Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Consumer Relapse {Stamp Out Chaos}

Hello friends,

So, it's been a moon or two since Lindsay and I did a Stamp Out Chaos post.  No we didn't abandon the effort.  We have been working on finishing up some bigger projects in our spaces, and it's summer- you know where the call of spending a lovely day outside with the family is more powerful than a siren's song.

I thought I would pop in today with a post to share the current state of affairs in the crafty space.   A few months ago, I had the epiphany that one of my biggest challenges to organization was that I simply owned too much stuff.  It was suffocating me and seriously impeded my creative efforts.  So I purged.  Boxes upon boxes of crafty supplies left my room and were donated to the school, to daycare and some were even sold.

This made all the difference in my space.  Sure there was more work to be done and of course more could (and will) eventually go, but simply freeing up some valuable real estate from items that were in excess, no longer fit my habits, or my style was an absolute game changer.  Rational minimalism was the way to go.

But then something happened...

Looking back, it started in June with the Father's Day weekend sales, continued through July 4th sales, a couple "must-have" new releases from favorite stamp companies, and an online shop's moving sale (40% off people!).  After not making many crafty purchases over the past several months, I had a full-on consumer relapse.  I engaged in the online equivalent of "shopping until I dropped." The padded envelopes started arriving at the house and stuff started creeping it's way back into my little crafty space.

In one way, the delayed gratification and waiting for these sales allowed me to acquire many sets that had been on my wish list, but as a result of all my new acquisitions, the craft room equilibrium shifted and my space was teetering on the bring of chaos once more.

What I came to realize is that as much as my initial goal when I started this journey was to organize my room "once and for all," that's really not how it works.  Do we unload the dishes once and for all?  Vacuum once and for all?  Nope, these are daily/weekly maintenance tasks we (begrudgingly at times) perform to keep our homes running smoothly.  It's the same with creative spaces. It's never done. Maintenance will be necessary to keep the space functioning at an optimal level.

So what's to be done? Two (really three) things...  

The Great Purge- Part IX
As new stamps have arrived, I took an opportunity to go through my stash of supplies and pull out those that have not and are not being used.  I am in the process of listing them for sale online where I hope that they will be able to find new and happy homes.

A Month of Neglect
As I mentioned in an earlier post, there is nothing inherently wrong about crafty purchases.  New products are inspiring and they help fuel this creative industry that we all love.  The problem happens when the items are purchased and not used.  I have many, many sets that I purchased and still love (in other words, I am not ready to let them go), but I need to put them to use.  So to address the horde of unused stamps and supplies in my possession, I am declaring August 2014 as a Month of Neglect.  I will be devoting most of my blog posts in August to stamp sets that have seen little to no inky action.

It is my hope to post daily or nearly daily to share projects created with my (previously) unused stash of stamps.  I hope that you will continue to pop in to see what I have been up to!  The fun starts tomorrow, August 1.

I also signed up for an organization class called Workspace at Studio Calico.

The class is being taught by Marcy Penner and starts August 4.  Enrollment ends tonight at 11:59 PM EDT.  I hope that between letting go of more excess, using what I have and seeing some new ideas through the class, I can continue my mission to Stamp Out Chaos.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

You are so cray cray {Paper Smooches SPARKS}

Hello and Happy Sunday!  

I am popping in today to share a card I made for this week's Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge. This week is a Designer Draft (sketch) challenge and here's my take: 

I started with an aquamarine card stock card base.  I stamped the Dippy Dots background stamp on a piece of Lemongrass card stock panel and adhered it to the card base. Next I trimmed a rectangle of adhesive cork and affixed it to the card at an angle. 

I die cut a piece of lined patterned paper with the  Notebook Scallop Die.  I stamped "you are so" from Chit Chat onto the notebook paper.  I die cut the crayons using the School Icon Die set.  For each crayon, I die cut the crayon twice using two shades of orange and pink card stock and trimmed the edges of the lighter card stock to create the wrapper. Using a ruler and a black pen I drew lines on the wrapper.  The push pin is also from the School Icon Die set. I stamped "cray" from Slang Gang onto the crayon labels and added the smiley face using the Market Fresh stamp set.  

Here's a look at this week's sketch: 

Ready to play? You have until 11:59 PT on August 2 to link up your take to the Paper Smooches SPARKS blogI can't wait to see what you create!  

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy Birthday Shaker Balloon {AE Challenge}

Hello friends and TGIF!

Today starts another AEI{heart}U challenge and this week's challenge is "to die for."  Not literally, please, but we do want to see you use die-cuts on your entries.  Here's my take:

I was trying to create the look of a confetti-filled balloon like these. So I die cut an angled panel using the Custom Panels ELLE-ments dies.  Next, I die cut one of the balloons from the Balloons ELLE-ments and covered the opening with vellum to make a shaker element. I stamped the balloon string and bow from the Balloons stamp set. 

I filled the shaker opening with card stock confetti and I adhered a few extra pieces to the white panel for some extra color.  This punch works really well for creating shaker-sized confetti and you may already have it in your stash!

I adhered the shaker panel to an Aquamarine card base with foam tape and I stamped the "Happy Birthday" sentiment from Cake and Candles in black ink.

Well that's it for me today. Be sure to stop by the AEI{heart}U blog for even more inspiration from the design team and to link up your take on this week's challenge.  I can't wait to see what you create! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

So Happy for Hedgehogs {Take 2 Thursday}

Hello, hello!

Lindsay and I are back today with another Take 2 Thursday.  This week, we are using Studio Calico's Penny Arcade July card kit.

There were sooo many cute images in this stamp set from the happy cloud to the gnome, but I decided to use the hedgehogs to create a sweet baby card.

First I stamped the hedgehog parents in brown ink on a panel of white cardstock.  The best part is that no masking was involved!  The hedgehog baby was next followed by some pink mushrooms. 

I adhered the stamped panel at an angle to a piece of patterned paper covering a white card base.  I stamped the sentiment in brown and added the YAY stripes in pink.  Since it's a baby card, I couldn't resist adding a cute yellow button to the corner of the stamped panel. 

Here's a look at the Studio Calico July kit: 

Be sure to stop by Lindsay's blog for her creation with this fun kit!  That's all for me today!  Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

You Rock {Waffle Flower Crafts}

Hello friends,

I know it's been a bit, well, quite here on the blog over the past week.  I have been busy with summer and all that entails, but I am back in action and I have some fun projects to share this week.

A few week's ago, Nina at Waffle Flower Crafts introduced the Rock My World die set that coordinates with the Rock My World stamp set. I thought it would be fun to use the dies to create a pattern inspired by a set of make-up bags I spotted on the Print & Pattern website.

First, I trimmed a piece of navy card stock to 4 x 5.25" and I die-cut the rock shapes in a random pattern.

Next, I die cut the rocks from scraps of blue, red, green, peach and white cardstock and inlayed them in the navy cardstock using a bit of washi tape on the back of the panel to hold things in place while I played around the placement.  I trimmed the red rock at the top of the panel and stamped You Rock by piecing together some of the words and sentiments included in the Rock My World stamp set

Finally, I adhered the inlayed panel onto a light gray card base.  

The card was inspired by the darling make-up bag set I found on the Print and Pattern website.

Fun inspiration, right?!  

Well, that's it for me today!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Aloha {AE Challenge}

Hello and Happy Friday!

Today starts another AEI{heart}U challenge and this week's challenge theme is One Word.  What's One Word? Well it's easier than you think; it's creating a card with a single word sentiment. Think thanks, hello, happy, or even congrats! 

So my word this week is 'Aloha' and it was the perfect chance to play with the new Surf's Up set. 

First I created the beach and the water by die-cutting kraft and aquamarine card stock using Avery Elle's Custom Panel Dies.  I stamped the wave pattern onto the aqua card stock and adhered the die cuts to a white card base.  

Next, I paper pieced the palm tree and stamped the smallest surf board in the set with three different colors of ink.  They are all lined up waiting for their owners to take them on the next great adventure!  Finally, I stamped my one word, 'Aloha,' with aqua ink. 

Well that's it for me today. Be sure to stop by the AEI{heart}U blog for even more inspiration from the design team and to link up your take on this week's challenge.  I can't wait to see what you create!  

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thanks Bunches {Take 2 Thursday}

Hello friends,

Lindsay and I are back for another round of Take 2 Thursday.  This week, we are both using Paper Smooches' Denim and Daisies stamp set and Pocket dies.

Now typically with T2Th, I typically use just the stamp set we are featuring, but this week, that cute little pocket was begging for something equally cute to stash inside.  First, I stamped and embossed the stitching on a piece of denim patterned paper and I die cut it with the pocket die. 

I also die cut a panel of cream card stock with a pinking edge to serve as the backdrop for my pocket scene. Next, I pulled out Vegtastic and paper pieced the carrot, pepper and tomato from scraps of card stock and patterned paper and arranged them inside the pocket.  I stamped the tag with red ink on red card stock and tucked that behind the pocket side as well. 

 I brushed the edges of the pinked panel and that patterned paper with ink and adhered them to a kraft card base.

Well, that's all for me today.  Be sure to stop by Lindsay's blog for her creation with this fun set!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Pair of "Fancy" Cards {Waffle Flower Crafts}

Hello friends and Happy Tuesday,

I took a quick weekend trip down to Columbus, Ohio.  Columbus is about 2 hours south of where I live just a bit north of Akron, and on the way down, I must have heard Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" every 30 minutes (love Top 40 radio!).

Anyway, with that song firmly ingrained in my head, I decided to revisit the very fancy Waffle Flower Crafts Bowtiful and Bowtiful Additions stamp sets.

First up, and this one is for the guys, a dashing black tie card using Bowtiful Additions stamp set and Bowtiful die set.

I die cut a triangle pennant (Spellbinders) from white card stock and notched the corners.  Next, I adhered the pennant to a black cardstock rectangle.  Notice that the notched pennant extends past the top of the black rectangle.  I stamped the solid bow from the Bowtiful Additions stamp set on white card stock and die cut it using the larger Bowtiful dies.  I attached it to the card using foam tape.  

I stamped and heat embossed "Hey Handsome" also from the Bowtiful Additions stamp set on the black card stock. 

I added a few black pearls to the pennant to act as buttons.  Finally, I adhered the finished panel to a white card stock base. 

Next, a "fancy" card for the ladies using gray, cream and gold and the ever fabulous Bowtiful stamp set and Bowtiful dies

On a panel of gray card stock, I stamped the random star pattern repeatedly to create a background.  I kept rotating the stamp to keep the pattern truly random.  I adhered the gray panel to a cream card stock base.

I stamped and heat embossed the sentiment with gold powder on a cream card stock strip with an angled side.  I stamped and embossed the smaller bow and die cut it with the coordinating die.  The sentiment strip and bow were attached to the card with foam tape.  A few gold star sequins add just a bit more fancy to the card. 

This fancy card was also inspired by Waffle Flower's very first challenge for June/July.   There is a sketch challenge and a technique challenge.  You can check out all the details here and you have until July 25th to enter!

Here's a peek at the inspiration sketch: 

Good stuff, right?  Go check it out now. :) 

Well that's all for me today.  Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sew Dang Cute {Paper Smooches SPARKS Challenge}

Hey, hey everyone!

I hope you are having a great weekend!  I am popping by today to share the card I created for this week's Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge. This week is an Anything Goes challenge and continuing my personal quest to share the love and use among my stamps, I decided to use Needle Little Love on this week's card.

Before I found paper crafting, cross-stitch was my craft of choice, though I lacked the patience and follow-through to complete anything other than small samplers and the occasional Christmas ornament. Still Home Economics was one of my very favorite classes in middle school, so this set makes me all kinds of nostalgic for my bygone hobby.

I cut some squares from aida cloth (aka cross-stitch cloth) and trimmed the edges with some pinking shears that I held on to from my sewing days.  Next I stamped the sweet images from Needle Little Love on the squares.  I did some very simple masking with the thread spools and the flower in the bottom left corner.

I stamped the sentiment and couple small hearts from the set.  Then I added a strip of patterned paper and some twine topped off with a pretty button and a twine bow.

So now it's your turn! You have until 11:59 PT on Saturday, July 12 to link up your take on this week's challenge to the Paper Smooches SPARKS blog for a chance to win a $30.00 gift certificate to the Paper Smooches store. Woot woot!  

Be sure to check out the amazing inspiration from the other members of the SPARKS design team playing along with this week's challenge: 

I can't wait to see what you create!  

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Surface-Tag Blog Hop {Waffle Flower Crafts}

Hello, hello friends and Happy Saturday!  

Welcome to the Waffle Flower Crafts Surface-Tag Blog Hop!  Today the Waffle Flower Design Team is featuring the new Surface Tag stamp set and coordinating dies.  

Surface-Tag is no ordinary tag set, it is super versatile and the addition of the coordinating dies means there are even more possibilities.  In fact, I have three cards to share with you today using the following: 

First up, a simple card using the Surface-Tag stamp set only:

I stamped the stars in shades of blush, apricot, yellow and mint on a piece of white cardstock.    Next, I stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment from the set 10 times down a strip of white card stock.  I matted it with orange card stock and adhered it to the star panel.  I round the bottom corner of the stamped panel and adhered it to a mint card base featuring a strip of orange card stock at the bottom. 

I just love the whimsical look of the scattered stars. My daughter is turning 10 next week, and I think she would love to get this birthday card!  

Next up, a graphic and bold use of the ensemble using the Surface-Tag stamp set and the Starter Kit dies:

I made a card from white card stock and cut a card front from blue card stock.  Next, I die cut the tag from yellow, orange and pink card stock.  I stamped the stitched tag outline onto the die cuts taking card to not ink up the tag hole.  By selectively inking the tag stamp, I was able to get this super cute stitched rectangle look.  I adhered the rectangles at an angle and trimmed off the excess with a paper trimmer. 

I stamped Happy Birthday on the pink rectangle.  As a finishing touch, I stamped and heat embossed the stars from the set with gold embossing powder on blue card stock, punched them out with a circle punch, and adhered them to the card. 

Finally, my last card uses the Surface-Tag stamp set, Surface-Tag Die Starter Kit, and the Surface-Tag Die Scallop Add on.  I used these items to make a shaker birthday card. 

I started by die cutting the rectangle tag from a panel of patterned paper.  I die cut the scallop frame from white card stock and covered the opening with vellum.  I edged the die cut opening with foam tape and added some confetti made from the leftovers of a few edger punches.  You could also use a hole punch to create the tiny confetti.  I adhered another piece of card stock to contain the confetti and attached the shaker panel to a light gray card base. 

I made a banner by trimming a piece of pink card stock and notching the ends with a square punch. Some clear sequins add just a little more sparkle and shine. 

Nina was so sweet to convert my last two cards into sketches in case you would like to pin them for future use: 

You will want to be sure to check out all the fun ideas for this set that the Design Team is sharing today!

Katie Gehring– You’re Here!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 4, 2014

I am so thankful {Happy Independence Day}

Hello all!

Happy Independence Day to all my US friends! It's been quiet here on the blog front this week- no stamp out chaos (sorry), no sharing just for fun or challenge cards.  Instead, I have been embracing this long awaited summer and trying to have fun with the kiddos.  My oldest daughter is turning 10 next week, and I realized that I only have eight more summers with her at home!  Seems to defy logic, but it's true!  Sadly, those eight summers will go by in the blink on an eye. So you will have to forgive me if summer gets the best of me from time to time.  It's such a fleeting season.

All that aside, I did manage to create a card and it seemed appropriate to share it with you today. I love Independence Day and all the festivities that surround the July 4th holiday, and I think about others who have sacrificed much to allow us the many freedoms we enjoy today. So for that and for countless other things I take for granted, I am thankful, and thought I would make a patriotic thank you card.

All of the stamps and dies I used for this card are by Paper Smooches. I started by die cutting 3 rainbows in red, white and blue.  I used a bit of washi tape on the back of the die cuts to hold the alternating rainbow stripes together.  I flipped one of the rainbows up (or down depending on your perspective and traced the nurdle shape onto a scrap of red cardstock and used some scissors to cut along that line

I stamped the star border from the Seeing Stars set and adhered the red cardstock to a white panel.  Next I adhered the double rainbow swoop onto that card and trimmed the edges. I stamped the sentiment from Many Thanks in blue in and added a small red star as an accent.  The completed panel was then adhered to a blue card base. 

Well that's all for me today!  If you are celebrating today, I hope you have a safe and wonderful time!  

Thanks for stopping by!