I'm Amy, a stay-at-home mom by day and a crafter by night. After a day of chasing my kids around the house, I escape to my craft room for a few hours of creating while they sleep. Thanks for joining me in my little corner of the crafting world!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Coffee for Gail (Featured Player Challenge)

Happy Wednesday!  We woke up to light snow and crazy-cold temperatures this morning.  It's hard to believe it was in the mid-70's here a couple of days ago!  I hope you're all staying warm!

This week's Clean and Simple challenge at Splitcoast Stampers is a "Featured Player" challenge.  Our challenge is to choose one of the Featured Stamper's CAS (Clean and Simple)cards to CASE (Copy and Share Everything).  We have to keep the card clean and simple, which is actually quite challenging!

This week's CAS Featured Player is an amazing CAS designer.  I really enjoy her creativity and style.  
I chose to CASE this one: Chillin' With a Cuppa

Here's my CASE of that card:

Yes, it's another coffee card.  I just love coffee cards!  I kept her design and the coffee theme, and also tried to pull in some of the blue she used on her card.  Instead of using patterned paper for my main panel, I used an embossing folder to create texture and then used patterned paper for my scalloped circle and for the piecing on the coffee mug.

For this card, I started with the smallest parts.  I stamped my coffee mug on white card stock and also on patterned paper.  I cut the mug and handle from the patterned paper and pieced them onto the other mug.  I added white Enamel Accents to the foam, scraped it around a little to create texture, then let it dry.  I punched a heart from red card stock and adhered it to the mug.  I fussy-cut the paper pieced mug and attached it to white die cut circle, then attached the white circle to a piece of patterned paper that I'd die cut into a scalloped circle.  I embossed a piece of red card stock to create the background panel, then attached baker's twine to the red panel.  I adhered the panel to a white card base, then attached my scalloped circle over the twine using dimensionals.  Finally, I added some Stickles to the foam on the image to add a bit of sparkle.

Creating a CAS card like this is, for me, a very intense process because I have to be so darned careful!!  I can't just keep adding layers or embellishments to cover up mistakes like I can with other cards. Another stamper mentioned recently that she keeps baby wipes in her craft room so she can wipe her hands constantly to keep from smudging ink onto her projects, and I need to remember to do that, too.  

I hope you're having a great week, and I hope you'll visit again soon.  Thanks for stopping by!

Products Used:
Stamp: My Cuppa Joe (Gina K. Designs)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black (Tsukineko); black marker (Tombow)
Paper: Arctic Wishes Matstock (DCWV); Classic Crest Solar White 110 lb. card stock (Neenah); 
red card stock (unknown)
Tools and Accessories: Heart punch (Marvy Uchida); Big Shot (Sizzix); Square Lattice embossing folder (SU/Sizzix); Nestabilities Standard Circles Large (Spellbinders); Nestabilities Classic Scalloped Circles Large (Spellbinders); Enamel Accents (Ranger); Start Dust Stickles (Ranger); 
Stampin' Dimensionals (Stampin' Up!); baker's twine

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tipsy Hearts Valentine

Happy Tuesday!  It's Teapot Tuesday time at Splitcoast Stampers, and this week's challenge asks us to make a card using a black-and-white combination on a Valentine in the form of spots, dots, patterns, etc.  I love using black and white, but find myself always wanting to sneak in a pop of red!  

Here's my card:

I think I'm on a Clean and Simple (CAS) kick this week!  I really like the uncluttered look of this style.  I started by die cutting my hearts from patterned paper.  The patterned paper is pretty thin, so I also die cut some chipboard and adhered it to the paper.  Using a black marker, I colored the edges so the "kraft" color of the chipboard wouldn't be seen on the card.  I covered the patterned paper with Versamark using the direct-to-paper method, added clear embossing powder and heat embossed it to give the hearts a shiny finish.  I die cut another heart from a piece of heavyweight white card stock, stamped my sentiment, then inked around the heart with the black marker.

I used my Big Shot to emboss a piece of red card stock with a Texturz plate, then wrapped my ribbon around the red panel.  I attached the red panel to the card base and adhered my hearts using foam tape to add dimension.  For extra support, I added a white liner to the inside panel and stamped it with two small hearts.

Here's a closer look at the hearts and textured background:

I'd like to share a couple of money-saving tips that helped with this card:

Sentiment: I needed a sentiment that would fit inside the small heart on this card but had difficulty finding one.  The "for you" sentiment I found is actually part of a larger stamp that has an image beneath the words. To use just the words, I covered the rest of the stamp with a piece of paper and inked up just the words I wanted to use, then removed the paper "mask" and stamped my sentiment.  This is a great way to get extra use out of stamps (and avoid having to buy extra sentiments).  

Chipboad: You can buy chipboard at craft stores, but you can also find a lot of it around your home.  Since I knew I'd be covering up the chipboard with paper, I used a cereal box for my chipboard.  Once you start looking for it, you can find chipboard all over the place!   Another "free" source of chipboard is the piece that's often inserted into your shopping bag (to keep your paper from bending) when you purchase patterned paper at craft stores and hobby stores. 

I'm also entering two other challenges with this card:  'ABC' Challenges asks us to make Valentine's Day cards, and Addicted to CAS gave us the code word "heart".  If you want to play along with these challenges, click on the links to join in the fun!

Thanks for stopping by!
Products Used:
Stamp: Fun Filled (Stampin' Up!)
Paper: Small Black Dots (Recollections); Classic Crest Solar White 110 lb. card stock (Neenah); 
black card stock, red card stock (unknown)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black (Tsukineko); Versamark (Tsukineko)
Tools and Accessories: Big Shot (Sizzix); Hearts, Tipsy (Sizzix); Crush On You Texturz Texture Plate (Sizzix); clear embossing powder (Mrs. O'Leary's); ribbon (Celebrate It Basic-Basic 1 1/2 inch)

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Little CASE, A Little CAS

Happy Monday!  We are having a bit of a "heat wave" where I live, and we're supposed to see temperatures in the mid-70's today.  That is AMAZING for January in the Midwest!  I was almost ready to break out the shorts and t-shirts until then I saw that we'll dip back into the 20's and 30's for lows over the next couple of days.  It may not be time to pack my winter coat just yet!  But today we have lots of sunshine and beautiful weather, so it's not a bad way to start the week at all!

This week's Featured Stamper at Splitcoast Stampers is a crafter whose blog I have been following for awhile now, so I was excited by the challenge to CASE (Copy and Share Everything) one of her darling cards.  She makes the most amazing Clean and Simple (CAS) cards.  With this challenge, we pick a project from her gallery to CASE by changing at least two elements to create a new card.  

Here is a link to the card I chose to CASE: No Shoes

And here is my card: 

I kept the card's design and CAS style.  I changed the image and die cuts, and I used a stamped layer in place of her embossed layer.  

I started by stamping the coffee cup image twice on a piece of Natural White card stock using Rich Cocoa ink.  I fussy cut the entire cup from one image and the center circle only from the second image.  The image doesn't include a band on the card, so I created a band from kraft card stock and pieced it onto the cup.  I adhered the center circle over the band using foam tape to give it some dimension.  I die cut and embossed a layer from dark brown card stock and adhered the coffee cup to it.

I stamped the coffee beans on a piece of Natural White card stock, adhered it to a slightly wider piece of dark brown card stock and attached the panel to a Natural White card base.  I adhered the coffee cup layers, once again using foam tape.  I stamped the sentiment directly on the card base to complete the front of my card.

I'm working on several cards this week and plan to get them posted over the next few days, so I hope you'll visit again soon.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Products Used:
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa (Tsukineko)
Stamp (cup image): My Cuppa Joe (Gina K. Designs)
Stamp (coffee beans): Espress Yourself (Stampin' Up!) 
Stamp (sentiment): Warm Cup of Coffee (Stampabilities)
Paper: Classic Crest Natural White 80 lb. (Neenah); brown and kraft card stock (unknown)
Tools and Accessories: Nestabilities Labels Eighteen (Spellbinders); Big Shot (Sizzix)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Valentine for a Friend

Happy Thursday!  It's another dark and dreary (and oh, sooooo cold) day here, but I'm so excited that the weekend is in sight!

I created today's card for a couple of different challenges.  I used the sketch from this week's Card Sketch challenge at Splitcoast Stampers.  I am also entering the color challenge at Dynamic Duos:

The "dessert" option on the color challenge is to make a Valentine, but since I am sending this card to a friend I didn't want to use the traditional hearts and lovey-dovey sentiments.  I left the hearts and flowers behind and headed straight for the chocolate!

This card turned out very differently than I'd planned.  I ended up adding more and more and more layers until the card was so heavy I had to add a heavyweight card stock liner to balance it!  Have you ever heard the children's song, "This is the Song That Never Ends"?  As I created this card, I kept thinking, "This is the card that never ends!"  But I just kept adding layer after layer after layer.  I'll be honest, the creative process got a bit out of control last night!  

Here's my card:

(Isn't that candy image fun?  I went to my mailbox one day, expecting only bills, and was surprised to find a package with this stamp and two other chocolate-themed stamps.  A very sweet family member saw them and thought of me, so she bought them and sent them in the mail as a surprise.  Isn't that the best kind of surprise?  So very "sweet" in more ways than one!)

This is a square card, 5"x5", which I don't often make.  They require square envelopes and additional postage, so I usually reserve this size for cards I'm hand-delivering.  I started by stamping my candy images on Whisper White card stock using Real Red ink, then die cut them.  I used a deckled square punch to cut four squares from Real Red card stock.  I stamped the sentiment in black craft ink, added clear embossing powder and heat embossed it.  Then I started cutting layers (and layers, and layers!) of Real Red, Whisper White and Basic Black card stock and adhered them to the base.  I attached the images and sentiment (using dimensionals behind the sentiment), then covered the candy images with Glossy Accents to get the shiny look of the "real thing".  I added my heavyweight (balancing) inner liner and stamped it with the same candy images in the corners.  Then I searched my house high and low for some of that delicious chocolate candy, and doggone it, there was none to be found!  

I love hearts and flowers and all the romantic stuff of Valentine's Day, but I have come to realize the value of my friendships with women.  This year as I'm celebrating Valentine's Day with my husband and children, I will also be thinking of all those wonderful women who've helped me get to this place of contentment in my life. Good friends are such wonderful blessings!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  

Products Used:
Paper: Real Red, Basic Black, Whisper White card stock (Stampin' Up!); 
Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110 lb. card stock (for inner liner, not pictured)
Ink: Real Red Classic Ink, Basic Black Craft Ink (Stampin' Up!)
Stamps: Deadbeat Designs (candy image); Hambo Stamps (sentiment)
Tools and Accessories: Nestabilities Standard Circles Large (Spellbinders); 1 1/4" deckle punch (McGill); 
clear embossing powder (Mrs. O'Leary's); Glossy Accents (Ranger); Stampin' Dimensionals (Stampin' Up!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vintage Valentine

Happy Tuesday!  It's bright and sunny but very cold here today.  We were blessed with beautiful weather on Saturday (no jackets! short sleeves!) but today we're back to bundling up in coats and hats.  

Over the weekend I stopped in at my local scrapbooking and stamping store.  Sometimes I drop in just to get inspiration, sometimes to pick up something I need and sometimes just to relax and enjoy a little kid-free quiet time.  The owner is very knowledgeable and friendly, and this weekend she pointed me toward some of the cutest 12x12, two-sided Valentine-style paper I've ever seen!  As soon as I saw it, I knew I would be making vintage Valentine's Day cards with it.  Vintage usually isn't my style, but this paper just begs to be distressed!

This week's Clean and Simple (CAS) challenge at Splitcoast Stampers is a sketch challenge (view the challenge sketch HERE to play along).   I chose to flip the sketch on its side and use one of the images from this delightful patterned paper in place of stamping  The challenge with CAS is to use very minimal stamping, images and embellishments while still making a beautiful card, and I've found vintage CAS to be even harder.  I had to restrain myself to keep from adding elements to this card!

(I apologize for the poor picture quality.  I use natural light so I really need to photograph at just the right time of day to get a good picture, but I was running behind and missed the best light.)

I started by cutting the image and distressing it. Next I cut a mat from the reverse side of the paper, distressed it and adhered the image to the mat.  I die cut a border from natural white card stock and distressed that, too.  I attached the border to the larger panel and added three brads, then attached the entire piece to a dark brown card stock base, which was cut slightly smaller than A2 size for a better fit.  

There are several other Valentine images on the 12x12 patterned paper and I can't wait to make cards using the other images.  I liked this paper so much that I hurried back to the store to buy a few more sheets before it's sold out!

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you stay warm and cozy!

Products Used:
Paper: Collection: Lovely "Greetings" Two-Sided Paper (Authentique); 
Classic Crest Natural White 80 lb. card stock (Neenah); dark brown card stock (unknown)
Ink: Walnut Stain Distress Ink (Tim Holtz/Ranger) 
Tools and Accessories: Borderabilities Jumbo Scalloped Petite Borders (Spellbinders); brads (Recollections)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cork and Chalkboard Valentine

Happy Monday!  I spent part of the weekend working on the reorganization project in my craft room, but I managed to carve out a little time late last night to put together a card for a couple of challenges at Splitcoast Stampers.  The Ways to Use It challenge asked us to use cork on a card.  I have a big roll of cork but I never think to use it on my cards, so this was a fun challenge.  

The other challenge I tried is a new one to me, the Fan Club Central Theme challenge.  This month's theme is "dirty laundry", and let me tell you, this one hits close to home for me!  The only way to access my craft room is through the laundry room, so I have to walk past Mount St. Laundry whenever I want to make a card!  One of the options was to make a card using color combinations from the clothes in our laundry baskets.  I surveyed my laundry and noticed a lot of black and red, so I decided to use those colors for this card (and white, in honor of the big pile of towels my kids used for their baths!).  

I also have a "dirty little secret" (another challenge option): I used a little piece of plain old Scotch tape to clean up the extra bits of embossing powder that stuck to my black card stock before I heat embossed it.  I've found it pulls away the excess powder much cleaner than the brush I usually use.  I also used Scotch tape to hold the twine in place on the back of my red panel.  That stuff is handy!

Here's my card:

I started by die cutting the cork to make a frame, then set it aside to make my chalkboard (to see more about the chalkboard technique, please see this post).  I stamped my image and sentiment in white craft ink on black card stock, then heat embossed them using white embossing powder.  I sponged white craft ink over the panel and rubbed it with a towel to create the look of eraser marks.  I adhered the black panel to the cork frame, then attached the framed piece to a panel of Real Red card stock.  I wrapped red and white baker's twine around the red panel and secured it with Zots and a decorative white button.  Finally, I attached the red panel to a heavy white card base.  

I'm really excited by this month's Fan Club challenges ("laundry" is normally a dirty word at my house, no pun intended!) and look forward to trying other options in the challenges.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Products Used:

Ink: Craft White (Stampin' Up!)
Stamps: Heart (Stampabilities); Be My Valentine (Hambo Stamps)
Paper: Classic Crest Solar White 110 lb. card stock (Neenah); 
Real Red card stock (Stampin' Up!);  black card stock (unknown)
Tools and Accessories: Stampin' Emboss Powder White (Stampin' Up!); frame die (Sizzix);
Zots (Therm-O-Web); baker's twine (purchased from Strands Etcetera on Etsy); cork; button

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fussy-Cut Flowers for Martha

Happy Thursday!  I mentioned in an earlier post that one of my creative goals for 2013 is to try new techniques.  One of my other creative goals is to use more patterned paper.  Matching patterns and colors doesn't come easily to me, so I've found that paper packs and matstacks are helpful because they coordinate well with each other.  I used a matstack for today's card and it definitely took away some of the frustration of choosing papers!  I also used fussy-cutting to create dimension with the pattern, which is another technique that is new to me.

I created this card for this week's Teapot Tuesday challenge at Splitcoast Stampers.  This week our cards are heading to Texas for a sweet lady named Martha.  Shortly after Thanksgiving, Martha and her husband decided to take a short,  impromptu trip to New York with another couple.  While they were there, Martha's husband said he didn't feel well.  Moments later he died of a massive heart attack.  Martha enjoys handmade cards, so the Teapotters will be showering her with our best thoughts and wishes as we mail our cards to her.  We were encouraged to use fields of flowers or other peaceful nature scenes for our cards.

Here's my card for Martha:

This card has very little stamping; only the sentiment is stamped.  I started with a card base in natural white (a lovely off-white color).  I stamped my sentiment in Rich Cocoa on a smaller piece of natural white, then attached it to brown and green patterned papers from the Latte matstack collection.  I cut a large panel from the flowery patterned paper in the same collection, then used a second piece of the patterned paper to fussy-cut some of the flowers.  I popped those flowers  up on dimensionals and adhered them over the identical flowers on the larger panel.  

I didn't have the color of ribbon I wanted to use, so I grabbed some off-white ribbon and my New Sprout ink pad.  I dyed the ribbon by running the ink pad over it several times, then rubbing off the excess ink with an old cloth.  I adhered the ribbon to the patterned paper, then adhered the entire panel to the card base. Finally, I added my sentiment block over the ribbon with dimensionals.

It's hard to see the "popped-up" flowers in the first photo, so here's a slightly different view:

If you're inclined to make cards to send to others who could use a bit of sunshine, I hope you'll consider joining us for the next Teapot Tuesday challenge.  Everyone is welcome!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Products Used:
Stamp: Close as a Memory (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa, Memento New Sprout (Tsukineko)
Paper: Classic Crest Natural White 80 lb. card stock (Neenah), Latte matstack (DCWV)
Tools and Accessories: Ribbon (Offray); Stampin' Dimensionals (Stampin' Up!)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Seamless Tiers with Patterned Paper Experiment

Happy Wednesday! I'm in the midst of reorganizing my craft room and several other rooms in my house, so I haven't had much stamping time over the past several days.  I have a few cards I need to send out this week, so I took a break from reorganizing and managed a little bit of crafting time after my kids went to sleep last night.

Over in the general stamping forum at Splitcoast Stampers, we've been having a discussion about the best way to use the Seamless Tiers/Triple Time technique using patterned paper instead of stamped images.  I think the easiest way is to use nested rectangle dies, but since I don't have those, I thought I'd try just cutting the layers myself.  This did not work out as well as I'd hoped, but it was a fun experiment!  The top two layers are lined up correctly, but I didn't manage to get the bottom layer to match up with the middle layer.  I don't mind, though, because I know the recipient of the card will not be critiquing it.  It's easy to forget sometimes, in our quest for perfection, that the recipient is usually just thrilled to get a card that was lovingly (if not perfectly) created.  I am going to try this technique again to see if I can manage it without the dies, but I think the dies would sure make this easier!

Here's my card:

I have to apologize for the poor picture quality.  I use natural lighting through a window, and the winter is really making it difficult to find the right time of day to photograph cards.  The colors on this card are Night of Navy and white, although the navy color looks black here.  Also, the shadows and angle make the sentiment panel look off-center, but I measured it and it's centered pretty well.  Darn photo!

This card uses almost exactly the same measurements as the ones in this post, but this time I used patterned paper in place of stamped images.  Before adhering the final layers, I wrapped a band of white card stock behind the sentiment panels, then popped up the sentiment panels using Stampin' Dimensionals.  This is a very simple card, and if I had just gotten that pattern lined up better I would have been happy to have made an easy AND pretty card!  But it's given me a jumping-off point and I'm sure I'll make another card like this soon so I can figure out how to fix those layers.

This card will be mailed to a sweet lady with leukemia who just had a bone marrow transplant.  She has to spend 100 days in a hotel away from her family and friends to avoid germs and be near the hospital.  Can you imagine spending 100 days away from those you love?  The thought breaks my heart, so I hope this card will encourage her. 

I hope you have a wonderful day!  Thanks for stopping by!

Products Used:

Stamp: Scripture Series 3 (Our Daily Bread Designs)

Paper: Night of Navy card stock (Stampin' Up!); Classic Crest Solar White 110 lb. card stock (Neenah)
Ink: Night of Navy Classic Ink (Stampin' Up!)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Watercolored Poppies for Sherry

Happy Thursday!  I looked out my window this morning to see that God has blessed us with rain.  We've been in a drought for quite awhile now, so rain is most welcome where I live!  (Since I use natural light for photographing my cards and today was quite a dreary day, I hope you'll forgive the poor photo quality on this post.)

I'm running behind on my Teapot Tuesday challenge at Splitcoast Stampers this week, but I finally finished my card last night.  This week's recipient is a lovely lady whose husband died last year and she needs some cheering up.  We were asked to make "thinking of you" cards with flowers, and perhaps a butterfly or two.  After I went to bed last night I realized I forgot the butterflies!  So I will add a couple to the inside liner of my card before mailing it to her.  I am also submitting this card for the current Addicted to Stamps and More Challenge, where the theme this week is "nature".  In the midst of winter, it was nice to take a break and make a flower card!

Here's my card: 

While I usually make A2 sized cards (4.25" x 5.5"), this time I wanted to make something a little different.  This card is 3" x 5 3/8", a rather odd size, but I liked the way it worked for my design.  Sometimes you just have to mix things up a bit!

I started by stamping my image and sentiment in StazOn Timber Brown on watercolor paper, then I watercolored my image.  I attached the stamped panel to a piece of brown card stock and trimmed to fit.  I made a card base from some lightly textured dark green card stock and cut a smaller piece of the same card stock to put in the middle section of my stamped panel.  I embossed the smaller green piece using the Square Lattice embossing folder, then adhered it to my watercolored panel.  I wrapped jute around the center section and secured it with a decorative brad.  (The brad is a bit bulky and heavy so I also used a mini glue dot to hold it in place.)  I attached the panel to my card base and added a liner to the inside for writing.       

It's been a busy week at my house, and I'm so glad we've almost made it to Friday!  I hope you have a wonderful day.  Thanks for stopping by!

Products Used:
Ink: Timber Brown (StazOn)
Stamps: Poppies (Penny Black); Sincere Salutations (Stampin' Up!)
Paper: Watercolor paper (Strathmore); dark green card stock, dark brown card stock (unknown)
Tools and Accessories: Watercolor crayons (Staedtler); watercolor pencils (Prismacolor);
Square Lattice embossing folder (Stampin' Up!); brad (Recollections); jute (unknown)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Triple Time/Seamless Tiers Love Card

Happy Tuesday!  It's a beautiful day here and I'm feeling a bit spoiled by the brilliant sunshine and mild temperatures.  This weather is really unusual for us at this time of year.  What a blessing!

I rarely make New Year's resolutions, but this year I decided to focus my resolutions on the "creative" part of my life.  One of my resolutions is to try new techniques and projects this year.  I have developed a bad habit of seeing techniques I want to try and "pinning" them but never actually trying them.  So I'm going through my Pinterest boards and my gallery favorites at Splitcoast Stampers and pushing myself to try new things.  Here's to breaking out of my comfort zone in 2013!

This week's Try a New Technique challenge at Splitcoast Stampers gave us the opportunity to try one of the many challenge techniques from 2012, so I chose to try Triple Time Stamping (also called Seamless Tiers) for my card.  I have seen so many magnificent cards using this technique, but it involves a bit of measuring and I'm more of an eyeballer than a measurer.  Thankfully, many wonderful bloggers are willing to share their recipes and measurements and they've taken all the hard work out of this technique!

Here's my card:

And here's a link to the tutorial I followed at Jan's Stamping Creations.

There are many wonderful tutorials online and some of them include videos, so you can certainly find many options for this beautiful technique.  I've seen lots of different measurements for the layers and I may try other combinations in the future.  You could easily cut the pieces for several cards at once and then construct them as you have time, or make several of the same card assembly-line style.  I was truly surprised at how quickly this card was completed. 

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you have a wonderful day!

Products Used:
Ink: Real Red Classic Ink (Stampin' Up!)
Paper: Real Red, Whisper White card stock (Stampin' Up!)
Stamps: Field Flowers (Stampin' Up!)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Chalkboard Technique with Rick Rack

Happy Friday!  Today's card was a bit of an experiment.  One of my creative goals in 2013 is to try lots of new techniques (not just pin them on my Pinterest boards!), and this week's Try a New Technique challenge at Splitcoast Stampers intrigued me.  For this challenge, we were asked to use the chalkboard technique.  I also wanted to play along with this week's Ways to Use It challenge (also at Splitcoast Stampers) which asked us to use things that are new to us, so I designed a background using some new rick rack I picked up while Christmas shopping.  I like the wavy effect of the rick rack against the solid panels of the sentiment:  

To make the chalkboard panel, I ran my Embossing Buddy over a piece of black card stock, then stamped my sentiment in white craft ink.  I added white embossing powder and heat embossed the sentiment.  I set it aside to dry for a few moments, then sponged white craft ink on the panel to create the effect of chalk dust.  Since craft ink is slow-drying, I set the stamped panel aside and started working on my background.  I ran my rick rack through my Xyron Create-A-Sticker to get a good line of adhesive on it, then attached it in rows to a black card base.  I attached my sentiment panel to a piece of white card stock and trimmed it to fit, then attached it with Stampin' Dimensionals to the card base.  To add just a bit of color, I punched two hearts from a piece of shimmery hot pink card stock and added them to the sentiment panel.

I really had fun with this technique and plan to try it again soon.  I love that it uses ink in place of chalk (no chalk dust!) and looks quite realistic in person.  This stamp is one of my new favorites with its lovely message (you may remember it from this post).  If you want to see more cards using the chalkboard technique, I have a few pinned to my "cards" board on Pinterest.  Feel free to follow me and see more examples of this fun technique!

Thanks for stopping by today! 

Products Used:

Paper: Whisper White card stock (Stampin' Up!); black card stock from stash;
shimmery hot pink card stock from stash
Stamp: 7 Gypsies/Hampton Art
Ink: Craft White (Stampin' Up!)
Tools and Accessories: Baby Rick Rack (Wright's); white embossing powder (Stampin' Up!);
heart punch (Marvy Uchida); Stampin' Dimensionals (Stampin' Up!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Twins and Teapotters

Happy New Year!  I was lucky enough to kick off 2013 with some gorgeous snow which really put me in a festive mood.  It made for a beautiful start to the New Year!

Today's card is a Teapotter's Challenge card at Splitcoast Stampers.  This week our cards are celebrating the birth of fraternal twins born to a sweet couple, Andrea and Erik.  They've been married for 19 years and have suffered through miscarriages until finally, at the age of 44, Andrea gave birth to twins.  Yay!!  Every time I hear a story like this, it makes me smile all the way from my heart.  I know quite personally how hard it is to go through a pregnancy after miscarriages, and I know the amazing joy of bringing a child safely into the world after months of waiting and worrying.  So I am thrilled to send this card to Erik and Andrea with my very best thoughts and wishes:

I just love this image of a mother cradling her child.  I used this image and sentiment on the cards I sent out to family and friends after my daughter was born.  The sentiment is a Christmas one (I'm sure you recognize it as a movie title), but I think it fits perfectly.  My daughter's birthday is in December (and Andrea's twins were born in December), so the sentiment suits the season well.  I feel such deep and utter contentment when holding my children and I know that really, truly, my life is wonderful and amazing and blessed, and this stamp really puts my feelings into words.  Since these babies are boy and girl twins I had to include some pink and blue on my card, which I used in the background.  I kept the baby's blanket a neutral yellow so it could symbolize either baby in her arms.  I wanted the focus to be on the image and sentiment so I kept this card free of embellishments. It is a simple card, but I hope it conveys my heartfelt joy at the birth of these beautiful, much-anticipated babies.

I started by stamping my image and sentiment on Solar White 110 lb. card stock, then used watercolor crayons and brushes lightly dipped in water to color the image.  I inked the edges of the stamped panel with Rich Cocoa and set it aside.  I used the direct-to-paper method to add blue and pink ink to another panel of Solar White card stock and adhered the stamped panel to the inked one.  I attached pink and blue patterned papers to a Solar White card base, then added a satiny white ribbon to cover the seam.  I attached the stamped piece to the card base to complete the front of the card.  I also stamped a sentiment on the inside which reads, "It's the smallest things that fill your heart."

I never get tired of making baby cards!  Since I took a short break from stamping over the holidays, this challenge gave me a happy excuse to get inky again.  Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you have a Happy New Year!

Products Used:

Stamps: Sketches (Stampin' Up!); sentiment from Hampton Art
Stamp on Inside Panel: Smallest Things (Stampabilities)
Paper: Classic Crest Solar White 110 lb. card stock (Neenah); Clouds (Paper Pizzazz);
Baby Girl Elephant (Reminisce)
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa, Summer Sky and Angel Pink (Tsukineko)
Tools and Accessories: Watercolor crayons (Staedtler); ribbon (Offray)