Monday, December 20, 2010

Three More Anniversary Cards

These three cards are the final ones in my friend Cathy's order of anniversary and sympathy cards. As much as I love stamping, I always breathe a sigh of relief when the last cards in an order are finished and delivered. As usual, Cathy was delighted with my cards, so that's a tremendous boost to my ego, lol.

Card 1
I love this card! I used my Framed Tulips embossing folder (in the upcoming Occasions Mini catalog) for the first time, my favorite ribbon of all time (now retired, sadly), and a sentiment I computer-generated using My Digital Studio.

Stamp set: Fifth Avenue Floral
Colors: Real Red, Garden Green, Whisper White
Big Shot: Little Leaves Sizzlet, Tulip Frame embossing folder
Punch: Extra Large Decorative Label
And: My Digital Studio, Real Red Polka Dotted ribbon, mini glue dots, Stampin' Dimensionals

Card 2
I love this card, too! It was super simple to make, and the hardest part was deciding which colors to use. I went with my friend Fonda's favorite color combination of pink and brown, and the rest "just happened."

Stamp sets: Elements of Style, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Colors: Early Espresso, Pink Pirouette
Big Shot: Top Note die
Punches: Modern Label, Word Window, 2 sizes of Circle Punches
And: Stampin' Dimensionals

Card 3
I love this card!! (Can you tell I'm very happy with yesterday's work?) I'm not sure if my favorite part is the simplicity of it, or the fact that I finally opened up my Smooch Spritz and fell in love with the product!

Stamp sets: I {Heart} Hearts, A Word for You
Colors: Real Red, Basic Black, Whisper White
Big Shot: Non-Stampin' Up! embossing folder
And: Gold Glow Smooch Spritz

Coming up next (well, maybe, but no guarantees!): A 4x6 Monthly Calendar for 2011!

Wishing you the best of this Holiday season, including
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Five Cards (Catching up on posting!)

I've continued to work on sympathy and anniversary cards this last week, and just realized that I haven't been posting them -- so now it's catch-up time!

Card 1
Here's a simple sympathy card that I think looks very elegant...

Stamp Sets: Because I Care, Small Sayings (inside)
Colors: Old Olive, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White, retired mystery DSP
Punches: Extra Large Scalloped Oval, Large Oval
And: Stampin' Pastels, 5/8" satin ribbon, Basic Pearls, sponge, Stampin' Dimensionals

Card 2
I struggled with this card, but I think it turned out to be, well, "interesting"...

Stamp Sets: By Definition (taken from My Digital Studio), Word Play (inside)
Colors: Basic Grey, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White, retired mystery DSP
Punches: Boho Blossoms, Decorative Label, non-SU! border punch
And: Sponge, Gelly Roll shimmer pen (non-SU!)

Cards 3 and 4
I saw this design somewhere awhile back and it stuck in my head, so I just HAD to CASE (Copy and Selectively Edit) it! Unfortunately, my CRS is acting up and I can't remember now who the original designer is. If it's you, speak up so that I can give you credit for this wonderful card design that works for any occasion!

Stamp Set: Warmest Regards
Colors: Shimmer White (card base), Marina Mist, Night of Navy, Not Quite Navy
Big Shot: Scallop Rectangle Clearlit, Beautiful Wings Embosslit

Stamp Set: Warmest Regards, A Word for You (inside the anniversary card)
Colors: Shimmer White (card base), Real Red, Night of Navy, Crushed Curry
Big Shot: Scallop Rectangle Clearlit, Beautiful Wings Embosslit

Card 5
Look, ma! No stamps! I did this card using the My Digital Studio software! The "DSP" is from Summertime Splendor, and the sentiment is just something I typed and applied a font to. I printed the DSP twice along with the sentiment on my home printer, and then I punched the sentiment and background to it with the Wide Oval punch. The ribbon is the real deal -- 1/2" Stitched Poly Ribbon in Concord Crush. The card base is real cardstock, too, also Concord Crush, to which I applied panels of the DSP. (I have since learned how to resize and better use DSP in My Digital Studio.)

I have three more anniversary cards to do to complete this order, and I hope to have them done before Saturday so I can give them to my friend then. So, as ever, stay tuned...

Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

My First *My Digital Studio* Card!

I am SO VERY excited!! I decided to take the plunge and purchase Stampin' Up!'s digital scrapbooking software called My Digital Studio. I'm not a scrapper, but I know it can be used for cards as well as online graphics such as blog headers and signatures, plus a whole slew of stuff I just haven't thought of yet!

Anyway, I expected a painful learning curve, but was pleasantly surprised (well, shocked) when I was able to make my first project, the card below, in less than 90 minutes after cracking open the software. Installation went smoothly, and the program is really easy to work with. I started out using a pre-designed 5 x 7 card template, but then altered it to suit the card recipient -- changed colors, moved some elements, added stuff, and so on. WAY COOL!

The top two pictures are how the card looked in My Digital Studio, and how the two card sides would have looked if I had had them professionally printed:

Time didn't allow for professional printing, though, so I used my ho-hum Dell 924 All-in-One printer and a piece of Whisper White cardstock. The colors are not true to Stampin' Up!'s palette, but they work for this particular project.

Notice something different between the pictures from My Digital Studio and the photos of the card off my printer? (Well, besides print quality?) I added BLING! Yup, I added black gemstones from the Holiday Mini to the front and inside of the card to jazz it up! The photos really don't do it justice.

Also, instead of printing double-sided to make a regular card, I printed the two panels separately and trimmed them down to size, then mounted them on a piece of Basic Black cardstock. For good measure, I distressed the edges of the black card base to give it a bit more of a grunge look to match the grungy spots I had designed into the card.

I am so eager to learn more about what My Digital Studio can do! So far it seems to me that Stampin' Up! has thought of everything! Tentatively, my next project will be a new header for this blog. Stay tuned... !

Walk in Peace,
Joyce Spear, a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thoughts and Prayers

I have an order for six anniversary cards and six sympathy cards, and I've been itching to pull out my Thoughts & Prayers wood mount stamp set from Stampin' Up! I decided that because I have so many cards to do (these in addition to other orders, plus my own holiday cards maybe), I'd keep the designs super simple. I've managed to come up with four cards in the last two days -- and the night is young! Here's what I've done so far...

Stamp set: Thoughts & Prayers
Colors: Night of Navy, Whisper White
Big Shot: Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder
And: 1/4" Night of Navy grosgrain ribbon

Stamp set: Thoughts & Prayers
Colors: Marina Mist (isn't it gorgeous? Well, my camera's giving me fits tonight, so trust me, it's gorgeous!), Whisper White
Big Shot: Oval Scallop Frame
And: Basic Pearls

Stamp sets: Thoughts & Prayers, A Word for You
Colors: Old Olive, Marina Mist, Real Red (great combination!!), Whisper White
Big Shot: Square Lattice embossing folder
Punch: Heart to Heart, retired corner punch that I don't remember the name of -- but I'll look it up if anyone really needs to know

And finally, my favorite so far...

Stamp sets: Thoughts & Prayers, A Word for You
Colors: Rose Red, Old Olive, Whisper White
And: Stampin' Write markers, Stampin' Dimensionals

For me, the best part of these cards is that they're coming together easily. My style is usually to anguish over what to do, colors to use, stamps to use, layout, embellishments, and so on until I make myself crazy. I've gone into a lower-key stamping mode somehow with these, though, and I think it's working for me!

So, I'm one-third done with this group of cards and hopeful I'll finish up within the next few days. Stay tuned for more card pictures!

Joyce Spear, a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day of Gratitude

I had great ambitions to send out Thanksgiving cards this year, but life got in the way. I still managed to put together a set of four cards using the most gorgeous stamp set in Stampin' Up!'s Holiday Mini, Day of Gratitude. These stamps work wonderfully with the Autumn Spice specialty Designer Series Paper, which is actually textured heavy-weight cardstock.

I decided I wanted to work my cards around the largest stamp in the set, the medallion. I used the "rock and roll" technique on some of them, which means I inked up the rubber in a lighter color, then rocked and rolled the edges of the stamp in a darker color ink before huffing and stamping. I love how the medallion layers on itself, too. On one of the medallions I used a large white grommet to frame a specialty circle brad. On others, just a brad sets off the medallion design wonderfully. Oh heck, enough talk -- let's just look at the cards!

Stamp set: Day of Gratitude
DSP: Autumn Spice
Colors: More Mustard, Cajun Craze, Old Olive, Early Espresso, Whisper White
And: Punches, 1/8" Taffeta ribbon, large white grommet, specialty brads (some retired), paper snips for fussy cutting

Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

ETA: My apologies for the photos being a bit blurry! I'll have my photographer (me) do a better job next time!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

More Customized Birthday Cards

More birthday cards! Gotta say I'm pretty proud of these two, especially the first one. I was asked to do a card with a Smallville theme, so I started out by finding some online photos to use. Once I printed them out, the card began to evolve -- size, colors, accessories all fell into place. (Don'tcha just love when that happens?)

The card is 8 1/2" x 5 1/2", a piece of Basic Black cardstock folded in half. I picked Bravo Burgundy and Perfect Plum as accent colors since they went so well with Clark's cape and the sky in the pictures. I ran the card base though my Big Shot using the Elegant Lines embossing folder, and WOW! it really made the card start to come to life! The fun sentiments are computer printed and nicely layered on both the front and inside. I used the Decorative Label punch from the Holiday Mini behind the ovals. (I love love love this punch!) As a final touch I added some Stampin' Up Basic Rhinestones for some classy bling!

The next card is for a soon-to-be 16 year old. I picked out a card I created some time ago and personalized it using die cut letters. (Man, I love my Big Shot!!)



As pleased as I am with these cards, I'm looking forward to moving on to the next projects! I want to make thank you cards for someone who's been especially kind to me over the last few months; some butterfly birthday cards to go overseas to kids in the Compassion program; some more anniversary and sympathy cards; and, of course, holiday cards! Think I have enough to keep me busy? Looks like I have to give up my addiction to Facebook games!

Have you seen the fabulous Holiday mini catalog? If you don't have a Stampin' Up! demonstrator of your own and would like a hard copy of this publication, email me privately and I'll be sure to get one into your hands!

Wishing you delight in little things,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Couple Birthday Cards

My aide asked me to make cards for her two daughters celebrating their birthdays this month, so I rolled up my sleeves yesterday and had at it.

The first is a traditional birthday card, and the only suggestion I had to work with was that her favorite color is red. For some reason I was drawn to Riding Hood Red, which further led me to use some Candy Lane DSP (retired but still quite pretty!). I've been seeing this card layout around a lot lately, and thought I'd try my hand at it. The card turned out to have more layers than I've ever used: nine! I like how it turned out, though -- simple, but classy! I think the sentiment from the Well Scripted set was the perfect choice.

The second daughter's birthday is on the 31st, so she traditionally gets a Halloween themed birthday card. I started by running Basic Black cardstock through my Big Shot using Stampin' Up!'s Spider Web embossing folder. I then polished over the embossing first with some white Smooch, then used a dauber with the Frost White shimmer paint to give it a hazy, spooky effect. The rest of the card front came together using some Ghostly Greetings DSP (retired) in Only Orange, and a Kiwi Kiss scallop.

On the inside I put a panel of Kiwi Kiss, then merged sentiments from Haunted House and On Your Birthday. The skeleton is from the set Bats About You, and the grouping of three bats are eyelets from my stash. The colorful bats on the right are from SU!'s wonderful new Bat punch. I used a sponge to grunge the edges a bit:

And the envelope, complete with skeleton from the Scary Skeleton set:

*** Happy Birthday, Tiffany and Kimberly!! ***

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fun with Owls

I'm smitten by the Two-Step Owl Extra Large punch new to this year's Idea Book & Catalog! It is SO much fun to play with, and I've barely scratched the surface of what can be done! I kept the owls on the following three cards pretty simple, but I've seen them made with their wings outstretched, in Bride and Groom outfits, in hats of all types, as silhouettes against a full moon -- and the pieces can be used to make ghosts, penguins, and flowers, too! The eyes can be done as I have by using the circles on the punch, or they can be two-layered, have eyelids, or even be done with googly eyes. What a hoot! (Sorry, couldn't resist the pun!)

Since the cards are pretty straightforward, I'll leave you with the ingredient list below. If you have any questions at all about the cards, please email or leave a comment and I will get back to you. Enjoy the cards!

Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes, Confetti
Cardstock/Ink Colors: Pacific Point, Sahara Sand, Not Quite Navy, Night of Navy, Brocade Blue, Old Olive, Whisper White
DSP: Blueberry Crisp
Punches: Two-Step Owl, Two-Step Bird (for branches on the third card), Word Window, Modern Label, Decorative Label (from the Holiday Mini Catalog), Trio Flower
And: Basic Pearls, Victoria Crochet Trim, Stampin' Dimensionals (of course), Not Quite Navy brads, retired Pacific Point ribbon

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Birthday Card!

I just finished (and mailed!) the first of a bunch of birthday cards I'll be making -- some of them over this coming weekend, I hope!

This card is for one of my dearest friends. Can you guess her favorite color? I broke into my new Cherry Cobbler cardstock and ink just for the occasion, and I have to say that I absolutely LOVE this shade of red! I have a feeling I'll be using a lot of it!

The card itself is pretty straight-forward. I pulled out my Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch, and the rest of the card just sort of happened. The candles and flowers on the cake have Smooch Pearlized top coat on them to fancy them up a bit. The card inside is a bit different, but I had fun using my new uber-large scallop punch and the even bigger circle to make layers for both the inside sentiment and the signature section.

I'm counting on the recipient not checking my blog over the weekend, but just in case she stops by and gets a sneak peek at her card, I'll say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CATHY!

Stamps: Happy Moments, Whimsical Words
Colors: Cherry Cobbler, Daffodil Delight, Pacific Point
Punches: Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border, 2-1/2" Circle, 2-3/8 Scallop Circle
And: Smooch Pearlized Top Coat
(and yes, I CAN make a card without using Stampin' Dimensionals!)

Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thank You's for the Moving Crew

At long last I have finished the thank you cards that will be going out to the people who helped me move on July 31. I started the cards several weeks ago, but then life happened -- more sick time, couldn't find supplies, etc. I'm very proud of this set of ten cards, though, especially since no two are exactly alike. Most of my experimentation was on the Melon Mambo layer underneath the main image. I used a variety of embossing folders and texture plates to vary the look, and not a single one looked bad. Here are three of my favorite cards:

Stamp Set: Watercolor Trio
Colors: Bermuda Bay, Melon Mambo, Whisper White
Punches: Large Oval, Scallop Oval, Scallop Trim Border
Big Shot: Square Lattice, Perfect Polka Dots, and Vintage Wallpaper embossing folders
And: Dazzling Diamonds glitter, Smooch Moonlight, Stampin' Dimensionals

I still have a bit of unpacking and a lot of organizing to do before I can really roll up my sleeves and dive into stamping, but it'll all come together in due time. I'm really excited about the new products in both the Idea Book & Catalog and the Holiday Mini, and I'm hoping to show you some great projects!

ETA: A link to the Holiday Mini catalog is on the sidebar to the right. If you haven't seen it yet, go take a look -- and prepare to drool! If you're not a demo or don't have a demo yet and need a hard copy of the Holiday Mini, leave me a note with your email in the comments section and I'll get back to you right away to get your address and get a Mini into your hands!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Last Two Cards before "The Big Move"

I can't remember if I wrote here that I am moving...? I will be moving to the other side of town next Saturday -- and I can't wait!!!

Here are the last two cards I'll be making in this apartment. The first is a simple thank you card for a new customer who recently placed an order. I've been wanting to make a card using the Tropical Party stamp set and Island Oasis DSP, and this was the perfect opportunity!

Stamps: Tropical Party, Tiny Tags
DSP: Island Oasis
Colors: Tempting Turquoise, Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, So Saffron, Rose Red
Punches: 2-3/8 Scallop Circle, Jewelry Tag
Big Shot: Square Lattice embossing folder
And: Sponges, Rose Red brad, Stampin' Dimensionals

My final card for the day is a last-minute sympathy card for the passing of an English Setter named Gus, requested by my friend Cathy. The flowers and front sentiment are from the (retired) Close as a Memory set, while the inside was simply printed from my computer. The little paw prints are from the set D is for Dog.

Stamps: Close as a Memory, D is for Dog
DSP: Autumn Traditions (retired)
Colors: Always Artichoke, Ruby Red, More Mustard, Basic Black
And: Always Artichoke brads

The next time I post, it will be from my new home in Hilliard, Ohio! YAY! Catch ya on the flip side!

Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Forty Bears for the Kids (at long last!)

At long last, the final forty Build-a-Bear cards destined for the Las Vegas Ronald McDonald House are ready to go! The first ten were mailed last October, and if you'd like to take a peek at those cards, they are in this post.

To save your scrolling finger a bit of work, I've posted smaller pictures of each card. If you'd like to see details in a larger picture, just click on any of the photos.

The Build-a-Bears and their clothes and accessories were cut by Cynthia Ferenz at Stampin' Dragon -- and that alone was quite a project! I'd like to give a shout out to Cynthia for the donation of time and materials for this undertaking. Thanks, Cynthia! Without you I couldn't have done any of this!!

I had to rely on Cynthia for bear parts because I don't (yet) have the Build-a-Bear dies. I still got to use my Big Shot quite a bit, though, in the making of textured backgrounds, layers using the Top Note die, and lots of butterflies using the "Beautiful Wings" embosslit. The Build-a-Bear dies are shown on pages 216-217 of the current catalog. Beautiful Wings can be found on page 215. If you'd like to see all of the wonderful Big Shot stuff, check out pages 204-217. I can't say enough good things about this fabulous tool!

To keep myself from getting bored with the bears (forty is a lot, you know, even if they are cute!), I pulled out other stamps and accessories to make things more interesting. Here's a card with a background made using a Stampin' Up! wheel:

Of course I had to do a lot of paper piercing because... well, because it looks cool! ...

I discovered that border punches can be used to make nifty corners, too!

The vast majority of supplies used were from Stampin' Up! However, I couldn't resist adding a little bling here and there from my stash. I squealed with delight when I got my new SU! catalog because we now carry self-adhesive rhinestones and pearls (page 188)!

Here' s an oddball card. Most of the bear cards were made using colors in the Pawsitively Prints DSP and some retired DSP chosen by Cynthia. In a brief moment of ennui, I grabbed a piece of Kaleidoscope DSP and threw in some turquoise on this one:

... and here's some Rich Razzleberry thrown in for good measure:

Don'tcha just love the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder?

Here's one with some more detailed paper piercing...

I just realized that I didn't take any pictures of the insides of the cards. Most of them have coordinating decorations -- such as stars or hearts or butterflies -- on the inside to help make the messages the parents write for their kids there all the more special.

Is it even possible to do a project of this magnitude without throwing in some Stickles?

I experimented a bit with both natural hemp and twine for the shoelaces.

And that's the final bear waving goodbye! I think these bears are just as excited as I am about their upcoming trip to Sherrill Graff and the kids in the Las Vegas Ronald McDonald House!

I'd like to thank my friends in the Stampin' Up! Late Night Stampers Yahoo! group for all the support and encouragement they've given me on this project. I'd also like to acknowledge my dear friend Cathy for wanting "in" on this project and covering the postage for this final shipment!

Fifty Build-a-Bear cards later, I'm being asked if I'd do a project like this again. To be honest, I think I would consider making more bear cards in smaller batches... especially if I had the Build-a-Bear dies and had more freedom in my choice of cardstock and DSP colors.

I definitely plan on making more cards for the Ronald McDonald House kids, but I will most likely be supporting Children's Hospital here in Columbus, Ohio rather than the House in Las Vegas. Once I move and get settled into my new place, I'm hoping to have friends over to make cards for kids with me -- because stamping is so much more fun with others!

Have any questions about this Build-a-Bear project or cards for kids? Leave a comment and I'll be sure to get back to you!

And now, back to packing. Ugh!

Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce