My last index card – Sweet Stems

My last index card I needed to make for Splitcoast Stampers was for the stamp set Sweet Stems.  I was hesitent to buy this set because I had bought and regreted Pocket Silhouettes, another small flower set.  However, after looking at the stamp set and all the coordinating items (besides the stamp set you have matching paper – Tea Party – which has some cute designs, and an embosslit which will emboss one of the flower images), I’ve decided this set is more my style and a bit more fun.  I guess the natural looking sets are just not for me. 

Anyway, as part of my new catalog order, I also ordered the small oval punch which I’ve been wanting for a while.  So, it all came together as a chance for me to try out this design I’ve been eyeing for a while.  Sure, I could have added a bunch of layers, but it was nice to make something really simple and straightforward.  I made sure to place the vases just below the bottom of the stamped image so what you see with the flowers is exactly what you get.  Oh yeah, and if you haven’t tried sponging yet, you totally should.  Its super easy, adds neat texture, and is fun to do!

 sweet_stems_index_wm

And one other tip.  I have both blender pens and an aqua pen.  I most often use the technique of lifting color from the lid of an ink pad and coloring in a stamped image, and I never quite new which to use when.  So, I used this card as an opportunity to play with both of them. 

What I realized is that the aqua pen is good for adding colors lightly and for a true watercoloring effect.  Blender pens are great for slightly richer colors (pink pirouette will actually show up using a blender pen) and are the right tool for the job when coloring in small spaces.  The aqua pen, being based on water, has a tendancy to bleed which is fine if you are coloring in a slightly larger space, but is not nearly so great for small dots and the like.  (I’m sure using real watercolor paper helps this though).  And I believe you can turn blender pens into markers by using a reinker to dye the end of the pen, though I haven’t tried this yet. 

So, my tip – use blender pens for precision work, you will be much happier with the result.

And now for a little bit of muzak

Well, I finished my last index card last night and had a lot of fun with it.  It is one of my rare, very simple cards.  No layers even!  Unfortunately, I waited until this morning to try to take a picture of the card before work (I’ve found the early morning light tends to be good lighting for pictures).  Sadly, we had a ton of fog and so none of my pictures turn out.  So, I’m waiting until tomorrow to try again.  Until that time…. here is my version of muzak — a non-stamping post.  I promise to get back to the stamping stuff tomorrow! 🙂

 

My story of the new haircut:

 

I’ve started getting into the bad habit of all of the sudden looking in the mirror, deciding my hair has turned into an emergency and I must get it colored/cut/styled asap.  That happened to me yesterday and so this afternoon I made an appointment for this evening for a haircut.  Of course, it being so last minute, I had no idea what I wanted other than “better than it is now”.  My stylist showed me a picture of a cute bob and I thought “what the heck” and said sure.  Unfortunately, the part I didn’t think about too well is that this hair style has bangs.  Not in the traditional blunt cut across the eyebrows way, but the sideswept, falling into your eyes kind of way.  I realized the full consequence of this when I saw all the hair falling to the floor and now am brushing my bangs to the side ever two minutes.  The worst part though, was that I was still adjusting to the haircut when my husband and I met up after he got off work.  His response? 

Him: “Did you get your haircut?” 

Me:  “Yep”. 

Him:  “Um….okaay”.   Sigh. 

I still don’t quite recognize myself in the mirror, but I think I’m going to like it tomorrow.  I think the problem is that this is a hipper haircut than I’m used to. 
But what is true in crafting is true in hair — try something different and new, it may not be perfect the first time, but you may turn out with something great you never would have thought to try.

Thank You Kindly Index Card and the Philosophy of Card Fronts

For a while now, I’ve been a member of the card front club.  That is, someone who participates in card front swaps and who creates card fronts when making new card projects.  I always told myself, “I’m saving cardstock this way” and some folks say it saves a lot of room when storing your cards.  cardfront_projectIt made perfect sense, right? Well, I realized that I’m not nearly as organized as I’d like to be and often I’m just grabbing a card last minute from my stash.  (Thankfully, I have a large enough stash, I can still tailor my choice to the recipient.)  In any event, I like to have my cards ready to go so I only have to write on the inside and put it in an envelope. 

So, this weekend I started project “turn cardfronts into cards”.  Over the course of three nights, I cut, scored, folded, and glued card bases to 46 of my cardfronts.  And last night, I finished the last card.  It was during this time that I realized that I like how cards look better when I go ahead and use a half sheet of cardstock for the card base instead of making a card front and later trying to line-up the front on a separately cut base (I wasn’t so good at that sometimes).  Plus, while I might be saving a few cents not using as much colored cardstock, sometimes it really does look nicer to have the color for the base (I even used a half sheet of colored cardstock for some of my cardfronts – definitely using more cardstock that way!).  So, now I’ve swung over to the “just do it” camp and will leave card fronts for pretty much swaps and special uses only.  I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on this topic though.  What do you like better?

 

Once that was all done last night, I didn’t have much time or energy for much else.  So, I tried working on my index card project.  I picked up my Thank You Kindly and some paper and got to work. 

thankyoukindly_index

This was one of those times that you think you have a great card idea and as soon as you start stamping you realize that “great” isn’t quite the right adjective. 🙂  It also doesn’t help when you cut your cardstock and then realize you totally cut at the wrong sizes!  So, I kept tweaking it as I went until I got to the point where I knew it needed something but everything seemed too much.  So, I finally went with putting on the button latte buttons (I love, love, love these buttons!!!) because the empty space was driving me nuts.  So, while its not my most shining work, its not bad for a card that had to use every thank you sentiment in the stamp set and no other stamp set period.  I call this one good enough and will be moving on tonight to Simple Stems. I’m feeling a little more optimistic about that set.   

 

And yes, for those of you who left comments about my Video Game Live concert experience.  You are right, I had a camera. 🙂 Though the host actually encouraged use of recording devices at one point, so I don’t really feel bad.  Unfortunately, my pictures were mostly blurry so I can really only share the costume contest line up.  These were concert goers who dressed up for fun, glory, or a prize.

vglive_sm vglive2_sm

Blast from the past cards

Yesterday, I was invited by a nearby demo to come stamp with her and a couple of her ladies in a casual afternoon of card making. (thanks, Lisa!)  I had never met her before, but I was excited to meet other stamping ladies from the area.  First off, I am so jealous of her workspace. 🙂  She has a large, long room that is all stamping, all the time in her upstairs.  Everything is perfectly put away in organized drawers, shelves, and hanging on the walls. Plus she had the coolest metal decortation on her wall that held cards. So everywhere you looked was something inspiring. I definitey need to do something like that.

all-my-love

I ended up making 4 cards using a mix of new and retired elements. I realized that I keep reaching for my new stuff when working on projects but that I have a lot of neat old stuff too. Just because something is retired doesn’t mean it isn’t great., right? Anyway, time for me to run to work. Happy Monday!

wishingthebest

always_sponged

always_tag

My first blog award!

blog_awardSo, this last week, I was honored to be nominated for my first blog award!  Thank you, Tracy, for the award, it really made my day! 🙂 

Here are the rules for this award:

  • Add the logo to your blog
  • Link the person from whom you receive the award from (hi Tracy)
  • Nominate several people
  • Leave a message on their blog

There are so many awesome blogs and talented folks out there, its hard to come up with a list.  But here are a few of the many that I find inspiration from:

And, of course, all the many fantastic SCS blogs I have listed on the right hand column of my blog.  (You ladies are fabulous!)  You should check them all out.  🙂 

Also, I’m always trying to figure out how to make my blog better and more interesting to visit, so if anyone has any tips or things you want to see, I’d love to hear your comments.   Happy Sunday!

A stamping snack to tide you over

I finished my first week on the new job and then saturday did a day trip to Seattle to hand off some stampin catalogs and then go to the geekiest of all concerts – Video Game Live.  Yes, it is a concert at one of the large broadway theaters where there was a choir and orchestra performing soundtrack and theme music to video games of the last 15 years.  It was a complete blast!  My DH and I went with a large group of friends, which made it even more fun.  So, now I’m back and have designated Sunday “crafting day” where I am going to try to make progress on some of my projects.  But until I can get them posted, I wanted to say hello and leave you with a few more swaps I received that I think are great. 

Created by Cindy Starns.  I love the use of the build-a-brad!

Created by Cindy Starns. I love the use of the build-a-brad!

Created by Michelle Canzano.  Ok, so where do I start on all the neat things about this card? The new cool Cosmo fine glitter? The great use of the hostess set itty bitty buds? (that was a lot of hand cutting, but it's a great effect) Of the way she used the large heart from the Love You Much stamp set as a background image.  Overall, a great card!

Created by Michelle Canzano. Ok, so where do I start on all the neat things about this card? The new cool Cosmo fine glitter? The great use of the hostess set itty bitty buds? (that was a lot of hand cutting, but it's a great effect) Of the way she used the large heart from the Love You Much stamp set as a background image. Overall, a great card!

A Splitcoast Stampers Index Card – Game Night

Ok, so I’m not making any promises about how often I’m normally going to post during the week, but I have an interesting challenge ahead of me and I just had to get started last night. 

game_night_index

If you have ever been to the splitcoaststampers website, you may have seen that they have a gallery of project images organized by stamp set.  Since any card or project can be uploaded to a given stamp set gallery, regardless on whether you used one or tons of stamps from the set, they have what they call “gallery index cards”.  This is a cardfront that shows every single stamp from the given stamp set and no other stamps.  That way, someone who is curious what is included with say…Thank You Kindly, can see that it includes exactly 4 different thank you sentiments. 

Now, because there are hundreds of stamp sets out there, they have asked for help creating index cards for some of the new stamp sets.  I agreed to do three – Thank You Kindly, Sweet Stems, and Game Night.  So, here is the challenge.  I didn’t want to make index cards that were just stamps on a cardfront.  I wanted to see if I could make it look like a card you might actually give someone.  So, with that in mind, I mounted my new stamps and started with Game Night.  This stamp set makes me think of Las Vegas, and Las Vegas makes me think of gambling, and gambling makes me think of green and red.  And so… my index card colors were chosen and I came away with this: