Tuesday, July 31, 2007

In the West...

Did you ever take a mini-vacation in your mind?

I did today. I went "Out West" with my stamps as a diversion from some of the stamping "chores" I had on my plate today. I've had the Stampin' Up! Wanted stamps on the left for a couple of weeks and was just waiting for the right inspiration to use them. I came across the striped scrap of designer paper while cleaning my desk, and I knew what I wanted to do.

I whipped this card out up the Stippled Frames Technique from the current newsletter. It took me longer to find the oval template in my studio than to actually make the card! I put a little twist on the card, though, by using the template to dry emboss the stippled frame. I like how it turned out. Do you?

The second thing I "found" on my desk was this piece of veined marble (again, from the 8-07 newsletter). This card uses a the Kokopelli and Dance with your Spirit sets from The Angel Company. I added a thin line of gold glitter glue around the lizard and the veined marble, but you can't see it on the card. This is a "short" card -- the green and white panel are shorter than the white panel with the little lizards.

I hope you enjoyed sharing my mini-vacation to the wild west!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Swallowed by Swaps

Every two months I am swallowed by swaps! I host a swap based on the techniques from the current TJ newsletter. Each time, 30 - 40 people sign up. It truly is a joy to open the envelopes, oogle the artwork, and match cards to cards...
So why do I avoid doing it every time? I should have mailed these out last week -- but it was newsletter mailing week, and the special pricing I am running was in full swing. I truly did not have two seconds to add something to my "to-do" list, much less to actually DO the task.

But why do I put it off until the last minute? Is it the two hours I need to spend opening the packages, photographing everything, swapping the cards out and repackaging everything back up? I'm not sure, but I task avoid it every time. More than likely it is because when I get to the last few piles of cards I realize that I have one or two more to swap out than I have left available. It happens every time (and today was no exception!). I know how to fix the problem of course, but I always feel like a big dope -- I think maybe that is what I am avoiding! Repetitive stupidity.
The irony of this is that I love the cards I get from the swaps, and I actually enjoy swapping out the cards (up until the time I realize I am an idiot -- that part I don't like LOL). I even enjoy making the cards -- I try to participate in every swap and make a card for every swapper. This time I made four kinds, 40 in all -- but those were done weeks ago. Maybe i just don't like when it is over! In any case, you can see the swap cards from this issue here.

Here are two I really like! The one on the right was made by Korin Sutherland and uses Close To My Heart Stamps. Korin used the Reverse Prints Technique to make her card.
The card below was made by Cathy Johnstone using Stampin' Up! stamps for the Flap Fold Technique.

So another issue's swap ends -- I have 34 new cards and a floor full of swap debris to show for it!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cards for a Contest...

Sorry these scans are crooked! Since all three of these cards are dimensional, they tend to scan a little crooked. Bear with me : )

I entered a contest recently that called for using one Stampin' Up! set to create three card samples. These were the cards that I submitted. I am pretty proud of these cards! I especially like the one above -- I think I am going to change the colors and make a bunch to have wedding cards on hand. I never seem to have those wedding cards when I need them! I also love the little pearls from the "pretties" kit -- I wish I had hundreds more - I would put them on EVERYTHING! The word "Adore" was stamped off the Tres Chic Background (Love that background - I say that alot, don't I?) --

The sample on the right is more dimensional than it appears in the scan -- the white medallions are popped, and the word "cherish" is punched through to the bottom of the card stock. I also added light green stickles (glitter glue) on the medallions -- it is really pretty in person!

One of the cards needed to be an easy card -- the sample on the right is my submission for easy. I love the look of the Tres Chic background as tone-on-tone on the chocolate chip paper. The word KIND is popped, too. I hope you enjoy looking at these!

And yes, I was a contest winner.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Blogger's Challenge, Week 4

This week's Blogger's Challenge was to create a gift bag or topper item -- anything that you might create to give a gift in.

I am not a make-a-bag type of person. Or at least I didn't think I was before I started this challenge.

I had fun making this, much to my own surprise! You gotta love stampin' - where else can you alter a plain white bag with so much dang satisfaction! Double-click on the picture if you would like to see more details.

The highlight for me was creating the Popcorn Scallop that I used to edge the bottom of the bag topper. I created a mini-tutorial below so that you can see how I did it. It may not be new to you, but it was to me!

Make sure to check out the other Blogger's Challenge Player's creations listed on the left side of the blog.
Happy Friday!

All stamps & paper, Stampin' Up!.

Creating a Popcorn Scallop

I love making scallop borders with the Stampin' Up! slit punch, but for the blogger's challenge I wanted something a bit less uniform, and more whimsical. So I came up with this easy way to make a border I like to call a "Popcorn Scallop." The card on the left uses the scallop I made for this tutorial : ) The blogger's challenge bag uses it, too. Here's how I did it...
The Slit Punch
Card stock, 3/4" wide
Draw a line approximately 1/2" from one edge using the pencil and ruler. Then, line up the slot punch with the paper top and the line and punch the first scallop.

Now for the second punch. Move the slit punch down so that the bottom of the opening (the straight edge) is aligned with the bottom of the paper. Now, slide the punch to the right until the bottom of the first scallop is aligned with the left side of the half-moon, and punch the second scallop.

To make additional scallops, alternate moving the punch up and down, aligning the left side of the punch with the right cut from the previous scallop.

I like to flip my piece over frequently to do a reality check on the scallop placement.
When finished, attach to the project as desired.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The rest of the card...

I Just remembered that I was going to post this card from the sneak preview a few days ago -- and here it is! This is the Burnished Watercolor Technique from the Technique Junkie Newsletter. Hope you like it~

Stamps: (c)Stampin' Up!, With Gratitude Set
The card below was made for my BIL & SIL -- they just bought their first house... same technique : )
Stamps: Club Scrap, Interior Design Kit

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

August, a little early...

The August issue of the Technique Junkie Newsletter was mailed today and the link for the subscriber-only online tutorials went live at 5-ish Wednesday. Technique Junkies can now view the tutorials for the newest techniques at their convenience.

There are some techniques I love in this issue...one being the Z-Fold card technique illustrated here. It is so easy, that even I -- one of the founding members of the "Folding-and-Motion Impaired Club" -- has mastered it! I can whip these cards out in no time - and I love that I am using bits and pieces of left-over designer paper pieces from my scrapbooking supplies.
The card above uses all Close To My Heart Stamps; the one below uses all Stampin' Up! stamps. Did you notice that both use the same format? Both use designer paper, texture from the Cuttlebug, and an oval center backed with ribbon.They look totally different, though, and I bet you didn't notice that until I told you, did you? I guess that is another reason I like the technqiue so much...

Give it a go, you will love it!

A new dog...

No, not for me. A very good friend of mine just added a new puppy their family; I sent her this little pop-up card today to welcome their new dog Daisy into their family.

Pop-ups were a technique in the April/May issue of the Technique Junkie Newsletter : ) I like how this puppy pops up -- it is so unexpected! Her kids will get a kick out of it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A special for you...

Updated 8-09 -- the special is now over -- and it was an overwhelming suucess! Watch for specials in the future. Thanks!

Updated 8-05-07: This special is extended to Wednesday, August 8th -- Hurry and sign up todaY

Get two years of the Technique Junkie Newsletter at 2004 prices! Get the 2007 and 2008 Technique Junkie Newsletters for just $33.00 (US addresses only). You will receive a whopping 150 techniques delivered to your doorstep. TJ techniques are step-by-step -- not an overview -- and the newsletter itself is full-color, professionally printed and high-quality. In addition, you have online-access to the step-by-step picture tutorials online -- and GREAT artwork from talented designers.

No-one has more tutorials than the Technique Junkie Newsletter. With our 5 years of publications, we have an archive of nearly 400 Rubber Stamping Tutorials -- and so many more to come!

Email me at phuntoon@optonline.net for a PayPal invoice to get your subscription started -- or send a check to the address below. Thank you!
Technique Junkie Newsletter
PO Box 16547
Stamford CT 06905

PS: Yes, it is good for renewals, too...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Moose on the loose...

I was just thinking of my dad today and missing him, so I decided to whip up a quick card to tell him that. Since my moose hadn't seen any ink yet, it seemed like a perfect time to pull it out and use it. I made this from scraps... I just liked the way the patterned paper worked with the Marigold Card stock, so I worked around that. I goofed though -- after I adhered the chocolate card stock down to the light green, I remembered that I wanted to mount it all on a sliver of red...but since I already had it down, I decided to leave it. Dad won't know, and I think it is subtler this way. What do you think? Should I make another one with red?

I realized after I made the card that there is a flower in the set exactly like this one! I could have made my own BG paper. Still, I like the way this turned out!

Boy, did that greeting ("Moose you so much") give me fits -- I mounted it separate from the moose, and it is so small -- too small -- and it took me a few tries to get it lined up for the punch. I'm happy with the end result, though...

I made other things, too -- but I can't show you. I had a burst of inspiration over the past three days, and although I should be attending to other aspects of the Newsletter, I am creating techniques like a madwoman! That happens to me; I will have weeks where I discover many new things, and those where the well is dry... You gotta tap into the well while the ideas are flowing! It KILLS me not to show any of it though!

Here is a little sneak preview of one of the techniques that will be in the August Technique Junkie Newsletter. It is being mailed later this week.... I will post the whole card by Thursday.

I can't wait to create again after the newsletter is in the mail! I'm livin' for Wednesday : )

Friday, July 20, 2007

Blogger's Challenge, Week 4

This week's challenge was to create a card based on the Sassy Stems card on page 97 of the new Stampin' Up! Catalog. This card features a peek-a-boo punch out with ribbon laced behind it. This was a blast to make...not only because I liked the layout, but because I had friends here - and I convinced them to join in, too! Dee Ruger from NY and Nancy Hill from CA both made cards (both are below). I liked the layout idea of this so much that I couldn't make just one challenge card, either -- I made two! The second futzes ( <---that is a technical term!) -- well, maybe STRETCHES would be a better word -- with the layout a bit, but I like how it turned out.

Here is my second card from the challenge:
All of the stamps on this one are from Stampin' Up!'s Fabulous Flowers Set. Too bad the background flowers (tone-on-tone) are lost in the picture : (

Now for Dee Ruger's Card... Two things you need to know about Dee. Well, three things...first, she is a great person. I just love her! Very creative, very inspiring. I cannot tell you how many ideas she has given me, and how much she has helped me. And she is my demo, too! So, a good friend AND an enabler, to boot....

Second, she is a dragonfly freak. Can you tell? Third, she is a Hero Arts lover. She made SU!'s stamps look like they came right out of the Hero Arts catalog!
Thanks for the playdate, Dee!

Okay, the final card was made by Nancy Hill from California. She is visiting Connecticut for a few weeks -- and she looked me up! We were able to arrange a date to meet, and she drove 1-1/2 hours yesterday to come stamp with me.
Thank you for the ideas, Nancy, and it was wonderful to meet you - I love your card! It's too bad the picture doesn't show this card's dimension -- Nancy popped the top layer of the card up and it is VERY pretty.
If anyone else is ever in the area, look me up!

Have a nice weekend...
Don't forget to check out the other Blogger's Challenge cards -- the other participants are listed in the left column...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Leftovers, Anyone?

Does this ever happen to you? You are working on a swap, making all of the pieces and parts (and a few extra of everything, just in case), and when you finish you have a bunch of pieces left that haven't been used. Not quite enough to make another of the swap cards, mind you, but too much to just toss. What do you do with them? I make leftovers!
That is what I did today before I cleaned my stamping desk from yesterday's swap...I made Halloween leftovers. Just a couple of pieces from my stamping candy jar...
The "Boo" card on the left is my favorite. I used my new Outline Alphabet stamps -- SO cool! See the little "Happy Halloween" above the black piece? it is cut from the Batty Jumbo Wheel. That wheel has a ton of uses! All three of the leftovers here have something from that wheel. All of the black pieces have been stamped with the new Sanded Background in white ink, too.
The piece on the left was just a simpler version of the original swap card. The major difference is that "Trick or Treat" was cut out of the Batty Wheel. Just flipped the designer paper, over, too.
Finally, the piece below was made last. I just punched out the three Batty for You images -- the 1" punch is PERFECT for this. These are layered on punched black 1-1/4" circles and layered on designer paper scraps. Can you guess where the little "Trick or Treat" in the metal piece is from? You guessed it -- the "Batty" Wheel!
Hope you enjoy my leftovers!

Monday, July 16, 2007

More new card samples

I have seen so many beautiful things done with this set. I swear I wasn't going to get it...but somehow, someway, Pick a Petal ended up on my Mega order. I am so GLAD! This is my first creation with it...
Again, Guava makes an appearance, this time with Celery and Wasabi. I started with a pre-made piece of Polished Rainbow from the Technique Junkie Newsletter, and the colors from that matched perfectly with the Guava and the Greens. I just added a little texture to the Polished Rainbow and then cut it up for the background behind the petals and the flower center. Finding a way to use Stem Sayings in the design was a challenge, but I like the wavy look. I am happy with the way this turned out!

The Batty for you card on the left also uses the batty wheel and the Halloween designer paper. The top bat is popped up, you just cant see it in the scan. This is for a Halloween swap I am in.
Okay, one more for today...
The card below uses Moose You -- and a cool color combo that I really like - Chocolate Chip, Taken with Teal, and Pomegranate. It is really cute in person, it is a shame that the tone-on-tone stamping doesn't show well. If you would like to see the details more, double-click the image and it will open a new window with a larger image.
In any case, you can always resort to squinting to see the Big Pieces in the background on the left side, and under the Deer. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's just FABULOUS!

This might be the most "favoritest" card that I have ever made. I knew i was going to love this set (Fabulous Flowers) but I had no idea just how much! I have made a bunch 'o cards with it and I can't believe it's versatility or beauty. The prima-like flowers are to die for!

The background on this card is a Technique Junkie Newsletter technique: Cottoned Color. The large flower is made with mixing chalk colors with the Poppin' Pastels Technique, and each of the little flowers have a dot of red glitter in them. The pearls adorning the rick-rack are from the "pretties" kit. I am still using Guava and Red!

The card on the right uses my Cuttlebug for texture, plus that fabulous prima-like flower in the middle of the scallop. Little Pieces adorn the background of the Turquoise strip; One of the Big-Pieces stamp is on the scallop under the flower, too.
I happened upon this color combo -- Chocolate Chip, Purely Pomegranate and Tempting Turquoise -- and I think it really works with a dash of white! Hope you think so too. I did a couple more with similar color combinations, but I need to scan them because I want to show you the detail on the cards, and my camera is not capturing it.

Here is another combo I like -- Certainly Celery, Wild Wasabi, and Blue Bayou.

This card uses the Modern Grid Technique from the Technique Junkie Newsletter. I really like the way this turned out. This uses Garden Whimsy, Define Your Life, and Little Pieces. I put some Crystal Effects on the butterfly, too, to highlight the butterfly more.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Goo-goo for Guava...

Stampin' Up! came out with new "in-colors" July 1st -- 6 colors added to their regular color line available for one year to supplement their existing color line. Last year was the first year that they did this, and although I bought the paper and the ink pads, I didn't really use them until the end of the year when I discovered Cool Caribbean (good thing I am not a demo! I can keep using it guilt-free). This year, I am determined to use the ink pads and paper as much as I can. I always buy things and hold onto them for those "sepcial" times -- then I never use them! Well, TODAY is special enough -- it will never come again!
One of the things I ordered in the big order I mentioned yesterday was all 7 new papers and inks. I knew I was going to love Purely Pomegranate and Wild Wasabi -- but to my surprise, I ADORE the Groovy Guava color!
I have been squeeking out creative time this weekend whenever I have a free moment (which is driving DH NUTS!) and I have created 3 or 4 things just for the fun of it. I am only posting one tonight because it is Martini night in the Huntoon household and it is too dark to get a decent shot of the things I have already done. I prefer to take pictures in the daylight. I did want to share SOMETHING -- so I though I would share this little beauty.
I absolutely surprised myself today! I have been trying hard to break out of a color rut I am in -- so when I pulled out the Guava, I matched it up with as many colors as I could. I discovered this interesting match of Real Red, Groovy Guava, Blush Blossom and White. I can't believe how pretty these colors are together! Try them...and let me know what you think.
This uses the Garden Whimsy set along with Totally Tabs (I think that is a hostess set). You will also see the flourish from Baroque Motifs in the background (I am using this on everything!), along with the swirls from my Cuttlebug on the red mat. Although you can't see it, there is fine glitter on the butterfly wings.
In any case, I hope you enjoy this card -- I feel that I have gotten into a boring square mold and some of the cards I created in the past 24 hours certainly have broken that mold -- I can't wait to show you!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Christmas in July: Blogger's Challenge, Week 3

This week's Blogger Challenge was Christmas in July. Our challenge was to create a Christmas themed card in non-traditional Christmas colors. I created two -- the one at right, and the one below, both using Stampin' Up!'s Peaceful Wishes and Flannel Background stamp sets. Both use the same color scheme: chocolate chip, not quite navy, and more mustard, plus a touch of white. At left, "Peaceful Wishes" is embossed in Chocolate then highlighted with metallic rub-ons. I really need to use that stamp Flannel stamp more!!

The card on the right is white-embossed and uses a different layout and ribbon.
These two challenge cards will be randomly drawn from those of you who comment...and will be announced next Friday.
Here is last week's winner of the Baroque Motif card: Marsha! Marsha, please email me with your email and snail mail addresses so that I can send the card to you: phuntoon@optonline.net.
Make sure to check out the other challenge cards -- the list of players is on my left sidebar.
Now, if you will excuse me, UPS just dropped a VERY large box off at my house and I have a new order to go through! I have lotsa rubber to cut!! Will post all my new creations soon...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I am part of a group called "VC Rocks" and this is one of the things that I sent my Virtual Roomie. This was a Band Aid Tin -- a new, clean, fresh white one, of course -- so I altered to hold ATCs. It was the perfect size! I think I fit 10 or so in there.

Of course, I sent a bunch of other stuff, too, but I don't want to say too much -- I am not sure if she reads this or not. I just think these tins are adorable -- I have one more to alter...They are just like altering lunch tins, but on a much smaller scale...
So much fun!

I've been tagged -- yuck!

Okay, I have been tagged twice now -- once by Lisa, and once by Leigh. <Sigh> I dislike this -- I think it wastes your precious reading time! But I will play along today...just this ONCE. Feel free to skip this post! I will post some pretties today, too, to make up for it : )
I guess I'm supposed to let you in on seven unknown facts about me....and then tag seven others so that they can join in on the fun....here goes:
  1. I am going to Paris with DH in the fall. He is the love of my life and we are celebrating our 20th anniversary!
  2. I have an addiction to Alphabets. I have a billion Alphabet stamps, stickers, chipboard, felt, fabric, die cuts, quickuts, and Cricut fonts. And I can NEVER decide on a titling option when scrapping!
  3. One of the reasons I started TJ was to have my house cleaned every-other week. I HATE housework.
  4. I secretly like doing laundry, though! Such a sense of accomplishment when done.
  5. I used to wear a suit to work every day, and was a corporate VP. Now I work in flip flops, slippers or best yet, barefoot!
  6. I am fiercely loyal...but don't cross me!
  7. I am 5'10" tall. I have a 13 year old boy who is 6'3" tall! (we grow 'em big here).

Okay, no more TAG!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's a Zoo around here!

...A "Zoofari" that is! A week or two ago I made a pledge to an online friend to flood one of the lists I am on with cards from this Stampin' Up! set to convince people to buy it...and I haven't had a chance to pick up a monkey since! I decided to ink some animals today (actually, I was task-avoiding -- I am VERY good at that!) and see what I could make. This set challenges me -- I tend toward the elegant, classic or funky style, so these cards just didn't come fast. It helps that the little guys in this set are so cute! Birthday and baby cards come to mind for these stamps. Of the cards I made today, I really like the one above the best -- I think it is because of the color combination... what do you think?
The card above has the words "Hey Chick" Stamped inside. I mixed alot of yellows here (between the colored pencils on the chicks, the paper and the ribbon), but I think it still works... and finally...

Here is my snake dude. For those of you who have this set, you know that our little snake friend normally has a tongue -- but that tongue looks quite a bit like a cigarette! Since this set screams KID CARDS, A SSSSmokin' SSSSnake just doesn't work for me...so with this card, I colored the image with markers and just omitted that part of the image. Now, though, he looks like a bit of a worm...What do you think? With, or without the tongue??

One last thing... While I was working with this set, those old Cool Cat urges came upon me...I MUST RESIST...The obsession tends to take over my stamping life for a few days! If you don't know what I'm talking about, check this out: Cool Cat or Cruel Cat: You Decide! -- Beware though, it is not for the faint of heart!

'till next time...

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A bit of history...a bit of heritage...a few layouts

I have been slowly (but not so methodically) scrapbooking my family's heritage photos. My mother and father both had a large collection of old photo albums -- the sort with black pages that held the photos in with photo corners (really the best kind). In the summer of 2004, I cornered my mother and had her go through each of the albums with me; she and my father both tried to remember as much as they could about the photos, the people and events they portrayed. Of course, they did not remember everyone or every place -- but they did remember alot. I coerced my mother into allowing me to take the albums home (they lived in Canada at the time, and I was in Connecticut). I promised to scan the photos and return the albums. I started the scans right away in my (not-so) spare time. Sadly, my mom passed away unexpectedly just three months later. I cherish the photos and the stories my parents had about the photos. I did finish scanning everything by Christmas time that year, and made photo CDs for my 5 siblings. It was an emotional Christmas.
It took me nearly three years to dive into these boxes of photos. I have slowly been scrapbooking them -- some days it is too hard to see my mom in the pictures, so I just pass by that pile of photos to be scrapped that day and work on other things. I did three layouts this week using the photos that I wanted to share, though! I hope you enjoy looking at them.

Graduatin' Gals 1946: The page at the top is of my Mother and her friends celebrating their high school graduation in 1946. As you can see, I scanned Mom's diploma. Also, if you look close, you will see that I placed a pull tab behind the top right picture; my mother had handwritten a list of who was in the picture on the back of the photo, so I scanned that, too. After all, it is in her handwriting! I stamped the title, the bistro chairs and French Girls. After I stamped the title and the images, I traced the title and colored selected edges of the images with colored pencil to make them stand out. It is a gorgeous soft highlighting effect that pops IRL.
Honeymooners 1948: The pages above are from my parent's honeymoon. I scanned the little newspaper clipping (Travelogue) that was in my Mom's album -- it is a charming reminder of how things were done back then. A note on this one -- the "Travelogue" actually covers a stamping mistake! We all make them, don't we? In my hurry to stamp the title "The Honeymooners," I picked up the "9" instead of the "e" -- unmounted stamps are backwards! I think the title works just as well as "honeymooners" -- well, at least it works better than "th9 honeymooners" !

Je T'Aime: This last layout celebrates a photo taken of my parents in 1972, at my oldest sister's wedding. I love my dad's sideburns -- he was so stylish! The journaling is on the tag is tucked behind the photo -- it talks about how much in love my parents were, and what good role models they were for marriage. I love this photo of my mom -- she is thin, happy, and looking directly into the camera -- and I know SHE loved this photo, too.

When I finished this layout, I couldn't help feeling that it needed one more thing. My scrapping friend Val suggested that I add a bit of glitter, so I used a fine-tipped glitter pen to trace the letters. I love the effect (see below). Oh -- the Eiffel tower is from a stencil from the Club Scrap kit -- I used Tricia Morris' fabulous duoprinting technique with Glimmer Mists to create the effect. It shimmers in real life (and yes, all of that came in my Club Scrap Kit, too! All of the pages were created using Club Scrap's Bistro kit (July '07). I just love that club!
Thanks for sharing a bit of my heritage with me...sorry this post was so long, but I hope you enjoyed the layouts and the stories...