The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Monday, April 24, 2017

Mr Cardmaker is Resistant (and Has Been Exercising!)

Emboss/resist is one of my favorite techniques, not only because it looks fantastic and takes very little time to get a great effect, but also because you can do it over and over and get different results just about every time.

For example, I made this--

Fun and happy, quick and easy. My way to go!
I used Concord&9th's Eat Cake an Celebrate stamp set on watercolor paper with versamark ink, and heat embossed white embossing powder over it.
Then, it was just a matter of three colors of Distress Ink in washes over the images, and I was almost done!


I did go back in with my waterbrush and paint in some of the tiny details on the candles, and, of course the flames.
Then the only thing to add was my diecut sentiment and some enamel dots. Couldn't be easier.

I also decided to play around with the stamps and matching dies a little more, and while this is in no way ready for sending, I can't help but feel there's a good idea percolating, and I'm willing to play around until it bubbles, to the surface.

I made this--

The candles here are coated in a heavy dose of Spectrum Noir clear sparkle pen. These yellow star sequins really help the overall look, but I'm just not sure about all of that negative space. I'm still pondering about it...

Standing up--

As you can see, the sentiment is diecut, so you can look through to read part of what's inside.

That looks like this--

I stamped the cake image in Versamark, just to get a subtle impression. I'm pondering about that decision, as well. And the spacing of the sentiment...and so much more...
An exercise, I call it. I'll be working on it...

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Remember to stop by on Instagram @rlbreaks !
All best-
Richard

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mr Cardmaker Prefers a Chocolate Cake Card

Building the birthday stash again, and using some of my newest acquisitions. Eat Cake ad Celebrate is a fun stamp and die (sold separately) set from Concord&9th, and I have had some fun playing with it.

I made this--

I played with some white embossing powder here, going to town on my background. To give my chocolate cardstock some extra depth, I sponged an even darker ink on bottom half and the edges. I do love me some emboss/resist action.
I kept the image are on the simple and petite side. That cake stamp makes me so happy, and there's a world of variety to be had as far as coloring the thing. I also love that the Happy Birthday sentiment has a die of its very own, too!


I had the gold zigzag circle on my work table, gathering dust, so I was happy to be able to use it with my stitched diecut vellum circle. I slid my adhesive for the vellum under my diecuts, and also under my sequins. A god thread nest (to amplify the gold) and some stickles in the sequin centers, and I was all set!

I do seem to have a bit of a messy background with the loose bits of white embossing showing here and there, but I'm going with calling it a little on the "urban side."
That's my story, and I'm sticking with it.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Remember, you can catch more (including some "in process") photos on Instagram @rlbreaks !
All Best--
Richard

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mr Cardmaker Walks on the Dead Side

I actually don't watch The Walking Dead. There, I've said it. I have enough crap to give me nightmares, believe me. I do, however, have lots of friends who DO watch it, so when I got this idea to use my Avery Elle Hats Off stamps in this way, I went for it.

I made this--

This actually combines a few sets of stamps. Because they're my stamps, and I'll do what I like with them, that's why. The cake comes from Eat Cake and Celebrate by Concord&9th, and the letters are a GinaK Designs set called Lots of Letters by my friend Melanie Meunchinger.
So, yeah! Instead of grasping at brains, my zombies like cake. Because, who doesn't like cake, am I right?
I clear embossed the images and colored them with my varied collection of colored pencils on kraft cardstock. I had a good bit of fun trying to replicate the rotting flesh of zombies here. I don't really get a ton of reference points on that sort of thing...


I love the way the cake and candles turned out. I love making the candle flames "glow."
Well, the rest of the card was simple, a quick designer paper mat and card base, and that's it. No bling or anything needed.
But wait, there's more!

The inside!

I cracked myself up when I did this, I have to admit. Hand-drawing the dismembered end of that arm had me cackling. And the staying connected to the balloon part, of course. I do have a dark sense of humor sometimes, what can I say?
I now wish I had stamped the arm in a soft brown ink, so it would better match the arms on the front, but I think I'm probably being picky at this point. I think the joke works, and that's the important thing, right?
The balloon was stamped with SU Balloon Celebration stamps, but it didn't stamp so well, which I took as an opportunity to use as a shading exercise with more colored pencils. Save! The string ws drawn by my own hand. (brave on my part, I must say.)

Thanks so much for stopping by-
Come see me on Instagram @rlbreaks
All Best-
Richard

Monday, April 3, 2017

Mr Cardmaker is Iterative

I can't tell you how many projects I finish (and mostly like) where I look at them and think, "next time I would ...". Of course, I rarely make the same thing twice, so whether or not that actually happens is another thing. It's the way my brain works...whatever.

Well, I have a new-to-me stamp set from Concord & 9th called Hugs, and it has the sweetest bear stamp. I wanted to use it for a card for Charlie for our 3rd wedding anniversary (together almost 26 years, don'tcha know), and so I dove right in.

Somehow, getting the bear colored proved to be more of a challenge than I ever thought it would be. It took me THREE times to get there, and I still think there's work to be done. I did a good bit of work though, and I hate trashing things that somebody, somewhere will appreciate.

ANYWAY-
This is the final card--

I tried to mimic the lettering style of the word hugs on my envelope. Not too shabby, if I do say so.

I actually did an unacceptable job on the bear on this panel, so I did the bear again on a scrap, colored him with copic markers, and then fussy cut him out with no border. I took a Memento Tuxedo Black marker to the edges in order to hide the white edges, and then paper pieced him over the not-so-great version.
I am digging the papers, and the Distress Ink blending worked out nicely.

Previous to this, I made this one--


So, this guy was done on watercolor paper and colored with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Watercolor Markers and a waterbrush. I made I real mess here; I hate the marks that are left from my repeated attempts to get the shading right. Yeah, that really didn't happen, either.
HOWEVER, it does look passable for somebody who'll just be happy to get a card from me, so into the stash it goes. I do love my ancient green gingham paper here...

Lesson learned. Keep trying. It will probably NOT get worse the more you try, but you have to be pretty bad at something before you become pretty good at it, I'm thinking.

And, Charlie loved it. 'Nuff said. ANd, somebody, somewhere will like this one--



Thanks so much for stopping by!
Remember, I'm on Instagram @rlbreaks
Stop by and see me!
All Best--
Richard

Friday, March 31, 2017

Mr Cardmaker is in Orbit with 12 Kits of Occasions

Well, I am going to try to avoid space-y puns for this WHOOOOOOOLE post. We'll see how that goes...(Titles don't count, right?)

I am so happy to share the cards that I designed with the BEAUTIFUL kit that Jeanne Jachna created for 12 Kits of Occasions. March is sort of a weird month to do a kit for, especially when Easter is in April this year. St. Patrick's day comes and goes so quickly, so you're left with....SPACE! I love it!

Anyway, I just loved all the stamped images and die cuts, the papers and embellishments. Jeanne really leaves you wanting for nothing with her kits!

I made five cards with this kit, and I kept every little thing that was left over for a DEFINITE return for more.

So, on with the cards!
I made this--

These rockets are so awesome. Clean, tight, totally representative of everything that says ROCKET. Love the flames. Aren't the swirls in the background cool? That Jeanne. She finds the best stuff for us...
I love that this makes a great masculine card. I think adding stripes into the design helps to strengthen that idea, but there's no reason a woman wouldn't dig it, too.

Next, I came up with this--

GOOGLY EYES!!!!  These aliens cracked me up, especially once the eyes got attached! Coloring them with my copics was really fun, because there's really no way to pick a wrong color.
I went for a sort of theatrical feel with this card, thinking of the stars die cut as a curtain. Some serious flying skills are happening there with those space ships; they manage to maneuver that thing with ease.

Next, more space ships--

This one started with the blue diecut panel. I went crazy trying to figure out how to break up the navy. I knew I didn't want to stamp on it, because I didn't want to compete with the stars. I finally decided to break out my scoring board and add some score lines. This worked out perfectly for me-The stars are in a strong linear formation, so more lines just add to the strength. The super stylized space ships are a great foil to all the lines, and the two circles help balance things.
The brightly colored space ships really pop off the dark navy, too.
Uh, note the sneaky googly eye...

This next one--

We're a bit closer to home here, but I just LOVE the way this worked out. I love Seattle's Space Needle, and when I saw these super billowy cloud diecuts, I was INSPIRED! The yellow paper was actually the reverse of a more space-y theme, but it was just so strong, I had to use it.
I was a bit nervous doing such a simple card, which is why I went for the stars, and I'm really glad I did.
You'll notice that I didn't reach for any bling on my cards, and all shine comes from the papers themselves, or my Spectrum Noir shimmer pen, which doesn't really show up in photos.

My final card--

There were quite a few space themed stamp sets released this year, and IMHO this is the BEST.
My Favorite Things came out with these CUTE kids in spacesuits, with some really sharp vehicles and planets. I just love this set.
The upside-down guy is on an action wobble! This thing is wonderful! It makes him shake around, yet it compresses down super flat, so postage is easy!
I do believe it's time to break down and invest in those skin toned copic markers. I'm going to have to go back and dig out my gamsol to make my face coloring work just a bit better. Hey, and how about some glossy accents over them? They're wearing face shields, right? 
I clearly have some work to do.

So, I now have five cards that can easily be sent to either a man or a woman of almost any age.

This kit was a blast to play with. (rats, I was so close. Missed it by THAT much...PUNS!!!)
Seriously, though, Jeanne supplied SO much to spark a ton of creative energy. I was able to just lay everything out on my work surface, move things around a bit, and GO!
The only (ONLY!) downside to these kits is the fact that now I have to go BUY so many of these things I was so happy to play with. Cry, beloved wallet!

PLEASE go and see all the wonderful creations linked up at the 12 Kits of Occasions blog. Worlds to see! (argh!) Go! Take off! (oh, come on...)

PUNS!!! (insert shaking fist here.)

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-
Richard