Friday, May 25, 2012

As You Graduate

Today is the last day of school and now our baby will be an official senior. I am holding on because I already know how fast this ride goes! Summer will fly by in a flurry, admissions essays, SAT & ACT exams will be taken and Kylie will start her college applications and school tours. Next it will be her final season of volleyball, senior night, powder puff, senior project, prom and the final yearbook signing...all leading up to graduation night. It took me a few minutes to summarize in words and I believe this year will fly by equally as quickly when looking back. So seniors...savor every moment! Soak in every great lesson there is to learn and focus on having no regrets when you graduate. Congratulations to Joe, John, Meagan, Kaitlyn, Adrian, Nick and all the other graduates of the Class of 2012!

For this year's grad cards, I found inspiration from a card that I cased on Pinterest, created by Beth Apalooza.

Making it My Own
I modified the design slightly and created these cap & gown cards in assorted colors:

These are perfect to use as cards, announcements or thank you notes!

Here are some close up pictures of the individual cards...

The West Shore Colors (Navy & Silver)

Viera High Colors (Green & Gold)

Standard Black & White with Gold
(this one is for my niece's 8th grade graduation)

The easiest way that I found to mass produce these cards was to cut out templates of the paper piecings.
Here are some of the dimensions that I used:
Large triangle: 4-1/4" tall x 3-5/8" wide
Smaller triangle: 2" tall x 1-1/2" wide
Cap: 2-1/4" square
Striping: Cut 1/4" x 3-1/2" strips to glue and overlap under cap; trim excess from top of card.

Now for the tassel making tips:
1. Cut your template. I used a scrap of card stock 1-7/8"w x 2"h (*Note: the width doesn’t matter).
2. Wrap colored floss (embroidery thread) approx. 8 full loops around the cardstock and cut end.
3. Thread a small piece of thread under the top strands and knot. 
4. Next cut the bottom strands to remove from template. 
5. Cut a small piece of floss long enough to blend the ends in with the tassle.
6. Make another small knot to create the top of the tassle and blend threads in with the rest of the tassle. 7. Punch hole or make a slit with a cutting blade and mat to thread top tie of tassle through the hole. 
8. Insert colored mini brad in hole, knot the floss and trim before gluing onto card. 
**For added dimension, you can use double sided adhesive foam on back side of the cap.

Other ideas:
• Add a personalized mini diploma created on your computer.
• Dress up girl cards with rhinestones, mini pearls or bling, as on the card I cased.
• Use white or metallic alphabet stickers to personalize or add messages.
• Stamp a verse in versamark ink, then heat emboss in white or gold on the front or inside of cards.
(I did this on inside as well as to dress up the outside of the envelope. I used a collage of Good Luck, Congratulations and Graduation stamps and used the writing tip of the Versamarker pen to write in the lucky grad's name before embossing with gold embossing powder.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In Search of Dolphins

We arrived in Florida in 2004, oh yes, that dreaded year of multiple hurricanes! It was a very memorable one, and like most newcomers, we were thinking that we would be seeing dolphins and gators fairly regularly. The reality is that you are more likely to spot a University of Florida gator before ever seeing a real one, and as for dolphins, the tail goes like this...

We were renting a home beachside near the Eau Gallie causeway so for the first month, the girls and I would randomly drive up by the causeway, park and stand by the Indian River in hopes of spotting some dolpins. We went on the pier behind the library and waited...and waited. We scoured the water from above each time we drove over the causeway (the bridge connecting mainland to beachside), with no real luck. So we finally brought daddy along and discovered Mather's Bridge (a crossing for cars and people connecting Indian Harbor Beach with the southern tip of Merritt Island.) It was here that we had our first, exciting dolphin siting...two dolphins feeding and playing by the bridge. The girls were around 9 & 11 at the time and super excited to see dolphins this close. Finally, it felt like we lived in Florida!

Two years later, we got to experience one even closer doing the Swim with the Dolphins experience at Discovery Cove, something Ashley will never forget about turning 13. Charlotte was our dolphin, a very dominant female who wasn't exactly the cuddly type, however we got to kiss her, touch her, and hang onto her fin and go for a very fast swim through the water. Dolphins are so muscular and full of power. My sister and I posed for a funny photo trying to lift the dolphin, or at least pretend to. Good things our lives didn't depend on it because even in water, they are extremely heavy!

Today’s card reminded me of these fun dolphin experiences. I used an swirly embossing template on my cardstock, inked a sponge and rubbed it over the surface to bring out the texture more in random spots. In wanting to create a colorful layer, I chose to emboss the retired SU dolphin stamp in silver and use blender pens and markers to create the faux watercolor effect.

Try out some of these techniques when creating your next card:
• Rub ink over embossing to really make the texture stand out
• Use gold or silver heat embossing to contain the colors when using actual watercolors
• Create a faux watercolor effect using markers and blender pens*

*To accomplish soft, subtle colors, rub a brush end of a marker onto a slick surface such as plastic packaging or a piece of acetate. Use a blender pen (marker with brush tip) to pick up some of the color and brush it onto your stamped image. You can use a piece of scrap paper to test color first or to color on and lighten your color before applying to stamped image.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Making Birthdays Oh So Sweeter!

Using the great embellishments and papers from Little Yellow Bicycle's Cupcake Love collection  can make any birthday card just that much sweeter! See for yourself in these easy to create card samples.

Felty cupcakes are just so yummy!
On the card below I added some rhinestone bling to my verse to coordinate with the heart rhinestone on the cupcake. For bright cheery cards, try this color combo: hot pink, yellow, magenta and white!

The card below also combines a new patterned paper from Stampin' Up!®, a wonderful sample from my demonstrator friend, Ree Nathan.

Sunny Sweet
I just love it when I can mix together a bunch of scraps, some new patterned cardstock, pull a few elements from my vast cardmaking stash pile and turn it into something cheerful to wish someone a wonderful birthday!

Hope these ideas sweeten your day and help you to..