Wednesday, December 31, 2008


it's almost here!!!!!!!!

Some things to expect here this week:
tons of new projects!
samples from guest designers, get ready to blog hop!
A new ongoing contest!
Who's Who "Where are They Now?" guest spots!
Prizes!!! Stamps, Paper, Copics, oh MY!
a generally fabulous time!!!

come as you are, see you in a couple hours! (unlike the last couple eyars, I WILL be waiting up LOL!! (I thnk this is officially my last post of 2008!! the 474th, good grief!! who will be the last person of 2008 to comment??) For those of you who are out partying, have fun tonight, be safe!!!

Tee Spotting!!

I was SO excited to read Joanne has a card featuring my "Little Tees" set in "Cards" magazine this month, you can find this wonderful publication anywhere! (I expect a major spike in the sales of this already popular set now, hee hee! ;) get it while you can LOL!! Thanks, Joanne! You rock! I'll be off to Hobby Lobby today as soon as it opens, but I am 99% sure I know which card they chose, hee hee!! It was "divalicious" if I'm right!!) I have several of my own cards coming out with my different sets after the first of the year, too, can't wait for you to see!!

Have you gotten any cards with my sets published or seen cards done by others with my stamps in your favorite stamping publications? Please let me know! :)

I'll have another post later today with a little more about what to expect this week for the blogaversary!!!! can't wait!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hand in Hand Friends

FIRST: have you subscribed yet??? sign up NOW! :) Thanks!----->

With these bright red nails, these hands could work for two friends or for husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend. I wanted it to be fun and cheerful to be able to send it to a BFF near or far away that I want to be there for or brighten her day but just can't get close enough to reach her!

For the nails, I added a dab of red Copic to the end of each finger and traced around it with a fine line black ink pen. TIP: Try adding glitter or go over with Copic Spica or Stickles for sparkle or a drop of Sakura Glaze to each nail to look like real polish! (I could have picked a "trendier" color like blue or violet, but you know how I love my red!) Hands are colored with E00 and E21, both from Box A. This fun paper is from the Basic Grey Cupcake pack.

Polka dotted ribbon is from the Gina K Pure Luxury Holiday collection. Image and sentiment are stamped on Gina K 80 lb white and die cut using the Classic Oval and Petite Oval ( these petite longer ovals I just got are great for sentiments!) Card base is Real Red.

Does anyone want a "hand coloring" step by step tutorial? It's really easy and you may be able to tell just by looking at my past samples what I'm doing, but I will, just LMK! If you click for a closeup you will see that for a highlight I just left the top sides of the hands white, rather than blending to remove or lighten. :)

Less than 2 days to the blogaversary celebration!! Are you excited to see what all the prizes are?!! What sets are you most excited to see used here? Back later, thanks for stopping in!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

BEST Storage System Evah!!

Check this out!! In just ONE foot of desk space (I placed my ruler on top to show! It's 7 " deep and 9 1/4"high) I have all* my Gina K bagged stamp sets from ALL our illustrators (not her sets hat come in tins) from the past YEAR in these binders(I linked the 6 pack for savings, but they can be purchased indivuidually), neat, safe and easy to find! (Before I had this stack of shees with myall my rubber on, getting dirty and it's a miracle I hadn't lost any iamges that way!) I was able to make a page from one 8 1/2 x 11 printer paper for all 9 binders (with some room left over for a few January sets soon to come!), trimming each spine to one inch wide. As a little "gift" to you, I am oing to be providing the document if you want to use it for your collection, it looks so nice and neat to have them all printed out, you can modify them as you wish to include to different sets! So check back for it, just got to figure out how to attach it!

The Blogaversary Blowout Bash starts 12:00 AM January 1st! You will not believe all the goodies, Stamps, paper, Scor-pal products and, are you ready for this, COPICS!!!! Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss out on the fun!!

* actually there are two sets that are not in here, I'm going to start another Rupa binder,as she has an odd number, so they didn't didn't fit in 2, and I still need to get Alicia's first set "Anna Mae's Valentine" :) but Valentine's Day is coming! ;)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Isabelle Paper Doll" from MFT Presents

Something's fishy, this card looks much better in real life LOL! For Isabelle's tail I used about 10 different Copics in various shades of pale greens top blues and even some purples, just dabbing here and there to fill out the scales and sin and it really gives it an iridescent look. Then I went over all the lines with my green Copic atyou Spica for shimmer. I used both the Spots and Dots and D-vine Swirls folder to look like bubbles and waves and accented some of the bubbles with the self-adhesive rhinestones, I love that these come in several different sizes on one sheet, doesn't that look like real bubbles rising to the surface?

I went through my stash of stamps and turned up no fish sentiments, and then realized happily, I had something very appropriate for this pear shaped lady after all: "hippy birthday!" LOL!! I framed it up on a round tag to go with the bubble theme, the scalloped long Nestie frame goes nicely with the fish scales...The tail I added separately and curved out and under with my fingers, really looks like it's undulating, this is definitely my fave outfit from this new set, I heart mermaids!

My blogaversary is just a few days away, eeek!!! It's going to run all week and HUNDREDS of dollars of prizes from me and my fabulous sponsors will be given away, also new samples from all my sets this past year, and guest star appearances from past contest winners and guest designers, can't wait!! Be sure to subscribe to my blog if you haven't already so you don't miss a single day or chance to win!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's Never Too Late...* let someone know you're thinking about them during this busy season with a card. I found as I got closer to Christmas there were a lot more people I wanted to send cards too, but I didn't have much time left to get cards made, let alone elaborate ones. I also spoke to friends who said with great regret that hadn't had time to make cards to send in time for Christmas this year, but I love receiving cards post-Christmas and I think the idea of just" Holiday" or cards "blessings in the year new year" are just as nice to get! Here are some super simple ones I created with "Seasonal Greetings" (which take you past Christmas, I love that!) and "Have a Cookie".

Begin with a 120 lb Gina K Pure Luxury white base, you can use your Copics on this single layer and with a paper like this, your simplest designs will still feel rich and elegant! 'Happy Holidays" is stamped in Real Red and the images are in Memento Black. To add a little depth and create the illusion of a plate to ground my cookies, I embossed a nestabilities circle around the images. I took my red Copic Spica and traced and added a few sparkly details to my little gingergirl. The red 1/4" grosgrain adds some spice as well. I took my Inkssentials white opqaue pen to fill in the sprinkles on the tree, it really makes them pop! TIP: Color the whole cookie and then add sprinkles and color them, much easier than trying to color around each tiny bit!

Inside I added the "You are one sweet cookie!" and the star because these were cards I sent to friends. When I stamp with my cookies, I almost always add the little crumb image from the set off to one side to add interest, for a little "flava", it just makes you want to take a nibble! (crucnhcrunchcrunch...)

Hope you enjoyed this card, sometimes simple is best!

* February might too late... for "happy Holidays" that is!! ;)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Guest Designer: Allison Cope

My Guest Design Spot is starting a little late this month, I had to ship the stamps to CANADA to this month's amazing designer, Allison Cope! I first became familiar with her work when she submitted some outstanding samples for my "Jumping for Joy" contest several months back, they were so well made and just SO darned clever! She really has a knack for putting different sets together, too (as you will see in today's card) so I really wanted to wait for "just the right set" to feature her, because she is also an outstanding scrapbooker (with another blog "So Sketchy", which she continually updates with gorgeous sketches she's created.) I knew "Hand-in-Hand" with its images and quotes would be magic in her hands for both cards AND pages. Today I am sharing the first sample she sent, a Christmas card (although this idea she had would be fabulous adapted to a Christmas page...) :)
THUD!! Are you as impressed and inspired as I am?!

Here is Ally's description of "There is a Santa":

"I love the child and adult hand image and knew that it would perfect for a Santa and child setting. So I dug out my wonderful BasicGrey papers and went to work. I first stamped my hand images on to a die cut oval. I used some soft water color pencil crayons and gave the hands some soft skin. I drew the cuff on the Santa suit and extended the child's hand using my thin sharpie acid-free pen. I masked off the hands using some Post-it-Notes and stamped on a number of pine bough images from the "Winter Foliage" set to set the mood of the back ground. I then used some Liquid Applique and gave the cuff a soft, fuzzy texture. I added a tiny string of ahesive pearls to the child's wrist."

Stamps: Gina K. Designs (Hand-in-Hand, Winter Foliage), October Afternoon
Inks: Ranger, Copics, Staz-On, Chalk inks
Tools: Spellbinder's Nestabilities
Papers: BasicGrey Wassill
Brads: Heidi Swapp
Cardstock: Bazzill

You won't want to miss a single one of Ally's projects with this set, she has completed 5 already and they are all the BOMB! Creating possibilities you won't believe with this set, I am so excited for you to see! Please check out her blogs and try her sketches, you'll be glad you did! (and maybe try out for one of her new Sketchy design spots??)

Hope you had a GREAT holiday, and have a terrific weekend, more projects and cards to share here shortly! :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Baked with Love

This card uses several images from "Have a Cookie!" that will allow you to create a complete kitchen scene, filled with cookie-baking activity! The rolled out dough with the pair of heart cut outs is one of my favorite images from the set ("cut from the same cloth", so to speak!):)

A coat of Crystal Lacquer brings the cookie jar image to life, "Baked with love" is just one of the many sentiments you can add to customize the crockery! A Sakura Glaze Pen adds shine and dimension to the smaller images like the measuring spoons and cutter.

TIP: The tiny heart decorating bit is quickly becoming a favorite in my stamp collection, here it does double duty on my iced heart cookie as well as in the corner; covered with Sakura Glaze, it looks like the mat has been tacked down with a little shaped brad! :)

Everything is colored with copics, and are popped up on dimensionals. Polka dot background is SU! DP.
If I don't "see" you tomorrow, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Funky Wreath

This festive wreath is made from Gina K's "Funky Christmas", very simple to make, look!

Place something round in the middle of your paper as a guide, here I'm using a Nestabilitie. Stamp one of the large flakes all the way around (Always Artichoke) in a single row

Remove your circle and go back in stamping a snowflake between each pair on the outside row to make a smaller ring inside. If you have some bare spots, just fill in stamping more if necessary until your wreath is nice and fluffy.

I tied a little bow with my 1/4" grosgrain, leaving the tails long and twisted and adhered the ends in the places I wantted with glue dots. Then I added Christmas Red Stickles in little clusters of three, with both big and small dots in each group, all over the wreath. That beautiful shimmery red paper you see below is Incandescent Rosso again, from Paper Temptress.

Last I stamped "joy" in the center from "Seasonal Sayings" and traced that with Stickles as well. I nothced out the corners of my Gina K 80lb white paper with the corner ticket punch and added some SU! artichoke brads before attaching it to the Incandescent Russo paper and then the Artichoke base. TIP: I love putting round images or focal points onto square card bases, the proprtions are so beautiful.

You could adapt this design to an ornament by stamping it onto a painted wood circle, wouldn't that be sweet? Have a beautiful day!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tin Gift Ornament Tutorial

I really wish I had posted this project a couple weeks ago for your inspiration, but I only just got around to making it! :( I remembered a concept that was introduced to me by my stepmother several years ago, she gave me a tree ornament that opened up and was meant to hold a little gift from your beloved. So how about a tin? (we give a lot of gift cards in this house LOL!) This is a great way not only to decorate your tree but have a beautiful reusable gift box year after year that the recipient will look forward to opening each Christmas morning, it will become a tradition!
This is the first "white" poinsettia I've made, can you believe?! (so many sets and images to work with, so little time!) I used my Blender Copic, G99 Olive and YG03 Yellow Green for subtle shading in and around, I just love how this turned out! To shade around it I touched the tip of my blender to the green marker and went in small circles around the outline. TIP: To soften the look of your image try colored ink instead of black, even though this colored ink is not waterproof, this green ink works here because I am going to use other shades of green to color it (and green is fabulous with a nature image), I don't have to worry about bleeding the image or getting a "muddy" result like you would if you mixed different colors. I added a couple self adhesive rhinestones to the center and inked up my "For You" from the "What's in Your Tin? 2" set with Old Olive and then swiped my Always Artichoke marker along the bottom before stamping to give the greeting a "two-tone" look. Edited to add: I just remembered I outlined some of the veins in the leaves with my green Copic atyou Spica for sparkle. :)

Creating the label and tin was simple: First I stamped my border in Old Olive from "What's in Your Tin? 1" on Gina K Pure Luxury 80 lb white CS to make a top label for my tin.
Then I stamped it on some scratch paper and cut out the inside of the bottom to create a mask. I stamped my poinsettia from "A Year of Flowers" in Always Artichoke over the mask and removed, now it's perfectly contained inside my custom border!
I opened the lid of my Altoid tin and punched two holes in the top with my Cropodile. Then I tied some 1/4" grosgrain to hang it and some 5/8" grosgrain around that (shown in next pic) to jazz it up.
Last I trimmed my label and adhered it to the tin with permanent DotnRoller, this stuff is so easy to use and stays put!! This box is for my husband, and this year I'll be putting in a gift card(don't worry about him finding out, he doesn't read my blog! LOL), but at any time I could change it up on him and add a gift small enough to fit in the tin like candy, a watch, etc! (For the sake of time I have not yet decorated the inside, but adding a little "Merry Christmas" and the person's name would be the perfect finishing touches! This could be a progressive project that I enjoy adding to each season LOL!) ;)
Isn't that fun? It's not too late for you to make some of these! Even if you don't have them ready for this Christmas, create some in the days following, a perfect post-Christmas craft while the kids are out of school and have your family help in choosing their favorite colors and images for their own boxes* (kind of fun to be able to open the little door "Advent calendar"** to reveal a gift instead of "unwrapping") before you pack the decorations away. You'll thank yourself when Christmas comes around next year and you pull out your ornaments, finding these boxes ready to go! :)
* I'll be back to share what the tin ornaments I make for my boys when I finish them (I think they have their eye on some "Have a Cookie" and "Funky Christmas" images) and with any luck, I'll be able to get them or DH to make one for ME! ;)
** Oh, you know what would be sooooo cool? If I find an extra DAY somewhere, create 24 little tins to put on the tree to create a hanging Advent Calendar with a piece of candy or small toy in each that will last forever and carry that whole silver tin theme throughout the tree!!! Wouldn't that be spectacular? ooh, off to order more tins!!! :)

Holiday Hang ups

These ornaments remind me of the classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", so I had to make some "Who" decorations! After stamping my ornaments, I sketched a droopy line to hang them all up, going through each hook and off the borders of my mat on to my card base.

I don't use purple very much when I'm crafting, even though I like it, but I just noticed my Copic Box A contained several purple shades that were a nice match for my neglected SU! purples, Almost Amethyst and Elegant Eggplant, so expect top see these colors here a little more often now! :)

I traced everything with my silver and purple Copic atyou Spicas for shimmer and added some self adhesive rhinestones to the corner. "joy" is from "Seasonal Sayings"

A few more posts and I will be DONE with Christmas cards for another year!! Have a very festive day!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Keepin' It Weird

I should probably tell you a little about the town I live in before I show you today's card, lest you think I either went crazy or was coloring in the dark! Austin is a very artsy community where individuality is celebrated,where people prefer funky, family owned businesses to chains, and where, after living here for 17 years, I don't even blink when I see a car covered with hundreds of plastic dinosaurs going down the road! (I just smile and think, "There it is again!) These are just a few of the reasons why Austin's slogan is "Keep Austin Weird". In keeping with what every 10th or so house in my neighborhood looks like(but not ours), I just had to make a card with "Home Tweet Home" to let anyone moving in around here what they are really in for!! This was so much fun to color!! All Copics, my favorite picket being, you guessed it, the "cow" print! I just happened to have some DCWV All Dressed Up DP that went smashingly with it, and then I needed to grab some orange for my base and turquoise for my tag to really finish it off! With a card like this, you really have to "go BIG or go home", so to speak, or people might not really "get it", LOL!

I was so excited to find this perfect rainbow fiber for an old SU! Bold Bright fiber pack, it really reminds me of how some of the houses look on 37th street at Christmas in particular (if you have time to check it out! a very short block a couple miles from here where the whole street gets in on the act, and connects their houses to each other with lights, the most over -the top actually covers their entire house with black paper and adheres whole packs of lights to the side of their house, checkerboard style in a kind of Mondrian fashion, it's just amazing!! you can find articles about it online)

So what do you think?? Fun, huh?? Are you ready to go repaint your house??? :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bundle Up

First: Guess what??  My "official" blogaversary is coming up, but the date I really want to celebrate is just after the first of the year, which will mark the anniversary of when I really got my blog off the ground with my first set of stamps from Gina K Designs one year ago! To celebrate I will be having new samples from all my previously released sets from past guest designers and contest winners, and of course lots of free goodies and giveaways, sponsored by some of your favorite companies: Scor-Pal, My Favorite Things, Paper Temptress, and of course, Gina K Designs!  So be sure to subscribe to my blog if you haven't already, the celebration is going to last for DAYS and you won't want to miss a single one!!

Now!  I thought it would fun for a winter "Hand-in-Hand" card to have my hands and arms covered up in long sleeves and gloves  (great for if you have no flesh tones LOL!) I am just lovin' all these "wintery" possibilities! :)
Hands were colored with my Copics from Box A, and outlined with C-3 (from the same box).  I made a few little vertical lines down with my daker shade around the wrist like the stretchy cuff of a mitten  The black sleeve I meant to look like my black turtle neck with a fitted sleeve.   Then I stamped my front arm onto the back of a piece of Magnolia DP, and then cut out leaving room all the way around it  to make my larger, baggier "jacket"sleeve.  When I flipped it over, I ran my black marker along the edge to give it a "drawn" look and adhered it over the front arm.  (I moved the sleeve away so you could see, but I outlined the paper piecing and hands with a c-3 marker after placing it on top) I also outlined the bottom and right side of the DP sleeve with my c-3 to give it a shadowed look to math my hands and give it more dimension.

Then I framed it up on a Real Red mat and embossed a rectangle border for that in my Gina K 120 lb card base using my Nestabilities.  "Happy holidays" stamped below in Real Red is from "Seasonal Sayings".  I am really loving that greeting set!! ( I sent this card to a friend who is a native Texan and moved to Iowa last year: baby, it's cold outside!!   (I don't think she'll ever get used to it!) Anyway, looking at this card makes me feel chilly and toasty at the same time ("warm hands, warm hearts, " ...walkin' in a winter wonderland...")  :)

Stay warm today!  

Friday, December 19, 2008

From All of Us..

"Sending you Christmas CHEER!" This was a fun card to make, I always love creating scenes and going to look at Christmas decorations around the neighborhood is always a favorite holiday activity of mine, some people really go all out here!

I stamped a row of 4 snowpeople to represent the four people in our family (giving them each a different colored hat) to send to our cousins. The images are colored very simply with Copics with a little Pale Aqua for shadowing on the left. Then I stamped out the long "Merry Christmas" from "Seasonal Sayings" in Real Red and cut between the letters to make several little signs they can could hold up and dangle like a fun yard-art display!

Running a black marker around the edge of each square makes them look like they were drawn that way. Then I placed them all askew, some attached with glue dots, some popped up on dimensionals, a few placed as though two were holding one sign together, a couple as though they are hanging by a thread (which I drew with my pen) and one that looks like a sign stuck in the snow. I drew that too, adding a little curve at the bottom of the post to look like a little hole in the snow.

"from all of us" is handwritten at the bottom. This is sort of a hybrid of my actual writing, I tried to keep it fun and funky looking, to match the art work. If you have more than three snow people you'll have to make it a long card to fit. If you look carefully, all the snow bottoms are touching exactly, no spaces or overlap! I point this out, because I didn't use a stamp positioner, just my fabulous round acrylic block, it is just amazing how straight and precisely I'm stamping with these, you've got to get them!

Have a GREAT day, I won't remind you how many shopping days are left!! ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hands of Hope

Here is a card I created, just a few days after I received my new "Hand-in-Hand" set, for a friend, the mother of my son's best friend at school: her stepfather passed away after heart surgery last week. I wanted to make something simple to convey we were there for her family, and hoped to offer some "light in the dark". I began with a white card base and sponged the bottom the card with Basic Gray ink, concentrating at the bottom and working upward to have it fade to white, and did the same on my focal point mat. The white border was made by holding my Nestabilities die in place while sponging and them removing. hands are colored with Copics.

I'm sharing this now becuase I was very sorry to read two sad stories today on the net: one that a fellow blogger Joanne Johnson, whom I did not know, had passed away suddenly, (although I don't know the cause, she had last posted just the day before(not ill at the time!) Her husband was kind enough to share the news the very next day on her blog, knowing that so many of her readers would be missing her stories and creations. The second I saw on Cammie's blog, about a blog candy offering by Andrea, who is asking for RAKS for a family whose new baby is very ill. Please check out these two links if you have time and can send up prayers or send out cards. I will be making two more cards similar to the one above today to send out to these families, and God willing the baby will pull through!!

Life is so short, never take this blessing of TODAY for granted!

Easy Paper Pieced Quilt

Today I am sharing the full sample from the little peek I did Monday of my pieced jammies. (Did you noticed the little dimples on the baby's hand here? TIP: Just put a little dot or dash of your darker flesh color below each of the finger lines, I just loved those tiny little divots in my boys hands!! )
I pieced the baby's arm with the flower print by drawing a line just under the wrist and cutting and attaching, then wanted to bring more of these yummy Basic Grey Two Scoops prints into my card to make a blanket background. This card uses 4 different papers from the pack. You can create this same design with squares if you don't have the Labels One dies, but if you do, why wouldn't you??I just love these dies!
Start by cutting out a label in the same size from two different prints.

Then divide them each in half, and half again to make 4 sections. It is easy to find the center of each side with this die cut since it has that "point"in the middle. Now you'll use two diagonal pieces from one and the opposite pair with the other (which will leave you with more more pieces to make another card!) These alternating coordinating prints just look so fabulous together! (Two contrasting bold colors would be really sharp on a different type of card, too, kind of a harlequin look, very regal) :)

Now I really liked these pink and green darker stripes going through the plaid paper and thought this would look good as a border underneath and between each of my pieces, no need to sew or faux stitch! TIP: See how I chose a place on the paper for my die before cutting so that they intersect in the middle with horizontal strip going though both points of the die on either side, same thing for the vertical? (When you look at the finished card you'll see each piece frames up the stripes perfectly, it really makes the card look more pulled together than if I had just die cut the shape out of any part of the paper, especially with a plaid or stripe, you want to make sure the lines are "square" with the die!!)

I made a couple snips from the scrap left over to either side following the curve and punched the bottom of it with Threading Water to make a nice border for the inside (see the last photo).

I attached my finished "quilt" to a larger white scalloped die cut and then attached it all to a So Saffron square base. (Which do you prefer, the top one on this post with the scallop on the outside, or this? hmmm) Instead of the greetings from my "Hand-in Hand" set, I pulled out my "Rectangle Greetings" because I thought it would be fun to use my scalloped punch and piece the rectangle border with more of that plaid paper. It's popped up on a dimensional (the ribbon is SU! Sage Shadow grosgrain)

For the inside I stamped a sentiment from Rectangle Greetings over the same hands image I had stamped in Versamark. The layering of these looks so soft and sweet, and this sentiment goes so well with the image, too!
It is COLD here (for here!) but this card makes me feel "snuggly". Thanks for stopping by today! oh, BTW, my BLOGAVERSARY is coming up! They will be prizes and other fun stuff, so get ready!! :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sweetheart Hands

Here's a "Hand-in-Hand" card for Valentine's day or whenever you want to send a little love your "sweetheart's"* way! (Maybe on "Sweetest Day"? I've been thinking about "little known holidays" all day after checking out this month's awesome Dirty Dozen gallery!! Some of my dirty peeps made some REALLY cool stuff for it with my stamps (here and here!)too this month, and that just made my day!!:)
The hands are colored outlined with Copics and the little heart from "Just So Hippy" is stamped on both hands in Real Red.
"Sweethearts" is stamped onto SU! Silver Brushed CS and cut out with one of the Tag Trio Nestabilities Dies. I used these adhesive metal dots I found at Hobby Lobby and stuck them on at the wrist and around the sides of the mat to line up with the little tag holes like an ID bracelet. Something cool about these little dots, they are adhered to the sheet in strips, so I was able to pull off a whole row and attach them rather than pulling them off one by one, AND they look like they're in a strand, just like a bracelet! (The self adhesive rhinestones are like this, too) I put dimensionals under the tag and placed it askew to look like it's just draped there.

That red layer is more of that Incandescent Russo paper from Paper Temptress you saw on the butterflies the other day. It looks very pretty with the red ink, but just has that "extra oomph" with sparkle, very romantic!! I also used Basic Black and Gina K Pure Luxury White 80 and 120 lb for my mats and base. (BTW, what do you think, "white" background or black" for the pic? hmmm, can't decide...)
Thanks for looking!

*DH and I call each other "sweetheart". I'm SO glad to finally have this in a stamp!!! :) (but we do NOT have matching tattoos, LOL!!)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hand-in-Hand Tip Sheet

I hope you will find "Hand in Hand" to be one of the most versatile and unique sets in your collection. Below is a compilation of my tips for it so far, but I'm sure it will grow. As always, I'll be sharing projects illustrating these tips right here on my blog! Links have been provided throughout for projects you can see right now with these stamps.
The simplicity of these line art images allows these hands to be genderless and ageless (no nails, wrinkles or age spots!), to create a timeless look for whomever you need to send a card, man or woman, young or old (except obviously for the images that include tiny hands, those ARE intended to be a baby and a child!)

All greetings can, of course, be mixed and matched with the different images, but they have been placed next to, above, or below a greeting that works perfectly with it and is already centered, so you may want to make one cut in between the greeting and the image and then put them back together on your block when you’re ready to use them both.

Experiment with a variety of flesh tone pencils, markers of watercolors to make your hands match exactly match the two people you wish to represent, see Emily's sample.

No time to color?
They look terrific stamped in a monochromatic color scheme. Imagine pink or blue for a new baby card or announcement!
Emboss images and greetings with EP for easy elegance!
Simply stamp in black on white for a dramatic card.
Piece on colored/patterned or textured gloves or mittens by stamping on DP and drawing a line across the wrist or arm at the desired length, and then cut and adhere to your stamped image.
Think pajamas for the baby(see peek above, full sample coming up!), an elegant dress sleeve and suit for the wedding couple (Kurtis ), etc!

Makes fantastic masculine cards in earthy tones.
The baby hand holding the finger makes not only adorable announcements, showers, welcome baby and baptism cards, but is gorgeous for Christmas as well!

The two images with the hands held down by their sides, can be turned upside down to look like a pair holding their hands up in victory when Pair this with the "Congrats!" greeting! (Very celebratory!) Or pair with the "hope is faith" quote and they look like praying hands, see Asela's sample.

The paired images that are reaching out to each other can be stamped horizontally, or tipped to the left or right, whichever works best for your particular layout, or tilted to convey that you are helping someone UP (or thanking them for helping YOU)!

Stamping greetings on vellum and laying it over the hand images give your card a beautiful, dreamy quality, see Carolyn's sample.

All images and greetings are fabulous framed up in the various Nestabilities shapes!

Place your shaped die around the image and then trace with a pen to give the line drawing a custom looking frame! Choose one that fits exactly, or is just a bit bigger and then extend the lines of the wrists to the edge with your pen.

Sponge around the edges of your mats to give the special hand-holding moment a “glow”, see Theresa's sample.

Have fun with your embellishments by creating bracelets or rings with stick-on rhinestones or halfback pearls for the wrists and fingers!

Adhere fibers around the wrists to make little “friendship” bracelets.

Stamp small images (like the flower or heart with arrow in “Just So Hippy”) or doodle on your own images to look like arm or hand tattoos or like a teen/tween just scribbled on themselves. ( Have fun with that, imagine writing on a phone number or “reminder” LOL!)

Try adding a bit of colored "polish" to the fingertips for nails!

Make a slit on either side of the wrist and pull a little chain with a charm through, this is a beautiful way to present a real bracelet or necklace to someone.

Greetings can go with ANY stamp images in your collection! They also work fabulously with Gina K’s “Kindred Spirit” line of people images (Similarly, the "Kindred Greetings" also go great with these new "Hand-in-Hand"images!)

Make little tags with the separate words: “Sweethearts” etc…

Single words are plural to give you even more options!! Example: ink up the whole word to send a card to a couple that are “Soulmates”, OR omit the last “S”, inking up the rest of your stamp with a marker to give a special card to your “Soulmate” (you can do the same with “Sweethearts” and “Friends”)

Make a “progressive” card or page showing three of the hand vignettes to represent your growing child and relationship with him or her paired with photos, using the words in the stamps to label “Baby”, Child”, “Friend” . This design would make a great waterfall card!

“My Valentine” can be trimmed so that you can use the word “my” separately to make “My Friend”, "My Child", “My baby”, etc. When cutting in between words, I always bend my stamp back on either side so the place I'm snipping is pushing toward me and the words are pulling away from each other, this prevents cutting into one of your letters by mistake!

Ink up just the “Sweet” in "Sweetheart" to create “Sweet Baby”, “Sweet Child”, “Sweet Friend”

The hands with the “Hope is faith holding out its hand in the darkness” is perfect for get well, sympathy, or any “cause” cards you need to create. Great for caregivers, organizations that need donations, etc.

Great for:
Photo projects
Framed art/Plaques
Memory/keepsake boxes
Polyshrink friendship bracelets/jewelry

Makes Perfect cards for :
Valentine’s Day
Mother’s day
Father’s Day
Get well
Just because
Birth announcements
Baby/Bridal shower
Best wishes

See my blog and the rest of our talented team for more inspiration and samples illustrating each of these tips AND please share your great ideas too, I’d love to see and hear!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy, Happy Flowers

Isn't this a happy card? I started stamping Gina K's flowers in Ruby Red and Old Olive and then chose a paper from Basic Grey Cupcake to match, I loved these thin earthy stripes and pulled out that pumpkin color from the print with these SU! buttons. It was just looking so fresh and cheerful I decided to draw on two little smiles under the "eyeholes" before attaching them with glue dots, hee! I see Joanne doing a ribbon treatment like this a lot off the side of the card with the ends tied off with hemp or thread instead of knotting the ribbon, and I love how perfect it looks here with those beautiful stamped leaves. I adhered my mat at an angle to give it more energy and stamped "friends" from "Say it with Flowers" to go with this this sweet little pair. (The "Tropical Flowers" set has no greetings in it, "Say it with Flowers" is a perfect set to complement it with it's all occasion greetings and floral quotes!) All done, yeah!! I love how fast this one came together.

Are you as busy as I am right now?? Eek!!! Have a great day! My tip sheet comes out tomorrow along with a little card peek, you're gonna love it!

How to Get What You Really Want

Had to share some pics of taking the kids to meet Santa today at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar. More about that later, it's a fun funky"Austin" thing. Despite that my kid are 6 and 3, I think this was on of the only times they ever met Santa, we have one pic of Jonathan when he was two and he got so scared he never wanted to do it again. Same for William every season we see them at the mall, they get these eyes and run the other way! Maybe the welcoming "weirdness" of this place made them feel at home!
Anyway, Jonathan declared last week he no longer believes in Santa("because there is no way he could do all those houses in one night"), but it is always a good idea to make a list,just in case. Today he took the meet up and brought a list he made from the Brookstoen catalog, complete with prices (ouch!), and was thoughtful enough to bring Santa a cookie (call it a "thoughtful gesture" or "bribe", either way, I thought that was cute!)
William dressed himself for the big event and moussed his hair because he wanted to "look nice for Santa". He was too shy to sit in his lap however, but Santa coaxed him to whisper one thing ("Martian Matter"-which, Santa had never heard of)
He was not too shy to hop on this frog, though!! (why they have a rooster, frog, and ginormous sushi roll sculptures you could climb next to the Santa Meet & Greet I haven't a clue! but it sure was fun!)

Back later with a card, and my "Hand-in-Hand" tip sheet!! It's a good one!! :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sparkling Butterflies

I wanted to share a great way to make these new butterflies of Gina's without any coloring. Try embossing onto an iridescent, shimmer or "incandescent" CS like this one, which I got from Paper Temptress. I have it in several colors, but of course the Russo (red) is my favorite. I tipped the paper in this pic so you can see it has this amazing gold cast to it! oooh, ahhhh!!
I embossed the butterfly with my Ranger SuperFine Embossing Powder, the coverage was great, I highly recommend this EP!* Now if you look closely, you'll notice this CS has some texture so it may miss a few tiny parts of your image. What's also cool about this paper, each side has a different texture, one is more "lined", the other more of a cross hatch grid, so choose the side that best fits the look or theme of your card.
Then cut! Use a fine tip pair of scissors like Paper Snips for those antennae! TIP: Embossing this image really helps give those little paper antennae some support and prevents them getting bent or torn. Bend up the wings on either side of the body and your butterfly is ready to adhere to you card. I just love how this sparkles in the light! For the finished card using this butterfly, please see Allison's So Sketchy blog today! I am a "Card Sistah" for her this month and I really enjoyed this sketch, when I was done I loved the Asian feel it had, but part of that was the colors and nature images I chose (paired it with "A Year of Flowers"), and I'm sure she probably have a project from another designer using the same sketch that has a totally different let's go see! (yup, I just went and checked Jess's sample looks nothing like mine but the sketch LOL!!)

Allison has a design team call right now for some new designers to create with her sketches, both cards AND scrapbook pages.** If you enjoy challenging yourself with sketches, this might be for you, check that out too, deadline for submissions is December 31st, you can get all the details here! (and maybe you and I can both get on the same team, hee hee!!) :)

**True Story (NSR) the overhead light in my stamp area was burned out but I was too busy crafting to change the bulb. I'd dumped all my embossing powder on my image, funneled it back into the jar, but forgot to put the cap back on. I leaned over and blew on the image to make sure every little speck was off my CS; unfortunately it was so dark I didn't see the uncapped container was right under me and a ton of powder went straight up my nose!! a-CHOOOOOOOOOO! (really glad it was "superfine"!) So be sure to always put the cap back on. That's my other TIP. :)

**I am definitely going to use her sketches to get going with my "Hand-in-Hand" set for pages, her layouts are so professional-looking and she puts a lot of work into this "fool-proof" (IMHO) designs I should have no problem coming up with something I'll love, even though I don't consider myself a scrapper!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hand in Hand Christmas

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Embossed in gold, I thought this tiny baby's hand holding the finger from "Hand-in Hand"would be a wonderful way to represent God the Father and God the Son for a card representing the true miracle of Christmas.

Inside I added Gina K's "Merry Christmas" from "Seasonal Sayings" to the front, and then generated the following verse with my computer in black (I wasn't able to approximate a gold ink color I was happy with, but the gold brads echo my embossing from the front)

To make the card I used Gina K Pure Luxury 80 and 120 lb CS and SU! Gold Glory EP, Brushed Gold CS and brads. Isn't that gold trimmed ribbon perfect with this embossed line art? It's also Gina K, from the Pure Luxury Holiday Ribbon assortment.

This is probably what most of my Christmas cards will be this year! (To save time, you could print your verse directly on the card base before you do your scoring and cutting, or hand-write your verse, or stamp another one you have that fits the image.)

I hope this card brings you joy today!! Thank severyone who came to the release, I had a great time, and thanks to everyone who's shown so much support and love for this set already! :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

And the stamps go to...

(I didn't want to say "winners" because as usual there were several projects that were WINNERS and the emotional component of many of the stories you shared made them extra special and extra difficult to decide! Thank you everyone who played, I know it was quite a time crunch creating on the fly during this busy season (my next contest will allow for LOTS of time, I promise, details shortly, I'm excited it's something very new and different and FUN!!)

...Sharri Seffens was my random drawing winner!! hip hip hurray!! Don't buy the set tonight, Sharri, it's on me!! Send me you snail mail addy, the "Hand in Hand" stamps and card will be on it's merry way to you!

For my January quest designer spot, it is another set that will be great for scrapbooking* (AND for cards of course)!! so I gotta hand it to (couldn't resist! LOL!) Sankari, for her gorgeous "4 hanky"(as my mom would say) scrapbook page, be sure to read her description! I can really appreciate what all went into this fabulous layout that she pulled together in such a short amount of time, a work of art and heart that will now last forever! I've only gotten to know Sankari through my joining Papercraft Planet and I'm so glad I did! I have a feeling you'll be seeing more here from my new peeps over there in the near future! ;)

Didn't win (this time?) Please keep playing AND there are 6 more chances to win tonight(my set or any other you choose from Gina K Designs!! 3 (EASY!) contest questions and 3 card challenges, all of which are randomly drawn and could mean free stamps for you!! You have until next Monday to complete, and don't worry: buy what you want tonight, if you win, Gina will refund your money for the set!

See you in a few at the party, I gotta go do my hair!!

* Unlike all of you, I know what's coming out from me next, so I definitely try to fit the stamps to the person! ;)

Sneak Peek: Take Flight (Free Set!)

Since you've already seen some peeks of "Tropical Flowers", and they go so beautifully with this set "Take Flight" from Gina K, the Free with Three Set this month (they just keep getting better and better every month, don't they?!) , I thought I'd go ahead and use them today on the same sample. Is this new butterfly gorgeous, or what?

I used several shades of light and dark blue and aquas on the wings to give them the iridescent quality of the Morpho butterfly, one of the most brilliant blues found in nature! Then I decided to go ahead and pull out my Brilliant Blue CS( which I don't think I've ever used on my blog!!) and found that putting it with the Bashful Blue mat and Ballet Blue tag, the different shades tone down the base and these different shades of blue really work like the different scales of a butterfly's wings, I like it! The sparkle you see is from tracing the lines with my Blue Copic atyou Spica pen. Bending the wings out from the body and then ends back down a bit before popping it up on a dimensional will make it look like a real one just lit on your card!

I love how the curves of the Labels One Nestie mats echo the butterfly shape. I continued this theme by choosing an oval shape for my greeting and using my corner rounder punch on the base. The flower silhouette is done by coloring my Ballet Blue, Brilliant Blue and Old Olive and Always Artichoke markers directly to the stamp, stamping, and then stamping off to create the lighter bloom on the left. "Dream" was inked up separately from the "Let your (dream)s take flight" quote in the "Take Flight" set, and framed up with SU! Silver Hodge Podge.

Here are more peeks from our designers:

Gina K
and Carolina Buchting, our In the Spotlight Designer this month!

See you tonight 7PM CST at the party!! (it's okay, you can be late!) Don't forget to check back on my blog before it starts to see who won my new "Hand in Hand" set! :) (don't know what I'm talking about? Read this, you might still have time to make something and enter!!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sneak Peek: Hand in Hand

A few months ago, I was going through my drawings trying to decide which of my planned sets would be most appropriate for my December release, and Gina reminded me to start thinking about Valentine's Day on the way. Now at the time, my mother was doing hospice care for my grandfather, so my mind was very focused on family and relationships. Over and over I kept coming back to connecting with someone by holding hands, and started sketching pair after pair of clasped hands. When I finished, I felt I had something very special and unlike any set I had or had seen before. Gina agreed it would make perfect Valentines , but when we reveal all the images and greetings included, you'll see it's much more than that. In this month's set "Hand in Hand", you will find vignettes celebrating two people bonded in this simple, intimate touch, in every stage of life: happy ones like birth, friendship, love, marriage, and hard ones when someone is sick or needing help and support.

For today's peek, I chose a "happy" one, with a sentiment I am so excited to bring you: "Soulmates"! (fits in the SU! oval punches) You'll find other words in this set that are sure to give you warm fuzzies and I doubt you have in your stamp collection... yet! :)

Although the "woman" is not wearing a glove in the image, it is fun and easy to add one to make it look like a formal wedding by piecing a silky glove from white shimmery CS as I did above. Just draw a line across the arm at the desired length, cut out (fingers, too!) and attach to your first stamped image with a Quickie Glue Pen for those small parts, doesn't that look real? The image is colored with Copics (Skin White, Baby Skin Pink, c-3, Black, all from Box A) I went over the underside of the shimmery CS as well with my gray marker to give it a shadow. The little cuff link dot is filled in with my Stardust glitter pen. I blinged up my black fancy corners to match with self adhesive rhinestones.

Now that little winged heart is made from the other half of the Fancy Corner Punch, I told you I had something special planned for it! :) Punch out two of the thicker corners from the punch in Real Red and White CS. Now snip off each top of the corner with a rounded cut on each side and down into av to connect and make the heart. On the white one, snip down between the "wings" a little deeper so you won't have the "little diamond" sticking up above your heart. layer the red and the white, and add a little shadow with a gray marker under the wing if I desired. On my card, I punched out one more in black and layered it behind the two just to make it a little more dimensional and show up against my Black Market Ebony and Alabaster DP.

Last you can see the inside of my card which I dressed up with more of the DP under my white layer that I punched with Threading Water. I made this card with my husband in mind, but you could change the greetings out to make an anniversary card or wedding day card (where it can say "the journey begins...") with this image as well.
There's something about all these hands that reminds me of a special, different moment in my life each time I look at them, and evokes such strong images and sensations: the one above I hear the wedding recessional (LOL!), another reminds me of meeting my sons and smelling "new baby", one I hear crunching leaves on walks with my mother and father when I was young, and still another makes me feel the warmth and safety friends and family have offered when I needed it most...I would love to hear about a favorite "hand in hand" moment of yours below...! (chances are GOOD I have an image to match for you!) ;)
I hope you all will love this set as much as I do. They are such simple images to color and will be one of my "go to sets" when I need a quick card to let someone know, in good times or bad, I'm here for them, or how grateful I am to have them in my life! ( And, I really am going to try to tackle my neglected scrapbook, this set is so appropriate for the many occasions I need to journal!!)

Would you like to win this set? Please create a card, page or 3-D project inspired by a favorite "hand in hand" memory of yours (it does not have to use hands, can have any stamped images, photos, found objects you choose, go nuts!) and upload the pic to Papercraft Planet with the tag GKDMMSJ, I will pick one winner randomly and announce it tomorrow night at 6:30 PM before our release party tomorrow night (7-10PM CST) in the SCS Gina K forum! I will ALSO pick a favorite project and that person will receive be a guest designer for me NEXt month and receive my January set(which you will LOVE!) Good luck, I want everyone to play and I hope you join us for more peeks at the party!!

and Carolina Buchting, our In the Spotlight Designer this month!