Thursday, October 31, 2019

Two Christmas Cards

This month's theme at a2z Scrapbooking's challenge blog is "Holidays." This is actually the last challenge they are hosting, as they are sadly closing their store & closing down the challenge blog. I created 2 cards for this challenge.

I used Sketch #SC672 at for the design of my first card. I thought the partial circle at the bottom of the sketch would make a good moon for my deer, from Hero Arts' "Deck the Halls" stamp set (discontinued). I wanted to make the card one layer, though, so I had to do quite a bit of masking.

I cut an A2 size panel of Strathmore Mixed Media paper for my card front. I actually tried this on a lightweight white cardstock first, but the paper peeled when I took up my masks, probably from too much moisture in the paper after inking. The mixed media paper is 140 lb. and smooth, so I got much better results. I also cut a piece of masking paper to 4.25" wide by about 5". (I made it a little shorter than my panel just because I didn't need it any bigger.) I used an old My Favorite Things "Snow Drifts" die to cut a hill from the bottom of the masking paper, and then used a circle die to cut the "moon" portion.

I adhered the hill mask to my panel, and used that to help me position the moon & sky masks. Then I removed the hill mask, and inked up the bottom part of the panel with Black Soot Distress ink. I replaced that mask, and removed the sky mask. I used Scattered Straw Distress ink at the horizon to look like the sun's final glow illuminating the moon; and Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire, & Black Soot Distress inks for the upper part of the sky. Before removing the masks from the hill & moon, I spattered Light Gold watercolor from the Gansai Tambi Starry Colors set over my sky. I dried that with my heat tool, and moved on to the moon.

After I replaced the sky mask, I removed just the moon mask. I inked up that area with Scattered Straw Distress Oxide ink, and then inked over it with Lawn Fawn Yeti white pigment ink to lighten it. Finally, I removed the sky & hill masks to reveal my scene.

I stamped the 2 deer with Black Soot Distress Oxide ink. I didn't want to use a dye ink, since it would let the moon show through the deer. By using the Distress Oxide, which has pigment ink in it, my stamping remained opaque. I used my MISTI stamp positioning tool to stamp the deer, so I could make multiple impressions and get a good dark image. Finally, I used a black pen to color in the eyes, ears, & the spots on the fawn, so they were true silhouettes.

I stamped my greeting, from Hero Arts' "Joy to the World," in Black Soot Oxide ink. I again used my MISTI, and curved the greeting to fit the contour of the moon. I had to stamp it twice, to get a good dark impression. And that finished my first card.

My next card was super easy. I used Sketch #SC586 for my design, changing the 3 upper rectangles into tags. I created the tags from some holiday paper that was in my scrap stash. For the "trees," I stamped the image from "Joy to the World" 3 times onto Canson XL Mixed Media paper with Versamark ink. I heat embossed them with Ranger Silver embossing powder. I inked each with Twisted Citron Distress ink, giving them an ombre effect by adding more ink at the bottom. Finally, I fussy cut them out.

I glued on 1/4" wide strips of Neenah Rosa textured cardstock to the bottom of the tags, to "ground" the trees. I glued my trees to the tags, then stamped the larger solid star from "Joy to the World" on each tree, & heat embossed those with silver as well.

I stamped & heat embossed the greeting, from Hero Arts "Very Merry Christmas" (discontinued), on another strip of the same Rosa cardstock. I adhered that to a 5.25x4" panel of pale yellow cardstock, and glued my 3 tags above it. Finally, I adhered that to a lime green mat that I'd mounted to a white A2 size card base.

I'm also entering these cards in the following challenges:

A Blog Named Hero: "Nature" (first card only)
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Anything Goes" (second card only)
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes" (first card only)
Repeat Impressions: "Anything Goes" (both cards)

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Peeking Snowman Merry Christmas

The current challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown is "Snowmen." I got this "Snowman Peeker" digital image from Bugaboo quite some time ago, & figured it would be perfect for this challenge. I used the sketch at Catch the Bug's Stella Says Sketch Challenge #717 for my design.

After figuring out rough dimensions for my card elements, I opened my image in Photoshop. I created a blank "canvas" there, and dragged the snowman onto it. I sized him, and then printed him onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper I'd cut to size.

I used my Mijello Mission Gold & Da Vinci watercolors to paint the image. I extended the black vertical line at the left edge of the image with a black marker, so it was the height of the panel. After the panel had dried, I fussy cut along the left side, around his hat brim, face, & mitten. Then I went over the cut edges with a black brush tip marker, just to give it a more finished appearance.

I chose several patterned papers from my scrap stash. I cut a 1/4" wide strip of the striped paper, and punched along the edge of the candy cane paper with my Fiskars Scallop Sentiment border punch. I also cut six 7/8x7/8" squares from different patterns. I used Vintage Photo Distress ink to go around the edges of the scalloped piece & squares, just so they wouldn't all run together into one big hot mess.

For the background, I used a 4x5.25" panel of green cardstock. I marked where the left edge of my image panel would go, and adhered the striped piece & candy cane strip to the left of that line. I glued my squares in place next. I realized, right after I'd adhered the 2 strips, that I should have glued the squares first, then adhered the scalloped strip over them. But it worked out, since I could just lift up the scallops a bit to snug the squares underneath. After everything was down, I adhered my image with strong double-sided tape, overlapping the strips with the fussy cut portions of the snowman. Finally, I matted the panel with a light blue piece that I'd adhered to a white A2-size card base.

I used one of the stamps from Hero Arts' "Merry Christmas Messages" set for my greeting. I stamped it onto a scrap of white cardstock with Delicata Ruby Red pigment ink. This ink has a slight shimmer to it that makes it good for festive cards. I cut the cardstock into a banner, and adhered it to the front of the card. I kind of debated whether to place the end of the greeting flush with the edge of the card like I did, or against the edge of the green panel. Along the edge of the card just seemed to look better to me, so there it stayed. :)

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

613 Avenue Create Challenge #226: "Anything Goes" (not playing the twist)
Send a Smile 4 Kids: "Celebration Cards 4 Kids or Anything Goes 4 Kids"

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Merry Christmas

Repeat Impressions' October Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge O919 inspired me to create this card. I chose the left column - wildlife, texture, & stencil. I used Sketch #SC759 from, flipped vertically, as the basis of my design. I liked the way the arch at the top complemented the stamped image.

I stamped my image (Divinity Designs' "Snowy Deer") with Lawn Fawn's Doe ink towards the bottom of a panel of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper. I colored it with my Tombow markers, using a damp paintbrush to blend the colors. I added detail to the deer's eyes with a black glaze pen, and used a white gel pen for the catchlight in her left eye & the spots on her back.

I created a mask for the curve on the panel, using a large circle die. I ink blended Tumbled Glass Distress ink over the top area with a makeup blending brush. I used a smaller brush to ink through the "Pointed Star" stencil from Jenni Bowlin with Broken China Distress ink.

I removed the mask, & used the circle die I'd cut the mask with to trace another curve above the first one. I pierced holes along both curve lines. Then I stitched along the curves, using 3 plies of a light dull teal floss & 3 plies of a light tan floss. (This is the texture part in the challenge.) I like the way the 2 colors blended by having them combined in my needle.

For the greeting, I used the "Merry Christmas" from Hero Arts "Color Layering Partridge" stamp set (discontinued). I placed the card panel in my MISTI, and curved the stamp to match the curve on the top of the panel. Then I stamped that in Doe ink as well.

I added foam tape to the back of my panel, avoiding the areas with stitching so there wouldn't be any bumps. Finally, I adhered that to a light brown panel that I'd mounted to a white A2-size card base.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Merry Christmas Poinsettia

The current challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown is to use white, blue, & brown on a holiday card. I got my inspiration from a lesson on die cut inlay by Jennifer McGuire in Online Card Classes' "Holiday Card Workshop 2013."

I cut a piece of cherry wood veneer paper to 4x5.25". I laid my dies (Simon Says Stamp's "Merry Christmas" & Poppystamps "Blooming Poinsettia") on it to gauge placement. To make sure the greeting was positioned straight & in the right position, I die cut it first from a scrap of vellum. I laid that on my panel, beside the smaller poinsettia die, and taped it in place. I removed the flower die, & snugged the greeting die into the negative space on the vellum. Then I ran that through my die cutting machine. To make sure I didn't lose any pieces, I pressed a piece of yellow Frog tape to the back of my panel, over the die cut area. Then I carefully poked out all the greeting pieces--positive & negative--so they stuck onto the tape. I removed the tape from the panel, & set that aside.

Next I die cut my smaller poinsettia die from the panel. I then laid the larger die over the negative space, and die cut that. To color the pieces, I blended on Broken China & Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide inks. I also sponged on a little Tumbled Glass Distress Oxide ink to the edges of the smaller flower for highlighting. Then I put the smaller flower & the pieces left from die cutting the larger flower into a container for safe keeping.

I cut another 4x5.25" piece from white cardstock. I applied double-sided adhesive to one side, removed the release paper, and adhered my wood panel to that. I inlaid my poinsettia pieces, starting with the die cut pieces I'd cut last, then adding the smaller (inner) flower.

I colored the greeting by pressing it into my Lawn Fawn Yeti white pigment ink pad. I set that aside to dry. I think I might not have let it dry long enough, because when I tried to inlay it into place on the panel, it wouldn't stick to the exposed adhesive. No worries--liquid glue to the rescue! :) I squirted a small amount of glue where the greeting went, and pressed the die cut words into place. Finally, I added more glue into the spaces in the letters, & inlaid the die cut negative pieces. Thankfully, I didn't lose any pieces--not even the tittle! (Things don't always go that well with this technique.)

To finish the card, I went over the veins in the poinsettia with a white gel pen. I adhered my panel to a white A2 card base, flush with with the bottom & right sides. Finally, I added Simply White Nuvo Crystal Drops to the flower center, and in the upper left & lower right corners of the panel.

I'm also entering this card in 613 Avenue Create's Challenge #226: "Anything Goes." (not playing the twist)

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Happy Birthday Birds

The current challenge at A Blog Named Hero is to create a project inspired by another crafter. I recently saw an inside tunnel card tutorial at Jennifer McGuire's YouTube channel & blog, and decided to make one, inspired by her design, for my mom's upcoming birthday.

I stamped, colored, & die cut several birds from Hero Arts' "Better Together" stamp & die set, that they created for Ellen Hutson's United We Flourish project. Except for the one that looks like a parrot, which I included on the inside of the card, I don't know that any of the birds looks like a real bird. So I just colored them in bright colors as I saw fit. :)

Inside of card

I used 3 dies from Simon Says Stamp's "Stitched Rectangles" set to cut the windows for the inside panels of the card. I had to deviate from Jennifer's measurements a bit, since I wanted to create 2 inside frames/layers, rather than the single one that she demonstrated. I cut & scored those panels at the same measurements she gave, but in the end, trimmed the flaps on either side down to 1/8" wide, rather than 1/4". Thankfully, I had double-sided tape narrow enough to work!

I stenciled the clouds with My Favorite Things' "Mini Cloud Edges" stencil. On the first go-around, I inadvertently stenciled the clouds on the inside back panel upside-down. I didn't realize this until I had assembled the card, though. So I cut another panel, slightly smaller than the background, stenciled it, and adhered it inside the card. I also took the largest panel I'd die cut from the inside of the front-most frame, masked off outside the stitching lines around the edges, and stenciled clouds on that as well.

For the front of the card, I die cut a mat from Bazzill Whirlypop cardstock with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Small Stitched Rectangle" dies, and adhered my stenciled cloud panel to that. I mounted that onto the front of my card base. I die cut the "Birthday" using a Winnie & Walter die from red foil cardstock that I'd backed with Stick It adhesive. I lightly adhered that to my stenciled panel. I also stamped "happy" from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "All Wrapped Up" onto a strip of white cardstock, and heat embossed it with Wow White Pearl embossing powder. I cut that into a small banner, & inked it with Barn Door Distress ink. After I buffed off the ink from the embossing, I glued it to my panel, nestling it between the "b" & "r," then burnished the "birthday" to adhere it securely. Finally, I glued down 3 of the birds from "Better Together."

I used glue dots to adhere the rest of the birds, 2 branches, & the birdhouse to the inside of my card. I added a little liquid glue in a couple of spots, like where the parrot's head overlapped the upper part of the frame. Those areas were just too small for glue dots, which would have stuck the panels together. But I needed to adhere them, to provide more stability to the images. And that finished this card. It was a bit tricky, but I was able to follow Jennifer's tutorial all right.

I'm also entering this card in the Dies R Us Challenge #130: "Anything Goes with Dies Carried at the Dies R Us Store" (used Hero Arts & Lawn Fawn).

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Happy Birthday

Sandy Allnock issued a sketch challenge for World Card Making Day. I used the first sketch that she provided in her blog post, turning it 90 degrees to make a landscape-oriented card.

I began by sizing the "Happy Birthday Cupcake Sentiment" from Bugaboo Stamps (apparently discontinued) in Photoshop. I scootched the image towards the bottom of my "canvas" in Photoshop, to leave room for a banner at the top. I printed the image onto a panel of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I used my Inktense pencils to color the cupcake, stars & sparkles, and the first letters & exclamation point in the greeting. I knew I wanted to watercolor the background, and Inktense pencils are permanent once activated with water and dried. By using them, I knew my colors wouldn't run if the water I applied for my background happened to touch them. I used the Permanent Rose color from my Mijello Mission Gold watercolors for the background, adding more concentrated color at the bottom & fading it towards the top to create an ombre effect.

After I finished painting the main panel, I dried it with my heat gun, mostly to keep the watercolor from moving any more. I matted it with yellow cardstock, trimming it to a 1/16" border on all sides. I then adhered that to a Neenah Espresso textured cardstock panel, and again trimmed that to a 1/16" mat.

I used patterned papers from my scrap stash for the rest of the card. For the background, I ended up having to trim it about 1/16" smaller on each side, since my paper wasn't quite big enough from top to bottom. I matted that with Espresso as well. I cut my strips from a chevron pattern & matted them with Espresso, to keep things consistent.

I mounted my background to a white A2 size card base, and adhered my matted patterned paper strips. I then adhered my focal panel. I cut a small banner from another scrap. Because the spacing was kind of tight to mat that & I didn't want to cut it any smaller, I instead inked the edges with Ground Espresso Distress ink. I adhered that in place, and added shimmer to the cupcake frosting & stars/sparkles with my Spectrum Noir Clear Shimmer pen. I finished with a little Glossy Accents on the cherry on top of the cupcake.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Catch the Bug October "Anything Goes" challenge
Creative Knockouts #318: "Lots of Layers"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: "Think Pink"
Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Party Cats

My mom's birthday is coming up soon. We have 4 cats, and I always make sure to make a card for her from them. For this one, I thought Rubbernecker Stamps' "3 Cats in Tree" image would be perfect. I also brought in their "Cat on Yarn Basket" stamp for the fourth cat, which I stamped on a panel for the inside of the card.

Inside of card--left side

I stamped both images onto Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper with Ink on 3's Fade-Out ink. I had to "alter" the cats in the tree, as the markings on the stamp don't match our cats' markings. So after inking up my stamp, I wiped the ink off the middle parts on each cat with a baby wipe. I did stamp each image twice, using my MISTI stamp positioning tool, so the lines weren't quite so faint. Then I colored both images with my Prismacolor colored pencils. I colored the cats to look like ours.

I die cut the tree image with the coordinating die. As the image is too small to fill a card front, I decided to make a frame. I used one of the "Rounded Rectangle" dies by Hero Arts for the aperture. I did partial die cutting, since the die was a bit too tall for my window. After I die cut, I embossed the frame with the "Ben-Day Dots" embossing folder from Cricut/Cuttlebug.

For the area behind the cats, I cut a piece of Canson XL watercolor paper slightly smaller than the frame. Initially, I had planned to watercolor the sky, but decided to ink blend with Distress inks instead. I used Broken China, Peacock Feathers, & Mermaid Lagoon inks, just sponging them randomly over the panel. Then I spritzed the paper generously with water to get the colors to move & blend. They blended a little too much though, so after I dried the panel with my heat gun, I randomly pounced on some more Mermaid Lagoon. I spritzed again, using less water and allowing there to be some splotches. I daubed up the water/ink with a dry cloth to give the color a mottled look, then heat set it again.

I added a generous amount of foam tape behind my frame, making sure to leave space under one end of the window to slip my die cut into. I adhered my background panel behind the frame. I added double-sided tape to the back of that panel, then adhered the entire piece to a white A2 card base. I glued on my image die cut with liquid glue, tucking the bottom under the edge of the window.

I used one of the greetings from Simon Says Stamp's "Stop Drop Party" stamp set. I stamped it onto a scrap of pink cardstock with Delicata Ruby Red ink, which has a shimmer to it. I heat set that, then die cut it with a banner from Spellbinders' "Pennants Mega" set (discontinued). I added foam tape under the part that was not supported by the frame, so it would stay level, then adhered it to my card.

To create the party hats, I used the same banner die that I'd used for my greeting. I cut it from a pink patterned paper & a cream/green patterned paper. I cut off the pointed ends, making sure to curve the bottoms. Then I glued the hats on the cats' heads. For more decoration, I applied Marvy Uchida's Liquid Applique to the tops & brims of the hats, then puffed it up with my heat tool.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door: "Anything Goes"
Dies R Us Challenge #130: "Anything Goes with Dies by Companies Sold in Our Store" (used a Hero Arts die)
Die Cut Divas: "Fall Colors" (colored the tree with fall colors)
My Favorite Things The Birthday Project: "Pets"