Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator - Coldwater, Michigan -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

adventures of perseverance

I need a masculine birthday card this week, and I was excited to use one of my newest stamp sets with the sketch at IN{K}SPIRE_me.  I spent over an hour trying to make it work, but it just wasn't coming together.  First the colors weren't right and when I needed a background image for the top part of the card, the whole stamp set changed:
stamp set - The Open Sea; ink - Lost Lagoon, Crumb Cake; card stock - Hello Honey, Very Vanilla, Lost Lagoon, Crumb Cake; designer series paper - Typeset; tools/accessories - Bitty Banner punch, Big Shot with Circles Collection framelits, Stampin' Sponge

Now that it's done, I love that the banners echo the ones in the ship's rigging, and that they begin with B so that I can link up at Cardz 4 Guyz, too!

After that struggle, I thought I needed something that involved fewer decisions.  I checked my challenge calendar and realized that CASE-ing Christmas closes tomorrow, and Donna's card is so beautiful it would be a shame if I didn't participate.  This was almost easy since Donna did all the design work - layout, colors and a theme.  The snag for me came when I started sponging - I thought I had spoiled it and would have to ink and emboss a second front panel - aack!  I stuck with it, though, and I'm glad I did:
stamp sets (all retired, sorry) - Four the Holidays, Endless Wishes, Warmth & Wonder (hostess), Berry Christmas; ink - Versamark, Wisteria Wonder, Soft Sky; stampin' emboss powder - Iridescent Ice; card stock - Soft Sky, Wisteria Wonder; tools/accessories - Stampin' Sponge, heat tool, embossing buddy. Stampin' Dimensionals  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

an adventure inside my brain

Last week when the 12 Days of Cardstock challenge was posted at Jingle Belles, I told myself that should be fairly easy, since usually I have to remind myself to actually use the designer series paper I already own.  However, no ideas popped into my head.  When I saw the CASEing Christmas challenge card for this week, I told myself that copying Ellen's layout with this old favorite stamp would qualify for both challenges (as long as I remembered not to use designer series paper).  However, I couldn't decide which colors to use.  Finally, I saw the Christmas Card Challenge inspiration photo and it all came together for me:
stamp sets - Star Tree (retired), Christmas Bliss (retired); ink - Versamark; Stampin' Emboss powder - white; card stock - Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake

I regularly tell myself that making one card that qualifies for three challenges will not accomplish my goal of having unique handmade cards for everyone on my list, unless I do that far more often than once or twice a month.  I don't always listen to myself.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

getting to know you and ICAD adventure

Guess what I found!  More new challenges!  And, the Stamp Ink Paper Challenge is so new, they're still on #SIPC1, which they've cleverly themed Getting to Know You:

If you've been to visit me before, you may have heard how hard it is for me to choose favorites, but at least this week, my favorite colors are the 2015-2017 In Colors.  I don't have one favorite style, either, but I'm currently fascinated by learning to do collage style, so I *had* to order Awesomely Artistic as soon as I saw it in the new catalog.  Yesterday, it was my favorite stamp set.  I once again may be a little overly pleased with myself, as I didn't CASE (remember? Copy And Share Everything? we just talked about that)  this card, and just made it up as I was going along:
stamp set - Awesomely Artistic; ink - Cucumber Crush, Delightful Dijon, Mint Macaron, Tip Top Taupe, Watermelon Wonder; card stock - Very Vanilla, Hello Honey, Mint Macaron

The dragonfly, flowers, and colors all look super summery to me, which oh-so-conveniently happens to be the theme at another challenge I just found, Can You Case It?:

Although I did make up my design as I went along, I didn't just randomly, free-hand stamp on the card stock and like it when I was done.  I decided on the colors and the stamp set but I froze up, looking at the pristine rectangle of Very Vanilla.  Then I thought about ICAD - Index Card a Day (I *know* - another acronym - and not a stamping/card making/scrapbooking one - but we talked about that just the other day, too).  My "practice" piece was free-hand, randomly stamped, and I mostly loved it:

The one thing I didn't love was those red splatters - they kind of look like thousands of mosquitoes that were smashed *after* they attacked an unsuspecting and otherwise non-violent homeowner in the muggy Midwest.

Monday, June 15, 2015

adventure of another CAS and a CASE

Those acronyms I mentioned yesterday?  Today's examples are Clean And Simple (again) and Copy And Share Everything.  First, the CASE was a card I loved the minute I saw it.  It's perfect, but rather than copy it exactly, I thought I'd wait for a different color combination to capture me.  Jean Fitch, at the Watercooler Challenges, handled that for me this week, so here's my version:
stamp sets - Sheltering Tree, Sassy Salutations; ink - Marina Mist, Daffodil Delight, Crumb Cake; card stock - Whisper White, Crumb Cake 

My second card, a return to CAS, was more of a challenge.  TGIF Challenges, a new challenge blog, has a "Chopped" style Throwdown challenge that I think is incredibly clever, in spite of having never seen Chopped.  I waited for my new catalog order to arrive so I could use our new heavier weight white card stock as a base, since only white card stock is allowed (as a pantry item) for #TGIFCTD01, but I forgot to order the card stock. :/  I don't like using Whisper White as a card base unless I'm going to layer it up, and there's no other card stock listed, so I was going to skip the challenge.  Then I remembered Shimmery White card stock - I think that's allowable as white card stock.  It was still a bit difficult for me, as I don't own the only stamp set allowed (Work of Art), but I gave it a go anyway:
Throwdown ingredients: Gold Foil, Hello You Thinlits, Butterfly Thinlits, Blushing Bride ink, Blackberry Bliss ink
Pantry items: white card stock, doily, Big Shot, sponges, adhesives

I had the "thanks" whisper white die cuts set aside on my craft table from another project.  When  I saw the "Just Us Girls" Challenge prompt - stacked die cuts - I remembered that a little sponging (or a lot, in this case) would add color to make it stand out even more from the white base.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

CAS challenge adventures

Do you sometimes forget the card making acronyms we bloggers toss around with abandon?  Some of my favorite blogs have "decoders" in their sidebars, but I've not been that ambitious.  Today I have a CAS - Clean and Simple - offering that I think works for the challenges at both Addicted to CAS and CAS(E) this Sketch!.  I did take some liberties with the sketch, though, substituting the starburst for the four squares and adding the lines of dots element.
stamp sets - Kinda Eclectic, Another Thank You; ink - Melon Mambo, Rich Razzleberry, Tempting Turquoise; card stock - Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise; punch - Elegant Butterfly

Edited to Add - Today (Wednesday, June 17) I suddenly remembered that the color & theme inspiration for this set of cards initially came from The Card Concept!  That made me think maybe this style is more Clean and Graphic than Clean and Simple?  I can't really decide, but I hope it's not too late to link up!

I couldn't make up my mind which color worked best for background, middle ground, or foreground, and since I needed 3 thank you notes, I tried it each way.  While I was working, I remembered to stamp off the excess ink before cleaning the stamps so that I would have some bases for my ICAD work.  ICAD is an acronym for Index Card a Day (a bit different than the cards you're used to seeing here) - a fabulous annual summer challenge to create something daily in a small format.  Learn more at Daisy Yellow, and join in, it's amazing!  Here are my #11 and #13 that grew out of this stamping session:

I have to give myself permission to create "bad art," which I learned from a fellow participant at the Daisy Yellow 2015 Index-Card-A-Day Facebook page.  Another thing I have to work at remembering is that it's a daily creative challenge, not an art competition.  The other participants are 100% supportive and encouraging, though, so it's not too hard to remember unless I spend too much time offline. ;)