The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Papertrey Ink Make it Monday-- Quilty Goodness

I was inspired to join in on Papertrey Ink's Make it Monday challenge this week.  I was however, in a weird spot, because it is mostly a paper challenge, and I have no decorative papers from PTI.  I DID have some scraps of red cardstock from PTI left over from my sample pack, but that's all.  I hope it's enough!  Happily I DO have a cover plate die that would work.

The challenge was to make paper look like a quilt, using a cover plate or embossing plate on top of a quilted paper pattern.

I made this--

I think it looks SO MUCH like a real quilt!    The cover plate die used as an embossing plate really makes the paper look like a top stitched quilt, I think.  Clever!  I liked these red pearls added, too, because they remind me of old fashioned quilting pins stuck into the fabric. 

I made this, too--(so I can enter TWICE!)

Same idea, different treatment with the red strip.  And, of course, now many quilting pins have the pearl tops on them (my Grammy was a quilter).

Here they are together--

This was  a fun thing to try!  Oh, I should mention that the solid blue squares are the card base.  Since I used white background papers in many cases, I decided that more color would be better!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

PS--I was only allowed to enter once, for some reason.  I am a bummed pup...

Monday, April 7, 2014

And Now for Something(s) Totally Different

Well, as the birthday madness keeps charging through, I have a couple more cards to share.

Nephew James is 22 this year, I think.  He's at U of F, and is going to go on to become a dentist, so there's much more school ahead for him. 
His cousin Sophia is 11, and is the only girl in this generation on my mom's side.  She is quite the little lady.

I made this for James--

Super simple and classic.  EVERYONE knows this stamp if they have even heard the words "Stampin' Up", so this is nothing new.  I am loving the Papertrey Ink sentiment from the Think Big Favorites line.  I ESPECIALLY love it in the gold embossing powder on the navy blue.  Classic.

For Sophia, I went in a very different direction--

This was done with papers from My Mind's Eye, the Quite Contrary collection.  I mixed some of the scrapbooking scaled papers with some of the smaller scaled 6x6 pad papers, added some stickers from this line, and used a sentiment from SU.  That little owl peeking out is so cute.  I have been hoarding those stickers forever.  I like the little hot pink pops of color, too.

So, that's it for the kids of April.  Today is my Charlie's birthday.  As soon as I get the pics lined up, I'll share his card, and I'll share the card set and birthday card I made for his mom, too.

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Friday, April 4, 2014

April Showers Bring BIRTHDAYS, Apparently...

The nephews are a-comin'.  Well, their birthdays are, anyway.  I have one of their cards to share today.

I made this--

I love mixing up these random patterns.  I think this came out rather well, actually.  The majority of these papers are from Cosmo Cricket, and the retro patterns make me happy.  This one is for nephew Adam, who, at 19, just bought his first HOUSE.  I thought the household gizmo paper the that the sentiment is stamped on was good for the new homeowner.  I think the birthday check will buy a few of said gizmos, too.

Another view--

And, the inside--( I can NEVER get these to photograph correctly.  I just don't know what to do about that...)

Imagine this with much less yellow involved. 
I think as long as I use a black pen, this busy paper will still work out ok. 
So that's that.

Hey, we got a dog!  Our friend was in need of a home for his dad's dog.  His dad passed away, and his mom just couldn't manage Max, since she has some health issues.  So, we got to take him home with us!  So cute--

Meet Max!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Monday, March 31, 2014

Birthday Wonkies

Well, you know how nice and crisp and lovely a shaped card can be?  I love getting out my bigger dies and cutting shapes and making them into smaller sized greetings.

So, I made this--

This card was made with a Spellbinder's set called Jar Labels, which was a very generous gift from my friend Michelle Woerner, and Grommet Tags, also by Spellbinders.  The papers are from Basic Gray's Boxer collection, and the sentiment stamps are an old favorite from Stampendous, called Everything Happy.  Teeny-tiny words that are just lovely!

So, I am of the school that says you don't let the cut off part of a die cut show, so I cut a full piece to use as the card front.  You can see the fold on the back, but who cares about that?

I think this is a rather handsome card, even if it is small--as I'm typing this, it looks like the photo is just a tiny bit bigger than the actual card. 

Of course, you notice right away that the point on the bottom makes it so the card can't really sit on it's edge very well, at least, not without a bit of wonky factor.  Solution- Give the card AFTER a couple of Happy Birthday cocktails.  No one will EVER know the difference!

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It Must Be Spring, Because The Birthdays Are Upon Us

In our family, we have gluts of birthdays--March/April, then August (mine's the third, so's you know), then late October/early November.  It seems a wild whirlwind getting everyone on the list taken care of, and you STILL have to remember all the people who fall into those off times.  My side of the family is happy with a card (and a check for the children--who are now NOT children at all, but still stay on the payroll), but Charlie's side is BIG on birthdays.  Your birthday is your own personal holiday!

Luckily, lately, it's been my side of the family.  My much younger brother Chet had his birthday this month.

I made him this--

Chet is 20 (Oh. Em. Gee.).  I was going with young and bright, yet gender neutral enough for a twenty year old man.  Twenty.  Sheesh, I am old.  Yeah, I am just over 30 years older.  My dad is a wild man.  There are two more brothers beneath him, too!


I used a Papertrey Ink movers and shakers die and stamps for this card.  See the little zipper thing there?

Here's a close-up--

Under the zip strip it says, "a birthday as awesome as you are!"
I hope he finds the thing.  I AM sure he'll find the check.  He IS a twenty year old guy, after all... BEEN there!

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Couple of Cards, and The BEST DAY EVER

I am recently back from a trip to Key West, Florida!  We managed to do our yearly trip to a warm place at winter's end, and I am so glad we were able to go.  We had great weather, great food, and met some lovely people.  I love a good vacation!

Well, as I said, I am back, sharing some cards I made a few weeks ago, using a die cut and its inverse.

First, I made this--

I love this paper combination.  I am pretty sure these are all Crate Paper papers.  (I gotta start keeping some notes!) I am digging the combination of graphics and florals here.  I think using the big stripe, medium graphic, and tiny floral makes it all work.  If they were all the same scale, they would compete with one another.
The leaf die is from Sizzix, and the little flower is as well, I think. 
The "thankful" is on foam tape, and I attached the leaves only in spots, to give some movement.
This is a happy card, I think.

The second one looks like this--

I liked this floral paper so much, I had to make a second card with it.  I actually cut through the card base on this one, and managed to do it well enough that the two lined up with minimal trimming!
I die cut a blue word as well, and mounted it on foam tape.  It's a tricky, tight squeeze getting it all to work, but I think it's okay.  The hearts are on foam tape as well.

The inside--(I NEVER am able to take good photos of my card interiors for some reason...)--

So, there's the cards.

Now for some news!


Yes, after almost 24 years together, Charlie and I managed to get hitched! 

We took full advantage of Michigan law being changed (some 15 hours earlier) that allowed us to get married, and we were among the first 100 couples in the state to rush to our County Clerk Lisa Brown for our marriage license.

Well, we got it, and got married right then and there.  We couldn't believe we were doing it; so quickly that we couldn't even call anyone to join us!

We then made lots of calls, saw some friends, went out to lunch, then went and bought some wedding rings.   You do stuff out of order when you're running to get things while the getting is good!

Looks like that Key West trip was the honeymoon--also out of order!

We've spent the last few days getting used to calling each other "husband."  Boy, I'll never get sick of THAT word, let me tell you.  I am smiling as I write this, just thinking about it.

So, that's my story. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-
(A Married Man)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

These Rules Were Made for Breaking (And That's Just What I'll Do)

Do you all remember that crazy rant I had about masculine cards and how much I hated "dusty blue" as a color for anything?  Well, you can check it out HERE, and then you can see the follow-up post with the colorful men's cards HERE.
I bought some leaf dies by Tim Holtz, and I was trying them out on some text paper.  I colored them with inks and daubers, and then ran them through some embossing folders and re inked them.  Cool dies, GREAT size.
Then it was time to make a card.  AAAAAAAAAAAAnd, I liked this plaid.  I did.  I REALLY liked it.  I paired it with some other papers, with other colors, with other patterns, and I came up with a card. 
I made this--
Well, I'll be damned if that isn't DUSTY BLUE.  Both on the plaid, and on the more navy colored leaves.  I was so taken in by the other colors (and that rather feisty blue in the tiny leaves) to really notice until I was just about done. 
I LOVE the gold and the red in the plaid.  and the gold turning up again in the patterned strip in the middle there.  I think (my memory is going) that the big blue leaves may have been punched from the same paper as the plaid, but from the reverse side, but don't hold me to that.
I like how the brown patterned paper speaks to the leaf shapes, too.  And, I really love how those teeny, tiny leaves just POP.
So, this is me, eating my words about Dusty Blue.  Like most any color, it's what it's paired with and how it's used that really makes or breaks it.
Let's not get used to seeing posts of this ilk, shall we??  Especially since I LIKE this card.  Maybe we can just call it more "denim", and less "dusty?" 
Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Papertrey Ink February Blog Hop

Well, I don't know about you, but I am READY to see the snow melt and new growth come up.  Some SUN wouldn't kill me either.
Papertrey Ink's Blog Hop Challenge for February is to create things that bring SPRING to mind!
Some inspiration--
Anyway, I made TWO cards, (well, two versions of the same idea) using PTI's Harvest Berries stamps and dies, and their Funky Florals stamp set.
I made these--

Now, there is a die that coordinates with the flower stamps, but I don't have it, so I cut the basic shapes with circle dies, and hand snipped the rest of the shapes. The label is a Spellbinder's die.

Now, if my yard would just start to resemble these cards, I would be a very happy Mr. Cardmaker.

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best--

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mr Cardmaker Never Met a Box He Didn't Like

So, I am working at Starbucks these days.  The hair biz is off the table for now, and I am happy about that for the moment.  I am mostly having fun while working my butt off, and so things are going well.  I am Le Barista!

Anyway, we sell these travel mugs that are made of steel and come in this handsome cylinder box. 
Well, one day, a woman came in and wanted the mug, but asked us to remove it from the box because she didn't want it, or need it, or whatever.  I took one look at the situation and made SURE no one threw the box away.  It comes as just a simple, flat black cylinder with the gold band, and a small label.

I got it home, and IMMEDIATELY did this to it--

I covered the box itself with some DCWV black-with cream-writing text paper, again, leaving that gold part visible, since changing it would involve disturbing the working part of the box where the top comes off.

I punched and curled the petals of  many a flower punched with Stampin' Up's Blossom punch, using some almost black, newsprint papers, and a leaf printed paper I have been hoarding for ages. There are also some gold metallic colored cardstock flowers as the base levels; a sort of brassy gold.

I then punched some many leaves from a cooler gold card stock, and ran them through an embossing folder.  Those got curled up and worked in next. 

Lastly, I used a bunch of rhinestones in gold shades to bling it all up, making them flower centers and buds.

Here's a bit of a close-up--

This was one of those projects where I got the idea, and was NOT going to be happy until I got it realized.  Luckily, Charlie was out of town, and I had a good chunk of time to get this done.

So, my box is ready to be filled.  With what, I do not know, so I am happy to get some input there.

I also managed to get hold of a nice tea tin.  That one is for another day!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Puttin' on the Dog for Valentine's Day

Well, I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of Valentine's Day. I will, of course, do a Valentine for Charlie, and I am happy (!) to do so, but for the most part, pink and red together doesn't blow my skirt up, and I think the 70's and 80's killed ANYTHING heart-shaped for me.

However, I bit the bullet, and came up with this- 

Note the big hit of coral in with the aforementioned disliked red and pink.  Makes it all that much more palatable for me. 

Charlie just about always has a dog card for me, so this year I returned the favor.  This is from a Hero Arts set called Happy Day Animals, and I really like both him and the butterfly that is giving him a kiss in his big pink nose!

I hand stamped the background as well with an ancient set I have.  What is it called? Hmmmm....

The scallops were done with a PTI die, and the cloud dies are Amuse Studio.  I fussy cut the images, and colored them with Copics.

I made a lovely chicken and asparagus risotto, and chocolate cupcakes for dinner, and we ate our weight in the chocolates we bought each other. They were delish!

Hope you had a lovely V-day.

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Aaaaaand That'll Just about Do It.....

Well, I am happy to report that I am here with my LAST Christmas card post from the 2013 cards.  I have already done some 2014 cards and a few other projects, but those are for another day.

So, without further ado--
I made these--
 Love the tags paper.  Notice the restraint on the bling factor.

 Letting the paper do the work here.  Just added a few snowflakes, branches, and sequins, and the twine.
 I hand stamped the background paper on these two. 
This is the one that killed my Martha Stewart snowflake punch.   Wah. And I LIKED this one, too...

 Sweet Christmas words dies from Paper Smooches.
 This is an older Spellbinders' Ornament die, with a Sizzix snowflake, and Papertrey Ink word die.  I stamped extra snowflakes on the paper with gold Delicata ink.

Yeah.  Not sure what this one was.  Fail.
 I could use about 20 more of that Dec 25th flair...Note the Enamel Accents dots.  Love that stuff.
This is some of that pretty-yet-maddening red plastic sheet. Oh how I wish it liked to be die cut.  SO shiny....
A little black pen turned the teensy red birds into cardinals here.  I like them. Die cuts that small are HARD to keep up with, though!

Okay, so,  I certainly did NOT save the best for last.  Here they are for posterity, if for no other reason!
The thing I like about Christmas cards, though, is that you can do a good bit of experimentation, and you can count on just about ANYTHING being appreciated when you send it out.
Thanks for sticking with me through this one.  Better things to come, I promise. 
Now, if I can drag my butt and my stuff downstairs to get photographed....
Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mr Cardmaker's Christmas Collection, Part Deux

Back to share some more of the 2013 Christmas cards. I have actually been working on some for 2014 already, and throwing in a birthday card here and there, but those are for another day.

I did some hand coloring, both with colored pencils and watercolor, and a marker here and there. 

With the pencils, I did this--

Trying to keep things simple, I did some super fast coloring on this happy snowman and his birdie posse. I really like how the white shows up so well on this grey paper. Some torn paper to make the ground, some Stickles to add some sparkle, and there they are! I popped the panel up onto a patterned paper background piece, added that big snowflake, and we were done.

Oh, and a quick trick--The white "merry"?  The liner paper from the red sticky vinyl one! It was so shiny and bright, I just HAD to use it! Sad that the vinyl itself was such a challenge to work with. I abandoned it almost immediately.  

Then it was time to watercolor--

This is a Stampendous stamp that I really like. I stamped in Versamark and gold embossed it. A water brush and some red ink to fill in some key areas, and I was done with that! A quick sentiment strip finishes it all off.

In a similar vein--

This one was stamped in Archival ink, so it wouldn't run when I hit it with the inks. I went a bit closer to real life coloring here, and I merely added some punched branches that were punched from white glitter paper to add a wintery feel.

I love to do the hand coloring, but it takes SO long to do well, I left that idea for more Christmas cards, and thought I would do a big stamp project instead. 
I made this--

I had an idea I would be able to do this rather quickly. Yeah....That didn't happen. This was a GREAT amount of fun, though, and I think I used about six kinds of stamps and stamp companies to create this one. My fave was using the top of a Christmas tree to make the parts that look like evergreens (or ferns, depending on your point of view). I also learned that my red inks are VERY pink, except for one. Hmmm....

So, that's more of the collection.   I have a few more to share, but I have to run to work!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best to You-

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ignore this one...

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This one is just so I can "claim" my blog for bloglovin. 

Carry on.

He's Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack....

Wow.  Whew.  This is tougher than I expected.  Getting back into the groove after being away for so long is NOT an easy thing.   But, I'm back, I'm creating, and I hope that I will finally have something interesting to say, now that we are WELL into the new year!

So!  Where have I been?  I am back to work now, and I have one of those changing from week-to-week schedules.  It has taken me a while to get into the groove of that, while trying to do the house and laundry and groceries, etc.  It's the first of this that I have had to do since moving back to MI, and while it's no different than all the things we ALL do every day, I needed some time to "re-groove" myself, since it's been almost two years without work.

I think I (vaguely) remember promising Christmas cards when last we met.  Too late?  Well, you can pin them to your Pinterest boards and look at them next year, I guess.....
Without further ado, here we go--

I made about 60-something cards, all in all.  Some of them are in past posts, so please browse round the blog to see some of them. 
I went (or TRIED to go) really simple for the most part. 

I bought Paper Smooches' Christmas Words and Snowflakes dies this year, as well as a Sizzix snowflakes die set whose name I don't remember. 
I made these--

The washi tape is some past year's Martha Stewart Christmas tapes, as well as other stuff in my collection (mostly Queen & Co.). 
The letters were cut from this crazy vinyl stuff I found at JoAnn's, but it was so had to cut, I abandoned the idea pretty quickly.  It's wicked shiny, though, so I really wish it had been easier to work with.  I REALLY need to get one of those metal shims, I think, and all will be better.
Oh, and my fave parts are the white dots.  Those are done with Enamel Accents.  I LOVE that stuff!  I have the black kind, too, so watch out for some of that to appear in the future.

I really liked these cards. 
They led me to different versions on that theme--

 So , clearly, more color, and more "shtuff" going on. 
Those led me to another variation of my "words at the bottom" theme--

The "merry" die is Papertrey Ink, Wonderful Words, Christmas, and the stamped sentiment is from the coordinating stamp set.  Charlie found the hounds tooth stamp for me at an art store, and the dotted background stamp is from Amuse Studio.  The blue snowflake is an SU punch, and the little branch is a Martha punch.

 Letting the paper do most of the work here....Just adding a few die cut snowflakes and some bling finishes it all off.

Then I went a little wild.  I liked these next ones a LOT, but they were a bit of a time suck...

One of the first stamp sets I ever bought was this one by Stampendous, called "Holiday Home."  I LURVE this stamp set.  The images are amazing, and so crisp and tiny, the sentiments are perfect, and I use this set all year round.  The houses are great, the snowman is adorable....I could go on and on.  This is the set I grab during the craft room fire, for sure (craft gods forbid!).

ANYWAY--I used this set on this card, but I only used the sentiment on the front. 
Wait, you say?  You can see images, you say? 

But they're not ON the front of the card--I did some fancy junk with my square punch....
They're on the inside! 

That looks like this--
Is that sentiment not GORGEOUS?  I so love it.  great fonts, great semi-vertical orientation...I swoon.
I love the way a light blue copic marker makes the images come alive.

I made others like this one, I loved it so much--

These made me so happy, but they do take a long time to put together.
This one also took a good while (but I had SO much fun doing it)--

Same stamp set.  *Sigh*......
Oh, and then I did this. 

I really don't think this one turned out the way I had it in my brain.  Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.....Oh, and yes, the same stamp set.  Could you just DIE?  There's a second house, too...

Well, that's enough.  There are more cards, but it's a long year, and I will work VERY hard at finding the time to get my blog posts in at LEAST once a week.  Promise!

Thanks SO much for stopping by!
You make it all worth while.

All Best-