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30 November 2010

Cindy's Class for a Change

Today I got to be a student in a card class! It had been FOREVER since I was able to attend a class given by my upline, Cindy. So, I took the day off to make it happen! We made four co-ordinating cards to give as gifts. I, of course, had to switch things up a bit. These are the four designs I came up with given the bits and pieces Cindy provided. I fun use of the Elegant lines folder! I really fell for the Vanilla Satin Ribbon too. Look for that to appear at one of my classes soon!!

29 November 2010

Gift Card Easel

Sorry there weren't any more posts from Illinois! The lighting thing was just making me crazy. I would have tried out using sunlight, but the sun hid behind a whole bunch of rain for most of my visit. So, I'm back in Colorado and back to making posts! This morning I decided to change the Circle or Square Mojo Monday challenge into an easel card that will make a great gift card holder. There is just the right amount of room to use temporary adhesive to stick a gift card right inside! Perhaps I'm just in an easel card frame of mind after finishing the engagement balloon invites with the bridesmaids yesterday. What great fun that was! An assembly line with a full table of people goes so fast & we had a great time putting them together. It felt like such an accomplishment to see them all completed. I'm running late for the rest of my day (as usual), so I guess I better get a move on!

23 November 2010

Christmas Wish On the Road

So, perhaps posting from Illinois is going to be a bit of a challenge. :) Pretend the lighting on this one was better, okay? I did fiddle with things in my photo editor to make it brighter,but it's still pretty dark. I'm invading my mom's stamp collection for this week to bring you posts while I'm visiting. It's a challenge & a fun one at that. I think when I get home I will add some Cherry Cobbler to the bow & some of the balls on this one. That should really make things pop! Perhaps then I will post a new & improved photo as well. Then you will be able to see the colors much better. Maybe tomorrow I will try to take photos out in the sunshine? Never can tell. It's interesting how you find what things you take for granted when you try to do an "ordinary" thing (like posting for me) in a new place. I missed my bone folder, all my makers, and my full spectrum light today. I think it was my place mat I missed most of all! Isn't that silly? I just use a typical Stampin' Up grid paper for my place mat but today I found myself missing the lines & ruler. I guess I really am a creature of habit! More tomorrow...fingers crossed.

22 November 2010

Monochrome Mojo

I was feeling in a purple mood today, can you tell? All three of the current SU purples are used in this card including Perfect Plum, Elegant Eggplant, and Concord Crush. I've been trying hard not to limit myself to reds and greens for Christmas cards, but still have been missing parts of my pallet. Time to branch back out!! I also wanted to use some sets that are starting to get a bit dusty on my shelf. :)
Of course, I spent the morning checking out the offerings on Stampin Up's online spectacular. WOW! I put in my own order first thing. There were a couple of bundles I just couldn't pass up! Check out my SU website to see the savings available now through Nov 30th.
I also want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who came to play for my first ever Punch Art class. It was great fun. I want to share one more possibility with you. This one comes from my upline, Cindy. She posted him on her blog yesterday and he's about the cutest moose you'll ever see! Check him out here.
FYI I leave for Illinois this afternoon, but will try to post from there. I'm making no promises as there was VERY little room for stamping stuff in my one carry on. I think the folks at TSA are going to be perplexed by my Sizzlets & punches, don't you?

21 November 2010

Punch Art Xmas Tree

Okay, here's the last one for my Holiday Punch Art class. It's super simple, but still really fun. Just take eight hearts & adhere them together to form the tree. Then spritz the whole tree with some Shimmer Mist created from a bit of Shimmer Paint mixed with rubbing alcohol inside a spray bottle. Ta Da! You have a lovely & sparkly Christmas tree. I made little trees out of the hearts from the Heart to Heart Punch last year, but I thought I would go for something bigger this time around. You could always deck out the tree with punched circles etc, but I wanted mine pretty simple. Hopefully this tree & all the other Punch Art friends I've been making lately will be a big hit at this afternoon's class!

20 November 2010

Roasted Turkey

I have made several punch art turkeys in the past. Usually they involve the Scallop Circle Punch. However, when my dear friend, Marge, showed me the idea for this roasted little bird I knew I would have to include it in this Sunday's Holiday Punch art class. Isn't he something! the bulk of the bird comes from the XL Bird Punch while the little drumstick bone is from the Owl Punch. They are all still bird parts, so I guess it's not that big of a stretch, huh? My husband thought that the Small Oval Punch made far too small of a platter, so I upgraded to the Large Oval Punch. That way he has plenty of room. It was a little difficult to settle on a color for my little bird, but I found that More Mustard sponged with the same came out a sort of golden brown. Soft Suede or any of the other browns looked like I'd managed to burn the bird. And while that might happen if I were cooking one for real, in the wonderful world of stamping, I can make a perfectly golden brown bird each time! Then I used some of my favorite stamps from the Grateful Greetings set to create sentiments for inside & out. I had a student in one of my classes this week point out that she likes to have as little room as possible to write after she's finished stamping, so I added a few flourishes from the Priceless set too. Now it's just ready to sign & send for the big Turkey Day!

17 November 2010

Punched Snowman

It's not usual for me to CASE something pretty completely, but I couldn't resist this little guy. Check out the original on Flowerbug's Inkspot. I only changed a couple of things. I really wanted to use some of the Bashful Blue satin ribbon I have on hand & I tried SEVERAL methods for working with the background. I settled on inking the recessed side of the Northern Flurries Folder using Bashful Blue ink & then embossing. It gives the card a real weather sort of feel. At least I think so. And, of course, I couldn't resist embossing the hat using the Square Lattice folder. This is our third card for Holiday Punch Fun this Sunday. If you want to join in, please let me know. :)

16 November 2010

Reindeer Mojo

How about that little reindeer? He just has to make you smile! My second "fun with punches" adventure may be even more cute than the first. I have a soft spot in my heart for penguins (even though one once bit me in the rear), but this little guy has some serious personality. I searched around on Splitcost Stampers to look at punch ideas and found a similar reindeer, so I fiddled with it a bit to make him work for me. I may have gotten a little carried away with his antlers, but I can scale them back next time to fit him into an envelope. I actually used four punches to make Rudolph: his nose is from the Owl Punch, his face is the Designer Label Punch, his ears are from the 5 Petal Flower, and his antlers are from the XL Bird punch. Lots of toys, but super simple to assemble. Oh, and the sketch is courtesy of the folks over at Mojo Monday. Again, I switched things up a bit, but that's part of the fun!

15 November 2010

Owl Punch Penguin

And so it begins! This Sunday's theme class is all about having fun with punches & using them to create something other than their intended purpose. I've seen the little penguin folks have made using the Owl Punch and knew I would have to make one of my own. Thanks to Sarah Wills for publishing a step by step tutorial for these little guys. They aren't complicated, but it's always nice to have photos to follow!
My hostess for tomorrow's bag classes also requested a whimsical bag, so I think I'll switch this little card into a bag format for her too. Presents are quick and easy to make thanks to my Square Punches & little bows provided by my Flower Trio punch. The pre-glittered paper from Candy Cane Christmas gives these little gifts a nice extra pop.
Sorry it's not a Mojo Monday for today. I needed to make this one last night so I could post it before work this morning. I'm back in the fourth grade for a day. It was my favorite grade in elementary school growing up, so I guess it makes sense that I keep finding my way back there.

14 November 2010

House Warming

Last night was the house warming party for the person who can be credited with starting me on my stamping path. A few years ago she invited me to a party at her home & I decided to go even though "it's not my thing". Little did I know that before long it would very much be my thing! I think she still gets a kick out of the fact that her very non-crafty friend is now a demonstrator for SU and crafting has become a huge part of my life. It just goes to show how one small moment can make such a huge difference and that it's so important to just try new things. You never know where they will lead you. This little guy is just a 3x3 card designed to attach to a wine bottle. That's why I punched a hole in the top corner. Thread a little ribbon though and you're all set. I think the bird house needed a little more decoration near the top, but I couldn't decide on just the right stamp. Maybe next time it will come to me!

13 November 2010

Hydrangea Thank You

The first time I saw a hydrangea and
learned its name was on a cold day in Pittsburgh well over ten years ago. My husband (boyfriend then) and I were touring Phipps Conservatory while they had an incredible display of these lovely flowers. We no longer felt the damp chill of outside, but were transported. That's what I thought of when I saw the focal image from the Because I Care hostess set. Fitting then that I haven't used it until this chilly November morning. I paired it up with the PPC Color Challenge choices of the week: Bravo Burgundy, Concord Crush, and Baja Breeze. I also took the opportunity to try some techniques I've been wanting to incorporate for a while. The focal image was an easy fit for making a window of sorts using my 1 1/4" square punch & I practiced with my new Crop-a-dile to add a few little eyelets. Now, I just need to make its twin to send off and one for my display boards!

12 November 2010

Just for Fun Bag

This morning I needed a "just because" sort of bag and so I set to work with the image from Cute as an Inch as my inspiration. Nothing too fancy, but fun & the Tangerine Tango is so striking with the Basic Black. Of course, everything is still packed from my class Wednesday night since I've been working ever since. This full time work stuff clearly isn't for me. :) I had such a wonderful time meeting new people and crafting on Wednesday night that I just really only want to stamp from here on out. Is that okay with you guys? Perhaps my bank account won't like it too much. I guess I'll still have to substitute here & there, but it's so lovely to have a job where I get to have great fun and meet such lovely people. Speaking of how much I love what I do... Stampin' Up is offering 50% off their new demonstrator starter kits from Nov 15- 30. That means you too could become a demonstrator for just $87.50! It's an amazing price for the load of goodies you receive (a $310 value). If you've ever thought about becoming a demo, now is the time to do it! I'd love to have you join my team. Contact me today to find out how.

10 November 2010

Simple Snowman

Whew! Last card for my adventure tonight. I had another card in mind but it involved punches that were already in use in another card & there's no way I'm going to make a big crowd have to share between tables. So, I came up with something different.
He's super simple, but I do like the set-up. The Northern Flurries folder fits so nicely on the Top Note. It's hard to tell in the photo but the embossed snowflakes are given a little extra pop by the addition of some shimmer mist (small spray bottle of alcohol mixed with a good serving of Shimmer Paint). It really helps them to stand out. I thought about adding some snowflakes to the Razzleberry layer, but in the end simplicity won out. I sure hope the ladies tonight like what I've come up with for them. It's always great fun to meet new stampers!

09 November 2010

The Dog Ate My Homework

Wouldn't you know it? I have a big event tomorrow night for which all of the cards were designed & samples ready. However, my dog decided that the Bells & Boughs card I had selected wasn't quite right. Or perhaps she thought it was good enough to eat because that's exactly what she did! Of all things for her to start chewing on, she had to pick cardstock as her new favorite. That means I have to be VERY careful!
Don't tell her, but I'm actually kind of glad I got the chance to redesign this one. For tomorrow's event I'll have about 25 stampers &, since I'm not sure how much experience they'll come with, I wanted to keep the cards simple but with flare. Also, I wanted to feature Bells & Boughs along with the Deck the Halls paper since they are available right now in a bundle for 20%. So I needed to come up with something to fix Maddie's snack attack. I really like the effect created by stamping the holly in Cherry Cobbler on Crumb Cake this time rather than Always Artichoke. It just really pops! And the little bit of Designer Paper means that my remaining page of that pattern will be more than enough for all the stampers. I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone. Now I just need to cut some paper so I can be all ready!

08 November 2010

Rejoicing in Christmas Mojo

Another Monday and another lovely sketch from the folks over at Mojo Monday. Thanks again to Sharon for turning me on to that site way back's what helped push me towards creating a blog!
I've been wanting to create something a bit different with the Christmas Blessings set. All I've been able to come up with for it as of late involved big rectangles. The stamp of the Holy Family is great, but super long. So, today I decided to try to fit them into a circle. And I didn't just want to do the normal coloring routine either. I really wanted a stained glass effect. Then I remembered a tutorial I saw forever ago on Splitcost Stampers about using vellum to get the stained glass feel without a ton of extra effort. Perfect.
It's hard to see in this photo, but I also used Smooch Spritz on the Razzleberry paper to provide some context for my brushed gold frame. I never want to put too much sparkle in with a nativity scene, but I think this lends just enough. Hope your week is off to a great start!

07 November 2010

A Color Challenge for a Change

It's been quite a while since I tried a color challenge & I was feeling the need to do something other than a Christmas card today. So, I gave PPC a look. Their colors for this week are: Cajun Craze, Basic Gray, Pretty in Pink, & Pear Pizazz.
Once I knew I was going to do a color challenge, I decided to add a little extra challenge by picking out a few toys I haven't used lately to feature in this project. I took out my Movers & Shapers Die, the Hello Again stamp set, & my XL Bird Punch to see where the adventure would take me. I think it may still be missing something, and I'm not wild about the way the stitching around the window kind of disappears when I add texture, but overall it was a fun experiment. What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know. I would love to hear your input!

06 November 2010

Candy Cane Christmas

One of my favorite things about teaching classes is just how much I learn! We were in a bit of an experimental mood at class on Thursday & tried out some things that worked great & others that we won't need to try again. :) These little peppermints are one of the keepers! Laura found that punching the little star/snowflake from Delightful Decorations using the 1/2" Circle Punch creates the most adorable little mints! Once she showed one to me, I knew they needed to be paired up with some of the designer paper from Candy Cane Christmas. Such a match!
I also wanted a sentiment that was food related, so I took out my Tags Til Christmas set & went to work. I don't actually have the Scallop Square punch (GASP! I know...) but the image fits great inside the 1 3/8" Square so all was not lost. :)
The fun with this card makes me want to decorate one of the little houses from the Holiday Mini gingerbread style. Perhaps that's a class in the making for stampers young & a bit less young alike!

03 November 2010

Scallop Circle Wreath

This one was so much fun to make! Ever since I saw the idea of making a wreath out of our Scallop Circle Punches I couldn't wait to try it out. My dear upline, Cindy, made a super cute card with the little wreath for her last Stamp-a-Stack class & I really wanted to try my hand at it too. I couldn't decide what I wanted to do though. Then, I took a gander at the Mojo Monday sketch for this week & knew I had my solution. The Christmas Collage background stamp works great. It is like having instant holiday designer paper whenever I need it! Perhaps I could have used a darker ribbon for my wrap around, but supplies are kind of limited in my ribbon drawer at the moment. Of course, I want to use this one in classes this week & next so I didn't want to risk running out of ribbon!

02 November 2010

Balloon Invite Take Two

I found it was sort of hard to create a second version of the balloon invite I made earlier. However, I wanted to make sure that my Bride-to-Be had some fairly different options to choose from. There were elements I needed to keep the same, but I made sure not to look back at what I had done the first round before making this one.
It's a totally different card, but includes all of the essential elements. At least this will give her some other ideas of where we could go. Of course, the final option could have bits and pieces of both or be completely different. We'll see! Such fun designing cards for such a specific event. I'm really enjoying this little adventure.

01 November 2010

Tag Bag

Sorry for my absence! Fourth grade was great fun, but also pretty energy draining. And then, of course, I had computer issues so everything had to be re-formatted. Now I just have to get it back to where it used to be. :) Ah, the joys of computers.
This little guy is a lunch bag sized project for my bag class tomorrow night. I just took a normal brown paper lunch bag & cut it at 5 1/2 ". Then I created a front & back panel for it & spiced things up a bit using Tags Til Christmas & the Soft Holly Wheel. You could add handles at the top with a Crop-a-Dile or Word Window Punch, but I rather liked it as is. The whole cover won't fit in the Square Lattice Emboss Folder, but it works great to just leave out the bit that was stamped with the wheel. A fun new discovery for future bags of this size!