Monday, August 31, 2009

Quick Christmas Card

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was fabulous! Don was home all weekend long...something that we haven't had ALL summer long! Usually, he is up and out of the house well before I can even think about opening my eyes. It was really nice to open my eyes and see him next to me...for two days in a row no less! Adam and I went to the mall and finished up school shopping for him. The boys have one more week before they start back to school. I've already started with my PTA stuff and been up to the school a couple of times in the past week. I'm looking forward to getting back into a daily routine. With the two businesses, I need those quiet hours to get things done. Enough rambling....on with the card!
Yes...I'll say it's never too soon to get started on your Christmas cards and projects! Here's a super quick card that is sure to please!

This card uses Very Vanilla card stock for the base and the framed panel. For the panel, I cut my card stock to 3-5/8" x 4-1/2". "Christmas" is stamped in Garden Green by markering just it from the stamp found in the Heard From the Heart set. I trimmed just below that and then markered around the edge to create the frame. I markered "Merry" from Teeny Tiny Wishes. No one said that you can't mix and match your sentiments. I happen to like the difference in fonts. The tree is from the Snow Swirled set. The three emerald Fashion Jewels just seem to balance the entire frame out. The panel is up on Dimensionals. I adhered a length of Very Vanilla Taffeta ribbon to the bottom of the card base.

What do you think? Ready to get started on your holiday cards? I sure hope you've been inspired! Thanks for stopping by.

Coming this week...the new Serene Snowflakes, found in the Holiday Mini catalog that will be released on September 1st. I have used one snowflake...four different ways. Check back all week to see how.

Until then,

Hugs ~Leslee~

Friday, August 28, 2009

Finally....some Razzle Dazzle!

Admittedly, my Razzle Dazzle set has not seen much ink. I've had a difficult time with what to do with it. I'll set it in front of me and stare at it blankly. Just hoping that some sort of inspiration will well up in just hasn't. All that changed. I was playing 'sketch up' and came across the Fall-to Layout #55 over at the Clean & Simple Stamping blog. It was the Razzle Dazzle inspiration that I've been waiting for! I took one look at that layout and knew immediately what set I would use! Yes! Finally! And I love the way the card turned out!

There was a slight requirement for this sketch...the bottom panel is to feature some DIY stamped paper and the sentiment panel feature a coordinating image.
My card base is Bermuda Bay. I stamped the floral stamp in Crushed Curry and Bermuda Bay onto a Very Vanilla panel to create my DIY paper. I first 'stamped off' the Bermuda Bay before stamping it onto the Very Vanilla panel so that it wouldn't be so bold. I didn't want it to drown out the Curry. The same floral stamp was used on the sentiment panel. The sentiment is from Kind & Caring Thoughts and stamped in Bermuda Bay. The button treatment is simply a Saffron button with a turquoise rhinestone brad in the center. I placed several thin strips of Crushed Curry cs behind the button for added interest. You can't say that I don't use my scraps!! Here's a close up of the button treatment...
(click image to enlarge)
So, what do you think? Great layout? I think so! Thanks Natasha! Clever use of the Razzle Dazzle set? You betcha! Finally.....
Thanks for taking a look. Inspiration can come from many places! We just need to open our minds to see it.
Hugs ~Leslee~

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inspired by Shoes & Bags

What's this you ask? Well, this week's CAS challenge #29 is an inspiration challenge. We are to draw inspiration from Anthropologie:Shoes and Bags. What a great site! I'd love to be able to afford some of these shoes, boots and bags! Here is the bag that inspired me, Crochet Craft Bag. Figures it would be a 'craft' bag and very pricey. None the less, it inspired this card...
I loved the colors of the inset design, how it bowed in the center, and the large flower placed in the center with the two smaller ones at top and bottom. So, I knew I had to stick with that. I used Very Vanilla for the base and it is the perfect back drop for the Regal Rose and Sage Shadow panel. I used the corner rounder punch to scallop the panel edges and the 1/8" circle punch in each scallop. The flowers are from the One of a Kind set and stamped in Regal Rose. The Vanilla 5/16" brads in the centers bring it all together. The sentiment is from Kind & Caring Thoughts (hostess set).

I love the simplicity of this card. Remember, it is for the CAS (Clean & Simple) challenge. Let me know what you think. Your comments are welcome. I love to read them.

I hope you've been inspired to give the CAS challenges a try. They are lots of fun! Thanks for stopping in. I'll be back tomorrow with another of the 'sketch up' cards. Until then....

Hugs ~Leslee~

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fall-to Layout - For You

This is this week's Fall-To Layout #56. The Clean & Simple Stamping blog features a Fall-To Layout each Friday. This particular layout is simple and elegant and allows plenty room for embellishment...if you so choose. Isn't it gorgeous?

I love these colors together. Bermuda Bay, Basic Black, Very Vanilla and the Rich Razzleberry dotted dsp from the Razzleberry Lemonade paper pack. Great vibrant colors that perfectly compliment each other! The sentiment, in Basic Black, is from the All Holidays set and the image, stamped in Rich Razzleberry, is from Pocket Silhouettes. The only embellishment is the three Fashion Jewels from Michael's.
I hope you like it? Comments are welcome. Be sure to check out the Clean & Simple Stamping blog. You're sure to find something that inspires you.
Hugs ~Leslee~

Monday, August 24, 2009

Playing Sketch-up!

That's right! I've been playing sketch-up this past weekend. What is 'sketch-up' you ask? Sketch-up is catching up on the sketches that I've been meaning to use. You see, I receive RSS feeds on all my favorite blogs. When I like a sketch challenge or a card I'd like to case, I mark them so that I can quickly return to them. I don't always have the time to play along the same day the post was released. And that certainly has been the case the past couple of weeks. So, I've been playing sketch-up all weekend. I've made a pretty good dent too. So, I'll have plenty to show you this week.
The first up is this awesome sketch by Mercy, MTSC33! Here's my card...

Adam's friend had a birthday party and he loves pirates! So, when I asked Adam what kind of card he wanted me to make, he immediately chose the retired Ahoy, Matey set. Adam wanted a treasure map and treasure chest on the card. I knew immediately what layout I would use! Mercy's sketch allowed for the map to be in the background. Here's a close up...
(You may click on the photo to enlarge it.)
I stamped the map using Sahara Sand on Kraft. We distressed the map by misting it with water and crumpling it up and then flattening it back out to dry. Adam did this step. He couldn't believe that I had even asked for him to mist it and was even more surprised when I told him to ball it all up. He was thrilled and did an excellent job. I then sent him to color the treasure chest using his colored pencils. Meanwhile, I used various inks and a blender pen to color in the pirate image. Both were stamped in StazOn Jet Black ink on Whisper White. Here's the chest, which we adhered to the inside of the card...
Didn't he do awesome?!! He rocks!!
The inside sentiment is the Birthday Wish set.
The card base is the retired Buckaroo Blue. I pierced down the left side of the card. I just felt it needed a little something for balance. Basic Black backs the focal images along with Real Red which highlights them.
This is a great sketch and I may just use it again with a more adult and feminine flair. Perhaps some DSP in place of the map and flowers in place of a pirate.
Be sure to check out Mercy's awesome blog, Lord Have Mercy! She has a great site to browse for inspiration!
Thanks for stopping by today. Come again soon!
Hugs ~Leslee~

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy 50th!!

Tomorrow is my sister-in-law's 50th birthday! We are celebrating tonight with dinner at Red Lobster (her choice). My mother-in-law said we all need to make a big deal out of her birthday. You know, being the big 5-0 and all. Well, we'll see what we can do.

For starters, here's the card I put together using Mercy's Tuesday Sketch Challenge #35. You can check the sketch out here, MTSC35, and play along while you're at it! Mercy has come up with some fabulous sketches and this one is no exception! I love this layout AND the way my card turned out too!

Of course, I had to make mention of the "50th"...just in case she'd forget that detail! You know what they say, "the mind's the first thing to go"! I used the stamp-a-ma-jig to get perfect placement of the sentiment. I markered the 'Happy', 'th', and 'Birthday' from the Birthday Wish stamp. The "50" is from the retired Classic Alphabet Numbers set. The sentiment is stamped in Old Olive and Soft Suede on Whisper White card stock. I then sponged on some Crushed Curry to give it an "aged" look...hehe (I crack myself up)!
Here's a close up of the flowers.

The large flower in Old Olive is die cut from the Baskets & Blossoms die and the Big Shot. It had been laying on my desk for we can certainly call it 'aged to perfection'! Just seemed the perfect time to use it (finally). The Crushed Curry flowers are all punched from the Boho Blossoms punch. The button is 'vintage', one I pulled out of my personal stash. All the brads were from the local scrapbook store.
The Soft Suede card stock is scalloped using the corner rounder punch and layered with Razzleberry Lemonade DSP. I stamped the Whisper White strip with the striped stamp from the Razzle Dazzle set. It was another scrap that was laying on my desk, already eyelet border punched. I love when I can use up scraps!! My SIL is a scrappy kind of person so it is very fitting for her card. She recycles everything...matter of fact, she's queen of what we call "dumpster diving". I know, ewww!
Anyway...I wrapped a length of Soft Suede Polka Dot ribbon between the DSP and eyelet bordered strip, using the un-dotted side. Mercy's sketch used what looked like stitching but I certainly don't stitch. I think the ribbon will suffice and don't think Mercy will mind...too much.
I know my SIL will love her card! She'll never know it's a scrappy card and won't get the distressed aging and vintage button deal. But I know! And I'm getting a big chuckle out of this card!! I can laugh...she's got 10 years on me! Yet, I know those ten years will go by quickly. And she'll have her revenge somehow. Knowing her, she'll recycle this card and I'll get it back!!
Thanks for stopping by today! Be sure to check out Mercy's sketch and her blog, Lord Have Mercy! It's super awesome!
I hope you've been inspired to use some of those scraps laying at your finger tips!
Hugs ~Leslee~

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Getting Started Now!

Every year I vow to not wait until November to get started on my Christmas cards. Well, this year, I've started early. Just maybe I'll have all I need completed by December. If not, this will be a super card to mass produce!

Before I get to the details, I have to give credit for this awesome layout to Susan Raihala (aka LateBlossom). I've been blog stalking her for some time now. She has a great blog, Simplicity, that you must check out. Susan is queen when it comes to keeping cards clean and simple!! Yes...kudos to Susan!!
On with the details... It's super simple, no layers and only two stamps and colors. The card base is Very Vanilla. Dasher is stamped in Basic Black Craft. The sentiment is again from Teeny Tiny Wishes. It's stamped in Real Red Craft. I then used a ruler to marker the frame in Real Red. A few red jewels to bling up Dasher and it is done!

Marker Tip: Make sure your marker/pen is in good working order. Otherwise, your frame may end up with blobs and stop/start points. Yes, my new red marker is on order.

Thanks for dropping by today. I hope you've been inspired to get your holiday projects started early. And take a moment to check out Susan's Simplicity blog!

Hugs ~Leslee~

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Simple Medallion

With an old CAS challenge on my mind, black & white & one bold bright, I decided to give the Medallion stamp a go. Honestly, it isn't my favorite and it didn't turn out like I had pictured in my mind, but it does have a certain charm to it. Of course, the card does sport my fav black gingham ribbon and the Green Galore base and matching brad are lovely! Perhaps it is just too black and white? I wasn't even going to post this but then why not? Perhaps it will inspire you in some way? Or not...
Let me know what you think. I appreciate your comments.
Hugs ~Leslee~

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Scalloped Sketch Card

Ever since I had received the Scallop Circle die from Stampin' Up!, I have wanted to do a scalloped card. I ran across the Clean & Simple Stamping blog site and the Fall To Layout #48 was just what I had in mind. You can check the sketch out here. Here's what I came up with...

It's exactly what I had in mind for a scalloped circle card! And talk about easy-peasy! I laid my folded Crushed Curry cardstock onto the scallop circle die so that the fold wouldn't get cut off. On top of that, I placed my DSP from the Razzleberry Lemonade pack and ran it all through the Big Shot. I adhered the DSP, a thin scrap strip of Whisper White and a piece of Pumpkin Pie 1/4" grosgrain ribbon to the scalloped card base. The flowers are punched in Pumpkin Pie using the 5-petal flower punch, the points punched off using the 1-1/4" circle punch and then topped with a small Boho Blossom flower punched in Crushed Curry and a vintage brad. The Garden Green leaves are simply a 5-petal flower punched and cut into pieces. The sentiment is from the Teeny Tiny Wishes set. I know I've said this before, this set is awesome! It has a sentiment for every occasion. A must have for any card maker or scrap booker.
Note: For a quick tutorial on how I double punched the flowers, check out this previous post.
I really like how this card turned out and how simple it was to make. It fits into a standard SU! medium envelope with a little room on the sides. And that means that there will be no additional postage...unless you pile on the layers and embellishments. And that is completely up to you!
I hope you've been inspired. Try a scalloped circle and give the Clean & Simple Stamping site a look see!
Be back soon with more creative inspiration.
Hugs ~Leslee~

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Girl Thing

I'm sorry. I haven't blogged for a week now. No excuses. I've simply been busy with my other life. Is there any other life besides stamping? You betcha! It mostly involves the business side of life and my life has two businesses as well as the normal household stuff. I, also, have the boys (whose summer vacation is quickly coming to an end) and we spent some quality time together last week. As I had mentioned in a previous post, we took a trip up to Woodbridge, VA and visited the 'big Lego store' in Potomac Mills. While we were there, we paid a visit to the Ikea store. This was my first time to Ikea. I have heard a lot from other crafters about how wonderful Ikea is for crafting storage solutions. It is!! I picked up some great items and the prices aren't bad either. It will take me some time to get organized enough to get my new stuff up and in use. I'll be sure to let you see it when I do.
Anyway, I was able to do some creating in the past week. So, I have plenty to show you in the coming week. My Girl's Night Out was last Thursday and I was busy designing for that. Two of the projects were designed previously. You can read about them here and here. Being a 'Girl's Night Out', I thought that this wonderful little clutch purse would be fun to do.

IRL, it's adorable and is so much fun to do. I had first seen this faux leather technique done here on YouTube. It's a great tutorial on how this technique is accomplished. It is super simple and I'll briefly tell you the steps.

For this clutch, I cut two Top Note dies in Melon Mambo using my Big Shot. Completely cover the top note with VersaMark and then cover with Clear Embossing Powder. Use your bone folder, or any other tool, to make your lines in the powder. Heat emboss until all EP is melted. I punched the handles using the large oval punch. The trim around the handles uses the lrg. oval with the scallop oval punched around it. Adhere to clutch using 2-Way Glue pen. The 'clasp' is simply a piece of black grosgrain ribbon with two flowers punched from the Boho Blossoms punch and a couple of brads (one on the front and the other on the back). I used a hardware bag trimmed short to adhere my top notes to...creating the 'inside of the purse'. It's perfect for holding small trinkets or a handful of small chocolates! Check out this Top Note goody I have posted on my business website. It's the same assembly just a different theme.

I thought this was a great project this week...a small clutch. Especially after my trip to the 'Big Lego Store' and Ikea!! I certainly don't have need for a large purse...I no longer have anything to put in it...(cough cough).

Well, I hope you've been inspired to try one of these cute clutches. If you have any questions on how to do it, feel free to let me know. And feel free to leave comments on this post as well.

Have a great day. I'll post again in the morning.

Hugs ~ Leslee~

Monday, August 10, 2009

A rambling post....

Happy Monday Everyone! I trust you had a fabulous weekend? I did. Don worked ALL weekend long so it was just me and the boys. On one hand, it was really nice. We played video games (I mostly watched). But it was nice just to be with the fellas. Jesse defeated the Star Wars - The Force Unleashed video game. I have to admit, that was cool to see the smile on his face! On the other hand, I'm soooo tired of hearing them bicker back and forth. I think they have had enough of one another for a summer. They may not be ready, but I'm so ready to send them back to school. Not to mention, my stamping time will get back to normal. The mojo just hasn't seemed to be there. I'm sure that it's due to the fact that I can't focus on anything while listening to the two boys fussing at one another. I should just feel blessed to have them in my life to listen to at all. But, sometimes, I really feel that I've been tested to my limit. Anyway, the boys and I are headed out-of-town this morning for Woodbridge and the "Big Lego Store" up at Potomac Mills. I think the change of scenery will do us all some good. We are going with friends...Brandi and may have our hands full but it should be tons of fun! We'll be back on Tuesday. Don will just have to hold down the fort while I'm gone. I'll miss him but it will be good for him too.
Anyway, I know you didn't stop in to listen to my ramblings. Here's a card I managed to throw together...between the hollering.

It's a simple and clean card. The base is Green Galore. The Whisper White panel is dry embossed using the Big Shot and the Small Dots Texturz plate in Backgrounds #1. The ribbon is Rich Razzleberry Polka Dot. The flowers were first stamped in Green Galore on Whisper White using the flower from the Best Wishes & More set. Then punched using the large flower on the Boho Blossoms punch, mounted on Dimensionals on a 1" circle punched in Green Galore. A Green Galore brad graces the centers. The sentiment is from the Kind & Caring Thoughts hostess set, stamped in Rich Razzleberry. The sentiment tag is wavy (I've been wanting to try that for awhile now).
Considering the ciaos this weekend, I think it turned out pretty good. The textured front really fills in the white space perfectly. A good clean card....and easy too.
Thanks for looking. I'll post again soon.
Hugs ~Leslee

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Out of the Archive's.....

I have nothing new to show you today so I'll pull one out of the archive's...from way back June of 2005.

I had only been stamping for about four months. It was fun to go back and see just how far I've come. In the process, I have found that I created a lot of the Clean & Simple (CAS) cards. Simple yet beautiful cards. Okay, some of the colors made me ask myself, "What were you thinking?" Even my photography skills left a lot to be desired. But the clean and simple layouts are timeless. I wasn't using Stampin' Up! papers at the time and I know that this ribbon is not SU! either. The stamp set is, I believe, Little Layers or Little Layers Plus (both long since retired). I think I'll call a do over on this card. See what I can come up with? Check back soon. I've just been inspired....
Thanks for stopping by today.

Oh almost forgot...
The state of Virginia is holding a Sales Tax Relief weekend on school supplies. If you are in VA and would like a list of items that Stampin' Up! is waving the sales tax on, email me. Orders must be placed no later than Aug. 9th. Every little bit helps!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Isn't 'mojo' a funny thing? One week you have plenty of it and the next week you've got nothin'. Thank goodness for the Mojo Monday Sketch! I certainly needed it this week. This week's sketch is beautiful! You can check it out here, MOJO98. This is my submission...
When I first saw the sketch, I knew I wanted to do this different fold. It's standard card size (5-1/2 x 4-1/4) but I scored 1" in from the original center fold. The inside of the small side panel is adhered to the back of the card base. Okay...does any of that make sense? Now that I have you ALL confused... The circles were already cut and on my desk from a previous card (I love when I can use up scraps). Adam determined how this Extreme Dirt Bike should be stamped. He did tell me that the card was "not right". That "no bike can get that close to the sun". Gotta love a six year old's perspective!! To create that sun, I simply sponged Crushed Curry onto Whisper White. I punched a 1-3/8 circle from a post-it note and masked the sun. I then lightly sponged on Dusty Durango, Pumpkin Pie and a little bit of Bashful Blue. The bike is stamped with Basic Black Craft and then heat embossed in Black EP. The DSP from the Cast-A-Spell paper pack is lightly distressed using my Cutter Kit. Here's a close up...

It's a beautiful paper and pairs well with the Rich Razzleberry and Old Olive. Since this card is for a young man, I placed three black brads in the Rich Razzleberry Polka Dot ribbon. That's right! Did you know that the backside of the SU! Polka Dot ribbons are plain? It makes this ribbon much more versatile in my book. I used my piercing tool to make the holes through the ribbon. The handheld hole punch has a tendency to pull the ribbon funny.

My boys both liked this card and, quite frankly, so do I. What do you think?

Thanks for looking. And if you are looking for your mojo, head on over to the Mojo Monday Blog. That will get you headed in the right direction.

Hugs ~Leslee~

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Never too early.... get started on your Christmas cards! Actually, now is a great time to get started. You won't be rushed and may actually complete your projects with plenty of time to, perhaps, enjoy the holiday season!
I was inspired by this sketch, FTL53, on a blog I recently came across, Clean & Simple Stamping. Of course, I would have loved to use my Medallion stamp but I couldn't think of any other way to use it. Then this lovely large snowflake came to mind. Once again, I grabbed my Big Shot and the Snowflake #2 die and cranked out a few of these lovely flakes. I just adore snowflakes! I began with this card...
The DSP is retired and, I'm sorry, I don't remember the name of it. I thought that this would be a great layout to use up my snowflake papers and get lots of Christmas cards done at the same time. Of course, with this sentiment from the Wonderful Watercolor set, I can use this for a general winter-time card too. The sentiment is stamped in Basic Black craft ink. I think that the craft ink is much more vibrant and shows nicer than the classic.
I had to take it up a notch with this card...

This uses retired DSP from the Wintergreen pack. I simply layered it onto a piece of Brushed Silver card stock. Both cards are on a Whisper White card base. The bling in the snowflake centers are Fashion Jewels that I've been hoarding for an extremely long time.
I love the simplicity of these cards. The Big Shot makes it a very quick card to make. I will continue with this layout until all my snowflake papers are used up. I have an very long Christmas card list.
Let me know how you like it. Comments are always welcome. Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you are inspired to get started on your holiday cards/projects.
Hugs ~Leslee~

Monday, August 3, 2009

Challenges to Die For!

What's this you ask? It's not as frightening as it sounds. Actually, this was a great challenge! Friday's Limited Supplies challenge #231 on SCS was to use die cuts as a focal image. The only stamps we could use was a sentiment or stamp to make a background with. know me and my Big Shot! Here's my card...

The sketch is from Wednesday's SCS Sketch Challenge #239.

I knew immediately that I wanted to use the Sweet Stem Embosslit Die. It has been much neglected and die-ing to see some usage. (I crack myself up some times.) The sentiment is the only thing stamped. It is from Teeny Tiny Wishes. Yes, yes...I use this set ALL the time! It seems to have a sentiment for any occasion. The set hasn't seen the closet since Mr. Brown delivered it to my door! Anyway...I punched the sentiment with the Small Oval punch and then punched a Scallop Oval frame to place it in. Let me explain the frame. I first punched a lrg. oval in the black card stock. Then, I centered the oval in the scallop oval punch (you know...line it up looking at the bottom of the punch) and, voila!, the scalloped frame! The Whisper White panel is dry pressure embossed using the Flourish template in the Background #1 Texturz plates.
The vintage buttons I've had in my hoard forever. It was really fun to go through the button jar and see what I have. I pulled out may see them soon.

I love the way this card turned out. It is a great layout for focal die-cuts. Please let me know what you think. I love reading your comments.
Now, I'm sure you are just 'die-ing' to break out your die-cuts! Until next time....

Hugs ~Leslee~
Accessories: sm. oval punch, scallop oval punch, lrg. oval punch, Sweet Stem Embosslit Die, Black gingham ribbon, linen thread, Background #1 Texturz plate - Flourish, vintage buttons (private stash)