Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Penny Black Hedgehog Gift Birthday Card

For this card, I stamped the main image on watercolor paper in Versafine Onyx Black ink using Penny Black's cute little hedgehogs from the Wonderful clear stamp set. The sentiment was stamped with the same ink on striped paper (sorry I don't remember which stamp set it's from). I hand cut the banner and its shadow. Tip: draw a small dot with pencil in the middle of the strip where you want the banner tail, then cut to it from each side. I popped it up with dimensional tape.

The main image was painted, watercolor style, with Tim Holtz Distress Markers. I mounted it on gold card stock, which I first ran through my Fiskars crimper to give it a corrugated look. I dyed the ribbon (Hug Snug seam binding) with Distress Stain in colors matching the gift in the image. I also used them in combination with Viva Decor Inka Gold to color the yellow/orange/red Petaloo CMC flowers. The large flower has some Christmas Red Stickles around the center. For the centers, I applied Adirondack Alcohol Ink to half pearls with a Q-tip so they would match the flower colors.

The white/gold flowers were cut using Sizzix Flowering Quince dies. The gold paint (near centers) is Silks Acrylic Glaze, which I picked up at Michaels. I love the translucent look it gives (although the effect is wasted in this case since there is nothing printed under the paint). I added a little yellow Flower Soft to the centers as pollen.

Below you can see more of the details in the flowers as well as some of the shimmer from the Viva Decor Inka Gold paint. The leaves were also die cut from one of my Sizzix flower sets. I tend to cut a bunch at one time so I have them for other projects. I painted them with Twinkling H2O watercolors. To finish the card, I made a couple loops with jute to tuck under the large flower.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Riveted Metal Look Birthday Card

I made this card for my friend (and Tichu partner), Martin, in Germany. Unfortunately, he has not yet received it and it's been about 6 weeks. I hope it (and the gift) is just held up in Customs.

The metal panels and birthday typewriter ideas were inspired by Tim Holtz's September 2012 Tag. For the metal panels, I used aluminum metal tape (from the hardware store) on a piece of card stock then embossed it with the Tim Holtz Texture Fades Riveted folder. I swiped acrylic black paint over the piece then wiped it with a paper towel so it would stick mostly in the depressions. The typewriter (seen further below) was done as in the September tag, using the typewriter from the Sizzix Movers & Shapers Vintage Telephone & Typewriter Set.

The card was cut with the Sizzix Pro die: Card, Tri-Shutter. Below is a photo of the front when it is closed. Other dies used on the card include the Impression Obsession die Buttons (the buttons were cut from cork and edged with Distress Ink) and Sizzix Originals Locks die (38-1109). I used Viva Decor Inka Gold in copper to color the lock, distressing it slightly with sandpaper and Walnut Stain Distress Ink. A couple small copper brads create the look of hardware. I bought the key at my local craft store (not sure what brand). The gears and metal sentiment are from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology collection. I dyed a piece of Hug Snug seam binding ribbon using Tim Holtz Antique Bronze Distress Stain then tied it around the metalized card stock with a simple knot.

The calendar stamp is from the Tim Holtz collection at Stampers Anonymous, the CMS035 Calendar II set. I just used some Habanero VersaFine ink to stamp the dot on the 5, highlighting his birth date. The edges of the specialty paper were sanded to show the white core; the other papers were edged with Distress Ink using a foam blending tool. I really like how the card stands up when opened.

Below is my favorite part of the card. I purposly chose this particular section of the patterned paper, showing the card, because we're both board gamers. I love the little typewriter. I used a small alphabet set from the dollar bin at the local craft store to "type" the happy birthday.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Penny Black Cupcake Mice Birthday Card

My mom's favorite color is purple so when her birthday rolled around, I sent her this birthday card with lots of purples (as well as blues). The image is from Penny Black's clear stamp set Critter Party. I stamped it using Versa Fine ink in Onyx Black on watercolor paper and colored it with Distress Ink reinkers. Although it doesn't show in the photographs, the candle, scarves, and cupcake have some added sparkle with Spica Glitter pens and a touch of Wink of Stella clear brush tip marker. The image and decorative border were cut with Spellbinders dies.

The tag was made a while ago, probably with the Sizzix scalloped tag die. I embossed it with "a moment in time" and a little flourish then colored it with Distress Inks using a blender tool. I also added some to the edges of the tag. I used the same Distress Inks to dye the ribbon (really, seam binding from Hug Snug) to match. The envelope was cut from vellum with an original Sizzix manila envelope die (the die is no longer available from Sizzix but you can find it on eBay, item number 38-1104). The heart was cut from chipboard using the Sizzix Primitive Hearts die (my original die only has 2 hearts instead of 4 with the new version); I colored it with Viva Decor Inka Gold paint in violet. The small heart was punched using Martha Stewart's Heartbeat deep edge boarder punch. I love this punch because it punches 4 sizes of hearts plus makes a beautiful border.

The flowers are from Petaloo (the leaves were cut with my trusty Sizzlits Branches with Leaves die). You can see how I colored the flowers in an earlier post. Below is a close up that better shows the dimension on the card. The happy birthday sentiment is from the same Penny Black stamp set as the image (mentioned above). I stamped it on white cardstock then cut it out by hand in a banner shape. After sticking it down to dark blue cardstock, I cut around it leaving about an eighth of an inch border. I popped it up with dimensional tape.

A little baker's twine, a strip of paper, and some washi tape finish off the bottom of the card.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monochromatic Wedding Card

This is the wedding card I made for Billy (Michael) and Jasmine to go with their mini album. I wanted to create a fairly monochromatic and elegant looking card in silvers and whites. The sentiment (silver embossed) and its background are both popped up on foam mounting tape in two levels (hard to see in the photo below). I used Viva Decor 3D Stamp Paint (Silver) with a mask to create the background. It is slightly raised against the card and sparkles like glitter. I also used it to paint the flower center and leaves but mixed it with Viva Decor Inka Gold (Silver) for a slightly warmer tone. The flower is from Petaloo.

Below is a close up showing more of the dimension. The decorative swirl was done using a Sizzix die, Tim Holtz Elegant Flourishes. I cut it out of chip board and painted it with Viva Decor Inka Gold (Silver). I added a few rhinestones, some half pearls, a silver bow, and a dove charm to finish off the card.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wedding Album Using Cricut Mini Books Cartridge

I made this album for friends Billy (Michael) and Jasmine who got married this summer. This was my first mini album using the Cricut Mini Books cartridge. I've made paper bag mini albums in the past but this one was basically from scratch. I did modify the cover so I could use chipboard between the inside and outside cover papers. I cut the chipboard into 3 pieces, with a small gutter between for folding (order: front cover/gutter/spine/gutter/back cover).

I bound the book using binder rings from the local office supply store. To hid some of the metal and give it some flair, I tied different types of ribbons around each. I cut their names out using vinyl and my Cricut with Cricut Craft Room so I could weld the letters together. Much of the decorations were done using my Sizzix Big Shot Pro machine and various dies. Many of my dies have coordinating stamps. For example, the heart on the cover was made using Stephanie Bernard's Hearts2diefor stamp set (love their products!) and the coordinating Sizzix Framelits Hearts #2.

Inside the album I tried to match up photo mats (to hold 4x6 photos) with journaling blocks. The photos and some journaling blocks will slide under the corner decorative elements (they are not glued down where the photo would go). The bottom ticket is from Tim Holtz and Stampers Anonymous, CMS100 Odds And Ends (sorry their website is not well organized; click the link with set 100 to find it), and cut using the matching Sizzix ticket strip die (note: I cut the tickets first then stamped). I love this calendar ticket!

The tag below was cut with a Tim Holtz Sizzix die. I just used a white pen to go around the edges for a faux stitched look. The dress, jacket, and hat (further below) are Jolee's Boutique stickers. The flower is from Petaloo. I painted it with some Viva Decor 3D Stamp Paint for sparkle.

The below image just shows what's below the mat and tag. The dress and jacket stickers are on the front side of an envelope (you'll see the other side next).

The key was cut with a Sizzix mini key die, painted with Viva Decor Inka Gold rub, then sanded and inked with Distress ink. The tag was cut using my Cricket and the Close to My Heart Art Philosophy cartridge, then stamped with the coordinating stamp.

The tags on the baker's twine are by Taylored Expressions (another favorite stamp/die maker). The top left heart was made the same as the one on the cover; I believe the bottom right heart was done on my Cricut using a Close to My Heart (CTMH) cartridge and matching stamp set (not sure if it is from Art Philosophy or Artiste). The CTMH Cricut cartridges are probably my favorites of all the Cricut cartridges. They are jam packed full of goodies. I also love how their high quality stamps perfectly coordinate with the cartridges.

The below image is the same as the above except the tags have been pulled out from behind the corner embellishments. I don't remember where I bought the post card stamp or the journaling lines stamp.

By the way, the pull-out mats are double sided (you can see one flipped over in the video at the bottom of this post). The note page below was created using the Sizzix Tim Holtz On the Edge Die, Torn Notebook (yet another favorite!). The flourish was cut using the Sizzix Elegant Flourishes Die.

I put a decoration (hand cut from the same paper as the pocket) across the back of the pocket so that the tag would not get hooked on it when put back in.

I cut the bridal couple image using the Cricut Stretch Your Imagination cartridge. The negative was so cool that I included it inside their card.

This is the last photograph; be sure to check out the video to see the couple last pages. The bracket tag was another CTMH stamp/cartridge combo. The Just Married title was cut using the Cricut Tie the Knot cartridge. I cut it in black and offset the top cuts to give them a shadow and make it more sturdy. You can see the clear mylar sheet over a chalkboard page (chalkboard paper by Die Cuts with a View, DCWV). I stamped the sentiment and cake in white with StazOn ink.

Below is a video "mini tour" of the album. It's a bit over the top; I was playing around with iMovie. Unfortunately I didn't think about recording a video until the last minute (just before packaging up the album for shipping) so I quickly shot it with my iPhone - holding the phone in one hand and tuning pages with the other (not an easy thing to do!). The optics on the phone lens (really, not the best) made my arm look huge.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Party Pop n' Cuts Birthday Card

I made this card for my long-time friend Mirta. She's a really special person so I wanted to make her a really special card. I started with a 6x6 paper pack, Hootenanny by My Mind's Eye. I colored Tilda with my Copic markers to match the paper colors (the stamp is Tilda with Wedding Gifts, by Magnolia). I cut out the image and frame behind it with Spellbinders Labels Four dies. The sentiment was stamped in matching ink and embossed in clear to give it some texture. I used Stephanie Bernard's ornatelabel2stamp set and matching Sizzix Framelets Labels, Ornate #2 for the frame and to cut it out, respectively.

The large flower is from Petaloo, one of their Color Me Crazy mulberry paper flowers. I used Viva Decor Precious Metal Color to paint the flower in matching pinks and blues. I made the small flower with the Sizzix Thinlits Die Set, Flowering Quince.

The card base was cut with Pop n' Cuts Card, Square with Ornate Edge. The inside was cut with the Sizzix Pop n' Cuts magnetic insert Party 3D. I used the matching Sizzix Sizzlits Party Set #2 to cut the inside word "Party" in blue, as well as the streamer ribbon and stars. I colored the streamer and two of the stars with Tim Holtz Distress Stickles (Spun Sugar and Tumbled Glass, I believe). Two of the balloons were cut from card stock, stamped in darker matching ink, and cut using the balloons2cut stamp and die set. I wanted one balloon on matching patterned paper from the Hootenanny pack but realized that I didn't have a plain outline stamp for the balloons. I actually had to order the matching happyBday2you stamp set (luckily her shipping is only $1 per set).

I used a heart die set (although don't remember where I got it) to cut the heart from red card stock, then added Glossy Accents to make it shine. Finally, I used my Cricut and the Close to My Heart Art Philosophy Cartridge and the matching Cherish the Day stamp set to cut the date ticket.

I used recycled clear plastic packaging to hang the balloons and streamer. I just cut a couple of small slits in the top of the pop up platform to stick them through, making small feet to adhere them to the bottom of the card with Glue Dots. Matching twine makes pretty balloon strings.

I love how the card came out. From the side angle you can see how I added some foam tape between the balloons to give them extra dimension. If you look carefully you can also see the clear plastic on which they are mounted, including the feet.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Party Paws Panda Card for a Friend

I recently made this card for a good friend. The main image is from the Party Paws EZMount stamp collection available at Crafter's Companion. This specific set is called Bamboo. The image was stamped with Onyx Black VersaFine Ink on Beckett Expression Cover, Radiance (130#). Unfortunately this excellent quality heavy card stock is no longer being produced; the manufacturer recommends as its replacement Strathmore Premium Cover (this link is to Ultimate White; I'm not sure how it compares to Radiance). I haven't used it yet.

I love VersaFine ink - it really does a beautiful job with all types of stamps... and it's waterproof! I colored the image with Tim Holtz Distress Markers using a water brush.

The base card was cut from Bazzill Basics card stock using a Sizzix A6 scalloped card die. The 3D flower was cut using the Sizzix Sunflower set of dies by Susan Tierney-Cockburn. I cut the leaves from green card stock (Bazzill), painted them with Distress Markers for added shading, then shaped them with a die pick (rubbed the backs of the leaves with the cap, drew lines with the sharp/pointed end). I cut the petals from cream card stock, painted them with the same colors of Distress Markers as the stamped flower, then shaped them with a die pick (line down center) and handle of a small paintbrush (curled ends). I cut the center pieces from brown card stock and shaped them into little "cups" using the rounded end of an embossing tool (you may also use the end of a small paintbrush handle). Below is a closeup of the flower.

The ribbon is Hug Snug seam binding from Zipper Stop. I buy it in cream or white then dye it to match my cards. This was dyed with matching Tim Holtz Distress Stain. The butterfly was punched from vellum with a Martha Stewart butterfly punch then colored with Distress Markers to match the butterfly in the image.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tim Holtz and I at Stampfest, Orlando, FL

My husband and I were in Orlando at the end of June for The Dice Tower Con (board gaming convention). We arrived early to go to Disney World and Universal. I also found out that Tim Holtz was going to be in the area for Stampfest. Unfortunately I had to rush to get over there - taking the bus to the hosting hotel. I arrived about an hour and a half before closing (which was about 5pm !?). Believe it or not, they charged me FULL PRICE even though I told them I could not make it the next day, i.e. that I was only there for an hour and a half. Ugh.

I made a beeline for the Stampers Anonymous booth - and there he was! Sadly, all I had was a camera phone (the HORROR!) - I apologize for the lack of quality in the photos. Below is a shot of Tim talking us through a technique for adding paint and alcohol inks to his black numbers.

I snagged the tag he was making so here's a close up of the project. Thanks Tim! He was even kind enough to sign it for me! The brighter, colorful number was painted with a coat of white before alcohol inks were applied.

I shot a lot of photos but I thought this one was cute - he was giving me a smirk. The tag he was working on was created with masks and different layers of ink.

I asked one of the attendees to take a photo of me with Tim. I wish he would have taken a few shots - this one was badly blurred and no amount of Photoshopping was going to fix it. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Deer Peeking Father's Day Card

I made this card for my father a couple years ago. My family is from Michigan so I made sure the word "Michigan" in the "Where to Go" newspaper was showing (just above the deer's antlers). You may have to click on the image to see it. Both the newspaper and the map (background behind branches) are from a Tim Holtz paper stash.

My father used to go hunting for deer "up north," as we say in Michigan; I thought this image from the Cricut cartridge Campin' Critters was appropriate.  I just love the googlie eyes. He also likes photography so I added Film Strip Ribbon to decorate, as well as branches and leaves from the Tim Holtz/Sizzix Decorative Strip Festive Greenery and some jute tied around the card front.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Butterfly/Moth Father's Day Card

This is a Father's Day card I made for my father-in-law a couple years ago. He studies mites as a serious hobby, many of which are found on moths and butterflies (I wasn't about to put disgusting mites on my card!). I used some Tim Holtz products to make the card, including Distress Ink, Film Strip Ribbon, Tiny Attacher, and paper (I cut the small moth/butterfly images from one of his paper stashes). For the large butterfly, I stamped it with StazOn Jet Black ink onto a piece of recycled packaging then colored it from the back with Adirondack Alcohol Inks.

The background paper I made myself with my printer (OK, my card was a little late, thus the "belated"). I added the colors (Distress Ink applied with a Blending Tool) then distressed the paper by crumpling, ripping the edges, and adding some Distress Ink in Walnut Stain. I also used the blending tool to distress the envelope to match. Below is a different view showing more of the layers.

Monday, July 15, 2013

23rd Anniversary Penny Black Card

Our 23rd anniversary was this past weekend. This is the card for my sweetie. I couldn't resist the Penny Black hedgehogs image from the Stuck on You set. I colored it with my Copic Markers. I used Spellbinders Dies to cut it out, along with the scalloped mat behind it. I used some old Sizzix dies to cut out the hearts and the manila folder. My original Sizzix Primitive Hearts die with 2 hearts is no longer available but it looks like they made a replacement die with 4 hearts. I cut the hearts from chipboard then painted them with Viva Decor Inka Gold in Lava Red and Rose. I LOVE the stuff. You can use it as a water color paint or straight out of the container. For these I just used my finger to color them, straight from the container. I let them dry then used a paper towel to polish them to a full shine.

The folder is also no longer available, and I didn't see a replacement, but you can find it on eBay. Look for product number 38-1105 File Folder - be sure it is the one that is opened with two sides; there is another file folder die with just an image of a closed folder. I decorated the file folder with: some Washi tape (it also keeps it from opening up since it's wrapped around the back); words that I printed on my laser printer (from a whole page of words), ran through my Xyron, cut out with scissors, then distress inked the edges (ditto for the file folder edges) with Walnut Stain; and finally a little "LU!" from my old manual label maker.

The ticket was cut from a Tim Holtz Sizzix die, Ticket Strip, then stamped with the matching Stampers Anonymous calendar stamp from the Odds and Ends set CMS100 and distressed with Walnut Stain.

The flowers are all from Petaloo. I usually get the Color Me Crazy flowers from the Mulberry collection but sometimes I get flowers from their other lines (e.g. Darjeeling Tea Stained paper flowers). I always add my own colors/sprays/paints to them. This time I also added Snow Cap Adirondack acrylic paint to the tips of the flowers, as well as to the edges of the hearts. Below is a close up of some the flowers.

My last photo better shows the layering of items on the card.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Just a Note Penny Black Cat Card

I love Penny Black stamps! They are so adorable. I ordered a bunch on sale from The cat is from the Stuck on You set. I colored the image with Copic markers; ditto for the little heart stamped on the tiny envelope - I wanted it to match the one the cat is holding. To cut the envelope, I used an old Sizzix Original die: Cards & Envelopes, Tiny. It has been retired so it may be hard to find, although I saw some on eBay - look for Sizzix product number 38-1143.

I couldn't find background paper in the colors I wanted so I made my own using Viva Decor Inka-Gold  in Violet & Cobalt Blue, Twinkling H2Os (not sure of the exact colors), and some Tim Holtz Distress Reinkers mixed with water and Perfect Pearls in a Mini Mister. Using my Craft Sheet, I added water as needed then dragged the paper through the puddles to get the marbled watercolor look you see below.

I made the daisy using the new Mini Daisy Sizzix Thinlits dies by Susan Tierney Cockney. For the center, I used a generous amount of Liquid Pearls in Buttercup then, while still wet, coated it with some bright yellow flocking powder. The rest of the flowers are from the Petaloo Color Me Crazy collection, (I like to layer the mulberry paper ones) colored with the same paints I used for the background paper, in differing amounts. Be sure to first mist them with some water. I also crinkle them while wet and use a heat tool to dry them, then carefully un-crinkle them a bit before gluing the layers together.

Below is a closeup of the message inside the envelope. I inked the edges to make them stand out a little from the envelope so when it was opened you would see the little card inside.

Here is a close up of the flowers. The daisy leaves came with the daisy die already mentioned. I added a few more leaves using the Flowering Quince set and green card stock. I colored them with a couple of green Twinkling H2Os to give them some shading and sparkle. Unfortunately the shimmer and sparkle did not show up well in the photographs.

Hint: As an alternative to stamping words/phrases, I like to make up pages of words and sayings in differing fonts, print them on card stock, run them through my Xyron (permanent adhesive), and cut them into banners, or die cut them, for use. You can use Word, Photoshop, or any other program you have that will accept text in different fonts.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Banner Thank You Card in Blue and Green

This is a thank you card I made for friends who did something nice for me. I used some triangle banner dies and a circle punch to create the banner. The letters were stamped with a inexpensive alphabet set I bought at either Michaels or A.C. Moore (they both sell these occasionally in the dollar bin - I bought a bunch of different ones; they're handy!). Hint: stamp the letters first then use the circle punch upside down to center the letter within the circle before punching. I inked the edges of each circle before mounting them inside the slightly larger circles, punched from colored card stock. These are popped up using foam tape.

I used a couple strips of Washi Tape behind the bow and flowers. I found the buttons in a dollar bin at Michaels - they had a bunch of bright colors.

I described how I colored the Petaloo flowers in a previous blog post - except I put rhinestones in the centers instead of pearls to match the rhinestones in the banner. For the leaves, I used a Sizzix Sizzlits die from the Flowers, Branches, & Leaves set. To color the leaves, I used Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint in Peeled Paint. I added water to the Peeled Paint to thin it before painting it on, leaving some of the green card stock to show through. Then I painted on Rock Candy Distress Crackle to give them more crackle and some shine. Finally, I painted on Distress Reinker in spots to give the leaves some shading (I can't remember if I used Crushed Olive or Forest Moss) - it also helped to define the cracks in the paint.

The A7 sized card and envelope were cut using Sizzix Pro Dies.

Coloring Petaloo Flowers with Distress

I absolutely love Petaloo Color Me Crazy Flowers! I usually buy the white mulberry paper layers. These give a nice starting base to my flowers when I don't feel like cutting my own from scratch.

The photos below show how I colored some of the flowers with Ranger products. I like to create my own sprays using Distress Reinkers (not shown), Perfect Pearls, and water in a Mini Mister. I make them up beforehand - and I get several uses out of them. The reinkers have a lot of pigment so only a drop or two will do, depending on how much color you like. Perfect Pearls gives it some sparkle and shine. Alternatively, I may mix in, or paint on later, Winsor & Newton's Iridescent Medium. Be sure to shake the mister bottle each time before spraying; I usually add a small metal bead for mixing.

Another way I color the flowers is by using Distress Stains. First I spray the flowers with some water, then I swipe a selected color of stain across the Craft Sheet and spray some more water in the stain puddle. Finally I just mop up the color with the flower. For a marbled effect, I will use two or three colors swiped near each other on the sheet - they will start to mix slightly when I spray in the extra water.

For added dimension, after drying the flowers - with my heat gun to speed up drying time - I tap some acrylic paint on the top or on the ends of the petals with a dauber, or I paint it in the middle with a brush. The daubers I use are Adirondack Acrylic Paint Daubers by Ranger but you could use any acrylic paint, just dab it on with a sponge applicator instead.

I also add Rock Candy Distress Stickles to some of the flowers - either painted on the petals or just near the center. I add regular Stickles near the center on other flowers for a different look. Once the layers have been glued together (I mostly use Glossy Accents - it dries fast and really sticks), I stick a half-pearl in the middle. I typically buy only the off-white self-adhesive pearls since I can make them almost any color I want using Adironack Alcohol Inks and a Q-Tip. The pearl in the large blue/purple flower was colored this way.

You should be able to find all (or at least most) of these products at your local craft store.

To shape the flowers I use a bone folder (burnishing bone - if you're a framer) to line the petals from the front (some come with lines already) and shape them from the back. Hint: do this on the back of a rubber mouse pad. I also use a die pick for finer lines both on petals and on leaves (not shown). I use the die pick or paint brush handle to roll the petals under slightly, or up as he case may be. You might have to experiment with these techniques to get your desired effect. Look for these flowers on cards in later posts!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pink Birdie Birthday Card

This is a card I made for my friend Becky's birthday. I wanted it to have a doodle-like look to it so I used some doodle stamps (I think they are G-Studio clear stamps from Michaels) and colored them in with my Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils (from an online artist supply store). I cut out the notebook paper using my Silhouette and the round holed notebook paper design from their store. The baby bird is from Miss Kate Cuttables (it was originally a freebie but is now $.50), also cut on my Silhouette.

I made the flower using the Spellbinders 3D flower die, Spiral Blossom Two. I inked the edges with Picked Raspberry, Tim Holtz Distress Ink (using a blending tool) then coated it with Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint before rolling it up and glueing it (with Glossy Accents). I wrapped Tickled Pink Trendy Twine around the notebook page and used a couple strips of Washi tape on the top and bottom of it to finish off the card.

The A7 sized card and envelope were cut using Sizzix Pro Dies.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Train Thank You Card

This is a card I made for Alan and Janet Moon for generously hosting The Gathering of Friends each year (for those who are unfamiliar, this is a board gaming convention with about 375 people - quite an undertaking!). Alan is also the designer of Ticket to Ride, as well as many other board games. If you are curious about board gaming, I highly recommend that you click the link and read about this game.

I wanted to personalize a thank you card for him. He likes trains and lives in the New York area so I themed the card around this. The convention was held in April thus the "April 2013" on one of the tickets.

I cut the train using my Silhouette Cameo and an SVG file (not sure where I got this one, sorry!). I love lover love the Silhouette! It is so easy to cut SVG files or any font on your computer - you can even make your own designs. The background clocks (actually pocket watches) were embossed using a Tim Holtz's Texture Fades embossing folder from Sizzix. The New York Central ticket is from Tim Holtz's Visual Artistry, The Journey, set by Stampers Anonymous. Note: I couldn't find where to search on the Stampers Anonymous website and I didn't want to look through all the sets so I put a link to its listing on the Simon Says Stamp website.

The twine is from Annie's Paper Boutique; this one is called Stars & Stripes. I had gone a bit twine crazy and ordered a bunch of different colors. Unfortunately there are more I want... now if I could only find space in which to put them! Be sure to check out the bundles, specials, and limited editions.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mother's Day Card 2013

For this card, I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut Paisley, one in a set of four from My Scrap Chick. Instead of using the smaller eyes that came with the set, I used a paw print punch on black paper and took two of the toe prints for the eyes. Hint: a lot of the paw print punches make great eyes; the base of the paw can be used as an animal nose. I used an opaque white pen to add the white and highlight in her eyes, chalked a little black around where the eyelashes would go, then used my black Multiliner pen in .05 to draw the lashes. I colored Paisley's hair brush with Copic Sketch markers. I also chalked her cheeks, shading on her skin, and shading on her outfit. The 3D bow was also cut on the Silhouette (sorry I don't remember where I got that exact file but there are a lot available on the web, even as freebies).

I really love using tags and banners on cards. Lately I've been making a lot of cards featuring them. On this one I used mini tags strung across twine. You may cut the tags with an electronic die cutting machine or buy the actual dies, such as the Mini Tags or Mini Designer Tags from Taylored Expressions. You can easily find small message stamps to go on them, such as the Many Minis - Holidays (also from Taylored Expressions). I decorated the tags using rubber stamps, Stickles (red inside star), Swarovski crystals, and some small pearls that are used to decorate fingernails (found them on eBay). I added a couple of buttons between some of the tags, as well as small pieces of ribbon (black, pink, red) tied in simple knots around the twine.

The base card is an A7 (5x7) size, cut using my Sizzix Big Shot Pro die. I cut my own envelopes using the matching Sizzix envelope die. You can get one A7 envelope or two A2 envelopes out of a sheet of 11x17 paper. I purchase Hammermill 28lb Color Copy Digital paper at Costco for $18.39 for 1,000 sheets (2 reams) including shipping. It comes out to less than two cents a sheet. The paper is very smooth and has a nice thickness to it, making the envelopes feel expensive. My paper was dinged in the corner in shipping but since I'm only using the center parts, it didn't really matter. I use the paper left over from the A7 envelopes in other projects or as scrap.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Copic Intermediate Certification Class

I took the Copic Intermediate Certification class on November 10, 2012. The class was held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I went to that one so I could visit family while in Michigan. My sister attended the class with me (by the way, she also held a special early Thanksgiving for our family while I was there - thanks Jen!). The instructor was Debbie Olsen. I'll just touch on a few of the things we covered in this full day class to give you an idea of what was covered. If you are planning to do some serious Copic coloring, you should consider taking the class.

The first things we covered were shading, highlights, and shadows and how the Copic color system works into this. We started by coloring some trees. Here you can see one of the trees I colored, along with the colors of Copics I used to color it.

I really love the way these alcohol markers blend. The brush tip is the best I've used for markers. These tips make it so easy to get great results.

We looked at different types of light and concepts: linear direction of light, direct vs. indirect light, radial light, and single point (spot) light. I included an image from the radial light section below.

The candle is the central source of light - it radiates out to touch the tops of nearby objects with its warm glow, while cool shading dominates the bottoms of the objects where the light tapers off.
Next we covered composition and design for paper crafting. Artists and photographers are very familiar with these concepts - rule of thirds, color weight, balance, movement, etc.

Working with reds is tricky because red is such an intense dye. It is not as forgiving as other colors, e.g. you can't easily "fix" it with the blender pen. We went over some tips for coloring with red and practiced on this Santa image (I didn't get to finish his face or shading the dog and his hands).

Other tricky items covered were coloring skin tones, including shading on the face, and hair. The book (given to us in class) has recommendations for all different skin tones as well as different hair colors and types (e.g. straight vs. curly). We practiced coloring on several images of people, I only included one below.

For our final project, we colored a larger image of lilacs (well, larger than the previous images!). I included a partial section of my project below to give you an idea of the complexity of the final image.

To find a certified instructor in your area, go to instructor search on the Copic website. Happy coloring!

Images by Marianne Walker, Copic.