Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Wedding Card

A friend of mine asked me to create a wedding card for a couple who is getting married this week. Normally short deadlines lead me to stress, but somehow this card came together rather easily.

Except for the detail black embossing powder I used, this card is made entirely out of Stampin' Up! products. The sentiments are from the set called Something to Say.

I can't remember the last time I made a wedding card, or even IF I have ever made one, so I was happy when my friend said she really likes this card.

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

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Coloring with Crayons (and other things)

Over at StampNation this month one of our Dream Team members, Allison Cope, is teaching a class on coloring using all kinds of mediums from crayons and colored pencils and watercolor paints on up to Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers and Copics. She's sharing some color theory with us, but mostly she's encouraging us to experiment with the mediums we have in our homes already.

The first lesson was about crayons. It doesn't sound like much, but it actually was a fun class. We learned that because crayons are made of wax, they melt when heat is applied and can even be blended to produce new (and, in my case, sometimes ugly) colors.

In order to do the "homework" I had to dig out my crayons, and it turns out I have quite a few:

I won't bore you with my coloring/scribbles, but I do want to show a card I made using my Gel FX crayons. They show best on black, so I found an open flower stamp and stamped in black in on Basic Black cardstock, then traced over the stamped image with the neon crayons. I then fussy cut the individual flowers, curled the petals, and then placed them on a black panel with Stampin' Dimensionals. I added a few sequins and a smidge of Wink of Stella, and here's how it turned out:

Allison's month-long class is nearly done and I have a lot of homework to get caught up on if time allows. If I make cards with any of my "experiments" I'll be sure to post them here. In the meantime, never underestimate the power of a crayon!

Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Friday, September 25, 2015

Catherine Pooler's Stamp of Approval: WOW!

So about a month ago I posted a couple of bright, cheery cards that I made for a sketch challenge with a promise I would soon be posting another three cards in the series. I spaced and totally forgot to come back and post them - but here they finally are:

Here are the other two (previously posted) cards for your convenience:

I made all five of these cards using goodies from Catherine Pooler's first Stamp of Approval box. What's that? you ask. Well, Catherine had a brilliant idea to curate a set of "approved" stamp sets, dies, stencils, and embellishments that she feels will stand the test of time and be something stampers return to over and over again. A new box will be released quarterly, and each will have a theme. The first box's theme is Friendship, and the stuff she pulled together for us is amazing!

First of all, let me say that the arrival of this box was a triple hit of excitement for me. It arrived around my birthday, the contents were better than I expected, and I even WON the box in a StampNation drawing! Can you believe it?? I'm still pinching myself!

I was pretty thrilled the day it arrived:

If you look closely you can even see on the box a personalized note from Catherine congratulating me!

Here's a quick look at the contents:

The box contained three stamp sets, four die sets, a stencil, a bag of sequins and stuff perfect for using in shaker cards, and a link to a whole bunch of ideas for cards that could be created with the contents. Nice haul, eh?

The next box, which will be holiday themed, will be released sometime in October, and from there it will be quarterly. If you would like more info on the Stamp of Approval product, be sure to check out Catherine's blog.

You will probably be seeing more cards made with these SOA items over time, but I will soon be switching gears towards making Christmas/holiday cards. I have some incredible ideas up my sleeve, so stay tuned!

Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Sunday, September 13, 2015

StampNation's California Vacation

I thought I was caught up on showing cards I've made recently, but because I blogged things out of order I totally missed a batch of seven cards. In August StampNation had its quarterly event, and this time we took a virtual California vacation! With each event there are Challenges and prizes, and even though I wasn't one of the lucky winners this time I did have a blast making the cards for those Challenges. I was on the fence about participating at all, but one of my StampNation Sistahs who lives in the area (Hi, Carey!) kidnapped me for a Friday evening and we started on our cards together. What fun!

I happen to have several dear friends who have birthdays in August and September, so the timing was perfect to make their birthday cards at the same time I was completing Challenges. The first card is one of those, and it went to my friend and faithful commenter Chris (Hi, Chris!).

Card 1
The first Challenge was to use GOLD for the California gold rush. I pulled out my foil cardstock and set to work making my first ever inlaid die cut card, which is exactly what it sounds like - a card where the die cut is laid into the background. 

I used Cucumber Crush paper from Stampin' Up!'s Color Me Irresistible specialty DSP for the striking background.

Inside I used the very popular stamp set called Bird Crazy put out by Tim Holtz and Impression Obsession, and colored them with my Zig Clean Color pens and clear Wink of Stella (for the eyes).

Yes, I do color outside the lines...

Card 2
There's no question why SUN, SURF, AND SAND was the theme for the second California Challenge, and here's my fun card:

As you can see, it's a shaker card filled with sequins and small beads. The butterfly and word 'hope' were die cut from purple metallic cardstock and laid into the background. I didn't initially intend for this to be a shaker card, but I misplaced the innards of the butterfly wings and so couldn't lay them back into the background. Yup, you guessed it... the wing insides reappeared as I was putting the final touches on this card.

The background was created by scribbling with Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens on watercolor paper, then misting with water. It's layered on a Tempting Turquoise card base and jazzed up with Sparkling Clear sequins in various sizes from Pretty Pink Posh. The background behind the butterfly is also done with Zigs.

Years ago when I tried to make a shaker card I had a horrible time with it, but this card came together pretty quickly once I made peace with having to abandon my original plan. In fact, I had so much fun with it that I ended up buying lots more sequins and other sparkly things to put inside... so keep watching, there are more shaker cards in my future!

What does this have to do with the Sun, Sand, and Surf theme? you may ask. I got the bright sun with the yellow, the surf with the blue, and the sand.... well, if you squint enough you can see it.  :)

Card 3
The third theme was GLITZ & GLAM, a reference to the glamorous stars of Hollywood. This was the first card I started while at Carey's home, and I used (and fell in love with) her My Favorite Things' Ride the Wave dies. I started by running several colors of metallic/foil cardstock through the Big Shot with the MFT die set and a butterfly and word die. From there it was like putting together a puzzle:

Once again I used the inlaid die cut technique. Can you tell I really like doing this? Unfortunately my camera likes foiled paper even less than it likes bling, so you'll have to trust me when I tell you that this card looks incredible in person!

Card 4
STRIPES was the theme for the fourth Challenge as a nod to Alcatraz. I again used the Bird Crazy set and combined it with images from Stampin' Up!'s Sketched Birthday set. Since I was using Stampin' Up! DSP, I used Stampin' Write markers to color the images in coordinating colors. The sentiment is one of Carey's stamps and was perfect for a birthday card being sent to a special male friend.

I tried my hand at a free-style border on the inside... but I'm not so sure I like how it looks.

Card 5
I might have gone a bit overboard with the fifth Challenge theme, PRINTS, which is a reference to the fashion industry. The stamps are by Inkadinkado.

Card 6
Challenge 6 requires THREE OR MORE COLORS, a reference to the Painted Ladies row of houses in San Francisco. I decided to try my hand at a CAS (clean and simple) card, and ended up with something that I felt was just "okay," but everyone else loved! The butterfly is the positive of the die I used to make Card 2, and I just accented it with clear Wink of Stella. I offset both the butterfly and the word 'hope' with black, added a scrap of black and white DSP to the side, attached some sequins, and Voila'!

Card 7
The final card Challenge was a tip of the hat to California's wineries, and the card was to somehow reflect MY FAVORITE BEVERAGE. I was working into the wee hours to complete the last card before the deadline, so rather than spend my time hunting for a coffee or booze stamp set, I decided to just tell everyone the truth, that this card was made possible by my new friend coffee. (I never used to be much of a coffee drinker, but now I can't get enough of the stuff!) The butterfly was one of Carey's scraps, and she initially used it to show me how to use a laminator and sheet foil to turn an ordinary paper butterfly into something magical. A laminator has now been added to my wish list!

So that's it folks - all of my recently completed cards. I have another series of cards I made with products from Catherine Pooler's Stamp of Approval box, but I still need to finish up the insides before I post them. The flowery card from my last post is a sample of how those cards turned out, and my intent is to have the rest finished and posted this week.

There are so many challenges and bloghops and projects going on right now that I'm a little frustrated with how little of it I get to participate in. My focus right now, though, is in getting my "studio" (aka living room) unpacked and organized because I'm tired of rooting around boxes to find my supplies. A few weeks ago I was very excited when my long lost companion (my beat-up but still wonderful 6' long worktable) joined me beside my desk:

It's already been buried under "stuff" and then cleaned up several times, which is a good sign that I'm making progress.

And speaking of progress, I better get moving... !

Joyce Spear aka StamperJoyce