Friday, March 30, 2012

For My Friend

Last week, a friend of mine, a stamping sister and sideline SU demonstrator, lost her battle with cancer.  I am still dumbfounded, because we had just had lunch together a couple weeks prior, and were making plans for Convention and to get together for brainstorming project ideas for our customer friends.  My heart breaks for her two teenage sons, as well as her husband.

This card was sent to her family with a personal message inside.  I'd like to tell her sons how much their mom loved them, and some of the funny stories she told about them in stamp club  when I see them. She loved her boys so much!

More bad news; my father is back in the hospital. The infection has reappeared, and this time it's around the stent holding together his abdominal aortic aneurism.  They're pulling out the heavy artillery to try to knock the infection down.  He says his appetite is still good, so I hope he can keep putting on some weight, despite the hospital food.

And, since bad news seems to come in threes, my cousin's daughter Rayanna, who has been fighting leukemia so bravely for the last five of her eight year life, is in the ICU with a brain infection.  They have never been able to get her well, despite the perfect-match bone marrow transplant. It's been one thing after another after another, and I'm really afraid this might be the last straw. Her little body just can't take any more.

So, dear visitors, I am sorry to be a Debbie Downer today, but it's really hard for me to put on a happy face. If you're the praying type, please keep Cindy Ring's family, my dad, and Rayanna in your prayers. They all could really use it.

Stamp: Loving Thoughts
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Mocha Morning DSP, Crumb Cake DSP (retired Hostess Pack)
Ink: Basic Black, Soft Suede
Accessories: Basic Black 5/8" Satin Ribbon, i" Square Punch (cut banner ends), Stampin' Sponges

Happy New Home, FMS28 and CQC130

My cousin just moved to a new place, and I wanted to create bright, cheerful card to celebrate this happy event. This week's ColourQ Challenge #130 fit the bill perfectly; I couldn't have chosen happier colors!

And (now don't fall off your seat!) I combined it with another challenge, using the fab sketch from this week's Freshly Made Sketches #28.  As soon as I saw this sketch, I saw a Z-Fold card!

Not having any house-type stamps made it necessary to improvise, but I think the paper-pieced house turned out kinda cute.

So, if you're mojo seems to have left the building, as mine has this week, pop on over to either (or BOTH) of the challenges and get some inspiration!

Stamps: Baroque Motif, Party Time
Cardstock: Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise, Melon Mambo, Certainly Celery, plus Daffodil Delight DSP and Melon Mambo DSP (retired)
Ink: Certainly Celery and Basic Black Classic
Accessories: Scallop Trim Border Punch, 1-3/8" Square Punch, Small Heart Punch, Pearls Basic Jewels, White Gel Pen, Stampin' Dimensionals, Tombow Mono Multi

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One More For Baby

This will be the last baby card for now. I have other things I need to get done (like the stinkin' taxes)! Again, the card needed to be gender-neutral, and yellow or green have been so over done, don't you think? The thought of using purple or orange did cross my mind, but they aren't really favorites of mine, so I tried to stick with something really neutral.  And what could be more neutral than Crumb Cake?
The three stamped images looked kind of boring on the plain white card base. Adding the embossed hearts and popping the images up on dimensionals gave the card a little more interest, but it still needed something. Poppy Parade Stampin' Write Marker to the rescue! Now the card is more visually appealing.

And, as always (but especially now), the photo doesn't do it justice. My back up camera just can't seem to focus properly, no matter what setting I'm using, so everything looks soft-focus. That wasn't my intent, darn it!

Stamps: Baby Bundle, Curly cute
Cardstock: Whisper White, Crumb Cake
Ink: Crumb Cake Classic, Poppy Parade Stampin' Write Marker
Accessories: Big Shot, Adorning Accents Hearts embossing folder, Crumb Cake 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon, Crumb Cake Button, Linen Thread, Stampin' Dimensionals

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bundle of Joy

Another baby card completed this weekend! I had forgotten all about Teddy & Train until I went through the box of retired stamps. In trying to make a gender-neutral card, I had to forgo the cute little train, but the teddy bear was perfect.  It was colored with Copic markers, because I really wanted to blend the colors - the paper it was stamped upon had to be Very Vanilla to match the DSP.  Kind of hard to blend regular ink without making the paper pill up and get all wonky.

I'm always sorry to see stamp sets retire, but also excited to see what new ones will be coming out. Yes, I am conflicted that way. (Some might say psycho, lol.) We only have five days left of Sale-A-Bration, and about five weeks left of the Occasions Mini catalog. Then those stamps will be gone, gone, gone!  And all the lovely Designer Series Papers. *sniff!* Though I gotta be totally honest; those gnomes will not be missed by me at ALL.

Stamps: Teddy & Train
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Wild Wasabi, Bridesmaid DSP (retired)
Ink: VersaMark, Memento Tuxedo Black, Copic Sketch Markers
Accessories: Very Vanilla 5/8" Satin Ribbon, Pearls Basic Jewels, Pinking Hearts Border Punch

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Congratulations, Baby!

This card was so much fun to make - simple, yet elegant.  Someone had done gold embossing on yellow cardstock, and I thought it looked pretty neat. Then I remembered our Brushed Gold cardstock, something that I usually forget about until the holidays roll around. I just knew the shiny gold embossing on the brushed gold finish would look great!

I'm already thinking about how I'm going to incorporate this into April's Christmas Club!

Stamps: Packed For Baby, Baby Bundle
Cardstock: Whisper White, Early Espresso, Brushed Gold
Ink: VersaMark, Early Espresso
Accessories: Big Shot, Perfect Polka-Dots embossing folder, Heat Tool, Gold Stampin' Emboss Powder, Decorative Label Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals, gold organza ribbon (non-SU)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Window on Easter

This is one of the cards we made at the Springtime/Easter cards class on Wednesday. It's a relatively easy card to make. The only possible trouble one would have would be if using the paper cutter to cut the frame was too challenging.  Oh, and then there's the bow, for my bow-challenged friends.

But I think next time I will emboss the frame. It looks a little too plain to me now. And maybe trim the ends of the vellum to make a banner. And add some Dazzling Details to the flowers.  Haha! I definitely subscribe to the more is more theory!

Apologies for the recent series of less than sharp photos. My regular camera has been in the shop for a few weeks and, due to the floods in Thailand, parts for my Nikon are somewhat delayed. That's okay, I can wait. I do have a camera that works okay, and my broken camera pales in comparison to what those poor people have had to endure. Perspective, friends. It's all about perspective.

Have a blessed weekend!

Stamps: Simply Soft (greeting non-SU)
Cardstock: Concord Crush, Wisteria Wonder, Whisper White, Shimmery White, White Vellum Cardstock
Ink: Jet Black Staz-On, plus Old Olive, Pink Pirouette, and Regal Rose Stampin' Write Markers
Accessories: Scallop Trim Border Punch, Silver Mini Brads, Whisper White 5/8" Organza Ribbon, Paper Cutter (and NO Big Shot, can you believe it?!)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Get Well, Dude

How do you make a get well card for a teenage boy? It can't be all flowery, and a sports-theme isn't appropriate in this case. He has a brain injury and has to take it easy for six months.

This was the best I could do, given the circumstances. The unusual color combination is actually one found in nature! I saw this picture of birds on Pinterest, and immediately thought "Pool Party, Cajun Craze, So Saffron", along with black and white.
I hope he likes it. I've never really met him face-to-face, but I know his mom from stamping. So that makes me practically an aunt, right?

Get well, Joshua!

Stamps: Grunge Rock (and a single SU stamp that says ©2002 - don't know what set)
Cardstock: Pool Party, Cajun Craze, So Saffron, Basic Black, Whisper White, Domestic Goddess DSP
Ink: Cajun Craze andBasic Black Classic, Pool Party Stampin' Write Marker
Accessories: Big Shot, Houndstooth embossing folder, Color Spritzer Tool, Tag Punch, Scallop Trim Border Punch, small glitter brads and black hemp cord (both non-SU)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sympathy for a Friend

Here's another one of those "difficult" cards to make, but this time it's not a masculine card. It such a struggle to make a sympathy card because of the emotion involved - there's just no way to turn a few pieces of cardstock and some ink into an expression of what I'm feeling. I can only hope the recipients receive a small measure of comfort that I was thinking of them, and keeping them in my prayers.

This is a variation of a tri-fold card. It was inspired by this card by Chris Smith. I moved the flap down a bit, and thought the greeting would be perfect just below the flap. The deep black of the satin ribbon belly band marks the solemnity of the occasion. It slips off so the bow doesn't need to be retied.

Stamps: Thoughts & Prayers, Loving Thoughts
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Basic Black
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Big Shot, Edgelits Dies, Basic Black 5/8" Satin Ribbon, Black Rhinestone Jewels (retired)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SUOC41 - Is it Spring or is it Autumn?

Happy first full day of Spring! The SUO challenge this week is to make a Spring-y card, but if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, an Autumn-y card will do!  I think the freaky weather we've been having here in the States means you could make just about ANY seasonal card, and it would be right. Crazy stuff, huh?

This was the other card I made while Jennifer was visiting. I tell ya, I felt so inadequate when she was finishing her third card, and I was just barely getting started on my second! Sometimes (most of the time) it takes me a while to figure it all out. :-D  This was the sketch Jennifer and I used for this week's challenge:
I love how unique our two cards turned out!
Did you know you can curl the SAB ribbon? That's right...just like you would gift wrap ribbon! Pull it between your thumb and a pair of scissors several times until you get the amount of curl you want.  Since there was a lot going on with the flowers on this card, I opted for a few curls of ribbon, rather than The Bow.

Stamps: Perfectly Penned, En Francais
Cardstock: Whisper White, Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, Chocolate Chip, Certainly Celery, Nursery Nest DSP
Ink: Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, Early Espresso
Accessories: Big Shot, Little Leaves Sizzlit Die, Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, 5-Petal Flower Punch, Scallop Border Punch, Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack, Everyday Enchantment 1/8" Organdy SAB Ribbon, Pearls Basic Jewels, In Color Designer Printed Brads, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots

Monday, March 19, 2012

Organizing Ink Refills

Here's a little tip my upline, Rosalie, shared with me....punch a 1/4" circle of cardstock, and adhere it to the top of the matching ink refill cap with a dot of Crystal Effects. They fit perfectly!  Since it's a good idea to store your ink in a dark place to prevent the colors from changing/fading, I keep mine in a basket in the top drawer of my craft desk. I can tell at a glance which color I need to grab when it's time to re-ink a Stampin' Pad!  Note: always double-check to make sure you have the right color before re-inking - I know some stamping friends (who shall remain nameless) who accidentally used the wrong color!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My First MDS Hybrid!

No, it's not a fossil-fuel-sipping vehicle, it's a card made with an image I printed out of My Digital Studio! I needed the image in a hurry, and if I ordered the stamp set, it would have taken nearly a week for it to arrive. Sooo, I got the digital download of the Established Elegance stamp set instead, and instantly had the images I needed.  I wasn't sure if my printer* would match the colors of the DSP and cardstock, but it did - perfectly!  Just so no cardstock would be wasted, the Very Vanilla sheet was filled with the same image, with different colors chosen for each one. Now they'll be handy for future projects.

Stamps: Four Frames, Timeless Treasures, dressform digital image Established Elegance MDS download
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Marina Mist, Soft Suede, Beau Chateau DSP
Ink: Soft Suede Classic
Accessories: Decorative Label Punch, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Very Vanilla Seam Binding Ribbon, Very Vanilla Satin Roses (retired), Hat Pin, Pearls Basic Jewels, Mat Pack, Paper Piercing Tool, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals, pearl beads (non-SU)

* It's a Dell 2150cn Color Laser printer that can handle 110 lb. cardstock....that's what Santa brought for Christmas, and I LOVE it! Warms up super fast, prints super fast, and the print quality is amazing.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Christmas in March

This is the card we'll be making in the Christmas Club tomorrow.  It features Jennifer Timko's method of bow-tying, and I hope my club members enjoy it!  Jennifer and I even made a short video tutorial while she was visiting. You can see it HERE. My bows still need some work, but they're looking better, now that she showed me how! (BTW, this was tied with a square knot - you'll know what I mean when you see the video.)

This card by Mercedes Weber was the inspiration (thanks, Mercedes!), and I only made minor modifications to it. I wanted to make it an A2 size, and I like the kind of aged look of Crumb Cake and Chocolate Chip together. Other than that, it's pretty much a direct CASE.

Stamps: Plant Hope, Petite Pairs
Cardstock: Whisper White, Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip
Ink: VersaMark, Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Big Shot, Northern Flurry embossing folder, Heat Tool, Embossing Buddy, White Stampin' Emboss Powder, Crumb Cake 1/2" Seam Binding Ribbon, Rhinestones Basic Jewels, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Team Meeting & a Sneak Peek

This is the card we made at my downline meeting last night. We used the Summer Smooches DSP, which is so bright and cheerful - I just LOVE it!  If you join Stampin' Up!, you can pre-order this paper (and a bunch of other stuff) now; if you are a customer, you'll have to wait until April 1st for the promotion to start. (For more details, click on the top button on the left.)
This is a Joy Fold card, with the top flap option. (If you scroll down the SCS tutorial, you'll find the measurements for this option right under the YouTube video.) The top flap is held in place by a 1" circle, stamped, popped up on a dimensional, and barely peeking out from under the blossom.

There are actually two sneak peeks on this card - the Summer Smooches DSP and the Summer Smooches Fabric Designer Brads!

Stamps: Mixed Bunch, Perfect Punches
Cardstock: Island Indiso, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White, Summer Smooches DSP
Ink: Island Indigo, and Daffodil Delight Classic
Accessories: Blossom Punch, 1" Circle Punch, Daffodil Delight Seam Binding Ribbon, Summer Smooches Fabric Designer Brads, Stampin' Dimensionals

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fun Times and a Sneak Peek!

Wow, what a whirlwind of fun I had with Jennifer Timko!  It was such a treat for me to be able to stop what I was creating and ask her opinion on a particular element, because I so admire her style.  I wish we lived closer!

We worked on an upcoming SUO Challenges theme (that I can't show you yet), but this one I can share with you.....
Ladies and gentlemen, please pay particular attention to that bow, and the lovely seam binding ribbon with which it was made.  That's Daffodil Delight seam binding ribbon, and it will be available for pre-order from the new Stampin' Up! annual catalog starting April 1st!!!  There will be other selected items from the new catalog in the Summer Smooches promotion, as well. The order period is April 1-30, and I'll be featuring some of the new items over the next couple of weeks, so be sure to check back!
Jennifer showed me her trick for making her exquisite bows, which I hope to be able to show you if the video turned out. That's my project for later today, after the refrigerator repairman's visit. (Funny coincidence - Jennifer had the exact same thing happen to her fridge - same make and model!)

Stamp: None!
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Baja Breeze, White Vellum Cardstock, Attic Boutique DSP
Ink: Baja Breeze Classic
Accessories: Big Shot (big surprise, eh?), Perfect Polka-Dots folder, Beautiful Butterflies Bigz Die, 2½" Circle Punch, Pearls Basic Jewels, Daffodil Delight Seam Binding Ribbon

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

SUOC40, It's Fun Being Green!

I was having so much fun stamping and chatting with Jennifer Timko, I totally forgot to post my card for this week's challenge. Sorry, folks!

When I learned of the theme for the SUO challenge, and the timing, of course the first thing that came to mind was St. Patrick's Day. So I went to grab my St. Paddy's-themed stamps.......*crickets chirping*.  What the...?  I don't OWN any?!  The closest thing I had was the "Happy o' birthday" greeting in the On Your Birthday stamp set. Hmmm, do I know anyone with such a specific birth date?

Well, it just so happens that I know THREE people who were born on St. Patrick's Day, my cousin's triplets!  The next task was to improvise a shamrock, and the Hearts Collection Framelits had the perfect size for the job.

Tomorrow I'll post a couple of pictures from the stamp-fest or, as Jennifer called it, the stamp-a-pa-looza!  I am embarrassed to admit, I only got two cards finished.  But I sure had a lot of fun making them! And Jen - I didn't mean to imply that the room would be a mess when you left. Just that in a day or two it will look like a hurricane blew through - Hurricane Cindy!

Stamp: On Your Birthday
Cardstock:  Very Vanilla, Garden Green, Basic Black, Nursery Nest DSP
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Big Shot, Square Lattice folder, Scallop Trim Border Punch, Scallop Trim Corner Punch, Metallics Brads

Monday, March 5, 2012

No Card Today

Guest Stamper's Spot
Free Smiley Courtesy of
I'm so excited because I finally get to meet IN PERSON, a stamper whose work I have admired for quite a while.  Jennifer Timko of Stampin' on the Fly is a pilot (hence her blog name) and sister Stampin' Addict, and has a layover here in San Diego, so we get to play in my little stamp cave! SQUEEEEE!  In addition to her classy cards, she makes the most amazing bows, and is going to show me how she works her voodoo over ribbon that frequently refuses to cooperate for me.

Of course, knowing that another stamper was going to see my stamp room was just the inspiration I needed to clean up and organize it, as best I could.  It's a really tiny room, and I have waaaayyy too much shi, er...stuff crammed in there.  I finally had DH install the ribbon organizers I got for a bargain, and I put all the lovely (uncooperative) ribbon away.  Just lookie!
My stampin' area is just off camera, to the right.  It all looks so tidy now, but you can bet as soon as Jennifer leaves, the room will be a shambles again. Anyhoo, I took pictures, so I have proof it was reasonably organized, if only for a brief moment. Everything is in order, including the supply of chocolate, coffee, and wine (and/or margaritas)!  Let the stamping begin!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

EEP! A Week!

Can't believe a week has flown by since my last post! Where did the time go???

This is one of the cards that I've been commissioned to make. I think it would work equally well as a masculine birthday card, don't you? Just change out the greeting.

Have you noticed I've been on a Lovely As a Tree kick lately? Can't help it....I think it's about the most versatile stamp set I've ever used!

Stamps: Lovely As a Tree, Blessings From Heaven, Woodgrain
Cardstock: More Mustard Textured, Crumb Cake, Cajun Craze, Basic Black, Watercolor Paper
Ink: Staz-On Jet Black, plus Soft Suede, More mustard, Cajun Craze, and Early Espresso Classic
Accessories: More Mustard Brads (Regals Brads PAck), Blender Pens, Color Spritzer Tool