Wednesday, December 16, 2015

From Rags to Riches

I have a giant mess on my stamp desk right now. So I moved to the kitchen table. And made a giant mess there. I think my husband is afraid I may move to the dining room table next.
I tend to make things and set everything aside, rather than putting away. Even the trash. I put little pieces of paper to the side, and things that didn't turn out, and the backing from dimensionals and foam tape goes to the side, not in the trash. It's a bad habit.

I love loading the dishwasher, putting in laundry, cooking and baking. But I am terrible at putting things away. Like unloading. Folding. Cleaning Up.

So this morning, I looked at some "trash" strips of watercolored paper that I had set aside after cutting them off, and decided to make something out of my trash. Like REPURPOSE, RECYCLE, or just make something out of nothing. 

I decided to cut them up and make a tree!
The background is the side I didn't use of a sprayed card (I didn't think it showed up enough), but I grabbed it and saved it from the recycle bin as well.

I think it turned out pretty cute!
I am submitting this to the Color Throwdown Challenge #373. Come play along!

Paper: Pool Party, Whisper White, watercolor, Silver Metallic, Glitter Stack (DCWV- star)
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Distress Ink (Ranger), Strawberry Spray (TSOL)
Accessories: Christmas Thinlits Greetings die (SU!), snowflake punch
Techniques: watercolor, spray

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Kits and Kaboodles

Some days I like to just sit and make art, without having to think too much about the design I am going to make. So this weekend, I worked with two kits -- Simon Says Stamp December 2015 Kit and Stampin' Up!'s Paper Pumpkin Kit for November. 

Today I will show you two of the cards I made with the SSS kit. It's very different from my usual style, but I do have some card recipients that will enjoy the look!
The card on the left was cased from the SSS site, and the one on the right is my own design. I don't often work with puffy stickers, and these were fun for a change. The ribbons and twine are from my own stash, as is the glittery snowflake, and tag topper punch (SU!).

Quick cards and easy to make while watching movies this weekend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Little Autumn Yet in November

Hello stamping friends! In case you've missed it, Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps is celebrating their 8th birthday all month long!  Be sure to keep checking Facebook and the blog for samples, give-aways, and promotions! Currently SNSS is offering 25% off all dies with the code BDAYDIES25! 

Today we are taking a look at the beautiful Autumn Mum Greetings Stamp Set. I think mums are like a breath of fresh autumn air, for after all of the summer flowers are winding down, up come the mums in a beautiful array of colors. I happen to have purple mums in my yard, so I chose to color mine that way for today's card:
This set has a gorgeous font, with some beautiful sentiments included. I stamped both the flower and sentiment in Archival Black ink, and then used my Koi paints to color the flower.

I love this Stanley Horowitz quote, and thought some designer paper with script would match the idea of someone saying such beautiful words.

There are matching dies, as well, so it makes cutting a breeze. You can find those HERE. I also made a quick watercolor bookmark with this set. I stamped the smaller mum with distress inks, then sprayed the paper and let the colors run. 

Once dry, I added the mum and sentiment again in a dark brown and tied on some fun fibers.
I am featured over on the SNSS Blog today, and there is a little "get-to-know the DT" feature. So if you are interested, head on over there and see what cool thing I did when I was 15. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my U.S. friends!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Hope of All the World

I adore this little Christmas manger set from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps  - Joy to the World. It is sweet and cute at the same time. It has three great sentiments that come with the manger, but I chose a word from the Words of Life 1 Collection. 

Sweet 'n Sassy is celebrating eight years in business this month. There are specials every week and fun questions to answer for a chance to win some goodies. Check out the Facebook page for more info!  


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Day We Had A Sea of Leaves

We have had a lovely fall this year. The trees have shown a lot of color (as much as they do in the Plains), and the temperatures have been nice. Yesterday was a different story around the country. I read about awful windstorms in Oregon and Washington, heavy snow with blizzard conditions in several areas, and a slushy mess here. My leaves are in a sea of snowy slush on my deck today. I was so glad I remembered to bring in my summer geraniums and asparagus fern finally! They have been loving the cooler weather  -- but I think they would have seen their demise had I forgotten.

Seeing all those leaves prompted me to pull out one of my peg stamp sets. If you have never heard of peg stamp sets from Rubber Stamp Tapestry, you simply must try one. I LOVE their stamps and the many different things you can come up with using just one set with different colors. They have wonderful videos on their site and YouTube and instruction sheets that come with each set to help you get started.

Today I used Seasonal Splendor and made a very CAS card using the colors in this week's Color Throwdown #369 challenge and the cue word "pretty" from CASology Week 173. Colored leaves are beautiful to me.
The colors are perfect for autumn cards. I used four ink colors: VersaColor Bamboo, Burgundy, Paprika and Split Pea, and Encore Gold Metallic. You can see at the top of the card the beautiful gold sheen. It extends the entire wreath, but did not pick up in this photograph. The little gold "dots" are the Tiny Grape stamp from the Tiny Grape and Holly Border peg stamp set. The sentiment is also from RST, but retired.

I hope you will stop by RST and take a look at what they offer!  

Thanks for stopping by today!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Day I Made Three Wishes

Just a quick post to share my Week 2 #sharehandmadekindness schtuffs.  Three wishes for three neighbors, along with some foodie gifts. The alpha is from Honey Bee Stamps, and you can find the link for it in the previous post (scroll down).

I watercolored the background (Wrinkle Free Distress Technique) with Pink Passion ink. LOVE that pink (retired, I think!). A little glittery star power, and some beautiful sparkly ribbon from Really Reasonable Ribbon.

Fun, and festive and bright!
Check out some fun sale stuff of mine over at SCS :

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Day I Hid From 60mph Winds

It's no secret that winter can't come and GO too quickly for me. I love my warmth. But I do truly love making winter cards. Today's background was a "practice piece" for Brushos earlier in the month. It's been laying around in an envelope, waiting for the fate of the circular file - or to be used joyfully. I think it's funny how if you don't like something, you come back to it many days later and end up loving it. That has happened several times in the last few weeks.
I decided to make "Brusho snow" and add a fun sentiment using Honey Bee Stamps' AWESOME Brush Grunge Alpha. You can say whatever you like and it's so easy to use with my MISTI. I added a few punched snowflakes and a die cut larger flake, along with some Silver Metallic Thread.

And now I am going to chill ..... and make another cup of coffee. Hold off snow......

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Day My Sweaters Came Out of the Closet

All month long, SNSS is celebrating eight wonderful years with lots of throwback fun, weekly specials, and a FABULOUS prize package today! Be sure to start at the SNSS Blog so that you don't miss any of the fun and specials!
Well. Fall seems to have left. I suppose since it's almost November, I shouldn't complain too much. But those that know me know that I love my warm and sunny! The sweaters came out today -- after months of hibernation. I suppose I will be sporting one soon, as the temperatures are dipping into the low 30s this week. UGH.

  The only good thing about winter is rubber stamping and all the cute winter themed stamps out there! This is one of my favorite little snowmen. Doesn't he make you smile? He is from the Warm Hello stamp set from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps.
I used the Splitcoaststampers Sketch 564 for my design. I flipped the sketch, and added a strip of diamond glitter paper between the two patterned papers from Bo Bunny. The first one is an ombre paper, so it looks like more than two designs, but isn't. I added some glitter to the snow, and paper pieced my snowman's scarf. The layered snowflake is all glittery on the base, and then a clear acrylic layer on top (purchased).
I surely am NOT looking for snow soon, but it's fun to stamp with this little guy!

The SNSS Divas have made some really fun cards to celebrate - some birthday, some their favorites, like I did. I hope that you will take the time to visit them as well -- and don't forget that $80 prize package is out there waiting for YOU!

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Day I Really Said All I Want For Christmas is Peace

Isn't that true? Not just world peace - although that is always a wish. But peace about my life, and peace in the lives of my children and close friends. And those I know are struggling with things. Inner peace. A week where nothing bad happens. Peace for everyone. I would give up all my craft stuff for that. So you know that's a big wish! :)
In the meantime, while I wait for Peace, I craft. 
Today's card is for three Splitcoast challenges. Lydia has a super fun Mix-Ability Mixed Media Challenge, and I followed her Matrix for that:
My choices:
TWO mediums: Watercolor medium and spray
ONE: blue color
ONE: no second color
ONE images: Holiday
ONE embellishments: die cuts

This is also for Lori's Split the Difference HYCCT challenge and Stacy's SCSCCNOV15 Christmas challenge for shimmer.

I stamped the snowflakes and then misted with water, and let the water run where it wanted. I then stamped more snowflakes, and punched them out with the punch, then punched again out of vellum and layered them. Added a sentiment with foil paper.

It is so disappointing that my camera does not pick up the gorgeous shimmer of the Gold Glimmermist. Just imagine it there, ok? It is heavily sprayed on the main panel, on top of the watercolored snowflakes! Here is an attempt to capture it.
Thanks for taking a peek!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Day It Snowed in My Hometown

Today was the first snowfall in my hometown of Flagstaff, AZ. Such lovely snows. Calm and cold, but gloriously beautiful. Take a peek:
I miss those kinds of snows. Where I live now, in Nebraska, we have had maybe two or three snows like that (calm and beautiful) in the last 20 years! Usually it's 40 MPH winds. Snowing sideways. BUT -- we have had a beautiful fall, so I can't really complain. Yet. :)

Today I finished up a little watercolor card that I was playing with all weekend. The simple ones take me the most time! But I discovered (rediscovered) that there's something about black and any color :)
I used Picked Raspberry Distress Ink (Ranger) and Archival Black Ink (SU!) for my background and images from Stampin' Up! The designer paper is from Kaisercraft. A quick card that took all weekend to come together!

Enjoy the weather where you are!

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Day That Turns Into a Month-Long Celebration!

I am so excited for this special month of November at Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps celebrating EIGHT YEARS! My sweet friend, Korin, has a beautiful company that reflects her beautiful spirit.

Since I was just blessed in September with my first grandchild, I chose Little One to highlight today. It has everything that you need to make sweet baby cards and greetings, and even more, as there are other sentiments in the set as well.

Take advantage of this week's BIRTHDAY SPECIAL:
November 1-5: EVERY $25 order or more
at Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps will include a free surprise gift. The higher the order amount, the larger the gift ranging in price from $2-$20!

Be sure to read Korin's post from yesterday all about the birthday fun, and then head over to Instagram (@sweetnsassystamps) and Facebook so you don't miss a thing!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Day We Turned Our Clocks Back

Oh Daylight Savings Time, I wish you would disappear forever! Growing up in Arizona, (and even though I have lived in Nebraska forever) we never changed our clocks and it was so great all-around. I really wish our new President would abolish it! My sweet dog, Fiona, only knows the same time to eat and go out and sleep. So "the extra hour" never happens here. That, and I just don't sleep in! BUT -- I did have a chance to make a quick fall card this morning. I am on an orange kick right now, and will show more of the orangey goodness this coming week. But this was a fun little card to put together.

I used the MUSE 139 Challenge for inspiration.  Corner foliage and sentiment in the original led me to using my corner leaves and an opposite corner sentiment (Stampin' Up!). The main leaf is embossed and then a Brusho background applied. I cut out two other leaves from Vellum CS and ran one through an embossing folder for texture.

The watercolor wash is done with the leftover water from another Brusho technique when I was cleaning my brush. It got so orange, that I have just been using the water for some backgrounds! The mat is Pearlized Silver paper, so I added some Silver Metallic Thread for a delicate embellishment.

Here is the Tracy's original design from the challenge.

My focus:
  • Corner sentiment
  • Corner foliage
  • Three sequins=three leaves

Thanks for taking a peek! Tomorrow I will have an ADORABLE new photo of my granddaughter and a card to match!

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Day I Changed My Mind About an Ugly Mess

The strips on my card are from a Gelli print (acrylic paint) that I made at my friend Lydia's UNWIND Retreat a couple of weekends ago. We were to choose a print we either didn't like or one that had lots of patterns that we did like (Lydia's card design!). I had just kept messing (literally) with this one, and added too many colors and designs and it turned into a mess. Until we made this card. Then I loved the bold ferns in the foreground and the fall colors in the back! That Lydia is so smart! I had never done Gelli printing before, and it's my new favorite thing! Because you can't mess it up! Unless you take paper stencils instead of plastic (that would be me.... but I didn't know they were paper!).

The sentiment is from Words of Life Collection 1 (Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. I stamped it using my MISTI (you have to get one of those) in Night of Navy ink (Stampin' Up!). The strip of bling is a little piece of SU! Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper. The paint's texture and all the layers really stand out when you're holding the card. Quick and easy and kind of artsy fun!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Day I Painted Africa for a Butterfly

I have been playing in challenges at Splitcoaststampers again lately, and today's design was for three challenges:
  • Mix-Ability 143: What is in a Phrase
  • Hope You Can Cling To 1503: I Am a Warrior
  • Color Challenge 554: Eating Cake in the Breezy Meadow (Crumb Cake, Mossy Meadow, Baja Breeze) 
I painted a watercolor background using my Koi watercolor paints (my favorite new Amazon find - you can find them HERE), and when it was all said and done, it looked like Africa! So I decided to mist the paper again, and stamp a fern from the same set (Stampin' Up!'s Butterfly Basics) using Crumb Cake ink. Worked like a charm to use up that "ocean" space!
The watercolored butterfly was cut with the Butterfly Thinlits dies, and then sprayed with Gold Glimmermist for a pretty shimmer. The sequins are a new acquisition (also from Amazon) from Doodlebug. They have all sorts of colors within each of the 12 color families, including translucent and opaque.

I shop at Amazon a lot because it supports my favorite non-profit - Kearney Community Theatre. Right now I am rehearsing as the Ghost of Christmas Past for our Holiday show there, which opens in December. Check out Amazon Smile and support your favorite too! (If you don't have one, you are welcome to provide for the Theatre! :)

Thanks for stopping by today. I know there are a lot of blogs and sites and cards on Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration, and I appreciate your visits!

Follow me on Instagram @joy_in_a_jar and on Facebook HERE.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Day We Made A Zillion Halloween Cards

My sister spent her fall break week with me a couple weeks ago, and we had such fun messing up the kitchen table with stamping stuff (which, unfortunately, is still there). I got out all my Halloween supplies - papers and stickers, rub-ons, and ribbon, and stamps, of course! I had a stash of stuff all organized for Halloween, but never remembered about it until she came. So we used up all sorts of things that I had had for a long time..... like this branch and spider web rub-on from Creative Impressions.

I thought it would pair perfectly with the little spider and cute sentiment greeting from Buggin' Ya by Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. The matching dies made it easy to cut the spider out!

I used a watercolor wash for the background (using inexpensive Prang paints) and stamped the sentiment in India Ink. I added a little twine and bling and he's all ready to be mailed out to wish someone a happy hello.

If you are interested, and use social media, you can follow me on Instagram @joy_in_a_jar and on Facebook HERE.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Day I Wasn't So Precise

Last weekend, as I sat in the midst of a fabulous group of stampers, I felt rushed. We had three cards to get through and I was on #1 and everyone was moving to #3. I thought, "Why does it take me so long to make everything??" And I decided that I am just too precise and too much of a perfectionist on some days. Sometimes that makes me frustrated, because it can take me three hours to make one CAS card. And that's just silly (not too mention time-consuming).

Learning mixed media techniques like gelli printing and Brusho has helped me become less OCD about everything turning out exactly as I planned. HA! You CAN'T really plan -- and that's the BEST part! I will share some of those prints and designs later this week.

Today I decided to watercolor -- which I LOVE -- but I still always want everything in the lines, and all the colors to blend EXACTLY, and so on and so on....... BUT TODAY I decided not to be precise at all -- or plan the color or how it fell on the paper.

I have these amazing LARGE tags that are 3.5 x 8.5 from Julie Nutting (made for her people stamps), and they are watercolor paper. I just bought a new book, and needed a bookmark for it, so I grabbed one of those, some water and a brush, some reinkers, and my almost favorite Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps set, Precious Poppies.
I stamped with Archival Black ink (Stampin' Up!) and let it dry, then decided just to paint freely and quickly and whatever turned out is what it would be. When I was all done, and it was dry, I sprayed some Gold Glimmermist over the top for a fun sheen (you can see dots around and some of the sparkle, but it is so pretty IRL).
And because I love fibers so much, and especially because not many people use them anymore, I added a big bunch of four different kinds of fluff for the top so I can find my place easily in my book!

And it was VERY FREEING. :)
I will always be precise in most of my stamping. But it's also fun to just let the art happen, and be happy with that too.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Day I Fell in Love With Kits

This month's Paper Pumpkin kit by Stampin' Up! is my favorite so far! I made this trio of cards is such a short time, because all the needed supplies were right in the kit, and the easy directions make for fast results!

I added a few individual touches (the Falling Softly embossing folder on the Thanks card, and moving the twine around on the Thinking of You card -- adding a gold accent to an envelope), but I love how quickly these came together. 

I wasn't a big "kit" fan until this past weekend, when I attended Lydia Fiedler's UNWIND Retreat in Austin, Texas. We played with the Oh What Fun Tag Project Kit (139602) for an afternoon (I will share this later this week), and I really liked it. Maybe the kits I have tried in the past from other companies just weren't what I was looking for!

Check it out HERE on my Stampin' Up! website!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Brusho Backgrounds

Hey stamping friends!
Today I want to share a card you may have seen already with the fabulous new October release from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps -- and show how I made the background. (Scroll down one post for the new release!)

I used Brusho Crystal Colors (watercolor powdered pigments) for the entire background and it's so easy!

First, I stamped my dove from Name Above All Names in Archival Black Ink by Stampin' Up! Make sure you are using an ink that doesn't bleed when combined with water. I recommend this pad -- or India Ink for use with Brusho. You will notice I have a texture to my watercolor paper -- for that you will want Cold Press paper. If you want a smooth finish, you will need Hot Press.
Next I gathered my other supplies. I am using two colors today -- Turquoise and Ultramarine Blue.
I sprinkle tapped the Turquoise powder (a VERY SMALL amount - it's easier to add then take away!) on my paper and then misted with a fine spray (Ranger misters are widely available and work great, but any fine mist will do. You will see a couple of larger crystals above in the lower left photo. I took those off, as I knew it would be too much powder for what I wanted.

I misted and added until I got the look I wanted, then sprinkled the Ultramarine blue on top. I made a little blue branch for my dove to sit on by turning and tapping the powder down the side of the card.
I misted again, and then heat set with my heat gun.

The dove was watercolored with Sakura Koi watercolor paints and then cut out. I stamped the sentiment with Archival Black ink and adhered the dove with foam tape. I added a mat of violet cardstock behind the main panel. All done!
Once you try Brusho powders, you will LOVE them!