Thursday, November 16, 2017

From the heart

I'm working on December birthday cards at the moment and while there's usually a tendency to tie into the traditional holiday colors and images,  I always try to fight that.  People whose personal major events are right next to big holidays deserve to avoid getting lost in the shuffle . . .

So for this December birthday card, I used frosty white leaves touched with gold, some Kraft-colored cardstock to ground things, and a winter butterfly in burgundy and gold.  A little burgundy shimmer here and there, and done . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Crimson, Neenah Desert Storm, Strathmore
                           Soft White         
Stamps:        Marianne Banners & Text: “From the heart”
Inks:               VersaMark, Ancient Page Bordeaux
Emb Powder:   Ranger Fine Gold, Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Sheena Geometric Cutout, DieNamics Falling Leaves,
                           Lil Inker Stitched Mats Rectangles, Elizabeth Small
                           Butterfly, Marianne Banners & Text 
Doo Dads:    The Art Institute Glitter Burgundy  

Monday, November 13, 2017

Explore, Nurture, Treasure

After our North NJ State Fair, I had the distinct pleasure of being interviewed about my work by our local newspaper.  Reporter Kathy Stevens did a wonderful job with the article and I'm hoping it encourages other potential stampers in the area to give this wonderful hobby a try.  During the interview, Kathy shared her love for leaves, so a couple of those were what I used for her card . . .

The treatment with the leaves was my first attempt with a technique Jennifer McGuire re-hashed from an earlier post a year ago.  The easy instructions and both videos can be found here . 

After setting up your die cutting machine to emboss - not cut - dust your piece of cardstock with anti-static powder and set it down on the embossing pad.  Then lightly tap a detailed die with a VersaMark pad.  Lay it down carefully onto your cardstock, being careful to not let it shift.  Roll through, remove the die, and sprinkle with metallic embossing power.  Tap off the excess and heat.  So easy, and so gorgeous!

To keep the leaves puffed up, I applied embossing paste to the backside and leveled it off with my palette knife

I also tried Jennifer's method of embossing with water spatters!  Just use a wet paintbrush and tap it against your finger to distribute the drops.  Then dust on your embossing powder.  The result is a light, lovely, and randomly artsy dispersal. Try it!     

Cardstock:   Bazzill Dark Olive, Marcos Aquarelle, Stedner Bright White   
Stamps:        Starving Artistamps Positive Words
Inks:               Distress Vintage Photo, Rusty Hinge, Festive Berries,
                           Fossilized Amber, Peeled Paint, Shabby Shutters
Emb Powder:   Ranger Fine Gold
Dies:              Prima Forest Leaves, Memory Box Stitched Rectangle 
Doo Dads:    Tulip Glitter Gold     

Thursday, November 9, 2017


While working on a couple of 9" x 12" projects I'm making for Christmas presents, I began wondering if I could translate some of the techniques into a smaller layout suitable for a card . . .

After gluing down some wrinkled tissue paper over the entire card front, I gessoed over the surface and let it dry.  Then I overstamped with a text background, and stenciled with a wonderfully gritty paste.  A few die cuts smooshed with some warm Distress colors, some fibers across the bottom, and I'm reasonably happy with the results . . .

Cardstock:   Strathmore Kid’s Paint Pad, Soft White, tissue paper   
Stamps:        Heartfelt Creations Large Elegant Word Background
Inks:               Gesso, Distress Barn Door, Spiced Marmalade, Mustard
                           Seed, Brushed Corduroy, Walnut Stain, Wink of Stella
Dies:              Tim Holtz Fall Foliage, Impression Obsession Grass, Banners
                           & Tails, DieVersions Hint of Lime              
Stencil:          The Crafters Workshop Mini Tile Texture
Doo Dads:    Glittered twig, various cords, Art Anthology Dimensional 
                         Paste Sandstone

Monday, November 6, 2017

What the?

Here's some more fun with Tim's Crazy Birds:  there are six in the set and I plan to play with all of them . . .

The most exciting discovery I made while working on this card was discovering the joy of Strathmore's Bristol paper.  That stuff is awesome, especially when it comes to moving color around.  The pad cover says that it's not designed for work with water, but you can toss that limitation right out the window.  Its heavy weight keeps it from warping and even after working the water brush extensively, it didn't pill. 

A couple of years ago, I tried coloring with Distress markers and then using my water brush to move the color around.  Mostly, none of the colors budged, even after trying them out on Beckett cardstock and watercolor paper.  But on the Bristol, they moved like a dream.  This method is the way I've always wanted to color and I am so excited to find that it actually works!  The cardstock really does make the difference . . .

And here's another perky look with a few changes in coloring and 
accessories . . .

The Yellow card:
Cardstock:   The Paper Cut Brown Umber, Strathmore #100 Bristol           
Stamps:        Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Crazy Talk
Inks:               Distress Carved Pumpkin, Brushed Corduroy, Mustard
                           Seed, Gina K Charcoal Brown, Ancient Page Chocolate,
                           Pine, VersaMark 
Colorants:    Distress Markers Carved Pumpkin, Mustard Seed, Mowed Lawn,
                           Frayed Burlap, Walnut Stain, Antique Linen          
Watercolors:   Inktense Cadmium Yellow, Zig Clean Color Yellow
Emb Powder:   Distress Walnut Stain, WOW Clear Matte Dull
Dies:              Lil Inkers Stitched Mats Rectangles, Tim Holtz Crazy 
Stencil:          The Crafters Workshop Mini Ledger + Golden Light Paste

The Orange card:
Tina’s card:
Cardstock:   The Paper Cut Brown Umber, Strathmore #110 Bristol           
Stamps:        Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Crazy Talk
Inks:              Distress Carved Pumpkin, Brushed Corduroy, Gina K 
                          Charcoal Brown, Ancient Page Chocolate, Pine, VersaMark, 
                          VersaFine Olympia Green 
Colorants:    Distress Markers Carved Pumpkin, Mowed Lawn, Frayed Burlap, 
                          Walnut Stain, Antique Linen, Zig ColorBrush Leaf      
Emb Powder:   Distress Walnut Stain, WOW Clear Matte Dull
Dies:              Inkers Stitched Mats Rectangles, Tim Holtz Crazy Things
Stencil:          The Crafters Workshop Mini Ledger + Golden Light Paste

Thursday, November 2, 2017


Here's another twist on the expensive men's shirt I saw last week . . .

My dear friend David is looking at right hip and left knee replacements and the pithy saying seems to cover those events rather well . . . sometimes, there's no way out of trouble and you simply have to go through it.

Love the colors on this:  black, tan, and cream just seem to do it, I think . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Raven, Strathmore Bristol, Generic scraps Black        
Stamps:        Stamp Oasis Four Square Graphics, Hampton Splatter,
                        Stamp Warehouse Squiggles, Magenta Leaf Row, Large
                        Dots Pattern, Starving Artistamps  Number Row, Stampa
                        Rosa Flower Weave, Stamp Diva Primitive Leaf, The Stamp
                        Bug Bubble Flourish, Red Rubber “Life has got to be lived…”
Inks:               Hero Black, VersaMark, StazOn Jet Black, Distress
                        Brushed Corduroy
Emb Powder:   Antiquities Ochre
Dies:              Gina Marie Stitched Rounded Squares              
Doo Dads:    Inkssentials Enamel Accents Black covered with 
                         Black embossing powder           

Monday, October 30, 2017

Trick or Treat

My long overdue love affair with Tim's Crazy Birds may have gotten off to a late start, but oh boy, am I ever making up for lost time . . .

The set of Crazy Things (stamps and matching dies) makes it so much fun to play with these wonderful birds.  Kristina Werner designed these accessories and she covered all of the major holidays with various motifs:  in this case, a pumpkin, broom, and witch's hat.  Along with a large variety of useful images including hats, glasses, and balloons, this means you make these birds work for just about any event you can name! 

This is really the most versatile collection I've ever owned . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Blueberry, Strathmore #100 Bristol, Kid’s Series
                           Paint Pad   
Stamps:        Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Crazy Things, Crazy Talk
Inks:               Distress Carved Pumpkin, Dusty Concord, Shaded Lilac,
                           Black Soot, ColorBox Black
Emb Powder:   Distress Black Soot
Dies:              Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Crazy Things, Spellbinders A2
                           Distressed Edges
Doo Dads:    Glossy Accents        

Thursday, October 26, 2017

It's Your Birthday!

The coloring on this card was inspired by a beautiful $96 men's shirt I saw in a catalog.  At that price, I will never be gifting my darling hubby with it, even though he deserves it - and much more . . .

The fun thing for me on this card was the three black embellishment dots.  I used Ranger's Enamel Accents which I love because they form perfect little shiny domes easily.  However, for this card, shiny wasn't what I was after.  So while the glue was still wet, I sprinkled on some black embossing powder and tipped off the excess.  No heat gun, of course - that would have just made everything shiny again.

I will forever be grateful to the blogger who suggested using embossing powder over glues and tapes but not  heating it in order to achieve matte finish results.  SCORE!

Cardstock:   Strathmore Bright White, Soft White, Generic scraps Black    
Stamps:        Peddler’s Pack Swirly Roses & Leaves, Swirly Rose Leaf,
                           Wild Rose Leaf, Stampin’ Up “They say it’s your 
Inks:               Distress Walnut Stain, Brushed Corduroy, Hero Black,
                           ColorBox Frost White
Emb Powder:   Distress Black Soot, WOW White Puff, Sweet Stamps
                                Fine Detail White  
Dies:              Mama Elephant Peek a Frame                
Doo Dads:    Inkssentials Enamel Accents Black, covered with 
                          Black Soot EP