The Stampin' Up! Annual Convention is about 15 days away. I fly out in 13! So I have NOT much time to get all my swaps and gifts made. But I'm chuggin' along like the Little Engine That Could. Because even if it takes less sleep (or no sleep), I WILL finish. (I think that's what MANY other demonstrators heading to Utah soon are thinking right now.)

Most people swap cards, but while at Convention you'll also see demonstrators swapping scrapbook pages and gift items (3-D things).

 I just finished designing one of my swap cards yesterday morning. Thankfully I have enough supplies since I need to make 60 of these for an organized swap group I'll be participating in and I don't have time to order more of anything. Most swapping is just general swapping – go up to a stranger and ask, "Are you swapping?" which gets to be the most commonly heard phrase during the first couple days. And if you run out of swaps (or didn't bring any – heaven forbid!), your camera is out and ready capturing images of the ones you want to remember (and hope to make at home later).

This will be the card I swap at my organized card swap…


And here are the steps I took to make it.

First I put rubbing alcohol and Crushed Curry reinker into a Spritzer and gave it a few hard shakes to mix it. (I filled the bottle about 1/2 way with the rubbing alcohol and then squeezed the reinker until the bottle reached about 3/5 of the way full.) Then I went out on the deck, spread my Baked Brown Sugar card stock out, and spritzed all of it. It was much easier to spritz the card stock BEFORE cutting it.


After cutting the sheets down to 4" x 5-1/4" each, I ran them through the Big Shot with the Honeycomb embossing folder. As you can see, I altered the folder (added thick chip board to the outside in a couple spots just by attaching it with temporary adhesive – Dotto™). This alteration allows more pressure in the cardboard-covered areas when sending it through the Big Shot.


Of course, that meant I had to change the "sandwich" a bit…the platform (both tabs closed), then a layer of Whisper White card stock as a shim, then the embossing folder with the Baked Brown Sugar card stock inside, and then a cutting mat on top.


After running it through, this is the result.


Next I used a strip of SNAIL to adhere a 1-3/8" x 4" piece of Vellum Card Stock. It doesn't matter that the adhesive shows through here since that area will be covered eventually. I also stamp this adorable message image from the new Yippee-Skippee! stamp set (you can choose it in wood-mount or clear-mount) using StazOn Jet Black ink.


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our new Venetian Romance Designer Series Paper. And the Soft Suede color in this sheet matches VERY well with the Baked Brown Sugar color of the base card stock. So I added a 1" x just under 4" piece over the vellum – punched the end using our Hexagon punch to make it into a hanging banner. (The honeycomb pattern was perfect for the design of my card!)


I added one more banner made with a short strip of Crushed Curry Chevron ribbon. The punch doesn't work with the ribbon, so I just trimmed it using a Paper Snips Scissors.


I tucked the upper end of the ribbon under the Baked Brown Sugar card stock layer so I wouldn't get any fraying on the edge. And then I attached it to a Basic Black card base made from a 1/2 sheet of card stock (8-1/2" x 5-1/2") folded in half.


Since it's difficult to write on black, I needed to add a layer to the inside of the card as well. So I decided to get fancy there as well and put some detailing into it. I took a small 2" x 3" piece of Baked Brown Sugar card stock and sponged the edges with Crushed Curry ink.


Then I embossed a piece of 5" x 3-3/4" Vellum card stock and attached the brown card stock to it in the center. (Notice how the embossed areas of the vellum whitened up? Vellum does this when the fibers get broken.) Then I attached this to the inside of the card. The black under the vellum really shows off the white areas that got creased from the embossing folder.



To finish off the front of the card, I stamped with StazOn the bee image from Backyard Basics (wood-mount or clear-mount) onto a scrap of Vellum card stock.


Backyard Basics has a matching framelit set. Gotta love that. So instead of hand cutting around my bee, I die-cut it!


After die-cutting it, I flipped it over…


…onto my Stampin' Pierce Mat and used a stylus to rub (breaking the fibers to "color" them white) on the wings.



So fun! (Thanks, Brenda Marshall for reminding me of this technique!)


Then I colored the back of the bee (the color shows through!) using the markers, Crushed Curry and Basic Black.


Then I put a glue dot on the back making sure I kept it just in one section of the bee so it wasn't obvious. I attached the bee to the front of the card. But then I needed to make a card a little bit "sweeter", so…


…I found a Sharpie marker that matched Crushed Curry and colored a few pearls. These became the drops of honey!!!





Stamp Your Art Out! ~Rachel