Plaid Builder Congrats Card

I have been eyeballing the Waffle Flower Plaid Play stamp for awhile now. I just love the idea of being able to stamp my own plaid backgrounds in whatever colors or patterns I want. So this weekend I picked up the set and I worked on making a couple of backgrounds for practice. However I love how this one turned out, so I decided to use it on a card for my brother, who just purchased a new home.

I combined the Plaid Play set with the In Stitches border set from Technique Tuesday. I actually had never thought of using border stamp sets to create plaid patterns until my friend Shannon suggested it. What a great idea.

I used 5 different VersaMagic inks for this pattern - the four included in this Southwest themed pack (Gingerbread, Turquoise Gem, Red Brick and Night Sky) and then Niagara Mist from this 4 Corners themed pack. Because these are chalky pigment inks, I heat set them when I was done stamping with my heat tool to keep them from smudging. Building the plaid was time consuming but fairly easy - I started with the widest stripe and worked in both directions with the thinner stripes and colors. Then just repeat. When I turned to do the strips that go in the other direction, I offset it a bit so there wasn't just a giant X in the center of the panel.

Next I took some of the Night Sky ink and smushed it onto plain white card stock. I added some Ranger clear embossing powder on top, and die cut the "congrats" using the Hero Arts Congrats Stamp & Cut set and my Big Shot. Then I added more clear embossing powder two more times and heat set it, creating a thicker glossy sentiment I could add directly to my card front.

I trimmed the card panel to just under 4" square and then attached it to a 4" square card base using Stampin' Up!'s Night of Navy card stock.

I definitely love the Plaid Play stamp set and will be using it often in the future! So versatile!

Weight Loss Check In #2

Good morning! Checking in with my results from last week.

I lost 2 pounds from last Monday, bringing my two week total to 3.5 pounds. I ate pretty well and under calorie 5 of the 7 days. I only worked out one time, however. I am hoping that I can do better with that this week. But I am happy with my eating, and my progress so far.

Short and sweet update because there is no need to bore you. See you tomorrow with a new card I made!

Dahlia Turnabout Thank You Card

I'm so excited to share this card with you. I recently visited the brand new stamp shop a friend of mine from Instagram opened up. Butterfly Reflections Ink has been an online presence for 5 years, but Vanessa opened her own in-person shop this month! The shop is in Kingston, NH, so a little less than an hour away from me. With all of the smaller, local stamp and scrapbook shops closing over the years, it is super exciting to finally have one close enough to me to drive to. And boy, has she fully stocked it with allllll the goodies!

While in the shop, one of the items I picked up was the Concord & 9th Dahlia Turnabout Stamp Set. I also grabbed the matching die. I'd seen Jennifer McGuire use this set awhile back and it was on my wish list, so I am very happy I was able to find it at Vanessa's shop. The way this stamp set works, is you stamp it four times, turning it 1/4 turn each time. I stamped with four different inks from My Favorite Things - Razzle Berry, Cotton Candy, Grape Jelly, and Grapesicle.

For the 'Thank You' sentiment, I used the Altenew Many Thanks stamp set, and stamped it onto some Raspberry Ripple Stampin' Up! card stock with Versamark ink. I used Ranger White Embossing Powder and heat set that, then trimmed it up. I attached the card front panel to a 4.25"x5.5" top folding piece of the Raspberry Ripple, then used some foam adhesive behind the sentiment to pop it up.

Such a pretty card, and really super quick to make, which was unexpected. I thought the stamp set for sure would take me forever to figure out how to use properly, but it was super easy with my Mini MISTI tool.

Weight Loss Check In #1

Sorry I didn't get this up yesterday. I've embarked on a mission to organize my "Monica's Closet," that you may have seen in my craft room tour video I posted a couple months back, and I've put everything else on hold while I work on that. I brought my jewelry making stuff back down from the attic. Remember when I used to make handmade jewelry? No? Well, I did, before Austin was born. I would like to get back into doing a little of that. I have all these beads and stones and crystals that I'd love to turn into earrings (those are my favorite things to make) and maybe a few necklaces too. And I also still have family staying with us for another night, so I am out of routine (have I even ever been in a routine?).

Anyway, week 1 went pretty well. I went over daily calories on the weekend, but still ate healthier than I usually do. We just had a graduation to celebrate and Mother's Day. I made better choices than usual though and I'm proud of how I did. I logged my calories every day with My Fitness Pal. I exercised officially just one day, but another day I spent like, 4 hours cleaning the house and was exhausted after, so I counted that too.

So I weighed in yesterday morning and was down 1.5 pounds. That's perfect, as I'm aiming for a 1 pound loss per week. I would like to lose 23 total pounds from my starting weight, but I'm happy to do it slowly.

This week my plan is to get back on the treadmill more regularly, now that I've got the calories "under control." But first, that whole closet cleanout thing.

I leave you with a photo of Summer from her graduation from Berklee this past weekend. She actually finished school in August, in 3.5 "college years" (technically it's 3 years time-wise since she started in August and finished in August) but she walked with her class on Saturday.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Summer Whittaker, people smiling

This is Summer around age 4 (it's our old apartment and I think the earliest photo I have of her, which is how I determined the age), and her on Saturday.

Card Making Challenge - Paper Crafting Alphabet - Add Detail With A White Pen or Paper Piercer

I'm back with the fourth challenge and another Mother's Day card. I apologize for the lighting on these photos - working with a limited space due to a mess that somehow erupted in my craft room and I an't find my memory card for my big girl camera.

This challenge asked to either use a white pen or paper piercer to add some detail. I use a white pen often, so I thought I would bust out my old Stampin' Up! Paper Piercing tool and templates and go to town. I rarely use those, and the whole point of doing this challenge was to get me using stuff I haven't in a long time (or ever), so, perfect.

First, I die cut the center white card stock using the Stampin' Up! Windows Framelits dies. Then I used two different stamp sets for my sentiment - the Stampin' Up! Crazy About You set and the Hero Arts Oh Snap set. I stamped them with Memento Teal Zeal ink. Looooove how these two fonts look together! There are a lot of sentiments in that SU set so I think I might try to use this combo again with other occasions. I also really like that teal ink!

Once I had stamped the sentiments, I used the coordinating paper piercing template (from the Festive Paper-Piercing Pack) and pierced along the inside edge of the die cut piece.

Next I took a 5.25"x5.25" piece of Stampin' Up!'s Island Indigo card stock for my main panel and die cut the next size up die from that same Windows Framelits set. I had to first find the center of the panel and use a ruler to line up the die properly but it worked perfectly. Once I had that cut out, I used the paper piercer to pierce on the OUTSIDE of the edge of where the die cut, discarding the inside piece (or saving for a future project).

I then attached my Island Indigo panel to a 5.5"x5.5" square card base using the Stampin' Up! Pink Pirouette card stock with foam adhesive, for dimension. I put the white panel in the center of the negative space, also with foam adhesive. And finally I added some paper flowers and a large rhinestone to the center of those with glue dots.

We have family staying with us for a few more days so I probably will not return until later next week with the next card, but I hope to remember to post my first weigh loss progress update on Monday after I weigh in. I've been good this week with my eating. Less good with exercise. :)

Card Making Challenge - Paper Crafting Alphabet - Use At Least Five Colors Total

Today I'm finally back with another card for the card making challenge I had posted a few weeks ago. Today's challenge is to use at least five colors on the card. I need Mother's Day cards for this weekend, so that's the theme of today's card.

I'd received a the Maya Road Geometric Heart die for my birthday, and I just couldn't wait to use it. This die can be used so many ways, but I wanted to create a popped up heart as a focal point. To achieve this, I first ran the die through my Big Shot with white card stock. I took another piece of white card stock and covered it with adhesive, then placed just the outline part of the die cut on top.

Next, I ran the die through my Big Shot with five different colors of card stock. It helps to use some wax paper between the die and the card stock with this intricate die, otherwise you might have some trouble getting the pieces out. I used the Sizzix Die Brush to pop the pieces out each time.  The colors I used are all from Stampin' Up! - Elegant Eggplant, Wisteria Wonder, Bermuda Bay, Pool Party, and Smoky Slate. 

Then I carefully placed pieces of the colored shapes into the white border:

When I'd filled it all in little pieces, I took my bone folder and gently ran it over the top of the heart. This smoothed out the little "dimples" from the intricate metal die, and pressed the little pieces into the adhesive so they stuck well. Then I carefully trimmed that base piece of card stock along the edge of the die cut so I had just the heart to add to my card.

For the rest of the card, I kept it fairly simple. I used a diagonal striped embossing folder from Lifestyle Crafts with Stampin' Up!'s Pink Pirouette card stock. Then I chopped the corner off to allow for a stamp on my card front. 

I stamped Happy Mother's Day with Stampin' Up!'s Wonderful Mother stamp set and Elegant Eggplant Ink. Finally I added some silver glitter washi tape directly to the card, lined up to be underneath the pink card stock piece. 

I did keep all the extra heart outlines to use on future cards! 

I hope you like today's card! This week is a busy week with family from out of town coming to visit, Summer's college graduation and Mother's Day but I'll try to get another one up by the end of the week.

We're Back!

Happy Friday everyone! My family and I are back from a two week Disney-filled vacation. This week has been spend catching up but I'll have a new card for the card-making challenge I started before I left on Monday! I'm also working on a vlog for the YouTube channel with all the little video clips I took during the trip as well as a trip recap post. 

The weather is FINALLY warm here in MA as well so we've been enjoying that. It definitely made it easier to come back from 2 weeks of warmth and sunshine. It actually snowed in MA the day we left for vacation! Spring sure took a long time to arrive.

I am also going to be working hard to lose the extra weight I've gained the past couple of years, so once I start I'll be doing some weight loss checkin posts here once a week too. More for accountability for me, as I'm sure no one really wants to read about my weight loss. However I need a public place to document my progress and own up to what I'm eating/doing so this is the best place for me to do that. I'll try to keep them quick and dirty so I don't bore you guys. I'm not intending to hard-core diet or anything like that, more try to eat healthier and make sure I get some exercise. Since I've been doing nothing and eating everything I want, that alone should make at least a little change!

I hope you guys have a great weekend - see you next week!

Card Making Challenge - Paper Crafting Alphabet - Put Your Sentiment On A Banner

Today we continue the Paper Crafting Alphabet challenge that I posted about a few days ago. Be sure to see that post for full details. Today's challenge is to put your sentiment on a banner. I've also filmed a Watch Me Work for this card, so be sure to watch the video at the bottom of the post.

I chose the Lawn Fawn Year 4 Hippo Birdie To You stamp set. I think it is just so cute! I stamped my images using Memento Tuxedo Black ink, and colored them in with various Copic and Spectrum Noir markers.

For the square in the center, after stamping my images, I die cut the grass using the Lawn Fawn Grassy Border die. I adhered it to my white card stock so the hippo was standing in the grass, and then I die cut the square using the Simon Says Stamp Stitched Squares die.

I added a little bit of white to the balloon with a white Gelly Roll pen.

For the sentiment, I stamped with Versamark and used some Ranger white embossing powder. I heat set that, and die cut it with a banner from the Stampin' Up! Project Life die set. The patterned paper is from an older Dear Lizzy 6x6 paper pad. It is trimmed to 4.75"x4.75", as my base is a 5"x5" card. I then attached everything to my card with my Scotch ATG gun (my favorite adhesive roller).

If you'd like to watch me make this card, check out this video below:

I'll be back in a couple of weeks with more cards for this challenge. Until then, have a great April!

Card Making Challenge - Paper Crafting Alphabet - Add A Border

I was browsing Pinterest for some sort of card making challenge to just kind of give me a direction, and came across this graphic (I screenshot this):

Now it took me a bunch of work but I believe the original post came from Nichole Heady's blog. I found this post link but it keeps forwarding to the main Papertrey Ink blog. If you quickly click on the X to stop the page from forwarding in your browser you can stop on the post if you want to read it. I cannot figure out why it keeps forwarding for me on every browser I've tried. Even if I click on her main blog header. But anyway, I screenshot the challenge. I believe the original challenge was to use a few of the letters on a single card, as I found a few posts by other bloggers where they'd done a card to fill the challenge, but I've decided to use this to do a separate card for each letter of the challenge alphabet. I like this because there are some techniques I have not yet tried.

Today I'm sharing letter A - Add A Border. Now, I generally add a border layer around a lot of my card front panels, so I decided to do something different and use one of my card border dies to create a card.

This is the full card I created:

To make this card, I used Stampin' Up! Sahara Sand card stock for my card base. I then die cut another panel of the Sahara Sand which I had trimmed to 5.5" wide with the Pretty Pink Posh Stitched Borders curved die. This created the curved panel you see on the front of the card. Under this panel, I chose to add a bit of patterned paper from the My Mind's Eye The Sweetest Thing 6x6 paper pack. (I've had this for years, I am not sure it is sold anymore). The patterned paper is glued right down to the card base, but I popped up the Sahara Sand panel with foam adhesive.

Along the border, I wanted to add a die cut word. I had decided to make this a Mother's Day card, so I found my Hero Arts Stamp and Cuts happy die and stamp set and die cut the 'happy' three times out of a card stock remnant I had that matched the patterned paper. I like that the die was slightly curved so it felt like it would work perfectly right along the edge of the card border. I then glued the three die cuts together so that it created a thicker sentiment.

Before placing the front panel and die cut sentiment on the card, I first stamped 'mother's day' at a curve (just by bending the stamp on the stamp block) with Stampin' Up! Night Of Navy ink. The patterned paper has a bit of a navy blue in some of the little round flower buds so I chose that ink to match.

Next I added the foam adhesive I mentioned previously to the back of the curved panel and attached that to the card front. Then I took some clear foam Kool Tak adhesive and cut tiny pieces to put behind the top part of the 'happy' sentiment. I put Ranger Collage Medium glue along the bottom of the 'happy' so that the bottom would lay flat on the curved panel but the top would pop up from the patterned paper.

To finish off the card, I used some Stampin' Up! Subtles Candy Dots along the very corner, attached with tiny Glue Dots. I've had these for a few years, and I think they've changed to using enamel dots instead.

I don't use my card border dies too often so I am already really excited about this challenge as I hope it will get me using supplies I don't often pull out.

I have letter B coming on Friday along with a Watch Me Work video, so stay tuned!

Craft Room Tour

It's not super pretty or perfectly organized with everything tucked away, but it's functional and I can find stuff and I filmed it for you: