Saturday, February 20, 2016

Stamp of Approval Young at Heart Collection: Just the beginning!

February 3rd was a great day for me because ordering opened up for the third of Catherine Pooler's Stamp of Approval collections, this time with a "Young at Heart" birthday theme. February 6th was even more exciting, though, because that's when my box arrived! I am absolutely over the moon with this set of goodies which I'm sure will be my go-to and and at least starting point for birthday cards for a long time to come. Included in the collection are (if I remember correctly) four stamp sets (SugarPea, CASual Fridays, and Winnie & Walter), three die sets, and a very versatile stencil - plus Catherine threw in a special party favor, a Spectrum Noir clear Sparkle pen that makes things, well, sparkle.

My first three cards are rather generic, but I had to start somewhere. I do plan to make some more personalized cards in the near future since I have some requests. My ultimate goal is to have a bunch of cards to put into my stash so that I'm ready to go whenever it's time to send birthday cards to my friends. I'm getting too old for last-minute scrambling!

So this first card was made minutes after opening my box:

I know it's rather simplistic, but I still think it's cute. Unfortunately the sparkle from the Spectrum Noir pen on the balloons and black letters doesn't show up in the photos, but in real life it really does add a bit of "specialness" to the card. I also did a quick pass of Shimmer Spritz that makes the whole card front look like fresh snow on a sunny day. Here's the inside:

On this second card, I did a bit of stenciling. Again, it's a very simple design, but I think it looks like a celebration. My colors for all these cards are Stampin' Up!'s Tempting Turquoise, Strawberry Slush, Crushed Curry, Cucumber Crisp, and Basic Black. I mixed things up a little by using a SU! balloon punch rather than the balloon die included in the SOA collection - but that's part of the joy of Catherine's collections, that they play well with other products.

Here's the inside, too. You'd think the die cut confetti would be a pain in the patootie to work with, but thanks to the recent gift of a Crystal Katana (thank you, Carey!), it was a breeze.

And here's my favorite of the three cards...

I just ADORE the crooky cake! It's so much fun to play with, and because of the coordinating stamps and dies, there are a million different ways to decorate it. Once again the Spectrum Noir Sparkle is hiding from the camera, but it is there on the candle flame as well as in the openings in the word CAKE. I decided to add a bit of background color with the included Harleen stencil, and used a sponge to blend some Tempting Turquoise and Crushed Curry together to get a pop of green. I kept the inside pretty simple:

I'm eager to make a bunch more cards with the supplies in the box, especially since there's a huge stamp set I haven't even broken the seal on yet! My goal for this weekend, though, is to make as many cards as I can using stencils so that I can enter them in the birthday challenges. Stay tuned to see how my plans turn out...

With a Smile and a Sparkle,
Joyce Spear, a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Happy Get Well Card

The son of one of my friends recently had eye surgery, and since he's a pretty cool kid I decided to make a get-well card for him. I learned that he likes cats and the color blue; and I knew I wanted to incorporate some stencil work into the design - so with all that decided, I forged ahead.

The desire to work with a stencil is related to the free class I've been following on StampNation. I love that this class is a gift to the members of StampNation to celebrate its fifth birthday. There are (so far) seventeen lessons and challenges, and every challenge entry is a chance to win one of a bunch of fabulous prizes from our sponsors. And now you know the real reason why I'm suddenly motivated to pull out my stencils. :)

Without further ado, here is the card...



Close-ups: These are my best tries at capturing the stenciling that I did. I used translucent embossing paste with a bit of blue distress ink added to it, and pressed it through a stencil I had on hand.

Overall, I think the embossing paste has a really cool effect on this card, and I plan to use the medium more often!

Stamp sets/dies used: My Favorite Things "Cat-itude"; Simon Says Stamp "Playful Kittens"


Coming up next: Some pretty special birthday cards! 

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