Monday, April 30, 2012

Daddy's Favorite Tie

As Father’s Day is drawing closer, below is one of two cards I plan to post this week.  The tie is simple enough to cut out of decorative paper without too much stress and a bit of sponging on the edges takes away the flat look.  Dad might actually prefer this tie to the real thing!

Cardstock:     Generic Navy, Kraft, decorative plaid, Gold scrap
Stamps:          Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers Father’s Day
Inks:                Versamark, Pilot marker Gold
Emb Powder: PSX Cobalt Tapestry
Dec Scissors: Fiskars Stamp
Doo Dads:      Antique Brass wire hanger, Gold star charm, Navy eyelets, Blue raffia

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No One Like You!

Gina K regularly has some of the most beautiful and DO-able techniques in town. Head for her site here and sign up for her weekly posts.  Her videos are short, extremely clear, and well worth your time.

This simple card works with any non-outline image which is mostly solid – or even completely solid.  After stamping the text on ivory cardstock with Vivid Taupe, stamp the image in Clear ink and then Clear emboss.  Ink up a dauber with whatever color you are using and starting in the center on top of the Clear embossing, swirl out towards the edges without re-inking in order to have darker color in the middle and lighter toward the edges.  Re-ink as necessary, always starting in the middle and swirling out.  Wipe off excess ink with a paper towel and then ink the edges with a darker color for a finished look.

Cardstock:     Bazzill Black, Beckett Candlelight, generic Teal
Stamps:          Art Impression chess piece Castle, Gina K Botanicals Kit Script Background, Hero “There is no one like you’
Inks:                Distress Weathered Wood, Vivid Taupe, VersaMark
Emboss Powder:  Clear
Emboss Folder:    Cuttlebug Forest Branches                                 
Doo Dads:       Ecru fabric casing, Teal brads

Monday, April 23, 2012


Once in awhile, we anal types benefit by doing things in a rather less orderly fashion.  We do struggle with free-form attempts, but it’s good for the soul to stretch ourselves with efforts made outside of the box – even though the box may still be close at hand.

This card involves stitching which is one of my favorite embellishments.  I resisted the inner urge to follow a perfectly pre-plotted course (usually achieved with a T-square, plumb bob, a level, and by snapping a chalk line) and instead decided to let the machine have a say in where the needle went.  Scary!  The very idea gave me a rash, but I’m glad I did it.  I even avoided making the ribbon ends the exact same length.  Progress, folks – progress . . .

Cardstock:    Marcos Jute, Beige generic handmade paper, Beckett Candlelight
Stamps:          Unknown ‘Thanks!’
Inks:                  ColorBox Black
Emb Powder:    Judikins Detail Black
Dies/Punches:   5-lobed flower
Doo Dads:       Pearl flower button, Black satin ribbon bow, Black and Cream thread

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sending Love

While billed as a Valentine’s Day card, this sentiment could work for anyone wanting to send some loving affection through the mail.

This was a reasonably quick and easy card to do.  After brushing the acrylic paints onto the corrugated paper in no particular order, I piped a little glue down the channels (doing one color at a time) and then adding glitter in the same color.  I also laid down a few lengths of Mizuhiki cord here and there, just to keep from being predictable.  Last came the fern sprays punched out of glossy paper.  A little glitz, a little glitter, what could hurt?

Cardstock:     Bazzill Dark Green, Red, generic Yellow, Red glossy, corrugated paper
Stamps:         Oogaloo ”Sending Love”
Inks:                VersaMark
Paint:            Green, Red, Yellow acrylic paints
Emb Powder:    Stamp a Mania Desert Rose
Dies/Punches:   Heart, Fern
Doo Dads:      Red, Yellow, Green Stickles, Red, Yellow, Green Mizuhiki cord, Red metal flower brad and frame anchor

Monday, April 16, 2012

Glad Tidings

Given the current and well-justified frenzy over the Clean and Simple concept, I thought that a Christmas card having this design would be a good one to post.  Clean and Simple – or CAS as it has become known in the trade – is a great idea for Christmas cards as these tend to be assembly line endeavors which can use all the help one can get for streamlined ops and minimal fuss.

The image was matted on Black smooth cardstock to provide a subtle change in texture from the card itself.  Two holes were punched to accommodate the ribbon, and the bottom two corners were notched for visual interest.  The ribbon is wire-edged so a simple loop-through was enough – no fussy bow-tying was necessary.  I glued a Gold sequin star at the top of the rays streaming down over the building and that was my only doo dad.  A piece of fun foam under the parchment for dimension and a very mail-able Christmas card was under control for that year.  Would that they all came together so smoothly!

Cardstock:     generic Black textured, Black smooth, and Parchment cardstock
Stamps:          Silver Crow “I bring you glad tidings”
Inks:                Document Black
Punch:            Marvy Southwestern corner   
Doo Dads:      Gold sequin star, wire-edged Gold mesh ribbon

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kindred Spirit

This was our wedding anniversary card;  we are kindred spirits indeed, and I was happy to be able to make a die cut that would say so this beautifully . . .

Cardstock:     Bazzill Pinecone, generic speckled Beige
Stamps:         Horrors – NONE!  Except for the message on the inside . . .
Inks:              Versamark
Emb Powder: Bear Rubber Melded Metallic*
Dies/Emb Folder: Cuttlebug’s Friends Forever set which includes the embossed flower and the die cut text
Doo Dads:      Distress Brushed Corduroy Stickles to dot the i’s, White-stitched Brown ribbon knot

After using my deckle-edged scissors around the sides, I put my simple UTEE edging technique to work (see my post of 3/27/12 for the easy details).

*  Melded Metallic is a glorious amalgamation of Platinum and Bronze that can work on just about any design.  Sadly, Bear Rubber is no longer with us and I have no idea if their stock was bought by someone else.  However, Stamp ‘n Doodle makes almost exactly the same color in regular embossing powder and I have just added it to my stash.  Oh how I LOVE to be rescued!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Flowering Stripes

The title of this card refers to the fact that I was looking at some striped wallpaper one day and wondered what it would look like if I changed the stripes into rows of flowers instead.  My stash includes scores of really small stamps that weren’t getting much use, so this seemed a good way to hold them accountable for their room and board.  I stamped them in loose formation, used 2nd generation stamping as well, and didn’t stress over placement.  This is good therapy for those of us who tend to be anal retentive . . .

The background was done direct-to-paper with the same colors on water-misted and heavily textured watercolor paper to get a diffused look.  I do up whole sheets of these at a time and then cut what I need for the current project.  The remainder lives at BB’s (my Background Box) until I need it for the next stamping session:  instant inspiration and a time-saver to boot!

Cardstock:   Beckett Iceberg, Watercolor paper, Blue velvet
Stamps:       Assorted small images
Inks:             Vivid Straw, Ultramarine, Olive, and Butterscotch, Gold marker
Punches:      Assorted small leaf punches
Doo Dads:    Gold floss bow 

Tip of the Day:  Free stamping materials are everywhere!  The Navy Blue layer on this card is part of a molded flocked liner that was used to cradle my husband’s new electric razor.  Under the lid and in between the molded impressions, there was plenty of flat material I could repurpose for stamping needs.  Their waste is my gain!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Chessman's Birthday

My husband Igor is a rated chess player who, despite memory issues, still knocks the socks off almost anyone he plays.  While there don’t seem to be a lot of chess-themed stamps out there, I’ve collected most of what there is and enjoy changing them up for his birthday cards.

The background on this one came from one of Blockhead’s recent excellent online tutorials.  It’s super-easy, very quick, and works the first time out of the box.  This goes especially well with Kraft or other soft-hued cardstock, although you can get interesting effects with other colors as well.  Using a non-detailed image having a goodly amount of open spaces within the design, stamp it at random over your background with VersaMark.  Color in the open spaces with a White pencil.  Done!  The effect is subtle but looks good enough to be mistaken for pre-printed watermark paper.  As an amateur, I call that a good thing!

Cardstock:     Bazzill Black, Bazzill White, Quest Putty
Stamps:          Art Impressions Chess Rook, Chess King, Unknown ’Journey’
Inks:                VersaMark, Archival Black,  Judikins Opaque White
Pencil:             Prisma White
Emb Powder:  Judikins Detail White
Dies/Punches: Spellbinders Fleur de Lis, deckled scissors
Doo Dads:        Black brads

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Father's Day Duds

With Father’s Day waiting in the wings, here’s a Clean and Simple take on what’s probably a way-too-common gift for Dad.  I know a lot of Dads who would be happy if this card was the only shirt they got on their big day! 

The shirt is the result of following one of Jennifer McGuire’s favorite admonitions to try and get more use out of our stamps.  I needed a tiny texture for the small shirt and came across a scrap left over from stamping out several mosaic pumpkins for Thanksgiving a few years ago.  Voila – perfect fit!  The tie is a no-talent, hand drawn event:  I simply smudged another scrap with the same ink pad I used on the shirt and cut it out.  For those who do not feel up to hand drawing a tie, Papertrey Ink has a new stamp set entitled World’s Greatest which features seven terrific ties, including an outline image so that you can stamp over any pattern you choose. 
Happy Father’s Day!

Cardstock:         generic textured Taupe, Beckett Iceberg, Bazzill Black
Stamps:             unknown Shirt, Eureka Mosaic Pumpkin
Inks:                   Archival Black, Distress Spiced Marmalade
Emb Folder:       Cuttlebug  Argyle
Punches:            EK Success Scalloped Photo Corner, unknown Notched Corner
Doo Dads:         Black bead for tie tack

Monday, April 2, 2012

Floral Easter Bunny

Clean and Simple re-visited:  this card is a one-layer wonder that is absolutely bursting with life!  My friend Carol Chiaramonte has really scored with this delightful take on Lost Coast’s unique, floral bunny. 

Carol allowed a generous and wonderfully uneven border when masking the bunny which truly makes him a standout.  He’s a very happy little guy, but then who wouldn’t be, sitting in the midst of all of those gorgeous flowers?

Stamps:           Lost Coast Bunny, Hero Arts Sunflower (an oldie but goodie & still one of Carol’s faves)
Inks:                Document Black, Ancient Page Pink Pizzazz, various Tombow markers

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bathing Beauty

 . . . I have enjoyed sending this one to all of my female friends on their birthdays. 
The sentiment reads:
“85% of women hate their thighs in America.” 
And on the inside, “the rest hate their thighs in other countries.” 
A hilarious take on a nearly universal irritant! 

Cardstock:         generic Gold speckled, Dark Green textured cardstock, Beckett Iceberg              
Stamps:              Judikins Flower Swirl Background, Onyx Thigh Lady and sentiment
Inks:                    ColorBox Frost White, Black
Emb Powder:    Judikins Opaque White, Detail Black
Doo Dads:          Green, Black brads