Thursday, May 31, 2007

a fond farwell to a favorite stamp set

Yesterday was one of those days when you wonder why you ever had children. Well actually I was only wondering why I had the first one since he was giving me fits. But today is a new day and I am working on planning my June workshops. Today Julia S. over on SCS challenged us to use our soon to be retiring sets and since that fit in with my plan for the day, here we are. I must say that Autumn Leaf prints is one of my all time favorite stamp sets. I will miss being able to demo it and can not bear to part with it.

What I used:
Autumn Leaf Print stamp set and French Script background
True Thyme, Chocolate Chip, Confetti White
True Thyme, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip classic ink pad
chocolate grosgrain ribbon and thyme stitched ribbon
What I did and how I did it:
I started with a True Thyme card base, half a sheet of card stock folded in half. I stamped the birch (I believe that is what it is, correct me if I am wrong please) leaf inked in True Thyme randomly all over the card stock, reinking the stamp every 3-4 times. I then stamped the French Script background over the top with Close to Cocoa. I then sponged the edges with Close to Cocoa ink. Tied a piece of chocolate grosgrain around the card body and add a scrap of stitched thyme ribbon. The message is stamped in Chocolate Chip ink then I stamp a leaf in True Thyme (stamped off first) over the message. Sponged the edges lightly with Close to Cocoa ink then layered it on True Thyme and Chocolate Chip card stock. Mounted it onto the card body with dimensional foam squares to pop it up. Pretty simple but I like it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

just a simple card

Today's card challenge involved a color combination I would never have tried but I have to say I am not unhappy with the results. I have always liked Cool Caribbean and Chocolate Chip together but I thought the addition of Garden Green was maybe going a little to far. I was wrong. Write that down because it doesn't happen often. Super simple card today. Still think it need something but simple is sometimes best.
What I used:
Cool Caribbean, Chocolate Chip and Garden Green card stock and classic ink pads
Whisper White card stock
Happy Harmony
What I did:
First I inked the flower image from Happy Harmony with Garden Green ink then I wiped the ink off of the flower. I then carefully inked the flowers with Cool Caribbean, just using the corner of the stamp pad. I then rolled the edges of the flower stamp in the Garden Green stamp pad. This is called the rock and roll technique. I stamped the image on Whisper White, and layered it with Garden Green and Chocolate Chip. The Dreams stamp is inked in Chocolate Chip ink then stamped on the Cool Caribbean card body. I added a strip of Chocolate Chip and the main image and done.

Here are a couple of pictures of my children taken last month. Just wanted to share them. My youngest daughter is notably absent from all of them because she is still a foster child and by law I am not allowed to share pictures of her with you.

Are they beautiful or what?

Monday, May 28, 2007

2 days without a computer and a new technique

Picture me shaking. I just survived a traumatic event. My computer was ill! And I had to go two whole days without. My computer has actually been ailing for months. If I turned it off it wouldn't turn back on. This usually involves me shaking my oldest son awake at 5:50am and dragging him out of bed to get me back up and running. Then just when I learned how to deal with that problem on my own, my diabolical computer developed a new twitch, it got amnesia. I woke up one morning to find that my computer thought that it was new years eve 2002. Now I am not real swift in the morning and you should not mess with my head first thing and this was like a cruel joke because for just one minute I thought I was in my thirties again. It did that to me again a couple of times just for giggles. My oldest son either had an attack of conscience or is just plain sick of me waking him up with my computer problems decided this was the weekend to fix my it. Little did I know that it would involve my computer and my #2 sons computers being disemboweled and reconfigured. I now have a computer that is some kind of mutant cyborg but it seems to be functional. Of course my geek dad and son still have me running a linux operating system but I am learning how to manage that problem.
The only stamping I did all weekend was for the large wedding order that I am currently working on, so the challenge today was a nice change of pace. Today I gave a new technique called wet paper watercoloring a try. Since it seems that my mother's day card to my Mom went astray this will be a "sorry I am such a bad daughter " card that I will be sending out to her, just as soon as I figure out where I put those !@#$% stamps I bought the other day.
What I used:
Wild Rose stamp set, Linen and French Script background stamps, and All Year Cheer II
Chocolate Chip, True Thyme and Confetti White card stock
Close to Cocoa, Summer Sun, Marigold Morning, True Thyme, Always Artichoke and Chocolate Chip classic ink pad
Hodgepodge Hardware and small oval punch
sponge and daubers
thyme stitched and mustard and chocolate grosgrain ribbon
How I did it:
This one is a little complicated. Read the tutorial linked above for the technique if you have any problems. I started with a piece of confetti white card stock. I wet it with a water mist bottle. I then inked the solid rose rubber stamp with summer sun and stamped on the wet cardstock, then did the same with the solid leaf rubber stamp inked in true thyme. The color sort of run all over, that is what they are supposed to do. I set that aside to dry and worked on the rest of the card. I took a 4x5 1/4 piece of true thyme and stamped it with the linen background stamp inked in true thyme ink. I then stamped with the French script background stamp inked in close to cocoa. Then sponged the edges of the card stock with close to cocoa ink. I tied the thyme stitched and chocolate grosgrain ribbons around the thyme card stock and attached it to the chocolate chip card body. At this point my white card stock was dry. I again inked the solid rose image with summer sun ink and stamped right over where I stamped earlier. I then repeated the process with the leaves. Next I stamped the highlight rose stamp, in marigold morning ink over the top of the solid image, repeating the process with always artichoke on the leaves. I used a dauber to add a little marigold morning ink to the center of the roses and sponged a little close to cocoa ink around the edges of the image. The whole thing still looked a little unfinished so I stamped over the top of the image with the dirty linen background stamp that I had not yet cleaned. I then layered the main image on true thyme and chocolate chip card stock. Added some brads, hardware, mustard ribbon and slapped it all together. Finished!

Tomorrow I will tell you all about how I spent my computerless weekend.

Friday, May 25, 2007

the change of season and the search for a purpose

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1. One of my favorite verses and I always take comfort from it. Just knowing that there is a season and a time for everything gives me strength.

Jen (Jen70) over on SCS posts the Limited Supply Challenge. Today's is entitled Graduations Galore. She challenges us to make a graduation card using non-traditional stamps to make graduation cards, but you can also use graduation themed sentiments and images with them.

My eldest son is graduating from High School on June 24th so I need a card. I am struggling a little bit with the thought of him leaving the nest. I know I have done all I can do to get him ready for the world and he is so excited. But I am his mother and though I am positive that he will do well he is still that not so small baby I held in my arms for the first time less than 18 years ago. Now nearly a man and searching for his place and purpose in this world.

What I used to make it:
Words of Wisdom stamp set
diploma stamp from the $1 bin at ACMoore
Basic Black, Garden Green, Whisper White card stock
Basic Black and Garden Green classic ink pad
Basic Grey designer paper

How I did it:
This is one of those really, really quick cards. I don't think it took me 15 minutes to slap together (sorry Matt, just because it is quick doesn't mean it isn't thoughtful). Our school colors are green and white so I wanted to use those colors but need something to give it some interest. Since the Basic Grey 6x6 designer paper packages (did I tell you $1.97 on clearance at Joanns?) are still sitting on my desk I picked this one out that had a hit of green and was pretty masculine looking. Layered the designer paper on Garden Green card stock then onto a Basic Black card body. Stamped the Ecclesiastes verse with Basic Black on Whisper White, then matted with black and green. The diploma is stamped in Basic Black on white then I used my aquapainter and Garden Green ink to color the ribbon. I cut out the diploma. Simple

Well since I am on a roll this morning I decided to finally put together the prototype of Matthew's graduation announcements and party invitations. I could not believe the cost of buying the ones the school was selling when I was sure I could come up with something really clever on my own. I wanted to make invitations that were the size of a #10 business envelope and print the insides up on the computer. And this is what I came up with. The "cap" is the graduation announcement and the information is "inside" the "cap". The "gown" is the graduation party invitation. And before any of you Cuttlebug addicts have a heart attack, I have a confession. Yes I broke the embossing folder, ON PURPOSE!! I wanted the who, what, where information in the middle of the card so I had to take apart the embossing folder to do it. I will pick some DMC floss today at ACMoore to make the tassels and I will probably add an honors cord to the "gown".

What I used:
Basic Black and Whisper White card stock
Basic Black classic ink
diploma and cap from $1 bin at ACMoore
Cuttlebug and invitation embossing folder
Coluzzle cutting system
white and hunter grosgrain ribbon
1/2 inch circle punch

How I did it:
For the "gown" I took a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of black and I scored on the long side at 3 1/2 inches from each end then folded them in. I measured and marked the card stock at 1 inch from the fold and 2 inches down from the top, on each side and cut between the marks. I broke my embossing folder and embossed the invitation in the middle of a 3 3/4 x 10 3/4 piece of white cardstock and stamped my diploma and cap with a black ink pad. When I mass produce these I will print all the information on the computer first then cut the cardstock and emboss it, then stamp the images. The "cap" is a 4x4 piece of black cardstock. I cut a 3 inch circle out of white cardstock with the coluzzle (this circle will contain the details of his graduation) then attached it to the black cardstock. On the top I attached the tassel and a black button (actually a 1/2 circle) with glue dots.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wasted time and a fear of yellow...

Thursday's challenge is the Way to Use it challenge. Julia S over on SCS challenged us all to use the color Yoyo Yellow. Now I have to admit that I have a little trouble with using the Bold Bright color family. I like red and on occasion have been know to use Lovely Lilac, Tempting Turquoise, or Gable Green. But I hardly ever use the other colors in that color family. I actually still have nightmares about the challenge from last year that involved Glorious Green, **shudder, gag**. I spent most of my morning making excuses to myself on why I didn't have time to stamp. I even got on the treadmill and wasted a half an hour there. Paid some bills, talked with some friends in general did nothing. After the kiddos were down for a nap, I decided that it was time to just do it and this is what I came up with.

What I used:
Summer by the Sea stamp set
black Stazon permanent ink pad
Close to Cocoa classic ink for sponging
chocolate chip and yoyo yellow card stock
basic gray designer paper (on wicked clearance at Joanns, only $1.97 for the 6x6 stack)
watercolor paper
aqua painter and various ink refills
antique copper brads (memory makers)
maize and chocolate grosgrain ribbon

How I did it:
I found this lovely Basic Gray designer paper, in my not insignificant stash of designer paper, that I thought coordinates well with YoYo Yellow and I used that as a jumping off point for this card. On a Chocolate Chip card body I mounted the designer paper matted with Yoyo Yellow, added 3 brads and the three ribbons tied around it. I stamped the little girl image from the Summer by the Sea stamp set in blackStazon on watercolor paper. I then watercolored the image using various ink refills and my aqua painter. I then sponged the edges of the image with Close to Cocoa ink and matted the image with Yoyo Yellow and Chocolate Chip card stock then attached it to the card body.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Sketch Challenge and My Stamping Spot

Good morning everyone. Today's challenge is the sketch challenge. Roxie (Rox71) posts a sketch on SCS and we create a card using that sketch. I need a birthday card for one of the little boys I babysit for, so I thought that this was a good opportunity to do it. This is a pretty simple card. The main image is stamped on a 1 1/4 x 3 1/2 inch piece of whisper white card stock. This is a very small area to use for a main image (there in lies the challenge). Since I am making a birthday card for a little boy I opted to us the Wild about You stamp set, which is a current favorite of mine, and will still be in the fall/winter Stampin' Up! catalog. The giraffe is stamped in Pumpkin Pie classic ink, the bird in Tempting Turquoise and the grass in Old Olive. The grass stamp is from the Because of You stamp set that will be retiring in the end of June. I usually sell most of my retired sets but I will be holding on to this one just for the grass stamp. The flower in the giraffe's mouth was inked with Real Red and Old Olive markers. I omitted coloring part of the flower stem then stamped over the giraffe's head so it looked like the flower is in his mouth. The main image was then layered on Real Red and Pumpkin Pie card stock. The embossed white background was made using a Cuttlebug embossing machine (a product SU does not sell but I could not resist) and the birthday embossing folder. The embossed background is layered on Pumpkin Pie card stock then I tied red and pumpkin ribbon around the layers. The background layers are attached to the Real Red card body and the main image is attached using dimesionals (small pieces of foam tape)

This is a picture of my new stamping spot. Officially this is my laundry room and my washer/dryer are in this room as well as my freezer BUT it is REALLY my new studio/office. The white cabinets and counter top (from Lowe's) were my birthday/mother's day present (since they were both on the same day this year). The dresser is one that I trash picked then painted white. My stamp pad storage is actually a cassette rack that I also painted white (you gotta love that $.98 spray paint from Lowe's) and the canvas bins (I also have larger ones on top of the cabinets over my washer/dryer and on top of my freezer) that I finally used the Walmart gift cards I got for Christmas on. The walls are painted a really lovely shade of ruby red. It took three coats of paint to get this shade. The paint goes on the most alarming coral color and I am soooo not a pink person. Thankfully it dries this wonderful color. Can you tell I really like this color? My floor and baseboard is a commercial grade porcelain tile (left over from a side job) that a friend of Jeff's and Jeff put down for me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Color Challenge and other stuff

Those of you that I hang out with on SCS or know that I am a challenge chaser, known there as debils. For the rest of you what that means, is that I start each morning, with dietPepsi in hand, sitting at my computer, either checking out the challenge or eagerly waiting for the challenge to be posted. Waiting means chatting online with my stamping buddies from around the world (or at least the east coast of the US and Canada, since everyone else is sleep at 6am EST) until the challenge is posted. When it is up I scramble down to my new (!!) stamping room and begin the creative process. Usually at this point at least three out of my five children are awake or supposed to be awake (read that as teenager son) so I am multitasking. Stamp something, pound on bathroom to get someone out of the shower, layer my image, pour cereal, tie some ribbon, answer door and let in one of the kids I babysit for.... You get the picture.

Tuesday is Color Challenge day. Basically what that means is Emily (emilymomto3boys) challenges us to create a project using the colors she has chosen. Today we have a guest host (whose name I can not remember and SCS is currently down and I can't get back on to look it up right now) who has chosen Vintage Violet, Certainly Celery and Old Olive as the colors for today.

What I used:
Wild Rose stamp set, Weathered background stamp and French Script background stamp
whisper white, old olive and vintage violet card stock
going gray, vintage violet, certainly celery and old olive classic ink pads
stamp-a-m-jig, wide white organdy ribbon, violet stitched ribbon

How I did it:
I started with a 31/4x3 inch piece of whisper white card stock. I inked my weathered background with going gray and stamped off on my scrap paper. Then stamped the background onto the white card stock. The reason I stamp off first is I want this background to be very subtle, barely noticeable, just another layer to give the image depth. Then I inked the solid stamp (large rose) of the wild rose set with vintage violet, stamped off, then stamped the image onto the white card stock. Repeated the process with the smaller rose, slightly overlapping the images. (When I first received this set, I created masks for these images and store them in the stamp box. I also created a permanent transparency to use with my stampamjig to line up the highlight image properly, that I also store in the stamp box.) Before I stamped the highlight stamp or 2 step stamp, I masked the neighboring images. The highlight stamp is also inked in vintage violet. Next I stamped the leaves, masking the flowers, solid stamp in certainly celery, highlight in old olive. I used a sponge dauber to add color to the center of the roses, normally I would use probably so saffron or some other yellow but because this is the color challenge I used certainly celery. Then I inked the french script background with old olive ink and stamped over the top of the image. The main image was then layered on old olive and vintage violet. I made a small slit in the white card base to slide the white organdy ribbon through then added a little stitched violet ribbon on top. This is actually the last of my vintage ribbon, but since it will be retiring at the end of June and I can't demo it anymore I will not be ordering more but I will miss it.