Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Love Birds - a sketch challenge, sort of

Today I've been working on a card for a custom order in my Etsy shop. As I was planning my card, I was hunting around for a sketch challenge to do, and none of the ones I was finding fit what I needed to make. So I turned to my own master sketch file, which is made up of sketches I've saved from cards I've seen elsewhere. This is not my design, but unfortunately I have no idea whose layout it originally was. It was a card I saw in a magazine using PTI's Take a Bough set. I'd love to credit the original designer if I knew who she was!

I thought it might be fun to post the layout so that others could play along with this sketch. I could see so many possibilities from this one. If you do make a card using this sketch, link back here so I can see! I'm not too good at designing my own sketches so don't expect this to be a regular feature, LOL. It's just for fun for today, and maybe I'll decide to do another at some point - who knows?

OK, on to my card. I stamped the Love Birds (by Cornish Heritage Farms) with pacific point on PTI white cardstock, then paper pieced them with Making Memories Poolside Paperie paper. I used other prints from the collection for the other panels of the sketch, with Bazzill cardstock for layers. I made the sentiment on the computer with the words requested by the customer. I punched it out with the curly label punch, then used the Movers & Shapers die to cut the layers. The largest label was cut out from the window by trimming on the dashed line. I used the Finial Press embossing folder to make my dark blue layer, added a photo corner punch in the upper right, then adhered two silver brads in the opposite corners.

I just noticed that I messed up the sketch just a bit, in my placement of the embossed panel - but I think it's a good tweak. I hope you'll try out this fun sketch!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Copic Love

I do love my Copics... but I don't love this card. I'm not sure why... but I spent a long time on it so I'm posting it anyway. Todd said, "It's fine!" But I don't always trust him, LOL.

This card started with the Copic Creations challenge to use red, pink, and hearts. Is it cheating that my hearts are punched and not colored? ;)

I decided to use these A Muse stamps that hadn't seen ink yet. I stamped with Memento tuxedo black on PTI white cardstock. My coloring on the birds uses all R markers: R37, R39, and R59 for red; R05 and R08 for orange; and R81, R83, and R85 for pink. The bushes were colored with YG93, YG96, and G99. I had read this post on contrast on Marianne Walker's blog and really tried to incorporate her advice - how did I do? I would love to take one of her classes if she ever came to this area. I colored the fence just a little bit - I drew a line with E41 down the left side of each area of the fence and then blended it out with the colorless blender. I don't know if it makes a difference at all, but I wanted to try. I also added a little C1 shadow around the fence and bushes.

For the rest of the card, I used Beate's weekend sketch challenge #94. The black and white paper is by Doodlebug, and the cardstock is Bazzill. I embossed the red with the new SU Perfect Details texturz plate. The buttons are from JoAnn's, threaded with black embroidery floss. The ribbon probably came from Michaels. I punched my hearts with SU heart punches, then drew stitching lines to match the stamped images and added American Crafts letter stickers to the larger heart.

OK, I posted it and I'm moving on! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge #10

Can it really have been ten challenges already? I hope you are having fun because I know we are! This week we're doing a bedding challenge, which is one of my favorite categories to choose from. I found this gorgeous set at Wrapables - the rich colors reminded me that fall is going to be here soon. We've had a heat wave here in MA so it's hard to believe that it really will be cool before we know it!

I don't know what the photo looks like on your screen, but it looks like purple to me, and it wasn't until I was typing this up that I realized the description says it's brown. When I picked it I was going for purple, so that's what you're getting from me! ;) The layout came from Day 3 of the Mojo Monday Turns 100 celebration. This is a great sketch that Teresa Kline provided - thanks, Teresa! I didn't follow it exactly, however - I had to leave out a couple elements.

To emulate the "purple" bedspread, I started my card by embossing an image from the new set Leaf Lines onto perfect plum cardstock with gold EP. Then I took the large image from Kind & Caring Thoughts and embossed it on brushed gold CS with American Crafts Zing! chestnut EP. (I was inspired by the small gold pillow.) I cut and layered with Nestabilities and chocolate chip cardstock. I used a gold card base and made this card a 5x7 so I could use more of my embossed background. The chocolate chip scalloped piece was cut from the pennant die - I wanted bigger scallops than I could get with any of my punches. I added a strip of gold organdy ribbon and a bow. The sentiment is by Inkadinkado, and I cut that out with another Nesties rectangle and centered the text near the top, then just attached it to the back of the gold layer. My faux brads are gold-embossed chipboard circles (from some Basic Grey chipboard).

Be sure to check out the cards made by all the Divine Divas for this challenge!







Hope you are inspired to come and play along. Just leave a comment here with a link to your card. We can't wait to see what you create! The keyword for uploading on SCS will be DDIC10. Have fun and look for the next challenge in two weeks!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


the newest member of the Divine Divas! Please give a warm welcome to Anne Harmon (aka jdmommy on SCS). I decided to add a new designer to our team so that we could all have even more amazing artistry to admire with each challenge. She will be playing along with us for the first time this week!

As a way of introduction, I asked Anne to answer the "getting-to-know-you" questions the rest of the team had answered back in April. So without further ado, here is the Q&A!

(1) Where is your hometown?
My hometown is Lynn MA, but I really lived the longest in Cincinnati OH. I also lived in Iowa, Missouri, and 2 other places in MA.

(2) Where do you live now (if different)?
I now live in Wayland MA, where I have been for 30 years. It's a small town 25 miles west of Boston. [LR: That means Anne and I are neighbors, sort of! Isn't that cool?]

(3) How long have you been stamping?
I have been stamping for five years. I really had no interest in stamping until my DD invited me to a SU party, and haven't been able to keep a dollar in my wallet since then!

(4) What is your favorite stamping/cardmaking style?
My favorite cardmaking/stamping style is humorous. I love funny stamps and sentiments. I also love a classic style, with beautiful flowers and designs.

(5) What do you find most challenging or difficult when you're making a card?
What I find most difficult or challenging when making a card is gathering papers that blend. I have LOTS of dp and cs, but getting them together into something that pleases me takes me the most time, and is sometimes the most exasperating!

(6) What is your all-time favorite color?
My all-time favorite color is RED, RED, and more RED! My grandmother always loved RED, and wore it for every happy occasion. I guess that's where my love of it comes from!

(7) What is your favorite technique?
My favorite technique is embossing. I love to heat emboss and see the powder turn to liquid and shine! I also love dry embossing, with either a light box and brass plate, or the CB. I think my favorite tool is the machine........I have lots of folders, nesties, and die cuts, and I love to see what happens just by turning that crank!!

(8) What is your favorite embellishment? What do all of your cards have to have?
I guess my favorite embellishment is ribbon. I must have 400 spools of ribbon. I keep it in boxes according to color in a big closet in my craft room, and I'm always adding to it. I just bought two rolls today!! Not all my cards have to have ribbon, but I love to add some sort of embellishment, even when I make a CAS card. My least favorite is using eyelets, although I have hundreds of them!

(9) What do you usually start with when designing a card? The colors, the image, or something else?
When I start designing a card, sometimes I start with an image, and sometimes with a layout idea. At times, I have even been known to start with a special ribbon, and work from there. I guess there is no tried and true formula when making any card, so I try to be flexible. (Boy! Would my DH laugh at that!)

Anne, thanks for sharing a little about you with us - I know we are thrilled that you are joining us and we can't wait to add your creations to our challenges!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Did I go too far?

I definitely did not go the clean and simple route with this card for the Color Throwdown. Once I started working with these colors I kind of got into it and just wanted to keep adding stuff, LOL. Is it too much? ;)

The colors for the challenge threw me at first: black, white, kraft, melon mambo, and crushed curry. Sometimes a challenge really and truly is a challenge - but I hadn't tackled something that I considered difficult in a while and it felt good. I thought these colors wouldn't work with just any stamp set so I chose carefully - Razzle Dazzle is what I ended up with. I used Jen's Sketch for You to Try from yesterday for the layout - I love this image in the big Nesties circle.

I colored the main image with melon, curry and black markers. The flowers are from the Blossom Party die (love this!) with an American Crafts button tied with linen thread. Tip of the day: I was disappointed that we didn't get any In Color buttons, but these (the color is taffy) are a really good match for the melon. The background is embossed with the finial press folder. I stamped a kraft panel with the smallest flower from Razzle Dazzle, and the curry flower in the center of the sentiment (Think Happy Thoughts) also comes from that set - it fits perfectly and ties in with my card better than the flower in the sentiment set. Some wide black grosgrain ribbon helped pull it all together. All in all I guess I played with lots of new stuff on this card - fun, fun!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Not my usual inspiration piece...

As I was checking out the Curiosity Shoppe for this week's SCS inspiration challenge, I found myself drawn to something far from what I would normally pick. It's a book cover. I just loved the colors, and it also brought to mind the Medallion stamp - you know the one - you're seeing it everywhere, right? Well, I haven't inked mine up yet, but this was the perfect time. I am also using something else for the first time: the Naturals cardstock that is, sadly, now retired. My wonderful upline, Nola, gave me this pack as a gift and I can't believe I never broke it open while these were still available.

I interpreted the colors of the inspiration piece a bit loosely in order to use some of the In Colors. On a panel of naturals ivory cardstock I stamped the medallion in soft suede. Then I punched out the center of a bermuda bay medallion and added a vanilla hodgepodge hardware brad (colored with timber brown Stazon) in the center. I filled the empty space on the panel with images from the Charming set, using soft suede and dusty durango in generation stamping - I think I got all the way down to fourth generation! I wanted to have it be quite light. I used a bermuda bay layer and a card base made from the retired Taste of Textiles metallic copper cardstock - something else I never used before it retired! It's too bad we don't have it anymore because it looks amazing with soft suede. To make the card nice and grungy I sponged everything with soft suede.

The sentiment from Short & Sweet is framed by another of the Charming images, then adhered over dusty durango ribbon, turned with the solid side out. The upper left corner seemed to need something in bermuda bay for balance, so I cut out flowers with one of the Birds & Blooms dies, sponged them with soft suede, and used a vanilla brad in the center.

What do you think? I'm not sure how I feel about it... but it was fun using some of my new goodies that hadn't seen ink yet. Hopefully there will be more to come in the next few days!

Let's build some bears!

Okay, y'all, here are my attempts with the new Build-a-Bear products that I've purchased. We'll be making these at the Mommy & Me open house tomorrow.

First off, I made a set of boy and girl "bearthday" cards. (I did cheat... I colored them with Copics. I just don't do a good job at coloring with other markers! The kids will be using crayons or Crayola markers.) We'll use the stamps Beary Best Friends and Beary Nice Wishes, and I'll let the kids pick their stamps and colors. For my cards I paired the girl with bermuda bay DP (the color is off in the photo, sorry) and the boy with pumpkin pie DP from the BAB paper collection in the mini catalog. The layout is basically the most recent SCS sketch challenge, although I needed to add the sentiment.

Next, paper dolls. These were going to be magnetic, but unfortunately it didn't work out so I took myself back to my childhood with more traditional paper dolls. Oh my goodness, when I was a kid paper dolls were one of my most favorite things. I would get the paper doll sets at the store and then after I punched out all the premade clothes I would design my own. I think I still have some of them somewhere!

These were tricky enough that I plan to do a tutorial, but I won't get to that this weekend. For now I'll just highlight the basics. I cut out the bears with the cardboard backing from the DP packs and chocolate chip cardstock, then glued them together. For the clothes I used more cardboard and made templates for all the pieces - you can cut it with the Sizzlits, if you press down quite hard while you're putting it through the machine and then punch the die cut out very carefully. It's not super clean but it works. Then I traced around each template onto the BAB DP. I added little tabs as I outlined the pieces so I could fold them over the dolls. Since the DP pieces weren't die cut they didn't have the dashed accent lines so I drew them in with a chocolate chip marker.

I made my own template for the dolls' stands as well - more to come with the tutorial, I promise! For the faces I taped some black cardstock behind the eye, nose, and mouth openings, cut out a kraft piece for the muzzle and glued it on top of the base, and then cut the tiny mouth piece out of real red and glued it in place. I think they turned out cute! I'll let the kids pick what kind of bears they want to make and let them choose the clothing, colors, patterns, etc. I hope they have a great time. If Ben is any indication it's going to be a hit because I think he's really excited to make these tomorrow!

A Forest Friend

I finally got to stamp today! I'm getting ready for my Mommy & Me Build-a-Bear open house tomorrow. The BAB projects will be coming, but here is the card that the moms can make while the kids are working on their projects.

I wanted to make a card that uses some new products but also keep it fairly simple. For stamps I chose the Forest Friends set, which first appeared in the spring mini catalog and (yay!) carried over into our new main catalog. The Mojo Monday sketch gave me a fun layout to work with. I might have otherwise added more layers but I think this works for a simpler card.

I stamped the tree first, with ruby red on very vanilla cardstock. Then I stamped the bunny in chocolate chip, cut it out, and adhered with dimensionals. To give the illusion of a rectangle behind the tree, I punched two scallop squares and adhered them behind the vanilla panel with only part of each poking out. The DP is crushed curry and ruby red (which is in the current level 1 hostess Patterns Pack). For embellishments I looped a strip of chocolate chip 5/8" grosgrain ribbon behind the center panel, notched the end, and over the ribbon added a ruby red 1" circle, folded in half and secured with a large filigree brad. The sentiment is from the level 3 hostess set called The More the Merrier, and I used the new modern label punch.

I think this is a really sweet friendship card for fall - which is coming whether we like it or not! Now I'm off to work with the BAB products so stay tuned for the projects the kids will be making tomorrow!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bloom for a Great Friend, Part 2

I'm back today to show you the journal I made that goes along with this card. Although I still used the SEI Mimosa paper and the In Bloom stamp set from Papertrey Ink, I did some things a little differently for the journal. This is the larger art journal from SU, which covers with paper very nicely, thanks to the spiral punch.

My Etsy customer requested that I use some embossing, so I embossed the flower and leaves right onto two of the solid Mimosa papers. The chipboard tag (which is SU) was covered with another dot paper, then I embossed the swirl from Baroque Motifs with Ranger polysparkle EP. It's subtle but adds a nice touch over the glittery background papers. I punched a hole in the tag with my Crop-a-Dile, tied some old olive (Elementary Ribbon Originals) ribbon through it, and adhered the flower with pop-up glue dots.

The sentiment from Define Your Life was also requested by my customer. I stamped with dusty durango and layered it behind a Maya Road chipboard oval frame covered with more solid Mimosa paper. I trimmed it down and sanded the edges, then used two layers of pop-up glue dots to adhere it to the cover. It seemed like it needed a bit more something, so I added these teeny little Making Memories adhesive pearls and put three larger pearls up top for balance.

So, how did I do for my first altered journal? I think it turned out quite nicely, and I also think this won't be the last of these that I do. In fact, when I ordered this one I got two extras just in case I wanted to make more. It's been really fun!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge #9

Welcome to our ninth challenge! It seems like we've been away a long time with that extra Thursday in July. I'm excited to be back with a challenge for you this week.

Have you heard of Ten Thousand Villages? I have to give them a little plug because they are associated with the Mennonite church, which is my family's religious background on both sides. Here is their mission statement: "Ten Thousand Villages provides vital, fair income to Third World people by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America. Ten Thousand Villages works with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. This income helps pay for food, education, health care and housing." If you have a store near you, go check it out!

For this week's challenge, from all the great items on the TTV web site, I chose these pretty floral boxes.

I'd picked up the Lemon Drop paper pack from K&Co. a few days ago and wouldn't you know, it's the perfect colors for this challenge. Something else new is the stamps I used. They are my first-ever stamps from My Favorite Things - it's a set called Funky Flowers. The images in this set are so cute, and great for paper piecing, so I chose one flower and vase and pieced it all (even the leaves!) with some of the K&Co. papers. For the layout I decided to go to some of my sketch files and found an old cupcake challenge from Taylored Expressions that was perfect.

I kept this card pretty simple, in line with the inspiration piece. I used riding hood red for my layers and another panel of DP for the background. Over that I put a wild wasabi panel with three vintage white buttons threaded with embroidery floss and layered on 3/4" punched DP circles. The sentiment is from the retired mini note kit called Birthdays Count. I hope this would be a fun and cheery card that anyone would love for their birthday!

Be sure to check out the cards made by all the Divine Divas for this challenge!






Hope you are inspired to come and play along. Just leave a comment here with a link to your card. We can't wait to see what you create! The keyword for uploading on SCS will be DDIC9. Have fun and look for the next challenge on August 20!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bloom for a Great Friend

Wow, I guess it's been a few days... I have a lot on my plate from now until mid-August so my apologies in advance if I'm not around much. It's one of those times when some things I'd rather be doing (like making cards!) have to be set aside.

I did need to make a couple cards this week, though. This one is for an Etsy customer - I'll be making an altered journal to go with it (my first!) as soon as the journal arrives from SU. So I'll have that to show you in a few days. For now here is the card, which also uses today's sketch challenge.

My customer had chosen this paper (SEI's Mimosa) so I knew I was working with that. I started out making the background and the circle, using crushed curry for the card base and dusty durango for the layers. Next I had to decide what image(s) to use. Although I liked the curry and durango cardstock with these papers, the inks didn't look quite right, so I decided to use Copics with this flower from Papertrey Ink's In Bloom set.

I stamped with Memento tuxedo black and then sat down with my Copics to try to match colors to the papers... If anyone has run across any tips for getting your Copics to match patterned paper, could you pass them along to me? ;) It wasn't easy, and in the end the flower and leaves turned out darker than I wanted. But I hope it works OK. I cut out the flower with the paper tole technique, which is really easy with this image and looks so cool. Since I had a little glitter on one of my papers, I added some Sakura glitter pen to the images.

The sentiment was also requested by my customer - I stamped it in dusty durango, cut it out, and mounted on dimensionals. Then I just had to decide what embellishments to use. Again, I tried a few things but ended up with this old olive ribbon from the Elementary Ribbon Originals and a Bo Bunny brad. Tip of the day: Using your craft & rubber scissors you can cut off the back of a brad and then just attach it with a glue dot. No need to puncture your ribbon! Isn't that a great tip? I wish I could remember where I read it!

Well, I'm off to work on my second (and probably last) card of the week: my sample for tomorrow's Divine Diva Inspiration Challenge. We've had a couple weeks off so I'm excited to have a challenge for you in the morning! Hope you'll come back then, and thanks for stopping by!