Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad

On June 10, my parents will celebrate than 39th wedding anniversary. (How old does that make me?) So, I wanted to make them a special card.

I think I've succeed with this labor of love that literally took me hours to plan and to make and made a mess of my crafting space! (I'm not a neat stamper. I spread my supplies EVERYWHERE and always have quite a mess to clean up. That's because I have to fiddle around with things to find just the right paper, color and stamp combinations. My designs don't just come to me, even though I wish they did.)

A few cards from the Stampin' Fabulous Melissa Young inspired this card. I wanted to copy her idea of using panels on a larger card. But I wanted to do something just a little bit different and have mine open in the center.

I used an 8.5 by 11 piece of retiring Bordering Blue cardstock as my base, then embellished the heck out of this card, adding texture, background stamps, ribbon, birds and even a little bling inside.

I'm a fairly new stamper, though I have been scrapbooking for years, when I can find the time. Though you might not be able to tell it, this card demonstrates just how much of a novice I am because I messed up a lot. However, it also proves that sometimes mistakes can inspire even greater creativity.

For example, the circle on the front of this card where I've stamped the sentiment was punched out of a piece of scrap Bordering Blue cardstock that I was experimenting with. I was playing around with my Ballet Blue ink and Medallion background stamp, trying to decide if I wanted to use that as the background of my card.

Ultimately I decided that would be too busy. But when it came time to punch the circle where I'd stamp the sentiment, I discovered that my scrap paper worked perfectly. In fact, the design I created very closely matches one of the designs in the Bella Bleu Designer Series Paper Pack (used here for the blue bird).

I used another of these Medallion circles inside the card to cover another oopsie. Originally, I had stamped the sentiment on the bottom right corner on the inside of the card. But I wasn't pleased with the placement or the clarity of the stamped words. So, I stuck another circle there and jazzed it up with one of those gorgeous punched birds. Instead of a paper wing, I added a heart-shaped button with a pearl -- something that's been in my craft stash for years.

This card uses a lot of items that will be retiring soon, so if you fall in love with something you see on my card, better order it now before it's retired on July 1.

Here are all the ingredients I used in my card (Retiring items are marked with an asterisk):

Card Stock: Bordering Blue*, So Saffron

Designer Series Paper: Bella Bleu*

Inks: Close to Cocoa*, Ballet Blue*

Stamp Sets: En Francais, Medallion and Whimsical Words

Ribbon: 1/4-inch chocolate chip grosgrain

Other goodies: Big Shot, Flourish texture plate, Top Note Die, 2-Step Bird Punch, 1.25-inch circle punch

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Teacher Thank You Cards

My son had the great fortune of having the absolute best teachers at his preschool this year. I wanted to do something special to honor each of them and to express our gratitude for all they've done for Jackson and all they've put up with this past school year.

I decided to make them each a handmade card to go along with some small gifts we got for them.

I just love the colors on Mrs. Mullins' card. And I absolutely love the spiral punch from Stampin' Up, and the Thank You embossing folder that I used to add texture to the card.

Mrs. Smith, Jackson's other teacher, is participating in a walk for breast cancer. We wanted to make a donation in her name, so I thought a gift card holder would be the perfect presentation. I can't take credit for this design; I adapted a technique that I learned at one of Melissa Young's (aka my Stampin' Up pimp) workshops. I used My Digital Studio, Stampin' Up's software for creating digital scrapbook layouts, cards and other designs, to create a customized gift card for Mrs. Smith. (Stay tuned: I'll be debuting scrapbook pages from our recent trip to Disney, created with My Digital Studio.)

I hope you like these cards. I sure had fun making them. And thanks again to Mrs. Mullins and Mrs. Smith for making Jackson's school year so special and so memorable. You set the bar very high!