Monthly Archives: April 2015

Snapshot Smile

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Check out the shaker card I created kicking off from As You See It Challenge #084. I used the Snapshot stamp, shaker frames, and In-Colour Sequins (all on the retiring list!).

Here’s the sketch challenge for this week.

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I just realized, I even used the same colours of the flowers in the sketch! Look at me go! Whoop whoop! Here’s the card I designed from this fun layout:

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This will make a great birthday card or even a “just because”. The card base is Tangelo Twist. I then layered over that with a playful sheet of the Birthday Bash Designer Series Paper. The “smile” sentiment was stamped with Versamark ink and heat embossed using Whisper White embossing powder to make it really crisp and stand out on the Crushed Curry cardstock. After stamping the sentiment, I used it as a guide for where to cut my diagonal cut out with my paper cutter (I cut out about an inch).

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I ran the upper piece through the Big Shot with the Polka Dot embossing folder, being sure that about half an inch of the paper was NOT in the folder so it would not get embossed. I then used my Simply Scored tool and my stylus to impress two score lines where the embossing stopped.

Next was to stamp and colour the Snapshot image. I stamped it on Whisper White cardstock with Stazon Black ink so that I could colour it with my Blender Pens using Mossy Meadow and Bermuda Bay ink. I stamped the image a second time and punched out the lens portion of the image with my 3/4″ circle punch and again with my 1 1/4″ circle punch so that I had a remaining doughnut shaped piece of the zoom lens with the black center discarded. A piece of Window Sheet (cut with a Circle Framelit) was added to the back of this. Then, a Shaker Frame (sadly, they are also on the retiring list) was placed on the larger image, to which I added a few of the In-Colour Sequins (also retiring) and carefully placed my doughnut piece, now complete with the Window Sheet, on top so that it lined up with the Shaker Frame.

The Linen Thread loops were an afterthought that add some texture to the card. I adhered them with a line of Fastfuse Adhesive before applying the Snapshot image with Dimensionals to the card front.

Be sure that you don’t miss out on the Retiring product from the current Stampin’ Up! catalogue!

It’s 8:45pm on Thursday night! Whoohoo! I’m off to bed as my head cold continues to drag me down. But I still stamped today and so can you!

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Butterfly Fancy Gate-Fold Card

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Just a quick post today with a card that was more of a prototype than a finished piece. I was hoping to tweak it a bit before sharing it with you, but hopefully you’ll see where I’m going with it!

Here’s the challenge from the As You See It Challenge blog this week – an assortment challenge!!

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I wanted to try to create a card for this one to mimic a very simple concept that I saw online for a birthday invitation. It was a gate-fold card with a butterfly opening. So, I pulled out my Butterfly Thinlit Dies and started to figure it out. This card was my first attempt:

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It was a bit of an awkward fumble to extend the cardstock beyond 11″ in order to make room for the butterfly cut out. This one ended up with a lot of fussy cutting to make it work. I then tried creating a second card with less pink on it (this is a LOT of pink for me, lol!).

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So, I went from all pink to almost no pink (just the In-Colour Sequins), but still I don’t feel like I’ve hit the mark with the design or the technique to get there. The second card uses two 5.5″x11″ pieces of cardstock to get the effect on the front. A bit of a cleaner finish that works, but I still want to work on this card design a bit more. I’ll keep you posted.

What do you think? Is this something you’d like to try?

What would you create using the elements of this Assortment Challenge? Can’t wait to see it!

Amy.

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Do More Thanks

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Welcome back to my weekly blog! One of these days I’ll add a surprise post on a different day to shake things up a bit, but for now, Fridays are “blog day”.

Do you ever find that day-to-day life gets in the way of really living?

Often, I feel like I’m just jumping from obligation to responsibility and back to obligation again. Life can become a series of “have to’s” with very few “want to’s” in between. The “have to’s” can provide security and a sense of accomplishment in the long term, while “want to’s” can provide immediate happiness and satisfaction. I think both are important, but it’s often difficult to find a balance of the two. As a mother of three, a wife, an employee, a home owner, and a Stampin’ Up Demonstrator, my life feels over-run with schedules and to-do lists; little things that need to be done, add up to big things. I am always trying to keep track of what comes next.  I’m always running behind – And I’m tough on myself. It’s a very rare thing for me to say “You did a great job on that! Well done!”, because I know that my attention was divided and I can see every mistake or where I should have done things better and where my time could have been spent more wisely. (that’s the perfectionist in me. I have frequent fights with her about “good enough” and “why even start?”)

At this moment, my “have to” is to write this blog post at 11:30pm. Don’t get me wrong, I want to write my blog post each week. It gives me pleasure to share my cards and projects and thoughts with you. I just don’t want to do it at this moment when I’d rather be going to bed – and some would argue – I should be going to bed!

I’ve been reading (very very slowly) Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts”. It’s all about being thankful. Even for the tough things in life – the “ugly beautiful” things, as she calls them. In all things we can give thanks. This book has taught me that what makes me most happy, is to take notice of the little things that normally go unnoticed. If only I would see them; acknowledge them; pray a prayer of thanks for them – and those little things start to feel like little treasures laid out just for me.

The “ugly beautiful” in my life is found in the obligations that pull me away from the “want to’s”. But my opportunity to seek joy in my life is in my thanksgiving for the little things; the little gifts that God gives to me within each day. I just need to look.

“God gives gifts

and I give thanks

and I unwrap the gift given: joy.”

– Ann Voskamp

I am thankful for the few lovely people who read this blog, even just once in a while. I am thankful for the opportunity to share my love of designing with ink, stamps, and paper. I am thankful that my life is full. I am thankful for the long-term security and sense of accomplishment in my life. I am thankful for my cozy bed that is waiting for me!

Here’s the sketch challenge from the As You See It Challenge blog this week:

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And here’s my take on the sketch. Happy colours for a happy thought. My “happy” is in the thankfulness of the little things – God’s little treasures laid out just for me.

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I used a Crumb Cake card base with a second layer of Crumb Cake raised up with Dimensionals and paper pierced all around the edges using the Paper Piercing Tool and the Essentials Paper Piercing Pack to guide me. I first stamped the “do more of what makes you happy” with Tuxedo Black ink on the Crumb Cake cardstock. Then, the four squares (Rich Razzleberry, Island Indigo, Strawberry Slush, Tangerine Tango) were lightly tacked down with a tiny bit of SNAIL under each of them so I could stamp the image again over the previous image, lining it up carefully so that it would match up with the previous image. Finally, I added the rectangular strip of Tangerine Tango cardstock and stamped the image carefully the third time.  I chose to add “the little things” stamp in Strawberry Slush ink to the one square and slipping a strip of Window Sheet as a banner under neath that same square.

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Once I was happy with my stamping and placement, I sponged colour around the edges of each piece of coloured cardstock, using their same ink colours. This adds a beautiful rich depth to the paper. Finally, I adhered the squares. Two with Fast Fuse and two with Dimensionals. The Linen Thread was tied on to add a touch more texture.

And that’s it. My take on the sketch. My take on finding my “happy” – to see and to give thanks for the little things.

What will you do for this sketch? Share it on the As You See It Challenge blog!

Amy

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Starburst Spring Card

081headerIt’s time for another challenge card with my Stampin’ Up papercrafting supplies. I was getting tired of the usual 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ rectangles, so I went with circular card today using the Starbust Framelits and some faux water colouring. Gotta shake it up a bit now and then, lol!

Here’s the challenge sketch that I started with from the As You See It Challenge blog:

AYSIChallenge081-1024x1024I decided to work with my Water Colour Paper, Handpicked Framelits, the From the Garden stamp set, the Mother’s Love Stamp set and some spritzing with water!

I shared this card with my technique class just the other night. My monthly group have become some of my closest friends. They really are the main reason that I have remained a Stampin’ Up Demonstrator for so long! Don’t get me wrong, I love creating with stamps and ink; I love the coordinating colours in paper, inks, and embellishments; I adore the tools and how easy they make it to create something beautiful; but what really carries me through and holds the most meaning and significance for me as a Demonstrator, are the relationships. It’s all about the people, the smiles, the laughter, the playful banter, the excitement and joy, and, especially the silliness.

Here’s the card:

081AmyAh, Blackberry Bliss. I wish you would photograph a bit better.

I think the most challenging element of this card was to stamp the outline image inside the cut out! We tried a few different ways, but the two that seemed to work the best were to lay the Water Colour paper with the cut out (from the Handpicked Framelits) over top of the Very Vanilla circle (cut with the Big Shot and the Circle Framelits), then either outlining the inside of the cutout with pencil, then using the pencil outline as a guide for where to lay your image; or simply stamping through the cutout itself.

In hindsight, drawing the pencil line, then using the Stamp-a-majig would have probably been the best solution to the challenge (sorry, Mom, I should have thought about that!)

081sideThe images were first inked either with the ink pads as you normally would, or with markers, then the photopolymer or rubber was spritzed with water before stamping the image on the Water Colour paper. The Mother’s Love set has a very pretty two-step stamping method so that we could do the outline image of the flowers with Blackberry Bliss and Mossy Meadow ink (using the Stampin’ Write Markers), then we could fill in the flowers with the coordinating flower stamp, using Pink Pirouette ink. One important trick with layers of images like in this card, is to allow each layer to dry before stamping the next layer, otherwise you could end up with a bit of a muddy mess as the colours run into each other and lose the definition of the images. When you are impatient, you can dry it a little faster by dabbing the really wet spots with a paper towel and drying the rest with a Heat Tool before moving onto the next layer.

The starburst image is from the Kinda Eclectic Stamp set. I used a piece of paper to mask off the upper portion of the image as I wanted only the lower portion of the stamp to show on my card (to work best with the challenge sketch). I originally used Sahara Sand ink for that image, but you can see that it looks very yellow here – I think the stamp had not been cleaned after it was last used – oops. When my stampers recreated this card, they used Hello Honey, which worked quite nicely to mimic this unknown colour, lol!

081CloseOnce all the images were in place, I sponged Pink Pirouette ink all around the edges of the Water Colour paper to give it a soft finish. It still didn’t look done, so I got a hold of my Gold Glimmer pen, Blackberry Bliss marker, and my Pink Pirouette marker and added randomly placed dots around the flower clusters. Up on Dimensionals, it went over top of the Very Vanilla circle and the Linen Thread bow was added with a dab of Multipurpose Tombow Liquid Glue.

Now, who to give this card to for spring? – I think it looks like a great Mother’s Day card. What do you think?

Be sure to try out the sketch at the As You See It Challenge Blog and share it with us there. Inspiration comes from every card I see, so bring it on!

Amy

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