Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy May !!

Wow, already? It's May! I clearly remember psyching myself up to make Valentine cards like it literally was yesterday. And yet, it was 3 months ago. If Time truly marches on faster as we age, then I'd better face it: I'm old! {winkwink}

Today I'm sharing a card made for a girlfriend's birthday. While I often use card sketches, they're usually never current sketch challenges. Today's is an exception. Last week, while deciding how to design this card, I was doing my blog reading, saw Freshly Made Sketch #234, and thought, that will do quite nicely!

Here is the scan of my card:
And here is FMS Sketch #234:
I also used 2 of the required colors in the Fripperies and Butterflies monthly challenge, Garden of Colors (I chose the pink and blue):
And I also used a Technique Junkies dry embossing technique called Depressed Frames. I was supposed to use an embossing folder but put in my cardstock face down so that the embossing would be depressed instead of raised. I was then supposed to sponge color across the surface, and the depressed parts would be lighter.
I used a Paper Studio folder called Tiny Stars, but for that vertical left hand strip on the sketch I decided to use an embossing folder strip in the normal orientation (embossing raised).
This was my first time combining 2 folders (both shown below):

 And it went without a hitch, overall. I got the balloons embossed straight but the stars went just a tiny bit crooked on me. That's okay, I call this card pleasantly imperfect (my balloon coloring is also a bit sloppy, even though I tried hard to be perfect).
Before embossing, I stamped the cake image (I used Avery Elle's Bring On The Cake image and sentiments) on the smooth card stock and colored it (I used various marker types and my white Uni-ball Signo). Then, I embossed. Next step was to cut out a frame mask to cover the image, sponge the ink, remove the mask and voila, the image is "framed" in white. I cut a Spellbinders Labels 5 nestie out of post-it paper, covered my image and went to town. But when I removed the mask, I had problems. The mask pulled up just enough of the image's color to make it look splotchy weird and I couldn't correct it, so I quickly stamped and colored another cake and adhered it right on top of the original one. I was happy I'd done this because the white gel penning looked a bit bad on the original image (it is hard to put a good solid outline on an embossed surface). This was a variation on the technique, but I think it was needed to get a decent result. And I must share with you this bit of serendipity: it wasn't until I was finishing the card that I realized the balloon strip also had tiny stars on it!

As always, a big thank you for visiting me and leaving me a hollah. Hope your first May Monday is marvelous! xoxo

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lost your head? Put a cap on it!

Hello friends! Today I have a masculine birthday card using some really old stamps that rocked a fad that has long since faded.

Do you ever look at some of the stamps you bought back in the day and wonder just what you saw in them? That would be me and the SEVEN sets of headless My Favorite Things stamps I bought. I can only describe it as having lost my head over them! LOLOLOL I think I will show you all of them at the end of this post, but for now, here is the set in question, Let's Hear It For the Boys:
As you can see, it does have some great sentiments and little images. That big one, though. Hmmmm. Well, I'm not gonna let that stop me. How many times have we seen this image in our own homes, haha. Going with that, I decided to try and pop the little cap on the head spot, and just go with it.

Since this was an experiment, I made my hubby the guinea pig. This was his birthday card from earlier in the month. And guess what? He loved it! He thought the cap was cool and funny. I did not hear "Where's his head?" one time! Whew, dodged a bullet there, huh? ;-)

I used a ton of paper scraps putting the card front together. In fact, the stamped and alcohol-marker-colored image  sits on a rectangle that I weaved using the Technique Junkies Herringbone technique. The front and back base mats were made using this old Corning Heritage Farms Hounds tooth Backgrounder stamp:
And my card front design was inspired by this sketch:
Not bad for old stamps and scraps, huh?

This has emboldened me, wisely or not, to think about using the other 6 stamp sets. Not planning to any time soon, but I've learned that not having a head in the game is not necessarily a deal-breaker. lol Here are my other 6 stamp sets:

Do any of you have any of these? I did get several good sentiments in the bargain, as well as some great small images, so not a total loss, and like I said, these are old. Probably 7 or so years old, perhaps even 10. I have yet to use any of these headless images. I figure at the very least, I could make artist post cards and slap postage stamps on to make postage people, teeheehee. I do hope to use them all SOMEHOW, though. I'm just ornery enough to consider it a challenge! (Howz about a set of Have You Lost Your Head? cards? hahaha Any ideas to give me?)

Thanks for visiting and leaving me a hollah! Have a great Friday! xoxo

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Who Was That Masked Dude?

Hello there! Today I am sharing a card I made for a nephew who is a college student. It involved what I consider some heavy masking using post-it paper, but if you are an experienced masker you'd probably consider it beginner level, lol.

Now, I'd guess 99% of my stamped cards are made with multiple brands of stamps, so I want this noted: this is a rare exception right here! lol All of the stamps used are from Avery Elle's Surf's Up set:

I took my colors mostly from this Junkitz card stock that became the base mat of my card front:

I made my paper masks out of this stuff:
 I used Ranger Archival stamping ink throughout. I stamped and cut a mask for the van, 2 trees and 1 cloud. I used 110# smooth white card stock and my first stamp on it was the van.

I let that dry good, then applied the van mask to the stamped card stock. I stamped the middle tree and then the two outer trees. After they had dried good, I applied the tree masks to the middle tree and 1 outer tree, stamped the tree in between, then removed the outer tree mask, applied it to the other outer tree, then stamped the tree in between on that side. Then, I removed both the middle tree mask and the van mask.

Next up was the cloud, which also doubled as the 3 waves at bottom. I stamped the left one, masked it, then the middle one, moved the mask to it, then stamped the right one. I was not brave enough to stamp the sentiment right onto the waves, so I opted for stamping it on a strip of deli paper and layering it over them. I stamped the sun and the cloud, then set about to color everything with alcohol markers. I have Copics, Sprectrum Noirs and Promarkers, and often choose between them for the best color choices. I created the shadows of the tree trunks through the van windows by using the lightest grey marker that I had, then coloring in the windows with that milky white clear Sakura gel pen. The final touches were some white Winks of Stella on the cloud and some gold sparkly gel penning on the sun.

So, like I said, if you are an experienced masker, this card would have been a no-biggie to make, but for me, it was all I could handle at my current ability. I have gotten better the more I've masked, but I don't too very often because there's just too many arty techniques to do!

Before I forget, I want to mention these things: first, if you are wanting to try your hand at this, I would strongly suggest finding a card to CASE - that way you have a reference photo at all times. I used one

by Caryn Davies. I found it HERE in the samples for the AE stamp set. Having a reference photo helps you see which objects are in front and which are behind where they overlap. Caryn layered her van, but I got the wild hair to see if I could layer the masking, lol. What I additionally benefitted from was the placement of her trees and the overall proportions, as well as a general design. So, while our two cards look and are different, they are also very similar, and I could never have made mine as it turned out without the help of hers. Thank you, Caryn!

Hope your Hump Day went well. Thanks for visiting and leaving me a hollah. Cya next time. xoxo

Monday, April 25, 2016

Babies and Babes

Hi there! Listen, I want to let everyone know that if you leave me a comment, I am so very appreciative and read them all, and I had been trying to reply to each one, but it seems that I cannot any more - either Google+ or Blogger is not letting me. Whenever I click on the +1 icon and/or the Reply button, a new window comes up like a pop-up, then it disappears before I see anything in it. And sometimes, I get an error message if I try to change it from Top Comments. I have tried to Google it, but have come up with zip.

Is anyone else having this problem on their Blogger blogs? It could be just some little something I'm not checking in the Settings somewhere, but I haven't turned all snobby. I'm just overwhelmed by it, like I'm at a crossroads with too many directions I could go in. I can read your comments, so please continue to leave them and if you know what I'm doing wrong please tell me! I'll love you forever! ;-)

Art-wise, I have 2 cards to share today. This first one is a baby card for a niece and I kept it clean on purpose, or tried to.

I have very few baby-themed stamps and have used only one of them prior to this, so I chose to use the oldest one --- so old I do not know who made it. All I know is, I unmounted it off of wood several years back, and the rubber is a peachy or coral pink color. I used pigment ink and heat-embossed it, and it did perfectly fine.

One thing I would do differently: I would have used a different ink on the sentiment "Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers". I should have either used the same pigment ink or some Brilliance instead of some Versafine. The Clear Dollar stamp is one of those that takes a chalkish or pigment-y ink better than dye or oil-y. And I just about give up using that Versafine Satin Red. It's the weirdest red color I've ever seen, they should call it Anemic Red.  This is why I shy away from one-layer cards. Stuff like this always happens to me.

Behind the matted focal point is a base mat of some glossy photo paper I inked, as I explain in a minute. In between are 2 ribbon strips: a scalloped cotton eyelet and a satin brocade or (jacquard). I wanted the look and feel of the cotton eyelet and the other was chosen because of its color. I had to mail it so I kept it flat. Clean, simple,

The light pink scrapbook paper I used in front is part of a collection I had a few sheets of by Crafts, Etc., which means it is HobbyLobby rack paper from the aisle. So I used the It's a Girl coordinating paper on the back, and I used that good old Stampin' Up Modern Label punch for my Designed with Love stamp.

So, the base mat of the above card was one of these, which were made using leftover 4x6 glossy photo paper, sponge finger daubers and ink from my Old Inks to Use Up Boxes:

Yes, I know. I cannot bear to throw them out...without putting them through this last phase - Death Ink Row. lol The encouraging thing is, every time I get these out and use them, I end up throwing out a couple of pads. If they are PITAs, they are past and gone. Discouraging thing is, I seem to always collect one to add to the box as well. SMH I just somehow need this last step, I suppose. lol

Here's the babe - she is a City Girl stamp from Deep Red Stamps colored with Copics, on a birthday card for another of my nieces. And this one got some Pile It On treatment, also some wonk (as opposed to straight linear).

I used this old sketch from FTL Clean and Simple Sketches as a loose starting point.

You may recognize this card stock - the Junkitz stuff again. It's tough using up 3-4 sheets of 12x12 by making cards with it! lol I grabbed some chipboard numbers and a hexagon shape out of my stash drawers, some small red alpha stickers, some red and white crocheted trim and some black diecut border felt, and added it to my aperture of a MFT pinking edge rectangle stax die (I cut 2 of them), which I lined with a red marker. I heat-embossed the Designed with Love stamp in white.

I used a PSE tool to white out personal info on this photo, but this is how I include checks in my cards these days - washi tape! Here you see one of the pinking edge die cuts. The inside paper mats and the outside red cardstock were all cut using a MFT pierced rectangle stax die. (Sentiment is by Verve.)

Well, I'm done for today. Thanks for hanging in, let me know you were here, and have a great Monday! xoxo

Friday, April 22, 2016

Shimmer Sheetz Beatz

 Hello, friends! I'm sharing a card today that I made with a Shimmer Sheetz using the Technique Junkies Aged Metal technique from the Emboss or Die CD . I also used a TJ stamp Free My Soul.
I used this previous sketch as my general design. This was my first time using the Sheetz material. I had to emboss it with a Spellbinders folder and then swipe the raised surface with a Stazon inkpad. All went well. The technique was simple as could be.

This was a birthday card, so I wanted the innie sentiment to be something more special than any of my stamps said, so I made my own in PSE. I stamped the musical background (I Brake for Stamps background stamp) on the card, then scanned that in to use as a template for positioning my text, then deleted that scanned-in layer before printing the sentiment on the stamped card. I do this all the time and it always works perfectly. Just be careful not to resize any of it, and don't merge any of it.

A border punch and a scrap of stash ribbon complete the card. I would like to eventually make more birthday cards like this one, which is not overtly messaging that it's for a birthday until you open it. I suppose they are more like arty cards or note cards. Whatever they should be called, you're not tied down to using only birthday-themed materials and that is why I like them. I am always shy about making them, though (will the recipient like?), so I will have to work on changing my mindset!

Well, off to pay some bills. Hope you are having fun! xoxo