Four Takes

November 20th, 2013

Happy Wednesday, friends!  Today I have four cards to share with you – all basically the same and yet each very different from the others.  This all started last week when I needed to make a sympathy card.  There’s a sense in which none of us really want to create sympathy cards, and yet it’s the time we most want to show that we care.  I immediately knew that I wanted to use the classic TE stamp set Discover Your Wings along with one of the new matching dies.  I went to the TE Gallery for inspiration and found a lot of great samples.  The two I was most drawn to right away were this one by Shannon and this one by Joan.

I started by creating my 4 different backgrounds.  Once I had those, I set about to choose coordinating cardstock colors and to heat emboss and die cut the wildflowers to go with each background.

The background for this card was created by brayering ink from a Kaleidacolor pad onto glossy cardstock.  The wildflower image was heat embossed with gold embossing powder onto dark brown cardstock and die cut with the matching die.  I think this has a beautiful calm autumnal look and the gold adds a bit of elegance.

The background for this one was created by brayering a Kaleidacolor pad onto shimmery white cardstock.  The images was stamped and heat embossed with white ink and powder onto teal cardstock and die cut.  I die cut a 2nd time from Not Quite Navy and put it behind and slightly off-set to create some extra depth.  This one feels fresh and cool.

For this background, I was playing with Distress Markers on TE watercolor paper.  It turned out more bold and streaky than I intended and I almost threw it away, but in the end I love how this card turned out.  Instead of embossing this image, I colored it with the same colors of distress markers.  A 2nd layer was die cut from black cardstock to create the shadow. This one is bright and happy.

This background was my 2nd attempt with the Distress Markers on watercolor paper – going for a softer look here.  I also love the way this one turned out!  This time I white embossed onto plum cardstock and die cut. This one is soft and pretty.

Isn’t it fun to see four such different looks from the same stamps and layout? One of my favorite things to do in stamping is to take one stamp set or one paper kit and make several different things with it in one sitting.  I love to just play and try different directions.  I haven’t done much of that in the last couple of years, but I need to do it a lot more.  It actually took me several days to finish all 4 of these cards and that’s ok. I loved every minute of it!

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a great day!

November Stamp Class

November 18th, 2013

Happy Monday! First I want to thank everyone for the comments and e-mails after my last post.  The love and encouragement shown to me by so many has truly meant the world to me!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

It’s been over a week since I held my November Stamp Class, and I know my girls always like to have the projects posted up here on my blog for reference, so I thought I better get caught up.  This was my Christmas class and we created four projects all featuring Taylored Expressions stamps and dies.  First up is this adorable little penguin bag/box/sack made with the Sack It Die set and the Sack It Penguin add-on die set.

While this project is super simple, I have to say that I wouldn’t recommend it for a class of 10 or more people.  I’m afraid that all the die cutting of so many pieces (along with the next project I have to show you) was a bit too much for a class setting.  I always want my classes to be fun and relaxing and I think I may have stressed out some of the girls.  SORRY!

The cute little penguin is attached to the front of a simple little die cut sack that can be used for party favors or any small gift.  I think he’s DARLING!!

The next project was a Santa gift card holder.  This was created with the Santa dies that come with the Sack It Die and the addition of the medium scallop border die (with white felt).  Instead of layering the Santa pieces onto the sack, we used the Tag Pocket Die to create a gift card holder.

Everyone uses gift card holders at Christmas, right?  We also created a little tag to go inside and then the gift card slides in behind the tag.

The sentiment on the tag is Stampin’ Up!

Next up is a card I CASEd from my friend Wanda Guess.  I pretty much LOVE everything she creates and as soon as I saw her card during the October Release, I knew we had to make it in class.  It features the stamp set Christmas Doodles.

So quick and easy and so super cute!

The last project we created was a card featuring A Winter View.  Each student had a choice between two versions of the card.  The designer paper is from SU and you see the two sides of the same paper on the two cards. It’s hard to see in the photo, but the paper is shimmery.  I love all the window dies and the stamp sets to coordinate with them!  We heat embossed the image with silver embossing powder for a special holiday sparkle and watercolored over that.  Unfortunately, the photo just doesn’t do these cards justice.

Of course you can click on any of the photos above to see them larger.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Time for me to get ready for work.  It’s the “busy season” with Thanksgiving and Christmas quickly approaching.  It seems there is never a time when the church office isn’t busy, but I think this next 5-6 weeks might just be the busiest of all!  Have a great day!!

A New Season

November 1st, 2013

I’m here today to share my heart and some personal news. I have stepped down from my position as Design Team Coordinator for Taylored Expressions.   This decision did not come easily, in fact it was a heart-wrenching struggle over some time.  I love Taylor, TE, and the Baker’s Dozen Design Team.  Being the Design Team Coordinator was a dream I had from the very earliest days of TE and I was thrilled when Taylor offered to move me into the position.  I have loved doing it.

That being said, I have more recently found myself overwhelmed, exhausted, and unhappy as I have struggled to keep up with the combination of  TE DTC and my job as the church Office Manager.  I never want to give less than my heart and soul, MY ALL, but that’s where I’ve found myself.  Both jobs require a tremendous amount of mental and emotional energy and I found myself constantly coming up short.  I finally had to admit that something had to give.

I have to take this opportunity to publically thank Taylor for allowing me to be a part of TE from the beginning.  I really can’t express how much I love being involved in the company and watching it grow!  I am beaming with pride for you and all you have accomplished with TE in 5 short years!  I know that Taylor and I will always be friends and I plan to continue to work with her behind the scenes in product development as I have always done, but in a much smaller capacity.

As of today, Stephanie Kraft is the new TE Design Team Coordinator.  Stephanie is going to be wonderful and I’m so happy for her and for the team!

I’ve never been a person to embrace change or run towards it, but throughout my life I have gotten better at accepting it and trusting the Lord through it.

Even though this is quite difficult at the moment, I know it will be a good thing in the long run.  I look forward to having more time (and hopefully finding the passion again) to stamp just for fun.  I might even renew the desire to blog on a more regular basis again.  I will continue to teach my monthly stamp classes and am hopeful that the prep will seem less stressful now.  Overall, I’m just needing a little simpler, more peaceful life. {Perhaps that is just menopause talking?  I’m not sure!  LOL} I will remain plenty busy, that’s for sure, and I look forward to this new season of my life.

Here is a devotional blog post that helped me as I struggled to make this decision: When Change is Hard.  I’d encourage you to read it.

I had planned to create a card to share today along with this post, but when it came right down to it, I was honestly just too emotionally exhausted to create anything.  Instead I am re-posting one of my all-time favorite TE creations from way back in April of ’09 featuring one of my all-time favorite stamp sets, Branching Out.  Your friendship is a blessing. I love this sentiment as I have been so blessed by my friendships with so many of you!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I appreciate each one of you!  With much love…