Thursday, April 30, 2009

Twice is nice Friday!

Hi all! I'm the hostess over at the Flourishes Newsletter today for the Flourishes Focus this week! The focus is..... easy watercoloring! So, I matched that up with today's Stamp Simply challenge (ssnotime85), which is all about letting the sun shine in our card today! How do you do that? Use yellow! It's so sunny, so cheerful and it's not a color I turn to often! So, this was a bit of a challenge!

But... this card is definitely yellow!To make my card, I used some European Watercolor Paper, and then inked up my image with a couple shades of yellow ink (Memento Cantaloupe and Dandelion and two shades of green (Mementio Bamboo Sprout and Cottage Ivy). After I inked, I went over my work with a damp water brush. The stamp was from Flourishes Signs of Spring set. If you want to see the full tutorial, just click HERE!

I used my oval and scalloped oval Nestabilities, the Vintage Wallpaper background stamp on my card base, some Kaiser rhinestones, sheer olive ribbon, a tag to stamp my "daffodils" word on and some decorative paper from both the Basic Grey Urban Prairie and Memory Box Rhubarb Tart collections and..... DONE!

Want to see what the other Stamp Simply gals cooked up?

Barbara, Our Guest Designer for May!!

Oh... and be sure to stop by these fabulous Flourishes designers to see what kind of easy watercolor beauties they created this week!

Christine Okken
Faith Hofrichter
Laura Fredrickson
Leslie Miller
Stacy Morgan

Lot of eye candy out there for your viewing pleasure so be sure to hop along and check out their blogs! Thanks for stopping by! See you back here soon!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another oldie from the drawer!

Remember the card yesterday featuring the colored image that sat in a lonely drawer waiting to be made into a card? (I now affectionately call that drawer of images, half made cards and scraps my pieces and parts drawer) Well, I have one more for you today!

I made part of this card while doing a demo for my LSSS using colored pencils on dark paper. The stamps are from Magenta and I thought the artsy feel demanded kind of an artsy - more scribbled look. Well, I did that and never made this bad boy into a card!

I stamped all of my leaf images in white, highlighted with white colored pencil and then colored with several shades of green (apple, lime and grass shades). After I was done, I took the darkest green pencil and a white pencil and using a ruler made some grid lines around my leaf images for a little extra pop.

The thing with stamping on dark colors is -- it doesn't make it easy to add a sentiment. So, I grabbed one of these little metal embellies that I picked up years ago at Walmart. From there, mat it up, add a slot punch and accent the mat of your main image with some silver leafing pen. The ribbon is just the most glorious part! It's a new 100% silk ribbon from May Arts that Flourishes is now selling. This ribbon is soooooo lush! It's like the Cadillac of ribbon!

And that, my friends is it for today! I have one more rescue attempt from my pieces and parts drawer-- so stay tuned! See you back here tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flowers for a friend....

Do you ever color up images and then stuff them in a drawer to make into a card later? I don't do that a lot now, but I used to. I used to keep extras that I colored up while teaching a class to save for a rainy day.

Well, last weekend, I was digging through some of the drawers in my stamp room and found one that I did on watercolor paper using markers and some really fun stamps from Art Impressions. It was just there on a scrap piece of watercolor paper calling my name. And guess what? It was actually a rainy day! ;-)

So, I grabbed my new Nesties and went to town to make a semi-easy card.
If you click on the link above for Art Impressions, you'll see the kind of "watercolor" stamps I used. They key is to stamp by inking up the stamps with Marvy markers, mask the areas (like the gloves and the water pail) and accent with flowers and the grass. Then, when you are done, you simply take a damp water brush and meld the colors together to make these hand stamped images look like you painted them yourself!

The rest is easy. Use the Labels 3 Nestability to cut out the watercolor image and a second for a mat (I used Bo Bunny paper). Use a distressed background stamp (SU) with Antique Linen ink, paper pierce the edge and distress, add some brads and a little hardware and ribbon! The tag was done with a fun little set I bought years and years ago from Hero Arts. I made it into a tag thanks to a 1" circle bunch. And..... done!

Now... to a story. I honestly could not believe this one! On Saturday, my family and I went for a short walk to our favorite island nearby that is separated from our neighborhood by the Yellowstone River. It's not uncommon to see some fun creatures big and small. We've seen porcupine, ground hogs, beaver, heron, deer, and fox. Well, on Saturday we saw a beaver and it was just sticking out its head staring at us while we stared at him. I was kicking myself that I didn't have a camera. As we walked away, honestly I said, "The only thing better would be to see a bald eagle." Well, we finished our walk and didn't see one....... at least not then.

The day melted into evening and we had seized the day by barbequing. As we were eating our steak kabobs, right over our house we saw this circling above.... Holy cow! Are you kidding me? It was a bald eagle circling over the nearby field. I didn't get a shot of what happened next because it happened so fast but out of nowhere a hawk of some sort dive bombed the eagle in mid air causing them both to spin out. I guess the hawk didn't want the eagle in "his" territory. It was a sight to see! What was hysterical is the hawk was half the size of the eagle. It had some ki-hon-ays!

So, I guess, be careful what you wish for!

Well, thanks for stopping by my place, see you back here tomorrow!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Flourishes Focus.... Flower Soft!

Hi all! You've likely seen that fluffy colorful stuff called Flower Soft popping up on cardmaking blogs recently. But, have you tried it? If you haven't and needed a how-to before you dive in, then you will have to check out the Flourishes Newsletter this week as Cindy Lawrence gives us all a fabulous tutorial! Just click HERE!!

As Cindy was putting together her tutorial, she challenged the rest of the Flourishes DT to try their hand at it too! I remember when we first got this product in the store. The "Flourishes" all sent us a little to play with and in the note, one of the owners (I won't say who) warned us -- don't try this technique if you have a moving ceiling fan in the room! I got a laugh out of that -- but it's true. Flower Soft is a light and fluffy way to add texture!

So.... here's my card!

I knew I wanted to use the new Swing Set and I wanted to keep it simple. I stamped my image colored it, paper pieced it with this darling Jenni Bowlin paper and then grabbed my Flower Soft glue. At that point, I just pressed some of the Shamrock Green Flower Soft into my tree! Just a simple way to add a pop of texture and color.

Here's a close up! See the clouds in the background? I used an old template I had and just sponged in some ink. But, if you don't have a template, cut some reverse cloud shapes into a piece of text weight paper and use that as a mask!

You'll have to make the rounds to the rest of the Flourishes Senior Design Team! As you'll see with each hop, there are so many ways to use Flower Soft. You can get pretty creative with it.... or you can grab it like I did for a simple pop of texture!

Flourishes Newsletter
Christine Okken
Cindy Lawrence
Latisha Yoast
Laura Fredrickson
Leslie Miller

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stamp Simply.... Pipe up!

Hi all! TGIF! Time for another Stamp Simply challenge and this one is all about piping up!

For those who sew, this challenge will make a lot of sense! You know the "piping" that you see on pillow cases, pillows, on trim? It's that thin pop of color that is added to a sewing project to bring a pop of contrast! Well, that my friends, is what Sharon Johnson wants you to try on your card! Basically, a narrow strip of paper to separate two other pieces of paper!
Click HERE for all the official details!

My card could not be any easier!
I used some Making Memories paper, some border strips from the same collection, and my piping can be found in my black strip! I added some fun May Arts ribbon that actually looks like a crocheted edge! Add some layered Nesties - one for your sentiment (SU) and the other for your mat. I ran my black mat through my Wizard with my Swiss Dots embossing folder for a little something extra.

My favorite part?? The bling of course!

Easy peasy card! You'll have to stop by to see what the other Stamp Simply gals cooked up!

Jenny, April Guest Designer
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you make time for play time this weekend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


How many of you just can't have enough birthday cards stashed away? I would DEFINITELY fit into that category! They always seem - no matter how hard I try - to sneak up on me! So, my one third of the way through the year resolution is to create a bank of birthday cards to drawn from.

So... here goes!

I have to admit, whoever gets this must be ready for a party because you just might need sunglasses to look at this festive one! Orange, turquoise, purple and green are the colors on this bad boy! I love this image! It's a relatively new one from Leigh Hannan at Impression Obsession called Cake Trio. I just stamped it in Versafine Onyx, colored it with watercolor pencils, blended with a blender pen and then razzle dazzled it up a bit with some Stickles. Mat it up, add some scallops and some rhinestone loopy brads with some fun sheer ribbon hanging off the side!

Just that simple! You'll see, I have a lot of work to do on my resolution. You can say.. one down... a few dozen more plus to go!

Hope you are having a great week! See you back here soon!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A stamp + a little paint = a fun project!

Hi all! Hope your week is off to a great start! I'm going to kick things off here with a fun project that now is sitting in my daughter's bedroom as a reminder of her as a babe with her Nana!

All you need is a unfinished wood frame (I bought mine for $1 at Michael's), some StazOn ink, one of your favorite stamps, some acrylic paint, a fine and a fine line black permanent paint.

To start, I gave my frame a white wash by just sponging on some watered down white acrylic paint. After it dried, I took my Sweet Pea set from Flourishes and stamped it in both corners with StazOn ink. Just like so! (Those angel babies were in the frame when I bought it! ;-)

Here's a close up....
And these are the colors of paint that I picked - two shades of green, two shades of pink and some white....(they are all "well loved" bottles of paint!)
Then, I started to paint with a fine tip paint brush, making sure to darken the areas I wanted shadows and lightening highlighted areas with dabs of white.
While the look above is "OK," I knew I wanted to see the definition in my flowers. So, I grabbed a permanent file line black pen and started to outline the stamped image - like this....
Now I was in a quandary because I thought it didn't look soft enough! So, I let the permanent black pen ink dry and then I took my white wash paint (watered down paint) and I took a foam sponge and sponged the white wash over my entire frame. When this was done, I took a large dry brush and dipped it a bit into ivory paint and added some antique streaks. Its a great way to get a hand painted look without being an artist!! :-)
When it was done it looked like this....
I just love that picture of Ellie and her Nana! So did Ellie and now it sits on her shelf in her room.
Hope you enjoyed this little project. Like I said - all you need is a fun stamp, some paint, a picture frame.... and an afternoon!
Thanks for stopping by! I'll see you back here soon!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Getting In The Swing.....

Hi all! Happy Sunday!

Since the weather here in little ole Billings, Montana has been easy breezy - I thought, why not let my card be the same?? Easy and breezy!

So..... here you have it!

I used the new Swing Set from Flourishes! And, I also broke in my package of their new European Watercolor paper! This stuff is fabulous! It's amazing artist quality and so thick! You could actually make your card base out of this stuff! I stamped my images in Sepia Versafine, heat set, and then colored with watercolor markers - I actually scribbled all my colors on a plastic pallette and then picked up the color with an aquaflow brush. The background wash was created by wetting my paper first and then brushing the watered down blue maker over my background. For the ground, I actually inked my stamp with Adirondack Lettuce ink, stamp, and then go over the image with a damp water brush to soften the look.

From here... do a little paper piercing, add a scalloped edge, some ribbon and buttons and then mat it all up! I used a mix of Crate Paper, Bo Bunny and Memory Box Rhubarb Tart papers. Add the sentiment from the set off to the side of your main image. The lady's dress was paper pieced with the same Memory Box paper. And.... done!

Here's a close up! I just LOVE the watercolored effect. It's so soft looking...Well, my friends, that's it for this Sunday! I hope you are enjoying your weekend! I am! We're just having some lazy family time. Nothing better than that!

Thanks for stopping by and I will see you back here soon!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Friday Two-Fer!

Hi all! TGIF...we're on the verge of the weekend!! I hope you have relaxing plans!

Moving on to ink, paper and stamps! This week I have a challenge and a tidbit! First.... the challenge! Stamp Simply (ssnotime83), courtesy of the talented Sharon Johnson, is all about threading it through! You can thread string or ribbon through your card, a button....whatever! Sharon is so great - she leaves a lot for interpretation which is fun because then you get to sit back and really see people's creativity shine! I especially love checking out the rest of the Stamp Simply team!

Jenny - April Guest Designer, Janine, Jennifer, AJ, Becky, Dee and Tammy!

Moving on to my card -- it's pretty simple! Here were my tools....

I cut off a bit of sheer ribbon, angled the edges and then threaded it through my decorative button!

And here... is how it turned out on my card!

I also wrapped the sheer around the stamped mat and then attached my button with a glue dot. Easy peasy!

This card using the new Vintage Wallpaper background and the matching set Thinking of You is also part of the Flourishes Focus -- which just so happens to be focused on ribbon tricks! I realize using a button isn't necessarily a "trick" but it might be an added embellishment that you might not turn to frequently! Stacy Morgan hosted the focus this week over on the Flourishes Newsletter and showcases a bunch of different ways you can add flair with ribbon! So be sure to check it out!

You can also visit the rest of the Flourishes DT, who are also showcasing their favorite tips!

Christine Okken
Cindy Lawrence
Faith Hofrichter
Latisha Yoast
Laura Fredrickson
Leslie Miller
Sharon Doolittle

Thanks so much for stopping by! Enjoy your weekend!

This one is for you mom!

It's time for another Impression Obsession Designer Challenge and this one.... is all about the woman in our lives who gave us life and helped to shape us from children... to the women we are today! Yep... our MOMS!

(ok Mom, this is where you avert your eyes and skip this post of mine!)

That's the challenge -- plain and simple. Since I just recieved this beautiful climbing rose stamp in the mail, I couldn't wait to get it inked up. I just think it is too pretty for words!

I stamped it using Versafine Sepia on watercolor paper. I then used Antique Linen Distress Ink and sponged along the edge. Using a plastic palette, I scribbed on two different colors of pink and one shade of green marker on it. Picking up the color with a damp watercolor brush, I loosely painted my leaves and flowers. I wanted it to look airy -- not realistic. So, I just let the water flow!

Add a punched edge adorned with some mini pearls and some lacy ribbon and.... you're almost done! I wanted to put the word "Mother" on my card from THIS set. So, I punched an oval from my small SU oval punch and then stamped off part of my climbing rose so just a small part of it was in the corner. Watercolor it up, add a pearl and.... done!

See? Now, you'll have to make your way around to the rest of the IO DT and see what they cooked up just for their MOMS!


Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The quickest card....EVER!

Hi all! Gosh, I haven't had a minute to stamp this week so... this one is an O2M, N2U (old to me, new to you!) card! A few weeks ago, I had to drop a little note in the mail to a neighbor, who is also a musician. I thought.. Hhhmmmm..... what can I do in a snap? I literally had 4 minutes to make a card to run it over before I had to be someplace else! So, I made a mini card!


This baby is a 4 by 4" card. I had some musical paper, cut it to measure 3-7/8" square, edged it with a gold leaf pen, matted it on my 4" square card and then used my large oval punch from SU to cut my shape! My sentiment is actually a self inked stamper from Just Rite. Add a loopy brad with some black satin ribbon and.... DONE! The envelope is a 4-1/4" square that I got from Flourishes HERE. On the envie, I decked out one of the edges with the same self inked stamper. One side is the sentiment and the other is the musical notes. Gotta love that!

Well, I have to say - it actually took me longer to photograph it and write this post than it did to actually make my card! Just an easy peasy way to tell a neighbor-- I appreciate you! What's better than that?

Hope you are enjoying your week! I'll be back with more -- lots more-- before the week is done!

P.S. Are you a fan of Copic Markers? Flourishes has a fun announcement on the company blog about a program that's coming soon! Click HERE!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Blessings To YOU!

I hope you are enjoying family time and are able to reflect on all the wonderful things in your life! I am cooking up a ham today and DD and I finished up a cake Saturday night. It's actually kind of silly -- it's a bunny cake! We giggled and had fun though. The boys -- i.e. DH and DS spent the night at an arena football game which left the mischievous girls behind! :-)

I have one final Easter project to show -- so sock it away if you like for next year!

My DD wanted to bring treats for her kindergarten class so we came up with this idea....

While my daughter was at school, my bud Lovely and I had a morning creating -- whipping up these little bags with a topper -- easy peasy! We had a blast (thanks for hanging out with me Lovely!!!)! Just some decorative paper, a coordinating paper for the scallop, some glittered brads, and THIS stamp set from Impression Obsession! That's it! I thought they were cute. Nothing over the top that gets tiresome to make 25 of! ;-)

Fill the bags with some paper shred and some chocolate eggs and.... DONE!

Well, I'm off folks! Have a Happy Easter and I'll see you back here soon!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Woo Hoo -- the stamps are in the store!

Gosh, this week flew by with all the Flourishes sneak peeks! We're sad the fun is over -- but happy to be able to share all three of the new sets in their full glory! Check out....

Sweet Violets

Swing Set
Vintage Wallpaper

While I love all three of the sets, my new favorite Flourishes set has to be Sweet Violets! I love the vibrant color of violets and their truly delicate feel! So, when I made THIS card, I knew I had to keep on going to finish off a set!

So, here it is!

I used the same Bo Bunny paper for all three cards in a deep plum color. One side is the dotted paper, the other side is just plain. The olive green is a decorative paper from Daisy D. These cards are really very simple in design! I cut out a few different size shapes from the Nestabilities Labels Two, stamped my Sweet Violets on top and then colored with Copic markers. I used RV19, V06,V09, and V15 on the flower and FYG2,YG06 and G07 with a touch of E33 on the leaves. Add some buttons, a decorative edge punch, some paper piercing and... that's pretty much it!

On this first card, I used black StazOn and actually stamped one of the sentiments from the set on the ribbon!
This second card, I used a bigger die cut shape, colored with Copics and then added the word "Sweet" from the set onto a tag sized piece to hang off the side of my image! Add the same ribbon, a decorative edge punch (Martha Stewart) and some buttons and... done!

Making cards into a set is something that I really don't do much of - but this one was fun because I actually used just two sheets of DP! Now, next time a friend has a birthday - I have a little set of cards to deliver!

Before I go, one last note! Flourishes is offering it's new release bundle again for all three of these new release sets! Buy all three and get 10% off! They have a second bundle too! Since the new Vintage Wallpaper is a perfect match to the previously released set Thinking of You - you can get all three new releases PLUS the Thinking of You set for 10% off!

Click HERE to head on over to the Flourishes store!

Happy Shopping! ;-)

Swing Into Spring.... Day 3!!

There are times when you just want to add a bit of subtle class and sophistication to a card. If you've been searching for just the right stamp to deliver that flair -- look no more! Thanks to the talented Marcella Hawley, there is a background so pretty, you almost don't need anything else!


Do you want to know what is cool about this backgrounder? It matches the set Flourishes released last fall called Thinking of You. In fact, it was made for that set! So, when I made today's card - I made sure to grab that set as well!

When I saw this background, I knew I wanted to create a card that had a real feminine flair. I divided my card front into two and on the bottom stamped the backgrounder using Versamark ink. The effect is super subtle but soft just the same. The top, I flipped to show the textured side......

The center circle was done with the bouquet from the Thinking of You set. I stamped it with a light pink pigment ink and then, added some Blush Kaiser pearls in different sizes to different parts of my flowers. Add some paper piercing and some more pearls in the corner and you are almost done! The ribbon is a beautiful flourished ribbon from May Arts and the "tag" is actually a Martha Stewart die cut. The sentiment is from the Signs of Spring set also by Flourishes! Viola....done!
Be sure to check out the other sneak peeks from the Flourishes Designers!

If you'd like a chance at winning this gorgeous background, be sure to stop by the Flourishes Newsletter. There's also all the details there for TONIGHT'S RELEASE PARTY! Can you say games, giveaways, and more fun samples?It should be a blast! Hopefully, we'll see YOU there!
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stamp Simply -- Let It Hang!

Hi all! TGIF! Time for another Stamp Simply challenge courtesy of the lovely Sharon Johnson! This challenge is all about letting it hang! All you need to do is make sure you have something - a charm, an image, a tag -- something hanging on your card!

For my creation, I knew that I wanted to mesh some of my jewelry making supplies with this one! I make knitting markers for our local yarn shop and I use the circle end of a toggle clasp for them. Well, over the years -- this is what I have accumulated -- and this is only one bag of them!
When I looked at these little guys, I knew it would be fun to wrap a ribbon around it and let part of the clasp be there as a way to hang a charm.

So.... here's what I came up with! I secured the ribbon with a rhinestone brad and the charm is one that I had in my jewelry stash. It's a little filligree heart!

The rest is just pretty easy! I used the new background stamp that will soon be released from Flourishes called Vintage Wallpaper. I just love how classy this stamp is! And, the center image is a sentiment from the Flourishes stamp set called Lace Heart. Mat it up with some Nesties, use a ticket corner punch for the edges, add on some self stick silver pearls and... voila! Done! Doesn't get more Stamped Simply than that!

Be sure to check out the fabulous work from the rest of the Stamp Simply gals!

Jenny -- our new guest designer!

Hope you make time for play time and join us this week! If you upload to SCS remember ssnotime82 is your keyword! Have a great weekend everyone and I'll see you back here soon!

Swing Into Spring - Day 2!

Remember as a kid swinging the day away? You never seemed to get tired and the butterflies in your belly always found a way to make you giggle. If you still have those memories fresh in your mind, then do I have the perfect stamp set for you!


This set drawn by Lauren Pope is just full of whimsy! The sentiments in this set offer everything from an invitation for a friend, to get well wishes, to a note of encouragement, to an everyday kind of card. Really! It's that versatile!

EDITED TO ADD: here is the link to Swing Set!

For my card, I was dying to play with the new European Watercolor Paper that Flourishes is now carrying. This paper is a very strong weight which means, when you add water, it won't buckle easily and it really absorbs the color very nicely! It's a true artist quality paper.

Here's a peek at my card!
I stamped the tree from this set using Versafine Sepia. Then, using the tops of my ink pads, I colored up my image with a damp aqua painter brush(Adirondack Lettuce for the foliage and Stonewashed for the sky). The tree limbs were done with a brown Tombow marker that I scribbled on a palette and then picked up the color with my waterbrush. For the grass, I inked up my stamp with lettuce and then added the red flowers with a marker, stamped, and then went over the entire image with a watercolor brush to blend the color. The little girl was done the same way, stamp, and then pick up color with the waterbrush to paint. Just that simple!!

To make my card, I used the scalloped edge punch from Stampin' Up and then also the circle and scalloped circle punches from SU as well! Add some sheer ribbon and... done!

Make sure you swing on over to the other design team members to check out their creations!

Leslie Miller
Faith Hofrichter
Cindy Lawrence
Laura Fredrickson
Latisha Yoast
Stacy Morgan
Jan Marie Caruso
Sharon Doolittle

Be sure to check in too at the Flourishes Newsletter for your chance at winning this whimsical set! There's also all the details there for this Friday's release party! Can you say games, giveaways, and more fun samples???

Thanks for stopping by! I'll be back tomorrow for our final day of sneak peeks! This one will have you turning to an older Flourishes set to capture a real vintage feel! (Yes, that's your hint!)