Monday, January 31, 2011

Unity Guest Designer Monday {Jan 31st}

Yup, today is the day. I'm extremely happy to have had this incredible opportunity to design for such an amazing company. These past two months have been insane but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Unity has given me so much and I'm very thankful for all the fans, followers and friends alike who have supported me and cheered me on! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

My first card uses the lovely tall flower image from To the Moon & Back, paired with a sentiment from She Did It Anyway. Sometimes I just need to make an easy one-layer card! ;) My Copics were also begging to be used and I added some sparkle to the "pixie dust" for visual interest.

This second card took me weeks to finish but not because it was labour intensive. I actually had the frame stamped and ready to go three weeks ago and forgot all about it. This is the same frame from Breathless that I featured twice last Monday without the sentiment in the centre! Versatile? Most definitely.

Stamped on acetate, I stitched around the oval with red metallic thread and filled it with shiny red hearts. I would have to change it to "Short, Cute & Mine" to give it to my husband though. LOL

The background was created using Giving It All Meaning and the floral-text border from To the Moon & Back. While creating this card, I discovered that fussy-cutting two layers of acetate at the same time is much easier than fussy-cutting one layer of cardstock! Imagine that.

This last card uses one of my favourite Unity stamps of all time, the damask from Happily Ever After. I absolutely love using this image to create my own patterned paper (which you can see here, here, here, here and here). The focal sentiment is from When I Am With You and I framed it with whimsical red stitches and torn edges which are also sponged.

Sources for Today is the Day: GinaK 120lb pure luxury White cardstock; Unity January 2011 Kit of the Month - To the Moon & Back; Unity+Melody Ross She Did It Anyway; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Copics; SU 1-3/8" circle punch; Ranger Diamond Stickles

Sources for Tall Dark & Mine: GinaK pure luxury Black Onyx cardstock; SU Real Red & Whisper White cardstock; acetate from Papertrey Ink packaging; Unity Giving It All Meaning; Unity January 2011 Kit of the Month - To the Moon & Back; Unity+Marah Johnson Breathless; SU Riding Hood Red ink; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Stazon Jet Black ink; Gutermann metallic red thread; sewing machine; shiny red hearts from stash; SU Basic Rhinestones; Stampin' Dimensionals

Sources for I Love You: GinaK pure luxury Kraft cardstock; SU Early Espresso & Naturals Ivory cardstock; Unity July 2010 Kit of the Month - Happily Ever After; Unity September 2010 Kit of the Month - When I Am With You; SU Riding Hood Red & Crumb Cake ink; Memento Rich Cocoa ink; SU tearing edge; sewing machine; Ranger Blending Tool; Stampin' Dimensionals

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Twinery: January Project

Updated February 1, 2011 to include a Video Tutorial!
Click HERE or scroll down to watch it within the post.

It's time for my January Design Team Project for The Twinery! This is a Valentine necklace and I thought these would be so much fun to make for the little girls in my life. The way I usually come up with colour combinations is for them to accidentally come together and the way that most often happens is with my ink pads. When I put them away or pull them out and stack them, I'm usually surprised by how pretty certain colours look together and this was one of those times. As it happened, The Twinery offers baker's twine in these same colours!

First, I assembled all my supplies which are the twine (of course!), buttons (or other embellishment), paper (or other medium), stamps, punches, adhesive and scissors. Then I cut three feet of twine in Pink Sorbet, Mandarin and Lemondrop. I figured two feet was enough but it's important to leave slack for loops and knots. It's better to have more than to come up short in the end! I pulled my inks and started stamping various hearts in two sizes in each of the three colours. This is how they looked before assembly.

Here they've been paired up and holes have been punched for the buttons and twine to be threaded through them.

Having designed jewellery and hair accessories before, I knew I wanted a sort of accent at the ends so I created knots and threaded pink buttons back-to-back with the Mandarin and Lemondrop twine, leaving the Pink Sorbet free in the centre. I tied another knot to enclose the pairing and started threading the hearts.

With each heart pairing, I added a button in the colour that was not represented in the hearts and used the corresponding twine colour to hold the trio in place. One by one, all colours are represented and in a sequential order. It may look random but it's not! The other two colours of twine not threaded through remain aligned at the back since they are all used every third heart. After seven sets of hearts are attached, I created the same knot-button-knot sequence to finish.

To create a clasp, I attached a larger button to one end and a duffle coat loop to the other.

Since these necklaces are going to preschool girls, I made sure there was no chance of any of these buttons coming loose, hence the design of this necklace. The edges of the hearts are also smooth and will not cause paper cuts of any sort. I can count on that with Gina K Designs' 120lb pure luxury cardstock!

All the pink buttons are from my local dollar store which was an incredible find since they are so unique.

Here's the back view where you can see that the entire necklace is one continuous strand.

And one last look at the finished necklace. :)

Here's a quick video tutorial if you'd like to try this for yourself! :)

Have you seen the new colours at The Twinery? There's a baby pink called Blossom, a black called Charcoal and a pale chartreuse green called Honeydew. They are beautiful and sure to become your new staples! There's a big giveaway on The Twinery Blog through Saturday, January 29th and the code NEWCOLORS will get you 25% off your entire order through Sunday, January 30th!

Enjoy your weekend!!!

Sources: GinaK 120lb pure luxury White cardstock; Papertrey Ink Heart Prints; SU Rose Red, Tangerine Tango & Summer Sun inks; EK Success Large and Medium Heart punches; Marvy-Uchida 1/8" long reach circle punch; The Twinery baker's twine in Pink Sorbet, Mandarin & Lemondrop; Basic Grey buttons (orange and yellow); Forever in Time buttons (pink); Papertrey Ink buttons (yellow)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Unity Hip Hop {Jan 27th}

This is my second post of the day.
For the Pink Cat Studio Wonderland Release,
please scroll down or click HERE.

This is my last Hip Hop with the Unity Design Team! I'm really going to miss hopping with these amazing ladies!! Be sure to start at the Unity Blog for all the details!

Today, I have six quick cards to show you. When I say quick, I mean I made them all in one hour! I made them for my husband so I can pop them in his bag to give him a smile while he's at work and away from his two most favourite people in the world. ;) I tried to mix and match stamps from the two most recent Kits of the Month with some of my favourite co-brand stamps. It was a lot of fun making these and I'm not sure why I never tried this before because I would find it truly uplifting to receive one of these! Hint, hint. (I'm not sure if my husband still reads my blog but just in case. LOL)

The largest card is 5" x 5" and uses one of my favourite images from all of the Marah Johnson sets, the chandelier from Breathless, with a sentiment from Favorite Things.

The rest of the cards are 4" x 4" and this one uses an image and sentiments from the January Kit - To the Moon & Back.

This next card uses a frame and sentiment from the December 2010 Kit - Just Be You.

There are a lot of images I haven't used from Picture Perfect and this couch was one of them. I paired it with a sentiment from To the Moon & Back. There was a bit of paper piecing involved in this card and the next.

This card uses just one image from an Iron Orchid Designs set called Be Still. I love the way it looks on its own.

I ordered two Melody Ross sets while they were on sale last week and I received them yesterday. I couldn't wait to ink up this image from She Sprouted Wings. I paired her with a sentiment from Favorite Things.

Thank you so much for all of your support and enthusiasm during my two months as Guest Designer for the Unity Stamp Company! I will see you once more on Monday for my very last post on the Unity Blog. :)

Now it's time to Hip Hop on over to
Julie's fabulous blog

Sources: GinaK 120lb pure luxury White cardstock; SU Whisper White cardstock; Unity+Marah Johnson Breathless; Unity March 2010 Kit of the Month - Favorite Things; Unity December 2010 Kit of the Month - Just Be You; Unity January 2011 Kit of the Month - To the Moon & Back; Unity+Iron Orchid Designs Be Still Beloved Collection; Unity+Melody Ross She Sprouted Wings; Unity November 2010 Kit of the Month - Picture Perfect; SU Riding Hood Red ink; Memento Tuxedo Black ink

Pink Cat Studio ~ Jan 27th Digi Release!

After a short break last week, Pink Cat Studio is back with another sweet release! Fans of Alice in Wonderland are going to love today's new digis! Melissa has drawn Lily as Alice, Billy as The Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and beautiful Stacked Tea Cups. I had grand plans to make cards with all of them but with my lack of time and energy to play, I just have one.

First, I coloured in Alice with my Copics. Since she's holding a teacup, I thought it would be fun to pair Alice with some signs to a tea party like they have in the story. Alice in Wonderland is a bit absurd in its humour and I wanted to convey some of that fun here. I used a new set of nesties I received for Christmas and impressed the layers with circles as if she just fell down the rabbit hole.

Then I die cut and stamped the tickets in colours to match the card base and Alice. I threaded some twine through the buttons and attached all the pieces on to the card base with strong adhesive. Alice is popped on with dimensionals.

Thanks for stopping by today! Pink Cat Studio will have another Valentine release next Thursday and you are going to love it!!

Sources: SU Tempting Turquoise & Real Red cardstock; GinaK 120lb pure luxury White cardstock; Pink Cat Studio Lily as Alice; Papertrey Ink Just the Ticket; SU Riding Hood Red, Elegant Eggplant & Tempting Turquoise inks; Copics; Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Fourteen; Papertrey Ink Sunshine impression plate; QuicKutz Epic Six; Forever in Time button (purple); Basic Grey button (pink); The Twinery baker's twine in Maraschino & Caribbean; Scor-Tape; Stampin' Dimensionals

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Year of the Rabbit on Bikes

As explained in my previous post, Chinese New Year begins next Thursday. The same friend who ordered bicycle-themed Christmas for his clients in 2010 and 2009, emailed me yesterday to ask for a Chinese New Year card for one of his major business partners in Taiwan. I'll explain why I made two versions.

I was excited to ink up more of my new Hero Arts bicycle stamps. For these two cards, I used one bike from each of the sets Joy Ride and Bicycles with bunnies from All Night Media and Papertrey Ink. The company whose owner this card is going to manufacturers road bikes but I really wanted to use the rabbit that faces left and the road bikes on both these sets face right. I knew I had another bunny in my stash somewhere from eons ago and that's when I decided I would make two versions for my client to choose from.

Here's a closer look at the beach cruiser with the rabbit on the banana seat! I did a tiny bit of masking so the rabbit sits on the seat snuggly.

Here's a close up of the bunny on the road bike. I sent my friend the photos and told him that I could remove the rabbits or make other versions. He said he preferred the one with the road bike since that was more accurate but he had to think about the consequences of sending it with a bunny butt. LOL

After a short deliberation, my friend decided that his colleague would appreciate the bunny butt. LOL

Sources: GinaK 120lb pure luxury White cardstock; SU Whisper White & Real Red cardstock; Hero Arts Joy Ride; Hero Arts Bicycles; Papertrey Ink Tiny Treats: Valentine; Papertrey Ink Simple Alphabet; All Night Media 351A; SU Riding Hood Red ink; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Copics

Chinese New Year RAK from Angela

Yesterday, I received this lovely surprise from Angela! In the Chinese tradition, the New Year is the biggest holiday, i.e. bigger than Christmas. The Year of the Rabbit begins on February 3rd this year and we'll be celebrating with a big feast, cakes and the exchange of money in red envelopes.

Angela said these were her first attempts at Chinese New Year projects and I think they are perfect. She used as much red as she could and even included the rabbit. ;) No one other than my husband has ever made or sent me a Chinese New Year card. This means so much more to me than you'll ever know, Ang, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Unity Guest Designer Monday with a Video Tutorial {Jan 24th}

Today is the start of my very last week as Guest Designer for Unity Stamp Company! It makes me so sad but I say with great joy that it's been an amazing two months. Okay, I won't get ahead of myself. I'll save that speech for next Monday! ;) Both of today's cards use the beautiful PDCC65 colours and feature stamps from the newest Unity co-brand Marah Johnson. I love these big, bold and beautiful stamps because they are so easy to use!

I started this card by creating a mask to cover the outside border and taped that in place. Then I used two sheets of paper to mask off the different sections that were stamped alternately with Hearts of Old and Giving It All Meaning to create the background. For the frame, I used an image from the new Marah Johnson release Breathless but I removed the sentiment in the centre with an X-acto knife. I made several versions with these three colours to determine which one looked best and you'll see in my second card that I used the green frame since I couldn't let it go to waste. The sentiment comes from the Marah Johnson sets Moxie and Harmony. I finished by stitching a thick grey border around the masked background and attaching the frame and sentiments with dimensionals. I used the same foil I used for this card behind the sentiment because my husband suggested the background showing through the centre of the frame 'confused' him. See? Sometimes I do listen to my husband. LOL I could explain how well that mirror effect works with all the elements in this card but that would be getting way too philosophical for someone who hasn't had much sleep. :Þ

As explained above, this second card uses the same Marah Johnson frame from Breathless, except it's green and mounted in its original vertical position. The length of the frame makes it perfect for the shape of this card which is 6.5" x 3.25", as well as for featuring this long {puffy} heart from Samantha Walker's With All My Heart.

And now for the video tutorial on how I make my puffy paper hearts! Unity has so many great hearts with which to make these because they are large, vary in both shape and style, and so easy to mix and match with stamps from other sets. After you watch this super quick tutorial, I think you'll be amazed at how easy it is. I hope you'll be inspired to make a few for your own projects. Please let me know if you do because I'd love to see them!! Plus, there's no better time since I'm the Featured Stamper this week on Splitcoaststampers. :)

Sources for Create Harmony: SU Naturals Ivory; Aitoh silver origami paper; Unity Hearts of Old; Unity Giving It All Meaning; Unity+Marah Johnson Breathless; Unity+Marah Johnson Moxie; Unity+Marah Johnson Harmony; SU Tangerine Tango, Old Olive & Basic Grey ink; Versafine Smokey Grey ink; Ranger Blending Tool; X-acto knife; Gutermann grey thread; sewing machine; Stampin' Dimensionals

Sources for So Happy Together: SU Naturals Ivory; Unity+Marah Johnson Breathless; Unity+Samantha Walker With All My Heart; SU Tangerine Tango, Old Olive & Basic Grey ink; Versafine Smokey Grey ink; Ranger Blending Tool; Gutermann ivory thread; sewing machine

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I'm Splitcoaststampers' Featured Stamper!

Imagine my surprise when messages started flowing into my inbox this morning every couple of minutes! At first I was puzzled because I hadn't updated my Splitcoaststampers gallery in a couple of months. Then I saw the mention of a Featured Stamper and that certain cards were being cased. Oh, that would be me!!! Wow, someone please pinch me!

Thank you to Beth Silaika for choosing me as this week's Featured Stamper. I'm truly honoured to join this special group and I'm humbled that so many talented individuals are casing my cards this week. It feels incredible when I go to the FS207 gallery and see all these cards modelled after mine! Wow. Thank you so much to everyone who has already played. Even if it takes me a week or two (LOL), I will definitely be commenting on everyone's card in the gallery because I am really feeling the love! If you have time to play this week, I'd love to see which of my cards you'd case and how!

That's it for today. I will have a special post for you tomorrow! It includes my second video tutorial and you can probably guess what it's about. ;) Have a great evening and I'll see you in the morning.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Song in My Heart

Hello, how are you doing? I'm still battling extreme exhaustion and I'm afraid I've developed a bit of insomnia but I'm trying desperately to find a solution because I'm not having any fun! I haven't been crafted all week (all my posts were scheduled) but I've been jotting down a lot of ideas in my little journal. In a rare moment when I had some energy, I started tidying up the small area where I keep my craft supplies and found these notecards. I made these back in November and completely forgot them about so I thought I would post them now for your enjoyment. :)

I used the wonderful Ippity set Sing a New Song to make this set of notecards. I started by stamping the scalloped border on all four sides, double-stamped the sprigs in a darker shade of green and then the sentiment in black. These were so quick and easy to make! It only takes a couple of minutes to make each notecard and these could easily be replicated for quick, economical gifts. It would also be fun to swap out the sprigs and sentiment for the music notes and alternate sentiment in this set.

Sources: SU Whisper White cardstock; Ippity Sing a New Song; SU Wild Wasabi & Garden Green inks; Memento Tuxedo Black ink

Friday, January 21, 2011

Unity FWF Blog Hop {Jan 21st}

Happy Friday! Does anyone have special plans for the weekend? I know mine will be busy and, if all goes well, I'll be able to tell you about it next week! ;) Be sure to start at the Unity Blog for a list of participants and leave a comment on the blog with the FWF blinkie for a chance to win 25 random Unity stamps!

My card uses this week's Hip Hop Sketch Challenge #41 and one of the amazing Suzi Blu stamps. This one is called Love is the Whole Point and it's perfect for Valentine's Day or any other day to cheer up someone you love! Speaking of Suzi Blu, have you seen all her NEW stamps? I love so many of them and Party Love is next on my list of must-haves. I hope you'll have one or two in your shopping cart before the free shipping deal ends!

I don't often make round cards. Okay, that might be never but I couldn't resist this one and I thought it would be the perfect time to ink up this beauty. I stamped the entire image once and coloured it with Copics after die cutting the circle. I inked up the tail section two more times for the brown sections of the sketch and coloured those to match. Then I die cut those to line up with the scalloped card base. Before adhering everything in place, I sponged around the edges of the white circle. I'm totally addicted to my blending tool and wish I had bought one ages ago!

Your next stop on this blog hop
is the fabulous Lisa Henke!

Sources: GinaK pure luxury Kraft & 120lb pure luxury White cardstock; Unity+Suzi Blu Love is the Whole Point; Memento Tuxedo Black ink; Copics; Spellbinders Nestabilities Standard Circles Large & Classic Scalloped Circles Large; QuicKutz Epic Six; Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Antique Linen; Ranger Blending Tool