Friday, January 29, 2016

Bringing Birthdays Back

As I mentioned in a previous post, Shannon West has started a movement to bring back the sending of traditional birthday cards in the mail. Too often these days we rely on social media to stay in touch, and I believe we are drifting further apart as a result. We can spend several dollars on a cup of coffee in a coffee shop, but then think it's too expensive to send a card or letter. Really? In my opinion, forty-nine cents isn't too much to tell someone happy birthday, or even that you're just thinking of them. And that birthday card might be the only one they get! How can you NOT send a card?! Okay, hopping off my soapbox now.

I did forget to mention in that post that I am also participating in the #imbringingbirthdaysback movement and will send a birthday card to anyone who sends me their name, address, and birthday. I promise to try to get it sent on time! (And if you want to reciprocate, my birthday is February 6th.)

Smiley from Millan.Net

The card above was sent to someone who didn't even ask to be a part of it, but his keynote speech at the Stampin' Up! Convention a couple years ago really touched my heart. I noticed his birthday was coming up (one good thing about Facebook, I guess), so I asked for his address. I hope he likes it!

I liked it so much that I made eight more similar cards, using up some neglected DSP. If you want to make some quick, cute birthday cards, these would be just the ticket!

Card base: 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" colored cardstock to coordinate with DSP, scored and folded at 4-1/4"
Image panel: 3" x 4" Whisper White
Mat behind image panel: 3-1/8" x 4-1/8" same color as card base

Stamp balloon strings first, making sure to leave room for the stamped small balloons at the top. Stamp small balloons in whatever color your card base is, unless you are using black. (But I guess if someone is having one of "those" milestone birthdays, black balloons might be appropriate!)

If it's a darker color, stamp off once to produce a lighter color. The dots at the bottoms of the balloons can be full strength. On a scrap, stamp the large balloon and dots as you did for the small ones. Punch out with balloon punch or fussy cut, and pop up on Stampin' Dimensionals. Add whatever greeting you want. I did stamp the bow on the first card, but ended up tying little baker's twine bows for the others. I think they looked cuter.

Supplies listed below are for the first card.
STAMPS: Balloon Celebration, Sky Is the Limit (SAB)
CARDSTOCK: Basic Black, Whisper White, Cherry on Top DSP Stack

INK: Basic Black Archival, So Saffron, Crushed Curry, Watermelon Wonder
ACCESSORIES: Balloon Bouquet Punch, Clear Wink of Stella, Stampin' Dimensionals

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Doe, a Deer

We have a lot of deer around here and really enjoy watching them, as do our neighbors, Erika and Iven. His birthday is coming up in a couple weeks, so I thought a deer-themed card would be very appropriate. Iven is the one who told us about putting a salt lick out for the deer, which we did. They discovered it a couple days ago. They are such beautiful, graceful creatures!

STAMPS: In the Meadow, Sky Is the Limit (SAB)
CARDSTOCK: Whisper White, Kraft
INK: Basic Black Archival, Pool Party, Copic Markers BG11, E13, E15, E39, E50, G24
ACCESSORIES: Big Shot, Woodland embossing folder (coming back in the annual catalog in June!), Sharpie Extra Fine White Poster Paint Marker, Pool Party seam binding ribbon (ret.), Stampin' Dimensionals

Friday, January 22, 2016

And Then THIS Happened!

We got our first real snow at our new home two days ago, about 6-1/2". Pretty exciting stuff for these SoCal to Tennessee transplants. Yesterday it warmed up and about 2-3" melted, but today and tomorrow we are getting the edge of Winter Storm Jonas, so we may get another 5-10 inches! Today's total so far is 3 inches. The picture is the view out of my craft room window. I'm all warm and cozy with the wood stove behind me, a cup of mint tea beside me, and the occasional WHUMP of snow sliding off the roof outside. Fun times!

I'm making and sending birthday cards like crazy, so that's probably all you'll be seeing from me for a while. Just remember, you can change the greeting on them and use them for almost any occasion, not just birthdays!

I am so in love with the Sale-A-Bration stamp sets! Isn't this one just the sweetest? It's called Flowering Fields and it looks like what I'd expect to see in a wild meadow in the Spring, complete with butterfly! And yes, I did have to bling the flowers and butterfly up with some Wink of Stella. It really made the perfect embellishment on this CAS card!

Don't forget you can earn the S.A.B. items for FREE with a qualifying purchase. If you are in need of an Occasions catalog or a Sale-A-Bration flyer, let me know!

STAMPS: Flowering Fields, Build a Birthday
CARDSTOCK: Whisper White Thick, Watercolor Paper (2-1/8" x 4-1/2", stamped, colored, and cut into thirds
INK: Basic Black Archival, Calypso Coral, Crushed Curry, Watermelon Wonder, Blackberry Bliss, Mossy Meadow, Cucumber Crush
ACCESSORIES: Blender Pens, Clear Wink of Stella, Gold Wink of Stella, Stampin' Dimensionals (*gasp* no Mr. Big, again!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Loving the Freaks!

Now that things have settled down in our new home, and the craft room is up and running at full speed, I can get freaky with my fellow Control Freak Stampers once again. It sure feels great to be back! This month the theme is "Love is in the Air", which means anthing love-related, but not necessarily a Valentine. Did you see what Connie Babbert did? Uh-MAZE-ing!

I have three little cards for you today; two Valentine-y ones, and one just letting him know I love him. (I'd planned a treat holder, too, but ran out of time. Oh well....still working the kinks out of my crafting muscle.) For my first card, I tried to keep it simple yet elegant. It's a little non-traditional with the Crumb Cake color added, but I think it works, don't you?

STAMPS: First Sight, Bloomin' Love   CARDSTOCK: Whisper White, Crumb Cake   INK: Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler   ACCESSORIES: Big Shot, Happy Heart TIEF, Sweetheart Punch

Next up is another card with non-traditional colors, but I think it's also kind of elegant. This uses the fabulous Bloomin' Heart Thinlits Die, and if you simply MUST get it, I highly recommend getting the Big Shot Die Brush to go with it. It made getting rid of all those tiny fussy bits in the die-cut a piece o' cake, and saved me tearing my hear out, I can tell you! Here's a little hint, though - don't use it if you're cutting any of our foil papers. Ask me how I know (and don't look too closely at this card, lol). Hello Honey was the color of the cardstock flowers, and I thought it was just so.... appropriate!

STAMPS: Bloomin' Love   CARDSTOCK: Basic Black, Hello Honey, Gold Foil, Gold Fancy Foil Vellum   INK: VersaMark   ACCESSORIES: Big Shot, Elegant Dots TIEF, Bloomin' Heart Thinlits Dies, Big Shot Die Brush, Heat Tool, Black Stampin' Emboss Powder, Embossing Buddy, Pearl Basic Jewels

And last, but not least, another simple card that I'm going to give to my honey "just because."  It probably doesn't show, but there's some Clear Wink of Stella on the propellar so it looks like a shiny propellar spinning. (Before we retired, we used to live near a small airport, and the planes that towed banners over the beach and sporting events would fly over our house. And no, I don't miss that AT ALL!) He will get a Valentine, too, but sometimes you just have to let them know you luv 'em, even when it isn't a holiday, or anniversary, or birthday, or....

STAMPS: Sky is the Limit (SAB freebie)   CARDSTOCK: Basic Black, Whisper White, Pool Party, Vellum, Watercolor Paper   INK: Basic Black Archival, Smoky Slate, Real Red, Pool Party   ACCESSORIES: Aqua Painter, Whisper White Baker's Twine, Clear Wink of Stella, Tree Builder Punch

That's all for me today. Just click the links at the end of each blog to continue on the hop. Up next is Mindy Backes, and I'm sure she has something absolutely LOVEly to share! (See what I did there? Heh heh.)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Because She's Awesome

I am sending this to a most awesome person who thinks that Facebook is ruining birthday cards (I agree), and is starting a movement to get people to send REAL cards in the mail, and using the #‎imbringingbirthdaysback hashtag on Facebook‬. She said she'd send a card to anyone who responded to her post about it, and at last count there were over 780 replies! She's going to be one very busy crafter!!! Anyhow, she has inspired other cardmakers to do the same, which I also think is very awesome. I wanted to send her a little note letting her know, and this was the result.

The card was very quick and easy to make using the Botanical Builder Framelits Dies, Botanical Gardens DSP, and one of the Suite Sayings stamps, yet I'm sure it will make her smile.

Think about how good it feels to find something other than bills or advertisements in your mailbox. Something unexpected, something just for YOU. Doesn't it make you feel special?! Well, how about sharing that feeling with others? It doesn't even have to be their birthday because, let's face it, that only happens once a year and it's nice to be in touch a little more often than that, right?

It takes so little effort to make a simple card, and as I state in the Welcome message on my business website, "That little piece of paper is VERY powerful! It brings joy to the creator and to the recipient - what a wonderful thing!"

Now go get busy and make a card to brighten someone's day. You'll feel good and so will they. Spread the love!
Smiley from Millan.Net
If you need supplies, or have questions about getting started, please contact me and I'll get right back to you!

STAMP: Suite Sayings
CARDSTOCK: Basic Black, Whisper White, Botanical Gardens DSP, Black Glimmer Paper (ret.)
INK: Basic Black Archival
ACCESSORIES: Big Shot, Botanical Builder Framelits Dies, Tags & Labels Framelits Dies, Stampin' Dimensionals

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Birthdays Keep a-Comin'!

Yep, that greeting about sums it up. Except, I might edit it to "cake and ice cream." You have to have ice cream too, right???
Smiley from Millan.Net
This is a super-easy card to make. Just use some Birthday Bouquet DSP for your background (cut 4" x 5-1/4") and if you feel like it add a mat (4-1/8" x 5-3/8") behind it before adhering it to the card base. The second piece of DSP was cut 1-7/8" x 3-5/8" and the mat behind it was 2" x 3-3/4". I don't remember how big I cut the image panel, sorry!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Just Kidding Trio

I had  boat load of birthday cards to make this month, and felt that Just Kidding wasn't getting enough love, so I decided to take the one image and use it three ways.

I started by choosing colors from Birthday Bouquet DSP, then stamping and coloring the images all the same. It was fun choosing the different colors, textures, and embellishments (and a fun fold!) that made each card unique.

I have to tell you, that greeting just tickles my funny bone, especailly since most of my friends and family are of a "certain" age. The kicker is the sentiment inside. (Snort!)

STAMPS: Just Kidding
CARDSTOCK: Whisper White, Pool Party, Lost Lagoon, Birthday Bouquet DSP, Blushing Bride Glimmer Paper
INK: Memento Tuxedo Black, various Copic markers
ACCESSORIES: Big Shot, Filigree Frame and Square Lattice embossing folders (both retired), Pool Party ribbon (ret.), Clear Wink of Stella Glitter Brush, Love Blossoms Embellishment Kit

Monday, January 11, 2016

Wild About Retirement

STAMPS: Wild About Flowers   CARDSTOCK: Very Vanilla   INK: Pear Pizzazz, Crushed Curry, Early Espresso   ACCESSORIES: Big Shot, Square Lattice EF (ret.), Lot of Labels Framelits Dies, Linen Thread, Stampin' Dimensionals, Stamping Sponges
Yes, we are! My honey says he's still trying to find something bad about it, and hasn't come up with anything yet. LOL

This card was made for my friend (and upline!) Rosalie's husband, who just joined the club. It uses the Wild About Flowers stamp set, hence the "Wild About Retirement" post title. I love two-step stamping, and since it's a photopolymer set, it's easy to see the placement of Step 2.
I cut the label out first, then ran the negative cut through the Big Shot with the embossing folder. After stamping and inking the edges of the label, it was popped up on two layers of dimensionals.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Fun With Brushos

No, that's not a typo in the post title; it's not brushes! Brusho is an intensely pigmented water-based paint powder available in various colors. It's easy to use, and fun because you never know exactly how it's going to turn out. It's a surprise every time! The easiest way to use it (I think) is to heavily mist some watercolor paper, choose some colors and then sprinkle them on randomly. If you want, you can spritz extra water on to make the colors run more. This would be great for the emboss-resist technique! After it's to your liking you can let it air dry, or speed things along with a Heat Tool on the low setting.

Now for even more artsy-fartsy fun, dip your fingers in water and flick some droplets on the dried paper. Let it sit for a minute and then blot the drops off. It removes some of the color and creates a neat Bokeh effect!

As you can see, I'm still loving the Birthday Blooms stamp set. This time I used the smaller single blossom, stamped on watercolor paper and colored with a a blender pen and ink pads. Of course, I had to add a little sparkle with some Wink of Stella on the flower and its visitor. That tiny butterfly is from the free Sale-A-Bration set called Flowering Fields. Isn't it a cutie?

After the flower image was die cut, I treaced around the outside of the die to create a mat for the image. If you look closely, you can see the edges of the flower panel are edged in Gold Wink of Stella - really makes it pop!

STAMPS: Birthday Blooms, Flowering Fields (SAB) 
CARDSTOCK: Whisper White, Watercolor Paper, Have a Cuppa DSP Stack 
INK: Basic Black Archival, Daffodil Delight, Crushed Curry, Cucumber Crush 
ACCESSORIES: Big Shot, Lots of Labels Dies, Blender Pens, Clear Wink of Stella, Gold Wink of Stella, Stampin' Dimensionals, Daffodil Delight ribbon (ret.)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Final Christmas Card

STAMPS: Happy Scenes (ret.)  CARDSTOCK: Whisper White, Basic Black, Winter Wonderland Designer Vellum Stack (ret.)   INK: Basic Black Archival, Memento Tuxedo Black, Real Red marker, Copic BG000   ACCESSORIES: Big Shot, Softly Falling EF, Clear Wink of Stella Glitter Brush, Gold Cording Trim (ret.), Stampin' Dimensionals
This is the last of the cards I designed for last Christmas. I REALLY loved how the Clear Wink of Stella added just the right amount of sparkle to the snow.

And, of course, I loved the cardinals, since they are here flitting about every morning (once it warms up enough)!

Now that my craft room is up and running, next month I will estimate how many cards I'll need for Christmas 2016, divide that number by 10 and get started on making them. That way I'll have them done in November and can get them sent on time right after Thanksgiving. Last year it was the week before Christmas before they went out, and I have a feeling some didn't get delivered until the day after. Bad Cindy!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Today's the Day!!!

STAMPS: Birthday Blooms   CARDSTOCK: Lost Lagoon, Whisper White, White Corrugated Paper,Lost Lagoon DSP (ret.), Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper, Watercolor Paper   INK: VersaMark, Basic Black Archival, Watermelon Wonder, Pear Pizzazz, Crushed Curry   ACCESSORIES: Big Shot, Lots of Labels Dies, Whisper White Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Aqua Painter
I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it - I'm about to lose control and I think I like it! Today the new Occasions Catalog starts, and so does Sale-A-Bration! And when I say I'm about to lose control, I really mean it....I love EVERYTHING in the new catalog! Luckily for me (and for you, too), we get to choose a FREE Sale-A-Bration item for every $50 in pre-tax product we purchase. So not only do we get good stuff, but we get MORE good stuff!

Smiley from Millan.Net

Check out the links to the catalogs on the left or, if you don't have a Stampin' Up! demonstrator and would like me to send you a copy of your own, let me know!

And to make it even sweeter, during Sale-A-Bration Stampin' Up! is adding an additional $30 in merchandise to the starter kit. So for $99 with free shipping, you get $155 in products of your choice! It's easy and painless to join, and there's no further obligation or any penalty if you decide to drop. But I have a feeling you'll want to stay and get all the perks of being a demo! Ask me what they are!

This card uses the very fun to color Birthday Blooms stamp set, and was made for a friend who I miss very much. We had so much fun stamping together, and she showed me the best place in San Diego to get genuine English fish & chips, with mushy peas. I miss you, Diane, more than you know!

P.S. That Clear Wink of Stella Glitter Brush Marker used on the petals is one of my favorite items in the catalog. You know me and shiny things!!!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

So somehow I miscalculated how many Christmas cards I would need this year, and ended up ten short. Eep! Since I wanted to use the adorable Home for Christmas DSP as the focal point, I figured I could just whip out ten quick cards. But nooOOOoo....I got hung up on the vintage cuteness of the little reindeer and ended up fussy-cutting them to use on the cards.

And did I choose just one for each card? NooOOOoo, I had to use two on each card. Sheesh. But I think they did turn our super cute, so it was worth it. (I hope the recipients appreciated how much work went into their cards!)

What I didn't realize when cutting them all out, was that the direction they were facing would make a difference in the balance of the card. With the standing deer on the right, the card looked lopsided, so I had to do some fiddling of embellishments to help it look right.

So, which one do you like better? My original above, or the "fiddled" one below?

Unfortunately, the Home for Christmas DSP is already sold out, but the wooden Snowflake Elements are still available until Jan. 4, while supplies last!