Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Quilted Nature Christmas cards

A few more Christmas cards!!  I have had this stack of cardstock sitting on my desk since I made these cards.  Today, I decided to make with them into cards.  I used the Stack and Whack technique that I used for the last ones with a much different cutting pattern.  I stacked my four pieces of patterned cardstock - 2 blue and 2 green and made my cuts - ten in all.  There are two that are almost completely hidden by the focal element and could have been eliminated - hind sight is a wonderful thing!!  I deconstructed my stacks and created four unique layouts by arranging the pieces in a different order.  I used regular tape on the back to hold the pieces together during reconstruction, double sided tape to adhere the assembled unit to the card front and added a row of stitching all the way around the outside using my sewing machine and white thread.  I added faux stitching on the green pieces using a white gel pen.  I used a slot punch (SU) to create an opening on the spine in which I inserted one end of a piece of white vintage seam binding.  I adhered both ends to the inside of the card front using double sided tape.  I tied a short piece to the long piece to simulate a bow.  I adhered a decorative label (SU) punchie in red over the seam binding using 3D foam tape and sewed my laser printed greeting to the card just below it.  I watercoloured my oval (NS) laser printed cardinal images (Beccy's), distressed their edges and adhered them to the center of the labels.
Happy to have a few more done.  They are appropriate for Sylvia's February Challenge - Christmas animals. You can find her monthly Christmas card challenge here.  That makes my total 27 for this year!!

Baby card with star card embellishment

Had this double sided cardstock star tag base sitting on my desk from my practice run earlier and decided to turn it into a card!!  I sponged the edges with pink, added double sided tape to the inside center and folded all the points.  Dug through my stash of greeting punchies and found this embossed scalloped punchie one that matched perfectly - a baby card it is!!  I glued it on the front of the star with double sided tape to finish off my embellishment.  Next, I was lucky enough to find some coordinating pink ribbon which I positioned on the middle of my white embossed layer (CB - Musical Flourish) and attached the ends to the back using double sided tape.  I mounted my star embellishment using 3D foam tape over the ribbon and then tied on a short piece to the right hand side of it to simulate a bow and mounted the whole element to a green card front.  It still needed a bit of something so I stamped "Congratulations" in pink in the bottom right hand corner.
I love the soft look of this embossing folder and it works very well for this baby card!!


Snowman Christmas card

A few more Christmas cards!!  I die cut the snowmen (TH) when my sister, Sylvia, was visiting the last time and thought I should get them glued up before I lose some of the pieces.  I love the simple look of these guys!!  Once they were all assembled I decided to use a kraft background and a black card which works for the Splitcoast challenge of using non traditional colours.  I embossed my kraft layers using a swirl (TH) embossing folder, sponged the lower section with a white pigment pad to add a bit of dimension, added the laser printed greeting with twine using 3D foam tape and glued the ends of the twine to the back of the layer using double sided tape.  I adhered this layer to the black card front, added my snowmen using 3D foam tape and added three little snowflake punchies.
Really happy with how these all worked out!!  I made nine of them which gives me a total of 23 for this year!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Clock has a new face!

I bought this clock a while back in hopes of altering it for my craft room.  I have finally taken the time to change it up!!  Firstly, take the cover off and remove the hands.  Tech support was out getting a haircut so I checked the next best thing - You Tube.  Found a video that showed exactly how that was done.  Very easy!!  The Pooh was attached with double sided tape so it was fairly easily removed.  I measured the face - 8.5" - perfect for printing on letter size paper.  I found a clock face on CLKER and sized it to fit my clock in Corel Draw.  I went digging through my stash of decorative papers to find something that would appeal to me, was light enough to print on and would go with the white frame.  Yeah! I found a piece that worked perfectly.  I trimmed the 12x12 down to 8.5 x 11 and ran it through my printer.  Trimmed it with an exacto knife.
Here is my clock with its new face!!!!  I am very happy with it.  It was an easy project and I can change it up anytime I want.  I will consider doing it again when I get the chance to paint my craft room and decorate it more to my liking.  In the meantime, this will do wonderfully!
It was fun to alter this clock!  I purchased it at a second hand store and as you can see with very little work I have changed up the look significantly.  So if you are needing a new clock consider altering one!! You might even have one around the house that needs a bit of a lift!!  Go for it!!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winter Fashion Tag

This afternoon I took the time to create this tag for a swap on AFTCM themed Winter Fashion. It was such fun to make!!
I started with corrugated cardboard - light bulb packaging - and cut my tag to 3.5 "x 6.5".  I painted the corrugations with a bit of blue acrylic paint and let it dry.  Next, I used a bit of diluted white glue and added a layer of silver snowflake tissue paper which had previously been painted blue on the back. I used the foam brush to ensure that the paper settled into the valleys of the corrugations.   Once that was dry, I added some lace to the bottom edge, covered the joint with blue ribbon and stitched both pieces to the tag.  I added a bow layered with a pearl button over the lace using hot glue.  At the top, I added a 1/2" circle and punched a center hole.  It still needed a bit of something so I used a small script stamp and randomly stamped it in black on the upper portion, used the black stamp pad to slightly distress the edges and a silver pigment ink pad to highlight the top of the corrugations with a bit of  shimmer.  That was better!!
For the main element I sized, laser printed on white cardstock then fussy cut this dress image from CLKER.  I painted the bodice with shimmer acrylic paint and once dry added a row of clear rhinestones to the upper edge. I adhered some sparkly snowflake fabric (dryer sheet stamped and embossed with silver embossing powder) to the lower portion of the dress and trimmed it to the edge.  Next, I fashioned a billowy skirt using shimmery tulle.  I used a double layered rectangle which I machine basted across the top, gathered tight and tied off to stabilize the gathering.  I folded over the raw edge and machine stitched the top of the skirt to the dress just below the bodice.  To finish it off neatly I added a length of ribbon (same as the tag) over the stitching using double sided tape and also attached the edges of the tulle to the back of the skirt using double sided tape.  I used a brad to anchor the top of the dress form to the tag and 3D foam tape down the center back of the dress to attach it to the tag.  I backed the tag with black paper to hide the printing and the stitching.  I tied a long strip of tulle to the top of the tag through the hole and added a couple of short pieces of ribbon and lace.
I am most pleased with the results of my creative afternoon!!  I really love that image and have used here  previously.  The tag will be on its way to my partner early next week!!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Landscape birthday card

Today, I created this masculine birthday card using a landscape stamped image from my stash.  I watercoloured the water and the sky and then created a line of trees at the horizon.  I layered the image onto green cardstock, trimmed it leaving a large margin on the right which I cut using an angled border punch (MS).  I embellished the edge with a couple of lines and some dots using a silver gel pen.  I used silver ink to stipple (SU) the edges of my black card front and adhered my image leaving an even border.  I added a layered greeting which consists of a laser printed greeting punchie over a dark green scalloped oval (SU) on the top right section of my card.
Makes me think of the Thousand Islands - a place with the most beautiful natural scenery!!


Another anniversary card!

I started on my February cards today and made an anniversary card.  I combined its creation with a challenge on one of my groups to dress up a die cut so I started by die cutting a frame (SX) from duplex white core cardstock.  Having always wanted to try this embossing resist technique, I decided today was the day!!  So I embossed the die cut and then sanded it a bit to emphasize the pattern by revealing some of the white core.  I then applied clear Versamark ink to the surface and embossed it with clear embossing powder.  Afterwards, I sponged on some Brick Distress ink which did not give enough contrast so I followed it up with some dark red watercolour which I liked better.  After a bit of fitting I trimmed the half moon pieces off the two ends to remove some length.  For the focal element I die cut a vellum oval (NS), embossed it with "LOVE" in gold and added definitions to the edge in handwriting using a gold gel pen.  I attached it to the die cut using four gold mini brads.  I punched a slot (SU) on each end of the die cut and inserted some white vintage seam binding.  I embossed a trimmed quarter sheet of heavy weight gold gift wrap using the Musical Flourish (CB) embossing folder and glued it to the front of my red card front.  I adhered my die cut over that layer and glued the ends of my seam binding to the inside of the card front.  It needed a bit of something so I added a little heart to the inside of the O using a bit of watercolour!!
I expect this card would be quite suitable for a wedding or Valentine`s, as well.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Kraft and white anniversary card

I am finishing off my family cards for January with this anniversary card.  I decided to use the current Technique Challenge on Splitcoast Stampers as inspiration - kraft with white embossing and a bit of colour!!  I am really happy with how it worked out.
I stamped the heart (SU) using white pigment ink on my kraft card front and then embossed it with white embossing powder.  I stamped the birds (SU) on a strip of kraft using the same technique.  I added some watercolour - brown to the birds and red to the hearts.  Afterwards, I added some faux stitching using a white gel marker.  To show off the image I layered two strips of white border punched (MS) cardstock behind the kraft.  I added a layered embellishment - a white felt heart and a little decorative paper die cut adhered to each other using a white button brad.  I added this embellishment to my card using the brad.  I will be using this card for an anniversary!!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gifts of Imperfection - prompts & my Daytimer

After checking my daytimer today I realized that I had some work to do before my Book Club meeting tomorrow.  Brene has given the students of her course follow up work - Stay Awake Journal Prompts - to do until the second half of the book is presented in Part Two of the online course starting in March.  Number one was about finding ways to be supportive of yourself when you are tempted to "suck it up" or "keep on, keeping on".  I went looking back for my comforting activities and put those on my DIG DEEP BUTTON.

I hand lettered the title, the words and illustrated my button using a fine tip Sharpie marker.  After I was finished I added watercolour to the titles.  I will probably go back later and add colour to my illustrations as well.  It will be one of those activities I can choose when I need some down time.  It will be creative yet undemanding.  I did the same for my other pages - lots of lettering and then a bit of watercolour.
Number two concerns connection and being proactive in thanking those who stand for us, with us and provide balance in our lives.  
Number three concerns being aware of ways in which we attach judgement to receiving from others. We cannot freely give to others if we hold judgement about receiving.  If we are attaching judgement to our actions and/or those of others only awareness will bring us to a new way of thinking.
Number four concerns our feelings of being worthy! We need to change our thinking from "I will be worth when......................." to "I am worthy now - not perfect, but worthy because I was born to this time and place".  I arrived worthy and nothing can change that, but I do have a choice to think as I wish. I need to change my mind!!
Number five concerns our definition of LOVE!!  We need to find some action words that define this word for us.

I have filled in my pages and they are ready for my meeting tomorrow!!  I am so grateful for my daytimer - it's a place I can keep track my life and it keeps me ahead of the curve. I keep track of swaps, projects, household responsibilities, my to do list, long range goals, etc.  I am currently using a table in Word Perfect with four columns - date, today's to do list, events and my master list.   I cut and paste items from column to column as needed.  I leave everything that gets done in a day in my second column next to the date and usually include any noteworthy events such as arrivals of swap items, etc.  It is really handy for tracking swaps - finding when I mailed it and who I sent it to.


Gifts of Imperfection - Mantra and word for 2014

These are my last two pages for this session of the Gifts of Imperfection with Brene Brown.  I had finished the work but not yet created the pages before Christmas so today I decided to get them done!!
"Be not afraid" is my mantra for the for this year!! There are simply too many things that hinder the forward progress in my life that stem from inside my own head!!
I hand lettered the words using a fine tip Sharpie marker, added the bright spots and coloured them in with my favorite colours - green, pink, blue and yellow using colour pencils.  I used a handwritten word on a page in my Creative Lettering book as inspiration for the lettering though mine does looks a lot different but that is the beauty of inspiration!!  Great book!!
It has become popular to pick a word for the year and after reading Andrea's perspective on the process I decided it would be beneficial for me to have a touchstone word to support my mantra for this year so I choose "courage - the ability to do something that frightens you".
So I cut my letters from a variety of red cardstock because that is the colour for courage using an alphabet die set (SU) which I had yet to use!!  I layered the letters on black, added 2014 using a white gel marker and glued it to my page.  I added a a selfie I took this morning and embellished it with my fine tip Sharpie.  I added some little leaves to symbolize the new growth which I will be taking on this year.  As I accomplish my goals I will be adding my achievements besides the leaves!!  You can see on my mantra page that there is also a little leaf that is a symbol for growth.
I am ready for a new year!!  Looking forward to letting go of my old ways of thinking and taking a new approach to how I see things and what I say and do!!  For our lives to change we must be willing to think, say and do differently!!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Blog giveaway winners!

The winners have been chosen, contacted and have their prizes going into today's mail!!
Click here to see the details!!

Thanks for playing everyone!!
Happy Creating!!


Circle flower card

A card for an online friend who is going through a difficult time!!  I love the softness of this card - all the elements work so nicely together.
I started by creating the "flower" using five 1.25" circle punchies of double sided paper from my stash. You can check out a tutorial here on Splitcoast Stampers. Each circle is folded into a triangle shape, positioned on a circle support, adjustments are made to the folds to fully cover the support and then each one is glued into place.  Love the look!!
I glued mine to the center of a large white scalloped circle (NS), added a coordinating center circle punchie and attached it with a brown brad.  I paper pierced all the scallops as well.  I added a length of lace and ribbon to my kraft card front once I had embossed my greeting with white embossing powder.  I adhered my flower element to overlap the lace and ribbon and finished off my card by adding a couple of paper pierced swirls!!
I will be uploading this card to Splitcoast Stampers for last week`s Technique Challenge - Circle Flower.  I have decided to be more active on Splitcoast this year and participate in some of their challenges.  If you are looking for a community of paper crafters to be part of, Splitcoast Stampers offers a wide variety of options. Check them out!!

There is nothing that can replace the feeling of receiving a handmade card!!  The card is a constant physical reminder of the connection you have!!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Cards with waxed fabric accents

I have had this piece of waxed fabric on my desk since I created it and made these cards.  You can click here or on the wax crayon label and see the others I have created as well.
I managed to make five cards!!  For the first one I layered several colours of cardstock strips to make a layer onto which I stitched my three inch square of waxed fabric.  I trimmed their ends diagonally, paper pierced the edges, added a ribbon and adhered this element to a green card front.  My greeting is a laser printed punchie, layered onto a scalloped oval (SU) and adhered to the card using 3D foam tape.
The next two cards are similar.  I embossed the bottom edge of the card front, added an embossed strip with some ribbon and stitched on my waxed fabric square.  On the left, I added my greeting as I stitched and on the right I added a gold cord on the ribbon and adhered a layered greeting over it.
For these two I cut my waxed fabric into small rectangles which I stitched to a coordinating layer.  I added a layered greeting and ribbon on the left one. On the right one, I added a cardstock strip which I embossed with a stitching embossing folder (CB), border punched the bottom edge (SU) and added a layered silk flower accent.

Very happy with my cards.  I will be sending two of them out to my partners for my Canadian Card exchange for January.   When I was taking photos I realized that #1 and #2 would work very well in the portrait format by simply rotating the greeting!!  It never even occurred to me to do them differently but that is the joy of taking another look sometimes!!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Blog Giveaway!! Book pendants

Marilyn C, Brenda F
and Cindy C!!

January 14th,
Congratulations to the three winners!!  Thanks to all of you who left comments on this post!!!  It was great to hear from so many of you!!  All three prizes will be off to the winners in today's mail.
Happy Creating!!
My first blog give away - what a great way to start the new year!!!
These three little book pendants are the prizes!!  To enter the draw please leave a comment that includes your email address on this post and I will randomly draw three winners on Monday, January 13th!!
So I look forward to your comments and please feel free to spread the word to your friends and family and any online groups you belong to!!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

My January Christmas cards!

I am setting the goal of making Christmas cards monthly again this year!!  I am following my sister, Sylvia's monthly Christmas Card challenge.
January's theme is embossing so I have incorporated both dry embossing and thermal embossing in my card.
I started by laser printing this Christmas rose and holly digital image from Beccy's Place.  I added the gold embossed greeting using my handmade stamping jig, watercoloured the images and glued them to a black layer.  I punched a slot (SU) on the top left hand side and strung a piece of red vintage seam binding through it.

I mounted it to a green embossed layer (CB-Swiss Dot) using 3D foam tape and adhered the ends of the seam binding to the back using double sided tape.  I then glued this element to a red card front.
Here is a look at my handmade stamping jig - I used Legos to make it!!  It works really well and I have put it in my tools drawer to be used next time I need to stamp an image in an exact location.
UPDATE:  For those who asked:  I have used a piece of vellum to stamp my greeting on and saved it in a envelope stored with my jig. You can also use a piece of acetate (transparency or packaging works well).  This method allows you to reuse the acetate if you use dye ink to stamp with as it will wipe right off the plastic.
I am submitting this card design to the following challenges:
Christmas cards all year round - anything goes
Sylvia's Christmas card challenge - embossing
Beccy's Place - any project with one of her images

It feels good to be back to cardmaking!!


Star tags

 I needed some Christmas tags for an exchange that I need to mail away shortly so I decided to experiment with the size of the star card to make some tags instead.  I found a sheet and half of this beautiful 12 x12 paper in my stash and adjusted the size until I could get enough tags.  I was able to cut nine 6" equilateral triangles which gave me enough tags for the exchange and a couple for myself. The 6" equilateral triangle measures 5.25" on the center line, and you score each point at 2.5" (valley fold) and 1.75" (mountain fold).  Once I scored and folded all of my points I sponged all the edges to hide the white core of the paper and the few places on the folds where the top layer had cracked to reveal the white core.  I created a layered embellishment using a beautiful digital image of a pointsettia from Beccy's Place which I laser printed and then watercoloured, a green circle punchie over a black scalloped circle punchie (SU).
I embellished the scallops with dots from my clear Star Dust gel pen and also added some to the points of my star.  I punched a hole on the top point and added a hanger made from heavy crochet cotton.
I left them so they could be unfolded and have something inserted in them and the back is appropriate for adding TO and FROM information. I could have also chosen to glue the embellishment to all of the top layers instead.
Really glad how these turned out!  I will be putting mine into my Christmas ornament box to be enjoyed for years to come.  These would make a beautiful ornament embellishments for a Christmas card!!  Another option for me when getting my Christmas cards made for this year.
I will be submitting this project to Beccy's Place January challenge which is to use any of her images in a project.  I love her images and use them quite often in my creations!!  Check out her website here.


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

OSW with Japanese paper

 My aunt gave me a wonderful package of Yuzen Japanese paper over the holidays and I decided to make my holiday thank you cards with some of it. The sheets were 5.5" square and I did not want to waste any of it so I came up with a cutting template that would create three cards from each sheet.  See the cutting diagram below.
My first card (center) used A - 4" x 3" and B - 4" x 1".  I mounted both pieces to a coordinating card front -small one at the bottom, larger one at the top. I cut a 4" x 1" piece of white cardstock, gold embossed Thank You on the right side and added a little bow to the left using vintage seam binding. Added a gold embossed butterfly punchie (SU) with gold cord antenna using 3D foam tape to finish it off.
My second card (left) used C - 5.5" x 1.5".  I gold embossed my greeting (SU) on my card front.  I layered my decorative paper onto coordinating cardstock to create two accent pieces - one to fit above & another for below which left me a scrap of decorative paper - E.  I added a butterfly using 3D foam tape and used a push pin and a scrap piece of solid foam to create a paper pierced flight path.

For my third card I used D - 4" x 1.5" and E - scrap.  I layered both of these onto a coordinating piece of cardstock 5.5" long.  I added a vintage seambinding bow to cover the joint.  I embossed the right hand side of my card front and glued my accent piece to the left.  I added a layered greeting created using a laser printed greeting oval punchie (SU) and a scalloped oval punchie (SU) in a coordinating colour.  

I used five different pieces of paper and really love the way the cards turned out!!
Here is the cutting template for the decorative paper I used for these cards.

Of course, you could cut the pieces you need from scraps of decorative paper instead and make up these cards in a jiffy!!

It is blessing to receive gifts over the holiday season and an exercise in gratitude to send little notes with our thanks!!


Star Card

On one of my groups I joined a Star card swap.
What a fun little card to make!!  You can find a tutorial here at Splitcoast Stampers.  I have modified the dimensions (see below) so I could put my card in an A2 envelope.
You start with an equilateral triangle, score each point twice, make one valley and one mountain fold and then tuck the flaps into each other!!     I added sponging and stamping to the other points, created a layered embellishment and added stitching with a blue gel marker on the points.
My embellishment started with a round greeting layered onto a blue scallop circle layered onto an embossed silver one and finally a larger white one.  I added blue glitter glue to the greeting and the blue scallop and a blue sequin flower which I attached with a silver mini brad.

Here is what the card looks like inside and the folds on each point.  I added a white equilateral triangle to the inside which is also embellished with faux stitching using a blue gel pen.

I printed a script background onto an 8.5" x 11" piece of white cardstock.  On the back of my printed sheet I measured and marked the center and then used my ruler to make the two other sides 8 1/2" as well.  I used a metal ruler and exacto knife to cut out the triangle.

I added some free form flowers similar to those I created in this Watercolour Flowers tutorial. to my triangle card base.  Next, I figured out where to score my points and then folded the card.

To make a star card to fit in an A2 envelope you need to cut an 8.5" equilateral triangle (center line is 7 3/8").  You need to score each point at 2 1/2" (mountain fold) and 3 5/8" (valley fold).  This creates a small equilateral triangle on the inside of your card.
Here is what it looked like before I added my stamping and the layered embellishment.

Have go with this card!!  Would work really well with a double sided cardstock which has a more subtle pattern on one side of it.  You can easily make this card into a gift by adding a hanger on the top point of the card to make it an ornament.   I will be making some of these for Christmas next year!!!


Friday, January 03, 2014

"Watercolour flowers" cards

 Here are a couple of cards I created using the backgrounds I created using this Watercolour Flowers Tutorial I created.  It is a quick and easy technique that requires minimal supplies and gives you very unique & artsy looking flowers. Check it out!!

For this card I trimmed the quarter sheet background down just a little, added a piece of black lace across the lower section, mounted a layered silk flower accent with a small black brad and added an embellished layered greeting.  I mounted this element to a black card front.  It still needed just a bit of something so I added five feathery leaf punchies (MS) in two colours of green.    Loving it!!
For this card, I trimmed the background quite a bit more and mounted it to a black layer.  I stippled the outside edge of my blue card using black ink and a stipple stamp (SU).  I added a piece of 1/4" black ribbon across the card front and added the layered accent over it.  I used the same ribbon to create a flag embellishment, glued it to the back of the layered greeting and glued this element to the card front using 3D foam tape.   Pretty happy with this one too!!

I am really loving the artsy look of these backgrounds and am looking forward to creating a few more with different elements!!  Hope you will give it a try!! If so, please leave a comment and a link to your creation if you can.


TUTORIAL - watercolour flowers background

Watercolour Flowers Tutorial

Start with a quarter sheet of white cardstock and some watercolour crayons.  

Using different colours of watercolour crayons start making circular scribbles
in groups of five.  Add a yellow circular scribble in the middles of all of your flowers.

Now add little oval shapes with a line down the middle using a green 
watercolour pencil to create leaves for your flowers.

Next spray your decorated cardstock with water and spread the water colour
using a paintbrush.  

Once you have watercoloured all of your flowers leave your cardstock
 to dry.  I used my heat gun to dry it more quickly.

Next, use a black fine tipped Sharpie marker to make circular shapes over
all of the petals of your flowers.  Add dots to the yellow centers.  
Add swirls and dots in between the flowers as you wish.  

Here are a couple more I made using this technique.  On the left, the flowers
are really close together - on the right, they are farther apart.  Either way works well and
gives you a bit of a different look.  I also added dips & lines to my petals in these ones.

This is a quick and easy watercolour flowers technique that you can use to create
backgrounds in minutes.  It is all free form so can be varied as you wish
to give you the kind of background you are needing for your project.  
By making elongated ovals instead of circles you could create dragonflies.
Large squat ovals in two different sizes would create butterflies.
Make only one flower and use as the main element on your project!!

Try it out and see what you are inspired to create!!

You can see a couple of cards I made with my backgrounds here.