Friday, March 30, 2012

Delft Tile

Do you ever get an idea in your head that's really cool--in your head, at least--but doesn't quite come together the way it looked in your head? Well, this card is one of those, but I thought I'd share it anyway because you can't see what was in my head, so you'll never know how cool that one was and you won't be able to say "what the heck was she thinking!" Ha.

I started by stamping a swirly vine  design on white, punched out four 1-inch circles, then punched four 1-1/4 inch circles from navy stock. These were adhered together, then adhered to a piece of white that I'd embossed and matted with navy. The label was die cut, and stamped using the same blue ink used on the  swirls. It's popped up a bit and shows up nicely in real life, even if it looks a bit flat here. 

My original idea was to recreate a blue delft tile motif--that inspiration might have translated better if I'd used squares instead of circles. But--nothing ventured, nothing gained.

So, there you have it. Too bad you couldn't see the one in my head. It was truly beautiful!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Little Birdie Says Hello

Welcome back!  Here's a quick card for my Operation Write Home stash. 

The bird, branch, hearts and sentiment were stamped on white card stock and colored with BIC markers. I wanted to experiment with using the Copic blender on the BIC's to add texture, and it worked fine! Now that's not to say my texture is fine--but the blender worked just like it does with the Copics. Cool!

Anyway, the focal was cut out with a Spellbinders classic oval die. Then a slightly larger classic oval was cut from white card stock, and just the edge was colored with the same blue BIC used to color the bird. This solved the problem of not have a matching blue (What?  I  have a ton of blues in the stash and not one matched? How can that be? Must go shopping!  Oh, sorry, my mind wandered for a moment.)  I added a bit of texture to the bird and the faux matting with the Copic blender pen, and though I suppose I could have been a bit more original than simply doing dots, the concept worked fine.

Finally I matted both with a classic scallop and added white pearls with a Viva Pearl pen.  To add a little shine, I put a drop of Glossy Accents on the hearts.

Then I embossed a piece of white stock, matted it with black, added another white piece (colored blue like the oval) and textured the blue with the blender pen. A piece of black and white gingham anchors the focal, which is popped up on dimensionals, and the card base is white.

I don't usually do whimsical designs, but this turned out bright and happy and I think I like it. Hope you do too.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Birthday Swing Card

Sometimes you feel like a nut...  Well, sometimes you just feel like you need to do something different.  I've always liked these swing cards, but don't typically make them because they don't lend themselves to writing a personal note. And since most of my cards go to Operation Write Home, that's important.

Still, I was in the mood the experiment with something a little different, and the following is what transpired.

It's really a simple  card, it's just the swing panel that ups the ante a bit.   Here's what it looks like open.

The DP and card stock are from PaperTrey, the stamps are from an old Impression Obsession set. The cake and candles were hand colored with markers. The "brads" are just circle punched card stock covered with Glossy Accents, as were the candles.

What makes this card fun is the WOW factor for someone who's never seen one, and only you know it's easy!

Go try a swing card for yourself. It's a fun way to up the ante in your stash. By the way, if you need instructions for the card, there are tutorials all over YouTube, and Splitcoast Stampers has a tutorial too. Sorry, I don't have a specific link, but if you really need help finding one, let me know and I'll try to find one for you.  In the meantime, I've got to scoot--sounds like dinner's boiling over!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Celebrate the Day with OWH

I love making cards for Operation Write Home, so I made this little trifold birthday card with a child in mind. I think a dad or mom might like to send their child a bright, happy card for their birthday. Well, that's what my thinking was when I made this anyway.

I started with a simple trifold in navy blue. The yellow, orange and green were scraps I had collected from who-knows-where.  I stamped the cupcake and sentiment on the front panel, coloring the cupcake to match the papers. When it was finished, I wondered if I should have chosen a color other than green for the frosting, but what the heck--kids have a goofy sense of what's right when it comes to food, so I figured there has to be a little kid out there who would love green frosting!

The center panel is just a sentiment and candles, colored to match again.  To stick with the theme, I added mini cupcakes and a sentiment to the last panel, with a bit of blue ribbon for interest.

Now the problem. When the card was done, I was admiring my handiwork when I realized there really wasn't a good place for whoever was giving this card to write a note. What to do, what to do! After a moment, I realized I could simply line the back side of the panels in white to give a bit of space for a note. Problem solved, and another card's ready to get shipped out! Yeah.

Have you checked out Operation Write Home yet?  It really is a great organization, and it feels so good to do something to help pay back the sacrifices made for us every day. Consider sending a few (or a bunch) of cards to OWH. All the information you need is on their website. You'll be blessed and so will some soldier and their loved ones.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy Anniversary

My sweetie and I are celebrating our anniversary this month, so I've been attempting to come up with a card for him.  Sometimes the hardest cards to make are for the ones you love the most--very strange.

Anyway, if you've been following my blog for long, you know I love to play with distress inks.  I'm especially fond of the impressionistic look you can get with a dab of distress ink and a few squirts of water. That's how I created the back ground on this card. I used water color paper so it would stand up to the moisture, and simply dripped various distress reinkers on, then misted with water.  To get the little splatters, I tapped a distress ink pad on my splat mat, dipped a wet paint brush in, then tapped the brush to make the splatters.

When it was dry, I stamped the swirls in VersaFine Onyx Black.  Never able to leave well enough alone, I decided to outline the swirls with a gold Krylon pen. I think it added a touch of sparkle without resorting to glitter. A girl's got to have her sparkle, don't ya know. The Krylon pens are so beautiful. If you like the metallic look, and haven't tried them, I encourage you to get one and play. They're not like any other metallic pen out there. Oh, and by the way, the tips are replaceable if need be (um, don't ask, just trust me).

Okay, back to the card.  The sentiment was stamped on white card, and cut with a Half and Half die from, guess who?--Papertrey.  To mat it I decided to cut another Half and Half out of black, trimmed the white one down slightly, adhered the two together, then popped them up with dimensionals.  A few blue/green dew drops and a bit of black matting finished up the focal, which was adhered to a white card base.

I'm not sure if this is the one I'll give him. But I did feel like an artiste' making it.

Do you find yourself returning to the same technique(s) over and over? Or am I just stuck in a rut--on second thought, don't answer that one! Ha.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by today. Now, go do something artsy--it's good for the soul.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Love You Clean and Simple

I've been intrigued with the recent move toward CAS cards recently. Some crafters have mastered the look. Me--I'm still working on it! 

This sample is fairly simple, but not strictly one layer. I stamped the dotted border and "love"  in Smoky Shadow onto white stock. Then I die cut "YOU" in black (using Wonderful Words die from PTI) and the heart in red (Spellbinder's die).  I decided the heart could use a bit of texture, so I ran it through an embossing folder (sorry, I don't remember which one), highlighted the embossing with a swipe of white ink, and added a bit of sparkle with glitter around the edge. Then I adhered the whole lot to a black card base.

While not strictly CAS, it's close. And I think maybe I'm sneaking up on the concept.

Do you do CAS? And if you do, do you struggle with it? Post a link if you have an example for me to drool over. Or let me know if you have any tips for successfully executing the style. And if you don't like the style, I'd love to hear your thoughts on that too. Personally, I think I've just gotten burned out on layers and layers of paper, embellishments, and stuff.  Not that you won't continue to see that style here, but it is fun to try something different once in awhile, if only to learn that somethings are just fine the way they are.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chemistry Class

I forgot to share this Valentine's Day card with you last month. Guess with everything that's been going on, it's not just my mojo that's missing!

Anyway, this is a card I made for my Mr. Wonderful. I thought of him immediately when I saw the original, since we met in high school many moons ago. Do they even use blackboards anymore? Oh, well--moving on.

The card is a CASE from one featured in the latest Stamp It magazine. I thought the original was so clever, I couldn't resist trying to recreate it.  Instead of stamping on the blackboard like the original, I drew the formula and heart sentiment by hand using a white Signo pen. Have I mentioned how much I love those things!

The apple was die cut and stamped from a set from Papertrey, then popped up on the chalk tray. I varied the chalk tray a bit, adding an additional strip of kraft paper and inking the edges for a bit of definition. I fashioned the chalk out of a scrap of card stock. The rest should be easy to figure out, but if you have questions, leave me a comment and I'll get back to you.

Anyway, I thought it was kind of cute, and not the usual fussy Valentine I usually make for him. I think he got a kick out of it, too.

Have a creative day, and remember to eat your apple!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Butterflies and Vines

Just want to share a quick card with you today.

I started by sponging distress inks in various colors onto a white piece of card stock, starting with the lightest and working toward the darkest. When it had dried a bit, I stamped the vine/flowers using VersaFine Black Onyx, then added the tiny butterflies in the same ink.  The focal was created by die cutting a circle from white, stamping the sentiment in black, and adding the butterflies in Melon Berry.  That was layered onto a black die cut (Spellbinders--sorry, I'll have to check the name if you need to know), then popped it up with dimensionals. A few small pearls were added to the butterflies, and the loopy tail of "you" as well.

I matted the main panel with black and added a bit of Melon Berry satin ribbon. Finally, I adhered it all to a Melon Berry card base. 

I like to do something to finish the inside of my cards, but especially if I'm sending to Operation Write Home. Here I lined the card with white matted with black, then stamped the vine/flowers from the front using Melon Berry. I also added a delicate border to the top edge. This gives plenty of room for a serviceman (or woman) to write a note, while giving the card a slightly more finished look.  It's especially important to at least line the inside of a card with white or cream if you're using a darker card base, since sometimes our troops only have a pencil to write with. Just a little tip if you decide to join us at OWH (wink, wink).

Well there you have it. It took longer to blog about it than it took to make it, so if you like the design, give it a try. 

And I apologize for the really funky photos of late. The weather, hence the lighting, has been terribly wet and gray and I'll be darn if I can get anything to photograph well. Of course, it could be the photographer.  Naw, I'm stickin' with the weather story!  (Mz. M, if you read this, know I can't wait for you to get back to teach me how to use that blasted camera!!!)

Ok, that's it for today. Hugs to you all, and go do something creative!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Alcohol Ink Birthday

I've mentioned before how I struggle making masculine cards. Oh, I know the general rules for masculine design--I just can't seem follow them. I'm forever drawn back to the more feminine side of things.

Here's another attempt I recently made at masculine design. I figured if I started with black card stock I'd have a leg up. Yeah, well.... maybe not so much. 

The card features a strip of glossy white card stock I dripped alcohol ink on and allowed to spread. I then added a bit of metallic gold to highlight it here and there, cut it into strips and adhered one to the black card base.  I decided to score a stripe along each edge to make the strip appear more "settled' on the card, then  decided to add a few more for balance.  But the stripes didn't show up very well. Hmmm, what to do?  I decided that since the colored portion had a bit of gold to highlight it, I'd add a bit of gold to the stripes, too. So, I dug out my Brilliance Gold ink pad and swiped it across the card. It added just the right amount of highlight, and a bit of roughness to the card that seemed appropriate for a guy.

Since I was on a gold kick, I dug out a scrap of glossy gold card stock, and die cut it using PaperTrey's Photo Finish label die.  Then I stamped it with the birthday sentiment, using VersaMark, and embossed it in black to make it really pop on the label.  I thought about adding brads to the label, but decided just to leave it alone.

So, there you have it, my most recent attempt a masculine card. I still don't know if this could be classified "manly", but at least it doesn't have any ribbon or flowers on it!

Would love to hear how you approach masculine cards. Leave me a comment and let me know. Links are appreciated, too!  Talk to you later.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Stenciled Bookmark

I took a bit of a break from card making to make a bookmark. I love to read, and I'm forever looking for a bookmark. I thought I should remedy that, and here's the result of that effort.

Using a brass stencil (Dreamweaver's, I think) I applied a layer of embossing paste to a piece of glossy black card stock and let it dry. Then I replaced the stencil, and used an Essential Glue Pad to tap glue over the design. After carefully removing the stencil, and dropping it into a bowl of water (which I also did after using the embossing paste), I laid a piece of gold/red gold leaf over the design and, using a soft brush, gently brushed away the excess. Easy peasy.

I matted the finished stenciled piece with gold card stock, and adhered it to a bookmark I cut from another piece of glassy black. Actually I cut two bookmarks and layered them together to make it very sturdy. I plan on giving this little guy a workout!  Anyway, I added a brass eyelet, a golden tassel (JudiKins carries those little cuties) and finished it off by adding random green gems.

I love how it turned out. It's kind of fun to do something out of the ordinary, don't you think?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sending You Hugs and Kisses

Hi all! Hope the day finds you healthy and happy.

Here's another quick card (seems that's all I have time for lately) using hand stamped backgrounds.

Some times when I'm not sure what I want to make, I just start stamping. This card is an example of what I mean.  The top floral portion was stamped from bits and pieces of a number of stamp sets, some from PTI, some from DeNami, and I think a couple from Stampin' by Judith. To be honest, I'm only guessing, since this sample was a pretty random event that I did a while ago. 

The lower portion is simply a text stamp (probably from PTI) stamped on orange using VersaMark.

I do know (yeah!) the sentiment is from PTI's Sending You set, because it's one of my favorites. It was stamped on a piece of Aqua Mist (PTI), die cut into a flag shape, scored and folded to give it some dimension.  The green "brads" are really just green card stock I punched out because I didn't have any real brads the right color, and I didn't want to take the time to color any up. With a drop of Glossy Accents they actually don't look too bad. 

After tying on the ribbon and double matting in green and hot pink, I added the card front to a white base and another card makes it into the ol' stash. 

Things are getting busy again, and if the weather (and my health) holds, I once again may not be posting for a bit.  We're still trying to get things ready so we can put my mother-in-law's home up for sale. Although the house is in good shape, cleaning it out takes time because each piece has so many memories.  Sigh.  A sad, but necessary task that we'll both be glad when it's over. 

Okay, enough of that.  Go play with you stamps. You may discover combinations you never would have thought of and a design that's uniquely you.  And that's a  good thing--a very good thing!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

You're Too Kind

Hi friends! Hope you're having a good day.

Today's sample is a quick thank you card using an old technique called Black Magic.  The technique was  featured a couple of weeks ago on Splitcoast Stampers and I remember thinking I should try it again.  So...I did.

The flowers and leaves were stamped on black card stock with VersaMark and embossed with white EP. They were then colored with Prisma colored pencils.  It's kind of a neat effect, but I haven't done it in awhile and my coloring could use a little work. I'm spoiled by the ease of blending colors using Copics, and remembered too late that I wasn't using them here. I suppose I could have blended things a little smoother by using Gamasol, but I didn't have any, so I decided not to stress about it and just went with the flow.

Anyway, I added faux stitch lines with a white Signo pen (LOVE that thing!!!!) and matted it with white stock.  Two opposing corners were rounded, and a polka dot ribbon was knotted around the lower third. Then the whole lot was added to a rose colored base, and another card is added to the Operation Write Home box!

It's a fun technique, and I think I will have to try it again soon, but next time I'll spend a little extra time working on my coloring.  If you haven't tried this technique before, give it a shot, and leave me a link so I can see what you've done. Just remember--it's impolite to gloat over how much better your coloring is ;>).  Have fun!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Butterfly Love

Hi there! Today's question is:  "Why do we buy crafty things, then somehow tuck them away never to use them?"  What? You've never done that?  Hummmph!

Okay, all kidding aside, here's an example of having something that I'd never used, in fact, until I was cleaning up a bit, I didn't even remember I had it! Course it could be because of my age (did I hear a giggle?) or maybe because I've been under the weather--whatever the reason, I'd never used this particular embossing folder. In fact, I'm not even sure what it's called--I believe it's by Cuttlebug, but the packaging is long since gone. And because I didn't have a record of it in my inventory, which I've tried to keep up with for some time now, I'm guessing this was a purchase before I decided having an inventory might be a good idea.  But that's a story for another day, so let's move on.

Anyway, when I discovered this little beauty, I decided it needed some lovin'. So, here's what I did.

I started by embossing the white card stock with my little unloved folder, then used a die to cut out the window. I stamped a scrap piece of light blue card stock with leaves and a butterfly using VersaMark, then adhered it behind the white stock using dimensionals. 

Next I die cutmore leaves from green card stock,  and stamped them with VersaMark using the coordinating stamp (Turn a New Leaf by PTI).  The butterfly is an older die from Spellbinders and was cut from scrap card stock, too. After cutting and embossing it, I left it in the die and used more VersaMark to highlight the embossed areas.  For a little extra something, I to added silver wire antenna to it.

Then it was on to the sentiment. I cut a flag shape from white stock and stamped the sentiment in gray(sentiment from Sending You, Smokey Shadow ink both from PTI).  A couple of blue rhinestones finished it off.  When I started to attach everything to the window, the cutout felt a little unfinished, so I added dots with an ultra fine BIC marker in a matching blue.

Once everything was attached, I popped the whole thing onto a slightly darker blue card base, lined the inside with white, and packed it up for shipping out to Operation Write Home! Yeah! Felt good to get another card made for the troops.

By the way, don't think cards aren't still needed by OWH. Even with the current draw down, there are still LOTS of troops deployed all over the world and they could really use all the handmade cards we can deliver. So, if you want to support a good cause, consider making cards for OWH. You might be surprised the impact such a small gesture can make.