Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Grungy Embossing

If you follow this blog at all, you know that I am IN LOVE with Pinterest.  (Like I need another addiction!)  Well, I came across a board with all these cool tutorials. When I was done pinning about a hundred of them, I even watched a couple.  After viewing this one about clear embossing powder over a Cuttlebug embossed folder, I jumped (yes, jumped) up and set to work on making this card:



The tutorial made mention of using this over B&T paper you weren't too excited about anymore.  This paper immediately came to mind...and is why I jumped (yes, jumped) up to try it.

Run you paper through the whatever embossing folder system you use.  I have a Cuttlebug.  Leave the paper in the folder while you gently rub Versamark ink over the raised part and emboss with clear powder.  Next, you use a sponge dauber or the direct to paper technique to ink the background.  I used CTMH Twilight, Juniper, and Outdoor Denim in different areas.  The tutorial used black which really obscured the background paper.

This paper is the thin weight, and if I were to do this again, I would mount it on some cardstock weight before running it through my Cuttlebug because I had real trouble not getting my Versamark ink in the cracks and crevices as you can see at the top in particular. 

However, with the sloppy embossing powder problem, I thought the background had a grungy, masculine feel and decided to use it anyway.  Because I am getting ready to put a package in the mail for Operation Write Home, I decided to add a touch of ribbon to give it a tiny bit of girl power so the card could be for either a boy or a girl. (The ribbon is actually cream and brown but it was too startling against the background so I used some of the leftover ink in my sponge dauber and gave it a little Twilight coloring.)  OWH is having a Mid-Week Throwdown Challenge: Masculine.  Even with the ribbon, I think this still qualifies.

Now it's your turn to jump (yes, jump) up and try it yourself.

Until next time,

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sweet Sunday Sketch

Last Sunday, my mother-in-law passed away.  We were just processing that news when I got an e-mail from Karen Giron over at the sweetest thing.  She chose my card as the SSSC164 Winner and guest designer for SSSC166.  I told her it could not have come at a better time because there is going to be no memorial service for my MIL and it was harder to let her go without doing something to honor her life.

Momlyn loved Christmas, dogs, and making cards, so here's a little tribute just for her:

The stamps and paper are from CTMH.  The sentiment is hand written.  I actually have a stamp that says "Fleas Navidog" which Momlyn bought for me (because she also loved a good word pun), but it's too large to fit inside the little sign over the doghouse door. 
The dog has five layers of foam mounting tape.'s a little overkill, but this is my first ever guest designer gig, and I wanted it to be extra special.

I used the following Copics for my coloring: E50, E53, E55, E57 (dog/doghouse); R00, R22 (nose/cheeks); and R29 (to color pearl accents). The icicles are Studio G glitter glue. 

I made the pennants using regular kraft paper which I ran through my paper crimper.  Remember paper crimpers? For some reason, I have pulled it out more in the last couple weeks than I have in the last couple years.

Momlyn did not call herself my mother-in-law.  She said she was my mother-in-love.  In many ways, she was a very different kind of woman.  We are pretty sure she had Aspberger's (a form of Autism) and could not interpret non-verbal clues.  It made communication challenging, and there are some really funny stories about miscues.  But what she did do was raise four children who are all wonderful human beings.  I'm partial the the baby of the family.
If you are so inclined, I'd appreciate you becoming a follower of my blog.  I'm hoping to sell my novel at conference this year, and the more followers I have the better the publishing houses like it.  Nothing like shameless promotion, huh!
Thanks to Karen for giving me the opportunity to share my tribute card.
Until next time,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Christmas Joy

I always promise myself I am going to start my Christmas cards earlier. least I'm starting in August instead of October. 

I used the Monday Mojo Sketch #255 for this card:

The stamps are all from CTMH but different, retired sets.  The hedgehog is really old but I have never been able to let go of him.  He's just too stinkin' cute!  I colored the mittens with pencils to give them some shading.  I also cut and mounted the top mitten, cut the hedgehogs hands and glued them to the top so it looks like he is peeking up.  The ribbon was bought at Hobby Lobby last year.  I really like it so I've been hoarding it.  Why do I do that???
We received some sad news on Sunday.  My mother-in-law, who had been suffering with Alzheimer's, passed away.  While we are relieved that she has been released from the body into the arms of Jesus, we will miss her greatly.  She was my best editor, and I wish she could have read my current novel as I'm sure she would have loved it.  My husband is now in the process of moving his father to a memory card facility close to us.  He suffers from Sr. Dementia so we aren't sure if he quite comprehends all that has happened.

Christmas was my mother-in-law's favorite holiday.  I hope you will come back Sunday as I will have a special tribute card for her.  I was chosen as the guest designer for the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge through Karen Giron' blog, the sweetest thing.  She sent me a top-secret sketch and a badge for my blog.  Since there will be no memorial service for my mother-in-law, and it is hard to let her go without doing something to honor her life, I will have another Christmas card but that's all I can reveal. 

Until next time,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

U + me

I have a confession to make:  I am addicted to Pinterest.  So are you.  Don't bother to deny it.
And if you have paid any attention, you've noticed the chalkboard trend.  Everything is being turned into a chalkboard from serving trays to on-the wall-calendars.  With the "School" challenge over at CASology, I had the perfect excuse to use my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby and purchase some chalkboard spray paint.

I used chipboard banners which came in the CTMH Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge bundle I purchased last year, sprayed them with two coats of paint, let them dry overnight (probably the hardest part of this whole card), and stamped using two different alphabet sets from CTMH:  A Typeface and Believe Caps.  The plus and equal signs were made using the "I" from A Typeface.

Can you see the chalkboard dust?  It's actually cornstarch out of my embossing buddy.  I used CTMH White Daisy ink and it wasn't drying.  Yes...I should have used my StazOn ink, but I don't have the cleaning solution. You know how that goes.  Besides, the chalkboard dust is sortof cool.

The whole can cost $7.99 (without the coupon), and I have plenty left for future projects.  Now, I am aware I could have achieved the same effect by just cutting black banners or inking the banners in black ink, but this is a SCHOOL challenge. I know it's chalkboard paint, and you know it's chalkboard paint, and that's what matters!

I don't have a huge need for school-themed cards.  My "babies" just turned 24 and 26.  But I am putting together a stash of cards for Operation Write Home, so I thought I'd make this card a little more general for them.

Time to get to work.  I need to create a One-Sheet for the ACFW Conference next month.  Basically, it's the blurb on the back of a book cover to create enough interest for someone to lay down their hard-earned cash. 
Until next time,

Friday, August 10, 2012

With Sincere Sympathy

Sympathy cards are always tough to make, but that's the challenge over at Heart2Heart this week.  I also combined my two favorite Clean and Simple challenge blogs: CASology (Pond) and Less is More (Colour: Blue & Green).  And in case my American friends are wondering, the Less is More folks are British which is why they have a "u" in "Colour".  (Note: I have been informed that Canadians use the same spelling.  I think we Yanks may be outnumbered!)

Those of you coming from the Heart2Heart blog who have not been around for about fifteen years will not recognize these stamp images.  The labels say D.O.T.S. with a 1989 copyright date.  Can I get someone--anyone--to tell me they still have some of their oldies but goodies?  I have drawers full.

To get the pond, I swooshed my watercolor pen through Moonstruck, Twilight, Juniper, and Pear using the "press the lid into the ink pad" method.  (I'm very technical around here.)  Once I got an even swirly look, I picked up more Moonstruck and flicked it, then more Pear and flicked it.  I had to let the paper dry before stamping the black grasses and sentiment.  Anyone want to guess how I learned that lesson?? 

I'll tell you another lesson I learned.  You can't mask off edges well enough for watercoloring.  I tried scoring my lines and masking, coloring, stamping with two long sticky notes.  Yeah...not so much.  This second attempt was done by cutting two smaller pieces of paper, watercoloring/stamping one, mounting it on a wider one, and scoring the edges with the Martha Stewart Score Board using the edge of the watercolor piece as a guide.  I scored a second line then trimmed very, very close to it.

In other news, I finished my novel!!! It has holes the size of trucks, but it's done.  I am taking today off of mine and critiquing the work of my writing partners instead.  I also need to write a summary sheet to take to the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in September.

Hi ho, hi's off to work I go.

Until next time,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Encouragement for Writers

I do not spend hours scouring the internet for writing advice like I do to get inspiration for cards and scrapbook pages.  I have a few "go to" sources which hook me up.  The first is Steve Laube's blog; the second is Rachelle Gardner's.  It's just better for me to stick with a couple good ones rather than trying to find little bits of wisdom scattered here, there, and everywhere.

The Steve Laube Agency recently posted a link to the Keynote Address from the Romance Writers of America Conference.  If you are a writer, you need to read this. 


Until next time,

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I am glued to the Olympics!  But as I watch, I am blog hopping all over the place.  Today, I came across three different challenges which I managed to combine.  (You should see the mess in my craft room, though.  Wow!)
The first challenge is a sketch being sponsored by Karen Giron at the sweetest thing.  I go to Karen's blog on a regular basis, so it's fun to play along for the first time with one of her challenges.  My card is only 4.25x4.25, so I had to scale everything way back as you will see in a moment.
Color Throwdown is another challenge I follow regularly though--again--this is my first time to join the fun.  I used a discontinued paper pack by CTMH called Caboodle.  It's one of those packs I don't pull out very often, but it had all the colors of this challenge.  I just needed to add some kraft (substitute for Crumb Cake).  The other CTMH colors to substitute for this are Sorbet, Heavenly Blue, Sweet Leaf, and Buttercup.  The tag is also CTMH from their line of Dimensional Elements.

The last challenge I combined into this card is Operation Write Home: Masculine.  I need a card for my soon-to-be 26 year old son.  Yikes...can I be that old??

And now, without further ado...

The scalloped ends of the banners were created using a flower punch.  I saw it done with a square bunch so I put a little twist on it. 

I originally had a blue button where the ribbon is but it was just a shade too bright.

I also decided not to cut my brown zig-zag thread but wrap it around the bottom edge and secure it with tape on the back side. (It really is brown.  So is the button.  And the stamped sentiments. Really!)

The "U" was done by stamping on the back side of some corrugated kraft paper and then fussy cutting.

I tried to emulate Karen's style with lots of layers and stitching. 

Pretty pleased with  myself getting three challenges combined in a card I needed to make anyway.

And now...back to the Olympics.  Go team USA!

Until next time,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Little Birdie

I have decided I love clean and simple (CAS) cards.  When they are done right, they can be stunning.  There are a couple of challenges which are stretching me to develop better CAS skills.  Today, I combined these two:

Less is More: Sketch
CASology: Birds

 I used a Martha Stewart punch and score board to create the lattice-work border and embossed lines.

The hardest thing about this was cutting that little bird out and x-acto knifing the leaves for it to slide behind...because I forgot to do it before mounting the birdhouses to the card.  Duh!

I also used a boatload of Copic markers.  What makes the difference between CAS but boring and CAS beautiful is the detail added to the coloring.  I am still learning how to color.  Art was never my strong suit in school, so I'm feeling pretty stinkin' good about the progress.

Time to get back to writing.  My poor heroine is in dire straights and the hero is rather beat-up but limping to her rescue.

Until next time,