Monday, 21 November 2011

A green and red duo.

After reading all of the lovely comments that were left on my last post I keep wishing that there was a "like" button like on Facebook, lol.  Since there isn't I will take this opportunity to thank those who left those great comments - Thank You!!!  :)

I have two more Christmas cards to post.  Sometimes I just really want to play, and make a card without really thinking about it.  In these instances I will go back to cards that I've loved previously and reuse the layout with new products.  This also makes it easier when you are trying to mass produce cards for the holidays.

Several weeks ago  on a weekend my awesome husband (have I mentioned how awesome he is?  :) ) let me craft to my heart's content while he had some father-son time with our boy.  On that day I loved my my first card so much I used the same layout.  I ended up with two cards that I really love.  Here is the first one:

When I started this card I thought I'd be making something quick as I wanted to make several.  Of course I kept adding things to the process which ended up taking longer than I had anticipated, but I really liked the result, and I enjoyed the process which is the most important thing anyway!

As always I started  with 8.5" by 11" cardstock and cut it in half to make my A2 size card (5.5" by 4.25").  I cut down a lovely sheet of berry patterned paper.  I really love the cursive writing, for some reason this feels really festive to me.  To bring out the red berries I matted it with a piece of red cardstock.  Before adhering these together I thought they looked a bit too clean for the pattern so I inked the edges of both pieces with chocolate brown ink  I thought this tied in to the smudgy parchment feeling of the pattern background.

I chose the sentiment because I thought it worked well with the paper, and I really liked it with the punch I used (one of my new favourites from this year).  Once punched I inked the edges with chocolate brown ink, added some glitter to the stamped image, and added a bit of ribbon. I adhered the sentiment with foam squares to give a bit of dimension.  I chose thin red ribbon to bring out the colour of the berries even more, and I chose some hemp twine to tie into the kraft cardstock.  A little bow adds a bit of prettiness.

 To tie in the kraft cardstock a bit more so I inked the edges of the front with chocolate brown ink, then adhered it all together.  I made six of these in total, so while it was not a difficult card to make the inking took a lot of time but it was worth it.  Here is a close up of the sparkle:

Here are the supplies I used:

Cardstock:  Stampin Up!  Crumb Cake, Real Red, Whisper White, K&C Company Tim Coffey Blossomwood 12 by 12 Designer Paper Pad

Ink: Stampin Up! Chocolate Chip, Real Red. Stampin Up!

Stamp Set:  Stampin Up! Christmas Punch

Embellishments:  Stampin Up! Dazzling Diamonds, Natural Hemp Twine, Offray 3mm wide red ribbon.

Adhesives:  Tombow Mono Permanent Adhesive runner, Stampin Up! 2 way glue pen, foam squares, Zots.

Tools:  Fiskars Paper Trimmer, EK Success Flourish Square Punch.

While it took me a bit of time to make this first card I still had some time leftover.  I really just wanted to get inky and play, so I pulled out a sheet of Pink Paislee Mistables and decided to make a card similar to the one above.  This is what I came up with:

I also pulled out some smooch spritzes, and before doing anything I sprayed the cardstock I was going to use as a base with some gold spritz, and I also sprayed the white cardstock that I would eventually stamp.  I let these dry before cutting and punching. 

I really like the Mistables sheet with the stamps and addresses on it, so I decided that would be the one I'd work with.  I used three shades of green and a blending tool to bring out the honeycomb pattern.  I then sprayed the whole thing with more gold spritz.  I let this dry before cutting it down.  I decided to mat this piece with two colors of cardstock, a light green, and some more kraft (I loooove kraft).  I inked both mats with  some green ink that matches the base cardstock, and I inked the patterned paper with black.

I thought that the postage stamp rubber stamp worked perfectly with the pattern paper so after stamping and punching with the same punch as before, I used my Stampin Write markers to colour in the image as I felt it needed a bit more colour.  I inked the punched piece with both green and black, to tie it in to the inks I used elsewhere.

I thought hemp twine worked perfectly on this card as it looks kind of package-y, and for this reason I used knots instead of a bow.  I didn't like the hemp twine by itself however, so I added some green ribbon.  I added tidbits of these to my Santa stamp cutout, and attached it with foam squares.  The whole thing was then adhered to the front of the card.  I also made six of these. Here is a better image of the shimmer (although it really doesn't do it justice):

I love how these two cards really turned out so differenly but when you put them side by side you can definitely see how they relate.

Here are the supplies I used for the second card:

Cardstock:  Stampin Up!  Garden Green, Certainly Celery, Crumb Cake, Whisper White.  Pink Paislee Mistables.

Ink: Stampin Up! Garden Green, Certainly Celery, Kiwi Kiss. Staz On Jet Black.  Smooch Spritz Gold Glow, Emerald Sprinkle.  Stampin Up! Stampin Write Markers Real Red, Blush Blossom, Garden Green, Certainly Celery.

Stamp Set: Christmas Punch.

Adhesives: Tombow Mono Permanent adhesive runner, Zots, foam squares.

Tools:  Fiskars Paper Trimmer, EK Success Flourish Square Punch.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Pretty Poppies

Today I was clicking on some blogs for some card inspiration and I found a couple of challenges that piqued my interest.  First was the  Simon Says Stamp Challenge blog,  Their challenge is to be based on an image of a beautiful field of poppies in honour of Remembrance Day and Veteran's Day last week.  I have had a lovely stack of floral papers for a while, and one of the papers is a beautiful poppy pattern so I thought this was the perfect time to use it. Next I went over to the Daring Cardmakers blog, and their challenge was to use a piece of jewelry for inspiration. On top of this my awesome husband and son gave me a Cuttlebug for my birthday so I definitely had to use that!  Hmmmm, poppies, jewelry, and a Cuttlebug....

So I searched around the Internet to see what I could find.  I eventually found this lovely necklace:

 So pretty, and perfect for these challenges!   Here is what I came up with:

I started out with an 8.5" by 11" medium-brown sheet of textured cardstock, cut in half to 5.5" by 8.5", then scored and folded in half at 4.25". I inked the edges of the card front with dark brown.  I cut a piece of kraft cardstock to 5.25" by 4" and ran it through my Cuttlebug with an embossing folder that reminded me of the intricate metalwork on the back of the necklace.  I used a blending tool to blend two shades of green over the cardstock to emphasize the embossed pattern. I inked the edges with dark brown ink. 

Next I cut a piece of patterned paper to 3.75" by 3.75".  I wanted to make it a bit old looking, so I crumpled it up and used Tim Holtz's distressing tool on the edges.  I used the blending tool to run a bit of dark brown over the creases and the edges of the paper. Once satisfied with my results I smoothed out the paper with the help of my bone folder and adhered it to the embossed cardstock.

To add the sentiment I first cut a small piece of cream cardstock at 1.5" by 0.75" and corner rounded the corners. I inked the edges with brown, and stamped the sentiment using a Stamp-a-ma-jig.  Mini brads were added and the sentiment was adhered using foam squares.

After adding ribbon and hemp twine, I made the poppy embellishment by trimming a flower out of the patterned paper, inking the edges with dark brown, and using my fingers to curl the petals a bit.  I added a large brad to the center of the flower, and two matching brads to the side through the ribbon.  Finally the finished piece was adhered to the card front.

Since there is an extra piece left over when making a card out of 8.5" by 11" cardstock I will often make two (or more) cards the same time.  This is helpful as if I make a mistake I hopefully have one that turned out, and if I don't make a mistake I have an extra card that I can use if I need one quickly and don't have time to make one from scratch.  This time is no different except when I got to the point of adding the brads I realized I didn't have enough black ones for both cards so I substituted amber ones:

I really love how both of these cards turned out!

Using the Cuttlebug on this project was so much fun,  I haven't had a chance to use it much yet but I find the embossing gives the card so much more personality with so little effort.  Also, the way the two greens blended together on background reminds me of the patina from oxidized bronze. 

I find that changing the colour of the brads makes a big difference for both of these cards. On the first card I like the black brads because it makes the vintage feeling card a little more sophisticated. These are the same two elements I feel the jewelry piece reflects, so I think I did OK in relating the card to the necklace. I like the amber brads on the second card because its a bit lighter, and it brings out the centers of the flowers in the patterned paper.  I really like both of these cards and it always surprises me how changing one small element can make such a difference in the end product.  :)

As far as making 'thank you' cards goes, I thought this was appropriate.  Poppies are used on Remembrance Day to symbolize the blood that was shed by those who have fought and continue to fight for us.  I am very thankful for and humbled by those who have sacrificed themselves for our countries.  Lest we forget.

Here are the supplies I used:

Cardstock:  Stampin Up!  Dusty Durango textured, Very Vanilla, K&C Company Tim Coffey Blossomwood 12 by 12 Designer Paper Pad, Recollections Kraft.

Ink: Stampin Up! Chocolate Chip, Kiwi Kiss, Garden Green

Stamp Set:  Stampin Up! Pocket Silhouettes. 

Embellishments: Stampin Up! Natural Hemp Twine, American Crafts Ribbon in green, Theresa Collins Haunted Hallows Decorative Brads, Recollections Mini Brads.

Adhesives: Tombow Mono adhesive runner, Zots, Foam Squares.

Tools used:  Fiskars paper trimmer, We R Memory Keepers Corner Rounder, Ranger Inkssentials Blending Tool, Tonic Studios Tim Holtz Paper Distresser.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Two For the Price of One - A Snowman Duo.

Its getting closer and closer to Christmas and with that thought I think I will post two cards today. :)

I was on a big blue and white with snowflakes kick for a bit and so my next holiday card looks similar to the first, but most of the techniques I used were quite different.

I started out with Pink Paislee's Mistables paper.  I love this stuff!  It features many neutral office-like backgrounds like the text I used above, or old ledgers, backs of envelopes, sheets with writing, etc. and it has a clear pattern embossed over it.  The fun thing about this is when you use paint, ink, and mist sprays over the paper the clear pattern reveals itself.  Also, the paper is quite thick so it will hold up to a lot of inks and sprays without warping too much.  So much fun to play with!

With this first attempt I used Tattered Angels "Winter Wishes" set.  I cut the Mistables to 4" by 3.75" and sprayed it with the three colours included in the mist set followed by the included clear coat.  After waiting a bit I wiped the excess off of the embossed parts so that it would stand out nicely against the shimmery background. 

While I waited for that to dry I cut a piece of navy cardstock to 5.5" by 8.5", scoring at 4.25" and folding.  I sprayed the side facing out with the same Tattered Angels clear coat which also has some shimmer in it.  The gray was cut to 5.25" by 4".  I sanded the edges, and then inked with navy ink.

I sprayed some white cardstock with the clear shimmer spray as well, and stamped my image. I punched the image out with a matching tag punch, and I punched some snowflakes from the same cardstock.  I inked the edges of the snow flakes with navy and added some rhinestones.

By now I was a bit impatient so I finished drying the Mistables with my heat gun.  I sanded the edges a bit and attached it to the gray cardstock.  Once knotting and adding the ribbon, I attached the snow flakes with foam squares, added a brad to the tag, and attached the tag with more foam squares.  The whole thing was attached to the card front.

I love this card because it is so shimmery, and the text makes it interesting.  The sparkle is difficult to see in the above picture so here is another view:

Still a bit difficult to see, but if you look close you can see a bit of the shimmer, and some of the drop marks made by the spray.  This was a really fun card to make.

Here are the supplies I used:

Cardstock:  Stampin Up! Night of Navy, Whisper White, Basic Gray.  Pink Paislee Mistables.

Ink: Stampin Up! Night of Navy, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist Winter Wishes set which includes: Moonlight, Frost, Spring Violet, and Glacier.

Stamp Set: Stampin Up! Christmas Punch.

Embellishments: Recollections brads (Michaels), Basic Jewels Rhinestones, Offray ribbon in gray.

Adhesive: Tombow Mono adhesive runner, Zots, Foam squares.

Tools:  Stampin Up!  Snow Blossom punch (retired), Extra Large Tag punch, Fiskars paper trimmer, sandpaper, heat gun.

I must have had snow flakes and snowmen on my mind because I put more on my next card.  Actually the real inspiration for this card was that I wanted to see if I could make a pretty holiday card with just black and white.

I started out by making my own shimmer spray using a few drops of  Tsukineko All Purpose Ink in Frost White with rubbing alcohol, and spraying on black cardstock.  I cut the cardstock to 8.5" by 5.5" and scored and folded at 4.25".

I cut a white piece of cardstock to 5" by 3.75" and inked the edges with black ink.  I cut a black piece of cardstock to 4.75" by 3.5 and stamped snowflakes in a random pattern with Versamark ink, and embossed with white embossing powder.  I inked the edges with white ink.

A final piece of white cardstock was 2.75" by 1.75".  I corner rounded the edges and stamped the image and inked the edges with black.  I added some iridescent glitter, and attached some ribbon to the back.  Once adding silver brads I adhered this to the black snowflake pattern with foam squares, the black pattern was attached to the white, and the whole thing was adhered to the card front.

I love how this card turned out.  This is not a normal colour combination I would go with and I find it festive despite the black.  I usually colour or water colour the snowman image but the glitter looks so snowy - here is a close up:

If you can't tell by now, I love snowflakes and snowmen so I really enjoyed making these two cards.  I hope the people who receive them enjoy them as much as I did!

Here are the supplies I used for the second card:

Cardstock:  Stampin Up! Basic Black, Whisper White.

Ink: Stazon Jet Black, Versamark Watermark Ink, Martha Stewart Bright White embossing powder. Stampin Up! Whisper White craft ink, Tsukineko All Purpose Ink Frost White (I purchased this from Stampin Up! as shimmer paint, but I've seen it on other websites as well)

Stamp sets: Stampin Up! Wishing You Cheer (retired), Snow Burst (retired).

Embellishments: Recollections Brads (Michaels), Celebrate It Basic Narrow gross grain black ribbon, Stampin Up! Dazzling Diamonds Glitter.

Adhesive: Tombow Mono adhesive runner, foam squares, Stampin Up! two way glue pen.

Tools: Fiskars paper trimmer, We R Memory Keepers corner rounder punch, sponge, Ranger mini mister, heat gun.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Precious Baby in Pink, Cream, and Brown

 I look at card challenge blogs every so often, usually if I am in need of some inspiration.  I have never participated because I didn't have a blog to link to.  I know you can often email entries, but I didn't ever seem to get around to it.  This time however, when I went to the Crafty Cardmakers blog, and saw that they gave a challenge of using pink, brown, and cream as a colour combination, I knew I had the perfect card to enter!

I started out with a piece of 8.5"x11" cardstock that I cut lengthwise so I had a piece measuring 4.25"x11".  I scored the fold lines at 3.5" and 9" to make a gate fold card.  I chose some lovely embossed cardstock from American Crafts in pink and cream.  I cut two pieces of the pink measuring 3.75"x4" and 1.75"x4", and two slightly smaller cream pieces measuring 3.5"x3.75" and 1.5"x3.75.  I traced a scallop template on the backs of the two larger pieces of cardstock, taking care that the scallops would line up when I put them together, and cut them out.  

I stamped the sentiment and image on the larger cream piece of cardstock and I adhered it to the corresponding piece of pink cardstock.  I tied a piece of pink ribbon in a knot with a piece of brown ribbon and I adhered that to the left of my stamped image.  I then attached the small piece of cream to the small piece of pink.

Before adhering these to the card front, I used Zots to attach more brown ribbon to the card itself. One piece went on the edge of the left flap, and the other piece went on the fold edge of the right flap.  Since the scallop edge will overlap the right flap, attaching the ribbon on the fold side of the right flap will allow the  two ribbons to be tied together.

 I added the coloured cardstock to the card front, and added some jewels to the stroller and the sentiment, and then I used some pink chalk to add a bit of shadow to the words and the wheels of the stroller.  Once a nice bow tied the card closed I was done!

My cards are usually a bit more decorated than this but I thought it was cute enough that it didn't need much more.  I was happy with the end result and my friend who received it appreciated the gesture. :)

Below are the supplies I used: 

Card stock:  Stampin Up! Crumb Cake, American Crafts embossed specialty cardstock in pink and cream.

Ink:  Stampin Up! Chocolate Chip, Pebbles Classic Chalk pencils in peony.

Stamps: KI Memories Little One Icons set

Template:  Kiwi Lane Designs Mini Scallops.

Embellishments: Stampin Up!  Basic Jewels Rhinestones

Ribbon:  Offray Ribbon in Light Pink, Offray Spool O' Ribbon (brown eyelet)

Adhesive:  Zots, Tombow Mono Permanent adhesive runner.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

The First Christmas Card of the Season

There is something about snowflakes that get me in the mood for holiday card making, so its no surprise that the card above is the first one I made this year.  Here is how I did it:

I started with the patterned paper used in the background.  I sometimes like to make my own patterned paper, and since this was my first card of the season I didn't have any holiday paper in my stash yet.  I used the emboss resist technique here.  I started out with some 8.5" x 11" white card stock, and stamped various sized snowflakes all over it with Versamark ink, and embossed with clear embossing powder.  After this I used sponges to layer various shades of ink over the card stock. I started with the lightest and ended with the darkest so I could see where to put the dark without going overboard. When satisfied with the shading I went over the whole thing lightly with silver pigment ink.  This gave the paper a lovely sheen that is difficult to see in the photo. I made sure to wipe off the snowflakes in between each layer so they stayed nice and white.

Once the patterned paper was dry, I chose the card stock to put with it - navy for the matting, and dark grey for the card.  I cut the 8.5" x11" grey card stock in half lengthwise, so I ended up with a piece measuring 4.25" x 11".  I scored the fold line at 5.5", so my final card measures 5.5" x 4.25".  The navy card stock was cut to 3.75" x 5", and the snowflake pattern to 3.5" x 4.75".  I cut the pieces for the sentiment before stamping, the navy measures 1.5" x 4" and the white is 1.25" x 3.75".

After corner rounding the small pieces I stamped the sentiment on the white using a Stamp-a-ma-jig, and inked the edge with navy ink using a sponge, then I ran the silver ink pad lightly over the edge.  I matted the white on the navy and added silver brads.

The patterned paper was also inked with navy around the edges.  Its hard to see but I feel like it gives the pattern a bit more depth.  Once matted on the navy card stock I added grey ribbon horizontally, and grey patterned ribbon vertically.  I punched two snowflakes out of white and inked the edges with navy, added some crystals to the middle and adhered them to the card where the two ribbons meet.  I attached this to the card front, then attached the sentiment using foam squares.

And there you have it!  Once the patterned paper was done it was really a simple card to make. I think I made eight of these total.  Definitely one of my favourites.

Here is a list of supplies I used.  Many of the items I have from Stampin Up! are retired but you could easily substitute for similar items.

Card stock:  Stampin Up! Whisper white, Night of Navy, and Basic Gray

Inks: Stampin Up! Baja Breeze, Pacific Point, Going Gray (retired), Night of Navy.  Versamark Watermark Ink.  Tsukineko Brilliance Starlite Silver.

Embossing powder:  Martha Stewart clear.

Adhesives: Tombo Mono Permanent Adhesive runner, Zots, foam squares. 

Ribbon: Offray (plain gray) and American Crafts Silver and White Snowflake.

Embellishments: Recollections brads (from Michaels) and Stampin Up! Basic Jewels.

Punch:  Stampin Up! Snow Blossom (retired)

Stamp sets:  Stampin Up! Many Merry Messages and Snow Burst (retired)

Post #1

So here it is, my blog. 

I can be obsessive about things and right now my number one obsession is cards.  I love to make cards, and with Christmas approaching it will soon be time to start mailing holiday cards to family and friends.

I usually start making cards some time in August so that I can take my time getting my cards ready.  This year, however, fall snuck up on me and I didn't start crafting on this year's lot until October.  In a panic I have been madly working away on my creations until I recently realized I am approaching 100.

This is about the number I work toward each year, so now I am thinking about what I should do next.  I think I will start to work on birthday cards for next year, because after Christmas I tend to take a bit of a break from cardmaking.  In the meantime, however, I've had the glimmer of another idea.

When making cards I tend to make several  of the same type at the same time, usually between 2 and 6 depending on the occasion, and I have gotten into the habit of taking a picture of each type so that I remember what I've done.  That way if I'm stuck I can go through what I've done before and maybe gain some inspiration.  I've always had it in the back of my mind that I should make a folder on facebook for these pictures, but that never worked out.  So this year I got the idea that I should start posting on a blog.  That way I can have a venue to display what I've done, a place to record how I did it, and maybe I'll get a little feedback too.

I also do a little cross stitch, and I have been known to sew and cook, so I thought it might be fun to post about those things too.

Well, I'm looking forward to seeing how this blog progresses, but right now its late and its time to go to bed, so I will start posting things tomorrow.  Night all!