Saturday, May 29, 2010

Operation Write Home Memorial Day Blog Hop

My name is Suz Gray.  I love all things paper & am known on the web as "craftysuz".  Welcome to my stop on the Operation Write Home Memorial Day Blog Hop.  This is my 2nd year participating in this hop & wow has it grown.  Have you been enjoying the hop?  If you are one of my regular readers or just stumbled onto me I'm sure you will want to start from the beginning to see all the beautiful cards, be moved by touching stories, learn some new cardmaking & stamping techniques.  You can even enter to win some prizes along the way too.  The OWH Stars & Stamps blog is the beginning... find it here.  It starts at 10 am EST on Saturday & goes thru 6 pm EST on Monday.

The reason I support OWH is because it is a great way to use something I love to do to make it easier for our troops to stay in touch with their loved ones at home.  I feel like every card I make is a little thank you for the huge sacrifice they make for us.  I love the OWH blog posts where soldiers share what this organization means to them and their families.

We've had quite a few members of our family serve our country over the years.  Currently my cousin has a daughter & son serving in Afghanistan & Iraq.  I pray for Kayla & Vinnie's safety as they serve in dangerous places.

Spc. Vincent Hoover, a tanker with 1st Bn, 72nd Armor Regiment was awarded the silver star last October for his valor & quick actions when a grenade was thrown into his vehicle.  He threw it back out & all the lives in vehicle were saved.  See story here & here.  Our family is so proud of him!

Thank you to each service person & their families who sacrifice so much to serve our country.  On this Memorial Day I ask that you join me in saying a prayer for those families who have given the ultimate sacrifice of a loved one that they are comforted by the heroic way they lived & blessed by memories along with those who are currently in harms way.


Now to share some cards.  I made a couple keeping with the Red, White & Blue - Missing You card theme requested by OWH.

For this card I used a Cuttlebug dry embossing folder to create the dotted texture on the kraft cardstock.
Supplies:  Cardstock (Bazzill & Bo Bunny); Paper (Pink Paislee & Making Memories); Punch (Stampin' Up); Die Cut (Nestabilities); Ink (Palette); String (Making Memories); Stamps (Ipppity Stamps & Unity Stamps); Trim (Wrights); Dry Embossing (Cuttlebug Swiss Dots Folder)

For this card I stamped on the plain navy background with Versamark ink & a flourish stamps by Ippity to give a subtle watermark look to the paper - in person it looks great and added a lot of interest.  I like to cut out stamped images like the butterfly here.
Supplies:  Paper (Creative Imaginations, K&Company, & The Paper Studio); Stamps (Unity Stamps & Ippity Stamps); Bling (Paper Reflections); Ribbon (Michaels' Dollar Bin); Ink (Palette & Versamark); Die Cut (Making Memories Slice - Think Pink)

I also did a photo tutorial showing how to make the layered watercolor flowers in the next two cards.  If you would like to see the tutorial please go to the next post.  I did this so people who didn't wouldn't have to scroll thru all those photos & instructions.

This flower is stamped multiple times then cut apart.  I used foam dimensional adhesive to add depth.  I dressed up an office supply tag with layers of stamping & distress ink.
Supplies:  Cardstock (Bazzill & Watercolor Paper); Paint (Grumbacher); Ink (Palette & Ranger Tim Holtz); Stamps (Ippity Stamps & Hero Arts); Die Cut (Nestabilities); Ribbon (American Crafts); Tag (Staples)

This card uses the same flower & watercolor painting but it is just a flat image.  The paint shading helps to give depth.  I stamped the leaves on canvas fabric for interest.

Supplies:  Cardstock (Bazzill & Watercolor Paper); Paint (Grumbacher); Ink (Palette & Colorbox); Stamps (Ippity Stamps & Unity Stamps); Twine (Making Memories); Canvas (Joann's); Dry Embossing (Cuttlebug Swiss Dots Folder)


To thank you for stopping by... I have some prizes to offer you.

One winner will receive this "Lucky Me" mini album kit courtesy of Susan Moore - Owner of EMI Scrapbooking Store in Cumming, Georgia.  She also has an online Etsy store called creativekits4u where she sells these kits to customers all over the world.  This kit features Little Yellow Bicycle Lucky Me papers.  MSRP $22.


I sell Ippity Stamps (see tab at top of the page or click here for Memorial Day sale prices) so I am offering these 2 sets to one winner.

Leave a comment for your chance to win - sorry but open only to USA residents only due to shipping costs.  (make sure you leave an email address or way to get in touch with you).  Comments close at 6 pm EST on Monday & winner will be drawn by random number generator soon after that.


Now head on over to the next stop on the blog hop.  Sharon has some pretty cards to share with you. 

3D Layered Flower Tutorial

This is a tutorial for the flowers I created for my cards on the OWH Memorial Day Blog Hop.  To keep my post from getting too long I thought I would do a separate post for the photo how to tutorial so those who wanted to see how I made them could look & those who didn't wouldn't have to scroll thru so many photos.

Here's the finished card showing the layered dimensional flower

Ok now I'll show you how I made them.

Step 1 - Gather Supplies:  Watercolor Paper, Stamp that can easily be cut apart once stamped (I used Ippity Stamp's Now & Always kit which I sell here); Watercolors (I used the cake style artist quality ones); Paintbrush; Waterproof Black Ink (I used Palette Hybrid Ink); Scissors or craft knife.

Step 2 - Stamp your image.   My stamp has 4 different sections so I will stamp it 5 times (in case of error you have a spare... I learned from experience)

Step 3 - Cut out your layers. I like to use micro tip scissors for the best detail.  But, you could also use a craft knife.  It is ok to cut outside the line leaving extra white since we are watercoloring and it is a casual technique.

These are the different types of watercolors that can be used that I had on hand.  Watercolor crayons (might be too think for this stamped image); watercolor pencils & water brush ( would work well for this since you could get in small places); watercolor paint in tubes (this would work well but I was being lazy not wanting to get out a pallet)

and finally the artist quality cake watercolors (which I chose to use for this project).  A fine round brush is helpful to keep control and still get good coverage.

Note:  You'll see I'm no expert on watercolor painting I just do my own thing.

Step 4 - Painting the layers.  I find it best to wet the paper lightly first then layer the color on in stages.  I start with lighter coverage and build intensity of color coverage as I go.  You can use a paper towel in between to blog & "erase" mistakes.

You can either paint choose to paint the next smaller layer in or leave it white.  The reason I paint it is because when the layers are assembled with dimensional foam adhesive it looks better.

Notice  I didn't do all the shading with different colors on this example.   The thing I like about watercolors is you don't have to be neat.  You'll see it will come together nice even when it looks like this lol.

Step 5 - Shape Petals.  To add interest & more depth I curled the petals by putting my index finger in center of each petal then squeezed it with the index finger and thumb on other hand.  Pinching & working it until I  get the desired curling.  This is best done while the paper is still damp.

Step 6 - Adhesive.  I added foam adhesive squares to the back of each layer making sure I only put it toward the center of each layer.  This allows the petals freedom to move & curl further.

Here's the finished flower ready to go on any project.

The coloring could be done with Copic markers, craft makers, colored pencils (blended with gamsol or left natural).  But I like that watercolors are translucent so the stamped lines show thru.

Here is another card where I did not cut the layers apart but just painted the stamped image whole.  The shading with different colors helped to give it depth.  I stamped the leaves on canvas fabric for interest.

So I hope this gives you some ideas of different things you can do with your stamps.

Friday, May 28, 2010

ES Monthly Challenge & Inspiration

Everything Scrapp'n has some great new products that are flying out of the store...

Brand new company Echo Park Paper - Sweet Summertime
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist
Loads of Tiny Alphas by My Little Shoebox & Cosmo Cricket
Newest Pink Paislee - Starlight
October Afternoon paper & Bingo cards
Jenni Bowlin & more coming.....

My first layout is using the Echo Park - Sweet Summertime.  It's always exciting to see new scrapbook companies come on the scene.  This one is super fun with great colors & whimsical shaped stickers.  I didn't want to let the fact that I don't have "little" ones to scrap stop me from using this... so I scrapped on of my "furry" ones.

Look how big that tree sticker is.  I decorated it with brads to add some "apples".
The flower strip is also a sticker.  To continue the cutout theme made easy by the stickers I fussy cut the clouds from patterned paper.

To make some "grass" I cut a strip of paper then used my scissors to cut thin strips about a 1/3rd of the way down.  Then curled it using the thickest part of the paper piercer.  The stitching is just to add interest.    I'm loving this border punch from Martha Stewart.  It even has a corner puncher so I can go all the way around a square without the corners looking wonky.

They took a cue from Teresa Collins, Cosmo Cricket, Pink Paislee & October Afternoon making an entire sheet of journaling spots on a sheet of patterned paper.  That's my favorite money saving product.  Echo Park's line includes a 12x12 sheet of letter stickers with fun upper & lowercase fonts.  I added a white brad in the center of the lower case to define them a bit more.
Of course I can't let an opportunity pass without putting some butterfly punches on any girl layout.

My second layout is for the Monthly Challenge called Mix & Match Scraps.  We all have scraps piling up so I thought it would be a good time to use some of them up but making them feel fresh & current.  Making our own embellishments not only saves money but allows us to have a perfect match to our projects.  I can't stop buying embellishments but I find that if I mix them with my own knock offs it stretches my budget without sacrificing style.

Do you see those geometric "flowers" well they are cut out from a translucent sheer 12x12 sheet by KI Memories called Sheer Delights Hibiscus.  

I only had 1 Prima Pebble left so I was going to put a button or brad in the center but changed didn't want to cover up the geometric pattern too much which made me think of the Tim Holtz Frags that I have been using everywhere.  They are great for scrapbooking & make fantastic jewelry too.

You get tons of different size acrylic pieces in the package of Tim Holtz Fragments.

A scrap of the KI Sheer stitched to the top draws your eye up there and continues the green across the layout. 

Supplies:  Cardstock (Bazzill); Paper (My Mind's Eye - Grow Fresh as a Daisy, My Mind's Eye - Grow Funky Vines, My Mind's Eye - Grow Just Stripes, My Mind's Eye - Grow Lots of Dots, My Mind's Eye - Penny Lane- Love Desire, Making Memories - Noteworthy Ledger & My Mind's Eye - Penny Lane My Friend); Acrylic (Tim Holtz - Fragments); Overlay (KI Memories - Sheer Delights Hibiscus); Diecut Border (My Mind's Eye - Bloom Accessory Sheet & Sassafras Lass);  Chipboard Letters (American Crafts - Thickers); Sticker Letters (Making Memories - Tiny Alpha); Diecut Letters (Making Memories Slice); Acrylic Pebble (Prima - Pebbles Tropics); Punch (Martha Stewart); Diecut Lace (Basic Grey - Eskimo Doilies Green)

If you want to enter the monthly challenge for your chance to win a $10 gift certificate to pick up some of the new goodies in the store head over to the ES blog for all the details.

Monday, May 24, 2010

What's up...

I know I've been neglecting my blog.  I'm still getting my creative space in order.  Which is more of a challenge than I thought.  I'm already missing my beautiful sunroom.  I so wish I would have taken more photos before the devastation... note to self:  don't wait until something is "perfect" to capture the memory.   Most of the problem is stemming from the fact that Charley doesn't want me to put a bunch of holes in the wall if this is going to be a temporary space.  Hello there is always spackle and paint!  We have this issue all the time when I'm hanging artwork since he knows how I am about moving furniture.  A running joke when the kids were young and he was an over the road trucker was that if he came home in the middle of the night he needed to use a flashlight because things might not be in the same place as when he left the week before.  I can't do the moving as much by myself anymore but I do still like to shake things up.

Sorry... I got off topic (known in the south here as chasing rabbits).

Back to the room.  So without the shelving on the walls everything is covering the table & just looks cluttered.  I have a gift card for ikea & he wouldn't even drive me down there in the pickup truck to buy a shelving unit on the weekend.  Well I'll give him that one since that store is a mad house if you don't go during the week.  But I need it NOW.  lol I sound the the girl in Willy Wonka.

So today I hear the angels singing & the drill going... at least 2 of the shelves that were in my craft room in the old house are going on the wall to put lesser used items.  So I am working hard to get it semi in order so that I can start creating cards for the Operation Write Home Blog Hop this weekend.

I participated in the blog hop last year & knew I had to do it again.  This is such a great organization collecting handmade blank cards to send to our deployed troops all over the world so they can keep in touch with their family & friends.  Such a simple little thing but it creates such an impact on the soldiers.  Many send in video comments or photos in their thank you emails.  It just warms my heart.

So I hope you make plans to hop along with us this weekend.  There will be loads of inspiration & amazing cards.  Last year I was so moved by the stories and tributes people shared about family members.  Some of the blog stops were even military family members sharing how important receiving the cards was to their deployed loved ones & themselves.  You'll see the well known paper crafters & those who just love to create.  Some companies also participate to support the cause.  Lots of the blogs offer RAK/prizes too which is just icing on the cake.   (I'll be giving away some {ippity} stamps!)

Even if you aren't a card maker you can support this cause by giving a tax deductible donation.  They always need money for postage to send the packages off to the service members all over the world.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ippity is in the House....

I just received my first big order from Ippity Stamps & have them in the storefront (see tab above or click here).  I have all the new releases and a couple oldies but goodies all on sale.  USA/APO shipping is free.   Orders over $30 receive a free pack of October Afternoon's newest paper.
I have the entire new release in stock in addition to some of my favorites from prior releases.

I'm really excited about bringing these stamps to you.  I've been a longtime customer of Unity Stamps & if you've read my blog I can't say enough good things about them.  These stamps are high quality rubber & give clean detailed stamped images every time... and they are so cute.

I can't wait to start creating with them.  But those of you who are friends on Facebook & Twitter know that I've had water coming into the scrap room.  The carpet was soaked so it ruined 3 of the base cubes that make up my desk - where all my paper is stored.  Thankfully the paper is fine but the cubes are warped, slimy and had mold.  It wasn't just the skylights leaking it was the wall that the contractor fixed.  Since I wear shoes and it's carpeted I didn't notice the small amount of water until I saw some mold when I moved my rolling tote.  I pretty much had all the walls lined with storage stuff so couldn't see the walls/baseboards.  
So I've lost 2 shelves, 3 cubes, rolling tote, several tote bags, vintage furniture storage items, new pack of American Crafts cardstock, all my 12x12 white & kraft cardstock (they filled one slot in the cube - this was what I was most upset about next to the vintage furniture & Tombow tote bag lol). 
Since we didn't hire the contractor... the appraiser wasn't going to sign the loan approval papers if repairs were not done so bank who owned the house didn't want closing to fall through so they hired and authorized repairs).  So now the contractor isn't returning my calls & I'm going to have to send a certified letter because the problem sure wasn't fixed.  I hope he will live up to his word... otherwise I may have to write to Mike Holmes (Holmes on Holmes HGTV) lol to fix the mess they made.
So this is the relocation mess I'm dealing with right now moving everything to the living room (thankfully we hadn't bought any furniture yet so it was pretty empty since we only had 1 living space in the old house).  I'm missing the built in unit already.  I think I need to take a trip to ikea & get one of those big shelving units everyone has.
I also got my order from today.  (UPS guy had a double delivery).  So many goodies that I'm dying to get creative with.... it's killing me.  (Pink Paislee paper, tape & tags, Sassafras paper, edges & tags, Girls Paperie paper, Studio Calico paper & tags, Dear Lizzy paper & flowers, Lily Bee papers & diecuts, Little Yellow Bicycle paper, Prima flowers & gems, Webster's Pages, Jenni Bowlin tags & calendars, Cosmo Cricket, letters Martha Stewart punch, Maya Road pins & chipboard & this great newspaper from Donna Salazar to make flowers & things with.
Thanks to my friend Lori for the gift certificate she sent me back in Feb. for my b'day.  Lots of great scrapbook pages & cards will be made with these yummy products.

Well I guess I'll never be using these if I don't get back to organizing & moving things around.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 14, 2010

ES Inspiration Day


We're excitedly waiting for all the new products Heather ordered this week to come in... so many beautiful colors of Glimmer Mist, fantastic new papers, and loads of cool embellishments.  Until then I decided to create some cards with one of my favorite vintage lines from Graphics 45... Domestic Goddess.  It's brighter color than the prior G45 lines - I like that take on vintage.

I loved the flower border on this piece of paper.

Supplies:  Cardstock (Bazzill); Paper (Graphics 45 Domestic Goddess - Yours Truly); Stamps (Ippity Stamps); Ink (Hybrid)

Finally this card with some beautiful Webster's Pages lace & my favorite inexpensive lettering product - Graphic 45 - Alpha.  They come in a 12x12 sheet and are filled with these great typewriter key shaped letters.  See them here.  I used them aux natural here but most of the time I will apply Diamond Glaze/Glossy Accents to give them more of the Tim Holtz typewriter key letter look but they only cost $1.40 for tons of letters and numbers.

Supplies:  Cardstock (Bazzill); Paper (Graphics 45 Domestic Goddess - Tags, & Graphics 45 - Beautiful Butterflies); Letters (Graphics 45 Domestic Goddess - Alpha); Lace (Websters Pages - Thick Natural Lace by the Yard); Dry Embossing (Cuttlebug Folder); Pearls (Zva - Pearl Lines White); Punch (Fiskars Apron Lace); Stamp (Ippity)

Hop on over to the Everything Scrapp'n Store blog & Teresa's Blog for more inspiration.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Well I Went & Did It...

I'm an ippity chick!


You all know how much I love Unity Stamps so when they offered a line of stamps for us to sell I knew it was something I wanted to do.  I just can't believe I waited this long to jump on the boat.

I'll be selling both locally and online at this blog.

The new releases will be out on Thursday so leading up to the party there will be daily blog hops with the design team sharing 2 sneak peeks.  You will have the chance to win the 2 sets showcased each day.  So leave a comment on each of the blogs since only they know which ones they will draw a winner from.

Start the hop at the ippity blog here.  I've already hopped for Sunday & there are some fantastic cards.