Time to put a cap on (in?) graduation

Graduation – it’s done!

Recently we traveled to Washington, DC to attend the hooding ceremony for my daughter’s PhD graduation. Seven long years and all she got was this hood – which she had to pay for herself! Haha! She opted to attend just the hooding ceremony instead of the actual graduation ceremony for a couple of reasons, not the least of which was that this ceremony is much more personal, and she was flying out to attend a conference the morning of the big ceremony. I’m glad she chose this one, too. GW has their graduation on the Mall, that huge expanse of grass between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. Glad we could skip the traffic and the endless walking!

graduation picture may 12, 2013 PhD(She graduated from George Washington University with a PhD in Biomedical Sciences: Virology and Immunology, in case you were wondering). Of course, all hubby could say was Pile it Higher and Deeper. Yes folks, he’s a class act. Luv ya, Hon…

Anyway, ya gotta mark the occasion, and since she and I both love cats, I though this little feline was appropriate:

graduation picture may 12, 2013 PhD

I really enjoy making shaker cards, and I had some fun metallic glitter from Stampin’ Up! that I thought would make for perfect shaking ingredients.  It’s also a top folding card, which I know is hard to tell in this picture. I thought about using Copic markers on the cat, but I opted to leave it just the way it is cause I was going for the black and white effect.

Now I’m just hoping that this is the last graduation for a long, long while. 🙂

 

This post is brought to you by the letter B

Letter B Blog Hop Badge in Cucumber CrushThe letter B stands for:

Blog

We are thankful you stopped by to take a look at our new 2016 Blog Hop monthly themes.  This month we are featuring projects that are based on “B“ themes such as Birthday, Bride or Baby. We hope to provide you with lots of ideas and that you enjoy our creations.

You may just be starting the Blog Hop or may have come from the previous link from the Line-up on the Pals Blog Hop listing shown below.  The full lineup will help you move along from blog to blog so you may see all the projects.

The letter B stands for:

Babies

Letter B for Baby card

Indeed it does. And babies are on my mind these days, because there is a new one in our family. And I just love the onesie in this stamp set, Made with Love (click here),  so I had to use it in both its striped and plain versions. And that brings me to my next B:

The letter B stands for:

Borrowed

I really can’t take credit for this design, however, because I borrowed it from the 2016-17 Annual Catalog on page 59. I chose different colors for my design, though. And I didn’t emboss anything (the letter L stands for lazy, in this case). I really like the combination of So Saffron and Pool Party inks. Up next:

The letter B stands for:

Birthday

Before I know it my little grandson will be a year old, so I decided to use the same color palette as the previous card to make him a birthday card. Months in advance. Better to be prepared, I say. I found a very cute card on Pinterest (credit to Renee Lynch) and just fell in love with it, so here is my take on her original design:

Letter B is for Birthday

And that will take us to our final letter B:

The letter B stands for:

Background

My only problem with CASE-ing the design was that I don’t have any of the new Designer Series Paper yet. So I made my own background simply by stamping a piece of plain cardstock and using it in place of the DSP (Designer Series Paper). I used the branch stamp from the Number of Years set (click here) for a soft look behind the number 1 – Number of Years is also one of my favorite stamps. Yes, they are like my children. I confess. They are all my favorite. And now I’m going to sneak in one extra letter B:

BYE!

Thanks for visiting. To continue with the hop, please refer to the Blog Hop Line-up below. We hope to see you on next month’s Pals Blog Hop! 

Blog Hop Line-up:  

  1. Mary Fish at Stampin’ Pretty
  2. Nicole Everitt at Stamp Scrap Love
  3. Natalie Bradley at NatalieBradley.com
  4. Katy McGloin at Just Fun Stamping
  5. Karen Hallam at Karen’s Stampin’ Habit!
  6. Pamela Sadler at Stampin Pink Rose
  7. Lisa Ann Bernard at Queen B Creations
  8. Kim Jolley at Stampin’ Artfully
  9. Tricia Chuba at ButterDish Designs
  10. Susan Itell at Simple Stampin’
  11. Jackie Diediker at Stampin’ Jackie
  12. Diane Roberts at Score at Four and a Quarter
  13. Karen Zaring Browning at Stamp With Me KZB
  14. Debbie Mageed at Secret Stamper
  15. Peggy Noe at prettypapercards
  16. Rae Harper-Burnet at Wild West Paper Arts
  17. Pam Dotts at Clearly Southern Stampin’
  18. Beth McCullough at Stamping Mom
  19. Patti MacLeith at Papercrafts By Patti
  20. Jane Knudsen at see jane stamp
  21. Kalyn Shubnell at The Stamping Chronicles
  22. Wendy Klein at Doggone Delightful Stampin’
  23. Sherrie Gross at Stampin’ Sunshine
  24. Becky Volpp at Inkblossomwithbecky
  25. Jennifer Michalski at Stamping Serenity
  26. Amy Hoptay at CraftCarnivore    ♥  Last, but not least, surely…you are right here!

 

 

The countdown begins for the next Blog Hop

Countdown to the next Pals' Blog Hop

Countdown! See how I did that?

Well, yes, the next blog hop happens this Wednesday, June 8th. Lots of Pals will be displaying their beauteous artwork for you to admire, featuring all things “B”.

Are you admiring my clock? I sure hope so. I used some of the retired It’s My Party Designer Series paper and my Cricut Explore Air to cut out the face. The clock is a very inexpensive plastic that comes apart very easily, allowing you to customize the way it looks. I had hoped to post this before the paper was no longer available, but TIME slipped away from me. Zing! Guess I’ll just have to FACE the music…

Okay, enough with the bad puns. Check back here on Wednesday to check out the hop!

Killer Cute Prehistoric Pals

Prehistoric Pals? Well, duh!

Hey, I’m a craft carnivore, so of course I’m going to go all prehistoric pals on you! Who doesn’t love a good dinosaur? May is crazy busy with birthdays here; I just couldn’t resist pulling out this set from SugarPea Designs called Cute-a-Saurus. I love that the stamps have matching cutting dies! I also love the fonts and sentiments used in this set.

Prehistoric Pals from SugarPea designs for a killer cute birthday card

I CASE’d* this card from the SugarPea Designs website while changing up a few things. I used Copic markers to color in the die cuts (somewhat successfully if you don’t look too hard). The tree is a little messy, but those markers really work well when they have a lot of juice in them!  * Copy and Share Everything

  • The yellow mat and the starry banner are both from the It’s My Party Designer Series Paper Stack from Stampin’ Up!
  • The card stock is also Stampin’ Up!: Whisper White, Pear Pizzazz, and Soft Sky.
  • The die cut stitched frame and circle are from My Favorite Things; the little stitched hill is from Lawn Fawn.
  • I used Versamark Fine Black ink to get a nice, crisp image from the stamps, especially since I was stamping sentiments onto brightly colored card stock.
  • And as always, accurate placement and stamping every time with the Mini Misti!

Here’s a look at the inside of the card, again using a stamp with the matching die cut and coloring it with Copics:

Prehistoric Pals from SugarPea designs for a killer cute birthday card

And just in case you were wondering, the card was for my twenty-nine year old DD, who has always loved dinosaurs! Next time I will show you the card I made her when she recently  got her PhD in Biomedical Science from George Washington University. (Sorry, but I’m just so dang proud of her)!

Nursery Subway Art in Vinyl

My first attempt at subway art using vinyl!

I recently bought a new Cricut machine – the Cricut Explore Air. (They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse…I swear, craft product manufacturers are like the Mafia). I still have my Expression machine, but I will hold on to it for now, because I can only use the Explore Air with an internet connection, whereas with the Expression I don’t need one and can use all my cartridges, etc, right in the machine.

Now what’s the next thing you do when you buy a new machine? That’s right, you have to get the accessories and materials that you can use with it. I had actually been wanting to make some nursery subway art so when I had the opportunity to make a project I jumped on it. I purchased some adhesive-backed vinyl and scouted around the web to get some ideas. I have made subway art before, but this was my first time making it with vinyl.

I knew I wanted to use a floating frame, so that was my first step. I found the one I used for this project at Michael’s, for a very reasonable price (especially if you use a coupon).

Next step was to plan out the design. I used Cricut Design Space (online only) to lay out the letters and elements, using a font and graphic from the Cricut Access files (you pay a monthly or yearly fee to have free use of anything they have in their catalog of thousands of images and fonts).

I loaded the mat with the colored surface facing up, set the machine dial for “vinyl” and hit the “go” button.

Using transfer paper I set the vinyl onto the glass, reassembled the frame, and was done.

Now, a couple of notes here:

  • Make sure that both pieces of glass are spotless before you adhere anything. Make sure your hands are clean and use a  microfiber cloth to clean the glass so you don’t have any little dust pieces hanging around.
  • Place the glass on which you are adhering the vinyl over a piece of grid paper so you can mark the center. You have to peel the vinyl off in one go, and if it’s crooked your goose is cooked. Draw a straight line on the horizontal and vertical lines of your grid paper. Lay the glass down and center it over your grid. It makes it so much easier to center the project.
  • Burnish, burnish, burnish! I can’t stress this enough! You want to make absolutely sure that you have securely sealed the vinyl to the glass before you even attempt to remove the transfer paper. If you lift the paper before you have the vinyl stuck down it will be a nightmare to try to fill in the missing pieces. Trust me, I speak from experience!

Here’s the finished project – monochromatic per the recipient’s preference:

Nursery subway art using vinyl and my new Circut Explore Air machine

Sorry about the glare from the camera flash – it was dark that day. Kind of like in a subway. Okay, ignore that one!

Timeless Elegance Cards

Timeless Elegance Designer Series Paper

As I mentioned in a previous Blog Hop post, I love the Timeless Elegance paper that will be retiring at the end of this month. And with June, which is traditionally a wedding month, come anniversaries. The cards I have to share with you today are not for the brides, but for the happy couples who will be celebrating their nuptials, highlighting this Designer Series Paper.

Clean and simple, timeless and elegant

Timeless Elegance Anniversary Card

With just a few cuts of your cardstock and paper you can create this look very easily. Unless otherwise noted, all the products used are Stampin’ Up!

  • Cut a card base to measure 4¼” x 5½”.  I used the Stampin’ Up! thick white cardstock.
  • Cut a piece of Blushing Bride card stock to use as a mat, 3¾” by 5″. (In my example I did run this mat through my Big Shot using a stitched die from Simon Says Stamp).
  • Cut a piece of Timeless Elegance paper so you can get a good-sized flower as your focus; my mat here is 3¼” by 4½”.
  • Assemble!

The rest is up to you! Here’s what I did to finish mine:

  • I used Copic markers to color directly on top of the Timeless Elegance mat I made.
  • I put some Pearls Basic Jewels on some of the blossoms.
  • I used the sentiment from the Timeless Love stamp set on a small piece of vellum and attached it to the card front.
  • Using the envelope framelits, I cut out a liner for the inside of the envelope again using the Timeless Elegance DSP.

Just in case pink isn’t your thing, I also made the same card using Cherry Cobbler.

Timeless Elegance Anniversary Card

Remember, this beautiful paper will be gone for good on May 31.

Click here to shop online and choose me as your demonstrator.

 

Cutting and Folding Your Card Stock

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “can’t draw a straight line with a ruler.” Well, that’s me. I need every trick and tool at my disposal to make sure that I cut and fold my card stock evenly, and even with those it can sometimes be a real challenge!

Recently, in an effort to conserve space, I pre-cut all my 8½ x 11 cardstock into the sizes I generally use to make cards. I also cut any extra pieces that I couldn’t use for card bases into rectangles to use for matting.

Okay, back to the straight line. Previously I used my Stampin’ Up! trimmer to score my card stock, but over time somehow the slider bar on the trimmer has loosened to the point that the score lines are off sometimes by as much as ¼ inch. (I’m probably using a tad too much force on the poor thing). So I grabbed my Stampin’ Up scoring board to use instead. However, it never fails that when I put the scoring tool into the groove to score the card stock about halfway down the tool gets a mind of its own and weaves over to the next groove or just generally gets wonky, and then I’ve ruined the paper, at least to use for a card base.
cutting and folding your cardstock

But today, after messing up a couple of card bases I got wise and grabbed my ruler and positioned it just in front of the groove and then scored straight down the paper, easy peasy, sweet and easy!

cutting and folding your cardstockYes, a light bulb moment indeed! Success!

cutting and folding your cardstock
The other tip I have for you is a tool. I have heard countless people rave and rave about a Teflon bone folder, but I always thought, it’s a bone folder, how on earth could it be worth that exorbitant price? (They are significantly more expensive than the regular ones). Well, here I sit, eating humble pie. What a difference it makes when fold your score lines. I am totally amazed. It doesn’t leave any lines whatsoever when you burnish the card base, and not only that, if seems to also keep the card stock from cracking and fraying around the score line. So if you have a wish list somewhere I highly recommend that you put one of these puppies on it. You will not be disappointed!

Teflon Bone Folder for cutting and folding your cardstock

It’s the Pals Blog Hop for May 2016

It’s that time of the month again…for a Pals Blog Hop

Pals Blog Hop Logo for May 2016

 

Welcome to the Pals Blog Hop for May 2016.  We are thankful you stopped by to take a look at our new 2016 Blog Hop monthly themes.  This month we are featuring projects that are “stepped up” by using textures or fun techniques. We hope to provide you with lots of ideas and that you enjoy our creations.

You may just be starting the Blog Hop or may have come from the previous link from the Line-up on the Pals Blog Hop listing shown below.  The full lineup will help you move along from blog to blog so you can see all the projects.

For the longest time I have been wanting to make a Pocket Letter™ (yes, it’s trade marked. I checked.), and because this is my daughter’s first Mother’s Day, I decided to take the plunge. Here’s what I came up with:

Pocket Letter made with Stampin' Up! Timeless Elegance

(Sorry for the shiny spots – but that’s what a flash does to plastic)! Timeless Elegance Designer Series Paper has been my favorite of all the designer papers in the Annual Catalog. So I pulled it out once again to use for this project. Making the “letter” is actually very simple. Here’s what you do:

  • get yourself some pocket pages that are 8½” by 11″ and have a total of nine equally sized pockets. You can find them almost anywhere (craft stores, office supply stores, Walmart, etc.).
  • Fill your pockets!

Really, it’s that simple!

Of course, figuring out what to put in them can be a bit of a challenge. In the middle pocket of the first and third rows I made a gift card envelope and stuck in a gift card, which I then put in the pocket.

  • All of the embellishments that you see are on the outside of each pocket – ’cause I figured that even if all the papers fell out there would still be some pretty left behind. 😉
  • I colored the roses of the designer paper with my ink pads and an aqua pen
  • Punches were my go-to! I used the Banner Triple punch, the Bitty Butterfly, Bracket Label, Bow Builder, and the Curvy Corner Trio. Can you tell which ones are which?
  • I stole the black card stock tags from the My Paper Pumpkin wreath kit for April. Hey, they were left over, so why not?
  • My sparkles were the Pearls Basic Jewels (on the roses) and some Metallic Sequins that I sealed in the pockets with washi tape.
  • Stamps used: Circle of Spring, Tag Talk, Timeless Love, Papillon Potpourri, and Cottage Greetings on the envelope.

And the great thing is that you can then fold up the page in thirds and put it in a #10 envelope to mail! Just like that! Here’s my envelope:

Pocket Letter made with Stampin' Up! Timeless Elegance

Don’t wait!

Some of these lovely products are only going to be around for a little bit longer, so get ’em while the getting is good!

Thanks for visiting. To continue with the hop, please refer to the Blog Hop Line-up below. We hope to see you on next month’s Pals Blog Hop! 

Blog Hop Line-up:  

  1. Mary Fish at Stampin’ Pretty
  2. Kelly DeTommaso at Kelly’s Creative Corner
  3. Debbie Mageed at Secret Stamper
  4. Wendy Klein at Doggone Delightful Stampin’
  5. Jackie Diediker at Stampin’ Jackie
  6. Sherrie Gross at Stampin’ Sunshine
  7. Amy Hoptay at Craft Carnivore  It’s the circle of life – and you are here!
  8. Sue Becker at RnR Stamping
  9. Lisa Ann Bernard at Queen B Creations
  10. Natalie Bradley at NatalieBradley.com
  11. Pamela Sadler at Stampin Pink Rose
  12. Kim Jolley at Stampin’ Artfully
  13. Patti MacLeith at Papercrafts by Patti
  14. Becky Volpp at InkBlossomwithBecky
  15. Peggy Noe at Prettypapercards
  16. Beth McCullough at Stamping Mom
  17. Kalyn Shubnell at The Stamping Chronicles
  18. Pam Dotts at Clearly Southern Stampin’
  19. Michelle Gleeson at StampinMojo
  20. Tricia Chuba at ButterDish Designs
  21. Katy McGloin at Just Fun Stamping
  22. Jennifer Michalski at Stamping Serenity
  23. Nicole Everitt at Stamp Scrap Love

Mother’s Day 2016 is pretty in pink

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8, this year. Mark it down! 🙂

When I began this post on April 4 here’s what I said: “As I sit here writing this I can see beautiful white blossoms on the trees (through the rain) and yet the night before last we had a dusting of snow.” Today is the 25th of April, and two nights ago we had a frost warning. Oy!

In spite of the weather, it’s not too soon to start thinking about the mothers in your life and what sort of things you might do to make their day a little special. How about a beautiful handmade card? I decided to use some Stampin’ Up! card stock in Blackberry Bliss and Pink Pirouette to put together the project below:

Mother's Day, Stampin' Up!, Cards

I didn’t have any Blackberry Bliss ribbon that I wanted to use, so I took the Tape It stamp set (it’s retired) and stamped directly onto some Whisper White cotton ¼” ribbon. Don’t forget to heat set it, or you’ll be covered in ink, as will your project (found this out the hard way)!

I had the safety pins lying around, so I tried to color them with a dark purple to make them less pink – not sure I’m happy with the result. I’m thinking I should have just left them pink.

The inside sentiment is stamped in Blackberry Bliss using a stamp from one of the retired 2015 Stampin’ Up! Sale-a-Bration sets, “Simply Wonderful.”

Mother's Day, Stampin' Up!, Cards
The sentiment used on the front of the card is from the Stampin’ Up! Delightful Dozen set that was retired last year, but any sentiment will do. I’m always sad to see the retiring stamp sets every year, but I also really look forward to what’s new in the Annual Catalog. Yes, I want it all. No, I don’t have anywhere to put it all even if I did!

I’m especially excited for Mother’s Day this year, because this is the first one for my daughter. So it’s my first one as a grandmother, too, now that I think about it.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

Pals Blog Hop May 2015

 

Pals Blog Hop May 2015Welcome to the Pals Blog Hop for May where we are preparing for the retirement of some Stampin’ Up! products. Though it may be goodbye to some very loved supplies, it will make room for the much-anticipated new catalog products. We hope you enjoy the Pals’ creative projects.

You may just be starting the blog hop or may have come from Kerry Willard Bray, Peonies and Paper Chains, number 18 on the Pals Hop. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup below will help you move along from blog to blog so you see all the projects.

I recently looked through my stamps to see which ones were on the retired list, and discovered that there actually quite a few. But I have no regrets about the ones I have – because they “spoke” to me in some way when I decided to purchase them, and therefore they have meaning for me. And yes, there will probably be a time when I will have to go through them and weed some of them out, but for now I am glad that I have such a well-rounded collection. That being said, there is nothing like a new Annual Catalog to get the blood flowing and the crafty ideas swirling. There are five gorgeous new In Colors and some really sweet new stamps, punches, and accessories. So while I treasure the stamps I already have, I can’t wait to dig into the richness of Stampin’ Up!s newest offerings.

For my project this month I pulled out an old standby, and one of my personal faves, Pleasant Poppies. What a classic background stamp! For the card below I used just a part of the whole stamp by only inking the flower stems that I wanted to use; because the stems aren’t as close together it’s much easier to ink up just the portion of the image that you want to use. I paired it with a piece of the Back to Black Designer Series Paper, which is also retiring. I was going for something clean and crisp but elegant, and I think I’ve achieved that with this sympathy card. The sentiment is also from a retiring set, the 2014-15 Ronald McDonald House Charities stamp, Flamingo Lingo.

stampin' up! pleasant poppies stamp set

The next stop is Susan Itell at Simple Stampin, number 20 on the Pals Blog Hop! Thanks for visiting; I hope to see you on next month’s Pals Hop! Here is the complete Blog Hop lineup:

  1. Maggie Mata at Maggie Made Cards
  2. Becky Volpp at Inkblossomwithbecky
  3. Sue Becker at RnR Stamping
  4. Candy Ford at Stamp Candy
  5. Lisa Pretto at InkBig Academy Stamps!
  6. Martie Pollard at The Crafty Bandit
  7. Nicole Watt at Pixel Maven’s Retreat
  8. Beth McCullough at Stamping Mom
  9. Lisa Ann Bernard at Queen B Creations
  10. Pamela Sadler at Stampin Pink Rose
  11. Patti MacLeith at Papercrafts By Patti
  12. Natalie Bradley at Soirée by Natalie Bradley
  13. Karen Hallam at Karen’s Stampin’ Habit!
  14. Wendy Klein at Doggone Delightful Stampin’
  15. Jackie Diediker at Stampin’ Jackie
  16. Peggy Noe at prettypapercards
  17. Jennifer Michalski at Stamping Serenity
  18. Kerry Willard Bray at Peonies and Paper Chains
  19. Amy Hoptay at Craft Carnivore  ← it’s the circle of life – you are here.
  20. Susan Itell at Simple Stampin
  21. Debra Simonis at Deb’s Stampin’ Grounds
  22. Jane Knudsen at see jane stamp
  23. Dawn Tidd at Tiddbits from Dawn
  24. Michelle Gleeson at StampinMojo
  25. Sherrie Gross at Stampin’ Sunshine
  26. Angela Curry at Kindred Stampers
  27. Mary Fish at Stampin’ Pretty
  28. Denise Hoepfner at The Mountain Magpie
  29. Nancy Gleason at My Stampin Space
  30. Kalyn Shubnell at The Stamping Chronicles
  31. Katy McGloin at Just Fun Stamping
  32. Lynn Kolcun at Stamping With Avery’s Owlery

And here are some of the products I used to make my card – now is a great time to pick up some of these wonderful retiring items!