Wednesday, January 26, 2011

OLW38 A Sketch

I made two cards today for the One Layer Wednesday challenge hosted by Jennifer Styles this week.  Although they are both one layer cards, one of them was much more involved than the other.  This will show you the extreme looks you can create on a one layer card.

I have been making a lot of warm, sun and beach themed cards lately, and this one is no exception.

I sponged the sand and water, and used a brayer for the sky.  I took Michelle Zindorf's brayer classes a little over a year ago, and love to play around with her technique.  As you can see, you can create very elaborate cards with just one layer.

Stamps - All Night Media, Short & Sweet
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Crumb Cake, Cool Caribbean, Turquoise, Pacific Point, Summer Sun, Pixie Pink, Orchid, Espresso
Accessories - Post-it notes for masking, circle punch, Copic markers, brayer, sponges, white gel pen

This card is much more simple, but still packs a punch.

The bird cage and stand are embossed to make it look like wrought iron.  The triangulation of red in the three image areas pulls the whole card together.

The large bird cage image in this set doesn't have a perch for the birds to sit on, so I drew one with a black marker before I stamped the bird cage.

Stamps - PTI Love Birds
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Riding Hood Red, Versamark, Memento tuxedo black
Accessories - clear EP, heat tool, quilting ruler, SAMJ

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you're having a great week!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Christmas in January (No, I'm not kidding!)

I have some cards made that I could have posted today, but I ended up going through a box of random stamps that I had purchased as a lot on e-bay a couple years ago and made a couple new cards.  Every once in a while I find something in there I want to keep, and since my 'style' is still evolving, stamps I would never think of using become just what I was looking for.  My purchase gets more valuable every time I go through that box!

I came across the complete set of SU's Holiday Blocks that has been retired for a while now, and I managed to use every image on these two cards.

I really like the purposeful random placement of the squares on this one.  (How's that for an oxymoron?)  I was able to triangulate the images even though there are five squares.  There is good flow and color balance, and that makes me very happy.  I do wish the holly image was a little closer to the left edge.  It's funny what a difference 1/8" would make.

Stamps - Holiday Blocks, Hero Arts Holiday Sayings
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Riding Hood Red, Old Olive, Memento tuxedo black

Here is my second card before.  Before what, you ask?

The SMUDGE!  I was stamping my last word - joy - and noticed a big black thumbprint on the front of the card.  It doesn't look that noticeable here, but you could definitely see it IRL.


I finished stamping the word, and salvaged the card by cutting the images and sentiments into a panel which I popped up on another card base.

Disaster avoided!  I kinda like it better, anyway!

These images were first inked in Versamark, then in colored inks so the Dazzling Diamonds could be used.  This is a great technique for adding sparkle to your project, and this card really sparkles.

I used my SAMJ in conjunction with a quilting ruler (thanks, Susan, aka LateBlossom for that tip) for placement of the images and words.  Those are two of my most valuable tools.

Stamps - Holiday Blocks, Hero Arts Holiday Sayings
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Versamark, Razzleberry, Daffodil, Pacific Point, Memento tuxedo black
Accessories - Dazzling Diamonds EP, heat tool, dimensionals, SAMJ

Another reason I wanted to stamp some Christmas cards is to help clear out my new stamp basket.  The Hero Arts sentiment set was part of my clearance purchase a couple weeks ago (it was 75% off!), and I couldn't wait until Christmas to use it.  So far this system is working well for me.  It has pushed me to used stamps that would otherwise get lost in the rest of my rubber.

My challenge for you is to find a stamp set you think isn't your style, and use it to make a card or two.  My two cards today are proof that you might just make something you like.

Have a great day!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Looking for Inspiration?

I was at the library the other day to pick up the entire sixth season of LOST on DVD.  Yea, I know, we're a little behind on that one.  I never watched it on TV, but had to watch every season on DVD because my husband made me.

Not really.

I was hooked as soon as I started watching it.  And since I was #168 on the hold list at the library, it has taken a while.  I'm not sure I want to watch it though, because I know my questions won't get answered.

But I digress.

So I was at the library, and I thought I'd see if they had any card making books.

They did.  I felt bad hoarding all of these to check them out, but I did leave a few behind.  Ones that I could tell were not up my alley.  You know, all the heavily embellished and technique heavy ones.

I haven't had a chance to look at them much yet.  We were at the rodeo all day yesterday, and I have a sick kid at home today.  But I'm sure I will learn a few things and find lots of inspiration.

If you haven't looked in your library for card books, I encourage you to check for them the next time you are there.  What could be better than inspiration that's free?


P.S.  The reading glasses are in the picture purely for aesthetics.  I don't really need to use them.

Yea.  Whatever.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

One Down, Two to Go

This morning, I was determined to do something with this unfinished card.  It started out as a different color combination, and once I colored my image, I knew it needed a change.  I decided to play off of the pink ice cream, so pink it was.  Then that meant I had the perfect ribbon to go with it.

And I was a happy camper!

This time I remembered to embellish my card before I took the picture, and used a Sakura glaze pen on the hot fudge.  It looks so yummy!

Stamps - Our Craft Lounge  Life is Sweet
Paper - Rose red, Pretty in Pink, Daffodil, GKD PL white
Ink - Pumpkin Pie, Memento tuxedo black, Rose red for sponging
Accessories - Copic markers, Sakura glaze pen, dimensionals, Nestabilities, Big Shot, dauber, ribbon, linen thread

Here is a tip for cutting out images:
After you cut out your image, run a black marker along the edges to eliminate any slivers of white from showing through.  See pics below.
Also, if there is a thin area on your image, put a piece or two of scotch tape on the back to lend a little support and keep the cardstock from tearing at the narrow point.

This is my image before the black marker.

This is after.  See how it takes all the white edges away?  Having a solid black edge helps it to "pop" off the background.  On this cut out, I put tape behind the spoon and a little bit into the image for a little more support.

I have been using a lot more color and layers lately, even though the cards are still pretty simple.  Maybe that is what is helping me out of my slump!

Whatever works, right?


Polka Dot Background

Here are two cards I got stuck on and had to leave alone for a couple days.  I stamped the polka dot backgrounds, and that's as far as I got.

Until today.

Funny how you can create when you think you are on a creative high.

Mind over matter.

At first, I tried this on a white card base and it was so not right.  The yellow was exactly what it needed.  No wonder I couldn't do anything with it before.  Once I figured the yellow out, it all came together very quickly.  I used my blender pen and reinkers to color the image - something I haven't used in years.  It seemed so much easier now, and I will definitely try it again.  I pierced the scallops on the rectangle to echo the scallops on the border.

Just as I was sitting here typing this, I looked at this card and wondered why I didn't Stickle the orange flower.  So I just Stickled it and it looks amazingly better.  Sorry, but I'm not going to retake the picture.

Stamps - Love Ya Bunches (long ago retired), Polka Dot background
Paper - Daffodil, Wasabi, Pumpkin Pie, GKD PL white
Ink - Wasabi, Memento tuxedo black
Accessories - Blender pen, reinkers, Nestabilities, Big Shot, large needle for piercing, ribbon, Diamond lace border punch

The ribbon on this card was wrapped around a blanket or pillows I bought some time ago.  Since I save everything I think I might be able to use in a crafty way, I need to start using some of it or it is going to take over my craft cave.  The dark pink heart layer was cut out using deco scissors, and I only had to do it once!  Woohoo!

Stamps - Whimsical Words, Polka Dot background
Paper - Wasabi, Pretty in Pink, Rose Red, GKD PL white (for card base)
Ink - Wasabi, Rose Red
Accessories - heart punch, mini scallop deco scissors, dauber, rhinestone, dimensionals, repurposed ribbon

Now let's see what other projects I can finish.  I know of at least three in the wings...

Hope you have a super weekend!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Productive Day

Don't stop me now, I'm on a roll!  I had a very productive day in my craft cave today.  Ideas were pouring out of me, and the best part was I was able to execute them.  Not execute as in mortally wound, but execute as in carry out.

Just thought I'd clarify.  You know how (non)productive I've been lately.

Today's cards came from a Hero Arts set I bought on clearance a couple weeks ago.  It has been sitting in my new stamp basket waiting for inspiration to strike.  And strike it did.

The stapler is embossed which makes it look really cool IRL.  Not sure if I like the staples all lined up like they are.  Maybe random stapling would have looked better??  The black panel is up on dimensionals.

For this one, I hand wrote the hello with a pencil, then stamped the pencil so the lead was lined up with the end of the "o".  I masked the pencil and stamped the paper, roughly lining the lines up with the angle of the sentiment.  I used Baja Breeze ink stamped off once for the paper, Memento London Fog for Just a Note, and colored the pencil with Copics.  I really like this one!

The envelope was stamped onto a mailing envelope and cut out.  I actually stamped it twice and pieced just the flaps to add a little dimension that you can't really tell is there unless you touch it.  Then I sewed SU's linen thread around the closure thingy.  What is that called, anyway?  I used Clear Dollar Stamps Military Sentiments, and popped up the envelope with dimensionals.

This is the card that started it all, and I really love how it turned out.  The paper is stamped with Soft Sky, cut out, and punched with a 1/8" punch.  I made a tiny slit at the top to put the push pin through, and popped up the pin on a tiny piece of a dimensional.  The paper is adhered only at the top edge, and I curled the corners to make it look like it was really hanging by a pin.  I applied Glossy Accents to the push pin after everything was assembled.  The kraft card base makes it look like the note is on a cork board.

One thing I love about this set is that you can hand write whatever you want for a note or a sentiment on the paper image.  I think that makes it look more personalized, and the options are infinite.

A couple tips:
*Baja Breeze stamped off once looks just like Soft Sky
*If you are using a dimensional on a colored card base for a very small layer, color the edges of the dimensional with the same color marker as the card base, and you won't be able to see the white dimensional under the layer!

Now I can store this set with my other "used" sets.  Woohoo!

Hope you're having a great day!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's OLW Again!

I have tried unsuccessfully for the past few days to stamp something.  Until I saw the OLW challenge for today.  The challenge is to use more than one sentiment on your OLC, and no images.  That sounded easy enough for mojo-less me to tackle.

I pulled out my PTI Birthday Basics set and used every one of the Happy Birthdays in it.  (One of them got used twice.)  For perfect placement, I lined up all the stamps on a lined acrylic block.  Each one was inked with marker, and presto, my card was done!

I wanted to use one of my stitched lines stamps, but that would have violated the no image rule, so I scored lines instead.  I really like how it breaks up all the white space around the sentiments.

Stamps - PTI Birthday Basics
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - various SU markers
Accessories - Scor-Buddy

Here is a tip for lining up long stamps on an acrylic block:  Lay the stamp image side down on your work surface, then press the acrylic block onto the back of the stamp.  Most stamps will be straight if they aren't clinging to anything.  This eliminates a long stamp from curving when you try to place it on the block by hand.  Since you can see through the block, you can line it up perfectly along the grid lines (if the block has them), and you can make minor adjustments as needed.

Happy Wednesday!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Summer Scenes

I can't believe another week has passed.  I don't know where the time goes.  This was a busier week than normal, and I didn't get much stamping done.  I did take some time this afternoon to make a couple cards.

In keeping with using my new stamps before they get put away, I used one of my new Hero Arts sets that I got on clearance last week.  It has lots of cute beach and summer-y images, and I managed to create two totally different looks on my cards.

First up, a warm, soothing card...

The image was colored with Copics using a sunset photo I had taken while on vacation in the Turks and Caicos Islands as a guide.  It took me right back in time.  I even had a silhouette of a beach umbrella in my photo.  Can you see the sky-blue pink?  I love that color!  I kept the card very simple so the image would take center stage.

Stamps - Stampendous Summer Scene, PTI Day at the Beach
Paper - Pumpkin Pie, GKD PL white
Ink - Memento tuxedo black
Accessories - Copic markers, crumb cake marker, rectangle Nestabilities, Big Shot, dimensionals

And now, for a more whimsical look...

I took the sentiment literally, and put some fun in the sun.  I think flip flops (or ting tongs, as I used to call them) are fun, and they are a staple in my wardrobe all year long.

Since the sentiment and the image were about the same size, I overlapped them to make it seem like one big image.  Otherwise they would have been fighting for your eye's attention.

Stamps - Stampendous Summer Scene, Michael's $ stamp
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Yo yo yellow, Memento tuxedo black
Accessories - Copic markers, dimensionals

Now that I have summer and warm weather out of my system, we can head up to the mountains to do a little snowboarding.  This will be the first year both kids will be boarding instead of skiing.  You know, because good parents don't let their kids ski.  Heehee!  (Yes, I'm a little biased!)

Have a great rest of your weekend!


Monday, January 10, 2011

CAS101 A Day in the Snow

Today's CAS challenge is to use snow on your card.  We just got about 6" of the powdery white stuff, much to my kids' approval.  They can't wait to try out their new snow shoes that Santa brought them.  Needless to say, I was in the mood to stamp some snow today.

I pulled out my Changito set that I used for my Christmas cards a couple years ago.  I think he is the cutest little monkey, and there is a sentiment in the set that will ring true for many people across the country right about now.

I stamped the image first, leaving room to emboss the snow.  Then I cut some curves for the snow, and continued to cut around the image.  I added a little flock to his clothes and randomly dabbed Stickles for the falling snow.  This turned out way cuter than I had imagined.  Don't you love when that happens?

Stamps - Stampendous Changito Snow Play
Paper - bashful blue, GKD PL white
Ink - Memento tuxedo black
Accessories - CB Divine swirls EF, Big Shot, Copic markers, Sakura quickie glue pen, white flock, star dust Stickles 

Hope you aren't too buried in the snow!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Have a Donut (or Two)

The donuts in my new Hero Arts set were not that appealing to me when I first saw them.  I bought the set mostly for the coffee cup.  Well, I'll be honest, it was mostly because I couldn't resist the 25% off sale.  That's why I bought the set.  But only because it had the coffee cup in it!

I'm not much of a donut-type person.  I'm more of a cupcake person.  And let's face it, donuts don't have the cute factor that cupcakes have.  But the donuts kept nagging at me, and I had to make a couple of cards with them.

This card turned out very different than my original vision.  I just couldn't work my original sketch idea into a card.  The only thing that carried through was the donut.  I thought I had a soft pink glaze pen, but it was much too "hot" for a donut, so I colored the pink with a Copic marker and used a clear glaze pen over the top.  Then I added some fabric paint sprinkles.  It turned out kinda cute!

Notice how the sentiment in the upper left 'sweet spot' balances the donut in the lower right 'sweet spot'.

Stamps - Hero Arts
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Memento tuxedo black
Accessories - Copic markers, Sakura clear glaze pen, iridescent white fabric paint, dimensionals, gingham ribbon, scor-pal

I was going to pop the sentiment up in the center of this card, but it looked way too busy.  There was just enough room between the donuts to stamp the sentiment, hence the OLC.  The donuts are colored with Copics, and I used my clear glaze pen once again, but this time on the loopy loops.  These donuts look good enough to eat!

I triangulated the three prominent donuts to be visually appealing, and only needed small portions of the other donuts to complete the visual balance.

Stamps - Hero Arts
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Memento tuxedo black
Accessories - Copic markers, Sakura clear glaze pen

And now that I have used this set, I can put it away.  One of my craft resolutions this year is to use every set or stamp I buy before I put it away.  I designated a basket for all my new sets and have it sitting on my craft table.  (I adopted someone else's idea that I read somewhere).  I figure if I have to have a stamp bad enough to buy it, I have to use it before it gets lost in the mass of rubber and photo polymer I have in my room.  And by the looks of things, I better get stamping!

What craft resolutions do you have this year?


Friday, January 7, 2011

A Potpourri of Cards

My mojo has slowly been returning to me after what seemed like being gone forever.  There have been so many things going on around here, and my creative energy vanished.

It started coming back after my Little Ditty post.  If you sent positive energy my way...thanks, it worked!  Then I looked at the OLW challenge for this week which is as simple as using yellow on your card.  So that's where I started.  I made three cards with yellow, but I'll only post one of them.  I'll spare you the pain of viewing the other two!

I rock 'n rolled the pears, and really like how the colors turned out.  The sentiment was hand written, and I was going to be cute and do a play on words to say "To a great pear", but it just didn't look right, so I wrote it the correct way.  I know, B-O-R-I-N-G.  But I'm weird that way.

Supplies used:
Stamps - PTI Fruitful
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Daffodil, Celery, Choc chip
Accessories - Wild Wasabi marker
Techniques - rock 'n roll

I finally finished this card after many attempts.  My original thought for this card was to have the fruit out-of-the-box.  Then I was stumped.  It finally came together, though.  It's not the greatest, but hey, I feel like I just started stamping again!

Stamps - PTI Fruitful
Paper - Only Orange, Green Galore, GKD PL white
Ink - Only Orange, Yo Yo Yellow
Accessories - rectangle Nestabilities, orange rhinestones

We are getting ready to finish our basement, and in moving stuff out, I ran across my box of sets that I am going to sell.  Of course I had to go through them again and found a set I was surprised was in there.  So I made a card with it.

Very simple, but the random placement of the bling makes it not so ordinary.  I think I'll keep this set for a while.

Stamps - Delight in Life
Paper - Lavendar Lace
Ink - Lavendar Lace, Lovely Lilac
Accessories - ribbon, rhinestones

Our local Xpedx store clearanced all their stamping supplies, so I picked up a few things today.  I've had my eye on the Hero Arts large coffee cup for a long time, and 25% off was the only excuse I needed to buy it.  Not sure what I am going to do with the three big donuts that came in the set, but at least I have the coffee!

I paper pieced the band on the cup and ran it through my crimper.  The photo doesn't show it well, but it gives it great texture.  All edges are distressed with Walnut Stain Distress Ink which completely transformed the look of the card.  It was very blah otherwise and lacked dimension even though the cup is up on dimensionals.  Sometimes clean cards just need to get a little dirty.

Stamps - Hero Arts, PTI Faux Ribbon (sentiment)
Paper - GKD PL ivory and white, Kraft, Enchante' DSP (retired)
Ink - Memento black, Choc Chip, Ranger Walnut Stain
Accessories - crimper, Nestabilities, dimensionals
Techniques - paper piecing, distressing

So there you have my feeble attempt at stamping again.  I even used up some of my retired papers (a lot of them, actually), and managed to use up a sizeable piece of patterned paper.  Woohoo!

I'll try not to be gone so long again!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Little Ditty

Where, oh where has my Mojo gone,
Where, oh where can it be?
I've tried to create,
But nothing looks great.
Please bring back my Mojo to me!

Lyrics copyright Karen Church 2010.

Sorry if this song gets stuck in your head.

I think I should've asked Santa for some mojo 'cause mine's all gone.