The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Friday, September 30, 2016

Mr Cardmaker Gets His Spooky On with 12 Kits of Occasions

Believe it or not, I have TWO blog posts today! Scroll around to find the other one!

Well, there couldn't be a BETTER reason to get back into the blogosphere than to join in with the AMAZING team at 12 Kits of Occasions. This is a great group of card makers and stampers that actually take the time to put together twelve months of kits that contain the most amazing things, and they send the out to the group (and to guests!) to see how everybody interprets their goodies. It's a FANTASTIC idea, and I'm thrilled that I was asked by the fabulous Jeanne Jachna to join in for my second time!

I LOOOOOOOOVE Halloween cards--almost even more than Christmas cards! They can be cute, spooky, weird, whatever. SO freeing!

I had TONS of fun with this kit! Can't wait to share!

I made ALL of these--

(Pssst! See that swirly stem thingy under the biggest pumpkin? That's actually part of a Christmas word die!)

I'm making a conscious effort to NOT blather on like I usually do, because this is a photo heavy post, but I wanted to jump in here a sec.
There was a TRIO of the trick or treaters, and I went nuts trying to get them AND the castle on without overlapping or cutting anything off. I finally had to give up on the third guy.

But I got him in! Literally!

INSIDE! He was too great to waste.

Well, there's PLENTY more stuff in the kit to keep going, but I am SPENT!

NO! There's MORE!!!

Because I am crazy like that...

I made these, too--

 These images were SO cute, and the papers that were left over were so great, I just HAD to make these 4"x4" sweet little things! (Besides, my card list is GROWING, so I actually needed more cards!)

Whew! NOW I am done!

I really want to extend a HUGE thank-you to Jeanne Jachna and all the crew at 12 Kits of Occasions for letting me play along. I had a BLAST!

I appreciate YOU sticking with me in this really long post.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

PS-Instagram RLBreaks
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Mr Cardmaker is Tagged and Bagged

Believe it or not, I have TWO blog posts today! Be sure to scroll around and find it!

I am SO happy to be guest designing for the "Tag! You're It!" blog today! The wonderful Tracey McNeeley was kind enough to ask me to create a tag for this challenge. I am honored and flattered!

The weather is FINALLY cooling off (at least here in the Northeast), and that means more warm beverages, which to my mind, means COFFEE!! Hot, steaming mugs of joe, PSL (That's a pumpkin spice latte, which you already know, if you're a Starbucks fan), cappuccinos, café au laits, on and on and on!

So, I made this--

This is done with Altenew's Coffee Love and Coffee Talk stamp sets. I needed these sets the second I laid eyes on them! I LOOOOVE the artwork, and the sentiments are wonderful.
I also bought, but didn't use here, the Coffee Ring stamps, which offer the sentiment "Coffee, Craft, Repeat." Perfect!

I colored the pot with my new Zig clean color real brush watercolor pens (OMG, that's a LOT of words for a pen) and then coated it with some Glossy Accents. Because, shiny.
The sentiment is all embossed, in both white and clear over Versafine Onyx Black.
A bit of ink blending and water flicking finishes off both pieces.

I also took this opportunity to try out my recent purchase of Ranger's Copper super fine detail embossing powder. Yeah, love that stuff.
The coffee beans in copper remind me of all the copper molds people used to hang on the walls of their kitchens. I went further by using the copper embossing powder to create my own copper card stock for the starburst behind the coffee pot, and used a bit more to frame my sentiment piece. I tapped the edges onto my Versamark ink pad, and then into the copper embossing powder. It makes such a delicate little frame!

I think this is a great tag to use when giving a gift of the grind to your favorite coffee buddy!

I am so looking forward to seeing what my tag inspires you to do! Join in and have fun!
Thanks as well to all the great designers at "Tag! You're it!" I had a blast!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

PS- Find me on Instagram! @rlbreaks

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mr Cardmaker Earns His Stripes

I just love CASE-ing talented people. CASE (copy and share everything) is a wonderful way to come up with a starting point for a project, and gives you the most marvelous ways to stretch your creative muscles.

Jennifer McGuire has been a fantastic resource for all things card making, whether it's a new technique, new product, or new way to look at something you're already doing. She is also a major organizational champ, and a Sweetie, too, so DEFINITELY check her out, if you don't already do so on a regular basis.

She did a terrific tutorial about doing masked stripes, which I really enjoyed, and I knew I had to dive into this one for myself.

To start with, I made this--

This technique is done with ink and ink blenders, with the help of some low-tack tape. Layer of ink create different depth of color, and when you stay in somewhat of a rainbow order, you can safely move from color to color without being in danger of creating muddy messes. I used Distress Inks, which are terrific for blending like this.  I didn't actually stay in rainbow order here, but I liked these colors, and they all have so much yellow in them, I think it worked out just fine.

My favorite part is going back over areas with stripes of white pigment ink, which makes some pretty amazing highlights.

I tried to keep the rest of this card to a minimum, so the background could really shine. 

I also did a second panel, but I had some trouble getting the tape to adhere to the wet ink where I was trying to do layering, so I had some boo boos I had to cut off.

I ended up with these--

These are tiny 3" cards, which would be great for gift enclosures or tags. I quickly colored up some Hero Arts critters and flowers, and managed to salvage what I could of the panel.
Note that I DID manage to achieve rainbow order here!

This was so fun to do, and other than my challenge of getting the tape to cooperate, these were pretty idiot proof (ME, being the idiot in question). Oh the key is to use enough tape that you can tape to your surface, as well as your paper panel. Once I grasped that one, it was smooth sailing!

So, thanks to Jennifer for the idea. I'll be returning to this technique, I think!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

#jennifermcguire #heroarts #distressink

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mr Cardmaker is a Sketchy MFT-er (Part Two)

So, in part one I did a sort of refined version of the My Favorite Things Sketch Challenge.  I was determined to get in on this one, especially since I missed the last one by EXACTLY one minute!

I decided to
A. Use SOME of that huge paper stash I have.
B. Go just a bit free and loose with the sketch, while definitely adhering to it.
C. More Crazy Birds!!

I made this--

The sketch Looks like this--

I used the MFT Absolutely Fabulous dies and Leafy Greenery dies here, and I added in a Tim Holtz Crazy Bird, because I love them so. These beautiful papers are from My Mind's Eye, and it always hurts me to have to cut into them.

I also heat embossed some wood veneer stars with Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder to add some detail. I did this last Christmas I think, and I love the effect.

I received the Absolutely Fabulous dies as a free-with-60 gift, and I was happily surprised to see how the "absolutely" cut, leaving the bottoms of the letters attached to the card stock.

I did substitute the "sentiment flag" portion of the sketch with the Fabulous die cut, but as it becomes part of the sentiment, I think it achieves the sketch.

Speaking of the sketch, there are millions of way to interpret it. This was my other card--

Bit of a difference, right? You can read more about it if you scroll down to the older post!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Mr Cardmaker is a Sketchy MFT-er (Part One)

Well, last week I missed entering the My Favorite Things Sketch Challenge by EXACTLY one minute. For reals. Boo, hiss.

Not gonna get myself in that trouble this time!

I made TWO projects, and I'm posting them separately, so I can enter them both.

I made this--

Here's the sketch--

I used the Flashy Florals stamps and dies here, and I went with a pretty tight color scheme, staying with green and gold, with a touch of gray here and there.

I used Memento Delicato Golden Glitz ink to watercolor some shine onto my background panel, which, sadly flattens out in photos.  I amplified the effect of the gold with the gold glittered banner, and gold flower center and gold thread.

Does anyone else have issues doing those thread nest things? I think they are just too random a thing to make for a control freak like myself. I never think they turn out right for me...Anyway...

I like how this one turned out; all nice and refined-ish.

Stay tuned for part two, where things take a big turn!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Monday, July 18, 2016

Mr Cardmaker is Triptychal

I have been remiss in posting lately, mostly due to the fact that I can much more easily head over to Instagram and toss up a photo of what I've been doing, rather than compose all the words and stuff I do for the ol' blog. Plus, I post pics of Max the Beagle and Charlie the Husband there, as well.
Check me out- HERE.

HOWEVER, I have not forgotten YOU, faithful blog reader, and so today I want to share Charlie's birthday card, which is NOT on Instagram yet, so you haven't missed anything!

So I made him this--

Which opens up to look like this--

I know I call this a triptych in the title, but I think it's actually just a trifold card, since it's really just one long picture, and not three scenes that go together, which I believe it the better definition of a triptych. (Who says you don't learn little tidbits here and there when you visit my blog?)
I just think that punny title is better...

The base is just a regular piece of 8 1/2"x11" piece of cardstock trimmed at an angle (which made it just about 7 1/2" inches tall at one end, and 4 3/4" tall at the other) which I scored on my Scor-Pal at the handy little arrow marks which are there to allow this kind of card fold. I'm not sure what the exact measurements are...The overall width is just under 3 3/4", so it easily fits into a regular business size envelope with some wiggle room, which allowed me to overlap that cloud on the first panel just a bit.

So, most of this is done with Lawn Fawn's Hello Sunshine stamps and dies, but is did sneak in an old Stampin' Up or two to do the underbrush-y stuff, and a SU set called Happy Happenings for the sentiment(s).

I colored the chicks and bees with Copics, using just a couple of yellows. I love how simple these images are, and they kind of remind me of those Minion things as well as marshmallow peeps.

To make the card look right when it's closed, I had to also do some stamping on the BACK side of the middle panel.
That looks like this--

Not terribly eventful on that side, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

So closed, it looks like this--

Sorry about my fingers in there, but that's 110# cardstock, so it doesn't lay flat when folded so well.
You can find the little vellum clouds in there a little better in this shot, too.

The balloons are all coated with Glossy Accents to shine them up, because, shiny!

So, Charlie loved it, and I was really pretty happy with the results. Yay!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Thursday, June 30, 2016

MrCardmaker is Hostful

A couple of weeks ago, I had my friend Stephanie over for a day of card making. I would have loved to have made it a BIG event, with ALL my local crafty friends, but it was sort of last minute-ish, and it was mid-week, when lots of people are working, so...

Anyway, Stephanie is the gal who introduced me to card making about, wow, is it SEVEN years ago now? Well, all that time, and all that $$$ later, I was able to actually teach her a couple of new techniques, and we just had the very best time of it. 

We made these!

We started here--
 This one was SO fun and easy! I love, love, love ink blending, and rainbows, especially when it goes along with emboss/resist. Can't ever say no to a great big sentiment, either!

I made samples and kits for the two of us to grab and go with, and so I got to have two of everything when all was said and done! Lucky me! I am entering this card into Virginia's View color challenge, at the urging of the lovely Donna Mikasa!

The next one was really fast and easy, and made the most of a tiny scribble with a white gel pen--

This is a single panel, partially dry embossed, with a wet embossed sentiment. The birdy-butts are the white gel pen part...But you may have read about this one on THIS earlier post. I used white pencil on that one, but I like the pen better...

Now, I thought this one would be super simple as we did it, but explaining the smooshing technique is not as simple as I hoped--

I CASE-d this idea from Dawn McVey at Papertrey Ink, using this panel die as a background. (I went looking for the link for her doing this, and cannot find it, so if it was somebody else, please forgive me. Senior moments happen more often, these years...)There has to be a better way to move all the pieces back and forth than the way I did it, but the Press'n'Seal and I became close friends doing it all, so...
VERY different results every time you try this technique, so you CAN'T get bored.

These babies were awesome--

I had stamped and colored sheets and sheets of these birds a while back, so it was great to have them on hand to just grab. I love how a change of color story makes all the difference here...

THESE, however, were the BIG deal of the day--

I watched Kristina Werner do a watercolor version of a galaxy sky on her BLOG, and I just loved it.
I wanted to try it with Distress Inks and NOT as watercolor, but as ink blending instead, and I LOVE how these turned out. You will definitely wear out your arm doing  the black layer, but it's SO worth it!

There was a LOT of drying time involved, so we started early and worked the steps in between other cards. WELL worth the effort involved, I think. It's hard to see here, but the "blessed" die cut is done from white glitter paper, so there's tons of shine. The white spattered stars are KEY to making this technique work, as are the water splatters, so don't skip these steps.

I'm entering this card into Virginia's View as well, because COLOR!

And that was our day!
There's very little better than a day spent with friends, creating and laughing!
I need to set up a weekend day of this for more friends, SOON!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mr Cardmaker is the Berries

Well, this week I am entering the Tag! You're It #50 challenge over at their blog, and I actually spent quite a few hours fretting over this one.

I made this--

I loved the inspiration piece, which is this--

And I decided that some juicy red strawberries were in my future!

I love strawberries, both to eat and look at. They're like these amazing jewels, and they're sweet and tart and just wonderful. Did you know they were actually very low in sugar, for a fruit? Good to know!

Well, I started with a manila tag and a stamp from GinaK Designs That I have owned for years. It's my only strawberry stamp that I own, I think, and was just perfect for what I wanted to do.

I made a couple of masks, because nothing but a big bunch of berries would do, and I stamped all over the tag with Versafine Black onyx ink, which I then embossed in clear.

The next part was water coloring everything with Distress Inks, allowing (in  most cases) different colors to dry before layering more and more ink for depth.

The last steps on the tag involved drawing in white dots with a gel pen, and then coating just the red parts of the berries with lots of Glossy Accents. Sadly, the glossy accents mostly wiped out my white dots, but there's just enough to show, so I'm living with it.

I coated a houndstooth embossing folder with versamark and ran my black backer tag through my Cuttlebug, and then clear embossed it for some shine. Such a great effect, and I really liked the fact that the powder wasn't exactly perfect.

For the card base, I first used more distress ink to deepen the card stock color, then stamped a leaf pattern all over. I added a panel of black and white striped paper to one side, and then mounted my tags.

(HEY! I am having a serious problem getting fun foam to stick to things-my ATG gun doesn't work, Tombo Mono multi glue didn't do it, even Glossy Accents needed some nudging, even though once I weighted it down it did finally work. Anybody else having this issue? I love using fun foam, but COME ON...)

Notice there's a diagonal thing going on here--diagonal paper stripes, diagonal lines make up the leaf pattern, and the tags are placed on diagonals. AND, the twist of the twine is basically a diagonal, too!

To soften things up a bit, I added a VERY round banner to the tag, which I made by die cutting a round frame and trimming it. I added a sentiment and some yellow ink, to punch up the folds, and after adhering it and some additional leaves, I thought I was done.

As I looked at it, though, I decided that I couldn't just leave that one little bit of yellow hanging there by itself, and I punched and inked some tiny flowers to look like strawberry blossoms. It carries the strawberry idea further, and gives my an opportunity to get THREE areas of yellow onto my card, which it really needed. Plus, I was able to really get a nice little primary color scheme out of the whole thing, too! Hey, green is a neutral here!

I created a panel to use on the inside of my card, doing each step as I did my tag, and just as I was getting ready to adhere it to the inside of my card, I got a huge black smudge on the top corner. ARGH!
Well, I wasn't about to throw the whole thing away, so I got my trimmer involved and got this--

It really leaves me with a pretty small writing area, but you know what, just look at the pretty stuff. I can always write on the back, too...

So that's my card!
You can also see my things (and lots of them well before they hit the blog) at my Instagram @rlbreaks.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Mr Cardmaker is Neutral about Being In the Pink

Well, I happened to stumble upon the MTF Card Challenge site this week, via the lovely and UBER talented Kay Miller. If you don't know her and her beautiful cards, as well as her amazing polymer clay ornaments, you REALLY want to!

The sketch challenge this week looks like this--

I made this--

I used the MFT new Flashy Florals card kit to do most of this card, with the addition of the flower on the black strip, where I grabbed a stamp from MFT Warm Wishes stamp set to do non-holiday duty!

I was channeling my inner Kay Miller when I made this card, because you will find, when you visit her blog, that she is the reigning queen of the gray leaf. She is my muse!

I worked my white pigment ink and versamark ink hard on this project, as well as my clear and white embossing powders. I was able to create a variety of both shade and sheen, whether it's the flat white on the card base, the shiny, yet muted white on the black panel, or the flat stamped leaves against the shiny embossed flowers. Sheen is so hard to photograph. You may get an idea of it in this close-up--

In this close-up you can see the difference in doing the clear embossing powder over the finished flower, like in the white flower, vs doing the white embossed center over the clear embossing on the black flower. The white flower has a diffused, almost antique melty effect. Kind of a cool look!
This was an instance when I got a solid idea about where I wanted to go pretty quickly, which is a rare occasion for me, honestly. I'm pretty happy with this one!
Try this challenge--it was fun!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Mr Cardmaker has Depth

Well, it's long over, but I got this great stamp set from Stampin' Up during the 2016 Sale-a-bration, and I had some good fun with it.

I made this--

I LURVE big, chunky fonts like this, so I was all over it when I saw it. I made a panel using lots of the stamps in the kit, and did some second generation stamping with the flowers and sprigs.

I stamped the big sentiment in bright orange, and the flowers in peach.
I liked them together, but it was a bit of a stark jump from one color to the other.

With my waterbrush, I roughly went over the tops of the orange letters with my peach ink, and because I was using a water soluble orange ink, I was able to do a nice blend of the two colors. It was a really nice gradient, and it made the two colors work together much better! I went really quickly, and did not try to be really fussy about it at all.

I matted my panel on some navy cardstock, and mounted that onto a gray card base that I previously stamped in gray ink with a woodgrain stamp from Hero Arts. A doily and some navy and white baker's twine finishes it off.

Or so I thought!
At the last minute before sending this card, I grabbed my clear Wink of Stella brush pen and hit the peach/orange letters with a slick of shiny stuff. Because, shiny, of course. No photo of that one, I fear.

One last look--

This one went to our niece Jessica. I hope she likes it!

By the way, you can also follow me on Instagram, @rlbreaks. You may even catch a couple of things BEFORE they hit the blog, as well as thing you may never see on the blog!
Check it out!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--