Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Love Bandit, DD style...

So this past weekend, I decided it was high time I cleaned up my craft room and got a bit organized before my class this coming Friday. DS asked very sweetly "Mommy, can I craft with you, I love being with you so much..." which translates to "Can you stamp a scene for me to color because it's better than my coloring books and I like your markers better than mine..." Now I'm not completely crazy- the kids have the now retired kids' Stampin' Up markers, which I keep in my craft room for them- I'm not silly enough to let them loose with my markers!

I stamp DS a scene and he becomes engrossed in coloring- aah! now I can clean up my craft room. Not! In comes DD, who wants to know why little brother gets to color/stamp in my craft room and she doesn't! *Sigh* Clearly cleaning up is not going to happen. She spots the "Love Bandit" set and wants to make a card.  At least I make her use a stash of Valentine's paper I bought for her last year and I help her lay out a card. When it was done, I realized I could make a few minor changes and have one of the cards for my class on Friday done (yay! a bonus for me!).

So, here is DD's card. Leave a comment and vote for the one you like best- mine is on the previous post. Scary, but I think hers might actually be better than mine (it must be the ric rac!).

Have a great night!

Valentine Bandit...

It was beautiful sunny day in Houston but I didn't get to see a bit of it- the day imploded early today. I can't really complain because it was better than yesterday, but goodness what a crazy month it has been- I am ready for February!

As those of you who have seen the new Occasions Mini catalog have noticed, Stampin' Up has started to offer clear mount stamps, as well as the traditional wood mounted stamps. The important difference from other clear mount stamps is that theirs are still the deeply etched red rubber stamps, but with cling foam on the back. You just peel them off their storage case, adhere them to a clear acrylic block and stamp. After you clean them, you peel them off the block and stick them back in the storage case- the cling foam makes them stick to any plastic surface over and over again- kind of like Colorforms. Because they don't come with wooden blocks, they are less expensive and the thin DVD storage case they come in makes room for many more stamps in the closet!

DD saw this "Love Bandit" stamp set and insisted we make a card right away- so one for her and one for my class this Friday! I started by punching out a heart border on two 1" Very Vanilla strips using the new "Pinking Hearts" punch. The Stampin' Up punches have also changed style and are now flat, easier to store and come in coordinated corner and edge punch sets. After punching the border, I layered those pieces under a strip from the "Sending Love" Designer Series paper pack. It's hard to see here, but the Vanilla flowers are covered with glitter- super sparkly!

The ribbon was tied from some of the new Vanilla satin ribbon and a black button tied over the top with black embroidery floss for contrast. The greeting was stamped in Basic Black, punched out using the small oval punch and layered onto a Real Red oval punched using the large oval punch.

Now comes the absolute beauty of clear mount stamps- being able to lay out multiple stamps into a scene before stamping them! I arranged the tree and the raccoon where I wanted them on the acrylic block, colored just the parts I wanted with markers and stamped them in exactly the right place on my Vanilla cut-out because I could see where I was stamping-so fabulous!

 My little raccoon scene was mounted on some red and black and the card was done- super cute and simple!

Hope you have a great rest of your day- thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: Love Bandit
Paper: Real Red, Basic Black, Very Vanilla, Sending Love DP
Ink: Basic Black, Real Red
Accessories: Clear mount block, Vanilla satin ribbon, small and large oval punches, Sizzix machine, nested dies, button, embroidery floss

Monday, January 25, 2010

Alternate Colors for Valentine's Day...

As I make Valentine's cards and treat containers, I do become a bit sick of red and pink (say it isn't so!)- kind of like eating too much cotton candy. To combat this over-sweet feeling, I turned to some alternate color combos for my cards.

I dug through my paper stash (which is embarrassingly large...) and found some Saffron and Not Quite Navy patterned paper from the Pawsitively Prints Designer Series which fit the bill. Now the wheels of creativity were in motion! I started with a Not Quite Navy card base and added a layer of Whisper White, which had been run through my Sizzix machine using the Finial Press embossing folder. I  layered the patterned paper onto a NQN rectangle, tied a bow with some sheer pinstriped ribbon and adhered it to the card front.

I stamped the heart from the "Love You Much" set in NQN, colored the flowers with Summer Sun and added some yellow rhinestones for a little glitz! The heart was layered onto two nested label shapes cut from NQN and So Saffron, and a few more rhinestones were added to round it out. The greeting was stamped in NQN, punched out using the Modern Label punch. I stamped the heart image again on a scrap, punched out a few flowers using the 1/2" circle punch and added rhinestone centers to these as well (if a little glitz is good, more is better right?!).

I may rework the greeting and give this one to hubby for his Valentine's card, although DD has been skulking around my craft room trying to steal it when I'm not looking for one of her "friends forever"!

Hope your week is off to a good start- I'm already counting down to the end of the month!


Stamps: Love You Much, Love Owl-ways
Paper: Not Quite Navy, So Saffron, Whisper White, Pawsitively Prints
Ink: NQN, So Saffron, Summer Sun marker
Accesories: Modern Label Punch, sheer pinstriped ribbon, Sizzx machine, nested label dies, rhinestones, dimensionals

Friday, January 22, 2010

Get Well Cuppie...

Happy Friday everyone! This was the week that just didn't end and I am so glad to finally see it finished.

It started last Friday when DS came home and said he felt like he had pins in his throat. Being the good Pediatrician  I looked with a MiniMag flashlight stolen from his room and saw one big tonsil and some redness. The thought of Strep crossed my mind, but he looked well, so I ignored that thought- probably just viral, right? Note to self, never trust the littlest ones...

I got the sore throat on Sunday, but no cold symptoms. Then DD got it Monday night after spending all weekend with 2 friends (friends moms now hating me...). On Tuesday, with daddy on a plane back from Chile and mommy super busy at work, the school nurse calls to say DD has a fever of 103 and likely Strep-aaaah! The long and short of it is, we all had it, Emily and I needed shots of good old fashioned Penicillin and we infected our friends-yay! I ended up having to stay home from work for a day while I was contagious, which was a much needed respite, so not all bad.

Since Emily really did feel crummy I decided to break out this cute Cuppie stamp set I've had for over a year just waiting for someone to need a "Get Well" card.  I stitched all the layers of patterned paper together with a zigzag stitch although it doesn't show up well here- need to get some thicker thread for cards! I stamped Cuppie in Memento Tuxedo Black and colored him with alcohol markers. The main image was layered onto Certainly Celery and Perfect Plum card stock cut out with two different nested label dies. I sponged the edges of the celery to make them stand out a bit. The greeting was stamped and punched out with the 1-3/4" circle punch and the Celery with the Curly Label punch. A few pearls, a red rhinestone for his cherry on top, some Celery Organdy ribbon and it was done!

By the time it was finished, Em was feeling better so I teased her that she didn't qualify for the card anymore- that didn't go over well after having to endure a big shot! Needless to say this cute card now resides in her room!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Friends Forever...

I follow the weekly challenges over at Splitcoast, but I have been pretty lame about actually motivating myself to participate over the past year or so. For those of you who don't follow along, Splitcoast hosts challenges each day of the week and they inspire you to use certain layouts, color combinations, themes, etc to spark creative juices. I was inspired by several wonderful cards on last week's sketch challenge (SC262) so I decided to play along, even if I am a week late!

I had gotten some of the gorgeous new paper and ribbon from the new Stampin' Up Occasions Mini catalog and was in the mood for a girly card (heap on the pink!). I started by layering the Sending Love DP onto a larger Pretty In Pink rectangle. I added a Pretty In Pink rectangle which had been run through my Sizzix machine using the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder then sponged with Pink ink to give it a nice texture. I added some silver brads for accent before adhering it to the background, then tied a bow with some of the new Vanilla satin ribbon.

I wanted a girly image for this card so who better than Elzybell?! The girls were stamped in black pigment ink then colored with alcohol markers. After the image was cut out with a nested label die, the background of the image was sponged lightly with pink while the die was still in place- this leaves a crisp white rim around the image after you remove the die. I layered the girls onto a red label shape and mounted them with dimensionals.

The last part was the upper left rectangle, which was made by layering a coordinating pattern from this paper pack onto Real Red. The greeting was stamped and punched out using the large oval punch, and layered onto the same size Red oval which I cut in half to fit underneath. A few red rhinestones for sparkle and then the whole thing was mounted onto a Vanilla card base using dimensionals.

Both patterns of paper have glitter on them, so this is defintely a pink, sparkly card IRL- my DD has already laid claim to this card for one of her "BFF"!

Have a great day- thank goodness it's almost Friday!


Stamps: Elzybell
Paper: Sending Love DP, Pretty In Pink, Real Red, Very Vanilla
Ink: Tuxedo Black, Pretty In Pink
Accessories: Sizzix Big Shot die cut machine, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Vanilla satin ribbon, silver brads, large oval punch, nested label dies, rhinestones

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I am a sturdy New England girl, transplanted to Houston by my husband (also a New England guy), for work about 10 years ago. I constantly complain about the heat and humidity and crave some fresh, cool air. I clearly have forgotten what cold is until this morning- it was 18 degrees when I woke up-yikes! Now being a Southerner,  the first thing I did was to see if our pool was still running and if our outdoor pipes had frozen (actually, being a Southern lady, I kicked my husband outside to check on that-LOL!)! Somehow in during those intervening years I have become a wimp!

I am very happy, though, to finally have the weekend off after a very busy week+ at work. I plan to stay in my pajamas as long as possible and clean up my craft room (page me if I don't reappear by Monday morning!).

I have been playing a bit more with my new sewing machine and really loving it! I haven't sewed on much fabric yet, but that will come in time- too many cards to make! These Sweet Pea felt flowers from the new Occasions Mini catalog from Stampin' Up are perfect for a stitched card.

I started with a Chocolate Chip 5.75" square card base and layered on patterned paper from the Sweet Pea DP series set. This paper pack is like some of the big paper slabs from Michaels or K&Co and the designs and colors are great! I stitched each patterned paper layer to plain card stock for contrast, then adhered them to the card with my glue runner. I tied a simple knot using some brown suede ruffled ribbon on the last DP layer before adhering.

I cut out the blue square using a nested die on my Sizzix machine, then laid out the flower pieces and marked their positions with pencil before stitching the "stems". They ended up pretty close to where I intended- not perfect, but good enough! The edges were sponged with Bashful Blue ink and the felt flowers and buttons were adhered with Tombow multi glue.

On the inside, I stitched some of the polka dot DP to a 5.5" white panel, adhered it to the inside of the card, then stamped the greeting. Note: stamp the greeting before assembly in case the position isn't good- it's a major bummer to ruin the card after it's all assembled!

Hope you have a great day- keep warm!


Stamps: Well Scripted
Paper: Sweet Pea DP, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, Bashful Blue
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Bashful Blue
Accessories: Sweet Pea felt flowers, Sizzix machine, nested dies, brown suede ribbon, sewing machine, buttons

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back to the grind...

Happy New Year everyone! I did not fall off a cliff or disappear over the holidays, as some friends have suggested- I just got busy with the kids being home, holiday cooking and enjoying the parties, family and friends. Now that all that holiday goodness is over, it's back to the grind of school, homework and deadlines. I'm really not quite out of holiday mode and found it very difficult to motivate to get out to work today, as I'm sure everyone else did too! I did have two small events over the holiday break- the first was that I took care of Houston's first baby of the New Year in the NICU last week- somehow my picture did not make the paper, however! No credit for the docs!

The second was that my 7 year old son has finally lost his training wheels and started to fly solo (there is a higher power for sure!). His success this weekend prompted this little card to celebrate his success. I find masculine cards hard to make. I keep wanting to add a rhinestone or use a punch, but that slides me way too far to the girlie side fast! I think the key to guy cards, though, is simplicity.

For this card, I started by stamping some open circles in Old Olive on the card base to resemble wheels.  I punched a simple border with one of my MS edge punches and stitched some striped DP on top. Stripes are always good for guys and a little stitching is still OK (more to come on the stitching...). I inked the bicycle stamp with Old Olive and Basic Black markers, stamped on Whisper White and cut the image out with a nested die on my Sizzix machine, with a layer of Bashful Blue and Black to frame it. The greeting was stamped, cut out using a nested die and sponged with blue ink while the die was still in place to leave a neat white edge. A little orange ric rac and a black button and it's done! My little guy was so proud of his success and that he got a special card for it!

I don't usually sew on guy cards, but I needed to find a way to add some stitching so I could use my new present from Santa- my first real sewing machine! I have been sewing since I was 5 years old, made my wedding dress and train, drapes, baby bedding, etc, but this has all been done on the Kenmore machine my mom bought 2 years before I was born and I took with me to college. Let's just say that that machine is more than 40 years old, has about 6 built-in stitches and needs oil now and again!

It was easy to impress me with all the electronics out there, but in the end I decided on a Janome Memory Craft 6600 with 390+ built-in stitches, 4 alphabets, and so many great features- too fun! I can't wait to use some of the decorative stitches on cards- oh yeah, and fabric!

Hope you have a great day back at your regular grind!