Monday, May 30, 2011

Little birdy notes

I surely do love these little birdies, and when I finally got around to using this stamp set, I stamped a lot of pretty much the same image, in the same colors, on different shapes. I really like the combination of Marina Mist, Pear Pizzazz, Crumb Cake and lots of Whisper White. The background is embossed with the Elegant Bouquet embossing folder, the ribbon is Crumb Cake seam binding, and the little flower brad is Perfect Plum. Yum.

The sentiments include a stamp I picked up at a local craft store and one from PTI.

The square scallop card measures 5 x 5 and is made using Old Olive card stock and (retired) taffeta ribbon. The bottom layer was embossed using a texture plate. I put the ribbon in the upper right corner to fill empty space, wishing I had stamped the image a bit higher. On second thought, a nice little sun would have been very cute there, if I only had a very cute little sun...

This last is one of my teacher thank-you's. The 4 1/4" card is Marina Mist embossed with the Square Lattice embossing folder. The combined Pear Pizzazz square scallop and white scallop are mounted on foam squares to pop it off the background, which gives a lot of depth to the lattice embossing. The Marina Mist taffeta bow is made using a rhinestone brad - no tying involved - and the little Pretty in Pink flower brads give a nice pop of color.

As similar as these cards are, I love them all - they're so cheery. I have a new idea for another design using this set (need to borrow it again!) These birds would be perfect on the telescoping card, with their rounded shapes and curvy sentiments. (Just one more little project to do. In my spare time.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Scallops and circles

I find that scallops and circles together form a really pleasing combination, something that always makes me smile. Something about the symmetry of infinity, perhaps...

This will be a cheery little pick-me-up to receive in the mail, don't you think? It's the card I should have sent to my aunt but it wasn't yet created; I think she is probably still in rehab so I will send this card to her there.

I used A Flower for All Seasons and Linda's Copics to color the image. DSP and card stock is Regal Rose along with Pretty in Pink.

The sentiments are from Thoughts and Prayers (also borrowed! I am so lucky to have a stampin' friend to share with!)

I think my aunt will like the pretty pink combination - she had all boys...

I have another telescoping circles card that I made for my bff. I have had this friend image stamped and sitting around with a Groovy Guava circle since Groovy Guava was current! I kept picking it up and putting it down, never finishing it into a card that I wanted to make for Janice.

I should probably redo the middle circle to rebalance the flowers, but she won't care. Anyway, I think the scallops and circle telescoping card is the perfect fit for this image (and I still love Groovy Guava!)

I hope you're enjoying your long Memorial Day weekend - I am!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Grow a dream

Love this set! (Garden Variety by PTI.) There are so many choices to combine, especially when paired with the various die cuts, which are fun.

The colors are (retired) Bordering Blue for the tools, River Rock for the base and the grass. Pear Pizzazz and Pure Poppy make up the floral motif.

I realize the ribbon looks loose and crooked, but it isn't in real life. The shadows are fierce in this picture. I know I need to get a better set-up for photographs; I think a decent light would make a difference. It probably doesn't help that I usually snap off a quick photo or two late into the night (morning, more likely!) when I'm tired and past my bedtime... (I should probably wait and take a better photo before I post, but I don't want to wait!)

Anyway, the inside says Thank You and this design will join the others for my teacher thank-you's. It's quick and easy once the pieces are cut and stamped, and I think it's so cheery and cute. The sentiment on this card makes it a good one for me to write my personal notes to the teachers. This is our last year at Hemenway Elementary - we've been there for 8 years. I want the terrific teachers and staff at this wonderful school to know that I will miss them and that I appreciate all their loving care and guidance they have given to my children and me.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Part deux

The sun was shining directly overhead and the light was brassy on these tree peonies, but oh my, what a beautiful bush.

My daughter enjoyed her visit, too and spent a little time with us in the garden.

I looked through a box of cards I'd given to JC and found a few to photograph. She has a nice little shelf to do that on, with a couple of soft overhead lights:

This one is her favorite so far:

It was a lovely day to spend with my sister.

Saturday with Joycie

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sweet Summer Thank You

Here's another little 4 1/4" square card - lately, for some reason, I find this size appealing, maybe because the smaller image dictates simplicity.

I do love this Sweet Summer image! I used Concord Crush and Pear Pizzazz, a combination I really like. This time I colored the flowers and leaves using an old blender pen whose tip is a bit smooshed, and the ink inside the pad cover, which gave a bit of a watercolor effect. Quick and easy and a nice little addition to my teacher thank-you cards.

Scripted sprig

This is my first attempt at something I saw recently, which didn't turn out as nicely as I'd liked, but I will try again soon. I need a smaller script stamp, I think, so I can control the amount of ink that gets in contact with the paper, since the stencil is between the paper and the stamp. Perhaps I'd get a good impression if I use a paper mask instead of the acetate die cut; we'll see!

I cut out the leafy sprig using a piece of acetate from a box headed for the trash, and stenciled it using a Sponge Dauber with an Old Olive ink pad. I used a fair amount of repositionable dotto to hold the stencil down, which was helpful until I pulled it away - some of the card stock pulled up slightly. And when I stamped the French Script background stamp over the image, with the stencil still in place to mask the rest of the card, I was not successful (twice) to get the script image to stamp evenly across the leaves. That's pretty much why there are so many flowers on the stem! It's a pretty card, but nothing special - yet.

Sending smiles

I wanted a simple card to send to a dear friend of mine, the father of the children for whom I was nanny for a few years. Some years ago, he lost his wife, a fabulous woman who is greatly missed. We have lost touch over the years, but I want him to know I think of him and send him love. I hope it cheers him up.

I feel this card could be jazzed up a bit, but I couldn't come up with anything more than the brads once I had stamped the sentiment. I love the clouds, and the balloons, of course, take center stage. I plan to make some similar cards using a thank-you sentiment, and hopefully I'll find just the right touch to make this design rise to the occasion. (Sorry, I couldn't help myself!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tulip basket

I recently watercolored this sweet little image using my friend Linda's Copic markers (and her advice!) I've had it mounted on the Regal Rose circle and Crumb Cake scallop background and just sitting on my desk waiting for inspiration.

Well, tonight I wanted to make a quick card to post, so I found some retired Regal Rose DSP (a surprise I didn't know I had), added the scalloped border and the Certainly Celery strip which was embossed with the Finial Press embossing folder, and popped up my scallop image. (Aaahh, it's nice to have a catalog in my hands again to identify the names of items I used!) I finished it off with a little sentiment from last year's Sale-A-Bration set called Whimsical Words. It's going to be part of my thank-you card package for my daughter's teachers. I think they'll like it.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Small Wonder

My daughter's best friend just got a new baby brother this week. Christopher has been long-awaited and longed for, and I can't wait to welcome him and congratulate his family on his arrival! I just love new babies (who doesn't?) and I'm looking forward to sharing in the fun of watching him grow.

I used a combination of Pacific Point and Peach Parfait with a polka-dot embossed background of Bashful Blue. I like the combination of the (retired) Pacific Point striped grosgrain with the Peach Parfait stitched poly ribbon.

I made this card quickly so I could send it right out to our friends but looking at it again I think I'll try using the scallop sentiment at the top as a cloud, perhaps with a sponged background, or maybe I'll get adventurous and use some DSP (that white layer is pretty boring- I think I should have matted it, maybe popped it up). I have another set of card elements to assemble, so stay tuned and I'll post the other version.

I'm hoping to have a quiet weekend to do a little playing in my workroom and planting my herbs and flowers. Did I say I'm so glad it's spring?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Life is the flower

This sweet and simple card uses Sweet Summer, a Sale-A-Bration set which didn't interest me until I saw these hydrangeas being used. Now I regret not getting this set, but lucky me - my friend Linda has it. I paired it with a great quotation stamp I found at a craft store ("rubbadultery" for us Stampin' Up! demonstrators!)

(I use any and all stamps and accessories in my crafting. I usually only describe the SU! items -per their policy- but if you have a question about something in one of my cards, please feel free to email me.)

I used the Polka Dots embossing folder on the Marina Mist background, and paired it with Pear Pizzazz and Peach Parfait.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to All Mothers!

Did I say I love spring? Yes, I love flowers, and this moment of the year when living things just spring forth with such beauty and fervor. This glorious transformation from the bleak starkness of a long winter into vibrancy and thrilling new life fills me with hope, and happiness, and Inspiration.

And my Inspiration has been passed to me through all the mothers I know, from when I was a child and she raised me, through many stages of learning in my life, and through my transformation into a mother. My mother, my stepmother, my eldest sister, some best friends, a niece... all are mothers and all were spring babies. I think that has a lot to do with my love of spring.

God bless all us mothers, and thank God for spring!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Flower basket

Flowers, birds... I love spring! The rain bothers me not one bit. I've always been fond of a good rainfall, and today the sun was shining as I was driving through a rain shower, trying to keep a weather eye out for a rainbow...

I enjoyed coloring this image with Copic sketch pens - so many colors to choose from! It's easy to make matches with my Stampin' Up! color palette. The Daffodil Delight looks brassy in the picture but it's really softer and quite pleasant in person. Next time I would put a thin border mat under the Wild Wasabi, which has a subtle criss-cross texture (it's hard to see in the photo). I'll also try some different color combinations. Can't wait to color with Copics again!

And the Crumb Cake seam binding - did I say I LOVE this ribbon?

Storm clouds

I was lying on my bed after work this afternoon, looking out the window at the pretty PJM rhododendron blooming there. Since my bed is below ground level, I was looking up through the flowers to the stormy gray sky behind. It was a striking contrast so I decided to open the window and take a couple of photos.

The whole day kept going from sunny blue sky to stormy and gray and back again. This lovely view greets me when I open my window shade each morning (although this photo was taken in late afternoon):

The green lenten roses are behind the pink flower (forgetting its name!) but they're hard to see in the photo because they're all facing away from the window. I eagerly await their blooms each Easter. It's amazing to see the buds emerge, often looking ragged, from under the snow in March, and then to see them unfurl day by day. It's gratifying to have something blooming so early after so much snow.

The dark clouds filled the sky for a little while, and then blew away, leaving behind blue sky and shining clouds once again.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring song

This sweet and simple card reminds me of what is going on outside these last few days: bright blue skies, birds singing all around, flowers everywhere! Well, there's only one flower on my card, but it's got pride of place. It's made with several layers of felt cut with a small flower die - it's pretty thick so it might be best to hand-deliver this one. And I really like that texture plate on the Pear Pizzazz; it adds a nice subtle background.

I love this stamp set (I've had it on loan for quite a long time waiting for inspiration) and I finally made several, similar cards, with different sentiments and slightly different designs. (I'll be glad when I get another copy of the catalog - mine has been missing for months - so I can reference the correct name.)

I look forward to hearing more songbirds tomorrow!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Flower Fusion

I wasn't sure I should post this card; it didn't come out as crisp as I wanted. Stamping and heat embossing small die cuts is not easy and I'm a little disappointed in the results. I may try it again using a bit different method, and stamp and emboss all the flowers on a sheet of paper and cut them using a circle punch. We'll see. It's still a bright and cheery card and I like the design, and I LOVE that seam binding - can you believe this is the first time I've used it???