Friday, March 09, 2012

Four Ways Friday #82 - Established Elegance

This week's Four Ways Friday shows you four ways to put your Established Elegance stamp set to use!  This is one of those stamp sets that can really create gorgeous cards with just simple stamping...or you can jazz things up with a few simple additions.
I know the saying is "save the best for last," but this turned out to be my favorite card and I'm too excited to share it with you!  I stamped the dress form from Established Elegance using Island Indigo onto a Whisper White card base.  The sentiment was then stamped, with the help of the stamp-a-ma-jig, in Lucky Limeade.  Next came the Twitterpated designer fabric (love, love, love it!!!!).  I cut and tore very small strips of the fabric and then adhered them to the card using fabric glue.  I created about 3 layers of fabric strips to give the skirt some dimension.  I used adhesive pearls to form the waist of the skirt.  I will definitely be making a set of these cards and playing dress up with different types of fabric and ribbon! :)
If you don't have fabric or ribbon, don't worry!  This stamp set holds its own with just simple ink and card stock!  I love how you can layer the images in this set to create depth.  Here I combined the two stamps that I used on the first card with one more of the images in the set.  All were stamped onto Naturals Ivory card stock using Early Espresso ink.  I am going to stamp up a bunch of these - they will make a wonderful note card gift set!  (I can already see the cards in a box tied with Chantilly or Victoria crochet trim!).
I always enjoy when a stamp set comes with an image or two that can be stamped multiple times to create a border!  This floral image from Established Elegance is a perfect example!  With the help of my stamp-a-ma-jig, I repeatedly stamped the image using More Mustard ink on Confetti card stock.  I start by stamped the center image first and then work out to the right side and then the left side - just so my stamping is relatively centered.  The sentiment is from Loving Thoughts and was stamped using Cherry Cobbler ink.  The final touch was a piece of crochet thread tied through a Bitty Button.
Of course, you can always stamp and create layers using the gorgeous images in this stamp set.  I love the old fashioned typewriter in this set!  It makes a great focal image!  Here I stamped the image onto Crumb Cake card stock with Early Espresso ink.  I distressed the edges with my fingernail (very high tech! :).  I then spritzed this piece with the color spritzer tool and my Early Espresso marker.  The card base began as a piece of Lucky Limeade card stock and I cut back the front of the card and adhered a strip of In Color patterns stack designer paper using glue.  I then stamped the solid portion of the card front using the Rough Type (retired) stamp set and Lucky Limeade ink and spritzed the card front with Early Espresso ink as well.  Next I used the scallop edge punch to punch a few strips of First Edition specialty designer series paper.  I then layered them - a little askew from one another - and adhered them together and to the back of the typewriter using glue.  A piece of linen thread was wound around the piece and knotted and a little vintage trinket pin was added.  The sentiment from Loving Thoughts was stamped onto Very Vanilla card stock using Early Espresso ink.  I then used the Decorative Label punch to punch out the greeting....I punched it out and then threaded it through the punch again to create this unique label shape.  A few Vintage Trinkets brads were added to the tag before I adhered it to the card using dimensionals.  The whole panel was then attached to the card with dimensionals.
I hope you've enjoyed this week's Four Ways Friday!  I had a lot of fun with this stamp set and I hope these ideas inspire you to use this, or any set that you have, in fun new ways!!!!  Wishing you a wonderful and creative weekend!!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

March Blossom Punch PCL Design Team Projects - Part 2

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.  - Indira Gandhi
I thought I would share another quote with you today :)  I have mentioned before that I travel quite a bit for work and at times, being around all of that activity - in hotels, airports, planes, meeting rooms...can, well, make me a bit nuts!  So I continue to try to learn how to be still in the midst of all of that activity - how to quiet my body and mind - which usually involves finding a quiet place to sit down - sometimes even on the floor in a hallway in the airport; or maybe deciding to buy groceries so that I don't have to leave my hotel room in the evenings.  On the plane it usually involves putting on my noise-cancelling headphones and listening to music that centers me - a favorite is Native American flute music by R. Carlos Nakai - so soothing.  I feel like I do a better job of being vibrantly alive in repose :)  Yesterday morning was a perfect example.  I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and start my day and Willow, our beautiful cat, followed me into the bathroom (why is it that the animals like to follow me into the bathroom?!).  Anyway, she meowed at me so, while brushing my teeth, I sat down on the floor and she proceeding to climb into my lap and curl up into a little ball to be petted :)  And so we sat there, Willow and I, in the middle of the bathroom floor.  I with a toothbrush sticking out of a my mouth.  Her with her eyes closed.  And I pet her...for quite some time.  And during that time I was vibrantly alive - so connected to her - feeling the love and trust flowing between us - the comfort and peace.  Hmmm...I wonder if Willow can come with me on my next trip...although I think she would have issues trying to be still in the midst of all of that activity :)
Today I want to share with you the final two projects I created this month as a Design Team member for Paper Crafter's Library!  I decided to make my first-ever wreath using the Blossom Punch and the beautiful Everyday Enchantment designer series paper, brads and ribbon from Sale-a-Bration!  I covered the styrofoam wreath with strips of unbleached muslin and then attached muslin and ribbon bows and the flowers to the wreath using hot glue.  You can't really see it in the photo, but I lined the back edges of the wreath with Pear Pizzazz pleated satin ribbon.  This wreath is proudly hanging in our home :)
I decided to do a little upcycling for my second project :)  For some reason a pair of old, ripped jeans caught my eye in my fabric box and I decided the pockets would make a perfect holder for a mini book :)  I used the images from the Mixed Bunch stamp set and heat embossed on the fabric with ink and clear embossing powder.  The book was put together with a bamboo skewer binding.  Here is a picture of the inside pages before they were bound into the book:
It's hard to believe that I only have one more month as a Design Team member for Paper Crafter's Library - the time has flown by!  (A hint for next month's projects...I'm using the Attic Boutique Suite from the Occasions Mini Catalog :)  I am happy to report that they have asked me to remain on their team longer term as a Designer/Educator!  I immediately accepted and will continue to make exclusive videos that will be available to Paper Crafter's Library members!  To learn more about Paper Crafter's Library and to view their free blog, click HERE!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

March Blossom Punch PCL Design Team Projects - Part 1

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.  - Helen Keller
I was working on my next set of Paper Crafter's Library design team projects the other day and decided I might want to incorporate some quotes into the project.  So I started searching for quotes by women and came across a few that really spoke to me.  This quote from Helen Keller was one of them.  This quote can serve as a mantra for life in general and, I believe, it can serve as a guide for us when it comes to our art making.  How often do you hold yourself back when you feel the impulse to just go nuts with your art?!  Do you hold yourself back because you might make a mistake?  or someone else won't like what you do?  or you don't want to "waste" your favorite paint, ink, paper, whatever?  The risk we accept by not expressing ourselves in the way we want in our art is far greater than the risk involved in wasting a bit of paint or making a boo-boo.  Today, give up creeping with your art - go wherever your impulse wants to take you - follow your impulse to soar!!!!!!
Today I am sharing with you two of the projects I created this month as a Design Team member for Paper Crafter's Library.  For today's projects I focused on using the Blossom Punch.  If you followed my blog last week, you saw the video on how to create flowers using your Blossom Punch.  Here, I used a similar technique to create flowers out of kraft colored tissue paper.  It is a lot easier to punch through tissue paper with your punch if you fold the tissue paper over a few times before punching.  Each layer of the flower was glued in the center to the one on top of it and then I scrunched the flowers and hot glued them to the branches.  The vase was filled with floral foam and covered with strips of First Edition Specialty designer series paper to hide the foam :)  I also used a piece of this designer paper to wrap around the outside of the vase - I adhered it to itself so that I can choose to slide the paper off of the vase if I want to decorate it differently.  Do you see the little bird in the branches?  I die cut some muslin using the Elegant Bird die and then sewed the parts together to create a small stuffed bird that I then hot glued to a branch.
For my second project I created a card to demonstrate how you can paper piece using your Blossom Punch.  Here I punched out a blossom punch flower from a variety of different papers and some silver glimmer paper (love it!).  I then cut the flowers up into smaller pieces and glued the pieces onto a base flower.  I added a greeting from the Elementary Elegance Sale-a-bration stamp set as well as a few extra embellishments.  I hope you've enjoyed these first two projects.  Join me tomorrow to see the second two projects I created! :)  You can learn more about Paper Crafter's Library here!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Make Your Own Die Cut Foam Stamps: Video!!!!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Location, Location, Location
I'm not sure what possessed us - maybe the same thing that possesses anyone to walk into an open house or search on-line for real estate.  Somehow we ended up finding a house on-line that we decided we needed to see in person.  It sounded like it might meet our dream needs - you know the list that you make up in your mind as you are falling asleep at night...Our list has things like more land to grow more veggies and flowers, a larger garage for storage and workshop space, artist's studio in a separate building...with a bathroom and kitchen of course!!!!!  Believe it or not, this property had all of those things and then some so we decided to go take a look.  The property was beautiful - it fulfilled a lot of the dream list...and then we started talking about how easy the decision would be if we could just move it a few blocks northwest...or maybe even across town!  Where it is currently located just didn't feel safe to me - a bit of a transitioning neighborhood.  I also began thinking about building a brick and mortar fence around the whole property - about 10-feet high - with electronic gates (and if I was really being honest, a moat and 24-hour armed security!).  Yes, the house had a lot to offer - it was just the location that caused concern.  One of our friends said it best, "The nicest property we ever looked at was just not in the right place."  And so it was with this house.  It's funny though, when we returned home and started our evening routine, I began to think more about what moving there would mean and realized that what I think I really want in my dreams, may really not be what I want in my reality.  A separate building that houses a studio might be the same time, it's nice to eat dinner and then walk down the hall into my craft room in my pj's, without having to venture into the cold night to head to a studio.  It's also nice hearing the sound of Michael working down the hall.  I begin to realize that some things I have right now are exactly right - in the right location :)  Yes, location is everything :)
For today's card I decided to create my own foam stamp using my Alphabet Simple Letters Bigz dies!  Here is a video to show you how you can use your Bigz dies to create fun foam stamps to use for your paper crafting projects!  Enjoy!!!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Altered Altoid Tin

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Breathe In The Fresh Air!!!!
Yesterday I was able to open the window in the craft room and let the fresh air in!  It was just over 60 degrees here in Denver and I definitely had Spring fever!!!!!  It's funny how people start to come out of the woodwork when the weather starts to warm up.  We took a walk in the afternoon and there were kids in the park, families riding bicycles, runners taking an afternoon jog - it's as if the neighborhood came awake after a long winter's nap :)  We even noticed that the daffodils and some other early flowers are starting to begin their ascent from the winter soil.  Yes, Spring is letting us know she is on her way.  It is definitely time to breathe in the fresh air!!!!!
I wanted to send a little gift to a friend and I decided it would fit perfectly into a Altoid tin.  I have collected these tins from various places over the years and had never altered one...and I am so glad I did - it was sooooo simple!  I took the Everyday Enchantment designer series paper from Sale-a-bration and outlined the top and bottom of the Altoid tin on the paper (I traced around the outside of the tin on the side of the paper that I did not want showing - just in case some of the pen marks weren't cut perfectly).  I then cut out the two pieces of paper and adhered them to the top and bottom of the tin using glue.  Next came the ruffled Wisteria Wonder ribbon - adhered with a bit of sticky strip.  I cut the prongs off of a rhinestone brad and adhered it to the ribbon using a glue dot.  Next I got out the Framelits Labels collection and the Apothecary Art stamp set and did a bit of stamping and die cutting.  Here is a view from the top of the tin so that you can see things more clearly:
I do have a confession to make - I never intended to incorporate the Wisteria Wonder color into this tin, but the 3/8" ribbon fit perfectly, so I went with it!  Now I'm so glad I did!  I really love how all the colors work together - definitely not a combination I would have thought of in advance!  For a touch of sparkle I added a bit of dazzling details on the flowers in the stamped image.  I hope you like it...I will definitely be doing some more tin altering in the near future!!!!!  (Oh...and I made a mini card to match :)  I am also excited to let you know that I will be sharing my second set of projects as a Paper Crafter's Library Design Team Member this week!  I had a lot of fun with my Blossom Punch!!!! :)