Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Bright & Happy New Year

Good morning, blogging friends.  I hope you have all had a good week and are ready to ring in the new year.  At Our Creative Corner, to kick off the new year, we have a bright and happy challenge for you.  Ann Marie Hile is our hostess again this week and she has this gorgeous color challenge for us.
She also wants us to make it a card for a celebration.  I created mine for a birthday celebration but it could be used for a New Year's card also.  It's a pretty simple card this time, but it still took me 4 hours, mostly because I was tired and my mojo was flat.  I couldn't figure out what to do with these colors - I was really stumped.  But once I started looking at vintage images, I began to be inspired.  I added the yellow background to my vintage card and there it was - all the colors I needed for the challenge, a bit muted but I think I can skate by with them.  

Here is the result.  Like I said, not very elaborate this week, just a pretty blend of colors and textures.  The vintage image is from The Graphics Fairy, the ribbon is brand new in my Etsy shop, but I haven't had time to list it yet - look for it later this weekend.  My precious handmade flower for was made with the Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die.  The stamp is from Crafty Secrets.  

That's it - it's late and I need sleep.  Letme know if you have any questions.  Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Winter Thank You Project

Hi there,  So glad to have you stop by for a visit today!  I hope you are enjoying the holidays.  I thought this would be a great time for a fun thank you card challenge.  We all need thank you cards at this time of the year and frankly, I got a late start on making Christmas art and wanted to keep it going a bit longer.  So I created a winter-themed set of thank you library pocket cards.  You might remember that I made a set of library pocket Christmas cards at the beginning of the holiday season.  I thought they were so cute and that the format would work great for my Christmas thank yous.  
Plus I wanted to try my hand at a few very cool techniques I have seen lately.  Did you see Tammy Tutterow's frosty debossed snowflakes?  Very cool!  This is my first attempt and I think I might have scraped off too much crackle paint because the debossed areas aren't very crackly.  And of course, you can see the crackles better IRL.  The silver snowflake is one of the bronze ones I sell in my Etsy boutique.  I altered it by dripping Ranger Silver Alcohol ink mixative on it.  

Then Shelly Hickox took the crackle deboss to the next level by applying it to die cut foil tape.  Check out her gorgeous tag here.  What a seriously cool technique that is!  Mine is a little shaky.  I made it exactly the way Shelly described and I think I used the exact same materials, but I had a bit of a problem getting the Rock Candy distress paint to stick to the foil tape.  It dried and cracked beautifully, but when I handled it, the crackle paint came off in chunks.  I added more two more times, but each time it came off.  You can see a couple of places where it is missing on the front snowflake.  I finally gave up and figured only a card maker would notice it was missing anyway so I can probably use it as is.  
Inspired by another amazing technique and tutorial on Shelly Hickcox's blog, I tried her Faux Mercury Glass technique.  I was having problems with my heat gun so I only applied one coat of UTEE to this guy.  It really needs a second coat to get the glassy depth to it.  But it was a lot of fun to do and something I will definitely try again ( I have a new heat gun coming from Stampin' Up so will give it another try next week).  
I mixed a bit of the silver alcohol ink mixative with some Stickles for a silvery bling on the corrugated cardboard holly leaves.  It really doesn't look great in the photo, but it looks quite pleasing IRL. 
I used some lovely winter bird vintage images from LunaGirl.  With my Photoshop Elements, I erased the 'Merry Christmas' from each image and added 'Thank You' to each card.  They were printed on my home printer and distressed with Vintage Photo distress ink.  
I used a library card stamp from PaperTrey Ink to stamp the back of the tag.  My thank you message will be written on that side.  

This was such a fun little project.  You can make these very easily.  I used a free template from Mirkwood Designs to trace and cut the pocket and you can download a sheet of library cards from Pine is Here.  There's some scissor work involved, but I think in the end you will find it very enjoyable to make.  These sweet little cards will fit perfectly into an A2 size envelope.  

How about giving one a try?  You certainly do not have to make a set of 4.  If you make one and want to share, please leave a link in the comments section here so we can all see and be inspired by your work!

Thanks again for stopping by and for your lovely comments!

Products Used:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing You a Merry Christmas

Good morning and Merry Christmas!  Just a moment for a quick post before I run to my kitchen to start making pies and other Christmas fare.  Here is my very late submission for Our Creative Corner.  Sharon is our hostess this week and she wants us to be inspired by a holiday decoration in our home.  My tag is in spired by a pair of lovely vintage style reindeer that sits on my hearth at Christmastime.  

Sorry, no time right now for the deets.  Will try to get that part of the post up later today.  Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just Playing Around

Good morning and thanks for stopping by at this very busy time of the year.  Only three more days 'til Christmas - oh my, so many things to do yet!  But despite all the crazy rushing here and there, I had to do a little creating.  I hadn't made a project in almost a week and this is actually the result of working an hour here, 30 minutes there, whenever I could sit a few minutes in my craft cave.  I finally finished it up before bed last night.  I've been playing around in PhotoShop Elements again, learning more about removing backgrounds and layering.  I created the vintage image with a vintage toy shop ad from The Graphics Fairy and a sweet little girls image from my LunaGirl CD.    I removed most of the background from the girls, leaving a bit of shadowing/halo effect and then digitally layered it over the toy store ad.  I printed it and distressed it with Vintage Photo DI.

The main panel of the card was made using the double distress rusted enamel technique that Tim Holtz showed on Tag #9.  On white CS, I clear embossed the snowflakes, then sponged the entire panel with Pine Needles DI.  Then I clear embossed the entire panel and finally sponged the whole thing with Vintage Photo DI for a rusted enamel effect.  It's one of my very favorite Holtz techniques.
My decorative element was created using the Carved Ornaments die and run through the Snow Flurries embossing folder.  I used Judi-Kins Egyptian Gold EP for a bit of sparkle.  The flower was made using SU Cherry Cobbler CS cut with the Sizzix Flowers and Vine #3 die, the holly leaves and tiny flourish were cut from Kraft Core'dinations using the Festive Greenery die.  The snowflake was cut with a Sizzix die.  The Merry Christmas sentiment was from Tim's Holiday Minis stamp set, stamped in Vintage Photo DI.  The little snowflake embellie in the left corner was cut with the SU Northern Flurries die.  Oh, and I almost forgot - I broke down and bought Tim's Vintage Lace die and used it to create that sweet border.  I bet I'll get tons of use out of that die - it is so me!

That's about it for this one.  I hope you are having a good week getting prepared for the holidays and that you will have the opportunity to relax and spend some quality time with your loved ones.  Thanks so much for stopping by today and for all your lovely comments.  As always, if you have any questions, just leave them in the comments section and I will update the post with the information. 

Products Used:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Show Us Your Tags

This week at Simon Says Stamp and Show the challenge is to make a Tim Holtz inspired tag.  I have to say that I have had such a wonderful time this year being inspired by Tim and playing along with his tag challenge.  This was the first year I have participated and I really didn't know what I was missing!  I was really rocking for the first 8 days.  I kept up pretty well but then life intervened and I had to put them on hold.  But I do intend to finish before the close of his challenge at the end of the month.  And I finished one more here with my Simon Says DT piece.  

The main technique demonstrated for Tim's #10 tag was a tape transfer technique.  I gave it a good try, but it didn't work for me.  I printed a vintage Santa image on my home printer since I don't have Tim's Seasonal Paper Stash.  I applied clear tape, burnished it and then put it under warm water and rubbed the paper gently - it all came off - right down to the tape.  No image whatsoever remained on the tape.  Okay, I thought, I shouldn't have used no name generic packing tape so I searched around the house and came up with a roll of clear 3M packing tape.  Ah, the good stuff, surely I would be successful on the second try...or NOT.  And yeah, it was the "or NOT" situation the next time also.  I concluded that for this technique, you need to use Tim's papers or at least a professionally printed paper.  Not to be discouraged, especially since I had  DT deadline for a tag coming up, I printed the Santa image for a third time and affixed it to my fragment charm the normal way.  

For my background, I stamped a Wendy Vecchi script stamp with Ranger Archival Jet Black ink and then sponged it with Festive Berries and Pine Bough distress inks from the new limited edition seasonal distress ink set.  Then I misted some homemade glimmer mist onto my craft sheet and smooshed the tag face down into it a few times, then dried it with my heat tool.  I cut a panel using the Styled Labels die to mount my fragment charm on.  A couple of accent pieces were made using Core'dinations Kraft Core paper and the Hardware Findings die. I also used the Core'dinations Kraft Core paper to cut a bit of greenery with the Festive Greenery die.  The sentiment panel was cut with a Spellbinders die and gold heat embossed twice.  After the second embossing while it was still hot, I stamped the Believe stamp from Holiday Minis into the gold embossing.  You need to ink your stamp with Versamark or other embossing ink first though, so it doesn't stick to the hot embossing.  I finished the piece of by rubbing a bit of gesso over the tag background and the corrugated cardboard.  

So there you have the details and the product links can be found below.  Be sure to stop by and see what the other DT members of Simon Says Samp and Show have made this week for your inspiration.  And don't forget, our ever-generous sponsor, Simon Says Stamp, has a $50 shopping spree to give to a lucky random winner.  Hope that winner is YOU!

Thanks so much for dropping by today.  I hope you have a wonderful week.  

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