Monday, April 6, 2020

A Simple Card Made With Stylish Memory Box Products


Hello everyone.  It's Vicki here with you today to share a really simple but beautiful card with you.  It's no secret that I like geometric dies and I think a lot of that comes from my love of Art Deco Style. 

Recently, I took a watercolor card class and learned that Hot Press or Bristol Paper doesn't really hold up well when you need to use it with a lot of water, but this is a cold-pressed paper, so it isn't an issue at all.  It is also a really beautiful paper for ink blending and splatter techniques, which I really love to do. The texture of the paper on the front side reminds me of pinwale corduroy, only not that deep.  It's super cool.

 
To start this card, I used an ink blending brush on a sheet of the new Memory Box Watercolor Paper that comes in a 4.5 x 5.75-inch sheet.  I blended Hawaiian Shores Ink over the center of the panel.  and gently worked my way out all the way around this piece.  Next, I gave it a generous amount of splatter with Daniel Smith Iridescent Aztec Gold Watercolor.  You need to use a very small, fine brush with long bristles to get this small splatter.  I have a Princeton Neptune Script Brush in Size 1 for this purpose.  I set that aside to dry for a little while, and moved on to my die-cutting.

The Stylish Rectangle Trio has three different sizes of rectangles but I cut the smaller two from Gold Foiled Cardstock.  I also cut the 4 different layers of the Birch Press Design Sparkler Butterfly from colored Glitter Cardstock that Memory Box recently released. The gold glitter card is from Simon Says Stamp but the rest is Memory Box.  I assembled the butterfly layers using ranger Multi-Medium Matte then laid a heavy 5 x 7 glass block on the top to let it finish drying.


Going back to my ink blended panel, I decided I also wanted to add some iridescent gold shimmer mist to the panel.  This spray is very fine, but if you haven't used it for a few days, it can put some larger drips on there as well.  I didn't mind that as this gives it that somewhat distressed look that feels more organic.  If you want just the fine mist, be sure to spray it into a box or whatever first until the mist is coming out evenly without the big drops.  Be sure to wipe off the hole on the nozzle for a "clean" spray. 


Once that dried, I die cut the panel with the Matinee Rectangle Layers Die in the largest size.  I made a card base from Hawaiian Shores Cardstock and started assembling my card. I ran the Stylish Rectangle Frames, very carefully, through my 5-inch Xyron and then ran it through my die cutting machine with an embossing sandwich so that I didn't have to spend time going around each frame with a little tool and then still have gooey strings to pull off.  This trick works every time. It saves a lot of time and frustration in dealing with glue strings.  And because the frames have such a fine line, this was much easier to do than trying to use a liquid adhesive that I got all over the outside of the gold foil.  That would ruin the look.  I added some sequins then added the gems onto the sequins to cover the little holes and add a lot of sparkle and shine to my card.

Affiliate Links may be used at no additional cost to you.

Birch Press Design Sparkler Butterfly Layer Set
Birch Press Design Sparkler Butterfly Layer Set
Shop at:
SSS
I2P Cardstock - Hawaiian Shores
I2P Cardstock - Hawaiian Shores
Shop at:
PTI/ITP
I2P Perfect Match Hawaiian Shores
I2P Perfect Match Hawaiian Shores
Shop at:
PTI/ITP
Kokuyo Long Dot Adhesive
Kokuyo Long Dot Adhesive
Shop at:
SSS
Memory Box Delicate Pastel Glitter Cardstock
Memory Box Delicate Pastel Glitter Cardstock
Shop at:
SSS
Memory Box Matinee Rectangle Layers
Memory Box Matinee Rectangle Layers
Shop at:
SSS
Memory Box Stylish Rectangle Trio
Memory Box Stylish Rectangle Trio
Shop at:
SSS
Memory Box Twinkling Jewel Glitter Cardstock Pad
Memory Box Twinkling Jewel Glitter Cardstock Pad
Shop at:
SSS
Ranger Multi Medium Matte
Ranger Multi Medium Matte
Shop at:
SSS
ScraPerfect No Clog Tip for Ranger Multi Medium Matte
ScraPerfect No Clog Tip for Ranger Multi Medium Matte
Shop at:
SSS
Xyron Create-A-Sticker - 5 inch
Xyron Create-A-Sticker - 5 inch
Shop at:
SSS
Xyron Create-A-Sticker - 5-Inch Refill
Xyron Create-A-Sticker - 5-Inch Refill
Shop at:
SSS

Friday, March 27, 2020

Using Old Favorites In New Ways


Hello everyone!  Vicki here with you today.  I have a new project using some of my "old" favorites from Memory Box and a stamp set from Poppy Stamps as well.  I love being able to use supplies in my "collection" to pull a completely different style of card together.

You might remember this card from last fall that I created using the Grateful Autumn Stamp Set from Memory Box.  I used Metallic Watercolors on Stonehenge Black Watercolor Paper from Legion (who also makes Yupo Paper).

Just because it has Autumn in the name doesn't mean it can't be used for any of the other seasons that have leaves.  Lots of folks north of Texas live in states where it is still snowing this week and they don't even have the first little buds of leaves out on their trees.  Here in North Texas, Our Redbuds are just budding out this week and in a week or so, we'll have lots of small green leaves popping out everywhere.  The Bradford Pears have also begun blooming.  In Texas, we have Live Oak Trees, and they stay green year-round.  There are many such trees in Texas and I remember being fascinated by them when we first moved to Texas in the late 1990's.  Being a midwestern girl, the only kind of evergreen trees I had ever seen were the Cedar and Evergreen varieties that remind you of Christmas Trees.  There is a huge, ancient, Live Oak Tree on the grounds of the Alamo.  Its limbs have grown so heavy that many are now supported by giant cables and many are literally laying on the ground, but still growing.


Today I wanted to use this same stamp set to create a pretty Wet-On-Wet Watercolor Background with a lot of visual interest.   Using the large image from the set, I heat embossed it onto a 5 x 7 panel of Watercolor Paper.  Next, I wet the entire panel using a #10 Escoda Versatil Paint Brush. These brushes are hand made in Barcelona Spain and have a Triple Crimp Ferrule and they don't shed!


Next, I added Diopside Genuine in a pretty concentrated mix of paint and water.  I sort of dabbed at the area of the leaves but didn't stay within the lines.  I let that dry and then repeated the process with Ultramarine Turquoise, making sure to extend the paint and water to the entire panel, letting it move freely as I turned the paper.  When it was not quite dry, I went in with a very watery layer of Iridescent Gold Watercolor on the top and turning the paper, again let it move around the entire panel of watercolor paper.  As this dries, the gold settles into the texture of the paper making it very visible.


I die cut the panel with a Rectangle Basics Die and then used the leftover piece to heat emboss my sentiment onto. The sentiment is from Poppy Stamps Butterfly Greetings Stamp Set and I love this font!  Using a smaller Rectangle Basics Die I die cut the sentiment out and then used the next size up to cut a mat from Gold Foiled Cardstock. I popped the sentiment up on some foam tape.  I also had an already cut piece of cardstock sitting there that I had previously cut for another project and then didn't use, so it was perfect for this.


I die cut the Drifting Side Butterfly from the center of that panel, which is a very economical way to use your gold cardstock and although I don't often do it that way, I should!  I don't sit and plan out a card from beginning to end with what I'm going to do.  I'm definitely a "fly by the seat of your pants" cardmaker.  I get an idea of what stamp set I want to use and what technique, but that's as far as the planning goes until I actually sit down to put the card together.  So usually, I'm too far into the process when I think about using the gold foiled cardstock that way.

I absolutely love all the shimmer and shine on this card and that perfect final touch was the sequins and gems I added.  These particular sequins are iridescent teal and they matched so well.  I've had them for years and I don't know where they came from.  I will be really sad when I run out as they are so pretty.  Then as I often do, I added a little gem in the center of the sequin which really makes everything sparkle and shine.

I did play around with adding colored cardstock or shimmer cardstock for the butterfly's body behind the gold frame, but I didn't care for any of the colors I tried over just using the gold outline, which allowed the watercolor to be seen through the wings.

This next part is about my adventures in Watercolor if you are interested in that. I have been thoroughly enjoying a lot of playtime with my recent creation of a watercolor palette from the tubes of Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors that I have been purchasing over the last 18 or so months.  I just bought two, or occasionally three, tubes at a time until I went to put a palette together and actually squeeze some paint out of the tube and into the paint wells. This is a big commitment for me to actually put some paint into a palette. I've been using reinkers or Zig Markers for the most part, but they aren't Light-fast and Fade Resistant, so I have been wanting to upgrade to real watercolors for quite a while. My friends that Watercolor all said Daniel Smith is the best.  Then once I had that done, I went back and filled in any holes that I felt I had.  As I filled in my palette, I thought about what colors I might be missing and so I got about 10 tubes there all at one shot.

There's also a Daniel Smith Watercolor Split Group on Facebook and I knew I wanted to get one particular split called the "I" Split which consists of Half Pans of all the Iridescent, Interference and Duochrome Colors in the Daniel Smith line.  By purchasing a split which contains 48 colors, I could try all of the colors and see which ones I liked the most and then perhaps purchase a few tubes of those for a smaller palette.  You can see my large palette here which is about 12.5 inches wide by 5.5 inches deep and contains 33 lanted paint wells.

Okay, so I know I am not kidding anyone here when I say I "might" want to purchase a few of the iridescent colors to put into a smaller palette.  I definitely did want to purchase some, but surprisingly, I managed to keep it to a relatively small number of such tubes; just 7.  The colors I chose for this are Interference Lilac, Interference Red, Interference Green, Interference Blue, Iridescent Gold (DUH *Ü*), Pearlescent Shimmer, and Iridescent Aztec Gold (what I would call Antique Gold),  I also found these super cute tiny palettes that are made to hold 6 Full Pans or 12 Half Pans of color.  My I-Split is in a larger Pink Meeden Palette just like this one.  I got a small pink one for the Iridescent and Interference Colors.  However, by lifting the rails out of the bottom of the tin, you can have at least 12 Full Pans. We just use a Zot on the bottom to hold the pan in place if you are worried about them moving around, which they definitely do move in the rails.  I've also been told the rails rust from water, so by removing this piece, it eliminates the problem. 

Then there is also the cute little tin in this beautiful blue which will hold 12 full pans or as many as 18 or 19 half pans, depending on the configuration you want to use.  I am planning to use one of these with an 18 pan configuration. that is a combination of full and half pans. The pink tin came with 6 full pans, but the blue didn't come with any so I had to order some.  The other colors I add here will be from the tubes I already have and will be chosen based on the things I paint most often, which is flowers. I ordered some empty half and full pans, so I'm just waiting for them to arrive before I make a final decision on which size to use in these small palettes. I think it is likely to be a combination of both sizes.

I love the technique of underpainting with the Iridescent and Interference colors so I want to have both options available to me in a travel size.  These are the perfect size at 4.75 x 2.75 inches as opposed to my large palette that is 13 x 8 inches with 33 large wells.  When we travel, we are usually heading home to the farm which is an 8-hour drive with no stops. Since Watercolor relaxes me, I want to have it available when we arrive at our destination.  If you've been thinking about watercolors, I would encourage you to buy a few to start with before you make the investment into a full palette. The extra fold-out piece is a mixing tray.  You can easily remove this by putting a corsage pin into the end and pushing the metal rod out.  Then grab ahold and just pull and you can remove the tray.  I'm planning to leave mine in since I got these for Travel Palettes.

When I did my large palette, I swatched all the colors I have onto watercolor paper and then I laminated those strips and also made a label for each row going across as you can see in the picture.  I didn't put much paint into this palette yet in case I want to move colors around, which I already do. I also put colors together in the way I use them, not in Rainbow order.  As you can see, the yellow and orange are on the back row because I use them less often.  I have 4 greens and I primarily use two of them for foliage.  There are so many colors in the full line but I don't have "Full Set Syndrome".  I have "What I Need and Will Use Syndrome".  I do have smaller palettes in this style and have a few colors in one already that is primarily for Neutrals and Titanium White.  I mostly use Moonglow or Alvaro's Fresco for my Neutrals so far.

These palettes come with a mixing tray also, but they are plastic and don't come completely clean, even with bleach, so I have a white porcelain plate that is 14 x 5 inches that sits in front of the palette and I use that for my mixing palette.  As I have freely admitted before, I am rather neurotic. *Ü*

If you have any questions, just ask and I'll reply back to you!  I'm very glad I didn't go out and buy a whole bunch of colors all in one shot.  I'm happy that I kept it to a few in each color family and then added in where I felt I was missing.  It has kept it affordable for me to do it this way.  I definitely have to admit, real watercolors are much better than using reinkers!  The results, with the proper paper, is a lot more predictable.  Paper and brushes are a very individual choice, but let me just say that cold press in totally the way to go.  Hot Pressed cannot stand up to the water and brushstrokes and it pills very quickly.  My personal preference is for Fabriano Artistico Extra White Cold Pressed 140# Paper.  All of the Bristol and Hot pressed that I have on hand will work fine for blended or even watercolor washes.  But it doesn't stand up to the burshstrokes. 

If you're interested in paints or palettes, my purchases came from Amazon for the most part.  They have an excellent selection of Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors, a variety of sizes and styles of palettes and pretty much any brush you might want.  I love my Escoda Versatil Travel brushes but I looked at them as a long term investment.  If you want something less expensive to begin with, I'd recommend trying the Silver Black Velvet Series in a Size 6 and something smaller to begin with.  Don't buy a bunch until you've tried your hand at it with a few brushes. You can even purchase one of the Daniel Smith Dot Watercolor Cards to get a feel for it and that is a very inexpensive way to start out.  Here's a link to a 66 color dot card.

If you want to buy a few tubes at a time like I did, this is the link I made most of my purchases from.  You have to scroll through the colors to select which ones you want.  Have a great day and thank you so much for stopping by.

Supplies




Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Altenew Celebrating Parents Card Drive Blog Hop + Giveaway


Hello Everyone!! Welcome to the Altenew 2020 Celebrating Parents Card Drive and Blog Hop sponsored by Altenew. Now more than ever, our elderly parents or grandparents are isolated and many who live in nursing homes can't have visitors due to the outbreak of the Corona Virus. Our elderly are particularly susceptible to the virus since as we age, our immune systems become weaker.  Altenew holds a Card Drive for these folks annually and this year they will be collecting cards from 3/3/2020 to 4/20/2020.  

Altenew 
ATTN: Card Drive 
6179 East Molloy Road 
East Syracuse, NY 13057

I hope you are all doing well during this difficult time.  We are self-isolating since we are just outside the Dallas Metroplex where they have a Shelter In Place order in effect from the Governor.  You all stay safe out there as well.  Let's get on to the projects!


I have four cards for you today.  This first card was totally inspired by my crafty friend and fellow Altenew Educator, Amber Rain Davis.  I linked her blog as she has an awesome one.  She did a card similar to this one in a YouTube Video found here.

I used a different stamp set, but the technique was the same.  I started coloring the petals with a Sunset Pink Pencil and then using a blending stump to move that pencil around in the direction of the petals. I didn't use any Gamsol or Mineral Spirits.  This is a dry blending of the charcoal rather than covering the entire petal with color.  For the center of the blooms, I added in some deep, more concentrated color and also some white highlights. When it came time to do the leaves that go with this set, I stamped them directly onto a Spicy Yogurt 4.25 x 5.5 panel and then went back in with Charcoal pencil to add the idea of some veins.


Once I had it colored and blended out, I stamped the image again, using Versamark this time and heat set it with Golden Peach Embossing Powder.  Using different thicknesses of foam tape, I place the blooms on the front panel and attached it to a Nude Metallic Card Base.

Between when I made this first card (in February) and now, I took the Artists Watercolor 101 for Paper Crafters over at Altenew Academy.  Emily Midgett teaches this class.  I have taken other classes, but until now, it just hasn't clicked for me.  I think the problem was not having the proper tools to do the job!  I changed two main things.  Instead of using Reinkers, I am using high-quality Watercolors and I am using (for the first time) Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper.  My particular preference at this time is Fabriano Artistico Extra White Cold Pressed #140 paper.  Lots of people like Arches Cold-Pressed, but I tried both and prefer the Fabriano.  Altenew just came out with a watercolor paper in the last few days and I hope to be able to try some out in the future.

My next cards all use the Floral Art Stamp Set again only this time I paired it up with the leaves from the Beautiful Heart Stamp Set.  I love the leaves in that set and so I decided to pair the two sets up for my focal image.  I especially like that the leaves are large enough to watercolor which I am into very much right now.  I try to show all the different ways to use the same set and regular stamping didn't even enter into it this time around.  That's probably because I'm taking a watercolor class over at Altenew Academy right now, so I'm more into line images rather than filling them in with stamped in color.


On this card, I heat embossed the images onto Fabriano Artistico Extra White Cold Pressed #140 Watercolor Paper with Gold Embossing Powder and then watercolored them using Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors.  Since this was one of my first projects for class, there are lots of light layers here.  I used a sentiment from the Extra Special Stamp Set that says "Happy Mothers Day".  I used some patterned paper for the background layer.


Next up is my favorite of the three cards.  For this particular bloom, I used one of Emily's Wet on Wet Techniques from the class to create an "underpainting". I used Quinacridone Pink with Finetec Gold Metallic Paint.  Once I let that completely dry, I stamped the bloom on top of that piece and proceeded to paint over it.  In person, you can really see the shimmer and shine of the underpainting and I love the intensity of color in this bloom.


To keep this card clean and simple I chose to put the bloom on a plain white card base and even put the sentiment on a white little tag. The watercolored images are the focal point of the card which is how it should be.



Giving Back Info - 20% of the profits from these products (Thanks, Dad Stamp SetWorld’s Best Dad Stamp SetBest Mom Stamp SetExtra Special Stamp SetBeautiful Lady Stamp SetPainted Butterflies Stamp SetSweet Bow Enamel PinStay Awesome Enamel Pin) until Father’s Day, June 21st, 2020, will be donated to the Food Bank of Central New York to support seniors in need.

Prizes:  Altenew is giving away a $30 gift certificate to 6 lucky winners! Please leave a comment on the Altenew Card Blog for a chance to win. We’ll also draw a winner to receive a $15 gift certificate from the comments left on each designer’s blog on the blog hop list below. All winners will be announced on the Altenew Card Blog on 4/5/2020.

I had time to make several cards since I started the class at Altenew Academy as it was great practice and now that this blog post is finally going live, I'll be able to share these over in the Classroom at Altenew Academy.  If you are interested in the class, here is the link to it.  Totally the best $9.00 I ever spent for a class!

Once this blog post goes live, I am planning to enter this next card into this month's Altenew Inspiration Challenge found here








Thanks so much for stopping by today and I hope that you'll share your thoughts with me!  Be sure to stop at all the links along the hop as there will be fantastic inspiration for you!

In addition, you can always find the current promotions at the Altenew Promotions page!  Click on the graphic below.



Affiliate Links may be used at no additional cost to you.
Altenew Antique Gold Crisp Embossing Powder
Altenew Antique Gold Crisp Embossing Powder
Shop at:
SSS | ALT
Altenew Beautiful Heart Die Set
Altenew Beautiful Heart Die Set
Shop at:
SSS | ALT
Altenew Beautiful Heart Stamp & Die Bundle
Altenew Beautiful Heart Stamp & Die Bundle
Shop at:
ALT
Altenew Beautiful Heart Stamp Set
Altenew Beautiful Heart Stamp Set
Shop at:
SSS | ALT
Altenew Floral Art Die Set
Altenew Floral Art Die Set
Shop at:
SSS | ALT
Altenew Floral Art Stamp & Die Bundle
Altenew Floral Art Stamp & Die Bundle
Shop at:
ALT
Altenew Floral Art Stamp Set
Altenew Floral Art Stamp Set
Shop at:
SSS | ALT
Fabriano Artistico Extra White Cold Pressed #140 Paper ( 5 x 7 Block of 25 sheets)
Fabriano Artistico Extra White Cold Pressed #140 Paper ( 5 x 7 Block of 25 sheets)
Shop at:
SSS
Kokuyo Long Dot Adhesive
Kokuyo Long Dot Adhesive
Shop at:
SSS

Keeping Christmas - March 2020 Edition


Hello and welcome to the March Edition of Keeping Christmas.  With everything in the world so chaotic right now, I decided to make only one project for this month, because I knew that what I had selected would be a very time-intensive project.  It was good, as it gave me something else to focus on other than the news.

Last December during the week between Christmas and New Year's, a lot of retailers were having sale pricing on things and I picked up this set of Thinlits Dies from the Tim Holtz Colorize Collection called Deck The Halls Thinlits.

The really cool thing about these dies is that on the back of the dies, it tells you how many to cut and in what color if you want to match the image on the package.  When I first took the dies out of the package, I was thinking, "What - No Instructions" but they are cleverly included on the back of each die.  For instance, it will say "Red - 2" which means to cut two of them from Red Cardstock.  There are 10 dies in total and each die has this information etched into the back of the die.  I haven't ever bought this kind of a die before so that was very helpful.  Plus, I just grabbed scraps from my pile in reds, greens, golds, in regular, shimmer, foil, and glitter cardstock.  I die cut how many pieces it said and then sat down for assembly.  Now I will say that I didn't follow everything to the letter, but this card turned out so cool!


While we are all busy sheltering in place to avoid contact or contamination from Corona Virus, we actually have time to sit and do things that we might not normally take the extra time to do.  This was one of those things.  If you love to assemble die-cut images, this die is totally your jam!


Knowing me, I'm sure you won't find it surprising that some of the parts, at least in my mind, just needed to be cut from gold foiled cardstock!  You knew that was coming, didn't you? 


The Merry Christmas Die is from Impression Obsession and I picked mine up at Simon Says Stamp. It's currently out of stock, but if you like it, sign up to be notified when it comes back in stock.  The Thinlits Dies are currently in stock here:  https://www.simonsaysstamp.com/product/Tim-Holtz-Sizzix-DECK-THE-HALLS-Colorize-Thinlits-Dies-664229-664229ths.


I love how glitzy this card turned out and I will add it to my stockpile for next year.  I think a lot of what made it really work well is all of the various paper finishes I used - matte, foiled, glittered and shimmered.  For example, the holly leaves are done with Moss shimmer, Pine Feather cardstock and gold foiled cardstock.  The color variations really kick it up a notch over doing all the greens the same style paper.  Heaven knows I have an extensive scrap pile!  Here is the blog roll for you, although Kelly is taking this month off since she is now homeschooling her kids.  But she does have a post up today for The Greetery if you want to check in to her blog.


Please be sure to stop by everyone's blog and leave a little kindness for them. We've all been working hard to make sure to bring you content in this crazy scary time.

I also wanted to mention that during this Shelter in Place time, Gina K Designs is doing a live on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It is live on YouTube and Facebook at the same time. The Facebook Group is called Gina K Designs and Stamp TV Friends on Facebook and I included the link right there for you to click on.

Here is the schedule from Gina:

Here is the updated schedule and I also made it our banner so it's easy to find! This is all in CENTRAL TIME!

Here is time according to where you live:
      • 8:00 pm eastern
      • 7:00 pm central
      • 6:00 pm mountain
      • 5:00 pm pacific
I am so sorry, I am not sure about all over the world, however, there are time zone calculators on Google so you can easily find out.

On Monday, we will focus on Christmas Cards and projects! Wednesday, it will be wherever the wind takes us. Friday, we will go back to using older Gina K. Designs stamps, even if we have a new release. We will flashback to what we already have in our stamp rooms.

I hope you'll join us! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Anytime we can connect with each other virtually, it's a win in my book! Thank you to all our great companies who are hanging out with us during this time.