Saturday, March 25, 2017

Holiday Wishes--with Bells on!

The current theme for Merry Monday Christmas Challenge is "Bells." I went through my holiday stamp sets, and found only two with bells! One of them is the "Holiday Style" set by Sunny Studio Stamps, which is a stamp layering set. Because I also want to enter this card in Christmas Card Throwdown's March "Color" challenge, I decided to stamp my bells in shades of lime green. Non-traditional? Maybe. But heck--why not go for it?! :)

I began by stamping my bells onto white cardstock with Memento New Sprout ink for the base layer, Altenew Frayed Leaf for the middle layer, and Hero Arts Lime Green (double stamped) for the last layer. I actually ended up stamping about twice as many bells as I used, just trying to get everything lined up as close to perfect as possible! After I'd gotten 3 good ones, I die cut them with the coordinating die.

The other 2 colors in Christmas Card Throwdown's palette are burgundy & cream. So I decided to do a burgundy background & cream frame. I did a little die cut inlay, adding dimension by popping the frame up. I die cut the frame from cream cardstock, using the two largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Cross-Stitched Rectangle" dies. I die cut the burgundy with the smaller of those 2 dies. I also die cut a frame from cream-colored craft foam, trimmed a bit off the outer edges so it wouldn't show, and glued that to the back of my cardstock frame. Had I been thinking ahead of of time, I could have applied Stick It to both sides of the craft foam, and used that to adhere the cardstock BEFORE die cutting. But I didn't think of it until after the fact. It still worked out.

After I determined where to place my bells, I stamped my greeting, from Hero Arts "Color Layering Christmas Tree" set, in Versamark ink & heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder. I punched a hole in the top of each bell with a 1/8" hole punch, and threaded some gold embroidery floss through for a hanger. I glued my bells in place, wrapped the floss around the top of the burgundy panel, and adhered it to the back with some ATG tape.

To finish my card, I adhered my frame to a white A2 card base, and popped my burgundy panel in the middle. I added a bit of clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle pen to my bells, and this card is done!

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge: "Use More than One Die or Punch"
613 Avenue Create #195: "Anything Goes with Optional Twist (stamping)"

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Happy Birthday Wishes

My high school art teacher is having a birthday next weekend, so I created this card to send to her. I got the inspiration for the design from one of the cards Jennifer McGuire made for this post/video.

I cut a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to 4.25x5.5". I inked it completely with Spun Sugar Distress ink, and then stenciled the panel with Cracked Pistachio Distress ink & My Favorite Things' "Small Brick Wall" stencil. Once I had finished inking, I removed the stencil & used my Distress Sprayer to spritz some water droplets on the panel, let that sit for several seconds, and then blotted the water up with a dry paper towel. This gave me a soft background, but with a little more interest than just a plain colored cardstock.

For the balloons, I used 3 of Lawn Fawn's "Party Balloons" dies. I cut them from more bristol paper, and colored them with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers, using a water brush to spread the color. Then I set those aside to dry.

I die cut the "birthday" from dark blue glitter cardstock, using one of the "Cause for Celebration" dies, that I just got from My Favorite Things. I positioned it on my background panel, and used that to help me position the balloons. I popped the balloons up on foam tape, using liquid glue to adhere them where they overlapped. Then I glued my die cut word down. Had I been thinking ahead, I would have used Stick It on the back of my glitter cardstock, and adhered the die cut to the background, rather than gluing it. Oh well!

To "hang" the birthday die cut, I cut 4 pieces of silver thread. I tied one end of each piece to the bottom of each balloon, adding a drop of glue to keep it in place. Then I used my paper piercer to poke holes in the background above 4 of the letters, threaded the balloon strings through those holes, & taped the ends to the back of the panel. Finally, I doubled up more lengths of thread, and tied a bow for each string. (Not an easy process!) I glued the bows to the strings where they met the letters.

For the rest of the greeting, I chose the "happy" & "wishes" from Simon Says Stamp's "It's Your Birthday" stamp set. I realized--after I'd let the glue for the bows dry a bit--that I needed to remove the first & second bows, to have room to stamp the "happy"! Thankfully, I was able to pull them off without hurting anything. I used my MISTI to help me position the stamps, and stamped them with Hero Arts Navy ink. Then I reglued the bows I'd taken off. Finally, I trimmed the 2 end balloons where they hung over the edges of the panel, & adhered the finished card front to a white A2 card base.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Dies R Us Challenge #68: "Something New" (the MFT word die set is new to me)
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "For a Special Lady/Girl" (my art teacher is certainly a special lady!)
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Make Your Own Background"

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Floral Hugs

I created this card for both the current Fusion challenge & the Essentials by Ellen February Pin-Sights challenge. I followed the sketch for the Fusion challenge, with my color inspiration coming from the Pin-Sights mood board.

I began by cutting a piece of light pool-colored cardstock to 4.25x5.5". I embossed it with the "Brick" embossing folder from Taylored Expressions. Since I really struggle with leaving a lot of "white space" on my projects, this gave some interest to the background without adding a lot of "stuff."

To create my flowers, I stamped 2 of the images from the Essentials by Ellen "Bold Blooms" set onto white cardstock. For the solid flower, I used Hero Arts Pool ink, and Versamark for the scribbly flower. I heat embossed the larger flower with Ranger Silver embossing powder. After drying the solid flower with my heat tool, I added the center stamp and heat embossed that with silver as well. Finally, I die cut both with the coordinating dies. I inked the scribbly flower with Tumbled Glass Distress ink, and also inked the edges of the solid flower to help camouflage the white border and make it blend in more.

For the greeting panel, I die cut a piece of white cardstock with one of the "Large Cross Stitched Rectangle" dies from Lawn Fawn. I laid my flowers where I wanted them to overlap the panel, and lightly traced around them with a pencil. That helped me position my greeting, from the Essentials by Ellen "All Inside" stamp set. I stamped that in Versamark, and heat embossed it with the same silver powder I'd used on the flowers. Then I took a pool-colored Tombow marker, colored the bottom part of each letter, and used the Tombow blender marker to fade the color up in the letters to almost white.

I adhered my greeting panel to the background, and glued my flowers in place with Perfect Paper Adhesive. I felt the panel was a little bottom-heavy, so I decided to add some gems. I colored clear gemstones with Adirondack alcohol ink in the color Stream. I daubed up the extra ink with a paper towel, let them dry for several seconds, then glued them to my card with Ranger Multi Medium Matte. Finally, I adhered my card front to a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create #194: "Anything Goes"

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tend a Garden

I got the Altenew "Vintage Roses" stamp set & coordinating dies a few months ago, when they had a special package deal. I hadn't created a card with it, until this one. I was kind of at a loss for design inspiration, so I turned to Pinterest (my go-to site for such an occasion). I found this card, and decided to CASE the general design.

I stamped & die cut the roses & several leaves from the set. I didn't nail the stamp layering on all of the flowers, but I think they came out OK anyway. (I have since printed off the "cheat sheet" from Altenew!)

Using the 2 largest of Simon Says Stamp's "Stitched Circles" dies, I cut a ring from gold foil cardstock. I also cut a piece of pink patterned paper from my scrap stash with the largest "Large Stitched Rectangle" die from Lawn Fawn. I positioned the ring, flowers, & leaves onto my background, and, once I had an arrangement I liked, picked them up with a piece of Glad Press'n Seal. I applied Perfect Paper Adhesive to the backs of all my pieces, and placed them back onto my pink panel. I let the glue set up a bit, then carefully peeled off the Press 'n Seal. I had to add a bit more glue to a few pieces, but no big deal.

When the glue had dried, I placed the panel into my MISTI, and positioned my greeting, from Stampendous' "Thoughtful Wishes" stamp set. I stamped it with Versamark ink, and heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder. I ended up having to stamp & heat emboss a second time, because I think my heat tool overheated the embossing powder the first time. The second time, I heated the powder from the back side of the panel, and that seemed to help. Once the embossing cooled, I adhered my card front directly to a white A2 card base, and this card was done!

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Die Cut Divas' February challenge: "A Month for Using Red or Pink"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge: "Anything Goes"

Happy Birthday

Die Cut Divas' February challenge theme is "A Month to Use Red or Pink." I created this birthday card to send to Darlene at Live Love Cards, as a donation for Meals on Wheels.

For my design, I chose Sketch #SC606 from I cut a panel of Canson XL Mixed Media paper to 4x5.5". Then I positioned one of the "Stitched Basic Borders 2" dies from My Favorite Things, and die cut the curve. These dies add stitching to both sides of the cut line, so I only had to cut once, & I had stitching on both panels! :)

I chose one of the bicycles from Hero Arts' "Joy Ride" (a VERY old set that I had never used), and stamped it on the upper panel with Lawn Fawn Wild Rose ink, so it looks like it's traveling along the curve I'd die cut. I then inked the upper panel with Tumbled Glass Distress ink, adding a bit of Broken China along the edges for some depth. I inked the bottom panel in a similar manner, with Twisted Citron & Shabby Shutters Distress inks.

I used the "Happy Birthday" greeting from Simon Says Stamp's "Jumbo Stripes" stamp set. I cut a piece of pink cardstock, lined the top of my blue panel up with the top of the pink, and traced the curved line onto the cardstock. I then used my MISTI to help me position the stamp, and stamped it 3 times, repositioning it each time to follow the curve. Once I'd finished stamping, I erased my pencil line.

To complete my card, I adhered pieces of craft foam to the back of each of my inked panels with Scor Tape. I then popped them up on the pink cardstock, spacing them so the greeting showed through in between. Finally, I adhered my card front to a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

a2z Scrapbooking's February challenge: "Any Shade of Red" (I trust pink counts as a shade of red!)
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Monday challenge: "Transport It"
A Blog Named Hero February challenge: "CAS"

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cardinal Sympathy Card

My mom came to me the other day & said, "I need a sympathy card." The mother-in-law of a friend of hers had died, and so she wanted a card to send. I found this card by Shari Carroll using the Hero Arts "Color Layering Cardinal" stamp set on Pinterest, and decided to CASE it for this.

To create the background, I used The Crafter's Workshop's "Aspen Trees" 6x6" stencil & a panel of watercolor paper I cut to 3.75x5". I had sprayed the back of the stencil with repositionable adhesive, so I could ink blend over it without catching on the little pieces. I positioned the stencil over my paper, and lightly inked through it with Stormy Sky Distress ink & a foam blending tool, to create a subtle background that still had some interest. Then I removed my stencil & set my panel aside.

To stamp the cardinal, I used all Memento dye inks. I stamped the solid layer first with Tangelo, and then with Lady Bug, to give me a nice red-orange base. I stamped the second layer with Rhubarb Stalk, and the detail layer with London Fog. Finally, I used Tuxedo Black to stamp the face/eye detail. I accentuated the catchlight with a white gel pen. Finally, I cut it out with the coordinating die.

I used 2 different stamp sets for the greeting: Hero Arts "Prayers" & Simon Says Stamp's "Jumbo Stripes." From the "Prayers" set I used "Our thoughts and," "to you," & "and your family." I wanted a larger size for the actual "prayers" word, but the scripty one in that set was too large. So I pulled the "prayers" from "Jumbo Stripes." I stamped the greeting with Versamark onto a piece of watercolor paper, and heat embossed it with Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder. I cut it into a banner, and adhered it to my background panel. I glued my cardinal in place then.

I die cut a panel from Canson XL Mixed Media paper with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Cross-stitched Rectangle" dies. I inked it up with Stormy Sky, applying a darker coat than I had with the stenciled panel. After I let the ink dry for several hours, I adhered my main panel to that, and mounted the whole thing to a white A2 card base.

I'm entering my card in the following challenges:

a2z Scrapbooking's February challenge: "Any Shade of Red"
A Blog Named Hero's February challenge: "CAS"
Die Cut Divas February challenge: "A Month for Using Red or Pink"

Creative Knockouts #181

Challenge #181 at Creative Knockouts is a recipe challenge. You have to use 1 image, 2 embellishments, & 3 patterned papers. I really struggled with this one. The image & patterned paper requirements weren't too hard, but applying embellishments without creating a visual triangle--which by definition requires at least 3 items--proved a bit stressful! But I'm happy with the end result, and hopefully the recipient will be, too. :)

I started with a really old sketch from Operation Write Home. I believe it was #8 (out of a total of 259 sketches). The sketch as is has 2 background panels, split with a diagonal line running from the upper right corner to the bottom left, and a focal/greeting piece in the middle. Because I needed 3 patterned papers, I tweaked the sketch slightly. I created a portrait-oriented, A2-size blank "canvas" in Photoshop, and drew 2 diagonal lines, to create 3 areas that represented my patterned paper panels. I printed that onto a piece of copy paper and cut it apart to use as a pattern for cutting my patterned papers.

For the image, I used the "Lily Block" digi image from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. I sized it to fit on a 2.5" diameter square, with a 1/8" white border around the block. I then printed that onto a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper. I found a photo of a purple lily online, and colored my image based on that with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers.

After cutting my patterned papers (from my scrap stash), I adhered them directly to the front of a white A2 card base. I mounted my image panel, and then came the time to decide on my embellishments. I found a small wood veneer butterfly (I believe by The Paper Studio) in my stash, and a purple flower-shaped button that I felt would be perfect. I threaded the button with yellow embroidery floss, and painted the butterfly with a Ranger Adirondack Gold paint dauber. Finally, I used Perfect Paper Adhesive to glue both pieces in place, & set 2 acrylic blocks on the button to keep it in contact with the card while the glue dried. I just love the bold colors in this card, and felt it didn't really need a greeting. It can then be used for pretty much any occasion. I will send this card in my next package to Send a Smile 4 Kids. I figure it will be a good card for an older girl in one of their hospitals.

I'm also entering my card in the following challenges:

Send a Smile 4 Kids: Easter or Spring Cards 4 Kids
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: Fantastic Florals