The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mr Cardmaker Finds That While Nothing Rhymes With Oranges, VERY Little Goes With Purple at Christmas

Well, if THAT isn't a headline, I don't know WHAT is...

So, you remember these little guys I left you with last time as a teaser?

These are done with Papertrey Ink's Winter Penguin stamps and dies, and I did some Copic coloring to flesh them out a bit. As well all know, I am not the world's best Copic guy, but these are just fine.
Anyway! I used them (or most of them) to make a couple of cards, WITH more Copic coloring.
I made these--

 To do my scene, I pulled out one of my FAVE stamp sets by Stampendous called Holiday Home, which looks like is a discontinued set over at the Stampendous website.  Pity.  They also did one called Winter Trees that I never managed to find, but I'd love to get my mitts on it.  Similar style, but there's deer, and a distant village.  I love it...

Well, I got to coloring my scene, and well, it just seemed best to me to just do a shadowy look, so the penguins could be the star.  Shadows are purple, right?  A million songs will tell you that...

After going cuckoo with my purple shadows, I decided that an orange sunset would, you know, give a REASON for all those shadows.

Now try to find any sort of Christmas themed paper that matches, so you can do some layering.
I looked through ALL of my Christmas stacks, through ALL of my NON-Christmas stacks. I was not into making my own on this occasion, and the old, old Stampin' Up DSP wasn't going to cut it.  It didn't really match, anyway...
Well, after a search that took a LEAST thirty minutes, and left me nothing but frustrated, I decided that WHITE goes with EVERYTHING.  A simple purple card stock matte would be JUST FINE.

Embossing folders to the rescue!

I think my little penguins are mighty cute.  I used two different thicknesses of foam tape to give them more dimension.  That purple twine?  TARGET.  (Thank you!)

Still in love with Stickles, after all these years...
Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mr Cardmaker is on the CASE Again

I really love it when somebody uses something in a new, unexpected way.

At the Hero Arts blog, Shari Carroll uses a seemingly Christmas stamp as a Thanksgiving stamp, and I LOVED it.  Especially because I own a stamp VERY similar to the one she used, and could make it work for MY Thanksgiving cards.

You can see that blog post and Shari's video HERE.

I made these--

So, this stamp is so similar to the one Shari used; the big difference to me is the deer silhouettes in my stamp. Hers has just the trees.

Let's get a closer look, shall we?

So, this image is inked up with three or four Distress Ink colors, applied really randomly.  I misted the stamp with about five sprays from my water bottle, and stamped.  It left a really wonderful watercolor look.
I let it dry, added the sentiment, inked the edges a bit, and there it is.

I did three, and they each were slightly different, as you might imagine they would be.

This has more of a gradient look with the colors.  I probably sprayed less water that time, too.

This one looks like the one before, for the most part.  Just a bit darker on the edges.

Oh yeah, the little wood veneer piece?  That's actually the BACK of one from a package.  I darkened it with some Distress Ink, then stamped it with a French text stamp.
Oh, and the tiny flag? Punched from my scratch paper that I was inking on.  It looked so nice, I didn't want to throw it away!

One last look at the collection--

So, thanks to Shari Carroll and Hero Arts for the inspiration!

And, finally, a peek at what's on my work table--

Cuties afoot!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mr. Cardmaker is Happy to Toss Around a Buck for His Art

Don't you LOVE making Halloween cards?  And, other than your crafty friends, don't you HATE it when you give one to someone and they're all, "we don't DO Halloween cards"?

I hate that.  Somebody who shall remain nameless (but not blameless) actually said that to me, before tossing my card onto the kitchen counter. Sheesh. No more Halloween cards for HER. I'd hate to make her have to make an effort to smile, or anything...

I LOVE Halloween cards! I love making them, sending them, getting them!
I do hold myself back, lately, because I just don't have that many people to send them to, and I also have the onslaught of all the autumn birthdays to contend with.

Well, I made these--

This was made with one of those little stamps you get near the register at your local craft store for ONE DOLLAR.  I swear, if you are not digging through those bins every once in a while, YOU NEED TO.  Even if it's just one tiny little stamp in the package that you use once, it's worth it.

I used some orange glitter on the eyes.  Oooo, spooky....

I used more dollar stamps to do the inside--

So, as I did more, they got better and better (IMHO)--
DO you LOVE that eyeball paper?Oh, and that black and white lacy think is were I made a ruffle with washi tape.  It would have been nice if I had attached it in a straighter manner....

And inside--

And again--
Interesting trick here--I stamped my spider web once, then reinked and turned the stamp slightly to make the web look thicker and crazier.  I will NEED to remember that one!  I like the little gold pumpkin in the corner, and the glossy little spiders. Are tiny spiders almost worse that big ones?  The vanish MUCH faster when you go looking to squish them, it seems..

I held my ink applicator strangely, and it gave me an effect of crumpled paper.  I wish I remembered HOW I did that...

On this one, I got out my Distress Inks, and did the background--

I love the way the sketchy look of the kitty came across.  I also LOVE my hounds tooth stamp.
And inside--

Another view--

Speaking of happy accidents (anyone, anyone?), I was thrilled at the way the ink reacted when I spritzed the whole thing with water.  The breaking down of the hounds tooth at the top, and the speckles at the bottom....makes me happy!
So, those are the Halloween cards this year.  For some reason, I made them all 4 1/4" square.
I have been doing some Thanksgiving cards, which I will share soon, and some Christmas cards, too.  I want to start doing some tags, as well!
Speaking of, I will leave you with the "in process" stage of a project I did, and as soon as I can get some decent light on it, I will take some photos and share.  We have been really grey and rainy, with temps in the 70s the past couple of days. Yuck, I say; YUCK!
I playing with this stuff--
...and I'm kinda digging it!  But that's enough of a sneaky peek...
Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mr Cardmaker has Practically Perfect Preppy Peonies

Well, how many of you remember The Preppy Handbook?  That thing was in my hand for most of at least ONE year of high school, which let's you know just how very OLD I am.  It told us all the power off Pink and Green, and why one's khakis should never really be all that well pressed. Given enough polo shirts with enough colors, one could rule the world. 

Well, I never did give up on my love of pink and green after all these years.  Pink and green and GOLD, to be more precise.

I made this--

I LOVE this GIANT peony stamp by Stampendous.  I could use it every day, really.  It makes such a huge statement so quickly, and you can use portions of it, like I did here, or the whole thing will just about fill a card. Paint it, use markers, leave it alone, whatever...
I embossed it in gold here, and used some Picked Raspberry Distress ink to add some color.  I liked it so much, I made two. 
Oh, and notice the dark in with the pink? That actually leeched out from the embossing powder.  Weird, right?  Happily, it works here.
Layered up with some pink and green papers, and that pretty Papertrey border punch that I inked the edges of, it looks very fresh and shiny.  (Oooo, shiny!)

Another view, to catch the shine--

And that's my card.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Mr Cardmaker is Popping Up to Say Happy World Card Making Day

Well, how could I NOT wish everyone a happy World Card Making Day? 

A card, you ask? 

But, of COURSE!
I made this--

I FINALLY broke down and made one of those pop-up box cards.  Can you tell? 
I had a sneaking suspicion this was a flash-in-the-pan thing, and I am pretty sure I'm right.  Still, I wanted to try it.
I found  version that is probably a bit smaller than the usual one people were making, but it used a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of card stock for the box, with super easy measurements, so I went with it.
The box and the workings is not at all hard to do.  Not at all.  It's the decorating the outside (snore) and the inside of the flaps (snore again) that I don't care for.  As you can see, mine are not winning any awards...

Doing the INSIDE stuff!  That's where it's at, folks, I'm telling ya!

Now, I REALLY lucked out, because I had most of these elements mailed to me by the delightful Ms. B. I don't even remember what all she had originally meant to send me, but I used it, and had ALL this stuff left.  I added that pink doily, the blue and green leaves, and some hearts and circles. That's about it!

It so LUSH, right?
The back (where one writes a message)--

So, that's my card for World Card Making Day.
Hope you made something, or at least shopped for stuff today.
Enjoy your weekend!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mr Cardmaker Remembers that the SNIPS Work, Too...

Ok, so I am SURE I have gone on ad nauseum about my love for dies.  You are probably rolling your eyes at this very minute, thinking, "no duh."
Still love them, STILL need MORE of them.  Yup.  It's a disease, I tell ya.
Yeah, so I made this--


Yup, there's my diecut, actually die CUTS, because there are five "thankfuls" in total, all stacked up for some body and because it is easier to mount THAT than to play around with tiny dots of foam.
However....Keep looking.  That butterfly.  Those hexagons at the top.  Yup, no dies there, people.
Whew.  That was difficult to get out.  Yes, I own snips.  Yes, I guess they still actually work, even AFTER the advent of dies.  Who KNEW?  Not me.
Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mr Cardmaker Wants to MOVE It, MOVE It...

The Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge this week is called, "Transport It", and, as you'd guess (because you're smart that way) the idea is to link up projects using forms of transportation.

Well, I happen to have a card that fits that bill!

I made this--

I have always wanted to do one of those balloon rides where you bring a picnic and champagne along. People tell me it is often REALLY loud when they fire up the fuel, but I can only imagine how gorgeous it must look from up there. I'm thinking this will be a good thing to do on the NEXT trip to Paris (whenever that may be. I'd go TOMORROW, mind you).

This card is the anniversary card I made for Charlie, celebrating our 23 years together.  We do ONLY cards, and then go to a lovely dinner.  Boy, I gotta tell ya, time DOES go by REALLY quickly when you're having fun!

Another view--

I found the "love" die as part of a set of three by Little Yellow Bicycle.  The others say "laugh" and "smile." Nice, chunky font, and they cut beautifully.  I DO love my word dies!

I also did the envelope--

The stamps are Papertrey Ink, as are the numbers dies that I used to make stencils.

*I REALLY wish I had handwriting that worth a hoot.

PS--My coffee card from earlier this week WON a prize!  How cool is that?!

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best--

As IF He Didn't Have Enough...

...I went SHOPPING!!
Yes, the Mega Meet happened not that long ago near me, and of COURSE, I had to go.  Now, I am a VERY careful shopper, and I wandered that sales floor for HOURS, deciding exactly where and when to spend my cash. 

Well, the words dies make me giddy, and I HAD to get in on some of that.

I bought a "hello" die, and ran home with it (and several other things) to get all creative.

I made this--

So, I had been watching all of this watercolor, blendy, washy thing going on on so MANY peoples' blogs, that I HAD to give it a go.  Now, at this time, I had very few Distress inks, so I was kind of forcing things with other, less cooperative inks, and so this was an early attempt.  I think it's fine, (read that, fiiiiiiiine...), but I had far to go.  The gold splatter really helps, as does the black and the sequins.

So, I'm looking at this panel, and the colors, which, honestly, are not my go-to bunch of colors.  At least, not TOGETHER like that.  I mean, it looks like the colors they paint the ceiling with at The Cheesecake Factory.
Wait...  The Cheesecake Factory. I always think Old World Italy when I see their ceilings, whether that's what it is, or not.  MY brain, thank you...
ANYway, Old World Italy, Leonardo, Italian Festivals, etc, etc....
I had the die cuts from the first card staring me in the face, with these "Italian" colors, and I had a brain storm. 
Take cover when that junk happens.
I made this--

So, I have that little flag punch that Stampin' Up makes, and the Banner punch, too.  I punched some gold cardstock and some vellum, edged the vellum with my gold Delicata ink, and layered up my die cuts with MORE hello die cuts to give them some structure.  I ran my card base through the Cuttlebug with my gears embossing folder, and hit the raised part with more gold Delicata.
A few flower sequins in the same, crazy colors, and I had my own Italian Renaissance festival!
I kinda dig it. I love it when weird experiments end up being pretty cool projects.
PS-Don't you love how chunky that "hello" is?  SO easy to work with. Well, done Lawn Fawn (scripty hello, when you go to look for it).  Now I want the 'Thanks" die... 
Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mr Cardmaker's Spring has Long Been Sprung

Ok, so I should've pulled this one ages ago, because it IS a Spring card, or at least to my mind it is, and I am terribly out-of-date with it, but here we go.
So, in the interest of making sure my stash was stuff that I actually USE, I pulled out a couple of dies that I had sort of put away in frustration; mainly because I couldn't get a decent CUT from them.
This was before I finally invested in a metal shim for the old Cuttlebug.  I can't remember where I got it, but this thing has changed my life, fo' reals.
I made this--

Isn't this oh so artsy-fartsy?  I kinda dig it, actually.  I like the not-centered-but-kinda-balanced thing it has, and I like the tiny pops of color in the flowers on the wreath.  I used some white Enamel Accents to make what I am calling buds on the tree.

Oh yeah.  The tree?  That %#$-er STILL has one place it doesn't cut properly. Whatever...I DO own some snips...

PS-I tried to recreate this for Mother's day cards.  Forgot the clouds. Just not the same...*sigh* 

I DO have some more up-to-date stuff to show you, I promise.  Stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mr Cardmaker Has All the Coffee Goodness without the "Nervous and Jerkies"

This is my second posting today.  Scroll down for more!
Well, I was caught up in the maelstrom that is the Coffee Lovers Bloghop, today, and at the last minute, I decided to run to the craft room and come up with an entry.

I have ONE coffee stamp set, which is weird, considering my GREAT love of coffee AND stamping, and I used it to make a mask, so I could stamp this--

Please forgive my photo quality today. I am out of AA batteries for my camera, so I had to use my phone.  Foo...

Well, I am SO bummed that the gold did not photograph.  There is a beautiful gold wash on all of the cups, and over the lettering.

Maybe in this view?
Well, this is a tiny bit better.  Anyway, I love that I was able to stamp this multitude of coffee cups, and with the help of some copics, I gave them some depth and movement.  I used some Distress Ink on the edges, and it really made a BIG difference on giving the cups depth and that "coffee goodness" feeling.
I embossed the sentiment with Early Espresso embossing powder from Stampin' Up, and I think it's a MUCH better choice here over black. Plus, the shine is so nice!
I placed my bling in such a way that it is only a partial reveal behind my image panel, so as not to let it take too much focus.

The interior employed some paper piecing, and a VERY vintage-y look, thanks to my inky fingers--
Again, sorry for the quality of the photo...

I LOOOOOOOVE coffee!  Juan Valdez should be canonized, IMHO!

I am SO glad I made it in on the fun today.  Everyone has done an AMAZING job!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Mr Cardmaker Contemplates His Pile

Did you ever look at your pile of crap stash of supplies and wonder "WHY do I have so MUCH stuff? And what exactly of it am I using?"
Yep.  Had that moment.  Did I respond by doing a big, deep culling of my crap  stuff, and going bare-bones?  NOPE!  I mere decided that it was time I started pulling out the stuff I hadn't used, and putting it (or at least, SOME of it) to work.
I made this--

So, yes, I HAVE used this stamp set and dies many times, and I will continue to do so, because I love it.  However, I have sort of moved away from using tons of patterned paper( or maybe I just feel like I have), so I pulled out several pieces of the hoard, and used them in my layering. 

Two of those papers are form my FIRST shopping trip to buy crap  initial supplies. The FIRST one. 

I also hadn't used my basic shapes dies like I should, considering the HUGE investment that lives in my craft room.  Not like this circle is any great shakes, People, but you gotta start SMALL.

Oh, yeah, I also used the smallest flower die from Spellbinders to make the sun.  I don't think I have EVER used the smallest die in any of my die sets...Isn't that weird?

Anyway, I like how the leaves manage to look like they're growing out of the circle and taking over the card.  I also love my Enamel Accents berries. S'nice...

So, the challenge to use my crap beloved stash continues.
Stay tuned.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Rewards of Being a Corporate Weekday Widower

Well, this has been an exceptionally busy year of travel for the Hubby.  He's been to China and Malaysia, back and forth to Massachusetts about 10 times, AND he's got to go BACK to Malaysia for 17 days, and more Boston area trips to come, too.  Luckily, the Boston trips are usually over on Friday, so we get the weekends.  Max the Beagle and I are definitely getting some bonding time for sure. 
Well, there is a small silver lining to being without the man for these chunks of time--The GIFTIES!
I have Fabulous Starbucks mugs from all these places (Do YOU have a Malaysia mug?  I do!), and when he finds them, he brings me home STAMPS and stuff. A keeper, that one!
 Well, I just invested in the first 9 sets of mini Distress Ink pads. I REALLY want the latest 3 sets, and the tins, of course, but I am not working these days, and the holidays will be rearing their ugly heads soon, so...
But I got to playing with them.  I had never known that much about them, what they could do, etc, so I was really happy to watch some YouTube videos from Kristina Werner and Jennifer McGuire.
Well, using one of the stamp sets Charlie found me from Cloud Nine Designs, I came up with this--

Listen, Paris is ALWAYS a good idea.  TRUST ME.
Another view--
So, there's a ton of blendy action going on here, Just tons and tons of ink.  I also did a good bit of water play, moving the ink around, and lifting it off in places.  I did some stamping, then more blending, then some more stamping.  The finish here was some enamel dots, and because I didn't have one small enough, a tiny dot of Enamel Accents.  Love that stuff!

For the inside, there were some stamps I hadn't used--
One stamp, one ink, and a waterbrush got this done.
So that's my card. 
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I was off on my own adventure two weeks ago. I went to Daytona Beach to see my Dad and siblings.  I stayed at my sister's beautiful home, where we had our morning coffee on her dock, with delicious warm breezes blowing over us. Heaven.
Max was happy to have me come home, even if he did make some good friends at his care center.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Mr Cardmaker is Present.

Keeping up with my challenge blogs is really fun, but I find that my day gets sucked up by the time I make the card, photograph it, edit the photo, and then compose a blog post about it.

Does anyone else find this happening to them, or am I just bad at time management?

Oh well, who needs clean laundry and mopped floors anyway?

I made a card to enter in the Merry Monday and Festive Friday challenges this week.  How's THAT for saving energy?  (Now let me tell you the story of how long it took to come up with the concept that fit both challenges...)

Well, I liked the woodsy look and dark green of the Friday inspiration, and the gift idea, of course from Monday's challenge...

I made this--


I started with a wood grained background, via some kraft card stock and an embossing folder.

I then found my very darkest green card stock (of which I had a teensy scrap left), trimmed and dry embossed it, wrapped it with dark red ribbon to make it "gifty",backed it with some gold card stock, and popped it onto the base with foam adhesive. I finished off my "gift" by hot gluing on a happy little bow.
Glossy accents spreads on ribbon, by the way. Ask me how I know that...

I returned to the woodsy idea by using two wood veneer pieces, one on top of the other, to dress things up a bit.  I painted the tree with some diluted gold ink to give some shine, yet let the wood grain show through.

A better look of that--

And one more view of the card--

I like the darker, rich look that I get from this card. I like that the wood veneer is the bright spot.

So, I think that just about does me in for challenges this week, but I never say never, so stay tuned.

Thanks so much for dropping by!
All Best--