The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Monday, September 30, 2013

Merry Monday

Well, I'm jumping into some Christmas card making today, by entering the Merry Monday Christmas Club #77 challenge at Always Playing with Paper.

The idea this time is to use red, pink, light green, dark green and white in a Christmas card.

So, I made this--

So, pink and lime green are my FAVE Christmas colors. Oh, and light aqua (though they didn't ask for any here).  For reals.  Add some red into the fun, and I am all over it.

You may be thinking the angle I shot the card at is awfully weird.  It was the only way to make all the glittery stuff work properly.  I have two glitter papers in the ornament (one is from a Springtime pad, don'tcha know) and there is Ranger holographic powder embossed as snowflakes on the striped paper.  Oh yes, and a tiny bit of Sakura red glitter pen on the scallops.

I made this card in about 30 minutes, because I wanted to get in on this challenge.  I may have reconsidered the twine and button, otherwise.  I think they lend themselves to a more rustic setting, really...

I do like the overall idea of this card, and I like these Spellbinders dies that made the ornament.  I bought them for like, $4.00 at Michael's last year after Christmas, and they should be some fun, decorating them!


SO! I changed out the twine and button, after all.  Bad photo, but it looks like this now--

I think it's more in keeping with  the rest of the elements now.  Call me crazy....

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best--

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tuesday Trigger, or Sometimes It Just All Comes Together

Well, this is just a quick one to get this card I made for Moxie Fab World's Tuesday Trigger contest.

This is the trigger photo--

Ooo, pretty, right?  Lovely colors, and nice shiny porcelain....

Ok, so I made this--

This took me a million hours to do, mostly because I struggled to do another card, only to go back and see I used TOTALLY wrong colors....I would have SWORN I remembered blue in that photo...
That one looks like this-- 
But wait!  Let me tell you about the one I LIKE first!
So, I really wanted to get the idea of the comb, so I scored vertical lines on the card front to reference them.  LOVE my Scor-Buddy for this stuff.  Now, I also love my Scor-pal, when I am doing big stuff, but for every day, if you have the choice, pick the Scor-Buddy.  MUCH easier to deal with.  I also see a TON of the Martha Stewart mini boards, but while they do have way more grooves, I hear about the stylus jumping all over your cardstock sometimes.  Don't have one, can't say for sure.
The text paper is from Stampin up, and I tore the edges and swiped the whole thing with white pigment ink, pad to paper, just to soften it.  On top of that is half a doily, then little sprigs punched with a Martha Stewart punch.  (A must have, for me)
The flower.  Well, I really wanted a peach flower, but I have NO peach paper.  How is THAT possible?  So, I used orange, and topped it with vellum.  Peach-ISH! Or peach via trick-o'-the-eye!
That's done with a SU punch and stamp set. I did the stamping in versamark, and embossed with white powder.  I love how some of the stamped part actually shows through the vellum!
The center is one of the old build-a-brad things from SU, and the center is a scrap of the paper I did the leaves with.  They're done with a Sizzix sizzlit on some VERY old paper I had been hoarding a scrap of.  Happy to use it in JUST the right spot!
The best part, for me, is where I get to reference the white porcelain bowl by using white enamel accents around the center brad, and in among the leaves.  Subtle shine, but nice impact, and that "little something extra."

Ok, now for the one that didn't make it--

So, remember the card I made HERE?  On this card I used the piece that was used as the stencil.  Waste not, want not.  I seriously thought a day after looking at the photo, that the flowers on the comb were pink and cream, with some green and a pop of blue.  WHERE did I get THAT from? 

This is a bit (!) on the fussy side for me, really, but I guess it's an okay card, all in all.

I was lucky enough to hear Vidal Sassoon speak a few years ago, and he showed some photos from over the years.  Some were CRAZY hairdos, which he admitted to, but he said about them, "if we hadn't done this, we would never have gotten HERE (Insert picture of lovely hairdo)."  The process isn't always pretty.  The results are what we present to everybody else. 

I showed you some of my process because we're tight like that.  I don't do this with just ANYBODY, you know!  Hope it helps, somehow.

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Weekend!

All Best-

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Papertrey Ink September Blog Hop and Make it Monday

I haven't done a contest in a while, so I thought I would jump on a two-fur this week.

Papertrey Ink is doing a Blog hop to coincide with their September release, AND their normal Make-it-Monday challenge all together.  SO-  I did a combo of the two!

I made this-

SO, the Make-it-Monday challenge was to make a stencil with a PTI cover plate, and then make a background using some textural material.  Ok, so mine is SPACKLE.  I'm a guy; sue me. 

Once the spackle was mostly dry (No patience, me) I sponged some Distress Inks on top, to point up some of the texture.  Hint-  POUNCE, don't rub!  BTW-This is actually a grey card stock, not purple.  I think the book that the card is sitting on makes it look really purple...  Anyway, I like the effect.  I originally was unconvinced that a card stock stencil would reveal enough of a lift from the surface, but it really worked!  It was actually supposed to look flocked, but maybe the spackle dries differently than regular dimensional paste.    I still like it!

The second challenge , for the Blog hop challenge, the thing is to incorporate a wreath into your design.  Well, I decided it was time for some fall, so I got out my PTI acorn dies, and several different stamp sets (Up, up and away, Medallions, and Rosey Posey), and got to work.

I die cut 3 sets of acorns, in three greens, and stamped each with a different motif.  I LOVE the way the rainbow stamp from Up up and Away worked as curvy stripes!  Almost wood grain-y!

Then I cut the caps from the acorns, mixed them up, and attached them with foam tape in different heights to a Memory box wreath die cut I had laying around.  Some rhinestones, and  Grey twine bow, and I was ready to go!  But wait!  I had to go back with my Sakura glitter pen to spice things up a bit, adding it to the seam where the acorn meets the cap.  Subtle, but I think it helps the eye in those places where two of the same cardstock pieces might overlap.

So, as I look at it, the whole "wreath" idea might be hard to see unless you're looking for it--Maybe I went overboard with the amount of acorns?  Unfortunately, once they're stuck down, they're down, unless you like that shredded look.

I AM a fan of the colors-  Kind of "Soft Autumn", if you will. 
Normally, I might add something to fill the space beneath the wreath (See what I did there?), but I really wanted that spackle background to have some room to shine.

I love trying new techniques!  I may actually trade in my spackle for some real dimensional paste, but hey, you never know when you might start a new fad!  That's me, Mr. Fadmaker!  SO NOT!

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Last Hurrah for the Oozak Design Team

Well, it has been a great 4 months, working with the Oozak Challenge Blog Design Team.  The ladies and Rusty (Oozak's owner) have been so wonderful and helpful, and I am sad to say goodbye. 

My final task was to create a card for the Anything goes/Fall challenge.  Stop by and play along!  You KNOW you are making Fall cards right now!

I made this--

Yes, I actually parted with one of my desperately hoarded flair pieces for this one!

I stamped a block of brown paper with leaves from GinaK Designs Fall Foliage set in white pigment ink.  (The sentiment is also from that set.)  I love how the white  ink layers on itself!

After heat setting, I ran it through the ol' Cuttlebug in a wood grain embossing folder from Stampin' Up.  That got foam mounted onto an Olive green card base. 

I punched leaves and that scalloped circle from some My Mind's Eye paper, and used more to create my banner strips, along with a scrap of white for the sentiment.   Notice all the blue going on?  I am loving blue for fall this year!  Aren't you seeing it everywhere?

Everything then got piled up, using both flat and dimensional adhesives.  I popped on my blue wood grain flair piece, and that baby was outta here! 

Outta here.  That's me.  Thanks so much Oozak!  Wishing you all the best!
Just because my time with Oozak is done, doesn't mean I will quit creating!  Come and see me, anytime!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best-

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Crazy, Weird, Bad, Rotten, No Fun Week, and Oh, Did I MENTION There's a Plumber Here Right Now? And a Card.

Okay, so DATELINE--

Thursday night, two weeks ago, while on business in Massachusetts, Charlie has this pain in his side that wakes him up in the night, and REALLY hurts.  Friday is very painful, and somewhere along the line of the day he realizes that this was a bigger version of pain he had, oh, about three weeks earlier.

He goes to WebMD, and puts in his symptoms.  One of MANY options says it could be an appendix problem, but he has very few of the symptoms, other than the pain.  However, it says DO NOT use any pain killers or laxatives, because it could cause problems.  Lucky for us, he is a very good rule follower.  He calls our Doc to see what's up, and gets an appointment for Monday morning. 

So, as Friday continues, the pain subsides; he flies home.  The weekend brings less and less pain, but he goes to the doc on Monday morning, and after everything else it could be gets ruled out, he is sent to the hospital for imaging--a CT, as I remember. 

All this time, I'm saying to him, "I am happy to come with you, do you want me to meet you at the hospital?"  No, no, no...

Finally, at about 6pm, I get the call.  "They are doing the surgery tonight, at nine.  You better come on over."  I grab my keys, and off I dash.

Well, the 9pm surgery didn't actually go in until midnight, and by the time I got him settled in his hospital room and got home, it was 4:30am.  I was back at the hospital at 7:30am.  Turns out the appendix had perforated, re sealed itself, perforated AGAIN, and was trying to reseal itself a second time.  Let's all be grateful for the self healer in our lives.

That's when the sinus infection decided to rear ITS ugly head in my body.

So, HE's in the hospital for two nights, I'm ready to pull my teeth out, they hurt so badly, and I am just about at the EDGE of my sanity bandwidth....
Well, Wednesday he is allowed to go home, and on Thursday, I finally(!) called the Dr. to see about my (seemingly) swollen and distended head.

So, Thursday, I am sent to bed with antibiotics and meds, he is sent to bed to recoup, and all will one day be well.  We're resting, we're quiet, we're good.


Sunday.  I had mentioned somewhere along the way that the kitchen faucet was sticky-acting, and not what it was.  Next thing I know, it's in pieces, and I get the call across the house, "I NEED you!"

Well, the thing never DID get put back together properly.  Oh, and we found that after shutting off and turning on the water several(!) times, that the valve that does the shutoff was corrupted.  So.....

Yeah.  The plumber, bless him, is here right now.  New valve, AND new faucet (of course), thank you very much.  Let's just say, it's a GOOD thing Charlie is back to work today.  $$$ -wise, that is.

Oh, but I DO have a card for you.  Super CAS.

I made this--

This is a Unity Stamp set, and that pitcher was just BEGGING to be done in Delft blue. Quick stamp, and some waterbrush accenting of the shape and shadows...That's it!

Oh, yeah.  The sentiment is done in Versafine Smokey Gray.  LOVE that ink. Dark enough for a sentiment to really show up, but not black, and nice and warm.
I also would love something a bit softer, so any suggestions there would be nice!

I think making the image panel float on the base with foam tape makes a CAS card just a little bit more.....considered.

So, that's my story.  I am still holing up, trying to get rid of this gunk in my nose and chest, and wishing I could flush my toilets and clean my dishes. (Happily, that will happen in less than an hour!) 

Go!  Create!  I fear I must stay here and moan.   Mmmmm.......Mmmmmm.......Mmmmmm....

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best to you.  Stay healthy!

Monday, September 16, 2013

What the Heck Do These Sentiments MEAN, Anyway?

I went on a buying spree at my local JoAnn's a while back, when they were doing clearance stamp sets for something like $2.99 a set.  I am a true sucker for the word "sale."  I snapped up MANY sets.

So, now I own this veggie set of stamps, and while I think the art is really pretty wonderful, I am at a loss when it comes to deciding who gets a card whose sentiment is "grow where you're planted."  Is it for the gardener friend?  For someone who's just moved? Gone to a new school/job?  I am not really sure.  O f course, I COULD just ignore the sentiment pieces...

But, anyway, I made a card--

The idea I was going for, MOSTLY, was the idea of trying to get my doily to line up on the two surfaces.  I had seen a similar idea on Pinterest (BTW--I would normally link to the inspiration piece, but I have WAY too many pins, and I can't find it.  I DID look.), and I found it was actually not as easy as it looks.   This is mostly due to the fact that I am not in love with how big the matting piece has to be if you try that double/tripe time stamping technique everyone was so mad for recently.  So, subsequently, mine took a more circuitous route, but I got there!  If I did this again, I would probably also try to finish the doily on the white piece.  Shoulda, woulda, coulda...

The other thing that was a fun thing to try is the little die cut at the top, where I inserted a piece of vellum.  Can you see it?  It's the white piece, the green one, and then the vellum.  NOTE-  Make the vellum big enough to line the entire inside of the front of your card.  My little hunk of vellum doesn't look so cute, and it is easy enough to avoid that with a bigger piece.

My buttons are "threaded" with tiny strips of cardstock.  I think that is easier than floss or twine, for me, and it matches so nicely.  No needle hunting, either!

So, I ultimately think this is a good card.  I think, however, it may sit in my stash for some time, or at least until I find a good candidate to send it to.  IDEAS?

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a great start to your week.
All Best-

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Great Way to Look at Things

I'm investigating more of my "gifted" stamps this time--These were given to me by the oh-so-tanned Jan Farrington, who was a wannabe stamper at one moment in her life, but found out quickly it was not for her.  It seems one cannot stamp and tan simultaneously.  She's my sister-in-law, by the way, and really quite fabulous. And tan.  Did I mention that?

All the better for ME! 

Well, she has a birthday coming up in November, and while this card will probably NOT be hers, it was made with her in mind, and with her stamps.  (She MAY actually get it, if my schedule happens to be tight the week before! YOU know how THAT goes!)

Anyway, I made this--

Wow, I'm just noticing how lousy this photo is.  My apologies.

SO, this started on a block of white cardstock, and I stamped the palm tree and flip-flops in versamark and embossed in clear powder.  Then I did the sentiment (don't you LOVE that?  You GO Virginia Woolf!) in versamark and embossed that in gold!  Sun, gold...get it?

I then started sponging in some blue ink from the center, highlighting all my elements, but leaving the edges.  I went back in with another sponge, and my Delicata gold ink, and highlighted the edges.  I think it made a wild effect as the inks blended.  Sadly, the sparkle gets lost in the photo, but the richness is wicked cool.

I matted the whole thing on a goldy-orange striped paper, and that went on my card base.  I didn't think it really wanted anything else, with all the gold, so it was really pretty simple!

So, there's my card.  Hope it brings you some sunshine!

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mr Cardmaker's Head is in the Clouds

Well, I finally got to play with some of the awesome collection of stamps my friend AJ Otto gifted me a while back.  Boy was THAT fun!  New stamps, especially ones you didn't have to shop for, reach into a fantastic place in your brain, making all your creative juices percolate and ooze. 

Well, some things turned out really great, and some were sorta "meh." I attribute it to just not finding the right groove with these stamps, or at least, not finding it yet

Anyway, to get started, I did a couple along the same lines.  I like to see what different colorways do to an idea.

I made these--

I think I was trying to line up the stamp in order to strengthen the lines, and I clearly missed.  I have no idea why I would have tried to do a shadow stamp here, so...
I do like the juxtaposition of the stamped and die cut clouds.  Any cloud is good for me!  I think I could have been more successful had I masked the balloon or cut out another one and mounted it on top.  (I may do that yet!)
As you can see, here I started with stronger lines, so that's better.  Still not sure why I thought it was okay for the balloon to be transparent....oh well...

So!  Learned here--
Panel placement and clouds = good!  balloon on top of pre-stamped clouds = not-as-good. 
Oh yeah--The die cut clouds are done with shimmer paper.  Me likey that, almost as much as my Amuse Studio Clouds Duo dies!

I guess there's a learning curve for almost all of our new supplies!  That's why our best work comes when we are playing around, amiright?

Go play!

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Monday, September 9, 2013

Oh, For the Love of .....

*******This is my SECOND POST for today!  Go see the earlier one, too!  (It's even better!)******

I have NO idea how I managed to mess this one up, but I MISSED letting you all in on the new challenge over at the Challenge blog.  This time it's an "anything goes with die cuts/punches" challenge.  Take a look and see what everyone's come up with!

My card looks like this--

I'm at it again with Wplus9's Fresh Florals set, and I am all over the place with die cuts from Spellbinders and Papertrey Ink.  I particularly love the hexagons--They are cut from a gift bag!

This card went to my dear friend, Miss Betty Ann Grove, a one-time Broadway star.  She was in the original casts of George M! with Joel Gray and Bernadette Peters, and I Remember Mama, as well as  being the "girl singer" on the TV show, Stop the Music.  Today (September 9) is her birthday, and I hope you'll join me in sending her good health and happiness across the miles!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best to you--

When Only the Very Best Will Do..

You know how sometimes you make a card, and it all just comes together SO well that you hate to part with it?

Yeah, not too often, but sometimes.  For me, anyway...

Well, I made this card a while ago, and I really loved it.  It all fell right into place, the colors and the angles, and the washi tape--everything.

I decided that I would save it, and maybe even submit it for publication.  'Cause I'm looking to get famous from all of this, don'tcha know.

Uh, yeah...That didn't happen.  My friend Karlah's birthday came up, instead.  Karlah and I were besties back in high school, and she's one of those "forever on the top of the list" folks that we all have in our lives.  You don't hold back on people like that.

So, off it went. 
It looks like this--

I made this card (on a 4 1/4" square base) with Wplus9's Fresh Florals set on the inner die cut and the sentiment, and Avery Elle's Celebrate set to do that embossed white frame.

I stamped the flowers, and got the whole thing done before I noticed it was WAY too bright to go with the My Mind's Eye paper I hose for the background.  Well, I wasn't about to chuck it, so I grabbed my white pigment ink and a sponge, and I slowly and gently knocked all the colors back into a more pastel looking place.  I almost looks like a misty garden, I think.

I used a Memory Box die to do the tree.  A few scraps of paper, some rhinestones on top of sequins, some washi, and there it is.
 I think the mix of elements and the way they all balanced out is the reason I find this one to be so successful.  If I could get that to happen ALL the time, that would be good. This is why we practice!

I have been trying to be aware of the fact that you can do lots of overlapping elements  that leave the frame of the card base, as long as you REMEMBER to cut the card base back (which doesn't always happen for me), and keep tabs on how far your overlapping is going.
 My goal is to get the thing into an envelope, so I keep an eye out for it NOT to exceed the 4 1/4"x5 1/2" measurements.  I rarely have occasion to do cards that go without envelopes, though I know others do really well at that.  Of course you could MAKE envelopes, too, but I like ready made when I can do it.

Karlah really loved her card-- maybe as much as I did.  (I am suspecting an unhealthy obsession here)
I am wistful about it, but there's more where THAT came from!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Please tell your crafty friends that I'm here, and invite them to stop by.  Never enough friends to be had!

All best to you--

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mr Cardmaker is a Commission Guy....

Well, you may remember my first commission card, the "squirrel with the ogre" card.  No?  You can read all about it here.  My "customer" was a former hair client from Boston. 

Well, I have yet again been approached by a former client, the oh-so-wonderful Ms. Lina, who needed a fancy birthday card for her mom's birthday.  The brief included tips like, "She likes nature, she is a scientist, she is from Denmark..."

Soooooo....Flowers!  Flowers are from nature! And they have them in Denmark! 

I pulled out my Wplus9 Fresh Cut Florals stamps with matching dies, and got to work!

I made this--

Now, I had originally had a "make a wish" sentiment as that banner, but Lina said that they don't do the blow out the candles thing in Denmark, and she'd really like it to be personalized with her birthday.  I managed this with a Stamps of Life set called Calendar to Build. 

Let me tell you how FUN it is to cut and stamp these flowers!  Oh, man, I had every ink I own out at some point, mixing and matching.  It is amazing how much impact you get from these tiny, tiny die cuts.  I was one happy stamper doing this card. 

I also went to town with foam adhesive, lifting the flowers into this massive bouquet.  I then decided to make an even bigger display by adding in some Sizzix leaf die cuts done in green cardstock.  I made a good, solid padding piece to go over the top of it all, by taking a thick piece of cardstock and passing it through my crimper.  I sure did NOT want this one crushed after getting it "just so."

Then for the inside, I kept the stamps out, and added a second bouquet.
I made this--

Easy peasy-  I stamped the sentiment (Papertrey Ink), then used post-its to mask it off.  Then I it was a matter of stamping more flowers and leaves. I later realized that I didn't leave very much room to write.  Oh well!  You COULD write over the flowers if you want.....But I hope she doesn't.

So, I am waiting to hear whether Mom likes it or not, but as you can see, I will have to wait until after the 19th.
I had so much fun making it, and I get PAID!  I'm gonna make it RAIN up in here!

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best--