The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mr Cardmaker is Having More Fun Than...

It's so funny, once you reach a certain age, what you remember about your childhood, and what can come flooding back to you with just the smallest of hints. Toys, foods, TV ads, and smells, especially...Nothing is ever QUITE the same if you revisit it (IE, the BEEFARONI that I simply could NOT get enough of, much to the chagrin of my Italian food expert grandmother--gag me nowadays!!), but the memories sure can be nice!

I bought this stamp set from Too Much Fun Stamps a while ago, and I finally inked it up.  It really takes me back to a very specific period of my boyhood, and I smile when I go back to those memories.
I made this--

So, this is a two stamp set, the barrel and the monkeys.  Stand by for the monkeys. 
I stamped the barrel onto a 4"x 10" brown card stock that was folded in half, and put the fold at the BOTTOM of the stamp.  I used some black ink and a dauber to fill in any missed spots at the fold line, and cut out the image through both layers.  I then used some 1/8" scor-tape to seal up the sides, but left the top open.  I added some detail with a white gel pen, and made a tag to tie on with some baker's twine.

Cue the monkeys!!

I stamped the monkeys onto some white card stock, and then added the sentiment at the bottom.  I used some ink pads and an aqua painter, and colored up these guys.  I did a few coats to get the depth I was looking for in some areas.  Aren't these monkeys a hoot?
I was concerned about not having a place to write a message on this card, and even if I hadn't put a sentiment on the bottom of the monkeys piece, there's barely room to sign your name. 
So, I went to the back!

I think I went a bit overboard trying to make this look a bit aged .  Looks more like there's been WAY too much time alone with the monkeys going on! 
I think if I were to do this again, I would carry the red card stock all the way up to cover the monkey's heads, and then trim away what I didn't want to see from the front.  The images are also small enough that you could make the whole thing fit onto an A2 card front, if you were so inclined.

Just a bit of fun, and some happy memories today! 
Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Friday, January 25, 2013

Papertrey January Blog Hop Challenge

I have been saving these cards until today when I am entering the Black Background challenge at PTI.  My friend Melanie Meunchinger actually put me onto this "Pullin' Pastels" technique, and I loved it INSTANTLY!  You can see her post about this technique HERE.

I don't have any artist chalk or pastels, but I do have some colored chalkboard chalk, and that seemed to work just fine!  I scribbled onto a scrap of paper, and used a cotton ball to work it on my black background.  I used veramark to stamp, and this is what I got--

Is this not the COOLEST look??? 
So, the leaves are the stamped part here.  Isn't it amazing how much pulls off of the card stock, when you use versamark? 
The flowers look just like the same technique, but if you know this Rosie Posie set, you know that can't be.  That's a POSITIVE image, not a negative one. 
I stamped the flowers onto more black card stock with blue chalk ink!  I was so happy with how well it matched up!
The sentiment is a die cut.  I clear embossed the black paper before I cut it out.  Love that shine!

But wait!  There's more--

With this one, I used yellow chalk.  It turned out more yellowy-cream on the black, and I like that!
I used the Funky Florals set here, with a Think Big Favorites set for the sentiment.  Pale Yellow chalk ink helped with the flower centers, and the dots.

Then this guy--

This one was more yellow chalk, and the Harvest Berries set.  Instead of more chalk ink, I used my Sakura glitter pen.  This photo makes it look gold, but it really is much more silver in person.

And finally--

Back to blue chalk, and the Up, Up and Away set.  This almost reminds me of the black and white part of the Wizard of Oz.  I love the clouds, and look how crisp the lines are on the balloons!  That's merely Versamark lifting the chalk off of the card stock!  No embossing!! (except for the sentiment, of course)

It was SUCH fun doing a new-to-me technique, especially when the outcome is so fast, and so cool!!
Try it!

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best--

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mr Cardmaker is Ready for His Big Break

I know we all have our mojo-free periods.  No energy to create, we force things, we hate everything we make, yadda, yadda, yadda....Oh, and that'll be me, over here, raising my hand to say, "Yup.  That's me."

A good friend of mine always has maintained that those times are our brains and spirits gearing up to have a big breakthrough, which will take you to a new and better creative place.  As this has borne true for me in the past , I have taken this on as part of my creed as well.
So, ok.....  Let's get ON with it, already, shall we???  Sheesh...

Hey, what do YOU do to break your Mojo-free moments?  Any great ideas out there??  SHARE, please!


If you made it through the pitiful post about THIS CARD, (for which, I offer up my apologies) you may remember the whole thing started with eight card bases I put together in order to finish up some paper from My Mind's Eye that I had been hoarding.  A sad end to that particular card base, I must say.  It never did anything bad to anyone....


I had seven more to work with.  One became Charlie's Valentine.  I will share that later.  (It's not bad.  Not bad at all)

The remaining six made it out alive!!!  Aren't you glad this story has a happy ending?!

I have this really sweet stamp set from Papertrey Ink (PTI), called Funky Florals, which they GAVE you if you spent $100.00 at their online store.  I had a wonderful gift certificate from Christmas, and was able to get in on this deal.  They do not sell this, btw, and I am actually not sure if there are any left.  Be worth a check, however.

I used the stamps to make these--

Isn't his SOOOOO much better than the other thing?  I love that sentiment, and the flowers are so fun and pretty. 

PTI sells coordinating dies (from the Notched Flowers stamp set) that also go with this stamp set, but they rapidly sold out of them.  What I found, however, is that I could easily use my Nestabilities dies to cut the basic circle, and then my snips made easy work of the notches.  You just follow the image.  DUH!  There are no leaves in this set, so I used the leaf stamps and dies from the Rosie Posie set (also PTI).

When I adhered the flowers, I used foam adhesive, and put the medium flower on a 1/8" foam dot, while the other two flowers are on 1/16" foam.  I like the extra dimension.

I think my favorite part is the little "giggle of bling" that I sprayed across the bottom.  I like the mix of pearls and gems here, and the lighthearted placement.

Oh, I should mention that these are 4"x 5 1/2", and not the standard A2.  I wanted a little extra room to allow some of the leaves and flowers to go off the edge a bit, and still fit in a regular envelope.

I will decide later whether these go solo or as a set.  I am pretty happy about they way these came out, though!

I am back to a low mojo period after making these, however.  I threw three cards away this week.  *SIGH*  That's 3+ hours down the tubes.  It happens, I know, and then it goes away.  I am READY for it to go away now, thank you.

I think I will go dig out a favorite card, and either CASE myself, or just do the same thing in a new colorway or something.  That should get the juices pumping!

PTI is doing a "black background" blog hop on the 25th.  I made some COOL things for that, and I have been saving them for this.  Stay tuned for that!

Hey, thanks for stopping by.  I so apreciate you putting up with my ravings.
Have a great, creative, and love-filled day!

All Best--

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mr Cardmaker is having a Yummy Casadia

Well, I couldn't be happier.  I was put into the roster for Wida Miller's awesome Casadia (A CASE + an Idea) at Beachorado.  I am in a line of VERY good company, and we are all working off a super cute card by Laura Bassen..

This is Laura's card--

and waaaaaay down the line, I was given this card to CASE by Jaclyn Miller--

.....NICE, Right???

So, here's MY take on that one--

This circle card was cut with Spellbinders dies, and the letters are PTI dies.  The hearts are a Stampin'Up punch, cut from paper that I coated with clear embossing powder for some shine.  Sadly, that doesn't play in this photo.  they are also popped up with some foam adhesive.  The black card stock was run through the Cuttlebug with a hounds tooth embossing folder.  Cute and mostly simple.  It did take me three tries to get something I really liked.

 CASEing is not for the faint of heart.  You really want to honor the idea you're working with, but at the same time, you want to make it your own.  However, it is SO much fun, and so rewarding when you finally rise from the work table triumphant!!
I love the word "hiya"; don't you?   It immediately makes me feel chummy and welcomed.  I use it whenever possible in real life.

Just so you get an idea, I figured I'd leave you with a peek at my prior iterations.  They just didn't blow my skirt up, if you know what I mean.  The first one loses impact because the letters are too diffused, and the second is better than just okay, but just not really a home run, either.

They look like this--

So, that's my story.  Check out the rest of Casadia's projects, and stay tuned for more to come.  Somebody is CASEing me next!

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mr Cardmaker Averts(?) Disaster

So, as promised, I have a card that probably should have hit the heap.  I started poorly, had a bad initial execution, and many mishaps along the way.  I'm not even sure I shouldn't let this poor thing rest in peace after all of this after all.  BUT!  I promised to show you, and show you I will!

I made this--

OK, so I started this whole sordid affair by making several card bases with these really lovely papers from My Mind's Eye Quite Contrary set.  These are the 12''X12" pages, which have a larger scale and more texture than their 6"x6" pad counterparts.  These were gifted to me a while ago, and I ran across them and felt the need to work with them.

So, my initial idea was to cut a large panel out of the base, and then fill it back in with the leaf idea that you see in the photo.  The leaves were going to span the space, and be nice and lacy, and magically hide the second part of the sentiment, so it would be a surprise when you opened the card. Or some rot like that.



I did all of this inside--

THIS part is not so bad. I actually kinda dig it.  The idea here was for the stamped leaves to appear behind the die cut ones on the front with the die cuts on the inside tying it all together, yadda, yadda, yadda. 
The lower sentiments were the big surprise.  They would be hidden from view through the cunning use of ginko leaves! 

SO, I die cut out a nice long rectangle from the front.  Crooked.  Nice. This is probably the REAL first indication to toss the thing.  I made 8 card bases with this paper, however, and I had no more paper.  Time to get creative if I wanted to make a set of these things.
I managed to re cut it and straighten it out well enough.
But, then I realized that the hole was WAY too big; the leaves would not cover the sentiment in the way I had envisioned it.  Even if I did do some serious magic with some leaf die cuts, once you went to write in the card, you would have NO PLACE TO WRITE.  I had ENOUGH of that nonsense when I made THIS CARD!

OK, so this is about the point where I really should've tossed the thing.  Well, the second time I should've tossed it.  I am NOT someone who gives in so easily, however.  I sallied forth!

So, I knew I had to fill in some of that gaping hole I made.  I dug out the first die cut that I did, and cut off the top.  Now, because I had cut it incorrectly the first time, and then recut the hole, the die cut was too small to properly fill the hole.  *SIGH*

But wait!  I can SUSPEND the little bugger in the space!  Yes!  (Right?)

So, I die cut and stamped these pretty ginko leaves from PTI.  Then I painstakingly placed them across the span of the card front, lovingly adhering them to the little panel.  Bleah.  Bor. Ing.

Make a, a.......A what?  OK, a  frame!  Okay, not enough! Now what? Uh...... DOILIES, of course!

Now, the nice thing about the doilies, is that if you attack them with a two-way glue pen, they just about perfectly melt into the paper you're adhering them to.  It's AWESOME, really!
I also attached a BIG piece of doily behind ye olde panel and the space it left around it, so the message that will finally (hopefully) be written inside is well hidden from the outside.  Oh, and what the heck, throw some dang rhinestones on the thing.  Razzle-dazzle, baby!!  Maybe the shine will temporarily BLIND them or something!  yeah, yeah, that's it.....

Well, anyway.  I now have a card.  A. Card.  If you think I was going to go through all of that to make a set of eight of these monsters, you are more cuckoo than I am.  Like I said, this thing may YET hit the heap.

Can you believe that you actually READ all of that?  I LIVED it!  What a nightmare....

I said I would show it to you.  So.  You've seen it.  And that's the story.  You know sometimes you go through all of that crazy nonsense, and it comes out a masterpiece.  And, sometimes, it comes out junk.  The jury's still out on this one.  It happens like that.  When in doubt, try to work it out a little.  If it starts to happen, keep going.  If it doesn't save yourself and TOSS THE DANG THING.
Sometimes, though, it's like a train wreck.  You just can't turn away from it.  Good thing I'm NOT a surgeon, for so many, many reasons.

Thanks for stopping by, and staying with me through this ordeal.  If ever you should get this in your mailbox, think of your poor, crazy friend Mr Cardmaker, and, please, be kind.

All Best!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mr Cardmaker is Following Orders

Today's card is actually something I'm making MONEY on!!  My MIL asked me to make her a set of thank you cards, and so I came up with twelve cards for her.  I used some Stampin' Up DSP that I had around for a while, and used it for my jumping off point.  

I made twelve of these--

Now, this was originally supposed to be something simple.  Yeah.  I guess you could call them that.  I should get a sketchbook or something, I think.  Proportion seems to be my achilles' heel.  I just kept looking at all that RED (which is a color I like, mind you) and I guess I freaked out and went a bit haywire with doo-dads.
Then the white at the top bugged me.  A hand drawn line worked there.  Then I had to have one at the bottom.

Don't you like that open font on the sentiment?  That's from GinaK Designs, Theresa Momber's Follow Your Dreams set.  Me likey.

Anyway, they FINALLY got to looking okay.  Some days, it hardly seems worth it all....
Except for the CA$H part.  MIL Dearest insists on paying me (as do I, btw).  What would you charge for a dozen of these??

Wait 'til I show you my next card, and the disaster that almost happened there.  If nothing else, I AM learning how to save a card from the trash bin.

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mr Cardmaker is Challenged

---This is my second posting for today!  Check out my other post below---
Hi Again!  I am posting yet another card so I can play  Use 10 Embellishments Challenge in the Moxie Fab World at, you guessed it, Moxie Fab World!
The title of the challenge is pretty self-explanatory, so I will just do the photo.

I made this--

 And, the embellishments are--
1-4- Rhinestones
5-6- stars
7- Bird
8- white floss
9- brown cord
10- ribbon

Kinda cuckoo, right??  This was a fun one to make!

Thanks for stopping by (again!)
All Best-

Mr Cardmaker is Black and White with a Pop

Hey guys!

Today I am showing a card I made for my friend Janeen, who is on the job hunt.  I can't think of  a much more Unfun thing to do, so I hope this cheers her up a bit. 

I made her this--

I love the Cuttlebug folder I used.  I swiped the raised portions with my white pigment ink pad and let it dry overnight.  The background is stamped with my Jenny Bowlin receipt stamp, and the sentiment is SU.  The brads make a real impact on all that clockworks, I think.  I added just a pop of pink, and I think it really says  "girl at work."  To me it does, anyway!    And, just to be sure it stays feminine, a little black and white baker's twine bow on the sentiment flag.

So that's it.  I was planning to enter this at Simon Says Stamp, for their challenge, but I missed the deadline.  *SIGH*...
UPDATE!  I am a DOPE!  I did NOT miss the deadline.....Read the WORDS, Richard!!!!
Anyway, I think Janeen will be happy about it.  Who doesn't love snail mail, anyway?

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy Thursday!
All Best-

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mr Cardmaker is a Calendar Guy

No, no pin up pics of me.  I know you're disappointed.  Your breakfast will thank me for being allowed to remain in your stomach, trust me.  =)

I made a couple of calendars!  Early last Spring, I went to a craft show, and hit the Stamps of Life booth, where I picked up a couple of stamp sets, including Calendar to Build.  I thought this was a cute font, and I liked all the little things you could play with to really liven up a calendar.

Well, as much as I like this stamp, the calendar was TOUGH to work with.  You're supposed to be able to shift the days back and forth to make the month start when it should.  That DOES work, but only in months with 31 days.  30 day months (or 28/29 day February) really fouls you up.  I worked like a fool trying to line stuff up for hours until I finally decided to just cut the stamp up.  Muuuuuch easier! 

 Anyway, here's what I came up with--

I used white card stock from Staples for this project.  I found nice, smooth heavy weight card stock on the shelf there, and it has been a good staple card stock for me.  I cut it to 3"x 3 1/4", just large enough to hold the calendar.  I did all my numbers stamping first, starting with the easy 31 day months, then making myself cuckoo with the 30 and 28 day months.  I won't go into all the machinations that I went through, but suffice to say it was not so much fun.
I then went back and added the days header over the numbers, and the month headers above that.  It took me a while to decide to do the year and the flourish and little architectural stamping, but it all looked kind of naked.  The flourish is from PTI Menorah Medley  and the architectural stamp is from Stampendous' Tiled Quad Cube.

After getting all of that done (WHEW!), I gathered them together, and held them tightly at the top.  I laid down a big fat bead of hot-melt glue, and then dipped the tops into it, making sure I hit all the surface of the edges with glue.  I then let that cool, and trimmed off any extra with my snips.  It looked kind of messy still, so I added a strip of my patterned paper to the top to make it look nicer.

Here's a more face-on view--

Originally, I had this great idea to bind them all together with brads.  I even pierced some holes with my paper piercer to get started.  However, my lettering in several of the months was too high on the card stock to make that work.  Wop, wop... Of course, I already had hole in my January, so I added the brads and twine anyway.  Unfortunately, it will be gone once January gets ripped off.  Oh well.  This is a prototype, and it's going to DP Charlie, and he won't mind.  Good lesson learned!
ALSO-- I am worried about what will happen in February when it's time to rip off that first sheet.  Will the hot-melt glue be too strong to tear, and mess up the whole thing??  Maybe some of you know a better glue to use, or can tell me everything's gonna be okay?  I will tell Charlie to use scissors, just to be sure, I guess.

Oh, the brads are from Michael's, and the twine is from We R Memory Keepers.  The ink is Iced Spruce Distress Ink.  I also used Ranger Archival black ink, and Memento London Fog ink on the leaves.

The background is a 4"x 4" piece of Pink Paisley DP, with a stamped die cut from PTI, the Harvest Berries set. It's mounted on TWO pieces of GinaK Designs 120# white card stock.  I placed one of the pieces in my Scor-pal, and scored about halfway up the center.  I then cut from about an inch to one side of the score line to the top of the score line to create a stand for the calendar.  It stood a bit too ramrod straight up and down for my taste, so I snipped just a teeny tiny sliver off of the bottom of the "foot" so it would lean back a bit.
That looks like this--

See that little line at the top of the foot there?  That's where I assembled the front onto the backing without looking at where things were.  That's why there's TWO pieces of card stock at the back. (dumb, dumb, dumb...)  Actually, I like how sturdy it is with the two pieces.  I recommend that.

I also made another one.  This is the first one, actually.  It looks like this--

This is made with My Mind's Eye paper, and I hand inked the purple.  The numbers dies are from PTI.

So, I am glad I worked out all, well, most, ok, several of my problems with these guys.
I found a free print out of a 2014 calendar online, so I can try more, and save them for next year.  If I do one or two a month, I'll have gifts or something to sell somewhere.  These are pretty time consuming, even with all the adjustments I made.  We'll see how it goes.

PS--I just read on a blog somewhere that not having a good supplies list was a real bummer for readers.  You'll notice I linked to most everything I used on these projects.  There has to be a better way to do this, as well, I think.  Today, I went and looked up each and every one of these items and made a link to them. (Ouch!)
Who has a better idea about this?  Is a supplies list even important to you??  Let me know your thoughts, please.

Thanks for stopping by today!
All Best-

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mr. Cardmaker is Getting (Senti)Mental

Last week was a big one for taking down and storing all the shiny Christmas goodness that makes the house so warm and pretty for the holidays.  Boy, does your house look as lonely and boring as mine after you put everything away?  Boo, hiss...

Anyhow, I did start the year with a card project, but it has taken until now for me to get the photos ready to post.
Nephew Elliot has his 19th birthday (don't EVEN get me started on THAT span of time) on Friday, and the family gathered this past Friday to celebrate, since he's back to college this week.  He's the big skier in the family.  (You may have seen THIS POST last January for him,and if you haven't, check it out!).  I try to make him a card that has snow and thoughts of skiing in it, even if there are no actual skis to be found.

I made this--

This started with a 4"x4"  piece of Stampin'Up cajun craze striped  DSP, with a circle out of the middle using a Spellbinders die.  I then cut a slightly smaller circle out of a 4"x4" piece of light blue paper from the rack at AC Moore.  I think it's a Bazzill Basics sheet.  Those two pieces were layered together.
Then I cut a piece of Nearly Navy DSP (again, SU)to 4"x4", and stamped with a snowflake die from PTI's In the Meadow set, and I heat embossed it with some holographic embossing powder from Paper Source.

I tore some scraps of white shimmer cardstock for PTI into strips, leaving lots of high and low places in each strip.I highlighted them with some Stickles, and when it dried, I layered them onto the blue piece, using glue and foam adhesive.  I just found a set of two mini punches at Target, and I used the tree punch to create the tiny trees.  I added snow to each tree with my handy-dandy white gel pen.  I added those to the scene with glue and more foam adhesive.  Then I added the circle cut pieces with foam adhesive, to act as a frame for my winter scene. That was all then layered onto a 4 1/4"x 4 1/4" piece of chocolate brown piece of card stock.

To do the clouds, I took scraps of two different shades of gray card stock, as well as some silver glitter paper (from Michael's), and die cut several clouds with my A*Muse Studio Cloud Duo dies.  I sponged some gray ink onto the bottoms of the clouds, and added some Stickles for more shine.  I adhered some clouds to the blue sky, and some to the outer circles, using both glue and more foam adhesive.  I like that the glitter clouds are just peeking out, showing off their "silver lining!"  Last, I added some snowflakes punched out of vanilla DCWV glitter paper with my new Martha Stewart snowflake punch-around-the-page set.  I like this one, because it punches two different sized snowflakes!

The sentiment is taken from PTI's Winter Penguin set, and that is stamped in black Archival Ink onto some of the lighter gray card stock, and layered onto a circle of brown card stock.  I used my Sakura glitter pen to trace a shiny outline around the gray piece, then I adhered the whole thing to the card front, and then adhered THAT to a white card base.

So, sort of elegant, fun and shiny, right?  Well, I just can't leave good enough alone.

I had to mix it up a bit, by adding my own special brand of irreverence to the inside.

I did this--

I did the (ahem) sentiment on my computer, and printed it out on some card stock.  I cut it into a strip, and layered it onto scraps of paper used on the front of the card, then cut it all out with a Labels Four die from Spellbinders.I edged it just a touch, and then adhered it to the inside of the card.

Elliot liked this card a whole bunch, though I am not sure he appreciated the jokester in me so much.  Some people get me, and some don't.  Oh well.  I got a million of 'em, folks!

All in all, a pretty good way to kick off 2013's card making.

Hey, thanks for stopping by.  I hope you got some inspiration, and maybe a laugh.
All Best to you in 2013!

Card stock and paper-  Stampin'Up, DCWV, Bazzill Basics.
Ink-  Versamark, Ranger Archival Ink, Memento London Fog, sakura white gel pen and clear glitter pen
Tools-  Cuttlebug, Spellbinders dies (Small and Large Circles, Labels Four), A*Muse Studio Cloud Duo dies, Martha Stewart punch-around-the-page snowflakes punch, scor-pal, marvy embossing heat tool.
Other-- tape runner, foam adhesive, Paper Source holographic embossing powder.