July 30, 2011

OCC: Red & Aqua Challenge

I'm playing along this week with Our Creative Corner's Red and Aqua Challenge.

When I was working on my idea for this challenge, I struggled a little. Looking through my paper I realized two things. I love this color combination. I hate this color combination. I actually made a trip to Michael's to find the light blue paper. While I think its close to the challenge color, I originally wanted something with a little more green (to actually, truly be more aqua). But such is life and after I found some inspiration in some mini-cupcake liners from Martha Stewart in my stash at home, this card came together beautifully.

My niece is turning 10 in a few weeks and I wanted to use this color scheme for her card because it instantly reminded me of her. She's so cute - a perfect balance of girly-girlness but athletic, adventurous and active. I have a few little gifts to put into a box and ship up to her but I wanted to share the card. Juliana...this one's for you!

Hope it doesn't spoil the birthday surprise!

I started with two shades of blue cardstock - one for the base, one for the mat. Then I got to turning the mini-cupcake papers into a little ruffle. It took a little bit of messing around but I finally got them where I wanted them.

Punched the doily, stamped the frame and sentiment and topped it off with a cute button.

Can't wait for next week - my first real challenge as a design team member. I hope I can come up with something good!

Have a great weekend!

July 27, 2011


Just a quick post today with my "yippeee" news.

I'm now a part of the design challenge blog Our Creative Corner. I'm so excited!

Check out the challenges each week. They're meant to be fun, a little bit challenging and a whole lotta inspiration.


July 23, 2011

Smiles Inspired by Sunshine and Seattle

A sunny Saturday in Seattle and some great news first thing this morning just made me want to smile today. We took Grady to the Museum of Flight and then we were off to Pike Place Market with his grandparents. Fun in th sun! Inspired by it all, I thought I'd pass the good, happy feelings along with today's card.

I got to use some new Papertrey Ink stamps. I love this little ice cream cone set called Sweet As Can Be. I think this will be a fun set for all the kid-stuff.

I'm submitting this to the Our Creative Corner challenge - All the Bs!

I LOVE having multi-tasking papercraft tools. So I wanted to share a little corner rounding trick I've used a few times. On my Fiskars Round n' Round medium punch, I used a Sharpie to make two small marks.

I insert the corner of the paper I'm using, line the edges of the paper up with the lines on the circle punch, and punch!

Have a great weekend!

July 14, 2011

Ode to Jocelyn

So I've shared a few times about how I love being online and finding other people who share my love of all things paper.

When I first started my blog I wanted to build a place where people would come and take inspiration, a place where I could keep track of the things that worked and those that didn't.

Meeting new people along the way, I was "introduced" to Jocelyn.

Now I don't know a whole lot about her but I do know she like me is new to papercrafting, has a daughter and has a lot of really cute projects on her blog.

I wanted to share one with you that she recently made and one that I love. What a fun card!

This is the front side.

And here's the inside.  

 Don't you just love the contrast between the two?

And its a popup card to boot. I'm insipred! I see an attempt at a popup card in my future. I don't know if I can do as well as Jocelyn, but I'll try.

Lookin' forward to the weekend!

July 10, 2011

Moxie Fab World: Tuesday Trigger

My first two-post day!! Woo hoo!

Here's a card I created which is inspired by Moxie Fab World's Tuesday Trigger.

My card was inspired by the doily pattern and the word Merci. I know it means thank you but its so avant garde, so fancy. So here's my card incorporating my two inspirations. The doilies I stamped and the merci stamp I've had forever (I used it on a project once and then never again) and still love. Don't you just love stamps like that which stand the test of time?

And here's the source of inspiration!

Have a great week!


You Won't Want to Miss This!

Glitz Design is introducing three new lines that are utterly beautiful and you can win one!

All three lines have tons of products - rich double sided papers, gorgeous stickers, detailed transparencies, luscious ribbons, clear stamps, rhinestones and my fave, "Whatnot". I think my favorite line is the Vintage Blue. I have an affinity for blue and yellow together. It just seems really happy and really balanced.

Hop on over to the Glitz blog and follow the instructions (check out each line - there's a couple of different ways to enter for each line).

Have a great week!

July 9, 2011

Simply Elegant Holiday Card

Happy Saturday!

Despite the happy summer sunshine outside here in Western Washington, I'm sharing a holiday card today! What you say? A holiday card?

I was actually a little giddy yesterday as I made a quick trip to JoAnn's on my lunch break and noticed that they had begun displaying their Autumn decor. I have to admit, I felt a grin grow wider and wider as I observed the beautiful oranges, reds, yellows and browns.

You might know from reading other posts on my blog that I LOVE Christmas and Fall decor means Christmas is just around the corner!

So here is my simply elegant holiday card. Its inspired by this weeks White Party challenge at Our Creative Corner. I really think this challenge is pretty awesome - I've never seen one like it before. When I read about it and saw the inspiration projects, I thought it might be hard but I was instantly motivated to attempt it. It actually turned out not to be as hard as I thought it would be. **Whew**

UPDATE 7/13/11: So I'm being brave and entering this into Moxie Fab World Stamp It! Cards Week Challenge. Wish me luck!

It was the perfect card for this inking technique using paint instead of ink. I used some metallic off-white paint to stamp the snowflakes.

Using paint on your stamps is really harmless, you just need to make sure to clean them immediately after stamping. I usually take a little foam brush to the stamp while running it under water to make sure paint gets out of all of the little nooks and crannies.

Then I used a few different shades of distress ink which accent the ink stamped snowflakes. I topped them off with a little Liquid Pearl detailing. Then I let it set overnight just to give everything a chance to thoroughly dry.

The card was very simple to put together after that. I temporarily adhered the stamped piece to my card back so I could use my Spellbinders Four label die to create the window. I used foam dots to permanently adhere the stamped piece to my card after the window was cut. I closed the card and lightly traced the window to the inside of the card so I knew where to stamp my sentiment.

This technique is seldom used (at least that I can tell from the blogs and magazines I've looked at) but it is really a nice one. You can use matte paints or metallic - it doesn't matter. Its a nice alternative to ink because it seems the acrylic paint comes in many more colors than ink does sometimes and for me, I have better local access to paint than I do to ink sometimes.

Hope you enjoy! Thanks for stopping by.

Have a great weekend!

July 6, 2011

What I've Learned

Hi friends!

Its been almost six months that I took up this crazy paper crafting hobby ok ok, addiction.

In this journey I've,
...learned a lot.
...messed up a lot.
...started over a lot.

BUT! I've also
...had a lot of fun.
...read a lot of blogs.
...learned a lot of new techniques.
...been inspired by a lot of color combinations, products, paper crafts.

The best thing about this journey? The people I've met, the way I've been able to connect with others around me and how I've been able to share my interest and talents with others in a different way.

I started this with the intention of sharing what I've learned along the way. So here's my top five tips for someone looking to get started in stamping, card making or paper crafting in general.

#1 Not all clear stamps are created equal.

When I first started, I bought every cheap stamp I could find. Most of the time I was buying based on the design. What I should have done was left them in the $1 bin. Some were ok. Most were horrible. The biggest problem is that they don't stamp good images because they're uneven or made from cheap materials. Bad materials makes ink pool so the image is splotchy.
Suggestion: Find good quality stamp manufacturers who's designs you like and stick with them. There's a lot out there. Hero Arts, American Crafts, Papertrey Ink & Verve Stamps are some of my favorites.

#2 Find a die cutting machine you love and get cuttin'!

I waited a few months before really feeling like I wanted a die cutting machine. Honestly, I was very overwhelmed by it all ("the sandwich" really stressed me out). When I started seeing all the neat things people were doing with them, I knew I needed one. I researched and researched and researched, talked to a few people online and then researched some more. When I settled on the one I wanted, I was so thrilled with what I could do with it.
Suggestion: Don't be overwhelmed by the choices and number of dies out there. If you get one of the more well-known machines, you can find lots of tutorials, videos and people to help you figure out "the sandwich" for your machine.

#3 Inky is good. All kinds of inky is wonderful!

I thought at first I would only love pigment inks forever and ever. But then after stumbling upon Jennifer McGuire's blog and this post about inks, I started getting a little brave. Now I have all types of inks and I really enjoy the different things you can do with different types. There's tons of video on YouTube on using different inks. Again, I'm gonna tell you about Jennifer McGuire's videos. She has a series that she did for http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/.com that is FANTASTIC! (You can find all of Jennifer's vidoes linked here.)
Suggestion: Try the different types before you buy all the colors in a line. I bought tons of chalk ink before I really started experimenting and now I hardly use them. Translation - I couldda got more distress ink instead. Dang it!

#4 Find Your Inspiration

I do take a lot of inspiration from others so to me, checking in on the blogs from the people I really like is helpful to me. I also can't keep myself from Paper Crafts Magazine. Not only is it full of neat projects, the people at the magazine are fun, passionate about papercrafting and reachable. And talk about inspiration - their trends blog Moxie Fab World is active, knee deep in trends and a great source of information.
Suggestion: Start with some of the paper companies or stamping companies you like and check out the blogs their design team members write. You'll get to the good stuff quicker!

#5 Try it at least once.

I'm working on "my style". Six months ago I would have walked by something (or mostly skipped past it online) thinking it wasn't "my style". Now I have a small collection of things to try that I didn't necessarily start with. Right now I have a pack of chipboard keys from Maya Road, some rub-on transfers from American Crafts and some baker's twine. I have no idea what I am going to do with them but I want them around so when I feel like trying something new, I can.
Suggestion: Start small and pace yourself. This can be very budget-detrimental if you're not careful!

I hope this helps any new stampers or papercrafters out there. If you ever are wondering about anything, please feel free to email me or leave a comment. I would love to hear from you! I certainly don't know a whole lot but I can probably keep you from doing something the wrong way. I'm really experienced with that, it seems!

Have a great week!

July 5, 2011

Something a Little Different

Hope you had a great Independence Day. We did! Friends and family, lots of food, and fireworks. We actually had quite a show between the ones we had and the neighbors around us. Our block was was full of flashes, bangs and pops from dusk until about midnight. Poor little Grady was so excited by it all but exhausted by the time everyone left. And dirty! OMG. I've never seen him that coated. A bath was the first order of business this morning.

Luckily, I took the day off of work, knowing how late we'd but and how tired I'd be. So I did get to sleep in but after taking Grady to school, I promptly marched up to my studio and did some serious cleaning up. And after that was done, I got to mess around.

I love this card. The tall shape is a little something different and I really like the color combination (thanks CR84FN!). I thought I'd have more trouble finding papers for this one but gladly, I had some in the stash that worked really well. I LOVE this little doily patterned paper called Tickled Pink from Pebbles. Its from a line called Happy Go Lucky. I just think that's such a cute name. I wonder who gets that naming job. Wouldn't that be fun?

Today's card is an entry into the CR84FN blog challenge and the Card Patterns blog challenge.

I used Liquid Pearls on this one (again!) to accent the lines on the frame.

And then I layered two different pieces of ribbon together with a brad to make a little bow-like embellishment.

Hope you have a great rest-of-the-week and that you're able to rest up after a busy start to the week!


July 2, 2011

Christmas in July: DT Submission

I LOVE Christmas. I actually have a decorated Christmas tree up in my craft room (right now). I mean, I love it so much I have this site bookmarked http://www.xmasclock.com/. Only 175 more days!

That's why when I saw the Christmas in July challenge on Our Creative Corner, I was thrilled! Not to mention their call for Design Team applications. One of my next papercrafting goals is to be on a design team so I'm throwing my hat into this ring. They asked for a project that represents your personal style and I really think this one fits that definition for me. I'm not really the clean-and-simple type, not really shabby, not really vintage - I'm not sure where I fit.

I love color - all types so sometimes its hard for me to narrow down my paper choice sometimes and get started (maybe some of that is because I have WAY too much right now!) I enjoy a variety of stamping techniques and am working to improve my skill all of the time. Right now, one of my favorite stamping techniques is watermarking by using embossing ink. Occasionally, I will use clear embossing powder to make the image stand out more but on a nice dark paper, the embossing ink by itself usually does the trick. I also tend toward distressed edges on a lot of my work. Its hard for me to resist! My favorite ink is probably Tim Holtz Distress and I use two VERY heavily - Walnut Stain and Antique Linen. (Plus I cannot stay away from the his distress embossing ink. Hands down my favorite embossing ink.)

I would love to be a part of a design team because I love the creative energy that comes from a group of people working together (even if its just in blog-land). Seeing others' work has always been inspiring to me. Its a big part of my life and is something I actually rely on to be the creative problem solver I am at work. Besides, I am really enjoying papercrafting. It give me an outlet to share some of myself with my friends and family in a unique and fun way.
This combination of kraft paper, red and white is one of my new favorites.

And the little touch of green holly leaves a red bell as the berry is a nice accent (and the fact that its holly, ahem, get it, Holly!) And I can't resist the Spellbinders Labels Four. It keeps creeping back into my work. I've sorta resigned to the fact that it'll be there in a lot of what I do until a new favorite pops up.

Well...back to the real holiday at hand. Friends coming on the 4th, a house to pickup and a movie to watch with my hubby.

Hope you have a safe and pleasant Independence Day.