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 Splitcoaststampers.com 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.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Merry & Bright

The current challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown is to use silver on a holiday card. I decided to go all out, and use lots of silver on my card. It does make it hard to photograph, but it is really beautiful in real life!

I die cut the "Poinsettia Border" by Memory Box from some silver mirror cardstock. I had a little trouble with the design after this point, because the die cut is just shy of 5.5" long, but narrow. I finally decided to cut a panel of light blue cardstock to 3.75x5.5", to accommodate the die cut & my greeting. I had applied Stick It adhesive to the back of my silver cardstock before die cutting, so it was just a case of pop out the die cut and adhere it to my panel. Granted, some of the interior petal pieces came out on their own, and I had to set them aside to stick in when I'd adhered the rest of the die cut. But it wasn't too bad overall.

After I had adhered my die cut, I put the panel in my MISTI stamp positioner tool. I lined up the greeting, from Hero Arts' "Joy to the World" stamp set, so it sat in the crook between 2 of the flowers. I stamped it in Versamark ink, and heat embossed with Ranger Silver embossing powder.

I decided at that point that the upper left area looked really blank. I have a problem with leaving open "white" space, but I wasn't sure what to put there. I finally die cut a bit of the "Poinsettia Border" from more silver cardstock, and adhered it in the corner. Then the design looked unbalanced, so I die cut another bit and adhered it in the bottom left corner. That just seemed to help the flow a bit, and I'm happy now!

I cut 2 narrow strips of navy cardstock, and adhered them to a white A2 size card base. I left about a 3/16" border on either side. Finally, I adhered my main panel in place. I really like how this card came out--well worth the struggle with the design!

I'm also entering this in 613 Avenue Create's October Challenge, "Anything Goes." (not playing the twist)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Very Happy Halloween

The current challenge theme for Lawn Fawnatics is "Awesome Autumn." I recently got the Lawn Fawn "Pick of the Patch" stamp set & coordinating dies, and have been dying to play with them! I figured this challenge was the perfect opportunity.

I used Sketch #SC707 from Splitcoaststampers.com, flipped vertically, as a jumping off point for my design. I thought the little images from "Pick of the Patch" would be perfect for a little Halloween scene, using the "Stitched Film Strip" die from Pretty Pink Posh.

I first adhered a piece of green cardstock to fun foam with Stick It adhesive. I also added Stick It to the back of the foam. I ran that through my die cut machine with the filmstrip die. I popped out the inner pieces, and laid the die cut on a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper that I'd cut to fit behind it. I lightly traced around the openings with a pencil, and used those lines to guide my inking. I inked the top portion of the rectangle with Faded Jeans Distress ink. For the grass, I cut another scrap of bristol with one of Lawn Fawn's "Stitched Hillside Borders" dies. I inked that with Mowed Lawn Distress ink, and adhered it behind the filmstrip die cut, so just a bit peeked up from the bottom. I then glued that to my "sky" piece, and trimmed off the excess paper.

I stamped the squirrels, pumpkin, knife, & scoop onto some Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper, using Memento Tuxedo Black ink. I colored them with my Prismacolor colored pencils. After I die cut my images, I glued them to my filmstrip background. I had to tuck the squirrels' tails under the filmstrip, so they would fit in their spaces. I do think that adds to the scene, though! Once I had them in place, I burnished the filmstrip to the background piece, to make it stick permanently.

For the moon, I die cut a circle from Canson XL Mixed Media paper, using a We R Memory Keepers "Nesting Circles" die. I inked that with Scattered Straw Distress ink. I then splattered some Perfect Pearls solution onto the moon, let that sit for a couple of seconds, and blotted the water up with a dry cloth. That gave me the look of "craters," and added interest to the moon. I stamped my greeting, also from "Pick of the Patch," with Delicata Black Shimmer ink. Once that dried, I glued the bottom portion of my moon behind the filmstrip.

To give my background panel a bit of depth, I inked a piece of navy cardstock with Chipped Sapphire Distress ink. While I was inking, I laid my image/moon panel on the background. That served as a guide, so I could keep from inking around where the moon would be. I just wanted a hint of a "glow" there.

After I finished inking the background panel, I adhered it to a white A2 size card base. I then glued my focal panel to that, and this simple card was done! I really love how this card came out, especially since the finished product was just like the concept I had in mind when I started!

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

Die Cut Divas: "Autumn & Halloween"
613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes" (not playing the optional twist)