Sunday, May 27, 2012

Stamplifting Distress

One of the great things about stamping is how you can borrow ideas from one company to fit the stamps you already have.  CASE in point, I stamplifted this card from Splitcoast Stampers for the latest Heart2Heart Distressing Challenge.  This is my third entry this week...guess I must be in a distressing phase!

I started to make my white background with pearl paint, but it didn't give me enough of a contrast against the kraft paper.  I used StazOn Opaque White reinker and smeared it over the top of the pearl paint with my finger.  Then I got impatient for it to dry and used my embossing gun which is where the little bubbles came from.  I'm liking the bubbles though.  Love those "happy accidents"!

The stamps are CTMH Unscripted (flowers) and Love Quotes (retired).  I used Outdoor Denim ink and ribbon from Michaels.

One more card down in my marathon to finish all my June-August occasions before the packers arrive in a couple weeks.

Oh...and I found this cool setting on my digital camera called "Museum" which made my photo really look great.

Until next time,

Saturday, May 26, 2012

From Fun to FAB!

What is it about some cards that make you sit up a little straighter in your chair and say, "Wow!"?


Plain and simple, it's the details.  Not random, added-without-any-thought details. No, my friends. Well thought-out ones!

For the OWH Memorial Day Blog Hop, I decided to do a little tutorial, so stick with me because there are lots of pictures and lots to discuss.  If you started with my blog and want to link back to OWH to get in on all the fun, click here.

Here's my fun card using Sketch #37 found here:

Notice the details already on this card: Lots of mats add a framed effect--in particular the white mat which takes the stark white background of my main image and gives it a "companion."  The paper piercing mirrors the border created to the bottom strip of B&T paper and adds texture to my plain background. I chose the terracotta color as the background because it is the color I had the least of in the B&T. The double ribbon is just a little more interesting than one by itself.  The bottom border of B&T paper has one spot of yellow, so I put it on the outside corner to balance the yellow kangaroo at the top of the vertical strip of B&T paper.

But here are a few other things which might not be so obvious and are easier to see in the photo below.  I used four different colors of Copics on my tree and koala bear; three on the leaves, nose, and ears.  The furry look was created by dotting the koala with a colorless Copic to lift off spots.  I also added sunshine by using two Copic colors around the image, my darker color in the V's then blended out with the lighter one.

Cute, right?  Certainly a fun card and OWH worthy, but lets start adding some more embellishments and see what happens.

Adding those three little buttons filled in some blank space, sure, but what else is it doing?  Do you notice how the card is mostly horizontal in orientation?  By adding a vertical row of buttons I am accenting the vertical strip of paper and making your eye travel across more of the card.  To increase the "length" of the vertical strip, I left off the top border of the mat.  Now lets add one more button.

Why? Because I have now created a triangle of embellishments with the ribbon/bow, vertical buttons, and one accent button.  This triangle makes the eye travel all over the card.

But it still needs some finish work.

 I know one crafter whose pet peeve is "naked" buttons.  This extra step takes time and--in my case--a magnifying glass, but it finishes off the buttons so well, it's worth the effort.

And now, in my best cheezy TV announcer voice...

But wait, there's more!

What does the bigger button do that the little button didn't?  It adds "weight" to the left side of the card.  The bulk of the embellishments were on the right side, and while the little button was cute, this one balances out the two sides of the card.  It also relieves all the sharp edges by breaking them up with a different shape which was highlighted when I placed it outside the frame.  Although my vertical buttons are round, they are in another line.  Because of its more significant size, this larger button makes the smaller ones look more round.  Last, but not least, I angled the ties inside the buttons deliberately, especially the large one.  I didn't want another horizontal or vertical line, so I tilted it 90 degrees.  They might not stay angled that way through the mailing process, but it makes for a better picture.

I challenge you to go back and look at the first picture vs. this one.  Would you agree that the "WOW" factor has increased?
I hope I am not breaking any copyrights, but I wanted to show you where I got this great koala bear, as well as the instructions on coloring it.  As you can see on the cover, there is a "Bonus CD" which includes all the hand-drawn images the authors used to teach coloring with Copics.  I simply popped in the CD, printed the image on white cardstock, and (after testing to be sure the ink wouldn't bleed when I ran my Copic markers over it) followed the instructions (shown below).  To get your own copy, visit your local craft store or go to Amazon.

Fun to FAB! It's all in the right details.

Until next time,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Topiary Anniversary

Card making is still in full swing here, but I'm happy to say that my list of ones to do is now about half of what it was a couple days ago.  This one uses Mojo Monday Sketch #242 with CTMH paper and a Stampin' Up image.

I sponged my edges with CTMH Bamboo ink, colored with Prismacolor pencils, and used stretchy ribbon from Hobby Lobby which would NOT tie into a bow.  So...I tied a knot, wrapped a pearl brad around it, and anchored it with Liquid Glass.  Voila!

I'm getting ready for the Operation Write Home Memorial Day Blog Hop, but right now I need to get back to editing a novella.  Why can't work stop when there is too much to do?

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More Distress

Moving company shows up today to estimate how many days it will take to pack us up, so I'm busy cleaning bathrooms so I don't look quite so much like a slob when then arrive.  It's hard to keep up with the cleaning when you've been on the road as much as I have lately.

Anyway, my frantic cardmaking continues.  Here's a graduation card for my son-in-law which also fits into Heart2Heart's Distress Challenge:

The stamps are from CTMH Rock the Block set.  I stamped the swirls in Versamark on Kraft paper, used my stipple brush to swipe pearl paint in plain white, added black re-inker to more pearl paint and swiped a little more.  Before dabbing the stars with a mix of black and white pearl paint, I ran black ink over the tops of the ridges to make them stand out more.  The sentiment was highlighted with a white gel pen.

I thought the overall effect came off as cool grunge which is perfect for my dirt-bikin' SIL.

Until next time,

Monday, May 21, 2012

Quick Distress

My eye is twitching.  It's my body's sign for it seems appropriate that this week's challenge over at Heart2Heart is "Distressing".

We finally got official orders, so hubby called the moving office and we have two companies coming on Wednesday to estimate how many days it will take them to pack us up for an early June date.  Knowing that I might not have access to my stamps for several months, I am in "quick" mode to get all cards for June, July, and August done ahead of time.  Here's an anniversary card using CTMH's "Dotty for You" papers sponged with Sorbet, Sweet Leaf, Lagoon, Tulip, and Crystal Blue:

The pearl center is a brad which I wrapped around the bow center and secured with Liquid Glass.  Love that stuff!!

So simple and quick it has relieved some of my eye twitch...some.

Until next time,

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sunny Mother's Day

I was in Virginia for a graduation and came home to my latest CTMH order with the May Stamp of the Month, Friendship Bouquet.  I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this...patiently, as you can tell.

I used Copics E99, E31 (flower center), YR15, YR21 (petals), E31 again and E21 for the shading around the flower edges.  And, yes, that is a pull top from a soda can colored with YR 15.  Love how Copics can color just about anything under the sun...or sunflower, as the case may be.

This card is entered in the following challenges:

Heart 2 Heart Mother's Day (trust me...the sentiment is on the inside)
Less is More Color Challenge: Yellow

I sponged and sanded the chocolate mat under the flower, and used a Cuttlebug folder to emboss the polka dot white mat.

Well...I'm off on another trip.  The dryer has stopped, so I'd better put my fun stuff away and get back to work.

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More May Flowers

Flowers seems to be the theme this week.  Operation Write Home has a flower challenge, so when I needed to make some quick and easy cards  for an upcoming birthday, I made a set using an old CTMH stamp and did some extras for my OWH box.  This top one is what went in the box.

The technique on this is backwards from intuition.  I actually started with the embossed lines.  Then, I did the white embossing using my Versamark pad.  After the embossing powder cooled, I rotated my stamp a quarter turn and stamped with Versamark again.

Clean, simple, and quick!  BUT, for the cards I wanted to make as the birthday set, I decided to spice it up a little.  However, before I grabbed my glitter, I carefully put my OWH cards in their box!!

I'm not sure the bling shows well on the large view above, but the glitter has a bit of a purple hue to it, so it makes the Versamark only portion of the flower just a bit darker purple.

Now...those of us who craft are used to (and mostly okay with) glitter getting all over everything.  Friends, though, should be treated with a more respect.  I dotted the white center with liquid glass, poured glitter over the entire flower surface, shook off the excess, waited for the liquid glass to dry, reheated the embossing powder to "cement" the glitter in it, then scrubbed off as much glitter as I could with bristles from a medium-sized paint brush.  I have glitter on top of my glitter.  Time to do a thorough clean up and vacuum.  Good for me, I suppose, but I never can quite get over feeling like time cleaning could be put to better use crafting.

Until next time,