Monday, May 31, 2010

Operation Write Home

Happy Memorial Day! Hope you are all well and enjoying the day of remembrance with your families. Nina Brackett is having a blog candy giveaway as part of a blog hop for Operation Write Home, so be sure to go visit her before tomorrow, I whipped up a quick card for it with my new set "Candles on your Cake" and one of Tami Mayberry's "Stars".
If I want to make a "Dear Hero" card, you can get all the do and don'ts on the Operation Write Home site (for instance, no glitter for one! It can make the soldiers visible at night, good to now!) I'm really glad Nina let us know about this for many reasons, one being that a few of you said you made cards for that when I did my blog candy giveaway last week and I was wondering "What is OWH?" Now I know!

This design with "time to celebrate" can be for a Patriotic of July birthday, Memorial day, or Fourth of July. Card stock is Little Boy Blue, Red Hot, White (Cuttlebugged with the Stars folder) and In the Navy (the color that looks black, sorry, it's not I promise!)

More to come, thank you for visiting today! :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

"Candles on Your Cake" Tip Sheet


This set is now available for purchase from Gina K Designs! The bold, line art, and patterned images in "Candles on Your Cake" are designed to allow for very graphic looking projects as well as softer, elegant projects, it's all in the colors, patterns and embellishments you choose. It includes all the elements you need to create a fabulous birthday card for an adult, teen or child, right down to the numbers and greetings. These birthday motifs are timeless and will never go out of style, and you'll never need to search for a patterned birthday paper again, just make your own!


Trimming Tips

1. Trim around the large and medium sized candles so you have a rectangle. Now make one straight vertical cut in between each candle but do not trim anymore, this allows you to puzzle them back together perfectly for a straight border.

2. Do your numbers the same way. You may also opt to leave the Numbers together and then just ink up only the number you want and stamp.

3. Do NOT attempt to cut out the smallest set of candles (without the patterns) apart from each other! This little row is intended to quickly stamp onto the large cake two step style or make quick borders on your cards or to make a birthday patterned ribbon.

4. Trim the "time to celebrate with, candles", and " on your cake!" all together in a rectangle so three lines, then make one horizontal cut between each so you can stack them back together on e on top of the other on your block in three rows for perfect spacing, then stamp your number after awards

5. Cut the birthday song together in ONE piece, then make one horizontal cut above the last line "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!" This keeps them properly centered and with enough room in between for a small name or your own handwriting, or you can place the last line further down on your block before stamping to allow for larger stamped or die cut letters to spell the name, or just use the last line on it's own for the front, inside, or envelope.

6. Cut the little group of 4 dots together as just one piece. This is a two step stamp that allows you to add a different colored dots to the open spots on the party hat. Notch out once side so the stamp looks like a "C", this makes it easy to stamp over the stamped hat and get it aligned without needing a positioner.


The Numbers

Use the different numbers to show how many candles are the cake, either by stamping "time to celebrate with 8 candles on your cake" or by stamping the number onto the one of the cake tiers or cupcake top and adding the flame of your choice like those chunky number candles.

Use the chunkier numbers for a masculine feel or with larger bolder prints and the script number for a more delicate, feminine look.

Stamp them in a row then circle it with a marker , add a chipboard arrow or frame the number of your choice with a punched or die cut frame.

Stamp the number for the birthday day year collage style in different colors on plain cardstock or DP or to make a background.

Create the year for a graduation cake 2010, with some festive stars and "You did it"!


The Cakes

After inking up the cake in the color frosting of your choice, run a black or dark marker around the platter edge to make that stand out.

Kiss patterns onto them by inking up background, borders or any stamp with an interesting design and press it onto the bold cake, then stamp. (Ex houndstooth from "Vintage Backgrounds" in brown to make a "mancake", hee hee!) If it has a very chunky design this may be all you need to do, but if it's more delicate [pattern the cake will need to be stamped in a lighter color first, then kissed with the pattern in a darker color over it (Ex: stamp light pink bold cake, then stamp darker pink kissed lace background over it.
Create a reverse mask by stamping the cakes on scratch paper, cuting them out, leaving the outside and then stamp patterns into the hole.
Great for the emboss resist technique!

Cover with Crystal Effects for a glossy iced look or Liquid Applique for a puffy, frosted look.

Line the top and bottom with Stickles or Liquid Applique like you are piping icing trim, you'll feel like a real cake decorator.

Dot on or doodle with a glitter or gel pen to create your own frosted designs.

Use the tiny star flower and dot images to stamp a pattern along the side of the cake.

Stamp the small cake on top of the larger one to make a stacked cake.

Add a row of adhesive pearls or rhinestones along the top and bottom.


The Candles

The candles can be use for fast, large scale borders. You can add the flames or leave them without to look like decorative stripes.

Top them with heart, star or flower instead of the shaped flames for a different look.

Ink them up all in one color or use markers to give them different colors.

You have a solid candle for stamping patterns onto.

You have a line art candle for stamping onto DP and paper piecing or to stamp over any of the other solid or patterned candles for a two step look. Use a stamp positioner for perfect alignment if you want it be perfectly filled in, or just eyeball it for a more whimsical look.

Stamp them in a straight line the way they are positioned in the set for a more graphic look, or tilt them toward and away from each other, for a fun, wonky look.

ink up all the candles in the smallest set for a very filled out, well earned birthday cake or only ink up as many candles in the center as you need 3, 4 etc and stamp onto the cake. You can do this with the medium sized patterned set, as well.


The Flames

You have a plain, heart, flower and sparkly or firecracker flame candle topper in large and small sizes. Have fun adding these to the candle tops to suit your theme or recipient, make them all the same on one project or mix them up. outline with Sakura Stardust or Glitter pens for real sizzle!

For perfect alignment to the candle top, stamp the candle first, center the wick over the mid line of your grid line block and stamp the flame centering that mid line over the candle.


The Cupcake

Use the different sprinkles to two step stamp the top. Color the bottom or stamp onto DP for a pretty, festive cupcake liner.

Stamp or cut out the smaller candles to put on top or use the numbers.

This cupcake coordinates with the cupcake and sprinkles in "Square Pegs" (expect reversed, the other has a line art top and solid bottom) Enjoy mixing and matching the cupcake different elements or use them together. The style also matches "Hip to Be Square" and lots of images are adds ons (ex the present, use the babuy face to make bay birthday card, etc. Most images in the new cake set are sized to fit the square panes of the Hip frame.


The Greetings

These will all fit in most small rectangle circle or tag die or punches.

The majority of the greetings will fit inside the brackets around {I saved you come cake}, so ink up the brackets only, then add the greeting of your choice inside, perfect for small tags.

Stamp the birthday song on the front or inside your card. If you put it on the front, fun to add "and many more!" inside!

For a belated birthday, stamp {I saved you some cake!} inside.

"You're this many!" is super sweet for a baby or children's card.

use the let's party to create your own invitations.

Use "boy", "girl" or "sweetheart" with "happy birthday!" or "to the birthday"

Skip the cake and use the greeting for a masculine, not so cutesy birthday cards, use the plain candles to go with! :)
Most of the greetings will fit on the side of the large cake to for a fun look.


The Patterns

The candles hearts, hats and flames have some similar themes: stripes, spots, swirls. incorporate just one pattern on your project(striped hearts and striped candles, or spotted, heart and hat and spotted candle etc) for a very clean matchy-match look, or mix them up for more variety, OR grab the ones that work with your DP the spotted images with polka dotted DP , swirly patterned ones with swirly DP etc.


Not just for birthday...

Several of the greetings and images allow for other holidays:

Use "babycakes" or "sweetheart" or "love you" for a valentine, baby, or friendship, or anniversary cards.

Use "You did it!" for anything other than a birthday you are celebrating, winning the big game, graduation etc.

Use the numbers and flame toppers to make an anniversary card "40 candles on your cake" etc

"Time to celebrate" with a two tied white cake would be perfect for a wedding


Embellishment ideas:

Glitter dots and colored brads add lots of pop!

Pearl and rhinestones for elegant cards

Pop up the trimmed out stars, hearts, or candles.

Punch out the hearts and stars with shaped punches, they fit most punches on the market, just choose one slightly smaller than the image which will create a beautiful border when you punch.

Flocking or Flower Soft on the top and/or bottom of the hat.

Stamp ribbons with the candles or smaller images to match.


Color ideas:

Use muted colors for baby cards, bolder for kids, high contrast for teens, and earthier ones for men... (Do I need to tell you what colors ladies like? ) ;)

Add more dimension to the solid images by swiping a darker colored marker along one side or bottom of your inked up image before stamping or color right over your already stamped image with a marker or colored pencil.

Choose 2-5 colors for inking up your images from a patterned paper that you love, either one you are going to use on the card or just to determine your color scheme, sure to be a hit and happy with the results!


Fun Stuff!

Cut out your stamped cake and create a pop up for the inside of you cake along with the birthday song and blow out the candles make a wish.


Stamp the cake with lit candles and "Blow out the candles!" on the front...on the inside stamp the cake and with the candles again , but omit the flames this time and add "You did it!" (hee hee!)


Stamp the large cake on the front. Now stamp the cake inside, mask it and stamp your favorite animal or person image over it , like it's popping out of the cake! add "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" you can also make it a two-tiered cake on the front, then when you have you animal or person coming out have the top layer on it's head like a hat...


Projects:

Cards, of course!

Scrapbooking the many events you celebrate

Festive gift wrap, bags and tags

Party favors, supplies, and decorations

Custom invitations

Decorated frame for a birthday photograph, makes a wonderful keepsake or gift

Stamping a special shirt or hat for the birthday boy or girl to wear on the big day

Birthday charm bracelet using Polyshrink

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Par-TAY!!

is on over at StampTV, check it out! My guest designer this month, Janice Whiting, will be sharing some samples along with our team and Spotlight Designer, congrats Janice!

Now the news I know many of you have been waiting for, the winner of the Big Scalloped Oval Nestabilities set from earlier this week is:


Mary Anne / MA54K said...
I think I send out about 27 cards to family and friends for birthdays. The new set looks really fun, Mel! You can light up a room with the candles on my cake! LOL!

May 24, 2010 10:20 PM

Mary Ann, I think we can ALL light up a room at this point! LOL! I know your cards brighten our gallery! Congrats!

I also feel called to send some goodies to three more ladies who mentioned making all the cards for their church ministries: that is a big , important job, I know, I used to do it for the children at the last church I attended and I know how much families appreciated that! It takes a lot of time and can be pretty costly for all the materials. I haven't time to continue to do that since I started designing so I hope some extra goodies will help these ladies out a bit, keep up the good work!

Barbara Hale said...
I am so excited about your new set Candles on your Cake. It has been my ministry at my church to send birthday cards to everyone at my church and I am blessed to be able to send out about 250-275 birthday cards a year. It is so touching when someone, often our older members who live alone, comes to me and thanks me for their card and then says "It is the only card I get every year". I love doing it and I love having new and creative ways to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


Marcia said...
Hi Mel: I am a pastor's wife and I make birthday (as well as anniversary) cards for everyone in our congregation. After your question I wondered about how many I actually do - so after I counted the church folks and the estimated the family cards - in birthday cards alone it is about 150 cards.

I tend to make several of the same design because some months I'm not creative enough to make 30 different cards:). I love your new set - it will make this joyful task easier!

Sue D said...
I like that the happy birthday song is a stamp. I've never counted how many birthday cards I make as I make a lot of cards for our church card ministry. The ones for my personal use probably is between 15-20.

Please send me your snail mail addys ladies!

Back to the party now! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sneak Peek "Fine Furnishings and Additions" and "Friends are Forever"

Final days of peeks and then it is time to party! First up I have a card where I used both of Nina Brackett's sets "Fine Furnishings" and "Fine Furnishing Additions". "Fine Furnishings" is a lovely set of furniture and home decor and the "...Additions" features a chaise lounge and greetings to go with the larger set. Although I am looking forward to paper piecing the many couches, I gravitated towards the large chandelier image, thought it would be perfect for adding large scale decorative elements to a card. Starting with Pure Luxury White, I stamped the chandelier in Pink onto my 3 3/4" x 5" mat, gave the paper a half turn, reinked and stamped again. TIP: Make sure the mid line of the chandelier is going through the mid line on your grid line block, this makes it easy to line up the second one below the first.
I stamped the picture frame twice in Memento Tuxedo Black onto Pure Luxury White and Passionate Pink, stamped the greeting onto the pink CS and cut out the middle to piece onto the frame, then layered that and my larger white mat on Black Onyx. A punch border and wave flourish make it extra fancy! I couldn't find my rhinestones (eek!) but I did go over some the dots with a glitter pen for some sparkle. This went together really fast and would be a pretty gift set in different colors with the balck and white like lime, turquoise, etc!

Next up we have Gina's "Free with Three" set "Friends are Forever". This was actually the first card I made when our new release stamps arrived, I just had to use all three new colors of Pure Luxury Wild Dandelion, Grass Green, and Sweet Mango! Right away! LOL! So I went with a simple color block background, these each measure 1 1/2" x 4". The two flowers standing straight and serenely were prefect for the color scheme, and they looked like the belonged in a vase...so I cut one out of part of a plastic Nestabilities package with one of my long rectangles dies, and then adhered it over my colored image with some Crystal Lacquer.

Love the perfectly smooth, shiny texture the plastic layer adds, very sleek and modern. Layer it just right and the lacquer showing through looks like water. :) TIP: Be sure to just use a little bit of the lacquer so it doesn't smoosh out the sides when your cover it with your die cut. You may want to wait until the lacquer its almost dry before putting the vase on top. You could also use a Versamarker pen to fill in a rectangle shape and add clear embossing powder to make the water and have a little more control of where it goes.

This is a great set, and free makes it even better! I'm sure you will have NO trouble picking out at least three other stamp sets from our Gina K release this month to earn it! :)



For more samples with the stamp sets being previewed tonight, check out these Designer's Links:


          Please make plans to attend our Release party tomorrow night, Thursday night, May 27th from 7-10 central time which will be held at StampTV. There will be contest questions, challenges, samples from several designers and lots of chatter all leading up to 10pm central, when all the new products and stamp sets previewed this week on our blogs become available online through GinaK Designs store!

          Tuesday, May 25, 2010

          Sneak Peek "Enjoy the Sunshine" StampTV Kit and "Stars"

          Day 3, glad to have you here again! We're starting off today with the newest StampTV kit "Enjoy the Sunshine" . The mixed greetings and images are just FUN! The little fish was the first one I reached for. There are a lot of sentiment options in the set, none fishy like in "Quite a catch" )but I thought "Just Be" and "Enjoy the Sunshine" would be so sweet with it! I reached for our new Pure Luxury colors Wild Dandelion and Sweet Mango to make a sun and some rays. As much as I like using ink for backgrounds, my older son loves Matisse so I thought it would be really fun to go the collage route and use scraps! After die cutting and punching my circles, I placed them on the left so he would be looking up at it. The little turquoise ribbon from the kit grounds the fish bowl. Other Pure Luxury colors used are Black Onyx, White, and Turquoise Sea. I colored the image with Copics, popped up the separate piece and highlighted them with orange and teal glitter pens.
          After I finished photographing it, my younger son walked by desk, spied the card, said "MINE!" and ran off with it! Guess it spoke to him! (now I have to go make another one for Jonathan!)
          The next card using Tami Mayberry's set "Stars", is for my older son's birthday next month. It's on July 1st, so there's always a lot of patriotic colors going on when we celebrate it, hence the red and blue going on here! I loved the "Rock Star" greeting (added highlights to it with a white Inkssentials pen), as we say this a lot in our house, so I thought it would be fun to add some motion to the stars.

          After stamping out the patterned stars in Vivid Inky Blue on White and Red Hot and punching them out (the tiny stars are cut by hand from the Rock Star stamp), I used my Cropodile Big Bite to make three holes in the middle of the Kraft mat. Then I adhered a large brad to the back of each star, put it through the hole and pressed back the prongs. The Kraft layer is popped up to give the brads room to turn. Tilt the card back and forth and they gently rock, or give them a spin, if they are spaced just so, one will turn the next in a pinwheel or cogs and gears kind of effect, I think he will like it a lot! :)


          For more samples with the stamp sets being previewed tonight, check out these Designer's Links:

          Gina Krupsky *Enjoy the Sunshine StampTV kit designer


          Please make plans to attend our Release party this Thursday night, May 27th from 7-10 central time which will be held at StampTV. There will be contest questions, challenges, samples from several designers and lots of chatter all leading up to 10pm central, when all the new products and stamp sets previewed this week on our blogs become available online through GinaK Designs store!

          Monday, May 24, 2010

          Sneak Peek: "Hope Grows" and "Candles on your Cake"

          Day 2, welcome back! Tonight we start with Theresa Momber's newest set "Hope Grows". I love the magic and fluidity of these images, you will love creating fantasy gardens with the flowers, leaves and butterflies that look like they might just shape shift and grow before your very eyes! No DP on this card, I created the background simply stamping the the different leaf silhouettes in Vivid Brick, Lime, Aqua and Butterscotch inks on White Pure Luxury. I stamped the white twill ribbon in the same colors to coordinate with my background, they aren't quite as vivid as they are on on the paper but I still like the look, gotta love the possibilities of white ribbon! Not only is it wonderfully matchy-match, but it's like the pattern is magically moving from the paper to the ribbon, hee hee! Then I added a few wave flourishes punched from the new Grass Green Pure Luxury to further bring my pattern to life and matted them onto Black Onyx and Ocean Mist.
          The butterfly is colored with Copics, cut out and popped up, then highlighted with Sakura Glitter pens. I used markers to ink up the different parts of the greeting and stamped it onto die cut Classic and Large Scalloped Ovals. This card just makes me happy!

          Next up, we have my newest set: "Candles on your Cake". Although I've included many birthday greetings and images in previous sets because birthday cards are what I you probably need to send out most often, I've never devoted a whole exclusively to birthdays and celebrations, and I wanted to be sure when I did I could use that one set would work for my husband, friend, or young kids. It can be hard to find images that will work for everyone's specific hobbies and interests, but everyone loves cake, so I am thrilled with how this set turned out! It is jam packed with age appropriate greetings and elemental birthday images you can use for a variety of techniques and the many bold images are perfect for kissing or two step stamping.

          Here I used the huge candles that work well as a focal point or border, see the different patterns? I inked them up in different colors to match this beautiful DCWV "Citrus" floral paper and pieced one candle with a striped sheet from the pack. Depending on the colors and embellishments you use, these images will work with any patterned papers, vintage to whimsical, include stars, hearts, flowers and more. You also have several different shaped flames to choose from to make your card more cutesy or masculine,which is really fun! This card is about as "girly" as can be but I will be sure to show you lots of guy cards with this set in the next few weeks! :) (and hopefully we'll spot a few in our hop today)

          I don't always remember to find time to decorate the inside of my card, but this set makes me want to , like a surprise party inside! The large solid cake was inked up in yellow, and then I swiped a black marker around the bottom to color the platter outline, and stamped. Next I stamped the little groups of spots in red to decorate it, and then stamped the row of small candles in red with the flame toppers in orange(that is one image). I added a bit of stardust gel pen for sparkle. The Big Scalloped and Classic Ovals* frame this image up so beautifully! Base is Red Hot and scalloped border is the new Pure Luxury Wild Dandelion.
          In the past I've often handwritten the "happy birthday song" in my cards to send to people far away like I'm really there to celebrate by singing, so I can't tell you how excited I am have to have the song now in rubber! I left a little space for you to add the name you need, add there are so many fun ways to do this: write it in your own script, use stickers, alphabet stamps, letters cut from a magazine "ransom note style", be creative! Here I used these 1/4" clear Alpha Bubbles I found at Jo-ann's on clearance, then punched out circles of the Pure Luxury colors to put behind them to make it even more festive!
          I know you will reach for this set again and again when you need a cute birthday card in a flash! :) Hope you enjoyed today's peeks!
          *Notice I used the Big Scalloped Oval Large dies on both cards, would you like to win a brand new set of these versatile dies? Leave a comment below telling me approximately how many birthday cards you make/send out each year, I will choose a winner and post tomorrow! (BTW, I'm not just going with the person who says they do the most, so be honest in your estimation, everyone has a chance LOL!)

          For more samples with the stamp sets being previewed tonight, check out these Designer's Links:


          Please make plans to attend our Release party this Thursday night, May 27th from 7-10 central time which will be held at StampTV. There will be contest questions, challenges, samples from several designers and lots of chatter all leading up to 10pm central, when all the new products and stamp sets previewed this week on our blogs become available online through GinaK Designs store!

          Sunday, May 23, 2010

          Sneak Peek: Beach Bum and Botanicals

          Hello! Welcome to our first night of Gina K Designs previews! I don't know where you are or what time it is there as you read this, but the sun is shining with these sets and new Gina K Pure Luxury Wild Dandelion I used in today's samples! My first card uses Rupa's new set "Beach Bum", what a fun set for scrapping vacations! I made a card using the surfboard image stamped onto the Wild Dandelion, Ocean Mist, and another new Pure Luxury color: Sweet Mango. Don't they put you in the mood for summer, hot sun and cool water? I colored the tops of the boards with Copics a shade or two darker than the CS and then created a little scene using jumbo sponge daubers.

          I started covering the top third of my Pure Luxury White Mat with scratch paper and sponging in Aqua ink to make the sea and removed. Next I sponged in random areas above with some soft blue ink to make the sky, areas I didn't sponge are the clouds. Then Icut out my surfboards and cut off just the bottoms in a curve to look like they are buried in the sand. I adhered these on top and made a little shadow underneath with a Brick Beige Copic. Last I used a couple stamps from "Gifts from the Sea" to complete the scene: the little seagulls at the top and the speckles, again in Antique Linen ink, to give the sand sponged bottom more texture. I'd love to step into this card right about now! :)

          The next sample uses Gina's new "Botanicals" set. The first cards I learned to make so many years ago with stamps were with flowers and script images, and I will never tire of that look, nor will they ever go out of style! These silhouettes are some of my favorites, this one in particular. I started stamping the script, which is the Love Chapter from 1 Corinthians if you look carefully, in Memento Black, then added the flower over it in Black and Vivid Butterscotch.


          Using my sponge daubers again, I layered yellow, green and orange ink over the mat, now the whole thing just glows like a summer night! When I sponge I always try to let a little white peek through, plus have dark and light areas, the contrast of colors is so beautiful this way. Mounted on Black Onyx and Wild Dandelion again, plus a little stitched ribbon, this card is about was simple and quick as it gets, still sweet!

          TIP: Buying a separate dauber for each color has been such a great investment, being able to use several colors at once to finish my card without needing to clean out the sponge or get the colors muddy makes me want to sponge everything! :)

          For more samples with the stamp sets being previewed tonight, check out these Designer's Links:


          Please make plans to attend our Release party this Thursday night, May 27th from 7-10 central time which will be held at StampTV. There will be contest questions, challenges, samples from several designers and lots of chatter all leading up to 10pm central, when all the new products and stamp sets previewed this week on our blogs become available online through GinaK Designs store!

          Saturday, May 22, 2010

          Woo hoo!

          Yay, the Timber Rattlers won their last game of the post season tournament against the Durham Bulls (isn't that cute??), hip hip hurray! This one was super exciting because they got to play on "the big boy field" with the scoreboard, announcers (who introduced him as Jonathan "The Babe" MUNCHinger (that's okay, but that's not how you say it, did you know that? LOL!) Let me tell you if you don't have kids, I think that felt just about as cool as watching him play in the majors! ;) He went 4 for 4 again and I think the final score had them leading by 10 runs.
          A quickie video of their silly string fight afterwards! Let the wild rumpus begin!!!

          video
          Baseball is OVER till Fall! Next up, Kung Fu AND swim team, pray for me! LOL! Gina K Designs Sneak peeks start tomorrow night, can I get another "WOO HOO!" ?? :)

          Hope you are having a terrific weekend!

          Thursday, May 20, 2010

          Champs!

          I've been so busy this Spring, goodness what a busy time of year this is! For the first time I have had two kids in school (preschool for William) and on a sports team so these past few weeks of wrapping up the seasons plus making teachers and coach appreciation gifts, planning victory parties, it has just been insane! (But so much fun! ) Will be back to share about William, today a little about Jonathan's baseball: his AA7 team finished up in first place for the season, and now in the post season playoff they are also #1, with their final game on Saturday! Here he is hoisting their season trophy from last week, standing next to him is the best coach we have ever had, Don Gillespie! What a blessing to get a coach that really loves the game and is so great at developing the kids with patience and respect.
          Last week's game was one of Jonathan's best yet: he went 4 for 4, driving in 8 RBIs and almost hit a home run on his last bat, I don't know if I've ever screamed louder! As team mom, I made baseball cards for all the kids and gave a pack to the coach to remember the season. Like he could forget it, ha!
          Here is the whole team! Jonathan is the tallest...

          And with two great people assisting, I had to make three coaching cards for everyone to sign, here they are, each slightly changed up using "Just So Sporty" and "Sporty Accessories". Inside read "We are the Champions" (These sets worked overtime this month making our coach's soccer thank you card, too!) Color Combo is Pure Luxury Kraft, Black Onyx, Cranberry Tart and Smoky Slate, I'm digging it, you could tell the dads did also! Shirrts are stamped in black on Cranberry Tart CS and then highlighted wth the inkssenitals white pen and I added a few wrinkles with a Cardinal Copic.

          My hand is still giving me trouble so I really appreciate your continued prayers! I have at least 9 samples to make for our peeks next week, what a great release it will be, I hope I hold up!
          Have a GREAT day, more to come!

          Tuesday, May 18, 2010

          Quick Reminder!

          Last chance to enter a card for guest designing for me this month, making something inspired by something on my blog or in my STV gallery! Be sure to add your posted creation to the linky in this post by 10 PM CST tonight! I hope to get lots more entries, I've been seeing some of the most beautiful creations by many of you using my stamps on STV this past week, so please play! (I won't know you are interested if you don't enter!) Thank you!! :)

          New stamps in the house, and colors too, busy, busy! (Found some of the cutest stuff today to go with!)

          Sunday, May 16, 2010

          Shell in My Pocket...

          Hello! I have been wanting to make card with a tag and a pocket ever since I found this "May you always have a shell in your pocket..." for "Gifts from the Sea", and am just now finding time to create it! Making the pocket is very simple: take a mat 4" x 5 1/4" (which will layer onto your A2 base) and cut the top right corner off at a diagonal. Here I used In the Navy CS for my base and little boy blue for my mat, stamped with a denim backgrounder in Vivid inky Blue. Creating holes along the top and down the diagonal with a piercing tool or ScorBug will provide even more realism, then connect the dots with a marker. Now adhere the corner to the top of your card base and use pop dots on the back of your larger piece (top, bottom and sides, NOT in the middle of the diagonal or you can't put your tag in!), adhere this to the base lining it up with the top. The pop dots will give the tag room to slide in.

          Tag is made from a piece of Soft Sand 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" with the top corners trimmed off. I made the reinforcer with circle punches and White CS. The conch shell is stamped on black on white and colored with Copics. After stamping my quote I used Vivid Tuscan Tan ink to sponge the sides and stamp my speckles and few more watermarked looking shells to the bottom. You can slide it all the way out, or push it in with just the top peeking out. Last I added some jute twine and ribbon to the tag and along the bottom and a stamped sand dollar. If you have some eyelets or decorative brads like these from SU! they will punch up the jeans look!

          Try your own pocket card, I'd love to see what you would do with this! :)

          PS There are still a couple more days to add a project to the Mr. Linky for my guest designer! Hope I didn't limit anyone's creativity to much asking you to CASE a project of mine, it could take any elements of a project, doesn't not have to be that similar I am just looking for what inspires you and then shows off your style! Please enter by Tuesday 10PM CST!

          Saturday, May 15, 2010

          Card Patterns Sketch

          Hello! Today's card uses a sketch from Card Patterns, this week Gina K Designs is sponsoring! I used "Gifts from the Sea" and created the scalloped side in the sketch with my shell border, but stamped it on the liner of my card and then cut away about a half inch from the front of the Pure Luxury In the Navy base to reveal just one side.
          I used one of Nina's Lovely labels and a Labels One die for the square part of the sketch, thinking this crosshatch on her label paired with the sea theme looked like netting. Kraft starfish and white sand dollar are colored, accented with glitter and popped up, along with another sand dollar from the border popped up like a button over the stitched navy ribbon. I stamped the speckle image along the bottom to create a textured sandy look.
          Here is the card opened with the greeting, I added more glitter and just a few warm gray shadows to the images. Thank you Card Patterns for this fun sketch! Maybe you can play along to, just add your creation to the linky on their blog!
          Have a wonderful weekend! This one will be one of the busiest for us in a while, but jam packed with fun, tell you about it soon!

          Wednesday, May 12, 2010

          Color Challenge

          Here is a card I made with "Gifts from the Sea" for Tina's Color Challenge on STV, using Black, White and Gray. I may have taken a teensy liberty with my "gray": this is Soft Sand, grayer and softer than Kraft, just a fabulous neutral! I started out with Nina's label, thinking how pretty the stripes would be to frame up the scallop, nestled into these curling flourishes like waves on the beach. It maake this little shell the star of the show, perect with the quote... I added pearls to the top and bottom after die cutting the labels with Labels Four, then popped up the Copic shaded shell on top. Voila! Pretty simple.

          If you play along, be sure to upload you creation to STV with the tag STVCCTG11.

          Thanks for looking, thank you for the challenge Tina! :)

          Tuesday, May 11, 2010

          Week 4 with Sue


          Today we have this gorgeous coaster gift set designed by Sue Van DeVusse with "Gifts from the Sea" and some ordinary 4x4" white tumbled hardware store tiles. I've stamped a lot of coasters over the years, but all the vivid colors she used here just take them up another notch! After stamping the shells in Stazon Timber Brown, she colored them with Prismacolor Markers and then sponged the areas around them blue and brown with Memento and Vivid inks. (I had no idea these tiles would take color so well!) She went over the sand area with the speckle stamp from the set, again in StazOn , I love the texture that created! It is important to let them dry for 24 hours and then spray them with a matte sealer. She also adhered cork to the back of each to protect table tops and counters from scratching, you can also use little felt pads. Sue, I have to say it again, you are rockin' the guest spot!! :)
          I believe she has another beachy gift set for us on her blog, too, let's go see!

          Monday, May 10, 2010

          Illustrator Challenge Hop

          Welcome to this month's illustrator challenge hop! This month, Gina K asked us to use the newest sets we designed and draw inspiration for our cards from a favorite movie...with my set "Gifts from the Sea", that was a pretty easy choice: "Beaches"! Just about the queen mother of all chick flicks, starring the divine Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey, this 4 hanky sob story (with singing!) about two women who meet on the boardwalk as children spans decades and coastlines, romances and breakups, beginnings, passages and endings. Something for everyone! (I haven't seen this movie in about 20 years but when it first came out I think I saw it about 6 times at the theater, and knew all the songs) So I HAD to use *pink* and make my card super girly, and use this very appropriate quote about what a good cry or a trip to the beach with your best girlfriend can do: "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea".
          Card stock is Pure Luxury White for the base, Turquoise Sea, Innocent Pink, and the white stamped mats are watercolor paper. This is the first time I got to use my new Sea Scape Impressabilities plate, let me show what I did to make the background and why watercolor paper works great for this. First I used the jumbo sponge daubers to add aqua and coral ink over the plate like a stencil. I started with aqua, making an undulating wave pattern than went all over the plate, then finished the open areas with coral, keeping the colors separate so they wouldn't get too muddy looking later.
          Then I removed the stencil to reveal the white shell pattern and spritzed it a few times with water in a Mini mister until the colors blended as much as I wanted. Ink on watercolor paper bleeds a lot more when misted than it does on regular card stock and produces really cool, painterly results. (You can get a pad of this paper at any LSS.) I thought this would be a perfect beach look, as well as mimic tears falling onto paper.... If your paper gets too wet, dry with your heat gun a few seconds before continuing.

          Last I used my speckle stamp from the set to add some spatters of coral and aqua dots over the the pattern. I embossed and stenciled the Innocent Pink with the same plate and added some raffia and a layer of Turquoise Sea I Cuttlebugged with Floral Fantasy for more texture. The quote is stamped on the fancy tag die cut, traced with a Quickie Glue pen and glitter to reference the sparkling salt! One stamped scallop shell with an adhesive pearl finishes the card. Hope this inspires! :)

          Hope you will all join our challenge and play along, the winner will be the Spotlight Guest Designer for our next Gina K Release and receive ALL the new sets! For the specific details of the Senior Design Team challenge, please visit GinaK's Blog


          Then, check out these designer's links for all the projects they have prepared for tonight's challenge:

          Sunday, May 9, 2010

          Happy Mother's Day

          Just wanted to take a moment to share what my family did for me for Mother's Day and to wish all you moms out there a happy mother's day too! We went to church this morning and then shopping at the market so Paul could buy some groceries to make a nice dinner tonight. William had a mouse pad made for me with his spring picture so I can see his face (actual size!) all day while I'm at my desk and he's at school, and they both made cards this morning in Sunday school. At the market, Jonathan picked out this little cat creamer pot all by himself and paid for it with his money, the first time he has done that, very sweet since I used to collect cats before I started collecting stamps. I'm not really a coffee drinker, but he pointed out how nice it would be to hold little flowers and I agree! (They had carnations for us moms at church.)

          Paul just took the boys for a few hours and I am about to head out for a little "me time", but just wanted to post and tell you I am praying that you and your families are blessed beyond measure this year and you find something about every day to enjoy. Motherhood isn't for sissies, and I pray God will supply you through the difficult times and reward you for comittment and sacrifices. Yesterday my devotional reading for moms was about "The Strong Willed Child". (I have two, how about you? ) What a blessing it was to be reminded how much God has trusted us moms with when he placed these very independent spirits in our homes, who one day if we nurture them right will grow into adults who will have strong convictions, stand up for their beliefs, and are capable of changing the world.


          One thing I treated myself to (as Carolyn explained you have to buy these things for yourself and then just let the family know what they got you!) is this Flirty Apron (that's not me in the pic!) to make me even flirtier in the kitchen (sent a matching one to my mom, too! Hi Mom, happy mother's day! Won't she go nuts at family get togethers now that we can be twinkies while we bake?!) Now I feel like a yummy mummy while preparing supper, it's just that much more fun! I highly recommend!


          Love and blessings,

          Melanie

          Thursday, May 6, 2010

          CASE me, please!

          I was delighted to have Tina Gilliland send me a "Gifts from the Sea" card (see below) inspired by this swing design I have in "Interactive Cards", published by Annie's Attic.
          The seahorse from "Eclectic Summer" is only attached at the top so it gently sways back in forth like it's swimming the current, what a great image for that design and wonderful way to mix these two sets, doesn't the bold image looks elegant with the realsitic starfish? She replaced so many of the details with new similar ones that work perfectly for a sea card, the punched flourishes now look like seaweed instead of pumpkin vines, she replaced the bats with bubble in the background, and finally the starfish for the punched stars LOL! too cool! (Inside of the card finsihes the quote, you can see it in her STV gallery) Awesome job, Tina, I'm so glad you are enjoying the book and adapting the designs to make them your own! :)
          It is a joy to hear how much each of you are enjoying my stamp designs as well as how my cards have helped you create your own new ones, so I just had to share this great design today, as well as throw down a challenge to all my readers: please create a card inspired by anything I've made on this blog or posted in my STV gallery, but change it up somehow, colors, design, give it your own fresh spin, new and improved! I'll be receiving some new rubber for our next release shortly and I'll need to pick some new designing friends to help out with my newest set! I will only say it is nothing like the last couple sets I've released... go big and bold! :) Using any of my images in this challenge is a plus, it helps me see how you view and work with my designs, and how they fit with your own personal style.

          Post your creation to your blog or STV gallery along with a picture of the card (or link to it) of mine it was inspired by. Then copy and paste the link of your post into the Mr. Linky below. (I reserve the right to remove appropriate links or those not relating the challenge) I look forward to seeing what you make! (I already have my eye on a few peeps for this new set but this will help me know if it's something you'd really want to do! Have fun!

          Wednesday, May 5, 2010

          I Spy with my little eye...

          So this "I spy" challenge to figure out how many times you can spot my projects in the CardMaker issue, is even tougher than I originally thought!! Here are a couple that I thought no one might get, along with some people did find, maybe even being more spot on than I was with what is the best answer!

          The copy arrives and I always have to go hunt for the projects they accepted! When I opened the cover, I was surprised with a few I have done in issues for them this past year. That is my tulip card on the computer screen advertising the digital version of the magazine, with a magnifying glass you might be able to make out my name! (does it count as two because they show two views??? I don't know!!) But two uncredited ones I have on this page are on the covers below, no, not the featured project, but the little thumbnails at the top LOL! One is a Halloween card and the other is a Christmas tin and matching card (and does that one count as 1 or 2 projects??) If you knew these were my cards, you've been following CardMaker and my blog for awhile now!

          Another tricky one is this small thumbnail for a project that was featured on a full page earlier in this issue, but it has a template so you see it twice. But as Darla pointed out, you could call that 1 or 4 , with the sleeve and three different cards from the set showing! (and then multiple that by 2 since it's shown twice? oy! I'm confused!)

          Last, although it doesn't say my name either , the editor blessed me with a little teaser of my "Inspiration Mosaic" feature in their upcoming issue, this is one of three projects using the mosaic you'll see.


          Darla, I think you were the closest, and seemed to spend the most time leaving no page unturned LOL! so please send me your addy and I will send you a little thank you card for playing and reading! :)
          Have a great day!

          *I know some people who get these digital subscriptions and really like them, there is no waiting for a paper copy in the mail, it arrives in your inbox as soon as the magazine is available, plus you have access to the back issues, which rocks! Might be something you'd want to look into! However, I really enjoy having a hard copy to tote around so I can tell my friends and family "Looky!" ;)