Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Challenge

Earlier today, my bloggy pal and tweep Lydia (aka: Understand Blue) was issued a challenge over on SplitCoast to create a card for Leap Day. The challenge was to use something that leaps. :) She asked us to play along, and I had an idea... but was trapped - TRAPPED, I TELL YOU - by the pesky Day Job.

When I finally arrived home, I was greeted by Happy Mail - my green Faber Castell Gelatos arrived! And they went perfectly with my original idea, so into The Captain's Quarters I went.

I wanted to play with a few other techniques using the Gelatos that have so far failed me.  This time I scribbled them onto some SU Very Vanilla card stock:

Then misted them and blended the colors with the brush that comes with the Gelato set:

Then I stamped my image:

I likey! Then I realized the images were too close together to die-cut them. I decided I liked the colors on the left better, so I went with those and re-did the coloring/misting/schmearing/stamping. In fact, I liked it so much I re-did it FOUR MORE TIMES until I got it right. ;/ Here is the final one:

Then, since the mess was still out, I tried coloring a glittery Thicker. here's the tool set I used:

 Water (in an old Flower Soft container), brush, Acrylic block, and Gelato pen/marker. I colored the Gelato onto the acrylic block, smeared it around with a wet brush, then painted it onto a glitter test letter:

It's pretty cool! I also colored the Gelato right onto the letter and wet it, and it looked the same, but was a lot messier. Then I decided against the green glitter letter idea for this card, and went with a stamped sentiment instead. Here's my finished Leaping Frog card:

 Yes, I think that bling was a stoopid idea. Too late. And another close-up of our green friend:

I'm off to post this to my Splitcoast gallery. You should come play! Use keyword SCSFBLY2012 if you do!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

SOS Challenge 41 - Sentiment or Bugaboo

It's time for another challenge over at Shopping Our Stash! This week we ask you to use a sentiment on your card. I KNOW, how much easier could it be? In keeping with the spirit of the SOS challenge blog, I thought about using a sentiment that hasn't seen ink yet, then I did it one better and used a set that hasn't seen ink yet, and it's a Bugaboo set, to boot! :)

Here's my card:

It all started with that piece of patterned paper retrieved from The Heaplet. The blue layers are SU Pacific Point. I stamped the image on a remnant of white, then cut it into a rectangle, thinking I'd put it over that die-cut oval, but it looked really bad. Then I got this idea I'd round the top edge with an oval Nestie, which I did:

But you can see I didn't do a very good job centering it. ;/ This, people, is how I get ideas for embellishments. I'd already colored her, so I was NOT starting over! I decided I needed to somehow balance the crookedness with ... something ... on the right side, so I used the skinny SU SAB ribbon and threaded it through the holes in the die-cut piece, and tied the bow.

At least it sorta looks like I meant to do that. Sorta.

This set has several sentiments, but I chose the snarkier one, of course.

Now it's YOUR turn. Go rummage in your stash and find an unloved sentiment, make a card with it, then come back to Shopping Our Stash and link us up so we can see what you've made!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Lattice Birthday

Last night I decided to play with one of my new Memory Box dies and whatever else I had laying around, which in my world is quite a lot. I started with a sketch, but went off target, so I just used it to get started.  Here's my card:

 The sketch was from Just Add Ink:

and you can see where it kinda fits, but then again ... not. My favorite part of this card is the die-cut lattice:

I've seen so many digital images and background stamps with this pattern ... I've even tried to draw one of my own in Silhouette Studio, but it didn't work quite right. I need more practice. But THIS die --- oooh la la! My only challenge is getting it to stick! I tried the Xyron, but because of all the open space, I have to do a lot of erasing with the adhesive eraser. Not fun. The one I tried and eventually trashed had four strips of the lattice and I got a bit grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, if you know what I mean.

I got smarter and only did one strip of lattice here, but I was still challenged with the adhesive options. I tried my glue pad, even re-glued the surface and rubbed it in reeeeal good, but it's either defective, or *I* am defective (distinct possibility there), or ... I don't know what. Darn thing wouldn't stick. I eventually went over it with the SU 2-way glue pen and leaned on it heavily for a while. It mostly stuck. You can see where the edges still stick up a bit. But I'm okay with that! :)  I'm in deep like with this die, in spite of its challenges.

And in this corner:

I'm pretty happy with this corner. This was me in full stash-shopping mode. :) That circle die (from MFT) had a big empty in the center, and I filled it with some green chipboard flowers I've had for ages, and I used TWO of them here! Plus another button from one of my Blue Buttons jars. Yes, I'm very proud.

Alrighty, then. By now you've realized it's MONDAY. Sorry I can't fix that for you, but try and have a good one. I plan to end my work day with a massaaaaaage, so I'm good. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

CASE x 2

I went into The Captain's Quarters a while ago, intent on trying a new technique, and instead I was distracted by the image of a card one of my bloggy pals, Paige, made. Paige, is my hero. She actually uses all her SU card stock and paper stash, and I am so very jealous on almost a daily basis. This is the card I CASEd (second one in her post), and here is my version:

 It's the same papers and basic layout, but I did the circle differently, left off the row of pearls, and added a sentiment. Because the glare is so bad, here is a close-up of the colors:

Not much better, I know. For those of you not yet hoarding the SU SAB papers, GET BUSY! OMGosh, I love them. The pack of 12x12 papers is one of the free items you can earn with your $50+ order though the end of March.

Because I don't get out much, I noticed for the first time the awesome green & blue pattern on the back of that orange paper, so I had to make a second card:

 These are more typical "me" colors, and as an added bonus, I used my Pool Party seam binding to match the papers and the Pool Party layer under the pretty papers:

Okay, NOW I'm going to go try that technique I mentioned earlier. I hope there's not another "oh, shiny" moment! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Jingle Belles 12-05 - Stuck On You

The current challenge over at Jingle Belles Rock is Stuck On You! This week we were to include rub-ons or stickers on our cards. Fortunately for me, my 12x12 pack of Basic Grey Figgy Pudding is still out by my feet, so I used some of the remnants stored in the package, along with a few of the stickers in the pack, to make this:

 The rows of scallops were inspired by my pal Lisa's card here. My stickers are the ornament that's hanging from the ribbon and the star I stuck onto it. :)

Also, I used Thickers for even more sticker points! The thing with Thickers, or at least these Thickers, is they are smooth, and you have to rough them up a bit to ink them (or use StazOn, which I wasn't.) I first sanded the letters to remove the "smooth", then added a layer of Gesso and let it dry. I went back and sponged SU Crumb Cake ink on the letters to make them not so WHITE, then stamped them with the SU Weathered background stamp ink in Memento brown. Here's one up close and personal:

I kinda like those letters. :D  I wonder what I can do with some of my other Thickers. Hmmm ...

In other news, I need to move that pack of Figgy Pudding paper from in front of my feet, along with the 5 or 6 or 10 other packs, so I can actually stand at my desk instead of reaching for it. Sigh, a woman's work in never done.

So come on over to the Jingle Belles' blog and play along! And thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

More New Toys

Despite the title of this post, I have taken great steps today to reduce the Want Monster in my life. I've decided I do not need every 6x6 Basic Grey pad made from this day forth, so I canceled my standing I WANT ONE OF EACH order. Now I will only use what I have and what I buy by the sheet. This will reduce both my current stash and the incoming traffic. Win-win!

I also ordered the complete set of Tim Holtz markers. Why? Because the pesky Want Monster saw all the cool stuff he did with them via enabling CHA videos. But today I checked to see if there was a wait list for them, and since there was, I declined the entire set and only bought 6 single markers and the white (picket fence). See?!?!?! Baby steps. Plus, someone else is now very, very happy to own the complete set! I win again! :)

I did, however, use those two steps to justify the purchase of another set of Faber Castell Gelatos, this time the blue/green set:

 Love them! Remember this card I made yesterday with the metalics? I made the same card today with these four new colors:

I might be in love. As soon as my winner-winner-chicken-dinner Green Gelatos arrive, I'll do this again. Once I run out of this Bazzill embossed card stock, I'll be embossing my own, but until then, I'll be lazy. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Lego Birthday

Some time back I saw a card* with Lego's made from card stock, and I filed it away in my brain to try one day. Today was that day. Okay, this past week was that day, as I made them over the course of the week. I only put them on a card today.

Here's the card I made:

 I went with traditional primary Lego colors and made those from card stock remnants. Each rectangle is 1" x 1 3/4", and there are five of them in each stack. The circles are stacks of three 1/4" circles punches. Here's one up close and personal:

I went with remnants of paper from the SU Big Top Birthday for the background, a piece of old old old SU Royal grosgrain ribbon, and a banner and sentiment from Lawn Fawn. I think it's kindof a fun kid card. Look for it soon in my Etsy shop. :)

I think I'll go back and play some more. Thanks for stopping by!

*I've since lost track of the post that inspired me, and all my searching efforts have come up with a bazillion "lego" links but nothing resembling a hand-crafted greeting card. If you find one, please let me know so I can link to it. Thanks!

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Toy

Many moons ago, I watched a bloggy pal of mine use some Faber Castell Gelatos to make some fabby cards. They are like chap stick sticks with gel-like water color medium inside. This might even make sense here in a bit. ;/

Here are the Gelatos I bought months ago:

These are the Mix & Match Metalic 4-pack, and they really are shiny! That green one is separate from the others mostly because it refused to behave, but deep down it knew it was my favorite. :)

I played around for a bit, then went to YouTube to look for videos that might give me a clue, and I found this one. If you want to watch the video, go right ahead ... I'll wait.  ... ... {Jeopardy music} ... ...

Okay, so we're doing emboss resist. I have pre-embossed card stock - I think Bazzill. Following the instructions in the video, I applied each color Gelato in turn to the card stock, then rubbed it in with my finger to blend it. I then wiped it off the embossed parts with a wet wipe and then I made this:

Some of the colors bled a little because of the wet wipe, so I finished wiping it with a dry paper towel. I liked that method better.  

As I said earlier, these metallic Gelatos are really shiny - here is my attempt to show that to you:

Yep - that green might be my favorite!

In other news, I participated in a Twitter chat last night with Splitcoast and Design Memory Craft and I won another set of Gelatos! Whoot! I picked green, of course. :) Maybe I'll play with these some more this weekend. I'm planning another jammies & crafty two days, so I just might!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

(This Post Title Intentionally Left Blank)

Did you ever have one of those cards that you thought was a good design, then the more you worked on it, the more you hated intensely disliked it, then you tried to fix it by adding still more, then you still intensely disliked it, then you ripped stuff off and added more stuff to try and save it ... yeah, this was one of those. I refused to toss it; I wanted to win this one!

I started out the other day with a piece of old old old embossed vellum that I desperately wanted to use. It is green and purple. I actually like the colors, but I've obviously not yet figured out what to do with it. So I tried. I tried really hard. After four days and many changes, I ended up with this:

This is not even close to how it started out. The butterflies are punched from the paper and are I think five layers each. (I told you it's been DAYS, people, DAYS.) They were already stuck down on the original failed design, and I couldn't remove them, so I took out all the weird stuff I had going on in between and had to come up with a way to cover up all the evidence, so I made up those banner things. Those banner things are two layers: vellum + white card stock. The two layers were necessary because there was an awful lot of evidence left behind from the earlier attempts.

Those things holding the banners in place are handsome purple brads. :) Then I colored some mini pearls with my BV08 Copic to put down the middle of each of the three butterflies. The sentiment is from the SU Apple Blossoms set. The purple paper is from my stash of retired SU card stock.

Here's a close-up of one of the butterflies so you can see the texture on the vellum:

Kinda neat, huh?

So, yeah, I'm not feeling the love, but I'm glad it's finally off my desk so I can move on.

In other news, tomorrow is FRIIIIDAAAAAAY! Whoot! I have a few partial projects on my desk I hope to actually complete this weekend so I can show you what my brain has been doing lately. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

SOS Challenge 40 - Inspiration piece

It's time for another challenge at Shopping Our Stash! This week we have an inspiration prompt:

Could this be any more NOT LIKE ME? But this is a challenge, after all, so look at the options: colors, subject (butterflies, flowers), or however else this image inspires you ... I decided to go with the colors. I went in search of papers that would work, and ended up with a pack of baby papers from PTI. The pack was in a stack of PTI paper packs I haven't been able to sell, so what the heck, right? :)

I did another herringbone background like I did here and made this:

 The orange-y color is SU Peach Parfait, and the ribbon (also from PTI) is my attempt to pull out the purple in the papers. You'll notice I was totally "inspired" to skip the (gah) pink color. :)

Here is a close-up of some of the detail:

The charm is from my stash - I have all sorts of these ... got them at Mike's (wedding/make-your-own-favors aisle). I colored the pearls with a Copic marker. Sentiment is by A Muse.

Now it's your turn! Go study that inspiration piece and be inspired to use something in your stash to make a card. Then come back to Shopping Our Stash to link us so we can see what you've made!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Manly Card

Cards for guys are tough to make. TUFF, I tell you! So when my card was selected for one of the Skipping Stones Design challenges (squee!) and I got to select a FREE SET (double-squee!), I selected a Grunge set that included a tire track and the words Tough Guy. Yep, and this weekend I made this:

I started with remnants from my pack of Memory Box Valise papers (still out, of course) and it just kinda came together. I stamped the tire track on the vertical piece, and the words on the middle piece she said, stating the obvious. To add a little something-something, I went into my drawer of Everything Metallic embellishments, added two antique brass eyelets (very manly) and tied some twine through them (now we're approaching Neanderthal, right?)  I called it done.

In other news, remember this picture from the other night?

Well look what happens when I plug in the second light:

Yeah, I need a keeper.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Corner Card CASE

When I saw this card on Linda Aarhus' blog, I knew it was a winner and destined to be CASE by yours truly. She even has bright, clear photographs on her post, unlike me. ;/

Given that I never 100% CASE anything, here is my version:

It only weighs about 3 pounds, too. I wanted the white base, so I kept adding layers until I was happy with it. That Coral ribbon isn't loose at the sides, even though it looks that way. I left it long and rolled it over on itself; it's stuck down in the center under the brad.

I'm really happy with this one! I think the toughest part was convincing the brad it really did want to go through the hole I poked into two layers of ribbon and a bazillion layers of card stock.

So for those of you who, like me, are neglecting this corner punch because you don't have the patience to do the math so it lines up with the coordinating border punch, you can do this instead! I might try it with patterned paper, too. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cool Chick

Over the past few days I've read several articles and blog posts about how we add stress to our lives by over-booking and over-committing because we think we "have to" or we "should". I would do certain challenges every week because I always have, and I can't possibly skip one! OMG, the world would end! No, no it wouldn't.

I've already made several changes over the past 6 months. I stopped doing the weekly Farmers Markets some time mid-September. I've also stopped doing my monthly SU classes, though I'm still an active Demo. There's a story behind both of those, but that's not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about the stack of sketches and color challenges I print out for myself every week and tell myself I must do them before next week's challenges are posted. No, I mustn't.

The only thing I HAVE to do is my weekly project for SOS, which I love because it forces me to use stash, which is why I begged to be on that DT in the first place, so it's really a "want to do". Stash - I haz it. And it's spilled over into most of the other challenges I do, too. I am buying way less than I used to, I'm using what I already have, and I'm having fun. If I don't feel like stamping, I don't.

I am now one ... cool ... chick.

So tonight, while reading through my Google Reader backlog (I hit the dreaded 1000+ this week. ;/), someone mentioned the Herringbone tutorial on Splitcoast, and I decided to try it. I mean, it's not like I don't have packs of patterned papers already out, right? :)

I made this:

The papers are from my still-out Memory Box brioche pack, and I used almost all remnants. I cut them into 1/2" strips and followed the instructions to place them onto the panel. The blue layer is (I think) SU Pool Party, as is the ribbon; the card stock behind the tag is SU Poppy Parade. The blue brad is from a vast collection of Every Color Brad & Eyelet and I declared it "close enough". And last, but not least, I opened and used my Paper Smooches My Peeps stamp set. This totally allows me to buy some of their new stuff coming out March 1st, right? RIGHT?!


So thanks for listening, and thanks for stopping by!

Carving a Stamp from a Photo

Stamp Carving 101

This is my last homework for my stamp carving class. For this assignment we were taught how to take a photo and make a stamp from it. So cool!

I chose this photo of my former kitteh:

To get started, I used a pink pen to identify which lines I'd use to define her:

You can also use a Photo Shop option to accomplish this, but pffth, a pen is free.

Then I transferred it to the rubbah:

Then a miracle occurred and I ended up with this:

I will say there was much muttering and WHAT WAS I THINKING exclamations, but no blood was drawn and I'm not totally disliking the end result.

You see, I started out thinking I'd carve it so I'd leave behind just the outline, and thus be able to stamp a white cat. I'd intended to cut out all the interior of the image, like I did around her lower lip. Wouldn't that have been cool? Yeah, not happening. I got stuck when I got to the whiskers, and changed course mid-carving, which was not my best option. I could start over (not) or live with a fat outline, which is obviously what I decided to do here.

I haven't made a card with this yet, because I may still go back and tweak it a little. Either way, I declare it mostly done, as is the class.

I have to say this is one of the best online classes I've ever taken. The videos are clear and she does a great job of telling you about options and the pros & cons of each one. I now have a new skill, that if practiced enough (hahaha, ahem) I can see me actually using some day.

So if you're looking for something to learn that won't break the bank (you really only have to buy the rubber and the carving tool) and is reasonably priced (you get 10 classes over 5 weeks), take this one! 

Stamp Carving 101

No, I was not paid to say this; I just really enjoyed the class!

Alrighty, then, time to get stampy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Carved Word

Today was a rough day in my social media world. First, we discovered that Blogger changed the Captcha (secret word thing on comments so I know you are not spam) from one legible word to two illegible words, and WE HAD NO IDEA THEY'D DONE IT until we were unable to read them and comment on each other's blogs. But that's not so bad, because you can just turn off word verification, right? WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you've taken the plunge like I have and are using the new Blogger interface (which I LOVE, by the way), there is NO SETTING OPTION to turn word verification on or off. Seriously?

I searched the Interwebz and found a post that explains no, no there is no setting for it in the new interface; you have to revert to the OLD interface to change the setting. Say what? And what happens when the old interface goes away? Will we be forever locked in to our word verification choice? I was a little miffed.

Then - oh, it gets better - there's Twitter. I have never liked the Web interface for Twitter. It's not intuitive, and it's difficult to see who's talking. I like Tweetdeck since I can separate out groups of people I talk to the most and see them without wading through the news and weather stuff. So Twitter has another new Web interface, and today everyone on the Web has been forced to the new new Twitter. They are screaming about how awful and not user-friendly it is.

So use Tweetdeck instead, right? Nope! Twitter has upgraded that, too, and ELIMINATED several key features that make it awesome. In my work-a-day world, you don't change a customer/user interface without IMPROVING the customer experience. Eliminating key features that made something awesome and easy to use is not my idea of an improvement. I'm just sayin' ...

Do any of these companies... I dunno ... TEST THEIR PRODUCTS WITH REAL USERS? I doubt it.

So after a day like this, I decided my carving homework was perfect. Well, not in the "perfectly carved" sense, but ... you know.

Our assignment was to pick a word, write it in cursive, and cut. it. out.  I already have Happy, Love, Merry, Joy ... all the normal words you'd think of, and I don't need more of them. I finally decided on a word I do not have in my collection that would work with several of my snarky lady stamps. Here she is:

No, it's not all that great a carving job, but it was 10 pm and this was my THIRD attempt and I called it "close enough".  Here is the card I made with it tonight:

I think she perfectly embodies how I feel about all the flack over my favorite social media tools. If it's not broken, don't fix it. Twitter? Blogger? ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME? STOPPIT!

Okay, then, that felt good. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go enjoy my OLD version of Tweetdeck until they cut me off for good. The nerve.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Jingle Belles Rock - Buttons!

The current Jingle Belles Rock challenge is All Buttoned Up, where they ask us to use buttons (or brads or eyelets) on a card. Duuude, I still had my Figgy Pudding papers out, so I made this:

I used this sketch from The Sweetest Thing:

and it all just came together. I layered all the parts-is-parts with Cherry Cobbler card stock and it's on a Naturals White base. Aaaaaaand, I used three of my "big a$$" buttons, to boot! I overcame the "where do I put a sentiment" issue by using my trusty Dymo labeler again.

I think I'll go design my one remaining stamp carving assignment: a word. Then I'll be all caught up! Until the next lesson on Thursday. LOTS of time ...

Thanks for stopping by!

Carving Homework - Damask

Stamp Carving 101

Last night I carved the stamp for my Damask class homework and tonight I used it to make a card.  Here's my stamp:

 It's big enough that I stuck it to a block to make it easier to use. I stamped it onto a piece of striped paper from the Basic Grey Figgy Pudding pack of 12x12 I may have until I die, and made this:

I followed the Waltzingmouse sketch, mostly because it worked with this large-ish image, and the recipe is from Craft Your Passion: 1 Ribbon or twine, 2 Different Pattern Papers and 3 or more buttons. I was pretty happy I used two papers from a Christmas pack and did NOT make a Christmas card. :) In the spirit of this week's Shopping Our Stash challenge of Heavy Metal, I even used some brown eyelets on top of the main panel, which you can barely see under the ribbon here:

Alrighty, then, one more stamp to carve and a stack of challenges to tackle, so I'm going back in. :)

Thanks for stopping by!