Saturday, February 18, 2017

winnie & walter :: february leading lady, part 3 :: a trio of "simple" cards

Hi, friends!  I have to say that Winnie & Walter maybe have the best fan following in the paper crafting business.  You guys are awesome!  Thank you again for all the love and kind words you have left for me.  I love being able to create but when I hear that I've inspired you or that you get where I'm coming from, that, in turn, inspires me.  Your comments are truly appreciated and taken to heart.

**Be sure you read all the way through as I'm hosting a giveaway over the next 2 weeks!  Keep scrolling for all the details :)**

I actually had a different project in mind for this week than the one I'm sharing here today, but life got a little out of control last week and, as my deadline for submitting this post was approaching, I realized there was no way I'd be able to complete it on time AND be thorough in my photos and written content.  The good news is, you'll still get to see it as my finale next week!

So without my planned project, I was facing a nerve-wracking dilemma.  What can I come up with in 24 hours to share this week?!  Remember, I'm not a super-fantastic-amazing-mindblowing stamper...but I do really love to make cards and I do have other awesome Winnie & Walter products at my fingertips--like Cutaways!  And after a somewhat panicky brainstorming session, I had a few ideas for some quick and simple cards.

The first one I made was the simplest, and it inspired the two that followed.  I have acquired a W&W product collection that would make most people drool and I set out to use as many different sets as I could, while still keeping the feel of each canvas clean and easy.  A thank you card is always useful, I thought, eyeing the bold brushed style of the From the Bottom of My Heart stamp set.  So I started by die cutting some leaf stems with the Framed with Evelin T Designs in different papers.  All the papers seen here are from Pinkfresh Studio's gorgeous Indigo Hills line.

I clustered 3 of them together and added a tiny glitter heart at the bottom.  There's always a careful laying-out process to all of my projects, and this card trio was no different.  I was about to stamp RIGHT ON THE CARD, which is always an anxiety-ridden task because what if I mess up?!  It's right there on the card!  So planning for these kinds of things is a must, and honestly, while each of these cards maybe took 10 minutes to put together, the concept and layout of each one probably took over an hour!  (So when I say quick and easy, I really mean: these are quick and easy after the whole design and layout finally came together :)

I carefully stamped "thanks" on the card, emitting a huge sigh of relief when I lifted the stamp and found a complete image, sans smears and weird discoloration.  Then I stitched on a strip of lace with some gold thread, adhered the leaf cuts, and added a few sequins.  See?  Quick, easy, simple...after all of the mind-changing and anxious hemming and hawing over the actual design of the card!  But surely we've all been there, right?!

My second card was a a bit less agonizing as I was using a much smaller stamp this time and it isn't one of the main focal points.  I wanted to be sure I got to use the In a Word: Precious Script die at least once during my Leading Lady tenure because it's gorgeous.  I had the idea to cut the word out of floral paper and pair it with the phrase "You are."  "You are my" is one of the sentiments from the Sentimental: Endearments set so I masked off the my.  It worked, yay!

I decided to take the small flag die from the Essentials: Lana Cutaways and create a little bunting (who can resist buntings?!) to accompany my statement.  A little bit of lace underneath, because precious and lace go together like milk and cookies.  When I adhered the flags for the bunting, I didn't glue down the entire piece, leaving the bottoms raised and even curling them up a bit with my fingers for some extra dimension.

Just for a little interest, I stitched a few doily scraps along the bottom edge of the card.  It adds another kind of texture without making the card too busy.

I had a different idea for my last card, but when that wasn't really working so well, I scrapped the original idea and decided to use a few less elements, which actually made me like the card a lot better when it was all done.  I was going to do another bunting-type card, but with a different die.  In my mind I pictured a drapey sort of look with scalloped lace, a banner-type stamp, and this other bunting, however, the scale of the card was much too small to achieve this and it ended up just looking way too chaotic.  I got rid of the DIY bunting and just went with the lace and the stamp, which is from the New Release set of Scenery: Stripes 2 and I curved it when I placed it on the acrylic block to make it look like a party banner.  I like the simplified look much better.

Again here, though, I had to stamp directly onto the card--TWICE!--and let out a huge sigh of release when it worked again!  This time, I used the new 'sweet' cutaway from The Big, the Bold, and Baby and paired it with 'heart' stamped in pink.  I stitched pale pink tulle to the bottom edge this time, added another doily remnant and glitter heart.  (*Those hearts are pieces I've cut over and over again because they're the perfect finishing touch item to almost everything.  The last time I needed one, I went ahead and cut 20 just to have at the ready!)

While my original bunting idea was unsuccessful, I still felt as though this card needed a little something more so I tested out a glitter bow (another item I cut and assemble in bulk) and it was perfect!  It's such a cute card for a baby or little girl, don't you think?

Well, hopefully the cards don't look too thrown together in haste (because, remember, the concepts took me quite awhile :).  I'm actually pretty pleased with them and feel they are definitely MY signature style.  I'm really looking forward to sharing my LL finale with you next week, though.  I hope it's fun for everyone!

**Until then, I've got a Winnie & Walter Giveaway happening this week and next!  I'm sure you could all use a $30 gift card to the W&W shop, right?  Simply leave me a comment here telling me your favorite go-to technique or product when you're in need of a quick project.  (Mine are generally textures and layers.)  The giveaway will run next week, as well; there might be a different question but all comments for this blog post and next Saturday's W&W LL Part 4 post will be eligible to win.  I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, February 28.

Have a fantastic weekend!
~Rebecca xo

Saturday, February 11, 2017

winnie & walter :: february leading lady, part 2 :: floral gift wrap

Hello all!  I'm back with my second post as February's Leading Lady over on the Winnie & Walter blog.  But first, I just want to say how unbelievable you all have made me feel about my first project.  The outpouring of kindness in your comments, both here and on the post at W&W, blew me away.  I read every single one with a little flush in my cheeks and a grateful heart.  Thank you so, so much!  (If you've asked me a question and are awaiting a reply, I promise it is coming!)

Second, let's have another project, yes?  I will confess to not having the stamping prowess of most of you out there, and certainly nothing I stamp could even come close to what the amazing W&W Talent does every day.  That doesn't mean that I don't love and covet stamp sets, though.  And if you're a simple stamper like me, the good news is that there's a place for everyone in the crafting community.  That said, I really wanted to challenge myself at least once this month.

I've seen people do such amazing things with stamping and watercoloring--especially when it comes to florals--so I told myself I would give it a shot.  It sort of worked.  I suppose I didn't end up actually doing any watercoloring, but I still got the results I was hoping for and what I did was way more involved than I usually get when I stamp.

Also, I just flew by the seat of my pants.  I bought watercolor paper (because I intended to use them), and rummaged through my box of tools that I put away years ago looking for one of those blue water brushes.  I know my mom gave me one about 9 or 10 years ago, but of course I couldn't find it.  I did, however, find a box of unused blender pens, again years old, but I thought I'd give them a go just to see what happened.

The result?  Darn near exactly what I pictured when I imagined myself watercoloring!  I stamped a floral image in Papertrey Ink's Melon Berry, then dabbed my blender in the ink and started coloring.  I got the shade variation I had hoped for and when I added some minty leaves, it looked even better.  I'm officially hooked!

I did a whole 9" x 12" page of the florals and leaves (which, by the way, are from The Big, the Bold, and Extras set) and then tried to decide what to do with them.  In the end, gift wrap won out (as is usually the case for me).  The paper size was large enough to wrap a small box (mine is just under 4" x 4" square).

It's thicker than most wrapping paper so a bone folder to press down folds and creases, as well as super sticky tape are handy tools.  It's definitely a labor of love, but some people are just worth the extra time and effort, don't you think?

When it came time to add finishing touches, I tried to keep them simple, not wishing to cover up the pretty florals I had spent the last hour painting, er, blending.  A thin strip of lace tied on with some coral pink twine was my trim.  Then a gold glitter bow that I made with the Take A Bow cutaways (*possible new favorite die set!!!), and a little tag with 'dearest' stamped on it.

I didn't really mean to return this week with another gift box and card set, but I had a 4" x 12" length of stamped paper left so I couldn't resist turning it into a card.  I cut 4" off and folded the remnant into a 4" x 4" card.  Again, I didn't want to add a lot of elements to it, nor did I wish to cover up the flowers, so I stitched a piece of lace along the bottom edge and cut 3 banners out of gold glitter (2) and pink (1) paper, then matted them together, the pink sitting center on top of the 2 golds.  The banner die comes from The Big, the Bold, and Extras cutaway set, which matches the stamps I used for the florals.

I needed a sentiment and was hoping for something that would coordinate with the package.  The Sentimental: Love stamp set offered the perfect words; I just had to add a little bit of a curve to them when I stuck them to my acrylic block.  It looks like it was meant to be, doesn't it?

I'm not sure what took me so long to try adding a little color variation to my stamps, but I am hooked now!  I encourage you to try something 'new to you' this week, too.  I HIGHLY recommend Winnie & Walter stamps and cutaways (dies).  They're such good quality and I swear that every new item I use instantly becomes my most favorite thing ever ;)  I'm really excited about my next W&W post so definitely check back here in a week's time.  (There just might be a giveaway happening and you don't want to miss it!)  Have a lovely weekend!


Saturday, February 4, 2017

winnie & walter :: february leading lady, part 1 :: from the card to a gift

I have the honor of being Winnie & Walter's Leading Lady this month--which actually means I have a standing date every Saturday in February to guest star on their blog!  I'll have 4 fun posts using W&W products and I'm even hosting a giveaway one of those days.  You'll have to tune each week to find out more about that, though ;)  

I started out in the papercrafting industry making cards and while I still make them, I've become obsessed with wrapping gifts and packaging.  So when I was trying to decide what to do for my first Leading Lady project, I thought I'd take a W&W cutaway item and show you how to take it from a card to a gift.

I'll start with the card...The stamp and cutaway set I focused on was Sketchy Thoughts.  The reason I chose it was because the large word bubble cutaways were the perfect size for a tag on a smallish package.  Plus, I knew I'd have no trouble using them on a card.  (I'm loving everything about this stamp set from the Jan/Feb Release!)

By papercraft nature, I'm a layerer and clusterer.  I'll admit that I prefer to make a big fat card with lots of girth and texture!  So my projects might be a bit untraditional in the stamping sense, but I hope you'll get a few ideas from things I show you.  True to form, I used a few cutaways to trim some shapes like tags and tabs from glitter and patterned scrapbook paper.  Then I made sure to cut out my Sketchy Thoughts bubble (the more circular one in this case).  I adhered two tabs from the Essentials: Katharine Cutaways set, then glued down some pale pink tulle in a ruffled manner--for depth--before adhering the glitter tag on top of it.

After that, I embellished the tag with a black sticker, small tag cut from the new Essentials: Lana Cutaways in the same Maggie Holmes dotted yellow paper, a wooden heart, and a purple fringe bow.  For the card sentiment, I chose 'lots of love' from Sending You with Evelin T. Designs with a close crop and a glitter tape matte.  Then I cut out the Sketchy Thoughts bubble from a sheet of Hazelwood patterned paper (1Canoe2).  I love that shade of pale pink and wanted the single bunch of flowers to be partly visible behind the sentiment.  Adding a few foam adhesive dots to prop it up and add dimension, I stuck it onto my card as the finishing touch.

To complement the card, I wrapped up a small personalized ring dish for a friend. Small packages like this one are so fun and easy to wrap.  Truth be told, I hate pulling out huge rolls of gift wrap so whenever possible, I love to use scrapbook paper or my own stamped wrap on simple copy paper instead.

In this case, I wrapped the box with more of the pink floral Hazelwood paper and used the yellow Maggie Holmes paper for my word bubble tag.  I wanted to keep the packaging somewhat consistent with the card (but not exactly the same) so after dressing up the package with some leafy black fabric and lace, I tied on the smaller Essentials: Katharine Cutaways tag (in gold glitter) and a purple embroidery floss tassel (instead of a bow).  I also swapped out the tulle with a strip of lace.

When it came to the word bubble, I used the square-ish one and a sentiment from the Sketchy Thoughts stamp set because I wanted something a bit bigger than I had used on the card.  Instead of glitter tape as a matte, I used lace.  I tied it to the fabric with a length of metallic thread because the thread gives it kind of a wispy, delicate feel.

This little box is ready to send off to my friend.  It's a 'just because' gift and I like the idea of the little sketch bubble used as a tag.  It's almost as if I'm actually saying "Hello!" from far away!  I have 4 of these little dishes to send to friends across the country and because I made the tags myself from the stamps and cutaways, I can easily replicate all the packaging.  The same goes for the matching card.

I have to mention the cute little ring dishes...they're handmade from Az and Airalee and they are just too sweet--and make the best photo props!  Check out their website if you have a chance.  And, of course, head over to Winnie & Walter and pick yourself up a few stamp and die sets (I'm completely in love with Sketchy Thoughts)!  I can't wait to share a few more W&W projects in the coming weeks!

Friday, February 3, 2017

the valentine's day gift wrap kit is here!

Hello, friends!  It's here, it's here!  If you love Valentine's Day, I think you will also love this kit!  I was just saying today on Instagram that I'm always hesitant to design for Valentine's Day.  I'm not sure why that is, but it happens every year.  This year, however, I decided (kind of at the last minute) that I would create a gift wrap kit.  And once I started coming up with the ideas, I ended up making so many things that I had to break it into TWO kits!

Dividing it up pushed me back a bit, though, so I'm sharing the first one here, and I hope to release the second one over the weekend.

When designing a themed kit, especially one that is holiday-specific, I still like to keep it somewhat versatile.  There are a few Valentine-centric items in here, but really, the rest can be used for just about anything, and during any time of the year.  We all love blush pink and gold, and while red is sometimes a more difficult color to incorporate into projects (at least for me) outside of Valentine's Day, patriotic holidays, and Christmas, I tried to use it as more of an accent here than the star of the show.  And for something a little different, I added a few hints of lavender and peach. 

FYI: The 2nd kit is all about the peach and the lavender and the gold--and a hint of the blush pink.  Because I started off making only one kit, everything in the second kit complements this one so well!  You can expect to see a special discounted price if you purchase them both ;)

There are so many lovely things here...I made tassels, I made tags, I made yarn pom-poms.  I put a fringe bow on a muslin bag. I ruffled crepe paper on tags.  I made you an envelope of confetti.  I wound soft fuzzy yarn around paper tags.  I glittered wood tags and clothespins.

It's funny that a kit I had reservations about creating is one I can't wait to use!  You can bet I'll be making all kinds of pretty valentines with it.  And not just valentines--whatever I have left after February 14th will definitely find a spot on non-valentine packages.  Pink, peach, gold, lavender...they'll work just fine for everything Easter and spring!

A good packaging kit should have a decent amount of packages, don't you agree?  That's why I've included the muslin bags, as well as some decorative glassine bags.  Also, if you've never owned one of my kits, you should know that items are packaged in even more glassine bags and envelopes!  Not to mention that these kits are contained in a 6" x 8" muslin bag that comes to you like a gift: it's packaged with tags and trims and is ready to keep for yourself or you can give it away (it's basically already wrapped!).

If you have any questions at all about the contents of the kit, please don't hesitate to ask!  You can find it here in my Etsy shop.  They are ready to ship so go get yours now!

And when you get yours, I ALWAYS, ALWAYS love to see what you get up to with it, so be sure to share!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

winnie & walter premiere day 2 :: endearments + love

Hi friends!  Is it really February already?!  Are you ready for Valentine's Day?!  (FYI: There's a kit for that ;)  OR you can grab some super-sweet stamp sets from my dear friends over at Winnie & Walter and make your own valentines.  They have a big release happening all week.  I've seen everything and if you love stamp sets and dies, you will want to check in over there every day to see what's new.

Today is Premiere Day 2 and I'm sharing some valentines I made with a couple of their new sets, Sentimental: Endearments and Sentimental: Love.
These are my favorite kinds of sets.  My favorite things to stamp on are little Avery white strung tags and they come in multiple sizes, but they're all fairly small.  So small sentiments are the best and these sets by W&W have tons of options and phrases, as well as gorgeous typography.

I mainly use my stamped tags on packaging, like what you're seeing here.  My go-to is generally a layered number--a doily, maybe some lace and/or tulle, a pop or two of bold color, some stacked tags, and most often a glittery clothespin to hold the lot together and attach it to a bag or some trim tied around a gift box.

I chose whatever sentiments were Valentine's Day related from the sets and then chose a peach, lavender, red, and gold color palette.  (I guess that combination is my official 2017 Valentine scheme!)

I love this packaging set and while the sentiment 'truly madly deeply' is actually all one line and much too long to fit on one of these white tags, I was able to stamp only one word at a time, masking the others with tape.  The large glitter heart was made from American Crafts glitter paper and the W&W True Multifaceted Heart Cutaways.  The smaller glitter heart is coming up in Thursday's W&W release!

I applied the same idea of the "stacked" tags on the other, smaller valentines, as well.  The little red stamped heart in this photo is from another set that is debuting today, called Sending You with Evelin T. Designs.

Be sure to check out the Winnie & Walter blog for a full look at these stamp sets, and of course, there is always loads of inspiration from The Talent over there!  (You've got a chance to win a whole lot of goodies from this release, too--details on their blog.  Good luck!)

As always, thanks for stopping by today!
~Rebecca xo