Tuesday, November 11, 2014

First Christmas Card of the Season

I'm excited to show you my first card of the holiday 2014 season! And I'm even more excited to announce that I've won a seat in the coolest class, A Very Trendy Holiday 2.0! There is no doubt in my mind that this class will be a huge inspiration to me as I work on this year's cards and tags.

So this card popped into my head as I was reading and watching videos about using stencils. Full disclosure: The background was the inspired part, but the rest was a bit of a struggle. I think it came out okay, though.



I started out with a stencil by Memory Box and some Shaded Lilac and Salty Ocean distress inks. After gently tapping the color through the delicate stencil onto Distress Watercolor Cardstock, I spritzed it with a wee bit of water to soften up the look of it. (D'oh! It would have been even cooler if I had used a shimmer spray.) I chose Lovely Lilac (retired) for the base of the card and the large snowflake. I embossed the snowflake from Festive Flurry using white Zing embossing powder, then layered it onto a circle of Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper that I sponged the edges of to make it stand out a bit from the background. I attached this piece with Stampin' Dimensionals. The sentiments on the front banner as well as the inside are from the photopolymer set Endless Wishes. I added some small circles of matching glimmer paper to jazz things up a bit. Here's the inside:



I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do next, but I'm sure a little bit more time in the class will get me going!

Snowy smiles,
Joyce Spear / StamperJoyce
                  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cat-Themed ATC Book

Here's a project I've been working on FURever!  

Six of us got together many months ago (when I was much younger) and decided to do a swap that (1) had to have five cat-themed Artist Trading Cards, and (2) had to bind the five ATCs together somehow. The other five ladies did their projects over the summer while I was going through the ordeal of moving twice because my apartment building was being renovated. They told me not to worry about it, just get mine done and mailed whenever I could. They know me well enough to correctly predict that I would put a lot of effort into it and the wait would be worth it. I never dreamed this would drag into November!

Anyway, here are photos of the project. (Remember, you can click on any picture to see a larger version of it.):





The individual cards:






The individual pages/pockets in the book with their corresponding ATCs:







The majority of the stamps in this project are from two of Raisin Boat's stamp sets, Purrsonality and Cattitude. The cute cat on the cover is a digital stamp by Hambo Stamps. There's one stamp, a decorative border, in the Butterfly stamp set from Hot Off the Press. If you see anything else you'd like to know more about, please let me know.

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What's next? you ask. Well, I've got a lot of projects rattling around in my head. I have some thank-you cards to make, and of course a ton of Christmas/holiday cards. StampNation is having a Christmas card swap, and I've decided to participate in that. I also want to make a batch of gift tags for a friend of mine to use for her Christmas presents. And then there are the dozen birthday cards I want to make as a gift for a friend whose birthday was back in August. Hmmm... think I have enough to keep me busy?

I'm still haven't made much progress with unpacking, but a friend moved a whole bunch of boxes around for me a few days ago and helped me find my heat tool, SU! marker set, and a bunch of other stuff I've been seriously missing. The only thing I'm desperate to find now is my craft mat. I need to clone myself so that I can unpack and make cards and tags all at the same time!

Smiles,
Joyce Spear / StamperJoyce
          

Saturday, October 25, 2014

World Card Making Day 2014, plus a Special Announcement

I am SO excited to announce a life-altering change in my creative life! In short, I've joined the most incredible community of papercrafters at StampNation! WooHooo!!

So what is StampNation, you ask? For me, it's home - a place I've been looking for for as long as I can remember, where I can learn by interacting with some leading designers via forums, galleries, challenges, classes, and swaps while getting feedback and ideas from other card-makers like myself worldwide... and where I can support and feel supported by others who really care about me as a person. The women here are the kindest and most caring people I've seen in any stamping community anywhere, and I'm proud they call me Sistah!


I signed up for StampNation about a month ago, and already I've learned so much! So far, most of what I've learned has been through the forums and by participating in some challenges, primarily for World Card Making Day, but I've just experienced the tip of the iceberg of what is available at SN. I'm not here to sell StampNation, only to warn you that the cards I post here will be getting even better and will probably be more indicative of current trends, if you're interested in such things.

So, speaking of World Card Making Day (WCMD), it was on Saturday, October 4th this year. I wasn't able to join the festivities at StampNation that weekend, but I did participate in some of the challenges the week after. The following cards are the result of those challenges.

Card 1
In one challenge, I was inspired by a photo of Niagara Falls - or more specifically, the rainbow over it.


The rainbow swooshes and "Be happy" are from my favorite Raisin Boat stamp set called Strokes of Wisdom. I was having trouble getting the black butterfly (a Martha Stewart punch) to stand out over the rainbow until I saw a couple of cards on SN that had a window cut out from a raised panel with a focal image inside the window. This inspired me to do something similar on this card. I'm very happy with how this card turned out, especially after the bling was added. Here's the inside (with verse blurred to respect the source, also Raisin Boat*):


Card 2
Another challenge led me to think about the New York skyline, and here's the card that came from that:


The skyline stamp is from a photopolymer Stampin' Up! set called Calling All Heroes. I stamped it over a background sponged with Strawberry Slush, Melon Mambo, Perfect Plum, Elegant Eggplant, and Blackberry Bliss. The stars (yep, that's what those dots are supposed to be) are Whisper White (or were before they dried, lol). The sentiment was cut from a die in SU!'s Label Card thinlit set. The inside, stamped with Blackberry Bliss:


Cards 3 and 4
For another set of cards, I took inspiration from colors in a photo of the Golden Pavillion in Japan, which also happen to be Autumn colors:




The card bases are Cajun Craze, a color I usually detest but which worked great for these projects. The brightly colored papers are from SU!'s Color Me Autumn DSP, with the coordinating ink colors of Mossy Meadow, Blackberry Bliss, Cajun Craze, Crushed Curry, and Soft Suede. Fall Fest is the photopolymer SU! set, and the leaves were cut out with the coordinating Fun Fall Framelits. Additional accents include gold 1/8" ribbon, Autumn Wooden Elements, Crushed Curry candy dots, and the ever-useful Stampin' Dimensionals.

Card 5
And finally, here's a card inspired by the flowers of The Netherlands, which I also used for the birthday of one of my favorite people:


I used embossed Primrose Petals cardstock for the card base, and embossed an oval in Whisper White as the base for the flowers. This oval was layered onto a larger Raspberry Ripple oval. The flowers and leaves were stamped with Raisin Boat's Asian Serenity Bold set in Primrose Petals, Raspberry Ripple, Gumball Green, and Summer Starfruit. Before adhering the flowers with Tombow Mono Multi (liquid "froot loop glue"), I rolled my bone folder across the back of each of the petals to curve them, then stuck Dimensionals under them to help them keep the curl. The flower centers have clear Wink of Stella on them. The sentiment is white Dazzles stickers. The inside (with sentiment blurred to respect the source, which is Raisin Boat again*):


*I should mention that the inside sentiments by Raisin Boat are actually part of one of their products called "Innies and Outies" which contains eight inside panels with unique sentiments on nice white cardstock with eight matching envelopes. They come in a variety of themes, including birthday, congrats, and sympathy. It's a handy product!

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So that's what I've been up to lately! Well, that and the ATC swap I'm still working on, and which will probably be my next post. I'd be honored if you left a comment to tell me what you think, or at least let me know you were here!

Smiles,
Joyce Spear / StamperJoyce
           

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Catching Up with Posting

I see my last post was at the end of June, so I have some catching up to do. This post will cover projects completed in July just before I had to move again. (For new subscribers: My apartment was renovated by the building owners this summer, so I was moved off-site to a temporary apartment in early April, then moved back here on July 26th. Can you say "nightmare"?)


Project 1:  A JAM

A JAM is a set of three ATCs completed by three people, where one person starts it by supplying three identical bases as a starting point, a second person adds to them, and a third person finishes them up and sends the finished cards to the other two players while keeping one for herself.

I forgot to take a picture of the bases I got when they arrived from the first person, but here they are after I added my contribution of silver Dazzles stickers and corner bling:


and then the completed JAM:


Thank you to Lori and Margie for playing! There's no telling what will happen with three cooks in the kitchen (so to speak), but I think in this case the JAM was a success!


Project 2:  Birthday card for my friend Chris

Front:

Card is made with the new Stampin' Up! set Age Awareness, which I totally adore!  Here's the inside:



Project 3:  Birthday card for Margie

Front:

For this card I used both Age Awareness and a Raisin Boat stamp set called Guilty Pleasures. I colored the ice cream and cake with Derwent Inktense pencils. (Remember, you can always click a picture to see it enlarged.)


Here's the little added sentiment at the bottom:



Project 4:  4th of July card

I wish I could take full credit for this card, but in reality it a CASE from Sandi MacIver, whose video you can see here. I wasn't able to find my glimmer paper, so I punched some stars and used Wink of Stella on them.





And finally, Project 5:  Work of Art

I can't begin to express how much I love, love, LOVE this set! It is just so much FUN!  Lookie!:

Card 1:

(Yeah, I know I got a little carried away with the sequins on this one. Oops!)



Card 2:

(Whew! Glad I got those sequins under control!)


Card 3:

The colors I chose to work with are four of Stampin' Up!'s 2013-2015 In Colors - Strawberry Slush, Pistachio Pudding, Crisp Cantaloupe, and Coastal Cabana. I think it's pretty cool that SU! came out with sequins in these colors this year!


Card 4:

Notice the wavy edges on the white layer? Those were done by converting my Stampin' Trimmer into a rotary trimmer and using the small scallop blade. Super easy way to add such a nice touch! Hmmm... I'm still not too sure about the three lines of rhinestones on this one.


Card 5:


Card 6:


Card 7:

This card came together so quickly that I felt guilty about it for awhile, until a friend pointed out that it's very CAS (Clean and Simple) style, which is big these days in the stamping community. Bet you didn't think you'd be seeing something trendy here, did you? Me, either.



Card 8:


Not bad for a couple evenings of just playing around, huh?

I won't torture you with my usual question, "Which is your favorite?" - but if you want to leave a comment about any of these cards, or if you have a question, just let me know.

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Stay tuned for my next blog post, which is just around the corner since I already have some NEW cards made. Hold on to your hats, too, because there will be a Special Announcement I can't wait to share with you, (but will). LOL!

With hopes you're having a delightful Autumn in your corner of the world,
Joyce Spear, a.k.a. Stamper Joyce
     

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Raisin Boat: Strokes of Wisdom

I've been really enjoying all of the Raisin Boat stamps I've had my hands on so far, but I have to say Strokes of Wisdom is my absolute favorite!! I just love the freehand swooshes and shapes, the bold lettering, and the wonderful selection of little phrases that add so much. It reminds me a lot of Stampin' Up!'s new set Work of Art, but it has a whole different personality. I'm happy to say I'm the proud owner of both, and I'm looking forward to seeing if they play well together.

I decided to keep this batch of cards pretty simple so that the stamps could speak for themselves. I made a total of four cards, with the first three being quite similar:





The only differences are in how close the swooshes are to each other, whether the corners are square or rounded, and whether the edges of the front panel are sponged with yellow or not.

Here's the inside of the cards:



This last card is the result of me not paying attention while I was stamping. The flower centers are blue instead of yellow, and the accent circles are yellow instead of blue. I prefer it the other way around, but it still makes a cute card!



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So, that's the end of my first round of Raisin Boat cards. My next two stamp rentals were mailed today and will be arriving very soon. While I'm looking forward to playing with them, I'm also looking forward to playing with Work of Art and other of my new SU! stamp sets and toys while I wait!

Celebratory Smiles,
Joyce Spear / StamperJoyce
               

Friday, June 27, 2014

Raisin Boat: Free as a Bird

The other set that arrived from Raisin Boat at the same time as Cattitude was Free as a Bird. Then few days after I purchased Cattitude, the next set on my list arrived, and there was no way getting around it: Strokes of Wisdom was a keeper. As soon as I submitted payment for that set, Raisin Boat sent me the fourth set on my list, Growing Love, which also got added to my personal collection.

I really like the Free as a Bird set, and so had to have a stern talk with myself about the practicality of buying EVERY set that Raisin Boat sends me. Once I made up my mind that I would not be buying it, I was motivated to get stamping, i.e. to use the set as much as I could while I had it. 

In my "Art Survival Kit" I had a bunch of card bases ready to go, so I decided to work with the purple ones: Lavender Lace (retired) for three of them and Almost Amethyst (also retired) for the last. I did my stamping with Elegant Eggplant onto Whisper White, and then used dies (Ovals Collection, Apothecary Accents) and punches (Word Window, Modern Label) to cut out the shapes. 

Card 1:



The little heart stamp, which is not part of the Free as a Bird set, was borrowed from Growing Love. Silver Dazzles add a touch of class.

Cards 2 and 3:



The decorative Elegant Eggplant panel is embossed with a Feathers embossing folder. The two cards are essentially the same, with the only difference being that one is on a textured cardstock base. The Dazzles once again add a lot to the cards.

Card 4:



This simple card speaks for itself.

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The next batch of Clean and Simple cards are identical except for the colors of the card bases. My first one was on Crumb Cake:




On Baja Breeze:


and the full set:


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It was hard to mail Free as a Bird back because it's such a pretty set, but I reminded myself that if I want to use the set again, it's easy enough to put it on my Pick List or to buy it.

In my next blog post I'll be featuring one more set of Raisin Boat cards before I shift back to Stampin' Up! stamps. I'd be interested to hear what my readers think about Raisin Boat and the stamp rental idea! Any comments would be appreciated!

As for me, it's time for some stamping therapy!

Smiles,
Joyce Spear / StamperJoyce