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?

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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!

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!

 

 

Glittery Bloomin’ Hearts

Bloomin' Heart Swap Duo

The whole point of a swap is to get different ideas of how to use the new stamps, die cutters and other accessories that are regularly released by Stampin’ Up! I showed you my “Black, White and Red” take on the Bloomin’ Hearts Thinlits Die in my last post, and here are two more examples made by demonstrators in my group:

Mary Jones Heart

Mary did a beautiful job with colors and bling-y decorations on this example. The Blushing Bride, Blackberry Bliss and Whisper White card stock are a winning combination. The sparkle is provided by Blushing Bride Glimmer Paper and Sequin Trim, and rhinestones. Anyone would love to receive this Valentine from a special friend or companion!

Susan Jones Heart

Susan went all out by die cutting the heart from the Blushing Bride Glimmer Paper! With an intricate die such as this, there are a few tips to help you cut and remove the paper from the die.

  • First, make sure that your plexiglass cutting pads are flat (older ones can tend to bow or bulge) and when running the die through the Big Shot, put it to one side or the other rather than in the middle. The rollers on the sides are slightly tighter.
  • Next, be sure to run that die back and forth through the machine several times, moving its position on the cutting plate if necessary.
  • My sister-in-law Sherry also recommends putting a piece of waxed paper between the die and the card stock before cutting to help release the die cut image.
  • Finally, we have a new tool that helps to push out the little pieces of card stock that stick in the die after cutting, called a Big Shot Die Brush:

Big Shot Die Brush

As die cutters become more intricate, we need ingenious tools like these to help work with more sophisticated designs!

Here are some of the supplies used on both of the Glittery Bloomin’ Hearts cards. You can order any of these new products just by clicking the picture and going to the online store:

 140818Bloomin’ Love Photopolymer Bundle – 140818 Price: $35.50

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Color Equation: B & W + Red = Gr8!

Mindy Thank You

When our sister-in-law Mindy’s thank you card arrived a few days ago, I thought immediately of how much I adore black, white and red together on a card. This is a simple layout, but with the glittery embossing and tiny red heart there’s a lot to love here.

Red Heart XOXO

This inspired me to to use the same color combination on my first card using the new Stampin’ Up! Bloomin’ Love stamp set and coordinating Thinlits Dies (see them on page 16 of the Spring Occasions catalog here.)

XOXO Detail

I die cut the heart from a panel of Real Red card stock, then attached all to a white card, laying the heart back in place, but raised up slightly on foam Dimensionals. I edged the flower petals with Dazzling Details glitter glue.

Red Black White SetThanks to Mindy for sending her card and inspiring me to make a complimentary piece as a result!

Here are the supplies that I used on my XOXO Heart Card. Remember that every $50 order that you place by 3/31, you will earn a Sale-A-Bration item, absolutely free! (You will be prompted on the check-out screen to choose.)

 140818Bloomin’ Love Photopolymer Bundle – 140818 Price: $35.50

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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!

 

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:

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Teenage Cat Lovers

When my husband and I first started teaching the 5- and 6-year-olds at church eight years ago, little did we know that we would start a relationship with a couple of twin sisters that would blossom into a great friendship that has endured as the girls have grown. Maybe it was because they found out that they shared a birthday with my husband, Reggie (November 5th.) Or maybe it was because Rachel and Reggie have the same quirky sense of humor. Or maybe they just appreciated that he always let the kids take off their shoes in class, saying “Free feet are happy feet!” (three hours of church is a long time for little kids!)

Rachel and Ariel 13th Bday

Rachel and Ariel at the airport for their surprise birthday trip to visit their siblings at college.

Whatever the reason, one thing I do know is that we all share a love of cats, and even though the girls just celebrated their 13th birthdays, cats are still an important topic of conversation and interest when we get together!

I wanted to make a couple of special cards for their birthdays this year, to commemorate this important milestone in their lives:

Twins 1

I used the Hearth and Home Thinlits Dies from the Holiday Catalog to cut windows in the cards, but then added kitties peeking out, and inside a selection of pastries with coordinating sentiments:

If you are what you eat, eat something cute!

and

This is no day for “just a sliver”!

Twins 2

Oh, and when the girls came over to get their cards and gifts from us, they had a special birthday gift for Reggie and me too, painted by Rachel:

CAT

How appropriate!

Sisterly Love

Reggie Bday 1

Now that we’re back from our vacation, I’ve had a chance to take some pictures of the handcrafted cards that have come our way in the past week. These cards were made for Reggie by his sisters, Kathy and Sherry, and one of our sisters-in-law, Mindy, who all live in Vermont.

Reggie Bday 4

Kathy’s card in bright primary colors has a heat embossed greeting (one of her favorite techniques) with a dry embossed background, all focusing on the “Happy Birthday” theme.

Reggie Bday 2

Mindy’s card in earth tones features the Canada Goose from the Wetlands set, and she cleverly uses the watercolor swashes from the Work of Art set to add color to to her images. The addition of twine is a nice natural accent.

Reggie Bday 3

Sherry has made good use of the Lost Lagoon and Hello Honey In Colors to coordinate with her designer paper, as well as echoing the spherical shapes using balloons from the Celebrate Today set. The tiny rhinestones are a perfect finishing touch.

Thank you for the beautiful cards, everyone! We always look forward to seeing what you have created for us.

Here are some of the supplies that were used to make the “Sisterly Love” cards:

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Fright Night Extra!

Fright Nights

Card on left by Kathy Degree. Card on right by Valory Degree.

Extra, extra, read all about it! I’ve never put up two posts in one day, but tonight is an exception because the mail just came and I received another hand-stamped Halloween card, this time from my sister-in-law Kathy Degree.

Kathy Fright Night

Kathy used black embossing powder on her image, and if you’ll notice she cleverly positioned the tree under a lighter place on the printed paper so it would give the impression of moonlight shining around the owl on the branch. The little extra spots of embossing powder enhance the artsy look of the piece, almost giving it a woodcut appearance.

Valory Fright Night

I made this card a few years ago, so the stamps are retired now, but the technique I used is easy to do with any stamps. Cut a circle out of a scrap of card stock or plain paper with a punch or round die cutter to make a mask. Next, lay it on the panel where you want your moon. Sponge very lightly with ink inside the cut out hole, starting around the edge and working inward, leaving some parts lighter and some darker to give variegation.

Here are some of the materials that I used on my Fright Night card. What other color schemes do you think would look good with this sponged moon (or sun) technique?

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