Bear Hugs

Our youngest son left to go back to college at the beginning of this week. Our oldest leaves in September (his school is on the quarter system, so they start later and get out later than schools on the semester system) – we’re not in full “empty nest” mode yet.

I had my youngest son in mind when I created a card for the Retrosketches #24 sketch challenge.

I set out to create a masculine-looking card in fall colors. I paired camping-themed papers from American Crafts with dry-embossed brown cardstock. It was my first time using the A Muse Studio impression plate. In fact, it was the first time I’ve ever used an impression plate. (I have several embossing folders that I use on a regular basis). I tried several Big Shot sandwich formulas before finding one that worked. I sanded the paper after embossing it to bring out the woodgrain.

RetroSketchesBear

Supplies: Paper Smooches Happy Camper stamp set; A Muse Studio impression plate; Papers: Echo Park; Stampin’ Up; Neenah; American Crafts; Fiskars punch; Spellbinders circle dies; Versamark ink; Stampin Up’ embossing powder

Neat and Tangled “Fresh Blooms”

This past weekend I had a chance to play with the Neat & Tangled “Fresh Blooms” stamp set. With the hint of fall in the air, I find myself turning more and more towards autumn colors in my paper crafting. I used a combination of Distress Inks – Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade and a touch of Barn Door – to color the heat-embossed flowers. I’m already looking forward to using these blooms for some holiday-themed cards and projects.

Fresh Blooms

Supplies: Neat & Tangled Fresh Blooms stamps; Distress inks – Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Barn Door, Peeled Paint, Shabby Shutters; Neenah cardstock; Stampin’ Up embossing powder

Neat & Tangled Release Week – Just Hello

The Just Hello stamp set is extremely versatile. For my first card, I took a chalk-on-chalkboard approach by white embossing the stamp set’s graphics and sentiments (in Danielle Walls’ adorable handwriting) onto black cardstock.
JMJustHello-blog
Supplies: Neat & Tangled Just Hello stamp set; black cardstock; Fancy Pants patterned paper; Bo Bunny paper (teal); Versamark ink; Hero Arts embossing powder; Basic Grey button; Divine twine

For my second Just Hello card, I created a square card with a similar set of colors. I happen to really like the turquoise, black and white color combination.

JMJustHello2-blog

Supplies: Neat & Tangled Just Hello stamp set; Neenah cardstock (white); Hero Arts cardstock (turquoise); black cardstock; Versamark ink; Hero Arts embossing powder; MFT conversation die; Basic Grey button; Divine twine

Don’t forget to head over to the Neat & Tangled Blog to enter today’s giveaway – the winner will receive a Neat & Tangled stamp set of their choice. This week’s featured stamp sets will be available for purchase at the Neat & Tangled store tomorrow, Friday, August 10.

CAS-ual Fridays – On Cloud 9

This week the CAS-ual Fridays challenge is to create a Clean And Simple project featuring things you’d see in the sky.

My mind went wild imagining a variety of scenes from many different viewpoints. But alas, given that I needed to craft my image from stamps, there were some limitations! We had amazing weather this past weekend in the Pacific Northwest, and my husband and I took a long walk with our golden retriever on Whidbey Island. I snapped this photo of two evergreens against the clear sky as my inspiration for the challenge.

PNWCloud9

For my card, I white embossed the tree from the Lawn Fawn Critters in the Forest set a couple of times and colored the trees with distress inks. I white embossed the set’s dragonfly, (there are dozens of dragonflies buzzing around when the sun shines), colored the sky with distress ink, and then used markers to color the dragonfly.

CASCloud9-blog

Supplies: Lawn Fawn Say Cheese stamp set; Lawn Fawn Critters in the Forest stamp set; Sizzix embossing folder; Versamark ink; Hero Arts white embossing powder; Distress inks; Memento markers

Neat & Tangled Release Week

I’m so excited to be part of the design team for Neat & Tangled Stamps, featuring hand-drawn, heart-warming images and sentiments by Danielle Walls. The stamps are made from high-quality, clear photopolymer.

I had a lot of fun working with the Hey Cookie and Sweet Home stamp sets. I didn’t actually bake gingerbread as I prepared my cards, but I did buy gingerbread cookies to get into a holiday frame of mind!

For my first card, I envisioned a cup of hot cocoa and a peppermint stick with my color choices of cocoa brown, red and white. The white embossed images stand out crisply on the cardstock. I put a grommet through the top of the stamped house and added silver cord.

JMSweetHome2-blog

Supplies: Neat & Tangled Hey Cookie and Sweet Home stamp sets; Stampin’ Up cardstock; Versamark ink; Hero Arts white embossing powder; Making Memories grommet; silver cord

I enjoy paper piecing, and for my second card using the Sweet Home set, I created a scene primarily using Echo Park patterned papers. I love this house so much I want to move in!

JMSweetHome1-blog

Supplies: Neat & Tangled Sweet Home stamp set; Echo Park patterned paper; Stampin’ Up and Neenah cardstock; Versamark ink; Hero Arts white embossing powder; Hero Arts midtone ink; Distress ink; machine stitching

The Hey Cookie people are simply adorable. I stamped and embossed the pair onto cocoa cardstock and added them to a die cut tag. Those are Pepperidge Farm gingerbread people inside the box, wink.

JMHeyCookie-blog

Supplies: Neat & Tangled Hey Cookie stamp set; Echo Park patterned paper; MFT tag die; Stampin’ Up and Neenah cardstock; Versamark ink; Hero Arts white embossing powder; Hero Arts midtone ink; Doodlebug twine; Michaels treat box

Head over to the Neat & Tangled Blog to enter today’s giveaway – the winner will receive a Neat & Tangled stamp set of their choice. And be sure to visit there all week to see the rest of the releases, enter additional giveaways, as well as check out the inspiration from the design team and guest artists. This week’s featured stamp sets will be available for purchase at the Neat & Tangled store on Friday, August 10.

CAS-ual Fridays Challenge #63

This week the CAS-ual Friday challenge is to create a Clean And Simple project using the colors-lime, aqua & navy.

I almost always enjoy color challenges and had some time to take two different approaches with my submissions.

The first uses one of my favorite Paper Smooches sets – “Reflections.”

CASJuly272912

Supplies: Paper Smooches Reflections; Paper Smooches Simply Said; Memento + Archival inks

My second approach was a happy accident. I don’t own a nesting star die set; I own a Sizzix set that has four stars on one block. It took some finagling to position the banner strip in just the right place on the star die. I had planned to adhere the three banner strips to the card and have the negative space be empty. In other words, the stars would be the white of the cardstock underneath. But when I saw that the punched stars could be put back into the banner die strips, I decided I liked that idea better.

CASCongrats

Supplies: Echo Park papers; Paper Smooches Simply Said; MFT banner die; Sizzix star die; Memento ink

Stretch Your Stamps: Hero Arts Paper Cottage

I finally had a chance to make another card m the Stretch Your Stamps course, which finished up last week. This card was inspired by one of Kristina Werner’s. She used a different background stamp, a reverse stamp, giving a dramatic look.

I have only used this Hero Arts Basic Grey Paper Cottage collection background once before. It’s quite whimsical. For this card, I colored the stamped images with Copic markers. I had a hard time choosing which colors to use for which objects and felt frustrated with my lack of some softer Copics colors. I’m not a huge fan of purple, yet it seems I used that color the most! Well, the card is super simple to make, so another day I’ll color the image differently or try colored pencils.

Paper Cottage

Supplies: Echo Park papers; Paper Smooches Simply Said; MFT banner die; Sizzix star die; Memento ink

Another Lawnscaping Card

As I grow more confident in my cardmaking and stamping skills, I’ve loosened up a bit on my cardmaking style. In the beginning, I tended to make traditional cards, and I didn’t make any scene cards or cards that mixed stamp sets. After taking  a second look at the inspiration photo for Lawnscaping Challenge #38, I decided to make a party card, as well as draw out more of the colors in the photo.

BirthdayBreakfast

Supplies: Lawn Fawn hats off to you; Lawn Fawn love ‘n breakfast; Lawn Fawn grand greetings; Stampin’ Up cardstock; Echo Park Hello Summer patterened paper ; Divine Twine; MFT banner die

Another CAS-ual Fridays Card

Made one more card for the CAS-ual Fridays challenge this week. I created an origami sailboat using paper stamped with the  Hero Arts newsprint background and red paper. I used the My Favorite Things Die-namics Wonky Scallop Border to create ocean waves and finished with a sentiment from Bring on the Sun by Ali Edwards for Technique Tuesday.

Newsprint Boat