Thursday, October 10, 2019

Happy Birthday Birds


The current challenge at A Blog Named Hero is to create a project inspired by another crafter. I recently saw an inside tunnel card tutorial at Jennifer McGuire's YouTube channel & blog, and decided to make one, inspired by her design, for my mom's upcoming birthday.

I stamped, colored, & die cut several birds from Hero Arts' "Better Together" stamp & die set, that they created for Ellen Hutson's United We Flourish project. Except for the one that looks like a parrot, which I included on the inside of the card, I don't know that any of the birds looks like a real bird. So I just colored them in bright colors as I saw fit. :)

Inside of card

I used 3 dies from Simon Says Stamp's "Stitched Rectangles" set to cut the windows for the inside panels of the card. I had to deviate from Jennifer's measurements a bit, since I wanted to create 2 inside frames/layers, rather than the single one that she demonstrated. I cut & scored those panels at the same measurements she gave, but in the end, trimmed the flaps on either side down to 1/8" wide, rather than 1/4". Thankfully, I had double-sided tape narrow enough to work!

I stenciled the clouds with My Favorite Things' "Mini Cloud Edges" stencil. On the first go-around, I inadvertently stenciled the clouds on the inside back panel upside-down. I didn't realize this until I had assembled the card, though. So I cut another panel, slightly smaller than the background, stenciled it, and adhered it inside the card. I also took the largest panel I'd die cut from the inside of the front-most frame, masked off outside the stitching lines around the edges, and stenciled clouds on that as well.

For the front of the card, I die cut a mat from Bazzill Whirlypop cardstock with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Small Stitched Rectangle" dies, and adhered my stenciled cloud panel to that. I mounted that onto the front of my card base. I die cut the "Birthday" using a Winnie & Walter die from red foil cardstock that I'd backed with Stick It adhesive. I lightly adhered that to my stenciled panel. I also stamped "happy" from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "All Wrapped Up" onto a strip of white cardstock, and heat embossed it with Wow White Pearl embossing powder. I cut that into a small banner, & inked it with Barn Door Distress ink. After I buffed off the ink from the embossing, I glued it to my panel, nestling it between the "b" & "r," then burnished the "birthday" to adhere it securely. Finally, I glued down 3 of the birds from "Better Together."

I used glue dots to adhere the rest of the birds, 2 branches, & the birdhouse to the inside of my card. I added a little liquid glue in a couple of spots, like where the parrot's head overlapped the upper part of the frame. Those areas were just too small for glue dots, which would have stuck the panels together. But I needed to adhere them, to provide more stability to the images. And that finished this card. It was a bit tricky, but I was able to follow Jennifer's tutorial all right.

I'm also entering this card in the Dies R Us Challenge #130: "Anything Goes with Dies Carried at the Dies R Us Store" (used Hero Arts & Lawn Fawn).

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Happy Birthday

Sandy Allnock issued a sketch challenge for World Card Making Day. I used the first sketch that she provided in her blog post, turning it 90 degrees to make a landscape-oriented card.

I began by sizing the "Happy Birthday Cupcake Sentiment" from Bugaboo Stamps (apparently discontinued) in Photoshop. I scootched the image towards the bottom of my "canvas" in Photoshop, to leave room for a banner at the top. I printed the image onto a panel of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I used my Inktense pencils to color the cupcake, stars & sparkles, and the first letters & exclamation point in the greeting. I knew I wanted to watercolor the background, and Inktense pencils are permanent once activated with water and dried. By using them, I knew my colors wouldn't run if the water I applied for my background happened to touch them. I used the Permanent Rose color from my Mijello Mission Gold watercolors for the background, adding more concentrated color at the bottom & fading it towards the top to create an ombre effect.

After I finished painting the main panel, I dried it with my heat gun, mostly to keep the watercolor from moving any more. I matted it with yellow cardstock, trimming it to a 1/16" border on all sides. I then adhered that to a Neenah Espresso textured cardstock panel, and again trimmed that to a 1/16" mat.

I used patterned papers from my scrap stash for the rest of the card. For the background, I ended up having to trim it about 1/16" smaller on each side, since my paper wasn't quite big enough from top to bottom. I matted that with Espresso as well. I cut my strips from a chevron pattern & matted them with Espresso, to keep things consistent.

I mounted my background to a white A2 size card base, and adhered my matted patterned paper strips. I then adhered my focal panel. I cut a small banner from another scrap. Because the spacing was kind of tight to mat that & I didn't want to cut it any smaller, I instead inked the edges with Ground Espresso Distress ink. I adhered that in place, and added shimmer to the cupcake frosting & stars/sparkles with my Spectrum Noir Clear Shimmer pen. I finished with a little Glossy Accents on the cherry on top of the cupcake.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Catch the Bug October "Anything Goes" challenge
Creative Knockouts #318: "Lots of Layers"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Think Pink"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Party Cats

My mom's birthday is coming up soon. We have 4 cats, and I always make sure to make a card for her from them. For this one, I thought Rubbernecker Stamps' "3 Cats in Tree" image would be perfect. I also brought in their "Cat on Yarn Basket" stamp for the fourth cat, which I stamped on a panel for the inside of the card.

Inside of card--left side

I stamped both images onto Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper with Ink on 3's Fade-Out ink. I had to "alter" the cats in the tree, as the markings on the stamp don't match our cats' markings. So after inking up my stamp, I wiped the ink off the middle parts on each cat with a baby wipe. I did stamp each image twice, using my MISTI stamp positioning tool, so the lines weren't quite so faint. Then I colored both images with my Prismacolor colored pencils. I colored the cats to look like ours.

I die cut the tree image with the coordinating die. As the image is too small to fill a card front, I decided to make a frame. I used one of the "Rounded Rectangle" dies by Hero Arts for the aperture. I did partial die cutting, since the die was a bit too tall for my window. After I die cut, I embossed the frame with the "Ben-Day Dots" embossing folder from Cricut/Cuttlebug.

For the area behind the cats, I cut a piece of Canson XL watercolor paper slightly smaller than the frame. Initially, I had planned to watercolor the sky, but decided to ink blend with Distress inks instead. I used Broken China, Peacock Feathers, & Mermaid Lagoon inks, just sponging them randomly over the panel. Then I spritzed the paper generously with water to get the colors to move & blend. They blended a little too much though, so after I dried the panel with my heat gun, I randomly pounced on some more Mermaid Lagoon. I spritzed again, using less water and allowing there to be some splotches. I daubed up the water/ink with a dry cloth to give the color a mottled look, then heat set it again.

I added a generous amount of foam tape behind my frame, making sure to leave space under one end of the window to slip my die cut into. I adhered my background panel behind the frame. I added double-sided tape to the back of that panel, then adhered the entire piece to a white A2 card base. I glued on my image die cut with liquid glue, tucking the bottom under the edge of the window.

I used one of the greetings from Simon Says Stamp's "Stop Drop Party" stamp set. I stamped it onto a scrap of pink cardstock with Delicata Ruby Red ink, which has a shimmer to it. I heat set that, then die cut it with a banner from Spellbinders' "Pennants Mega" set (discontinued). I added foam tape under the part that was not supported by the frame, so it would stay level, then adhered it to my card.

To create the party hats, I used the same banner die that I'd used for my greeting. I cut it from a pink patterned paper & a cream/green patterned paper. I cut off the pointed ends, making sure to curve the bottoms. Then I glued the hats on the cats' heads. For more decoration, I applied Marvy Uchida's Liquid Applique to the tops & brims of the hats, then puffed it up with my heat tool.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Dies R Us Challenge #130: "Anything Goes with Dies by Companies Sold in Our Store" (used a Hero Arts die)
Die Cut Divas: "Fall Colors" (colored the tree with fall colors)
My Favorite Things The Birthday Project: "Pets"

Friday, September 27, 2019

Merry Christmas

This is my second card for Christmas Card Throwdown's "Bears" challenge. I used Sketch #SC609 from Splitcoaststampers.com for my design.

I stamped the bear from the Essentials by Ellen "All Inside" set onto a scrap of Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper, with Ink on 3's Fadeout ink. I also stamped the cat, hat, & tree from "Bear Ware 2" with the same ink. I went ahead and die cut the bear before coloring. The die is solid, so positioning can be a bit tricky. I did have a template I'd made from scrap cardstock to guide me, but I still figured it would be better to die cut first. That way, if I messed up on that, I wouldn't have wasted a lot of time coloring. Thankfully, it die cut well the first time! :)

I colored all the images with my Prismacolor colored pencils. I added white gel pen to the cat's whiskers where they overlap his face, & just traced over the parts that extend to either side with a grey pencil. For the tree branches, because they were so tiny, I just traced over the stamped lines with a sharp green pencil. Finally, I die cut the remaining images. I added glitter to the star on the tree with a Spectrum Noir Clear Glitter Overlay pen. I also applied Marvy Snow Marker ink to the brim & pompom on the hat. That puffs up when you heat it with a heat tool, though I had to add a second coat, since it didn't puff up enough for my taste.

I chose patterned papers from The Paper Studio's "Woodland Wonderland" 6x6" pad & my scrap stash for the background & layers. To keep the papers from blending into each other too much, I inked around the edges of each with Forest Moss Distress ink. Then I adhered everything to my white A2 card base.

I stamped the greeting (also from "Bear Ware 2") on vellum bristol with Lawn Fawn's Doe ink. I adhered that to my card, and glued on the cat & bear overlapping the greeting strip. I glued the tree in the bear's arms & the hat on his head, and that finished this card.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes"
Creative Knockouts Challenge #317: "Anything Goes"

Merry Christmas to You

The current Christmas Card Throwdown challenge theme is "Bears." I had initially picked out a different image for this card, but when I was scrolling through my collection of Bugaboo holiday images looking for it, I came across this one ("Christmas Bear"). Perfect! I used the sketch from Catch the Bug's Stella Says Sketch Challenge #715, rotated 90 degrees to a horizontal orientation, for my design.

I sized & printed the bear digital image onto a piece of watercolor paper. I painted the image with my Mijello Mission Gold & Da Vinci watercolors, using a pale blue & pale green for the background & "ground." I had to add several layers to build the color up. After I finished painting, I dried the panel with my heat tool. I then die cut it with a Spellbinders "Labels One" die (apparently discontinued). As a finishing touch, I inked around the edges with Evergreen Bough Distress ink. I also went over the bears eyes & nose with a black glaze pen, and added highlights with a white gel pen.

I chose a greeting from Doodle Pantry's "Holiday Greetings" digital set (discontinued). I printed that on a strip of red cardstock. After I adhered my patterned paper background to the card base, I used strong double-sided tape to adhere the image panel & greeting strip. Other than the watercoloring, which was a bit time-consuming (about 1-1/2 hours), this card came together super fast!

I am also entering this card in the following challenges:

Creative Knockouts #317: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Friday, September 20, 2019

Two Christmas Cards


The current challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown is to make a card using a black & white color scheme. Not my usual style, but I'm always open to a challenge. I even ended up creating not just one, but two!

A card I saw on Pinterest kind of inspired the design for my first card. I knew I wanted to use Hero Arts' "Vintage Christmas Post" set (apparently discontinued), but needed some fresh ideas, especially since I wouldn't color the images. I liked the small squares forming a grid in the middle of that card. I decided to do things a little differently, though. So I pulled out my Hero Arts "Postage Stamps" die set to make 3 small panels.

I stamped my images onto a scrap of white cardstock with Hero Arts Black dye ink, leaving enough room between for the die to fit. I then used the third die from the smallest to cut out each image.

I added a panel of black cardstock across my white card base, and stamped my greeting (from Hero Arts "Merry Christmas Messages"--also discontinued) in black in the bottom right corner of my card. Finally, I added my die cut "postage stamps" across the middle strip with foam tape.


For my second card, I used the "Oh Holy Night" stamp set from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. I cut a strip of black cardstock, and die cut a circle in the upper part. I laid that in the center of a 4.25x5.5" panel of white cardstock, and traced lightly around the circle. I used that as a guide for positioning my image. It took quite a bit of fiddling, but I finally got the stamp centered in my MISTI. I stamped it in Versafine Onyx Black ink, and heat embossed with Ranger Clear Super Fine Detail embossing powder.

I stamped my greeting, from the same set, in Versamark on the black panel, & heat embossed with Ranger White Super Fine Detail embossing powder. I adhered the black onto my white panel with foam tape, and mounted the card front to a white card base. Two pretty easy cards to make--in fact, I finished them both in less than a couple of hours!

I'm also entering the following challenges:

a2z Scrapbooking: "Anything Goes" (first card only)
Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Monochrome" (both cards)

Friday, September 13, 2019

Yappy Birthday!


My sister-in-law's birthday is coming up soon. She & my brother have 2 dogs, so he always wants me to make a card for her from them. I used Bugaboo's "Birthday Pup 1" & "Birthday Pup 3" digital images (both apparently discontinued) for this card, inspired by the current Stella Says Sketch challenge at Catch the Bug's challenge blog.

I created a landscape A2 size digital canvas in Photoshop. After setting the margins to determine how large my focal panel would be, I drew a rectangle within those margins. Since I knew I wanted the end of the noisemaker to hang off the edge of the panel, I extended that side of the rectangle by 1/2". I opened the 2 images, & dragged them to my blank canvas. I positioned & sized them, & then printed the composite image onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I painted the scene, let it dry, & then cut off the right side, cutting around the noisemaker with my scissors. I finished by "painting" the raw edges of just the noisemaker end with a black felt tip marker, just to cover the white core of the paper so it blended in with the printed lines. I also went over the eyes of the pups with a black glaze pen, adding in catch lights with a white gel pen.

For the greeting, I created 2 canvases in Photoshop the same size as the focal panel. After setting 1/8" margins on each, I typed the "Yappy" on the top left of one, & "Birthday!" on the bottom right of the other. I used a patterned paper from the Echo Park "Happy Birthday" 6x6" pad, cut 2 pieces to size, & printed the greeting on those.

I chose a pink cardstock panel for my background. I added the stars using the "Stars" stencil from Tim Holtz. Because the stencil is narrower than a landscape A2 card, I had to do one side, with the right side of the panel masked off, and then shift the stencil over, line up the stars, & stencil the rest. I used Picked Raspberry Distress ink for the stars, to get a more subtle tone-on-tone look. Finally, I adhered that to my white card base, & adhered the greeting and image panels in place.

I'm also entering this card in Catch the Bug's September "Anything Goes" challenge.