Monday, September 28, 2009

Officially Fall!

I know that fall is here when I start seeing this beautiful garden spider in my flower beds.  She’s known as a Black & Yellow Argiope or  may also be called a Yellow garden spider, Banana spider, Zipper spider or Golden Orb spider but the boys and I have named her, ‘Bob’.  Every year for as many years as I’ve been in this house (ten to be exact), Bob graces my flower beds.  I’ve since learned that the females are the larger of the species, they aren’t aggressive, and their life span is only one year.  I know, Bob is a male’s name but once named, it stuck.  As you can see, she isn’t a small spider and I can’t imagine running into her web.  Ewwww! 

Anyway, Bob is here again and I thought it a good time to stamp some spiders!  Of course, this spider looks nothing like Bob but it’s creepy crawly enough for this Halloween card.


This layout is from SCS’ CAS#33 challenge.  The spider is found in From the Crypt and the sentiment in House of Haunts.  They are both stamped in Basic Black Craft ink on Whisper White.  I really love the craft ink.  It is bright and vibrant.  Just remember to allow a little extra drying time with the craft inks.  Or, you can speed the time along by using your heat gun.  I altered the linen thread by running it across a sponge with Platinum Shimmer Paint (found in the Holiday Mini Catalog).  I wanted a more web-like look to the thread.  Here’s a close up…100_8823

The main panel is layered on Basic Black with an offset layer of Perfect Plum.  The strip of DSP is in the Cast-A-Spell pack.  It’s all placed on a Certainly Celery card base.

This card is a really easy peasy cas card that would mass produce quickly.

That’s it for today!  I hope you’ve been inspired to look around you for inspiration.  I almost put my face right into this one!!!

Hugs ~Leslee~

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thoughts of Autumn

I don’t know what it is about cooler weather…it just puts me in the mood to stamp pumpkins, gourds, colorful leaves and spooky scenes. I love fall! And since I’ve kept you waiting long enough for this post (yes, it’s been way to long between postings), I’ll give you two cards today.

Here’s the first…


I love the masking technique! The most difficult part of masking is the tedious chore of cutting your masks out. The results are well worth your effort though! I save my masks for reuse. I just use cheap sticky notes and they will last through many uses. This Autumn Harvest set is perfect for creating a fall scene that is perfect for water coloring. I love to water color too! Here I’ve used my classic inks with an Aqua Painter. I stamped my images in Jet Black StazOn on Very Vanilla card stock. Here’s a close up of the scene with a popped up leaf for visual interest.


The ribbon is the reverse side of the Soft Suede Polka Dot ribbon. Card base is Old Olive and the scalloped edge strip of Pumpkin Pie is scraps that I had laying about my desk (yep…still using up scraps…I love that too!)

This next card is very CAS-ified but it uses the same supplies and techniques.


The sentiments on both cards are from Kind & Caring Thoughts Hostess set.


These were placed on the inside of the card.

I find that creating these little masked scenes are fun and relaxing. I hope you have been inspired to create a masked scene of your own. Thanks for stopping by today!

Hugs ~Leslee~

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shimmer Swirls

WOW! The past week (the first week of school) was just unreal! I'm sorry I haven't posted for a week. It seems like a long, long time. With the mountain of back-to-school paper work to fill out & return and my new position with the PTA, I found last week to be very overwhelming. Needless to say, I took it all one step at a time. I had a few deadlines to meet before I could let myself stamp. Anyway, I finally made my way through the clutter of papers and was able to breathe.

I'd been wanting to play with the new Delightful Decorations set ever since Mr. Brown brought it to my door. Here's the first go with it...

You will find this set in the Holiday Mini Catalog. I inked up the ornament with Bermuda Bay and then sponged on the awesome new Frost White Shimmer Paint. It really gives the image a cool effect. I used the new coordinating Ornament punch to punch out the image. Here's a close up...

The Silver Elastic Cord is also found in the mini catalog. I ran the Whisper White panel through the Big Shot using the Perfect Details Texturz Plate. I then lightly ran the same sponge (still with the Shimmer Paint on it) over the raised texture in the card stock. This just brings the embossing out to the eye. The sentiment is from Snow Swirled. I fixed it all onto a Bermuda Bay card base.

Textured Tip: Stamp your image or sentiment onto your card stock before you emboss it. That way, your stamp will have a good solid contact with your card stock.

So, what do you think? Your comments are always welcome. I think I will try this technique again in several different colors. I hope you are inspired to try something new today. Thanks for stopping in.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ready for Autumn?

Happy Tuesday to you! What a wonderful day the Lord has made!!! Of course, He does have a sense of humor. The boys headed back to school today. We had no major issues other than the unknown location of Adam's umbrella. I let him use mine. Yes, it is raining! In that is God's humor. You see, He knows just how much I've been looking forward to the boys heading back to school and me getting back into a routine (having the house to myself)...well, He sends the rain and I have hubby Don home today. much for my plans....God has other plans for my day. That's okay! It's been awhile since Don and I have spent a day together without the kids! So, I look at today as another gift from God! I hope you see your daily gifts too.

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that once the kids go back to school the weather turns cool pretty quickly? It has been a hot summer and I'm ready for the cooler days of autumn. The guys and I went camping in our own backyard over Labor Day. We pitched the tents, had a campfire, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, and enjoyed the crisp evening air by the fire. For me, it was chilly and I ended up in long sleeves. Once back at my desk, I wanted to capture that autumn feeling in my card. The Autumn Harvest set is simply a go to favorite! I love using it for water coloring and masking. And that's just what I did here.

Do you like it? The layout is the Fall-to Layout #52 found over at the Clean & Simple Stamping blog. The leaves are stamped on Whisper White cs in Jet Black StazOn ink and masked to give it that layered depth. I used my water colored crayons and an Aqua painter to color my leaves. The image strip is layered onto Old Olive and a scrap strip of Razzleberry Lemonade DSP...all found on my desk. Yes, I'm still trying to use up my scraps! The sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes. I simply punched the end of the sentiment panel using the Eyelet Border punch. I like the look. An extra leaf was stamped, colored and placed on a dimensional over the sentiment panel. All is adhered to the Barely Banana cs (yet another scrap) and layered onto the Basic Black card base (which was in my stash of pre-cut and scored card bases).
So, are you ready for autumn? Whether we are ready or not...I think it's here! Have a great day! Thanks for stopping in.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Best Wishes

Happy Friday to you all!
Before I get to today's card, I wanted to address an issue that arose this week with Stampin' Up! and its demonstrators. If you are someone who is a blog browser or frequents crafting forums, you may have read about this issue already. It has many people up in arms and there is a lot of negative comments out there. Which really saddens me. Simply put, within our electronic communications (blogs, websites, facebook pages, etc.), Stampin' Up! is requiring us demonstrators to abstain from linking to competitors products or those individuals that sell competitive products on their own sites. Now, this 'rule change' will not affect me...too much. You may notice that I have had to remove a few blog links to be in compliance with this change. But, I have always been and will remain an SU! only girl. Now, I realize that I will, on occasion, use an embellishment or two that are not SU! I simply can no longer link you to the location that they can be purchased (not that I ever did). I'm not even supposed to tell you the brand name and where I found them. I will simply be very 'generic' about that info. (i.e. a brad from the local craft store). But nothing prohibits me from using those competitors products. This new rule will have the biggest impact on those demonstrators that are on design teams and under contract to promote that product. I know they face a tough decision and wish them best of luck in whatever they choose to do. Okay...on with today's card!

This is the last card featuring an out-of-the-box use for the large snowflake in the Serene Snowflakes set. A very clean & simple card (CAS) and, again, I've used up some of the scraps found on my desk (always a plus).

The card base is the retired Kiwi Kiss. It's really difficult to tell in this photo but the panel is Barely Banana with a strip of Razzleberry Lemonade DSP. The medallion strip in Soft Suede is the large snowflake with a brass vintage brad in each center. Cool, huh? Once again, I markered the stamp with Soft Suede, omitting the scrolled corners. I used my stamp-a-ma-jig to line it all up and then cut the strip. The sentiment is from Kind & Caring Thoughts (hostess level 2). It is stamped in Dusty Durango ink.

Thanks for stopping in today! Have a great Labor Day weekend! I'll see you back here next week. I'm spending the weekend with my boys! It's their last weekend before they return to school. Tuesday will be bittersweet for me.
Hugs ~Leslee~

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Be Yourself...Extreme & Serene!

Fun card to make! A great masculine card and easily mass produced. And isn't this sentiment super? I certainly want my boys to know this. I love them for just who they are!

The card uses three sets: Extreme Elements (background elements), Serene Snowflakes (main focal image), and Smarty Pants (the sentiment). Basic Black card base, mat of Whisper White and the main panel is Mellow Moss (a color I haven't used in awhile). The focal image and the sentiment are stamped in basic black and the elements in various colors.
Now, I've been featuring the large flake from the Serene Snowflakes set. Do you see it? That's right...the main focal image! Cool huh? Picking out the graphics in this flake has been tons of fun! I simply used a basic black marker to color only the graphic image on the stamp that I wanted. This technique is known as omitting. I had cut this same image out in this previous post. I love when I can use my stamps and tools in an out-of-the-box sort of way!
The card itself is a scrap card. The card stock has been hanging around on my desk for quite some time now. Rejected pieces from a previous card or project. The basic black card base was the second half of an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of cs. I set these perfect card base pieces in a special place so they don't get bent corners. Well, I found them! Tucked between a box lid and it's bottom. I have close to three dozen of these in all colors, pre-cut and scored and ready to use. I'm going to do my best to use them---and all my scraps---before I grab for a fresh sheet of cs. Wish me luck!
Well, that's it for today. Thanks for stopping in. I hope you've been inspired to look at your stamps a little differently. Turn them upside down and sideways...what do you see? Have fun and always be yourself!
Hugs ~Leslee~

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Serene Snowflakes

This card was extremely difficult to photograph. However, it was super simple to make!
I started with a Basic Grey card base. I sponged on some of the new Platinum Shimmer Paint (pg. 27 of the Holiday Mini Catalog). The snowflakes, all from the Serene Snowflakes set, were stamped in the same Platinum Shimmer Paint, Frost White Shimmer Paint, and Whisper White Craft ink. The shimmer paint was applied to the stamp using a sponge.
Here's a close up of the sentiment...

"Ready, set, snow!" is in the Best Wishes & More set. It is stamped in Basic Black craft on Whisper White cs which I punched using the large oval punch. It is layered onto a piece of Brushed Silver card stock punched using the Scallop Oval punch. A few more flakes stamped in Platinum Shimmer Paint ties it all together. The ribbon is Whisper White Taffeta. I slipped in a few pieces of the Silver Elastic Cord.
I love this new Shimmer Paint. It really does shimmer in real life. That's why I had such a difficult time getting a decent picture of this card. The light hits the card just right and the shimmer is all you see. It really is a beautiful treatment. I will certainly be using this product often this holiday season.
So, did you notice the large snowflake? This is how it looks...unaltered. I used it in a very different way in this previous post, Metal Scroll Inspired. Check in tomorrow for yet a third way to use this snowflake! This has really been a fun flake to use. Fun's even fun to say! I just love snowflakes!
Until next time...
Hugs ~Leslee~

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Metal Scroll Inspired

I absolutely LOVE snowflakes!! They make me happy! I guess it is due to the fact that I grew up in Ohio where it snowed all winter long. Now, I'm on the coast of Virginia where we might get one good snowfall a year. I've been here for 20 years and still get all giddy and excited to see it snow! Anyway...I LOVE snowflakes, snowmen & snowwomen and all things snow!
I recently received my new Serene Snowflakes set (found in the Holiday Mini Catalog available to purchase from today). I've been looking at the large snowflake in the set. I'm seeing several different ways to use the different graphic designs in the snowflake. Over the next several days, I will show you a few different ways to use that one snowflake.
Here's the first card...
You wouldn't even know this was the large snowflake. This card is my submission for SCS's Saturday's Inspiration Challenge #195 My inspiration was drawn from this Metal Scroll Wall Art found on the Creative Wall Coverings site. I used my stamp-a-ma-jig to line up the snowflakes. They are stamped on a Very Vanilla card base in Soft Suede. I then stamped three more on Soft Suede cs in the same color. I cut out the "celtic cross-type" center design and popped them up on Dimensionals. The sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes, stamped in Very Vanilla Craft ink on Soft Suede. A length of Soft Suede Polka Dot ribbon is wrapped around that and then it is all adhered to the Very Vanilla base.
It's amazing the different items/things that can inspire you creatively. I hope you like it? I love the fact that I am able to use, of all things, a snowflake in a way that is outside-the-box! Now that's one flake I will use year round!! That makes me very happy!!
Thanks for stopping by today. Remember to check back all week for more use of the same snowflake.
Until then....
Hugs ~Leslee~