Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Valentine Bundle

Hello everyone!  This is my third week in the Designer Spotlight at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge for January 2017 and this week's theme is "Anything but a card" featuring We R Memory Keepers products.  You don't have to use them to play in the challenge, but if you have some, we would love to see them used.

For my Valentine Bundle, I used a We R Memory Keepers Next Level Embossing Folder in Gemstone for the large gold heart die cut and the We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board to make my goodie bag.  I also used the Simon Says Stamp "Kristina's Love" Die to add to my gift bag and the Simon Says Stamp Happy Valentine's Day Die for one of the hearts on the card. Both of these dies are from the Simon Says Stamp Hey Love Release. The large hearts are cut from scraps of cardstock using Little B Hearts Designer Cutting Dies. For the goodie bag, you can use scrapbook paper or gift wrap that you already have around which is what I did.

While my project does include a card, I created a Valentine's Day Bundle for my hubby.  My favorite color combination for a masculine Valentine's Day is red, grey, black and white with some touches of gold and silver in there as well. Metallics always seem to be a great choice for the men in my life. I wanted to make a little gift sack for some sweet treats that I can pop into his lunch box.  I made a few gift bags over Christmas and I wanted something similar although this one was a bit easier because I kept it flat. I used a piece of paper that had foiling on it and made a bag by scoring the paper with my Score Tool, then using the envelope punch board centered along the score lines.  Once that was done, I scored along the bottom 1 inch and folded toward the inside to create the "bag". You just need a bit of glue or double sided tape all along the side and bottom seams.
Because I didn't think I was doing a very good job of explaining what I did, I made another bag so I could take step by step pictures to show you how I did it.

I made my first score line at 10.5 inches on an 11 inch wide x 8.5 inch tall piece of patterned paper. I creased that fold well. Then I folded the remaining width in half up to the first score line and creased that well. Using the Envelope Punch Board, I cut the notches on each end and at the center fold/score line.

Next I put quarter inch Scor-Tape on the edges where the bag would be adhered.  I cut the small flap of excess paper away for a smoother fold and put the bottoms together removing the release paper. You could use any kind of double sided tape or adhesive.  I just happen to like Scor-Tape because it is strong and holds well. Next I tucked in the side flap and pulled away the release paper from the Scor-Tape to make my basic bag shape.

I used a scallop border die to cut across the top for the decorative edge.  This is another die that I have had for a number of years, but you can find these beautiful scallop border dies at Simon Says Stamp. Now we have a gift sack or bag that can be made from any paper you already have.  I chose to make this sample one in a bright/different color than the rest of my project so you could see how I did it (I hope).

On my Valentine Project, I used a 12 x 12 piece of patterned paper so I cut away the 2.5 inches of excess paper from the top of my gift sack before I cut the scalloped edge and used those pieces to make a paper medallion to go behind the embossed heart. The heart is an old die I have had for a number of years and has always been a favorite of mine.  It "lives" in a dish on my die cutting table. I cut it from Gold Foiled Cardstock and used some of the stretchy gold cord to make the hanger for my paper medallion. Hot Glue is the best adhesive for this particular thing because it is super sturdy and dries super fast. I used Silver & Black wired ribbon to tie around my food treat bags because it was the right color, not because it was wired. *Ü*  Those Pink, Red & White treats are Jumbo M&M's with Valentine sayings on them like "Hug Me", "Kiss Me" etc.  I'd never seen them before but I thought they were super cute! There's even a heart shaped lollipop in the gift bag.

Make sure to stop over at the Simon Says Stamp Blog to see all the projects from the design team and also to check out all the entries over at the Link-Up.  There will be so many interpretations for this theme and my favorite part is seeing how everyone else interpreted it.  I always get new ideas from this!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Papertrey Ink Make it Monday #271 - A La Carte

Card by ©Anna Kossakovskaya
Card by ©Diana K
For this week's Make It Monday #271, we can choose any of the previous year's techniques to create our card. I chose Betsy Veldman's Make it Monday #269: Embossed and Outlined Backgrounds.  I was happy with the project I did initially, but I was over the moon for these two cards that were entered into the challenge from other card makers I wanted to create my own version.  I love the soft color both of these ladies used, and I wanted to try that although I didn't success nearly as well. Well I did, but I couldn't get an accurate photograph so I applied more color.  One of the best things about card making is that there are so many incredible "artists" out there to inspire you. That is what both of these ladies did for me.

Hands of Time is one of my favorite Papertrey Ink Stamp Sets but I also love the soft pink Diana used so my intent was to try to make one card incorporating both things. Most card makers would not claim to be artists although some do have an art background.  But many more (just like me) are just trying to make something lovely to send to a friend or loved one. It's the personal, "made for you" touch that folks like more than it's about the artwork.

For my card, I stamped the clock faces from Hands of Time onto watercolor paper using Versamark and heat set it using Ranger Gold Embossing Powder. Next I stamped the hands of the clocks and finally the greeting.  I carefully went around the clock faces with a C1 Copic Marker which is the lightest grey. Initially I used a light pink Copic Marker, but I like the contrast of the neutral grey better. Once that was done, I used a Mini Ink Blending Tool to add Lovely Lady Ink to the panel being careful to preserve the soft white color of the clock faces.  Once the ink was dry, I gave it all a good spritz with Tsukineko Sparkle Sheer Shimmer Spritz.  For the clock faces, I added a heavier concentration of shimmer by using my Wink of Stella Glitter Brush Pen and put a pearl at the center of the hands on both clock faces.  This made for a fast and easy card that has high impact.

Be sure to stop over and visit the Papertrey Ink Blog!  Today is Day 2 of posts from the Design Team for Release Week and there's lots to check out over there. This is my last post before CHA as we are doing a bit of visiting with our Kansas friends as well as some sight-seeing on our way to Phoenix.  I have two more blog posts for the "Designer in the Spotlight" on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog for January 2017 that I hope you'll enjoy; one next Wednesday, January 18th and another on Wednesday, January 25th.  I hope you'll come back.  Meanwhile, I'll be posting photos once CHA starts!  Make sure to follow me on Instagram to see everything.  I'm excited to meet other card makers there. I can't wait to see what awaits us all in 2017 and I'm pretty sure Tim Holtz will be the first booth I check out once I get there.  I've been watching his sneak peeks on Facebook Live all week and can't wait to see the products in person. Have a great rest of the week everyone!

Winter Birthday Greetings

Hello!  It's a new week at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and my 2nd of 4 weeks as the Designer in the Spotlight. This week we are featuring Lawn Fawn Products with a Winter Birthday Theme. You don't have to use them to join in, but if you have some, we would love to see them used.

Lawn Fawn does such fantastic plaids and I love this Grey, Teal and White Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid Winter Petite Paper. This is a 6 x 6 paper pad that has been scaled down from the 12 x 12 version but if I was still making scrapbooks, I love the larger sized plaids as well.  There are gorgeous Christmas, Fall and Springtime plaids as well and you can see them here. Lawn Fawn also makes my favorite acrylic blocks which have finger grooves on the sides and an etched grid to assist in lining up your stamps.  Since the grid is etched, it won't wipe off as you clean your blocks.

For my card, I started with one of the patterns in the Lawn Fawn Winter Plaid Collection and chose my other colors, Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue and Simon Says Stamp Slate Grey Cardstock, based on that. One of my favorite things to use for masculine cards is plaid paper.  In fact, I use very little patterned paper otherwise.  Most of the time if it's a plaid, then it will work for a guy.  My card could be used for either masculine or feminine except for one little embellishment that I put on it at the last minute, but we'll come back to that later. *Ü*

My card base is made from Simon Says Stamp Slate Grey Cardstock in a top folding A2 size.  Next I die cut an Avery Elle Postage Stamp Die from Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue Cardstock.  This leaves you with 2 pieces - an outer frame and an inner rectangle.  I cut another one of these from the Winter Plaid Paper so that I could put the plaid rectangle on the inside of the Postage Stamp Frame.  I cut a piece of Fun Foam slightly smaller than the inner rectangle and attached that to the plaid rectangle using ¼ inch Scor-Tape.  I find that tape runner is a little bit difficult to use on Fun Foam so double sided adhesive is less frustrating for me.  You can use tape runner or whatever adhesive you have available. Next, I adhered the frame to the card base using Ranger Multi Medium Matte and followed that by attaching the inner rectangle also using Multi Medium Matte since I had it handy.  I have two bottles of this at all times sitting upside down in my jumbo cup that I keep my main tools in.  For ease of use, I have Scrap-Perfect No Clog Writing Tips on them.

 I die cut three of the Impression Obsession "Wishes" from Audrey Blue Cardstock to make a thicker embellishment.  In order to increase the intensity of the top layer, I inked it up a Mini Ink Blending Tool using Audrey Blue Ink a couple of times to deepen the color.  Using the Impression Obsession Wishes Stamp Set I stamped the "Sending Birthday" in Versafine Onyx Black Ink and heat set it with Simon Says Stamp Clear Embossing Powder.  I much prefer this method over using black embossing powder or even regular black ink.  I'm a little funny because it bugs me when my stamps get stained but Versafine, which is a pigment ink, does not stain. I suppose it might eventually, but so far, it hasn't. Simon Inks are so pigmented and rich in color, that they can really stain your stamps. That's just the nature of high quality photo-polymer but for that reason, I typically use Distress Inks or some of the other inks I have that don't stain as much.  Yes, I know I'm a goofball!

Once I had the card assembled, I felt that a crisp white snowflake would be just the right touch for this Winter Birthday Card so I cut an Eliza Snowflake from a scrap of crisp white cardstock and attached it by adding Ranger Multi Medium Matte around the innermost ring of the snowflake. Eliza is my favorite of all the Simon Says Stamp Snowflake Dies. After that I misted the whole front of the card with Tsukineko Sheer Sparkle Shimmer Spritz.  Since this card is for one of my daughters whose birthday is January 21st, I couldn't help but adhere a tiny little genuine Sworovski Crystal right in the center of the snowflake.  *Ü* Actually, I would have liked it a lot more if I'd had a bigger one to put on there.  

Thank you for spending a little time with me today on my blog and be sure to enter your project at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog link-up for your chance to win a $50.00 Gift Voucher from the Simon Says Stamp Store.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

One Card for 3 Challenges

It's not very often that I have a card that works for 3 challenges but I do today and I'm so excited.  I am playing at The Fusion Card Challenge, Double D Challenges and CAS (Clean and Simple) on Sunday Challenges.

The image on the left is the inspiration image from The Fusion Card Challenge. Jennifer McGuire even played at The Fusion this week!  We haven't yet gotten our first snow here in Northeastern Oklahoma, but it went all around us last week and even schools were closed on Friday! My daughter even had a little snow in Texas but so far, none for us. CAS on Sunday's theme this week is Black and White with one color of our choosing.  I used Pure Poppy Ink from Papertrey Ink.

The Double D Challenge is having it's 3rd Anniversary this week. Since my grandson, Charlie, is about to have the "Anniversary" of his birthday, I went in that direction with this challenge by using numbers from the Bookprint #'s Die. I don't have the Bookprint Alphabet Dies but I plan to put them on my Wish List now.  I also used the Customer Appreciation gift, Celebrate Big, from Papertrey Ink.  I wasn't sure I would like this set because it isn't my usual style but I qualified to get one so I wanted to try it out. I LOVE it! By using the negative from the die cut with the MISTI, it was very easy to line it up for stamping.

The stamps and dies are all together in this set and I used Papertrey Ink's True Black and Pure Poppy Inks to do all of the stamping. It was so easy to do the banners with the clever way Nichole designed this set. There are also a few little filler images that I didn't use today. With the background paper, it wouldn't have been noticeable but I plan to use them soon.

This set is only available for a short time with a qualifying purchase so hurry if you want to get one for yourself.

I used Papertrey Ink's Stamper's Select White Cardstock and True Black Cardstock with a piece of Creative Memories Gingham that I have had for close to 20 years!  As usual, I used my Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Dies in the largest size to cut the white mat.

I hope to get a couple of other projects up this week.  I'll be gone for a couple of weeks this month (I'm so excited to be attending CHA), but I have projects for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Designer in the Spotlight each Wednesday.  The projects are finished and the blog posts scheduled.  Be sure to stop by as my last two blog posts feature some Valentine's Day projects.  My post for January 25th is my favorite of the ones I've made so far this year.

I'll be taking lots of notes at CHA about new products that are coming although I confess I am most excited about seeing Tim Holtz and hearing about the new "Distress" items coming to market in 2017!

Thank you so much for stopping by today. The kind and encouraging comments you leave for me are so appreciated and treasured.  I hope you'll be back soon!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Inspired By All The Little Things #38

Inspired By All the Little Things is starting the new year with a beautiful challenge inspiration photo. Isn't this just the most elegant setting?  It uses Pink and Mauve with Metallic Gold so you know that I love this look. Roses are always a classic look although I didn't use them today. You all might get sick of seeing me use this set!

I love the color of the drapes on the chairs so that was my starting point for today's card. I also love the sheer elegance of the entire image. I've been playing for the last few days with a gorgeous new stamp and die from Papertrey Ink called Fresh Bouquet with the Fresh Bouquet Die.  I am so enamored with this set.  As a girl who loves to heat emboss, this set is right up my ally.  The entire outline can be stamped with Versamark and heat embossed all at once (no masking required) and then you can stamp the individual layers in the various colors. You could also stamp the outline in the color of your choosing (such as Black), it's just that I really love gold heat embossing! That is what I did here using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder on Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  Next I stamped the floral layers with Papertrey Ink Lavender Moon, Altenew Puffy Heart and Purple Wine Inks. I used Altenew's Forest Glades for the greenery.  I'm still trying to familiarize myself with the Altenew Inks and the colors vs. the names. I have the stuff to make a swatch book, I just haven't done it yet.  I'm thinking that might need to happen sooner rather than later.

I cut the card base from Lavender Moon Cardstock using the Noted: Scalloped A2 Vertical Dies. While the name would make you think this is a shade of lavender, it actually works better with most blue based pinks like Lovely Lady, Hibiscus Burst, Raspberry Fizz, etc. Autumn Rose looks particularly nice!  I haven't mentioned it for a while but Papertrey Cardstocks are heavyweight, 110# super smooth cardstock. The quality simply can't be beat and the price is also fantastic. Colored cardstock is $5.00 for 24 sheets.  Stamper's Select White Cardstock is $6.00 for 40 sheets.

I wanted to make several of these cards to send to some of my girlfriends.  I don't live near any of my long time girlfriends and it is often hard to stay connected with so many miles and activities between us.  Everyone is busy with their own families and we just kind of drift away from each other. Sending cards is a great way to stay connected to them and remind them that I'm only a phone call away.

On this particular card (although I made several) I used foam tape on the white background panel and the floral bouquet. I adhered the sentiment and the little hearts directly to the background panel using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

If you get a chance, be sure to stop by the Inspired By All the Little Things Blog to check out all of the Design Team's Projects. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today. If you'd like to leave a comment, I really enjoy reading them. Have a great weekend, everyone! 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Starting Afresh

Today I sat down and got out some previously unused items for the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge "Start Afresh". The idea is to take something out of the package that hasn't been used before and see what you can make. For me, this meant I had time to play with a few things that I haven't had a chance to before now.  A few months back I got several sets of the Altenew Cube Inks that come in Color Families. While I have used most of the colors at least once I hadn't done any layered stamping to see how well the colors go together.

For the stamping I did today, I used the three lightest shades of the families Rose Petal, Glacier Caves and Cool Summer Nights.  I have 8 different sets of these cubes encompassing nearly every color group except yellows and greys. I have those colors in other brands of ink, but today was only about trying out the families of Altenew Inks. The containers I use for Distress Ink Cubes and Altenew Ink Cubes hold 32 colors each, so I'd have to add another container in order to expand either of those sets. This 5 drawer chest is on my wish list. I'm really good with the inks I have right now.  I have some larger style pads but I love the ink cubes for using with my MISTI tool as I have a tendency to drop the larger size pads.  They are also great to use for techniques and the Altenew Inks share many of the same characteristics as Distress Inks.  They blend well and easily, they are great to use for watercolor techniques, and they are easily distressed by adding water via spray or droplets.  I don't personally care for too much of that look but I like to keep my options open to include everything.

I want to spend just a few minutes talking about the Altenew Ink Cubes. These are, like many others out there, 1 x 1 inch raised felt ink pads.  The biggest and most important difference for me is how incredibly well the Altenew Inks keep their lids on. They "snap" on tighter one way vs. the other, so if I don't feel I got that snap, I rotate it 90 degrees and do it again.  I have never had an Altenew Ink Cube lid pop off (so far).  Even Distress Inks lose their lids from time to time and if you don't notice right away, it can dry out your pad.  I keep reinkers for my most used Distress Inks (Pinks and Purples) and also for all of my Papertrey Ink Cubes. Altenew's Reinkers come in individual colors or in the sets of four colors from the coordinating sets that can be bought together.  It's a pretty significant investment of funds so I haven't done that yet but when I do, I'm pretty sure I will start with the Rose Petals family of colors given my love for pink.  I really love how clear and transparent the Altenew Inks are as well.  For me, different inks accomplish different things so you have to know what you are looking for.  Simon Says Stamp Inks for example, are highly pigmented and give you deep rich color. Distress Inks require multiple layer stamping to get the deeper tones.

It's a little bit hard to figure out or narrow down your choices if you are just getting started with making cards. I chose the inks I wanted to try by asking lots of questions from some of my favorite designers.  I also try to stick to one or two lines of inks.  WPLUS9, Simon Says Stamp and Hero Arts Inks are all manufactured by the same company and have the same properties so it probably isn't necessary to buy all three lines.  There are so many inks to choose from out there but a good place to start is by watching Jennifer McGuire's Ink Comparison Video here.

I also pulled out a December release stamp set called Fresh Bouquet along with the Fresh Bouquet Coordinating Die from Papertrey Ink.  This may seem like a simple set but it is not to be underestimated. One of the great things about this stamp set is that it contains an outline image for the floral grouping and then individual layers for the various parts of the bouquet. If you're like me and love heat embossing, this set is genius.  It was designed by Nichole Heady and I hope she'll be doing more of this style in the future.  I love to watercolor but I don't always have the time to do it.  This stamp set gives me the best of both worlds!

The bouquet on this card was created using the Rose Petals Inks in Rose Quartz and Puffy Heart and the berries were done in Lavender Fields which is part of the Shades of Purple Family with the leaves stamped in Forest Glades.

This bouquet was stamped in the Cool Summer Nights family using the Sea Glass, Ocean Waves and Dusk inks.  Forest glades was again used for the greenery.  For these florals, I die cut the bouquet first, then heat embossed the outline image using Versamark with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  The sentiments are from Papertrey Ink's Big Basics Die Collection.  All of the sentiments in this collection are large and impactful but you can pick and choose which ones work for you.  The little hearts are from the Simon Says Stamp Mini Hearts Die.  The card base is made from Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue Cardstock with the Noted: A2 Scalloped Notecard Die.

Thank you so much for coming by today.  I hope you enjoyed my observations on Altenew Inks and I'd love to see what you make.  Your kind and encouraging comments are very much appreciated and I hope you'll take time to leave me one. Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Simon Says Stamp "New Somethings"

I am so excited to be the Designer in the Spotlight for the month of January over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog. Each Wednesday Morning this month (January 2017), I will be joining the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Design Team on their blog featuring products available in the Simon Says Stamp Store.  This is the first week of the month, so we will be featuring Simon Says Stamp Exclusive Products.  

Starting with 2 pieces of 4.25 x 5.5 inch watercolor paper, and the Snowflake Border Die I ran both through my die cutting machine with an embossing sandwich rather than a cutting sandwich. I have a Cuttlebug Embossing Pad and a Spellbinders Embossing Pad.  The Spellbinders is a bit thicker so I used the Cuttlebug Embossing Pad for this. This will make an impression on both pieces of the watercolor paper so that I can keep them lined up the same. Then putting the die back into the impression, I ran one panel through again, this time with a cutting sandwich so that it would give me two pieces.  The impression also creates a place for the die cut to rest in when I adhere it.  I also cut three of the snowflake borders from thick white cardstock, gluing them together with spray adhesive to make a nice thick embellishment.  I covered the thick embellishment with an all over layer of spray adhesive and sprinkled Elizabeth Craft Designs Cool Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter all over it.  I used my Teflon Bone Folder to burnish the glitter into the paper and set it aside to dry completely while I worked on the other parts of my card.  

Using a Mini Round Ink Blending Tool, I ink blended all along the embossed area of the whole piece with Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue Ink.  Then taking just the wave panel from the other piece, I did a heavier concentration of color all along the edge to help it pop. I let that dry for several minutes and then stamped and embossed my greeting on the left side panel using Versamark with Ranger Gold Tinsel Embossing Powder. The greeting is from an older stamp set that I had gotten a few years ago, way before I ever started making or even thinking about making cards but it's also the only one I have for New Year's.

I attached that wave piece to the whole piece with temporary adhesive so that I could again, run both layers through the die cutting machine with the Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Dies in the largest size.  It doesn't usually cut through both layers, but it makes enough of an impression on the bottom layer to be able to re-align the one that didn't cut the first time perfectly into the die and run it through again.  I was very careful to make sure everything was lined up before I ran it through my cutting sandwich.  I'm using the die to help me get exact placement for both cuts. You could of course, make a single layer card, but I wanted to add that bit of dimension to my card.

Next I glued the glittered embellishment to that bottom layer that is still in one piece using Ranger Multi Medium Matte. I snipped off the ends of the border to be even with the Stitched Rectangle Panel, and attached that to my card base made from Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue Cardstock using my ATG Gun Then I attached the wavy piece with the sentiment to the whole piece. The panel to the left of the snowflake border is popped up on Thin 3D Foam Squares.  You could use any kind of foam tape or a piece of fun foam cut to size.  Some spritzes with Tsukineko Sheer Sparkle Shimmer Spritz to the whole front of the card finishes it off nicely. This is the reason I'm called the "Twinkling Paper Studio".
Thank you so much for stopping by today. I always really appreciate your kind and encouraging comments. Be sure to enter your project in the link up at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog for your chance to win a $50.00 Gift Voucher to shop at Simon Says Stamp!  There will be so many beautiful projects to see at the link up as well.  All of the supplies are linked at the Simon Says Stamp Store or there is a link in the side bar of this blog that takes you to the store. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Birthday Greetings for Anything Goes

Hello and HAPPY 2017!  My first post for the new year is a birthday card for the Anything Goes Challenge at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog.  I actually have quite a few birthdays in January and I've been wanting to use this Concord & 9th Stamp Set called "Hello Lovely".  You know how I love to watercolor and this bouquet is perfect for the technique.  Someone else has already done the work of putting the bouquet together so no masking is required and I can heat emboss the outline using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Metallic Embossing Powder which you also know I love.  *Ü*

I stamped 4 of this same card panel onto Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper and heat embossed them. I didn't need it this time but I often do this so I don't have to stop what I am doing to stamp another if I make a mistake. I like to watercolor on a clipboard because you have something to hold down the paper but you aren't having to tape off your project. I've also got a small cutting board with a handle that I can use, but I'm more comfortable with the clip board and they only cost 99¢ at your local dollar store. I have two of these and I use the other one for Copic Coloring.  It has a sheet protector with my Hex Chart in it to refer to if needed when I am coloring. Sandy Allnock created the Hex Chart and you can get one at her website here.  You get a colored one and an uncolored one to color in as you get Copic markers so you can see what you have and what you need.  

I've been dying to make this card using some of my purple Distress Markers.  For this card I used Wilted Violet, Seedless Preserves, and a touch of Milled Lavender along with some Picked Raspberry and Spun Sugar.  The leaves were water colored with Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn Distress Markers.

I cut a card base from Winter Wisteria Cardstock using the Papertrey Ink Noted: Vertical A2 Scalloped Note Card Die.  I cut the painted panel with Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Die in the largest size, then realigned it to make it narrower and a better fit for the card base and attached it to the card base using my ATG Adhesive.

I didn't want to cover up the watercolor painting with a sentiment, so I die cut the Paper Clippings Birthday Details Banner from Stamper's Select Vellum and attached the Happy Birthday die cut to that.  The Happy Birthday Die is one from Penny Black and is no longer available but there are lots of others out there to choose from.  Once that was dry, I put some adhesive behind the letters on the vellum to attach it to the card front.

I hope you enjoyed my card for today.  I have a few more to make and I think I will be creating some more using this same stamp set. Please come back again.  I have another blog post going live tomorrow morning and I will be joining the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge team as the Designer in the Spotlight for January.  I am so excited and I hope you'll be sure to stop over there and see all the projects!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Few Floral Favorites from 2016

Hello Everyone!  I am here today with a blog post that highlights some of my favorite cards from this year (2016). For most of these, I can even tell you who I sent it to. This first card was sent to my sweet friend, Amanda who endured 20 months of Chemo and 4 surgeries (her final one was yesterday) so she could battle Breast Cancer.  She has been so valiant in those efforts!   In 2015, my husband and I traveled the entire southeast portion of the United States and that included stopping in Charlotte, NC to see Amanda. It's an experience that did and continues to touch my heart.  This card is made with supplies that are primarily from Papertrey Ink (Cover Plate Twist) with the exception of the leaves which are a My Favorite Things die. 

This card was sent to Amanda as well although at a later time.  She told me she actually fell asleep with this card the day she got it and when she woke, it was under her pillow.  It was a simple card, but it turned out so well. I love the little Chickadee and this one from WPLUS9's Clear Day Stamp Set is a favorite.  I don't want to send the same style of card to the same person over and over, so part of what I do is dreaming up something new and different. The thing about handmade cards is that each one is different, even when you are using the exact same supplies.  

For the next card, I was experimenting with my Kuretake Zig Gansai Tambi Watercolors and Finetec Metallic Gold Watercolors to make this gorgeous watercolored card for one of my sisters-in-law. This is another WPLUS9 Stamp set called Lucky Stars

The next card in my line-up features my favorite flowering tree, the Dogwood. This is a wood block stamp from Impression Obsession that I have had for a number of years (10+).  This was the first time I had used it. I love the Legend of the Dogwood and how it relates to Christianity.

I confess, I haven't yet mailed this card to anyone.  I didn't finish it until after Easter so it is waiting for Easter 2017 to be sent out. The die cut "Easter" is from Simon Says Stamp.  

Next up is a card I created using Altenew's Persian Motifs Stamp Set and Graceful Greetings from Papertrey Ink.  Since I started making cards, I have learned that I have several favorite colors besides pink; aqua, teal, sugarplum, coral, etc.  I also love heat embossing and gold embossing powder. My favorite gold embossing powder is Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  I painted this using Nicholson's Peerless Watercolors with some Perfect Pearls Pigment Powder in the water.  

My next card features another Altenew Stamp Set called Beautiful Day.  There are Beautiful Day Coordinating Dies for this set which I also used.  In addition I used the love die from the Hero Arts Love Stamp and Cut. My daughter loved this card, so I sent it to her.

Next in the lineup is a card I sent to a Canadian friend and uses the Papertrey Ink Hands of Time Stamp Set with WOW! Metallic Gold Sparkle Embossing Powder; another favorite! I love ink blending and I used that technique for this card.  The Awesome Die is from Waffle Flower Crafts and the little hearts are from a Simon Says Stamp Die called Mini Hearts Set.  

This next card uses Papertrey Ink's Tulip Time Stamp Set and Tulip Time Coordinating Dies. This card was made for my friend Yana and I wanted to send her something that she wouldn't make herself. It uses a "go to formula" that Yana shared on her blog along with papers from Papertrey Ink (Berry Sorbet) and even a paper called Sea Glass that is from Creative Memories. Creative Memories papers aren't normally suitable for card making, but since this is only a mat layer, it was fine. Yana does a lot of how to videos on her blog and I wanted to thank her for sharing her knowledge and expertise with all of us card makers and crafters. As you can see, I love these Tulips and I used them many times over the course of the year. I'm looking forward to using them again in 2017.  

Another 2016 favorite is the Altenew Beautiful Day Stamp and Coordinating Die Set.  I used it for every kind of card but my favorite was to wish someone a really nice day or a Thinking of You type card. It is always so nice to get a card in the mail from a friend who lets you know they are thinking of you, especially for no particular reason. The "Perfect" Die is another from Waffle Flower Crafts.  Even though I used the same basic supplies, each card has a different look. I love it when I can mix and match supplies from all different manufacturers to create the perfect card for the person I am sending it to. 
These are just a few of my favorite floral cards from 2016.  There are many others. Beautiful Day and Tulip Time were my most used stamp sets in 2016 for good reason.  They are incredibly beautiful and the coordinating dies make them just that much more stunning on your finished project.

I'd love to hear about your favorites from the year.  I barely made it into Spring with this post so I'm thinking next year I need to break my favorites into about 3 posts during the last week of the year.  Some of the Christmas cards I made were also among my favorites for the year, but I've been sick this week, so I never got to it.

I have several fun projects coming up this month as I am the Designer in the Spotlight for the Simon Says Wednesday Challenge every Wednesday in January. I hope you'll stop by to see my project each week.

I'm wishing you all the happiest possible New Year in 2017!  Stay safe and make sure you carve out some crafty time int he new year as well.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Simon Says Anything Goes

by Marika Rahtu for Altenew
Hello everyone!  I hope each of you had a wonderful holiday.  As 2016 comes to a close, I'm spending a bit of time revisiting some older techniques. The one I'm using to play along on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge this week is from an Altenew Academy Class.

If you've been coming to my blog for a while, you know that I am a huge fan of Marika Rahtu's!  There's a link to her blog in my sidebar if you don't want to follow the link just now. I really miss seeing her around but she is very busy these days since she's returned to work after a few years off to be a stay-at-home-mom to her girls.

This past June, I took an online class at Altenew Academy called "Beautiful Details" which was taught by Marika. I loved the class but at the time I took it, I didn't really have a suitable stamp for "Lesson One: Artistic Flowers", so I am just now going back to it. One of the benefits of taking online classes is that you can go back and revisit any lesson at any time.

Marika has a way of looking at stamps and seeing something entirely different than what most people do, so I tried to look at my stamps in that same way to see what I had that could be used for this technique. This is Marika's gorgeous card made with a single stamp from the Painted Roses Stamp Set.  I don't have this set, so I looked around at all my stamp sets to see what I had that was similar in size and shape. Marika (and I) created all the different colors by coloring onto our stamp and using 2-3 generations of stamping to create the various levels of color. I only have a couple of colors of Tombow Markers (1 black and 1 brown) so I used two different inks for my second card; Lilac Grace and Winter Wisteria.  The first card base is made from Pale Peony Cardstock and the 2nd from Lilac Grace Cardstock.  I'm still wanting to try this method with Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens, Altenew Inks, and Distress Markers as well but I'll have to do that another day.

For my artistic (impressionistic) flowers, I used a couple of the leaf stamps from WPLUS9's Pretty Peonies Stamp Set.  I think you could also use leaves or layers from other stamp sets such as Altenew Painted Flowers or Altenew Watercolor Wonders, but I found that I like the elongated leaves of the set I used for this. I had to stamp several more times than Marika did, but I'm okay with that. I also don't have a Copic Multi Liner like Marika used, so I just used the fine point ends from other markers. On the first card, I used Nuvo Crystal Drops in Glossy Black and for the 2nd card I used three different colors of purple sequins.

My third card once again uses the Black Tombow Marker and the Glossy Black Nuvo Crystal Drops.  If you don't have a black Tombow Marker, you could use black ink or a coupe of shades of black and grey inks. I had a lot of fun playing with this technique and I have a few other colors and stamps I'd like to try it with as well. Each of these front panels has been cut with the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Die before mounting on to a card base.  By inking the sentiment multiple times (using a MISTI) with the ink color I wanted to use and then pouring clear embossing powder over the top, I was able to heat emboss to get a bolder look for my greeting.

I hope I've inspired you to look through your stamp sets and see what shapes you have that can create the look of a flower or branch.  If you don't have markers, just stamp in a variety of color using ink pads.  Also, you can check out Marika's class called "Beautiful Details" at Altenew Academy.  At $8.95 for the class, I think it is a whole lot of bang for your buck!

Thank you so much for stopping by today to spend a bit of time with me.  I love reading your kind and encouraging comments, so don't hesitate if you'd like to leave one.