Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Elements of Style Play

I was playing with the elements of style cards from the IC238 challenge and had this little piece left over. I have so much of little scraps that I keep saying -" I'll do something with it later..." but later usually does not come. So, I have this gigantic pile of things I want to do- uh... something - that is taking on a life of its own in my little room that I am making a challenge not to have any left overs- or put the left overs back in the proper color folders so I do not have this big mess in my room.
So, this is my scrap card. Took a melon mambo basecard, ran it through the big shot using the square lattice folder. Wrapped a piece of polkadot melon mambo ribbon backwards around the corner then slapped the piece onto the base card using sticky strip. I wante to add some flowers but the images I tried all looked "flat". Then of course, I had to do something un-flat so the 3D flowers. The flowers are in pretty in pink and edge sponged in melon. Little pearls are from the pretties kit- applied to the center using multi-mono glue- it's the best for this. Stamped the leaves from God's Beauty- retired hostess set- in artichoke onto olive and cut out. Very sweet I thought.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Elements of Style Interchangeable message Gift Set

I took some well deserved R&R this week. I was so stressed from everything that was going in my life, I lost a bit of my mojo. It's amazing what a little cleaning up of your workspace and getting sleep does to your brain. I have ideas for cards coming out of my brain and I am jotting them down for some time later when I will have time to make them now that it is time to get back to work.
Inspiration challenge this week from SCS (IC238) was from Bicycle Muse and I found a pannier that inspired this set of cards. I thought a whole set of these would make a lovely gift set. Very Toile. I wrote to SU to ask if they can come up with a set of sentiments that could be used with one acrylic block and punch. They have not answered me yet but I love this idea. Make a set of blank cards that you can just add the sentiments to your liking. Add a set of stamps, with the matching punch and voila! a perfect gift to get someone started stamping.
The image was stamped in a variety of inks to match the cardstock. Wrap the coordinating ribbon around the card before mounting on the base cardstock. Diecut the tag from Matchbox XL die for bigshot. It fits the scallop oval and the now retired keytag punch perfectly as you can see.

This one is done with elegant cheer - another retired set.

This is what it could look like- a set of blank cards (maybe one finished one so the recipient would know how to finish it off ).
Punch a bunch of labels in different colors so they can choose what they want to put on it and slip them all inside a little envelope and include some embellishment ( the basic rhinestone jewels or pearls would be perfect for this application ).

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fifth Avenue Floral embossed and bleached

Heat embossing adds such lovely feel to the cards and allows so many techniques in addition. This is one of those techniques that I forget about but it is so dramatic and easy. I took chocolate chip CS, embossed fifth avenue floral in whisper white craft ( it is pretty just with this too.) and heat embossed in white to make it pop. I then used liquid bleach that I loaded onto the aqua painter (marked with BLEACH on the side so I don't confuse it with plain water ) and used it to just brush on the bleach on to the area that show as lighter. I then wrapped pink ribbon around the corner, put a button latte button on top tied with a linen thread and mounted the teey tiny wishes stamped onto pink pirouette CS then punched out with curly label punch and mounted under the ribbon. I really like the drama of this card. I would not put it in a scrapbook album given the acid in the bleach but for a card, it should be fine.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tropical Party sunset

The SCS way to use it challenge 276 (WT276) was to dig out your old heat gun and use heat embossing on your card. Somehow this idea about the palm lined sunset stuck in my mind. It was a rather easy card to do as well.

Take a glossy cardstock and rub embossing buddy all over ( to prevent any stray powder sticks) stamp the palm trees using versamark ink. Sprinkle copper detail embossing powder (retired SU) to create a warmer embossed image. I punched out a 1 3/4 inch circle out of post it. I used the negative to rub summer sun ink into the sun (retired! ) and the used the circle over the sun to rub, summer sun, pumpkin pie and baja breeze over the sky and behind the trees. I then tore a piece of paper and used the torn edge to sponge some sahara sand over the blue area to create a faux beach look.

The sentiment is from Upsy Daisy stamped in chocolate chip.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

We all scream for Ice Cream

This is a culmination of several ideas that have been swirling around in my head. I've been needing to make a sample showing the ornament punch as a bowl. I wanted to fill it with ice cream but with the sentiment I wanted to make a swirl in the middle that brought together the 2 flavor colors.

The SCS challenge F4A18 was to make a card with an ice cream theme- she must have been reading my mind! The I heat embossed the sentiment in white for the WT276 challenge as well. There was shading around the cherry and the bowl but can't seem to be able to see it here.

The base card is so saffron, embossed with perfect polka dot embossing folder. Take a white cardstock, stamp ice cream in pretty in pink and chocolate chip. Ink up the ice cream in pretty in pink and use chocolate chip marker to create swirls and then stamp on whisper white CS and cut out. Mount the swirl ice cream with dimensionals. Punch the razzleberry lemonade DSP with ornament punch and cut down to make the bowl shape. Mount it with dimensionals. Add a strip using the reverse side of the DSP. punch out heart with another design of the same DSP then put bitty button heart on top. Stamp the little cherry using red and chocolate chip markers. Take melon mambo CS, stamp sentiment from In a Word set using white craft inkpad and emboss with white embossing powder. Tie the 1/8 taffeta ribbon. After mounting the center image, mount the whole thing onto the saffron CS using sticky tape. Welcome summer!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Because I care hydrangea

I love hydrangeas. I love the deep blue violet ones especially but have never been able to grow them well. When I moved into our current home, it came with a hydrangea plant in the front patio area that is rather spindly rather than lush and I had often contemplated removing it and planting something else but every year it produces this melon mambo pretty in pink color flowers with white edges that is just lovely and I just keep thinking, if I prune it right maybe next year, it will do better......

When I saw this because I care set (level 1 hostess in the new Catalog that I got for free I wanted to recreate this flower. I also loved the color challenge on SCS with apricot, amethyst and soft suede and decided to use it again for this vintage looking card.

The sketch is also from SCS -SC286 found here

I used soft suede as base, ran it through the polka dot embossing folder, ran some vanilla craft inkpad to make the dots stand out some more and edged to look a little worn. then I stamped the border image from the same set in suede, and again sponged it in suede and distressed the edges. I ran the smethyst piece in square lattice folder and distressed that as well. Then tied the new 1/8 inche daffodil ribbon (I just LOVE the white piping edge ). The hydrangea was stamped in black on whisper white and colored in with suede, olive, pretty in pink and melon mambo with blender pen on the inkpad lid technique. Put a little glitter with spica gel pen in each of the flower centers- Not really visible here though, sigh.

This is my real hydrangea- is she not lovely?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What's with this backorder problem?

Most people who know me understand that I am normally a patient person. I can go to school for 16 years, train for another 5 to finally
get to where I am- but hey, there is a limit to how long I will wait for a embossing folder- no matter HOW CUTE IT MAY BE!
I ordered square lattice embossing folders for some friends over 6 weeks ago and I finally got them today. My preview vintage folder? no where to be seen. My catalogue that I ordered almost 4 weeks ago? not a clue.
I am looking out the window for the guy in the brown getup and he is nowhere to be seen.
For my friends who have waited all this time, I wanted to say sorry and I was searching for some sentiment to express it when I realized what the giraffe was saying on the It's the thought set (level 1 hostess from the summer mini). Perfect! Seriously, Long time, no see.
Stamped it in black on white cardstock, sponged the edge in apricot, mounted it on amethyst cardstock that I ran through the square lattice folder using sticky strip.
To attach the ribbon, I took the new 1/8 inch ribbon in daffodil, looped it through the hole, and put a fire circle crystal brad through the same hole and mounted the hole thing onto suede cardstock base.

This is how it looks in the back- a tiny piece of ribbon with a lot of bang for the buck. Now you know why I never throw ANYTHING out. (much to the dismay of my DH)
I printed out a sentiment that I typed on microsoft word that said "thank you for your patience!" using a premium paper, punched it out with the large oval punch and attached it inside with Dotto so if the recipient wanted to remove it they could easily do so by rubbing out the dots of repositionable glue.
I took the colors from the SCS color challenge CC276 for soft suede, apricot and amethyst. I really like the combo and will have to remember to use it again in the future- uh, wait- amethyst retired! Darn, should have bought more cardstock.....oh well.
Live your life without regret!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Friends Never Fade - CAS72

The Clean and simple challenge from SCS this week took less than 10 minutes to make. I wanted to use the image from the Friends Never Fade set (in the new 2010-2011 catalogue) as the central image.
I stamped it in So Saffron classic inkpad then directly onto versamark before stamping on whisper white then embossed it with clear embossing powder. Then I colored it in with river rock, celery, cholcolate chip for the center then baja blue and pumpkin pie for the words. The layers are inspired the Greenhouse gala DSP- center strip- also in the new catalogue and baja blue and so saffron below stamped with images in the same set using versamark. I pierced the edges of the baja and saffron as shown and then corner rounded before mounting onto River Rock basecard. Such an easy but very sophisticated card. I love it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

More samples by Sachi- Easter Chick and Fish

She told me she cased these from some people on the internet- the easter chicks from Ann's creative moments- they were just so cute I had to share them with you.
Really creative use of the punches - so much fun - this one looks like large oval and scallop border punch, 5 sided flower and circle punche for the waves and the red hearts to boot- just darling!
Let's see what you can do with your punches!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy 4th - a little early

I wanted some fireworks stamps and voila! the summer mini had the exact thing I was looking for. I wanted it to look like fireworks in the middle of the night so I used night of navy for the base, stamped the fireworks with versamark and embossed it in silver EP then the stars using the iridescent ice to give it an extra sparkle. I debated putting lines using the signo gel pen to look like they were being fired from the ground but it looked too busy so I left it out. I rolled the wheel onto whisper white using real red ink then wrapped the ribbon aound the left and brought the back one to the front using a hole I punched for the brad then used the brad "legs"to hold the ribbon in place and opened it in the inside to secure it. Stamped the star in night of navy to match then punched it out using the star punch- Yes! that is why I love this company! everything goes together!

The picture does not show it but the 2 arms of the ribbon are cut at an angle and left out. The star brads on the retired accessory list and is on sale for this month until it runs out so get it if you need it now.


stampset: Motorcycle 117657 $11.95 woodmounted (summer mini)
paper: real red 102482 $5.50; Basic gray 108692 $7.50; whisper white 100730; brushed silver 100712
ink: basic Gray 109120; basic black pad 101179; real red marker 101179
accessories: Uni-ballSigno Gel Pen 105021 $3.95; sponge dauber 102892; perfect detail texturz plate; extra large double cogs punch 118873 (summer mini) bMy way punch 110709; 1/4 inch circle punch retired SU-

Friday, June 18, 2010

Another Sachi Card

The clean and simple lines that personify her style comes out on this card that Sachi shared with me. Now I have to run and make some myself , it is so pretty!
Thanks Sachi!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ornament punch as a vase

This idea has been floating on the net for ages but I never showed it to my class but I thought it would be a good way to show the square lattice embossing folder used selectively as I have shown before here:

The flower from the set fit the area perfectly. We made this in my workshop this past month and it was pretty simple to do. Use premade frame to selectively empress the paper in the embossing folder. Stamp the image using old olive and melon mambo markers and sentiment using the melon mambo pad. Punch the ornament punch with the bottom flat using the razzleberry lemonade and adhere with dimensionals. The bow is tied with 1/4" olive grosgrain and attach with glue dot. MOunt the whole panel on to the olive green CS and Bob's your uncle!

It's fun to play with the punches and figure out all the different ways that you can use it!

stampset: Thoughts and Prayers $25.95 woodmounted
paper: whisper white 100730 $7.50 for 40 sheets: old olive 100702 $5.50
razzleberry lemonade
ink: melon mambo 115656 $5.95
Square Lattice embossing folder (summer mini)
melon mambo marker
old olive marker
ornament punch
1/4" grosgrain ribbon
glue dot
oval frame (not SU)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sachi's graduation card

Is this not the coolest or what?

This is another card that my talented friend Sachi made for a new grad in colors of her school. She got flowers from M's and de-stemmed them to make the lei. Gorgeous!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

White on White butterflies- play with texture

I was making an anniversary card for my parents and came up with this card - all white on white- textures galore. First the base card of whisper white. Another whisper white embossed with perfect polkadots is layered on top. The butterflies are diecut and attached with mulitmono - and same glue used on the big butterflies to add clear microbeads to add even more texture.

The whole thing is then sprayed with vanilla smooch spray to add a beautiful sheen (hard to see here though). Take a 1 3.4 inch strip of another whisper white CS, borderpunch eyelet on one side, pinking hearts on the other.

Pierce the bottom with piercing tool to add even more detail. Added the white ribbon, then tag stamped with sentiment in versamark (for the Newlyweds from the same set also works beautifully! ) emboss with silver EP, then used glue dot to attach the half round pearl from the pretties kit. Texture upon texture upon texture- Sort of over the top but the ideas in it can be used to make lots of simpler cards.....


stampset: Teeny Tiny Wishes 115370 $36.95 woodmounted
paper: whisper white 100730 $7.50 for 40 sheets
ink: versamark 102283 $7.50
Perfect polka dot embossing folder
Vaniller Shimmerz spritz
eyelet border punch
pinking hearts border punch
butterfly diecut
corner rounder punch
white half round pearl-from pretties kit
lots of tags sizzlets for big shot
white organza ribbon

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sachi's Samples and my real reason for workshops

I have a workshop every month with a few core of friends and others that come and go and after every workshop they say-"thank you for having us over, it must be so much work for you, thanks for doing all this, etc etc." but the truth is that I do this for ME.

I get so energized by their excitement and creativity that I feel that I lose my moho without their enthusiasm.

Wanting to show them all the new techniques and things going around makes me a better stamper and keeps me excited about what I am doing.

One of the dearest friends in my group is Sachi. She brought a bunch of things she made and CASED from different places and I just loved it and she gave me persmission to share them with you - This is a little box with the scallop flower on top with ribbon that wraps around to hold the box together. I love the chocolate corduroy brad in the center of the yellow flower with the brown polka dot- so cheery and sweet - just like Sachi herself!

Happy Monday!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Happy Recycling motorcyling

As soon as I saw this stamp- even though it was a single stamp and wood mounted- aghast! ( you know me as the queen of the unmounted stamps with space shortage and all for years! ) I had to have it. I think it comes from having been a good girl all my life- I always wanted to get a little lilly of the valley flower tattoo'd and ride a Harley but I am always worried about hepatitis from needles and never got around to it. Now with 3 little boys, I got a mommy van and I can see why sometimes I see little grandma's with their armskin flapping in the wind, wearing their babushka's and driving a sports convertible- that's going to be ME some day! It's the good girl wanting to be a little bit BAD sometimes!

I have been playing with the aluminum foil for a long time with different textures but found even the heavy duty aluminum foil to be not quite sturdy enough and you had be careful with it when mailing or applying pressure on it. One day someone catered lunch in my office and they brought chinese food in these aluminum foil trays with a cover that was a heavy duty aluminum foil you buy at craft stores for gobs of money- so instead of letting them trash it- I took it home to recycle- washed it off, cut it up with a heavy duty scissors ( then found my old cutting/scoring tool worked fine- it trashes the blade faster but hey, it is nice getting those clean lines-

I cut it to size THEN ran it through the texturz plate and this is what I got- sturdy and gorgeous. Embossing folders work beautifully too. Even if it has some things embossed in it already from the manufactures, creases whatever, lot of it just irons out with the pressure- gorgeous! I would apply either sticky tape to mount it or use tape on the base cardstock before you mount the foil to avoid messing up the impression.

The motorcycle is stamped in black, let dry a little then colored in wth real red marker. Mounted on basic grey cardstock. I punched some arrows with My Way punch- (retiring sigh!) and put white lines with my signo gel pen to make it look like the road a bit.
This is a easy stamp card- hardest part are the nails.

Use silver cardstock to punch out the cogs- that you will use to decorate the inside to add interest (it does take some doing to punch this out- I thought it was defective the first time I used it because it kept not punching all the way - I have to literally stand over it with both hands on it to get a good clean punch- I think the extra thick cardstock makes it so- Take a 1/4 inch punch and punch left over brushed silver cardstock 8 times. Leave 4 whole and cut the other 4 in half. dauber the basic grey onto the cut sections as shown and mount it on top of the whole one slightly split in the center to make faux nailheads. Cool, eh? I guess you could cut it into quarters to make a phillips screw but I am not that ambitious.

I put the cogs on the inside with another motorcycle image stamped in the corner to rev up the inside of the card.

I think any guy would love this- I know my boys did!


stampset: Motorcycle 117657 $11.95 woodmounted (summer mini)
paper: real red 102482 $5.50; Basic gray 108692 $7.50; whisper white 100730; brushed silver 100712
ink: basic Gray 109120; basic black pad 101179; real red marker 101179
accessories: Uni-ballSigno Gel Pen 105021 $3.95; sponge dauber 102892; perfect detail texturz plate; extra large double cogs punch 118873 (summer mini) bMy way punch 110709; 1/4 inch circle punch retired SU-

Sunday, June 6, 2010


If there was a living definition of a foodie it would be me and my DH. We are palate adventurers and although with young children, our experiences had to be definitely toned down to the more mundane
we still love having our tongues titillated. We are trying to get our kids to expand their reportoire but it is a struggle.
I remember watching Babette's feast with interest and have been watching Iron Chef way before the American version- in Japanese even- who needed translation?- you can see how amazing it all was.
In celebration of our 17th wedding anniversary- how quick the time passes.... my DH took me to one of our favorite restaurants- Manresa. It is nestled in a little street off of the main street in Los Gats California and as always it did not disappoint.
We did the tasting menu- a selection of different items from the menu that the Chef chooses for your tasting. Never mind that the dinner for two may translate to a week's wages for many especially if you do the wine pairing but it is an amazing experience to be had.

It started off with a savory amuse bouche of red pepper gelee and black olive madelines served on a piece of slate. Such delicious morsels!
It was followed by strawberry gazpacho with marcona almond to add a bit of crunch served in a shot glass. My only regret was that I did not have a long enough tongue to get to the bottom to get every sweet drop.

Next came a poached oyster with seaweed and seawater gelee. It was the essence of the sea. Served on a bed of salt in a very organic rock plate. The dinner is a feast for all senses including that of visual pleasure as you can see.
David Kinch, the chef at Manresa just received the coveted James Beard Foundation award for best chef Pacific region. Although he was not physicially there this night, his philosophy and cooking style was still present in all that we had.

The oyster was followed by my favorite tidbit - the Arpegge egg served in its own sheel with sherry and chives- I was so eager to have it, alas, forgot to take the picture before it was delightfully consumed.
Japanese cuttlefish grilled with fig cream served with pickled and unripe strawberries followed. I have eaten in a lot of places- and I mean a LOT- even at Manresa itself many times- and I have never tasted anything like this- I would have liked to have a whole bowl of it and I am sure I would have licked it clean.

But my favorite dish of all was a simple asparagus dish. Delta asparagus, shaved thinly and julienned cooked with bonito butter and roasted seeds which were so sophisticated in flavor, my DH who is not much of an asparagus fan wiped the plate clean with the fabulous home made bread to sop up every drop.

I have been a fan of snout to tail cooking which means to use every part of an animal who has been sacrificed to give us sustenance and I saw Dr Kinch on Martha Stewart where he used the leaves, stems and the flower of the nasturtium for a fabulous soup and I just love that philosophy. This dish was called Into the Garden - hand picked vegetables, steamed baby carrot, broccoli, purple cabbage with variety of greens and even some "edible dirt" on the side- made of roasted chicory, almonds, parsnip and potatoes- a venerable garden. He has a local farm "Love Apple Farm" in Santa Cruz Mountains where they grow sustainable organic products to be hand picked daily for their previleged diners.

The dinner continues to their savory courses starting with the pil-pil Cod - cooked Basque style, in an emulsion of the cod's gelatin and olive oil- served with watercress and artichoke hearts as well as bell pepper tears and artichoke chips. Bell pepper "tears" is such an evocative name- and the artichoke chips were so delicious I know I could get my kids to eat it... if I can only figure out how they did it....

This next dish was a small abalone with porcini mushroom on apple puree and dashi to finish.

This was another interesting dish of veal sweetbread with morel mushrooms and green garlic served with sweet onion broth enriched with beef marrow. The green on top was crispy and delicious- how they got it so crispy is a mystery.

Roasted lamb and roasted tongue confit followed. My DH made a face when he heard "tongue" but after tasting it found it super tender and flavorful and even thought my pickiest of the boys would have liked it as long as they did not know what part it was.
The chickpea panisse was really good- makes me want to make some at home for my boys. It was served with nasturtium flower petals and puree of pinenuts which was also delish!

The desserts were to die for- seriously. The black pepper toile cookie in a ring with roasted strawberries ( which were really intense in flavor ) inside with yuzu sorbet which was the perfect complement.

The final dessert was a chocolate sorbet with vanilla meringe, cashew nut cream, which was amazing, and white chocolate.

A sweet selection of strawberry gelee and chocolate madelines closed the evening - very alliterative!
The wine pairings were also amazing -2008 Domaine de Salvard Sauvignon Blanc Cheverny was absolutely delicious but I have no pictures to accompany the wines- only our satisfied palates and memories to keep us going for hopefully another 17 years!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Tropical View

I immediately thought of this idea when I saw this set. I was trying to figure out how to do it.
Now I will let you into the twisted inner workings of my mind. I doodle a lot and I mean a LOT. I think of all different cards I want to make- I probably have enought sketches to make a different card for all the rest of my life with cards. Same with my quilts but alas - there never seems to be enough time to do it all. The ice cream card that I made earlier this week was sketched out here on the right side side top as you can see and hard to make out but this card on the left bottom- although hard to make out.
No one else can read this sketch page as messy as it is but it makes sense to me.

These are some of the templates I made from old x-rays that were being discarded to make the card. It is 1 1/4 inch circle punched out for the sun. You should save the negative as well as the positive template.

This is the template for the beach outline. I sketched it out with crayon over the card so I could get the right proportion to the A2 cards that I normally make.

This is a mountain template I made - both positive and negative will be needed so save both.

I used the template to sponge or dauber the colors using classic inkpad in caramel for the sand, pacific blue for the water and bashful blue for the sky. soft suede for the hills and summer sun - yeh, well, for the sun- and artichoke for the trees and leaves outside my window. a little touch of pumpkin for the sunset.
The crowning glory is using the white signo gel pen to edge the water to make the edges of the wave more natural- just squiggle it back and forth horizontally as shown.
I am not sure how I like it right now - I think it needs some refining but I like the layout. I need little footprints in the sand or little beach chair facing the ocean or a little hammock. Maybe a sailboat in a silhouette would be cool too- now I have to look for those images- maybe Stampin Up is listening?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

CAS Bella Bloom

Another clean and simple card idea using the black marker to create the box idea. Note of thanks in black. The small flower from Bella's Bloom in real red and pumpkin.


stampset: Thank you Kindly 111700 $13.95 woodmounted
Bella's Bloom 111600 $12.95
paper: Whisper White 100730 $7.50 for 40 sheets
ink: basic black classic inkpad 101179 $5.95
pumpkin pie classic inkpad 105216 $5.95
real red classic inkpad 103133 $5.95
black marker 100082 $3.25