Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wee & Whimsical Wednesday

I hope you're in the mood for something sweet today, because it's a Happy Cupcake Day! This sentiment is such a Lockhart classic! For today's Wee Whimsical Wednesday, I decided to use just a portion of a stamp; can you guess which one? I'll give you a little time to mull it over here...



OK, I'm sure you guessed correctly! I used the Lockhart Cupcakes in the Window image, inking up only the cupcakes with a Memento Dew Drop pad. (I like using that pad for this because you can use the tip of the Dew Drop to get right into whatever area you would like.) Placing my stamp upside down on my desk (i.e., rubber side up) I could easily place my White Inchie Square onto the rubber (for more about this technique, you may want to see this older post, it explains this with some pics).

I colored it in with some colored pencils, paired it up with some patterned paper from Basic Grey and cardstock from Papertrey Ink. I used an embossing folder from Sizzix for the background texture, too. I also used some of my Glue Arts Adhesive Squares for my Inchie Square - it's the perfect fit and I know that Inchie Square isn't going anywhere!

I hope this reminds you to look at your large stamps for images for your Inchie Squares, too. You will unlock endless possibilities and now that Inchie Squares some in new colors and sizes, it increases those possibilities even more!

Be well (and have a Happy and safe New Year!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Monday after Christmas

Good Monday morning, crafty friends! I hope you all had a wonderful, joyous holiday with your family and friends. There was lots of fun to be had in the Ellefson household and Beav triumphantly declared it the "Best Christmas Ever". THAT makes me one of the luckiest mom's ever!

I have a sweet little get well card to show you today, but the funny thing is, is that I made this, took a picture and then mailed it off to a friend who is a little under the weather. The funny part? I download the picture and well, quite frankly, it wasn't my finest pic! :) So, in all its fuzziness, may I present (hee hee)...

This Lockhart robe image is a classic for get well cards. Here, I stamped it on PTI Bitty Boxes paper in Spring Rain, then colored the trim with coordinating Copic markers. I cut it out and popped it up on this frame die from Sizzix. Add a little more patterned paper, some stitching, and a Spring Rain card base and you have yourself a quick get well card that will definitely brighten the recipient's day. Complete the card with a sentiment (this is from PTI's Paper Tray set). This goes together so quickly that you just won't be able to stop long enough to take a decent picture! ;)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ScoreBoards Blog Hop

I can't hardly believe it, but it is already time for another Sizzix Scoreboards Blog Hop! All the fun is starting at Eileen Hull's blog this morning (Eileen is the mastermind behind these brilliant dies that cut matboard and chipboard effortlessly!). Today's featured die is the Frame, Easel, and I've used it just as the name suggests! (Although, as you will see on today's hop, there are SO many uses for it; it's really versatile!)

This is a picture of Wally and the Beav that I just adore. (I may have showed it on my blog before. It's from last spring; we were walking home on a cool, rainy day after Beav's baseball game. He didn't have a coat, so Wally shared his - well, it's actually Ward's coat that I got for him early in our marriage. Wally just loves it and wears it often.) The matboard is a yellow ochre that I stamped with Hero Art's Antique Brocadebackground and sepia ink. I used a little ribbon from A Muse to trim the edges, then assemble the back with a couple of brads (although you could easily use a strong adhesive).

I love what a nice little gift that this makes! Grandparents' gifts, a desktop frame, or even placecards for a luncheon - the possibilities are just endless! These dies are starting to ship now, so ask your local craft store about them - I'm certainly looking forward to picking them up! Don't forget to stop by Eileen's blog to see the list of other participants!

Be well,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Papertrey Tuesday

Good morning, friends! Are you all crazy busy? I forgot to mention on my snow post yesterday that I got a little monkey wrench thrown at me this week. See, Wally and the Beav were supposed to go to school Monday, Tuesday and most of Wednesday - and I had planned to use that time for holiday prep. The monkey wrench? School has been cancelled due to the snow...lovely. (Have I mentioned that I don't really like snow, despite growing up in Buffalo?) Oh well - it's fun to have the unexpected time with them!

Today's PTI post is really quite fitting, because I think this sweet little button snowman is my absolute FAVORITE kind of snowman. He's just perfect, don't you think? No wet, cold clothes; no extra 10 pounds of clothing; no scouting around for gloves that go high enough that you don't get snow onto your wrists! (See told you - don't like snow!) ;)

To make this sweet card, I started with a cardbase of Sweet Blush, then layered on some patterned paper from Basic Grey. See the glittery stripes? I created those with Glue Arts Ribbon Adhesive! (Just lay down your adhesive, sprinkle on the embossing powder and heat! Presto chango!) For my focal image, I pulled out one of my new Twinchies from Inchie Arts and stamped the snowman from Papertrey's Holiday Button Bits. Copics color beautifully on the Inchie Arts products due to the fact that they're artist-quality matboard. Once I added the buttons and inked the edges, I was left with this sweet square of wintery goodness! Add a quick sentiment and I'm good to go.

Alright, I'm off to wrap some more gifts and look for my sanity! (Let me know if you've seen it!) ;)

Be well,

Monday, December 21, 2009

A no-sew felt ornament

Greetings from snowy Virginia! (No, never really expected to say that - or at least say it with as much gusto as I am right now!) I hope that you had a great weekend!

I wanted to share a great little no-sew ornament that I made. It features the Lockhart Holly Cupcake; I had so much fun making this - and it would be a breeze to whip up a bunch of these. First, I stamped and colored my image. I cut it out and placed it in a Making Memories tag rim (available here). I then added some Stickles for the holly berries and allowed it to dry. I picked out some festive colors of wool felt that I had on hand and die cut them. (In case you're looking for a small amount of wool felt, I have purchased mine from Colonial Crafts; I'm not affliated with them, just thought I would mention a source in case you're looking. They have nice sampler packs with several colors and you don't have to buy yards of it.) For the hanger, I used some matching velvet ribbon (old Anna Griffin ribbon). On the red piece of felt, I used my Japanese screw punch to add a few decorative holes in a pattern. To hold it all together, I simply used Adhesive squares (from Glue Arts). (They're super strong and thin profile, so you don't see the outline on your felt - a huge plus!)

I love the way my Lockhart image takes center stage on this project!

OK, so I mentioned something about a little snow...well, as you may know, the East Coast got pounded on Saturday with a bit of snow. We were hosting a party for some of my husband's colleagues Saturday night, so we just used the day to stay inside and prep for the party, but on Sunday, we had to face the fact that we needed to address the snow situation. So, here's a picture of the driveway after Ward and I shoveled:

That's my poor car that got practically buried! (Ward has a all-wheel drive, so we put his car in the garage in anticipation of the snow; we knew that would be the one we would take out if we went anywhere.) When we were done, I could barely throw the snow any more because the piles were so high!

This picture is taken from my bedroom (we have a second floor deck off of our bedroom). Notice the snow up against the door! (I was leary of opening the screen for fear of that all falling in.) And that piece of wood sticking up? That's our wood deck chair, although in this I think it resembles abstract art a bit more!

We did have a several people who braved this wild weather to join us Saturday night, so all our prep work was not wasted! I hope that wherever you are, you're happy and warm, getting ready to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. Be well,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wee & Whimsical Wednesday

Hi everyone! Christmas is sneaking up on us pretty fast, isn't it? I decided to pull out my Lockhart Holly Cupcake to show today. And now that I have Twinchie Squares, I knew it would be a great mix (this one is Dark Creme). But, as you can probably tell, I couldn't stop there! I made a Christmas collage with my Lockhart Itty Bittys, too. I love how you can frame the Twinchie Square with Inchie Squares (shown here in Ivory) and it all lines up perfectly.

I colored all the images with Copic Spica pens, keeping the same color scheme for all. I also inked all the edges with some red chalk ink. Doing this brings it all together with minimal effort! I adhered them with Glue Arts High Tac adhesive to a piece of paper (with a little machine stitching) from Imaginesce. All of that is mounted on a 5" square cardbase for a great linear look. The new Inchies Arts products really add a great look to this project! Let me know if you have any questions!

Be well,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Papertrey Tuesday

Welcome to another Papertrey Tuesday - and it's a good one because it's also Papertrey Release Day! Did you see all the fabulous creations that the Design Team put up in the gallery? Oh, the amazing paper goodness! YUM!

I made another wall hanging with Heather Nichols' new set, Simple Valentine. I started out by cutting a piece of matboard 6" square, with an opening of 3" square. (I got a few questions on my matboard cutter the last time I did a matboard wall hanging; I have a Logan Intermediate model mat cutter. It comes with a straight cutting head for your outside cuts and a bevel cutting head for your center cuts. You can find Logan products in just about any art/craft store - they are to matboard cutters what Kleenex is to tissue in my mind! For the rounded corners, I pulled out my trusty Zutter Round-It-All; it makes easy work of the thick matboard!)

I used PTI's Fresh Snow ink to stamp directly on this pink matboard, then I edged it with Sweet Blush ink. For the center, I die cut some circles from Sweet Blush and Stamper's Select papers, then stamped them with Sweet Blush ink again. I popped all the pieces up with foam tape and mounted a piece of Pink Patterns paper behind. I love the way it looks. Among my finishing touches, I used some Stickles, some Vintage Cream twill, Sweet Blush satin and Sweet Blush vintage buttons.

I intend to put this out for Valentines' decor, but was thinking that it would be really sweet in a little baby girl's nursery, too. So many possibilities! Be well!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lovely Lockharts!

Paper cones are such a fun decoration, especially during the holidays. This one went together quite quickly, too, once my Lockhart image was colored. I simply used some text-weight silver shimmer paper that I picked up at Paper Source to wrap around the base, then added some lace and pom pom trim. (I used Glue Arts Ribbon Adhesive on this - I wanted to make sure that the lace stuck to the shimmer paper and that the pom pom trim stuck to the lace. This adhesive was the perfect choice!) See what I mean - it went together pretty quickly!

So last week on this post, I alluded to coloring a certain way and layering color. I thought this Snow Tree with Birds image was a great one to show you more specifically what I was talking about. (All colors are Prismacolor pencils unless otherwise noted.)

First, I start with a light layer:

Then choose analogous colors in a slightly darker shade, but be sure to leave some of the light layer coming through as highlights:

Then finish off with your third layer, pulling in either a darker color for shadows or the 'finishing touch':

I hope that you find this helpful for your own coloring! I think if you give it a try with your own images, you will be really pleased with the results. Be well!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Click Simple Sneak Peek!

No party is complete without a favor – and I really like mine to be note-worthy! Do Me A Favor to the rescue! This unique package shape is so eye-grabbing that all your guests will be clamoring to find out what’s inside. Here I used kiss candies, but I know that in the future they’ll be perfect for candied almonds, tea bags, dessert mints, or even birdseed at a wedding. It will be a cinch to match my party theme, too, with all of Papertrey’s fantastic colors.

Thanks for stopping by for this Papertrey Ink Click Simple sneak peek! This template is so unique, you will be sure to love it. Don't forget, this great template will be available for $5 on 12/15.

Be well,

ScoreBoards Blog Hop

It's another Sizzix ScoreBoards Blog Hop and this week I'm so happy to show you my very favorite of these great new dies - the Business Card Box! Why I love it so much is because it is the best gift card holder - and at this busy time of year, that is just perfect!

I decorated this with some fun papers and ribbon from Imaginesce. The button is a whimsical, fun touch to complete this easy project. No one but you will know how quick and easy this was. (I can't wait to use these for those pesky birthday parties that the kids always wait to the last minute to tell me about!)

Eileen Hull has a full list of all the Blog Hop participants today! You're in for a real treat as this talented group has put together some fantastic interpretations using this box! Thanks for hopping by!

Be well,

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Papertrey Tuesday

Hi friends! Well, this day just snuck right by me, but I definitely wanted to share this sweet and easy Papertrey Ink with you. I used Melissa Bickford's clever Sign Language set. This is such a versatile set (and would make a great gift for any stamper). Melissa covered all the bases on this set, that's for sure! I just love it. The inks are all PTI (Pure Poppy, Ripe Avocado, and True Black).

All occasion card-making couldn't be any easier using Sign Language! If you don't have it yet, or you're just starting out, give it a peek - I don't think you'll be disappointed!

Be well,

Monday, December 7, 2009

Window Full of Joy

I am completely in the Christmas mood this year (which is a great thing because I just wasn't feeling it last year)! My new Lockhart Stamps have been getting a real workout, too, thanks to my festive feelings. I colored this yesterday while sitting next to our Christmas tree and watching Christmas specials with the kids. Total holiday overload! (Of course, 5" of snow certainly adds to the Christmas spirit! My parents were visiting from Buffalo and we got a good laugh out of the fact that they had to come to suburban Washington DC to see a significant snowfall! Ah, feels like home.) ;)

As I often do with my Lockhart images, I kept the rest of the card simple and understated. I find this really allows your image to shine. I colored this in the way that Karen colors, building color layer upon layer. (For example, the greenery is colored first with Chartreuse, then Grass Green and finally Dark Green. This ends up giving you an almost 'glowing' layer underneath.)

Check your local stamp store for these great Lockhart Window stamps; if you're looking for somewhere to purchase them, Karen has a great Store Locator on her website.

I hope that you had a great weekend! Be well,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wee & Whimsical Wednesday

Have you heard about the latest Inchie Arts news? (It's so new that it isn't even up on the website yet!) We now have Twinchies! Twinchies are the same fantastic, artist-grade matboard as the Inchies, but cut in TWO inches square! What is the old Double Mint slogan, "double your pleasure, double your fun"? Well, much of the same can be said about the new Twinchies.

Personally, it never ceases to amaze me just how much you can put on an Inchie, so the option of a Twinchie is just great! To decorate this little paper maché box, I stamped my new white Twinchie with Lockhart's Cookies for the Neighbors stamp. This is a full-sized image and look! Just about the whole thing fits on the Twinchie!

I colored the image with Prismacolor pencils and accented it with Stickles and Glossy Accents. Once that was dry, I inked the edges with a soft pink ink and layered it on top of my paper maché box. So quick and easy, and the high-quality matboard takes these coloring mediums beautifully! (Trust me, if there is one thing that I've learned about matboard lately, it's that all is NOT created equal!)

Twinchies are shipping now! Take a look for them at your favorite stamping supply store. Be well!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lockhart Holiday Home Decor

I hope all of you in the US had a safe, restful Thanksgiving! (And if you're somewhere else, I have a favor to ask! I know when Canada's Thanksgiving is, but no others. My kids and I were having a conversation on Thursday about how wonderful Thanksgiving was because it transcends cultural and religious boundaries, but we all realized that we know very little about it in other countries. If you wouldn't mind, could you leave a comment & let me know a little about your version of Thanksgiving? I will share them with Wally and the Beav as a learning tool! THANKS BUNCHES!)

I spent Friday decking the halls at our house. It ended up being a pretty nice day, so the outside decorations were easy to tackle. We went and got our Christmas tree (if you were a reader here last year, you may recall that we have a tree farmer who sets up each year basically across the street; we literally carry home our tree in a Rockwell-esque moment that you couldn't possibly make up). It's been fun because I didn't really go all out last year - I think I was wiped out from all our house problems and the move. This year, though, complete opposite! :)

So I wanted to share one way that you can incorporate your holiday stamps into your holiday home decor. This is a paper mache tissue box available in most craft stores. I used the Lockhart Snow Tree with Birds on all four sides for a great view from whichever way you see it. Pair it up with some festive paper & fun trim and you have great holiday accent!

Of course, this is just a hopping-off point - you could use this for tons of fun accents around your home! I would love to hear your thoughts! (And don't forget, to my international readers, I would love to hear if your culture has an equivilant to Thanksgiving!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Sizzix ScoreBoard Noel

Welcome to another Sizzix ScoreBoards Blog Hop! Eileen Hull, the mastermind behind this great product, has the full list of participants on her blog today. Our featured die today is the Notebook Pocket. Just in case this is your first stop here on Blog Hop day, the dies that I've been showing are brand new, hitting your local craft store early December (we hope!). They are unique in that they cut and score MATBOARD, yielding a very sturdy project - and an even more professional-looking gift!

My favorite way to use this die (so far!)is as a notecard holder. It fits 4 Bar-sized cards and envelopes perfectly! I simply tied these notecards and envelopes with a piece of Vintage Cream Topnotch Twill, which does double duty as the 'pull' out of the holder.

To decorate this set, I used this Sizzix die on Papertrey Bitty Box Basics and Ripe Avocado papers. The background on the Notebook Holder was created by covering the matboard with PTI Stamper's Select paper and stamping it with Text Style and Ripe Avocado ink.

Thanks for hopping by today! Don't forget to stop by Eileen's blog for the complete list of participants!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Papertrey Tuesday

Morning! I have something fun to show you today - a little burst of creative freedom that I THOROUGHLY enjoyed and wanted to share with you. First, a little back story. See, for the last couple of weeks, I've been lucky to spend quite a bit of time with my crafty friend Eileen Hull because I've been helping her with a HUGE card order (1800 cards for a non-profit organization!). It's been so much fun sitting and chatting and cranking out those cards. (And yes, that's 1800!!! Until you've attempted it, there's just no explaining how HUGE that really is!) But I digress; as you may know, Eileen is just a total WIZ with matboard. It's really amazing the things she does with it. Her creativity finally convinced me that I wanted a mat cutter. I had dabbled in watercolors years ago, and during that time, I took a mat cutting class, so all that I needed was a little refresher. Eileen to the rescue! She gave me a quick tutorial on how to cut a mat, and this black piece was the result. It was a scrap piece that she had, hence the untraditional size. She handed it over to me, and once I got it home, I knew that I wanted to use it for something.

I was in Target a while back and saw this gorgeous pillow (number 7 on that search - the DwellStudio Garden Pillow). The contrast struck me right away, and since I knew that Papertrey's Turning A New Leaf was in the works, I knew that it would be great inspiration for use with that set.

So combine those two back stories, and look what you get! (This is a bit fuzzy - sorry! The light wasn't very strong when I was photographing it.)

So, the details...I used Papertrey's Fresh Snow and True Black inks (Fresh Snow on the black mat; True Black on Stamper's Select cardstock for the background.) The 'family' piece was cut with the Cricut cartridge 'Home Accents' from Stamper's Select and Smokey Shadow cardstocks. (The ribbons were some that I had here.)

What do you think? I'm so pleased with the way it turned out. Now I just need to find the perfect place for it! I hope this inspires you to try something a little different today!

Be well.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving (and a little masking)

Happy Thanksgiving - almost! Isn't this the perfect image for a thanksgiving card? It's from Lockhart Stamp Company and I always enjoy coloring it. I was a little pressed for time with this one, so I took the quicker route of coloring it with Copics. And you know what that means - I turn on the compressor for a little airbrush action! (In case you haven't read my compressor anecdote, you can see it here.)

I didn't have a mask cut for this image, so I thought it would be a good time to show you my process when I create a mask for airbrushing.

Sometimes I have an image that is larger than my Eclipse tape or a readily available Post It note (two great options for masking). For those cases, I just stamp on a scrap piece of paper and use some repositionable adhesive. The adhesive I've been turning to most lately is the Glue Glider Pro from Glue Arts. I really like how you can change cartridges mid-stream - making a project like this EASY!

I then just cut it out. You can see that I pay some attention to detail, but not precise attention.

I apply the repositionable adhesive.

Then I place it over my already colored and die cut image. I leave the die in place because I want that to act as a mask, too. This is when I airbrush (which is kind of tough to take a photo of by yourself, so sorry for not having one to show you here!).

When you remove your mask, you'll see that your original image has been protected from the airbrushed color. And the beautiful thing about spending a little time on a mask? You can reuse it! I just store it right on the wood mount (like here) or on my CD case (for my unmounteds).

Let me know if you have any questions about masking! In the meantime, good luck with your holiday prep work. Be well.