Thursday, March 28, 2013

Taylored Expressions Stamp of the Month Club

Hi there!  Today I have another card featuring the newest addition to Taylored Expressions. . .the Stamp of the Month Subscription!  We kicked off this new subscription earlier in March and today I have another card to show you using this month's set, Make It Memorable.  Did you know that you can also purchase coordinating dies?  I used the Make It Memorable Die Set on this card as well. 

I used the dies and paper pieced the flower using patterned papers from the March Key Ingredients. . .which, by the way, coordinate perfectly with Make It Memorable!  Did you know you can also get BOTH the Key Ingredients and the Stamp of the Month for a reduced price?  It is called the Deluxe Subscription

For my card, I stamped the medallion image in different colors and created the background for this card.  The band across the middle was die cut using the Banner Stacklets 2.  The Stamp of the Month Club can be purchased for a monthly charge of $20 (U.S.), $22 (Canada), $24 (other countries) which includes shipping. The third subscription option is the Deluxe Key Ingredients Club, and that is to receive both the Key Ingredients AND the Stamp of the Month at a reduced price.  You can find all the subscription options HERE.  Thanks for stopping by today and have a wonderful day! 


Monday, March 25, 2013


I don't know about you, but we are a bit snowed in this morning.  Not terribly. . .the kids only have a 2 hour delay, but I like that because it gives us some extra time in the morning!  ;)  Yesterday I got to spend some time in my studio and worked with the latest Deconstructed Sketch.  I used the Vintage Dreamer set from Taylored Expressions along with the Lost & Found 3 Oliver Collection from My Mind's Eye. 

I used the frame image from the Vintage Dreamer set.  I stamped it in white craft ink onto a transparency and carefully heat embossed it in white.  I cut it out and then mounted it on the card with foam tape.  I stamped the sentiment in navy ink, punched it out and attached it over the transparency frame to "hide" the foam tape.  To dress it up, I added some pearls to the sentiment piece. The little "flags" from the sketch were created using the Banner Stacklets 1.  This card came together pretty quickly. . .I love when that happens!  :)

Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope your week is off to a great start! 


Sunday, March 24, 2013

VLV Beautiful

Today I have a card using the latest Viva la Verve Sketch.  This week's sketch is hosted by Anya and it's a great one!  I started with the Beautiful Plain Jane and then built the card around that.  I thought the butterflies from So Fluttery would work well with the sentiment.  I also thought the word "beautiful" from the set would work on that little side tab on the sketch.  The tab was die cut using the Flag It Die Set.  The papers are from the Collectable Memorable Collection from My Mind's Eye. 

I stamped the butterflies on the sentiment panel and then die cut a butterfly with the Flutterby Die and stamped it just as the other two.  This butterfly, however, is popped up with foam tape and I added some pretty pearls down the center.  As a finishing touch, I added some stitching to the card as well as a heart border using the Scalloped Trim Trio

Come play along with the sketch!  There's always a chance to win some Verve!!  For more details, visit the Viva la Verve Thread.  Thanks for stopping by today and have a wonderful Sunday! 


Friday, March 22, 2013

Mojo Smile

Happy Friday!  Boy did this week fly by.  I'm thinking it's because my hubby was on Spring break.  We can never seem to finish all the things we plan to do when his break comes!  lol  I did find some time to play around with this week's Mojo Monday Sketch.  I used the new Smile Plain Jane from Verve. 

The papers are from the Campfire Collection from October Afternoon.  I used a piece of Verve's Seam Binding as the ribbon on the card, and the star was die cut using the Starry Die.  I stamped the sentiment twice.  Once in black and once in Cherry Cobbler ink and then cut out the "you" banner and attached it with foam tape over the one stamped in black. 

You can find the sketch and lots of beautiful card using the sketch on the Mojo Monday Blog.  Thanks for stopping by today and have a wonderful weekend!!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Taylored Expressions March Studio Challenge

 Hi there!  It's time for the Baker's Dozen Studio Challenge.  This is a monthly opportunity for the Taylored Expressions team to share what makes our stamping studios hum.  Each month we  have a fun, crafty question so we can share our favorites, some tips and tricks, stamping advice and more.

The question for March is:
You oughta be in pictures!! 
We all love to share our completed projects with others on our blogs and in on-line galleries.  So, when the stamping ends, the photography begins.  This is a fun step for some and a frustrating one for others.  How is it for you?
Tell us how you get those beautiful project photos.

My "setup" for taking photos of my projects for my blog is nothing really fancy.  In fact, I've been using it for a very long time.  Quite a  few years ago, I read a tutorial by Kurtis Amundson about creating an Infinity Board.  It's basically a big piece of foam core board that is cut to bend and create the "floor and background" of your photo.  A piece of sketch paper is taped over it so you don't see the hard bends in the board.  The sketch paper hangs like a photographer's backdrop would, curving forward to become the floor as well. That and an Ott light that I bought on sale at Joann's are what I use. 
As you can see in the picture, the foam core board is "well loved"!  LOL  For the actual project to sit on, I will use either a doily or this bamboo-like placemat.  It depends on whether the project is "elegant" or "fun and cute".  I'll use the doily for the elegant projects.  :)  I take a TON of pictures using different angles, getting closer to or futher from the project because I never know what's going to look the best.  Plus, sometimes those pics you think are great have a slight blur when you actually view them on the computer.  :(

Here is a photo of my project completely unedited.  When I started, I took all my pictures with a Kodak Easy Share camera.  It took great pictures!  A couple of years ago, I got a Nikon D3000 and I LOVE it.  It's an entry level DSL, but it works for what I need. . .my project photos and, of course, photos of my family! 

When I upload my photos to my computer, I first work in the Windows Live Photo Gallery.  That's where I crop, straighten, brighten and sharpen my photos.  This is where I weed through the photos and only keep the ones I'm going to finish editing in Photoshop Elements.  I will usually end up with a picture of the photo and a closeup of the photo by the time I go into Photoshop.  NOTE:  I have the full Photoshop, but I've been so used to PSE for so long, I haven't made the switch!  LOL 

Photoshop Elements is where I fine tune the lighting levels, add my watermark and resize the photo.  Sometimes I will add an inner glow to the photo.  I just recently changed my process in PSE after I watched/read Joanne's Photo Editing tutorial on Splitcoaststampers.  The reason I started using these steps is because I found that sometimes (especially when I would upload a card to SCS as an attachement to a post) the photo wasn't very clear.  It somehow became a bit distorted.  I have found that Joanne's "Save for the web" step has significantly changed how my photos appear on SCS. 

For my project I used the Bon Voyage set from Taylored Expressions along with papers from the Family Ties Paper Collection from Pebbles.  I created the waves with the Wave Border Die and the clouds with the Cloud Border Die.  The sentiment is stamped on a piece that was die cut using the Banner Stacklets 1

I hope you've enjoyed a peek into my project photo workflow!  Visit the rest of the Baker's Dozen to see how they get their beautiful photos!  I know I can't wait to pick up new tips!!

Carole Burrage
Jen Shults
Kerri Mchaud
Lynnette Kauffman
Sankari Wegman
Shannon White
Shelly Mercado
Stephanie Kraft
Tammie Edgerton
Taylor VanBruggen
Wanda Guess



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