Thursday, January 31, 2013

Six Hearts

Rubber stamping involves numerous clever tools and time-saving techniques for which I am daily grateful.  One of these involves spray inks, which can lay down intense color almost instantly . . . and since you never know exactly what you’re going to get, that certainly keeps things exciting!

Adirondack’s color sprays used to be the best deal out there:  an excellent price, richly intense colors, and packaged in generous 4 oz bottles.  As with all wonderful things, however, the original package has gone south.  The Powers That Be decided we’d be happier with half-sized bottles that cost more than the original full-sized one.  Go figure. 

At least, the colors are still great . . .

Cardstock:         Bazzill Juneberry, Marcos Constellation Jade Raster-White,
                                 watercolor paper
Stamps:              Hero Floating Hearts, VAP ‘Love’
Inks:                    Adirondack sprays Red Pepper, Cranberry, Eggplant,
                                 Gelly Roll Clear Star
Emb Powder:      Judikins White Diamond
Dies/Punches:    Japanese Hole Punch
Doo Dads:          1/8” White satin ribbon, 4 Red heart brads

Monday, January 28, 2013

Love & Roses

It’s that time of the year again, stampers.  This is when we can let out all the stops, forget about any rules which dictate stern boundaries for Guy Cards, and simply let the lacy froth and ribbons abound!  The next five posts will hopefully provide some inspiration for this most romantic holiday of the year.  Enjoy!

Cardstock:         Marcos Ivory Linen, Beckett Candlelight, paper eyelet border
Stamps:              PSX Love Heart, Unknown Curly Border
Inks:                    ColorBox Ruby Red  Marvy Silver Marker
Emb Powder:      B’Muse Raspberry Dazzle
Doo Dads:          Satin rose border, Silver cord, deckled scissors

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Warm & Wonderful

While the tulip photographed with more subtlety than it has in real life, I had fun giving the background more emphasis than it usually gets.  Full disclosure:  I wasn’t planning on this effect at all!  I backed into this one for sure, and it took awhile to really see it . . .

 . . . part of my artistic journey involves facing the fact that I am too often marching in lockstep with the same design rules used over and over again.   The word “rut” probably describes this very well.  For example, the focal point is always supposed to be emphasized and the background is supposed to recede – right?  Well, maybe not!  At first, I wasn’t sure that having the background pretty much be the focal point actually worked, but I’ve decided I rather liked the misty pale look of the tulip and am keeping the layout just as it is.  After all, this is for an early Spring birthday and frosty mornings certainly go with that territory!

I think I’ll reverse the rules a little more often in future . . .

Cardstock:         Generic Light Blue, Beckett Moonlight
Stamps:              Stampin’ Up Happy Birthday Greetings Background,
                                Magenta Tulip
Inks:                    VersaMark Clear, VersaColor Baby Blue, Gelly Roll Clear Star
Color Pencils:    Prisma Nectar, Slate Blue
Emb Powder:    Judikins Pastel*
Dies/Punches:   Spellbinders Scalloped Rectangle, 1/8” Corner Punch
Doo Dads:          Grosgrain Ribbon Peach, Mark Richards Star Crystal Stickers

* This stuff is amazing!  The name “Pastel” doesn’t do it justice at all:  I think it should be named “Pearl” because that’s exactly what it is . . . a lustrous and shimmering beauty that works over any color.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Acetate Adventure #2

Last week’s depiction of Shari Carroll’s lovely acetate-layered card had an entirely different color scheme.  It’s amazing to see how much a color change can alter the entire mood of a piece . . .

. . . down the road, there will be a third installment of my Acetate Adventure series and it will feature an altered design and an entirely different color palette.  Choose your colors – pick your mood!

Cardstock:         Bazzill Burning Ember, Dark Tangerine, Generic Taupe, Acetate
                                 sheet, various Blue, Rust  pieces from my Scrap Stash.
Stamps:              Judikins Swirls & Curls, Rubber Necker Wildflower Background,
                                  Hero ‘Happy Birthday’
Inks:                    StazOn Cotton White, Hero Wet Cement, and whatever my
                                   scraps already had on them
Emb Powder:    Vippies Transcendence
Dies:                    Marianne Design Poinsettia, Wplus9 Banner Trio,
                                  DieNamics Rolled Rose
Punches:            Memories ¼” Corner Rounder, two sizes butterfly punches
Doo Dads:          May Arts Jute Twine, Teal pearls, glitter

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Spoiler Alert:  Guy Card comin’ up!  One of our friends is a commercial plant grower so I especially enjoy using organic images when doing his birthday cards . . .

 . . . if using ribbons and bows on manly – themed cards bothers you, knots or tag ties can be a great substitute.  You can get the color, textural interest and dimensionality without veering over the line into girly world.  Of course, let us not forget that guys tie their shoelaces into bows, right?  I’m just sayin’ . . .

Cardstock:         Bazzill Julep, generic Taupe
Stamps:              Rubber Stampede Eucalyptus, Unknown Small Leaf, Stampin’ Up
                                  Itty Bitty Background, Hero ‘Happy’
Inks:                    Distress Dusty Concord, Mowed Lawn, ColorBox Silver, Archival
                                  Jet Black, Gelly Roll Clear Star
Emb Powder:    B’Muse Silver
Dies/Punches:   MFT Traditional Tags Stax, 2 sizes circle punches (for tag
                                  reinforcement holes)
Doo Dads:          Perfect Pearls Pewter spray mist, grosgrain ribbon, Silver nailheads

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy Birthday

My adorable niece Becky really liked my previous attempt at semi-scene stamping and she has lovingly badgered me into having another go at it.  This card is for a six-year-old whose yet-to-be formed artistic perceptions will probably slide right by my yet-to-be formed skills with this art form . . .

One of Becky’s successful ploys involved gifting me with the adorable bicycle stamp for my birthday two weeks ago.  Nothing would do but to make a happy scene for my grandson who absolutely loves the color green.  He’ll totally love it.  Thanks, Becky!

Cardstock:         Bazzill Julep, Beckett Iceberg, Generic Red, Grey
Stamps:              Hero Clouds, Love You to Bits Texture, Rubber Baby Stone Wall,
                                Savvy Countryside Bike
Inks:                    Ancient Page Aegean Blue, Flannel Grey, Coal, Archival Jet Black,
                                VersaMark, Gelly Roll Clear Star, Marvy Silver Just Glitter
Colored Pencil: Lyra Silver
Emb Powder:    B’Muse Deep Forest Green
Emb Folder:       Cuttlebug Mesh
Dies/Punches:   Fiskars Clouds, Wplus9 Mini Pennants, EK Success Bare Tree(used as
                                an armature to hold the flowers in the basket), Punch Bunch Flowers

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy Birthday

In December, Shari Carroll came out with a card on the Simon Says site that literally knocked my stampin’ socks off.  Even though it involved acetate (which can be tricky to stamp on), the results were so worth the effort.  Go HERE to see her card and also the excellent video showing how she made it.  She includes a wonderful tip on how to avoid skidding while stamping on that slippery stuff.  I tried it and it works beautifully!  Meanwhile, below is my version . . .

Now fellow students, here’s your free classroom session on Plagiarism 101:  although there are differences in the stamps and the embellishments we used, it’s quite obvious that Shari’s card provided major inspiration for my own card.  I don’t have a problem with this semi-copy of her work at this point because I am in student mode here, learning not only a new technique, but also new (for me) design possibilities.  After all, art students are routinely sent to museums to copy the Masters on their sketch pads.  However, from this point on, I am hot to go in new directions with Shari’s ideas and my brain is already cooking with different color schemes, layouts, and even the use of different sizes of acetate panels which ought to change things up immensely and make the work really mine. 

Stay tuned for further work derived from Shari’s lovely inspiration!  And if you haven’t already done so, start collecting acetate pieces from any commercial packaging you receive:  among many other sources, Spellbinders dies come in wonderfully-sized flat acetate packages that are perfect for cards . . .

Cardstock:         Bazzill Black, Generic Taupe, Acetate sheet, various
                             Cream, Black, Brown pieces from my Scrap Stash.
Stamps:              Judikins Swirls & Curls, Rubber Necker Wildflower
                              Background,Hero Happy Birthday
Inks:                    StazOn Cotton White, Hero Wet Cement, ColorBox Black,
                               and whatever my scraps already had on them    
Emb Powder:    Judikins Detail Black
Dies:                    Marianne Design Poinsettia, Wplus9 Banner Trio,
                              DieNamics Rolled Rose
Punches:            Memories ½” Corner Rounder, two sizes butterfly punches
Doo Dads:          May Arts Jute Twine, Black pearls, glitter

Monday, January 7, 2013


One way to help get my thank you notes done in timely fashion is to make a small stack of card fronts ahead of time.  Then all I need to do is insert the note.  If I get started early enough, I can bypass the pressure and enjoy the job!  This year’s card shows two ideas I enjoyed using . . .

 . . . I love using handmade paper but sometimes it’s too thin to carry off the look I’m after.  So before I cut the oval above, I ran some scrap cardstock through my Xyron, pressed it to the back of my handmade paper, and then ran it through my die cutting machine.  Now there’s some heft to it which works well with the rest of the card design.

The second idea came from Gina K Designs via her post of December 20th HERE.  I had some coarse glitter I wanted to use to add some interesting texture to the flowers.  So after die cutting the Fresh Daisies, I used a VersaMark pen to brush on some clear ink over the flower heads and then embossed them with white embossing powder.  While still hot, I scattered on the glitter and pressed with my finger to seat as many of the crystals as possible.  I then re-heated to soften the powder, and then once again, I quickly added a little more powder.  One final heating and the job was done.  That glitter is there to stay . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Sunshine, Beckett Iceberg, generic handmade
Stamps:       Stampin’ Up “Thanks”
Inks:            ColorBox Gold, Distress Old Paper, Gelly Roll Clear
                       Star Pen
Emb Powder:  Ranger Gold
Dies:            Memory Box Fresh Daisies, Wplus9 Banner Trio,
                             Spellbinders Petite Ovals Small, Petite Scalloped
                             Ovals Small

Thursday, January 3, 2013


My wonderful Mother quietly left this life on December 9.  As a dear friend of mine observed, “She will be in heaven sitting at the feet of Jesus on His birthday.”  At 99 years of age, her life was indeed a long and a very full one.  We three kids were deeply blessed with the parents we were given and neither one will ever be forgotten.

The card above was sent to everyone who helped us through our loss.   Along with our wonderful memories, I am grateful for the faith Mom taught us as children, for the loving strength God has shown us through our dear friends, and for His peace that passes all understanding . . .

Cardstock:         Generic Olive Green,  Conquerer Lightspeck Dune,
                             Generic  Metallic Silver
Stamps:              Hero “Peace”
Inks:                    ColorBox Silver
Emb Powder:    B’Muse Silver
Dies/Punches:   Memory Box Grove Branch, McGill Creativity Butterfly
                                    punch, 1/8“ corner punch