Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OLW 26 - Black, White, and Red All Over

Today's OLW challenge is to use black, white, and red only on your card.  At first  I wasn't crazy about the challenge, but as the day went on, I started thinking about things I could do.  After I got home from teaching crochet club at the school today, I decided to play.

My first card is an example of what not to do.

The card is too big to have the flourish floating around in the middle of it.  Since there was so much space around the outside, I tried to fill it in with the flowers and ended up with too many.  It just looks weird and not cohesive at all.  I may end up cropping this one down to try to salvage it.

Here is my second attempt.

Ah, much better!  Having the flourish stamped off the edges of the paper just a little bit creates much better flow.  I was able to triangulate the flowers for a nice balanced look.  The sentiment stamped in the lower corner continues to balance the whole card.

Look what I just did.

Look familiar?  This is my first card cropped to 4 1/4" square.  See how it helps to have the image stamped off the side?  Once again the flowers are triangulated creating better balance without overpowering the design.  The flourish would look better if it were angled up a little more to fill in the gap at the top, but I think this was a great save.

Lesson learned.

Supplies used:
Stamps - Baroque Motifs, Small Script, Warm Words
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Memento black, cherry cobbler
Accessories - black rhinestones, SAMJ

Hope you're having a great day!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

CAS90 Gingham!

This week's CAS challenge is ways to use gingham.  Once again I was stumped.  I didn't want to make a card and just tie a gingham ribbon on it.  I didn't want to make a baby card, either, even though babies and gingham go so well together.  I wanted to come up with something really creative using gingham.  Many thoughts came to mind, but executing them would have been a real challenge.

One thought was a checkered race flag.  I have no stamps for that, and my drawing skills aren't that skilled.  Another thought was a gingham tablecloth.  Once again, no stamps and lack of drawing skills.  A picnic with ants crawling around on a red and white checkered cloth - way too complicated.

What was I going to do?  I waited too late to start thinking about this week's challenge, and I was feeling the pressure.  So I slept on it.  And I made cards all night long.  In the morning when I told my husband I had been making cards all night, he replied "Literally or figuratively?"  He knows me well enough to know I'm not beyond getting up in the middle of the night to make cards.  Fortunately, I had slept all night, and the only cards I had made were in my dreams.  I had come up with some ideas, though.

This first card started out as a vertical card, but quickly turned into a horizontal layout.  I did something different with the gingham ribbon by pleating it, and I also die cut the end with a scallop die to match the scallop layer around the image.  I put a piece of regular ol' Scotch tape on the back of the ribbon before I die cut it so the ends wouldn't fray.

A little better than just tying gingham ribbon on a card.

This next card gave me migraines.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do, but it just wouldn't happen.  It took me hours and several walk-aways to make this stupid thing!

But I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  A different way to use gingham.

I still had one more idea that I wanted to put to the test.  While searching the galleries at SCS for ideas (is that cheating?), I came across a card made by Kittie that had a beautiful bow on it.  And she just happened to have a link to a tutorial on her blog on tying bows.  Beautiful bows need a wreath to go with them.  That led to this card.

This is much prettier IRL.  You can see the dimension much better, as there is a window on the front of the card and the sentiment is stamped on the inside.  That was really hard to capture in the photo.  My use of gingham on this card is just a bow, but I think the other elements make up for the simplicity of it.

Here is a little tutorial on how I made the wreath.

Punch out several (I used 24) branches with the MS branch punch.  Then make a ring with either 2 circle punches close in size, or with nestabilities, which is what I used here.  This will be the base of your wreath.

Pretend all those branches haven't been glued on yet.  :)

Glue just the last 3/8" of the branch to the ring, overlapping the branches as you go along the ring.

You can space them as close as you want depending on how full you want the wreath to be.  (Adjust the number of punched branches accordingly.)  Continue all the way around, and your last branch should fit right under the first one you glued on.  Set aside to dry.

Punch or die cut a circle on the front of your card where you want the wreath to be.

Very lightly trace the inside of the circle with a pencil on the inside of the card.  This will allow you to see where the sentiment should go.  Use a SAMJ to stamp the sentiment.  I embossed mine for a little extra shine.  Make sure your sentiment is good and dry before you erase the pencil lines.  When you think it's dry, wait another minute or so.  Don't ask me how I know this!

Now you are ready to adhere the wreath to the front of the card.  Apply glue to the back side of the wreath ring and center over the circle on the front of the card.  Attach your pretty bow, and you are done!

Ta-da!  Ain't it purty?

I hope you are inspired by some different ways to use gingham.  Sometimes it's good to think a little outside the box.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

What Day Is It?

I spent all day yesterday not realizing it was Wednesday, my favorite card making day of the week (because it is OLW).  I don't know what day I thought it was, but it most certainly wasn't Wed.  My kids did make it to their regularly scheduled activities, though.  I'm thinking I need to catch up on my sleep!

Jennifer Styles is hosting the OLW challenges for a while on her blog, and this week it is The Birds and the Bees (and the Flowers and the Trees).  We are to use any combination of two of the above.

I immediately thought of the bee stamp in the In Full Bloom set, one of my all time favorites.  I make coasters with this set all the time, so I never thought of using it to make cards.  Until now.

When I was searching my stamps for a sentiment for this card, I came across this one in the Butterfly of Happiness set.  I loved the style of the font with the image, but I especially liked how it conveys the message of the image perfectly.  Bees certainly spread the love by pollenating all those flowers out there in the world.  Where would we be without bees?


(Ok, I'll stop answering my own questions.  It's just that I've been up for 3 hours and haven't eaten breakfast yet, and I am hungry.)

The bonus was I got to use my Copics to color it in!  After yesterday's post about using solid image stamps more frequently, I turn around and use something today that requires coloring.  I sure am consistent, aren't I?

I won't answer that one!

Supplies used:
Stamps - In Full bloom, Butterfly of Happiness
Paper - GKD PL white (120 lb as always - no Copic bleed-through)
Ink - Memento black
Accessories - Copics, SAMJ

Ok, ok, I'm going to go eat breakfast now.  Make it a great day!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Very Quick Card

Once again, my favorite neutral color combo spoke to me - kraft and soft suede.  I made this card in just a few minutes tonight.  As much as I love to color, solid stamps are great for making really quick cards, and I am finding myself using them more and more often.

The hardest part about making this card was trying to get the ink from my markers from beading up and separating on the apple stamp.  I tried stamping it several times, cleaning it in between, but still couldn't get a good impression.  I finally inked it up with my red pad, removed the ink from the leaf and stem with a cotton swab, and stamped it without the leaf and stem.  Then I took my wasabi marker and drew the leaf and stem right on the card.

I could have stamped more apples on the tree, but I really wanted to emphasize the single falling apple so I just stamped one.  I love how it turned out.

Supplies used:
Stamps - PTI Falling Leaves
Paper - kraft (crumb cake)
Ink - soft suede, real red, wasabi
Accessories - wasabi marker

Off to unmount some more stamps...


Monday, October 18, 2010

CAS89 Inspired by Me!

This week's CAS challenge is a sketch inspired by a card I made while trying out for the CAS DT.  This card is the one we are using for inspiration.

I have to admit, nothing I thought of came close to the Wow! factor of my lighted bulb card, so I had to settle for these.

My in-laws lost their Golder Retriever, Hunter, unexpectedly this past week, so I made this card for them.  The top note takes the place of the drawn border.  I put another top note on the inside since the card base is so dark.  I love the look of kraft (crumb cake) and soft suede together.  They are a great neutral combo.

Supplies used:
Stamps - PTI Loss of Pet
Paper - Soft suede, crumb cake
Ink - Soft suede
Accessories - Tope note die, Big shot

This card doesn't really do anything for me.  I'm not sure if it's the colors or what, but I just don't like it.  Using cool colors for warm wishes probably wasn't a good idea.  Oh, well, it is what it is.   Here, I scored a frame instead of drawing one.

Supplies used:
Stamps - Jolly bingo bits, All year cheer I
Paper - Marina mist, white, daffodil
Ink - Basic grey
Accessories - Marina mist and daffodil markers, baker's twine, dimensionals, tag and small tag punches, Scor-pal

I am still working on getting my room put back together.  Boy, I have a lot of stuff!  I am really proud of myself for donating a stack of patterned paper 3" tall to my daughters Kindergarten class.  The teacher was so happy to get it.  No more paper stack packs for me!

I also took a little bit of a break from my unmounting adventure.  At this rate I think a couple months will be more like it!

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thank Goodness for Scraps!

When I got home from work this past Tuesday, both of my kids were in my craft room making me cards.  The reason they were making them is another story for another time.  As I was helping them clean up their mess, I came across some scraps of paper they had cut off using decorative scissors.  As I laid them neatly in my hand to toss into the recycle bag, I looked at them and realized they would make a neat ground on a card.

And tonight, this card was born.

The scraps are just as they were.  I didn't have to modify anything except cut the excess off the edges of the card.  Isn't it cool?  It turned out just as I imagined.  It always surprises me when that happens!

I used this curly tree to balance all the lines in the paper.  I wasn't sure what sentiment I was going to use because this could be a happy tree, but since it is missing all its leaves, this sentiment seemed perfect.

The sentiment was curved slightly on my block to echo the slight curve of the ground.  It would have looked weird had I left it perfectly straight.

Supplies used:
Stamps - Hero Arts tree, GKD Tag Lines
Paper - GKD PL ivory,  DP unknown
Ink - Memento rich cocoa, Baja Breeze
Accessories - deco scissors

I always cringe when I find my kids in my craft room unattended, especially when they have gotten into my stash of patterned paper. They always seem to use my favorite kind, but if they make me something with it, I will have it around to look at forever. At least someone is putting it to good use!

And in this case, I got to make something with it, too.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

OLW in Two Minutes

I almost cried when I read that Susan was going to take a break from her OLW challenges on her Simplicity blog.  Seems popularity is running it's course with her, and she had to cut back somewhere.  I wish I had that problem!  heehee!  But then Jennifer Styles stepped up to the plate and is going to be posting the challenges for a while.  I'm grateful for her!  Thanks, Jennifer!

The challenge this week is to make a one layer winter holiday card without using white, cream, red, or green for the base.  When I first read it, all possibilities went out the window.

Then I had an idea.

This is possibly the fastest card I have ever made.  I think it took me longer to ink up my new silver Stazon pad than it did to make the card!  Even the simplest card I make can take me a while before I get it 'right'.  This just happened, and I love the result!

Isn't it cute that Dasher is looking at the Merry Christmas aimed right for his back end?  I think he's thinking "I'd better get out of here!"

After I lined up the image and sentiment on my background-sized acrylic block, I inked them both with silver Stazon, and presto!  It was almost done.  It still looked a little flat to me, so I sprayed some sparkle shimmer spritz over it, and that was just what it needed.  That stuff has to be my favorite new product.  I find myself reaching for it very frequently.

Supplies used:
Stamps - Dasher, Christmas Greetings
Paper - Concord Crush
Ink - silver Stazon
Accessories - sparkle Shimmer Spritz

What is your favorite new product?


ETA - Silver and gold Stazon inks are a good alternative to embossing when using on dark cardstock.  The embossing buddy leaves a little powder behind that I can never seem to get rid of, and no matter how careful I am about removing any errant flakes of EP before heating, there are always a few that show up after the image is embossed that 'ruin' the card for me.  Stazon eliminates all this and is still fairly shiny.  I will still use EP on light colored card stock, but for darker colors, I will always use Stazon for metallic images.


Basic Layout Four Ways

Yesterday was a very productive day for me to make cards. I was inspired by Susan's Simplicity post where she used some new DP she got. Well, I don't have any new DP to use, but I have two (big) drawers full of DP that I've had for a long time. Like I said before, if it comes back in my room, it has to be used. And it was time to use some of it.

It is a challenge for me to use DP on a CAS card because just the thought of patterned paper conflicts with the simplicity of a CAS card. Patterns aren't simple, they're busy, and a little can go a long way in CAS style!

I used a basic CAS layout that I have used before, but one of the cards Susan made prompted me to use it again, so I changed it up a bit for each card I made.

I really liked the bling/sentiment combo I used last week, so I used it again here. The dotted lines in the DP reminded me of a butterfly in flight, so I inked up my previously unused butterfly stamp and punched 'im out.

This card took the longest to make. It took me a while to get all the elements balanced while still keeping it CAS. The DP is the reverse side of the previous card.

I decided to change this one up with a colored card base.

The flower on here was a left-over from a previous failed card. I'm glad I could give it a good home.

You can see how you can change the placement of the sentiment and/or focal point while still using the same basic layout to get four completely different looking cards. That is what made this so fun for me.

This is a total case from Susan's card. I love this DP, but it may not have been the best choice for this style card.

And saving the best for last...

This is my favorite. I had to walk away from it for a while because it just wasn't coming together. Then the idea to score lines to frame the sentiment came to me. And I think that is what makes this card. Sometimes you just have to give it a little time and walk away. The answer may not come right away, or even ever, but cards have a way of working themselves out. At least that is what I tell myself!

What you do to change up the cards you make? Do you have a favorite layout you always turn to, or are you always trying something new? Do tell.


Monday, October 11, 2010

CAS88 - Inspired by 'Crinkle'

Our challenge this week was to be inspired by the word crinkle.  Since we have had a lot of birthdays around here lately, tissue paper was the first crinkly thing that popped into my mind.  I tried my hand at tissue paper flowers some time ago, and was disappointed with the results, so I thought I would give it another go.  This time it worked out much better.

I used white tissue paper flowers that I already had cut out from my first attempt.  Otherwise I would have used pink tissue paper.  I sponged pretty in pink and regal rose on the tissue paper before assembling the flowers.  The large flower has 3 different sizes of flowers, and the smaller flowers have 2 different sizes of flowers.  I layered 3 of each size of tissue then poked a hole and added a rhinestone brad.  I didn't center the brad on purpose - you never really see a flower (or 3 flowers together) head on.  I think it adds a little interest.

After the flowers were assembled, I crinkled them up, then sponged rose red around the petals to highlight the edges.  The ribbon leaves were heated gently with my heat tool.  It's always better to go slow when using a heat tool...I have melted holes in my ribbon before.  Yikes!

The weight of the flowers needed a large sentiment to balance them out.  And there you have my 'crinkle' sample card.

Supplies used:
Stamps - Inkadinkado
Paper - GKD PL white, white tissue paper
Ink - Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, Rose Red
Accessories - Nestabilities flower dies, Big Shot, daubers, rhinestone brads, organdy ribbon, heat tool, glue dots

I made this before my new room was delivered, but I made a record 6 cards today!  I haven't taken photos yet, so I'll be posting them soon.

See ya 'round!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Making Progress

I have spent the last four days, almost entirely, in my craft room.  My ScrapNcube order arrived on Thursday, and my room wasn't even close to being ready.  I still needed to move most everything out and paint the trim.  Back track to 3 1/2 years ago when we first moved into this house.  In my haste to get my room together, I elected not to paint the trim.  I had painted the entire house, and couldn't bear the thought of painting the trim.  (Note to self - don't ever do that again.)  Right now, my craft room is the only room in the house that has painted trim.  And that makes me feel special.

I finished moving things out on Thursday, and prepped to paint.  I won't tell you that I elected (not forgot, but rather chose) not to caulk after I taped everything off.  Stupid!  (Note to self - don't ever do that again.)  Visions of the perfect room must have been clouding my brain, because I obviously wasn't thinking clearly.

Friday morning was spent painting the trim, and then we started moving things in.  My order came on 2 pallets, and it took almost as much work to get them unpacked as it did to put them together.  It took the entire day to get all my tables moved in and assembled.  I moved a few things in on Friday, but was so exhausted I had to get some sleep.  I wanted to sleep on my new tables, they were so pretty!  But that wouldn't have been very comfortable, so I went to bed instead.

I woke up early Saturday and started the big move-in.  I don't even think I made my coffee before I started.  I knew I hadn't ordered all the cubes I would eventually need, but I have a place for the things I use on a regular basis.  Once I decide how I want to store the left-overs, I'll know which cubes to order.  Moving all my paper out of my closet and into the file drawers has freed up a ton of shelf space in my closet, so now I have that storage space to use.

I can't tell you how happy Mr. Brown made me when he delivered my order.  This is one of two pallets.

Here is a peek at how I organized my embellishments.

Each color has a drawer of its own, with a few drawers having more than one color.  I tied a colored tag on each knob so I can see what color lives inside.

Here is a look at my orange and yellow embellishment drawer.  I decided to include my SU markers in my color drawers, and I'm not quite sure how that is going to work out. I'm going to give it a try, though, because that frees up other drawers I would otherwise use just for markers.

I have my ribbon stored in a similar way with colored tags on the knobs.  I love that my ribbon is now protected from the light (and dust).  It looks so much neater, too.

Here is my red, pink, orange, and yellow ribbon drawer.  I organized my ribbon with SU brand first, followed by other manufacturers for each color.  I was amazed at how much ribbon fit into each drawer.

I spent a good part of Saturday, and most of the day today unmounting and combining my stamps in SU storage cases.  My record is eleven sets in one case.  Granted, some of them are single stamps, but it would still take eleven boxes to store them, and I reduced that to one DVD sized case.  I'm not even close to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but if I do a few sets a day, I should be done in a couple months.  Just kidding - maybe a couple weeks.  I hope!

Here is a look at my record combination case.  It is the Extreme series and the Just (sports) series.  Eleven sets in one!!!

And that is why I don't have any pictures of my whole room yet.  It is still a mess with stamps, and cases, and stuff all over the place.  But I am making progress, and it looks so much better than it did.   I will try post pictures of my whole room soon.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you understand why I haven't been stamping lately.  That is going to change, though, now that I can get to all my stuff!



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Oh, My!

I didn't realize how long it had been since I've posted here.  The last two weeks have been a whirlwind, and it doesn't look like things will be calming down for a while.

My new craft tables and cubbies from Scrap'n'Cube are going to be delivered this afternoon.  Since my craft show is over, I have been spending my time here and there cleaning out my craft room, and it looks like a tornado came through our basement.  It's amazing how much stuff one can pack into a 10' x 10' room!  Will it ever end?

Emptying my room has made me realize how much stuff I don't need, and when it's time to put it all back together, it won't be allowed in my room unless I use it.  Regularly.  No more hoarding pretty patterned paper.  No more buying dollar spot things to alter or saving altoid tins to alter because... I don't alter!  It has taken me years to realize that, but I'm done buying stuff I don't do anything with.  I'll leave the altering to someone else and stick to making cards.

Speaking of cards, here is a quick one layer beauty I made for our son for his birthday today.  I'm not very talented at the collage-y style, but I think this one turned out pretty good.  It's pretty hard to mess up when you use the Exteme Elements set.

One thing I love about SU's neutrals is how well they go together.  They can all stand alone, but combine a few of them, and you have a great looking color combo.

Supplies used:
Stamps - Extreme Dirtbike, Extreme Elements, PTI Birthday Basics
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Crumb Cake, Espresso, Suede, Night of Navy

It's hard to believe my first born is already eight.  He's halfway to driving a car, and will probably be trying tricks like this on his dirtbike by then - ack!  I'm just glad I'll have a great room I can hide out in!

I'll post pictures when it is all put together, and I hope to be stamping again soon!