Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Colorful Tea Party!

It's time for another Tea Party, this time hosted by Susan. She made it a color challenge - brown, lime, and teal. Fun, fun! I decided that the lime & teal would look nice with the fossil stone technique - it's an "oldie but goodie" from the Technique Junkies newsletter. Simple and always fun results. I smeared versamagic inks onto a page protector (with the edges cut open); I then spritzed it with some perfect ink refresher, pressed the the two sides together, then inserted some paper to transfer the ink. Lovely!

But what to do with the paper? On this card, I stamped the dandelion (Wonder), and then cut the paper into thirds. To add just a bit more interest, I trimmed a bit more off of each edge, but alternating ends. I then mounted it on wasabi cardstock, and then onto a chocolate card base. It still needed a sentiment, though! I stamped "joy" (from Pear Tree) and then hand wrote "scatter."

I had plenty of the funkified paper left, so I played a bit more. First I dirtied it up a bit by adding some caramel ink, then covering it all with white versamagic. I think I've mentioned this little trick before - it softens the base color, but also mutes the overstamped image by "sucking up" some of the ink. I used the same sepia versafine ink on both the dragonfly and the sentiment (Dragonfly), and you can definitely see the difference. I matted the dragonfly panel with just a hint of teal, then flush mounted it and added three clear dew drops. The wasabi card base is the same that I used to mat the flower on the first card, so you use your imagination to color correct :)

Wanna see what the other cookies have done? Check out In the Works, Mama Dini's Stamperia, Dee's Studio, & Sweet Somethings! And we'd love to have try out these colors, too - just leave a comment!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Using Scraps

Today's technique lover's challenge was to mix patterns. I had quite a stack of Stella Ruby scraps on my workspace, so decided to piece a card together. I started by gluing down the long orange strip as an "anchor," then just worked my way down, randomly gluing strips. I stamped the sentiment (In Color) and then trimmed it out with a wavy edge, matting it with a piece I cut in the same fashion. The final touch was a specially dotted "i" (yellow rhinestone).

I still had a few more scraps left, so I also made this second super simple card. I started by gluing down another long strip. I stamped the verse (Job 37:14) and then the dried grass (Standing Tall), and mounted it flush to the side. I need to do that more often - I like the change from things floating in the middle :)

By the way, you may have noticed that I've been using a lot of the DCWV card bases lately. I picked up two boxes at Joann's a couple weeks ago - each with 60 cards AND envelopes for $5 each. How could I pass that up? One was a winter assortment and one was Christmas; they're all solid colored, so easy to use. Might want to check the clearance section next time you're there!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Purple Kings

I haven't played along with Beate's sketch in quite awhile, and this weekend's version was nice and simple... so here goes! I pulled out my Kings set and my DCWV Old World stack. Purple is the traditional royal color, right? Well, I started with fun pattern, and then added crowns in silver brilliance and slate inks. Next, I spritzed on silver glimmer mist to up the bling factor. I used gray cardstock as the base, but it was too stark so I went around the edges with pale plum ink, then misted both silver and latte gm's over it. Much better! I stamped the sentiment on a scrap of gray, gave it the same treatment, then matted it with a darker purple from the stack. I toyed with the idea of adding ribbon, but nothing really rang my bell, so I kept it nice and simple. And flat for easy mailing :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Birds!!

While out running errands earlier this week, I stopped by AC Moore to pick up a box of glue dots - and noticed that the Inkadinkado Birds Galore had landed! There was one left, and I quickly snagged it (the glue dots can wait another week :) I've been doing much better about purchasing stamps, but this was definitely coming home with me!

This is the first card I made - unusual colors for me, but I'm liking it. Still not quite sure about this layout (it seems a bit bottom-heavy because of the ribbon and tiny rhinestones). Thoughts?
BasicGrey Stella Ruby Paper, "JOY" by Fancy Pants

This second card is super simple - I started by stamping the line of birds onto the card base (DCWV). It's textured, which definitely shows up on the solid images, but I kind of like the effect. I debated about what sentiment to add, and I finally settled on this Dr. Seuss quote (Skipping Stones design). I think this would be a really nice graduation card... you know, the idea of taking flight and all. This is a small card - just 4 1/4" square.
Continuing on the bird theme - here's a shot I took this morning of a bird feeder we have in our backyard. Yep, there's snow in Philly suburbia!
In other news, yesterday was supposed to be my "shut out the world and create day." Didn't exactly turn out the way I'd planned. While I did stay away from the computer and avoided answering the phone, I didn't get much creative time. Just too much other stuff going on! I think I'm going to give it another try next week, though. If nothing else, we may declare Thursdays "unplugged day" around here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tagged

I've been itching to make a tag ever since Tim Holtz did his "12 Tags of Christmas." I started playing around with this house image and sentiment (House Warming and Home) and decided the time had come... The papers are all from the DCWV Old World Stack (although they've been altered pretty heavily). I started by stamping the house onto the brown paper, then thin metal, and finally a coral print. Cut out the individual pieces and reassembled onto the base. I knew I wanted to give the house wings, so I pulled a set out of my grungeboard elements, covered it with some versamagic ink, then ran it through my Big Shot with the textile folder. I then went over the edges and raised texture with platinum brilliance ink.

For the tag base, I started by stamping the sentiment onto a 3x5 piece of light blue paper. I stamped on a few images (Screen, script from One Smile) then misted it down with latte & snowflake glimmer mists. I brushed on a tiny bit of blue crackle paint, but it looked awful so I cleaned it off with a baby wipe and was happy with the blue wash it left behind. I then stamped the clock (Bits of Time #2) and accented the edges with brown ink. I layered the piece onto navy cardstock, then added a green print as a hole reinforcer, and punched it all with a slot punch. Next, I dug through my ribbons and fibers until I came up with a handful of pieces, and threaded them through. The tag still needed something on the bottom, so the final touch was adding a small metal key (from my embellishment stash). Whew! Finally done :)

But my post title has another meaning - Jacki was picking on me yesterday (her words! :) and I've been tagged. First off, seven random and/or strange things about me:
  1. I love to read. Magazines, cereal boxes, billboards, novels, whatever. When I was growing up, I would often curl up in my bedroom (down in the basement) and lose myself in a good book. Mom would yell for me, but I was in another world and wouldn't hear, so she'd often "call" for me by flipping the breaker. Yes, I noticed when the lights went off.
  2. My first car was a '71 Dodge Coronet. I even had vanity plates (super cheap in MT) that read "BLU WALE."
  3. I used to say that I wanted 4 kids. Now I'm absolutely convinced that 2 is the magic number for us. Oh, and I knew way more about children before I had my own :)
  4. Spring is my favorite season. When I start seeing daffodils, I know that it won't be much longer before I can start wearing flip flops again.
  5. I can't stand curry. I've tried many different varieties, but there's some base spice in all of them that seriously triggers my gag reflex. (Turmeric maybe?)
  6. I have horrible vision and am legally blind - but thankfully fully correctable. Glasses are the very first thing I reach for in the morning (so I can read the clock).
  7. I used to work in HR, and once had a dream I was drowning in resum├ęs.

Jacki also rated my blog "E" for Excellent. Wow, thanks!! She is a gifted artist (her coloring skills are amazing!!) who freely shares her knowledge - but even better, she has a godly spirit that really shines through.

I'm not going to tag anyone, but feel free to play along with the "randomness" if you'd like. And as for other excellent bloggers, I kindly direct you to my sidebar of recommended reading :)

Have a great afternoon!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Playing with Punches and Paper

When I saw this card that Mercy Kerin made, I knew I had to dig out some paper scraps and punches and start playing. I kept things pretty simple, but there really are unlimited possibilities for embellishing those circles. For these two cards, I used paper from 7Gypsies, and the sentiments are Hero Arts. Various accents include a keyhole, crackle effects, and shell button. I'll definitely be making more of these in the future! On an interesting side note, I also really like this card that Valerie Stangle made, inspired by the exact same card that Mercy chose. I just love seeing how a stamper's personal style comes through!

I'm still on track to go "unplugged" on Thursday. Anyone else going to play along?

Monday, February 18, 2008

"Unplugged" Time

Rebecca Sower has offered up an interesting challenge - basically we're to take a day off the phone, computer, etc. and CREATE! Read more about it here.

Care to play along? I'm hoping to do it on Thursday.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Strength in Quietness

I cleared out boxes and boxes of stamping magazines earlier this year, but before I passed them on I jotted down a few sketches. I kept it pretty simple - I just drew them on standard 3x5 cards and keep them in a box on my workspace. When I need a quick idea, I have ideas at my fingertips! Anyway, I think this one is a great way to showcase beautiful patterned paper. This print is from the DCWV Old World stack, and then I simply added Isaiah 30:15. I love that verse, and thought it would be appropriate to send on to someone that needs a bit of encouragement.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Simple Cards

Last night the rest of my family fell asleep really early, so I headed off to my craft space to do some cleaning and sorting. I did manage about an hour's worth before the urge to stamp became too overwhelming... I made up some long-overdue cards to send out to family. I used my DCWV glitter pad and pre-made card bases, so they went together really quickly. This first one uses the My Heart sentiment again, and I was pleased to see that it fit so nicely in the oval scalloped punch.

This second card is for my grandmother, who fell and broke her hip last week (ouch!). It was a bad enough break that they had to do a full hip replacement, and now she's in transitional care as they try to get her strength back up. The sentiment on this one is from a retired SU set (Hope for Comfort) and the inside says ...and that tomorrow is even better. I like this so much better than just Get Well.

Since the cards were done so quickly, I even was able to write some real letters. Hey, I remember those! :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Butterfly Beginnings

I had wanted to do this week's sketch on SCS, and made some time this afternoon. The images are from smARTworks End/Begin. Isn't that a great quote? I chose a couple sheets from my 6x6 pad of BasicGrey infuse, and pulled a few of those colors to finish off the butterfly. I don't think you'd find anything like that in nature, but let's just chalk that up to artistic license, shall we? :)

I stamped the butterfly onto the layers of the card itself, so the feet and antenna were all there when I layered on the colorized version (I believe I picked that tip up from Dini!) I also outlined the butterfly's wings with a black spica glitter pen, so there's just a hint of shimmer.

(Finished card measures 5 1/2" square)

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lovey-Dovey Tea Party

Well, Donna was the hostess of our tea party this time around, and challenged us to make valentines. I can do that! I'd made "lovey" cards the last two times around (trying to actually plan ahead for once!) so I decided to take a different approach and make a valentine for one of my good friends (who has been going through a lot lately). I pulled out some patterned paper from Making Memories (Boho Chic Olivia collection) and used that as my springboard. I cut a heart (Sizzlit Primitive Heart #2 die), and then stamped the script (from One Smile) in gray. Subtle, but perfect way to add some texture. I stamped the sentiment (My Heart) onto another pattern, grunged up the edges, and glued some ivory trim onto the bottom. I used yet another print as the base, which I misted with latte glimmer mist to soften the color and add some shine. I added a pin to the sentiment, as well as prima flower and button, and all done!
We're currently experiencing some very dreary weather (snow/ice last night, and now just steady rain) so I took that as a sign to do some more stamping :) I picked up this black frame with white mat last year, planning to make something for my craft space. Well, this is the time! I've been flipping through a lot of Somerset publications lately, so thought I'd play around with some artsy collage. The matted area is only 3x3, so I figured even I could handle such a small working space. I started off with plain old white cardstock, and started stamping. I think everything is pretty self-explanatory - the pink heart is actually mulberry paper, so quite sheer. The accents on the clock hands are tiny little hearts (from Junkitz Bag of Blingz) - what better way to illustrate time for love? I used a LOT of different stamp sets on this one: Bits of Time #1 and #2, Plant Love, One Smile, and Soar.

Feeling inspired yet? Be sure to check out what the other cookies have done, too!
In the Works, Mama Dini's Stamperia, Dee's Studio, Sweet Somethings, Susiestampalot

Monday, February 11, 2008

Deer Creations

I made these cards a few months ago, but never got around to posting them. I really like the deer image in Horizon, and really enjoyed playing around with it. This tent card was made by first stamping the deer with sepia versafine ink onto watercolor paper. I then added some muted colors with watercolor crayons. The brown printed paper (BasicGrey LilyKate) reminded me of tooled leather and I thought it worked well for the card, but I didn't have a solid brown that matched. Ink to the rescue! I used a scrap of kraft cardstock (the same that I used on the base) and went over it with the versafine ink - mat for the deer now complete. "Dad" was a piece of pre-printed twill buried in my stash, and all it needed was a bit more grunging. Wouldn't this be a great card for birthday, retirement, Father's Day... Well, you get the idea :)

The nice thing about this image is that it's strong enough to stand alone over a background. On this card, I flicked alcohol inks onto my nonstick mat, then repeatedly pressed the textured ivory cardstock onto the mat until I had good overall coverage. I then stamped the deer image with rust ink. I stamped the sentiment (Middie Messages #2) onto a scrap, then punched it out. I tied it onto the ivory panel with some variegated fiber, and then mounted it to the rust base.

Well, hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with something new. The sickness of last week definitely cut into my creative time, but I did squeeze in just a bit of stamping and my SALT project is nearly ready to share.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Day Brighteners

I needed a break from the red, black and white color combo (sheesh, I've been using that a lot!). I didn't have a lot of time, but wanted to make a couple cards. I pulled out this embossed vellum from K&Co that I've had for years. I love the design, but just couldn't decide what to do with it. Well, I decided to just cut out a few of the images and start playing! Sentiments are all from the Out on a Limb set (PaperTrey). I'm very pleased with the results, and I was able to do these 3 cards in about twenty minutes. Gotta love that! Plus I still have over half the sheet left, so I predict more of these in the future :)

Other materials used: May Arts white dotted ribbon, metal embellishments from We R Memory Keepers, mini bullnose clip from Oriental Trading, card bases from DCWV
You can get a closer view of each individual card at my SCS gallery if you'd like.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Completed Paperbag Album




Well, I finished up my paperbag album, and my hubby has given it a thumbs up. You can see the cover in my previous post. These are so easy to create, and they go together pretty quickly since they're so small.
I made this by folding two white lunch bags in half, then gluing them together in the middle. I tied fuzzy red yard around the spine as an accent. You can use the bag parts to tuck in journaling tabs - I've pulled them out slightly in the photos so you can see what I mean. No stamping at all on this (gasp!) as I was trying to keep things pretty simple. The ladies at MOPS will be making these this morning, but unfortunately I am home tending sick kids. Hopefully they'll have as much fun with theirs as I did with this one!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Paperbag Album

Thought I'd share a little peek at what I've been working on - I'd hoped to have it all done, but unfortunately that awful stomach bug found its way to our house so things are a bit behind schedule.

I wanted to do some sort of "memory" project with our MOPS group this year, and Tuesday is the big day. We have a CM consultant coming in to talk briefly about scrapping, and then we're going to make these super simple albums made from two white paper bags. I'll also be talking to everyone about the "life artist" idea - just want to throw different ideas out there. I know some people are all about slapping photos down, but others really like the artsy journal approach. It's tough to come up with something that will work for everyone, but I decided to go with black, white, and red accents. Worst case scenario they can change their photos to B&W, right? We're doing a love theme, so it can be a gift for a spouse if desired. Since there are so few pages, it only needs a couple pictures... add a few heartfelt notes and you're good to go.

I purchased pads of B&W paper from Oriental Trading along with foam hearts (self-adhesive!!). The albums are all glued together, and now I just need to finish cutting down all the paper. Hopefully I can show you the inside pages tomorrow :)