Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! To me, finally, we're allowed to look forward to Christmas. Yes, I'm one of those people that get irritated when Christmas music starts playing two months early... mostly because those songs get stuck in my head! :)

Now I can feel good about posting Christmas cards, which is my intention today. I have to say that I didn't come up with this idea myself, I CASEd it from Beate (here). This is actually pretty unusual for me, I don't generally *like* to CASE, but this time I just fell in LOVE with the look she achieved. I made two versions, but I think I like them both the same amount - very unusual!

For this first one I used a tree from a set that I bought from Stamp Oasis (part of Rubbernecker now). I've always loved the SU! set Lovely As A Tree but I just can't justify buying it. I think this tree does a great job instead. And yes, those trees in the background also came in the same set from SO. I think the Peace and Joy sentiment also came from Stamp Oasis, but that would have been waaaay back in the day - long before Rubbernecker bought them.
There was a certain amount of 'technique' (if you want to call it that! ROFL) to getting this glitter on. First I squeezed glue (MS glitter glue) along the tops of the branches, thoroughly glittered, then smushed and dragged it downward so it would look more like snow on branches. Instead of piles of glitter! :)
For the second one I used a branch from Third Coast. Again, I think this does an excellent job of taking over for the SU! set. Both cards have Martha Stewart glitter in Carrara Marble on the branches but it's a lot thicker on this one. I wanted to add the piercing that Beate did on this one, I think it adds to the overall feeling. I forgot that I wanted to add background trees to this one too, hence the background snowflakes. They're very light IRL, I think they look just as nice as the trees in the first one.
Here's a closer look at the snowflake and glitter. You can really see all the dimension that the glitter has. I had to use the Martha Stewart glitter glue; it just seemed to hold the glitter better than the others that I tried. I used my Cuttlebug to cut out the snowflake from plastic packaging (one of the embossing folder covers) then coated it with Stickles. The stickles had a pinkish cast (?!?) so I dumped a bunch of the Carrara glitter on the wet stickles and 'smushed' it. That's right, I *smushed* this too! lol
As always, I appreciate your visit!
Recipe for 1st card: natural and bronze c/s, Distress ink Vintage Photo, Chalk ink Warm Green, London Fog Memento, Adirondack Snow Cap, VersaColor Sky Gray, white Gelly Roll pen, MS glitter and glue, Stamp Oasis trees and sentiment
Recipe for 2nd card: natural and evergreen c/s, Ancient Page Pine, Adirondack Snow Cap, Versa Color Sky Gray, white Gelly Roll pen, MS glitter and glue, Cuttlebug & snowflake die, Stickles, Glossy Accents, piercing template & paper piercing tool, branch from Third Coast, 'Silent Night' is a partial imprint from a Hero Arts stamp that says Silent Night, Holy Night

Friday, November 21, 2008

Double mask

Hello again! I'm never sure which is better, two posts or a post with two cards? Today I chose to post two cards - mostly because they're so similar. Well, kinda!

Both cards were made with the new Tim Holtz masks, which I *love*, and major quantities of distress inks. These masks are BIG, much bigger than I would've thought optimal, but they also give you a lot of area to play with. Make sure you take time to watch Tim's video on how to prep them before use. As always, his video is packed with great info!
This first one was made with the ornate fence looking set, although I didn't follow his directions exactly. On the left side you can see the positive, on the right I used the negative (I couldn't bear to throw it away!). First I laid down some Weathered Wood and covered it with the positive mask. Then I added greens, blues and browns around and over the mask. After that had dried a little I place the negative on the right edge and used a dark brown for better contrast/coverage. After I peeled up the negative mask I spritzed the whole piece with Pearl Glimmer Mist (the positive mask was still in place) and allowed to dry. Finally, I peeled up the positive mask, stamped over the bottom with a script stamp and stamped the dragonfly at the top. Since I thought it needed something extra I had to dig (literally!) around in my fibers until I found some that worked well. Hmmm, I think the tag came from Target's dollar spot?
For this next one I used the new flourish mask and the wrinkle free distress technique (also from Tim). Reds were the dominant color to begin with, then I added lots of brown over the mask - it's really amazing IRL!
Sadly, both cards use stamps that I don't know where came from! The Japanese Maple on this one (it actually says Japanese Maple on it - I just didn't ink that part) and the Dragonfly on the other one are mysteries. I know I bought the dragonfly at a show several years ago but there is no name on it. As for the maple, well, I swear I haven't had it that long but I can't find it in the catalogs of companies I usually shop. Trust me, I've looked! Maybe someone out there has seen them before? I'd love to know the source!
As always, I appreciate your visit! Come back soon! :)

Recipe for first card: Tim Holtz masks, various Distress Inks, Brilliance Graphite black, Pearl Glimmer Mist, fibers from The Artist's Nook and my stash, Dragonfly from ??, French writing from Hero Arts, metal tag from Target
Recipe for second card: Tim Holtz mask, various Distress Inks, Brilliance Lightning Black, Versafine Onyx black, Japanese Maple from ??, sentiment from Club Scrap, Dew Drops from Cowboy asst, ribbon, piercing template

Friday, November 14, 2008

A little scrappy...

Once again, I've been sidetracked! I promise I'll get back to trying things out with the Fantasy Film (soon! I have a cool idea for earrings!) but for today I have a scrappy card. What's a scrappy card? Well... I used a lot of designer paper - you know, stuff from the scrapbook aisle. Gorgeous paper, sooo sparkly! :)

There were a lot of steps to this card. Wasn't until I sat down to write out my supply list that I realized just how many. Sheesh, no wonder all my cards are one of a kind! Yes, ALL of my cards are one of a kind, even Christmas cards. Only in *very* rare instances will I redo something. Guess I just loose interest once I've mastered the challenge! *lol*
Both the paper at the bottom and the paper in the nestie circle are the designer paper, both are from My Minds Eye (Laundry Line) - aren't they beautiful? I just love the colors. That butterfly is coated in Holographic EP from Ranger. The glitter seems to change color just like the glitter on the paper. When you move the card around you get glints of blue, green, yellow, purple - you name it! I think the hardest part was stamping the sentiment. You can't really tell from this picture, but there are *thick* lines of glitter/glue over the lines - guess what, ink doesn't stick well to glue! Brown pen to the rescue! Hope it lasts....
Here's a close up of the butterfly. I don't think you can really see it but there's a pattern (flourishes of course!) on the left wing that doesn't get inked. I painted that area and the body with Brass Rail Radiant Pearls to match the lighter tone of brown on the DSP (and it matches the skinny Martha Stewart ribbon too).
Even though it's not my usual style (*gasp* no black!) I really like how it came out. Everything from the glitter to the dew drops makes me feel all girly! :) Hope you like it too!
As always, thanks for dropping by!
Recipe: Butterfly from Paper Studio, Dream from Serendipity Stamps, Bazzil Pinecone & Moss solid c/s, My Minds Eye Laundry Line DSP, Twill ribbon, Martha Stewart self adhesive ribbon, Radiant pearls in Brass Rail & Eucalyptus, Dew Drops from Cowboy asst, scalloped circle Nestibilities, Cuttlebug, Holographic embossing powder from Ranger, Versamark, Martha Stewart butterfly punch, Zig marker in Cola, Glossy Accents - WOW what a list! :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Inspired by Zeb

Zeb is an uber artistic woman that belongs to several of the groups that I lurk on. :) She is multi talented, always helpful and amazingly kind. Lately she's been on a Fantasy Film kick... and, Oh MY! What lovely things she has created (go visit her blog!) to share lately.

I had some FF that I bought a while ago. I guess it seemed like I always bought the wrong color because I could never get it to look right. That must be why I put it away and rarely even *looked* in that drawer! Well, after Zeb inspired me, I went and bought a bottle of Crackle Accents by Ranger. While it wasn't exactly the colors I was looking for - I'm diggin' the results! lol

Really, the technique was pretty simple. First I stamped in black (on plain white c/s) then used gel medium to stick various colors of FF down to the images. After they were dry, I cut them out and applied Crackle Medium to some, Glossy Accents to others and GA and iridescent confetti to others. You can see the variety of the different petals in this close up shot. The 2nd and 4th petals are both covered with the same yellow FF, isn't the color variation amazing?!

So here's a shot of the completed card. I tried to keep it understated, there's no reason (or way) to compete with that flower! I think I would've preferred the sentiment to say 'fleur' or 'beauty' or something similar. Sadly, I discovered a distinct *lack* of stamps that say that!
Must. Go. Shop.
Cover for me, will ya? :)

As always, thanks for stopping by!
Recipe: flowers from Impression Obsession, Love from Rubber Soul, Glossy Accents, Crackle Accents, Fantasy Film, iridescent confetti, clear rhinestones, black velvet & patterned papers, green metallic base from Paper Cut, black Glaze pen, Scor It board

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mom's birthday card

Hi there! Today I thought I'd post the birthday card I made for my mom. Don't worry, she got it already (even though it was late - very late). I think I inherited my aversion to the post office from her! lol

I thought I'd start by showing you the first version. While I love the image panel, the card came out *ugh*. As much as I *wish* I didn't make any mistakes, I'd really rather keep it real. I mean, I make ugly things (doesn't everyone?) but I do TRY to go back & fix it. You just got invited along to see how.... :)

I just love this stamp from Third Coast (well, they are one of my very favorite companies) she looks so purposeful and mysterious. This card just didn't look purposeful - OR mysterious! lol I think I was trying not to use too much black, thankfully I've passed that phase. I can tell you that I worked really, really hard making the base card the right color, choosing the accent stamp & coloring it and making the placement *just so*. Yuck.

Sorry to burn your eyeballs out like that... how 'bout this instead? Oh, much better! Once I got past my aversion to black (really, how could I be averse to black?!) things started to fall into place. By changing the orientation of the image piece and using basic tone on tone stamping I brought life back to the important parts!
You may be wondering about that panel. It's not actually a difficult technique, I just sponged Lumieres on a piece of watercolor paper until I liked the way it came together.
The woman was chosen long after the background was done. I think she was waiting for the perfect background. Eh, it's what I do. Stamp by the seat of my pants, that is!
Thanks for dropping by!

Recipe: Woman from Third Coast, corner from Bo Bunny, Halo Blue Green & Gold Lumiere paint, watercolor paper, Charcoal chalk ink, Brilliance Graphite Black, gold gel pen, black & gold c/s, pop dots

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Back already?!?

Why, yes! I *am* back already! *lol*
I just finished making this card last night, took me until tonight to get a pic & 'prepare' it for my blog. When I saw this stamp in Mike's I knew I had to have it. I already had several ideas for cards, and I've made two of them. Soon I'll make some more... hope family & friends like it as much as I do!
There are a couple of things you should know about making this card. First is that the base is from Archiver's (called Polarized) back when they still sold 'normal' size bases. I haven't even bothered to pick up any more base cards from them since the change, can't seem to get excited about their new line. I'm sure that you can still get this card stock, maybe I've seen it from the Paper Cut? Oh, yup, linked it there for you. Anyway, it is white, but it also has a gold shimmer to it. Impossible to tell from the pic but absolutely there.

Second is that since my white stamping looked so flat (with the polarized cs) that I went over some of it with Golden Mist Opalite ink. Just a touch (used a blending stump cause it was handy!) so you can't see that in the pic either! :(

And third is that I had the *hardest* time trying to get those red flowers, well, RED. I wanted a nice deep, rich red. Not pink or purple - but RED. First I used prismacolor pencils. Ish. Then I tried ink, Distress & chalk. Still no go. I even bought a vial of ink (for calligraphy) and tried that! That white pigment ink just would not give up! Finally I used the dark red Glaze pen. Success! But just so you know, I did not use the pen by itself - the final piece is over pencil and calligraphy ink (your mileage may vary). You can see the dimension it added in this close up pic. I think for these flowers I liked the shiny effect of the Glaze pens, ties the crystals in with the flowers I think. And in case you can't tell, I used the same glaze pen all around the red layer to make the colors match. Even though I started with a red paper for the layer, the match looks great!

Finally, I know the ribbon looks crooked. It's not IRL, just appears that way because the glue under the crystals stuck the ribbon down too. Maybe someday I'll figure out better photo taking techniques... nah, too much stampin to do! :D
Thanks for visiting with me again! Hope you try some stamping on black!

Recipe: Flower by Hero Arts, Love by Rubber Soul, Ranger Snow Cap, Memento Rhubarb Stalk, Opalites Golden Mist (also Distress Ink Brick Red), various prismacolor pencils, red calligraphy ink, Glaze pen in dark red, Satin edged organza ribbon, red swarovski crystals, pop dots, Glossy Accents, Polarized base