Friday, January 22, 2016

First Christmas Card for 2016

I was bored out of my mind while recuperating last week and desperately needed to make something while at the same time taking care to not stress my hands that are still healing from surgery. So, I thought to myself, what better time to pull out the January 2016 Flurries of Love kit from Simon Says Stamp?

This was a super easy card to make since the sentiment on the front is actually a page from the DSP included in the kit. There's a strip of silver glitter ribbon with a thinner strip of DSP centered on it, and the snowman is a sticker. I added a trio of snowflake sequins, brushed the heart with a clear Wink of Stella pen, and the front panel was done. I layered it onto a piece of Audrey Blue cardstock from the kit.


The inside was even easier! I used a strip of the same DSP on the card front, and stamped a greeting from Simon Says Stamp's Big Scripty Greetings - Holiday stamp set using Hero Arts' Ombre Lilac to Grape purple inkpad. (The ink matches the patterned paper much better in real life.) A few more sequins and the card was completed.


+ + + + + + + + + +

Thanks to a minor infection in my right hand, my surgeon says I need to slow down just a bit, so it may be another week before I try my hand at another card. With all of the ideas I have, it may take me that long to decide what to make next. :)

Smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce
             

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"Mugs and Kisses" Thank You Cards

Since I'm not much of a gift-giver during the Christmas season, I don't expect to get Christmas presents from other people. Three of my dear friends caught me by surprise this year though, (waving to Carey, Cathy, and Debbie), so I was eager to do something special for their thank-you cards

I recently acquired a set of dies from My Favorite Things called LLD Hot Cocoa Mugs along with a coordinating stamp set called LLD Hug in a Mug - and they are adorable! See for yourself:

 
The card base is Crushed Curry, and the printed Rich Razzleberry layer is DSP from Stampin' Up!'s annual catalog called Bohemian. The rest of the card is pieces cut from the die set using Crushed Curry, Bermuda Bay, Whisper White, Real Red, and Chocolate Chip. I trimmed the ends of the sentiment piece using the Washi Label punch, also by SU!

I forgot to take pictures of the insides of the cards since they were all different (oops!), but each one said either "Warmest Thanks" or "You Warm My Heart" with either a stitched heart to coordinate with the ones on the mugs or stamped hearts from the stamp set. I added a strip of the same DSP I used on the front of the card for an accent piece.

I had SO much fun making these cards! I can hardly wait til I'm all healed up from my surgeries so I can play without pain or worries that I will be constantly dropping things (like inked stamps!). 

Until that time, please sit tight and know that I'll be dreaming up cards and projects in my head that will WOW you in the months to come. I thank each and every one of you for visiting or subscribing to my humble blog!

Mugs and Kisses,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce
               

Monday, January 11, 2016

Cathy's Cup of Clove Candy

I'm not much of a gift-giver during the winter holidays, but I did want to do something special for my dear friend Cathy. We try to get together every month or two for lunch, and every time she comes to pick me up she raids my candy dish for some of the old-fashioned clove candies that I keep on hand. It occurred to me that it might be nice to give her some of the candies for her to enjoy between our visits. I brainstormed over presentation, and was suddenly hit with an idea! What if, instead of giving her another dish to wash, I made a paper mug? I had seen one that a friend had made, so I asked her for the template and she sent me to YouTube. Here's how the project turned out:


Isn't that darling? Here it is from a slightly different angle, where you can see the curved bottom of the cup:


The inside:


And the bottom:


And finally, here it is with the candy inside of it. So cute!


Next up: A series of thank-you cards I made for the folks that surprised me with gifties this year. You may want to make yourself some hot chocolate!

Sweet smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce
             

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Christmas Cards 2015

Now that the holiday festivities are over, I realized I'm overdue in showing the Christmas cards I made this year (well, technically last year)... so here goes!

I used the Stampin' Up! single wood-mount stamp called Dove of Peace for these two cards:



I inlaid the stitched center layer into a frame of silver glimmer paper, and then layered the whole thing on a Wild Wasabi card base. I cut the word "peace" out of the same glimmer paper, stamped the dove with silver Delicata ink so it shines in real life, and then spot colored with a Wild Wasabi marker.



I did much of the same here, except I made the stitched frame from Old Olive cardstock and put it on a heavy Whisper White base. The bird is stamped in gold Delicata so it shimmers. Sweet and simple!

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Next up is a batch of cards I CASEd using the Stampin' Up! Sleigh Ridge edgelits, glimmer paper, and Winter Wonderland specialty designer series paper. 



On this card and the next, I used silver glimmer paper. On the first card I placed six clear gemstones around the sentiment, but I decided it was embellishment overload when combined with the three black candy dots.




I "fixed" the problem by using a stamped-off silver Delicata snowflake over the sentiment on the rest of the cards in this set.


I don't have as much Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper as I do the silver, but I thought I'd give the DD a try anyway. Turns out I like it best!

* * * * * * * * * *

Finally, here are two cards I made flying by the seat of my pants using the Stampin' Up! Peaceful Pines stamp set and stuff that was just sitting on my desk. When I started I had no layout in mind, and no plan for which supplies to use. I like these the best of this year's cards!



I embossed the pine tree in silver and then cut out the tree and star using the coordinating framelits. The DSP layered on Night of Navy is Season of Cheer from the Holiday mini catalog. A few strategically placed panels, some rounded corners, and a little sponging on the edges, and voila'! 


I had so much fun with the outside that I went on to make the inside festive as well. The three snowflakes are from the holiday Stamp of Approval collection.

I'm not sure whether I made the above card or the below one first, but I think they're equally eye-pleasing for different reasons.


I used two dies to cut out the tree on this second card: the outside frame and then a framelit that cuts cute little branches into the center of the tree. I forgot to be sure they were lifted up before I took the picture, but the effect is pretty cool.

Here's the inside of the card:



* * * * * * * * * *

I made a total of about eight cards this year, significantly less than I usually do, because I was struggling with carpel tunnel and pinched ulnar (elbow) nerves on both arms. At the time of this post, I've already had surgery on my left side and it is making a drastic improvement, and I await surgery on the right side with hopes that it will be equally successful. I'm told that the nerves in my hands and arms may take up to a year to regenerate, so I'm expecting to get a lot more done in 2016 with a lot less pain.

Up next: A small 3D project I made as a gift for a friend. I hope you'll be back to join me!

Warmest wishes to you for New Year! May it bring you much love, happiness, and creativity!

Smiles,
Joyce Spear, a.k.a. StamperJoyce
             

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Christmas Tags 2015

I've been a busy little bee for the last couple of weeks! I had surgery scheduled for November 9 and needed to finish the tag swap I signed up for in StampNation before going in. At the last minute I found out that the surgery will have to be rescheduled, but that just puts me ahead of the game as far as Christmas preparations.

(For those wondering, I have carpel tunnel in both wrists and pinched ulnar nerves in both elbows. It's painful, and it's making crafting challenging because I'm having a hard time holding on to things.)

The tags are pretty self-explanatory, so I'll let the pretty pictures do the work in this post. These first five photos show each tag front and back:







The rest of these pictures show just the front of the tags:







Thanks for looking!

Smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce
                  

Bird Crazy Thank You Cards

Like so many of my stamping buddies, I am smitten with the Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Collection stamp set called Bird Crazy... and the accessories, and the dies. (At least I haven't gotten the dies for the accessories...yet! or the coordinating sentiments.) But who can resist these birds' crazy expressions and hilarious body language?

Recently two of my dear friends, Carey and Kevin, gave me some amazing gifts, so I just HAD to do up some extra-special thank-you cards for them. I adore both of them for their warped sense of humor and felt the Birds would be perfect for them. I decided to make their cards "fraternal twins," i.e. make them at the same time using the same supplies, but changing up some of the details so they each would have a unique card.

Without further ado, here is Kevin's card:



and Carey's card:



I started by doing the card backgrounds on Ranger's distress watercolor paper using distress inks and a blending tool. (I learned that I still suck at using a blending tool, so I either need more practice or more sponges to use instead.) I added a few water droplets and patted them off to create a watery effect, but felt more interest was needed. So I pulled out my stencils and and started blending in some contrasting colors - blue on purple, for example. The more color I added, the happier I got. When I was satisfied, I moved on to the birds.

I used my MISTI tool to stamp all the birds and accessories in Stampin' Up!'s archival black on white cardstock, then colored them in various colors with my Spectrum Aqua markers. I used my trusty dies to cut out the birds, then took my Cutter Bee scissors to fussy cut the rest.

As I was assembling, I realized that I had left the crazy birds floating in mid-air, so I created some grass for them to stand in.

By this time, (a week later, haha), the ink on the background panels was dry enough that I could safely heat emboss the words 'thanks so much' and 'you're amazing' at the top of them. Since I wanted the words to really POP! off the backgrounds, I used my MISTI to perfectly place them, inked the stamps several times with VersaMark ink, then used detail white embossing powder before applying heat to achieve the effect I was looking for.

I glued the grass directly on the card panel and attached the birds with Stampin' Dimensionals, bending the outside edges down to create a more 3D effect. When all the glues were dry, I adhered the panels onto a heavy white card base. As a special touch, I used Crystal Effects on the sunglasses.

I sat back to admire my work, but felt the cards weren't quite done. I thought to myself, "Sequins!" -- and a three-day search for my giant bag of sequins began. On day two I decided to take drastic measures to finish the cards, and ended up die cutting a bunch of teeny tiny circles out of glimmer paper to add in place of the sequins. In retrospect, I'm not so sure about the placement of them, and I think I may have added too many in some places. But overall, I'm pleased with how the cards turned out. Both Carey and Kevin indicated that they like their cards, too, which says a lot because they are both very talented crafters themselves!

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Thanks for taking a look at my crazy Bird Crazy cards!
Coming up next: Christmas tags! 

Happy Stamping,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce  
           

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Wedding Card

A friend of mine asked me to create a wedding card for a couple who is getting married this week. Normally short deadlines lead me to stress, but somehow this card came together rather easily.



Except for the detail black embossing powder I used, this card is made entirely out of Stampin' Up! products. The sentiments are from the set called Something to Say.

I can't remember the last time I made a wedding card, or even IF I have ever made one, so I was happy when my friend said she really likes this card.

Sophisticated Smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce
       

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Coloring with Crayons (and other things)

Over at StampNation this month one of our Dream Team members, Allison Cope, is teaching a class on coloring using all kinds of mediums from crayons and colored pencils and watercolor paints on up to Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers and Copics. She's sharing some color theory with us, but mostly she's encouraging us to experiment with the mediums we have in our homes already.

The first lesson was about crayons. It doesn't sound like much, but it actually was a fun class. We learned that because crayons are made of wax, they melt when heat is applied and can even be blended to produce new (and, in my case, sometimes ugly) colors.

In order to do the "homework" I had to dig out my crayons, and it turns out I have quite a few:


I won't bore you with my coloring/scribbles, but I do want to show a card I made using my Gel FX crayons. They show best on black, so I found an open flower stamp and stamped in black in on Basic Black cardstock, then traced over the stamped image with the neon crayons. I then fussy cut the individual flowers, curled the petals, and then placed them on a black panel with Stampin' Dimensionals. I added a few sequins and a smidge of Wink of Stella, and here's how it turned out:


Allison's month-long class is nearly done and I have a lot of homework to get caught up on if time allows. If I make cards with any of my "experiments" I'll be sure to post them here. In the meantime, never underestimate the power of a crayon!

Smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce
       

Friday, September 25, 2015

Catherine Pooler's Stamp of Approval: WOW!

So about a month ago I posted a couple of bright, cheery cards that I made for a sketch challenge with a promise I would soon be posting another three cards in the series. I spaced and totally forgot to come back and post them - but here they finally are:




Here are the other two (previously posted) cards for your convenience:



I made all five of these cards using goodies from Catherine Pooler's first Stamp of Approval box. What's that? you ask. Well, Catherine had a brilliant idea to curate a set of "approved" stamp sets, dies, stencils, and embellishments that she feels will stand the test of time and be something stampers return to over and over again. A new box will be released quarterly, and each will have a theme. The first box's theme is Friendship, and the stuff she pulled together for us is amazing!

First of all, let me say that the arrival of this box was a triple hit of excitement for me. It arrived around my birthday, the contents were better than I expected, and I even WON the box in a StampNation drawing! Can you believe it?? I'm still pinching myself!

I was pretty thrilled the day it arrived:


If you look closely you can even see on the box a personalized note from Catherine congratulating me!

Here's a quick look at the contents:


The box contained three stamp sets, four die sets, a stencil, a bag of sequins and stuff perfect for using in shaker cards, and a link to a whole bunch of ideas for cards that could be created with the contents. Nice haul, eh?

The next box, which will be holiday themed, will be released sometime in October, and from there it will be quarterly. If you would like more info on the Stamp of Approval product, be sure to check out Catherine's blog.

You will probably be seeing more cards made with these SOA items over time, but I will soon be switching gears towards making Christmas/holiday cards. I have some incredible ideas up my sleeve, so stay tuned!

Smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce
   

Sunday, September 13, 2015

StampNation's California Vacation

I thought I was caught up on showing cards I've made recently, but because I blogged things out of order I totally missed a batch of seven cards. In August StampNation had its quarterly event, and this time we took a virtual California vacation! With each event there are Challenges and prizes, and even though I wasn't one of the lucky winners this time I did have a blast making the cards for those Challenges. I was on the fence about participating at all, but one of my StampNation Sistahs who lives in the area (Hi, Carey!) kidnapped me for a Friday evening and we started on our cards together. What fun!

I happen to have several dear friends who have birthdays in August and September, so the timing was perfect to make their birthday cards at the same time I was completing Challenges. The first card is one of those, and it went to my friend and faithful commenter Chris (Hi, Chris!).

Card 1
The first Challenge was to use GOLD for the California gold rush. I pulled out my foil cardstock and set to work making my first ever inlaid die cut card, which is exactly what it sounds like - a card where the die cut is laid into the background. 


I used Cucumber Crush paper from Stampin' Up!'s Color Me Irresistible specialty DSP for the striking background.


Inside I used the very popular stamp set called Bird Crazy put out by Tim Holtz and Impression Obsession, and colored them with my Zig Clean Color pens and clear Wink of Stella (for the eyes).


Yes, I do color outside the lines...



Card 2
There's no question why SUN, SURF, AND SAND was the theme for the second California Challenge, and here's my fun card:


As you can see, it's a shaker card filled with sequins and small beads. The butterfly and word 'hope' were die cut from purple metallic cardstock and laid into the background. I didn't initially intend for this to be a shaker card, but I misplaced the innards of the butterfly wings and so couldn't lay them back into the background. Yup, you guessed it... the wing insides reappeared as I was putting the final touches on this card.

The background was created by scribbling with Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens on watercolor paper, then misting with water. It's layered on a Tempting Turquoise card base and jazzed up with Sparkling Clear sequins in various sizes from Pretty Pink Posh. The background behind the butterfly is also done with Zigs.


Years ago when I tried to make a shaker card I had a horrible time with it, but this card came together pretty quickly once I made peace with having to abandon my original plan. In fact, I had so much fun with it that I ended up buying lots more sequins and other sparkly things to put inside... so keep watching, there are more shaker cards in my future!

What does this have to do with the Sun, Sand, and Surf theme? you may ask. I got the bright sun with the yellow, the surf with the blue, and the sand.... well, if you squint enough you can see it.  :)

Card 3
The third theme was GLITZ & GLAM, a reference to the glamorous stars of Hollywood. This was the first card I started while at Carey's home, and I used (and fell in love with) her My Favorite Things' Ride the Wave dies. I started by running several colors of metallic/foil cardstock through the Big Shot with the MFT die set and a butterfly and word die. From there it was like putting together a puzzle:


Once again I used the inlaid die cut technique. Can you tell I really like doing this? Unfortunately my camera likes foiled paper even less than it likes bling, so you'll have to trust me when I tell you that this card looks incredible in person!


Card 4
STRIPES was the theme for the fourth Challenge as a nod to Alcatraz. I again used the Bird Crazy set and combined it with images from Stampin' Up!'s Sketched Birthday set. Since I was using Stampin' Up! DSP, I used Stampin' Write markers to color the images in coordinating colors. The sentiment is one of Carey's stamps and was perfect for a birthday card being sent to a special male friend.


I tried my hand at a free-style border on the inside... but I'm not so sure I like how it looks.


Card 5
I might have gone a bit overboard with the fifth Challenge theme, PRINTS, which is a reference to the fashion industry. The stamps are by Inkadinkado.


Card 6
Challenge 6 requires THREE OR MORE COLORS, a reference to the Painted Ladies row of houses in San Francisco. I decided to try my hand at a CAS (clean and simple) card, and ended up with something that I felt was just "okay," but everyone else loved! The butterfly is the positive of the die I used to make Card 2, and I just accented it with clear Wink of Stella. I offset both the butterfly and the word 'hope' with black, added a scrap of black and white DSP to the side, attached some sequins, and Voila'!


Card 7
The final card Challenge was a tip of the hat to California's wineries, and the card was to somehow reflect MY FAVORITE BEVERAGE. I was working into the wee hours to complete the last card before the deadline, so rather than spend my time hunting for a coffee or booze stamp set, I decided to just tell everyone the truth, that this card was made possible by my new friend coffee. (I never used to be much of a coffee drinker, but now I can't get enough of the stuff!) The butterfly was one of Carey's scraps, and she initially used it to show me how to use a laminator and sheet foil to turn an ordinary paper butterfly into something magical. A laminator has now been added to my wish list!
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So that's it folks - all of my recently completed cards. I have another series of cards I made with products from Catherine Pooler's Stamp of Approval box, but I still need to finish up the insides before I post them. The flowery card from my last post is a sample of how those cards turned out, and my intent is to have the rest finished and posted this week.

There are so many challenges and bloghops and projects going on right now that I'm a little frustrated with how little of it I get to participate in. My focus right now, though, is in getting my "studio" (aka living room) unpacked and organized because I'm tired of rooting around boxes to find my supplies. A few weeks ago I was very excited when my long lost companion (my beat-up but still wonderful 6' long worktable) joined me beside my desk:


It's already been buried under "stuff" and then cleaned up several times, which is a good sign that I'm making progress.

And speaking of progress, I better get moving... !

Smiles,
Joyce Spear aka StamperJoyce