Sunday, September 9, 2018

Happy Halloween Hedgehog

Send a Smile 4 Kids is collecting fall & Halloween cards through the end of this month. I created this card for that organization, with the hope that it will bring a smile to the face of a hospitalized child this Halloween!

I used Sketch #SC706 from as the basis for my design. I first cut a piece of Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper to size, and stamped my hedgehog, from Penny Black's "Bewitched" set (discontinued). I used Memento Tuxedo Black ink for that. I colored the image with my Prismacolor colored pencils, using Gamsol on paper blending stumps to blend the colors & add shading. After I'd finished coloring, I went over a couple of lines with my black colored pencil to reestablish them, since the colored pencils had faded those lines out too much. I also went over the eye & nose with a black glaze pen to make them pop.

I cut a piece of purple patterned paper from The Paper Studio's "Trick or Treat" letter-size pad to A2 size, and adhered it to my white card base. I also cut a piece of orange polka-dotted paper to size. After I adhered my image panel to that, I used glue dots to attach 3 buttons next to it. I pierced holes in the paper through the buttonholes, and stitched them with orange embroidery floss. Then I adhered that panel to my card.

For the greeting, I used one from My Favorite Things' "Batty About You" stamp set (discontinued) I cut a narrow strip of light purple cardstock, and stamped the greeting in Versafine Onyx Black ink. I cut the right end into a V-shape, and adhered it to my card. The longest part of this process was coloring the hedgehog & picking out the buttons. The rest of the card was pretty easy to pull together.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Stamp It On"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Stamp It for STAMPtember"
613 Avenue Create's Challenge #213: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Send a Smile 4 Kids Challenge: "Cute Fall or Halloween Cards 4 Kids"

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Peace, Love, & Joy Cardinals

The current challenge theme at Christmas Card Throwdown is "Pop-up/Cube Cards." It has been a long time since I played one of their challenges, mostly because I just wasn't in the spirit of making Christmas cards until fairly recently. I always think I should make my holiday cards starting earlier in the year, just so I don't have such a time-crunch when fall rolls around. But there's something about spring & early-to-mid summer that just doesn't scream "Christmas" to me. But I think I'm ready now. In fact, I actually made two of this design while I was at it! :)

I found a tutorial on (actually through video suggestions on my YouTube account) on doing a "Pop-up Book Card." I've done pop-up and box cards before, but this particular fold technique was a new one for me. Thankfully, the tutorial was very easy to follow! The main tutorial was for a 6x6" card, but they gave alternate measurements at the end for an A2 card. Since postage--in the U.S. at least--is higher for square cards, I went for the A2 size.

I began by cutting my card base for each card, as well as the inside patterned paper panel. I did have to search through quite of a bit of my stash of holiday patterned papers to find any that were large AND sturdy enough. Thankfully, I found this ornament paper, though I don't know who made it. I did all my cutting & scoring for the card base & the patterned paper insert, and glued them together, as per the instructions.

Once I'd finished that part, I decided to turn my attention to the card front. I found another green diamond patterned paper from the same paper collection, and cut it slightly smaller than A2 size. I also die cut a label using a Spellbinders "Labels Eight" die. I adhered the label to the background, and placed it in my MISTI stamp positioning tool. I used my grid sheet to help me center the base layer from Hero Arts' "Color Layering Cardinal" stamp set. I stamped that first in Memento Tangelo ink, then stamped again with Memento Lady Bug ink. I repeated this for the second card, just lining up that card front with the first one. I stamped the second layer of the cardinal with Memento Rhubarb Stalk ink, and the third layer with Memento London Fog. Finally, I used Memento Tuxedo Black to stamp the face detail. I stamped the feet with Tangelo, adding a little Memento Potter's Clay for shading around the tops of the legs.

I stamped the branch from the same set with Memento Rich Cocoa ink, after masking off the tail & feet on the bird. The branch ended up covering the feet anyway, though. At this point, I was definitely NOT starting over! So I stamped the 2 pine sprigs from the set in Memento Northern Pine ink, die cut them, and glued them along the branch, covering the bird's feet. Hopefully, it helps more than hinders the design!

I die cut the poinsettia flowers & leaves using dies from Memory Box's "Blooming Poinsettia" set. I glued them in place on the card front, using the 2 larger flower parts in the upper corner, & the 2 smaller ones in the lower. Finally, I added the centers that I'd die cut from gold glitter cardstock.

Inside of card
For the inside panels, I wanted to use another, smaller "Labels Eight" die. But I didn't have one that was large enough for my greeting, and still small enough to fit where it needed to go. So I took one that was just barely too big for the space, traced around the inside on the same cream cardstock I'd used for the card base & front label, and cut those out with scissors. This gave me a slightly smaller label than if I'd die cut. Thankfully, the shape was pretty easy to cut by hand, and I only had to do 4 for both cards!

I stamped the greeting, from Hero Arts' "Very Merry Christmas" (apparently discontinued), onto the top of one label with Northern Pine ink. I left the space below blank for us to sign the card. To decorate the other label, I stamped the cardinal, 2 pine branches, & pine cones from Hero Arts' "Vintage Christmas Post"; & the 2 smaller branches from "Color Layering Cardinal." I used Tombow markers to color the pine branch stamps, especially on the larger one so I could easily make the branch brown & the needles green. I stamped the branches & pine cones with Rich Cocoa ink, and the bird in Tuxedo Black. I colored the cardinal with my Prismacolor colored pencils. After die cutting everything with the coordinating dies, I arranged all the elements onto the label, and used liquid glue to adhere everything in place. After the glue set up, I trimmed off the overhanging bits, following the edge of the label. Finally, I glued each label in place on their respective panels, and both cards were done!

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

a2z Scrapbooking August Challenge: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #212: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Incy Wincy Designs Challenge: "Winter in August"
Pile It On #145: "New Technique and/or Oldest Stash"

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Foxy Hi

My fifth & final card for My Favorite Things' "Summer School 2018 Session 2." The lesson for Day 2 was Visual Triangle. I've had this fox tag from the Echo Park "The Story of Fall" ephemera pack for at least a few years now, and hadn't used it yet. I have some of the ephemera pieces from that collection in a baggie, designated for card making. So I decided this would be the perfect time to use this tag! I did punch a hole through the top and added some brown hemp twine, but otherwise, kept the tag in its original state.

I first cut a piece of grey cardstock to 4x5.25". I taped it to the back of My Favorite Things' "Small Brick Wall" stencil, and applied Ranger Texture Paste over the stencil. When I had a fairly even coating of paste, I carefully removed the stencil, cleaned it & my palette knife, and set the panel aside to dry.

After the paste had dried thoroughly, I taped the stencil back over the pattern. I inked the bricks with Rusty Hinge, Fired Brick, & Vintage Photo Distress inks. I also went over parts with Antique Linen Distress Oxide ink, just to try and give a bit of lighter distressing, but I don't think it really had any effect in the end. When I finished inking, I removed the stencil.

I adhered my tag on to my panel with liquid glue. I wanted to make sure it would adhere to the textured surface, and I figured a generous coat of glue would do the trick. Of course, that meant weighting it down under some acrylic blocks for a few hours to dry, but that was no big deal.

For the greeting, I used a My Favorite Things' "Happy Hellos" die (discontinued). I cut it out of a scrap of green cardstock. I know there is no green in the tag or the background, but I felt a pop of it would help spice up the overall red-orange/neutral color palette a bit. I used liquid glue to adhere the letters to the tag.

To create my visual triangle, I chose 3 wood veneer leaves from my stash, and green & brown buttons. I used glue dots to adhere the buttons, and Ranger Multi Medium Matte to glue down the leaves. After the glue on the leaves had set up a bit so they wouldn't fall off, I pierced holes through the buttons into the background panel with my paper piercer, and stitched through the buttonholes with cream embroidery floss. I used small pieces of Scor Tape to adhere the floss ends to the back side of the panel.

Because my panel was so bumpy now, I decided to use Scor Tape to adhere it to a red mat, rather than my ATG gun, which might have messed up some of the elements on the front of the panel. I matted my panel, and adhered the whole thing to a white A2 card base. Now it's time to get the rest of the ephemera bits & pieces used up!

Bee Strong

My Favorite Things' "Summer School 2018 Session 2" began with a lesson on monochromatic cards. I created this card as my homework, to send to Send a Smile 4 Kids, to encourage a hospitalized child.

I chose the "Mini Chicken Wire" stencil from My Favorite Things (apparently discontinued) for my background. I wanted to do the background in 3 sections, each inked a different shade of yellow. (I chose yellow to go with the bee theme.) After trimming my panel of Canson XL Mixed Media paper to A2 size, I first used the circle die from MFT's "Blueprints 13" (discontinued) to die cut 3 circles from my panel. Then I die cut it into sections with a "Stitched Basic Edges 2" die, also from MFT. I taped the top section of my die cut panel to the back of the stencil, and inked it with Squeezed Lemonade Distress ink. Before removing that section, I lined up the middle section with the first, and taped that in place on the back of the stencil. I wanted the stenciled design to be continuous down the whole card, but still have the shades of yellow sharply defined, so I had to line the panels up this way. Before I inked the second piece with Mustard Seed Distress ink, I removed the top section. Finally, I lined up the bottom piece, removed the middle, and inked with Fossilized Amber Distress ink. I had to adjust the stencil a bit, since it does not cover a full 5.5", but it wasn't too hard to line it up so I could extend the design down the rest of the section.

After I adhered the 3 sections to a white A2 card base, I glued the upper & lower circles I had previously die cut into place, doing a bit of die cut inlay. Using my MISTI, I stamped the greeting, from Simon Says Stamp's "Circle Friends" set, in the bottom circle, and the bee from the same set in the top. I also used my MISTI to stamp the honeycomb circle from "Circle Friends" on the remaining die cut circle. I used Simon Says Stamp's Sunshine ink for that, since it seemed a good match with the Fossilized Amber. I actually had to die cut a new circle and re-stamp, because my stamp was not clean the first time, and I got a bit of black ink mixed in with the yellow on the paper. At least it was easy to line everything up the second time! When I had the circle stamped, I glued it into place on the card front.

I stamped the bee again onto a scrap of mixed media paper, and also onto a scrap of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum. I colored the paper one in with colored pencils, and fussy cut just the body. I fussy cut the wings on the vellum piece, also cutting a section across the body to connect them. I used a glue dot to adhere just the center part of the wings piece over the stamped bee on the card front, leaving the wings themselves loose. Then I glued the body part down with liquid glue, basically sandwiching the wings in between that and the card front. The only reason I'd stamped the bee in place on the card front, was to have the antennae without having to try and fussy cut around them. I just figured it would be easier to paper piece. I don't know how effective the vellum wings are, but I think they do add at least a little something in real life.

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

Live Love Cards August Challenge: "Monochrome Cards"
a2z Scrapbooking's August Challenge: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create's Challenge #212: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Butterfly with Sympathy

This is my "homework" for the final day of My Favorite Things' "Summer School 2018 Session 2." The lesson that day was on ombre (a gradient effect using values of only one color).

I first cut a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media paper to 4.25x5.5". I stamped the "Romantic Script Background" from My Favorite Things onto that with Versamark ink, and heat embossed with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. I used Tattered Rose Distress ink to add color to the panel, adding more color at the bottom & letting it fade out to almost white at the top. It admittedly was kind of difficult to get a satisfactory color depth at the bottom of the panel, since this is such a light ink, but I'm happy with how it turned out. Once I'd finished inking, I buffed the panel with a dry paper towel, to get any residual ink off the embossed areas.

I die cut a doily from Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum, with a Prima "Victorian Lace" die. I also die cut a butterfly from more mixed media paper, with a "Flutter of Butterflies - Solid" die. For the butterfly, I wet the whole die cut with clean water, and painted on to the middle part some Tattered Rose ink that I'd smooshed onto an acrylic block. That wasn't quite dark enough for the butterfly to show up against the background, though, so I added a little watered-down Vintage Photo Distress ink over the Tattered Rose. That gave me the subtle contrast I wanted.

I put a glue dot on the back of just the center of my doily, and adhered it to my background panel. I used a couple more glue dots to adhere my butterfly over the doily. I'd die cut the coordinating body for the butterfly from some coppery shimmer cardstock, and used liquid glue to attach that.

I die cut my greeting using Avery Elle's "With Sympathy" set, from some more shimmer cardstock. I used liquid glue to add that to my panel. I made sure to glue the "with" so it looks like the end of the "h" goes right into the cross of the "t" in sympathy. Finally, I mounted my panel to a white A2 card base.

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

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Live Love Cards: "Monochromatic Cards"
Die Cut Divas: "Silhouettes for August" (Admittedly, this may be a bit of a stretch, but I do consider the butterfly a silhouette.)
613 Avenue Create #121: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Friday, August 24, 2018

Rainbow Happy Birthday

Day 4 of My Favorite Things' "Summer School 2018 Session 2" is all about rainbows. I used their "Itsy Bitsy Polka Dot Background" stamp and rainbow inking for my card background.

I placed the stamp in my MISTI to begin. I applied a bit of removable adhesive to the back of my white 4x5.25" panel, placed it face down on the stamp (which was on the door of the MISTI), & closed the bottom of the MISTI over it. The adhesive stuck my panel to the base, ensuring it would stay in that position while I stamped. I could have placed it in the corner of the MISTI, but there would have been a gap at least along the bottom & left side of the panel, due to the way the stamp is.

I inked up the top portion of my stamp with Memento Love Letter dye ink, daubed the bottom edge of the inked section with a dry cloth to soften it, and stamped onto my panel. I cleaned my stamp, inked below where I'd already stamped with Memento Morocco ink, daubed the top & bottom edges to give a blended look, and stamped again. I repeated this process, working my way down the stamp, with Hero Arts Lemon Yellow, Delta Emerald Green, Memento Bahama Blue, & Hero Arts Orchid inks. The Morocco I chose for my orange was a bit too dark in the end, and looks much like the red. Something like Memento Tangelo probably would have been better. Oh well--live & learn!

For my greeting, I used My Favorite Things' "Cause for Celebration" die set. I die cut the happy & birthday words from red glitter cardstock that I had backed with Stick It adhesive. I also die cut 3 star balloons from purple, gold, & blue cardstocks using Lawn Fawn's "Party Balloons" die set. I knew my balloons would go at the top of my card, so I wanted to bring up the yellow, blue, & purple colors that were a bit farther down the card. Likewise, my greeting echoes the red at the top of the card. I glued my balloons in place, leaving the very bottom loose. I tied some sparkly twine around the bottom of each balloon. I adhered my greeting, pierced a hole inside the "a" in happy, and threaded the twine from my balloons through the hole. I pulled them kind of tight (without bowing my panel), & secured them on the back with a little Scor Tape.

I tied a bow from the same twine I'd used for the balloon strings, and glued it over the strings right at the top of the "a," to make it look like they are tied around that letter. Then I adhered my panel to a piece of yellow cardstock cut to A2 size, and mounted that to a white card base to finish. This card was a bit hard to design, but I really like the way it came out in the end!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Autumn Happy Birthday

The current theme for Aud Sentiments' challenge blog is "Anything Goes + A Sentiment." I created this card to send to Send a Smile 4 Kids. They are currently accepting cards for hospitalized kids with fall, winter, and holiday (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) themes. For my design, I used Sketch #SC576 from

I sized the "Autumn Jar" digital image from Bugaboo Stamps in Photoshop, then printed it onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I then colored it with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up the color from the pencils and apply it to the paper. After I finished coloring the image, I added a shadow underneath with the Neutral Grey Inktense pencil, and a very light "halo" around the upper portion with Iris Blue. Then I set that aside to dry.

For the greeting, I used one from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Happy Birthdays" stamp set (apparently discontinued). I stamped it in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto a scrap of orange paper with a slight pattern to it. I then cut that into a banner.

I used an A2-size piece of green cardstock for my background. After I adhered it to a white card base, I added a strip of yellow patterned paper from my scrap stash to the left side, and a 1/8" wide strip of light blue glitter paper next to that. Finally, I adhered my focal panel and greeting banner. As one more touch, I added some sparkle to the sunflower, pumpkin, small leaves, and the tips of the larger leaves with my clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen. I rounded the top right and bottom left corners with the 1/2" side of my We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, and that finished this card.

I'm also entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's "Anything Goes" Challenge #212 (not playing the twist).

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Little Birthday Wish

My Favorite Things Summer School Session 2 is in full swing this week. Day 2's lesson was on Focal Point. I created this pleated skirt card for a friend who has a birthday coming up.

I first created the pleated skirt portion, following the instructions in this tutorial at I didn't have any double-sided patterned paper that was suitable, so I cut a piece of floral paper & another piece of green that had a subtle check pattern (both from my scrap stash). I pretty much coated the back of the floral pattern with ATG adhesive, and adhered the green paper. That way, when I did my folds, the green paper peeks through from behind the floral one.

For the top of my card, I cut a piece of yellow cardstock so that it would cover the portion above the "skirt," but not extend below it. I stamped it with the "Delightfully Delicate Background" stamp from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps (apparently discontinued), using Hero Arts Butter Bar ink. It is very subtle tone-on-tone, but gives a bit of interest. I also stamped my greeting, from My Favorite Things "Birthday Greetings" set, in Memento Northern Pine ink.

For my focal point, I used a flower from My Favorite Things "Watercolor Flowers" stamp set (discontinued). I stamped the base layer with Lawn Fawn Wild Rose ink, the middle with Memento Lady Bug, and the top layer with Memento Love Letter ink. I stamped the center & the base of the leaves with Memento Olive Grove, and the second layer for the leaves with Northern Pine. To make the leaves look like they were under the flower, I stamped the base flower layer onto a full-sticky Post It note, and cut out just the portion where I wanted the leaves to go. I masked off my flower with that, and then stamped the leaves. Finally, I cut that piece with a "Stitched Circles" die from Simon Says Stamp. I did a bit of "outside the box" die cutting, since the leaves stuck out a little too much for that die. I fussy cut around the larger leaf, slipped the die under that, cutting side down, and ran it through my die cutting machine. That way, the leaf was not cut with the die.

I adhered the "skirt" portion to a white A2 card base, and adhered the yellow panel above it. I had to lift the top of the skirt piece up a bit, to tuck the yellow underneath. Then, I added a piece of blue satin ribbon as a "waistband," to cover the seam. I used Scor Tape to add a piece of fun foam to the back of my floral circle, so that it wouldn't get distorted when I adhered it over the ribbon & pleats. Finally, I used more Scor Tape to adhere that to my card. I added some Morning Dew Nuvo Crystal Drops to the flower & leaves, for "dewdrops," and this card was done!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Craft Room Tour

Even with all the cards I've posted over the past few years, I don't think I've ever posted photos of my craft room. Christina Thomas at Creations with Christina has started a feature on her blog called Make~Motivate~Connect. Each week, she will have a different prompt, and encourage people to link up a photo of their project in response to that prompt at her site. This week's prompt is craft room photos, so that inspired this post.

View from doorway
Our craft room actually is my brother's old bedroom. He got married & moved out 7 years ago, leaving an empty room. What else would you do with an empty room than make it into a craft room? ;) My mom & I repainted the room a lovely lavender shade, with cream on the trim & ceiling. We also pulled up the carpet. Since we also use it as a sewing room & to cut out sewing projects, we didn't want any pins or needles hiding in carpet. We expected to have to lay wood flooring, but were pleasantly surprised to find the hardwood flooring that is in our halls continued into that room! So all we had to do--after pulling numerous carpet staples from the wood--was sand & seal the flooring. I think that was MUCH easier than installing new flooring!

Another view of my scrap desk; plus sewing desk, Raskog cart, fabric cutting table, & storage units
I built most of the furniture myself. My scrap desk actually came about after reading an article in an old scrapbooking magazine. (I think it was a Scrapbooks, Etc. special organization issue.) It was about creating a desk for under $100. I don't know if I spent less than $100, but I got a good desk that has stood the test of time for me! I got 2 wire drawer units (I think they've been discontinued since) & a 4x8' sheet of melamine from Lowe's. I knew how big I needed my desk top, so I had a guy at the store cut the melamine into 3 pieces: 1 to fit the desk, and 2 other smaller pieces that I could fit in the back of our van for other projects. I edged the top by gluing on white ribbon, to cover the raw wood. Then it was just a case of laying the melamine on top of the drawer units. I had made this long before we had this craft room, when I did my scrapbooking & card making in a different part of the house. But it fit perfectly in this new space as well!

Because the room is maybe 10x10' at most, we've had to make the most of vertical space. I created shelf space with a small melamine shelf laid across some small stackable drawer units & 2 marker storage units from Stamp-n-Storage at the back of my scrap desk. I also built an ink pad storage unit to fit perfectly in the space between the top of that shelf & the bottom of another shelf we'd hung on the wall above my desk. I made 2 magnetic boards to hold my larger wafer-thin dies, that are just plywood pieces with magnetic sheets glued on, framed with 1x2 boards that I painted a darker lavender color.

Wall-hung ink pad units: white one by me; raw wood one by Stamp-n-Storage
Medicine cabinet
We had a medicine cabinet that I'd "had" to get for a bathroom renovation we did in our house. It had turned out not to fit in that space, so we hung it in the craft room instead. The cupboard part stores mostly acrylic craft paints, stains, & painting mediums. The baskets underneath (what made me fall in love with the piece in the first place) hold various odds & ends, and I utilize the top to store items I don't use often.

Additional craft table
Twine rack
Opposite my scrap desk is an additional craft table that I built out of melamine for the top & 2x4 lumber for the legs & frame under the top. I keep my washi tape holder (also from Stamp-n-Storage); die cutting machine; and 2 small wire drawer units (from Bed Bath & Beyond) to store paper scraps, 6x6" & smaller paper pads, & some stamps & dies on this table. I also have a lazy Susan style unit with 2 hanging racks by Recollections that I got some years ago, just to store small things. Above that, I have another ink pad storage unit I built for my full-size Distress inks, & a few shelves for paper towels & more odds and ends. I also have another wire drawer unit underneath, and a file cube I built to store large paper scraps in 12x12" file folders; plus a rolling file cart with more 12x12" paper in folders on it. On the wall at the end of the table, I have a rack that I built for my larger rolls of bakers twine, following instructions I read on someone's blog a few years ago.

Stamp, cardstock, & 12x12" paper storage
I keep most of my stamp sets in 2 Fridge Binz on a small shelving unit in the closet. (I totally got this system from Jennifer McGuire.) I made dividers from green cardstock, using my We R Memory Keepers 1-2-3 Punch Board to create file tabs on the top edge of each. I laminated these, trimmed around the perimeter, and printed labels for the different categories with my label maker. On the shelf underneath that, I keep my 8.5x11" cardstock. I have several magazine holders turned on their backs, and slip my cardstock (sorted roughly in rainbow order in job ticket holders) into those. Most of my cardstocks are "off-brand," so I don't bother labeling those. I keep 12x12" colored cardstock & patterned paper in Cropper Hopper holders on the bottom shelf.

Punch holder
Finally, I have 2 punch holders that I made. Basically, they're like over-the-door shoe holders, but I customized pretty much each pocket size to fit a specific punch. After I bound the top edges of strips of clear heavyweight vinyl with bias tape, I sewed each row to my fabric backer, creating pockets as I went. It was not easy, but I like the final results, so in the end it was indeed worth it! I sewed the top and bottom to create a pocket for dowels to slip through. I used a heavy plastic-coated wire that I got from Lowe's, along with wire clamps, to hang each holder, since they are quite heavy. The one on the back of the door (pictured) I initially hung from a regular coat hook--until the hook broke and the holder fell on the floor! So I got a heavyweight tool hook, screwed it to the top of the door, and it has held up just fine. :)

I hope you have enjoyed this tour, and maybe gotten a few ideas for your own crafty space!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Take Us to Your Cake

The theme for the Lawn Fawnatics Challenge #33 is "Fun Folds." I used a center-step card template from Hot off the Press to create the base for my birthday card.

After I cut & scored/folded the card base, I worked on the main panel. The template has separate pieces to trace for the middle panel & bottom strip. But I wanted one continuous piece. It took a lot of measuring & marking, but I finally got my watercolor paper cut to size--the first time, without having to cut another piece! :)

This card by Laura Sterckx inspired my background. I liked how she masked the bottom of her focal area to create a "planet" area. I used Simon Says Stamp's "A2 Curved Edge" die to cut a mask for my card front from masking paper. I wasn't thinking, though, so I didn't leave enough above the curve to mask off the sky when I inked the ground. So I stuck 2 full-sticky Post It notes together, so they covered the width of my panel, and traced the curve from the masking paper onto that. I then cut it with my scissors to create my "sky" mask--problem solved!

I applied the "ground" mask to my panel, and inked the sky area with Peacock Feathers, Picked Raspberry, & Wild Honey Distress inks. I applied the colors just kind of randomly, not going for any specific pattern. After I finished that, I applied Black Soot Distress ink over the whole sky, until the colors underneath just barely showed through. I diluted white acrylic craft paint with a bit of water, & used a small paintbrush to splatter my panel with that to create stars. After the sky portion dried, I lined my sticky-note mask up with the curve of the lower mask, removed the ground mask, and inked the bottom of the panel with Crushed Olive Distress ink, followed by Peeled Paint. I heat embossed my greeting, from Lawn Fawn's "Beam Me Up" stamp set (which I also used for my images) in white embossing powder, then set the panel aside.

I stamped several images in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto scraps of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper. I used my Tombow markers to color them in, adding shading with a damp paintbrush to most of the images. For the "beam" piece, I stamped onto vellum with Versamark ink, & heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. I die cut all the images with the coordinating dies.

To adhere my images, I used mostly liquid glue. I did run my beam piece through my Xyron Sticker Maker, to apply a solid coat of adhesive to the back, so I didn't have to mess with hiding my adhesive. I stuck that down first, making sure there was enough room for the spaceship to go above it. To create a slight "glass" look to the top of the larger spaceship, I used its die to cut a scrap of vellum. I glued that behind the top of the spaceship, hiding my adhesive behind the ship & its alien pilot. I then glued down the rest of my images. I adhered the cake & presents last, making it look like they were being "beamed up" into the spaceship. I also added googly eyes to the 2 larger aliens.

I didn't want my background panel to be matted just with the white card base. So I cut a slightly larger piece of navy cardstock, and adhered the watercolor paper panel to that. For the side panels, I decided to continue the galaxy background look. I repeated the process I'd used for the sky on those. I matted them with navy as well, and adhered them to the card base to finish my card. It did end up taking me a few hours to make this card, but I think a lot of that was figuring out how to cut the main panel, since I deviated from the template. I still think it was worth it in the end, though!

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

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: "Make Your Own Background"
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: "Wild Things" (What could be wilder than aliens???)
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Season's Tweetings

Send a Smile 4 Kids is celebrating their 175th challenge at their blog! Their theme is "Christmas in July 4 Kids." I made this cute card using mostly Lawn Fawn products to send to them for this year's holiday season.

I stamped the 3 birds from "Winter Sparrows" onto a scrap of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper with Versafine Onyx Black ink. I used the same ink to stamp one of the speech bubbles from "A Birdie Told Me" onto a scrap of white cardstock. I stamped the greeting from "Winter Sparrows" inside the speech bubble, using my MISTI stamp positioner to help me get it straight. I die cut the speech bubble with its coordinating die. Finally, I stamped the music note from "Winter Sparrows" with Blueprint Sketch Distress Oxide ink.

Once the ink on my birdies had dried, I colored them with Tombow markers, pulling in a Zig Clean Color Real Brush marker for the yellow on the blue bird's belly. I let the ink dry for a few minutes, then die cut them with the coordinating dies.

The biggest part of this card was the background. I wanted to try a technique Tim Holtz had developed for use with Distress Oxide inks. (I had actually learned about this from Jennifer McGuire.) I cut a piece of glossy cardstock to 4-1/8x5-3/8" for my panel. I smooshed Blueprint Sketch, Faded Jeans, & Salty Ocean Oxide inks onto my Tonic Easy Clean non-stick mat, and spritzed them with water. I dipped my cardstock (glossy side down) into the ink, & swooshed and pounced it until I had covered the surface. I dried it with my heat tool, and repeated this process a couple more times until I had the look I wanted. I let the ink dry for several minutes, then came time for the magic. I applied a thin coat of Distress Micro Glaze over the inked surface. The Distress Oxide inks on their own leave a dull, kind of chalky finish. But, on glossy cardstock, when you apply the Micro Glaze, the colors just come to life--bright & bold! After I had applied an even coat, I buffed any excess off with a paper towel.

I used the 2 snowflake stamps from Lawn Fawn's "Winter Penguin" set to stamp several flakes on the background with StazOn Cotton White ink. This ink is specially formulated for non-porous surfaces, like glossy cardstock. I was kind of disappointed, though, that the snowflakes didn't show up much in the end.

To start building my scene, I die cut a branch from brown cardstock using the "Bare Branch" die from Impression Obsession. I glued it to the background with liquid glue, and trimmed off a couple of bits that were hanging over the edge of the panel. I glued my birds in place, and glued the speech bubble down. I also added some "snow" on the branches, with a Marvy Snow marker. The too-subtle look of the stamped snowflakes still bothered me, though. So I got my "Falling Snow" stencil (from Simon Says Stamp) and taped it over my panel. I used a foam make-up applicator to pounce white acrylic paint through the stencil. I made sure it also went over the birds & branch, so it looks like they are in the snowfall, not just surrounded by it. After I removed & cleaned my stencil, I took a black fine-tip marker and went over the eyes on two of the birds that had gotten covered up by paint, just so they didn't look like they only had one eye. Finally, I adhered my panel to a white A2 card base, leaving a 1/16" mat on all sides.

I'm also entering my card in 613 Avenue Create's Challenge #211: "Anything Goes." (Not sure if the background counts for the optional challenge of creating your own designer paper, though.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

All Your Wishes

The final day's lesson of Session 1 of My Favorite Things' Summer School was on "Symmetry." Basically, make a project where the elements on one side mirror the elements on the other side.

I first die cut my quilt squares, using the largest die from the "Blueprints 20" set by My Favorite Things (discontinued). I ran the die through 6 times, using 6 different colors of scrap cardstock for the blocks. When I had finished, I adhered each piece to a scrap of white cardstock, just so I could play with each square with its decorative piece adhered inside the negative space. Then I cut each square out with scissors, making sure to angle the blades under the colored cardstock layers so the white beneath wouldn't show.

I had cut my squares with the idea of putting them basically in rainbow order (by the color of the outer square part). I played around with the arrangement, finally deciding on a landscape orientation. I also cut a banner from "Blueprints 20" for my greeting. Remarkably, it ended up being almost the same length as my block grouping!

For the background, I cut a 5.5x4.25" piece of white cardstock. I stamped it with MFT's "Denim" background stamp (also discontinued) & Hero Arts Pool ink. I missed a couple of spots with the first go-around, so I just inked up part of the stamp & carefully stamped just those areas, making sure to run the diagonal lines in the same direction. This stamp is relatively random in design, so I didn't have to be spot on anyway.

I wanted to cut the sides of the card with a border die, & chose one of the dies from MFT's "Stitched Scallop Basic Edges" set. After I adhered my background panel to a white A2 card base, I die cut one end of the card. I had to run it through a few times, because the die wouldn't cut through all 3 layers of cardstock at first.

At this point, I decided I'd better adhere my squares & greeting banner. I first stamped my greeting, from MFT's "Big Birthday Sentiments," in Versamark ink & heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. I adhered my squares & banner to the card, and measured where I needed to die cut the opposite side to make an even border on either side of my focal elements. Then I die cut the other end with the same die as before. Even with all the fussing around I had to do to come up with a design, once I got the arrangement of my elements worked out, this card wasn't too hard to pull together.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Stenciled Happy Birthday

Day 4 of My Favorite Things' Summer School (Session 1) dealt with complementary colors. I chose yellow & violet for my color scheme. I also used a technique I'd learned from Jennifer McGuire, on using masks with stencils.

I cut a piece of masking paper to 4x5.25", the same size as my white card front panel. After I marked the vertical center on the masking paper, I lined up a "Straight Heart" die from Nellie's Choice, and die cut a heart. I adhered the negative part of the mask to my panel, laid the "Star Grid" stencil from MFT over it, and taped the stencil in place. I inked part of the heart with Squeezed Lemonade Distress ink, and the other part with Wilted Violet Distress ink. I made sure to leave a soft-edged narrow gap between the colors, so I wouldn't end up with brown from the two colors mixing.

After I removed my stencil, I adhered the positive heart mask in place inside the opening of the surrounding masking paper. I removed the negative portion, and repositioned the stencil. I was able to see the stenciled design through the mask well enough to line up the stencil with what I'd already done. Without reloading my blending foams with ink, I inked over the the rest of the panel, leaving a softer, paler look.

When I had finished the outer stenciling, I replaced the negative portion of the mask around the heart, removed the heart mask, and inked over the stenciling with the same colors of ink (leaving the stencil off this time), just slightly, to make sure the heart shape stood out from the background design. Then I removed my mask and worked on the greeting.

I die cut the greeting from plum cardstock that I'd backed with Stick It adhesive. I used MFT's "Cause for Celebration" die set. After I'd die cut the words, I carefully removed them from the negative space, and adhered them lightly to my card panel. Once I had them centered, I burnished them with my bone folder, to make sure they were really stuck down firmly.

After I matted my panel with a 4.25x5.5" piece of cream cardstock, I adhered that to a white A2 card base. I used Nuvo Crystal Drops in Buttermilk, Dandelion Yellow, & Crushed Grape, to add some faux enamel dots around the greeting. I let those dry for about 24 hours, and my card was done!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Happy Birthday to You

Day 2 of My Favorite Things' Summer School (Session 1) was all about primary colors. I must admit, I really struggled with this one. I just couldn't get past thinking about bright, saturated colors, which I really didn't want to use. My struggle ended when I saw the video that Stephanie Klauck did for the lesson. She used more muted tones of red & blue, with a bright yellow, for her card. That finally allowed me to break through my block!

I decided to use the argyle design stamp from My Favorite Things' "Diamonds & Dots Border" set (discontinued). I began by determining where I could place it in my MISTI so that I wouldn't have to move the stamp with each impression. I began a little bit in from one end of the cardstock with Lawn Fawn's Wild Rose ink. I followed that with Hero Arts' Butter Bar, and finally Hero Arts' Cornflower, cleaning my stamp in between each color. I still had a bit of space at the top & bottom, so I filled that in with Butter Bar.

For the greeting, I used one from MFT's "Birthday Greetings" stamp set. I stamped it in Versamark onto a piece of an old shimmer vellum from my stash, and heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder. Once the embossing had cooled, I die cut it with a Spellbinders "Scalloped Labels One" die (discontinued). I ran it through my Xyron Creative Station 250, to apply adhesive to the back, then adhered it to the middle of my panel. Finally, I mounted my card front to a white A2 card base. For my having such a struggle, this card really came together quickly once I had a direction to go in!

I'm also entering my card in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday "Red, White, and/or Blue" challenge.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Happy Birthday

Lesson #3 of My Favorite Things' Summer School is on "Repetition." I used the "happy" die from MFT's "Cause for Celebration" set repeatedly on my background, along with a "birthday" stamp from Altenew's "Birthday Builder" set.

I die cut the "happy" multiple times from the same peachy-pink cardstock I was using for my background panel, that I had backed with Stick It adhesive. I also cut it from a scrap of teal cardstock, also backed with Stick It. I stamped the "birthday" in Versamark ink onto a scrap of darker pink cardstock, and heat embossed with Recollections Snow Detail embossing powder. I had to repeat the heat embossing to get really good coverage. Finally, I cut the pink cardstock into a strip, and angled the left end.

I played around with the placement of the peachy "happy" die cuts on my background. When I had an arrangement I liked, I carefully picked them up one at a time, removed the adhesive liner from the back, and stuck it down onto my background. I repeated this for each die cut. I was also able to use a few pieces that I cut off that were overhanging on the edges to fill in some gaps. Finally, I adhered my birthday banner & the teal happy, and burnished all the die cuts to stick them fully to the background. I mounted my card front to a white card base, and I was done!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Butterfly Happy Birthday

My Favorite Things' Summer School Session #1 is in full swing this week! Lesson 1 was on using white space as a design element. I decided to make a (much-needed) birthday card, using an MFT "Flutter of Butterflies - Solid" die & their "Big Birthday Sentiments" stamp set.

I began by dry embossing a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper with the "Abstract" stencil, also by My Favorite Things (but apparently discontinued). After running it through my die cutting machine, I kept the stencil in place on the paper, and inked over it with Squeezed Lemonade Distress ink, letting it fade to white as it got to the top of the card panel.

I die cut a butterfly & its coordinating body from a scrap of bristol paper. I wet the wings with clean water, and dropped in Tumbled Glass Distress ink in the center. I moved the ink around with a paintbrush, to get it to be present, but still light and soft-looking. I smooshed Hickory Smoke Distress ink onto the body to color it, then glued it to the main butterfly piece.

For the greeting, I used Wow White Pearl embossing powder. After heat embossing it onto a strip of bristol, I inked over the whole strip with Dried Marigold Distress ink. I wanted to keep the color soft, to go with the rest of the design, but still have the heat-embossed greeting show up.

I matted my panel with a piece of light teal cardstock, that kind of matched the Tumbled Glass ink I'd used on the butterfly. I adhered the greeting strip, and glued the butterfly over that, so its wings kind of "hugged" the end of the greeting. Finally, I adhered the card front to a white A2-size card base.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Have a Little Fun Today

Ellen Hutson has been having their "Color Trends Challenge," with this photo as their mood board:

I created a birthday card, using Essentials by Ellen's "Bokeh Dots" & "Up the Happy" stamp sets, along with a Lifestyle Crafts "Nesting Scallops" die.

I used a layering panel that I had pre-cut to 4x5.25" as my main panel. I stamped several of the dots in various dye inks: Memento Grape Jelly & Danube Blue, Hero Arts Ultra Pink & Soft Lilac, and Lawn Fawn Fresh Lavender. I tried to go with the more "blue" purples from the color palette, and added in a pink and true blue for variety.

After I had finished stamping my panel (truly, the longest part of the whole card process), I stamped my greeting (from "Up the Happy") in Versamark ink onto a scrap of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum. I heat embossed that with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder. When it had cooled, I die cut it with a scalloped circle die. I ran that piece through my Xyron Sticker Maker to apply an even coat of adhesive to the back, and then adhered it to my panel.

For the mat, I decided I wanted it to be the same gold as the greeting. So I got an A2-size piece of white cardstock, & smooshed my Versamark ink pad along all the sides. I heat embossed with gold, but didn't get a good enough coverage. So I ended up repeating the process, which gave me much better & smoother results. Because that panel was warped from all the heat I'd applied, I used Scor Tape to adhere it to my white card base. I also used Scor Tape to adhere my stamped panel, since I felt it would stick to the heat embossed mat better. Finally, I set my card under a couple of books to flatten it out further.

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

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #210: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Pile It On Challenge #143: "Holidays and/or Layers" (used layers on my card)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

With Sympathy

The theme for the current challenge at Aud Sentiments is "Anything Goes, with a Sentiment." My mom had asked me if I had any sympathy cards she could use for a friend whose husband just passed away. I checked my stash, and was out of those, so I made this one for her. I used Sketch #SC607 from as the basis of my design.

I pulled out an OLD 6x6" patterned paper pad from Prima, "Botanical." I have had this forever, and have almost all the papers in it still! I decided for this card I wanted to go for a vintage, kind of shabby-chic look, so that paper is perfect.

I chose 4 patterns from the pad for my card. I cut the burgundy one to 4.25x5.5", and adhered it to my A2-size white card base. I also cut the other papers to the sizes I'd measured out in the sketch. I inked the edges of all but the greeting panel with Vintage Photo Distress ink, mostly to help them stand out against each other, since the color values of each were pretty similar. I adhered the 3 panels to the background, and went to work on my greeting.

I used Avery Elle's "With Sympathy" die set for my greeting. The "sympathy" word is a bit longer than the panel measurement in the sketch, so I purposely cut that panel a little longer than I needed, figuring I could trim it down after I finished the greeting. I cut another scrap of the same pattern I used for the background of the greeting, and inked it with Vintage Photo. I intended to have some of the pattern show through the ink, but I guess I got a little too heavy-handed, because the ink covered basically everything. I backed the paper with Stick It adhesive, and die cut the greeting from that.

I positioned the greeting on the panel, and positioned the "with" so the tail of the "h" overlapped the swoosh from the "t" in "sympathy." I just felt that tied it together design-wise. I trimmed the panel down, and inked the edges with Vintage Photo. I adhered that in place, and then adhered the small burgundy strip below it. I hope this card will bring comfort to my mom's friend.

I am also entering this card in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create Challenge #210: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Happy Birthday Bouquet

This month's challenge theme at Die Cut Divas has been "April Showers Bring May Flowers." I created this birthday card for my stash with that theme in mind. For my design inspiration, I used Sketch #SC639 from

I stamped Taylored Expressions' "Wildflower Bouquet" onto a scrap of Canson XL Mixed Media paper with Memento Toffee Crunch ink. I wanted a slightly softer look, so I went with a light brown instead of black. I left the stamp in my MISTI stamp positioner, so I could overstamp after I had finished coloring.

I colored the image with my Prismacolor colored pencils, using Gamsol on paper blending stumps to blend the colors. I basically used 2 shades per color, except for the yellow, brown, & the blue for the water. After I had finished coloring, I put the panel back into my MISTI, and stamped again with Toffee Crunch. The colored pencils cause a waxy buildup on the paper, which fades some of the stamp lines. By restamping, I was able to solidify the lines like I wanted, though they are still lighter. After that, I die cut it with the coordinating die.

For the greeting, I used Altenew's "Birthday Builder" stamp set. I stamped the coordinating "happy" & "birthday" from the set in Toffee Crunch onto a strip of teal cardstock. Then I cut that into a banner, and laid it aside with my image while I worked on the rest of the card.

I die cut two flower pieces from 140 lb. watercolor paper, using a Spellbinders "Blooms One" die (discontinued). I die cut leaves & another flower with dies from Our Daily Bread Designs' "Bitty Blossoms" set. I smooshed Fired Brick & Seedless Preserves Distress inks onto a non-stick craft mat, spritzed them with water, & pressed my flower pieces into the puddles of ink. I used Crushed Olive & Peeled Paint Distress inks in the same manner for the leaves. As they were drying, I used a water brush to pick up some of the Peeled Paint, and applied it to the base of the leaves to add shading. Then I set the pieces aside to dry.

I cut my patterned paper pieces according to the sketch. The floral pattern is from Basic Grey's "Hey Girl" 6x6" paper pad; and the red stripe is from My Mind's Eye's "Unforgettable" 6x6" pad, from their Collectables (sic) line. I matted the floral panel with a 4.25x5.5" piece of pale yellow cardstock, adhered the red strip, & layered a panel of green cardstock on top. Then I glued my focal image & the greeting strip in place.

By then my die cut flowers & leaves had dried. I layered the 2 larger flower pieces, slightly offset to provide a fuller bloom. I glued that and the other flower in place, and tucked 2 leaves under each. Finally, I added a clear gem to the center of each flower, and adhered my card front to a white A2 card base.

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

Monday, May 28, 2018

Happy Birdday

I decided to do one more card for the Dies R Us Challenge #97, "Birds." I used a new-to-me Hero Arts set, "Better Together," along with some Essentials by Ellen stamps & dies. The sketch for the May challenge at Live Love Cards inspired my design.

I stamped 2 of the birds & the branch from "Better Together" in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto scraps of 140 lb. watercolor paper. After clear heat embossing them, I watercolored them with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up the color from the pencil & apply it to the paper. When they were dry, I die cut them with the coordinating dies.

Since this is a birthday card, of course I needed some birthday-themed accessories. I stamped, watercolored, and die cut the present & cupcake from "Bear Ware," & one of the balloons from "Wish Big." (Both are Essentials by Ellen sets.)

For the middle strip, I used Ranger alcohol inks on Yupo paper. I stuck mainly to green, blue, & yellow for my color palette. I had initially included a light pink, but it ended up getting just a bit too muddy, so I had to wipe down my paper and start over. Thankfully, Yupo is very forgiving that way!

I die cut an oval from Strathmore Mixed Media paper with a Lawn Fawn "Large Stitched Oval" die. I inked that with Tumbled Glass Distress ink, spritzed it with water from a Distress Sprayer, let that sit for a few seconds, & blotted it with a dry cloth. That took up a little too much of the ink, so I repeated the process once more, which gave me the results I wanted. I dried it with my heat tool, & glued the birds & branch in place. I thought it needed a little something more, so I stamped the music notes from "Better Together" around the birds with Memento London Fog ink.

One of the greetings in Hero Arts' "Missing You" stamp set (discontinued) says "Happy Birdday." Unfortunately, the words are stacked, & I wanted them all on one line. They are too close together to cut apart or mask easily, so I nixed the idea of using that stamp. Instead, I spelled out the same greeting with Lawn Fawn's "Claire's ABCs." I stamped & heat embossed that onto a piece of pink cardstock, and cut it into a banner.

To assemble my card, I cut a 1x5.5" wide strip from my alcohol ink background. (It was originally 5x7".) I adhered that in the center of a panel of yellow cardstock. I glued my presents & cupcake in the lower right corner. I used the balloons to help me decide where to place my oval, and then adhered that in place.

I glued the pink & mint balloons in place, leaving the bottoms unglued. I poked a hole through the background, behind the bottom of each balloon, and threaded through 2 plies of black embroidery floss. After I taped the ends of the floss to the back of my panel, I pierced another hole below the branch, threaded the other ends of the floss through that, and taped them on the back. I glued down my third balloon, and repeated the process to add the string. Finally, I tied a knot in the leftover floss, trimmed the ends, and glued it over the strings on the top of the branch, to make it look like the balloons are tied to the branch. I glued my greeting banner below the oval, added some clear Wink of Stella glitter to each balloon, and adhered my panel to a white A2-size card base.

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

A Blog Named Hero: "Watercolor"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Thinking of You

The challenge theme for Challenge #97 at Dies R Us is "Birds." I created this card, featuring the owls from Hero Arts' "Li'l Hoot" stamp set, to send to Lea Lawson for the Layton's Legacy card drive. Lea is collecting handmade cards to give to parents in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at her local hospital. This card by Debby Hughes inspired the mountain background for mine.

I began by stamping the owls onto a scrap of 140 lb. watercolor paper with Versafine Onyx Black ink. I heat embossed with clear powder, and used my Mijello Mission Gold watercolors to paint them. After I fussy cut the image, I set that aside.

For the mountains, I actually used one of the Spellbinders "Pennants Mega" triangle dies (discontinued) to die cut 9 of them from Canson XL Mixed Media paper. I inked the triangles with Hickory Smoke Distress ink, and used Pumice Stone Distress ink to shade along the edges. I used the same die to cut pieces for the snow caps (also from mixed media paper), and cut along the bottom edge of each with a pair of decorative-edge scissors. I used liquid glue to adhere the snow caps to the tops of the mountains.

I cut another piece of mixed media paper to 4.25x5.5" for my background. I die cut a mask from masking paper with a We R Memory Keepers "Nesting Circles" die, and tore a piece of delicate surface Frog Tape to serve as a mask between the land & sky. I applied the upper tape mask to my panel, and inked below it with Hickory Smoke, to create the appearance of even more mountains in the distance.

After I had finished, I applied the other (bottom) side of the tape mask, making sure to match up with the curves of the first piece. I removed my top mask, and applied the negative portion of my circle mask to my panel. I inked the moon with Scattered Straw Distress ink. I dried that with my heat tool, applied the positive mask over the moon, and removed the negative mask. Finally, I inked the sky with Faded Jeans, Blueprint Sketch, Chipped Sapphire, & a little Black Soot ink around the edges. I used the "Falling Stars" stencil from Simon Says Stamp and Distress Grit-Paste to stencil the stars. I carefully removed the stencil & masks, and let the paste dry thoroughly.

After I glued my mountains & owls in place, I used a greeting I'd die cut with the Sizzix/Tim Holtz "Celebration Words Script" set. I applied glue to the back of each die cut, and adhered them in place over the mountains. I even managed to keep the tittles for the 2 "i" letters, and glued them in place as well. I adhered my panel to a white A2 card base, and this card was done!

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

A Blog Named Hero: "Watercolor"
613 Avenue Create #209: "Anything Goes" (not playing the optional twist)

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

50th Anniversary Card

A couple my mom is friends with is celebrating their golden wedding anniversary this weekend. So of course, she asked me to make a card for them, which I gladly agreed to do. I did a search on Pinterest for 50th anniversary cards, and found this one that I used as my inspiration. I have the Stampin' Up owl punch, and their "Woodland Textures" embossing folder already, and the rest I made up/figured out as I went along.

I began with the owls. I punched all the pieces, and punched an extra chest piece for the man owl from black to cut into a vest, as in the inspiration card. I also cut a couple of beaks from yellow-orange cardstock. It's always bothered me that the punch does not include a separate beak piece, because I don't like leaving the beak area the same color as the body. So I had to cut my own, which took a few tries to get the size right, but I prevailed! :) After I had all the pieces cut/punched, I assembled the owls. I also added "buttons" to the vest with a white gel pen.

For the skirt on the lady owl's dress, I used a Martha Stewart "Vintage Floral" border punch. After I punched a piece of white cardstock, I cut it into a strip and pleated the upper edge. I had more trouble with that than any other part of the card. I finally got everything glued together to make it look like a ruffled skirt, but the "waistband" looked hideous to me. I looked again at the sample card, & noticed a bow at the owl's waist, so I tied a double bow with 1/8" wide blue satin ribbon. I glued it to the owl over the pleats, let the glue dry, and further tacked it down with a small stitch through the back of the knot and the owl. I didn't want that bow to go anywhere! I think it covers the (ugly) pleats quite well. :)

I created the greeting in Photoshop, and printed it on a strip of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper with my laser printer. I ran that through my Mini Minc machine, with Heidi Swapp Gold foil. For the numbers, I initially was going to print them on the back of my cardstock, and fussy cut them. I did try that, but it was horrible, so I instead used my old Fiskars shape cutter & their "Letters-1" to cut them from gold mirror cardstock & black. I ran the numbers through my Xyron Sticker Maker, and adhered the gold over the black, offsetting to give a shadow.

To create the background, I cut a panel of Canson XL Mixed Media paper to 4.25x5.5". I inked up one side of my embossing folder with Broken China Distress Oxide ink, being careful not to ink up along the bottom "ground." I spritzed my paper lightly with water, and ran it through my die cutting machine with the inked folder. Much to my surprise, it came out pretty well, with the ink mostly just where I wanted it! I did have to go over several spots on the trees with a white gel pen where the ink had "leaked," but overall not too bad. I used Mowed Lawn Distress ink and a water brush to paint the ground area to look like grass.

Finally, it was time to assemble my card. I adhered the numbers in place, and glued down the owls. I backed the greeting strip with a narrow black mat, to create a visual triangle among that, the black number shadows, and the black vest, and adhered it to my background. I mounted the panel to a white A2 card base, and this card is done! My mom really liked it, and hopefully the happy couple will, too!

I'm entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's Challenge #208: "Anything Goes."

Monday, April 30, 2018

Floral Mother's Day Card

The theme for a2zScrapbooking's April challenge is "Flower Power." It's been quite a while since I've entered one of their challenges, but I decided to have a go at this one. I don't have too many Hero Arts floral stamps, but I did purchase the "Color Layering Hibiscus" set some months ago, and figured I'd use that to make a Mother's Day card for my brother & sister-in-law to give to our mom.

I found this card by Sandy Hancock through Pinterest, and thought it looked like an interesting interactive card. I began by creating the panel of patterned paper for the card front. I didn't feel like taking a lot of time to dig through my--ahem--extensive patterned paper collection for one that would work with the hibiscus flowers. So I figured I'd create my own. I used one of the leaf images from "Color Layering Hibiscus" and Memento Pistachio ink to stamp all over a panel of white cardstock. When I finished, I decided I should have done it on a green cardstock, for a tone-on-tone look. But I wasn't about to start over, so I just used some Shabby Shutters Distress ink on a mini ink blending tool and inked the whole panel. I was careful to use a VERY light hand, to avoid the dreaded foam blotch marks! I honestly think it came out quite well. :)

For the hibiscus flowers themselves, I asked my mom what her 3 favorite colors are. She came back with red, yellow, & blue, or substitute green for blue. So I decided to make red & yellow hibiscus, since I have never seen them in blue. I used Memento Dandelion, Cantaloupe, Hero Arts Butter Bar, and Altenew Ruby Red (for the center) inks for the yellow flowers. For the red, I started with Hero Arts Pale Tomato, then added Memento Lady Bug & Altenew Ruby Red. I initially stamped the center for those with Hero Arts Red Royal ink, but it ended up blending in too much. So I just restamped over the centers with Hero Arts Raspberry Jam. For the leaves, I used Hero Arts Green Hills & Memento Cottage Ivy. Finally, I die cut them with the coordinating dies.

I assembled the card as per the instructions in the tutorial Sandy provided. They seemed difficult to follow at first, but when I was actually making the card while reading them, it wasn't too hard. I didn't have a suitable 2" circle punch like she used, so I used a 2" We R Memory Keepers "Nesting Circles" die instead to cut all the circles.

I didn't have suitable stamps for the greetings, so I found a greeting online for the card front. I created a blank, 2" square canvas in Photoshop, and used the elliptical shape tool to draw a circle. I ended up making the circle a little smaller than my canvas, just to make sure my greetings would show through the die cut windows on my card. I typed the greeting, as well as another one saying just "Happy Mother's Day," in the circles, making the letters green to complement my custom-stamped patterned paper. I printed just the greetings (not the background circles) on a piece of white cardstock that I'd cut to 3.5x5".

View of the card when it's open

I cut the greetings apart, and positioned them behind the window openings. It was not the easiest thing to get them adhered to the back flaps of the card, but I managed! After I adhered them, I glued my flowers & leaves on to the card front, slightly overlapping the circle opening. I didn't like how easy it was for the card to unfold the "wrong" way, so the whole thing opened. It took some doing, and some experimentation, but I finally was able to "close" it to a degree with 2 very thin strips of foam tape along part of the top & bottom of the base. I had also cut about a 1/4" piece from the top & bottom of the narrower greeting piece, so it would slide between the foam tape strips. It is still a little difficult to get it to open, but it does, and I'm happy with it! Hopefully, our mom will love it too.

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

613 Avenue Create #208: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
A Blog Named Hero: "Put a Flower on It"