Saturday, January 19, 2019

Serene scenes

It's cold in my neck of the woods today. Really cold. So I'd happily be transported to either of the scenes in these two cards. They're not tropical scenes, which would be heavenly right about now, but I do imagine that they are decidedly warmer than what's outside my door.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):
Stamps: By the Bay
Paper: Soft Suede, Very Vanilla card stock
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Tin Tile embossing folder, burlap trim, Neutrals Candy Dots, sponge, Dimensionals

This stamp set, By the Bay, is one of the sets you can get free during Stampin' Up!'s 2019 Sale-a-Bration promotion. I love the seaside-themed images and the classic sentiments in the set, so it was one of my first choices.

I'll admit that when I started making this card, I planned to add color to the image. I tried a couple of times, but it just wasn't turning out the way I wanted it to. So instead of getting more frustrated, I decided to create a clean, monochromatic card instead. I love the texture provided by the Tin Tile embossing folder.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Natural Beauty (Heartfelt Creations) Paper: Early Espresso card stock; watercolor paper (Strathmore) Ink: Jet Black StazOn; ZIG Clean Color Real Brush pens, Nos. 036, 041, 061, 043, 065, 037 Accessories: Pinewood Planks embossing folder, Stitched Rectangle Stackable dies (Lawn Fawn), Neutrals Candy Dots, Dimensionals

I painted this focal image a couple of years ago when I was making a sympathy card. At the time I must have liked it enough to save it, but not enough to use it on the original card. Who knows. But when I came across it recently, I decided to make it into a card. I just added a card base with an embossed layer and a few Candy Dots.

I realize that both of these cards have basically the same layout, so I apologize for the lack of variety. But sometimes a certain layout just works, and if it isn't broke, why fix it? It also didn't help that I made both of these cards shortly before Christmas when I was madly trying to finish a box of cards to give to my uncle. I was running low on time for creativity.

On a technical note, recently I've been getting a lot of spam comments on two particular old posts. I wish I could just turn off the comments on those posts, but I can't. So instead I turned on the verification feature for comments. That means if you choose to leave a comment there will be an extra step to prove you're not a bot. I'm not crazy about that since I try to make it as easy as possible for readers to leave comments, but I'm hoping this will cut some of the spam.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Scads of stripes

I love patterned paper, and one pattern I really like to incorporate into cards is stripes. They can be masculine or feminine, elegant or playful, subtle or bold. They never go out of style, and it's fun to pair them with other patterns (especially florals). So today I have three birthday cards featuring scads of stripes.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Itty Bitty Birthdays, Strictly Sentiments 5 (WPlus9 Design Studio), Birthday Wish, Whole Lotta' Happy (WPlus9 Design Studio)
Paper: Whisper White, Bermuda Bay card stock; Bubbles & Fizz Designer Series Paper (DSP)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Bermuda Bay
Accessories: Brights Enamel Shapes, Word Bubbles Framelits dies, Dimensionals, Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers)

When I make masculine cards, sometimes I get stuck in a rut of neutral colors and nature images. Not that there is anything wrong with that -- I love those types of cards. But it's nice to have festive, brightly colored cards for guys, too, and that was my goal with this card.

For the card base I started with Bermuda Base card stock and added a panel of DSP with bright, diagonal stripes. Then, rather than added a focal image, I let the sentiments take center stage.

I pulled out my Word Bubbles Framelits dies and searched through stamp sets to find different sentiments that fit in the various die-cut shapes. For the tall word bubble I used two sentiments to help fill up the space, but I also could have trimmed the die cut so it was smaller.

With everything stamped and cut, I played around with the placement of the word bubbles until I liked the arrangement. Then I adhered them to the card base, using Dimensionals to pop up a few of them. For a quick and not-too-feminine embellishment I added a few yellow enamel stars.

I added some color inside the card, too, by stamping part of the sentiment with Bermuda Bay ink.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Party with Cake
Paper: Basic Black card stock, 80-lb white card stock (Cougar), Tutti-Frutti DSP
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Stampin' Blends markers: Real Red, Mango Melody, Granny Apple Green, Bermuda Bay
Accessories: Party Pop-Up Thinlits dies, Coral Reef sequins (Close to My Heart), Dimensionals

This is another card with colorful stripes that I think is a good gender-neutral design. Again I used DSP for the background, but this time I enhanced it a bit. The original paper was just black and white stripes, so to add color I just used alcohol-based markers to color over the white. It works like a charm and is an easy way to create stripes in whatever color you want.

I did add a layer of white card stock behind the stripes to create a narrow border at the top and bottom of the DSP. For the focal point I die cut an image from the Party Pop-Up Thinlits dies out of white card stock to stand out against the DSP. (And I just realized that it's another word bubble. Funny!) I added a few white sequins to finish the card front.

I used my markers to add color inside the card by coloring in the "open" letters in the sentiment. I also added colorful dots to look like falling confetti.

Supplies (all Stampin'' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Itty Bitty Birthdays
Paper: Whisper White, thick Whisper White, Basic Black card stock; Tutti-Frutti DSP
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Pansy Punch, Square Flip-Its #2 Thinlits (Sizzix), Summer Sun corduroy buttons, white crochet thread (DMC), daisy trim (Making Memories), Dandelion Yellow Nuvo Crystal Drops (Tonic Studios)

This card definitely has a more feminine feel (and doesn't have any word bubbles). It started with the daisy trim, which I had originally cut to use on a different card. The trim ended up not working on that card, but I had the idea that it would look really cool on a black background. I used Nuvo Drops to add yellow centers to the daisies, and that gave me my color palette: black, white, and yellow.

I added yellow-and-white-striped DSP to a thick white card base and adhered a strip of black card stock with the daisy trim along the bottom of the card. I die cut a decorative black square and added a punched white flower for the focal image. Of course, the flower needed a yellow center, so I pulled out an old corduroy button and tied a bow of crochet thread through the holes. I stamped the sentiment on a strip of white card stock, cut one end of the strip into a banner end and tucked the other end under the black square.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Have a tea-lightful day

Have you noticed that there seems to be a "day" for everything lately? National Kazoo Day (Jan. 28), International Ask a Question Day (March 14), and Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night (August 8) are just a few examples. While these "holidays" can seem bizarre and frivolous, it also can be fun to have a day to be mindful of something that makes us happy or that we take for granted in our fast-paced, consumer-focused world.

As it happens, today, January 12 is National Hot Tea Day. I often associate tea with relaxation -- maybe curling up on the sofa with a good book or taking a break from a busy day to sit and catch up with a friend. When I was growing up, visits to our grandparents' house almost always ended with a cup of tea. My grandma would heat up water in the kettle, make a pot or two of Bigelow brand Constant Comment or Lemon Lift tea, and pull out some kind of homemade treat: chocolate chip cookies, a variety of bars, Christmas cookies, and strudel were always favorites. To this day Constant Comment is one of my all-time favorite teas; it's not fancy, but it's full of memories.

So, in honor of National Hot Tea Day, hear are a couple of whimsical tea-themed cards.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Tealightful Day (Pinkfresh Studio)
Paper: Thick Whisper White card stock, watercolor paper (Strathmore)
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black (Tsukineko); ZIG Clean Color Real Brush markers: 099, 024, 041, 044, 036, 037, 091, 050, 065, 020 (Kuretake)
Accessories: White polka dot tulle, clear droplets (Pretty Pink Posh), Dimensionals, Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers)

Wouldn't this be a fun card to send to a friend? I know it would make me smile to find this in my mail.

When I saw the Tealightful Day stamp set online, I fell in love with it. It's a little more "quirky" than my usual style, but it has so many great images and sentiments that work independently or can be combined for fun little scenes. On this card, the teacup, hill/house/rainbow, bunny, ladder, and flower are all separate images. But don't they look so cute together?

I stamped everything on watercolor paper and added color with ZIG Clean Color Real Brush markers. I'm not great at watercoloring, so my goals are usually to A) get a little bit of depth and shading in my image, and B) not have colors run together (I am not patient with drying time). I need more practice, but I think I did pretty well here. Once everything was colored, I cut out the image and used Dimensionals to adhere it to a white card base. I left the rest of the card very clean and simple, with just a couple of neutral embellishments, so the teacup could be the star.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Tealightful Day (Pinkfresh Studio)
Paper: Lovely Lilac, Basic Black card stock; watercolor paper (Strathmore), Oh My Stars Collection Kit (Bella Blvd)
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black (Tsukineko); ZIG Clean Color Real Brush Markers: 043, 061, 099, 068, 036, 041, 901, 067, 803, 024, 050 (Kuretake); white gel pen; ultra fine point black marker (Bic)
Accessories: Linen thread, Viola sequins (Craft Medley), Micro Adhesive Dots (Glue Dots), Dimensionals

This card I turned into a birthday card by adding a birthday sentiment inside. But it would be a great design for almost any occasion -- or no particular occasion at all.

I decided to fill this teacup with a variety of flowers, and I added a couple of bunnies and a bird for good measure. (And the ladder. For some reason the ladder on the teacup really amuses me.) I wanted to create a scene, so I also painted a base for the teacup and added a very light blue wash around the teacup to create a hint of sky.

I love yellow and purple together, so I wanted most of the flowers to be yellow. I made the two smallest flowers red for a little pop. After I painted the flowers I used a white gel pen to add a few details. I drew a frame with a black marker, added three purple sequins and used a Micro Glue Dot to attach a linen thread bow to one of the flower steams. (Those tiny adhesive dots are awesome!) I used Dimensionals to attach the completed panel to a Lovely Lilac card base over strips of black card stock and yellow patterned paper.

I hope you have a truly tea-lightful day. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Decorative Christmas tiles

I know many people have already "put away" Christmas, but we still have the tree and all the decorations up at our house. January often seems like such a dark, cold month that it's nice to have the cheerful lights and extra color. And since our tree is still up, I feel like it's not too late to share some Christmas decorations I made for my extended family. (If you're one of the people who's already moved on, maybe these will help you get a jump start on projects for next Christmas!)

During my birthday craft weekend in October, I bought twelve pressed-wood tiles. They were slightly smaller than 6" x 6", and they had two holes pre-drilled in the top to add string or ribbon for hanging. I knew I wanted to use them to make Christmas decorations, and somehow I managed to get them all done during the holiday hoopla. I was a bad blogger, though, and didn't keep a list of the supplies I used. I pulled out all kinds of products -- new and retired, from many different companies -- and had them scattered all around my craft room, so I wasn't quite organized enough to keep a supply list. But as always, if you have a question about anything specific, leave me a comment and I will do my best to remember or figure out what I used!

In no particular order, here are the different tiles I made. (The only one I duplicated exactly was the gingerbread house, so that’s why there are only eleven pictured.) Click on any of the pictures to enlarge it.

I do have a few general tips for how I made my tiles:

* The tiles have a slight beveled edge, so I made sure to measure the dimensions of the top surface before cutting the paper to layer on the top.

* When the paper was cut, I lined it up on the surface of the tile without adhering it. Then I carefully flipped the tile and paper over and laid them down on the table. I placed a sharpened pencil through the holes and traced the circle openings on the back of the paper. Then I used a Crop-A-Dile to line up the traced circles and punch the holes in the paper.

* I used Scor-Tape to adhere the base layer of paper to the tiles. I made sure to place the tape right along the edge of the paper so there wouldn't be any loose corners or edges.

* On the back of each tile was a large label that I couldn't peel off. (I tried and tried with the first one and was just pulling off tiny little pieces. It would have taken me forever to completely get the labels off all the tiles.) So instead I just covered up the labels. For each tile I cut a piece of patterned paper (sometimes the same print as on the front, sometimes a different coordinating print) to about 4" x 5" and adhered it over the label on the back of the tile. Then I stamped "Merry Christmas" on a die-cut tag, signed my name and the year, and added it over the patterned paper.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

2019 quotes desk calendar

As I mentioned in my previous post, here is the third of the three desk calendar designs I made for Christmas gifts. This calendar features a different quote or saying each month with related stamped images. I've included basic supply details, but please leave a comment if you have additional questions.

Here are the links to the other two calendar designs: 2019 animal desk calendar
2019 fun and funky desk calendar

Here are the basic supplies I used for most of the quotes calendar pages: Tear-off calendar pages (Taylored Expressions), Tuxedo Black ink pad (Memento. Additional supplies are listed after each photo.

Additional supplies: Endless Wishes stamp set (Stampin' Up!); Beautiful Quotes stamp set (Altenew); Choose Joy stamp set (Papertrey Ink); Pool Party, Poppy Parade card stock (Stampin' Up!); Bermuda Bay, Pool Party, Poppy Parade, Granny Apple Green ink pads (Stampin' Up!); Champagne Shimmer paint (Tsukineko); sparkling clear sequins (Pretty Pink Posh); Bitty Banner punch (Stampin' Up!); pearls (Stampin' Up!)

Additional supplies: Be a Rainbow stamp set (Close to My Heart); Spoken Bird stamp set (Hero Arts); Beautiful Quotes stamp set (Altenew); Basic Black, Soft Sky card stock (Stampin' Up!); Poppy Parade, Mango Melody, Daffodil Delight, Granny Apple Green, Coastal Cabana, Soft Suede, Soft Sky ink pads (Stampin' Up!); sequins (Craft Medley); Subtles Candy Dots (Stampin' Up!)

Additional supplies: Sunshine Sayings, Kinda Eclectic stamp sets (Stampin' Up!); Plot Twist stamp set (Taylored Expressions); Daffodil Delight, Bermuda Bay card stock (Stampin' Up!); Daffodil Delight, Granny Apple Green, Bermuda Bay, Mango Melody ink pads (Stampin' Up!); yellow enamel dots (Eyelet Outlet); sparkling clear sequins (Pretty Pink Posh)

Additional supplies: Waterfront stamp set (Stampin' Up!); Mermaid's Tail stamp set (Essentials by Ellen); grunge stamps (Stampers Anonymous - Tim Holtz); Plot Twist stamp set (Taylored Expressions); Coastal Cabana, Call Me Clover card stock (Stampin' Up!); Coastal Cabana, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Old Olive, Lemon Lime Twist, Call Me Clover, Pineapple Punch ink pads (Stampin' Up!); glitter enamel dots, rhinestones (Stampin' Up!)

Additional supplies: Book Club stamp set (Papertrey Ink); To Thine Own Shelf stamp set (Simon Says Stamp); Big World stamp set (Altenew); Cherry Cobbler, Lost Lagoon card stock (Stampin' Up!); Soft Suede, Cherry Cobbler, Night of Navy, Crushed Curry, Old Olive, Lost Lagoon, Pear Pizzazz, Island Indigo ink pads (Stampin' Up!); metal nail head stickers (Mark Richards); wooden stars (Lawn Fawn)

Additional supplies: French Foliage stamp set (Stampin' Up!); Plot Twist stamp set (Taylored Expressions); Brushstroke Christmas stamp set (Essentials by Ellen); Cajun Craze, Blackberry Bliss card stock (Stampin' Up!); Crushed Curry, Cajun Craze, Old Olive, Early Espresso, Blackberry Bliss ink pads (Stampin' Up!); wooden leaves (Paper Source); gold sequins (Craft Medley)

Thanks for stopping by!