Monday, April 30, 2012

A Technique...Thanks to Audrie; Card Stock...Thanks to Jimmi

Check tomorrow night (Tuesday) for news about the One-Layer Wednesday Challenge, which will return this week!!!

Today's cards demonstrate a technique introduced to me by Audrie (girlgeek101). She hand-wrote the instructions and wrapped them around a bottle of Glimmer Mist (dazzling diamonds) she sent me, along with all sorts of goodies you've already seen on this here blog o' mine.

The Technique: First, you ink up a stamp with markers. I used SU markers, which are water-based. Then, spritz it lightly with the mist, and stamp onto watercolor paper or really heavy cardstock like Gina K Deluxe, which is what I used. I actually let the marker ink dry a bit so it wasn't too goopy when I stamped, and that worked perfectly.

See? It's easy, but the slight shimmer (which I couldn't capture in pixels) and watercolor effect of the block images are simply lovely. I tried it with a lightly patterned stamp and got an unappealing blob, though, so I recommend sticking with block images for this particular technique.

Also, I simply MUST thank Jimmi for kindly sending me a wonderful selection of Gina K's designer paper and colored card stock, which I'd never tried before.

It's all of the highest quality (no surprise if Gina is involved!) and in the yummiest colors, and the green card above is a piece that Jimmi sent. It's a close match for SU's green galore (that's the marker I used)...only I like it better than green galore because it's not so eye-wateringly bright.

Jimmi also sent me two weights of Gina K white card stock. This delighted me because, although I love and have used the heavier weight for a while, I'd never handled the lighter weight, which is the same white and would be perfect for layering without adding too much weight. White on white...wonderful!!!!

Plus, that yellow is the prettiest I've ever seen. You may have noticed there's a shocking lack of yellow on this blog, but I will make room for that one!

So thank you, Jimmi and Audrie, for making today's cards possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

stamps: Papertrey Ink (Beautiful Blooms, Simply Jane)
ink: Memento London Fog
paper: Gina K white, PTI dark gray, SU almost amethyst
accessories: Glimmer Mist, SU almost amethyst marker, dimensionals

stamps: Amuse butterfly, PTI Mega Mixed Messages
ink: Memento London Fog
paper: Gina K white, green; PTI dark gray
accessories: Glimmer Mist, SU green galore marker, dimensionals

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Follow the Butterflies

I've noticed a number of small, yellow-greenish butterflies flitting about in the past few weeks, so I colored one for a card!

The stylized butterfly is stamped in Memento London Fog on Gina K Deluxe Card favorite for coloring with Copics. And yes, I colored with a couple of the 9 Copic markers I own. Go, Me!
What are your favorite spring critters? I smelled skunk the other night when I took Daisy out for a walk. Skunks are not my favorites...but they can be cute--and scentless--on stamps!

stamps: PTI Modern Basics
ink: Memento
paper: Gina K
accessories: Copics

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Still Punchy...But in Pink

I wanted to combine my layered punched flower with Background Basics: Circles from PTI. Here's what happened.

If you look closely, you'll see random circles in the border stamp are glittered. Fun, eh?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

stamps: Papertrey Background Basics: Circles, Signature Greetings
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white, SU pretty in pink, pixie pink
accessories: circle and flower punches, glue pen, glitter

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Getting Punchy for Mom

Mother's Day is right around the corner. How did that happen?

I punched my way to this card using Marvy punches. I love the layered punch look, and using a monochromatic color scheme keeps the whole card visually simple.

Mom's favorite color is blue. She loves flowers. And sparkle. I think she'll love this card, too.

The strip of glitter is simply a strip of ScorTape with glitter poured on it. So easy, but it grounds the flowers and keeps them from just floating on the card.

My mom doesn't read this blog so her card will be a surprise. She's a real artist, and if she wants a mouse image, she draws or paints a mouse. And it looks like a mouse.

She kept that gene for herself. When I draw mice, they don't look like mice. Moose, maybe. Or moles. Drawn by a very nearsighted elephant with a pen in her trunk.

And that's why I punch and stamp my art.

Why do you punch and stamp your art?

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white, SU ballet blue, bashful blue
accessories: punches, glue pen, glitter, ScorTape

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Final Word on the Coldwater Creek Dress

I had to make a super-CAS card with the inspiration of this dress.

Here it is.

And after the day I just had, I'm off to watch the A&E's Mansfield Park, which I've never seen before but found on DVD at the local library. Jane Austen might save me from curling up in the fetal position and sucking my thumb.

Or maybe someone should sing me Soft Kitty, STAT!!!!

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Memento
paper: PTI
accessories: ribbon

Monday, April 23, 2012

Thank You, GinnyB

A few days ago, reader GinnyB sent me a link to this dress at Coldwater Creek.

Oh. My.

I just had to run to my chaotic and extremely unsatisfactory craft space and make something.

Something like this.

Old Hero Arts woodblock flowers are so pretty!!!!

Now, the above card was perfectly satisfying, but I decided to experiment with some different stamps and orientations. The second card I made was appallingly ugly.

Do you want to see it?

Of course you do. You want to mock it just like I do.

Here you go.

Do NOT try this at home!

I had run out of the lighter green ribbon and thought, hey, the PTI flowers are ugly in black anyway, so maybe bright green gingham might improve them, distract from them, whatever.

Sadly, it did not work.

Of course I couldn't let those ugly black blobs be the last word on this fab challenge, so I tried the whimsical outline flower and butterfly stamps in the Hero Arts clear set from whence the hello stamp comes, and created a fun, blinged card that made me very happy.

So, thank you, GinnyB for kindly thinking of me when you saw that dress. It's beautiful and a wonderful inspiration piece!

stamps: discontinued Hero Arts, except for the black blobs, which are from PTI's Beautiful Blooms
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: various ribbon, rhinestones

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Make a Mistake? Just Bling It!

That's what happened with this card. I smoodged (that's a technical term) the corner treatment and had to add a tiny bling. Then the bling looked all lonesome and made your eye go to the corner, not the focal point. So I added some randomish bling to the bottom border. Not a bad save!

I decided to add the corner treatment because the card looked unbalanced without something up in that corner.  Post-its on the border stamp allowed me to ink just the dots I wanted, but somehow a smidge of ink got on part I didn't want to stamp, thus necessitating the bling.

I love the gray with orange. What's your favorite color to pair with gray? Inquiring minds want to know.

stamps: Papertrey (Gracious Vases, Background Basics: Circles
ink: Memento
paper: Gina K deluxe
accessories: Copic markers, Smooch (carrot for the flower centers), post-its (to mask the border stamp to create the corner)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Get Inspired by Home Decor

I saw this photo on Pinterest and knew I HAD to make a card inspired by it:


So I simplified the design to the key elements I loved...the green niche and the sentiment. And here's what happened.:

How-To Tips: First, I cut a window into the layering panel using a craft knife and quilting ruler. To position the window, I cut a post-it note to fit the stamp and positioned the post-it with even borders on the top and left edges of the layering panel. Then, using the quilting ruler, I cut two edges at a time around the post-it.

Then, using light pencil marks, I marked the corners of the window on the card base and masked off a slightly larger area with more post-its to sponge with SU's Green Galore ink. I could have used a green galore base instead of sponging but decided I wanted white-on-white layering because that's just more "me."

And that's a big part of getting inspired by stuff: making it your own. If you get a chance this weekend, why not peruse Pinterest and see if you can get inspired by a beautiful home decor picture and make a card with your own style. It's fun!

stamps: SU Pocket Silhouettes, Papertrey Signature Greetings
ink: SU green galore, Memento cocoa
paper: PTI white
accessories: craft knife, quilting ruler, dimensionals, post-its, sponge

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Orange You Glad You Stopped By...


Today's card features orange, a happy color. I used to hate orange but now it's one of my favorites to use with lots of white.

My card was vaguely inspired by this cake I found on Pinterest. I started off trying to follow the cake design more literally, and then went winging off in another direction. I wish I could recreate the thought process, but it was pretty random and disjointed.

However I got here, I sure like the results!

Tips for getting this look: Make sure your lines are the same distance from the left and bottom edges for both horizontal and vertical. If they're not the same, it will throw off the balance and look random and disjointed.

Just because my thought process is random and disjointed doesn't mean the card can be.  

What do you think?

stamps: Papertrey (Faux Ribbon, Modern Basics)
ink: Memento tangelo
paper: Papertrey White
accessories: flower punch, half pearl, gridded acrylic block for aligning the line stamps

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Get Inspired by Repeating Leaves

While surfing around on Pinterest, I came across a lovely example of the design principle of repetition in the following photo:

Five and One

Hmm. Five leaves. Four in a light shade and one darker. Overlapping. Repetition encourages unity and balance in a design, and for some reason never fully understood by yours truly, the rule of using odd numbers (3 or 5, for instance) enhances that unity and balance.
So using that photo as inspiration, I made the following three cards using a clear leaf set from Hero Arts. To stamp, I started with the middle, darker leaf, and then added the lighter ones on either side.

I chose not to use the vertical lines of the original (though you could use Papertrey's Faux Ribbon set to pull it off if you felt so inclined), and to make them full-up greeting cards, I added a strong horizontal sentiment. I like how the vertical leaves play against the horizontal sentiment. Nicely balanced, I think.

Look for examples of repetition as you peruse blogs and Pinterest. See if you can get inspired to use repetition to make a card or three yourself!

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Memento new sprout, pear tart, cocoa
paper: PTI white
accessories: not a blessed one!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Photo Corners on Cards

I used to scrapbook (yes, that's a verb) obsessively. Now I make cards obsessively. But my supplies are still scrapbook-ready because I will go back to it one day. My family loves looking at their scrapbooks, but when Simple Scrapbooks magazine folded and my local scrapbook store closed (within months of each other!), I lost my scrappin' mojo.

Five years is a long time for mojo to go on vacation, but it is what it is.

Those photo-specific supplies, however, occasionally work really well on cards, and these kraft photo corners were perfect for my white/kraft/pop of turquoise two-layer card.

The vase is colored with a copic marker, and the stems are highlighted with Smooch...I think the color is Pool. Here's a closer look at the color:

The photo corners help anchor the stamped panel and give a bit of definition to the white-on-white layering.

Do you repurpose other art supplies for use on stamped cards? I mean, Copics and Sharpies weren't invented for stamping, but lots of stampers use them now. I've used mat board and canvas on cards, too. So, what are your favorite non-stamp-specific art supplies to use on cards?

stamps: Papertrey (Gracious Vases, Text Style)
ink: Memento cocoa, Memories sand
paper: PTI white
accessories: dimensionals, photo corners, Copic marker, Smooch

Sunday, April 15, 2012

More OLW85 and Some OLW News

The OLW85 Challenge is to make a one-layer card sans sentiment. It is open until midnight Tuesday (EDST), so there's still time to play! You can link to your card using the InLinkz button on the sidebar of Simplicity.

Also, starting with the first Wednesday in May, we're going to resume weekly OLW challenges. Cross our hearts and pinky promise!

I made a whole set of cards on which there was no place for a sentiment. Where would you put a sentiment on these, truly?

I was just playing around with the idea of a neutral plus a pop of color (you'll see a couple more cards with this color idea in the coming days), and Modern Basics (by Papertrey) happened to be on my desk. This layout exploits the "sweet spot" in the lower right third of the card...that design spot that really draws the eye and is perfect for a focal point.

We won't talk about what my English major mind made of these once I'd finished them. *wink*

stamps: Papertrey Ink Modern Basics
ink: Memento London Fog, Tangelo, Daffodil, Pear Tart; SU Cool Caribbean
paper: PTI white
accessories: rhinestones

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thank You Inspired by LLBean Catalog Colors

As soon as the latest LLBean catalog showed up in my mailbox, I knew I HAD to make a card inspired by the greens and yellows on the cover. So I made this:

What a fun color combo...and one I can't imagine doing without the inspiration cover.

How-To Tips: I didn't want to use markers to color the houses because they tend to leave unsightly lines on large expanses of rubber. So I used small post-it notes to mask off everything but the house I wanted to ink, then inked up the one color with the dew drop pad, then removed the post-its, then stamped using my stamp positioner so everything stayed nice and straight. It was a bit tedious with four colors, but it worked great!

What print ads or catalogs have inspired your creativity lately?

stamps: Hero Arts (house row), Papertrey (scallop border, Faux Ribbon), StampinUp (sentiment)
ink: Memento
paper: PTI
accessories: post-its to mask the houses for inking, stamp positioner to stamp the houses

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Riffin' on Yesterday's Jane

Today's cards use the same elements as yesterday's card but gave me a chance to use the tiny little stamps that come with the Simply Jane set from Papertrey. They also gave me a chance to pull out a couple more border punches and play around with them. Oh how I love my punches!

Does anyone else think the word "missed" in the above sentiment is hard to read? The handwritten font is pretty, but man, that word doesn't look right. It's the "m" that's to blame, I think.

I'm eyeball deep in chaos still, and fighting a cold. Whine, whine.

On a happier note, please remember that the last OLW is extended until NEXT Wednesday, so keep playing!!!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Blue Card Base and Simply Jane

Here's a rather straightforward card using PTI's Simply Jane, a Fiskar's border punch, and dimensionals.

I just love that quotation from Northanger Abbey. I need to reread that one...been a while, and I do love Jane.

What's your favorite Austen novel?

I'm torn between Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What Unusual Color Combos Do You Love?

I've used this layout before...several times...with different snowflakes and similarly shaped sentiments. Nothing original here, but I sure love these colors, that snowflake, and the perfectly perfect sentiment. A lot.

Marina Mist and Sahara Sand, both by StampinUp, look awesome together, and while they generally seem a bit more beachy than Christmasy, I still love them for snowflake-themed cards. So soft and pretty!

What's your favorite odd color combo you have used on any themed card (not just Christmas)?

stamps: PTI Winterberry
ink: SU
paper: PTI white
accessories: tag punch (marvy), floss, corner rounder, envelope

Friday, April 6, 2012

The OLW85 InLinkz Button and Other Stuff

The OLW85 InLinkz button is up and running on the sidebar. Sorry that took so long.

Today's Simply Jane card reflects the way I want my life to look...serene, peaceful, pretty.

This, however, is what my life really looks like:

See, my life looks upside down, just like my dining room table. The bolts on one leg are stripped after eight moves, and the picture alerts me to just how wretched and worn the upholstery is on the chairs. My bolts are stripped and my upholstery is worn after ten moves...and I'll be perfectly happy when I've screwed myself together and recovered myself. Military life wears a person down!

My house looks like...well, I don't know what it looks like, exactly, but it's a mess. We slept on real beds last night, which was delightful. My husband burst out in song when he came home from work yesterday..."Reunited, and it feels so gooood!"

I alternate between giggles of glee and wanting to burst into tears at the sheer quantity of work to be finished before we can find the stinking extension cord so I can hang curtains with my corded drill. If we'd bought a cordless drill years ago, we'd now be unable to find the charger, so whatever the case, I'd be, well let's just go ahead and commit a pun, screwed.

Today's card is a serene reflection of the order and dignity I crave at the moment. It also reflects the limitations of Memento's original line of inks. The baby blue is too light, and I hope, hope, hope the new colors fill in that gap in the blues. We shall see.

No amount of personal chaos, however, could make me forget that this is Good Friday or that Sunday I will sing, with countless other voices, the old Charles Wesley hymn Christ the Lord is Risen Today.

Happy Easter!

stamps: Papertrey Ink (Simply Jane)
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: small pearls, corner rounder

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

One-Layer Wednesday 85: No Sentiment

Jennifer's computer melted down last week, and we are both having a crazy time of it...she with work and illness, and I with moving. Finally. But both of us are feeling overwhelmed and a little guilty about not commenting on entries. So this will be the last OLW for at least a few weeks while we both try to catch up and catch our breath and regroup. Please know that we really, truly appreciate each and every entry!

This week's OLW is to use no words, no sentiment whatsoever, on the outside of the card. Because that is the opposite of me...I use lots of words all the time until people wish I'd just shut up. This card's image says it all.

OLW85 Rules

1. A one-layer card is defined as a single piece of card stock folded in half. No other layers allowed.

2. Use only words. For an extra challenge, make it a Christmas card. Nothing like getting a head-start! Keep embellishments to a minimum.

3. Upload your card somewhere on the interwebs and link back to it using the InLinkz button on the sidebar of Simplicity. (I'll get the button up on Wednesday as soon as I can!)

4. As always, HAVE FUN!!!

stamps: PTI Winterberry
ink: Memento
paper: PTI
accessories: white pearls, corner rounder, ribbon, glue dot

Monday, April 2, 2012

Gettin' Textural

I've had this scrap of cotton on my desk for months...even through moving that desk from the bedroom to the sliding door nook. The texture of this selvage edge is fabulous, but not exactly my style. The scrap of green ribbon also has a lovely texture and had joined the fabric weeks ago.

This weekend I decided to do something with them, and this is what happened.

All this natural organic texture is a little different for me, but I love how all the pieces work together. Natural cotton, cheerful green ribbon, even more cheerful orange and white baker's twine. The right-justified sentiment from PTI just works perfectly.

(Note: the ribbon is mounted on a strip of card stock to give it body since I popped it up.)

I'm still not organized enough to show pictures of my crafting nook yet, but we're getting there. All our furniture will be moved into the new house on Thursday. Yeah!!! No more sleeping on an air mattress!!! If you want to see a picture of our new house without the orange stucco, check out my other blog post here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tutorial For Extending Punch Width

Wow. That has to be the single most boring tutorial title ever. It's illuminating without being at all interesting.

How about Another Super-Cool Punch Toot?

Not illuminating, but at least intriguing. And if you're in the right mood, perhaps a little crude.

By the way, I don't like the crafting world's shortening of tutorial into tut. A tutorial isn't an Egyptian pharaoh. Spell it out, please, because I'm right. You know I am.

But perhaps I should stop dictating usage standards and get to the real reason you are here....

Some punches, like SU's word window punch and Fiskar's folder tab punch, can be used to create elongated punched shapes. It's really quite easy, one of those tricks that makes you slap your forehead and say, "Duh!" when you first hear of it. If I hadn't seen this done by someone else (wish I could remember who!) years ago with the word window punch, I would never in a million years have thought to do it with the folder tab punch. I'm not that creative, but I am willing to share someone else's cool idea with you.

1. Punch the shape you want to extend out of a piece of scrap. Measure its height. Don't try to measure the actual punch because you might make a mistake and waste time and paper and make yourself lose control and scream expletives at the too-wide strip that won't fit into the punch. Not that I've ever done that. I'm very level headed in my craft room. As you can see, this shape is 5/8" tall.

2. Cut a strip of card stock the exact height of the punched shape and much longer than you will need for your elongated punched shape. It's easier to manage if the strip is at least two inches longer on the right side. You'll see why in the next photos.

3. Hold the punch so the metal part is up. Slip the left side of the strip into the punch until it is lined up where you want it to punch. See, that extra length on the right is useful to hold onto, isn't it? Well, trust me, it is. Then, punch.

4. Slip the right side of the strip into the right side of the punch and use that extra length to position it just where you want it. Then punch the heck out of it.

5. And this is what you get. Aren't you brilliant!?!?! Yes, yes you are!! This will work with any punch that you can stick a strip of card stock into, such as a label punch.

Of course, then you should do something with the punched shape, and this is what I chose to do. My folder-y Christmas card (suitable for a tax accountant or lawyer, don't you think?) uses a card base sent to me, with an assortment of other A Muse card stock, by the inestimable Joan B of Paperlicious fame. Thank you so much, Joan, for letting me try out a few pieces of A Muse card stock. It's as yummy as you say it is!

Hmmm. Joan's a lawyer in real life, so perhaps she'll get this card for Christmas....;)

stamps: Winterberry (PTI)
ink: SU real red
paper: PTI vintage cream, A Muse wheat, SU garden green and real red
accessories: Fiskar's folder tab punch, SU flower punch, ScorPal, ribbon, anywhere hole punch (to make an unmovable knot), gold half beads