Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thanks So Much

Here's another idea for a Thank You note that is quite easy to do . . .


After stamping the background leaves with VersaMark, I waited until the watermark effect showed up when the clear ink turned the paper darker and the leaf became more visible.  Then I lightly colored in the open spaces of the leaves with the Prisma White pencil.  The effect is subtle, adds visual texture, and doesn't compete with the focal points.

Cardstock:              Lightspeck Dune, Bazzill Orchid
Stamps:                   Stampin' Up Oak Leaf, "Thanks so much", Purple
                                       Daisy Mega Maple
Inks:                           VersaMark, Vivid Taupe, ColorBox Amber Satin,
                                      Royal Silk, Tombow #603 marker
Emb Powder:          UTEE Clear Matte, B'Muse Eggplant
Colored Pencils:     Prisma White
Dies:                          Family Treasures punch Maple, Spellbinders Ribbon
                                       Tag Trio                              
Doo Dads:                Purple brads, Taupe ric rac           


Monday, December 26, 2016

Thank You

After struggling to get all of our cards made and sent out in time, I'm now focusing on our Thank You notes.  I usually do these up ahead of the game so that writing the note is all that is left to do.  But this year, I'm still playing catch-up after having gotten two months behind with a broken ankle in late Summer.  So I opted for a sweet and simple layout . . .


 . . . three dies, one punch, one stamp, some glitter and a ribbon and I'm done.   Crossed fingers for a more orderly 2017!

Cardstock:   American Crafts White, The Paper Cut White Matte Coate,
                           Generic Blue
Stamps:        All Night Media “Thank You”
Inks:               ColorBox Frost White
Emb Powder:   Sweet Stamps Fine Detail White
Dies:              Memory Box Feather Tree Frame, Avery Elle Falling Snow,
                           Spellbinders Back to Basics Tags, EK Success punch Flower
Doo Dads:    1/8” satin ribbon White, Past Time Stamps Multi Ultra Fine Glitter


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Noel

With an 85-Christmas card list, I vow every year to keep it simple.  And I try . . . I really, really do.  I start out simple, and then it just grows.  Still, I think I did better this year than most other years . . .


I smooshed the blue and purple inks onto the shadow stamp, misted twice with water, and then stamped.  That was the fast part.  Then came the die cuts:  the ornament, the glittered bow overlay, and the "Noel".  All were tough to get out of the dies in one piece.  But I'm happy with the misty colors and the timeless message:

Christ is born . . . Glorify Him!

Cardstock:   Generic Textured White, The Paper Cut White Matte Coate
Stamps:        Above the Mark Abbey Music, my own Deckle Edge Shadow
                           Stamp made from a sheet of plumber's gasket rubber
Inks:               ColorBox Frost White, Distress Chipped Sapphire, Dusty
                           Concord, Wink of Stella Clear
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail White, Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              DieNamics Wonky Stitch Rectangle Stax, DieVersions Nativity
                           Ornament, Tim Holtz Holiday Words: Script “Noel”
Doo Dads:    Past Time Stamps Multi Ultra Fine Glitter



Monday, December 19, 2016

Happiness

This cheery card owes a lot of its good humor to Washi paper . . .


I love working with the many beautiful patterns found on Washi papers but I find them too thin to use as is.  A good work-around for me has been to iron them onto the shiny side of freezer paper.  This is quick and easy, and there's no bleed-thru or messy glues to deal with.  The result is a sturdy piece that holds up to die cutting and also makes a great background layer.

The floaty aspects of acetate layering were put to use in this layout.  I used pop dots for altitude and covered them up with judiciously placed die cuts.  Acetate layering may seem tricky at first, but there are a lot of easy work-arrounds you can play with . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Lima, Gilbert Oxford White, Beckett Iceberg,
                           Generic Washi paper, Generic acetate            
Stamps:        Hero Zig Zag, Stampin' Up Chicken Wire, Stamp in the
                           Mail "Happiness"            
Inks:               Brilliance Rocket Red, Ancient Page Pine, ColorBox Frost White
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail White
Dies:              Savvy Blossom, Cheery Lynn Build-a-Flower #1, Wplus9
                           Banner Trio, Punch Bunch Tiny Flower
Doo Dads:    Gelly Roll Clear Star pen, 1/8" corner rounder   


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Frosty Pines

The possibilities with acetate layers still beguile me, so the next two posts will feature this wonderfully useful design tool . . .


If you buy anything at all, it may well come packaged in acetate that just might be large enough to be useful.  It cuts easily with scissors or your paper trimmer, and is a great way to re-use something that would otherwise be thrown away. 

In this layout, I used a foam strip that would eventually be hidden under the pine branches.  I glued the stamped acetate layer to the foam before adding the branches.  I now had a popped-up layer that was a perfect platform for a pair of floating butterflies.  To keep the acetate from sagging, I added black pearls to the woodgrain layer underneath.

I always prop up wings and other dimensional accents with a fat drop of Glossy Accents added to the layer below.  This allows my cards to be mailed, and yet look perky when removed from the envelope.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Raven, Vanilla, Generic Tan, Black, acetate from
                           packaging             
Stamps:        Hero Designer Woodgrain, Silhouette Grass, Stamp Camp
                           Tiger Marble            
Inks:               Hero Shadow Soft Brown, Distress Antique Linen, StazOn
                           Cotton White, ColorBox Silver
Emb Powder:   B'Muse Detail Silver
Dies:              Memory Box Pine Needle Border, Marvy and McGill
                           butterfly punches
Doo Dads:    Distress Stickles Black Soot, Silver webbing spray, Black pearls                  


Monday, December 12, 2016

Asparagus

Due to holiday-related feelings of nostalgia, plus a huge time crunch even bigger than usual, I am going to re-visit a few favorite cards while I scramble to catch up.  As I've been on an asparagus kick lately, I thought I'd start with this one . . .


 Usually when adding a bow to a project, I simply tie it and then glue it down.  This time, I cut narrow slits with my X-Acto alongside the asparagus and threaded the ribbon through the slits.  So the asparagus bunch really is tied up which gives it a much more authentic look, although it may not be evident in the picture.

Cardstock:   Generic Textured Sage, Burgundy, Beckett Candlelight                                 
Stamps:        PSX Asparagus                              
Inks:               ColorBox Black, acrylic paint spatter Black
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Colored Pencils:   Prisma Dark Green, Olive Green, Tuscan Red
Doo Dads:    Burgundy ribbon, crimper, Gamsol to blend the Prismas

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Beauty

In light of the fact that we've had two snowstorms this week, I think it's time to acknowledge the fact that Fall has disappeared and it's time for a suitably wintry card theme . . .


 Lots of texture here and the Shabby White embossing powder scattered over the background really seals the deal:  it has some sparkle, bits of gold, and lots of dimension.  Application is easy with no inking necessary:  scatter the powder over the background and heat from beneath.  Done!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Ash, Light Grey, Beckett Iceberg, Wausau
                           Firecracker Red, Generic scrap Black             
Stamps:        Stamp Zia "Beauty"           
Inks:               Ancient Page Stone Grey, Hero Black, Papertrey Ink
                           Chamomile, Distress Old Paper
Emb Powder:   Stampendous Shabby White, Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              Memory Box Tall Birch, Savvy Birch Trees, Marianne Birdcage
                           Die Set: Birds, Papertrey Ink Angled Labels                            
Punches:      Family Treasures and Punch Bunch Birch Leaves, McGill
                           Evergreen Sprig
Doo Dads:    Deckle edge scissors          

Monday, December 5, 2016

Points to Ponder

This one is a little hard to explain, let alone photograph, so bear with me.  I was asked to make a card for a friend of a friend who's having a rough battle with leukemia.  I was told that she's got a great sense of humor, is very smart, and is a heavy metal drummer whose favorite image is a skull!  Right away (since Halloween is over and done with), we're out of our comfort zone here.  Stepping bravely up to the plate, I pulled out a small chipboard binder and pages that I've been saving for something special.  I decided to create an inspirational or humorous thought for each page that would inspire Wendy on her difficult journey.

Starting with the binder, the spine is embellished with some bells, embroidery, and a wooden drum.  I had fun girl-ing up the skull with a bow and some feathers . . .


The next pictures show the pages which I gessoed first, then colored and inserted into the binder in rainbow order. I combined die cuts and stamped images and then left the last page blank so that my friend Sandy could write her own message . . .




I am praying that Wendy emerges victorious from this awful battle . . .

Cardstock:   Maya Road Binder Book 4x4 pages,  Marcos Jute, Generic
                           Red, Strathmore Soft White
Stamps:        Inkadinkado Happy Haunting set: Skull, “It’s been lovely”,
                           Technique Junkies Distressed Lines, River City “Going
                           through hell . . .”, Rango Zoo African Mask, Zettiology “Be
                           a little strange . . .”, Lost Coast “The road to perfection . . .”,
                           River City “Chocolate Truffles”, “Going through hell”, Studio G
                           “Laugh out loud”, Stampin’ Up “One of the good ones”, Funny
                           Bones “Don’t Lead . . .”, Rubber Stamp Tapestry Halloween
                           Plate 1: Skulls and Raven, Rubber Baby Chocolate Postoids,
                           Sunday International “Chocolate”, Unknown Einstein
Inks:               Hero Black, Distress Barn Door, Faded Jeans, Tumbled
                           Glass, Mowed Lawn, Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade,
                           Barn Door
Dies:              Mama Elephant Dainty Bow, DieVersions fonts Noodles, Hint
                           of Lime, Lil Inkers Stitched Mats: Rectangles, DieNamics
                           Wonky Stitch Rectangle Stax, In & Out Stitched Rectangle
                           Squares, Stitched Traditional Tag Stax, Mini Pennants, 
                           Spellbinders Back to Basics Tags, Petite Scalloped Circles
                           Small, Shoot!, QuicKutz Feathers, Marianne Horizon Winter
                           Village, Tiny Flowers Flourish,  Memory Box Holly Vine,
                           Grape Vine Border,
Colored Pencils:  Prisma Crimson Red, Chestnut
Emb Folder: Taylored Expressions Weathered, Tim Holtz Gearhead         
Doo Dads:    Wink of Stella Clear, Blue jute


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Noel Ornaments

Back in the day, when I had only twenty or so friends on my Christmas card list, I embroidered my cards.  Recently, I discovered several embroidered pieces that somehow never got transformed into cards.  So I decided to turn them into ornaments instead.  The first picture shows the packaging that I used for each ornament . . .


The second picture shows both sides of the ornaments.  With a current Christmas card list of some 85 friends and family, I'm not likely to go back to embroidering my cards any time soon.  So this year's limited edition is probably my swan song for this stitchery technique that I still enjoy working with.  

Sigh . . . too bad I can't do absolutely everything that I want to!


Cardstock:   Marcos #110 Jute, Various pre-printed scrapbook papers
Stamps:        Alias Smith & Rowe Flowers/Swirls Background,
                           Raindrops on Roses Stardust, Stampin’ Up To/From
Inks:               VersaMark, Brilliance Rocket Red, ColorBox Black
Emb Powder:  Judikins Detail Black
Dies:              Spellbinders Classic Circles Large, 2013 Heirloom
                           Ornament, Memory Box Garden Sprig, Mama Elephant
                           Dainty Bow
Doo Dads:    Embroidered “NOEL”, Art Glitter Green Briar, Sulyn
                           Glitter Ruby



Monday, November 28, 2016

Thank You

When Josephine, a very dear friend, went home to England for a visit recently, she came across a handful of rubber stamps her sister had owned.  She brought them back and gifted me with them.  Inspired by Beatrix Potter, this adorable image of her popular "Hunca Munca" mouse character was one of them . . .


I used a couple of quilted motifs to set off the warm and cozy image of the mouse gathering her tulips.  "Cute" stamps are not usually my style, but my heart really warmed to this one, enhanced no doubt by the loving generosity of my friend.

Cardstock:   Co-Ordinations Nostalgic Greys pack, The Paper Cut White
                           Matte Coate, Generic Pink
Stamps:        PSX Hunca Munca Mouse
Inks:               Memento Tuxedo Black
Dies:              Lil Inker Stitched Mats: Squares, Wplus9 Quilt Cuts 2, Frantic
                           Stamper Alternating Diagonals, Savvy Thank You Cursive
Markers:        Copic R81 Rose Pink, RV13 Tender Pink, YG 67 Moss,
                           BG13 Mint Green, E84 Khaki, T1 Toner Gray 1,
                           W2 Warm Gray 2
Doo Dads:    Kaiser Pearls Blush


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Blossom of Love

As many frame stamps and frame dies that I have, I never seem to have the correct size of one that will work seamlessly with the other . . .


 Solution?  Matting!   The blue matting I used here covered up a narrow space of open real estate on both inner sides of the frame.  The top and bottom were perfect, but had the sides been left as they were, it would have looked pretty careless.  Repeating the color of the blossoms with the matting turned out to be the best solution . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Bon Bon, Jacaranda, Beckett Candlelight
Stamps:        Stacy November Spider Mum, Red Rubber “Harvest a
                           blossom . . .”
Inks:               Archival Potting Soil, Wink of Stella Clear
Emb Powder:   Unknown Blue Verdigris
Dies:              DieNamics Chalkboard Frame Builder, La La Land
                           Stitched Ribbon
Pencils:         Derwent Inktense Fern, Iris Blue
Emb Folder: Darice Basket Weave
Doo Dads:    Gold Dragonfly charm

Monday, November 21, 2016

Gathered In

Gina K's Charcoal Brown cardstock is the color by which all other browns are measured, in my opinion.  A true dark chocolate without a whiff of red, this rich color makes other colors really pop . . .


I helped the pop factor along by using foam dots to elevate the upper ends of the wheat stalk, pumpkin, squash and the leaves.  Although there is a lot of dark in this layout, I think the bright veggies counterbalance that and create a warm, cozy feel. 

One happy discovery was finding out how Copic markers react with the cardstock I used for the veggies:  The Paper Cut's White Matte Coate.  I found that the coating made the Copics stay wetter longer so blending was easier.  But even more fun was observing  the interaction between the coating and the ink:  this produced a watercolored effect, complete with darker margins and lovely streaks.  These may be hard to see on screen, but in real life, they're quite obvious.  Previously, I wasn't happy with this cardstock, but I'm going to give it a second chance with my Copics . . .

May each of you have a wonderfully glorious and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving Day!

Cardstock:   Gina K Charcoal Brown, Neenah Desert Storm, The Paper
                           Cut Matte Coate White
Stamps:        Stampin’ Up Truly Grateful, Impression Obsession
                           “All is safely . . .”
Inks:               Gina K Charcoal Brown
Markers:        Copic Napoli Yellow, Apricot, Marine Green, Pecan,
                           Tuscan Orange, Stampin’ Up Daffodil Delight
Emb Powder:   PSX Ochre Tapestry, Distress Walnut Stain
Dies:              Avery Elle Wonky Stitches, Impression Obsession Wheat,
                           Essentials by Ellen Gourd-jus, Spellbinders Long Classic
                           Scalloped Rectangles Large
Emb Folder: Spellbinders Horsehair      

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thanks So Much

One of these days, I'd like to start making my own wood cut stamps.  They have a charm all their own and I think that the results will be pretty forgiving, even for an amateur like me . . .


 Until that day comes, I'm happy that a number of companies have produced wonderful wood cut images for us to choose from . . .

Texture was added with the mosaic background and also with some gold mini beads added to the center of the lower flower.  I haven't seen these tiny beads used lately – hopefully, they'll come back into favor as I think they have a lot to offer . . .

Cardstock:              Marcos Antique Linen, Beckett Candlelight, Generic 
                                     Red, Green
Stamps:                   Art Accents Woodcut Sunflower, Stampin' Up Thanks
Inks:                           Kaleidacolor Autumn Leaves
Emb Powder:          Vippies Transcendence
Punches:                  McGill Labels                                    
Emb Folder:             Cuttlebug Mesh
Doo Dads:                Antique Copper brads, gold mini beads               

Monday, November 14, 2016

Thank You

I'm not a fan of Winter.  Therefore, I love to use Spring and Summer colors throughout the cold and blustery days of dreary winters.  They are great reminders of the lovely weather to come . . .


 Some green lattice, crisp white, and bright pinks come together on this card to add a little gentle cheer to those difficult days of single digit temperatures.

Cardstock:              Beckett Candlelight, Generic Dark Green
Stamps:                   Hero A Real Long Stemmed Wildflower, Savvy
                                       Thank You Trail
Inks:                         ColorBox Queue Chalk Warm Red, Rouge, Rose
                                       Coral, Ancient Page Pine
Emb Powder:          Vippies Transcendence
Punch:                      EK Success corner punch
Doo Dads:                Green grosgrain ribbon, copper butterfly charm

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Garden

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, images of food seem quite appropriate . . .


Of course, no one stops at a few stalks of asparagus on this day of world class food-a-thons . . . but fresh asparagus with a lovely ranch dressing is sure a great place to start!

Cardstock:              Bazzill Yam, Leapfrog, Rain Forest, Beckett Candlelight
Stamps:                   PSX Asparagus, So She Stamps "Garden"
Inks:                         Hero Black, Distress Peeled Paint, Wild Honey
Punches:                 Fiskars Edge Punch Swirling Leaves
Doo Dads:               Fibers

Monday, November 7, 2016

Enjoy the journey

This card is for my very dear friend Carol Chiaramonte whose birthday is today!  A few years ago, she gifted me with a collection of cigar labels gleaned by her mother Priscilla who worked in a cigar factory for many years.  It was time to put a few of them to use . . .


Much like postage stamps, cigar labels are miniature works of art, and it was fun to play with them for this layout.  I thought the two reclining figures at the bottom left looked like they were taking their ease under the shade of the palm tree.  But, while I had envisioned different results for the stamped background, the images came out a lot more subdued than I had wanted.  So we'll just call it a watermark and step briskly along . . .

Cardstock:   Marcos #110 Jute, Neenah Desert Storm
Stamps:        Stampin’ Up Balmy Breezes set, The Moon Rose Script
                           Background, Making Memories “Enjoy the Journey”
Inks:               Distress Brushed Corduroy, Frayed Burlap, Peeled Paint,
                           Archival Leaf Green
Emb Powder:   Vippie’s Transcendence
Dies:              Mama Elephant Femme Frames,  
Emb Folder: Darice Crackle
Doo Dads:    Cigar Labels

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thank You

Wendy Vecchi's art has fascinated me for many years.  It's warm, witty, and highly creative.  Her work draws me in and always makes me happy . . .


Tim Holtz' Grunge paper made a big splash several years ago but I've not heard so much about it lately.  Good thing I stocked up, as I love working with it.  Flexible, ink-able, easily cut with scissors, it provides dimension without excessive bulk.  On this card, I added a little Distress Rock Candy for some subtle glimmer . . .

Cardstock:              Generic textured Cream, Tim Holtz Grunge Paper
Stamps:                   Wendy Vecchi Art-fully Said (background, flower,
                                       and corner), Stampin' Place Vertical Thank You
Inks:                           ColorBox Black, Distress Dusty Concord, Spiced
                                       Marmalade, Peeled Paint
Emb Powder:          Judikins Detail Black
Doo Dads:                Black brads, Antique Brass snap, Distress Rock Candy