Shana Gaff
Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Make Your Mark with a new Twist!

It's time for a Make Your Mark Challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More and we are changing things up a bit. Now you are free to use markers, crayons, pencils...any type of writing medium is allowed. I am beyond thrilled with this decision because I hate coloring with markers!  I decided to use Water Color Crayons for my card. I also used the sketch from retro sketches.
I thought this sketch looked very retro (go figure since it is RETRO sketches lol) so I wanted my stamps and color to mirror that.  I chose arrows and speech bubbles and colors that reminded me of the Brady Bunch, which I got from last week's challenge at colourQ, which I was too late to enter. Oops! :(
I love the Designer Typeset images with the Seriously sentiments. They just seem to click together! I think the images look really great colored with the Water Color Crayons too..too bad for me that they are retiring in just a few days and I will be selling them off at my annual garage sale. :( Then back to markers for me, I suppose! lol

Stamp Sets: Designer Typeset, Seriously
Cardstock: Baja Breeze, More Mustard, Watercolor Paper
Ink: Black StazOn, Cajun Craze, Night of Navy
Tools: Corner Rounder, Aqua Painter
Accessories: Baja Breeze, Cajun Craze, More Mustard and Night of Navy Water Color Crayons, Itty Bitty Buttons

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Just Believe

I am so sad to see this set retire. It has been one of my favorite flower sets and I absolutely love it. The challenge at SUO Challenges is to use your favorite retiring stamp set, so this was a perfect chance for me to use it one last time.  I also used the challenges at Create with Connie and Mary and The Play Date Cafe.
2013 Thursday Challenges-016

I used these same colors with this same stamp set recently, but I don't care. They work perfect with it!  They are so bright and cheery and make me happy looking at them. And who says you can't do repeats anyway? ;) There are no rules when it comes to crafting! Well, unless you are doing a challenge I guess but that is not a rule on any of these challenges, or any challenges I have seen for that matter. lol

I decided to also use my favorite retiring embossing folder, Lacy Brocade. I still can't believe they are retiring this one. I have always wished it was a vertical folder though because I do a lot more vertical cards than horizontal cards and it is not symmetrical this way, which bugs me a bit. :) Looking at this stamp set now, I just realized that these are pretty much the only two images I ever use out of the set!  I hate it when I do that. I need to be more conscious of that and start using all of the images in my set so I feel like I am really getting my money's worth!

Stamp Set: Just Believe
Cardstock: Daffodil Delight, Midnight Muse, Vellum, Whisper White
Ink: Daffodil Delight, Gumball Green, Midnight Muse
Tools: Lacy Brocade Embossing Folder
Accessories: Daffodil Delight Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon, Floral District DSP

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I should be cleaning!

My scrap studio is a disaster and I am not ready for Friday's Card Camp and Scrap Camp, but here I am playing!  I could not resist the challenges at CASology and Dynamic Duos though! :)
I have been meaning to try this technique that I learned from Aimee and I thought the blue would look really cool.
I know I said I was probably not going to get to use this stamp set again before it retired but I just could not resist it!  In fact, I think I have decided to keep it because I just love the big font and the phrases.  For my background, I started with Shimmer Paper that I spritzed with some water. I then used my aqua painter to pick up ink from the lid of my Pacific Point ink pad.  I gently touched the aqua painter to the paper and watched the ink spread. It is very cool to watch!  I took a tissue and pressed it flat on the paper to soak up the water and this gave me my first layer of lightly colored paper. I then repeated the same steps, except I put a drop of ink refill in the lid so it would be a more intense color. I then heat set it with my heat tool,stamped the sentiment and crown, added the jewel and the black mat and called it good!  I love simple cards like this. And I LOVE this technique.  Thanks for sharing Aimee!!!
Stamp Set: Carry On
Cardstock: Basic Black, Pacific Point, Shimmer Paper
Ink: Black StazOn, Pacific Point
Tools: Aqua Painter, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Heat Tool
Accessories: Rhinestone

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Anything Goes at ATSM!

It's time for an ANYTHING GOES challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More this week!  Now this can be a good thing and a bad thing all at the same time.  It's good because you are free to do whatever you want!  But for me this is a bad thing because I have been so addicted to doing challenges that I need a starting point! lol I used the colors at Create with Connie and Mary as my starting point. 
2013 Thursday Challenges-015
I thought these were great masculine colors so I decided to make a card that I could use for Father's Day.  I've been using a lot of my stamp sets that are retiring and thought it would be a good break to use some of my new goodies!

I am in love with the whole Mosaic line, including the stamp set, punch and embossing folder. It is so awesome to have a variety items that all coordinate when making a card. It really simplifies the process! I did a little bit of layering on my mosaics. It was really tempting to add some rhinestones or pearls to the centers but I resisted since my plan was for this to be a masculine card. :)

Stamp Sets: Chalk Talk, Mosaic Madness
Cardstock: Shimmery White, So Saffron, Soft Suede
Ink: Sahara Sand, So Saffron. Soft Suede
Tools: Oval Punch, Mosaic Punch and Embossing Folder, Cupcake Punch (small Saffron circles), Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack
Accessories: Neutrals DSP Pack, Dimensionals

Monday, May 20, 2013

90 Degrees!

Now THIS is my kind of weather. We are finally supposed to hit 90 degrees today. I love the sunshine and warm temps. It makes me feel so happy!  I wanted to quickly post this card so I can take the kids outside and play. This card is for the challenges at Freshly Made Sketches and colourQ.
I substituted Primrose Petals for Ruby Red. It's been gone so long I couldn't remember exactly what it looks like but I thought Primrose was a good match by looking at the color on my computer screen.
I made my own DSP by stamping the Secret Garden flowers in Black StazOn and then using my blender pen to color them in.  I added a piece of vellum under the ribbon at the bottom just for a little opaque effect. 
Stamp Sets: Secret Garden, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Cardstock: Calypso Coral, Certainly Celery, Whisper White
Ink: Black StazOn, Calypso Coral Certainly Celery, Primrose Petals
Tools: Scallop Border Punch, hole punch, blender pen
Accessories: Primrose Petals Stitched Satin Ribbon

Saturday, May 18, 2013

ATCAS Birthday

It's time for another challenge at Addicted to Clean and Simple!
I used the challenges at CAS(E) this Sketch and Stampin' Royalty for this week's card.
I have been trying to decide if I am going to sell Carry On when it retires. I usually try to sell all of my retired stamp sets, but I really love this one, mostly because of my favorite fun. song, "Carry On." :)  In case I DO decide to sell it, I wanted to use it one last time. I'm silly like that.
This is kind of a non-traditional birthday card since it doesn't actually say "Happy Birthday," but I think of birthdays when I think cupcakes!  After I stamped the cupcakes I added the splotches in Calypso Coral and some Pool Party spritzer to kind of give the effect of confetti.  I then used Dazzling Details on the tops to add some sparkle to the cupcakes.
Stamp Sets: Carry On, Hey There
Cardstock: Island Indigo, Very Vanilla
Ink: Calypso Coral, Island Indigo, Pool Party
Tools: Oval Framelits, Color Spritzer
Accessories: Dimensionals, Dazzling Details

Thursday, May 16, 2013

One Layer

The challenge at Less is More this week is to make a one-layered card on a colored card base.  I thought this would be a great challenge to use the White Washing technique!  I used the colors from Color Throwdown
Aren't these great bright colors?!  I did replace Kiwi Kiss with Lucky Limeade, which is very similar. 
Unfortunately the color look so muted in the picture. They are nice and bright in real life!  I had a few smudges when I was finished so I "fixed" those with my Color Spritzer.  What on earth will I do when this retires at the end of the month? :)
Stamp Sets: Oh Hello, Swallowtail
Cardstock: Daffodil Delight
Ink: Lucky Limeade, Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White Craft
Tools: Heat Tool, Blender Pen, Aqua Painter, Color Spritzer
Accessories: White Embossing Powder

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dahlia Fold

There is a great challenge going on at Technique Time Tuesday to make a project using the Dahlia Fold.  They have a great video with full instructions so make sure you check it out!   I chose to use Cherry Cobbler and Lucky Limeade for the color challenge at Dynamic Duos.  They are celebrating their one year anniversary and you can pick any of their previous color combinations this week. I dug through my Designer Series Paper and found some great paper from the Festival of Prints DSP Paper Stack that I wanted to use and it fit with DD#22.
While looking through my DSP, I discovered that it is very difficult to find any that only uses two colors!  Most of my DSP has one color on one side and 3 or more colors on the other side! 
I could not resist using the large swirl from Everything Eleanor for vines for my flower. I have a lot of trouble with this one particular stamp falling off of the block when I go to stamp it, even though I put a layer of  Tombow Multi glue on it! What I do instead is ink up the stamp without the block, place it where I want it on my cardstock and THEN put the block on top of the stamp and press down. This has saved me a lot of messed up cardstock from the stamp falling off of the block,which used to happen all of the time before I discovered this trick.  Hopefully that tip will save you some wasted cardstock too!
Stamp Sets: Curly Cute, Everything Eleanor
Cardstock: Very Vanilla
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Lucky Limeade
Tools: 1 3/4" Circle Punch, Fancy Fan Embossing Folder, Scallop Circle Punch
Accessories: Summer Smooches Fabric Brad, Festival of Prints DSP Paper Stack

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

ATSM Photo Inspiration

It's time for another challenge at ATSM and this week it's a photo inspiration! 
I wish I had a window or a chair stamp but I don't :( so I opted to use the colors along with the flowers. I also used the sketch at retro sketches.
I love this sketch and as soon as I saw those blotchies I knew I had to pull out my blotchy stamp from my My Paper Pumpkin kit, Hey There.
I used our new Baked Brown Sugar cardstock for my card base and sponged Soft Suede ink on the woodgrain paper to darken it up a bit.  I bent the corner down on purpose just to add a little bit of character. When I showed it to Janae (8), I thought she would say something about it and she did!  She said "I love the bent corner!"  And her I figured she would think it was a mistake. :)
Stamp Set: Field Flowers, Hey There
Cardstock: Baked Brown Sugar, Whisper White
Ink: Daffodil Delight, Crushed Curry, Gumball Green, Soft Suede
Tools: Sponge
Accessories: Natural Composition DSP, Dimensionals

Monday, May 13, 2013

Gee, thanks

I was looking at our demonstrator website and I came across this amazing feather card made by Justin Krieger. I just love it!  I love the simplicity of it and the colors...just everything!  However, I had told myself that I didn't really like that feather stamp set and wasn't going to purchase it!  So when I commented on Justin's card, I told him I felt like I needed to make him a "Gee, thanks for enabling me to buy that stamp set I didn't need!" card. lol So that is where I got the inspiration for my card today, along with the colors at The Paper Players and the sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch.
Clockworks is one of my go-to masculine sets and I thought it would look great for this card.  It is great for layering elements.
Some of the elements are stamped full strength and some are stamped off onto scrap paper first.  I inked the biggest element in Gumball Green first and then Midnight Muse on the opposite side before stamping it off and then onto my card.  Easy peasy!
Stamp Sets: Clockworks, Really Good Greetings
Cardstock: Whisper White
Ink: Gumball Green, Midnight Muse, Raspberry Ripple
Accessories: Rhinestones

Subtle Love

I am sooo in love with the rearrangement of the Stampin' Up! colors.  colourQ has a great subtle challenge that I couldn't wait to play along in. I don't have Sage Shadow but I thought the new Pistachio Pudding would be a great substitution.  I also had to substitute Blushing Bride for Blush Blossom. Those two are REALLY similar.  I used the sketch from Try Stampin on Tuesday.
For some reason this sketch was really difficult for me!  I thought and thought about what I wanted to do with that diagonal line. I decided to emboss the entire background and then just stamp on the diagonal line.  I am loving the new Mosaic Madness and it looks great with these colors!
I started stamping the Pistachio without the Stamp-a-ma-jig, but I really wasn't happy with how it was turning out so I used it for the rest of the background. Even then I managed to get some of them off center!  Go figure!  I still love the set with the embossing folder though and I am sure I will be getting plenty of practice with it.
Stamp Sets: Mosaic Madness, Really Good Greetings
Cardstock: Blushing Bride, So Saffron, Whisper White
Ink: Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, Pistachio Pudding, So Saffron
Tools: Mosaic Punch, Mosaic Embossing Folder
Accessories: Rhinestones, Dimensionals

Sunday, May 12, 2013


When Aviary was first introduced a few years ago, it was my absolute favorite stamp set in the whole catalog.  Which is funny because I have hardly ever used it!  I never found a great way to utilize the images, although they are so very cute!  Since it was my favorite, I really wanted to use it one last time. I thought it would look cute with the colors at Hand Stamped Sentiments and the sketch at Freshly Made Sketches
I just noticed that the blog header at HSS is Aviary, as well as the color sample, so that must be a sign that I chose the right stamp set to go with these colors! lol
I never would have chosen this color combination so I am glad I stumbled upon this challenge.  It's hard to believe that Bashful Blue is going to be retiring. It is what I consider a true baby blue color.  I guess times are changing though and it's on to more modern colors than pink and blue for babies!  Totally fine by me because I rarely use them anyways! lol  Anyway...this isn't even a baby card so I don't know why I'm talking about babies! 
Stamp Sets: Aviary, Kindness Matters
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Whisper White
Ink: Black StazOn, Bashful Blue, Real Red, Summer Starfruit
Tools: Labels Collection Framelits, Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder
Accessories: Sycamore Street DSP, Brights and Subtles DSP Stacks, Dimensionals

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bordering on Romance

Today I am continuing my tribute to retiring stamp sets with one of my favorite flower stamps for watercoloring, Bordering on Romance.  I used the colors at Color Throwdown and the sketch at Nacho Average Challenges.
I was looking at the cards I have made in the past couple of days, and this is the third one that has a similar layout. They all look totally different though and I actually used three completely different sketches. It really goes to show how things can be interpreted differently, even by the same person!  The possibilities for cardmaking really are endless, which is why I love this hobby so much.  There are so many different ways to be creative, and there is no right or wrong way to do it.  That's definitely a good thing for those of us who just like to have fun and aren't necessarily gifted in the creative department. :)
I used my blender pen and ink from the ink pad lids to color in the flowers. I am not great at blending or shading, but I tried to blend the Regal Rose and Elegant Eggplant to get different shades of colors. I also took my Crumb Cake marker and outlined the bottoms of the flowers to get a shadow effect. It kind of makes the flowers pop a little bit for some depth.  Some of the flowers also have tiny pearls in the centers.  I need to stock up on some more of those puppies...I ran out!
Stamp Sets: Bordering on Romance, Curly Cute
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Old Olive, Regal Rose, Watercolor Paper
Ink: Black StazOn, Crumb Cake, Elegant Eggplant, Old Olive, Regal Rose
Tools: Blender Pen
Accessories: Pearls

Friday, May 10, 2013

Circle Circus

It's less than a month until some of my favorite stamp sets will be retiring, so you will see me featuring a lot of those these last few weeks of the month. Today I wanted to feature an oldie but goodie, Circle Circus. It is one of the few wood mount sets I have left in my stash!  Now that Stampin' Up! has introduced new boxes for our wood mount stamp sets, I will be purchasing more of them in the future. They stand up very nicely on my shelf and are packaged just like the clear mount sets with pictures on the side of the case, a MUST for organization!

I found the perfect sketch at clean&simple for Circle Circus, and paired it with the color challenge at Less is More.

For the color challenge, they wanted us to choose two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. I chose yellow and violet.
I started by just stamping the circles. It was a little bit too one-dimensional for me, so I stamped the two largest circles again and punched them out with the 1" Circle Punch, layering them with Dimensionals. I also used my paper piercing tool to poke holes around these circles.  I completed my card with some bling, which you all know I love and cannot resist putting on a card! :)
Stamp Sets: Circle Circus, Pursuit of Happiness
Cardstock: Elegant Eggplant, So Saffron, Very Vanilla
Ink: Elegant Eggplant, So Saffron, Wisteria Wonder
Tools: Paper Piercing Tool and Mat, 1" Circle Punch
Accessories: Rhinestones, Dimensionals

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bye Bye Baja Breeze

I really liked Baja Breeze when it was first introduced to the Stampin' Up! color pallet, but I really haven't used it all that much since the introduction of Pool Party, so I will not be too sad when it retires. I was glad to see it included in a challenge at Dynamic Duos though so I could say my final goodbye to it. I saw a quote today that said "The most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained."  I have had a few of those in my lifetime but I don't want that to happen with my beloved Stampin' Up! colors, so here is my official goodbye to Baja Breeze. :)  I have also used the challenge at CASology in my ode to Baja Breeze. lol
Don't you just love hexagons?  They are all the rage right now and I can't get enough of them myself. There is a great new hexagon stamp set and punch in the new catalog that I can't wait to get my hot little hands on. For now, all I have is the Hexagon Embossing Folder, which I think is fabulous by itself.  I cut out part of a sheet I had embossed, as well as some Designer Series Paper hexagons to fill in some of the white space.
I added the sentiment and a few little stamped-off blotchies from Hey There (My Paper Pumpkin), as well as the little bow for a little extra touch.  I love simple cards like this. They make my heart smile, and goodbyes much easier. :)
Stamp Sets: Hey There, Really Good Greetings
Cardstock: Baja Breeze, Whisper White
Ink: Baja Breeze
Tools: Hexagon Embossing Folder
Accessories: Daffodil Delight Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon, Floral District DSP

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spring Layers

You know how much I like clean and simple cards but when I saw the color combination at Pals Paper Arts I knew I wanted to use some umbrellas with it and lots of layers. Well, lots of layers for me anyway. I know I can always find lots of layers at Mojo Monday!

I thought these were great spring umbrella colors and Pool Party just scream to be used with the Clouds Embossing Folder. :)  I stamped my own DSP with the umbrellas and raindrops since I didn't have any in those colors. I really enjoyed doing all of the layering for a change from what I usually do.  I didn't have a punch that satisfied me for the sentiment so I punched it with the Decorative Label Punch, inserted it and punched it again and then trimmed the ends to make it look uniform. I also didn't have a piece of Lucky Limeade big enough for the whole scallop circle so I punched two half circles and lined them up behind the sentiment.  That's a good way to use up scraps that you don't think are big enough for anything! :)

Stamp Set: Rain or Shine
Cardstock: Lucky Limeade, Pool Party, Summer Starfruit, Whisper White
Ink: Lucky Limeade, Pool Party, Summer Starfruit
Tools: Woodgrain, Clouds and Houndstooth Embossing Folders, Decorative Label and Scallop Circle Punches, Paper Piercer
Accessories: Rhinestones, Dimensionals, Pool Party Seam Binding Ribbon

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Stamping Soreness

Does anyone else get a sore neck from bending over stamping and assembling cards?  Man, my neck is KILLING me tonight just from working on this one card. I stand most of the time too, so that may be part of my problem. My desk is counter top height though, so I would think it wouldn't be that bad.  It is hurting sitting here typing this so I am going to make this short and to the point and hit the heating pad! :) 

I made this card for the challenges at retro sketches and colourQ.
I just love these colors together. They seem so delicate and feminine to me.  I instantly knew I wanted to do some butterflies, which just reminded me that I can also add this to the butterfly challenge at SUO Challenges!  Phew!  Glad I remembered that one. :)
I cut a window in my card so it was difficult for me to get a picture of it without putting it in this cute little card holder!  Hopefully it doesn't distract too much from the card!  I had a lot of fun punching and die cutting the butterflies and assembling. Of course, you will notice the bling in the centers. What did I ever do before we sold rhinestones?!  Don't you just love this sentiment?  It's the from the sneak peek set Really Good Greetings, and one of my favorites.  I love coloring on it with different colors to add some interest to it!  I did a little bit more stamping on the inside too.
There's another little sneak peek down there at the bottom from Mosaic Madness. It's a little border strip and really adds a lot with just a little bit of coloring.  I have been getting better at decorating the inside of my cards. It's easier to remember to do when you cut a window out of the front!  I guess I am going to have to start doing that more often so I remember. lol
Stamp Sets: Papillon Potpourri, Really Good Greetings, Mosaic Madness, Distressed Dots Background
Cardstock: Marina Mist, Midnight Muse, Pretty in Pink, Wisteria Wonder, Whisper White
Ink: Marina Mist, Midnight Muse, Pretty in Pink, Wisteria Wonder
Tools: Beautiful Wings Embosslit, Butterfly Punches, Stripes Embossing Folder
Accessories: Subtles DSP Stack, Rhinestones, Dimensionals