Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm on a Roll!

I made another Christmas card today!  Woohoo!  I've never had so many cards (two, to be exact) done this early in the year!  I don't know what I'm going to do with myself!  heehee!

This was for Susan's OLW challenge on her Simplicity blog to use outline stamps.  My Little Layers II set was still sitting on my desk because I have some ideas for it that I still need to get on paper.  When I was trying to decide what outline stamp to use for Susan's challenge, this card just popped into my head.  It took all of about 3 minutes to make.  And that is only because I had to use my SAMJ, to get both the image and sentiment perfectly centered.  Pencil dots are perfect to use as a guide, then just erase the evidence.  Just make sure you let the ink dry COMPLETELY before you erase.  Don't ask me how I know!

I put a little Sakura jelly roll pen on the hanger thingy to make it shiny, but it didn't photograph well.  Also, make sure your jelly roll pen is completely dry before you smudge it with your fat fingers.  Don't ask me how I know that, either!  This time, I got lucky and was able to remove the smudge with my adhesive remover/eraser thingy.

(Thingy - is that even a word?)

Supplies used:
Stamps - little layers II, PTI faux ribbon
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - real red, old olive
Accessories - SAMJ, Sakura jelly roll pen

Ta ta!


Edited to add:

Well, duh!  When I went to link my submission to Susan's blog, I read that the other part of the challenge was to make a square card.  So I just chopped the bottom off!  Then I rounded the corners just because I wanted to do something different.  The image would look better if it was up higher on the card a fraction of an inch, but it will have to do for now.  If I make more of these (and don't think I won't - what a quick and easy card), I'll fix the image placement.

I kinda like the A2 size better.  What do you think?  A2 with rounded corners?  That's the ticket!



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thanksgiving in July

As long as I'm thinking about and making Christmas cards, I thought I'd make a Thanksgiving card, too.  This is another set I rescued from my purge.  The images are great for CAS, and since I haven't parted with it yet, I think I'll let it stay.  It was one of the first sets I bought when I first became a SU demo, and I hadn't even trimmed or mounted it.  That is to my advantage, though, because I won't have to unmount it now!  And I used yet another neglected set.  Woohoo!  I'm getting closer to my goal.

This is a variation of a layout I have been using for several cards that I have made recently.  I can't seem to think of anything else.  This is totally different from the vision I had when I started, but it still turned out ok.

I wanted to do something brown up in the corner for balance, but I don't have much in the way of brown embellishments.  I was going to make faux brads, but decided to repeat the leaves in the patterned paper instead, so a leaf swag it is.  I actually have a similar decoration made out of wood.  It is one of my favorite fall decorations, and if nothing else gets put out, my leaves do.

I couldn't believe one of the patterned papers I've had forever actually matched a SU color perfectly.  Granted, is is a brand new color, but that almost never happens, and it is also why I try really hard not to buy any patterned paper other than SU.  I know, I'm a paper snob, but I'm ok with it.  ;)

Supplies used:
Stamps - little layers II, teeny tiny wishes
Paper - GKD PL ivory, cajun craze, early espresso, DCWV patterned paper
Ink - Memento brown, cajun craze
Accessories - nestabilities rectangle die, Wizard, square lattice EF, dimensionals, linen thread, word window and modern label punches, dauber

Stay cool!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Getting Organized

A couple weeks ago, I passed a garage sale on my way home from work.  I found an old '70's dresser that was exactly what I was looking for to use as a sofa table.  It was in pretty good shape, and since it wouldn't fit in my car, I sent my husband back with his truck to pick it up.

He came home with TWO truckloads of stuff!  What?!  I thought we were trying to get rid of stuff!!!  But he was only thinking of me, and since he knew I wanted to get my craft room reorganized, he thought this massive sectional piece might work.  Isn't he awesome?

I finally got it moved in to my craft room, and it is, well, massive.  Not exactly what I was looking for, but the file drawers are just what I wanted to store my massive paper collection.

Shall I say massive again?


Okay, I promise I won't say it any more.

Up until last night, I had all of my full pieces of cardstock stored together by SU! color families in cropper hopper bins in my closet.  All of my scraps were also stored by color families in hanging file folders in a file box that used to live in my closet.  I save all of my scraps, so the box was full!  This was a huge improvement over the 3 ring binders that I used to keep my scraps in.  But since there is no light in my closet, the box was on the floor and under a shelf,  I always had to pull the box out to see the color I wanted.  The file box eventually moved to a new home in the middle of my craft room.  And that wasn't working.

I came to the conclusion a while ago that it would be best to store my scraps and full sheets together.  Why go to two different places for the same thing?  Duh!  And it wasn't until hubby came home with that massive storage unit, that I could finally execute my plan.  I haven't even used any paper from my new system yet, but I know I am going to love it.

The top file drawer contains the brights, subtles, and regals collections.

The bottom drawer has the In Colors, neutrals, GKD and PTI cardstock, and all the other SU! cardstock.

Almost every hanging file folder has a full pack of cardstock plus a few full sheets and all my scraps for that color.  So there is more than enough room for my massive collection.  Oops, there I go again.  Sorry.

I used the file box to store all the retired SU! colors.  Each color already had a file folder with scraps, so I just slipped the full sheets in, and now I have them all together.  I am going to keep them for a while because I still like some of the colors.  I'll treat them like my clothes, though, and if I don't use them in the next year (or five!), they're gone!

Here is the space that I freed up in my closet.  I think I may use my empty bins for some of the craft magazines I save but never look at.  I do need a nice place to keep them!

Now I need a good way to store all my 12x12 papers. They are in the larger cropper hopper bins in my closet begging to be used.  You can see them peeking out at the bottom of the last picture.  How do you store your 12x12 papers?

I'm off to try out my new system...


Friday, July 23, 2010

A Simple Wedding Card

We got a surprise wedding announcement from my cousin in the mail this past week.  They had a beautiful, simple ceremony on the beach in Florida.  It was a great excuse to make a wedding card I have been wanting to make for a long time.

My idea for the hearts was cased from this card by Glenda Calkins on SCS.  I saved the card to my favorites because I knew I wanted to make my own version.  Mine is much more CAS, but I think it delivers the message well.  I would list all the things I changed, but I think you can figure that out!  They really are two totally different cards.  I have to give Glenda all the credit, though, because without her heart idea, this card would have never happened.

Are you ready?

I just LOVE how this turned out!  You could even make a red heart version for Valentine's day to give to your honey.  (I just thought of that as I was typing!)

Here is a closeup of the texture. Isn't it gorgeous?!

Have fun with this idea.  There are so many possibilities!

Supplies used:
Stamps - fun phrases (rescued again, from my sale bin)
Paper - GKD PL white, basic black
Ink - Memento black
Accessories - CB textile and SU square lattice embossing folders, CB machine, ribbon, rhinestone brad, half pearls, dimensionals

Make it a great day!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Christmas in July

I figured since one of the major craft related chain stores has had their Christmas merchandise out for 3 weeks now, I might as well start stamping a few Christmas cards myself.  My real motivation, though, was Susan's OLW13 challenge to make a Christmas/Holiday/winter card.

I cased one of my own Christmas cards from last year, but this one is much more CAS.  I might even make a few more since it was so quick and easy.

This is my card from last year.  A little too busy for CAS, and hardly any 'white space'.  I still love it, though.  (It was cased, but I can't remember from whom.)

This is this year's CAS version.  So simple, and Susan is sure to love all the 'white space' on this one!  I didn't even stamp a sentiment; there's plenty of room on the inside for that.

Supplies used:
Stamps - patterned pines
Paper - GKD PL ivory
Ink - garden green, old olive, real red markers, encore gold
Accessories - detail gold EP, heat gun, red rhinestones, nestabilities rectangle die, Wizard

Hoping thoughts of winter help to keep you cool in the summer heat,


Friday, July 16, 2010

Basil Martini

We have a new restaurant (Hodson's) that opened recently near our house.  A group of us moms went there for dinner after a fun evening shopping at the Blues Jean Bar.  One of the items on their very unique drink menu was a basil martini.  At first, I thought it strange to base a drink on basil, but I love basil, and wanted to try it.  My expectations were met and exceeded with this absolutely yummy drink.  I have been back to Hodson's twice (just so I could order another basil martini), and although all three martinis were different, they were all delicious.

So I set out to perfect my own recipe.  I have to do something with all that basil growing in my herb garden!

I started last night by making my own simple syrup.  This is a staple in many bar drinks, and you can even use it to sweeten tea, coffee, or any other kind of drink.  It's good to use because the sugar is already dissolved, and you don't get grains of sugar hanging out at the bottom of your cold drink!

Simple Syrup
Simply stir 1c sugar into 1c water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  I let mine boil for about a minute or two.  Let cool, transfer to a container, and refrigerate for up to one month.  See why it's called simple syrup?

By the time I got home from work tonight, my simple syrup was chilled, my vodka was cold, and I was ready to try my hand at bartending.

Take a look at this.

YUM!  You may cringe about putting basil in a drink, but if you like the tase of basil even a little bit, you will love this drink.  I guarantee it!  If you don't love it, call me, and I will come over and drink it!

Here is the recipe I came up with.

Basil Martini
2 oz Van Gogh vodka (or any high quality vodka... we're not talking Smirnoff's or even Absolut here!)
2-3 basil leaves + a small sprig to float
2 t simple syrup
1-2 T freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Muddle 2-3 basil leaves in the vodka.  Transfer to a shaker and add simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass.  Float a basil sprig or leaf on top for garnish.  Enjoy!

You will think you died and went to heaven when you taste this.

I'm going to go water my basil.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Cake On Fire

I didn't realize it had been over a week since I had entered a blog post.  I guess summer is in full swing at our house, and all the activities have cut into my stamping time.  That's ok, though, I wouldn't want it any other way!

My husband's step-grandmother is turning 90 in a few days, and I wanted to make a funny 'old' card for her.  I have made a couple of these in the past, and they are really fun for those 'landmark' birthdays.  I got my idea from jpardoe's card on SCS seen here.

I changed mine up a bit by making my cake out of punches and white applique, since I don't have a really good cake stamp that doesn't scream wedding!

You can use your punch to make any size shape with rounded ends.  Cut a strip of paper as wide as your punch minus just a hair so it will fit into the back side of the punch like this.

Once the paper is in the slot, punch it out, and you will have one rounded end.  If you want both ends rounded, stick the other end in in the same manner, making the shape as large or small as you want, and punch again.  If your shape is going to be on the small side, you can always use temporary adhesive to attach a strip of scrap paper to your cardstock layer so it is easier to handle getting it into the punch.  I didn't have to do that for this size cake.

Here is a close up of the charred card.  I sponged more mustard and chocolate chip before and after distressing the corners.  It really looks like burned paper.

The inside sums it all up.

A few tips if you 'char' your edges.  Make sure the ink is dry before you do any more distressing, or just make sure you don't touch your card with your inky fingers.  Lots of smudges can happen during this step.

This is the back of my card.  Oops!  All the smudges are from microscopic (yes, I need reading glasses) pieces of sponge that came off during my frantic sponge distressing.  I didn't notice them on my work space, and the effects can be seen all over the back of my card.  Hopefully her 90 year old eyes aren't much better than mine and she won't notice it.  So make sure your work space is clean after you 'char' your card!

Supplies used:
Stamps - roughing it, GKD you know you're old when...
Paper - GKD PL white, brushed silver, cool caribbean, yoyo yellow
Ink - Memento black, real red, more mustard, choc chip
Accessories - small and large oval punches, liquid applique, heat tool, sponges

I am hopeful I will be able to post again before the week is done.  Have a great summer day and thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Rescued From The Purge

It seems I always have a box of stamps labeled "sell" sitting around.  From time to time, I go through them to see if there is anything in there I can't bear to part with.  I pull sets out and put them back in, but most of the time they stay in the box.

The set I used today is one of the sets that has been in and out of the box many times.  When I came across it during my big purge yesterday, I wondered why on earth I had put it in the sell pile again.  What was I thinking?  It is a classic flower set with so many possiblilties just waiting to be inked.  So I decided to show it some love.

I just recently got the new XL scallop circle punch from SU!, and thought I would make a window card with it.  Isn't it pretty?

Don't mind my blue fingernail.  It is part of my July 4th manicure.  It's too bad I couldn't hide the smudge under the sentiment with it!

I can blame my neighbor for this.  She's the one who suggested it and painted all our kids' toenails (four of them are boys!).

One of the boys is missing from this picture.  They have stars and stripes on their nails.  How did I get on the subject of toenails?  Never mind.

Back to my card...

Here is the inside of the card.  I was originally going to adhere the eggplant scallop layer to the front of the card, but I liked how it hid the bottom of the stems when adhered to the inside.

Supplies used:
Stamps - petal prints, thoughts & prayers
Paper - GKD PL white, elegant eggplant
Ink - perfect plum, elegant eggplant
Accessories - XL scallop circle punch, scallop border punch, SAMJ, ribbon colored with Copic marker

I think I'll keep this set out of the sell box.  At least for a while.

What have you rescued from selling?

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Punch Crazy Cards

I spent a good part of my day purging stamp sets that I no longer use or haven't ever used.  I didn't just say that.  I use all of my stamps.  Yeah, right!  At least I know I'm not alone in that respect!  If you are looking for some retired SU! stamps that are in excellent condition - most of them have never even been mounted, visit my post here in the B/S/T forum at Splitcoast stampers.

After I was done purging, I wanted to stamp, so I browsed through my new SU! catalog for some ideas.  I pretty much cased one of the sample cards in it, but tweaked it a little with different punches and greetings.

Here are the quick and easy cards I made...

This is the first one I made.  It was so fun, I decided to make some more.

This is a very versatile layout, and you can use most any punched shape with a greeting to match.

I changed this one up a bit by popping up every other heart.

Look at the fun you can have with this very simple design.

These cards would be very easy to mass produce for gifts of any kind.  The possibilities are endless!

Supplies used:
Stamps - PTI Paper Tray Sentiments, JustRite Brayton font (for celebrate)
Paper - GKD PL white, Pacific point, SU!'s new In Colors - peach parfait, poppy parade, pear pizzazz, concord crush, blushing bride
Ink - peach parfait and poppy parade markers
Accessories - trio flower, small heart, and star punches, diamond stickles, dimensionals, JustRite harmony rectangle stamper, SAMJ

Hope you got some inspiration from these simple and quick cards!