Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Floral Hugs

I created this card for both the current Fusion challenge & the Essentials by Ellen February Pin-Sights challenge. I followed the sketch for the Fusion challenge, with my color inspiration coming from the Pin-Sights mood board.

I began by cutting a piece of light pool-colored cardstock to 4.25x5.5". I embossed it with the "Brick" embossing folder from Taylored Expressions. Since I really struggle with leaving a lot of "white space" on my projects, this gave some interest to the background without adding a lot of "stuff."

To create my flowers, I stamped 2 of the images from the Essentials by Ellen "Bold Blooms" set onto white cardstock. For the solid flower, I used Hero Arts Pool ink, and Versamark for the scribbly flower. I heat embossed the larger flower with Ranger Silver embossing powder. After drying the solid flower with my heat tool, I added the center stamp and heat embossed that with silver as well. Finally, I die cut both with the coordinating dies. I inked the scribbly flower with Tumbled Glass Distress ink, and also inked the edges of the solid flower to help camouflage the white border and make it blend in more.

For the greeting panel, I die cut a piece of white cardstock with one of the "Large Cross Stitched Rectangle" dies from Lawn Fawn. I laid my flowers where I wanted them to overlap the panel, and lightly traced around them with a pencil. That helped me position my greeting, from the Essentials by Ellen "All Inside" stamp set. I stamped that in Versamark, and heat embossed it with the same silver powder I'd used on the flowers. Then I took a pool-colored Tombow marker, colored the bottom part of each letter, and used the Tombow blender marker to fade the color up in the letters to almost white.

I adhered my greeting panel to the background, and glued my flowers in place with Perfect Paper Adhesive. I felt the panel was a little bottom-heavy, so I decided to add some gems. I colored clear gemstones with Adirondack alcohol ink in the color Stream. I daubed up the extra ink with a paper towel, let them dry for several seconds, then glued them to my card with Ranger Multi Medium Matte. Finally, I adhered my card front to a white A2 card base.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge "Anything Goes"
613 Avenue Create #194: "Anything Goes"

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tend a Garden

I got the Altenew "Vintage Roses" stamp set & coordinating dies a few months ago, when they had a special package deal. I hadn't created a card with it, until this one. I was kind of at a loss for design inspiration, so I turned to Pinterest (my go-to site for such an occasion). I found this card, and decided to CASE the general design.

I stamped & die cut the roses & several leaves from the set. I didn't nail the stamp layering on all of the flowers, but I think they came out OK anyway. (I have since printed off the "cheat sheet" from Altenew!)

Using the 2 largest of Simon Says Stamp's "Stitched Circles" dies, I cut a ring from gold foil cardstock. I also cut a piece of pink patterned paper from my scrap stash with the largest "Large Stitched Rectangle" die from Lawn Fawn. I positioned the ring, flowers, & leaves onto my background, and, once I had an arrangement I liked, picked them up with a piece of Glad Press'n Seal. I applied Perfect Paper Adhesive to the backs of all my pieces, and placed them back onto my pink panel. I let the glue set up a bit, then carefully peeled off the Press 'n Seal. I had to add a bit more glue to a few pieces, but no big deal.

When the glue had dried, I placed the panel into my MISTI, and positioned my greeting, from Stampendous' "Thoughtful Wishes" stamp set. I stamped it with Versamark ink, and heat embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold embossing powder. I ended up having to stamp & heat emboss a second time, because I think my heat tool overheated the embossing powder the first time. The second time, I heated the powder from the back side of the panel, and that seemed to help. Once the embossing cooled, I adhered my card front directly to a white A2 card base, and this card was done!

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

Die Cut Divas' February challenge: "A Month for Using Red or Pink"
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge: "Anything Goes"

Happy Birthday

Die Cut Divas' February challenge theme is "A Month to Use Red or Pink." I created this birthday card to send to Darlene at Live Love Cards, as a donation for Meals on Wheels.

For my design, I chose Sketch #SC606 from Splitcoaststampers.com. I cut a panel of Canson XL Mixed Media paper to 4x5.5". Then I positioned one of the "Stitched Basic Borders 2" dies from My Favorite Things, and die cut the curve. These dies add stitching to both sides of the cut line, so I only had to cut once, & I had stitching on both panels! :)

I chose one of the bicycles from Hero Arts' "Joy Ride" (a VERY old set that I had never used), and stamped it on the upper panel with Lawn Fawn Wild Rose ink, so it looks like it's traveling along the curve I'd die cut. I then inked the upper panel with Tumbled Glass Distress ink, adding a bit of Broken China along the edges for some depth. I inked the bottom panel in a similar manner, with Twisted Citron & Shabby Shutters Distress inks.

I used the "Happy Birthday" greeting from Simon Says Stamp's "Jumbo Stripes" stamp set. I cut a piece of pink cardstock, lined the top of my blue panel up with the top of the pink, and traced the curved line onto the cardstock. I then used my MISTI to help me position the stamp, and stamped it 3 times, repositioning it each time to follow the curve. Once I'd finished stamping, I erased my pencil line.

To complete my card, I adhered pieces of craft foam to the back of each of my inked panels with Scor Tape. I then popped them up on the pink cardstock, spacing them so the greeting showed through in between. Finally, I adhered my card front to a white A2 card base.

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

a2z Scrapbooking's February challenge: "Any Shade of Red" (I trust pink counts as a shade of red!)
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge: "Anything Goes"
Simon Says Stamp's Monday challenge: "Transport It"
A Blog Named Hero February challenge: "CAS"

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cardinal Sympathy Card

My mom came to me the other day & said, "I need a sympathy card." The mother-in-law of a friend of hers had died, and so she wanted a card to send. I found this card by Shari Carroll using the Hero Arts "Color Layering Cardinal" stamp set on Pinterest, and decided to CASE it for this.

To create the background, I used The Crafter's Workshop's "Aspen Trees" 6x6" stencil & a panel of watercolor paper I cut to 3.75x5". I had sprayed the back of the stencil with repositionable adhesive, so I could ink blend over it without catching on the little pieces. I positioned the stencil over my paper, and lightly inked through it with Stormy Sky Distress ink & a foam blending tool, to create a subtle background that still had some interest. Then I removed my stencil & set my panel aside.

To stamp the cardinal, I used all Memento dye inks. I stamped the solid layer first with Tangelo, and then with Lady Bug, to give me a nice red-orange base. I stamped the second layer with Rhubarb Stalk, and the detail layer with London Fog. Finally, I used Tuxedo Black to stamp the face/eye detail. I accentuated the catchlight with a white gel pen. Finally, I cut it out with the coordinating die.

I used 2 different stamp sets for the greeting: Hero Arts "Prayers" & Simon Says Stamp's "Jumbo Stripes." From the "Prayers" set I used "Our thoughts and," "to you," & "and your family." I wanted a larger size for the actual "prayers" word, but the scripty one in that set was too large. So I pulled the "prayers" from "Jumbo Stripes." I stamped the greeting with Versamark onto a piece of watercolor paper, and heat embossed it with Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder. I cut it into a banner, and adhered it to my background panel. I glued my cardinal in place then.

I die cut a panel from Canson XL Mixed Media paper with the largest of Lawn Fawn's "Large Cross-stitched Rectangle" dies. I inked it up with Stormy Sky, applying a darker coat than I had with the stenciled panel. After I let the ink dry for several hours, I adhered my main panel to that, and mounted the whole thing to a white A2 card base.

I'm entering my card in the following challenges:

a2z Scrapbooking's February challenge: "Any Shade of Red"
A Blog Named Hero's February challenge: "CAS"
Die Cut Divas February challenge: "A Month for Using Red or Pink"

Creative Knockouts #181

Challenge #181 at Creative Knockouts is a recipe challenge. You have to use 1 image, 2 embellishments, & 3 patterned papers. I really struggled with this one. The image & patterned paper requirements weren't too hard, but applying embellishments without creating a visual triangle--which by definition requires at least 3 items--proved a bit stressful! But I'm happy with the end result, and hopefully the recipient will be, too. :)

I started with a really old sketch from Operation Write Home. I believe it was #8 (out of a total of 259 sketches). The sketch as is has 2 background panels, split with a diagonal line running from the upper right corner to the bottom left, and a focal/greeting piece in the middle. Because I needed 3 patterned papers, I tweaked the sketch slightly. I created a portrait-oriented, A2-size blank "canvas" in Photoshop, and drew 2 diagonal lines, to create 3 areas that represented my patterned paper panels. I printed that onto a piece of copy paper and cut it apart to use as a pattern for cutting my patterned papers.

For the image, I used the "Lily Block" digi image from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. I sized it to fit on a 2.5" diameter square, with a 1/8" white border around the block. I then printed that onto a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper. I found a photo of a purple lily online, and colored my image based on that with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers.

After cutting my patterned papers (from my scrap stash), I adhered them directly to the front of a white A2 card base. I mounted my image panel, and then came the time to decide on my embellishments. I found a small wood veneer butterfly (I believe by The Paper Studio) in my stash, and a purple flower-shaped button that I felt would be perfect. I threaded the button with yellow embroidery floss, and painted the butterfly with a Ranger Adirondack Gold paint dauber. Finally, I used Perfect Paper Adhesive to glue both pieces in place, & set 2 acrylic blocks on the button to keep it in contact with the card while the glue dried. I just love the bold colors in this card, and felt it didn't really need a greeting. It can then be used for pretty much any occasion. I will send this card in my next package to Send a Smile 4 Kids. I figure it will be a good card for an older girl in one of their hospitals.

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

Send a Smile 4 Kids: Easter or Spring Cards 4 Kids
Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge: Fantastic Florals

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Merry Christmas

The theme for Merry Monday Christmas Challenge this week is "Snowmen." I went through my (apparently vast) collection of digital snowman images, and came up with the "Birdies Welcome Snowman" from Dearie Dolls. For my design, I used Sketch #SC556 from Splitcoaststampers.com.

I sized my snowman scene in Photoshop & printed it onto a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media paper. I used my Inktense pencils to color it in, picking up the color from the pencils with a damp paintbrush and applying it to the paper. Since the image style is kind of playful, and the elements are mostly so small, I didn't do much in the way of shading. Once I'd finished coloring, I set it aside to dry.

For the background, I chose patterned papers from Lawn Fawn's "Fa La La" 6x6" pad (blue) and The Paper Studio's "A Very Merry Christmas" (cardinals). I cut them to size, and adhered them to a white A2 card base. Then I adhered my focal panel.

I used one of the greeting stamps from Simon Says Stamp's "Circle Sayings Holiday" set, adding a snowflake image from the same set to the center. I stamped that in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto a scrap of mixed media paper, and die cut it with a Spellbinders "Standard Circles SM" die. Then I inked around the perimeter with Stormy Sky Distress ink, just to add a bit of contrast.

To finish off the card, I used Ranger Multi Medium Matte to glue some clear gems to either side of the focal panel. I also glued one in the center of the snowflake on the greeting. Finally, I glued my greeting in place.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Gingerbread & Cocoa Merry Christmas

The current challenge theme at Christmas Card Throwdown is "Drinks." I have this image from Bugaboo Stamps, and decided it would be perfect for this challenge! I used Sketch #SC590 from Splitcoaststampers.com for my design.

After sizing my image in Photoshop, I printed it onto a piece of Canson XL Mixed Media paper and die cut it with a Spellbinders "Standard Circles LG" die. I colored the image with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up the color from the pencil and apply it to the paper.

I stamped a greeting from Hero Arts' "Coloring Layering Christmas Tree" stamp set onto a strip of green cardstock with Versamark, and heat embossed it with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder. After adhering that to my patterned paper panel ("Red Holly" from Hot off the Press), I adhered my focal image & mounted the finished card front to a white A2 card base. Finally, I added some shimmer to the heart on the gingerbread girl's foot with my clear Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen, and coated it with Glossy Accents.

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

Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: "Use Your Favorite Tool" (Cheery Lynn Big Sister die cutting machine)
Die Cut Divas: "Use Red and/or Pink"

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Balloon Bunny Birthday

The current challenge for Creative Knockouts is "Birthday Wishes." I decided to create this card for The Birthday Party Project. They throw birthday parties for homeless children, and collect birthday cards to give to them. I used the February challenge sketch from Scrapbook & Cards Today's blog for my design.

I stamped my bunny & balloons from Mama Elephant's "Up and Away" set onto a scrap of Strathmore Mixed Media paper. I used Hero Arts Charcoal ink for the bunny, and Versamark for the balloons. I heat embossed the balloons with Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder, and colored both images with my Inktense pencils, using a damp paintbrush to pick up & apply the color. After I'd finished coloring, I went over the bunny's eyes with a black glaze pen, just to help them pop more. Finally, I die cut my images with the coordinating dies.

I die cut a tag from Mixed Media paper with one of the "Pinpoint Main Street Tags" dies from Memory Box. I stamped the balloons on the upper part in Versamark, and heat embossed them. (Because the "Up and Away" die cuts out just the balloons, and not the strings, I needed to do this to get my balloon strings on the tag.) Then I inked over the tag with Tumbled Glass & Broken China Distress inks, to create an ombre look.

I chose a rainbow striped patterned paper scrap from my stash, and paired it with yellow cardstock for the background. I cut the patterned paper so it would be about 2/3 of the width of my card, and adhered both pieces to a white A2 card base. After gluing the balloons & bunny to the tag, I adhered the tag to my card.

For the greeting, I used the "Happy Birthday" from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Birthday Bash" stamp set (discontinued). I mounted it to the door of my MISTI, and used Memento inks in Lady Bug, Tangelo, Cantaloupe, Cottage Ivy, Bermuda Blue, & Grape Jelly to stamp it in a rainbow. I inked up the beginning of the greeting with Lady Bug, daubed off at the right edge with a dry cloth to create a softer transition, and stamped. Then I wiped off my stamp, inked the next portion with Tangelo, daubed off on both sides where I'd inked, and stamped. I repeated this process for each color, to create my rainbow gradient. Finally, I cut my greeting into a banner, and adhered it to my card.

As a finishing touch, I added some glitter with a Clear Sparkle Spectrum Noir Shimmer Pen to the balloons, and went over each balloon with Glossy Accents.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Love & Laughter

This is my second card for Merry Monday's "The Magic Number is 5" challenge. I used one of the tree stamps (at least, I assume they're meant to be trees) from Hero Arts' "Joy to the World" set. (I stamped it 5 times total to create my star.)

I began by cutting a piece of Strathmore Smooth Bristol paper to 5x5". I drew a vertical line to mark the center of that panel, and another line perpendicular to that, 2" from the top. I centered my "tree" stamp with the point on the vertical line & the base on the horizontal line, and stamped with Versafine Onyx Black ink. I stamped twice more on either side, lining up the side of the triangle with my horizontal line. Finally, I added the bottom 2 sections to my star, by lining up one bottom point of the stamp with the vertical line & the other bottom point with each of the triangles I'd just stamped. Finally, I sprinkled on some Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder, and heat set that. I used a greeting from the same stamp set, stamping it with Versafine in the center of my star, and heat embossing it with clear powder. Then I erased my pencil lines.

To color my star, I used Carmine Red & Light Carmine Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers. I started at the broad end of each triangle section with the Carmine, and went out about 1/3 of the way. I used the Light Carmine to blend that out and add some lighter color, and finally used a damp paintbrush with just water to fade the pink out to the end. I repeated that for all 5 triangles, and also used the same procedure to color the center.

I added some Red Gold Gansai Tambi Starry Colors watercolor around the perimeter of my star, using a damp brush to feather out the color as it went away from the edges of the star. Finally, I matted that panel with gold mirror cardstock, adhered that to a 5.5" square piece of red cardstock, and mounted that to my 5.5" square white card base.

I'm also entering this in a2z Scrapbooking's February Challenge: "Any Shade of Red."

Lovely Lotus

Our Daily Bread Designs is having a color challenge this month. They posted a color palette, and challenged participants to create a card using at least 3 colors from that image. I went with light purple, dark purple, red-violet, & yellow. For my design, I went with Sketch #SC598 from Splitcoaststampers.com.

our daily bread designs color challenge palette

I stamped the "Lotus" image from ODBD onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper, in Hero Arts Charcoal ink. I wanted the lines to show, but be softer than a black outline. After cutting it with the largest of Spellbinders "Classic Ovals LG" dies, I used my Inktense pencils to color it in. My preferred method is to pick up the color from the pencil with a damp paintbrush, and then apply it to my paper. I layered my colors, until I got the intensity & shading I wanted. Once that had dried, I watercolored the background with Frayed Burlap Distress ink, to give a kind of "antique-y" glow. I then added some blue to the water with Salty Ocean Distress ink.

I chose 3 patterned papers from my scrap stash. I cut the red-violet pattern with a Spellbinders "Standard Circles LG" die. I cut a piece of dark purple cardstock to 4.25x5.5", and adhered that to my white A2 card base. Next, I mounted a piece of yellow cardstock, cut slightly smaller, to that. Finally, I layered my patterned paper pieces on top, and added my focal oval. I threaded white crochet twine through a purple button & tied it in a bow. I threaded more twine through 2 smaller yellow buttons, and knotted that. Then I glued my buttons to the card with Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

Warmest Wishes

Merry Monday Challenge Blog's theme this week is "The Magic Number is 5." Basically, make a holiday card, using 5 of an item. For this card, I used 5 snowflake stamps from My Favorite Things' "Sophisticated Snowflake" set (apparently discontinued).

I began by stamping my snowflakes in Versamark onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". Next I heat embossed them with Recollections Clear Detail embossing powder so I could do an emboss resist technique. I used Cracked Pistachio, Mermaid Lagoon, Blueprint Sketch, & Wilted Violet Distress inks to ink the panel, overlapping & blending the colors to create as smooth a transition as possible.

After I'd finished inking, I used my Distress Sprayer to mist droplets of water over the panel. I let that sit for several seconds, then blotted up the water with a paper towel. This bleached out the ink in those spots, adding some visual texture to my panel. Then I went further on my mixed-media kick, and splattered Golden Iridescent Pearl & Iridescent Silver acrylic paint over my panel. I don't know how well the pearl drops showed up in the end, but the silver definitely is there! 😊

I used my heat tool to dry the paint splatters more quickly, and then cut off the bottom 2" of my panel. I trimmed 7/8" off the top of that strip, and added fun foam to the back of that & my larger panel with Scor Tape.

For my greeting, I used 3 stamps from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Christmas Pine" set. I cut a scrap of white cardstock to 4.25" wide, and marked where the top of my narrow watercolor paper strip would go. I measured 7/8" up from there & drew another light pencil line. Then, with the cardstock piece in my MISTI, I used a grid sheet to center my greeting stamps within that 7/8" section. I stamped my greeting with Hero Arts Pool ink.

I adhered my bottom inked strip to the cardstock, below the greeting, and then used more Scor Tape to mount that to the bottom of my white A2 card base. Finally, I adhered my top panel in place. I considered adding sequins or gems, but decided I had enough going on as it is.