Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sunset Sails

We've been having a run of beautiful weather here; I hope I'm not jinxing things by saying that! The humidity has been down in the bearable range with mostly sunny skies, cooler evenings and absolutely gorgeous sunsets. On the flip side, the newspapers are full of back-to-school sales, which means summer is coming to an end, almost before it began! I tried to capture the feel of a beautiful summer evening on this card, which was one of three summer-themed cards that my stamp club made this week. I used the fabulous Sail Away a la carte (single) stamp from the Summer Mini catalog, which is only available to order until August 31st. The use of lighter colors, reverse masking and lots of white space gives the card an airy feel, reminiscent of sunset sails on the lake.

Stamps: Sail Away, Sincere Salutations
Paper: Baja Breeze, Not Quite Navy, Calypso Coral & Whisper White CS
Ink: Jet Black Staz-On, Baja Breeze, Daffodil Delight, Calypso Coral & Not Quite Navy stamp pads
Accessories: Scallop Oval Frame die & Big Shot, 1/2" circle punch, Silver Mini Brads, 5/16" white Jumbo Brad, Daffodil Delight 1/8" taffeta ribbon, white Baker's Twine, paper piercing tool, sponge wedges, Stampin' Dimensionals

I first stamped the sailboat image in the right lower corner of my card front using black Staz-On. I ran the Scallop Oval Frame die through the Big Shot; it die cuts both an oval and the frame surrounding it. I used the frame portion as a mask, applying some repositionable adhesive to the back and then centering the frame mask on my card front. I then applied a mask over the sails; to make the mask, I stamped the sailboat image on Post-It note paper and cut out the sails, then stuck that Post-It mask over the stamped sails on my card front. Then I used another piece of Post-It note paper to mask off the top portion of the oval, and sponged Baja Breeze inside the oval frame on the bottom third of my card to represent water. I then moved the Post-It note mask to cover the "water" I had just sponged, and sponged the "sunset" using Calypso Coral on the top and Daffodil Delight near the water. The key to successful sponging is to use a light hand; applying too much pressure gives you dark blotches, while lightly sponging allows you to achieve a more blended look. I started the Calypso at the top and sponged down, applying less pressure as I got to the middle. Then I sponged the Daffodil beginning at the water line, and worked my way up and into the Calypso, overlapping the two colors a bit in the middle to more thoroughly blend them. When I pulled all the masks off I had a beautiful "sunset on the lake" oval! I also used my scallop frame as a template for the brad holes: I punched three evenly spaced holes in the lower left portion of the frame, and used the template to make sure I pierced evenly-spaced holes in my card front. I used three of the new mini brads to add a somewhat "nautical" look, and then layered the white card front onto Calypso, and then Not Quite Navy cardstock, and stamped the greeting in NQN ink. Once I had the layers together, I punched about a three-quarter circle out of all the layers in the upper right corner using the circle punch, and then used Dimensionals to attach the layered card front to the Baja Breeze base. I used the paper piercing tool to punch a hole in the circle cutout, wrapped the taffeta ribbon around the white brad and inserted it through the Baja base. To finish it off,  I tied some Baker's Twine around the ribbon and knotted it. I can't claim total credit for this idea, as I got it from a beautiful card on splitcoaststampers by Angela Helynck, tweaking it a little to fit my needs.

Doesn't this make you want to go sailing at sunset? I'm going to go sailing, but it's sailing off to bed instead! Sweet dreams!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sharing some Calypso love!

Sorry that it's been so long since I've been able to life has been very busy lately! Had to get ready for my combination Stamp Sale/New Catalog Open House last weekend; I didn't think I had all that much discontinued stuff to get rid of, but turns out I did. Then Mother Nature decided that some of us in central Minnesota needed to experience the land-locked version of a hurricane this last Monday - what an experience that was! We didn't lose any trees, but every square foot of our 1.5 acre lawn is covered with leaves and branches. So now I've got the thankless job of picking up sticks so that we can mow the lawn before it's a foot high. I decided to approach it like a crime scene, and do a grid-by-grid search. So far it's working, but the mosquitoes have figured out my strategy and are laying in wait for me. I hope they're considered protein, because I swallowed a few tonight! Oh well, hopefully I'll have things ship-shape again by Sunday so we can fire up the mowers again!

This card is the first I've made using the new set Field Flowers. This beautiful set was the first to go on my wish list on my first pass through the new catalog. The flowers are so detailed they almost look real, especially when you do the two-step stamping with coordinating colors like I did. I also had to try out the new Lace Ribbon Border punch, and I just love it - as well as Calypso Coral, one of the new 2011-2013 In Colors!

Stamps: Field Flowers
Paper: Calypso Coral, Basic Gray & Very Vanilla CS, Calypso Coral from the Patterns Designer Series Paper Stack In Color Assortment
Ink: Calypso Coral, Riding Hood Red, Lucky Limeade & Basic Gray stamp pads
Accessories: Stamp-a-ma-jig, Lace Ribbon Border punch, Big Shot & Ovals die, Very Vanilla 1/8" taffeta ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals, 2-Way Glue pen

I stamped the stem first on my vanilla oval. To create a "border" for my vanilla oval, I die cut an oval using Basic Gray CS, cut it in half lengthwise, and then adhered the two pieces to either side of the back of the vanilla oval. On a scrap piece of vanilla, I stamped two flowers; first the more solid flower image in Calypso, then using my Stamp-a-ma-jig I stamped the more detailed flower image in RH Red over the Calypso. What a gorgeous combination, suggested by my trusty Color Coach! I then cut the flowers out, and adhered the shorter flower right to the CS and used Dimensionals to pop up the taller flower. I threaded the ribbon through the punched border, tied a knot, and then adhered it to my card base using the glue pen. Then I popped the whole flower oval to my card front using Dimensionals, and finished it off by stamping the greeting with Basic Gray.

Now I'd better get ready for bed, so I'm all rested for my next round of branch picking tomorrow. Hope you have a sweet weekend!