Tuesday, June 13, 2017

YNS: DT Dare!

It's time for another Designer Dare! Your Next Stamp gave us a challenge to make something with the theme "Just For You" - a theme that's both wildly open to interpretation and focused enough to get those creative gears going. My first thought when I saw the theme was the upcoming Father's Day and making a special gift for dad.
Dads can wear many hats - from hard-working providers to strong "rock" protectors to goofy fun-loving best friends - and each dad is a little bit different than the next. Some dads love sports, others would rather spend their time looking through a telescope or playing a video game match. But regardless of their interests, virtually all dads always need one BIG thing -- Time. Every Dad (and Mom!) I know wishes they had more time for something. So, in our family, we've made a tradition that the best gift we can give to someone on their special day is plenty of TIME to do what they feel like doing.

This is where today's project comes in - it's a coupon book meant to give Dad some time to enjoy his favorite activities. It could be a night out with the boys, or a "no chores" break for one day. With the coupons and help from his family, Dad is guaranteed to find some time to do the things he loves.

To decorate the coupon book, I used the brand new Waddles - Bring on the BBQ stamp set. I loved Waddles for this project, in particular, because there's a big variety of Waddles stamps in the YNS store that can be used to personalize each coupon. You can find a winter-loving Waddles, a baker Waddles or even a relaxing-on-the-beach Waddles. With just a few sets, you can have an entire adventure's worth of fun activities.

This project is a great project to do with children. Your little ones can help you come up with coupon ideas, decorate the cover or even help write descriptions. It's a great way to get them involved in creating something special for dad without breaking the bank.

Head over to the Your Next Stamp blog to see more takes on this fun challenge.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bits 'N Pieces: Kraken Birthday

It's time to make another Bits 'N Pieces card! This is where I take some ready-made elements from my stash and put them together on a card. For today's card, I'm using the kraken from Lawn Fawn's Lovable Legends.

I adhered the kraken to a scalloped rectangle die-cut and added a skinny birthday sentiment. It looked a bit like a label, so I played with the idea of having it go on a notebook. In the end, I placed it onto a striped pattern paper. To make the space at the top look less empty, I added a banner and a heart. Looking at it now, it looks a bit like a page bookmark, so I'm happy with the design.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

YNS- New Release Blog Hop!

This post is a part of the Your Next Stamp June blog hop, where we're sharing fun and adorable projects to inspire you into summer and beyond. You can play along with us by hopping along! The more blogs you visit and comment on, the greater your chances of winning a 25$ gift certificate to the Your Next Stamp store.

If you've taken a look at the Your Next Stamp store, you know that there's an abundance of my favorite type of stamp: cute - whether it's adorable critters you can't help but cuddle or boys and girls embarking on adventures, there's so many adorable bits and pieces to choose from. And then there's my all-time favorite gumdrops... I use enamel dots on virtually every card I make, and Your Next Stamp gumdrops are by far a favorite.

For my blog-hop project, I've created a bright and cheery masculine birthday card.
I played with primary colors - yellow, red and blue, and paired it with the simple sentiment and my favorite gumdrops! A little bit of masking and some creative trimming gave my card a fun edge that draws the eye to the sentiment.

The Handyman stamp is a fantastic set for any guy (or girl!) that loves tools, home improvement and fixing the many household objects we need on a daily basis. One of my favorite things about this set is that it has all the basic tools and you can choose whether you want to make them super cute by adding a smiley face or leave them plain. This adds so much more versatility, since you don't have to worry about selectively masking parts of the stamp if you don't want your tools to smile.

You can find the Handyman stamp right here. And remember, if you're quick, you can grab 20% off your entire purchase with this code:

Ready to keep hopping?

Friday, June 9, 2017

YNS: June Release!

I was fortunate enough to be asked to guest design for Your Next Stamp again this month. I had so much fun during my last design spot that I just jumped at the occasion! June's release features a lot of fantastic stamps, themed for fathers, 4th of July and summer splash fun. For my card, I decided to use Splish Splash Fun - which has an adorable kitten and her toad friend playing in a pond.
I used my favorite summer template - bright blues, warms yellow and a touch of red. I echoed my palette through some patterned paper, a sunny card base and polkadot ribbon. As a decorative touch, I added a few of the sparkly gumdrops in the corner.
You can grab these awesome goodies and more from the new release over at the Your Next Stamp store. And to celebrate this new release, there's even a special discount code that works on your entire order. How awesome is that?!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

You Rock! with Mama Elephant

Mama Elephant's Rock and Paws stamp set was one of those sets that I thought was cute, but I passed on it right at release. I already had a couple of band-camp stamps, and I didn't think I needed yet another musical critter group. But the more I saw it pop up, the more I loved it until it finally made it to the top of my wishlist and I'm glad I got it!

My first idea for this set was to pair it with a watercolor background. I chose a bright teal in my PH Martin's Hydrus watercolor set and did an absolutely simple background. I actually used several layers of color, but I think I blended them out a little too much. I added a few splatters once the background was dry.

I colored the critters with very light, pastel colors. I think this helped them pop off the page.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Hellloo... with Lawn Fawn

Lawn Fawn's Hang In There was a recently-released stamp set that I just could not resist. I love the sweetness of the images and the sentiments, and the lower price was a great bonus. I took the time to stamp out and color several variations of the sloth - I played with different shades, and that was a great coloring practice.

For this card, I went with brighter colors, and I echoed those bright tones in the colors I chose for my patterned paper and cardstock. I paired the striped blue paper with a textured pink cardstock and used scallops to add a fun feminine touch.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Traveling Thanks

I originally got the Reverse Confetti Bearing Gifts stamp set just before Christmas - with the intention to make some "thank you" cards for the overwhelming abundance of gifts we received throughout the season. But, as it often happens, the holiday prep took too much work and those thank you cards never happened. Of course, I'm taking it as a lesson-learned moment and plan on making my thank you cards over the summer instead -- much less pressure and a chance to carry the holiday cheer throughout the whole year.

With today's card, I thought I'd practice making a scene card. I'm not as masterful at scenes like my friend Kylie is, but I wanted to tailor this card in particular for friends and family that live far away from us. To play on the idea of long-distance, I brought in a map patterned paper and a French sentiment. I think it added a great personal touch.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Deep Hello!

As you may have noticed, I have not shared any crafty updates since mid-April. A part of it was that life and work have been very hectic (as it happens!) and another part is that I've been trying to focus on creating - rather than blogging or organizing. The good news is that I've now got a lovely little stash of cards to share and blog about. The not-so-good news is that I'm still in a mega-busy mode at work for a few weeks that will make my updates sporadic... But something's better than nothing, so I'll be sharing my creations as often as I can.

For today's card, I've used Avery Elle's That Bites stamp set. It's a smaller and more affordable set featuring fish with chompers - something that makes them very whimsical and masculine. For my palette, I went with a combination of orange, yellow and blue. This created a nice contrast, while still invoking the water/nautical theme.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

(SCS) Play Hard

This is the final and my personal favorite card for the Fun & Games theme from August 2016. When I think of fun and games, the first thing that pops into my head is video games. As a child (and later a teen), I spent *many* hours glued to the TV, trying to finish one more level or beat just one more boss. I still love playing video games - and I'm still just as passionate about it as I was as a child.

I wanted to illustrate this passion and joy, so I grabbed my Copics to create a unique background. I layered several shades together to create a fiery backdrop that lets the controller shine.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

(SCS) Pika-choose you!

One of the things that my DT term over at Splitcoast Stampers did was to push me outside of my comfort zone. So, here's a card featuring a Pikachu that I drew and watercolored myself, and a punny sentiment spelled out from Elle's Alpha's (from Avery Elle).

It's not perfect, of course, but I'm still pretty proud of how it turned out.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 7, 2017

(SCS) March On!

This fun card uses the Birdie Brown Strike Up The Band stamp set. Aside from the Game theme, this card was also in a word challenge PLAY. I used the 4 letters as my palette inspiration, with the following:
P- Purple
L- Lime
A- Aqua
Y- Yellow

I think it's created a fun and fresh palette with a lot of great contrast.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

(SCS) Golfin' Time

We have several golf enthusiasts in the family, so I was absolutely thrilled to find the Golfing Tom stamp. It illustrates perfectly the kind of fun and game my relatives have with golf.

I really wanted Tom to be the focal element on the card, so I opted to just add him straight onto a card base with some foam tape. A simple sentiment and few fun enamel dots, and voilĂ ! A masculine birthday card with no fuss. :)

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 3, 2017

(SCS) You're a Winner

Continuing on with the Fun & Games theme, I used Simon Says Stamp's All Boy (retired) for another masculine card -- this time for congratulations. I paired the stamp with a fun Kaisercraft patterned paper and tried to repeat the elements (circles, stars) for an interesting layout.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

(SCS) Boy Defined

In August 2016, the Splitcoast DT theme was Fun & Games - and my mind immediately went to kids having fun.

With kids, fun often equals messy, and the sentiment from Simon Says Stamp's All Boy (retired) just sums it up perfectly. I used the sneakers from the stamp set and I colored them to look very muddy, like they've been well-loved and well-used - as is the case with all boy shoes.

A few fun enamel dots finish the design for this fun masculine card. I think it would be a great funny baby card for a new mom expecting a baby boy.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

SK Sea & Cats: Final Quad

As I will be going on a lovely family vacation for the next couple of weeks, I thought I would post the remainder of the cards for the Sea & Cats kit.

 Just a fun 'n simple little creation featuring a white queen cat and her bowl of goodies.

Another monster-ific unbelievable birthday with Lawn Fawn's sweet Nessie.
Birthday duo of yellow-orange kittens with a doily and a bright birthday sentiment.
Last (but not least), a "from all of us" type of card featuring lots of kitties.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Some Odd Girl: March Challenge

It's monthly challenge time over at Some Odd Girl, and this month we're playing with things that POP! The theme for March is anything goes, with the added challenge to pop it up. Head on over to the Some Odd Girl Blog to check out some amazing creations from the design team - and don't forget to participate with your own creation!

For my entry, I used the new Gangsta Bunny digi. Have you guys seen this digi? I cracked up the first time I saw it. Just the idea of a gangsta bunny makes me giggle, and Kristy did an amazing job drawing him up. I just knew I had to use him on a card - especially with Easter coming.

I colored him in softer/pastel tones and added him to my card on an action wobbler (as my little helper, here, is demonstrating). This makes the card even more hilarious, as I imagine The Bunz break-dancing as he raps...

I hope you'll join us for this month's challenge!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

SK Sea & Cats: Sandy Kraken Birthday

This is probably one of my favorite cards in the Sea & Cats Stash kit. There's just something about a wide stripe that makes my heart happy - and even more so when it's paired with a sparkly kraken and a whimsical birthday greeting.

For this card, I used the Mini Stitched Scalloped Rectangles dies from My Favorite Things. I purchased this set of dies during a Black Friday sale, and I'm so glad I did. I love how sweet the scallops look and how well the different sizes layer together. I can see myself using this die a lot (along with the mini rectangles), which I got at the same time.

The scallops added a "cute" touch that fits so well with the adorable Lawn Fawn designs. That's something I find myself looking for often, I think. If a stamp is edgy, I aim for an edgy die or layout. Something as sweet as Lawn Fawn calls for sweet detail like scallops.

To finish my card off, I added a few enamel shapes, echoing the aqua background on the small rectangle and the pink blush on the kraken's face.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 24, 2017

SK Sea & Cats: Kitten Birthday Duo

Today's card is a break from the nautical and a splash into the wonderful world of cats. A kitten celebration seems perfectly fitting for a birthday, and a neutral teal-inspired palette keeps it fitting for both guys and gals.

I colored one kitty into a Siamese and another into a taupe-brown with a hint of white. One of my dear childhood friends had two cats just like these, and it was fun trying to figure out the best way to make them recognizable. I softened the background and gave it a little focus with some distress ink blending. And, lastly, a trio of enamels added a bit more visual interest.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

SK Sea & Cats: Bigfoot Birthday

It wouldn't be a birthday card without a monster-ific creation featuring Bigfoot! Since I'm planning this card to be a part of a small birthday set, I kept it very simple with minimal layering and embellishments. That way, I can recreate the same design with another stamp or two, and have a cohesive-looking birthday gift set.

Though I chose boy colors with aqua/teal and grey, the scallops add a softer touch. A palette change to pinks/purples would work with this design just as well. The enamel star could be replaced with a heart or a bow to make the card feel more feminine.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SK Sea & Cats: Bubble Birthday

Card 3 in my Sea and Cats Stash Kit features yet another adorable Lawn Fawn squid, along with a sentiment from PTI's Birthday II mini stamps.

I kept this card a little more on the masculine side - as it feels like it would be fitting for a boy birthday card. So, a palette of green with some sparkly enamel dots as bubbles worked perfectly for what I had in mind.

Being a boy card, I kept it very simple beyond that, adding just a sentiment and a small circle to ground the images.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

SK Sea & Cats: Squid Thanks

 The second card in the Sea and Cats stash kit features an adorable giant squid and tiny boat from Lawn Fawn's Lovable Legends stamp set, along with WPlus9's Dockside (retired) sentiment. I also used a navy polkadot paper and die-cut a stitched rectangle out of a white cardstock panel for my scene. If I was making this card again, I would probably cut another panel to make the sea and sky look different - but I'd already adhered everything together when I thought of it.

This card is very simple and easy to put together. I like how the rope "thanks" matches the nautical theme of the squid and boat. As a last touch, I added a pink anchor to the end of the "T" to tie in the pink cheeks on the squid.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 20, 2017

SK Sea & Cats: Nautical Retirement

 The first card in my Sea and Cats Stash Kit share is a retirement card, using the WPlus9 Dockside stamp set (now retired). I was inspired by the nautical patterned paper that featured some classic colors  (navy and aqua) along with coral, pink and taupe. The softer colors made the palette feel neutral, which was just perfect for the retirement card I wanted to make.

I used some Lawn Fawn inks along with a couple of enamel dots as an embellishment.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mermake a wish

Today's card features a digi stamp from The Greeting Farm. This particular stamp was offered as a freebie in one of their newsletters a little while back, and I've been meaning to color it and use it on a card for ages now.

For my coloring, I tried something new and combined Copics with my Prismacolor pencils to add an extra touch of texture. I like how it turned out, and how it added a bit of extra depth to the image - particularly the hair. I'll have to experiment with this combination method again. I've seen a couple of artists use it in YT videos with absolutely brilliant results.

A bit of ribbon, enamel shapes and a pretty mint background - and that's all there was to it.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Some Odd Girl: Valentine's Blog Hop!

Welcome to my stop on the Some Odd Girl Valentine’s Day Blog Hop! You should have arrived from Ria’s blog but if you just stopped by then head back to the beginning to get started so you don’t miss any stops.
Whenever I think of love, my mind always goes back to old vintage photographs of happy couples. I like the warmth of the tones and how it seems to capture a moment in time. So, I decided to make a vintage photograph featuring the Grands couple. I used my Warm Greys Copic marker - and it was an interesting challenge to make sure there was enough contrast to make all the details stand out. I also brushed the images lightly with a blending tool using Gathered Twigs distress ink. I used Gathered Twigs along with Pumice Stone on the background, too. A bit of gold glam on the "Love" die cut and a couple hearts tie everything together.

Be sure to check in and comment on each blog, including this one, to be the most eligible. Since we’re spreading the love so hardcore, everyone gets 14% off at the Some Odd Girl shop using code SOGLove! But, we'll also be choosing 2 lucky winners from those of you who comment on every blog, each receiving a $14 spending spree in our shop. 
Here’s our hop list...
Elle * You are here

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

SCS - Home is my Land

In July 2016, I was chosen to be one of the Design Team members for Splitcoast Stampers for a 6 month term (until December 2016). Not only was  surprised and humbled, but I had an absolute blast creating 6 projects each month. The projects were exclusive to the forum paid supporters (it's one of the fab perks of being a donor), but I'm now allowed to feature them in my blog and I wanted to share.

The theme for my first month was "This Land is My Land". As a child, I moved around a lot - even across continents. So, for me, my land is my home - which is family. I wanted to illustrate this idea of moving, and I thought a caravan was just perfect. For the background, I used a paper from Carta Bella's The Great Outdoors 6x6. For the stamp, I used Avery Elle's Home Sweet Home.

This was my favorite card for July.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Stash Kit - Sea and Cats

Today, I'm sharing the stamps that I'm using in my Sea and Cats stash kit (read about my stash kit project here). I've named this kit Sea and Cats because it includes some nautical elements and a kitty stamp set. I don't think I'll be combining the two ideas necessarily (though the idea of a seafaring kitten does sound fun), but I will be using elements from all sets to create birthday cards.

Here are the stamps that I'll be using in this kit:

WPlus9 Dockside (large set from 2013, now retired)

I have also selected various patterned papers from my stash, with a combination of darker (muted) blues/teals/greens and a few bright pieces for the kitten cards.
Lastly, I'm using up some enamel dots:

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

SOG Monthly Challenge - February

Some Odd Girl is starting a new monthly challenge, and I just had to jump in and make a card! I used the lovely Cupid Mae digi, and some Valentine supplies I had sitting around. I chose a darker skin tone and color for this Cupid, and tied the colors together with red and white doilies.

Click here to check out what the other Oddies made, I guarantee you'll be impressed! :)

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chatty Sunday: January Stash Kit review

Here we are at the end of January, and you're probably wondering what happened to the January stash kit. Tthe answer is... well, nothing fun.

For some reason, the kit for January just didn't work for me. Don't get me wrong, I actually loved all the components of the kit - I had a ton of random ideas for the stamps, the paper and the embellishments. I stamped out a whole bunch of cute images that I colored. I even put together a couple of extra cards! But the process, as a whole, left me very underwhelmed. I don't feel like I gave the supplies a good workout, and I really didn't feel that I should be setting the supplies down in the "used" pile.

And I'm kind of glad, actually. Not all supplies will inspire me in the same ways, and I think that's the whole point of doing this project - to figure out how my supplies are best used and to make something productive with them. The fact that a month was underwhelming is good. I went from very structured sets last year (thematic sets) to something completely random in January, and it was a bit like a swinging pendulum - neither extreme worked for me. I don't want completely structured, but I also don't want completely random, either.

With this in mind, I figured out a couple of changes I need to make to the kit process:

The first change is to make the kits a bit smaller. January's kit had 7 stamps - and that's just too much for a single kit. I've decided to go back to a 4-stamp model, with it being broken down to: one smaller set (ex. 3x3 or 4x4 set), one standard set (4x6), one larger set (4x7.5 or larger) and one sentiment set (any size). This gives me a great variety of stamps to use, but without feeling like the amount of material I need to use is overwhelming.

The second change will be to take out any rubber stamps. Although I do plan to use my rubber stamps, I think they're better-suited to single cards. Almost all of my rubber stamps are character stamps, and the majority are a bit complicated - so they take a lot longer to color. I think it will work better to use them as I'm inspired to, instead of forcing them into a kit.

And the last change will be to get rid of the monthly time element. Instead of a monthly kit, they'll just be kits - and I'll continue working on them for as long as it takes me to make 12 cards. I'm still hoping to hit that 1-kit-per-month mark, but I am also looking forward to feeling less pressure to try and cram making 8 cards in one evening. Deadlines can be a great motivator, but too rigid of a schedule starts making the process feel like a job or a chore, and I don't want that.

In the next week, I'll be sharing my next kit. The focus will be on birthday and masculine/boy cards, as I'm going to be working on some gift sets for Christmas.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Bits N' Pieces: Valentine Cute

Today's card is my warm-up Valentine card - featuring Lawn Fawn's Stinkin' Cute stamp set.

I had stamped and die-cut this cute skunk and sentiment for a card I made back in May - and as always, there were a few extras. With Valentine approaching, I thought I'd make good use of them and add them to a layered card, along with a few die-cut elements from my stash.

I thought about doing a mini Valentine's series this year, but in the end I decided against it. I've already got so many projects going on and so many fun cards to share that I don't want to overwhelm myself.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bits n Pieces: Acorn Thanks

Thank You cards are probably my favorite kind of card to make. There's never a shortage of uses for them, and I'm free to use any theme or color combination I'm inspired by. I also make a lot of birthday cards. Birthday cards are fun, but you don't really want to make a somber birthday card - and you can certainly make something more serious for a thank-you sympathy card.

I grabbed a couple of the acorns I colored in September's Stash Kit project using Lawn Fawn's Into the Woods stamp set.  I decided to use them in a very feminine card - something that might be sent out after a wedding or a girl baby shower. So, I chose pinks and browns, with a pretty ribbon bow to tie everything together.

Although the card is simple, it packs a punch with the ombré paper. It would be simple enough to make a whole bunch of and give away as a card set gift.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

SK January: Favorite You

Today's card is the first card in the January's Stash Kit project (you can read more about the project here, and see January supplies here).

Whenever I start on the kit cards, I always start by laying out all the supplies and making a quick "warm-up" card. I don't usually keep this card - it's just playful practice to get me more familiar with the supplies I'm using. But this time, I actually rather like how the card turned out.

I kept the card super simple, adding just a couple of dies (tag and a scripty You), along with a couple of stickers and enamel shapes. Not too shabby for a practice card, right?

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Bits and Pieces: Birthday Wishes Cat

Things have been a bit quiet on the blog lately, as most of my free "crafty" time has been spent in organizing mode. I mentioned in a previous post that I'd made a couple of final orders at the end of the year, and they've now all arrived. It was quite a lot of stuff to label, put away and organize. And, of course, I still had a mess of a crafty table to clean up from holiday crafting.

As I was putting away the extra Avery Elle kitties I colored and cardstock panels I die-cut for Christmas, I thought I could take a minute to put all those bits and pieces to use and create another card. I grabbed my prepped card-with-patterned-paper base and adhered all the extra bits - including a sentiment from My Favorite Things.

I always stamp and color extras (just in case), and I keep unused extras in a clear bin on my crafty table. They make for a great quick card element, so I can focus on things like card layouts or trying new techniques. I'd like to use them more often and combine them together.

So, I'm starting a new blog series/feature called Bits and Pieces. With this series, I hope to use crafty supplies that just didn't make it onto a card, as well as do several quick-n-easy cards I can add to my card stash or package together as a gift for a loved one.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Stash Kit: January 2017

Since it's a new year, I thought I'd start with a fresh new kit for January -- and take the opportunity to incorporate some of the recently-purchased supplies I got in the holiday sales. I've added extra stamps for January, as I intend to carry some of them over to the months that follow.

As with previous months, I will be adding a variety of cardstock, dies and coloring mediums such as Copics, Prismacolor pencils or watercolor. 

Without further ado...

Little Darlings - Rainy Night
Reverse Confetti - Lift Me Up
Pinkfresh Studio - Happy Days
Ellen Hutson LLC - All Inside
Neat & Tangled - Giving Tree
Simon Says Stamp - What's Brewing
WPlus9 - Garden Buddies

Pinkfresh Studio - Felicity 6x6
Pinkfresh Studio - Felicity Word Stickers
Webster's Pages - #Happy phrase stickers
Gossamer Blue - Gramercy Road enamel dots

Thanks for reading!