Monday, July 30, 2012

Purple Vase with Ferns

While there’s certainly a need for Guy Cards, I’ve decided that on occasion, I’m not going to get too stressed over the details.  Take bows, for example:  supposedly, we’re not supposed to put bows on a guy’s card.  Well, I can see the reasoning behind that.  However, don’t guys tie their shoelaces into bows nearly every day of their lives?  So may I stick a bow on a guy’s card once in awhile?  Why thank you very much, I think I will . . .

 . . . besides, this was an anniversary card for my husband, so on this romantic occasion, I do believe that bows are a good thing.  And yes, he loved the card!  He’d better:  our wedding colors were Purple, Green, Black and White and this was supposed to remind him of that! 

As for the background, I used Green, Purple, Blue and Lilac crayons to scribble over the roughest textured watercolor paper I have in my stash and then ironed it between two pieces of newsprint.  Then I crumpled it up, smoothed it out a bit, and highlighted the creases with a little Black ink.  It was fun . . . think I’ll do that technique again soon.

Meanwhile, I hope the camera doesn’t hog all the glitter:  I used it here and there and it added just the right amount of sparkle . . .

Cardstock:   Generic Green, Purple, Watercolor paper
Stamps:       Paula’s Best Open Fern, Stampers Anonymous   
                            Mosaic Scrap
Inks:             ColorBox Black, VersaMark, Marvy Markers in
                              Silver & Purple
Emb Powder: Judikins Detail Black
Dies/Punches:  Family Treasures Vase
Doo Dads:      Lilac bow, Diamond Glaze, Prisma Glitter,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Love and Lace

While we may have agreed via Monday’s post that black and white are indeed a dramatic combo, when red is added to the mix, all bets are off . . .

Although sexy black lace might add just the touch of naughty that makes things interesting, adhering it posed a problem at first.  I could cheat on the lace’s right side border and sneak the glue under the bows and the stamped heart.  Not so the left border:  the edging is very pretty and I wanted all of it to show.  So instead of running away from the problem, I instead ran right into a solution – it’s called “hiding in plain sight”, a maneuver I’ve happily employed too many times to count.  I put down a ¼“ wide band from my tape runner, and using the side of a toothpick to help avoid touching the glue strip, pressed the lace into place.  I then added lots of Prisma glitter right through the lace and pressed down firmly to seat all the glitter and the lace as well.  The excess glitter dropped off easily and the resulting peek-a-boo sparkle was just what I was after – hope the camera lets me show it to you . . .

Cardstock:         Marco’s White Linen, Wausau Firecracker Red
Stamps:              PSX Love Heart
Inks:                   ColorBox Black
Emb Powder:     B’Muse Detail Black
Emb Folder:       Cuttlebug Swirls
Doo Dads:          Decorative scissors, Red satin bows, Black lace, Prisma glitter

Monday, July 23, 2012

Graphic Leaves

Few color combos can outshine black and white for sheer drama.  Every time a stamping magazine puts out a challenge call for black and white work, the results never disappoint . . .

. . . and then we have my attempt.  I tried for a positive/negative effect on this one and am not real sure I succeeded.  After embossing one large leaf with Black on White, and the other with White on Black, I cut them down the middle and paired opposite halves.  It didn’t turn out the way I’d figured, but then that could be said of most of my work:  to some extent, the outcome is always a surprise!  I suppose it’s best when life isn’t too completely predictable . . .

Cardstock:     Beckett Iceberg, Generic dull Silver and textured Black layers
Stamps:         Magenta Leaf Panel (cut apart and used separately), Carved Stamps Striped Leaf
Inks:                 ColorBox Frost White, Black, Silver
Emb Powder:  B’Muse Silver, Judikins White, B’Muse Detail Black
Doo Dads:      Silver Mizuhiki cords

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's Good To Play

These are definitely words to live by, and who would know this better than their author, Jerry Seinfeld?

While I’d seen two or three examples of card fronts that were put through an embossing folder after having been stamped, I couldn’t believe that such a technique would leave me with anything readable. So naturally, I had to try it out.  What an amazing surprise! 

Regardless of what my camera chooses to show you, trust me:  the tiniest, skinniest line of intricate stamping in this image is fully visible in all of its detailed glory!  I did all of the stamping, coloring and edging first before inserting into the embossing folder.  I think the results are neat and hope you do too . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Black, Generic textured Taupe, Beckett Moonlight
Stamps:        Lost Coast Steampunk Pony;  text: Cloud 9 Simple Thoughts/Laughter
Inks:                Archival Black; Copic W4 Warm Grey, Gelly Roll Star Clear, Marvy Silver marker
Emb Folder:  Cuttlebug Herringbone
Doo Dads:    Antique Silver brads

Monday, July 16, 2012

Eat Your Veggies

This card was the perfect one to send to two extraordinary people:  one is an outstanding vegan chef known as Chef AJ whose delicious work I got to sample during last week’s Vegetarian Summerfest, a fabulous annual event that takes place at the University of Pittsburgh in Johnstown.  The other got turned into a birthday card and went to a new friend whose health challenges would certainly benefit by eating more of those wonderful nutrient-dense foods known as veggies. We’ve been in regular emailed discussion over just this idea so I’m sure she got a good laugh when she opened the envelope!

Cardstock:     Bazzill Ruby Red, Leap Frog, Beckett Moonlight
Stamps:          A Stamp in the Hand Veggie Set; Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty Bgrnd
Inks:                ColorBox Cream White, Archival Black, Tsukineko Embossing Dual Pen #52 Marvy Embossing Markers #72, 11, 64
Emb Powder:   Vippies Transcendence, Stampendous Ivory Pearl
Dies/Punches: Spellbinders Grommet Tags, Memory Makers 3/8” Corner Rounder
Doo Dads:        Red heart brads, Green eyelash fibers

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's Your Day

Our soon-to-be seven granddaughter Audrey is a budding artist and stamper, so I decided to give her lots of fun things to look at on this card!

The ombre background was achieved with Ranger’s Cut ‘n Dry foam which I cut to the same size as the Zig Zag background.  Reinkers were then applied horizontally and I wound up with what is essentially my own ink pad.  I inked up the Zig Zag stamp with the pad and voilรก: instant colored background!

The Flower Sprig was die cut three times and stacked for added dimension.  The label was die cut twice for the same reason.  With lots of added shimmer from Gelly Roll’s Clear Star pen, I think Audrey’s going to like this one . . .

Cardstock:     Bazzill Ruby Slippers, Beckett Iceberg, Generic Gold scrap
Stamps:          Hero Zig Zag Bgrnd, Hero It’s Your Day, Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty Bgrnd
Inks:                Ancient Page Henna, Cardinal, Mandarin, Sunburst, Saffron, Melon, Gelly Roll Clear Star pen, Archival Black
Emb Powder:   Vippie Transcendence
Dies/Punches: EK Success Corner Slot, Marianne Flower Sprig,Nellie Double Fold Butterfly, Spellbinders Label 16, Wplus9 Tag
Doo Dads:        Gold Brad

Monday, July 9, 2012

Discover Yourself

My friend and neighbor Lynn retired this year after 25 stellar years as a teacher for Advanced English classes.  Heaped with well deserved accolades and honors over the years, Lynn is the high water mark of excellence in education.  Her retirement has met with huge regrets in her school and was a challenge for me to try and make a card worthy of her sustained efforts over the years.  Thanks to the genius of Tim Holtz and his Distress line of inks along with his innovative techniques, I think I got close . . .

This is one of a handful of cards I’ve done over the twelve years of stamping that has my unreserved (well, almost) approval.  Those Distress inks are utterly without equal and allow amateurs to come off looking like they know what they’re doing – always a plus in this amateur’s book.  After stamping the three Distress inks close together on my craft sheet, I water-misted 4X, and then Perfect Pearls-misted* 2X.  I then dragged/mopped up the results with the watercolor paper and dried with my heat gun.  Two repeats, and I was nearly done.  The final touch was his “Spritz and Flick’ technique:  spray some water into your hand and fling it onto the paper.  Watch for the water spots to appear and dry again with the heat gun.  Gorgeous!  I then overstamped the text and images.

Cardstock:     Bazzill White, palest Green, generic watercolor paper, vellum
Stamps:         Tim Holtz Just thoughts, Urban Tapestry
Inks:                 Distress Frayed Burlap, Chipped Sapphire, Shabby Shutters, ColorBox Black, White, Perfect Pearls Mist*, Gelly Roll Star Clear pen
Emb Powder: Judikins Detail Black, Stampendous Ivory Pearl
Dies:              Joy Butterfly
Doo Dads:      Antique Copper brads, Silvery Green eyelash fiber

*Perfect Pearls Mist:  this is Jennifer McGuire’s mixture of a scoop/heaping stirrer of Perfect Pearls and a Mini Mister bottle full of water.  Shake well every time you use it and bask in the non-glitzy glow and shimmer of the subtle but gorgeous results.  Vary the amount of Perfect Pearls to your tastes.  I spritzed twice for this card, but sometimes I want more shimmer so couple more sprays should do it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


The granddaughter of my best friend graduated high school in June and as she lives in Southern CA, I thought that a warm color palette would do the trick.

The message inside the card says “Dream BIG”, also by So She Stamps.

Tip of the Day:  getting the looped end of a tassel to stay put underneath a brad with a very small head can be tricky.  My solution is to pull the loop all the way thru the punched hole first.  Then I insert the brad, and put the loop over the prongs before spreading them.  That loop is going nowhere!

Cardstock:    Bazzill Festive, generic Black, Beckett Moonlight
Stamps:        So She Stamps “Imagination is more important . . .”, PSX Mortarboard, Diploma,    Hero Lattice Background, Mesh Brayer
Inks:                Dee Gruenig Rainbow Inks in Red, Orange, Yellow, Charcoal, ColorBox Black, Ancient Page Coal, Stampin’ Up Sahara Sand
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Dies/Punches:  Spellbinders Labels 8 die, EK Success Scalloped Corner punch
Doo Dads:        Tassel, cord bow, black brad

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's Your Day

Although it took awhile to really appreciate the advantages of non-wood mounted stamps, I am a True Believer by now.  I’ve always loved both wood-mounted and UNM’s as each has its advantages, but I am grateful that we now also have Clears and Clings to choose from.  The card below showcases a talent that wood mounted stamps will never be able to have:

The background on this card is actually four of the six borders that come with the set.  As they are mounted on Cling, it was a simple matter to transfer them to my Mega Mount*, align them next to each other, and stamp!  They emerged perfectly straight with no guesswork or boo boos.  I even laid them out in the same order in which they were packaged (the narrow buckled strip was stamped separately and cut out).  Wood mounted stamps would have meant four separate stampings instead of one, and the chances for positioning errors would have increased.  The only border I didn’t use was a lovely crocheted strip that didn’t jibe with the Guy Card look I was after.  I have other Girly plans for that one . . .

*Impression Obsession’s Mega Mount HERE (along with a wonderful video) is pricey and well worth every last penny.  You simply can NOT get a bad impression with this excellent tool.  Since it’s slightly curved, only a narrow strip of the background stamp is in actual contact with the cardstock, so there are no insufficient pressure problems to deal with.  Happily, the learning curve on this tool is non-existent:  you’ll get a perfect impression the first time around.  Bad jobs with background stamps are history with this thing and as it’s as durable as a tank, you’ll never have to buy another one.  It’s a lifetime investment for sure!

Cardstock:     Bazzill Light Chocolate, generic Black, Beckett Iceberg
Stamps:         Hero ‘It’s your day’, GinaK Vintage Backgrounds
Inks:                 ColorBox Cream White, Archival Black, Gelly Roll Star Clear glitter pen
Emb Powder: B’Muse Detail Black, Stampendous Ivory Pearl
Dies/Punches: Die-Namics Hexagon die, Grosgrain Texture Plate, Spellbinders Lace Doily Motifs
Doo Dads:      Antique Brass Buckle