November 24, 2020

SNOWFLAKE WISHES

If you want to make quick, beautiful and easy Christmas cards, grab just a few products: the Snowflake Splendor Designers Series Paper (page 37 in the Mini Catalog), the Balmy Blue Glimmer Paper (page 37 in the Mini Catalog), and the Snowflake Wishes Bundle (same page). See? ONE PAGE SHOPPING! Easy!

The card I show you today is the simplest Christmas card you could possibly make. Seriously.


And isn't it elegant?


Die cut two of the snowflakes from the Balmy Blue Glimmer Paper, cut a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of one of the DSP papers, pick a pretty sentiment from the Snowflake Wishes stamp set, stamp it in Balmy Blue onto a diecut label. Add to Balmy Blue cardstock and then to a Whisper White card base. And you have a gorgeous card!


Read on for a tutorial to recreate a card like this for you and all on your holiday card list!

SUPPLIES:
Whisper White cardstock
Balmy Blue cardstock
Snowflake Splendor Designer Series Paper (page 37, Mini Catalog)
Balmy Blue Glimmer Paper (Page 37, Mini Catalog)

Snowflake Wishes stamp set (page 38, Mini Catalog)

Balmy Blue ink

So Many Snowflakes dies (page 38, Mini Catalog)
Chalk Talk Framelits (retired -- do you still have yours??)

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Stampin' Dimensionals

DIRECTIONS:
Fold a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of Whisper White cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Add to this card base a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Balmy Blue cardstock.

To this, add a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of the Snowflake Splendor Designer Series Paper.

On a 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" piece of Whisper White cardstock, stamp the sentiment from the Snowflake Wishes stamp set in Balmy Blue ink. Use an appropriately sized die to cut out the sentiment.

From Balmy Blue Glimmer Paper, cut two of the snowflakes from the So Many Snowflakes dies. Adhere the smaller of the snowflakes to the upper right corner of the sentiment label.

Adhere the label to the DSP, raised a bit from the center point, with Stampin' Dimensionals.

Add a bit of adhesive to the points of the larger snowflake, and slide it under the lower left corner of the sentiment label, pressing it firmly in place.


Snowflake
Smiles.







November 21, 2020

ROSY JINGLE BELLS

Today, I am featuring a very strangely colored Christmas card. Strange in that the main colors are Night of Navy (even though it doesn't look like that in my photos) and Melon Mambo. Weird, eh?

During the winter -- and before COVID -- when it was on the Clearance Rack, a few of my friends and I ordered the Everything Is Rosy bundle at about half the original price.  A phenomenal bundle, filled with such awesome and elegant goodies, I made a handful of cards from it. You can see the cards I made in THIS POST

After making those cards, I'd put all the components of the bundle into a container and set it aside. Frequently I come across it and consider making some more cards, but never actually do. The papers that came in the bundle are especially wonderful, and one of the papers is a rose gold colored metallic cardstock. It is so tempting and gorgeous, I am sorely reluctant to use it. So, it sits.

Recently, however, I came across it again, and since I'd ordered and received the jingle bell dies (Sounds of the Season, page 33 in the Mini Catalog), I was moved to cut a few of the bells from this precious paper. 

A hint to share from experience: When you are die cutting from a shiny smooth metallic paper, cut the paper down to the size you actually need, rather than running a strip of it through the die cutting machine. If your plates resemble mine, they are very grooved, worn and loved. These grooves and textures transfer to the smooth surface of the paper. If you like that look -- and I happen to! -- great. But, if you want it to be the smooth surface, cut the piece to the proper size. You will be a lot happier!

After I die cut my bells, I loved them, but was unsure what to do with them. My eyes landed on the rest of the Everything Is Rosy components, and I thought, "Why not"? So I grabbed all the stuff in Night of Navy and Melon Mambo, and this is what I came up with:


I tried all sorts of ribbons, trims, baker's twines, etc., for the bows on the bells, but nothing seemed right. Until I noticed this thick baker's twine in Melon Mambo, and that turned out to be perfect.

My bells found a home upon a strip of the cardstock that came in the bundle, which also featured some of the same rose gold metal.


Picking up on the Night of Navy that was within the strip of DSP, I opted to have Night of Navy on the other side of my card. Putting it through the Old World Paper 3D embossing folder (page 185 in the Annual Catalog) gave it an awesome texture that worked well with the rest of the card. 

A strip of the crinkled Melon Mambo ribbon that came in the bundle was stretched across the Night of Navy. 

I now needed a sentiment. Being extra brave, I die cut "Holly Jolly" from another of the papers from the bundle. This was was Melon Mambo, but with an abundance of flowers in the same rose gold metal. Whoa. I really did feel courageous adding flowers to this card. Fortunately the letters were thin enough, you can't tell they are flowers; they just look like flecks of the rose gold. 


A closeup of the words, as well as a little embellishment 
I cut from the same rose gold with a die that came in the bundle. 


And, a closeup of the jingle bells in all their weird colorful glory:


So, was I crazy to venture into such unfamiliar territory for a Christmas card? In real life, it is quite striking, which, of course, I failed to share with you because of my lousy photos.

I hope you enjoyed this little trek through weirdness. It was lots of fun -- for me, at least!


Rose
Gold 
Smiles.











November 17, 2020

JAR OF FALL

Since the Pandemic began way back in March, time seems to have been playing tricks on me. Have any of you experienced that feeling of The Twilight Zone? The feeling that things are not quite the way they should be, nor the time as it should be? Hard to explain. But, I often find myself saying, "Oh yeah. It's fall. Oh, it's NOVEMBER." Sort of confused. And weird. And tough to explain -- or endure.

Anyway, with all those profound words said, it's hard to believe that next week is Thanksgiving here in the US! Wow. Wow. 

I give you a little Happy Thanksgiving card this week. 


Utilizing the Jar of Flowers set, found on page 12 of the Annual Catalog, 
it is a fairly simple card to create.


Fussy cutting the Jar of Flowers  and popping it up with a few Dimensionals 
onto a sponged embossed base, it boasts a nice amount of dimension.


Would you like to know how I created this card, in case you would like to try something similar?

SUPPLIES:
Gray Granite cardstock
Whisper White cardstock
Fall-looking Designer Series Paper

Memento Tuxedo Black ink
Cajun Craze ink
Stampin' Blends in: Dark Mango Melody, Light Gray Granite, Light Pumpkin Pie, Light Soft Suede, Light Mossy Meadow and Dark Soft Sea Foam

Jar of Flowers (Page 12)
Itty Bitty Greetings (Page 44)

Greenery embossing folder (page 184)
Die Cut/Embossing Machine
Very Vanilla 1/4" Ribbon
Stampin' Dimensionals

INSTRUCTIONS:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Gray Granite cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Add a 1" x 5 1/4" piece of autumn Designer Series Paper to the left edge near the fold, leaving a 1/8" margin, as is usual on a traditional card.

Run a 3" x 5 1/4" piece of Gray Granite cardstock through the Greenery Embossing Folder. With a stampin' sponge, gently sponge Cajun Craze ink across the raised portion of the embossing. Adhere this piece to the right side of the card base, butted up against the DSP. Set aside for now.

On a piece of Whisper White cardstock that measures about 3" x 4", stamp the three components of the fallish bouquet: the jar, the stems in the "water" of the jar, followed by the bouquet of sunflowers in Memento Tuxedo Black ink. Another option would be to stamp the jar and water separate from the bouquet of flowers. Fussy cut both components, then pop the flowers over the jar. This would probably be a better look.

Using the coloring tools you desire, color in the bouquet. I used Stampin' Blends in the aforementioned colors. 

Fussy cut the bouquet. I know it looks difficult, but it really isn't. One piece of advice when fussy cutting: hold the scissors in pretty much the same position and turn the piece itself as you are cutting.

Use Stampin' Dimensionals to add the bouquet to the center of the embossed portion, raised some from center so you have room for the sentiment.

On a 1/2" x 2" piece of Gray Granite cardstock, stamp a sentiment in black ink.

I did not have any ribbon that was Cajun Craze, and I feel this card really needed that. So I made my own! I had some quarter inch Very Vanilla satin ribbon to which I sponged Cajun Craze ink untilt he ribbon was evenly colored. 

Attach the ribbon to the back of the sentiment piece, and use a few Stampin' Dimensionals to add it to the lower portion of the card.

Fall
Smiles.







November 14, 2020

A SINGLE GOLDEN RING

When I first saw the Gold Hoops Embellishments on page 156 of the Annual Catalog I must admit I was quite intrigued. They looked classy classy classy. Measuring 2 1/8" in diameter, I needed to add them to my new catalog stash. 

Unfortunately they did sit there on my work table for a few months since I wasn't sure what to do with them. They were so fine and I kept worrying myself about how I was going to attach them to a project.

When the October Paper Pumpkin arrived with all the lovely Christmas-y card stuff, I suddently had a lightbulb moment. I took one of the stamps that came with the kit, the pretty flower, and stamped it onto Whisper White cardstock. I then proceeded to color it in with my Stampin' Blends in Light Cherry Cobbler, Dark Call Me Clover and Dark Daffodil Delight. 

After my coloring was done, I tried mightily to fussy cut the image. There were little berries on thin stems. Leaving a bit of white around those portions, I did not like the results. At all. Trimming off the berries (!), I was satisfied, and thought the flower would look gorgeous on one of the rings, like a little holiday wreath.

Of course, the wreath needed some greenery too! So, from Shaded Spruce cardstock, I used the evergreen branches from the Sounds of the Season (jingle bells) dies set and cut two of the small and two of the large branches.

I adhered the greenery to the back side of the flower/leaves. 


As I had mentioned, I wanted to add this little arrangement to one of the golden hoops. But how? 

Well, before I got that far, I wanted to have a backdrop for the wreath. So I ran a large tag through my diecut machine inside the Tasteful Textile embossing folder (page 185 of the Annual Catalog). I'd just recently gotten this embossing folder and hadn't had a chance to play with it at all. Embossing a piece of Whisper White cardstock with it, I was truly pleasantly surprised at the result. It looks exactly like a piece of fabric. It turned out to be the perfect piece to feature my little wreath.


After sort of placing everything together to see how it looked, I ended up putting Stampin' Dimensionals on the top and the bottom of the back of the flower to straddke the hoop. Holding the hoop in place, I attached the hoop to the embossed piece with the Stampin' Dimensionals. There! That took care of the bottom of the hoop.


A closer look at the main portion of the card:


I held two pieces of baker's twine, a Cherry Cobbler and a white/metallic gold, together and tied a bow. I attached the bow to the top of the hoop and to the embossed piece with a couple of glue dots, folding them to hide them from view. Yay! Now the whole hoop was held in place!


When I finished up the card by adding a sentiment in Cherry Cobbler, some Shaded Spruce cardstock, all popped up on a Whisper White card base, I felt it still needed something. The perfect something turned out to be a 1/4" strip of Cherry Cobbler cardstock at the top of the banner to balance out all the Cherry Cobbler. 


Golden
Smiles.













November 10, 2020

FOUR BACKGROUNDS

 I must admit that I am weirdly intrigued and attracted to the six ornaments stamp in the Ornamental Envelopes set on page 40 of the Mini Catalog. This stamp is just cool -- and FUN to color and play with.

So intrigued am I with the stamp that I decided to spend some time playing with it, trying to get different looks.

I ended up with four different cards to share with you, all of which are included in this blog post. I have pictured them in the order that I had the varying ideas and then made up the cards. I will explain each one.

The first card, I'd decided to stamp the ornaments in VersaMark ink and use a glittery gold embossing powder to emboss them. 

With embossing, it's always fun to do a resist. So, that's what I did with this card, using three different color inks: Pear Pizzazz, Calypso Coral and So Saffron. Now, looking at those colors, do you see any potential disasters? Two of the inks, So Saffron and Calypso Coral, are close enough to be considered primary colors (the actual primary colors are red, yellow and blue), which are famous for playing well together. Yay! Throw in the Pear Pizzazz, which in essence is a secondary color (green), and you have a tendency to develop mud, since primary and secondary colors don't like to play together all that well without some great care. They tend to create some kind of a brown. Now, unless that's the look you're going for, yuk.

Using a stamping sponge, I started with the So Saffron, laying down that color randomly. I then followed with the Calypso Coral. So far, so good. Then comes the Pear Pizzazz. CAREFUL! When adding the green, it needs to be pretty much a solo performance, keeping it as much away from the first two colors as possible. You can see in the lower right corner I wasn't completely successful.

When doing a resist, it's fun and important to go over the colors a few times until you get the density of color you want. 


The next card is much more iffy in that I used the same color inks, but in a much less controlled way. I scribbled with Stampin' Write Markers (the brush end) all over a Clear Bock E. The markers are fairly subtle looking on the block, so I couldn't really tell where each color was going. 

Once I thought I had the block covered with ink fairly well, I spritzed it gently with water and stamped the block straight down onto a piece of Whisper White cardstock. This tends to be pretty tricky in that it is sometimes difficult to get the block centered on the paper just right. Also, sometimes the ink starts to drip before you get it upside down.

This is a very random way of doing a background because you never know what you're gonna get -- just like a box of chocolates! Since the green was an eager player in this background, I ended up with more muddy looking spots than I would have liked. 

After the background was dry (I used the Heat Tool to hurry this along), I stamped the six ornaments in black ink. 

While it looked O K . . . I wasn't crazy about it. So I took a few of my Stampin' Blends, namely Light Granny Apple Green, Light Calypso Coral and Dark So Saffron, and colored in the ornaments.


For the third card, I used ink pads, Flirty Flamingo, Mango Melody and Granny Apple Green, directly onto the Clear E Block. I was careful, however, about my placement of the green. I put the yellow in the middle of the block, surrounded on each end by the "red" and the green because both red and green play nicely with the yellow in the center. Thus, if there is any overlapping, it will probably be OK. And it was.

Again, as in the second card, once I'd had the inks applied directly to the block, and, after spritzing it with water, I stamped it onto the Whisper White piece. I love it when it happens to boast little white splotches that have no ink. To me, that addss a lot of interest.

This time, since there was lots of bright color, I simply stamped the ornaments in black ink and didn't do any additional coloring. I did, however, add a few of the Gilded Gems (page 157, Annual Catalog) to the centers of ornaments.

One piece of advice here: if you are doing a technique in which you spritz with water, no matter how careful you are, the cardstock tends to buckle somewhat. When you are adhering this piece to another layer of cardstock, always make sure your adhesive comes as close to the edges as you can  to help the piece lie as flat as possible.


Finally, the last card was a ton of fun to do. I took my teflon craft sheet and used the same three ink pads as in the previous card, Flirty Flamingo, Mango Melody and Granny Apple Green, by inking a splotch of each of the inks on the craft sheet. I then spritzed the spots with water. 

Then comes the fun part. After spritzing it lightly with water, small dots of colors will develop. Just take your Whisper White cardstock and carefully drop a corner of it onto one of the colors. Repeat. Use the Heat Tool to dry these areas. Then continue to introduce ink in the same way, drying in between. If you con't dry between each layer, it will get all muddy and run together. Not attractive at all. As the ink puddles disperse a little, tip up a portion of your cardstock and dab it into the droplets to get a few random drops across your piece.

When doing this technique, no two backgrounds will ever come out the same. In fact, some may not even be as pleasing as others. It all depends on the muddiness of a primary and secondary color blending too much, as well as the lack of dotted and separated areas.

Since this background was so interesting in its own right, I simply added the six ornaments in black ink. 


Now that you've seen all four of my cards with the disparate backgrounds, do you have a favorite? Do you have any similar experiences you would like to share with us? Any other comments?

Ornament-al
Smiles.







November 7, 2020

#dailycreating JUNE 2020

Time for another installment of a month of my #dailycreating drawings. Hosted by Visual Artist/Creative Encourager Terry Runyan, this Facebook group has as its lofty goal that we members do some sort of creating each day. I joined up with thir group in August, 2018, with the intent of working on my drawing skills. I just completed drawing #756 for today's creation.

I almost avidly follow the prompts Terry gives us for each day. Once in awhile, however, I do deviate  from the suggested prompt if it doesn't resonate with me. Then I'm off on my own, usually to draw up an animal or bird.

As always in these posts, I will include the #prompt for the day as well as any other information I may have about the subject matter. Most often I use a reference photo for my drawings. I'm working hard on trying to incorporate more of my imagination in my drawings. 

Here I present to you #dailycreating JUNE 2020.

 #australian animal

australian rainbow parakeet


#australian bird

emu


#feather

#no prompt

black crowned crane

#dogurday

#eyeball

#llama

#dogurday

dalmatian

#thing on thing/#flight

parakeet


#sea life

yellow longnose butterfly fish

#forest animal

wolf

#dogurday

beagle

#woodpecker

pileated woodpecker

#thing on thing

mountain goat


I honestly did have fun with my drawing during June. At that time, I was incorporating a little colored pencil into my work to help with the look of the fur and feathers. Most of this time that worked well.

 More recently, however, I changed the type of paper I use and I am not as happy with the look of the combination of Copic Markers and Prismacolor pencils on this paper. This has forced me to go back to Copic Markers almost exclusively. I will keep playing around.

Please remember that these drawings are my own personal work and are not to be reproduced or used for anything else without my express consent. I will happily have a high quality Giclee Print made for you if you'd like. Simply contact me. Thanks for your respect.

#dailycreating
Smiles.

November 3, 2020

GOLD FOIL JINGLE BELL

Well, it's November already! Are you getting ready with your handcrafted seasonal cards? Mine are always Christmas cards, and I've gotten a start on them.

Stampin' Up! boasts some beautiful stamp sets, coordinating dies, Designer Series Papers and embellishments to make seasonal card making fun and easy.

For some reason, jingle bells always speak to me and evoke wintery sights and sounds. When I spotted the Cherish the Season set on page 33 of the mini catalog, and the acompanying dies, Sounds of the Seasons, found on the same page, I must admit I was completely smitten. And that just so happens to rhyme with the seasonal word "mitten"! 


Using some of the Stampin' Up! Gold Foil Sheets, I cut out one of the large jingle bells from the Sounds of the Season dies. An exquisite bell when cut from this paper, I added a piece of Granny Apple Green cardstock behind the cut out holly leaves and berries to complete the look. A couple of the pine branches behind the bell adds to its credibility. And topped off with a bow tied from gold cord -- beautiful!


I used a die from the Painted Labels dies (page 177) as a sort of wreath behind the bell. And the sentiment was added to a label cut with the Stitched Rectangles dies (page 183). 

A little gold thread on either side of the sentiment label echoed the gold featured in the bell.


Following are the supplies list and the directions to make a card similar to this.

SUPPLIES:
Granny Apple Green cardstock
Very Vanilla cardstock
Shaded Spruce cardstock
Gold Foil Sheets
Designer Series Paper that coordinates with the colors

Shaded Spruce ink
Stampin' Write Marker in Real Red

Stitched Rectangles dies (page 183, Annual Catalog)
Painted Labels dies (page 177, Annual Catalog)
Sounds of the Season sies (page 33, Mini Catalog)

Cherish the Season stamp set (Page 33, Mini Catalog)

18" gold metallic cord
18" gold thread
Stampin' Dimensionals
Mini Glue Dots
Die Cutting/Embossing Machine

DIRECTIONS:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Granny Apple Green cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Add to this card base a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of your chosen Designer Series Paper.

Cut a swoopy circle with the Painted Labels die from Very Vanilla cardstock.

From the Gold Foil cardstock, cut the large jingle bell using the die from the Sounds of the Season set. Add a 1/2" strip of Granny Apple Green cardstock behind the cut out holly leaves. Trim off the excess edges. Using a Stampin' Write Marker in Real Red, fill in the holly berries.

Cut the two pieces of evergreen from Shaded Spruce cardstock using the dies from the Sounds of the Season set. Adhere these pieces as you wish to the back of the bell.

Using an 18' length of gold metallic cord, tie it in a bow, and use a glue dot to attach it to the top of the bell.

Use a few Stampin' Dimensionals to add the bell to the center of the Very Vanilla wonky circle. Adhere this piece flat to the card front, leaving even margins at the top and sides.

In Shaded Spruce ink, stamp the sentiment from the Cherish the Season set to a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock. Cut this out using the die that measures 7/8" x 2 7/8" from the Stitched Rectangles set.

Take an 18" length of metallic gold thread and loop it back and forth across the back of the sentiment label. To make this easier, I run a dry adhesive over the back of the label, and each time I make a loop with the thread, I am careful to have it catch on the adhesive. This makes it so much easier to control and to adjust if your loops don't look just right.

Attach this to the lower portion o the card with a couple Stampin' Dimensionals.


Jingly 
Smiles.