Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dream and Discover

I recently signed up to be a Technique Junkie, and one of the perks is getting to be in a Yahoo! group that shares their artwork with each other. One of the techniques people seem to be working with a lot right now is called Field of Depth, which involves creating a background with an almost 3D effect.

Well, last night I was tossing and turning and couldn't sleep, and my mind kept coming back to how one particular butterfly stamp in my stash would work GREAT for this technique. I finally hauled my butt out of bed and set to work, and here is what I came up with. It's not bad for a first try, but I know I can (and will) do better.

Butterfly and Fairie stamps by Enchanted Ink; Dream and Discover stamp by Hero Arts.

Colors: Perfect Plum, Lavendar Lace, Going Grey

And: Punches, sponges, Encore silver ink, Stampin' Dimensionals, paper piercing tools, metallic ribbon, Filigree brad by SU!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Autumn Days

Autumn Days is a brand new set in the upcoming SU! catalog that goes live on July 1st. This set didn't make my heart sing when I saw it on the preorder page, but now that I have it in my hands I've taken a real liking to it.

Those of you who know me know that I am not a big fan of the color orange, so you'll understand why these cards, especially the middle two, were a bit of a stretch for me. Still, this isn't just ANY orange -- it's Dusty Durango, one of the new In Colors for 2009-2010. I combined it with Crushed Curry (another new In Color) and Chocolate Chip on three of these cards. I chose Chocolate Chip because it coordinates with the Chocolate Chip Autumn Harvest rub-ons I also used. However, on the third card I used the new In Color Soft Suede. Why? Because I could. *grin* Seriously, my brain has a hard time wrapping itself around Chocolate Chip and Soft Suede being on the same card. Of course, no telling how I'll feel about that a year from now!

SU! stamps: Autumn Days, Teeny Tiny Wishes ("Happy Thanksgiving")

Colors: Crushed Curry, Dusty Durango, Chocolate Chip, Soft Suede

Paper: Whisper White, glossy white, Razzleberry Lemonade DSP

Punches: 1-3/8" Circle, Scalloped Border, Large Oval, Scalloped Oval

Fun stuff: Glossy white cardstock, sponges, Autumn Harvest rub-ons, Chocolate Chip corduroy button, stipple brushes, Stampin' Dimensionals

Sunday, June 21, 2009

** Special Notice **

For those of you who are new visitors to my blog, Welcome! If you haven't been here for awhile, Welcome Back!

I recently had some technical difficulties which left me unable to post for a week or two. Rather than make one giant post for all the cards I stamped during that time, I've broken it down into several posts. Please be sure to scroll down so that you don't miss anything!

Autumn Days

I decided I better do something productive while I was waiting for my media card reader to arrive yesterday, so I gleefully pulled out the new Autumn Days and Asian Artistry sets fully prepared for another marathon stamping session... and no sooner had I finished one quick "warm-up" card than Mr. Postman brought me the much-awaited toy. Doesn't it always work that way? I should know that anytime I make plans, I'm just asking for them to be screwed up. In this case it worked out well, though, as I've been able to post a boatload of new cards for your viewing pleasure.

Anyway, here's the quickie card I made with Soft Suede cardstock, ink, and ribbon. I think I made the card in about four minutes. The hardest part was tying the ribbon so that the polka dots would be on top -- another practice makes perfect thing, I suppose.

The Moon is Blue

After making those nine Lovely Flowers Stampin' Up! cards (in the post below), I needed to shake things up a little. What a perfect time to work on a "The Moon is Blue" swap! The idea is to make a card with a sun/moon/stars theme. I just love working with stamps that have a celestial theme to them, but since most of my stamps in this category are non-SU!, they tend to be neglected.

I started with a Rich Razzleberry card base layered with a piece of DSP from Razzleberry Lemonade. I stamped stars on this background with gold Brilliance to give it a glow. I used a Kaleidecolor inkpad to stamp the main sun and moon image; the purple in this inkpad is what inspired me to pull out the Rich Razzleberry cardstock in the first place.

I'm not sure who makes the main image stamp or the background stars stamp, but if anyone really needs me to go check, I will. The sentiment in the Keytag shape, stamped in gold Brilliance, is from TAC: "I see the moon, the moon sees me, God bless the moon, and God bless me."

Lovely Flowers x 9

I am thrilled to show off the following cards, all made with the Lovely Flowers Bundle which will be a SU! Hostess Level 3 option in the 2009-2010 catalog! I just LOVE being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator because I'm allowed to pre-order/purchase Level 2 and Level 3 hostess sets that I otherwise would be unlikely to earn given my limited SU! budget. It's a pretty nice perk!

I'll start by listing the stuff I used to make the cards, and then let the photos speak for themselves. If you have any questions at all about how I did something or what I used, just give a shout in my direction.

Lovely Flowers Bundle, which includes:

~ the Flower Lines stamp set (4 stamps)

~ the Lovely Flowers Designer Series Paper (and it IS lovely!)

~ the Lovely Lines rub-ons in both Chocolate Chip and White

Additional Stamp Set: Oval All

Colors: Rich Razzleberry, Melon Mambo, Crushed Curry, Old Olive

Punches: Scalloped Oval, Large Oval, Word Window, Ticket Corner, various sizes of circles

Ribbon: Rich Razzleberry, Melon Mambo, Crushed Curry

And: Paper piercing tools, Circle Cutter Plus, non-SU! button brads (only because I don't have any white SU! brads at the moment)

And here are the pretty pictures:










Needless to say, some of these I like more than others. I tend to think the ones with the white/floral DSP are the best!

I don't normally solicit comments, but I would love love love to hear which of these nine cards are YOUR favorite(s)!

ETA: Yes, the floral backgrounds on cards 1 and 8 are from the DSP.

Pink, Brown, and White

The swap challenge for June in one of the groups I belong to was to create a card using Pink, Brown, and White. We were told that black would be okay to stamp an image with, too -- but I managed to skirt that issue altogether.

In fact, I got so excited about the pink and brown combination that on my first card I unthinkingly omitted the white, too. (Oops!) I pulled out some soon-to-be-retired Pink Pirouette to use as the card base, and some gorgeous Bella Birds DSP for the brown. The stamps are from the SU! set Simple Friendship. In real life, the Chocolate Chip ink on the stamped circle matches the DSP. The flowers are from SU! Flower Fusion and Flower Fusion II, with a jeweled brad in the center. I was so pleased with this card that I immediately addressed the envelope and sent the card off into the world.

Later in the week I found a leftover piece of the Bella Birds DSP and a piece of Pretty in Pink cardstock on my desk, both just begging to be made into another card. I happened to have out the white rub-ons from the upcoming Lovely Flowers Level 3 hostess bundle, so I put the sentiment onto a scrap of Chocolate Chip cardstock and layered it onto the card. Then a Martha Stewart butterfly punch jumped into my line of vision, so I threw some butterflies on the card and accented them with Chocolate Chip marker and white gel pen. I used the last scrap strip of the DSP to trim the bottom of the card inside, and then added some more Chocolate Chip butterflies for good measure. I think this card turned out pretty well even though I didn't really have a plan when I started.

June Hero Arts Card Exchange

I went super ultra simple with my Hero Arts cards this month because I mostly wanted to experiment a little more with my Copics. I'm not particularly impressed with my blending skills yet, but I know I'll get better with practice. Meanwhile, I think these turned out to be cute cards. I hope the recipients like them. I used a Hero Arts clear stamp for the inside sentiment, but neglected to take a picture. (Good help, so hard to find these days!) The bling on the first card, to the left of the flowers, are light green squares; for some reason, my camera just hated them!

Father's Day Cards

I bought a media card reader that plugs into my USB port, which means I'm back in business with blogging. Yay! It may take me several entries to get caught up on posting the cards I've been making, so bear with me.

The first two cards seem appropriate to post now given that it's officially Father's Day. I made these for my BFF in Georgia to use.

I received this cabin in an image swap (so I'm not sure who the stamp manufacturer is), and decided to add color with pencils and gamsol. I have some cardstock that another friend ran through her cuttlebug for me, and I took a woodsy-feeling piece and layered it under the cabin on a card base of Glorious Green. I added some brown eyelets (remember those? ... seems very few people use them anymore, at least in my circle of influence) and called it done. Inside is another brown panel and a Happy Father's Day sentiment.

The second card features the SU! set Branch Out on the front and All Holidays (markered and "huffed") on the inside. Colors are Certainly Celery, Old Olive, and Chocolate Chip. The patterned paper is SU! DSP, but I don't remember offhand the name of it. I happen to like the recipient of this card, so he ranks a Chocolate Chip corduroy button for a bit of interest on the front panel.

Only fifteen more cards to post until I'm caught up! I think it's safe to say I'll be posting every day this week -- well, unless I have a burst of ambition when I wake up tomorrow and decide to post them all right away! We'll see...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'll Be Back Soon!

I hate it when situations force me into learning new technology. Does this mean I'm getting old?

Anyway, I just ordered an external media card reader off of Amazon, and it will be in my grubby little hands in a few days. The good news is that since I've continued to take pictures of my swap cards before mailing them off, I should be able to post the pics by just taking the memory card out of my camera and sticking it in the card reader -- so really, nothing's been lost. Huzzah!!

So what do I do with myself until the card reader arrives? Easy!! I play with all my NEW Stampin' Up! stuff that arrived yesterday! OMG, the new In Colors are fantastic! I have new inkpads, new cardstock, polka dotted grosgrain ribbon in 5 of the 6 new colors, new rubbah to use them on, 2 new packs of DSP, rub-ons, corduroy buttons, and a million zillion ideas floating around in my head on how to use it all!

And during my breaks from stamping, I'm working on memorizing the new Idea Book & Catalog which goes "live" on July 1. Oh my!! So many pretty pictures! So much neat stuff! It's going to be a GREAT catalog year, I can feel it!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Technical Difficulties

I *am* stamping, but I can't prove it because my camera is on the fritz. It takes photos just fine, but the pictures won't transfer from the camera to my computer. There's no room in the budget for a new camera, and I don't know what else to do. :(

I hope I can figure out something quickly, because half the fun of stamping is showing off my projects here! I know I used to stamp a lot before I ever got a camera, but now I can't imagine it. Still, I do have swap deadlines and things that I must do, camera or no camera...


ETA: I've looked all over my CPU and I don't see a card reader or memory card slot. Any other ideas?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Copic Butterflies

In a recent fit of insanity I joined an image swap with 35 participants. Each participant is to stamp five different images per person. This means that when I've done my duty, I will have stamped at least 175 perfect images. I have about two weeks to accomplish this. Thought for the day: What on earth was I thinking?!

Since I need to get my images in the mail soon, I decided it would be wise to start stamping yesterday afternoon. I picked the butterfly from SU!'s God's Beauty set as my first image. I tell ya, I think I was jinxed. I'm using Palette Noir Black ink on SU! Whisper White cardstock, and it seemed that yesterday afternoon I just could not get the images to turn out acceptably. I admit that I'm a perfectionist, so that may be part of the problem; but is it too much to ask for a crisp black image on white cardstock?? I pulled out all my tricks of the trade -- stamping on a mousepad, stamping on a pile of paper, gently sanding my rubber so it would have some tooth to hold ink... I finally broke down and ordered a reinker for my inkpad, so maybe that will help.

In order to get 34 perfect images, I ended up stamping the image about 55 times. Then I started puzzling over what to do with the not-so-perfect butterflies. I couldn't stand the idea of throwing them out -- that'd be a total waste of cardstock -- and even giving them to the neighbor kids to play with didn't feel right. Then it hit me: What a perfect image to practice my Copic blending on!!

This is my first real Copic use, and I'm pretty pleased with how the butterflies came out. I mean, not bad -- for a beginner. The main thing I learned is that the Colorless Blender is my best friend when working with Copic markers. I can't wait to use what I learned in making some cards... very soon... I hope... I promise...