Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Three Little Words and Unmoving Knot Tutorial

The StampinUp! set Three Little Words is so pretty and versatile. It would be perfect if only it weren't double-mounted. I had to have it anyway because the "T" of the word "three" looks like a medieval illuminated letter, and I wrote my thesis on Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. It was my destiny to own this stamp set.

I love how this card turned out because it's so perfectly clean and simple! First, I stamped the sentiment in black Palette ink on PTI's white cardstock (card is 4.25" square). The ornate "T" is stamped on a scrap of black cardstock with SU craft white, embossed in white, and cut out. Cutting it out was a pain but very much worth it. I popped the "T" up on dimensionals.

The black ribbon comes from Michael's. The sheer and satin combination works well with the ornate image, and I attached it using a really cool technique I read about on a blog. If anyone knows which blog, please tell me so I can give credit where credit is due. I NEVER couldn't have figured this technique out for myself, but it is so cool!

First, I punched a hole where I wanted the knot to be. Then, I laid the ribbon on the top of the card, wrapped both ends around to the inside and brought the ends up through the hole, one end on either side of the ribbon on the front of the card. Pull the ribbon tight, tie once, and you're done! The ribbon won't move now, and the knot is smaller than usual so it's easier to sneak it through the mail without the extra postage for lumpy envelopes. How cool is that?!?!

The set comes with a variety of three-little-word sentiments. I'll pick one when I decide to send the card. I like keeping my options open!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 30, 2009

CAS08 Challenge

Head over to Splitcoast for this week's Clean and Simple Challenge...It's a sketch! The sketch was inspired by this beautifully CAS card by StampGroover.

Here are my cards.

The duck has lived in a drawer in my craft room for years waiting for the perfect project...and now he gets to go swimming. I am so happy for him!

Hero Arts mushroom sets are so adorable. I colored this in with Bic Mark-It markers on Papertrey Ink's heavy white cardstock.

Simplicity Tip: If you can't afford/don't want to spend hundreds on Copic markers, get the Bic Mark-Its and Sharpies. For about $50 you can have a huge selection of colors. It's not just like having copics, mind you, but the marker strokes don't show, so you can get really smooth, even color over large areas, and with a little practice, you can do shading (though I didn't on this card...just keepin' it simple!).

This card has little layers...more than I usually use, LOL! But they were punched out (so very simple), and the layering gives "punch" (sorry for the pun) and weight to the very small image.

Thanks for stopping by!

I'm heading on over to the CAS08 Gallery to see what everyone else is making! Why don't you join me?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Three Flower Thanks

Today's card made me very, very happy until I stamped the word "thanks" crookedly...even though I used a stamp positioner because I'm AR/OCD that way. I blame the fact that the stamp is double-mounted, and I hate double-mounted stamps. In reality, my hand slipped.

So now the "thanks" is popped up, which isn't exactly what I wanted (it would have looked much better stamped on the card base...straight) but it will do. The thanks is just the first part of the "thanks so much" stamp that comes in the Three Little Words set from SU.

I stamped the flower stems in Always Artichoke on Papertrey's vintage cream cardstock. Then I stamped the blossoms on scraps of vintage cream in Rose Red, cut them out, and glued them in place by putting glue only at the base of the blossom and leaving the tulip points unglued. I wanted to curl the points up a bit for some added dimension.

The card is 5" square.

Supplies: Papertrey Vintage Cream cs, SU rose red cs; SU's Three Little Words stamp set, Hero Arts "heartfelt"; dimensionals.

Monday, March 23, 2009

CAS07 Challenge...Punches

Check out the CAS07 Challenge HERE. It's a wonderful weekly challenge at SCS! This week's challenge is to use punches, and although I made about five cards, this one was my favorite by far!

All that glorious, beautiful white space makes me so happy! I masked the word "heart" in the sentiment, inked the rest, removed the post-it, and stamped. I love doing that, especially with clear stamps because markers don't work really well on them (unless you're going for a watercolor-y look). Then I popped the heart up to replace the word in the sentiment.

Supplies: PTI white cardstock, hearts set; Hero Arts sentiment; Palette brown ink; dimensionals; SU pomegranite ink.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saving a Set from B/S/T

First, today's card:

This card's focal point image comes from SU's retired Natural Beauty set, which was in my box to sell. I bought it after it retired from my demo, got it home, tried watercoloring it (this sets screams "Watercolor me!"), and threw up my hands in frustration. No matter how many people tell me, "Oh, it's easy to watercolor with reinkers and an aquapainter!" I find it difficult and frustrating because I am simply too AR/OCD to loosen up and enjoy the technique. It's a drag, but there you have it.

So I decided to sell it. Then, because indecision may or may not be my problem, I decided to give it one last try because I really do love the images. I made a card with each image in the set WITHOUT WATERCOLORING a one of them and loved all the cards. Woo-hooo! I'm keeping the set.

Today's card represents one solution to a stamping dilemma: what does a simple stamper do with outline images? Stamping the image in a color and leaving it alone is one option. This works particularly well with sketchy sorts of images like those in Natural Beauty. Also, sticking with a monochromatic color scheme helps as well.

So if you need a quick card or are like me and can't watercolor worth a darn, try stamping outline images in a color and leaving them alone. You just might fall in love with old stamps all over again!

Supplies: PTI white cs, SU brocade blue cs and ink, SU Natural Beauty and Sincere Salutations stamp sets, white grosgrain ribbon, marvey scalloped square punch, CM square punch, dimensionals

Friday, March 20, 2009

Leonardo da Vinci Was Right

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” While the thought of calling myself sophisticated leaves me weeping tears of hysterical laughter, I do love simplicity. Clean design, lots of white space, a light touch with embellishments…these are the things that grab my attention about a card. Like this one:

This super-simple-looking card is one of a set I made. It’s 3.5 x 5 inches and is loaded with glorious white space.

Simplicity Tip: To get the perfect placement of the clear flower stamp (Papertrey Ink’s Honey Bees set), I used the gridded acrylic block from Papertrey. This handy tool is essential to perfect clear stamp placement.

The flower centers are the most fabulous new embellishment I’ve seen: black half-pearls from Hero Arts. They come in other colors as well, but the black ones totally rock!

Simplicity Tip: Use a craft knife to lift-and-place the half pearls easily and precisely.

The other two cards in the set use the same layout, same sentiment, and same half-pearl embellishments. The only differences are color and the flower stamps.

What do you think?