Thursday, December 3, 2009

Eco-Friendly Conundrum

Hello Blogland! I know I've been quiet and for that I apologize. Every year seems to get busier and busier. With any luck one of these days I'll get it all figured out and there won't be these giant gaps in posting. Until then, I want to thank those of you that still check in regularly.

So today I wanted to share a typical decision with which I have to grapple in my professional work. I feel very strongly that using recycled and environmentally produced products is a responsibility of every one of us, but particularly those of us that handle paper as part of their job. I'd been using a particular felted finish, recycled cardstock for more than a year with which I was generally happy. Lately though, my printer and this cardstock decided to feud (I think it was the finish) and the result of which was a lot of poor quality prints and a lot of waste. That made me cranky. I would have staring competitions with my printer and say an angry little prayer every time I had to print something. Realizing that wasn't a sustainable business practice (and it rarely had any noticeable impact) I went on a search for a new recycled white cardstock.

My needs are simple: heavy weight, true white, smooth finish (no more felted finish), FSC certified, produced conscientiously, include recycled content.

Today I went to make the final selection and found myself torn.

I found two contenders that had most (if not all) of the criteria that appeal to me. Contestant Number One (No.1, henceforth) was a bright white, 80 lb. cardstock consisting of FSC certified, 100% PCF recycled content. No.1's production was chlorine-free, carbon neutral (via the legally binding and voluntary Carbon Neutral Plus agreement), and made with 100% renewable green energy. I asked if No.1 was available in a heavier weight and was told it only came in 80lb. I found out later by searching the company's website that there is a 100 lb. option available.

Contestant Number Two (No.2, henceforth) was a crazy bright white, 100 lb cardstock consisting of FSC certified 10% PCF recycled content. No.2's parent company is involved in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative via their certified fiber sourcing efforts. No.2 is also certified by the Rainforest Alliance and donates $275,000 annually to the WWF through the purchase of their products.

Tough decision. On the one hand the production and recycled content of No.1 were definitely preferable. On the other hand No.2's brightness and weight were more along the line of what I truly wanted and they donate money to a worthwhile environmental charity.

In the end, I chose to forgo the weight I originally wanted and went with No.1. Now that I know I can get No.1 in the heavier weight I am even happier with my decision. And the best part...the cardstock prints beautifully! I did test No.2 and the weight was not a problem. I'm not going to go giving away the source for the one I decided to choose (a girl has to protect her business, you know), but No.2 is the EarthChoice line by Domtar.

So now you have a little insight on the selection process I go through when choosing my raw materials. I hope you've enjoyed learning a little more about my business. Take care and I'll try and post again when I get some free time.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas Banner Availability

I don't really have time for a full post right now, but I wanted to answer a question from the comments this week. No, I did not sell the "Merry Christmas" banner at Tiny Canary last weekend. If you are interested in the banner please feel free to contact me (PoshtaDesign [at] gmail dot com). It is priced at $45 (plus $3 for shipping - unless you are a local and I can deliver it) and I will send you a Paypal invoice for the total. I will be taking it to the North Market Holiday Open House (December 5th & 6th) if it is still available at that time. Also, feel free to email me with any questions (dimensions and such).

I'll post again as soon as I can. Take care!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Banner

Hello Blogland! It's been ages since I last posted. I've been super, super busy. Between shows and custom work and Etsy shop maintenance it's been non-stop. This weekend is Tiny Canary, so I've been preparing like a mad woman. There are little paper scraps on every surface of my house right now. Seriously. And I've been staying up late to get work done so my lack of sleep is leaving me a little scatter brained. It's going to be a fun weekend though, so it's all worthwhile.

I wanted to share a project I did this week. It's a Christmas pennant banner and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

First, I decided on a size for the pennants and the font. Since I don't have a fancy schmancy cut-it-out-for-you machine, I cut all of the letters by hand. I did this by typing the phrase in Illustrator and flipping all of the characters so that I had a mirror image of my letters. I printed that out at a 50% grayscale so I could cut around the letters, but the ink wouldn't be visible through the cardstock (it probably wouldn't have been visible anyway, but better safe than sorry). Note: this takes a very long time and a willingness to get cozy with your Xacto. You have been warned.

Then, I die cut circles of Spring Moss and stamped each one with a wreath image from Rustic Branches. I also cut a Spring Moss pennant for the space and stamped it with the vine image from that same set. I added glitter and dimensional glaze to the berries and set those aside to dry.

Next, I cut red pennants and stamped them with a polka dot pattern with Fresh Snow ink. I really like how this ink maintains its brightness even on really saturated colors. I lined up the pennants and chose a white ribbon to string them together. I punched holes using my Crop-A-Dile and threaded the ribbon through the holes. Then I stitched a Ripe Avocado button over each hole to make the whole thing look a little more finished.

Once the wreaths were dry I matted them with white scalloped circles and adhered them to the pennants. Finally, I mounted the letters with foam adhesive and called it complete.

I hope you've enjoyed today's post. I hope to get back into a rhythm starting next week, so I'll see you then. If you're in the Columbus area please stop out at Tiny Canary and say hello (and remember: the first 100 people through the door each day get a goodie bag filled with treats from the vendors)! It's a really amazing event and I'm super excited to be involved.

Bye-bye, now!

Cardstock: Pure Poppy, Spring Moss - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Pure Poppy, Fresh Snow, Ripe Avocado - Papertrey Ink
Stamps: Rustic Branches, Polka Dot Basics II - Papertrey Ink
Other: Ripe Avocado Buttons - Papertrey Ink; Glitter Pen - Sakura; Dimensional Glaze - Ranger; White Perle Cotton Thread - DMC; White Ribbon - May Arts; Foam tape - Scotch

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Papertrey Blog Hop: Holiday Time!

Welcome to my Papertrey Blog Hop post! It's about the time to kick holiday preparations into high gear and I'm going to share my family Christmas card this evening. It's super simple, but it has just enough detail for my loved ones to know I spent a little extra time on them this busy season.

I started with a Kraft base stamped in watermark ink with the stitched background from Background Basics: Retro. Next, I stamped the wreath from Rustic Branches onto a Labels 1 die cut. I love that wreath. I use it for just about everything. Depending on the colors it works for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, you name it! I coated the berries in dimensional glaze and adhered a jute bow before setting it aside to dry.

I stamped my sentiment and sponged my edges and looked at the card. It needed something. I decided to stamp a row of the tiny polka dots from Polka Dot Basics II. That was just enough of a punch of color to bring the whole project together. Finally, I mounted the wreath image to the card base with foam adhesive and called it a day. I hope you've enjoyed my card this evening! Have fun hopping!

Stamps: Polka Dot Basics, Rustic Branches, Believe, Background Basics: Retro - Papertrey Ink
Cardstock: Kraft - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Pure Poppy, Ripe Avocado, Spring Moss - Papertrey Ink; Frost White - Colorbox; Versamark - Tsukineko
Other: Rustic Jute Twine - Papertrey Ink; Glossy Accents - Ranger; Foam adhesive - Scotch

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Calendar Update

Unfortunately, the cardstock for this year's calendar is a little delayed and the calendar won't be in the shop for a little while longer. I apologize for the hold up, but I'll make sure to post when they are finished and available.

In other news, I just found out I was accepted into the Tiny Canary Indie Design Market again this year and I am super excited! The show will be November 14th & 15th from 10:00-6:00 each day (the first 100 customers through the door each day will receive a swag bag full of samples from the vendors!). The full vendor list should be available on the Tiny Canary website shortly.

Also, I dropped of a new set of greeting cards at On Paper this weekend. The group included birthday, Thanksgiving, and congratulations cards.

Hopefully, I will be able to share something crafty in the next couple of days. It's been busier than I expected and I haven't had much time for blogging this week.

And one last thing...thanks for all of the well wishes for Gus. He's home and doing better (though still a little under the weather). He seems to have handled the night away better than I did. Ok, see you again soon...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Not Today, I'm Sorry

Well, I took Gus (my kitters) to the vet this morning and things didn't go very well, so I'm afraid I'm not in the mood to create and share today. I'm a little (ok, a lot) distracted and mopey and perhaps not as cheerful as I prefer to be when crafting. He should be home tomorrow (barring any additional obstacles) and I will generally be more enthusiastic. Sorry for dropping the craft ball. Thanks for understanding. See you soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

2010 Desktop Calendar

Hello, Blogland! It's been busy around here lately. I've been prepping for holiday shows, designing this year's new holiday card designs, and putting the finishing touches on the 2010 calendar. Speaking of which, who wants to see a preview of my 2010 desktop calendar?

This is the cover page. It shows just a snippet of each month's pattern without giving too much away. I'm really happy with the calendar this time around. It will land in the Etsy shop before the end of the week. Thanks for stopping by today. I plan to have a new card to share tomorrow.

See you soon!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Entering The World Of Technology

So...I've been dragging my heels for months, but I've finally taken the Twitter plunge. I don't know how much I'll be tweeting yet, but I guess I really have nothing to lose. I also put up a Poshta page on Facebook. I haven't the first clue as to how to navigate Facebook, but I'm giving it a try. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

You're A Super Star

Hello, Blogland! Today I'd like to share a congratulations card, but I need to make it quick (our block party is today and I still need to make a dish).

I started by hand-stitching the Summer Sunrise ric rac layer and the Spring Rain patterned paper together before adhering them to the white base. Then I stamped, sponged, and layered the sentiment before adhering that to the patterned paper layer and rounding the upper right hand corner. Next, I stamped the star and punched it out using the Fiskars star punch. Finally, I stitched on the button and mounted the star over the sentiment. Pretty easy peasy!

I also wanted to mention that I did a big update on my Etsy shop over the last couple of days. I'm not through yet, but I wanted to give a heads up.

Hope you're having a great weekend. See you soon!

Cardstock: Ultimate White - Strathmore; Summer Sunrise, Enchanted Evening - Papertrey Ink
Stamps: Star Prints - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Summer Sunrise, Enchanted Evening - Papertrey Ink
Patterned Paper: Spring Rain Bitty Boxes - Papertrey Ink
Tools: Ric Rac Scissors - Paper Shapers; Large Star Punch - Fiskars
Other: Foam Adhesive - Scotch; Embroidery Floss - DMC; Button

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Autumn Mums

So today's card started out as an idea that I was really excited about, but doesn't look quite the way I expected now that it's finished. I'll let you judge for yourself if it's as cool as I was aiming for it to be.

I started by stamping the polka dots onto Rustic White cardstock with watermark ink and embossed them with clear powder. You know what I learned can't really stamp overtop clear embossing powder. True story. Duh.

Anyway, I set the base aside and went to work on my argyle textured panel. I scored and pierced lines alternately at 1/4" intervals. Then I went back though and stitched knots at every intersection of scored lines. This, I soon realized, takes a lot of time. Be prepared. Since I couldn't stamp the sentiment on the base I put that on this panel with the hope that it would be visible enough.

Once the argyle was finished I stamped the mum image onto Rustic White cardstock and colored it with pencils and mineral spirits. I die cut the image and the scalloped circle and began assembling the card.

First, I adhered the Pure Poppy scalloped circle to the base and mounted the argyle piece using foam tape because the threads on the back made using a flat adhesive tricky. I finished the card by mounting the floral image using foam tape and applying Glossy Accents to the vase for a little shine (it's a little difficult to see in the photo). I still don't know if I love it, but hopefully the recipient will enjoy it.

I hope you've enjoyed today's card. I'm not sure what I have up my sleeve for tomorrow, but I'll try to make it special. See you then!

Cardstock: Rustic White, Kraft, Pure Poppy - Papertrey Ink
Stamps: Autumn Abundance, Polka Dot Basics II - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Burnt Umber - Palette; Versamark - Tsukineko
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; Embroidery Floss - DMC; Glossy Accents - Ranger; Colored Pencils - Prismacolor; Mineral Spirits
Tools: Scor-pal; Nesting Circles Dies, Nesting Flowers Dies - Quickutz; Die Cut Machine

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thankful For You

As I mentioned in my last post (you know, the one where I lamely explain my nearly six week absence), I am super thankful for all of you that stop by the blog and send emails and generally support all of my crafty endeavors. I am encouraged by each and every one of you! So in my appreciation I thought I might share a card that conveys a message full of gratitude.

I just got around to ordering Papertrey's Autumn stamps this month and I was nearly giddy with excitement when they arrived in the mail the other day. Fall is by far my favorite season and I know I will be getting quite a bit of use from the sets I ordered. One of the first things I did was stamp this acorn/oak leaf & vase image onto kraft cardstock. That image is perfect on Kraft. Am I right? Love it! I colored the image with an assortment of colored pencils and mineral spirits before adhering a swatch of frayed linen behind the main panel (the colored pencil ended up looking a little washed out in the photos, but trust that it's a little more vibrant in real life). I embellished the image with a little twine and a copper mini brad to really make it special.

Then, I took my trusty stitched stamp and added a little background goodness to a piece of Ripe Avocado cardstock. I realized that Papertrey's Rustic White cardstock was a perfect match to my linen, so I used that as my base rather than Vintage Cream (it really could have gone either way, but I'm quite fond of the Rustic White). I stamped the sentiment in white before mounting my main image panel to the base with a bit of foam tape.

I hope today's card pleases. I hope to be back tomorrow with another project. Until then, all the best!

Cardstock: Rustic White, Ripe Avocado, Kraft - Papertrey Ink
Stamps: Autumn Abundance, 2009 Autumn Tags, Background Basics: Retro - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Burnt Umber - Palette; Frost White - Colorbox
Other: Copper Mini Brad - American Crafts; Rustic Jute Button Twine - Papertrey Ink; Foam Tape - Scotch; Colored Pencils - Prismacolor; Mineral Spirits; Linen

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's Been A While

Good evening, Blogland. I've missed you. The months of August and September took on a life of their own and I realized a little too late that I was just along for the ride. Unfortunately, that means you, my beloved and much appreciated internet community, were neglected. This week the world stops spinning at a dizzying pace and I will be able to get back to sharing my projects on a more consistent basis. It also means that I will be updating and breathing life into my poor little Etsy shop. I'll make notes as to those updates here along with photos of new cards. So thank you to everyone that has called or emailed (or waited patiently for a response) to check on me in the past several weeks. It means so much that you all care what I do with myself and that I'm not quitting crafting or some such thing. I'm still here and I'll be back soon with something to share. All the best!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Little Update

Hello Blogland! We've been preparing for a family reunion this weekend so I haven't been crafting as much as usual, but I wanted to share a photo from the fair. On Friday night I decided I needed new table signage, so I whipped up this little pennant banner.

The show itself was ok. I enjoyed being out and spending time with others in my community. I only ate a little fair food (fried stuff and I aren't really friends anymore), but I did get to see baby animals, hear some good music, and pick up an amazing Clinton Reno Crafty Expo poster (it's not on his website, but you should totally check out his work because it's straight awesome). Thanks again to everyone that came out! I'll see you a little more next week...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday

Hello Blogland! I'm sorry for my absence this week. I've been preparing for the Handmade Expo at the Ohio State Fair this weekend. You can read more about the Expo at the Columbus Crafty Cotillion blog. I hope to see some familiar faces tomorrow! We'll be there from noon to 7:00 with vendors selling everything from ceramics to jewelry and apparel. Come on out and support local arts!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Floral Fusion

Hi everyone! Today's card features Papertrey's Floral Fusion stamp set. I am so excited about the special edition stamp set that they were giving away at CHA last weekend! In fact, I love it so much that I couldn't help but make a card with it when I got home yesterday. It's such a sweet and classic floral set and the sentiments included are versatile basics that I absolutely know I'll use.

I started by stamping a background from Background Basics: Retro onto Kraft cardstock using watermark ink. Then I stamped the circle and sentiment in white ink and sponged the edges. I set that aside while I stamped the flowers and stems onto Rustic White cardstock. I saw this in person at the show and I knew immediately that I would love it. The lightly woodsy feel goes perfectly with Kraft and adds a little subtle visual texture to your image. I punched out parts of my stamped images using a 1 1/4" square punch. Then, I tied a piece of Spring Moss twill around the Kraft layer before adhering it to a Melon Berry base. Finally, I mounted my floral squares over top the ribbon using foam tape. Easy peasy!

Thanks for stopping by today! See you soon...

Cardstock: Melon Berry, Kraft, Rustic White - Papertrey Ink
Stamps: Floral Fusion (Special Edition Set), Background Basics: Retro, Borders & Corners: Circle - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Spring Moss, Melon Berry - Papertrey Ink; Frost White - Colorbox; Versamark - Tsukineko
Tools: 1 1/4" square punch (yellow one) - Marvy
Fibers: Spring Moss Twill Ribbon - Papertrey Ink
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch

Sunday, August 2, 2009

CHA Supershow

Hello Blogland! I'm home from CHA and I had the greatest time! Joan Bardee is a riot. She had me in a state of giggles for two whole days. I also had the opportunity to meet all of the talented women of Papertrey (and their hard working gentlemen stockers). Nichole, Heather, Debbie, Dawn, Mish, Julie and Jane are just as sweet in person as you would imagine. I found myself returning time after time to chat with the lovely ladies and study their beautiful samples. The make and takes were tons of fun, too (I did all three on Saturday)!

I could probably have done the whole show in one day, but I really enjoyed being able to take my time and look through everything carefully. I was hoping to see the new Quickutz letterpress demonstration, but they were already gone by the time I checked into the hotel and made my way to the event on Friday. I talked to a couple of people that said it really looked worthwhile and I'm super excited about its release (October 2009, I believe). Letterpress and I go way back. We're like this (imagine tightly crossed fingers).

When Joan and I returned to our room the first day we (well, Joan actually) noticed a beautiful flower arrangement awaiting our arrival. My dear, sweet, loving husband conspired with Sabrina at the concierge desk to send flowers. They were pink and orange (very close to Hibiscus Burst and Summer Sunrise for those of you familiar with Papertrey colors) gerbera daisies and Queen Anne's Lace. He's a keeper folks. He's a keeper.

Well, I had a lot of fun and I heard whispers of some really fun new products on the horizon. I can't wait to see what the next few months bring. I hope you all had a great weekend, too! See you soon...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Congratulations to Rae Barthel!

Rae is this year's Gallery Idol winner. Congratulations, Rae! Your cards were amazing every week.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Bags Are Packed...

I'm ready to go. I better stop before I start singing. Nobody wants that.

Tomorrow morning I'll be saying adios to the buckeye state for two craft-packed days at CHA. Gus is pacing nervously and glaring at my suitcase. Buddy is gleefully oblivious. Sean has fresh milk, strawberry Pop-Tarts, and pressed work clothes. I think I have everyone covered.

I'm super excited to get down to Florida and meet all of the amazing ladies I interact with on this here internet. My roomie is the amazingly funny Joan so I am sure to have a good time! I booked a hotel with internet access, so I'll make sure to check in over the next couple of days. I even charged my camera battery again just to make sure it has enough juice to get me through day one. Oh, jeepers I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Get Well Umbrella

Good afternoon Blogland! It's a little gray and rainy here in Ohio at the moment. The plants are happy and the air is nice and cool, so I'm not complaining. The rain started me thinking about umbrellas and I knew exactly what I wanted to share today.

This little "get well" number was created by stamping an umbrella from Scattered Showers in Seascape and Charcoal inks. Then, I added the edging and red dots with the tip of a marker for a little burst of color. I stamped my sentiment onto Spring Rain cardstock before adhering the umbrella image. I wrapped the image panel with a strip of Pure Poppy ribbon and a piece of pearl cotton thread and secured them with a brad.

I set that aside while I stamped the background using Background Basics: Retro onto Smoky Shadow cardstock. I adhered the patterned layer to a white card base and mounted the focal image with foam tape. The final touch was adding Glossy Accents to the red dots for just a little dimension.

Thanks for stopping by this afternoon. I hope you're having a great day! See you soon...

Cardstock: Spring Rain, Smoky Shadow - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Stamps: Scattered Showers, Faux Ribbon - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Seascape, Charcoal - Palette; Frost White - Colorbox
Fibers: Pure Poppy Saddle Stitched Ribbon - Papertrey Ink; Pale Blue Pearl Cotton - DMC
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; Pewter Brad - Making Memories; Glossy Accents - Ranger; Red Marker - Zig

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gallery Idol Round 4: Humor

So here we are. Round 4; the finals. I'm going to avoid melodrama, but I do want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone that stuck in there and voted every week. Thank you to Paper Crafts for giving me this opportunity. Thank you to Sean for listening to my harried brainstorming (especially after this weekend of bad jokes) and for offering your opinion and for not getting crabby when I'd ask you repeatedly if you were sure the cards were good enough. Thanks again, everyone. It means so much. I'm not a big hugger, but I'd hug everyone of you if I could (or at the very least give a fist bump).

This week's theme was difficult for me. Hopefully it translates over the interweb, but if it doesn't...well, blaze of glory and all that. I took a line we say around here from time to time (that I just found out was part of a rap song?!) and added a punchline. I had a creative writing teacher once tell my class to "write what you know." Well, I should just let the card speak for itself...

First, I want to say I am well aquatinted with chubbyness and therefore feel comfortable making such a joke. Secondly, there is nothing wrong with angel food cake. It just sets itself up as a good punchline. It's like the chess team captain of cake while chocolate is the bad boy musician. Chocolate is sinful. Chocolate is good.

So to make this card I printed my joke onto Aqua Mist cardstock and scored the punchline to the inside. Then, I printed the set up on white cardstock and stamped that with Spring Moss and a background from Background Basics: Retro. I trimmed that down and used the Apron Lace border punch along the bottom edge. I adhered that to the base and wrapped the top with a bit of twill to make it look a bit more finished. A scalloped circle of Spring Moss was adhered atop the twill to highlight the focal image.

The focal image was created by stamping piece of cake onto Kraft cardstock and embellishing it with Liquid Applique. The applique was heat set when wet to get the fluffy appearance. I trimmed around the cake and foam mounted it to a matted piece of white cardstock stamped with a circular burst pattern. That whole piece was adhered to the Spring Moss circle with foam tape. The cake looked a little naked, so I added a candle with a rhinestone flame.

My last step on the front was to add the button bow. Nichole Heady has a fabulous tutorial on these bows on her blog. I used Aqua Mist saddle stitched ribbon and a little hemp twine to create my bow. I'd never done one of these before, but I love how it turned out and I'm sure I'll be doing more of them in the future.

I was all ready to be done until I looked inside and my punchline looked a little lonely. I decided to spruce up the interior with a strip of decorative edge paper I had left over from doing the front of the card. I think it added a little something. I'm happy.

By now, most of you are old pros when it comes to voting. You can go HERE to see everyone's entries and vote for your favorite. Remember: You can only vote once! This is the last round so you are essentially voting for the winner. The voting runs from noon MST today through noon MST on Thursday. The winner will be announced on Friday morning.

Most of my week is dedicated to getting ready for CHA this weekend, but I'll try to stop in and post a few new cards before I head out Friday. Take care and I'll see you soon!

Cardstock: Aqua Mist, Spring Moss, Dark Chocolate, Kraft - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Stamps: Piece Of Cake, Background Basics: Retro - Papertrey Ink; Circles & Dots - Inkadinkado
Stamping Ink: Spring Moss, Aqua Mist - Papertrey Ink; Burnt Umber - Palette
Printer Ink: Pantone 4625 U 80% intensity
Tools: Apron Lace Border Punch - Fiskars; Mega Scalloped Circle Punch (pink)- Marvy, Adobe Illustrator
Font: Chasm Normal (I increased the kearning a little)
Fibers: Aqua Mist Saddle Stitched Ribbon, Dark Chocolate Twill Ribbon - Papertrey Ink; Hemp Twine - Darice
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; Liquid Applique - Marvy; Rhinestone - Darice; Button - unknown

Friday, July 24, 2009

Can Someone Please Teach Me To Be Funny Before Monday

The Top 5 in the Gallery Idol contest were announced today and I am thrilled to be on that list! The only difficulty is the challenge. Our theme this week is humor. Humor?! Those of you that know me know that my personal brand of humor is more of a dry, chuckle inducing (but not gut busting), roll your eyes sort of humor. I'm not sure how that translates into the world of greeting card design, but I'm going to give it the old college try. This could be a disaster...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Gallery Idol Round 3: Buttons

Good afternoon Blogland! I hope you've been well. My week was full of more super nice comments and emails from those of you following the Gallery Idol competition. I can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your support. I'm just a bundle of happy energy these days!

Anyway, today the third round of Gallery Idol begins. Our theme this week is to incorporate buttons. I lurve buttons! I wanted to use them differently than I usually do (as a random embellishment or flower center), so I started going through my supplies looking for an application that may not come to mind in the dead heat of summer. After much deliberation I give you...Christmas in July!

I started with an Aqua Mist base stamped diagonally with a stripe background from Background Basics: Retro in white ink. Then, I stamped my branch onto white cardstock and sponged the edges with Aqua Mist ink. That was adhered to a green scalloped layer and tied with Pure Poppy ribbon.

Next, I drew on my ornament hangers went looking for just the right buttons. I didn't have the perfect red button so I took a great white one and sponged it with reinker and a cotton ball. I realized the trick to even color was to get plenty of the ink on the cotton ball. I heat set the ink when I was happy with the coverage (if you try this at home please make sure to use tweezers and keep your fingers away from the heat). I layered the now red button with a nifty white one for a little extra dimension. I used contrasting thread to stitch on the buttons and add a fun detail.

I stamped my sentiment before mounting my image panel to the card base with foam tape. I'm really happy with this card. The color scheme is so fun and punchy!

So, the voting this week is much like it has been the last couple. The only difference being you don't have to re-register to vote if you've already done so. You may have to log in, but you won't have to re-register. You can go HERE to see everyone's entries and vote for your favorite. Remember: You can only vote once per round! It's going to be a tough decision with so much button-y goodness in the lineup. The voting runs from noon MST today through noon MST on Thursday. This round decides the Top 5 finalists (to be announced on Friday).

Thanks for checking in today! See you soon (I make no promises...I've been sucked into a "brain candy" book series and I can't seem to find my way out)...

Cardstock: Aqua Mist - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore; Leapfrog - Bazzill
Ink: New Leaf, Pure Poppy - Papertrey Ink; Dark Brown Chalk, Frost White - Colorbox
Stamps: Background Basics: Retro, Take A Bough - Papertrey Ink
Tools: Scalloped Border Punch - Fiskars; Needle
Fibers: Red Embroidery Floss, Aqua Embroidery Floss - DMC
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; Buttons - unknown; Silver Pen - Marvy

Friday, July 17, 2009

And Then There Were Ten

Yes, as one very astute crafty friend has noticed, (ahem...Joan) I made it to the Top 10 in the Gallery Idol contest. I saw her comment and had to chuckle. Thank you again to everyone that has supported me thus far! Some of your emails have virtually slapped me with a silly stick and I am so very happy to be advancing. The theme this week is "buttons." I instantly started kicking myself for not ordering at the Papertrey release the other night, but I'm sure I'll come up with something. Stay tuned...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gallery Idol Round 2: Around The House

First of all, thank you to everyone that has left me comments and sent me emails loaded with well wishes. I've got warm fuzzies in spades these days!

Today marks the beginning of Round 2 in the gallery Idol competition. Our theme for this round was to incorporate a household item: chairs, frames, birdcages, lamps, kitchen utensils, pillows, chandeliers, teapots, appliances, dishes, etc. Admittedly, my initial reaction was less than enthusiastic. "How on Earth am I going to make a card incorporating a vacuum cleaner?" I was stumped. The first couple of days were marred with false starts, but I think I managed to successfully pull myself together. I present to big comfy chair.

I designed the chair in Adobe Illustrator and printed it on Spring Moss cardstock. My first step was to reverse mask the image using a piece of copy paper and stamp the plaid pattern in white and Ripe Avocado. That way, when I went to cut it out there wouldn't be plaid lines in the negative space outside the stitching.

Next, I backstitched all of my lines. I did the piping with 3 thread strands of floss while the knots are full strands. I can't do a French Knot to save my life, so those tuft thingies are just plain old double knots. Just keeping it real, Folks. After all the embroidery was done I cut out the image, being very careful to avoid the stitches.

My next step was creating the little dust ruffle. I took a scrap of Spring Moss and stamped it with the same pattern as the rest of the chair. Then I scored it at 1/4" intervals in a peak & valley formation. I did my folding and then scrunched it up in a tiny little ball; unscrunched it and scrunched it again a few times. Then, I did that thing where you separate the layers of cardstock by peeling them away from each other. I think it's called the faux suede technique. Really, I just wanted my paper to be thinner and softer so I could make it look a little more like fabric. It worked out rather well, me thinks. The ruffle was adhered to the back side of the chair with a little red line tape.

I set my little chair aside for a moment while I prepared my base and stamped the Kraft layer with polka dots. Next, I trimmed a strip of Ripe Avocado with pinking shears and adhered that (along with the Kraft) to my base. Finally, I stamped my sentiment, tied on my button with some twine, and mounted my chair with a little foam tape. Doesn't it just look warm and cozy?

So, the voting this week is much like it was last week. The only difference being you don't have to re-register to vote if you've already done so. You may have to log in, but you won't have to re-register. You can go HERE to see everyone's entries and vote for your favorite. Remember: You can only vote once per round! It's going to be a tough decision with so many amazing cards in the lineup. The voting runs from noon MST today through noon MST on Thursday. This round decides the Top 10 finalists (to be announced on Friday).

Thanks for checking in today! See you on the flip side...

Cardstock: Ripe Avocado, Kraft, Spring Moss - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Ripe Avocado - Papertrey Ink; Frost White - Colorbox; Versamark - Tsukineko
Stamps: Polka Dot Basics, Background Basics: Retro, Boards and Beams - Papertrey Ink
Tools: Adobe Illustrator; Pinking Shears; Sewing Needle
Fibers: White Embroidery Floss - DMC; Hemp Cord - Darice
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; Button - unknown

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gallery Idol Update

Yesterday morning the Paper Crafts Blog made the Top 15 announcement. I am happy to reveal that I was on that list! We were busy here, there, and everywhere yesterday for Sean's birthday, so this is the first I've really had a chance to write an update. A great big "Thank you" to all of the folks that went to vote (either for me or someone else). The contest is so much fun and I feel fortunate to be involved.

The theme for the next round is "household items" so I'll be spending my Saturday figuring out how to incorporate a vacuum cleaner into a greeting card. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cheer Up, Buttercup!

I just have a quick card to share today. This encouragement card was done for the Clean & Simple Challenge #19 over at the Splitcoast Stampers website a couple of weeks ago. The challenge was to create a card based on this layout from Natasha Trupp.

I started by randomly stamping my umbrellas in Summer Sunrise and Charcoal inks. Then I added the sentiment and the splashes which were covered in glitter and Glossy Accents. The white panel was matted with Spring Rain cardstock and mounted to a Summer Sunrise base using foam adhesive. I used a white gel pen to accent the corners and called it done.

Thanks for checking in today! I won't see you tomorrow because it's Sean's birthday and we'll be busy checking out the animals and picnicking at the zoo. Have a good day!

Cardstock: Summer Sunrise, Spring Rain - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Summer Sunrise - Papertrey Ink; Seascape, Charcoal - Palette
Stamps: Scattered Showers, Pond Life (splashes) - Papertrey Ink
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; White Gel Pen - Sakura

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

One Last Birthday Card

Good Morning Blogland! I've pre-posted this because we're at the farm today. I imagine I'm slathered in sun screen and up to my elbows in salad greens right now. I'm sure it's a lovely sight (well if comical is lovely in your opinion).

Anyway, today I am going to show you one last card from my Gallery Idol open call submissions and show you a picture of my birthday cake, too. First the card.

This card is where clean and simple meets shabby chic. To start, I cut four squares of patterned paper from October Afternoon and distressed the edges a smidge. Then I pierced around the inside edges and adhered the squares to a piece of blue cardstock in a block pattern. I mounted that square to a Vintage Cream base and fluffed up the edges of the patterned paper again to try and give it as much texture as possible.

Next, I covered the chipboard frame with the opposite side of the patterned paper and used an emery board to weather the edges a little. I stamped the sentiment (Imaginisce, I think) onto a small piece of Vintage Cream. I set that aside while I embellished the frame. The flower leaves are actually narrow strips of silk ribbon that I folded over and secured under the Primas. Once the frame was sufficiently embellished, I adhered it to the sentiment and mounted the whole thing to the patterned paper block.

Cardstock: Vintage Cream - Papertrey Ink; Whirlpool - Bazzill
Stamps: Happy Birthday Sentiment - Imaginisce
Ink: Pear - Paper Salon
Patterned Paper: Picnic Basket - October Afternoon
Fibers: Green Silk Ribbon - May Arts; White Embroidery Floss - DMC
Embellishments: Chipboard Frame - Basic Grey; White flowers - Prima; Brushed Nickel Mini Brads - Making Memories; Buttons - unknown

Now for the cake! I mentioned the other day that it was a Texas Grapefruit Cake. Sean found the recipe in Savour magazine. He thought it looked tasty and knows how much I appreciate all things citrus, so he asked the wonderfully talented Devon to bake the cake and deliver it the day before we arrived home from our trip to Tennessee. The whole drive home I was pestering Sean for clues as to what "the present at home" was, and he was getting annoyed so every once in a while he would break down and give me a snippet of information.

By the time we arrived at the house I was sure it was some sort of strange cocktail ingredients and (honestly) I was a bit of a cranky pants (you'd understand if you knew about the margarita fiasco of Christmas '08). The next thing I know he's presenting me with a big, beautiful cake covered in pretty lettering and roses. I'm rather certain I squealed. At any rate it was fantastic and it's taking us some time to finish. Here's a picture:

Isn't she beautious?

Well thanks for hanging in there and reading all about my 98th birthday card in a row and my unusual taste in birthday cakes. See you tomorrow!

We Have A Winner!

When asked to pick a number, Sean replied "6," giving us our winner, Katy Frame!

Congratulations, Katy! I'll get ahold of you shortly to get your address.

Thanks for playing, everyone!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Gallery Idol Round 1: Wedding

As I mentioned last week, I am unbelievably fortunate in my selection as a Gallery Idol participant again this year. I'm so glad I decided to take the plunge and submit. I forgot how much fun I had with it last year, but those familiar memories came flooding back with that very first acceptance email. Thank you so much, Paper Crafts Editors, for giving me this opportunity again!

In case you've not heard about the Gallery Idol competition let's fill you in, hmmm? (directly from Paper Crafts website)

Paper Crafts Official Gallery Idol Challenge (June 1 - July 31, 2009)

It's back! Paper Crafts is proud to announce that its hugely popular gallery challenge Gallery Idol is back for season three. Last year after eight fierce weeks of competition, we named Nancy Cienfuegos from Orlando, Florida our season two winner. Now we're ready to induct the next paper crafter extraordinaire! Are you ready to win?

Based on Fox's hit TV show American Idol, our version will have readers submitting themed projects every week in hopes of becoming the grand prize idol winner. And just like our TV counterpart, online viewers will vote each week with only the best contestants with the best submissions moving forward in the competition to the next round.

The best part... the perks! Every time a contestant makes it through to the next round, she/he will each receive a fabulous prize package!

This year for our "Open Auditions" round, 276 members submitted 1,254 birthday cards for 20 coveted spots! It was an agonizing decision, but we're confident we got it right with this batch of 20 gals. Their first challenge is to create a wedding card for round one. Voting will begin at noon on Monday, July 6 and run through noon on Thursday, July 9. Make sure you check back here during these times to see all of the Top 20's wedding cards and to vote on your favorite one.

Let the competition begin!

So my card today is my submission for this round (wedding cards). I wanted to create something that had softness and texture, but also a little bit of a fun and a slightly unexpected quality. I hope that translates in my card.

To begin, I made the textured Hazel (light blue) layer by alternately scoring lines with my Scor-Pal and piercing lines to create a sort of monochromatic argyle pattern. I matted the Hazel with Vintage Cream cardstock and added tiny pearls of iridescent paint to the intersections of the scored lines for a little traditional wedding flair. I set that piece aside while the paint dried. My card went through several variations, but I knew I wanted to use this layer, no matter how my layout came together.

Next, I prepared my Kraft base by stamping tiny polka dots in watermark ink and rounding the bottom corners. Then, I took a strip of Ocean Tides cardstock and used my Notch & Die tool to scallop one edge. I adhered that to the Hazel layer and trimmed off the excess. I then wrapped that entire piece with some vintage lace I inherited from my Great Aunt Gina. I have no idea of the age of this trim or where it came from, but I knew its softness was perfect for the look I was trying to achieve. At that point I knew I wanted a little punch of color, so I added a strip of Melon Berry twill ribbon and a light blue button. I finished the ribbon with a delightful swallow tail snip. That panel was then mounted to the base using foam adhesive.

I wanted to use a sentiment that wasn't super conventional and I loved this phrase from the Scattered Showers set. I stamped the sentiment using Ocean Tides ink onto Vintage Cream cardstock and set it aside until I had covered a scalloped Maya Road frame in Melon Berry cardstock. Once those two pieces were adhered together I mounted them to the Hazel layer and took a deep sigh. I'm really happy with it and I hope you all like it, too.

So here's the deal with the voting. It began at 12:00pm MST today (7/6) and runs until 12:00pm MST on Thursday (7/9). This round's voting decides the Top 15. That announcement will be made on Friday. You can go HERE to vote for your favorite card. All of the ladies did an exceptional job and I, for one, am incredibly impressed with everyone. When you get to the website you will need to log in (or create) with your username and register to vote. It takes just a few quick minutes and I'm sure all of the participants would sincerely appreciate your support. Then you just click on the "Save Vote" button on your favorite card's vote page in order to cast your ballot. Keep in mind: you can only vote once per round. It's a hard decision! There 20 amazing cards and 20 amazing crafters.

Thanks for checking in today! Have a great afternoon and I'll see you tomorrow...

Cardstock: Hazel - Bazzill; Kraft, Melon Berry, Vintage Cream, Ocean Tides - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Ocean Tides - Papertrey Ink; Versamark - Tsukineko
Stamps: Scattered Showers, Polka Dot Basics - Papertrey Ink
Embellishments: Melon Berry Twill - Papertrey Ink; Hemp Cord - Darice; Vintage Lace - unknown; Chipboard Frame - Maya Road; Button - unknown
Tools: Notch & Die Tool - Basic Grey; Medium Corner Rounder - EK Success; Scor-Pal
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; White Mist Iridescent Paint - Scribbles

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cupcake Wishes and Polka Dot Dreams

Good morning, Blogland! Today I'm sharing yet another birthday card that I submitted to the open call for Gallery Idol. I'll break it up with a little something different tomorrow, but for today we'll stick with birthday cards.

I started with a Pure Poppy base. I knew I didn't want to leave it plain so I broke out the Borders & Corners: Circle set and went to town. I chose the ring I used because it had polka dots and a circle all wrapped into one. Hooray for polka dotty goodness!

Next I took a piece of Kraft and stamped it with a medium polka dot in watermark ink. On a separate piece of Kraft I stamped my cupcake. I didn't stamp the cherry at all, but when I trimmed around the cupcake I left a space where the cherry would have been positioned. I then stitched the button onto that blank cardstock in place of the cherry.

Before adhering the cupcake with foam tape, I held it in place where I wanted it and lightly drew on a stem in pencil and stamped the sentiment. I backstitched on the stem and sponged the edges before matting the Kraft with a decorative white layer. Lastly, I mounted the entire focal point to the base with foam tape and filled in the polka dots (on the cupcake) with white gel pen.

Don't forget to comment on this post by noon (EST) tomorrow for your chance to win a little package of crafty sweetness.

Enjoy your day and I'll see you tomorrow!

Cardstock: Kraft, Pure Poppy - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Burnt Umber - Palette; Versamark - Tsukineko; Frost White - Colorbox
Stamps: Everyday Classics (limited edition), Borders & Corners: Circle, Faux Ribbon, Polka Dot Basics - Papertrey Ink
Fibers: Red Embroidery Thread - DMC
Tools: Apron Lace Border Punch - Fiskars; Medium Corner Rounder (green) - EK Success
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; Button

Saturday, July 4, 2009

It's Your Day

Hello, blog friends! Happy Independence Day to all of my United States friends. Today's project is a birthday card that I made for the Gallery Idol open call.

I started with a gray base and added layers of Vintage Cream and patterned paper from Imaginisce. I love this paper because it has spot lacquer on some of the numbers. It's difficult to see in the picture, but it adds such a fun texture in person.

Next, I stamped the sentiment on cream cardstock that I matted with a layer of bright aqua. Then, I backstitched with aqua embroidery floss. I set the sentiment panel aside while I covered the chipboard star with Pure Poppy cardstock and stitched on an aqua button.

Then, I cut slits into the sentiment panel and added foam tape before wrapping Pure Poppy Saddle Stitched ribbon around the base and threading it through the sentiment panel. I finished the ribbon with a simple knot and attached the star to the sentiment panel. Not a super complicated card, but I'm really happy with my finished product.

Don't forget to comment on this post for your chance to win a little present. You have until noon (EST) on Monday to enter, so get those comments in early!

I hope you all have a fun holiday weekend. Be safe and be smart. See you all later!

Cardstock: Pure Poppy, Vintage Cream - Papertrey Ink; Gravel, Pool - Paper Source
Stamps: Star Prints - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Charcoal - Palette
Fibers: Aqua Embroidery Floss, White Embroidery Floss - DMC; Pure Poppy Saddle Stitched Ribbon - Papertrey Ink
Other: Chipboard Star - Basic Grey; Foam Tape - Scotch; Aqua button

Friday, July 3, 2009

All Sorts of News & A Present

So...I've had a big week and I'm super excited to share. Since I last wrote:

* I made it into the Top 20 of Paper Crafts magazine's Gallery Idol Competition (you'll be hearing more about this soon)

* I booked a flight to and hotel at the CHA Craft Supershow in Orlando at the end of the month. I even have a super fun roomie!

* And...I turned 25.

Since I can't send you a piece of the Texas Grapefruit Cake (super YUM!) Sean had made for my birthday, I guess I'll have to send one lucky winner a little something not so sugary, but still sweet. How about:

A current issue of Paper Crafts Magazine (July/August - The Eco Issue)
A package of Rubons from the Blue Hill Collection from Crate Paper
A package of Chipboard buttons from the Blue Hill Collection from Crate Paper
A spool of Melon Berry Saddle Stitched Ribbon from Papertrey Ink

I'll try and get a picture and update that later.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post telling me about a birthday cake you've had and totally loved. Are you a yellow cake and chocolate frosting fiend or do you prefer pie? Let me know and you'll be entered to win my little prize. Have a good day and I'll see you all tomorrow with some sort of project (I really mean it this time).

*EDIT*-I forgot to mention the cut off to enter for the giveaway is noon EST on Monday.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Road Trip!

Sean and I are trekking our happy selves down to Tennessee (to visit Mom and Henry) this evening until late this week, so I may be a bit scarce between now and then. I was hoping to have something to share before we headed out, but I'm afraid that isn't likely. You see, it's 3 hours to Wapner and I still have a "t'do" list that needs t'done. And it's long. It was longer, but I've been chipping away at it steadily for the last few days. Yesterday I checked "go get license renewed" off the list. It wasn't crowded (for a Saturday morning) and I made the DMV lady chuckle, so all-in-all a rather successful trip. I love making crabby people chuckle. It gives me a bit of a thrill. How's that for living on the edge?

Anyway...enjoy your week and I'll return to blogland before you know it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Funny Little Story

I'm sorry I've been missing. I've been working on projects all week that aren't ready to be shared. I've been mulling over some things this week that I'd like to discuss, but I need a few more days to formulate my thoughts. In the meantime...

I wanted to share a funny little story that Sean told me when he arrived home from basketball this evening. He was driving home and he had stopped at a light when a car of young college girls pulled up and rolled down their window to talk to him. The conversation went something like this:

Young College Girls (YCG): Hi there. What are you up to?

Cutie Patootie Hubs (CPH): Just got done playing basketball.

YCG: Looks that way. Hey, we're going to a party (Really?! It's a Monday night.) do you want to come along?

CPH: I don't think so.

YCG: What's your name?

CPH: "Happily Married For Five And A Half Years."

Light turns green. He drives home to tell me the story.

I love that man.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Little Announcement

I am super excited to be included in the Columbus Crafty Cotillion Handmade Expo on Saturday, August 8th. The event will be held at the Family Fun Pavilion at the Ohio State Fair from 12-7 o'clock. There are other special events at the fair that day including an Ohio Roller Girls bout and a mural painting demo by Adam Brouillette. I hope you'll join us at the fair!

P.S. And if the indie events aren't enough to entice you... we're right next to the giant slide.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Father's Day #2

When I asked Sean what he wanted on his dad's Father's Day card he looked around my room and said "How about something the owl." Well, alright. I was happy to oblige.

I stamped the owl onto white cardstock, colored him, and cut him out with precision scissors. Then, I stamped the branch and "dad" onto Kraft cardstock. After coloring my branch I added my owl with foam tape and adhered the Kraft to a Dark Chocolate layer. I added a couple of stitches and set that aside while I stamped my polka dotted background. I saw Nichole Heady do this during the Papertrey Ink countdown and I knew I wanted to try it. You stamp one size polka dot first and then go back and fill in another size in the gaps. I really like the way it looks. Sort of retro chic, right? Anyway, I sponged the edges of my patterned layer and adhered it to a white base. To finish, I adhered my image panel to the center of the card and added dimensional glaze to the owl's eyes.

I hope he likes it! I'll see you again tomorrow with some fabulous (yet unproduced) project. Have a great day!

Cardstock: Kraft, Dark Chocolate - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore; Blue (I'm not sure of the actual color) - Bazzill
Ink: Burnt Umber - Palette; Frost White - Colorbox
Stamps: Pretty Birds - Cornish Heritage Farms (Kim Hughes Collection); Polka Dot Basics - Papertrey Ink; Dad Sentiment - Studio G
Fibers: White Embroidery Floss - DMC
Other: Colored Pencils - Prismacolor; Mineral Spirits; Foam Tape - Scotch; Glossy Accents - Ranger; Sponge

June Guest Star Stamper

Good afternoon, Lovelies! I still plan to share my father-in-law's Father's Day card, but first I'd like to share my Papertrey Ink Guest Star Stamper project from this month. I made a wreath using Star Prints and a styrofoam wreath form. It was a really easy project and I love how it turned out!

I started by wrapping the wreath form (a 10" size) with grosgrain ribbon. It took quite a bit of ribbon (12+ yards), but I'm sure if you used a wider ribbon it would take far less. I used 3/8" because that's what I had on hand. I anchored the ends with Glue Dots and they are holding really well. Next I stamped my stars in a few different patterns using three ink colors. The cutting of the stars went super fast because Nichole, being a genius, coordinated the images in Star Prints to a Fiskars punch. Amazing!

I arranged my first layer of stars before gluing them down. The color progression was purposeful, but the pattern arrangement was random and I wanted to make sure I liked the result. I hot glued the first layer and then added a second layer with foam tape (I left a space where I wanted to place my hanger). Then I made a hanger from a length of Spring Rain ribbon and a corduroy brad. A bow was the perfect finishing touch (also hot glued in place)!

Thanks for checking in this afternoon! I'll share my Father's Day card a little later. Until then, have a great day!

Cardstock: Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Pure Poppy - Papertrey Ink; Prussian Blue, Seascape - Palette
Stamps: Star Prints - Papertrey Ink
Fibers: Spring Rain Saddle Stitched Ribbon - Papertrey Ink; Red Grosgrain - Offray
Tools: XL Twinkle, Twinkle Punch - Fiskars; Hot Glue Gun
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; Corduroy Brad - Imaginisce; Glue Dots; 10" Wreath Form - Joann

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Father's Day #1

Hello, Blogland! I've been working on Father's Day cards for our papas this week and I'll share one today and one tomorrow. We'll start with the card I made for my daddy. He's a big coffee drinker, so I went with a coffee theme for his card this year.

I began by stamping the coffee cup onto Kraft cardstock (outline first, solid second) and cut that out using precision scissors. I stamped the sentiment and saucer images onto another piece of Kraft before adhering it to a Dark Chocolate layer. Then I mounted the coffee cup with foam tape and stitched on the button. I set the image panel aside while I stamped the stitched background onto Spring Moss cardstock. The final step was mounting the image panel to the base and smiling with satisfaction (I'm only kidding about that last part).

I'm hoping to drive up to visit this weekend and I'll make sure to take a pound of Stauff's coffee to sweeten the pot.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day and visit again soon!

Cardstock: Spring Moss, Kraft, Dark Chocolate - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Burnt Umber - Palette; Ripe Avocado - Papertrey Ink; Frost White, Dark Brown Chalk - Colorbox
Stamps: Warm Happiness, Background Basics: Retro - Papertrey Ink; Father's Day $1 Stamp - Studio G (Michaels)
Fibers: Dark Green - DMC
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; White Button - Papertrey Ink

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Another Summertime Birthday

Good evening, Blogland! I hope you've all had a lovely weekend. Today we had dinner with Sean's family in celebration of Grandma's birthday. It was great to see everyone and eat a delicious meal together in honor of such a sweet lady. So today I am sharing Grandma's birthday card. I'm so glad she liked it! I'm pretty sure it's an unwritten faux pas to give grandmas bad birthday cards. Anyway, here it is...

I started by stamping the multi-line image in white ink onto a Kraft base. I wrapped that with a knotted piece of Sweet Blush twill and set it aside. Then I stamped the stem and leaf onto a small piece of white cardstock. I took a pushpin and pierced along the stem and the outer edge of the leaf. Then I backstitched through the holes using half a full strand (or three threads) of embroidery floss. I adhered that to a piece of Ripe Avocado before mounting both layers to a piece of Spring Moss (which had already been stamped with my sentiment). I added a decorative strip of cardstock to the Spring Moss before mounting the whole piece to the Kraft base.

Next, I stamped the poppy from Remember onto white cardstock in Burnt Umber and Sweet Blush inks. I've learned (and I think this may be mentioned in the Papertrey Tip Sheet, too) that it is much easier to line up solid and outline stamps if you use the outline first. I also stamped the solid part twice to make the color a little more saturated and vibrant. I cut out the bloom with scissors and stitched on the brown button with a piece of white embroidery floss (this time using the entire strand and going through the holes twice). Finally, I mounted that to the image panel using foam tape.

Tonight is the Papertrey release and I am so excited to see the sets in their entirety! Hope to catch you on the forum...

Cardstock: Ripe Avocado, Spring Moss, Kraft - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Spring Moss, Sweet Blush - Papertrey Ink; Burnt Umber - Palette; Frost White - Colorbox
Stamps: Remember, Birthday Basics, Background Basics: Retro - Papertrey Ink
Tools: Apron Lace Border Punch - Fiskars; Push Pin; Needle
Fibers: Dark Green Embroidery Floss, White Embroidery Floss - DMC; Sweet Blush Twill - Papertrey Ink
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; Brown Button

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

It's my daddy's birthday! Happy Birthday, Daddy! So today I'm going to share the card I made in birthday celebration.

I started by stamping the small star from Everyday Classics onto white cardstock with Seascape ink. Then, I stamped the birthday sentiment using charcoal ink and punched out the sentiments using a circle punch. I adhered those circles to slightly larger circles I cut from Smoky Shadow cardstock. I cut out my stars and mounted them to the center of the circles using foam tape and set aside those star medallions for a moment.

Next I went about creating the patterned layer of my card. I stamped the stitched background from Background Basics: Retro in white ink onto Spring Rain cardstock and sponged the edges with charcoal. All that blue and gray was looking a little dreary, so I wrapped the Spring Rain layer with a bit of Pure Poppy twill to give the card a little pop. I adhered the blue layer to a white base before adding the star medallions on top of the twill with foam tape.

I hope he likes the card (and his present) as much as I do! Until next time...

Cardstock: Spring Rain, Smoky Shadow - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Seascape, Charcoal - Palette; Frost White - Colorbox
Stamps: Around & About Sentiments, Everyday Classics (Limited Edition), Background Basics: Retro - Papertrey Ink
Tools: 1 1/4" Circle Punch - Creative Memories; 1 1/2" Circle Punch - EK Success
Fibers: Pure Poppy Twill - Papertrey Ink
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; Sponge

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lovey Dovey

Hello my beautiful blog friends! I hope you're having a wonderful day! Today's project is a lovey dovey card I made recently. I've had a few requests for wedding/engagement/congratulations cards lately and I suppose all that joy put me in the mood for love. So today's card is one of those that I'll slip my husband on a random day to let him know just how sweet he is (can I get a collective awww?).

I started with a Kraft base stamped with a medium polka dot in burnt umber ink (I left a blank space where I was going to adhere my vellum layer because I didn't want my polka dots to compete with the texture of the vellum). Next, I took some (aforementioned) linen vellum and punched one side with my apron lace punch. The really nice thing about this vellum is its thickness. Forget vellum tape; I adhered this stuff to the base using basic ATG adhesive and you can't even see the line. Love that!

Then I die cut two hearts (one from chipboard and one from Pure Poppy cardstock) and stamped the medium polka dot in watermark ink over the red heart. Next I die cut the label and stamped the sentiment in burnt umber.

The next part is a little difficult to explain so stick with me. I placed my heart on my label where I wanted it to eventually be mounted and I punched a hole through both pieces. I took thin hemp twine and wrapped it around the label, threading it through the hole and knotting it in place (sort of tying it onto itself). That makes the knot really sturdy and allows it to stay in place even on the curved edge of the label. Then, I threaded the linen through the hole in the heart and mounted the heart to the label with foam tape. Once the heart was affixed, I tied on the button. I took that whole piece and mounted it to the base using foam tape.

The last steps were to round the corners and wrap the base with Pure Poppy ribbon, tying a pretty knot.

I hope you've enjoyed today's card. Tell someone you love them and I'll see you again soon!

Cardstock: Pure Poppy, Kraft, Linen Vellum - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Burnt Umber - Palette; Versamark - Tsukineko
Stamps: Polka Dot Basics, Faux Ribbon - Papertrey Ink
Tools: Nestibilities Label 1 Dies - Spellbinders; Apron Lace Punch - Fiskars; Medium Corner Rounder - EK Success; Hearts, Flowers & Tag Die - Sizzix
Fibers: Pure Poppy Saddle Stitched Ribbon - Papertrey Ink; Hemp Twine - Darice
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; White button - Papertrey Ink; Chipboard

Monday, June 8, 2009

Wall Frames Part 3

Today we have the final chapter of my wall frames explanation. I hope you've enjoyed seeing how I put these little lovelies together! If you've missed the past posts you can catch up by reading the studio tour post here, part one of the wall frames here, and part two of the wall frames here.

The first frame for today is the owl frame.

I started by typesetting and printing the quote onto Kraft cardstock. Then I stamped the branch onto the base and an owl onto scrap cardstock. Those were colored using colored pencils and mineral spirits. I cut out the owl with precision scissors and mounted him above the branch with foam tape. The last step was adding a little glaze to the owl's eyes to make them all shiny. Isn't he cute?!

The next frame today is the Earth laughs frame.

I started this one with the pin dot stamp from Polka Dot basics in watermark ink on Spring Moss cardstock. Then I stamped the stems and the quote onto the base. The flowers were stamped onto white cardstock and cut with precision scissors before being mounted to the base with foam adhesive. I wanted the larger flower to stand out so I bedazzled it with a clear rhinestone.

This last one is my very, very favorite of the bunch. It's my dandelion frame.

I began by stamping the stitched background onto my Kraft base using watermark ink. I love this background. It reminds me of my grandpa. It looks like his jammies. I'm sure he would have loved me telling the world he wore stitched jammies. Anyway...after the background, I stamped my dandelion in white ink. The stem on this stamp is actually a lot shorter than it would appear, but I knew I was going to stitch over the stem, so I just placed the stamp where I wanted it to land. The sentiment took me awhile to figure out (layered scalloped circle, unlayered scalloped circle, unlayered regular cirlcle, etc), but I finally settled on making a sort of pierced frame using a couple of my scalloped and regular circle dies and a regular ol' pushpin (no fancy schmancy piercers for me). I glued on the frame first to make sure I would get my placement right for the sentiment. After my sentiment had dried, I backstitched the dandelion stem using dark green embroidery floss and applied glitter and glaze to all the little bitty dots on the dandelion head. The final result is subtly sparkly and has amazing texture.

Well, that's all of them. I hope you've enjoyed getting to see all of these up close. Tomorrow's our first day at the farm for this season, so I may not post until Wednesday. We'll see. Until next time...

Recipe (owl frame):
Cardstock: Kraft - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Burnt Umber - Palette
Stamps: Pretty Birds (Kim Hughes Collection) - Cornish Heritage Farms
Other: Colored Pencils - Prismacolor; Mineral Spirits; Foam Tape - Scotch; Font: Atilla Normal; Glossy Accents - Ranger

Recipe (Earth laughs frame):
Cardstock: Spring Moss - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Melon Berry, Ripe Avocado - Papertrey Ink; Versamark - Tsukineko
Stamps: Green Thumb, Honey Bees, Polka Dot Basics - Papertrey Ink
Other: Clear Rhinestone - Darice; Foam Tape - Scotch

Recipe (dandelion frame):
Cardstock: Kraft, Dark Chocolate - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Frost White - Colorbox; Versamark - Tsukineko
Stamps: Star Prints, Background Basics Retro - Papertrey Ink; Dandelion - Paper Source
Tools: Nesting Circles; Nesting Flowers - Quickuts; push pin; sewing needle
Fibers: Dark Green Embroidery Floss - DMC
Other: Glitter Pen - Sakura; Glossy Accents - Ranger

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wall Frames Part 2

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's installment of my wall frames explanation. Today I am going to show you the next three frames in the series. Again, if you're just joining us you can get all caught up with the original studio tour post here and part one of the wall frames here.

The first frame for today is the viney quote frame.

I started by stamping the solid and outline vines from Rustic Branches along with the solid berries onto a piece of Spring Moss. I continued by adding glitter and glaze to all of the berries to give a little visual interest. The quote stamp is a $1 stamp from Michael's that I bought ages ago. I die cut a circle, stamped the quote, and sponged the edges before adhering it to a scalloped circle. That whole piece was then mounted to the base with foam adhesive. This frame may be one of my favorites.

Next we have the new beginnings frame.

I stamped a medium-sized polka dot onto my Kraft base with watermark ink and set that aside. Then I die cut a bracket from white cardstock and stamped my bird nest and sentiment before inking the edges of the bracket. Often I will do the cutting first if I'm using a die cut for my main image. I don't want to have to worry that the die is going to shift during the cutting process and ruin my stamped image. I do the opposite though when I'm using a punch. After mounting the image panel I wrapped the base with dark chocolate twill and stitched on a button. Finally, I added glaze to the eggs and called it done.

Today's final frame is the delicate branch frame.

I started by stamping my branch and leaves onto my Spring Moss base. I wanted to add little white fuzzy buds, so I stamped polka dots and applied white Fun Flock with liquid glue (I find liquid glue works best with flocking). Then, I wrapped by base with dark chocolate twill. I knew I wanted to add my sentiment using a bracket shape, but I didn't have one on hand, so I designed my own and cut it from thin chipboard. I covered my chipboard with white cardstock and stamped my sentiment before sponging the edges and adhering the whole piece to the base with brads.

I hope you're enjoying seeing a more in-depth look at the vignette in my studio. I'll be back tomorrow with the final three frames. Have a great night!

Recipe (viney quote frame):
Cardstock: Spring Moss - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore, coral - Bazzill
Ink: Spring Moss, Ripe Avocado, Melon Berry - Papertrey Ink
Stamps: Rustic Branches - Papertrey Ink; $1 Quote Stamp - Michael's
Tools: Nesting Circles, Nesting Flowers - Quickutz
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; Glitter Pen - Sakura; Glossy Accents - Ranger; Sponge

Recipe (new beginnings frame):
Cardstock: Kraft - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Seascape, Burnt Umber - Palette; Versamark - Tsukineko
Stamps: Birds Of A Feather, Polka Dot Basics - Papertrey Ink
Tools: Labels 1 Nestibilities - Spellbinders
Fibers: Dark Chocolate Twill - Papertrey Ink; White Embroidery Floss - DMC
Other: Foam Tape - Scotch; Button; Sponge

Recipe (delicate branch frame):
Cardstock: Spring Moss - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Burnt Umber - Palette; Ripe Avocado, Spring Moss - Papertrey Ink; Frost White - Colorbox
Stamps: Out On A Limb, Out On A Limb Additions; Remember; Polka Dot Basics - Papertrey Ink
Fibers: Dark Chocolate Twill - Papertrey Ink
Other: White Fun Flock - Stampendous; Leaf Mini Brads - American Crafts; Zig 2 Way Glue Pen - Kuretake; Chipboard; Sponge

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wall Frames Part 1

ETA: I should have mentioned that these are the frames that I showed on this post last week. The frames are from Target's dollar spot, but I got them awhile ago and they don't have them right now. I remember getting them when they had their "back to college/dorm room decor" stuff for sale if you want to check back in the fall.

I'm going to break the wall frames explanations into three posts and today is the first of those three. I'm including a recipe for each frame at the end of the post.

First up is the tree frame.

I used a Kim Hughes set for the trees and stamped the tree tops using Polka Dot basics from Papertrey Ink. The quote I typeset and printed from my computer in a dark brown ink onto Kraft cardstock. The tree trunks were colored using colored pencils and mineral spirits. The dark green tree top is mounted to the base with foam adhesive. I finished this image with a little hand stitching around the edge.

Next is the peaceful poppy frame.

I started by stamping the pin dot from Polka Dot basics in white ink on Spring Moss Cardstock. Then I stamped the stem, leaves, and sentiment before mounting the poppy to the base using foam tape. I used white Fun Flock on the center of the poppy and then colored it in with a dark brown Sharpie after the adhesive had dried.

Last, but not least is the birdhouses frame.

I love birdhouses. I'm not sure what it is about them, but they make me all weak in the knees and forgetful about budgets. Anyway... I started this frame by stamping the pin dot again, this time onto Kraft cardstock. Then I stamped and colored my birdhouses. I wrapped some olivey green ribbon around the base and anchored it on one end with a white brad. On the other end I mounted the "Home Sweet Home" sentiment with foam tape.

Recipe (Tree Frame):
Cardstock: Kraft, Spring Moss - Papertrey Ink; Dark Green - Bazzill
Ink: Burnt Umber - Palette; Ripe Avocado - Papertrey Ink; Versamark - Tsukineko
Stamps: Spring Trees (Kim Hughes Collection) - Cornish Heritage Farms; Polka Dot Basics - Papertrey Ink
Other: Colored Pencils - Prismacolor; Green Embroidery Floss - DMC; Font - Mufferaw; Foam Tape - Scotch; Mineral Spirits

Recipe (Peaceful Poppy Frame):
Cardstock: Spring Moss - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Melon Berry, Spring Moss, Ripe Avocado - Papertrey Ink; Burnt Umber - Palette; Frost White - Colorbox
Stamps: Polka Dot Basics, Remember - Papertrey Ink
Other: White Fun Flock - Stampendous; Foam Adhesive - Scotch; Dark Brown Marker - Sharpie

Recipe (Birdhouses Frame):
Cardstock: Kraft - Papertrey Ink; Ultimate White - Strathmore
Ink: Burnt Umber - Palette; Frost White - Colorbox
Stamps: Bird Watching, Polka Dot Basics, Boards & Beams - Papertrey Ink
Other: Green double-stitched grosgrain - Michaels; White mini brad - American Crafts; Foam Tape - Scotch; Colored Pencils - Prismacolor; Mineral Spirits