Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Challenge Double Dip

This week I decided to combine two of my favorite challenges into one card. So, I'm using Kazan's sketch 25 from 2Sketches4You, and the Color Chef Challenge #4 over at KJ's Stamp Pad.

The colors for this week's color challenge are Baby Pink, Bubblegum, Watermelon, Black, and White Daisy. (Feel free to substitute if you don't have the exact shades of pink.) This week's sketch really inspired me with a theme. I love stars, especially for boys, but since the color challenge was all pinks I decided to see what I could do with it!

I made my card 6" x 6", and used only cardstock;
all of that patterned paper is stamped. I used a 6" x 12" piece of Watermelon textured CS for the card base, with the lighter tone on the inside of the card. I cut my White Daisy CS 5 3/4" square and used a Stampin' Up! jumbo wheel, Classic Stars, with Black ink. This was mounted directly to the card base.

Next I cut a 4 1/2" square of Baby Pink, and a 4 3/4" square of black. Using the circle of stars stamp from Circle Around (CTMH) and White Daisy pigment ink, I heat embossed the circles of stars first. Then I stamped the larger star from Circle Around in Bubblegum ink. The other two star images are from Good Times (CTMH), and are stamped in Watermelon and Black. I used the SU! Tag Corner punch on one corner then mounted it to the Black CS. I inserted a silver star brad in the open corner.

The smaller star is a Dimensional Element and die cut from CTMH, layered slightly off center. I cut the larger star from both chip board and Bubblegum CS using my Cricut with the George and Basic Shapes cartridge. I also cut the outer star only from acetate using the Cricut. Using Staz-On Jet Black, I stamped "Hooray" from the Good Times stamp set on the acetate. I then sandwiched the acetate between the CS and chip board, using Liquid Glass (CTMH) for adhesive.

I used dimensional foam strip adhesive to pop up the large star from the base, and added the smaller star on top.

I must say, this card looks much better in person than in the picture. The shadows cast by the ink on the acetate and the popped-up star make some great dimensional effects!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Color Chef Challenge #3

Here's my entry for KJ's Stamp Pad's Color Chef Challenge #3. The colors for this week's challenge are Sunflower, Watermelon, Black, and White.

I used an old favorite of mine, Good Ol Summertime from Close To My Heart. It's long since discontinued, but it's one of the few wood stamps I kept when I switched to acrylics. (I even left it mounted on its block, since I really always use it by itself like this.) I also used a couple of discontinued pattern papers from CTMH in Sunflower and Watermelon (backing the 2 clear buttons). I made more variation in the colors by using markers as well as a waterbrush and stamp pads for darker and lighter tones of the colors. Enjoy!

Ingenious Idea!

Well, I've been MIA for a while, thanks to Spring Break with the kids and a sudden urge to completely reorganize our office/my scrap area. But, I've also managed to finally complete a cool project I've been working on.

Those of you who know me, know that I am a collector of scrap stuff, especially embellishments and ribbon. I've looked at that nifty Clip-It-Up, but the price tag left that out of the question completely. Then, thanks to another CTMH consultant, I stumbled across a do-it-yourself version of this expensive toy, made entirely out of lamp parts!

After a few go-rounds with the guys in Hardware at Lowe's (who, in my opinion, never help a woman unless she hunts them down), I wound up ordering most of my hardware from an online lamp store. Now, let me tell you, before you look at the picture, mine is nothing spectacular, and I went plain black because 1) the color works with my other stuff and 2) we had leftover spray paint that color. So, if it's hard to see, I'm sure you can find "prettier" examples out there in cyberspace.

So, here it is: my DIY version of the Clip-It-Up. Nothing fancy, but it works REALLY well! And I love having all (OK, a few) of my goodies out where I can see them. I did have a few of the clips on hand, from some curtain rings I no longer needed, so I used some of those. I also used some plastic hang tabs on most of my items. The downside to these is that they aren't really reusable, but I had them anyway, so I'll use them and get more clips later. You can also use safety pins to clip up your packages; they probably take up less room than the clips so you can fit more on.

The beauty of this is that you can make it as wide or narrow as your space allows. It's pretty much gonna be 30" tall, because that's how the lamp rod comes, unless you are handy (or hubby is) and can cut it down. I didn't feel it was worth the trouble. The big thing is that your base (which is a terracotta plant saucer) needs to be about as large as your largest spinner so it wont tip over.

The base is the most expensive part of this whole deal, but even so I think I got mine in under $25. I think that was way better than retail on the real thing! Now, are you all set to make your own?! Here's the link to instructions for the one I made:
I'm sure you can find more if you Google make your own clip it up or diy clip it up, something of that nature.

I wound up not using any finial (as called for) because all the ones I found were too small. Oh, and I purchased old lampshades from a thrift store (the Morningstar Treasure Chest II in New Lenox, for those of you in the area) for my racks as it was cheaper than buying new frames. Plus, I bought the most beat-up ones they had, so nobody was probably going to buy them for anything else! I bought the saucer and lamp rod at Lowe's, but everything else I ordered online from The Lamp Shop; my total was about $7 including shipping.

If you find anything to be tricky, feel free to ask me for help. I found it easier to just do it myself once I had all the right parts than to try and follow the written instructions! Good luck, and enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Color Challenge - my entry

One of our creative Close To My Heart consultants has recently begun a fun color challenge on her blog. I missed out on the first week because I was too busy with Easter prep, but I jumped right in on this week's challenge.

You can play too, even if you don't have the CTMH colors called for; just use something similar you already own. This week's color challenge uses Sorbet, Tulip, and White Daisy (I added Chocolate to my color palette). If you're a Stampin' Up! user, I recommend substituting Ruby Red, Cameo Coral, and Whisper White.

Here's my card, a sneak preview of our May Stamp of the Month, Be Yourself. I also use the Argyle Backgrounds stamp set.

I based my card on the "Upright" sketch from Originals, a 3.5 x 8 inch card. I just twisted my image squares to give a little more playful feeling, otherwise I used the exact sketch measurements and design.

Because I had so much going on, I limited my embellishments to color coordinated brads in Sorbet and Tulip, and teeny tiny Sparkles rhinestones on two of the images.

I carried my design and color scheme inside the card as well. I simply stamped my interior image in Tulip to make it stand out more, and the sentiment in Sorbet. I added a strip of my argyle background on a Chocolate base to the bottom of the card interior just for some design repetition.

Please post a link to your card in a comment; I'd love to see your designs! If you'd like to visit the KJ's Stamp Pad to follow her color challenge yourself, visit her here.

Remember, this stamp set is not available until May 1st. If you have any other questions regarding the Close To My Heart products used here (or in any of my other posts), just leave a comment or drop me an email at If you'd like to shop for products used here, visit the online shopping portion of my website!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cards Lacking IN-terest?

Do you create a beautiful greeting card only to struggle with what to do on the inside? What, never thought about putting anything on the inside? Just stamp a quick sentiment?

As I have become more confident in my card making, I've begun to feel that there was something missing inside my cards. And do you know what? It's because there WAS something missing; anything at all! I would stamp a quick "Happy Birthday" and be done, but it just didn't feel right somehow.

Now I've realized, to quote a home decor axiom, that I needed to bring the outside in. That is, the inside should have a bit of the same feel as the outside. Now, there's no need to go all out and create an entire new work of art in there (unless it's for someone or some event that's VERY special, lol), but just a little something adds so much.

Here's an example I've made using Close To My Heart's stamp of the month set for April, World's Best Dad.

I've used CTMH's Sarsaparilla papers and Barn Red textured cardstock with simple accessories, just 2 pewter brads. I manipulated the acrylic stamp of the fishing pole so the line hangs down instead of being "on the fly" the way it arrives. (I love that I can do that with acrylic stamps!) And I added color in 3 ways: I colored the fishing fly stamp with my markers so it could be multiple colors; I colored the reel and handle with a marker; and I used a Twilight stamp pad direct-to-paper on the stamp background.

Turned out to be pretty nice looking for the simple techniques I used, if I do say so myself! Now, with all that color on the outside, how would you feel about a plain inside? Pretty boring, huh?

Let's see what I did to bring a little of that color inside the card. I will note that I left the sentiment off, although this set comes with a great "World's Best Dad!" sentiment. I just wasn't sure if I might want to use this for Father's Day, or a birthday, or something else entirely. So I'll add a sentiment when I 'm ready to give the card.

Now, just a quick dash of color to the inside. I stuck with Twilight, and repeated the direct-to-paper technique on opposite corners. I think that inking all of the edges would have been too much on a card this size (8 x 3.5). Then I added a quick bit of water and a jumpy fish in Desert Sand. I made the fish a little more realistic by adding color - his eye is Black and his spots and tail are Twilight.

Other options for bringing the outside in can be as simple as mounting your sentiment on a piece of patterned paper that coordinates with your front, or stamping a small coordinating image in a corner. I hope this gives you some inspiration; I'd love to see links to your cards where you've brought the outside in!

FYI, to see more examples using this stamp set, visit the My Art page of my website at

Here's a quick second example using last month's stamp of the month from CTMH:

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