Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sew Thankful for Friends

My dear friend Mary lives in California, but on a recent trip to visit here, she gave me my early birthday and Christmas presents. We are great ones for avoiding paying shipping costs! She presented me with a Hero Arts stamp called "Make it Yourself" and I promptly told her I would use it to create a thank you card for her.
I paired the stamped and Copic coloured image with October Afternoon Thrift Shop paper (a favourite paper pad that is sadly dwindling...) and used Antique Linen Distress Ink to age the edges. I used the Perfect Layers tool to mat the image. The small label was punched with a Stampin' Up! punch, stamped with a Waltzingmouse Sentiment and red brads echo the dress and border. 

I usually don't do much to the inside of my cards, but this Artful Stamper sentiment seemed just right! Thanks for peeking in!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pink for Christmas

The Waltzingmouse Christmas Card Challenge for the month of October is Pretty in Pink. I cannot recall if I have ever made a pink Christmas card before, so this seemed daunting, but the pretty Opera Tags stamp and die set inspired me with the opera curtain and the feminine shape.

This card was just a series of experiments that came together in the end. I was thinking of Moulin Rouge and can can dancers and sort of shabby, vintage ladies' budoirs when I was making it. 

The silky rayon bow is made from a Martha Stewart ribbon. It is quite thick and I used the simple, nifty bow tip I shared in this post to create it. I like how it is fraying a bit at the ends.

The ornament has the word Joyeux above Noel (from the Say It Loud Winter Holiday set) and if you click on this photo you might be able to make it out! I stamped the acetate layer with Fuchsia Pink StazOn ink and layered it over pink cardstock that I coated in iridescent glitter embossing powder. I tried stamping right on top of the embossed layer but it lacked definition, so the acetate jacket was the answer. Those two layers were added to a third fussy-cut pink layer that I ran a deep pink Copic marker around to create a border. The Spellbinders Frameabilities Classic Frame die cut was stamped with some sheet music and shaded with Antique Linen Distress Ink and highlighted with Memento Angel Pink.  
I created borders top and bottom with the ornate stamp from the Very Vintage Christmas set (still my all time favourite WMS stamp! Claire - when will you make a background stamp from that same design?)) and mounted them on more ribbon. I scored the pink base cardstock in a diamond pattern and dotted Diamond Stickles at each interestion to create some interest.

Very pink - not my favourite colour but I did my best to embrace the challenge! Thanks for stopping by today. Details on the WMS Christmas Card monthly challenge can be found in the WMS forum. I am also entering this card in the WMS sketch challenge.

Christmas Cuddlers

I recently purchased some new rubber from Suzanne at Quietfire Design and was so happy to have a bit of time to play this weekend. I tried out the acrylic block collage technique recently posted on Splitcoaststampers to the Technique Lovers Challenge. The idea is to smoosh a few inks on a flat acrylic block, spritz with water and stamp the block onto cardstock, then overstamp other stamps in a collage effect. There are some lovely samples in the gallery

For my first try above, I used Distress Inks. These inks are designed to bleed, blend and wick, so they interacted with each other as I overstamped. It gives a soft, dreamy look. I used snowflakes and flourishes from Quietfire Design for the collage. The "Christmas Cuddlers" are words that are meant to be nestled together, and I used Christmas and snowflakes for these cards. All Quietfire stamps are calligraphy; painstakingly drawn by hand - even the flourishes and snowflakes! As someone who is a Failed Calligrapher, I really appreciate being able to add this special touch to my cards that a computer just can't duplicate.

For my second attempt, I used a Kaleidocolor gradient stamp pad in Blue Breeze. This is a more defined, sharper effect. For both cards, I added some Diamond Stickles to the centers of the snowflakes to enhance them a bit.

Not too bad for a one layer standard A2 card. I think this might be the answer to the last minute Christmas card rush!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Tale of Two Cards

You might be surprised to know that many of the cards that I have shared here on my blog are not the final products. Often I will snap some photos and write a blog post, but then when I go to mail the card or attach it to a gift, I see it with fresh eyes and decide to edit or enhance it. I might add a bow or gemstones. Not drastic changes, but just something more that I feel the card needs. I don't know if I am the only one who does that.

This card (above) is an example of that. This is how it looked when I first thought it was done. Now before I tell you more - let me fully disclose the wonderful inspiration for this card. It was not an original idea - I fell in love with Waltzingmouse design team member Julia Aston's card here and when I finally got around to ordering the Half Pint Heroines set from Waltzingmouse Stamps, I knew I wanted to CASE Julia's lovely design. I already had a similar Memory Box die to make a "village" bottom border. I cut it out of white cardstock and added a bit of colour behind the window and door openings. I was also taken with the sky Julia sponged onto her background, and I definitely need to work on that technique, but I am glad I tried it.
Julia paper-pieced her balloon and added gemstones, and I thought those were grand ideas, too! (I am shameless.)
Now you will see that after I took those photos, I monkeyed around a bit with the landscape. The white seemed too pale with all the colour up top. I felt it needed a bit more punch. So I started adding colour with Copics. And Miss Sunshine in the basket looks like she flew too close to the sun - an attempt to add just a touch of blush to her cheeks that got away on me!

I fixed her cosmetic mishap here. The weak landscape was still bothering me, though. 
I finally settled on overlaying it completely with a black die cut. The black echoed the thin black border around the edge of the scene and provided a bit of balance to the sentiment stamped in black. Once that card was truly done, I quickly whipped up a second similar card. I used two sizes of gems for the balloon as I felt the smaller ones provided a bit of sense of perspective - curving away so therefore getting smaller. 

Here they both are, and that's my Tale of Two Cards!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WMS Blog Party October 2012

It's time for the October 2012 Waltzingmouse Stamps Blog Party, and I am getting to play this month!

The theme for October is a color selection of  purple, orange, black and a neutral of our choice.

I recently treated myself to some new Waltzingmouse Stamps (Half Pint Heroines) and was pleased to figure out a way to use some of them on this card, which is a birthday card for a 3-year old. That’s her, in the middle, with the blonde pigtails!

I colored with Copics on Ranger Specialty Stamping Paper, which was not ideal, I discovered. Should have stuck with the Neenah cardstock. Oh well, lesson learned. I sponged Distress Inks over the background. I was able to use a new embossing folder and a new Spellbinders Nestabilities Label die. The card base and the fine scalloped border around the main image are, indeed, purple.

Be sure to go and visit all the other folks who showed up for the party. I look forward to doing just that once my work day is done.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Irresistable Kraft Paper

How many of you have a pad of Tim Holtz Idea-ology Paper Stash Kraft Resist paper and have never done anything with it? I suspect there are quite a few as a Google search for images using this paper comes up pretty lean. Here is the pad I own:
I used a sheet of the ledger style paper to create my own feature sheet of paper for a coffee and tea themed card. The paper has numbers and lines that resist inks, providing a bit of a ghostly effect that I found impossible to capture in a photo.

I used Distress Stains and Distress Inks to colour swaths of the paper in a vertical fashion. I overstamped with a lot of stamps in the theme (I have quite a collection). Most of the stamps are from Oxford Impressions and Stampington & Company. I used a Stampington leaf stamp, embossing in gold, to provide another layer of interest to the card. 

Four brads and a navy border were all it seemed to want to finish this 9 X 4 inch card. It's a thank you card for a man, so I resisted (ha!) the urge to pretty it up. I have plenty of this customized paper left over to make a few other cards, and looked forward to working with the other sheets in the pack.

I am entering this in the Crafts and Me Challenge of Anything Goes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Burnished Velvet Leaves

For an October birthday card for my boss, I thought rich warm hues and falling leaves would be perfect. I created the burnished velvet strip using masks I die cut with Spellbinders leaf dies and simple circles from a hole punch. I used six different Glitter Ritz glitter colours so there is a lot of contrast and sparkle.

I sparkled up the borders and created a focal point by gold embossing the sentiment and backing it with an en pointe square coated in champagne glitter. Inside I used a Memory Box Nutty Acorn die to make it a little more interesting. 

I am entering this card in the following challenges:

I recently discovered I have over 50 colours of Glitter Ritz Glitter to use on the Burnished Velvet technique, so with this card I was trying to "Use It" up and made an ever so slight dent in my stash!