Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Inspired in 2013

On this last day of the year, I just want to give props to some of the many, many fabulous folks that inspire me every single day!  I hope that these folks are already in your reader, but if not, you're welcome;)    

Notable Nest
Kelly of Notable Nest ~  When you visit Kelly's blog, you'll find yourself saying "how'd she do that?".  I love her out-of-the-box thinking and uber creative style.  Plus, she's a sweetie:)

Cards and Bookmarks
Tasnim of Cards and Bookmarks ~ Tasnim's creations are little works of art!  And when you find out that many of her cuts are done by hand?  Wow, just wow!  Seriously mind-blowing stuff!

Miao - A Design Blog 
Pamela of Miao - A Design Blog ~ This young lady has crazy talent!  I love, love, love her graphic, colorful style.  Always a fun place to stop on the interwebs:) 

Red Balloon Cards
Jocelyn of Red Balloon Cards ~ Full disclosure.  Jocelyn is my friend.  But friend or not, her stuff is a-ma-zing.  She is the digi lama (dalai lama of digis;)!!  
Maria of Riesling Mama ~ Maybe it's the easy access to wine (as her blog name suggests) but this gal's creativity is off the charts!  Love her artsy style and her penchant for upcycling items into her cards.  

Just Me
Elena of Just Me ~ If I didn't love this gal, I'd hate her.  Because she's that perfect.  She will try to dispute this fact, but whatever;)  Her party ensembles are the bomb and they are perfectly photographed to boot. I haven't even mentioned her lovely cards which are...lovely!

Alice's Little Wonderland
Alice of Alice's Little Wonderland ~ I wish I could be a fly on the wall while Alice colors with Copics (or at least a friend in the corner, drinking a cup of tea;).  Her exquisite coloring brings the stamps to life!

Three Umbrellas
Donna of Three Umbrellas ~ I'm going to call Donna the godmother of CAS.  Her style may be streamlined, but her cards pack a lot of punch!  

Random Acts of Creativity
Iwona of Random Acts of Creativity ~ Chupa (as she is also known) is a cardmaker's cardmaker.  She has the rare ability of going from style to style and nailing it every single time!  If you visit her blog, be prepared to devote some time because there are lots of beauties to behold!

Papell with Love 
Joni of Papell with Love ~ What Joni does with flower stamps is incredible!  Her multi-layer stamped and die cut cards are just sublime.  Behind all that beauty is impeccable stamping and exquisite technique!  

This is just a sampling of the folks that inspired me in 2013!  There are so many wonderful people in the papercrafting world, and I'm so lucky to be a part of this great community!

Before I go, I want to give thanks to all the really kind and wonderful people that stop by here on the regular:)  Your comments make me smile, laugh, think, and so much more!  Every single one of those comments are read and very much appreciated.  Special thanks to June K, Barbara G, Jessi F, Chris D, Samantha M, Niki G,  Amy T, Bethany S, Tenia, Jeanne J, Joyce, Jintyoo7, Lorena C, Richard, and Joan B.  (Looks like a rapper convention, lol!)  
Also, big thanks to all the folks I've worked with this year!  It's been a privilege to work with each of you, truly.    

Last but not least, shout out to my Gallery Idol 2012 girls!  (Not that we define ourselves by that event, but that *is* how we met)  We've remained tight over the years, and they are the best bunch of gals you could ever hope to meet!  (Not to mention the most talented:)  

Thanks for an incredible 2013!  Here's to an exceptional 2014 for all of us!  

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou,

Friday, December 27, 2013

Studio Calico January Card Kits: Copper Mountain & Spaulding Bowl Add-On

It's reveal day at Studio Calico!!!   This is my first official reveal day and I'm super excited (and a bit nervous, lol!).  You probably already know this, but the release will be available for subscribers right now and will be available to everyone at midnight.  Today, I'll be sharing my projects using the Copper Mountain Card Kit and the Spaulding Bowl Add-on!
I'm doing it backwards today and starting with my Spaulding Bowl Add-on cards first! This add-on comes with the cutest book-themed stamp kit (I love anything book-related:).  For this card, I used the beautiful ombre paper and gave it a matching ribbon treatment.  To create the ribbon border, I layered 2 pieces of ribbon and stapled them to the card with my tiny attacher.  I love the two-tone look!

A tip for using the tiny attacher, color the staples with markers (Copics work very well).  A fun little detail!

My second  Spaulding Bowl Add-on has a totally different look:)  I still love the whole chalkboard thing and the handwritten look of the stamps work great with this style.  

The book border was created by paper piecing some of the books and using colored pencils on the rest.  Colored pencils are great for working with dark papers.  

Now for my Copper Mountain Card Kit projects:)  I'm a big fan of bright colors and graphic shapes, so I couldn't resist this beautiful paper in the kit!  Gorgeous, right?  For a little bit of fun, I added a layer of vellum over the patterned paper.  

I'm loving the navy chevron ribbon with that adorable embellishment.  Just too cute!

This last card is my fave!  The Copper Mountain Card Kit includes a super cute nautical themed stamp set that comes with a...wait for it..coordinating die set!!!  How cool is that? Of course, when my package came I grabbed those stamps and dies straight away and created this!  To create a 3D look, this card has 3 layers, the base, the raised panel, and the popped up die cuts.  The dies are the key to the 3 layered look!  I blended ink over the background to achieve the underwater look but each of the fish are colored with Copic markers (the blender pen is great for making that splotchy look).  I love that the fish can be flipped either way!

Now you're probably wondering to yourself, "hey, the kit doesn't come with a whale outline stamp!"  You're totally right!  To create the whale "stamp", I used the whale die as a stencil.  I just took a regular old Memento marker and traced along the inside of the die.   Totally looks like a stamp, right?  Using the same marker, I drew in a mouth and the eye is just an enamel dot.  So for all you folks who don't have a manual die cutter, this is a great way to use your dies!   

Thank you, thank you, thank you for stopping by!  I hope you have a wonderful Friday and weekend!!

Mahalo and aloha,

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Paper Smooches December Blog Hop

Happy day after Christmas all!  (Happy Boxing Day for you Canadians:)  I am back at work today (boo for holidays in the middle of the week;) but I hope that everyone else is still enjoying a winter break!    

It's Pep Rally week and we are here today to share a sampling of the Paper Smooches January release with you!  TEN new stamps and EIGHT new dies will be available to purchase at 12:01am, Eastern time...on January 1st.  It's CHA (trade show time) so the release is extra-big!  You will find them HERE!

I have a couple of cards to share today using the new die set called Pinked Circles!  This is a multi-die set with 4 sizes of pinked circles and one banner die which is like a bonus:)  Pinked circles always make me think of a sun, so I'm offering up 2 sun cards this blog hop. I think all the darkness of winter is making me crave the sun!  This first card uses 4 sizes of the pinked circles to create a graphic "sun" using vellum.  I inked each layer and then stacked them up.  The top layer is card stock and is also die cut with another new die from the Hello set.    

My second card uses one of the pinked circles for a reverse cut (negative cut) sun.  The top white layer has the sun and the waves cut out.  All of the color is on the card base.  The sentiment is stamped on both layers which I like to call stacked stamping. The sentiment is from the new set Scripty Sayings (which I love!).  

When doing reverse cuts, I always save the positive die cut part to use later.  This time, I used the wave die cut as a mask to create the wave shadows in the water like this...

That's it for me today, but there is lots more inspiration with the rest of the hop!  To add extra fun to our blog hop...we are offering up a prize! 
  • FOUR winners will be chosen at RANDOM from any of the design team blogs and the PS Blog
  • The prize - a $25. gift code to choose what you like at the PS online store.
  • Just leave a comment on any of the design team blogs listed below or the PS blog for your chance to win!  (you do not need to comment on all blogs to qualify but it increases your changes) 
  • You have until midnight MT on Sunday, December 29th to leave a comment. 
  • Please check the Paper Smooches blog on Monday, December 30th to see if you are one of the FOUR lucky winners.

To increase your chances of winning:
  • Tell us that you Facebooked about our blog hop
  • Tell us that you Tweeted about our hop
  • Tell us that you posted on your blog about our blog hop
(which means that you have up to three extra chances to win on each blog)

Thanks so much for stopping in!   

Mahalo and aloha,

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Paper Smooches ~ Love Struck Arrows

Hello folks!  I have another Paper Smooches project to share using the fun Love Struck set.  I die cut the arrows into my panel and then layered it over my stamped and colored arrows.   I love the variety of arrows and how you can get a different look every time with a bit of coloring.  

If you're wondering, the dies are open dies which means you can stamp first and then die cut (which I much prefer to the other way around!).  And these dies have the perfect amount of white space around the image.  I'm picky, I know!

Thank you so much for stopping in today!  Hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas Eve day!!!

Mahalo and Aloha,

Monday, December 23, 2013

Studio Calico Copper Mountain Card Kit Sneaks!

Just sharing a couple sneak peeks at my Studio Calico Copper Mountain Card Kit projects:)  Here's my first card...

And something totally different! 

Later on, I'll post some sneaks from the Card Add-on too!  I hope to see you on the 27th for the presale at noon!

Mahalo and aloha,

Sunday, December 22, 2013

CAS Cards with Top Dog Dies

Hi everyone!  I'm doing a little guest design work for Top Dog Dies today.  Top Dog Dies is a new online store that offers their own brand of wafer-thin and steel-rule dies, along with dies from brands you already know and trust, including My Favorite Things, Sizzix, Savvy Stamps and Cheery Lynn Designs. Top Dog Dies is also the leading U.S. retailer for Tattered Lace, a new line of intricate dies designed by U.K. designer Stephanie Weightman.  Today, I wanted to share some quick and easy using the Top Dog Dies exclusives, Snowflake Trio Die Set and and the Ornament & Tag #2 Die Set!  Let's get started shall we?

The first card took me all of 5 minutes!  I die cut a large snowflake from blue glitter paper, threaded gold string through the holes of the snowflake, and tied it to the card.  It could not have been easier.  The beautiful snowflake takes center stage on this one!  Look at the detail on this die!  So intricate!

My second project is a simple tag using the ornament die and the small snowflake.  If you look closely, you'll see that the small snowflake is actually inlaid into the ornament die cut.  For the snowflake, I kept all the pieces together which gives it more of an embossed look.  This technique works especially well with metallic paper.

For my third card, I used the die cut and the reverse cut together.  I die cut a medium snowflake and backed the reverse cut with silvery glitter paper.  Then I put the positive cut back into place, but with the arms curled up to reveal more of the glitter.  The glitter backing really shows off the beauty of the detailed snowflake design.  

Last but not least, I used the ornament overlay die cut from the Ornament & Tag #2 Die Set as a stencil to create a 3D effect with molding paste and glitter.  The effect is really stunning! 

I put down the stencil and used an offset spatula (the kind you use to ice cakes) to lay on the paste.  After I pulled off the stencil, I sprinkled it with glitter and let dry.

To keep the ornament the focal point, it's attached to the card with strip of clear acetate which make it look like it's floating in the open aperture.  

Now I know that you may be done with your holiday cards, but all the techniques I used today can be used with any detailed die.  Thanks to Meagan and Top Dog Dies for letting me have fun with their wonderful dies!  It's been a real pleasure working with their beautiful designs!  

The folks at Top Dog Dies are also having a giveaway!  

Just go the link above (click on the graphic or click here) to register on this page to be eligible for the giveaway, but they can get extra entries by both commenting on your blog post and following us on our Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Top Dog Dies is also offering a discount for my blog readers. Just use the code "MERRY" at checkout to receive a 10% discount on any purchase of $50 or more (good until 12/24). Treat yourself this Christmas;) Thank you so much for visiting today!

Mahalo and Aloha,

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Paper Smooches ~ December Projects

Hi guys!  Just sharing my projects made with the new Paper Smooches December release!  This first card uses stamps from the Love Struck set.  I used the curved die from the Borders 1 die set to create a reverse cut glitter whoosh (you like that description? lol).  (Just a tip, this is also a great way to make a spinner card, but this one isn't one;)  And thank goodness for matching dies!  It was a cinch to cut out Cupid!

My second project is something little to put under the Christmas tree for my dog Cooper.  Actually, on a table near the tree otherwise this would not last till Christmas.  I used the Dog Icons dies to make a window in a pillow box full of his favorite treats.  I wrapped the box with a ribbon that reminds me of his collar and made a tag and charm for it:)  {The sentiment is from Santa Paws and the tag is from Quick Qwips}

This next card was a quickie!  I used the border die from the Hearts die set for a CAS congratulations card.  I just used Distress Inks to color up the hearts.  So quick and easy!   {The big and bold sentiment is from Simply Said set}

If you're wondering, the dies are open dies which means you can stamp first and then die cut (which I much prefer to the other way around!).  And these dies have the perfect amount of white space around the image.  I'm picky, I know!

Thank you so much for visiting today!  Betsy Veldman is sharing some of her Paper Smooches projects today too and knowing her, I'm sure they are amazing!  

Mahalo and Aloha,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Avery Elle: Circle It

Hey everyone!  This week's Avery Elle projects use the new set, Circle It!   I love the BIG and BOLD elements in this set.  It makes it so easy to pull together projects in only a few steps (as you shall soon see!).  

This set is perfect for any festive occasion, but right now it's saying New Year's loud and clear.   Just a little stamping and some heat embossing and easy-peasy, you got a New Year's card...

As you can see, I mixed it up a bit by only using the large stamp on the top. On the bottom of the card, I used the single dot stamp to create by own pattern.  It's a little hard to tell but the sentiment is heat embossed in gold and the "confetti" is embossed in a glittery gold powder.  In person, it really sparkles:)  (The number stamps are from the Count on It set)  I even made a matching bottle tag with the Cheers die!  Pay no mind to my tarnished bucket;)  I'm definitely no Martha.

That's it for me today!  Click over to Heather's blog to see the super cool card she has to share!

Mahalo and Aloha,

Mama Elephant Stamp Highlights: XOXO

Hello, hello, hello!  It's the last day of the Mama Elephant December release highlights and today I'm highlighting the set, XOXO!  Every release seems to include at least one signature sentiment set, and this is a great one!

I wanted to create a love card that wasn't too feminine, so I went clean and simple.  I pulled out the new Landscape Trio dies to create colorful graphic waves of vellum.       

Here's a little about how I cut the vellum waves.  If you look closely at the 2 dies, you see that they have a stitched line detail.  The stitched line is only on one side of the cut, so these dies actually do double duty!  For my card, I used the smooth side to create 4 different wave panels from vellum.  After they were cut, I blended ink over each panel (warning these take a while to dry) and the stacked them.  I attached them to the card front only at the bottom, so the vellum pieces wave a bit.

At the bottom of the card, I stamped the sentiment onto a panel and I added one more small vellum detail with the reverse cut hearts (from the Embellished Tag die set).   I really love how it turned out!  

Thanks for stopping by this week!  This is the last stamp highlight for this release and I hope you've enjoyed what we've done!  Now go check out the other Mama Elephant DT gals to see what fabulous things they've done with this fun set.

Mama Elephant/Kryssi
Jen Rzasa
Emily Leiphart
Jenn Biederman
Laura Bassen
Nichol Magouirk
JJ Bolton (you are here)

Mahalo and Aloha,

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mama Elephant Stamp Highlights: Love Quotes

Hello, hello, hello!  It's day 3 of the Mama Elephant December release highlights and today I'm highlighting a set I used for the stampeded, Love Quotes!  

Did I mention that this set has a coordinating die set for the birds and the speech bubble?  The speech bubble die was just perfect for making a shaker!  [Thanks to my pal Tessa Wise for the fabulous Teresa Collins sequins and paper by the way:)  I love those oversized sequins!]       

To make the shaker, I got out my Embellished Tag die.  It just so happens to be a perfect size for the foundation of my shaker.  The foundation is just what I call the foam part (I use play foam sheets) that holds the sequins.  When you are building a shaker, the aperture of the foundation piece needs to be slightly bigger than the shaker die cut.  Big enough so you can't see it through the shaker aperture, but not too big that the fillers get lost.  Here's a look at what I'm talking about...

On the front of my card, the little birdie is colored with Copics and I added the music note from Good Times.  The background panels are made with both of the Femme Frames dies.  

Thanks for stopping by today!  The stamp highlights will continue tomorrow, but today please be sure to visit these gals to see what they've done with this sweet set.  You're going to love them!

Mahalo and Aloha,

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mama Elephant Stamp Highlights: Love from Above

Good Monday, everyone!  We're starting this week with the first of the Mama Elephant December release highlights!  You've seen them on the Mama Elephant blog, but this is our chance to get to know them better:)  The set today is Love from Above!  Here's a look at the set (I'll wait while you say "awwwww!")...

Cupid, angel, and cherub, whatever you call them, aren't they adorable?  This set is perfect for making love cards for anyone (not just hubby;).  For my card, I started off by stamping the large cloud, masking it off, and blending inks over it.  [Do you save your masks?  I usually stick mine to the stamp set for another time.]      

I colored and fussy cut a little angel and placed him on the floating cloud.  The "showering love" hearts are from another new set, XOXO.  Such a fun stamp!

Thanks for stopping by today!  The stamp highlights will continue tomorrow, but today please be sure to visit these gals to see what they've done with this adorable set.  You're going to love them!

Mahalo and Aloha,

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mama Elephant December Stampede

Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to the Mama Elephant Design Team Blog Hop!  {You probably already know this, but these sets are already live on the Mama Elephant site}.  I'm working with the uber cute Love Quotes stamps and matching dies!

This set is so cute I just wanna squeeze it, lol!  The little birds are the cutest and the sentiments just make me smile!  I know that this is a "love" set, but I'm still in the holiday mood.  So here's my birdie holiday card!

There are only 2 bird stamps but there are endless possibilities when you color them up:)  I colored each bird with Copics and gave them rosy cheeks.  Aren't they sweet?  I matted the card using the Femme Frames die set.  I'm stingy when it comes to my glitter paper, so if you look closely, you'll see that the white panel is inlaid into the glitter frame instead of stacked onto the frame.  Better for mailing and more glitter paper left for me!  

Hope you enjoy hopping to all the fabulous stampeders today!  Next on the hop is the wonderful Geralyn!

Jen Rzasa (our guestie extraordinaire! )


To celebrate the new release, Mama Elephant is giving away one of each of the new stamps released! Winners will be chosen at random from the collective blogs in the Stampede. Winners will be announced on the blog on the last Stamp Highlights Day. You have up to 3 chances to qualify to win! Just leave a separate comment for each!

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Thank you so much for stopping by!!  Stamp highlights tomorrow, so I'll see you then!    

Mahalo and Aloha,