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?

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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!

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!

 

 

The Stampers’ Sampler (Part 2)

As I mentioned in my Dec. 22nd post, Sherry Pakulski and I were happy to have our Heart Locket template cards published in the Winter 2016 issue of The Stampers’ Sampler! (To see our first three cards, click here.)

Here are the other two cards that appeared in this magazine:

Mother's Heart

In “Key to Mother’s Heart” (pg. 44) I combined antique flea market photos with Stampin’ Up! card stock, ink, Designer Series Paper, Vanilla Satin Ribbon, key trinket and stamps from the retired Fresh Vintage and You’re a Gem sets.

Key to Mother's Heart

This card and my Bird Challenge card, “Beribboned Birdcage,” (pg. 79) were spotlighted in A Closer Look:

Beribboned Birdcage

I used Stampin’ Up! Tip Top Taupe ink and card stock, Blackberry Bliss and Rose Red card stock and Seam Binding Ribbon and the vine stamp from the Thoughts & Prayers set.

Sherry and I are truly honored when our artwork is published in the Stampington & Co. art stamping magazines. Answering the Challenges is enjoyable and improves our skills as we strive to produce our best work for submission!

 

Mona Lisa and I Have a Secret!

My Heart is Yours

My sister-in-law Sherry Pakulski called from Vermont last week to let me know that we both had cards included in the new Winter 2016 issue of The Stampers’ Sampler. She mentioned that our cards were just two pages apart, and that we’d have to try again to get “on the same page.” She was referring to her Heart Locket template cards on page 42 (My Heart is Yours, A Little Kindness is Key) and mine on page 44 (Key to Mother’s Heart, which I will show in a later post – click here.)

A Little Kindness is Key

When my artist’s copy of the magazine arrived in the mail today, I quickly turned to page 42 to see Sherry’s cards.

pages 42-43

But wait, what’s this? On the next page, facing Sherry’s two cards, I saw my very own Mona Lisa’s Secret, the second of two cards that I had submitted for this Challenge!

Mona Lisa published

Of course, Sherry didn’t realize that this was my card; my name was inadvertently omitted and it was attributed to another artist.

So, Mona Lisa and I are both wearing a secret smile today.

Here is a closer look at this card, taken before I submitted it for consideration:

Mona Lisa's Secret

Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, so the color scheme that I chose for this card was meant to convey the earthy colors of Italy, evocative of terra cotta pots and dusty green olive leaves. The A. Rossi patterned paper that I used on the locket background is an Italian script, and I added a scrap of an old Italian postage stamp along with a vintage bookseller’s label.

I will include the two other cards that I had published in this issue in a subsequent post! (Click here to see them.)

 

 

 

 

 

This Snowman’s a Work of Art

Mindy's SnowladyCreated by Mindy Degree

Our sister-in-law Mindy’s Christmas card arrived today, and I was delighted but not surprised to see that she had used the Stampin’ Up! Work of Art set to create the snowman for the front of her card! Mindy has been using this set so creatively in so many ways, and I know she has many more ideas in mind.

So, looking at Mindy’s card gave me an idea related to a project that our friend Nancy recently shared with members of the Hostess Stamping group:

Nancy took the largest envelope liner framelit die and cut it double, with a fold at the bottom to make a pocket in the back. She then glued the sides shut, decorated the fronts like scarecrows and put treats in the pockets behind.

Nancy's Scarecrows

Created by Nancy Souza

This would be a great idea to make Snowman treat pockets too – with white card stock faces, a black hat and red ribbon, an orange triangle carrot nose placed horizontally and black circles for the smile made of coal!

Here are the main products that Mindy and Nancy used to make their cute holiday projects. Click on any picture for more information or easy ordering:

Supply List

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