Clean & Colorful

Yes, I had time to make cards AGAIN... yes I ignored my more important (this week) To Dos and did stamping... but what can I say, I enjoy it, its relaxing, and I need to build up the card collection.

Clean&Simple is celebrating their 100th Sketch! Congrats!!! One of my favorite blogs, take a look and be INSPIRED!
And since I wanted to try for a two-fer Tuesday, I also tried out Two Happy Stampers July Color Challenge using some of the new Stampin' Up! In Colors.

Here are the results:
For Clean&Simple I made two cards (Tuesday Two-fer)

So Saffron ribbon on More Mustard Card Stock, the designer paper (trimmed using the Scallop Punch) is Retired, the stamp set is Upsy Daisy, stamped here in So Saffron, with a sentiment from the same set stamped in More Mustard.

And for Two Happy Stampers I also made two cards:

Above is Very Vanilla ribbon & card stock, with Upsy Daisy again - hand colored pre-stampin with the Concord Crush, Poppy Parade, & Pear Pizzazz, the sentiment is done the same way, and the trim is Early Espresso card stock.
Below you have the same colors, but I mounted the Very Vanilla to an Early Espresso card (VV liner for the inside of the card).

The hand coloring before stamping was easy: I took my In Color Stampin' Up! Markers and using the brush end just colored the rubber. *Important!! Start with the LIGHTEST color first, in this case the Pear Pizzazz. No sense in ruining a perfectly good marker picking up any stray Concord Crush whilst coloring away! So, after coloring, Huff (big breath from your mouth, like you're fogging a mirror) a couple of times on the rubber (this moistens the ink back up), and then stamp. Let the stamp sit a second on the paper to get the most ink transfer. I used a blender pen on the finished card for a little smoothing effect. I have also seen this coloring finished by spritzing with water and then stamping for a more water-color effect, but I was trying to be super Simple and keep my workspace Clean. :-)
Thanks for Looking!!! Happy Crafting!
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Stars & Stamps Sketch #27

One of my tweet-hearts took a challenge the other day and created a scrapbook page from a card sketch... so I was inspired today to take the sketch challenge and make my card, but also to make a layout for my birthday photo.

Today's Crafting brought to you by the wonderful folks at Operation Write Home's Stars & Stripes Blog where inspiration comes from this :
and my Card creation (this is a 7x5 card):

and my Scrapbook Page 11x8.5 :

I am trying to be more scrapbook-y :-) and My Digital Studio totally helps me do that! I have been creating online photo books for a while now, and lucky for me it is really similar to MDS, but I have so much more ability to customize. I like that there are some premade layouts - great for dropping those office party pics into, when you just don't need to spend a lot of time on it, but you need it to come out great?! But I am really having fun stretching my creativity with the fully customizable pages. I decide from layer one how they will look.... Ah the wonders of digi-scrapping!!
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CSAYL Challenge - Buttons & Bows

Christmas Stampin All Year Long Challenge #58 - This challenge was the inspiration for so many cards, but I have one that uses Stash so it made it to the photo round for me! Here is my card using buttons and ribbon as embellishment:

Don't laugh at how old those snowflakes are, I loved them and bought a ton! Stampin' Up! materials, Ridinghood Red - which actually has made a comeback (Yahoo!) ribbon, & some from a specialty ribbon set called Valet, the buttons, twine, and snowflakes. The sentiment is New! A Hostess Set called Occasional Quotes from the new Idea Book & Catalog.

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S.o.S. Card Chain Challenge July

This is my second round of the Card Chain Challenge over with Debbie and friends at Society of Stamp & Scrap-a-holics. This months challenges were:
Theme: July 4th / Beach or Aquatic / or Friendship
Color Palette:

So I used my Medallion background stamp, inked with stampin spots in a variety of colors to match the color palette. Then I inked and stamped again, and again :-) and punched out the center circles with my new extra large Scallop Punch, and the regular size Scallop Punch. The purple layer is popped up with dimensionals, with the blue layer adhered directly, and the sentiment is direct in the center, but balanced with dimensionals on the right side. The sentiment is from the Oval All set, a combination of two stamps - the border and the center; punched with the Scallop Oval and a small Oval punch. To follow the sketch, I added a bottom border of dry embossed Dots, and some stretchy silver cord. I finished off with a tiny bit of bling, some silver studs, accenting the medallion in another ring. I love making matching envelopes, so I inked up the medallion again, and edged the envelope. This is an A2 card, 4.25" x 5.5". The inside of the card (not pictured) also has a shadow stamp of the medallion.

I was so pleased with the results on this card. I can't believe it has over 5 layers (not my usual style) but I got the look I was going for! :-) And most importantly: Karen in Canada enjoyed receiving it! Yay!!
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True Blue Forever Friend

What a weekend! Whew! Not much time for crafting, so I will have to try and pack TWO challenges into one card! (hey, 0_O is that allowed?!) Here goes:

This is for the 365 Cards : Day 140 (sketch below);
and for the Christmas Stampin All Year Round - Bling It Up! (challenge #57) ((what -- it is too Christmas-y - has Snowflakes!!)) And Voila! My Masterpiece:

It does have some glitter, besides the obvious bling: I added drops of coordinated glitter glue in the various quadrants. For the snowflakes I used a Gelly Roll glitter pen to accent the centers.

This Stamp Set is the retired Branch Out; I used Old Olive and Sahara Sand cardstock; inks were various - Rose Red, Pretty in Pink, Green Galore, Glorious Green, Old Olive, Really Rust, Real Red, Only Orange, and Bashful Blue. All Stampin Up! (you should see my craft table!! what a whirlwind!) The trees were stamped 4 times, each decorated for a season, and then I cut them on the angles and pieced them together. The sentiment is Fundamental Phrase stamp set, thought it went well with my 4-seasons approach and "a friend for all seasons" was what I meant :-). The Glitter/Bling is a bit more evident in Real Life, thanks for looking!

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Chalkboard Inspiration

Entering this for the 365 Cards : Day 136 Imagine This chalkboard inspired cards.

I love those signs in stores these days with the chalk drawings, and this Chalkboard technique kind of gives that feel. Uses white Craft ink with chalks daubed on to add the color. You can use black or any other dark card stock, the effect is more intense than using just versamark because of the density of the Craft ink. Make sure you wash your tools well :-)
Want to try it yourself? Check out the great tutorial over here from the ever fabulous Beate Johns. I took my color inspiration from her tutorial card, but I'm using my new favorite Medallion background stamp. I think its just too pretty to use as a background, don't you?! (And, lets face it, really - they are ALL my favorite sets... Sigh.)
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Birthday Wishes

Here is a card I made for a coworker. Its a group card so its oversize (5"x10") to allow for about 12-16 signatures. I used my last Gusseted envelope matching the Thoroughly Modern Designer Paper, and tried out the popular Scallop Circle Punch Flowers.

The sentiment on the front of the envelope and the card, as well as the stamping inside is from the Watercolor Trio set, I am loving this new set :-) I added a bit of layering inside with the "Birthday Wishes" and some flower power stamped and punched on the Sahara Sand card stock. I also continued using the Scallop Trim border punch to accent the inside signature area.
I CASEd Blythe Klipples card from her nice tutorial here and modified it so that it would work in my oversize format. I used two sizes of the Scallop Punch, since we have the new larger size! These flowers are kind of a shabby-chic style, and work well with a little distressed-edge, casual style. The only addition I would make to her tutorial is a photo of the folding, here's mine below; and the note to "Fluff" your flowers and spin the layers a bit to offset the folds and give it a nice full look.

I hope my friend has a wonderful birthday!!!
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Watercolor Trio

A sketch from Operation Write Home blog Stars & Stamps inspired me tonight...

Using the Watercolor Trio stamp set with Old Olive, Rich Razzleberry, and using some stash of now Retired color Orchid Opulence I made this card pretty quickly! (could possibly be a 10 minute card :-) I dry embossed after stamping, an effect which I really liked (disguises my lack of layered stamping finesse ) and one that I think gives it a "needle point" flavor. This embossing folder is the Square Lattice. I used my very favorite punch, Modern Label, and a tiny heart from the Heart to Heart punch.

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