Tuesday, July 9, 2019


I've been working on cards to donate to The Birthday Party Project, which throws birthday parties for children who are homeless. This one started out life a bit differently and then went sideways, but I was able to fix things--whew! The sketch & triangle motif for the current Fusion Challenge inspired my design.
With this being a birthday card for a child, I went with kind of a rainbow color scheme. I die cut my pennants with a Spellbinders "Pennants Mega" die (discontinued), and stamped them with textures from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Texture Tiles 3" set. I white heat embossed those, and then inked over the pennants with Seedless Preserves, Carved Pumpkin, Mustard Seed, Lucky Clover, & Peacock Feathers Distress inks.

I used a "paint splatter" type stamp to stamp a panel of white cardstock with those same colors of Distress Oxide inks, lining up the colors with where the pennants would go. That's when things got messy. I just went way overboard on the stamping, and hated the result. Of course, my reaction happened AFTER I had glued down the pennants, and the glue had dried! I felt the pennants got lost on the card now. So I decided to try stitching with a metallic floss on each pennant. That helped, but not enough. I tried adding a black strip along the side--still not good. In a last-ditch effort, I tried softly inking over the stamping with the corresponding Distress ink colors--that made things even worse.

I ended up using a pair of scissors to cut the pennants out from the panel, since I still liked those. I angled the scissor blades so I could cut away the background cardstock along the edge of each pennant. When I'd freed them, I then had to decide what to do! I found a piece of patterned paper from Jillibean Soup's "Saffron Yellow Pepper Soup" 6x6" pad that looked perfect. So I cut that to A2 size, adhered it to a card base, and glued my pennants down. Perfect! I stamped a greeting from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Birthday Bash" (discontinued) in Seedless Preserves Distress Oxide ink. I was glad I used my MISTI for that, because it took a few times to get a good solid coverage. Finally, this card looked good!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Let It Snow

I must admit, even though I know I should start making my holiday cards earlier to avoid rushing in November & December, I generally just don't feel like doing that in spring or summer! But I decided it's time to "bite the bullet" & get started on them now. The current "Pop Up" technique challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown inspired me to make this card.

I found this card I'd saved to one of my Pinterest boards, and figured it would be perfect to CASE for this challenge. The blog is in German, but between the photos and Google translate, I was able to figure out how to make the pop up mechanism. The measurements for the pop up pieces are in centimeters in the post, but thankfully my trimmer has those marked as well as inches, so I was able to cut my pop up base piece accurately.

For the front, I stamped the image from Our Daily Bread Designs' (now Divinity Designs) "Let It Snow" set onto a piece of tan cardstock, with Lawn Fawn's Walnut ink. I wanted kind of a vintage feel, hence the color scheme. I die cut that with the largest of the Poppystamps "Pinpoint Main Street Tags." I inked the perimeter of the tag with Aged Mahogany Distress ink, again to give it a vintage vibe. I cut the hole reinforcement piece with a die from Waffle Flower's "Watercolor Swatch" set (apparently discontinued) from the same tan cardstock, and inked it with Aged Mahogany. After I glued that to the tag & let it dry, I punched the hole with a 1/4" hole punch. I threaded through a scrap of ribbon I've had in my stash forever, & tied it in a hitch knot.

I stamped the greeting, also from "Let It Snow," in Walnut ink onto the same tan cardstock. I die cut it with a smaller tag die, pierced a hole in the top, & threaded through some twine I'd died green. (That was also a scrap I've had on my desk for a long time.) I tied the twine in a bow through the hitch knot. I die cut a panel with a "Wrapped Stitch Rectangles" die from Memory Box, and glued my image tag to that. Finally, I adhered my greeting tag with foam tape.

Inside pop up feature
I cut the inside pop up from green cardstock, 18 cm square. I folded it like the diagram on the blog post, using my Teflon bone folder to burnish the folds. I measured for the patterned paper squares, and cut them from papers I had in my scrap stash. I cut those into triangles, inked the edges with Aged Mahogany, and glued them in place. I cut 2 more squares of tan cardstock, and stamped them with My Favorite Things' "Denim Background" (discontinued) in Altenew Vanilla Cream ink, just to give a little visual texture. I also stamped the mistletoe from Hero Arts' "Vintage Christmas Post" in the corner of one of the squares.

After marking the center point of my card base, I used liquid glue to adhere the pop up to the inside. I glued down one panel at a time, to make sure my card would still open & close. I closed the card, & trimmed off the parts of the pop up that hung out the sides.

I created the greeting in Photoshop, and printed it onto one of the tan squares at an angle. Finally, I inked that & the other square with Aged Mahogany, and glued them to the pop up. I really like how this card turned out. It has a lot of steps, but really is not hard to make.

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

613 Avenue Create #222: "Anything Goes w/Optional Twist: More than One Fold" (playing the twist)
Dies R Us #124: "Anything Goes with Dies by Companies Carried by the DRU Store" (used Memory Box & Poppystamps dies)

Friday, June 28, 2019

A LegenDairy Birthday Card

My aunt's birthday is next week, so I "had" to make her a card. ;) I wish I could take credit for the greeting, but honestly I was inspired by this card by Eloise Blue that I saw on Pinterest.

For the bowl, I downloaded a graphic from Pixabay.com. They have a ton of free images! Unfortunately, when I opened the file in Photoshop, I discovered that the artist had apparently used a soft-edged (digital) brush to draw it, since the edges of the lines were kind of fuzzy. Not at all what I was going for! But I was able to use it as a guide of sorts, and drew my own ovals with the Ellipse tool in Photoshop. I drew a rectangle for the base of the bowl, and used the Warp tool on both that and the base oval of the bowl to get the shapes I wanted. Finally, I erased the top of the vertical oval (that forms the body of the bowl), and that much was done! :) I printed the image onto a scrap of patterned paper, & fussy cut around the edges. For the inside, I cut that part off from the patterned paper bowl and used it as a template. I traced around it onto a scrap of Bazzill Marshmallow cardstock, cut it out, & "painted" around the perimeter of that & the bowl with a black marker, to conceal the paper's white core. I adhered it to the bottom part of the bowl with a strip of scrap cardstock I stuck to the back of both pieces.

I used Hero Arts' "Color Layering Ice Cream" stamp set for the ice cream scoops. I stamped the strawberry with Lawn Fawn Ballet Slippers ink for the base & Hero Arts Bubble Gum for the detail layer. For the vanilla, I stamped multiple times with Hero Arts Pale Peach, and used Altenew Vanilla Cream for the detail. I used Hero Arts Cup o' Joe ink for the chocolate, with Memento Rich Cocoa on top. For the cherry, I used Memento Love Letter for the bottom & Memento Rhubarb Stalk for the stem. Finally, I die cut the images with the coordinating dies.

I die cut the greeting using My Favorite Things' "Little Letters" & "Little Lowercase Letters." Pulling from the ice cream colors, I used pink for the first line, brown for the third, & I split the second line between off-white and red shimmer papers. I used the red to accent the punny spelling of "legendairy." I backed each scrap of cardstock with Stick It adhesive before die cutting the letters, to make it easier to adhere them when it came time.

I felt the background needed a bit of interest, but nothing that would overwhelm the image & greeting. So I pulled out my Colorbox "Swirl Dot" stencil & inked through it with Tumbled Glass Distress ink for a tone-on-tone effect.

To place the die cut letters, I marked horizontal lines for each part of the greeting lightly in pencil. I also marked the center point on each line. I lightly tacked down my letters, enough so they wouldn't move but not so much that they were permanently adhered. I worked one line at a time, and when everything on one line was where I wanted it, I moved on to the next. When I had positioned all the letters, I burnished them with my teflon bone folder to secure them firmly. Finally, I glued down my bowl of ice cream and adhered my panel to a white card base. It took me quite a bit of time, especially since I had to draw the bowl in Photoshop myself rather than use the one I'd downloaded, but it was all a labor of love! :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Get Well Wishes

I found myself in need of a get well card for a friend. I made this one, inspired by My Favorite Things' current Wednesday Sketch challenge.

I stamped my image ("Warm Cup" from Stampendous) onto a scrap of 140 lb. watercolor paper with Versafine Clair Morning Mist ink. I die cut it with a "Nesting Circles" die from We R Memory Keepers. I used my watercolors to paint the cup and a bit of brown underneath, and my Inktense pencils to paint the mouse itself. I used a damp paintbrush to pull color off the pencils and then applied it to the paper.

For the patterned paper, I chose a sheet from The Paper Studio's "Peaceful Meadows" mat stack. I cut it to 5-3/8" wide, and positioned one of the "Stitched Scallop Basic Edges" dies from My Favorite Things centered at the top of the panel. After I die cut that, I trimmed about 3/8" off the bottom edge of the panel, so it would line up with the bottom of my mint green mat and still let some of the green peek out at the top.

I cut a 3/4" strip of yellow cardstock, and ran it through my die cutting machine with a My Favorite Things "Basic Stitch Lines" die. I used the die on both long sides to add some faux cross stitching. The strip was actually a bit too short to span the width of my patterned paper panel, so I just cut it in two and hid the gap behind the focal element.

 The white focal circle blended into the background a bit too much, so I inked around the perimeter with Tumbled Glass Distress ink. I went over it a few times to deepen the color. This added just enough definition without overwhelming the image.

I pulled a greeting from My Favorite Things' "Get Well Wishes" stamp set (discontinued). I stamped that with Morning Mist ink onto a scrap of pink cardstock, then cut that into a narrow banner. I assembled my layers, and added the greeting strip over the image with foam tape.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Let's Party Animals

I'm currently making cards to send to The Birthday Party Project, which throws birthday parties for homeless children. I created this one, inspired by the photo at the current Fusion challenge, and to some extent the sketch as well.
I chose Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Birthday Pals" stamp set (discontinued) first. I used the frog, turtle, party hat, & one of the greetings from this set. Of course, what is a party without banners? I used one of the stamps from an older SNSS set, "Borders and Backgrounds," (also discontinued) for those.

I wanted to make this a one-layer card, so I first stamped & cut masks for the animals & party hat. I cut a 4.25x5.5" panel of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper for my card front, & laid out my masks to help me with placing my stamps. Since the hat is the foremost image, I needed to stamp that first. I put the panel in my MISTI, lined up the hat stamp with its mask, picked the stamp up with the MISTI door, removed the hat & frog masks, & stamped the hat in Versafine Onyx Black ink. I then masked the hat & stamped the frog in the same manner, and finally masked the frog and stamped the turtle.

I masked the hat again & stamped one of the banners with the border stamp I chose. I sketched in the line along the top with a pencil, then went over it with a waterproof pen. I cut a mask for the banner out of a full-sticky Post It note, masked that, & stamped the second banner. I drew the top line the same way as I had the first, making sure not to draw over the first banner. Finally I removed all my masks to color.

I used my Tombow markers to color my images. To create shading, I added the color along the darkest parts of each image, then spread it out with a damp paintbrush. I didn't bother shading the hat much, since it is such a small image. I colored the banners in rainbow colors, inspired by the photo in the Fusion challenge graphic.

My intent had been to follow the Fusion sketch, making the tower of animals & hat the center part. But, the more I looked at the card, the more I thought it now needed a scene. So I drew 2 parallel lines for the edge of the floor & top of some baseboard, and colored them with my markers. For the floor, since I was making it carpeted, I just scribbled color onto the paper, and spread it out more evenly with my paintbrush. For the wallpaper, I used my T-square ruler to measure & draw the stripes with a light pink marker. I then colored in the wider sections with the same marker.

I now didn't have a "logical" place to put a greeting, so I decided to make a sign for the frog to hold. I stamped the "Let's Party" in Wilted Violet Distress Oxide ink onto a scrap of teal cardstock, & cut it into a small banner. I cut a 1/8" wide strip of bristol paper and colored it with a pale tan marker. I used my craft knife to cut slits around the frog's arm, and slid the bristol paper "pole" into the slits. I glued the banner sign onto the pole, and squirted a little liquid glue under the ends of the pole to keep it in place. I adhered the panel to a white card base, and that finished this card. I do love the way this came out, even if it went a little sideways from my original design idea! :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Two Birthday Cards

The current challenge theme at the Dies R Us blog is "Kids." I created 2 kid-friendly birthday cards to send to The Birthday Project, which throws birthday parties for homeless children.

The design for my first card is based on the Stella Says Sketch Challenge #711 at Catch the Bug Challenge blog. I cut the pieces for my background first using patterned papers from Doodlebug Design's "Hello Sunshine" 6x6" paper pad (chevron) & Echo Park's "Happy Birthday" 6x6" pad (yellow stars). I also die cut a strip of green cardstock with one of the "Stitched Borders 3" by Pretty Pink Posh.

I adhered the die cut strip & chevron piece to a scrap piece of cardstock, just so I could work with them as one unit before adhering them to my card base. I glued on 3 buttons, bridging both papers, and let the glue dry. Then I poked holes into the paper through the buttonholes, threaded yellow baker's twine through, and tied tiny bows. Finally, I trimmed off the excess twine, and added some liquid glue to the knots of all the bows to keep them from coming untied.

I printed my greeting (from Bugaboo's "Bird Greetings: Sweet Birdday" digital set) onto the yellow patterned paper. I also sized & printed Bugaboo's "Birthday Bird 01" image onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. After I die cut that with a Simon Says Stamp "Stitched Circles" die, I colored the image with my Inktense pencils and a damp paintbrush. I adhered my background panels in place on my card base, and then glued the focal image down.

The inspiration for my second card came from this one I found at Splitcoaststampers. I liked the grungy look and the greeting strips, and figured this would be perfect for a teen/tween boy.

I used the "Dot Fade" & "Stars" layering stencils by Tim Holtz on a panel of navy cardstock. I did the stars first with Fossilized Amber Distress Oxide ink, then went over the panel/design with the dots stencil, using Broken China Oxide ink.

I die cut several stars from silver holographic stars cardstock, using the "Nesting Stars" from Lifestyle Crafts (discontinued). I typed each greeting on a blank "canvas" in Photoshop with the Courier New Bold font, then printed them all on different colored strips of cardstock. I adhered one end of each strip under the largest star die cut, and cut the other ends off at an angle. Finally, I glued the star in place, letting the strips stick out without adhering them to the panel.

I glued the rest of the stars down, going from the large star up and to the right diagonally. I also added in some silver star brads from my stash. I finished with a small star at the top of the panel, and cut off the excess. Finally, I adhered my panel to a white A2 card base.

I'm also entering my cards in the Die Cut Divas Challenge: "Celebrate the Birthdays."

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Butterfly Birthday

The current challenge theme at A Blog Named Hero is "Celebrate." I created this birthday card with mostly older supplies by Hero Arts.

I began with the butterfly, from the "Winged Friends" digi set. First, I created a blank A2-size "canvas" in Photoshop, then added a rectangle to the middle that I drew the size I wanted it on my final card. I used this as just a full-size sketch. I opened one of the butterfly images, and dragged it onto my sketch. I sized & rotated it to fit the space, then copied it to a new canvas. I added a teal-to-transparent gradient layer, and clipped that to the butterfly image to color it. (The woman I'm sending this to loves pool colors, so that guided my color choices.) Finally, I printed the butterfly onto a piece of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum, & fussy cut it out.

For the main panel on my card, I chose 2 "Rounded Rectangle Infinity" dies from Hero Arts. Before die cutting, I stamped the Hero Arts "Spice Market Large Petal Background" (discontinued) in Hero Arts Soft Pool ink onto white cardstock. I positioned the larger die over that, and cut it out. Then I taped my 2 dies together to create a frame, and die cut a piece of white cardstock that I'd colored with Soft Pool ink, applied direct-to-paper. I also die cut a piece of craft foam with the dies still together, so I could pop up the frame. I used Ranger Multi Medium Matte to glue the cardstock frame to the foam, and set that aside to dry.

I adhered the main stamped panel to a white A2 card base, then glued the frame on top. To adhere the butterfly, I used a combination of Zots Bling glue dots and tiny pieces of Kool Tak clear dimensional adhesive. I positioned a few glue dots to the back of the butterfly where it would overlap the frame, hiding them under the printed areas. I used 2 pieces of the Kool Tak, again hiding it under the printed sections of the butterfly, so it would be supported inside the frame.

I used a greeting from Hero Arts' "Happy Birthday" stamp set (discontinued). I stamped it onto a scrap of white cardstock with Soft Pool ink, then cut that into a narrow banner. I cut another slightly wider banner from the pool-colored cardstock scrap left over from my frame, and glued them together. I added a layer of craft foam to the back of most of the banner, and used liquid glue to adhere the left end directly to the frame.

To finish my card, I used some 5mm & 8mm Crystal sequins from Darice. I added them with Multi Medium Matte, going from the butterfly to the upper left corner, inside the framed area. I even cut a couple of sequins to tuck them against the banner & frame, to make it look like they went underneath so they would be further grounded. I added one small sequin to the left end of the greeting banner, & that finished this card.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Sending Hedge Hugs

The current challenge at the Fusion Challenge blog includes a picture of a (toy) hedgehog on a motor scooter. I wanted to make an encouragement card for a woman I know, and found The Stamps of Life's "Hedgehog 2" stamp set in my stash. I have used this set before, but not for quite some time. So I decided to get it out again and put it to good use!

Fusion Challenge inspiration graphic
I wanted to use my Tombow markers for some no-line coloring on the image. After some deliberating as to what ink to use for stamping, I finally decided to color directly on the stamp, then do a bit of "faux" watercoloring with a damp paintbrush. I set up the stamp in my MISTI stamp positioning tool, using a "Pinpoint Main Street Tags" die from Poppystamps (apparently discontinued) to determine where to place it on my bristol paper. I colored the body with a light tan marker and stamped. I didn't get quite the look I wanted, so I colored it again with a slightly darker marker and stamped again. Then I used my paintbrush to blend out the color. I also scribbled some color onto an acrylic block and picked that up with my brush to fill in the image a little more.

For the quills, I used a dark warm grey marker on my stamp. After I stamped the first time, I blended out the color with my brush. I then stamped again with a lighter warm grey marker to add some more definition to the quills. I used that same marker for the mouth, and lightened it with my damp brush. I added a little pink to the cheek & inside of the ear by picking up the ink from my stamp block with my brush. I used black marker to stamp the eye and nose. I didn't like how light they were, so after the paper dried, I went over them with a black glaze pen. When that ink had dried, I added highlights & freckles to the cheek with a white gel pen.

I wanted to "ground" my hedgehog, so I die cut a scrap of green cardstock with my tag die. Since I needed such a small amount, I just lined up the bottom 1" or so of the die on the cardstock. Then I die cut it with a "Grassy Fields" die from My Favorite Things. That way, I had the grassy border, and also the pierced detail from the tag around the edges. After I die cut my main tag from the bristol panel, I adhered the grass in place. I made sure not to "bury" the hedgehog too much with it, though! :)

I placed the tag back into my MISTI, and stamped the greeting (from the same set) with Lawn Fawn's Hippo ink. I felt that went well with the warm greys I'd used on the hedgehog. I also die cut a tag reinforcer hole from the same green cardstock with a die from Mama Elephant's "Tags a Lot" set, since the Poppystamps set doesn't have such a die. I glued that to the top of the tag, let the glue dry, then used a 1/8" hole punch to punch the center.

I wanted a bit of interest in the background, but not so much that it would detract from my tag. I looked through my embossing folder swatch tags, and came across Taylored Expressions' "Cross Stitch" folder. I figured the "X's" would reinforce the concept of "hugs," so I embossed a piece of blue cardstock I'd cut to 4x5.25". I matted that with pink cardstock that I'd adhered to my white A2-size card base.

For the fibers through the hole, I wanted to mimic the quills in the image. So I found 2 different shades of grey embroidery floss. I cut a piece of each about 18" long, and separated them into their individual plies. I put all the plies together, and then folded the floss into fourths. I threaded the one end of the bunch through the hole in the tag, and looped the other end through it and around the tag. I glued my tag to the card with liquid glue, & added a dollop of glue to hold the floss in place. I trimmed off the excess floss, and that finished this card! I love how it came out, and hopefully the recipient will, too.

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

Dies R Us #121: "Tags"
613 Avenue Create #221: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Never Stop Dreaming

A student my mom tutored for a while is graduating from high school this week. Since he sent her an invitation, a gift is in order. :) As money is always apropos for a graduate headed to college, I made him this card, with a pocket inside to hold a check.

My inspiration for the front design came from this card I saw on Pinterest. I have the same WPlus9 "Dream Believer" stamp set (apparently discontinued), and I liked the somewhat grungy look of the stenciling.

I used The Crafters Workshop "Mini Navajo" stencil and Stormy Sky Distress ink for the background. I actually had to do it 2 times before I got it like I wanted it. Thank heavens there are 2 sides to a sheet of paper! After I finished that, I set the panel up in my MISTI stamp positioning tool. I first stamped the ring for the dreamcatcher with Delicata Golden Glitz ink. I stamped it a few times, just to get a good coverage over the background stenciling. I used dark green & tan inks for the inner pieces, but really didn't like the colors in the end. So I started over from scratch--thankful that I hadn't gone very far! After I did the stenciling--for a third time--I restamped the ring with Golden Glitz. This time I stamped the inner pieces with Hero Arts Cornflower & Chipped Sapphire Distress Oxide inks. His high school colors are blue & gold, so this palette is more fitting anyway.

For the feathers, I used Golden Glitz to stamp the hanging pieces, then Cornflower for the feathers themselves. I ended up using blue acrylic paint to stamp the beads on the hanging pieces, since the inks I was using never gave adequate coverage over the gold. I stamped the detail layer on each feather with Golden Glitz. The inspiration card had silver glitter washi tape (or maybe cardstock) in the lower right corner. Since this card is for a guy, I didn't want that much shine. So I stamped 3 of the brushstroke images from My Favorite Things' "Abstract Art" set (discontinued), one right above the other and overlapping, then stamped a fourth stroke with Golden Glitz.

I used Chipped Sapphire Oxide ink for the greeting, nestling it in the curve of the dreamcatcher. I felt the front was too plain, and considered adding some splatters. But, since splatters can be rather unpredictable & I didn't want to mess up at this point, I got out a new favorite of mine, Nuvo Crystal Drops. I added drops in Navy Blue & Pale Gold in a diagonal path from the upper right to the lower left. I let that dry actually for more than 24 hours in the end, since it took me a couple of days to come back to the card.

Inside of the card
I used this template as a guide for the inside of my card. Because I was making my card 5.5" square, rather than 6x6" as in the template (so I can fit it in an A9 envelope), I had to modify the measurements a bit. That took quite a while and a LOT of math, but I was able to figure it out! :)

I die cut the numbers & letters from gold mirror cardstock, using Winnie & Walter's "Cary Numbers" & "Cary Letters." I had backed the cardstock scrap with Stick It adhesive before die cutting, so I just had to stick the numbers onto each block and burnish them. I cut a piece of Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. vellum to make a pocket. I temporarily taped it to the inside of my card, and poked holes for stitching. I hand-stitched along the 2 sides & bottom with gold thread to attach it to the cardstock. Then I adhered the letters, and burnished them in place.

I thought the area above the pocket was just too plain. I toyed around with stamping confetti in gold ink, but felt that would look better if it was "bursting" up from the pocket, Since I'd already stitched the pocket on, that wasn't an option. So I decided on balloons. I used my Ranger alcohol inks on a piece of Yupo paper to create a panel to die cut them from. I wanted to stick with warm blues, but didn't have any really light shades of ink. I messed with it for quite a while, adding ink, spritzing with 91% rubbing alcohol, squirting on alcohol ink blending solution.... I ended up with a piece that I wasn't overly happy with. But, having spent all that time, I didn't want to waste it, so I added leafing glue, let that dry until it was tacky, and stuck down gold Nuvo gilding flakes.

I die cut my balloons, using Lawn Fawn's "Party Balloons" set, from the best parts of the panel. I tied a piece of gold thread around the bottom of each, and glued the balloons in place with liquid glue. After the glue dried, I pulled the balloon strings together & tied them in a knot. I rolled up a glue dot, added it above the pocket, stuck the knot firmly in that, and added a little bit of powder to deactivate any adhesive that was still exposed. I trimmed off the tops of the balloons that were hanging over the edge of the card, and that finished it!

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Creative Knockouts #298: "Favorite Embellishment"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Stitches"
613 Avenue Create #221: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Canine Happy Mother's Day

My brother & sister-in-law's only "children" are their 2 dogs. He asked me to make a Mother's Day card from the dogs to her. I found this card on Pinterest, and liked the overall design of the paw print heart.

I created a blank canvas in Photoshop, sized to 5.75x5.75". After creating guides for 1/4" margins on all sides and adding a couple more horizontal guides where I wanted the text, I drew a heart with the custom shape tool. I initially planned to use this as a mask for the paw prints, but ended up making it just a guide to place them. I then drew a paw print, again using the custom shape tool, inside the heart. From there, I just copied that layer multiple times, resizing as needed, to fill the heart with paw prints. Finally, I turned the visibility of the heart layer off, so it wouldn't print in the end.

To make the paw prints rainbow-colored, I first merged all the paw print layers to make one layer. I then created a blank layer above it, and filled that with a rainbow gradient, going from the top left to the bottom right corners. I clipped the gradient layer to the paw print layer to create a mask, which colored only the paw prints.

I typed the first part of my greeting at the top of the panel. I sized it to fit, and colored the text by sampling the purple from the rainbow paw prints. I did the same for the rest of the greeting, this time making it blue.

I cut a piece of Bazzill Marshmallow cardstock to size, and printed the card front on it. I matted that with a 6x6" piece of navy cardstock, & adhered the card front to a white 6x6" card base. I love how this came out, even though it was rather time consuming copying & positioning all the paw prints! Hopefully my SIL will love it, too.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "For a Special Lady"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create #221: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Creative Knockouts #297: "Funny Card" (I think it's funny, anyway.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Sending Hugs

A friend of mine is going through a rough patch right now, so I made her this card, just to let her know I'm thinking about her. I got inspiration from this card I saw on Pinterest. I used Waffle Flower's "Lotus" stamp set for the images, and Altenew's "Painted Encouragement" for the greeting.

I started by stamping the leaf stem & the bloom with Versafine Onyx Black ink onto a panel of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper, then heat embossed with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder. I masked the stem, and stamped & heat embossed the leaf. Finally, I masked the leaf & flower, and stamped & heat embossed the last stem, as well as the greeting.

I used my Tombow markers to color the images, with the inspiration card as a guide for color selection. I blended the colors with a damp paintbrush.

I had stamped the greeting a little too far to the left, and the design was a bit unbalanced as a result. So I ended up cutting 1/4" off the right side & top, to make the panel 3.75x5". I matted it with dark green cardstock and trimmed it to leave a 1/16" border on all sides. Finally, I adhered it to a white A2-size card base. This card was super simple to make, and only took me about an hour! I considered adding splatters or something, since I just have a problem with leaving white space. But I didn't want to risk ruining the card, so I just left it alone.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Creative Knockouts #296: "Friendship"
613 Avenue Create #221: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Coolest Dad Ever!

The Sketch Challenge at Lawn Fawnatics inspired me to make this card. I am currently focusing on Father's Day cards to send to Send a Smile 4 Kids, so the kids who are inpatient at hospitals can give/send them to their dads.

I used a leftover circle of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to stamp my popsicles, from Lawn Fawn's "Best Pun Ever" stamp set (retired). I stamped the smaller popsicle with Versafine Clair Morning Mist ink, then heat embossed with clear powder. I masked that, stamped the larger popsicle with the same ink, and heat embossed it as well. Finally, I stamped & heat embossed the faces. The images ended up being a bit off-center, and I decided I wanted a smaller circle anyway. So I die cut it with a smaller die, centering the popsicles. I also used a scallop circle die to cut a mat from the middle of the panel I used for my background. After I colored my popsicles with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers & a damp paintbrush, I glued the bristol circle to my scalloped mat.

I cut a panel of plaid paper from Lawn Fawn's "Perfectly Plaid Chill" 12x12" pack. I used the orthogonal side of the "Vacay" pattern, since I knew I would be putting diagonal strips on, and didn't want those to compete with a diagonal plaid.

I cut 2 blue & 1 yellow 1/2"-wide strips of cardstock from scraps, pretty much matching the colors to the plaid paper. I made sure to cut them longer than I thought I'd need, since they were going on a diagonal & I didn't want to get caught with them being too short. I then adhered them to the plaid panel. I kind of wish I'd made them a bit narrower, since they took up a lot of real estate in the end, but I left it. I glued the focal circle on, stamped & die cut 3 stars from the blue cardstock & glued them in place.

I stamped the greeting, from "Best Pun Ever," onto a strip of yellow cardstock. Because it ended up touching the yellow diagonal strip and it blended in, I cut a narrow mat from blue and adhered the greeting strip to that. Finally, I popped that onto the card. I adhered my mint colored mat panel to a white A2 card base, then mounted my card front to that.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Pile It On #153: "Lots of Layers and/or Use Scraps" (used scraps for circle & strips)

Monday, April 29, 2019

Mother's Day Butterflies

Mother's Day here in the U.S. is fast approaching! I made this card for my brother & SIL to give to our mom. The sketch at My Favorite Things' Wednesday Sketch Challenge this week inspired the design.

I cut a piece of coral cardstock to 4x5.25", and die cut 3 of the "Flutter of Butterflies - Solid" by My Favorite Things (possibly discontinued) from that. I then stamped the negative piece with the "Romantic Script" background stamp by My Favorite Things. I heat embossed that with Ranger Silver Pearl embossing powder, to give some subtle interest to the background.

For the background panel, I cut a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media paper to 4-1/4x5-1/2". I masked off 1/8" around all 4 sides, and placed my coral panel in the center. I traced the butterfly openings onto the mixed media paper, and mostly erased the lines so they only showed up faintly. I used a makeup blending brush to apply Distress inks in Mustard Seed, Evergreen Bough, & Peacock Feathers to the areas I'd traced, then spritzed the panel lightly with water. I let the colors blend a bit, then dried the paper with my heat tool. I was really glad, when I removed the tape from around the edges, that the ink had not bled under it at all! (I have had that happen a time or two.)

Since I had decided to make a shaker card with one of the die cut windows off the edge of the card, I needed to figure out how to contain the beads I planned to use. My first attempt was using a page protector and my Fuse tool. That didn't work out very well, since when I fused around the (approximate) perimeter of the bottom butterfly, it didn't leave much room within the pouch for the beads to move. So I didn't even bother fusing the other 2 pockets.

On to Idea #2, which was to use acetate. I cut a piece of Grafix Duralar acetate to 8-1/8x5-1/4". I scored it along the long side at 4" & 4-1/8" to create a 1/8"-wide "spine," and folded along the score lines. I used double-sided tape to adhere one side to the back of my coral panel, making sure the folded edge was on the right side where the die cut opening went over the edge. I then added an insane amount of foam tape, doubling the layers to give my seed beads plenty of room to move. I added cornstarch in the openings with my anti-static powder bag, and wiped it away with a dry cloth. I cleaned any powder residue with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, then dried the acetate with a paper towel. After I added my beads in each opening, I (carefully!) removed all the foam tape liners. I folded the other half of the acetate over, adhering it to the foam tape. I carefully turned it over and gave it a shake--and it worked!

After I adhered my inked background panel to a white A2-size card base, I added more double-sided tape to the back of my shaker. I mounted that onto my card, and then moved on to the overlay butterflies. I used the corresponding dies from the "Flutter of Butterflies - Lace" set to die cut 3 butterflies from 40 lb. vellum. I also cut the bodies from light grey cardstock. I applied a small piece of 1/8" wide tape to the middle of each butterfly, and adhered them in place over the windows on my card. I glued the bodies on with liquid glue, and bent the wings up to give some added dimension.

For the greeting, I cut a narrow strip from white cardstock. I printed one of the "Mother's Day Sentiments" digital greetings from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps onto it, cut a banner end, and glued it to my card. And that finished it! A lot of work & mental focus, but I so love how it came out in the end!

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

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)

Friday, March 29, 2019

Happy Birdday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 15, 2019

Spirelli Shamrock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Upbeet Birthday

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm entering my card in the following challenges:

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

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Floral Birthday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Sending Big Hugs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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