Sunday, August 12, 2018

Cattail Sunset - PP405

Hi friends!  Today's post is bittersweet, I guess it's a sunset of sorts for me too.  I've decided to step back from creating for The Paper Players design team and this is my last post for awhile.  Our daughter starts high school tomorrow--how did THAT happen??--and I've become increasingly involved in her school and activities.  Also working full-time and trying to carve out family time means that most weeks I have trouble getting into my craft room let alone actually making something!  However, I can't completely leave my fabulous gal pals on the team so I will still work behind the scenes as our blog administrator.  I hope to participate occasionally but my blog posts will be few and far between.  That lovely LeAnne is our hostess this week with a sunshine-y monochromatic color challenge:
To me, these colors were crying out for a sunset and sunsets make me think of silhouettes!  Luckily I just got an order of new-to-me dies from Simon Says Stamp (I blame my teammate Sandy for that one!) that included this pretty Cattail Triptych.  Take a look:
I used a piece of watercolor paper to create the sunset with ink pads and an Aqua Painter.  I've discovered the key, for me, to watercolors is to add layers of color allowing time to dry between each layer.  Pumpkin Pie is the base of the sunset, and because I don't yet have Mango Melody, substituted with Crushed Curry and lastly a So Saffron sky.  There's probably about three applications of color here which provides intense color and blending between each shade.  The triptych was run through the Big Shot on Basic Black cardstock and I used lots of dimensional trimmed verrrrry skinny to attach it to the base. The sentiment is from the Enjoy Life stamp set and reflects my feelings today as I write this post.
Inside, I used one of the brushstroke images from the Waterfront stamp set to mimic the setting sun.  Some silhouette images, also from the Enjoy Life stamp set, complete the look.

Be sure to check out the fabulous work of my teammates over at The Paper Players--maybe you will play along with us this week!  Stay tuned to The Paper Players for some fun surprises in the coming weeks.  Big thanks to all of you who follow me each week and even some who have been with my for years.  Knowing y'all are out there has kept me going as long as I have!  Until the next time...take care, sweet friends!
The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Die-cut use of Negative Space - PP402

Hi friends and welcome to another week with The Paper Players!  This week I am pleased as punch to be the hostess for our Clean-and-Simple challenge.  I've challenged everyone to use negative space on your card:
What do I mean by negative space?  It means letting the under layer of your card--be it patterned paper, yardstick, etc. to show through either a die-cut or a sponged area.  I think this technique is so cool for showing off pretty patterned paper in a different way.
My card is super, duper clean-and-simple...just some patterned paper covering the card base and a top layer featuring these pretty die-cuts.  I covered the whole card front with some pretty [retired] Stampin' Up paper then used a [retired] Butterfly Thinlit to cut out some shapes from the thick whisper white cardstock.  I used a small circle die to cut out some random circles and let even more of the pretty paper peek through.  The sentiment is from the companion stamp set, Watercolor Wings and will be perfect to send to a friend.  

I hope you've enjoyed my card sure to check out the rest of the loveliness from my teammates over at The Paper Players.  We would be happy for you to join us before the challenge closes on Friday, July 27th at Noon (PST).  Thanks for stopping by!

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Climbing Orchids for the Paper Players PP401

Hi friends--WOW what a turnout we had these last two weeks for our 400th challenge over at The Paper Players.  Randomly selected winners of all 41 prizes will be announced on Wednesday July 18th - so be sure to check back.  In the meantime, our sweet friend Joanne has a lovely color challenge for us this week:
Flowers were all my mind could come up with for these colors so I pulled out one I was so glad to see return in this year's SU catalog...Climbing Orchid:
I have to admit that I haven't purchased many of the new SU colors so I had to make do with what's already in my craft room...Melon Mambo, Wisteria Wonder [retired], and Granny Apple Green [new!].  I think they're a pretty close match.  The main panel of Wisteria Wonder DSP was trimmed with a stitched border die from My Favorite Things.  I found the little strip of Melon Mambo cardstock in my scrap bag and it was already embossed!  I think it's a long ago retired SU folder called Lattice.
The orchids were heat embossed in gold on thick whisper white cardstock and colored using a sponge dauber and Melon Mambo ink.  The center piece is stamped in Wisteria Wonder and them and even tinier image is heat embossed in gold.  I can't believe there is a die tiny enough to cut out these little centers!  The gold stem holding the orchids is cut from Gold Foil paper using the branch die from Seasonal Layers Thinlit dies.  I used Granny Apple Green for the leaves and die cut them with the coordinating dies.  One thing I did purchase right away from the new catalog are these Basic Adhesive-Backed Sequins.   There are 5 colors in the pack and 50 of each color--that's a lot of sequins!  

There's also a lot of inspiration waiting for you over at The Paper Players!  Check it out and come play along before our challenge ends on Friday, July 20th at Noon (PST).  Thanks for stopping by today!

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

PP400 - Second Week!

Hi again, friends!  We're into the second week of our big 400th Celebration over at The Paper Players.  There are tons of prizes that will be given to 41 winners randomly drawn from all the participants.  Be sure to enter for a chance to win some amazing prizes.  Check out our original post for all the rules and details.
The balloons in our challenge badge are so much fun, that this week they inspired me to dig out any stamps I had featuring balloons.  I settled on a retired set, Balloon Adventures and with the awesome sketch at CAS(E) This Sketch in's what I made:
 I let the colors from a retired DSP pack, Cherry on Top, take center stage with my bouquet of festive balloons.  Pool Party, Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Cucumber Crush, and Calypso Coral (not in the paper pack but I liked it anyway!)  Since the sketch challenge is a clean-and-simple one, I kept the design verrrry simple.  Just a piece of balloon string paper for the background and the punched balloons.
I did add a liberal amount of Wink of Stella to the polka dots and stripes for a little bit of glam.  Stop on by The Paper Players to check out all the inspiration from my teammates during this second week of our celebration!  I hope you will find time to play along before the challenge closes on Friday, July 13th at Noon (PST).  You don't want to miss out on these prizes!!

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

It's a HUGE Celebration - PP400

Oh my gosh, do we have a HUGE party going on at The Paper Players this week!  It's our FOUR HUNDREDTH challenge--yes, I'm shouting because it's a big deal!  I am so proud to work alongside this amazing group of crafters.  Week in and week out we laugh, sometimes cry, and craft together.  They are kind, caring, and wicked creative and I'm so honored to call them my friends.  This week we're even joined by some of our best design team buddies--Ann Schach and Anne Marie Hile--who are back to play with us this week!  Big hugs ladies--great to have you with us again.  

So any good party has to have prizes, right?  We've got tons of them--40 prizes to be exact and we will draw winners from our participants with  This is such a big deal that we are running the challenge for TWO WEEKS to give folks lots of time to participate.  

Our theme this week is....what else...Celebrations!  Any kind of celebration--birthday, anniversary, retirement, whatever you want.
Our challenge badge features balloons but our cards don't have to....just any celebration.  My in-laws are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary next month so that seemed a fitting celebration for the theme:
I used the awesome sketch from the gals at Freshly Made Sketches for the layout and played with a new SU set and coordinating thinlits, Serene Garden.  I'm also playing with one of the new SU colors, Soft Seafoam which is really lovely.  Paired with Smoky Slate and Pink Pirouette, it makes a pretty color combination.  
This set has a really cool die that cuts out just part of the stamped image to let a little bit of the under layer peek through.  Here I stamped the corner image in Soft Seafoam and layered a piece of Smoky Slate cardstock underneath that had also been stamped.  The flowers have a coordinating die too--they were stamped in Basic Gray archival ink and colored with [retired] Stampin' Blends in three shades of Pink Pirouette.
There's some really nice sentiments in the returning set, Beautiful Bouquet.  I combined three of them for the inside of this special anniversary card.  My in-laws were high school sweethearts and are true role models of "love is in the staying there"...relationship goals!

Here's the layout from the team at Freshly Made Sketches:
I mentioned the amazing number of prizes we have for PP400 at The Paper Players so check out the full list, in alphabetical order:
  1. Altenew - $30 gift card
  2. Atenew Academy - $20 gift card  - compliments of Jaydee
  3. Avery Elle - $20 store credit
  4. Butterfly Reflections - Breathe Rainbows Stamp Set (US only)
  5. CAS-ual Fridays - $25 store credit
  6. Cheery Lynn - $20 gift card  
  7. Cheery Lynn - $20 gift card - compliments of Laurie
  8. Concord & 9th - $25 gift card
  9. Craftin Desert Diva's - $10 store cedit
  10. Dies R Us - $15 gift card
  11. Ellen Hutson -  20 gift cards - compliments of Annie 
  12. Ellen Hutson $20 gift card - compliments of Eliz
  13. Happy Little Stampers - $20 store credit
  14. Heffy Doodle - Sticky Friends Stamp Sets (exclusive - not available for purchase)
  15. Heffy Doodle - Sticky Friends Stamp Set (exclusive - not available for purchase)
  16. Heffy Doodle - Sticky Friends Stamp Set (exclusive - not available for purchase)
  17. Heffy Doodle - Sticky Friends Stamp Set (exclusive - not available for purchase)
  18. Lawn Fawn - $25 gift card
  19. My Favorite Things - $25 store credit
  20. Neat & Tangled - $15 store credit 
  21. Newton's Nook - $20 store credit
  22. Pink & Main - $20 store credit
  23. Power Poppy - $10 store credit
  24. Stampendous - $20 rewards cards (US only)
  25. Stampendous - $20 reward card (US only)
  26. Stampendous - $20 reward card (US only)
  27. Stamplorations - $20 gift certificate
  28. Stampin' Up - $20 gift certificates compliments of Nance (US only)
  29. Stampin' Up! $20 gift certificate - compliments of LeAnne (US only)
  30. Stampin' Up! $20 gift certificate - compliments of Joanne (UK only)
  31. Stampin' Up! $20 gift certificate - compliments of Claire (US only)
  32. Stampin' Up $20 gift certificate - compliments of Jan (NZ only)
  33. Technique Tuesday - $20 gift card
  34. The Foiled Fox - $25 store credit
  35. Trinity Stamps - Let it Grow and Lady Liberty Stamp Sets
  36. Tutti Designs - $15 gift card
  37. Uniko - any in-stock stamp set of winner's choice
  38. Verve Stamps - stamp & accessory bundle - compliments of Sandy (US only)
  39. Verve Stamps - stamp & accessory bundle - compliments of Sandy (US only)
  40. Waffle Flower - $15 gift card
Huge thanks and appreciation to all our sponsors who gave so generously for all these wonderful prizes.  I knew the crafting community was generous but this really takes the cake!  With a prize list like that, I'm sure you will want to participate...just be sure to link up before our special two week challenge ends on Friday, July 13th at Noon (PST).  Don't forget to visit the rest of The Paper Players design team and our special guests for even more inspiration.  I'll be back again next Sunday with a second card for our challenge...have a great week, friends!

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Enjoy Life with a Sketch! PP399

How about that for a title?  I sure do enjoy crafting life more when I have a great sketch to work with and Laurie's sketch this week at The Paper Players is a perfect example:
I couldn't wait to order this set, Enjoy Life, from the new SU annual catalog.  My husband is a crazy avid cyclist and I knew I would get a lot of use from this set.  Laurie's great sketch came at just the right time to make a birthday card for my hubby:
I dug around in my paper stash to find some paper featuring the color Pool Party.  Odd, you might say for a guy but it's the closest SU color to the Italian bike company Bianchi's celeste green which is my husband's favorite bike. I found this long retired SU DSP, I think it's called Epic Day (?), and I loved the colors with the addition of maps--perfect for my roadie.  The cyclist is stamped in Archival Basic Gray ink on Crumb Cake.  Love this image--looks just like my husband!  He loves to ride on the road but he also likes to mountain bike so I added a little grass to ground the image.  
This set has some awesome sentiments and this one is no exception.  Wake up, Kick Butt. Repeat.  Yep, that sums up my DH's approach to riding.  Often cycling close to 200 miles a week!  I also couldn't wait to order the stamp set I used in the background--Gallery Grunge.  It almost looks like tire treads, doesn't it?
A mashup of stamp sets on the inside but for the first time in probably forever, I used colored cardstock for the insert.  Somehow white or vanilla seemed to stark and I wanted to use more Celeste Green/Pool Party!

Be sure to stop by The Paper Players to see all the fabulous creations from our design team.  I hope you will play along with us before the challenge ends on Friday, June 29th at Noon PST.  Thanks for stopping by!

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Flourishing Phrases of Color PP397

Happy Sunday, friends! Today I am delighted to host this month's color challenge at The Paper Players:
I happened on this combination one day when all three of these ink pads were among those scattered on my craft desk.  They looked so pretty sitting there next to each other that I thought it would make a great color challenge combination! 
I was smitten with the layout of this card when I saw it in the new annual SU catalog (pg. 18).  I'm afraid that this is a pretty close CASE of the card in the catalog.  Sometimes, it just feels good to make something without having to think about the layout and overall design.  On the Crumb Cake base I stamped an image from Flourishing Phrases in the same color ink.  
 A die from the coordinating Flourish Thinlits made a delicate little flower and vine in Lemon Lime Twist.  The LLT leaves were stamped and fussy-cut, as were the Calypso Coral flowers.  I stamped the flowers four times fussy cutting two full flowers and then two smaller ones to layer on top.  This stamp set is so easy to cut out with the heavy outlines on the images.  Just for fun, I added some adhesive-backed sequins also in LLT. 
Some masking of the images to decorate the inside.  This is a little over the top for a Thank You card--I tend to keep those simple usually--but this one is going to a very special recipient who made my recent birthday extra special.  She deserves an over-the-top card because she is over-the-top wonderful!

Be sure to stop by The Paper Players to see some wonderful creations from our talented design team.  I hope you will play along with us before the challenge ends on Friday, June 15th at Noon PST.  Thanks for stopping by!
The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Hot Diggity, it's a Theme Challenge! PP396

Hi everyone, it's a fun theme week over at The Paper Players where our sweet friend Joanne challenged us to use animals on our projects: 
I have to say this one was a bit of a struggle for me....I surprisingly don't have many animal stamp sets.  Huh, who knew?!  Anyway, I dug deep into my stash of retired stamps...see this is why I have trouble getting rid of any of them...and came up with this cutie:
Hot Diggity Dog is actually the same of this set and it's so cute!  Lots of mix and match heads and bodies so you can create lots of different dogs.  I kept this card on the masculine side because I realized it would be perfect for my BIL.  He and my SIL adore dogs, have 5 of their own, and he is the director at the county humane society in their area.  I think he will love this card!  I took my colors from some retired DSP (it's actually Halloween paper!) and played around with Basic Gray, Smoky Slate, More Mustard and Basic Black.  I stamped the dog in archival Basic Black and colored his sweater and nose with a More Mustard stampin' write marker.  A little Smoky Slate grass, from the High Tide set, helps ground the dog and give him something to "sit" on.  

Be sure to pop over to The Paper Players and check out all the inspiration from my lovely teammates!  Maybe you will be inspired to join us before the challenge ends on Friday, June 8th at Noon (PST).  Thanks for stopping by!

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Bravo, Our Shining Star - PP395

Hi friends!  My sweet pal, LeAnne has an awesome sketch for us this week at The Paper Players...take a look:
Firstly, I have to apologize for the quality of these photos....I was in a hurry to photograph and schedule this post before leaving for a weekend [birthday!] trip so I had to use indoor lighting with my phone--gah!  Anyway, LeAnne's awesome sketch was a perfect chance to use the big script on this retired set called Bravo:
I can't believe it....our daughter graduates from 8th grade on Tuesday!  Oh my, I'm getting weepy just thinking about it...but so happy for all the opportunities that await her in high school.  So this card is for her...and I didn't worry about retired products or colors or anything, just created with her in mind.  Done in colorful pastels, with a little bit of sparkle and personalization, I think she will love it. 
First the sparkle...some shiny silver thread, some Wink of Stella on the "you" and a silver punched star because...well, she's our shining star!   
Here's the personalized part...I used the rotary alphabet stamp to create a repeated sentiment with the acronym of her school and graduation year...MMS 2018.  I didn't want the circle to cover up the larger sentiment so I tucked it behind the main panel.  A little different than the sketch but I don't think LeAnne will mind that I took a little creative license.  ;-)
The inside features another retired favorite...Word Play...I just love the scale and mixed font of this sentiment so I couldn't let it go.  Good thing to because it's perfect for graduation cards!  I'm sure I'll dig it out in another 4 years for her high school graduation....YIKES!

Be sure to pop over to The Paper Players and check out all the inspiration from my teammates--they do lovely work!  Maybe you will be inspired to join us before the challenge ends on Friday, June 1st at Noon (PST).  Thanks for stopping by!

The Paper Players Design Team