Monday, November 12, 2018

Inspirational birthday card

As soon as I saw the All Good Things stamp set from Stampin' Up! I knew it was one I was going to buy. The one thing I wasn't sure about was the fact that two of the images (the bonsai tree and the large koi) were connected to sentiments. Of course, you could always ink part of the stamp to use just the image or just the sentiment, but that can be a little fussy to do sometimes. So when I was ready to order the set, I bought the clear-mount version and did a little "surgery."

Using a craft knife, I very carefully sliced apart the stamps. Just pull the blade; don't saw. It doesn't have to be a perfectly straight cut; in fact, it helps if it's a little imperfect. Then if you do want to use the two parts together, you can just join them up like puzzle pieces before attaching them to a clear block. So now I have all the images separate from the sentiments, so it's much easier to make a card like this:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: All Good Things, Inside & Out: Birthday (Papertrey Ink)
Paper: Thick Whisper White card stock
Ink: Mango Melody, Smoky Slate, Memento Tuxedo Black, Stardust Gelly Roll pen (Sakura)
Accessories: Blue sequins (Craft Medley), Art Glitter Glue (Art Institute Glitter)

I love how this card turned out! I started by stamping the large orange koi near the upper right corner. I added the sentiment below and then filled in the rest of the card front with more koi, making sure to change the orientation of the images so it looks like a pond full of swimming koi.

Speaking of pond, I wanted to add some blue to create the impression of water. I could have watered down some blue ink and done a light wash of color in a few of the more open white spaces. But I also wanted to add a little embellishment to this single-layer card, so instead I added a few sparkling blue sequins.

I decided the card needed a little more sparkle, so I used a Stardust Gelly Roll pen to draw a glittery highlight along each koi's tail and fins. It's subtle (and hard to see in this photo) but really pretty when it catches the light.

I think the sentiment on the front of this card could be fitting for several different occasions, such as a graduation or congrats on a new job. I planned to make this into a birthday card because I am perpetually in need of more birthday cards. I didn't want to just stamp "Happy birthday" on the inside, though, because I wanted the sentiment to link back to the words on the front of the card.

So I dug through various birthday and greeting stamp sets and tried a few options -- I even asked a friend to vote for her favorite. I finally decided on this one: "Each birthday is a new beginning full of promise and opportunity and the chance to make dreams come true." I think it works really well with the sentiment on the front to create a birthday card that's a little more inspirational than a  traditional birthday card.

I decided to add a little color inside the card, so I stamped one of the small koi images with Mango Melody ink. I love how the shape of the koi makes it look like it's swimming around the sentiment.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Bold birthday balloons

I had hoped that when October was done I would be able to get back on a more regular blogging schedule of posting at least twice per week. But then at the last minute I decided to sign up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. That amounts to 1,667 words per day. So now the computer time I would have spent working on my blog is spent trying to figure out what the heck I'm going to write next in my "novel." (I use that word very lightly, and I'm honestly not sure how long I'll stick with it.)

But I'm squeezing in a quick blog post tonight. So without further ado, the parade of birthday cards continues.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Whole Lotta' Happy (WPlus9 Design Studio)
Paper: Thick Whisper White, Berry Burst, Lemon Lime Twist, Pool Party card stock; alcohol ink card stock (YUPO)
Ink: Craft Whisper White; Wild Plum, Aqua, Lettuce alcohol ink (Ranger); white gel pen
Accessories: White embossing powder, Balloons dies (Simon Says Stamp), Sitting Pretty Nautical Accessories (Taylored Expressions), glitter enamel dots, clear Wink of Steall glitter brush pen, white crochet thread (DMC), "Happy" die-cut sticker (Paper Pumpkin leftovers), Dimensionals
Other: Gel plate (Gel Press), hand sanitizer, spritzer with rubbing alcohol

This card started with an alcohol ink background I made using a gel plate. I wasn't crazy about the whole background, so I decided to use it for die cuts instead. I used a set of balloon dies to cut out three balloons, and I tied a bow of white crochet thread around the end of the largest balloon.

For the background I chose three card stock colors that coordinated with the alcohol ink -- Berry Burst, Pool Party and Lemon Lime Twist -- and cut several strips that were 4" long and of varying widths. I arranged four of the strips at the top of a white card base and one strip along the bottom. I left the middle part white and added a die-cut Pool Party "happy" sticker. To finish the sentiment, I used white embossing powder to emboss "birthday." I added the three balloons to the top part of the card and embellished with a few glitter enamel dots and two die-cut arrows.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Fiesta llamas

I can't believe how quickly October has flown by. It's always a little bittersweet to see the end of this month. I love everything about autumn, but all the family birthdays and activities combined with the crafty things I want to do on top of working and keeping up with everyday chores and responsibilities all make me feel like there's barely time to breathe. So the beginning of November gives me a little time to relax -- until the craziness starts again with Thanksgiving.

But before I start fretting about the holidays, I've got loads of birthday cards to share. I'll get the ball rolling with a couple of llamas who are ready to party ... I mean, fiesta.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Birthday Fiesta
Paper: 80-lb white cover card stock (Cougar); Llama Love paper pad (Craft Smith); Orchid Opulence, Lemon Lime Twist, Cucumber Crush card stock
Ink: Tranquil Tide
Accessories: All Year Cheer washi tape, copper sequins (Craft Medley), Dimensionals, clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, Skinny Mini Party Borders dies

This is a larger card (5" x 7") that I made for my sister's 40th birthday. A big birthday requires a big card, right?

I started with the panel at the top of the card, which was one of the pre-printed designs in the Llama Love paper pad. There were two pages with this design, so I cut the first page into a square. With the second page I fussy cut the llamas and used Dimensionals to attach them over the llamas on the first page. I spruced up the background with a few die-cut streamers and copper sequins.

For the bottom part of the card front I used another pattern from the same paper pad. I covered the seam between the two papers with copper washi tape, which I also added to the end of a banner stamped with a sentiment. It's hard to see in the photo, but I also added a little sparkle by painting Wink of Stella glitter on the llamas' blanket and collar.

Here's a peek at the inside of the card. I couldn't leave the inside just plain white, so I added a few more purple and green streamers along the top.

I mailed this card to my sister at work so she had something fun to put on her desk. Fiesta llamas have to make the worst day at work at least a little better!

I also wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween! It's a pretty quiet holiday in our household. We have a few decorations up and treats to hand out to any kids who come to our door. (We did have one little trick-or-treater already. He was dressed as a Paw Patrol character, and his dad was teaching him how to knock on the door and say "Trick or treat!" So cute!) And we'll probably spend the evening watching some a paranormal- or ghost-themed show on TV. I didn't make any Halloween cards this year -- although I have some really cute Halloween stamp -- so I'll have to make that a goal for next year.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Floral silhouettes card set

I'm off to craft weekend this afternoon, so I have a quick post today. That's fitting because I'm going to share a set of cards that was pretty quick to make.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Paper: Mango Melody, Lovely Lipstick, Granny Apple Green, Island Indigo, Basic Black card stock; alcohol ink card stock (YUPO)
Ink: Alcohol inks: Sunset Orange, Sunshine Yellow, Honeycomb; Aqua, Denim, Stream; Meadow, Lettuce, Botanical; Cranberry, Wild Plum, Eggplant (all Ranger)
Accessories: Wildflowers Thinlits (Sizzix - Tim Holtz), Art Glitter Glue (Art Institute Glitter), foam tape (3M), alcohol ink applicator (Ranger)

For each background I chose three similar shades of alcohol ink and applied a few drops of each color to a felt pad on an alcohol ink applicator tool. Then I dabbed the ink all over a piece of alcohol ink card stock. (Tip: When you need more felt pieces, instead of buying the refill pads, save some money by just buying a large piece of felt and cutting it into small pieces.)

Once I was happy with the colors, I arranged and adhered the die-cut silhouette flowers. I layered each focal piece on black card stock, leaving just a narrow border of the black. I used foam tape to add each piece on a bright coordinating card stock base. And that's it!

The friend who received this card set liked them so much she decided to frame them and hang them in her office. I'm going to keep that idea in mind, and maybe next time I'll just make home decor pieces. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

October's Christmas cards

Yes, you read that title right. This month I have not one, but two Christmas card designs to share. I created both of them during a scrap day on my birthday. And without further ado, here they are:

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: Merry & Bright
Paper: Thick Very Vanilla card stock, Very Vanilla note cards and envelopes, Wood Textures Designer Series Paper (DSP) Stack
Ink: Early Espresso; Blends/Blendabilities: Shaded Spruce, Granny Apple Green, Soft Suede, Cherry Cobbler, Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: Frost White shimmer paint, Clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen, rhinestones, baker's twine trio pack, rhinestones, 1-3/8" square punch, Dimensionals, sponge dauber

I made twelve cards of this design, and I'm going to include them in the little treat bags I make for the mail carriers and various delivery people who stop at our house during the holidays. I wanted a simple design that was a general wintery card, so I pulled my Merry & Bright stamp set, which I've had for years. I just love the style of these images, so I try to use this set every few years or so. This card design ended up being a little more detailed than I expected, but I love the way it turned out.

I stamped the main images several times on sheets of thick Very Vanilla card stock and colored them with alcohol markers. It's hard to see in this photo, but I also added clear Wink of Stella to the uncolored parts of the snowman's hat. Once everything was ready, I punched out the images with a square punch.

For the card base I used Very Vanilla note cards and envelopes. I used Frost White shimmer paint to repeatedly stamp the snowflake cluster on the top part of the card base. Using Dimensionals I adhered the three images across the card base. Along the bottom of the card I added a strip of Wood Textures DSP with a green twine bow. A few rhinestones add a sparkly finishing touch.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Cheery Chirps, Christmas Sampler (Paper Smooches)
Paper: Thick Very Vanilla card stock, Tropical Surf card stock (My Colors Cardstock), Very Vanilla note cards and envelopes
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; gold paint pen (Sharpie); Blendabilities: Soft Sky, Old Olive
Accessories: Washi tape (Handmade Modern - Target), sequins (Paper Pumpkin leftovers), Dimensionals

The Cheery Chirps stamp set has three large bird images. I used one of the images for a few Christmas cards last year, so I wanted to use one of the other images this time. I love that this bird is the perfect size to fill the front of a note card.

I colored the bird images with Soft Sky Blendabilities and a gold paint pen and then cut them out by hand. Once I had the birds done, I couldn't figure out what to do with the rest of the layout. I had the perfect color sequins to use, but I also really liked the wide gold-printed washi tape. I just couldn't get them to play nicely together. (And I tried a lot of different possibilities.) I compromised by making a few cards using each embellishment. I also added a few bits of shimmery light blue card stock to bring in a little more color. (I hadn't brought any colored card stock with me to scrap day, but since we were at a giant craft store, I just brought my bird image out to the sales floor and found a piece of card stock that coordinated.) Which of these two cards do you like better?

I think I might be finished with my Christmas cards now. I still need to get out my card box to double-check my list from last year and see if I have any leftover cards, but for now I need to get started on other holiday projects. Thanks for stopping by!