Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pet Sympathy Cards

My adopted mom is taking me out to lunch (for my birthday! and just because she likes me, smile) tomorrow -- or, I guess, I should say later today. Happy dancing!

Sadly, two of her friends have had to put their dogs to sleep recently, so she asked me to make some sympathy cards for them. I can't remember ever making a pet loss sympathy card, but I rolled up my sleeves and this is what I came up with...

This first card looks a lot like a traditional sympathy card on the outside, but the inside has a pet-appropriate sentiment. Colors are Soft Sky and Blue Bayou; and I pulled out a piece of Notebook DSP to use as the background on the card front. I sponged the edges with Blue Bayou to make the card seem less flat. A tiny bit of shimmer shows in the flower centers and on the corner pieces. I think this is the first time I've used the SU! set Close as a Memory.

I "cheated" a bit on the other card by printing a photo I found online for the main image. (If you can't tell, it's a doggie bowl with some roses in it.) I raised it up on the cardfront with Stampin' Dimensionals. The "With Sympathy" is from the Warmest Regards set. Colors are River Rock, Garden Green, and Pink Pirouette. There's piercing on the top and scalloped edges of the green strip as well as leading to the sentiment.

Here's the message inside the card. (Don't ya just gotta love Google?) I used the same message for both cards and just changed the font before printing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Flower Power!

Today I tore into the "Flower Power" Simply Sent Card Elements kit by Stampin' Up! (on page 176 of the new Idea Book and Catalog)... and had a blast! This is such a fun kit to work with! I just love the colors: Rose Red, Perfect Plum, Old Olive, and More Mustard. The kit came with die-cut flower stickers (excellent quality), two sheets of double-sided paper, six sheets of textured cardstock, ribbon, buttons, and brads. The description says the kit makes nine cards, but that's if you make the ones suggested in the kit. I made eight cards today with supplies left over for a good handful more, so I think the kit is a good deal.

The new Wow Flowers set (IBC page 138) is designed to work with this kit, but alas! I do not own it. I settled on Riveting (retired), Sweet Serendipity (IBC p. 144), and Heard From the Heart (IBC p. 145).

It's suggested in the kit to use Stampin' Dimensionals to raise the multiple layers of flowers as you stack them, but I chose not to do this so that the cards would be flat in the envelopes as they go through snail mail. (I know the foam is supposed to smoosh down when you seal the envelope, but I've had complaints from people saying their cards have arrived damaged or with postage due, so I tend to be somewhat conservative with my layers unless I know I'm hand-delivering.)

Anyway, enough talk! Let's get to the cards!

These first three cards are straight from the kit directions, except that I used different stamps for the sentiments.

I didn't decide on any words for this next card, so it looks a bit naked -- but I will fix it before it gets mailed.

I started waking up about the time I got to the fifth card...

... and by cards six and seven, I pulled out some lavendar bling from my stash!

I made the first card twice so that I could give my upline one. All that being done, I still have brads, buttons, ribbon, two textured card bases, and some textured cardstock scraps to play with, along with a full sheet (!) of the ultra-cool double-sided paper:

I'll probably put my "leftovers" aside for another day as I have several other projects I want to work on... but you can bet you'll be seeing these papers and colors again pretty soon!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Fonda!

As I mentioned in the last post, I wanted to put together a "wow" birthday card for my friend Fonda using the Chalkboard technique. I'm really pleased with how the technique turned out, as well as with Fonda's card.

I made two versions of the "chalkboard" -- mostly because after making the first one I thought I could do even better.

And here's the card front:

Postscript - I've been getting a lot of questions on how I made this card. There's an excellent tutorial for the Chalkboard technique on the SplitCoastStampers website at:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Window Dressing

What?!? I haven't posted since July 28th? How can that be?? Well... okay, I confess, I got sidetracked. Between Netflix and Pogo, I've been a little distracted. Oh, and I did manage to clean up my worktable and a few other disaster areas. BUT, I'm back with a vengeance -- been stamping my heart out for a few days now. I must admit, it feels really good. I get out of sorts and off balance when I don't do creative stuff for awhile, and I think I pushed the limit this time. I'm so glad to be back to doing ME stuff!

For my first project, I racked my brains to come up with something special for my friend Fonda's birthday card (...because she is special, and I don't mean just short bus special). I decided to try the Chalkboard Technique, and you won't believe how beautifully the project turned out! I'm going to leave you in suspense, though, since I should hold off on posting the card until after her birthday, just in case she swings by before then to read this. Trust me, it'll be worth the wait!

Soooo... my next project was to make a set of sample cards for my upline (Hi, Hewitt!) using one of SU!'s new level 3 hostess sets, Window Dressing. Is this a gorgeous set or what?

This first card is partially CASE'd from a card I saw on SplitcoastStampers (if it's your design, speak up so I can give you credit!) I loved the layout and the color combination -- Baha Breeze, Apricot Appeal, Regal Rose -- and I got to play with my new scallop border punch. Aren't the curtains the cutest? OH! I have GOT to tell you: After years of staring at my Stamp-a-ma-Jig with fear and loathing, I finally made friends with it for these projects. Now I wonder, how could I ever have lived without it?? It's the best thing since sliced bread!

I like the boldness and simplicity of this next card. Colors are Pacific Point, Tangerine Tango, Kiwi Kiss, and Riding Hood Red. The "For You" is from the Happy Everything set. Sidenote: In the past I've grabbed ink from my inkpads with my blender pens to color with the "In Colors" since SU! doesn't offer markers in those colors. The result has been a kind of watercolor look, which is fine. However, this time around I invested in ink refills for this year's In Colors, and found that by dipping my blender pen in a drop of ink, I get bold coloring, just like I would from a marker! I know this may not be a news flash to a lot of you, but to me this is HUGE!

Here's a card that was fun to make! I colored the window image with blender pen and pastels (Close to Cocoa, Lovely Lilac, Riding Hood Red). Next I colored and cut out a second set of the shutters and placed them over the first ones with Stampin' Dimensionals, to create a 3-D look. I used the scallop circle punch to create the window valance, and accented it with my trusty white gel pen. Finally, I made a fence using the word window punch. A few flowers and gold brads later... voila!

I made two versions of the following card. The first one is for my upline and uses only current SU! products. The main colors are Apricot Appeal, Pacific Point, Baha Breeze, and Tangerine Tango. The leaves in the background are from the set Thoroughly Thankful. The photo doesn't show it very well, but the shutters are cut and folded slightly upward to give them the look of being partially open.

The second version is very similar, just minus one layer. I used the Rough Texture wheel on the background this time in hopes of creating a stucco look.

The only stamps in the Window Dressing set I hadn't used at this point were the snowmen and the Very Merry Christmas -- so naturally it was time to make Christmas cards. The card base on these is Pacific Point. I punched out a 1-3/8" circle in the front of the card, then used my new friend, the Stamp-a-ma-Jig, to stamp the snowmen on the inside of the card, which I had already layered with a scalloped piece of Whisper White. I created a frame for the circle using the scallop punch and then paper pierced each of the petals. I added the Very Merry Christmas to the inside and added color to the snowmen. One version of this card has the greeting at the bottom in black on white with a small crystal, but on the rest I used white craft ink and white embossing powder to make the greeting from Heard from the Heart really stand out.