Tuesday, March 27, 2012

SOS #45 - Circles

It's time for another challenge at Shopping Our Stash! This week we ask you to use circles in your design. Alternatively, you can use a Bugaboo image, since they are our sponsor this week. Circles - you can use Nestabilities, punches, hand cut circles, polka dots, paper with circular designs, etc. So many possibilities!

For my card, I ended up using a lot of the above. :) First, here she is:

Now, anyone familiar with SU knows how old this paper is, am I right? I have about four pieces of this cut and layered on either Night of Navy or Old Olive, and just lounging in the UFO pile, waiting to be used. As I hovered over The Captain's Table, pondering my options for this challenge, I spied a corner of the paper and a card was born! :)

I added a MS doily tag, because it was round. It got lost in the background, so I added a circle of Old Olive under it that I cut with one of my circle Nestabilities. I stamped the sentiment in Night of Navy, then punched it out with a 1 1/4" circle punch, and layered it on a piece of Night of Navy punched with the 1 3/8" circle punch. That's a lot of circles. I tried to cut it all with the horizontal Navy ribbon. (Did you also do the dance of joy when SU came out with Navy ribbon many years ago? Did you hoard it? I'm just asking, for a friend.)

Now it's YOUR turn! Go into your stash and look for anything round or circle-y - patterned papers, polka dots, doilies, circle punches and dies ... Then use it to make a card, and come back over to Shopping Our Stash and link us up so we can see what you've made!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

More Distress Ink Homework

More Creative Chemistry 101 homework ... I'm still trying to get the hang of the whole Distress Ink blending thing. My bloggy and tweety pal Lisa of PaperGrace Designs even went so far as to make a video showing how she blends. She totally has this skill, and I do not, but I'm trying. I'm also challenged with the Wrinkle-free Distress technique, as my samples keep looking like mud. Fortunately, some of my other pals are taking the same class and having some of the same challenges, so at least I'm not alone! One classmate posted about her challenges with card stock and has some really great observations. Sometimes it's not YOU. The teacher always makes things look so easy, though, huh? ;/

So I went in again today and tried the Wrinkle-free Distress technique, and this is what I made with it:

I used lighter colors than my last attempts, and I also used less water, as I think - at least in my world - it works better for me. The rub-on is from Bo Bunny, the black lace is from SU, the black bling is from my stash, and the sentiment is Clear & Simple Grunge. And yes, that is a pink layer, but I dirtied it up with Distress ink, so it's okay ... no need to panic. It's only there because the rub-on was too big to fit with just the blue layer. Uh-huh.

I also tried the Blending thing again with the Spritz & Flick (I may snicker every time I hear or type that now and forever), but haven't made it into a card yet:

I think it's a tiny bit improved over my last 12 attempts.

Last, I did a card for the watercolor technique, which is the Distress ink version of coloring on your stamp and spritzing it with water before stamping to give a watercolor appearance. Here's mine:

I inked the bottom of the stamp in a green, the top with a blue, then went around the edges of the image with (I think) Persimmon and just touched the tips of the flowers. Spritz & stamp.

You can see some detail here:

It's actually not (too) out-of-focus - the stamped image is blurry because the water makes the ink schmear. Kinda neat. :)

It's now taken me all weekend to do Day 2's homework. I'll eventually get to the rest of the assignments once my goodies arrive nest week. And tomorrow (Monday) is the first day of Week 2. I think we learn how to use our Distress markers. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Distress Ink Homework

So I'm finally working on my Creative Chemistry 101 homework, and I've mostly made a mess. We're supposed to make a manila tag for each technique. but I've taken a techniques class before, and I'm pretty sure I've lost my tag book. Nope, I do better with making something out of the piece of paper I'm using for the technique, or like today, the 18 pieces of paper I burned through. Yeah, like I said: a mess.

I did manage to kinda sorta do two of the three techniques from the second day, and here's what I've made -->

First, the Blend, Spritz & Flick. {snicker} I dared Tim to say that fast three times. I hope he does it on camera in one of next week's classes. :D I'm so bad. ANYway, you're supposed to blend several colors of Distress ink onto a tag (or in my case, a piece of Very Vanilla card stock), then flick some water onto it to get a wet-with-rain-drops look. Here's mine:

I chose poorly with my colors, but I am very proud that I finally opened my Distress Fall limited edition pack of inks (brown, purple and orange) and used them! I added a green from the Winter limited edition pack.  I think I'd have done better with lighter colors and more of them. And I didn't actually "blend" much. I know I still need practice.

I stamped over the thing with some Clear & Simple Grunge images, layered it onto Early Espresso, tied on some brown twine, and stuck it onto a Kraft base.

Here's a closer shot so you can see some of the water marks:

Yep, they're there! :)

My next technique was the Wrinkle-Free Distress technique, and let me tell you: this was messy. We were supposed to schmear several Distress inks onto our craft mat, spritz with water, then press the card stock (or tag) into the inky mess. Tim's looked fantastic, of course. The following is the only one of mine that I'm willing to show you:

(Sorry that pic is so dark. ;/)  I didn't have enough water on my surface for this one, which may be why I like it best of all the 10 or 15 I tried. I cut it up and layered the pieces on a piece of Perfect Plum. I saw the birds-on-a-wire thing somewhere in my blurfing - I think someone used a MS punch. I used two black birds from an OMG I NEED THIS box of Maya Road felt birds and set them on top of a very skinny piece of black card stock.

So yeah, I like these better when I've used them on a card. There's one more technique for this day's lessons, then I need to wait for my shipment of goodies next week to finish the other assignments. Whaaaaaaat, aren't classes supposed to be shopping excuses? Well, I will tell you there are several techniques I do not plan to try, nor do I plan to get the supplies for them, so what I did get I do plan to use, so there. :P

I'll share more as I do more of the assignments. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Acrylic Resist Birthday

Instead of hunkering down and doing my Creative Chemistry 101 homework, I got distracted by the Acrylic Resist tutorial over on Splitcoast and decided I needed to give it a try. Here's what came out:

I opened and used my Adirondack Pearl acrylic paint dauber to ink the flourish from my SU Baroque Motifs set. I stamped it on Very Vanilla, then heat set it to dry.  I sponged over it with a few Distress Inks, stamped a few flowers from a HA set in Antique Linen, then sponged the edge of the die-cut piece with Antique Linen, too. Some Crumb Cake seam binding, a HA sentiment, a miscellaneous button, and done!

Okay, NOW I'm going to do some homework. Or maybe make a cherry blossom card. I guess I'll find out when I get going, huh? :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 23, 2012


Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated! I'm not dead, and I haven't been very stampy this week, either. Why? Well, it's certainly not for lack of supplies! Nope! I'm taking the online class by Tim Holtz called Creative Chemistry 101, wherein he's trying to teach us all how to use the Ranger products most of us already have. It's actually quite embarrassing.

But no, I'm not going to show you anything from the class since I've been waiting for the weekend to play. Instead, I'm going to show you a card I made with one of my Sweet 'N' Sassy Stamps digi images:

I thought these two were too cute! Now that I look at it, though, that sentiment was meant to be spoken by the poor kitteh who's had his dinner stolen. I'd like to think in the next frame he'd be glaring at his brother, thinking those three little words. So this card makes no sense, much like the rest of my week.

In other news, the annual DC cherry blossoms are at their peak, like, TODAY! Here are some photos of the Tidal Basin which is famous for its cherry trees. I particularly like #2 and #5. I drive by a few neighborhoods every day whose streets are lined with these trees, and they are gorgeous. It's also the 100th anniversary of the year the Japanese gifted DC with some cherry trees - 3000 trees, to be exact!

So you'd think I'd make a cherry blossom card, right? Maybe tomorrow. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

PS: The Honors Gallery is up at Splitcoast. If you played the VSN challenges a few weeks ago, or the mini VSN back in February, the hostesses have each selected a couple of their favorites from their galleries. Go check them out, here!  And thanks to everyone who played!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SOS #44 - Buttons & Bows

It's time for another challenge at Shopping Our Stash! This week we ask you to use buttons and/or bows on your card. You can use either one or both.

Ribbon. OMGosh, do I have ribbon, so of course I planned to use the bow part of the challenge. Knowing that, I went in search of a sketch to use and decided on this one from The Friday Mash-up:

 Then I needed a mojo jump-start, so I used this inspiration picture from the Moxie Fab World: Tuesday Trigger: Simple Elegance:

From this photo, I took away the pattern on the carpet, the pattern and color of the drapes, and the touch of (gah) pink from the throw. I dug through my Basic Grey capella papers and found a piece of paper that mimics the carpet, and one that I declared to be inspired by the drapes. This is what came out:

It all started with that bottom paper (carpet) and even though the stripes are going in the wrong direction, that top piece is "drapes". The ribbon started out as a piece of off-white seam binding that I died with some SU Blush Blossom re-inker. Hey, it's as a light pink as I could get, and it's blotchy, er ... distressed, which I really like.

I layered everything with Always Artichoke card stock; button was made from AA, too, using 1" and 3/4" circle punches; MFT scallop die; Nestabilities circle die; SU rub-on sentiment. Done.

Here's that button and bow, up close and personal:

Now it's your turn! Go into your stash and dig out some buttons, or some ribbon to tie a bow, or a faux bow, or already-made bows, or make your own buttons, or all of the above. But please do play, then come back to Shopping Our Stash and link us up so we can see what you've made!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Orange & Yellow Fleurs

I was in the grocery last night (I KNOW!) and at my store you walk right into the floral department. Smells divine, and it's sooo pretty! Yesterday they had a large display with a sign: All Tulips $5. Then I spotted this in the same display:

Yeah, it's a really poor photo - I took it with my phone in the mood lighting my store has, but the orange and yellows were so vibrant and BRIGHT (unlike in this photo), that I immediately knew I needed to make a card based on it. I had a vision of a yellow background with rolled orange flowers. Oh, yeah.

You'll notice, by the way, those are not tulips, and they were not $5.  I did not take them home with me, though I have been known to buy myself flowers on occasion. I wasn't feeling that generous last night.

So this evening I finally got to try it. I printed out one of Mel's digi papers, and then I decided I was not going to roll no stinkin' flowers! First of all, I have no orange felt, and second, I have a whole cache of paper roses in shades of yellow and orange, so HELLO!  I made this:

I may have gotten a bit carried away with the roses. I die-cut the MFT doily, then added each flower (by Recollections ... moment of silence...), one at a time, by poking a hole into the doily with my paper piercer, sticking in the wire that's on the back of the rose, then bending it back to hold it in place.  When I finally declared it ENOUGH, I realized there was a bit of open space at the bottom of the doily, so being ever open to embellishment opportunities, I tied some SAB ribbons through two holes in the doily and tied a bow.

You can also see that I am not used to these very bright colors, since I seem to grab the same still-out Paper Smooches sentiment to use each time.

Here's a close-up of the roses:

The package says Mulberry Paper Roses. They are quite delicate, and so pretty. I think I got them at Mike's a few years ago. Oh, and this card weighs about 5 pounds, just in case you were wondering.

So if you ever feel mojo-less, just get out into your world, man. There's inspiration everywhere!

Thanks for stopping by!

Jingle Belles - Neutrals

The current fortnight challenge over at Jingle Belles Rock is to use this photo as inspiration for our cards:

We could use the colors, the texture, shapes, anything we wanted, so I went with neutrals. I love a good neutrals challenge! I started with this sketch from Freshly Made Sketches:

 and I made this:

The papers in the Basic Grey capella paper pack are mostly neutral, and since this is an inspiration challenge, I allowed myself to sneak in that flesh-toned piece (no, it is NOT (gah) PINK!). I embossed the grey-ish panel with my Houndstooth embossing folder to add a little texture to the card.

Oh, and I did not copy Lauren just because I used the Tim Holtz deer die. Well, technically, she enabled me to need it, so I guess every time I use it I copy her. Hmmm. (Shhhh, she doesn't know I want to be like her when I grow up.)

I'm going back in for some more stamping! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Velveteen - I tried

Last week on Twitter, the Hero Arts account asked if we stampers had had chance to play with Shari's Velveteen Stamping technique. Um, no. So I watched the video.

In a nutshell, she stamped a background in pigment white ink and let it dry. (I also think she has the patience of a saint. Just sayin'.) Then later she stamped a bold image over the white-on-white background and some of the white showed through, giving it a velveteen look.

I needed to try this. So amid the VSN flurry of activity this past weekend, I took time out to stamp a few (okay, like SIX) background images in Color Box Frosted White onto some A Muse Studio Sugar card stock, and I let it dry for a few days. Then I went back and stamped. And stamped. I used all six of those backgrounds, and only two are somewhat presentable. And no, I didn't get the look I wanted, but it's still kinda cool.

Here's the first card:

 I tried a pale color for my stamping, hoping the velveteen thing would happen. This is the best I got:

If you look very closely, you can see the lace background stamp I used for my white-on-white, but it didn't show through the blue ink at all. :(

For my next attempt, I used darker colors:

 Okay, not a LOT darker, but still ... and:

Not happenin' for me. HOWEVER, I still like the look, so I'm still going to use this white-on-white thing as a cool background, but obviously I need more training. So if any of you try it and succeed, please come let me know the secret, k? I thank you.

In other news, I might be addicted to Chia seed tapioca made with vanilla almond milk. Here's the recipe I followed, but for the second batch I left out the cinnamon. I also used less milk, because I like it thick. I'm on my third batch, and I'm now out of almond milk. The world might end. I'm also intrigued by this recipe, so once I re-stock the almond milk, I'll give that a try. nom nom nom

Thanks for stopping by!

SOS #43: Food or Beverage

Time for another challenge over at Shopping Our Stash! This week we ask you to use a food or drink theme. It could be cake, or cookies, or an ice cream cone, or a martini. LOTS of options, here!

I chose coffee as my theme, and I made this:

What? You say this card looks familiar? That's because I CASEd myself, twice. I actually took this card:

and this card from my first batch of VSN cards:

and this sketch from CPS-Card Sketches:

and mashed them all together to make the new one:

I was in the throes of VSN when I made this, and everything was still out ... well, everything is always still out ... ahem ... okay, this stuff was on top of all the still-out, k?

So there you have it. Now it's YOUR turn. Go through your stash and find something food- or beverage-related, make a card, then link us up over at Shopping Our Stash so we can see what you've made!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March VSN, Part Second (and Last)

Wow, what a rush! I had such a blast playing the VSN challenges this weekend. Thanks to all who joined the fun!

I thought I'd show you a few more cards I made for the various challenges. The first Saturday challenge was to make a girly birthday card. Girly? Me? Sigh. So I did what I usually do in this situation and went into my stash of Webster's Pages papers and chose some that did all the work for me. I mean, when you have a 45-minute time limit, you look for all the help you can get!  I couldn't decide, so I made two:

They are the same except for the paper. I had a few feet of lace from the fabric store, and I wove some SAB ribbon through it. The sentiment was stamped on a separate piece of Webster's Pages paper and cut out. TWO cards in under 45 minutes. Whoot!

The next challenge was a SPRING Mnemonic challenge, which was to use something for each of the letters in the word SPRING. Here is my card:

and here is my list:

S = Sketch (MFTWSC56 from Jan 25th)
P = Poppy card stock
R = Ribbon
I = Ink
N = Nestabilities circle (I cut the poppy DSP with it)
G = Glitter pen (it's in all the red circles on the flower DSP)

This one really makes you use some creativity. You may recall I've made a card just like this but without the ribbon or glitter. I needed an R and G, so I changed it up a bit. It's totally okay to CASE yourself.

Next was a challenge to make a card with a critter that hops. Well, my brain mis-fired and I took the word 'hops' and made this:

Get it? Hops? Beer? Yeah, I even apologized to the hostess for twisting her words.

The next challenge I did asked us to use rolled flowers on our cards, so I made this:

That was some minty green ribbon I have that I declared a perfect match for the Brilliance ink I used for the circle under the rolled flower. I scrunched some more of it on the card to balance out that twisted sentiment. :)

And last, but not least, I made this card for my OWN challenge, which was to use something curly and 3D:

This paper is from a Memory Box pack (minuet, I believe) and again, it did all the work for me. I made that button (yes, I did), and then twisted some of the 12 miles of craft wire I have through the holes, then wound them around a toothpick to curl them. Lookie:

Someone will surely lose an eye.

Will I go back in for more? I might! Then again, I might cook dinner first, then decide if I'm carded out for the weekend. But YOU should DEFINITELY play. You have until 10 pm Monday to upload your cards. Actually, you have forever to upload them, but the official deadline for VSN is Monday at 10 pm.

In other news, I had The Ladies over to buy my 12x12 papers, and although they did a FINE job, I still have too much left. Therefore, I'm selling it in bulk. I've filled Medium Flat Rate boxes with paper. Each one holds at least 200 sheets and I'm selling them for $30 + shipping, which is $11.95 for that size box.  I've added a tab at the top of my blog called "Buy My S-crap! Please check it out and let me know if you're interested. Thanks!

And thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March VSN, Part First

I'm having a blast over at Splitcoast this weekend with VSN. I mean, you really can't beat a challenge an hour, can you?!

I thought I'd give you a sampling of what I made for the Friday night challenges.

The first one was Here Comes the Sun, where we were supposed to use sunny colors. This is my card:

and a close-up of the sentiment and paper so you can see the paper's shimmer:

The paper was in my GET RID OF IT, YOU'LL NEVER USE IT, WHY DO YOU STILL HAVE IT pile, and it cried out to be used for my sunny color. I could not argue.

The second challenge was Love Is In Bloom, and we were asked to use a heart or the word 'love' on our card. I made this:

All these hearts were still out on my desk from a while ago, so this card kindof made itself.

The third challenge was Spring Cleaning, and we were supposed to look for something in the depths of our stash that hadn't been used for at least 6 months. HAHAHA. I laughed. Then I made this:

 A piece of paper from the WHY DO I OWN THIS pile, a never-inked sentiment from Custer's Last Stamp (yes, it's THAT old), and my neglected A*Muse coffee cup.

Here's a close-up of the sentiment:

It's tough stamping on textured card stock, but I think it adds to the edginess, don't you agree?

The fourth challenge was Spring Is In The Air, and we were asked to use something you'd find in the sky. I made this:

I declared that piece of marbled, textured paper to be "clouds", and all I did was layer it on some Bordering Blue, tie the French Blue ribbon (yes, it's THAT old), stamped the Paper Smooches sentiment, and drew in my birds.

The fifth and final challenge last night was Rain, Rain Go Away, where we were asked to make a sympathy card. SAY WHAT?!?! But I JUST MADE a sympathy card. Drat! The one thing with VSN is you cannot combine challenges! I was forced to make ANOTHER one! Sigh. here's what I made:

This is a dog sympathy card. I decided to take the less weepy road and used the happy sentiment from the D is for Dog set instead of the "sorry for your loss" one. Same marbled sky paper, same birds. I stamped the tree from Branch Out in brown, then inked the grass part of the stamp with my Garden Green marker before I stamped it. The leaves were stamped in Garden Green, and I added some grass under the dog. I think I've had that dog stamp for over 8 years. I have no idea who made it.

So that's my first 5 cards for this VSN. I'm working on today's challenges, and will post more when I get some time. You have all weekend to play any of the challenges, and you're on the honor system for the 45-minute time limit per card. And thinking about your card doesn't count. But once you start working on it, the clock starts, and if it takes you 15 minutes to find your cloud paper you KNOW you put away, that counts as part of the 45. Ask me how I know. ;/ You have until 10 pm Monday to upload your cards if you want a shot at being chosen as a favorite for a challenge. Otherwise you can play ANY TIME!

Alrighty, then, I'm going back in for more fun! Come play, if you get a chance!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Come Out And Play!

This is VSN weekend over at Splitcoast, so if you're looking for something to do, we'll have hourly challenges posted from 5-9 ET tonight (Friday) and again from noon-10 pm on Saturday. Come on out and play! We'd love to see you in the forum and galleries!

Thanks for stopping by!

More Digi Paper

At long last, it's only taken me a week to get this card made, and then I missed the cut-off for posting it in the MFT gallery over at SCS. Oh, well.

Here's the (old) MFT sketch:

I saw these layers as a perfect opportunity to use more of Mel's digi papers that I'd printed out. Here's my card:

I used a different Ephemera digi paper for each of the sketch elements, and used retired SU Going Grey for contrast between the layers.

The only stamping I did is the sentiment and yellow stars from the MFT You Move Me set. The moon was also stamped onto some of the Chevron paper, then cut out and layered onto several more cut-outs of itself for dimension. I outlined the moon with my black Memento marker so you could see it. Please ignore the fact that it's hanging unnaturally in the sky. Just a little "off". ;/

So, today is FRIDAY, and that means the VSN over on Splitcoast is TONIGHT, BABY! Actually, tonight and most of Saturday. Please stop by, read up on what's required (pretty much showing up is all you need to do), check out the challenges, and play along! The more, the merrier! My challenge is 8 pm Saturday, and I'd love if you'd join in the fun.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Unspeakable Evil

For my next trick, I did another sketch that is still current, or at least it was when I made the card. Of course, it's old now that I've finally put new batteries in the camera to take its picture. :(  Over-all, though, I think by not setting the bar so high (read: I didn't print out 15 sketches on top of the 15 I didn't do last week), I'm actually able to DO some of these and not feel overwhelmed.I excel at creating work for myself.

Here the missed-it-by-a-day Twisted Cards sketch I used the other night:

I couldn't have linked to the sketch challenge, anyway, since it said to use "leap" somehow, which I didn't do. But I still liked the sketch, so I used it.

Here's my card:

You'll notice that this card is made mostly from things laying around on my desk. I'm telling you: you people who clean up after every card are losing a TON of inspiration. I normally wouldn't put away scraps, er ... remnants like these. In my world, they'd never see the light of day again.This way, I see them I use them, done. So there.

Okay, moving right along ... the blue-ish printed paper is left over from this card. I actually had one heck of a time layering it onto - yes, another piece of Bermuda Bay card stock that was ... still out - and cutting it to just the right size. That handsome blue border at the bottom of that layer is actually a cut-off strip that I turned over and glued down to make up for the fact that I couldn't un-stick the paper from the card stock to "fix" it.In the end, I kinda like that technique for saving myself. Look for it to be employed again. :)

The red thingies under the last-minute I-need-something------YELLOW buttons are punch-outs from the Poppy Parade die-cut strip.

Now, about that sentiment:

(hee hee) I love it. It's another one from the ... all together now ... still out set of Twisted Foursome by MFT. I love some good irreverence. :)

For those of you questioning my use of so much blue lately, you'll be happy to know I'm pretty much done with that piece of Bermuda Bay, so you'll see something different for a while. Sorry, but it was still out, and since it's a retired color, it lives in the bowels of my paper cabinet, and it's too difficult to put the remnants away. And I've vowed to only take paper out of that area, not put it back in. But I'm done now.

Tomorrow I'll post the finally finished MFT sketch card from last week's sketch. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

An Easy Quilty Scrappy Card

Most of you know I'm all about using up my remnants, and since I still have that package of SU's Everyday Enchantment paper out, when I saw this sketch from Fetch A Sketch:

well, what was I to do but obey the muse?  Here's what I made:

No virgin card stock or paper was harmed in the making of this card! NONE! Yes, I'm so very proud. I'm even prouder that the sketch challenge is from this week and not three weeks ago. :)

I've actually pulled off a few sketch challenges, mostly not expired. Well, except for that MFT sketch from last week that I finally did. I'll spread these out over the rest of the week so you'll have something to read while I ponder how I'm going to present 8 years' worth of collected 12x12 DSP for people to come look through on Sunday and hopefully buy. Considering I've already filled up the reclaimed massive cupboard space in The Captain's Quarters, I can't exactly put it all back. Sigh.

Thanks for stopping by!