Saturday, January 31, 2009

New DT Members, Blog Candy, and Big Bargains!!

KL Scrappin N Stampin just started their first Design Team in January and we're already growing! Joining our group are the very talented ladies, Sparkle Smith (Sparkle's Creations) and Heidi Steinhebel (Heidi's Happy Stamping). Welcome, Ladies!

And that's not the only way we're growing -- our KL SNS blog counter has already hit 1,000! To celebrate, Kelly is offering blog candy:

Here's what goodies are included:

**some single sheets of 6 x 6 Bittersweet paper,
**images of Tilda with tag and the "kissing couple" (actually Tilda under mistletoe and Edwin under mistletoe),
**Bittersweet glazed brads pack,
**tiny mosaic embossing folder,
**some brown ribbons,
**scalloped scissors,
**and a totally CASED card from the BasicGrey Bittersweet card kit.

It's really easy to enter! All you need to do is check out this KL SNS blog post before 8 p.m. (EST) Saturday, Feb 7th for more details. Kelly will use Random.Org to pick one of you and will announce the winner on Sunday the 8th. Good luck!

Today (January 31st) is the last day to get your Nestabilites for an amazing 40% off with free shipping at the KL Scrappin N Stampin Store. All Magnolia stamps (including the February pre-orders) are still 10% off, and will be included in the free shipping deal as well.

Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Magnets Mark the Spot

Reading and stamping my two favorite hobbies; when the two combine, it's even better! Bookmarks are the best way to mark your spot and the magnetic variety will keep that spot, even with life's little ups and downs.

Add a card base with a meaningful sentiment, and you have a sentimental, yet useful gift:

Stamps by DRS Designs: Butterfly D226, Flower oval H303, Butterfly sentiment G222. Cardstock: Textured white, Lovely Lilac, Elegant Eggplant, GP110 white. Ink: Lovely Lilac, Cool Caribbean. Accessories: Oval and Square Nestabilities, white gel pen, Stardust Glitter pen, grosgrain ribbon, Shimmerz 'Angel Wings'.

Butterflies must have been on my mind, because here's the second bookmark card I created:

Stamps by DRS Designs: Flower D214, Square frame F322, Butterfly M385, sentiment F349. Cardstock: Pink Pirouette, Kiwi Kiss, GP110 white, glitter white. Ink: Purely Pomegranate, Kiwi Kiss, Pretty in Pink. Accessories: Circle and Scalloped square Nestabilites, grosgrain ribbon, Stardust glitter pen, Shimmerz 'Angel Wings'.

For more magnetic bookmark cards and photo step-by-step instructions, be sure to stop by the DRS blog posting 'The Magnetism of Reading'.

Memories of Sweden

Here's my latest Tilda card:
Stamps: Magnolia Tilda with Dala Horse, Penny Black Swedish Proverb sentiment. Cardstock: Textured Red, Black, Daisy D's 'Snowflakes and Holly' DP. Ink: Adirondack black, Versafine Onyx Black, copics. Accessories: circle Nestabilities, satin ribbon, primas.

Usually when I design a card, I'll start by choosing my papers first and then color the image to coordinate. This card was a little backwards because I was playing with my new Copics and ended up really liking how this resulting image. Let me tell you: I'll stick to my usual design strategy from now on because the most difficult part of this card was trying to find DP to coordinate with the pre-colored image!

The layout was simple because I used January Magnolia-licious sketch challenge:

The Tilda on this card is the one that started my fascination with Magnolia stamps because it reminded me of my days in Sweden as an exchange student. Tilda is holding a little dala horse, one of the symbols of Sweden; they are still painted by hand to this day. Here's a photo I dug out to show my visit to the 'factory' way back in 1985:

I do NOT miss the days of permed hair!

The Swedish proverb sentiment is one I wish I could follow, but for now I'll just stamp it on cards and hang it on my wall.

It sounds so simple, doesn't it?

Take a deep breath and keep stamping!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Gift of Hand-Stamped

Today's DRS blog challenge is to use a 'Hand-stamped' image as a focal point. DRS Designs carries several of these stamps (they call them 'Recognition stamps') which are the perfect way to finish projects with a personal touch.

To be honest, I struggled with this challenge. My first idea did not translate well to paper and after that my muse must have gone on vacation. I kept drawing a blank because I couldn't figure out a way to use the image as a focal point and its intended purpose which seems to be as a more behind-the-scenes accent. Finally, I decided simple was best and created this card:
Stamps by DRS Designs: Handmade by C264, Mega Flower Oval H 303, Cardstock: white textured, Lovely Lilac, GP110 white. Ink: Lovely Lilac, Mellow Moss, white gel pen. Accessories: oval Nestabilities, satin ribbon, Stardust glitter pen.

To return the image to its roots of gift giving, I added an inner pocket to hold three tags for use by the card recipient:

These tags all feature the newly released frames designed to work with punches and Nestabilities, so they were quick and easy to assemble.

Stamps: Four Flower Backgrounds M385, Handmade by C264, Frames G320, F322. Cardstock: Lovely Lilac, Certainly Celery, GP110 white. Ink: Lovely Lilac, Certainly Celery. Accessories: Oval and square Nestabilites, circle punches, organdy ribbon, Stardust glitter pen.

Be sure to stop by the DRS blog and check out the creative ideas the other Design Team Members came up with for these hand-stamped images!

**BLOG CANDY ALERT!! Another great reason to stop by the DRS blog is for the chance to win free adhesive:

It is a roll of two sided tape (1/2" x 36 yards) and all you have to do is leave a comment on this post indicating which DRS image is your favorite! A random winner will be drawn on Sunday night Feb. 8, 2009.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Challenge Yourself for Free Stamps!

Don't miss out on a chance to win free DRS stamps! The blog challenge for last Monday was to create a card using a ribbon slide as the focal point. DRS Designs offers a wide variety of these versatile ribbon slides to fit any occasion. DRS ribbon slides are not required, but if you have them, use them -- the prize will be an even larger selection of ribbon slides!

Check out Challenge #12 - Ribbon Slides for inspiration and more details, then be sure to post the link to your card before 8 pm ET, Sunday January 25th.

Good luck and happy stamping!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Challenges of Love

Stamping Bella hosted a Love Fest this week, complete with card challenges. The first challenge was to create a card dedicated to your best friend incorporating a favorite Bella image. My all-time favorite Bellas are these javabellas, probably because this also happens to be one of my all-time favorite activities -- coffee with a friend!

Stamps: Stamping Bella 'javabellas', GinaK 'my cuppa joe'. Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Pretty in Pink, Basic Grey 'Sultry'. Ink: Versafine onyx Black, Chocolate Chip, Copic cool grey 01. Accessories: Prismacolor pencils, turpenoid, Stardust glitter pen, Felt Fusion flowers, heart brad, flower gemstone.

The second challenge was to create a card inspired by a love song. This was a little tougher for me because I'm not really into love songs. After delving deep into my past I came up with Jim Croce's 'I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song' which seemed the perfect accompaniment for rockabella. It also went well with my Valentine's current obsession -- Guitar Hero.

Stamps: Stamping Bella 'rockabella' and sentiment. Cardstock: Blue Bayou, My Mind's Eye 'Festive and Frost' glitter DP, white. Ink: black, Copic cool grey 01. Accessories: Prismacolor pencils, turpenoid, Stardust glitter pen.

I almost used Crystal Effects to give Bella's outfit a spandex look, but decided that wasn't quite my style. If I get a wild hair, I may have go back to spice up Bella prior to Valentine's day!

The Bella Love Fest Challenges are open through Saturday -- go through your inspirational ballads and come play!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seeds of Kindness

One of my current stamping obsessions is the Magnolia stamp line. Part of the appeal is the Swedish heritage (I spent a year in Sweden as an exchange student), but a big part is because they are just so darn cute!

Here's my most recent card, made for a dear friend on SCS who let me jump in on a Magnolia order from the Swedish site:

Stamps: Magnolia Tilda and Log, Papertrey sentiment. Cardstock: Always Artichoke, Tangerine Tango, Paper Studio Purple Dots, CM yellow plaid, GP110 white. Ink: Adirondack Jet Black, Lovely Lilac, copics. Accessories: Felt Fusion flowers, Primas, Bella dots, photo corner, white gel pen, Label Nestabilities.

If you are looking for Magnolias that don't take several weeks to arrive, are currently discounted 10%, and have free shipping, be sure to check out KNL Scrappin and Stampin . The Magnolia special runs through January; February begins a whole new round of pre-orders!

Another reason this post is titled 'Seeds of Kindness' is because I also wanted to spread the word about the SCS' Wish RAK group. WRAK is a sub-group of the RAK (Random Acts of Kindess) groups and consists of members who grant other member's 'wishes' and in return, receive credit for a wish on their own wish list. It started out as a way to trade images, but has blossomed into so much more -- the photo corner, Nestability label, Primas, and Bella Dots on this card are all items I have received through the generosity of WRAKers!

To join the fun on WRAK, you must first apply for the RAK group on Splitcoaststampers and then apply to the WRAK group; all applications are found under 'group memberships'.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Guest Designer Call at DRS Designs!!

It's official, so I can make the announcement: DRS Designs is now accepting applications for Guest Designers! Want to show off your creativity and receive free stamps in the process? No previous Design Team experience is necessary and your commitment is only for two months.

What are you waiting for? Check out the full details on the DRS Guest Designer Call blog now and join the fun!

Baby Days

A few months ago it seemed like there was a baby boom; I realized at that time that my baby card stash was sorely lacking. Thanks to these adorable new releases by DRS Designs, I can now stock up for the next baby wave!

This tent topper card features the latest baby stamps by DRS Designs:
Supplies used: DRS Stamps: Brush Baby Buggy G341, sentiment E339, Diaper pin A354, Large original plaid P641, Giga heart circle L273. Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, So Saffron, Pretty in Pink. Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Pretty in Pink, GP110 white; Accessories: scallop border punch, giga circle punch, yellow gingham ribbon, glitter.

This card uses another of the new punch border stamps, the Mega Dot Square:

Supplies used: DRS Stamps: Mega Dot Square F322, Large orginal plaid P641, sentiment B753. Ink: Pretty in Pink, So Saffron, Bashful Blue. Cardstock: Textured white, Pretty in Pink, So Saffron, GP110 white. Accessories: pink button, blue dotted organdy ribbon, square Nestabilities.

Sorry for the low quality photos. My worst digital nightmare came true and I must have deleted the photos of these cards before saving them to CDs; these are copies of scans. Guess that means it's time to create more originals!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My First Blogging Award!

There she is -- isn't she beautiful? It's the Marie Antoinette Award (according to the file title) and as a recipient, I name 5 things about myself and then tag five fellow Bloggers. Thanks to Vicki, SCS friend and fellow DRS Designs Team member, from Stamped Smiles who presented me with this award.

Here goes! Five things about me:

1) It took me two years to work up the courage to start this blog!

2) I create best when fully caffeinated.

3) I'm in the planning process of finally creating a dedicated crafting space. Right now my supplies are spread out between three rooms and the basement, while most of my stamping is done on the kitchen table.

4) BK (Before Kids) I was a veterinarian and some day I hope to return to practice at least part-time so I can support our menagerie.

5) My goal for 2009 is to create at least one card per day and then actually use them!

And here are my five nominations for this award:

1) Kelly at Wishin' I Was Stampin for providing computer, blogging, and overall friendly support for the past 2+ years.

2) Lori at Paper Sunshine for suggesting the name for my blog.

3) Donelda at Wiggy's World for helping me think outside my creative box. I love to CASE her her Clean and Simply Elegant style of crafting.

4) Mary at My Cardz, My Passion (my therapy!) because her Copic coloring and attention to details is such an inspiration.

5) Melissa at Stamp It, Scrap It, Share It . I first met Melissa through SCS swaps; not only is she a great hostess, but a talented cardmaker, too.

Congratulations, Ladies! If you choose to continue this award, that's great, but there's no obligation. It's just my way of thanking each of you for your support and the tons of inspiration!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Christmas in January?

Since I'm still suffering from holiday overload, one of my Resolutions for this year was to be more prepared (and thereby less frantic) for the next holiday season. A great way to achieve that goal is to decrease December's workload by having all my Christmas cards complete and ready to mail long before the holiday crush begins.

SplitcoastStampers has the perfect challenge to accomodate this plan, the Christmas Card Challenge. This is how the challenge works: beginning in January (or whenever you choose to start), you complete 10 Christmas cards each month through November. By the time the holidays roll around, you have 110 cards ready to go! Don't need quite that many? I certainly don't, so I use several of the months to make general winter-themed cards or Christmas thank you cards. The new hostess this year, Mary (EmGee458), is even allowing participants to chose a lower number of cards per month, if that works better for them.

Unlike a swap, these cards stay with you for your personal use. For each month completed, you upload the cards to your SCS gallery and are then entered in a drawing for a small monthly prize. The biggest prize? Having all your Christmas cards finished before December!

Here's my set of 10 cards for January:
The majority of cards in this set are a cuttlebugged panel stamped with a sentiment and tied with ribbon. Thanks to my friend, Tracy, for this quick, yet elegant idea!

This card features ribbon slides by DRS Designs as the focal image:
Stamps by DRS Designs: Snowflake slide D932, Mega Snowflake Circle H259, sentiment E636.Ink: Night of NavyCardstock: Night of Navy, Baja Breeze, GP110 white.Accessories: Winter Wonderland EP, organdy ribbon.

This card was also a DRS blog challenge card; the challenge was to use as much bling as possible. I used sparkly EP, gemstones for the snowballs, the most iridescent ribbon I own, and a touch of glitter cardstock:
Stamps: DRS Designs Penguin D122, Snowflake background H015, sentiment H858.Ink: Night of Navy, Versamark, SU markers in Bashful Blue and Apricot Appeal.Cardstock: Night of Navy, Bashful Blue, Silver, Doodlebug glitter DP, white.Accessories: Kaleidoscope EP, Stardust glitter pens, gemstones, iridescent ribbon, rectangle Nestabilities.

My favorite card of this set is the votive candle card I created from a Technique Junkies' tutorial. Here it is closed:

Open and on display:

Stamps by DRS Designs: Large snowflake M238, Snowflake ribbon slide D932, Interlocking Snowflake background H015, Back in Time sentiment H674, Swirl Snowflakes F168, Handmade by C264.Cardstock: Baja Breeze, Night of Navy, vellum.Ink: Baja Breeze, Night of Navy, Versamark.Accessories: Iridescent EP, Winter Wonderland EP, blue velvet ribbon, scallop border punch, votive candle.

And this is the card complete with a lit votive candle (safest used with a battery-powered votive):

Some months I make 10 different cards, and other months I'll do assembly line stamping and produce my allotment in bulk. Next month I'm thinking of using a great set of sparkly snowflake die cuts I found on clearance to showcase!

Special Note: This was originally intended to post this morning, but our internet connection was down for over 24 hours. Talk about withdrawal! KL Scrappin N Stampin extended their Basic Grey DP sale through today -- head on over there for last minute savings and free shipping!

Shout Out to SheetLoad!

Are you a big fan of card sketches? How about sketches that give you all the measurements, a list of 'ingredients', AND directions to make 6-8 cards?? Well, if you haven't discovered the SheetLoads' blog, now is the time to take a peek!

Here is a card I made as a sample for stampedbym (Melissa over on SCS)'s Birthday Card Kit Swap using January 2009's SheetLoad issue:

Stamps: Stampabilities 'Make a Wish 02', Papertrey 'Mixed Messages'.
Paper: Pacific Point, Yo Yo Yellow, GP 110 white, Paper Studio Purple Dots and Glitter Balloons.
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black, Pacific Point.
Accessories: Prismacolor pencils, turpenoid, purple glitter, yellow grosgrain ribbon, green brads, star punch, Shimmerz 'Candlelight'.

SheetLoad issues are a wonderful way to create swap cards or just stock up on your own card supply. The Archives list several years' worth of back issues. All issues are free, so download away!

BLOG CANDY ALERT: Check out Kerry (Three Clovers Designs)'s amazing blog candy celebrating her blogoversary! Alota Stamps, Basic Grey paper, Martha Stewart punches, Shimmerz and so much more. Happy Blogoversary, Kerry -- keep up the amazing work!

Happy Stamping!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chocolate Candlelit Birthdays and Sales!

What could be better than chocolate on your birthday? Maybe in my case a few less candles on the cake, but as my mom says 'it sure beats the alternative!'.

The chocolate in this case is Chocolate Chip cardstock, but I may like it almost as much as the real thing. This adorable Tilda from Magnolia Stamps is actually a Lucia Tilda who features in a holiday celebrated just before Christmas in Sweden. The best stamps in my household multi-task, though, so I've also used this Tilda on birthday cards like this one based on Sketch Challenge 211 over on Splitcoast Stampers:

Stamps: Magnolia 'Tilda as Lucia', Verve sentiment. Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Basic Grey 'Two Scoops' and 'Sugared'. Ink: Impress Black, Chocolate Chip. Accessories: Prismacolor pencils, turpenoid, Stardust glitter pen, primas, felt flowers, Bella dots.

Here are the Prismacolor pencils I used on this card:

And the best news? The Basic Grey Designer Papers are now on sale 10% off through Friday AND Kelly is offering free shipping in January as well. More good news -- Magnolia stamps, including this Tilda as Lucia are also available at the best prices around! Check out all the great deals at KL Scrappin and Stampin now.

One more quick note and then I really have to start my real world day: technique fans, check out the 'Zindorf Seasons' post on today's DRS blog. This is my first attempt at the amazing brayer technique tutorials by Michelle Zindorf:

Once I made one Zindorf card I was hooked, so there are other examples as well as links to the plethora of tutorials on the DRS post. Be sure to take a peek!

Happy stamping and stay warm on this frigid day!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wish Me Luck!!

I did it! I finally did it -- I created my very own blog!

Wish me luck because it will a huge learning experience and I'll need that luck as I'm making all these big decisions by saying 'eeny-meeny-miny-mo....'.

Let's start off the first post with a bang, with the announcement that DRS Designs is this week's sponsor of that wonderful wealth of card sketches, Card Positioning Systems. Here is the featured sketch of the week:

I rotated the sketch 90 degrees to create this card:

Stamps by DRS Designs: Butterflies/Flowers M385, Butterfly sentiment G222, Ribbon Sliders C790.Cardstock: Certainly Celerly, Lovely Lilac, GP110 white.Ink: Certainly Celery, Lovely Lilac, Versafine Onyx Black.Accessories: Circle Punch, Pearl Ex, celery organdy ribbon.

DRS Ribbon slides are so versatile; check out their blog challenge this week which also just happens to include blog candy!

So there we have it, my very first post on my very first blog. Excuse the construction dust which will probably be present for many weeks to come. All blogging advice is greatly appreciated!