Cards with the Coffee Cafe bundle by Stampin’ UP!

Some days I believe I function because of my morning coffee.  Other days, I’m not sure it helps at all. In either case, I’m a sucker for a good cup of coffee.  I know many people who feel the same way and believe the new Coffee Cafe Suite of products will certainly make some card recipients perk up when they receive happy mail.

Part of this suite of products is the Stamps/Dies Bundle. Being able to stamp and cut the cup, lid, sentiment, cup band, and beans makes this project really easy.  I adore those little coffee beans!

In each of these cards I decided to use the Petal Garden Designer Series Paper Stack (6″x6″) and embossing folders.  I’m a big fan of the embossing which can be achieved from the dynamic textured impressions embossing folders and chose to use both the returning hexagon and new leaves folders for these three cards.

It is important to remember that the sentiments may have a specific shape, in this case meant to fit inside the stamped cup image, but can be placed into another shape as I’ve done in these last two examples. The entire sentiment was not used for the second card either.  In fact, I have cut my stamp apart (carefully with sharp scissors) so that I could easily stamp, “Happiness is a cup of coffee” separate from, “shared with a friend” many times without the fuss.  Keep in mind, I can always put them onto my block and stamp together again, but this way I don’t have to mask or worry about only inking part of the stamp each time I want them separate.

 

In addition to the Petal Garden DSP stack, I used the images from one sheet of the Coffee Cafe DSP to get the pots and little mugs. While you will have to hand-cut (aka: fussy cut) the pot and other images from the designer series paper for this suite, those little coffee cups do have a matching die.  I chose not to use it this day; I didn’t want the small white border and I already had the scissors in my hands.

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time…

-Joanne

 

Embossing: Using Paste & Powders on Cards

The one thing most card makers always remember is that feeling of awe the first time they used embossing on their handmade project. Whether it was embossing with powders, an embossing folder, a stylus or paste, it leaves an impression on both the paper & the person!

Earlier this week I teased you with information on the new embossing paste and posted the two cards I’m sharing today.

These cards are loaded with fun techniques. They are pretty easy techniques too!   We’ll focus on the card on the left, for the most part, but I will share how to make that great “hello friend” image for the second card towards the end of the post.

Step 1: Stamp the images in Versamark onto Crumb Cake CS, after using embossing buddy on your paper to keep stray powders away.  Then apply embossing powder (Gold)  and tap off extra.  Use the heat gun to melt powder.

Creating layers of texture with heat embossing powder.

Step 2: With your card front on an easily washable surface (I chose the silicone mat), choose your Decorative Mask and placement.  Then use Washi tape (I sometimes use Frog tape for painting) to temporarily tape mask down to keep it from shifting.  Apply paste with the Palette Knives in an even coat- Spread it like putting butter on toast or frosting on cake. Carefully remove mask immediately after using.

Step 3:  Immediately close up your embossing paste and clean your masks, knives and anything else that came in contact with the embossing paste using a water bath (for later cleaning) or warm sink and non-metal bristle brush (a toothbrush works great!).

Adding layers using decorative masks for embossing paste.

Step 4: If you didn’t take too long to clean your materials, your embossing paste should still have enough damp spots to it that you can add embossing powder (White) & it will cling to some (not all) areas- don’t try to get a perfect covering of it if you want the shading.  Apply, tap off, and heat set- Yes, be aware it will bubble because of the paste.  It adds even more texture.

Adding embossing powder over embossing paste.
Sponging ink over both embossing powder & paste.

Step 5: Using a dauber and Crumb Cake ink, rub in additional color in areas you choose. I recommend also doing the edges of the entire card front.  The areas with Embossing Powder will resist the color, the areas of paste which didn’t take on Embossing Powder will accept some of the ink, but not as heavily as the cardstock does.

Step 6: Since this card front used a lot of different mediums, I found Tear Tape to be the best to adhere it to the card base.  The card base I used is Marina Mist as it matched my Dragonfly Dreams die-cut the best.

Step 7:  I cut the Swirly Scribbles die out in cardstock (color doesn’t matter, it is being covered in embossing powder), and decided to trim parts of it away before embossing.  Cover it in Versamark, add powder, heat- Repeat 3 times for a nice glossy appearance to the Gold swirl. Attach using glue dots for best adhesion.

Adding a glossy look by applying Fine Tip Glue. Creating a gilded look with sporadic embossing powder application.

Step 8: Use watercolor paper, watercolor pencils, and aqua painter to create a washed blue/green background paper which you die cut to get the dragonfly with variations of soft color. The full dragonfly (background) die-cut is in Marina Mist.  Attach using the fine tip glue pen and then cover the entire die with the pen and allow to sit until dry.

Step 9: The dragonfly on the right has added embossing. Apply areas of Versamark (just tap the corner of the pad), Gold embossing powder, and heat to achieve this gilded appearance.

Step 10:  Use your fingers to slightly curl the wings and adhere the dragonfly to the card with glue dots.

Stamping into multiple layers of heated embossing powder.

Card 2 has one additional technique for this “hello friend” emblem.

  • Using the largest Layering Oval die, cover it in Versamark – just smoosh your pad over the cardstock.
  • Add the embossing powder and heat as usual.  Then repeat multiple times (mine has 5 layers).
  • Before the last time you heat, ink whichever Red Rubber (photopolymer might not like the heat- I didn’t want to try and perhaps damage) stamp in Versamark as a release agent.  Set aside.
  • Heat the final layer and immediately stamp into the wet/heated powder before it cools.  It might slide a bit so be careful to stamp straight up & down!
  • You shouldn’t get embossing powder pulling up on your stamp thanks to the Versamark pre-stamp, but do make sure to clean off any residue asap because the heated Versamark can be difficult to get off the rubber later. -Yes, a little more scrubbing will do the trick.

As an extra bonus: Layered embossing powder stamping is a great project for cardstock you don’t like or stamped poorly as it will be covered. Yippee for that!

I hope you liked all these techniques and try one or more of them on a card.  If you copy my card in different colors, I would LOVE to see the result.  I imagine it would be lovely in so many other colors of embossing and/or colors of the dragonfly & card.

Until next time…

-Joanne

 

 

Birthday Cards Using Stampin’ UP! Petal Gardens DSP stack

There’s always someone having a birthday!  There’s no better way to send smiles to someone celebrating their big day than to let them know you remembered their day by sending a special card.  While Facebook wishes are nice, many have stopped sending cards all together because the cyber-wish is “enough” in their minds. Let your friends know you REALLY thought of them- send or give them a real card -handmade too!

These cards are simple and quick to make and creating both starts with 1 sheet of the Petal Garden DSP stack by Stampin’ UP! Start with your first cut at 4″ to create a 4″x6″ & 2″x6″.  Cut the two pieces so that you have 1) 4″x5.25″ and 1) 2″x 5.5″. Just add mats (mine are 1/8″-so add .25″ to above to get sizes) and you’re ready for the sentiment and dimensional elements.

Petal Gardens DSPs birthday

Creating dimension gives both of these cards that extra something. The Layered Leaves Dynamic Textured Embossing Folder adds extra dimension to the first card. While the second card uses cupcake embellishments (made with the Sprinkles of life & matching punch, Coffee Cafe, & also a little fussy cutting with scissors) at different levels for the dimension.

Petal Gardens DSPs birthday card

Both sentiments were made with the Happy Birthday Gorgeous stamp set and cut using the Circle Framelits. Since this paper has Calypso Coral and Old Olive included (Stampin’ UP! lists the colors both in the catalog & on the DSP stack itself), I chose those and added the new Powder Pink as the background color for these two-step photopolymer flowers.

Petal Gardens DSP stack

The Petal Gardens DSP stack contains 48 sheets of 6″x6″ paper (4 each of 12 designs).  I think you could make a year’s worth of cards with just this one stack of DSP if you chose- Just add matching cardstock. While pretty “girly”, you would be able to squeak out a many masculine cards too with some of the non-floral sides in Old Olive, Calypso Coral and a versatile White based multi-colored polka dot print.

Let your friends know you really care.  Get their address (or arrange to see them in person!)  Make the card. They will get that extra level of surprise on their big day. You won’t regret it.

Until next time…

-Joanne

 

Card Preparation 101

Today I wanted to share a little preparation and organization which helps me get and keep my crafty mojo when it comes to card making.  It is very simple: I keep this box stocked so I’m ready to craft:

I have this plastic bin which I have filled with card bases 4.25″x5.5″ and mats in 3 sizes: 4″x5.25″, 4 1/8″x5 3/8″, 3.75″x5″.

Card bases are pre-scored and folded. I try to keep 4-6 of each color available. However, I’m currently running low on a few colors and some colors I don’t use frequently enough to create bases.

Shimmery White cardstock is kept to the left so that I know exactly where it is.

I like to keep my photos which need to be scrapped in this side area as well.

How I have benefited from this card preparation

  • I always have things ready to go and can sit down and craft with basic preparation done.
  • I can see which colors I use most AND know exactly when I need to make more card parts and/or order that color cardstock.
  • It is inspirational just looking at the rainbow of colors and having them at my fingertips!
  • It helps me ‘try-out’ different color bases for a card when they are easily accessible.
  • On days I want to craft but don’t feel so inspired, preparing card bases and mats allows me to accomplish something which I know I’ll appreciate when my creativity returns.

I have begun to create a similar system for my scrapbooking by prepping photo mats in frequently used sizes and colors.  I think this too will be very useful for days I just want to sit and create.

Please share in the comments the ways you keep your mojo flowing by preparing things ahead and/or keeping them organized at arms reach.

Until next time…

-Joanne

 

Memories and More: Get more from the Color Theory pack

As I described last week, with just a few additions and alterations to the Memories and More Color Theory products you can have cards or 12″x12″ layouts.

While there were no comments on that post, those who saw me in person requested more card ideas from these products.  I’m happy to share additional greeting cards today using the Color Theory Memories and More products.

June is the most popular month for weddings. This card using the Colorful Seasons dies, Stitched Shape dies and papers from the Color Theory & Wood Textures 6″x6″ lines may be a perfect one for the new couple having a beach wedding. No stamping necessary-just cut the sentiment from the center of the card using a Square Stitched Shapes die & flip the pattern side over to create an inlay of the sentiment.

The same Cut & Flip idea is used on the Spring card below.  Adding the beautiful Cherry Blossom dies really creates interest to this otherwise simple card.

Cutting out the sentiments can lead to these great Winter cards too:

The large 4″x6″ cards are trimmed to create TWO 2″x5.5″ strips for the snowy designer paper on these cards. Colorful Seasons dies create those fantastic Filver Foil snowflakes. Oh, how wonderful are those Glitter Enamel Dots as centers!

My favorite? These Autumn leaves create absolutely stunning cards!

I used Watercolor Pencils, Watercolor Paper, and Aqua Painter Pens to create the colorful backgrounds for the sentiment and additional leaves. I LOVE the results of these most. The striped strip and printed leaves (small card, as is, from the pack) are all from the Color Theory Memories and More set.

It really doesn’t take much to create greeting cards from the Memories and More set.  I’m anxiously awaiting delivery of the 3 other Memories and More collections in order to have quick projects at my fingertips for those days I want to create, but don’t want to use a multitude of techniques or materials to do so.

Until next time…

-Joanne

 

 

 

Quick cards: Using the rule of 3rds

I started this month with a type of intro to scrapbooking by showing how to turn a sheet of Designer Series Paper (DSP) into inspiration and the design element for a page; A basic skill all beginning paper crafters learn with or without the realization that they’ve learned it!

I didn’t want to leave my card making friends out of the loop.  So, today I’d like to share a similar concept with card making in mind.

This one rule can get you far in papercraft design: The rule of 3rds. See if you can spot it in the card below.

Two-thirds of this card is the This Christmas DSP with music notes.  One-third is the Very Vanilla cardstock.  Between the two is a small enough strip that the eye will not mind the split, but provide a place to accent and create a focal point, which on this card is  the Watercolor Wishes Kit Sentiment “Just A Note” stamped on Layering Circles Framelits. It is all adhered to a matching Basic Black card base.

Below you shall find the measurements to recreate the basic 3rds card design.  Looking around at various cards, you’ll notice how frequently this starting point is used in the card making world!

The above diagram shows too, how easily it would be to select 1 DSP and make this card.  Both prints above are actually just 1 paper that is double sided!  If you first cut your DSP the same size as the “Insert” (where you write your inner card message), then cut that DSP to form the two sizes, flip over one piece to show the other side’s design and you have the two prints above.

Here is a sample of the Rule of Thirds card made from the cardstock in the diagram above:

Notice I flipped the orientation of the smaller section to the bottom this time and stamped my sentiment (also from the stamps included in the Watercolor Wishes Kit) directly on the DSP.  The boots are from the Country Livin’ stamp set; colored with aqua painter to ink to paper.  I also misted ink onto the Occasions catalog Lace doilies to get the color to match my sentiment.

The rule of 3rds closely resembles the rule of threes.  Odd numbers are typically more pleasing to the eye and you’ll often see designers use 3 of something.  Check out the Watercolor Wishes Kit stamped sentiment above- there are 3 hearts.

If you look back at this recent card post using the Build It Framelits, you’ll notice I used a variation on the rule of 3rds diagram provided above.  I eliminated the center strip and instead added an addition cardstock mat.  The pegboard and bottom sentiment spot still maintain the 2/3 to 1/3 area splits.

I show you this card so that you see that the first two examples are just the jumping off point to this rule of 3rds design.  Try it on your next card or scrapbooking project for quick, easy, and eye-appealing results. And don’t be afraid to flip it on it’s side too for a bottom opening card!

Until next time…

-Joanne

New lighthouse stamp set High Tide

Have you seen the New lighthouse stamp set called High Tide in the Occasions catalog?

It’s a photopolymer stamp set and in the US it costs $26.00.

I really like the sentiments in this set.  Plus, all the bits will build some nice scenes (sun/moon, water, grass, sand, etc.)

Today, I’m sharing an obvious use of the High Tide stamp set- building a scene of a lighthouse by the sea.

 I would recommend to anyone using this set to also use the Stamp-a-ma-jig Stampin’ Up! sells (or another stamp positioner which you prefer). It will make lining up the two light house pieces and the sand area at the lighthouse base so much easier than eye-balling it and hoping for the best.   In my sample, I used a stamp positioner for those 3 pieces and a regular acrylic block for the other stamps. I had no issues with stamp placement doing this.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Until next time…

-Joanne

 

3″x4″ Valentines for classroom or Project Life pages

These small Valentines are perfect for use in classrooms or as individual handmade Project Life type pocket cards.

The Stampin’ Up! Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits Dies cut the perfect rounded edge cards above.  This die set also cut the black die cut on which I stamped and embossed the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp sentiment “Happy Valentine’s Day”.

The card above started with two die cut 3″x4″ Project Life cards (Whisper White card stock). I used the new colored pencils which debuted in the 2017 Occasions catalog-LOVE THEM!- to watercolor the background card.  I then cut the foreground card with the Everyday Jars Framelits Dies 11 times, saving my mini hearts for other things- like the card below. Attached this die cut card over the watercolored card & used a dimensional to attach a heart I die cut from the Up & Away Thinlits. It needed the “you”, and I could not find one by itself I wanted to use so I cut apart a stamp from Teeny Tiny Wishes to make it easy to get just this word without masking.

*Cutting apart stamps-Gasp…I do it a lot, actually- and can always still stamp with it’s original parts by placing it on a block with them together if I choose. Of course the first time I did it years ago I really had to think about it and breathe.  Now…I find it increases my use of some stamps!

If Punny Valentine’s are your thing, then the Hostess set “Pun Intended” is the set for you. The light bulb & sentiment above are from that set.  This set also includes sayings like: Bee Mine (there’s a bee), News flash you are awesome (there’s a camera), & You light up my life  (pair with the light bulb above). There are additional stamps as well.  And remember: you can earn Sale-A-Bration reward freebies AND Hostess freebies with qualifying orders until the end of March!

This last card couldn’t be easier & can be a quick lunch box note for someone you love.  Using the Swirly Scribbles dies I cut out the heart and “love” out of both Melon Mambo and Flirty Flamingo 3″x4″.  I then placed on a Rich Razzleberry card base which was 3.25″x4.25″ and inlayed the Flirty Flamingo in the openings.

If you are planning to provide some extra gift with the cards,  you could easily add any chocolates, candy or other item which has a flat surface to the back side of these cards with a small glue dot. If you can locate them, small glow-sticks, bracelets or necklaces could be a cute gift with the light bulb card.

Have fun crafting!

Until next time…

-Joanne

The First Valentines of 2017

The Lift Me Up Bundle which I discussed and shared this past Friday was the inspiration for getting me motivated to start making Valentines early.

These are the first Valentines I created for 2017:

The first of these cards is made with the heart die which is included in the Up & Away Thinlits Dies, these dies are part of the Lift Me Up Bundle if you choose to add the matching stamps. (see Occasions catalog p.10).

By simply die cutting the heart multiple times and in various colors (I chose: flirty flamingo, smoky slate, melon mambo, and cherry cobbler), using your Stampin’ Up! trimmer’s scoring blade to create embossed lines, stamping a sentiment (this one is from Teeny Tiny Wishes), and adding a bit of twine & some rhinestones, you have a finished Valentine.

Want to give a try at the new watercolor pencils on p.24 of the Occasions catalog?  The card below is a simple beginner watercolor technique.

On a piece of Whisper White card stock (3.75″x5″) scribble the Rich Razzleberry, Real Red, Calypso Coral, Melon Mambo colored pencils to the center of each side (in that order) along the 3.75″ side-overlap colors as you go for blending.  Yes, just scribble a small area of each color, like a pink rainbow meeting in the center as the lightest point.

Go back over your pencil scribbles with an Aqua painter (Mine are always filled with distilled water), whose bristles are wet but not dripping and blend out pencil marks and blend the colors together.  Do not go completely to the edge so some white areas show.

Too much water and Whisper White will pill and the water will seep thru the paper.  Slight buckling of Whisper White card stock will occur and a stronger adhesive (tear tape) is perfect for adhering it to your card mat or  base to make it flat.  If you are having excessive buckling or any paper pilling/seepage try the Shimmery White card stock or the specialty Water color paper Stampin’ Up! carries. With a light hand, however, you can make it work. Sometimes it takes a bit to figure out how much water to use on each type of card stock and your environment (humidity levels)may effect results.

Add die cuts in Flirtly Flamingo & Melon Mambo from the Swirly Scribbles dies and a few rhinestones, a Flirtly Flamingo mat (4″x5.25″) & a Blushing Bride card base (4.25″x5.5″)  and you are finished with this super simple watercolor Valentine’s card.

Now is a great time to shop Stampin’ Up!  Every $50.00 (USD) spent before shipping/tax can earn you free products from the Sale-A-Bration catalog.  Click Here to see the catalogs and shop online.  Contact me if you have any questions about free items from this special sales period (January 4-March 31, 2017).

Until next time…

-Joanne

Lift Me Up: Encouragement with the New Occasions catalog launch

Who couldn’t use a little encouragement these days?!  Catalog launch day was one of those for me.  Such an exhausting day for me that I crawled in bed and called it a day at 7:00 p.m.  I had no energy to finish off my catalog launch post, which I realize should have been completed before then BUT it wasn’t.

I guess it is better late than never at posting how excited I am about the Occasions & Sale-A-Bration catalog Launch though…

I’m thrilled that Stampin’ Up! has come to the plate with uplifting words, phrases, stamps, and fun things in its new Occasions catalog, which launched three days ago.  This catalog is filled with stamps which are happy, thoughtful, and encouraging.  Way to go SU!

I bought the Lift Me Up Bundle from the new occasions catalog because I really loved the sentiments and among all the fabulous cloud & balloon dies there is a nice size a heart, which I’ll find a lot of use for with Valentine’s Day coming up.

Stampin’ Up! shows the images of this bundle (and a sample) best in their online store picture:

Of course I must show you a few ideas I created one day last week with this set:

Those two little bags are super easy box bottom bags.  I changed the dimensions to fit my needs, but this bag has many youtube and pinterest posts about it, so I’m not currently going to share the how to information. Different sizes can be perfect for little candies or gift cards too.

Making the large balloon different colors is super easy too with all those dies to cut the various areas.  Deciding the colors for your balloon is going to be the hardest part.  Yes, I made several and still want to try other color combinations!

As I stated at the beginning of the week, I’m hoping to send more cards this year- “spreading happiness with cards”- and the ones below have been made and are ready for my next round of mailings once I sit down and write a personal note and address them.

You can see all the items needed to recreate the note cards in the post above.  They are Very quick to make in quantity too.  The photo on the right shows how I stamped the inside sentiment.

The balloon dies in this bundle have a bonus feature : Shrinking your paper scrap pile!  Since balloons can be any color and there are different sizes in this set,  I used a bunch of different card stock scraps I had sitting around to make the balloons.  Any time my paper scrap pile shrinks and I haven’t wasted paper, I am extremely happy.

If all goes well, I’ll post again soon.  I’ve got to update you all with my thoughts on my new Selphy too.  Hint: I’m finally getting some photos off my phone and computer and thanks to Project life (so glad SU! carries this product line with all the great matching products) I’m making slow but steady progress and 2016 may actually be completed before too long into 2017- Yippee!

To check out all the new products, including the Lift Me Up Bundle shown here today, shop at my online Stampin’ Up! store-  CLICK HERE.

Until next time…

-Joanne