Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Another (Even Better) Card in a Box

As a follow-up to a post from last week, I decided to make another Card in a Box. I gave away my first one and thought it would be prudent to make another while the logistics were still fresh in my head. Luckily my friend Margie was around to fine-tune my memory as I was making it.

I used different patterns from the same DSP I used last time, Sweet Sorbet, and this time my stamp set was Petal Parade, the one Margie used on her first one. Instead of using the Little Leaves sizzlit, I used the leaves and branch from the Bird builder punch as well as the bird's wing. Pistachio Pudding made for a softly colored card base and leaves. I used Stampin' Up!'s basic jewels rather than Stickles, and I think the card came together nicely. Click any photo to enlarge.

I'm happy with how this project turned out, but I'm eager to try one with brighter colors and something other than a floral theme ...

... but for now, it's pack, pack, pack. It's hard to believe that I'll be living somewhere else in about 30 days, especially considering I haven't been told yet where that place is!

Smiling at the irony of "in a box" projects,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Monday, March 3, 2014

More KISS* Cards

* KISS as in "Keep It Simple, Stamper" and not the rock music band of the 1970s!

Don't you just love that *HOORAY!!* feeling you get when you finish a project that's been occupying space on your To Do list since what feels like so long ago it may have been the day you were born? Well, I'm feeling it now! This week I finished up the cards my friend who sponsors children through Compassion and World Vision requested from me years ago. All I can say is, "Whew!"

This post is the second half of the project I wrote about here. (In a nutshell, the main difference between these cards and the kind I usually do is that on these I had to avoid embellishments - no ribbons, brads, or anything lumpy - and they had to be as light as possible for overseas mailing - as in no layers.) I knew my friend had to mail at least one of the cards near the end of last month, so I mailed her all the cards I had finished mid-February, allowing extra time in case of snow emergencies and other weather-related drama. I'm pleased to say she really liked that batch of cards, and even used the one I wasn't so sure I liked.

I'm happy to report that these last cards were a lot easier than the first batch! Perhaps it was because I had gotten feedback and was armed with ideas on how I could have made the first cards better and more easily. Possibly it was because I wasn't feeling as pressured by a deadline this time. Or maybe the time I spent on Pinterest looking at CAS ("clean and simple") cards by others sparked my creativity. Whatever the reason, I'm really pleased with these. Without further ado, here they are:

Card 9:  Lookie! Stenciling! A Pinterest session reminded me that I own stencils and should be using them! What better way to make a no-layer WOW card? I made a card base of Naturals white cardstock and grabbed my favorite stencil from Balzer Designs. I used a sponge dauber to randomly add Wisteria Wonder, Wild Wasabi, and Pool Party. I pulled a little bit of the design to the inside of the card, then finished it off by adding sentiments that were punched out with the Extra Large Oval punch and lightly sponged along the edges. The picture does not do the card justice!

Card 10:  This is pretty much the same as the previous card, except I used the colors Tempting Turquoise, Melon Mambo, and Daffodil Delight.

Card 11:  As I prepare to move in April, I'm finding all sorts of interesting things in my stash! Case in point, I found a ziplock bag full of card bases that were embossed for me by a stamping buddy prior to my winning a Big Shot. In the bag I found one card embossed with birthday greetings, took it out and ran with it. I just love the simplicity of this card, and the colors make it fun for any age!

Under the cupcake is the phrase "Make a Wish."

I included this picture to show the "Just For You" stamp on the back. I usually put my name or initials on cards I make myself, but I opted to use non-signature "hand made" stamps for this entire project. I can't explain why, it just felt right.

(By the way, am I the only one who thinks "minion" when seeing this much yellow in one place?)

Card 12:  These last two cards are meant to be EXTRA special because they are going to girls in the Philippines in celebration of both their birthdays and their graduations. I can't believe it didn't occur to me before this to make a card using Dazzles stickers. They're easy to work with and are a big WOW when paired with SU!'s shimmer white cardstock. 

The inside sentiment reads, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams."

Card 13:  This card is very similar to the above, but I decided to use a butterfly stamp from a newly acquired set by Hot Off the Press instead of the silver medallion Dazzles. I went through three drawers of embossing powders to find my favorite and the *perfect* one for this card; it's called Gold Fire Opal, and it is absolutely stunning on the shimmer white card base. Gold Fire Opal has a shiny gold base (no tinsel) with flecks of mostly red iridescence mixed in. When the light hits it just right, the effect is incredible. If you click to enlarge the picture below, you may catch some of what I'm trying to describe.

So there you have it, a year's worth of cards for children and young adults all over the world. This turned out to be a very good project for me, not only because it's a relief to finally have done something I've been wanting to do for years, but also because it forced me to re-think my style of cardmaking and try some new things. I'm very grateful to my friend for giving me this experience.


I've mentioned several times in the last few posts that I'm packing to move, but haven't said what it's all about. The good news is that the apartment complex I live in is being renovated, and some notable improvements are being made. The bad news is that I have to move off-site for three months while the contractors are working on the renovation, and then I repack anything I've needed and move back in; so I'm basically moving twice! We're being moved two buildings at a time, and mine is one of the first to be done. I'm told that the move to an off-site apartment will probably be mid-April, but I have to be ready to go on April 1st. The renovation is supposed to be done in 90 days, but they can't nail a date down until after the project has started. As you can see, there's lots of variables that are making for a lot of stress. My priority right now is to pack, pack, pack. However, I have no intention of packing up ALL of my crafting materials - I'd go insane if I couldn't stamp! - so you can expect blog posts to continue while I'm off property. My projects may not be particularly complicated, but they will be the best they can be with the materials I'll have on hand. Just think, in a year from now I'll be looking back on all this and laughing... I hope.

It's been a long weekend (I'm scheduling this post on Sunday night), and I need to sign off and go dream of - oh heck, I'm too tired to dream, LOL.

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

Sunday, March 2, 2014

My First Card in a Box!

If you're an active paper crafter or spend any time on Pinterest, no doubt you've seen the famous Card in a Box. It's a four-sided card that lays flat for mailing and becomes 3D when taken out of the envelope. 

Well, it captured my fancy, but I was feeling overwhelmed with all the different directions and tutorials out there, many of which are for Cards in Boxes that are of different proportions. Very confusing! Three-dimensional projects don't come easy to me to begin with, but add in the other factors as well as FBS (Fried Brain Syndrome) thanks to packing and getting ready to move, I knew I needed help.

Enter my friend Margie! I asked her if she had any interest in trying the project, and she said yes. Yay! Next I asked her if she would be able to talk ME through it, and she again said yes. Double Yay!

Friday night was the night. Margie and I got together using Skype (since she lives in Wisconsin and I'm in Ohio) and both made projects. We chose different designer series paper, stamps, and embellishments, so our cards look totally different. Let me start by showing you Margie's, since I think it turned out FABULOUS!

She used the stamp set Petal Parade (free during Stampin' Up!'s Sale-a-bration event which will be in swing until March 31), the Sweet Sorbet DSP (also a Sale-a-bration freebie), and some Pool Party and Crisp Cantalope twine (also free). Being the brilliant person she is, she thought to use punches rather than fussy-cutting the flowers - something that never crossed my mind. (See why I keep her around? LOL) She used Dazzles stickers to accent the flowers, and the dragonfly and butterfly are also Dazzles. I'm wild about how her Card in a Box turned out!

I'm also surprised at how well my own first attempt turned out! Take a look:

Below are some additional views. Click on any photo to make it larger.


And here's how it looks squashed down and partially in the envelope:

Like Margie, I started with a Sahara Sand card base. This is one of those very few times when I was not impressed with a Stampin' Up! product... because we both had issues with the Sahara Sand cardstock cracking on the folds. I've never had this problem with SU! cardstock before, so I hope it's just a weird coincidence that we both had difficulties last night. Luckily the cracks were hidden by the flowers and other embellishments, so it wasn't a big deal.

I stamped several flowers from the Flower Shop stamp set in Pool Party, Crisp Cantalope, Pistachio Pudding, and Summer Starfruit onto Whisper White. Next I decided I needed leaves to fill out my little flower bouquet, and pulled from my stash some die cuts a friend had cut for me from the Little Leaves sizzlit before I had a Big Shot of my own. Thanks to the poor lighting I had last night, I can't tell you which color green the leaves are, but it's not Pistachio Pudding (which would have been ideal if I had had the energy to dig my Big Shot out of a mountain of clutter!); my guess would be Sage Shadow, but I'm honestly not sure.

I started building up the bouquet with leaves and flowers. Deciding what should go where and how to adhere it without leaving stickiness on the backs of the images was the hardest part. Once that was done, the project seemed to need a little more something. A few Hershey's nuggets later, it occurred to me to punch some butterflies from coordinating card stock and add them to the bouquet. I felt the need for a sentiment or two, so used a couple of "incentive stamps" (promotional stamps that you can get only from your demonstrator) and punches to create them. I added one on the front and one on the back. The final steps were to add some Sale-a-bration twine and then some Star Dust Stickles to the flower centers. (I could have used Stampin' Up!'s Dazzling Details, but I just grabbed the closest bottle.)

I was so pleased with my project, and since I was having lunch with a dear friend on Saturday morning, I decided to brighten her day by giving her my Card in a Box. The look on her face was priceless and worth all the effort!

Already my head is spinning with dozens more ideas on both how I could make this design better and what I could do for future projects using other stamp sets, papers, and themes! I need more hours in a day to make more Cards in Boxes!! I hope to make at least a couple more before my stamping supplies get packed away for a few months.

Coming up tomorrow: Another batch of CAS (Clean and Simple) cards headed overseas

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

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Good As Gold

I was rather intrigued when I saw the Good As Gold card kit in the Sale-a-bration brochure. I prefer making my own cards from scratch, but there are still times when I need a no-brainer project to do.

Well, one of those times came a couple of weeks ago, and luckily I had this kit on hand. The kit comes with supplies enough to make eight 3.5" x 5" cards and coordinating envelopes -- if you follow the directions. Of course I didn't follow them exactly, so I got more than that; and not one of them look like the suggested picture.

Card 1:

Card 2:

Card 3:

Card 4:

Card 5:

Card 6:

Card 7:

Card 8:

Most of the cards above use the same kit pieces but are arranged differently. I love that sentiments in French and German are also included, and I decided to use all three languages on some of the cards. I neglected to take photos of the insides of the cards, but they all have at least one banner and one gold star. The envelopes are Sahara Sand with a gold foil liner to match the cards. (What else would you expect from Stampin' Up!?)

Notice something different about card 8? It's true confession time: Only *I* could screw up a kit card, LOL! Enough time has passed that I don't remember exactly what I did wrong, but I do remember it was something on the inside; and to fix it I ended up taking the card base and cutting it in half, then mounting part of it on a Basic Black card base. Now since the original card bases have the print on both front and back, I was left with an extra panel to work with... which brings us to 

Card 9:

It's a regular A2 card using the printed panel on just part of the front! The adorable cow is an image that someone stamped off for me a long time ago. I had it on my desk since I was going through a bag of pre-stamped images in preparation for another swap coming up, and I got the giggles when the thought occurred to me to use it here. The green ribbon is this year's In Colors ruffled stretch trim in Pistachio Pudding. The gold foil on the pattern really dresses the card up and gets your attention, while the cow just makes you laugh!

I had a lot of fun playing with this kit, so much so that I hope to get my hands on another kit. I'm not a big fan of the smaller card size, so it's safe to say I will be cutting up the card bases to make more A2s. I can think of plenty of was to use the gold foil envelope liners and envelopes separately, as well as all the other materials in the kit.

If you're interested in getting the Good As Gold kit free as a Sale-a-bration gift, just contact me (or your own demonstrator if you have one) to find out how to qualify. Sale-a-bration comes only once a year and concludes at the end of March, so don't miss out on the opportunity to get a freebie with every $50 of product you purchase.

with Smiles as Good As Gold,
Joyce Spear, a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

January 2014 Paper Pumpkin

January's Paper Pumpkin is a cute one, especially when you DON'T follow directions! Let me show you what I mean. Below is a picture of the kit the way Stampin' Up! suggests you assemble the cards:

Cute? Yes. But even cuter when you put the color on the outside of the card...!

Card 1:

Card 2:

Card 3:

Card 4:

See what I mean?

If you're wondering about the flowers on card 4, they're cork from the Sweet Sorbet Accessory Pack which is available as a free product during this year's Sale-a-bration event. (I'll be tickled pink to tell you more about this event if you're interested.)

Cards 1 and 3 also have some bonus product on them. Stampin' Up! is planning to pump up the Paper Pumpkin kits this year, but since the January kit was already in production by the time that decision was made, SU! decided to gift current Paper Pumpkin subscribers with a free full-size container of this year's In Color Boutique Details, valued at $8.95. Sweet!

If you're interested in subscribing to Paper Pumpkin, I would really like to be your demonstrator. Give a holler if you want more information, and I'll be happy to provide whatever you need to get started.

I have one last post and then I'll be caught up with everything I've done since the beginning of the new year... Yay! Tomorrow's post will feature the Good As Gold free Sale-a-bration card kit, so don't miss it!

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

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Playing with Washi Tape

Washi tape is COOL! I have all of the washi tapes from Stampin' Up! as well as plenty from other places, so I figured I was due for a washi session. I had fun putting together these six cards, and hope you enjoy them as well. The thing that stands out to me with washi tape is its simplicity -- how easy it is to use. That being said, I did have a bit of a learning curve, so I'll share with you a few things I discovered.

Card 1:  The first thing I learned was that washi tape makes great backgrounds! I started by placing one strip of tape at an angle, and from there it was easy enough to keep the angle by butting subsequent strips up against what was already laid down. I also learned that while many cards I've seen with washi tape sport torn-off ends, I prefer a cleaner look. The beauty of this card is that I could tuck the ends under the top panel, which both leaves a clean appearance and holds the tape down more firmly. I'm not sure I like the white doily die cut on top of the printed washi, and if I had to do the card over I'd put a solid cardstock circle under the doily. Live and learn!

(Click to enlarge any photo.)

Card 2:  Washi tape also makes a nice edging on a card or card layer. The sentiment on the front of this card is from Stampin' Up!'s second photopolymer stamp set, Bombs Away Birthday, destined to be a classic. I don't remember offhand which set the inside sentiment is from, (and I'll look it up if anyone needs to know), but I decided to use a kinder, gentler one.

Card 3:  This card uses SU! washi tape, as does the card directly above. I realized as I was placing the tape like I did for the first card that I could leave an open area to stamp a sentiment or whatever. Not exactly rocket science, I know, but sometimes I miss the obvious.

Card 4:  The chalkboard look is all the rage these days, so I decided to give it a shot. I learned while making this card that different looks can be created by pointing the design on the washi tape in different directions.

Card 5:  I discovered that washi makes a cool border when working with an ATC-sized panel as shown in both cards 5 and 6. (For those who haven't heard of ATCs, ATC is short for Artist Trading Card, a trading-card sized piece measuring 2.5" x 3.5".)

Card 6:  Finally, I discovered that if you're one who is a perfectionist like me about washi tape placement, you can pull it up and put it back down where you want it. The trick to remember, though, is that if you do this too often the tape loses its stickiness, so it's wise to use a bit of other adhesive to be sure the tape is stuck down properly.

If washi tape is new to you and you have questions, simply leave a comment and I'll get back to you with an answer.

Tomorrow's post will feature January's Paper Pumpkin cards. I hope you'll join me!

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

Monday, February 24, 2014

Floral District

I love the Floral District designer series paper by Stampin' Up! -- so much so that I bought multiple packages of it last year before it was retired and then even more this year when it showed up on the Clearance rack. The bold designs are fabulous, and I adore the bursts of color! I've made envelopes with this DSP, and they are such attention-grabbers!

The down side to having so much of this paper is that it takes up room, so in January, while doing some paper reorganizing, I decided to challenge myself to use up a pack. Here's what I came up with:

Card 1: I remembered that the DSP coordinates with the Betsy's Blossoms stamp set, so I pulled that out and used the bird image for the first time. After playing with the images in Betsy's Blossoms, I remember why I just HAD to have the set!

Card 2: This is simple card, as I let color and texture do all the work. I especially liked working with one big banner. Oranges are my least favorite colors, so it was a bit challenging for me to work on a Tangerine Tango card base. I think the envelope is a lot of fun, though.

Card 3: I really liked the big banner idea, so I decided to try another layout using it. The button is made from Stampin' Up!'s clay and mold (so easy to work with!) painted with iridescent paint.

Card 4: Here's another simple card that shows off the Flower Shop set and the Pansy punch. I used my bone folder to curl the petals so in real life this card has a lot of dimension. 

Card 5: Here's a simple any occasion card created by layering lots of different shapes.

Card 6: Here's another card created by layering shapes. I like it even better than Card 5 despite the Tangerine Tango. :)

Card 7: Once again, I created a very simple card and let the color do the work. I enjoyed pulling out the Papillon Potpourri stamp set and butterfly punches,

Card 8: Pretty much the same as Card 7 except for the (less orange!) colors.

Card 9: With banners being all the rage, I decided to use up some narrow scraps to create this fun card. I used a bone folder to curl the banners outward for a fun effect.

Card 10: This is my favorite in this batch of cards. I think the three little bits of bling add so much to an already-fun card.

If you have any questions about these cards, just leave a comment and I'll get back to you right away. I'd also be tickled pink to get your feedback! I hope you had as much fun looking at these cards as I did making them!

Next post: Cards made using Washi Tape. I think you'll be surprised at some of the ideas I came up with!

Bright smiles,
Joyce Spear (a.k.a. StamperJoyce)