Monday, September 29, 2014

Fun with Paper Pumpkin

Just before we moved, I got my July Paper Pumpkin kit in the mail.  I opened it up, got really excited because it had fantastic goodies to make birthday cards, and promptly packed it away.  My MIL, a new Paper Pumpkin subscriber visited the following week on her way home from vacation, and I wanted to show her the excitement that awaited her, but couldn't even figure out which box this was in!

For those of you who don't know, My Paper Pumpkin is Stampin' Up!'s relatively new monthly subscription service, and I think it's the perfect way to start stamping.  For $20 a month, which includes shipping, you get a great surprise kit that includes everything you need for a fabulous project, start to finish.  The kits are designed to take about 30 minutes, so it's a great breather from daily concerns.  Plus, you'll have some things left over--like ink, and stamps--to keep your creativity flowing and start building your crafting collection.  Sign up now!

Needless to say, I had this waiting for me after we unpacked, and it was a great treat to sit down and make a stack of birthday cards with it last week.  I started off simple with the first card, which used all elements from the kit and no extras.  Then I got out my Hearts & Stars decorative mask to make the second card.  I love it!

Why stop there?  I hadn't inked the Bright & Beautiful set from the Holiday catalog yet.  So out it came, with some Blackberry Bliss, for this fun card.  While I liked the little stars, I really wanted to try out the gorgeous big ones...

So I did.  I also added some of the All is Calm washi tape, since the colors match perfectly.  The lower band of silver stripes is from the Paper Pumpkin, but the Soft Sky dots are the washi tape.

And then I went a little washi crazy.  I also got out my stars framelits to crop the smallest star from the taped strips, and put one in for a different look just by taping the back of it.

I like each of these cards so much, and they all started simply with My Paper Pumpkin!  But I can't decide which one to use first...  What's your favorite?


My Paper Pumpkin: July 2014
Extras: All is Calm designer washi tape, Hearts & Stars decorative mask, Bright and Beautiful

Friday, September 26, 2014

Jazzing Up Jam

If anything, this has been the summer of canning, and specifically of making jam.  I've seen great things on all sorts of blogs, and read lots of magazine articles, about how easy and flavorful it is to preserve your own food...but I'd been reluctant.  My husband pushed me though, because he really wanted to try making jam and save/savor the summer.  So we made our first jam, a vanilla rhubarb in early June and there's been no stopping me since!  (The link will take you to the recipe, and to my favorite canning site thus far, Food in Jars).

Of course, as I was assembling all those mason jars and making sure they sealed (they did!), I was thinking about the really cute but now retired Perfectly Preserved and matching framelits.  I let mine go last summer, thinking it was cute but that I didn't really use it.  Alas!  And then...My Digital Studio to the rescue!

You can get the stamp images as a download in MDS...which I had already done, because I do think the jars are super cute, and so I decided to make custom labels for my jars.  I sized them and tried to get as many on the page as possible in MDS, where I also gave them some of my favorite colors for the fabric lids: Real Red, Pacific Point, Rich Razzleberry and Old Olive.  Then I exported the file to my ecutter software, printed them on sticker paper, cut around the jars and I was ready to label!  The image above is of a full sheet...minus a few labels.

Here's another shot of my finished product.  And there are lots more labeled jars in the cupboard, just waiting for winter days.  I can't tell you how exciting this whole process has been, from trying my hand at jam making (there are a few "peach paste" jars that we don't need to talk about...) to creating my very own labels for them.  One hint though: write on your labels before putting them on the jars.  It's much easier that way!

And if you're wondering about that tomato jam, it's divine.  Here's the recipe, and I recommend that you try some on meatloaf, or with eggs if that's your thing.  Yum!


My Digital Studio: Perfectly Preserved

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bag Tags

Getting away from cards for a second so I can share these great gift tags.  Stampin' Up! punches make these tags easy to make (or mass produce) and they'll add a fun touch to any gifts you give.  For these, I used the new stamp set About the Label which has one of my favorite things--coordinating punches!  So I stamped my little gift bags, then choose coordinating colors for the "hb2u" labels.

Does anyone use HB2U?  I easily figured out what it meant, but hadn't seen that text shortcut before.  The labels are punched and popped up on dimmensionals for a 3D effect.

Also, a short cut in your own tag making--I decided that I like the size on the right best.  It started off as a 2x3 inch piece of card stock.


Stamps: About the Label
Ink: Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Blackberry Bliss, Calypso Coral
Paper: Whisper White
Extras: Little Labels Punch Pack, Scalloped Tag Topper punch, Dimmensionals

Monday, September 22, 2014

New Address Cards

I've moved too often for this to still be exciting, but it is.  I just love designing and sending out new address cards.  The links in that sentence will take you to the previous versions, and here is the one we just mailed.  As always, this was so easy to make in My Digital Studio--which you should totally download, if you haven't already.

The Fifty Nifty kit comes with outlines and punches for all the states, as well as this card almost all designed.  The original design uses the state of Texas, which takes up a lot of card space, but we didn't move to Texas.  So I deleted the things I didn't want and made Massachusetts a lot bigger (Note: you can do this with SVG files with no pixelation worries.  So glad MDS has switched to SVGs now!  The older files aren't all switched over, so be sure you check the format.)

I picked a favorite patterned paper to fill the state, put our address on the back, and then ordered a lot of these from the new printing service.  They arrived quickly, with envelopes, and I was ready to go.  By far the longest part of this process was getting the cards in the mail, but I *think* everyone whose address I had should have one now.  I hope they'll visit!


My Digital Studio: Nifty Fifty, Sycamore Street

Friday, September 19, 2014

CASE-ing the Catalog

When I got the annual catalog, I immediately fell in love with Flower Patch--and this is mostly because of the gorgeous cards featured on page 154 and 155 of the catalog (though I always love a good flower stamp, especially when it's layered!)  So I decided to C.A.S.E.--Copy And Share Everything--the cards on that page.

Did you know that Stampin' Up! publishes the card ingredients for every project in the catty?  It's true!  So if you aren't sure what color you're looking at, you can always look that up.  But they don't tell you what size the card is.  So I first made the card as a normal 4.25 x 5.5 card, and it just looks a little funny.  The spacing is off and I felt like I needed extra leaves.  Hmm, I thought, maybe that's a notecard?

So I tried again with a 3.5 x 5 card, and everything fit into place.  But I think this looks great at both sizes, and I will certainly make some more.

By the way, I noticed that I thought my colors were off--or at least darker than the catalog--when I was making these cards.  But as the ink dried, the colors lightened considerably, so keep that in mind as you work with the photopolymer stamps.  I don't know what it is, but something about the way they ink up seems a bit fuller than the clear and wood mount stamps.  Yet everything is beautiful once it's dry.

Floral cheers!

Stamps: Flower Patch
Ink: Crisp Cantaloupe, Calypso Coral, Melon Mambo, So Saffron, Crushed Curry, Bermuda Bay
Paper: Whisper White

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Confetti Thanks

While it has been a busy few weeks, I certainly haven't lost my love for this confetti look.  This is my first card using Dotty Angles, and I just love it.  It's so easy to layer the dots and you don't need to worry about precision to make a card--or a stack of cards--like this one.  I think I might whip some up in fall colors, and in holiday colors, to get a head start on the busy-ness of the coming months.


Stamps: Dotty Angles, Another Thank You
Ink: Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Melon Mambo
Paper: Whisper White