Monday, October 17, 2016

Hello, Fabulous!

Here's a card I made last night in answer to My Favorite Things' Weekly Sketch Challenge (#MFTWSC302) - with a sketch too simple to pass up:

The sketch itself looks like this:

Could it be any easier? I told myself that since the sketch is so uncomplicated, this would be the perfect opportunity to give myself some practice with CAS (Clean and Simple) - a style which does not come naturally to me, creatively or practically. (Some days I think I can make just the simple act of *breathing* challenging, lol!) 

I kept the colors to simply black and white with some silver bling. The designer series paper I used is from Stampin' Up, as are the silver glimmer paper and the silver enamel elements. The "hello" is from the Hello World stamp set just released by Catherine Pooler Designs. The fabulous "fabulous" was cut from a die by Brutus Monroe.

Even as I write this I'm resisting the urge to add some clear Wink of Stella or Real Red or Flirty Flamingo marker to the background hearts... but I won't. ;)

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I have three more World Card Making Day 2016 cards to show you, so that will be an upcoming post, as will Splitcoast-stampers' SCS615 tomorrow. StampNation offered a total of twelve challenges for WCMD. I've finished eight so far, and I still have hopes that I can complete the remaining four... but we shall see. If anyone has extra hours in their days, could they please send them to me?

Fabulous smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Monday, October 3, 2016

World Card Making Day 2016, Part 2

I made two cards during WCMD weekend, both pretty simple.

Card 1
This was for the 4:00 challenge on Friday, and the theme was Land - in other words, greenery found on the land, images of the countryside, etc. I decided to focus on trees and use the Stampin' Up! set Totally Trees.

Stamps: Totally Trees; Live, Love, Grow (SU)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento), Crushed Curry, Gumball Green, Rich Razzleberry, Tempting Turquoise, Real Red (SU)
Paper: Gumball Green, Whisper White (SU)
Accessories: Decorative Dots embossing folder (SU), Brights and Regals Enamel Shapes (SU), Stampin’ Dimensionals (SU)

Card 2
I made my final card for the weekend for the final challenge over at StampNation, which was All About the Weather. Predictably, I chose to work with a rainbow.

Stamps: Hello Sunshine (Pink Paislee), Strokes of Wisdom (Raisin Boat), Collectable (My Mind’s Eye)
Ink: Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Cucumber Crisp, Pacific Point, Soft Sky, Wisteria Wonder (SU), Lavender Fields (Altenew)
Paper: Cucumber Crisp, Whisper White (SU)
Accessories: Scallop Circle punches (SU), Stitched Circle die (SSS), Brights Enamel Shapes (SU), Crystal Clear sequins (Pretty Pink Posh)

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I've done five of the twelve challenges so far, and hope to do a few more yet. In order to be eligible for prizes at StampNation from our generous sponsors, our cards must be submitted by October 22nd. I'm hoping things will be pretty quiet around here so I can focus my efforts.

So how did you celebrate World Card Making Day? Did you do anything special? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Big Smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

World Card Making Day 2016, Part 1

This year WCMD weekend turned out to be a blast for me! I had fun being a Guest Designer on StampNation and making a couple inspiration cards in advance for the event, and then I even was able to make a couple of cards during this weekend. I probably could have made more than I did, but I spent a lot of time looking at the cards everyone else posted - and WOW! The creativity blew me away! The quality of the cards is top-notch, and the quantity is unbelievable! One of the StampNation Sistahs counted 208 cards before the last challenges were even announced. Can you believe it?

Anyway, today I'm sharing the three cards that I submitted as a Guest Designer, along with some "almost" cards that didn't quite make the cut.

Card 1
This card was made for the "Take Flight!" challenge which went live at 8:00 on Saturday morning.  I made two versions of this card - the original and a do-over. On the original I brought out my Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors to color die cuts of the hummingbird and flowers:

I wasn't feeling very confident about how they turned out, so I did the card over again using colored cardstock.

I decided to make the second card more interesting by spattering some metallic copper watercolor paint across the card front. You can see this better in a close-up":

Stamps: Strictly Sentiments 2 (WPlus9)
Ink: Pool Party (SU), Onyx Black (VersaFine)
Paper: Gumball Green, Real Red, Whisper White (SU)
Accessories: Hummingbird die (Cheery Lynn Designs), Flourish Thinlit dies (SU), Stitched Rectangles die (SSS), Circle Scallop punches (SU), Meteor Copper (Stargazers Watercolor Palette), Clear Gloss Super Fine embossing powder (WOW!), Brights Enamel Shapes (SU)

Card 2
The second challenge I chose to play with was for 8:00 on Sunday morning, and the theme was "Galaxy Technique." I made several of these cards at once since I wasn't sure I'd nail it on the first try.

This one's not bad, but I do have a splash mark just above the sentiment.

This one also isn't bad, but I had problems with the toothbrush I was using to spatter dripping in all the wrong places.

Here's a close-up of the second card. Pretty groovy, eh?

And finally, here is the card I decided to use for the challenge:

Stamps: Uplifting Thoughts (SSS)
Ink: Mustard Seed, Spun Sugar, Picked Raspberry, Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, Wilted Violet, Seedless Preserves, Dusty Concord, Chipped Sapphire, Black Soot (Ranger Distress), Onyx Black (VersaFine), VersaMark
Paper: Distress Watercolor paper (Ranger), Basic Black (SU)
Accessories: White gesso (American Journey), Detail White embossing powder (Stampendous), Stampin’ Dimensionals (SU)

The following card was actually my first attempt at creating a galaxy look, before I went on YouTube and found several instructional videos that resulted in the three cards above. Not too bad for winging it, is it?

Would you believe the moon is not really a stamped image of a moon per se? My genius friend Carey showed me how I could create a moon using Stampin' Up!'s Gorgeous Grunge set and a circle punch! She is so brilliant!

Card 3
The theme for Sunday's noon challenge is Citiscapes. Pretty easy, especially if you have a friend with a Silhouette cutter who volunteers to mail a city skyline die cut to you. (Thanks, Carey!) She sent me several cuts of the skyline, so I layered two together to create some depth. I faded the back one with a bit of Picket Fence (white) distress ink, and glittered the front one with a Spectrum Noir clear sparkle brush marker. It looks much better in person than it does in the photo.

I used a bunch of distress ink colors to create the sky, and I think it turned out rather well. I couldn't resist adding the music notes once I picked out the sentiment.

Stamps: Happy Hello (Whimsy), Uplifting Thoughts (SSS)
Ink: Mustard Seed, Fossilized Amber, Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Carved Pumpkin, Ripe Persimmon, Abandoned Coral, Picket Fence (Ranger Distress), Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Paper: Distress Watercolor paper (Ranger), Heavy Whisper White (SU)
Accessories: Cityscape Border die cut (Silhouette), Tuxedo Black marker (Memento), Clear Sparkle pen (Spectrum Noir), Post-it tape (3M), Stampin’ Dimensionals (SU)

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Tomorrow I'll have at least two more cards to show you, and I think you'll like them. :)

Big smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Thursday, September 29, 2016

I Had a Secret...

I had a secret, but now that the cat's officially out of the bag I can finally announce it here on my blog.

I'm excited to reveal that I've been chosen as a Guest Designer for World Card Making Day weekend at StampNation! I'm one in a team of fifteen who were asked to make inspiration cards ahead of time for some of the twelve challenges that will be posted throughout the day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! I am truly honored to have been asked to contribute in this way.

And let me tell you, the other designers are no slouches - so if you're a member of StampNation, prepare to feast your eyes on some amazing cards! I think you're going to love the challenges! And don't forget, every card you post on a challenge thread makes you eligible to win one of the fantastic sponsor prizes. Our beloved Catherine Pooler also has two Live Events scheduled so far - and I can tell you from experience that her live videos are a hoot! I hope you can join us.

Not a member of StampNation yet? It's not too late to sign up and join in the fun with us! If you have any questions about our community, feel free to ask me in a comment below or to contact Catherine herself at the website. I do hope you can play along with us this weekend!

Stoked to Stamp,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Running Around in (Concentric) Circles

I have out-in-the-world appointments four out of five days this week, which is a lot for someone who is generally housebound. No wonder my head is spinning and I feel like I'm running around in circles!

I like circles, though, especially in the Concentric Circle die that Catherine Pooler released in her Lovely Notes Stamp of Approval collection. I've heard comments from some people that they've had difficulty with the die because it is so detailed, but I've had no problems, probably because I'm using the Precision Die Plate which I got from Stampin' Up! recently. The Precision Die Plate is not for everything - for example, it will warp simple framelits - but on detail dies it is an invaluable tool.

I didn't get a chance to play with the Lovely Notes collection until several weeks after it arrived, but now that I've broken into it I'm kicking myself for not making time sooner. To be honest, all of Catherine's SOAs have been awesome, and it seems each collection is better than the one before it. Her Candy Cane Lane holiday collection was just released and it is fantastic! I can't believe the cards I'm seeing that have been made from it, and I can't wait to start making my own! But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Back to the Concentric Circles die...

The first card I made with it was for Splitcoaststampers challenge SC611. Here's the sketch:

and here's what I did with it:

I made several cuts with the Concentric Circle die, so I decided to go ahead and make cards with them as well. I needed thank you cards, so I made two that I think turned out pretty cool. The first was in bright colors:

and I used more subdued colors for the second:

I have a bazillion other ideas using this die, but I'm thinking I need to get through World Card Making Day weekend and then start getting serious about my Christmas cards before the holidays sneak up on me. I'm sure you'll be seeing more Concentric Circles from me in the months to come!

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The clock is ticking! It's almost time for World Card Making Day! (and almost time for me to reveal my little secret!) If you're not already a member of StampNation, I hope you'll consider joining us for a fabulous weekend of fun September 30 through October 2. There will be card challenges, live video events, prize drawings, and... I think other surprises as well. ;)

Just two more sleeps!
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Sincere Form of Flattery

As many of my readers know, we in the stamping world use the phrase CASEing to refer to the practice of copying another stamper's work and giving credit ("Copy And Share Everything") or using it as the jumping-off point to a very different card. In many communities, including StampNation, we suggest that a CASE have three or more things that are different from the original card, so for that reason I prefer the acronym be used as Copy And Selectively Edit.

I take inspiration from cards all the time, sometimes without even realizing it. I don't think I'm alone in this, as we are all looking at each others' work all the time and it would be impossible to not be influenced by it. I try my best to give credit where credit is due, though, and today I would like to give credit to Heather North, one of the Dream Team members at StampNation, for a batch of cards that I had a lot of fun with. Here is her card:

Is that not gorgeous? I love pinks and blues and purples together to begin with, but then Heather knocks it out of the ball park by using butterflies and a fabulous quote.

I wanted to recreate her card, but got off to a rocky start. (Don't laugh too hard when I show you this!) Here's my mess:

Sometimes I think I'm smart, but then experience usually steps up to give me a reality check. I used the same supplies as Heather, most significantly embossing powder and Zig Clean Color Brush Markers, but the result was marginal. I started by embossing the three butterflies in silver and then the quote in clear embossing powder over Onyx Black VersaFine ink. Next I scribbled with the markers in the same colors as Heather used, then added water and utilized my Ranger heat tool to move the color around. Try as I might, I just could not get the color to spread like on Heather's. I finally had to give up because the watercolor paper was starting to pill and the embossed images were starting to flatten and spread.

That's when I had my "Aha!" moment. I touched base with Heather and confirmed my theory that I should have done the color background first and then embossed. (It's rather obvious when you think about it, lol.) By embossing over dried color the images remain raised and clear. Also, more water can be added to create the color background to begin with.

Armed with this knowledge I was able to create these two cards:

Thank you, Heather, for the wonderful card idea! I hope my little story gives you a chuckle. 

Stamps: Beautiful World (Gina K.); Uplifting Thoughts (SSS)
Paper: Distress watercolor; Basic Black (SU)
Inks: Onyx Black (VersaFine), VersaMark
Accessories: Zig Clean Color Brush Markers, detail silver embossing powder, detail clear embossing powder, sequins, Corner Chomper, corner punch (SU)

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World Card Making Day is just around the corner! I hope you'll be able to join us on StampNation in the celebration! There will be challenges, live events/chats, and prize drawings from some amazing sponsors, so don't miss out! I have a little surprise of my own to announce as the date gets closer.

Today IS a good day to smile,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

The Card that Almost Was

"The best laid schemes of mice and men go oft awry," wrote Robert Burns in a poem back in 1786 - and ain't it the truth! Many times I have started a card and then been interrupted by a more pressing deadline or project or by life itself, only to put the pieces of that card put into scrap months later without ever finishing it. This card was almost one of those. I ended up finishing *a* card with the supplies intended for this SC608 sketch challenge from Splitcoaststampers:

but it's not quite the card I had in mind. I used the pieces I had pulled together so far to create this card a few weeks later (mostly to get the parts off of my desk!):

The tree is from a new-to-me Stampin' Up! set called Thoughtful Branches, while the trim is gold embossed from a stamp in Catherine Pooler's 2015 Holiday Magic Stamp of Approval collection. The sentiment is from a wood-mounted SU! set I've had for years and years, and the DSP is also SU! from years back. Add a little Soft Sky ink and a punched scallop circle (to create the sky) along with a Garden Green card base - and that's how far I had gotten toward creating the card I originally had in mind. It would have taken some more stamping and finessing to finish up, so I went with what I had. Everything came together rather quickly to create this square card (unusual for me), bringing me one card closer to my goal for this year's Christmas cards. A decent save, don't you think?

To be completely transparent, I had two card bases and DSP squares since my plan at the start was to make two cards with the sketch challenge. I've put the remaining pieces with my 2016 Candy Cane Lane Stamp of Approval (still untouched at the moment) in hopes they'll be put to good use rather than retired to the scrap box.

Do you ever get taken off-course once you've started a card? If so, I'd love to hear in the comments how you handle it and what you do with your unfinished pieces.

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This coming weekend, September 30 through October 2, StampNation will be celebrating World Card Making Day in style with challenges galore, live chats, and even prizes. Rumor has it that Catherine has something up her sleeve, (we shall see), and I'm happy to say that I have a secret, too! I can't wait to announce it!

Revealing nothing (giggle),
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

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