Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Two Birthday Cards


The current challenge theme at the Dies R Us blog is "Kids." I created 2 kid-friendly birthday cards to send to The Birthday Project, which throws birthday parties for homeless children.

The design for my first card is based on the Stella Says Sketch Challenge #711 at Catch the Bug Challenge blog. I cut the pieces for my background first using patterned papers from Doodlebug Design's "Hello Sunshine" 6x6" paper pad (chevron) & Echo Park's "Happy Birthday" 6x6" pad (yellow stars). I also die cut a strip of green cardstock with one of the "Stitched Borders 3" by Pretty Pink Posh.

I adhered the die cut strip & chevron piece to a scrap piece of cardstock, just so I could work with them as one unit before adhering them to my card base. I glued on 3 buttons, bridging both papers, and let the glue dry. Then I poked holes into the paper through the buttonholes, threaded yellow baker's twine through, and tied tiny bows. Finally, I trimmed off the excess twine, and added some liquid glue to the knots of all the bows to keep them from coming untied.

I printed my greeting (from Bugaboo's "Bird Greetings: Sweet Birdday" digital set) onto the yellow patterned paper. I also sized & printed Bugaboo's "Birthday Bird 01" image onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. After I die cut that with a Simon Says Stamp "Stitched Circles" die, I colored the image with my Inktense pencils and a damp paintbrush. I adhered my background panels in place on my card base, and then glued the focal image down.


The inspiration for my second card came from this one I found at Splitcoaststampers. I liked the grungy look and the greeting strips, and figured this would be perfect for a teen/tween boy.

I used the "Dot Fade" & "Stars" layering stencils by Tim Holtz on a panel of navy cardstock. I did the stars first with Fossilized Amber Distress Oxide ink, then went over the panel/design with the dots stencil, using Broken China Oxide ink.

I die cut several stars from silver holographic stars cardstock, using the "Nesting Stars" from Lifestyle Crafts (discontinued). I typed each greeting on a blank "canvas" in Photoshop with the Courier New Bold font, then printed them all on different colored strips of cardstock. I adhered one end of each strip under the largest star die cut, and cut the other ends off at an angle. Finally, I glued the star in place, letting the strips stick out without adhering them to the panel.

I glued the rest of the stars down, going from the large star up and to the right diagonally. I also added in some silver star brads from my stash. I finished with a small star at the top of the panel, and cut off the excess. Finally, I adhered my panel to a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering my cards in the Die Cut Divas Challenge: "Celebrate the Birthdays."

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Butterfly Birthday

The current challenge theme at A Blog Named Hero is "Celebrate." I created this birthday card with mostly older supplies by Hero Arts.

I began with the butterfly, from the "Winged Friends" digi set. First, I created a blank A2-size "canvas" in Photoshop, then added a rectangle to the middle that I drew the size I wanted it on my final card. I used this as just a full-size sketch. I opened one of the butterfly images, and dragged it onto my sketch. I sized & rotated it to fit the space, then copied it to a new canvas. I added a teal-to-transparent gradient layer, and clipped that to the butterfly image to color it. (The woman I'm sending this to loves pool colors, so that guided my color choices.) Finally, I printed the butterfly onto a piece of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum, & fussy cut it out.

For the main panel on my card, I chose 2 "Rounded Rectangle Infinity" dies from Hero Arts. Before die cutting, I stamped the Hero Arts "Spice Market Large Petal Background" (discontinued) in Hero Arts Soft Pool ink onto white cardstock. I positioned the larger die over that, and cut it out. Then I taped my 2 dies together to create a frame, and die cut a piece of white cardstock that I'd colored with Soft Pool ink, applied direct-to-paper. I also die cut a piece of craft foam with the dies still together, so I could pop up the frame. I used Ranger Multi Medium Matte to glue the cardstock frame to the foam, and set that aside to dry.

I adhered the main stamped panel to a white A2 card base, then glued the frame on top. To adhere the butterfly, I used a combination of Zots Bling glue dots and tiny pieces of Kool Tak clear dimensional adhesive. I positioned a few glue dots to the back of the butterfly where it would overlap the frame, hiding them under the printed areas. I used 2 pieces of the Kool Tak, again hiding it under the printed sections of the butterfly, so it would be supported inside the frame.

I used a greeting from Hero Arts' "Happy Birthday" stamp set (discontinued). I stamped it onto a scrap of white cardstock with Soft Pool ink, then cut that into a narrow banner. I cut another slightly wider banner from the pool-colored cardstock scrap left over from my frame, and glued them together. I added a layer of craft foam to the back of most of the banner, and used liquid glue to adhere the left end directly to the frame.

To finish my card, I used some 5mm & 8mm Crystal sequins from Darice. I added them with Multi Medium Matte, going from the butterfly to the upper left corner, inside the framed area. I even cut a couple of sequins to tuck them against the banner & frame, to make it look like they went underneath so they would be further grounded. I added one small sequin to the left end of the greeting banner, & that finished this card.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Sending Hedge Hugs


The current challenge at the Fusion Challenge blog includes a picture of a (toy) hedgehog on a motor scooter. I wanted to make an encouragement card for a woman I know, and found The Stamps of Life's "Hedgehog 2" stamp set in my stash. I have used this set before, but not for quite some time. So I decided to get it out again and put it to good use!

Fusion Challenge inspiration graphic
I wanted to use my Tombow markers for some no-line coloring on the image. After some deliberating as to what ink to use for stamping, I finally decided to color directly on the stamp, then do a bit of "faux" watercoloring with a damp paintbrush. I set up the stamp in my MISTI stamp positioning tool, using a "Pinpoint Main Street Tags" die from Poppystamps (apparently discontinued) to determine where to place it on my bristol paper. I colored the body with a light tan marker and stamped. I didn't get quite the look I wanted, so I colored it again with a slightly darker marker and stamped again. Then I used my paintbrush to blend out the color. I also scribbled some color onto an acrylic block and picked that up with my brush to fill in the image a little more.

For the quills, I used a dark warm grey marker on my stamp. After I stamped the first time, I blended out the color with my brush. I then stamped again with a lighter warm grey marker to add some more definition to the quills. I used that same marker for the mouth, and lightened it with my damp brush. I added a little pink to the cheek & inside of the ear by picking up the ink from my stamp block with my brush. I used black marker to stamp the eye and nose. I didn't like how light they were, so after the paper dried, I went over them with a black glaze pen. When that ink had dried, I added highlights & freckles to the cheek with a white gel pen.

I wanted to "ground" my hedgehog, so I die cut a scrap of green cardstock with my tag die. Since I needed such a small amount, I just lined up the bottom 1" or so of the die on the cardstock. Then I die cut it with a "Grassy Fields" die from My Favorite Things. That way, I had the grassy border, and also the pierced detail from the tag around the edges. After I die cut my main tag from the bristol panel, I adhered the grass in place. I made sure not to "bury" the hedgehog too much with it, though! :)

I placed the tag back into my MISTI, and stamped the greeting (from the same set) with Lawn Fawn's Hippo ink. I felt that went well with the warm greys I'd used on the hedgehog. I also die cut a tag reinforcer hole from the same green cardstock with a die from Mama Elephant's "Tags a Lot" set, since the Poppystamps set doesn't have such a die. I glued that to the top of the tag, let the glue dry, then used a 1/8" hole punch to punch the center.

I wanted a bit of interest in the background, but not so much that it would detract from my tag. I looked through my embossing folder swatch tags, and came across Taylored Expressions' "Cross Stitch" folder. I figured the "X's" would reinforce the concept of "hugs," so I embossed a piece of blue cardstock I'd cut to 4x5.25". I matted that with pink cardstock that I'd adhered to my white A2-size card base.

For the fibers through the hole, I wanted to mimic the quills in the image. So I found 2 different shades of grey embroidery floss. I cut a piece of each about 18" long, and separated them into their individual plies. I put all the plies together, and then folded the floss into fourths. I threaded the one end of the bunch through the hole in the tag, and looped the other end through it and around the tag. I glued my tag to the card with liquid glue, & added a dollop of glue to hold the floss in place. I trimmed off the excess floss, and that finished this card! I love how it came out, and hopefully the recipient will, too.

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

Dies R Us #121: "Tags"
613 Avenue Create #221: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Never Stop Dreaming

A student my mom tutored for a while is graduating from high school this week. Since he sent her an invitation, a gift is in order. :) As money is always apropos for a graduate headed to college, I made him this card, with a pocket inside to hold a check.

My inspiration for the front design came from this card I saw on Pinterest. I have the same WPlus9 "Dream Believer" stamp set (apparently discontinued), and I liked the somewhat grungy look of the stenciling.

I used The Crafters Workshop "Mini Navajo" stencil and Stormy Sky Distress ink for the background. I actually had to do it 2 times before I got it like I wanted it. Thank heavens there are 2 sides to a sheet of paper! After I finished that, I set the panel up in my MISTI stamp positioning tool. I first stamped the ring for the dreamcatcher with Delicata Golden Glitz ink. I stamped it a few times, just to get a good coverage over the background stenciling. I used dark green & tan inks for the inner pieces, but really didn't like the colors in the end. So I started over from scratch--thankful that I hadn't gone very far! After I did the stenciling--for a third time--I restamped the ring with Golden Glitz. This time I stamped the inner pieces with Hero Arts Cornflower & Chipped Sapphire Distress Oxide inks. His high school colors are blue & gold, so this palette is more fitting anyway.

For the feathers, I used Golden Glitz to stamp the hanging pieces, then Cornflower for the feathers themselves. I ended up using blue acrylic paint to stamp the beads on the hanging pieces, since the inks I was using never gave adequate coverage over the gold. I stamped the detail layer on each feather with Golden Glitz. The inspiration card had silver glitter washi tape (or maybe cardstock) in the lower right corner. Since this card is for a guy, I didn't want that much shine. So I stamped 3 of the brushstroke images from My Favorite Things' "Abstract Art" set (discontinued), one right above the other and overlapping, then stamped a fourth stroke with Golden Glitz.

I used Chipped Sapphire Oxide ink for the greeting, nestling it in the curve of the dreamcatcher. I felt the front was too plain, and considered adding some splatters. But, since splatters can be rather unpredictable & I didn't want to mess up at this point, I got out a new favorite of mine, Nuvo Crystal Drops. I added drops in Navy Blue & Pale Gold in a diagonal path from the upper right to the lower left. I let that dry actually for more than 24 hours in the end, since it took me a couple of days to come back to the card.

Inside of the card
I used this template as a guide for the inside of my card. Because I was making my card 5.5" square, rather than 6x6" as in the template (so I can fit it in an A9 envelope), I had to modify the measurements a bit. That took quite a while and a LOT of math, but I was able to figure it out! :)

I die cut the numbers & letters from gold mirror cardstock, using Winnie & Walter's "Cary Numbers" & "Cary Letters." I had backed the cardstock scrap with Stick It adhesive before die cutting, so I just had to stick the numbers onto each block and burnish them. I cut a piece of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum to make a pocket. I temporarily taped it to the inside of my card, and poked holes for stitching. I hand-stitched along the 2 sides & bottom with gold thread to attach it to the cardstock. Then I adhered the letters, and burnished them in place.

I thought the area above the pocket was just too plain. I toyed around with stamping confetti in gold ink, but felt that would look better if it was "bursting" up from the pocket, Since I'd already stitched the pocket on, that wasn't an option. So I decided on balloons. I used my Ranger alcohol inks on a piece of Yupo paper to create a panel to die cut them from. I wanted to stick with warm blues, but didn't have any really light shades of ink. I messed with it for quite a while, adding ink, spritzing with 91% rubbing alcohol, squirting on alcohol ink blending solution.... I ended up with a piece that I wasn't overly happy with. But, having spent all that time, I didn't want to waste it, so I added leafing glue, let that dry until it was tacky, and stuck down gold Nuvo gilding flakes.

I die cut my balloons, using Lawn Fawn's "Party Balloons" set, from the best parts of the panel. I tied a piece of gold thread around the bottom of each, and glued the balloons in place with liquid glue. After the glue dried, I pulled the balloon strings together & tied them in a knot. I rolled up a glue dot, added it above the pocket, stuck the knot firmly in that, and added a little bit of powder to deactivate any adhesive that was still exposed. I trimmed off the tops of the balloons that were hanging over the edge of the card, and that finished it!

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Creative Knockouts #298: "Favorite Embellishment"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Stitches"
613 Avenue Create #221: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Canine Happy Mother's Day


My brother & sister-in-law's only "children" are their 2 dogs. He asked me to make a Mother's Day card from the dogs to her. I found this card on Pinterest, and liked the overall design of the paw print heart.

I created a blank canvas in Photoshop, sized to 5.75x5.75". After creating guides for 1/4" margins on all sides and adding a couple more horizontal guides where I wanted the text, I drew a heart with the custom shape tool. I initially planned to use this as a mask for the paw prints, but ended up making it just a guide to place them. I then drew a paw print, again using the custom shape tool, inside the heart. From there, I just copied that layer multiple times, resizing as needed, to fill the heart with paw prints. Finally, I turned the visibility of the heart layer off, so it wouldn't print in the end.

To make the paw prints rainbow-colored, I first merged all the paw print layers to make one layer. I then created a blank layer above it, and filled that with a rainbow gradient, going from the top left to the bottom right corners. I clipped the gradient layer to the paw print layer to create a mask, which colored only the paw prints.

I typed the first part of my greeting at the top of the panel. I sized it to fit, and colored the text by sampling the purple from the rainbow paw prints. I did the same for the rest of the greeting, this time making it blue.

I cut a piece of Bazzill Marshmallow cardstock to size, and printed the card front on it. I matted that with a 6x6" piece of navy cardstock, & adhered the card front to a white 6x6" card base. I love how this came out, even though it was rather time consuming copying & positioning all the paw prints! Hopefully my SIL will love it, too.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "For a Special Lady"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create #221: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Creative Knockouts #297: "Funny Card" (I think it's funny, anyway.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Sending Hugs

A friend of mine is going through a rough patch right now, so I made her this card, just to let her know I'm thinking about her. I got inspiration from this card I saw on Pinterest. I used Waffle Flower's "Lotus" stamp set for the images, and Altenew's "Painted Encouragement" for the greeting.

I started by stamping the leaf stem & the bloom with Versafine Onyx Black ink onto a panel of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper, then heat embossed with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. I masked the stem, and stamped & heat embossed the leaf. Finally, I masked the leaf & flower, and stamped & heat embossed the last stem, as well as the greeting.

I used my Tombow markers to color the images, with the inspiration card as a guide for color selection. I blended the colors with a damp paintbrush.

I had stamped the greeting a little too far to the left, and the design was a bit unbalanced as a result. So I ended up cutting 1/4" off the right side & top, to make the panel 3.75x5". I matted it with dark green cardstock and trimmed it to leave a 1/16" border on all sides. Finally, I adhered it to a white A2-size card base. This card was super simple to make, and only took me about an hour! I considered adding splatters or something, since I just have a problem with leaving white space. But I didn't want to risk ruining the card, so I just left it alone.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Creative Knockouts #296: "Friendship"
613 Avenue Create #221: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Coolest Dad Ever!


The Sketch Challenge at Lawn Fawnatics inspired me to make this card. I am currently focusing on Father's Day cards to send to Send a Smile 4 Kids, so the kids who are inpatient at hospitals can give/send them to their dads.


I used a leftover circle of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to stamp my popsicles, from Lawn Fawn's "Best Pun Ever" stamp set (retired). I stamped the smaller popsicle with Versafine Clair Morning Mist ink, then heat embossed with clear powder. I masked that, stamped the larger popsicle with the same ink, and heat embossed it as well. Finally, I stamped & heat embossed the faces. The images ended up being a bit off-center, and I decided I wanted a smaller circle anyway. So I die cut it with a smaller die, centering the popsicles. I also used a scallop circle die to cut a mat from the middle of the panel I used for my background. After I colored my popsicles with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers & a damp paintbrush, I glued the bristol circle to my scalloped mat.

I cut a panel of plaid paper from Lawn Fawn's "Perfectly Plaid Chill" 12x12" pack. I used the orthogonal side of the "Vacay" pattern, since I knew I would be putting diagonal strips on, and didn't want those to compete with a diagonal plaid.

I cut 2 blue & 1 yellow 1/2"-wide strips of cardstock from scraps, pretty much matching the colors to the plaid paper. I made sure to cut them longer than I thought I'd need, since they were going on a diagonal & I didn't want to get caught with them being too short. I then adhered them to the plaid panel. I kind of wish I'd made them a bit narrower, since they took up a lot of real estate in the end, but I left it. I glued the focal circle on, stamped & die cut 3 stars from the blue cardstock & glued them in place.

I stamped the greeting, from "Best Pun Ever," onto a strip of yellow cardstock. Because it ended up touching the yellow diagonal strip and it blended in, I cut a narrow mat from blue and adhered the greeting strip to that. Finally, I popped that onto the card. I adhered my mint colored mat panel to a white A2 card base, then mounted my card front to that.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Pile It On #153: "Lots of Layers and/or Use Scraps" (used scraps for circle & strips)