Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Year's Worth of Inspiration

Hi everyone! I hope you all a wonderful holiday. I thought it would be fun to look back through a year's worth of projects and pick my favorites from each month. I was worried that I wouldn't have enough, but the truth is, it was hard to narrow them down! I have been very lucky to work with some amazing designers and products, and these creations wouldn't have been possible without their brilliance and innovation. Read on to find a dose of inspiration for every month!

2014 was definitely the year of the pop-up box card. I first saw the technique on Splitcoast Stampers and knew I had to make a steampunk version. This ended up being a birthday card for my Air Force son who was deployed to Dubai at the time. He loved it which made me very happy! You can see more views and find a full supply list HERE.

February is all about love, and I love experimenting with new techniques! This cool, grungy tag features a transfer technique using one of Tim Holtz's Found Relatives cards and has a surprise pop-up inside, courtesy of one of Karen Burniston's Pop it Ups dies. You can find a full tutorial HERE.

March marked the beginning of my love affair with Artist Trading Blocks - a trend that was started by Eileen Hull and Amy Bowerman. Eileen's block dies are so much fun to create with! There is no end to the artistic possibilities with these dies. For this one, I used a lot of Tim Holtz products to create a little vintage shadowbox. The tutorial can be found HERE.

When  you're a designer, you often have more ideas than time will allow. This little dollar store wineglass cloche was one of those ideas I'd played with ages ago but never got around to doing anything with. Easter ended up being the perfect time to make something. I love the bunny made with real moss and Tim Holtz's Mini Bunny die. So cute! I have a full list of materials and instructions in THIS post.

Since my husband has been in aviation as long as I've known him (we met when we worked at the same airline!), I'm always up for a flight-themed card. This one features lots of different techniques and finishes, all pulled together with Karen Burniston's Accordion Fancy Label Pop it Ups die. Lots to look at on this card! You can see how I made it, plus watch a video of it in action HERE.
June marks another birthday in our family - this time my daughter's. She is so hard to shop for, so I decided to get her a gift certificate to one of her favorite stores and put in in a gift box constructed with Eileen Hull's box dies and decorated to look like a cake. It's still one of my all-time favorite projects! If I'd had more time, I would have filled up each compartment - maybe next year. I have a full tutorial with lots of pics in THIS post.
Before I was bitten by the stamping/paper crafting bug, my favorite hobby was gardening. I love that this piece combines both my new passion, and an older one. And it's all made from paper! Like I said in one of the previous project posts, Eileen Hull's box/cube dies can be turned into just about anything. In this case it's a French garden tote. To find out how easy it is to get a worn painted wood look using chipboard, check out the full tutorial in THIS post.

Sometimes you hit upon the perfect combination of die, technique, paper, and theme. This is one of those cards! I had made an earlier masculine version for my dad's birthday. This time I decided to use some of Karen Burniston's new dies plus some of the wonderful Elizabeth Craft Designs glitter to make a more feminine card for Karen's birthday. I used up the last of my precious stash of Graphic 45's Steampunk Debutante paper and it was totally worth it! For a quick tutorial on what looks like a complicated card, check out THIS post.

This is yet another piece that was the perfect combination of dies, paper, and embellishments! The base is Eileen Hull's 3D Cube die, and on top of it, I built a spooky scene with dies from Tim Holtz and Karen Burniston, plus a witchy Found Relative from Tim Holtz. The paper is my favorite from My Mind's Eye. My friend actually asked what I would do if I ever run out. Hopefully, that day will never come! You can find more views and brief instructions HERE.

You might have guessed that I love using transparencies/clear plastic sheets for my Pop it Ups cards. I think that it makes the cards even that much more amazing. I love the look of this lacy frame die cut from black cardstock and given a coating of black glitter. So dramatic and elegant! The rubber stamps from Artistic Outpost work perfectly with Karen's Burniston's Oval Accordion die. For a full list of supplies, plus a little video of the card opening and closing, pop over to THIS post.
I love being inspired by something in a magazine, and then trying to figure out how I can reproduce it in my style, with supplies I have on hand. I spotted the inspiration for this fall decor piece in Country Living Magazine. They used a vintage silver tray, but I thought I could come up with a way to age a tray from the dollar store. By using Ranger alcohol inks and Distress paint, I created a tray that looked decades old in just minutes! I have the whole process stepped out in THIS post.

Christmas is always one of my favorite holidays to create for and this year was no exception. In fact, I went totally overboard and decided to do a series of 12 handmade ornaments. It was a lot of time and work, but I had a blast coming up with something new each day. Even better, I stumbled upon some cool techniques that I shared in each stepped-out tutorial. It's a great resource to bookmark now and come back to next year! You can find all the ornaments by clicking HERE.

I hope you've enjoyed this look back at 2014 and have revisited some old favorites, or discovered some new ones. I can't tell you how thankful I am for your support and comments, your pins, and purchases through my links. All of that makes what I do so much more rewarding, and inspires me to continue sharing my creations with all of you.

Best wishes for an art-filled and inspired New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hi all! I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and thank you for your support this year. Hope your holidays have been filled with family and friends and you've made some special memories. Best wishes for a wonderful, art-filled New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Art With Heart Challenge - Santa Mug

Happy Friday, everyone! With Christmas just around the corner, we all are looking for quick and easy ideas to make it special for our loved ones. Today's project is just that - very quick and super easy.

I wanted to make a little gift that would be suitable (pun not intended!) for kids and adults alike and thought that this Santa mug would be perfect for anyone. With a few simple embellishments, you could make enough for a crowd in an afternoon! Here's how it goes together:

Begin by adhering red felt to the front and back of a piece of medium weight chipboard using Xyron or other adhesive. Die cut two mug pieces using Eileen Hull's Mug and Spoon die. Cut another piece using Eileen's Make it 3D die. Cover another piece of chipboard with white felt and cut a rim piece using the Mug die. Trim to fit.

Assemble the mug as shown, using a strong glue. Die cut a piece of glitter paper using Eileen's Lovely Labels die and add a square of felt, creating a buckle. Cut a belt from black felt and adhere the buckle piece. Finally adhere all pieces, creating a Santa suit, tie with a label and bow, and fill with treats.

The supplies I used can be found at Inspiration Emporium and Amazon via the links below. Remember to use my coupon code - stamptramp - to save 10% at IE.

I hope you enjoyed this fun project using one of my favorite dies from Eileen's new Vintage Kitchen collection. We would love to have you join us for this month's Art With Heart challenge which is all about Holiday Traditions.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Karen Burniston Designer Challenge - May

I am beyond excited to share today's card with you! It's my second card for Karen Burniston's Designer Challenge. This time my month is May so I thought I'd do a pretty Mother's Day card with another one of my favorite Graphic 45 collections - Botanical Tea. What makes this card so special?

It's a tunnel card! Or a double concertina, or double accordion tunnel card. Take your pick! Last month I saw this card on Pinterest. My first thought was that there had to be a way to make one with one of Karen's accordion dies. But try as I might, I couldn't figure out how to make it work. I asked Karen if she had any idea how I could do it and, within minutes, she had a mock up and basic instructions! That woman works fast.

When I was trying to decide what kind of card to make for the challenge, I thought I would be brave and try what looks like an incredibly complicated card technique. You know what I found out? It's super easy. Like, crazy, super easy. Here's how I made it:

Begin by cutting an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper in half lengthwise. Fold each piece and die cut using Karen's Accordion Oval die. Be sure you drop the fold down below the cutting edge so that the fold remains intact. Cut out the center portion as shown on the bottom piece.

Next, cut notches on the inside of the oval on one piece, and on the outside of the other. Stamp with desired images.

Line your card sections up facing each other, with the fold facing out. Gently fold the left section of the piece with the top notches and pass it through the oval opening, lining the notches up. If the fit is too tight, remove and snip out a bit more paper until they fit.

Repeat the process for the other section. You've just made your tunnel accordion. I told you it was crazy easy!

This is the direction you'll be working in when you decorate your card. I recommend decorating your card after it's assembled, other than stamping or a bit of paper layering. You definitely need to be able to have everything lined up when you're planning out your paper placement.

I had a blast snipping and gluing and pop-dotting all the the gorgeous images from this Graphic 45 collection. It's truly hard to know when to stop! I used Karen's House Pivot Card die to make a little fence, and the banner from her Lorna Label set to create a sentiment.

One thing about a card like this - still photos don't come close to showing the dimension. Here's a quick little video to give you a better idea of how this card operates.

The best part about this card is that if folds completely flat for mailing. I couldn't control myself and went outside the margins with some of my flowers, but if you keep it all within the edges of the card, you can just pop it in an envelope and send it on its way!

The supplies I used for my card can be found at Inspiration Emporium and Elizabeth Craft Designs via the links below. Remember to use my coupon code - stamptramp - to save 10% on your order!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Be sure and head over to the Elizabeth Craft Designs blog tomorrow for a new video from Karen (I've seen it and you don't want to miss it!), plus incredible cards from the team for every month of the year!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pop it Ups Designer Challenge - G45 Halloween Card

Hi all! It's time again for Karen Burniston's Pop it Ups Designer Challenge. This month we are celebrating cards for each month of the year. Each designer picked a month or two and made a card highlighting a holiday or event that takes place in that month.

Karen suggested that I do a Halloween card and I was happy to meant that I could pull out my Eerie Tales paper from Graphic 45! Halloween had come and gone before I had a chance to use it, and I had the perfect card idea to highlight all the wonderful images from this collection.

Here is the front of my card. I love the way G45's papers coordinate, making it easy to throw a card like this together. It looks like it took ages, but I think I was done in an hour or so!

I didn't have time for a full tutorial, but I took this photo so you could see how I built up the layers. I cut a piece of black Core'dinations cardstock to 12" x 5" and folded it in half. I aligned the Lots of Pops die on the fold and die cut my pop up. The Lots of Pops is so perfect for this kind of layering - lots of little tabs and platforms for your fussy cut pieces.

I cut out most of my layers last night while I was watching tv. That made putting this together very quick work. After adhering the central image, I just built out from that, adding bits and pieces until it looked nice and full. It's hard to make out, but I die cut Karen's Tree and added it with a foam dot to the back of the card. The little owl cut from the paper is a perfect fit!

Here's a quick Vine I made this evening. I apologize for the lighting, but at least you can get a better view of all the layers. So fun! I am becoming addicting to fussy cutting. :)

All of the supplies I used can be found at Inspiration Emporium, Elizabeth Craft Designs, and Amazon via the links below. Remember to use my coupon code - stamptramp - to save 10% on your order at IE.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Come back tomorrow when I'll be sharing another card for this fun challenge!