Thursday, January 31, 2013

Less is More Challenge- Simple Chalkboard Card

Here's another card challenge.  This one was harder for me.  Less is More.  I really had to think to keep the card simple.  I am stuck on the chalkboard technique so I wanted to use that again.  Here is my card:

I used the Borders Banter Stampin' Up set to create my line at the bottom.  I love this stamp set.  It was available in the Holiday mini, but unfortunately, no longer available.  The "Just for You" sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes.  I love this set!  So many good sentiments in one set.  
I stamped the image in Stampin' Up white craft ink and then embossed it with Stampin' Up white embossing powder.  For the chalkboard effect, I simple took a sponge and rubbed some of the craft ink all over the Basic Black cardstock.  Fun!!!  I used only one embellishment on this card, one of the Vintage Faceted Designer Buttons.  I love this buttons, so pretty.  It worked for this card since the Faceted Buttons are clear, it keeps the card simple.
Here is the sketch from Less is More:

What a wonderfully simple sketch!!!  Keeping my cards simple is something I struggle with.  I end up adding more than I intent.  I always think Simple needs something more.  This was the perfect challenge for me to try.  The sketch forced me to be SIMPLE!!  Love it!!!
You can visit Less is More Here!!!
Great site with some great inspiration!!!

I think the chalkboard effect still worked for simple, since it is still "white space" on my card. 
Hope you enjoyed this Simple Less is More card today!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

3 Challenges in ONE Card....I think I am addicted!!!! Birthday Card

I have several cards to get done in the next couple of weeks.  What better way to spice it up and get GREAT inspiration than to use a challenge to get my cards done.  This card is for my sister's birthday which is Friday.  For my OLDER sister!!!!!  LOL!!!!!!!  Just sayin'!!!!  ;)
Simple sweet Happy Birthday card.  For the first challenge, I had to use certain Colors: Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Pool Party, Very Vanilla and, Pink Pirouette.  This was perfect!  I am a huge fan of crumb cake so sign me up!!!  I don't use a lot of pink, so this helped me use some pink.  Pink Pirouette is a great pink.  I think I need to dig it out and use it more!  And who doesn't like Cherry Cobbler?  If this color ever retires, I might actually be in mourning for days!!!!  Pool Party is so fresh and springy.  Stampin' Up showed a lot of Pool Party in the Spring mini catalog.  I always liked it but honestly didn't use it much until I saw all the samples done with it.  It is a great color!
 This was the first challenge for Fab Friday!

The second challenge was using no pattern paper.  
This one was for Black Tie Friday!  Ok, so it limited my paper choices but I think the colors are so fab from the first challenge I would be okay with no patterned paper.

The first challenge was a sketch challenge: PERFECT!!! I have my colors, my limitations (no pattern paper) and now I have my sketch!  
This sketch is from Retro Sketches . I had all my thoughts and I was ready to create!!

Sorry for the shadow, it is cloudy and rainy here today so horrible lighting!

I used some of the accessories from the new Artisan Embellishment kit from Stampin' Up.  So beautiful!!!  I used the Big Shot and embossing folders to add some interest to the strips on the sketch.  I switched up the sketch just a bit, but you can still see the main elements!  
Thanks for looking!!!  I am having the most fun trying new things with these challenges!  

Embossed Swallowtail Card

Happy Wednesday!  The week is almost over!  Does anyone have any great weekend plans?  I am taking my youngest to a Lego party.  He is very excited.  (I hoping to get some crafting done after the party!!!).
Today I am sharing a card inspired out of the Spring catalog.  On page 19, Stampin' Up shows a card done with the Swallowtail stamp.  Beautiful!!  They even gave us quick directions on how to make the image sparkle.  I had to try!!!

The embossed image is :
Stamped in versamark
Embossed with Pool Party embossing powder
Brushed with Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint using an Aqua Painter
Heat set!
Easy right???  
I loved the way it looked so I had to try it.  The swallowtail stamp is wonderful!  It is a big stamp,  I found it stamped well and I love that it is such a statement by itself.  I decided not to use any embellies for this card, I really wanted that shimmery butterfly to be the main focus!

Here is a different angle which helps to show that glimmery butterfly! CUTE!!!  If you don't have the shimmer paint- it has so many possibilities!!  Well worth it!!!
I used a strip of Real Red Core'dinations Cardstock.  I love this paper!!  I used the Sale-a-Bration Vine Street embossing folder to add a little texture to the cardstock and sanded it!  A quick card but so pretty with that amazing Butterfly!!!  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cas(e) this Sketch Thank You Card Challenge

Happy Tuesday!  Last night, I got to do some crafting!  I needed a Thank You card for the assistance coach on my son's basketball team.  I have been waiting to try some more challenges, so this seemed like a great time to combine the two together!  I pulled up some of my blog challenges that I have bookmarked and kept looking at this week's sketches.  I wanted to use the school colors on the card so color challenges were out.  Sketch challenges would work well.  I found a sketch that I thought worked well.  I thought and thought, and came up with my to crafting I went.
Here is my finished card:

The sketch challenge for this card:
I loved this clean sketch from Case(e) this Sketch!  I loved the strong lines.  The school colors are green and black.  I felt like I needed to keep the strong vertical and horizontal lines of this sketch, which is what makes it so great!  I used my sentiment as the image since that is the main focus for my card.  To spice it up, I used the popular chalkboard technique for this card.  I have seen so many great cards lately using this technique and I wanted to try it for myself.  So much fun!!!!  And best of all, EASY!!!!
I started with a black piece of paper.  I stamped my images in Stampin' Up white craft ink.  Then I embossed my stamped images with white embossing powder to make it pop even more.  Taking my craft ink on a dauber, I daubed (is that a word) the white craft ink all over the black piece of cardstock making the chalkboard background.  EASY!!!  There are several ways to make the chalkboard background, this is the way I choose to make it on this card.  
 The stamped images are from the new Stampin' Up set Oh Hello.  GREAT set!!!!  

I used the Needlepoint Border embossing folder to add a little texture to the horizontal piece of cardstock.  Aren't those Xs so cute!!!!  As a crossstitcher, I had to order this embossing folder!  I am so glad I did.  It adds just a little detail, simple and clean!

 I used the new silver buttons from Stampin' Up out of the Spring mini catalog.  I love these buttons.  I think I need to place another order for some more since I am using them up FAST!!!!  

I have had so much fun playing along with these challenges!  Hope you enjoyed today's card!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dynamic Duos Challenge Entry- Something new!!!

Today I am up with something new for me.  A Challenge!  I am excited to enter my first blog challenge.  I have been looking for a challenge that interested me and the Dynamic Duos is PERFECT!!!

This challenge is a color challenge.  Easy, right?  Each week, they post two colors that you can use.  Along with neutrals, these are the only two colors that are allowed on your card, project, or layout.  Okay, so here is my first challenge entry!

This week's colors are Soft Suede and Crumb Cake.  Since Crumb Cake is one of my all time favorite colors, I HAD to try this challenge!  Neutrals are allowed, on this layout I used the Mocha Morning Designer Series Paper (those papers that included Soft Suede and Crumb Cake only), Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla (neutral), and Basic Black (neutral) and First Edition DSP (which would qualify as a neutral since it just has black lettering on it).  

I used the Borders Scoring Plate on this layout to put the zigzag down the side of my layout.  This is a great way add interest...and perfect for this challenge since it can add interest without any other color! I have done other blog posts using this new tool, and I am always amazed at how much I love it!  It really is a great tool for the money!!   I also used the new Oh Hello stamp set for my title.  Stamped on Crumb Cake and used Soft Suede ink.  I attached it to the layout using a mini library clip. 

 The circles!!!  I love circles!  The circles have some fun embellishments on them.  I used some of the new mini bottle caps, flatted in my Big Shot. These are so much fun to use!  I can't wait to do some more projects using them!  Using the circle punches and scalloped circle punches, I layered them, inking the edges for added detail.  (used Soft Suede ink)

Aren't those button great??!!  They are also out of the Spring mini catalog.  They are a great silver but I have to say, I was surprised at how heavy these buttons were!  I love buttons that have the normal four holes in them.  Yes, that's my quirk.  Buttons with four holes just look better to me.  I use all types, but I do love it when they have four holes.  Silliness, I know!!


I had to punch my circles out of the First Edition DSP getting the K on my circles since the picture is of my son, Kyle!


The satin binding is Crumb Cake.  The heart paper clip is out of the new Cute Clips-Elements set.  Cute huh??

This layout was a fun challenge to try.  I loved using the challenge colors.  I thought they worked well with the photo since it has such great blues.....look at those blue eyes!!!  So handsome!!!  My baby is growing up fast!  I always think Kyle photographs older than he is.  He is twelve in this picture.  

For any of the products used on this layout, visit my online store:

Click over to Dynamic Duos and see the other entries for this weeks challenge:

Happy Monday!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Paper Pumpkin

Stampin' Up is offering a new monthly kit.  For $19.95- shipped to your door!!!    It will include everything you need to create the project of the month!

All the stamps, ink, paper, and accessories to create  projects. Create stuff like cards, journals, décor, and more!

Paper Pumpkin by Stampin' Up! is a new monthly kit program that anyone can enjoy!

Get Started

It's so easy to get started. . Every month a new, surprise project kit arrives at your doorstep. Just think of the anticipation of creating a fun project to pin, showoff, and share with your friends and family-every month!

Of course, you'll want to know more. So here's the nitty gritty:

Each month we send you a unique, surprise kit with a project-cards, journals, décor, and more! (We've even color-coordinated, measured, and cut everything for you!)
Each kit includes stamps, ink, paper, and accessories-everything but adhesive.
Each kit gives you and your customer a 30-minute creativity escape.
We will ship your Paper Pumpkin on or around the 15th of the month.
You need to sign up for a kit by the 10th of the month to get that month's kit. If you sign up on the 11th of the month, your first kit will come the next month. (Let's say you sign up on May 10th, we'll send your kit around May 15th. If you sign up on May 11th, we'll send your first kit around June 15th.)
A Paper Pumpkin membership is $19.95 per month (and shipping is included!)
There's no commitment, you can cancel your monthly Paper Pumpkin at anytime. You can also skip a month if you want.
Paper Pumpkin is the perfect introduction to Stampin' Up! We designed it for crafters that want to create a project each month, but aren't quite ready to build a stamp collection (yet).

How does shipping work with Paper Pumpkin?

Your Paper Pumpkin will be automatically shipped to you each month (so fun!). Because we are auto shipping these, the pricing structure is slightly different from our other Stampin' Up! products.

You can cancel at anytime.  You can hold a month's kit if you need to.  This is a great way to try out some Stampin' Up products, get a project to do each month, get into crafting!  For experienced stampers & crafters, this is a great way to make some projects and you can always add more bling to your project from your stash!! The kits will include exclusive to the kits only stamps!! 

For all the details: visit the link above.  When you check out, if you can add me as your demo so I can get credit for it: Michelle McGraw, Concord, NC. 
Feel free to ask me any questions you have.  If you join, send me a message so I can add to my customer list and keep you informed of any updates!!  You can send an email to mcgrading @ aolDOTcom (minus spaces and put the . in for DOT!  trying to fool those spammer sites!!!)

Is it March yet???

New Class Date- Birthday Bash Buffet Card Class

Due to the weather, I had to reschedule the Birthday Bash Buffet Card Class.  The new date will be February 23, 2013.  The times will remain the same.  11:00 am - 4:30 pm, come when you can during those times!  To spice it up.....if you bring a friend with you to take the class: you will be able to pick out a prize from the prize basket!!!  This will include new items and some retired stamp sets as well. 
Class Details:
What is a Birthday Bash Buffet Card class? Much like a buffet that you eat at, you pick and choose the cards you want to make! How great is that??!!! I will have at least 12 card designs available, precut, ready to be stamped, embossed, and assembled. Don't worry, I will be there every "stamp" of the way to help!!!
Class fee is $10 which includes the first 5 cards. These cards have to be of 5 different designs. Want to make more cards? No problem!!! After your first 5 cards, each card is just $1!!! Want to make more of one design to have on hand? No problem!!! Make as many as you like!!
Now here is even a better deal for the buffet.....instead of paying for the class and making 5 cards, you can place a $25 order from Stampin' Up the day of the event and make 10 cards!!!! (plus shipping and tax!)
Sale-a-bration is happening at Stampin' Up!!!! What does that mean?? With every $50 order, you earn FREE items from Stampin' Up.
Bring your favorite adhesive! I will have some Snail adhesive available for additional purchase if someone forgets theirs! I will provide everything else you need to make your cards. What better than to give a card that YOU made!!!!
Envelopes are not included but with every $50 order, you will receive an envelope for your finished cards. For those that don't place a $50 order, I will have envelopes available for additional purchase.
This is first come, first serve event. If a design is may sell out!!!
RSVP by February 16th to get to make a special card for FREE!!!! You can RSVP by facebook, a comment here, a text, an email...EASY!!!!
This is link to my Stampin' Up online store which has my contact information!
Here are some sneak peaks of the cards that will be available to make! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Left Overs Layout!

Do you ever end up with stickers or chipboard pieces left over from a paper pack?  What to do with them?  I have found that I can repurpose them.  Take some "memo" stickers, the ones just big enough for a word on them, cut them into banners!  Stick them behind photos or items on your layout!  This is one of my favorite types of layouts to do....I call it the LEFT OVERS Layout!  Just like the left overs in your fridge, ya gotta use them up!!!  Left overs were so common growing up.  My mom used to piece together meals from the left overs.  They were always interesting meals to say the least!!  With the boys busy schedule, we don't do left overs often.  And I don't piece the meals together quite like my mom did.  But it works for layouts!  Use up those pieces!  If a piece doesn't match exactly or has a word on it that doesn't work with your layout, cover it up!

This is my middle child.  He is eight now.  Still smiling and still sweet!!!  He has always been so easy going!  

I love ledgers papers.  It works here because it gives a neutral background so that I can add all my left over embellies to the layout!!  I love banners!  These chipboard banners are great!  

 Look at those yummy cheeks!!  Couldn't ya just yum those up!!!!???  
I cut my paper piece to put my picture on to make it stand out against the ledger paper.  Tore the top of it and glued the torn strip to the bottom to add the other side of the paper to the layout.  Great way to get the most of both sides of the paper and use ALL you left overs up!!!

 This shows the sticker left overs being cut and used on the layout.  

 Ledgers are great for journaling.  There are nice straight lines to write directly on the ledger paper.  

Hope you liked some left overs!!!!  Happy Thursday!!!  It is almost Friday!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Need a good cut? Get a SIMPLE trimmer!!!!!

There has been a lot of questions about trimmers on crafting boards.  What is the best kind?  What trimmer gives the best cut?  Which trimmer should I get?  First off, everyone has their favorite.  A lot of time, it is what you started with.  If you start with a small portable trimmer, you want a small portable trimmer.  Some like rotary trimmers (the blade is on a wheel of sorts and rolls across your paper to cut).  What is your favorite trimmer?  Ask 100 people and you will get a LOT of different answers!!! Some people have two or three favorites for different applications.  Today, I am sharing the Stampin' Up Tabletop Paper cutter.  This is a guillotine trimmer.  I have only recently ordered this trimmer.  Why?  Because I didn't really like the idea of a guillotine trimmer.  Not sure why, maybe it looked unsafe to me.  It is so simple, surely these more updated trimmers would cut better right???
This is the Tabletop Paper Cutter found HERE .  Item #106959.  I had always heard that the Stampin' Up tabletop paper cutter was great for cutting a lot of cardstock prepping for card classes.  I was getting ready for my upcoming card class and cutting LOTS of cardstock!!!  I placed this trimmer on my last order.  I even have to say when it got here, I was kinda confused.  I expected it to be heavy.  I am not sure why.  It is not heavy which makes it very easy to move around with the trimmer.  It comes with handle off of it. NOT the blade, just the rubber was underneath the machine and slides onto the blade arm.  I think you can take it off to store it if you want but I don't find it to be in the way, so I keep it on.  It also has the extender underneath, which I will show next.  I expected this trimmer to be an at home, bulky trimmer.  It isn't!!!!  It is light weight and not that big without the extender on it.  

The ruler extender rests in its spot on the bottom for more compact storage.  You can see beside the extender the spot to take off the black handle as well, good for those that need it to fit in small areas!  The bottom is hollow making it might weight.  You can also see the feet on the bottom.  I find I don't have any sliding with this trimmer, the feet keep it right in place.
 This is the ruler extender.  Right above my thumb you can see the little tabs that you push to take the ruler off the base again, just push them in on both sides, very simple.  The tabs seem very sturdy.
 Up close view of the markings on the extender.  I find that it has all the ruler markings I need to make cards or scrapbooking pages.

 The ruler fits into the slot on the side, very easy!  
 Kind of a weird angle but wanted to show you the tabs and also the extender with its foot down so that it is nice and sturdy.  
 This shows the ruler extender on, and the blade up.  Ready for a cut!!  One tip I learned, make sure you have the blade arm all the way extended up before you cut.  This makes sure that you line your paper FLAT against the top ruler.  This is what gives you straight cuts.  I suggest all those that have trouble getting straight cuts, to take that step slowly.  Make sure you paper is straight, make sure it is flat against the top! Look at the grid lines on the base, is your paper straight down the lines?  Not everyone needs to do this slowly but if you are having trouble, slow down, you will get straight cuts!!! This picture also the finger guide.....I am not sure if this is what its name is..but that's what I am calling it.  You hold your paper down with the plastic see-through finger guide!!!  I call it a finger guide because it helps you keep your fingers!!!!  Once I used this guide, my worries about safety went away!  This keeps your fingers away from the blade and your paper in its spot!  PERFECT!!!
 Not sure if you can see that my fingers are safely behind the guide and AWAY from the blade!
Guillotine trimmers have been used in schools as paper cutters for YEARS!!  They were used when I was in school!  They have stood the test of time for a reason.  The design is simple, they never need sharpening. Yes, you heard that right....NO BLADES!!!  Nothing else to buy!!!  EVER!!!!  Can you heard the singing as you read that??!!!!!!  You are FREE!!!!  FREE from buying blades, not being able to FIND the blades!!!!  You are done!  Once purchased, you are done!!!   If the cuts seem dull, you adjust the handle slightly....the blade will once again cut against the blade base keeping it sharp with every cut!  (I have heard of an adjustment needed after several years of use- it is VERY easy to adjust!!!)
I have a BIG guillotine trimmer at my office.  It was taken out of a school when  our company demolished the building. It is OLD.....not the best looking but I cleaned it up and it cuts GREAT!!! It had been left in this empty building for years.  Dirty, dusty, a little rusted, but it still cuts!!!!  STRAIGHT!!!  Now it does not have the safety features this trimmer does.  And it is NOT light weight!!!  And it is BIG!!!  I keep it at my office to cut up our recyclable paper into note pads!  Works perfect!

I have to say, I have no idea why I didn't order this trimmer before!  I used it to prep for my class.  Lots of cuts!!!!  Perfect!!  No frayed edges, nice and straight!  I liked it so much, I used it for my layouts!  All my October Afternoon layouts have been done using this trimmer!  I find it very easy to use, light weight, easy to move around while I am scrapping.  I have to say, this might be my favorite trimmer yet!!!!  If you have never tried a guillotine trimmer, give it a shot.  You might find yourself like me....pleasantly surprised!!!!!  
And remember, this is a great time to order the tabletop paper cutter!!!  Sale-a-bration time!!!!  The tabletop trimmer is $45.95....for every $50 dollars you spend, you earn FREE products!!!!  Can't beat that!!!!  Click on my Stampin' Up store!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sale-a-Bration starts TODAY!!!!

Stampin' Up's Sale-a-bration starts today!  For every $50 you spend, you earn FREE products.  These products include new stamp sets, Designer Series Paper pack Sycamore Street, A ribbon and button pack, Vine Street embossing folder, Happy Hello Simply Sent Card kit, Petite Curly Label punch (my favorite!), and two MDS downloads. It also includes six products that you can earn for free out of the main catalog: Itty Bitty Banner Stamp Set, Getting Started Cardstock Pack, Vintage Faceted Designer Buttons, Quint-Essential Flower Stamp, Simply Scored Diagonal Plate, and the Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack!  This is a great time to stock up on your Stampin' Up supplies!!!! Click on the link to start shopping now!!! 

Also for those that are interested in signing up to be an independent  demonstrator, this is an excellent time.  Your starter kit does not qualify for the SAB items, will receive 25% more in your starter kit!  You pick out all your items for your starter kit!  So you pick out $156.50 worth of products for only $99!!!!!  Plus you get all the demo benefits!  Contact me for more information!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

8X10 Picture Layouts

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you have seen this picture before.  This is one of the pictures I took for a Father's Day gift.  A total pinterest idea for Father's Day!!  I took each of the boys' pictures wearing their dad's boots, and but them in a frame with a poem about it.  You can find the blog post here:
I love the pictures from that day and printed them in 8X10 as well.  These are two layouts using those photos.  I did these as separate layouts for each of the boys books. The first one is Owen's.

This layout is using up some pieces left over from some October Afternoon paper sets.  I love the vintage feel of the printed paper I used as the base.  It is perfect for the barn! 
 I used some satin binding ribbon on this layout.  It is one of my favorite ribbons to use.  

With an 8X10 photo, it takes a lot of room on a layout.  I tried to keep the layers simpler to show off the photo.  
 This chipboard banner was from an accessories pack from October Afternoon.  I love the bunny and the bird ones! How cute are they??!!
 I also used a corner rounder.  I think it is a simple tool but adds a nice effect to your layouts.

The next layout is of my oldest son Kyle. 
 This paper is from the Farm House collection from October Afternoon.  I love the wood background paper that is on the base of this layout.  
 I used a strip of ribbon on the side, and added banners to the top.  Doesn't every layout need banners?
 I love these pictures.  I have some that I have scrapped before of my youngest, those size 14 boots look HUGE on him!!  Funny part, they don't look so big on my 12 year old!  I'm in trouble aren't I??!!!  I took him for basketball shoes before Christmas and he is already wearing size 11.5 mens!!!  At age 12!!!!!!!  
Hope you enjoyed!  It's Monday!  Another busy week!  Hope everyone has a good one!
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