Thursday, April 30, 2009

Glued & stalking!

That's me - glued to the computer, working on my first monthly Papertrey newsletter. Oh, gosh - please cross your fingers for me, because while it seems to be coming together nicely, I've been warned that this program we use tends to have a mind of its own sometimes. Just a little anxiety!

And the stalking part? Well, that would be over my man in brown! (I think he is the object of obsession for many of us, isn't he?) What am I eagerly awaiting? Several fun things, actually! First and foremost, NEW Lockhart stamps! Can't wait! Speaking of which, have you seen Ellen Hutson's Spring Fling games? I know what the images are, but this lets you guess as to what they are! Go get in on the fun!

I'm also waiting for these fun sandals from Zappos! It was so darn HOT here earlier this week that I decided I really needed a fun pair of sporty sandals - of course, it's much cooler now and rainy, so it may be a little while until I get some good use out of them, but I'm still looking forward to them.

Alright, TONS to do - as I'm sure you do, too! Wally has to be at school at 5am tomorrow morning for a trip for a Choral competition in Williamsburg - and you know whose shoulders all of that falls upon! ;) Have a productive day, and I will have a NEW Lockhart image posted in short order. Be well,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's Our Anniversary!

OK, sort of, but not really's our blog anniversary at the Pursuit Of Craftyness. I'm hosting a little giveaway there, so click over for a chance to win! (pssst...there are a couple Copics and Prismacolors in the pack!)

Be well,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Do tulips make you happy? They SO make me happy! I had a lot of fun coloring this Lockhart Tulips image in fun, springy colors.

Notice the polka dot vase? That's a fun trick that I learned from Karen Lockhart herself! Want to know the secret? Ok, I'll spill, but only if you promise to give it a try yourself! After you have stamped your image, and before you color it, grab a dry-embossing stylus, preferably one with a fine tip. Now, with the stylus, "draw" your design. You're not limited to polka dots, either; swirls, stars, any little pattern you like will work. Make sure to press down so the pattern is getting embedded in your paper. Now, color as usual! You'll find that your pencil skips right over the design that you have drawn. Cool stuff, isn't it? If you would like to learn more about it, take a look at the Lockhart Tips and Techniques page on it. Karen has done a great job stepping this out and even has pictures as to how to do it.

Oh, and as long as I'm passing along little secrets...I was speaking with Karen the other day and she mentioned that NEW IMAGES are on their way very soon! I'm so excited! She told me about a few of them and I just know they're going to be so much fun with which to create! I can't hardly wait - and of course I will share just as soon as I am able! :)

In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy this technique. It's a bunch of fun and adds so many possibilities to your images.

Be well!

Tulip stamp:
Cardstock, ribbon, sentiment:
Papertrey Ink
button, twine: craft supply

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wee & Whimsical Wednesday

Welcome to another Wee & Whimsical Wednesday! I wanted to share a little note card set that I made recently with you today. I'm sure you've seen the adorable Itty Bitty Snail from Karen Lockhart - which, of course, goes perfectly with the sentiment "Snail Mail". I decided to ink them up and have a little fun.

I know you seen me tell you all about the Inchie Squares from Inchie Arts, but what you may not know about are the other fun products that are offered. Here, I used Inchie Notes and Inchie Papers to create this set. The envelopes are 4Bar sized and have a little stamping on them, too, to create a cohesive set.

I used the sentiment to create a simple, yet fun, background. Would you believe that I had to explain 'snail mail' to Wally and the Beav the other day? Couldn't believe that one! ;)

And just for one other fun touch, I added a little bit of Shimmerz Pixie Dust Blingz to each snail - I decided the snail needed a little sparkly slime trail just like in real life! (LOL)

I hope you enjoy them - and maybe it gives you an idea for creating a set of your own multipurpose note cards. Be well.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

...bring May Flowers

This Sweet Pea image from Lockhart Stamp Company is one that I just love to color. The last time I colored it, I used my Prismacolors, but I switched to my Copics for this one. I love using both mediums, but find that when I want to color something a bit more quickly, I turn to my Copics. They're better suited for this vibrant Amy Butler paper, in my mind, too. (That's the biggest delineation in my mind between Prismacolor pencils and Copic markers - the Prismacolors give you a softer look, while the Copics are more bold, more vibrant. I think both are wonderful mediums and am glad to have both in my crafting arsenal!)

So, even though it isn't quite May yet, I couldn't resist following up yesterday's umbrella shoe post with a little bit of flowers. I promise, no pilgrims tomorrow! (Remember the old kids' joke? April showers bring May flowers, but what do May flowers bring?) Be well.

Monday, April 20, 2009

April Showers...

This Lockhart Umbrella Shoe image always makes me smile. I love it's whimsy! This time, I used my Shimmerz and Prismacolor technique, first painting the shoe with Pink Shimmerz, then adding shading with coordinating Prismacolors. I love the visual depth it adds without blocking out the shimmery goodness - such an unexpected treat.

Here's the finished card (the patterned papers are some old Paper Salon papers). One thing that I really love about Shimmerz paints is that they're not in-your-face blingy, they're more of a subtle, make-you-smile discovery on a piece, if that makes sense. It's sort of like "How pretty, look at that nice... WHOA look at how cool that really is!"

I love using the "Italian Shoes" sentiment with this image, too, because when I was in Florence walking all over, it rained almost every day. Completely brings back all those fun memories (including learning how to ask for band-aids in Italian because the sweet old pharmacist I found didn't speak English).

Come back tomorrow for May flowers! ;) Be well.

Friday, April 17, 2009

sort of inspired by facebook...

Do you Facebook? I started right around Christmas time and have really been enjoying it. I've caught up with so many old friends that it truly boggles my mind. One of my old housemates from college came to look at my blog and saw a yellow and blue card from a while back; she sent me a message saying just how ME that color combination was. It's funny, because she's right - it is so ME, and it inspired me to color an image built on that.

I've used the Lockhart image Lemons & Bay on this. I'm so drawn to this image - it's really a fun one for me. I pulled out my Copics for this one, which made it go very quickly.

Have a wonderful weekend - I hope it's beautiful where you are!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Papertrey Ink has been keeping me on my toes lately! My job is so dynamic - and lately I've been increasing my responsibilities even more. It's a good thing! There are so many great things going on with PTI, this latest release (which included coordinating Copic markers - how cool is that?!) and gearing up for the next! (And the one after that - of course, that's just cruel, isn't it?)

I'm now spearheading the newletter and weekly email with the Design Team tips, as well. I'm learning new skills and hoping to make it an even more valuable resource for PTI customers - although that's a tall order, as I have some big shoes to fill. Lynn Mercurio did a great job making the newsletter fantastic.

I've been taking the time to create, too, so I wanted to share this card with you. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I took this shot, because the angle is just weird! It's straight in person - I promise! ;) Anyways, I just got my latest PTI order last week - and I HAD to have Background Basics: Retro ! Didn't Melissa do a great job with this set? Here I paired it up with some fun PTI buttons, some Strano ribbon and a Spellbinders die. The flower is from Lisa's set Floral Frenzy and is painted with Pink Shimmerz. I was pleased with the details!

Hey - do any of you have a Pantone Huey Pro? I'm thinking of getting one because I know my laptop monitor is off on its colors. I'd appreciate your feedback if you have one!

Have a fantastic weekend! Be well.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Anatomy of a masculine card

Most card makers I know have a tough time making masculine cards. I usually turn to certain color combos, and usually brown is involved. Here, on a card for my father-in-law, I started with a kraft base. Classic, understated, can't go wrong! The little black dress of cardstock colors. ;) I then chose some scraps of Scenic Route paper that I had in my scrap bin - coordinating patterns in similar scale and colors. Melissa Bickford did a great job with her PTI set Men of Life. (It coordinates with all the sentiments in Women of Life, too, so even though there isn't "Happy birthday" in the set Men of Life, you can interchange it from the other set. Brilliant cross-over on Melissa's part!) I love using the sailboat in this set - and changing the sails to match what I'm doing. Here, I pieced in one sail, and stamped the other. So easy and fun. The 'birthday wishes' is from the original Mixed Messages. I have gotten more use out of this set than almost any other! I can't wait to receive the Mega Mixed Messages set - I'm sure it will surpass the original in use on my part in no time flat!

Another trick that I stick with when I'm making masculine cards is using a layout that is clean and strong (just like a good man, right?). There really isn't any need for numerous layers, frilly curves or soft ribbons. Funny story - I once gave a card to a man (who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent) with a button on it. He asked what the button was reply? "hmm, well, nothing. It's just there." His reply? "Oh." Moral of the story - if it doesn't have a function, consider skipping it; save it for a grateful girlfriend!

I hope this gives you an idea of how you can put together masculine cards in no time flat for your future needs! Be well! (And I always feel this, but hardly ever say it - thanks for taking the time to stop by today!)

(All supplies, except patterned paper, from Papertrey Ink. Patterned paper - Scenic Route.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wee & Whimsical Wednesday

Did you know that Inchie Squares make the spotlight technique virtually effortless? You can showcase a small section of your stamped image perfectly! Take a look at what I did with the Lockhart Tulips. First, I stamped the image with black ink on white paper. Next, I did it again, and determined where the spot was that I wanted to highlight. I colored that section with Copics and Shimmerz Pixie Dust Blingz, adhered it to the Inchie Square and adhered that to the image.

I chose to put the image on the inside of my card, allowing for a nice aperature card. Add some ink, a little embossing, and a sentiment with some ribbon, and you have a beautiful card in no time flat.

I hope this inspires you to pull out your Inchie Squares and make a beautiful card incorporating the spotlight technique. You will wow your friends (and only you will know how quickly it came together!).

Be well!

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's probably really wrong to admit that I never learned how to play Chinese Checkers when I was a kid, but I always loved the game board - so cute with all the colors and indentations lined up in a perfect row. That's why I think this Lockhart stamp is so fun.

I choose some bright, primary & secondary colors (Prismacolor pencils) for the game board. Here's a hint - color your points first, then at your starting point, go to the opposite to start coloring the 'outside' of the board. Be sure to go in the same pattern that you used for the points. For a little added detail, I used a clear Sakura glaze pen for the marble spots.

I wanted to do something a little different with my image this time, rather than sticking with a card. Gotta shake things up once and a while, right?

I've been drawn to this bright, springy green lately, and this paper from GCD Studios Canta Collection really fits the bill for me! I ran it through my Accucut machine to make this sweet little gable box. I used my paper crimper (I think this gets the vote for my most neglected tool!)to add some texture to a matching piece of cardstock, then topped it off with a little ric rac. I then adhered the stamped game board with some foam tape. It's so quick and easy, it would be easy to whip up a bunch of these for a child's birthday party favor.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Friends of ours in Pittsburgh welcomed a sweet baby boy in their family recently, so I needed to whip up a card to mail off to them. I've had this Lockhart for a little while now, but only inked it up for the first time this week. It is so sweet, and such a quick color, that I have no idea what took me so long! I actually reached for my Copics to color this in, using E37 Sepia, B21 Baby Blue, B24 Sky, W2 Warm Grey for the shadow and the colorless blender.

My color choice came from the letterpress strip (Welcome Baby with the polka dots), so I built the card around that. I don't know if you love letterpress like I do, but if you have a Paper Source nearby, take a look for the little mix packages of letterpress sentiments. They're sweet! There are two packages, one all birthday sentiments, and the other (which this is from)which is a mix. They're nice to have on hand, especially when you need a launching point for a quick card (like I did here!).

I'm working on a lot of Christmas projects right now for various publications to consider. Boy, Christmas is tough when all you want to do is get outside and garden! Beav has started baseball, so that is taking up a fair amount of time, too.

The end of March also marked the end of my design team term with Spellbinders Paper Arts. What a great 15 months it has been. I'm so thankful for my time with them and know the next design team will be fantastic! I can't wait to see what they create. (I will be continuing to use Spellbinders products here, so feel free to contact me if you have any questions on them.)

I'm off to have lunch with my friend Eileen today. I love spending time with her - she's got this fierce creativity that I find so inspiring! You should check out her blog if you have a few extra minutes - she's got the coolest projects on there, many featuring inspiring uses of mat board and foam board. (You don't sense a new obsession starting for me, do you?!) ;)

I hope your day will be equally inspiring! Be well.

Stamp: (Baby Rattle)
Lockhart Stamp Co.
Cardstock: (Kraft, Vintage Cream, Dark Chocolate, Spring Rain)
Papertrey Ink
Markers: (B21, B24, E37, W2, blender) Copic
Dies: (Classic Rectangles, Classic Scalloped Rectangles)
Spellbinders Paper Arts
Other: decorative edge, Liquid Pearls

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's April?!

OK, is 2009 just zooming along for everyone else? The first quarter of this year has come and gone and I'm still struggling with writing 2009! I so hope I'm not alone in this whirlwind!

Well, since it's nearly Easter, it is time to share Dottie Bunny with you! I just smile whenever I pick up this stamp - she's just so darling, there in mid-hop! ;) This layout is also the Clean & Simple Challenge on SplitCoast this week - isn't it sweet? I love how it draws your eye to the stamped image.

I colored the image with Prismacolors, using Warm Grey 20% (shading), Rosy Beige, Nectar, Ginger Root (a staple color for me!), Terra Cotta and Sienna Brown. You can't see it in the picture, but the polka dots on the bunny have a little added texture from a clear Sakura glaze pen. (Hint - If you wait until it's dry and add a layer, you get a great subtle dimension.)

Thanks for hopping by today! ;)

Stamp: (Dottie Bunny)
Lockhart Stamp Co.
Cardstock: (Kraft, Stampers Select) Papertrey Ink
Ribbon: (Aqua Mist Swiss Dots)
Papertrey Ink