Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Charcoal look

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

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

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mi amiga!

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

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

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's been TWO months??

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

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

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The days are just flying by...

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

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A party for my friend

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

Monday, August 1, 2011

Inspired by a gorgeous card!

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

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

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My best friend's birthday and a sad day

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

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

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's time for a little reflection

Mostly because it's my birthday today! :)
At just over half way through the year (and how did *that* happen, anyway?) I took a little while to reflect on the things that I wanted to do this year.  Just to take stock.  So far, I think I've done OK.  Not great, there are some spots that could use some improvement, but there have been some personal goals that I made definite strides toward.  As long as I'm moving forward, it's still good - right? :)
One of the things that I haven't been so good at is posting as often as I wanted to.  Now, I could give you the whole song and dance, but it seems unimportant.  *You* didn't come here for that!  I had to look down my sidebar and remind myself Blog Without Obligation!  After all, I do this for fun! :)
Just a few days ago I received a goody from my good blogging friend Lauren.  Yup, I won the blog candy!  I must say, I've been drooling over her cute Ami's since the beginning - so of course I fell in love with this adorable little guy and whined so much that Lauren took pity on me and sent me a beginners set of fabulous stuff to try my hand at it. (note to self: stick to stamping)  Let's just say that the results were, um, not pretty!
The other cool thing was that the annual stamping show (the "biggest" one, but that isn't saying much) came last weekend.  Just in time for me to pick up a few cool things.  I only bought one new stamp (bummer!) but loved it so much that I made a card right away.  Here, lookee:
It's a bit hard to tell in this pic, but the purple stamped panels (Lost Coast) were popped up and then the blue panel was double popped up. (Is that how you'd say it?)  I used a ton of coloring mediums on these - Distress Inks, Copics, Smooch, Starburst Stains, white chalk pen, white gel pen, black and white Enamel Accents, Glossy Accents... you name it!  Unfortunately, the white circles in the pic just look like glaring white circles.  IRL some of them are soft (chalk pen) and some are shiny (smooch) and a very few are opaque (gel pen).  On top of that, some of the circles were colored with Starburst Stains (which have mica and dye) and look AMAZING in person - but here they just look black. *sigh*
Same thing with some of the circles on the purple panels. *double sigh*
Anyway, I just want to say thanks today and everyday.
Thanks for dropping by.  Thanks for commenting.  And thanks for letting me share what I love to do... with you!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

She's a tease!

My mojo, that is!  I'm positive that she's at someone else' house, laughing her head off and eating cookies!  Dang it! ;D
Anyway, I *do* have a couple of cards to share today.  The first is this wintry card (wishful thinking?) that doesn't qualify for the OLW challenge (over at Simplicity) because I did both masking AND sponging.  Ah well, it does make me a bit happy:
The sentiment was a freebie digital image from Raindrop Echo Designs that I found some time ago.  I was inspired by a card I saw recently that had a cute image softly colored inside a pierced circle - I just took it a little farther.  I printed the sentiment on a regular sized piece of card stock & cut it down to card size.  The panel and the circle were measured then masked.  The snowflakes (Katzelkraft) were stamped with VersaMark then embossed with iridescent ep.  I sponged Tumbled Glass DI in the masked area then removed the masks and pierced around the circle.  Finally I lined up a clear ruler and outlined the main portion with a black pen.
This next card is nearly painful.  I took me (literally) eight days to complete!  First I printed the freebie digital fairy (Ike's) on the same piece of paper from the previous card.  I colored the fairy with copic markers and smooch, then trimmed her out (she was originally sitting on a cloud).  Unfortunately, this is when my laughing mojo took to the road again....
For several days I tried to fit the fairy together with another digital sentiment.  It never did work out. *sigh*  Then I happened to place her over this card looking for some color inspiration.  I loved it!  On the other hand, I just don't like to make the same card more than once, so I thought I would change it up a bit.  Then as I was floundering (yet again) I ran across this sketch from the Lily Pad July CCC.  If you've followed me for a while you know that I'm not usually good with sketches.  This time however, everything just fell into place!
I used a brayer and the Hydrangea pad from Ranger to create the background panel.  The flowers (Hero Arts) were stamped using Pearl Paint Dabber from Ranger.  The moon (Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers) was stamped in gold paint dabber, then covered in white smooch, then coated with Sugar Cane Glimmer Glaze (nothing like being decisive, right?).  It looks a lot more dimensional IRL.  I dotted some "stars" around the base card and the colored panel for added interest - then added a tiny gem for one more star.
The two bottom panels were cut from some leftover paper that was brayered and edged with paint dabber.  The sentiment (Rubber Stampede) was stamped in Versafine - I didn't notice until I used my last long enough piece of colored paper that the rubber was wonky on the block.  Grr!  I couldn't handle even *one* more delay, so I just left it as is!  After assembling all the pieces, I edged the oval with black spica pen and outlined the rectangles and oval with the same.
Finally! :D
Thanks for sticking with me... and thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I think I'm getting better?

Hmm, possibly the mojo is trickling back?  Dunno for sure, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed! :)
This card came out of nowhere... no plan, no idea of what I was doing!  I (finally) inked up this gorgeous stamp from Stampers Anonymous that my very best friend gave me.  I've wanted this stamp for some time - the girlfriends always come through, don't they?
First I brayered some Ranger dye ink onto glossy paper (Hydrangea, I think) then stamped the angel in black VersaFine & clear embossed it.  Once it had cooled I painted the angel with bleach - several coats in some places.  It dried blotchy (the glossy paper, I think) but I thought it still looked cool enough to use.  I painted some Glimmer Glaze (in Sugarcane) on the flesh parts since I didn't like the blotches on her face and a bit of white Smooch on her wings (although, as usual, you can't see it in the pic).  Finally I trimmed her out as closely as I could and added a light coat of Perfect Pearl mist - which shows up as lighter, splotchy looking color especially in the purple areas near the top.
I stamped the border along the edges of the card base and embossed in clear again.  After cooling, I masked them off and colored them with a Q-tip and 3 - 4 colors of Opalite ink to match the dye background.  I also dotted some smooch and glimmer glaze to tie the two parts together.  The embroidery floss was added (although I still question the gold strand - yes, it's actually a muted gold IRL) then popped up the stamped panel over them.
On a completely different subject, I also learned how to make the picture much, much bigger.  I haven't tried it before, so I don't know if the size will interfere with sidebars, etc when posted.  Do let me know if it takes a long time to load, or if it looks wonky - *please*?  Thank you! :D
Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Still with the low mojo

Ugh.  Do you run into 'down' times?  You know, where you don't even want to face all your stuff?  I think about it, but then I just don't get in there and create very often. *sigh*  Of course I've also run into problems with my signature here and on my email.  They've both been upgraded recently - all the hard work I did to figure it out the first time has come to nothing!  Grrrr.  I think I've got this one fixed, but Yahoo is a whole 'nother story.  What a time sucker! (Not to mention that I joined Pintrest - which is an *excellent* way to avoid getting my craft on!)
Anyhow.  Enough grumbles.
I've had this digi from Crafts and Me printed for a few weeks.  Actually, I have a bunch printed (why waste an entire sheet of paper on one image, right?) that are just waiting for some coloring.  I'm pretty sure the ink is dry by now! :)  I didn't really know where I was going on this, it just fell together at the end.
I colored the image with Copic markers and filled in the glass dome with Glossy Accents and some iridescent glitter.  The green vines/leaves were cut from two different dies and fitted around the panel.  The ribbon was actually dyed with reinkers some time ago - sorry I don't know exactly what they were anymore.  I masked the area above the punched edge (Martha, of course) and stamped/embossed in clear.  The final touch was some little pink gems.
All in all, it's fairly simple.  I do like the finished card - especially since I usually struggle with pink!
Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


One of the adorable stamps that I've gotten recently was Agnes, which is a Ketto stamp by Stamping Bella (sorry, I can't link directly to the actual stamp, just to the Ketto page. *sigh*).  I haven't had much time (or mojo!) lately, but I needed a quick & cute card to send to someone special.  Agnes was my first choice! :)
I also used a premade card by Doodlebug designs.  These are tri-fold cards, plain on the front and inside but with a pattern on the folded portion.  Did that make sense?  Found these at Archivers last time I was there and loved the bright, bold colors.
As you can see, after coloring Agnes with Copic markers, I cut her out and adhered her so that she shows through the window.  I used some really nice paper from Xpedx to stamp and color her on (it actually *is* wonderful for Copic blending) but I didn't take into account how THICK the paper was!  Oy, what a mess to try and cut this image out.  If you compare the original image to what I ended up with you'll see that I clipped some parts off - I just couldn't face anymore fussy cutting! :D
Here is a shot of the interior.  I just *had* to use this hysterical sentiment!  It says: "If you can't be a good example, be a dire warning."  It's PERFECT for the person that I sent it to!
You can slightly see the doodles I did on the pattern - nothing too obvious, but there is some VersaMarker and Spica pen in areas.

Hopefully I'll be back soon with my mojo intact.  Although I seem to be interested in things other than cards right now - bought myself a small art journal, we'll see what happens!
Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Granny rider!

Have I mentioned that I love Mo Manning?:D
We had the first of our area stamping shows recently - this is one of the gems that I picked up while I was there.  This particular stamp is an actual stamp (polymer) from Stampavie called Mummu's Bike, although you can also get it as a digital image in Mo's shop.  Isn't she awesome? :)
(as always, click for a larger view)
Other than the coloring, you can see that this card is fairly simple.  After coloring the image with Copics I cut it out with a large oval nestie, then matted it with a piece of white paper (that was spritzed with pearl mist from Ranger).  The background paper is from Basic Grey and the punched piece is a dark grey-brown done with a Martha Stewart punch.  A little white satin ribbon and a bow completed the card.  I should mention *how* I tied that bow - a VERY HELPFUL video tutorial on YouTube by Jak Heath which rocked my world! :)  It's just like using a Bow Easy - but with your fingers.  You don't get much cheaper than that!
Funny story about why I haven't posted in so long.  I also bought some really cute Stamping Bella stamps & spent a bunch of time coloring one until it was *perfect*.  Before I could cut it out and make a card, the cat (which we've only had 6 weeks or so) was up on my table and managed to knock down a bunch of ink pads (from nearly 3 feet up) onto my table.  Of course the lids fell off.  Of course they landed ink down... right on top of my *perfect* image!  All that was left to do was laugh! ;P  Turkey cat!
Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, May 6, 2011


Do you find that you go through phases with your stamping style?  Not necessarily major differences, but perhaps types of images (and coloring methods) that you gravitate toward in stages. I've been moving toward coloring images with pens and pencils and away from a looser interpretation with color washes and collage-y type elements.  I wonder if I'm the only one?
Don't get me wrong, I've always *appreciated* a gorgeously illustrated and colored image.  But I was never very good at coloring, shading, highlighting - in other words, making it look good! ;)  Now that I'm (much) older I really appreciate the time and effort that it takes to learn how to do it well.  I only wish that I'd gotten started sooner and had more time to practice.
This card is the reason why I ask!  I feel like I've breached a wall, made it into that 'zone' where colors come together the way they're supposed to! :)
(As always, click for a larger view.)
Unfortunately (as ever) the picture really doesn't do this card justice.  She (ching-chou kuik's Serenity) looks pale and, umm, uninteresting here.  IRL she is quite lovely - with the most delicate shading I've ever managed.  This lovely lady is actually a mermaid, but I wasn't feeling very mermaid-ish so I used a circle Nestie to cut out the main portion of the image.
The base of the card was cut from thick black card stock, then embossed with a Cuttlebug folder.  I dabbed on two colors of green and rust Opalite ink (remember those?? LOVE 'em!) for a little extra color.  The shimmery gold card stock wasn't exactly the right color - so after cutting it with a Nestie, I ran a Copic around the outside edge to make it match her robe better.
The vines were, ummm, interesting! ;)  These were all cut from black paper using one corner vine die from Cuttlebug.  I think I used six?  Maybe seven.  Either way, once they were all cut out I snipped them apart and arranged them around the main image panel.  Trying to get them arranged in a pleasing way took a *very* long time.  Well over an hour - and it's not that big!  In hindsight, I should have dabbed the vines with Opalite ink *before* adhering them down, but I didn't.  I was just extra careful not to get ink all over!
Serenity was colored with a multitude of Copic markers and a variety of other goodies. :)  There is a hint of Pearl colored Perfect Pearl spray painted on where the light from the candle shines.  There are touches of green smooch on her robe (which show up as black in this pic)(*sigh*).  There is quite a bit of gold, yellow and tan Spica marker around the gold edges of her robe.  Some Glimmer Mist along the leaves and vines surrounding the moon and a little dab of Glossy Accents wherever there were beads in the image (hair, necklace, earrings, etc).  Here's a little better side view:

Thanks so much for dropping by!

Monday, April 25, 2011

SSC April blog hop!

It's time for the SSC blog hop! :)This is the inaugural hop, click here to go to SSC (another lovely site to join with lots of fun things going on). Our challenge this month was to create a card with the theme of the season you're in. (for me, it's spring... for others, not so much!)
I had an entire map of what I wanted to do, the stamps (digi & rubber) picked out AND my paper chosen before I even went to my table. I ended up using the stamps and paper - but the map just went by the roadside! See? I can't even handle my *own* sketches! :D
I am fairly pleased with how this card came out, even though it only looks minimally like my intended card. I *love* my new rubber from Stamping Bella - this is Gertie from the Lulu collection (you have to scroll down a bit). (On a side note, shipping was fairly priced even though they came from Canada and my order shipped pretty fast too!)
Gertie was stamped with Black Onyx VersaFine several times on white card stock. I colored her face, arms, legs & the very top of her dress with Copic markers. The skirt was stamped on a light blue paper and touched up with Copic and Spica markers. After cutting out different portions of each image, I adhered them all down to the base image. I've used this technique before here and here (Level Up from Technique Junkies) and it still surprises me with a very subtle dimension that looks awesome in person. It is, however, a lot of fussy cutting - especially when you don't think about cutting the springy curls before you get started!
The butterflies in her hair were colored with Perfect Pearls and Spica pens. The rest of the
butterflies (MS punch on Kioshi paper) were colored with a mix of Perfect Pearls, Spica, Distress Stickles and Distress Stain (Broken China on the blue ones). The flowers were also cut from some Kioshi paper and embellished with Spica and PP.
The sentiment was a freebie download from Gingerloft that I retyped in a different font using PSE.
The sentiment was cut with Nesties, swiped with Broken China Distress Stain and spritzed with Ranger's Perfect Pearl mist. Once dry, I edged it with Chipped Sapphire DI and used my Xyron to adhere it to the base (a very shimmery white).
The final touch were the 'beads' around the edge. I measured in from the edges with a clear ruler and marked the holes with a piercing tool. After erasing my lines, I went around the edge with my Glossy Accents and made little clear beads. Unfortunately, doing it by hand means they aren't all the same size - but the clear ones I had were *way* too big! This gives you control over the size... mostly! ;)
You can get a hint of how shimmery this card is IRL in this close up. Between the Perfect Pearls, the Spica pens, the Distress Stickles and the Perfect Pearl spray - well, this card is *alive* in person! :D
Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The next easel card!

Like I said I would last time - I made another easel card! :) This time I took the easy way out and did a rectangular card base... much, much easier! Unfortunately, the pictures really don't do it justice. *sigh*
Here you can see just the front panel. Isn't that a lovely image from Crafts and Me? The Sara Burrier images are gorgeous! (and they just released another that I'm dying for!)
I colored her with Copic markers and a Spica pen. If you look really closely you can just barely make out a blue outline around her - she isn't just floating in all that white space, promise! :) Once I had the panel cut and the corners rounded I added a little Glossy Accents to the bubbles and around the edge of the panel (which was then dusted with a really light blue glitter). That panel was then mounted on an awesome piece of dark blue/green/purple paper then mounted on shimmery white card stock. The shell and beads were from my stash, as was the silver embroidery thread.
Here you can get an idea of what I used on the base as a stopper. I really wanted to use a set of pearls that I had - but they weren't the right color (too creamy on a *white* base). Anyway, I used some blue Dew Drops, a couple of clear drops (floral dept at Mike's), a couple of flat backed pearls and some tiny drops of Glossy Accents. Hopefully it looks like jewels at the bottom of the ocean. :)
I didn't include a sentiment yet, mostly because I have no idea of who this will go to/what it will be for. There's plenty of space at the bottom to add it later, which is (I think) the beauty of this kind of card!
Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Long time no blog...

Although I've been *really* busy! :)
The boy had his fifth birthday - which required much house cleaning (how does it get that dirty??) and food prep. We had decided to do his birthday party on Saturday so that more people could attend - which was also his (FAVORITE!) cousin's birthday too.
In the midst of all this madness, I decided to make my very first easel card. Oy. That was NOT a smart choice! Don't get me wrong - it was much easier to build than I thought it would be. On the other hand, if you've never made one before, a circle easel card is not the place to start! :D
I started with this cute fairy image from Mo Manning printed on white card stock. I colored her with a mix of Copics, Spica pens & Sakura glitter pens. The dotty background technique is something I need to work on, but it looks OK here. It needs more contrast, I think.
I cut out the image and both layering panels with nesties. Both the image panel and the next (pink) layer were popped up with dimensionals. I used a gray Copic marker on the bottom purple layer so it would stand out against the base (and did the same to the base layer at the very end).
The base card (white, but not very visible here) was cut out of super thick card stock with my Curvy Cutter. This was difficult to say the least - cutting through *two* layers of thick c/s was not easy and left some pretty ragged edges. I think this particular card would've worked MUCH better with a thinner base card.
The purple layer on the bottom was stamped with the Hero Arts dots background (versamark) then stamped with the sentiment (colorbox) before adding the butterfly (MS punch). To keep the butterfly popped up I used a little glossy accents underneath the top set of wings (did that make sense?). Once dry (it stays dimensional) I added a little more to the bottom wings and the glue 'bumps' and held it down until it adhered. This lets you add as much dimension as you'd like - even in very tight spaces - and still lets you pop things up at an angle (which is tough with dimensionals).
The worst part of the experience was trying to get everything aligned on the circle! The ribbon was the most difficult, although the fold on the base piece was nearly as challenging. I'd recommend doing either a square or rectangle the first time. Actually, I believe that I *will* do one of those next time! :)
Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I tried another challenge...

But somehow managed to fail at the very last moment! :DLink First, I should say that I joined yet another group - SSC. Which brings me up to five. *sigh* I like some of the things that they're doing over there - really it's newer than something like SCS so it seems to be easier to do things. Anyway, I joined and found a challenge that was to use only one stamp on your card. Surely I could do that!
I pulled out Maribel (one of the most gorgeous stamps EVAH!) and started creating. Apparently she's been sitting long enough that there were some issues. Not sure exactly what the problem is - my technique? The rubber? Suffice to say that I had the devil of a time getting a clear image - this was the best of the lot.
I stamped her using Walnut Stain Distress Ink on glossy paper (it was the only brown ink I had that worked with the dp) then lightly colored it with Milled Lavender and finally buffed it with a coat of white chalk ink. I attached that layer to a piece of the dp (it's the reverse of the brown & blue stripe) with curled edges.
The base started with a lovely dark brown card. I layered a piece of the dp, then layered a piece of brown punched paper over that. I cut some flourishes (QuickCutz) using my Cuttlebug from the same brown as the base and attached them to the stamped layer. That's when I realized that I really wanted some shimmer! :D
Ranger just came out with a new set of Perfect Pearls (Cafe) and I couldn't resist the brown. So, using a water brush I painted the brown PP on the flourishes and the punched piece. Planning ahead would've made this a lot simpler!
The little flowers were kind of creamy yellow, but that was fixed with a little Milled Lavender and white chalk ink too. Some half pearls and I thought I was done... oh, right up until I *had* to paint some of the cream color PP on the flower centers! *lol* (and then I realized AFTER I took & edited this picture that one of the pearls fell off! grrr)
Once everything was dry and adhered together I realized that I needed a little something more in the bottom right. This, of course, is when I completely forgot that I was only supposed to use ONE stamp! Sure enough, I stamped the sentiment in Walnut Stain & dusted it with more PP. THEN I remembered why it wasn't supposed to be there! ;D
Oh, well! It was just lovely to play with Maribel anyway!
Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I actually completed a sketch!

I'm not sure why I'm sketch challenged, but I am. They always look so fun! Somehow though, whenever I try one, it ends up in a pile of scrap paper and sheer frustration. Oy!
I happened upon a blog post about Sarah's birthday and blogoversary sketch challenge and thought that it looked like so much fun that I had to try it. (see? I keep getting caught up in the excitement!) I must have been totally out of my mind because it wasn't enough to just do the card - I made a bookmark too! :)
This is the set that I finally came up with. I fell in love with this paper from Little Yellow Bicycle and bought two sheets (the leaves and the one with the birds) of 12x12. Like I said, I'm sketch challenged so this used almost *all* of the bird paper and half of the leaf paper. Jeez!
Here's a better look at the card by itself. I used soft green card stock for the base - I believe I cut it to 6 1/2 by 8 because I couldn't see a way to fit everything on an A4 card. The three background panels and both bird panels are matted on light blue card stock. The main sentiment/image panel is matted on the soft green again.
The stamped bird (a clear stamp by Fiskars) was stamped on a small panel taken from the bird sheet - there was very little design in that area so it wouldn't compete. I inked up the bird with VersaMark first, then with a mix of Distress inks (Chipped Sapphire, Peeled Paint & Broken China) and finally gave it a little spritz of Perfect Pearls mist (in Pearl). Finally I stamped the sentiment over the top with Walnut Stain DI. Once that part was dry I went over the word "Fly" with a gold Spica pen. Actually, there is quite a bit of Spica pen on this card. All three bottom panels have Spica on the leaf outlines and the base green layer has doodles on the top and bottom. Some light blue dew drops and the ribbon completed it. (which sounds easy, but I assure you that it was *not*)
As for the bookmark.... Well, nothing was as easy as it should have been! ;D
I started with a small panel of the bird paper - I really didn't want to waste any so I just measured around the bird instead of going with an accepted size. I used some acetate that had been run through an embossing folder to position my flourishes and then poked them with a tool. I used two strands of each color floss on the different flourishes. I did try to match that dark blue bit on the bird - but it was so dark that I had to pick it out and try again. *sigh* Once I was done sewing I used Glossy Accents on the bird for dimension and shine, along with more Spica pen against the stitching.
I used the reverse side of the paper for the green mat. It has a subtle wood grain print that is gorgeous - too bad it doesn't match the soft green from the card! :) On the back of that is a layer of the leaf paper to cover all the stitches. The butterfly was an afterthought - I'm still not sure it was a good one. It is glued down, but the wings pop up - how long till they get torn off? :)
Anyway, there you have it. Several days of work! I am so very jealous of all the crafty people that can whip up a card in an hour. Even *more* jealous of people who can easily follow sketches!
Thanks for dropping by!