Friday, April 20, 2012

Four Ways Friday #85 - Four Frames Stamp Set

For this week's Four Ways Friday I decided to stamp a bit with the Four Frames stamp set.
The images in the Four Frames stamp set coordinate beautifully with the decorative label punch.  For this card I just stamped one of the Four Frames images multiple times onto a scrap of Whisper White card stock using Concord Crush ink.  I then used Peach Parfait ink and the Lovely Letters Alphabet to stamp the letters in the center of the images.  I punched the images out with the decorative label punch and adhered them to a long thin card made of Wisteria Wonder card stock.  Next I punched some blossoms using the boho blossoms punch and added them to the card.  Finally I punched some leaves from the 2-step bird punch and added adhesive rhinestones to the flower centers.
 Of course, you may just choose to ink up one of the Four Frames images and stamp the image directly on a card base.  Here I stamped the image (actually I only inked up the top and bottom of the image using a Basic Gray marker) onto a Whisper White card base.  I then added some silver smooch accent ink to the image.  The greeting was from Loving Thoughts was stamped onto Very Vanilla card stock and then cut and added to the card.  As a final touch, I used my Simply Scored tool to add some embossed lines across the bottom of the card.
If you don't want a frame image at all, that's no problem!  This stamp set has an adorable bird on one of the frames.  For this card I just inked up the bird with my Early Espresso marker and, with the help of my stamp-a-ma-jig, I stamped the bird three times :)  I then stamped the sentiments from Petite Pairs.  So simple and so cute :)
You can also create beautiful, simple cards with this stamp set by using different marker colors to ink up the images.  Here I used Rose Red and Pear Pizzazz to color in the flower frame.  I stamped the frame onto a Whisper White card base and added some dazzling diamonds (hard to see in the photo) with a 2-way glue pen.  Next I stamped the greeting from Petite Pairs.  I added a piece of crochet trim around the card and finished it with a vintage trinket safety pin.
I hope you've enjoyed this week's Four Ways Friday!!!!  It is wonderful to be back in the craft room again!  When I walked into the craft room this afternoon I was overcome with the thought, "I'm home."  I hope you have a wonderfully peaceful and creative weekend!!!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Apothecary Art Wonderful You Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  What Does It Mean To Truly Understand Something
Last week while traveling, I sat next to a man who found me to be a willing audience.  I wasn't really determined to read or put my headphones on, so when he said hello and began to chat with me, I decided to listen.  It was apparent to me that this man and I had different views on a number of different things.  That made me curious about him, so I kept listening.  At one point our conversation (or should I say his conversation...since I did a lot more listening than speaking) turned to the topic of fracking.  If you have never heard of fracking, it is a technique by which substances such as natural gas are removed from rock formations.  This man is a supporter of fracking and went on to describe the technique and the chemicals and steps that are gone through as a part of the extraction process.  When he finished his lesson on fracking I was curious since I know there are a lot of different views on the impact that fracking has on our environment and quite a lot of debate about it.  So I asked him why some people are so against it if, in his view, it is perfectly safe and fine to do.  His response was "they just don't understand."  I found this response curious and I wonder how often we think, feel or say this - that the only reason why someone doesn't agree with us is that they just don't understand and if they just understood it like we do, then, of course, they would agree with us.  I don't believe it is that simple.  As a matter of fact, if this man really wanted to influence my views on fracking, it would have been much more influential if he had been able to present a different perspective as well as his own.  Had he been able to do that it would have demonstrated to me that he truly understood that other perspective and that taking that other perspective into consideration he still felt that it was safe.  If we can't articulate another person's view/perspective as well as or better than our own, do we truly understand the issue?  It's a question I've been pondering a lot lately...
Today's card began with a Very Vanilla card base that I spritzed with champagne shimmer paint and Soft Suede ink.  I then stamped the Apothecary Art image with Soft Suede and cut it out with the Big Shot and one of the Labels Collection Framelits.  I sponged the edges and watercolored the flowers with Rose Red ink and my Aqua Painter.  I added some gold smooch to accent the flower centers and a touch of dazzling diamonds.  The greeting from Loving Thoughts was stamped with a combination of Soft Suede and Rose Red ink.  The flower was made using the faux suede technique with some flowers I had punched with the Blossom Punch.  I then sponged the flower with Soft Suede ink and colored some of the flower edges with gold smooch.  A small piece of crochet trim was added to complete the card.  I hope you like it :)
ps  Four Ways Friday will be posted a bit later in the day tomorrow (or possibly on Saturday morning).  It has been a travel week once again so I am a bit behind :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Out On A Whim Wednesday: Playing With Retired Stamps

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Just Because It's Retired Doesn't Mean It's Over :)
Retiring stamp sets.  I always have mixed feelings about retiring stamp sets.  As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, it is no secret that I try to make money by attracting people to exciting and wonderful new products.  Also, as a demonstrator, I am not supposed to use retired product when I host workshops.  The logic makes sense - after all, if you are demonstrating product that people can no longer buy, how is that going to help you build a business?  I realize though, that my Stampin' Up! business is as much if not more about inspiring people to "let their art out" as it is about being a profit-generating enterprise.  Maybe something I do with a retired stamp set will motivate you to dig up some old rubber stamps you have hiding in a closet and actually ink them up or apply some acrylic paint to them and get creative!  I am also a firm advocate of trying to use what you have and resisting the all-too-easy urge to just go out and buy the next best thing - the latest and greatest new item.  So, in this spirit, I am going out on a whim today and sharing a card that a friend commissioned me to make.  He has a friend who recently received tenure at DePauw University and he wanted to send a card to congratulate her.  I asked him what else she likes and when he mentioned that she had a golden doodle dog, this retired stamp set popped into my head (at least it looks pretty close to a golden doodle...don't you think?).  The set was called Bow Wow and the dog house, dog and paw print are just a few of the adorable images in the set.  (I do have to admit to being curious what Stampin' Up! will come up with for us dog-loving stampers...Friends Fur-ever and D is for Dog are both retiring so I'm anticipating they will be offering something to fill the void!  I know, I know...I'm not supposed to get too excited about the latest and greatest :)
I stamped the dog and dog house with Staz-On and did a bit of watercoloring with ink and my aqua painter.  I added a touch of dazzling diamonds to the house and created some grass with a strip of card stock and my paper snips.  The sign was created with the Calendar & Alphabet stamp set (also retiring and another set I am curious about...will there be a small alphabet replacement set????  I use this set ALL the time!).  The greeting is from Curly Cute.  I hope you like it :) While I had the Bow Wow and Curly Cute stamp sets out I also created this cute little thank you note (it is for my wonderful neighbor who drove all the way out to the airport for me to retrieve my laptop that I left at the security check point - how sweet was that!!!!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On Your Birthday & DSP Birthday Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Say It Simply
When it comes to making cards I often feel like I'm supposed to do something spectacular or complicated.  Somehow I've developed a thought deep in some recess of my mind that tries to tell me that simple is not enough.  As I think about things that impact me in life though, it seems that simple works.  Whether it is saying something simply or building something simple or even focusing on the simple pleasures in life - simple is definitely worth noticing!  I also find myself gravitating back to simple time and time again in my card making.  So for today, and likely for many more days to come, here is simple...
I cut a few strips of In Color designer paper and cut the ends to look like banners.  I adhered them to a rectangle of Island Indigo card stock and then added a few buttons with glue dots.  The greeting from On Your Birthday (a set that will be retiring soon) was stamped and then punched out with the decorative label punch.  The greeting was then popped up on dimensionals and the whole panel was then placed, with dimensionals, onto a Daffodil Delight card base.  It is simple...and says it all :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Friends Fur-ever Is Retiring...

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  It Just Takes One Action To Begin Again!
With all of my travel lately, my exercise schedule has been less of a schedule and more of a haphazard occurrence.  If you follow my blog, you know that I have been working through the P90X and P90X2 dvds.  I was very disciplined when it came to P90X - a little less so with P90X2 - giving myself a day or two in between workouts.  With travel this past week, that "day or two" turned into 5 days.  It may not sound like a lot, but when you become accustomed to the feeling that exercise provides you really do miss it when you don't do it.  The emotional "high" that I get from a workout, really keeps me in a positive place - a place where I feel like I am taking care of myself and being good to myself.  So yesterday I took action!  I put that dvd into the tv and did my workout!  All of the thoughts of the past 5 days washed away as I jumped and stretched and squatted and lunged.  It really does just take one action to begin again.  Why not take that action right now?
If you are a Stampin' Up! fan, you know that the new catalog transition is a very exciting time!!!!  This year it is happening even early, since Stampin' Up! is changing the timing of the new catalog.  The new catalog will begin on June 1st this year!  In preparation for that transition, Stampin' Up! just released the retiring stamp set list yesterday.  You can download a copy by clicking HERE.  The lists for retiring accessories and Definitely Decorative items will be available April 25th.  It is always a happy and sad time for me when I see the list of retiring items.  Inevitably, some of my favorites are going away to make room for new and exciting designs.  I was sad to see the Friends Fur-ever stamp set on the list - it has really turned into one of my most favorite stamp sets!!!!  So, as an ode to the set I decided to make this little birthday card.  The birthday greeting is from On Your Birthday which is also retiring.  I created the background paper by stamping with the bottom of a tin can :)  I hope you like it :)  If you have any questions regarding retiring stamps or the catalog transition, please don't hesitate to place a question in the comments section and I will respond to your question in my blog!  To order retiring stamp sets, feel free to shop with me HERE.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Retiring Stamp Sets 2012

The list is out!!!!  Here is the list of stamp sets that will be retiring from the current catalog.  These sets will no longer available after May 31, 2012 and are currently available while supplies last.  Click HERE to order today!!!!  Click HERE to download a PDF version of the list.