Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Charcoal look

Just a quick post tonight while I'm still awake! :) While I was spending time (oodles of time!) over on Pintrest I saw something that really caught my eye. It was a video tutorial about using a black and a white pencil over kraft paper with OMS to mimic the look of a charcoal drawing. How awesome is that? So, I looked through my file of digis (printed some time ago) and decided that Poppy from Crafts and Me would be perfect to try this out. I think I got a little heavy handed, but practice will make me better at it (this was my first attempt). Don't be afraid to try it!

So after I colored her according to the video I cut her out with a nestie using the Out of the Box method I linked to in the last post.  Since the square die wasn't working well I trimmed off two of the sides to make it fit better and added the sentiment stamp to balance the right side.  This was layered over two pieces of black card stock that was punched with a Martha Stewart punch then over another nestie shape (a TJ technique) colored with Distress Ink.
The final layer isn't a layer at all - actually it's a line drawn in black pen with black pencil right up next to it that I blended outward with OMS to give it depth.  After rounding the corners and adding some white ribbon it was ready to go. :)
I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving filled with the best food, friends & family, and thankfulness that defines your day together!
Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mi amiga!

While I'm not back as quickly as I wanted to be, two weeks is *much* better than two months, right? :)
I have been getting back into the swing of making things just for fun instead of projects on a deadline.  It's an entirely different way of being creative.  I much prefer doing things on my own schedule... probably why I've never tried out for a design team! ;)
This card was made with my other purchase from Saturated Canary - isn't she a sweet little digi?  (although I admit, I have my eye on several more)  The whole card is very simple, just perfect for a quick note.  I cut the base down to 4 1/4 by 4 1/4 to fit the size of the digi better.

The girl was colored with copic markers and a touch of white pen then cut out using the Out of the Box technique I linked to last time.  You might notice that the original illustration and my girl have a bit of difference in the hair - unfortunately some of the wispy areas got (ahem) chopped when I was fussy cutting.  I did my best to clean it up so that it looked natural... but those are the hazards of fussy cutting! :D
The background was colored with a mix of distress inks (Pumice Stone & Weathered Wood - I have no idea why it looks so bright blue in the pic) and the edge of a scalloped circle cut from text weight paper.  I did add a little bit of clear spica pen in the water droplets with a drop of Glossy Accents over the top for grins, but you can't see it at all in the picture. :(
I measured and drew in the lines with a cool gray copic pen (*not* a marker) then went over them with the clear spica pen.  I stamped the sentiment with Weathered Wood distress ink but the base is so textured that I went over it with the same copic pen to get down in the lines.  I went over that with the spica pen too.  Isn't it a total bummer that you can't see any of the sparkle?  The final touch were the pearl colored dew drops - love the way they look. :)
Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's been TWO months??

I can't even believe that it's been that long! Let me just tell you, the last couple of months have been a whirlwind of activity.
My cousin was in the home stretch before her wedding and we were right there pulling with her! :) I had offered (months ago) to cut her favor boxes on our die cut machine. Little did I know that it would prove so very difficult! Note to self: don't offer to do something that you will have to "learn" before you can do it... it just doesn't work out well! The whole thing finally culminated in me realizing and admitting  that I just don't have what it takes to operate Funtime (the software our cutter came with) and buying MTC. In the end, they did come out well, and I'm *very* glad that I was able to do it for her and her groom. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures when they were completed - all I have is some iffy pictures taken at the reception.
There were three different types of boxes - pillow, pinch & gable - and several styles of both the pinch and the gable. I spent a day with a bunch of family right before the big day folding, adhering, stuffing, wrapping with ribbon and affixing stickers (which came with their invitations) to keep everything together. We had a great time! We also folded programs and made tissue paper and organza flowers for the rows of seats at the ceremony. I can't believe we did all that in one day! 
The other main thing leading up to the wedding (besides the shower) was the bachelorette party. There was a time ( a very long time ago!) that I was quite the party girl. We had quite the time - my crafty girls and I - coming up with all sorts of crazy things to make and do! ;) We made matching shirts for the girls that were there (and I used my Crop A Dile for major craftiness! and had to hunt at a bunch of stores for more eyelets) and a "veil" that would put ANY bride-to-be in a shame-coma! We were on a roll... cupcakes and jello shots, jewelry and flashing lights, matching shirts and indecent straws... we had it all! I can't show you pictures of that night, but maybe someday I'll get a picture of one of the shirts and post it. We truly outdid ourselves - and I can't thank my girls Robin & Jess enough for all their help. 
Also, in my spare time, I've been volunteering in my son's classroom. So far I've been helping do the weekly testing on Thursday mornings and helping log the kids into their reading program each morning. Oh, and I just went through my first major PTO sponsored event - the Halloween dance. Hoo boy! That was a whole *lot* of hours... rewarding, but exhausting! 
So finally, after all of that, I want to share the wedding card I made. Hopefully neither the bride or groom will think to check in here before they open all the gifts and cards! I found this lovely bride image at Saturated Canary on Etsy. You may recognize her style of images from a well known stamp company... but I'll let you discover who and where for yourself if you're interested.
I arranged a verse found online with the image in PSE and printed it on card stock.  Using the Out of the Box technique I cut both the bride and the sentiment out then embossed the edges of the nestie around the sentiment.  She was colored with copics and I went over the verse (and a bit of the dress) with a clear spica pen for a little sparkle.  The light blue panel was scored on my Martha Stewart board (using the envelope triangle makes diagonal scoring a snap) then punched with a MS punch.  I dotted dimensional pearls where the lines crossed and allowed it to dry.  A darker blue base (already cut), some ribbon, a white pen and a rolled flower completed the card.  Boy, it sounds a lot easier and quicker than it really was! :)

Thanks so much for dropping by! Hopefully things will settle down now and I'll be back to regular (ish) posting!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The days are just flying by...

Somehow I've managed to survive the last two weeks.  I'm not sure how, exactly, but I'm quite thankful! :)  The boy (Finally!  Already?!?!) started kindergarten (can you tell that I'm a bit conflicted?) and made it through his first full week.  His first "week" was actually only a few days - this last week was the full deal.  Of course I took pictures on the first day of school... he was NOT impressed.  Actually he was quite the little booger about the whole thing.  Well, look:
:D  I may have gotten two other pictures that were even worth editing!
While I know that starting Kindergarten is a trial for most kids - this has been especially challenging for us.  Talk about a grumpy kid!  And since he's my kid there is NO possibility of a nap after school.  *sigh*  Let's just say that there have been a lot of "interesting" evenings around here!
So.  Due to that whole situation (and a few other things) I have had a half finished card sitting on my table for more than a week.  It's still patiently waiting.  Hopefully the cat doesn't do anything destructive before I get back to it!  Another thing that has caught my eye is this melted crayon project.  I got so excited that I bought all the supplies already and am just waiting for a few minutes to begin melting.  I'll let you know how it goes!
The final thing I have to share with you is something I've been sitting on for a while.  In my last post you saw that the lovely Lauren sent me a tower of gifts. :)  Well, those gifts were some awesome crafty stuff (of course!) and included this awesome shadow box kit that I dove into right away! (literally, the day I opened it I started working on it - and didn't stop for days!)
As you can see, there is a LOT going on! :)
The base was covered with a piece of watercolor paper that I with Distress Inks.  I added a little bit of water to the background & blotted it to make it more interesting.  I stamped with more DI while the background was still wet and allowed it to dry.  Once dry, I adhered it to the base chipboard piece and went over some of the stamped lines with a Spica pen.  The frame pieces were adhered to the base then painted with the Pearl dabber from Tim.  Why does it look silver?  I have *no* idea.  Maybe it's the combination of Pearl dabber and raw chipboard?  Once those pieces were dry I used Glossy Accents to glue in some glass glitter to the inside edges.  I guess I was still fascinated by the geodes we saw up in Estes Park. :)
The saying was printed on a sheet of printable transparency - actually I had to do this several times.  The original used a font that was too delicate (it was practically invisible!) to compete with the underlying components.  I to cut it out and try again.  The second time I ran it through the Xyron and adhered it to the acrylic cover - BIG mistake!  That one had to be peeled off and then I had to clean the acrylic... not something I suggest!  This one is lightly adhered around the edges of the frame (to keep the glitter in and stop any slipping).  Although you can just see where I stamped a flower on the edge of the frame with DI before adhering the transparency.  I actually thought up the saying myself - it relates directly to how I wanted to encourage the boy to make friends in Kindergarten. :)
Finally I added the die cut leaves (colored with DI & spattered with water) and the rolled flower (also colored with DI but a bit of Distress stickles and PP mist added) to the corner to help cover some of the adhesive.  On the back are a couple of tabs to help it stand up.
On the whole I am quite happy with how it turned out!  I do wish that my font was bolder (it's harder to see IRL) but not enough to keep me from enjoying it.
Thanks for dropping by!  Hopefully things will mellow out a bit and I'll see you soon! :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A party for my friend

When I was still a working girl I made a lovely friend, Joan.  Her birthday was this past weekend and we were invited to her party up in Estes Park.  It was a lovely day up in the mountains - with just a touch of rain and gorgeous temperatures! :)  My boy was able to climb rocks (which he told us over and over on the way up that there were good rocks to climb there, no THERE!) and take his first turn at a pinata.  I often miss those friends that I made at BMA... hopefully we'll see each other more often now.
Here is the card I made for Joan's birthday - I hope she loves it!
I found this gorgeous Inkadinkado stamp at Jo Ann's a while ago.  Actually, I found two stamps with similar images, this is just the first to be featured. :)
The glass was colored with a mix of Copic markers and distress inks with a water pen.  The flower was colored with watercolor markers and a water brush.  Unfortunately, you can't tell that I followed Dina's instructions for adding dimension to the flower.  I don't think I used enough pressure to really get the petals popped up. *sigh*  Oh, well.
The mat was just a piece of kraft paper run through the Cuttlebug with an embossing folder.  After inking the embossed section I ran it back through to flatten it.  It's always best to cut it to size *after* you've embossed and flattened - the paper always seems to stretch in unexpected ways.  Everything was edged with more distress ink in either brown or blue, except the ribbon (seam binding! yay!) which I colored completely with the same DI color.  Once it was all put together and photographed I added a bit of black Spica to the center of the flower.  Figures! :)
One more thing to share before I head off.  I received a surprise package in the mail from my lovely friend Lauren early this week.  In the box was this:
Why, yes!  That is a lovely card there on the left... and a three part prezzie on the right! :)  What's in it you ask?  Well you'll just have to wait and see! :D
Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Inspired by a gorgeous card!

I finally managed to get my hands on some seam binding.  Seems like practically everyone is using it these days - tying bows, double bows, dyeing it, scrunching it....  It was absolutely impossible to find locally so I broke down & ordered a roll of white from EBay figuring that I could dye my own.  Guess what?  It takes color *beautifully*! :D
About a month ago I saw a card done by Jennifer over at Our Change of Art that really stuck with me.  I loved the bright pop of color(s) against the white background and the cut out was inspired!  I went in the opposite direction (inspiration isn't the same as CASE, lol) with black instead of white, thick instead of thin, horizontal instead of vertical, more instead of less... well, let's just say I "made it my own"! :D

There are several things that just don't show up well in the picture.  First, all those ribbon strips *sparkle*!  I used a generous mix of Starburst Stains, Glimmer Mist, Perfect Pearls mist and Color Wash sprays.  I had to get creative with the orange ribbon, but I had at least two values of each of the other colors. (that's why it looks dark and light on each ribbon - it's by design, not poor camera lighting!)  IRL you can see the shimmer from nearly every angle - not so much in the pic.  There was no real technique here, basically I just spritzed and dragged the ribbon through then scrunched and let them dry.  Easy but I had VERY colorful hands for a few days. ;)  To finish them I cut a piece of white cardstock to size, ran it through the Xyron and adhered the ribbon in layers.  I trimmed the ends and taped them down with scotch tape then added some foam tape to the back for height.
The butterfly (Rubber Cottage) is another thing that looks much, much better IRL.  I stamped the image in black then cut it out using a craft knife and a lot of patience.  (A lot of patience, this is my 3rd attempt.)  Once I cut the interior sections I ran it through the Xyron and attached two layers of Sunkissed Fantasy Film to the back.  The film is a yellow/golden color with purple overtones.  And although you can't see it in the pic I spritzed the butterfly with a golden Glimmer Mist as well.  The body was painted with a gray/purple Starburst Spray.  Finally I outlined the black portions with a black Spica pen.  It completely bums me out that you can see the film but *none* of the sparkle! :(
The ribbon panel was popped up on the black card and the butterfly was adhered with Glue Lines (just like glue dots, but and inch long so they're manageable) along the body and part of the wing.  As a final touch I added dots of Stickles to the wings over the film, but it didn't stick well after drying.  I imagine they're falling like rain by now! :)
Thanks for dropping by!  Hope to see you again soon!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My best friend's birthday and a sad day

Everything seems to conspire at once, doesn't it?  Almost immediately after my last post I found out that a friend from high school had passed away.  It seems so strange - here we're not even 40 yet and already death has visited. :(  I guess we try to prepare ourselves for the deaths of our (older) loved ones, but it rarely crosses our minds to prepare for it to happen to someone our own age (or younger).  Rest in peace, Tricia.
In much happier news, my best friend (born a mere 6 days after me) came over to celebrate our birthdays with me last weekend.  She is a true delight!  Smart, funny, honest - I could go on for hours! :)
Here's the card I made for her:
I got the idea from a card at Archivers that I saw recently.  They used a different Pixie stamp but didn't have it in stock.  This is Paisley Pixie from Stamping Bella - isn't she cute?  My girlfriend has brown curly hair (well, me too just not as dark) which is why I chose to color her with dark hair. :)  I stamped Paisley on a piece of nice white card stock and masked the flowers.  After blending in a little DI in the center I removed the mask and colored the flowers and pixie with a mix of Copics, Smooch, colored pencil, Perfect Pearls mist, Stickles and Spica pen.  Whew!
Once the image was fully colored I used the TJ technique called Out of the Box to cut her out with my Nesties and Cuttlebug.  If you'd like to see a tutorial on this technique you can find it here on SCS.  After it was cut out I edged it with more DI (being very careful not to bend the overhanging pieces).  Paisley was popped up over a piece of Basic Grey paper and a simple white ribbon (which I added some stickles to!).
Here's a close up look at Paisley - you can get a good idea of the shine IRL:

Thanks for dropping by!  Hopefully the card I'm working on now will come together in the next day or so - posting twice in one week, can you imagine?? :D