Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August stamp club - Add dimension with cotton!

In stamp club we usually make two or three cards/projects.

This month was no different!

I have already blogged about our other two projects. Today I want to share with you the third:
Though we used a retired hostess set from last year, I love the dimension on this card.

The flower is puffed out! Can you tell?

I hope so! It really is great in person!

My card was done on Calypso Coral card stock. I used the Calypso Coral and Old Olive Blendabilities markers to color in the flower. The "splatter" was added in Old Olive by using a stamp from Gorgeous Grunge.

If you look closely you will see a stamp from the new Bordering Blooms set close to the crease - very subtly done in Veramark ink.

The final touches for this card were some ribbon and lace tape.

I wanted my stamp club members to use some of the new colors that are now available in the Blendabilities markers, so the colors of our cards were all different!

Here is Barbara's card done with the Night of Navy Blendabilities:

And here is Terri proudly showing the card that she created. Terri chose to use the Melon Mambo collection Blendabilities. Her card base is Wisteria Wonder.

Not sure what to call this technique... It involves gluing some cotton behind the image and then dry embossing it with a stylus in order to make it "poof" outward.

Therefore I call it the "cotton ball poofy" stamp technique! (Very creative, huh?)

Here I will try to explain how to do it in this video:

This is the finished card:
Here are some close-ups of the "poofed out" goose:

For this card I used the Wetlands stamps that along with the Hardwood background stamp.

The ink used was Early Espresso, done on Very Vanilla card stock.
The base card and layering piece are Old Olive.

I colored the goose using blender pens with Sahara Sand and Old Olive ink pads.

The finishing embellishments are the burlap ribbon, linen thread, and a button.

A wonderful masculine card that has already been sent in the mail!

I can't wait to try this technique on other stamp sets!

A jolly, fat Santa comes quickly to mind....

I might have to get a Santa  from the new Holiday catalog that comes out September 1!

As always, if you are interested in ordering any Stampin Up! product, please visit my demonstrator website and click "shop" in the upper right-hand corner:

And also, as always, I am available for help if you need it - just leave a comment on this blog or email me!

Friday, August 15, 2014

August stamp club - Clear Block Rainbow

At August Stamp Club we were trying a new technique - new to us, anyway!

We used our Stampin' Write markers to color on a clear block. Then we spritzed the block a few times with water before pressing down on a piece of card stock.

The result was a pretty watercolored rainbow effect!

The card we made (above) is almost an the exact CASE of one done by a demonstrator named Karen Titus. I watched the video she had made and, since time was running out, I copied the colors and the stamped image exactly (World of Dreams stamps; Colors: Tempting Turquoise, Island Indigo, Perfect Plum, Tangerine Tango, Real Red) I did add a few of my own changes though, so it is not identical.

Here is a video that I made showing how to do this simple technique:

Clear block rainbow

Here is that finished card:

Again, the colors used on the clear block were: Tempting Turquoise, Soft Sky, Smoky Slate, Crumb Cake, and Baked Brown Sugar.

I got the color combination from my Pinterest "Color Combos" board. I just looked at the colors and decided which Stampin' Up! colors they resembled the most. These colors reminded me of a bird's nest filled with pretty, blue robin's eggs- an appropriate choice for this card, don't you think?

After I stamped the focal point all of my other decisions were made.

I used the Window Frames framelits to cut it out,

 I layered it on a piece of Basic Black card stock cut out with the Squares Collection framelits. Then, I layered them both on a larger Window Frame cut out of tempting turquoise.

The piercing holes were added using the guides from the Festive Paper Piercing pack.

The card base is Soft Sky with a layer of Baked Brown Sugar card stock, which was run through the Big Shot using the Woodgrain embossing folder.

Final detaiss were added with lace ribbon, a piece of DSP, some Soft Suede card stock, a couple of black Candy Dots, a Very Vintage button, tied with some linen thread.

Just to show you that you can use another size block, here is another one that I made with Block I:

The color combination this time came from the new Color Coach, since I was using a card base of the new InColor Blackberry Bliss. 

The colors are Old Olive, Soft Sky and Blackberry Bliss. The image is from Summer Silohuettes. I embossed the dandelion tops with a mixture of Iridescent Ice and White emboss powders.

Note to self: decide that you want piercing before you finish the card!(Occasions Piercing Pack)

...Guess I will have to cut this apart and layer the front. Oh well! it's not the first time and certainly not the last time that I have made a "boo-boo"!

You may notice some very faint shimmery stars on the background of this card... I was playing with my new star decorative mask and some Smooch Sprintz spray.

This technique definitely deserves to be played with a little more!

I can envision it in fall colors as well as for a Christmas background - or even blues for snowflakes!

Oh! If only there were more hours in a day...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August stamp club - Christmas set available now!

On September 1 the new Holiday catalog will be available!

It's chock-full of new holiday sets, kits, and accessories - Halloween through Christmas. It's FANTASTIC! 

If you're like me, you can't wait that long! For that reason (and that reason only) September 1 can't come soon enough!

Knowing that many of us are similar in our addiction to have new stuff (!) and get started on our Christmas cards, Stampin' Up! made one set available early!

The Beauty of the Season stamp set is now available for purchase!
I'm happy that I got the set!

Not only do I love birds, but I also like the sayings that come with the set, and the single branch image, which I can see being used as a repetitive background image.

We made the card above as part of our August stamp club. I wanted to use this set because I knew everyone would love it!

It also was an example of coloring with blender pens. Lately we've been doing a lot with the new Blendabilities markers, and my friend Terri wanted to see the difference between the coloring methods.

When you have a large image, such as this cardinal on the branch, and you don't feel like coloring it all, you can rely on the spotlighting technique to draw attention to one particular area, and save you some work!

You can see how we did it (again) using the banner framelits.

The image was stamped once on my card base and again and then cut out with the banner. It's placed directly over the same stamped area and adhered with Dimensionals.

We colored the image with blender pens and ink pads (squeezing the pad and lid together and then taking the ink off of the lid).

Here is another card I did - same set, same technique:

On this card I used different framelits, as you can see. I also used an aqua painter and some Soft Sky ink to do a watercolor wash on the background piece.

Try the spotlight technique today with your favorite stamp set!

Better yet, try it with the Nature's Beauty set, available now, and featured in the Holiday catalog beginning September 1!

For that and more, please visit my website! 

Click on "shop" in the upper right-hand corner for all you stamping and scrapbooking needs!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What's cookin'? - Summer pasta!

As you can probably tell by reading my posts -I love pasta!

During the summer, however, we eat less of it because it's too hot, and even too heavy, when you add sauce!

I stumbled on this recipe because I was searching for different ways to use zucchini - the ever-abundant vegetable in our garden! (it's ridiculous when I think back to when we used to plant four zucchini plants! Nowadays, one will suffice!)

Last night, I made zucchini bites -seasoned with fresh herbs and Parmesan, tossed in olive oil and baked.

Today, I made zucchini bread - the food of choice for my boys if I am going to force zucchini on them.

For dinner, I tried this light pasta dish, and it was yummy! IT'S A KEEPER! If I could find a way to incorporate tomatoes, I could rename it "Tastes of Summer"!

Pasta with ricotta, zucchini and corn
• about 2 cups zucchini,  diced
• about 1 3/4 cups corn
• 12 ounces pasta
• one cup ricotta cheese
• 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 
• 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
• 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
• Salt and pepper, to taste

We had bought corn on the cob when it was a really good price a week or so ago. I spent an hour blanching the corn and freezing it, so I could enjoy that fresh corn taste anytime. It was well worth the effort!

Along with my many bags of frozen corn we have the prolific zucchini crop, as I mentioned!

So this was the perfect recipe - and easy too!

I used zucchini slices that we grilled (we have one of those little "George Foreman grills" so I was able to do it inside!). If you grill some zucchini and have leftovers, this is a great way to use it up! Otherwise, I would probably use sautéed zucchini in this dish. You don't really want raw... just cook it a bit.

One recommendation: don't skimp on the fresh herbs! The flavors really liven  up this dish!

• Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
• Add your pasta (I used ziti) and cook it three minutes less than what is recommended on the package.
• While pasta is cooking, dice your zucchini.
• When the timer goes off, add your corn to the pasta and cook the final three minutes.
• Before draining, remove a little over a cup of the pasta water and set aside - you will use this for the "sauce".
• While pasta/corn is draining, prepare sauce by whisking together ricotta, Parmesan, and about 1 cup pasta water. (you should still have extra if you need it)
• Put drained pasta into a large bowl, add fresh basil and dill. Add cheese sauce, tossing to coat pasta. IT IS NOT A VERY THICK SAUCE!
•Add salt/pepper, more Parmesan and more basil to serve, if desired.

*You can always make more "sauce" if you need to with the reserved pasta water!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What's cookin'? - Yummy NutriBullet Smoothie

Just a quick recipe today!

I know many of you own a NutriBullet, so I'm always wanting to find and share new recipes.

This one is an adaptation of one I found onlin, called "4 Ingredient Blueberry Smoothie".  The only change I made from the original is that I made it into a "green" smoothie by adding greens. Now it's a 5 Ingredient Blueberry Smoothie!

Since I find that the addition of greens really doesn't change the taste at all I'm just adding more vitamins! That's good, right? Green smoothies boast LOTS of health benefits, but I just look at it as a way to add more vegetables to my diet.

Besides, right now we have an abundance of kale and chard in our garden. You can only eat it as a side dish so many nights a week! I mix it with store-bought spinach (since we didn't plant any.) 

Here's what I do. Again, you can omit the greens for the original recipe I found!

My Favorite Blueberry Smoothie

• 2 handfuls greens (I use the mixture, but spinach alone works just as well!)
• 1 banana
• 1c blueberries
• 1T chia seeds
• almond milk (to the fill line)

**  Notes:
BlendLet sit about 10 minutes, and blend again. That lets the Chia seeds do "their thing" by soaking up the water; allowing this to happen helps you feel fuller longer!

Frozen fruit (either the berries or banana) would be recommended for a cold smoothie!

I use unsweetened almond milk, but vanilla would only make it better! Water also works very well in smoothies. In fact, it's what I usually use!


Monday, August 4, 2014

A card for my son!

Those of you who come to my classes or are friends with me know that my youngest son recently had to have surgery. 

He was hit in the face with a pitch while up at bat during one of his games two weeks ago tomorrow. He suffered a broken cheekbone, with fractures in three places.

( the tongue depressor-contraption for the bleeding nose...)

As a testament to his toughness, he got hit with the pitch and he didn't drop to the ground - instead, he tried to go to first base! (Normally, when you get hit with the ball you automatically go to first.)

Thank goodness his coaches stopped him and sent him out of the game!

We ended up taking him to the closest emergency room where they did a CAT scan and discovered his fractures.

Poor baby!

It could have been a lot worse. I am thankful that he didn't hurt his eye or get hit in the head!

Needless to say, he had surgery to repair it this week, complete with titanium plates and screws to put everything back in place.

So, now he spends his last month of summer recuperating.

This all seems too familiar....

Last summer it was the same kid who had knee surgery in August!

That time the sport was ice hockey, and the injury a torn meniscus.


I always say that "this one should live in a bubble"! He's always the one who gets hurt. If can happen to someone, it will happen to him. (I mean, the kid had to get stitches from tripping while BOWLING for goodness sake!)

Lord, give me strength!

So, with all this going on with him (and also a high school reunion trip to Pittsburgh), I haven't done a blog in a couple of weeks!


But now, things are getting back to "normal".

We are all catching up on sleep we missed during our time away to PA and the hospital stay!

I finally headed down to my stamp room tonight. I thought I would cheer him up by making a "Get Well" card for him. I didn't put any money in it though - that was Grandma's thing! (Can you believe he got $20 for having surgery? And the older one got 20 bucks too because he had poison ivy! Aaah... Grandmothers are the best!)

I told her recently that, since I had a stroke, that should trump all, so where's my card with $100? She just laughed. Guess daughter-in-laws don't rank as high as grandchildren.

Oh well.
I tried.

Anyway, I just got this new photopolymer set Dear Heart, and couldn't wait to use it!
It is the male counter-part to the popular Sweetie Pies photopolymer set from Stampin' Up!
You won't see either set in any catalog. You can only view them on the online store, under "photopolymer" stamps. Just go to my website and click in the upper right-hand corner where it says "shop".

You'll see the word "stamps" in the far left-hand column. Once you click on that, you'll go to the "photopolymer" icon.

Unfortunately, the Sweetie Pies set has sold out! Hopefully we will see it again in a future catalog!

For my card tonight, here are the "players":

I also got a lot of use out of my Big Shot and magnetic platform! I used the Circle Collection and Banners framelits and the Circle Card thinlets:

The Circle Card thinlet comes with several elements besides the "flip card" itself. I used the "xoxo" for the inside of the card and the chevrons for the baseball stitching.

The colors of cardstock I used were: Whisper White, Basic Black, Real Red, and a piece of my favorite retired color - Ballet Blue.

I used Night of Navy ink for the baseball background, and the same color marker to touch up in a few spots where I had applied uneven pressure.

See, there's always a way to hide or fix our mistakes!

You've heard me sing the praises of this glue:
The fine-point tip end really comes in handy when I have small pieces to work with! Where would I have been without it when it came to placing all those "stitches" on the baseball or the "XOXO" sentiment?

I used my new Blendabilities skin-tone marker assortment to color the boy. (Of course, I used the recommended Memento ink pad). I used the shades of Nude, Ivory, and Natural in order to achieve his tanned book - my son's current skin tone!

His hair was colored using the Blendabilities as well. I used the Mocha from the skin tones, and the "dark" shade from the Daffodil Delight set.

The final touch was a red Candy Dot on the banner!

The perfect card for this situation!

It's always fun to make your own cards!
Let me show you how!

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