The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Simplify, Simplify

A few weeks ago, StampTV did a challenge that called for two designer papers to be used in a card.  I found at MARSHALL'S, of all places, a beautiful pad by K&Company, with textile designer Amy Butler's awesome graphics and colors.  Paid 3.99 for the big 12x12 pad!  Cha CHING!!  Love it when that happens!

Anyway, the card on the left is the card I came up with, based on a sketch by StampTV's Tina Gilliland.  Not bad, right?  I used green cardstock from "the stack2" and put it through the cuttlebug with a sizzix embossing folder, and I stamped a GinaK designs stamp on the little oval to do the floral.  I stamped it off a few times so it wouldn't get too dark, but if I had a gray inkpad, that would work too.  I also double stamped the sentiment, (also GinaK Designs) with blue and black, offsetting them just slightly to create a shadow effect.  I used a chipboad flower that I colored with an inkpad, and made a leaf by cutting out part of the paper's design.  Ribbons, pearls, ticket punch...Ta DAH!

Ok, so what's that other card, you ask?  I will tell you.  I'm generous like that. 

I had all this paper and supplies out, so I decided to make a couple more cards to be able to send or share.  I cut the shapes, and was about to go crazy with all the big embellishments and design stuff, and I stopped.
I looked at my card.
I had a LOT of stuff going on here.  Ribbons all over, pearls here and there, that ticket punch thing...

That PAPER is gorgeous.  Why do I need so much of this other stuff?  It was only taking away from the paper.  I made a few judicious edits, and came up with the second version.  The pearls were part of the sketch, so they stayed.  I really liked the touch of ribbon on the oval, so it stayed.  So did the embossing of the green cardstock, because it really went so well with the designer paper.

So, I learned  that you can have a really beautiful card without going so far out into designer left field. 
Edit, edit, edit!!!

I still like the first one. Lots.  But I like the second one just a teensy bit more, because it talks a touch more softly.  If you can say Ka-BAM! softly, that is.

Thanks for stopping by! 
All best-

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stampin' Sunday with my Peeps

Sunday I went to an AWESOME stamping party, with my friend of too-many-to-mention years, Stephanie, and her great friends Laura and Myra.  Laura and Myra are former and current Stampin' Up (SU) demonstrators, respectively.  Stephanie is the person I credit blame for my current stamping/cardmaking  hobby addiction.  We had an intro session at her house about a year or so ago, and I have been hooked ever since.  Love her, love her family, and love her friends Laura and Myra! 

Oh yeah, loved the spread too.  Curried chicken salad, goat cheese tarts, brie and a million blackberries.  YUM!!  A quick lunch, then down to work!

Myra came loaded with great ideas and three, count them, THREE awesome projects for us to tackle.  The first one looks like this.
CUTE, right??  We used a great sizzix border embossing folder, which I may just need, and a sizzlits die that cut and embossed the butterflies at the same time.  Gotta love a one step toy.  Cute little sentiment, some pearls, lace and a button.  Pop all that on the cute polka dot designer paper (also known around here as DP), and into the frame on the embossed card front.  Easy-peasy.  Pretty, too.

Then, we got serious with some watercolor markers.  Myra hauled out this really amazing SU stamp of these flowers, and a brown, green, and red marker, all from SU, which match their corresponding inkpads exactly.  SU knows what they are doing, I gotta say.  Anyway, we colored directly onto the stamp, and when we finished we misted the whole thing lightly with water, and stamped.
As you can see, we got this amazing watercolor look, that looks like we did it all by hand.  No siree, Bob!  I have to admit, my stamp didn't get pressed down correctly when I went at it, but the tag part was already planned, and it luckily fell underneath it!  Whew!
That tag is a punch from SU.  Really easy to deal with, and so pretty.  The sentiment is done on a scrap of white cardstock, and taped to the tag, and then we knotted some chocolate ribbon into that really cha-cha frame.  It had originally been tied all the way around the back of the image, but I am a ribbon miser, so I just taped about 1/4" around the back on either side with mono adhesive.  No need to waste what you can't see!
The ticket punch makes for a great detail on the corners of the image, and the chocolate cardstock pops it nicely off the green base.  I loved this technique, and I will be trying this one again. 

After this one, we took a well deserved coffee and dessert break, and we chowed on some little raspberry filled pastry things I brought, and some beautiful fresh fruit and chocolates.  These gals are FUN, let me tell ya, and they could not be sweeter!!  Armed with a good sugar and caffeine buzz, we headed back to work.

We made THIS!

Is this not the BEST?? Myra wanted us to experience embossing on patterned paper, and I could not like this any more if I tried.  She also had us do this beautiful ribbon technique which looks so great and really can't be easier. 

Lay a strip of strong adhesive where your ribbon will be.  Secure the ribbon at one endand then gently pinch up the amount of ribbon you want to see, and then press down on the adhesive.  It is sort of tricky trying to get the loops to be the same size at first, but loop and press, loop and press, and soon enough you've gone across the card.  I would say there's about 1/4" inch of ribbon pressed onto the card at every loop, but it's really best to leave your ribbon end on the spool, and cut it off when you've finished and secured the end to the card, just to make sure you have enough. 
We finished the ribbon off with a nice, big brad, and when it went on, the loops changed direction to frame it all by themselves.  Don't ask me how.  It seriously just happened.  The magic of cardmaking.

The scalloped edge was a nice easy trick too.  We used a punch to make the edge.  Put a strip of adhesive on the top of the piece of DP you're using to make the bottom of your card front, and (here's the trick), align it, sticky side UP, on the bottom edge of the inside of the card.  Wait, that sounds weird.  I mean, the edge you didn't scallop cut.  Get it?    Then just close the card and gently press.  The adhesive will grab exactly where it needs to, and the bottoms will line up correctly.  Nothing worse than a wonky card.  I really liked this card so much.  The colors and the softness against the graphics of the papers are so wonderful.  There is a bride-to-be out there who may be getting two of these, unless a certain little argument gets settled....but that's another story. 

Oh yeah, in the interest of full disclosure....I put my watermark on these pics because I made the cards, but these are merely copies of Myra's awesome work.  Isn't she talented?!

Thanks to the ladies for an amazing day.  I could NOT have enjoyed myself more!

Thank YOU for dropping by my blog!  See you soon-
All best--

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Latest Challenge, and the Joy of a Happy Accident

I made this card for a flower challenge at StampTV.  The image and sentiment are from GinaK Designs Enjoy the Sunshine set.  I really like this bunch of flowers, because there are so many ways to color them, AND they look great in black and white.  Or brown and white, the way this stamp started. 

Nestabilities oval and square dies cut the shapes, and I used cuttlebug's swiss dot embossing folder on the blue piece AFTER cutting the border with Martha Stewart punch-around-the page punches.  The orange piece was embossed with the folder that came with my cuttlebug. 

 I used the little paper flowers you find everywhere, but I flipped one over to give it a change of texture.  Little metal dots make the centers. 

So, secrets of the maker....The reason I put the ribbon around the oval the way I did was to hide the glob of ink I got on it while coloring the edges with a stamp pad.  The trouble I get in when I rush around, trying to finish a card before I go to work!!  But who's the wiser?  Bob Ross (remember him?  The oil painting guy from PBS?) used to call that a happy accident.  The flowers DO look nice that way, after all!

I hate to waste something that I took so much time to color.  There's a butterfly that had a nestabilities "issue" that's waiting for some happy accident to befall it.  Stay tuned for that one.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great weekend, y'all!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday Madness at StampTV

Inspiration.  This is a photo from a Pier 1 ad. It was posed as an inspiration challenge at StampTV.  When I finally came up with my idea, I literally ran to my workspace and got super busy.
I think I entitled this, "...and now for something on the literal side."  I wanted to see what kind of depth I could create with paper, ink, and pop dots.  I cut the plate circles with nestabilities, and the bowl was done with oval nestabiites, and then handcut to do the top of the bowl. 

I used Melanie Muenchinger's "Branching Out" set for GinaK Designs for the flowers, and a hero arts set for the sentiment, which is just a strip of paper on top of an orange ribbon, tacked on by a brad. Kinda different having the sentiment go the long way, right? 

I used a EK edge punch for the design on the left edge, and ribbons from Paper Source. 

There are actually two layers of popdots to get the bowl high enough off the plate.  Mailing this one could be a challenge! 

I did some sweating and snorting to get the shading to cooperate, and I think I wish I had some gray ink to do it, but I ended up pretty happy here. 

This marks the first time I threw life aside to answer inspiration's call, when it comes to cardmaking.  Houston, we have a problem!!!
Hey, if this is my addiction, I should consider myself lucky.  Could be a heck of a lot worse, right?

These Monday challenges at StampTV are a lot of fun!  Try this week's challenge by clicking the image below!
oh, and thanks Lisa for the help on getting this button up!

Thanks for stopping by!  I'd love to hear your feedback.
All Best-

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Noise with Dirt on it...

I needed a birthday card for little Ethan's first birthday.  I have some baby announcement stamps from Stampin'Up (SU), and since he's only one, I figured, close enough.  I also have the birthday cake stamp (SU) and it has only one candle, sooooo....
I have in one of my many discount card stacks, this AWESOME paper that says a whole lot of things, but I especially loved the one that says "Boy.n. A noise with dirt on it."  Cracked me right up!  Had to have it, and had to get that centered.  I am a fan of primary colors for kids, too, so the rest of the red, yellow and blue just seemed to be perfect.  I didn't want to do a ton of extra colors when it came to detailing, so I only colored the duck in the toy line, since it was the only traditionally primary colored (yellow, hello) one.  a splash of red in the candle to point up one year old, a flash of ribbon, and there it is. 

I haven't heard whether he liked it, yet.  No news is good news, though, right?

Since I had everything out, and I was digging the primary scheme, I decided to see what it would look like with the colors in different areas. I came up with this.
The teddy was in the same set as the toys line stamp .  I used my ticket punch on the edges this time.  I am always pleased when I use some sort of edge punch.  It makes everything look so nice and finished.
You'll notice that the swiss dot embossing photographed much nicer on the yellow strip in this one than on the red in the first card, but I did do it on both. 

Any baby boy out there need some greeting???  There's also some girl paper to be played with.  I will have to summon some strength for that one.  I'm feeling a whole lotta pink comin' on....

Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spoils of the winner

So, when my FREE stamp set arrived form GinaK Designs, I was so geeked to get started stamping!  These shells are from the Gifts from the Sea set by Melanie Muenchinger.  She has been a real doll to me; so welcoming and helpful. 

Anyway, to create these two beauties, I stamped and colored the shells with colored pencils.  I wanted to keep them very soft looking, so I stayed away from the markers route.  I cut them out with my cutterbee scissors, and curled the edges ever so slightly to give them a rounded, more natural shape. 

Now, I know there is so amazingly sturdy and fancy cardstock out there.  I will work up to that, I swear, but meanwhile I am loaded up to my teeth with what I have.  So, my base cardstock is that stuff you find at every craft store, from The Paper Company.  You know, the value packs.  I also have some "stacks" and other things, but the majority is the value pack stuff.  Looks good, but I would like to quickly work through some of it and get a higher base weight paper. 

The flourish that makes up the cloud is a sizzix die cut.  I found it and the swirls embossing folder at GOODWILL!  I actually made a huge haul that day...made me decide I really NEEDED a cuttlebug!

One of these cards made its way to my friend Yasmin for her birthday.  I do have plans for the other as well, but she'll probably read this blog, and the surprise will be all ruined ....

If I go this route again, I will see what happens if I ink up my swirls folder with some white ink, and I may also see how some real shells work with the paper ones. There is definitely plenty of room for adding depth.  These were fun, though, for an early attempt. 

I really had fun coloring the shells.  Little boy time, I guess...

I have plenty more to share with you.  I'll tell you all about this card next!
Thanks for stopping by!  Hope to see you again soon!


I AM a winner! ( My mom was right!)

Ok, so I just won my first prize EVER from entering a card contest.  Ok, it was a random pick sort of thing, but I still WON!!!  Special thanks to GinaK Designs for the loot!

SO-- this is the card I entered.  It was for a color challenge, using a tomato-y red, mango, and cream. This was made with Fiskars stamps-- Latte Love, and Friendship Garden.  I was pretty happy with this one.
I used yellow embossing powder on the coffee cups to give them some presence, and did NOT emboss the flowers, so they'd be more of a background element. 

As you can see, I am sort of possessed by my cuttlebug and nestabilities dies.  I have the circles, squares and ovals with the coordinating scallop edge dies, both large and small, and I am pondering whether I really need the regular rectangle dies, or if I should do the long rectangles set. I may have to go into die-cut rehab, at this rate.

Oh, and I did make some cards with the set that I won, but the photos stink, so that will have to wait for a later post, when I can reshoot them.  (See how I work a teaser in there? )  Next time!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Y'all come back now, hear?


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hey, I have FOLLOWERS!!

Well, I am SO excited to see that I have some really terrific comments, and even two FOLLOWERS in just one day!  Thanks, Ladies, for joining me.  I am so happy to have you with me. 

I was so in love with the gingham paper in my last post, I decided to go at it again.  I bought these papers at AC Moore, and they were single sheets.  I bought them too long ago to notice who made them.  I will definitely take more note in the future.   This card was made with GinaK Designs "Enjoy the Sunshine" set.  The button was scavenged from some ribbon that Anthropology gave as gift wrap. (I loved this ribbon.  It was seam binding with tons of buttons and bells sewn on.  You'll definitely be seeing more from that ribbon in the future!)  OH YEAH!  Neat trick--I clipped the button out of the ribbon, but left a tab of the seam binding attached.  Made it SUPER easy to attach to the card and retain the stitching!!

I found the little clothespins at Paper Source.  Love them!  I also used a textured background stamp in versamark and embossed it with clear embossing powder. 

I did some other berries in colored pencil, but while the colors go nicely with the papers, these don't look as good as copic markers, I do like the vibrancy of the colors.  I NEED SOME COPICS!!!  (Let me know if you hear about a giveaway, will ya?)
I have more cards to show off to you, so stay tuned!  Thanks for dropping by!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Here We Go!

So, this is sort of an accidental start, of sorts.  I have been following myriad cardmaking blogs, and participating in many of the challenges at StampTV, and I found I needed a blog url in order to play with some of the other sites.  SO!  Here I am.  I will be posting some pics and explanations about some of my work soon.  Above is a card I did for our dog sitter, Suzanne.  The stamps are 97725 Flowers from Inkadinkadoo.  Welcome, and thanks for reading.