Monday, May 10, 2010

Losin' my marbles. . .

May always seems to be (another) one of those months where, after you turn to the new calendar page, it's just "Hang on to your hat, folks, here we go!" There are so many end-of-the-school-year things going on that some days I don't know if we're coming or going. . . it feels like I'm losing my marbles!! So when it came to choosing the technique to focus on with my stamp clubs this month, well, that was easy! Rolling marbles technique, of course!!
The background piece on this card is made by putting a few regular ol' marbles in a plastic stamp box, adding a few drops of reinker, shaking the box to distribute the ink evenly among the marbles, and then adhering a piece of cardstock to the inside lid of the box with removeable double-stick tape. Tip the box up side down and (this is the fun part!) roll the marbles over the cardstock to make the "design." To get the second color, we used a second box, although you could simply add two different colors to the first box if you weren't planning on doing too many sheets. If we had only used one box in stamp club, by the time we were through the colors would have turned muddy from all the use.

I'm definitely getting my use out of the new "Birthday Block" stamp that is in the A la Carte section in the back of the new Summer Mini Catalog! Besides using it for this club design, I used it for the swaps I was in (you should see my newest swap board--it's simply GORGEOUS!!) and have more projects planned for next month. We used a version of the spotlighting technique, stamping on Pumpkin Pie cardstock and cutting out a couple words to layer over the Bermuda Bay stamped piece, and a little marker work to quickly dress this focal point piece.

A criss-cross of Bermuda dotted grosgrain and Pumpkin 1/4" grosgrain and we called it done--but I'm sure everyone wanted to go back and play with the marbles again!!

Here's hoping you don't go losing your marbles--at least until you've had a chance to try this technique! Happy stamping!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

There's a television commercial that's been airing the last couple weeks for one of those card companies, where the grown daughter leaves after a nice Mother's Day visit, and then the mother goes to add this year's card to the stack of cards she's collected from years gone by, taking time to look at each one of them, crayon signatures and all.

Of course, I'm always about in a puddle by the time all those kind of commercials are done (That Maxwell House commercial at Christmas! Don't get me started!!), and even though I'm not 100% sure who the card commercial was sponsored by, the idea of "taking back" all of the Mother's Day cards I've received from the kids is a great one! Right now, they're sprinkled in between dinosaur projects, perfect math papers and book reports. Sounds like a good excuse to pretty up a box too! Of course, it's going to take two weeks to find all of them, because I'll be looking at all the dinosaur projects, perfect math papers and book reports along the way! Ah, yes, despite all the long days and short, short years, being a mom has got to be one of the "bestest" things. (Sh-h-h! Don't tell my kids!)

And of course, I wouldn't be able to say any of that, or SURVIVED half of it without my dear, special Mom! Although we haven't lived in the same town for the last half of my years, always-hour-long, sometimes-daily phone conversations have gotten me through many a crisis. With those little-kid fevers and school issues almost behind me, now those hour-long calls are sometimes completely about stamping! (You knew I'd eventually get this turned around to stamping, didn't you!)

The card I have to share today is a version of the one I designed for my mom's Mother's Day card. My mom has always sewn, taught me to sew, and long before our phone calls mentioned hoarding rubber stamp stuff, we were doing our best with fabric! For her card, I wanted something that would look like pretty floral fabric and the "Joseph's Coat Inside Out" technique (ala the wonderful Jan Tink) worked nicely for that.

Of course, my mom's card didn't say "Thinking of You," but after making her card, I liked the color combination so much (Apricot Appeal, Regal Rose and Certainly Celery) that I showed it to my stamp clubs. I used the "Very Vintage" wheel (that will hopefully make it into the new catalog in July!) for the background and then "Flower Fancy" for the embossing. Like so many stamping projects, each background piece came out just a little bit different, but equally beautiful--just like moms!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

New Stamper Excitement--part 2

I held another "mini class" with my new stampers recently and shared 2-step stamping, heat embossing and Crystal Effects with them this time around.

This first card was sort of a warm-up, as we used Versamark and had done a little 2-step stamping the last time we met. I was excited to do this card, the idea "swiped" right from the workshop suggestions on our Stampin' Up! demo website, because I had just received this "Awash with Flowers" stamp set the day before. (This was the sneak peek set that was available in April, and will be available again in July when the new catalog comes out.)

A couple of the many flowers in the set are stamped on the Kraft (soon to be known as Crumb Cake) card base with Versamark. Then the main flower is stamped with More Mustard (stamped off for the "fill in" stamp) and Old Olive on a scalloped "Hug" note. Crystal Effects covers the "filled in" portions of the flower and is dusted with a sprinkle of Dazzling Diamonds glitter. Old Olive 5/8" grosgrain ribbon is wrapped around a piece of More Mustard cardstock and added to the card base with Dimensionals.

The second card we did featured a card base cut with the Scalloped Square die and the Big Shot. (One of the ladies was so excited about this that she NEEDED a Big Shot that day! Those of us who are BS owners know JUST how she felt!)

After using the Embossing Buddy, the flowers and verse (from Fifth Avenue Floral) were stamped in Versamark, covered with black embossing powder, heated, and then colored using Pastels (chalk) and daubers. The ladies had the option of adding a little Crystal Effects to the centers of the flowers after they were colored. Quick and simple, and it used products that some of the ladies had ordered last time (when we used the Pastels with a Blender Pen). I like to show new ways to use items that I know people already have so they can see how versatile SU products are.

Don't know when we'll have time to schedule another mini-class, but they've been so much fun I hope it's soon.
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