One of my colleagues at work just got promoted – actually two of them did, so there will be another congratulations card soon. I have some time to make it because Donna is on vacation for the rest of the week. Fortuitously, the second free stamp set that arrived last week was Bravo – lots of congratulatory stamps. So I thought that using it to make a card for Matt would be perfect.

night of navy and silver congrats confetti stars

This didn’t turn out the way that I had half planned. I was thinking to do the Congratulations text heat embossed in silver and then mat it in something yet to be decided. I grabbed a piece of scrap card and stamped and embossed. It happened to be a piece of night of navy which I’d punched the confetti stars into but I’d messed it up and the edge of the card was through the middle of some stars. But when I’d embossed the text, I realised that it looked really good with the stars – I like how the stars tie in with the one in the text. And it looked even better when I grabbed some silver foil paper and put that behind the stars.

Base: Night of navy 8.5″ by 5.5″

Top layer: Night of navy 4″ by 5.25″

Stamp set: Bravo

Ink: Versamark

I have found that using 5.25″ to punch the confetti stars leaves me about 1/8″ border at each edge of the stars so that all of them are whole.

I really liked the single stamp, Kind Koala although I wasn’t sure how versatile it would be. However for $9.95 I figured, how could I go wrong? And now that I have it, I can see more possibilities than I expected. I got it last week in my Big Order (I got money for Stampin’ Up! for my birthday 😀 ) and there’s been so much to play with that I’ve only just used the stamp.

For the first go around, I went with the obvious. I stamped the image and coloured it in. But I really like how it came out.

cajun craze koala

Base: Cajun craze 8.5″ by 5.5″

Top layer: Sahara sand 4″ by 5.25″

This is so easy that you don’t need instructions. But just in case…

I stamped the image using memento black ink which I really like. I don’t actually have the classic Stampin’ Up! basic black but I hear that it’s easy to smudge. I do have the black stazon but having to use the special stamp cleaner is an extra step that I don’t really enjoy. So the memento is my favourite, smudge-free and easily cleaned with the regular stampin’ mist.

I then took a regular cajun craze stampin’ marker and coloured in the flower, his nose and the “YOU”. I adhered the sahara sand layer to the base that was it apart from the backgrounds DSP in cajun craze to decorate the envelope. Simple, easy and really cute. I’m planning on masking parts of this stamp and changing the sentiments as well as the flower. Stay tuned.

Masking and sponging is a lot of fun – and gives me an opportunity to showcase yet another Christmas card. :) My eagerly anticipated back-ordered stamp set White Christmas arrived last Thursday and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.

white christmas car and tree

Base: 8.5″ by 5.5″ whisper white

Mat: 4″ by 5.25″ cherry cobbler

Top Layer: 3.75″ by 5″ whisper white

Stamp set: White Christmas

Ink: Memento black ink (I really like that the usual Stampin’ Mist will clean this off stamps – and it doesn’t smudge), soft sky.

Colouring: Cherry cobbler blendabilities (medium), colour lifter and garden green stampin’ marker

I started by stamping the trees onto a piece of scrap card. This image includes the hill. I cut along the line of the hill and let it extend to the edge of the card to create the mask. Then I took my top layer piece of whisper white and put the mask in place and using a sponge, dabbed soft sky onto the upper portion of the card. I ensured that I didn’t make it a uniform colour – since the sky isn’t – and ended up with the effect of a cold cloudy day.

Next I stamped the trees and then the car on the hill and then the tree on top of the car. It was easy to get the placement because this set is a see through photopolymer set. I coloured the car with the cherry red blendability medium pen and used the colour lifter under the windows for a bit of contrast. Colouring the tree in garden green was the final step before sticking all the layers together. Of course I lined the envelope using the background DSP stack and the envelope liner framelits. I’ve been finding that it’s more efficient – and quite relaxing – to cut a 12″ by 12″ sheet from this stack into 8 pieces of 3″ by 6″ and run them all through the big shot one after another to produce 8 envelope liners. This may be because my big shot lives on the opposite side of the table from where I stamp and it saves me from getting up to cut out a single (or more) liner.

Last night after dinner I was sitting on the sofa and wondering when my free stamp sets were going to be delivered. Naturally, I grabbed my iPad and checked on the package to find out that they had been delivered 8 hours previously. Of course I hurried out to the mailbox to get them. How did I get free stamp sets? When I signed up as a demonstrator, I discovered that if I sold (which includes my own purchases) $300 per month for 3 months, I’d earn 2 free stamp sets. Good deal. :) And not hard to do.

I started with my favourite flower from Mixed bunch and some rose red ink. I decided to fill the card apart from a gap for the sentiment. Of course, in my haste, I neglected to actually select the sentiment first and couldn’t find an appropriate Happy Birthday to fit. So I grabbed “You’re in my thoughts” from a the Dozen Thoughts stamp set and used that. It was okay but there was something not quite right. My brother pointed out that it was just not bold enough to stand up to the flowers. So this morning, I did it the right way round – I stamped the sentiment FIRST! Here’s what I ended up with:

rose red mixed bunch hb

Base: 8.5″ by 5.5″ rose red

Top layer: 4″ by 5.25″ very vanilla

Stamp sets: Sassy Salutations, Mixed bunch

Ink: Rose red

As long as you stamp the sentiment first so that it has room to breathe, you can’t go far wrong constructing this card. I stamped the complete right hand side flower first and worked my way to the bottom left hand corner and then filled in the edges. I finished this off with a rose red liner for the envelope from the backgrounds DSP stack in regals.

I really like this card. It’s happy and bright and cheerful and perfect for a birthday. And the sentiment isn’t overwhelmed by the flowers. I think it would work well as a thank you card too. I see lots of possibilities for this stamp. Stay tuned!

It is amazing to me that I am having so much fun with colour. I would describe myself as colour challenged. Or I would have until I started making cards. I think it’s fair to say that Stampin’ Up! has changed my view of myself. When I started making cards 3.5 months ago I was very much into monochromatic cards – don’t get me wrong, I still love them. But I was having to challenge myself to have two colours on a card and then three. I still find DSP challenging (although I love it as envelope liners) but I’m working on that too! It is enormously helpful having the families of colours – a safety net if you will.

Having said all that, I’m showing cards of only one colour each today!

I also love texture and have completely fallen for the Northern Flurry embossing folder. Once I’d realised that I liked the design as a landscape card and that there was a handy place to add heat embossing, I was sold. And then I started trying the effects of other colour card stock and embossing colours. I find it absolutely fascinating the effects of the different colours.

White embossing powder on night of navy

DSC_0137adj

Silver embossing powder on rich razzleberry

northern flurry rich razzleberry

I accidentally cut the cardstock a quarter inch too small and decide to add an extra layer of very vanilla (or whisper white in the case of the melon mambo) to compensate. I’ve decided that I prefer the extra framing effect this gives but I’m still at a loss to decide which colour I like best.

Silver embossing powder on melon mambo

northern flurry melon mambo

Gold embossing powder on garden green

northern flurry garden green

Gold embossing powder on real red

northern flurry real red

It’s lucky that I don’t need to have a favourite!