Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So Many Bluebirds!

Today's post has nothing to do with cards but I just had to share a few photos that I took through my kitchen window. We usually have bluebirds here in the summer. This year we were seeing very few. But that changed on Sunday when I was in the kitchen and out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed birds with blue feathers splashing in the birdbath. I had to get a better look so I grabbed the binoculars (kept in the kitchen) and low and behold, they were juvenile bluebirds! I was so excited I ran out and added more water to the bird bath and watched the birds fly back and forth from the birdbath to the tree to nesting boxes (they were not going in the boxes) my husband made for our backyard a couple of years ago. My husband was out for the day so he had to take my word for it that there were at least half a dozen bluebirds playing in the birdbath. When we got up Monday, we saw one or two bluebirds, but nothing like I saw on Sunday. I mentioned that it was about 3 o'clock when they were here on Sunday, so maybe later they would pay us a visit. To make a long story short, at about 5 PM, the bluebirds arrived. There were a number of the juveniles, plus an adult female. The photos aren't that great (I used my point & shoot camera) but to see these little babies playing and splashing around was just too cute to not share. At times, the birdbath was filled with bluebirds, finches, robins and sparrows, all splashing together. I might not have accomplished very much yesterday, but I took some time to "stop and smell the roses" and it was so very worth it! Have a wonderful day and find yourself a little time to "stop and smell the roses"!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy You Hostess Set

I thought that the Happy You stamp set was very cute and I had a chance to play with it a little over the weekend. I made these little gift cards using up scraps of cardstock--both retired and current colors. Do you remember the colors Green Galore & Summer Sun? I paired those colors with Melon Mambo and the little rubber boot looks sooo cute! I scored one side and the bottom to add a little texture to the card. I used Pool Party and Regal Rose together with scallop circle punches and the polka dot embossing folder to create the fun pinwheel card. These are only two of the eight images included in the set. I really didn't need this set until I had the opportunity to play with it! After making these mini cards and a few others, I am kind of needing it--lol! Hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cheers!

Today's cards are fun and cute, made using the Happy Hour stamp set. Not sure if it's the colors or the sentiments, but my favorite of the two is the "3 cheers for you" card. On that card I stamped the word "cheers" three times using my stamp-a-ma-jig for placement of the words. The drink was inked using markers. Next time I make this card I will make the pennant a little narrower. The four square card is a fun birthday card. I used ink pads for the drinks, but the little strawberries and olive were inked with my markers. The four squares were layered on top of one larger square and then I added a cute embellishment in the center. (Thank you, Nikki, for the Shape Studio embellishment maker.) Have a wonderful day and find yourself a little stampin' time.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Catching Up ...

...on thank you cards. I need to write some long overdue thank you notes, so yesterday I made two cards using the color combination of red, black and white. The stamped images on both cards are from the Flowering Flourishes stamp set, while the Curly Cute and Bitty Banner sets were used for the sentiments. My inspiration for the card on the left was the card in my July 11th post, Hello My Friend, which had a white card base. On today's version, not only is the color combination different, I also added an embossed border around the card front using my Simply Scored tool and punched both lower corners rather than just one. Once again using a red card base for the card on the right, I added an embossed layer and I stamped the images horizontally rather than vertically. Today's cards and the card from earlier this month are good examples of how by changing the color and a few elements, you have completely changed the tone of a card. So if you are ever stuck for a card design, just think back to one of your favorites and change it up a bit. Have a great day!

Triple Layer Stamping

Today's card features the triple layer stamping technique. I first saw a card that was created using this technique a couple of weeks ago. Since then, a number of "triple layer stamping" cards have been posted on the Stampin' Up demonstrator website. I needed to try it out. The first try was not that great as I had stamped so many images that it was way too busy. Then the second card I did not layer carefully, so the circular doilies were distorted. But today's card is a very good example of triple layer stamping as it is not too busy and I spent a little more time positioning the layers. The butterflies are from the Papillon Potpourri set and the sentiment was stamped using words from Fabulous Phrases and my stamp-a-ma-jig. I added the butterfly to add a tiny bit of color. The next time I make a similar card, either the images or the sentiment will be stamped using a different ink color. Have a great day and find yourself a little stampin' time!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pencils

I was surprised the other day when I heard that kids are heading back to school on August 13th! That is much too early. Since seeing so many ads for school supplies, it is time for a back-to-school pencil favor. Once again, I am using our 1x8 cellophane bags and black polka dot scallop ribbon. This year the tag base is a black scallop circle adhered to a red plain circled topped off with a white 1 1/4" scallop circle (new punch on page 7 of the Holiday Mini). The apple stamp is an image from the Perfectly Preserved set, also in the Holiday Mini. When I was at Michael's the other day, I saw these flower pencils in a dollar bin and the colors seemed to match our Calypso Coral and Island Indigo, so I added them to my cart. Not really a "back to school" item, but a pretty favor for someone/something. Maybe a teacher would appreciate receiving something that didn't contain an apple. Or if you are the head of a committee, this could be a pretty and inexpensive little item to give to your committee volunteers to start the year off. And the pencils are a perfect match to Island Indigo and Calypso Coral. Have a good day!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sydney!

Today is our granddaughter's 8th birthday and as always, we wish her a very happy birthday. Jenny had Syd go on the Kraft website to see what kind of jello mold she wanted for her party and the girl wants Jello shots--LOL!!!!! Today's photo is Jen's version of Jello shots and I think they are just adorable: Jello (minus the alcohol) with candy fruit slices. Now I wonder if Uncle Matt is going to show her how to "drink" one of those Jello shots or if my dainty granddaughter is going to eat hers nicely with a spoon. I will let you know! Have a great day and Happy Birthday, dear Sydney!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Witches Brew

I had to share this one quick and easy Halloween favor using orange Crush soda pop! I wrapped the label using a piece of SU's black designer series paper along with the edge of the bottle cap, too. I did not have a stamp that said "Witches Brew" which is exactly what I wanted this to say, so I went into my Stampin' Up digital software and created my own label. I then cut it out using our Framelits and sponged the edges with black ink. Miscellaneous ribbons tied around the bottle top add a festive touch. What a cute way to serve pop to your little trick or treaters! Have a great weekend and find yourself a little stampin time!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Navy Butterflies

I was in the kitchen looking at the butterfly garden my husband and granddaughter planted which prompted me to make a couple very simple cards using the Pappillon Potpourri stamp set. The card to the left is a 3x3 thank you card, while the card to the right is an "any occasion" card. For both cards I "stamped off" using the En Francais background stamp. The solid butterfly on the 3x3 card is stamped directly on the stamped background while the butterfly on the larger card was stamped on a separate piece of cardstock and then punched out. Before adhering the butterfly using dimensionals, I sponged the edges of the butterfly using Night of Navy ink. As I am looking at the card right now, I need to add the little antennae to the butterfly! Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Core'dinations & Tulle

Today's card is showcasing two products included in the Holiday Mini: Core'dinations cardstock and Scallop Tulle. The outside layers of Core'dinations cardstock are one color while the interior layer is a different color. I used the Early Espresso Core'dinations cardstock on this card and after embossing and then lightly sanding it, the interior color of Crumb Cake showed through. The Crumb Cake accent was perfect for embellishing the card using a bit of the new Crumb Cake scallop edge tulle that is also in the Holiday Mini. I do like the cardstock but am not yet sold on the Crumb Cake tulle. It kind of reminds me of pantyhose--lol!!!! I think the Cherry Cobbler tulle will be more appealing to me! I will give you my opinion when I see it in person. By the way, this card would definitely require extra postage as the bow is quite dimensional. Have a great day!

Sliding Card

Today's card is one we will be making in the Halloween-themed card classes scheduled in August. The first photo is the front of the card; second photo is the front of the card when slid open; the third photo is looking down at the card from above. The card is much cuter in person! I just had a hard time trying to show that when the card slides open, the scallop circle stands up. I guess you will just need to attend the class to get the full effect! I am meeting my friend, Regina, so I better get going. Have a good day and find yourself a little stampin' time!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Holiday Mini

Today I received a copy of Stampin' Up's Holiday Mini which I ordered to be mailed to myself--YEAH! That means that if you are a current customer of mine, you should be receiving your copy, too. The mini is filled with so many great products that my wish list is being broken down into categories (just like Cold Stone Ice Cream sizes): Like It or Love It or Gotta' Have It! You have seen sneak peeks of some of the Gotta' Have It items and if you keep watching my blog you will see what else was on my Gotta Have It list! If you do not receive a copy in the mail, I will have one for you the next time I see you. By the way, this mini is approximately 8 1/2 x 11~~bigger than in the past. Enjoy the rest of the day and if your copy is in the mailbox, happy reading!

Shades of Blue

I spent the day in my scraproom yesterday, working on an album for a couple celebrating 40 years of married life. I used the Pemberley paper from Close to My Heart together with two shades of blue and an ivory cardstock. Since I will not be putting the photos into the album, I left the pages without mats. While deciding how to embellish the pages, I found that I had an embossing folder that had very similar vines to those on the paper, so I used it on white-core cardstock to embellish the corners of a double layout. This cardstock was so thin that I did not even need to sand it! After rolling it through the Big Shot, some of the dark blue layer was embossed right off! I even used the half inch trim from the top of the paper which identifies the coordinating colors on one side with a design on the other to embellish the pages. I get so into my cardmaking that I sometimes forget how fun and challenging scrapbooking can be! Today's challenge will be running all of my errands bright and early this morning before the 100 degrees hits! Have a great day and keep cool!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cricut Cards For Operation Write Home

Yesterday was our monthly Cricut get-together and Nikki was in charge of the project. Nikki supplied us with elements so that each of us could create a card for Operation Write Home, designing our own layouts. Thanks, Nikki for reminding us that we can support our troops and their families simply by setting aside a few minutes of time when we get together. The cards we created yesterday will get sent to OWH this week together with cards that Laura created specifically for OWH a few weeks ago. If you ever find yourself with a little spare time on your hands, check out www.operationwritehome.org to familiarize yourself with the card guidelines and create a few cards that will touch the hearts of the families and friends of the many men and women who serve our country. As always we had a fun afternoon sharing stories about families, friends and new stamping toys while we worked on our projects and snacked on the delicious food provided by Nancy (using tomatoes and basil direct from her garden) and the added bonus of cake balls from Nikki! We are once again in the heat, so try to keep cool and have a great day!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hello My Friend

A pretty stamp set that I seem to overlook is the My Friend set. Here I combined sentiments from the My Friend set with an image from the new Flowering Flourishes set. I inked up the entire flower using an ink pad, wiped off the "blossom" with the corner of a paper towel and reinked it using a marker. The Scallop corner and scallop edge punches add pretty and elegant touches to a card that can be used for any occasion. Have a great day and find yourself a little stampin' time!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sympathy Cards

We all need to send a sympathy card every now and then and thanks to Stampin' Up, it is quite easy to create a meaningful one. The images on both of today's cards are from the Summer Silhouettes stamp set, one being a solid image, the other two-step images. Dimensionals were used on the "With Sympathy" card to adhere the image to the card front in order to add a little depth. The "Sharing in Your Sorrow" card took a little more time as I needed to use the stamp-a-ma-jig to place the flower heads on the stems. I also did a little stamping-off so it appears that a couple of the flowers are in the background. Finally, the color combination of Sahara Sand and Basic Gray is one you have rarely seen on my projects. But it worked very nicely and I very happy with the finished product. When you find a little stampin' time, challenge yourself to use a color combination that you normally would never use. You, too, might be surprised at how happy you are with the finished product. Have a great day!

No time at all. . .

...to make the cards in today's post. Recent posts have included cards I made using the Perfectly Preserved set and this "Happy Day to You" card was made using the same set. I used the stem image, crisscrossing two stems, stamped the flower puffs and the new Gumball Green ribbon ties the flowers together. The sentiment is from the Friendly Phrases set, stamped to match the color of the flower puffs. I added the butterfly just because and not because I needed to cover a little ooops--lol! The white and Calypso Coral card was so easy to create and yet it is soft and pretty and speaks volumes. The butterfly is from the new Papillon Potpourri set while the sentiment is from the Thoughts and Prayers set~~a reminder that you can mix and match elements of different sets to create cards that perfectly express your thoughts.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Halloween Things

The theme of my August card classes is Halloween. We will be creating Halloween cards and treat bags using some new items available in the Holiday Mini. One of the items in the Holiday Mini that I think is just adorable is the Ghoulish Googlies Designer Kit. It comes with little glassine bags (The cutest mini lunch bags ever!), googlie eyes, tags and baker's twine~~everything you need to create cute Halloween treat bags with enough tags and googlie eyes to make cards, too. I purchased the kit together with a new stamp set, Googly Ghouls which includes the spider, monster and "BOOO" images stamped on these projects in addition to a little bat, a witch and a mummy. Whether you need many or just a few Halloween treats, be sure to reserve a spot in one of the August Halloween classes. I hope you will be getting your copies of the Holiday Mini soon as I think it is one of the best ever! Have a great day and find yourself a little stampin' time.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Special Birthday Card

Yesterday we celebrated my birthday with our children and our granddaughter, Sydney. She made me a special card and I wanted to share it with you. I have posted before about Deerfield's Bakery and how much I enjoy their cupcakes and other baked goods. Well, Sydney made me an awning card with tempting cakes that are beautifully colored and embellished. She printed the sentiment as her Mommy didn't have a stamp that said, "This is Deerfield's calling. . . wishing you a happy birthday and so am I!" She is just the light of my life and my entire family means the world to me. I raised a wonderful son and daughter and I am a very proud Mom. Now my daughter and son-in-law are doing a wonderful job raising Sydney and I am a very proud "Grandma Gay". By the way, one of the presents I received was a box of Deerfield's butter cookies--so yummy! Have a wonderful day.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Jar Full of Cherries

The 100 plus temps are gone, we will be spending the afternoon with our children and granddaughter, our grandpuppy is coming to spend a few days with us--life is good! Today's post is another card using the Perfectly Preserved stamp set. It is just such a fun item with which to play. This time I filled the jar with cherries~~the double cherries are part of this set and the single cherry is from the Create-a-cupcake stamp set. I inked them with my markers and when the card was completed, I added the Crystal Effects. (Speaking of Crystal Effects, I ordered another bottle and the Crystal Effect lid is new and is such that I do not need to keep a pin in it to keep it from getting clogged.) Now that I am looking at the card, it needs a little black ribbon around the lid, which I will take care of shortly. The new holiday mini has something (or many things) for everyone--Christmas, Halloween, Fall, Thanksgiving and more. If you are currently on my mailing list, you will be receiving a copy of the new holiday mini in the mail. Otherwise, I will have extra copies of the mini available at the next stamp class. Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jar Full of Love

It was another very hot day in the Chicago area yesterday, over 100 degrees and we were without air! Luckily we have a basement which was a fairly cool place to wait for the A/C repairman. I feel so bad for people who are without air conditioning and for those who have to work outside. The heat is reminding me of our Phoenix summers! Anyway, since I was downstairs, I played with some new SU items. This "jar full of love" card is for our son-in-law who is having hip surgery today. The jar and lid are part of the stampset, Perfectly Preserved which has matching Framelits and is in the new Holiday Mini. The hearts inside the jar are a combination of stamped, punched and embosslit hearts from a variety of current stamp sets/dies. The stamp set does include images of flowers, cherries, pears, apples and more. The jar is so darn cute and I see snowflakes, butterflies--a variety of little things depending on the season and/or occasion--in the jar. I will be posting more sneak peeks of great new products that are in the upcoming Holiday Mini which goes live on August 1st. Have a great day and keep cool!

Regal Rose & Pumpkin Pie

While on the Stampin' Up demonstrator site, I saw a couple of pretty cards using the larger flower in the Reason to Smile set. They were simple cards yet very pretty. So after I finished working on the cards for Saturday's class, I wanted to see what I could come up with using the larger flower. I enjoy two-step stamping and I wanted to use Regal Rose and Daffodil Delight for the flowers. There was a little too much white space on the strip of cardstock I stamped, so I inked up the small flower print butterfly stamp from the Papillon Potpourri set, inked it up with Pumpkin Pie ink and filled in that space. The sentiment is from Curly Cute and where there are butterflies, you know I will have at least one of the butterflies from the Beautiful Wings embosslit. I am definitely getting my $5's worth from the Reason To Smile set! Have a nice day and find yourself a little stampin' time.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

We are very blessed to live in this country. Have a wonderful and safe day as you celebrate!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pleasant Poppies

When I think of poppies, I think of the little artificial flowers that you receive when you make a donation to the Veterans of Foreign War and/or the American Legion Auxiliary volunteers who distribute them in return for donations to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans. I was a young girl when I first became aware of the poppy and that significance. I can remember both my Dad and my Grandpa donating money and hanging the poppy on the rear view mirror in the car. As I got older, I followed in their footsteps, but I attach the poppy to my purse. So when I first saw the Pleasant Poppies stamp, that was my first thought--red flowers to honor our veterans. But after stamping the poppy images and embossing them with black embossing powder, I decided to take an entirely different direction. I colored the images using pink and yellow ink and blender pens, embellishing the pink card with black ribbon and the yellow poppies with black butterflies. I see many options with this one stamp and will share my future Pleasant Poppies creations with you. Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Another Reason To Smile

We had a great weekend beginning on Friday at the Eyes To The Skies Festival in Lisle, Illinois. Our friend, Tom Steinbock of Crestwood, Kentucky brings his hot air balloon and participates in the festivities and we are part of his crew. Then on Saturday, it was the Jimmy Buffett concert in Tinley Park. I enjoy Jimmy Buffett and his music, but I opted to listen to his concert on Margaritaville Radio (in the comfort of my air conditioned home) while my husband, daughter and thousands of other Parrotheads braved the heat and partied the day and evening away. Sunday was Cherie's Group card class and as always, we had a stampin' good time. And here is today's card which was influenced by the Jimmy Buffett music I listened to while stamping on Saturday night. It is very cheerful thanks to many fun elements beginning with the color combo of Regal Rose and Pool Party. The Regal Rose cardstock was embossed using one of the new embossing folders, Fancy Fan. Stamped images are from the Reason to Smile, Friendly Phrases and Four Seasons stamp sets. And don't forget, during the month of July, when you place a $50 or more order you can purchase the Reason To Smile stamp set for $5. This offer is limited to one per customer. For the finishing touch I added Pool Party Baker's Twine~~not only fun, but a rather inexpensive way to embellish your paper crations. The Baker's Twine is available in many colors and is priced at only $2.95 for 25 yards! Have a nice day and keep cool.