Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Moose You So Much


I noticed, the last time I sent cards to Operation Write Home, I had a dearth of "missing you," "birthday," and "thank you" cards. So I decided to make a greater effort to create more of those cards to send in. When I made this card, since I already had my Hero Arts "Missing You" stamp set out, I decided to create another card. This time, rather than color the image in, I decided to do some paper piecing. I've done that on the sheep from this set, but never on the moose. Turned out to be a little more challenging that I originally thought!

I began by choosing Sketch #119 from OWH. It is a simple design, which I felt would work well with the somewhat more complex paper-pieced moose.

I stamped the moose and greeting onto a piece of white cardstock, in Versafine Onyx Black ink, then die cut it with one of Spellbinders' "Standard Circles LG" dies. I also stamped the moose onto 3 different patterned paper scraps: one for the antlers, one for the nose, and a check pattern for the body & ears. I then cut out each section. The nose was pretty easy & straightforward to cut. Since the body included the ears, that was more difficult. One of the ears I had to cut out by itself. The antlers were also rather fiddly, since I had to cut around where the ears went and in and out of the top parts. Finally, I had all my cutting done, and glued each piece on the image I'd stamped on the white cardstock. I did leave the eyes white, and just colored in the hooves with a black pen.

To create the card front, I cut 2 pieces from patterned paper scraps on my desk to 1.75x4". I also punched a strip from a third piece with the Martha Stewart "Arch Lattice" border punch. I glued that behind the yellow paper, with the punched area just peeking out above the paper. Then I adhered my patterned papers in place on a kraft cardstock panel. After inking around my focal circle with Gathered Twigs Distress ink, I glued it on top of the patterned paper panels.

I applied adhesive with my ATG gun to the back of the kraft panel and went to glue it to an A2 card base. That's when I noticed the panel was about 1/4" shorter than said card base! Apparently I'd lined it up in my paper trimmer wrong. So I cut 2 strips from dark brown cardstock, and glued them to the top & bottom of the front of my card base. I adhered the front panel over those, and this card was done. I did add a little Glossy Accents to the moose's eyes, just for a bit of shine. I will be sending this card to Operation Write Home.

I'm entering my card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes" challenge.

You Make My Days Brighter


Each month, Operation Write Home has a challenge, sponsored by Our Daily Bread Designs. This month's theme is "Sentiments." I decided to feature a greeting in this digital stamp set from Doodle Pantry. I felt the casual font style of the greeting went well with the playful angles in the dies I chose to use.

I used a sketch from My Favorite Things, that corresponds to their "Blueprints 15" die set. I die cut my pieces, using left-over patterned paper scraps I had on my scrap desk. (I'm really trying to keep scraps out of my bulging & overflowing scrap files, by using them in cards first!) I also used a scrap piece of dark brown cardstock to die cut the circle and background, and glue behind the blue strip. I inked around the edges of the striped banner piece with Walnut Stain Distress ink, to help it stand out from the chevron panel. After I finished my die cutting, I adhered all the pieces, except for the greeting panel, onto the background piece.

For the greeting, I first created a blank canvas in Photoshop, the size of the yellow die cut panel. After drawing lines to mark the angles of the right and bottom edges in the die cut, I placed my greeting on the canvas. I did distort the greeting just a bit, lengthening the right side only, so it would better follow the wonky angle on that side. I made sure not to overdo it though! Finally, I printed it directly onto my die cut piece, and adhered that to the card front. I did ink around the edges of the card front with more Walnut Stain, just where the patterned papers are, to make it stand out a little more when I placed it on the card base. All that was left to do then was to mount the front to a cream A2-size card base! I will be sending this card on to Operation Write Home.

I'm also entering this card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes" challenge.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Nuts About You


a2z Scrapbooking's current challenge is "Color It In." I love this cute little squirrel in Hero Arts' "Missing You" stamp set, and the accompanying greeting. So I created this card for their challenge.

For my card design, I chose Operation Write Home's Sketch #184:


I began by die cutting and embossing a circle from white cardstock with one of Spellbinders' "Standard Circles SM" dies. Then I positioned the squirrel on an acrylic block. I positioned the greeting at the same time, curving it to match the curve of the circle. Then I stamped those using Versafine Onyx Black ink. While the ink dried, I worked on the rest of the card.

I chose the patterned paper pieces from scraps on my desk, left over from other cards. I cut & adhered all the pieces, according to the sketch, to a piece of kraft cardstock that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". By the time I finished that, the ink on my focal piece had dried, so I proceeded with coloring.

I was a little concerned about coloring the squirrel, because I had decided to use colored pencils and Gamsol. Since the Versafine is an oil-based ink, I wasn't sure if the Gamsol (odorless mineral spirits) would react with it. So I first applied the colored pencil, trying to blend the colors with just the pencils, so that I wouldn't need the Gamsol. But I couldn't get the blending I wanted, so I wet a paper stump with Gamsol, and carefully started blending the colored pencil. As it turned out, I need not have worried, because it didn't seem to react with the Versafine at all.

Once I'd finished coloring the squirrel, I decided the white cardstock was a little TOO white for the rest of the card. So I blended Antique Linen Distress ink from the edges in towards the center. I did my best to avoid inking over the squirrel. I did accidentally get a little red ink on the edge of the circle. So I went around the edges with Gathered Twigs Distress ink, to darken them more and hide my little oops! Finally, I adhered the circle directly to the card front, mounted that onto a white A2 card base, and applied a coat of Glossy Accents to the squirrel's eyes.

I'm also entering this card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes" challenge.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

More Than Just a Little


The current challenge theme at Simon Says Stamp's Monday challenge blog is "One Stamp, Many Ways." I decided to use one of the stamps from Simon Says Stamp's "Summer Garden" set 3 ways.

I began by choosing Operation Write Home's Sketch #250 as the basis of my design:


I decided to create a one-layer background by using masking. To begin, I die cut a circle from some Simon Says Stamp masking paper, using one of Spellbinders' "Standard Circles LG" dies. I used the negative portion to mask off most of a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper I'd cut to 4x5.25". Inside the unmasked circle area, I stamped the flower image several times using Ranger Archival Watering Can ink. I then removed the mask, prepped the paper for embossing with my anti-static pouch, and stamped over the flowers around the edge of the circle with Versamark ink. I sprinkled on Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder, brushed off any powder from the grey flowers, and heat set the rest of the flower portions. My vision was to have the white heat embossed flowers be a continuation of the grey ones inside the circle. I proceeded to stamp the flower several more times over the background, using Versamark, and white heat embossed those images.

For the background, I first applied masking fluid over the circle area, so it would remain white. When that dried, I applied Distress inks in Dusty Concord, Shaded Lilac, Salty Ocean, & Faded Jeans onto my non-stick craft mat. I spritzed them with water, and smooshed the watercolor panel face-down into the ink. After getting an initial coverage of the different colors, I dried it a bit with my heat tool--being careful not to heat the masking fluid too much--and pounced it back into the ink puddles to add color and visual texture. I repeated this process a few more times, until I got the look I wanted. After drying it for the last time, I removed the masking fluid.

I cut a strip of navy cardstock to the size indicated in the sketch, and stamped a greeting from Mama Elephant's "In My Heart" set on that in Versamark. I heat embossed that with the same embossing powder. For the yellow flower, I stamped the image once more onto another scrap of watercolor paper, using Watering Can ink. I colored it with watercolor pencils, using a damp brush to blend the colors. When that dried, I die cut it with the coordinating die. I adhered the greeting strip in place, and glued the flower down to one side of the greeting. Finally, I matted the finished watercolor piece with another piece of navy cardstock, and mounted that to an A2 card base.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Work It Wednesday "Stamping"

Friday, March 27, 2015

Mom, You're the Best!


The deadline for Mother's Day cards to be at Operation Write Home is March 31. I did make a few of those for them, but also put in a couple of general "mom" cards, including this one, since these have a longer shelf life.

I began by choosing the "Stitched Filmstrip" die from Pretty Pink Posh and Hero Arts' "Antique Butterflies & Flowers" stamp & die set. I thought the smaller butterflies were the perfect size to put in the openings in the die cut. After stamping 2 of the butterflies on white cardstock, using Memento Tuxedo Black dye ink, I colored them in with colored pencils. Because the images are so tiny, I just colored them solidly, with no blending. When I'd finished with that, I die cut them with the coordinating dies, and also die cut the filmstrip from both light and darker blue cardstock.

I glued the light blue filmstrip die cut to a piece of light green cardstock, and cut the excess green, so it just served as a backer piece. Then I trimmed my two larger butterflies so they would fit in the spaces, and glued them and the smaller butterfly in place. I glued the darker blue filmstrip piece to the back, offset slightly to give a shadow effect. This is a tip I picked up from Nichol Magouirk, just to add some visual interest without bulk.

For the background, I cut a piece of patterned paper from Prima's “Botanical Collection” 6x6” pad to 4-1/8x5-3/8". I matted that with another piece of the light blue cardstock I'd used for the filmstrip die cut, which I'd cut to a standard A2 size. For the greeting, I decided on one from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Mother's Day Sentiments," and printed that on a tag I'd die cut with one of Pretty Pink Posh's "Stitched Tags" dies. I die cut another, darker green tag with the same die, and layered that one behind the greeting tag. Again, this gives depth without bulk. I glued the completed filmstrip and greeting in place, and finally adhered the card front to a white A2 card base.

I'm entering this card in a2z Scrapbooking's March Challenge: "Color It In."

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Two Happy Cards


On Day 4 of Online Card Classes' "Stretch Your Dies" class, Kristina Werner had a lesson on "Word & Mini Dies Combined." I had 2 cards inspired by that lesson in this post. Today I did another two, more like her example.

I began by cutting a piece of pink cardstock to 4x5.25", and blended Worn Lipstick Distress ink from the bottom edge up to about the center, letting it fade out to the pink base. Then I used Fired Brick to darken about the lower third of the cardstock. Finally, I brought in Aged Mahogany, which is a burgundy color, to darken the very edge. This produced an ombre effect, without too much effort. I did finally discovered the secret to ink blending--use a light hand. I have always tended to push down on the ink blending tool, trying to get good ink coverage. But today I finally figured out if you just hold the tool lightly, and just keep going over the area, it will blend better and still get as dark or bold as you want. Go figure!

Once I'd finished inking the cardstock, I dried it with my heat tool. I then taped Simon Says Stamp's "Big Hello" die onto the panel, and ran it through my die cutting machine. As instructed, I made sure to keep the positive & negative pieces from that die cutting. Next, I die cut 3 different sizes of hearts from the background, using dies from a Project Life set, My Favorite Things' "Blueprints 15," and WPlus9's "Seasonal Sentiments." I made sure to keep all the hearts I cut out.


To create my first card, I created a white A2 card base. I taped the negative die cut piece to the front with Post-It tape, and used that as a "map" for placing my positive die cuts. Then I glued my "hello" & heart die cuts in place using liquid glue. Once I had everything glued down, I carefully removed the negative piece.


For my second card, all I had to do was apply LOTS of foam tape pieces to the back of the negative die cut piece, and adhere it to another white A2 card base. I also popped up the inner pieces of the letters with foam tape. (NOT easy with the tiny pieces in the "e" and "o"!) And that finished both cards.

Happy Mother's Day!


On Day 6 of Online Card Classes' "Stretch Your Dies" class, Debby Hughes had a lesson on doing an "Inlaid Background." She used a border die to create a background pattern with the inlaid die cutting technique. I didn't have a suitable border die, so I used Spellbinders' "Labels Eighteen" dies instead.

I decided to do an ombre design, so I pulled out 5 shades of green cardstock. I die cut my smallest label from the lightest color first. Then I took my second lightest color, and laid the smallest and next largest die on that, lining them up to cut a frame. I repeated this until I had 5 die cut pieces.

For the background, I found a piece of a parchment-type cardstock in my stash, & die cut that with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Small Stitched Rectangles" dies. Then I die cut the largest label die in the center of that panel. I die cut another piece from scrap green cardstock using the Lawn Fawn die, and ran that through my Xyron Creative Station, to apply an even layer of adhesive on one side. Then I stuck that to the back side of the parchment panel, and adhered my green die cut frames in place. Finally I double-matted that panel with kraft & yellow cardstocks.

For the flower, I used the Simon Says Stamp "Summer Garden" stamps and coordinating dies. I stamped the flower and leaves on a scrap of 140 lb. watercolor paper, using Ranger Archival Watering Can ink, and colored them with watercolor pencils and a damp brush. After I die cut them, I glued the leaves directly to the panel, and popped the flower up on foam adhesive.

I die cut a piece of cream cardstock using one of the "Stitched Tags" dies by Pretty Pink Posh, and printed one of the "Mother's Day Sentiments" by Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps on it. I adhered that with foam tape as well. Finally, I adhered the completed front panel to an A2-size card base.

Two Thank You Cards

Online Card Classes' "Stretch Your Dies" class ends tomorrow. I've really been enjoying this class, and will be sorry to see it end. Their classes are always chock full of content, and I like the camaraderie and interactivity with the instructors & other students. I would highly recommend any of their classes!


I created 2 thank you cards, both based on lessons in "Stretch Your Dies." My first card is based on Debby Hughes' lesson on Day 1, "Inlay Design." She took the process of die cut inlay one step further, and had her inlaid word die cut span the seam between 2 patterned papers.

I first chose 2 patterned papers from my scrap stash. I wanted this to be a more "gender-neutral" card, so I didn't pick anything too frilly or flowery. After trimming the striped patterned paper, I positioned the "Thanks" die from Simon Says Stamp so it hung over the top edge, and ran it through my die cutting machine. I made sure to keep all the little pieces that go inside the letters. I also die cut the word from a piece of dark brown cardstock. I cut another piece of brown, and ran it through my Xyron Sticker Maker, to apply adhesive to one side. Then I stuck that to the back of the patterned paper piece, and adhered my die cut word in the negative space.

Next I adhered the striped patterned paper to a piece of brown grid paper. I cut off the bottom of the left over piece from my die cut word, and lined up the remaining top section with my die cut word. Then I placed the die in that space, taped it to the grid paper, and ran that through my die cutting machine. I adhered another piece of adhesive-covered brown cardstock behind that, and stuck the die cut word to that, making sure to line up the "thanks" in the negative space in the grid paper. Finally, I replaced all of the inner pieces in the letters.

For the rest of the greeting, I stamped one from Simon Says Stamp's "Thanks" stamp set onto a strip of brown cardstock, using Versamark ink. I heat embossed that with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder, trimmed the right end at an angle, and glued that in place on the card. Finally, I matted the patterned papers with kraft cardstock, and adhered that to an A2-size card base.


My second card was quite a bit easier. I based it on a lesson by Jennifer McGuire on "Heat Shrink Craft Foam," also from Day 1 of class. I die cut the "thanks" from blue fun foam, using one of My Favorite Things' "Many Thanks" dies. I also die cut several stars from yellow & orange fun foam using a Lifestyle Crafts' "Nesting Stars" die. I heated all those with my heat tool, which shrank the foam and made it more dense, kind of like shrink plastic. Really pretty neat! I did learn, though (the hard way), not to hold the heat tool too close, or it will melt & burn the foam. You can also control how much the die cuts shrink, at least to some degree, just by how long you heat them.

For the background, I die cut the "thanks" several times from light blue cardstock, using the same die. I then used my glue pen to glue them in place on another piece of the same blue cardstock. This gives it a nice, tone-on-tone, "faux-embossed" look. Once I'd glued them all down, I trimmed off the excess hanging over the edges, and glued my foam die cuts in place.

I'm entering my second card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes" challenge.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Happy Mother's Day Bouquet


Laura Sterckx, one of the guest instructors for Online Card Classes' "Stretch Your Dies" class, had a lesson on Day 5 on "Debossed Frame Stamping." I made this card, inspired by hers.

I first stamped the hedgehog from Penny Black's "Hugs" stamp set onto a piece of 110 lb. white cardstock, using Memento Tuxedo Black dye ink. Then I used a circle die to trace a circle around him. I placed 3 of the floral dies from WPlus9's "Spring Blooms" set on the circle, and ran it through my die cutting machine. Instead of die cutting, though, I used the embossing "sandwich" for my machine, to impress (or deboss) the dies into the cardstock. I repeated this process until the circle was pretty well full, making sure to erase my guideline before stamping. Then I stamped the flowers from the coordinating WPlus9 stamp set in the centers of the debossed areas. I filled in with some greenery & buds from the same stamp set, as well as some little leaves from Paper Smooches' "Botanicals 2" stamp set. For the flowers & leaves I used Memento dye inks in Cantaloupe, Desert Sand, Danube Blue, Dandelion, Bamboo Leaves, Rich Cocoa, and Grape Jelly.

After I'd finished stamping the images, I colored the little hedgehog in with colored pencils. Since it was such a small image, I didn't use Gamsol to blend this time. I then scanned the card front panel into my computer. I opened it and the "Mother's Day Sentiments" from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps in Photoshop, and (digitally) copied one of the greetings onto my card front. Finally, I printed the greeting directly onto the panel. All that was left was to glue a piece of fun foam, cut slightly smaller than the panel, to the back, and glue that to an A2-size cream card base.

Happy Mother's Day


I've been participating in Online Card Classes' "Stretch Your Dies" class the past couple weeks. On Day 6 of class, Laura Bassen had a lesson on "DIY Stencils." She showed how you can create your own stencil using a border die. Her card inspired me to create this one.

I began by masking off 5/8" on all sides of a piece of white cardstock I'd die cut with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Small Stitched Rectangles" dies. I also die cut one edge of a piece of transparency with one of My Favorite Things' "Snow Drifts" dies, to use as my stencil.

I chose to do a rainbow pattern, with Distress inks in Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed, Mowed Lawn, Salty Ocean, and Seedless Preserves. I began by inking the top of my masked panel with Picked Raspberry, and worked my way down. I placed my stencil towards the bottom of each color "band" to mask it off as I blended on the next color. I made sure to keep changing the position of my stencil, so the lines didn't all go the same way.

After I'd finished inking the panel, I removed the masking tape. I matted my panel on a piece of black paper, with a 1/16" mat on all sides. I cut a piece of fun foam to slightly smaller than the panel, and glued it to the back, to help provide some dimension. Finally, I glued that to a white A2 card base.

For the greeting, I die cut a banner with the banner die from Lawn Fawn's "Stitched Journaling Card" set, once from white cardstock, and again from the black paper. I printed one of the greetings from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Mother's Day Sentiments" onto the white banner, and glued the black one to the back, slightly offset. This helps set it off from the background more. After I glued that in place on the card front, I used Ranger's Multi Medium Matte to glue down some clear gems. I am sending this card to Operation Write Home, for one of our overseas heroes to send home to his/her mom!

I'm entering my card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes" challenge.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Two Birthday Cards


Kristina Werner's lesson on Day 4 of Online Card Classes' "Stretch Your Dies" class involves die cutting from one card panel and adding those die cuts to a second card. Basically getting what my dad would have called a "two-fer"! So I created 2 birthday cards to send to Send a Smile 4 Kids.

I began my first card by stamping the hot air balloon from Hero Arts' Operation Write Home "Happy Birthday" set on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper, using Ranger Archival Watering Can ink. After applying masking fluid to the balloon (and waiting a LONG time for it to dry), I used my watercolors to create a blue ombre background. I wasn't happy with the look I ended up with though, so I went over it again with Distress inks in Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers, & Broken China. Once I'd gotten the background like I wanted, I removed the masking fluid from the balloon, and colored it with Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to blend the colors out.

To die cut the stars, I used 3 different dies from My Favorite Things' "Blueprints 13" & "Blueprints 15" sets. I die cut the largest stars at the bottom, the mid-size around the middle of the panel, and the smallest ones towards the top. (Kristina had suggested this to give a sense of depth.) I made sure to save all the die cuts for my second card.

I stamped the "happy birthday" greeting from the same stamp set onto a piece of light tan cardstock, using Hero Arts' Pool mid-tone shadow ink. I cut that into a banner shape, and glued it towards the bottom of the card. Finally I applied foam tape to the back of that panel, and adhered it to a piece of yellow cardstock, which has the effect of "coloring" the stars. I double-matted that with 2 shades of green cardstock, and finally adhered it to a 4.5x7.25" card base.


For my second card, I began by die cutting the balloon from yellow cardstock, using the largest die from Simon Says Stamp's "Balloons" set. I cut the top and side off, both so it would fit on an A2-size card and sit at an angle. I glued my stars that I'd die cut from the first card, again placing the largest towards the bottom and working my way up. I glued a piece of fun foam, cut slightly smaller than the balloon, to the back, and then glued that to a piece of striped patterned paper from my scrap stash.

For the greeting, I used one from Lawn Fawn's "Grand Greetings" stamp set. I stamped it on a piece of white cardstock using Versamark, then heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. I blended Chipped Sapphire Distress ink over that, and cut it into a banner. I glued it to the balloon, adding small pieces of fun foam where it stuck out beyond the sides of the balloon. Finally, I added a coat of clear Wink of Stella glitter over the stars, and adhered the completed card front to a white A2 card base.

I'm entering my first card in a2z Scrapbooking's March "Color It In" challenge.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sending Hugs


A person I know recently suffered a loss, so I decided to make her a sympathy card, just to let her know I'm thinking of her. On Day 5 of Online Card Classes' "Stretch Your Dies" class, Dawn Woleslagle had a lesson on "Masking Stamped Images." Using a coordinating stamp & die set, you cut masks with the dies. After placing them on a piece of cardstock, you color the background, remove the masks, and then stamp the matching images in the masked areas. I used WPlus9's "Spring Blooms" stamps & die set for my card.

I began by die cutting several masks from Simon Says Stamp's masking paper, then arranged them on a piece of white cardstock that I'd cut to 4x5.25". After I had them positioned like I wanted, I removed the release papers and stuck the masks down. I made sure to burnish the edges of the masks, so they wouldn't peel up when I did the background. Dawn had used a Copic airbrush system on her cards, but since I have neither the airbrush system nor any Copic markers, I decided to use Distress inks instead. So I got Tumbled Glass, Broken China, and Peacock Feathers and created an ombre background with those.

After removing the masks, I stamped the images in their respective positions, using Memento dye inks in Lilac Posies, Lulu Lavender, Dandelion, Tangelo, Rich Cocoa, Bamboo Leaves, & New Sprout. There was one stamp, though, that I just couldn't seem to get oriented correctly in its space. I finally discovered--after much frustration--that I'd die cut the mask upside down, so the masked section was reversed, which meant the stamp wouldn't work! I debated whether I could save the card, or if I would have to start all over, which was not my most desirable choice. I finally decided to die cut a scalloped circle, using a We R Memory Keepers Nesting Scallops die, from that area, and put part of my greeting in the cut-out.

For the greeting, I die cut the "sending" using this die from Simon Says Stamp. I'd found the "hugs" stamp, by Stampabilities, in my stash, and felt that would be perfect for the cut-out area. The die cut word kind of got lost on the bright background, though, so I ended up cutting a piece of vellum to 3.75x5", and hand-stitching that with embroidery floss to the background as an overlay. That muted the background enough to let the "sending" show up well. Finally, I adhered the card front to a white A2 card base, and stamped the "hugs" in Hero Arts' Cup o' Joe mid-tone shadow ink. And that finished this card.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tweet. Chirp.


Day 2 of Online Card Classes' "Stretch Your Dies" class focused on flower dies. Yana Smakula created a couple of cards using a technique she called "Negative Die Cut Background." Basically, you die cut several images out of a piece of cardstock or paper and use the negative--what's left over--for your background. I took the inspiration for this card from her lesson.

I knew I wanted to use one of the "Scribbly Birds" stamps by Dina Wakley on my card. I've had this set for some months now, & I think I've only used any of the images one time! So today I picked out this little fellow and the "Tweet. Chirp." greeting, and built my card design around them.

After cutting a piece of 110 lb. white cardstock to 4.25x5.5", I positioned my stamps, to gauge placement of the dies. I then placed several of the "Floral Flourishes" dies by Spellbinders around the stamps. After taping the dies in place, I ran the piece through my die cutting machine. I die cut the little flower a couple more times, just to fill out the design. Then I stamped the bird & greeting using Hero Arts' Charcoal mid-tone shadow ink.

For the background, I cut a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper to slightly larger than my cardstock panel. I taped it to my cutting board that I use for watercoloring, and painted it using my watercolors, going in rainbow order. When I had the color intensity I wanted, I dried it with my heat tool. Finally, I removed the tape, and used the A2 die from Avery Elle's "Custom Panels" die set to cut the background piece.

At this point came the fun part--attaching teensy weensy pieces of foam tape to the back of the panel! I did attach large pieces to the part that wasn't really die cut, but I cut up little slivers to go behind the more detailed parts of the die cut portions. I didn't want anything sagging on this card! I think cutting & applying the foam tape, and then taking off ALL the little release papers took longer than the rest of the process to create this card.

Once I'd removed all the release papers, I adhered the cardstock panel to my watercolored background. I wasn't sure about whether to color the bird or leave him plain, so I asked my mom for a second opinion. She recommended I color him, because the colors peeking through the die cut openings took attention away from the bird. So I got my colored pencils and colored him like a bluebird. I decided not to use Gamsol to blend the pencil strokes this time. I felt the sketchy lines went along with the sketchy look of the stamped image.

Finally, I adhered my completed card front to a white A2-size card base. I will be sending this on to Send a Smile 4 Kids, so it will hopefully brighten the day of a hospitalized child!

I'm entering this card in Simon Says Stamp's Monday "Lions & Lambs, oh my!" challenge.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sending Blessings


Online Card Classes' "Stretch Your Dies" class has been going on this week. There's still another week to participate in the "live" class, and even after that, it will be available as a self-paced (not interactive) class. I highly recommend it for learning tips, tricks, & techniques to get more out of your dies!

I created this card for a nun who helped take care of my mom when she was in the hospital a couple of years ago. We recently found out the nun's mother died. So my mom asked me to make a sympathy card for her. My inspiration for the design came from Debby Hughes' lesson in Day 1 of class, on inlaid die cutting. She put a spin on the technique, by having the inlaid die cut cross between 2 patterned papers.

I decided to use the "blessings" from Simon Says Stamp "Christmas Blessings" dies. After choosing my patterned papers (floral from Fancy Pants' "Burlap & Bouquets" and the tan one from my scrap stash), I cut them to size, and adhered them to a piece of dark green cardstock cut to 4.25x5.5". This was different than Debby's technique, but I found it produced better results for me. (I used the same color cardstock for the die cut as for the backing, so I wouldn't have another color showing through any little gaps in the die cut inlay. As it turned out, this was unnecessary, but I didn't realize that at the time.)

After positioning my die where I wanted it on the panel, I ran it through my die cutting machine. I also die cut it from another piece of the dark green cardstock. I cut yet another piece of green, and ran it through my Xyron Sticker Maker to apply adhesive to one side. I stuck that to the back side of the panel, adhesive side up. Then I adhered my die cut word in the negative space, and placed all the little background pieces I'd cut when I die cut into the panel.

The hard part out of the way, I stamped the first part of the greeting, using the "Sending" from Simon Says Stamp's "Sending Happy Thoughts" stamp set. I had test-stamped it on another scrap of the tan paper using various inks, and finally decided to heat emboss it with Ranger's Liquid Platinum embossing powder. It doesn't show up well in the photo, but it gives it a nice, warm shine.

In looking at the card at this point, I felt it was a little bit bare. I didn't want to dress it up too much, especially with 2 patterned papers in it, but it just looked like it needed something. So I took the little butterfly stamp from Hero Arts' "Floral" stamp set and stamped it nestled near the words with Hero Arts' Cup o' Joe mid-tone shadow ink. That seemed to be just the pop it needed, without going over the top.

Finally, I adhered the completed front to an A2 card base, and rounded the top right corner with my 1/2" Corner Chomper. I must admit, this is probably one of the most understated cards I've ever made, but I hope Sister likes it.

Friday, March 20, 2015

I Love You


Hero Arts has been having their "Nature Challenge" on their blog. Today is the last day to enter, and so I decided to make one more card for it. My inspiration came from this card by Sandy Allnock. She used a butterfly stamp to create a stained glass look. I didn't use the same bright colors, but I liked the stained glass idea.

I began by cutting a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper to 4.25x5.5". I masked off 3/4" on all sides, and stamped 2 of the butterflies from Hero Arts' "Butterflies #3" set several times in the center area, using Versafine Onyx Black ink. Once I'd finished stamping, I sprinkled on Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder and melted it with my heat tool. Then I painted over the area with clean water. I took watercolors in the yellow/blue/green range and daubed them around the panel, letting them blend together. When I got the look I wanted, I dried it with my heat tool. Then I removed the masking tape.

I thought the center portion needed something to set it off more, so I cut a narrow frame from black paper and glued that in place. Using Versafine, I stamped one of the greetings from Hero Arts' "Year Round Sentiments" in the lower right corner, and clear heat embossed that. Finally, I adhered the paper to an A2-size card base. This card will be going to Operation Write Home.

I'm also entering my card in Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Lions & Lambs, Oh My."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Thinking of You


I am participating in Online Card Classes' "Stretch Your Dies" class this week. Kristina Werner had a tutorial on Day 2, on using "Die Cuts Within a Larger Die." She used leaf & flower die cuts, but I decided to do butterflies.

I began by stamping Hero Arts' "Highline Ironwork Background" stamp onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper, using Versamark ink. I then heat embossed that with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. After taping my paper down to a board to keep it from warping too much, I used watercolors in shades of pink, purple, & blue to paint over the embossing. I sprayed that with my homemade Perfect Pearls spray, to help the colors move more & give it a touch of shimmer. Finally, I dried it with my heat gun.

I used My Favorite Things' "Butterflies" and DoCrafts' "Butterflies 1" dies to die cut the butterflies from my embossed & painted panel. When I had cut several, I arranged them close together on my work surface. I cut a piece of masking paper large enough to cover them, and stuck it to my pants several times to remove much of the stickiness, as Kristina had suggested. Then I stuck the masking paper to the butterfly arrangement, picking up all my die cuts at once. I taped the smallest of Spellbinders' "Grand Ovals" dies to the masking paper, and die cut the paper & butterflies. With the butterflies still stuck to the masking paper, I then applied pieces of foam tape to the backs of all the pieces. I flipped the whole thing over onto a kraft cardstock panel, and pressed the butterfly pieces in place. Finally, I carefully removed the masking paper, revealing my arrangement on the panel.

I stamped the greeting from Hero Arts' "Floral" stamp set onto a scrap of blue paper that had a slight pattern to it, again using Versamark. I white heat embossed that, & cut it into a banner shape. After I determined its placement on the card, I applied foam tape pieces to the card front where the banner would go, and liquid glue to the butterfly pieces that the greeting would overlap. Then I stuck my greeting banner down. After mounting my completed card front to an A2-size card base, I round all 4 corners with my 3/8" Corner Chomper. I will be sending this card to a friend of mine, who needs a little pick-me-up.

I'm entering my card in the following challenges:

Virginia's View Challenge #13: "All Things Embossed"
Hero Arts' Nature Challenge
Simon Says Stamp's Monday "Lions & Lambs, Oh My"
Simon Says Stamp's Work It Wednesday: "Spring"

Monday, March 16, 2015

Find Vodka


I recently found out that a friend of ours is quite ill, and so decided to make her a get well card. I got this stamp & die set by Avery Elle for my birthday last month. When I was leafing through my stamp sets, looking for one for this card, this particular greeting in the set "spoke" to me. Our friend has a good sense of humor, and I felt this would give her spirits a lift.

I began by stamping the lemon twice on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper, using Versafine Onyx Black ink. I stamped the greeting inside one of the lemons, also in Versafine. Then I used Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder to heat emboss both images. I colored the lemons & leaves with watercolors, and when they had dried, cut them out with the coordinating die.

For the background, I decided to keep with a "lemon tree" theme. Using Hero Arts' "Designer Woodgrain" background stamp, I stamped the image with Versamark onto a piece of kraft cardstock cut to 3.75x5". Then I clear heat embossed that, & inked around the edges with Walnut Stain Distress ink to help define them more. After die cutting a piece of yellow cardstock with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Stitched Rectangles" dies, I machine-stitched the kraft panel to that. Finally, I glued on the lemons and mounted the completed card front to an A2-size card base.

I'm entering this card in Virginia's View Challenge #13: "All Things Embossed."

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hugs + Kisses

Sandy Allnock, founder & executive director of Operation Write Home, created 20 embossed tags to send to 20 different crafters. The idea is that each crafter will use her tag to create a card to send back to OWH, then she will make a video featuring all the cards sent in. The deadline for the cards to arrive at OWH headquarters is March 31. The main stumbling block--for me at least--was that you get ONE shot. No do-overs. So, while I was one of the lucky 20 to get a tag, I was majorly stressing out over making a card with it!



I did this card and this one as practice runs, just to experiment with techniques. (Basically, I created my own tags by embossing on cardstock, and then ended up using them on the cards.) Since the tag was just cardstock, watercoloring was out, because it wouldn't take the color too well. Plus the usual problems with the cardstock warping and pilling from the water. After my second "practice" card, I finally settled on using Distress inks and spritzing with water.

I based my design on OWH's Sketch #28:


It's an oldie, yes--but a goodie! I did make some minor adjustments, mostly to accommodate the different size for the tag and add a greeting.

I first die cut a piece of Strathmore Mixed Media Paper with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Stitched Rectangle" dies. After masking off the edges outside the stitching lines, and an oval for the greeting, I stamped the background with Hero Arts' "Looped Flower" stamp in Versamark. I heat embossed that with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. Then I took Distress inks in Worn Lipstick & Festive Berries and watered them down. I applied them like watercolors to the background, creating an ombre effect. When that was dry, I removed the masking, and stamped my greeting from this Hero Arts set in Ranger Watering Can Archival ink.

For the tag, I used sponge daubers to apply the Distress inks. I colored the flowers with Tattered Rose, the butterfly with Mustard Seed, and blended Peacock Feathers & Cracked Pistachio to create the background. I spritzed the tag with plain water to help the colors blend just a bit more. After drying the tag, I also sprayed water into my hand and flicked it onto the inked tag, trying to create a bit of texture with water droplets. But that didn't work quite as intended (not at all, actually), so I ended up with just a smooth blend of color. After the tag dried, I glued & stitched on buttons in the flower centers, then punched a hole in the top and tied on some white satin ribbon.

I cut a piece of patterned paper from my scrap stash for the vertical background strip, and 3 pieces of cardstock for the 1/2"-wide horizontal strips. I ended up cutting the vertical strip slightly shorter than what the sketch called for, so it stopped at the stitching lines on the background, rather than extending into the white "mat" area. After gluing down the strips, I adhered the tag above the greeting area. I felt the card needed a bit more, so I adhered some small pearls from The Paper Studio below the greeting, one each on the 3 horizontal strips, and one to anchor down the ribbon ends from the tag. Finally, I adhered the completed card front to an A2 size card base. And this card--that I was so scared of making (or rather, of ruining)--is all set to go to OWH!

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Virginia's View Challenge #13: "All Things Embossed"
a2z Scrapbooking's March challenge: "Color It In" (colored butterfly & flowers on tag)
Simon Says Stamp's Work It Wednesday "Spring"

Friday, March 13, 2015

You Rock!


Catch the Bug Challenge Blog is having an "Anything Goes" challenge this week. Since I have been kind of remiss in making cards for Send a Smile 4 Kids lately, I decided to make one for them using a Bugaboo Stamps image. I liked the "You Rock" Circle Sentiment image, & figure it would be perfect for a kid, especially a teenager. Great for a general pick-me-up card! I paired it with a bonus sketch from Operation Write Home:


I sized the sentiment image in Photoshop to fit on a 4" circle, then printed it onto a piece of Strathmore Mixed Media Paper. Since the circle extends above the top of the card base, I wanted something sturdy. I also chose Mixed Media Paper because I wanted to use my Inktense pencils to color the guitar & stars, which would require using a damp paintbrush. This paper just holds up to such things better than regular cardstock.

After I colored the guitar & stars, I used the smallest of Spellbinders' "Grand Circles" dies to trace a circle around the image. Then I cut it out with scissors. (None of the circle dies I have is exactly 4" in diameter, so I had to cut it by hand.) Finally, I inked around the edge with Vintage Photo Distress ink, just to provide a little definition.

For the card base, I chose a patterned paper from Kaisercraft's "Technologic" 6.5x6.5" paper pad. I thought the pattern looked something like a music equalizer readout, and the colors went well with the guitar as well. After adhering that to a 4.25" square card base, I glued the circle in place, making sure it would still fit in a standard A2 envelope. I cut a strip of a yellow striped paper from my scrap stash, and glued it to the card front. All that was left was to add a little shimmer to the stars with my clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, and add Glossy Accents to the stars and parts of the guitar.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thanks a Latte


My uncle & his wife spent a few days visiting with my mom & me this week. One day we went up to Dallas, where my brother and his wife live. After an afternoon of sightseeing, the 4 of us met up with them for supper at a local steakhouse. Quite unexpectedly, my brother paid not only for him & his wife, but the four of us as well! So I made this card to give to them as a thank you.

I turned to Operation Write Home's Sketch #249 for my design:


After cutting a piece of white cardstock to 2x3", I placed 2 of the stamps from Fiskars' "Latte Love" stamp set to judge positioning of my image and greeting. Remarkably, they fit perfectly! So I stamped both using Color Box Chestnut Roan chalk ink. I colored the coffee mug and steam with colored pencils, using Gamsol on a paper stump to blend the colors.

I pulled 3 patterned papers that were on my desk, left over from other cards. I wanted a bit of a vintage vibe, but not frou-frou. I chose a ledger-type paper for the background, and a blue with a slight visual texture for the long strip towards the left side of the card. I punched nine 5/8" circles from one piece of double-sided patterned paper, and glued 8 of them going down the card, 3/8" in from the left edge of the background piece. Then I glued down the blue strip, slightly overlapping the circles. I matted the background and my focal panel with a mid-tone brown cardstock, and glued the ninth circle peeking out from behind the focal panel. Finally, I glued the focal panel in place, and matted the whole piece with a dark brown cardstock (the only thing I didn't pull from my scraps). I adhered the completed card front to an A2-size card base, and I was done! This has got to be one of the fastest cards I've ever made--about an hour from start to finish. Everything just came together, like it was meant to be!

I'm entering this card in Operation Write Home's Sketch #249 challenge.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Thanks Poppy


The challenge this past week at Our Daily Bread Designs has been a pastel color challenge. They posted this palette on their blog, with the idea being to use at least 3 of the colors as the focal point of your card:


Though I prefer to use ODBD stamps for their challenges, I do not have many, and wasn't sure how I could work what I do have into a pastel color palette. But I have the "Poppy Single" stamp and its coordinating die, so I decided to see if they can be pink. (I've most often seen red ones.) So I did an online search for "pink poppy," and found out that poppies do indeed come in pink! Problem solved!

The inspiration for my design came from one of the cards by Linda Brandyberry in this blog post. She used an embossed frame, with an inlaid center panel. Because I was using the "Poppy" stamp, I decided to use my Cuttlebug "Poppy" embossing folder for the frame. First I die cut the center panel from a piece of white cardstock using one of the "Stitched Rectangles" dies by Simon Says Stamp. Then I ran the remaining frame through my Spellbinders Grand Calibur machine with the embossing folder. I was kind of concerned at first that the pattern would be too big for the frame, but I think it ended up working perfectly!

For the poppy, I stamped it on white cardstock using Hero Arts Soft Yellow ink. I wanted a light color, so the lines would not really show when I colored it. As it turned out, that color was almost too light, since I could barely see where to color! But I was able to manage. I used colored pencils to color it in, blending them with Gamsol on a paper stump, Finally, I cut it out with the coordinating die.

Initially I was going to leave the inner panel I'd die cut white, but when I put the poppy up against that, I felt it was just not enough contrast. So I blended some Tumbled Glass Distress ink over the panel instead. This also brought in a third color from the inspiration palette. After gluing down the poppy, I stamped the greeting from this Simon Says Stamp set using Hero Arts Charcoal mid-tone shadow ink. I wanted a darker ink to make the greeting stand out, but not something as stark as black.

I finished the card by adhering the frame to the front of an A2-size card base, then adhering the center panel in place. I will be sending this to Operation Write Home.

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

Virginia's View Challenge #13: "Embossing"
Simon Says Stamp's Work It Wednesday challenge: "Spring"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Special Lady/Girly"

Thoughtful Owl


I love owls. I don't know why, but owls and penguins have a special place in my mind. When I saw this cute owl stamp by Hero Arts, I just couldn't resist getting it! I finally got it inky for this card.

I chose Operation Write Home's Sketch #200 for my design:


I stamped the owl on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper, using Versafine Onyx Black ink. I then heat embossed it with Recollections Detail Clear embossing powder, and used watercolors to color him in. When I painted the background, I decided to put a light grey under him to ground him. It reminded me of the book, "Owls in the Family." One of the owls in the story is rescued by a boy. For some reason, the owl (named Wol) never flies. He just walks everywhere he goes! So the grey made me think of concrete, with the owl walking (or in this case, standing) on it.

I chose my patterned papers from Basic Grey's "Fiction" 6x6" paper pad. The greeting comes from Hero Arts' "Missing You" stamp set. I stamped that on a piece of cream colored cardstock in Versafine, and clear heat embossed that as well. Finally, I assembled the card according to the sketch. I chose a mid-tone brown cardstock to mat all the pieces, and a pink button from my stash for the embellishment. Once I got the card front put together, I mounted it to an A2-size card base. As a finishing touch, I added some Glossy Accents to the owl's eyes and beak, just to give a bit of shine.

I'm entering my card into the following challenges:

Hero Arts' "Nature" challenge
Virginia's View Challenge #13: "Embossing"
a2z Scrapbooking's March Challenge: "Color It In"

Friday, March 6, 2015

I Thank My Lucky Stars for You


As I mentioned in this post, I received one of the tags Sandy Allnock created as part of a challenge. She white heat embossed a few images on each white cardstock tag, then sent them to card makers to use in a card. Since I have only one shot at getting the tag coloring right, I've been doing a little practicing. Since the tag is just cardstock, watercoloring is out. So I've been working with blending Distress inks instead. This card is the result of Experiment #2.

I began by choosing the newest sketch from Operation Write Home:


I decided to go with a star/space theme for my card. To create the background, I stamped a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper with the Hero Arts/Basic Grey "Tiny Star Background" stamp, using Versamark ink. I heat embossed that with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. Then I used watercolors to paint a night sky background. The different colors don't show up especially well in the photo, but I went with mostly purple, blues, and black; with a touch of yellow in a few spots for contrast. Then I set that aside to air dry.

After die cutting a tag from white cardstock with one of the dies from the "Blueprints 13" set by My Favorite Things, I stamped one of the greetings from this stamp set in Versamark ink. I white heat embossed that, then stamped 2 of the stars from the same set several times around the greeting. I sprinkled on more white embossing powder, and melted that with my heat gun. Next, I blended Distress inks in Salty Ocean, Chipped Sapphire, and Seedless Preserves onto the tag. I felt the Salty Ocean was too light, and the Seedless Preserves a bit too overpowering, though. So I ended up going over the whole tag with the Chipped Sapphire, to try and bring everything together more. Finally, I spritzed it a few times with water in a mister bottle. I also sprayed some water into the palm of my hand, and flicked it onto the tag. Then I blotted that with a paper towel. I did that a couple more times. The water kind of "bleached" the Distress inks, causing water spots, which I feel give a nice visual texture. I then set that aside to dry while I worked on the rest of the card.

I used a 5/8" star punch by Recollections to punch a total of 10 stars, 5 each from 2 different patterned papers I have in my (overflowing) scrap stash. I used those in place of the 8 squares or banners the sketch calls for. I had to add a couple extra stars (10 rather than 8), because of the way I butted them up against each other.

By this time, my background had dried, so I matted that with a piece of light blue cardstock. I marked where my punched stars would go, and glued them down, alternating the patterned papers. For the strip running alongside those, I cut a piece of white cardstock, and inked it with Hero Arts' Navy mid-tone shadow ink. After I glued that down, I adhered the tag next to it. Finally, I inked another piece of white cardstock that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5", with the same Navy ink. I used that to mat my card front, then adhered that to an A2-size card base. I will be sending this card on to Operation Write Home.

I'm also entering this card in Operation Write Home's "Sketch #249" challenge, Virginia's View Challenge #13: "Embossing," & Hero Arts' "Nature" challenge.

Miss You


Catch the Bug Challenge Blog is having their "Stella Says Sketch #304" challenge this week. This is the sketch for this challenge:


For the focal image on my card, I chose the "Theodore Hot Air Balloon" by Bugaboo Stamps. I figured this would make a cute kid's card to send to Operation Write Home. I also chose a greeting from Doodle Pantry's "Missing You" set. I've had this digital set for a long time now, and just rarely think to use it for some reason. I've decided I really need to make a more concerted effort to use my digital images & stamps!

I chose the striped patterned paper from Simple Stories' "Vintage Bliss," and the butterfly pattern from Basic Grey's "Hey Girl" 6x6" pads. To determine the sizes of my panels, I created a blank canvas in Photoshop the size of a landscape-oriented A2 card. I played around with different size blocks, until I found a size that would comfortably hold my focal image, and work with the patterned paper layers. I cut a piece of Strathmore Mixed Media Paper for the focal panel, and printed the bear directly onto that. I also printed the greeting on Mixed Media Paper, and die cut that with a Spellbinders "Standard Circles LG" die.

To color my image, I used my Inktense pencils and a damp paintbrush, and watercolor to paint the sky. After cutting my patterned paper panels, I tacked down the striped pieces to my pink cardstock background with my ATG gun, then machine-stitched around the edges of those. I did likewise with the butterfly paper. Well, sort of. My sewing machine started not working right after stitching down one side of one butterfly panel. So finishing the machine stitching was not an option at that point. I could have started over, but decided to hand-stitch the rest instead. So I measured & poked holes along the remaining sides every 3 millimeters to create a zigzag pattern, then used the same sewing thread to stitch the remaining panels. It took a lot longer, but I think the added texture was worth it. And, of course, my machine started working again afterwards!

To finish the card, I inked the edges of the greeting die cut with Peacock Feathers Distress ink, and glued it in place. Then I adhered the completed card front to a white A2 card base. Hopefully one of our overseas military heroes will send it home to his/her daughter, to let her know she's loved and missed!

I'm also entering this card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Special Lady/Girly."

Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Sandy Allnock of Operation Write Home created 20 tags by heat embossing images on cardstock. She sent them off to random commenters from 2 videos she posted on YouTube about this, including me. The idea is each crafter will take the tag and decorate it somehow, then use it on a card for OWH. We have to send the completed cards back by March 31, and she will make a video featuring them. One of the kickers is, there is no do-over. I got one tag, and that is it. No pressure now! Sandy did suggest we could make our own tags to practice before working on the real thing. So that's what I'm doing.


This card is Experiment #1. I began by die cutting a tag using the "Stitched Duo 1" tag die by Pretty Pink Posh from 110 lb. white cardstock, which is what Sandy used for the tags she sent out. After taping around the edges with painters tape to mask them, I stamped a butterfly (source unkown) several times in Versamark ink, then heat embossed those with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder.

I then took Distress inks in Shaded Lilac, Squeezed Lemonade, Tumbled Glass, and Cracked Pistachio and blended them on the tag using sponge daubers. Finally, I sprayed Perfect Pearls Mist in the Mint color over that. This helped blend & soften the colors a little more, and added a nice shimmer. I used a dry Q-tip to remove the mist off the butterflies, and let the tag dry.

While that was drying, I went through my collection of OWH sketches, looking for one that would work with this tag. I finally chose #93:


While the tag was a little smaller than the 3x4" panel in the sketch, I liked the layering idea, with a greeting over the top.

I cut another tag with the same die from a mint green cardstock. For the background and strip, I used 2 patterned papers in the "Canvas" 6x6" paper pad from Teresa Collins' "Fabrications" line. I cut them to size, and adhered the yellow strip over the background. I also die cut an oval using one of the "Stitched Tags" dies by Pretty Pink Posh for the greeting.

I used one of the greetings from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Mother's Day Sentiments" digital set. After scanning the oval into my computer, I opened that image in Photoshop. I sized the greeting to fit, then printed it directly onto the die cut. Finally, I inked around the edges with Shaded Lilac, just to add a little definition.

By this time, my focal tag had dried. I removed the tape from around the edges, and lined it up with the green tag behind it. I punched a hole through both tags, then threaded fibers through the hole, tying them together. I determined how far out to "swing" the green tag, then tacked them together with a little adhesive. I applied adhesive to the back of the tags with my ATG gun, and stuck them in place on the card front. I glued down the greeting oval, and finished off by adhering the completed card front to an A2-size base.

Unfortunately, I will not be sending this card to OWH. I noticed the Perfect Pearls mist does rub off. Cards with glitter that rubs off are not allowed, because the glitter makes our heroes in war zones visible to enemy night-vision goggles. I don't know if the Perfect Pearls would be like glitter in this case, but I figure it's better to be safe than sorry. So I will be giving this card to my mom for Mother's Day instead. I do like the inking technique I used though, so I may try it again with plain water. Or maybe with water splatters. But that's for another card....

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"
Virginia's View Challenge #13: Embossing

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Morning Glories for Mom


The deadline for Mother's Day cards to be at Operation Write Home is March 31. That gives them time to get them sent out, so our heroes overseas can get them to their moms by Mother's Day. Cards that don't specifically say "Mother's Day" though, have a longer shelf life, since they can be sent anytime. So, while I am planning to make some Mother's Day cards, I started with just a general one.

I used OWH's Sketch #249 for my design:


I must admit, the small banners along the left side were the hardest to do. Because I wanted to use patterned paper, not only did I need small patterns, I had to hand-cut each 5/8" square banner! Thankfully I was able to find papers with small patterns in my scrap stash, 4 each of green and blue tones.

For the focal panel, I chose the "Morning Glory" and "Mother's Day Sentiments" digital stamps by Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. I created a 2x3" digital canvas in Photoshop, and sized the image & greeting to fit. After printing them onto a piece of white cardstock, I colored the morning glories with colored pencils, using Gamsol on a paper stump to blend the colors.

I used one of the papers in graphic45's "Botanical Tea" 6x6" patterned paper pad for the background panel. I felt the flowers in the paper coordinated well with the morning glories. After cutting the banners, I inked around the edges of the green ones with Peeled Paint, and the blue ones with Faded Jeans Distress inks, just to set them off from the background better. I matted the background with a piece of light teal cardstock, and adhered that to a piece of dark green cardstock cut to 4.25x5.5". I used the same green to mat the focal panel. Finally, for the green strip and square, I used another piece from my scraps, that was actually the flip side of one of the banner papers. I punched a heart in that paper, and punched around that with a 1" square punch.

To finish assembling the card, I determined how far from the left side to place the banners, then arranged & glued them in place. I glued the green patterned paper strip next to them, and adhered the focal panel in place. Finally, I glued down the heart-punched square, and adhered the finished card front to an A2-size card base. As an added touch, I applied tiny drops of Glossy Accents to the flowers & leaves in the morning glories, to simulate dew drops.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Operation Write Home's Sketch #249
Simon Says Stamp's Monday "No Rules"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Work It Wednesday: "Spring"