Friday, February 27, 2009

Shout Out to SheetLoads!

Are you a big fan of sketches? How about sketches that have the supply list, cutting dimensions, AND lots of great examples?? If so and you have not yet discovered SheetLoads, then stop by their site ASAP and check out the monthly e-zine. I've been using this great resource for over a year now; it's wonderful for swap cards or any time you want to increase your card stash with ease.

The February 2009 SheetLoads is now available for download. Here is my version of the versatile sketch featured in this issue:

Stamp: Flourishes 'Poppy Patch'. Ink: Versafine Onyx Black. Cardstock: Basic Black, Daisy D's 'Vintage Red', Basic Grey 'Figgy Pudding', Making Memories 'Vine White', GP110 white. Accessories: Prismacolor pencils, turpenoid, SU Rub-on 'Chit Chat', white wide organdy ribbon, antique gold brads.

It's not really visible in the big photo, but the white cardstock in the upper left corner has a beautiful vine embossed pattern:

While you are checking out SheetLoads' current e-issue and vast archives, be sure to check out the Show Us Your SheetLoad post. If you link your SheetLoad card to their post, you are eligible for fun prizes, often stamp sets and they vary each month!

This card was also created with the February WRAK challenge to use a color combo of red, black, white, and gold in mind. It took a while to figure out how I wanted to use this bold combination, but once Lori (SCS Mama Schwich) sent me these gorgeous poppy images, I knew I had the focal point. Including gold was a bit more difficult since my tastes run towards silver, but these antique gold brads seemed like an appropriate embellishment.

Are you like me in that you have a tough time creating sympathy cards? I'm satisfied with this one because it has the poppy to symbolize remembrance, plus the sentiment is appropriate and to the point. I'll be posting more sympathy and 'tough occasion' cards in an upcoming DRS Designs post, so be sure to stay tuned!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Final February Fun with Folds -- Gate Fold

Goodbye Valentine's Day, on to St. Patrick's Day! Where is 2009 going??

Today's post topic on the DRS Designs' blog is the Gate Fold technique and these are my two featured samples. The first is the traditional gate fold with a belly band for added pizazz and more practically, to help keep the card closed:

Stamps: Giga Shamrock Blessings Oval , Four Leaf Clover , Lines O'Plenty Background. Ink: Wild Wasabi, Versamark. Cardstock: Wild Wasabi, GP110 white. Accessories: Gold EP, Oval Nestabilities.

The second St. Patrick's Day card is rotated so the opening is horizontal:

Stamps: Four Leaf Clover , Petals of a Shamrock Greeting , Lines O'Plenty Background . Ink: Ink: Wild Wasabi, Versamark. Cardstock: Wild Wasabi, GP110 white. Accessories: Gold EP, Rectangle Nestabilities, Double-stitched Wild Wasabi grograin ribbon.

Be sure to stop by the DRS blog for peeks inside the cards and details on the newest releases!

And for my fellow House Mouse fans, here are a few versions of the gate fold from previous swaps. The first was from our Stamp of the Month swap and is held closed by the ribbon tied through eyelets. This was also my first experience with polyshrink plastic, using it to shrink down the sentiment to fit in the center of the scallop punch:

Stamps: Stampabilities 'Apple Delight' and 'A smile' sentiment. Paper: Pacific Point, Marigold Morning, Riding Hood Red, DaisyD DP, white. Ink: Versafine Onyx black, Pacific Point. Accessories: Prismacolor pencils, turpenoid, polyshrink, circle and scallop punches, Nestabilities, Scor-pal, cropadile, eyelets, Mustard grosgrain ribbon.

Fold techniques aren't just for cards, either. This is a miniature version of the gate fold on an ATC:

Stamps: House Mouse 'Dream Puff', Papertrey 'Mixed Messages'. Paper: Old Olive, So Saffron, Brocade Blue, Basic Grey 'Lily Kate', GP110 white. Ink: Versafine Onyx Black. Accessories: Prismacolor pencils, turpenoid, Bluebird grosgrain ribbon, scallop punch.

This ATC was for a holiday House Mouse swap hosted by Eileen (leenk) on SCS. The inside sentiment read 'Happy Dust Bunny Day' and yes, it's an actual holiday! I was kind of proud of my 'green' ATC -- the dust bunny is really dryer lint. Recycled embellishments that smell like Downy, too!

Give the Gate Fold technique your own spin and post a link back here so I can admire your creativity, too!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Puppy Love

Stamps: Magnolia 'Tilda with Puppy', Jessica Lynn Original's sentiment. Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Chocolate Chip, Copics. Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, GP110 white, Basic Grey 'Bittersweet' DP. Accessories: chocolate satin ribbon, Felt Fusion flower, prima, Basic Grey 'Bittersweet' brad, white gel pen, paper piercing tools, Stardust glitter pen.

That's a quite a lofty goal! This little puppy reminds me of our chocolate Lab who is now in his tenth year. Of course, it doesn't take much to please a Lab -- a walk, something to fetch, and something to eat. And it doesn't even have to be edible by human standards; this is the dog who has devoured peach pits, foam mattresses, and an entire backyard of drip line irrigation. Despite his questionable tastes in snacks, he really has turned out to be a great dog and if I could be half as wonderful as he thinks I am, I'd be a saint. For now, I'll settle for being a nice person with a dog biscuit.

Check out more details on this card on the KL Scrappin' N Stampin blog!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tag Time Challenge at DRS Designs

Stamps by DRS Designs: Cancer Prayer , Silhouette Branch Background . Cardstock: Pink Pirouette, Kiwi Kiss. Ink: Kiwi Kiss. Accessories: Pink crushed velvet Basic Grey ribbon. Long rectangle Nestabilties, antique brass brads, circle punches.

Today's challenge on the DRS blog is to create a card featuring a tag. This tag is stamped with the uplifting sentiment 'What Cancer Cannot Do' and can serve as a bookmark as well. Don't you love cards that are also a gift?

The card layout was inspired by a sketch from the June 2006 page maps. You can visit their site here and download dozens of great card (and scrapbook) sketches.

I stamped the title of the prayer on a strip to hold the bookmark in place and the prayer itself on a long rectangle Nestie accented with the same leaves as the card. The leaf pattern is one of DRS Design's Latest Releases. It's so elegant and coordinates perfectly with their Silhouette Branch and the Octagon Wording Ribbon Slide .

Stop by the DRS Designs blog to see all the amazing tag cards created by the Design Team members and be sure to link your own creations so we can admire them, too!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Z-Fold Fun

There's still a kid inside me that loves to play with interactive cards! Hence the continuation of the Fold Technique Showcase on my DRS blog postings and here, too. The Z-fold (Scor-Pal tutorial here) was one of my first tries at fold techniques and it's a good one for beginners or those of us who are fold-challenged.

Here's my first attempt at the Z-Fold card and since it was a swap card, it gave me LOTS of practice with this technique. Isn't it a great way to showcase DPs without using huge amounts of your supplies?
Stamps: Stampabilites 'Tin Can Showers', Papertrey 'Mailbox Greetings'. Paper: Bashful Blue, CM yellow DP, DCWV 'Posies Glitter Print' DP, shimmery silver, GP110 white. Ink: Versafine onyx black. Accessories: Prismacolor pencils, turpenoid, nestabilities, grosgrain shimmer ribbon, CE.

The card opens into a Z which allows is to stand alone, great for display purposes when you aren't laying it flat to photograph:

For the DRS blog, I used their newly released Birthday images and sentiments as well as some old favorites. This technique is also the perfect way to use several stamps without feeling overwhelmed!

Stamps by DRS Designs: Birthday Ribbon Slide , Silhouette Balloon, May Your Birthday , Birthday Stick N Stamp. Cardstock: Real Red, Bashful Blue, Pacific Point. Ink: Real Red, Bashful Blue, Pacific Point, Basic Black, versamark. Accessories: Stardust EP, rectangle Nestabilities, circle punch, iridescent ribbon, slot punch.

Check out the DRS blog for more details on this card be sure to link your Z-Fold creations, so we can admire them!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cuttlebugged Friends

Stamp: Gina K's 'Tree Silhouettes'. Ink: Old Olive. Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Textured white, Garden Gree, Old Olive, Certainly Celery, Wild Wasabi. Accessories: Cuttlebug embossing folders, circle punches.

How could I resist a Cuttlebug challenge? Especially with the guilt of all those neglected embossing folders resting heavily on my shoulders? The challenge posted on Melissa's blog, Stamp It, Scrap It, Share It was to use at least three different embossing folders on a single card and not have it look overdone. A similiar tree in the new Stampin' Up catalog gave me my CASE idea; it turns out that I used seven different folders on my card!
Check out the KL Stampin and Scrappin' blog for more photos and details and stop by the store to browse their great variety of embossing folders!

Monday, February 16, 2009

House Mouse ATC swap winners!!

A few posts back I uploaded a photo of the ATC I created for Round 8 of the House Mouse ATC swaps; now it's time to showcase the winners! We had a total of 40 swap spots and look at the amazing creativity we received:

How do you narrow it down to only three winners?? In my case, you don't! As difficult as it was, I did manage to limit the choice to three winners and two runners-up.

First place went to Mary (mbg1001) for her Spooktackular ATC :

Not only is the coloring technique amazing, but this ATC has multiple layers of paper piecing:

And remember, this is not a one time deal -- swappers recreate their ATCs at least nine times for a single swap spot!

Second place went to Tina (tackertwosome) for her Sending you Sunshine ATC:

Isn't her brayered background beautiful? And her scissor work, too, since she used an image of a mouse in a Easter egg and trimmed him out to place him in inntertube she drew herself. All the judges loved the mini seashell (or sand dollar) she used as an embellishment:

Third place went to a new face in our swaps, Claudia (Cloudia):

Claudia used tea leaves to create an organic photo frame and also added the fun element of an interactive mouse:

There were so many creative and unique ATCs in this group and there were a couple the judges just couldn't put down, so we ended up choosing a couple of runners-up. Jennifer (Jenn2972)'s Silly Mouse had a fun window effect, complete with lace curtains:

Viewed from the side, you can see how many layers went into this little cutie:

Brendalee (LittleBlessings) created a pop-up ATC with her Chocolate Chip Cookie card. Outside view:

And inside surprise:

All the winning ATCs are linked to their creator's SplitcoastStamper's gallery or blog; be sure to leave them congratulations on their amazing work!

Join the fun with the next round of House Mouse swaps, hosted by Joanna (Queenbee Jo). Round 9 will not only include ATCs, but also nickelbacks and inchies!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Scor-Pal Fun -- Scalloped Nesties Box

It always makes my day to see a new Scor-Pal e-zine issue online! The February 2009 issue features the very talented Kitty Franken and 10 different treat containers. Initially, I was planning to do a short post on these quick and easy mint decorations, but when I when I saw the Nesties Treat Box, it looked the perfect size to store these goodies!

Stamps: Silhouette Love Heart D213, Giga Heart Circle L273 , Large Original Plaid P641 , Ribbon Heart F358 . Cardstock: Real Red, Lovely Lilac, GP100 white. Ink: Real Red, Lovely Lilac. Accessories: Giga scallop circle, Nestabilities circle, scallop and circle punches, Scor-Pal, hole punch, organdy ribbon.

Take a peek at the DRS blog posting today for more details and photos of this fun project. The hardest part will be giving it away!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sweet Magnolia Treats

Here's a quick peek at this year's Valentine treats for my daughters. For more details and close-ups on these sweet treats, be sure to check out the KNL Scrappin and Stampin DT blog!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mailbox Greetings, Masculine Style?

Masculine cards are always a challenge, but the stress of knowing I had to have one in the mail by today was great incentive to get moving. Nichole Heady featured this connect-a-d0t sketch on the Papertrey blog and I decided it was a great launching point. Unfortunately, once I completed the card I also realized I was about 7 hours too late to be entered in the PTI prize drawing for all that wonderful ribbon, but at least I had my card complete!

Stamps: Papertrey 'Mailbox Greetings', 'Birthday Basics'. Cardstock: Kraft, Black, Papertrey white. Ink: Memento black, Wild Wasabi, Real Red, Pure Poppy, Copics. Accessories: Pure Poppy grosgrain ribbon, black brads, rectangle Nestabilities.

Here are the Copics used:

I'm kind of proud of myself for using so few markers; usually the pile grows as I experiment to find a preferred color or shade.

The next two days will be dedicated to more Valentine's treats and then it will be on to the newly released DRS stamps, hot off the presses and arriving in my mailbox just today. Hurray for new stamps!!

**BLOG CANDY ALERT!! Step on over to Kristine's Ink Something blog to wish her a Happy Birthday and check out the great blog candy she has. Isn't she the one supposed to be receiving the presents??

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine Treats: Scalloped Circle Treat Holder

Chocolate is always a treasure in my world, but pretty packaging seems to make it taste even better. I have three different sets of Valentine's Treats to share with you in the days leading up to the holiday and we'll begin with these Scalloped Circle Nugget Holders:

The original idea was showcased on the Papertrey blog of Nichole Heady; I modified it to a slightly larger version so I could use this perfect Giga Heart stamp by DRS Designs.

Here's what you need for supplies:

First, I used the Interlocking Flower Background to stamp four 1" x 2 1/8" mailing labels and then used a marker to add a coordinating dot of color to the center of each flower:

These labels fit perfectly around Nugget candies!

Fold each stamped, punched giga circle in half and adhere with super sticky tape to a 2" x 2 3/4" base of cardstock. This is the empty treat holder:

Using double-sided tape, place the four nuggets on the base:

Stamp and cut out tag image (in this case, the newly released DRS Designs' Silhouette Love Heart), then hole punch top of each scalloped circle and tag. Thread ribbon through scallops to close treat holder and attach heart tag. The finished Scalloped Circle Nugget Holder:

Last year, my girls and I created over 50 of these for Valentine parties. They were simple to make, but with that much repetition watch out for a major case of punchitis!

More treat ideas on their way, so be sure to check in again soon!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Summer Mice Dreams

Way back in July 2007 we began our very first House Mouse ATC swap on SplitcoastStampers. Through the next 1 1/2 years we built a core group of talented (and fun!) swappers with new faces joining each round. Our current round, Round 8, is set to swap out on February 9th and consists of over 37 swappers!

Here is my ATC I finally decided on for this round. Good thing I was hosting because inspiration waited until the very last week to strike!

Can you tell I'm suffering a severe case of wintertime blues and am dreaming of warmer days?? Here's a closer view of Mudpie enjoying his summer lemonade:

Stamps: Stampabilities 'Splish, Splash ... a Citrus Bath', Papertrey 'Mailbox Greetings' sentiment. Cardstock: Baja Breeze, GP110 white, Creative Memories pink, K & Co. 'Sweet Berry Kiss' DP, vellum. Ink: Versafine Onyx Black. Accessories: Prismacolor pencils, turpenoid, Crystal Effects, scallop border punch, dotted satin ribbon.

Since the talent level is so high with these House Mouse swaps, I always try to do something beyond the average ATC. In this case, inspiration struck when I was admiring a 3-D drink glass card created by a friend (see this SCS tutorial). I couldn't quite translate it to ATC format, much less figure out how to mail it, so I decided to go with a vellum overlay to simulate a frosty glass. Vellum adhesive has always been a challenge for me because it seems like even the ones advertised specifically for vellum leave tell-tale marks. Crystal Effects is my version of crafting super glue and I thought it would adhere the vellum well; even if it did leave visible adhesion marks they would be just resemble condensation drip trails down the glass. To my surprise, the adhesive points were almost invisible! And the drips came out as real as you can get without actually soaking the card:

Looks like the definition of bliss, doesn't it??

Next week I'll be sure to post the winners of Round 8 House Mouse ATC swap so be sure to stay tuned. And if you'd like to join this fun group of extraordinary swappers, Round 9 hosted by Joanna (Queenbee Jo) is up and running. Not only are there spots for ATCs, but we're also trying out nickelbacks (5 cm x 5 cm) and inchies!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Mourning Coffee

That was a terrible pun; I admit it. It's sad but true, though -- I just found out they are closing my local Starbucks. I'd say 'Woe is me' except that I haven't exactly been giving them much business over the past year. Guess I didn't realize how much my thrice-weekly mochas were doing to keep them afloat! Oh well, that's why they make home coffee makers and in my case, lots of fun coffee-themed stamps!

Julie Ebersole's 'How Ya Bean' card inspired me to break out some of the huge number of coffee stamps I've been amassing. The first card is almost a direct CASE of her card in the March/April 2009 edition of Paper Crafts:

Stamps: GinaK's 'My Cuppa Joe'. Cardstock: GP110 white, kraft, Chocolate Chip, DPfrom unknown source. Ink: Memento black, Chocolate Chip, Copic Warm Grey 03, SU Bashful Blue. Accessories: Crimper, Stardust glitter pen, black gingham ribbon.

The second card is a little more my own version, using the coffee pot and a larger sentiment:

Stamps: GinaK's 'My Cuppa Joe', Impression Obsession 'What's Brewing'. Cardstock: GP110 white, kraft, Chocolate Chip, DP from unknown source. Ink: Memento black, Chocolate Chip, Copics. Accessories: Crimper, Crystal Effects, black gingham ribbon.

Didn't that coffee pot turn out fun? I used Crystal Effects to give it a more glass-like appearance.

These cards were quick and easy to make, so I ended up creating two of each design. I figure I can tie them together with a big chocolate satin bow, add a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans for a fellow-coffee lover's gift. It might even help us forget about our missing coffee shop for a while!