer view.)

TIP: Highlighting is a great technique for those intricate detail stamps that otherwise would require a lot of coloring. Not only does it go faster, but it also emphasizes the central image beautifully. For more examples of this technique, visit Mark's Finest Papers HERE.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gate Fold Birthday Card

While I don't usually think of black for a birthday card, especially a balloon, this one really works. Using the tiny butterfly that was left over from another card, I mounted it on a scrap piece of black after adding the silver cord.

For the front, I used a black embroidery cord simply knotted to echo the antennae on the butterfly. On the lower right, I added a metal charm that says "Celebrate."

For the inside, I stamped a Hero Arts dotted balloon in the center, also as an echo of the dots on the butterfly. The birthday greeting was mounted on the left to balance my signature and note hand-written on the right (hidden here.)

For a finishing touch, I added clear glaze over the balloon to make it shine. I must confess, I had to add the bow under the balloon with long strings to cover an unwanted line from the edge of the rubber. Don't you just hate when a stamp does that!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


The challenge on Less Is More is to use red, so the first thing I thought of (non-Christmas, that is) was poppies.

First, I embossed the scalloped circle with one of my Nestabilities dies. This was a new learning experience for me, and it took a couple of tries to finally get it right. I then cut another piece of cs with the same die to make a mask so I could sponge some light green around the edge. I also used the mask to stamp the flower, stem and leaf.

The poppy is colored with a Cherry Cobbler SU marker with a black center and some chunky gold glitter. After removing the mask, I stamped the vertical birthday greeting; but it came out crooked--and I mean really crooked! So I had to stamp it again, cut the strip, sponge the edges with green, tie some gold cord around it and mount it over the crooked greeting. Whew!

Check out the other entries for this challenge HERE.