Monday, September 28, 2009

Mission: Accomplished!

Hooray!! The set of ten birthday cards for men is DONE! Hallelujah! Not that I mind making them -- I just miss my flowers and bows and frilly stuff. :)

Card 1
Stamps: Wonderful You and coordinating Jumbo Stampin' Around (retired); Garden Greetings
Colors: Garden Green, Real Red, Elegant Eggplant, Pacific Point, Basic Black
And: Gold brads, Stampin' Dimensionals

Card 2
Stamps: Golden Oldies (retired)
Colors: Dusty Durango, Soft Suede, Basic Black
And: Stampin' Pastels, Paper piercing tools, hand-held hole punch, Stampin' Dimensionals, clear embossing powder

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mission: More "Guy" Birthday Cards

I got one whopping card done today -- yeah, I'm underwhelmed. I decided to replace the Dusty Durango Medallion card from a couple posts ago, and instead add this one to the set of "man cards" I'm making.

Actually, this card was pretty easy. I just embossed the Medallion onto Night of Navy using VersaMark and silver embossing powder. As I was admiring the result, I bashed the heat gun nozzle into the edge of the medallion and smeared the silver, so that was my inspiration for cutting the Medallion panel around to a smaller size. I layered it onto Brushed Silver cardstock and a card base of Night of Navy. I tried a million different things in the center of the Medallion, but finally settled on a simple silver brad. The "Birthday Wishes" sentiment is from Garden Greetings, stamped in Night of Navy and shaped with the Modern Label punch. A bit of strategically placed paper piercing, and Voila'!

Mission: Men's Birthday Cards, continued

After a loooong night's sleep, I woke up Saturday morning feeling a lot more like my usual happy self. I think sometimes the mind is more likely to keep cycling through negative thoughts when it's tired. While I am no longer a Christian, I do appreciate the kind words and prayers on my behalf.

I try to learn from all my experiences, including the unpleasant ones; and what I learned this time around was to keep my feedback to myself unless it is personally solicited by someone I already know and trust. I'll keep leaving encouraging comments on others' projects when something strikes me as exceptional, but otherwise I'll just keep my thoughts to myself. There will be less chance for hard feelings, and in the long run, doing so will save me time and energy that I can put into stamping.

And speaking of stamping, here are my Saturday cards. I pulled out my Circle Circus set for the first time and went to town! I chose to work with shades of blues and greens: Tempting Turquoise, Bermuda Bay, Brilliant Blue, and Ballet Blue. I pulled out my Boho Blossoms punch and Brilliant Blue brads to add a little something to the centers of the circles, hopefully without being too girly. The Happy Birthday circle is from the set Think Happy Thoughts.

I used a sentiment from Heard from the Heart on the second card, and added a Brilliant Blue Scalloped Circle to make the Happy Birthday circle stand out a bit.

This set of birthday cards for men is supposed to include ten cards. I've decided to leave out the Dusty Durango Medallion card from the last post -- I'm just not so sure it's a good card -- so now I have three to go. I'm hoping I can finish off this project today and start making another batch of Cards for the Kids.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mission: Continued

I try not to be a whiner, but today my heart is as heavy as lead -- so either indulge me as I blow off steam, or scroll down to look at the photos you came to see.

For one, I found out this week that my diabetes is to the point where I have to take insulin shots before every meal and every snack, and test my blood glucose levels at least five times a day from now on. My insulin expenses will be over $100 more than what I've been paying for my one-a-day shot, and with my fixed income I'm scared about my finances. As if all that isn't a kick in the teeth, I also got socked in the gut for trying to be helpful to someone in one of my Yahoo! groups, and for reasons unknown I'm finding it very hard to let go of the hurt. Ever have something bug you SO MUCH and you don't know why? Then you know what I mean.

Okay, enough indulgence. On with the show!

I've continued to work on the "guy" birthday cards anyway, although it seems like everything I've touched these last few days has turned to crud. I'm hoping I'm the only one who is less than impressed with these three cards, and that given how things are going perhaps I'm being too harsh on myself.

The following card looks nothing like it did in my head! The card base is Chocolate Chip, and on that is a panel of Dusty Durango on which the Medallion has been stamped in White Craft ink and embossed with Iridescent Ice embossing powder. The big polka dots were made by a pencil eraser head and embossed to match the Medallion. I sponged some more Dusty Durango on the panel, and then in the center of the Medallion placed a white Jumbo Grommet with a Chocolate Chip corduroy button brad. I layered some Corner punches... and then decided to stop playing around before I REALLY mucked things up!

The remaining two cards are made with Elegant Eggplant, More Mustard, and Autumn Traditions DSP. The Trendy Trees were stamped in Always Artichoke and Soft Suede, and the sentiment in Elegant Eggplant. This first card is super simple in layout, with a single More Mustard grosgrain ribbon bow as the sole embellishment.

The second Autumn Traditions DSP card I made has the Trendy Tree in a circle of More Mustard and Scallop Circle of Elegant Eggplant, all of which is layered with Stampin' Dimensionals on the reverse side of a bit of Soft Suede polka-dotted grosgrain ribbon. I used the Modern Label punch on the sentiment and then layered it on a scrap of Elegant Eggplant. I stuck with a super simple layout on this card, too, because I really wanted to show off the DSP.

I'm going to bed early tonight in hopes that tomorrow will give me a lighter heart and a fresh start. I think for the remaining four "guy birthday" cards, I should work with blues instead of this autumny stuff... but we'll see what tomorrow brings.

P.S. Lookie! A new blog name and header! "Stamping for Sanity" is being used by someone else, so I've renamed my blog "StamperJoyce's Creative Corner." Back in 2007 when I chose my blog name, I used several search engines to check to see if "Stamping for Sanity" was already taken, but nothing came up. Nevertheless, someone WAS using the name, so I've been wanting to rename my blog for awhile now. "StamperJoyce's Creative Corner" is also the name of my store at, so it all works out. I'm not sure about the blue cloudy sky as the photo background for the header, so I'll be experimenting with different pictures over time. Okay, raise your hand if you're glad to see the psychedelic banner I've had since early this year go away! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mission: Birthday Cards for Men

I've been a little sidetracked (or, I should say, more focused) on pulling together some Cards for Kids these last few days -- and since I used mostly non-current SU! stuff, I chose not to post them. If you really can't sleep at night knowing you've missed something I've created, email me and I'll send you photos privately.

My current mission is to make ten "guy" birthday cards this week at the request of a friend who, well, knows a lot of men. (Or maybe it's her husband who does!) So far, I've gotten three done.

For the first two, I used the Branch Out set, which I absolutely adore! I used a borrowed Top Note die with my Big Shot to create the panels for both the front and inside the card. After stamping the tree with Soft Suede, Certainly Celery, Kiwi Kiss, and Old Olive, I sponged the background with Bashful Blue and Certainly Celery. I layered the panel on a piece of Soft Suede Patterns Designer Paper, all on a Soft Suede card base. The festive little Happy Birthday circle is from the set Wow Flowers; I added a gold brad and popped it up on a Stampin' Dimensional. So easy!

I stamped with the same sets and colors in my second card, only this time adding some Crushed Curry Patterns DSP. The card seemed a bit flat, so I used the Rough Textures Jumbo wheel with Soft Suede ink to liven it up a bit. The sentiment was punched out with the Word Window punch.

I really like the Soft Suede color, but after two cards in a row I needed to switch gears -- so I pulled out some Burmuda Bay cardstock and Patterns DSP. The images in circles are from the Wow Flowers set, and the sentiment is from a retired hostess set, Live Like You Mean It. I threw in some polka-dotted grosgrain ribbon for a bit of interest. All the circles and the sentiment are adhered with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Three cards down, seven to go! Who knows what I'll dream up in my sleep tonight!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Bermuda Bay Sort of Day

What do today's two cards have in common? Bermuda Bay, handpainted papers, and embossed backgrounds created using my Big Shot!

I used the Elegant Bouquet embossing folder on this first card. I knew it would be pretty, but when it rolled out of my Big Shot, I couldn't help myself -- I squealed with delight! I especially love how it looks on the watercolored handpainted paper. I confess, I did futz with the ribbon a bit, trying to figure out the best way to add it without distracting from the embossing, until I had a V8 moment and just used a little strip of it. The "Thank You" sentiment is from the Oval All set, and it's layered with Stampin' Dimensionals inside a punched Scallop Oval. Once again, I'm astonished with how little it takes (sometimes) to make a WOW! card.

I especially like this holiday card created with the Petals-a-Plenty embossing folder from the Holiday Mini catalog. I kept this card simple, too, and just stamped an image from the Patterned Pines set on Whisper White, framed it, and mounted it on the handpainted paper background. Pretty cool, eh?

I wonder if I'm boring you to death with all these cards made with the Handpainted Paper technique. Tell you what, I'll make these two cards my last ones for awhile. I'm itching to start using some of Stampin' Up!'s fabulous Designer Series Paper, anyway!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Handpainted Paper Meets the Big Shot

I had planned to use this weekend to play with the rest of my handpainted papers, but at the last minute I was given an opportunity to borrow some dies for the Big Shot, which kinda threw my plans off. But it's all good! I made a couple cards using the Big Shot along with the handpainted paper, and they turned out well.

I used the Top Note and Daisies #2 dies to create the following card. Colors are Lovely Lilac, Regal Rose, and Whisper White. I used the Modern Label punch for the sentiment, which is from Stampin' Up!'s One of a Kind set. I raised this sentiment up on Stampin' Dimensionals. So easy for such nifty results, huh?

Here are a couple shots of the card I made using the Snowflake die -- my photos just don't do the card justice! I used the Ticket Corner punch to add a little shape to the handpainted paper layer, and stamped the sentiment from Teeny Tiny Wishes in Craft Whisper White ink. So easy, yet so attractive... one of the many reasons why I love love love my Big Shot!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More Handpainted Paper Cards

I made a couple more cards with my handpainted papers today. (See previous posts for more information on "handpainted papers.") They turned out GREAT!

Stamp Set: Upsy Daisy
Colors: Lavendar Lace, Pink Passion, Basic Black
And: Detail clear embossing powder

Stamp Set: Simple Friendship
Colors: Pink Passion, Summer Sun, Whisper White
And: Gold minibrads, Whisper White Taffeta ribbon

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Help Me Help Ronald McDonald House Charities!

ETA: I will be periodically moving this post up to the top in hopes of catching the interest of anyone in the Columbus, Ohio area that would be interested in making cards for the RMH kids with me. For more recent posts, please scroll down.


Stampin' Up! demonstrators and bloggers from everywhere are teaming up with Sherrill Graff to help fill a desperate need for handmade cards and blankets for the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Most parents with sick children cannot afford to go to the gift shop to buy a gift for their child. Your cards would allow them to cheer up their children often during their stay. Most children are in ICU rooms, where flowers and balloons are not allowed – but cards are.

Please visit the blogs listed below for information on how we can help the Ronald McDonald Houses across the country.


RMHC – How you can help: 30 ways in 30 days

Sherrill’s Blog

We can all pitch in and do our part to help.

Here’s MY plan:

Contact me to set up a “play date” to make cards for the Ronald McDonald House here in Columbus, for Sherrill’s RMH in Nevada, or both. Unless you feel more comfortable using your own supplies, I will be happy to supply cardstock, ink, and stamps to be used in the making of these cards, as well as instructions / training in the event you are new to stamping. You can copy some cards I will have designed in advance, or you can come up with a card design of your own and stamp to your heart’s content. Have any stamps you don’t know what to do with? Bring them along and I’ll be glad to coach you with ideas on how to use your neglected rubber.

Not in the mood to make cards? We can decorate lunch bags! Ronald McDonald Houses make bagged meals available for the families of the sick children, and receiving them in a cheerfully decorated lunch bag can add such a bright spot to their difficult days.

If you’re seriously interested in doing either (or both) of these projects that are for such a worthy cause, please drop an email with your phone number and best time to reach you to We’ll set up something that works with your schedule.

Many hands make light work, so consider bringing a friend along, too!

Monday, September 7, 2009

New Policy

This blog was started as a sort of diary of my stamping projects, and the original intent was to have a place to show off my artwork to my personal friends who were interested without having to email pictures to everyone.

Then I realized that (hoping this doesn’t sound egotistical) my work also serves as an inspiration to my fellow Stampin’ Up! demonstrators, and so I started sharing my link with them. My projects have been made with mostly Stampin’ Up! materials, but I’ve also showcased some stamps and products from other vendors with the feeling that demos and their customers could apply the ideas to their own SU! projects, or at least enjoy the eye candy.

Due to a recent Stampin’ Up! policy change, I am having to choose between remaining a demonstrator and “doing my own thing” as I have been on my blog. It’s been a very (very!) hard decision, but I have decided to remain a demo and am making changes to my blog per SU!’s guidelines. You’ll notice first of all that my sidebar links to other stamp companies have been removed. Secondly, from this point forward, I will be posting only my projects that are made with 99% Stampin’ Up! products.

To my loyal friends, this means you will probably not be seeing all the cards I make. My plan is to use mostly SU! stuff for the duration of my demonstratorship – after all, Stampin’ Up! has the best products on the market and customer service that goes above and beyond – so that I can post most of my work here on this blog. On those rare occasions when I “need” to use a non-SU! stamp, I will simply not post the project. Please understand that, while I am currently a hobby demo and haven’t focused much on making product sales, I am still a representative of Stampin’ Up! in my words and actions. Also understand that I would really LIKE to become a selling demo, and so you may see more links to Stampin’ Up! catalogs and products. Stampin’ Up! isn’t just stamps and pretty paper anymore. We have a wonderful line of home decor products; and with the Holiday Mini catalog that is currently available, SU! is entering the jewelry and software markets as well. I honestly believe Stampin’ Up! has products for everyone, and I am eager to share more information about them with you. In the simplest of terms, the best support you can offer me with my art is to make a purchase.

To my fellow Stampin’ Up! demonstrators, this means you can feel comfortable coming here for inspiration knowing that you’ll see only projects made with 99% Stampin’ Up! products. I am continually gleaning ideas from your blogs, and I want to reciprocate with my own SU!-only ideas. If you have any suggestions on how I can make my blog better for you, please let me know.

To myself, this is a personal challenge. I represent one of the best companies on the planet, and yet my loyalty has been waffling. I have TONS of Stampin’ Up! stuff (much of it retired, unfortunately, but I’m working on that), so why not use it? It’s time to put my money where my mouth is! And who knows? Maybe this will lead to me turning my hobby demonstratorship into a viable business.

As I said before, this has been a very difficult decision; and these changes aren’t exactly coming easily to me. Some of you with whom I’ve spoken privately have expressed the feeling that the new SU! policy is too strict and that I should be able to blog about anything I’d like. Please understand that this is a business decision, and I feel Stampin’ Up! is well within their rights with these new guidelines. I think this new policy will be good for SU! as well as good for me.

If you have any question about this post or about Stampin’ Up! in general, please let me know. Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy the ride!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Delightful Decorations

I was feeling under the weather and not so much like stamping when I realized this afternoon that I hadn't really tested out my new Stampin' Up! Ornament punch (always a good idea to do within 30 days of purchase), and that it's been a few days since I used my Big Shot -- so I whipped up this quick card in non-traditional Christmas colors to take care of both situations.

Stamps: Delightful Decorations, Grateful Greetings (inside sentiment)
Colors: Tempting Turquoise, Pink Passion
Big Shot: Perfect Details Texturz Plate
And: Ornament and Scalloped Border punches, Gold elastic cord, Stampin' Dimensionals

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Iridescent Medallions

The post is a continuation of the project I began on August 30th -- working with handpainted papers I made using a technique by Sherrill Graff and Shirley Munoz. The shimmer you see in the watercolored backgrounds was created using reinkers and iridescent medium, applying them with a stipple brush to saturated Whisper White cardstock.

I found myself a bit unnerved after the last card I made, so I took a few days off and did mundane things like pay bills and grocery shop. Whoopee. Oh, and I also had a birthday in there (September 1), so I was obligated to be taken to Red Lobster for lunch and forced to eat a birthday cake made especially for me. I know... rough, isn't it?

Anyway, after admiring my naked papers for a few days, I decided it was time to get back on the proverbial horse. I made four (yes, four!) cards using the Stampin' Up! Medallion stamped in black on the iridescent paper. Had I been thinking, I would have embossed them with black detail powder; but I will experiment with this at another time. By just stamping in black ink, the iridescence shines right through the medallion, which is a cool effect in itself.

The reinkers I used for this first card were Bermuda Bay with just a hint of Melon Mambo. I trimmed the paper down to A2 size and layered it on Basic Black cardstock after using the Ticket Corner punch to trim the corners. The "To My Friend" sentiment is a rub-on from SU!'s Lovely Lines (part of the Lovely Flowers Bundle being offered as a Level 3 hostess benefit), and I used the Small Oval punch to get it just the right size. The button is from Button Latte collection. That's a wee sliver of Basic Black cardstock in the center of the button.

Brilliant Blue, Tempting Turquoise, and (I think) Bermuda Bay reinkers were used on the background of this next card. In the center of the Medallion is a small flower and clear gemstone brad from the Pretties kit. The white rub-ons are from Eastern Elegance, a retired SU! package.

The background of this first Halloween card was made with Dusty Durango and Summer Sun reinkers. That's a clear gemstone brad from the Pretties kit in the center of the Medallion. "Goblin Greetings" is from the Grateful Greetings set featured in the current Holiday Mini, and I sponged some Basic Black around the edges to grunge it up a bit. I used a white gel pen to give the spider's eyes a freaky look.

This last card for today is similar to the previous one, except the spooky background was made with Lavendar Lace and, hmmmm, is that Bermuda Bay? reinkers. The sentiment is from the Holiday Best Level 1 Hostess set.

I have lots more of this paper, and I want to work with it while it's out on my desk and in my face. It would be a shame to tuck the rest of this stuff away and have it get lost in my stash, so I'm eager to see what else I can come up with!