Quick Update

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm not usually away from my blog this long, so I thought I would hop on for a minute to give you an update.  My husband and I spent all day yesterday cleaning up the mess from when I our basement took in some water Sunday night/Monday morning.  We had a big storm here and one of our storm drains clogged up (or collapsed, not sure exactly what yet).

I have a corner in the basement that I call my studio.  I had to take EVERYTHING off my desk and pile it up on another table.  We had to pull up all the carpet around the edges and suck up the water with a wet/dry vacuum.  It's been a mess and on top of that, our dishwasher broke.  So, it's been quite the week so far.  I'm hoping to get my studio back together tomorrow.  I'm spending today catching up on all the household stuff that didn't get done yesterday, not to mention hand washing every dish we own.

Anyway, there is something exciting happening here on Thursday.  Luckily I had everything ready before this disaster happened.  It's going to be FUN!

Have a great day!!!

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OCC Challenge - Cool Colors

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hi there!  I'm here with another challenge from Our Creative Corner.  This week the challenge is to make a card using the cool colors, blue and green.  I've been seeing a ton of cards lately that have a "frame" created with a marker and ruler.  I've done this before, but I always forget about that technique.  It adds a sort of polished look to the card.  I didn't plan for the card to be masculine, it just turned out that way.  That's okay because I can always use masculine cards.

I hope you have time to play along with us this week.  I know our schedule is bursting at the seams, but it's always nice to squeeze in a little "me-time" in the studio.  Head on over to Our Creative Corner and check out the amazing cards from the rest of the Design Team.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Stamps: Communique Sentiments, Around & About Sentiments (Papertrey Ink)
Card Stock: Enchanted Evening, Spring Moss, Ripe Avocado (Papertrey Ink)
Ink: Brilliant Blue (SU)
Accessories: Parakeet Brads (Bazzill), Swiss Dots Embossing Folder (Cuttlebug), Blue Floss (DMC), Foam Dimensionals, Blue Marker (Crayola)
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Papertrey Ink Blog Hop - June

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sweet Blush
Smokey Shadow
Raspberry Fizz 

Hello!  Today I made a cute little 'get well' card.  I never seem to have any when I need them, so I thought I should stock up.  My card base is a little smaller than a standard A2 card.  I trimmed the edges so the top note die took up almost the entire card front.  I stamped the bottom portion with a Text Style stamp in Pink Passion (which is a great match up for Raspberry Fizz).  I tore an edge of Smokey Shadow to put behind the ribbon.  It's the very first time I've ever used that color, and I love it.  I sponges around the perimeter of the top note panel with Basic Black, since I don't have any gray ink.

It's hard to tell in the photo, but the button is a perfect match.  It's looks like pewter in real life.  I threaded the button with a sliver of Sweet Blush card stock.  Such a handy trick when you don't have the right thread color.
Speaking of the photo, I took 100+ pictures of this card.  I'm trying out a photo box I made and trying to get just the right lighting.  It's tricky.  The pictures still didn't come out the way I wanted.  I'm still playing.  Any advice would be great.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a great day!!!

{Get well soon}
Stamps: Communique Sentiments, Text Style (Papertrey Ink)
Card Stock: Sweet Blush, Smokey Shadow, Kraft (Papertrey Ink)
Ink: Basic Black, Pink Passion (SU)
Accessories: Raspberry Fizz Ribbon (Papertrey Ink), Button, Foam Dimensionals, Top Note Sizzix Die (SU), Stampin' Sponge (SU)
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Frugal Friday - Ink

Hello there!  Today is Frugal Friday.  If you missed my introduction about Frugal Friday, click here to find out what it's all about.  Last Friday I talked about PAPER, and today we are going to talk about INK.

Like I said last week, when I started blogging years ago I loved doing color challenges and of course, I wanted all the colors of ink to go along with all that paper.  Stampin' Up sells ink collections (that is 12 mini ink pads called Ink Spots) in their 4 color families.  Over the course of a year or so, I ended up with 3 sets.  I have Bold Brights, Earth Elements, and Soft Subtles.  I never really fell in love with Rich Regals so I never bought it.  I have been using these Ink Spots for years and have never felt that I didn't have the right color.  I really can't believe how long they've lasted.  It ended up being a great investment.

I realize that this is over $60 of ink.  I was able to spend practically none of my own money by asking for these as Christmas gifts as well as hosting a Stampin' Up party.

I use mostly Papertrey Ink card stock and I have found that I can easily find a similar shade in my Stampin' Up Ink Spots.  Pink Passion pairs well with Raspberry Fizz, Old Olive with Ripe Avocado and so on.  Here's a picture of all inks I need.
You can see my Stampin' Up Ink Spots at the top.  I have Basic Black because it is definitely a color you need.  Versamark for heat embossing.  Jet Black Stazon for permanent black.  I have Papertrey Ink's Vintage Cream and Fresh Snow, which I truly love.  I also have one Distress Ink that I use occasionally.

The only drawback to using Stampin' Up Ink Spots is that they are small.  If you are using a background stamp, it would be difficult to get an even coat of ink on the entire stamp.  For that reason, I have a few full size ink pads from Stampin' Up.
Since we are talking about ink, it's only appropriate to talk about ink cleaners.  I just recently started using a stamp scrub pad.  I used to have cleaner with a dauber tip that I would wipe on the stamp and then wipe off with a paper towel.  It worked fine, but now that I have scrubber, it's so much faster and my stamps look new again.

Also, I wanted to mention embossing powders since I mentioned Versamark earlier.  The only colors of embossing powder that I own is Gold, Clear, and Black.  This works fine for me.  If I ever want to emboss in a color like pink, I would just stamp it first with pink ink and then stamp it again in Versamark (using clear stamps or a stamp-a-ma-jig) and then clear emboss it.  You are left with what looks like pink embossing.

I have not joined the Copic band-wagon yet.  They are really too expensive to even think about.  For now, when I color, I just use good old Crayola markers.  I'm not really into cutesy images or images that require coloring, so I don't have that problem often.

I read recently that Stampin' Up is retiring a bunch of colors.  I have not seen the list yet, I hope it's not too many of the inks I have.  I will most likely replace them with a different brand of ink.   Like I said last week, I never buy the "in colors" from Stampin' Up since they retire so quickly.

Thanks so much for stopping by for the latest Frugal Friday topic.  I hope it was a little helpful for you!  I would love to her any feedback or answer any of your questions.  Thanks!

PS.  Next week's topic will be STAMPS!!!

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Paper Maniac Thursday - It's Summer!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This week on the Paper Maniac Blog we are celebrating summer with bright and cheery cards.  My card for today doesn't use any stamping.  All of the paper elements come from the Green At Heart Card Kit by Basic Grey.  The flowers and sentiment come from a sheet of rub-ons that come with the kit.  I added some rhinestones to the flowers and butterfly as a finishing touch.  The sentiment panel has green sponged edges to bring in the green from the ribbon.

Love the bright and cheery feel of this card!  Thanks so much for stopping by today!

{Happy Birthday}
Patterned Paper & Rub-ons: Green at Heart Card Kit (Basic Grey)
Ink: Green Galore (SU)
Accessories: Clear Rhinestones (Kaiser Craft), Stampin' Sponge (SU), Classic Butterfly Punch (Martha Stewart), Glue Dots, Pumpkin Pie Ribbon, Apple Ribbon
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You Make Me Smile...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hi there!  As you can see, I'm still using up some Indian Summer scraps.  The piece of patterned paper I used is sort of busy and complicated.  It is so pretty and interesting, but I was perplexed by how to use it.

I made this card a couple weeks ago at my "Girls Craft Night" and was not happy about how it turned out.  Initially I just had the patterned paper on the bottom and the sentiment with stitching around the top.  It was kind of boring and and blah.  This morning I added the other half of patterned paper to the top and added some faux stitching beneath it.  I really like how it turned out.  I think it's kind of COOL.
The little leaf next to the sentiment is a rub-on.  It comes from this Basic Grey Olio Rub-On Book that coordinates with Indian Summer.

If you signed up for the Paper Maniac Newsletter, then you received a 15% off Basic Grey products good through June 28th.

I hope you all are having a fantastic day! See you tomorrow.

{You Make Me Smile}
Stamps: Signature Greetings (Papertrey Ink)
Card Stock: Kraft (Papertrey Ink)
Patterned Paper: Indian Summer (Basic Grey)
Ink: Close to Cocoa (SU)
Accessories:  Indian Summer Olio Rub-On Book (Basic Grey),  White Gel Pen (Sakura)
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Thank you for your generosity...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hey there!  Thanks for stopping by today.  It's been a while since I've done a Mojo Monday card, so I thought I would do just that today.  This sketch was a little busy for my taste, but I managed to keep it clean and simple by not using patterned paper on the card base like it shows in the sketch.  The patterned papers that I did choose are pretty simple.  I love the color combination of red, turquoise and yellow.  There is such a happy feel to this card.

This card is full of dimension.  Each layer (except for the yellow cloud layer) are popped up on foam dimensionals.
I hope you all are having a great day!  See ya tomorrow!!!

{Thank you for your generosity}
Stamps: Signature Greetings (Papertrey Ink)
Card Stock: Kraft, Lemon Tart (Papertrey Ink)
Patterned Paper: Love Me Do (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Real Red (SU), Fresh Snow (Papertrey Ink)
Accessories: Blue Rhinestones (Kaiser Craft), Heart Punch (Paper Shapers), Blossom Punch (EK Success), Red Ribbon (Offray), Stampin' Sponge (SU), Foam Dimensionals, Red Rhinestone Sticker
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OCC Challenge - CASE an OCC Girl!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hi guys! It's Saturday (thank goodness!) and that means another challenge from Our Creative Corner.  This week's challenge is super fun.  We are CASEing cards from the OCC Design Team.  If you are not familiar with CASEing, it's when you recreate a card someone else has made changing two or more elements to make it your own.

I chose to CASE this great card by Wendy Janson.  I love the bride and groom hearts and we have a wedding coming up.  The wedding colors are blue and yellow, so I kept the blue from Wendy's card and added yellow in the card stock and ribbon.  I used a lattice punch instead of a scalloped trim punch.  I kept the swiss dots embossing folder but used a Birds & Swirls embossing folder on the bride heart.  I also swapped out the pearls for rhinestones and used a different sentiment stamp.

This challenge was so FUN!  I hope you have time to join in and CASE one of the OCC girls.  I can't wait to see what you all create.  Maybe I'll see a card or two of mine in there.  Check out what all the OCC girls created at Our Creative Corner  and who they CASEed.

Have a great weekend!

Stamps: Communique Sentiments (Papertrey Ink)
Card Stock: Spring Rain, Lemon Tart, True Black, SS White (Papertrey Ink)
Ink: Basic Black (SU)
Accessories: Lattice Punch (Martha Stewart), Clear Rhinestones (Michaels), Embossing Folders (Cuttlebug), Yellow Ribbon (Offray), Black Fine Tip Marker (Sharpie), Foam Dimensionals, Glue Dots, Heart Punch (Paper Shapers)
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Frugal Friday - Paper

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hello everybody!!!  I'm so glad you are joining me today.  If you missed my introduction about Frugal Friday, click here to learn what it's all about.  Today we are diving right in with our first topic, PAPER.  I'll be talking about card stock and patterned paper in today's post.  

Card stock is something that we all use.  It's a necessity in card making.  This is an area where quality really matters.  When I first started to make cards, I participated in a lot of challenges (still do!) and I wanted to have all the colors so I could do the color challenges.  What I didn't realize is that you didn't need to have every color of paper that SU carried.  You could simply supplement with ink and embellishments.  

Stampin Up carries 61 colors of paper (48 colors + 7 neutrals + 6 "in colors").  I learned very quickly that the "in colors" retire faster than I can use them.  When you are submitting your cards for publication, you cannot use any items that are not currently available.  So, I think I only made the mistake of buying "in colors" twice and getting stuck with paper I couldn't use.  I did want to have a wide variety of colors, but I was in no position to buy all those colors.  Here's what I did and I know it saved me a lot of money.  

About this time I discovered Papertrey Ink.    Papertrey Ink currently carries 26 colors, which is a lot more manageable to maintain and the quality matches (if not surpasses) Stampin Up.  I could not justify jumping in and buying a pack of all 26 colors.  So I bought the variety pack of colors, a pack of white, and a pack of kraft.  The variety pack comes with 2 sheets of every color (except kraft).  That way I was able to see what colors I gravitated to and which colors I shyed away from.  I quickly ran out of Raspberry Fizz and Ripe Avocado, so I ordered packs of those on my next order.  There are other colors I rarely use that I may never have to refill.  You can also order small quantities of paper (12 sheets for $3) so it is easy to stock up on a few colors without spending a ton.  I'm just using Papertrey Ink as an example.  I know Stampin Up also offers variety packs as well in each of their color families.  It's a great way to try out all the colors without blowing your budget.  
Another way to save money is to combine your order (wherever you are ordering from) with a friend.  My sister-in-law and I combine orders all the time to take advantage of free shipping.  If you like to buy your paper from Michaels or Hobby Lobby, buy packs of paper and use a 40% off coupon to save on the whole pack instead of buying your paper individually. 
Here's how I store my card stock.  I have a rolling hanging file cart that slides under my desk.  Each file holds a different color.  The rolling file cart was a Christmas gift (that I asked for) and I already had the files.  So, it's a great storage solution and it didn't cost me a thing.  

Patterned Paper
You can make cards without patterned paper, but where's the fun in that?  I love patterned paper and I'm sure you do too.  I try to only buy patterned paper in packs since that gives you the best value per sheet.  I've also found that 6" x 6" packs are more suited to making cards.  The patterns tend to be smaller on those packs where I think the 12" x 12" packs are more suited for scrap booking.  The 6" x 6" size is also a LOT cheaper.  Ideally you want to buy paper that you love every sheet and will use every sheet.  I know that probably will never happen, but it's something to think about before you make your purchase.  You also want to think about coordinating card stock that you already have.  Will you need to buy card stock to match the paper?  Embellishments?  You may change your mind and buy patterned paper that goes with supplies you already have.  I really love using papers that are double-sided.  If you don't like one side, chances are you will like the other side.  Don't forget to use coupons and look for sale prices.  Shop around.  Online stores are very competitive.

Do you have paper that you are having a hard time using?  It is sometimes hard for me to use papers that are really busy, so I use them in the background of my cards and cover them with solid shapes.  It helps drown out the busy-ness of the paper.  You can see an example of this here and here

Here's how I store my patterned paper.  I use a ziploc bag for each pack.  This way I can store the pack and the scraps in the same bag.  I love using scraps on my cards.  I love the mix and matching of it.  You can see examples here, here, and here. If you are using papers from the same pack, you already know they coordinate so it's easy to use up those scraps.
Since we are talking about paper today, I thought I would mention my paper trimmer.  This is an item I splurged on, but that's okay since I use it everyday and I love it.  I bought it from Joann and was able to use a 40% off coupon and get free shipping.  I think I paid about $26.  Worth every penny.

If you got through all that, way to hang in there!  I hope it was worth the read.  I would love to answer any questions you may have.  Please feel free to leave them in the comments section.  Any feedback you have would be much appreciated.  Next week I'll be talking about Ink.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Paper Maniac Thursday - Father's Day

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hi!  It's Paper Maniac Thursday here on my blog.  This week the DT and I are making cards for Father's Day.  My card base is brown textured card stock from Bazzill.  I used two pieces of Origins patterned paper by Basic Grey for the "landscaping" and distressed the edges with tea dye distress ink and an edge distresser. The sentiment is from Our Craft Lounge's Thankful Flourishes stamp set.  Such a versatile sentiment and very appropriate for Father's Day.  I added the rhinestones as a finishing touch.  The tree is an old 3D sticker that my SIL was getting rid of at our last girls craft night.

If you are still in need of  ideas for Father's Day cards, make sure you check out the Paper Maniac Blog to see what the rest of the Design Team created this week.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Have a wonderful day!!!

PS.  This week at Paper Maniac, Cuttlebug Embossing Folders and Martha Stewart Punches are 35% off!!!
{So very thankful for you}
Stamps: Thankful Flourishes (Our Craft Lounge)
Card Stock: Textured Bon Bon (Bazzill)
Patterned Paper: Origins (Basic Grey)
Ink: Tea Dye Distress Ink (Ranger), Chocolate Chip (SU)
Accessories: Edge Distresser (Tonic/Tim Holtz), Blue Rhinestones (Kasier Craft), Stampin' Sponge (SU)
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Thank you for being so thoughtful...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hello!  I wanted to make some thank you cards for a friend that is expecting a baby girl in July.  When you are making a set of cards, you want the layout to be simple and use minimal supplies.  I'm not someone who likes to make the same card over and over, so I want to make the process as quick and easy as possible (and still make a super cute card, of course!).

For this card I am only using one piece of 12" x 12" patterned paper.  I cut the patterned paper into 1/2" strips about 3 inches long.  Then I went through all my white paper scraps and pulled out any that could be trimmed to 2" x 2.5".  I'm planning on making about 20 cards, so I also pulled out 10 sheets of white card stock.   I stamped the elephant in pink on all the rectangle panels and sponged the edges and applied the green brad for the eye.  Next I stamped the sentiment in green on the card base.  Apply your patterned paper strips and then adhere the elephant panel using foam dimensionals.  Round the top right edge and your done!  Easy peasey!

I've only made 6 of these and have 14 more to go.  Everything is cut, so they just need to be assembled.  The perfect task for watching TV.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a great day!!!

{Thank you for being so thoughtful}
Stamps: Precious Baby Boy (Hero Arts), Signature Greetings (Papertrey Ink)
Card Stock: SS White (Papertrey Ink)
Patterned Paper:  Pink and White (Creative Imaginations)
Ink: Pink Passion, Certainly Celery (SU)
Accessories: Green Mini Brad (Queen & Co), Corner Rounder Punch (EK Success), Foam Dimensionals, Stampin' Sponge (SU)
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Best Wishes...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hey there!  I was such a procrastinator this morning!  I was dreading going down to the studio since it's been a few days.  I was worried my mojo might have disappeared.  Once I finally sat down at my desk, I thoroughly enjoyed the process of making this card.  I used this week's CPS sketch for my inspiration.  Initially the card didn't have the ribbon or the brown panel.  I almost scrapped it and start from scratch.   Thankfully I kept playing around until I got it just right.

The floral and brown panels are from Indian Summer by Basic Grey.  The floral paper is sort of like the black sheep of the pack.  It really doesn't coordinate with any of the other papers.  I love it though, and was glad I was finally able to use it.
Every edge of my card is sponged with Tea Dye Distress Ink from Ranger.

I want to thank you all for the great response I received from my introductory Frugal Friday post.  You guys are the best and I can't wait until this Friday.  Thanks so much for your support!!!

{Best Wishes}
Stamps: Essential Messages (Hero Arts)
Card Stock: Kraft, Orange Zest, Terracotta Tile, SS White (Papertrey Ink)
Patterned Paper: Indian Summer (Basic Grey)
Ink: Chocolate Chip (SU), Tea Dye Distress Ink (Ranger)
Accessories: Sheer Ribbon (Michaels), Foam Dimensionals, Circle Punch
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OCC Challenge - Gotcha Cornered!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hello!  I have a happy little card to share with you for this week's Our Creative Corner challenge.  The challenge is to jazz up those often neglected corners on your cards.  My card is small, just a 3" square.  The perfect size to add to a gift bag.  I really like all these bright colors.  The rhinestones that are decorating the corners are orange and the ones on the orange panel are pink (they NEVER show up pink in my photos!!!)  The striped "ribbon" is actually adhesive paper ribbon.

Check out how the other design team girls jazzed up their corners over at Our Creative Corner.  I hope you'll make some time to play along!!!  Have a great weekend!!!

{Girly, You Rock}
Stamps: Signature Greetings (Papertrey Ink)
Card Stock: Raspberry Fizz, Orange Zest (Papertrey Ink)
Ink: Fresh Snow (Papertrey Ink)
Accessories: Adhesive Paper Ribbon - Green at Heart (Basic Grey), Oval Nestabilities (Spellbinders), Orange & Pink Rhinestones (Kaiser Craft), Raspberry Fizz Ribbon (Papertrey Ink), Foam Dimensionals, Cork
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