Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NEST O' CHICKS

Last week, I discovered a darling Easter craft -- little paper chicks -- that I thought would be perfect for my granddaughter, Stella, and me to do when she came for a visit the coming weekend. Stella, being six years old, and quite the little artist herself, I was excited to take on this cute project with her.

Together, Stella and I made four of the chicks in two sizes:


And this is my complete nest of chicks I finished after she had left. (<sigh> I miss her already!)


The original instructions called for all the chicks' eyes to be black dots. However, Stella and I decided to experiment a little bit, and try googly eyes. I don't know. While the googlies are cute, I still like the blatant black dots the best. What do you think?


Here is one of the chicks up close and personal. Don't you simply LOVE all the detail?? Just kidding. These are so simple to make, with no real detail whatsoever.


While the original post boasted wings created from petals from "fake" flowers bought at the craft store, I decided to simplify and "cheepen" (ha!) my chicks by making my wings from cardstock or DSP, mostly in complementary colors/prints. 

My chicks are two different sized circles: 2 3/4" and 2 3/8". I used the Circles Collection Framelits (page 186 of the big catalog) for my bodies. Using these Framelits, you could make a whole flock of chicks in multiple sizes. Imagine!!

 

My wings are actually the wings from the Bird Builder Punch (page 183 of the big catalog). Clever, huh? I know: I always work outside the box. 

But I like my chicks' beaks the best. They are made from a punched heart folded in half. 

I send my thanks to Noreen Doll from Crafty Journal for her darling idea. If you would like to see her original chicks, chick them, er um, check them out here. And this is my Pinterest post of Noreen's little cuties to my Papercrafting board.

Chic(k)
Smiles.




Friday, April 11, 2014

BASKET CASE

Yes, I've definitely been a basket case lately. Uh huh.

BUT, this is a different sort of basket CASE. You know: Copy And Share Everything? In the papercrafting world, that is a very acceptable thing to do! And not at all looked on as stealing. In fact, it is something of a compliment if someone loves your project enough to CASE it.

Well, when I saw the darling little baskets on Crafting Clare's Paper Moments, I decided to hop right in there and do a little basket CASE myself. In fact, I made several of them for my Stamp-In Club members. They make great nests for four Dove Chocolate Eggs.


If you would like to whip up some of these cuties in time for Easter, here is a link to her tutorial on how to do it: Crafting Clare's Paper Moments. Thanks so much, Vicky! You did an awesome job on your tutorial!

Now, how about becoming a Basket CASE yourself?

Smiles.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

EASTER LAMB

You all know how I love to make my little granddaughter, Stella, special greeting cards, right?

Well, for Easter I have created one that I hope will make her smile. Her own little Easter lamb.


Although the little lamb is not made completely with Stampin' Up! products, the majority of products ARE from Stampin' Up! 

Her body is made up of a 3 3/4" scalloped circle that I ran through in a swirly embossing folder that I've had for years. It was perfect to simulate a woolly body. 

The body and hairdo in the simple white was not very effective. So I sponged the edges and the embossed swirls with a light touch of Basic Gray ink. That made everything seem ever so much more REALISTIC! Don't you agree? 

The little lamb's head is made from Basic Black cardstock with the Extra-Large Oval Punch, while her adorable hairdo is in white using the Scallop Oval Punch. 

Bad habit I have of grabbing something that is retired to create my projects . . . Her ears are two of the petals from the old 5-Petal Punch. However, I think equally adorable ears could be made with the wing from the Bird Builder Punch, or two of the petals from the Pansy Punch. Or the ends of the Modern Label Punch? How 'bout a Small Heart upside down? Hmmm, try the little "cloud" shape from the Word Bubbles Framelits Dies (page 36 Occasions Mini). LOTS of possibilities in our catalogs for little lamb ears!

Of course, you recognize her cute little legs made with the Word Window Punch. 

I added a bow to her hair created with our beautiful Organza Ribbon. It's a fork bow. 

She somehow "told" me she was hungry, so I provided a little snack for her. A portion of the Little Leaves Sizzlits in Gumball Green was the stem for the flower stamped in Melon Mambo with the Petite Petals and punched out with the coordinating Petite Petals Punch.


And, aren't those soulful googly eyes simply mesmerizing?? With her pupils downcast, she looks downright demure, right?

Woolly
Smiles.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

BANNER BIRTHDAY

Today is my dad's birthday! <Happy Birthday, Dad!>

He always enjoys receiving my special handmade birthday cards. So . . . 


For Sale-A-Bration, I had gotten these darling little banner stamps as well as their matching punch. I stamped them in Gumball Green, Crisp Cantaloupe, Island Indigo, Summer Starfruit, and Rich Razzleberry. Within my abundant button stash, I found miscellaneous buttons that matched pretty well. So I added the coordinating color of button underneath each banner with Glue Dots.


From a really old Stampin' Success, I found a technique, Faux Suede. That's how I did the background piece cut out with the Apothecary Accents Framelits. To jazz up the edges, I paper pierced with the Essentials Paper Piercing Pack. 

I decided to jazz it up even further by hand sewing a long stitch through all the pierced holes with crochet cotton. I started and ended at the peak on the right side. When I finished, I used the excess thread to tie a snappy bow.

As you can see, the Island Indigo base was embossed with the Scallops Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (page 32 of the Occasions Mini). 


To add the final pizzazz, I stamped some Summer Starfruit chevrons with one of the stamps that came in the MARCH PAPER PUMPKIN. (The cutest Paper Pumpkin EVER in my opinion!)


Well, I sure hope you enjoyed this little foray through a bit of my dad's birthday mail!

Banner
Smiles.



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

CREATIVE THERAPY

Last night was really tough for me. I had to make the difficult decision to put down my precious Pretzel, who would have been 16 years old on May 1.

She was a very important member of our family for almost 16 years. Ailing lately, and having such difficulty walking, I contacted our Vet yesterday. Before doing anything final, I asked him to check her over  to reassure me that we were making the right decision. After noting all that was going on with my poor Pretzel, he reaffirmed that this was the absolutely right thing to do.

So, with me holding her in my arms, he administered the shot. I will miss her ever so much. She was my best friend, and was supposed to live fur-ever.



Anyway, after we arrived back home, and shedding lots and lots of tears, I decided that the only thing that would give me some relief was Creative Therapy. I headed downstairs to my Creation Station, and diligently got to work.

I was excited that, in my grief, I was able to connect with some beauty. Having purchased the So Very Grateful set shortly after the Occasions Mini went live, I had yet to give the wonderful happy images of the flowers a chance at coming alive.

And "alive" was definitely what I needed.

This is the cheer-me-up card I came up with:


The flowers were colored with retired Watercolor Wonder Crayons and an Aqua Painter. The blue background is an emboss resist, with the flowers stamped in VersaMark and embossed with White Embossing Powder. I then sponged Marina Mist ink over the flowers for the resist.


Other than the piece of Whisper White cardstock I did the emboss resist on, the rest of the card was created from watercolor paper.

Honest, I felt much better when I came upstairs after my session of Creative Therapy.

Pretzel
Smiles.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

HELP WANTED

Are you familiar with the technique called Black Magic?

BLACK MAGIC: On a dark-colored cardstock, stamp a solid image -- as opposed to an outline imaged -- in White Craft Ink. With your Heat Tool, make sure the white ink is completely dry, no shiny spots remaining. Once it is dry, use colored pencils to color the image, covering the white ink completely. After coloring, further decorate your design with white dots and lines. 

Simple enough, right?

I have tried this technique a handful of time over the years. I never got results I was proud of and wanted to use in a finished piece.

When I ran across mention of this technique recently, I thought I would give it ONE. MORE. TRY. 

I chose black as my dark-colored background, and stamped the lovely images from Fabulous Florets (page 93 of the Big Catalog) in White Craft Ink. Once the images were dry, I went to work coloring it with Stampin' Up!'s retired metallic colored pencils. I thought that would add some other-wordly elegance. 

After coloring, I added dots and dashes with the White Stampin' Chalk Marker (page 37 of the current Celebrate the Everyday catalog). That worked really well. 


Eh. It was okay. Just okay. 

Now, what to do with it. I pulled out the various Framelits I had. When I reached the Window Frames Collection (page 186 of the Big Catalog), the image fit perfectly. So I went with that, matting it against an Old Olive piece cut with the next larger Framelit from the same collection. 

I added this to a white card front. Yuk. Too stark. And no class whatsoever. So I grabbed Rich Razzleberry, which proved to be just the ticket. 


At this point, I walked away from the card for a day. I was sick of it, and not crazy about it. 

The next day when I came back to it, I knew pretty much how to proceed. I grabbed the birthday sentiment from Blooming With Kindness (page 65 of the Big Catalog), lavishly rubbed a piece of Rich Razzleberry cardstock with my Embossing Buddy, stamped it in VersaMark and heat embossed it with White Embossing Powder. 

Well, you can see how I finished it off with Whisper White 1/4" Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon and some Basic Pearls. 


Since the card turned out to be an odd size -- 5" x 5" -- I grabbed my Envelope Punch Board and made a custom envelope with some of the Rich Razzleberry Polka Dot Parade DSP (page 154 of the Big Catalog). Cute!


Now, here's where YOU come in. I really am not happy with so many aspects of this card. 

Help Wanted: I would like to start a conversation of improvements/changes 
I could make to my design to help it become a more successful card. 

Please leave comments with your ideas. Be as brutal and honest as you want. I will take all "improvements" into consideration. With what you feed me, I will remake the card, and re-present it to you for your inspection within the near future.

So, please, please, please put your creative thinking caps on and harvest some of those Paper Seedlings and HELP ME!

I really look forward to your comments on ways you think I could improve this lovely mess!

Help
Wanted
Smiles.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

SWEET, SWEET MOMENTS

The last couple cards I showed you were a bit on the funky side: the first with all the innuendos and symbolism about my thoughts on whether spring was coming or not; the second, a grungy, cheerful birthday card. 

As a little departure from funkiness, I will now present to you a fairly formal-looking card.


I have recently fallen in love with the Calypso Coral/Coastal Cabana color combo. Aren't they absolutely SWEET together? Added to a crisp white, this trio is a sure winner.


The luscious medallion from Happy Day in the center was the perfect size for the four 1-inch squares upon which it rests. While the center of the medallion was beautiful in and of itself, it called for further embellishment in this case. After trying several different options, I finally settled on the largest of the Antique Brads. The white of the brad, and the fact that it was a mini medallion itself, finished the focal image off perfectly.

Because I was striving for richness and elegance, the medallion was heat embossed in Pewter Embossing Powder. The embossing was repeated in the sentiment.

This card is a PERFECT example of your Embossing Buddy really being your buddy. Without it, the stray embossing particles would be horrible and very noticeable. So GRAB THAT EMBOSSING BUDDY before you stamp your image in VersaMark!


The sentiment fit nicely inside one of the Framelits from Chalk Talk. I felt it needed a little Coastal Cabana mat, like the focal image and the card itself. So I added it as a very narrow border, carefully cutting around the little point on the right side. Although the corners of the Framelit are rounded, I opted to keep the mat square at the corners. 

After I finished that, it seemed a little empty and lacking something. Aha! Let's bring some Calypso Coral back into the bottom of the card with a little punched-out dot. 

Ah -- sweet, sweet moments.

So, share with us: Have you recently fallen in love with a new color combination? 

Smiles.