The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Monday, May 23, 2016

Mr Cardmaker Loves His Florals and a Homemade Stencil

Wow, I am so far behind on this blog, I just spent 20 minutes writing about I card I already posted about. ARGH.

Well, now that Spring has arrived (on most days, anyway) I decided to pull out some flower stamps and dies. I LOVE my Wplus9 Fresh Cut Floral stamps and dies. The color options, the layering, I just really can relax and stamp flowers and leaves and berries to my heart's content.

I knew I wanted to do several projects, and with the dies being solid backed (which means you can't see through it to line up something you've stamped beforehand), I felt it was best to just die cut a big pile of everything, and I could decide what I wanted to create afterwards.

Well, when I was cutting all these small dies over and over, I noticed that the cardstock piece I was using was looking really kind of cool. The dies were really pretty evenly spaced, and the dies are close to being the same size, so it was just pleasing to look at. I decided that there was a future for that card stock. And indeed, there was.

So I made three or four cards with the diecuts, and I will share those another time.  I really want you to see what I did with the negative today.

Now, I did a LOVELY card with this technique, and I put it in an envelope and mailed it-- BEFORE I thought to photograph it. I HATE doing that! My favorite cards manage seem to have a similar fate, I fear. I guess I get too excited about getting them off to someone. Either that, or I have waited to the last possible second to mail something, and it's a now-or-never situation. I think it's more often the latter, if I'm honest...sigh.

Ok, so I made these--

Ok, so this first one is cute, right? I just did simple inking on the background, and that was it.
But on this one--

Ok so two things here--No, three!
1)Multiple colors, 2)Stamping the images onto the stenciled images, and 3)background ink blending.

I LOVE this look!
(My other card was much more like the second one, but with softer colors. I REALLY wish I had taken a pic or two.....)

Check them out again--

Fun, right?

I have some Christmas dies from Papertrey Ink That I am looking forward to using for some holiday cards.
Oh, but wait!

I did one more!
Speaking of Christmas, I did a weird and I mean WEIRD color choice, and made this Christmas card using the same idea--

BAM! ORANGE for Christmas Baby! So weird. I was trying to go for the "warm" in "warm holiday hugs" I guess, but this is like a juicy, sassy citrus orange. I LOVE the color, but this is just ODD for Christmas.

Oh, but yeah, you can see where I stenciled the orange and then stamped inside the image to do the background.
I also embossed my focal image and sentiment in Liquid Platinum embossing powder, and all of the watercoloring is the ONE color of orange. I made different values of color by watering it down.
Clear Wink of Stella coats the image, and I did the dots with a white gel pen.

I love trying new things! This may be a pretty old thing to the world, but it's new to me, and I will probably do it over and over until I get good and sick of it, and then forget about it for a year or so...

Do you do that? Let me know I'm not totally off my rocker, will ya? (Or that I AM, if you feel the need to...)
I'm so happy you joined me today!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mr. Cardmaker is Smiling in the Sunshine

I am feelin' fine and wearing lots of WHITE, because I have a lovely SUNTAN at the moment!

We are just back home from a lovely eight days in Key West, Florida. Oh, what a nice thing to do for yourself in the last, never-ending days of winter. Good weather, great food, and we even caught up with several friends we made on previous trips--definitely the BEST part!
OH! AND, we celebrated our second wedding anniversary while there, too! BIG WEEK!!
So, I'm a smiling Mr. Cardmaker, indeed.

It makes me think of these fun tags I made a while ago.
I made these--

Happy and sunny, just like my disposition these days. I love this circle tag die, and I found, while experimenting, that the Stampin' Up Wonderous Wreath stamps fit inside it just about perfectly! Instead of using the full wreath in this instance, I used the second part if the multi step stamps alone, and it gave me just the right amount of leaves for my background.

The leaf dies are from W+9, and the flowers are an older Sizzix set. I have no idea whether this is still available, but it worked just fine for me here.
The smile die is from Little Yellow Bicycle, and I LOVE that it's a chunkier font AND the dot for the "I" is attached, so no trying to hunt that sucker down mid-project.

The sentiment is stamped with an ancient Stampendous set called Everything Happy, and If I ever lose that one I may have to quit stamping entirely, I love it so much.

These will look great tied to a birthday gift. I wish I had thought about them when I gave a bottle of champagne as a gift on Sunday....Wop, wop...

Tags are good. That is all...

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mr Cardmaker Loves His Pretty Papers

When you start with a really great pad of patterned paper, you can easily have most of your card making battle won before you begin.
I have been stingily doling out papers from a really great Crate Paper 6x6 pad, called DIY Shop.
I caught a glimpse of it while digging through the stash, and it MADE me come up with a fun card set.

I made these--

Fun, right?
I used SU's Happy Happenings for the sentiment, and the stars are from SU's Balloon Celebration set, which are both in the soon-ending Occasions catalog. (Order SOON--Sale-a-bration is going on only until the 31st, and there's FREE stuff to be had! Check out the catalogs in my sidebar!)

The papers are the real stars here, and because I got them all from one 6x6 pad, they all go together PERFECTLY.

I know this makes me pic heavy, but here are some close-ups--

These were really super easy to make--
Just cut some papers (I cut various sized strips from 7 different papers and then puzzle pieced them onto the card bases) and adhere them, make these quick sentiment elements and pop them on with foam tape, and add the veneer pieces. (Oh, btw, the veneers are all from Studio Calico, if I remember correctly.)

The great thing is you get a great bunch of cards with minimal effort, and you can use them individually, or give them all together as a gift! If I had a nickel for every time I needed a last minute gift...

Well, that's it, clean and simple. A big thanks to the papers for carrying the heavy load on this one!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mr Cardmaker is Mini to the Max

There's something just too sweet about a mini card. I'm talking the little, bitty, 3" enclosure cards that are perfect for sticking in with gifts and such. I find them to be the most wonderful way to express yourself in miniature...

I made these a while ago, and never shared them--

Are these CUTE or what?
Wait, look closer--

Such a HAPPY little thing. I am SURE these got started from me trimming some stamped cardstock with that woodgrain on it. It can only go crazy from there!
The yellow houndstooth is such a fave of mine, as is the button being "threaded" with a tiny sliver of cardstock. Much easier to find the button's holes than with thread!

I moved the sentiment (and tiny hearts) around a bit on each of them--

I like staying close to a primary color scheme here, even though some green does sneak in. Primary colors used his way says "happy" to me, rather that juvenile, the way primaries can easily be pigeon-holed.

Thanks for letting me share my teensy bits of fun!

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best--

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Mr Cardmaker is Wearin' the Green

I think my dad's side of the family must have some Irish in it, somewhere. We always called my grandpa's family British Mutt, so you'd think...

Anyway, I'm not big on the whole St. Patrick's Day deal. When we lived in the city of Boston, it was crazy to see the lines to get into bars happening first thing in the morning. By nightfall, just about everybody had fallen with the night. It was entertaining, but whoa...

I have a card that's doing the wearin' o' the green, but not for St. paddy.
I was playing around with my distress inks, and decided to do a background with ALL the greens, using a text stamp. Lucky me, it fits into the themes at Simon Says Stamp for both the Monday (make your own background) and Wednesday (A bit o' green) challenges!

I made this--

So, the numbers are all done in glitter paper, which is hard to tell in the picture.

Maybe a different angle?

No, not too helpful. Oh, well...

So, yeah, ALL the greens in the Distress Ink line. They JUST fit. The stamp is from Lawn Fawn's Scripty Sentiments. Love them.
The numbers are attached at different depths with foam adhesive. It all worked out pretty well, actually! And, of course, sequins, because sequins.

I may have to try this in other color schemes now. 

Thanks for dropping by!
All Best-

Friday, March 11, 2016

Balloons Gone Elegant

I love the elegant fonts and sentiments in the Balloon Celebrations stamp set from Stampin Up.
I think it can be used in different ways, both fun and elegant.

I have been going in a fun direction, so far, but I think I found the elegant vein, too.
I made this--

The background of this baby is covered with the a printed vellum from Stampin Up, layered on Soft suede card stock. There are so many beautiful patterns in this pad, I may have to hoard most of it for a while...

The patterned paper is from my stash, and the balloons are stamped with Delicata Gold Glitz ink. The subtle glimmer is so pretty. I wish it showed up in photos.

I think my favorite part of this card has to be the pearls. Paired with the beautiful sentiment, It realy makes me think about bubbles in a champagne glass. 

I love this card.

So, there's the balloons. Lots more to come from this set, I'm sure.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Mr Cardmaker Loves His Glossy Accents

Well, The fact that these Balloon Celebration stamps and punch make it so easy to make fab cards in all kinds of groupings, it was time to get inventive with it.

I have far too many red stamp pads. I also have way too many red t-shirts, red plaid shirts, and red stuff in general.

I made this--

I used just about every stamp in this set that I could use to doll up these balloons. I love the stars, both the outline and solid images! I have all kinds of red inks here, from Distress Inks, to Hero Arts ink, to Papertrey Ink, to Memento. Lots and lots of red. Yum!

And how about that teensy wood veneer star? PERFECT with the stamped stars!

I have some of these mounted flush to the card front, and some on foam adhesive for dimension.
I also have ALL of the coated in lots of Glossy Accents, which I REALLY wish photographed better...

It looks like I got a small smudge of white there on my sentiment. Wop, wop...Oh well, that'll happen. I'll fix that somehow...

I really like the reds and white on the kraft card base. I only made one of these, but it was really pretty easy to make, and I'm sure I can come up with as many more as I need.

So, Balloons! SHINY balloons! Good stuff!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mr Cardmaker is Ballooning

Ok, so, let's NOT talk about the holiday weight I haven't lost.

Oh, weight wait, not the subject here.

So, after all my coffee and teacup cards with the Balloon Celebration stamp set, it's time to look at some actual balloons!

I made this--

So, I really love the shading stamps that make the balloons look so great. Fun, and elegant, and just really nice.

I started with the small panel with the sentiment, and spread out from there. I drew the border squiggly lines by hand--this is when too much coffee actually pays off.
You can see a peek of the inside of the card, where I did the same idea. Continuity is good.

I feel like I could've used more balloons, somehow, but It looks like the clouds sort of took over here.
These were done with Amuse Studio Clouds Duo dies.I've loved these things for years.

I love the dark brown base on this card. Something different is always fun, and it makes a brightly colored card more suitable for both a man or woman. Great stash builder!

That's why I made so many--

Really, these were nice, strong, simple shapes, even with all the die cutting I had to do.
These cards will come in handy!
More balloons to come!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mr. Cardmaker Gets All Touchy Feely

I have a quick post today, with a card I JUST made for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge, which is all about using texture on a card.
I won't bore you with my first go around, which involved WAY too much Funky Flock to far too little an effect. I'll let you poke into my trash bin if you really want to see that mess that I tried TWICE.

Anyway, in a totally new vein, I made this--

 So, as you can see, I went with the dry emboss technique to help get my texture. I really like the juxtaposition of the super smooth vellum texture with the rougher wood grain. Then, I went with the juxtaposition of the orderly Swiss dot with the softly rounded corners against the torn edges. I kinda dig the whole yin & yang of this idea.

Front view-
The giant font really packs a wallop on its own, but a few well placed sequins never hurt, in my book!
Speaking of the font, the fact that it is SO big really helped when it came to adding the adhesive behind the letters. Otherwise, I could've had a huge mess showing through the vellum.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Join the challenge!
All Best-

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Mr Cardmaker Clearly Needs His Sleep

I am a rip-snorting, gimme dat mug, hot and fast coffee fan, to be clear. There are, however, certain times, and the frequency of these times is growing year by year, where nothing is going to satisfy my mood/state of mind/chill like a cup of thick-as-pitch, milk and honeyed Irish Breakfast TEA. Yup, tea. Good stuff.

Now, I can't do tea first thing in the morning. My stomach won't have it. Coffee only, please.
After 2pm, however, while I can and do manage a cup of the high test bean brew, my body finds that it functions better at bedtime if I make the switch to a distillation of the leaf. TEA. SLEEP. GOOD.

I make cards about tea and coffee, too.
I made this--

If you've been with me for the past few posts, you know that I'm into Stampin ups Balloon Celebration stamp set and the Cups and Kettle Framelits. (You may also know you can purchase them through me, too. Let me know...)
My OTHER new friend is an old friend of SU--My So Saffron ink pad. I love soft yellows, always have, and this color makes me very happy, especially with Spring around the corner.

Well, I made a stencil of the teacup image using one of the teacup dies and the heart-shaped steam die. I cut them from some card stock scraps, and used a foam dauber to color them onto my background.
I then used a mask (probably the same scrap of card stock) and the same dauber to get a tablecloth effect under the cup. I freehanded it with the folds (I call them folds, but I was probably trying for stripes. Don't tell anyone!)

I love that kettle die. Nice and clean, and a really good size. The sentiment stamps are fantastic and super flexible.
I have a martini glass stamp that I want to use with that sentiment. I am hoping it will fit right in the glass. I will work on that idea and get back to you.

Anyway, These ideas are only some of a VAST array of things to be done with these tools. Worthy additions to the stash, I must say.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Monday, February 29, 2016

Mr Cardmaker aka Mr Caffeine

As it turns out, the best way to avoid caffeine crash is just to keep your level on an even keel. Sounds easy enough, right?
The nuance comes when you're able to maneuver well enough to gauge it so you keep energy all day long, but quit at the exact level that just might actually let you sleep a good portion of the night ahead of you.

I have not reached this level of expertise.

I do make cards about coffee and tea (and drinking in general) on occasion.
Like now.
I made this--

Now that I have returned to Stampin' Up and the catalogs that go with that, I have relearned to appreciate the non-standard sized card. A2 is a good friend of mine, but it's time to branch out.

This is a 4 1/4" square card, so my branching out here is more like a "sprigging" out.

So, I'm back to the Balloon Celebration stamp set for my sentiment and stars, with the mug die cut with the Cups and Kettle framelits.
I probably had to trim my last card, so I had the strip of wood grain to play with. Add a fun striped scrap, and there you go. Dare I say "boom!"?

The little steam heart is also in that stamp set. As I remember, it was a bit of an "oh, I don't like that negative space" afterthought.

But wait! There's more!
I made this--

This one is similar to the one I shared last time (scroll down to see that post), but much more colorful, and with a bonus SPOON!
Not too sure about that washi tape bow...It'll fly, but I don't know that I'd do it again.

I did some playing around with the depth of the elements and I used my stylus tool to press some depth into the bowl of the spoon. That didn't photograph as well as it could, though.

I did sneak in a second stamp set on the blue cup in order to do the dots. I gotta mix it up--that's how I roll...

SO many more possibilities with these stamps and dies. I do love it when I have great tools with an amazing amount of flexibility.(Wait until I show you the balloons! All with the same stamp set!)

But, I have one more cups card to share. Stay tuned!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Friday, February 26, 2016

Mr Cardmaker and the Mystery of the Lost Mugs

I always love seeing that people bring treats with them to enjoy while crafting. I have never been one to bring  food into my craft space--I have enough trouble keeping my projects clean without chocolate or grease marks on them. I think some gummy bears would be nice, from time to time, though...
I have, however, been known to bring a hot cup of what-have-you in with me when it's time to create. I think it gives me that needed pause when I want to contemplate an idea, that breather when I'm getting frustrated with that thing that's not quite working, or that welcome stalling tactic when the mojo is just NOT flowing.

So, it's no surprise that I have to go hunting for the dead soldier tea and coffee cups on a regular basis. Luckily, for the most part I can always find things on my work table. It's on days when I paint a wall or a room, or on housecleaning day when I have to run recognizance, hunting all the corners where I may have had too many things in my hands. I have yet to have a total loss. I wear that badge proudly.

My love for warm beverages spills over into my craft work on occasion, and that makes me smile. Do you know about Coffee Loving Papercrafters? Check them out-There's a fun Facebook group for them, too.

I made this--

I joined Stampin Up recently, just for the deal and discount (as you do),and I got some wonderful new things to play with!

I LURVE the die set--THREE different cups, a teapot and other stuff. And, it pairs so nicely with the Balloon Celebration stamp set, thanks to the wonderful sentiment stamps!  The "tea" can be replaced with champagne, coffee and hot chocolate, or if you are really hardcore, you can leave it without adding anything. That can lead to ugly mornings, though. Don't ask how I know...

Now, there is a stamp set that goes with the dies, but I am too cheap uh frugal uh, financially limited to buy everything I like, so I was happy to see this set working with other elements. I DID buy the balloon punch. Birthdays and New Year's and stuff, you know..

(PS-Yes, I am selling this stuff, if somebody asks, FYI. Check out the catalogs in my sidebar and ask me about getting $155.00 worth of stuff for $99.00 [for a limited time] if you'd like. I loved it first, though.)

The decorations on the cups are from the Balloon Celebration set- I think my favorite is the little dandelion sprig thingy on the top mug. Love it with the yellow AND white!

The background stamp is from Hero Arts, but SU also does a wood grain background. And a doily because, well, teacups. We are piss elegant POSH around here!

I have more of these cards to share, and I will do just that. After a cup of tea. Or three...
And then, the mug hunt...

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mr Cardmaker LOVES a White Pencil

You know how when sometimes you make a FAST card, and somehow it turns out to be something you really love? AND it's because of the very last thing you do?

I made this--
So, this is an older set from Stampin Up called Wetlands, but it's new to me. I love the images.
There's a goose that I need to do something with soon, too.

So, this is simple, simple stamping, with an embossed greeting, and some dry embossing on the top part of the panel.
It's the white underbellies of the sandpipers that makes this whole thing for me. And, yes, it's the last thing I did. and I barely did ANYTHING at all, but wow, what a big difference. And, it's even kind of messy. it works, though, IMHO.

I can't believe I only made one of these. I WILL be going back and doing more. I always have need for a masculine card, what with all the uncles and nephews.

Since I seem to be pumping out a good few birthday cards these days, and the family is just about already covered, I'm going to be jumping on the #bringbackbirthdays campaign. Spreading happiness around just sounds good to me.

Keep that white pencil close at hand. You never know when it'll work magic for you...

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mr Cardmaker Builds a Birthday Stash

So, I REALLY don't care for that feeling you get when you realize you need a birthday card yesterday, and there is just no time available to make one.
What usually happens in this instance is, I end up sending some old card from my stash that I made AGES ago, and, too often, I have to see just how much I don't like my old stuff.

So, in order to avoid that lousy feeling, my thing for 2016 is PREPARATION. I am doing LOTS of cards, multiples when I can, and really building my stash. I will continue to make one as I want/need one when I can, but having something to rely on in a pinch will be a HUGE load off my mind.

To that end, I made this--

This is a big mash up of stamps--Wplus9 gift, Lawn Fawn sun and sentiment, Tim Holtz bird, Unity cloud, and Stampin' Up grass.
I love those birds by Tim Holtz. I just get so tickled by those facial expressions.

I colored the bird and gift with colored pencils, and I coated the bird's eyeballs and beak with Glossy Accents. Shiny is good..

The sun, bird, and gift are all popped off the card front with foam tape.
Pretty simple card, really, but it certainly fits the bill for a handy birthday card, suitable for anybody.

So, I made four of them!

The big challenge I can foresee with making ahead too many cards, is the possibility of running into next year and sending the SAME card to somebody TWICE. 
Ooooooh, yeah, that would probably suck. I will have to ponder how to avoid that issue...

At any rate, I am off and running with my stash, and there's many more ahead.
I'm entering this card at Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Anything Goes Challenge.
Stay tuned!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best,

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Mr. Cardmaker is (Nearly) Heartless

So, weird thing-

Heart-shaped things are not my groove. Just don't feel the whole heart shape thing.
Give me a square, a circle (yes!), even a rhombus. Hearts? You can keep those, but thanks just the same.

So, it makes Valentines day sort of difficult.
I did, years ago, break down and get the triple heart punch from Stampin' Up, but I find that being without heart dies is making V-Day creativity harder and harder. I may have to suck it up and find some used dies, somewhere. Anybody overloaded with heart dies out there? Helloooooo...?

Anyway, I managed to come up with a Valentine for my Honey--

I made this--

Well, I started with a deep discount bin stamp on the background of my card base. I then sponged a scrap of the same card stock with some Picked Raspberry Distress Ink, letting it fade out at the bottom, and die cut my "love" with a Little Yellow Bicycle die.

Well, this is where I had to start being creative. I could've folded and hand cut some hearts like we did in grade school, but my little eye spied the negative of my die cut, which caused ol' Inspiration to slap me upside my head.

Stencil! Yup, yup, yup!
A sponge dauber and some more ink, and away I went, all over the background.
I was really happy I hadn't popped out the little chad things from my die cut's letters, because when the time came to mount it, I was happy it looked more like the background stencil.

So, finally, it was time to pull out that heart punch o'mine. I had this hot pink, glittered paper saved from a gift bag given to me ages ago, and it was the perfect time to make use of it. I lined a bunch of hearts up on a banner shaped piece of pink striped paper, popped that up on top of a gold foiled banner piece, and layered all of that on top of a sweet 4" doily.

Doilies must have been super cheap when I was coming through grade school, because memories of them when we made valentines sure do fill my brain. I love them on a valentine!

I popped up the die cut "love" with some foam tape, and to give it more presence, I coated it with a thick layer of Glossy Accents. I do love me some shine!

I felt like the left side of the card was a bit of a snore, so at the last second, I stamped a textured stripe, and hit it with some gold embossing powder. Because, shiny...

And there you have it!

My sweet Charlie sure did love it, as I loved the ARMLOAD of roses, both yellow and red, he brought home to me!
I'm not worthy....

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day, and if you get the day off tomorrow for Presidents Day, enjoy it! (Go make something!)

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Comes a Glimmer...

Well, after all the wretched photos of Christmas cards I foisted upon you, I actually have a decent photo of ONE card that I did for a shoebox swap with some very wonderful crafters at my dear friend Liz Ballard's home.


We had one person not able to come to the party, and so I had her kit left over. I assembled it, and THIS is what I made--

So, this is still not the VERY best of photos, but you can at least SEE the thing.

I like that this is sort of on the masculine side, even with glitter and rhinestones. I think the skinny red racing stripe look with the wood grain stripe is what makes me think that.

The subtle background is done with SU's Winter Wishes set, and the sentiment panel is done with SU's Cozy Christmas set. These were 2015 Stampin' Up Holiday Catalog sets, and they really blew it out of the park with stamp sets this year! LOVED the whole catalog!

I loved it so much, that I signed up to be a demo! I do this every once in a while, usually during the Sale-a-bration time that happens to be going n RIGHT NOW. I find that I moss out on much of the great Christmas stuff, because the Holiday catalog tends to be gone by then, but the deal is amazing!

The Occasions catalog is out now, as is the Annual catalog.
The big thing right now, though is the Sale-a-bration brochure, which has FREE stuff that you can choose from for every $50.00 dollars you spend.
NOW is the time to sign up for Stampin' Up, too, because new recruits get $155.00 of product for $99.00,with no shipping! (That's an extra $30.00!!)
I think that's an amazing deal.

Anyway, if you get a moment to browse these catalogs, and you find you can't possibly live without something, I would be SO pleased to help get these things into your crafty little hands. You can email me (link in profile), or go through the website and list me as your demonstrator. That's me, Richard Breaks in Westborough, MA.
No pressure; just want to be available for you.

Anyway, just wanted to share my card, really.
Hope you like it.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--