Thursday, May 30, 2013

Avery Elle June/July Release Blog Hop

Are you ready people?  I'm so, so, so excited to be posting with the Avery Elle June/July release Blog Hop this month!  As I mentioned earlier this week, this release is so special because it's the one year birthday of Avery Elle!  I have been so lucky to be a part of this great company with one of the best owners/stamp designers out there!  Thanks Jamie!  Now on to this awesome release and hop! 

Today I'm using the new stamp and die set Modern Leaves!  I designed this set to be super versatile and I can't wait to find new and fun uses for the leaf shapes!  For my first card, I used the largest die as a mask to create a rainbow-colored lotus flower.  The lotus petals are colored with sponged on Distress Inks.  This technique gives the best soft color!  A simple stamped sentiment in deep black was the final touch. 

For my second card, I took one of the leaf stamps and did something a little graphic and organic  ;)  I stamped a vine design up the side of the card and finished off with the sentiment stamped on some cork to go along with the organic theme. 

As a little something expected, I backed the cork tag with some gold card stock.  I think this little bit of shine really highlights the sentiment and gives it last little something extra:)

That's my bit for today!  You MUST go visit all the other gals in the Blog Hop today!  Here's the blog line up if you've just started...

 Chunyuan Wu
Jennifer Rzasa (guest designer extraordinaire) 
Nina Yang
Heather Campbell
JJ Bolton (you are here:)
This month Avery Elle will be hosting lots of fun activities throughout the month to celebrate turning 1!  To kick off the festivities, every stamp order placed through the Avery Elle site between now and June 30th will receive the Party Animal mini set for free (limit one set per customer)!  We are all so excited to celebrate with you and for all your support over the last year!

To celebrate the Release Blog Hop, Avery Elle is giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to one winner!  You have until Sunday, June 2nd midnight EST to enter.  The winner will be announced on the Avery Elle blog on  Monday, June 3rd.  All products are available for purchase in the Avery Elle store right NOW!!!

To increase your chances of winning do any or all of the following (each item will give you one chance of winning):
Mahalo and Aloha,

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Avery Elle Sneak Peek: Modern Leaves Stamps & Dies

Are you all ready for June?  The June release marks the one year birthday of Avery Elle and boy are fun things in store (pun intended, lol)!  (Can't believe it's been a year!)  Starting with this birthday celebration, Avery Elle will be offering releases every other month.  And don't worry!  The number of items released throughout the year will still be the same, but now you'll have more time to enjoy your new goodies between releases!  For the June/July release, Avery Elle is coming out with 8 new stamp sets, 5 new die sets, and 3 new card stock/ribbon colors!  Today, I'm happy to be giving you all a sneak peek of my new mini stamp set and coordinating nesting dies called Modern Leaves! 

Like the previous sets I've designed, I was going for something versatile that could be used for many different applications.  The basic concept for these stamps come from my background in sewing.  I have been sewing MUCH longer than I've been carding, so it is second nature for me to apply quilting and sewing techniques to paper!  The two sneak peek cards I've done today definitely have that "quilty" feel and are 2 versions of essentially the same card.  One in stamps and one in die cuts!  

For my first card, I stamped a modern graphic design using the cross-hatched leaf stamp.  Quick and super easy:)  The Modern Leaves stamp set includes 3 sentiments in a really bold handwritten-style font.  These sentiments definitely stand up to the bold leaf graphics.  I hope that you like them!  Now let's check out the die cut version:)

I don't know about you, but I still get a kick out of using my dies to cut fabric:)  I'm happy to say that the Modern Leaves dies cut felt like butter!!  (I also cut canvas but that experiment is for another day;)  This card not only feels "quilty" but even has a bit of stitching.  I can't wait to see how everyone uses these dies!  

Thanks for checking out the sneak peeks!  The new release will be available on Thursday, May 30th in the store and Jamie is showing sneak peeks of the other release items over  at the Avery Elle blog now!  Be sure to come back on Thursday to hop with the entire DT gang:)  We're so excited to celebrate!  
    Mahalo and Aloha,

    Thursday, May 23, 2013

    Avery Elle Stamp Highlight: Handwritten Notes

    Hi guys!  I'm back with another card using the new Avery Elle May release:)  I'm working with the Handwritten Notes stamp set today.  This has been such a fun month with sets that I really enjoy using!  You've already seen me using this set and it has quickly become one of my favorites!

    I love the scale and weight of these sentiments!  The font is the best, don't you think?  I embossed the sentiment across the stop in bright white and I love how crisp it looks.  I used the Chevron Border and Chevron Bits dies to create the chevron arrow that highlights the word "YOU".  

    To create the ombre arrow, I used a bright yellow paint chip strip. I cut each chevron and inserted them into the border die cut and then I trimmed the whole thing into an elongated arrow shape.  

    To finish off the card, I add a few of those yummy yellow sequins.   At the last minute, I cut out little triangle area at the base of the arrow.  Do you ever do those things at the very last minute?  

    That's it for me today!  Thank you so, so much for visiting!!   I really appreciate you spending time here and for your kind comments.  Please hop on over to Heather's blog today!  She's got a super cute Air Mail card for you!  

    Mahalo and Aloha,

    Supply List:

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    Mama Elephant Stamp Highlight: Filigree

    Good everyone!  Today is the last of the Mama Elephant May release highlights and this one is to die for!  Today the whole DT is showcasing the set Filigree (It's available on the site NOW!)  

    I love the look of this modern doily!  And the lovely petite sentiments fit just inside of the doily:)   To really get the most of the delicate design, I stamped the doily with Versamark watermark/embossing ink and then dusted it with Ranger Perfect Pearls.  If you're not familiar with them, Perfect Pearls are pigment powders that you apply with a soft paintbrush.  Pigment powders have been around awhile, but I've seen them around lately and I thought this would be the perfect project.  As you can see it gives a lovely glowy look!  I love the look of rich gold on purple.  For a little more bling, I used my gold Stickles to add glittery dots to the edges of the doily.  This gives it a little detail and a bit of texture.  

    Thank you so much for stopping by all week to check out my projects and all the fun new stamps!  I hope that you get a chance to drop by the rest of the DT to see what fun they had with this beautiful set! 
    JJ Bolton (you are here)

    Mahalo and Aloha,


    Saturday, May 18, 2013

    Mama Elephant Stamp Highlight: Soiree

    ETA: Sorry guys!  This post was supposed to go up Monday, May 20th:)  
    You got an extra early peek!  See you on Tuesday, May 21st with the next release post!  

    Good morning folks!  I'm back today with the third day of the Mama Elephant May release highlights!  For today the whole DT is showcasing the set Soiree (It's available on the site NOW!)  

    Can you just see the versatility in this set?  May is peak birthday season here in our household.  Everyone in our house has a birthday this month, but me:)  Add a couple graduations to the mix, and I NEED this set!  So today I'm sharing a quickie graduation card I made.  I started by stamping and paper piecing the banner on the card base.  I wanted to center the "2013" banners, so I die cut a circle frame to go over the card base.  I stamped the sentiment inside the circle and curved it just slightly to match the curve of the banner.  How easy was that?  

    Thanks for stopping by and checking out the new stamps!  I hope that you get a chance to drop by the rest of the DT to see what fun they had with this fun set! 
    JJ Bolton (you are here)
    I'll see you on Tuesday when we showcase the last set of the May Mama Elephant release!

    Mahalo and Aloha,


    Friday, May 17, 2013

    Mama Elephant Stamp Highlight: Wanderlust

    Hey guys!  I'm back today with the second day of the Mama Elephant May release highlights.  For today the whole DT is showcasing the set Wanderlust!   (It's available on the site NOW!)  Obviously, this set is travel-themed, but I am excited about using them for some graduation cards!  Let's get to my card:)

    My card was inspired by a vacation we took to NYC a couple summers ago.  We took the train up from DC and had a wonderful vacation in the heart of the city.  So when I saw the Wanderlust sentiments, I thought back to the scene of us in the train pulling up to the big city and created this card...

    For the background I used my favorite cityscape stamp from the Central Park set.  For a little detail, I stamped and embossed a silver stripe along side my train car with a stripe from Basic Borders.  I put the sentiment on a vellum banner that is "flying" in the wind:)  Just a tip for stamping on vellum.  I use Versafine ink.  It's a sticky pigment ink and it is awesome because it's grippy!  No more sliding when you stamp on vellum!  Like any ink on vellum, you need to give it a little extra time drying, but the Versafine results are tops!  I'm so glad I found this product because you know I love my vellum;)

    Thanks for stopping by and checking out the new stamps!  I hope that you get a chance to drop by the rest of the DT to see what fun they had with this fun set! 
    JJ Bolton (you are here)

    Mahalo and Aloha,


    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    Mama Elephant Stamp Highlight: Sunny Skies

    ***please scroll down for my Avery Elle post***

    Hey everyone!  Today is the first day of the Mama Elephant May release highlights and the whole DT is showcasing the set that you saw here yesterday called Sunny Skies!   (Which is available on the site NOW by the way)  Yesterday, I used the Sunny Skies stamps the conventional way.  Today, I took a slightly different turn!  Here's the full stamp set here...

    You know I love stamps that can do double duty!  So I flipped the balloon over and used it as a vase!  Lucky for me the flowers from Cup of Wishes were the perfect scale:)  I'm definitely not the first one to try this trick, but this was the first time I've ever tried it!  The flowers were stamped on using a mask and colored in with Copics.  The lovely handwritten sentiment is from the set Tree Friends.  

    Thanks for stopping by!  I hope that you get a chance to drop by the rest of the DT to see what fun they had with this fun set! 
    JJ Bolton (you are here)

    Mahalo and Aloha,


    Avery Elle Stamp Highlight: Air Mail

    Hi everyone!  Today Heather and I are highlighting more of the Avery Elle May release:)  I'm working with the Air Mail stamp set.  This sweet little set has so many cute little images:)   

    Something about this graphic set made me want go super CAS.  So what you see is what you get!  Two super CAS cards with no fancy techniques (shocking, I know;)!

    And another ultra CAS card using the same teeny envelope stamp.  The mini hearts were made using a hand punch.

    Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to hop on over to Heather's blogs today too!  

    Mahalo and Aloha,

    Supply List:

    Wednesday, May 15, 2013

    Mama Elephant May Stampede

    Hi everyone!  Welcome to the Mama Elephant May Stampede!  You've already seen the first looks at the April release on the Mama Elephant blog, and the new release is now live and available for purchase in the store here!  For the stampede, I'm using the new set Sunny Skies!  

    It's raining enamel dots!  (I wish!)  This card was so much fun to make.  I hope that the colorful rainbow clouds will brighten the recipients day!  And for you all out there hoarding your enamel dots, here's your chance to go wild(***whispering*** know you want to do it!)  By the way, the awesome speech bubble is from the set Bling.

    To celebrate the new release, Mama Elephant is giving away 3 gift certificates worth $20 each to 3 lucky people!  Winners will be chosen at random from the collective blogs in the Stampede.  Winners will be announced on the blog May 19th.  

    Here's how to qualify to win (leave a separate comment for each):
    1) Leave a comment on this blog post
    2) Become a follower of the Mama Elephant blog
    3) Like/share Mama Elephant on Facebook
    4) Follow/tweet about Mama Elephant on Twitter

    If you started from the beginning, you dropped in from Alice's blog.  The next stop on the hop is Lea!  If you get lost, here's the list of designers joining us today:)

    Thank you so much for stopping by!!  Come back tomorrow for the start of the DT stamp highlights!  

    Mahalo and Aloha,

    Sunday, May 12, 2013

    Missing You on Mother's Day

    This day has been creeping up, and for the past few months, I have debated whether or not I would post this on my blog. You see, my mother passed away last August, and this is my first Mother's Day without her.   Even though it's hard for me, I want to share a bit of her here today.  

    My Mom was a larger than life person.  Big hair, shiny jewelry, and lots and lots of opinions (the kind Asian moms are known for!).  She was everybody's "Auntie" and she filled our house with people, food, and laughter (and more food!).  Growing up, I always thought that my mom and I had nothing in common.  How could I relate to this country girl who went to secretary's school to find a husband?   Who was this lady who sent me to school with sushi when all I wanted was hamburgers and french fries?  Even though I was named after her (her name is Jeanne), I insisted that I was NOT my mother.  Fast forward 20 years and there's no denying that in all the ways that matter, I am my mother's daughter.  

    So today, I wish a Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful and beautiful Mom!  

    I miss you.  

    I think of you everyday.  

    I'm taking care of Dad and Joy.  

    I love you.

    Thank you so much for letting me share a bit about my mom.  Please know that my thoughts are with you and your mothers too!   

    Big hugs,

    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    Avery Elle May Release Highlight: Cupcakes

    Hi everyone!  Today Chunyuan, Heather, Kasia, and I are playing around with the new Avery Elle May release:)  I'm working with the Cupcakes stamp and matching die set.  May is a crazy month for birthdays in our family, so these stamps and dies come right in time!

    This set is so much fun, so you know I had to go with lots of color in my card!  Lucky for me, Avery Elle carries sequins in a rainbow of colors (you know I can't resist).   I really appreciate that the sequin packs include sequins in varying shades and 2 sizes.  {For those new to sequins, use mini glue dots to apply them to your card}

    To add even more color I turned to real sprinkles to create a color effect in the cupcake frosting.   I've seen this technique used before around the web, but I adapted it slightly to keep the cardstock from getting soggy:)

    To get this look, start by swiping a piece of cardstock with a baby wipe (or barely wet paper towel) until slightly damp.  Generously spread sprinkles over the area you want to color.  (You may want to do this in a tray or plate because the sprinkles will get EVERYWHERE)  Lay the baby wipe over the sprinkles and apply light pressure.  After about 30-45 seconds you will get something like this...

    Allow the piece to air dry or use a heat tool.  How much fun is this?  I don't know about you, but stuff like this just makes me smile:)

    That's it for me today!  Thank you so, so much for visiting!!   I really appreciate you spending time here and for your kind comments.  Please hop on over to Chunyuan's, Kasia's, and Heather's blogs today too!  They have some amazing stuff!  

    Mahalo and Aloha,

    Supply List:

    Thursday, May 2, 2013

    Avery Elle May Release Blog Hop

    Happy May People!!!   Are you enjoying the Avery Elle May Blog Hop?  So many fun things are coming out this month!  

    My first card today uses the awesome new Father's Day set called The Man!  I can always use more masculine sets, and I love the style of this one.  Modern, fresh, and loving without being sappy:)  You laugh, but that combo is hard to find!

    I knew that I wanted to use the bubbly bottle for my card but instead of beer, I went "pop"!  First I stamped the bottle and soda in a yummy orange. {Just a tip, it's easier to stamp the soda part first and then the outline}  I used my Silhouette to cut out the simple "pop" and glued it over the bottle with some foam tape.  I added a bit of colorful paper at the top (October Afternoon Midway) and some orange "bubbles" (My Minds Eye enamel dots).  I really love how this turned out!  Colorful and still masculine:)

    My second card is a quickie that I made using one of the new dies I introduced earlier this week in this post.  For this card I used the Chevron Border in a slightly different way! 

    To get this look, I layered 3 chevron borders in 3 different colors.  All 3 layers were glued together and glued to the card base under a circle cut out.  A simple and compact sentiment from All Squared Up was the perfect sentiment to finish it off!   Are you thinking how you could do this other colors?  Fun, right?  

    That's it for me today!  I won't hold you up because there's so much more to see!  Just remember, the new release is available in the store now!  No teasing for weeks here;)  

    Before you fill up your cart, you may want to check out all the amazing projects in store for you today!  Here's the blog line up if you've just started...

    JJ Bolton (you are here:)
    Amy Kolling (guest designer)
    Donna Mikasa
    Don't forget, to celebrate the May Release Blog Hop, Avery Elle is giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to one winner!  You have until Sunday, May 5th midnight EST to enter.  The winner will be announced on the Avery Elle blog on Monday, May 6th.  All products are available for purchase in the Avery Elle store right NOW!!!

    To increase your chances of winning:
    Mahalo and Aloha,

    New Release Giveaway!

    Just wanted to quickly let folks know about the giveaway I'm offering! This new giveaway has a bit of twist:)  If you decide to play along, you could win my 2 new dies or a $20 Avery Elle gift certificate!

    Check out the details here