Monday, October 29, 2012

Twiggy Witch

 . . . while I enjoy using traditional colors for all of the seasonal events we celebrate, once in awhile, it’s fun to go in another direction:

  . . . I was hoping to capture the look of dusk at a frosty time of the year, when both witches and bats take to the skies and scare the daylights out of the rest of us.  Purple and blue may not be the standard go-to colors for this major event but that’s OK – I plan to eat more candy corn to make up for the switch!  When it comes to scoring candy corn, I can justify any excuse . . .

Cardstock:  Bazzill Festive, Black, PaperCuts watercolor paper
Stamps:       Lost Coast Silhouette Witch, Bats from EZMount
                           Halloween Set
Inks:             Distress Stains Chipped Sapphire, Dusty Concord,
                             Archival Jet Black, Gelly Roll Clear Star
Emb Powder:  Vippie’s Transcendence Clear
Dies/Punches: EK Success Corner Rounder Flames punch
Doo Dads:    Candi Dots from the Blackjack Collection

Thursday, October 25, 2012


 . . . I warned you that I was going to wear out my new Cheery Lynn Hummingbird die . . .

This card started out with a desire to showcase the bird along with a wonderful inky background technique from Tim Holtz*.  It wound up with five die cuts and no stamping.  Creative journeys are certainly fascinating – especially since I never have the faintest idea where I’m going to wind up!

* Ink up your craft sheet by pressing various colors of Distress ink directly onto the sheet.  Use the end of a brush to add two or three very small piles of Perfect Pearls powders here and there.  Mist sparingly with water and dip your cardstock into it.  Heat dry and repeat until your craft sheet is clean – this will give your background wonderful layered depths.  Make sure to always heat dry each layer . . .

Cardstock:         Bazzill Light Orchid, cut-down old file folders, generic Dull
                            Gold cardstock
Stamps:              None – oh the shame!
Inks:                    Distress Dusty Concord, Peeled Paint, Broken China, Faded
                           Jeans, Pilot Gold Marker pen, Gelly Roll Clear Star pen
Dies/Punches:   Spellbinders Deckled Rectangles Large (2 sizes), Cheery
                                  Lynn Hummingbird, Simon
                               Says Oh Happy Day, Memory Box Grove Branch
Doo Dads:          Distress Rock Candy Stickles, Perfect Pearls Powder, Gold

Monday, October 22, 2012

Birthday Bird

Sometimes, backgrounds can step up to the plate and make just as much of a statement as the focal point . . .

 . . . this beautiful technique comes from Jennifer McGuire and she has dubbed it “Trapped Embossed Resist”.  It’s easy, highly adaptable to a variety of colors and occasions, and you’ve probably got all the elements you’ll need already on hand.

First, stamp a text background in white pigment ink and heat dry.  Dust with a powder tool.  Using VersaMark ink, stamp a floral background stamp that has some boldness to the images and then Clear emboss.  Last, use an ink blending tool to sponge over everything with a Distress ink.  Wipe with a paper towel to remove excess ink from the Clear embossing.  You’ll still be able to see the white text background, the floral embossed images will shimmer, and I promise you’ll love the results!

Trust me - this beauty really glows.  As usual, the camera has kept this shining part of the deal a secret.  For shame!

As for the die cut bird, this is one of Cheery Lynn’s finest:  in addition to its wonderful pierced texture, each feather is separately cut which makes for fabulous dimension.  I’m probably gonna wear this one out . . .

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute, Generic Chocolate
Stamps:       Hero Friend Definition Background, Lotus Background, Happy Birthday
Inks:            ColorBox Cream White, VersaMark, Distress Marmalade, Brushed
                       Corduroy, Gelly Roll White Gel Pen
Emb Powder:  B’Muse Eggshell, UTEE Clear Detail
Dies/Punches:  Wplus9 Banner, Cheery Lynn Hummingbird, Papertrey Ink Woodgrain
                            Impression Plate, Memory Makers 1/8” Corner Rounder Punch

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Raven's Treasure

 . . . it’s Guest Artist time, and once again, we are fortunate to have Carol Chiaramonte on stage!  She does more with single layer, Clean & Simple than anyone else out there.  Truly.  See for yourselves:

 . . . one of Carol’s favorite techniques is Stamp Kissing which is a neat method because you never know exactly what you’re going to get with it.  For anal types like myself, this amounts to a real walk on the wild side, I can assure you.  But it’s hard to fail with this, so if you’ve not tried it yet, pull your socks up and give it a go. 

Here’s how Carol did it for this card:  ink up the solid bird image with black ink, take an UN-inked somewhat detailed stamp such as a flower or sun rays (just about any image will work), and lightly press it (“kiss”) onto the inked bird.  Twist the second stamp ever so slightly and then lift off.  Stamp the bird onto your cardstock, step back, and admire!  Even the skeleton (lower right) is excited with the results . . .

Cardstock:         Generic White Glossy, Orange
Stamps:              Meer Image Raven, Inkadinkado Flourish, Fred Mullett Lace Paper 2, Vippies
                            Skeleton, Rubber Tree Sun Rays used for the Kissing technique.
Inks:                    Document Black, Ancient Page Mandarin

Monday, October 15, 2012

Scary Spider

 . . . few holidays are more fun to do cards for than Halloween!  I’ve read that it is second only to New Years in providing grownups with a chance to get dressed up in admittedly wild costumes and have fun!  So naturally, our cards can be over the top as well.  The choice among really clever and spooky images out there is endless and I admit to growing my collection of Halloween stamps every year.  Irresistible!

I hope the camera picks up one of my favorite uses of silver glitter pens: spider webs!  Those lacy and intricate beauties look so great when the strands are highlighted with what looks like silvery trails of frosty morning dew . . .
Cardstock:         Bazzill Black, Ember, Beckett Candlelight
Stamps:              Tim Holtz Spider Webs, Studio G Hanging Spider, Vippies’ ‘Scary’
Inks:                    Archival Jet Black, VersaFine Onyx Black, Gelly Roll Pen Clear Star
Emb Powder:    B’Muse Ebony
Dies/Punches:   Marvy Scalloped Rectangular Punch
Doo Dads:          Black plastic spider

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Sometimes, simple really is best . . .

 . . . yes, a number of steps were involved in getting this one together, but the process was elementary and the graduated punches I used kept things quick, simple, and perfectly sized.  Long before I began investing in dies, I had collected my sets of basic shapes in graduated sizes and I’ve never regretted that investment.  They remain my most-used shapes . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Dark Brown, Marcos Ivory Linen, generic Tan, Green, Speckled
                       Gold, Orange, Burgundy
Stamps:       Alias Smith & Jones Flower Swirl Background, Hero Real Daisy, Stampin
                       Up ‘Celebrate’
Inks:             Distress Antique Linen, Ancient Page Chocolate, Brown marker
Emb Powder:  B’Muse Devil’s Food
Punches:       Two sizes of square punches, corner rounder
Doo Dads:     Gold brads, dressmakers tracing wheel for pierced outline

Monday, October 8, 2012


My young friend Joshua turned 11 last week and a card with a lot of activity going on was definitely on the menu . . .

As I am currently working on a product review for Rubber Stamp Madness’ Spring issue, there were some scraps left over from the cards I’m making to illustrate the article.  Now I don’t know about you, but my scrap stash is as important to me as my leftovers in the fridge:  they both translate to Time Saved!  The zig zags lower right were punched from scraps about 1” in width, and the two pointy strips around the image are scraps from the scraps I just punched!  Genius, I tell you . . . genius.

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute, watercolor paper
Stamps:       Red Rubber Designs: text and image from their Hey Life set
Inks:             Distress Bundled Sage, Brushed Corduroy, Wild Honey, Barn Door,
                        Tumbled Glass, Archival Jet Black, Glaze pen Black
Dies/Punches: Fiskars Zig Zag Border, Memory Keepers 1/8” Corner Chomper, EK
                            Success Arrows, Wplus9 Banner Trio Die 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Blue Butterfly

Hard to find more beautiful dies than those designed by MemoryBox . . .

 . . . this card features the cutout ’Vivienne’ layered over ‘Darla’ who was colored with one of Tim Holtz’ wonderfully easy techniques:  I dabbed the Stormy Sky inkpad onto my craft sheet, spritzed twice with Perfect Pearls mist, and used Darla to blot up the results.  I heat dried after the first blotting, and then repeated.  Genius Tip: To obtain darker color spots for contrast, dab the inkpad onto the craft sheet in a different area, spray once with plain water, and blot with Darla.  The results will have depth and will actually make you look like you know what you’re doing . . . always a plus.

As for Vivienne, Darla and me, we three are now BFF’s and are going to be spending lots of time together in future . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill ‘Light Blue’, Marcos Jute
Stamps:       Unknown calligraphic ‘Thank you’
Inks:             Distress Stormy Sky, Brushed Corduroy, Gelly Roll Clear Star,
                       Perfect Pearls Mist
Emb Powder:  Vippies Transcendence
Dies/Punches: Papertrey Ink Woodgrain Impression Plate, MemoryBox
                           Vivienne and Darla butterflies, Spellbinders Blossom
                           Tags, Memory Keepers 1/8” Corner Chomper
Doo Dads:    Pearls, white polka-dotted sheer tan ribbon

Monday, October 1, 2012

Corner Vines

Recently, I had the happy opportunity to do a favor for Stacy Rich, owner of Stacy Stamps  and one of my favorite teachers.  She kindly responded by sending me her Vine Background stamp, an image I’d wanted for ages, and I went to town with it . . .

  . . . the results turned out to be rather exuberant but I really love those vines and wanted to spend a lot of time with them.  Designed to fill the corner of a card, I decided to layer them and used one of Stacy’s clever templates to mark out the triangles in just the right proportions.  I own well over 30 of her beautiful and highly useful images and am hoping she’ll continue to design for years to come.  As she’s switched from wood to cling, my stamping studio still has lots of room for more of her work!

Cardstock:    Bazzill ‘Medium Purple’, White, Beckett Iceberg
Stamps:        Stacy StampsVine Background, Silver Crow ‘Thank you’
Inks:             Distress Dusty Concord, Faded Jeans, Wild Honey, ColorBox
                        Frost White, Perfect Pearls Mist, Gelly Roll Pen Clear
Emb Powder:   Judikins Opaque White
Dies/Punches:  Spellbinders Small Classic Inverted Scalloped Rectangles   
Doo Dads:     Eyelash fibers, pearls