Monday, September 07, 2015

Create It Simply: Themed Projects Without Themed Products

As I mentioned before, while not new at papercrafting, I am very new to Stampin' Up! Being a stay-at-home mom of 5 in a one income family has taught me that even though I have a wishlist of hundreds (thousands?) of dollars that just isn't practical, or possible. So, I try to make my crafting budget stretch as far as possible. 

When I signed up as a demo I sold a lot of my unused or gently used supplies to pay for my kit.  When you join Stampin' Up! it's $99 for the kit and you pick $125 in product of your choice. When I went to pick out my kit products I knew that I had to make my purchase count. My kit would have to include basics that I could get a lot of use from and that could be used for a variety of projects. When I started this adventure I vowed not to be my own best customer and not to spend more than I could make. I had a budget for supplies and was determined that once it was spent (that didn't take long!) that everything else I had to earn through promotions or profit. 

This weekend a "Labor Day" challenge was issued to our SU team members. To create a baby boy card for a new mom. (LABOR day..she what she did there. FUN team). Well, one of my biggest "budget shopping" tricks is that I seldom buy sets that are for a very specific theme, unless it is one I know I will be using for a LOT of projects such as birthday and thank you.

Knowing that I didn't have any stamps specifically for babies. I sat down at my desk to have a look at what I had on hand.

The first thing I checked was my Teeny Tiny Wishes set. This was one of the sets I picked with my kit and I was sure it probably had a baby greeting in there somewhere...yep! 

Next, I looked to see what I had to go with it. I couldn't use flowers or butterflies since it was a boy. Well, I could but ya know, I probably shouldn't. It's still summer so I didn't think leaves or snowflakes would work. Ah! There we go...birthday! 

This Endless Birthday Wishes was a free set I earned through my upline. I chose this set for a couple of reasons. First, it's birthday. Everyone has birthdays--as my dad says, it beats the alternative. But if you look it has a simple cake and a variety of words that would work on different projects. "Hello" for a simple all occasion card. "It's all about" could be masked and added with "party" to create "It's a Party" (keep reading for find out more on that). Things like girl, boy, awesome and enjoy would be great for Project Life. So, as you can see--themed but versatile.

I stamped the "hello baby" sentiment on a scrap of paper. Then I placed the clear stamp over it to check sizing. Yep! Perfect!!

Now, since the cake is clear and the "baby" is cling mount red rubber, and I'm not fortunate enough to own a MISTI or fancy stamp aligning tool, I began by stamping the sentiment first so I could get a well-aligned placement.

The only part of this sentiment I wanted was the word "baby". So, I simply used a quick technique to get just that part. This is the same technique that could be used to get "It's a" from "It's all about you". Place the stamp on the block and cover the unwanted part with tape. Any kind of tape works, just whatever is handy.

Ink the stamp with the desired color.

Peel off the tape and only the part that was left uncovered will remain inked.

Now it's ready to stamp!!

Next, stamp the cake image over the word "baby". Since it is a clear stamp you can easily see to align it perfectly.

Then to my next issue.  It seems that most baby cards are pastel blue/pink. Well, unless it's for my daughter then I get to use red and black and turquoise because she inherited my pastel avoidance gene. Seriously, I silently cringe at the thought of pastel colors. I buy Brights...LOTS of brights. SO..Back to that pesky budget thing. I don't own any pastel markers.  What I do own is a Soft Sky ink pad because ya, know...I kinda like snowflakes and people usually expect light blue or white. And I own a blender pen. 

When trying to figure out what I need I was told by my upline  "a blender pen is a must". Of course I'm over here like "hellooo? Clean and Simple no coloring girl here". But, being the new girl I took their word for it and ordered the stinkin'  awesome blender pen. Today I figured out why! Take that Soft Sky ink pad and wipe it on an acrylic block. Then swipe the blender pen through it. Voila! A Soft Sky marker ;)

Then take that and color the image, reloading color as needed. This was my practice image and you'll notice the top picked up some of the black ink. Don't do that. Just dot the color on so it fills in the area without blending the black.

I finished coloring the image. Then I sat there staring at the panel as my 6 year old rambled incessantly about the picture he was stamping and how the puppy was named Spot. I'm all about clean and simple but that just looked really plain. I could have cheated and pulled out my non-SU supplies. But since it was a SU team challenge I thought better of it. 

I stared at the small pile of supplies on my desk, wishing I had that unlimited budget my kids thing I have. And I had an idea. I pulled out my ruler. Yep, 2-inches at the widest point. PERFECT!

I trimmed my panel to 2-inches in width.

Then came this amazing tool. I *love* this punch and use it constantly. This is the Triple Banner punch. It not only creates banners but it makes them in 3 widths-1-inch, 1.5-inch and 2-inch. Yeah, 2-inches like that panel I just trimmed. ;) 

Now, I wanted a border around my banner. Soft Sky to match the cake. But, the punch only goes to 2-inches in width and I can't fussy cut to save my life. So, I trimmed the sides with my paper trimmer.

To finish the bottom, go pick the punched scrap back out of the trash or floor or wherever it landed. Place it just below the banner and trace.

Remove and cut along that line and there you have it. 

Of course the banner was too long for my card. So I placed it where I wanted and trimmed the top.

Finally, I wrapped it with some linen thread, attached it to the card base and added some pearls. I like the thread because it's a nice neutral color that goes with a variety of designs. Same with the pearls.

And there you have it! A baby card created without a baby themed stamp set!

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