Challenges, Challenges and More Challenges!

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Nov 9, 2007 in Cards, Crafts

Just a few cards for this week’s challenges…

Yesterday’s “Ways to Use It” challenge asked us to use velvet on a card in some way – I chose to use velvet ribbon and made this card:

Velvet Rose Card

I started with a piece of double sided tape and wound the velvet ribbon around and around until it formed this flower.  I used scalloped scissors on the bottom edge and stamped a tiny sentiment on the lower right corner.  The paper behind the flower is ivory with brown polka dots – it looks a little odd in the photo, but is cute in real life…

I also made a card for this week’s demonstrator challenge for the ’emboss resist’ technique:

Emboss Resist Card

To do this technique, start with a piece of neutral colored cardstock and randomly stamp an image with VersaMark ink (the flower images on this card).  Then heat emboss the images with clear embossing powder. 

Next, brayer a darker ink on top of the embossed images.  The embossing powder will resist the ink, revealing the color of the cardstock underneath (white on this card).  It helps sometimes to wipe the ink from the embossed images with a paper towel after brayering.

I had fun with today’s Limited Supply challenge!  We were to make a card using only animal, background and sentiment stamps and punches – no other embellishments.

Dog birthday card 

I picked up the dog stamp at a stamp show some time ago – the dog already had a party hat on in the stamped image, but I decided he needed an even larger hat.  The dog’s face is priceless – it’s the same look my dogs had on their faces when I dressed them up for Halloween! 


Happy Vacation Card

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Nov 7, 2007 in Cards

Here’s the SplitCoastStampers sketch for today’s challenge:


And here’s my card:

Happy Camper

I had so much fun with this card.  I popped up the door and window on the stamped camper (does that make it a ‘pop-up’?) then used a silver brad as a doorknob.  I used some hemp twine and hung a punched-out sign on which I stamped ‘happy vacation’.  I also cut out a few signs from the coordinating wheel for the Happy Camper stamp set and added a brad to each for a ‘nail’.  I also tied some hemp twine around the bases and popped them up for a little added dimension (plus, with all that twine, they’d never lay flat!).

On the background, I used the Canvas background stamp and tried something different – instead of stamping it straight on, I moved it around on the cardstock and tried to get a more rustic effect.  Hopefully, it worked! :)


Stamp Club Projects

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Nov 6, 2007 in Cards, Crafts, Other items

At our last stamp club meeting, I demonstrated the ‘reflection’ technique using a piece of acetate (AKA – an overhead transparency). My friend Denise mentioned that she has a whole stock of acetate sheets at home – I promised her that this month’s stamp club would give her some new ideas on how to use them. I’m calling it “All About Acetate”!

Note: If you are attending my stamp club meeting tomorrow night and want to be surprised with the projects, read no further! :)

First, I’m going to show a simple make-and-take acetate card. Here’s the project they will be making:

Acetate Card

To make this card, we’ll take a sheet of acetate and fold it in half, stamping the swirls with white StazOn ink. Then we’ll stamp the tree image onto the smallest piece of paper. We will adhere the paper to the front of the card, then adhere a slightly larger piece of paper behind it to the OTHER side of the acetate – this way, no adhesive will show. Next, we’ll add a slightly larger piece of paper to the right side of the open card as a place to write a greeting. Finally, we’ll add an even slightly larger piece of paper to the very back of the card – again, to the other side to hide the adhesive.

I am also going to demonstrate the ‘acetate and tissue’ technique with this card that I’ve posted before:

Card - acetate tissue

For this technique, stamp your image onto a piece of acetate with StazOn ink. Then on the reverse side, add some color with a few drops of re-inkers, then coat the back with Crystal Effects. Rub it around with your fingers, then add a little glitter, if you’d like. Apply a piece of crinkled tissue paper on top of the glue/ink mixture and allow it to dry. Then trim the tissue paper and adhere to your card.

Another way to use acetate is with the “smackin’ acetate” technique. Here’s the card I’m going to demonstrate:

Smackin' Acetate

For this technique, take your acetate and scribble on the back with several colors of markers. Then spritz the acetate with water and press onto a piece of neutral colored cardstock. You’ll get a nice watercolor background. You can keep the acetate on top, or just stamp right on top of your background as I’ve done here.

You’ll notice that I’m using a lot of blue for Christmas this year – I’m just trying to branch out from the usual green and red. In fact, I’m also going to show this little purse I made out of a Stampin’ Up! tin:

Tin purse

The Crop-A-Dile is great – it just punches right through so I can add a ribbon handle!

Anyway, back to acetate. I am also going to demo this card:

Holiday ANgel

If you look closely, you’ll see that the angel is stamped on acetate and her hair, robe and wings are each made up of different patterns. To achieve this effect, I stamped the angel on several different types of patterned paper in addition to the acetate. Then I carefully cut out the different pieces from the patterned paper and adhered them behind the acetate, lining up the pieces. Here’s a hint – stamp the patterned paper on the REVERSE side so that you won’t see the stamped lines under the acetate. To get the pieces to stick to the acetate, I ran the acetate angel through my Xyron machine. It’s kind of a interesting, stained glass look, but with patterns instead of solids.

Here’s another way to use acetate – “magic cards”. On these cards, the image stamped on the acetate is black and white, but when you pull it up, it appears to be colored in.

Here’s my sample with no color:

Magic Card down

The sentiments are stamped behind the clear acetate panel with the truck. When you pull it up…

Magic Card - up

The truck is colored in. To achieve this look, you stamp the truck twice – once on the acetate panel and again on a neutral cardstock. Color in the image on the neutral cardstock and place another piece of cardstock between them to hide the colored image, attaching the acetate and colored image at the top. When you pull the piece, the acetate will lay on top of the colored piece (make sure they line up), coloring it in like magic!

For a second make-and-take, we will make a Christmas ornament using acetate. The make-and-take will be a simplified version of these:

Acetate Ornaments

The first step is to stamp your image onto a piece of acetate using StazOn ink. Cut the image into a circle slightly smaller than the ornament (I used a Coluzzle for this step). Next, color in the reverse side of the image with permanent markers (I recommend Sharpies). You can stop here, or for a little extra bling, coat the back of the image with a thin layer of Crystal Effects and sprinkle on a little Dazzling Diamonds glitter.

After the glue has dried, roll the image into a tube shape and insert it into the ornament. If your acetate circle is small, punch a hole in the top of the circle and tie it to the top of the ornament with some ribbon or cord to keep it from falling over.

You can also add a little glitter, snow or whatever other embellishment you’d like inside the ornament.

Here’s another idea for these glass ornaments…fill them with rolled patterned paper! Just roll the paper around a pencil and insert the rolls into the ornament:

Paper ornaments

How fun and easy is that?!?! I think I’m going to make a centerpiece with these for the holidays this year.

Slightly off topic, but another easy ornament idea – take a foam ball and some pins and tack in small pieces (1″ X 2″) of paper folded into points:

Pinecone Ornaments

The result is an ornament that kind of resembles a pinecone – a great project for older kids, too!

Okay – one more acetate project…here’s the last make-and-take:

Peek-a-boo box closed

It’s this adorable little box – perfect for party favors! This box is really tiny – only about 2″ X 2″ – and on the inside:

Peek-a-boo box open

Is a little acetate peek-a-boo window to show off the treasures! I got this template from SplitCoastStampers’ user Qbee – here’s a link to the thread with the box template.

And here’s another version that I made:

Peekaboo box

Peekaboo box open

How cute would this be as a place card for Thanksgiving?

Whew! That’s a lot of projects to show – I hope we’ll end at a reasonable time this month – and I hope everyone enjoys the projects, too!









Snowman Card

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Nov 6, 2007 in Cards

Today’s color challenge on SplitCoastStampers was to use Soft Sky, Ruby Red and Wild Wasabi colors. I had a card idea in mind that I wanted to try, and used this challenge as an excuse to play:

Snowman card

I saw a similar card at Regionals and thought it was just adorable! I love the idea of the swirls as the wind and the snowman reaching up for his hat – too cute!

I kept my card flat so that I could also use it for last week’s Limited Supplies challenge. For that challenge, we had to make a holiday card that was totally flat with no embellishments (so that it doesn’t require any extra postage). This one qualifies!

I did add some Dazzling Diamonds along the snow line at the bottom of the card – it doesn’t show too well in this photo. I also used the masking technique so that the scarf and hat appear in the front on the card.


Punch Art Challenge

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Nov 5, 2007 in Cards

One more challenge…the demonstrator “punch art” challenge.  The challenge was to use only Stampin’ Up! products and include punched shapes on the card as well.  I looked at all the punched shape objects I’ve done before, and I just felt like they were too ‘cartoony’  for me today – I wanted the card to seem more elegant, but still use punched shapes.

So I came up with this:


I used the oval punches for leaves with a “Pretties” flower.  This card looks much nicer in real life – the flowers kept flopping over as I was trying to photograph them.

I also used my Build-A-Brad again as the center of the flower – I love playing with them!


"Try A New Technique" Challenge

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Nov 5, 2007 in Cards, Crafts

Let’s just say that I was having more than a few blonde moments this morning.  I went to check the challenge board on SplitCoastStampers this morning and saw the Shopping Tote challenge at the top of the board. 

I assumed that was the challenge for today, and worked for quite a while to complete my Shopping Tote project:


I lined the inside of the tote, stamped the outside and even used my sewing machine to stitch around the edges and on the handles.  I added a stick pin and flower from the Pretties Kit and included a little tag on the handle, too.

When I went to post to the message board, I saw that the tote was NOT the challenge for today – someone had just posted to the tote challenge which moved it up to the top of the list!

So…I decided to do the actual challenge for today – a pocket card.  So I made this:


I used the Wintergreen designer paper for color inspiration and watercolored the images using ink and a blender pen.  I also used a scallop punch for the pull-tab on the card inside and thought I was happy with this design…until I went to post it and saw that the challenge was for a HORIZONTAL pocket card, not a vertical one.

Sigh…after that, I decided to give up on this challenge for today…


Emerging Colors Card Challenge

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Nov 5, 2007 in Cards

For Sunday’s Featured Stamper challenge, we were to take a card from the gallery of SplitCoastersStampers member “jpmayo” and CASE it into a card of our own.

I chose this beautiful card of hers:

And used it as inspiration to make this card of my own:

Card - Featured Stamper

I just loved how she used the large flower in the Fabulous Flowers stamp set to reveal the colors beneath!  I changed the color palette to pinks and browns and found all this great ribbon that I thought really fit the phrase “dare to be fabulous”.  I added a little bling on the letters and in the center of the cut flower as well.

This technique is called “emerging colors” – it’s very simple to do. 

  • First, take a sheet of white or vanilla cardstock and stamp your design – in this case, several flowers in different shades of pink. 
  • Then stamp your large image right on top of your design using VersaMark ink. 
  • Heat emboss the large flower using clear embossing powder.
  • Next, sponge or brayer the darker ink (Close to Cocoa in my sample) over the entire white/vanilla stamped sheet.
  • Wipe the ink from the embossed flower -the clear embossing powder will resist the dark ink revealing the stamped images beneath.




Inspiration Cards

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Nov 5, 2007 in Cards

After going away for the weekend, I got behind on my SplitCoastStampers challenges – I really missed doing them.  So I tried to catch up today…

These cards are for Saturday’s Inspiration Challenge.   For the challenge, we were to take a person who inspires us and make a card to reflect that person’s style.

First, I made a card inspired by my friend Denise.  When she scrapbooks, she tends to use very retro patterned paper and embellishments – very reminiscent of the sixties.  I saw the SEI line of paper called, “Hippie Chick” and I couldn’t help but think of her!  I also had this great stamp with an image of a woman with a very retro hair cut.  I thought I’d put the two together and here is the result:

Card - inspiration Denise

Pretty groovy, don’t ya’ think?  I also gave the woman some pink lips with a marker and blue eyeshadow with some pastels.  The sticker in the lower left corner says, “Feelin’ Groovy”- I layered it on some cardstock and popped it up with a Stampin’ Dimensional.   Fun, fun!

Next, I made a card inspired by my friend Marie (I’d link you to her blog, but she doesn’t have one!).  Marie was trying to use a particular non-Stampin’ Up! stamp the other night at a crop and was getting very frustrated – I can see why!  It took me 12 attempts to get it to stamp a decent image (see – this is why I love Stampin’ Up! stamps so much!).

Anyway, Marie loves to use layers and sparkles – and also inks the edges of all the pieces she uses on a card.  So, Marie, here’s my card inspired by you:

Card - Inspiration Marie

I chalked the stamped images and used some of Basic Grey’s Blitzen paper line for the background.  I also took a chipboard snowflake and covered it with heat-and-stick powder then added lots of Dazzling Diamonds for some major bling!  I also inked lots of the edges and stamped a simple sentiment on the lower right corner.

Thanks to you ladies for the inspiration – hope you like the cards!


Setting Up For The Winter At Otter Lake

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Nov 5, 2007 in Family Stuff

Mike and I headed up to Otter Lake in Marshall’s Creek in the Poconos this weekend to set up camp for the winter.  That’s right – the WINTER!!!!  Our camper will be parked at Otter Lake from November through March and we can camp as much as we’d like to during that time.  Kind of like winter storage…but better!

Now…I’m not much of a winter person, but I kind of like the idea of having a little getaway to escape to when the winter doldrums set in.  Otter Lake Campground is set in the beautiful Pocono mountains and is open all year with an indoor pool and hot tub.  They also have a large lake that freezes for ice skating as well as snowmobile trails and access to other winter fun at the local ski resorts.

The only downside is that the campground turns off water to the campsites as of November 1st. Which means that whenever we need to use the bathroom, take a shower or even wash our hands, we have to use the bathhouse.  Fortunately, Mike chose a site that is really close to both the bathhouse and the indoor pool – here’s our site:

Setting up at Otter Lake

And, from our site,here is the pool/bathhouse:

From our site to the indoor pool

The field/playground/lake:

From our site to the field and lake

And a big old rock for the kids to climb!

Climbing rock

Mike and I went without the kids for the weekend – a VERY rare thing!  We took advantage of the time alone and went out for some nice meals, spent an afternoon antiquing and visited the little town of East Stroudsburg for a little shopping, too. 

So look for more winter fun with the Torrences to come this season!


Remember When Halloween Was "Cute"?

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Nov 1, 2007 in Family Stuff

When did Halloween go from this:

Matt as a pumpkin



To this:

Halloween Costumes

That’s Andrew (13), Emily (5) and Matthew (8) in the photo.  They grow up SO fast…and so scary, apparently!

We had a terrific Halloween filled with parties, trick-or-treating and of course, CANDY!!!  The weather was great and the kids had lots of fun.  Now if I can just swipe my favorite candy bars from their stash while no one is looking… :)

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