Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fresh Vintage Blog Hop - 3D Wrapped Flower

Welcome to the Sizzix Fresh Vintage Blog Hop! I am always so honored when Eileen Hull asks me to participate on these hops, and this round is probably the most exciting one to date! The new Fresh Vintage series is a great group of dies - I honestly don't know how Eileen keeps coming up with these amazing ideas. Today's featured die is the 3D Wrapped Flower. It's a fun, trendy flower that can be done up quickly and with great variety.

For my wreath project, I started out with a wreath base from the craft store. I die cut patterned papers from Grant Archival - and because this is a steel rule die from Sizzix, you can easily cut two pieces of paper at once. Assembling those pieces is as easy as using a piece of tape - seriously! I mixed and matched papers to create a whimsical look. To tie them all together, I used Wild Honey Distress Stain (Ranger) on the edges. The button centers were created with Epiphany Crafts' button tool, then highlighted with some Copper Stickles (Ranger).

To adhere the individual flowers, I just pulled out my handy glue gun and put them in the blank spots on the wreath. This is such an easy, one-of-a-kind project - and it would be so fun to have them for every occasion during the year!

Would you like a chance to win this die? All you have to do is head over to the Oh My Crafts! Blog and enter! It's that easy! And to continue on the Blog Hop, please just use the widget on the right and click Back or Forward - you will continue along with the other designers highlighting this fantastic die. Thanks for joining me today, and thanks to the incredibly talented Eileen Hull for putting together such an inspiring hop!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Jar Fillers

When I first got a look at the new Summer Jar Fillers from Papertrey, I fell in love! I knew those hydrangeas were going to make me color to my hearts content! And the adorable smaller jar is pretty fantastic, too. Hydrangeas are one of my very favorite flowers - all that beautiful color on a strong stem is just beautiful to me.

I chose to go with pink for my first coloring of this stamp. I've seen where several people were concerned about the lack of stems with this image, but I just masked this from the tulips image from the Spring Fillers set. Easy & quick! The flower coloring was done with Copics, using shades from the Hibiscus Burst and New Leaf trios, and the jar has the palest markers from Spring Rain and Aqua Mist blended together. I did do some 'fussy cutting' (I've seen that term used a lot lately, and it makes me smile! Yes, it's fussy, but definitely worth it sometimes - like here, I think!) The center of each flower was touched with a dab of Smooch ink (the pearlized top coat).

The background plaid was stamped with Distressed Stripes. I couldn't find just the right paper in my stash, so I opted to make it! The colors used were Spring Moss and New Leaf with Sweet Blush and Hibiscus Burst. If you haven't given this look a try with Distressed Stripes, I think you should give it a try - it's fun and easy and the results are fantastic! A piece of Hibiscus Burst cardstock cut with the medium scalloped die and a length of silk ribbon finish it off.

Thanks for stopping by today - I hope you're having a wonderful summer! We are here - Wally and the Beav are keeping me busy and smiling. Be well!

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Peaceful Garden

Just a quick card to show you using Lisa Johnson's new PTI set, Peaceful Garden. I love this sentiment, and I think it's just the perfect thing for a friend going through a bit of a rough patch.
Be well! 

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Friday, July 1, 2011

From the Papertrey Ink newsletter

I had a request for some larger pictures of Nichole's wall units, so I thought I would post them here for your reference. Have a fantastic holiday weekend to my friends in Canada and the US!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A winner and a Patriotic card

Good morning, friends! I hope you had a great weekend. The boys got out of school last Tuesday, so I'm really enjoying the freedom in our schedule! It's so much fun having them home with me, even if it does mean a little more time wearing my referee jersey.

Since next Monday is the 4th of July, I thought I'd post a card I created a little while back. It was done with Est. 1776 . I'm really happy with the way it turned out. Here's a closer look:

I used some paper weaving on the left side, using strips of Enchanted Evening and Pure Poppy cardstock. The focal piece is the Mat Stack 3 die, with the sentiment holder from the coordinating stamp set.  The eagle was stamped in Enchanted Evening ink and then covered with Glossy Accents.

And as promised, I have a book to giveaway today, thanks to the kind people at Annie's Attic! The random number generator chose number 6, so that is TRICIA! Congrats, Tricia! If you could please email me (you can use the link on the right margin) I'll get your details and send this fun technique book right out to you. Thank you so much to all of you!

Have a fantastic day! Be well.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tea Bag Folding Through The Seasons

So I have to let you in on a little secret...I'm not good at folding. Even as a kid, I just couldn't get my origami projects to look anything like they should have. It's literally been a life-long affliction, and as a paper crafter, it's always been my Achille's Heel...or I should say UNTIL NOW. ;)

The great people at Annie's Attic Paper Crafts asked me if I would review their new book Tea Bag Folding Through The Seasons by Sharon M. Reinhart. You can imagine the anxiety I had reading the email! How could I possibly review a book that would undoubtedly challenge me? Well, it just took a second for that little voice in my head to go "Duh, Jenn. That's the point of the book - to teach people a new skill!". Thanks to that little voice, I happily accepted the challenge, even telling them that I was a little, hmm, 'excited', to try this technique.

Once the book arrived, I sat down and was really drawn in! What a completely underrated technique! And now with all the great scoring products on the market, it's even easier to create a crisp, beautiful fold. Sharon's instructions are well-written and easy to follow along with - she has even created a folder out of me! There are projects that are photographed clearly, diagrams to show the steps clearly (great for a visual learner like me) and just enough variations to keep it from being overwhelming. The card above is my very first try at tea bag folding (which, by the way, isn't necessarily done with tea bags...Sharon explains it all in the introduction of the book). Here's a closer look at the folds I created for this:

I used papers (Everyday Blessings) and dies (Limitless Layers in both sizes and Doily Details)  from Papertrey Ink. I'd tell you how I did it, but Sharon does it SO much better! ;)
If you are looking to learn a new technique, or revisiting an old one to you, you should consider picking up this book! You can create the most beautiful, unique medallions - the recipients of your cards will be amazed!

The kind folks at Annie's Attic sent me a copy to share, so I thought it would be fun to hear about your childhood attempts at origami! Leave me a comment telling me that you were the kid who had a thousand swans around the house, or join me in commiserating over how fold-challenged you were! I will draw a random poster next Monday (June 27th) to receive this beautiful book.

Be well! ~ Jenn

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shabby Chic

Does your style go through phases? Mine does! I always have a hard time when someone asks me what my style is, mainly because it does change from year to year. When I left Anna Griffin three years ago, I thought all my shabby chic/vintage ways had left me, but amazingly enough - they're back!

I had a lot of fun creating this 9"x4" card. I like this size because they easily fit in a #10 (business) envelope. There is lots of Papertrey goodness on this. The cardstock colors are Vintage Cream, Aqua Mist (my go-to color these days, in clothing and paper!) and Sweet Blush. The dies are from Love Lives Here and Tag Sale #1. Background Basics: Gingham is on the Sweet Blush layer, along with quite a bit of Tea Dye Duo. The stamp on the tags is Library Card (seriously the best $5 stamp!), and then the perfectly imperfect butterflies are from Love Lives Here. Finishing touches include seam binding bows topped off with Aqua Mist buttons and Rustic Cream button twine and of course, a liberal dose of the sewing machine. The end result just makes me sigh with shabby happiness! ;)

I hope this inspires you to create something beautiful today! Be well.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Time flies!

Isn't amazing how BUSY spring becomes? Every mom I know right now is walking around in a haze trying to keep everything straight - sports, standardized testing, spring concerts...and I guess I'm no exception. The blog has taken a back seat to everything else lately, so thanks for bearing with me.

Today's project was built around the Technique Tag we did at Angela's Happy Stamper. It features Lockhart Stamp Company's English Garden Flowers. All of the coloring was done with Twinkling H2O's for a really beautiful look. A few of you who come in on Tuesdays have asked me to give you some ideas for incorporating the tags into cards, so I will start doing that! In case you weren't able to come in yesterday (ie, your ARK wasn't at the ready - what rain!) here's a quick overview:

If you look closely here, you can see that I embossed this beautiful image. But I also used Versafine Black for it - and that's a great little tip. Versafine is not generally regarded to be an embossable ink, but if you have your powder at the ready, it will emboss beautifully while not losing any of that incredible detail. I *love* using this tip when using Twinkling H2O's because the embossing creates little that encourage the watercolors to stay put. Ahhh, control over the uncontrollable! ;) (And for those that know me in person, you know just how giddy that makes me!)

I hope this shows you a couple of great little tips today! Be well.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Butterfly Love

Morning, friends! I wanted to share a vintage-feel card that I created with lots of Papertrey Ink goodies. I will admit that I've been a little slow to jump on the whole doily trend, so this is the first card that I've created with the Parisian Lace Doily die. I've found that I love to cut it with text-weight paper (this is an off-white text weight from Neenah). The best part? By simply folding your paper in half, you can cut two doilies at the same time - the text weight is light enough to do this without any problem. I added a little Chamomile ink from the Tea Dye Duo to age the edges slightly.

So, more details...the card base is Spring Rain cardstock given the impression plate treatment with the Sheet Music plate. I inked the edges first with Spring Rain ink, then with Chai ink from the Tea Dye Duo. The focal point is a great combination of stamps; first I stamped some Rustic White cardstock with Text Style, the die cut it with the Angled Label dies. The label edge is from Label Basics (this set fills such a gap in my stamp collection! It's going to be the under-rated hero for me, I'm sure.) The butterfly is my favorite image from Butterfly Dreams. Colored up with the Spring Rain Copic trio, it reminds me of the beautifully colored butterflies I saw in Costa Rica when I was there many years ago. The sweet little die cut tag is from Tiny Tags; the sentiment is from Mixed Messages (LOVE how this combination matches up!!); I used a little silk ribbon to tie it on to the label. There's a fair amount of stuff on there, but I really like how it doesn't look busy in an overpowering way. (I know just who the perfect recipient is, too! I hope it will make her day!)

And don't forget - it's Tuesday, so that means I'll be over at Angela's Happy Stamper today at lunchtime for Technique Tag Tuesday. Stop by to try out Tsukineko's new GlazOn for StazOn. It's a fun way to try out a brand new product.

Have a great day! Be well.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jelly Bean cupcake

It's Spring Break this week, and it's been lots of fun here at our house. The boys have been running around, and my sister and her family came for a visit. There's nothing better than watching cousins play!

I wanted to pop in quickly and show you this fun Jelly Bean Cupcake from Lockhart Stamp Company. I wish you could see it in person - I colored it Copics, Prismacolors and Smooch and the effect is really cool. The top of the cupcake is cut out and layered up with foam tape. It was done first with Smooch, then colored pencils for a little shading. The cupcake paper was colored with Copics, then Pearl Smooch over the top. It's a fun, sparkly way to color any image, but especially one as fun as this one.

I hope you have a wonderful (holiday) weekend with your family. Be well.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

purse holders

Morning, friends! I hope you all had a nice weekend. Lots of fun spring activities here, sports for Wally and the Beav, we took in a DC United game and on Sunday I took a cool beading class at Potomac Beads in Alexandria. (I haven't taken a picture of the necklace I made yet, but it was with ribbon, so it's pretty unique.)

I wanted to show you something I've been doing a bit of lately - check out these purse holders! Aren't they the coolest? I found them on Etsy, and I've been having fun making them suited to different people. My mom has always had a thing for quilting, so I made the one with the Quilt Block for her. The block is from Papertrey's Quilter's Block Additions. To make it, I stamped the block onto Fine Linen cardstock; you can't tell in the picture, but the cardstock was also stamped with Text Style background in Chamomile ink. (I found that it was a good subtle background to give it a little extra depth.) I colored the quilt block quickly with Copics (from the Scarlet Jewel and Enchanted Evening trios).

Since I didn't know how big of an area I would have, I just inked up the raised edge (in this case, the raised edge of the heart). I 'stamped' it onto the cardstock, giving me an idea of the space I had to use. Since the edge is metal, the ink wiped right off. The one with the butterfly is from Butterfly Dreams - great choice because it has several smaller images in it. It, too, has a stamped background with Text Style.

Once I had the images stamped, colored and cut, I adhered them in the purse holder with Diamond Glaze, then filled the area with more Diamond Glaze. To avoid bubbles, I try to keep the flow of glaze continuous and not lift up the tip. Not foolproof, but it seems to help. This next part may as well be torture for me, but once the area is filled, I then put them aside and left them alone for a day. See? Torture.

Here's a bit closer look. It's kind of tough to not get a lot of glare in the shot between the glaze and the metal, but you get the idea.

I'm really pleased with the way they turned out. When I ordered them, I wasn't really sure how it would be, but I'm glad I took the chance and followed my instincts. They're the perfect kind of gift that I like to give, too - pretty and purposeful.
I hope this inspires you to take a look around and see what else you can use your stamps with - the possibilities are endless! Have a great day - be well. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring means Ducks in A Row!

Does spring bring new ducks to your house? Not the quacking kind, but all those little issues to keep in a row? It does here, that's for sure! That's why when I saw Karen Lockhart's new Ducks stamp and coordinating sentiment, I fell in love. Whenever I refer to laundry list of to-do's, I have always referred to it as the ducks I need to get in a row - and when something falls between the cracks, it is the duck that left the row. My mom and dad visited last week, and it was when my husband was away at a conference, and Wally had soccer, Beav had baseball and I was definitely busy lining up ducks. My mom kind of giggled, because I have a list written down that I referred to often - a trait that I come by honestly because my dad does that very same thing.

Enough about crazy life ducks, I have to tell you about these cuties! I used colored pencils for the grass and sky, but instead of coloring the ducks, I applied yellow flock. Oh gosh, you have no idea how CUTE these are in real life! When I applied the flocking, though, some of the details (like the eyes and wings) were covered up; you could still see them, but not well enough. Solution? I grabbed a fine tip black pen (I used a Copic Multiliner) and went right over the flock. It worked like a charm!

Have to say, if you see this one in your stamp store - snag it up! It's a classic and a great way to send a faraway friend a sweet and whimsical thinking of you card. Have a fantastic weekend! Be well.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

To brighten your day!

Ribbon Tails is one of the March release sets from Papertrey Ink. It coordinates with the Double Ended Banner dies in a really fun way! When I first got it, I was trying to decide what color to use it with, and promptly decided I needed a rainbow to curb my indecision! ;) I used Pure Poppy, Orange Zest, Summer Sunrise, New Leaf, Enchanted Evening, Blueberry Sky and Royal Velvet cardstock. I alternately stamped each one with Versamark, then heat embossed them with clear embossing powder. So easy and so cute!

Coordinating button die cuts add just a bit of interest, and the silk ribbon keeps everything nice and flat for mailing. Really, other than the die cutting, this is a really quick and easy card that could serve for a bunch of occasions. (Don't you just love a go-to design?)

I hope you have a great day! Be well.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Caught A Bug?

The latest Lockhart Stamp Company release is so full of fun images - they just make me smile! This one, the Caught a Bug? is so funny - and a surefire way to brighten someone's day.  The fact that it has a coordinating sentiment makes it a must-have! (As evidenced by the fact that it keeps selling out of Angela's Happy Stamper so quickly!)
I figured it was only appropriate to make this lil' sickie a bit green. I used Copic markers on this, mainly because I knew that I wanted to be able to give the glass a nice shaded look. (Not sure if it is showing up as well as I had hoped here, but it looks really cool in person!) I cut it out and placed it on the mat and added the sentiment. The patterned paper is from Making Memories (Noteworthy collection) and the cardstock and dies are from Papertrey Ink. I added quick accents of Stickles and machine stitching, but tried not to detract from my focal image too much.
I'm glad to have this card on hand to have on hand for my next friend who is under the weather. It's bound to bring a smile to their face!
Have a great day! Be well.

Friday, March 25, 2011



TGIF, blog friends! Thank you so much for the kind comments about the Make It Monday video. I've been branching out and trying to learn new skills lately, the video being one, and the above lil' goodie being another! I'm trying to learn how to solder! The pendant above is my first project (look at all the firsts you're seeing from me this week - guess I'm feeling pretty brave showing you it all!).
So I have a lot to learn with this technique, and this is really far bumpier than it should be, but I'm really happy with it. I was having a seriously TOUGH time trying to conquer this - I burnt my wrist when some hot solder flew backwards, I left a pretty bad burn mark in my desk (YIKES!) and I completely messed up my first tip on my soldering iron. I was determined not to let it get the better of me, though, and finished my project.
The image is from PTI's Friendship Jar Spring Fillers. I colored it with Copics, pretty was stamped onto Stamper's Select and backed with Spring Rain.
I ordered my soldering supplies from my friend Ellen Hutson. This kit has all you need to get started - well, almost all! May I be a little bold and tell you that you can save yourself a very embarrassing spot on your work surface by stopping by the home improvement store for a 12x12 me on this! ;)
Since I'm still such a novice on soldering, I will tell you that Ellen's blog and the Simply Swank website have some great tutorials. I hope to give it another shot this weekend, so who knows, maybe I'll have another one to show you soon.
Have a great weekend! Be well!
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Hi everyone! I have a little bit of a surprise today - I'm hosting the Make It Monday video this week! You can view it on Nichole's blog and post your interpretations of the challenge, as well. This is my very first  video EVAAHHHH, so I'm a little nervous and excited.  I hope you like it and find it inspiring.

Have a great day! Be well.

Friday, March 18, 2011


I had a hankering for some apples this morning - and here's what I came up with! Apples in a Chintz Bowl from Lockhart Stamp Company to the rescue. A vibrant, inviting color combination of blue and green is really speaking to me this gorgeous spring morning. (Cardstock colors are blueberry sky and simply chartreuse from Papertrey Ink.)

I just pulled out some of my Prismacolors to color it. I have a blue and white bowl like this, so it was the inspiration for the color choice. I really like the way it turned out - hope you do, too!

Have a wonderful weekend! Be well.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

You're Too Kind

Hi friends! Popping in with a card that I made a few weeks ago and just hadn't gotten around to posting yet. Lots of fun Papertrey Ink stuff layered on here. I started with a cardbase made from Fine Linen (*love*) and then added half the Parisian Lace Doily die cut from text weight paper. (This die came in and out of stock so quickly this week that my head is spinning!) The butterfly die looks so pretty in Sweet Blush cardstock, then I used the Sheet Music Impression plate on it, too. Top it off with a little pearl-y water (perfect pearls + water) and some Liquid Pearls and it look beautiful.

So what is that the butterfly is on? That's Mat Stack 1 die cut from one of PTI's new coasters, then stamped with Background Basics: Newsprint. Flank a couple of buttons cut from coasters (and covered with Liquid Pearls again), add a little ribbon and you have a great focal point. The sentiment is from Think Big Favorites #1 (another *love*).

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