Friday, December 28, 2018

3 Christmas Projects

I finally finished my Christmas packaging projects--on Christmas night! Thankfully, we don't open gifts until Boxing Day, when my mom & I can go up to my brother & sister-in-law's house to celebrate. So I still got in just under the wire! :)

The inspiration for my cardinal tags (I made a total of 6) came from these by Nichol Magouirk. I loved the pop-out feature, and decided to use one of my favorite images--a cardinal--rather than the penguins she used. The cardinal stamp & die came from Hero Arts' "Vintage Christmas Post" set. I also used snowflakes from "Holly's Snowflakes," from Mama Elephant, to stamp the inner background.

To begin, I stamped kraft cardstock with Hero Arts' "Designer Woodgrain" stamp (apparently discontinued) & Lawn Fawn Walnut ink. I die cut my tags from that using one of the dies from Mama Elephant's "Tags a Lot" set. I also die cut the opening with the "Peek-a-Boo" die from Pretty Pink Posh at the same time.

I stamped & colored my cardinal, then die cut him with the coordinating die. I added black glaze pen detail to the eye, and put highlights in with a white gel pen after the black ink had dried. I stamped green cardstock that I'd die cut using the same tag die with snowflakes in Lawn Fawn Yeti ink. After that dried, I adhered the 2 tags together. I glued my cardinal in the opening, so it looks like he's standing on the flap. I added glue dots under each flap, just to keep them in place and so they wouldn't tear off. I added a hole reinforcement from "Tags a Lot" that I'd cut from gold shimmer cardstock, & punched a 1/8" hole through the tag. I die cut a smaller tag to stamp the "to/from" on (behind the main tag), and threaded that & my main tag onto some red & green bakers twine.

I decided to make treat sliders for my brother & SIL for giving them gift cards. I followed this tutorial at Splitcoaststampers & used patterned paper from The Paper Studio's "Happy Holiday's" letter-size pad. For my brother's, I used the "Cool Deer" image from Crackerbox Palace, printed onto Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper. I die cut it with a circle die, and colored the image with Tombow markers. I added shine to his sunglasses with a black glaze pen, & applied a coat of Christmas Red Stickles to his nose. After the Stickles dried, I inked around the perimeter of the circle with Barn Door Distress ink, and then used foam tape to attach it to the pouch.

For my SIL's treat slider, I used the same tutorial & paper from the same pack. I stamped one of the "Christmas Ornaments" from Our Daily Bread Designs onto smooth bristol paper with Hero Arts Silver ink. I colored the red & green areas with my Tombow markers, leaving the rest white. I didn't think the silver ink was shiny enough, so I overstamped with Delicata Silvery Shimmer ink. Since I had used my MISTI stamping tool, and not removed the stamp, I was able to pop the panel back in and stamp with the Delicata ink. I die cut that with a Hero Arts "Oval Infinity" die, inked the perimeter with Barn Door, and adhered it to the pouch with foam tape.

I'm entering the tag & reindeer treat slider in the "Anything Christmas" challenge at Dies R Us.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Happy Holidays

I am so very happy to be the guest designer at the Christmas Card Throwdown challenge blog today!!! The theme of this challenge is "Snow Globes." I created a card for Send a Smile 4 Kids, using digital images from 2 different companies.

As with all my cards that involve digital images, I began in Photoshop. I opened the snow globe elements (globe, topper, & base) from Doodle Pantry's "Snow Globe Gala" (discontinued) and the "Santa Brings Home the Tree" image from Dearie Dolls Digi Stamps. I decided on the size of my final panel, and created a blank "canvas" in Photoshop that size. I arranged my images on the canvas & sized them to fit. I typed the greeting above the snow globe, using the "warp" tool in Photoshop to curve the text. It took a bit of fiddling, but I finally got it looking right. After I had everything set like I wanted it, I printed my composite image onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper that I'd cut to size.

I used my Inktense pencils to color everything. After applying clean water to the area I wanted to paint, I would pick up the color from the pencil with a damp paintbrush & apply it to my paper. I prefer this method, as it gives me the most control over intensity of color & shading. After the paper had dried, I dotted over the snowflakes within the snow globe with a white gel pen. I finished the painting process by adding faint streaks of white acrylic paint to indicate shine marks on the glass of the snow globe.

To finish the card, I double-matted the panel with pink & green cardstocks, leaving a 1/8" border on all sides of each mat. I mounted everything to a white A2 card base, and this card was done! I'd say the hardest & most time-consuming part actually was doing the greeting in Photoshop. Of course, the painting came in a close second! :)

Monday, November 12, 2018

Holiday Cheer

I am in the middle of making holiday cards for Send a Smile 4 Kids. Yes, it's crunch time for holiday card making! This card that I saw on Pinterest inspired the design for my card today. That one has only one candy cane, but I felt my design called for 2. I'm not sure if the other card maker used a larger circle punch or die than I did, but I thought having just one of the candy canes I made on my card left too much bare space.

I began by punching the circles for my candy canes. I used a 3/4" circle punch, and punched 10 red circles and 9 white for each cane. It really wasn't that bad time-wise, since I was punching instead of having to run the cardstock through with a circle die 38 times for both canes! Once I had punched them all, I used liquid glue to glue them all together. I followed the design of the inspiration card closely, so I could get the curve at the top correct.

For the background, I die cut a kraft panel with the largest of Memory Box's "Wrapped Stitch Rectangles." I laid my candy canes centered on the panel so I could get a sense of where to attach them together. I tacked them together with a dollop of liquid glue, though without gluing them to the panel just yet. (I just wanted to be able to move them as one unit.) Then I set those aside to dry.

I stamped a greeting from Hero Arts' "Color Layering Wreath" set in Versamark onto a scrap of red cardstock, and heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. I die cut that with the oval from the "Stitched Tags" set by Pretty Pink Posh (apparently discontinued). I didn't want the greeting just "hanging out" on my card, so I cut two 3/8" long slits on either end of the oval with my craft knife. I threaded some red & white checked ribbon through the slits, going under the tag. I adhered the ends of the ribbon to the back of my panel.

By this time, my candy canes were dry. I glued them to my panel, centered & towards the top. Finally, I tied a bow with the same ribbon as I'd used under the greeting, and adhered that over my candy canes with a glue dot. I did squirt some more liquid glue under the top of the knot, just to make sure the bow didn't come untied. I mounted my panel to a white A2 card base, & this was done! It was so easy, I actually made 2 at the same time. Both took me only a couple of hours total to make, including figuring out how to put together the candy cane.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Dies R Us Challenge #108: "Stitched Dies"
Incy Wincy Designs: "Christmas"
Die Cut Divas: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #215: "Anything Goes" (also playing the optional "Christmas/Winter" twist)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Christmas Penguin Ornament

I created this card inspired by the Wednesday Sketch Challenge #408 at My Favorite Things' blog. I used the penguin from Lawn Fawn's "Winter Penguin" stamp set, and Simon Says Stamp's "Christmas" set for my greeting. In addition to the sketch, I also took inspiration from this card I found via Pinterest. I liked the ornament look, & decided it went perfectly with this sketch!

I stamped the penguin onto a scrap of Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper that I'd die cut with a circle die. This paper is my new love for colored pencils, as it has just enough tooth to hold the pigment, without being too textured. I used Memento Tuxedo Black ink for the penguin. Then I masked him off and stamped the ice floe from Mama Elephant's "Arctic Penguins" set. By masking, it makes it look like he is on top of the ice. I colored the image with my Prismacolor colored pencils, adding shading to the ice with a bright teal pencil. I finished the image off by adding some clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle pen to the ice. I also inked around the perimeter of the circle with Tumbled Glass Distress ink, just to provide some definition.

For the greeting, I die cut a faux tape strip from more bristol with a die from My Favorite Things' "Blueprints 13" set (discontinued). I had to do a little partial die cutting, to shorten the resulting die cut. I cut apart the "Merry & Bright" stamp from the "Christmas" set, so I had just the "Merry." Then I lined up that and the "Christmas" stamp from the same set, and stamped them together on the strip, double-stamping with Hero Arts Soft Granite ink. I inked around the strip with Tumbled Glass, to tie it in with the ornament ball.

I cut a piece of patterned paper with the stitched rectangle die from "Blueprints 15" (discontinued). I then positioned one of the "Stitched Scallop Basic Edges" dies (also My Favorite Things) centered at the top of the panel. After running that through my die cutting machine, I repeated the process to cut the bottom edge.

For the "ornament" topper, I die cut a piece of silver glitter cardstock with a die from "Blueprints 13." I cut off just a small portion, and glued it to the back of my circle die cut, letting about 1/2" peek out above the top of the circle. I taped some grey baker's twine to the back of the topper with Scor Tape. I then popped the whole ornament up on my patterned paper with foam tape. I ran the twine up the panel and over the top, then taped the other end on the back. I adhered my patterned paper to an A2-size panel of dark green cardstock. I adhered the greeting strip with foam tape on the ends, and glued flat to the bottom of the ornament. Finally I mounted the finished card panel to a white card base, and glued on a bow tied from more baker's twine.

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

Christmas Card Throwdown's October Technique Challenge: "Masking"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Friday, October 26, 2018

Happiest Holiday Ever

I created this card based on the sketch from Catch the Bug Challenge Blog's "Stella Says Sketch #617" challenge. I rotated the sketch 90 degrees, to create a landscape card. I used the "Snowflake Reindeer Silhouette" from Bugaboo Stamps and a greeting from Doodle Pantry's "Holiday Greetings" digital set.

I began by opening the reindeer & greeting images in Photoshop. I created a "mock-up" of the sketch using a blank A2 size landscape-oriented canvas. I sized my reindeer & greeting to fit, and printed them on 2 pieces of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper with my laser printer. I then foiled each with Heidi Swapp Rose Gold foil and my mini Minc machine. I inked the reindeer with Bundled Sage Distress ink in the middle of the panel, and Evergreen Bough Distress ink around the edges. (I wanted a glowing effect behind & around the reindeer.) After cutting the greeting panel into a banner shape, I also inked it with Bundled Sage & Evergreen Bough to create an ombre look.

For the circular shape peeking out from behind the focal panel, I die cut a doily from more bristol paper with the Lifestyle Crafts "Floral Doily" die (discontinued). I inked it with Bundled Sage. After matting my focal panel with red cardstock, I glued the doily to the back.

I cut a piece of patterned paper from the "Cozy Christmas" 6x6" pad by My Mind's Eye to A2 size. I adhered that to a white card base. I added my focal panel/doily, making sure to have a fairly even spacing above & below. Finally, I matted my greeting banner with the same red cardstock, and glued it in place. I made 4 dots with Autumn Red Nuvo Crystal Drops on a scrap of freezer paper. When they dried, I popped them off and glued one to the reindeer's nose, & the other 3 beside the focal panel.

I'm also entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's Challenge #214: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist).

Monday, October 22, 2018

Happy Holidays

The current Fusion challenge is "Pastel Halloween." Since I have no more need for Halloween cards now, I decided to use the sketch (flipped horizontally) and colors in the inspiration photo for a Christmas card.

I began by stamping my ornaments. I used Sunny Studio's "Holiday Style" set. The layering images in this set are amazing! They just give such a realistic look. I decided to have 5 ornaments, since odd numbers are generally more pleasing to the eye. I used Memento Angel Pink, Altenew Frosty Pink; Memento New Sprout, Altenew Frayed Leaf; and Hero Arts Soft Pool & Tumbled Glass Distress Oxide inks for my ornaments. I also pulled in some Delicata Silvery Shimmer for the toppers. After I die cut all the pieces, I glued each topper to an ornament.

I used Lawn Fawn's "Winter Penguin" stamp set for my greeting. I positioned my ornaments on my green panel temporarily, tacking them down with painter's tape. I placed the panel in my MISTI stamp positioning tool, and stamped the greeting with Versamark ink. I actually did each word separately, so I could snug them together more. I heat embossed the greeting with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. After that had cooled, I went ahead & glued down my ornaments.

I felt the panel had too much white space (something I always struggle with), so I decided to die cut the upper left corner with the "A2 Curved Edge" die (discontinued) from Simon Says Stamp. I used a scrap of patterned paper as a guide for where to cut. I also die cut a strip of silver glitter cardstock with the same die, and positioned it under the green, so it peeks out about 1/8". I adhered my patterned paper to the upper left corner of a white A2 card base, and mounted my card front over that.

I'm also entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's "Anything Goes" challenge.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Peeking Santa

I am very happy to be the Guest Designer at Send a Smile 4 Kids challenge blog today! The theme for their challenge is "Fall or Holiday Wishes 4 Kids OR Anything Goes 4 Kids." I encourage you to check out their challenge, and enter a card made for a child. I created this card using Bugaboo Stamp's "Santa Clause Peeker." I also used Sketch #SC585 from for my design.

I began by opening Santa in Photoshop. I created a blank canvas, and moved him to that. I sized him to fit, flipped him horizontally, and printed the image onto a panel of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I actually made my paper a bit wider than in the sketch, since I knew I wanted to fussy cut him along the right edge.

I colored the image with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up the color from the pencils and apply it to the paper. I find this method gives me maximum control, and keeps me from having pencil lines that won't dissolve when I brush water over them. I did add a bit to the bottom of Santa, just to make him look a little more like he had legs. I also colored his belt buckle & the frames of his glasses with a gold gel pen. After he had dried, I fussy cut along the right edge of the image.

The other side of the sketch reminded me of a present. I cut 2 panels from The Paper Studio's "Christmas Basics" 6x6" patterned paper pad. I adhered them to a scrap of white cardstock, leaving about a 1/4" gap in between. In hindsight, I probably could have just cut one larger panel, & saved myself a bit of work. I wrapped a piece of white satin ribbon around the seam where I'd adhered them to the white cardstock. I wrapped another piece of ribbon around the center going vertically. Finally, I tied a bow from the leftover ribbon, and adhered it to the panel with a glue dot. I squirted a little liquid glue under the knot in the bow, just to keep it from coming untied.

I adhered my Santa panel to a red A2 size piece of cardstock, leaving a 1/8" mat on the top, bottom, & left sides. I made sure not to glue down the parts that were sticking out on the right yet, though. Then I adhered my "gift box," tucking the left edge under Santa's hand & beard. Finally, I glued the rest of Santa to the card, and adhered the card front to a white card base.