Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Big Thank You

I have a lot to say today, so buckle up and hang on!

For at least two centuries, tags have been used in all manner of shipping and overland transfers of goods all over the globe.  Humble and eminently serviceable, they have always done their job without calling any remarkable attention to themselves.  Who knew that they were destined to become one of the most popular palettes for artwork ever invented . . .

 There are a number of dies and punches available to make speedy work of cutting your own tags and I loved using Papertrey Ink’s wonderful die on this card – mainly because of its perfect size and the punched hole detail around the edges.  Still, how hard is it to cut a rectangle and angle off the two upper corners?  Most stampers own various hole punches, so if you want to make a custom reinforced hole, take your coordinating cardstock and punch out the small hole first.  Then turn the larger circle punch over and center your cardstock in the window before punching.  Instant reinforcement.  Easy peasy!

If you like to color your stamps with markers, check out Marvy’s Wet Looks Embossing Markers.  I live in fear that these wonderful sets will be pulled off the market for no other reason than the fact that in the marketplace, the best stuff usually tanks first.  These markers are great because they buy you Time.  Even if you don’t plan on embossing your work, Wet Looks give you the time to color your whole image without having it dry out or needing to huff yourself blue in the face to reconstitute.  The bullet tip is trim enough to get you into most intricate spaces and the colors are rich and saturated.  They come in three sets of eight markers each:  Primary, Pastel, and Victorian.  LOVE these puppies!

Cardstock:         Generic textured CS Tobacco, Beckett Iceberg, Current pre-printed
Stamps:              Stampendous Agapanthus Long, Papertrey Ink A Big Thank You
Inks:                   ColorBox Frost White, Marvy Wet Looks Embossing Markers 3 Blue,
    8 Violet, 60 Salvia Blue, 72 Pine Green, Gelly Roll White Pen
Emb Powder:      Vippies Transcendence, Judikins Opaque White
Dies/Punches:     Papertrey Ink Tag Sale #3, Wplus9 Banner Trio
Doo Dads:           Blue/Navy ribbon, May Arts Jute, Oriental Trading Wood button

Monday, February 25, 2013

Impossible To Equal

As with any condolence card, the making of these sad markers to the loss of a precious life involves passing along love at a much-needed time . . .

Tom was a remarkable cat who lived almost 18 years, truly bonded with a very young boy in the family, and proceeded to grow up right alongside him.  One of Tom’s favorite places to hang out was the garage and his daily treks back and forth from the house eventually wore a path in the grass which the family had the great good sense to leave alone.  I hope that this card depicts the many happy journeys Tom had on his own private self-made highway.  I also hope that the family is in no hurry to re-seed . . .

Cardstock:         Marcos’ Jute, Bazzill Julep
Stamps:              100 Proof “Impossible to Equal”, Unknown Cat Paw Prints
Inks:                   Archival Black, Distress Brushed Corduroy
Color Pencil:      Prisma Olive Green
Emb Powder:     Vippies Transcendence
Dies/Punches:    DieNamics Sentiment Strips, Sizzlits Bounce alphabet
Impression Plate:  Papertrey Ink Linen
Doo Dads:          Eyelash fiber, 1/8” corner rounder

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thanks So Much

No matter how far I wander, I always come home to Kraft . . . 

  . . . bad puns notwithstanding, there’s just something about that wonderful color that draws me in to play with it time after time.  Kraft works with almost every kind of image and design style, and it’s hard to find a color in the spectrum that isn’t enhanced when paired with this uniquely friendly and humble shade of brown.  Happily, Kraft is increasingly available in cardstock, inks, markers, ribbons and other embellishments I cannot live without.  Bring ‘em on!
Cardstock:         Bazzill Leapfrog, Beckett Moonlight, Green Grocer’s Brown Bag
Stamps:              Artful Stamper Leaf Pattern, Stampin’ Up ’Thanks So Much’
Inks:                    Distress Brushed Corduroy, Hero Wet Cement, Glaze Pen 844
Emb Powder:    Vippies Transcendence
Colored Pencils:     Prisma Olive Green
Emb Folder:       Sizzix Plaid
Impression Plate:  Papertrey Ink Canvas 
Dies/Punches:   Wplus9 Banner Trio
Doo Dads:          May Arts Jute, Pearls, Gingham & Polka Dotted ribbons

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Weed Is A Plant

Here is another of my cards currently appearing in Paper Creations magazine.  I fell in love with the beautifully intricate dandelion stamp at the April Heirloom stamp EXPO in Allentown PA last year.  My intent was to carry out the lighter-than-air feeling the artist created and am hoping I succeeded . . . 

 . . . I like to do upbeat encouragement themes and if they have a little humor tossed in, so much the better.  The whole thing shimmers with a hefty spritz of Perfect Pearls mist but as usual, the camera has eaten it.  I’m still hoping that some techie genius can figure out how to get the glitz to come through on photography.  If we can go to the moon, can’t we accomplish this?  And in car commercials, can’t they get the wheels to go in the right direction?  And . . . .

Cardstock:     Bazzill Jacaranda, Bazzill White
Stamps:          Motivet Dandelion set, text
Inks:              ColorBox Frost White, Distress: Weathered Wood,
                            Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire
Emb Powder: Judikins Opaque White
Dies/Punches: Wplus9 Banner Trio
Doo Dads:      White brads, ¼“ corner rounder, Perfect Pearls mist

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Happily, my club and I have the honor of being published in the current issue (Spring 2013) of Paper Creations magazine.  In addition to an article I wrote about our stamping group – The High Noon Club – Paper Creations also published ten of our club’s cards!  The magazine is a top-quality publication and if you get the chance, you really ought to check it out . . .

The Memory Box branch die cut used on this card is one I repeatedly turn to.  Stark as it is, it works on an unbelievable number of layout designs.  It can be gentled with the addition of punched flowers, ornaments, or other embellishments, or as in this case, it can make a notable statement just as it is.

Cardstock:         Bazzill White, Generic Black, pre-printed Black/White Washi
Stamps:              Verve Floral Symphony Text, Stampin’ Place Dandelion
Inks:                    Stamp Zia White Sparkle, Gelly Roll Clear Star
Emb Powder:      Judikins White Diamonds
Dies/Punches:    Memory Box Grove Branch, Spellbinders Small Deckled Rectangle,
                                 Small Scalloped Rectangle
Doo Dads:          Black Pearls

Monday, February 11, 2013


This is my Valentine’s card for this year, and with this card, thus endeth my Valentines series until next year!

Some of my favorite background images are word definitions, and this one about friends surely works well as a Valentine sentiment.  White-embossed and used as a resist, the text becomes a great counterpoint to the exuberant hearts in the middle of the card.  It also gives me the opportunity to say to all of my blog friends and followers both near and far, that I send you love and many thanks for stopping by!

Cardstock:         Bazzill Medium Purple, Marcos White Linen, generic Purple,
                                Pink, Red scraps, Watercolor cardstock
Stamps:              Hero Friends Definition background, Floating Hearts
Inks:                    Distress Stains Fired Brick, Barn Door, Worn Lipstick, Dusty
                                 Concord, Mustard Seed, ColorBox Black, VersaMark Clear,
                                 ColorBox Frost White, Gelly Roll Clear Star, White
Emb Powder:      Judikins Detail Black, Clear, Opaque White
Dies/Punches:    Spellbinders Abstract Frame, Punch Bunch Cupid, Heart
Doo Dads:          Judikins Diamond Glaze

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Purple Love

As much as I love using traditional Red for Valentines, I think Purple plus some pretty White lace can work too . . .

This was a remake of a card that was kind of blah.  It started out with great intentions originally but wound up being on the lame side.  Didn’t think it was possible to do that with anything Purple, but I was wrong.  After removing the offending elements, I had no clue as to what to do next.  But I made a start anyway and just kept going.  Occasionally, that can be a very good strategy . . .

Cardstock:         Generic Purple, Black, Beckett Iceberg
Stamps:              Craft Smart ‘Love’, Alias Smith & Rowe Swirl Frenzy
Inks:                    Distress Dusty Concord, ColorBox Silver, Perfect Pearls spray
Emb Powder:    B’Muse Silver
Dies/Punches:   DieNamics Hearts a Plenty, Nellie Snellen MFD008 Frames
Impression Plate:  Cheery Lynn Cement
Doo Dads:          Lilac crystals, Silver stickers, wavy paper corrugator

Monday, February 4, 2013

Heart Dangle

My Valentine card series continues with more eyelet border papers.  I found these in a dark corner of a local craft store that was closing out their inventory.  Placed behind a piece of linen cardstock I decorated with the polished stone technique, I think they add some interesting texture and visible dimension without requiring extra postage.  Win Win!

Cardstock:         Marcos Ivory Linen, Bazzill Pink, Lava, paper eyelet borders
Stamps:              Great Impressions Five Dotted Hearts, Angie B ‘Love’
Inks:                    PiƱata Chili Pepper, Adirondack Cranberry, Ranger Mixatives:
                                Pearl, Gold, Silver
                              Ancient Page Cardinal
Emb Powder:      B’Muse Ruby Red
Dies/Punches:   corner rounder punch, oval scallop punch
Doo Dads:          1/8” Silver ribbon, dangling heart charm*

*  One terrific source for charms and embellishments of all kinds is OrientalTradingCheck out their Craft catalog for great prices and generous collections:  some of their embellishment sets contain so many items that you can easily share them with a friend or two.  My own personal rule for embellishments states that with rare exception, my price cutoff is 30cents per charm.  With Oriental Trading, my budget covers everything with room left over!