Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Balancing Elephants

Yesterday was my sister's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACKIE!) and she should have gotten this bright and cheery card in the mail.  Jackie is a big fan of elephants, so I just had to use the great Big Top Birthday DSP, which has this elephant balancing on a ball.  I wasn't a huge fan of the clown next to the elephant--I thought that might make the card a little too young--so I used my paper snips to cut out the elephant.  He's ready for a solo show.  :)

The patterned pieces are also from Big Top Birthday.  I really love the bright colors and fun patterns.  I lined them up on a Peach Parfait base, and my finishing touch is the Curly Cute sentiment.  I hope this makes you smile as much as it does me!


Stamps: Curly Cute
Ink: Basic Black
Paper: Peach Parfait, Big Top Birthday DSP
Extras: Paper Snips

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Ending

More of my fall favorites, featuring Spice Cake DSP and Pursuit of Happiness yet again.  Don't you just love this sentiment?  Everything will be okay in the end; if it isn't okay, it isn't the end.  I think this is perfect for a pick-me-up on those days when things aren't quite perfect...and we all know those days.

The card itself is really simple.  The base is Pear Pizzazz, on which I layered a piece of Soft Suede cut to 3.5 by 4.75.  The Spice Cake strips are 1" by 3", and I used my trusty Big Shot and Petal Cone die to cut the banner strip from Peach Parfait.  A little stamping, and this card is good to go.  I like it so much, I should make some extras for my card box.


Stamps: Pursuit of Happiness
Ink: Soft Suede
Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Soft Suede, Spice Cake DSP, Peach Parfait
Extras: Big Shot, Petal Cone die

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall Favorites

Fall suddenly announced its arrival last week with some cold and blustery days, so I took some time yesterday to stamp with some of my fall favorites.  This card has them all (well, almost all)--Spice Cake DSP, Day of Gratitude, and Pursuit of Happiness.  I love the sentiments in that stamp set--you've already seen me use "live in sunshine," and more are coming this week.  It's a must-have all-purpose stamp set, and I just love that the sentiments are perfect for any occasion without being specific to a single one.

For this card, I used my 1" Circle punch to cut out a medallion from the Spice Cake DSP, and used this as a center on the Day of Gratitude medallion.  These are new favorite colors for me--I've never been a fan of More Mustard, but I can't get enough when it's paired with Pool Party.  Such a fresh and crisp combination for fall.

The finishing touch to this card is a strip of Soft Suede, which I punched with Dotted Ribbon punch.  Let me know what you think--what are you loving this fall?


Stamps: Day of Gratitude, Pursuit of Happiness
Ink: More Mustard, Soft Suede
Paper: Pool Party, More Mustard, Spice Cake DSP, Soft Suede
Extras: Dotted Ribbon punch, 1" Circle punch

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Grateful for Fall Colors

It was pretty humid and muggy over the weekend, so I'm wishing fall and its cooler temperatures to arrive quickly.  This card's inspiration began with another great combo from the Color Coach: Rich Razzleberry, Pumpkin Pie, and Old Olive.  This bright and warm colors just feel like fall, and remind me of a favorite sweater from long ago.

This is another one stamp set card, featuring Day of Gratitude.  I also used the Lace Ribbon punch for the accent piece.  TIP: The center "flower" of each circle fits the 3/4" circle punch perfectly, so I punched a second strip withe Lace Ribbon out of Old Olive paper, then used my 3/4" circle punch to pop out the center flowers.  Dotto is the perfect adhesive for putting these together, since there are so many empty spaces.

The finishing touch are some Basic Pearls for the center of each flower, and this card is ready to go.

Stamps: Day of Gratitude
Ink: Pumpkin Pie, Rich Razzleberry
Paper: Pumpkin Pie, Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive
Extras: Lace Ribbon punch, 3/4" Circle punch, Basic Pearls

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Birthday Daisies

Some birthdays snuck up on me over the weekend, so I needed to make some great cards asap.  That was entirely doable and really fun, thanks to Upsy Daisy!  For this card, I used the Color Coach to locate a great combination of Rich Razzleberry, Island Indigo and Baja Breeze.  This is going in the mail to a real teal lover, so I'm sure she'll appreciate the touches of Indigo...and I know I'll be using this combo again!

The card was very simple, just a little cutting, stamping and punching, then I was done.  The Whisper White piece is 2-1/4x3-1/3, and I cut the Island Indigo to give a 1/4" frame all around.  I used the Modern Label Punch for my sentiment, then framed that with a Designer Label Punch.  That's all folks!


Stamps: Upsy Daisy
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Island Indigo
Paper: Baja Breeze, Island Indigo, Whisper White, Rich Razzleberry
Extras: Modern Label punch, Designer Label punch

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Friendly Bird

Oh, two-step bird punch, how I love thee!  I was really excited when the new Idea Book & Catalog came out, and it included a stamp set to coordinate with this great punch.  Language of Friendship is the perfect way to take this old favorite to a new level.  I stamped it in Basic Black on Not Quite Navy and again on Garden Green, then punched out my pieces.  TIP: You can do this with the new style punch and still have the punch on the table, which is the easiest way to make them work.  Just flip the punch over--both sides are flat, and it works like a charm.

Since I made this card at the Loft, I was able to take advantage of some supplies that I don't own (yet!) like the great frame my bird is perched in.  The rectangular frame is part of a two-pack of embossing folders (the other is a lovely oval frame) that are in the Idea Book & Catalog--Designer Frames.  I used it with the Big Shot, then sponged over the embossing to make the frame stand out more.

The sentiment is also from Language of Friendship, which makes things easy.  I'm also a fan of its meaning, so this card is ready for the mail.


Stamps: Language of Friendship
Ink: Basic Black, Not Quite Navy, Soft Suede (sponging)
Paper: Crumb Cake, Not Quite Navy, Garden Green
Extras: Big Shot, Designer Frames, Two-Step Bird Punch

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Love-ly Flowers

Here's another card from my trip to stamping heaven at the Loft.  I told Mary Kay that I don't have a good floral go-to set any longer, and I didn't know where to turn because Stampin' Up! has so many great options.  She had this great card on display, and it made it easy for me to choose Field Flowers as my new best floral friend.

Ah, two-step stamping, so glad to have you back!  I've raved about this before, and I will do it again--two-step stamping is by far the easiest way to have a polished look on my cards, and it works especially well when you are using clear mount stamps, as I did here.  I stamped the more solid images in More Mustard, then stamped the outline images in Cajun Craze over the top, and got lots of dimension on my flowers.  I love it!

Since I was at the Loft, Mary Kay had to show me some new techniques, and using the Color Spritzer Tool on this card was so easy!  I love the pebbled look it gave to the main panel.  You just insert a marker of you choice (Early Espresso on this card, I think) and squeeze the air pump on the spritzer.  Yes, that's all it takes.  I might have to get one of those for myself!

Finally, do you like that patterned paper?  It's cut from a sheet of the Well Worn designer series paper, and I just love the look it gives to this card.  Well Worn is perfect for any vintage projects you might be doing, and the color scheme makes it just right for masculine cards.

You can buy any or all of the card ingredients at my online store.  Just use the "Shop Now" button on the right side of the blog, and have fun.


Stamps: Field Flowers
Ink: Old Olive, Cajun Craze, More Mustard, Early Espresso
Paper: Cajun Craze, Early Espresso, White Naturals, Well Worn DSP
Extras: Early Expresso marker, Color Spritzer Tool

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Holiday Mini Top Ten

So, have you decided what you've got to have?  I'm ready to share my favorite picks--many of which you'll be seeing on M&K StampAway over the next few months.

1. Simply Scored Tool (pg. 7)
I am so excited that Stampin' Up! FINALLY has its own scoring tool! Yes, I ordered this during the pre-order, but I have held off using it until now because I would be overeager to share lots and lots of scored wonders with you.  I'll wait no more--and you don't have to either.  Yippee!

2. Pick Your Poison Quick Accents (pg. 9)
I know, I know, they're so creepy!  But I think they're also perfect for hosting your own slightly spooky and totally fun Halloween party.  If you don't think you're up to applying stickers, you can always order the digital download (pg. 8) instead.  That's probably the route I would go...but don't let me bias you against the fun of the real embellishments!

3. Spice Cake Designer Series Paper (pg. 17)
Obviously I'm a fan of this one, since I just changed our blog to use its great patterns for September.  It's a winner, and who knew that blue could be a great fall color?  It's a little brighter than I would think, but Pool Party is soft enough, and such a great match with More Mustard and Pear Pizzazz, that this is a major win for fall in my book.  I'm glad this is also available as a digital download (pg. 18)

4. Gently Falling (pg. 16-17)
I love two-step stamping.  I love leaves for fall.  This is a no-brainer, and fodder for some excellent cards.

5. Holiday Stocking and Stocking Accents dies (pg. 24)
I couldn't wait to share these with you, and I have so many more projects on the way with these stockings for the holidays.  Since stockings are such a big part of my holiday traditions (read more here), these stole my heart from the very start.

6. Frostwood Lodge Designer Series Paper (pg. 28)
I just raved about this yesterday, and I'll rave again--just look at these warm plaids!  It makes me think of flannel and hot chocolate and sitting by a fireplace while snowflakes fall.  What could be better than stockings cut out of this paper?  I don't know either.  (Yes, this comes as a digital download too, for those of you who prefer to craft without the glue)

7. Mini Jingle Bells (pg. 30)
Need I say more?  These are so much fun, and the jingle they add to your projects will make you--and everyone who receives them--smile wide.

8. Pewter Stampin' Emboss Powder (pg. 31)
I had no idea that I could like any embossing powder better than silver, but pewter takes my breath away! I've used it a few times, and am probably going to go through more than one container this season.  What won't I emboss?

9. Snow Burst Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (pg. 33)
If there's one thing that I really love about the winter, it's snow and snowflakes.  This embossing folder is just perfect for adding a hint of snow to your cards, even if you aren't ready for the real thing.  It also works great on those stockings, which is how you got a sneak peek of this wonder.

10. Stitched Stockings and Stocking Builder Punch (pg. 34)
Okay, so this might be a little overboard on stockings, but the punch and coordinating stamp set is just darling, and will make the cutest cards.  A great way to send some holiday joy (or some coal) to the people in your life this year.  Can you resist?

Whew!  So that's my Top Ten Gotta Have 'Em list for the Holiday Mini, but I like so much more than I could fit into these few numbers.  Silver Glimmer Paper?  Yes.  Dazzling Details?  Definitely.  Peekabo Frames?  I'm already making chocolates for my advent calendar.

So now tell me, what are your favorites?  What do you want see me craft with first?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Christmas Lodge

Now that you can see the Holiday Mini, I have a very strong temptation to share holiday cards with you every day.  I will do my best to resist the temptation, but it's hard with all these fantastic options!  Also, it's a good idea to get started early on holiday projects--or any project, for that matter.  So there will be lots of holiday items sprinkled in over the next few months.  Stay tuned!

Today's card is a CASE from page 28 of the mini.  I absolutely adore the Frostwood Lodge suite of products, and this lodge image is my favorite of the Christmas Lodge set.  While I was at the Loft, we tried to replicate the great card on page 28 that uses the lodge and some other fun pieces...but mine came out a little large.  It looks like the card in the catty is 3x3, but my version is 4x4.  More room to write!

There are lots of gems from the Mini on this card.  Do you see the jingle bell on the side?  That's one of the Mini Jingle Bells (pg 30), and these are going to be so much fun to use.  I'd love to get a little jingle in the mail, wouldn't you?  This card also features the new Quilted Satin ribbon (pg. 30), and this is one of those products that you have to see and touch to really appreciate.  It's just wonderful, and perfect to add a little extra warm feel to this card, along with that chocolate woodgrain pattern from the Frostwood Lodge Designer Series Paper (pg. 28).  I love all those plaids, and the woodgrain has a nice wintry feel to it.  (Not that we need to hurry winter, mind you!)

Finally, check out all that sparkle on the snowy roof.  It's the first time that I think any sparkle has really shown up in a picture, and I love it!  This was absolutely the easiest thing to do with the new Dazzling Details (pg. 41), at at $2.50 per bottle you definitely get some bling for your buck!  The fine time gives you precision application, and just a little bit gives a lot of sparkle.  Have fun that what!

Whew!  That's a lot for one card.  What are your favorites in the Holiday Mini?  Check back tomorrow for my top ten gotta have it list.  Let's compare notes!


Stamps: Christmas Lodge
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso
Paper: Garden Green, Cherry Cobbler, White Naturals
Extras: Early Espresso Quilted Satin Ribbon, Mini Jingle Bells, Hemp Twine, Dazzling Details, Frostwood Lodge DSP

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Month, New Look, New Catalog

The excitement never stops!  I'm finally back from all of my travels, and so excited to share lots of new things with you today--starting with some new features on the blog.  You'll note the new look, courtesy of My Digital Studio and the great Spice Cake DSP that you can download for your computer or buy in real life starting today.  Check out all the paisleys!!  I know someone (wink, wink) who is going to be very excited about this paper.

Next up, there's a new button on our sidebar, which lets you go directly to Melanie's demonstrator website and place your order for Stampin' Up! goodies whenever the mood strikes.  Have fun!  This is the absolute best way to get your hands on digital fact, it's the only way.  What are you waiting for?  Click on over and check out all your great options.  We promise to keep featuring new MDS ideas and projects for your inspiration, and are always happy to answer any questions you may have.  Happy crafting!

Further down the sidebar you'll see a new catalog cover--click on that for instant browsing of the Holiday Mini.  There are so many fabulous items this year, and I have a zillion ideas.  Best to start early!  I'm curious to know what your favorites are, and promise to be sharing my own very soon...

Starting tomorrow!  My travels took me to the Loft, which you might remember from last year's ecstatic post as stamping heaven.  I was overwhelmed by the options, as always, and have three wonderful cards to whet your appetite some new rubber.  See you tomorrow, and have fun with the mini today.