Friday, August 31, 2012

Moving Forward Thinking of You

Here's the second of the cards we created at my August Creative Connections Class (to see the first one, please click here):

This card uses the Moving Forward Stamp Set (a set that makes a difference -- for each one sold, Stampin' Up! donates $3 to Ronald McDonald House Charities!  To learn more about how you can help and to see some beautiful samples Stampin' Up! created with this exclusive set, click here.)

To create this card, I started with a base of Midnight Muse.  I added a piece of International Bazaar Designer Series Paper along the bottom.  Then, I inked up the image from Moving Forward using Midnight Muse and Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Write Markers, and stamped it onto a piece of Shimmery White Card Stock (that had been trimmed along the bottom with the pinking-sheer like edge from the Finishing Touches Edgelits).  I added some color to the sail and the dots along the top of the ship using a Summer Starfruit marker.  For the waves, I stamped the dotted image from Moving Forward in Bashful Blue ink.  For finishing touches, I added a 1/8" Silver Mini Brad on top of the mast and tied some Midnight Muse 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon around the Shimmery White layer.

The layout for this card was inspired by a card I spotted on Pinterest by Jill Franchett.  You can see her card here.

Thanks for visiting my blog!  Come back again soon!

- Michelle

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hello, Hello, Hello . . .

For my August Creative Connections Class, I knew I wanted to create a card that could be used for back-to-school with an owl peeking out of a tree, using the new Early Espresso Core'dinations Card Stock, the new Woodgrain Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, and the Owl Builder Punch.  Around the time I was planning, I happened to see this adorable card by Mary Fish, which was pretty close to what I was envisioning and certainly served as inspiration for my final design!  

Here's how my sample card for the class turned out:


I started with a Crumb Cake base.  The owl's tree is created with the Early Espresso Core'dinations Card Stock, with a 1-3/4" Circle punched out, then embossed with the Woodgrain folder, and sanded.  (Note: During class, we discovered it didn't matter whether you punched the circle out of the Core'dinations before or after embossing; you get the same results either way.)  There's also a piece of More Mustard, which is die cut using one of the Finishing Touches Edgelits, and a piece of the Howlstooth & Scaringbone Designer Series Paper (I love that the designs in the package have great fall colors that can be used for so much more than just Halloween!)  There's also a piece of Cherry Cobbler Scalloped Dot Ribbon, with the dotted side adhered down to the card.

For the owl, I used Basic Gray for the body.  His chest and eyelids are punched out of More Mustard.  His beak is Pumpkin Pie.  And, his eyes are Very Vanilla and Early Espresso.  The feathers are drawn on his chest with a Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Write Marker.

The "hello, hello, hello" greetings are created with a stamp from the Tiny Tags Stamp Set.  The images in that set are designed to coordinate with the Jewelry Tag punch, but it turns out that they also can work well with at least one of the punches in the Little Labels Punch Pack.   Here's a close up:

For a finishing touch, I added a little bow created out of Natural Linen Thread.

Here's another variation on the card that I created during the class:

For this one, I used a different pattern from the Howlstooth & Scaringbone.  The greeting is from the Mixed Medley Hostess Stamp Set (in the Holiday Catalog), punched out with the new 1-1/4" Scallop Circle Punch and the 3/4" Circle Punch.  For this owl, I added a few more details, inspired by my amazing friend Lea and the owl she created:

And, here's Lea's owl, with a birthday hat similar to the one Mary Fish created for her owl.  Lea had the brilliant idea to use the stem from the Bird Builder Punch's branch to create uniformly curved stripes on her owl's party hat!!!  She even added a Pearl Jewel to top it off.  I also love Lea's owl's beak -- she used the heart from the Owl Builder punch, but instead of tucking it under as I did, she created a small score line in the beak, and adhered it over her owl's chest.

Did you notice Lea's two other brilliant additions to the card?  First is the owl's nest -- created with a bit of Linen Thread, and second is the addition of the non-textured circle of Early Espresso Core'dinations behind the owl!  Very creative!!!  You can bet I'll be incorporating those ideas in my next variation on this card, too!

Hope these ideas inspire you to create something fun, too!  Thanks for visiting my blog!

- Michelle

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jana's Shelli-Inspired Window Frame Tri-Fold

A quick post today, but I think you'll really like this card!  My amazing and talented friend Jana Weaver made it for me, inspired by this gorgeous tri-fold card we'd seen on Shelli Gardner's blog.  Here is Jana's beautiful creation:

Supplies Used:

Stamps:  Friendship Preserves
Ink:  Marina Mist, Daffodil Delight
Paper:  Crumb Cake, Marina Mist, and Daffodil Delight Card Stock; Beau Chateau designer series paper (retired, but you can recreate something very similar using the Elements of Style Stamp Set and Marina Mist Ink)
Accessories:  Window Frames Collection Framelits, Fancy Fan Embossing Folder, Crumb Cake Seam Binding Ribbon

Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

- Michelle

Monday, August 27, 2012

Shimmering Holiday Ornaments Card

Whew!  This past weekend sure was busy, but fun!  I hosted a Crafters' Garage Sale, and really enjoyed the time with the friends who joined me for it -- and meeting some new crafty friends, too!  Thanks to everyone who participated!!!  This Sunday was also my Creative Connections Class, and that was great fun, too, thanks to the great gals who were able to join me for that.  I'll share the Creative Connections projects a little later this week -- stay tuned.

Today, I have the second card from the recent Holiday Mini Swap to show you!  Here's the little sneak peek I meant to post (couldn't find it, so not sure I did!  Oops-- sorry about that!):

Here's the full card:

And, here's one more photo taken out in the sunshine, to try to show off the subtle shimmer I created on the "frame" layer:

The base for this card is Cherry Cobbler card stock.  On top of that is a layer of Always Artichoke, which I embossed using the Elegant Lines Embossing Folder -- thought it would be a fun way to create a background of tree branches!

The ornaments are created using the Ornament Keepsakes stamp set from the Holiday Mini along with the coordinating Holiday Ornaments Framelits Dies (I love that Stampin' Up! is offering these as a bundle, so you can get them together for a great discount!!!)  I used Cherry Cobbler, Always Artichoke and Crumb Cake Stampin' Write Markers to color the images, then stamped them on Very Vanilla Card Stock before die cutting.  The large ornament is embellished with a bow of 3/8" Crumb Cake Taffeta Ribbon, and a flower created with layers of Cherry Cobbler punched with the Boho Blossoms Punch and a Pearl Jewel in the center.

For the ornament's hangers, I decided I wanted something a little sparkly as well.  So, I took small loops of White Bakers' Twine and dyed them using Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint!  Hard to tell in the photos, but they have some nice shimmer in real life!

The next layer of card stock has a window die cut out using one of the Apothecary Accents Framelits.  To add shimmer to this layer, I spritzed the card stock with a mixture of Rubbing Alcohol and several drops of Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint in one of the new Stampin' Spritzers.

On the left side of that card stock, I added a strip of Always Artichoke, which had been die cut with one of the Finishing Touches Edgelits.

The greeting is from the Bells & Boughs stamp set, and is stamped in Always Artichoke.  I punched the greeting out with the Large Oval Punch and layered it on a piece of Cherry Cobbler that had been punched with the Scallop Oval Punch.

Hope you like this card!  Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

- Michelle

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Drumroll, please . . . 400th Post Blog Candy Winner is . . .

I paid a visit to to let them pick a blog candy winner from all the sweet friends who left a comment on my 400th post.  So, although wish I could give everyone who left a comment an ornament, the number chosen is: 

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-08-22 19:51:32 UTC   

And, looking at the 400th post, that means the ornament goes to carpediem (laura j).  Laura, congratulations!!!!  Please contact me by Sunday night to claim your ornament!  (There's an email me button under the "about me" section in the right hand column.)

Thanks so much,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Peek - a - BOOOOO!

It is My Digital Studio Digital Download day!!! You can use the link at the end of the post to check out today's wonderful downloads!

A little while back, I gave you this sneak peek of a card I'd prepared for a swap I participated in with other demonstrators:  

Well, the swap is now complete, and I can show you the whole card at last!  Here it is:

It features the fun new Googly Ghouls set and coordinating Googlies embellishements from the Holiday Mini.  And, here is the card with the window frame (cut with the Peekaboo Die on the Big Shot) open to reveal a hidden message:

Lots of layers on this card!  The base is Basic Black, followed by a layer of Rich Razzleberry, another layer of Basic Black and then a piece of Whisper White, on which I created a Chevron background.  I used the Chevron embossing folder, swiped the paper with the Embossing Buddy (which turned out to be very important in keeping the embossing powder out of the debossed areas!), then used a brayer to apply Versamark on the raised area.  I sprinkled on Black Embossing Powder and heat embossed.

The More Mustard piece on top of the background is cut out with the Decorative Label Punch.  Then, using the Essentials Piercing Pack as a guide, I pierce the oval around the punch piece.  The faux stitching was added with a Rich Razzleberry Stampin' Write Marker.

Thanks for visiting my blog!  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of the card.  And, don't forget to check out today's digital download release!  (Here's the link for you again, so you don't have to scroll back up).

- Michelle

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Scensational Gingerbread Card from Jana!

I have a treat for you today!  This beautiful card was made by my wonderful and talented friend Jana for me to show off the new Scensational Season stamp set and coordinating Holiday Collection Framelits (available separately, but even better together as part of the Scensational Season Bundle!).  If you were able to come to my Holiday Mini Release Party, you'll know that this card not only looks yummy but smells delicious, too. Jana embossed the gingerbread couple using the new Sugar & Spice scented embossing powder.  Too bad my blog doesn't have smell-o-vision!

The card base is Crumb Cake, with a layer of Cherry Cobbler on top of that, and then some designer paper from the Festival of Prints Paper Stack.  Jana finished off the card with Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding Ribbon and a sweet little Cherry Cobbler heart (punched with the Small Heart Punch).

I love it!  Thanks so much, Jana!!!

And, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog!

- Michelle

Monday, August 13, 2012

Holiday Mini Release Party Make and Takes

I had such a great time with the friends who stopped in at the Holiday Mini Release Party on Friday!  Aside from the excellent time with friends, my next favorite thing was seeing the variations everyone came up with for the different make and takes I had prepared!

We created two different make and takes.  The first was a Halloween pillow box to fill with treats.  We used the new Illuminate Glimmer Watermark Stampin' Pad on it, along with the Toxic Treats stamp set.  The image we used fits perfectly in an Apothecary Label Framelit.  

The Illuminate really creates a beautiful luminescent shimmer, which shows up perfectly on dark colors.  A little harder to see on the Old Olive of the box, but still pretty there, too.  And, don't you love the beautiful new 1/2" Striped Satin Ribbon?!  We used the Basic Gray for this box (it also comes in Basic Black).  

I'd been a bit hesitant to run the box through the Big Shot in an embossing folder, but several friends tried that with great results.  And, by changing out the stamped piece to an image from Ornament Keepsakes (stamped on Very Vanilla and die cut with the coordinating framelits), and using Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine instead of the Striped Satin Ribbon, another friend made a beautiful Christmas pillow box.  (Sorry, I should've taken a photo of that!)

Our second project was a holiday tag.  The main challenge for this one was figuring which of the images from Scensational Season or Ornament Keepsakes to choose for the focal image!  For my sample, I chose the mug, stamped in Gumball Green, but before stamping, I ran my Early Espresso marker across the inside of the cup to make it appear to be filled with hot chocolate.  The image is stamped on Very Vanilla and die cut with the Holiday Collection Framelits Dies.  (I'm enjoying having so many coordinating sets in this Holiday Mini!)  The steam is stamped in Crumb Cake on the tag itself.

The tag is Crumb Cake card stock, with the shape created by inserting each of the top corners into the Decorative Label Punch and trimming!  Here's a photo to show what I mean:

A neat alternative use for that punch, huh?!!

The tag also features the gorgeous, sparkly Champagne Glitter Paper and one of the beautiful patterns from the Festival of Prints Designer Series Paper Stack.  To finish it off, there's a bit of Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine at the top.

There were some great variations on this project, too.  One of my favorites was using the "steam" image as a flourish on four sides around the focal point -- again, I wish I'd taken a photo!  Next time I have a class, I'll have to be sure to have my camera handy, I guess.

Hope you liked these projects!

- Michelle

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Give Thanks for LNS & CCMC213

Hi!  Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  We've been doing some cleaning out of the garage -- while the process sure isn't fun, it sure feels good to get that more organized!!!  It hasn't been all work, though . . . I had a great time last night with the friends who joined me for some stamping at my Holiday Mini Release Party!  I'll post the projects from that sometime next week.

In the meantime, I had some fun this week inking up the Full of Blessings set from the new Holiday Mini, and here's a second card I created with it!  For this card, I also decided to play along with two challenges -- the Late Night Stampers Challenge #185 "Gone to the Dogs," which is to use an animal on your creation, and the sketch challenge over at Create With Connie & Mary (CCMC213 -- love this sketch!)

The card base is Baja Breeze.  I attached a piece of Baja Breeze, which I embossed in the Chevron Embossing Folder, over on the left side.  The bottom of the flags is a piece of the gorgeous Natural Composition Specialty Paper, which I sponged with Soft Suede to better match the frame around my image.  The middle flag is a strip of the Fan Fair Designer Series Paper, and the top flag is Very Vanilla, stamped with the "Give Thanks" image from the Full of Blessings stamp set.  

The main image is stamped in Versamark on Watercolor Paper, and embossed using Early Espresso Embossing Powder.  I colored the image using Stampin' Write Markers, then blended the colors with my Aquapainter for more of a soft, watercolored look.  The image and its frame are die cut using the Apothecary Labels Framelits.  Here's a close up:

 (My six-year old thinks the little bird is so cute, he has asked me to stamp another bird just for him, but wants the bird on an orange or an apple instead of a pumpkin -- not sure why he wants to make that change, but will have to figure out how to do that for him!) 

Hope you like this one, too!

- Michelle

Friday, August 10, 2012

Full of Blessings with Mojo 253

This card uses this week's awesome Mojo Monday sketch (challenge #253), along with the beautiful wreath image from the Full of Blessings stamp set in the Stampin' Up! Holiday Mini.  

I stamped the wreath image in Versamark on Watercolor Paper, then embossed with the new Early Espresso Embossing Powder. The image is colored with Stampin' Write Markers, then the ink is blended in some areas using an Aquapainter.  Here's a closer view:

The card base is Crumb Cake, with another layer of Crumb Cake on top.  Then, there's a strip of Chocolate Chip along the right side, which is embossed with the Fancy Fan Embossing Folder.  I tied some Cherry Cobbler Scalloped Polka Dot Ribbon alongside that, with the polka-dot side down.  The greeting, which is from the Full of Blessings stamp set, is stamped in Early Espresso Classic Ink on a strip of Very Vanilla.  A piece of Cherry Cobbler is layered beneath that, and under that, is a piece of Fan Fair Designer Series Paper, which I stamped in a couple places, using the long pumpkin garland image from Full of Blessings.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

- Michelle

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The 400th Post -- Blog Candy Alert!!!

So, here it is!  My 400th blog post.  That calls for not only a special project but also some blog candy to celebrate.

First, for the project . . . I managed to recreate the beautiful ornament on the cover of the Holiday Mini Catalog -- it took a little time, but was very fun to make!  Here is my version:

You can only see a hint of it in the photos, but I added Dazzling Details along the edges of the ornaments for a bit of extra sparkle!  And, the back had to look pretty, too:

Okay, so that was the project!  Now, for the blog candy -- how would you like to be the recipient of the ornament I made?  If you would, please leave me a comment on this post before midnight PST on August 20th.  I'll randomly select the winner from those who have commented and post the winner on August 22nd.  (Be sure to include a way for me to contact you when you post your comment or be sure to check back to see if the ornament is yours!)  Good luck!

- Michelle

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The 399th Post!

I'm rapidly approaching my 400th blog post, which I think calls for something special to celebrate . . . stay tuned on that! :)  Today, I have a card I created using one of the great new Halloween sets from the Holiday Mini -- the Googly Ghouls set!  The images in this set are eerily adorable on their own, but really take on a spooky new life of their own when you add googly eyes to them.  Ha ha!

I had stamped some Ghouls in Basic Black on Whisper White and fussy cut them while working on another project, and decided to come up with this relatively quick and simple card for them:

The Ghouls are on a Basic Black background, which I spritzed with Gold Glow Smooch Spritz.  Kind of makes it look like the Ghouls are flying through a starry night . . .  There's a layer of Rich Razzleberry underneath that, which I stamped along one edge with the "Boooo" from the Googly Ghouls set, and the card base is Pumpkin Pie.  The greeting is from the Teeny Tiny Wishes set, stamped on a Whisper White banner.  

I'm having so much fun with the products from the Holiday Mini . . . looking forward to my Holiday Mini Release Party on Friday (if you are in the area, please come by!) and to showing you more of what I've been creating with my new Holiday Mini supplies!  In fact, it's been hard to decide whether to play with the Holiday Mini goodies . . . or in MDS2 . . . too much fun stuff, too little time!!!  

To browse the Holiday Mini you can click here (or if you'd like your own hard copy, please email me or leave me a comment)!   If you'd like to shop online from the Holiday Mini, please click here.  

Thanks for visiting my blog!

- Michelle

Monday, August 6, 2012

Happiness & Love Double Time

Happy Monday!  Today I have another Triple Time stamping card to share with you.  This one I ended up modifying a bit -- went a little too stamp happy when I had the three Vanilla layers together, and decided that was not the look I wanted for the center even though I liked the other layers.  So, the center panel actually was done separately, making it more of a double than triple time card, but, oh well!  Sometimes you just have to get a little creative to make a card work out the way you want!  And, I wanted this to be extra-special since I made it to congratulate my brother and his fiancee on their engagement!!!  Here it is:

Stamp sets used on this card are Papillon Potpourri, Artistic Etchings, Elements of Style, and Language of Friendship.  For the two background layers, I stamped the images in Midnight Muse, Primrose Petals, and Raspberry Ripple.

I stamped the flowers from Language of Friendship in Midnight Muse and punched out with the coordinating Boho Blossoms Punch.  Some are popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals.  Others are glued directly to the card.  I added a Basic Pearl Jewel in the center of each flower.

The "happiness & love" sentiment is from the Fabulous Phrases stamp set.  I stamped the words on pieces die cut using the smallest of the Bitty Banners Framelits. I then sponged around the edges of the banners with Midnight Muse ink.

The ribbon is Midnight Muse 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon.  

Hope you like this -- and if you haven't tried the Triple Time technique yet, hope you are inspired to do so!  Thanks so much for visiting my blog!  

- Michelle

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Moving Forward with Mojo

Hi Everyone!   Popping in for a quick post because I actually managed to finish a Mojo Monday sketch challenge today!!!  I'm so excited -- I love these sketches and have been missing playing along.

Here's my take on this week's challenge (#252).  I recently purchased the Moving Forward stamp set (after seeing lots of wonderful samples with it around the blogosphere!!!), and had great fun inking it up to create this bright and summery card:

Supplies Used:

Stamps:  Moving Forward (also gotta love that Stampin' Up! donates $3 to Ronald McDonald House Charities for each stamp set purchased!!)

Ink:  Brights Stampin' Write Markers (Pacific Point on wheels and basket, Real Red on handlebar tassles and seat, Tangerine Tango on the flowers, and Old Olive for the stems and greeting).

Paper:  Old Olive, Whisper White, Tangerine Tango, Real Red, and Rich Razzleberry Card Stock, and Summer Smooches Designer Series Paper

Accessories:  Bird Builder Punch, various Circle Punches to create the layered flowers (ranging from the Itty Bitty Shapes circle up to the 1" Circle Punch), Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Circle #2 Die, Adorning Accents Edgelits with the Big Shot (for the Razzleberry layer between the Whisper White Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch and the flowery piece of designer paper), Stampin' Sponges and 3/16" Brights Brads (Pumpkin Pie).

Thanks for visiting my blog!

- Michelle

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Spooktacular Project Kit Offer

Stampin' Up! has a Spooktacular offer for you if you join as a demonstrator this month!  Check out this fun Halloween Printer's Tray Project:

Isn't it a perfect Halloween decoration!?!  You know you'd love to make one of your own!  So, how do you get your kit to make one?  The kit is valued up to $60, and it's an exclusive, FREE bonus when you sign up as a demonstrator in August.  The Spooktacular kit includes everything you see below (you just need to add ink, which you can order as part of your demonstrator starter kit!)

The demonstrator starter kit is just $99, and with it, you get to choose up to $125 worth of brand-new products from the annual or holiday catalogs, for your completely customizable starter kit!

Plus, when you join Stampin' Up! as a demonstrator, you gain instant access to dozens of benefits, including
  • Sneak peeks of brand new products!
  • Access to an exclusive 30,000+ member online stamping community!
  • A monthly magazine filled with project ideas and tips for running your business!
  • The opportunity to fuel your passion for Stampin' Up! while getting a 20 percent discount on the products you love!
  • Opportunities to make new friends who share your same passion!
  • Regular meetings to stamp and swap as part of my SUper Friends group
Please contact me or click here for more information about how to join the fun!

- Michelle

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Digital Studio Video -- Create Cute Projects for Entertaining!

They're here!!!!

August has brought some exciting new products to the Stampin' Up! world!  Hard to know where to start, but I guess first is that the awesome new Holiday Mini is now available!  You can browse it online by clicking here.  There are so many great products (and product bundles!!!) in there . . . I especially love the Ornament Keepsakes Bundle.  I will be making the ornament on the cover of the mini (just been temporarily distracted by some scrapbooking projects that I recently rediscovered while cleaning out a bookshelf!):

I do, however, have another sneak peek for you of a card I created with the Ornament Keepsakes Bundle for a recent swap (the swap is still in process, so I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone . . . I'll show you the full card once the swap is complete!):

The other big news is the arrival of My Digital Studio 2 (also known as MDS2):

MDS2 has more design tools and is even easier to use that the original MDS!  For those who already have the awesome My Digital Studio software (and are in the U.S.), you have two options for updating your software.  You can purchase an upgrade for $19.95, which is a digital download.  Or, you can purchase the MDS2+ for $79.95, which is a full version of the software that comes with $500 in digital content.  To help you decide which option is best for you, you should check out the digital content that comes with MDS2+ by clicking here.

If you don't have the software yet, there is a free trial of MDS2 available!!! With the FREE trial, you’ll get:

  • Full access to the software at NO COST for 30 days.
  • Full design functionality.
  • View content here.
  • Opportunity to purchase additional downloads from designer templates to stamp brush sets--and everything in between.
  • Access to Stampin' Up!'s professional print services.
Once your trial period expires, you can simply contact me (or your demonstrator) to purchase the downloadable or disc version (coming soon!) of the software to continue enjoying My Digital Studio.   (You can choose between MDS2 for $39.95 or MDS2+ for $79.95, depending how much digital content you'd like to have!)

There are already some great training videos for the new functions available with MDS2.  You can check them out over on the training pages at (there are videos in the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Techniques sections for MDS2).  

And, to make digital crafting even sweeter, Stampin' Up! has 31% off digital for the 31 days of August.  There are 30 digital downloads plus one content disc included.  (To see the 31% off content items, please click here).  Plus, you can print any photobook, board book, swatchbook, individual pages, greeting card, postcard, trifold card, or tag-all for 31% off.   

So, it's a great time to get crafty digitally!!!

Please let me know if you have any questions about the Holiday Mini or MDS2!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

- Michelle

P.S.  Be sure to check back in a little bit for a post with a video with some great ideas of things you can create with MDS2!