Thursday, 29 August 2013

Queenstown Thank You Gill

How is that for an amazing view from your backyard?

Our family have just been to Queenstown, the world's 4th friendliest place where the boys got to experience many "first-s" (ski, gondola, luge, extravagant hotel/apartment), beginning with their very first time being on-board a flying plane. I won't go into details about the trip, except to explain how it has  anything to do with today's card.

It was just so lovely to be welcomed into a city we've not been before as a family by being invited to lunch with a local resident. Gill is our friend's mum whom we have met probably about 5 times in Auckland. She welcomed us so warmly, fed us lunch and took the time to show us on the map where the attractions are. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and of course was designing a thank you card in my head while I sat at her dining table. My eyes went back and forth from the view out of her dining area, the majestic snow-capped mountains (the above picture was from the other side of the house), to her interior decor of blues and reds and poppies for inspiration. I remember thinking I need that Pleasant Poppies stamp set which I have still yet to acquire. This flower image from the retired set Marry Me is the closest thing I have to poppies, so it was a great opportunity to dust off this set and put it to use again.

I used the Stampin' Write Markers to colour the image, and felt like a real artist as I colour in two shades of red (Poppy Parade and Real Red) on the flowers. The stamp-a-ma-jig tool comes in very handy for projects like this where accurate placement of the image is called for.

As you can see, one of the neat thing about this window style of card is that the inside of your card is already decorated. Fab huh!

So, making the card is the easy part. Now I got to get a couple of pictures printed and actually post them off with this card! Isn't the saying something like if you want to get something done, write it down? There, it is written down, and in public - so, it shall be done.

Friday, 9 August 2013

CASology #56 Cue: Dessert

This week the Cue Word for CASology Challenge is Dessert. Of course, chocolate is top of mind.

I pulled out this dear old retired stamp set called Eat Chocolate which I love but haven't used it nearly enough. I have been working on the bag sample on page 88 of the 2013-14 Annual Catalogue, using some retired Designer Series Paper (the name of which escapes me). As soon as I saw them both together, I knew what I had to do.

Yes, I set to work in the kitchen. (No, not in the middle of the night, but the next morning.) Soon enough, out of the oven came a batch of some gooey chocolate brownie...hmmm....Once cooled and dusted with icing sugar, into a cello bag went a slice, a strip of DSP set around it and topped off with another sentiment from this great chocolate lovers stamp set. And ta-da, you have an exquisitely dressed up treat bag for someone special. And let me tell you, it is only fitting to dress up this decadent brownie!

By the way, I can actually say that I could check off all the three things on the "to do" list today :-)

This bag is made with a 6" x 12" piece of DSP. On the long side, score at 1", 5", 6.5", and 10.5". On the short side, score at 1" and 5". The tricky bit is in cutting the slits for the ribbon: on the long side of the DSP, where you want the slits to be, and using the trimmer, cut from 2" to 2.5", then from 3.5" to 4", then from 7.5" to 8" and finally, from 9" to 9.5". These are the changes I made to the one demonstrated in this Stampin' Up! video tutorial. We will be making these sweet little bags in my August class, so if you are local and prefer not to learn from a video tutorial, then I look forward to see you next Wednesday :-) (My class details can be found here.)

Happy Stampin' and don't forget to check out the ideas from this challenge at CASology this week

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Summer Silhouettes 2012-14 In Colour II

In this card, I have managed to use all of the 5 colours in the 2012-14 In Colour Range. The oval piece is in Basic Gray, and the sentiment is embossed with White Emboss Powder. I felt that the main image was slightly skewed to the right, so I had to think a bit to rectify the imbalance. I have noticed that the scattering of jewel rhinestones has been in trend for some time now, so I gave that a go, and ta-da, I reckon it did the job nicely.

Now, when I was deciding on what sentiment to use, I again thought this card is quite versatile - birthday, thank you, hello...but I wondered about whether it's too cheerful a card to be a sympathy card? I decided to play it safe :-) By the way, the Basic Gray Oval piece had to be there because I had to cover up a stamping boo boo, otherwise I might have opted for no sentiment.

Oh, oh, I just realised that this card qualifies for this week's CAS(E) this Sketch! Challenge:

If you don't know what paper craft challenges are all about, then here's my take: Challenges are about inspiring each other to create. How does a challenge do this?

1) a sketch or colour combination to spark off our imagination/creativity
2) a sketch or colour combination that extend us ie that challenges us to step out of our comfort zone (our usual style)
3) the gallery showcases the incredible talent of many crafters the whole wide world!

So go and have a look at what others have come up with using this sketch as a starting point. Better still, leave your desk now, get inky and when you're done, link up your newly created masterpiece at CAS(E) this Sketch!

Now, would you believe this picture below is of the very same card? Actually the reason I didn't post about this card straight after I made it was because I just couldn't get the colours to be "right" on my camera. No matter what angle or light I took the photo in, I keep getting these intense bright colours. Then one day I had an aha moment...the wee boys (4 and nearly 2) do handle our only family camera so I wondered if they had accidentally changed the camera settings. I went on a discovery journey on what setting options the Canon IXUS 220 HS offers. The wee hands had clearly changed our setting to VIVID, which explained all these vivid photos we were taking on the camera. So hopefully this is a helpful tip for someone - if you just can't seem to get the colours in your photos to resemble what the naked eye sees, then it may just be a camera setting that needs changing to resolve the 'issue'.

Summer Silhouettes 2012-14 In Colour I

In just a little under three years since I signed up as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, I have managed to collect quite a few stamp sets. There are sets that I have hardly used, and you know, about all of them, I would say I haven't used as much as I would like to. It is a little hard as my stamping time is usually restricted to a start time of 10pm. Anyway, the point I want to make is this: I am making an effort to get as much mileage as I can from each stamp set that I own. So that could mean this blog might just be very boring, always showcasing the same stamp sets. Yet it could be inspiring and helpful perhaps to show the versatility of the stamps.

On the right side of this blog, there is a section for Labels. It is sorted alphabetically so if you scroll down you'll see the list of Stamp sets and next to each name is a number, which indicates how many blog posts have been tagged with that stamp set. As I write now, I am pondering whether to make the goal quite having at least 10 posts tagged with each stamp set? I continue to ponder, so just because I am thinking out loud, it doesn't mean I have made it (But it is written down now, so I feel obligated to see to it that I meet the goal...which is after all the, round and round I go with this internal conversation now made public!) is today's card - Summer Silhouettes in the 2012-14 In Colours.

The Bitty Butterfly is actually on the inside of the card, layered as per the image at the top of this post. I have always thought that a handmade card ought to be completed by stamping or embellishing on the inside of the card. I don't always do it because I forget to, but recently I came across a stamper (I'll remember to link up on here when I remember who it was) who said the same thing so I am inspired again to make an effort to do this with all the cards I make. It is always an added nice little surprise for the recipient when she opens the card.

Mini Magazine Holder For Embossing Folders

I originally made this for a gift set of cards for a sister in law, however, when I packaged it up together with the 4 hand made greeting cards, it just didn't look right. So in the end I just made a box with a lid for the gift what was to be the fate of this mini magazine folder? As it happened, there popped up a discussion on Stampin Connection (a forum for Stampin' Up! Demonstrators)...I have actually forgotten what the discussion was about, lol...however, I know I got the idea of using this holder to hold the Emboss Folders from that discussion. Quite neat, don't you think? I have left this quite plain Jane but you certainly can dress it up real good.

Here is the link to Karen Titus' video tutorial which I used to create this handy card sized holder.  

Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by :-)

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