Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mojo Monday 304

Tonight I needed to play and I thought Mojo Monday would be the perfect medium to satisfy my craving. I have been lurking at this website for awhile and finally took advantage of the challenge tonight. Below is the sketch for Mojo Monday 304:

And here's my take on it:

The colors are inspired by an ensemble I'll be wearing in a couple of weeks at a wedding: Calypso Coral and Smoky Slate. I masked the On the Spot (retired) background in Smoky Slate on the same color cardstock to create the wide strip. The Sweet Spot (retired) circles are stamped in Calypso Coral.

For the spotlighted image, Spec-tacular is stamped in Basic Gray on Whisper White (the circle is cut out using the Bigz Original die). One of the glasses is stamped in Calypso Coral, cut out, popped up and glazed with Crystal Effects. The sentiment is from One in a Million. It is finished off in Calypso Coral baker's twine.

There you have it.

Thanks for such a fun challenge!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Triple Treat!

Helen is our hostess with the mostest for today's workshop. Finally had a sip of that wine from Peju. Thanks for the treats and libations!

What started out to be a crummy day for some of my Stamp Tramps (the highway was a parking lot!) turned out to be one of the best days for stamping and chatting up with the ladies just made my afternoon.

I waited so long for today to come so that I can share with the ladies what I had been cooking up especially with the goodies from the Holiday Catalog. Last week, I gave you a sneak peak of the card we would eventually make.

Here is the full card using a punch and striped folder from the Holiday Catalog (which are available to order beginning August 1st). The card uses Smoky Slate (for the bottom mount), Pool Party (embossed in Stylish Stripes) and Whisper White using Gorgeous Grunge for the background and A Word for You (retired) for the sentiment. The cupcake (from A Cherry On Top, retired) is embossed in Pool Party and accented with Dazzling Detail for that pop and then mounted on a scalloped square in Basic Gray.

Check out what the girls came up with! What an eye candy!

The second card is one that I entered into a CAS Challenge for the Pals group. I sat in my craft room for a couple hours trying to figure what I should do for a clean and simple card. And I came up with zippo. Crickets. I walked away, watched an episode of my new favorite show, "Drop Dead Diva" and came back to my sandbox. I just started cutting, putting scraps of paper in my brand spanking new Hearts Embosslits die and started putting  things together. In ten minutes, I came up with this and uploaded for the challenge and decided to share with the girls. On Crumb Cake, I stamped the lines from Gorgeous Grunge and used twine knotted at the ends to mount the hearts. The sentiment is from the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set.

This was such a treat as the ladies came up with their own versions of the card. They are all alike yet so different. Each card was perfect! I couldn't stop looking at them.

This is the hostess at work! Only a few months into this addiction and she's working it like a pro! Could that bling she's sporting have special powers??? Heeeyy...! Sorry, Q, couldn't resist...this was such a perfect shot. It is my duty as MOH to bring this to light.

This card couldn't have enough hearts!  Not bad for not stamping in a long time, Denise.

As a treat, there was a special request to make the Chicken card (happy to oblige, Janine!) that I showcased in a previous post. The girls whipped this out so quickly before I could say, "Wow!" Can you guess whose card is the rebel card? Hint: Her chicken is on the wrong side of the road. Haha! Love it, Ulrika! Well, in reality, they are all rebel cards as they put their personal touches on them. Just look at that black border on Anna's card. It just made the chicken pop! This card uses the chicken(s) from Best of Cluck (retired). The image is stamped in jet black Staz-On ink and watercolored in Real Red, Daffodil Delight and Old Olive using Aqua Painters. It has three embossed layers: Whisper White is embossed three-quarters of the way in Perfect Polka DotsDaffodil Delight embossed in Honeycomb and the black strip of border is punched in Dotted Scallop.

This day turned out fabulous. Even with traffic dampening the afternoon, the girls got to take home three cards and I have a dress for a wedding (thanks for the suggestion - now on to find that coral belt to accent my dark gray dress)! I'm forever thankful for your company and your friendship.

Friday, July 26, 2013

MDS, How I Love Thee!

Many moons ago, I discovered digital scrapbooking while still doing stamping. I was immediately hooked especially when I realized there was no mess to be picked up and that I could have unlimited use of paper and embellishments. I was able to create an annual photobook for my daughter. As an unfortunate result, I slowly weaned away from stamping and got into digiscrapping exclusively. Que horror! I know.

Fear not, I am not about to do that again. However, I am tickled pink to know that Stampin' Up! has expanded its realm into digiscrapping with My Digital Studio ("MDS") during my hiatus from stamping. I am now just coming around to check out this product and I have to say that I am pretty impressed with its features. The ease of use of the software, the coordination of the digital stamps and exclusive colors with the actual products and the availability to turn them into printed mementos are just some of the positives that I got out of this product. I made my first page from MDS with a favorite recent photo of my daughter and the poem I dedicated to her.

Watch out for more creations out of this bad boy. :) If you want to dabble into it, take advantage of thirty-day free trial offer from SU!. Then let me know what you think of it!

Pals Paper Arts Challenge PPA 165

I have been admiring the creations made on Pals Paper Arts Challenges and today I am inspired to join in on the fun. Come play along if you will.

Here is the sketch for this week's challenge:
Here is my card:

Some products featured on this card are from the Holiday Catalog that I am excited to introduce on my next workshop. They will be available to order on August 1st.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Organize Much?

My dad used to always say, "if you want to think with a clear head, then have a clear surrounding." When I want to think up of new card ideas, I bunker up in my stamping room and organize like I'm nesting! This weekend, I took the opportunity to catch up on organization ideas I had been mulling over for awhile.

  • Waste not, want not. I wanted a great home for leftover cardstock so that I do not have to dig aimlessly for when the need arises, wasting time and effort. I got my label maker and made tags (I wish this was a clear label) by punching a square scallop for each color of SU! cardstock. Now it's not so messy.

  • Visualize your plan. If you can't already tell, I'm a visual person. In cardspeak, that means I have to be able to see what best colors my card would look like. The Color Coach that SU! sells is perfect for this (which I may end up getting). Until then, I created my own color swatch from leftover scraps I had. I made 3x3 squares, punched a hole in the corner and bound them in white organza ribbon. Now, visualizing my next card just got a tad easier. 
  • Know thy clear block. Now that I have a home for my clear mounts, it doesn't help that I don't remember their label name or size. I took the original label that they came in and stuck them in the caddy! Referencing the right mount with the stamp just got simpler.
  • What's in your closet? For this, I commissioned the help of my most esteemed colleague for a cool summer project, my daughter. She took an inventory of my stamp sets and typed them up for me. It took her two weeks to finish (due to subsequent firing and rehiring following a renegotiation of contract). Hehe. I took this list and made a board on Pinterest and a .pdf version so I have access to them all the time.

Now onto the good stuff...my pre-order from the Holiday Catalog came and I have had a chance to play. In fact, here's a sneak peek of what we will be playing on Sunday. Notice anything new you might like??

The Annual Stampin' Up! Convention just wrapped up today. My upline, Angie, has been updating us with highlights and upcoming products. I cannot wait to try them. Here's a taste of what Convention 2013 was like and all the upcoming goodies that are in store for us.

One more thing...I wanted to cheer myself up for having missed Convention due to schedule conflicts (though I couldn't fathom attending in my prior life; it looked overwhelming!). Now I know I could have had so much fun with Angie and Kalyn so I'll make sure to make it there next year. When I first saw this stamp set, I knew what I wanted to do with it. When I got it, my plan sort of went off tangent. Nonetheless, I chugged along and I am pretty happy with the final outcome. It made me smile. The techniques used here are brayering and masking.

Stamp Sets:
Wonderful Words II (retired)
Whisper White
Tempting Turquoise
So Saffron
Pumpkin Pie
Wild Wasabi
Basic Black
Staz-on black ink (for main image and sentiment)
Oval punch (mask for the setting sun)
Corner punch
White gel pen
Pop-up dots

Also note that I tried to make this card multiple times. I ended up using as a mat one of the failed versions. Good use of scrap!

Happy Stamping!

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's a CAS Kind of Weekend

True story...I've been cranking out cards on the weekends. I wanted to stock up so that I can send them on the fly when I need to because I've been so bad this past three months I haven't sent them on time. The make-them-as-you-go strategy doesn't cut it for me. For one, it takes awhile for me to think of a design; second, I'm still not stocked up on all the embellies for my cards so they don't all turn out the way I intend them to be. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Besides, I'm supposed to be the card lady, right? The problem is I wanted to send a couple of cards to my friends and for the life of me, I don't remember if I have or not. It's not like I can check my email history to verify, or how about "Find my iCard" feature so I can locate them? I have looked around this weekend to see if I they're hiding somewhere in the house but I can't find them! By this time, I've assumed that they had gone out. I checked with a friend today and she hasn't received hers. The million dollar question is where the heck are these cards?? Remember the tree card and the chicken card? They're missing! Spazztic!

I was on a "CAS" (clean and simple) kick this weekend, especially after I got the Single Stamps I ordered. I had envisioned a design when I first saw this stamp and then laid it out yesterday. I have my subtle touches and I love how it came together. What is not showing is the sentiment on the inside of the card, which says, "that makes you one in a million." This ties in to the unique pair of red glasses on the front of the card, which I embellished with Crystal Effects for an added "pop." I wanted to use Smoky Slate on this card but realized I didn't have the ink pad so I opted for its darker cousin, Basic Gray. Smoky Slate, by the way, is the newest member of the Neutrals collection that was introduced in the 2013-2014 Catalog. I also made this card a square card. It was just screaming for it. One thing worth pointing out, I showed this card to my daughter, she decided this card is for her. She just got her glasses (black rimmed accented with red on the inside). So happy that she's accepted this milestone with positivity and excitement, which was so unlike me as I clashed with denial and shyness when I started wearing them in second grade. Also, it turns out that this card is very similar to my second-tier upline, Mary Fish's card. What can I say, great minds think alike. While the CASEing is unintentional, I didn't want it go unmentioned as I adore her cards very much! Take a look here.

Here's a recipe of this card:

Basic Gray
Basic Black
Whisper White
Real Red
Versamark ink
Detail White embossing powder
Pop-up dots
Crystal Effects
Piercing Tool, Mat & Template for the pinholes
Gorgeous Grunge on the gray card stock
One in a Million for the sentiment
Spectacular for the main image

The second card I made was inspired by my cousin's wedding shower this weekend. What I ended up giving her is completely different from this second version I made on the left. I liked the Blooming with Happiness stamp set. I thought the images are very sweet and airy (befitting of my cousin's personality). This stamp set is retired, however. The sentiment is from a stamp set gifted to me that I just received on Friday. Perfect timing!

Crumb Cake
Blushing Bride
Dazzling Detail for the glitter
Basic Pearls
Chevron embossing folder
White gel pen for the border
Pop-up dots
Happy Day for the sentiment
Blooming with Happiness for the main image

Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's Your Style?

To pinpoint a style that is all my own is actually more challenging than it is, especially at this stage. If I were asked about my style, that usually goes into the pile of "UNDECIDED." I find that my preferences have evolved throughout the years. I have gone artsy, clean and simple, abstract, you name it. It has also depended on my mood and my level of interest on a particular day.

I have been known to put a lot of detail into my art, from the shade of green I use when I'm watercoloring  to the number of pinholes to make a border (I know, approaching "creepy" level, but...) around an image. The impact of my personal touches is usually subtle so to put so much effort into a card is baffling to some (e.g., my most trusted critic, the hubby). I have also stepped out of my comfort zone and applied minimalism. There is a feeling of awkwardness to think that I didn't spend all that much time on an art. It feels incomplete to me at first. Then I pause, allowing my eyes and my brain to confer to form a conclusion. Have I answered a simple question: am I happy with the outcome? Once I reach that point, I stop.

Lately, I have been drawn to watercoloring and sceneries. There are so much material out there, thanks to the talented people who have shared their techniques online (e.g., Michelle Zindorf). This is my attempt to CASE one of her cards. It's by no means, a close comparison, but I'm a novice at this technique and I can only go onward and upward from here.

Last night, I had a chance to redo the above card. I think the idea was there, but I never quite got the look I was hoping for. The tree should have been a little more crisp and I wasn't sure about the background layers. I still love the sentiment hugging above the tree so I stuck with that. Here's you go:

On a different note....

Now that I have time to play again, I cannot wait for the next shipment of goodness to arrive. Two of them are stamps I got from the "Single Stamps" promotion, which I have just finally gone through. The "Single Stamps" promotion offers just that: a single stamp for $7.95 or less and there are eight designs to choose from. These stamps are not available in the Annual Catalog and can be purchased through July 31, 2013. Note that they are available only in clear mount, so a separate block is required to use it properly. Check out the selections:

Single Stamps Assortment 3
Single Stamps Assortment 4

The other promotion that caught my eye is the "Best of 25 Years" promotion. SU is bringing back its favorite images from the last twenty five years and combining them into 12 sets and will release one set per month. I know I'm behind as we are now halfway through the year, but the sets are available all throughout 2013. I have my favorites for sure.

Happy Stamping!