Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Clean and Simple (CAS) Christmas...

I have taken the lead from some other stamping divas to create some CAS (clean and simple) cards that don't require a lot of time or accessories for the holidays. I was so late in getting cards out last year (it was actually closer to New Years!) that I vowed not to get that behind this year.

This card is one we will be making at my stamp class on Friday night and I think it's simple elegance really belies it's simplicity. I stamped the Home for Christmas image in Memento Tuxedo Black: I like this black ink because it gives great detail and is truly black. The wreath was colored with Real Red marker to make it a focal point
in a relatively monochromatic card. The image was cut out using a deckled edge nested die and mounted on dimensionals to give it some perspective. The deckle edge seemed to work best with this image because it forgives the asymmetric angle this image seems to have.

I kept the colors simple with the Night & Day Designer Paper, Red, Black and White and tried to adhere to the principle of repeating elements/colors in groups of three for symmetry. I originally tied the wide red grosgrain ribbon with the silver cord, but realized it would look better with a black button to finish it off a bit, so a dig through my neighbor's button stash and I was done! Gotta love friends who save as many bits as I do! I repeated the same DP with red edge on the inside to make it a bit more formal and make the inside greeting stand out.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you Friday!


Paper: Night & Day DP, Basic Black, Real Red, Whisper White
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Real Red marker
Accessories: Wide Red grosgrain ribbon, Modern Label Punch, silver cord, Sizzix Big Shot machine, dimensionals (Stampin' Up); black button, deckle edge die

Monday, September 28, 2009

Falling leaves...

I love the new leaf set by Stampin' Up with it's delicate veins and details and have been anxious to get to something that approximates Fall to use it. It will still be awhile here in Houston before we feel the cooler breezes of fall (the rest of the country will likely be ensconced in full-blown winter by then!), but I like to fantasize that there is actually a change of seasons!

I wanted to keep this card relatively simple so that the detail of the leaves really stood out. I played with so many different inks and embossing powders to find the look I was searching for. In the end, I stamped the maple leaf in chocolate chip classic ink on the card background, then sponged the edges of the card to soften the look. I used the striped side of the DP which had a host of colors to choose from for the leaves and a wide ric rac that I found recently (I LOVE ric rac!)

I then stamped the maple leaf again in Chocolate Chip craft and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. The oak leaf was stamped in Bermuda Bay, an odd color for a leaf, but it matched with the background paper so I went with it! A close second for the maple leaf in my trials was copper craft ink with copper embossing powder- love that shimmery copper look for leaves!

The greeting was stamped with Chocolate Chip Classic ink, cut out with a nesting die on my Sizzix machine and sponged to make it a bit more mellow. A few copper brads and it was ready to be mounted with dimensionals on the card front. The card felt like it was missing something, so I added a button tied with hemp twine over the leaves which I think finished it off.

Thanks for stopping by~ If you're coming to the class Friday, I will be posting the other cards we will be making in the class each day this week, so check it out!


Very Vanilla, Autumn Meadows

Chocolate Chip Classic & Craft, Bermuda Bay

Accessories: Wide ric rac, double ended label die, Sizzix Machine, copper brads, clear embossing powder, heat tool, button, hemp twine, dimensionals

Spooky house...

I can't believe a week has flown by since I last posted a card- it was a crazy week at work last week and I was certainly glad to see a weekend off! It was another very early start on Saturday, though (5:30am-yikes!), because DD had her first triathlon. She is only 10 and she has been asking to participate in a kids' tri for over a year now, so this was her first foray and I can tell it won't be the last. She came in third for the 10 y.o. girls' division and had so much fun! I spent the rest of the weekend lazying around, talking with some friends and playing around in my craft room. I have a class coming up this Friday, so I needed to get working on the projects we are going to make this week!
I had a request to use this stamp set and I am not as gifted as some at making scenes, so I thought we would work on masking and sponging to make a creepy sky behind the house. I stamped the haunted house in Basic Black Craft ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder (may use black EP for the class to make it even darker). I punched out a scrap paper circle with a 1 3/8" circle punch and temporarily glued it over the moon as a "mask" so my moon would remain white while sponging in the sky. This is a great technique to layer images when creating a scene, sponge in a sky or add other elements to your background without marring you main image. I made the halo around the moon darkest, then sponged toward the periphery.

I colored in the windows with Summer Sun marker to make them glow. I stamped the image in Basic Black, punched out with the scallop oval punch, then layered it on a black oval punched out with the wide oval punch. A quick tie with some wide Olive ribbon and it's a spooky, fast Halloween card!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great Monday!


Paper: Elegant Eggplant, Basic Black, Whisper White, Cast-a-Spell DP
Ink: Basic Black Craft and Classic, Summer Sun marker, Elegant Eggplant
Accessories: Wide Olive grosgrain ribbon, scallop oval punch, wide oval punch, sponge, scrap paper, dimensionals

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Groovy Girl...

Goodness the weekend went fast! Somehow I lost track of time after Thursday and haven't had a minute to catch up with anything but work. The theme of the weekend was influenza and how bad it can be- so get your flu shot early!!!

This is a card I made for DD's birthday awhile back and I had to bed to get it back to take a photo of it. I wanted to make her a special card this year just from mommy and Elzybell is just the stamp- she looks so much like Emily with her long hair and perky smile!

I've become addicted to Kraft cards as a base- they are kind of brown, but a bit more neutral and match with everything! For this card, I punched a scallop edge on the floral DP, tacked it down to the card base with some glue on the middle and the lower edge, then stitched the top edge with a zigzag stitch. I have gotten so much pleasure out of stitching on cards that my poor machine hasn't seen fabric in a long time! The long rectangular layers were done in the same way then adhered to the card with dimensionals.

The Elzybell image (lovin' the bug!) was stamped with black pigment ink and colored with copics. The image was cut out using a nested oval die and the background colored in while the die was still in place to leave a clean white edge around the image. The image was layered onto two more nested die cut layers and adhered to the card front. The "exhaust" flowers were stamped then highlighted with rhinestones in the center for a bit of glitz. The greeting was computer generated and cut by hand.

My girlie girl was all over this card and the stamp set (I think she thought the stamp set should have been in her birthday basket!).

Thanks for stopping by and have a great Monday- if there is such a thing!

Paper: Kraft, Regal Rose, Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, K&Co Mat pack
Memento Tuxedo Black

Copics, nested dies, Sizzix die cut machine, pink rhinestones, scallop edge punch, sewing machine, dimensionals

Thursday, September 17, 2009

One of those days...

Today was one of those days at work that was too surreal to be true- you just can't make up stories that would be as crazy! Such is my amazing life in medicine! Today's issues reminded me of a joke my sister sent me by email:

What's the difference between bird flu and swine flu? One needs "tweetment" and the other needs "oinkment"!

OK, on to less taxing and much more fun topics- stamping! Awhile back, when I was in the mood to color, I stamped and colored a stack of images one weekend morning- just me in my craft room, my coffee, my Copics and Nora Jones- bliss! Sometimes I find it therapeutic to stamp a bunch of random images that I like, color them the way I think they look good, with no immediate intention of making a card. It's a bit freeing to just color like a kid! When I needed a special birthday card last week for my friend, Yvette, I pulled an image from that pile, then constructed a card around the image- it's a bit backward, and a bit more challenging, but fun!

This image is from Unity, colored in greens and blues- a funky, simple stamp that I really like! I wanted a bit of texture for the background, so I ran the Brilliant Blue CS through my Sizzix machine with one of the new Stampin' Up embossing folders called "Finial Press". If you sand some cardstocks, you can reveal the inner white layer and make it look a bit weathered. Since Stampin' Up cardstock is full-thickness color (usually a very good thing!), I sponged white craft ink on the embossed image to make it stand out a bit.

I dug through some of my paper stash for a coordinating green (a challenge for those who know me well, as I tend to live in the natural or Earth Elements colors and not the Bold Brights!) and use Chocolate Chip in the ribbon and one of the layers to give it a bit of contrast/grounding. I am trying to pay a bit more attention to the "rule of threes" when I stamp lately, as I notice it really does lead your eye to repeat colors or similar elements in threes and balance the card or page.

The greeting was stamped and cut out using a nested die tag, then tied with some narrow chocolate twill that I have been "saving" (aka hoarding) for awhile.
It was a fun card to make and my friend has given it a nice sunny spot in her office- hopefully it brightens her day as much as it did mine to make it! Thanks for stopping by- tomorrow's another day!


Supplies: Stamps: Unity KOM
Brilliant Blue, Chocolate Chip, Gable Green, Whisper White, DP

Brown pigment ink

Copics, nested dies, Sizzix machine, narrow chocolate twill ribbon, dimensionals

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Pendant Park set...

When I saw the "Pendant Park" set in the new catalog, layouts for so many cards swirled in my head and I am just beginning to play with this lovely set a bit. I was challenged today to make a *slightly* masculine sympathy card for a friend. Since all my other samples were reeking with estrogen, I knew I needed to go a different route and this set seemed to fit the bill. I was also determined to keep up with my challenge to use paper I already have as inspiration for personal card projects, hence my design below.

The card is my favorite 5.75" square (I'm not paying the postage this time-ha!) with DP from a lovely retired set called Enchante´. The tree from the Pendant park set was inked with Old Olive, then the stem lightly colored over with a Chocolate Chip marker before stamping. The image and the Chocolate Chip background were cut out using a *nested die* on the Sizzix machine and mounted on the card with dimensionals for a bit more depth.

Thanks to a friend from Splitcoast, I have mastered the art of the multi-layer bow and love the extra touch it gives. The card is finished off with the sympathy greeting, punched out with the new Modern Label punch (absolutely love that!), and a few Dew Drops. Clean, simple and heartfelt.

Thanks for stopping by!

Paper: Enchante´DP, Kraft, Whisper White, Chocolate Chip
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Old Olive
Accessories: Celery Organdy ribbon, Modern Label Punch, dimensionals, Sizzix machine (Stampin' Up), Dew Drops, nested dies

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

With Sympathy...

Life seems to roll in threes (or sixes or just a persistent level of kharma!). Unfortunately, I have been in great need of sympathy cards over the past few months- deaths of colleagues' spouses, parents- it just seems to be the cycle right now. There doesn't seem that there is much I can offer, except for a handmade card and some heartfelt sympathy.

These are two of the cards I made recently using the same stamp sets, but different inks and paper, each with their own look. They both use the "Wish Sticks" stamp from Unity. Both cards are 5.75" squares (which fit great in 6" square envelopes

In this first card, I used markers to ink the stamp with Regal Rose and Old Olive and stamped on Vanilla CS. The image was cut out with deckled edge nesting dies and layered onto Basic Grey "Sugared" DP. I sponged Close to Cocoa ink on all the edges to give it a softer feel- it also makes bigger size cards feel less stark. The greeting was stamped with a set from Flourishes, which I like because it's a bit more formal.

Paper: Regal Rose, Very Vanilla (Stampin' Up), Sugared (Basic Grey) Ink: Regal Rose, Old Olive, Close to Cocoa Accessories: Sizzix Big Shot machine, Cream Organdy ribbon, dimensionals, sponges, Pretties kit pearls (Stampin' Up), nested dies

In the second card, I wanted a softer, more feminine feel so the card is made from Pink Pirouette with coordinating DP from a K&Co mat pad that I have has stashed for some time (harken back to the paper hoarding...). I colored the flower petals with Pink Pirouette, then over colored the centers with Regal Rose to give it a bit more contrast. I used the same greeting and ribbon, but a bit different layout to change it up a bit.

These would also make pretty birthday or shower cards- hopefully better days ahead to celebrate with friends. Thanks for stopping by!

Paper: Pink Pirouette, Very Vanilla (Stampin' Up), K&Co mat paper pack Ink: Regal Rose, Old Olive, Close to Cocoa Accessories: Sizzix Big Shot machine, Cream Organdy ribbon, dimensionals, sponges,
Pretties kit pearls (Stampin' Up), nested dies

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Confessions of a paper hoarder...

I have been trying ot organize and clean out my craft room, but keep getting distracted to make new cards when I come across a great paper/stamp! I am definitely a paper hoarder (and ribbon addict) and it's become a serious sickness. I keep seeing beautiful papers that "I need" and I buy them- hence the storage issues in my craft room-LOL! I have made a resolution to use paper I already have (what a concept!) as a jumping off point.

I painstakingly colored this stamp (twice because DD caused me to smudge the first one!) with Chocolate Chip, Real Red and Bordering Blue then stamped the image on WW. Adhered all the layers and panels and added the Dewdrops as a last minute touch. I saw a LO that used panels in the opposite direction and got stuck on the general scheme- you may be seeing some Christmas cards with a similar design...

Thanks for stopping by!

Paper: Bordering Blue, Real Red, Whisper White, Chocolate Chip, Cosmo Cricket Dutch Girl (anna & Audrey) Ink: Bordering Blue, Real Red, Chocolate Chip Accessories: White taffeta ribbon, Sizzix die cut machine, dimensionals (Stampin' Up); nested dies, Dew Drops

The bird of friendship...

Happy Sunday! I hope it's a bit sunnier and less humid than here in Houston-ugh! I am so ready for the first real cool front to blow through- unfortunately that's probably at least a month away!

This was a card we made at my last stamp class and it was a big hit. I wasn't sure about some of the new In Colors, but they are starting to grow on me. The bird image was first colored with Bermuda Bay, Soft Suede and Melon Mambo markers, then stamped on the white square. The image was stamped twice more in Bermuda Bay and Melon Mambo- the bird and the flowers were cut out and placed over the original image with dimensionals to give the image some depth.

The greeting was stamped in Soft Suede and punched out with the large oval punch and placed over a Melon Mambo piece punched with the Curly Label punch. A little ribbon and voila! a card that can be used for birthdays, thinking of you- lots of occasions!

Thanks for stopping by!

Soft Suede, Bermuda Bay, Melon Mambo, Whisper White, Thoroughly Modern DP (Stampin' Up)
Soft Suede, Bermuda Bay, Melon Mambo- classic ink pads and markers
Accessories: Soft Suede dotted grosgrain ribbon, Curly Label Punch, Large Oval Punch, dimensionals

My first blog post!

OK, so for the rest of you savvy people, I am way behind the times, but I feel quite a sense of accomplishment in that I have actually managed to get my blog up and going. I even made my own digital header! Doing my own background, though, proved too much for me today-lots of cursing at the computer-LOL! I started this blog to share my love of crafting, photography, gardening, great recipes I have encountered, etc- the stuff that makes life fun! The name "Karpen Diem Stamps" came as a play on words that I think sums up my approach to most things- make time to do the things you want and enjoy the life you have. I hope you will find some inspiration, some amusement and hopefully some of yourself in my blog!

Now on to the good, stuff- my first posted project! I was inspired by this stamp and some of the new In Colors from Stampin Up to create a late summer card (I do really miss the Coneflowers from my garden in CT!). The card is a 5.75" square (I love the room that a square card gives you for creating, enough to deal with the extra $0.20 for mailing- absolute robbery!). I stamped the coneflower image in black pigement ink, colored with Copic markers then cut out with nested dies on a Sizzix machine.

I sponged the edges of all the pieces with Soft Suede ink (a new favorite color for sure!) to soften up the look. The greeting is stamped in Soft Suede and punched out with the new Modern Label punch- great shape! I used a combination of dies and punches on this card which I think compliment each other. I really love the way this turned out and may need to make another because there's no way I'm giving this one away!

Thanks for coming to visit my little corner of the web- have a great weekend!

Soft Suede, Whisper White, Soft Suede and Thoroughly Modern Designer Series paper (Stampin Up); Yellow DP-K&C
Ink: Black pigement ink, Soft Suede
Accessories: Soft Suede dotted ribbon, Sizzix die cut machine, Modern label punch, slot punch, sponges, dimensionals (Stampin Up); Copic Markers, nested dies, lattice edge punch