Friday, June 26, 2015

Stampin' 101 Tutorial - Stamp-A-Ma-Jig Tool

I've gotten so many requests for a tutorial on using the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig tool. I've been meaning to make this video for ages, and I finally got it done! :)

The Stamp-A-Ma-Jig is one of my all-time favorite tools - I really don't think I could make a card without it. It's a stamp positioning system that allows you to see exactly where your image is going to stamp. It's especially useful for sentiments, and sets that involve layering stamps on top of one another to create a detailed image. (Stampin' Up! refers to this as "two step stamping," and these sets now tend to be photopolymer for easy lining up. But the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig is indispensable for older clear-mount or wood-mount two-step stamps.)

Another thing I love about the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig? It allows me to "try out" different positions for a stamp before I commit to anything on my card. Say I can't decide where I want my sentiment to be. Or maybe I stamped one flower, and I can't decide if I want a second flower to its right or its left. Since the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig imaging sheet is clear, I can move it around on my card to see exactly what my stamped image will look like in all the places I'm considering stamping it. Awesome! :)

So are you intrigued? Or maybe you're one of the folks who's always kind of wondered about the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig, but never really figured out what it's all about. Go ahead and check out my video demo below, or over on my YouTube channel. Let me know if you have any questions.

Oh, and by the way, here's the finished card that I'm working on in the video. It uses one of my favorite new sets, Garden in Bloom. The sentiments are from a super cute and clever set called Words of Truth. "I love you more than grilled cheese" is my favorite sentiment from this set! LOL.

Happy Stampin'! :)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Start-to-Finish Sunday #42 - Watercolor Wings

Wait a minute. I know what you're thinking. Start-to-Finish Sunday?? Doesn't that mean a video??? Yes! My first STFS video since September! Baby Lyla actually let me get a ton of crafting the other day - including THREE videos! So stay tuned. :)

Today's card features one of the new sets from the 2015 Stampin' Up! catalog. It's called Watercolor Wings. Now, I'm not a big butterfly person, even though they're always really popular. But you guys know how much I like watercoloring, and anything that creates a watercolor look. This set fits that bill. It's made up of multiple images that you layer together to create really stunning butterflies. I love it for a tone-on-tone look with layered shades of the same color, but I'm also really excited to play with this set and try all sorts of color combinations. Which is where this card comes in!

This card was inspired by one that Alison Barclay shared on her blog. I immediately fell in love with this very unique color combination. I never would have thought to put Blushing Bride and Watermelon Wonder with Night of Navy - let alone combining them in one image. But I love it! (I also added a little bit of Smoky Slate.) The sentiment is from a stamp set called Hello Life.

In the video, I show you how to assemble the different stamps in this set to create these beautiful layered watercolor-look butterflies. You can check it out below, or over on my YouTube channel. Enjoy!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

a belated introduction...

Lyla Rose
May 14, 2015
8:58 AM
4 lb. 10 oz.
18 inches 

She was born at 37 weeks via planned c-section. Thankfully, she did not need any interventions whatsoever and has been completely healthy and growing beautifully. The surgery was amazing and my recovery was uneventful and easy. We are settling into a routine at home - although she keeps us on our toes still! - and I'm grateful that daddy hasn't had to go back to work full-time yet. We're looking forward to this summer as a family of three! <3 br="" nbsp="">

Monday, March 30, 2015

Baby Thank You Cards

Hey all! Long time no see, huh? :) Sorry I've been MIA, and in fact it's been so long since I updated the old blog-o that I haven't shared some very big news with you all... I'm having a baby!! :-D It's a girl, and she'll be here around the end of May - 2 months to go! Hubby and I are very excited, and starting to get real preparations underway. My work colleagues have already thrown me a small but extremely thoughtful shower, and my "regular" shower is in a couple weeks, so I'm starting to think about designing thank you notes. Want to see what I've got so far?

This is the first one I made, and I was kind of playing around for a sketch challenge at the time. I will definitely not be making 30+ of this card! :-P We don't have a dedicated nursery space in our house, but for cohesion we're going for a yellow and gray color scheme with as many baby things as possible. And we've chosen elephant as Baby's signature animal. (Hope she likes them!) So for my cards I'm using Smoky Slate, So Saffron, and pops of Crisp Cantaloupe, seen here in the Sweet Dreams DSP and In Color Sequin. The adorable elephant stamp is from the Zoo Babies stamp set, and the sentiment is from Something to Say.

This card is way more mass-produce-able! :) So I think this is the idea I'll end up going with, but I want to rotate it to a horizontal card rather than vertical. Unfortunately, the Happy Heart embossing folder - which I adore - is vertical, so I'll have to choose a different embossing folder to add texture. Otherwise, the elements are really similar to the first card, but simplified. The elephant is matted onto some Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper (love the redesign they did on the color of this stuff!) which is hard to see in the photo, but really pretty in real life. It adds some interest to what would otherwise be a lot of white space.

OK, well, that's it for me for today. Two cards, and some big news! :) I'll try to get some more posts up in the near future.

Happy Stampin'! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

An Easy and Adaptable Christmas Card

Funny story: I recently hosted my annual "Cocktails and Christmas Cards" workshop, and in trying to design 4 different cards that were appropriate for beginning stampers, I just could not for the life of me make anything in traditional red and green! Not that there's anything wrong with that... I love non-traditional colors for Christmas! :) But this card that I want to share with you is a variation on one of those workshop cards. It was also inspired by about 3 or 4 cards that I found on Pinterest, so I can't take all the credit. :)

This card comes together so easily and it's perfect for assembly-line style mass-producing. It's a great sort of rustic color combination thanks to the amazing new Kraft cardstock, plus Garden Green and Cherry Cobbler. I sponged the background with one of the stencils from the Hearts and Stars Decorative Masks and Whisper White craft ink. (Do your sponging on all your Kraft panels, then work on your embellishments while all the stars are drying.) The tree is from one of my favorite sets from the Holiday Catalog: Festival of Trees (it also comes in a bundle with the matching punch). A punched glimmer paper circle, a little Cherry Cobbler banner, a linen thread bow, and... done! The sentiment is from Ornamental Pine, and it's stamped in Chocolate Chip ink.

Now, let's say you're really in a hurry. Or maybe you want to keep your supply cost as low as possible. Check out this cute and extra super simple version of the same card.

This one saves a bunch of time by leaving off the glimmer paper circle - you can save time not having to punch or die cut all those circles. Now, I did want a little sparkle on this CAS version so I punched the star from the glimmer paper, but if you don't have it or don't want to buy it, the stamped star would look just as wonderful!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

CCC#053: December Cards Challenge - Walking in a Winter Wonderland

December 2014 Cards Challenge
Walking in a Winter Wonderland

This month's card challenge marks my last challenge with Catherine and Cathy Create. We've had a great time bringing you fun projects and challenges to spark your creativity, but unfortunately, Catherine and Cathy - and all of us Design Team members, to be honest - have just gotten too busy with life to keep up! So sadly, the challenges will end with next week's December tags challenge. But we hope you'll continue to follow our individual blogs, as we'll all still be creating and sharing!

So this month's card challenge is all about winter... Snowflakes, snowmen, sledding - whatever makes you think of winter. So check out my fun and frosty (and super easy to duplicate!) card.

Red and aqua is one of my favorite color combinations of all time - especially for Christmas cards. And how fun do they look on this adorable snowflake stamp from the Seasonally Scattered stamp set?! I used a super fun and very easy technique called thumping to get the 2-color stamped image, and if you scroll all the way to the bottom of this post, you'll find a video tutorial on this technique.

Then I just finished off the card with some simple layering, some twine and an adorable metal snowflake embellishment, and of course, some sparkle with glimmer paper. :) Easy and totally do-able if you want to make a whole bunch!

So I hope you'll take the time to stop by Catherine and Cathy Create and check out the other winter-themed cards. Thanks for stopping by today! Oh, and if you're interested in learning about the thumping technique for inking stamps, make sure you watch my quick video below.

Happy Stampin'! :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

CCC#052: December Monthly Challenge - Home for Christmas

CCC#052: December 2014 Monthly Challenge
Home for Christmas

December already! Does anyone know where 2014 has gone?? I'm having a hard time even entertaining the idea of Christmas, let alone actually preparing for it! :) But working on handmade Christmas projects sure does help get me in the holiday spirit!

The group challenge for December is to make a Christmas home decor item. I don't typically do a lot of non-card projects, and this one was a little open-ended for me. I have to admit, pretty much all of the credit for this idea goes to my dad. :) We were sitting around talking on Thanksgiving, and I mentioned I had to do this challenge project. So he started looking around the house and making suggestions. He makes these hand-carved wooden hearts that hang on the wall that we put lavender in, and suggested I make something similar out of paper. So that's what I did! 

This project was a little time-consuming, but very easy. I cut two of the largest die from the Hearts Framelits out of the brand new, totally awesome, heavier weight, kraft based Under the Tree DSP. I wanted to sew the two hearts together to make the pocket, but I don't currently have a functioning sewing machine, so I decided to do it by hand. That was the time-consuming part, but I just put on some of my favorite Christmas tunes and enjoyed the process. :) Plus, I think it really adds to the rustic look of the project.

To decorate the heart, I used a few of the elements from the Many Merry Stars kit. There are so many pieces in the kit that I'm not even going to notice a few of them missing when I go to put the stars together!

The sentiment is from the Many Merry Stars photopolymer stamp set. I stamped it in Real Red ink to match the Real Red satin woven ribbon. I also added a punched Real Red cardstock star and a little baker's twine bow (those didn't come from the kit).

I hung it from one of the knobs on my kitchen cabinets, and I think it looks adorable as-is or with a few sprigs of holly tucked inside. It would also be great to give to someone with a small gift (cash or jewelry would fit great - wink wink!) tucked inside.

I hope you enjoyed this project, and I encourage you to hop on over to Catherine and Cathy Create check out all the great inspiration for decorating your home this holiday season. If you're inspired to make a project of your own, make sure you link it up to the group post, because you could win a prize!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Watercolor White Christmas

White Christmas is, hands down, my favorite stamp set in the Holiday Catalog. You know how much I love any stamp set that is perfect for watercoloring! And this one really fits the bill. :) I've made a few cards with it, but today I wanted to share my favorite with you.

I had so much fun making this card! So much watercoloring! :) And I love making cards with tags on them. Sometimes it's just so much less pressure designing a tag, and then it can be really fun designing a simple card base to showcase your cute tag.

It's a little hard to see in the photos, but I also used an amazing new punch from the Holiday Catalog called Confetti Stars. It's a border punch that cuts out a ton of tiny stars - and bonus, you can use the stars as confetti, shaker card material, or accents on other projects! I punched it from a border of Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper.

And here's a closer look at the watercoloring. Done simply, as always. But I really love how it looks.

So anyway, yeah. I don't really have too much to say about this card, I guess. LOL. Just wanted to share!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

CCC#050: November 2014 Cards Challenge - Delighted with DSP!

CCC#050: November 2014 Cards Challenge
Delighted with DSP!

The Cards Challenge for this month is a fun one: Use your favorite DSP! :) But before I share my card, I have a confession. I am a DSP hoarder! I can't resist buying it, I love flipping through the packages, I love being inspired by its color combinations... but I so rarely use it! ;) So I decided share a simple card to show that, when it comes to DSP, a little bit can go a long way and you can use it very effectively as small accents.

I chose the Flashback DSP collection as the inspiration for my birthday card, and I pulled colors from the paper for the rest of the elements. The focal image was created with the Four Feathers bundle (stamp set and Framelits). And the sentiment is from my favorite sentiment set - Four You. Easy peasy! :)

Make sure you head on over to Catherine & Cathy Create to check out the other DSP challenge cards. If you feel inspired to make your own, make sure you link it up, because you could win a prize!

Happy Stampin'! :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

CCC#049: November Challenge - Thankful for Fall

November 2014 Monthly Challenge
Thankful for Fall

This month's challenge from Catherine and Cathy Create is all about autumn! Leaves, sweaters, pumpkin spice, boots, Thanksgiving... whatever inspires you about fall, we want to see it! :)

I have a crazy-simple project for you this month, but I totally love it. I gotta say (and I know I say this every month but...) this last month really got away from me! And I'm so bummed, because October is my favorite month of the entire year and I feel like I missed it! I have been so busy lately, and I know I'm not the only one, and I know it's just going to get worse with the holidays approaching so quickly. I usually feel like I have to pull out all the stops on any projects I share here on the old blog-o, like I really have to turn up the "wow factor." But today I'm proud to be sharing literally a 10-minute project, because I know it's something we can all use around this time of year! :)

I decided to dress up one of Stampin' Up!'s great new Kraft Grid Journals. This could be a great little gratitude journal, or just a cute notebook with a great message to just throw in your purse to use for everyday lists and notes! And because I only used two stamp sets, it literally takes no time at all! :) I used one of my favorite sets from the Holiday Catalog for most of the stamping, so really, you only need one stamp set to make an adorable little journal. The set is called For All Things. I also used Gorgeous Grunge to add a little extra interest to the background.

One thing to keep in mind when stamping on these kraft journals... They seem to be more absorbent than regular cardstock. So don't press your stamps too hard, and expect that the images will lose a little of their definition. The stamp set I chose for my project - For All Things - is great for this because the images are designed to look sort of watercolor-y, but you do lose a lot of the great texture of the images.

So that's it for me for today. I hope you liked this super cute and quick project, and I encourage you to head on over to Catherine and Cathy Create to check out the other projects, and to play along!

Happy Stampin'! :)