Sunday, June 19, 2016

Summer of Creativity Week 3

Here it is - week 3 in the re-cap of Creative Chemistry 101 lessons. I believe it was 2012 when I first did these lessons and the nice thing about revisiting them now is I have new supplies and more colours to work with.

I created the tags below as a warm up, but my goal is to make a card for each re-cap challenge, so I did that, too.

For the shell tag I used the Perfect Distress technique but did not seem to get as much bleeding action as I would have liked. For the palm tree I used a combo of Perfect Distress Mist and Splatter. I stamped the palm tree with white pigment ink, heat set it, then overstamped with brown and green Distress Inks. 

My finished card is made with the Perfect Distress Splatter technique. I think this will make a nice card for a man. The camera refuses to pick up the pearly sheen on the card. Trust me, it's there!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Paper Chandelier

"Mom, can you make something like this?"


30 minutes of internet research and I had a plan. Couple hours later, I had this:

I found a free PDF template for the chandelier here:

I used 110 pound Black Recollections cardstock from Michael's. Gotta love my Silhouette Cameo!

Summer of Creativity Week 2

In week two Tim Holtz challenged us to do some Stamping With Stains. I decided to do a few practice tags first, which were not amazing, but I will share here anyways. The first was using 3 or 4 colours of Distress Stains.  I forgot to wet the tag first and I forgot to ink around the edges. Oh well.

The next one was a Marbled Stains technique. I found Archival Ink really was not stamping overtop of the Picket Fence Stain very well, so I ended up using Verafine Black, which worked a treat. I remembered to go around the edge this time, using Salty Ocean Distress Ink.

And using the Marbled Stains technique, I created the background for this card:

I used a Stamp in the Hand pear and a Stampington & Co. sketchy cheesecloth stamp for a base. The gold on the pear is Delicata Gold ink applied here and there as the black was a bit flat and stark.

Summer of Creativity Week 1 (Late)

Over at we are revisiting the Creative Chemistry 101 classes with Tim Holtz. If you did not join in last time around, this would be agreat time for a refresher. Each week Tim issues a challenge. Last time I took these courses I did the obligatory tags. This time around, I am determined to make cards with the various techniques.

For week 1 we were asked to create a background using four or more colours of Distress Inks. I used the Spritz and Flick method for my card background, and used yellow, orange, coral and purple Distress Inks.

I haven't been stampling much lately, and forgot how much fun it is to just play and get messy! Hope you enjoy this card.

Stamps: Stampington & Co. ballerina; Waltzingmouse music (background).

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone! I made some wee gifts for my staff this week. I found some little espresso cups and saucers for a song and thought they would make lovely chocolate egg holders.

I recently got some 12X12 vinyl sheets from Angel Craft Vinyl through and there was a nice chocolate brown in the assortment. And yellow. The bunny is (I think) a file from the Silhouette Online Store.

I had some basket raffia to create wee nests for the eggs. I personalized the saucers with their names. Packaging was just some tulle and ribbon. 

Thanks for visiting!

Cardmaking Jig - DIY!

A jig! A cardmaking jig! No, it's not a new dance craze sweeping the card-making community. This is  a tool to help you line up your layers on a card front with ease. I am so excited to show you the one I made.

If you are a cardmaker, you know the agony of trying to line up layers on a card front so there is a nice even border of under layer showing all around. Typically you would decorate your focal layer, and then want to mat it much like a painting. Fancy cards might have more than one layer. 

With this homemade tool, I can forget measuring, slicing with rulers and knives, or just eyeballing and hoping for the best.

I found the instructions from back in 2010 online (link below) and in minutes had my own jig that allows me to leave 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch borders around my layers. All you need are some photo frame mats, a knife and ruler, some tape (I used Sookwang) or glue and a sturdy base to tape the mats onto.

Here you can see my two different mats. The other halves of each mat will be made into a second jig for my sister who is also a stamper.

It's the inset lip formed on the mat that is the secret to this.

By laying the layer you want topmost on your card onto the jig so that the corner butts right up into the corner of the jig, you can be assured accurate placement of the next layer on top.

Let's say you want to place a layer on a standard 5.5 X 4.25 inch card with a one eighth border all around the layer. The layer needs to therefore be cut 1/4 inch smaller all around than the card front base, so 5.25 X 4 inches. This is familar to anyone who has been making cards for awhile. Lay the layer (yellow) FACE DOWN in the well of the 1/8 inch jig and apply adhesive to the back.
Layer in corner of jig.

Now you will take your card front (aqua) and lay it on top of the layer with the adhesive, lining the card front up with the uppermost corner of the jig (wine coloured in photo above). Make sure you place it so your image will be right side up after you adhere it and then turn it over.

Card front placed on top into the uppermost corner of jig.
When you turn it over, you will see the top layer of the card is sitting on the base card front layer with a perfect 1/8 inch border all around!

This is a boon for making lots of cards and not needing to measure or trim. If you start out knowing the size of your card front, then you can cut your layers down the required amount to create the border. 

I have the Perfect Layers ruler type tools but I found that they are only good for one layer. With this jig, I can do more layers on one card without affecting the accuracy.

I had been trying to figure out how to create a jig for my MISTI to accomplish this, and was seriously considering buying an expensive jig on the market, when I came across this ever-so-helpful post: Original DIY Instructions. It cost me NOTHING because I had the materials lying around, but you could make one from supplies for less than five bucks.

Hope you find this helpful. It's working really well for me, and if I have to replace the mats at some point due to wear and tear, it will be easy and cheap enough to do so.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Farewell, Waltzingmouse Stamps!

Anyone who has visited my blog knows I am a longtime fan of Waltzingmouse Stamps. So it is sad for me to see this small stamp company based in Ireland shutting its doors. To send Claire Brennan off in style, the gals over at the Waltzingmouse Fanatics Challenge Blog have issued one last challenge to share some WMS goodness. 

One of my favourite cards made with Claire's stamps is this one:
I liked how the sentiment fit so well in that space created by the embossing folder, and the contrast of the Antique Linen Distress Ink (one of Claire's faves) with the foiled gold sheet music.

Back in 2013 Claire featured me on her blog as a Friend of Waltzingmouse Stamps and the projects I made for that have not been shown here on my blog, so I am posting those shots below:

Claire was an innovator in her field, one of the very first designers to create stamps that match dies, for instance. And she designed a lot of gorgeous Christmas stamps that had a certain "olde world" charm that I have not seen elsewhere. In its heyday, WMS had the best challenges, design team, community forum and gallery around.  I know all these things helped stretch me as a card maker and kept things fun and interesting. 

I am glad I have all the WMS stamps that I do - they still give me so much joy when I reach for them. And just think - they will soon be collector's items! I hope we will see Claire around in the crafting community in some new capacity soon. She's a lovely person and incredibly talented, and I'm sure we have not seen the last of her creativity!