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CDSGDC0809 Clear Dollar Stamps Guest Designer Challenge!

  • Stamps: Clear Dollar Stamps Charlie Praying and Tag It (July 2009 SOM)
  • Paper: Certainly Celery, So Saffron, Close to Cocoa, white  CDSGDC0809 Peaceful Charlie Praying
  • Ink: Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa, Creamy Caramel, Certainly Celery
  • Accessories: ribbon, caramel-colored brads, notched corner punch, dimensionals, Fiskars embossing template & stylus, sponge, scallop edge scissors (Fiskars “Clouds”), colored pencils, baby oil, blending stump
  • Technique: sponging, paper tole/3D, “Gamsol magic”

How exciting – -today I am bringing you my very first card entry for a contest!  Clear Dollar Stamps offers a monthly contest to find a guest designer for the upcoming month.  This month’s challenge happens to be a sketch challenge, and a “challenging” one it is!  (Full challenge details can be found here or by clicking on the sketch below)

CDSGDC0809 sketch

I thought about this card for a LONG time – I even started it once just to scrap what I’d done so far and start all over!  As always, I wanted to be proud of the finished product, but since this one was for a contest I wanted to be extra proud! 🙂  I decided to take on a new-to-me sort of color combination to really challenge myself by stepping out of my comfort level a little bit.  After all, if you don’t put yourself out on a limb a little bit once in awhile you probably CDSGDC0809 _full2won’t be getting too far from where you are right now!

Eventually, I decided I wanted to sort of do an “abstract” take on the sketch, by modifying how the four rectangular “panels” at the bottom of the sketch were actually used.  In this card, I decided a ribbon would be one layer, and the remaining three layers would be created using different textures and the sentiment itself.  The instructions for the challenge stated that the oval on the sketch could be any shape, so I elected to modify it by using a rectangle with the edges cut off (using a notched corner punch) to mesh with an oval-type idea.

Charlie was done by stamping him on white cardstock in Chocolate ChipCDSGDC0809 Charlie Detail ink and using colored pencils and baby oil to color him, with the aid of a blending stump.  I also used mounting foam to raise him up off the white panel to give him some extra dimension.  The white panel Charlie is mounted on was sponged with creamy caramel ink and mounted on a panel of Close to Cocoa paper, which was sponged in the same way.  I then mounted this panel at an angle onto the So Saffron panel to help it “lean” into the general location of the oval shape in the original sketch (which was on the right side of card), and added two caramel-colored brads to further draw the eye in that direction.

The So Saffron panel was prepared by using one of my Fiskars embossing plates in a leaf-like pattern along with their embossing stylus tool.  I trimmed the panel to be slightly smaller than the Certainly Celery cardstock I would be mounting it on, to allow the pretty green color to “peek” out around the edges and brighten things up a bit.  I embossed the entire So Saffron panel save the very bottom portion, where I planned to place the sentiment for the card.  Once that was done, I sponged the entire panel with Creamy Caramel ink to make the embossing stand out and also to help the panel mesh better with the sponging done around Charlie.

CDSGDC0809 _bottom1

For the bottom portion of the panel, I trimmed the end with my Fiskars “clouds” scissors and also sponged the edge of that.  I located a leftover scrap of pretty ribbon and affixed that to the panel, putting the bow itself toward the right to again draw the eye in that direction.

For the sentiment, I used my new Tag It set (which was the Clear Dollar Stamps Stamp of the Month for July) and stamped the frame with Certainly Celery ink on white cardstock.  Using the sentiment from the Charlie Praying set, I stamped it in Close to Cocoa ink on top of the frame image I had just done.  I then cut it out with a scissors, snipping off the pointed ends to mimic Charlie’sCDSGDC0809 inside peek panel at the top of the card, and I mounted this halfway between the bottom of the ribbon and the scallop edge in the center of the card.

One thing that always makes me giggle when I finish the card is the tendency of my mother to open it and see what’s on the inside also.  A lot of times I leave the inside blank to allow me to customize it when I’m ready to use the card, but other times I feel the need to give the inside of the card more of a “finished” appearance to match that of the outside.  After all, no matter how nice the outside of the card is, you certainly don’t want it to be a disappointment when the recipient opens it up!  I felt this particular card was a perfect candidate for a finished interior.  The soft, relaxing feeling of the outside of the card needed to be repeated on the inside as the relative empty look of a blank cardstock panel on the inside just wasn’t “doing it” in this case!

CDSGDC0809 inside viewI repeated the scallop edge look on the bottom by trimming off the so saffron panel at the same level as it was trimmed in the front of the card, and also trimming off the white panel in the same fashion.  The So Saffron panel was sponged with Creamy Caramel ink to carry that look over from the front of the card, but I elected not to sponge the white panel to keep things looking clean.

To take care of the blank area at the bottom of the card on the Certainly Celery portion, I stamped the leaves from the Charlie Praying set in the same color.  I stamped the scroll-like line from the same set, also in Certainly Celery ink, at the top of the white panel, then stamped the sentiment in Close to Cocoa ink below it.

I realize I wrote a bit of a book for this post, but I had a lot to say about this card!  Overall, I am quite pleased with how it turned out, and I hope the wonderful ladies at Clear Dollar Stamps like what they see too!  Thanks for the opportunity – I had lots of fun!


(fyi:  as always, this and all my other creations are also posted at SplitCoastStampers under the username “DancesWithHooves.”)

TLC231 quilling creation

Quilling Creation

Here’s my entry for Try a New Technique #231 (TLC231) for Monday, 7/27/09, over at SplitCoastStampers.  I saw a card with a layout similar to this a few years ago in a card magazine and I was excited for a chance to try out quilling with it!

  • Stamps: Stampin’ Up Lexicon of Love (sentiment)
  • Paper: Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, white
  • Ink: Chocolate Chip
  • Accessories: Ribbon, sponge, scissors
  • Technique: Quilling, sponging

TLC231 quilling creation TLC231 quilling creation

Thanks for looking and let me know what you think!


SK071809 Birthday Foxy

  • Stamps: Snag’em by Imaginisce “Foxy,” Stampendous “Everything Happy,” Clear Dollar Stamps “Argyle Factory”  SK071709 Birthday Foxy
  • Paper: Taken with Teal, More Mustard, white, chocolate brown
  • Ink: Chocolate Chip, More Mustard, Taken With Teal ink pads & markers
  • Accessories: sponge, notched corner punch, colored pencils, blending stump, baby oil, craft knife, dimensionals, Fastenator
  • Technique: sponging, “Gamsol Magic,” 3-dimensional

I came across this adorable fox stamp at a scrapbooking store in a town about an hour away from here a few weeks ago. At 99 cents, I HAD to have him, and I knew he would be perfect for Gamsol! Last week I registered over at Paper Craft Planet and came across an awesome sketch challenge on Saturday. When I saw it, the first stamp that came to mind was “Foxy!”  Also, I was lucky to score the Stampendous set with my 50% off at Michael’s coupon last week.  I love deals!

I had a different sort of inspiration for the color combination I chose for this card. At the horse show on Saturday (see post below for more info on that), one lady that I competed against in Trail had the most GORGEOUS Hawaiian-type floral top, which was a mix of warm chocolate, bold teal, and tropical mustard. It looked AWESOME, especially with the color of horse she was riding!

Once I had my colors in mind and sketch in hand, I sat down to start creating and things just evolved from there.

One thing I wanted to incorporate into this card was making Foxy as three-dimensional as possible to make him really come to life.  To do this, I stamped SK071809 Birthday Foxyhim three times in chocolate chip ink and used the gamsol magic technique (I use plain ol’ Crayola colored pencils and generic Baby Oil rather than the hard-to-find and rather pricey Gamsol and special colored pencils) to color each image.  Then, I cut out each piece with a craft knife, cutting the second layer by leaving out the tail and the third layer by leaving out the ears and the hind legs.  The result makes him really pop off of the card at you, and I’m please with how it turned out!  For the circle that Foxy is mounted on, I sponged More Mustard ink on plain white cardstock.  That by itself didn’t seem to stand out enough off of the chocolate panel, so I added another layer of white cardstock behind it.

I also sponged the brown and Taken with Teal panels in matching ink.  I do that to a lot of my cards, but I think it is an important step for a lot of cards to make them look more finished.  Granted, it doesn’t look great on EVERY cardSK071809 Birthday Foxy but I find it works well for many of the cards I create!  The sentiment was stamped on white cardstock  and I used a notched corner punch to take the semi-circle off of the edge to add interest.  I also used our Fastenator for the first time to add the two silver embellishments on the lower edge of the teal/mustard panel.  When I originally “finished” this card yesterday I had left it at that.  However, when I came back later to photograph it, it looked like something was just missing, and I couldn’t think of what that was.  This morning I remembered my fun “Argyle Factory” set I purchased from Clear Dollar Stamps several years ago and haven’t had the opportunity to use much.  PERFECT!  I got a little goofy with my spacing when I stamped it the 2nd time so I tried to repeat that mistake with the 3rd stamping to make it look intentional.  Hopefully it doesn’t look too sloppy!

Thanks so much for looking and please take a minute to let me know what you thought of my card and this post!


Dreamer and I 7/25/09

I’m not sure how many “regular” readers I have (if any), but for interest’s sake I thought I’d throw in a picture of me and my horse, Dreamer, taken at our show today.  We had a lot of fun, placing in every class we entered in and even winning our Western Pleasure class!  I trained Dreamer myself and this is his first year being shown in all of his under-saddle events, and he seems to be enjoying it!  Folks, THIS is the reason why I don’t do much cardmaking in the warm months – I’m busy in the barn! :0)

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!



SC126 Charlie Checks In

  • Stamps: Clear Dollar Stamps “Charlie Horse” and “Paisley Perfection”
  • Paper: cream, kraft, Chocolate Chip, Ruby Red SC126 Charlie Checkin' In
  • Ink: Chocolate Chip, Ruby Red
  • Accessories: twine, colored pencils, baby oil, blending stump, edge distresser, sponge, 3d-foam, kraft knife
  • Technique: Gamsol magic, edge & ink distressing, sponging

More fun with Clear Dollar Stamps! The mother of one of my good “horsey” friends was recently called back to work after having been laid off since sometime last fall, so I created this card just for her as sort of a “congratulations.” :0) She also loves horses, so I figured this new stamp set would be a perfect one to work with for the occasion. I selected the layout from a recent sketch challenge (SC126) at SplitCoast. To select the colors, I knew I wanted to do something with red in it, because I know that is a favorite of hers. I couldn’t come up with a color combo that I liked using Real Red, so I selected Ruby Red instead as it sort of has that “homey/western-y” feel to it.

I was thrilled to use the paisley set for this card. I have wanted a paisley stamp to use for backgrounds for quite a long SC126 Charlie Checkin' In detailtime and when I came across this set from Clear Dollar Stamps I *had* to have it! It just seemed natural to put it on “kraft” cardstock for this card, and I’m very happy with how it turned out. Charlie himself was stamped twice in Chocolate Chip ink. For one of the stamped images, I used colored pencils and baby oil (“Gamsol magic” technique) to bring him to life, and used my kraft knife to cut him out and then placed him on the original stamped image to make it sort of “3D.” I used my edge distressing tool to add dimension to the panel. The sentiment was stamped on the ruby red panel in the same color ink so that it would have just enough contrast to stand out but not be overbearing.

To help finish off the card and give it a fun little kick I added two strips of “twine,” and tied in two little knots for more detail. All panels of this card were ink distressed using a sponge and coordinating ink colors. I have been doing this to a LOT of my cards, but I think it really adds to the card (when distressing of this nature fits the design), and makes the card complete. It makes for messy fingertips, but skin is washable after all!

And finally, what sort of a happy card is complete without its very own matching envelope? I enlisted the help of my Paisley Perfection set again and love the fun it added. I would l-o-v-e to open my mailbox and see a cheery envelope like this peeking out!

SC126 Charlie Checkin' In envelope detailThank you SO much for looking! Please take a moment to let me know what you think!

God’s blessings and many more happy summer days to you all!

SC129 Perchin’ Pretty For You

  • Stamps: Clear Dollar Stamps “Pretty Perches” and “Tag It”
  • Paper: White, Always Artichoke, Certainly Celery, Close to Cocoa SC129 Perchin' Pretty For You
  • Ink: Close to Cocoa, Always Artichoke, Certainly Celery, and Bashful Blue inkpads and markers; Rose Red marker
  • Accessories: Coluzzle, scallop scissors, ribbon, crystal effects, 3d foam
  • Technique: Sponging

I placed a nice sized Clear Dollar Stamps order last week after spending days on Lorie’s website trying to narrow down my “must-haves” to an affordable order! The stamps came yesterday and I just *had* to sit down and work with them. Pretty Perches is one set I couldn’t wait to experiment with! When I saw the set on her website, I knew it was meant for me, and now that I have it I think I like it even better than I originally thought!

I chose the layout from the recent sketch challenge #129 over on SplitcoastStampers, and I picked the color combination after thumbing through our cardstock collection to find something that matched the mood I wanted for this card. I stamped the bird feeder SC129 Perchin' Pretty detailimage in Chocolate Chip ink after sponging in the cloud background. I cut out the roof and bottom of the feeder as well as the bird and placed them on top of the bottom stamped image to add additional dimension and interest. The “glass” portion of the feeder is covered in Crystal Effects to give it a glass-like gloss. The bird feeder image medallion is affixed to the main panel of the card via leftover scraps of rubber stamp backing to bring the image to life.

Finally, to finish off the card, I used the Tag It set to add the sentiment and frame toward the bottom of the card. After cutting out the frame/tag, I added slits toSC129 Perchin' Pretty tag detail the sides of the tag to make it a ribbon slider and threaded a piece of brown ribbon through it.

Thanks for looking – please let me know what you think!