Monday, January 30, 2017

Sunday Stamps Challenge #145

Hello everyone!  When I saw the inspiration image over at the Sunday Stamps Challenge this week, I really wanted to participate as I love the color palette.  Since I am in full on Valentine mode right now, I wanted to try to incorporate these colors into a masculine card. It seems like all guys like orange, my husband included.  When I met him, he actually had an orange corvette but that was more than 30 years ago.    

For my card, I started with a card base made from Smokey Shadow Cardstock.  For the striped paper, I used a sheet from the My Mind's Eye Fancy That Paper Collection. This collection is no longer available at Simon Says Stamp but I happened to find 3 of the 6 x 6 Pads when I was in Dallas at Christmas. I really wanted a more orange color on the one stripe, so I ink blended with Berry Sorbet and Melon Berry Inks to make it more orange.  I masked off the other stripes with Post-It Tape so I wouldn't accidentally get the ink on the greys which probably would have made them look brown and muddy.  While that dried, I did ink blending on a piece of Canson XL Watercolor Paper with the same inks, spritzed it with Iridescent Gold Glimmer Mist and set it aside to dry for a few minutes as well.

Since my designer paper has gold foil on it, I chose that as my neutral and cut a heart from Gold Foiled Cardstock using Little B Hearts Cutting Dies.  One of the hearts is the cutting die and the other puts the cross stitched edge on the heart. Then I cut the smaller heart to go on top of the gold heart.

The Sentiment is the Big Basics: Love You Die from Papertrey Ink and I cut it from Smoky Shadow Cardstock.  The bitty heart is from the Simon Says Stamp Mini Hearts Die and I always seem to have a few of these laying around.  This is a very Clean and Simple (CAS) card with bold graphics - just the way my hubby likes them.

Be sure to stop over at the Sunday Stamps Challenge Blog to see all the entries and the Design Team's Inspiration.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Inspired by ... #41

It's the weekend which means there's a new Inspired By All The Little Things Challenge!

As soon as I saw the inspiration image, I knew I would use Kraft Cardstock with Red and White for a Valentine's Day Card.

I really wanted to make a heart shaped card so I die cut two of the same hearts to have a front and back.  I used a set of Heart Dies from Little B that have a cross-stitched detail.  Lay the back heart into your scoring board, and crease the top 1/2 inch of the heart.  Once that is scored, take it out of the scoring tool and crease those lines well with a bone folder. Fold the creases forward and back a couple of times then put strong adhesive on the "flaps" next to the score lines. I used ¼ inch Scor-Tape.  Remove the backing from the tape, line up the front heart and press the two pieces together firmly using your bone folder. Now you have a heart shaped card.  You can do this with lots of different shapes if you happen to have a lot of larger sized dies.

Using the same set of heart dies, I cut additional hearts from Red Shimmer and Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  The red shimmer hearts were all dry embossed - one with hearts and one with stripes to add some texture to otherwise boring layers.  I adhered all the layers with Tombow Mono Permanent Adhesive. I cut a few small hearts using the Simon Says Stamp Mini Hearts Die from a scrap of gold cardstock and cut the Happy Valentines Day sentiment from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  I attached those with Ranger Multi-Medium Matte.

I also used the same red shimmer paper to make a matching envelope because this card is not a standard size.  My envelope is 5.5 inches square and will require extra postage if I send it through the US Mail. You can use an envelope punch board to make your own.  Since this is a Valentine's Day card, I also white heat embossed a flourish onto the front of the envelope.  The flourish is from an older Stampin' Up set called Baroque Motifs which is no longer available.

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  Be sure to stop over at Inspired by All The Little Things and see everyone's projects.  The design team has some incredible cards.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Papertrey Ink's Fresh Bouquet

Jenni Murray's Card
Today I have a card for 2 different challenges that was inspired by this card from Jenni Murray over at the Muse Challenge Blog. They are celebrating their 200th Challenge this week. As a card maker, I find my inspiration (a.k.a. Muse) in many different places but most often it is in seeing what others create and share. It might be a color or color combination, a design or a technique. I love going around to the different challenges and seeing what everyone creates.

One of my favorite techniques from the past year is Gold Paint Spatter.  It provides a lot of textural interest without having to add another layer of paper which makes it a CAS (Clean and Simple) technique and is why I am participating over at the CAS on Sunday Challenge as well with "Hearts" as the challenge.

I started by adding spatters of Gold Watercolor to a card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  Using the Papertrey Ink Fresh Bouquet Die I cut one from Stamper's Select White then stamped the Fresh Bouquet Outline Stamp in Versamark and heat set it with Simon Say Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  Next I stamped the images using Altenew's Ruby Red, Coral Berry and Forest Glades inks and then attached that to my card base using Foam Squares.  Fresh Bouquet is a multi layer stamp set so that you can use several colors for the blooms.  I love the color Jenni used so I chose to stick with the Ruby Red.

The greeting was cut from Gold Foiled Cardstock using the Big Basics: Love You Die from Papertrey and the hearts were cut using the Simon Says Stamp Mini Hearts Die.  I popped up only one of the hearts on some Thin 3D Foam Squares cut down to fit.  Everything else was adhered with Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

I have a few choices for Gold Watercolor but since I am only creating cards and not art pieces that need to last for the next thousand years, I've been looking for a less expensive alternative.  I adore the Finetec Mica Gold Watercolor Set, but it doesn't take long to use up one of the little pans and my supplier doesn't carry the individual refills in that brand although they are available.  Another choice is Gansai Tambi Watercolors Set of 36. My retailer carries the individual little pans of color for this brand but I found a less expensive alternative before they got them in the store.

While I was searching for Finetec Refills, I found Sargent Art Watercolor in Metallic Gold and Metallic Pearl White.  This is a huge 8 ounce bottle that is currently available for $6.64 for the Gold and $9.94 for the White on Amazon.  I love this size and I don't have to be careful with how much or how often I use it. It can also be diluted with water which is what I did with this card. You can see the spatter but it doesn't overtake the whole card.  I plan to try it again soon with a straight-from-the-bottle solution of the paint. There are so many ways to achieve this look.  I've also tried it with the Heidi Swapp Color Shine in Gold Lamé.  Rather than using the spray bottle, I put a bit in a small container and spatter it on with a paintbrush or you can use the end of the sprayer to tap color onto your paper or cardstock.  I'd recommend just trying different mediums and techniques until you come up with one you like. Personally I like them all but I use different ones for different looks.  The biggest bang for the buck is the Sargent Art brand and I can only imagine that a bottle will last a few years for sure.

Thanks for coming by today and spending a few minutes at my blog.  Be sure to check out the Challenge Blogs to see all of the beautiful cards for that have been submitted.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sunday Stamps Challenge

Today I have a card for the Sunday Stamps Challenge #144 - Seeing Stars.  My hubby's twin brother and his wife have a classic car that they take around the country to various car shows and this past weekend they won 4 of the awards at a car show in Wichita, Kansas for their car.  That meant a "Congratulations" card was in order so this is what I came up with to send to them.

I used True Black Cardstock to make my card base.  The background panel is made from a designer paper that I found a few months ago at Michaels while we were visiting our daughter and her family in Dallas.  I wish I had gotten a couple more sheets as this is a great one for men.  It doesn't photograph all that well, but it's not terrible either.  This paper is printed with the grey scale triangle pattern but is also a gold shimmer cardstock.  So I pulled in the gold stars and banner for a really classic look.  It's not too feminine but not too manly either; it's just a nice balance.

The stars are cut using an old Cookie Cutter Die set from Quickutz, the Banner is from Papertrey Ink's Tag Sale: Quilted and the Congrats is from Winnie and Walter's The Big, The Bold & You Die Cuts.  

This was a very fast and easy card to make and the Black White & Gold make a very striking combination. Anytime I use a dark colored card base, I always cut a Stitched Rectangle Panel to to go on the inside of the card so I don't have to try to find a white pen that works to write a note.  

Thanks for stopping by today.  I'm still trying to get back in the groove and catch up from a 2 week vacation.  There were a few blog posts that went live while I was at CHA so be sure to check out those blog posts for my projects.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Papertrey Ink January 2017 Blog Hop

I am jumping on with a card for the Papertrey Ink January 2017 Blog Hop this afternoon. Because I've been on vacation with my husband, I completely forgot about it until late this morning when I went to catch up on all of my regular stops. The thing about vacation is that you lose track of what day of the month it is.  We are home a couple of days earlier than expected but until I saw Nichole's post, I completely forgot about it.

Nichole asked everyone to start with a black background and work from there trying favorite florals, colors, textures and bold sentiments.

For my card, I started with a Stamper's Select White Card Base cut using the Noted: A2 Scalloped Notecard and a black label cut from True Black Cardstock and an older die set I have. I cut all of the Fancy Foliage Details Dies from Gold Cardstock as my start. I also cut the same size label from Gold Cardstock so that I could cut it in half and put it behind the black label.

I don't know about you all, but I have a ton of Prima Flowers in my studio from my scrapbooking days and I try hard to use all of the tools I have at my disposal. I tried stamping some of the various Papertrey Ink Florals I have but I just wasn't getting the look I wanted for my card. So I got out several styles of small Prima Flowers and misted them using color sprays I made with Reinkers and Shimmer Mist.  These particular flowers were sprayed in a combination I like to call Sugarplum which is made from a combination of Pure Poppy and Royal Velvet Reinkers.  I just keep adding drops of Pure Poppy until it is the color I want, so I don't have a "recipe". I like purple that still has a lot of pink in it still so I just play until the color sprays out how I like it.  It's never the same two times in a row.  You can use a Mini Mister or any kind of empty spray bottle that you might have around. I have saved all my Tattered Angels Shimmer Mist bottles and I label them with "my" color name.  I use the same shimmer mist for this purpose all the time which is Tsukineko Sheer Sparkle Shimmer Mist.  I misted most of the flowers in the Sugarplum color and some White Hydrangeas with some green mist I made using Pine Feather Reinker. I cut the green hydrangeas apart to make them seem like leaves tucked under the flower blooms.

My card wasn't difficult to make, only a little time consuming because you have to wait for the color mist to dry so you can layer up a few blooms and add the pearls on top.  Then just arrange them how you like.  I also used the Papertrey Ink Wonderful Word: Love Die by cutting the heart "o" out of the center and using a flower for the "o".

I hope you enjoy my interpretation of the inspiration image! Be sure to hop over to the Papertrey Ink Blog and have a look around at all of the lovely projects. They are all beautiful!  Have a great day everyone.  Thank you so much for stopping by and spending a few minutes with me today.  I always appreciate it when you take time to leave an encouraging comment for me. I read and treasure each one.

Hey Love -- Your Heart Is My Home

Hello Everyone!  This is my last post as the Designer in the Spotlight for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge in January 2017. I have a super fun project for you today featuring items available in the Simon Says Stamp Store.

If you've been to my blog before, you probably know I really love using gold on most of my projects.  It instantly adds an elegant touch to anything. It's pretty easy to find foiled Designer Paper at your local craft store but they are often white with gold foil which always makes me think of a wedding.*Ü* If they come in a color other than white, they are often difficult to match to supplies you already have on hand.

For today's card, I used one of my "go-to" techniques which is to ink blend on the white paper and get a match for whatever color I'm planning to use. In this case I used some Simon Says Stamp Teeny Bikini Ink with a Ranger Mini Ink Blending Tool to color the paper in the shade I wanted. Once I had the ink blended to the depth of color I wanted, I gave it an all over spray with some Tsukineko Sheer Gold Shimmer Spritz and set it aside to dry while I worked on the rest of my card.  So far, I've never messed up a piece of the foiled paper but on the off chance that I might, I do cut the large sheet down to 6 x 6 sheets once I get it home and store it that way. Once I did get a bit carried away and bent the foiled paper, but I was able to smooth it out with my Teflon Bone Folder and salvage it.  I've just been a bit more careful since then not to do it again.

I've also done this ink blending technique with some other foiled papers I have in my stash have that are colored.  If you use a darker shade of ink in the same tone, it works great without having to have an exact match in colored cardstock. I tried this technique in desperation once to get a match for a project and I've been doing it on purpose since then. If I see a white and gold foiled paper I like, I don't hesitate to buy it because I can make it match whatever color I need it to.

Each time I look at this Heartstrings Die from Concord & 9th, I think of the saying that "Home is where the heart is".  I wanted a clever way to use this die for a Valentine's Day card for my hubby because no matter where I am, he needs to be there for it to feel like home.  To keep all the pieces together after die cutting, I used some Micro-Pore tape on the back side after I had cut it out.  You could also use Washi Tape or Painter's Tape.  My banner sentiment came from the Simon Says Stamp Love Makes a Home Stamp Set and the love die is, of course, Kristina's Love Die in Kristina Werner's fantastic handwriting. I can hardly wait to see what Kristina Werner designs this year for Simon Says Stamp although there are a few more dies that have already been released that I'd like to have. All of the word dies from the Hey Love Release are designed to mix and match and work with each other except for the Love 2 Set.

For the sentiment banner, I used Versamark Ink to stamp it then heat set it with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder. This is my go-to choice for embossing powder.  I love metallic gold, but not if it is really yellow gold so I opt for Antique Gold tones. I attached the background panel to a Bazzill Marshmallow Card Shoppe Card Base using Scor-Tape. If your background panel gets a bit warped you can flatten it out by running it through your die cutting machine with an embossing sandwich (minus the embossing folder). Next, I attached the Heartstrings Die Cut onto a slightly smaller heart shape made of Fun Foam and then attached that to my card base using Ranger Multi Medium Matte. The smaller heart is attached using two of the small sized Thin 3D Foam Squares.

The Concord & 9th Heartstrings Die is in two pieces so you can set the inside piece how you want it.  For my first card, I offset it quite a bit to make it seem like the strings were being "tugged" closer to the heart. I centered it more for the 2nd and 3rd cards I'm showing here.  The small center heart was inked up using the same ink on a scrap of the same paper.

For my second card, I inked up the designer paper with Simon Says Stamp Merlot Ink on what was originally an ivory colored stripe. You can really make it any color you want. I also centered the inside of the heart rather than off setting it. On my third card, I inked it up using Simon Says Stamp Island Blue and assembled everything on on a Navy Card Base but I kept the banner and word die white. The Heartstrings Die and the Love Shadow were cut from the same Die Cuts With a View Gold Foiled Cardstock although it might be a bit hard to see here.
I hope I've inspired you to give this a try next time you need a certain color but don't have the time or inclination to go looking for it at your local craft store.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today. I've so enjoyed being on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog this past month. Thanks to Heidi and the gang at Simon Says Stamp as well as Lols and all of my teammies! It's been a blast! Don't forget to create your own project and enter it at the link-up for your chance to win a $50.00 gift voucher to the Simon Says Stamp Store.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Valentine Bundle

Hello everyone!  This is my third week in the Designer Spotlight at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge for January 2017 and this week's theme is "Anything but a card" featuring We R Memory Keepers products.  You don't have to use them to play in the challenge, but if you have some, we would love to see them used.

For my Valentine Bundle, I used a We R Memory Keepers Next Level Embossing Folder in Gemstone for the large gold heart die cut and the We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board to make my goodie bag.  I also used the Simon Says Stamp "Kristina's Love" Die to add to my gift bag and the Simon Says Stamp Happy Valentine's Day Die for one of the hearts on the card. Both of these dies are from the Simon Says Stamp Hey Love Release. The large hearts are cut from scraps of cardstock using Little B Hearts Designer Cutting Dies. For the goodie bag, you can use scrapbook paper or gift wrap that you already have around which is what I did.

While my project does include a card, I created a Valentine's Day Bundle for my hubby.  My favorite color combination for a masculine Valentine's Day is red, grey, black and white with some touches of gold and silver in there as well. Metallics always seem to be a great choice for the men in my life. I wanted to make a little gift sack for some sweet treats that I can pop into his lunch box.  I made a few gift bags over Christmas and I wanted something similar although this one was a bit easier because I kept it flat. I used a piece of paper that had foiling on it and made a bag by scoring the paper with my Score Tool, then using the envelope punch board centered along the score lines.  Once that was done, I scored along the bottom 1 inch and folded toward the inside to create the "bag". You just need a bit of glue or double sided tape all along the side and bottom seams.
Because I didn't think I was doing a very good job of explaining what I did, I made another bag so I could take step by step pictures to show you how I did it.

I made my first score line at 10.5 inches on an 11 inch wide x 8.5 inch tall piece of patterned paper. I creased that fold well. Then I folded the remaining width in half up to the first score line and creased that well. Using the Envelope Punch Board, I cut the notches on each end and at the center fold/score line.

Next I put quarter inch Scor-Tape on the edges where the bag would be adhered.  I cut the small flap of excess paper away for a smoother fold and put the bottoms together removing the release paper. You could use any kind of double sided tape or adhesive.  I just happen to like Scor-Tape because it is strong and holds well. Next I tucked in the side flap and pulled away the release paper from the Scor-Tape to make my basic bag shape.

I used a scallop border die to cut across the top for the decorative edge.  This is another die that I have had for a number of years, but you can find these beautiful scallop border dies at Simon Says Stamp. Now we have a gift sack or bag that can be made from any paper you already have.  I chose to make this sample one in a bright/different color than the rest of my project so you could see how I did it (I hope).

On my Valentine Project, I used a 12 x 12 piece of patterned paper so I cut away the 2.5 inches of excess paper from the top of my gift sack before I cut the scalloped edge and used those pieces to make a paper medallion to go behind the embossed heart. The heart is an old die I have had for a number of years and has always been a favorite of mine.  It "lives" in a dish on my die cutting table. I cut it from Gold Foiled Cardstock and used some of the stretchy gold cord to make the hanger for my paper medallion. Hot Glue is the best adhesive for this particular thing because it is super sturdy and dries super fast. I used Silver & Black wired ribbon to tie around my food treat bags because it was the right color, not because it was wired. *Ü*  Those Pink, Red & White treats are Jumbo M&M's with Valentine sayings on them like "Hug Me", "Kiss Me" etc.  I'd never seen them before but I thought they were super cute! There's even a heart shaped lollipop in the gift bag.

Make sure to stop over at the Simon Says Stamp Blog to see all the projects from the design team and also to check out all the entries over at the Link-Up.  There will be so many interpretations for this theme and my favorite part is seeing how everyone else interpreted it.  I always get new ideas from this!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Papertrey Ink Make it Monday #271 - A La Carte

Card by ©Anna Kossakovskaya
Card by ©Diana K
For this week's Make It Monday #271, we can choose any of the previous year's techniques to create our card. I chose Betsy Veldman's Make it Monday #269: Embossed and Outlined Backgrounds.  I was happy with the project I did initially, but I was over the moon for these two cards that were entered into the challenge from other card makers I wanted to create my own version.  I love the soft color both of these ladies used, and I wanted to try that although I didn't success nearly as well. Well I did, but I couldn't get an accurate photograph so I applied more color.  One of the best things about card making is that there are so many incredible "artists" out there to inspire you. That is what both of these ladies did for me.

Hands of Time is one of my favorite Papertrey Ink Stamp Sets but I also love the soft pink Diana used so my intent was to try to make one card incorporating both things. Most card makers would not claim to be artists although some do have an art background.  But many more (just like me) are just trying to make something lovely to send to a friend or loved one. It's the personal, "made for you" touch that folks like more than it's about the artwork.

For my card, I stamped the clock faces from Hands of Time onto watercolor paper using Versamark and heat set it using Ranger Gold Embossing Powder. Next I stamped the hands of the clocks and finally the greeting.  I carefully went around the clock faces with a C1 Copic Marker which is the lightest grey. Initially I used a light pink Copic Marker, but I like the contrast of the neutral grey better. Once that was done, I used a Mini Ink Blending Tool to add Lovely Lady Ink to the panel being careful to preserve the soft white color of the clock faces.  Once the ink was dry, I gave it all a good spritz with Tsukineko Sparkle Sheer Shimmer Spritz.  For the clock faces, I added a heavier concentration of shimmer by using my Wink of Stella Glitter Brush Pen and put a pearl at the center of the hands on both clock faces.  This made for a fast and easy card that has high impact.

Be sure to stop over and visit the Papertrey Ink Blog!  Today is Day 2 of posts from the Design Team for Release Week and there's lots to check out over there. This is my last post before CHA as we are doing a bit of visiting with our Kansas friends as well as some sight-seeing on our way to Phoenix.  I have two more blog posts for the "Designer in the Spotlight" on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog for January 2017 that I hope you'll enjoy; one next Wednesday, January 18th and another on Wednesday, January 25th.  I hope you'll come back.  Meanwhile, I'll be posting photos once CHA starts!  Make sure to follow me on Instagram to see everything.  I'm excited to meet other card makers there. I can't wait to see what awaits us all in 2017 and I'm pretty sure Tim Holtz will be the first booth I check out once I get there.  I've been watching his sneak peeks on Facebook Live all week and can't wait to see the products in person. Have a great rest of the week everyone!

Winter Birthday Greetings

Hello!  It's a new week at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and my 2nd of 4 weeks as the Designer in the Spotlight. This week we are featuring Lawn Fawn Products with a Winter Birthday Theme. You don't have to use them to join in, but if you have some, we would love to see them used.

Lawn Fawn does such fantastic plaids and I love this Grey, Teal and White Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid Winter Petite Paper. This is a 6 x 6 paper pad that has been scaled down from the 12 x 12 version but if I was still making scrapbooks, I love the larger sized plaids as well.  There are gorgeous Christmas, Fall and Springtime plaids as well and you can see them here. Lawn Fawn also makes my favorite acrylic blocks which have finger grooves on the sides and an etched grid to assist in lining up your stamps.  Since the grid is etched, it won't wipe off as you clean your blocks.

For my card, I started with one of the patterns in the Lawn Fawn Winter Plaid Collection and chose my other colors, Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue and Simon Says Stamp Slate Grey Cardstock, based on that. One of my favorite things to use for masculine cards is plaid paper.  In fact, I use very little patterned paper otherwise.  Most of the time if it's a plaid, then it will work for a guy.  My card could be used for either masculine or feminine except for one little embellishment that I put on it at the last minute, but we'll come back to that later. *Ü*

My card base is made from Simon Says Stamp Slate Grey Cardstock in a top folding A2 size.  Next I die cut an Avery Elle Postage Stamp Die from Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue Cardstock.  This leaves you with 2 pieces - an outer frame and an inner rectangle.  I cut another one of these from the Winter Plaid Paper so that I could put the plaid rectangle on the inside of the Postage Stamp Frame.  I cut a piece of Fun Foam slightly smaller than the inner rectangle and attached that to the plaid rectangle using ¼ inch Scor-Tape.  I find that tape runner is a little bit difficult to use on Fun Foam so double sided adhesive is less frustrating for me.  You can use tape runner or whatever adhesive you have available. Next, I adhered the frame to the card base using Ranger Multi Medium Matte and followed that by attaching the inner rectangle also using Multi Medium Matte since I had it handy.  I have two bottles of this at all times sitting upside down in my jumbo cup that I keep my main tools in.  For ease of use, I have Scrap-Perfect No Clog Writing Tips on them.

 I die cut three of the Impression Obsession "Wishes" from Audrey Blue Cardstock to make a thicker embellishment.  In order to increase the intensity of the top layer, I inked it up a Mini Ink Blending Tool using Audrey Blue Ink a couple of times to deepen the color.  Using the Impression Obsession Wishes Stamp Set I stamped the "Sending Birthday" in Versafine Onyx Black Ink and heat set it with Simon Says Stamp Clear Embossing Powder.  I much prefer this method over using black embossing powder or even regular black ink.  I'm a little funny because it bugs me when my stamps get stained but Versafine, which is a pigment ink, does not stain. I suppose it might eventually, but so far, it hasn't. Simon Inks are so pigmented and rich in color, that they can really stain your stamps. That's just the nature of high quality photo-polymer but for that reason, I typically use Distress Inks or some of the other inks I have that don't stain as much.  Yes, I know I'm a goofball!

Once I had the card assembled, I felt that a crisp white snowflake would be just the right touch for this Winter Birthday Card so I cut an Eliza Snowflake from a scrap of crisp white cardstock and attached it by adding Ranger Multi Medium Matte around the innermost ring of the snowflake. Eliza is my favorite of all the Simon Says Stamp Snowflake Dies. After that I misted the whole front of the card with Tsukineko Sheer Sparkle Shimmer Spritz.  Since this card is for one of my daughters whose birthday is January 21st, I couldn't help but adhere a tiny little genuine Sworovski Crystal right in the center of the snowflake.  *Ü* Actually, I would have liked it a lot more if I'd had a bigger one to put on there.  

Thank you for spending a little time with me today on my blog and be sure to enter your project at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog link-up for your chance to win a $50.00 Gift Voucher from the Simon Says Stamp Store.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

One Card for 3 Challenges

It's not very often that I have a card that works for 3 challenges but I do today and I'm so excited.  I am playing at The Fusion Card Challenge, Double D Challenges and CAS (Clean and Simple) on Sunday Challenges.

The image on the left is the inspiration image from The Fusion Card Challenge. Jennifer McGuire even played at The Fusion this week!  We haven't yet gotten our first snow here in Northeastern Oklahoma, but it went all around us last week and even schools were closed on Friday! My daughter even had a little snow in Texas but so far, none for us. CAS on Sunday's theme this week is Black and White with one color of our choosing.  I used Pure Poppy Ink from Papertrey Ink.

The Double D Challenge is having it's 3rd Anniversary this week. Since my grandson, Charlie, is about to have the "Anniversary" of his birthday, I went in that direction with this challenge by using numbers from the Bookprint #'s Die. I don't have the Bookprint Alphabet Dies but I plan to put them on my Wish List now.  I also used the Customer Appreciation gift, Celebrate Big, from Papertrey Ink.  I wasn't sure I would like this set because it isn't my usual style but I qualified to get one so I wanted to try it out. I LOVE it! By using the negative from the die cut with the MISTI, it was very easy to line it up for stamping.

The stamps and dies are all together in this set and I used Papertrey Ink's True Black and Pure Poppy Inks to do all of the stamping. It was so easy to do the banners with the clever way Nichole designed this set. There are also a few little filler images that I didn't use today. With the background paper, it wouldn't have been noticeable but I plan to use them soon.

This set is only available for a short time with a qualifying purchase so hurry if you want to get one for yourself.

I used Papertrey Ink's Stamper's Select White Cardstock and True Black Cardstock with a piece of Creative Memories Gingham that I have had for close to 20 years!  As usual, I used my Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Dies in the largest size to cut the white mat.

I hope to get a couple of other projects up this week.  I'll be gone for a couple of weeks this month (I'm so excited to be attending CHA), but I have projects for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Designer in the Spotlight each Wednesday.  The projects are finished and the blog posts scheduled.  Be sure to stop by as my last two blog posts feature some Valentine's Day projects.  My post for January 25th is my favorite of the ones I've made so far this year.

I'll be taking lots of notes at CHA about new products that are coming although I confess I am most excited about seeing Tim Holtz and hearing about the new "Distress" items coming to market in 2017!

Thank you so much for stopping by today. The kind and encouraging comments you leave for me are so appreciated and treasured.  I hope you'll be back soon!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Inspired By All The Little Things #38

Inspired By All the Little Things is starting the new year with a beautiful challenge inspiration photo. Isn't this just the most elegant setting?  It uses Pink and Mauve with Metallic Gold so you know that I love this look. Roses are always a classic look although I didn't use them today. You all might get sick of seeing me use this set!

I love the color of the drapes on the chairs so that was my starting point for today's card. I also love the sheer elegance of the entire image. I've been playing for the last few days with a gorgeous new stamp and die from Papertrey Ink called Fresh Bouquet with the Fresh Bouquet Die.  I am so enamored with this set.  As a girl who loves to heat emboss, this set is right up my ally.  The entire outline can be stamped with Versamark and heat embossed all at once (no masking required) and then you can stamp the individual layers in the various colors. You could also stamp the outline in the color of your choosing (such as Black), it's just that I really love gold heat embossing! That is what I did here using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder on Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  Next I stamped the floral layers with Papertrey Ink Lavender Moon, Altenew Puffy Heart and Purple Wine Inks. I used Altenew's Forest Glades for the greenery.  I'm still trying to familiarize myself with the Altenew Inks and the colors vs. the names. I have the stuff to make a swatch book, I just haven't done it yet.  I'm thinking that might need to happen sooner rather than later.

I cut the card base from Lavender Moon Cardstock using the Noted: Scalloped A2 Vertical Dies. While the name would make you think this is a shade of lavender, it actually works better with most blue based pinks like Lovely Lady, Hibiscus Burst, Raspberry Fizz, etc. Autumn Rose looks particularly nice!  I haven't mentioned it for a while but Papertrey Cardstocks are heavyweight, 110# super smooth cardstock. The quality simply can't be beat and the price is also fantastic. Colored cardstock is $5.00 for 24 sheets.  Stamper's Select White Cardstock is $6.00 for 40 sheets.

I wanted to make several of these cards to send to some of my girlfriends.  I don't live near any of my long time girlfriends and it is often hard to stay connected with so many miles and activities between us.  Everyone is busy with their own families and we just kind of drift away from each other. Sending cards is a great way to stay connected to them and remind them that I'm only a phone call away.

On this particular card (although I made several) I used foam tape on the white background panel and the floral bouquet. I adhered the sentiment and the little hearts directly to the background panel using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

If you get a chance, be sure to stop by the Inspired By All the Little Things Blog to check out all of the Design Team's Projects. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today. If you'd like to leave a comment, I really enjoy reading them. Have a great weekend, everyone! 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Starting Afresh

Today I sat down and got out some previously unused items for the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge "Start Afresh". The idea is to take something out of the package that hasn't been used before and see what you can make. For me, this meant I had time to play with a few things that I haven't had a chance to before now.  A few months back I got several sets of the Altenew Cube Inks that come in Color Families. While I have used most of the colors at least once I hadn't done any layered stamping to see how well the colors go together.

For the stamping I did today, I used the three lightest shades of the families Rose Petal, Glacier Caves and Cool Summer Nights.  I have 8 different sets of these cubes encompassing nearly every color group except yellows and greys. I have those colors in other brands of ink, but today was only about trying out the families of Altenew Inks. The containers I use for Distress Ink Cubes and Altenew Ink Cubes hold 32 colors each, so I'd have to add another container in order to expand either of those sets. This 5 drawer chest is on my wish list. I'm really good with the inks I have right now.  I have some larger style pads but I love the ink cubes for using with my MISTI tool as I have a tendency to drop the larger size pads.  They are also great to use for techniques and the Altenew Inks share many of the same characteristics as Distress Inks.  They blend well and easily, they are great to use for watercolor techniques, and they are easily distressed by adding water via spray or droplets.  I don't personally care for too much of that look but I like to keep my options open to include everything.

I want to spend just a few minutes talking about the Altenew Ink Cubes. These are, like many others out there, 1 x 1 inch raised felt ink pads.  The biggest and most important difference for me is how incredibly well the Altenew Inks keep their lids on. They "snap" on tighter one way vs. the other, so if I don't feel I got that snap, I rotate it 90 degrees and do it again.  I have never had an Altenew Ink Cube lid pop off (so far).  Even Distress Inks lose their lids from time to time and if you don't notice right away, it can dry out your pad.  I keep reinkers for my most used Distress Inks (Pinks and Purples) and also for all of my Papertrey Ink Cubes. Altenew's Reinkers come in individual colors or in the sets of four colors from the coordinating sets that can be bought together.  It's a pretty significant investment of funds so I haven't done that yet but when I do, I'm pretty sure I will start with the Rose Petals family of colors given my love for pink.  I really love how clear and transparent the Altenew Inks are as well.  For me, different inks accomplish different things so you have to know what you are looking for.  Simon Says Stamp Inks for example, are highly pigmented and give you deep rich color. Distress Inks require multiple layer stamping to get the deeper tones.

It's a little bit hard to figure out or narrow down your choices if you are just getting started with making cards. I chose the inks I wanted to try by asking lots of questions from some of my favorite designers.  I also try to stick to one or two lines of inks.  WPLUS9, Simon Says Stamp and Hero Arts Inks are all manufactured by the same company and have the same properties so it probably isn't necessary to buy all three lines.  There are so many inks to choose from out there but a good place to start is by watching Jennifer McGuire's Ink Comparison Video here.

I also pulled out a December release stamp set called Fresh Bouquet along with the Fresh Bouquet Coordinating Die from Papertrey Ink.  This may seem like a simple set but it is not to be underestimated. One of the great things about this stamp set is that it contains an outline image for the floral grouping and then individual layers for the various parts of the bouquet. If you're like me and love heat embossing, this set is genius.  It was designed by Nichole Heady and I hope she'll be doing more of this style in the future.  I love to watercolor but I don't always have the time to do it.  This stamp set gives me the best of both worlds!

The bouquet on this card was created using the Rose Petals Inks in Rose Quartz and Puffy Heart and the berries were done in Lavender Fields which is part of the Shades of Purple Family with the leaves stamped in Forest Glades.

This bouquet was stamped in the Cool Summer Nights family using the Sea Glass, Ocean Waves and Dusk inks.  Forest glades was again used for the greenery.  For these florals, I die cut the bouquet first, then heat embossed the outline image using Versamark with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  The sentiments are from Papertrey Ink's Big Basics Die Collection.  All of the sentiments in this collection are large and impactful but you can pick and choose which ones work for you.  The little hearts are from the Simon Says Stamp Mini Hearts Die.  The card base is made from Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue Cardstock with the Noted: A2 Scalloped Notecard Die.

Thank you so much for coming by today.  I hope you enjoyed my observations on Altenew Inks and I'd love to see what you make.  Your kind and encouraging comments are very much appreciated and I hope you'll take time to leave me one. Happy Friday everyone!