Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sneak Peek!

Two. More. Days!
I can't wait to share the August Challenge with you!
Here is a sneak peek to get your creative juices flowing...

 Do these photos make you happy? 
 beach in Aruba.

(photo credit: Stephanie)
 See you on August 1, same time, same place :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Spotlight Feature

The moment that you have been waiting for....the Spotlight Feature is here! It was so tough for the panel of judges to pick Top 10 favorites! Sifting through all 343 entries was a daunting task. However, we 3 panel judges took this task seriously and picked our own favorites independently (without influencing each others decisions). We know that you put your heart/passion and time into your entry(ies) and we appreciate that!

Dr. John: " I like bikes...I hate camping, but I like the idea of camping...".
1.  #99 Toni at FHC
 2. #100 Tonya J. 

Virginia: " I love how fresh and creative these designs are. They make me look at die cutting in a whole new way".
4. #172 Thorndis
 5 #281 Jo K.
 6. #327 Alyssa S. 
Stephanie: "I enjoy looking through the entries. However, I am drawn to the shaker cards because all of them used bold colours and graphics. They just stood out..and the shaker element is playful."
7. #15 Mary Beth
8.  #42 Karen Walker
 Here is your winning blog badge, please grab it and display in your blog! Congrats!

 From the Top 10 Favorites, the Random. org picked one lucky winner for this challenge.
 Drum roll, please....the $25 Gift voucher goes to...

#3 Vanessa Menhorn
Congratulations, Vanessa!  Please e-mail me to claim your prize before midnight, July 28 Eastern Time. If not, another Top 10 Favorite will be randomly picked!

 Here are the Honorable Mentions. These are super fabulous work! 
#5 Jingle

Last but not least, our two random winners from the entries are..
#301 Mariana G. (selected by Inlinkz)--Custom Panel Die from Avery Elle
# 180 Ginny H.--- a prize package from J J Bolton (thank you, JJ!)

Congratulations, Mariana and Ginny! Please e-mail me, so I can mail you the prizes ASAP.
Thank you so much for your wonderful participation and support. 
See you on Aug. 1st!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Wrap-Up

Hello! It has been a super busy month in this challenge blog. Thanks to your wonderful participation, we had a huge turn out for the Die Cut theme challenge. Can you believe it? We have 343 entries!!! To show you how much I appreciate your participation, I managed to comment on every entry!

AND because our guest designer J J Bolton simply ROCKS, she is offering to donate a prize to one of you participants. We will now have one Top Winner (randomly selected from Top 10 Favorites), Honorable Mentions and TWO random prize winners (one will get an Avery Elle Die and one will get a prize from JJ)!

After viewing all the die cut entries, I made categories
 with a few different themes:

1. Die Cut Shaker Style!  Die cutting provides beautiful and convenient ways to create that fun shaker card.

2. Watercolors + Die Cut= divine!
Watercolors continue to the the trend! It is a perfect medium to incorporate with die cut.

 3. Patterned Paper and Die Cut are a cute couple! Both are readily available...the sky is the limit!

4. Inlaid Die Cutting is just plain COOL! The smooth, flat surface with a sophisticated design helps to keep the mailing cost down...what's not to love!?

5. Partial Die Cut Makes the Cut! Taking the extra step to make the Partial Die Cut helps to kick the design up a huge notch!

6. Create a Scene: It's easy to create a FUN scene when you put those stamps and die cut to use!

7. We love them STACKED! The stacking dies help the design to achieve new heights!

8. Making personalized cards with die cut is a BIG deal! It's so wonderful to see that many of you personalized your designs by using number and alphabet dies!

Are you still with me?....phew! There is just so much awesomeness that it is impossible to put it all in one post. It took me a couple of  hours to write, compose, categorize and compile this post. Still, I know I must have missed a ton of your entries from the above categories. You can check out the AMAZING entries here. It's going to be tough to pick Top 10 favorites. I can easily pick 30 favorites already...!!

We will have the Spotlight Feature on the 25th and the winners will be announced.
Thanks so much for supporting this challenge! It will not be the same without your wonderful entries and feedback. See you later!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Demystifying Die Cut

Hello friends! Have you checked out the Die Cut entries? I have been busy commenting on every  entry as they are full of inspiration and creativity. I have been so inspired to try more inlaid die cutting. The appealing element from an inlaid diecut design is that the cards stays flat yet still has a lot of impact! I used this die Modest from Penny Black to create this design. With a bit of planning, this card was fun to create. I used alcohol-inked paper to make the petals. They are so striking!
happy everything
Most of you are pros and have seen all kinds of techniques and videos already. Today's post is to highlight a few videos and perhaps they will rejuvenate your creative juices after seeing them.

First of all, we are sharing the talented Laura Bassen's "Partial Die Cut" video

The Inlaid Die Cut video from our guest designer Jennifer McGuire is absolutely awesome!

You can see many many video tutorials from Jennifer's You Tube Channel here.

Last but certainly not least, this video from our guest designer J J Bolton explained how to use the Avery Elle's Cutom Panel ELLE-ments

 Remember, as long as you have at least one entry to this month's challenge, you will have a chance to win this very fabulous die cut set (Valued $28) from Avery Elle! The more you enter, the more chances you get!
There is still lots of time to enter!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Guest Designer-J J Bolton

Hello hello! So glad that you stopped by today. It brings me great pleasure to introduce to you our second guest designer for this month.
The one and only--J J Bolton.
J J is well known for her creative use of die cuts. Her ingenious way of looking at die cuts and using them in unconventional ways have wowed the crafting blogosphere. Here is a list of the die cuts and stamps that J J has designed for Avery Elle Stamps.

This is the gorgeous card that J J created for this guest design.

JJ : I regularly use dies to make cards with lots of layers, but for the V.V. Challenge, I wanted to try something different by creating a single layer card.  No foam tape used!  I’m sure you’re familiar with the inlaid die technique where you insert die cut pieces back into the reverse cuts like a mosaic.  This card uses the same inlaid die cut technique, just with 7 different die cuts.  This technique is super easy but does take a bit of patience.
J J shares a couple tips for making cards with multiple inlays:
  • Choose dies of varying size 
  • Die cut in order from largest die cut to the smallest
  • Solid colors or highly contrasting colors work best to emphasize each die cut 
  • Use low tack, repositional tape (like Post-It label tape) to keep pieces together as you die cut
  • Use a thin piece of paper (like copy paper) to apply to the back of the finished piece to keep everything together
J J: Hope you try this technique!  Thanks to Virginia for inviting me to play along.

Wow, are you inspired? I know I am! Please stop by J J's blog (Ribbon Girl's Handmade Cards) to give her some love! We are so honored that you shared your talent with us, J J! Our challenge is getting amazing entries. I hope that you find time to check out each others' entry while you get busy creating!
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Guest Designer-Jennifer McGuire!

Yup...I know, right?

  Does Jennifer McGuire need an introduction? THE Jennifer McGuire? I think not. 
BUT in case you just started card-making, like...TODAY, then maybe you do need to know who Jennifer McGuire is (see here).
As any avid card maker knows, Jennifer is the Queen of Techniques. Her videos are super informative, helpful and addictive! Jennifer always throws in her tips and tricks and shares so willingly. With the Die Cut theme, I finally gathered my courage and asked Jenifer via an email about this guest design. To my surprise, her e-mail came within half hour right after I wrote her!

Jennifer: "first of all... i know about your challenge and it rocks! i have been meaning to reach out to you....honored you asked." .....(thud). I almost fell off the chair when I read this. Well, I can not tell you how thrilled I am to have Jennifer as our guest designer today!

Jennifer created 4 (yup, 4 !!!!) cards for us!
 I love how Jennifer used the simple circle/heart dies to create these amazing cards.
Here's what Jennifer has to say about her project.
"The video shows creating die cut windows with a word suspended across. I showed two ways of doing the technique... and I also showed how to use the leftover pieces.

Thanks for having me. It is an honor. XO."

Thank you so much, Jennifer!! You are so sweet and generous to share your BIG talent with us. I know your presence here reaffirms the reasons why we love stamping/card-making and in this case, die-cutting! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Virginia's View Challenge # 5

 Welcome to Virginia's View Challenge! This month's theme is so common that it needs no introductions! It is Die Cut. Almost all card makers are familiar with using Die Cut. In the last 3 years, gadgets and techniques related to die cut have fast become an essential staple for any level of card-making. I have fun things planned for you this month. You are going to LOVE playing this challenge. 

Here are few samples that I made for this challenge. 
I used Avery Elle's Custom Panel Elle-ments for all of my cards.

you're seriously awesome
By using two other parts of this die cut set, I made a different kind of card.couldn't be happpier for you 
For the details of this card, please visit my blog (Yes, Virginia..). My 3rd example was created with
100% Die Cut. Can you spot which element I used in the Avery Elle's set? The sentiment is from Lawn Fawn's Scripty Thanks.

  You can use ANY dies you have in your projects. They can be any shapes, sizes or forms. Sky is the limit! You can create whatever styles you like as long as it has at least a diecut, then it qualifies!

These are my humble goals that I am aiming to achieve:
1. to foster the love of stamping/card making among the online community
2. to grow as a stamper/card-maker regardless of level and experience
3. to make new friends and encourage the camaraderie amongst the participants/blog followers. 

The challenge will run till the 18th (11:55pm Eastern Time) and there will be a SPOTLIGHT feature on the 25th. In this feature, I will be highlighting a few of the participants' work. We can all be oohing and aahing about a WOW design that deserves to be admired and appreciated. You are encouraged to link up as many as projects as you like. Cards, scrapbook layouts, altered projects... anything with paper, stamps and inks involved are welcome! If the linked project is not related to the challenge, it will be deleted.  Don't have a blog? No problem! Any link (Flickr, FB page, Splitcoaststampers, Pinterest...) is welcome! You can use the challenge photo as your inspiration (optional).

In order to qualify for the top prize ( $25 from Simon Says Stamp)
~your project has to be NEW (not linked back to a previously made project)
~you have to be a follower (you can use Bloglovin') of this blog
~you are welcome to combine other challenges, please limit your total number of challenges to no more than 4.
Our Sponsor: Simon Says Stamp 
Our Top Winner (randomly selected from Top 10 Favorites) will receive a $25 voucher!
  AWESOME, eh?!

NEW---> for one time only: One lucky random winner (from the entries) will get a set of Avery Elle's Custom Panels ELLE-ments !  (Thank you so much, Jamie over Avery Elle!) The more you enter, the more chances you will win this awesome dies!

We will have MEGA (yes, MEGA) guest designers to inspire you in our next few posts. You definitely do not want to miss it! But for now, put your thinking cap on and start making some die cuts...