California Dreamin’… On Such a Summer’s Day

California Poppies

Last spring Stampin’ Up! was generous enough to award me with the new Bunches of Blossoms bundle, this new photopolymer stamp set with 26 images and the coordinating Blossom Builder Punch! I decided to try something reminiscent of the Arts & Crafts era of design (1880-1910) so I chose a popular motif of that time – poppies; in particular, California Poppies, our state flower.

Here are the colors that I used on my card, along with Very Vanilla as a base:

I chose a color palette that would resonate with the time period, and I also drew inspiration from another work of art:

Oak Park Home & Hardware

California Poppy, Block Print, Yoshiko Yamamoto, Arts & Crafts Press

Along with the same color family, my card shares the simplicity of design and the rectangular layout with this block print. But inspiration is only the starting point; when using different tools and materials, something new is the result.

California Poppies Detail

Here are the tools and materials that I used to make my “California Dreamin’ card. Click on the picture to see a closer look at the stamp images, or to order online:

After looking at the images in this very reasonably priced stamp set and punch bundle, what other designs can you dream up to make with these elements?

Best Fishes on Your 60th!

Best Fishes

I have two brothers-in-law named Bob, but the one who is turning 60 today is the one who is getting this card in the mail to celebrate!

It looks like I am still following Van Gogh’s advice to add some orange to a blue art project, but I really think it works, don’t you? (I’ll tell you a little secret; whatever I’ve just finished becomes my new favorite card, so right now it’s this “Best Fishes” card with the goldfish swimming in a Mason jar!)

Best Fishes Side

All of the stamps on this card are from the new photopolymer set, Jar of Love, and it is truly an amazing collection, with 37 pieces, including 3 jars, lots of images to put in them and many coordinating sentiments. Not only that, there are 17 Everyday Jars Framelits to match! Honestly, you could keep yourself busy with endless combinations of these pieces for the foreseeable future. I am in love!

Here is the color palette for this card, along with Whisper White:

Just a couple of notes on the details of construction: I cut a solid blue jar to put behind the white jar to give the impression of a shadow, and I furthered this image by mounting the white jar on Stampin’ Dimensionals to make it pop up. A little linen thread around the top of the jar to hold the mini tag with sentiment is a small detail that adds a lot of charm. The banner at the top was made with the stamped image that looks like textured burlap and it was trimmed out freehand to give the impression of cut fabric.

Best Fishes Detail

Here are the supplies that I used to make the “Best Fishes” card. The stamps and framelits can be purchased separately, or as a bundle for 10% savings. Click on any picture for a closer look or to order:

After looking at the images in this set, what ideas would you like to try? There are so many possibilities!

Swirly Bird Afloat

“There is no blue without yellow and without orange.”

                                                                                   Vincent Van Gogh

Swirly Bird Ahoy

In my last couple of posts I’ve been showing some examples using the Swirly Scribbles Thinlits Dies, but wait – there’s more! The new Swirly Bird stamps are a coordinating set and I am beginning to see that the possibilities are endless when these two are combined!

The swirl that I used for flowers on a previous card now make up a sun that reminds me of Van Gogh’s moon and stars in The Starry Night:

I made my sun by combining one Daffodil Delight die cut with another in Peekaboo Peach, one of the new 2016-2018 In Colors.

The water was made with a die cut from the set, too, but instead of using the cut piece on my card, I used it as a stencil to sponge on some Dapper Denim ink, another one of the new In Colors.

Here are the colors that I used in my Swirly Bird Afloat card; note that blue and orange are complementary colors as they are opposite each other on the color wheel, which infuses energy rather than restfulness in a project. (Click on any color swatch to see coordinating Stampin’ Up! products in that color):

These are the products that I used to make my card (the “ahoy” stamp is from a retired set.) You can get more information about all of the other supplies or go straight to the online store to purchase by clicking on any picture:

As you look at the Swirly Bird stamps and Swirly Scribbles Thinlits dies, is your mind working overtime like mine? What can you create with these fun new images?

Take Ten Summer 2016 Design ChallengeResults!

Reggie and I were on vacation last week, taking a cruise to Alaska to celebrate our anniversary in April. The cruise season to Alaska doesn’t start until May, though, so we put off our trip until we could book the tour that we wanted.

My husband especially loves birds and was thrilled to see Bald Eagles flying freely in Alaska while we were there! My special interest is the art of the Northwest Coast native Tlingit and Haida clans. Their designs are unique and beautiful, but also rich with meaning. I learned that one reason that these native people were able to develop their art to such a high degree is that they lived in an area of seacoast and temperate rainforests abundant in food and other resources which allowed them more time to devote to craftsmanship.

Speaking of design and craftsmanship, while I was on the ship I got a text from Sherry Degree Pakulski telling me that she had received her artist’s copy of the Summer 2016 Take Ten, and we both had cards included in this issue (pages 36, 45 and 89.)

Polka Dot Birthday

Sherry submitted both of these cards for the layout design challenge:

The Point is...

As you can see, the layout includes an embellished tag overlaid on a narrow vertical strip and a wide horizontal one. She used both patterned paper and washi tape for her background elements. These are really gorgeous cards with Sherry’s signature attention to detail in mixing patterns and colors!

So Much Love

My entry was submitted for a call to use paper-punching on cards. The bird houses were simple to make by stamping a wood grain on the cardstock first, then punching out squares. The red roofs were also made with a square punch but then cut in half diagonally to make the two triangles. The openings were also tiny punched out hearts.

Bird House Love

Here is the color palette that I used on my So Much Love card. I used Very Vanilla as a background for this. Click on any color swatch to see what other products we have that coordinate with these colors!

Here are some of the products that I used to make my card. Remember that you can use anything to make squares for your bird houses; punches, die cutters or even just cutting them out with your paper trimmer:

When thinking about the punches you have on hand, what ideas can you come up with to use them in different, creative ways? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Retiring Stamp Idea #5 – “I Meant to Do That!”

Bliss Butterfly

In my last post I showed you an example of how to use this gorgeous retiring Swallowtail stamp with Aqua Painters on a card made of Shimmery White cardstock:

Today I’ll explain how I took this a step further to make the Butterfly Bliss card shown above, and how this card came to be!

The Stamp Group ladies came over on Friday May 13th, right before my husband and I left on vacation to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary (a cruise to Alaska via Vancouver, B.C.) They also made the Swallowtail in Plum card watercolored with AquaPainters, and theirs came out beautifully, but as I was making one to demonstrate, I picked up some ink on my left hand and smeared a spot on my card.

Later, after my friends left, I decided to fix my card by using it in a different way – and this is a great illustration of the maxim, “there are no mistakes, only opportunities for embellishment!” I carefully cut out the Swallowtail image with my Paper Snips and then constructed a very different style of card, using the butterfly as an embellishment on the front. I used images from the Awesomely Artistic set with Pear Pizzazz ink on the same color of cardstock to make the background, added a few gold sequins and a sentiment stamped in Elegant Eggplant ink on Delightful Dijon cardstock, with torn and sponged edges.

The result is a Boho Chic-style card, and I had just enough time before I left on my trip to send it to my sister Karla and her husband Bob to wish them a Happy 31st Anniversary!

Karla's Wedding

Norman, Valory, Karla and Bob – San Jose, CA, May 18, 1985

Here are the color selections that I used on the Bliss Butterfly card; you can click on any color swatch to see what other coordinating products Stampin’ Up! offers:

And here are the products that I used to make this Boho Chic-style card. Remember that the Swallowtail stamp is on the Retiring List and it will only be available through May 31st, and only while supplies last:

Share in the comments your favorite stories of “I meant to do that…” – your  experiences of salvaging a card or project “boo-boo” into something completely different and wonderful!

Retiring Stamp Idea #4 – Swallowtail in Plum

Swallowtail 1

The large Swallowtail background stamp is retiring, and it is truly a beautiful piece of art. It is considered a background stamp because of the size, but it is usually used as the centerpiece of a card design as I did here.

Swallowtail 2

Although it’s a little hard to distinguish in these photos, I used the Shimmery White cardstock which is beautiful and perfect for watercoloring with blender pens, or with Aqua Painters as I did on this card. I used Perfect Plum refill ink in the center of the butterfly and Elegant Eggplant on the outside edges. I just put a drop of each in the lid of the corresponding ink pad and used that as a palette to dip from for watercolor painting. The Basic Black Archival ink is perfect for stamping the outline of the butterfly first because it is waterproof.

Swallowtail 3

The sentiment and stamp for the back of the card are both from the retiring A Dozen Thoughts set. Just three silver stars from the Metallics Sequin Assortment attached with Mini Glue Dots were a perfect adornment for this simple and elegant card.

If you make this card yourself, just remember to keep the half sheet of Shimmery White cardstock unscored while you stamp and watercolor the butterfly. After it is dry you can score and fold the card from the inside. You may attach an extra blank card panel inside like I’ve done here if you have used a little more water and the ink shows through from the front slightly, but it’s just a personal preference – it’s not required.

Here is the color scheme for our Just Because Swallowtail card; click on any color swatch to see what other coordinating products we have in these colors too!

And here is everything that we used; all of the stamp sets are retiring but all other tools and supplies will be available in the new Annual Catalog coming out on June 1st! Click on any picture for more information or to order:

May 31st is fast approaching; just two and half more weeks left to order the retiring stamps used on this card and on this Retiring List here.

You’ve seen me color this butterfly in purple tones and in blues/greens. Those are very peaceful colors – what other colors would you use and what mood would you choose to convey? Let me know in the comments how you would do it differently!

Happy 84th, Dad!

Dad 84th Birthday

Yes, my dad is celebrating his 84th birthday this weekend, and I always try to make him a special and meaningful card. He was my first art teacher and I have learned so much from him! He promoted my love of paper when I was just a youngster by giving my sister and me a whole bureau full of odds and end-cuts from a friend who was a printer – endless paper to color, cut, glue and construct with in any way we chose.

I used stamps and die cutters from the Stampin’ Up! Number of Years bundle, using Stazon white ink over Pacific Point card stock for the number “84.” I used Chocolate Chip and Real Red inks on the floral stamp and accented it with the tiniest Basic Pearls.

I had one more circus postage stamp left that Kathy Degree sent us, and I thought it was perfect to imply that a long life well-lived really is the “greatest show on earth” for each of us personally. I also included a Blue Jay feather that I found on one of my walks around the neighborhood.

Happy Birthday, Vernon Krause of Auburn, CA; you are the best!

2011-04-16 13.11.15

 

Inspiring Circus Postage Stamps

When The Stampers’ Sampler came out with their Envelope Template Challenge last summer I knew that I wanted to create something with it! I considered several ideas, but it wasn’t until we got a couple of cards in the mail from Reggie’s sister Kathy that I knew where I’d be going with this:

Lions Tigers Bears 1

 

Kathy had used some of these great postage stamps with vintage circus images on her envelopes, and I carefully cut them off and used them as the starting point for my project.

I used a lighter-weight yellow paper to construct the envelope which was easier to fold than card stock would have been, and I made some extra foliage from the leftover piece.

Lions Tigers Bears 2

 

All of the stamps are retired images from Stampin’ Up! – the African animals from the Wild Things set, the bear from Thankful Forest Friends, and the leaves are done with the large Bamboo background stamp.

Another fun family connection that this piece has, in addition to the postage stamps from Kathy, is that some years ago the family home in Colchester, Vermont was discovered to have held a long-kept secret:

Circus Posters

When my in-laws, Harold and Gladys Degree, removed the clapboards from their home before putting new siding on, these five circus posters were revealed, which had been mounted on the house when a circus came to town in 1883. They remained hidden for the next 108 years. Realizing the historical value of such artifacts, the Degrees called the Shelburne Museum to have conservators remove the boards from their house with the posters still attached. The family donated the posters to the museum, where they reside today.

The Spring 2016 issue of The Stampers’ Sampler will be available on April 1st!

Recycling Rubber Stamped Cards

One day recently I showed my co-worker Lindita a birthday card that I’d made for my son and she told me about the card ministry that she is a part of in her church. The ladies in the group all write upbeat personal cards or notes to someone in their congregation who needs cheering up and they put them all in a basket for the recipient to open, one card each day. She asked me if I could provide her with a selection of cards for this purpose.

Recycled Cards

I told her that a really cost-effective way for me to make her some cards would be to use some of the card fronts that I’ve collected in swaps from other demonstrators over the years! While these are still lovely cards, they are made with retired sets that I no longer use as examples with my clients. I mounted the card fronts onto blank cards so they can be recycled and used again.

Card Folder Open

I made a holder for all 15 cards and envelopes out of a regular paper school folder. This is quick and easy to do:

  • First, measure a horizontal line 5 inches down from the top of the folder and score it so that it will fold down over the cards.
  • Next, measure 1″ on each side of the vertical fold line at the top, mark with pencil dots and with a ruler draw a line from those points diagonally down to the edge of the folder where it meets the horizontal fold line. Then cut on the pencil lines with pinking shears or other decorative scissors.

Card Envelope Folder

  • Then fold the flap down, close the holder and tie it up with a pretty ribbon!

Have you ever recycled Card Art? What great ideas do you have for reusing paper crafts that are too beautiful to discard?

 

 

 

All You Need is Love

We received two hand stamped Valentine cards in the mail from Reggie’s sisters in Colchester, VT:

Kathy Hearts

Kathy used the Bloomin’ Love stamp set, an embossing folder for the background and heat embossing to embellish the larger hearts on her red and white card, finishing with a touch of Dazzling Diamonds glitter on the flower petals.

Sherry Hearts

Sherry collaged different stamped hearts and smaller hearts punched out of glittery paper. She embellished her card with washi tape, tiny jewels and a snippet of lyrics from a Beatles song in classic black, white and red.

Then there was one more surprise in the mailbox:

Karla Stocking

My sister Karla from Fremont, CA sent her annual Holiday water-colored pen & ink drawing card with greetings inside for a wonderful 2016 – always appreciated, no matter when it is received!

All You Need is Love –  the kind of love that is conveyed with a handcrafted card!

 

 

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