Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Christmas is the time to be nostalgic. Just as we love our Christmas traditions and favourite decorations that have evolved over the years, stampers also love retired stamp sets that we can't bear to part with. Home for Christmas is one of my favourite sets. I also love doing the Vintage-Shabby technique and this is the perfect stamp for that. Take a look:
The recipe is very simple:
Stamps: Home for Christmas, Netting
Cardstock: Soft Suede, Naturals Ivory
Ink: Soft Suede, Crumb Cake
DSP: Frostwood Lodge
Other: Vintage Brads, sponges, bone folder

The technique is also very simple. I stamped the image using Soft Suede ink on Naturals Ivory cardstock. I then stamped over that with the new background stamp, Netting, which I inked unevenly with Crumb Cake. Then comes the fun part! Using a bone folder, I roughed up the edges, made some tears and ripped off a corner. The "splotch" at the top was created un-intentionally! I spritzed the corner to soften up the paper so I could peel the layers apart, and because the ink is water base, it ran a bit and looks like a tea stain, I think. So I went with it. That's the best part of stamping - there are no mistakes, everything is an original!

Using sponges, the next step was to sponge the edges of the image panel with Crumb Cake. The Frostwood Lodge DSP was sponged with Soft Suede. I also rubbed Soft Suede over the DSP as it was just a bit too white for my liking. Add the brads to three corners, and there you have it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My go-to stamp set

Every stamper has a set she finds herself constantly using. It's a sign of a good stamp set when you find one that can fit almost every occasion and is suitable for either feminine or masculine type cards. My go-to set is Lovely as a Tree. I recently had an order for a masculine birthday card and while I was blog-surfing I came across a card using this set with a sponged and direct-to-paper technique background. I can't remember now whose blog I saw it on but she had mounted the image on Whisper White, which looked very nice. While I used the same colours on the image, I decided to mount mine on darker colours.

To make this image, I first sponged the sky area, using Bashful Blue and Pacific Point on Whisper White cardstock. Then I stamped the image using Stazon Black. For the bottom part, I took the Peach Parfait Classic Stampin Pad and swiped it randomly across the cardstock. On top of that I did the same thing with Early Espresso. Finally, I sponged a bit of Peach Parfait on the area between the sky and ground.

Then I mounted it on Early Espresso and used Cajun Craze for the base. The sentiment is stamped in Early Espresso. Before placing the image panel, I used the Netting Background stamp inked with Cajun Craze to create some texture on the card base. I love the Netting BG stamp! It's new and now maybe I can part with the long-retired Canvas BG stamp that was so great. Or not!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's all about Christmas!

After about a year of thinking about and searching for somewhere to hold classes, I finally am in business! It's not that there were not a lot of places that I could rent. The problem was the cost of renting space was so high, that I could not figure out how to do it in order to keep the cost of a class reasonable and not lose money on it.

When I started a new job earlier this year at a motel/dining room complex, I immediately thought that The Salish Sea room would be perfect for holding classes! So, in October I finally had enough names on my e-mail list to offer a class. I was thrilled to get six responses!! OK, one was my Mom. This is my tables all set up, waiting for stampers. The lighting looks a bit green and dark here, but it really wasn't! The windows at the end look out onto the ocean. It was starting to get dark and I can't wait until the days get longer and we have that gorgeous view to inspire us! I was going to take pictures of the group once they got started, but I got so engrossed in everything I totally forgot!

One thing I had been hearing from the stampers I've met here is that they want to learn techniques. So I designed four cards, two of them Christmas themed, using embossing folders. I demonstrated two embossing techniques: Inlaid Embossing and the Bisque Technique. I also showed them how to use an Embosslit. Everyone said they loved the projects and were excited that they learned new techniques. Here is what they made:

Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler, Not Quite Navy, Whisper White, Lucky Limeade, Confetti Cream
Ink: Garden Green, Not Quite Navy, Early Espresso, Crumb Cake
Stamps: Bells & Boughs, Teeny Tiny Wishes, Delightful Decorations, Happiest Birthday Wishes
Tools: Ornament Punch, Decorative Label Punch, Square Lattice embossing folder, Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, sponge
Other: Mini Jingles Bells, Crumb Cake seam binding, Frostwood Lodge DSP, Mini Glue Dots, Dimensionals, Tombow multi-purpose glue, Wood Sheets

For November's class, I decided to make it All About Christmas. I designed a card, a treat holder and an assortment of gift tags. It was a smaller group this time - only three - but we had lots of fun! This is the card we did, using the paper piecing technique for the snowman's body:

I call him the Flannel Snowman because the Frostwood Lodge Designer Series Paper makes me think of flannel shirts! Here's what I used to make this:
Cardstock: Cherry Cobbler, Whisper White
Ink: Stazon Black, markers in Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Pumpkin Pie, Pool Party, Black
Stamps: Snow Much Fun
Tools: Decorative Label Punch, Paper Snips
Other: Frostwood Lodge DSP

Of course I had to use the Bigz L Die, Holiday Stocking, and the 1" x 8" cello bags to make a treat holder. The cuff, toe and heel are cut from the Holly Berry Bouquet DSP using the glitter polka dots. The monogram 'G' was done with my brand new set of Timeless Type Alphabet Junior Sizzlets. I used the Top Note and Two Tags dies for the gift cards. They are totally CASE'D from all the talented Stampin Up demos who graciously share their work on our demo-only web site.

These projects used:
Cardstock: Cherry Cobbler (are you noticing a theme here with the Cherry Cobbler? I love this cardstock and it is the perfect Christmas red!), Naturals Ivory
Ink: Soft Suede, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Always Artichoke
Stamps: Christmas Postcard, Bells & Boughs, Four Frames
Tools: Big Shot, Holiday Stocking Die, Two Tags Die, Timeless Type Alphabet Junior Sizzlets, Round Tab Punch, Crop-a-Dile, sponge
Other: Antique Brads, Crochet Trim, Holly Berry Bouquet DSP, 1" X 8" cello bags, Tombow multi-purpose glue

Just a note here about the Timeless Type Alphabet set. I have been wanting an alphabet set for a looooong time! Last year, Stampin Up decided to spoil its demos some more by giving us an extra discount on one item in our birthday month. My birthday was in October and I jumped at the chance to finally get an alphabet set!! I'm now busy researching ideas for using it in a class.

Well! This was a super-long post. I guess that's what happens when I don't post regularly. I hope some of my ideas inspire you to get working on your Christmas projects!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Still playing with watercolour!

I think I got a little carried away with this one! While I love this stamp from the Peace Within set on its own, I was picturing it with a mountain scene behind it. And of course, I couldn't resist adding some water. Since I was using watercolour paper, I thought I would try using my Aquapainter and some Basic Grey ink to draw some mountains. Now, I have to say in my defense that I have never called myself an artist! Think I need a little more practice.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I love embossing folders!

I love flower stamps and I love embossing folders. So when I saw the Flower Garden embossing folder in the Summer Mini, it was at the top of my wish list. It's fun to colour the embossed image by just rubbing colour on with a sponge dauber.

Here's what I used:
Stamps: Four Frames, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Wild Wasabi, Whisper White, Confetti White
Ink: Pear Pizzaz, Peach Parfait, Daffodil Delight, Marina Mist, Pacific Point
Other: Flower Garden embossing folder, Decorative Label punch

You can still order from the Summer Mini until August 31. Just click on the picture of the mini on the right!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Stuck on Nautical

I'm loving all the nautically-themed products in the Summer Mini! It could be because I now live so close to the ocean. But, even when I lived in the land-locked prairies, I was drawn to anything to do with water, whether it was lakes or oceans. I attribute this affinity to my paternal grandmother who was Norwegian.

The stamp set The Open Sea, pairs well with the Nautical Expedition Designer Series Paper to make manly-themed cards. Add a bit of Baker's Twine and the possibilities are endless!

Here is my first attempt with all these products:

This is what I used:
Stamps: The Open Sea, French Foliage (for the splatters), Teeny Tiny Wishes (for the sentiment)
Paper: Not Quite Navy, Confetti Cream (crumpled and crimped until it split into layers), Nautical Expedition DSP
Ink: Not Quite Navy
Accessories: Modern Label punch, sponge, crimper, White Baker's Twine (rolled over the Not Quite Navy stamp pad to pick up some colour), Cutter Kit (has a tool that easily roughs up the edges, which is what I did on the main image panel)

All these nautically-themed products from the Summer Mini Catalogue are available until August 31, 2011. To check them out just click on the image of the Mini on the right hand side.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Strength & Hope

One of Stampin' Up's mandates is "Making a Difference". In this year's Summer Mini-Catalogue, $2 from the sale of each Strength & Hope stamp set is being donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I used the butterfly image from this set to make a birthday card for a co-worker. She likes colour so I used Concord Crush, Old Olive and Regal Rose.

Three stamp sets went into the making of this card: Strength & Hope, Swirls & Curls Verses (Level 1 Hostess Set from the Summer Mini) and Vintage Vogue for the vine and flower images.

Cardstock: Old Olive, Concord Crush, Whisper White
Ink: Concord Crush, Old Olive, Regal Rose, Basic Black and tiny bit of Daffodil Delight
Accessories: Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch, marker, Dimensionals

To see more about this stamp set and the Making a Difference promotion, just click on the image of the Summer Mini Catalogue to the right.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

More Watercolour!

When I first saw this stamp in the Summer Mini I immediately pictured a watercolour background for it. My Aquapainter is always on my work table, filled and ready for use. It's fast becoming my most used tool! And the Framed Tulips embossing folder makes the perfect frame for any work of art.

The first step was to stamp the sailboat image on Watercolour paper using Stazon black ink. I use Stazon because it is water proof and won't run when I use the Aquapainter. Next I started building the background by just picking up the ink with the Aquapainter and creating shapes for the grassy hills. I add more ink and darker shades of ink wherever I want shadows or just more visual interest.

And this is what I ended up with!

This is what I used:
Stamps: Sail Away
Ink: Stazon black, Bashful Blue, Marina Mist, Old Olive, Always Artichoke, Soft Suede
Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Watercolour paper
Accessories: Aquapainter, markers, Big Shot, Framed Tulips embossing folder, sponge dauber

It's very easy to create a watercolour background using the Aquapainter. Hope you will give it a try!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Failed Faux Mother of Pearl

Today's project ended up totally different from what I had originally planned. I was trying to do the Faux Mother of Pearl technique, following a tutorial posted by a very creative fellow demo, France Martin. Must have missed the part where she said to use glossy white paper. I used Whisper White. Had the image all stamped and coloured before I realized my mistake. 

So I decided to tear and smear and curl corners and rough up edges instead to make this.

Here's what I used:
Stamps: Bella Toile background stamp, Elements of Style, Four Frames
Paper: Whisper White, Marina Mist, Crumb Cake
Ink: Stazon Black (to stamp the Bella Toile); markers to colour image: Crumb Cake, So Saffron, Pretty in Pink, Marina Mist, Pear Pizzaz; edges and image are sponged with Soft Suede.
Other: Crochet Trim, Decorative Label punch, Stamp-a-ma-Jig (to place sentiment).

Creativity is always a journey - at least for me it is! Sometimes a project takes a detour and I end up in a totally different place from where I thought I was going. But that's what makes it fun!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Time to tidy up!

Every once in a while I just have to spend some time tidying up my work space. Whenever I do this I always unearth some "treasures". These treasures are bits and pieces left over from other projects. Or, they could be from projects I started and then for one reason or another, never finished. It's not always easy getting the vision in my head to translate to the cardstock, ink and stamps.

I don't even remember what vision I had when I stamped these images from the Inspired by Nature set. I think I was trying to create a watercolour effect. That effect is created by inking the stamp first - I used markers (Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive, Soft Suede) because I wanted the different colours - then spritizing with a little bit of water from a spray bottle, and stamping on watercolour paper. When I first looked at these, they didn't look very watercolour-y! So I took my Aqua Painter and smudged things around a bit. I love my Aqua Painter!!!

It still looked a little blah. So I did a watercolour wash to create some sky and grassy areas. This is a very, very easy technique. I took a Marina Mist marker and, using the brush end, scribbled it onto the lid of a stamp set. This leaves behind a pool of ink that I can then dip my Aqua Painter into, and then just wash it across the paper. The beauty of this technique is that you don't want it to be an even coat of colour. I love creating darker and lighter areas. It creates more interest in the overall picture, I think. To do the grassy area, I used the same technique with a Pear Pizzaz marker. It was a bit tricky doing this in the small spaces between the long blades of grass that I had originally stamped. But, again, with watercolouring, all you need is a hint of the colour and texture.

Once I had my masterpieces done, they needed to be framed! And it just so happens that there were some perfect frames in the pile on my worktable. I had used the Top Note die and the Big Shot to cut out the centres for another project. The cardstock had first been embossed with the Square Lattice embossing folder. I always save the "frames" that are left over. (Hate throwing away something that can be put to use!) Since these were in Old Olive, they were a perfect fit to frame my watercolours! The framed images were then mounted onto a Soft Suede base.

For the sentiment, I used a sneak-peek stamp set, called Four Frames, a hostess set called Occasional Quotes and the Decorative Label punch with Very Vanilla cardstock. I used a Soft Suede marker to colour around the edge to make it look like it was layered.

OK, after all that, do you finally want to see the completed projects? Here they are:

Hope I've inspired you to take a look at all the bits and pieces laying on your workspace!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Feeling Vintage

Vintage and Shabby Chic seem to be the hot trends right now in the paper crafting world. I love the looks and have been experimenting. While I was creating this I thought it would make a good wedding card:

Here's what I used to make this:
Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes, Four Frames (this is a sneak peek product from the new Idea Book and Catalogue coming out in July)
Ink: Crumb Cake, Soft Suede
Paper: Marina Mist, Very Vanilla, Botanical Gazette DSP (from the Occasions Mini, this is available until April 30)
Accessories: Blossom Petals Punch, Decorative Label Punch, Framed Tulips Embossing Folder, Crumb Cake Seam Binding (all of these are also from the Occasions Mini), Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint, Stamp-a-ma-jig

The Blossoms Petal Punch is a multi-shapes punch that allows you to punch out all the different sized elements to make up a flower. I punched out the largest petal shape and a medium petal shape using Very Vanilla card stock. Then I used a stylus to draw the lines and sponged Crumb Cake over the side with the raised impressions. With a sponge dauber, I dabbed on some Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint.

On the Framed Tulips embossed layer, I lightly sponged Crumb Cake over the raised image. Also randomly sponged Crumb Cake over the layer of Botanical Gazette DSP.

Using the scrolly-looking stamp from the Four Frames set, I inked it in Soft Suede and stamped on Very Vanilla. The sentiment from Teeny Tiny Wishes is all one line on the stamp and I wanted it in two lines. So I used the Stamp-a-ma-Jig and inked the first two words using a Soft Suede marker and stamped. Then did the same thing for the word "Newlyweds" and stamped it underneath. I sponged the edges with Soft Suede.

The Crumb Cake seam binding is so easy to work with. I usually avoid using ribbons on my projects because I have fat fingers that are not as nimble as they used to be! But I love the seam binding!! After tying the bow, I then frayed the ends and separated out a thread that I just pulled to create the bunching up effect. Using mini-glue dots, I stuck the ends down where I wanted them so they didn't float around. This is a technique I learned by watching a video posted by  SU demo Kimberly Diepen. The technique I used on the petals was from another SU demo - France Martin. Many demos very generously share their talents. Thank you!

I love how it turned out! Hope you are inspired to try the Vintage look. It's addicting! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Time for a picnic!

We have had some absolutely gorgeous days here on the Sunshine Coast! So when I was looking at my stamp collection the other day, I came across a set that I have had for a while and never used. Sometimes I see a set in the catalogue that I just have to have. Then, once I have it I can't seem to get inspired to use it.

That was the case with the set Studio Sketches. Oddly enough, it was a rainy day that finally inspired me to use this set. I had a day off from work. It was a cold, grey, rainy day and I thought the only thing to do was stay inside and stamp. I must have been wishing for nicer weather, because all of a sudden this design just popped into my head!

The wine and bread image is from the set Studio Sketches and the cherry blossom branch is from the set Easter Blossoms. I stamped them with Staz On ink on Stampin' Up's watercolour paper. Then I coloured them using markers and an Aqua Painter. For the cherry blossom branch I coloured the flowers first with Blushing Bride and then used Regal Rose to add darker areas. On the wine and bread image I used Cherry Cobbler for the wine glass and bottle, Crumb Cake and Soft Suede for the loaf of bread, Marina Mist on the other bottle, Pear Pizzaz for the tops of the two bottles and the label on the blue bottle and So Saffron for the label on the wine bottle.

To create the background I used a technique called Watercolour Wash. It's very easy to do. I used markers - Crumb Cake, Pear Pizzaz and Marina Mist - and scribbled with them on a clear acrylic block. Then with the Aqua Painter, I picked up some of the colour and  just "washed" it across the paper. To create the darker areas, I simply picked up more of the colour and washed it over top of the first layer. The cool thing about watercolouring is it doesn't matter if some of the white shows through. It just adds to the effect.

I trimmed the image to fit inside the Very Vanilla layer that had been run through the Big Shot with the Framed Tulips embossing folder. The raised, embossed border was sponged with Crumb Cake. The card base is Soft Suede.

Hope the rest of the country will soon enjoy picnic weather! In the meantime, stamp and watercolour yourself a picnic scene to brighten your day.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Time sure flies!

Here we are, almost two full months into 2011 and this is my first post of the new year! So much for my resolve (I don't make New Year's resolutions) to post more frequently. You may ask what I have been doing with my time? Well, one thing I have been doing is trying to use up some of my retired supplies - such as Designer Series Paper. I've also been trying new techniques I have wanted to do for a long time.

This project combines both. It is known as a tri-fold card. While it looks complicated, it is really very easy to do and a lot of fun. Most of the tutorials that have been posted on various blogs use 12 x 12 cardstock. I found instructions for using 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock on Splitcoast Stampers in the resources section. You have to scroll all the way down to the bottom to find it.

Here is my version:

I used Basic Gray for the base. The DSP is from Tea Party (retired), but any DSP you like can be used. I made the candle flames using the Two-Step Bird Punch, punching just the wing part out of So Saffron card stock and sponging with Daffodil Delight. The candle part is strips of DSP sponged with Concord Crush. Stamp sets used were: Birthday Bakery, Messages for Mom and Whimsical Words. Also used the scallop circle punch and 1 3/8" circle punch. Some of the candles are embellished with Basic Pearls.

This type of card has lots of possibilities for embellishing. I can see more of these in my future! Give it a try and have a Very Stamping Day!!

WWC211 - Kath's Feminine Anything Goes Challenge It's a feminine theme this week from Kath. A perfect opportunity to play with my new butte...