Saturday, August 25, 2012

Verve Stamps Turns 5!

Verve Stamps is celebrating their 5th Anniversary (Birthday?).  During August, they had a site-wide sale, hosted creative challenges, had a terrific blog hop over 9 days with creations using their new release products by the Design Team (AKA "Divas"), and wrapped it all up with a phenomenal release party on Splitcoaststampers.  There were tons of prizes and giveaways for participating in the challenges, commenting on the blog hop, and posting on the party thread (I scored a $25 gift code to the store!!)
Truly amazing products, wonderful service and creativity, and the best, kindest design team AND customers/fans around.

These are my creations for the Anniversary Challenges.
DAY 1: Color Challenge (Use pink, brown, and green)

 I had a great time making this card.  I had some new 6x6 paper pads with beautiful choices in pinks, greens, and browns (the hard part was choosing which to use).  AND I had some lovely new-to-me Verve stamps and dies in hand from their Anniversary sale.
I used this long Irish Blessing stamp from Verve's Blessings set.  The leaves are cut with the Elegant Leaves die (I stamped with Versamark and clear embossing powder first, so they have a bit of shimmer and depth IRL).  The little butterfly is from one of my all-time favorite Verve sets, Blue Skies, and is cut out with the coordinating All Aflutter die.
I folded the brown dotted paper and cut within the edges of the Ribbon Banner Die to make it longer.
The long ticket-edged pink panels were cut with an MFT Die-namics in the Layered Label set.
And I used a little twist on Jen del Muro's Sketch for You to Try for August.

DAY 2: Anniversary Themed Card (Using silver or wood)

The challenge was to create an anniversary card with silver or wood (the modern and traditional gifts given for 5th anniversaries).  I opted for silver.  It's much more shiny and elegant in person. I embossed the frame and sentiment from Verve's Love Story set in silver embossing powder, used silver sparkly ribbon, and dangled a silver charm that says "love."
The camera doesn't like photographing silver, I have to tell you.  But imagine that the sentiment is shiny and the card overall sparkly, OK?  I added a bit of red Copic to the frame, a thin red mat, and a red Recollections paper rose. I also stamped the leaves from Verve's Bloom & Grow set in Weathered Wood Distress ink, first stamping off with varying degrees of pressure to make the stamps lighter and darker for depth.

DAY 3: Sketch Challenge

Day 3's challenge for Verve's 5th Anniversary celebration was a sketch challenge (my favorite).
I did add one extra long thin panel, slightly offset from the one in the sketch.  I liked the darker blue, but the whole piece showing was too overpowering.  And yet, just the bird and hexagon pattern got a bit lost by itself.  So I used them both.  ;)
The sentiment is from Verve's Here for You set, a new purchase for me, and on sale during the Verve Anniversary Sale.  It's cut out with the Embossed Oval Die, which is layered on a Spellbinders die.
Papers are MME, including some of the new The Sweetest Thing in Bluebell (love them).
I have to dedicate this one to the lovely Verve Diva, Teresa, for her use of such yummy trims.  I threaded some stringed pearls through this beautiful trim in place of the scallop edge in the sketch.  Twill wrapped with twine to form a bow, and some larger pearls finish it off.

DAY 4: CAS (Clean and Simple) Card

Believe it not, Verve's Anniversary Day 4 challenge was the most challenging to me: A CAS (Clean and Simple) card.  By nature, I unfortunately keep very few things simple in my life, and papercrafting is no exception.  So I had to reach deep to not add layers of patterned papers.  I did bring in a beautifully colored, subtle pattern in the flower, from Echo Park's So Happy Together 6x6 pad.  And the leaves are MME.
The stamps, my absolute favorite flower from Verve's Great Friend set, are cut out by hand and layered with dimensionals between, then topped with black rhinestones.  The leaves are from the Sunny Days set and cut with the coordinating Leafy Sprigs dies.
The simple sentiment (maybe that was my further attempt to keep the card CAS??) is also from Great Friend.
I scored a few lines on the edges of the front of the card.
And that's it!  I know, seems kind of a lot for being CAS, but hopefully the finished card comes across that way.

DAY 5: ABC (Anything But a Card) Challenge

You got it...make anything except a card.  Easier said than done.
I was puzzling over what to make.  I have some great cutting files...little boxes or bags or 3D items.  But while browsing Joann's at an impromptu stop in (dh wanted to go to Sports Authority next door), I found these adorable tiny 3x3 canvases.  I absolutely love the inspirational quotes in the Words of Wisdom stamp set by Verve.  I decided to decorate three of the little canvases with some of my favorite quotes in the set.  I colored the backgrounds with Copics (actually much more difficult than I thought.  The ink didn't want to stay).  Then stamped with Staz-On, and added a few stamped and cut out elements from other Verve sets and added my signature bling (nothing's finished until it has some bling) in the form of alternating colors of flat backed pearls around the edges.
Very simple, but with the coordinating colors and designs, and the wonderful uplifting quotes, I like my little art pieces.  I plan to hang them up in my craft room, unless I find someone who needs the inspiration even more than I do.

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