January 26, 2012

On the Horizon

Dear Reader,

Something exciting is happening around these parts.  For the next couple months or so, I will be very busy.  For a peek, please check out this:


I will keep you posted.


January 19, 2012

Shimmer: Clean & Simple Card Making Class Days 3 & 5

Dear Reader,

It has been too long since I was creating in my studio (a week).  In fact there was a mess of stamps to clean from my last session before I could create in my square foot space among the clutter of supplies.  I have found that even though I am a mess, I can use my mess to my advantage at times.  I often will use what is about me--leftover paper, stamps, inks and even packaging at times. 

Having said that my studio isn't entirely a den of chaos.  There is order underlying the seeming disaster.  I have categorized and placed my products and tools in certain zones, but my tables always seem to be covered with stamps, papers and the like.  I like having my main tools at hand.  As my tables dominate the room, I have to keep apologizing for how it looks to family and friends.  My mom is especially critical of my studio as her sewing room is an example of organized crafting.  I do love the look of an extremely organized art space, I just don't create well within it. 

What about you?  Does order constrain or free you to create?  Do you like a balance of both?

Anyway, back to last night's creating.  I wanted to create some more cards for the Clean & Simple Card  Making class.  This time I made a card using Jennifer McGuire's lessons from Day 3 and Day 5. 

For Day 3 I chose to go with a simple die cut shape from Papertrey Ink called Friendly Flower.  I cut out numerous flowers from white cardstock to be used as layering under the top flower (I used four under each blue flower).  I had an idea of embossing the top dies to give them texture and further interest.  The blue paper I used was actually paper I had created using some shimmery blue acrylic paint several years ago and was just sitting in my stash waiting to be used.  I thought the shimmer along with brush strokes would add interest to this simple card.  The sentiment is a favorite of mine from Hero Arts' Friends are Treasures set.  I simply embossed that with white embossing powder and added a few pearls to set it off.

Another view with a pretty good representation of the color:

I think you can see some of the shimmer here and the dimension (you can also see the subtle zig zag impression under the script embossing):

For Day 5 I did a loose interpretation of Jennifer McGuire's watercolor blocking technique as I was inspired by heart ornaments we have hanging off our chandelier that we bought from Victorian Trading Company.  They have an ombred background with white glittered silhouettes over it. 

Here is the inspiration (picture from Victorian Trading Company):

The card:

I stamped the silhouette (Silhouette Women by Hero Arts) with Versamark ink onto watercolor paper.  I thought I would try using a sparkly embossing powder with a touch of white to get a glitter effect, but I am not thrilled with the coverage.  I later added some glitter over the women. In the future I would probably just emboss in white and add the glitter by using a glue pad over the embossed image.  After embossing, I painted bands of color from lightest to darkest (spun sugar, tattered rose, worn lipstick and fired brick) using Tim Holtz Distress Ink.  I smudged the ink directly onto my craft sheet, sprayed a little water and then one spritz of Studio Calico Mister Huey's Calico Shine onto the ink and painted it on.  I edged the watercolor paper panel and matted it on a little black and added the pearl corners.

This picture is closer to the colors on the actual card, but still a bit off:

Showing some of the shimmer and glitter:

Thank you for stopping by!

Happy creating,

{best wishes birthday card}
stamp: Friends are Treasures (CG277), Hero Arts
ink: Versamark, Tsukineko
embossing powder: opaque white, Judi Kins
cardstock: white, Georgia Pacific
die: friendly flower, Papertrey Ink
embossing folders/plates: script, cuttlebug by Provo Craft; Halloween letterpress printing plate, Lifestyle Crafts
other: denim pearls, Kaisercraft; acrylic paint; cuttlebug, Provo Craft

{ombre women card}
stamp: silhouette women (CG278), Hero Arts
ink: fired brick, worn lipstick, tattered rose and spun sugar, Tim Holtz Distress Ink by Ranger; Versamark, Tsukineko
embossing powder: polysparkle, Ranger; opaque white, Judi Kins
watercolor paper: cold press, Strathmore
cardstock: white, Georgia Pacific; black from stash
spray: calico shine, Mister Huey's Color Mist by Studio Calico
other: crystal fine glitter, Martha Stewart Crafts; pearls, The Paper Studio

January 18, 2012

Bohemian Flower

Dear Reader,

For a college friend of mine I wanted to make a card with a gypsy or bohemian feel for her birthday.  I was also taken with coloring and playing around with Hero Arts' Stencil Flower (CG194).  I love this stamp and I keep on buying flowers similar to it so I can do paper piecing + coloring with them like I did for this card.  

I usually cut up the flower into two parts for added interest and dimension. The top part of the flower I chose a more muted part of the paper and then I stamped over this section with the Old Letter (CG197) stamp using a mix of inks for variegated coloration.  I edged the entire flower with marker to make it really pop and colored in parts with my Copic markers.  The top layer of the card is then attached to the bottom using dimensional adhesive.  The leaves are actually digital images of felt feathers from Kitschy Digitals (all of her designs can be found at http://www.jessicasprague.com/) that I printed out and cut out.

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy creating,

{bohemian birthday card}
stamps: stencil flower (CG194), old letter (CG197), Hero Arts; fillable frames #9, Papertrey Ink
ink: tuxedo black, Momento by Tsukineko; lemon drops, chicken feed and chili powder, Jenni Bowlin for Ranger
patterned paper: purple from Green at Heart, Basic Grey; yellow paper, Glitz Design (I believe)
markers: Copic; soft black, Memory Markers by American Crafts
die: tiny tags, Papertrey Ink
punch: Martha Stewart
leaves: pretty felt feathers, Kitschy Digitals
other: ribbon from stash; embroidery floss, DMC; dimensional foam tape; crop-a-dile corner chomper, We R Memory Keepers; cuttlebug, Provo Craft

January 17, 2012

Big Bright 18th Birthday

Dear Reader,

A while back I took Basic Grey card classes from a local scrapbook store that is now sadly closed.  I would rarely finish the cards, but they were a way for me to have a jump start for future cards.  One such card I started became a 18th birthday card for a cousin of mine (I have a few).  The Basic Grey line is the very bright, punchy Green at Heart released some time back. 

I paired the bright colors with the equally happy white.  I am a great lover of white either as a cheerful neutral or even as an excellent juxtaposition to bold color like I did with this card.   I added the die cut 1 and 8 from Papertrey Ink's By the Numbers Collection which is perfect for celebrating milestone birthdays and I will have a couple more examples of cards made with those dies in the future.  The flower stamp is from Hello, Friend and I die cut it with its matching Friendly Flower die.  I wanted just a little more interest so I die cut a button using Buttoned Up #1 and then stamped a coordinating button from Button Boutique which I sewed onto the flower using my old friend, embroidery floss.  For some more white around the edges of the card I sanded the edges of the paper to reveal the white core.  The sentiment from Big Birthday Wishes was designed to work well with the By the Numbers Collection.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy creating,

{bright 18 birthday card}
stamps: big birthday wishes, button boutique and hello, friend, Papertrey Ink
ink: bubble gum, lemon drops and chicken feed, Jenni Bowlin for Ranger; purely pomegranate, Stampin' Up!
cardstock: white, Georgia Pacific
patterned paper: Green at Heart collection, Basic Grey
die: buttoned up #1 and friendly flower, Papertrey Ink
stickers: Green at Heart collection, Basic Grey
other: embroidery floss, DMC; cuttlebug, Provo Craft; crop-a-dile corner chomper, We R Memory Keepers; foam dimensional tape

January 16, 2012

Cleaning Up the Blog

Dear Reader,

Sometimes a blog needs a little facelift and I decided my blog needed to feel clean and fresh right now as though it is ready for anything.  I streamlined the header and changed the colors.  My blog will probably be going through another overhaul in the next few months, but for the meantime this is it.

I also wanted to express my gratitude to you for coming here.  Whether you stop by to peruse and move on or you stay and chat a little, I appreciate you!

If you want to share what you think of the change, I would love to hear from you.

Have a brilliantly creative day,


January 12, 2012

Ladies with Sass

Dear Reader,

I have a card to share with you today.  It is a snappy little number with a matching envelope. I made this birthday card for my college aged cousin so I wanted something fun, a bit funky, but with a fashion theme.  I went with the Make Your Own stamp by Hero Arts and used up a lot of strips of scraps I had on hand of bright and fresh patterned paper to create a background and also to paper piece the ladies' dresses.  The button image is a stamp from Button Boutique by Papertrey Ink.

Norma Desmond time (every time I think close up I see that scene: "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."):


Last year, when time permitted I would try to create matching envelopes for my cards as I love that something extra a decorated envelope gives. 

Do you have a stack of paper (as in a giant pad of patterned paper) that you bought several years ago and at a loss as to what to do with it as the paper is pretty light weight and the designs are so last decade?  I have several pads of paper that I wanted to figure out how to use (if I were sane I would have passed these papers on to a new home some time ago, but in my delusions I believe I can turn lemons into lemonade) and this is what I do: make the papers into custom envelopes using templates my mom bought me from QVC many years ago.  I place the pattern inside the envelope and decorate the white outside as I like (usually with Label Basics and Postmarks stamp sets by Papertrey Ink).

Matching Envelope:

Inside envelope:

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy creating,

{ladies with sass birthday card}

stamps: make your own (CG175), Hero Arts; button boutique and fillable frames #1 (inside card), Papertrey Ink
ink: fountain pen, Jenni Bowlin for Ranger; broken china and black soot, Tim Holtz Distress Ink by Ranger
cardstock: white, Georgia Pacific
patterned paper: all scraps from an old Scarlet Lime kit
die: buttoned up #1, Papertrey Ink
other: scallop black border, Carolee's Creations Adornit; crop-a-dile corner chomper, We R Memory Keepers; embroidery floss, DMC; cuttlebug, Provo Craft

{matching envelope}
stamps: label basics and postmarks, Papertrey Ink; simply handmade (CL429), Hero Arts
ink: chili powder and fountain pen, Jenni Bowlin for Ranger; broken china and black soot, Tim Holtz Distress Ink by Ranger
patterned paper: DCWV
envelope template: Kreate-a-lope by Green Sneakers Incorporated

January 11, 2012

Clean & Simple Card Making: Lessons 1 & 2

Dear Reader,

I am currently enrolled in the Clean & Simple Card Making class at Online Card Classes.  Last night when I should have been going to sleep (in fact I put the dogs to bed and they happily slept without me), I went into the studio to catch up on the videos for the class and try my hand at the lessons.  I was really inspired by Julie Ebersole's (I really loved her video and I hope she does more videos in which she talks as she has such great energy and an infectious laugh) one layer cards so I tried my hand at that first.

This card should have been a breeze and once I figured out exactly what I wanted to do, it was.  With full disclosure, I ended up making it 3 times.  The first time I used too heavy of a hand with the background and hearts.  The second time it turned out well with a simpler background and only one heart, but I didn't like the size of the card.  The last time was the charm.

I wanted to create a Valentine's card with the cute plane from Bon Voyage by Lawn Fawn and have a banner sign being pulled by it with a customized sentiment.  I love all of the abcs by Lawn Fawn as they are designed to make it easy to stamp any word or sentiment you desire.  I wanted to stamp "sending" so I used my Smitty's ABCs and paired that with the sweet "love" from Sophie's Sentiments (suggestion: if you are new to Lawn Fawn start with Sophie's Sentiments along with whatever other stamp sets catch your fancy) and then added a little heart from Cruising Through Life in red for a little interest and drama (in the future I may fill in the heart with stickles or just a marker or emboss it, but I wanted this card to be a simple stamp and ink card).  The banner is a two sided ribbon banner from Bannerific, but I wanted one side to be plain so I simply removed the ink from one edge of the inked up stamp and once stamped filled in the area with a marker as I wanted it and added the attachment to the plane.  I stamped the banner and plane first, then masked them off before stamping the cloud background.  Lastly, I rounded the bottom right corner.

The second card I made uses one of the simple sketches by Kristina Werner.  I needed a masculine birthday card so I grabbed my Oxford 6x6 patterned paper pad by Basic Grey.  Stuck in there was a strip of the claret colored paper I had left over from a previous card so that was my jumping off point.  I began with a white card and stamped the Dash Pattern background stamp by Basic Grey/Hero Arts, but after adding the plaid strip of paper over the claret the white wasn't right so I colored all the white cardstock using my Antique Linen Distress Ink.  As my card is for a relative that has an interest in cars I used the vintage car from the Going stamp set by Hero Arts on a circle cut using a Spellbinders' die and also decided to also use the "to arrow" image in the set for further interest and to begin a sentiment.  I embossed the "to arrow" stamp and filled in the unembossed section with Shabby Shutters Distress Ink with white embossing powder, but since I changed the color scheme away from bright white I colored over the white embossed image with some Copic markers.  Usually I would have used some dimensional adhesive on a card, but I wanted to go away from my usual modus operandi (can you tell I have been reading some mystery novels?) on this card.  I added a "u" sticker from Studio Calico and rounded the bottom corners of the card.

Thanks for stopping by! 

Happy creating,

{sending love card}
stamps: (sending)smitty's abcs, (plane&cloud)bon voyage, (heart)cruising through life, (love)sophie's sentiments; banner(bannerific), Lawn Fawn
ink: tuxedo black, Memento; soap powder & cough syrup, Jenni Bowlin for Ranger
cardstock: white, Georgia Pacific
marker: soft black memory marker, American Crafts
other: crop-a-dile corner chomper, We R Memory Keepers

{to u card}
stamps: (to arrow&car)going, Hero Arts; dash pattern, Basic Grey/Hero Arts
ink: tuxedo black, Memento; shabby shutter, antique linen & black soot, Tim Holtz Distress Ink by Ranger; weather vane, Jenni Bowlin for Ranger; versamark, Tsukineko
embossing powder: opaque white, Judi Kins
cardstock: white, Georgia Pacific
patterned paper: oxford 6x6 paper pad, Basic Grey
markers: Copic
die: from nesties classic & standard circles nestabilities set, Spellbinders
stickers: u from documentary collection alphabet stickers, Studio Calico
other: crop-a-dile corner chomper, We R Memory Keepers; cuttlebug, Provo Craft

January 9, 2012

For Some Boys

Dear Reader,

I am amazed by the bevy of sensational cards found on the Lawn Fawn CHA Challenge.  I hadn't a prayer of winning, but it was such a great experience and well worth it to see all the talent out there.  If you want to see some awesome Lawn Fawn stamping in action check in out.  For the winners check them out HERE.

I thought I would share a couple of older cards with you.  One was a get well for a little cousin who got his tonsils out a while back using Admit One (and Sophie's Sentiments inside).  I used some older paper from the Get Happy collection by Cosmo Cricket that is great for boys and men.  I made the ticket paper (look familiar?) that was right behind the Ferris wheel.

Get Well Soon:


The Congrats card was for yet another cousin who had a Bar Mitzvah in August.  The background was paper I created using stamps from the Daily Junque collection by House of 3 produced by Pink Paislee that I then watercolored over using Caran d'Ache watercolor crayons that my friend Liz Allen introduced to me and bought me for my birthday a couple years back.  They are extremely fun to play with.



The "CONGRATS" letters for the Bar Mitzvah card are Signature Alpha by Kitty Designs, but they remind me a little of Quinn's ABCs which I love yet haven't bought yet.  I spelled out the word using the letters in Microsoft Word and then printed it out on Neenah cardstock so I could color them in later with Copic markers (inside I used an old, but still good alphabet stamp set from Fontwerks...I wonder whatever became of that company?).  The Star of David is by DeNami Designs from way back when and it is still one I use...good design never goes out of style, right?

Thanks for stopping by and have a joy-filled evening.

Happy creating,

{Get Well Soon card}
Stamps: Admit One and Sophie's Sentiments, Lawn Fawn
Ink: tuxedo black, Memento; shabby shutters and peeled paint, Tim Holtz Distress Inks for Ranger
Cardstock: Neenah Papers
Patterned Paper; Take Five from Get Happy collection, Cosmo Cricket
Markers: Copic
Other: baker's twine, Divine Twine

{Congrats card}
Digital: signature alpha, Kitty Designs
Stamps: Daily Junque, House of 3/Pink Paislee; Star of David, DeNami Designs; George alphabet, Fontwerks
Ink: tuxedo black, Memento; seed packet, Jenni Bowlin for Ranger; chipped sapphire, Tim Holtz Distress Ink by Ranger
Cardstock: Neenah Papers; either Belgium blue or ocean blue, DoubleMates by WorldWin Papers
Markers: Copic
Water Color crayons: Caran d'Ache
Other: baker's twin, Divine Twine; crop-a-dile corner chomper, We R Memory Keepers

January 5, 2012

Lawn Fawn CHA Challenge: Admit One

Dear Reader,

I hope you are enjoying the best year yet!  I am optimistic that 2012 will be a great year full of new beginnings and adventures.

Over at Lawn Fawn they issued a challenge that I could not pass up HERE.  Since I only own one of the stamp sets they wish to showcase I spent last night coming up with several cards using Admit One.  There was one little caveat that no patterned paper could be used.  No problem!  I went ahead and did something I love and created patterned paper with the stamps.  I used Admit One almost exclusively on these cards with two exceptions: the clouds are from Bon Voyage and the little heart is from Cruising Through Life.  I think I only left a single image untouched, but had I had a little more time I would have worked that in too.  I hope you enjoy the cards and see how fun and versatile this stamp set is.

You're Sweet (I think I am partial to this card because of how bright and happy it is):

The close up (on my table, which is admittedly a mess, was the backing paper the glue dots come on--aka trash.  I used this strip before on a card and thought it would be just right to make the You're Sweet Award Ribbon sentiment pop off the vibrant background.  I edged the strip with black embroidery floss.):

Admit One (this is a dreamy little number.  How sweet is the carousel image?):

The close up (my second attempt of the carousel as the first I edged with a black Copic marker and it bled a lot...too bad as this was the most time consuming part of the whole lot of cards!):

You Make My World Go Round (adorable love sentiment!  Put me right in the mood for Valentine's and I had to add the pretty little heart from Crusing Through Life.):

 The close up (perhaps you can see the shimmer a bit here on the ticket paper I made):

Enjoy The Ride (I really wanted to showcase the balloons and I love the clouds from Bon Voyage so I thought it would be a great backdrop to the balloon cluster.  The clouds are embossed with white embossing powder.  I stamped the balloons before I embossed the clouds for placement of the ticket balloons later.) 

The close up (notice the pattern on the balloons? Yes, I used some of my ticket paper here too):

Happy and bright creating,


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