Monday, April 30, 2012

Goodbye Gorgeous Medallion

Stampin' Up! is retiring a whole pile of stamps this year. A lot of stamps! On the one hand, I'm sad to see some go. On the other hand, it was needed. There are a lot of stamps in our catalogue that have been around for a very long time. With selling my house, I know how good a big purge feels. And I bet the folks at SU! feel the same way about this purge.

One of the stamps leaving us is the big Medallion. I'm going to miss this stamp a lot, but it has been around for 3 years and I know that SU! will have something even better for us in the new cattie :) I used this weeks Freshly Made Sketch for inspiration.

I'll also be doing this card at my Stamper's Group on Sunday. Do you love how the Medallion stands out on the card? I did the emboss resist technique and layered Soft Suede as well as Early Espresso inks. Hope my stampin' girls love it!

Tips & Tricks:

*I am so glad the the Bigz Beautiful Butterflies die isn't retiring. I love it and the impact it makes on my projects. Fold the butterflies in half, layer them together and voila - a flittering butterfly :)
*I love the strips of the Adhesive Jewels. I don't use them enough but I thought that the strip of pearls would be just perfect for my butterfly ~ isn't it great?
*To add a bit of a vintage look to my card, I teased the edges of my Crumb Cake and Very Vanilla card stock with my Bone Folder and pulled the layers apart. Stampin' Up! card stock is nice and thick so you can do this.

I really hope my stamper's group loves this card as much as I do. And my husband. And my daughter. But they may be a bit biased ;) 'Til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Flowering Tea Cups

Yes, yes, you probably think I took another blogging break. But I didn't - promise! My computer went kaput and I wasn't able to update my blog easily off my iPad. So I took an unwanted break ;)  But now I'm back and ready to share this card from last week.

I'm going to miss the 2012 Occasions Mini. It has a lot of lovely stamp sets that I hope end up carrying over into the new catalogue. One of them is the Tea Shoppe stamp set. Yes, this stamp set again. But it's soooo pretty! :)

This card is based on a sketch from a 'new-to-me' card challenge site: The Paper Players. This card used lots of gorgeous retiring products as well as Occasions Mini 2012 products. Don't you just love the gorgeous Attic Boutique DSP as well as the Lace Ribbon Border Punch? I'm really going to miss that punch. Unfortunately I missed the Sketch Challenge window for this week because of my computer not working, but I thought this card was too pretty not to share ;)

Tips & Tricks:

*Love the flower? I used the Attic Boutique DSP as well as the Build-a-Blossom Punch. All the petals are individually punched out. I folded them in the center and then distressed them a bit with my bone folder to give them more dimension.
*I really love the patterned In Color Brads. So pretty :)
*I'm really going to miss the Lace Ribbon Border Punch. Get it now, while you can - it's on this year's Retiring Accessories List. I especially love layering ribbon over it.
*Aren't those tea cups sweet? I used my Soft Suede and Pool Party Stampin' Write Marker to color them and stamp. Just don't forget to 'huff' (i.e. breathe) on your stamp before stampin' when using markers to make sure the stamp is moist enough :)
*The flower on this card was quite a bit of work - not really a card class card ;) So I simplified it a bit using the Blossom Punch as well as the Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder.

Sorry again for my absence and 'til next time - tomorrow, promise! - keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Thank You to Our Vet

As I mentioned in a post last week, my family and I just got back from a two-week trip to Germany and the Czech Republic. We were visiting relatives and with the visit came a TON of chocolate for my two children. We have been a bit slow at unpacking and this past week-end our dog Nyla got into it. We thought most of it was gone, but she has a super nose and found some. For those who aren't dog lovers, chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is toxic to dogs. It was a lot of dark chocolate and she's a Jack Russell Terrier (the smaller the dog, the less they can eat without being affected).

She had already thrown up some of the chocolate (that's how we realized she ate it) but we quickly called our vet who was luckily still open on the Saturday. We had to feed our dog hydrogen peroxide (for wounds) to make her throw up. Then we had to give her an activated carbon solution to empty her system more and coat her intestines to prevent absorption of the theobromine (the compound in chocolate toxic to dogs). It was absolutely no fun for Nyla and heartwrenching for us. The vet gave us her home number, cell number and didn't charge us anything except for the carbon solution.  We always say that she's fantastic with the animals but has horrible people bedside manner ;) But she really loves the pets and it shows. So we gave her a heartfelt card (what else? lol!) and a gift cards to Starbucks.

I knew I wanted to use the D is for Dog stamp set (on the Retiring List so if you love it, make sure you get it before it's gone on May 31st). I also wanted to use this week's Mojo Monday Challenge. Usually with a quilted or checkered sketch, I'd use a whole bunch of different squares from DSP. But the D is for Dog stamp set have 3 images, perfectly sized for the 1-1/4" Square Punch.

Tips & Tricks:

*I alternated between using Stampin' Dimensionals under one square and not using them under the other. Love how this gives the card extra dimension.
*I used a neutral palette for this card: Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede and Very Vanilla. I thought it reflected our dog's coloring and markings quite well.
*I love how Stampin' Up! Card Stock is dyed all the way through and nice and thick. When I tease the card stock it splits into layers and adds even more dimension to my card.
*Don't you love how it looks like the dog is actually wagging its tail? Sooo cute!!!

I hope our vet her little treat. We are so thankful she is always so willing to help us out when needed and I'm happy to report that our dog is fine! 'Til next time keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tea for Two?

Today I'm using a stamp set in the 2012 Occasions Mini, Tea Shoppe, which will be leaving us on April 30th when the Mini ends. Though I must say, I have high hopes that this stamp set will carry over to the 2012/2013 Idea Book & Catalogue.

My inspiration for this card was last week's Friday Mashup Challenge. Though I must say, I was clearly more challenged than I expected. Apparently I can't read  ~ they asked us to use the sketch provided and/or use the ghosting/VersaMark resist technique. I misread that to mean that we should use the emboss resist technique, so that's what I did. I guess I only did complete one part of the challenge but my intent was to mash the challenge up and do both ;)

Tips & Tricks:

*Emboss resist is easy! Emboss your image with an embossing powder (I used White Embossing Powder). Sponge over your image with a contrasting ink. I used Pink Pirouette and sponged the edges with Pretty in Pink. The embossing powder is like plastic so it doesn't absorb the ink; it resists it. My tea cup doesn't photograph very well but in real life it looks pretty good ;)
*I love the Basic Grey Satin Ribbon. It has a gorgeous silvery sheen to it!

*Instead of the tag depicted in the sketch, I used the Framelits Labels. Love how classy these look with the pretty tea cup.

I am looking forward to doing the emboss resist technique at one of my Stampin' Technique Classes soon. Hope you've enjoyed my tea card, 'til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fast & Fabulous Flowers

This Wednesday April 25th, I have my Fast & Fabulous Monthly Card Class. I'm looking forward to stamping some fun cards with the ladies! I've still got room, so if you're in the Ottawa area, I'd love for you to join us!

One of the cards look pretty complex, but is most certainly fast and even more certainly fabulous ;)

My inspiration for this card was this week's Pals Paper Arts Challenge. It was a sketch challenge and if you've ready my blog before, you'll know those types of challenges are my favorites :)

Tips & Tricks:

*Instead of the circle in the sketch, I used one of the larger flowers from the Fast Flowers Bigz XL Die.
*I used Vellum Card Stock in a card a few weeks ago and I just love how it looks, especially embossed with the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder.
*The flowery Island Indigo DSP is from the Twitterpated DSP in the Occasions Mini. I'm going to miss this paper ~ it's so pretty but it's patterns are so versatile. Get it before it's gone on April 30th!
*Who knew that Island Indigo would look so good with Cherry Cobbler?!?! This is one of the things I love about SU!'s Designer Series Papers. They provide stampers with color combinations that sometimes aren't so obvious ;)
*I love cards that look complex but are really quite simple to put together. Some DSP, a few die-cut flower, a stamp and a punch helps put this card together quite easily!

I hope the ladies who come on Wednesday enjoy this card and the others we will be making. 'Til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saying Goodbye to the Butterfly

I'm back! See, told you I'd be back before 3 weeks this time ;) A few days ago, SU! released the list of stamp sets that are retiring. You can find them here: Retiring Stamps. I must say, they were pretty cutthroat this year and are retiring many, many stamp sets! But it was needed. Absolutely needed. There were SOOO many stamp sets in the cattie that have been around for a very long time and a change is definitely needed. Of course, there are a few stamp sets that I will miss. I've used one of them on my card for this week's Mojo Monday Challenge: Butterfly Prints.

The Flight of the Butterfly stamp set is also retiring so I wonder if that means that the Butterfly Punch is retiring? I sure hope not but if it does, I know that SU! will replace it with something EVEN better :) They always do!

Tips & Tricks:
*A good example of the something new and even better that SU! will replace retiring products with is the Summer Smoches Product Suite. It is available this month as a special promo, as well as in the new catalgoue June 1st.
*One thing I love about the Butterfly Punch is the fantastic 3D fluttering butterflies I can easily make with it. I've made other 3D punch art, but the butterflies are my faves.
*One product that will be available in the new catalogue (and as part of the Summer Smooches Suite) is the Daffodil Delight Seam Binding Ribbon. It is so rich in color and chic ~ LOVE it!
*Love this card and the DSP? Come use this stamp set and the gorgeous DSP and my Fast & Fabulous Monthly Card Class this Wednesday April 25th.

Hope you've enjoyed these gorgeous Butterfly Prints. 'Til next time, keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Long Time, No Stamp!

Wow, it feels like I haven't stamped for weeks ~ wait a minute, I haven't!!! Yesterday, I got back from Europe after a two-week 'holiday' with my family. I say holiday in quotations because travelling with a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old half-way around the world isn't much of a holiday. I joked with my husband that we may need to take a one-week trip to Cancun to relax ;)

In the meantime, we put our house up for sale and sold it - all while on holiday. Did you know you can sell a house over email, sending signed contracts as JPG pictures? Who would've thought? Needless to say, things have been a bit wild around here! And I was excited to get into my stamp room today and make a card for this week's Freshly Made Sketch. Clean, simple, fresh. Love these sketches. As you can see, I took a bit of a creative license with the 'shape' - there isn't one, just the 'rectangle' my images are stamped on :)

Tips & Tricks:
*Usually for this stamp set I would do a bit more antiquing, sponging with some Soft Suede ink as well as curling the edges of the card stock. Or maybe tearing a corner like in this card I've made before. But to keep my card 'fresh', I decided to forgo the antiquing this time.
*The Artistic Etchings stamp set is a perfect 'gender neutral' stamp set. I'm using this card at my Man Class this Friday night :)
*Love the greeting? It's from the Loving Thoughts stamp set in the Occasions Mini and only available 'til April 30th.
*Although the Lace Ribbon Border Punch is beautiful on its own, I love layering it with a ribbon. Gives you another option for using it.

I hope you've enjoyed this card and I promise, I will be back sooner than in 3 weeks ;) 'Til next time (really really soon) keep letting stamps bring out your creativity!