Friday, December 31, 2010

The missing Christmas cards

Here I am again! It's all about feast or famine! ;D
I thought I'd just post a bunch of the Christmas cards which I never managed to get on here over the last month. I don't think I'll do much of an explanation of each, but of course I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have!

This first one has a removable ornament (wooden, Kaiserkraft) that was decorated with distress inks, glitter & bling. I made it so that it could be used as an ornament on the tree.

Here's a decent shot of what it looks like with the ornament removed.

This particular card is not really a Merry Christmas card - but then it's for a Jewish friend so it's better to be non-denominational, right? :) The tree (SU!) was stamped on watercolor paper & embossed with a clear ep. The 'snow' was done with glittery ep and rock candy distress stickles. Love the feeling this gives me!

I made this one using a technique I saw on SCS last year at Christmas. I loved the card and just twisted the tech a little bit (by only using white ink & white perfect pearls). The angel was trimmed out of another sheet, painted and then coated with glossy accents.

This one was all about the fun stamp & coloring with Copics. Although there is a little Flower Soft on the hat & boots.

So there you have it. A last final blast of Christmas! Not that I managed to put all my cards up - in fact, several of my favorites never even got their picture taken (there's that Christmas rush again!). On the other hand, you must be terribly tired of Christmas Cards by now, anyway! :)
Thanks for dropping by!


It's been nearly a month since I last posted! While I won't say that I'm sorry (remember that whole Blogging Without Obligation thing?) I do feel like I've been neglecting one of the things that I enjoy.
December was, to say the least, a bit hairy (literally!). We started out with the idea that dh was being laid off, but found out on his *last* day that he was offered another position. It was quite the relief! Then, since the job thing had be secured, we went and adopted a dog. Every boy needs a dog, right? Well, it seems that we may have gotten DH a shadow instead. ;)
This is our new addition, Lila. She came to us from the Humane Society - she was owner surrendered. She is a very good dog (so far, at least) and we haven't had very many problems at all. If I had to list the problems she has, it would be that her previous owners just didn't do well by her. She doesn't really know how to play (ball? what's that?) and she is quite timid (backyard? by myself?? um, no!). I can't really tell yet who is more wary, the boy or the dog! :) At least she isn't wrestling him to the ground!
In other pet news, our kitty is desperately ill. I think it's time to let her go - very, very soon. She's lost so much weight that she weighs less than five pounds. Although we've tried the medication, she is not recovering at all. I'm horribly saddened by it, but trying to remember that it's a part of life - and she's had a good, long life. She has quite the personality (not *exactly* loving, and she bites!) - anyone who says that animals are interchangeable hasn't ever met *my* kitty!
Then, of course, there was the Christmas madness. Let me tell you, the week(s) leading up to Christmas are hell on a 4 year old's attitude! ;) Although we did take time to go see Blue Man Group (thanks to my dad) and everyone had an awesome time - even said 4 year old! If you ever get the chance to see them, do it! Way more of a 'show' than a concert. Highly entertaining!
I think I'll post a second time today - adding cards to this post seems like not a good idea. Look for that one in a few minutes!
Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Are you tired of Christmas cards yet?

I hope not! Especially since I said that you would be seeing this stamp from Unity some more! :) Today I'll show you two different takes on the same thing.
For this first version I marked off a quarter inch on all sides of this kraft cardstock base with a white pen before stamping the greeting with Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink. After covering the edges with post it notes I added some snowflakes (from Katzelkraft) in Tumbled Glass and Frost white. Then I added more Frost White (being careful not to get any on the sentiment) using a cotton ball. Yes, a *very* expensive tool! :D I painted the inside of the tree with more Frost White and a water brush - but it wasn't as opaque as I liked so I added some white chalk pen.
Can you see the slightly darker snowflakes? Those were added once the Frost White was dry by stamping with Versamark Frost. It added some glimmer, but took away some white - it was a sacrifice I tell ya! You can also see a scattering of white half pearls that were added just before I called it done.
This one has an entirely different look. This was stamped with a red DI (Barn Door, I think) on an off-white base. I found some ribbon in a similar color of red and used the same technique I learned at Archivers to attach it (using Tim's Tiny Attacher). The only thing you really can't see in the picture is that (once again) I painted the tree white - this time I used Ranger's Pearl dabber. IRL it makes the pearl look like it belongs there!
The base actually came from a blog candy that I won a while ago. I think I forgot to mention it here - but it was AMAZING! Quite the stash of goodies! Here, look:
A gorgeous card, some stamps, bling, buttons, inchies & a book of inchie images and a lovely set of square cards with envelopes. WOW. Ali does some really beautiful things - you should go check out her blog. (and I would like to note that I do *not* enter blog candy things UNLESS I already subscribe to the blog in question - so, yes I *do* love her schtuff!) (not that anyone has ever questioned me but I felt like I should be clear!) :)
Two totally different cards, eh? Except that they both fit (mostly) into the CAS style and they'll both mail exceptionally well!
On a completely different note - if you look on the sidebar you'll see a new button. I'm taking a free Skinny Mini ecourse on textures using PSE. So far so good. We're only on day three (of 10 days) so we'll see if I manage to do anything worth sharing! Wish me luck!
Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

More Christmas cards

I really have gotten into the Christmas spirit! :)
A couple more cards are done and there are a few more coming down the pipe. I'm impressing myself!
This one may end up being my favorite of the year. I love how the embossing came out! The angel was stamped on a really light brown/cream cardstock with Distress ink (Brushed Cord, I think) then colored with white and french gray pencils. I added some Spica pen to parts of the dress (although you can't see the sparkle in the picture) and edged the panel with Walnut Stain. The second layer was colored with Brushed Cord and a blending tool, then overstamped with the same color. I brushed on some perfect pearls & spritzed with water - uber shiny IRL! The white panel is watercolor paper which was stamped with versamark and clear embossed. Finally I mounted it all on a base made from the same brown/cream cardstock as the first panel. Although there is no sentiment (or ribbon!) I really like the elegant feel of this card.
This card has a totally different feel! Much more scrappy - even though it's not *at all* what I had in mind when I started. The stamp is from Unity (one of their Itty Bitties - great buy!) and is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. You'll be seeing more of this one for sure!
So, stamped in Brushed Cord on kraft cardstock. I filled in the tree with stickles (one of the clear ones, but it has a green tint which was perfect for this). Originally, I had planned to leave this on a kraft card base - imagine my surprise when I discovered that I had stamped it *upside down*! Grrrrr!
That was when everything took a left turn.... I used a nestie to frame the image with some paper by MME. It has tons of glitter - in a very similar color to the stickles I used. You can see that I added a double layer of ribbon - but did you see that I also added beads? Yup, hand stitched!
Hope you enjoyed a little peek into what my Christmas cards are looking like! Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, November 26, 2010

My freebie from A Day for Daisies

I mentioned that you could get a freebie from Tammy if you joined her group on CDAC, right? AND you can get a second for joining her email list! This image (A Magical Read) is the one I chose.
As you can probably tell, I colored her with pencil & marker like most of the other digis I've done recently. I used nesties to cut her and the mat out. The mat was covered by some of Tim's tissue tape, then rubbed with a little Pine Needles distress ink.
The background paper is from the Mariposa stack by DCWV (I think!). Three of the corners were also covered with tissue tape & distress ink. For some reason the ribbon looks black - I couldn't get it to look brown (it *is* a nice dark brown that goes well with her hair & the base card) with PSE. *sigh*
The sentiment stamp is from Club Stamp - I've actually had it for years.... I guess I've just been waiting for the right image to go with it! A few blue dew drops and it was all finished.
Thanks for dropping by!
And I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Be afraid...

Be very afraid! ;)
Yup, I've started my Christmas cards! No, no... you're in the right place, I promise!
I'm not entirely certain what happened - this is *not* my usual M.O. at all. It must have started when I bought the new Holiday Cards magazine. Lots of eye candy in there!
I was bitten by the bug, you know - the bug that says "I can do that!" when really you should know better. *lol* Yes, I found a couple of cards that called to me and I thought I could give them my own spin. Let's just say that they were massive failures - but they led to cards that were my own design - so not totally worthless. :)
In fact, one of the cards that I was trying to CASE was used for pieces to make this first card. As you can see, this card is very CAS. A style I greatly admire and only get right once in a blue moon!
I recently saw a short video about 'painting' with pigment ink by Anna Wight and used the technique here. First the trees were stamped and before they dried I ran the water brush from the stamped lines toward the inside of the tree. The trees in front were give an extra coat of ink to add depth. If you look closely you can see a bit of stickles on the treetops and on the star, as well as some clear glitter pen over the sentiment and the ornaments in the trees. (all stamps were from a clear Hero Arts set) Fairly simple and CAS, no?
This next card uses my very favorite angel stamp from Clear Art Stamps. You may remember that I used her for my favorite card last year - she's still a favorite stamp! What a difference it makes to stamp in silver - it doesn't photograph well, but it's stunning IRL.
The background stamp (from Hero Arts) was stamped with VersaMark on medium blue c/s. After it was dry I used my Scor It to add score lines to the top and bottom. The angel was stamped with silver Colorbox ink on white c/s (does that stuff *ever* dry all the way??) and cut to size. I added the ribbon with a technique I learned at Archivers (it uses the tiny attacher from Tim - it's so easy I can't believe I didn't think of it myself!) and the gem before deciding to add the sentiment that comes with the angel. *sigh* When I tried to add the sentiment, the bulk of the ribbon & gem wouldn't allow good contact between the stamp & the paper. I had to get a little creative - hence the sentiment is popped up on a small piece of blue c/s and edged in silver. Just another opportunity to embellish, right?! ;)
While neither of these cards is destined to become this year's favorite, I'm still feeling awful proud of getting a head start! Have *you* started yet? :D
One more piece of news: if you like the digi stamps I've been using from A Day for Daisies you should head over to CDAC and join the group. Tammy is *giving* you a free stamp of your choice when you join! Not only that, but if you sign up for her newsletter she will send you a *second* stamp for free! At least go have a look - she comes out with fantastic designs every week! Hope to see you there!
Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just dropping in quickly

I'm a couple of days later than I usually like to be when posting, but we've had a bit of bad news, so posting may be more sparse than usual. :( (on the other hand, it may be that the muse will kick in big time - who knows?) And in other news, I had DH film a video of me using the hot knife for more organizers. Now I have to learn how to edit & post that... keep your eyes peeled for my debut!
I do have something to share, though! (are you sick of me and digi's yet?) Once again, I used a fabulous image from A Day for Daisies. Once again she was colored with pencils and a touch of perfect pearls. (I'm on a roll!) I did take the time to mask the image (something I rarely do, especially since it involves so much fussy cutting) in order to make the clouds with Distress Ink. I don't remember where I saw this technique - which is *so* frustrating - but it's very easy to do with a scalloped circle and ink.
The background papers are all Kioshi by Basic Grey except the white scalloped circle (which is white flocked paper). The blue piece was embossed with a cuttlebug folder in my Cuttlebug, then painted with perfect pearls in the recessed portion. After I printed the sentiment on white cardstock I cut it out with a nestie and edged it with a silver pen.
Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A couple of (totally different) cards

I almost thought that I wasn't going to have anything ready to post today. Between Halloween and (yet another) illness I've been falling behind on the things I wanted to create. At the last minute I finished the card I was working on - and then I found another that was waiting in the wings! :)
This first card used a freebie image from DigiDrawn over on CDAC. I loved that giant pumpkin as soon as I saw it and just had to make at least *one* fall/Halloween card. :)
I printed the pumpkin on regular white cardstock and colored it with pencils - a *lot* of different pencils! I don't think I've mentioned that I go over the lines with a black fine point pen (after coloring) to really add definition back to the image. Just one of those things that takes time and patience but can make a huge difference!
For the moon I cut a circle out of cardstock & colored it with Distress Inks. I also pounced a little bit of Versamark here and there then dusted with gold perfect pearls before coating it with Rock Candy crackle paint. I printed the sentiment then colored it with the same Distress Inks (even though it looks tons brighter in the pic than it does IRL). The green paper was stamped with a large flourish and Versamark, then punched with a Martha Stewart corner punch and edged with black. After adhering it all down to the base card I traced around the edges of the green paper with a black Spica pen and added small black gems - does that surprise you? ;)
For this card I used a new technique from Technique Junkies called Puzzle Layers. I admit that it would have gone better had I actually read *all* of the directions before jumping in, but I think it came out alright in the end. The background stamp is from Lost Coast Designs and was stamped in black VersaFine on white cardstock. It was colored with a mix of brown Distress Inks then spritzed with pearl glimmer mist (I got nice even glimmer on the bottom, but the top got really blotchy! what gives??) and edged with a gold Krylon pen.
The smaller pieces were also stamped with black on white c/s but were colored with a mix of blues and a mix of yellows. The sentiment is from River City Rubber Works. Also with VersaFine on white, also colored with Distress and also edged with gold Krylon.
So there you have it! Two cards in one post! :)
Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, October 25, 2010

For my cousin...

If you knew my cousin, you'd know that she's one of the most vibrant people alive. Always with a funny story (usually a hysterical story!) or a joke. She's having a hard time right now, and I want her to know that I'm keeping her in my thoughts. So this one, Jess, is for you!
I wanted this lovely digi (from A Day for Daisies) to look like you were seeing her through the trees. And since the trees that I have didn't look right, I used this fabulous background stamp from Hero Arts.
First I printed the digi on regular cardstock, but when that proved to be difficult to work with I figured out how to print on a small piece of watercolor paper. Once that was printed (and dried overnight) I started painting it with a water brush and some Distress Ink. First I coated it with Stormy Skies - being careful not to get water/ink inside the digi - then I went over the bottom portion with Chipped Sapphire. It was an accident that I pulled the Chipped Sapphire up in a circular motion - but I thought it looked like those nights when you can see a sliver of the moon and a faint impression of the whole thing.
The digi itself was colored using pencils on her hair (no OMS, I didn't know how well it would work on w/c paper & didn't want to try it with this one), a mix of red and white perfect pearls on her wings, silver pen on her dress and white smooch over the moon.
The background image was stamped on regular cardstock (several times - I kept smudging it!) with black VersaFine. I cut the digi image out using a nestie, then placed over the stamped background where I wanted it to be and stamped again (so you could see the plants over the moon). Then I used a light touch with a pencil and traced around the circle before moving it. I used the foam pads with the same colors of Distress ink to color the main panel, then set it aside to dry.
Once dry, I cut the hole in the main panel and edged it with the same silver pen I used on her dress. Used the corner chomper on the corners and stamped the sentiment in Platinum Planet (Brilliance). (oh, and added the tiniest bit of Dusty Concord to the bottom edge - just cause I could!) Finally, I centered the digi image, popped up the main panel, mounted the whole shebang on a black base and Voila!
(in reality, I had to do the main panel at least four times and the digi at least as many to get a mostly smudge free card. this actually took me almost a week!) (at least I love it, right?!)
Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Now I'm in a coloring mood....

You may have noticed (or not!) that I've added a widget to the side of my blog. It's for a place called CDAC - Crafters Digital Art Center - and it has an amazing array of goodies for the digital stamper. I'm no purist, if I love the image I'll use it, but digital stamps are something of a different proposition. :) Coloring them can be difficult! But, if you go poke around on CDAC you'll find lots of information about, well, just about everything digi related.
I find using colored pencils (and sometimes markers) to be the easiest way to color these printed 'stamps'. Now, I'm no expert! I've spent a lot of time studying the different posts that Marianne Walker has done on coloring. My coloring has improved significantly since I found her - and she certainly inspires me to try new things.
In the spirit of finding CDAC and getting caught up in digis, I used a lovely freebie from Mo Manning for this card. Isn't it the sweetest image? :)
I printed the image on regular white card stock. After it dried overnight (sometimes I hit it with a heat gun - otherwise it tends to smear when using OMS) I started coloring with pencils. Mostly I used my favorite Lyra Polycolor pencils, but I did have to fill in some of the colors with Prismacolors also. I did a lot of blending with OMS (odorless mineral spirits) and a lot of adding more layers of pencil in order to get the depth of color I wanted. After I finished coloring the image, I went around the outside using a warm gray Copic marker (see, Marianne ROCKS!) to give some dimension. I then cut and embossed with a circle nestie.
The base card is one of the precut letterpress papers you see all over (for use with the Epic Six & letterpress kit). Let me tell you - it takes embossing from a folder like a dream! :) This card was embossed using the Cuttlebug folder (twigs?) and then lightly brushed with Antique Linen to show the embossing. Since that wasn't enough for me - I also went over the raised portions with a clear Spica pen too - even though you can't see it! You also can't see the tiny bit of Smooch in the main image - the hearts and some streaks in the straw - but the lighting was all wrong today (storm a comin' - snow tomorrow?). The ribbon was just folded back on itself using (an indecent amount of) Scor Tape.
Soft and sweet. And it makes me happy! :)
Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's not another book...

But it is another image from A Day for Daisies! :)
This one is called Skirt of Flowers - isn't it lovely? Sorry the picture isn't all that great. Between the shimmery paper and the white smooch ink I thought the camera was going to have a nervous breakdown! Even post processing didn't help that much! :)
I actually started with a completely different card in mind, but as you all know, detours abound in the cardmaking world.
I started by printing the image on regular white cardstock & cutting it out with a nestie. Once she was colored (with Copics and colored pencils) I got a little carried away with coloring the background... it just ended up looking dirty. So, I cut her out! :) NOT my favorite thing to do - but I really loved the way she was colored and didn't want to scrap it.
The oval paper is from Reminisce and was cut with a nestie. The image is adhered on top and then lightly outlined with a warm gray copic for dimension. I loved the shimmery paper so much that I pulled out some white Smooch and added some touches to the dress and hair. It actually works quite well over pencil!
The background paper is Basic Grey; the corner punch is from Martha Stewart. Can you see some shimmer around those edges? I used the clear glitter pen from Sakura - both around the edges of the BG paper and on the lines of her dress. IRL this is one shimmery, sparkly card! :)
Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another book cover

Apparently I'm in a 'mood'. Do you do that? Create the same type of project in bursts? I seem to go through phases - this time it's notebooks! :)
I don't really do very much with digital stamps, although I have some, mostly because printer ink doesn't seem to go very well with my usual coloring methods. There are some images that I make an exception for - this is where I got the one I used for today's post. Aren't they gorgeous?! Love them! (and I can blame Mel for it since she's such an enabler!)
This notebook also started life as a cheap purchase (dollar bin at Michaels anyone?). Have I mentioned that I'm also in a brown phase? I bought a roll of luscious brown wrapping paper at the Container Store recently and *needed* to use it for something more lasting than wrapping boxes.
I started by prying off the covers - careful not to bend the spiral coil - and covered them with the wrapping paper & PVA glue. Unfortunately I don't have any sort of punch to make the holes look good after covering so they look much better on the outside. After gluing the paper to the front, I take a sharp knife and make three cuts in each hole. (both long sides & in the middle) Then add a little more PVA with a small brush and fold each half down into the hole with an orange stick (or whatever fits). This is *very* patience-testing work! (hence, the inside does NOT look as good as the outside)
I printed the Wind In My Hair stamp onto regular white card stock (I tried better/thicker stock and it just jammed up the printer. *sigh*) then trimmed to an appropriate size for the cover. She is mostly colored with pencil and Distress Ink but there is also a touch of Copic marker. I've been trying very hard to increase my skill with pencil - I'm pretty thrilled with the results! DI was applied with a water brush for the background (sky and ground).
Once that was all dry I roughed up the edges and applied some yellow DI to the edges. The background paper is from Basic Grey - also roughed up & edged with DI. I used Matte Mod Podge to glue both pieces to the cover and give a little protection. (note: do NOT turn a wet piece upside down - even for just a moment - and think it will all be ok! It won't!) Since that altered the brown wrapping paper a little, I covered both sides with Mod Podge as well (on both covers).
I added the flower to echo the flowers she's holding in her dress. All three flowers were colored with DI and a tiny bit of Smooch, then coated with Mod Podge as well. Except the dew drop! :)
I think I have the perfect person to send this to.... And perhaps she'll forgive me for not working too hard on the Ami's. But when the muse strikes..... :D
Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The crafty post!

Ok, so technically it's not Tuesday anymore. But it *is* just barely Wednesday - does that count? :)
I thought this book deserved it's own post (and I didn't know if I could fit this pic in with the last post!). It's something I've done a few of - actually they're pretty easy to do once you get the hang of it.
Isn't it lovely? :)
This started out as a plain notebook from Target (clearance, even!). I started by prying apart the binding and slipping both covers off. Once I chose my yarn (yes, yarn - it's actually called ribbon yarn and is getting *much* harder to find these days) I was ready to wrap.
If you choose to wrap a notebook like this there are a few tips that I can give you. Before anything else, decide if the area where the binding goes looks ok - paint, sharpie, ink or otherwise color it to look good. Measure enough yarn to wrap the right edge of the cover - I used red liner tape on the edge & folded my yarn in half. This will completely cover the edge and make for a nicer finish. Apply whatever adhesive you choose to use (this was a combo of red liner tape, xyron & Fabri-Tac) to both sides of the cover and start wrapping from the bound edge. The first wrap will have to completely overlap your leading edge, but after that you can wrap overlapping 1/2 to 1/3 of the preceding edge. I chose to cover the corners of this book with metal findings from Tim Holtz, but with a little forethought you can make that last edge look professional enough to escape notice. :) If you (or the intended recipient) will be dropping this in a purse from time to time you may want to use some Fabric Tac and nail down some of the edges. Otherwise the yarn may get pulled out of whack and look bad. If you're just using it at home, don't bother!
As I said, I used some Tim Holtz book corners in a sort of antique-y gold color. To match the feel of them I matted the main panel with a piece of gold card stock that was embossed with a cuttlebug embossing folder and punched with a Martha Stewart corner punch.
The main panel is a stamp from Lost Coast Designs. I stamped it with black VersaFine on a piece of letterpress card. Yes, I bought some letterpress card - even though I don't have anything else related! :) Thick, luscious paper! I had to use a *very* light touch with the water brush - it is NOT built like watercolor paper. I used a couple of different Distress Inks to color the columns, her wings and the 'sky', but the woman is done with colored pencil. After it dried I gave it a quick coat of Matte Mod Podge for protection.
Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Settle in, it's going to be a long post!

If you're like me you're always searching for a better way to organize your stuff. If you have perfect organization skills, then this post is *not* for you! :)
Most recently I've been needing a better storage solution for my Cuttlebug stuff. Back when I didn't have very many dies/embossing plates/nesties I decorated a box and used that. While pretty, it wasn't easy to find what I was looking for - and we all know that means - you don't *use* it! My nesties outgrew the box and, for a while, I kept them in a small photo holder (cheap at Target, just one of those 4x6 plastic jobs). It worked as long as I didn't buy any of the larger sizes dies - yeah, the tall nesties and the embossing plates didn't fit at all.
Enter Office Max.
Or maybe I should say *I* entered Office Max! :)
While we were there a couple of weeks ago I picked up a package of these three pocket page protectors. While I'm sure that plenty of people have tried page protectors - these are different. They're thick, really thick. You can't really tell from their picture, but these are constructed a little differently than you might think. The front pocket is about 4 1/2" deep, the second (middle) pocket is about 8 1/2" deep. The third pocket is 11" - imagine a page protector with two pockets, then add another sheet of the plastic to the back to create another full page size protector on the back side. Am I explaining this well enough? :) Anyway, that back sheet is important - trust me!
So I brought the package home and brainstormed how I could 'fix' them to be perfect.
You'll need a hot knife (Don't have one? Go *get* one! You rarely need it, but it's irreplaceable when the occasion arises) with a melting edge instead of a knife edge, a metal ruler, an x-acto knife, a cutting mat and a piece of cereal box (I used the backing from one of the Cuttlebug embossing folders). I used a magnetic cutting mat, which made working with that slick material much easier, but you can use whatever you have.
It isn't easy to see, but if you look closely you can see that my hand is in the front pocket and the cuttlebug piece is in the last pocket. That faint line across where the top of the cuttlebug piece is - that is the top of the middle pocket. You can also see that this stuff is translucent, but *not* transparent. That should give you an idea of how thick and sturdy this stuff really is.
I measured my embossing folders and decided that my middle pocket should start at the same height as the top of the first pocket. Once the measurements were done I lined everything up on the cutting mat. I inserted the board piece in the third pocket. That's very important. You want to use the hot knife to melt the two middle pieces together, but you *don't* want to melt into the final sheet of plastic.
So, insert the board into the third pocket, line up the ruler and start melting! :) No need to go all the way from one side to the other. Embossing folders are wide enough that they won't fall through if you leave a half inch on either end. We did have a couple of missteps, nothing major (yes, DH helped a lot). Make sure to leave plenty of space above the bottom pocket edge before sealing (I sealed more than one pocket shut before figuring that out) about a quarter of an inch seemed to be perfect. If you do seal one shut just insert the x-acto knife into the open edge of the bottom pocket (with the blade facing up toward the top of the page) and gently slice open.
Here you can see my hand in the newly created middle pocket. The board piece is still in the back pocket. I wish I had thought to add something to the front pocket - but you'll just have to trust that I didn't seal it shut! :) I think the most important thing to note here is that the third pocket is still undamaged. It's not only helping the structural integrity, I could make more pockets on the back if I needed to.

Whew! Are you bored yet?We're almost done ! :D

Dh helped me figure out exactly what to do to make four pockets on the front (for smaller dies). If you decide to do this (and you need help) let me know and I'll try to explain the process. It's very similar - you just have to be careful where you put the board when cutting and melting. Here are some pictures of what it looks like now:
The embossing folders fit beautifully side by side. The best part is that their weight doesn't cause even a little sag. Excellent for putting in a three ring binder (this is a 3" binder - it barely fit all my stuff!).
Here you can see what the quad pocket looks like when finished. It's the perfect size.
I love how this came together. Everything about this project worked beautifully. I'm here to tell you that it's not only easy - it's ridiculously easy! I'm really glad I didn't let the 'unknown' stop me. Thanks for making it easy on me husband! :)
And thank *you* for dropping by!
See ya tomorrow for a crafty post! :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

I've been MIA

Although I do have a fairly decent reason! :)
First is the new computer. If you've ever had to move all your stuff from one computer to another - you know it's never as easy as you think it will be! The networking with Win 7 is, ummm, not as clear cut as I'd like and makes it difficult when your pictures are over there and your software is over here....
Strangely enough (since it's September) we've also had a rash of wildfires in the area. Nothing too close to us but they've been very destructive. Just a little west of us was the major one, the
most destructive one in the history of the state! Ten square miles, tons of people left without homes, clothing, food. It's just awful. We actually had ash raining down on us from that one. There was another south of us, one north (and the high winds blew so much smoke toward us that it smelled like a bonfire outside our house - everyone got sore throats from that!)
and then yet another west of us. It's been unreal to see the devastation. Thankfully every single one has been contained now (if not totally out) even though the wind did *not* cooperate.
Today I am thankful for the hundred (plus) firefighters that came from all over the country to help.
I have a Halloween card to share, which is odd since I think this might be the first one I've ever made! :) I used a TJ technique called Splash 'n Stick from the Aug/Sept 2010 newsletter. Although I *did* change it up a little - there was no splashing. :D I like my clothes to be Alcohol Ink free!
The sticker is a laser cut sticker from Mrs. Grossman's line. All alcohol inks came from Tim (of course!). The background piece was also done on glossy with Tim's AI, then stamped with an image from Creations Unlimited. The truly deep black color is some velvet paper from Doodlebug, it's such a deep black color that it made the sticker look almost gray. Go figure! I did add some black Distress Stickles to the birds to help them stand out - they seemed to just fade into the background otherwise.
Unfortunately this is one of those cards that looks much more interesting in person. Even though I have the original - when I look on the screen I think it needs something more. I promise - IRL it's very 'done' looking! :)
Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

She's done... and she's gorgeous!

I think I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was working on something special that I couldn't show you yet. Well, the time has come! :D
First, let me say that I've been hunting this stamp for a long time. I saw it (on a post to the TJ group) and just fell in love. Unfortunately, the company in question wasn't producing them any more. What's worse is that I found out in May or June that they had sold the entire line to a company that isn't (even now!) on the internet. Oy! Anyway, a couple of weeks ago was the annual stamping show that I always attend (birthday money! woo hoo!). This year it was a little farther away - and I was hesitant to go that far. Thank heavens I did! The new company (Stamp On It) that owns the Nicole Croy line was there - and I finally got my stamp! :D
First let's take a look at the actual panel with the Nicole Croy stamp: (sorry about the acrylic blocks in the pictures, it just couldn't stand by itself)
There is an awful lot of stuff going on here! The first thing to note is that this was done on a piece of sticky back canvas. I'm really impressed with this stuff - it never lost it's sticky (and I abused it horribly!). The woman was stamped with Brilliance black on a piece of canvas about 8" by 4". Once dry, I went to town with just about every liquid medium I have - there are colorwash sprays from Zia, Glimmer mists, Starbursts and Memories mists. It literally took me a week (or more) to get the colors the way I wanted them. I sprayed and blotted, painted with color and just water, sprayed some more and let dry, blotted with bleach water... it was truly crazy. The canvas held up beautifully through the whole thing.
Once I was happy with the color I started adding the 'extras'. Out came some Tim stamps (the birds, the edges & some flourishes) and Distress Ink. I didn't use black because I was afraid of the whole thing getting too dark - so the birds are Chipped Sapphire and everything else was either Pumice Stone, Frayed Burlap or Vintage Photo. At the bottom I also used some other grungy/flourishy stamps from Stempelglede - but by then in was *very* hard to see them!
At that point I realized that it was almost impossible to read the sentiment. After painting the edges with glittery stuff, you couldn't really see the black ink. I liked the way it looked around the edges but had to do something for the words. Sharpie to the rescue! Yup, I used a black sharpie and went over all the letters. :) (and the outline of the woman)
I had been working with the wings (separate, but meant to work with this stamp) on another little piece of canvas at the same time - but I wasn't liking the results. Instead I used Tim's wings (just masked off one side & then the other) and white Lumiere paint. I did have to stamp them twice - they're very detailed - and I didn't get great coverage even then. In then end though, I really like the final look.
The last thing I did was put the canvas on a piece of backing from a paper stack to give it strength. Once that was cut to size I edged the whole thing with black satin ribbon (and double sided sticky tape).
Since the whole piece was much to big for a card, and I didn't want it to get damaged, I decided to frame it. I found a frame at Michael's (half off coupons rock!) and altered the backing board. You can see that I used a feather stamp (from Stamp A Mania) with versamark randomly on the black backing. Then I dusted a couple of colors of Perfect Pearls over them. I randomly stamped the feather some more and added the other two colors from the set on the 'top' images. If you could see it in person, you would be able to tell that there is a bronze color, a purplish color, a blue and a green all mixed together - very shimmery and pretty. (and if you look closely you can see my pencil marks for centering the angel piece. ;) whoops!)
For the final picture - here it is all in one piece! I *love* the way this came together! The woman, the sentiment, the birds, the wings... it just speaks to me. She has been framed, but I couldn't seem to get a good picture - just imagine another thin line of black around the outside (it's a very simple frame). I've just been sitting and admiring her since I finished - don't tell me I'm the only one who ever does that!
The only problem I have left is... where should I hang her? :D

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Have I mentioned that I'm a little ecclectic?

You just never know what will happen over here! :D
Last time was steampunk - this time, not so much!
The stamp is Tin Can Mail by Inkadinkado. I started by stamping the image in Brilliance Coffee Bean on a light piece of card stock. Not quite tan, but not white either. After rounding the corners I started using different Distress Ink colors to age the edges (which is actually a technique from TJ called Burnt Edges) and the center. The flowers were colored with two or three colors of DI using a water brush. Once it was dry I colored the butterfly with gold Smooch and set it aside.
I ran a piece of brown c/s through the cuttlebug with one of Tim's embossing folders and rubbed gold brilliance ink on the raised portion of the design. A darker brown base and two pieces of scrapbook paper (edges aged also) and I was ready to assemble. At least I *thought* so until some ribbon called my name! Then the dew drops started in...
Well, at least I stopped there!
I'm still thinking about that ribbon. It's really too high, but any lower and it obscures the butterfly. *sigh* Cut if off? Leave it alone? Dunno.
What do YOU think?
Thanks for dropping by!