Sunday, December 28, 2008

Yearning For Adventure

I finally had a chance to stamp! Since I started working again I have not finished a card! Everything I have been posting was done before Thanksgiving. So once the clutter of Christmas was cleared away, I finally had a chance to sit down and get back to work on my art! It was sort of hard to get back into the groove. I spent most of Saturday just puttering around in my craft room, trying to get inspired. I still have a lot of Christmas DSP and stamps that I didn't get time to use so it was hard letting go of the Christmas theme. I sort of wanted to start on Valentine's Day cards, but decided to put that off for a bit. I finally settled on something with flowers that would be a background for a Rubbernecker sentiment stamp that I have been wanting to use. I've had this one and a few others from Rubbernecker for at least six months and none of them have seen ink yet!

With all the layers and stitching, this card took me about 10 hours to make. It is finished off completely on the inside. I wanted to make something slightly vintage but not distressed. I finally decided to use last year's SU DSP LeJardin. I really love that paper pack and have a brand new unopened pack of it squirreled away! The base of the card is a 5.5" square of Bashful Blue. The next panel up is Very Vanilla with the edges sponged with Creamy Caramel. To add interest and texture to the DSP, I clear embossed one side with a harliquin stamp from Hero Arts and the other side is stamped in More Mustard and clear embossed with the Script BG stamp from SU. The edges were again sponged with Creamy Caramel and machine stitched to the Very Vanilla layer. The main image is the flower from The Art of Life set with Bashful Blue and Always Artichoke inks. I traced over the stamped image with my Versamark pen and clear embossed the image also. The edges of both layers were also sponged with Creamy Caramel and this layer was popped up on craft foam. The sentiment was stamped in Always Artichoke and the flower image stamped across it after being stamped off once. Both sentiment panels were cut with the Nestabilities Long Rectangles. The ribbon is from last year's SU collection. The filagree in the top corners was cut with the Cuttlebug Floral Borders die, inked with Always Artichoke and clear embossed. The antique looking daisy "brads" are actually the front of old earings I picked up recently at an antique store. I pried the backs off and glued them to the ribbon. The colors match the So Saffron in the DSP perfectly and add a nice retro touch. The inside was finished off with a combination of the same stamps, inks and papers I used for the front panels. I really love the way this card came out. I think it has a slightly country French feel to it. The soft, subtle colors of the LeJardin paper pack are so soothing to me and I think the card has a nice "artsy" look to it. Hope you enjoyed looking at this card.

A Quiet Christmas

I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas. My family had a very quiet, cozy Christmas. Both of my children were working so we were not able to go out of town to be with our extended family so the four of us spent the holiday "alone". But we weren't really alone because we had each other. Neither of the kids were working on Christmas Eve or Christmas day so they hung around the house with my husband and me. We spent some time watching videos together and enjoying the special holiday treats I always make. We went to Mass on Christmas morning and then came home and opened our gifts. We really cut back this year and each of us only had one or two gifts. I think it made us more appreciative of the real meaning of Christmas. I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas as much as I did!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Season of Peace

For my last post before Christmas I wanted to do something that would depict the spirit of love and harmony. I think this image is so beautiful. I have used it several times this season. I really enjoy watercoloring it and this time I heavily sponged the edges so there seems to be a glow around the image. I stamped the image onto 140# watercolor paper using Superior India Ink Black. The lion was watercolored using SU classic pads Close to Cocoa, Creamy Carmel and More Mustard. No color was added to the lamb. Then the image was cut using the Classic Square Nestabilities. The edges were sponged using a graduated approach - the first color that I sponged in the farthest was Creamy Carmel. Then I sponged again with Close to Cocoa, but not as deep into the block. Then sponged a final time with a little Tim Holtz Vintage Photo ink and then the square was mounted on a larger square of Baroque Burgundy. That is a retired SU color that I really like and still have a couple of sheets in my stash. The card stock that appears to be light greeen is actually River Rock. The ink used for the sentimnt is Versamark and Wild Wasabi embossed with clear EP. It was cut out with a Spellbinders tag die. The medallions are a Cuttlebug embossing folder from the Fancy Corners set. I brayered the high spots with Wild Wasabi and then cut them out. The DSP is last year's SU Holiday Harmony collection.

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas with enough to eat, a few gifts and the warm, wonderful community of family and friends to celebrate our Savior's birth. May we all work for peace by sharing God's bounty, an unearned gift, with all of humanity.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Collage

Here's another of my vintage-style collage cards. It was so much fun to make and I love the way it turned out. Now if I can just remember all the elements that went into making this card. I started by looking through all my vintage style stamps and all the ones I had borrowed for the season. The first thing I do when I make a collage card is to make the different elements. I stamped using Versamark and gold detail EP. I first made a tag of the boy building a snowman using the retired SU set Sweet Seasons. The tag was cut with a Nestabilities tag die set (don't remember what is is called since the original packaging is long gone). I stamped the Santa from Old Fashioned Christmas and cut with a scalloped square Nestie. Then I stamped Joy from the Joy set and cut it out. All three pieces were sponged with Creamy Caramel to age them. The JOY piece was also distressed using scissors and the edges sponged with Chocolate Chip ink. The piece of ephemra you can see in the backgorund is a mini post card stamp from Club Scrap that was embossed in red and heavily sponged with Creamy Caramel. The card is mounted on a shell of brushed gold followed by a layer of Riding Hood Red textured cardstock. The top layer of DSP is from last Christmas' Cosmo Cricket Be Good series DPS. I love it and am still hording one full sheet! I also punched a reinforcement for the tag out of the Riding Hood Red cardstock and added a red gingham ribbon from Jo-Ann's to the tag.

There is a double row of machine stitching using gold thread around the border of the DSP. The red flower was created using the Riding Hood Red textured cardstock cut with the CB Flowers die. I cut two, dampened them with a sprinkle or two of water and shaped the petals to curve upward and then layered them. The two leaves were punched with a Martha Stewart punch and three tiny topaz rhinestones were added. I don't have one large solid star die so the star was cut with the CB Concentric Stars die. I mounted the whole piece of chipboard on a piece of cardstock to keep them from separating and then embossed with the Egyptian Gold EP from Judi-Kins, punched holes, threaded with gold cord and wrapped the cord back around the opposing corner. The inside of the card is also finished off with multiple layers, DSP, gold stitching and a lovely little angel from the SU Yultide Montage set.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Postcard Santa

I borrowed this vintage set (Up on the Housetop) from a friend and just love it. I have been trying to build up my collection of vintage style stamps so I looked for it on eBay. It's very rare and I saw one listed last week for $76 Buy it Now!! I am happy I have a friend to doesn't mind lending out her stamps because I am definitely going to borrow it again next Christmas.

I first made the "postcard" using the stamp from the retired Vintage Postcard set and then stamped Santa and his reindeer with Bravo Burgundy on a piece of Very Vanilla. The cancellation mark is from Office Ephemera. I cut the edges of the postcard with a deckle cut scissors and sponged the edge with Creamy Caramel. Humm, now that I have made this beautiful little ephemra gem, what to do with it? I pulled out a piece of Cosmo Cricket Oh Joy collection which Ithought would be perfect. I love this season's Cosmo Cricket Oh Joy collection. I bought a bunch of it on line and alas, I haven't had time to make many Christmas cards so most of it is still sitting in my stash unused.

I built this card on a shell of Very Vanilla and sponged the edges (of this layer and all others) with Creamy Carmel. The next layer up is Wild Wassabi topped with another layer of Very Vanilla and then the Cosmo Cricket paper. I used the basic scalloped square die that comes with the Cuttlebug to cut three postage stamp type squares, stamped a snowflake from The Snowflake Spot on all three and again sponged the edges with Creamy Caramel. I cut SANTA from the Oliva CB alphabet. When cutting "chipboard" with my CB dies, I usually use a thin cardboard - the kind that comes in DSP packs - cutting two pieces of each and gluing them together. That way I can make nice chunky chipboard with my CB dies (which don't cut the thick chipboard very well).

The ornaments in the upper left were stamped and embossed using another retired SU set Joy. I dyed a flower from the Pretties kit with Bravo Burgundy ink. Then I took a piece of Christmas ribbon, smeared both the flower and the bow with Versamark and sprinkled them with Judi-Kins Egyptian Gold EP and ran the heat gun lightly over them (didn't want to melt the flower or ribbon!). I layered and glued them together and topped them off with a clear rhinestone. I tied the ornaments with a bit of gold cord.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Poinsettia & Pearls

I really wanted a large poinsettia stamp this year - one that would fill the whole front of a card. I finally found a beautiful set called Poinsetta and Boxwood by Flourishes and made this card. I had intended to do another in the traditional red for the poinsettia, but time is running out! Oh well, there's always next year.

For this card, I gold embossed the main image three times on 140# watercolor paper, and lightly watercolored it with my SU Classic ink pads with much watered Rose Red and Certainly Celery. I cut out each individual leaf and built up the flower, layer by layer. The paper directly under the poinsettia is last year's Rose Red DSP that I stamped with the retired Filagree stamp and embossed with Judi-Kins Egyptian Gold EP, which I absolutely LOVE. It is so sparkly. The hardware on the corners is thin chipboard cut with the CB Ornamental die and also embossed with the Egyptian Gold EP. The hearts are plastic buttons that I snipped the shanks off and glued on. The green DSP is last year's SU Wintergreen paper.

I made this card into a photo card by finishing off the inside panel with a blank center where either photo or a personal note can be added. The right side of the panel was left open and I made another photo card that can be slid in between the two layers. Then I made a separate photo card that could just be slipped inside the card before inserting into the envelope. So basically, three photos could be contained in this micro-scrapbook.

I used the Filagree stamp to emboss with Egyptian gold on vellum and punched it out with the SU corner punch. All the machine stitching is in gold thread. The zig zag edges are done with a Martha Stewart punch.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gingerbread Christmas

This card turned out a little bit differently than I anticipated. I knew I wanted to make a card with the Rubbernecker stamp Reindeer's Flight. I had picked up some beautiful wintry looking DSP while traveling on vacation last summer. It is made by and I thought it match perfectly with last year's SU In Color Soft Sky. I stamped the Reindeer's Flight stamp once on 140# watercolor paper and then stamped it again on a scrap of the same paper. The second stamping was done with India Ink Black by Superior and Versamark, then embossed with clear EP to raise the outlines. I watercolored it with my SU Classic pads and carefully cut it out. The main panel was cut with my Square Nestabilities and a color wash of Soft Sky was applied. I also went over some of the ripples of color on the backgrounds with my mixture of Simple Solutions #2 and LuminArte Metallic Mica Luster Pearl to give a shimmery cloud effect (doesn't show up well in the photo). Then I popped up the cut out with craft foam. Two scalloped squares were cut with Nestabilities, one in Soft Sky and the other in Bravo Burgundy. The edges of the main panel and the Soft Sky scalloped square were sponged with Creamy Caramel for a vintage look. Then I took my Versamark pen and outlined the edges of the Bravo Burgundy panel with Versamark and embossed it with SU Winter White EP. The idea was to make it look a little frosty, but it ended up a little blotchy and grainy looking. I contemplated chucking the panel, but decided it looked like the white frosting on a gingerbread house and that I really liked the effect. So it stayed...
The card was built on a shell of Whisper White followed by a layer of Soft Sky sponged with Creamy Carmel. Next up was Bravo Burgundy (embossed with The Snowflake Spot and Winter White EP) with machine stitching in light blue to match the Soft Sky. The next layer was the yummy Kaiser Craft DSP with a zig zag stitch to lend a country feel. To add to the country feel, the corners were punched out of a piece of Whisper White that I embossed with the CB Snowflake embossing folder. Then I heat embossed over the dry embossing with white EP. I thought it resembled stamped tin that is such a country staple. A country style heart was cut from chipboard with a Cuttlebug die. I rubbed the heart into my Bravo Burgundy pad and then into the Versamark pad and heat embossed it with clear EB and then embossed the top edges with the Winter White EP and tied a scrap of rick rack around it.
The whole thing was topped off with a bow of Soft Sky double stitched ribbon, a flower from the Pretties Kit, an SU button and a piece of crochet thread.
A pretty intriate card, but one that was heaps of fun to make!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Glad Tidings

Not too much funk and junk on this card. It's a clean, classic look for a Christmas card with non-traditional Christmas colors. The shell is SU's Rose Red then two layers of Chocolate Chip with Brushed Gold in between. The paper for the top panel is last year's SU Rose Red DSP, corner punched with a Fiskars corner punch. The angel is from the old SU Angelic set and is embossed in gold. The two small poinsettias (from Flourishes' Poinsetta and Boxwood set) are stamped on watercolor paper, embossed in gold and watercolored with my SU classic pad. The gold flourish is cut with the Quickutz Flourish die set and embossed with Judi-kins Egyptian Gold EP.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa's R & R

Whoo hoo, this one tickled me! I had so much fun making it and thinking of Santa's sweet little vacation at the beach after the stress of the Christmas season. Notice that I gave him a bit of a tanned belly and a belly jewel! But I don't think he used enough sun screen because his nose and bald head is lookin' a little sunburned.

This card is built on a shell of Tempting Turquoise and then a layer of last summer's Basic Grey Euphoria designer paper. I went around the edge of the BG paper with Stickles for a little bling. Then I embossed a layer of Pretty in Pink with the D'vine Swirl CB embossing folder, topped with another layer in Rose Red. The top layer is watercolor paper. Each double layer was machine stitched. I stamped Santa and the palm tree once with my stamps inked once with Versamark and then inked with Basic Black. With that combination, I clear embossed the images. Then I stamped them both again on scraps, watercolored them, cut them out and layered them on top of the previously stamped images. They were each popped up with craft foam. I freehand watercolored the beach and the ocean and applied a bit of Stickles to the crests of the waves for sparkle. Santa's beard and the puffy clouds are liquid applique. I painted the entire palm tree with a mixture of Simple Solutions Solution #2 Medium and a small amout of LuminArte Metallic Mica Luster Pearl. When it dried, it gave the tree a nice shimmer. I also used some Crystal Effects on the bulbs of the Christmas lights strung on the palm tree. The Warm Wishes sentiment was clear embossed having been inked with Versamark and Tempting Turquoise classic ink. I notched the edges of the "sign" to make it resemble a bamboo sign that you often see at the beach. Then I painted the whole sign with more of the LuminArte Metallic solution and then went around the edges with Stickles. The stocking and contents were also watercolored with my SU classic pads and painted with the LuminArte Metallic solution. The hanger is just a bit of brass colored wire that I coiled around a round toothpick to make the coil.

Here's to wishing Santa a relaxing R&R on South Beach!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fall Wildflowers

Here’s the last autumn card I am going to post. Tomorrow's post will be another Christmas card. This card is highly distressed, but I wouldn’t really call it a collage card because it only has two main elements, rather than numerous elements bunched and layered. It is highly distressed because I needed to relieve my frustration the day I made it. It was a Saturday after I watched my Florida Gators lose by one miserable point to Old Miss. We were supposed to go all the way – at least in the SEC! So I retired to my “studio” and went to town with the distressing tool and sponge!

The card is mounted in a shell of More Mustard, followed by distressed layers of Garden Green and Really Rust. I used ColorBox Fluid Chalk pads to stamp the image in the upper left corner as well as the golden rod you can see peeking out on the right side. The Really Rust panel was embossed with the CB Diamonds in the Rough folder and was sponged with more of the chalk pads. I used a small rectangle of last year’s SU Outlaw DSP, distressed of course, and layered vellum that I embossed with Really Rust classic ink.

I do a lot of my embossing using a Versamark pad plus a colored classic ink pad and then clear embossing powder. I ink the stamp with Versamark, ink again with colored classic (dye) ink, stamp the image and clear emboss. That allows me to emboss with a color without using colored EP or craft ink. The “grateful” sentiment was stamped with the same process. The main image is the old retired Seasonal Sprays set from SU and is embossed with copper EP. The copper hardware corners are made with the Cuttlebug Vintage dies. It’s the square one, cut in half and embossed with copper EP. All in all, I was happy with this little stress-reliever card!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

B is for Blessings

Another autumn collage card before I start posting Christmas themed cards. This was another one that was so much fun and so satisfying to do. There really is something with the vintage genre that soothes my soul. For my collage cards, I start out with a designer paper or a color scheme and then start reviewing my stamps and my embellishments to see what will work. Sometimes I have lots of elements and move them around to get an idea of whether or not they will fit. Sometimes I have made a piece of ephemera that I love, only to find out that it really doesn't fit the design that is evolving. No worries! I just set the element aside to be considered for a future work. Right now, in my stash I have a lovely gold embossed angel panel waiting for the right canvas.

For this card, I started with a 5.5 x 5.5" base panel of Close to Cocoa. The next panel up was Appricot Appeal embossed with the Cuttlebug Textiles embossing folder. I distressed and sponged the edges with Close to Cocoa plus I sponged some of the high points of the embossed design with Close to Cocoa. The next layer is Melissa Frances DSP that I distressed with scissors rather than a distressing tool to give more of a torn edge effect. Again, I sponged it with ink - this time Chocolate Chip. The DSP was then machine stitched onto the embossed panel.

I took a scrap of Appricot Appeal and another of Pumpkin Pie and punched the eduge with the SU Scallop Punch. I punched holes in each scallop of the Appricot Appeal panel with my Crop-o-Dile. The edges were torn and sponged with a darker ink and then the two panels were sewn together with a zig-zag stitch for a country feel. "Blessings" was heat embossed with Judi-Kins Eqyptian Gold EP as was the SU chipboard letter B. A maple leaf was punched with my old Creative Memories leaf maker and also gold embossed, topped with an SU button and hemp thread.

The two butterflies are Cuttlebug Butterflies die cuts. The die also comes with four embossing folders. The DSP is also Melissa Frances. I sponged darker ink over the high areas of the embossed images for effect.

The two tags were cut with the Cuttlebug Halloween sign die (whichi also comes with an embossing folder that I didn't use for this card). I first heat embossed the Really Rust card stock with Versamark and clear EP using some stamps from Garden Silhouettes and then dry embossed it with the CB Textile folder and sponged the high areas with Craft White ink. The Bittersweet Farms sticker is also from Melissa Frances and the gingham ribbon is from SU. I topped it off with a random silk flower that seemed to be the right color and a topaz colored rhinestone.

What do you think? Am I giving you too much information? I am still pretty new to blogging and don't really know how much everyone wants to know! Feel free to leave comments.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Autumn Inspiration

Since this is a new blog with not much of interest on it, I am going to post some of my older cards for you to look at. After I have some content on the blog, I will start posting my cards as I make them.

This card is one of my all-time favorite collage cards which I made in October. I love the autumn and since I live in Miami, Florida I don't get to experience much of the fall delights. So this year, I made a couple of autumn collages that helped me get my "fall fix".

I love making vintage-style art cards like this collage. Through surfing other card artists' blogs, I discovered Melissa Frances scrapbooking products like paper and stickers. I fell in love with her vintage style. The designer paper used on this card is Melissa Frances. I cut the chipboard letters out with the Cuttlebug Oliva alphabet dies. I had to cut fairly thin cardboard, so I cut two of each letter and glued one on top of the other. Then I the letters again out of DSP and glued them to the top of the chipboard letters. I sanded the edges a bit and then sponged them with Creamy Caramel to give a weathered look. I distressed the edges of the layers with my SU distressing tool and then sponged them with Chocolate Chip ink. The edges of the DSP were distressed using the edge of scissors to give a more torn look and then sponged with Chocolate Chip ink
The orange gingham ribbon is just stock ribbon from Jo-Ann's gathered with SU linen thread. The skinny caramel gingham ribbon is from Stampin' Up! SU Hodgepodge Hardware and wooden heart buttons were used at the bottom, sewn on with SU linen thread.
Here is the actual recipe:
Stamps: Natural Beauty
Paper: Confetti Cream, Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin Pie, Melissa Francis DSP, SU Brocade Backgrounds DSP, SU Outlaw DSP
Ink: Creamy Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Versamark
Accessories: Wooden heart buttons, linen thread, Melissa Francis tag and sticker, SU creamy caramel gingham ribbon, Jo-Ann's orange gingham ribbon, SU Hodge Podge clip, Cuttlebug Oliva Die Alphabet

Monday, December 8, 2008

Butterfly Birthday

Wow - two cards posted in one day after a two week dry spell! I'm feeling pretty good about that.

A friend asked me to make a card for her aunt's 90th birthday. She didn't want 90th anywhere on the card, but said the theme of the celebration was butterflies. I wanted to use some sort of floral and butterfly theme, but still bring in some of the colors of the season. So I decided to use Stampin' Up!'s Holiday Treasures designer paper. I started to stamp a flower and butterfly image, but then remembered that I had the Cuttlebug Butterflies die and embossing folders and decided to give them a try. I really liked the look and went from there. I used a Martha Stewart edge punch and the new Nestabilities Labels #2 dies, plus another tag die from Spellbinders. I finished it off with adding some half pearls to give it a nice polished look.

Here's the recipe:
Stamps: It's Your Birthday, Elegant Greetings
Paper: Old Olive, Holiday Treasurers DSP
Ink: Riding Hood Red
Accessories: Cuttlebug Butterflies dies/embossing folders & Nestabilities Labels 2, Martha Stewart punch, half pearls, Stickles

Snowy Day

Whew, I finally finished another card. I was working on the front panel of this piece before we left on our Thanksgiving trip. I finally finished it last night and am feeling great! Not only did I finally finish a card, but the University of Florida GATORS won the SEC Conference championship on Saturday night and now it's official, they will play in the BCS national championship game in January!! This is a happy household this morning!

Back to the card...unfortunately, the photo doesn't capture the shimmer and sparkle of this card which gives it the impression of light dusting of snow. The layer directly under the main image is vellum that I stamped with white dots using white craft ink and and dotted more with a white Signo pen. While the ink was still wet, I sprinkled on Dazzling Diamonds glitter and it dried right in the ink. The sentiment is stamped once on white cardstock and then a layer of vellum coveres it to give it a frosty feeling. I used the white Signo pen there too to make the snowflakes.
The inside of the card is also finished off with multiple layers of of cardstock and machine stitching. The main panel is stamped on Whisper White and then the top layer is vellum that I have stamped with white craft ink and embossed with Holigram Highlights for more snowy day shimmer.

Here's the recipe for the card. Unless otherwise noted, all products are Stampin' Up!
Stamps: Home for Christmas, Peaceful Wishes, The Snowflake Spot
Paper: Real Red, Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Whisper White, Vellum, Cosmo Cricket Oh Joy collection
Ink: Basic Black, Real Red, Used for watercoloring: Glorious Green, Always Artichoke, Real Red, Chocolate Chip, Creamy Carmel, Tim Holtz Vintage Photo, Basic Gray
Accessories: Cuttlebug Ice Crystal and Snowflake #2 dies, red gingham and silver ribbon, Pretties kit brads, Martha Stewart punch, Liquid Applique, Dazzling Diamonds glitter, white Singo pen, sewing machine
Techniques: Watercoloring
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