The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

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--

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Christmas Card Recap, Part Two

So, continuing on a theme, I have more Christmas cards today. You were all so great to hang with me and my last (bad photo) photo-heavy post, and I hope you have the strength to do it again.

Getting on with it--

I made this-

Playing around with some older dies here. My favorite part of this one is the embossed stamping on the ornament die cut. Can you make out the cabin in the background? Kinda tough to see, really (I had to point it out to Charlie, who had it in his hands), but I love it. The rest of the card is okay. This was definitely an early trial...


Okay, so this is the stamp that the cabin came from. Can you see it on the other card now? Anyway, TONS of fun sponging this guy, and the inside is even better--

I just LOVE this for some reason. Maybe the red lettering?

Anyway, I liked it so much, I made these--

I really liked these.

So, in a totally different vein, I decided to try some water coloring techniques, and I came up with these--

I love pink at Christmas, especially with gold. These were fun, but I am slow with them. They need LOTS of drying time!

The next few were fun, fast, and easily reproduced.

 I like the two different red papers used to make these deer.

I mish-mashed up all kinds of things on these, but I really love Julie Ebersole's Christmas sets from Ellen Hutson, and cutting the sentiments into little pieces like that made me smile. And, foil paper, because shiny.

Moving along, I liked this one where I played around with repetitive stamping--

And, to literally wrap this up, these two, that were inspired by a Kristina Werner card from a few years ago--

I thought they were kind of silly, really, but my champion Charlie loved them, so...


Okay, I was going to do one more post with the last couple of cards, but I'm just going to add them.

These are the Hanukkah cards--

 I love white pigment ink on dark card stock!

Home, community, world religions, candles, winter parties...Get it?

Next year, I will need at least six Hanukkah cards, so my designs will have to expand greatly. I have just a few stamps for this, so creativity will be key!


The thank you cards looked like this--

I love this Winter Wishes stamp set from Stampin' Up! The sentiment is from Another Thank You, also SU.

Okay, so, again, so sorry for the lousy photos; its what I get for waiting until the VERY last second to take pics. Some cards weren't worth showing here, which is sucky for me, because the cards themselves were pretty nice.
Oh, well, there's always next year...

And, hopefully, I'll post before then!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Friday, January 8, 2016

Death by Red

Well, not my death, though you'd have been wondering; it's been so long since I ventured into Blogland.

I don't blame you for wondering.

Well, Christmas came and went, and so did the cards and things that come with it. I made  record (for me) 80+ cards this year! Some of them were pretty darn good; I was happy, overall.


I realized at the LAST possible moment before needing to mail everything that I hadn't photographed ANY cards!
I really like to have a record of them all, even if I don't blog about them. It is really nice to see creative progress, as well as maybe revisiting an old idea that you think you can make better, or even just make MORE of.
Anyway...I grabbed my camera, and hunted for a spot in our new home to take some photos.
Well, long story short, I ended up with a corner with weird lighting and a RED tablecloth as a background.
BAD IDEA. So bad...For whatever, reason, the red background really messed up everything, from focus to saturation...weird and terrible.

Anyway, I have a few cards to share, and away we go.
I made these--

This card was based on an idea I saw somewhere online, and I apologize for not remembering the source. Maybe Kristina Werner? I always like red on white, not just for Christmas, so this little group of every tiny Christmas stamp I own was lots of fun to make. I made a small bunch of these.

This idea actually came out of this card (or is it the other way round?)

I like the glow effect from sponging over the images a bit. And glitter pen is always nice, too!

I made a BIG group of cards I could sort of pump out quickly. They looked like this--

A close-up--

And the one I salvaged after smearing the heck out of the bottom of it--

Not a bad save, right?

Another small group of cards, using Lawn Fawn and Wplus9 stamps and dies with some Tim Holtz dies--

I love that green stripe paper, and adding that small bit of ink blending behind the sentiment (Papertrey Ink) piece really gives that simple oval some real presence. I just LOVE those greenery dies.

And, finally (for now)--

MORE blur--

I absolutely love this idea, using a die cut popped up in the middle of a sentiment. I think these some of my favorites. I am sad I don't have a good close-up of these, but you can get a good idea from the group photo.

I will be back soon with more, I promise!

Hope you had a wonderful holiday, whatever wonderful means to you during that time!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Saturday, September 26, 2015

2015 Fall Coffee Lovers' Blog Hop!

Well, it turns out I AM alive, after all, and I am still making cards...

I am joining the Fall Coffee Lovers' Blog Hop for their Autumn madness!

And so, sans ado,
I made this--

I began with the "thankful" die cut, which has two, count them, TWO colors of glitter coating the bottoms. I do love me my sparkle!
I wanted the diecut and the coffee cups to be the stars of this card, so the rest went dark, dark brown.
Coffee cups are stamped on the background, and leaf diecuts were passed through some embossing folders add some texture.

My Lawn Fawn "Love you a Latte" stamps and dies in autumnal colors indicate almost all of what I am truly grateful for--COFFEE! (I DID manage to get a "for you" on the inside of the card. Can't have my recipient thinking I'm thankful ONLY for coffee....)

Right at the end, I felt the need for some extra shine, so I water brushed some Delicata golden glitz ink on many of the surfaces. I'm so happy so much of it actually photographed!

So happy to be back with the Coffee Lovers, and I'm loving seeing SO MUCH wonderful work out there!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mr Cardmaker Gets All Man-Style with 12 Kits of Occasions

Well, I was SO tickled and honored to have Jeanne at A Kept Life ask me to join the 12 Kits of Occasions crew for the May Kit. I have been no where near my blog for AGES, due to our big move to Massachusetts in June. What with cleaning up for showings, and cleaning OUT for the move, my days have been full ones. I had no idea whether I would be able to take the time to make anything, but when things like that are offered, it is hard (and somewhat stupid, really) to say no. So, I said YES!

Anyway, I was able to make a few not-so-short stops during all this madness to make a few cards using this amazing kit.
Oh, the KIT! There were beautiful papers, different and wonderful diecuts, twine, sequins, stamped sentiments and images, and SO MUCH MORE...A veritable cornucopia of fun, inspiration-stimulating goodness! Jeanne, FAB job!

Be sure to go see previews and links to all the rest of the great work  at the 12 Kits page by clicking HERE!

So, I guess I will start with what I made first, and go in that sort of order.
I made this--

Can't get much more masculine that this without adding real DIRT. Note how much good COLOR you can cram onto a man's card with it remaining just as masculine as you please...

I love the detailing on those boot diecuts. I popped out the details, watercolored them with ink, and popped them back into the boots.

The silver foiled horseshoe diecut goes so well with the silver stars, and the wood grain sequins are perfect with the veneer stars. I also hand colored the image with colored pencils.

Next up, I made this--

These birds on this oh-so-graphic background look so hot. Reminds me of city birds perched on some abandoned metal works.

Now, the gems are not the first thing I would reach for when doing a man's card, but they look so SMART here (if I say so myself), I had to do them. I think the dark blue makes it all okay...(these were from my stash. I hope that's allowed...)

Then, off to this--

Now, these lure diecuts were done in these bright, happy colors, and while they didn't exactly go with any of the papers, I loved them, so I had to make them work in a card.

I started with the "dad" diecuts, and originally, I layered up the three that you see behind the red one, and it was looking pretty good. Once the card was just about finished, though, I found them just a bit flat by themselves, so I colored and triple clear embossed the red one, and that puppy WORKED!

Some Glossy Accents on several of the lures really helps give this card some life. Oh, and, more veneer stars, because Dad deserves them.

Oh, and this one has a good inside, too--

And finally, this one--

I HAD to use that "epic" diecut collection. HAD. TO.
More triple clear embossing on that top one. SO rich and shiny looking.
More colored pencil on the image. My eraser was as big a tool here as anything else. Softens things up perfectly.
Oh, and since I COULD. NOT. leave the candle flame as the only yellow on the card, I stamped a little banner piece and slid it in. Now I can breathe again. (Of course, I COULD have just made the flame orange instead, but, well, now, that would take some SENSE.)
And, the inside of that one, using a couple stamp sets in my stash--
Well, I am sorry that I couldn't devote more time to this kit, but I will definitely be digging into some of my leftovers when I finally get into my new space.
Huge thanks to Jeanne for the invitation to play and for the kit! I don't know how you all manage such collections of fab things!
I'll leave you with a pic of my collection of cards--
Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

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!