Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lana loves me best!

I had such a good mail day today! I love getting surprise packages in the mail...look what I got from Lana Lepinski! I LOVE LANA! Lana was watching me crank out card layouts at the retreat I was at a few weeks ago, and today she sent me this cute little envelope made from Cosmo Cricket Jitterbugg papers with pre-made card layouts for me to play with! YIPPIE! Look at the sparkly hollywood LZ letters on the envelope!

I love the ribbon she had tied around the envelope. Lana doesn't have much ribbon, so I know it must have been very hard for her to part with this cute pink and brown wide stuff.
Kidding. Lana has more ribbon than the phone book has names.

So since I was playing with the PaperTrey ladybugs last night, and the flowers from the set matched the Jitterbug paper PERFECTLY, I got to work adding main images to the cards. QUICK and EASY, I tell ya! Lana, you'll be getting a ladybug back in the mail soon. Talk about teamwork, right? So the other 2 cards I decided to make as friendship cards, and I'm going to pop them into the mail today to pay the love forward that Lana sent me today. How cool is this! I'm still so freaking happy about how fun my mail day was!

I swiped white craft ink across the cuttlebug embossing on the brown paper to pop out the detail of the embossing a little. The ladybug has brown glitter spots...I can't believe what a brown glitter kick I'm on right now. The little metal tag was purchased in a pack of 4 from the Target dollar spot on clearance for a quarter last year. Hey, I'm a thrifty girl. What can I say.
Here's a photo of the inside of the envelope/folder with the finished cards in them.
Thank you Lana, for making my day! Love ya sweet thang!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Shabby Papertrey Ladybugs

Tonite I'm sort of in a fog so I'm not sure how much I love these cards. In real life they are really's hard to get a good shot of the brown glitter!

I purchased the PaperTrey Ladybugs from a good friend of mine, and just had a chance to sit down and play with them tonite. I had it in my head that I wanted to use this red Cosmo Cricket Christmas paper with them. Somehow my polka dotted Daisy D's cherry tomato paper crept back onto my desk, and I decided to make the ladybugs out of the polka dotted paper.
To make them, I stamped just the black part of the ladybug on top of the red polka dot paper. Then I took an already cut out bug, laid it on top and used it as a template to cut around. Then I layered the red polka dot on top of another patterned paper to make the ladybugs 3-d. I distressed the wings with brown ink and then crumpled the wings up to make them stand off the paper.

I wanted the white flowy ripped edges of the red paper to show, so this time I ran the brown glitter along the base piece of paper, so it's sort of underneath the ripped edge. I like the effect of the glitter underneath, it gives extra dimension to the card.

Making Memories brown glitter

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

September Birthdays!

September is a busy birthday month for me, so I'm frantically cranking out birthday cards, trying to stay ahead of the game and make sure I get cards out to friends and family in time!

When I make birthday cards, I'll use the same paper and crank out a lot more than I actually need, to put in my stash of cards to have on hand. If there are 6 birthdays that month, I make sure to make 10 or 12 cards, to have extras on hand, just in case I get behind on the next month's birthdays. I try to vary them so that everyone doesn't get the same exact card, but I will use the same paper patterns or colors. I'll crank out 10 layouts using the same paper, then add the images at a later time, and vary the stamp sets I use. Here is an example of similar cards that look very different, depending on what you add to the front. All paper used was from Eclectic Paperie: the floral paper I used is SEI Paisley and Petals - Planted Posies, the stripe is from My Mind's Eye, Magnolia "You're a natural" stripe, The blue polka dot's are also by MME, Magnolia, "The best of friends dots".

The trio of hats is an unknown stamp, borrowed from friend Stevie at the stamping retreat in Wisconsin 2 weeks ago. I also bought a new stamp set from friend Jenn "Otter" Hollett called "Birthday Banter", by Stampin Up. Ok, well, it's not really a new set, but she was trying to unload it & it's new to me, so it's all good! Notice that I stamped a couple of "it's a hare late" cards. I have the best intentions but stuff DOES fall through the cracks sometimes! Trust me, it will get used! :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

True Friend Flowers

More fallish cards with the true friends set. These were done using clear glitter instead of the brown, with more accent on the floral stamps in this set. I'm such a frugal girl, I usually even try to use small bits and pieces of patterned paper that are leftover from cutting out layouts. Sometimes it adds just a bit of interest and contrast to the card. The small brown triangles were cut out of a fullsize sheet of patterned paper. I've still been using my hero arts distressed rectangular and square backgrounds. I would think that if you have the large Stampin Up "sanded" background, you could get the same effect by using that as the background and cutting your focal image down to size.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Packing Light

I ran to the cabin this weekend, and in an effort to pack lightly, I only brought the stamps and paper from my last purchase as a Stampin Up demonstrator. I purchased the "True Friend" stamp set and the designer paper pack to match it in my final order. I didn't think I'd squeeze much stamping time in because there was a huge auction at one of the neighbor's houses by the cabin. Turns out we didn't spend a lot of time at the auction, so I spent a few hours in the breezy gazebo in the back yard, putting layouts together and trying out the new "true friend" stamp set. I brought along some green and brown Making memories glitter, and had fun gluing glitter onto the flowers from this set. I've found it helped me to use my hero arts distress backgrounds as a base for these flowers, since you kind of have to create your own focal images. More tomorrow, I'm off to do laundry!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Good Luck, Jillie-Bean!

I'm off to the cabin for the weekend, but before I go, I wanted to wish my girlfriend friend Jill & her team best of luck on their walk this weekend for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-day walk. These girls have raised over $33000 for breast cancer research.

It's amazing to me that 2 of us out of the same group of friends were diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Jill not only beat cancer, but she's stepping up and helping others in their fight to beat cancer also. Thank you Jill, for touching all of our lives. We love you very much.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vintage Cracked Glass Christmas

I know it seems sort of nutty to be stamping Christmas stuff in August, but realistically, you actually COULD start on your Christmas cards to get a head start on the holiday rush. I've been doing a ton of cracked glass Christmas ornaments and cards for the Crafty Secrets Gallery. Here are some I've done with a red and white theme. The red quilted-looking paper & the gingham is from the Crafty Secrets "Earthy" paper pad, and the floral is from the "Radiant" pad. I've used that red quilted paper so much for Christmas items, I can't imagine using it for anything else now! I have a special Christmas project that will be in the upcoming Papercrafts "Holiday Cards and More" special issue, that should be coming out sometime in September. I'll post it here when the issue comes out.

The stamps are from the new Vintage Christmas stamp set that just came out. I've been watercoloring the images with my aquapen and Stampin Up ink, and then coating them with 3 layers of Utee. Pop them in the freezer for 5 minutes and you can crack the image to resemble cracked glass! Still using that Martha Stewart white gold vintage glitter...I added it to plain white pearl buttons to give the card extra sparkle.

The ornament forms are paper mache Michael's .99 star ornaments. Most of the craft stores sell these...I painted the backs of them red and glued paper to the front. The Marvy 2 1/2" circle punch fits perfectly in the center of these ornaments. Add buttons and glitter, and you're done.

Pop over to Linda Duke's blog and check out the eye candy she made with these same ornaments! OMG! EYE-POPPING! She puts my work to shame! HOLY MOLY!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Back on Cutsie! Tomorrow, Vintage.

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Back to posting cutsie cards tonite. These cards were spawned from a creative memories cutting system that was available to us at the retreat center. There were different sizes and shapes of circles, ovals etc. that we had access to while we were there. I used my regular procedure, where I cut 2 pieces of coordinating cardstock to measure 5 1/4 x 4", then laid them on top of each other, cut out circles or ovals from the center, and swapped the patterned paper to make 2 coordinating cards. So if you notice, the "Celebrate" card and "Happy birthday to you" cards are exact opposites, but cut from the same 2 paper pieces. (For instructions, see my post here.)

Before the retreat, we did a sign up for an image swap, where we each brought stamped images of 2 different stamps, and swapped with each other. We each ended up with about 60 different images to play with. The beautiful thing is, the ink was already dry, so they were ready to color and attach to cards. These Stampendous "Patty Chicks" are from Eclectic Paperie. If you're looking for a fun new line of Stampendous Stamps, check out "Ollie and Olivia" at E.P. These will definitely be in my next order; they are the cutest!
Joy from Eclectic Paperie brought a bazillion Copic markers for us to try...all of the images here were colored with Copics. I was emphatically anti-copic for a long time, because I mainly use watercoloring on my cards and there is a huge learning curve to using them successfully. But after quizzing so many of the talented artists at the retreat, and getting everyone's technique, I'm going to dip my feet into the Copic water and purchase 12 of them, to see if I can get the hang of them and start using them regularly. I think they work great if you mainly color in line art images. The jury is out on that, I'll get back to you on this one.
The floral patterned paper is from EK Success "Lauren" Collection, Funky Fresh. The Orange stripe is Scrapworks skinny cathode bungalow. The brown polka dot is from "Overton House Designs" Mint Espresso Dotty flowers and mini dots. The blue polka dot is very old Anna Griffin 2004 Blue dot paper. I was digging deep in my paper stash, for sure!
Here are some more card layouts using the Creative Memories cutting system. I have not added images to these yet, but you'll be seeing them soon!
Have a great night!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cracked Glass & Vintage Glitter

Hi everyone! I'm home sick again today. I called into the office and my boss BANNED me from coming in. I'm the germ carrier and no one can afford to be sick right now with all of the meetings we have going on! I'm going to be alternating between cutsie and vintage this week. I've been working on samples for the new release Crafty Secrets stamp sets that came out at CHA. I've fallen in love with the Vintage Christmas set for sure. The images are so simple to color in, even I'm able to pull off a beautiful image with my limited watercoloring skills. Julie Ebersole also tipped us off on her blog that the Martha Stewart white gold glitter from Michael's looks JUST like vintage glitter. She was right. I edged all of my images in it and it has such a beautiful patina, it makes everything look old and tinny. Pam Hooten (Iris Garden) gifted me with a yellow gold version of it too, which is JUST as beautiful. (The santa image is sporting yellow-gold glitter, and the snowbaby is done with the white-gold.

I used the cracked-glass technique for these cards; I finally found the right combination to do this technique right. I used versamark and Utee. Color your image in with whatever medium you are used to using; on these I used a combination of markers and watercoloring. Then apply versamark directly to your entire image, and sprinkle utee all over it. Heat up the utee until it melts, then quickly turn off your heat tool and cover the hot utee with another layer of utee. Heat up again, and repeat once more, so you have 3 layers of utee on top. Stick the image in the freezer for 5 minutes, and as soon as you pull it out of the freezer, bend the image until it crackles all over. For an extra vintage look, rub a light distress ink over the top to get ink in the cracks. I used Ranger "linen" distress ink, but Stampin Up creamy caramel would work also.

Doesn't this child image look like the snowbaby collectible figurines? The stamp sets are now officially in at Crafty Secrets & should be shipping to stores soon, so you should be seeing them available in Anna Wight's Ebay store, and online at Eclectic Paperie.

Materials used: Crafty Secrets Vintage Christmas Set, Versamark, Utee, May Arts white polka dot ribbon, Martha Steward White gold and yellow gold glitter, Crafty Secrets Radiant, Earthy and Classic Paper pads.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fancy Pants Cards

I'm not feeling very fancy today; I'm back from the stamping retreat and slept 15 hours last night after coming down with a cold on Friday! My stamping sisters got to see me at my worst, blowing my nose like a foghorn and sick as a dog all weekend. Everytime we have a retreat, my stomach muscles get a serious workout from laughing so hard at the craziness that happens when we all get together in person. These 2 cards are dedicated to all of my stamping sisters today: thank you for making me laugh and for sharing your creativity EVERY DAY. You make my life richer.
I made these cards the first day of the retreat. We made an Archivers stop on the way to the retreat, and I fell in love with some Making Memories epoxy flowers that I saw on clearance. I decided that instead of buying the epoxy flowers, I could make my own, so that I could coordinate the flower patterns with my patterned paper. So bought an EK success flower punch and punched out a bunch of little flowers from patterned paper. Then I took versamark, coated the paper with it, and put clear embossing powder over the top of it and heated it up to create an epoxy-like, shiny texture over the flowers. It worked better for me to give the flowers 2 coats of the embossing powder, because the 2nd coat made the flowers a bit smoother. You could also coat them with diamond glaze or crystal effects, but I found that the embossing powder gave a smoother finish.

The patterned floral paper is by Fancy Pants, Aged Floral "Honeybunch" pattern. The stamp set is by Stampin Up, "True Friend". The embossed swirl is by Autumn Leaves, Swirls Version 2.

I tend to pick out polka dots and stripes to coordinate with my patterned papers, polka dots seem to go with everything!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Junkin Post and Ciao Bellas

Ok girlfriends, one last post and I'm off like a prom dress to the stamping retreat tomorrow.
I'm fresh out of xmas paper.... WHEW, YOU'RE GLAD, AREN'T YA! ADMIT IT! (I lied. I'm not out of xmas paper.) Pamela from Stampin D'Amour requested more junkin' pics, so I'll share my latest finds. 2 weeks ago my sister and I met my girlfriend Janine for a morning of garage sale-ing. I was one crabby camper because I didn't get to sleep in on my day off, and I was drugged up on Motrin trying to get rid of my neck and backache from my PILLOWTOP MATTRESS. Don't get me started on that one. So we hit the garage sales in my hometown of Hudson, Wisconsin. The first sale we hit was a sweet little old house with a million messy hollyhocks in the front yard. Very shabby. I immediately honed in on the botanical print above. $3.00! Framed and everything! I knew it would go perfectly in the REDRUM. The 2 old botanical prints above were .25 cents each. I will pull them out of the matting and frame them. Aren't they beautiful?

So while I'm ooohing and aaahing over the green cherry print, my sister starts digging through piles of fabric. I look over and GASP when I see what she has in her hands...the floral tulle to the right... YARDS AND YARDS OF IT. I start sending her the mental vibes in my head... PUT THE FABRIC DOWN, YOU DON'T WANT IT, PUT IT DOWN, WALK AWAY FROM IT. So she walks away from it, and I swoop in on it. $2.00! HOLY CRAP! What a selfish girl I am. But I got the goods. I NEEDED IT FOR THE REDRUM! Here's a photo of it hanging in my bedroom.

And finally, on my way to check out, I started digging through a pile of old kids library books. I pulled out this sweet little witchie halloween book. Free. The yard sale lady threw it in with my purchases for free because it was too early in the morning to think. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but my motto now is WWVCD. What would Vicki Chrisman do. So at some point, I'm going to venture into mixed media collage, and probably alter the inside of it with halloween party pictures and vintage stickers from Crafty Secrets. So many projects, so little time. Vic & Pamela, I'll be calling you up panicking when I start that one.

I love the illustrations in this book.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I'll be back next week!

Ciao Bellas!

Monday, August 13, 2007

LAST ONE. I promise.

So this is the last non-Christmas, Christmas card post, I PROMISE. Well, don't hold me to that.

This is more double sided Christmas paper from Stampin Up last year. If you can believe it, it has pointsettias on the other side of it. I won it as a prize at a stamping retreat I went to with my stamping sisters last year. Funny that I should be playing with it in August, a YEAR later. I was thinking I should cut back on my patterned paper purchases. HAAAAAAAAA! THAT'S FUNNY. IT'LL NEVER HAPPEN.

Ok, so on to the froggies. This is one of those sets that I get a ton of use out of, because it combines images with cute sayings that match, like "Hoppy Birthday" and "Sorry I frogot". I'm heading for our yearly stamping retreat again this Wednesday, so I had bottles of glitter spread out on my stamp table. My process is this: if it's sitting out in front of me, I slap it on the card. So these cards were inspired by my messy stamp table, really.

I have a hard time using colored glitter on my cards, I find that I always grab for the white dazzling diamonds glitter first. So I decided to run a line across the cards with a liquid glue pen and glitter up the cards with colored glitter. These are definitely sparklier in person. Sparklier is a word, I'm sure of it.

These cards seem sort of lame to me, which is pretty much par because I'm having sort of a lame night. You know, the kind of night where you mistakenly wash your bathtowels with the cat's blanket. I'm going to tell my guests that I only buy ANGORA towels. We'll see if they buy it. Have a great night everyone, and remember, always separate towels from the cat's blanket.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Blitzen Christmas

More cards, combining my Christmas challenge with my "ribbon jar cover layouts"! (That's the technical term anyway.)
I've been playing with corners a lot lately;, I created these using the cuttlebug "textile" embossing folder that I got on sale at Eclectic Paperie in my last order. I embossed plain paper, then cut them in squares and snipped a little "v" in the middle of the corners. To get the 2-toned effect, I ran brown distress ink over the top of the embossing. The ink pad will make contact mainly with the raised areas, leaving the unembossed part of the paper untouched.

The layouts were created by taking 2 pieces of coordinating patterned cardstock, measuring 4" x 5 1/4". I laid them on top of each other and traced the lid from my ribbon jar on both sides of the paper. Then I cut along the traced line through both layers of cardstock at once. Interchange the patterns and piece them together on your card. For more detailed instructions, see my post dated August 2nd. Remember, you don't have to trace circles; on some of the cards I just cut along the corners and interchanged the corners to create a two-toned pattern effect.

The striped paper is by Basic Grey, "Blitzen Collection", Ribbon Candy. The burgundy paper is from Stampin Up's double sided Christmas papers (last year) and the stamp is by Hero Arts, called "Nice Little Flower Border".

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Elegant Non-Christmas Cards

Ahem. Yes, I'm still using Christmas paper. Seriously, you can yell UNCLE when you've had enough! I swear, pretty soon I'm going to move on to new paper. I just want to keep using it up because my stash is dwindling! YAY!

This is a variety of patterned papers combined together. The stripe and the burgundy dotted paper is double-sided Stampin Up Christmas paper from last year. The paisley paper is out of a Autumn Leaves paper pack that I got free from Archivers a while ago. All stamps are by Anna Griffin.