Thursday, December 15, 2011

Last Christmas Card?

I think this is the last one anyway, unless it turns out I have forgotten someone.  This is another one of the images I stamped and colored back in October.  See, it pays to think ahead!  I still have several Christmas images colored and waiting to put on cards or tags just in case I need more.

I apologize for the bad light quality in these photos.  My Ott light gave up the ghost this week, and I shot these using ambient light and my iPhone flash.  The colors are much richer in person.

The green shape was sponged with Distress Ink in  Peeled Paint. The ribbon  is from my stash.
The embossing folder is from Cuttlebug. Green cardstock is from Stampin' Up! - I have no idea what the color name is.
I embellished the snowflakes with Stickles and the water with Diamond Glaze.

The image is from Woodware Stamps; the set is called Penguin Fun.  The large white die cut on the front of the card was done with my Stampin' Up! Top Note die - the small square is a Spellbinders die.  The rest of the die cut shapes were done with my Silhouette.  The snowflakes inside the card were done with a Martha Stewart punch I found this week at TJ Maxx for $4.99!!!  TJM and Ross are two of my favorite places to look for stamping and scrapping supplies at great prices.  It's hit or miss, but every once in a while I score something great like this.

The font for the sentiment is Honey Script - I used the Print & Cut feature of my Silhouette to center the sentiment in the shape and then cut it. I sponged the edges of the finished piece with Stampin' Up!'s Riding Hood Red.

That's it for today's card - hope you enjoyed it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Challenge Card

This was a challenge card for one of my stamp groups.  Each month, the hostess gets to choose a paper, image or technique that she wants the other group members to work with.  The next month, we all show what we've done with her inspiration piece.  Last month, my friend Crickett chose a patterned paper.  I liked the colors, but I found the quilt-square design a little busy for my taste.  I decided to use it as a scalloped border accent om the card, and pull colors from it for the rest of the card.  

I used some of the new waffle weave ribbon from the Stampin' Up! mini catalog - it is GORGEOUS!!  I also used my new toy - a Pearl Pen from Viva Decor. The stamp set I used was from MME - it's called "I Believe", and I believe that I got it last year.  Not sure if it is still available.  I'm pretty sure the sentiment came from a Stampin' Up! set, but I can't tell you which one.  I have committed the sacrilege of SEPARATING MOST OF MY SU! SETS and now I have no idea which set some of them came from.  I had to do it - I was accumulating too many stamps that I never used, so I decided to break up the sets, keep the ones I loved and sell the rest.  I will be doing loads of eBay listings soon - probably after Christmas.  If you're looking for individual SU! stamps, stay tuned and I will let you know when I list them.  In the meantime, enjoy the card!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Cardinal Card

As promised, here's another card inspired by PaperCrafts Magazine "Holiday Cards" 2010.  Randee Elsing created the inspiration card and when I saw it, there were elements of it that looked familiar.  Sure enough, when I checked my Silhouette library, there they were!

I tweaked the original color scheme and design a bit to make it my own, but kept the beautiful simplicity of the original.  Randee's card was a bit more elegant, and mine leans a little in the country-inspired direction.  I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Told you I'd get to it eventually...

I have a habit of purchasing things and letting them.... um... marinate for a while before I use them.  So it should come as no surprise to you that the inspiration for this card came from PaperCrafts Holiday Cards magazine from last year.  I didn't have time to even LOOK at the magazine when I bought it right in the middle of the holiday season of 2010.  Fortunately, I came across it again a couple of months ago when I was putting together some project kits to work on at my friend's stamping event.  

The card bears only a passing resemblance to the one that inspired it - I have changed out the papers, embellishments, sentiment, and pretty much everything else to make the idea work with the supplies I had on hand.  Thanks to Jessica Bavier who created the card that inspired me!  I'll be sharing another card inspired by this magazine in my next post.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stamp Till You Cramp 2011

My friend Shelly is a Stampin' Up! demonstrator.  A couple of weeks ago, I went to her Stamp Till You Cramp - a day-long stamping event.  She generally has two or three of these a year, and this one was Christmas themed.  Shelly always has great projects for us to do, and this STUC was no exception.  Here are some of the cards we made:

Ignore the odd shadows on some of these - they were photographed sideways and the photos rotated later on.  Anyhow.. some really pretty cards using some of the new products from the latest Stampin' Up! mini catalog.  If you want to see more, jump on over to Shelly's blog and tell her I sent you.

Better late than never...

Yes, it's a Thanksgiving card a week late.  Sigh.  I really liked it though, and wanted to share it with you.  No more Fall cards after this.  I promise.  Not until next Fall anyway.

Belated Fall Card Post

Technically, it's not the first day of Winter yet, so I'm sneaking in these Fall-themed cards I made a while back.

The images are from a retired Stampin' Up! set called Fall for All.  For the background on the little boy card, I used a Sizzix embossing folder with an argyle pattern. I've probably had it for about five years, and this is the first time I've used it! I tend to do that a lot.  I may not use something right away, but eventually I will find a project that calls out for it. I've also found myself really loving the vintage Stampin' Up! sets that I bypassed when they were current.  At the time, I wouldn't buy anything that had to be hand colored, but now that's exactly what I'm seeking out.  I've had some good luck finding them on eBay.

The woodgrain paper on the little girl card is from a retired Stampin' Up! designer series paper pack.  I wish I had more of it - that blue looks amazing with autumn colors.

Hope you enjoy these, even though I'm getting them up a little late.  I hope to be more seasonally on target soon.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My First Video!

I've been debating for a while whether I was willing to look like an idiot while making a video, and you guessed it - I was!  I was excited to hear about a fix for a problem I'd been having with my Scotch ATG gun. I wasn't quite sure HOW to do the fix - the explanation I found online was a bit sparse at best. I figured I would monkey around and see if I could make it work.  I taped the process, hoping the whole thing wouldn't turn out to be an epic fail if my "fix" didn't work after all.  Fortunately, it did, and here's the video!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cruise Pictures - Mexico

This is the last of the pages I have completed, so I'm going to have to get to work and do some more.

For this layout, I borrowed photos from the Internet again and used my Silhouette software to create a photo collage.  I learned this trick from one of my Silhouette gurus, Lisa G who has posted some great Silhouette video tutorials.  (Click on her name above to go to the video) The software allows me to size my photos however I want and print them all as a group or singly - whichever I choose.

My title was also die cut using the Silhouette.  I downloaded a free font from the Internet (Taco Modern) and used the node editing feature of the software to remove some of the tiny details that would have been too small to cut well.  I backed my title with black cardstock and added some brads as an accent.  I didn't have the color I wanted for my brads, so I used white ones, colored them with a Sharpie marker and then used clear embossing powder to seal the color.

I added a charm from The Girls' Paperie (got this in a kit from Tuesday Morning with TONS of other stuff), a flower from Sassafras and some stickers from October Afternoon.  The patterned paper is from Basic Grey, and the journaling sticker is from Colorbok.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Searching for that "perfect" storage solution...

But then, aren't we all?  This papercraft hobby seems to involve endless numbers of tiny things that need to be stored in a manner that:

  1. keeps them neat and prevents them from being damaged or lost
  2. keeps them organized so that we can find them when we need them, and can see what we have
  3. fits in the space that we have available
  4. preferably does not cost an arm and a leg
To this end, I have spent countless hours arranging and re-arranging my crafting supplies.  I'm doing that again today.  Most of my embellishments had been stored in a wide 3-drawer Iris-type cart.  Ribbons were (and still are) in the top drawer, and the bottom two drawers were divided into alpha and non-alpha embellishments.

That worked for a while, but things seemed to get lost in the drawers - they were just too big, and I had to dig through everything in order to find what I wanted - if I even remembered I had it to begin with.  I thought about buying a Clip-It-Up or the lower priced Hobby Lobby version, but I just have too many embellishments for that to work.  I'd have to have multiple units, and that's cost-prohibitive - not to mention all of the space it would take up.

I did have a rolling 12x12 file rack that was sitting unused, so I decided to see if I could make that work.  It's not costing me anything since I already own it, and it slides easily under my work table, so that's a plus. I grabbed a stack of my Dollar Tree 12x12 plastic envelopes and got to work.  I'll post some photos when I'm done and let you know how it's working.  

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cruise Pictures - Shopping in Roatan

I didn't take a single one of the pictures in this layout - I found all of them online, which, as I said in my previous post, is a great way to supplement skimpy vacation photos.

I didn't take pictures of Plaza Mar, but I did want to document it since we'd found most of our souvenirs there, and since I thought it was a fascinating place.

Once again, I die cut my title using my Silhouette.  Actually, I double die-cut it in different colors, and offset them to give some shadowing and added interest to the title.  I used more paper from the Mod Retro stack from DCWV, and stickers from October Afternoon, Sassafras Lass and Stampin' Up! I also used some ancient rub ons from Marcella (K & Co's bargain line) and Top Line Creations - I don't even know if they are still in business - that's how long I have had these.  Finally, I added a button from Stampin' Up!.  

**Note:  I have started separating my embellishments into "Current" and "Use it or Lose it" categories.  Items in the second category are to be donated in 30 days if I do not use them.  I try to look at those things first when searching for embellishments.  This method has helped me to use up some of my stash so that I can keep it fresh.  

Cruise Pictures - B is for Bill

This layout shows my brother Bill buying a hand rolled cigar from a man in Honduras.  Unfortunately, I didn't take a lot of pictures here - I was too busy experiencing Roatan myself.  When I went to put the layout together, I found myself wishing I'd taken a picture of the cigar maker.  I had an idea, and Googled "cigar maker Roatan Honduras" and up popped a picture of the man himself!  You can even see the stone pillar beside him - the same one you see my brother standing next to in the other picture.  Google Images is a fabulous way to flesh out your vacation photos if they are a bit thin in areas.  You can generally find plenty of scenery pictures online to add to your layouts.

I stamped the top word border with the Hampton Art Border Background clear stamp set.  I had to cut it apart to get it to look the way I wanted it, but that's one of the great things about clear stamps - you can do that without losing the ability to use the stamp as a whole again later.  I also hand stamped the "Hand Rolled Cigars" title with Colorbox Chalk inks.  The "Description of Activity" border came from the MME Life Stories collection pad - I just cut it from one of the papers and used a Fiskars border punch along the bottom edge.  I printed and stamped my journalling on another tag and added some word stickers and a "Bb" flash card.  The striped borders were cut from paper from... hmm..  the Cosmo Cricket Earth Love collection, and the star border is a sticker from... somewhere.  I have no idea, and I can't seem to find the rest of the sheet at the moment.

Cruise Pictures - Zip Line

This layout features pictures from our zip-line adventure in Honduras.  On the first page, I used a transparency for my title, and one of our actual armbands from the trip underneath that as a page accent.  I printed my journaling on vellum - you can see the adhesive, but that doesn't really bother me.  I glittered a sun die cut (Silhouette) and used half of it on this page.  I added just a little stamping to complete the page.

On the second half of the layout, the pictures definitely take center stage.  I used minimal embellishments so as not to distract from the spectacular views.  Just a few word stickers to help tell the story, and a tab on the side and I'm done.  That amazing panoramic view along the top of the layout?  That was our view for the last "zip" of the day.  Amazing.  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Stuff I never do...

I never use purple and red on layouts. They're just not my colors.  I never use shiny laminated papers. I just don't like 'em. And I never use the Hodgepodge Hardware I bought from Stampin' Up!.  I mostly just look at it and wish I could figure out a way to use it. I lay it on things, look at it for a while and then take it off and put it away again.

On this page, I did all three of these things that I never do, and they all WORK together!  I started with the patterned paper from DCWV's Mod Retro stack (which I got at TJ Maxx for $3.99 - can you say bargain?).  I liked the violet and ivory together, and the laminated design didn't bother me, but when I looked closer I (gulp) noticed the red.  The colors are actually quite pretty together when you choose the right shades.  These are both soft and a little greyed down, and I found the combination to be quite elegant.  I picked up the ivory in my lettering (Basic Grey Capella), my mat,  my journaling block, AND the cute little frame around my date - from the SU! Hodgepodge Hardware kit.  Quite nice, if I do say so myself.  I wonder what else I never do that I should try?

Cruise Pictures - Celebrity Century

In this 2-page shipboard layout, I used some of the Graphic 45 paper I mentioned in my last post.  It's absolutely gorgeous and works really well with these pictures.  (Not sure if you can see the metallic copper stripe in the paper, but it is SO pretty!)I accented the second page with a ship's wheel I cut using the Silhouette. I stamped over the die cut with a Stampin' Up! background stamp (Can't remember the name of it - but it's the scratchy looking one) and inked the edges to give it a little more depth and interest. I added a ribbon flag (inspired by Nichol Magourik) and a sticker under my journaling. On the first page, my embellishments include our actual Sea Pass cards, a postcard I got while on board the ship and some October Afternoon (and other) stickers. I love using postcards in my layouts, especially when it's difficult to get a really good picture due to weather or other conditions.  The postcard photographer has already done the hard work for me.

I apologize for the glare on these pages - I didn't realize my desk lamp was on while I was taking photos.

Cruising Along

I've finally started scrapping photos from our cruise last year.  Sometimes the motivation comes right after the event, and sometimes it doesn't.  I chose some papers from Graphic 45 for my cruise layouts and ended up hardly using any of them.  They were nice with the pictures of the interior of the ship, but a bit too dark and formal for our shore excursions.  

On this page, I scrapped pictures from our day in Roatan. I pulled my colors from the clothing of the dancers, and the green of the trees all over Roatan.  I cut a giant tropical flower and some leaves with my Silhouette and accented them with Stickles.  I did a little stamping and embellished with some rub-ons, a journaling tag, a punched tab for the date (Stampin' Up!) and a sentiment strip.  I love the mix of tropical colors, patterns and sparkle.  

Happy Birthday, Courtney!

This is another card for a friend of Katherine's.  My instructions for this card were:  No pink.  She's not into girly stuff.  She likes blue and green.  I went to my Silhouette library and pulled out a birthday lace file.  It had the year '10 in it, but that was easy enough to edit.  I used the offset feature of my Silhouette to make a mat from navy blue cardstock.  Unfortunately, I simplified it a bit too much and it's a little off in a couple of spots.  I don't think anyone will see them unless that's specifically what they're looking for.  The piece is layered on some Basic Grey paper from the Motifica collection (I have had it for ages) and then again onto navy cardstock. I used a QuicKutz die and some white CS to provide some writing room on the back, since the card doesn't open.  I added a border strip from KI Memories Over the Rainbow at the top and some ribbon (Michael's). I finished with some light blue rhinestones to add sparkle.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Last post for today - Happy Birthday Brittany!

I think I am safe giving you all an advance peek at this card - Brittany is a friend of my daughter's who I am pretty confident does not read my blog.  Brittany - if you ARE reading this - LOOK AWAY!

Katherine loves for me to make birthday cards for her friends, because she can tell me what colors she wants, or what theme and I just go to town.  The specifications for this card were:  hot pink and black.  I know that Brittany is a really "girly" girl, and that I could go to town with her card.

I started with a file from the Silhouette store and added a border to it so that it could act as a frame for my card front.  I cut that in black and layered it over a hot pink card base.  Then I cut the shoe (also from the Silhouette store) and backed it with some silver holographic paper.  I shadowed it in pink to make it stand out from the rest of the card a little more, and popped it up with some foam tape.  I added some rhinestone accents and the card was done.

I lined the envelope with some deep pink paper, and cut Brittany's name from black cardstock.  I had originally intended to use the black as a shadow and cut the name from the same silver paper I backed the shoe with, but the font (Curlz MT) was just too ornate to cut well at that small a size.  I ended up using a metallic silver pen instead.  I think it looks great.  I added some hot pink accents with a Sharpie marker.

Making your own Print and Cut Designs

By now, I am getting more and more adventurous with my Silhouette machine.  I love to experiment and see what I can do with it.  The possibilities seem endless.  For this layout, I took a regular Cut Only design from the Silhouette store and turned it into a colorful Print and Cut design.

See the ticket border at the bottom of the layout?  That's an Echo Park design from the Silhouette store.  It's not a print and cut.  I loved the look of it, but I did NOT want to cut all of those tiny pieces separately and glue them together, so I decided to play around a bit with the file and see if I could color it myself.  As you can see - it worked!  I did the same thing with the two tabs on the pictures.  I won't go into detail here explaining how I did it - if you want more information, let me know and I'll be happy to share with you.  This is one of the reasons I love my Silhouette though - I would not be able to do this on my Cricut.  

Silhouette Print and Cut Feature

Once I had completed my first Silhouette-designed page, I was ready to try something a little more challenging - using the Silhouette Print and Cut feature.  I'm so happy with the way this page turned out!  My style is definitely being influenced by one of my favorite Garden Girls at Two Peas in a Bucket - Nichol Magouirk.  I watch her "From Start to Finish" videos on You Tube, and love, love, LOVE the way she manages to use so many different papers and embellishments on her layouts while still keeping them from looking chaotic or cluttered.  (It doesn't hurt that she's a Silhouette fan too!)

I'm not happy with these photos - they were really dark, and I was only able to lighten them so much.  Unfortunately, they were the only ones taken on my birthday, so I just went with what I had.  The balloon and tickets, as well as the PARTY bingo card (you can only see part of it) were all print and cut Silhouette designs.  The page title was inspired by the saying on one of the balloons Katherine bought me - you may be able to see it in the picture.  I cut the title and shadowing from one of my TTF files.

The balloons also inspired me to use the hot air balloon as a fun accent.  I love vintage design, and since I am getting to be somewhat vintage myself, I thought it was appropriate.   Hope you like it!

Scrap Happy - again!

As a paper crafter who enjoys all kinds of paper crafts, I tend to go back and forth with stamping and scrapping.  Either I am stamping a lot and hardly scrapping at all, or vice versa.  Lately, I seem to find myself in a scrapping mode.  I've probably told you that I am loving my Silhouette - it seems to have sparked a whole new interest in scrapping for me.  I saw a tip from a member of one of my groups about planning your page out right on your Silhouette screen.  You can import your pictures and size them, and add your die cut embellishments so that they are perfectly sized for your layout.  This method works really well for me, since it lets me play with the arrangement of my page elements and re-size things as many times as I want to before I actually print or cut anything.

This was the first layout I planned using the Silhouette software.  It's pretty basic - I used a title and some page accents from the Silhouette store.  Not too shabby for a first effort.

So much to catch up on!

Yes, I really have been stamping and scrapping - I've just neglected to post pictures of my projects.  I hope to remedy that today with several posts to show you what I've been working on.

This first picture is a card I made for a friend of my daughter's who got married this summer.  I used a file from the Silhouette store to cut the dress, and then embossed the skirt with a Sizzix for Stampin' Up! embossing folder.  I embellished with some pearls and ribbon, and lined the envelope with patterned paper.  I'm sorry I can't tell you who it's from - I have forgotten and have none of the paper left, unfortunately.

Stay tuned - more to come!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Birthday card for Shelly

I know... the name of this blog is Everyday Stamper, but it's been ages since I actually posted any pictures of things I've stamped.  This post is no exception.  There is NO stamping at all on this card, which is amusing to me, since it's for my friend Shelly who is a Stampin' Up! demonstrator.  There's also NO Stampin' Up! product on it except for the dimensionals.    Sorry, Shell!

Shelly is really hard to make a card for because she's an awesome cardmaker herself.  When I make a card for her, it has to be something special.  I knew I wanted to use my Silhouette machine because I'm having so much fun playing with it and testing the limits of what it (and I) can do.  When I saw Jen Gallacher's guest post on the Silhouette blog, I knew I had found my inspiration in the scrapbook page she had created.  I also knew that the design would need to be scaled down to work within the size limitations of a card.

With a little help from this video of Whimsical Wendy's (no relation - although I WOULD love to craft with her!) I was able to modify my background to add a frame around it, and create the frame for my sentiment block.  All of the other pieces were easy - just a matter of scaling them to the size I wanted.

I'm quite pleased with my results, and hope you enjoy the card!