Medallion…

This giant medallion background rubber stamp was introduced about two seasons ago by Stampin’ Up! (and is still currently available). I can’t tell you how many times I reach for it to make invitations, notecards, background images, etc. It’s such a large stamp, that many times, I only use a portion of it on my project (as below). These types of images are great for gender-neutral projects and are terrific for experimenting with different mediums or heat embossing.

For this card, I used a piece of bronze-hued mica cardstock as a card base. The mat is a 4″ x 5″ piece of Stampin’ Up! Early Espresso cardstock. To create the image, I offset the stamp (which I unmounted) and used some Papertrey Ink pigment ink in Fresh Snow. I really like the contrast of the white ink with the dark papers.

Once the image was completely dried, I used a double wrap of 1/8″ taffeta ribbon in Early Espresso (with white edging) to create some visual interest and break up the main design. I used a vintage brooch-inspired brad from Pink Paislee/House of 3 “Parisian Anthology” collection. I think the smoked jeweled clusters are the perfect contrast to the stark white stamped image–hard and soft.





Le Jardin

Today’s card was born out of a strip of punched paper. I’d been chomping at the bit to try a Stampin’ Up! punch that makes its debut in the new 2011-2012 Idea Book & Catalog. It’s called the “Large Lace Ribbon Border Punch” (#122362, $ 19.95). It’s a very versatile design that can be incorporated into your crafting projects in very different ways. In this particular case, I chose to use it as an alternative to ribbon on the card front and as a decorative element in the inside of the card.

The card base is done in Papertrey Ink’s “Hibiscus Burst” cardstock. The decorative paper is a piece of Stampin’ Up! Designer Series Paper that is now unfortunately retired. The focal floral piece is from a retired Stampin’ Up! set called “Stitched Exotics” and is attached with Stampin’ Dimensionals. The greeting stamp is from Pink Paislee’s “Butterfly Garden” collection.





Glübers

Today’s card project was inspired by trying out a new product introduced in January by Cosmo Cricket: Glübers. Not only do I love the name, but the actual product is very nifty. The easiest way to tell you what Glübers are (if you haven’t played with them yet) is to picture a 2″ giant glue dot. Actually, Glübers come in a size range that includes 2″, 2.5″ and 3″ circular bases. So what do you do with a Glüber? It’s the perfect adhesive base for experimenting with ribbon, fabric, netting, seam binding tape, etc. to create your own floral embellishments. It gives you the ability to control the shapes, colors, material and design to create just what you need for a particular crafting project.

Now, I don’t profess to be a Glübers expert–in fact, the flower on this project is my first project. But, I can already tell you that they are addictive and I already have several ideas I’m looking forward to experimenting with. For this project, I worked with a solid length of ribbon, though it is quite adaptable. You can use scraps, fragments, twine, cording–nearly anything you can imagine to create flowers, rosettes, and other personal embellishments. I started from the outside edge and worked my way to the center. The way you fold or twist your ribbon is entirely in your hands.

My card base is Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Soft Suede. The card mat is Basic Grey paper from the “Capella” Collection. The sentiment stamp is from Papertrey. The ribbon is 5/8″ Swiss Dot Satin in Dark Chocolate from Papertrey Ink as well. For the middle of my rosette styled flower, I used a flatback Sparkler button from Webster’s Pages.






Precious…







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Materials Used:

–Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Bronze
–Pearlized decorative paper from SEI Windsor Collection
–Papertrey Ink Kraft cardstock
–Unity Stamp Co. rubber stamp sets: “All Worth It” and “Love Life” (by Melody Ross)
–American Crafts Zing! Opaque embossing powder in Black Glitter
–VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad
–Colorbox Fluid Chalk Cat’s Eye Ink Pad in Dark Brown
–Bazzill InStitch’z Floss in French Vanilla
–We R Memory Keepers paper piercer
–All Night Media Studio Art Pop Dots
–Imaginisce Glam Rocks Rhinestuds
–Imaginisce I-Rock
–Pink Paislee “Queen Bee” Flip Notes
–3M ATG714 adhesive gun

Adored Bee…

There are certain symbols or icons that hold a place near and dear to my heart. There might be a story attached to them–other times it may just be their beauty or artistic value. Among some of my favorite things are keys, hearts, eggs, crowns, finials, maltese crosses, and bees. They make me feel. They make me smile. They compel me to study their intricacies and they inspire my crafting.

Bees are such majestic creatures. They challenge the laws of aerodynamics. Their colonies ape human society. They work fastidiously to pollinate and produce sweet, golden honey. They simply fascinate me.

Today’s card project combines two of my favorite things–bees and crowns. The rubber stamp image is part of gorgeous set entitled “All Worth It” produced by Unity Stamp Co. and designed by the talented Melody Ross. I decided to use it in conjunction with a heat embossing process.

The base cardstock is Early Espresso from Stampin’ Up! The card mat is a 4″ x 5″ piece of Kraft cardstock from Papertrey Ink. Using a Versamark pad, I stamped the image several times (in multiple directions) on the plain kraft cardstock. Next, I used my heat tool and some American Crafts’ Zing! opaque embossing powder in Blush to raise the images. After the images had set, I used a sponge dauber and some Ranger Archival Ink in Sepia to pounce over the entire design. I used a tissue to wipe away the excess ink from the embossed images.

To create the small sentiment tag, I used a stamp and die set from Papertrey Ink called “Tiny Tags”. The cardstock and ribbon for the sentiment tag are also from Papertrey Ink’s Fine Linen palette. I’m not sure that the photographs capture how well the combination of linen, brown, and blush actually work together–but they are a stunning combination.

For the inside of the card, I used a journaling block from Pink Paislee’s ‘365 Degree’ collection and a bit more of the Fine Linen 1/2″ Luxe Satin ribbon.



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In other odds & ends:

–FedEx just left a package on my doorstep: two new Cricut Imagine cartridges–Buccaneer and All Wrapped Up.
–I’m expecting another package later today with my newest Cricut cartridges: Damask Décor, Elegant Edges, Everyday Pop-Up Cards, Baby Steps, and Kate’s ABCs. (*insert the sound of my bank account whining*)
–Earlier this week, I received my new Cuttlebug (V2 aka Version 2.0). I have to say the redesign is a beauty aesthetically and practically. I love the new curved lines, the more compact platforms, and the hide-away handle. I wasn’t sure I really “needed” the update–but I’m really glad I did go for it.
–Look for Giveaway #16 to arrive by the weekend. Among other things, you’ll have a chance to win a new Cricut “Pack Your Bags” cartridge.

Cameo Appearance…

I’m not sure if it is a common affliction among crafters, but I’ve long been fascinated by color and bling since I was a child. If it sparkles or glitters, chances are I have to have it. Even before I fell in love with cardmaking and crafting, I’ve been a student, collector and creator of jewelry. From vintage deco to modern pop art pieces, the combination of geometry and symmetry with the sparkle of gemstones and crystals puts me in a trance. It actually began with an admiration of Russian Czarist history in high school. That led to collecting and devouring books about the works of Peter Carl Faberge and the Imperial Easter Eggs. Then came my collection of eggs. Then came a fascination with Coco Chanel, Jean Schlumberger and others. Then came my jewelry collection…and well, you get the picture. Suffice to say, that a lot of my crafting projects are influenced by gemstone colors and their fiery brilliance. Today’s project, in one such example.

I fell in love with these wonderful raw chipboard cameo sets from Maya Road. They come with several different shapes, styles, and profiles that are perfect for customizing to your own color scheme and fancy. When I decided to make one a card focal point, I thought it would be interesting to do so against a very neutral palette. So, I chose to used blacks and grays in papers and inks. The cardstock is True Black and Sahara Sand from Stampin’ Up! I used Tsukineko Memento inks and a sponge dauber to ink my cameo pieces. The floral spikes were created with double-sided adhesive and Martha Stewart glitter in White Gold. The pearls are from Stampin’ Up! The sentiment plaque was created using a decorative label punch (also from SU!). The sentiment stamp is from a SU! set called ‘You’re A Gem’. The decorative frame stamp is from an upcoming Stampin’ Up release called ‘Four Frames’. It will be available in the new Summer Mini Catalog starting in May 2011. The inner journaling block is from Pink Paislee’s ‘Queen Bee’ collection.







Imagine

My new Cricut Imagine showed up on Friday. I knew that it would be bigger and heavier than an Expression–but, I don’t think I was quite prepared for what a large piece of machinery it is. This is definitely not a portable machine (not that this is a negative point at all). I set up the machine and ran the update process which is done with the included Imagine cartridge. I calibrated the screen, the ink cartridges, and the cutting blade on the first try. I had absolutely no problems with any of the procedures and the on-screen instructions were very easy to follow. After that, I used my computer to update with the Cricut Sync software on my laptop. Again, it went off without a hitch. I have to say I was a bit apprehensive hearing some of the anecdotal stories (which is one of the reasons I was putting off this purchase). But, after undergoing the process and playing with the machine for a bit, I am absolutely thrilled with my purchase. It’s really hard to relay in words what a different experience the Imagine is compared to the Cricut Expression. I can only say it is completely different. It really is an amazing piece of technology (that by all sources is only going to get better). It was actually thrilling to use it the first time. Watching the Imagine work is a true “Wow!” moment. I’ve barely skimmed the surface of its capabilities, but I would highly recommend the Cricut Imagine if you can fit it into your budget. It’s definitely an investment, but it truly takes the results to another level.

So, here is my first card project done with the Imagine. It was made with the Cricut Imagine and the “Imagine More Cards” cartridge.








This probably goes without saying… The Cricut Imagine does nothing to help combat that insidious disease that compels you to purchase Cricut cartridges. I received my Imagine on Friday and have three Imagine art cartridges already and uhm…..six more on order. Oops.