Friday, March 29, 2019

Happy Birdday


One of my cousins has a birthday coming up next week, so I made this card for her. The "Embossing" challenge at A Blog Named Hero inspired me. I used a few different Hero Arts stamps: "Better Together," "Missing You," & the "Foliage Bold Prints" background stamp.

I cut a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper to 4x5.25". I die cut an oval window with a Hero Arts "Nesting Ovals Infinity" die. I wanted a tone-on-tone rainbow for my background, so I inked the panel first with lighter Distress inks (Abandoned Coral, Dried Marigold, Squeezed Lemonade, Twisted Citron, Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, & Shaded Lilac). I let that dry, then stamped the "Foliage Bold Prints" with Versamark ink, and heat embossed with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. Then I inked over that with Barn Door, Carved Pumpkin, Mustard Seed, Mowed Lawn, Peacock Feathers, Blueprint Sketch, & Wilted Violet Distress inks. The embossed areas resisted the second layer of ink, letting the first colors shine through. Overall, I really like the effect!

I stamped 4 birds & the branch from "Better Together" with Versafine Onyx Black ink onto scraps of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper. I clear heat embossed those, and colored them with my Tombow markers before die cutting them. I also stamped, heat embossed, colored, & die cut the present from the Essentials by Ellen "Bear Ware" stamp set and the party hat from "Wish Big," (also Essentials by Ellen).

For the sign, I wanted it to look like it was hanging from the tree branch. I also wanted it to look like a carved wooden sign. So I die cut a piece of tan cardstock with a Pretty Pink Posh "Mini Tags" die and stamped my greeting (from "Missing You") in Versamark. I clear heat embossed that, then inked over it with Gathered Twigs Distress ink. I pierced 2 holes in the top of the tag, and threaded through some thin jute twine. I knotted each end of the twine & squirted a little liquid glue on the knots to make sure the won't come untied.

Since I wanted a sky background, I inked a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media paper with Tumbled Glass Distress ink, using the My Favorite Things "Cloud" stencil. I added a LOT of foam tape behind my background panel, making sure to adhere the branch to the back of that panel before adding foam tape to that area. I also put the twine over the branch, adhering it to the back of the branch with more foam tape. I adhered my cloud panel behind the oval window, and matted my background with an A2-size piece of green cardstock that I'd mounted to a white card base.

I attached my images to the panel with liquid glue. I also glued the sign, and added foam tape behind the parts of the sign & the 2 birds where they overlapped the oval opening. I love everything about this card! Hopefully my cousin will get a kick out of it as well!

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

a2zScrapbooking: "Color It In"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
My Favorite Things The Birthday Project: "ROYGBIV"
Die Cut Divas: "Anything Goes"

Friday, March 15, 2019

Spirelli Shamrock

My mother has a priest friend who is from Ireland. She wanted to send him a card for St. Patrick's Day, so I created this card for that purpose.

I wanted to do something really special. I initially thought of cross-stitching a Celtic cross, but the pattern I found turned out to be a bit too complicated--and large--to translate into a card. So I decided to do a spirelli design with a shamrock. I found a couple of string images on Pinterest, but no real patterns. Because of that, I ended up having to make my own.

I used a heart die from the Little B "Hearts" set as a pattern for the leaves. I traced it onto a piece of copy paper, then had to measure the perimeter to determine how far apart to place the holes. I cut a piece of string that was the same length as one side of the heart, & measured that. That came out to an even 3", so I could easily divide it, and just repeat the placement of the holes on the other half. I decided initially to place the holes 3/16" apart, but ended up changing it to 1/8" spacing. I marked them around half the heart, using a ruler to measure the 1/8" in between each hole. On the more sharply curved parts, I just got as close as I could to even spacing. After I'd finished the first half, I folded the paper along the mid-line of the heart, then pierced through the holes I'd marked to mark the other side, so they would line up with the first half.

The next challenge was to figure out the stringing order. I marked the dots with a pen so I wouldn't erase them. Then I used a pencil & ruler to draw lines between the dots, crossing the heart, until I had a pleasing design. It took about 3 tries, but I finally got it! I numbered the holes on the pattern & made a chart marking the order to string the numbered holes. All in all, I spent about 2 hours just coming up with this pattern.

I scanned the pattern into the computer, and opened it in Photoshop. I created a blank canvas sized to 4x5.25" to create my final pattern. I moved guides on the scanned image to create a grid, then used the brush tool to make a dot at each intersection of the guides. I then copied the layer the dots were on to my blank canvas, and duplicated it 2 times. I rotated one heart 90 degrees right, and another 90 degrees left. Finally, I positioned all 3 hearts on the canvas to form a shamrock. I used Photoshop's custom shape tool to draw a four-leaf clover, and erased all of it but the stem. I positioned the stem, and finally printed the pattern out on the back of a white cardstock panel I'd cut to the same size.

I pierced the holes, and then used green rayon thread to stitch the pattern on each leaf. After I'd finished that, I backstitched around each leaf and the stem. To finish the card, I wrapped a piece of green grosgrain ribbon around the bottom of the panel, adhering the ends to the back. I used Scor Tape to adhere my panel to a white A2 card base, and used another piece of ribbon to tie a knot. Finally, I added a button with a Celtic knot design to the center of the shamrock with Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

I'm entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's Challenge #219: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist).

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Upbeet Birthday

I have an uncle with a rather dry wit and a love of puns & plays on words. His birthday is coming up next month, and I thought this card would be perfect. I contemplated putting party hats on the beets, but decided it would be a bit of overkill. :)

I cut a rectangle of white cardstock for my planter box. I applied Barn Door Distress Oxide ink to it, using the direct-to-paper method. I let that dry for just a bit, then stamped the Altenew "Wood Pallet Background" on it with Aged Mahogany Distress Oxide ink to give it an authentic woodgrain look. For the dirt, I cut a strip of white cardstock, and cut a roughly rounded edge on one long side with a pair of decorative edge scissors. I then applied Ground Espresso Distress ink to it, again direct-to-paper. I used my heat gun to dry the ink, then glued it to the back top edge of my planter.

To create the grass, I die cut 2 strips of Canson XL Mixed Media paper with Lawn Fawn's "Grassy Hillside Borders" dies. I inked the strip for the back grass with Shabby Shutters Distress ink, adding a touch of Crushed Olive Distress ink to the bottom. (Though I'm not totally sure the Crushed Olive was necessary, since it doesn't really show in the end.) I did the foreground grass with Crushed Olive, with a little Shabby Shutters at the top of the grass. Finally, I spritzed the pieces with water from a Distress Sprayer, and blotted them dry with a cloth to give them a bit of distressing.

I stamped the beets, from Lawn Fawn's "Rooting for You" set, with Hero Arts Grape Juice ink and the greens with Ranger Archival Leaf Green & Hero Arts Forever Green. For the plant poke, I stamped the poke itself with Old Paper Distress Oxide ink, and the "beets" word with Versafine Onyx Black. After die cutting all the pieces with the coordinating dies, I glued the greens to the tops of the beets with liquid glue. I ran a line of tape runner adhesive along the back of the planter box, and stuck my beets & poke to that.

I cut a panel of blue cardstock for my card front, and inked the upper part with Broken China Distress ink to give a bit of shading to my "sky." For the greeting, I used Lawn Fawn's "Smitty's ABC's" stamp set. I placed the card front in my MISTI, after adhering the background grass only, and used a curved Thickers Alignment Guide to help me place the first line of my greeting. (I got my inspiration from the "have an upbeet day" greeting in "Rooting for You.") When I had all the letters positioned correctly, I stamped them with Seedless Preserves Distress Oxide ink. I used a grid sheet to line up the letters for "birthday," & stamped that with Candied Apple Distress Oxide ink.

I ended up having to adhere my planter box a little lower than I'd initially planned, since the tops of the beets went over the bottom of my greeting--oops! But it still worked out fine. I used tape runner to adhere it in place, and then adhered the foreground grass over it. At that point, I realized that I could stamp faces on the beets after all, so I did that with Versafine Onyx Black ink. I also stamped the watering can with Candied Apple (to echo the red in the greeting), die cut it with the coordinating die, and glued it in place. Finally, I mounted my card front to a white A2-size card base.

I'm entering my card in the following challenges:

Dies R Us Challenge #114: "Use the Color Red"
613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Add Some Red"
Creative Knockouts Challenge #284: "Birthday Wishes"

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Floral Birthday

A friend of mine is celebrating her birthday this weekend, so I made her this card. I used a new-to-me die, "Peacock Backdrop" by Kat Scrappiness, for the background. I'm entering this card in Die Cut Divas' "Something New" challenge.

I began by cutting a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to slightly larger than 4.25x5.5". I ink blended Dried Marigold Distress ink, creating an ombre effect by adding more ink towards the bottom and fading as I went up the panel. Then I die cut it with the "Peacock Backdrop" die.

I stamped 3 flowers & leaves, using My Favorite Things' "Watercolor Flowers" set (discontinued). Because the coordinating dies for this layering stamp set are solid, rather than just the outline, I had to die cut first, then stamp. When I stamped, I just backed the negative portion of the cardstock I'd die cut from with Frog tape, placed it into my MISTI stamp positioner, & popped the die cuts in the openings where the tape was to hold them in place. For the yellow flowers, I used Memento Dandelion, Hero Arts Butter Bar, & Simon Says Stamp Sunshine inks. For the pink, I stamped with Lawn Fawn Ballet Slippers, Hero Arts Bubble Gum, & Lawn Fawn Wild Rose. I used Altenew Forest Glades & Hero Arts Forever Green for the leaves. I also used Hero Arts Cup o' Joe ink for the flower centers.

For the greeting, I used the "Script Birthdays" stamp set from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. I stamped the "birthday" word on a strip of navy cardstock with Versamark ink, and heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. Then I repeated the process with the "happy" stamp. It actually took me a few tries to get the "happy" straight, but I finally managed!

I cut another strip of navy cardstock to run vertically on my background. I also cut two 1/8" wide strips and a 3/8" wide strip of a light blue shimmer cardstock. I glued the narrower strips to my background, spacing them so they would run along either side of the horizontal strip. I adhered my 3/8" strip to the navy, adhered that to my background over the narrow strips, & finally glued my greeting strip in place. I used liquid glue to stick the flowers to the card front. Finally, I glued my panel in place on a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's "Anything Goes" challenge #217.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Sending Big Hugs


I created this card to send to a child affected by the devastating Camp Fire that happened in California late last year. I learned on Jennifer McGuire's blog that Christina Brashears is collecting interactive cards for these children through January 31, 2019. The idea is that teachers can then distribute these playful creations to children in grades K-5 to help lift their spirits when life gets overwhelming--or any other time, for that matter. To that end, I made this butterfly penny slider card, inspired by the challenge photo for Fusion's 5th Anniversary Challenge:


I have not done many penny slider cards in my time. Mostly because (possibly due to my Scottish ancestry) the idea of using a penny in a card--where it will not be used financially--bothers me. LOL I even tried washers (think hardware, not clothes or dishes)--which do work--but realized that they cost even more than a penny apiece! So much for frugality. LOL But for such a special cause, I made the sacrifice with this card! ;)

I began with my main butterfly, which comes from the "Elegant Butterflies" set  by Clearly Besotted (apparently discontinued). I stamped it in Versamark ink onto a scrap of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper, and heat embossed with Stampendous Marcasite powder. This particular embossing powder melts to a dark grey/pewter finish, with bits of glitter. I figured it's perfect for a butterfly! I colored it with a few pink & purple Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers, and die cut it with the coordinating die.

For the background, I cut a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper to 4.25x5.5". I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep it a full A2 size or have it be smaller. But, I figured I could always cut it down later if I wanted to--you can't add to as easily as take from. I stamped some more of the butterflies from "Elegant Butterflies" in Mermaid Lagoon & Candied Apple Distress Oxide inks, creating an overall pattern. After I felt I had stamped enough butterflies, I inked over the panel with Picked Raspberry & Peacock Feathers Oxide inks. I liked the teal & purple tones in the inspiration graphic, and figured these particular colors would be perfect. It also allowed the stamped butterflies to show through a bit darker to add interest, but still be a subtle overall background. After I finished inking, I did trim the panel slightly to 4x5.25", since I knew then I would be adding lots of foam tape, and didn't want it to be too hard to get the card in & out of an envelope.

To create the slider channel, I used a die to trace out the general path on the back of my panel. I then widened & strengthened my lines with a flexible ruler & pencil. I used an old Basic Grey Notch & Die tool to punch the rounded ends, and cut between those notches with a craft knife. Then I stamped my greeting, from Simon Says Stamp's "Jumbo Stripes" set, in Versamark, and heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder.

I added 3 layers of foam tape to the back of my panel, making sure to leave the area around my slider channel free of tape so the penny could move. I got the 3-layer tip from Kelly Marie Alvarez (owner of Lawn Fawn), since it helps the penny move even more freely. I added 3 layers of foam tape to my penny, slipped it under the track, and adhered my butterfly on top. Unfortunately, I had made the track a little too wide (despite measuring against the penny to begin with), and the penny tended to fall out. :( So I ended up cutting a 1" diameter circle from some lightweight clear plastic, and adhered the penny to that with a little Scor Tape. I also replaced the foam tape strips on the penny (which kept getting hung up on the track & just weren't working) with 2 layers of small foam squares. I reinserted my penny into the track, and reattached my butterfly. Now it works!

I'm also entering this card in Pile It On's Challenge #150: "Land and/or Sea Animals."

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! :)