Friday, January 30, 2015

Bokeh Technique

When I was in Spartanburg a couple of weeks ago, I made this card using the Bokeh Technique.  I watched a video on line so I would know what to do.  There are several You Tube videos - just search for You Tube Bokeh Technique and you'll find several.  They are all a little different so you just can figure out which one you like the best. Splitcoast Stampers also has a tutorial.

Bokeh is a technique that's been around in photography circles for years and is starting to pop up in card making I've noticed.  By definition, bokeh is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image.  Not so sure that's what it is for card making but ....

Here's a sample of the bokeh technique in photography:


The way I did my card is:
  • Use Painters Tape all along the edges of a piece of watercolor paper and taped it down to my work space.
  • Use the Aqua Brush and brush water all over the watercolor paper.  Make sure it is completely wet - but not sopping.
  • Pick up ink from the lid of the ink pad (or use reinkers) and lay down colors randomly.  (I used Coastal Cabana, Soft Sky and StrawberrySlush)
  • Once you get the colors the way you want them, let it dry (or use the heat gun to speed it along)
  • Carefully remove the painters tape.
  • I punched 3 different size templates from Window Sheets (transparency) with circle punches (1", 3/4" and 1/2"). 
  • Use daubers to "pounce" Whisper White ink in the circles or rub the ink in the circle templates onto the watercolor paper.  Move your template and keep adding circles of Whisper White ink.
  • You can also use a pencil eraser for tiny circles.  I found I had to go over the circles I did with the template again once they dried.
  • Let it dry (or zap it with the heat gun) and stamp your image.

For my card, I used the Butterfly Basics stamp set from the Occasions Catalog.  I punched the butterfly from the Irresistibly Yours DSP in Sale-a-Bration and sponged it with different colors.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

MDS Monday Challenge

I have enjoyed not having to go anywhere for the past couple of days.  Tuesday I didn't even get dressed except to put on some soft warm lounging pj's.  I spent the day making a few cards and working on my New Zealand scrapbook on MDS.  Same thing for Wednesday except I did get dressed in sweats!  Don't you love days like that???  I remember when I quit working.  At the time, I was not involved in playing bridge, doing cards, etc.  I really don't know what I did during the day after quitting work - I think play computer games and read - but I do remember that I wore sweat pants and sweat shirts almost every day. Sonny called them my uniform.  I was sorta depressed at the time and missing my job but also enjoying the freedom of being able to do anything I wanted during the day.  That probably lasted about 3-4 months before I got a part time job and joined a few groups to do crafts, play bridge, go to coffee's, etc.  Now I wonder how I ever had time to work!!

Here is my take on the sketch for MDS Monday.

This week I dug into my pictures from our trip(s) to Hawaii several years ago.  I love the bright colors in this layout.  I used the kit Paradise Found.  Instead of the flag banner that is in the sketch, I decided to create my own lei across the page.  I used an alphabet punch for "Hawaii" and paper filled it with the same paper that I used for the background - just using different shades of the orange and yellow at the top of the page.

I hope you will take the time to check out the pages the MDS Monday Design Team made.

Here is the sketch that Cindy challenged us with:

And here is what is included in the Paradise Found kit:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

You Brighten My Day for Paper Craft Crew Challenge

Since it's Wednesday, I'm over on the Paper Craft Crew Blog for their weekly challenge.

Can you believe I actually made a real card for the challenge this week???  I didn't use My Digital Studio - shocker!!

The card base is Coastal Cabana (what am I going to do when that color retires??)  I paper pierced little holes all around the Whisper White card stock.  On a scrap of white, I stamped several hearts from the You Brighten My Day stamp set (Sale-a-Bration set) in Coastal Cabana and Real Red and punched them out.  I used the Circles Framelits to cut the red and white circles.  I tied the Coastal Cabana twine and a bit of the Gold Bakers Twine around the card.  I used the Little Letters Framelits to cut "YOU" out of Real Red Glitter paper and popped them up with dimensionals.  The finishing touch is the gold and pink sequins on the card.

Here is the sketch for the week:

I hope that you enjoyed my Design Team card for this week's Paper Craft Crew sketch challenge. Take a minute to go over to the blog and check out the other designers projects and enter yours in the gallery.  Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit today!  Enjoy your Wednesday!!   I hope to be talking to Ashley later in the day to find out how her vacation on her Rock Boat Cruise went.  They left on Saturday and arrive back in Ft. Lauderdale later today.  I know she had a blast!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hello Love Baby Card

Time for Tuesday Weekly Deals!  If you enjoy using embossing folder, this is the week for you!!

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

I want to share with you a baby card I made.  My daughter-in-law's oldest daughter is pregnant and will be welcoming her own little bundle in May so I made this cute card for her.

This uses a hostess only stamp set - Hello Love.  I used Pink Pirouette and Naturals White along with a little Strawberry Slush.  Cute, huh?  Hope she likes it.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Celebrate Today Bundle Plus MDS Challenge Winner

Grab Our Badge

Wow!  I just checked on MDS Monday and my fall picture was chosen this week.  I am honored.

Here are a few more cards that I made last weekend on our Girls Weekend:

This one uses the bundle found on page 11 on the Occasions Catalog - Celebrate Today.  The DSP is found on page 12 - Birthday Bash.  I decided to cut the DSP a little different for this card.  I used Candy Dots next to the "birthday" tag.  I forget to use those Candy Dots!!

This card also uses the Celebrate Today Bundle.  I decided to make a shaker card for this one.  The DSP behind the shaker is from the Irresistibly Yours DSP in the Sale-a-Bration catalog.  I used the dauber and sponged the paper with Pink Pirouette.  The bow is made using the Build a Bow Punch and DSP from Sale-a-bration, Best Year Ever.

This last card uses a stamp set that you can earn when you are a hostess.  I don't usually order the hostess sets but I have ordered two of them this year!  This one is called Hello Love (pg. 239) and I think these birds are just so cute!  The other hostess set I have is a keeper - Bloom With Hope (pg 240).

I have been using the Ninja Blender that Ashley left with me to make all kinds of smoothies.  If you have any good recipes, please share with me.  I bought a lot of fruit and try different combinations every day.  This morning I mixed up Cranberry Juice, frozen banana chunks, frozen Mixed Berries, a little fresh ginger, a handful of carrots and some Vanilla Yogurt.  Sonny just shakes his head but it really was delicious!  I took advantage of the mangos when they were on sale last week and bought five, cut them up and froze them.  I usually throw a bit of kale in with my smoothie too.  Friday, I made some fresh salsa with jalepenos, fresh tomatoes and spices.  It was very good - even Sonny thought so!  So, tell me what you have tried - either making them at home or buying them at Jamba Juice!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Using Photos in Punches with MDS

I am playing around with My Digital Studio today.  I am determined to finish my New Zealand scrapbook in the next few months.  It's only been a year!!  I worked on the scrapbook a lot last spring but have neglected it since.  The problem is I have soooo many photos (plus Ashley's, Courtney's and Taffy's) and I want to include them all.  It's hard for me to select just a few.

In the meantime, I thought I'd do this page for MDS Monday before the deadline.  I actually couldn't decide which one I liked best so I did two pages!  They both are meant to go on the front of a 2015 calendar.  Wish I'd thought to use it on Ashley's calendar this year, but I will remember it for next year!

The challenge this week is to use pictures in punches.

The pictures above were taken last fall when we returned from New York.  We walked around this beautiful fall area at Ft. Belvoir.  Funny what is hidden on Army posts!!  I used the Timeless Junior Numbers Punches for "2015" and a square punch for the background, lowering the opacity to about 50.

This is probably my favorite!  It is similar to the cover for Ashley's calendar except I didn't think about adding pictures to my punches at the time!  This picture is from Lake Tekapo in New Zealand.

There are some great ideas for photos in punches on MDS Monday's blog.  Make sure to check them out here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Indescribable Gift with Banner Blessings

I am having a busy week so far.  Monday I played bridge and from there went to see the chiropractor and later that evening we met friends for dinner in Cornelius for Queens Feast.  We went to Alton's Restaurant and it was delicious!!  Tuesday I had Stamp Club at my house.  I had a friend that came and made the projects with her.  I am hoping she decides to join us.  Today I played Mahjong and came home and unpacked my supplies from Club and tried to catch up on TV shows that I had taped (I am really behind!!)

These are a couple of the cards I made this weekend.  I used a stamp set from the Occasions Catalog, Indescribable Gift (pg 35).  I used Blendabilities on both cards.

The Happy Birthday sentiment is from Butterfly Basics (Occasions pg 26)

SHINE sentiment is from a Photopolymer set (Banner Blessings) that is not in any of the catalogs but I really love it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Weekly Deals

I am busy getting things ready for Stamp Club today.  I will be posting our cards soon.  In the meantime, I wanted to let you know what the weekly deals are:

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

The Workshop Code for this month is:  HX9XBUWS

Please use it if you place an on-line order


Monday, January 19, 2015

Girls Weekend

What a fun weekend!  Marianne and I set out Friday after my chiropractic visit a little after noon for Spartanburg and our Girls Scrappin' Weekend.  When we got to Spartanburg, our first stop had to be for lunch at Wades Family Restaurant.  Just as good as we both remembered!  In fact, we stopped again on our way out of town on Sunday and had to wait in line both times.  Sunday the line was out the door and into the parking lot!

If you are ever near Spartanburg, you need to make sure you take time to stop at Wades to eat!   Here are some facts that I found funny -

Each year, they prepare:

  • Nearly 150,000 lbs of chicken (most fried chicken:  52,000 lbs of chicken breasts, 28,000 lbs of legs, 11,500 lbs of wings and 1800 lbs of thighs)
  • 98,000 lbs of turkey for Turkey and Dressing
  • 96,500 lbs. of fresh potatoes for creamed potatoes and potato salad
  • 170,000 lbs of green beans and 108,900 lbs of sweet potatoes 

We stayed in a really nice house with lots of land around it for our cropping weekend.  Marianne's neighbor, Debbie, and her friends had won the weekend last year.  There were about 20 gals there.  We couldn't imagine how it would all work but there were 5 bedrooms with at least 2 double beds in each.   The larger rooms had four bed in them so there was plenty of sleeping space.  Most of the furniture (in the den, dining room, etc.) had been removed and there were crafting tables - long ones so everyone had their own table.

This was the area right off the kitchen and I imagine where the dining room should be.  There were two more rooms just like the one above.

Marianne and I were in this room with our tables in the foyer and butted right up to the front door!

And believe me, there was no worry about going hungry.  Several of the gals took turns preparing all the meals.  We had chili, taco salad, BBQ, chicken spaghetti, breakfast casserole, cinnamon rolls ..... and more snacks than we could ever eat!  I took my Angel Poop (corn puffs with white chocolate) and it was scooped up in record time!

This was just part of the snacks on the snack table!

I actually got a lot done.  I had a couple of kits that I had started a couple of years ago that I finished.  And I put together Stampin' Up's Perpetual Calendar Kit that is in the Occasion Catalog.  Plus when I finished all that, I made 5 or 6 cards.

When we left on Sunday, we drove down to Greenville.  I've told Marianne several times what a good job Greenville has done on their downtown area and she wanted to see it.  We parked and walked around a bit.  We really needed that walking since we'd sat on our butts all weekend!  When we left, we stopped for lunch and then drove on home.  Of course, we passed the "Peach Butt" (Peachoid water tower) right outside of Gaffney.  There had been quite a discussion of the Water Town among us gals who had spotted it on our drive to Spartanburg.  Evidently, they are doing a repair job on it and have a big plastic cover on the top.  Everyone had an idea what that plastic cover represented from a shower cap, diaper and condom!!  What do you think?

This is what it usually look like:
Peachoid Water Tower - Gaffney, SC, United States

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Paper Craft Crew Challenge #127

This is my card for the Paper Craft Players sketch challenge this week:

This is a retired stamp set that I never purchased.  That is one of the reasons why I love MDS so much.  I can find stamps - retired and current - in the program and don't have to make room for them on my shelf in my craft room!!

Check out the other design team members cards using the sketch HERE

Use the sketch and create your own card!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Stamp Club Cards for January

I have January Stamp Club projects to share with you today.  My Stamp Club members met yesterday and the rest will come next Tuesday to do their projects.  I think they were very pleased with this month's projects.

Since we won't meet again until the week after Valentine's, we made a cute Valentine card using one of the new stamp sets from Occasions.  I was given this set when I attended the live unveiling of the Occasions Catalog in Charlotte in November.  It's a pretty versatile set with sentiments for a new baby, birthday, love and this one plus a tag to stamp that matches up with the new Note Tag Punch (pg 28).  I punched out the heart in the center of the Real Red card, pricked little holes all around the heart and adhered a piece of Designer Paper (from the Stacked With Love stack) behind the heart.  I used the cute little Bow Builder punch for the bow.

The next card was the favorite of the day!

This one uses the Sheltering Tree set (pg 22) which is one of my favorites in the catalog.  The pink striped paper is from Sale-a-Bration.  It is the white glossy paper that we brayered (or sponged) with Pink Pirouette ink to color it.  Really pretty!!

Our final project was a vellum note card box with three note cards and envelopes inside.

I made this set at Allison's Stampaganza last Saturday and knew my gals would love it.  It is made with the Lotus Blossom stamp set from Sale-a-bration.   The instructions for the box can be found on QBee's Quest blog.  I love it when demonstrators share their tutorials!

Marianne and I are attending a Girls Weekend Stamp-a-thon in Spartanburg this weekend.  I am meeting her tomorrow after my chiropractic visit and we are heading to Spartanburg.  I didn't know what projects I wanted to work on so I have pack way too much stuff!!!

I have been having back issues.  Last Friday when I got out of bed, I could hardly straighten up my back was hurting so bad.  I found a chiropractor in Mooresville who could see me right away and headed there.  He took x-rays and did some adjustments which helped tremendously.  I have gone to see him three times this week but should be tapering down to one or two visits a week for the next few weeks.  Whatever he is doing is really helping a lot!  I am still having pain shooting down my left side from my hip to my knee but my right side seems ok and that was where the major pain was last week..  I have had this pain on my left side for a couple of months and should have gone to see a chiropractor much earlier so I am paying for it now.  He thinks the pain on the right side was because I was overcompensating for the pain I was having on the left.

Hope your weekend is a great one!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Better Than EMail and Weekly Deals

Hi Friends!  It's Tuesday so that means updates from Stampin' Up!  New Weekly Deals and a new Photopolymer stamp which is oh so cute.  If you need cute little stamps for the back (or front) of your cards, this is the set to get.  It's called Better than E-Mail.

Item #140463 – $15.95 

And next .... Weekly Deals:
Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

Monday, January 12, 2015

Final Shoebox Swap Cards

A few more cards to share from the Occasions & Sale-a-Bration catalogs.

Balloons are from Balloon Bash (pg 13 - Occ.) and saying is a Sale-a-Bration stamp

DSP  from Sale-a-Bration

Stacked With Love DSP Stack and stamp from You Plus Me (both on pg 5 -  Occ.)
Hey Valentine decorated bag

Best Day Ever stamp and Best Year Ever DSP - both Sale-a-Bration

Friday, January 9, 2015

Shoebox Cards

Brrr - it was cold here today.  Not that it bothered me since I didn't go outside all day!!  I felt a little industrious this morning and found a recipe for pork chops for the crock pot and got that going before making an apple pie.  I usually make a pie at Christmas but didn't do it this year so thought I'd surprise Sonny with one today.  Not to mention, I needed to use up some of the pie crusts I have in my freezer.  I cleaned out my fridge/freezer earlier this week and found 13 frozen pie crusts!  Every time I want to make a pie, I can't remember if I have any crusts at home so I buy more.  Don't think I will need one any time soon!

Thought I'd share a few more shoebox cards with you.

Painted Petals (pg 19 - Occasions)

Painted Petals with Work of Art.  The strip of DSP at the back is from the Sale-a-bration catalog - Irresistibly Yours (pg 15).  It s a white paper with glossy white patterns that you can sponge, spritz, brayer, etc. any color.

Sheltering Tree - again using the Irresistibly Yours DSP

Sheltering Tree - the grass is made with Work of Art

Your Perfect Day (pg 44 - Occasions catalog)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Basic Butterfly Bundle

It's time to share some of the cards that I made at Joanne's shoebox swap last weekend.  There was a pretty good mix of different stamp sets which I enjoyed.  The most popular stamp used was the Butterfly Basics.  It comes in a bundle and is on page 26 of the Occasions catalog.  There are several videos on YouTube demonstrating easy ways to cut out the butterfly using the framelits and the Big Shot.  Patty Bennett demonstrates one method using a dryer sheet!!  I am waiting on my Butterfly Bundle to arrive so I can't attest to any of the methods yet.  It is a beautiful and intricate butterfly and comes with 3 dies.

This card uses the smallest die with one of the butterflies in the stamp set.  

This is a sparkly butterfly - using the glitter paper.

Marianne's card

Monochromatic card

I had a real experience today at our Newcomers Coffee!  Our speakers were the owners of the Laughing Yoga and Meditation Studio in Charlotte.  I had never heard of Laughing Yoga and don't think many of the ladies in the group had either.  It was quite entertaining!  Lauging Yoga is a global movement for health, happiness and world peace.  It blends yoga practices with the science of laughter to teach people ways and means of joyful living.  They did several group exercises to make us all laugh.  And we also did some breathing techniques followed by an 8 minute meditation.  I felt pretty relaxed at the end of our meeting that's for sure!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Polka Dot Bow Builder Card

I placed an order yesterday around 2 p.m. ordering several items from the Occasions Catalog.  I  got an email from Stampin' Up later that my order has already been shipped (6 p.m.).  Wow!  Is that speedy!  Can't wait!!

In the meantime, I have a few other new toys to play with while I am waiting!  Today I used the new Bow Builder Punch along with several other new items to make this cute card:

For the polka-dot background, I used one of the cards from Project Life Seasonal Snapshot (a carry over item from the Holiday catalog).  The "happy" cut out is from the Hello You Thinlets (pg. 31 of Occasions) and "birthday" is from Crazy About You (also on pg 31).  I used Tangerine Tango, Basic Black and Hello Honey card stock to make the little bows.  They are so easy to do!!  After punching them out, I used a pencil eraser dipped in white ink to make polka dots on the bows.

Check out the video here -

Here's another card I made with a new stamp set - One Tag Fits All.  This set coordinates with the Note Tag Punch (pg 28 - Occasions) so it is easy to put together.

This is the card I made for the shoebox swap at Joanne's last Saturday.  I stamped the jewel with Staz-On ink onto gold paper and cut it out before popping it up with a dimensional.  The faux washi tape was made using the Tape It stamp set (pg 37 in big catalog).  I stamped on vellum paper with gold in and heat embossed it.  I finished it off with the gold sequin trim.

Monday, January 5, 2015

MDS Monday Chalkboard Sign

The new Stampin' Up spring / summer catalog 2015 is here and it is bursting with new and exciting products!  I think my credit card will be working over-time in the next few weeks.  Enjoy browsing online by clicking HERE.  If you would like a paper copy, please contact me. The good news is that you can start ordering from my online shop RIGHT AWAY!!  If you are one of my Club members, I will be using new products this month so get your "wish list" started.  I attended a Shoebox Swap last Saturday and came away with 14 cards using new product!!  I can't wait to share them with you.

Since this is Monday, MDS Monday has a new challenge for us My Digital Studio fans.  In the new Stampin' Up! Occasions Catalog, there is Chalkboard Paper.  (I am dying to get some and give it a go.)  So the designers at MDS Monday thought it would be fun to show how we can use chalkboards on our digital papers.  There is not a sketch this week; this is an open challenge.  There are a few kits that have chalkboard downloads - Convention 2011 (I think that is the year); Back to School and Hello World.  I ended up finding a chalkboard paper on the internet and downloading it into MDS for my page.  You can also find some great chalkboard fonts to use HERE.

My sample is pretty simple.  When we were at one of the shops at the National Harbor in DC in December, Sonny found a sign with this saying.  He really liked it but it was pretty pricey.  I took a picture and told him I could made in in MDS for him.  (I haven't yet but .... the year is not over!)

I have a whole collection of Subway Art that I take pictures of when I see plaques and signs in stores - just for this purpose.  Don't you just love this one?

I have a new story about my crazy cat - actually 2 stories.  Last Tuesday (the day after Ashley and Bogart went home), I spent most of the day in my craft room cleaning up and making cards.  After a couple of hours, I went looking for Sammie - she is usually in the room with me or in my spare bedroom laying on the bed in front of the window soaking up the sunshine.  I couldn't find her in any of her usual spots.  A few hours later, I looked for her again with no luck.  So I decided to straighten out the blanket that she usually sleeps on top of in the spare room.  When I did, I discovered her completely under the blanket sleeping.  She stayed there all day.  When I showed her to Sonny late in the afternoon when he came home, he asked me if she was alive!  She was just worn out from dealing with Bogart for 4 months!

After Christmas, I bought her a new collar.  I have had her for almost 3 years and she has had the same collar all those years.  I just thought she could use a new sparkly one.  It has a bell just like the one she had - not much different in the two.  Well, every time I pick up the new collar, the bell rings and she runs away as fast as she can like a scalded rabbit.  I have tried now for a couple of weeks off and on to put the collar on her.  Tonight I finally got it on her but only by capturing her in a room with no exit.  But I can not get the old one off of her.  I tried to hold her and let Sonny get it off, but she hissed at us and tried to bite us.  I don't know why she is having such a fit about this collar.  But, for now she will be wearing both collars although she is trying like heck to get it off by herself!

Lotus Blossom 1-2-3

Only 1 more day until Sale-a-Bration (and the Occasions catalog) starts!!  Woo - Hoo!  It's the best time of the year to earn free products from Stampin' Up!  For every $50 you spend on Stampin' Up! products between January 6 and March 31, you earn a FREE Sale-a-Bration product.  And this year, there are some really amazing Sale-a-Bration products.  I'll be sharing a few of them in the next several days.

My favorite stamp set from Sale-a-Bration is Lotus Blossom.  I just hate that after Sale-a-Bration, it will be gone.  Yes .... any item in the Sale-a-Bration Catalog will only be available from Jan. 6 - March 31 so if you see something you like, don't wait until April to try to get it - it will be gone.

I made a few thank you cards today with Lotus Blossom and stamped them onto some of the Watercolor Note Cards that are in the Year End Clearance NOW.  Not sure how long they will be there but they are a good deal.  You get 20 printed note cards (on watercolor paper) with 20 envelopes for $5.19!!

Think 1, 2,3!  Three coordinating stamp images merge to create the layered Lotus Blossom.  Two stamps are combined for the stem.  And Stampin' Up has even numbered the Photopolymer stamps with #1, #2, and #3 to make it easy.

Watercolor Wonder Note Cards - $5.19

Marianne made this card for Ashley for her birthday using Lotus Blossom.

Lotus Blossom using shades of Cherry Cobbler.
I made a couple of charts today showing different ways to stamp Lotus Blossom.  This first one uses three different colors of ink.  Some I stamped off before stamping on my card and some I stamped full strength.  (I noted the "stamped off" ones on the sheet).

This second chart uses just two colors of ink.  I stamped off on #2 image and #3 image as noted below in the instructions.