Friday, April 29, 2011

No Brads, No Ribbon, No Sparkle - Oh My!

I'm going back to the basics with this card - just stamps, ink and paper. It's easy to do with the variety of patterned paper available through Stampin' Up! This card uses Concord Crush from the In Color Designer Series Paper Patterns Pack, which is a Level 1 Hostess item. I paired the paper with the birthday cake image from Bring On the Cake in the 2011 Occasions Mini Catalog. The layout is SC277 from the Splitcoaststampers Wednesday Card Sketch challenge. Remember that April 30th is the last day you can order from the Occasions Mini Catalog; just click on the Online Ordering link to place an order!

Stamps: Bring On the Cake
Paper: Concord Crush & Whisper White cardstock; Concord Crush patterned paper
Ink: Concord Crush & Tangerine Tango markers
Accessories: Stampin' Dimensionals

Hope you have a sweet weekend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Very Purse-onal Wishes

Don't you just love it when you can find new and unique uses for something? That was the case with the Build a Cupcake Punch in the 2011 Occasions Mini Catalog. While browsing stamping blogs, I came across a card made by SU demo Lisa Martz where she used the cupcake bottom to make a purse. Genius! I wish I would have thought of it, but since I didn't I just took her idea and made it my own on this birthday card. If you want to make your own cute little purses using this punch, you need to order now, as it's only available until April 30th!

Stamps: Bring on the Cake (Occasions Mini)
Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White, Marina Mist, Rose Red & Wild Wasabi cardstock; Marina Mist, Rose Red & Wild Wasabi Patterns Designer Series Paper
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Elegant Bouquet embossing folder, Build a Cupcake Punch, Decorative Label punch, 3/4" & 1/2" circle punches, 1-3/8"x5/8" oval punch, Basic Pearls, Stampin Dimensionals

Hope you have a sweet day!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Where is Spring?

Here in central Minnesota we woke up to snow this morning, and it was still lightly snowing as I drove the 30 miles to work. Thankfully it melted quite quickly, but the temperature remains cool. Usually by this time of year I see colorful tulips blooming in gardens all over, but to date I haven't been able to spot any. What is Easter without tulips? I solved that problem by making my own little Easter basket of blooming tulips! This would make a nice little centerpiece on your table this weekend, and it's so easy to do. I used the Two-Step Owl punch - yes, the owl punch! -  to make these cute tulips. Just punch out two "owl bodies" in whatever color cardstock you like and trim off the "feet." Then cut one piece in half, and trim the two pieces down so each one looks kind of like a big comma. Then sponge around the edges with coordinating ink, and adhere to the front of the other body piece. Instant tulip! I ran a strip of adhesive down the back center of the tulip and then stuck a plastic stir stick to the adhesive to create a stem, and then "planted" my tulips in a basket filled with jelly beans. Even though spring is making a late appearance this year, I now have my own little cardstock tulips to keep me company as I patiently wait for the real ones to appear!

Paper: Wild Wasabi textured cardstock; Baja Breeze, Riding Hood Red & So Saffron smooth cardstock
Ink: Baja Breeze, Riding Hood Red & So Saffron
Accessories: Two-Step Owl XL punch, Big Shot, Baskets & Blooms Bigz XL die, Stamping Sponge wedge, Sticky Strip (for basket)

Hope you have a sweetly blessed Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Challenging Cupcake

I bet you're wondering how a cupcake can be challenging! Well, creating this card was quite a challenge for me as I had to step outside - WAY outside - of my comfort zone with this layout, as it is SO not my "normal" style. Every so often I have to challenge myself to go outside of my box, otherwise I get stuck in a rut and all my creations start looking the same. This card was one of the make-n-takes at my February and March workshops, so it needed to be simple enough for even an inexperienced stamper to make, yet appealing enough to satisfy my love of color and texture - without the multitude of layers that I love to use!! I used the Create a Cupcake stamp set and coordinating Build a Cupcake punch from the 2011 Occasions Mini Catalog, and got the layout idea from one of the sample cards showcasing this set in the mini catalog (page 22). The ribbon treatment is so easy: cut a length about 1" longer than your cardstock, put two spots of adhesive on the back edges of the cardstock, and then just wrap the ribbon around and stick it to the adhesive on the back. The bow was tied and then adhered to the front with a glue dot. In real life the glitter on the cupcake top really sparkles, but was hard to capture in my photo; I'm still trying to master the art of taking good photos of my cards, so please bear with me!

Stamps: Create a Cupcake
Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Crumb Cake & Whisper White cardstock
Ink: Early Espresso & Perfect Plum
Accessories: Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Build a Cupcake Punch, 3/16" Corner Small punch, Early Espresso 1/8" taffeta ribbon, 2-Way Glue Pen, Dazzling Diamonds glitter, Mini Glue Dots, Stampin' Dimensionals

Have a sweet day!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Birthday Blues

We woke up to gray skies and snow on the ground here in central Minnesota this morning. On April 16th, three weeks into spring. If that's not enough to make someone feel blue, I don't know what is! To cheer myself up, I'm posting this springtime-pretty birthday card. Although it has a primarily blue color scheme, the soft and pretty flower paper really lightens things up. The stamp set, patterned paper, punch and embossing folder used on this card are all available in the 2011 Occasions Mini Catalog, available for order through April 30th.

To "frame" the punched sentiment, punch out two shapes from NQN cardstock, then adhere one to the back so it frames the top, and the other so it frames the bottom. This is a quick and easy way to create a frame!

The pretty bow is an idea borrowed from SU demonstrator Mary Brown, known online as StamperCamper. They are easier to make than you might think, and she has posted a great tutorial on her website here:

Stamps: Bring On the Cake
Paper: Very Vanilla, Baja Breeze & Not Quite Navy cardstock; Springtime Vintage Designer Series paper
Ink: Not Quite Navy
Accessories: Framed Tulips embossing folder, Decorative Label XL punch, Victoria Crochet Trim, Jumbo Brads 5/16" Neutrals, Stampin' Dimensionals

Hope you have a sweet day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Birdday Wishes

Brrrr...with the cold and windy weather outside it almost feels like winter is trying to make one last appearance here! Earlier in the week I had seen some robins poking around in my flower garden, but they hopefully found a warm place to hide today. I love watching the birds appear in the spring, and am hoping that the two bird houses we put up in the flower garden last summer will have occupants soon!

This card uses the bird image from Nature Walk, one of the stamp sets in the 2011 Occasions Mini Catalog. It is a quick and easy layout with a monochromatic color scheme. I always have a hard time coming up with ideas for "man" cards (cards meant to give to a male) and thought this one might be one to keep in my stash for when needed. Just a reminder that the items in the mini catalog are only available through April 30, so if you'd like to order just go to the Online Ordering link, which will take you to my Stampin' Up! website. Once there, all you have to do is click on Shop Now to order online any time of the day - or night!

Stamps: Nature Walk
Paper: Soft Suede & Very Vanilla cardstock, Elegant Soiree Designer Series patterned paper
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: 2"x1-3/8" Oval XL punch, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch, 1/16" circle punch, Neutrals brads

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bee-utiful Nature

Have I mentioned yet how much I love this year's Occasions Mini Catalog? When I saw the Nature Walk set, I just knew that it could be used to create some beautiful cards! This one uses the woodland flower and bee images, and was copied (with some variations) from a lovely card by Cindy Beech, who paired this set with the Elegant Soiree Designer Series paper on page 175 of the Idea Book & Catalog. After stamping the flower image, I sponged the background using Baja Breeze and then added some more texture using the Baja Breeze marker in the Color Spritzer Tool. In real life the background almost looks like a cloudy sky, which we've experienced a lot around here lately! The bee was stamped with Early Espresso and colored carefully with a So Saffron marker, then I trimmed around it with the paper snips and popped it up to add some dimension.
Doesn't the bee look like it's really hanging in the air? In this close-up shot, I hope you can see some of the sponging and spritzing detail in the background. The delicate flowers, colored with the Baja Breeze marker, are actually a soft bluish gray, although they look really gray in this shot.

Stamps: Nature Walk
Paper: Very Vanilla, Soft Suede & Baja Breeze cardstock, Elegant Soiree Designer Series paper
Ink: Crumb Cake & Baja Breeze markers, Early Espresso & Baja Breeze stamp pads
Accessories: Baja Breeze seam binding ribbon, Chantilly Crochet Trim, Basic Pearls, Stampin' Dimensionals, Color Spritzer Tool, paper snips

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Some Things Have to be Believed

With the delayed spring we've been experiencing here, it's hard to believe that Easter is only two weeks away. With that in mind, I'm sharing a card I created specifically for Easter. The cross is made using the Stampin' Up! Lattice Die on page 206 in the Idea Book & Catalog; I got the idea from SU demonstrator Dawn Olchefske. If you look at the die diagonally, you can see the cross image! I used textured cardstock for the cross, and trimmed away the unwanted areas of the die-cut lattice. I wanted to use a white-on-white color scheme for Easter, but by changing up the colors it would be appropriate for many other occasions, too.

Stamps: Just Believe
Paper: Whisper White textured & smooth, Daffodil Delight
Ink: Baja Breeze
Accessories: Lattice die, Elegant Bouquet embossing folder, 1-3/8" circle punch, Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack (flower), 1/4" circle punch (retired), Basic Pearls, paper snips, sponge wedges, Stampin' Dimensionals

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Valentine Defined Sunset Birds

I just had to post one more card using the Valentine Defined stamp set from the Occasions Mini Catalog! This one uses both the flamingos and flower images. I stamped both images using Basic Black, and then using the masking technique and sponges, created the "sunset from the edge of the lake" landscape. The unique card design was "borrowed" from a beautiful Christmas card created by fellow SU demonstrator Val Wiig. The base card is cut 6-1/2" x 5-1/2" and folded in half, with the rest of the layers extending over the fold on the top.

Stamps: Valentine Defined
Paper: Elegant Eggplant, Melon Mambo, Basic Black, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black, Daffodil Delight, Baja Breeze, Melon Mambo and Elegant Eggplant stamp pads
Accessories: Big Shot Die Cut Machine, Top Note die cut, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, stamping sponge wedges

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Valentine Defined Tree of Hearts

One of the many reasons why the Valentined Defined stamp set is one of my favorites is that the images in it are so versatile! I just love the tree image, and used it to make this soft and pretty anniversary card. The layout is from the Wednesday Card Sketch Challenge on; this layout is SC315. What is the sketch challenge? You take the sketch provided and use any stamp set, any accessory, and any kind of paper to make a card following the layout design. I have printed out all the card sketches and keep them in a binder, and when I'm having trouble coming up with a layout idea (which is quite often!) I look through my binder and always find several great ideas. This card uses the same basic color theme as my other two Valentine Defined cards: Sahara Sand, Blush Blossom and Pear Pizzazz. I sponged around the edges of the top and bottom layers of my tree image with Pear Pizzazz to give them a bit more definition.

Stamps: Valentine Defined, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Sahara Sand, Blush Blossom and Whisper White cardstock; Sahara Sand patterned paper (from the Neutrals Patterns Designer Series Paper Stack)
Ink: Blush Blossom, Pear Pizzazz and Crumb Cake markers for the tree; Early Espresso stamp pad for the sentiment
Accessories: 3/16" corner small punch, 1/16" circle punch, Chantilly Crochet Trim, Antique Brads, Stampin' Dimensionals, Stamping Sponges

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Valentine Defined Blushing Birds

Aren't these two lovebirds just the cutest things? I normally don't get too excited about flamingos; guess I've seen too many tacky plastic ones as lawn ornaments! However, when I saw these in the Valentine Defined stamp set, I immediately pictured them on the front of an anniversary card. Since I've seen plenty of bright pink flamingos, I wanted to soften these two up by using Blushing Bride, one of the new colors in the In Color family. The color scheme is Sahara Sand, Blushing Bride and Perfect Plum. I got the idea for this layout on an online stamping website,, from a card where the creator had used the scalloped bookmark piece from the Two Tags die as an element on her card. This is a great layout to use if you want to make a smaller image the centerpiece of your card.

Stamps: Valentine Defined, Tiny Tags
Paper: Sahara Sand, Blushing Bride & Whisper White cardstock; In Color Designer Series Paper Pack (Level 1 hostess item)
Ink: Blushing Bride, Sahara Sand & Perfect Plum markers
Accessories: Two Tags die, 1-3/4" Scallop Circle XL punch, 1-3/8" Circle punch, Pinking Hearts Border punch, Stampin' Dimensionals

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Valentine Defined Potted Flowers

The 2011 Occasions Mini Catalog is my favorite mini to date! It has so many great stamp sets and accessories, and this card features some of those. The color combo came right out of the Color Coach. I love the Valentine Defined set because it is so versatile that it can be used all through the year!

After running the Blushing Bride paper through the Big Shot in the Framed Tulips embossing folder, I trimmed off along the embossed outside edges and mounted it on the Sahara Sand. I embossed another piece with the same folder using Perfect Plum paper, and cut off a 1" strip on each side. I then took one of the strips and, using the Ornament Punch, punched out a shape resembling a flower pot. Easy peasy, and this card could be used for almost any occasion: birthday, wedding, anniversary...there's no limit to its versatility! However, there IS a limit to how long this stamp set is available - only through April 30. Remember that you can order online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through my online store; just click the link on the right side of the blog page.

Stamps: Valentine Defined (mini cat.)
Paper: Sahara Sand, Blushing Bride, Perfect Plum, Whisper White
Ink: Pear Pizzazz and Perfect Plum markers
Accessories: Framed Tulips embossing folder (mini), Beautiful Wings embosslit die, Ornament Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April is Autism Awareness Month

Today, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day. Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that lasts throughout a person's lifetime, and is part of a group of disorders known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It is estimated that as many as 67 million individuals are affected by autism, making it more common in most countries than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. All of these disorders are characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills and social abilities, and also by repetitive behaviors. My son Jayson, who has Asperger's Syndrome, is one of those affected by this disorder.

Since autism now affects about 1 in 110 children and adults, you probably know someone with an autism spectrum disorder. This month I ask that you be aware of the struggles these inviduals face on a daily basis. Be patient, be kind, be understanding - be aware.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring is Blossoming!

Well, at least it's blossoming at Stampin' Up! As I look out my window at the snow still covering the lawn, it's hard to believe that Spring actually started a few weeks ago. If you're as tired of winter as I am, then the Spring is Blossoming promotion is just what you need to lift your spirits! It is also a sneak peek at some of the new products from the 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog.

From April 1-30, purchase the Four Frames set and Paisley Petals Designer Series Paper or get them FREE with a qualifying workshop! Click on the Spring is Blossoming link on the right side of the page for more details.