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!

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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?

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!

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 Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers today!

Just Be Happy Card

I’m happy to be John and Anne’s mother, and so happy that I’ve had my mother, Jean, for 81 years and counting! What makes you happy? This card is meant to bring those thoughts to mind with bright colors, playful shapes and textures, and fanciful lettering.

Just Be Happy Angle

I did something a little different with the Hello You Thinlits Dies that I used to make the “happy” cutout on this card. I die cut three identical pieces from Melon Mambo card stock, and then I glued them one on top of the other with Multipurpose Liquid Glue. This gave me a thicker piece to work with for strength and dimension, and then to make it pop even more from the front of the card, I picked up a Glue Dot on the end of my Piercing Tool, rolled it around the tip, slipped it off and applied it to the back of the word piece. I did this in five places all along the back and then attached the whole word to the card.

Just Be Happy Detail

This was a perfect solution because the rolled up Glue Dots were small enough to stay hidden, but they were super sticky to hold things in place, and they added a little extra height as well. Can you see that I also gave it a swash of Clear Wink of Stella for a little sparkle?

Here is the color palette that I used on this card; I think it’s a fantastic combination, how about you? Click on any color swatch to see other products that we have in those colors too:

Here are all the supplies that I used to make the Just Be Happy card, and here’s a happy thought – all of them are available now, but will still be available in the new annual catalog that’s coming out on June 1st! Click on any picture to go right to the online store to read more or to order:

Tell me in the comments what makes you happy; we can all benefit by sharing our blessings!

Retiring Stamps – Idea #1!

Bohemian Flower

Here’s a thought: use a greeting from the retiring Sassy Salutations set, add a flower from the retiring Beautiful Bunch stamp set, mix well with retiring Hello Honey card stock and finish off with a piece of the retiring Bohemian Designer Series Paper. What have you got? A pretty Thank You card made quick and easy by using the retiring Fun Flower Punch and the Petite Petals Punch.

You can make this layout with any Designer Series Paper by cutting it 4″ x 4″ and then cutting it again diagonally. It fits perfectly on a standard 5 1/2″ x 4 1/4″ card front with a space in the middle to stamp the sentiment!

Bohemian Flower Detail

Foam Dimensionals and Glue Dots are my favorite adhesives for quick and effective placement of the flowers and the Bermuda Bay sequins.

Here’s our color palette for this card:

 

And here are the supplies used on the Bohemian Flower Thank You card that are on the Retiring List:

 

Things to Remember:

  • Stamp sets will be available through May 22nd; after that they will be while supplies last only.
  • All other supplies will be available while supplies last, and some things have already sold out.
  • To avoid disappointment, check the Retiring List now and get what you need before it’s gone for good!

 

Happy Easter – Hello Spring!

Sherry Easter 16

We got a beautiful watercolored hand-stamped Easter card in the mail yesterday from Sherry made with the Happy Home set from the Spring Occasions Catalog.

Here are the colors that Sherry used on her Hello Spring! card. Click on any color swatch to see other coordinating products:

 

Aqua Painters filled with water are used to pick up ink and apply it to the stamped image on the watercolor paper. Less mess and greater control make Aqua Painters a great alternative to a regular brush!

Here are the supplies that Sherry used to make her Easter card. Click on any image for more information or to go to the online store:

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!

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