Monday, April 29, 2013

Sick Card Healed!

In my last post I alluded to making a card using the stamp set You Send Me Soaring that was so awful I had to ship it off to have my friends Katie and Fonda work on "healing" it since I had lost objectivity.  Here's what they saw when they opened the envelope:

and this is the new, improved version:

They used gel pens to bring out the tails of the kites, thus breaking up the overpowering diagonal.  Also added was some shimmer pen to the edges of the kites, which helps set them off from the background.  I am so fortunate to have friends who can give a fresh eye to my stamping projects when I am at my wit's end!

Looking forward to getting my fingers inky again later this week,
Joyce Spear (a.k.a. StamperJoyce)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunshine and Sprinkles

Stampin' Up!'s Sunshine and Sprinkles designer series paper, soon to be retired, is my favorite DSP of all time (to date)!  I love it so much that I now have four packs in my possession!  This means that I can actually USE the stuff instead of just hoarding!

I have a million ideas in my head for cards that use this paper, and I started with the stamp set You Send Me Soaring.  Well, that first card was so horrendous that I'm opting to not show it.  In fact, I sent it off to some friends to be hospitalized and hopefully healed -- at which point I'm sure I will be happy to share it.

Despite the rough start, I did move on.  My first successful card using Sunshine and Sprinkles features the stamp set Up, Up and Away!

My next cards are a direct CASE (Copy and Share Everything) of a card by Nicole Tugrul, which you can see here.  I had a heck of a time assembling the pinwheels (die cut with a SU! sizzlit) because they're so small and my fingers are so big.  After I completed the assembly, I found a video explaining an easier way to do it using glue dots!  SMH!!  So I'm looking forward to creating some pinwheel cards the easy way!  Anyway, here are the cards:

I did run into a bit of technical difficulty creating the vertical cloud panel in the second card, the difficulty being that the Clouds embossing folder is oriented  horizontally, requiring two passes through the Big Shot to create a complete vertical panel.  The first pass was easy enough because most of the white card stock goes inside the embossing folder.  When I tried to do the second half, though, it wouldn't fit through the Big Shot!  It took several emails back and forth with Nicole before I discovered she had trimmed the bottom off of her Cloud embossing folder so that it would fit through the Big Shot sideways!  Brilliant!  I know some people's hearts race at the very thought of taking scissors to a precious embossing folder -- but I was determined to finish the card!  I think I made a respectable copy of Nicole's card, plus I modified the design so it would work horizontally as well.


As a follow-up to my April 21st post, here is the completed version of the JAM ATC that Chris, Pat, and I created:

Pat's addition of the two stickpins was a pleasant surprise to me, as I was expecting her to do something in the white space around the sentiment. That's what makes working on JAMs fun -- the unpredictability in the process!

I just finished up a grueling week that culminated in having a tooth pulled on Friday morning; and I have a week ahead of me full of paperwork that will make the tooth extraction seem like a walk in the park.  I do hope to make time to stamp, though, so I intend to be posting again very soon!

Joyce Spear (a.k.a. StamperJoyce)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Introducing My Paper Pumpkin!

Stampin' Up! has a new product line called My Paper Pumpkin -- monthly kits you receive in the mail that contain everything (except adhesive) you need to complete a snazzy project in about a half hour.  The kits are designed with non-stampers in mind, and the target audience is people who are on the go and just need a bit of "me time" during the month to relax and be creative.  The kits are ideal for those who feel they don't have a creative streak, as everything is planned out and the directions talk you through it step by step.  If you DO feel creative, though, you can take the elements and do your own thing with them.

Me?  I've had the pleasure of playing with two of the monthly kits so far, and have really enjoyed the no-pressure experience of just assembling cards without worrying about design, color, or embellishments. Sometimes it's fun to just be mindless.  I've stuck pretty much to the original design, but still have added a bit of Joyceness to each card.  It's also fun not knowing exactly what My Paper Pumpkin will be bringing each month; so far it's been cards, but there will also be non-card projects such as journals or home decor or, well, who knows?  There is a "Try Me" kit available for anyone not quite ready to sign up for the monthly experience, and I'll tell you upfront the finished project is two small journal books.  Pretty cool!

But enough talk, on with the photos!  The first kit comes with a good-sized acrylic block that you save to work with on future projects.  Included also are two adorable stamps, one which says "Hey there friend" and the other which looks like an ink splatter (just perfect for covering up boo-boos!).  You also get a small inkpad, this time in Basic Grey.

(Click to see an enlarged picture.)

The card elements, all except the large first layer, are heavyweight die cut stickers.  As you can see, there's also an adorable button (that I couldn't resist adding my own twine to).  I did something slightly different with each card by moving the pieces around.  I also used the splatter stamp to carry the design into the inside of the card and onto the envelopes.  All-in-all, so very cute!

The second kit is even better in my opinion!  I just love the stamps that are included: a big SERIOUSLY stamp and two not-so-serious ones that read "love your guts" and "you kick booty"!  How fun is that?  I messed up on the first card by not stamping SERIOUSLY in exactly the right spot, but no harm done -- I just put the second part of the greeting on the inside of the card!

The big (lightweight) metal button and hemp twine are the included embellishments, and the inkpad is Cherry Cobbler (which is as yummy as it sounds).

The stamped button on the inside and the envelopes was my own addition to the project, and came from the Stampin' Up! set Button Button. Ummm... notice how "love your guts" isn't stamped quite straight on the Very Vanilla piece?  No problem, I just slapped it on at an angle!  I totally love that this is not an exact science!

I really liked the idea of having part of the sentiment inside the card, so on the rest of them I decided to pull some of the design from the front into the inside by trimming off a section of the wavy background layer. Here's how my second and third cards turned out:

I made one small addition to the fourth card, and that was rounded corners.  See what a difference a little thing can make?

All in all, I think My Paper Pumpkin is a great idea!  If you want to learn even more about it, check out the website at My Paper Pumpkin.  If you decide you'd like to sign up and don't have a demonstrator yet, I would be thrilled to become your demo!

I'm off to see what else I can get into today!

Joyce Spear (a.k.a. StamperJoyce)

April's Artist Trading Cards

It's time once again to do a couple "catch up" posts!  I'll start off with the ATCs I've worked on this month.  

I think I explained what JAMs are in a previous post, but for those of you just now tuning in:  A JAM is a collaboration of three artists on a single card.  The first person usually provides the background and maybe an image; the second person works off of what the first person did and adds more details; and the third person finishes up the card however they see fit.

I was the third person on this JAM...

(Click on images to see them larger.)

... my contributions being the Wisteria Wonder baker's twine, the decorative corner, and the word Spring on Green Galore.  I'm really pleased with what the three of us (Lori, Chris and I) created!

Here's another JAM:

When I received these cards they looked complete to me, so I really had to put on my thinking cap to figure out what I could add to what Lori and Lyn had already done.  I decided the cards needed a thin frame of platinum shimmer paint and the turquoise "Imagine" banner.  Being third in a JAM is hard work!

I'm second person in this next JAM which is not yet completed:

Chris provided the paisley embossed Green Galore background, and I sponged over it with green ink to make the embossing show better, then added a bear, a sentiment, and a butterfly.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what Pat does to finish this up!

... and that's it for the JAMs for now.

I also signed up for two normal swaps this month, one of which was Winner Take All (the winner is determined in a drawing on the first of the month and gets to pick that month's theme) -- and Lyn's theme was Desserts.  I just couldn't resist the temptation to pull out my cupcake punch!

The bold colors include Melon Mambo, Tempting Turquoise, Green Galore, and Summer Sun.  It was a bonus that I could make this ATC entirely out of scraps!  The cupcake cups are embossed with Stampin' Up!'s Lattice embossing folder.

My last ATC for the month was Artist's Choice, and I decided to go with something simple this time:

The black is just the background I took the photo on -- there is no black frame on the original card (although now I'm thinking there should have been!).  I used a picture I found online and simply added a Dazzles border along the top and bottom, then added a Dazzles sentiment.  

I did do some regular cards this month, but I'll tell you about them in the next post.  I hope you're enjoying my ATCs, even if they're a little off the Stampin' Up! path.  The notecards I did this month are exclusively SU!

Joyce Spear (a.k.a. StamperJoyce)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fabric Butterfly Cards...

... 23 of them, to be exact!  This is the biggest project I've undertaken for some time, but I'm really pleased with the results!  I don't remember what the catalyst was, but about six months ago I got a wild hair to see what it would be like to work with fabric on cards, something I'd never done before.  My friend Debbie (Hi, Debbie!) sent me some fabric scraps from a cool project she's been working on, and I bought some additional Stampin' Up! fabric for a song from their Clearance rack.  I did a little homework to determine which adhesive would be best to adhere fabric to card stock and decided to work with Stampin' Up!'s Multi-Purpose Adhesive Sheets, which turned out to be a great choice.  Then I got involved with other projects until the end of February.  Once I got started back on the fabric idea, I went a little overboard in cutting out fabric butterflies using my Big Shot machine and the Beautiful Butterflies Sizzix Bigz die from Stampin' Up! -- and that's the reason I wound up making 23 cards.  I'm posting them all here just so you can see the variety of colors and sentiments I used:

This is what most of the insides look like:

One of the fabric designs Debbie gave me was bright colored butterflies on a white background, and many of them were oversized.  I decided to do something a little different with these butterflies and use a black card base:

These turned out to be my favorite, as all I did was add accents with a white gel pen:

I don't know for certain what my next project will be, but I can guarantee you it won't be quite such an ordeal!  I suppose I should work on my April Artist Trading Cards next, but we'll see what happens.

Joyce Spear (a.k.a. StamperJoyce)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fun with Stampin' Up! Kits

I wanted to make a whole lot of cards fast, and figured the best way to do it would be to use some kits I've collected along the way from Stampin' Up!

This first card is a sample from the Happy Hello Simply Sent card kit which was available for free during the recent Sale-a-bration event (which unfortunately ended on March 22).  I got one kit and assembled it immediately and, quite frankly, wasn't wowed.  I then got a second kit and decided to add some of my own touches to it, and during the process remade the original cards.  I now have 16 cards (8 per kit) that I'm quite happy with!  My own touches include a back panel to square the card off, several different sentiments, and a variety of different buttons and twines.  Here's a picture to give you the general idea:

The second Simply Sent kit is from awhile back, and I may even have gotten it from the Clearance Rack in the Stampin' Up! store.  The kit includes materials to make ten cards plus a reusable storage box with index cards to organize the cards by event.  Even at full price, that's a great deal!  Here's the box:

... and the ten cards I designed with the stickers and card bases provided:

In the course of two days (spaced a couple days apart due to circumstances), I made a total of 26 cards!  How awesome is that?  I don't know that I would ever convert to kits for all my card-making, but it was nice to be able to sit down with a kit and have all or most of the materials I needed provided AND to not have to put a lot of thought into design because Stampin' Up! did that for me. 

That being said, I think you'll really enjoy seeing a batch of 23 cards I made from scratch in my next post!

Thanks for visiting!

Joyce Spear (a.k.a. StamperJoyce)