The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Plain, Yet Fancy

I like what I see when I see people do cards on Kraft card stock.  Usually it's some fun, simple thing with a good bit of the kraft left visible.  Looks great, right?  Well, I decided to play around with this idea. 

I came up with this--
This was made with my friend Melanie Muenchinger's The Vine stamps from GinaK Designs, on GinaK Designs Pure Luxury Kraft card stock.  I ran the card front through my cuttlebug with the folder that came with it, and then added that piece of black cs from The Paper Company, which I cut with a nestabilities scalloped rectangle die, then embossed with my Swiss dots folder.  I had the flowers and vines cut out a while ago, but they are stamped on cs from DCVW, with Studio G chalk ink.  The ribbon and pearls were from the dollar bin at AC Moore. 

So, I put all of this together, popping up leaves and flowers along the way with both adhesive squares and my NEW friend, mounting tape.  Did you know this stuff is awesome?   And that it lifts stuff off your page, but not anywhere near as high as a foam square will do?  So you can do several heights of your elements??
I do now!  
However-- I decided there just wasn't enough LIFE in this card.  Enter my Sakura GellyRoll glitter pen!!!  Ok, I may have gone a LITTLE crazy with this thing, but isn't it cool?  Can you tell I just bought my first glitter pen?   It's around the pearls, all over the vines, it's just everywhere...
This bad boy was so delicate in moves, it let me touch the tips of my swiss dots and left the perfect amount of glitter.  I totally dig it directly on the Kraft too.  Gives a little glam to the roughness. 

Hey, so, head on over to Melanie's blog Hands, Head and Heart, and check out my last installment as guest designer for this "The Vine" series.  She's giving a chance to get some blog candy if you become or admit that you are a follower of my blog, and leave her a comment on her blog. I get all Dutch-like in that one.  Check it.

This has been such a great experience, living with this set, and being Melanie's guest designer.  I have never delved so deep into what a single stamp set can achieve.  I found it to be a great focusing exercise;  it makes you HAVE to be as creative as you can be.  Fun stuff!!  Thank goodness this was a great set to work with.  This one will show up again, I'm sure. 

Next time, I have to tell you all about my great stamping party experience with some gals working with A*Muse Studio products.  Oh, and I have been playing with using several companies stamps in one image, too.  More on that later!

Thanks for stopping by! 
All Best-

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lucky Me, Lucky Me!!!

A while ago, I did a posting or two about all the lovely things my buddy AJ Otto sent me to play with.  Paying it forward, she said.  Well, I have been graced to have not one, but TWO benefactors this week!!!  I got two majorly stuffed priority mail envelopes on Wednesday, and found them chock-a-block filled will stamps and papers and ribbons.....Enough to keep this newbie busy for weeks and weeks!

Who are these most generous ladies?  Well, as far as I can tell, they probably know one another, but I doubt each of them knew the other's movements.  They are Ms Emily Giovanni and Ms Michelle Woerner, both of whom I have come into with through StampTV.  They have both been so kind and encouraging and generous of spirit, and now they have been really generous with their supplies too! 

Emily sent me SEVEN GinaK Designs stamp sets.  I don't even know where to begin.  Then she also slid in some beautiful grosgrain ribbons to play with, too....Lots of it, in several colors.  Wow.  Lucky Me!

Then, in envelope #2, there were two out-of-this-world DP collections, a big bag of really beautiful buttons, more stamps, more ribbon (did I mention I am a nut about ribbon?), and a BoBunny cardmaking kit. (This I got merely a glimpse of, because my partner grabbed it and announced HE was going to make some cards now. Yours Truly has a birthday in a couple of weeks, you see...)  SO many beautiful things.....Again, Lucky Me!!!

And the CARDS!!!!  They each sent with all of these magnificent playthings, GORGEOUS cards, of their own making, of course.  That may have been the best part!! 

Well, I cannot thank these ladies enough.  I just can't.  However, they should be watching their mail; my feeble attempts are on their way.

SO, with my new toys, I made this!
This was made from a sketch from CPS, and I think I will enter the contest this week with it. 
The downlow on the supplies:
Cardstock: GinaK Designs, DCWV
Ink: Ink it Up, plum and walnut
Dies: Spellbinders, labels four, grommet tags
Stamps: GinaK Designs, All Occasions Greetings
Embellishments: ribbons, buttons, brads

I used the inks to highlight the edges of almost all the cardstock and paper with a direct to paper technique.
The triangles are popped up with foam squares, as is the tag.  I used teeny tiny strips of paper to make the stitching on the buttons, and applied them to the card front with glue dots.

The papers are from Michelle, and the ribbon is from Emily.  Merci, Ladies!!
Am I lucky, or WHAT?  Maybe they should call me Lucky Breaks, instead of Richard Breaks.  That would be catchy, right?  Or is it Kitschy?  Yeah, maybe the latter....

Thanks for stopping by! 
All Best-

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's a SEQUEL!!

There's a point in the summer when the wet, sticky air has been so hot for so long, the ocean lays back and decides it calls himself, "on vacation."  The waves are soft as a melody, and the noonday sun casts a light that commits to no certain time at all.  This is the time to pull your beach chair right up to the water's edge, and let the waves play around your feet. 

I had a longing for a beach day like that.  So I made this.

This was made with my friend Melanie Muenchinger's GinaK Designs set, Gifts from the Sea.  This set has the most beautiful beach sentiments, and the artwork on the shells is really outstanding.  There is even a stamp that does the speckles that were used to do the sand.  This was the first prize I won as a cardmaker.  I talk about that here, and here

Oh yes! And from the Toot your own Horn department, Sweet Melanie Muenchinger has another (!) guest spot with me on her blog, Head, Hands and Heart.  I answered a questionnaire, and also made another sample using her The Vine stamp set, from GinaK Designs.  She is such a magnificent supporter of Yours Truly, and she creates some beautiful artworks.  Check it out!

Oh yes, the card.
The background was done with my Tim Holtz Ink Blending Tool, and Antique Linen Distress ink for the sand, with Antique Linen and Tea Dye for the speckles, SU Marina Mist  and Baja Breeze for the water, and SU Bashful Blue for the sky.  I used post it notes to separate the layers.
I stamped the birds in Tea Dye, and stamped it off to make them seem further away. 

The shells were stamped with Memento Rich Cocoa ink, and I sponged over them with various colors.  I have used colored pencils on them before, but this kept them a bit simpler.  In with my other inks, I added SU Perfect Plum and Pretty in Pink.  I cut them out after inking them, and cut some foam squares in half width-wise, so they would pop off the card just a little less than usual., after attaching some 1/4 inch aqua ribbon from AC Moore.
(As a side note, I have these SU inks in Stampin' Spots.  I need to talk to my rep about them, because they seem really "NOT JUICY".  I may have gotten some old ones or something.)

The sentiment piece was a happy accident.  I originally wanted to stamp it directly onto the card face, wet emboss it, and then wet emboss a big sand dollar to look like a background for it.  This was pretty much a big fail at first.  In my frustration, I used the image to test out my Marina Mist stampin' spot in a direct-to-paper swipe, to see if I wanted to do the water that way.  Fail there, too.  But THEN......

When it came time to figure out exactly WHAT I was going to do to make the sentiment work, I looked down at the mess I had made. Inspiration struck!  I gently ripped the edges of the card stock away, and then sponged the rough edges with Tea Dye distress ink.  Well, what do you know?! It works! 

I attached the card front to a layer of sandy colored stock, then to a piece of aqua, leaving just a 1/16" reveal.  Subtle is the watch word on this one...

The waves were the last to be done.  The water was really pretty, but the sentiment is about WAVES, remember?  So, I got out my gel pen and drew some in by hand, and then added some depth with a green colored pencil.  Then to give them that last bit of punch, and to really wake up the whole thing, I added some Stickles to the waves, too.  I was really scared this would turn the whole thing into a cheesy mess, but I was very delicate with the application, and I think it really works.

I hope your weekends and vacations bring you to someplace restful.

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Got Ten Minutes?

If you've got ten minutes, you can have a card.  The Free for All Friday challenge at StampTV this week was to make a card in ten minutes or less.  I knew I had some summer stickers hanging out in the bottom of my embellies box, so I quick-like-a-bunny came up with this--

My apologies for the weird color.  I actually fixed this one TWICE, but it somehow doesn't translate to blogger.  I need to practice with my picasa program, I guess.

Now, could this BE any easier? SO I cut a piece of blue green DCWV cardstock to 11"x4 1/4", and using my Scor-Pal, scored it at 5 1/2 inches and made a topfold card base. 
I then, again on my Scor-Pal, which I use on EVERY project I do, I scored the dry embossed lines that you see on the edges of the card.  The series of five lines at the bottom started at 1/8" from the edge, and happen at 1/16" increments.  The lines on the sides and top are at 1/8" in from the sides.  

The cute stickers are A touch of Joleen's, the sunbather set, which I got for a dollar at AC Moore during a sale.  I have enough left in that pack to do another one of these (maybe in orange?).

The sentiment is by my friend Melanie Meunchinger for GinaK Designs, Gifts from the Sea set.  I stamped it in Memento Tuxedo Black ink. 

 And, there she is.  I think five minutes of the ten was deciding what I wanted to do. 

I like a challenge, every now and again.  Anybody know of any challenges/challenge sites out there worth checking  out?   Drop me a link, and let's see what you're doing for these challenges! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy your weekend!
All Best-

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Necessity is the Mother of Creativity

Two of my clients just bought a new home.  They are particular favorites of mine, having been with me almost the entire time I've been at the salon where I work.  They are fun, hip, smart, great parents, and we always have a great time when I do their hair. Anyhoo...

 I wanted to congratulate them on their new home, and I find there isn't too much out there by way of sentiments that express that sort of thing (or at least not at my local craft stores).  I probably could've done a big search and found something online, but they were moving the very next day, and I thought, "wouldn't it be nice to get some real snail mail in your brand-new place?"  I like to jump on these sorts of things, mostly because my memory can be a bit shoddy these days, so I started digging through my supplies.

So, I made them this--

Please forgive the grainy photo.  I snapped this with my phone just before I mailed it....
I found a Christmas set that I could work with.  This is Stampendous' Holiday Home set, which I like because of the picket fence, which just says "home" to me. I stamped everything with Memento Tuxedo black ink, and used markers to color the house just a bit.  I attached the house and fence piece to the grass bit, and the popped it all off the surface with some foam squares.  The trees behind the fence were stamped right onto the cloud paper with Versacolor Split Pea.  The sentiment is from Stampendous' Everything Happy set, which I really like because it stamps really clearly, and is so cute and tiny. 

I used GinaKDesigns Pure Luxury 120#  white paper as the base and layered it with black and white stock from The Paper Co.  This is my value cardstock; not so fancy, but good for layering.
I used two papers from DCWV The StackIII, the sky and grass image papers.  I can't find anything similar to these papers anywhere, and I will be so sad when I run out of them.  I will have an "issue" with buying another StackIII just to get those papers, let me tell you!!

The inside was a bit tougher to come up with.  I did this--

Again, please forgive the lousy photo.  I really have to leave my camera nearby, so I won't be tempted to use my phone so much.  I really wanted to mail this one quickly!

Because I had no "new home" sentiment to play with, I got inventive.  I have these letter stamps that I bought at TARGET for $1.00.  I figured that this was a cutesy enough stamp set that I could go a little crazy, so I stamped the word NEW all askew like that in SU Ruby Red ink and hand drew the little bracket that tries to stuff the whole word into the sentiment.  I backed it all with some black and a tiny piece of my grass paper to tie it into the front, and there you go.  Oh yeah, those exclamation points are done by hand too.  Why not, right?

So, this was rather easy to accomplish, once I figured out where to go with it.  Stuffing words into sentiments probably wouldn't work with a more formal card, I know, but I think here it's rather fun.  And it sure doesn't look like something you bought at the drugstore!

I haven't seen them since they moved yet.  I hope they liked it, and that the move and settling in all went smoothly.

Thanks for dropping by! 

All Best-

Monday, July 11, 2011

Somebody Sang "Be Our Guest" to Me.......

I am always on the interwebs, looking for instruction and inspiration, learning new ideas all the time.  What I like BEST is finding those souls out there who not only are wicked talented, but are also SUPER generous.  These are the people who do hundreds of free online tutorials, and expect nothing in return, other than a peek at what you, yourself are doing with the info. 

Enter Melanie Muenchinger.  Melanie (not Mel, thank you) is a very talented designer and artist, as well as a wife and mother, and a HUGE support system for this burgeoning cardmaker.  I "met" this super talented gal at GinaK Designs StampTV, through our chatting back and forth during a release party, and by commenting on each other's work over these few months.  When I won a prize with my FIRST posting at StampTV, her Gifts from the Sea set was my pick out of everything else there.  I talk about it and show you a sample in my blog post, Spoils of the Winner

She is a such a super inspiration to me, and SO kind and supportive.  In fact, and HERE'S THE BIG, BIG NEWS!!!!, Melanie has asked me to be a guest designer for her JUST released stamp set The Vine.  I got this email from her from out of the blue, and she asked if I would be interested in getting a sneak peek at the new set, and would I like to have one?   WOULD I?  (hair lip, hair lip....)   I am such a fan of her work, of COURSE I wanted to work with this new set!!!

Next thing I know, the stamp set arrives on THE DAY of the release party, and I quick-like-a-bunny whip up a card with this set and post it HERE (lousy photo with my phone) at StampTV during the party, thinking I am getting the scoop on everybody.....SUDDENLY, other people are congratulating me on being Melanie's GUEST DESIGNER.  Wha?  What's that?  Hey, that's a cool thing, right?  HEY! I'm hanging with the cool kids!  (And if you know me, you know that is so NOT me...)

ANYWAY---I AM a guest designer!  You need to scoot over to Hands, Head and Heart, and see my sample card that I did with The Vine.  I'll wait for you right back here.  Go on.....(but come right back....)

Okay!  So you're back!  Wasn't that FUN?  Isn't she amazing?!   SO, while you were gone, I made these--

 On a GinaK Designs Pure Luxury 120# white cardstock base, I versmarked the vine image several times, and embossed with clear embossing powder.  I then sponged on Studio G ink to make the background, leaving the center brighter than the edges.  I stamped the vine onto green cardstock from The Paper Co., and on green plaid DCWV paper, and cut them out, and did the same with the flowers.  Then I layered everything together, popping up just about 2/3 of everything with foam squares.  I think I counted 27 squares in all!!  Then I used Stickles to glitter up the flower centers.  The sentiment was done with the same ink as the background.  I had such a great time, adding "just a few more" flowers for about 30 minutes.  Luckily, I had just bought some new foam squares, so I had no issue with running out of them!

On this card, I again used GinaK Designs 120# white for the base, then layered up pink and green cardstock from The Paper Company. This is a value pack of paper, and while it's not really the best for making card bases, I really like it for layering.   
I used a piece of light green CS from DCWV, and ran it through my ever trusty Cuttlebug with the Swiss dot embossing folder, and did the punched edge with an EK punch. I layered that with a piece of DP from AC Patterned Papers, the "Play" set on top.  Don't you love the Nestabilites Labels Four die with that paper?!  Works perfectly with the sentiment, too.  I sponged versacolor Split pea on the white piece while the die was still on to get the pretty framed edge.  I colored and cut three stamped images of the flowers out of the same CS I used to layer up the background, and did the same with the vine from the green.These are stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink, and I filled in the designs with Inkssentials Glossy Accents for some shine, and again popped it all up with foam squares.    

 Did you like the one I did at Melanie's blog?  They are all really different, right?  I love how versatile stamps can be.  This set also coordinates with Melanie's Branching Out set, also available at GinaK Designs., so the possibilities are just about endless. 

I could not be more honored to do this, my first Guest Designer spot, with Melanie, and I have to let the world (or at least you, dear reader) know that she has been, continues to be a great mentor and inspiration. 
Having this opportunity has revved up my inspiration level to a hot 11, and I hope I did her artwork proud.  Many thanks to her, and especially to you for stopping by.  Come back again!

All Best-

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mildred (Paper) Piece

So, I learned to paper piece recently.  Not pierce, with an "r". I kept rereading the tutorial, looking at the pictures for the cute little holes that make such a cute edge and stuff.....uh, no.    Big DUH for me. 

Apparently, when you don't put the "c" into the word, it means you are inserting a different piece of paper, either stamped or some designer paper (DP) into some or all parts of your stamped image.  OHHHHHHHHHH......

Once I re-taught myself to READ WORDS, I made this--

I made the card base from some Aqua card stock, and then cut a coordinating lighter weight card stock on top.
 I stamped three boats onto the same lighter card stock with Memento tuxedo black ink and cut them out.  I then stamped the same boat onto three different DPs and cut out just the sails.  I used a glue pen to attach the sails to the boats, and put them aside. 
I grabbed two different blue card stocks, and this great photo paper that has water on it, and tore them at different angles.  I layered them up and arranged them until it made the waves I wanted to create, then carefully stuck them together and attached them to the card front piece.  I trimmed around the card front with my snips to remove the extra overhang. 
I left the edges loose, since they weren't going anywhere, and that let me carefully slide my boats into place between the layers. 
I used a gel pen to create the clouds.  I LOVE me some gel pen!!  I decided to pull in some more of the pink from the DP, so I got out my pink colored pencil and highlighted the clouds just a bit. 
All that was left to do is stamp the sentiment, attach the front to the base, and that puppy was done! 
These stamps are from GinaK Designs.  The card stock and water DP are from DCWV, and the boat DP is AC Patterned Paper, the Play set.  I love this paper!!

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Dang It All.....

I have to confess, it never is a fast process for me to make a card.  I can throw something together sometimes, but for something I really like, I usually can spend two+ hours on it. 

That's why it makes me CUCKOO when I find an error or a flaw in my project in the last ten seconds of production!  The litany of arghs and curses (yes, much as I try, the potty mouth does occur sometimes) is enough to send the dog heading for cover.


Cute, right?  It took some time to figure out which punch on which edge, where does the ribbon happen, how about that swiss dot stuff?  Here, there, where?   Sweat, snort , layer......Carefully now with that ribbon ruffle.....whew.  Hey this looks pretty good....
Wait a minute....
What is THAT?
What is that LUMP on the top of my card?  LOOK at that...(it's in the pic, with the "dang it" next to it.)

What IS THAT???
I checked.  Nothing under there.  What the ...???

Apparently it's a flaw in the card stock.  Of all the crazy things.  Well, I am just OVER that!

OK, Mister Cardmaker.  Deep breath, Friend.  CLEARLY, we will not be chucking this one in the bin.  HOW are we gonna fix it?

SO I did this--

See the extra little strip of card stock?  I'll wait while you scroll back and forth to check it out.)
How easy was THAT? 
I swear, I get my knickers into such a twist sometimes....Anybody feeling me on this out there??

Hey, thanks for stopping by. 
All Best--