Friday, May 28, 2010

Have a great weekend!

Just a quick lil' pop-in to wish all my American friends a wonderful long weekend! The boys have a half day today, and we are sticking close to home this weekend. I have all sorts of baking on tap for anyone who shows up (summer weekends there's always someone! And I love it!). The propane tank is full and ready for weekend grilling! (I'm going to make some pizza dough in the bread machine, too - Wally & I have a grilled pizza that we love. It has fresh mozarella, proscuitto, arugula, carmelized onions and a balsamic reduction - and I'm armed with all the fixins so my Jr. Foodie and I can indulge!) :)

I put together this card to celebrate this wonderful weekend, although it could easily be used for the 4th of July, too. I am planning on giving it to my next-door neighbor as a Thanks-type of card. He's a retired General and has contributed on tours that would give me nightmares. I think he'll like it.

I used Vintage Picnic for my focal point, coloring it with Copic Trios in Pure Poppy and Enchanted Evening. I love having these Trios already picked out to coordinate with my paper - it makes the coloring process so much faster. The background is Background Basics: Stars embossed with white embossing powder. My envelope liner die JUST arrived (literally - took a break from typing this up to go get it!!!), so my envelope is going to have the matching piece of Pure Poppy Bitty Star Basics. It looks fantastic!

I hope you have a great weekend. Enjoy your family and be well.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lemon fresh goodness

I know I've said it before, but this color combination of yellow and blue is SO me! It's been a while since I colored up this cheerful bowl of lemony goodness, and it was really calling out to me. ;) This lovely Lemons & Bay image has been carefully illustrated by Karen Lockhart; so much so that I will let you in on a little secret...she shows you where to shadow! (Shhh, don't tell your recipient - let them think you're the master!) The little dots on the lemons make it incredibly easy for you to go in and add some darker gradient color, giving you the perfect lemon. Use two similar colors for the bay leaves and you're set! I colored the bowl cobalt this time because this is a recurring color in my kitchen.

I used Prismacolor pencils on this one for a softer, more-controlled colored look. Sometimes I find small areas like this difficult to color with Copics, so if you experience a similar issue, pull out some pencils to try!

I hope you have a fantastic day! Be well.

Monday, May 24, 2010

There's a long weekend coming!

I'm slightly ahead of myself this week in ushering in the unofficial start of summer! I love this Lockhart Picnic image this time of year. It just cries to colored in patriotic hues! This would make a great picnic or barbeque invitation.

One week from today is Memorial Day. Last year, seeing as we live in the DC area, we decided to go to Arlington Memorial Cemetary for Memorial Day. We've been there many times before, and each time is a life-affirming moment, but none compare to going there on Memorial Day. I'm getting a bit weepy just thinking about it. There are so many men & women making such unfathomable sacrifices in the name of freedom - it's truly a daunting thought, especially when faced head on with the ultimate sacrifice. Wally and I were really overwhelmed by the deluge of feelings that we had when we were there, especially when we happened upon a group of kids who had lost parents to the war (one of whom is Wally's friend). So before I get too preachy, or cross any political lines, I just wanted to thank those of you who have loved ones serving in our Armed Services. The troops are truly amazing.

Be well.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Sky is the Limit

Up Up & Away is one of Papertrey Ink's newest sets. Nichole Heady hit a home run with this set! It's beautifully illustrated and a joy to use thanks to the handy, dandy matching dies (dies for the balloons and the clouds! Isn't that the best?!).

I started out with a Spring Rain cardbase on this - I wanted it to be my 'sky'. I stamped the sun in the corner and then went to town on my balloons. This set has balloons that you can stamp and be done with, as well as stamps that you can color as much as you want! Best of both worlds! The Lemon Tart and Plum Pudding balloons were stamped and the blue balloon was colored with the Spring Rain Copic Trio. For the clouds, I die cut them from PTI's Vellum cardstock then stamped them with Fresh Snow ink. (Gotta just say that I LOVE how these turned out because they have such a light cloud-like feel to them!) And just to add another piece of visual interest, I added a silver lining to each one with a Sakura Gelly Roll pen. Once I had it all in place, I highlighted the sun with Stickles.

The sentiment is from the main set and is stamped in Smokey Shadow ink. (Sometimes you really need an ink with less contrast than black, and this is why I love Smokey Shadow so much!)

Alright peeps, I hope you have a fantastic weekend! We have lots of baseball on the agenda, but I'm hoping to carve out a little stamping time. I hope you can, too! Be well.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chicken Soup - yum!

You know how there are times when your far-away friend is under the weather and all you really want to do is be there to take her soup? Well, with this fun Lockhart image, now you can! ;)

I colored this chicken soup image to match these fun papers from the new Lush collection from My Minds Eye. I thought all the circles were fun, and I was really drawn to this deep dark red - it felt really warm to me, just what you need when you're sick! There are so many fantastic details on this image from the spoon to the crackers to all the little noodles in the soup. It's a fun image to color (I used Copics here) and there are some great opportunites to practice your more subtle techniques (shading between the bowl and plate, on the spoon, and coloring the steam!).

To finish off this warm card, I added a felt trim (and before you ask, it's not a PTI felt, it's just one that I had on hand that matched!) cut from PTI's rick rack die. (The sentiment is PTI, too.)

I am so glad to have this Lockhart image in my stamping arsenal - there have been so many times that I've said to friends "I wish I was there to bring you soup!" - and now, I can! ;)

Have a fantastic day! Be well.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wee & Whimsical Wednesday

I'm thinking of adopting a new mantra - "A card a day keeps the therapist away". What do you think? ;) I don't know about you, but I am so much happier when I carve out a little creative time every day.

My Wee & Whimsical Wednesday card today is 4" x 9" and utilizes Inchie + squares from Inchie Arts. I used my Corner Chomper to round the corners, and it worked beautifully cutting right through this artist-quality matboard.

The stamped images are from Alli Miles' latest set with Papertrey Ink - Take Three: Summer. Don't you just love those gorgeous flowers? I stamped them on Ivory Inchie + squares (the Ivory Inchie Arts products coordinate perfectly with PTI's Vintage Cream, which is what I used for my card base). The colors are Hawaiian Shores and Orange Zest; this color combo has a real summer feel to me! I through in some ribbons and buttons to jazz it up a bit. Lining up the Inchie + squares like this draws your attention right in, don't you think? Of course, I love the instant 'matting' effect that you achieve with this, too.

Alright blog friends, have an amazing day! Create something fun today & be well!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Papertrey Tuesday

I've been really enjoying this color combo lately - it's Papertrey Ink's Hawaiian Shores and Pure Poppy. It's so lively and vibrant! So, for the particulars - the background is Lisa Johnson's A Little Argyle. I'm enjoying this set so much and think it will be a go-to set for years to come! The focal point is from Round & Round, this year's free set for customers who purchased 12 or more full-sized sets. It coordinates beautifully with the Mat Stack 1 die. To cut the mat around the white layer, I simply followed the same curves about 1/4" out with a pair of scissors. To finish it off, I added a couple of loops of Hawaiian Shores grosgrain and Pure Poppy buttons.

(For those of you who might be waiting for your Anniversary sets, don't worry - they're still going out. There are literally thousands of this set to send out, so it is a pretty large undertaking!)

Have an amazing day! If you're local, I'll be at Angela's Happy Stamper from 12-2 today; we're comparing scoring tools, so you'll have a chance to try out the Scor-It, Scor-Pal and the Martha Stewart Scoring Board to see which you like best. No Learn At Lunch next week, so I will see you June 1st.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spring Window

Morning, friends! I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Things are hopping at my house this spring, including a really nice visit from my parents last week. One of the days, we walked about Old Towne Alexandria, so that was a fun treat. If you've ever been there, or are local and have a chance, one of the must-sees is the Torpedo Factory Art Center. My mom is an artist (whereas I consider myself to be a crafter), so this is one place that she loves visiting. There are artists' studios that are open to the public, and you can just wander around this building gazing at all the different styles and mediums. I walked away with a ton of inspiration, including this framed piece that I did.

There was a watercolor artist there that I was very drawn to - her work was light and airy, and she had the most beautiful watercolored windows. What inspired me even more about her work, though, was the textured watercolor paper she utilized. Her watercolor window was in the center, then the surrounding paper was dry-embossed to resemble a building's texture. I knew immediately that I could recreate the look with my Lockhart Window Stamps.

I stamped this image twice onto Fabriano paper. For the top layer, I cut out the center of the window, then dry embossed 'bricks' to surround the window. (I had a tough time getting that to show in the picture, but you can see it a little on the left of the above pic.) After watercoloring this layer, I used some of my new Glue Arts dimensional adhesive. (OK, so why this dimensional adhesive? It comes in 4x4 sheets that you can cut down to what you need; on this project, since it was getting compressed in this frame, I needed large pieces between the layers to make sure that it wouldn't get wavy.)

For the back layer, I only watercolored the center of the picture. I'm so pleased with this! It's so pretty in person, and the watercolors really give it such an artist's feel. I'm scouting for the perfect place to put this in my home! (I'm also going to keep these in mind when I need a house-warming gift!)

Have a wonderful day! Be well,

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wee & Whimsical...Thursday?

For today's Inchie Arts post, I wanted to show you the simplest trick for getting a little more space from your Twinchie! By simply turning it from a square to a diamond, you give yourself another 3/4"! That increases your vertical space by about 45% - which when you're talking about rubber stamps, is HUGE! :) This Lockhart Patio Lavender image fits perfectly this way. And because of the artist-quality matboard that is used with all Inchie Arts products, I was able to use a combination of Prismacolors pencils and Twinkling H2Os for a shimmery, shaded look. To finish off the look, I added some ink to the edges. (I wish the picture could capture the fun look this ended up with!)

So give your Inchies, Inchie + and Twinchies a spin - you'll be surprised at just what a different landscape you get! Be well.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Papertrey Tuesday

Hi Friends! Yes, I know I implied I'd be back to more regular blogging last week, but for a couple of different reasons, fate decided to keep me humble! Anyways, I'm here today, and I have a fun technique to show you with the Papertrey Ink Impression Plates. Remember those old metallic rubs I have pictured up there? If you've been paper crafting for a while, you probably have some sitting in a drawer somewhere - go find them now! ;) I'll wait...

OK, so go ahead and run your cardstock and impression plate through your die cut machine. (Remember, these plates are for leaving an impression, not for embossing. I love them because the texture doesn't overwhelm or overshadow your stamped work!) Now start rubbing on some color! For better or for worse, the most efficient way to use these is just to rub them with your fingers. You can build up the color with them by adding more layers.

What you're left with is a great way to highlight the impression! Look how great this picnic plaid one looks with the rub applied! (And of course, I couldn't help but pair it up with Vintage Picnic !)

Now if you're newer to the hobby than I am (lol) then you may not have these in your stash. You can learn more about them at the Craf-T products home page, or ask at your local store (we have them at Angela's!). I hope you've enjoyed this new idea for your impression plates! Have fun giving it a whirl!

Be well,