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!

Kitty Cats and Cards Don’t Mix!

Mallett's Bay Boat

Ok, I am finally ready to tell this story; it isn’t pretty, but Real Life is messy, as I’m sure anyone who has ever had a dog, a cat or a small child will understand!

I mentioned at the beginning of June that I had attended a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator’s event where we met together to make each others’ cards in what is called a Shoebox Swap. Everyone brought a card sample and all the materials for everyone in attendance to make their own copy of the card. They ranged from quick and easy to more elaborate, but hands down, this card, designed by our colleague Mary, was the most detailed and time-consuming card there. Not only was the front gorgeous, but the  inside was decorated too:

Mallett's Bay inside

It was so detailed, in fact, that to save time, I took a picture of it and just brought the materials home to finish the card. It had originally been made into a birthday card, but I decided to make it into a Father’s Day card for Reggie’s dad. I thought it was perfect; it reminded me of Mallett’s Bay, the part of Lake Champlain in the town of Colchester, VT near where Dad lives, and this Dapper Denim blue and Cucumber Crush green are the exact colors of Colchester High School. What could be more perfect?

I usually finish my cards late at night, after my husband has gone to bed, so when this one was done, as usual, I set it up on the kitchen table so that he could sign it before he left for work and we could get it in the mail on time.

The next morning, imagine our supreme annoyance when we found the card knocked over, flat on it’s face, and a giant hairball thrown up on the back of it!

Now, we have four cats, but we knew immediately who the culprit was:

Eddie. The Emeritus Cat. He’s the Old One, and lately he’s made a habit of plunking himself down on my work table, right in the middle of the stamps, cardstock and embellishments.

So, what to do? Too late to make a new card, and this one had taken so much time! I did what any other paper arts lover would have done – I cut the front of the card off, mounted it onto a new, clean card base, cut the little boat out of the inside and re-used it, stamped the greeting again and die cut another lake from the Swirly Scribbles Thinlits Dies for the boat to float on!

If any of my sisters-in-law from Vermont are reading this, you may have seen Harold’s Father’s Day card; now you know the rest of the story!

Would you like to attempt this card in your own home? I challenge you – but keep the kitties away! Here are the supplies that I used:

Have you ever had a pet-related disaster while making cards? What did you do?

How to Get Inspiration From Swaps!

Touches of Texture Ann Swap

I attended a demonstrator’s gathering earlier this month where we swapped different card ideas, and this one was designed by Ann with the new Touches of Texture set, with a sentiment from the Perfectly Wrapped set. Her color scheme is Very Vanilla, Delightful Dijon and Night of Navy with a little Always Artichoke on the leaves. The corner accents of are made with one of the new Pop of Pink Designer Washi Tapes.

I also love working with the new Touches of Texture images, so I decided to make another card inspired by Ann’s yet different enough that it has my “stamp” on it (so to speak!) Here is the card that I designed:

Touches of Texture Denim

I used the same central flower image, and a similar color family, and the bee as an accent image. Here are the colors that I used on my card:

I also used a base of Very Vanilla, and a little Pear Pizzazz on the leaves, and the Basic Black Archival ink for the outlining of the images.

I used small images with tone-on-tone ink to make decorating the outside edges of the dark blue panel quick and easy. I first stamped the solid color piece of the flower center with Crushed Curry, then re-inked it in Pumpkin Pie and stamped again in a different spot to give the variegated color.

Mounting the flower-stamped card onto a piece of Pumpkin Pie cardstock at an angle gives it a little different look. The 5/8″ Gold Satin Ribbon is so beautiful but easy; it’s just tied in a square knot and then angle cut on the ends.

The last detail was the most whimsical; I stamped the bee on a scrap of Very Vanilla cardstock, cut it out with Paper Snips, colored it in with Crushed Curry Stampin’ Write Marker (but this could be done with a Blender Pen too) and I finished it with a little Clear Wink of Stella on the wings for sparkle. The bee was then attached with a small piece of Stampin’ Dimensionals for depth.

So here are our two cards, Ann’s and mine, one for inspiration and one as a result – both lovely:

Touches of Texture Pair

Here are the supplies that I used to make my card; click on any picture for more information or to go right to the online store for ordering:

These colors say “summer” to me; what colors would you use when stamping with this flower image?

 

You Matter to Me – the Restful Blues

You Matter

While I mentioned in my last post that combining blue with its complementary color, orange, will infuse energy into your project, a monochromatic theme, in the same color family, will be soothing and restful to the eye.

This floral spray is from the new Touches of Texture set and I have used Soft Sky as a background, the new 2016-2018 In Color Dapper Denim as a frame and both colors together water colored with blender pens on Whisper White. Stamping the outline image first with Archival Black waterproof ink makes water coloring easy and smudge proof!

You Matter Side

The sentiment is from the new Bunch of Blossoms photopolymer set, and I’ve used the Softly Falling Embossing Folder, Metallic Foil Doilies and Lots of Labels Framelits Dies to make the layered frame for the image, mounted on foam Dimensionals for depth.

Here are the colors that I used with my blender pens to shade the flowers and leaves; click on any color swatch to see other coordinating products that Stampin’ Up! offers:

Here are the supplies that I used to make the You Matter To Me card in shades of blue. You can click on any image to read more or go straight to the online store to order:

Price: $110.00

As you can see, the Softly Falling Embossing Folder doesn’t have to be used only for snow! I think this looks like a softly falling spring rain. What other uses can you think of for this versatile embossing folder?

 

 

A Summer Grapevine Wreath

Grapevine Wreath

One of the beauties of the new Swirly Scribbles Thinlits Dies is that the various flowing shapes can be almost anything – flowers, leaves, sunshine, water, bird nests and so forth. In the case of this piece, I saw a grapevine wreath – one of those rustic rounds formed of dried vines in natural colors.

I also used one of the new Floral Affection Embossing Folders for the subtle flower motif in the background, very lightly sponged with Flirty Flamingo ink on the embossing and edges of the Pink Pirouette panel, and I couldn’t resist highlighting the flowers with Clear Wink of Stella too! The wreath is die cut from Soft Suede card stock with a bit of Gold Metallic Thread interspersed here and there.

Grapevine Wreath Detail

The new 2016-2018 In Color Flirty Flamingo card stock is a gorgeous background for the butterflies and sentiment stamped in Soft Suede ink on Sahara Sand card stock. Pear Pizzazz card stock is used for the card base, bringing all of the colors together in a pleasing manner.

Here is the color progression for the Summer Grapevine Wreath card:

You can click on any of the swatches to see what other coordinating products Stampin’ Up! offers in these colors!

Here are the products that I used to make the Summer Grapevine Wreath card. Click on any picture for more information or to order directly from the online store:

This is the first time that I have used this color combination, but I really love it! What color combinations do you particularly love? Leave me a note in the comment section; I’d like to hear your favorites.

 

 

Helping Each Other Grow With Stampin’ Up!

Helping Me Grow

As I mentioned in my last post, I got together with some other Stampin’ Up! demonstrators from the Stampy Wackers and the 24/7 Stampers groups on Saturday to stamp and share ideas using some new products from our just released 2016-2017 Annual Catalog!

This card, made with the Helping Me Grow set, was water colored with Aqua Painters using some of the new 2016-2018 In Colors. Here is the color palette we used (notice that some subtle spotting has been added with a hint of the new Sweet Sugarplum!) Click on any color swatch to see coordinating products in that color:

Aren’t those colors beautiful together?

Speaking of “Helping Me Grow,” one of the best things about being a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator is the opportunity to be with a group of like-minded friends who help each other grow by encouraging creativity and sharing ideas in a fun and supportive environment.

SU! Girls Have Fun

Back row: Valory, Grace, Denise, Liz, Susan. Front row: Ann, Sharon.

Here are just a few of us Northern California demonstrators who attended the get-together in Vacaville yesterday, and after we made our 16 swap cards we shared business ideas over dinner.

June 2016 Swaps

There are some terrific incentives for signing up as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, and during the month of June you can even get two extra stamp sets in your kit for free – (click here if you would like to know more!)

Back to our Helping Me Grow swap card; here are the products we used to make it; click on any picture for more information or to order from the online store:

Have you seen the new 2016-2017 Annual Catalog yet? If so, what is your favorite new thing – a stamp set, die cutters, punch or a new color? Let me know in the comments! I will be posting more new product swap cards soon.

 

New Catalog Means New Card Designs!

I’m excited that the new 2016-2017 Stampin’ Up! catalog goes live today! This week I have been working on a card design with some new 2016-2018 In Color card stock and inks and the new Swirly Scribbles Thinlits Dies for a demonstrator’s swap that I will be participating in this weekend:

Swirly Scribbles Swap Card

The pink sponged centers and the lighter die cut flower image on the right are made with the new Flirty Flamingo In Color ink and card stock, and the taller flower is die cut using the new Peekaboo Peach In Color card stock.

I paired these new colors and dies with the Garden in Bloom stamps that I’ve had for the past year, but it’s fun to get a very different look by using updated products with a well-loved set!

Technique Hints: Want to know how I colored the centers of my die cut swirly flowers? It was easy; I punched a circle in the center of a Post-It note with the 1″ Circle Punch, stuck the mask on my card where I wanted it and then dabbed the ink on lightly with Sponge Daubers! Also, when I stamped the solid part of the leaf image, I stamped the Old Olive ink off onto some scrap paper first before stamping on my card so it would be lighter than the outline of the leaf.

Here is one color scheme used in the Swirly Scribbles Swap card.  Be sure to click on the swatches to see other coordinating products that Stampin’ Up! carries, and check the bottom of this post for all of the new 2016-2018 In Colors:

And here are the products that I used to make my card. You can click on any image and go straight to the online store for more information or easy ordering:

Price: $5.25

The Hostess Code for June is XXPKMTJ7. If you use this code with an online order this month, I’ll send you a reusable card hand stamped by me! (Just be sure to allow demonstrator contact so I’ll know where to send it.)

I’m loving the new 2016-2018 In Colorsespecially Flirty Flamingo and Peekaboo Peach together! What do you think of them, and which is your favorite?

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!

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