Thursday, January 29, 2009

January SU Project of the Month

In case you missed it, here's January's project of the month from the SU site. It uses the brand new Branch Out stamp set. My dear customers, you'll see this set a lot in the future. It's a MUST HAVE because it's easy to use and very versatile. I just can't wait to get my paws on this set!

Here's the info from the SU website.


Stamps
Branch Out
Paper
Bordering Blue card stock
Bravo Burgundy card stock
Very Vanilla card stock


Ink
Bordering Blue Classic Stampin' Pad
Bravo Burgundy Classic Stampin' Pad
Close to Cocoa Classic Stampin' Pad


Stampin' Up! Accessories
Very Vanilla 3/8" taffeta ribbon
Chit Chat Rub-Ons
Stampin' Dimensionals
Scallop Edge punch


Instructions
**Scallop edge of Bravo Burgundy card stock using Scallop Edge punch. Adhere to Bordering Blue card.
**Stamp snowflakes image repeatedly in Bordering Blue ink on Very Vanilla card stock.
**Stamp tree image in Close to Cocoa ink on Very Vanilla card stock. Stamp bird image in Bravo Burgundy ink on tree branch.
**Tie Very Vanilla 3/8" taffeta ribbon in a knot and adhere to bottom-right corner of Very Vanilla card stock.
**Apply "Love, peace, joy" Rub-On to Very Vanilla card stock using stick included with Rub-Ons.
**Adhere Very Vanilla card stock to card using Stampin' Dimensionals.

Of course, you can order this set from me at any time, 24/7 by going to my website and clicking on the Shop Now section.

Cheers,
--Sharon

Keepin' It Simple

You know how you don't always have time to make an elaborate card? Well, there are some tricks to making simple cards that look fantastic and I want to share a couple of them with you.

This first card uses textured Whisper White cardstock as the base. It's a 4x4 card. The trick to this one is using colors with a lot of contrast for the focal point. With that, you don't need a lot of layers or detail. I colored directly on the solid butterfly stamp with my Many Marvelous Markers, huffed on the stamp and stamped the image. Flight of the Butterfly is a 2-step stamping set, so the black dots and body add dimension to the image. Easy peasy!

This card was a bit more time consuming, but not much. The trick here was using a large stamp and adding some faux dimension and texture. Again, I colored directly on the stamp with my Many Marvelous Markers (say that 3 times fast!). I was playing around with highlighting, so on the petals I used Summer Sun and More Mustard, and on the stems and leaves used Mellow Moss and Always Artichoke. I added some "texture" by using my stipple brush with Baja ink around the image. Oh yeah, the stamp set is Inspired by Nature.

So, what do you think? Do these work for you? Do you have any other tricks for making simple fantastic cards?

Have a simply fantastic day!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Three Amigas Weekly Challenge -- Ugly Color

Three of us demonstrators have decided to do a weekly challenge with each other to stretch our stamping (we'd love for others to participate, more info at the bottom of this post). This week's challenge is to use our least favorite color. For me, it's the Kraft paper. I see wonderful creations made with it, but when I use it, it just ain't happenin'. In the end, I came up with three cards that I like pretty well.


For this first one, I used Kraft as an accent color. I kind of cheated because I used some designer paper that's part of a Simply Scrappin' Kit. Start out easy, right? The stamp set is Party Hearty.


Then I got a bit braver and used more Kraft. I noticed that Basic Black and Kraft worked pretty well together, but then it needed a color to help it pop. Riding Hood Red fit the bill nicely. I used my new Petal Pizzazz stamp set and actually cut out the largest flower. As you can see, cutting is not one of my strengths. That's why we have punches and the Big Shot, so we don't have to cut stuff out.


And finally, I got super brave and used Kraft as my base. I stamped the grass from Inspired by Nature in Mellow Moss Craft Ink then layered the rest on the card. I think this would work as a masculine card. What do you think?
So, there you have my adventures with Kraft cardstock. Who knows, you might see more out of me someday.

Three Amigas would be thrilled if you participate in our challenge. If you want to play along, please send me a link to your blog or SCS posting and I'll add the link. If you post it on SCS, please put TAWC2 in the Keywords section so others can find it easily.

Links to other submissions

Joanne's

Julies's

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Musings of an Insomniac: Perfectionism and Papercrafting

Whether it was the coffee, the wine or something else, I don't know, but I was awake for hours a couple nights ago and my mind was whirring. In addition to worrying about one son's penmanship (it might be dysgraphia) or the other son's lying about whether he'd showered or not, I was thinking about my decluttering efforts. I've been following The Flylady's advice on decluttering and bringing organization and peace into your home (the link is at the bottom of this post).


One of her mantras is that even housework done imperfectly still blesses your family. What this means is that it's better to do a little housework than none at all. Many of us put off doing housework because we don't have time to "do it right." So, we don't dust because we don't have the time or energy to dust all those knick-knacks. Or we don't vaccuum because we don't have the time or energy to get the cat hair off the couch. But, according to the Flylady, it's better to do an imperfect job than not at all.

So, you ask, what the heck does this have to do with stamping? A lot, actually. In similar ways, we tend to be perfectionists. How many times do you not send a card to someone because you don't have time to make the perfect card for them? Or, what about scrapbooking? Do you not do it because you don't have time to do it right? I know I sure do both of these things. Subsequently, I rarely send cards, in spite of having hundreds on hand, and I've barely scrapbooked my kids' lives. So, the "aha" for me was that it's better to send an imperfect card, or do a moderately acceptable scrapbook page, rather than nothing at all. Sending a card to someone lets them know we're thinking of them and that they're special to us. Communicating that through a card is what's important, not whether we have all the right embellishments on the card. Same thing with scrapbooking. It's the memories that the scrapbook inspires, not how cool the page looks.

My personal challenge, and my challenge for you if you've actually read this far, is to allow for imperfection and bless those around me with my papercrafting. And, I might clean house a little too ;-)

Go check out the Flylady's website if you want to learn more about decluttering 27 items at a time, bringing calm and organization into your home in 15 minute increments, having a shiny sink, or just to get inspired.

Cheers,
--Sharon

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Getting Out of a Stamper's Slump

Please tell me I'm not the only one who occasionally gets into these slumps where everything comes out really ugly. My creativity seems to have gone on vacation lately. You should see some of the cards that I've made...or not. Fortunately, Joanne challenged Julie and me to CASE (Copy And Steal Everything) one of the cards in the new Stampin' Up! catalog. So, at least here's one thing that doesn't stink LOL It's based on a card on page 58. I had to change the stamp set and the colors a bit (does that count as being creative?) since I didn't have the supplies that they used.

Anyway, this is it. I used the new Petal Pizzazz stamp set, which is a fun, retro floral set.

So, keep your fingers crossed that I can get out of this slump. Otherwise I'll have to torture you with the ugly cards. It'll be the stampers' version of What Not to Wear.

Cheers,

---Sharon

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

IT'S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!

Yipppeee!!!! Yahooo!!!! Stampin' Up!'s Spring/Summer 2009 Idea Book and Catalog is here and it's incredible. There are tons of new stamp sets in a wide array of styles; some lucious papers, including some textured ones (!); knock-your-socks off dies for the big shot, and so much more.
Click on the image to browse through it online or contact me to get your copy.
Cheers,
---Sharon

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Goodbye Brocade Basics

Brocade Basics has been one of my favorite sets, but it's retiring on January 18th. Although you can't see it very well, I also used the soon-to-be-retired Canvas Background stamp on the larger vanilla piece with So Saffron ink. The other two sets that we used, En Francais and Sincere Salutations aren't retiring (whew!).
This was another one of the cards we made at stamp club this month. It's a variation of a card that was on the SU demonstrator website made by Patricia Dolatowski.

If you'd like to join one of my monthly stamp clubs, I have a new one starting soon and there are spots available. I think it'll be on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at my house from 7-9 pm. If you want more information, please call or email me.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Cheers,
--Sharon

Friday, January 16, 2009

Urban and Roof Garden

At stamp clubs this month, we made a couple projects using retiring stamp sets and accessories. This one was a big hit! The good news is, only parts of this card are retiring on Jan 18th. The bad news is, several components are retiring. What's leaving us? The Roof Garden Accents & Elements, Square metal edged tags, and Wonderful Words stamp set. Fortunately, the Urban Garden DSP is staying. I love that stuff!

The fold on this one is a really fun one that Rosemary came up with. The card base is a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" piece of NQ Navy. Then the Baja Breeze piece that opens up is 10 3/4" x 4". You fold it in half and then fold one edge back to the fold. Make sense?


Have a great day!
Cheers,
--Sharon

Monday, January 12, 2009

LOVE YOU MUCH Samples

Did you think I disappeared? Life's been a little crazy around here with snow days so the kids were home from school for an extra week, followed by Christmas, visiting relatives, my mom having her hip re-replaced (she's progressing VERY well) and other various stuff. One of the things I love about my SU business is that it allows me to put my family first. A "real job" wouldn't be so flexible. So, if any readers are still out there, thanks for sticking with me.

These samples are from Stampin' Up!'s fantastic Love You Much Bundle which is 20% off through the end of the month. Once again, SU has made a punch that matches the stamp set which is fantastic for those of us who are scissor-impaired. If you click on the image in the right hand column, you can get the scoop on the sale (and order it from me LOL). It's a stamp set, designer paper and coordinating punch. I LOVE IT MUCH!
This first project was the one that we made at stamp clubs this month. I copied the idea of the hearts coming out of the envelope from several samples I saw on SCS. Cute, huh?!
This next one I was playing around with my Watercolor Wonder Crayons and seeing if I could emboss them. As it turns out, you can! I used the WWC on the main image of the heart and blended using my blender pen. Then, I used my Versamarker & WWC for the flowers and outside edge and embossed them with Irridescent Ice. You can't really tell from the scan, but it looks sparkly in real life.



Since I had the Watercolor Wonder Crayons out, I continued to play with them and did the watercolor wash technique. The rest is kind of self-explanatory, I hope.

I have some more samples to post that feature retiring stamp sets, so please visit again before the 18th.

Cheers,
---Sharon