Saturday, February 27

Virtual Stamp Night (Friday)

Last night I participated in my first Virtual Stamp Night (VSN) challenge on Splitcoaststampers. I know VSN has been around for a while--how long I am not sure. I never looked into the details of VSN before; however, I saw a post about it this past week and decided to look into it further--it sounded intriguing. This is actually a 2-day event, starting Friday evening and continuing Saturday afternoon. Prior to the start of the event, a "shopping list" detailing some of the items you will need for the challenges is provided. Having this list in advance gives you the opportunity to beg, borrow, steal, or purchase any item(s) you may not have readily available. The actual challenges are posted every hour and anyone wishing to participate has 45 minutes within which to complete each challenge. Everyone is "on their honor" for complying with the time limit. You can participate in one or all of the challenges--it's up to you. Anyone wishing to post their challenge creation has to do so by a pre-determined deadline. Prizes are offered for each challenge--how cool is that?!?! If you go here, you can read about each of the challenges and their inspiration. The cards below are the cards I entered for four of the five challenges that were posted last night. Each card has already been posted to my gallery on Splitcoaststampers. I do plan to complete the first challenge--a very challenging sketch--just have to come up with an idea. Stamps used for these cards are Birdhouse Flourish by Indadinkado and Cold Play, Elegant Greetings, Jolliest Time of the Year, and Moose You So Much by Stampin' Up! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 25

Mini Piano Hinge Book

Today I am posting something different--a miniature book I created several years ago. While surfing the 'net, I found instructions for a piano hinge book that used chopsticks for the binding.  Since at the time I didn't have any chopsticks available, I created a mini version using toothpicks--fancy party toothpicks--for the binding.  The book has 20 pages, including the front and back covers, and each individual page measures 1-7/8" X 1-3/4". The only "techniques" used on this book are direct-to-paper and sponging. The purpose of this book? I consider it merely to be a conversation piece. It could be something that is customized for an individual and given as a keepsake, but this one has no particular meaning; it is just something I tried and have kept all these years. The images found on the pages are a variety of stamp images from A Stamp in the Hand, Hero Arts, Stampers Anonymous, Stampin' Up! and, I am sure, a few others which I do not recall at this time. The charms found throughout are from a variety of sources, as well.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 24

Mono Dies

Mono Dies is a technique that was in the February 2010 issue of the Technique Junkie newsletter. The Mono Dies technique shows a new way to use your punches or cutting dies to create an intriguing monochromatic background for your card and scrapbook projects. The stamps used for this card are from the set God's Beauty by Stampin' Up!

Tuesday, February 23

Double Metal Embossing

Today's card features the Double Metal Embossing technique from the February 2010 issue of the Technique Junkie newsletter. Two embossing folders were used--Swiss Dots and Stylized Flowers. The flowers were colored with Adirondack alcohol inks by Ranger Industries using a very fine brush. Sentiment is from the stamp set A Beautiful Thing by Stampin' Up!

Monday, February 22

Modern Grid

Another one of the techniques I learned as a subscriber to the Technique Junkie newsletter is Modern Grid. This technique is such a unique way of adding interest and depth to a card. The stamps used for these cards are from the Big Pieces, Fundamental Phrases, Seeing Spots, and So Very sets by Stampin' Up!  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 20

Sunset/Sunrise Sympathy

This card was created a while ago and has been sitting in my "stash".  It just happened to suit the "Ways to Use It" challenge at Splitcoaststampers. I titled this Sunset/Sunrise Sympathy based on a conversation had many, many years ago with a friend's mother regarding an image (bare trees) on a memorial card (the cards received when paying respects at a funeral home). An individual had commented that the image of the trees was very depressing and emphasized death/dying. My friend's mother responded that she saw the image not as a representation of death but, rather, as a tree seen in Spring before leafing -- a rebirth. So, this card image could be viewed as the sun setting on this (earthly) journey and simultaneously rising for the journey ahead.  All a matter of one's perspective, I suppose. The images used for this card are from the stamp sets Heartfelt Sympathy and Upsy Daisy by Stampin' Up! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 19

Spring -- Clean and Simple

I have been admiring the variety of Clean and Simple (CAS) cards that have been surfacing on blogs and websites and decided to try the Clean and Simple challenge on Splitcoaststampers. The challenge was to do a clean and simple card, the theme of which was to be something that reminds you of "Spring" (trying to chase away the winter doldrums). So, off to my stamp collection to create these cards. The first card uses a stamp from the Tender Toile set by Stampin' Up! The second card uses a stamp by Inkadinkado. Both images were stamped using Ancient Page Coal Black ink and colored using watercolor crayons and a blender pen. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 18

Blossoms Abound Color Challenge

This card was created for this week's color challenge at Splitcoaststampers, details of which can be found here. I did not have any Soft Suede card stock, so I substituted Chocolate Chip. The scalloped circles were cut with Nestabilities Large and Small Scallop Circle dies, the white card stock circles were cut using an EK Success Circle Scissor. The butterfly was stamped on the main focal image and colored using watercolor crayons and a blender pen. A duplicate image was stamped, colored, cut out, and mounted using dimensionals. Stamp sets used for this challenge were Blossoms Abound and Dreams du Jour, both by Stampin' Up!  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today I am posting a few Valentine cards and project ideas.  Pictured is a mini tin mailbox that has been decorated with paper, ribbons, and silk flowers from Stampin' Up!  These tin mailboxes are still popular and can be found this time of year in the $1 bins at Target. 3 X 3 note cards fit perfectly in the mailbox or in the box made to hold 3 X 3 cards and envelopes.  The cards that are pictured were made using stamps from Hero Arts, Impress, Scrappy Cat, See D's, and Stampin' Up!  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 13

Dabbed Shimmers

The following cards feature the technique "Dabbed Shimmers" from the February 2010 issue of the Technique Junkies newsletter. After completing the technique, the card stock was placed in embossing folders (Tiny Bubbles and Heart Blocks) and put through the Cuttlebug. This is a quick and easy technique and the finish is stunning with lots of shimmer!

This card was made using stamps from Silly Sealife and Very Punny by Stampin' Up!

This card was made for the Splitcoast Stampers card sketch challenge found here and uses a stamp from Small Script by Stampin' Up!; the heart stamp has no manufacturer's mark.

Friday, February 12

Technique By Design

The February issue of the Technique Junkies newsletter introduced a new feature, "Technique By Design", and is open to all Technique Junkie subscribers. This is a sketch challenge and participants are required to follow the design layout and incorporate three techniques (or, at a minimum, two techniques) from any Technique Junkies newsletter. My card incorporates three techniques:  Dabbed Shimmers (February 2010), Cuttlebug Smoosh (October 2007), and Brayered Brilliance (February 2010). The stamps used on this card are from the following Stampin' Up! sets:  Touch of Nature, Peaceful Wishes, and Congrats.  One entry will be randomly selected and will be rewarded a prize package that will include becoming a Technique Junkie for life!  If you are interested in participating in this sketch challenge but are not yet a Technique Junkie subscriber, go here.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 10

Brayered Brilliance

I am a subscribing member (and fan) of a group called Technique Junkies. This group was founded by Pat Huntoon and is comprised of a group of paper craft artists (turbo designers) who devise new and different techniques for various products.  I am always in awe of the techniques the turbo designers devise and, quite frankly, amazed that they invent so many fabulous new and different techniques--these ladies are truly amazing and inspiring. As a subscribing member of the Technique Junkies, I receive a magazine quality newsletter every other month, on-line access to the techniques (which includes an on-line bonus technique), and on-line access to the technique gallery.  I also have the opportunity to purchase the entire year's techniques on CD (and, of course, I have!).

One of this month's techniques was called Brayered Brilliance, examples of which I have included below.  I really like the perception of depth in this technique. The stamps I used for the first card are from the set Touch of Nature by Stampin' Up!. After stamping the verse, it was cut out and embossed using a large oval Nestabilities die and layered onto a piece of card stock which was cut using a small scalloped oval Nestabilities die.

The stamps used on the second card are from the stamp sets Wonderful Wings and God's Way, both by Stampin' Up!. The verse was stamped then cut and embossed using the Labels One Nestabilities die, then layered onto another piece of card stock that was cut and embossed with the same Labels One Nestabilities die.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 5

My First Blog -- Up and Running

I have finally taken the plunge and started a blog.  So, now for a little about me . . . I am by no means a professional crafter, but I do enjoy creating gifts and works of art (I use that term loosely--very loosely) using rubber stamps and various paper crafting techniques, though I have not ventured into the world of scrapbooking.  I would not categorize my work into a particular "style", as I do not consider my work shabby chic, avant garde, classy, classic, or even clean and simple, and I have not mastered the art of collage, although I have tried several times.

Like many other stampers and paper crafters, I have a plethora of stamping supplies:  papers, inks, stamps (from several companies), ribbons, brads, eyelets, embossing powders, glitters, mica powders, embossing folders, cutting dies, beads, baubles, etc., etc., etc.  My friends have dibs on my supplies when I die, which is good, since my nieces and nephews would probably walk into my crafting space bleary-eyed and wondering what all that . . . stuff . . . is!

I do not have a particular creative process, unless you consider CASEing a creative process (thank goodness for CASEing, challenges, and sketches). Occasionally, I do come up with my own idea(s), usually completely by accident and as a result of playing around with this scrap and that scrap and suddenly, an idea comes to mind (that's exactly how last year's Christmas card came to be).  My "mistakes" are not at all mistakes but, rather, creative springboards--at least, that's what I keep telling myself.

I hope that some will find the work that I post both interesting and inspirational.  Thanks for stopping by!
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