Elizabeth Cooper
I recently purchased my first stamp kit from Unity Stamp Co., and I have to admit, I'm hooked! The stamps are beautiful, and of very good quality. So of course, I had to join in on their monthly challenge for another excuse to use those lovely stamps.

This month's Unity Stamp Challenge is for us to create a card using stamps from Unity Stamp Co. on the theme of "new beginnings". I love challenges that are open to interpretation, so armed with that theme, I set to work. And this is what I came up with:

For me, the saying "Follow Your Heart" has always meant, "Take a risk. Do something that scares you. Try something new." So I couldn't think of a better sentiment to use for this theme.

I started with some vanilla cardstock, which I used for the card base. Then I layered some pattern paper from the Alla-Prima 6x6 paper pad onto some green and kraft cardstock pieces to give the paper a pretty matted-border. I then adhered the new panel to the card, and ran the whole thing through my Big Kick machine using the Cuttlebug Musical Flourish folder to give it that textured look.

For the sentiment, I die cut a piece of kraft cardstock using the Lifestyle Crafts Nesting Frame 1 dies. Then I stamped the beautiful stamp, which is part of the Unity Stamp Co. "Follow Your Heart" set, using Versamark ink. I embossed it in white embossing powder and attached it to the card using foam adhesive.

I used some thick twine from my stash to create the "lines" at the top and bottom of the sentiment. Then I layered some Prima flowers and used brads from a Reflections set to create the look I wanted. I adhered them using Glue dots to the twine.

Finally, I used Stickles in X-Mas Red to create the heart outline, and filled it in using more Stickles - in Crystal this time.

Elizabeth Cooper
Well, it's been a great week for challenges! I wanted to enter this week's Stampin' For The Weekend challenge, simply because I couldn't resist the theme. It's super simple -- "Out with the Old". Basically, we were encouraged to use our stash from last year. I've got a ton of supplies I bought in 2011 that I never got around to using, so I pulled some of them out and went to work.

And here's what I came up with:

So, so cute! I'm in love with this card. I already know who I'm going to send it to. :-)

I started with a piece of textured black cardstock, which I cut into a standard-size card. Then I cut a piece of pink cardstock and another piece from that same black cardstock and layered them together. This created a very sturdy front panel that I really like.

I cut out the main shape using a die from the Spellbinders Nestabilities: Small Labels set, and then went around the edges with a black gel pen to create the dotted frame.

The adorable stamp is from the Hero Arts: Life of the Party stamp set. I stamped the image using Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored it using Copic Markers.

I used the same ink and stamp set on the sentiment, which I stamped on white cardstock. Then I grabbed some textured ribbon from my stash and tucked it under the sentiment.

The pretty flower added the finishing touch to the card.

Elizabeth Cooper
I'm on a challenge roll this week! I wanted to create something to enter into this week's Simon Says Stamp Challenge, which is to use this lovely sketch:

And this is what I came up with:

It's going to a male friend who's got a birthday coming up within the next couple of weeks, so I'm very fond of the color scheme here. I took a couple of liberties with the design, but nothing too drastic. I think the flowers on the pattern paper work well to replace the flower embellishments on the left side.

I started with some brown textured cardstock, which I used to form the card base. Then I cut out a piece of pattern paper (I just love that design!) from the Recollections "Charming" 12x12 pad, and adhered that to the front of the card. For the yellow panel, I used paper from the same collection, and die cut it using the Spellbinders Deckled Rectangles die and my Big Kick machine. I did the same to the top panel, which I die cut out of the same brown cardstock as the card itself.

I stamped the balloon in VersaMark Ink, and embossed it using Detail White embossing powder from Stampendous. The stamp is from the Autumn Leaves - "Birthdays" by Tia Bennett set.

For the sentiment, I used brown cardstock again, and the same stamping technique as for the balloon. This time, I used a sentiment from the Fiskars "It's Your Day" stamp set.

I adhered the sentiment and the balloon panel using foam adhesive. And for a little more bling, I used three pearls from Prima's "Say It In Pearls"package. Finally, I tied a piece of brown silk ribbon into a knot.
Elizabeth Cooper
I wanted to enter this week Tuesday Trigger challenge and panicked because I thought I'd missed the deadline. But lucky for me, the deadline was extended due to CHA, so I had time to join in.

This week's inspiration comes from this gorgeous photograph:

See? How could I resist? I absolutely love the color palette, so soft and pretty, so I drew inspiration from the colors for my card.

And this is what I came up with:

Admittedly, my colors are a touch darker (especially the pink), but I still think it works for the challenge.

I started out with a piece of pink cardstock, which I cut and folded into a standard size card. Then I ran a white piece of cardstock through my Big Kick machine, and embossed it using Tim Holtz' Sizzix Woodgrain embossing folder. I adhered the panel to the front of the card using foam adhesive. And I know you can't see it well in the picture, but I sprayed the entire thing with Tattered Angels Glimmer mist. It has a really pretty shine in real life.

Then I cut a piece of pattern paper from the Honey Cake 6x6 pad from My Mind's eye. I stamped a sentiment from Hero Arts' "Friends" stamp set, and embossed it using Stampendous Detail White embossing powder. I wasn't all that happy with the brightness of the sentiment, even after embossing it, so I used Tim Holtz' Distress Ink in Festive Berries to darken the pattern paper.

I added a piece of thick pink twine from my stash, which I tied into a knot, and then adhered the entire sentiment strip to the card using foam adhesive.

Finally, I punched some hearts, using a small Stampin' Up! heart punch, out of that same pattern paper (see how much lighter it is without the Distress Ink?) and lined them up at the top of the sentiment strip. I also added a few yellow rhinestones from a Recollections pack for a spot of bling.

Elizabeth Cooper
I recently returned from my annual anniversary trip - this time in beautiful Jamaica - and I couldn't wait to get reacquainted with my crafting supplies. :-)

This card started out as my contribution to this week's CAS-ual Fridays challenge (the theme is a black-and-white card), but... well... it didn't exactly turned out like I originally planned. By the time I finished, the card wasn't all that clean or simple, but it's still pretty cute!

I started by stamping the Eiffel Tower from Tim Holtz's Visual Artistry stamp set onto white cardstock using Stampin' Up! Basic Black Ink. Then I ran the cardstock through my Big Shot machine using a die from the Life Style Crafts: Nesting Frame 1 set. I used a second (slightly larger) die to cut out a similar shape out of black cardstock, and matted the image onto it, then attached the whole thing onto the front of the card.

The ribbon is a leftover piece from my stash, which I tied into a simple knot. The sentiment comes from the Stampology: Autumn Leaves set. I stamped it in the same Stampin' Up! ink on more white cardstock, and cut ribbon ends out of the strip before adhering it down using foam adhesive.

I then threaded some white thread through a cute button and attached it to the card with a mini glue dot. And finally, just because I wanted a little more bling, I ran some Stickles in Star Dust around the edge of the image.

Elizabeth Cooper
Sometimes, sitting down to make art for art's sake produces the loveliest cards. This particular one was a happy accident all around, but I'm delighted with the end result.

I started with a piece of kraft cardstock, which I folded into a standard-size card. Then I stamped the background using a border stamp from Fiskars Doodle Border stamp set in Versafine Imperial Purple Ink.

For the main sentiment, I used a piece of pattern paper from the Die Cuts With a View: The Four Seasons stack, which I punched using an EK Success border punch. I stamped the sentiment using a stamp from the Fiskars Latte Love stamp set, also in Versafine Imperial Purple Ink. Finally, I wrapped a piece of pretty ribbon around the bottom and tied it in a knot.

I wanted to add a couple of cute embellishments to the card, so I chose a purple butterfly from the K& Company Inspirational Sentiments pack. I also had some cute flowers lying around (I'd rescued them from a package I ordered from Etsy), so I added those as well.