Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Paper Pumpkin Kit for August 2016

It's been awhile since I've ordered a My Paper Pumpkin kit from Stampin' Up!, but last month they gave us a sneak peek of the full-size stamp set (gorgeous!) and told us we'd be making cards. (Some months they feature banners, decorations, gift-giving projects, etc.) I just had to see the Bold Botanicals stamp set to know I wanted the little red-orange box this month.

I'm so glad I got it, too! At first I was disappointed at the colors (primarily Bermuda Bay, Cajun Craze, and Mint Macaron... bleh!), but as I got into the projects the color combination grew on me - to the point that I know I will use those colors together again on my own non-Pumpkin projects!

The kit provided materials to make a total of nine cards: 3 regular A2 sized cards, 3 notecards, and 3 pocket cards that can hold small messages and/or gift cards. While I stuck closely to the original designs, I did manage to throw in a few extra steps to jazz up each card, including putting sentiments on the inside. Here's the first card as designed:

I added a little flair to the Mint Macaron background:

Inside of card, with sentiment taken from the Love and Affection set in the annual catalog:

and envelope:

For the notecards I made one as designed and then Joycefied the other two:

Notecard inside:

and envelope:

The pocket cards are so stinkin' cute! Check 'em out:

The pockets were easy to assemble and even had adhesives strips on them ready to go. The mini index card is lined, making it easy to write a personal note - but I decided to make a bold statement with the Love You stamp instead. The little embellishments are adorable - a tiny burlap banner with a flower, and then a tiny clothespin with a bow tied onto it holds the index card in the pocket. 

I had so much fun with this month's My Paper Pumpkin that I'm toying with the idea of becoming a monthly subscriber again. I do love designing my own cards from scratch, but sometimes I need a less challenging project like this was. I have until September 10th to decide, so we shall see what happens.

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In other news, I've been going through lots of boxes that never got unpacked after the renovation moves in early 2014, and in the process I'm being reunited with an amazing amount of art and crafting supplies that I'd long forgotten that I had. It's like Christmas here! Truly, I never need to buy another stamp ever again! (but knowing me, I will anyway!!) In fact, I find that I own two or more of some things (heat tools, craft mats, and other tools) because I had to replace items that I couldn't find in the boxes.

I'm so grateful for all the "stuff" I now know I have, but I'm becoming painfully aware that I need some sort of system to organize it all. Seriously, I have stamps that I don't remember seeing ever before! And if I don't know I have them, they will never get used.

And, of course, I'm entertaining thoughts of purging. I love all my "stuff" but I just don't have room for it all. I think of people who pretty much stamp for a living, the Jennifer McGuires of the crafting community, and can't help but wonder how they have time to both stay organized and create! If anyone has suggestions of how to go about organizing stamps and supplies, I'm all ears!

'Tis late and my pillow calls me. Until next time,

Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Monday, August 22, 2016

Riding the Wave

Today's card is from another Splitcoaststampers challenge, SC606. Here's the sketch:

... and here's what I did with it:

The "Happy Birthday" is inset between two raised panels, and then the yellow balloon is also raised. I really like the look, and it was relatively easy to do with the Ride the Wave die from My Favorite Things.

Stamps: Wavy Greeting (MFT)
Colors: Bermuda Bay, Daffodil Delight, Real Red, Crisp Cucumber, Mint Macaron, Basic Black, Whisper White
Paper: Cherry on Top DSP stack (SU), Daffodil Delight, Heavy Whisper White
And: Ride the Waves die set (MFT), Balloon Bouquet punch (SU), Stampin' Dimensionals (lots of them!), silver thread

If you'd like to see the card on the Splitcoaststampers website, click here. I'm tickled pink that a few ladies left lovely comments there for me!

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Coming up next: a look at this month's My Paper Pumpkin kit

Until then,
Wavy smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Monday, August 15, 2016

Birthday Waffles

Sometimes I make cards that defy explanation. As an introduction to today's card, all I can say is it's a strange story involving two strange people - myself and a crafting buddy named Margie. In a nutshell, we both love words - word meanings, puns, and even how certain words sound. Like waffle. And indubitably.

So for Margie's birthday, here's the card I made her:

(Click to see a larger photo.)
 Inside left:
 Inside right:
How's that for a one-of-a-kind birthday card?

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Coming up next: a Splitcoaststamper challenge card

Until then,
Waffley Smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Monday, August 8, 2016

Floating Butterflies

One of my StampNation Sistahs, Robi Kublin, posted some cards she made similar to something she saw on Pinterest - and Robi's cards sparked my own imagination!

The idea that Robi picked up on involved stamping a cluster of flowers and then die cutting a butterfly or another flower out from over this cluster. The die cut piece would then be strategically glued back in place with the wings or petals pulled up so as to look like they are floating over the stamped flowers. My jaw dropped when I saw these cards, but then it occurred to me to take it a step further.

The cards I am CASEing here have a layer of white behind the layer the die cuts are taken from. My thought was to make two identical clusters of flowers using my MISTI tool, cut the butterflies out of the top one, and then layer it over the uncut one so that the flowers can still be seen even where the wings are lifted out. A picture speaks a thousand words:

It's easier to see from a side angle:

The inside is pretty simple:

Stamps: Eva's Favorite Flowers; Love Ya, Girlfriend; Lovely Notes (all from various Stamp of Approval collections)
Colors: Tempting Turquoise, Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Gumball Green, Perfect Plum, Strawberry Slush, Whisper White (all SU!)
Dies: Bold Butterfly Framelits (SU!); Butterflies (HOTP)
Other: MISTI, Corner Chomper, Sparkling Clear sequins (PPP)

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I'm currently working on cards for several of my friends who have birthdays this month, so once their birthdays have passed I will be posting those cards. I also had a chance to play with some of Ken Oliver's liquid metals this weekend -- and are they ever fabulous! You will be seeing cards made with the pieces I created sometime relatively soon.

Another exciting piece of news is that Stampin' Up!'s Holiday mini catalog can be ordered from starting on September 1st, my birthday! I'm still in the process of familiarizing myself with this upcoming catalog, but I can already tell there's lots of fun stuff in it that I might just have to preorder!

Floating butterfly smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Friday, July 29, 2016

Michael Strong: Nite Owl

I'm a fan of Michael Strong's cloisonne' style stamps, and I've been trying for months to get my hands on two particular sets - Whimsical Owls and Hetty's Coffee Cup - but they've been out of stock. I was very surprised when Mike sent me some demo stamps, one or two from each set, to tide me over until the full sets are back in stock. Naturally, I felt a thank you card was in order. And since I had a coffee cup and an owl already in front of me just begging to be inked, I decided to make a 5" x 5" card with them:

Stamps: Whimsical Owls, Hetty's Coffee Cup (Michael Strong Stamps); Stationary Noted (Teresa Collins); Hardwood (Stampin' Up!)
Inks: Early Espresso, Dapper Denim (Stampin' Up!), VersaMark
Papers: Early Espresso, Dapper Denim, Basic Black, Crushed Curry, Whisper White, Gold Foil (retired), Affectionately Yours specialty DSP (Stampin' Up!)
And: Hearth and Home thinlits, 1-1/4" circle punch, Early Espresso embossing powder, gold embossing powder, white gel pen (Stampin' Up!), sponge, Stampin' Dimensionals

I debated whether the card needed the "nite owl" sentiment or not, since when I showed the card-in-progress to a few people they had to work to figure out what I was trying to convey. 

The card's already speeding its way to Mike in California so it's too late to do so, but in retrospect I think I should have put a tree or tree branch in the window to carry the brown through. 

The metallic is quite flashy in real life, so that really adds to the card. Truth be told, the flecks in the wallpaper are copper, but I figured that since the gold foil cardstock and the embossing powder gold aren't an exact match, the copper could pass as a gold.

I really enjoyed making this card, especially because there's a word play involved and I'm a bit of a punster. I sure hope Mike likes it!

Joyce Spear a.k.a. Stamper Joyce

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Birthday Cards for Two Cool Kids

My stamping buddy and friend Carey mentioned in a recent conversation that her middle son was having a birthday and entering into his teen years this year, and his younger brother would be turning 11 three days later. Since the new teenager really likes the card I made for him in January and even keeps it on display beside his bed, I decided I would make another display-worthy card to celebrate his birthday.

I remembered that he likes cats, the color blue, and ice cream (we have so much in common!), so that was my starting point. Long story short, he ended up with a shaker card full of kitties!

(Click on picture for a closer look.)

Close-up of the kitties with their ice cream cones:

Stamp sets: Christmas Cats by SSS, front sentiment by Stampin' Up!, and the inside sentiment from Playful Kittens by SSS

Colors: Pool Party, Mint Macaron, Watermelon Wonder, Blushing Bride, Soft Suede (all from SU!), and whatever black ink pad I had handy, most likely either VersaFine Black Onyx or Memento Tuxedo Black, both of which are my go-to black inkpads these days

Paper: Pool Party card base, Mint Macaron inside balloon, and SU!'s Birthday Bouquet DSP from the most recent Occasions mini catalog

Accessories: VersaMark ink + WOW! clear gloss super fine embossing powder; shaker guts (a combination of sequins from Pretty Pink Posh and Darice, stars and tinsel from Martha Stewart, and a bunch of wee kitties created with a die from Impression Obsession); dies that coordinate with Christmas Cats; Balloon die set from Simon Says Stamp; silver and white baker's twine; and foam adhesive strips from SU!

Here's the inside:

I had a moment of brilliance when I thought of cutting out ice cream cones from the DSP and giving them to the cats to hold.


Today's second card was designed for the youngest brother whose favorite color is yellow.

Stamps: Party Pachyderms (Lil' inker Designs), Big Scripty Greetings (SSS), Gradation background stamp (Impression Obsession)

Colors: Dandelion, Danube Blue, Love Letter, Bamboo Leaves, Grape Jelly, Lilac Posies, Tangelo (Memento)

Paper: Daffodil Delight, Pool Party (SU!)

Accessories: Party Pachyderms dies, WOW! clear gloss super fine embossing powder

This was a really fun card to put together, maybe because it's so simple, or maybe because I stretched myself to use my Memento inks instead of my usual Stampin' Up! pads. I think it's good to try different brands, but at the end of the day I'm a Stampin' Up! girl at heart.

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With this post I am finally caught up with blogging several months worth of cards, so now I need to go make new ones... yay! I hope those of you on email enjoyed finding something from me in your inbox every day for a week. I haven't posted this regularly for a long time, and it felt good. I miss my little buddy Chris who faithfully commented on every post, but she passed away in June so now I'm acting on faith that you guys are out there and breathing. I hope you'll consider leaving a comment every once in a blue moon, even if it's just to say hello. Anytime you have questions about a product or technique I will do my best to answer them in a helpful way.

I'm currently working on a thank-you card using some Michael Strong stamps, and I think it'll turn out great. Lots of other birthdays are coming up in the second half of the year, especially in August and September. (I'm a virgo myself, so do virgos naturally attract other virgos as friends?) I owe thank you cards to several people, and then the Christmas / winter holiday season will be upon us. And somewhere in the middle of all that I hope to be working every so often on my art journal, too... so barring health issues I should have lots of eye candy (the artsy type, lol) for you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Contented Smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. Stamper Joyce

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Beautiful World Stamp of Approval

Back in April I purchased Catherine Pooler's fourth Stamp of Approval collection with the theme "Beautiful World," but because I was knee-deep in other projects I didn't break into it until this month! It was a long wait, but my first two card designs turned out pretty decent.

I tend to dive into projects that are very detailed and time-consuming, and then I get discouraged because it doesn't seem I'm making many cards at all. Once I finished the bendy cards (see previous post), I decided that I should start creating some very simple cards and see if I could make at least one in one evening. To my amazement, I created one card in a little over an hour, and then two of another design that emerged rather quickly after that. 

Card 1 was made with the stamp set Enchanted Garden by Sugar Pea Designs along with their Enchanted Butterfly die. I didn't use any special or fancy techniques; I just randomly stamped the images to create a floral collage. The hardest part (and it wasn't all that difficult) was choosing ink colors. I settled on the following Stampin' Up! inks: Gumball Green, Sweet Sugarplum, Flirty Flamingo, Peekaboo Peach, Pool Party, and Marina Mist. I stamped the sentiment with VersaFine Onyx Black because I like how that ink captures little details in a sentiment without spreading. I was tempted to break my "nothing fancy" rule and heat emboss to avoid smearing the black VersaFine, which is a pigment ink, but I decided to just be careful with the card front until the ink dried.

(Click photos to enlarge.)

The inside of the card matches perfectly:

I see myself making quite a few more of this card design because it's so quick and easy. I just love the whimsical designs of the flowers and leaves!

Cards 2 and 3 are nearly twins. For both I embossed my favorite image from the Gina K. set Beautiful World in detailed clear embossing powder onto Whisper White and then sponged with Salty Ocean and Picked Raspberry. I embossed the sentiment from the CAS-ual Fridays stamp set All About You in detail white onto Basic Black cardstock, then used Stampin' Dimensionals to attach it to the front. The addition of the Elegant Butterfly die and some black sequins completed the cards.

The top card has some sequin-sized dots added to fill in empty spaces; and it amused me to use a half-sequin I found in the package from Pretty Pink Posh at the top of the card. The bottom card has more black sequins, (I wish I would have added fewer!), and the additional distress color of Wilted Violet.

The insides were simply sponged with matching distress ink, and then I added another Elegant Butterfly. Pretty easy!

I've barely gotten started with all the ideas I have for products in this Stamp of Approval collection, and when I pull in components from other collections, it feels like the possibilities will be endless! If you missed out on this or any SOA collection, you will be able to purchase most of the products in Autumn when Catherine Pooler opens her own online store. Cool, eh?

And if by chance you have no idea what the "Stamp of Approval" buzz is about, you can learn more about it at the website. I am still and always a huge fan of Stampin' Up! and its products (which is why I'm a demo!), but I do feel Catherine has created something really special with SOA. The products are both trendy and classic and are designed to work together amazingly well. In my experience they also play nicely with Stampin' Up! products, which is a huge bonus! 

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Tomorrow I'll be showing you two cards I made to celebrate the birthdays of two awesome young men. I'm pretty sure you'll be impressed with at least one of them!

Beautiful Smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. Stamper Joyce

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Meowy Christmas Bendy Cards

Exciting news: I've made two more Christmas cards this month! Woot! I can't wait to show you my bendy cards!

This post is going to be picture-heavy simply because, as they (whoever "they" is) say, a picture speaks a thousand words. I'll sprinkle in some information as I go, and if I leave any questions unanswered I hope you'll leave a comment or email me.

Let's start at the beginning, the fronts of the fully assembled cards:

(click photos to see them enlarged)

I made two almost identical cards; the main difference is that one of the cards has candy dots on the trees in addition to the stamped ornaments, so it looks a little more detailed. I'm a novice at alcohol markers, but I got brave and decided to use my Spectrum Noir pens to color the stamped images.

Closer view of one of the cards:

Looking from the sides:

The stamp set I used exclusively is Christmas Cats from Simon Says Stamp, and I was grateful I invested in the coordinating dies. I chose this set because I needed images that I could glue back to back so they'd be seen on both sides of the hills - and the cats and the trees fit the bill.

Here's what the card looks like right out of the envelope (and yes, it does fit in a standard A2 envelope):

The recipient tucks in the two tabs to make the card bend, hence "bendy" card. (I've also seen this style referred to as a "bendi" card, but I think that is the East Indian version. ;) ) I haven't decided whether to label the tabs A and B or trust that whoever gets the card will figure it out, so I'd love to hear your thoughts on this! Here's how the tabs curl:

Top view:

When the right flap is open, here's what you see:

The inside of the left flap:

Completely open:

The tricky part of this card was shaping the hills so they'd begin and end in the right place. I think this is why most bendy cards I've seen have either straight or angled sides. Once I masterminded the shapes (okay, so it wasn't THAT hard, lol), I added shading and Dazzling Diamonds glitter along the top edges and the snowbanks. In real life they really are dazzling!

Close-up of the glitter-embossed sentiment:

I used some DSP to cover the back of the card and also hide the slots. I added a sponged Top Note die cut as a place to put a personal message since there's not a lot of room to write inside the card:

I started out this project following some directions sent to me by one of my StampNation Sistahs (Hi, Tristan!), but if you're interested in making a bendy card for the first time, I'd recommend the tutorial on the Splitcoaststampers website.

This turned out to be a time-consuming project for me, probably because of all the little details I put into it, but I'd say it was totally worth the effort!

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Coming up next: Some Stamp of Approval cards
Followed by: Birthday cards for two awesome young men

Bendy smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. Stamper Joyce

Monday, July 25, 2016

Froggie Cards

I meet the most interesting people in StampNation! A few months ago I found out one of the Sistahs used to have her own stamp company, and she mentioned she had some stamps leftover and would be happy to send me some from her catalog. I looked through it and picked out what I considered to be a reasonable number of stamps, and in time they arrived on my doorstep. I offered to at least reimburse her for postage, and she said she'd love it if I would make a card using the stamps. And thus it began, one of the most detailed batches of cards I've ever made.

At first glance they don't look like much, but I used this project to practice coloring and shading as well as to practice creating a scene. Here's the first of four cards, my prototype for the rest:

I used ten of her stamps (plus a few of my own) to make this card front. (For other insanely curious people like myself who might have to know which ten, they are: the frog, two dragonflies, the flower with ladybug already on it, the "enjoy" sentiment, the grass, and the branch with three leaf clusters.) 

I started each scene by using Stampin' Up! inks (Wild Wasabi and Soft Sky) to lay down the background color. I used two sizes of scallop circle punches to create the clouds with a sponge. The most time-consuming part was creating grass that I could be proud of. I had one stamp of grass close to an inch long, and I used it to create hills and valleys, shadows and sunny spots.

The rest was coloring and fussy cutting, then mounting the images with Stampin' Dimensionals.

I experimented with a different froggie color on the fourth card since I was getting restless. Here's the inside of the card:

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Coming up next: Bendy cards! Oh, my... so much fun!

Froggie smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. Stamper Joyce