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Monday, May 18, 2015

Graduation 2015

A whole bunch of my very favorite crafters in the blogosphere have come together for an awesome challenge blog.  This week's theme is 'Congrat's Grad' and is open for interpretation.  I have two family members graduating this year, so it was great motivation for me to make some grad cards!

http://tgifchallenges.blogspot.com/2015/05/tgifc03-theme-congrats-grad.html

 I want the basic concept of the card to be masculine, but I added a little glitter and glam to the second for a touch of femininity.  




To get those glittered numbers, I simply mixed in (a ton!) of glitter with my simply pressed clay before putting it in the molds.  The grey color came from the glitter-no added color needed!




3 posts in the last 4 days... I'm feeling productive!  Come back soon because I have more planned for later this week.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Friendship and Feathers




I love drawing inspiration from challenges- especially when it's a really tough color scheme, like this weeks colourQ challenge.  Or CAS(E) this Sketch! challenges- which give me a template to build off of. 





















This friendship and feathers card fits both challenges- and was so fun to make.  I would say it 'kills two birds with one stone', but that somehow doesn't seem appropriate for this card...


I was having a really hard time figuring out how to incorporate the colors in this card- until I found the All Abloom DSP Stack in my stash.  It's a stretch- the Melon Mambo is a little pinker than Poppy Parade.  I like it though- busy and colorful- like walking through a garden in full bloom.  This paper really is gorgeous- and it's retiring soon so it's on sale!

 I tried something new with my ribbon- I looped and doodled with it trying to create a stitched look with no-sew simplicity.  I just used little dots of hot glue to hold it where I wanted it, and added buttons to hide the imperfections.  The bird stamp is from 'A Happy Thing', a Sale-a-Bration set that is no longer available but I just had to use for this card.

Stay tuned for a grad themed card coming later this week!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Notebook for Epo

This is my sister Emily.  We call her Po.  It's a long story but in a nutshell this is the path that her name evolved through.  Emily->Emony->Emonine->Eponine(When the Les Miserables movie came out)->Eepo->Po.


This gem is probably one of my very favorite things I have ever made.  Ever.  I love all the layers and the character of the little details.  It so perfectly fits my sister.

I'm always really bummed to see the retired list every year--but at the same time--SUPER excited for all the new products coming in the new catalog.  I am so sad to be losing the best In-Colors we've had in years. Featured in this project that are retiring: Baked Brown Sugar Ink, Crisp Cantaloupe Cardstock and White Simply Pressed Clay.  The Alphanumeric Simply Pressed Mold is not retiring however, which makes me think that maybe a new product will come to replace simply pressed clay...

Can't wait to see the new catalog!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

For a Friend




I was feeling in a spring-time pastel mood so I whipped up this lovely card.  

I love the mosiac madness stamp set with the cute little quatrefancy pattern that looks excellent when repeated.


To make this little embellishment, I added color to my simply pressed clay by dabbing it on my stamp pad, blending, and repeating until I reached a shade just lighter than the pink pirouette stamp pad.  Then, I rolled it out thin, and stamped the image with 4 smaller quatrefancies using the pink pirouette.  Press lightly and evenly, and you may want to stamp a few and pick your favorite.  Cut out around the image by pressing down, not dragging, a craft knife.  Then just let it dry!



My edges were a bit messier than I would have liked because I made the mistake of cutting it out after drying- which is difficult.  It works better to cut it before.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Birthday Wishes

You can never have too many birthday cards on hand, and I know a lot of people with April birthdays!  I like to make a "batch" at a time and add them to my card stash so that it's always full of birthday cards for last minute necessity. 

When I make batches I like to keep them simple and versatile.  Here's what I came up with!  I stamped the balloon on watercolor paper to give it a little texture.  The balloon framelits are a must have!


These were really easy to put together a stack of-- and I hope this inspires you to go make something fun!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lemon Naturals Card

I have a new favorite thing--the naturals cardstock.  It has beautiful, tiny flecks of color.


Just look at that incredible 'natural' look-it gives it subtle texture and depth.  I just had to pair this with the lemon from my new "A Happy Thing" set I got as a Sale-a-Bration reward.  The mossy meadow rope/twine is also a Sale-a-Bration reward- and I love it! It came with buttons and twine in each of the 2014-15 In-Colors.  Sale-a-Bration ends March 31 so get your orders in before it ends! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Butterfly You

Let me give you a little insight into my creative process.  

I start with something I really like--in this case it was the butterfly thinlit dies.  I then find a paper or an accessory to compliment it.  This paper comes from the occasions catalog and Sale-a-Bration, as well as the embellishments.  

Just start putting things on the page and rearranging them.  Start simple to get a basic idea of what you want and where you want it.  You can see I chose to do a patterned background, a butterfly as the focal point, and a sentiment. 



Then do it a second time but elaborate--use more layers, more accessories, more patterns, more wow.  I just keep adding things until I feel that if I added anything else I might ruin the card.  I don't usually show anyone the first version (lucky you!) and I almost always like the second card better...


...wouldn't you agree?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Another Gift Box/Bag Combo

Perhaps I've been in a gift-giving mood (because who doesn't love making someone smile?).  Here's another fun gift box and bag--I really wanted to try my hand at the build-a-boquet die and make a statement with sophisticated colors.  Successful?  I would say so.



 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Birthday Balloons

I feel like I've been creatively challenged lately.  

I spend a lot of time staring at blank paper, wondering what to make.  I have so many cute things to try and incorporate that it's almost overwhelming!

How do you get your creative juices flowing?  

I picked one thing I liked--the balloon framelit die--and asked myself "How can you use this in a way that you've never seen before?"  I also love the Birthday Bash designer series paper, but I could never pick just one print!

This is what emerged from my indecisiveness.  A little busy, perhaps, but I like it.
 Especially the petite cafe bag!



 It was so super simple.  I started with a blank piece of white, used the framelit to cut balloons out of all my prints, then arranged them to cover the white piece.  Then I cut a balloon out of the collage of craziness, attached it to my white card base, and stamped in the negative space!

See what happens when you try something new!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Cards

So much productivity with the holiday being so close!  I actually got laundry, dishes and vacuuming done today and still had time to craft!  
It seems like pattern mix and match is trend in the crafting world right now.  These fun cards are a little mix of everything merry and bright!

What do you think of pattern mix and match?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Gift Boxes


I haven't posted for a while, mostly because finals were right after Thanksgiving so I've been really busy.  On the plus side- I almost got straight A's this semester!  Studying hard is worth the feeling of satisfaction.

I had a lot of tiny treat boxes left from my Thanksgiving post, so I paired them with fun Christmas prints and voila!  I love this paper, it feels traditional and warm--like home!


I wanted to create the look of curling ribbon around this box.  It's actually made of 1/4" strips of paper, curled using my bone folder.  Awesome technique!

This bow was created by layering loops of paper in alternating pattern, using glue dots to hold it all together.  It's really cute and tiny!
I can't wait to fill this little boxes with treats and give them away!

As it just so happens, the Fancy Friday theme this month is pretty packages!  Check out some other great ideas from the blogosphere.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

So Thankful Gift Boxes

In honor of November, and the many feelings of gratitude I have, I have been trying to show family and friends that I feel blessed to have them in my life.  You could consider this a 'gratitude journal' of sorts--but I am recognize important people in my life, not things.  Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for some things (especially a roof over my head and food on our table) but it is the people that really make a difference.

Today I made cupcakes and these adorable gift boxes to deliver them in.  In retrospect, mini cupcakes might have been smarter... but these sure are cute!  I actually really like that they spill out of the box.  I managed to snag cupcake liners in a shade extremely similar to Hello Honey.


These were so easy to make. I really love the 2014-2016 In Colors, and I think they lend themselves perfectly to this season.  Blackberry Bliss is an unexpected pop of color for a fall palette!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

MDS Monday Challenge #86

I gotta tell you, this was a tough one!  

MDS Monday gave the challenge to try a new technique- the herringbone.  There is a lovely video to learn this technique, but I just struggled to master it!   

Rather than butcher a lovely technique, I drew inspiration from the herringbone pattern and took the opportunity to create another page for my family album.


I think the herringbone is perfectly playful for my sister and her sock monkey!

Now if only I could convince my siblings to take more photographs with cameras, not phones...

 

Friday, October 10, 2014

MDS Monday Challenge #85




Thanks for the inspiration MDS Monday!

 I have been wanting to put together a family album for my baby so that he can get to know his out-of-state relatives.  This was a great excuse for me to get started.

I really loved this picture of my brother, and I felt that this layout from the 12x12 Downtown Grunge Designer Template (included with the MDS software!)  was the perfect amount of masculine and simplicity.  

I changed the size of the photo frame to reflect a square picture, moved the embellishments around, added zig zag stitching, stars from the Extreme Elements brush set in a barely-there sahara sand, and gave the page a title with a splash of color. 

I like the contrast of a warm-tone photograph with a cool-tone page.  It really draws the eye to Chris as a focal point.  

Thanks again for the challenge!  It has been fun!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

School

I have had a very busy week at school, but bear with me-- I will be back to crafting and posting again soon!  

Look how much fun I am having in my Art for Elementary Educators course.  You should be jealous that we finger paint in college.


Come back soon for updates on my elephant Halloween costume, and for a simple, masculine thank you card!
 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Thank You Cards

If you haven't already noticed, I have a slight obsession with mini cards.  I think the size lends to a nice balance with a simple focus and message.  I made these thank you cards for my team of volunteers who worked with me on the local children's theater's production of Seussical.  I really think there is no better way to show appreciation than to write a heartfelt thank you on a handmade card.  



I originally also made versions of the same layout in opposite colors, as well as a yellow and purple one.  Unfortunately, I gave them away before I thought to take photos!

Thanks for joining me--I hope you have found some inspiration!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Project Life Minis

I really love the Project Life by Stampin' Up! Kits, especially finding different ways to use them! This set of mini cards was actually much more challenging than I was expecting going into the project--finding the right card and embellishment combination for a balanced look took some effort.  Such fun results though!



What fun ideas do you have for Project Life by Stampin' Up! cards?  I'd love to see them!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Thank You from Baby

I got a lovely package in the mail Saturday. I knew from the Washington return address that it was from my family- and mail from my family is my favorite type of mail. This kind of special occasion warrants a special thank you, so I sat down at my craft desk right away to design the perfect card to send back to them.

It had to be from my baby, Alexader- since the package was full of gifts for him- immediately I was drawn to the Zoo Babies stamps I have been looking for an excuse to use. Aren't they just adorable with the Alphabet Press embossed background and gold stars?

In would be excited to get a card like this in the mail! I bet Grandma will too!



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Case Study #209 Entry

 
Isn't this card by Debby Hughes just lovely?  And it's this week's CASE Study challenge inspiration!   I really loved the neutral color palette of this card, and the little bit of glimmer brought by sequins.  Here is what I came up with!



Friday, September 19, 2014

Fancy Friday Album

A special thanks to the ladies at the Fancy Friday Blog Hop for all their inspiration!
Their challenge is to use the color palette from this fun chair to create a paper craft of some sort.

I decided to make a mini-album.  These photos really don't do it the justice it deserves, but here it is!  Not too complicated, if anyone wants the instructions, let me know and I can post a detailed post.

Here is the cover of the album.


The cover opens upward, and a flap folds open to the right, containing a little tag.  As you see, the floral motif on the inner cover pulls in the required color scheme.


From the upper pocket, a little album can be removed.


That pocket folds upward, and another album folds out towards the left.



Altogether, there are almost 20 pages that can be customized.  This was a gift for a friend's birthday, and I packaged it in a half-sized wood stamp case with extra embellishments for her to add.  I really love how it turned out!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Frozen Inspired Minis

I am absolutely loving the seasonal catalog! And although it is a little early for Christmas.... I just couldn't help myself.

When I saw the Cheerful Christmas stamp set and the Nordic Designer buttons, I just knew I had to make minis inspired be Disney's Frozen (of course!).  I love how they turned out, and I would love to see what you come up with!



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Emerald City Stamp Revisited

A few years ago I made an Emerald City stamp inspired by the illustrations in the book "Wicked" by Gregory Maguire.  (See the original post here!) I made it with a stamping rubber and craft knife purchased at my local craft supply store.  You can see that it is dyed green from the colors I have stamped it, and it broke in half at some point in storage.  I thought it was neat to try, and I liked the results, but I decided I probably wouldn't do it again.

That is... until I got my hands on Stampin' Up!'s Undefined carving kit!




For my first carved stamp using the Undefined kit, I decided to replicate my Emerald City stamp.  I was so impressed with the carving tools and the texture of the rubber--much easier than my previous experience with carving!  It also produces a better quality stamped image.  I will definitely keep a couple of these on hand to give to some of my artistic friends!

What have you created with Undefined?

Thanks for joining me!
~Lauren

Just for You Mini Card

Mini cards are so much fun to make!

I usually use scraps and left-over embellishments to create these tiny sentiments, so they are great to help use up those little things that tend to accumulate and clutter your craft space.

I wanted (another) excuse to use my new stamp set, Work of Art.  It is new to the annual catalog about to be released on June 2!  I'm so excited I just can't wait!  My wish list is a mile or two long...

I created the chevron background with this set, and I am thrilled with the water-color effect it creates.  I also used this set on my Project Life HI Card.   


The beautiful purple marker used for the word 'you' and the dark stripes is one of the new In-Colors, Blackberry Bliss.  It is my favorite of the 2014-2016 In Colors!

The polka dot texture on my flags was created using my Big Shot (an essential for every crafter) and the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder.  This is one of my most frequently used folders, a little texture goes a long way!    


~Lauren

Friday, August 8, 2014

Project Life 'Hi' Card

I am absolutely in love with the new Project Life by Stampin' Up! line. 
If you saw my previous post, Engagement Digital Scrapbook Page, I mentioned that I used the Everyday Adventure brush set from the digital download.  Today's project uses a card from the Everyday Adventure set, in paper rather than digital format.  I love working hands on with projects, not just digital--and Project Life is great for quick scrapbook pages using the pocket-page format.

HOWEVER, I can also see a number of uses for the Project Life line outside of scrapbook pages.  I wanted this card to be fun to look at (and to make!) and be something that could be given for any purpose.

I started with one of the small Project Life cards--a blue one that says HI.  The ombre watercolor effect was super easy to achieve with the new Work of Art stamp set from the 2014-15 catalog and various shades of yellow ink.


I really like how this turned out, and I would love to hear the unique ideas you have come up with for using Project Life cards and accessories!

~Lauren

Friday, May 30, 2014

Family Adventure Digital Scrapbook Page

I've really been into digital scrapbooking lately with my new MDS software.  Don't get me wrong, it will never replace my paper crafting--there just isn't anything like the feel and dimension of traditional scrapbooking.  But, every once in a while it is really fun to design something digital.  There are so many possibilities!

As soon as I saw the Calling All Heroes brush set, I knew I had to have it.  You might say that my family has a little bit of a super hero obsession...  This was perfect for a scrapbook layout!



I thought it would be fun to leave space for a family portrait on the left page, while adding little super hero 'portraits' of each family member on the opposite page.  I loved the versatility of the super hero face builders.  There were so many combinations to choose from.  I also loved the little bit of texture brought to my layout by the blue polka dot paper--which was also included with my software.

I can see so many other possible applications for this brush set.  Birthday invitations,  or even thank you cards with a greeting such as 'You're Super!".  What else can you come up with?

Also, I couldn't think of how to use the fading dot stamp.  Any ideas?

This stamp set was a "smash" hit for me-- I hope you enjoy it too!
~Lauren