Many Thanks

I received a new Paper Pumpkin kit and immediately got to work (https://mypaperpumpkin.com/en).  The base cards were kraft paper brown with a neat bullseye kind of pattern on the front.  There was some white baker’s twine (I’ve been wanting to play with that stuff), some little index card-shaped die cuts and some V-shaped die cuts, some wooden-colored buttons, and a couple celebratory stamps.  The ink pad was midnight blue, a color I’ve really wanted.  There were also some little foam double-sided adhesives to give cards some dimension, something I’ve really felt I needed to do more of lately.

Of course, I didn’t follow the directions for the suggested sample card (I’m not so good at following directions), but here’s what I did make.  The theme for all of them was “Thank you”, as I needed to make a thank you card for my parents and wanted to make a few so I could choose the best for them.  They watched our dog while were out of town celebrating our anniversary (which was an absolutely amazing weekend).  Plus, you can never have too many thank you cards.  Here’s what I came up with, along with some challenges I’m entering them into:

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This one is for the Make My Monday challenge:  Swirls and Pearls (http://mimchallegeblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/swirls-and-pearls.html).  It’s pretty clean and simple, a design I’m really starting to like.  I used scrapbook paper for the background on a plain off-white card (for the “swirls).  Then, I stamped the “thanks” on the mini-index card with the navy ink, added the baker’s twine (another little swirl), and embellished it just a bit with some scrapbooking pearls.

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This one was was for Shopping Our Stash’s “Oldest Flower” challenge: http://shoppingourstash.blogspot.ca/2013/09/sos-119-oldest-flower.html.  The background was the card from the Paper Pumpkin kit.  I added the stamped index card and then pulled these flowers out of a drawer.  I actually got them right after we got engaged (so they’re almost 2 years old, now) and had planned to use them for something at the wedding.  I didn’t have a specific idea for them, but I knew purple was going to be one of the wedding colors and I was excited to start shopping.  Of course, we ended up not using them (I think I actually put them away somewhere and forgot all about them).  I glued them down just in the centers, so they still have some dimension, and used the adhesives on the card.  They have just a touch of glitter, which is hard to see in the photo.

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This one was made for Creative Corner Challenge’s “The Leaves are Falling” theme:  http://creativecornerchallenges.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-leaves-are-falling.html.  I actually tried a new technique on this one, based on one of the Artists in Blogland Design Team’s ideas:  http://artistsinblogland.blogspot.com/2013/09/techniques-on-tuesday-with-jessica-sporn.html  She used actual leaves as stamps, which I loved (see, especially, the woman she did with colorful leaf stamps as hair).  She used watercolors for a much more soft, pretty look and I used stamp pads (I like hers a lot better, so I’m going to definitely try that sometime soon).  I’m also linking up to their Show and Tell with my take on their technique (http://artistsinblogland.blogspot.com/search/label/show%20and%20tell%20saturday)  The button is from Paper Pumpkin.  I’m saving the other 4 for something special (I really like the wood-look).

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And this is the one I decided to give to my parents!  I like how clean and simple it is and I really like the geometry from the Paper Pumpkin elements (actually, everything except the actual letter stamps are from the Paper Pumpkin kit).  My dad’s an architect, so I think he’ll like it.  I actually didn’t have a challenge in mind when I made this one (maybe that’s why I like it the best- it’s all me).

I’m also entering the Hero Arts “Game, Set, Match” challenge (http://ablognamedhero.blogspot.com/2013/09/challenge-32-game-set-match.html).  They suggested making 3 (or more) identical, or really similar, cards at once (which I do all the time, especially when making holiday cards).  I didn’t use any Hero Arts stamps in these, but in going through my collection afterwards, I realized that I do have quite a few.  I’ll definitely use one for their next month’s challenge!

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So, now I have a few thank you cards for next time I need one.  Which one is your favorite?

(p.s. While our dog was staying with my parents, my brother took some amazing pictures of him.  Here they are on his blog:  http://lorrinbaker.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/bear/.  Thanks, Lorrin!)

Last 2 anniversary cards (I think)

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This one was made for another couple challenges.  The first one is Shopping our Stash’s “Favorite Stampy Technique”.  (http://shoppingourstash.blogspot.ca/2013/09/sos-118-favorite-stampy-technique.html).  I used a fun Hero stamp I got from one of my favorite bloggers on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge design team, who was thinning her stash and selling some of her old stamps for about 1/2 price.  (http://cheironbrandon.typepad.com/my_weblog/stamps-stuff-for-sale.html).  My “Favorite Stampy Technique” is using Bingo ink daubers to ink the stamps.  I tried it when I first started experimenting with stamping because I only had a couple ink pads.  My wife has a ton of Bingo daubers and she actually introduced me to Bingo (which I have to admit I rather like).  I just randomly inked different sections of the stamp with different colors and plopped the card on top.  (I stamp “upside down” when using these, because they tend to be a little drippy.  I’ve found that when you stamp down on the card some of the ink that drips into the crevices drips down onto the paper.  If you stamp “up” by putting the paper on the stamp, this can be avoided.)  I love how bright the colors are!

The second challenge comes in with the quote stamp.  It’s from Stampsmith (some of my favorite stamps are from them).  Their challenge is to create something that’s “Inspired by a Song” (http://thestampsmithchallenge.blogspot.com/2013/09/tsc46inspired-by-song-using-at-least.html).  This was a perfect theme to make a card for my wife for, who’s laying next to me singing as I type.  This quote made me think of the song of “What A Wonderful World”, which I wrote on the inside of the card and which we played at our wedding (the “Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World” mash up by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_DKWlrA24k).  It’s one of my favorite songs.)  The flowers seem to have a kind of Hawaiian theme.

This card is perfect for our anniversary because I really did marry my best friend.

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And this is the last card I’m making (I think).  I used another Stampsmith stamp (aren’t they great?  So detailed!) which I colored with colored pencils.  I used my hand-made zig zag stamp on the sides and a cute phrase on the bottom with Sharpie.

And another…

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I made this card to remember our Jill and Jill.  In case you haven’t been following along, I’m making a bunch of cards for our first wedding anniversary, coming up this weekend, because it’s the “paper” anniversary (and because I couldn’t think of anything else to get).

We had a beach themed party (NOT to be confused with a Hawaiian theme, which my wife was dead set against.  Ironically, when I went to get the postage for our “Save the Date”, the only ones they had were “Aloha” stamps.  She thought I was conspiring against her.)  We made a cornhole with bare feet on it (posted about here: https://craftymadre.com/2013/09/08/have-cornhole-will-travel/) and strung flip-flop lights from the bar with little beach glass/twine/seashell candle holders from Christmas Tree Shops on the tables.  (Oh, by the way, I found out from someone that a “cornhole” is called that because they DID used to throw bags of corn in the hole, but then the corn got mushy or eaten by critters or something so they switched to synthetic pellets).

I made this card to enter into this week’s Drunken Stampers challenge “button” theme: http://drunkenstampers.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/thing-buttons-drunken-stampers-challenge-140/.  I grabbed a metal button from my stash and used some of my fabulous glitter glue to make it into a disco ball.  Here it is halfway covered:

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I used black cardstock for the background (pasted onto the white card), a piece of shiny silver wired ribbon with stars, and some 3D  stickers.  I used more glitter glue to put beams of glory shooting out from the disco ball and dots all over (I even put dots on the back of the card in order to wipe off my fingers and the glue tip).

I love the dimension in this card and it’s almost as fun as the party was.  We had an awesome DJ, Lori B from Martini Productions (http://martiniproductions.wordpress.com/), and I totally just found out that she has a blog as I was looking up a link to post for her!  So many of our friends made raffle baskets and I made a couple crafts to raffle, as well.

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I hope the card brings back as many great memories for my wife as it’s brought back for me making it and writing about it.

Another card for my love

So… here’s what I’ve decided.  The first anniversary is paper, right?  And my wife has absolutely everything she could possibly need.  I’ve already made a couple cards, because I love making cards so much, so I’m just going to make as many cards as I can between now and Friday (that’s when we agreed to exchange gifts).  Here, then, is my next one:

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I made this for the Make My Monday Challenge: Create a Scene (http://mimchallegeblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/create-scene.html).  It’s kind of a representation of our wedding, which was in our back yard with flowers all around.  I used lavender chalk on the background, which I kind of liked the subtlety of, and washi tape on the bottom.  The purple flower stamp is one of the erasers I got from Staples and the grass is another favorite stamp.  I cut the silhouette out of black construction paper.  I put a couple silver stickers on for good measure (the colors of the wedding were purple and grey/silver).

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Now, I’m going to have to find nice things to write on all these cards.  It shouldn’t be hard, though.  🙂

Gelli-madness

I GOT A GELLI PLATE!!!  I’ve been seeing blogger after blogger do amazing things with this thing they keep referring to as a “Gelli Plate” and have been dying to get my hands on one.  I went to Michaels (my go to place for all things crafty) and they looked at me like I had two heads (not their finest moment).  Then, a blogger wrote about an anniversary party for what sounds like an amazing, locally owned craft store in the UK, The Artistic Stamper, and I commented on how it was so great that places like that existed and we should do everything we could to keep them alive.  I discovered they had an on-line store and they were offering free shipping (even internationally) and they sold gelli plates.  So I got one (and a couple stamps, for good measure).  I went with the 6″x6″ one because my space is limited and I tend to do smaller things, anyway.  I hope you’ll check them out:  http://www.theartisticstamper.com/.  They have a huge selection of paper craft materials.

Of course, I went right to work with it.  I don’t have a brayer, so I brushed the acrylic craft paint on with a foam brush.  I tried a couple different ways to make designs in it- dragging the tip of the brush across in lines and waves and stamping with a cool eraser ring I picked up in the back-to-section at Staples (2 for $1).  Here are my first two pages, which I’m going to use for backgrounds in soon-to-be-completed art journal pages:

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As I was using the eraser to stamp on the gelli plate and then on the paper in the empty section, I started to think it kind of looked like the pattern on a turtle’s back.  I had just seen a card challenge with the theme of “Animal Antics” and my wife happens to love turtles and our anniversary is coming up this weekend… so I made her a(nother) card.  I made a stencil out of cardstock for the shell and then loaded up my gelli plate with green paint and stamped the eraser all over it.  I lined it up on the card, stamped, and voila!  It was perfect!!

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Of course, when I opened the card, I realized that the shell was upside-down so I rethought my original concept and stamped on the new phrase.  Sharpies helped make the face, legs, and belly (after Googling images of “turtle cartoons” as a little bit of inspiration).  I already showed it to her and she loved it (she would have seen it in my blog, anyway, and she’s an investigator so it’s impossible to keep anything secret from her).  But I’m not actually GIVING it to her until our anniversary.

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On a roll

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I made another card tonight.  I was so exhausted after the Block Party that all I could do was sit at my table and grab for supplies within reach.  The cool thing is that the event made the news and attracted a ton of people from the congregation and the neighborhood.  Here’s the link to the story:  http://www.wwlp.com/news/local/hampden/spfld-church-hosts-block-party

I made this card as a thank you for my boy’s principal, who helped him get cleaned up last week after a little “accident” at school (suffice it to say, he won’t be wearing a belt to school anymore).  This is another “clean and simple” one for CAS-ual Friday’s Challenge blog:  http://cas-ualfridays.blogspot.com/2013/09/cfc114.html.  The theme was “Back to School”.  I’m also entering Shopping our Stash’s School or Workplace/Office challenge: http://shoppingourstash.blogspot.ca/2013/09/sos-117-school-or-officeworkplace.html.  My boy went back to school a couple weeks ago and I already posted the card I sent his teacher (here: https://craftymadre.com/2013/08/25/beginning-of-the-year-teacher-gift/).  Luckily, the boy’s little accident gave me another occasion for a school card.  (He’s going to kill me for writing about this if he ever decides to read my blog.)

I used black cardstock with a white Pitt Pen for the chalkboard effect.  I also made a little schoolhouse stamp (out of an eraser).  I sketched it on and then had to remember which line I actually wanted to cut around.  I threw the bell in the roof on as an afterthought.  I think I can use it for Christmas cards, as well, by just drawing some snow on the top of the roofs and finding a Santa with his sleigh stamp or sticker to put over a bunch of them.  I traced around them with colored pencil (and then cleaned up some of the lines on the stamp after using it on this card).

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I was inspired to make this stamp by these adorable house stamps made by another blogger but I can’t, for the life of me, find the post.  I hate it when that happens!  They were much more detailed than this one and she had a whole collection of different styles of houses that she put together, in one piece, in all different colors (if this blogger is you, please comment and let me know so I can add the link).

Anyway, I’m sending the loaner shorts back with a couple extra pairs for other kids who may be caught in a similar situation.  It’s my boy’s first year at this new school and so far we’re loving it.  I couldn’t believe it when he said it was the principal who cleaned him up (rather than the school nurse or an aide) but it’s great to see people all pitching in- above and beyond.

Card challenge

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I made another card for a couple challenges.  The themes for each of them, respectively, were “Music” and your “All-Star stamp”.  I’m making the card for a couple of my boy’s friends (siblings) who are performing in “The King and I” in a couple weeks.  He’s going to their dress rehearsal tomorrow, so I thought it would be nice for him to bring a little card for them.  It was also the perfect occasion to use my new film strip punch by “ek”.  I’ve never gotten one before because they’re so expensive, but I needed something to do with my last 40% off coupon at Michael’s (it would have been a crime to just waste it, right?)  I love it because it has a guide that you can line up the already punched portion to keep the pattern going in as long a line as you want.

Here are the challenges I’m entering:

http://addictedtocas.blogspot.com/2013/08/atcas-challenge-21.html – This one is one of my favorite new challenges.  I’ve struggled with the “Clean and Simple” style but it forces me to be really mindful.  I especially liked this week’s theme, “Music”, and it was perfect for the purpose of the card.  I used one of the Design Team’s ideas of putting sheet music behind a die cut shape.  I can’t find the link to her post about the inspiration card, but here’s her blog: http://florenceandfreddiepart2.wordpress.com/.  I really love her style.  My first iteration of this card included a couple stickers on the front with a movie theme.  I love the stickers, but the style didn’t really match and it took away from the CAS style (see, I’m learning).  Luckily, I was able to peel them off and put them on the inside, instead.  Without the stickers, I was left with a blank space next to the writing, so I cut out a little star out of a piece of the music and pasted it on.

http://www.simonsaysstampblog.com/mondaychallenge/challenge-stamping-all-stars/ – Another favorite challenge, and their design team usually goes in the totally opposite direction from CAS.  But I love them!!  They’re all about the layers and the dimension and they’re not all cards.  One of the submissions is a bunch of multi-colored tea bags stapled to the back side of a wooden frame with chipping aged wood behind it.  On the side of the frame, she stamped one of my favorite quotes from Marianne Williamson “We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?’  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.”  Here’s the link to her piece: http://snappingmonsters.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-other-creations-artsy-tea.html  I think it’s absolutely amazing.  It didn’t inspire this card, but it definitely inspired me (and I Pinned it for later.)

The theme for this challenge is “My Stamping All-Star”.  That would totally be my typewriter letter stamps from “Recollections”.  I use them all the time, and I’ve gotten better at them.  I’ve learned how to use a ruler to line them up if I want a straight line and I’ve learned that if I want the edges not to show I have to either wipe off the extra ink with a damp towel or stamp really carefully on a really hard surface.  I didn’t do either of those things this time, but I like the way it turned out.  I used a Craftsmart’s Brick Red ink pad for a little dash of color.

Here are the materials I used (my new paper punch and my “all-star” stamp (collection):

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And my boy’s sweet message on the inside:

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