Thursday, February 27, 2014

Good As Gold

I was rather intrigued when I saw the Good As Gold card kit in the Sale-a-bration brochure. I prefer making my own cards from scratch, but there are still times when I need a no-brainer project to do.

Well, one of those times came a couple of weeks ago, and luckily I had this kit on hand. The kit comes with supplies enough to make eight 3.5" x 5" cards and coordinating envelopes -- if you follow the directions. Of course I didn't follow them exactly, so I got more than that; and not one of them look like the suggested picture.

Card 1:

Card 2:

Card 3:

Card 4:

Card 5:

Card 6:

Card 7:

Card 8:

Most of the cards above use the same kit pieces but are arranged differently. I love that sentiments in French and German are also included, and I decided to use all three languages on some of the cards. I neglected to take photos of the insides of the cards, but they all have at least one banner and one gold star. The envelopes are Sahara Sand with a gold foil liner to match the cards. (What else would you expect from Stampin' Up!?)

Notice something different about card 8? It's true confession time: Only *I* could screw up a kit card, LOL! Enough time has passed that I don't remember exactly what I did wrong, but I do remember it was something on the inside; and to fix it I ended up taking the card base and cutting it in half, then mounting part of it on a Basic Black card base. Now since the original card bases have the print on both front and back, I was left with an extra panel to work with... which brings us to 

Card 9:

It's a regular A2 card using the printed panel on just part of the front! The adorable cow is an image that someone stamped off for me a long time ago. I had it on my desk since I was going through a bag of pre-stamped images in preparation for another swap coming up, and I got the giggles when the thought occurred to me to use it here. The green ribbon is this year's In Colors ruffled stretch trim in Pistachio Pudding. The gold foil on the pattern really dresses the card up and gets your attention, while the cow just makes you laugh!

I had a lot of fun playing with this kit, so much so that I hope to get my hands on another kit. I'm not a big fan of the smaller card size, so it's safe to say I will be cutting up the card bases to make more A2s. I can think of plenty of was to use the gold foil envelope liners and envelopes separately, as well as all the other materials in the kit.

If you're interested in getting the Good As Gold kit free as a Sale-a-bration gift, just contact me (or your own demonstrator if you have one) to find out how to qualify. Sale-a-bration comes only once a year and concludes at the end of March, so don't miss out on the opportunity to get a freebie with every $50 of product you purchase.

with Smiles as Good As Gold,
Joyce Spear, a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

January 2014 Paper Pumpkin

January's Paper Pumpkin is a cute one, especially when you DON'T follow directions! Let me show you what I mean. Below is a picture of the kit the way Stampin' Up! suggests you assemble the cards:

Cute? Yes. But even cuter when you put the color on the outside of the card...!

Card 1:

Card 2:

Card 3:

Card 4:

See what I mean?

If you're wondering about the flowers on card 4, they're cork from the Sweet Sorbet Accessory Pack which is available as a free product during this year's Sale-a-bration event. (I'll be tickled pink to tell you more about this event if you're interested.)

Cards 1 and 3 also have some bonus product on them. Stampin' Up! is planning to pump up the Paper Pumpkin kits this year, but since the January kit was already in production by the time that decision was made, SU! decided to gift current Paper Pumpkin subscribers with a free full-size container of this year's In Color Boutique Details, valued at $8.95. Sweet!

If you're interested in subscribing to Paper Pumpkin, I would really like to be your demonstrator. Give a holler if you want more information, and I'll be happy to provide whatever you need to get started.

I have one last post and then I'll be caught up with everything I've done since the beginning of the new year... Yay! Tomorrow's post will feature the Good As Gold free Sale-a-bration card kit, so don't miss it!

Pumpkin Smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Playing with Washi Tape

Washi tape is COOL! I have all of the washi tapes from Stampin' Up! as well as plenty from other places, so I figured I was due for a washi session. I had fun putting together these six cards, and hope you enjoy them as well. The thing that stands out to me with washi tape is its simplicity -- how easy it is to use. That being said, I did have a bit of a learning curve, so I'll share with you a few things I discovered.

Card 1:  The first thing I learned was that washi tape makes great backgrounds! I started by placing one strip of tape at an angle, and from there it was easy enough to keep the angle by butting subsequent strips up against what was already laid down. I also learned that while many cards I've seen with washi tape sport torn-off ends, I prefer a cleaner look. The beauty of this card is that I could tuck the ends under the top panel, which both leaves a clean appearance and holds the tape down more firmly. I'm not sure I like the white doily die cut on top of the printed washi, and if I had to do the card over I'd put a solid cardstock circle under the doily. Live and learn!

(Click to enlarge any photo.)

Card 2:  Washi tape also makes a nice edging on a card or card layer. The sentiment on the front of this card is from Stampin' Up!'s second photopolymer stamp set, Bombs Away Birthday, destined to be a classic. I don't remember offhand which set the inside sentiment is from, (and I'll look it up if anyone needs to know), but I decided to use a kinder, gentler one.

Card 3:  This card uses SU! washi tape, as does the card directly above. I realized as I was placing the tape like I did for the first card that I could leave an open area to stamp a sentiment or whatever. Not exactly rocket science, I know, but sometimes I miss the obvious.

Card 4:  The chalkboard look is all the rage these days, so I decided to give it a shot. I learned while making this card that different looks can be created by pointing the design on the washi tape in different directions.

Card 5:  I discovered that washi makes a cool border when working with an ATC-sized panel as shown in both cards 5 and 6. (For those who haven't heard of ATCs, ATC is short for Artist Trading Card, a trading-card sized piece measuring 2.5" x 3.5".)

Card 6:  Finally, I discovered that if you're one who is a perfectionist like me about washi tape placement, you can pull it up and put it back down where you want it. The trick to remember, though, is that if you do this too often the tape loses its stickiness, so it's wise to use a bit of other adhesive to be sure the tape is stuck down properly.

If washi tape is new to you and you have questions, simply leave a comment and I'll get back to you with an answer.

Tomorrow's post will feature January's Paper Pumpkin cards. I hope you'll join me!

Washi smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Monday, February 24, 2014

Floral District

I love the Floral District designer series paper by Stampin' Up! -- so much so that I bought multiple packages of it last year before it was retired and then even more this year when it showed up on the Clearance rack. The bold designs are fabulous, and I adore the bursts of color! I've made envelopes with this DSP, and they are such attention-grabbers!

The down side to having so much of this paper is that it takes up room, so in January, while doing some paper reorganizing, I decided to challenge myself to use up a pack. Here's what I came up with:

Card 1: I remembered that the DSP coordinates with the Betsy's Blossoms stamp set, so I pulled that out and used the bird image for the first time. After playing with the images in Betsy's Blossoms, I remember why I just HAD to have the set!

Card 2: This is simple card, as I let color and texture do all the work. I especially liked working with one big banner. Oranges are my least favorite colors, so it was a bit challenging for me to work on a Tangerine Tango card base. I think the envelope is a lot of fun, though.

Card 3: I really liked the big banner idea, so I decided to try another layout using it. The button is made from Stampin' Up!'s clay and mold (so easy to work with!) painted with iridescent paint.

Card 4: Here's another simple card that shows off the Flower Shop set and the Pansy punch. I used my bone folder to curl the petals so in real life this card has a lot of dimension. 

Card 5: Here's a simple any occasion card created by layering lots of different shapes.

Card 6: Here's another card created by layering shapes. I like it even better than Card 5 despite the Tangerine Tango. :)

Card 7: Once again, I created a very simple card and let the color do the work. I enjoyed pulling out the Papillon Potpourri stamp set and butterfly punches,

Card 8: Pretty much the same as Card 7 except for the (less orange!) colors.

Card 9: With banners being all the rage, I decided to use up some narrow scraps to create this fun card. I used a bone folder to curl the banners outward for a fun effect.

Card 10: This is my favorite in this batch of cards. I think the three little bits of bling add so much to an already-fun card.

If you have any questions about these cards, just leave a comment and I'll get back to you right away. I'd also be tickled pink to get your feedback! I hope you had as much fun looking at these cards as I did making them!

Next post: Cards made using Washi Tape. I think you'll be surprised at some of the ideas I came up with!

Bright smiles,
Joyce Spear (a.k.a. StamperJoyce)

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Even though I am a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, I do purchase items from other companies. I recently bought an edge die that fascinated me, and here is my first card made with it:

You can see the die cut even better when the card is open. Pretty slick, eh?

I anticipate I will be having great fun with this die down the road a bit!

Thought I'd do something different and make a short post today. My next few posts will be longer ones as I've made quite a few cards and need to get caught up on my blogging!

Joyce Spear (a.k.a. StamperJoyce)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

KISS: Keep It Simple, Stamper!

I have a friend who both sponsors and corresponds with kids through Compassion and World Vision, Christian ministry efforts supporting children all over the world. We've talked a couple times about me making birthday cards for her kids, but something always seemed to come up to prevent me from following through. I finally decided to make it a priority, and will be creating a year's worth of birthday (and some graduation) cards for her. This posting shows the first half of the cards, and I plan to complete the rest of them in the next month to six weeks. My apartment building is being renovated and I have to pack up all my belongings and move to another property for three months starting in April, so I need to work fast before all my crafting supplies are in boxes.

Because these cards are going to children overseas and through organizations that have restrictions on what can be mailed to the kids, I have to keep these cards as flat and light as possible -- no ribbon, brads, or other bumpy embellishments, and as few layers as I can manage. Eek, that's hard! I don't normally make super fancy cards, but my style isn't CAS (Clean & Simple) either, so this is quite a challenge for me. Here's what I came up with:

Card 1: This is the most elaborate card I made in this batch. It's going to India, and the sponsoring organization allows a little more freedom in its mailing policies. The card base is Stampin' Up!'s Island Indigo, and I used a layer of Watercolor Wonder designer series paper. I embossed the Swallowtail stamp onto cardstock vellum and fussy cut it tightly along the edges, then colored some areas on the back side with markers. I attached it to the DSP and added a banner sentiment. The butterfly on the inside is also cardstock vellum, and the wings lift slightly to give a dimensional look.

(Click on any photo to enlarge it!)

Card 2: I chose a Gumball Green card base and used my Big Shot with my (free during Sale-a-bration) Decorative Dots embossing folder to add some texture. All of the stamps I used are non-SU!, but I did use SU! markers to color the images.

Card 3: I pulled out an old rainbow stamp pad to ink one of the stamps in the washi tape mimicking Tape It set, then embossed the panel with the Decorative Dots embossing folder. The main image is from this year's Ronald McDonald House supporting set called Tag It, and the tag is cut out using a Chalk Talk framelit.

Card 4: I'm embarrassed to say how easy this card was to make! I embossed some Whisper White cardstock with a retired embossing folder (I think it's called Manhatten Floral or something like that), then used a sponge dauber to gently tap on the embossed lines with Pink Pirouette ink. The three dots are punched from Early Espresso cardstock since I couldn't use brads.

Card 5: I used a Simply Sent kit card base and layered it with a cake! I accented the flames with a glitter pen.

Card 6: The stamps used on this card are non-SU!, but the DSP is Stampin' Up!'s Happy Birthday from the last catalog. Again I used punched dots in place of brads.

Card 7: I embossed the Swallowtail image in white directly onto the Regal Rose card base and then used a sponge dauber to add color here and there.

Card 8: This is pretty much the same card as above, except that I used gold shimmer spray to jazz it up. I'm not sure I like the look, so I sent it to my friend as an extra card she can either use or toss.

Now that I've blogged these cards, I see all sorts of ways I could have made them even simpler. I'll take what I've learned and apply it to the second batch of cards for these children.

* * * * * * * * * *
I still have two large piles of cards to take pictures of and edit before I can post them here. If tomorrow's a sunny day, I hope to make a dent in the piles so that I can have another blog post for you tomorrow evening!

Joyce Spear, a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sympathy Card

A family member of some of my dear friends passed away last week, so I had the sad task of making sympathy cards for them. I kept the cards simple:

Tomorrow I'll be posting some CAS birthday cards, a much happier post.

Comforting smiles,
Joyce Spear, a.k.a. StamperJoyce