Office Hours Card Kits Full Reveal

Welcome to the reveal night here with Studio Calico's newest kit release, Office Hours. I'm super happy that you stopped by to take a closer look at my projects that use the Card Kit and add on, Water Cooler. I was attracted to this month's kit because of the mix of lovely patterned paper and the versatility of the stamps in the kits. I like mixing seemingly unrelated collections, colors, patterns and elements to my projects, and this month's Card Kit was perfect for that.
This first card uses product from the main card kit. I created a white card base using the More White cardstock bundle, and then stamped these trendy plus signs onto the cardstock. I layered a patterned paper block with a pinked edge over the stamped image to soften the pattern. Some green patterned paper strips are stitched along the edge of the card.
The flower was made using ribbon from the card kit. All I did was fold and roll the trim into a circle, securing it with hot glue, and then added a button for the flower center. The leaves were made with a circle punch. Just punch a circle from patterned paper, and then punch that circle again to create the leaf; it's that simple.  I absolutely adore the banner stamp and the little images that coordinate perfectly with it. I stamped the banner using Sunny Day ink from Studio Calico's new dye ink line, and stamped the sentiment with the yummy Mint Hint ink, which is quickly becoming my new favorite color. These ink pads are perfect, not only do they stamp a clear, rich image, but they're true to color on the packaging. Plus, they're great to store since they're narrow and designed to perfectly stack on one another!
This card was also made using the main card kit. Again I started with a white card base  using the More White cardstock bundle, and added a notched strip of patterned paper. Included in this month's kit was a small piece of acetate transparency, and I thought it would be perfect for creating  a cute little window on the card front. I really liked how the design came out! 

The main kit also comes with little wood veneer banners that work perfectly with the banner stamp, so I added the wood veneer to the card front for some texture and stamped the sentiment using Coral Bay ink.
To create the window stamped effect, I die cut a rectangle from the card front and backed it with the transparency. Then I stamped rain drops using Mint Hint and Clean Slate on the inside of the card base, slightly off-setting the images. I stamped the umbrella image on some patterned paper, trimmed and stitched it to the acetate window, but made sure to stamp the umbrella image on the inside of the card, so that the ink wouldn't smear. I love the way the card looks with the image layered like this. 
I hope you're not too tired of the white card bases. I love the More White cardstock bundle so much. The weight is perfect, not too thick, but super sturdy and it creases nicely for cards. For this card I made a white card base and embossed the bottom edge with raised dots. 
For the main image, I used a technique called second generation stamping to create lighter colored clouds. First, I would ink the cloud with Clean Slate and stamp that image on piece of scratch paper, and then stamp the cloud again (without re-inking) on the card. The result is a lighter image, which is exactly what I wanted. I then outline the clouds by stamping the cloud outline slightly offset with Mint Hint ink. I added a loose bit of thread detail and some star stickers and stamped the sentiment using Emerald City. A little strip of patterned paper adds some pretty color and pattern.
The Water Cooler add on is just as inspirational as the main card kit. Lots of fabulous patterned paper, and super cute stamps. My favorite patterned paper from this kit were the beautiful clouds, the woodgrain pattern with plus signs and all the pinks.  

For this card, I used the More White cardstock bundle to create a card base and embossed white dots at an angle. I trimmed a vellum rectangle base and stapled it to the card base. 
Hand-cut lettering and shapes are trending right now, so I hand cut some hearts and then layered them along with the silver twine and chipboard hearts to the vellum base. A punch of green patterned paper grounds the hearts and a simple thank you finishes off the look.
I think this card is my favorite this month! I love how all the elements form the  Water Cooler kit  came together to create a soft and pretty feel. I embossed some white cardstock with a raised dot embossing folder and adhered it with foam dots

The pretty yellow ribbon was threaded through the pink buttons which was a little tricky at first. To get a thick ribbon through a very tiny hole, trim the ribbon's edges at a slant, there is a point and pull that pointed tip through the button's hole. I made sure that the ribbon was looped a little for extra dimension.
I then punched butterflies and stardust circles from patterned paper and stitched some to the card, bending the wings for some added dimension. A simple strip of cardstock notched at the ends showcases the sentiment.
This last card uses both the  main card kit and the add on, Water Cooler. I created a card base with the More White cardstock bundle and then added a strip of the woodgrain patterned paper with the plus signs from Water Cooler. Strips of ombre patterned paper from the main card kit add a pop of color.
A vellum star border is stitched down the center edge of the card with some buttons form the main card kit, and a simple sentiment finishes off the card.

If you're a subscriber, kits and new product go live at noon (EST), but if you're not a subscriber you can snag these fabulous kits at midnight (EST) tonight!

Office Hours Sneaks

The newest kit from Studio Calico; Office Hours will be available in a few short days, but I wanted to share some sneak peaks of some cards that I've made with the kits. I was so inspired by the patterned paper, the embellishments and the stamps that I made a ton of fun cards with both the main kit and the add on. Here's just a few of them to get you as excited about this month's release as I am!
This card features paper and embellishments from the add on kit, Water Cooler. Look at the cute wood grain paper with little plus signs--I feel a trend coming on!

This card features stamps and wood veneers from the main card kit, PLUS the all new inks from the Color Theory line that are IN STOCK at the store.

Here's a final fun sneak peak using trims, paper and embellishments from the add on kit. I love the delicious colors and patterns in the add on!

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look. Don't forget to the big reveal of all the kits goes live at midnight on the 27th of this month! Kit's will be available for subscribers at noon, and for the general public at midnight!

My First Stamp Release with Sweet Stamp Shop

Welcome to my blog, I'm so glad you're here today! I'm sharing two sets today that I'm really excited about! As I mentioned yesterday, this is my first stamp release with Sweet Stamp Shop as an intern in the illustration program. This program was created by the owner of Sweet Stamp Shop as a way for designers interested in designing product to progress forward in the paper crafting industry with mentorship and opportunity to do just that.  For more information or a chance to apply to the program, please visit the Sweet Stamp Shop blog, and if you're still on the fence about applying, read about my amazing experience here, it'll convince you to shut out all doubt and take the plunge.
I co-illustrated these two sets, and they're the first of of my designs to be released by Sweet Stamp Shop. Announcing is perfect for the newly married couple and brand-new babies. This set comes with some trendy pre-made banners and one banner you can make on your own with coordinating pennants. The dove images are great because there's an outlined dove and a silhouette dove so you can play with them to your heart's content. I love how the Just Married and Announcing sentiments curve perfectly into the banners, and you can customize any card or project with the other sentiments. Sparkle and Shine is a trendy set based on sequins and jewels that are popular motifs right now. Sequins and jewels can be glammed up in so many creative ways! Mixing them with the included fun sentiments will make any card or project sparkle!

First, I'll share some cards with you that showcase the versatility of the Announcing set, then I'll show you some new and trendy ways to design with  Sparkle and Shine
This card may be simply designed, but it showcases my vision for the buildable banner image perfectly. 
I simply stamped the banner and added pennant images in different colors. I created a little dimension and brought in some color with patterned paper shapes adhered with foam tape. I straightened up the "Announcing" stamp on a acrylic block and combined it with a wood veneer layered on paper for some added texture.
I really am loving silhouette and outline images, it's nice to have choices when stamping and the doves in this set are so gorgeous when framing an element on a card. Again, the design is a little clean and simple, but soft details like a doily and scalloped paper edge play it up.
I created a background base with an image from the Monogram It set, and then stamped the doves over it to frame a sticker sentiment. Adding some patterned paper and a sentiment sticker with a little thread  not only added some dimension to the card, but shows that this set can be used with other sets to create cards and projects that aren't necessarily "announcement-focused." 
I really love mixing stamped images with patterned paper. This wedding card is an fresh and elegant approach to congratulating the new couple, centering around the banner image.
I stamped the banner, husband and wife stamps on a cardstock base. I then masked some ivy garlands from the Monogram It set. I straightened the Just Married sentiment on an acrylic block and stamped it onto the card base. Punched hearts and pearls cascade around the sentiment, drawing the viewer's eye to the stamped area of the card.

My next cards focus on some fun approaches for using the Sparkle and Shine set.
The images in this set stand alone very well, so I didn't mix in too many embellishments or patterned paper in this card or my other cards. I liked the idea of coloring the gems to make them stand out, but also  creating a muted area of pattern. To create the card base, I inked the cardstock, and then stamped jewels in one tone over it.
I love the look of Copics, but since I don't own that many, I turned to my colored pencils to add some rich jewel-toned colors to the jewels. Some of the jewels match up perfectly to the tonal-stamped jewels. The jewel images lightly pop up from the card base with a little foam tape.
You can use this set to not only create backgrounds and embellish a card, but to also create a frame!
I masked the frame with washi tape and and then heat-embossed sequins inside. Some actual sequins provide a little dimension. A fun dotted hello and colorful add some pattern to a simple center.
And, sometimes an images looks good just scattered on a card, like what I did here with the sequins. Sequins are stamped randomly in a diagonal, then covered with vellum heat-embossed sentiment.
Adding some gorgeous sequins from Pretty Pink Posh to the vellum strip and just a little bit of embellishments to the edges of the vellum adds some youthful fun to this card!

Thank you for letting me share these cards with you! I hope you enjoy my newest sets, and I am looking forward to my future stamp releases with Sweet Stamp Shop. I have some great sets that will be  for sale in the coming months.

UPDATE: Because of the popularity of the February release,  Sweet Stamp Shop is almost sold out of all the stamp sets in this month's release. More will be ordered, but if you can't wait, make sure to stop by the shop and snatch this month's release. Use the code:  NFR20 for 20% off your order!

An Exciting Announcement!!

Today's a special day for me because I can share some fantabulous crafting news with you! I'll try not to make it too long, but because I am excited about what I've been doing, and because I know there are other crafters out there who have similar goals I am excited to share my crafty news with you.
My dear friend, Nicole Rixon is the owner of Sweet Stamp Shop. Nicole and her shop are AMAZING! She hasn't been around too long, but in the short while she's been designing and selling stamps, she's been kicking booty with trendy designs, a successful business, a creative team of talented women and an incredible heart to share her passion and knowledge with other crafters. From the moment I met her, her genuine warmth and generosity just radiated--she was exuberant about meeting me, and about her business, which was infectious! Over coffee we shared funny stories, tips and ideas and her plan for her creative career. She got me jazzed about thinking beyond simply making cards.

Don't get me wrong---designing cards is amazing and fabulous, but after three years of crafting,  I was falling into a creative slump. I would go to my craft room uninspired with no new ideas, and at times I felt I was creating the same cards, but with different patterned paper. What once was something I thoroughly enjoyed was becoming an uphill battle with constant rejection that caused me to doubt myself at every turn.

Enter Nicole. From some sad Facebook posts, she saw that I was feeling beat creatively, and shared with me an idea that changed my outlook.  Nicole was in the beginning stages of establishing an intern program for designers interested in trying out their skills at illustrating through Sweet Stamp Shop. I had some experience with illustration, so I was keen to learn more, but I was still a little unsure about whether I could successfully design stamps.
Nicole understood my fears, and re-assured me that she'd be with me every step of the way, and she's done just that! I want to share why I joined and what I've been fortunate enough to experience alongside her on this incredible new journey.

When Nicole first shared her idea, I knew that if I was going to illustrate, I didn’t want to buy an expensive software program, design a few sets and have them go nowhere, stored on my hard drive indefinitely. So, after she explained the internship program, I was definitely interested. I thought the program was just the right amount of the push I needed to try designing stamps, without feeling too overwhelmed. But, the program was also a great opportunity to receive incredible insight, personal experience from a professional, design tips and knowledge that are invaluable in an industry that can be tough to “break” into. Not many companies are willing to share their knowledge and insight, but Nicole was so transparent and realistic, I knew that it would be a win-win situation for both of us if I got involved.
  • Gain experience from industry professionals like Nicole Rixon and Alyssa Bennett who take the time to share their personal experience, insight, knowledge and constructive criticism to help you grow as a design   
  • The time and space needed to try out ideas and find your style as an illustrator with plenty of encouragement and insight along the way from others.
  •  Less capital investment: Minimal software investment (you can sign up for an Adobe monthly subscription with all the most recent updates!) and a manufacturer who will produce high-quality photopolymer stamps for you. No cost to participate in the program means that you are not “backed into a corner” with financial commitments to a business; you can design for the love of designing and to see if this something you’re willing to commit to.     
  • The chance to build a marketable portfolio of work that you can list on your creative resume; take out to other manufacturers or even the opportunity to try it on your own.   
  • Personalized training information made available through videos and documents aimed at addressing intern’s questions throughout the artistic process.
  • The chance to meet new friends who are just as eager as you to try something new.
  • The opportunity to work with people at varying degrees of illustration experience. Some designers are brand new to digital illustration, others know the basics and others have been doing this for a while, and have a wealth of knowledge to share.
  • Consistent support and encouragement from fellow illustrators to brainstorm, develop and improve your designs through all stages of artistic process.
If you'd like to learn more about the internship program, learn more about the current interns, or if you're interested in applying of this unique opportunity, please visit the Sweet Stamp Shop blog to find out all the details!
 
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