Monday, December 11, 2017

You & Me

There was a time when I thought I had to know exactly where I was going with a card's design before I could actually sit down and make it happen.  Those constricted days are long gone, thank heavens.  They were exhausting.  It's a lot more fun to pick an element I like and just run with it . . .


This one started out with a sponged panel in green and blue, over which I gold embossed the leafy background.  The Muse took a little while to produce the other elements (she drags her feet a lot), but they eventually came together very peacefully.  The part I like best is the finish on the gold embossing powder - instead of the usual smooth and shiny look, this powder cures to a textured appearance that looks like hammered gold.  I love it so much that I bought an 8 ounce jar so that I would never run out!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Admiral, Strathmore Soft White   
Stamps:       Impression Obsession Greenery
Inks:             ColorBox Gold, Distress Chipped Sapphire, Pine Needles
Emb Powder:   Ranger Gold
Dies:            Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Memory Box
                        Timberland Collage, Cottage Cutz Birch Trees and Deer,
                        Spellbinders You & Me
Doo Dads:    Pilot Marker Gold     

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Button Tree

Here is a picture of this year's Christmas gift, destined for two of my friends who love and appreciate handmade efforts . . .


The original idea came from artist Shari Carroll who posted her instructions for this stunner of a button tree last December.  I knew right away that this would be my gift choice for this year.  Here is her excellent video on the procedure . . . 

I enclosed both an easel and a Command hanging strip so they'll have a choice as to whether to hang it or display it on a side table.  It was a really fun project to do and I expect I'll be making several more in future . . .

Monday, December 4, 2017

Ornaments 2017

Every year, I have fun carrying on a tradition my mother started decades ago with her two grandchildren:  making ornaments the kids could use through the years, and then take with them when they moved into their own homes.  Here are this year's ornaments for two of my young grandchildren . . .


The addition of die cutting to a stamper's bag of tricks has made this effort a whole lot easier to pull off.  This year's background reflects my current rage:  gilding flakes!  There are scores of great videos showing how to apply these lovely pieces of light:  one of the easiest is to take double-sided tape, apply it to piece of cardstock, peel off the remaining release paper and start adding the flakes.  Cover completely, burnish with your fingers to get the major excess off, and then burnish firmly with a stencil brush to remove the rest of the bits.

A little of these flakes goes a very long ways, and these collections come tightly packed in the jar, so you'll have enough to play with for years.

ORNAMENTS:
Cardstock:   Wausau Firecracker Red, Generic Green          
Dies:            DieNamics Stitched Mini Scallop Rectangle, DieVersions
                        Christmas Word Tree, Punch Bunch Star               
Doo Dads:    Sparkle & Sprinkle glitter Fantasy Gold, Enchanted Creations
                        glitter Moondust, Mark Richards Metals Gold & Silver, Gold
                        and Silver cords 

BOXES:
Dies:            Papertreyink Bulk Mail Envelope, Memory Box Alphabet
                        Soup, Tim Holtz Alphanumeric (numbers)
Doo Dads:    Past Time Stamps Ultrafine Glitter


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Dream, Sparkle

My love affair with gilding leaf continues . . .


I had a scrap left over from a previous card so I decided to overlay it with a spray of bamboo shoots that were also covered with the same gilding leaf.  I strongly recommend doing the leafing before the die cutting:  it's much easier to work with a solid piece of cardstock as opposed to a delicate cut out.

The background was going to be framed with one of the four frames that this one-piece die provides, but I forgot to use the metal plate needed for added pressure when cutting intricate dies.  Therefore, none of the cut out pieces in the frames were cut all the way through, so I decided to leave them in place for a textured look that didn't compete with the bamboo shoots.

There's a lot of glitz and glitter on this card and I'm debating about whether or not to tone some of it down.  We shall see, but for the moment, it's safe from the chopping block  . . .

Cardstock:   Generic Bronze Metallic 
Stamps:       So She Stamps “Dream”, Stampin’ Up “Sparkle”
Inks:             ColorBox Gold
Emb Powder:   Ranger Gold
Dies:            Frantic Stamper Fancy Frames #1, Memory Box
                        Bamboo Shoots                
Stencil:        The Crafters Workshop Mini Cubist
Doo Dads:    Amy’s Magic Leaf Sea Spray, Marigold glitter

Monday, November 27, 2017

So Special

The spectacular background on this card came from a serendipitous incident that Pat Huntoon of Technique Junkies stumbled across one day . . .


Pat calls this technique Stenciled Glittery Gilding Flakes and it's quick and easy to do.  Go here for the 10 minute video on how she did it. 

Here's a quick preview:  remove the liner paper from one side of a piece of double-sided glue tape and stick it down onto a piece of cards stock. Peel off the liner paper and lay a  stencil down over the sticky side.  Press firmly to secure, and spread gilding leaf over all.  Burnish with your fingers, then with a stiff brush.  Peel off the stencil and dust some glitter over the remaining sticky areas.  DONE!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Aqua 
Inks:             Wink of Stella Clear
Dies:            Spellbinders Classic Rectangles Large, DieNamics
                        Pierced Rectangle Frame, Mama Elephant Peek a Frame,
                        Spellbinders Floral Berry Accents, Tattered Lace
                        Everyday Sentiments: “So Special”, Papertrey Ink
                        Angled Labels                
Stencil:        The Crafters Workshop Mini Cubist
Doo Dads:    Amy’s Magic Leaf Sea Spray, Marigold glitter

Thursday, November 23, 2017

I Lift Up My Eyes

When encouragement in needed, it's hard to beat this verse from Psalms . . .


I tried a little 2nd generation stamping here with the mountain image.  After inking the stamp, I stamped it off once lightly and then stamped onto the 
deckle-edged panel.  The text was stamped full strength, and the slightly 
lighter mountain range makes the text pop.  It's subtle but in real life, it does make a difference.

The puffy white clouds were stamped with a marble patterned image which made for a nice wispy design.  They are very white and needed a little balance at the bottom of the layout, so I used a white Prisma pencil to emphasize some of the lighter surfaces in the mountain range.

Lastly, I know that these particular birds are more typically suited to be living at the ocean, but I'm hoping the recipient isn't into ornithology and will be just as pleased with this soaring trio of grace and freedom.

Cardstock:   Neenah Desert Storm        
Stamps:        Our Daily Bread Keep Climbing: mountains and text,
                           Waffle Flower Layering Marble
Inks:               VersaFine Onyx Black, Papertrey Ink Fresh Snow
Colorants:    Prisma pencil White
Emb Powder:   WOW White Puff
Dies:              Impression Obsession Sea Birds
Emb Folder: Taylored Expressions 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Fall

Fall is not my favorite time of the year, but I do love the colors . . .


The happy surprise for me was finding out that watercolors can actually be blended to some extent.  Working with just the right half of the maple leaf, I colored the lower part with Red, and then right away, did the tips with Yellow, continuing down into the Red and back up 2/3 of the way in order to blend.  Then I repeated on the left half of the leaf.  It worked much better than I thought it would.  Maybe I'm beginning to get the hang of this coloring gig after all!

To all who celebrate, a blessed Thanksgiving to each and every one of you . . .

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute  
Stamps:        Hero Autumn, Vippie’s Dotty Snow
Inks:               Papertrey Ink Classic Kraft, VersaFine Vintage Sepia,
                           Distress Gathered Twigs, Ground Espresso
Watercolors:   Zig Clean Color Geranium Red, Orange, Yellow,
                              Brick Beige, Blush
Emb Powder:   Distress Walnut Stain
Dies:              Hero Autumn, Goodculler Stitched Rectangles, Essentials by
                           Ellen Stitches Cover Plate, Impression Obsession Branch,
                           Arich Rounded Corners Stitched Rectangles