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 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.