Friday, September 30, 2011

Operation Write Home Blog Hop

Welcome to the Operation Write Home Blog Hop! It's my first time participating and I'm excited to join in the fun!  Supporting OWH is fast becoming a passion. I mean, how often can you do something you truly enjoy and benefit someone else in the process? The thank you letters OWH receives from grateful soldiers and their families are more than enough to let you know there is great power in a handmade card, especially one made with love and gratitude.

Our challenge for this hop was to create a holiday card without glitter! Say what!?! A holiday card without glitter? I'm sure there's a law against that somewhere!!! Yikes, talk about pressure!

But remebering these cards are for our troops, and we want to keep them safe, I put on my thinking cap and came up with an idea. Clean and Crisp! That's the ticket!  Oh, you want to see what I came up with? Ok, here you go:

Here's a closer peek at the details. (And, yes Virginia, that is a little bling--but it isn't glitter! LOL)

So, there you have it.  Clean and Crisp, with just a touch of bling.  By golly, maybe it is possible to make a Christmas card without glitter! Who'd a thunk? (Wink, wink). 

They asked us to keep these posts short, so that's it from me. If you have any questions on my card or would like a quick tutorial, just leave me a comment. You're welcome to look around a bit, or continue hopping and enjoying the other amazing creations my fellow bloggers have in store for you! Either way, thanks for stopping by!

Thinking of You with Floral Fusion 8

I've been noticing that OWH seems to always need generic Thinking of You or Missing You cards. So even though we're all busy preparing Christmas and other holiday cards, I thought I'd take a moment and create a simple Thinking of You to add to my next package to OWH.

Sorry for the funky photo. I'm STILL working on that!

I recently received a new stamp and die set from Papertrey called Floral Fusion 8 that was begging to get inked up. The set consists of a positive and negative flower, a stem and a couple of cute sentiments.  For my card, I decided to use the both flowers and the stem.  I die cut the flower shape in Hibiscus Burst, then stamped the negative floral image on the die cut in Fresh Snow. Next I cut a mat from white cardstock using Mat Stack 4, and stamped the stem in Ripe Avacado and the sentiment in black and matted with black cardstock.  I attached the stamped die cut flowers to the stack with pop dots and set it aside.

Next I matted a piece of Bitty Dot in Hibicus Burst in black, added a bit of white cardstock edged with a border punch, and tied on a piece of Hibiscus Burt Ribbon. After attaching to a white card base, and adding the focal piece,  I added three small black pearls and voila', a Thinking of You card is born!


If you look closely, you'd see there's a flower stamped inside. I used the positive flower image and the stem to repeat the front motif inside the card. I like to do this when I can. I think it elevates an otherwise simple card to something a little more special. Do you decorate the inside of your cards? I'd love to hear what other ideas you have for making your cards just a little more special.

Ok, that's it for me today. If you need a break from making holiday cards, why not try adding a few Thinking of You or Missing You cards to the stash?  It's good for the soul!

Supply list:
Cardstock and Designer Paper:  Papertrey
Stamps:  Papertrey Floral Fusion 8, Sending You (sentiment)
Ink: Papertrey Hibiscus Burst, Ripe Avacado & Fresh Snow, VersaFine Tuxedo Black
Other: Fiskars border punch, Papertrey Floral Fusion 8 Die, hibiscus burst ribbon, black pearls

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Masculine Card Using Magenta Scenic

Why is it making cards for men can be so challenging?  I guess it's one of those mysteries of life, but for what ever reason, I always dread making cards for men. Instant brain cramp.  Know what I mean?
Well, recently I needed to make a card for a friend's birthday.  I struggled coming up with an idea, and then I remembered this little scenic stamp by Magenta. I've always liked it, but could I turn it into a man-card (not to be confused with a man-cave, but I digress).  Once I started thinking about it an idea began to gel in my mind, and lo and behold, the actual card came together relatively quickly.  Go figure!

I started by stamping the Magenta scene and coloring it with Copic markers.  I then trimmed it, and added a kraft mat.  Next I stamped the text background on a cream piece of cardstock, distressed it a bit with Chai ink and matted it with black cardstock.  I trimmed a piece of kraft stock slightly smaller than the cardbase, embossed it with a houndstooth embossing folder, and matted it with black.  After tying on a black and cream ribbon, I added a green button and adhered the whole thing to a cream card base.  Finally, I stamped the sentiment and frame (PaperTrey's Little Labels) on to a scrap piece of kraft, timmed it and adhered it with pop dots.

Not too bad. And guess what? Our friend liked it too! So now I can relax until next year.  Next year?  Yikes.

Ok, now it's your turn to go overcome a creative stumbling block. You can do it!

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Flower Power with Floral Fusion 1

I know some people get sick of flowers.  Me--nope, can't say I do. LOL  I think they're always appropriate, and they just plain make me happy.

Here's a little flower card I made that was easy, and the results are bright and fun.  Want to know how I made it? Ok, I'll tell ya!

(All the supplies used are from PaperTrey Ink, unless stated otherwise.)

I started with a plain white 51/2 x 4 1/4 inch card base (A2 size), and adhered a  piece of Ripe Avacado cardstock, trimmed to 5 3/8 x 4 1/8.  On another piece of white cardstock (trimmed to 5 1/4 x 4) I stamped the leaves from Floral Fusion 1 about an inch or so from the bottom, using Ripe Avacado ink. To add interest, I made sure the leaves were zig-zagged rather than straight across, and that some of them were stamped off the paper.  Next I stamped the sentiment from Sending You in black VersaFine ink and tied on a Ripe Avacado saddle stitched ribbon.
Here's a close up of the flowers.

To make the make them,  I die cut them using the matching Floral Fusion 1 die using a coaster.  This particular coaster stock from PaperTrey cuts beautifully with their dies and adds a little something that cardstock alone can't match. And it stamps beautifully too, which is what I did next.
Using the matching stamp from the Floral Fusion 1 set,  I stamped each die cut alternating between Orange Zest and Raspberry Fizz. (Who said orange and hot pink clash??).  Then I applied the finished flowers to the tops of the stems with pop dots.  For a final touch, I added twine to Orange Zest and Raspberry Fizz buttons, and attached them to the flower centers with glue dots.

See, I told ya--simple.  Bet you could do it too. Whatcha' waiting for? Go give it a try and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Autumn Abundance

Today I thought I'd share another card I made for Operation Write Home with a fall theme.

For me, sometimes all the fall colors can start too feel a bit too much. On this card, I thought I'd try mixing kraft and white, with just a touch of fall color.  (Please excuse the fuzzy picture. So much to learn, so little time...)

The focal stamp is from Papertrey's Autumn Abundance and colored with Copics. It was then cut out with a circle Nestablities, then matted with a kraft piece, also cut out with a Nestie.  To add a little interest to the white background, I embossed it with a plaid impression plate from Papertrey.  Finally I tied on a little twine (which seems fall-ish to me) and added a small tag using Papertrey's Tiny Tags die.  Love that little heart the die cuts. I simply added a scrap of orange behind the heart to pop it a bit, the adhered the whole lot to a kraft card base.

A pretty simple card, actually, but I think it expresses the season. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by.  Now go do something creative!

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Study in Orange

Hello there. Thanks for stopping by.

Today I wanted to share a card I made playing with scraps. Oranges can be challenging for me, but I think that repeating the colors throughout the design, and adding a good dose of white, helped pull this together. There's a good bit of pattern, but most of it is monochromatic, so it doesn't slap you in the face. Now what I mean?


The focal was stamped with distress inks in various shades of yellow, orange and greens.  The butterfly was added for dimension. All in all, I'm fairly satisfied with this, especially since the colors are a bit out of my comfort zone.

So, tag--you're it.  Go do something creative! And have a great time doing it!

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Think of the Possibilities

It's kind of strange, but I rarely make the same card twice. I admire people who can do that. It would be so much more efficient when making cards enmass.  But me--not so much. Perhaps it's a little OCD or something, but I digress. LOL

Anyway, once in awhile there's a technique or design that just captures my imagination. Now don't misunderstand, this doesn't necessarily mean the results are all identical, but it does mean I repeat the same basic technique several times,  playing with a variety of possibilities. Maybe it's easier to show you what I mean.  Take a look at this first sample.

This card was created by masking off the edge of my cardstock, then sponging distress ink along one side, letting it fade off toward the middle.  I then stamped the floral image repeatedly in black without reinking between, and added the sentiment.  A bit of black matting, and a ribbon added to a green card base and there you have it.  Simple.  Kind of cool.  And it got me thinking.

My next attempt was in shades of aqua.  I added a few raindrops and a bit of twine to add a bit more interest. 

So I say to myself,  "Hmmm, that's kind of neat.  Still a little plain, but I'm seeing possibilities.  Wonder if I can bump it up a bit more?"

And here's what I came up with.

This time I used multiple colors of distress ink for the sponging.  The focal was cut out, then edged with a gold leaf pen.  I adhered it to a white piece of cardsock, then matted it with black. Hmm, I'm starting to like this.  Next, I embossed the aqua background piece, and matted that in black, adhered the focal with pop dots, then tied on a bit of gold cording.  Finally, I adhered the whole lot to a white card base, and by golly, I think this has possibilities! 

So, how about you? Do you get excited about a technique, a color combination, or a particular stamp and just experiment with it's possibilities?  Give it a try.  It's fun and who knows, you might come up with an amazing piece of art (or maybe just a nice card, LOL).

Thanks for stopping by.  Have an inspired day.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall is in the Air

I love the look of background text. I think it lends an air of romance to a card. 

Here's a card I made using a background text stamp in Versamark on kraft. Unfortunately, the text stamp is an unmounted rubber stamp I picked up somewhere along the line and never thought to label with the maker's name. Oops. Another lesson learned. 

I stamped the jar and flowers (from PaperTrey's Friendship Jar and Friendship Jar Summer Fillers) with Versamark and embossed with white embossing powder. I detailed the jar with W2 Copic, then colored in the leaves and flowers with Copic markers (sorry, I forgot to note the colors I used).

The mat under the sentiment is cut with Papertrey's Half and Half die, then stamped in Summer Sunrise. I drew the orange stripes using a ruler and a Copic marker.  The sentiment was stamped on white cardstock, then cut with the Jar Label die from PTI.  I then adhered the finished piece to a cream card base with pop dots.

Makes a nice love note for Fall, don't you think?

Sorry about the funky lighting in this photo.  I'm still trying to get that right!  What do they say?  Oh yeah, practice makes perfect.  Looks like a little more practice is in order.

Thanks for stopping by.  Get out and try something creative today!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

PaperTrey's Fruit Fusion Apple

Welcome back.

Here's a little something I've been thinking about for a while for my Operation Write Home cards. I wanted to make something a soldier could send home that had a little something extra. I figured, sometimes they might want to send a little gift, but it's not like they can just run to the mall.  Know what I mean? 

Anyway, I came up with this idea.  I thought the tag would make a cute bookmark.  The sender could even add a little note on it to make it more personal.  Whatcha' think?

I cut out the pocket with PaperTreys seed packet die, then stamped the inside with Text Style and the Apple image from Fruit Fusion: Apple.  I cut out the bookmark, rounded the corners, then stamped the sentiment and apple image (Fruit Fusion again), tied on a ribbon, and there you have it. 

Thanks for stopping by today.  Have an inspired day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Adventures with Distress Ink

I don't know about you, but I love distress inks. They are so versatile.

Here's a sample I made using what I call the "smoosh and stamp" method.  I simply applied various distress inks directly from pad to my craft sheet (being careful to place the ink close to each other but not touching), pressed and smooshed my stamp into the ink, spritzed it lightly with water and stamped it on my cardstock.  I  stamped the sentiment, scored a couple of line on the left, and tied on the ribbon. Then it was simply a matter of matting it up with green card stock and applying it to my  blue card base. Pretty simple, but it has a nice watercolored look, don't you think?

Definitely a technique I'll be trying again.  How about you?

Thanks for stopping by today.  See you again soon.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall Is In the Air

Wecome back!  It's really beginning to feel like fall around here. I swear, that was the fastest summer in history! I think we got maybe 3 weeks of nice weather. Yikes!

Anyway, thought I'd try to capture the spirit of the season anyway.  Here's my take on a beautiful fall day.

The fence was kind of an experiment. I'd gotten the die from PaperTrey a while back and I love it! While digging through some supplies, I noticed a humungus stack of exotic wood veener samples I got several years ago when I attended the International Woodworkers Show with my hubby. Hmmmm, wood and fences seem like a pefect pair, LOL. 

Anyway, the veneer is very thin, and a bit brittle, so I wasn't sure whether it would cut with the die, but it did and I'm tickled with the result! I stamped the tree and grass, popped the fence on, added some tiny brads for the nails, and voila!  My take on a perfect fall day!

Thanks for stopping by today. Be back soon.