Monday, August 22, 2016

September Stash Kit

This is my Stash Kit for the month of September. Since September is the beginning of fall, I decided to go with fall-themed goodies that weren't centered around Halloween or Thanksgiving. For the first kit, I gave myself a lot of choices - probably more than I really needed. But my goal is to make at least 1-2 cards with each stamp set.

I chose 3 rubber stamps:
The Greeting Farm - Anya's Day Out (part of Super Secret Stamp Club #9)
The Greeting Farm - OA - Journey (Oliver and Amelia line)
Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps - Let the Good Times Roll!

And 3 photopolymer stamp sets:
Mama Elephant - Chance of Rain
Lawn Fawn - Into the Woods
Penny Black - Homemade

I chose one paper pad to focus on:
My Favorite Things - Fun & Frolic 6x6

And a few embellishments:
Lawn Fawn - Into the Woods Flair
Wplus9 - Autumn Splendor Blue enamel dots

I have also added a small baggie with random ephemera (some die-cut shapes, wood veneer and a couple of stray enamel dots), and enough card bases to make 12 cards.

Throughout September, you'll be seeing the cards I've made with my stash kit. I hope you'll enjoy them!

Thanks for reading!

Stash Kit Project

 Stash Kit Project is a personal challenge created to help me focus on my existing stash and to make use of supplies I've purchased but did not use (or did not use enough). The idea behind this challenge is very simple: create a kit of coordinating stamps, paper and embellishments and make several cards throughout a month with it.

My kits will be similar to card kits you can get from Simon Says Stamp, but I will be adding several stamp sets instead of just one. I'm keeping the first kit pretty simple, just to give myself some time to get used to the process and to go over some other things I may need in future kits. I'm also going to keep track of everything I use with the kits, so I can make them portable for traveling or crafting on the go.

Want to play along with me?
Here's the basic rules:
1) As the goal of this project is to make use of supplies, you should only use what exists in your stash - no shopping for new products allowed!
2) Give yourself some choices, pick products that you've used before and loved, then mix them with products you've never used.
3)  Retired products are good! I encourage you to pick retired goodies as long as they inspire you to create something awesome. Tip: You can google the name of the product and find the product sheet to link to so your readers can see what it looks like before you've played with it.
4) Think small - fewer kit elements mean you have a better chance of completing your goal. You can always add extra items if you run out of everything, but you don't want to be stuck with half a kit to use up as the month winds down.
5) Pick a goal. How many cards will you make? This will both give you something to work toward and help you decide how big your kit needs to be.
6) Have fun! Simplest rule, but the most important one. If you're not enjoying the process and you're forcing yourself to make things, don't be afraid to take a step back. Treat it as a learning experience that will help you construct a better kit next month.

I also thought I'd share how my kits will be stored.
I purchased a set of A4 zipper bags from Amazon, and they're the perfect storage bags. I can add several stamps, a paper pad, some cardstock and embellishments. And since the set comes with 12 bags, I can set up the kits a month or two in advance if I need to.

If you decide to take part in the Stash Kit project, do let me know! I'd love to check out your blog/site and send some extra support your way. :)

Find a follow-up and more information in Part 2.

Thanks for reading!

Edit: I've added a picture for easy post pinning!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Brief Hiatus

Just a quick update today, and a quick card share. Between work and a couple of other life things, I will likely not update much over the next week or so. I'm hoping to still steal away some time to get crafty, but we'll see how that goes.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

STC- Birdie Brown: Birthday Bears

It's time for another Stamp Trio Challenge! This is a personal challenge where I take one stamp and use it to create 3 different cards. This week, I'm using Birdie Brown's Birthday Bears stamp set. If you've taken a glance at my blog, you know I'm a big fan of Torico's illustrations and lovely design style. So, I'm always inspired and excited to use one of her stamps.

Birthday Bears features great images that can be used for birthdays, celebrations and more. There are 2 bear sizes and a variety of accessories. I was also really excited about the sentiments, as it features both punny and classic birthday greetings. Since birthday and thank-you cards are the cards I make most often, it's always nice to have a good variety of sentiments to use.

The first card I created used a lovely striped paper from My Favorite Things called Thick & Thin. I've been really drawn to purple lately, especially when combined with yellow - so those are the colors I chose for the card. I created a front panel using a scalloped rectangle, and I used a stencil and Wild Honey distress ink to create a starry background. I embossed the sentiment onto a black strip of cardstock -- I love how this turned out, making it look like a word sticker.

For my second card, I used the County Fair Plaid paper from MFT. I went with an orange/gold theme for this card, and used some sequins and enamel dots to embellish the space. I also used a curved scallop die to create a fun and interesting shape for the front panel.

For my last card, I found a fun dotty paper in my paper stash and used it as inspiration for the rest of the card. I paired it with a curved white panel at the bottom and a die-cut circle matted with a scalloped pink edge. A few enamel dots and a sentiment finish it off perfectly.

Though I'm happy with all 3 cards, I will continue working with this stamp set to create a few more - in particular, a few masculine cards, as I'm running low on those.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Cheri Love

 My Favorite Things - BB Mon Chéri, Papertrey Ink - Wet Paint Cuts (die)

One of my early childhood memories was drawing a fox pupped on construction paper. It was one of those accidental moments of greatness, as the fox turned out amazing and was featured prominently on the classroom wall. Yet, when I tried to draw that same fox again at home, I just couldn't do it. I think I remember trying a good dozen times without success.

If I think really hard, I can think of a dozen other occasions where those great awesome pieces came accidentally. And they're met with both frustration and joy. Making that great something is an incredible motivation and a nod from the universe that I can do this creative endeavor I'm trying. But it's also frustrating because I can't replicate it effortlessly.

That idea of being great effortlessly has been on my mind a lot lately. Watching videos of artists and crafters creating makes it seem like that's how they do it - effortlessly. All the details come together, all the techniques seem simple and even the mistakes turn into something charming. It seems effortless until you stop and think about how long it took to get there...

For every perfect drawing, that artist has a sketchbook filled with sketches and details that didn't work. For every perfect card video, that crafter has another 5 that didn't make the cut. Those achievements aren't because the individual got lucky - they spent work on developing their skills. And it's that practice work that ensures their greatness.

So, I don't want effortless anymore. I don't want accidental greatness. I want skills born out of work and practice, and all the big and little things learned along the way.

Like today's card... Another attempt at the mystifying clustered layer style I've seen on Pintrest. It still seems impossible to me, and I need heck of a lot more practice... But I'll get there in time.

Thanks for reading,