Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another post already?

Yup! :) This one is a bit special since I made it specifically for the challenge over at Mo's Challenge blog. The challenge was to make a Christmas card for someone special using traditional colors. I hope these can be considered traditional!
Now, I have to say, I'm not warming up to digital stamps the way I thought I would. Why? Well, mostly because I have a ton of trouble printing them! It's definitely something to do with operator error (not Mo's files - those are awesome!) but I can't manage to get one printed that looks good in under an hour. Yes, an hour! It's going to take some serious work to figure out what the problem is - in the meantime I've added this fairy stamp (and a couple of others) to my wish list now that they're being made by Stampavie. Hope I've been good enough for Santa!
I fell in love with this fairy just as soon as I saw her. I could think of all kinds of ways to use her - Christmas theme just happened to come first. There are a *lot* of things going on here - let me take you step by step.
First I printed the image (about 15 times, but you knew that). Then I colored her with a combination of Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor pencils and Prismacolor pencils. Honestly I'm not all that fond of Prismas but the Lyras don't have as many shades and I needed some 'flesh' colors. My understanding is that Prisma pencils are wax based and Lyras are oil based - the Lyra pencils blend like a dream! Everything on that panel was colored with Lyra pencils and blended with either OMS or the Splender pencil except the flesh colors. Even the sky!
Once the fairy was colored I used my Xyron to adhere it to a piece of white card stock (I told you the printer was giving me fits!). Using nesties and my cuttlebug I cut & embossed the panel. By then I felt comfortable adding glue and glitter to her wings, stickles to the star and some Radiant Pearls to her dress and belt. I set it aside to dry and started working on the green piece.
The green piece started out as a plain piece of white card stock which I colored with Pine Needles Distress Ink. The tree (Stamp Oasis, I think) was stamped several times with the same ink. Using Matte Mod Podge I glued a piece of mulberry like paper (with those silver & gold flecks in it) to the top of the green. Once dry I used the ScorIt to score the edges and a paper piercer to pierce around that. Finally (although you can't see it in the picture) I ran it through my cuttlebug with the snowflake Impressability from Spellbinders.
Layers of muted gold card stock were added, then everything was mounted on a 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 base card cut from decorative white/pearl card stock. That, of course, was also edged with Pine Needles. :) As the very last step I added the metal star clip and a Swarovski crystal to the top.
I wish you could all see this in person! It's very textured with lots of sparkle. And I *LOVE* my Christmas fairy!
Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas cards part 3!

Still going strong on the whole Christmas card thing! I can hardly believe it! Like I've said before, usually I'm still making them *after* Christmas, but this year things are different! Somehow it always seems like 'cheating' if I make more than one of the same Christmas card - something I go to great lengths to avoid (including making a list of recipients in columns so that I know who will have a chance to see other cards I've made) (isn't that ridiculous?). Anyway, this year I don't think I'll have to worry about it at all. Am I crazy or what? :D
This first card is another inspiration from Kristina Werner's video series. I just loved the little ornaments she tied on with string! It's fairly simple, not a bit of stamping! I cut small circles from designer paper and edged them with a silver krylon pen. The letters are stickers (Making Memories I believe) and have a shimmery look to them in person. Not quite glitter they have more texture. I used Kristina's idea for tying them on with a strand of silver embroidery thread (two strands from a 6 strand piece). I did pop two of the circles up on pop dots - the J and the Y. A strip of the same designer paper across the top with some white and silver ribbon for edging completed the look. Oh, and if the blue base looks dirty or fuzzy - it's not. It has silvery/mica inclusions. Looks really pulled together IRL! :)
This next one is a little dark. The stamp on the main panel is from Katzelkraft (love them!). What you can't really tell from the picture is how that main panel was made. First I cut down a piece of white cs to a little bigger than the stamp. I used Broken China & Faded Jeans DI to color it. After it was dry I used Matte Mod Podge to adhere this really thin mulberry type paper (which has silver & gold metallic flakes in it) over the top. After that was dry I stamped with black (Staz On) but my pad was too dry so I stamped again with Memento. Because of the mulberry fibers it bled a little. After that was dry I went over the swirls and the trees with a clear glitter pen - unfortunately you can't really see that in the picture! I trimmed the image out, dabbed some glue around the edges and dipped them in glitter.
The next panel was a designer paper that I trimmed down and colored the edges with more Faded Jeans DI. Then I used Charcoal chalk ink and the grungy edges from Stempelglede to give it more interest. Of course the edges of this panel also had to be dipped in glitter! Some silver wired Christmas ribbon and a shimmery black base were all it took to finish it.
This next one looks far better in person. You can't really see the shimmer or texture in the picture - nor can you really see the lines of silver (around the letters, the sentiment panel and some of the background strips) that give it that 'WOW' look in person. *sigh*
This was a technique called Herringbone from the latest Technique Junkies newsletter. Basically strips of paper laid at angles, it took LOTS more time that I thought it would. The sentiment panel is popped up to allow the trim room to hang. I used the same letter stickers for the actual sentiment, but they faded into the background so I outlined them with a dark silver glitter pen. I sewed a border (using that same embroidery thread) around the panel for a little more texture. All in all I really like how this came out, but it's not something you want to make if you're in a hurry!

In other business, my friend Etha sent me an award a while back. Thanks Etha! It came with a list of questions that I'm supposed to answer with one word... let's see how I do!

The Rules are: Pass this award on to five people, post on their blog to let them know you have left this award for them. And then answer a list of questions in one word!

1. Where is your mobile?…purse
2. Your hair?…obstinate
3. Your Mother?…gone
4. Your Father?… immaterial (if you asked about my dad - then healing)
5. Your favorite food?…carnitas
6. Your Dream last night?…surreal
7. Your Fav Drink?…Amante! (a brand of coffee)
8. Your Dream?…security
9. What room are you in?…living
10. Your Hobby?… stamping
11. Fear?…abandonment
12. Where do you want to be in 5 years?…here
13. Where were you last night?… out
14. Something that you aren’t?…fashionable
15. Muffins…chocolate
16. Wish List Item?…pencils
17. Where did you grow up?…Colorado
18. Last thing you did?…answer
19. What are you wearing?…jammies
20. Your TV?…off
21. Pets?…yup
22. Friends?…precious
23. Mood?…apprehensive
24. Life?…busy
25. Missing someone?…yes
26. Vehicle?…Xterra
27. Something you’re not wearing?…makeup
28. Fav store?…Borders
29. Fav Colour?…green
30. When was last time you laughed?…yesterday
31. Last time you cried?…worthwhile
32. Best Friend?…smart!
33. One place that I go to over n over? Target
34. Facebook?…nope
35. Fav place to eat? restaurant

Since most people I know have already answered these questions, I won't pass it on to any certain persons (I know, I'm a booger). However, if YOU want to answer them - feel free to snag the award/questions and fill them out! *IF* you would also be so kind as to leave me a link to come see your answers!
Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Christmas cards and a Black Friday tale...

So, did you shop on Black Friday? For the first time ever I went shopping at 5am. Target was my destination (giant Lego set for $$ off) and it was an amazing experience! I had no idea that it would be so hugely crowded here in my sleepy town! The most amazing part of the experience was what happened at the end. When I finally got into the store I found that I had missed the ONE thing I was there for - totally bummed I decided to walk around and see if there was anything else worth buying. Sure enough, a little here and a doodad there - by the time I got to the registers it was a ZOO. I got in line, talked to a nice couple ahead of me, moved around a couple of times (when those little lights on top start flashing - move over!). Finally I ended up behind some women. Then it happened. One of the women in front of me decided not to buy one of the things in her cart... it was the Lego set! When she asked if I wanted it I could have fallen down out of shock! In the end I got what I came for (thanks to that lovely woman) and was in and out in less than an hour. Woo Hoo! Can't beat that!
Enough with the Black Friday story - how 'bout some cards?!
This first one is steadily growing on me. At first I wasn't sure that I really liked it that much, but I'm really liking the window. First I eyeballed where to put the snowflake border (Hampton Art) on the card base & stamped with Colorbox Frost White. Then I tore the bottom piece off followed by the middle piece. Using a piece of acetate I made a window between the top of the card & the bottom. You can't see the glue I used since I adhered it on the inside - but it looked awful in there!. So, using some scraps of white shimmer paper I covered the inside of the card and left a little distressed edge showing through the window. The sentiment (Stampendous) was also stamped in Frost White - positioned so that you could see it through the window. Some Katzelkraft snowflakes & flourishes were stamped with VersaMark Frost on the inside as well.

Next up is this CAS beauty - perfect for mailing! I used my nesties to emboss a rectangle design on the front of the card to frame the sentiment (Imaginisce) which was stamped with Peeled Paint distress ink (the snowflake is part of the sentiment and was inked with Broken China). The holly (Stampendous) was stamped around the frame with Peeled Paint and Shabby Shutters DI, then colored in with pencils. I also stamped the Christmas balls (Recollections) with Peeled Paint then colored them in with pencils. Just a dab of OMS made everything look a little smoother. Finally a dab of stickles on the Christmas balls & snowflake made everything more festive! Since there is no bulk to this card it would be perfect for mailing.

Finally I'll show off my favorite card of the year (so far). This gorgeous angel image is from Crafty Secrets. She was stamped on white paper with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and colored in with a mix of Frayed Burlap, Dried Marigold, Scattered Straw and Mustard Seed Distress Inks. The background was lightly colored in with a light blue pencil and dabbed with OMS. Over her robe I used a Spica pen in Sand - unfortunately you can't see the shimmer in the picture. I used sketch challenge WSC105 from SCS for the background. These two papers were *perfect* to match the colors used in the angel panel. The one with the glittery swirl is from K & Co and the other is from Basic Grey. The sentiment (from the same package as the angel) was stamped first with black, then with Brilliance Cosmic Copper. Isn't she lovely?! :D

So, back to the crafty table to make more cards. I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend and excellent shopping!
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas cards, pt. 1

Well, honestly, if I didn't know that I haven't experienced any unexplained fevers or desperate desires to howl at the moon I would be very worried! Why? My Christmas mojo has exploded! :) I don't think I've *ever* had this kind of mojo for one theme! And for me to be so early with my Christmas cards?! Unheard of!
Since I have too many to put into one post I thought I should break it up. Hopefully it won't take too long for the next installation, especially since I've already edited the photos. That is what really takes me so long between posts - the editing. Between my lack of skill and the fact that I don't do it everyday (so of course I forget what I've learned between sessions) I take way too long to edit each photo. It can take me upwards of an hour to edit one photo - how sad is that?
I digress.

Let's start with this one! Fairly simple, the Inkadinkado tree was stamped with Pine Ancient Page ink on white cardstock. Using Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain distress inks I colored the edges. You can just barely see some light flourishes (Katzelkraft) in the background - those were stamped with water (yes, water!) over the distress inks for a very subtle background. The white card base was also colored with distress inks, as were the edges of the green paper (Deja Views). Can you see the silvery looking dots on that green paper? That was just a glitter pen dotted over the background for interest. Some rounded corners, a little ribbon - et voila!

Up next we have this fun (and glittery!) card. I've been watching the Christmas card videos over on Kristina Werner's blog (awesome cards, btw) and was inspired by her clean graphic style to do this. First I adhered a piece of designer paper (MME Organic) to the base. The trees (Recollections) were stamped with Peeled Paint on a large piece of white paper. I sized the paper (after much trial and error) to cover the edge of the striped paper, be punched and still have the trees attached. Once I did all of those things I used a glue pen and covered all the white area with some Martha Stewart glitter. Then, just for grins, I added some to the sides of the trees! :) Ran the whole thing through the xyron and stuck it down. Finally I added the sentiment (also Recollections) in Frost White ink.

Now for something entirely different! This was CASEd from Mel's absolutely stunning creation. Really, you have no idea how much I love it. All I can say is that it's lucky that she lives so far away, otherwise I'd probably be caught digging through her goodies looking for it! (plus it could take me a while, cause that Mel? she's got goodies!) Anyway! I really tried to keep as true to the original as I could, given that I don't have the exact same supplies (or really cool mojo). My sky is a blue textured paper, but even though I love them I just couldn't convince myself to add all those knots. I'm all about instant gratification! Once again, the quickie glue pen and Martha glitter to the rescue! The hills, trees and ribbon tag were all from one sheet of 8x8 scrapbook paper. Torn (and cut) creatively it was just enough paper for this project (the card is a larger 5x7 size). Just like Mel I painted gesso on the trees. Unlike Mel I couldn't imagine beading the hills - so (yup, you guessed it) I ran my glue pen along the edges and glittered them up! Some on the sides of the trees too. The tag was cut and embossed with my nesties (but the paper was too thin to get a good impression) then painted with gesso too. A little ribbon, a sentiment and a star completed the CASE. Thank you Mel for inspiring me with your gorgeous original!

That's it for tonight. I promise there are more coming - including my very favorite on of the season (so far)! Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Playing with gesso

Recently I saw something about watering down gesso and putting it in a spray bottle. I really thought that was an awesome idea - completely new to me, but apparently painters have known about this trick for a while!
It certainly wasn't as easy as I thought it would be - plus it was a *lot* more messy - but I did have fun with it.
First I brayered Creole Spice Kaleidacolor pad on a piece of watercolor paper, then sprayed (and dipped) the edges once it was dry. I stamped the tree in Charcoal chalk ink, then went over some of the dots with both a white pen and a silvery glitter pen (which was also used on parts of the trunk).
The sentiment was stamped on a leftover piece of the original watercolor paper in Charcoal ink - then went over with the same silvery pen.
I really like the final product, but it will be a while before I pull out that spray bottle again! (there are *still* gesso spots on all my pens and pencils!)
Now, back to Christmas cards! :)
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Circle card - Kristina Werner's challenge

Do you ever go check out the KWerner Design blog? She seems like the queen of CAS to me! Recently she had a circle card challenge on her blog and I just couldn't help myself! Usually I don't make too many circle cards, maybe it's because mailing them seems difficult? This time I made the card so that it would fit in a 5 1/2 square envelope. The challenging part will be if I actually *mail* it! lol
I used my curvy cutter from EK Success to cut the circle card out of a sheet of regular card stock. Then used the same tool to cut a window and the frame for the outside. I've had that gorgeous scrapbook paper from Hot Off the Press for a very long time - it's just so beautiful that I a) hate to use it and b) bought a whole bunch! I cut an acetate window and adhered it to the base.
On the inside of the card I used one of the small Tim Holtz masks (a floral one, sorry can't remember the name now) and went over it with Ranger's white ink. Once the ink was in place I felt like it needed some umpf - so I hand drew lines with my brown spica pen - just doodles! Then stamped the quote from Hellen Keller in Walnut Stain distress ink.
Since the frame paper didn't have much (if any) white on it, I stamped over it with Ranger's white ink using the Tattered Angels tree stamp (the branches portion). Once I glued it down over the window I realized that the circles weren't a perfect match - especially on the inside! To cover that mistake I ran white stickles around the outside of the window, let it dry, then ran Frayed Burlap distress stickles around the inside of the window.
I always like to add a few flowers around the edge of a circular opening - this card was no different. Because I was trying to match the color of the flowers and paper in the frame I had to do a little magic with different paints. I finally ended up using a couple of different colors of Radiant Pearls, let them dry & then spritzed with Graphite Glimmer Mist. Hah! Then I only used ONE of the flowers I had colored! :) But I did spritz the white ones with some more 'clear' Glimmer Mist. A couple of Latte half pearls from Kaiser and a little ribbon and called it done!
Yup, this was actually a very involved process! But I really like the final card.
Enjoy your day!

Friday, October 23, 2009

My first digistamp!

I finally broke the seal! :)
Although there have been some interesting moments trying to print it (Vista *still* does not play well with others on the network) and some frustration with printing in black & white *only*, I finally got my first digi printed and made into a card. Woohoo!
The image is from Mo's Digital Pencil Too shop. I just *adore* this little angel. There are a few (ok, a lot) more images that I want to try, but Michael was my first.
A few of the details:
Michael was printed on our HP deskjet printer (it's pretty old) on Georgia Pacific white card stock. I wasn't sure that actual card stock would go through, but there was no problem with that.
Coloring was mostly done with colored pencils - Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor (I like these way better than prismacolors) - and OMS. The cloud that he's resting on was colored with some gray pencil along the bottom & then gone over with white Smooch. Sorry, I just couldn't seem to get a good picture of the shine! The other thing I learned is that my printer ink does not do well with Copics. If you look close at the bottom of the cloud you can see where I tried to add some sky color - and it made the black ink run a little. So, it's not perfect, but it's pretty good for a first try!
The cloud background was done with a scalloped circle and Distress Inks in Weathered Wood and Broken China. You can see that I went over the cloud tops with more Smooch - it gives you an idea of what Michael's cloud looks like IRL.
The edges were punched with a punch from paper studio, I wanted to go all around but I couldn't get it to line up nicely. Instead I used some of the star punched pieces and glued them around the edges of the layer. Those were given a little Smooch too! :)
Thanks for visiting, hope you enjoyed your stay!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

An altered tin

Ok, I'll admit it. I don't do very many altered projects. Mostly because I have *no* idea what to do with them when they're done. Nor do I have space in which to keep them! :) Plus I HATE to dust.
Every once in a while I get bitten by the bug of altering. I fight it, really I do, but it sneaks up on me and I end up altering like a madwoman (while muttering in my head). Really, I can only keep so many, and friends and family only *want* so many before they start avoiding you - especially when you're carrying something! lol
I digress. (an aftereffect of altering, I swear)
I saw this adorable little tin last time I was at Archiver's and it ended up in my basket before I could say no. What's a girl to do?
First I decided to cover all that white. After much rummaging I found some brown mulberry paper that looked fabulous pounced with my Mission Bells Brown Starburst Stain. I let it dry and covered the edges of the top and the base of the tin. Then some delicious green paper from GCD and a little red from Basic Grey. I used nesties for the oval & ribbon tag - everything else was cut by hand.
The silver edges seemed to stick out too much so I ran my Pale Gold Krylon pen around any silver edges I could see (and some edges of the paper). I used some white rubons that my friend got for me some time ago (sorry, don't know where they're from). Brown ribbon (also from that same trip to Archiver's) tied the ribbon tag on to the front. (anyone got pointers for getting those on - easily?)
But it was still missing something. More ribbon! :)
As you can see, I went a little wild with the ribbon at that point.
All of those pieces were tied to a length of the original brown ribbon (what?? I have a lot of ribbon!) then glued down. No, I don't imagine that they're on there permanently, but it should hold up to casual use.
So. Now what? What do *you* do with all those nifty altered items? Any ideas will be gratefully considered! :)
Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oh yes, the kraft mood continues!

Good thing I bought a whole bunch of kraft card stock at the last show! :)
I see so many awesome things 'out there' that I just can't seem to contain myself. lol This particular one was inspired by a lovely card done on kraft with daises. Now, I don't happen to have any appropriate daisy images, but I thought this flower image was fairly close. Upon further reflection I realized that I didn't do very much the same at all! Much like the card that was inspired by Etha, this one took on a life of it's own. Don't get me wrong - I'm grateful that my mind works in such mysterious ways (usually!), but I really do *love* that daisy card!
I started by stamping the flower from the Brenda Walton Inkadinkado set on kraft paper with Desert Sand memento ink. Then I used a white, very light blue and light yellow prismacolor pencil to color it in. Except the stem which was colored with my new Zig chalk white marker (which goes on clear then dries to white). I trimmed out the flower piece, added the sentiment and edged the entire thing with more Desert Sand.
The background was stamped with Desert Sand - it's another stamp in the Inkadinkado set - and then dotted with the Zig marker in the center of the flowers. I popped up the flower piece on double foam dots, cut a slit for the ribbon, et voila!

I really love how simple and clean this looks!

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Is she done?

Well, honestly, I don't know. How sad is that??
I worked and worked on this for several days. As I said before I've been in the mood for white pencil on this background color. I thought she (Oak, Ash & Thorn from Third Coast Rubber Stamps) came out lovely, especially when I cut around pieces of the leaves and curled them up a little bit.
The first mat is multiple colors of Distress Inks (Vintage Photo & Frayed Burlap) applied with a blender tool. Then I stamped a wood grain background from Rubberstamp Ave with Walnut DI. Finally I added more leaves in white.The second mat was just a nice piece of brown card stock, but I outlined it with one of my new spica pens. Of course since I had the spica pen in hand.... Perhaps you can see a tiny bit of sparkle in her eyes? Yup! Had to add the spica there too!
I attached some of the gorgeous ribbon I bought by the yard at the (not so) LSS to the gold card base. After attaching the matted image I still feel that there is something missing.
Something perhaps on the bottom right? Dunno. I couldn't think of a single sentiment that belonged there. Well, at least none that I have! :) Maybe some dew drops? Ahhhhh!

So, maybe she's done. Maybe not!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Christmas... already?!?

I'm sure you've seen them by now. Tons of Christmas cards hitting the blogs. Blog hops, challenges, groups... you name it. Some of my very favorite bloggers are already deep into making their annual stash. I'll let you in on a secret. I'm a procrastinator. Seriously, I usually start my Christmas cards sometime in December (after I've made a list) and don't finish until sometime in January. Yes, that's right, January! If I don't see you before 'the big day', chances are pretty good that I'm making your card the night before! (I know, I know - it's awful. But I've learned to live with it.)
This year is different! I can hardly believe it, I've started my cards already. Now I'm in the mood for some eggnog.... ;)
This first one is definitely my favorite. It came out exactly how I envisioned it - and really, how often does that happen? I've been feeling in a bit of a 'kraft' colored mood, and when I saw this lovely deer from Inkadinkado I knew just what I wanted to do. First I masked off an area using torn post it notes, the covered it with white ink (Ranger's Snow Cap) using a cotton ball. I moved the post it's in a bit and repeated the process with Frayed Burlap distress ink. The deer was stamped with white over the brown (I had to overstamp a couple of times to counteract the damp DI). Finally I sprinkled some Ranger Holographic ep around the edges & heated it. I love the way this turned out!

Now, for my second one I used mostly the same process, just different colors. I don't like this one nearly as much - but I think I know what to do to make it better. I used Pine Needles DI instead of Frayed Burlap this time and for some reason the white tree just would not show up. I imagine it has something to do with the different ways of formulating different colors of ink? Dunno, but it sure was frustrating! I didn't want the tree in white ep, so I used the Holographic one again - still, not what I wanted. Like I said though, I think I know how to make the next one better - I'll do it on a green background instead of kraft. Keep your fingers crossed! :)
Now all I have to do is keep track of the Christmas cards I've made until it's time to use them! LOL Won't that be a Christmas miracle!
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A touch moody.

So, I had this great idea. I was going to take the Agapanthus stamp (Stampendous) and stamp it, emboss in clear, then color the background with purple & black inks. Ummmm, yeah. The purple I used ended up almost black (whups) and I'm *still* trying to find a background for it.
Once I saw where I was getting too dark I did a second panel - this time with a lighter gray center! I really intended this to be an all black & white card, but when it came time to mount the panel I just had to use this blue bling cs from Bazzill. Yum. :)
Well, you decide if you think the blue fits!
The deets: Agapanthus stamped with versamark (on white) and clear embossed. Weathered Wood and black distress inks applied with a cotton ball (yes, I'm SO technical). That panel was mounted on black, then attached to the blue bling cs. I used my nesties to cut two circles and stamped the word Dream on the smaller with colorbox Frost white (yes, I know you can't really see it in the pic, but the angle to show the glitter was totally wrong to see the ink! Argh!). I used some great gray/silver ribbon from Archivers around the bottom & attached the circles using pop dots.
At the end I decided to add a little bit of Stickles (don't I *always* end up using some bling??) on just the line flowers (not the solid ones) in two different colors. Diamond and another clear one - it looks more greenish, diamond always looks more gold to me. Then I added a line of gray/silver glitter pen around the nestie embossed line on the blue circle. What can I say? I was on a roll! :D
I love how this came together... simple, but moody. Hopefully I'll figure out how to mount the purple/black panel - I do have some ideas, but....
Hope you enjoyed your visit! Next post I'll show you my very first Christmas card of the year!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Has it really been that long?

I almost can't believe it! Time has been flying - so fast that I didn't even notice!
Anyhow, I have a little sumpin' to show you. Bright and cheery, more 'scrappy' than I usually do. All the paper is scrap paper from an 8 x 8 set I bought on clearance at Target a long time ago.

Well, what do you think? Bright, huh? :D Now, if only I knew a tween that needed a card! Only a couple of stamps went into the making of this one - the dragonfly (Inkadinkado) and the ABC's one (which is UM from a show many years ago - and unmarked!). Lots of Spica glitter pen (yay, new toys!) and a punch from EK Sucess. Fairly self explanatory - if a little wild.

Hope you're enjoying your day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Inspired by Etha (hi Etha!)

You know how sometimes you see something that inspires you, but you forget the details before you get time to sit and create your own thing? That's exactly what happened here! I saw this card over at Etha's blog and something about it really caught my attention. Honestly, I thought it was the layout (I really, really thought I CASE'd her layout! lol) but turns out that I was entranced by the colors!
Several days after I saw her card I had a chance to visit Archiver's and managed to pick up the same patterned paper. Then I set out to make a card with what I could remember of the inspiration piece. (that's how I do it, look at stuff, get inspired, wait a few days & then create my own without looking at the original - takes you on an awesome journey sometimes)

So, what you do think? Are they alike? LOL

First I spent lots of time trying to cut out a pleasing shape from the patterned paper. Then I pulled out a green base card and adhered the pattern paper (Basic Grey) on top. It seemed like it was going to be a romantic card for a while, but I didn't have anything like a fairytale castle - so I went a different direction. Some inking with Distress Inks (what else?) made the edges stand out. Then I used my clear glitter pen to trace some of the lines of the pattern, then stamped the dragonfly & traced that too. The green paper was too stark - trimmed the edge of that with a Martha punch & layered a stamped piece behind it. A little more glitter pen on the edges of the green... then some on the stamped piece. Sheesh! :)
Because I didn't plan very well (another danger of this type of journey) I had to glue the ribbon down on top of the patterned paper - so I added bling to make it less obvious! This thing shimmers like CRAZY!

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

AI Foil technique

I love getting the Technique Junkies Newsletter. Such great ideas! I don't do nearly enough of them (not enough time in the day!) but I really liked the idea of this one. Especially since I *love* Tim Holtz goodies!
Now, I did alter the tech just a touch. You're really supposed to cover some cs with foil, then emboss it, then ink it. I like to change it up! lol

Instead I embossed cs, cut selected portions of the design out, inked foil, attached to foil to the BACK of the cs and embossed again. I really like how it came out! (so much that I'm working on another!)

The leaves were plain white skeleton leaves - of course they had to be dusted with Perfect Pearls! My new nestie ribbon tags and a couple of ribbons & I was done! I used a portion of a stamp for the tag (also dusted with PP) - it says 'Joy Beckons' here but the original stamp says 'Where you are, Joy beckons'. A lovely sentiment but way too big to fit!
Thanks for dropping in!

Monday, August 3, 2009

You want to see what I've been up to?

It's not cards! LOL Not even stamping (gasp!). :)
Actually, while I was reading some of the myriad of blogs I subscribe to I ran across this. Don't get me wrong, I will never do the wedding thing again, but I *loved* this. I loved the random eclectic look - add a candle and WOW. However, I'm not interested in fake candles. I have some, but they always look too yellow for me. I like *real* fire! :) Of course I also like to have a home, and really prefer not to get surprise visits from the fire department!

The only answer was to change it up a little. Make it my own - as Simon would say. :D

This was the first one I managed to finish. It went through a couple of different concepts (and one broken glass) before settling on this. I wanted to evoke the feeling of being at the beach, surf and sand being a bit overdone, but still pretty. I bought a fairly cheap ($5?) candle holder from Michael's and three different colors of thread. The beads and shell dangles I used for this one were already on hand (bonus) but I did buy a big jug of fabric stiffener. Ummm, how come I didn't know that fabric stiffener and Elmer's are practically the same thing?!

Because I didn't think I could make an effective form I taped parchment paper around the glass & did my wrapping over that. In retrospect I don't think it was strictly necessary. I strung a bunch of random beads on the beige color of thread (still on the spool) and started wrapping around the glass. I dipped my fingers in the fabric stiffener and ran them over the thread every so often - it is messy, so protect your surfaces! I repeated those steps with the blue thread (stringing the shell dangles on the thread before wrapping - good thing cause this thing is *tight*). Finally I wrapped with the white thread over the top and down onto the blue. Once I was done wrapping I allowed several hours of drying time. Dh had to help me pull the parchment paper off - the worst part was getting it back on the glass! It isn't glued on there, it's only held up by tension.

So, this next one was more of a nod to the wedding theme of the original. I wrapped the same white thread over glass, this time using clear glass beads. I couldn't use any parchment paper to cover the glass because of the shape, but the thread kept rolling over the surface and leaving glue tracks. I think it would've been less messy if the glass was a more regular shape, but I really wanted this to work! I've thought about etching the inside of the glass, but after my last experience I'm feeling a little... hmmmm, hesitant? LOL I don't think it's good enough as it is to give as a gift, but I can certainly burn tea lights at home.

Then, of course, I went in yet another direction (talk about crafty ADD). I wanted to wrap glass using wire instead of thread, but I just couldn't get the wire to stick well. E6000 wasn't cuttin' it. Finally I remembered that I still had some plain white candles from my foray into stamping on candles last Christmas. Once everything was wrapped I ran my heat gun over it to set the wire. If I ever do another of this type I think it would work better to heat as I wrap. You can see how the wire bunched in the middle - it didn't always look like that! It just wanted to scooch toward the middle as I was wrapping - I think I needed six hands to do it all at once!
I do think this is my favorite and it will probably be the one that burns the best (or at least with minimal worry).
So. Interesting? :) Hope you liked this crafty detour... promise I'll get back to cards soon!
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I finally caught up to the curve!

Remember when, oh say, six to twelve months ago etching glass was all the rage? Well, I finally did it! lol (yup, I'm usually behind the curve!) I have to say, this was NOT as easy as I anticipated - in fact it was quite frustrating. But we'll get to that.
First I want to show you this card (it goes with the etched glass). I made it for my friend's birthday (happy birthday chica!) which comes just a few days after mine. Sort of quiet - I'd call it understated I guess. The base is 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 (another unusual size for me) because that was what really 'fit' the tree image. Graduating half circles were cut using my Curvy Cutter on the front of the base, a patterned ivory paper and the main panel.
The tree image is a new stamp from the people who put out Glimmer Mist (Tattered Angels). I didn't use the screen (which I also bought), but it does look mighty intriguing! The technique is called Pierced Spotlight from Technique Junkies - not that you can see it all that well from this angle. The spotlight was colored with green and bronze perfect pearls, with a dab of blue burnished in.
I added some perfect pearls to the edge of the back panel that shows also. You can't really see it in this pic, but I stamped some of the tree branches in the corners and brushed them with the same green/bronze mix. It is much more interesting in person!
Since the card was for my friend's birthday, I decided to make her a matching candle holder as well. This is where the frustration began! lol First I stamped the tree with versamark, then embossed with clear. Since this was my first try (and I didn't know if I'd even like doing it) I only bought the small bottle of etching creme. Ummm, yeah. If *you* are going to try this - READ THE BOTTLE FIRST! Apparently this creme isn't for 'large areas', and worse, their definition of a large area differs greatly from mine!
After my first 'thin layer' (another definition that greatly differs) I washed it off and... WHAT?!?! It was patchy! Horribly, horribly patchy! Some areas looked great, most looked half done and some weren't etched AT ALL! Now, before you ask, yes I cleaned the glass with rubbing alcohol before even starting - so I know that wasn't the problem! I kid you not, I must have applied at least a dozen different coats of this creme. I actually had to go buy another bottle (the big expensive one, thank god for 40% off coupons!) so I could complete it.
I finally got it looking pretty good (ummm, yeah, use thicker coats than you think you'll need) - not perfect, but pretty good for a first try. Of course by now all the blog posts about actually doing this are impossible to find, so I had to guess the best way to remove the ep without messing up the glass. I grabbed a bunch of paper towels and the heat gun & went to town. lol I have to say, this was one of the most frustrating things I've ever attempted. I'm happy with the end result, but I imagine it will be a *long* time before I try it again! On the other hand, I now have a large bottle of etching creme.... *sigh*
It does look pretty awesome when lit up, and I love that the card & glass matched. And my friend is absolutely worth every minute! There were some more candle holders in process while I was doing this one, but they're for a different post! Drop by soon - they've got beads (and thread!) on them! LOL
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I've been away too long!

But I'm back now and that's what matters, right? :) Between vacations, car problems, my birthday, illnesses and a new car I haven't had much time to create anything fun. I *have* done some really fun stuff, but I can't show you for a few more days (super secret birthday stuff ya know!).
This, however, I can show you! My most wonderful husband bought me stamps for my birthday. Not just any stamps, mind you, but one that I've lusted after for a long time. Not only did he buy them for me, but he had to order them from Denmark. Talk about forethought! (yes, I did get the last good one - and no, you can't have him!) You can see both things he bought me here and here - aren't they luscious??
Unfortunately it came out a little darker than I envisioned, but you can bet that this won't be the last time you see Maribel. Besides, I have to practice getting a good image of the photo stamp (cause I'm not so great at it yet).
Maribel was stamped with VersaFine in Onyx Black & colored with prisma pencils. I used Milled Lavender and Dusty Concord Distress inks to color the background. Nestie ovals (although I started with a different shape & had to cut it down) and some of the gorgeous grunge borders were next. That final grungy edge piece was done with VersaFine ink and brushed with purple Perfect Pearls.
It took me a while to figure out how to frame the ovals, but I finally remembered these grayish half pearls. I think they were for using on fabric? You know, those little studs with hot glue on the back for making patterns on your clothes?
This is a different card size for me too. Once I had everything put on the base it looked like she was swimming! :) So I cut it down to 3 1/2 by 4 /1/4 - perfect! I have a very special person in mind to send this to - hope she likes it as much as I do!

Thanks for dropping by!