Shana Gaff
Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Back in the Dominican!

We're so excited to be in the Dominican on another missions trip! I had to schedule this post early since we have no internet while we're there. :) This week we have a new challenge for you at Addicted to CAS.
We are joined this month by Guest Designer Birgit. She does beautiful CAS cards and often uses wonderful linen-looking cardstock that I must check into because it makes every one of her cards look like they should be framed pieces of art!  Make sure to stop by her blog and give her some stampy love! 

I guess the most obvious way to go with this code word this time of year would be St. Patrick's Day. However, I have no stamps of that theme, nor a reason to ever send someone a St. Patrick's Day card! :)  So I decided to make a card using only my new go-to green, Mossy Meadow. It is so rich and beautiful! 
I used generation stamping with Old Olive ink for my leaf image and the sentiment is Mossy Meadow.  The ribbon started out white and I colored it with my (sadly now discontinued) Blendabilities.  I rounded the two bottom corners, added some pearls and called it a complete CAS card! :)  When I showed it to Brett he told me it was classy and one of his favorites that I have ever made so I will call that a success! lol 

Thanks for stopping by! Make sure to check out all of the creations by the entire design team over at ATCAS!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Stamp Review Crew: Sheltering Tree Edition

Welcome to another Stamp Crew Review Blog Hop!  We take a selected stamp set every first and third Monday of each month and show you our creations with it.  This time we are using one of my favorite tree sets EVER, Sheltering Tree. Seriously, this set even trumps LAAT for me, so it's a good one! It has great little accents and sentiments included with it, which is what I think makes it a true home run stamp set.

If you are hopping around in a circle, you have just come from Beth Beard's blog.  Beth has such a detailed style that I LOVE and have not quite mastered myself. lol I made a few projects this time, which is unusual for me, but I start working full time today so I wanted to get in as much crafty time as possible before work tied me down! :)  I wanted to do a few things that weren't obvious with this set and started with the lovely leaf image for a background.

I used three shades of pink for my background and wanted to keep the focus on the lovely background so I just went with the simply stamped sentiment and embossed frame to showcase it.

For my next card, I just HAD to use those adorable little bicycles.  I saw a mirror on Pinterest that looked exactly like this window frame, so that was my inspiration for the circle behind the frame. My frame is stamped with gold ink and the card base is Brushed Gold cardstock. You can see the shimmer a little bit in the upper left-hand corner.  I used my Blendabilities to color my ribbon and Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer paper.  I will never buy colored ribbon again! This ended up being my favorite card of the three I made. :) 

For my final card, I did an obvious scene with the tree and the bike but I tried a new technique for the background that I saw on Splitcoaststampers.  I watercolored my background on Shimmering White cardstock and then used my Circle Framelits to cut out a variety of circles in a window sheet. I then used white craft ink to color in those circles all of my background. It gives a kind of bokeh effect to the cardstock and looks pretty cool in real life!  I was able to stamp my tree and bicycle over the top after it dried with no issues!

Thanks for stopping by!  You can click on the links below to go on to the next stop, the creative Dawn Tidd. If you get lost on the hop you can find all of the links below.

Blog Roll:

  1. Beth Beard
  2. Shana Gaff
  3. Dawn Tidd
  4. Debra Currier
  5. Ann Schach
  6. Rochelle Blok
  7. Mike Funke
  8. Nancy Smith
  9. Heidi Baks
  10. Yapha Mason
  11. Lisa Young
  12. Wendy Weixler
  13. Linda Callahan
  14. Betty Traciak
  15. Tanya Boser
  16. Bronwyn Eastley
  17. Holly Krautkremer
  18. Martha Inchley

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ready for Spring!

I know Indiana is not the best place to live if you don't enjoy the snow, but up until last winter, I do not remember being so miserable this time of the year. We have had so many school delays and closings, and days and days below zero.  I am ready to move south NOW!  I laughed when I saw the code word that our lovely Kylie chose for us this week at ATCAS, because it describes exactly how I have been feeling lately!

I started by stamping my back panel with the Hardwood background and Gorgeous Grunge. My favorite tool to use for distressing is the little hand held distressing tool. It makes the edges look really rugged. I then sponged some soft suede ink on them to make the edges really stand out.

To balance out the distressing I decided to add a little bit of a feminine touch with the pastel feathers. I love how they look over the wood grain background! My sentiment is stamped on vellum and then I inked the edges to make them look soft.

Thanks for stopping by today! Make sure to visit all the other lovely ladies on the ATCAS design team!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's time for another challenge at Addicted to CAS and we would love for you to join us!  Our lovely hostess this week is Harriet and she chose a fun code word for us this week:
There are lots of different ways you could go with this word and I can't wait to see what you all come up with!  We are joined by Guest Designer Ellen Parker this month and she has a beautiful card to share with us. Make sure to stop by her blog and check it out!  Here is what I came up with this month:

If this sketch looks familiar, it is from one of the My Paper Pumpkin kits!  I love getting those each month for additional inspiration!  I used the colors from the Fab Friday challenge as well:
I never would have thought to put the red in there with the two shades of coral, but I really like it! I used the beautiful die cut from the Artisan Embellishment Kit, masked it off with Washi Tape so I would not get ink around the edges of it, and sponged in my three colors. I created my own frame with the Squares Collection Framelits and used In Color and Silver Sequins for inside the shaker. I made this card for my amazing hubby, Brett. I hope he loves it as much as I do! :)

Thanks for stopping by. Make sure to check out the rest of the ATCAS design team's projects!  

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hugs and Kisses

It's time for another challenge at ATCAS, and you know that love is in the air this time of the year! What a fitting code word for the week. :)
We are joined once again by Julia as our Guest Designer. Make sure to check out her amazing blog. She has some really cool and detailed techniques on there this week, along with a fabulous CAS card for this week's challenge!  She is one talented woman, that is for sure!

I found a gorgeous color combination at colourQ that is perfect for this challenge.

I never would have thought to put those colors together, so I was happy for this inspiration!  This is also a fitting code word for the Love/Valentine challenge going on at Stampin' Royalty. :)  Here is what I came up with in a very short amount of time, my favorite thing about CAS cards!

I just got this heart stamp in my January My Paper Pumpkin kit and it was the perfect addition to my Work of Art splotches. Believe it or not, I did not have ANY heart stamps until I got this one!! Perfect timing, don't you think? :)

Thanks for stopping by to visit today!  Make sure to visit the rest of the design team and their awesome Hugs and Kisses creations.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Creative Blog Hop

Today I am taking part in a different kind of blog hop called the Creative Blog Hop!  Not only do I get to share a project with you, I also get to tell you a little bit about my crafting process.  I was nominated by fellow Stamp Review Crew member, Lisa Young. The funny thing is, as I was posting my project, I noticed that we both used the butterfly die for our cards. Then looking back, the person who nominated her, Mary Brown, also used the butterfly die!!!  Great minds think alike, right? :)

Here is the project I just finished up this weekend:
Here are the questions I was asked for the Creative Blog Hop:

What are you working on?
These are baby shower invitations that I made for my friend Andrea. This is her first baby, so our church is having a baby shower for her. She wanted to invite some friends and family too, so I made these invitations special for her. She is having a sweet baby girl and the colors of the room are coral and gray, so I used Calypso Coral, Crisp Cantaloupe, Basic Gray and Smokey Slate. They are also doing chevron in the room, so I used the Chevron Embossing Folder for the back Basic Gray mat.  I think these colors are so classy together. I love how they turned out and I hope she does, too!

I also have a Project Life club going right now, and have been working on cards for that, too. We are using the Cherry Cobbler album and the Christmas kit and accessories that were in the Holiday Supplement. I was able to get those albums in the nick of time right before they sold out!

How does your work differ from others in your genre?
Hmmm...this is a tough question for me because I don't think my work is all that unique!  Some people have an obvious style...clean and simple, vintage, mod...but I don't really think I do!  I create CAS cards, but I also do very detailed cards from time-to-time.  I will say that I don't tend to embellish my cards very much with big things like buttons, large brads, or lots of ribbon. Do I buy these things? Most certainly!  haha I just don't feel like my strong point is creating with them. They sure are pretty to look at in their little packages though. :)

Why do you create what you do?
I usually create just for fun and for design teams or blog hops.  Every once and a while I will create something for another challenge blog, too. I used to do at least one challenge daily, but I just don't have the energy or time for that anymore!  I wish I could say that I usually have someone in mind for the things that I make, but I really don't!  These invitations are the first thing I have had a real life reason to make in a long, long time!  Now that they are finished, I will be working on more projects for the other blog hop that I participate in, The Stamp Review Crew, as well as projects for the Addicted to CAS design team that I am on.  These two teams are my crafting livelihood and give me an excuse to craft at least a few times a month!

How does your creative process work?
I sometimes feel like I don't have a creative bone in my body.  I am usually pretty happy with my end results, but it takes me a long time to get there!  Most of the time I start by looking at challenge blogs. For the invitations, I found a sketch that I liked at Fusion Card Challenge and started there. Then I moseyed on over to Addicted to Stamps and More to see what their challenge was. I used to be on their design team and I knew they would have something fun and fabulous going on!  I was right! The challenge this week is Make Your Mark, and I decided to make my mark by sponging the lovely floral stencil from the Artisan Embellishment Kit.
Sometimes I feel like I am cheating by using all of these challenge blogs to help inspire me, but I have come to the conclusion that it is just tutoring for those of us who feel like we aren't the brightest crayon in the box. :) I will say that having challenge blogs to look at has saved me tons of time by giving me a starting point instead of sitting and staring at my stamps and cardstock, trying to come up with an idea all by my lonesome self!  

To keep the challenge blog going, I have nominated my very talented Stampin' Up! downline, Aimee Cretsinger. This gal is so inspiring in so many different ways, and has such a big heart that carries over into her crafting abilities. I can't wait to read about what she has been up to!  I know she is very busy with other commitments and doesn't get to craft as much as she would like, so I was beyond-the-moon-thrilled that she agreed to participate in the Creative Blog Hop!

I have also nominated Kathy Kartak, who inspires me almost daily with her ability to use Designer Series Paper! I am one of those who buys the DSP just to admire its beauty, but Kathy really puts hers to use and I really admire that!  I met Kathy at Convention in Salt Lake City a few years ago and she is a hoot. I am so blessed to have gotten to know her!  That's one of my favorite parts about being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator...the friendships that you form are priceless. 

Make sure to stop by these lovely ladies' blogs next Monday, January 26th to continue the hop!  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Stamp Review Crew: Valentine Free-For-All Edition

It's the third Monday of the month and you know what that means? Time for another Stamp Review Crew blog hop!  We're doing this one a little different this time, since there is such a short block of time for Valentine cards. This time we are using anything current that we can turn into a Valentine project.  This didn't require much thinking for me because I have the perfect Valentine set that I wanted to use for my three lovely children's Valentine cards!  

Over at Splitcoaststampers, I am on a discussion board that is trying to make better use of stamp sets that we have not inked up or have rarely used. For me, this set was a great Hostess set, Nuts About You. I just love the set, but have only used it once, I think!  

I'm so excited to have an early start on my Valentine's. Usually I am digging through my cards the morning of trying to figure out what looks good enough to give to everyone. :) I hope this hop will encourage you to get an early start, too! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Make sure to click on the links to continue on to the talented Beth Beard's blog, or if you are working your way backwards you will be seeing what the amazing Dawn Tidd has to share with us. Or...if you are like me and tend to get lost, the complete blog roll is at the bottom!
Blog Roll:
  1. Heidi Baks
  2. Ann Schach
  3. Adriana Benitez
  4. Rochelle Blok
  5. Yapha Mason
  6. Nancy Smith
  7. Debra Burgin
  8. Tanya Boser
  9. Lisa Young
  10. Dawn Tidd 
  11. Shana Gaff
  12. Beth Beard
  13. Martha Inchley
  14. Holly Krautkremer
  15. Bronwyn Eastley
  16. Linda Callahan
  17. Cindy Beach
  18. Kerry Willard Bray 
  19. Wendy Wiexler

Saturday, January 17, 2015

ATCAS: World

Woot woot!  It's a new year at Addicted to CAS and we are here with our first challenge for the new year!
Our team is comprised of many talented ladies from all over the world, so I thought this code word, chosen by our lovely hostess Jaydee, was quite fitting!  We are joined by the very talented Julia as Guest Designer this month. I was just browsing her blog and WOW she has some amazing cards on there. I saw some backgrounds that just made my jaw drop they are so gorgeous!  Make sure to stop by and welcome her as Guest Designer!

I knew right away what I wanted to do for this challenge. We are very connected to missions in the Dominican Republic through Brett's work, and have been on several missions trips there.  I bought this set to make the children at the school cards a few years ago. We will be leading another trip in March. I'm so excited!  We are sponsoring a new little girl and will get to meet her. Lots of people sponsor children all over the world, but I'm guessing not many people get the opportunity to meet the children that they sponsor!  It is such a blessing and really makes you feel good about what you can do to help.

Here is the card that I came up with. This card was so easy, I think I will make more to give to some of the children at the school, the teachers and administration and the pastor at the church!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my card. Make sure to stop by and see the rest of the ATCAS design team's creations!  

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Stamp Review Crew: Perfect Pennants Edition

Wow, can you believe it is 2015?!  Our Christmas break went way too fast, as usual, but we had such a fabulous time with family and friends. I hope that you did too!  It's time for our first blog hop of the year from The Stamp Review Crew.  For this hop we are using Perfect Pennants.  This is one of my favorite sets of all time.  It's so versatile!  

I started the tradition last year of making a memory jar. Throughout the year, we wrote down funny things that the kids said and good things that happened in our family and put the slips of paper in a pretty jar that I decorated.  We got a hotel room on New Year's Eve and had so much fun reading the memories of the year with the kids as we waited for the ball to drop.  We even surprised them with the last one, telling them that we are taking our first family trip to Disney World!  I wanted to make a new jar for this year, and Perfect Pennants was the perfect stamp set for this project!

The background star paper is a sneak peek at some SAB DSP.  It is embossed white and you can sponge or brayer over it to reveal the pattern. I sponged So Saffron and Hello Honey over mine, then stamped some of the big stars from Perfect Pennants for some added variety. It looks even better in person!  

Here is a look at the top. I thought the "Make a Wish" sentiment was quite appropriate considering we will be going to Disney this year and will have plenty of memories from there to fill our jar with!  

I hope you enjoyed my project!  I would really encourage you to do something like this with your family. Looking back on these cards in the years to come will be priceless! 

Click on the links below to continue on to the fabulous Holly Krautkremer's blog, or to go back to the amazing Cindy Beach's blog if you are working your way backwards. Or, if you get lost, you can find the complete blog roll at the bottom of the post!

Blog Roll:

  1. Wendy Weixler 
  2. Dawn Tidd
  3. Lisa Young
  4. Debra Burgin
  5. Heidi Baks
  6. Kerry Willard Bray
  7. Debra Currier
  8. Ann Schach
  9. Beth Beard
  10. Mike Funke
  11. Rochelle Blok
  12. Nancy Smith
  13. Yapha Mason
  14. Tanya Boser
  15. Cindy Beach
  16. Shana Gaff
  17. Holly Krautkremer

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Goodbye 2014!

Wow, it is hard to believe that another year has come and gone.  This is possibly my last blog post for the year.  Hopefully I will have time to participate in some other challenges before the year is up, but it is my last design team challenge for Addicted to Stamps and More! I have had so much fun designing with this team. I will miss it greatly but I feel like I have not been able to put the time into it that it deserves, so I have decided to step down.  I am finishing off my time at ATSM with a great challenge...Anything Goes!  Hopefully you will join us for this last challenge of the year!

For my card, I decided to use this fun sketch from Create with Connie and Mary.  I thought it had such a unique feel to it!
And just look at these wonderful Christmas colors I found at Fab Friday!  I simply could not pass them up!  I haven't done much Christmas card stamping AT ALL, so I am treating myself to some fun with color. :) 
I thought these colors would make a nice little Christmas scene, so I pulled out two of my favorite go-to stamp sets...Lovely as a Tree and Endless Wishes.
My trees are covered in Dazzling Details so they are very sparkly in real life!  I added some rhinestones for even more bling. Bling makes me very happy this time of the year. :)

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed my card!  If you don't hear from me again this year, enjoy the holidays with your loved ones because that is what I will be busy with next. :)  God bless! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

From our Home to Yours

It's time for a new challenge at Addicted to CAS, and I am your hostess!  For this challenge, I have chosen a word that is important to many of us this time of the year: 

My family has been so supportive of me while I have been working full time again for the last few months. It has been really stressful on me, and they have been a huge help at home!  I am glad that I had a chance to get back into teaching full-time, but I quickly learned that I made the right choice when I quit teaching six years ago. :)  I am much better at being a temporary substitute and I can't wait to go back to doing that! 

For the challenge this week, I started by embossing my houses on Brushed Gold and Brushed Silver cardstock with Black Embossing Powder.  The Glimmer Paper makes perfect snow and when it reflects in the light it has a pink tone to it.  My card base was born from there! :) 
I think the pink ended up being a nice addition. It looks even better in real life when you can move the card to see the pink in the snow.  I might just have to reproduce a few of these to use as Christmas cards!

Thanks for stopping by. Make sure to visit the rest of the Addicted to CAS design team!  The have some beautiful CAS cards for you again this week, as always!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Little Ink Equals Little Mess!

Only 14 more days of teaching (13 by the time this post goes live!), and it will be Christmas break!  I can't wait!  I was spoiled with a 5-day Thanksgiving Break.  Now I'm just ready for another one. :)  I ran drove home today and got right to work on my card for our new CAS challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More.  I also used the challenges at The Paper Players and Create with Connie and Mary for inspiration.

I used the first column (tree, patterned paper, and star) from the Tic-Tac-Toe board, and turned the sketch sideways.

I love the pennants, but I didn't know where to put my tree. So I put it right over the top of them!  I really like how it turned out!  I hand cut the tree since I don't have any dies or punches for that, and embossed each part. Then I popped it up on Dimensionals and stamped my sentiment on each side of the star.  Easy peasy!  Thanks for stopping by. Make sure to check out the rest of the design team's wonderful creations!