Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Papertrey Tuesday - Happy birthday, Dad!

I'm busy making LOTS of birthday cards this week, but none more important to me personally than this one to my Dad - Happy Birthday, Dad! He and I both have fall birthdays, so growing up we usually bonded over yummy Spice cake made by my Mom and enjoyed that great crisp air. I really wanted to send a card that reflected those memories.

Following my conventional wisdom that less is usually more with masculine cards, there are really minimal layers and features on this card. One thing that I did want to point out was the use of PTI's 2009 Autumn Tags in an unconventional way. I stamped the wheat circle with Chai Ink (from the Vintage Touch Duo) and then stamped the sentiment from Mega Mixed Messages in Dark Chocolate ink. The sentiments in this set fit so well with these tags!

The twill on the left is actually Orange Zest Topnotch Twill with a little Chai ink on it to tone it down a bit. The papers are from the Autumn Abundance paper pack. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Be well,

Monday, September 28, 2009

That fall feeling is in the air!

Monday greetings from Northern Virginia, where I have the windows open to a sunny, breezy, perfect morning! I love mornings with a little crisp feel in the air. I wanted to share a very fall-feel Lockhart card with you today. This Harvest Candle image is just perfect for my mood this morning! I really enjoy coloring this image with my Prismacolors because it has the perfect balance. What balance? Well, here's a little secret - I love my images to look like I spent a TON of time on them with the coloring, but also love when I don't HAVE to spend a ton of time on them. This Harvest Candle image is exactly that kind of image - there are lots of places to color, but they're small so you can color them in no time flat (but it certainly doesn't look that way, does it?!). See what I mean? Perfect balance! ;) If you're looking for a nice autumn stamp, make sure to click over to Karen Lockhart's Autumn stamp page - she has the most-beautifully illustrated stamps there!

I hope you're gearing up for a fun week. Happy Monday. Be well,

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another ScoreBoard creation

So you probably remember this post last week where I talked a little about my friend, Eileen's, great new venture with the folks at Sizzix. I decided to doll up another piece, this one is the Box with Flap. It's a great size, perfect for a deck of cards, or as I will use this one, a couple of gift cards.

I used Cosmo Cricket papers to cover this completely, which is great because then you really don't have to worry about what color your matboard you have. Here's a little peek at the space that you get once it's together:

Isn't that fun? I used a Basic Grey magnetic for the closure - the thin, strong nature of these makes it just perfect for this kind of project. The oval bookplates are an old Sizzix die and the stamped sentiments are PTI's Mixed Messages and Mega Mixed Messages. I loved the layout of the box so much that I decided to make the card to match! I'm so pleased with the way it turned out - I can't wait to make more!

I hope this is starting to get you excited about these dies (although, let's face it, it would be pretty hard to get more excited than I am!). Be well.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wee & Whimsical Wednesday

Good morning, crafty friends! Well, it's official, Fall is here. In celebration, I thought it would be fun to use the Lockhart Itty Bitty Scarecrow along with a bunch of great Inchie Arts products to create a fall note card.

To begin, I embossed the card front of an Inchie Note with a herringbone embossing folder (nothing says fall to me as much as herringbone!). This color was from the Wild Sherbet collection. Then, I chose a fall-feel piece of paper from my Inchie Papers and stitched the edges with my sewing machine.

To create the Inchie Squares, I first created a mask of the Scarecrow from a Post-It Note. Don't worry about the time that the mask takes to create - you can always reuse it. I really enjoy taking my time with masks now that I have the Copic Airbrush system hooked up to my compressor (I was just chatting with Sharon Harnist about this the other day; now that I'm not worried about my Copic air cans running out, I'm airbrushing like crazy!). I've been making masks like crazy around here; depending on the size of the piece that I'm creating a mask for, I use either Post-It Notes, Eclipse tape or just regular paper with repositionable adhesive on the back. I store my masks right on the stamp (block or packaging), that way I always know where it is.

I moved along by stamping my Inchie Square with black ink (I honestly can't remember if I used Memento or Versafine here, but it was one of them! It may have been Versafine, because I tend to prefer that with pencils and save the Memento for Copics). I applied my mask right over the stamped image, then airbrushed with YR0000; I removed the mask and started coloring the image with colored pencils. The colors that I used were really fall-inspired, Tuscan Red, Artichoke, Ginger Root and Mineral Orange. I was left with a great Autumn Inchie! I was so in love with this image and how well it turned out that I created a second for a binder clip (wouldn't these be fun for Thanksgiving placecard holders?!). Here's a closer look:

To finish the card, you can see that I layered the Inchie Square with the Inchie Paper that I stitched and adhered it all to the great embossed Inchie Note. I inked the edges and added a little bit of Copper Stickles for a little more visual interest. Of course, I couldn't resist adding a stamped scarecrow to the front of my envelope, too! (The envelope is 4-Bar sized and included with the Inchie Notes; since square cards cost more to mail, this is a great way to be able to mail your note with the standard postage.)

As always, I'd love to see what you're creating with your Inchies! Link them in your comment - I can't wait to see them! Be well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Papertrey Tuesday

Good morning! I know lots of you are getting your latest Papertrey Ink orders just about now, so I thought I would show you a couple of fun ideas for Stocking Prints today.

One of my responsibilities with Papertrey is to proof the sets, so I really get to see what is coming a fair bit ahead of time. (And no, I'm not currently accepting bribes!) When I saw Stocking Prints, I knew that I was going to be using it for the majority of my family's holiday cards this year. It has enough versatility to keep me from tiring of the same design, and it has great possibilities for little extras. What little extras, you may ask? As you may know the Design Tips for this set mention adding trim to the cuffs; when Nichole and I were discussing this set, we took off on a brainstorming session that had me rifling through my trims drawer! What did we come up with? Take a look:

Baby ric rac! (Imagine the possibilities for color with a Copic Airbrush system! Buy one little package of white and you're all set!) Added bonus: no mailing problems.

1/4" pom pom trim - don't you love it?! This is from Maya Road:

And my personal favorite - little strung pearls! These are from Darice, and I found them in Pat Catan's, but I'm sure you can find them in other craft supply stores, too. Check the trim section or the wedding section! These have airbrush possibilities, as well. Unfortunately, though, this style will probably have to be reserved for cards that I personally give to people; I don't think they will mail very well.

Of course, all my images are framed with the fantastic new set Vintage Labels. It adds so much to the card, I believe! The border stamp is from Martha Stewart, just in case you were wondering. Let me know if you have any other questions on these!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Karen Lockhart is quickly becoming well-known for these great window scenes. I find them so welcoming, and so much fun to use. I approached this one a bit differently that I usually do - I started coloring this knowing that I really wanted the curtains to be a deep red (just like in my family room!). The rest of the coloring is done with Prismacolors, but then I did something a little experimental for me - I painted the image with Ranger's Distress Crackle paints in Rock Candy. Once it was dry and crackled, I inked it with Antique Linen Distress Ink. I was hoping to achieve a bit of a vintage feel on this, and this really pulled off the job. I also used the ink on the background papers (from Chatterbox and Jenni Bowlin) to pull the look all together. I really like the way it made the stamped image look! (There are new Lockhart window images available, too! They're so fun and seasonal - take a look at all the new images here!)

If you're in the NoVA area, make sure to stop by Angela's Happy Stamper tomorrow between 12 and 2pm for a demo with Ranger Crackle paints and Distress Stickles. It's this week's Learn At Lunch segment and should be a great opportunity for you to try it before you buy it! I hope to see you there.

Be well,

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Celebrate My Favorite Things!

Hi & welcome to the Celebrate MFT Blog Hop! I am so honored to have been asked to be a stop on the hop today - so thank you so much for stopping by! If you interested in starting back at the beginning of the hop, we start the party today on Joanne Basile's blog.

I chose to highlight one of the new MFT sets, Too Cute To Spook for my card today. The little girl reminded me of my niece, so I decided to make a sweet lil' Halloween card for her. After deciding on my color combination, I decided that the purple made a neat evening feel, so I built my scene on that. The tree has a cobweb-like feel to it thanks to some Shimmerz (also available in the MFT Shop painted on top of it, and the clouds were colored with a grey colored pencil. To make the moon, I did a really easy paper piecing and stamped the cute little bat right on top of it. The little girl's dress is paper pieced from the same paper. She's colored with colored pencils, cut out and popped up on foam tape. This went together so easily! I have a feeling that my niece is just going to love it!

Part of what I love most about this set is the great detail that you find in it. The fence is great and stamps perfectly, and because it is clear, it's easy to line up. I know that I will be pulling it out for lots of scene cards, not just Halloween! I'm really looking forward to inking up the tree in greens and browns, too - the swirls add so much detail. I expect that I am going to be getting a lot of use out of this set other than just Halloween!

So, I guess it's time to send you on your Favorite way. Thanks for stopping by today, and thanks, too, to the crew at My Favorite Things for inviting me along for the Blog Hop today. Without further ado, I will send you on your way to the very talented Cammie King.

Be well,

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And now for something completely different!

I am so excited to be able to show you this! My sweet friend, Eileen Hull has teamed up with the good folks at Sizzix to create a fantastic new product - ScoreBoards - to be released in November/December. So seeing as she's partnered up with Sizzix, you can pretty much deduct that we're talking dies...which leads to the inevitable question of 'What makes these dies different?'. Easy, they're innovative for two main reasons - one, the designs; unique packaging ideas for the consumer die cut machine! Check them out - you will fall in love! OK, so I mentioned two great qualities; the second is that they are specifically designed to cut not only chipboard but also MATBOARD! Seriously - MATBOARD! How cool is that?! Talk about sturdy! It's totally brilliant.

OK, so onto the picture! Eileen and I went out to lunch last week and afterwards came back to my house to play around with her prototype dies. Oh good golly, I fell head over heels for these. This cupcake holder is so darling and well-designed; it even has a bottom piece to it so your cupcake won't fall through. Can't you just see these lined up for a bridal shower or garden wedding? Talk about adding instant elegance! And what I did was so easy that you could easily whip up a bunch of these! The matboard that Eileen and I used was green, so I simply stamped my design before assembling the holder. Once it was assembled, I decided I wanted to add an element to the top, so I punched holes on the scallops (with my much-loved Crop-a-Dile) and wove some leaf ribbon through. See how simple it was?

I have a few others cut and waiting for me to doll them up, so I will be sure to post here when I do. (And in the meantime, if you're in the DC/NoVA area, you can try them out too! Eileen is hosting Demo Days for these on Oct. 16 and 17 - check out her blog for more details! Leave her a comment about these, too, if you are so inclined!) ;)

Be well,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Papertrey Tuesday

Good morning! I thought after last night's fun release party at Papertrey Ink, that it would be fun to treat you to some cupcakes. Mmmm, cupcakes for breakfast - yum! These cards feature the super cute set Cupcake Collection. I particularly like the sentiments in this set - so many of them are great, multi-purpose phrases that lend themselves to thank you, just because's, etc. Here I made a bunch of the same design to keep on hand for just those sort of occasions.

Speaking of cupcakes, make sure you check back in tomorrow - I have something VERY cool to show you! (Just wait until you see it!) See you then. Be well,

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bippity Boppity Boo!

Happy Monday to you! Since school is back in full swing, and that nice little crispness is starting to be in the air, I thought it would be fun to pull out one of my *smilely* Lockhart stamps(you know, those stamps that you just look at and SMILE!). This "Witch's Legs" image just makes me giggle - especially when it is done up with vibrant colors! You can't tell from this picture, but the orange skirt, green and yellow tight stripes and purple boots are all FUN FLOCK! I wanted to add some extra whimsy to this card and flocking accomplishes that perfectly.

I chose a simple layout because when you spend that kind of time on creating the perfect image, you don't want anything distracting you from that. The label dies provided a great mat and the color combination was chosen to echo my image.

Have you heard that there are NEW Lockhart stamps coming our way? (Click on that link to see them - they're so fantastic!) I don't know about you, but I can't wait to start creating with them! The new windows are a great addition to the collection and the Mitten Kittens are too cute for words (they're sure to become *smiley* stamps for me!). Fun stuff, that's for sure.

Thanks for stopping by today - wish I could invite you in for coffee...we'll have to settle for a virtual cup. Be well.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wee & Whimsical...Thursday?

Well, I'm a day late and a dollar short for Wee & Whimsical Wednesday. Hopefully this 'sweet' little card will make up for it! Don't you just want to eat up those Black Inchie Squares? That's because they are so cute with the Lockhart Itty Bitty Ice Cream Cone! So how did I achieve this great look? I started out by stamping the Black Inchie Squares with white pigment ink. Once that was dry, I simply painted the ice cream cone with Shimmerz paints. After that dried, I simply inked the edges of the Inchie squares and adhered them to my die cut. I paired it up with some fun patterned paper from Imaginisce's Summer Cool collection - it made the perfect compliment to the Inchies!

How has your week been? Did school start in your area? It did here, and between that, a holiday Monday, and the fact that I've started doing demonstrations on Tuesdays (at Angela's Happy Stamper, for you local gals!), I got completely thrown for a loop or two. Thanks for being so sweet about a tardy Inchies post. I guess this card is for you - because you're so sweet!

Be well,

Friday, September 4, 2009

All the friends along the way

I've been playing with my Copics a bit this week, mainly because I finally got up the moxie to commandeer my husband's small compressor to bring into my craft room. What I didn't realize was that he'd be quite so enthusiastic about it! Last week when I declared this seizure, he counter-declared that I needed to go to the car parts store and/or the hardware store for the proper fitting. Seemed like a simple enough task, but I came up empty-handed. He went out at lunch the next day to a paint store and a car-painting shop...again, no luck. Then I came up with a relatively brilliant idea to take a little road trip to our nearest Harbor Freight...whoa nelly! It's been quite a while since he's been so excited about one of my road trip ideas (and coincidentally, I was on the phone with my Dad just before we were leaving; he was equally excited when I mentioned the game plan for the morning. I'm relatively certain Freud would have had a field day with this tidbit.)

My plan met with success - we found a proper fitting as well as a great braided hose! Now MY (yes, my! LOL) compressor is outfitted to use with my Copic airbrush system, and I'm coloring backgrounds like crazy. The above card is one such experiment/creation - isn't that fun? The image is from My Favorite Things; the set is called Tea for Two and is just adorable. I used a little Liquid Applique on the bunny's tail, in case you're wondering how I got it to look that way.

So, do you have a story of raiding your husband's tools? Oh, and before anyone cries FOUL in defense of my accomodating husband, I should actually let you know that I just took his little compressor - he has a large one that most men would dance in tap shoes for. (Anyone else have the chorus of Evita's "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" running through their heads?!) So share your tool raiding stories! I love this stuff - and we need to show mine that I'm not the only tool-savvy crafter out there!

Have a great holiday weekend! Be well,

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Morning! Just thought I would pop in and show you this card I did for the Papertrey News for September. I was hoping to illustrate some basic design principles and how they relate to card making - maybe you saw it?! ;) See? You never know what great tidbits we're going to throw in there! Interested in signing up? Here's the link. What are you waiting for?

Be well,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Papertrey Tuesday

There are so many Papertrey Ink stamps, but some of my favorites are designed by Melissa Bickford. This new set, Sign Language exemplifies what I love most about her stamp sets - the ability to interchange them! This set is just adorable - a yard sign?! How clever is that?! Here, obviously, I made a cute Halloween card with the pumpkin image. I just love how there are so many images for the flag (enough for year round!) with so many sentiments.

The paper choices were a snap - I started off knowing I wanted to use the color combination of Summer Sunrise, Plum Pudding and True Black. I pulled out Bitty Box Basics and used the Summer Sunrise from that (I love the subtle pattern in this patterned paper collection) and went from there. I used a Clear Stardust pen (from Sakura) on the jack-o-lantern; the black stitching really added a nice touch (and is a departure from my usual off-white - aren't I radical and daring, LOL?!).

I don't even know if I can stand to part with this, it turned out so cute! :) Maybe by the time Halloween approaches, I'll be more likely to send it off to someone special. In the meantime, though, I'm going to enjoy it, because it really makes me smile. Be well,