Friday, August 30, 2019

Now For The Messy Stargazing Card...

I made this clean and simple card with Stampin' Up!'s dreamy Stargazing set a couple days ago.  Judging by the reactions, you guys loved it!  Thank you for the love!

I promised you the "messy" card and here it is.

Stargazing card using Brushos/pigment sprinkles by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

I used Brushos pigment powders to create the background.  We carried these in last year's catalog and MANY people wanted these powders in our own Stampin' Up! colors.  Since we take pride in our perfect color co-ordination, this year's catalog has Pigment Sprinkles in Bermuda Bay, Daffodil Delight, Granny Apple Green, Gorgeous Grape, Mango Melody, and Melon Mambo.

Stampin' Up! Pigment Sprinkles item #149663 page 179 in annual catalog - Shop with Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper!

Aren't those fun, HAPPY colors? You could use them to make vibrant backgrounds for birthday cards or use the Balloon Bouquet Punch to punch out balloons that have variegated swirls!

To make a simple background with Pigment Sprinkles, shake a small amount onto watercolor paper.  Use a Stampin' Spritzer to spray a light amount of water on the paper and watch the colors bleed and blend!  You can shake on one color, or mix two or three for a multi-colored look (I used two colors on my card).  

A couple tips when working with Pigment Sprinkles:

  • They are messy!  If having colored fingers isn't your jam, wear disposable gloves (I found a box of 100 at Walmart in the dishwashing cleaning section).
  • Place your paper in a box so that everything is contained when you spritz on the water.
  • Using more than 3 colors tended to make things muddy and it was harder to control, so I suggest sticking to 3 or fewer at a time.
  • I prefer the look when allowed to air-dry over using a heat tool.  A heat tool's forced air flow spreads the colors around and I prefer everything drying right where it is.  Experiment to see which method you like best.
  • Make a bunch of pieces at one time while you have everything out and then keep them on hand for when you need a quick card.  You can see in my card above I heat embossed a sentiment on vellum, added some silver embellishments, and it was done!
Shop my online store here to start making your own vibrant backgrounds!  

Watercolor paper (item #149612, page 169 )

Stampin' Spritzers (item #126185, page 180)

Pigment Sprinkles (item #149663, page 179)

Buy 3, Get 1 Free Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper Sale - begins September 4 - shop with Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper's Stampin' News

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Clean and Simple

It's difficult to see stars where I live - too much light pollution.  When my oldest daughter and I traveled to Alaska last month, I thought we'd see millions of stars since we were spending 5 days in Prince William Sound.  Well, I forgot that in July it doesn't get completely dark there, not even in the middle of the night.  I did, however, visit a photographer's gallery in Talkeetna and she had on display breath-taking pictures of Alaska's nighttime sky in winter.  I couldn't tear my eyes away - stars were clustered together so that it looked like fairy dust sprinkled over the night sky, with translucent ribbons of blue and purple.  It looked unreal to my light polluted eye.
The Stargazing set from the annual catalog reminds me of those photos in Talkeetna.  I had fun making a couple cards with it, one clean and simple and the other a bit messier (I'll post that one later this week so I can give you details and instructions).

clean and simple Stargazing card by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

Using a splatter technique was the TGIF challenge this week and I knew it would fit the stars theme of this card.  I used a Blueberry Bushel Stampin' Write Marker to create the splatters.  See this post here for my technique.

Thick Whisper White cardstock makes the perfect card base for a clean and simple design.  The stars are stamped in Night of Navy ink.  I used Layering Circles dies to create a Night of Navy focal piece.  The moon image and sentiment were stamped in Versamark ink and heat embossed with Silver Stampin' Powder.  I stamped the moon again on Whisper White cardstock in Crushed Curry ink and used Paper Snips to trim it.  It's layered over the silver stamped moon with Mini Stampin' Dimensionals.  The reason I stamped the moon twice was that I wanted the "star dust" from the image to be retained, but I couldn't fussy cut it out nicely.  By layering the cut piece on the heat embossed image, the "star dust" is still visible.  A sprinkling of silver Metallic Pearls adds a delicate touch.

To see another Stargazing card, see my post here

Thank you for stopping by my blog today!  I so appreciate you coming here and hope you find these cards replicatable!  To order any of the supplies for today's card, click here and choose Nicole Steele as your demonstrator.

Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper Buy 3, Get 1 Free Sale - shop Nicole Steele Stampin' Up! demonstrator

Monday, August 26, 2019

Fall AKA Cross Country Season Has Begun!

My family lives and breathes the sport of cross country.  My husband and I ran in high school and it's how we met - we ran on the same college team.  I coach the middle school squad at our girls' school.  Our oldest daughter ran in high school and now runs for her college.  Our middle daughter has run XC since 7th grade and is currently a junior on the high school team.  Our youngest is a dancer but LOVES attending the meets and is now contemplating running cross country as a freshman this year. 

It's in our blood!

It also means I'm in a fall frame of mind, despite it still being warm enough to develop a tan at practices (a very nice perk to the job of coach).  I made a fall card here, with white pumpkins and a white watercolor pencil.  Very cool technique!  And today I have a fall card with gently falling leaves, touches of gold, and warm colors.

Leaf-filled fall card made with images from Stampin' Up!'s Gather Together set by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

My color palette was inspired by Hand Stamped Sentiments latest challenge.

Because I want this blog to be a virtual classroom for you, I'm offering some tips, along with a card recipe, below.  


  • Lightly spritz your cardstock before running it through your die-cutting machine when using the Gathered Leaves dies.  The water softens the cardstock fibers and gives a deeper embossed impression (the leaves dies in this set both emboss and cut!).  
  • Be liberal with that fun splatter stamp in the Gather Together set!  I used it behind the leaves with Pretty Peacock ink and around the edge of my card base with Versamark ink so I could heat emboss then in gold.
  • Create a simple, but striking, frame for your card by making small diagonal snips in each of the four corners.  Then use your bone folder to fold the paper edges up (see the Pretty Peacock cardstock layer in the photo above).  I learned this technique from Elizabeth Price of Seeing Ink Spots.

Putting It All Together:
(* starred products aren't available until September 4, unless you add them to a Starter Kit when you join my team.  Get your Starter Kit here and choose Nicole Steele as your upline.)

Stampin' Trimmer Blades available August 27 at 10:00AM MST Shop with Nicole Steele Stampin' Up demonstrator

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Prodigal Stamp

One of my stamps decided to go wayward today.  Of course, the stamp was from a brand-new set that I had just opened.  I had to stop in the middle of my project yesterday afternoon because of the need to feed my family and didn't return to said project until this morning.  And the stamp was gone!

I spent 20 minutes painstakingly going through each piece of trash; turned over every trimmer, block, ink pad, and stamp case; did a little dance to shake my clothes out; crawled on the floor to run my hands over the carpet; and wiped my desk clean.  Nothing!  

That's when I decided to pray about it.  God has been answering a LOT of prayers lately for myself and family members, so I figured He's got this, too.  I sat quietly for a minute, eyes closed, telling God He's been so faithful in so many other ways that I just knew He'd show me where my lost stamp was in due time.  I remained sitting quietly for another few seconds, opened my eyes, glanced down and over to the right, and my eyes immediately fell upon the stamp:

Lost stamp found!

No joke, a shiver ran up my spine and I got goosebumps!  I was so excited at the absolutely crazy way my prayer was answered that I ran upstairs to tell my 14-year-old daughter the story.  No prayer really is too small for God!

So what WAS the card I was trying to make during this miracle? 

Stampin' Up!'s Gather Together bundle is used to make a white pumpkin card by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

The TGIF challenge this week was to make a card all in black.

#tgifc225 all in black challenge entry by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

My mind immediately went to white pumpkins.  I love how they look and I thought I could recreate it with a white watercolor pencil on Basic Black cardstock.  It worked!

All those pumpkins were stamped in Versamark and heat set with white embossing powder.  I then used the Gathered Leaves Dies to die-cut the pumpkins and glue them to a Basic Black panel.  I added strips of Come To Gather Designer Series Paper (don't you LOVE that plaid?!) to the top and bottom and also die-cut leaves from it (the leaf die is also from the Gathered Leaves Die set).

Tip for stamping on vellum: I inked up my sentiment with Versamark, then immediately (before putting stamp to vellum) inked up with Early Espresso ink.  This trick allows you to sprinkle on clear embossing powder in any color of ink!

Here are the supplies for this card:
* (starred) supplies will be available September 4 in the Holiday 2019 catalog
I so appreciate your business!  Thank you for choosing Nicole Steele as your demonstrator when shopping.  Please let me know if you would like a catalog if you don't already work with a demonstrator that you love.

Contact me Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper for a Stampin' Up! Holiday 2019 catalog package!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Gate Fold Card with more Perfectly Plaid

It's pretty rare for me to make a fun fold card but I did just that during a marathon Saturday night stamping session.  And before we proceed further, does anyone else find that late-night crafting energizes them?  I hear others say it's relaxing and their down time.  It has the opposite effect on me!  I get wired and more fired up and the ideas start pouring and I can't stop - I have to force myself to go to bed but then I lay there wide awake, unable to turn off the creativity.  

So what came from my late-night Saturday stamping session was an entire Christmas Card class using Stampin' Up!'s snuggly Perfectly Plaid bundle plus more cards just for fun.  I'll be announcing the class soon.  There will be gold and green and red and even jingle bells...I can't wait for you to see the class projects!  

Gate fold card using Stampin' Up!'s Perfectly Plaid bundle by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

I stamped plaid trees in Shaded Spruce ink on Cherry Cobbler cardstock, then brushed the edges with a Versamark ink pad.  Then I sprinkled on Gold Embossing Powder and melted it with a Heat Tool.  I heat embossed the sentiment, too.  I was so excited to see the size of the sentiment - it's perfect and so easy to work with.  Those trees act as closures for the gate fold.

Inside of gate fold Perfectly Plaid card by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper
This is the card when opened.  I just love it!  It makes me want to be in a cozy mountain cabin in front of a fire with fuzzy socks on, sipping hot chocolate.  

You can see my other card made with this suite here.  

There's so much to love about the Stampin' Up! Holiday catalog!  It's available to purchase from beginning September 4 for customers, but demonstrators got to pre-order this month.  My pre-order was stuffed with so many fun new things!  Take a look:

My Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog pre-order! Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

If you'd like a Holiday Catalog and aren't already working with a demonstrator you love, I have one ready to send to you.  I'll add a few product samples from the catalog, too, so you can touch and see how beautiful these offerings are!  Just email me your address.  

Thank you, friend, for the opportunity to earn your business!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Let's Hear It For The Buckeyes!

I love my aunt's buckeyes.

Love is actually a pretty weak word to describe how much I enjoy them, though.  She makes them at Christmas, so I have them just once a year.  That makes them all the more delectable.  I have 364 days to build them up in my mind, remembering the rich combination of peanut butter and chocolate.  I'm embarrassed to say how many I eat at Christmas!  Well, no I'm not.  I eat dozens.  Sure, I could have a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup but they aren't even close to my aunt's buckeyes and I refuse to settle when it comes to sweets.  And, yes, I could just ask her for the recipe and make them any time I want but not only would that be dangerous to my health (because I'd want them every week) it also would take away some of the magic and anticipation of Christmas.  

WELL, my aunt came to visit yesterday and she brought me buckeyes!  My own pan!  In August!  When it's 90 degrees!  Not even close to Christmas!  

My aunt's amazing buckeyes!

It made my weekend.  I am so easily pleased.

I have some irony for you, though.  While the buckeyes made a surprise appearance long before their typical Christmas showing, I have a Christmas card to share with you today.  

Stampin' Up!'s Perfectly Plaid trio of trees using the Pine Punch and Wrapped in Plaid DSP

The Wrapped In Plaid DSP is so cozy - my favorite feeling - and it looks gorgeous paired with gold!  I also love that it is in traditional colors of Shaded Spruce and Cherry Cobbler.  

Did you see this trick to save on paper here?  I used a similar idea with the gold foil mat.  A rectangle is cut from the center of the gold foil piece to use on another project.  The hole left behind is hidden by the Wrapped In Plaid DSP panel.  This trick is such a super way to stretch those pricier papers (like the foils and glimmers).

I used the Perfectly Plaid set to stamp those tree images, three times each in Shaded Spruce.  I stamped their trunks with Early Espresso ink, then used the co-ordinating Pine Punch to punch the trees out.  The stamp set and the punch can be bought as a bundle at a discounted price in the Stampin' Up! Holiday catalog!  

The Shaded Spruce/Gold Striped ribbon is also in the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalog that is available to customers September 4.  But if you want them now, join my team as a demonstrator and you can put them in your Starter Kit.

I have a SUPER fun class planned with this suite of products!  I'll be announcing it in a couple weeks after the catalog goes live.  I can't wait to share the class projects with you!  The ideas with this product suite were flowing so fast - and I'm sharing them all with you as a class because I know you'll love them!

Email Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper to get a copy of Stampin' Up!'s Holiday 2019 catalog!

Friday, August 16, 2019

What To Do With The Cards You Make

Either we make more cards than we are sending or we are letting them languish, unloved and unappreciated, in a plastic tote.  For the casual and avid cardmaker, sometimes this is an issue.  We can't have that!  There's too much creative hard work in those cards for them to remain hidden.  There's also a world of people who are worth celebrating, who are having babies and getting married, who need encouragement, who are ill or recovering from surgery, or who need to know someone loves them.

Now, I don't personally know ALL those people but I know people who do know of others experiencing those life seasons.  So, I share my cards with them.  

My mom volunteers at a local assisted living center and the residents love to send cards, but they can't get to a store to purchase any.  I donate many cards there for those residents to use.  The center also has a gift shop and some of the donated cards are sold there to visitors.  The center uses the money for programs for the residents.  I love that!  

Splitcoaststampers also has a special forum called Cards For A Cause.  Each month a request is posted for a variety of cards to different organizations.  The post explains which organization is requesting, what kinds of cards to donate, and where to send them.  This makes so many so happy!

For fun, I made a video gallery of the cards I am donating.  I just discovered this video making program on my Surface Pro and decided to try it out!  The video gallery is under 2 minutes long and you can click in the bottom right of it to make it full screen for closer viewing.  It was SO fun putting this together!  

Let me feel the love if you enjoyed that!  Comment below and tell me what kinds of cards/projects you'd like to see on this blog.  I so appreciate you!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Throwing This Out There for the TGIF Challenge!

I won the Stargazing set from Stampin' Up!'s annual catalog from a challenge my upline had for our team.  I was so excited because this set has been on my wish list!  I LOVE the starry, dreamy images and the fonts of the sentiments.  This is such a great set for graduates and anyone embarking on a new adventure.  When I saw the TGIF sketch challenge for this week, I immediately had an idea using Stargazing.  I am SO close to the TGIF Challenge deadline so I am very quickly putting this out there.  I just made this card, minutes ago!

watercolored card using Stampin' Up!'s Stargazing set by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper for TGIFC#224

Here's the TGIF sketch:

TGIFC#224 sketch challenge

The background is watercolored with Flirty Flamingo ink and an Aquapainter, but it didn't turn out as evident as I'd hoped.  That was because I watercolored too big of a piece of watercolor paper and had to tear the edges to make it fit the card.  Boo! 

My process, though, was to use my Aquapainter to liberally apply water to a piece of watercolor paper.  Next, I squeezed a couple drops of Flirty Flamingo ink onto a clear block, then used my Aquapainter to pick up the ink and dab it around the wet watercolor paper.  The water took the ink where it wanted to but I tilted the paper around to control it a tiny bit.  I used a Heat Tool to dry it, since I had just 45 minutes to make my card for this challenge!

Now I have to upload this on the TGIF site!  Thank you so much for stopping by my little place on the Internet today.  I really love writing and sharing!

Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Letting Go

We dropped our oldest child off at college yesterday.  

We have three girls and with my husband often feeling out-numbered and out-talked, I am especially close to them.  Together, we've done quite a bit these last 18+years - shopped, baked, rode bikes, taken walks, played games, had special adventures, laughed until we couldn't breathe, and so much more.  

Being someone who reads anything (I read my husband's Family Handyman magazines when he was a subscriber so I can offer plenty of verbal instructions on building a shed from scratch or rewiring your home; just don't expect me to actually KNOW how to do those things), I soaked up every item pinned to the hall bulletin boards.  College is the most expensive fun a person can have, so I wanted to make sure my oldest knew about it all!  By the time I'd read and shared everything, my husband and I were ready to hand the car keys to her and tell her to head back home while we kept her room and returned to college ourselves!

While I feel an ache in my heart today, I'm also very very excited for her.  What touched me the most - to the point of (hidden) tears - was her anxiousness to quickly find a church.  She told us that she was worried she'd drift from her faith and "get into trouble" if she couldn't find a church to attend regularly.  When I heard that concern, I felt peace wash over me.  To spend 18+ years raising her and hear that her most pressing worry was drifiting from her faith in college gave me confidence to let her go.  I'll pray and lift her up before the Lord, knowing God's doing what I cannot.  

Spring- like card using Stampin' Up!'s Daisy Lane set and punches by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

Spring- like card using Stampin' Up!'s Daisy Lane set and punches

The cards I'm sharing today have nothing to do with my post, but are simply a reflection of the joy I feel in seeing my oldest take her first steps of independence, steps that are following right behind the Lord. My sweet, generous upline Lyssa Zwolanek of Song of My Heart Stampers inspired these cards.  I adore being a part of her team!  They lift my soul and make me happy!  I'll be attending OnStage in November, a Stampin' Up! demo event filled with lots of gifts and peeks of new product from upcoming catalogs.  I am so excited to see this wonderful team there!  We just had a team meeting Monday night on Facebook and I was looking forward to it all day.

I used the Daisy Lane stamp set and Medium Daisy punch to make these cards, along with the Shimmer Detailed Lace Specialty DSP.

Here are some other cards using these products.  Click on the photos to get the details:

What new beginnings do you have in your life?  If Stampin' Up! is something you are interested in beginning, whether as a demonstrator or as a new hobby, contact me.  I'd love to help you make your new beginnings happen!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Hold On To Hope

Hope....what a beautiful word.  The power that simple, one syllable word imparts is life-breathing.  I've grappled with overwhelming situations and emotions, and hope - in the form of Jesus - is what kept me moving forward.  Hope is so powerful that to intentionally crush someone's hope isn't just mean and hurtful - it's cruel.
At our church's recent kids' camp, our pastor gave the campers a buzz phrase that was direct and simple to remember: You + Mission = Hope  

Making and sending cards is my mission to give others hope.  I love to write personal messages in my handmade cards and I pray as I write each one that the words I'm given would deliver hope to the one I'm writing to.  The last knot of a person's rope is Hope and I refuse to be the one to untie it.  Everyone needs hope.  No one is excluded from that need, which means it's always the right time to send a card.  

Stampin' Up!'s Hold On To Hope rainbow card by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

How To Make This Rainbow Card:

  1. Cut Thick Whisper White cardstock to 8-1/2" x 5-1/2".  Score at 4-1/4" and fold.
  2. Cut (4) 6" x 1/2" strips of 2108-2020 In Color DSP Stacks paper in each of the five colors.  Cut (4) 6" x 1/2" strips of Gorgeous Grape cardstock.  You should have a total of 24 strips.
  3. To save paper, die-cut the middle of a 5" x 3-3/4" piece of Basic Black cardstock.  I used a butterfly die, but any shape will do (see photos below).
  4. Cover with adhesive a 4-7/8" x 3-5/8" piece of Whisper White cardstock.  You can use SNAIL or Multipurpose Glue
  5. Starting in the middle, adhere one of the 6" x 1/2" strips diagonally.  It should stretch from the top right corner to the bottom left corner.  
  6. Continue to adhere the strips in rainbow order until the cardstock piece is covered.  Trim excess strips.
  7. Glue covered panel to Basic Black mat.  Glue to card base.
  8. Stamp "Hold On To Hope" sentiment in Versamark ink onto scrap piece of Basic Black cardstock.  Sprinkle with White Embossing Powder and heat set with a Heat Tool.  Trim to desired size.
  9.  Adhere die-cut to card base.  Place Stampin' Dimensional down on card base where you want your Silver Metallic Thread to be.
  10. Wrap Silver Metallic Thread around fingers several times, slide off and pinch center with fingers, and stick on to Dimensional.
  11. Adhere sentiment with Stampin' Dimensionals.
You can leave off the Silver Metallic Thread and this card still looks great!

Tip: Die-Cut from your cardstock mat to save paper

Die-Cut from cardstock mat is hidden by top panel!

Shop my online store for the supplies to make this hope-filled rainbow card and I'll send you a Joyful Stamper Thank You Package that includes the new Stampin' Up! Holiday catalog, along with some product samples from that catalog.  I so appreciate you choosing me as your demonstrator!

Stampin' News:
~Get the best deal - join now for $99 and get free shipping, $155 of product YOU get to pick, plus a $10 coupon to use in September.  Yes, you can include Clearance Rack and Holiday Catalog items in your Starter Kit!
~The September Paper Pumpkin kit is Halloween themed!  It comes in a frighteningly fun purple box and wishes us all a Bone Appetit!  Subscribe now to receive it.
~Remember to use your Bonus Coupons by August 31!

Friday, August 9, 2019

It's a BRIGHT celebration!

We celebrate five birthdays a year in the Steele home and it's a tradition to decorate the table and chair of the birthday person.  After the birthday boy/girl goes to bed the night before his or her big day, I pull out my box of decorations and party tablecloth and begin the process.  I throw bright crepe paper streamers over the chandelier in colors of blue, green, pink, yellow, and orange.  I cover the table with a liner that has sprinkles printed on it.  I stand up a 4-foot long cardboard cutout that spells "Happy Birthday" and has shiny purple and pink foil fringe.  There are pinwheels scattered about the table and a present waiting on top of the Special Plate, a platter that only the birthday celebrant may dine from.   

The birthday person also gets to choose what dessert mom makes.  We've had Chocolate Strawberry Delight, Chocolate Beet Cake with Homemade Frosting, Buckeye Cake, Apple Pie, and Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble.  When they girls were smaller, the cakes were more fanciful.  One year, I made a cake that looked like a CandyLand game board.  Another year, I created a pool scene on top of a cake using blue Jell-O, teddy bear graham crackers, and pretzel sticks.  The Pampered Chef sold this mixing bowl that I could bake a cake in, then invert it and stick a Barbie in it and it looked like she was wearing a huge fancy skirt.  None were bakery-perfect, but they all made my family feel so loved and so special.  And they sure were fun to create!

Much like this card:
Celebrate You card using Granny Apple Green, Blushing Bride, and Melon Mambo by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

Both the color scheme and layout are from Splitcoaststampers, a place from which I get a lot of stamping help.  See that polka-dotted ribbon?  I colored it with my Stampin' Blends to match my card!

Color your ribbon with Stampin' Blends to match your paper by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

I used the brush tip of my Stampin' Blends to color the little felt dots on this ribbon.  It didn't ruin the tips, although if you just touch the Blends tip to the ribbon dot, the color flows to it without having to move the Blends tip.  I was so tickled about this trick, I was talking out loud to myself!

Sometimes it's tricky to get a clean cut with more intricate dies.  A couple years ago, I read a tip that has worked perfectly every time and I'm passing it along to you:

For easier die-cutting, use a dryer sheet between your top plate and cardstock by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

I've used this tip to cut lacy hearts and detailed butterflies and the die-cuts peel right off the dryer sheet, leaving the little bits behind.

Must-Haves from This Card:

Stampin' Blends by Stampin' Up!
Color pearls, rhinestones, and ribbons any color you want; get beautiful shading and blending when coloring stamped images; no marker lines

Birthday Backgrounds stamp set by Stampin' Up!

You can make easy backgrounds with the Birthday Backgrounds set.  The stamps are designed so that you can ink and stamp without having to line images up.  They'll look good no matter where you stamp them.
Stampin' Up! Whisper White 5/8" Polka Dot Tulle Ribbon

Soft and easy to tie, this ribbon adds a playful touch to your projects.  And I showed how you can use your Blends to make the dots any color you need.

Shop my online store here to get these must-haves and don't forget to contact me to get your Holiday Catalog Package!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

I Am Daring To Get Dirty

This week is the annual Dare To Get Dirty Challenges at Splitcoaststampers.  It's a fun, completely immersive, creativity-challenging, reality-escaping week of stamping bliss!  While SCS , as it's affectionately known, has challenges of ALL kinds every day all year long, Dare To Get Dirty is a super-charged version of them that members get pretty pumped up about.  And deservedly so!  Some years I make all Christmas cards for the challenges and other years my focus is learning the new techniques.  

I've been a member of the site since 2004.  I credit the passionate and generous community there with growing my creativity.   They also have weekly tutorials that teach techniques and 3-D projects.  I showcased a project in this post here that I made from an SCS tutorial.  Good, honest people stamp over there and you should go check it out.  You should also check out my card for one of the challenges:

Fall thank you card using Stampin' Up!'s Painted Harvest set by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

Yesterday, my card screamed summer.  This one definitely says FALL.  (Will I make a Christmas card tomorrow?  I don't know....come back to find out...).  Those colors of Cajun Craze, Crushed Curry, and Garden Green with a touch of copper in the ribbon are so rich and comforting, my favorite feelings.  And that background!  

Use Stampin' Up! sentiment stamps to create a background by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

What a fantastic way to include a sentiment on your card front when there isn't room to stamp it separately!

And because I love to share, I'll show you a favorite simple technique of mine.  It's a go-to in my stamping design arsenal:

Getting a speckled look with a stamping sponge and ink pad by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper

I did this to the Very Vanilla cardstock panel that the sunflower is adhered to.

I know many of you are summer lovers, but I adore cooler - cold, even! - weather.  This card has me longing for fall and all its glories like cross country, apple cider, and hoodies.  Feel free to convince me in the comments that I should love summer, though!

Here's the recipe for this rich card:

Stampin' Up! Holiday 2019 catalog - get a copy from Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my little piece of the Internet today!  You are appreciated by me!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Another TGIF Challenge!

TGIF Challenges #tgifc223

Aren't you in love with these summer colors?!?! They are the challenge colors this week at TGIF Challenges.  I couldn't wait to use them with the Lilypad Lake stamp set.

Splitcoaststampers Dare To Get Dirty challenge card by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper using Stampin' Up!'s Lilypad Lake set

I stamped the water multiple times with Bermuda Bay ink, overlapping the images.  Then I took a blender pen and colored over it to slightly smear the color.  That's one of my favorite ways to use a blender pen.

I also used the blender pen to fill in my boats, flowers, and sun.  This is a fantastic way to color with a variety of hues without owning markers.  You likely have several colors of ink pads.  One blender pen allows you to use all those ink pads as a marker.  Just dip the tip of the pen into your ink pad to pick up color.  When you want to switch colors, scribble the blender pen on scratch paper until it's clear.  

There's more to this card, though!

Splitcoaststampers Dare To Get Dirty challenge card by Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper using Stampin' Up!'s Lilypad Lake set

I decorated the back of it, too!  What a fun surprise for the recipient!  Doesn't this scene make you long for a sunny day spent on the water or out viewing nature?

To create a hint of a sky, I lightly sponged Pool Party ink on the white base.  Stampin' Up!'s sponges are rather large so here's a tip for you to get the most from the package of three:

Tip: cut your Stampin' Sponges into 4 or 8 pieces

Here's my card recipe so you can make it:

Psst!!  My Stampin' Up! Holiday catalog order is on its way to me so look for multiple Christmas, Halloween, and Fall Classes To Go from The Joyful Stamper.  I know you are all eager to get started on your holiday projects!  

Stampin' Up! Holiday 2019 Catalog cover - ask Nicole Steele The Joyful Stamper for your copy!


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