Thursday, April 28, 2011

Build a Blossom -- CASE of the Occasions Sample

At my friend Agnes's workshop a while back, our make and take was a variation of the square card sample shown for the Build a Blossom stamp set on page 12 of the Occasions Mini.  I changed the color scheme to Baja Breeze, Pretty in Pink, Daffodil Delight and Certainly Celery and added a few other fun touches:

This card is embossed with the Framed Tulips Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, using a technique I first learned from Sharon Field's blog (the link should take you directly to the proper post -- she has a great step-by-step tutorial there).  I think it is so neat how you can essentially fit this embossing folder to any size paper you want to emboss using Sharon's technique!

I also wanted to do something interesting and different for the flower center.  I happened to have my Daffodil Delight Pompom Trim nearby, and the light bulb went on when I saw it.  I pulled out my Sticky Pages and discovered they are a bit hard to punch through, but very easy to cut circles out with the Big Shot.  I cut my circles with the little circle on the Fun Flowers die.  I first used one side of the adhesive to hold the flowers together, then pulled the cover off the other side of the adhesive and wound my pompom trim onto it, starting in the center, working out.

The night of the workshop, most everyone tried to do the pompom trim first onto the Sticky Pages circle, but we discovered the problem with that is then it is very difficult to peel the cover off the opposite side of the adhesive to attach it to the card.  I think it comes off better when attached to the card stock first.

The pompom trim was something that I wasn't sure if I was going to like at first, but have grown to love.  If you haven't tried it yet and would like to, be sure to order soon because it is only available until April 30, when the Occasions Mini ends!   

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Monday, April 25, 2011

SUper Friends Brayer Challenge -- Mission Accomplished!

Hi, everyone!  Hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend!  I was hoping to pop in and post over the weekend, but we were away camping the last part of the week, and when we returned, had to finish preparations for Easter plus try to catch up on the mountain of laundry we managed to create on our trip (still working on that, but almost done)! 

Anyway, I wanted to share with you a creation that I finished up right before our trip, as well as some related creations by my SUper Friends team members.  These cards came about as a result of a request one of my SUper Friends had at one of our last meetings.  She wanted to learn more about using the brayer.  So, each of us who was there made a brayered piece -- we started by braying some Daffodil Delight onto Whisper White Card Stock, then added some Tangerine Tango and some Melon Mambo.  We finished by flicking some water on it to give it a fun look -- almost like the card stock had been in the rain.  Then, I challenged everyone to take the piece home and make something with it. 

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of my piece before I started experimenting with it.  I was going to try to make an egg or two out of it using the Oval Scallop Frame Die for the Big Shot, but wasn't happy with how that looked.   Here is one of the eggs I created -- I stamped butterflies on it from the Clearly for You set -- and actually had cut one out after I decided I wasn't going to make it into anything else:

Next, I decided I'd use my brayered piece to paper piece the egg shell onto the chick in the A Good Egg set.  I was much happier with how that turned out.  And, eventually, that developed into this card:

Here's a close up so you can see the chick's shell a little better:

The base for the card is Regal Rose.  The designer paper behind the chick is actually printed out from the Oh Sew Digital Download for My Digital Studio.  (I love being able to do that and create "hybrid" cards!)  I layered that piece onto a piece of Melon Mambo Card Stock.  

The little butterfly is created from a piece of Pretty in Pink Card Stock that I ran through the Big Shot in the Beautiful Wings Embosslit.  I added a Pearl Basic Jewel to the center for a little bit of bling.

The scallop border and punched piece on the side are all pieces of Regal Rose Card Stock that were punched out with a cool new Triple Layer Punch that will be available from the new Summer Mini Catalog on May 1st!   
My SUper Friends team member Agnes Lang created this fun card, using her brayered piece, the Forest Friends stamp set, clouds punched from the Cupcake Punch, and a greeting from the A Good Egg stamp set:

I think she did a great job creating a dreamy looking card out of my challenging color combo!  And, don't you love the way Agnes used the Decorative Label Punch, punched twice, to create a great shape for the greeting? 

My team member Christina Tan decided to create a new brayered piece using the same technique, but with a color scheme that matches the beautiful Paisley Prints Designer Paper (which you can still get until Apr. 30th as part of the Spring is Blossoming Sneak Peek Promotion . . . otherwise, you'll have to wait until the new Idea Book comes out in July!).  Here's the elegant card Christina made:

Christina created stencils with a circle punch and with the Two-Step Bird Punch, and then inked inside those to create the bird, branch and sun on her card (yet another creative way you can use punches!!!).  Christina also added some sparkle to the bird with shimmer paint -- a bit hard to capture in the photo -- even more beautiful in real life!

  Hope you enjoyed these creations, too!  Thanks, Agnes and Christina for letting me share your beautiful artwork! 

And, thank you for stopping by!

- Michelle

Thursday, April 21, 2011

An Egg-cellent Discovery?

Sorry, couldn't resist the pun!  At a recent class, I wanted to come up with a way to decorate the rose-covered basket shown here, that was, well, a little less girly.  I decided that instead of so many flowers, one solution would be to add some eggs.  But, the problem was, how to easily create some little eggs?  Fortunately, inspiration struck!  I decided to try using two oval punches to create an egg, and my little experiment worked pretty well . . . so, I took some photos of how I did it and can now share my discovery with you. 

I started with the 1-3/8 x 5/8" Oval and 1-3/4 x 7/8" Oval Punches (mine are still "old style" -- working well, so haven't needed to upgrade yet) and a scrap of Whisper White Card Stock that was handy on my desk:

(By the way, I'm guessing that this would also work to make a larger egg with the 1-3/4" x 7/8" and 2" x 1-3/8" Ovals, but haven't tested that yet . . . ). 

I punched out an oval, using the smaller of the two punches:

Then, I positioned my punched oval into the larger oval punch, until I had it lined up so that it would give me the egg shape I wanted: 

Here's how my punched piece turned out.  (Not too bad, although I might eventually trim this one a little on each side to round it out a bit more.) 

I thought my little sample egg was too boring just white, so I stamped it using the flower image from the A Good Set (colored with Melon Mambo and Tangerine Tango Stampin' Write Markers):

Then, I sponged a little Melon Mambo Classic Ink on it.  Here's my finished egg, ready to be used to decorate a basket or a cute little card . . .

As you can see, these eggs are easy to decorate . . . and could be made from any color of card stock or from designer paper.  Lots of fun possibilities!

Hope you'll try this punch art technique out!  If you do, I'd love to see what you make!  Please be sure to leave me a comment or send me an email with your photo or link to your photo of your artwork.

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Very Hoppy, Happy Easter Punch Art Card

The kids are off on spring break this week, so I need to type quickly before the boys start wrestling again, but wanted to share with you an Easter punch art card I made for my most recent swap with my friend Marlene Caravello.  I thought it would be fun to make a tri-fold card with a scene of chicks and a bunny.  Here is how it turned out:

The chicks and bunny bodies are made with the Owl Punch.  I just trimmed off the owls ear tufts and for the bunny, also trimmed off the feet.  The chicks' wings and the bunny's ears, arms and legs are the smallest leaf from the Blossom Petals Punch. 

The clouds are the top of the cupcake from the Cupcake Punch. 

The grass, which was created using the Dotted Scallop Border Punch, is a green pattern from the Play Date Designer Series Paper (I also used paper from this package for the chicks' wings and the bunny). 

The flowers are made with the Boho Blossom Punch.  I just snipped in between each petal, and added a small Daffodil Delight circle in the center.  I used the Tangerine Tango Stampin' Write Marker to add some color around the edge of the circle and some dots inside the circle. 

For the balloon, I used the 1-1/4 circle punch and a punch from the Punch Trio to create the Pretty in Pink pieces.  I stamped the greeting, which is from the Well Scripted Set, using Melon Mambo Classic ink.

On the back side of the card, I decorated the middle panel like this:

Again, the flowers are made using the Boho Blossoms Punch.  I used a small circle (actually punched with the Owl Punch) for the center and used the marker again to add some details.

Wow!  The boys actually let me finish a longer post than I thought I could!  Please let me know if you have any questions about how I made anything.

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Monday, April 18, 2011

Better Late Than Never!

My friend Marlene Caravello and I have just finished up another swap, and I can't wait to show you what we made for it . . . but before I do, I really want to show you Marlene's projects from our last swap!  I realized I hadn't shared them yet, and they are not to be missed!!! 

Marlene created these two beautiful projects using the Petal Cone Die and Springtime Vintage Designer Series Paper:

I'm really amazed at all the different things you can do with the Petal Cone die!  These two treat holders are so beautiful and fun . . . and, for our most recent swap, Marlene used the die in yet another way (but, there I go getting ahead of myself again!)   

For that swap, we also challenged each other to create cards that move.  And, we both ended up making versions of Never-Ending Cards.  Here are the different views of Marlene's card: 

Pretty neat!!!  I love these cards.  They are fairly easy to assemble -- as another friend and I were just talking about tonight, the real challenge is in decorating them!  I bet you'll agree with me that Marlene did a fabulous job!

- Michelle

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Botanical Gazette Easter Egg Easel Card

Here's another version of an egg-shaped easel card, but in a little different style than the punch art easel cards in my last post:

For this one, I adhered strips of Botanical Gazette Designer Series Paper to a rectangle of So Saffron Card Stock and then ran that through the Big Shot on the Scallop Oval Frame die to create the front or display part of the easel.  I actually have some cool frames left from that, and am hoping to use those to create another project.  I'll post those when I get them done!

The Pumpkin Pie scallop strips on the egg are pieces that were trimmed off of Pennant die cuts.  The small strip on the center is Early Espresso Card Stock ric rac, cut out with the Tasteful Trim die. 

To create the piece with the greeting on it, I stamped the image from the Four Frames stamp set in Early Espresso onto Vellum Card Stock.  I stamped "happy easter" from the A Good Egg stamp set in the middle of the frame.  I then punched that out using the Decorative Label Punch, and adhered it onto a piece of Sahara Sand Card Stock that had been punched out with the Decorative Label Punch.  I used Anywhere Glue Stick to adhere the vellum so the adhesive would not show through.

The little butterflies are from the Clearly For You set, and were stamped in Early Espresso Classic Ink onto Vellum Card Stock.  I sponged Pumpkin Pie Classic Ink onto the opposite side of the vellum.  I glued that to Whisper White Card Stock, and then carefully trimmed that out. 

For the finishing touch, I added a couple of little pearls from the Basic Pearl Jewels.

I have more fun Easter and spring projects to share with you this week!  Please stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hopping Along . . . (plus, the Cutest Easter Cupcakes I've Ever Seen!)

Yesterday, I had the second of my two Easter kids classes.  We made two projects during that, a mini basket and an egg-shaped easel card, transformed with some punch art into either a chick or a bunny.  Here is the basket:

The basket was created using Crumb Cake card stock, die cut using the Perfect Setting Bigz XL Die and the Big Shot.  The basket's base was created using a flower from the Flower Folds Bigz XL Die, and the handle was a strip of card stock, punched using the Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch.  The bunny image is from the Forest Friends stamp set, and was stamped in Chocolate Chip on Whisper White.  I layered that on a circle of Pretty in Pink and a 1-3/4" Scallop Circle of Chocolate Chip.  Underneath those is an image stamped from the Four Frames set (part of this month's Spring is Blossoming special, and a sneak peek from the 2011-12 Idea Book that will come out this summer!) in Marina Mist, and punched with the Decorative Label Punch.  The sides of the basket have sprigs of Certainly Celery leaves, punched using the Two-Step Bird Punch, and Pretty in Pink rolled paper roses.   Here's a better view of that:

This basket is an adaptation of my rose-covered Easter basket I first showed you in this post.  I was inspired to add the bunny medallion after seeing this cute bookmark on my friend Laura's blog here.

And, here are the chick and bunny cards:

These easel-style cards were both created using the Oval Scallop Frame Bigz Die for the card base and body.  We used the Boho Blossoms, 5-Petal Flower, 1-3/4 x 7/8" Oval, Blossom Petals, Trio Hearts and various circle punches on these as well.

I was inspired to create these egg-shaped cards after seeing some beautiful butterfly easel cards like this one on my friend Robin's blog!  If you can do this with a butterfly, I figured it would work for an egg, too.  And, so it did!!!

In fact, I have another egg-shaped easel card to show you, but I'll save that for another day because I also wanted to show you the cutest Easter cupcakes I've ever seen . . . I found these when I was at Safeway yesterday shopping for some snacks for the card class.  My littlest guy was with me, and we agreed that we just had to get these as soon as we saw them.  Here they are:

In fact, they make me want to design a cute little Easter card.  How about you?  Shall we make it a challenge?  If you are inspired to make something by these, please be sure to leave me a comment (and a link so we can see your creation!)

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Friday, April 8, 2011

What's in Your Grab Bag?

Back in this post, I told you about the fun grab bag deal that Stampin' Up! has right now.  I couldn't pass up this great deal, and purchased a couple of the $10 grab bags.  Funny thing, both ended up coming with the same content.  Here's a photo of what was in one of the bags:

So, basically, mine came with lots of great ribbon, pieces from retired Simply Sent kits, some mini notecards with envelopes, and lots of paper and accent pieces from a retired Simply Scrappin' kit!  These will be fun to use to create some great spring and summer notecards. 

Have you ordered a grab bag yet?  If so, what did you get?  If not, why not head on over to my online store, order your grab bag, and see what surprises are in store for you? 

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Digital Studio Update, Downloads, and More!

I really love My Digital Studio (Stampin' Up!'s easy to use software for creating digital designs and projects) -- and it just keeps getting better!  Stampin' Up! just released a free upgrade for software users, and the upgrade adds some great new functions plus some great new print products!!!  You can read the specifics of what the upgrade includes here.  And, check out the new print products here.

One of the new My Digital Studio print products that I'm super-excited about is the swatchbook!  I can see so many possibilities for fun mini albums to create with it.   I'm thinking this could be great fun for an end of year teacher gift with a photo of each child in the class on one page and a message on the back, or similarly for a coach's gift, or for a group of friends, or for a recipe exchange, or well, the possibilities just go on and on!   In fact, I've already created one page that I can share with you:

(When this is professionally printed through Stampin' Up!'s print services, there would be a hole punched in the middle of the circle on the left hand side, and a ring through that hole, binding this page to the others.) 

There were also a bunch of new downloads released last month, and more on the way -- sounds like there will be new downloads every Tuesday in April!  You can see the newest downloads available here

Stampin' Up! recently created a great resource for keeping track of your downloads as well.  Click here for the links to the My Digital Studio Catalog and March Catalog!  (And, actually, while you are there, consider joining the My Digital Studio online community -- it's a great place to learn techniques, be inspired, and share your ideas and projects!)

If you'd like more information about My Digital Studio, please leave me a comment or send me an email (there's a link in my sidebar you can use to email me).

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring is Blossoming!

We've been enjoying some beautiful spring weather here -- hope you are, too!  Both my boys are playing Little League baseball, and my littlest just had his first t-ball game this weekend, which was pretty adorable.  He did well at hitting, and when fielding, managed to catch a ladybug!  We'll be off to another game shortly, but wanted to be sure to pop in here and share quite a bit of news!

First, Stampin' Up! has grab bags available right now!  While supplies last, you can get a $5, $10, or $15 grab bag in the online store.  Each bag contains discontinued products, such as ribbons, Accents & Elements, chipboard, Designer Series Paper, or Simply Sent kit components. The $5 grab bag has at least $20 worth of discontinued product, the $10 bag has at least $40, and the $15 bag has at least $60.  Grab bags do not contain stamp sets or tools.  I've already ordered mine, and am looking forward to getting it tomorrow -- I'll let you know what's in it!  Also, these have been going quickly, so head on over to my store to shop now if you'd like your own grab bag (or two . . . or three . . .). 

Second, the Spring is Blossoming promotion has started!  This is a sneak peek at the beautiful Four Frames stamp set and gorgeous new Paisley Prints Designer Series Paper, which will be in the new Idea Book & Catalog to be released later this summer!  The sneak peek purchase period lasts until the end of April, and during it, you have two ways to get your hands on these beautiful new products!  You can order them with a $20 minimum purchase, or if get them FREE with a qualifying workshop!!!  For more details and to see these products, click here.  If you'd like information about booking a workshop with me, please email me!

I actually have a note card to share with you using both the Paisley Prints DSP and the Four Frames set (I love how this set coordinates perfectly with the Decorative Label Punch!)  I created these note cards as thank yous to give to my hostess club members with their March orders -- hope they liked them!

The image was stamped in Chocolate Chip.  I colored the bird as a robin, picking up Cherry Cobbler classic ink from my ink pad with a blender pen.  I traced around the stamped frame image with my Marina Mist marker.  The "thanks" image is from the Fabulous Phrases stamp set.  And, I finished off by spritzing a little Marina Mist ink from the marker onto the label using my Spritzer Tool.  You can catch a glimpse of some Marina Mist designer paper from the package under the label, but the larger sheet of it is so beautiful, I couldn't resist taking this photo to show off the note card on it:

Okay, that's a lot of info!  There's also a lot of My Digital Studio news to share with you -- but I'll save that for tomorrow's post! 

And, if you haven't noticed yet, there's a new page on my blog with information on my upcoming classes.  You can check it out by clicking here

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Friday, April 1, 2011

No foolin' around . . . spring kusudama projects!

Recently, my husband decided it would be fun to play a prank on me -- and had my boys in on it, too.  They pretended that he had left our two boys home alone while I was off at my Zumba class.   They did a good job with it, and actually really had me worried . . . until my husband snuck up behind me, said "boo" while tapping my shoulder, and scared me so much that I screamed really loudly!  I'm hoping that since he succeeded so well with that one, he and the boys won't try anything for April Fool's Day!!!  And, since I didn't enjoy that, I won't be trying to fool anyone here or elsewhere either!  May any pranks pulled on you only make you laugh!

As promised yesterday, I have another kusudama project to share with you today.  When my friend and team member Agnes and I met to plan her first workshop, she mentioned that she really liked the kusudama projects, and I figured out a way to incorporate those -- as hostess gift and door prize.  Here are the two projects I created:

I created both of these using the beautiful Springtime Vintage Designer Series Paper from the Occasions Mini.  The pearls are from the now-Retired Pretties Kit.  The ribbon loop for the top ball is 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon in Certainly Celery.  For the bottom ball, the ribbon loop is Very Vanilla Seam Binding Ribbon.  It occurs to me that everyone is going to want to know the size of my flowers!  It's been a couple weeks since I made these and I forgot to write notes about them, so I am going to have to guess . . . I believe the top one, which is actually the smaller of the two, is made using 3" squares, and the bottom one is made using 4" squares for each petal.  If I remember correctly, it took 12 flowers to make each ball. 

Here is one more close up of the larger ball:

These turned out so pretty . . . I'll be making more soon.  When I do, I will be sure to make a photo tutorial as I do it, so you can easily recreate them.  It occurs to me that they would make great blog candy, too.  What do you think?  Would you like one? 

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle