Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cat On Fence: Another Halloween Card

I have good intentions. I really do work on cards almost every night, and I intend to post something every night. Keyword: intend. But sometimes the old mojo is not flowing, or I get stuck. Mostly I get stuck. I made a pretty cool card last night and tonight, but since it took me 2 DAYS to do it, I thought I'd subject you to some of my trauma.

Let me show you the finished product, then we'll do some deconstructing.

Here is the finished card. Looks pretty okay, I think! Now let's take a look at some of those parts, k? K!

This started with me wanting to use that cat stamp (A Muse). I went looking for some white scraps (did not have to go far - like the other side of the table!), then I thought it would be too stark on white. So I brayered the white piece! I used So Saffron, More Mustard and Crushed Curry. I think. I used a scrap of Mulberry paper that was just lying there as my divider between colors.

I mis-cut the BG papers (not on purpose), so I took a fab piece of Mike's ribbon and tied it over the gap. Too bad the brayered piece covered most of it. ;-(

The real trauma started when I decided I did not want this to say Happy Halloween, so I tweeted for suggestions, and Mary Dawn (I think she may be BR #1, not sure) tossed out "boo!" as a suggestion. Well, I have no 'boo' stamp, so I kept tweeting, mostly to waste time and get to bed late.

THEN Mary Dawn posted on her blog about how the smallest die in the Nestabilities Labels 4 set is so small it cannot possibly be used for anything. *ding ding ding* Sounded like a challenge to me! So off I went into The Other Room to grab my retired Brushstroke Letters, stamped them, then I took out the littlest die and looked at it.

Here it is next to the lower-case B.

Here it is next to the upper-case B. This was going to be a tight fit.

(Please ignore all that brayer mess. I'm creating here!)

Taking a cue from Mary Dawn, I lined up the pieces with a ruler to give you an idea of how really small these are. I agree - what were they thinking?!

I played and played with these letters until I ended up with this. What was *I* thinking?! In theory this seemed like a good idea, but in actual execution? Not so much. I ripped it off and went to bed.

(NOW do you see why it took me 2 days to make this card? And we are not done yet!)

Tonight I decided I hated the white and went with orange - actually it is Dusty Durango. I like this A LOT!

See that ribbon? There was a big empty on that side of the card, and some of the yellow needed to be covered, so I punched a hole in the brayered piece of card stock and tied a piece of the ribbon through it. Is that not really pretty ribbon? I am so glad I figured out a way to have some of it show (not be hidden under the yellow layer).

Here, again, is the finished card.

And no, I am not trying to be artsy-fartsy and 'stage' this card. I wanted to show you the stamp I used and how I switched it up!

I stamped the image on white and cut it out to get the white fence. By doing so I (1) had to cut off the poor kitty's whiskers and (2) got a separate moon image! I drew the whiskers back on after I stuck the cat to the yellow layer, and I got to put the moon where I wanted it! Sweet!

I cannot believe it took me two evenings to make two cards (I made two of these). Such is my devotion to my craft. Two cards - two days. Eh, whatever!

Tomorrow I think I'll make ... dunno yet. We'll all be surprised!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Some Peeps and Some Mulberry Paper

Last night I made this card with one of my new stamps from my last shopping extravaganza at Angela's and some Basic Grey papers:

When I first saw this stamp (Hampton Arts) I immediately thought "paper piecing". What a great way to use up pretty scraps! I was also reminded how Lydia over at UnderstandBlue often stamps on old book pages. Me, I cannot bring myself to deface a book, no matter how old or useless to me, even if it is free. I just cannot do it. But this stamp - THIS STAMP - was perfect. It came with its own word background! Naturally, it needed to come home with me.

Then today, two of my Tweeple mentioned they had never played with Mulberry paper (also known as handmade paper), so I am sending them some to get it OUT of here, and along the way, the Mulberry paper morphed into another version of this card.

So tonight, I thought I'd give you a quick step-by step of how I made this card, and I'll rip up some Mulberry paper along the way. Let's begin!

First I stamped the image in black on a piece of white card stock, and cut it out with a square Nestie. I also stamped the image onto a piece of Basic Grey paper from the June Bug 6x6 pad. Why this paper, you may innocently ask? Because ... all together now ... it was out.

Here we have the two stamped images ... on white and on the BG paper.

I cut out each bird's body and stuck it onto the other stamped image. Mmmmm ... pretty!

Then I layered the white on some BG yellow from the same pack, then stuck that to a piece of blue Mulberry paper. I left a large border around the square ... you'll see why in a sec.

I have a small bowl of water, and I dipped my finger in, then ran it along the top of the Mulberry paper to wet it. As my finger dried, I just dipped it again and kept going until I'd wet it to just beyond the stamped piece.

I continued wetting the other three sides until I had a square drawn with water all around the stamped piece.

Then I started to tear. I actually used two hands to do this - one on each side of the wet line, to have really good control of the tearing process. It is really tough to take a pic without growing that third arm, so I am holding the initial tear with one hand here, but I wanted to show you how I started the tearing process.

Note: Tear wide at first. It is easier to remove excess paper than it is to put it back if you tear off too much. :-)

Using two hands and gently tearing all the way around, I removed the square from the larger piece of Mulberry paper.

I went back and fine-tuned my tearing until I got it where I wanted it. If the piece dries out, just touch a bit more water to the spot and you'll be fine. Yes, it looks rough. Rustic. Uneven. It is SUPPOSED to look like that. Perfect in my crooked world.

Here is the finished card with the Mulberry paper instead of the die-cut scalloped border I'd used originally. It gives the card a totally different look. The ONLY think I changed here is that blue layer.

Look closely and you can see the paper can curl a bit when it dries, which just adds a little bit more dimension and interest.

So that's it - my bird cards. One with a die-cut scalloped layer and one with a Mulberry paper layer.

I'm off to pack up the paper I am shipping out tomorrow (gotta add the cards to the packages!), then I think I'll actually head to bed on time this evening.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What's Happened to the Crooked Stamper?

Let me begin by telling you I have no idea what's happened. I have no explanation for what you are about to see. I am still me, but perhaps possessed by a different type of card-maker for just this weekend. Maybe. Perhaps. I have had very weird dreams the past few nights, and at one point the opinion was I'd been marked by (and possibly controlled by) aliens. I'm just warning you.

It all started when I pulled out a partial sheet of some Thickers I've had for about a year, and then grabbed some Basic Grey papers that would coordinate color-wise. The thing I like about BG paper collections is they all go together without too much thought. Still, I struggle. This is what came out.

The ribbon is reallyreallyreally old - perhaps 5 years old. I bought it because I thought it would go with everything, and as with things such as this, in reality it goes with nothing. Imagine my glee when I thought it passable enough to use on this card. :-)

Here is another one I made with the BG scraps and the same ribbon. Can you see the stuggle? These are not your typical Crooked cards, so I gave it a rest and put all that stuff away. Way too much work for two cards.

Then I went to work trying to salvage some badly-cut BG Christmas papers. I was making a set of these cards when I realized I'd mis-cut all the pretty papers and they were too difficult to layer on the Artichoke card stock. I set them all aside and started over with new paper, but I was sick about all those pretty scraps. Then I got a clue.

Just look how nicely this Nestie fits on the piece. Who said it needs to be a rectangle, hm? No one, that's who! So I cut it out, which solved that pesky edge issue.

This is what I made with the cut-out shape. Fun! I like these papers with SU Artichoke, so the Joy is stamped in Artichoke, and the embossed layer under the shape is also Artichoke. And FINALLY I got to use my Snowflake Cuttlebug embossing folder!

I rounded the corners of the Artichoke layer to better blend with the die-cut piece.

And check out that ribbon! It was in my stash of Miscellaneous Ribbons and it is a wonderful twill.

See how the ribbon 'goes' with the rest of the card? Very cool.

I made all six cards, bagged and tagged them, and moved on, feeling pretty good about my Save!

Since I was inexplicably in Christmas mode anyway, I grabbed this stamp (Viva Las Vegas Stamps, I think), which is absolutely one of my favorites. Too bad it is so seasonal!

Here is a close-up, mostly so I could do a close-up, but also so you have a chance to see the glitter I added for all the snow.

I am going to go make five more of these (already cut and colored and waiting for me), then put AWAY the Christmas stuff and work on some Halloween items.

In other news, I actually remembered to stop at Lowe's on the way to the market yesterday and picked up not one, but TWO, replacement bulbs for my dead halogen lamp. Got home and realized they were the wrong bulbs. How could I make such a mistake? Because I forgot I bought a new lamp a while ago, and these new-fangled light bulbs last for six years. SIX YEARS! No wonder it slipped my mind.

This morning I had to get dressed and leave the house to go back, return the bulbs and buy the right kind. Get home, put it in - should have been listening for the rattle. Rattles in a light bulb are never a good sign. Nope, DOA. Now I need to go BACK to the store and get a replacement. Until then I have mood lighting. Oh, well.

Off to stamp some more! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Market Update - Fall Has Arrived!

'Twas a lovely, cloudy, cool, breezy day today for our market. Once again, Farmer Mike set up leaving me lotsa room for my schtuff, and he had a nice 'wall' of bins to keep people from trying to climb over me to get at the veggies. He is sweet like that.

Here's my set-up - same old same-old.

Since Fall is in full swing now, I brought out my gourd. Farmer Mike's Mom makes these, and I bought it several years ago. She is all dressed up for the occasion. ;-)

And ahhhhh, the food. I have to sit near the bakery all day, so I thought I'd show you what I had for lunch - one of these cheese rolls. They are full of air, and sooooo yummy!

These sugar cookies came home with me, as did a loaf of Rosemary Bread I plan to use for my Panzanella Salad I am going to make next week for work. We are having a Grill & Salad cook-off, and I hope the fresh-from-the-market salad (mine) wins!

That tri-colored cookie came home with me, too. I plan to call it 'dinner'.

At the rock table, we have (had) these two little Love Birds. Or, as the Rock Lady suggested, she is nagging him. Either way, I went back later, and they were gone, so either they flew away, or someone bought them!

This frog is really cute, too! Oh, my, and look at the smiling, napping kitteh behind it!

Then this little lady rode in. Check out that costume! I have no idea why she was wearing it today, but she was adorable!

Her Dad kept trying to get her to look at this cute hat, but all she wanted was for me to take her picture. :-)

Towards the end of the day, Farmer Mike gave me a lesson in peppers. These are all sweet peppers, but I learned they are also all the same variety of pepper, just in different stages of growth. Moving from left to right are the colors the peppers change through as they mature. You can kindof see the purple-to-yellow in the second one, then the yellow-to-red in the third one. I learn something pretty much every day at the market, which is why I love it so.

Just about closing time, I happened by the table of one of the jewelers and spotted this necklace. Since I only wear polo shirts any more, I do not wear necklaces, but this one spoke to me. Probably because it is green, and does not have a large focal-point stone on it. I put it on, and it was mine. Got the matching earrings, too. THOSE I will wear. Now that my hair is longer I can tolerate the longer earrings.

Sales-wise, today was GREAT! I had two really good sales and several smaller ones that added up to a terrific over-all day. I actually took in more than I spent! Woo-hoo!

One of the funniest things someone said to me was when they were looking at my card that says "Objects under shirt are larger than they appear." She turned to me and asked if I had one that said "Objects inside pants ..." Uh, no, but OMG, too funny!

The rain did not begin until about 20 minutes before we were ready to close, so the timing was perfect. Right now, as I sit here on the couch typing, it is cool and breezy, with a steady rain falling outside the open sliding door. I think I'll need to go create something before I drift off and nap, after which I'd be up all night! Cannot have that!

I hope to have something crafty to show you tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Whole Lotta Nuthin'

Tonight I'd just like to say that I am still on the planet, and still stampin', but geez, I just wish something would actually come out like I'd hoped it would! Sigh.

I'll begin with a photo that will not hurt your eyes. You have been warned.

I am just playing here with a new set from Clear Stamps called "Just Moved". I LOVELOVELOVE this house, so the set came home with me from my last trip to Angela's. I thought I'd color it like a house I'd like to have - a putty color with rust and olive accents. And this one even has a porch! It actually strongly resembles the first house I owned.

I can see 5-packs of these as Just Moved cards. :-)

Okay, now go get some shades, or else prepare for some really glaringly bad pics. Remember I told you I came into some 12" mirror tiles, and I planned to put a few of them on my striped wall? Well, my stencil arrived yesterday, so I played around with it last night. In Twitter terms I'd give it a #FAIL. But it was a good first try. Let's see what the heck she is rambling on about, shall we?

Here is the Flourish stencil from SU. I had this idea that I'd put it across the seam where four tiles meet, then hang the tiles with some space between them.

Here is the blue-ish stencil laid out across the four tiles. You can see where it spans the four corners. You can also see my hands holding the camera, and the cabinet behind the table. Funny thing about mirror tiles - they reflect. Please try to see past that.

Here is the paint I bought to use. I really wanted a charcoal grey, but there was none in the store, so I got a dark brown.

Here we have the stencil all painted up. It looks pretty bad, but the paint slops over the cut-out, so I had hope.

I was wrong. This is just after I'd pulled off the stencil. Blech. I think I need to anchor the tiny parts of the cut-out a little better so the wet paint does not squish under so much and make a mess. Can you tell this is my first time ever with a stencil, not counting the plastic kids' ones, that is.

For grins, I pulled the tiles apart to see how it would look. Eh? Not horrible, but it could be a LOT better than this!

So you see, I have been playing around, but not accomplishing very much. Though I did have a massaaaaage this evening. Mmmm.

Hopefully I'll get a clue and have a real card to show you tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Pig for Autumn

Happy Autumnal Equinox, everyone! This evening, I set out to make a Fall-themed card, but if you look closely, the following card misses that mark by quite a bit.

There is not one leaf anywhere on this card, but there IS a PIG! Why a pig? Well, I am glad you asked, because I am going to tell you!

I was asked this summer if I could make some cards for a charity event held each year in Colorado. It's called Kiss & Squeal, and, well, pigs get kissed - for a fee. I am not sure of the rules, but someone said she'd mention me to the organizer to see if they wanted any cards for the event. Sooooo, I am playing with pig stamps and just messing around, trying to come up with ideas.

Have pig stamp, will stamp! I bought both of these at Angela's last week, and as I work my way through my bag of goodies, I decided to ink them up tonight.

The pig is by CHF, and the sentiment is by Hambo. I went in search of a piece of DSP with pink in it and grabbed this striped piece, which I paired with Burgundy. The base is Vanilla and there is a layer of pink under the striped DSP.

Did you notice all those different shapes? I do not know what's come over me lately, but I love to mix 'em up. I'm likin' the look!

Now for my "uh oh" of the evening. Did you happen to notice the whites of the pig's eyes? Wanna know how I got them white when the rest of the card is Vanilla? Here's how: I carefully stamped the pig, die cut it, then colored it. When I laid out all the parts to get a feel for where the ribbon needed to go (not IF IT NEEDED ribbon, but WHERE TO PUT IT), I realized the error of my ways. I had stamped the pig on White, and the card base is Vanilla. Mortal sin? No, but it looked TERRIBLE. It HAD to be corrected.

All I needed to do was die-cut another shape out of Vanilla, then cut out the pig. Easy! The only remnants of my grievous error are the whites of the eyes and the small spot in the curl of the tail. All better!

Tomorrow I hope to get to a Fall-themed card, or maybe Christmas. I'll figure it out tomorrow.

Ach, it is once again past my bed time... gotta go. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Mostly Monsta Day

This evening I bring you another mess. Once again, my work space has been reduced to about 6 square inches. It is sad.

Today I worked on some monsta cards. I got the My Favorite Things Monsters Ink set a few months ago, and recently picked up one sheet (one sheet* - I know!) of some really cute monsta paper, and my plan for today was to make some monsta cards, which I mostly did.

I stamped several of the images together - 6 images, 3 images at a time, 4 times each = 24 images. I then cut them out, one at a time, with serious hand cramping in between sessions which necessitated several breaks. A stamper's life is not all fun and games, people. Here you can see my little piles of monstas, all cut out and waiting for me to get a clue.

Here is my 6th or 7th trial layout of the first card. I ran the blue layer (Buckeroo Blue, I think) through the Big Shot with a Cuttlebug folder to match the circles on the patterned paper. (Isn't that paper too cute?! Feel free to click on the pic to get a good gander at it.) I colored a few of the images with my Copics and tried to place the monstas so they did not cover up the printed monstas.

The Happy Birthday sentiment is Hero Arts, and it is probably one of the first stamps I ever bought. I still love it! It fits almost ANYwhere on a card!

Here is the first monsta card I finished. I made three of this flavor. Each one is a little different based on what monsta images I did not want to cover up. All the cut-out-and-colored monstas are on dimensionals or parts of dimensionals (for the thinner parts). Their legs and arms and tails are swinging in the breeze, though.

The obligatory ribbon is a really skinny one from my pre-stamping days stash of Every Color Skinny Ribbon stowed in my cross stitch supply cabinet.

This is the second flavor of the monsta card, and I'll make three of this version, too.

I have several left-over monstas that will be made into cards that I'll have to show you tomorrow, or whenever I get around to making them.

Lest you think this is ALL I did today - well, it pretty much was. Sometimes stamping is hard. I did make 9 more of the Vintage Lady cards like this one, so that sucked up most of my morning, but other than that, yeah, pretty much a monsta day. And laundry.

Speaking of which, I need to go run the dryer now. Thanks for stopping by!

* The 'old' me would buy two sheets of every paper I liked. Or three, but never less than two. In my effort to cut down on the growing stash, I now limit myself to one sheet, unless I already have plans for its use, which is almost never. So that's how I have only one sheet of this monsta paper. And now it is gone.