hip to be square birthday card

Hip to be Square Birthday Card, by Kitty.Simon Says Stamp’s latest Wednesday Challenge is called Hip to be Square, and that is SO me.  Yup, I’m a total square… nerd… dork… geek.. LOL.  But I also LOVE squares.  My planners are now all graph paper composition books, and I’m addicted to spreadsheets, which are basically just a bunch of squares.  I think it might have to do with my obsessive-compulsive tendencies – I like things straight, and even.  (Of course, thanks to this challenge, I can’t seem to get that Huey Lewis song out of my head, LOL.  There… now you’ll have to suffer with me, too.  You’re welcome.)  😉

For my card, I wanted to use the gorgeous new Simon Says Stamp September 2016 Card Kit, which positively screams BIRTHDAY CARD! except… well, this might sound silly, but I love the patterned paper in this kit so much that I’m having trouble getting myself to actually cut it up.  It’s too pretty to use!

Simon Says Stamp Sept. 2016 Card Kit So I started with just some cardstock from my stash.  I liked the contrast of black with the bright colors in this kit, so I started with a black card base – 4″ square.  (As much as I love squares, I don’t actually do very many square-shaped cards… but I probably should.)  To add to the square theme, I cut out a few different square frames in bright colors.  I actually cut out a bunch of squares, and played around to see what worked best.  In the end, I decided that the magic number three was best.

This was one of those cards where I really had to plan it out first, before I glued anything down.  Once I had a plan, I made some pencil marks to indicate where the squares would go, so I could stamp the sentiment and balloon first.  I heat embossed the sentiment in white, and just used a white pigment ink for the balloon, thinking I would color over it.  In the end, I decided to add dimension by cutting out a balloon and popping it up with foam.  The squares are all sort of interlocked – I made tiny cuts in the squares exactly where the square on top would cover it.  Again – measure twice, cut once.  😉

I stamped the puppy on white cardstock, colored him with pencils, and fussy-cut him out.  And then I forced myself to cut out just a tiny bit of that luscious patterned paper.  I cut a simple square for the present, and a triangle for the puppy’s party hat.  Wink of Stella on the gift’s bow & top of the hat, Glossy Accents on the balloon, a puffy sticker from the kit, a few dots of white Enamel Accents, and one rounded corner… and I called it done.  The balloon string was just hand-drawn with a white gel pen.  (Remember how I mentioned the importance of placement?  The balloon’s string was the most challenging, and didn’t really come out like I wanted.)  Here’s more of a close-up:  Hip to be Square Birthday Card Close-up, by Kitty

This card was really fun to make.  And there’s so much more in the September kit that I just can’t wait to play with!  And yes, I WILL cut up more of those papers… as much as it’s going to hurt, I know I’ll end up with some really fun cards.  The paper is just so happy!KitEndSig2

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a happy, fun day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going. Thank you so much! SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


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inspired by a flexi clip + giveaway!

A card design that was inspired by a Flexi Clip hair accessory.Hello!  Today I have something a bit different, and exciting, including a giveaway!  And there’s a discount offer, too!  (See details at the end of this post.) I was recently contacted by Elizabeth Chang, an Independent Lilla Rose Consultant.  She offered me a free Flexi Clip – a lovely hair accessory from Lilla Rose – in exchange for an honest review.  Now, my first thought was “sure, that’s cool and all… but what does it have to do with cards?”. Lizzie convinced me, though, that these really seem to appeal to crafty people.  And since I’m a crafty peep myself, and I’m really excited about these, I suppose she must be right.  🙂

But this is a card site, so I decided that I would only do this if I could relate it to a card.  So I set myself a challenge – to make a card inspired by my new Flexi Clip.  The truth is that you can use nearly anything as inspiration for a card.  I must confess, though, that I don’t often go and look for card ideas in strange places. But I totally should!  Here is a good view of the item I used for inspiration – it’s called Cat’s Meow.  Obviously, they designed this one with me in mind.  😉  I love it!  FlexiClip Cat's MeowThe Flexi Clip works a bit like a large barrette, only so much prettier.  It stays in place, and it doesn’t tug on your hair.  There are lots of designs, including ones with pretty, dangling elements.  It’s available in several different sizes, and the website can help you determine the right one for you – be sure to watch the sizing video before choosing.  And it comes with instructions on how to use the clip for a few different styles, including a french twist… something I’d like to try myself, sometime.  However, for a quick and easy ponytail, it’s really easy to use.  It’s not so easy to photograph, though.  LOL… but because it only seems fair, here’s a picture of the back of my head (the photo is a bit fuzzy – the clip is not):KittyWithFlexiClip

For my card, I started off with a cat, of course. He needed to be silver, so I stamped him out with VersaMark ink, heat embossed him with silver powder, and fussy-cut him out.  I actually stamped a few cats, and layered them up to give the element some stability, and I used three coats of the embossing powder, to give it a smoother finish.

For the background, I just wanted some soft colors.  I chose a soft pink, a soft lilac, and a grey ink that I “stamped off” on scratch paper first, to get a softer look.  Using a “grunge” stamp, and some flourish stamps, I created a subtle background.  (There’s flourishes on the clip cat, and the grunge splotches sort of represent the beads for me.) To match the silver cat, I used some very thin double-sided tape all along the edges in order to heat emboss them in the same silver. Then I attached the whole piece to a grey card base, using foam adhesive.  To sort of mimic the shape of the clip, I created a bow with some silvery-white ribbon, and adhered my silver cat on top of it.  A few sequins finish off the card.Silver Cat Card by Kitty, inspired by a hair accessory.

And now, for the giveaway!  Elizabeth Chang, as an Independent Lilla Rose Consultant, has generously offered to give a Flexi Clip to one lucky reader!  To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post, sharing which clip is your favorite.  (You can view all of them here.)  On Monday, September 5th (Labor Day), I will use a random number generator to pick one lucky reader.  (I will announce the winner on my blog, and I will send them an e-mail.)

* The winner will need to register on the website as a new customer, and Lizzie will send you your free clip.  Offer valid in the US only.  Offer is for one free item $16.00 or less available on the Lilla Rose website.  Offer good for new online customers only, one per household.  No cash value or exchanges.  Must be 16 years of age.  Registering on the Lilla Rose website with a valid personal e-mail address is required to take advantage of this offer.

And all of you lucky readers who are not currently a Lilla Rose customer, can give these clips a try with a special Buy 3 get 1 Free offer.  All you need to do is register as a customer at www.lillarose.biz/zizzie78 and purchase any 3 items.  * Offer valid in the US only.  Offer is for one free item $16.00 or less available on the Lilla Rose website.  Offer good for new online customers only, one per household.  No cash value or exchanges.  Must be 16 years of age.  Registering on the Lilla Rose website with a valid email address is required to take advantage of this offer.

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


 

 

 

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quick and easy cards with patterned paper

Three quick and easy cards made with leftover patterned paper.Hello card-makers!  Today, I just have a collection of three quick and easy cards, using some leftover patterned papers.  I’ve been trying to work through some of my older stash, and I can always use more “thinking of you” type cards.

There’s nothing much to these.  I used a background stamp to “soften” the white background a bit.  The three large flowers I cut from old patterned paper, using a Sizzix die.  I stamped a sentiment on Kraft paper and punched it out with the Real Estate Sign punch, and added a heart. The leaves I just hand-cut from green cardstock; flower centers punched from red cardstock. I rounded one corner, and put everything on a Kraft cardbase.  And all of the edges are inked, to give it a more cohesive look.

Super easy-peasy – so much so that I almost didn’t bother to share these.  But I’ve gotten a bit behind on my posts, and this is a good example of what you can do quickly with minimal supplies.  The three flowers are all on the same original Sizzix die (Flower Layers #3… might be hard to find now), so I just had to run the die through three times, to get all nine flowers.  You could use any background stamp, and any flower dies, and any sentiment with any type of label punch.  When you do cards like these that are all the same, you can use sort of an assembly line:  stamp all of the backgrounds, punch all of the flowers, ink all the edges, stamp all the sentiments… it goes very quickly.  And by inking the edges, you can mix and match different patterned papers.

I’ve been working on some more elaborate designs, and my Simon Says Stamp September Card Kit just arrived today – lots more cards coming sooKitEndSig2n!  And we’re just days away from Stamptember – woohoo!

Also coming very soon, I have something “different” to share with you, including a little giveaway!  So stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a beautiful day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


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wildflowers and butterfly borders

Wildflowers and colorful butterflies card, by Kitty.Well, this wildflowers and butterflies card didn’t come out at all like I envisioned, but I’m still pretty happy with the end result.  Generally, I’m better with clearly defined images.  I find anything resembling watercolors really challenging, but I think this card sort of has that look.  It was really more of an accident, but a happy one.

I am, once again, playing along with Simon Says Stamp’s Wednesday Challenge.  However, this time I didn’t wait until the last minute.  🙂  This week’s challenge is called Make For the Border, and they’re featuring Memory Box products.  I have this Memory Box Dancing Butterflies die that I just love, but it’s not a border die.  However, if you repeatedly cut it in a straight line, you can get a pretty nice butterfly border.  That was the idea I started with.  I wanted to add some of the little butterflies scattered on the card, but I wanted them to be rePink/purple/blue watercolor pieceally colorful, so…

I took a piece of watercolor paper, and pulled out my Zig Real Brush markers. I just love pink, purple and blue together, so I pulled out a handful of those colors and just sort of scribbled them randomly on the paper.  Then I took a wet paintbrush and pushed the color around.  To give it some interest, I dripped some water droplets on it, and soaked up a bit of the color with a paper towel.  And then, I flicked some more color on it.  This is not a new technique – I’ve seen lots of wonderful crafters do this and come out with amazing results.  Mine?  I think “hot mess” might be a better description, LOL.  (Sorry… didn’t think to take a picture before I cut into it, but this gives you an idea.)

It’s really a bit too much, I think, to use as is, but for tiny strips and die cuts, it’s perfect.  (And now I have plenty left to make more little die cuts for other cards!)  However, just a few tiny butterflies was not enough for this card, so I found a flower stamp set, and decided to just stamp a bunch of flowers and leaves.  I wanted to match the colors I had used for that watercolor piece, so the obvious thing to do was to use those same markers.  I took the solid flower stamp, scribbled color on the stamp with a marker, and stamped it… and got a surprisingly “fuzzy” impression.  I didn’t use any water, so I was really surprised at how this stamped, but I decided to just go with it.  I stamped a bunch more the same way, and then went back in with slightly darker markers and stamped the “outline” images.

Actually, I have a confession to make here.  The flowers were made with a solid and an outline stamp, but the leaves… well, when I got ready to stamp the “outline” image, the stamp was missing.  I looked EVERYWHERE.  (Do you know how hard it is to find a tiny clear stamp?)  Well, after an exhaustive search, I finally admitted defeat, and pulled out a thin-tipped green marker, and hand-drew the outlines.  They are far from perfect, but that was intentional.  They’re supposed to match the casual look of the flowers.  This was hugely challenging for a perfectionist with OCD, but I think it actually kind of, sort of, maybe worked.  🙂

As for the leaf stamp?  I found it.  Yup – the little stinker showed up right after I finished this card, LOL.

To finish it all up, I die-cut the word “hi” from the watercolor piece, along with a thin, straight strip.  For all of those watercolor pieces, I heat-embossed them with Iridescent Sparkle embossing powder.  I also added a bit of Stardust Stickles to the flowers.  The word and butterflies are popped up with foam adhesive, as is the entire white piece.  It’s actually really sparkly in real life – here’s a better photo of the sparkle:Wildflowers and colorful butterflies card, by Kitty.

 

 

 

 

It’s good to challenge yourself sometimes.  It’s one of the reasons I like joining challenges.  It’s also a wonderful reason to subscribe to a kit.  These flowers were part of an older Simon Says Stamp Card Kit.  Not something I probably would have chosen on my own, but now I’m so glad I have it.  🙂

What about you?  Have you ventured out of your card-making comfort zone?  And did you find KitEndSig2you have skills you never knew you had?  If you have any of these to share, I’d love to see them!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a magical day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


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the best is yet to come

The Best is Yet to Come... on the INSIDE of this card. :-)The best is yet to come… specifically, on the inside of this card. 🙂 I know I’m not the first person to try something like this, but I’m afraid I don’t remember where I got the idea.  And I don’t know if this technique has a name, but I’m calling it the “Wizard of Oz effect”, because… well, you’ll see when you open the card.  😉

The outside of my card is all done with white embossing, and white gel pen, on black cardstock.  There’s a round “window” cut into it, with the view of a panda (who is, naturally, black and white) peaking out, and there are some black leaves behind him as well.  However, when you open the card…The Best is Yet to Come - card by Kitty.

things come to life!  Suddenly, there’s color.  And we find that our panda has a friend.  🙂

I had grand plans for this card, and if I had hours and hours to keep improving it, it would have been amazing.  But in the end, I did accomplish what I set out to do.  I’m not sure how apparent it is, but the plants and flowers design is sort of “continuous” from the outside, to the inside.  On the inside, the leaves just within the “window” are black, but they change to color around the circled area.  I was going for sort of a dramatic “black and white to brilliant technicolor” thing, but I think I could have done better.

This whole card did take a certain amount of thought, and it would have been infinitely harder without my MISTI.  When you carry a design over from one place to another, perfect placement is really important.  And I actually did this twice – from the outside to the inside, and from black to color on that inside piece.

I used masks to create that continuous design, some cut from clear acetate so I could cover up part of the design, but still see it.  If I make another of these, I’ll do a better job of recording the steps.  It wasn’t a quick card – serious patience is required for this technique.

There’s some Wink of Stella glitter on the flowers, and Glossy Accents on the pandas’ eyes, nose and the little bow.  The pandas were stamped in Versafine Black Onyx ink, but I added some clear embossing powder and heat-set them for a bolder look.  Here’s more of a close-up of the inside:The Best is Yet to Come - black and white to color, card by Kitty

This was again inspired by the current Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge, called Let’s Go Wild.  This time, I’m hoping to get it posted in time… probably just right under the wire.   They’re featuring Wplus9 products this week, and all of the flowers and leaves are from the Wplus9 Spring Blooms stamp set. The “wild” could be considered the two wild (but cute) pandas.  Or, maybe just the entire design.  It sure felt wild while I was creating it, LOL.

Here’s one more look at the card, from the side:The Best is Yet to Come, card by Kitty.

I know I didn’t do that well of a job explaining this one, but as always, just ask if you have any questions.  Or let me know if you think this deserves a tutorial.  And if you have any ideas for what to write on the inside, I’d love to hear.  I’m still stuck there… Life is better with friends? … You bring color to my life?KitEndSig2

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a beautiful, colorful day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


 

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offset die-cut word card

Offset word die-cut handmade card, by Kitty

This offset die-cut word card originally started out as an entry for Simon Says Stamp’s Wednesday Challenge… but I futzed with it so much that I missed the cut-off.  So, with the deadline no longer looming, I decided to take my time and get it right.  And while I was at it, I recorded a bit of the process for you.  With this post, I’ll show you some of the other versions I made, and tell you what I did – and didn’t – like about them.

The steps for all of these cards were mostly the same.  Basically, I started by heat-embossing a tiny flower background stamp in white, on a piece of white cardstock.  I then took a few different inks and blended them over the pattern, to create an emboss-resist effect.  Then I die-cut a Big Hello from the middle, layered it up and glued it back in place on a coordinating card base.  A layered flower die-cut with a small Baker’s Twine bow, and a bit of glitter on the die-cut pieces finishes it off.  Here’s the video, showing the different steps:

I actually started with a lighter color pattern, going for a nice, soft pink and purple look:  Hello die-cut card, by Kitty

My original plan had been to create a very subtle look, by gluing the “hello” right back where it came from.  I layered several plain white hello die-cut pieces to give it some dimension, glued the design on top, then glued the raised image back in place.  Despite adding sparkle embossing powder and UTEE to the word, though, I feel that this one was too subtle.  The “hello” is nearly invisible.  (I like the pink, though.  Yeah, yeah, yeah… I’m a bit of a girly girl.  Pink and sparkly stuff just make me happy.)  🙂

So, for my second try, I decided to offset the word, placing it to the right and slightly above the negative space on the card.  This gave the word a bit of a shadow:Kit-OffsetWord-Red

I do like this one. I think the colors came out nicely, and the “shadow” makes the word a little more visible. Here’s a side-view, so you can see some of that dimension: Kit-OffsetWord-RedSide

While I like this one, I decided that, if I layered colored cardstock instead of white, maybe it would produce a more dramatic shadow.  For this next one, the flower and word die-cut pieces are layered with the same cardstock I used for the card base: Hello die-cut word handmade card, by Kitty

While I like the slightly more pronounced shadow, I wasn’t very happy with the colors here.  I think I like it better with a monochrome look, and with a dark-colored base.  That’s how I ended up with my blue card – dark, monochrome color scheme, and the layered pieces are made with the colored same cardstock as the card base.  Here’s a side view: Hello offset die-cut handmade card, by Kitty

And I still think I could make this better.  Maybe some white dash lines around the outside, or more glitter and some Glossy Accents on the die-cuts?  But if I futz any longer, this will never get posted, LOL.  What would you do to make this card better?  I love getting feedback, and I’m happy to answer any questions.  Just leave me a comment, or send me an e-mail.  I promise I’m friendly.  🙂KitEndSig2

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Have a wonderful day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


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stamp and die storage – updated

Stamp and Die Storage, bashfulcat.comWell, I figured it was high time that I attempt another video, so I thought I’d share a close-up of my recently updated stamp and die storage.  Nothing here is truly revolutionary – Jennifer McGuire already came up with the best ideas, LOL – but I’ve put my own spin on it, and I thought it might interest someone.  Besides, organizational posts and videos are just fun.  🙂

I’ll give you a few close-up details here, but the video will show you the whole process:

I am using a variety of storage pockets/sleeves for my stamps, dies, and stencils (and I’m working on something similar for my embossing folders), but my greatest find, so far, is the Maxtek CD sleeves I found on Amazon: Maxtek 100 Pieces Clear Transparent CPP Plastic CD DVD Sleeves Envelope Holder, 100 micron thickness..  It’s the best deal I’ve found for a really nice, good quality 5″ x 5″ clear plastic sleeve with a fold-in flap.

However, that doesn’t work for the “standard-sized stamp sets, or many of the larger die sets.  For those, I either use the Avery Elle storage pockets that everyone loves, or a much less expensive (and much less impressive) card sleeve from Ultra Pro.  (Links for everything are at the bottom of the post.)  And while it’s not necessary if you use a good quality sleeve, I do really like using magnets to hold my dies in place.Thin die storage, bashfulcat.com

All of my sleeves are numbered – just numbers for stamps, “D” for dies, “ST” for stencils, etc.  For that, I use my beloved Brother P-Touch label maker.  To save a little money, though, I’ve started printing the name and vendor details directly on the cardstock piece that add to the sleeves.  I really like the nice, clean, consistent look that I get from this system.

Instead of sorting my stamps and dies by manufacturer, or by type, I just keep them in numerical order.  When I’m looking for something, I use my index system, instead of flipping through a bunch of sleeves.  I put the images on scraps of cardstock (2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″), and organize them with baseball card sleeves, in 3-ring binders.  With this system, I can actually put a single stamp set in a number of different categories.  On the back of each card, I put the name and manufacturer, and location, so I know just where to find it – easy-peasy, with the numbered sleeves.  This is my favorite part of the system!  And I recently made it even more handy with little, round colored stickers, for differentiating brands at a glance.Stamp index system by KittyStamp Index System, by Kitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m doing something very similar with dies and stencils, though due to the size, I can’t use the baseball pockets.  For those, I just use full-size pieces of cardstock.Stamp and Die storage, bashfulcat.com  To store the sleeves, I use a variety of baskets and crates.  The plastic Fridge Bins that Jennifer uses are nice, but I love baskets, and the more casual feel I get from them.  I want my sleeves to all look very similar, but I like that the baskets are not all the same.  It makes my crafty space feel warmer, I think.Craft storage, bashfulcat.com

 

I think that about covers it – the video really shows it best.  If you have any questions, KitEndSig2suggestions, or ideas, just let me know – I love talking storage and organization.  🙂

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Have an awesome day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


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thinking of… ewe?

Thinking of Ewe card, by KittyThinking of… ewe.  Is it too corny?  I just couldn’t resist.  These little Lawn Fawn sheep are so cute!  This is my entry for Simon Says Stamp’s latest Wednesday Challenge – Anything Goes.  They’re featuring Lawn Fawn products this week, and I LOVE Lawn Fawn’s stamps!

I started by stamping these sheep on some of my favorite patterned papers (Isabella, by Bo Bunny… sadly, might not be available any more).  My MISTI was a big help here.  I needed to get a very bold impression, so you could see those faces over the bold patterns.  With the MISTI, I was able to stamp them two or three times, until it was dark enough.  I fussy-cut each one out, and used a brush marker around the edges to make it even more defined.  Then I stamped and fussy-cut the bows, and glued one on each sheep.  (“Ewe” are female sheep, so I had to give all of them pretty bows.)  😉

The sentiment is the first part of a “thinking of you” die, with letters for “ewe” from a different alpha die set.  I used a punch on the bottom of that grey paper, and added just some thin strips of paper for interest.  I rounded one corner, and added a few hearts.  The hearts and bows are all covered with Wink of Stella, and the sheep are all attached with foam adhesive.  Definitely one my sillier cards, but it makes me smile, and hopefully, it will do the same for the recipient.  Does it make you smile?  🙂Smile Quote

Thank you so much for stopping by! And please let me know if you KitEndSig2need a smile – I’ll give you one of mine.  🙂  Have a happy Day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but Iwill get a small commission, which will help keep this blog going.  Thank you so much!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


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