Monday, January 31, 2011

Elegant Soiree Morning Cup & Ruffled Ribbon Tutorial

  Well we're still on the mend here at my house after the plague swept through over the weekend.  My oldest stayed home from school today but hopefully all will be well tomorrow.  Stomach bugs are not for the faint hearted (or weak stomached) let me tell you!  I hope to get back to my stamp room to make some new projects to share but for now here is the second card we made at my stamp club last Tuesday (I hope none of you ladies got sick from being at my house!!).

  I love the color combination of the Elegant Soiree DSP and decided to pair it up with some ruffled ribbon and the Morning Cup stamp set.   This card is pretty straightforward but a few neat tips that I showed my stampers the other night really make it a great card (if I do say so myself).  First, we used the Clear Mount version of Morning Cup so that we could mount the teacup & the teapot on the same clear block so you only have to ink up once and your 2 images are always perfectly aligned.  This is a great way to cut down on your time if you're stamping multiples (think Christmas cards).  The images were colored using the Baja Breeze marker as well as a little tiny pearl on the flower on the teacup (probably hard to see in the photo but it's there!).

  The next cool thing is the little "tea"rific label.  Did you notice it's the same shape as the Decorative Label Punch just a little smaller?  It's really easy to make this little mini tag using the Decorative Label Punch.  Just stamp your sentiment on a narrow scrap of card stock (I think I used about 11/2" strip).  Line up your cardstock in the punch so your sentiment is on the shorter side and punch.  You'll get a cute little tab and it's the perfect size to highlight those smaller sentiments that would otherwise get lost if you didn't jazz them up a bit.

  Now on to the fun ruffled ribbon...  The new seam binding ribbon is great for this technique as it doesn't add a lot of bulk or weight to your card so it will still mail easily.  Start with about 12 inches of ribbon if you want it to go across the wide part of your card.  Add a loose knot to the very end of one side.

Don't mind my messy scrap paper- Remember I can't throw anything away!

 Then fray the end without the knot so you can see the individual strands that make up the ribbon.

This is kind of what my hair looks like in the morning!
 Now grab just a few of the the strands that are sticking out in the middle.  Hold them tight and just pull down slightly on the rest of the ribbon.  You'll see how it begins to gather. 

  Keep holding tight to the few long strands and work the gathering all the way down to the end.  The knot helps keep the strands from pulling all the way out (ask me how I figured that one out!) as well as leaving a little bit of flat ribbon to adhere behind your DSP.  Keep working it all the way down.  You can always adjust the gathering to suit your tastes by making it tighter or pulling it back to make it looser.  If you want it more ruffled than this you'll have to add to your original length to make sure you have enough.  Hope that was as clear as mud!

 To keep your ruffled ribbon from shifting on your card front you can add a bit of SNAIL to the DSP and the ribbon will stick right on.  Hope this was helpful!

  Thanks for looking!  Happy Stamping!

Stamps: Morning Cup

Ink: Soft Suede, Baja Breeze (marker)

Paper: Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Very Vanilla, Elegant Soiree DSP

Accessories: Seam Binding ribbon, Decorative Label punch, Pearl jewel

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Inlaid Embossing Valentine

  Sorry I haven't posted in a while, first I was getting ready to host a party, then I was getting ready for stamp club on Tuesday, then a stomach bug hit our house hard at the end of the week.  We made it 4 1/2 years with kids before having to tackle the dreaded throw up so I guess we were probably due.  We're all on the mend but it's a slow pajama day here that's for sure.

  On to the good stuff...We made this card on Tuesday at my first stamp club of the year.  This card is one that looks way more complicated than it really is.  This technique is called Inlaid Embossing and you use your Big Shot and an embossing folder. 

  We punched out a bunch of hearts in Real Red and Basic Gray and adhered them to the Whisper White panel.  I had Tombow Multi glue, 2 Way Glue pens and Red Sticky Strip and they all seemed to work just fine on the hearts.  After your hearts are stuck down run the whole sheet through the Big Shot using the Square Lattice Die embossing folder.  Check out this close up....Looks so cool!

  The embossing folder presses the hearts into the Whisper White cardstock and make them all look like one sheet of cardstock.

  The other really cool thing about this card is the red Glimmer Paper heart.  The Glimmer Paper is so get all the sparkle and shimmer of glitter without the mess!  Your stamp room, house and family won't be covered in glitter after making a project with this paper.  I really hope it carries over after this mini is finished because I can see using it to make some awesome Christmas cards....maybe I better stock up now just in case!
The punches work great on the Glimmer paper too so no worries about not getting the shape you want---the sky is the limit. 

  For the XOXOXO banner we just used some scrap strips of Whisper White, stamped our sentiment and then clipped the ends into points.  I did find that Sticky Strip works best when adhering something to the Glimmer Paper.  I first used SNAIL adhesive on my banner but the next day the banner had fallen off....better to be safe than sorry so I went with the big guns and used Sticky Strip.  The heart is then popped up with dimensionals.

  So go ahead and get a start on that Valentine's day for your sweetie!

  Thanks for looking!  Happy Stamping!

Stamps: Fundamental Phrases

Ink: Black Stazon

Paper: Basic Gray, Real Red, Whisper White, Glimmer Paper

Accessories:  1/4" Black Taffeta ribbon, Square Lattice embossing folder, Heart to Heart punch, Full Heart punch, dimensionals

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Another Masculine Birthday Card

  Since the boys have a 2 hour delay due to ice this morning I have a bit of time to post this card I made right after Christmas (still while my stamp room was half packed up for the renovations) for a 50th birthday party for a guy who works with my husband.  The birthday guy (you can't really say boy when he's 50 right?) is an incredible woodworker.  He has made gorgeous furniture for his house and is a good guy to get advice from about handyman type stuff.  So when I went to make his birthday card I had to use Totally question about it.

  I took the color combination straight from the Color Coach; Sahara Sand, Poppy Parade and Not Quite Navy....GREAT guy colors.  The base is Not Quite Navy and I stamped the Sanded background in the NQN....good for a rough wood kind of look.  I used a bit of DSP from one of the 6X6 hostess packs from a while ago.  I really liked the grid look since it reminded me of drafting paper.  A small scrap of Poppy Parade finishes off the base.  
   For the tool panel I roughed up the edges of a piece of Naturals White and stamped all the tools in NQN.  I really like this set as it has sentiments attached to the tool images but they are far enough spaced so you can ink them each separately if you want you which makes it super easy to use one or the other.  I colored in parts of the tools with my Sahara Sand and Poppy Parade markers.  I added some vintage brads and popped that panel up with dimensionals.

  I'm addicted to these little banners lately for sentiments.  I think just having a little bit of extra detail there jazzes up the smaller sentiments.

  I really like this combination and will probably be using it for future man cards.

 Thanks for looking! Happy Stamping!

Stamps: Totally Tool, A Little Birthday Cheer (retired), Sanded

Ink: Not Quite Navy, Poppy Parade, Sahara Sand

Paper: Not Quite Navy, Poppy Parade, Naturals White, Sahara Sand DSP (hostess pack)

Accessories: markers, brads, dimensionals

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My New Stamp Room! A.K.A Why I Haven't Stamped Much Lately!

  I've been bugging my husband for a while that I wanted to spruce up my stamp room and make it more organized and pretty.  The paint was still the yucky builder's grade off white that it was when we moved in more than 3 years ago.  The "desk" was my parents old kitchen table and all the storage was just a hodge podge of plastic rolling bins, and random containers to hold all of my stuff.  My poor Big Shot and paper trimmer were on the floor just waiting to be abused by my boys.  About the only part of the room that was organized was my ink pad holder that my husband built for me last Christmas.

  So for my Christmas present this year Matt painted the walls and the ceiling...

This is the corner where my desk goes
 And then put up crown molding....

Look at all those punches!!
And then he built me a desk.....
All wood will turn into a desk...I promise!

The corner desk top

Cardstock file cabinet on the left Small drawer storage on the right
 After we moved the pieces upstairs to the stamp room I had to work on a few projects so I couldn't wait for the desk to be completely finished.  I was so paranoid that I was going to dent the top or drop an ink pad face down on it!  Matt kept reminding me to be careful with it and wait until we got the glass top for it...It's definitely his baby!
In the Stamp Room with paint, waiting for drawer hardware

Drawer fronts and Cup Pulls with label holders

Just waiting for the glass top
  We've since gotten the glass and I've proceeded to fill the drawers and cover the top with all my piles which I'm slowly starting to find new homes for.  You can barely see the top now but I LOVE all the extra room I have.  My husband is so talented!!  I showed him a desk that I had seen on built-it-yourself website, Ana White (formerly know as Knock Off Wood) and told him I wanted file cabinets on one side for my cardstock and smaller shallow drawers on the other for tools, accessories etc.  He took a look at the plans and altered them for the changes I wanted and Voila!  Well maybe not that fast, all in all the whole room painting, molding, desk building took a few weeks throughout the Christmas holiday.

  I still had the old kitchen table that I was using as my desk and it was looking pretty beat and tired.  My parents used it for many many years when we were growing up and I'm sure it wasn't new then as my mom is a great yard sale hunter so it was probably already second or third hand at this point.  I thought it would be great as a Big Shot, paper trimmer & sewing machine table.  The random cut out piece is so I can set my sewing machine down in it so it is flush with the table making it easier to use. When I'm not using the sewing machine the cut out piece of wood fits back in so there isn't a gaping hole.  My dad did that part when they gave me the table.

Ready for a new look

Side View...the carved details on the legs were hard to sand!
  We took it outside and sanded it down...

Now it looks even more sad!

A good healthy coat of Kilz...

I can't decide if it's looking better or worse!

 And 3 coats of semi-gloss, and 2 coats of poly...

Look at that good looking table.  The Big Shot is excited to have a real home!

 And here is the table with all the gear on it as well as this hutch thing I got when my father-in-law closed down his office which I had been using the same way before the room redo but it made the table kind of shallow and I couldn't spread out much.  I want to paint it to match the rest of the furniture but it's that weird laminate particle board stuff....sturdy enough but I just don't know how to paint it.  Any suggestions welcome!  My husband says he can just build me a set of shelves to mount on the wall so we'll probably do that someday.  For now this works for some extra storage and display space.

The work table
  See those long tall things leaning against the wall...well those are the supplies for my curtains; fabric, liner and rod.  I'm not much of a sewer and don't enjoy it nearly as much as stamping.  I think it's such a long process to sew curtains as opposed to knocking out a few cards which is much more immediate gratification at the end.  So my mom is going to help me out when I go visit them next month, she's the sewer in the family.  The plastic bins are the same ones that I've been using for years to store my stamp sets.  I really need to sort them all out between, current, retired, hostess etc. but that's a project for another day.  The small little wire cart over on the right has odds and ends and is where I store my 12X12 paper.  Ultimately I'd like to clean out the closet enough to fit that in and then have a book shelf in that corner.

  I'm now on the hunt for an old picture frame to paint and hang up above my desk so I can have an idea board with all my scraps of paper and pictures ripped from magazines.  Right now they are all stacked up on the desk or shoved in a binder which isn't very inspirational.  I'm also trying to figure out the lighting for the desk.  There is a spot already set for a ceiling fixture but I'm afraid that since it is behind me it would just cause a shadow from my head right on my work surface.  Right now I have a short table lamp that's OK but I think a taller one would be better.  The OTT lights on the hutch above the work table are sufficient for that space for now.

 If you've made it this far....WOW!  Thanks for taking a look at my new and improved stamp room.  I'll be back to posting cards soon now that I have the organization almost finished and I have to finish designing the projects for my January stamp club!  I'll try to remember to post any other changes so you can see how it's going.

  Here are some of the room details in case you're wondering.

Wall Paint: Valspar Coffee n' Cream (satin)
Primer: Kilz
Molding, Desk & Table: Valspar White (semi-gloss)
Corner Desktop Plans
Base Unit Plans altered as needed
Punch Organization: Over the door shoe organizers from Target
Ink Pad Storage

Thanks for looking!  Happy Stamping (or building or organizing!)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Filled With Love Promotion & Mini Stamp-A-Stack

  On Friday, February 4 at 7pm I'll be hosting a Mini Stamp-A-Stack!  We'll be using the products from the Filled With Love Promotion to make 6 cards (2 each of 3 designs) to get you ready for Valentine's Day.  The cost of the class includes the Filled With Love stamp set, 12 sheets double-sided Love Patterns DSP, 64 free Bitty Buttons, tax, shipping & supplies for 6 cards w/ envelopes - clear blocks not included with Clear Mount Bundle.

Cost:           $40.00 - Wood Mount
                    $33.00 - Clear Mount(blocks not included)

Payments must be to me by Friday, January 21 to reserve your seat.  I will be doing a door prize drawing for all who attend!  If you have any questions just let me know!

Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Masculine Pine Tree

  I'm totally digging these colors together.  They make a great guy card.  I made this one for some guy birthdays.  I usually try to come up with a different design for each card I need to mail out but I was in a time crunch and only had time to design one since all the paper, ink & accessories were already out I just made several.

  As always anything made with Lovely As A Tree is, well, lovely...though I might be biased since this is my card!  I'll let you be the judge.

  The base is Very Vanilla with a smaller layer of Very Vanilla on top.  The smaller layer was embossed with the square lattice embossing folder.  On top of the embossed layer is a length of black 5/8" satin ribbon held down with Crumb Cake brads. 

  The pine tree is just stamped in black Stazon and layered on Crumb Cake.  For the little Happy Birthday tag I stamped the sentiment and then just punched it out with Decorative Label punch.  It's not even a full piece of cardstock.  This is a great way to use up some smaller scraps.  All in all a very simple guy card but the texture from the embossing folder gives it some punch.

  This week is the first week of the new Occasions Mini catalog.  Check out my sidebar to see all the great new offerings!!  I placed my order the other morning and I can't wait to get the new goodies and play in my new and improved stamp room (it's coming along slowly but surely)!  Also, I have 2 spots still open for my every other month stamp club.  If you're in Richmond and want come out for some stamping fun just let me know and we can talk details.

  Thanks for looking!  Happy Stamping!

Stamps: Lovely As  A Tree, A Little Birthday Cheer

Ink: Black Stazon

Paper: Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake

Accessories: Square Lattice embossing folder, 5/8" Satin Ribbon, Crumb Cake brads, Decorative Label punch

Monday, January 3, 2011

Snowman Thank You

  Happy New Year stamping friends!  Are you ready to start the new year off?  My first card of 2011 is this adorable little snowman looking up into the sky.  Have you seen him around?  I've seen a bunch of projects in different online galleries and on some blogs and just had to make one of my own.  My inspiration came specifically from Renee Van Stralen's card on her blog.  She just makes the most beautiful cards so definitely poke around her blog and see what she's working on.  My card is a pared down version of hers since I was making 10 of these for thank yous for Christmas gifts. 

  I had this retired Christmas Cocoa DSP left from last year that I wanted to use up.  It's so sparkly and fun it's a shame I can't bust it out for my classes anymore.  I also ran the entire Naturals White card front through the Big Shot with the Northern Flurry embossing folder so the right side of the card would be balanced with the DSP on the left. 

  The snowman is super easy to make using the 3 largest circles on the Circles #2 die.  I sponged the edges with some Bashful Blue to give him a bit of definition.  The arms are punched in Soft Suede using the snowflake punch and then trimmed.  Nose is from the small star punch in Pumpkin Pie and trimmed (see my Snowman Sweet Treat ornament post for details on the arms & nose as they are made the same way).  Eyes are just small circles made with the small hand held punch (1/8" inch I think).  The scarf is a strip of Cherry Cobbler that I used the scallop edge punch and made into Faux Rickrack.  Each layer of the snowman is adhered to the other layers using dimensionals so it gives the little man some height.

  To make the little banner I just stamped the sentiment on a narrow piece (read scrap that I couldn't bear to throw out!) of Naturals White cardstock, used my paper snips to make the points and then sponged the edges with Soft Suede.

   Now just to get the actual thank you part written and mailed out!

  Thanks for looking!  Happy Stamping!

Stamps: Thank You Kindly

Ink: Soft Suede, Bashful Blue

Paper: Naturals White, Soft Suede, Christmas Cocoa DSP (retired), Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler, Pumpkin Pie, Basic Black

Accessories: Circles #2 die, Northern Flurry embossing folder, scallop edge punch, small star punch, snowflake punch, dimensionals