Monday, August 30, 2010

Simplifying-Will it make you happy?

I have read several articles lately about simplifying one's life. This one in the NY Times, particularly caught my attention. Ms. Strobel and her husband weeded out their belongings until they were at 100 items each.

Could you live, and be happy, with only 100 belongings to your name? Before you say, "oh sure, I could do that easily, that's a lot of items". Think about this, a pair of shoes counts as one item, a book is one item, a car-one item, a telephone-one item, a pan-one item. Now, is your answer the same? :)

There are many things in my life I would love to simplify, and sure, I have TONS of items that I could give up without really missing them after a few days, but I don't think I could be happy with only 100 items to my name. My craft table alone probably has at least that amount of items on it right now!

In the spirit of simplifying though, I decided to try my hand at some simple cards this weekend. I always admire those that can make really elegant simple cards, like Susan Raihale on her blog Simplicity.

I have the tendency to add more, more and still more. Vintage and collage are my favorite styles after all. Anyway, here is my attempt at some simple cards.The mottled effect on the Presto Pattern DSP was just from playing around. I first spritzed it with some Razzleberry shimmer mist I made from ink, shimmer paint and rubbing alcohol. Then I sponged on some Perfect Plum ink over the piece, finally I spritzed the pieces with plain water. I have found when using the shimmer paints and ink and then spritzing with water, you get this wonderful mottled effect. The mat is the new Concord Crush In-color card stock.

The butterflies were given some color with Concord Crush and sponge daubers. The sponging is a little sloppy, I think for that size item a smaller dauber or a Q-tip might have been a better choice. They were then sprayed with Vanilla Shimmer Mist as a finishing touch.

Stamps: Afterthoughts (Hostess-Level 1), Occasional Quotes (Hostess-Level 3)
Paper: Whisper White textured and smooth, Concord Crush, Presto Patterns DSP
Ink: Concord Crush, Perfect Plum, Rich Razzleberry
Accessories: Platinum Shimmer Paint, Vanilla Shimmer Mist, Beautiful Wings Embosslit, Big Shot, Sponge Daubers, Dimensionals


Friday, August 20, 2010

VC Hop #4 ~ Etchings

If you are following the VC Rocks blog hop, you should have arrived here from Donna's blog ~ High Altitude Creations. That is a beautiful card; I think I'll have to get that stamp set. If you are one of my much appreciated regular followers and started here, feel free to join in on the hop to see some very talented crafters sharing their projects.

If you encounter a broken link or want to start at the beginning of the hop go to VC Rocks home page to see the complete list of bloggers sharing their talents in this hop.

For my projects, I decided to use the new stamp set Artistic Etchings. I also wanted to use a classic, and I think, sophisticated color combination - Black, White and Red.

The new Antique Brads and Patterns Designer Paper Stack in Neutrals were a good ch
oice to go with the stamp set and what I had envisioned. This paper stack has some fabulous patterns to work with and I felt that this one fit the style I was going for perfectly.
I gave the Antique Brad a little zing by coloring the middle with a Sharpie marker.

The supplies I used:
  • Stamps: Artistic Etchings
  • Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White, Real Red cardstock, Patterns DSP stack Neutrals
  • Ink: Basic Black, Versamark
  • Accessories: Antique Brads, Raven Lace Trim, Red Sharpie Marker, Black Detail Embossing Powder, Sponges, Heat tool, Paper Piercer and mat.
Here is the recipe:
  • The card base is Basic Black cut length wise to measure 4 1/4" x 11" and scored at 5 1/2".
  • Cut the Pattern DSP to 4" x 5 1/4" and sponge the edges with Basic Black Ink.
  • Stamp the word Amour from the set with Versamark in the bottom right corner of the DSP and emboss with the black embossing powder. Adhere to card base.
  • Stamp the Eiffel Tower on a piece of Whisper White cs that measures 1 7/8" x 3 1/8" . The Real Red mat measures 2" x 3 1/4", and the basic black mat is 2 1/8" x 3 3/8". Adhere together.
  • Color the center of the Vintage brad with the red sharpie marker, place a 1 1/2" to 2" piece of Raven lace between the prongs of the brad. Using your paper piercer poke a hole through all three layers of the image piece and then place in the brad. Adjust and trim the lace as necessary. Adhere the piece to your card.
I have REALLY been neglecting my scrapbooking for quite a while, so I thought for my second project I would do a quick 6" x 6" page to help get me in gear again. I used the same color combo and most of the same basic supplies as my card. This patterned paper is from the Love Letter DSP.
Using the red sharpie again, I colored the new Jewels Basic Pearls and they turned out great! I think they are a perfect accent on the DSP. Here is a close-up. I love how they still keep their iridescent shine through the color.

Supplies I used:
  • Paper: Basic Black, Very Vanilla cardstock, Love Letter DSP
  • Ink: Basic Black
  • Accessories: Antique Brads, Jewels Basic Pearls, Raven Lace Trim, Red Sharpie Marker, Sponges, Craft tweezers, Paper piercer and mat.
The recipe:
  • The page base is Basic Black cardstock cut to 6" x 6".
  • Cut the Love Letter DSP to 5 1/2" x 5 1/2". Adhere a 6" piece of Raven lace to the bottom of the DSP.
  • With your paper piercer, poke a hole behind the lace strip on your DSP, where you would like your brad located. Place 3 pieces of Raven lace, approximately 2" in length, between the prongs of the Antique Brad.
  • With the smaller lace strips in place and a prong on each side of the lace strip on the paper, push the prongs through the hole. Adjust and trim the smaller lace pieces as needed.
  • The striped vanilla DSP was cut to 1 3/4" x 6" so that the flourished design was down the middle of the piece. I then sponged the edges with black ink.
  • While still on their protective backing, color the smallest individual pearls on the sheet with the red sharpie. Using the craft tweezers to help with placement, adhere the pearls to the center of the design. Adhere the strip to the layout.
  • For the photo mat, I cut a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock to 3 1/4" by 3 1/2" and sponged the edges with black ink. The black mat is 3 3/8" x 3 5/8". Adhere together and then to the layout.

Well, I hope that you enjoyed my projects and will come back to visit me soon. Right now though, there are many more wonderful creations to see, and the next stop on the hop is Shirley's blog ~ Stamper Shirley. She has a fun little project for you.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Greenhouse Flowers

I finally had a fair amount of time to do come crafting last night. I will be involved in another VC Rocks Blog Hop on the 21st and 22nd and was able to get one of the projects for that completed and a second one almost finished. All the projects for this hop will feature items from the new I B & C!

I was also able to get a couple of other projects completed for future blog posts too, but I couldn't wait to share this one. When I first came up with the idea, I wasn't sure it would turn out all that great. I am happy to say that it is way better than I expected. Well, I like it anyway. :)

This is the new Greenhouse Garden DSP from Stampin' Up!. No, the larger floral designs are not ones I would normally go for, but I am really trying to go outside my comfort zone lately and put some variety in my crafting. There is a really adorable stamp set, Friends Never Fade, that coordinates beautifully with this paper. Since it too is not typically my style, I don't have it yet. However, I wanted to show you something using this great DSP-I LOVE the color combos. So, I came up with the brilliant {if I do say so myself} idea to do some paper piecing for the focal point instead of a stamped image. Here is the result...

All of the flowers are cut from the DSP, how great is that?! After cutting out the three main flowers, I then went in and cut around some of the individual petals to give them a little "movement", and also sponged all the edges with Certainly Celery for some added depth. I then layered them using dimensionals, again for some more depth. Here is a close-up.

The other flowers were also sponged with either Certainly Celery or Baja Breeze and then layered on the card. The card base is Early Espresso. The sentiment is from the Level 1 Hostess set Afterthoughts and was the perfect size and style for the card.

I hope you like this card as much as I do.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Luscious Blue

I finally was able to break into my stash of new supplies like the Blueberry Crisp DSP to create this project; along with Patty Bennett's tutorial. I tweaked mine a bit and made the sides a little taller so that I could tie the ribbon through the handles. I think the next one I will make them even a little taller so that you can't see the envelopes.

The Blueberry DSP is gorgeous and coordinates with the Razzle Dazzle stamp set. Using the Big Shot, and the Top Note and Butterfly dies, made it quick and easy to decorate the front of the tote. And yes, the "for you" sentiment was intentionally stamped at a slant. :) The butterfly's body was made using the new self adhesive Rhinestones. They are fabulous and so easy to use!

Before adhering the inside pockets, I stenciled them using Folk Flowers stencils (retired) and Night of Navy ink.

The stencils were also used to create two of the cards in the group with Bashful Blue, Night of Navy and Basic Gray ink. The rhinestones added some bling to the cards as well.

The card on the left is a CASE of this card and the middle card is my version on one of the convention make and takes, the other two are my design. All this luscious blue is making me hungry for a yummy blueberry dessert. Blueberry Cobbler sounds good, doesn't it?

Have a great day!