Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Another (Even Better) Card in a Box

As a follow-up to a post from last week, I decided to make another Card in a Box. I gave away my first one and thought it would be prudent to make another while the logistics were still fresh in my head. Luckily my friend Margie was around to fine-tune my memory as I was making it.

I used different patterns from the same DSP I used last time, Sweet Sorbet, and this time my stamp set was Petal Parade, the one Margie used on her first one. Instead of using the Little Leaves sizzlit, I used the leaves and branch from the Bird builder punch as well as the bird's wing. Pistachio Pudding made for a softly colored card base and leaves. I used Stampin' Up!'s basic jewels rather than Stickles, and I think the card came together nicely. Click any photo to enlarge.

I'm happy with how this project turned out, but I'm eager to try one with brighter colors and something other than a floral theme ...

... but for now, it's pack, pack, pack. It's hard to believe that I'll be living somewhere else in about 30 days, especially considering I haven't been told yet where that place is!

Smiling at the irony of "in a box" projects,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Monday, March 3, 2014

More KISS* Cards

* KISS as in "Keep It Simple, Stamper" and not the rock music band of the 1970s!

Don't you just love that *HOORAY!!* feeling you get when you finish a project that's been occupying space on your To Do list since what feels like so long ago it may have been the day you were born? Well, I'm feeling it now! This week I finished up the cards my friend who sponsors children through Compassion and World Vision requested from me years ago. All I can say is, "Whew!"

This post is the second half of the project I wrote about here. (In a nutshell, the main difference between these cards and the kind I usually do is that on these I had to avoid embellishments - no ribbons, brads, or anything lumpy - and they had to be as light as possible for overseas mailing - as in no layers.) I knew my friend had to mail at least one of the cards near the end of last month, so I mailed her all the cards I had finished mid-February, allowing extra time in case of snow emergencies and other weather-related drama. I'm pleased to say she really liked that batch of cards, and even used the one I wasn't so sure I liked.

I'm happy to report that these last cards were a lot easier than the first batch! Perhaps it was because I had gotten feedback and was armed with ideas on how I could have made the first cards better and more easily. Possibly it was because I wasn't feeling as pressured by a deadline this time. Or maybe the time I spent on Pinterest looking at CAS ("clean and simple") cards by others sparked my creativity. Whatever the reason, I'm really pleased with these. Without further ado, here they are:

Card 9:  Lookie! Stenciling! A Pinterest session reminded me that I own stencils and should be using them! What better way to make a no-layer WOW card? I made a card base of Naturals white cardstock and grabbed my favorite stencil from Balzer Designs. I used a sponge dauber to randomly add Wisteria Wonder, Wild Wasabi, and Pool Party. I pulled a little bit of the design to the inside of the card, then finished it off by adding sentiments that were punched out with the Extra Large Oval punch and lightly sponged along the edges. The picture does not do the card justice!

Card 10:  This is pretty much the same as the previous card, except I used the colors Tempting Turquoise, Melon Mambo, and Daffodil Delight.

Card 11:  As I prepare to move in April, I'm finding all sorts of interesting things in my stash! Case in point, I found a ziplock bag full of card bases that were embossed for me by a stamping buddy prior to my winning a Big Shot. In the bag I found one card embossed with birthday greetings, took it out and ran with it. I just love the simplicity of this card, and the colors make it fun for any age!

Under the cupcake is the phrase "Make a Wish."

I included this picture to show the "Just For You" stamp on the back. I usually put my name or initials on cards I make myself, but I opted to use non-signature "hand made" stamps for this entire project. I can't explain why, it just felt right.

(By the way, am I the only one who thinks "minion" when seeing this much yellow in one place?)

Card 12:  These last two cards are meant to be EXTRA special because they are going to girls in the Philippines in celebration of both their birthdays and their graduations. I can't believe it didn't occur to me before this to make a card using Dazzles stickers. They're easy to work with and are a big WOW when paired with SU!'s shimmer white cardstock. 

The inside sentiment reads, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams."

Card 13:  This card is very similar to the above, but I decided to use a butterfly stamp from a newly acquired set by Hot Off the Press instead of the silver medallion Dazzles. I went through three drawers of embossing powders to find my favorite and the *perfect* one for this card; it's called Gold Fire Opal, and it is absolutely stunning on the shimmer white card base. Gold Fire Opal has a shiny gold base (no tinsel) with flecks of mostly red iridescence mixed in. When the light hits it just right, the effect is incredible. If you click to enlarge the picture below, you may catch some of what I'm trying to describe.

So there you have it, a year's worth of cards for children and young adults all over the world. This turned out to be a very good project for me, not only because it's a relief to finally have done something I've been wanting to do for years, but also because it forced me to re-think my style of cardmaking and try some new things. I'm very grateful to my friend for giving me this experience.


I've mentioned several times in the last few posts that I'm packing to move, but haven't said what it's all about. The good news is that the apartment complex I live in is being renovated, and some notable improvements are being made. The bad news is that I have to move off-site for three months while the contractors are working on the renovation, and then I repack anything I've needed and move back in; so I'm basically moving twice! We're being moved two buildings at a time, and mine is one of the first to be done. I'm told that the move to an off-site apartment will probably be mid-April, but I have to be ready to go on April 1st. The renovation is supposed to be done in 90 days, but they can't nail a date down until after the project has started. As you can see, there's lots of variables that are making for a lot of stress. My priority right now is to pack, pack, pack. However, I have no intention of packing up ALL of my crafting materials - I'd go insane if I couldn't stamp! - so you can expect blog posts to continue while I'm off property. My projects may not be particularly complicated, but they will be the best they can be with the materials I'll have on hand. Just think, in a year from now I'll be looking back on all this and laughing... I hope.

It's been a long weekend (I'm scheduling this post on Sunday night), and I need to sign off and go dream of - oh heck, I'm too tired to dream, LOL.

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

Sunday, March 2, 2014

My First Card in a Box!

If you're an active paper crafter or spend any time on Pinterest, no doubt you've seen the famous Card in a Box. It's a four-sided card that lays flat for mailing and becomes 3D when taken out of the envelope. 

Well, it captured my fancy, but I was feeling overwhelmed with all the different directions and tutorials out there, many of which are for Cards in Boxes that are of different proportions. Very confusing! Three-dimensional projects don't come easy to me to begin with, but add in the other factors as well as FBS (Fried Brain Syndrome) thanks to packing and getting ready to move, I knew I needed help.

Enter my friend Margie! I asked her if she had any interest in trying the project, and she said yes. Yay! Next I asked her if she would be able to talk ME through it, and she again said yes. Double Yay!

Friday night was the night. Margie and I got together using Skype (since she lives in Wisconsin and I'm in Ohio) and both made projects. We chose different designer series paper, stamps, and embellishments, so our cards look totally different. Let me start by showing you Margie's, since I think it turned out FABULOUS!

She used the stamp set Petal Parade (free during Stampin' Up!'s Sale-a-bration event which will be in swing until March 31), the Sweet Sorbet DSP (also a Sale-a-bration freebie), and some Pool Party and Crisp Cantalope twine (also free). Being the brilliant person she is, she thought to use punches rather than fussy-cutting the flowers - something that never crossed my mind. (See why I keep her around? LOL) She used Dazzles stickers to accent the flowers, and the dragonfly and butterfly are also Dazzles. I'm wild about how her Card in a Box turned out!

I'm also surprised at how well my own first attempt turned out! Take a look:

Below are some additional views. Click on any photo to make it larger.


And here's how it looks squashed down and partially in the envelope:

Like Margie, I started with a Sahara Sand card base. This is one of those very few times when I was not impressed with a Stampin' Up! product... because we both had issues with the Sahara Sand cardstock cracking on the folds. I've never had this problem with SU! cardstock before, so I hope it's just a weird coincidence that we both had difficulties last night. Luckily the cracks were hidden by the flowers and other embellishments, so it wasn't a big deal.

I stamped several flowers from the Flower Shop stamp set in Pool Party, Crisp Cantalope, Pistachio Pudding, and Summer Starfruit onto Whisper White. Next I decided I needed leaves to fill out my little flower bouquet, and pulled from my stash some die cuts a friend had cut for me from the Little Leaves sizzlit before I had a Big Shot of my own. Thanks to the poor lighting I had last night, I can't tell you which color green the leaves are, but it's not Pistachio Pudding (which would have been ideal if I had had the energy to dig my Big Shot out of a mountain of clutter!); my guess would be Sage Shadow, but I'm honestly not sure.

I started building up the bouquet with leaves and flowers. Deciding what should go where and how to adhere it without leaving stickiness on the backs of the images was the hardest part. Once that was done, the project seemed to need a little more something. A few Hershey's nuggets later, it occurred to me to punch some butterflies from coordinating card stock and add them to the bouquet. I felt the need for a sentiment or two, so used a couple of "incentive stamps" (promotional stamps that you can get only from your demonstrator) and punches to create them. I added one on the front and one on the back. The final steps were to add some Sale-a-bration twine and then some Star Dust Stickles to the flower centers. (I could have used Stampin' Up!'s Dazzling Details, but I just grabbed the closest bottle.)

I was so pleased with my project, and since I was having lunch with a dear friend on Saturday morning, I decided to brighten her day by giving her my Card in a Box. The look on her face was priceless and worth all the effort!

Already my head is spinning with dozens more ideas on both how I could make this design better and what I could do for future projects using other stamp sets, papers, and themes! I need more hours in a day to make more Cards in Boxes!! I hope to make at least a couple more before my stamping supplies get packed away for a few months.

Coming up tomorrow: Another batch of CAS (Clean and Simple) cards headed overseas

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