The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mr Cardmaker is CLEARLY a Twelve-Year-Old

Hi there. You may be wondering why I haven't posted lately (or not), so I felt the need to share that we are in the middle of a move to Massachusetts, and things have been more than hairy around here. We DID manage a little vacation in the midst of it all, because it was PAID FOR, so that says even more about why I haven't been here in blogland. I will get back to posting more regularly ASAP, but until then, please enjoy this crazy post...

A few years ago, I read Misadventures in the (213) by Dennis Hensley. Amazon has it HERE.
I read it on vacation in Key West, and I made a HUGE fool out of myself, cackling and ROARING from my poolside lounge chair. One of the funniest books, EVAH. For reals.

In it, the main character talks about the game he plays with his starlet best friend.
It's called smelt it, dealt it, and it pretty much involves what you think it does.

So, you open any magazine, find a photo with two or more people, and decide who is the dealer, and who is the smeller.

Things like this are especially good--

Get it?

The more subtle ones are even funnier--


Ok, before I lose you for good....
I made some cards!
I HAVE mentioned that the kids in my family are almost ALL BOYS, right?
Boys get these things..

I fell in deep, deep love with Tim Holtz's Bird Crazy stamps, and, well, let's say they SPOKE to me (ahem).

Using these wonderful, crazy fowl, I made these--
The "Smelt it, Dealt it" series!


And inside--

Okay, the red-rimmed, glossy eyes on these birds STILL make me giggle like a fool...


And inside-

Next, I limited the amount of coloring I did, to exaggerate the eyes...
And inside--

Trying things in reverse order...



And inside-
That chick's face just KILLS me. 

Now, these birds stack up nicely, don't they?...

And inside--

Yes, they do indeed sell that stamp...

Well, if you're not COMPLETELY offended, you hopefully got a good laugh here today.
I know my boys will get a chuckle on their birthdays, and I'll save that last one as a good "cheer up" card for just the right person.

Now, go find a magazine and have yourself a laugh!

Thanks so much for stopping by (and for indulging my 12 year-old self)!
All Best-

PS-See you soon!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Mr Cardmaker Gets on a Jag

I decided that I just COULD NOT put away my Beautiful Butterflies stamps from Papertrey Ink.

I made the bright rainbow ones HERE, and I wondered what would happen with a tighter color scheme.

I looked at my ink stash, and saw that I had several varieties of purple at my disposal.
SO, I made these--

So, staying in a tighter color scheme definitely makes for a "quieter riot", but I am pretty happy with the results. Purples seem to live in a more "stately" place anyway, in my mind's eye.
Oh, and the sentiment?
So, the hubby, aka Mr C's Mr., talked me into doing a handwritten sentiment. Good idea; BAD execution. I don't really have the right pens, and I didn't take the time to sketch it in pencil first, so it just looked lousy.
AND, I had stamped four of  these cards, and each one looked worse that the one before.
Happily, we all know all about taking desperate measures to save our creations, and I came up with this.
There's a vellum circle under the designer paper one, and the letters are clear embossed to give them some shine.
I think the little veneer butterfly is a nice natural touch, and helps fill some negative space that I was unhappy with.
I am now happy to let these stamps have a rest and cool off for a minute, but I know I'll be back with some more color combinations soon. Happily, butterflies last aallll the way through summer!
(Red, white and blue butterflies for July 4th, anyone?)
Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mr Cardmaker is All Aflutter

Well, sometimes things are definitely worth the wait. And, more importantly, worth their WEIGHT. As in gold. As in, really good stuff.

I have been eyeballing the Beautiful Butterflies stamp set from Papertrey Ink for what seemed like forever. However, crafting funds are allocated SUPER carefully around here, and I shop prices like it's my JOB. Shipping costs seem to kill just about everything I want, most days, even when I think they're pretty reasonable. I just. can't. pull. that. trigger....

Anyway, this set showed up on Ebay, and in a moment of weakness, I decided that a slightly used set was worth saving $2.00 worth of shipping on a new one, and I GOT IT!

SO. GLAD. SO glad.

So, if you checked out the blog on Tuesday (of course you did) you saw my first attempts to use this set. (Go see it if you haven't yet....We'll wait....)

Well, beige is nice and all, but these babies are meant to be in Full Living Color! (If you remember that from TV, welcome to my decade of life...)

I made these--

Oh MAN! Let me tell you about fun! Let me tell you about almost EVERY ink pad I own being pulled out, and the thousands of baby wipes used to clean the stamps as I went along. Giggling and cursing aplenty!

So, when I knew I wanted to do colors, I immediately thought of the sweet and oh-so-talented Laura Bassen, and her expertise in everything rainbow related.  That gal; what an inspiration!

Now, when I started, I had no idea these were going to end up like this. I initially chose one red, orange, yellow, green, etc., and stamped a lovely rainbow down the right side of the card base.
This was immediately called "how to make a rainbow boring", or "when enough just is NOT enough."
I was actually  considering the circular file, when I decided to expand things a touch.
Then, some more.
Finally, I ended up with at LEAST three shades of each color, and up to five shades in some instances.

The sentiment sort of fell into what seemed the logical places, based on white space.
The final touch was the white dots, which are done with Enamel Accents. I chose white, because I didn't want any color taking away from the butterflies.

I'm not sure whether I like the dots ON the butterflies or AROUND the butterflies better. I think I am deciding not to choose, actually. They both look pretty good.
I am SO happy with the way the colors overlap and give such a translucent look to everything.
I'm SO happy I have these stamps. Butterflies and bright colors never go out of style. That makes me happy, too! Making these gave me so much pleasure.

I'm happy to say these cards went to two crafty friends in lieu of Valentines. I like butterflies much better than hearts, anyway...And, I got to send them some SPRING!

I wonder what these would do with a more limited color family? Hmmm....
Stay tuned!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mr Cardmaker is Back on the Boards

Yesterday, I told you about the Pinterest inspiration that led me to make this card.

The inspiration piece looks like this--

Meine kreative Welt...: " den besten Wünschen"
and it comes form THIS BLOG. (Give credit where it's due! Thanks, Heike!)

Well, I made another one. That cake just got into my brain....
I made this--

And it HAD to be CHOCOLATE, right? I'm pretty sure you're with me on this.

BALLOONS! How fun! I love these PTI Balloon images. Nothing as wonderful as a big, fat, bright, round balloon. And cake. Don't forget the chocolate cake.
My cake is fussy cut and popped up on the front there, and totally coated with Glossy Accents.
The star is a separate stamp, but it's fussy cut and Glossy Accented, too.

Maybe this view is better--

Oh, and the inside--

The cake is brown, but it's pretty dark and looks black in this photo...
I went outside the lines on those candle flames, thinking they'd look like "glow." I think it worked!

Chalk up another birthday card for the stash!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mr Cardmaker DOES Love His Pinterest Boards

Oh, Laws, the HOURS of my life spent on Pinterest would fill many a mayfly's lifetimes.
I just love looking at pretty things, and I especially love it when pretty things also serve as inspiration. Or, should I say "Pinspiration?"

Anyway, in a moment of need, I went into one of my many boards at the aforementioned Pinterest, and I saw a great photo that fueled my creative fire.


I found this--

 Isn't this nice? SO pretty! (thanks for the inspiration, Heike!)

Anyway, what I took away with me into my craft room from this pic was two things--
1. The popped up, yet small central image.
2. The "stuff going on behind.

Now, I didn't take the photo into the craft room with me, because I wasn't really looking to do a copy of it or anything. I just saw a couple of ideas, and ran with them.
I made two cards, one I'll share with you today, and one I'll share tomorrow. 

I made this--

 So, as you can see, I went bigger and broader with the idea. I started with the butterflies, double and triple time stamped, then added the splatters to make the background. Neutral, yet active, right?
I then moved onto my central element, which was SUPPOSED to be a tiny cluster of flowers, but somehow ended up a big bouquet. Ah, well, I DO love me some flowers...
I added lots of Glossy Accents to the blooms to give them some shine and texture. I particularly like the "nubbly" texture the hyacinths ended up with. I also added just a couple of gems. Because shiny!

The inside--
 I have been experimenting with the idea of trying to put the inside sentiment in relatively the same place as the outside sentiment. What do you think? Is this a thing, or am I cuckoo?

Oh yeah. I scored these Papertrey Ink Butterflies (which I am SO in love with) on Ebay. MUCH more to come with these butterflies.  Stay tuned.

One more view, so you can see more of the Glossy Accents textures--

So, tomorrow, I'll show you another version, a touch closer to the inspiration piece, but still pretty big and bold.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mr Cardmaker is Jonesing For Coffee and Spring, aka Coffee Lovers' Spring Blog Hop

Is it Spring YET?? Nope. Snow's still pretty, and the temps are more than 20 most days now, so I'll be happy with that for the moment.

Well, I had such a great time playing with last Autumn's Coffee Lovers' Blog Hop, that when it came time to join in for the Spring hop, I jumped right in!

You can check out my Fall card HERE.

Anyway, this time I really wanted something bright and sunny; something that said SPRING!

I came up with this--

Coffee grows on plants, right?
And, I DID say bright, right? WOWZA.

I won this Lawn Fawn stamp set during the Fall blog hop, so I really wanted to use it for this one.
I did add some other stamps in with them, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

I have no idea where this idea for a coffee cup tree came from, but it came quickly, and I figured it's best not to argue with inspiration sometimes.

I used Distress Inks in several pinks and yellows to give my mugs some color, and used Glossy Accents on the "coffee" to add some shine.
These mugs remind me of the decorated coffee cups my grandmother used to have. I was lucky to find leaf stamps in my stash that matched the die cut leaves almost exactly, and I used the "steam" stamp it create the idea of a flower stamen on each of the mugs. 
And white dots, because I do them now. White dots are cool.

Coffee cups as flowers! Get it?
Is this thing on??

And, some blended inks for the inside--(on the sentiment)

Is that tiny heart CUTE?! I'm counting the moments before I lose that thing....

And one last look--

I'm so glad that this Coffee Lovers' Blog Hop has continued. Congrats and thanks to Amy and Chaitali!
I hope PLAN to be back for the next one!

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best--

Friday, February 27, 2015

Mr Cardmaker is Leaping, Baby

I find the "Leap Year Baby" thing to be a crazy thing. There are these people wandering around who only get a real birthday every four years, when February 29 decides to appear on the calendar.

Gilbert and Sullivan based a whole operetta about it in Pirates of Penzance, and I feel like it was very nice of them to give these people at least that. Kevin Kline, Rex Smith, Angela Lansbury, and Linda Ronstadt did a really pretty and fun movie version of it some years ago.

You can see the song here!


My friend Mark is one of these folks. His wife, Lina, contacted me, and asked me to come up with something to celebrate his "sort-of" birthday this weekend.

I made this--

I went to my new favorite stamps and got out my little "Peter Lorre" chick.  I decided he needed to see if he could drag a wayward (yet glamorous) "29" and a happy birthday message into February, before March 1 could get in and muck things up for him.

Looks like he's got his work cut out for him, doesn't it?

About ten seconds into discussing what Lina had in mind for this card, I knew EXACTLY where I was going with it.
I had the BEST time, stacking up the date tags and decking out that "29" with both gold and silver embossing.

I went with my trick of making those HUGE eyeballs shiny with some Glossy Accents, and added in the beak, because, well, because shiny!
I managed some extra shine by using embossing the months in silver and gold powders, too, and by clear embossing the "happy" die cut.

Lots of fun with Distress Inks, and lots of gold and brown scraps from the stash.

Oh, and inside--

I stacked up the sentiment in such a way that Lina could hand write in a "sort of" after the word "happy' or in front of "wishes", if she feels like it, or she can just leave it as is. Our friend the chick is light enough to write on top of, I think.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mr Cardmaker is Warming Up Leftovers

I am sure that I'm not alone in this one--
You wander through your craft space, maybe even just to clean it up (HA! That made me laugh), and you come upon a leftover doo-dad of something that you used to make another project.
WHAM! Lightning bolt!
Drop the laundry, or vacuum, or small child, or whatever, and sit down and get to work.

SO, do you remember this tag from a while ago?

See the "smile" die cut? Well, I stumbled on the negative of it, and I got whammied with the lightning bolt. No small children got hurt here, I swear, but I did lose an hour or so making a card.
I made this--
The little chads from inside the L and E were long gone, but I was NOT to be deterred by such trivial things! My Sakura glitter pen helped pull me through there. 
I found a $1.00 star punch at JoAnn's last weekend, and I put that and my 1/16" hole punch to work on the yellow panel. That tiny hole punch REALLY was inspired, I must say. I normally would have reached for a stamp or a white gel pen here; now I get to see more green poke through.
More stars, some flag banners, some sentiments.  I added more glitter pen to one of the flags to make that have a place to repeat, and the white enamel dots help point up the white embossed sentiment.
I don't have a pink-edged circle punch or dies, but they would've made the red circle fit in perfectly. (Something for the shopping list!)
You may also notice there is no black on this card, just browns (even the dark embossing powder!).
I felt like it brought all the brighter colors into a more masculine place, and with all the boys in my family, I need as many masculine cards as I can get.
This was a quick, pretty simple card. And LOOK! I cleaned up that one really small, insignificant scrap of paper from my craft room floor! That counts as cleaning, right?
So, just a quick one for today!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mr Cardmaker Believes in You

When I saw Tim Holtz's new Bird Crazy stamp set, I knew I HAD to have it, asap.
These images?

C'mon, you KNOW these things are gonna speak to me--
So, I went and I GOT it!

I made this--

This little bird (chick, maybe?) just screamed PETER LORRE to me...
Uh, THIS guy---

You know, from The Maltese Falcon and stuff--

Anyway, he always played the kind of guy who looked so stressed out that he hadn't slept in a week, so I went with the red eyed, sweaty-browed look on him.

Glossy Accents are my best friend here! I filled in this guy's eyes, to make them all glazed and watery. Tiny dots of GA then hit his brow, to give him that sweaty look.

As you can see, I am still having issues with my fillers getting hung up in my shaker. Whatever. They look dead all empty, anyway...

I added a sentiment from Simon Says Stamp, and I stamped some eggs on that wood grain piece behind my bird. There's also a silhouette of a bird in flight inside the shaker, just ever so faintly.
I do believe in carrying on with a theme, don'tcha know...

And inside--

 Another SSS sentiment, and some feathers do the trick here. The feathers and the eggs on the outside are from a GinaK stamp set called Nesting.

I kind of dig the juxtaposition of the encouraging sentiments and bright colors with the frazzled, stressed-out looking bird. I imagine that the person who needs this cared could have some of that look about them...

I am IN LOVE with these bird images. Stay tuned for a SUPER irreverent series that makes me giggle like a twelve year old.  Get ready to either laugh, or roll your eyes, BIG TIME!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mr Cardmaker Makes the Mostest for the Hostess

Well, we were invited to dinner last week, and I didn't happen to have a good bottle of wine hanging around the house. The temps were well below zero ALL DAY, so I was NOT about to head out in the cold to shop around for a hostess gift, so, of course, it was off to the craft room!

My hostess had given us some lovely flowers at Thanksgiving and with the flowers came a lovely little gift card.
A handmade gift card, mind you, which I had not made.
Now, this girl has received MANY a card from me, so she KNOWS that I make cards. Oh, she KNOWS....

Now, I managed to restart my breathing, and got my vision cleared, and I decided that I would give her the benefit of the doubt, and believe desperately cling to the idea that she got this card as a GIFT from somebody, and did not seek them out herself.

HOWEVER, I was not about to let her go wandering the streets with only some interlopers gift cards on her person.

I had to make her these--

So, do you make cards like these?

DO you make them a 3" square like I see so many people do?
Can I just ask, WHY?
I guess the answer is clear, if you're starting with a 12x12 piece of card stock. Then, mathematically, you are perfect.
I don't have heavy weight 12x12 card stock, so I used my 8 1/2 x 11 usual stuff, and it occurred to me that if I made these cards 3" square, I'd chop up a ton of paper, with tons of waste, for nothing.
HOWEVER! If I did them at 2.75", I could get SIX cards out of one sheet of card stock, with a tiny 1/4" strip of waste.

It's the evil card stock hawkers at work, with these 3" cards, I tell ya...

Anyway, the cards are super simple, a couple of stamped leaves, some washi tape, a die cut leaf and banner, and a punched and stamped flower. And some white gel dots, because they make everything better. Easy.
I did punch up the flower a bit by adding some white enamel accents dots around the center pearl, but you could go without, no problem.

Now, these would have been a lovely gift, right?
But, no. I HAD to do more. Because I'm crazy like that.
Because I needed envelopes if I was going to make those other gift cards look puny and insignificant.
And, that's REALLY what I was making here...
But we all knew that, didn't we.....?

SO, out came the vellum, which DID make me have a TON of scraps, because I had to make those big enough to HOLD the perfect sized cards I so cleverly came up with...
Lots of glue dots, perfectly lined up so they all just make one dot on the vellum....and some of that Lick&Stick liquid envelope glue, so you can seal the envelope.

BTW--This is taking WAY more time than I allotted for this project, as you can imagine...

BUT WAIT! Whatever shall I deliver them in? I just used the last of my acetate boxes for my last gift....
I'll make a BAG! Because of the aforementioned "crazy like that."

So, more vellum (oh, and I ripped the first one by scoring too hard, so DOUBLE that effort), some scor-tape and some washi.

Then you have to pack it up so it looks gorgeous, with SOME of the cards IN the tiny envelopes, so you can see how that works, but some of them OUT of the little envelopes, so you can see the card through the BAG, and one of those has to face the FRONT of the bag, and one has to face the BACK of the bag, and the empty little envelopes have to be hidden in the middle of the whole thing, so they don't look all lonely....

Oh, and the cherry on TOP of the crazy--

I just couldn't walk away until I had clear embossed my name and website on the outside corner of the bag. 

So, lifting my exhausted, sweating, got-nothing-else-done-today butt off the craft room floor, I go to the front of the house to see that Charlie has come home with a lovely bottle of wine for our hostess that night.

We brought the wine with us. Just the wine.

I left the cards at home.

Anybody wanna buy a set of gift cards?


Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mr Cardmaker's Monochrome Meadow

Back in 2013, I played around with this technique called "pulling pastels." It was the coolest thing, only I did it with blackboard chalk, because, well, because that's what I had.  Read more about it HERE.

Well, I loved the idea so much, that when CASology came up with a monochromatic challenge, my mind went right there again.
I am also joining the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge-Anything Goes.

I made this--

The sentiment came from a Heidi Swapp mini set on clearance at Michaels. I found two sets, which are wicked cool, because they come with a mini STENCIL! I haven't used the stencils yet, but, boy, I sure WILL.
The flowers are an ooooooold set from Stampin' Up called Upsy Daisy. I am almost positive this has been discontinued, but if I remember correctly, the image appeared in a best of flowers set they did a while ago.
Anyway, this could not be simpler.
I stamped and clear embossed the sentiment, because I knew I wanted it to be the star of this show.
Then, I just took a piece of chalk-I'm talking plain, white, chalkboard chalk-and rubbed it all over my panel of dark gray card stock, going pretty heavy handed with the whole thing.
I used my fingers and an almost-dry baby wipe to wipe the chalk off of my letters. Easy-peasy.
Moisture is NOT your friend on this kind of project. Trust me.
After that, it's all you, your stamp, and your versamark ink pad. 
For the darkest flowers, I got the stamp really juicy-fide, and then I stamped right over the chalk.
Lift the stamp off, and BAM!
Now, I knew I wanted those flowers to stay really dark, but with tiny bits of chalk in them to soften them, so I quickly clear embossed them to lock in that image permanently.
After that, it took me about six seconds to re ink my stamp, and stamp the image three more times in succession without reinking.
Aaaand, DONE!!
A quick, LIGHT shot of aerosol hairspray helps lock the chalk in place, but be LIGHT in coverage from way far away, or you'll make the whole thing wet, and everything will vanish on you.
Ask me how I know this.....
A gray card base, and oh yes, the inside--
The other Heidi Swapp stamp, simply stamped in gray ink...
SO, a really different look in a big hurry!
Speaking of, I am just about to get this in at CASology under the wire, so I'm off...
TRY this idea--Try it on navy and black cardstock, too, or even on a forest green (Oooooh, I may have to go there now!) --and try different colors of chalk!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--