Big Sky Stampin' Papercrafting

I have been a crafter most of my life, starting in about 8th grade when I tried to embroider some frogs on a quilt, that I never finished! Although the list of what "I never finished" is long, and includes cross stitch, knitting, crocheting, quilting and more, my latest obsession is paper! I joined Stampin'Up! as an independent demonstrator in October 2011 and have been going like crazy ever since! I offer classes in my home, do catered card parties at your home and sell my cards locally in Bozeman, Montana and around the lovely Gallatin Valley. I would love to meet and talk to you if you are interested in the papercrafting hobby or just need some unique handmade cards for a special occasion!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Every Day is an Adventure!

Happy Friday Stampers!
It's been a long week as I adjusted to getting back from vacation, hosting several classes and keeping up with things around the house, etc.  Some weeks are just like that. I wish every day could be a vacation, but my card today points out that every day can be an adventure. They aren't always they type of adventures we would choose, but our attitude goes a long way, right?

I usually don't spend a lot of time on Hostess sets in the catalog, but I am today. Hostess sets are special because they are only available to choose on an order of $150 or more. For many people, that's a bit of a stretch. I suspect Stampin'Up! secretly saves some of its best ideas for Hostess sets to try and entice sales - good marketing, huh?  I really like this one, "Dare to Dream" and here's a card I made recently with it. 

This card definitely qualifies for CAS, Clean and Simple. I used some Designer Series Paper from the Naturally Eclectic set for the background and then relied on stamping. I added a bit of the new copper trim the separate the two papers.  Hot air balloons are a fun motif for adventure and I like the simplicity of these stamps as well. One of my favorite techniques is stamping directly on the Designer Series Paper when the color scheme allows for it. Lots of papers are too busy or too darkly colored to take stamping but this Soft Sky design was perfect.

The weekend is here! I hope you have some adventures planned! I'll be back next week with more ideas, inspiration and tips! Thanks so much for taking a peek at what I'm up to today!

Happy Stampin'!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A door needs a house, right?

Good morning!
Today I have a fun project that was inspired by the "At Home With You" set. I was thinking the door motif in that bundle would be really handy for all sorts of cards. It was one of the first bundles I ordered from the new annual catalog and I couldn't wait to start playing. I have had a few miscues (see below) but I am convinced that is how you become better as an artist, especially with color combinations, design elements and style. The more ideas you try, the more great ones you stumble on to, "happy accidents", shall we say!

This card evolved because it was a door in need of a house. I had the idea of putting a "peak" on the flap that closes down and when opened, you have a house. Here are some pictures to help explain what I mean:

As you can see, even the door opens to reveal the sentiment of this card!  It was a fun project. The trick was finding framelits to create windows that were the right scale to the size of the house, doors, bushes, etc. I used some retired tag framelits and hand cut some cross bar sections to further emphasize they were windows. Another feature is using the Hardwood background stamp on my card base to create some siding for my house. A quick tip about the bushes... I actually stamped them twice, once on Crumb Cake and once on Tranquil Tide. I cut the pot off the Tranquil Tide piece and glued the bush part to the Crumb Cake piece. I wanted them to look more realistic so used card stock to delineate between the bush and the pot, rather than just ink. My other tip is to use the Wood Textures Designer Series Paper for the door. It has a wood image on both sides, which a real door would so it works just perfectly!

Now, here's a "misstep" so to speak. Sometimes my attempt to work with a specific color fall very short. This is probably one of the ugliest cards I have ever made:

There are so many things wrong with this card but lets just say no one would ever paint their house Lemon Lime Twist. The rest of it is a train wreck as well, but I did learn some things. I learned I didn't like the bushes simply stamped on white paper. I also learned it is best to stamp the door before you cut it out and not after. We all need to try again when we have a train wreck, right?

There are some fun seasonal elements to this stamp set that will allow for creating a special "scene" at just the right time of the year. What a welcoming motif to share on a card with a friend, a beautiful front door which welcomes them into your home and your life.

The coordinating framelits really make this stamp set come alive and you don't have to cut all those detailed edges!

I hope you liked what I shared today and will come back for more ideas, inspiration and tips. It's still a little early, but we are coming up on the best creative time of the year... Autumn, Thanksgiving and Christmas! I think I'll be coming back to this set again and again!

Happy Stampin'!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wedding Bouquet

Hi friends,
I'm back this week with some more fun ideas for you!  It's a little harder to want to craft when there are so many fun things to do outside in the summer, however, when the summer heat gets to being too much, I retreat to the basement where my craft room is and enjoy the cooler air.

As I work my way through the new Annual Catalog, I am trying to prioritize what I purchase, based on what I need, what I like, what is different from anything I already have, etc. One of my favorite purchases continues to be background stamps!  They are subtle in appearance most of the time but sorely missed when you take them away.  One of my favorite new background stamps is "Burlap". I especially loved the frayed edges. Here's a card I recently designed using this stamp:

This is a great example of the background stamp adding some additional interest to this card. It would have had alot of "white space" without it, which is fine if that's what you want, but I love the subtle background. I stamped using Crumb Cake, very lightly.  The rest of the card features  the Beautiful Bouquet set and a small piece of Designer Series Paper from the Delightful Daisy set. I think this design could easily be adapted for an anniversary card or even birthday card by changing the sentiment.  Be sure to check out all the background stamps on pages 164-165 of the annual catalog. Here's my hint/tip for using background stamp. I generally spend the extra money and get a wood mounted stamp because of their size. A clear mount one requires a really large acrylic block to mount and in my experience, they tend to curl a little when not on a block. For stamping, I place the wood block stamp with the wood side down on my table and the rubber side facing up. I ink up the stamp by holding the ink pad in my hand and gently tapping it on the rubber. I then lay my paper on top of the rubber surface and either rub it with my hand or use a brayer to apply some pressure to the paper. It works every time and I haven't accidentally dropped the big wood stamp anywhere because I wasn't able to hold on to it. Hope that helps you with your background stamping!

Now is a great time to purchase some goodies that you've had your eye on. Through July, you will receive a $5 coupon redeemable in August for every $50 you spend. You can submit an order online or get it to me via email or phone and the coupon will be emailed to you directly. Three background stamps alone will get you over the $50 threshold! Take advantage of this special offer before it's gone!

Happy Stampin'!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Happiness is a cup of coffee!

Happy Friday Stampin' friends!
I'm going back to a favorite new suite in the new Annual Catalog, the Coffee Cafe suite. I love the stamps and framelits and especially love the Designer Series Paper. This set is specially designed so the framelits can actually cut out the Designer Series paper as well as stamped images!  Here's what I did:

All of the products used are from the suite except the embossed background, which is a new Dynamic Texture Embossing folder that is very fun to use. I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but I love love love the color scheme and images in this suite!

This suite alone would allow you to get some Bonus Days coupons of $5 for every $50 you spend in July, to be redeemed in August!  Check it out in the store (use the "shop now" link on the right) or contact me for more information!  I know there are a lot of coffee lovers out there! Now's your chance to create something that speaks straight to your heart!

Happy Stampin' and weekend!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

TBT- Lots of Cards and Ideas!

Hi Stampers!
Today I'm going to limit my commentary and let you feast on some ideas!  Quite often, I want to mess around either with a technique, a tool, a color, old paper, old stamps etc.  It really inspires me to reach back into my retired product stash and combine the retired with the new and see what happens. I have some fun cards today that do just that. I won't post the supply details because alot of it is retired, but you can recreate my ideas with what you have. Have fun looking them over!

This one is using an Aqua Painter with ink picked up from the lid of the ink pad:

This one is color smudging with a dauber and also uses the Wink of Stella in the center of the flowers:

This one is more sponging and daubing with a silhouette stamp on top:

This is sponging, smearing, daubing on pre-embossed paper from Stampin'Up, with some Aqua Painter smooshing after the fact!

This one uses putting ink on Designer Series paper with a brayer for my background, misting some pre-embossed  paper with a blend of ink and alcohol in a mister  and stamping over the top:

This one involves smudging on some ink, then squirting it with water and further spreading it around, all on pre-embossed paper:

This one shows ink sponged on Designer Series Paper for my background and then stamping and framelits for the feathers.

I hope you have time to play. Sometimes our ideas are destined for the trash can but many times you will stumble on something that you like! It's all good as long as you're having fun, learning something and remembering to "just breathe"!!

Don't forget about Bonus Days going on the month of July!  For every $50 you spend in July, you will receive a coupon via email good for $5 off a purchase in August!  You can't beat that!!  Please use my Hostess Code 3M2GHZW3 and have fun shopping!  The link to the store is just to the right under "shop now".

Happy Stampin'!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Live Your Dream

Hi Stampers!
Sometimes life boils down to "this is how we roll", right?  We have been in the midst of a super busy month and a half with tons of fun, company, events, celebrations, travels and craziness. I'm no longer sure what day it is and where I need to be. I have trouble crossing things off my lists because I can't find the lists or remember the things. Do you ever feel that way? WHEW.....

At some point, I realized this is just the reality of the day right now and to quit stressing the stuff that I can't control, don't know about, wasn't planning on and didn't work out the way I thought. My solution for a crazy busy life is often "go camping". Things get real simple in our camper including meals, what book to read, where to sit, etc. There just aren't many choices and sometimes that is good.

I have a fun card today celebrating the camper life!  Many of you enjoy it as much as I do and will understand what I am talking about!  I combined a great stamp set in the Annual Catalog called "Glamper Greetings" with a new Hostess set (available with a $150 order or more) called "Dare to Dream".  I think they work together really well and express just what I love about camping!

The Glamper Greetings set has all kinds of details you could add to make it a  seasonal card, but I just kept it simple this time.  If you love to camp, you'll want to take advantage of this marvelous stamp set. Here's a closer look at it:

There are a lot of fun things to dress up your camper and express your philosophy!

I hope you are able to decompress in the way that suits you best and maybe I'll even see you in a campground some day!

Happy Stampin'!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Christmas in July!

Happy Tuesday Stamper friends!
It has become a popular thing to host Christmas card making classes in July. Why, you ask?  I guess because since it isn't Christmas, we have way more time to do some things like homemade cards. I wanted to share a fun idea today with you. Have you been thinking about trying some rubber stamping or paper crafting and you are overwhelmed, not really knowing where to start?  My best advice is to start with a specific project and get what you need for just that project, try it, see how you like it and then go from there!  I've got the perfect idea.. Christmas cards! Here's a sample:

Obviously, there are a kazillion choices out there for stamps, themes, etc. I decided to go with one stamp set, one background stamp,  3 colors of ink and paper and a little ribbon to dress it up. This card is small on supplies required and big on impact!  I just love it as it especially speaks to my "mountain-dwelling" soul. It incorporates a technique that is easy to do and gives a layered look and that is stamping over another stamp. I used the Sheet Music background stamp in a light Crumb Cake ink. I then stamped everything else on the top of it. I also shadow stamped my trees by inking up the stamp, stamping once, then shifting my hand slightly to the right and up and stamping again without reinking - another favorite technique!

We have a whole section in our Annual Catalog devoted to Christmas, pages 112-123 and our Holiday catalog with much, much more is coming out in September. I'll let you in on a little secret. While the end product in papercrafting is your ultimate goal, the process is the fun part!  It is so fun to stamp, create, design, arrange, etc. as you work your way to the end, whatever that may result in. It is great therapy to be doing something productive with your hands and stamping requires no pre-existing skills. You can learn to stamp from scratch with a very short learning curve and quickly be on your way to creating beauty that allowed you to relax, think, slow down in the process.  Think about a project for yourself... Maybe Christmas cards this year. Let me know if you want to get started and I'll help you with what you need to be on your way. It's a great adventure!

Meanwhile, it's July and it's hot!  Stay cool out there!