Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fancy Swap Hop -- Marlene Caravello's Brushless Watercolor Card

Hi!  Welcome!  For those of you who regularly read my blog, you might recall that I mentioned earlier this week that I actually got to speak with my dear friend Marlene Caravello for the first time this past weekend because we have been working on a special surprise for you!!!  Well, here it is!  I'm lending my blog space to Marlene for the day so she can take part in a Fancy Card Swap Blog Hop!!!  I'm so excited and honored to be able to do this with her -- Marlene's art work is so beautiful, and I know the other cards you see in the blog hop will be amazing, too!  Be sure to keep hopping after you check out Marlene's creation so you can see for yourself!!!

You may be arriving here from Elizabeth Price's blog Seeing Ink Spots (if not, you won't want to miss her beautiful vintage card or instructions for how she dyed her organza ribbon), and after you've checked out Marlene's fancy card, you'll be heading to the next stop on the blog hop, Kaylene Murray's blog Stampin Kay (I'll provide the link again at the bottom so you can check out the whole post before heading on to see Kaylene's beautiful creation!)

So, without further ado, here's Marlene's card: 

and the inside view:

Marlene used a simple Brushless Watercolor technique to create the background behind the flower on her card front.  She explains:

Using Stampin' Up!'s watercolor paper (this is the best as it is 100% cotton), cut down to size needed. Add Stampin' Up! Classic colors of choice with sponge or brayer. Do not skimp on ink as it will lighten up as it dries. Spritz heavily with water mist. Turn paper to let color(s) run or add rock salt (leave on until dry) for an interesting result. It's easy and fun!
Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to hop along to Kaylene's blog by clicking here.

Submitted by Michelle VanWiggeren for Marlene Caravello

Kusudama Tutorials and Time for Blog Candy!!!

Several months back, I mentioned that I was working on a kusudama ball tutorial and pondered whether a kusudama ball blog candy might be of interest to anyone.  While I have been a bit distracted by random and various other projects, I have not forgotten either of those ideas! 

First things first . . . for the blog candy . . . if you would like to be the proud owner of a kusudama ball created by me, please leave me a comment on this blog post before August 6th at midnight (for those reading this on Facebook, please make sure to click through to the blog to enter your comment in the right place).  I'll use a random number generator to pick who will be the lucky recipient and announce that person the week of August 8th.  If there are enough comments (like more than 30), I will make more than one ball (although paper designs may vary from the one shown), so I can choose more than one recipient.  Here are some photos of the kusudama ball someone will receive:

Now, on to the tutorials for those who'd also like to make this project themselves!

The first step is to select the designer paper you would like to use.  For the kusudama ball above, I used four 12 x 12 sheets in two designs from the Flirtatious Designer Series Paper.  You need to make 12 flowers to make the ball, and each flower requires 5 petals, which if you do the math means you need 60 squares of paper.  The squares I used were 3 inches by 3 inches, so I was able to get 16 squares out of each designer series paper sheet (you'll have two of each design left over . . . I plan to use those to make cards!) 

Next, you will need to cut your squares. 

Then, it is time to start folding each of the petals.  To begin, bring the top corner of your square to the bottom, with the design on the outside that you would like to be on the outside of your flower.  Here's a photo of that:

Then, bring each of the outer corners to the top, like this:

Take each of those flaps, and fold in half toward the outer corner, like this:

Then, squish the flaps open like this:

Fold down the top of each of the flaps, until it is in line with the edge leading to the top, like this:

Then, fold the outer edge of each flap in half, back toward the center, like this:

Finally, put glue on one of the flaps, and attach to the other flap:

Assemble five petals together by attaching side to side.  I use Tombo Multi to do this. 

I made a video to show you how I do both the petal folding and the flower assembly.  Here it is:

After you have all 12 flowers assembled, it is time to arrange and glue them into the ball.  I divide the petals in half, and assemble each half of the ball.  I start by figuring out which will be the center flower, then place 5 flowers around that.  I hot glue in any rhinestone brad or other center I may want for the flowers, then attach the flowers to each other using hot glue. 

When both halves are finished, I create a ribbon loop for hanging the ball (this takes approximately 12 inches of ribbon . . . I simply loop it and create a knot at the other end), then hot glue that in between the two halves. 

Here's a video to show you what I mean:

Did you catch my little goof in the video?  Those are actually rhinestone brads, not rhinestones.  (It is possible to attach rhinestones, it would just be a bit more challenging!)  

Hope you will try this out.  Please be sure to leave a comment to enter for blog candy or if you have any questions! 

- Michelle

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Printed Spring Break My Digital Studio Album

It's been a while since I've posted anything My Digital Studio-related!  I think my last posts were probably back in May when I was digital scrapbooking daily to finish my goal of completing an album during National Scrapbooking Month (if you'd like to see my work in progress posts, you can here, here and here).  Well, I accomplished my goal, had the book printed, and have some photos of the completed book to show you (with apologies because my photography skills leave something to be desired -- the book and pages look much better in real life than in these photos!). 

Here's the final version of the cover:

I kept the layout the same from what I originally showed you, but I decided I wanted a lighter background and settled on this light blue digital designer paper from the Shades of Spring Digital Download.

Here are some pages from inside:

(For the bottom two, I took inspiration from Becky Fleck's PageMaps for the layouts.)

On the back of the book is a rainbow we saw as we were driving home:

I'm really happy with how the book came out -- the guys and I really enjoy going through it and remembering our fun trip!   I have some other projects I should get started on soon, too . . . hopefully will have some time to get into them this week while the boys are at their day camp or once they are both back to school . . . won't be long now . . . yikes!  

Anyway, I love how fun and easy it is to scrapbook using My Digital Studio.  If you haven't tried it yet, you should! 

- Michelle

Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Flirtatious Butterfly Card

Hi!  Happy Monday!  Hope you had a terrific weekend.  I've had the privilege of stamping quite a bit recently . . . both Thursday and Friday friends came to stamp with me in the afternoons.  Saturday, I had the treat of stamping with a good friend in her wonderful stamping space.  And, yesterday, I had the great joy of finally speaking on the phone to my long-time stamping friend Marlene (we've only communicated via mail and email before then!)  We're planning a treat for you all later this week . . . stay tuned!  Guess you can tell, I had an awesome weekend!  And, with the boys off at day camp today, I'm getting things organized for some consistent blog posts this week.  So, let's get that started with today's card:


I made this card for a challenge with my friend and SUper Friends team member Charlene.  For our challenge, we each agreed to make a card using Splitcoaststampers Sketch Challenge #27, so that's the source for this fun layout.

When I saw the layout, I thought the Flirtatious Designer Series Paper would be great to use with it -- it's a fun way to show off the different doily patterns!  I layered the designer paper on Whisper White card stock, and used a Wisteria Wonder base. 

I added the Melon Mambo butterly in the center along with the greeting.  The butterfly is created with two die cuts from the Beautiful Wings Embosslit.  I stamped them with Versamark and images from the Delicate Doilies stamp set.  Then, I added Pearl Jewels in the center.  Here's the close up:

I finished it off with a sentiment from Fabulous Phrases, stamped with Wisteria Wonder Class Ink on a piece of Whisper White card stock cut into a flag shape.

Hope you like it!  Let me know what you think -- I love to read your comments.  And, if you'd like to join us in doing this sketch challenge, let me know that, too!

- Michelle

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Case for Matching Pen and Paper Sets!

A while back at a Friends Happen! meeting, my friend Kallien Meris introduced me to a wonderful project -- stationery cases created by decorating empty stamp cases!  Such a terrific project, I had my hostess club members create their own at one of our meetings.  Here are some of their amazing creations:

This one by Catherine uses Playful Polka Dots along with the Strength and Hope stamp set:

Others used the Nautical Expedition Designer Series Paper from the Summer Mini along with the Open Sea stamp set and Baker's Twine to create gifts suitable for dads:

Here's the inside of one -- specially engineered by Lea so the pad and pen would stay neatly in place:

And, here's another one using Nautical Expedition Designer Paper and The Open Sea stamp set:

I had fun creating this one for a swap with my friend Marlene Caravello.  These cases are so much fun to decorate -- if you haven't already, you should give this project a try!  Instead of filling with a notepad and pen, you could also insert some handmade cards and envelopes for a sweet gift set. 

I'd love to see what you come up with if you make these stationery cases, too.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

- Michelle

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Strength and Hope Tri-Shutter Card

Here's a special card I created a little while back for a challenge in a swap with my friend Marlene Caravello to create a fancy fold card.   I'd seen some beautiful tri-shutter cards but never tried one before this one.  I was surprised how easy these are to create!

To create this card, I followed this excellent tutorial from Splitcoaststampers.  For my card, I used the special Strength & Hope set from the Summer Mini.  This set is especially wonderful because Stampin' Up! is donating $2 from each set purchased to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 

Here's the full view of the card:

And, here's a close up of the front panel:

This is the center panel:

 This is the final panel:

The butterflies were stamped in Versamark and then embossed using a mix of roughly equal parts Irridescent Ice, Melon Mambo and Tangerine Tango Embossing Powders.  Hard to see from the photos, but these butterflies really sparkle!

The card base is Pink Pirouette, and I layered Presto Patterns Designer Series Paper on top of it.  I sponged the Presto Patterns with Pink Pirouette Classic Ink.  (Presto Patterns is unfortunately no longer available, but there are other beautiful papers in the new Idea Book that you could use to create a similar look . . . for instance, the new Flirtatious Designer Series Paper).

The flowers are Paper Daisies from Stampin' Up!  I added a Pearl Jewel in the center of each, and there are Pearl Jewels in the card corners and around the greeting as well.  The leaves are die cut using the Little Leaves Sizzlet for the Big Shot. 

The "Hope" sentiment was stamped in Old Olive on Whisper White.  I stamped the flourish from the Strength & Hope set using Versamark on either side of "Hope."  The piece was punched out using the Decorative Label Punch.  Then, I sponged Certainly Celery ink all over, and Old Olive around the edges. 

I created smaller sentiments "kindness," "love," and "caring" in a similar way, and tucked one of those in each set of flowers.

I hope this inspires you to create a Tri-Shutter card of your own!

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Tried It . . . and I Like It!

When I saw the July Sketch for you to Try (sfytt from i{heart}stamps), I just had to do it!  I had some of the gorgeous new Flirtatious Designer Series Paper on my desk, and I knew that would be so much fun to use with this sketch.  My Beautiful Wings Embosslit had been neglected far too long, but seemed perfect for this, too.  So, here's the card I created:


The card base is Pretty in Pink, and I used a layer of Whisper White underneath the two designer paper pieces.  The butterflies were cut out from Whisper White, using the Big Shot and Beautiful Wings Embosslit.  I stamped on the butterflies with Versamark and the new Delicate Doilies set, then used my Pretty in Pink Stampin' Pastels for a pop of color (also known as the Poppin' Pastels technique).  For this version, I used Pearl Jewels on the butterfly bodies, but I also tried the same card with Rhinestone Jewels.  Here's that version:

Which do you like better?  I think the pearls have a softer look, but love the sparkle of the rhinestone bling!

Here are some close ups of the butterflies so you can  see the Poppin' Pastels better:

I also spritzed the butterflies with Smooch Spritz to give them some extra shimmer! 

For the ribbon, I tied together a piece of Whisper White Organza, layered over a piece of the Pretty in Pink 5/8" Satin Ribbon:

To create the tag, I punched a piece of Whisper White using the Word Window Punch and layered it onto a piece of Melon Mambo that I had punched using the Modern Label Punch, then trimmed off the end to create the flag look.  The sentiment is from the Fabulous Phrases set, and is stamped with Melon Mambo Classic Ink.

Hope you like this, too!  Thanks for stopping by.

- Michelle

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beautiful Day Card

Here's a project I made with some fun products from the Summer Mini:

The card base is Daffodil Delight, and I used designer paper from the Playful Polka Dots Simply Scrappin' Kit.  The kitty image and sentiment are from the Touch of Kindness stamp set.  I watercolored the kitty and butterfly using ink from my Daffodil Delight, Peach Parfait, and Rose Red ink pads.  The Peach Parfait Scallop was cut using the Scallop Circles Die and the Big Shot. 

I placed a Melon Mambo flower, which I die cut using the Fun Flowers Die and the Big Shot next to that.  I layered a Regal Rose flower, which I had punched out using the new Blossom Bouquet Triple Layer Punch, on top of that, and put a circle of Peach Parfait on top of that.

The two Rose Red flowers were also punched out using the Blossom Bouquet Triple Layer Punch.  Then, a circle of Daffodil Delight was placed in the center of each flower.

The sentiment was punched out with a circle, and Peach Parfait sponged around the edge.  Then, it was layered onto a piece of Pretty in Pink.  I had stamped the "sun" image from the Touch of Kindess set in versamark on that, embossed using Melon Mambo Embossing Powder, and then punched out with the Scallop Circle Punch.

A very bright and happy card!  Hope you like it!

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Want to Create a Special Keepsake Project with me?

Have you heard?  Stampin' Up! has an amazing special going on right now through July 31st -- there's a $99 starter kit available (which contains over $185 in products and business supplies).  Plus, when you join in July, you will receive a bonus Christmas Keepsake Project Kit (a $40 value) for FREE!!!  And, I'll get one, too, so we can make our projects together!  How fun!!!  Here's a picture of the finished Christmas Keepsake Project:

Isn't it gorgeous?!!   You know you want one!

In addition to business supplies, the $99 starter kit contains some awesome products from the new Idea Book & Catalog.  The kit is customizable, too, so you can substitute items of equal or lesser value in place of the recommended products, if you want!   Here are the awesome products you can get in the starter kit:
  • Easy Events Clear-Mount Set*  
  • Pennant Parade Wood-Mount Set*
  • Basic Black Classic Stampin' Pad
  • Old Olive Classic Stampin' Pad
  • Pumpkin Pie Classic Stampin' Pad
  • Real Red Classic Stampin' Pad
  • Brights 8-1/2" x 11" Assorted Card Stock
  • Just Add Cake Designer Series Paper*
  • Chocolate Chip 1/2" Scallop Dots Ribbon*
  • Note Cards (20)
  • Clear-Mount Block C
  • Blender Pen (1)
  • SNAIL Adhesive
  • Business supplies

*Brand new to the 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog!

You can find more information about this promotion here, or feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email (there's a link in the side bar), and I'll be glad to answer any questions you have about being a demonstrator or help you get signed up and started!

- Michelle 




Friday, July 8, 2011

Pennant Parade Open House Project #2

Here's the second project we'll be making at my new Idea Book Open House tomorrow (if you are in the San Jose, CA area and want to drop by, please be sure to leave me a comment or send me an email using the link in the sidebar, and I'll be glad to get information to you so you can join the fun!):

This mini banner came together quickly, using the new Pennant Parade stamp set and coordinating punch.  I used three of the new In Colors -- Pool Party, Lucky Limeade, and Calypso Coral.  Here's a close up of one of the pennants:

The images were stamped on each banner in Versamark.  Letters are from the Just Perfect Alphabet, and were stamped in Early Espresso on Whisper White, then punched out with the 3/4" Circle Punch.  For a little extra pizzazz, I stamped one of the flower images from the Pennant Parade stamp set next to each letter in the color matching the pennant, and added some Dazzling Diamonds in the center.  The little white flowers are leftover pieces from punching with the Lace Ribbon Border Punch.  I added Dazzling Diamonds in the center of those, too.

The pennants are held together with Early Espresso & Whisper White Baker's Twine.  I used an embroidery needle, and stitched through the paper.  To finish, I glued a bow on each end.  Very simple!  

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pennant Parade Open House Project #1 and Inspiration in Action CASE Contest Entry

The new Idea Book has so many wonderful samples, and I've had fun going through my book and tabbing my favorites that I want to "CASE" (Copy & Share Everything).  It's actually kind of overwhelming how many tabs I put in!  Where to start?!

So, when I saw that Gretchen Barron is having a catalog CASE contest over at her Inspiration in Action blog, I knew I'd want to join the fun.  So, this card is an entry for that.  You should join the fun and play along, too!  There's even a fabulous prize package!  Here's the link to Gretchen's post about her contest.

This card was also so fun and quick to make that I'm excited about it being one of the make and takes for my New Catalog Open House this Saturday!  (If you are in the San Jose, California, area, and would like to stop by, please leave me a comment or email me and I'll get more details to you.)

Here's the card:

This card was inspired by the ice cream cone card on page 69 in the new Idea Book.  I kept the basic layout for my card, but changed the color scheme.  The card base is So Saffron, with another layer of So Saffron around Whisper White, then strips of Pool Party, designer Paper and Whisper White under the ice cream cone. 

The ice cream cone was created by stamping an image from the Pennant Parade set in Early Espresso on Whisper White, then punching out with the coordinating punch.  The top of the ice cream cone is punched out of Peach Parfait using the Cupcake Builder Punch.  Rather than stamping on the ice cream, I added a button from the Bitty Buttons, with a Pearl Jewel in the center. 

I also wanted to work in some new designer paper (the striped paper is from the Just Add Cake Designer Series Paper) and the new Lace Ribbon Border punch on top of that. I didn't have the embossing folder or stamps used for the background in the Idea Book (at least not yet!), so substituted the Perfect Polka Dots and Elegant Bouquet for those.

I added Pearl Jewels in the Lace Ribbon border punch and my bow was created using the Whisper White Baker's Twine.

Now, off to run some errands, then hopefully find some time to stamp some more!  So many projects I want to create, so little time!  Hope you are finding some time to create, too.
- Michelle

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pennant Parade Happy Birthday Wishes

Here is another card I have created using goodies from the brand new 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog!

This one uses the Pennant Parade stamp set and coordinating Petite Penants Builder Punch.   These are so much fun to use together!  In fact, I've been creating two new projects with them today for my New Catalog Open House coming up this Saturday.  I'll try to get photos of those taken and posted here soon.

The designer paper is called Just Add Cake, and is also from the new Idea Book.  I used Marina Mist, So Saffron, and Whisper White card stock as well. 

The words are from the Fancy Phrases set, and I was excited to discover how well they fit on the sideways pennants!

I created the "flag poles" using Old Olive 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon.  That's the same ribbon for the bow, with a Daffodil Delight button from the Bold Brights Designer Buttons on top, and a Pearl Jewel on top of that.  (Even though the Pearls are self-adhesive, I found that it helped to use some Mono Multi adhesive to secure the pearl to the button).

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It Really Feels Like Christmas in July!

Hi Everyone!  We just returned from a wonderful summer vacation -- it was a bit of a whirlwind, as we started out at the beach in Florida, for my husband's high school reunion, then flew to the Chicago area to see family and celebrate a close friend's birthday, followed by a quick stop in Champaign-Urbana to visit and show the kids our alma mater and another quick stop in Springfield to show the kids some important sites relating to Abraham Lincoln, and finally some time with family in the St. Louis area.  Whew!!!  Now, I'm back and have lots of exciting Stampin' Up! news to share with you . . . so, here goes!

Have you had a chance to see the beautiful new 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog yet?  If not, be sure to check it out here (although be sure to come back and read the rest of this post -- or better yet, please read my post first, then go browse the Idea Book to your heart's content! :)  )   There are some great new stamps and accessories in the new Idea Book, and I love the new In Colors! 

There's also exciting news for My Digital Studio users -- in addition to lots of great new downloads available with the release of the new Idea Book, there's a free update available with the fabulous new In Colors for you.  From your My Digital Studio program, simply click the help tab and select the check for updates option, follow the prompts, and you'll be all set!  Plus, Stampin' Up! has this free greeting card designer template available for you to download:

You can read more about how to get your free download here.

And, before I left on vacation, I had a chance to play with some new goodies I'd preordered -- here's one of my first creations with them:

This card is made using the new Posy Punch hostess set and three of the newest In Colors.  (The Stampin' Up! hostess program actually has changed -- giving hostesses much more flexibility in what they can choose and making it even more fun and rewarding to be a hostess!  If you'd like more information about the new program, please leave me a comment on this post or click the button in the side bar to send me an email!  I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.)

The card base is Island Indigo, and was stamped using Island Indigo and one of the Posy Punch images.  There's a layer of Pool Party card stock on top of that, which has strips under it which were punched using the new Lace Ribbon Border Punch.  The green squares are cut from Lucky Limeade card stock.  On top of those are the flowers which were stamped in Wisteria Wonder, then punched out using the Fancy Flower Punch.  Each flower center has a different embellishment in it.  Here are some close ups:

This one has flowers that are leftover from using the new Lace Ribbon Border Punch on a piece of Daffodil Delight card stock:

This one has a Daffodil Delight button from the Bold Brights Designer Buttons:

This one has a cut out from one of the flowers created when using the new Lace Ribbon Border Punch, again on a piece of Daffodil Delight card stock, and with a Rhinestone in the center:

 The layout for the card is from the Splitcoast Stampers Sketch Challenges #18. 

Stay tuned for more samples with new products!  And, if you are in the San Jose area, be sure to mark your calendar for my new catalog open house coming up this Saturday!  (If you aren't already on my newsletter mailing list, please be sure to leave me a comment or send me an email, and I'll be glad to give you all the details!)

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle