Coffee Four Ways

Welcome to A Year of Card Techniques Blog Hop where each month we’ll feature a different card technique. We’ve assembled a team of fabulous card makers who range from new to advanced, so you’ll see a wide variety of cards and ideas.
The month of April features a Showdown! A stamp set showdown, that is. We’re using one stamp set in various ways. Let’s face it, stamp sets are getting more and more expensive; so we’re here to inspire you by demonstrating how to s-t-r-e-t-c-h those stamps!
If you would like to check out our past technique hops, you can do that here:

 

 

We have an amazing sponsor this month, Wilma Payne of Fun Stamper’s Journey:

Please take a moment to check out the great products Fun Stampers Journey has to offer. To visit Wilma’s blog, click here and her Facebook Group here.
And the awesome prize this month is:
We really appreciate feedback, so please leave a comment on each of the blogs in the hop today. One winner will be chosen from all comments on the hop as of April 28, 2017. The winner will be announced in our May hop, so be sure to come back next month.
You should have arrived here from Sandy’s Blog. If you’re visiting here first, you might want to start at the beginning so you don’t miss a thing and increase your chances of winning by leaving a comment on each blog.
I decided to work with stamps that match my latest obsession … coffee. I chose this set from JustRite Clear.
The set is huge with many possibilities. So, to keep within the spirit of the challenge, I limited myself further … I “required” myself to use the coffee-house cup on each card.
For the first one, I stamped the cup with Wendy Vecchi’s Potting Soil Archival Ink, added a sentiment on the label and a saying. I worked on a kraft card and added a bit of Distress Ink (in Ground Espresso) around the edges of the card. It’s simple, but I like it for its simplicity.
Next, I stamped the image twice, colored it with Copic markers, cut it out and adhered it with dimensional foam adhesive to the layered card. The black is done with Memento Ink; the brown is the same Wendy Vecchi ink. The coffee stains and the saying are also from the stamp set.
For this one, I stamped the cup over and over in order to create a background with it. I used the coffee beans to make a strip and stamped another of the sentiments, as well, which I cut out and adhered.
And, finally, my favorite one … I used the same inks, but this time layered the elements in a soft teal. I stamped the cup on paper, added the word Java to the label and then cut out the image and adhered it with dimensional foam adhesive.
I created the background paper by placing each of the coffee beans on a single acrylic block and then turning and stamping repeatedly. I made sure to stamp off of the paper in some places and even stamped a few beans a second time for a softer look. I love how the background paper turned out!
I’m the last stop on the blog hop this month, but if you missed the earlier ones, it is worth a visit to the beginning.
I hope you had fun and thanks for stopping by. See you next month with another technique!
And, if you choose to try this one, post a photo of your creations on my Facebook page or, send me a copy and I’ll post it here.
Candy
Here’s the full line-up in case you get lost:

Through the Port Hole

This is one of those pages that starts out simply, but ends up amazing. Or at least I think so!

It showcases two places … Whitefish Point State Docks, which features a barn and fishing boats on the shores of Lake Superior; and Whitefish Point Light Station, where the Edmund Fitzgerald went down in 1975. We didn’t have time to do much exploring the day we were there, but we did take a quick peek at the light and the beach. And, I was fortunate enough to see a ship passing in the distance.

One of the reasons I love the Mosaic Moments system so much is that you can use it to enhance your photos. Many times those photos that aren’t good enough to scrapbook, become perfect when cutting just the right way.

In this case, my photo of the ship was a bit hazy because it was so far away. By using the Three Circles Die as a frame, I turned the less-than-steller photo into the focal point.

I created a video to show you to do it …

(I receive compensation for making videos for Mosaic Moments.)

My First Bike (in 39 years)

I know you’ve seen plenty of photos of me with my bike, but I had to do one more …

For a little background info … At 44, I decided I was going to be bedridden if I didn’t get moving. My biggest hurdle was that it hurt to walk. After less than a mile, my right leg tenses up, the muscles contract, my foot goes numb and I lose control of it. It is extremely painful and the pain continues for hours after I stop walking. The first time it happened, more than 20 years ago, I pushed through the pain and actually fell and twisted my ankle. Since then, it has progressively gotten worse.

I didn’t go to a doctor because I didn’t want to hear, “lose weight and it will be fine.” Nor did I want to be one of those people who has an “excuse” for everything they cannot (or don’t want) to do.

So, I was looking for things I could do that wouldn’t hurt my leg and I thought bike riding might be good. Problem is, I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 18 and I weighed so much that I was afraid it would be impossible. So, I set myself a goal. I decided that if I lost 50 pounds, I would try it.

That day came on Memorial Day in 2016. While my family hung out on the back deck of my mother-in-law’s house, I quietly slipped away and took her bike for a ride. I’m sure if anyone saw me, they were laughing hysterically at how wobbly I was, but after a few times of nearly hitting the curb before remembering that I had breaks, I figured it out. It’s amazing how the body can remember to do something again after so many years of not doing it!

My husband and I realized that this could be something fun to do together, so we each bought bikes. I selected a cruiser that allowed me to sit upright and put both feet firmly on the ground while sitting on the seat.

These photos were taken on our first official ride on a bike path — at a park in Linden, MI. They are some of the most important photos I have ever taken … Yes, they mark an important spot in my journey to losing weight and feeling great, but they mean so much more to me.

They were just quick snapshots my husband took with my phone, but they are the first pictures I looked at in many, many years where I thought, “I look good!” For the past few decades, whenever I saw my pictures, I always cringed because I was so much heavier than the person I saw in the mirror. I hated my photos. I still took them and scrapbooked them because they were important to me, but they made me depressed — often to the point of tears — every time I saw them. But when I saw these, I just kept looking at my thighs and thinking, “Wow! I look really good!”

It took me several weeks to share my feelings with my husband (and nearly a year to share with the world), but after that, it became a “thing.” Whenever we were riding and I was getting tired or thinking the hill was too hard to climb, I would look at my thighs and remember how good they looked in this photo and how much better they would look if I kept this up and it would push me further. My husband picked up on it and he would remind me to look at my thighs whenever the going got too hard. It was all the motivation I needed.

Yes, these two little pictures are responsible for me losing an additional 30 pounds and going from riding a mile to riding 13 miles in just one summer.

Such special photos need special treatment, so I went a little artsy on this page. I used papers from Authentique, a resin bike from Melissa Frances (accented with a bit of Distress Paint) and the Circle Tiles and Tab Die Set from Mosaic Moments to complete my page.

I made a video to show you how fun it can be to create embellishments with the Circle Tiles using different patterned papers. Check it out.

(I am compensated to create videos for Mosaic Moments).

By the way, I have talked to my doctor about my leg. After several tests, she thinks it is a mineral and amino-acid deficiency. I’ve been taking both for the past year. It’s not perfect yet, but I can walk faster and harder and when the pain does hit, it hurts less and it quits almost immediately after resting. Bike riding doesn’t hurt it one bit. And those are things I can live with.

Happy trails!

One Die, Two Looks

This page, which features photos I took while on a ski lift at Boyne Highlands last fall, features the Triple Diamond Die from Mosaic Moments. I used it to give the eye a break from the busy photographs, while framing the feature photo.

While I love the simplicity of this die, it can also be used to create more complex patterns, like I did below.

Here, I used the same die to create the look of a quilt. Although it looks complex, it really only takes a few sheets of patterned paper (use double-sided to save more time), a single die and a few runs through a die-cutting machine to create it.

I made a video for Mosaic Moments (I am compensated for creating videos for them) to show you how easy it is.

I’m Still Standing

Yes, I’m still here … I’ve been incredibly busy with crops and work and teaching, and well, there are just not enough hours in the day!

Of course, I have still been doing some scrapbooking, mostly Mosaic style, and making videos. And, that means I am way behind in my blog posts! So, I’ll try to get you caught back up …

For starters, this is a page I did featuring the Smile for the Camera die from Mosaic Moments. The die is a lot of fun because it comes with several different pieces you can put in the camera “lens.” I used the “smile” die on this page, but then I also used the heart as an accent. I should tell you, this is also a limited-edition die, so I’m not sure how much longer I can order them. I believe I have one in stock at the moment … just saying!

This page was to celebrate some of the new adventures I have discovered on my pink bike. Sadly, I traded the bike in for a new model yesterday … I LOVED that bike, so it hurt to let it go, but I have a new teal bike with 21 gears that can ride on pavement and dirt and will handle the hills much better. It’s not as stylish as my pink bike was, but it has reflective paint, so it will be safer, and that is always a good thing!

It’s Just Awesome

awesome_by_candyspiegel

I love this paper from Pink Fresh Studio. The minute I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for photos of a trip to the city. Fortunately, for me, my daughter went to NYC to visit her brother and I had a chance to use this awesome paper!

awesome3bycandyspiegel

I love how the words and stripes are “cut” from a photo of skyscrapers. It adds such a great touch.

For the right side, I covered up the word awesome with a stack of photos. I like how it gives the illusion that the stripes go completely across the page.

awesome2bycandyspiegel

Because the paper was already so dramatic, I kept the embellishments simple … I added a few wood tiles with gold embossing on them (also from Pink Fresh Studio).

I think this page “totally rocks!”

For more information on products from Pink Fresh Studio, visit Bayview Scrappers.

Cutting Tips

Some of you may have noticed that Mosaic Moments dies leave a little bit of a mark on your photos.

That’s normal. It’s how the die-cutting machine works. It’s on all of my pictures, but I don’t think anyone notices. However, some scrappers do see it and it bothers them.

If you have the We R Memory Keepers Evolution Advanced machine, you can dial down the pressure and you will not get the marks.

But, if you’re like me and you have a Sizzix Big Shot or Vagabond and you love your machine and do not want to buy another, you have to deal with the marks.

Fortunately, I recently had a customer who came up with a solution. And, I made a video to show you how to avoid that mark with the crease pad. You can watch how to do it, here: https://youtu.be/wQV4mhVmfhk

And, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask away!