The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Power of the Cuttlebug and Color

 You may have heard that I am a major fan of my Cuttlebug, that cute little machine that does my die cutting and embossing.  Well, I have been at it again, and I came up with two cards.  Here's the first-

This was done with a Cuttlebug folder on black paper.  After impressing the design, I pulled out a white chalk ink pad, and did a direct to paper application, pressing lightly so I would get most of the ink on the cogs alone.  As you can see, some of the ink did indeed get on the background, but it sort of gives it a distressed sort of look.  I then did a very pale blue chalk ink around the edges, just for some depth.

The little telescope pop-up of the sky and sentiment (GinaK Designs stamp) was done by sponging yellow and pink dyes onto sky paper (DKWV paper) and then cut and embossed with, you guessed it, the cuttlebug.  It popped it up with some pop-dots for emphasis.  Seems I can't make a card without them these days.

I then dug out my growing collection of brads and pulled out an assortment.  I placed them in strategic centers of many of the cogs, and then I put the whole thing onto a white card base. 

I really like the strength of this card, and I think there is a terrific implied theme and message.  I think I will hold onto this one and think about submitting it for publication at some point.

But WAIT!  There's more.  Digging about in my scraps folders, of which there are MANY, I came across a piece of white paper that I had used to test out the very same embossing folder that I used in the above project.  Hmmm, I thought.  Hmmm.  I pulled out some ink pads and got to playing around.  Some soft pinks and white later, I had this one going.
This one's pretty too, right?  The telescope piece is smaller here, and the brads are perkier and shinier.  I get a much softer mindset here, too.  Not so labor-centric, but maybe more "busy Mum needs a spa day" feeling, maybe.  Not so much has changed, but you definitely get a different feel with a totally different color group. 

I also wanted to share one more card I made with that FAB gift from my buddy AJ.  This was made with the GinaK Designs set, Wishes, and some GinaK Designs DP (that's Designer Paper).

The images and sentiments are all embossed with embossing powder and my heat tool.  I used Versamark ink and stamped everything onto the DP and the background at the same time, and then took the DP away and did all of the white Embossing on it, and the black embossing on the white paper.
I moved pretty quickly, so the ink wouldn't dry.  It was NOT a panic or anything, because Versamark stays sticky for a fair amount of time, and I did do the flowers before I stamped any of the sentiment. 

I adhered the DP to the card base, carefully lining up my letters, and then I dry embossed the border design with my scor-buddy and bone folder.

If you look really carefully, you'll see the "g" in wishing did not work perfectly, and I could've lined up the papers a bit better.  Also, even though I used my thingy that supposed to eliminate grease and static before I embossed, I still have some loose flecks of embossing powder.  I really need to figure that one out.  Practice, practice!!   I also thought that maybe "joy & laughter" might better be expressed in something other than black and white, too. 
All in all, for a first attempt with this technique, I am pretty happy.  Thanks again to AJ for gifting me this set!

That's all from me for now.  Thanks for stopping by!!
All best-

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Thanks Dad, and More Thanks

Father's Day is Sunday.  I love how making cards to commemorate events now has me aware of when things are happening.  I usually have a scramble to come up with a card on the last possible day to send them and get them there in time.  I have often been late, too.  Don't judge me. 

Anyway, I DID remember Father's Day this year, and actually made a pretty cute card for my Dad, too.
Looks like this--

I think this is the first card I have made where I actually DREW something on the surface and found it acceptable to use.  Those clouds were done with versamarker, my new friend, and white embossing powder.  I did the embossing twice, which gave the clouds some great depth, and did the lines with a white gel pen.  Oh yeah, and I did the grass with the gel pen, too. 
The stamp is from SU, their Loads of Love set.    I stamped the truck twice and cut out the bumper so I could coat it with some clear embossing powder and then bump it up with some pop dots.  It's a bumper, after all!  I hit the window, the door handle, hubcaps and flowers with Glossy Accents to give them some shine too.
Btw, I got the stamp set at a great bargain price from a shop that was selling some sets at 25% off the OLD prices.  Love me a bargain, baby!  I now need the companion set.  I do believe I'll have to call my demo and pay retail for that one, though.  Rats.   Hate paying retail on anything.
The sentiment stamp is from GinaK Designs, and the DP is from DCWV. 
Super easy, and cute, right?  Hope he likes it.  Thanks for everything, Dad!!

Speaking of thanks, I was very happy and humbled to get a package from awesome designer AJ OTTO the other day.  She made me the oh, so generous offer of sending me some stamp sets she was no longer using, and I gratefully said YES!  I was really excited when not only did THREE (possibly four) GinaK Designs stamp sets show up, but also some beautiful designer paper from their brand-new stamp set!  AND!!!!  Hold me back!  Some Nestabilities dies!  Ones that I NEED, too!  (OK, so "need" is maybe overstating things.  You know what I mean.) I was bowled right on over!   Such amazing generousity on her part.  Way to make the new guy feel welcomed and supported.  Many, many thanks to her.  Oh yeah, I made her a card with the stamps she sent, and with some of the DP as well.  Looks like this--

The images and border are done with two GinaK Designs sets, Cute as a Bug, and Bring the Bling.  I hand colored the bee and honey pot with colored pencils, and made some of the "bling" in the border bees with a fine tipped black marker.  I also made this one--

This set may be GinaKDesigns, but I don't find it on the website. Maybe it's discontinued?   I am a huge Armistead Maupin fan, and one of his books was called Babycakes, after one of the characters' nicknames.  I love the hot pink and green combination.I used the Glossy Accents on some of the frosting, and used Stickles to do the sprinkles. I kind of dig the use of negative space on this one, too. 

AJ says she's just "paying it forward", sending me this stuff.  I hope I can return the favor soon, and hope to carry on with the pay it forward idea.  Thanks again, AJ!

FYI-- AJ Otto does some amazing work, and you can see it and follow her blog by going HERE.  I love how she can take a handful of elements and make a huge statement.  She has an amazing feel for negative space, as well.  I hope to emulate her style a bit, as my own work progresses.  Rock on, AJ!

Oh yeah, I also did one more card with the sets she sent me.  I'll show you that one very soon!
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Silly Little Tidbit and a Teaser Alert!

So, I just started doing this recently, and although most of us probably already do this sometimes, I thought I'd throw it out there.

I had a burst of creativity, and busted out my stuff.  I went to mount my cling stamp to a block, and whoops!, no block.  Rats, I say.  Rats.

Lazy is one of my middle names (along with hungry), so instead of going to FIND an acrylic block, I grabbed the lid of my stamp pad, and used it, like this.

How easy is THAT?!  Especially when you just have one stinking tiny little stamp to do....right?
If you use a bigger stamp, you should probably think about how the center of that lid will need some extra pressure, since it is much flimsier than the acrylic block.  I have had no issues with smaller stamps at all.

I am sending this to Top Tip Tuesday.  I hope they like it.  You can find them HERE.

Anyway, that's the end of my story.

HOWEVER!!!    SUPER prolific day yesterday and this morning, too.  I'll have tons to share with you very soon!  Watch this space!  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Well, Ain't I Just Krafty??

Remember my first prize winning set of stamps that I won from GinaK Designs?  I made this from it, and I had some colored shells left over.  I made a medalion with them and some shapes I cut with nestabilities dies on my dear friend the cuttlebug, and I was holding onto that waiting for inspiration to strike.  Oh yeah, and I used some Inkssentials Glossy Effects to make the inside of the conch shiny( like it oughtta be). 

I have not done too much with kraft paper, other than haul groceries home in it.  So, when GinaK Designs did a Kraft challenge a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be a great time to jump in with both feet.  Luckily, one of my pathetic little value paper packs had a sheet of Kraft in it, so I was ready to go. 

Here is my offering for that challenge....

I have a pad of paper called The Stack III, from DCWV (Die Cuts with a View).  I get a ton of great ideas from this stack, because it has patterned and photograph pages, and the colors are pretty amazing too.  I picked this up for a song at a local thrift shop, and I am so glad I found it before some other crafter got a chance! 
From this stack, I got this water paper.  I tore it to get the white edges to show, and layered it to make the ocean waves effect.  I used the sand stamp from the GinaK Gifts from the Sea set to stamp the sand, using two brown inks and some white.  I think the white is what really makes it pop. 

The colored cardstock is from my value packs from The Paper Company, and the sentiment is from GinaK Designs, the Enjoy the Sunshine set.  The ribbon is  a $1.00 special from JoAnn's, and I had the jute twine hanging around in my art supplies. 

Oh yeah, about the shell.  I had some shells I used as summer decorations in the past, so I dug this one out and drilled a hole in it so I could tie it on the card.  After ma few moments of sliding the drill bit across the surface of the shell, I figured out that if I drilled from the INSIDE, and started slowly, I could get the job done.  I actually made it work without shattering any shells.  Oh yeah.  It takes me a minute to catch on, but I get up to speed pretty quickly! 

All in all, I think this relatively simple card turned out to be a good one.  I am trying to get a handle on CAS (clean and simple) cards lately.  I have one to show you next time, but I have more to learn in this realm.  Seems negative space is my nemesis at the moment! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I love hearing your comments!

All best-