A Botanical Medley

Two of my favorite things happened in the last week. First, my order from Stampin’ Up arrived with the Botanical Prints product medley and my free Golden Honey Specialty DSP. Second, there was a new Tic Tac Toe Challenge! I’ll tell you about these wonderful things in order.

If you haven’t purchased a product medley before, this is one to try. It’s perfect for people who want to put together a quick coordinated card or for those who like to spend a little more time on their crafting. The stamp set has three images and three sentiments and there are matching and supporting dies. The stamps are perfect coloring in with watercolor pencils, markers, or Stampin’ Blends. The set also comes with 6×6 papers, all of them can be used as-is, but again, some are perfect for adding your own touch.

They also included pre-punched pieces with lemons and cherries and oranges and such, Old Olive twill ribbon, laser-cut overlays, banners, and the most adorable little copper bees. Add a bit of creativity, ink, and adhesive and you could craft for days! Oh, and the order qualifies for a Sale-a-bration item, so I picked up the back of Golden Honey DSP. Now let me show you what I made.

The Tic Tac Toe Challenge

This week’s challenge has an obvious tilt toward Valentine’s Day designs with hearts, pink, red, and flowers. I decided to go in a different direction as I had already created and sent my holiday cards. I used the middle row: Polka Dots, Die Cuts, and Flowers.

I started by selecting a piece of the 6×6 paper that was printed with leaves, flowers, and fruit and then got busy coloring. I used Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive, and Daffodil Delight watercolor pencils to add color to the black and white image. I paired with a piece of the Golden Honey paper that I thought had a polka dot vibe. They’re actually little hexagons, but I think it works. I used the Old Olive twill ribbon to conceal my seam

Next, I stamped one of the images from the Botanical Prints set in Staz-On Jet Black. I used this because I planned to use the same pencils, but also use my aqua-pen to turn the pencil color into actual watercolor. Once I was done with my flower, I used the matching die to cut it out along with some leaves in Old Olive.

Lastly, I stamped the sentiment from the same set in Old Olive ink on one of the banners from the medley. I popped that up on Dimensionals. For a final touch, I added a copper bee to my Rich Razzleberry flower and mounted the entire thing on a Rich Razzleberry card base.

I enjoyed playing with my new products and taking some “me-time” to color. I always find that so relaxing. I hope you are enjoying your creativity this week. Thanks to the Tic Tac Toe Challenge designers for another inspirational board.

Black and White Sketch

I’m inspired by the Paper Players again this week. They have a beautiful sketch for their current challenge, PP447, and it helped me solidify the plans I had for a black and white card. I’m still using that 8.5×11″ stamped Whisper White cardstock. This time, I left the images plain.

The Paper Players Sketch

This sketch has great balance and can be kept simple or embellished quite easily with the addition of die cuts or layered sentiments. With just three elements, the background, the panel, and the sentiment, it is easy to create a gorgeous card in a matter of minutes. Because the elements are simple, the measurements can be kept standard too. By offsetting the panel to the right third of the card, it automatically makes the card more interesting to the eye and it’s more forgiving if the placement isn’t perfect as would be required with a symmetrical design. Let me show you what I whipped up for this sketch challenge.

My Card

I used a black and white theme for this card. I started with a base of Whisper White and added on a 4×5-1/4″ layer of black and white gingham DSP. This is from the last Sale-a-Bration catalog. Any small graphic pattern would work, such as dots or any of the Background stamps in the current catalog.

Next I cut a 2″ strip of my hand-stamped DSP that I made last week using a stamp from a recent Paper Pumpkin and Memento Tuxedo Black ink. I mounted it on a 2-1/4″ strip of basic black. Both pieces are 5-1/2″ long. I used white and black bakers twine to tie a bow around the bottom third of the panel. The assembly is mounted to the card with Dimensionals.

Lastly, I used a sentiment from the Butterfly Gala stamp set. This is heat embossed in white on a scrap strip of Basic Black about 1/2″ wide. I mounted that with Dimensional as well.

Thanks to the Paper Players for a fantastic sketch. I hope you’re inspired to make a card using this layout.

Retro Beauty

I found a new challenge site that matches my Throwback Thursday theme. Retro Rubber Challenge Blog encourages crafters to pull out that seasoned stamp set and remember why you fell in love in the first place. Their current challenge is a Tic-Tac-Toe board. I found lots of inspiration on the board. Let me show you.

For my card, I used the diagonal row: Neutrals, Flowers, and Birds. It just so happens the Hugs from Shelli Paper Pumpkin incorporated these nature-inspired elements, so I used the kit as my jumping off point along with one of the first stamp sets I purchased from Stampin’ Up back in 2005, Beautiful Beach. The Van Gogh quote that came in the set spoke to me then and, fourteen years later, still does.

My nature/beach themed card uses a base of Pretty Peacock which coordinates with the Paper Pumpkin kit. Over that I used a layer of a long retired DSP, Going Global in Lost Lagoon. This is also a retired color, but wow does it work with Pretty Peacock. Over that, I layered a card front from the kit stamped with one of the bird images in Gray Granite. I added a piece of retiring Wood Texture DSP to represent driftwood.

Next, I worked on the sentiment. Because this stamp is so old, at the time, it had to be trimmed by hand and mounted to the wood block. Well, I was a new stamper and I mounted the sentiment one way and the image sticker upside down. It’s always a challenge to get it right. But I managed to get it stamped correctly in Early Espresso. I added some “watery” texture with the Paper Pumpkin stamp using the second generation stamping technique and Pretty Peacock ink.

My embellishments are the die cuts from the kit, two feathers, and a flower as well as some twine. Then I added the seashell from another seasoned stamp set, By the Tide. I used Crumb Cake ink on Very Vanilla for the image and fussy cut it. For a final touch, I added some hard to see in a photograph raindrop shaped crystal drops.

One card, lots of nature and I had a ton of fun digging through my stash for inspiration. Thanks the Retro Rubber Challenge team for a wonderful board.

Update: I was a top pick for this challenge!