Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm so excited...

about my next post, you might want to wait up for this one!! It'll be the first in a "series" so to speak...

Also, some exciting news coming tomorrow from Gina K Designs!!

AND, our next release is less than two weeks away sneak peek starting in just 8 days!! (and I saw ALL the sets today, neener neener NEENER! They rock!!)

okay, back to writing my post...see you 'round midnight :)

One Cute Cookie!

I learned this fabulous kimono card design from Michelle, she's got a terrific video to show you how to make this super simple card (and how to add that adorable little face with the top-knot hairdo! (here I added a sateen flower and self-adhesive rhinestone I colored with Red Cadmium Copic) It was just right for my new fortune cookie image!

I used an Apricot Appeal base covered with a favorite DP print from the Basic Grey Ambrosia pack and added a strip of the Apricot and 1/4 " red grosgrain for the obi. Untie to reveal a little message from the "Have a Cookie" set, "You are one cute cookie!"
My fortune cookie (colored with Prismas) from "Have a Cookie!" is the perfect little embellishment to the corner when popped up on dimensionals, as you can see the little word "FOR YOU" fits on the fortune* peeping out. (Lots of other words in the set to customize your "fortune")

This was SUCH a fun card to make! :)

*I must say, I do not believe in fortune-telling, but the idea of a tiny message hidden in a sweet cookie is simply too magical to resist!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Two Turtle Doves with a Twist

Here is the card I whipped up for Day 2 of Papercraft Planet's 12 days of Christmas Challenge! These doves are bringing these dazzling ornaments to decorate, I just love how it turned out! Images are stamped in Memento Black, colored with Copics from Box A, and 120lb white CS and ribbon are from the Gian K Pure Luxury Line. After stamping I wished I had put the greeting a little further to the left than I had, it was a little heavy on the right side, so I decided to add some ribbon for balance. TIP: I wanted to make a long curling garland with the ribbon so I used this yummy shiny piece (this ribbon never fails to make my heart skip beat, it is SO gorgeous!!) from the Holiday Collection, left the left side much longer after tying and then twisted it a couple times and adhered the end inside with a glue dot. (I cut the ribbon at a nice angle with my Fiskars scissors I use only for ribbon, so the little piece you see inside the card looks nice and "finished". I repeated that with the right side, too. Doing this you can keep your ribbon in place in an architectural way that suits you/your card. Isn't that fun? The curl pattern would obviously flatten in an envelope, so this is a card I would insert into a gift bag or present in person.

Please play this one day challenge, a winner will be chosen randomly tomorrow and will win a set of stamps!

Guest Designer: Gabriela Arriaza

Today I have a project to share from a stamper I happened to meet through Splitcoast, who had arranged not one but TWO swaps for my "Little Tees" and "Just So Sporty" sets! Gabby made such creative and cute projects with them too, you can see some of them here, so she was an easy choice for one of my guests to design with this month's "Tee Talk" set! Here is a gift she made for a stamper using the "I'd rather be stamping" sentiment(oh my goodness, wouldn't you just freak if a friend showed up at your door with an adorable handmade tote full of stamps and supplies just for YOU??!!) Below is her description:

"I turned this note tote into a "gift bag" and filled it with a stamp set, ink pad, and acrylic block. Next I'll be making and ACTUAL note tote with note cards. This is cute to hand out at stamping parties as a door prize...or maybe even raffle it." Template and instructions for tote: found here- EDITED TO ADD: I found this is actually a template listed in the Splitcoast Fan Club gallery, if you aren't a member of the fan club, you won't be able to view it, and if it's a fan club project, template and instrcutions aren't supposed to be posted elsewhere, I'm aplogize to anyone who doesn't have access! I will say Gabby has her supplies listed at the bottom, if you want to try to "wing it!"

And here are my questions for Gabby:
Gabby’s favorite:
Technique~I'm a direct to paper stamper, but I also like masking and I dabble in brayering, a technique I wish to one day accomplish beautifully.

Colors/color combo~I love elegant looking cards, black & white or neutrals, although sometimes I do go a bit "color crazy". I also like using a lot of brown with pink, mint, & aqua...or any other color that looks fabulous with browns.

Type of project to make that’s not a card?~TOTES!!! I do like making boxes and treat bags as well...but totes are my all time favorites by far.

Gina K set by's a toss up between Little Tee's and Just So Sporty. I'm a tee and hoodie type of gal when I have my "downtime".

Gina K sets (from any illustrator)~my all time favorite that I really don't use often has to be Owl Always Love You (reminder to project...break that set out!) I have a thing for cute looking owls.

Craft supplies I can’t live without:~STAMPS & Prismacolor markers are the tops!!! LOL...but, I also CAN NOT live without my Zots, trimmer, & Scor-Pal! Oh...and Basic Black ink is a MUST have.
I've been stamping for a bit over 5 years now
I get my inspiration from~awesome stampers that are drool-worthy on SCS or many blogs I've visited and just life itself and what's around me or what I'm going through.

The most important things I’ve learned about stamping/cardmaking are~anything handmade that you give to family or friends or just anyone is worth more because it comes from the heart and it's made with love and care. I've also learned to treat stamping like a baby and be patient and have those "sleepless" nights just to see the creations that come from YOUR hands.

Some of my stamping/crafting goals are~to reach the levels of those master stampers and maybe one day be published in a magazine...or even become a design team member.

Some of my stamping/crafting accomplishments are~graduating from single layers and stickers! I may not be a pro yet...but I have come a LOOOONG way!

I like stamping because~it is my creative outlet. Stamping allows me to express myself and share who I am without saying too much. It's also a great way for free therapy. LOL! Well...not too much free...but cheaper and I can do it on MY time.

Supplies used:CS: Basic Black & Riding Hood Red from Stampin' Up! Bright White from Wausau Papers DP: Black & White Collection from Making Memories Ink: Basic Black, Riding Hood Red from Stampin' Up! & Crimson Red Prismacolor marker Stamps: Little Tee's, Tee Talk, & Flourishes from Stampotique Embellishments: Silk flowers on bouquet from Mike's, Build-A-Brad, & Grosgrain Red ribbon Others: Bamboo skewers & make-up sponges

Thank you Gabby for this terrific project and introducing me to these cool totes! Bamboo skewers, very cool!! :) Look forward to seeing more of your work!

BTW: have you seen my Guest Designer Carolina's Advent Calendar?? (that she made with cookie cooling racks?? Brilliant!) Oh my word, YUMMY!

Papercraft Plant Sketch Challenge #4

Here is the Papercraft Planet Sketch for this week (have you been playing along with these??? You have all week to enter them and could win free stamps!) This challenge was designed by Kim Burmeister, I will be back with my take on the sketch! (My mom and I went to the spa yesterday so I have some crafting catching up to do, but as you can imagine, it was worth it!

Hope you all had a great holiday and survived the after shopping madness yesterday, it was probably one of the first Friday after I didn't shop! Did you find some GREAT deal? Go ahead and gloat about it here! :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Antiqued Votive Lantern Tutorial

Today I am sharing a project I made for Papercraft Planet's "12 Days of Christmas": today is day 1 (...and a partridge in a pear TREE!...) so anything with trees goes! My parents are in town for Thanksgiving and amazingly I was able to whip up this whole project and tutorial while they were here on Thanksgiving day before the meal while they entertained the kids! I didn't think there'd be time to stamp at all during their visit, who knew?!) This is very similar to my haunted votive but with a few adjustments. I was inspired by a hurricane lantern I bought for my dad's mountain cabin a few years back, the metal was an aged aged brown and black, which I knew I could easily duplicate with a sponge and some ink and would look fabulous with Gina 's new Free with Three "Tree Silhouettes". The picture below is what I made, on our dining room table (I put it on this trivet to boost it up for the pic, and wish I'd gotten some our wrought iron accessories in the pic to show how great they match... oh well!

Start by scoring a piece of CS at 2.5, 5, 7.5, and 10 Inches. Cut off the last three quarter inch to leave a small flap.

Here I am cutting out a window in each section with one of my long dies. I didn't measure, just centered it in each. As you can see, I like to put my C plate on top and B on bottom when I'm cutting so I can see where my die is. When you do this, it's mirror image of the regular stack, so here your cutting edge is facing DOWN.

TIP: My B plates are getting pretty warped from use so I sometimes have a few areas where my die doesn't quite go all the way through. You can run the die and CS back through, but sometimes it just wants to hang on in that one spot, ya know? Fortunately, it has cut part way through, so instead of ripping it out or cutting with scissors, take your hobby blade and insert and pull through the line, it will come right out.

Now grab a sponge and start adding your black ink all over the outside. I used Chocolate Chip CS to match most of the finishes of my iron candle holders etc, but there maybe be another earthy tone or silver or gray that is a better match for your decor/colors. I chose Craft Ink to show up even better since it is REALLY opaque, and so I wouldn't have to press so hard, plus it leaves the slightest texture compared to classic ink.

Now stamp your trees in Memento Tuxedo Black on your vellum paper rectangles, each just slightly bigger than your openings. Be sure to blot onto scratch paper as even this fast drying ink takes a little while to dry on vellum.

Run your Dot'n'Roller on the insides around each opening. I didn't have this stuff when I made my first votive and it is ideal for this project, less mess, and place each stamped piece on top of the adhesive, stamped side facing out.)

I didn't have this adhesive when I made my first votive and it is ideal for this project, less mess, and you can simply rub off the excess around the sideswith your fingers(see (or rather, don't see LOL!) below)

Here is the finished shade, if you click on the pic hopefully you can see that beautiful mottled antiqued finish, you'd have to touch it to believe it's not metal but paper! I love this rustic look with those elegant trees. I will be making several more of this to decorate en masse around the house later this weekend, it will go just perfectly with the pine scent once we set up our Christmas tree!

If you want to take this a step further but skip the paper, the stamps would be gorgeous on real frosted glass to make a more permanent decoration!

Hope you enjoyed this project, and you'll play along making your own tree-themed creation and upload to Papercraft Planet, you could win free stamps! Tomorrow is Day 2, and another challenge!(sing the song to see if you can guess!) :)

OH! Don't forget: 24-hour Specials - Friday November 28th in the Gina K store {midnight to midnight} - be sure to check them out! (I can't wait to see what they are!) :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Whole Lotta' Coffee

I couldn't choose which coffee cup I liked best, so decided to use them all! If you "squish" you can get all 5 on a grid line block and stamp once, I LOVE that!! And the multiple cup design worked perfectly with the sentiment: "Behind every successful woman is a whole lotta' coffee." (all in a day's work!!! Any guesses as to whom I might be sending this?)

I needed a longer card than normal with this long focal point, which is fine because I recently broke down and got the long rectangle Nestabilites sets that had been haunting me! (although the white was too large to die cut, that's why the little handle is hanging off (trimmed with a craft knife), but the scalloped mat is. If you don't have these, just make a large card using one sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 folded in half that fits in a long envy. :)

Card base is Kraft, I love this color on coffee themed cards like the wrap around a "to go" cup. When I drink coffee, I add a lot of milk or cream, so mine doesn't usually have that standard Chocolate Chip color, so I used a Copic and some Textured DCWV Earth Element CS to match. I could have made the cups different colors, but I was diggin' the "all white" here.

Although I forgot to take a pic of this addition and was too lazy to photograph it again, it looks adorable to stamp some of the sprinkle bits or flour dust or crumbs on the the top of the latte foam from "Have A Cookie!" like cinnamon or cocoa*, I know I said it already but I am just SO excited to use these sets together (it was like getting an early Christmas present when I first saw Rupa's set, coming out the same month as mine!) :)

I don't drink coffee on a regular basis, but, I am willing to learn! I'm sure you've all been reading abut Gina's dad on her blog, please say a prayer for her family today or leave her some love on her blog! If you haven't yet watched the cardsforheroes video, please take time to do so, it is as my mom would say "a three hanky movie"! I just cried and cried, it was so moving! (in a good way!) God bless, happy Thanksgiving!

*I'll do this on another sample so you can see ;)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One Sweet Apron!

This was a fun project/experiment, trying out these Pentel Fabric Fun Dye sticks I got at CHA with my "Have a Cookie" set to make a stamped apron for one my little bakers! You could also use fabric markers, but I thought the pastels would be easier to work with on this slightly ribbed surface, (markers I think would take longer and look blotchy) Here's a little apron I got at Hobby Lobby for 2.99. (I'm not sure how much the pastels are since I got them free but I did see they had them at Hobby Lobby, not to far from the aprons!Obviously, they would last/work for a ton of projects!) :)

I started stamping just the gingerbread cookie and greeting in the middle of the bib. Make sure you use a fast drying ink that won't run on fabric. (I do not recommend craft ink, as it fades quite a bit after washing.)

Then I used just about every image in my set to decorate the bottom(very fun!), and colored them with the pastel sticks. They are very soft, very similar to the greasy kind of art pastels, so it went quickly, and while there were only 15 colors, I found you could shade/blend them. I added a little shadow of grey pastel under each. The sort of "crayon" look they give instead of smooth"Copic" is perfect for a child's gift.

I tried to keep it a surprise, but William burst into the room as I was finishing it, and of course wanted to put it on right away. Here's the pic!

This resulted in some smudges and smearing of the pastels from him touching it and pulling it on and off, you are supposed to throw it in the dryer to heat set it when you're done! Oh well, it's gonna have stains all over it soon enough!

I am pleased to report a few weeks later he is still completely enchanted with it and taking wearing it for messy project very seriously! This is a super inexpensive gift to give, or a really fun project to do with kids! And not just for kids, of course, you can get adult-sized aprons, too :) I have some little chef's hats as well, I plan to stamp some cookies around the band, but haven't gotten to that yet...

Let's TALK TEES! ("Tee Talk"!)A few other ladies who are rockin' the tshirt house this month are Laura Fredrickson, and Suzy Haghighi, you MUST check out their awesome t-shirt samples with this set!!( Sorry if it even seems I haven't given enough T-shirt love this month, but never fear! I am working on something with this new set I will share soon that, IMHO, is gonna blow your mind!! hee! Curious??
Have a VERY safe and happy Thanksgiving!! (DO I even bother posting tomorrow, will anyone have time to check it? LOL!) I'd love to hear what you're thankful for! (That little guy above is just one of my many blessings) :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Coffee Kisses in a Pizza Box with lots of Challenges!

Here is the Sketch for our PaperCraft Challenge this week, designed by Tammy Hershberger! I had an idea for a cute card, but then I realized the square shape gave me a great excuse to finally try making one of those cool pizza boxes Jen delMuro created! And, I had an idea of how I could incorporate some coffee and cookies, too hee hee! Can't wait to show what's inside! (I also managed to work in the SCS color challenge and Limited Supply Challenge this week!) I just got the Petite Ovals (Scalloped an Classic Sets) so I was excited to try them out with this sketch(although the Classic shorter ovals would have worked too) I love the look of them and how well they'll work for many longer greetings I have.

To make my sentiment, I used the "Tiny Treasures" stamp from "What's in Your Tin? 1", which I snipped in half, then put "coffee" from "My Cuppa' Joe" in between on the round grid line block. I just bought a whole set of the these and what a great purchase, they are AWESOME, I HIGHLY recommend these for your unmounted rubber! I just used plain rectangle acrylic blocks before and these are SO much easier to hold with the finger grips, the round shape accommodates more images, and best of all those lines are helping me line up my images and stamp straighter than ever, I love it! (I do have a long grid line block, but could only use it for longer images, having these smaller ones is making a huge difference in my stamping and finshes projects already, yippee!!) I stamped one of the coffee cups in Versamark over my greeting.

I stamped the inside and outside of my Kraft box before folding in Memento Tuxedo Black with some of the cups in the coffee set, but also used "SMILE" and "HOLIDAY" from my "Have a Cookie". Notice that foamy latte on the front side? I "sprinkled" it with one of the the "little bits" stamps in my cookie set, too, to dress it up (think shaved chocolate or even crushed candy cane!) This box measures 4 inches square. You need an 11x 6" piece of CS. Using your Scor-Pal, score shortways at 1", 5", 6", 10", and the longways at 1 and 5", then snip the tabs and adhere with permanent DotnRoller. See the tutorial for step by step mini pizza boxes here.

After removing the belly band, you open the box to find an assortment of 16 staggered kisses, ones I had never tried before this season! Mint Truffle (creamy center) and Candy Cane (red and white striped peppermint flavor with crushed candy cane throughout) both very festive and yummy, and I'm sure would be fabulous dunked in hot drinks!
I made up my own poem to explain the gift and printed it out, framing it up with my new Nesties to match my tag:
"When you need a
Christmas HUG,
Just drop a KISS into your MUG!
Your coffee or cocoa now will say,
“I wish you a
HAPPY Christmas DAY!” "
Isn't that fun to have these little chocolates melting away to give your cuppa' some extra zip?! The little chocolate "kiss" you see under the poem and on the box top DP I stamped in red and brown is my chip from "Have a Cookie", too(I covered them all with ym Sakura Glaze Pen for shine). :) You can modify this poem for year round meltaways, too, like this:

When your Cocoa (Coffee) needs a HUG,
Just drop a KISS into your MUG!
Your coffee or cocoa now will say,
“I hope you have a HAPPY DAY!”
or something better than that you think of yourself, LOL!

I hope you enjoyed this project, have a great day!!! (You don't have to make the box, but I hope you'll try the sketch challenge! Upload a project using the sketch to PCP with the keyword SK112208 by Friday and you could win a prize! Good luck!)


They're not "just for cookies", he heh!! ;)

Color your rolled out dough image from "Have a Cookie" in a color to match you Play-doh or other modelling dough (here I used "Fun-Doh", a cheap alternative to Play-doh, and I do not recommend it LOL! I bought it not for the price but because I like the "white" rather than Play-Doh's "Yoyo Yellow" container! Thumbs down on Fun-Doh's texture however and their sloped sided container, you'll have a much easier time wrapping Play-doh's cylinder!!) I added my heart shaped cookie to a die cut circle for the top and some of Gina K's Pure Luxury ribbon.

Add a shaped cutter, rolling pin or other cutting tool and it makes a fun stocking stuffer, party favor, gift for classmates or treat for a Valentine! (Who doesn't love play-doh?? )

Or, try making your own dough with salt, flower and water and bagging it up with a little stamped tag instead! As a child, my mom and I spent many an hour making little ornaments and figurines with this homemade stuff, which can either be painted after baking or you can add food coloring to the dough when you make it :)

I'll be back with my sample for this week's PCP sketch challenge, I worked in all sorts of other challenges hee hee! Just gotta finish writing it up!!

(eek, I just looked at the date, only one more month of stamping/shopping days til Christmas!!)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Guest Designer: Carolina Buchting

Carolina Buchting is one of the fabulous artists I've asked to put in a little "overtime" with my stamps this month, here are a few questions I had for help us to get to know her a little better and get inside that creative mind of hers!

1. Favorite Technique - I would have to say faux stitching. Though I still love real stitching on paper with a sewing machine, I love piercing on paper and then using a pen to create faux stitch affect or even using a white gel pen to draw stitch just adds that little extra something.

2. Favorite Colors/color combo
Single color would have to be Basic Gray - love using it as a background, as a mat, or even on it's own. For combo I would have to say Brown and Pink with Black and Pink a close second. Brown and Pink has a lot to do with my two favorite indulgences - Brown for Coffee since I drink it with milk and Pink like my favorite cupcake flavor, strawberry.

3. Favorite type of project to make that's not a card?
Anything altered! If it's not nailed down or glued down I'll alter it...well even then I'm sure I can find a way to alter it - LOL!

4. Favorite Gina K set by Melanie
Hard one...but I'd have to say "Have a Cookie" because I love the versatility followed with "Little Tees" a close second because it was first of it's kind and love that about your sets - just how original they are and fun to work with!

5. Favorite Gina K sets (from any illustrator)
Used to be "Retro Boutique" by Rupa because it reminds me so much of my grandmothers, but now hands down "My Cuppa' Joe" set...I'm sure you know why - "wink". I do have to say that I also love all the Stamps for a Cause sets because of the meaning behind them. It's one of the reason I started buying from Gina, her generosity and those of the artist that design for her are always so heart warming.
(I won't put you on the spot and ask favorite stamp company, hee hee!) ;) -
Thanks, this would have been hard to decide on...I would have been sitting on this email until next week - LOL!

6. Favorite craft supplies I can't live without
Oh this has to be tie for me - LOVE halfback pearls with ribbon really, really, close behind - I think my 200 plus rolls can account to that!

7. I've been stamping for (how long)
On a mostly daily basis I would say for about 5 years, but I had my first collection of stamps at the age of 8...I just took a break for a while and experimented with other mediums.

8. I get my inspiration from
Just about everywhere and everyone. I see things in a different way than most. I look at things as potential of what they could be and always take time to admire their beauty and draw inspiration from the color, the texture or even the shape of that particular thing. From people, I draw inspiration from the clothes they wear, how they accessorize, the way they style their hair or as simple as the shoes they might have on that day. I also love to look at fashion, interior design, and food magazines and love to blog hop and check out what others are coming up much talent out there!

9. The most important things I've learned about stamping/cardmaking are
The joy it can bring to another person. Whether it is through a card I sent to a friend or even a complete stranger; to the friends I've met through this amazing obsession, um, I mean hobby of ours. I'm greeted daily by an email from a friend or a stranger sharing with me their feedback on a card or project I've posted on my's always so sweet to read how much what I do means to other and/or gives them inspiration to create something for themselves.

10. Some of my stamping/crafting goals are:
To improve my watercoloring; get better at using my Copics; learn new tecniques; and at some point down the line desing my own line of designer paper.

11. Some of my stamping/crafting accomplishments are
I have two big accomplishments this year, first is my blog and second is my design and guest design team invitations. I'm honored and so touched by the companies that have invited me to design with their stamps.

She's designed some fabulous "not a cookie" projects, please go check them out! :) Carolina will be back each week this month with more cuteness and cleverness, stay tuned!

Chicken Soup for your Soul

I've always* wanted a little bowl of soup stamp for "get well" cards...would you believe this is actually the bottom of a coffee pot?

Omitting part of an image to get more mileage from my rubber is one of my favorite things to do, it's a little "game" I play with myself (Find the Shape!) I used my Memento dew drop to carefully ink up just the bottom of the pot from Rupas' adorable new coffee set "My Cuppa Joe". I can honestly say it it the cutest coffee set I have ever seen! "Get well soon" is from "Say it with Flowers" (I love the italic soon, it's like you blowing on your hot soup to cool it: "sooooooooon...........") ;)

I thought it'd be fun to have some hearts rising out of the bowl somehow, so I went flipping through my paper packs and the perfect sheet was in Basic Grey's Sugared pack! (and the heart strip was in the perfect spot, too LOL! and the right colors!! That's "Stamping Serendipity", ladies...) The shadows are created with Copics, but I didn't have the right shade for my golden broth so I colored that with a So Saffron marker. I stopped there, didn't feel a ribbon or other embellishments were needed. (I'm trying to "edit"'s a Project Runway/Top Design thing...:)

*well, at least, as long as I've been stamping!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

C'mon, Get Funky!

These fun and simple "Funky Christmas" images should take centerstage and work well on a simple card front so I began by stamping the snowman and then masking it to put "Happy Holidays" from Seasonal Sayings just below. I added a shadow to the left by outlining the words with a grey Copic and then stamped my ornaments to hang off the loops in "holidays".

I liked it this, but why not keep going? (I had a few minutes to kill, hee hee) ;) I placed a Classic Rectangle Nestabilities die around the my images and traced both the inside and outside of the die with a fine black pen, skipping over my images when I came to them. Then I removed the die and just sketched in a simple divider between my outlined borders (you can use a ruler if you really want, but sketching it loosely goes nicely with the artwork in the set, I think) :) I filled in each new frame this created with Copics to match my colored images.

Last I added some self adhesive rhinestones to each image and then doodled in three little spots ot the right corner, to match all those other little squiggly dots that kept repeating themselves in the snowman and ornaments. I took a chance on that an djust LOVE how that little detail ties it all together! (yes!) I really had fun with this quick card!

You've already seen the other pics of this, so just pretend I flipped the card over to show you there is no bleed through with this 120lb Pure Luxury CS and Copics! (heaven, ...I'm in heaven...)

Hope your Sunday is FUN-KY!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tic Tac Dough!

Oh, these were so fun to make and look good enough to eat!! *I can't think of magnet set more appropriate for a proud baker's kitchen than these sweet treats! I stamped the cookies in Memento Rich Cocoa Ink, "sprinkled"(stamped) on some hearts from my set, and colored them with Copics. Then I stuck them to my adhesive magnet sheet and trimmed. I covered the icing part of each image with a layer of Crystal Lacquer, it really looks like shiny icing (click on the pic to see the glaze!)

I cut out a large square of magnetic paper and covered one side with brushed silver CS like a cookie sheet; the other side I covered with some DCWV Spring Stack paper, the large plaid design conveniently made a cute tic tac toe grid!

And here they are on the fridge, ready to hold some photos or grocery list(for cookie ingredients of course!)

There are several bakers on my Christmas list who will be getting some of these, they'd also make great stocking stuffers, on a magnetic sheet or tied up in a little cello bag like fresh baked cookies!!

EDITED TO ADD: the pic on the fridge is the moment my sons first met, Jonathan fell in love with his little brother on sight, the look on his face is like "Christmas"! (these days, it's often a different story LOL!!) I used this pic on William's birth annoucnement that I cropped, changed to black and white and then handtinted with some baby blue, maybe I'll share that here sometime...BUT, I didn't stamp on it!! (the horror!)

*Bear with me, I'm on a "magnet" roll, (my third set in a week!) but I've used almost all my magnetic paper LOL! so I'm coming to the end!!) (I can actually think of ONE more thing I want to do hee hee!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

I used my long classic and scalloped rectangle Nestabilites for this card, I'll say it again, I just looooove this looong "Merry Christmas"! I added a shadow to it by just outlining the left side of each letter and then stamped my little caroling people from "Funky Christmas" (colored with Copics) right on the top edge, I love to perch my stamps this way when I can, hee hee!

Threading water punch is used along the bottom and faux stitching along the bottom with the Inkssentials white gel pen bring out that beautiful ribbon (gift from my peep Joanne)
EDITED TO ADD: when writing this up, I forgot to day I did the faux embossing technique with my white craft pad and Versamark on my red base for a subtle background (so subtle in this pic, I forgot I did it LOL!) but if you click for a closeup, you'll see instead of Cuttlebugging, I used the snowflake cluster stamp from this set first in Versamark, then shifted over slightly and tamped with white craft ink, it really gives a look of raised funky flakes! I've done this to better effect before, but my craft pad is getting a little dry, with a little reinking it'll provide more of a pop! Let me know if you'd like to write up a new post with technique step by step and a new sample! :)

And the Winner is....

The winner of the blog candy "Just So Sporty" stamp set is:

Nicole said...
So awesome how you made it so masculine! I love the versatility of this set. Just convinced me to get Little Tees this last release, and I NEED Just So Sporty to go with it!! I wanna be just like you when I grow up, Mel. ;)Hugs.
November 17, 2008 7:10 PM

Nicole, please email me your address ASAP! Thank you everyone for playing!

Sweet Sprinkles: Dollar Spot Alert!

Okay, there are SO many cookie/baking related items at the Target dollar spot(some are $2.50) right now, you've just got to go and you'll be set for almost everyone on"your list"! I grabbed a set of the comfort grip (Bashful Blue!) cookie cutters and a set of assorted sprinkles, with a quick plan to dress them up! I thought it added a bit of "magic" and fun to deem each sprinkle with the power to make "smart" or "cute" cookies, hee hee! so I gave each one a label I adhered to the top of the plastic sleeve container directly above each sprinkle can, changing out the words to make the different cookies. When someone takes them out they'll be able to open the bottle and shake the sprinkles out, but then put them back in the sleeve and the labels will all line up again.

The white CS is cut with a 1" circle punch, the larger Real Red or Garden Green mat is 1 1/4" punch. I tied a festive bow with one of the ribbon from the Gina K Pure Luxury assortment, put it in abasket with my cutters and some mix, and my gift is done! Great for a neighbor or family with kids to use all season long*! :)

*This same idea could be carried over to a decorating kit for Easter cookies, fall cookies etc just by selecting a different color or shaped sprinkles set... ;)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Masking & Sponging a Sunset in Seconds: tutorial

Today I will share one of the fastest cards I've ever made, using Gina K's GORGEOUS Free with Three set "Tree Silhouettes", (and with very limited supplies, I might add!) You can do this!! You need a sponge and scratch paper (and ink and stamps!)

Stamp your trees in the lower right corner, staggering like they're on a hill, and stamping off to create depth. Stamp your greeting (this is also in the set) in the top left corner.
Use a straight edge to mask a "horizon" and sponge some ink (here Regal Rose) above it. (I'm not doing anything with that "diagonal", just moved the paper away so you can see!) Doesn't it already look like mist floating off the water?

Sponge some areas above and below in the same color ink to create the "cloudy sky" and the reflection on the water. You don't have to worry so much about whether your reflection is exactly the same.
Then tear out a "hill" from your scratch paper, and sponge ink below this area (here Always Artichoke)
Now use a punch circle and place it over your greeting, (this will draw special attention to your sentiment, giving it a beautiful glow!) sponging your pink ink around it.
Take your circle mask away and place it below your horizon (directly below the top sponged circle), and sponge as you did before. Remove. Your sunset is done!
Mat onto coordinating CS (Always Artichoke)* and then onto Gina K Pure Luxury 120lb white base, or for a really fast card create this whole scene directly on your card base for an elegant, single layer card! I added three little adhesive metal dots I colored with a Black Copic to the top corner, just to give a little something extra.

I am positive I have never put just Regal Rose and Always Artichoke together on one card LOL! But this really reminds me of a sunset I saw a few years ago in Tahoe.... :)
Last day to enter my "Just So Sporty" blog candy, be sure to leave a comment on this post (<--meaning that linked one right there!) if you haven't yet done so! I will post the winner tomorrow!
PS I think now I must have also subconsciously lifted a layout/channeled "The Magic of Oil Painting" from waaaaaay back , those would be my "happy little trees" and happy little sun" LOL!!! Anyone remember that??

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Am Not a Painter...Paint by Stamp Tutorial

...but the kids and I really had fun painting together on Sunday. I'd been wanting to experiment with making a canvas creation with my stamps from "A Year of Flowers", as well as giving my kids an opportunity to work on real canvas to later hang in their rooms. The end result was pretty close to my original vision, I kept it loose and"artsy-looking" to compensate for my lack of "mad painting skeelz" LOL! To make your own stamped wall art you need a cheap canvas(few dollars), acrylic paints(50 cents a bottle), a few brushes, STAMPS, and black craft ink (I used SU!, craft ink is just like paint in a pad).
First I painted a bright yellow background (then I wouldn't have to go back and try to paint around everything) leaving a little bit of white around the edge. I painted the sides later with a bright red since I planned to leave it unframed (and add a little somethin' in that space, you'll see...) Next I stamped my flowers in Going Gray classic ink (you could use a different light color, too, you're going to paint over it.) Be sure to put something up underneath your canvas like a book first so you have a hard solid surface to stamp (since the pulled canvas will give when pressed). I still lost a little detail in the center, but I was able to add in a little bit of detail with a pen at the end...
Then I roughly filled in the whole image with paint. I didn't really tried to shade, just slopped the paint on! (Sorry I didn't take some more in between pics, I was supervising the kids and kind of forgot!) Last I stamped my image again on top of the paint colored area with Basic Black Craft ink to bring out the detail, again so I wouldn't have to paint around my lines! (Below you can see I've done this over my daisies but haven't gone back over the leaves yet.) I didn't use a Stampamjig, just eyeballed it, was kind of going for the "free-form sketchiness" of having some overlap with the background color or each other rather than a perfect fit. The pot I just painted in myself.
As you can see here I did mask in places, just with my same paper masks I use when mask on my cards. Below I'm covering my daisy so I can stamp over those green patches with my inked leaf outlines in black) I did wait until each layer dried so I'd get a better impression and wouldn't get my stamps all goopy with paint.

Last, I added "my signature quote" in own handwriting* with a black Copic around the sides to create border. I added shorter quotes I like about art in the red space on the sides. Here it is! It won't win any prizes, but it's good enough for my craft room and I had a blast working on it! (The colors are so cheerful I can enjoy it without focusing on the mistakes.) Choosing the special quotes added a bit of magic to it (for me) just like special journalling brings a scrapbook page to life.
I will probably make a few changes to this later, like add another flower still work in progess; the beauty of paint and canvas, you can go right over it! The canvas came in a 2 pack, so with the other instead of a still life I plan on trying something a little more Pop Art "Andy Warhol"-looking, I'll come back with it if I think it's worth sharing...
And now, here's me just being silly with my camera and drawing figure:
"Look ma, no hands!!"
"Oh here, let me straighten this...."

I hope this post inspires you to pick up some paint and try your favorite stamp images out on a larger "canvas" than just cards! :) (I think I'll stick to my cardmaking "day job" LOL!, but to quote Tim Gunn, this was truly a "soul-stirring" experience! :)
"If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. ~Vincent Van Gogh
(I may have had this quote on my blog before, because I just love it, I include it here not just literally since this post is about painting, but because I think it's just so important to just go for it when creating(anything)!! Vincent is the bomb!!)

*I don't LOVE my handwriting, but it's definitely part of my creative process, (I am forever making notes about my sets, they weave in and out of stamp sketches) so while I don't believe it to be beautiful, I'm okay with making it part of the art here :) (although I don't "go there" on my cards, have you noticed??) ;)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tee Talk: You're a Classic (Candy!!)

My husband works really, really hard. So I had to make him a very special card to express my gratitude and celebrate the promotion he got this last week (and to celebrate me finally getting the Labels One Nestabilities set, hee hee!)
"You're a Classic" is from my new "Tee Talk" set, one of my favorite greetings from it, so fun stamped on a "vintage" tee or by itself on a tag for practically anybody/occasion. This casual button down I made from the jersey in "Just So Sporty". This is the first time I've made a man's dress shirt from it, and I'm so thrilled with how it turned out! (and it was so easy to do!) To alter the jersey: ink up just the outside of the sleeves (omitting the stripes), the body of the shirt, and the inside vee of the collar (omit the outside of the collar). Then stamp onto DP. I found a really masculine print in the Basic Grey Ambrosia pack (this looks like most of the shirts in my DH's closet, invarious shades of course) Add a "w" on either side of the V neck for the collar points and a line down the middle to separate the front. A few little o's for buttons (filled in with the Inkssential pen) and you're done! I traced over the lines and filled in the inside of the neck with my C-3 Gray Copic to add a little shadow and keep it from looking flat.
Then I placed a Labels One die a quarter turn on my DP so I could have the mat print going on the bias. I die cut a smaller label out of one the solid Ambrosia prints for my greeting and punched a slot innthe top and bottom to thread a strip of another Basic Grey solid print, which looks just like brown leather, through. It reminded me of a belt and a buckle, so I cut a second strip of the "belt" and attached it to the first so that it could wrap around the whole card like a belly band. Finally I mounted it on the larger label in Basic Black and made the dots with a black pen around it, the shape and dots make me think of the pieced leather and holes on wingtips. The shirt is popped up on dimesnionals. This is probably one of my fave masculine card I've ever made (they're harder for me). I'm excited about using this look on more cards: birthdays, Father's day etc, in a milion different patterns.... :)

Would you like to win "Just So Sporty"? I have one extra set with somebody's name on it, maybe yours! Leave a comment on this post before Wednesday 10PM CST, I will draw one name randomly and announce the winner on Thursday,November 20th. (Already have the set? You can still enter, but you have to give it to your Stampin' BFF if you win, okay?) You can get an extra chance by subscribing to my blog, click to subscribe thorugh feedblitz or Google reader in my sidebar....Already a subscriber? Let others know about the candy by linking this post for an extra chance! :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Buds & Branches Tutorial

Wendy's PCP sketch and her sample with those beautiful punched leaves up the sides like a vine really inspired me to try it with my "A Year of Flowers", but I didn't have a punch like hers, so I had to work with what I have. You all know I HEART my Leafy Branch Cuttlebug Folder, so I decided I should try a little trimming. Is that gorgeous, or what?? (I am NOT taking credit for how pretty that branch is BTW! LOL!!)
It may look like some very tedious cutting, but it wasn't! Imagine if this was a line art image: you would really see every little place that I didn't cut exactly up to the line. But here with embossing on this colored cardstock, I could cut near it, on the edge, or even inside and it looks just fine, so this is a very forgiving process, I cut the whole branch in about 2 minutes. Next I snipped it into three different pieces so I could layer them onto my card in the places I needed. (It actually looked really nice as just one piece but a lot of it was covered by my quote that way, so I decided to separate a few leaves to spread it out a bit more.)

My rose is colored with Peerless watercolors and popped up on dimensionals. As I made this card I was also thinking of another quote in my "Say it with Flowers": "There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom". I don't have any rosebuds in my "Year of Flowers" set, but I realized I could make some for this vine to go with my full blown image.

I embossed my Leafy Branch again on white CS and then went over a few of the larger leaves with the Peerless Watercolors to match my orange yellow rose, then trimmed. TIP: Instead of drawing an outline, I held the chisel tip of my black Copic against the edge of trimmed bud and pulled to make a perfect outline (This is what I did on my yellow layers and greeting too, faster and easier than adding a skinny layer of black CS and doesn't add bulk to my card. Again, just pull the marker around the edge of each side. Really makes your layers pop!)

Last I adhered them on top of each of the green embossed leaves. Oooh, I just LOVE how this turned out. Tip: Extend leaves and flowers beyond the edges of your card, they will look truly alive! (a ramblin' rose...) :)

PS That vertical layer in the sketch had me kind of perplexed as to what to do, so I decided to keep it tone on tone and emboss the branches a third time, this time on a piece of Summer Sun. I like the texture it adds and repetition of the pattern it reinforces (and that is doesn't detract attention from the leaves) So...Have you played the sketch challenge yet?? ;) Don't forget, Monday is the last day to upload a project for the Mixology challenge, you could win a free set of stamps, so go stamp something!!