Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Great Outdoors Blog Candy

No, not here... Did you see the new Doodlefactory Great Outdoors set from Starving Artistamps? It is so cute. I love the little pine trees and the camper. Anyway, you can throw your hat in to win the Great Outdoors sheet and all four sentiment sets to go with it! Check it out here.

Whiff of Joy

I came across a new stamp company called Whiff of Joy. They have some really cute winter kid images coming out soon. When I found out that Katharina, the owner, was having a sketch challenge contest to find a guest designer, I just had to whip up a card!

The challenge was to make a card using this sketch. Since the new Whiff of Joy stamps are all winter related, I pulled out the Lily and snowman stamp from Pink Cat Studios.

I must be on a paper piecing kick or something because I paper pieced Lily's coat, mittens and boots and Tweet's hat from the flowered background paper and Frosty's scarf and hat band from the striped paper. Then I added Indigo flocking to Lily's fringe and ear muffs. I love how this looks in real life. Frosty is covered in ice stickles and his hat, eyes and buttons were colored in with a Black Sakura jelly roll pen. Since it was already so late, I didn't give the pen time to dry before adding the stickles and it bled a little. That was a bit of a bummer, but I don't think it is too noticeable.

Stamps: Lily and Tweet from Pink Cat Studio

Ink: Palette Noir Hybrid Ink
Paper: Night of Navy from Stampin' Up!, Natural White from Classic Crest, White Papertrey Ink, Snowflake Park Small Snowflakes and striped paper by Heidi Grace
Accessories: Indigo Flocking from Stampendous, Black Jelly Roll pen from Sakura, Ice Stickles, Navy craft seam binding from Martha Stewart
Tools: Aquapainter, Watercolor Wonder Crayons, Stampin' Dimensionals, Cuttlebug tag die

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another Bridal Shower

Now that the anniversaries have past, it's time to think about the 3 weddings we have from August 30-September 30. Another bridal shower equals another card!

For this one, I thought I would incorporate a few of the Dirty Dare challenges going on at Splitcoast Stampers this week. This card fulfills four of them! Definitely fills Lauren's challenge, Sharon's challenge and Laurie's challenge. Kind of a stretch for Christine's challenge, but I'm going with it anyway.

The layout is Julee Tilman's Mojo Monday sketch #45.

I paper pieced the bella's dress to match the background paper. I didn't have any card stock that coordinated, so I made the mat by smearing the Oasis Green ink pad on a piece of white card stock. Perfection and if I hadn't told you, you wouldn't know the difference! The vellum layer is popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals. I hid them behind the ribbon.

I think that's about it. I'm hoping to at least sneak in one more Dirty Dare card before the week is up.

Stamps: blingabella from Stamping Bella, sentiment and clear ovals from A Muse
Ink: Palette Noir Hybrid Ink, Oasis Green VersaMagic
Papertrey Ink White card stock, vellum card stock, Manhattan Cocktail Dress Patterned paper from Luxe
Accessories: Ice Stickles, White Tafetta ribbon from Stampin' Up!
Tools: Watercolor wonder crayons, Aquapainter, Paper Snips, Mini Glue Dots, Stampin' Dimensionals

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tiny Miracle

Eric's newborn cousin had surgery earlier this week to fix a violent vomiting issue. She is okay now, but her parents have been through a horrible week of uncertainty and then surgery. I can't even imagine!

I wanted to send a note to Eric's aunt to let her know that we were thinking of them. I am not great at making Thinking of You type cards and feel like I never have the right thing to say. It's even harder with a baby involved.

I decided simple is best so I chose Natasha's Fall to Layout #6. I chose a few different patterns from the Almost Amethyst prints patterned paper from Stampin' Up and added a little ice stickles to some of the blocks to keep it from being too drab. I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I added some very thin black ribbon to the bottom that I've had forever.

I'm pleased with the card. It was quick and hopefully sends the right message.

Stamps: Baby Love from Cornish Heritage Farms
Ink: Palette Noir Black
Card stock: Papertrey Ink White, Almost Amethyst Prints Patterned Paper

Accessories: Ice Stickles
Tools: 1 1/4" Square punch

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


July is a big wedding month which means lots of anniversary cards! This week is both my parent's anniversary and Eric's parents. Since my stamping time is a little limited these days, they are both getting the same card.

When Emily had a free shipping offer at Stamping Bella a few weeks ago, I just had to place an order. These cute tiddly Inks kids were at the top of my wishlist. I used the gamsol magic technique again to color it in. I'm getting better at shading to add dimension instead of just blending all the color until it is totally flat!

The layout is from Taylored Expressions's Cupcake Challenge #25. I had to flip the layout since my main image was too tall and I forgot that it was supposed to be off-center. I'll have to try this sketch again since I think it would be cuter with more of the circles showing.

Stamps: kissieface and sentiment from Stamping Bella
Ink: Palette Noir Hybrid Ink
Papertrey Ink White card stock, Regal Rose, retired Loves Me patterned paper from Stampin' Up!
Tools: Koh-i-noor pencils, Gamsol, 1 1/4", 1" 1/4" circle punches

Monday, July 21, 2008

Announcing my not-so-newborn

I finally finished the baby's announcements. He's 6 months old, so I'm only 4 months or so late... At least they beat his first birthday invitations out the door!

Before I even got pregnant, I knew I wanted to make one of Cami's trifold cards. When I found out that I was having a boy, I picked the rocket theme and color scheme and ordered all the supplies. The plan was to have all the stamping and folding done before the baby was born so I could just slap on the picture & birth stats and be done. Funny how things don't go according to plan...

This picture was taken at 6 weeks. It's my favorite. I ordered wallet prints from Photo Express because they were the only site I could find that would cut out the prints. Since I was ordering 98 pictures, I didn't want to have to cut them all myself. I can't recommend these guys enough! They were awesome and the pictures are great quality on Kodak paper.

Okay, so on to the stamping. I stamped the rocket from A Muse on watercolor paper, colored it in with my watercolor crayons and an aquapainter and then cut it out. It is popped up with a Stampin' Dimensional. I used my plain and scalloped oval nestabilities to make the frame and punch the hole in the front of the card.

The birth stats were cut out and embossed with a rectangle nestability. I blurred out his name in the picture because we have decided not to post his name to the internet.

Just for reference, at his 6 month check-up on Friday he weighed 20 lbs 6 ounces and was 28.5 inches long! I can't believe he was ever that small.

Last weekend at the Rubber Stamp Expo, I found this cute set from Inkadinkado with the perfect stamp for the left side of the card. It was really lucky because I had no idea what I was going to put there. I think the Hi! I'm New Here. sentiment was just too perfect!

Here's a shot of the announcement fully opened. I love the way these came out, but I definitely underestimated the amount of work they would be. In the end, I made 91 announcements. If you look at how many stars are on these invitations, I hope I am forgiven for procrastinating so much! I totally should have ordered a stars wheel instead. ;)

Stamps: Starstruck from Stampin' Up!, Rocket from A Muse, Little Tyke from Inkadinkado
Ink: Palette Noir Hybrid Ink, Soft Sky
Paper: Whisper white card stock
, watercolor paper, Soft Sky, Taken with Teal
Accessories: Lavendar grosgrain ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals
Tools: Plain and Scalloped Oval Nestabilities, Rectangle Nestabilities, watercolor crayons, Aquapainter, paper snips, Scor-It, Basic Gray Notch Tool

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Six months

Last week, I mentioned that I made a gift for my husband's new cousin. I also made these for my little guy.

About a month ago, I stumbled upon this etsy shop and fell in love with their grow baby grow onesies. The idea is to take the baby's picture every month on their birthday and then after a year, you can see how much they have grown and changed. Brilliant! The only problem I had with this product is that they use Gerber onesies and chose the size for each month based on the manufacturer's sizing guidelines. Gerber onesies run small to begin with and my guy just switched into size 12 month clothes from Carter's (even though he is only 6 months old)! Gerber onesies also stretch out of shape pretty easily. They are made out of an underwear-type material.

So, I decided to make my own using Carter's onesies and Avery ink jet iron-ons. They are my favorite brand. :) I just got Photoshop Elements for my computer and thought this would be the perfect project to get started with. Plus, this way I could control the sizing of the onesies. I made 1-6 month onesies for the new baby and a 6 month onesie for my little guy. I'm planning to make the rest of his as he grows and I'll make the 7-12 month size for my husband's cousin when we see how big she is at 6 months.

By the way, this is a blatant CASE of the etsy onesies. When I stumbled upon the free Fortuna Dot font, I decided to just copy the design exactly. Once I get more comfortable with Photoshop, I'll try designing my own graphics.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Billy's Room

Melissa over at Pink Cat Studios ran a contest to be a guest designer for a new accessories set for Dress Up Billy & Dress Up Lily. I absolutely love these stamps and knew I had to at least try. ;)

The challenge was to create Billy or Lily's room. I had planned to do both, but time escaped me so I only have Billy's room to show you. I had so much fun making this though that I might still do Lily's room when I get a chance.

To me, Billy is all boy. After just getting home from a baseball game, he tossed his gear on the floor and is ready to start playing with something else. ;)

When I decided to take on the challenge, I figure it would be a great opportunity to try out a room card. Melissa Baldwin has a great tutorial here. I used some really old chatterbox paper as wall paper and cut the rug out of coordinating paper with a petite scalloped circle Nestabilities from Spellbinders. The molding on the wall is just a strip of Suede Brown Dark Prism card stock that I scored to give it a little shape.

For Billy's bed, I wanted to give him a cute dinosaur sheet ensemble. I used a corner rounder on one end to make it look less boxy and the key tag punch from Stampin' Up! to make his pillow. I just punched it twice to make it a little bit shorter. To hide all of the toys that Billy shoves under his bed, I added a bed skirt. To do this, I put down some Sticky Strip (red lined tape) on the back of the mattress piece. Then I applied some wide grosgrain -- making sure to ruffle it as I went along. I love how it came out.

Please excuse my horrible handwriting on Billy's toy box & name frame. I didn't have any PCS alphabet stamps, so I had to make due. ;)

The toy box was based on a technique that Mary O'Neill did on the Carol Duvall show several years ago. It took a little digging on the HGTV website to find the exact episode, but I did it! I love how the toys are layered to add a little dimension there as well.

I colored in the crown with my Krylon pen from Stampin' Up! to add some bling. I forgot how much I hate the smell of that!

Anyway, I had so much fun making Billy's room. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Stamps: Dress Up Billy, Dress Up Lily, Billy Plate 1 from Pink Cat Studio
Ink: Palette Noir Hybrid Ink, Old Olive
Paper: Papertrey white card stock
, Dark Suede Brown Prism card stock, Creamy Caramel from Stampin' Up!, patterned paper from Chatterbox, Sahara Sand
Accessories: Stampin' Dimensionals, Sticky Strip, Wide grosgrain ribbon from some packaging
Tools: Petite Circle Nestabilities, Koh-i-noor pencils, Gamsol, Krylon pen, paper snips, Scor-It, Key Tag punch

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rubber Stamp Expo

Thanks to Tracy at Staving Artistamps, I found out that the Rubber Stamp & Scrapbook Expo was coming to Hartford last weekend! After checking with my local stamping friends, I found out that my friend Pat was demonstrating on Sunday, so that was the day that the baby and I headed up.

Being the geek that I am, I decided to stamp a onesie for the baby so he would look even cuter than normal. I chose Drake the dragon from the Doodle Factory Fairytale set because I think he is just too cute! I colored him in with metallic soft paints from Tulip. Isn't the sparkle awesome?
The convention itself was a lot of fun. In addition to seeing Pat, Ms. Technique Junkie, I ran into Barb & another Pat who were both in my sideline when I was a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. That was a nice surprise because I haven't seen them since I was pregnant.

I did pretty well spending-wise. I had to pick up the two Tropics sentiment sets from starving artiststamps and I also got a cute clear baby set from Inkadinkado. Hopefully I'll have a finished project to show you with those early next week.

My little guy was a real trooper throughout the show considering he missed his morning nap. By the time we left, he was ready to fall fast asleep.

Stamps: Fairytale Doodle Factory from Starving Artistamps
Ink: Palette Noir Black, Tulip soft fabric paints

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mystery Image Swap

I had so much fun with the last Mystery Image swap that I had to join the next one on Stamp Girls Gone Wild. This time my dear friend Rose was the hostess and she chose these cute Elzybells girls as our image!

I wanted to play more with the Gamsol magic technique and I pulled the colors out of this fun paper from My Mind's Eye that I picked up on Cape Cod in April.

It looked a little flat to me though, so I used a Quickie Glue pen to adhere some glitter bling to the paper. This is a quick & easy way to add a little something to your project.

The layout is from Taylored Expressions Cupcake Challenge #7. I love Taylor's sketches!

I think I'm getting better at this colored pencil blending thing. Here's a close-up of my girls. I added a little glitter to them too. I just can't help myself. These girls are just too fun to color! I'm definitely going to have to order some myself!

Stamps: All images by Elzybells NA
Ink: Palette Noir black ink
Paper: Papertrey White, patterned paper from My Mind's Eye

Accessories: Dazzling Diamonds Glitter
Square Nestabilities, Koh-i-noor pencils, Gamsol

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Big Sister

As I mentioned earlier this week, my husband has a new little cousin. And that new cousin has a four and a half year-old big sister. When we went to visit the baby, we just had to bring a gift for her big sister too. :)

So I decided to make her a shirt with Dress-up Lilly from Pink Cat Studios. Back in high school, I used to paint shirts for my little cousins all the time. I would trace their favorite cartoon character out of a coloring book onto tracing paper with an iron-on pencil and then iron the image onto a shirt. Then I would use Tulip soft paints to color it in. During my last trip to Michaels, I was surprised to see that Tulip still sells these paints. So, I purchased a few colors and took a trip down my crafting memory lane.

The first step to stamping on fabric is to pre-wash the shirt without any fabric softener. Also, don't use a dryer sheet or else the ink and paint won't set fully. Then make sure to stick a piece of cardboard inside the shirt so your paint/ink doesn't bleed through to the back.

After the prep work was done, I stamped Lily using Palette Noir black ink directly onto the shirt. The "big sister" was stamped with VersaMagic craft ink. On an old t-shirt I tried using the Tulip paint directly on the acrylic stamps, but it did not coat very well and ended up stamping poorly.

After letting the ink dry for an hour, I colored Lily in using the Tulip Soft paint. I ended up mixing white with the peach color to lighten it for her skin. Then to add some sparkle, I colored her dress in with the Amethyst pearl paint. It has a lot of sparkle in person, although it is hard to see in the pictures. You can see all the colors of fabric paint on Tulip's website.

When that was dry, I went over Lily's outline with a black fabric marker to give her some more definition.

This was a fun project and I definitely see some more painted T-shirts in my future!

Stamps: Dress Up Lily from Pink Cat Studios, Large & Small polka dot alphabet from A Muse
Ink: Palette Noir Black, Tulip soft fabric paints

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Baby Girl

My husband has a brand new cousin! She was born last week and we visited her over the weekend. I'll share more about the gift I made next week, but today I wanted to share the card.

I bought the Baby Love stamp set from the Kim Hughes Collection at Cornish Heritage Farms the day it was released. I've been admiring all of Kim's stamp sets for months now, but this one pushed me over the edge. I just had to place an order. :)

I couldn't decide which images to use, so I decided to make my own patterned paper and use as many as possible. I wanted a really bright and fun card, so I decided to use colored pencils.

This was my first attempt at the Gamsol Magic technique even though I've owned the Prismacolor pencils since had that really great sale 4+ years ago (I think I got all 120 pencils for < $40). I know, it's shameful that they have sat unsharpened in their beautiful tin all these years. What's worse is that I didn't even use those pencils on this card. I used my new Koh-i-noor pencils that I got from Gina K. I saw these at Michaels this weekend too - a great choice for those 40% off coupons.

Anyway, I love the pencils and the gamsol technique. I will definitely be sharpening my Prismacolor pencils and playing around with this some more very soon!

The layout is an oldie but goodie -- Julee Tilman's Mojo Monday Sketch #32.

Stamps: Baby Love from Cornish Heritage Farms
Ink: Palette Noir Black
Card stock: Papertrey Ink White, Regal Rose, Basic Black, Barely Banana, Lavender Lace

Accessories: Pink brads from Queen & Co, White brad from Doodle Bug
Tools: Square Nestabilities, Wizard Flower Creation dies, Koh-i-noor pencils, Gamsol

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Bridal Shower

I went to a bridal shower on Saturday for one of our close friends. Her family owns a cottage in the Catskills where they spend a lot of time in the summer, so I wanted to make an earthy but still elegant card.

When I placed my last Stampin' Up! order as a demonstrator, I ordered the Wonderful You stamp set with its matching wheel because it was on sale and because I've loved the images since the catalog came out in January. I figured it would be perfect for this card!

For simple elegance, I turned to Natasha Trupp's new blog, clean & simple stamping and used the Fall to Layout #4. Natasha has been posting great tips on making simple but still wow cards.

I've used several of her tips here -- starting with texture. The card base is a textured white card stock that I purchased many years ago at a scrapbook store. Then I rolled the Stems & Silhouettes wheel with white ink on a piece of river rock cardstock. On top of that is a piece of Suede Brown Dark Prism card stock that I stamped the open leaves from Wonderful You in VersaMark ink. The Prism paper has a wonderful leather texture to it. I got the suede brown pack from Cornish Heritage farms to try it out and I'm in love! Finally I stamped the flowers on whisper white cardstock and watercolored them with river rock ink. I tried leaving some white space in the petals when I watercolored and I really love the look. Then I cut them out and rolled the petals around a pencil to give them shape.

I am tickled with how this card came out.

Stamps: Wonderful You, Stems & Silhouettes Jumbo Wheel, Sentiment from A Muse
Ink: River Rock, Brilliance Moonlight White, Burnt Umber Palette Hybrid Ink, Versamark
Card stock: Textured White,
River Rock, Suede Brown Dark Prism Cardstock, Whisper White
Accessories: Antique Brass Hodge Podge Hardware, Stampin' Dimensionals
Tools: Paper Piercer, Pencil