Happy Halloween!


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Today I'm excited to share the artwork of a sweet stampin' friend, Jane Downs. She showed up to card class last week with a basket of The. Most. Adorable little Halloween treats.... same size as this one, but each a different color and character.... totally appropriate for the trick or treating occasion!  She offered each of us the opportunity to pick one, and although the choice was really hard (they were ALL just so stinkin' cute!), I finally selected Garfield. Jane's little boxes were filled with candy (of course), and although not made with Stampin' Up!'s retired "Curvy Box" die, they were the same shape and style of the die, just a little bit larger. (Apparently she's got some fancy crafting gadget that makes that kind of thing easy.) At any rate, we were all charmed - both by the delightful designs, as well as her thoughtfulness! Thanks for such a sweet surprise, Jane!

Seasonal Chums - Pumpkin
Next, I just had to stick this in here before the holiday got away and it would be too late to show it off. This was my very first attempt at using our brand-new, "available TOMORROW" Stampin' Blends alcohol markers earlier this month, and this happy pumpkin just makes me grin every time I look at him! He's part of the "Seasonal Chums" bundle, which includes the Jack-o-lantern, a snowman and an adorable little reindeer. These charming little characters have both their front and back images on each stamp, and then the corresponding dies cut the entire piece out at once, so all you have to do then is fold it in the middle for a clever little tag. (Hey, the die even punches the hole thru which you can string your twine!) So for this one, I stamped the image in Tuxedo Black Memento ink, and then used Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie and Old Olive Stampin' Blends to color it in. Each color comes in both light and dark markers so they'll blend beautifully.  

Now, one of the features of alcohol markers is that they bleed through your paper, so I did have to cut a 2nd piece of white cardstock with the same die and use it as a liner so the inside of the tag is clean and white...... but that was no big deal. 

Can't wait to share some of the other fun I've been having with my new markers, and I'm sure you're gonna want your own set soon, too!

 


My new favorite stamp set - Painted Harvest

Well, "Painted Harvest", from the 2017 Holiday Catalog might not only be MY new favorite stamp set, but it seems to have a pretty good track record among stamping enthusiasts in general, so far! Watch for some more ideas and tips for the "Painted Harvest" bundle as September's "Bundle of the Month".

First up, this card, which I made about a dozen of:

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One of the things I particularly love about the Painted Harvest stamp set is that the 2-step images aren't designed to fit perfectly, so you don't have to stress about perfect alignment. As long as you get them "close", it'll all look fine when finished. That said, I do look to match up the centers of the flower elements as a guide. The centers aren't exactly round, but more oval (kind of), and I have found that if I key in on that unique shape and align that general shape from stamp to stamp, it all works ok.

This card  features the flowers, fern-like leaves, acorn and speckles from the "Painted Harvest" stamp set, the tag die from the "Wood Crate Framelits" set, sentiment from "Teeny Tiny Wishes" stamp set, and linen thread and stamping sponges.  (The ribbon and doily are now retired.)

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Main colors (other than Whisper White, of course) include:

TAMS Color Builder

Stamping tips: 

Interestingly, there is not one single, fail-safe "success rule" that applies to all 2-step stamp sets. While I usually put down the lightest color first (which usually uses the stamp with the least detail), and follow that with progressively more detailed images (and usually darker ink), every once in a while I'll come across a stamp set that seems to demand a break from that general pattern. The fern images on this set turned out to be one such instance. I found that when I was attempting to align the Garden Green detail stamp atop a Pear Pizzaz base,  for some reason or other I couldn't get the images aligned to save my life. So I simply switched the stamping order, laying down the darker detail image first, and then it was a breeze putting the lighter shade over that. Go figure why that made *such* a difference in success to me, but it did!

And I stamped both elements of the acorn with the same color (Soft Suede), but the lower section was stamped off once, while the cap was stamped with full-strength ink.

144783GWhile this card didn't use it, there is also an adorable coordinating Leaf Punch, which you can bundle with this stamp set to save 10% on both!

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 Check back in a few days for more Painted Harvest ideas.

 

Click to shop: 

Leaf Punch
$16.00

Paper Pumpkin Mash-up

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There are lots of reasons crafters enjoy Stampin' Up!'s Paper Pumpkin program: it delivers a crafting surprise to your mailbox every month, introduces products that sometimes go on to show up in the regular line later, offers color combinations you might never have tried, and so many more. Personally, I particularly appreciate getting a new stamp set every month that often compliments others I already own. And these projects are perfect examples of that.

Both the gift bag and the "Hooray" card came from this month's Paper Pumpkin kit. I was immediately captivated by the bright, fun colors in this kit, and sat down to assemble every element immediately. (June's kit included enough supplies for 4 gift bags, tags & tissues + 6 coordinating cards with envelopes..... and as usual, sufficient extra elements to use on future projects, too.)

I knew right away who would be the first recipient of one of my bag/card combos, but the occasion called for a little bit different sentiment on the tag than those that came with the kit. So a quick exploration of my stamp sets turned up "So excited to see you!" - from "Marquee Messages". 

Visit http://paperpumpkin.yourpaperdreams.com/ and click on "How it works" to learn more about Paper Pumpkin. And if you decide you'd like to try a subscription (either month-to-month or prepaid), please select my name - Lynda Glassmoyer (Post Falls, ID) - if the system asks for the name of a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. (Thank you kindly for choosing me.)

I can't say as I've ever really been captivated by the color Emerald Envy; it reminds me of Glorious Green, from oh, SO many years ago..... which only saw daylight at my place around Christmastime. But when this kit paired Emerald Envy with Melon Mambo for this charming watermelon, well, ok, I had to admit I liked it. In fact I liked it so well I had to keep using it, even after all the elements of this Paper Pumpkin kit had been assembled!

Watermelon thank you

So here's the next thing I made a pile of..... using not only the same colors and watermelon stamp from June's kit, but a sentiment from April's Paper Pumpkin kit, along with a "wreath" die from Santa's Sleigh Thinlits. (The die proved perfect for taking a "bite" out of the watermelon!) And having taken a queue from last year's "Pop of Pink" Designer Series Paper (retired), I've come to really love pairing Melon Mambo with Basic Black. Talk about making a statement! So a strip of each color anchors the bottom of the card, and the watermelon and sentiment elements are then balanced with a set of 3 small rhinestones. A very basic card with a big helping of sass, don'tcha think?

Oh, and did you know that if you're already a subscriber to Paper Pumpkin you can get a refill for the consumable elements of the kit? (While supplies last, that is.)  As of today, the refill for June's kit is still available in my online store here - for only $8 US.


My first Stampin' Up! sampler

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Well it finally happened. My first 12" x 12" framed sampler. 

Not that I haven't adored all the gorgeous themed samples I've seen through the years; I guess I was just a little intimidated. But I finally bit the bullet last week, put together a color palette inspired by Fruit Stand DSP, and dug in. I hit a creativity roadblock after the first 7 squares, so I lost a bit of time 'cuz of that, but at least I got the project finished on the same day I started it.

Ironically, I think the hardest thing about this was getting a half-way decent picture, lol! It's been raining, cloudy and dark around here for days, and since I shoot under natural light.... well, there just hasn't been any. So I ultimately decided to just run with what I had, and maybe someday, should we ever see the sun again, I'll try for a better shot then!

Here's what my thinking went like when planning this:

  • Size - well, I already had the 12 x 12 frame, which I'd purchased a number of months ago. So that was a no-brainer.
  • Color Palette - primarily inspired by the Fruit Stand DSP collection (Tangerine Tango, Peekaboo Peach, Pear Pizzazz, Whisper White), and I substituted So Saffron for Daffodil Delight, then added Soft Sky (for some of the backgrounds) & Basic Black for punch. (Every square has both white and black in it.) I even used 2 pieces of the DSP itself.
  • Theme - flowers & nature
  • Dimension - I knew I wanted "some", but had to keep it modest because this would be displayed behind glass. (You can go all kinds of crazy with dimension if you're using a shadow box, though..... and I'm anxious to do one of those one of these days, too.)
  • Techniques - I also wanted to showcase a variety of techniques, as well, so I was deliberate about doing something different with each square as I developed it.

Each decorated square is 1-7/8" square (Whisper White CS or watercolor paper), which is then mounted on a 2" square of Whisper White, and then mounted on either a Pear Pizzazz or Tangerine Tango 2-1/4" square. I first laid out the pattern for the largest layers, then stamped the 9 decorated squares, mounted each to its white backing, and then spent quite a bit of time experimenting with overall arrangements before anchoring them down to their colored backgrounds.

Can't wait to do my next one!


Fruit Stand Designer Series Paper

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DSP Fruitstand single wwm

One of my favorite Designer Series papers in the Annual Catalog this year is the Fruit Stand DSP.  And even though we're heading into the season of more subdued colors, I still find myself being pulled back towards the fresh and happy colors of this delicious sherbet-inspired palette!  


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So lucky thing, isn't it, that during the month of October, for every 3 ($11 US) packages of Designer Series Paper you choose, you can get the 4th one FREE!?!

 

Buy 3, Get 1 free

 

These cards were pretty darn simple to make. Two of the samples feature Pear Pizzaz cardstock for the base, and I used a sponge brayer to apply Peekaboo Peach ink onto thick Whisper White cardstock for the other one. I stamped "Happy Birthday" with Watermelon Wonder onto a piece of Whisper White, and then cut it out with one of the new "Layering Ovals Framelits". A little more Peekaboo Peach ink highlighted the edge.

Fruit stand cardstock 2

The peach itself is just fussy-cut right from the DSP, and then both the oval and the peach are lifted up on Stampin' Dimensionals.... placed onto a piece of the very same Designer Series Paper (actually, the reverse side of the peaches). 

And then a bit of rhinestone bling, and it's done! Just THINK of how many fruit-filled birthday wishes you could make & send with just these very same products!

 Product List 


Designing with Bits and Pieces - Part 3

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This is the last of the Bits & Pieces design session that I'll be sharing from my personal stamp-a-thon last weekend.  

Bits and pieces 3 wo arrows

This one began centered around balloons because my scrap bag already held the Rich Razzleberry balloon (already punched and embossed), and it also had scraps of the two other colors of cardstock - each one just about the perfect size for a punched balloon. So the 3 balloons together quickly became my focal point..... but then I had to figure out where to go from there!

Further digging in my scrap bag turned up this scrap of striped Designer Series Paper (of the narrow-ish width you see here), and fortunately I was able to find a complementary piece of DSP (the polka dots) I could trim to go along with it. Placing the balloons directly on top of the printed backgrounds tended to wash them out, so the next 2 layers were born - to provide a simple white surface for the sentiment and focal point.

One more dive into my scrap bag brought me the silver bow, which I set off with a few rhinestones for a little extra bling. 

The arrows below show the 5 elements I was able to rescue from my "left-overs" scrap bag! Yee haw!!

Bits and pieces 3

 


Designing with Bits & Pieces

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A little while ago I decided it was time to empty out and do something with some of the little "bits & pieces" I collect. You see, when I clean up my work space (which I seem to do far too rarely, but don't tell anyone, lol), I often find little leftover "bits & pieces" from a kit or Paper Pumpkin project I assembled, or some extra doo-dad from a card class I held, or something from a card design that got started once-upon-a-time and may have taken another direction - or just never got finished at all. So I keep a couple plastic bags on my desk and add those little tidbits to them at clean-up time.

So I decided recently it was time to pare down the contents of those bags a bit and see how I might actually USE some of those collected bits. I started by emptying out the bags and surveying what was there. (This is a partial sampling.)

 

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From there, I started moving things around into little groupings of stuff that might go together.... whether by color and/or by theme - and several of those groupings eventually became the seeds for a card design.  I'll be highlighting some of the results in upcoming posts.

Here's the first completed card..... something that's been hanging around ever since last Christmas-stamping season. I've taken it out and looked at it from time to time during this past year, but just kept hitting a creative block. The concept had started out as a "black & gold" card. I remember being really excited about the somewhat different and elegant concept, and I'd made respectable progress on the card nearly a year ago - until I got totally stuck. Could NOT for the life of me figure out where it should go next! While the black & gold seemed pretty enough, it was just - well, boring.  I knew it needed a focal point, and that's the role the wreath was to play, but it still just wouldn't "work". 

So fast-forward nearly a year, and I finally figured out what the problem was. The volumes of each color where too similar..... often a no-no when planning a design. So I decided the answer might be to add a small amount of red for a bit of punch...... and here's what I ended up with.! I'm MUCH happier with it now!

 

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Since this card had been "under construction" for the better part of a year, I didn't have to add much to it. As it turned out, I added a circle of Whisper White cardstock behind the wreath so the printed vellum underneath didn't show through.... and then I stamped and embossed the sentiment in red and fussy-cut its custom shape. Then I die-cut the bow from a scrap of red foil paper, and added a single rhinestone for bling. The arrows below show the only elements I actually added to what I'd started a long, long time ago! 

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Stay tuned for more completed projects that have arisen recently out of my "bits and pieces" endeavor!

And in the meantime, if you're a FB friend and/or a regular customer of mine, I hope you'll join us for our 3rd annual World Card-Making Day Virtual Retreat! Hosted on Facebook, it'll be 48 hours of creativity and fun - from the comfort of your own home. (Although you DON'T have to be present for the entire time, of course!) So make sure you RSVP that you're attending (details are in the FB Event), and then gather up the goodies you plan to work with! And we'll see you in only a few more days!

World Card-Making Day 2016 - FB promo


Thoughtful Branches - Redux

TAMS Color Builder (1)This is the most recent color challenge I've proposed in my Facebook groups. For my own card I knew I wanted to make a birthday card, but the colors were speaking to me more about "fall" than "birthday balloons" or the like. So I sucked it up and recreated this card - in new colors.

Using 4 of the 5 challenge colors, plus adding silver, I ended up with this:

Thoughtful Branches redux

Since most of these colors are quite bright (at least compared to the more traditional autumn colors of my original card), I chose to use sponges to apply the colors with this version - rather than the daubers of before. So this way I was able to soften the color intensity somewhat. But the larger surface of the sponges also meant more color-overlap, and I was reminded of a lesson I learned way back in elementary school: blue + yellow = green, lol!

I did, however, use one sponge dauber on this card - to apply the blue edge to the banner.

Now, as to the Thoughtful Branches Bundle (stamps & dies) that were *supposed* to be available only through the end of August..... well, at the end of August Stampin' Up!® announced they still had plenty in inventory, so they would continue to make them available while supplies lasted. And as of today, I see they're still in the online store! So if you haven't yet taken advantage of this amazingly gorgeous and versatile bundle, you're not out of luck - YET!  <<wink>>

 


How to coordinate your entire party's colors - the easy way

Today I wanted to share a tip for making your party-planning a tad easier.

Choose Stampin' Up! colors for your event's color palette!

65th anniversary party - color coordination

Last month my parents celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Yep, you read that right. 65 years!

Certainly worthy of a giant celebration - but unfortunately they no longer live near most of their friends, and family is spread all over the country these days, too. And neither are really "up to" a big party anyway. 

So our small group of family here in the area told 'em we'd come have dinner with them that night, and that's the only part of the "party" we told 'em about. The rest of it was kept a secret. But behind the scenes I planned a long-distance party, and at dinner that evening we explained that family and friends from all across the country were online that night to celebrate with them- via the internet! So we broadcast parts of our activities here on this end (via Facebook Live), and other family and friends posted memories and good wishes via Facebook - comments, pictures and videos, and sent cards (via my mailing address so I could snag 'em and package them all up in a handmade box). We had "party guests" ranging from close to their own ages.... all the way down to a new great-granddaughter just a couple of weeks old. It was fabulous!

The only part I was sad to note when it was all over, however, was a lack of still pictures..... because we'd relied so heavily on Facebook Live video to share the local activities in real time. I *was* able to snag a few screen shots from the videos afterwards, but it's been a bit tough documenting it afterwards with so few still pictures. (Lesson learned for next time.)

But back to my tip. I've been relying on this "Stick with Stampin' Up! colors" concept for a long, long time. And in fact my son's wedding was all done in Stampin' Up! colors over 10 years ago. All the way from the "Save the date" cards, to the invitations, printed programs, cake, decorations and flowers - to, yes, even the color of the bridesmaids dresses. And it made it SO easy to keep everything coordinated!

So of course when it came time to pull together THIS event for my parents, naturally I turned to Stampin' Up! again.  In fact, my inspiration came from the new Holiday Catalog.... and the Fancy Frost suite (shown on pages 35 & 36).  

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 65th anniversary party colors

And of course we added a generous sprinkling of glitter (even edible glitter on the cake - but from the bakery, however), and Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper.....

 

Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper
 
Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter
 

 and other bling......

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..... along with texture from the Fancy Frost Specialty Designer Series Paper.

 

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And I gave cardstock samples of the colors to the baker, and used 'em to coordinate flower arrangements, and was grateful I had a few extra pieces in my purse so I could grab a steal on a couple of "Sweet Sugarplum" mums for the dinner table when I just happened to walk by them one day and they called out to me!

So next time you're in charge of some kind of shindig, select your color palette from Stampin' Up!'s gorgeous choices and put several cardstock samples in your purse to keep 'em handy. It'll certainly make the "coordinating colors" element of your party a breeze!


Thoughtful Branches - Fall Leaves

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Yep, this time it's a fall card! Again, a "Lynda version" of a card that's been all over the 'net, and I loved the contrast between the die-cut lacy leaves and the solid, multi-color ones. Some versions of this card "out there" use a fun, but rather messy inking technique. But since I had designed my version for class, "messy" wasn't something I particularly wanted to tackle.

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So here's how WE got a similar multi-color, autumn effect.  It's a pattern that you repeat for each individual image:

 

  • Start with a clean stamp. (Good idea to keep a damp paper towel handy.)
  • Ink up the stamp with Daffodil Delight, but do not stamp with it yet.
  • Lay out all your remaining leaf color inks in order from light to dark, left to right, and have a sponge dauber at hand for each one. (At my class we laid out Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive & Soft Suede.)
  • Onto your yellow-inked stamp, "daub" (is that a real word?!?) a couple of other colors directly onto small areas of the stamp..... one at a time, and always working from lightest to darkest. So because of the order we'd laid out the inks, that would mean Pumpkin Pie followed by Old Olive, OR Old Olive and then Soft Suede.  Pay attention to where you daub each color on the stamp so you don't overlap sections entirely.
  • Once that was done, there would be 3 colors on the stamp (Daffodil Delight + 2 others), and after "huffing" on it, it was time to stamp the image (onto a scrap of Whisper White cardstock).
  • Clean the stamp and get ready to repeat the process for the next leaf.

We stamped (and then die-cut) enough of these colored leaves for not only the front of the card, but also one or more for the inside, too. 

And we followed the same process for those little "flowery-leafy-thingies", too. 

After layering up the main pieces on the card front, we made the banner with the sentiment and anchored that in place.....

And then the lacy-leaves (cut with the corresponding stem-and-leaves die from this bundle - from Gold Foil paper) were laid in place to give a general shape to the layout. And finally, all pieces were tacked down with either strategically-placed dots of glue from the Fine Tip glue pen or the Tombow Multipurpose glue. (Repeat after me, Lynda's cardinal rule of glue-use:  "Less is more. Less is more. Less is more!")

A large (retired) pearl finished it off (and ensured it would cost an additional 21-cents to mail)!

Fall leaves card