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.





Friday, March 21, 2014

GORGEOUS GRUNGE BIRTHDAY

This past Monday, my Stamp-In girls created this card as one of their four projects:


The color combo was a bit of a stretch for me -- at least adding in the Rich Razzleberry was. But, I like the looks of these colors together. Do you?

To make your own rendition of this super easy card:

Supplies:
Gorgeous Grunge stamp set
Sassy Salutations stamp set

Whisper White cardstock
Old Olive cardstock
Polka Dot Parade Designer Series Paper

Old Olive ink
Daffodil Delight ink
Pumpkin Pie ink
Rich Razzleberry ink

Rich Razzleberry 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon
Rich Razzleberry button
Mini Glue Dots
Big Shot
Hearts A Flutter Framelits
Paper Piercing Tool

Instructions:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Adhere a 4 " x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock to a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" piece of Old Olive cardstock. STAMPING OFF FIRST, use the various Gorgeous Grunge stamps to add grunge to the top half of the white piece. NOTE: If you don't stamp off first, the grunge elements will be pretty powerful in color.

Stamp "Happy Birthday" in Rich Razzzleberry amidst the grunge.

Create four banners with the Hearts A Flutter Framelits in the four polka dot colors. Adhere the banners to this piece with the tails almost touching the bottom of the white. 

Stretch a length of Rich Razzleberry ribbon across the tops of the banners and secure the ribbon on the back side. Adhere this piece to the card front.

Use the Paper Piercing Tool to force the ends of a small piece of ribbon through the holes of the button and tie in a knot. Adhere the button to the card with Mini Glue Dots.

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

Just a few important Stampin' Up! reminders:

There are only a handful of days left of Sale-A-Bration. It ends March 31. To earn a free SAB item for each $50 you order (before shipping and tax), go here. And don't forget to name me as your demonstrator!

Also ending on March 31, is the Paper Pumpkin Special. You can find out more about the special here. Only until March 31, each new subscriber will also receive with their Welcome Kit a free In Color Stampin' Write Market Set, which is a $14.95 value. When signing up for Paper Pumpkin, you need to name me, Linda Kilsdonk, as your demonstrator.

Thanks bunches!

Smiles.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

HELLO SPRING?

We have had a looooong and miserable winter. And, according to the weather forecast for tomorrow, it is certainly not over yet. The forecaster noted, "I think Mother Nature is trying to squeeze out every possible flake of snow before spring arrives on Thursday." Oh, great. Snow, rain, sleet, more snow. I can hardly wait to drive to work tomorrow.

Without even knowing the forecast for tomorrow, on Sunday, when the Paper Players announced their current challenge, #187, Clean and Simple "Spring", I wanted in. Mostly, I wanted the chance to make a STATEMENT.

The card I came up with is full of innuendos and symbolism.


Granted, it's not the most <traditionally> beautiful card I've ever created. But, then, neither is our pathetic wait for spring to show its face.

Putting a BLACK spray of flowers from Springtime Hello (page 21 of the Occasions Mini) behind the screen of Off the Grid (page 108 of the big catalog) starts out my statement. Making the grid glimmer a bit with Pewter Embossing Powder gives us a "glimmer" of hope of spring. 


The sentiment, also from Springtime Hello, actually comes with an exclamation point at the end. I omitted that cheery feel and replaced it with a plaintive question mark. 


I mounted the torn-edged card onto Elegant Eggplant. You know, purple, the traditional color of mourning?? But . . . I added it to a card base of Wisteria Wonder, a more springy, hopeful color. 

I distressed all the edges to evoke OUR feelings of distress. But, by adding the glimmer to the edges of the focal image as well as the sentiment, I once again introduced that "glimmer" of hope for better -- brighter -- days.


Thanks, Paper Players, for another inspirational challenge!



Hello Spring? Are you there????

Distressed
Smiles.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A SPIN ON HAPPY

Remember the card with the bee medallion I showed you a few days ago?


Well, I had so much fun making the bee medallion, I couldn't wait to try it again with DSP of a very different look. I chose an old retired favorite that was Real Red and Very Vanilla. One side was a very very bold print that I'd intended to use as my main image, centering the print exactly on each of the 1 1/4" punches. However, when I started to fold the eight "petals" and lay them on my work surface, one flipped to the "wrong" side. 

What an absolute DELIGHT!

Adhering the "wrong" side down to create the medallion, a nice clean medallion indeed is what you get. BUT, if you let the "wrong" side in all its crazy 3-D glory be the main focus of the medallion, a very different -- DELIGHTFUL! -- look you achieve! And I fell -- CRASH! -- in love.


Do you see what I mean?? The flippy parts are what would be glued down flat on the other side! Aren't they adorable this way?? And the added bonus doing it "wrong" is that you get to enjoy the FLIP side of the DSP also. And, in this case, who doesn't adore polka dots?

I didn't immediately put this medallion together. Just let it ferment {in my brain} for a few days. 

All of a sudden, I had a real breakthrough! The Floral Frames Collection Framelits have eight points, right?? Quick. Run down to the Creation Station. Sure enough! Eight points! Too much excitement to bear. 

Color, color. Red and ivory are just too plain. What would make this really pop? Of course, BLACK! 

Woo hoo! I went to work. 

And this was my final result:




The final card measures 4 1/4" x 4 1/4". If you don't want to pay the extra postage a square envelope would require, it fits wonderfully inside a traditional A2 envelope. With the Envelope Punch Board, you could even make one to match!

I'M SO EXCITED!!

Smiles.





Tuesday, March 11, 2014

KISS ME

I have a burning question for this time of the year: 
WHY SHOULD THE IRISH HAVE ALL THE FUN??

Created in MDS

Happy St. Patrick's Day to ALL of us!
Smiles.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

BEES ABUZZ

I learned something new -- again! -- this week. It's another way of creating a quilted-look medallion.

When I saw a sample of this technique in an old papercrafting magazine, little Paper Seedlings were planted in my brain: I immediately thought of using a Designer Series Paper that had a central motif that could be repeated eight times.

Looking through my stash of DSP, I came upon this one, a piece I had left over from a paper share I'd done with my customers a couple years ago. I was always saving this for something special. Until I come upon the perfect project such as this medallion, I am never sure what the "something special" will be. I'm sure you know how that is.


To create this medallion, you punch eight squares with the 1 1/4" Square Punch. In this case, I placed the bee exactly in the center of each and every square. As a result, the bees became the obvious focal point of the card, and appeared to be flying in a nearly perfect circle.

The  spokes of the medallion are formed by folding each square in half diagonally, unfolding it, then folding each of the sides to the center crease you just made.

To add something obvious into the mix -- I mean, after all, we ARE dealing with BEES! -- I mounted my medallion onto a beautifully textured honeycomb background in beelike Crushed Curry. To carry the Basic Gray throughout the card, I not only mounted the medallion onto it and added a bit of it in the satin ribbon, but I also sponged all the edges of the card pieces, except the medallion itself, in Basic Gray. This added delightfully to the grunge-y appearance of the whole card.


And the center embellishment: DON'T YOU JUST LOVE IT! It is so perfect. With each of its eight "petals" landing smack dab in the middle of each of my folded spokes, it looks like an extension of my medallion design. 


Since the bees in the paper I used were so adorable, I wanted to echo them elsewhere on the card. So, I dug out the stamp set, Nature Walk, that complements this DSP. I stamped the exact same bee in Basic Gray onto Whisper White and cut him out.

For the sentiment on the tag, I used another retired set, Short and Sweet. If you're like me, you don't let those "word" sets out of your possession. You never know when one will be absolutely PERFECT on a project. 

Once I added a little Crushed Curry to the body of my cut-out bee, I adhered him to my label so it looked like the words were swirling out of his behind. 


Well, on that note, I hope you have a bee-utiful day!

Buzzing
Smiles.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

GENTLE QUILT

I'm not sure if I've ever seen a more gentle-looking way to tell someone you are thinking of her (him) than this faux quilted card.


Using two of the soft and gentle prints from the Epic Day This and That Designer Series Paper evokes a soft and gentle caring for that special someone. Squares punched from the DSP with the 1 1/4" Square Punch make up the quilt design.


Punching out little hearts on either side of the sentiment, then adhering Calypso Coral dots to their centers adds a bit more of the soft and gentle.


I'd love to walk you through creating one of these cards. Here's how:

SUPPLIES
Sweet Essentials stamp set

Epic Day This & That Designer Series Paper
Calypso Coral cardstock
Pool Party cardstock
Very Vanilla cardstock

Calypso Coral ink

1 1/4" Square Punch
Small Heart Punch
Crochet Cotton (or bakers twine)
Buttons (from last year's Sale-A-Bration)
Big Shot
Fancy Fan Embossing Folder
Paper Punch

INSTRUCTIONS
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Calypso Coral cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Very Vanilla cardstock through the Big Shot inside the Fancy Fans Embossing Folder. Adhere this to the card front.

Crisscross two 2 5/8" squares of Pool Party cardstock so you have equal-sized triangles at each point, gluing in place. This is the base for your paper quilt.

Cut four squares from each of the two DSP designs with the 1 1/4" Square Punch. 

For this next part, it is good if you use the green glue and work as quickly and neatly as you can in case you need to shift a square or two along the way. 

Starting at one point of the base, add glue to the center corner of your first square only, and set it in place, leaving a nice border on the base. Continue, alternating paper designs for each of the points in consecutive order, only putting glue on the one corner that is in the center. When you get to the last square, glue it in place, but gently and carefully tuck it under the first square you glued in place.Once you have all your squares nicely placed, add tiny dots of glue to the edges that are loose and glue them in place.

Tie a piece of ecru crochet cotton through the holes of the center button, and attach the button to the center of the quilt with a Mini Glue Dot. Adhere the quilt to the card front with green glue.

On a 3/4" x 3 3/4" piece of Very Vanilla cardstock, stamp "Thinking of You" in Calypso Coral. Use the Small Heart Punch to punch hearts out at each end. Glue this piece to a 1" x 4" strip of Pool Party cardstock. Use the paper punch to create two dots from Calpyso Coral paper and adhere to the centers of each punched-out heart. Adhere the finished strip to the bottom of the card front.

There! Soft and cozy, eh?

Caring
Smiles.






Saturday, March 1, 2014

DUTCH WEAVING

Every once in awhile -- when I need a creative boost -- I give myself a challenge. I randomly choose a project or technique I had singled out and saved sometime during the past several years. Yes, I am definitely a pack rat. Especially when it comes to things I may use in a future project.

Anyway, I have a papercrafting book that had some intriguing borders included. One, a variation on Dutch Weaving, especially caught my eye. I decided I would give it a try.

I cut a piece of retired Barely Banana -- such a nice soft unintimidating yellow -- to 1 5/8" x 5 1/2" to serve as my base. After carefully measuring, I cut 1 1/4" slits alternating between 1/2" and 1/4" and repeating, all the way down the yellow strip.

Using one piece of Marina Mist trimmed to 1/2" x 5 1/2", and two of Night of Navy at 1/4" x 5 1/2", I then set to weaving these pieces through the slits. I started with the larger center piece, and finished with the two side pieces. I must admit I had some rough going. Those strips just did not want to cooperate.

I finally got them all into place. The woven piece was cool, and I wanted to use it in something. So I set to building a card around it.


Since the woven strip itself was so interesting, I wanted the focal point of the card to be somewhat understated. The bird from the Hostess set, Simply Sketched, seemed perfect for the role. 

So, the additional color I brought into place was Very Vanilla, upon which I stamped my bird in Night of Navy. The other starring role Very Vanilla played in this card was as the woodgrain embossed background. 


A few additional touches, such as bringing the Barely Banana and the Night of Navy back into the picture in a few spots, finished off a card that is quite pleasing.


And, NOW, I have Dutch Weaving out of my system. Whew!

Woven
Smiles.