Monday, February 28, 2011

The Birds

It's a funny thing--I love to use birds on cards, but in real life, I really dislike birds. All birds...not just pigeons and crows...well, penguins and ostriches are okay (the non-flying birds). I think it's from watching Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," when I was too young to be watching it. But birds on cards are safe...they aren't going to be trapping me in my house like in the movie.
Die Cuttin' Divas has a Shadows Challenge this week. Here's the backstory behind my (non-traditional-for-me) card. We recently moved from an acreage in Pennsylvania with a 4 acre spring "pond." At night when I looked out at the pond, I often saw birds (and swooping bats). The birds on the pond was the inspiration for the card below:

The background was brayered using a variety of inks and a little sponging at the top. The birds were cut using the Serenade cartridge for my Cricut. I used the shadow function to get the silhouette. The sweet stamp is from the Little Paper Shop "Everyday" set. Bummer about the store closing...

Here's a side view:

This view shows how I did the water. I inked it using blue pigment ink, heat embossed the ink with holographic embossing powder, and then inked over the embossed image using a darker ink. It was close to the effect I was looking for...the water looked so glittery at night.

This card was definitely different for me...distressed, artsy, masculine, but it's good to try something different. Thanks for looking!

Here's the scoop:
Cardstock: Smoky Shadow, White (PTI), Confetti Tan (Stampin' Up)
Stamp: Everyday (Little Paper Shop)
Die Cutter: Serenade cartridge (Cricut) Birds 1, 3, 4 cut at 1" in shadow
Inks: Worn Lipstick, Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed (Ranger Distress Inks); Atlantic Blue (Versacolor); Mediterranean Blue (Tsukineko); White (ColorBox)
Embossing Powder: white (craft supply)
Tools: Brayer

Friday, February 25, 2011

For the Love of Backgrounds

I'm not a background stamper. Patterned paper is my thing, and I love to use it instead of background stamps. Plus, I had an "incident" a couple of years ago with a large background stamp that traumatized me (okay, not really, but I haven't used large background stamps since that time).

But there it was, Practicing Creativity Design's "For the Love of Grids" stamp set. Mega cool! Had to purchase it and get over my phobia.

I decided to take baby steps and do a very simple card:

But I had trouble since I would flip the stamp when I was re-inking it. The card looks alright from afar, but if you look closely, I'm missing a row of dots and my grid doesn't line up right (see below). Ugh!!

I was going to post this card, but then I decided I had to redo it. PERFECTIONIST alert! Here's the revised card:

Ahhh....much better. I changed the inks a little to make more of a gradient. Now the gridlines lined up--yee haw!

Isn't the ribbon pretty? Courtney uses this ribbon to wrap the stamps when she sends an order from Practicing Creativity Designs. Sweet!

The sentiments come from Nature's Wonder, which is definitely one of the most versatile stamp sets I own. Love it!

After doing the second card, I realized I could actually work with the background stamps. Yeah! No therapy required (or at least for the stamping incident anyway).

Thanks for looking! Have a wonderful weekend.

Here's what I used:
"thanks" Card 1:
Stamps: For the Love of Grids; Nature's Wonder (PCD)
Cardstock: white (PTI)
Ink: Canary (Versa Color); Tuxedo Black, Brilliance Mediterranean Blue, Brilliance Victorian Violet(Tsukineko); Cranberry (ColorBox); Fresh Green (Crafter's)
Ribbon: May Arts--received from PCD
Other: Happy Holidays rhinestone (Doodlebug Design); corner rounder (We R Memory Keepers)

"thanks" Card 2:
Stamps: For the Love of Grids; Nature's Wonder (PCD)
Cardstock: white (PTI)
Ink: Canary (Versa Color); Tuxedo Black, Brilliance Mediterranean Blue (Tsukineko); Ocean (Cat's Eye); Alpine, Violet (Crafter's)
Ribbon: May Arts--received from PCD
Other: Rhinestone (Kaisercraft)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Only 303 Days Until Christmas!

I must confess, my latest card was the result of an "oops" by my husband. I was showing him a card using Lawn Fawn's Lunar Lights, and he asked "Why are you making a Christmas card?"

So I started thinking about the lanterns and thought "why can't it be a Christmas tree bulb?" I love a good visual reminds me of my Psychology classes...okay, I'm a nerd.

I created this holiday card, since it's never too late to start making holiday cards...I mean, it's already the end of February.

I'm going for broke and entering it into this week's Lawnscaping Challenge and the Moxie Fab Paper Piecing Challenge. Call me crazy, but these challenges are a great distraction from household chores!

The lanterns are doubled pieced: I stamped the image onto the patterned papers and then cut up the patterned paper on the original stamp lines to make it look like stripes on the ornaments. I did have to ink again around each small piece to keep the basic design of the stamp.  I also mounted the pieces onto a stamped ornament to stabilize the three layers (3 I'm thinking about cake....mmmm).

I heat embossed the ornaments with holographic embossing powders. They really shimmer! I love the mix of Fancy Pants & Echo Park papers against the Raspberry Fizz cardstock. The sentiment is cut out from a larger piece of Echo Park paper.

Ooooo...sparkly! Now I'm missing the holidays...except for the snow.

Thanks for the kind comments on my posts! I REALLY appreciate it!

Here are the details on the card:
Stamps: Lunar Lights (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Raspberry Fizz (PTI); white base since I ran out of Raspberry Fizz (AC Cardstock)
Patterned Paper: Happy Holidays (Fancy Pants); Christmas (Echo Park)
Stickers: Christmas (Echo Park)
Ink: Raspberry Fizz (PTI); Versamark
Embossing Powder: Holographic (Ranger)
Pen: Zig

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Elephant in the Room

I am a huge fan of Moxie Fab World. Cath put out a challenge to get daring with decorative tape, and I thought I could get funky with tape.

Now for the inspiration. A couple of weeks ago, Carla Peicheff posted this elephant card~adorable! So many cards have butterflies and birds and monkeys, but not too many have elephants. Poor little elephants! I decided to champion for more elephants.

I have this cute stamp set from Technique Tuesday with a sweet elephant, and after staring at the stamp for a few minutes, I thought it would be cool to make a card based on the figurative saying "the elephant in the room." So I made a little room.

The process kind of reminded me of making a diorama in school...loved those things...wish I could make dioramas for a living...until I had to make 3 lamp posts and managed to cut my finger with a hack saw (no blood on the card, so it's okay!).

Here's the card:
 Isn't he cute? He was a pain in the neck to cut out, though. I love how it looks like his bottom is in the light. Aren't these Crate papers awesome?

Above is a close-up of the lamp and the decorative tape on the lamp and the rug. My sweet dad gave me Japanese washi tape for Christmas and a very cool dispenser from Design Within Reach (the coolest store if you like ultra modern stuff), and I've been dying to use the tape for more than, well, tape. I used the DWR washi tape wrapped around two tiny dowels to make the lamp post.

There is also beautiful Pink Paislee decorative tape as a rug. I cut and twisted the edges to make them look like rug fringe. There's even a little cat hair on one of the fringes...just like the real thing (or at least in my house).

I decided to do a little stitching on the top. I have no idea what it's supposed to look like in a room...maybe macrame? Every house needs a little macrame plant holder...

Thanks for looking! Have a fabulous day!

Here are the details on the card:
Stamp: Zoology (Technique Tuesday)
Cardstock: Vintage Cream (Papertrey Ink)
Patterned Paper: Restoration (Crate)
Ink: Tea Dye Distress Ink & Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink (Tim Holtz); Alpine (Crafter's)
Other: decorative tape (Design Within Reach; Pink Paislee); clear embossing powder (my stash); 1/16" dowels (my husband's stash); pinking shears; thread (Gutermann)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Oh My Stars!

I am a die cutting junkie. All metal dies in my Cuttlebug....marvelous. But, I have a Cricut Expression that hasn't been used nearly enough. I even have several cartridges, so there are no excuses.  It was becoming a Provocraft show-down.

I decided to take a Cricut 101 class at a "local" scrapbook store (about 45 min. away) taught by Betsy Veldman. Of course she was great and I learned a ton about the Cricut! I finally figured out all of the functions, or at least enough to use my machine.

So...the Cricut stays. And I've finally made a card I'm happy with using the Cricut and some my other dies, and I decided to enter it into the Die Cuttin Divas stars challenge:

I used the Plantin Schoolbook and Joys of the Season Cricut cartridges for the big star and the little stars. The die is Papertrey Ink's Fillable Frames #10, and the doily die is My Favorite Thing's  Dainty Lace Doily Die.  Isn't this Fancy Pants paper pretty?

 There is a strip of pink glitter separated by score lines (can't quite see them on the photo).

I added a little stitching using denim that thicker thread...too bad my machine doesn't!

Thanks for looking!

Here are the details on the card:
Cardstock: pink (Core'dinations); green and red (AC Cardstock)
Patterned Paper: Wishful Thinking (Fancy Pants)
Stamps: Fillable Frames #5 (PTI)
Ink: Warm Red (ColorBox); Brilliance Peacock (Tsukineko); white (ColorBox)
Dies: Plantin Schoolbook & Joys of the Season (Provocraft); Fillable Frames #10 (PTI); Dainty Lace Doily (MFT)
Other: glitter (Michaels); aqua mist button (PTI); pink denim weight thread (YLI)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Let Met Look Into Your Future (Pt. 2)

What is it with girls liking the bad boy? Every woman I know has liked one at one point...heck, some even married them! So was the inspiration for today's card.

Yesterday I posted a card that included a picture of my son, and in true 5-year-old fashion, my daughter wondered where her card was. So I made a girly card using the same template as yesterday and her photo (from about 5 years ago).

Here's the card:

I love this added bling. This shot also shows the doily edge die close-up.

The Crate paper I used is my new favorite (gorgeous collection!), and it goes so well with Papertrey's Raspberry Fizz paper. The small strip on the left is a My Favorite Thing's die-namic die--super pretty die that goes well with the trendy doilies, and I love the new Edgers dies from PTI. I thought the stickpin worked well with the girly style, too.

My husband does not like this card. Specifically, my husband does not like the sentiment I made on the bottom. He would love it if she never dated. (ha ha)

I hope you're having a great Saturday! We're enjoying's hard to believe there is a blizzard warning.

Thanks for looking!

Here are the details of the card:
Cardstock: white (AC Cardstock); Raspberry Fizz (PTI)
Patterned Paper: Restoration (Crate)
Ink: white (Tsukineko); Raspberry Fizz (PTI)
Dies: Edgers #1 (PTI); Dainty Lace Border (My Favorite Things)
Other: rhinestones (KaiserCraft--purchased at PTI); flower (Prima); glazed brad (Basic Grey); stick pin (Little Yellow Bicycle); ribbon is from my stash

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I love cake...

I've been thinking about cake the past few days. I love cake. No, I seriously love cake. If I have cake in my house, I'll cut a small sliver, and then go back for another small sliver, and then I'll go back for a "few" get the picture. Can you relate?

So my fantasy cake inspired my latest card. I made the sentiment, and the inside says "...well almost." (My hubby understands!) Here's the picture:

Thanks for the sweet comments from my last card. The craft world is so warm and fuzzy...I felt like I was in a pool of teddy bears after reading the comments. Thanks!

Here are the details on card:
Stamps: Bake Me a Cake (Lawn Fawn); Fillable Frames #11 (PTI); "sweet" & "love" from Little Bitty Birds (PTI)
Cardstock: Vintage Cream (PTI); orange (Bazzill)
Patterned Paper: a walk in the PARK (Echo Park)
Ink: Black (Tsukineko); Coal Black--on the sticker (Ancient Page); Warm Red (Colorbox)
Other: Fillable Frames #11 die (PTI); banner sticker (Echo Park); button (PTI); glitter on heart (Martha Stewart); floss (Karen Foster)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lawnscaping Challenge

So I am totally in love with my Lawn Fawn stamps. They are even cuter than a baby bunny! I ran across the Lawnscaping Challenge blog and decided to give it a try. This week's theme is love, and in my kooky mind, I was inspired by the movie "The Shining" (based on Stephen King's super scary book).

Here's my card using 3 different sets of Lawn Fawn stamps (another one of my card making addictions!):

Isn't the typewriter stamp adorable? Anyhoo, I was looking at the typewriter, and I thought of the scene in the movie The Shining where Shelley Duvall finds the "book" Jack Nicholson has been writing for the past few months. Instead of a book, all of his pages say "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." I still get chills thinking about that scene!

So I made my own background paper using MS Word and made a slightly different mantra. I thought it was a sweet card for someone who misses their lovey dovey.My husband said it was a stalker card, though. Hmmph!

Here's the low-down on the card:
Stamps: Jessie's ABCs, Just My Type, How Delightful (the shine lines) are from Lawn Fawn
Paper: Vintage Cream (Papertrey Ink); red and blue (Bazzill)
Ink: Cranberry and Blue Stylus Set (Color Box); Coffee Bean Brilliance (Tsukineko); Tea Dye (Tim Holtz)
Other: Clear embossing powder; Notebook edge die (My Favorite Things)

Thanks for looking!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

My First Post!

I'm finally making my first blog post--it's about time I caught up with the rest of the craft world! I have images of talking to myself on the computer, but I've decided that I'll still enjoy seeing my own creations on the computer no matter what. But, if you're reading this, welcome!

I've been making cards for about 2.5 years now...although I've probably done done more hoarding of some great products than actually creating cards. Until late July 2010, I was working full time as a professor at a university in Pennsylvania. My husband, my (then) 4 year old daughter, and 3 month old son packed up and moved back to South Dakota where my husband is from...long story. And I will say, after putting the house up for sale with an 8 week old, packing up a house while working full time, and moving across the country with 2 small children, a cat and a Westie, I can do anything (or maybe I'm just crazy). Anyhoo, now I'm telecommuting part time as a research and evaluation consultant, which leaves me a little more energy for card making! Woo hoo!

My style is a little whimsical, a little graphic, although I do like the vintage craze going around. Stamping, die cutting, mixing patterned paper, I love it all.

If you've lasted this long, thanks for reading.

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