Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Masculine Happy Birthday


Today is the last day to enter the Fusion 4th Anniversary Card Challenge. I went with both the sketch & the inspiration photo for my card.

I need a few birthday cards for February, so I figured I'd get a head start. One that I need in particular is for a guy, so I decided to use a couple of images in the "Serene Silhouettes" stamp set from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps for my image. After I die cut an oval with a Spellbinders "Classic Ovals LG" die from some Simon Says Stamp Fog cardstock, I stamped my image on that with Hero Arts Charcoal ink. I was going for a softer look to go with the weathered wood in the photo, so I didn't use black.

For the background, I stamped the My Favorite Things "Wood Plank Background" onto a piece of Canson XL watercolor paper that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". I used Hero Arts Soft Granite ink to stamp, and then blended on some Hickory Smoke Distress ink. It didn't give quite the look I was after, though, so I went over the whole thing with Peacock Feathers Distress ink, using a very light hand. I like how it still has a weathered wood look, but contrasts with the other elements on my card.

To make my image stand out just a bit more, I inked around the edges a couple of times with Hickory Smoke. I adhered that to my card front, allowing room for a greeting and accent strips.

I stamped a greeting from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Happy Birthdays" onto a strip of teal cardstock. I again used Charcoal ink, but double-stamped this time to get a little darker impression. I trimmed the strip to be a bit longer than the greeting. I also cut a teal strip to 0.5x5.5", and a slightly narrower dark grey strip. I cut another strip of grey to go under the greeting. I adhered the teal to my cardstock, the shorter grey strip over that, then the longer grey strip, and finally the greeting. I'm not sure in the end that the overlapping order matters much, but I think it still adds a bit of texture. To finish, I adhered my card front to a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering my card in 613 Avenue Create's Challenge #205: "Anything Goes" (not playing the optional twist).

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day Bear


Ellen Hutson is having their January Mix It Up challenge on their blog. This month, they are partnering with Concord & 9th. The object is to make a project using Essentials by Ellen and Concord & 9th products. I created this Valentine's Day card to send to Send a Smile 4 Kids.

I used Sketch #SC570 from Splitcoaststampers.com as the inspiration for my design. To begin my card, I die cut the bear from "All Inside" (Essentials by Ellen) from 140 lb. watercolor paper. (This die is solid, so you either have to die cut and then stamp, or create a template to line up the die with your stamped image.) I stamped the image onto the die cut, being sure to wipe the ink from his facial features, since I wanted them to be black instead of sepia. I heat embossed with clear embossing powder, and colored him with one of my Mijello Mission Gold watercolor colors. After the paint had dried, I stamped his face, "inking" up the stamp with a black Tombow marker. I did use a black glaze pen to go over his eyes & nose, and went over the mouth with a fine-tip black Pitt artist pen, just to darken them up more.

To create the background, I die cut a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media paper with the scallop rectangle die from Mama Elephant's "Femme Frames" set. (This is no longer available individually, but is part of a packaged set.) I inked the panel with Candied Apple, Abandoned Coral, & Worn Lipstick Distress inks, creating an ombre effect. Finally, I splattered my homemade Perfect Pearls mist on the panel, and blotted the water up with a dry cloth to add some interest.

After stamping the "Tree Ring Background" from Concord & 9th onto Essentials by Ellen's 40 lb. vellum, I heat embossed with Recollections Snow detail embossing powder. I fussy cut around the image, leaving a narrow border. I also die cut an oval from pink cardstock with a Lawn Fawn "Large Stitched Oval" die, to adhere my bear to.

I glued a die cut felt heart (cut with a die from "All Inside") in the bear's arms, and then glued him to the pink oval. I adhered the vellum piece to my background, being careful to apply the ATG tape behind where the oval would go, to hide the adhesive. Then I adhered my oval over that.

For the greeting, I used Concord & 9th's "Perfectly Penned" alphabet stamp set to spell out "Happy Valentine's Day" on a scrap of white cardstock with Delicata Black Shimmer ink. After the ink dried, I cut that into a banner, die cut the left edge with the "Femme Frames" die I'd used for my background, and adhered it to my panel, tucking the top of the strip under the bear's feet. The only thing left to do was adhere my panel to a white A2 card base, and this card is ready for a hospitalized child to give or receive.

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

Send a Smile 4 Kids' "Anything Goes or Valentine's/Love Cards 4 Kids"
613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes"
Dies R Us: "Anything Goes"

Monday, January 1, 2018

Just Chicken In


The mood board for the current Ellen Hutson Pin-Sights challenge is all about wild colors! While I used many of the same colors, I went with a little lighter version for my card.

Pin-Sights mood board
I began with the background, using one of the stamps from the Essentials by Ellen "Wonky Backdrops" set. I cut a panel of white cardstock to 5.25x4", and used a makeup applicator to ink up part of my stamp with Hero Arts Bubble Gum ink. I inked the other side with Memento Cantaloupe, and stamped on my panel. I repeated the process with Memento Dandelion & Pear Tart; and Delta Emerald dye inks, going in basically rainbow order to create a gradient. I did the whole process 2 more times to finish filling in the panel.

For the image panel, I first cut another piece of white cardstock with a Hero Arts "Postage Stamps" die. I stamped the bird from the Essentials by Ellen "Twelve Days" on that with Hero Arts Black dye ink, and colored it with my Prismacolor colored pencils. I used Gamsol on a paper blending stump to blend & smooth the colors.

The greeting I wanted from "12 Days Companion Greetings" (discontinued?) fit perfectly on one of the "Delightful Day Conversation Bubbles" dies from Taylored Expressions. I first inked a piece of white cardstock with Pear Tart, using the direct-to-paper method. I stamped my greeting in black onto that, and die cut it. I then adhered that in place on my focal panel.

I matted my image panel with black cardstock, leaving a 1/16" border on all sides. I adhered that to my stamped background, and matted it with black as well. Finally, I mounted my card front to a white A2 card base.

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

613 Avenue Create #204: "Anything Goes"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Rainbow Striped Hello


I am in the process of making 2 card sets for gifts for friends. This is one of the designs I came up with. I was inspired by this card that I had made some time ago, combined with the 2-Tier Eclipse technique that I used in this card.

To create the background, I first cut a panel of white cardstock to 5.5x4.25". I stamped the longest brushstroke from Avery Elle's "Brushed" stamp set across it, going in rainbow order. I used Altenew Ruby Red; Memento Morocco, Dandelion, Danube Blue, & Grape Jelly; and Hero Arts Lime Green inks to do my stamping. After I had finished, I didn't like the way the stripes simply stopped, kind of squared off at the right end of the panel. So I used a Hero Arts "Postage Stamps" die to cut the panel down.

I centered the "Big Hello" die from Simon Says Stamp on my panel, taped it in place, and ran it through my die cutting machine. I also cut a piece of black craft foam with the same die. After matting my stamped panel with an A2-size piece of black cardstock, I glued the craft foam die cut into the negative space in the panel. I also glued the inner pieces of the letters from my die cut hello, and finally used more liquid glue to adhere the hello that I'd die cut from my panel on top. To finish, I adhered my panel to a white A2 card base.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Merry & Bright


One final Christmas card for this year! I took my design & color inspiration from the current Fusion challenge:


I began by die cutting the "Poinsettia Border" from Memory Box out of a scrap of Canson XL Mixed Media paper. I took out the inner petal pieces of each flower, and watercolored them with a damp paintbrush & 2 blue shades of iridescent gelatos. I just scribbled the gelatos onto my non-stick craft mat, and picked up the color with my paintbrush. I did mix the two colors (a teal & kind of a warmer dark blue), to get a custom shade. After my petals dried, I went over them again with the same colors, let them dry, and repeated a third time to get the depth of color I wanted.

My initial idea had been to use Nuvo Silver Bullion gilding flakes on the outline of the die cut. So I ran the border through my Xyron Creative Station twice--once on each side--to coat it with adhesive. I had a really hard time getting the die cut to behave, though, so I could apply the flakes. So I finally gave up on that, die cut another piece, discarding the inner pieces this time into my recycling bag, and ran it through my Xyron only once to coat the back (so I could later adhere it to my card). Then I coated the top side with 2-way glue and let that dry so it was tacky. While the flakes did adhere for the most part, they also stuck in between the die cut portions, and made a huge mess of it that I just couldn't seem to clean up adequately. So I finally gave up on that idea, and die cut it a third time from silver glitter paper!

For my greeting, I used the "Merry & Bright" from Simon Says Stamp's "Christmas" mini stamp set. I stamped it onto a strip of dark teal cardstock with Versamark ink, and heat embossed with Recollections Snow embossing powder. I had a bit of trouble with that, too, since (despite using a powder bag) embossing powder stuck where I did not want it. In brushing that away, I brushed a couple of spots where I did want the powder. Thankfully, I was able to fix those spots with a white gel pen!

I adhered my greeting strip in place with a little ATG tape runner to a white card panel that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". I applied small amounts of Perfect Paper Adhesive to the back of my die cut poinsettia "frame," using a fine-tip applicator bottle. Then, with the help of my tweezers, I adhered it over the greeting strip, running up the side of my panel. I had to use the negative of the die cut to help me maneuver the top flower into position, since it's so delicate. Finally, I glued the colored petal pieces into place.

I had a couple of small "boo-boos" (after all that) where the flower went over the greeting strip. So I decided to use that as an opportunity to embellish, and glued a clear 8mm gem to the flower center with Ranger Multi Medium Matte. I used the same adhesive to glue 2 smaller gems to the centers of the other 2 flowers. Finally, I filled in the centers of the little "accent" flowers in the die cut with Nuvo Grey Mist Crystal Drops. Finally, I adhered my card front to a white A2 card base. I had questioned my sanity in taking on this design a few times, but in the end, I like the results! :)

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

Die Cut Divas: "Winter Time"
Creative Knockouts #224: "Christmas Delight"
613 Avenue Create #204: "Anything Goes w/Optional Twist of Christmas/Winter" (I am playing the twist.)
Pile It On #137: "Non-Traditional Holiday Colors and/or Snowpeople" (I assume blue, silver, & white are considered "non-traditional" for Christmas!)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Wish Big


Ellen Hutson is celebrating their 11th year in business! As part of the celebration, they have a challenge for people to choose their favorite Essentials by Ellen stamp or die set, and create a project with it. I couldn't narrow it down to just one, so I went with 2: "Bokeh Dots" & "Wish Big." The "Wish Big" set is such a great one for birthdays, with designer Julie Ebersole's signature humor to it! And "Bokeh Dots" is quite versatile. I used it here to create my patterned paper. My color scheme came from the mood board for this month's "Pin-sights" challenge, also at Ellen Hutson's CLASSroom.

I found this tutorial at Splitcoaststampers.com for a Triangle Trifold card. I decided this would be perfect for my cousin's upcoming birthday! I made mine a bit larger, starting with a 12x4" piece of coral-colored cardstock. After I scored & folded it following the instructions, I cut a piece of white cardstock to 3.75" square. I stamped it with 5 of the "Bokeh Dots" stamps, in Memento Teal Zeal, Grape Jelly, & Danube Blue inks. After I had stamped the entire square, I went back with a slightly smaller dot and Delicata Golden Glitz ink. I dried that with my heat tool, cut the paper diagonally, and adhered it to my card base.

Front panel with vellum overlay lifted
For the front image panel, I cut another square of white cardstock. I stamped the cake from "Wish Big," after wiping the ink off the top portion for some quick-and-dirty "masking." Then I stamped the candles, and drew in the rest of the top around those. I colored everything with my Prismacolor colored pencils, using Gamsol on a paper stump to blend the colors. I made 2 mats for that panel, by cutting gradually larger squares of white cardstock. I inked around the perimeter of the smaller mat with Danube Blue ink, and the larger with Golden Glitz. I also inked the back of the larger mat with Golden Glitz, since half of it would be visible when the card is opened.

Since I didn't have room on the front for a greeting, I decided to create a vellum overlay. So I cut a square of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum to the same size as my cake square, and stamped the greeting (also from "Wish Big") on that. I heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder, then sewed it to the image panel with 2 lines of gold machine stitching.

Inside of card
For the inside, I cut another panel of white cardstock, and a slightly larger white mat. I inked the mat with Teal Zeal. I stamped one of the balloons & the "happy birthday" in Teal Zeal, and colored the balloon with a coordinating colored pencil. I blended that out with Gamsol as well, leaving a white highlight. Then, I matted the white panel, and adhered it to the inside center of my card base. I also adhered the front image panel to the front of my card.

Card with belly band

For the belly band, since this card design doesn't really stay closed on its own, I cut another strip of the same coral cardstock I'd used for the card base. I punched each long side with a Fiskars "Cupcake" border punch (apparently discontinued). I cut a strip of white cardstock to fit along the middle section, & colored it with Danube Blue ink. I adhered it to my belly band, folded the band around my card, & used Scor Tape to glue the ends together. This card only took about 2 hours to make, even with all the stamping, and I'm sure my cousin will love it! :)

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge: "Anything Goes"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Chalkboard Holiday Wishes Wreath


A Blog Named Hero's current challenge theme is to copy a designer. I found this card by Emily Midgett that I'd pinned last summer, and liked the chalkboard look. I decided to create a wreath card with a chalkboard feel to it.

I cut a piece of black cardstock to 4.25" square. After I marked the center with a pencil, I stamped my greeting, from Hero Arts' "Color Layering Christmas Tree." I heat embossed that with Recollections Snow detail embossing powder.

I traced a circle die with a pencil around the greeting, to give me a guide for my wreath. Then I stamped one of the pine branches from Hero Arts' "Pine Branches" in Versamark several times around that circle. Then I white heat embossed those. I stamped a different pine branch around the wreath again, this time using just Yeti pigment ink from Lawn Fawn to get a more dimensional feel overall. I felt the heat embossed part of the wreath was a bit too "perfect," though. So I stamped more branches, just to fill out that part, and heat embossed those.

To finish the wreath, I stamped berries from "Pine Branches" in Versamark ink around the wreath. I heat embossed those with Ranger Red embossing tinsel. I didn't get the greatest coverage the first time, so I went over them with my Versamarker to add more ink, and embossed them a second time. Finally, I added gold gel pen accents to the ends of the berries. When the gold ink had dried, I smudged some white ink around the image with my finger, to emulate eraser marks on a chalkboard.

I tied a "faux" bow, following the instructions in this video, at the bottom of my wreath. I cut strips of red cardstock, and adhered them to either side of my image panel. Then I adhered that to a white A2 card base. I got this layout idea from Darlene DeVries.

I'm also entering this card in a2z Scrapbooking's November challenge: "Winter."