Monday, September 1, 2014

Tag, I'm It: The Creative Blog Hop

Hi, friends! A week ago, my dear stampin' friend Sandy Mathis tagged me to participate in The Creative Blog Hop. You may have heard about it already, but if not, it's a fun way for to learn more about each other, our individual creative process and, hopefully, make a few new friends along the way.  I stalked Sandy's fabulous blog, Stamp with Sandy, for a while but it was during her stint as a Guest Designer for The Paper Players that we became fast friends.  Her creativity runs the full spectrum rocking the clean-and-simple style equally as well as shabby and vintage.  She is a pro at featuring Stampin' Up! products in an accessible and creative way and despite working full-time, manages to post to her blog every day!  On top of all that, she always comments on my projects and sends a smile my way.  You can see her Creative Blog Hop post and learn more about her by clicking here.  Love ya, Sandy!

So on to the hop..,bear with me, there are several questions! The hop asks that we answer four questions about ourselves, I'll try to be brief but interesting!  :-)

What am I working on now?
I am always working on projects for The Paper Players design team.  In addition to the weekly DT cards I create, I also design all the challenge badges for each post and do a fair bit of behind-the-scenes maintenance of the blog.  I love being part of this team and love keeping everyone in line--LOL!  Outside of DT work, right now, I am working on projects featuring products from SU's new Holiday Catalog. I had a Holiday Catalog Open House last week and I designed a few (very) simple Make & Takes so visitors could play with new toys...such as the Gift Box Punch Board...

...and the Wonderful Wreath Framelits bundle:

How does my work differ from others in my genre?
Oh boy, this is a tough question!  Every stamper is unique in their own way--even those of us that are SU demos and use the same products!  We each put our own creative spin on those same products.  With that in mind, my work is different because it is an extension of ME.  I tend to put a lot of little details on my cards and projects that give 'em just that little extra somethin'!  Also, I hate to leave my cards naked on the inside!  I usually carry elements of the stamping, colors and sometimes paper from the outside to the inside of the card.  It's like the perfect piece of jewelry on a great outfit--it just finishes it off!



Why do I create what I do?
Because I love working with Stampin' Up! products--plain and simple.  I love how easy it is to create a project that is pulled together through coordinating paper, ink and accessories.  My always-pulled-together-mother instilled  a strong sense of coordination in me (we call it matchy-matchy) and Stampin' Up makes creative coordination effortless!  My fabulous mother also instilled in me a love of crafts taking me along on many a mother-daughter craft adventure like sewing, ceramics and even macrame!  She's also the one that introduced me to Stampin' Up and I count myself lucky to have her in my downline!


How does my creative process work?
I am inspired by colors and design--whether in clothing, art, interior design or even in nature. I see a beautiful dress in a store and think, "I can't wait to make a card like that!" Or, I will see a flower and think how pretty the shades of color blend together.  More directly to card-making, I find lots of inspiration in challenge blogs, especially color and sketch challenges.  I don't always have a card designed in my mind's eye but when I see a color combination or a sketch, often a particular stamp set or paper will come to mind and then I work from that designing the card as I go.  I often have to step away from my projects to get a fresh perspective.  Sometimes, I am so focused on using one particular stamp or color that it becomes forced and won't gel together.  I walk away, think about it and usually come back with a fresh solution or scrap the whole thing entirely, ha!  If I am not following the specifics of a challenge, then I usually try to think of alternate ways to use a stamp, punch or die--often trying out not the first thing that comes to mind but the second!


Whew!  If you're still with me, go have some chocolate, you deserve it!  Come back, though, because now I have the honor of tagging two people I admire in our little corner of stampin' blogland.  They've each shared a little bit about themselves here:
 

Helen
H2Designs
Hi, my name is Helen aka H or H2, hence my blog name h2designs.  I've always been fascinated by typography & design, and started making handcrafted cards way back in my early twenties (the first time gold embossing was all the rage, lol!)  In the years since I have tried my hand at many other crafty & creative pursuits including ceramics, cross stitch, scrapbooking, hand coloured & filled chocolates, machine applique, and working with helium balloons.  I have even "played architect" and designed floor plans for a few homes.  Several years ago I was re-introduced to rubber stamping & card making, and that is where my creative passion now firmly lies.  I love being able to take a humble piece of paper and turn it into something that brings joy to the recipient.

Thank you, Nance, for tagging me in the Creative Blog Hop and for being one of the lovely & amazingly talented people I have had the pleasure to "meet" through stamping & blogging.

 

I was lucky to "meet" and work with Helen when she was a Guest Designer for us at The Paper Players.  She is as kind and hard-working as her designs are clever and creative.  She always amazes me with her clean and classy work and consistently inspires me to think outside the box.  Thanks for agreeing to the hop, Helen!
 
Hi there, I’m Dawn Tidd and I’m a craft-aholic! I have always loved to do some sort of craft and once I do I am addicted to it. I’ve been married to a wonderful man who has indulged my love of crafting for 38 years. We live in the Upstate of South Carolina and love it here. We’re close to both the mountains and the coast. We have three grown children, 2 sons and a daughter, and 7 grandchildren with 2 more on the way (one may have arrived as you read this). I have cross-stitched, smocked & sewn, crocheted, painted and I even did crewel work at one time long ago. About 15 years ago our daughter wanted to start scrapbooking and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to do something fun with her, so we got started. She quit after about four pages and I was hooked! I knew myself well enough to know that’s what would happen. A couple of my friends and I still try to scrapbook periodically over a weekend. About 7 years ago one of those friends suggested the other two of us attend a card-making class with her and we resisted for awhile. Obviously that resistance eventually wore off and here I am today making cards and friends through stamping! I still enjoying sewing and smocking when I have a chance. I love to garden and hike too.  Nance Lempinen-Leedy, who was the inspiration for me to finish the interiors cards, was so sweet to think of tagging me in this fun hop!

I met Dawn in person at SU's Leadership conference in Orlando two years ago and felt like I connected with a long-lost friend.  She is instantly warm, friendly and whip-smart!  She inspires me with her daily posts and her creative freedom with colors, techniques and styles.  Thank you for agreeing to the hop, Dawn!

And, if you made it this far...thank YOU!  Thank you to Sandy for tagging me and to Helen and Dawn for agreeing to be tagged!  Check out their blogs next Monday, September 8th to learn more about them.  Thanks for stopping by!

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

All is Calm for The Paper Players {PP211}

Hi all!  I'm hosting a fun Tic-Tac-Toe challenge over at The Paper Players where we get to make something using any three (or more) of the choices across, down or diagonally from our challenge board:
So, I know last week I said it seemed to early for a Christmas card and...well...umm...it's really hard to resist when I have a big 'ole box of Holiday Catalog supplies just begging to be used.  So...umm...I made a Christmas card and it's not even September!  Ack!
You see, I saw this great sketch over at Freshly Made Sketches {love} and an idea for this card took shape in my mind's eye.  I knew that I could cover a piece of scrap Whisper White cardstock with the gorgeous All is Calm Designer Washi Tape and use it to fill the negative space cut with the Tree punch.  I think I might be a little addicted to using the negative space of punches and dies but I love the dimension it gives to the design.  I also knew that the All is Calm DSP would provide my color scheme and the On Point embossing folder would provide some fun texture and mimic the simple shape of my tree.  Yes?  
I am so happy that SU brought back these handwritten font Framelits (found in the Wonderful Wreath Framelits) but this time, they're even better.  They are a litle bit wider which makes for a larger surface to attach adhesive to and they pop out of the Framelit with ease!  To attach mine, I used a Two-Way Glue Pen and a couple rolled up glue dots.  Just catch the edge of one and roll it gently with your finger--you'll get a tube-shaped glue dot that's perfect for the skinny letters!
Hardly any stamping on the front so I had to do a little to the inside.  This tree is from the Festival of Trees stamp set and it coordinates with the Tree punch--love that!  It's also photopolymer (completely clear) so it makes lining up the dots on the tree easy-peasy.  So, did you figure out which elements of the Tc-Tac-Toe board I used?  Yep, straight down the middle: green, embossing and ribbon and I even got the bottom left coner too: patterned paper!

So, let's see what you can pick out of the board!  Won't you play along with us at The Paper Players?  We would love to see your work in the gallery before our challenge closes on Friday, September 5th at Noon (PST).  Check out the rest of the design team to see their Tc-Tac-Toe projects too!

The Paper Players Design Team

And here's the fabulous sketch I used from Freshly Made Sketches:
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Table built using Product Table Builder by The Crafty Owl - Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sneak Peek: Fun with Fall Fest

I couldn't wait to show you this!  I just finished it and normally I would wait until daylight tomorrow to take a good/better picture and post it later.  You know, spread out the posts...but instead two in one day?!  That's crazy talk.  But...I just couldn't wait. You'll know why when I show you what I made following this fabulous tutorial from my friend Ginger:
EEK!  Isn't that cute?!  Ginger's tutorial shows you how to use any framelit to make a die-cut border.  It's super easy and once you make one, you won't look at your framelits the same way again.  I know I'm looking to see what other shapes I can turn into a border...
I showed this technique at stamp club this past week and it was a big hit!  After I used Ginger's tutorial to cut my ghosts with the Fun Fall Framelits, I stamped them with the matching ghost from the Fall Fest stamp set and heat embossed with white embossing powder.  The grinning faces are from the same set and stamped in Tangerine Tango. 
I didn't like the unfinished look to the inside where I could see the back edge of the black cardstock.  I covered it up with two more die cut ghosts, secured them in place and then gave them a sinister grin with the same faces from Fall Fest.  Isn't that paper adorable too?  It's called Motely Monsters DSP and you'll find it with the Fall Fest stamp set and coordinating Fun Fall Framelits all available in the Holiday Catalog going live on Thursday, August 28th.  If you haven't already received a Holiday Catalog from a demonstrator, I would love to send you one!  Just leave your name and email in a comment and I will contact you for an address.  You're not going to believe all the wonderful products in this Holiday Catalog--it's all fabulous, truly!  

Thanks for stopping by!
edited to add: here's the original video tutorial for this technique from Danielle Flanders
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Table built using Product Table Builder by The Crafty Owl - Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.