Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Gift of Geraniums

I received a surprise gift for Christmas from one of my StampNation girlfriends. I had mentioned in one of my forum posts there that I generally don't exchange Christmas presents so wasn't expecting anything this year. Well, my friend is a firm believer that everybody should have a present to open on Christmas, and so she surprised me with a prezzie! It arrived a little less than a week before Christmas, and I was so intrigued with the packaged gift that I had to put it on the other side of my room from my desk so that I wouldn't peek. Mercifully she gave me permission a couple days later to open it early, but I managed to be good until Christmas Eve day. I had a sneaking suspicion it was a stamp set, but wasn't completely sure... and I certainly didn't know what kind of stamps it might be.

When I opened the package, my jaw dropped. Not only was it a stamp set, but it was a very nice stamp set from Power Poppy! Lookie:

I typically am not a florals kind of gal, but this set just spoke to me of possibilities with its two flower stamps and seven sentiments. I recently bought some Blendabilities markers from Stampin' Up! and decided these images would be the perfect ones to break the markers in with. 

My first attempt was a hot mess:

but I started getting a little better with my second and third tries.

I know I still need lots more practice, but I figured these two images were card-worthy-ish and made these two cards with them:

That fabulous background stamp? Something Lacy from the Stampin' Up! Occasions 2015 catalog. It's stamped in Old Olive on an Old Olive card base. The baker's twine is gold and white. The top flowers are Real Red, and the bottom are Wisteria Wonder.

As you might guess, one of these cards is going to my friend. :)

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So there you have it. To my amazement, I am finally caught up with posting all the cards I have made and photographed. Definitely time for me to get busy! Now that the holidays are over, I'm hoping to get more unpacking done, but you can be sure I'll be making time for stamping!

Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Lotus Blossom

Stampin' Up!'s Sale-a-bration started a little early this year, and among the great FREE products they're offering is one set that really stands out for me: Lotus Blossom. It features a gorgeous flower and stem as well as two sentiments. (The sentiment I used on the card below is not one of them.) The really cool thing about the flower is that it is a three-step-stamping image, which means that three separate stamps are used to create the flower top. You can stamp with three colors, two colors, or even one color if you wish, but having three layers makes all kinds of color combinations possible, which makes this image immensely fun to play with! In fact, I couldn't resist using the set the very day it came -- which is very unusual for me. Here's what I came up with:

The card base is Primrose Petals (retired), and the embossed layer is Pink Pirouette. The green panel is a watercolor design which I took from one of the cards in the Watercolor Wonder notecard set (currently on the Clearance Rack at a hard-to-resist price). I used only two colors for this flower, Primrose Petals and Pink Pirouette. The sequins are the small Sparkling Clear ones from Pretty Pink Posh. The card layout is courtesy of a StampNation Challenge. I have to say, this is one of my favorite cards I've ever made... maybe because it speaks of Spring.

Coming up next: A Gift of Geraniums

Thanks for spending a moment here in my Creative Corner!

Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cards from All Over the World!

And still another perk of belonging to the StampNation community of stampers is being surprised with cards from all over the world! I was astonished as the cards kept coming in just before Christmas -- I just couldn't believe so many people had thought of me! 

I'm going to share my cards with you, my readers, because they are just too good to be hidden away somewhere. If you have any questions about the tools or techniques used to create these, please leave a note in the comments and I'll do my very best to answer or get more information from the card creators.

Got your cup of coffee or hot chocolate? Here we go! 

Card 1: From the founder of StampNation herself, Catherine Pooler! Actually, this card came with my prize for the Challenge I wrote about here, so it's actually a double-duty card. I'm pretty sure Catherine used this card for a tutorial or video somewhere along the way.

 Card 2: From an already-dear friend from StampNation that I've been exchanging emails with for a couple months, Charlene Thompson. We'll be exchanging cards at least monthly (maybe more?), so if she's agreeable she will be regularly featured on this blog. I love the die-cuts on this card, and I'm hoping she'll cut me a few of the border (if I remember to ask her) as the year goes on.

Card 3: From Gail Hislop in Canada, who is another StampNation friend. The inside of the card has the BEST inside sentiment I've seen in a long time: "Don't get your tinsel in a tangle"! I roared with laughter when I read it because it arrived at a rather tangled moment -- so it was quite a gift. The cover picture is sparkly, and the gold embellishments are perfect!

Card 4: From Janet Gillen, another SN buddy whom I adore. The embossed Rudolph is a bit lost in the strange shadow in this photo, but combined with the greeting it makes for a simple yet beautiful card.

Card 5: From my SN Brotha Kevin Devine, who I'm learning is very talented with mixed media. I just love the simplicity of this card, and I am so delighted that he thought of me when sending out his cards!

Card 6: From Kristie Goulet, another of the whizzes that keep StampNation rolling along smoothly. This was the first card I received this year, and I had a funny feeling it wouldn't be the last. Gosh, was I ever right! In case you can't tell, Kristie is from New Hampshire.

Card 7: From Linda Wilkinson who lives in Michigan, another Stamption Sistah. I love that she use the popular Ornamental Pine set from Stampin' Up! The front of her card is covered with Dazzling Diamonds, and it make the card sparkle no matter which way you look at it. I just wish my camera could have captured some of the glitter.

Card 8: From Michelle Wallace, one of the Sistahs from down under! I squealed with delight when I saw the Australian return address, and then squealed again when I saw the card itself. Michelle does amazing work, and this card lives up to her reputation. Each of the dove's wings have a shimmery iridescent tint to them that makes this card stand out as special.

Card 9: From my friend Rose Ann Urbanic, the only non-StampNation person to send me a handmade card this Christmas. (I guess I'm not the only stamper who didn't send out cards this year, lol.) Rose Ann's card is CAS, something that I strive to do. Rose Ann, if you're reading this, it was good to hear from you!

Card 10: From Sharon Salerno, another talented Sistah from SN. The photo does not do the card justice! The snowflake is die cut, and through the raised panel we can see silver glimmer paper. With a shimmery sentiment and strategically placed gems, this card is quite elegant.

Card 11: From Susan Powell, another Canadian friend who also does fabulous work. The "joy" is a die-cut, and the three buttons are perfectly suspended on coordinating bakers twine. I just love this simple but very trendy card!

Card 12: From Tristan Dawes, another Aussie and awesome stamper that I'm so tickled pink to have received a card from. Her multi-layered card is beautiful in its simplicity. I'm touched that she - and all of these people whose cards I've posted here - took the time to think of me during the busy holiday season.

Aren't these cards the BEST? I've spent the last couple of weeks admiring them, picking them up and running my fingers over the embellishments and layers, and I'm still not bored with them. I am SO lucky!

I am also resolved to get my act together so that I, too, can be sending cards to my Sistahs and Brotha next Christmas! I've seen how much a card can mean, and I intend to do my part in spreading the love!

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And now for some wonderful news: This is my last Christmas post for 2014! I plan to take a bit of a break from Christmas cards during January, but start up again with occasional holiday cards throughout the year. Hopefully that will eliminate the loooong posts with a million photos as I try to keep up on my holiday blogging next Christmas.

I've got two more posts buzzing around in my brain before it's time for me to make more cards to show you! I've been experimenting with embossing paste and playing with Stampin' Up! Blendabilities, so hopefully I'll have some fun stuff to show you in the weeks to come!

Thanks for being here!

Joyce Spear / StamperJoyce

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"Almost" My Christmas Cards!

I got an early start to my Christmas cards this year, but ended up sending only a very few out. Why? Because the cards I made for myself got kidnapped by my neighbor -- the same one that ordered fifty cards from me last year! He enlisted me to make five for him this year, which would have been easy enough to do. I was sitting down to work on them one evening when he came by to visit and saw my finished cards sitting on the table. There were twelve of them, and he asked if he could have them all. There's pretty much nothing I wouldn't do for him, so I gave him the cards. To my surprise, in return he gave me much more than I feel the cards were worth.

Luckily, I had already taken pictures of them. For one I used a snowflake made from a kit Stampin' Up! had available last year, and for the rest I used a brand new photopolymer set called White Christmas... which I have dubbed their Best. Christmas. Set. Ever!

Card 1:

(Click on any of these pictures to enlarge them.)

Notice the pretty sequins? I'm loving sequins these days
and couldn't resist putting a few on this card.

Card 2:

The four gold circles are nailheads, another favorite thing.
The eyelet border was cut on my Big Shot, then pressed with
Delicata Golden Glitz ink. Very shimmery in real life!




Yep, I even took the time to watercolor the envelopes!

Card 3:

I used clear Wink of Stella to make the
stars shine on all these cards.


 Card 4:

Watercoloring was done with a waterbrush and a bit
of ink squished onto the lids of the inkpads.


Card 5:

The borders are washi tape with silver
glimmer paper running down the center.


Card 6:


The rest of the cards my neighbor took were duplicates of my StampNation swap cards (shown in the previous post) plus some non-Christmas cards that he loved. 

I had every intention of starting over with making my own cards to send out this year, but I had a bad case of "life happens" and ended up sending out only a handful of cards I had in my stash. Ohh, the shame of it all! A cardmaker not sending out Christmas cards! *hangs head in shame* I fully intend to be making Christmas cards throughout the year so that I don't have a last-minute rush to make some for both myself and my friend next Christmas.

Coming up next: Handmade cards I received from my StampNation and other friends. There are some beautiful cards here, so you won't want to miss it!

Joyce Spear / StamperJoyce

Monday, January 5, 2015

StampNation Christmas Swap

One of the fabulous perks of belonging to the StampNation community is being able to participate in periodic swaps. We did a Christmas swap in December, and I am blown away by the quality of the cards I received! Before I show them off, let me show you what I did.

I used the Stampin' Up! set Festive Flurry and the coordinating dies to make this little beauty:

As you can see (I think), there are lots of layers. 

Above is another pic of the same card in different lighting. Are you diggin' all that gold shimmer? Believe it or not, it's not embossing! The shimmer is courtesy of Delicata Golden Glitz ink. Yep, it's just ink from an inkpad. (And if you're wondering if it comes in silver, too, it does! Just look for Delicata Shimmery Silver ink.) I tell you, the Delicata inks are all that and a BIG bag of chips! I used them both a lot on my cards this season.

And, of course, the inside.

Lest you think I magically come up with great cards on my first try, look at these not-so-great cards that preceded the one above. It took me two tries to realize that Less is More.


(Wince again.)

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Let me share with you the cards from the other participants in the swap. Prepare to have your socks knocked off! (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

Pretty amazing, huh? And my photos only begin to capture the shine and shimmer and depth and detail of each card. I can hardly wait until the next swap!

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Coming up next: My own 2014 Christmas cards that never got sent (oops!).

Thanks for stopping by!

Joyce Spear / StamperJoyce

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Christmas Gift Tags

In 2013 I started what I hope will be a tradition -- making decorative Christmas gift tags for my friend Cathy. Here are some of the best of 2014:

Tag 1:

Tag 2:

Tag 3:

Tag 4:

Tag 5:

Tag 6:

Tag 7:

Tag 8:

Tag 9:

Cathy liked them, which made the effort entirely worthwhile. :)

Coming up next:  I am seriously behind in my posting, so you'll be getting a whole slew of stuff to look at during the next few days -- Christmas cards, a swap card, beautiful cards that I received, and some not-so-seasonal stuff as well. I do hope you'll visit again!

Joyce Spear / StamperJoyce