12/23/14

This is the end…

of the Christmas cards, anyway.

Jennifer McGuire is a genius. I love her work and when I saw this card on her blog I knew I had to try it. The stencil used for this one is a big round stencil, one I would not have given a second look. She saw potential in it and used it for Christmas trees! Brilliant! This was so easy and quick to make. Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn Distress Ink for the trees, Wild Honey for the star. I die cut a star from a piece of lightweight cardstock and used that as the stencil. Tumbled Glass Distress Ink for the hills, and an old Hero Arts stamp for the sentiment, stamped in red pigment ink and embossed with clear powder.

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I made a shaker card! I only hope it survives the postal machines. I added some seed beads from my stash for the shaker part. The penguin stamp is by Stampendous, a 50% off Michael’s purchase last week. The patterned paper is from the Doodlebug Designs Frosty Friends 6 x 6 paper pad. The Merry Christmas stamp is from Clearly Besotted. I added a few sequins using Micro Glue Dots.

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Same stamps and paper, but no shaking going on here. The sentiment is from PaperTrey Ink.

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That’s it for me this Christmas. I hope you have enjoyed seeing my cards this year. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year! I will be spending New Year’s in Ohio with my awesome daughter and precious grandson. I can’t wait! Be prepared for more adorable grandson photos in January :-)

12/22/14

Merry Christmas…

So, I hardly post all year and then flood you with posts at Christmas. Yep, that’s the way I roll, folks :-)

Another Nichol Magouirk inspired card. No embossing paste this time, just heat embossed snow in the background. I stamped the trees using some Tsukineko dye ink, added a little Cranberry Stickles for ornaments, and stamped the greeting in black ink. The stamps are from Simon Says Stamp. They were part of the December Card kit, but I didn’t get the whole kit, just the stamps.

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Yes, more kitties. This time from Newton’s Nook. This one was inspired by this card. Newston is adorable and since he is smaller, he was a little easier to color. I even managed a few striped this time.

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This would be the scene at our house if we had a wreath or a tree up this year.

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This is why I say that. Meet Abby (the black one) and Tigger:

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We lost Mr. Nibbles in an accident a little over a month ago and David talked me into getting 2 kittens. They are brother and sister, and totally adorable. Little bundles of endless energy! Sheldon is not impressed, but he will come around eventually.

So, no tree and fancy decorations this year. It would be too tempting for small kittens and too nerve wracking for us, trying to keep them away from it.

12/21/14

Embossing Paste Makes a Comeback

It seems like everything old is new again this year. Embossing paste, stencils, and even shaker cards are showing up everywhere. Having sold my embossing paste several years ago, I bought just one jar and decided to give it a try. It’s not as involved as I remembered it to be, actually. I will be using it a lot more often.

This card was inspired by this beautiful one on Nichol Magouirk’s blog. I didn’t get quite as fancy with mine, but I am totally happy with the way it turned out. After the first one was easier than I anticipated, I thought I’d make several more. These dies don’t cut all the way through at the bottom, they are designed that way. So I die cut enough to make 3 more cards and set them aside…ahem…to be trimmed out later. Aside…in the tray of water I had put there for washing the stencil. Ugh! Note to self…do not leave a tray of water for the stencil next to your workspace.

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I sprinkled on a little ultra fine glitter while the paste was still wet for just a tiny bit of sparkle. The houses were colored with Distress Ink - Peacock Feathers, Wild Honey, and Picked Raspberry. Peeled Paint was used on the trees. The Merry in the sentiment was done using Lawn Fawn Violet’s ABCs. The letters are cut so well that it’s easy to line them up on the acrylic block and get the spacing perfect.

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Since I already had the paste and stencil out, I though why not make a few more panels, then figure out what to do with them. The stencil is from Simon Says Stamp, by the way. It’s called Falling Snow.

Lawn Fawn stamps & dies -

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The same Simon Says Stamp dies from the first card and the sentiment is an old one from Papertrey Ink. The snowy hills were made with Lawn Fawn dies, and the stitched circle is one on of the new Simon Says Stamp dies.

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Stay tuned for a few more Christmas cards soon.

12/19/14

It’s not over yet!

I hope you aren’t tired of seeing Christmas cards just yet. Here are a few more for you.

Taylored Expressions Stamps, a little washi tape, and more Wink of Stella. The sentiment is not by Taylored Expressions. I don’t remember the company, but it’s more than a few years old.

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A Hero Arts stamp from several years ago, stamped in Navy Hero Arts Shadow Ink and edges with a little Frosted Lace Stickles for snow.

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I absolutely love that Simon Says Stamp Christmas die. I have discovered spray adhesive works best for adhering intricate dies like that. I spray lightly from at least 2 feet above and it works perfectly. No more scribbling on glue and having it squish out the sides.

12/18/14

Guitar Birthday

My son’s birthday was earlier this month and since he is an awesome guitarist, I though a guitar shaped card would be perfect. I found this one on Pinterest and gave it a try. I won’t say it was easy, but it turned out pretty well. I totally forgot to take a photo before I mailed it and the strings didn’t fare too well through the mail, but here’s how it looked when he received it.

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The strings were tight when it went into the envelope. They are just thread and I had a hard time figuring out how to string the guitar. I am not sure I will ever make another one of these, but if I do I will string them down to the brads rather than up from them. Any ideas?

Oh look, there are his guitars on the wall in the background.

Anyway, he loved it and I had fun making it for him. That’s all that counts, right?

Christmas Cards…at last!

Nothing like waiting until the last minute…again. All of my cards went in the mail yesterday and I hope they arrive in time, especially the ones going overseas. Whew! Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

I tried to use all of the new sets and dies I bought this year, and I did pretty well. There weren’t that many, actually. My wish list was a mile long, but budget constraints got in the way. There was only one set that I didn’t use and I will save it for next year.

Most of the designs were inspired by cards I found on blogs and Pinterest, and I will post links to those. Embossing powder, glittery paper, glitter washi tape, and the Wink of Stella Glitter Brush Pen all got quite a workout this year.

ANYway…here you go. Cards. With kitties. Inspired by this card on Julia’s blog.

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They are all colored with Copic markers. I had high hopes for stripes and spots on these cats, and even a black-ish kitty, but it’s not as easy as it looks. Cats are hard to color without them looking flat and lifeless. I’m sure Sandy Allnock could make them pop right off of the page, but I’m not that talented. I guess I need to review my Copic classes and practice a LOT more.

The image is a digital one from Gerda Steiner Designs. I printed it on Neenah Solar White, because that’s the only weight cardstock I have that will go through my printer. I prefer the Hammermill Digital Copy Cover or the Mohawk Color Copy Cover, but they were 100# and got stuck in the printer. I know many people like the Neenah, but I have trouble with it.

I will post more over the next few days. I hope you are all have a wonderful holiday season and are ready for Santa!

11/8/14

Stamping is Hard!

I’ve borrowed today’s title from The Crooked Stamper. She repeats that fairly often, and I am here to tell you that she is 100% correct.  This looks like a simple enough card, right? Just grab some paper and a stamp and voila….card. HA!

This all began when my dear husband told me he would like a birthday card for one of his cronies, whose birthday is Monday. Rather than doing what I usually do, which is procrastinate until midnight (or later) on Sunday, I decided to jump right in and get it done. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I chose a layout from some cards I made a while back and decided to just change up the colors for a more masculine palette.

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This, and more, is what it took just to create ONE card! This is only part of the stuff. There are little multicolored polka dots everywhere and scraps of paper scattered all over other surfaces. The polka dots were literally jumping off of the clear cutting plate, it was hilarious. Dry air, lots of static in here today.

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Once I had chosen the patterned paper for the bottom of the card (which took longer than it should have because I didn’t want to go cutting up my precious Doodlebug 6 x 6 paper pad willy nilly), I couldn’t decide on a color combination for the polka dot background and the sentiment pieces, so I cut up quite a few pieces of card stock. I put one together and decided I didn’t like it. Back to the Big Shot to cut up some more card stock.

Three pairs of scissors, one die cutting machine, a paper trimmer, some glue, ATG adhesive, four dies, foam tape, a stamp and some ink - and several hours - one manly birthday card is born! Boom! See what I mean… stamping is hard! And I hardly stamped anything, most of it is just paper/card stock. I didn’t really have to stamp the sentiment because I had some left over from the other cards, but I didn’t find them until after I had stamped one piece. After I put that one together (in the upper left hand corner of the second photo) I changed my mind about the colors one more time. That’s when I remembered having extras. Better late than never, I guess.

Mission accomplished. No glitter or bling, of course. That just wouldn’t be macho, would it? Polka dots are ok though, right? They are now. I saved the pieces I didn’t use so maybe I can make an extra to have on hand for next time. If only I can remember to use them. Sigh.

Supplies:
Dies - My Favorite Things
Stamp: Verve Stamps
Patterned paper - Doodlebug Design Friendly Forest

10/29/14

Happy Halloween

I managed to get a few Halloween cards done this year and I hope I mailed them in time. There’s nothing like working under a deadline…bwhahaha. (Get it? DEADline? Halloween….oh, never mind).

I watched Kristina Werner color this Simon Says Stamp kitty image many times and tried my best to do a good job with this one. I should have bought the coordinating dies for this set, but I didn’t think I would need them. HA! Sooooo, I had to resort to fussy cutting. It really wasn’t all that difficult, but the kitty did lose the tips of a few whiskers in the process. Ain’t nobody got time for cutting out tiny whiskers, especially when one procrastinates as efficiently as I do. Lesson learned, buy the dies.

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Copic markers were my coloring medium of choice, and Distress Inks a la Amy Rysavy for the background. You can see her card and her video on her blog here.The set contains a drippy goo stamp, but I used my old Martha Stewart punch for the purple goo/blood at the top instead. The stamp wouldn’t show up on black card stock.

I made a couple of these cards, coloring the kitties differently and using different backgrounds. I had a bit of trouble with the white embossing powder on the sentiment, as always, in spite of using the embossing buddy thingie before I stamped and embossed.

Happy All Hallow’s Eve, everyone!

Supplies:
Stamps:
Simon Says Stamp Trick or Treat
Dies: My Favorite Things (spider), Stitched rectangle for the window (I forget the brand)
Misc: Black card stock, watercolor paper, Distress Inks - Dusty Concord, Seedless Preserves, Broken China, and Stormy Sky, Hero Arts white embossing powder, Copic markers, Black Wink of Stella Glitter Brush Pen (on the spider)

10/18/14

Monster Hugs

When I saw this set from Lawn Fawn, I knew it would be perfect for sending cards to my little grandson. Yes, he’s only one year old, can’t read, and will probably try to eat the card, but I’m sending them just the same. This set and the matching dies are available at Stamper’s Alley at the moment, for any of you local stampers.

Here is the card, which is a shameless CASE of this card I found on Lawn Fawn’s blog.

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I added a few hearts and put the little flying monster at the bottom, because I didn’t leave enough room at the top. I couldn’t resist adding googlie eyes to all of them, just for some fun movement on the card. They are all colored with Copic markers , cut out using the matching dies, and popped up on some foam tape.

This was the first of many cards to that adorable little guy.

Supplies:
Stamps and dies:
Lawn Fawn Monster Mash, Misc star and heart dies
Background paper: Doodlebug Designs Friendly Forest

10/4/14

Happy World Card Making Day!

It happens every year on the first Saturday in October (right?) and I can’t believe it IS October already. Autumn has arrived here in NC and I hope it sticks around a while before plunging us into the cold winter.
In honor of WCMD, I made some cards based on a tutorial from the awesome Jennifer McGuire. Her cards and tutorial are here. They are so pretty and looked so easy, which they were.

I bought the dies and the glitter spray and gave it a try.
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They turned out pretty well and I love the glittery shimmer on the balloons. You can barely see it on this one, but it’s there. And it doesn’t rub off!
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It show up a bit better here.
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Oooohhh, shiny :-)
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They were pretty simple to put together, the only thing I had a bit of trouble with was the string on the end of the balloons. I have the Multi Matte Medium, but it was just too difficult to get tiny dots out of the bottle, so I ended up using a fine tip glue. Either Tombow Mono Multi or Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive, I forget which - or I may have used both of them. Anywho…it was a fun project and now I have a small birthday card stash going.
What are YOU doing for WCMD? There are a lot of posts on Facebook and blogs today, lots of inspiration out there. Maybe I’ll get inky again, who knows?
Supplies:Dies - Avery Elle Custom Panel Elle-ments
Stamps: Avery Elle Brushed Clear Stamps
Misc. - Baker’s twine, Therm-o-web Iridescent Glitter Spray, various ink pads from Hero Arts.

9/29/14

Jackson’s First Birthday and My Trip to Colorado

My trip to Colorado was wonderful. It was good to spend some time with Geoffrey and Lauren, and get to know Lauren’s mom, Deb, too. The weather was perfect and I even got a sunburn up in the Rockies!

This is the view from their backyard. Isn’t it beautiful? I enjoyed sitting out on the back patio every morning with my coffee and listening to the birds, feeling the cool breeze, and just taking in the view. Ahhh.

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Keith (the black dog) and Dexter, sleeping on the couch next to me. Keith and I became best buddies, he’s such a sweetie.

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There were still a few hummingbirds around, but the weather was starting to cool off and they were heading for warmer climates.

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We took a little ride over the Continental Divide along Loveland Pass. It’s beautiful up there, but the road is a little scary. It was really cold up that high, too. If you look towards the middle right of the sign you can see the road below. The cars looked like teeny tiny toys from up there.

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There was a beautiful double rainbow on the other side of the Divide. This photo does not do it justice, it was brilliant.

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We took a trip down into Denver for the day. It was H O T and humid that day, not at all like the cool mountain breezes in the higher altitude.

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This is at the 16th St. Mall, which is actually several city blocks in downtown Denver. It’s closed to car traffic, but they have free buses driving down both sides of the center area all day, and you can hop on an off at any stop. There are more of these outdoor pianos all along the way, and this guy was jammin’ on one of them. Yes, that’s a weed shop in the background :-)

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After I left Colorado, it was off to Ohio to see my daughter and adorable grandson. He turned 1 on September 6 and it’s amazing how much he’s grown. He’s walking and it’s hard to get a photo of him that’s not blurry - he’s not still for a minute!

He doesn’t look too pleased at having his picture taken here - I’m not sure what that look was about.

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We took him to the park and he loved the swings!

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And he’s off!!

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This is one of his favorite things to do - he loves being upside down.

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So Grandpapa had to give it a go. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more.

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He’s such a handsome little man and my daughter is so beautiful, and so proud of her little guy.

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“Tent Time” always makes him giggle. She puts a blanket over both of them and when she pulls it off he just giggles and laughs, it’s so cute! Do you think he has enough toys? That’s only a small portion of them, too.

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His own little birthday cake…he wasn’t quite sure what to do with it but he managed to make a pretty good mess of it.

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And finally here is the card I made for him. I love these cards in a box. I cut the 1 with my Silhouette and all the rest is done with dies and punches.

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I’m ready to get back on the road. I need a Jackson fix soon. I’d love to go back to Colorado, but that may have to wait until the Spring. Geoffrey and Lauren may be making a trip out here in a few months, at least I hope so!

8/13/14

Nahnahnahnahnahnahnah….Batman!

It’s hard to believe, but the most adorable baby on the planet (my grandson) will soon be one year old. How did that happen?? Well it did, and his mama and daddy decided on a Batman theme for his party so I volunteered to design the invitations. Here they are…

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I used my Silhouette for the spotlight beam, the bat, and the “Calling All Superheroes” burst. The stars are stamped in gold Delicata ink using a Hero Arts cling background stamp and the cityscape is a set of My Favorite Things dies. The spotlight beam is cut out of gold vellum, as is the oval that the bat in on. I backed the oval with bright yellow card stock to make it a little brighter, and also to make it easier to glue down. Adhesive shows through vellum so much, I had to do something to hide it.

I’m glad there were only 21 invitations needed because the die cuts the teeny tiny windows, but the itty bitty window pieces don’t all come out when you pull the paper off of the die. I developed a very close relationship with my pointy pokey tool while making these :-). It was a labor of love and I’m happy they turned out so well, but that die is having a well deserved rest right now.

The inside was printed on yellow paper, no stamps involved. I found one on Pinterest and just recreated it - why reinvent the wheel, right?

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After all of the cards were assembled, I couldn’t resist created a banner with his name on it. I couldn’t find a bat shape, so I just used a fishtail banner from my Silhouette library. After the party is over, they can hang it in his room!

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I punched the holes with my Crop-a-dile (I knew I kept that thing for some reason) and strung the banner with a double strand of yellow and white baker’s twine. I secured the twine on the back of each letter with a bit of packing tape so they wouldn’t slide around. It’s hard to see in the photo, but the very back layer is a dark blue. The letters are cut out of the top layer and the yellow layer shows through.

I can’t wait to see him again. I miss his sweet little face :-)

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See you soon, sweet baby!