Monday, March 31, 2008

Cupcake Kind of Day

I thought I would post another Cuttlebug card today that uses the cupcake postage die that came with the machine. After all, who can't use a cupcake in their day? Plus, this one has zero calories.

To make the card, I ran the postage die cut though my Cuttlebug with pink paper. I ran the postage square through a second time using my cupcake embossing folder. To highlight the embossed image, I colored the cupcake with markers and covered the frosting area with white liquid appliqué. I then heated the image from underneath with a heatgun to puff up the liquid appliqué. By heating from the underside, you are less likely to scorch the appliqué. I colored the "frosting" with a stardust pen to add a little sparkle and layered the rest of the pieces of the card.

Technically, the number on the stamp doesn't add up to the recipient's age, but I thought it was best not to add correct postage.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame!

A few years ago, baseball came back to Washington DC. At the time, I knew very little about the sport. However, I had a friend with really sweet season tickets. We went to a lot of games, and before I knew it, I could quote stats and was worried about the pitching rotation. I also started recounting Nationals stories to my mom (who could care less about baseball) and my brother (who shames the family name with his loyalty to the Mets).

Today, the Nationals play their first game in their new stadium. I am so excited! I thought I needed to write a baseball post in honor of the Nationals and their winning season. Hey! It could happen!

The first picture is a photo of my first Nationals hat. This may come as a shock to some of you, but it is surprisingly hard to find Nationals rubber stamps. What is a woman to do? Carve her own of course!

To carve my own stamp, I copied the Washington Nationals "W" onto white printer paper. I traced the whole thing with a lead pencil and placed it onto pink carving material. I burnished the back of the paper with a spoon to transfer the "W" onto the carving block. I used my carving tools and carved around my shape. I kept shaving away parts until I got the image I wanted.

To make my card, I stamped the "W" onto red cardstock with Versamark ink. I embossed it white and traced it with a black sharpie to make it look like my hat. Cool! I don't carve images often, but I always enjoy the finished product. There is something satisfying about doing it yourself.

Oh! I almost forgot. Go Nats!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Last Grungeboard Post

Today I am concluding my series of guest artist grungeboard cards/projects. The Cutie Pie tag was created by my friend Chrisi and features multiple levels of grungeboard. The tag and female image were made using grungeboard. I wish I could add a tactile element to my blog because her final piece feels so smooth and soft. The tag itself was run through her Cuttlebug using a swirl embossing plate, and the paper "L" was run through with an alphabet die. Chrisi said it took some finagling to get the parts through the Cuttlebug, but it is possible with some trial and error. She edged the spirals with Tea Dye Distress ink so that they would stand out and colored the "L" with black Versafine before attaching it to the tag. The image by Catslife Press was stamped onto the grungeboard and then cut out and layered on the tag. To finish the project, Chrisi embellished it with some ribbon, wrapped wire, and some brads. Nice!

The second card was made by my friend Deedee aka "the crafting goddess of New Mexico." She makes me call her that, but it is no less true. I am not just humoring her so that I have a place to stay during my next NM visit. Did I mention she has a pool?

Anyway, back to the project. Deedee used the swirl grundgeboard (it comes that way), cut out a heart, and inked it with red Colorbox Chalk ink. She sponged the ink lightly so that it wouldn't cover the entire surface. By doing that, some of the original tan color of the grungeboard showed through. She layered the heart it onto some patterned papers and added a ribbon for interest. She finished the card by adding a saying made by Inkadinkado.

Thank you guys for giving me such fabulous cards and for allowing me to post them on my blog. I am so lucky to have you as crafting influences in my life.

Oh! I almost forgot. I know that a lot of you who read my blog shop at Angela's. If you haven't been following the store blog this weekend, be sure to check it out. She, Marilynn, and Hare are at the Sue Gilman show and are posting segments about the classes they are taking, products they are buying, etc. I have become addicted to checking out what they are doing. Without me. But I am not bitter. :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

IO Design Team Challenge

Today I am posting something a little new and different. The members of Impression Obsession's Design Team decided to try a color challenge. We agreed to post a card on March 27th using some of our new stamps as well as the colors of lavender, blue, and green. I immediately thought of using my new hydrangea stamp!

The frame of this card was SO easy to make. I simply ran a lavender and a green piece of cardstock through an Accu-Cut machine with a "frame" die. It punched the center rectangle as well as made perforating marks around the frame. I used the lavender frame as the base of my card and cut the green frame down to size using my paper trimmer. I then glued the green frame to the lavender card with a piece of acetate in the middle to create a window.

I took a close-up picture of the hydrangea so that I could explain the coloring better. To create the hydrangea, I stamped the image onto Paper Cut's White Luster cardstock using Black Adirondack ink. I allowed the ink to dry and then colored the image with 3 colors of Copic Markers (BV31 Pale Lavender, G21 Lime Green, and B93 Light Crockery Blue). I colored 1/3 of the flowers with the lavender marker, 1/3 with the blue, and 1/3 with a combination of the lavender and blue to create a 3rd color. To do this, I touched the lavender marker directly to the blue marker to pick up some ink and then colored the flowers. I repeated the process multiple times to color the flowers a lavender/blue color. For the leaves, I colored the entire surface of the leaves with the green marker. I then went back and added a second layer of color to parts of the leaves. I love that I could get two shades of green even though I only used one green marker.

After all the coloring, I cut out the flower and attached it over the acetate. I did not glue the entire flower because I didn't want the glue to through the acetate. Instead, I simply glued the parts of the hydrangea that touched cardstock instead of the plastic. It wasn't a lot of glue, but it was enough to hold the flower down.

I took another picture of the inside of the card to show that the saying was stamped on the inside of the card. Although the "thank you" is stamped on the inside, it shows through the acetate window when the card is closed.

I also wanted to point out another cool aspect of the Copic markers. Some people don't like the fact that Copics bleed through cardstock when you color with them. However, in this case, the "bleeding" was a great effect for my card. When you open the card, you can see a muted version of the hydrangea instead of boring white cardstock in the shape of a hydrangea. I wish I could say I planned this effect, but it wasn't until I opened the card and said, "hey, cool" did I realize that Copics were a good choice.

I LOVED participating in this challenge. I enjoy seeing what the other design team members make. We have a lot of the same stamps, but we all have different styles. I often find myself asking, "why didn't I think of that?" when I see what other people did with the stamps.

I hope you will check out the other design team blogs to see their takes on this color challenge. Julie, Penny, Tina, Daniela, and Kelli all agreed to post cards. If you visit their sites and don't see a card, be sure to check back. We all live in different time zones and countries, and I don't know when everyone will post.

Feel free to leave us comments. We would love to know what you think of the challenge! If you post a lavender, blue, and green card of your own online, please leave me a link in the comments section. I would love to see your creation!

Monday, March 24, 2008

More Guest Artists

I had such a fun time posting cards from my friend Mahnaaz that I thought I would post more of cards I received from friends (with permission of course). Posting cards made by other people has its pros and cons. It is great to see other styles and ideas. Plus, I don't have to do the work. :) On the down side, what if their cards make my cards look bad? What if people start to demand all guest artist cards? Aaaggh...the downside of a fragile ego.

I recently received four cards using grungeboard as a medium. I thought I would post two today and two in a couple more days. After all, you don't want to go through grungeboard overload!

Jennifer made the first card with the three flowers. She ran cream cardstock through her Cuttlebug using a patterned embossing folder. She then ran the grungeboard through with flower shaped die cuts. She colored the flowers with Colorwash spray and a shimmery mist. Remember, the beauty of grungeboard is that it won't warp as you spray it over and over. She stamped leaves by Denami Design and added some brads for interest. Here is a close up of the flowers so that you can see the shimmer:

Tami made the second card with the fruit. She also ran her grungeboard through the Cuttlebug to cut out the pear and apple. Can we say great minds? She colored the fruit using water-based markers. She assembled the card with stamps by Stampin' Up and added a ribbon to finish the card. I wanted to include a close-up of the fruit to show you how cool markers look on the grungeboard:

Do I have talented friends, or what?!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

I wanted to post another card from my late night stamping fit I had the other night. I really have to recommend limiting your supplies to help you get work done. I sat at my desk with a stack of Memory Box paper and my Memory Box clear bunny set. I only allowed myself to use the stamps from that one set. By doing so, I didn't waste time thinking, "which stamps should I use?" Believe me, that decision usually takes me a long time to make.

To make this card, I stamped the basket onto patterned paper and onto white cardstock. I took the image on the white cardstock and colored the eggs and basket with Copic markers. I then cut out the eggs and bottom of the basket and glued them onto the basket stamped on the patterned paper. The patterned paper I chose reminded me of grass and sky, so I lined up the top layer of paper with the bottom layer of paper to continue the horizon line. It is hard to tell from the card scan, but the basket piece is popped up with pop dots. To finish the card, I added clear gel pen to the eggs to make them shiny and added a bow to the bottom.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Me again

I decided to post another of the bunnies from the same Memory Box clear set. It is the exact same idea as my previous card, but it is oriented in a different direction and uses different colors. I like using the ovals on these cards because they remind me of eggs.

I really wish I had started these cards earlier in the week. They are so easy to make and would have been great to send for Easter. Never mind.


Easter is this weekend? Seriously? Did I miss the memo? I had plans to make some Easter cards. I am guessing that won't happen this year. Okay, I KNOW that won't happen this year. Even though today's posted card took no time at all to make, there is no way I can mail cards in time for them to arrive for Easter. Sooo... my plan is to be lame and post an Easter card. That way, people can assume this is the Easter card they would have gotten if I wasn't so pathetic. This is all just so sad

Today's card is made using Memory Box stamps and papers. I just love their images! When I said this card took no time, I really meant it. I stamped the bunny onto cream paper with Adirondack black ink. I allowed it to dry and colored the bunny with Copic markers and punched him out with an oval punch. I then punched a green scallop oval and layered the two pieces of paper. It is hard to tell from the scan, but the scallop punch is popped up onto the card. The card looks more difficult than it is because I used a great piece of patterned paper that did most of the artwork on the card for me. I added a cute saying, and I was done! I was very close to using "Hoppy Easter" instead. Humm...maybe another card is needed.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

For today's post, I thought I would show a card I made for a grungeboard card swap. I tried to kill two birds with one stone by using grungeboard for the challenge and incorporating St. Patrick's Day items to celebrate the upcoming holiday.

To make the card, I ran some smooth grungeboard through an Accu-cut machine to cut out a shamrock. I then placed the shamrock on some paper towels and sprayed it with Lettuce Colorwash spray and a watered-down version of the Bottle Colorwash spray. I dried the shamrock with a heatgun and then sprayed it with some Irredescent Gold Glimmer Mist to give it a gold shine. I then stamped an Impression Obsession pattern onto the shamrock with green ink to add interest. I finished the shamrock by edging it with green ink and a Colorbox stylus tool. To complete the card, I layered a couple of Dream Street Papers, added a ribbon, and stamped "Happy St. Patrick's Day" (also by IO).

I was unsure about using the grungeboard to punch out a shape and attach it to a card. It seemed like such a waste to not make use of some of grungeboard's characteristics such as its ability to bend around corners. Wouldn't a piece of chipboard work just as well on my card? Plus, chipboard is a lot cheaper than grungeboard!

Here are a few of the things I liked about the grungeboard:
  1. It took all of my sprays really well. Spraying it over and over with different colors didn't warp the board at all.
  2. It has a cool texture to it (even the smooth version) that looks different than chipboard.
  3. It feels great! My finished shamrock felt like suede, and I really liked the tactile element on my card.
  4. Normally, it is really hard to edge rounded shapes with ink and a stylus tool. However, I was able to bend my grungeboard so that I could easily ink all the nooks and crannies.
If you are looking for more info on grungeboard, Tim Holtz has a cool video on his site.

I hope everyone has a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Confession and Bragging

I have a confession. I really don't enjoy making baby cards. Maybe it is the fact that I'm not around kids much. Maybe it is the fact that I don't own baby stamps and have to "finagle" a baby card using what I have. "Oh! You are due in November? Here is your turkey themed baby card. Notice how the turkeys are stamped in pink and blue." I just doesn't work.

With all that being said, you can imagine my delight when I received a Cuttlebug for Christmas (thank you Chrisi), and it came with a baby themed embossing plate. Woohoo! Now I am not as lame (at least with regards to baby cards). The beauty of this plate is that it has an actual baby themed item on it, AND it takes no time to use. It just keeps getting better and better.

For today's card, I ran the Cuttlebug postage die through the machine with pink paper to make a pink postage stamp. I then placed the stamp between the baby embossing plate and ran it through the machine a second time to emboss the carriage onto the postage stamp. I "borrowed" some baby paper from my friend Hare and ran it through with the swirl embossing plate. The interesting thing about embossing paper with script is that when you hold the card one way, it is easy to read the words, and when you hold it another way, it is hard to read the words. I can't decide if I like the technique for that reason. However, I was at a Cuttlebug mini retreat with some friends and went into Cuttlebug hyperdrive. If it didn't move, I ran it through the Cuttlebug. To finish the card, I "borrowed" some sheer ribbon from Hare and then "borrowed" some pop dots to raise the postage stamp over the ribbon. Hint...don't invite me to your house to craft. I tend to "borrow" a lot of stuff.

Now for the bragging...I just found out I received 2nd runner up (nice term for 3rd place) in the latest Penny Black contest. It was the cheerful card I posted here the other day. It has since made me even more cheerful....prizes tend to do that to me.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Wine Time

I feel like I have been whining a lot lately. "I am sick." Waah. "I am still sick." Waah. "When is my cough going away?" Waah. "I am having an allergic reaction to my antibiotics." Waah. "Now I am coughing and itchy." Waah. Don't I have anything good to say? Yes! I am feeling better and feel like talking about wine instead of whine.

For today's card, I am posting some of the new Leigh Hannan images by Impression Obsession. I have tried over and over to take a decent picture of this card without much luck. Ooops. I slipped back into whining mode. The card is about 9" long (it fits in a business envelope), and is shaped like a wine bottle. I often get stuck in standard card mode and rarely make shaped cards. However, when I saw this wine vine and saying, I knew I wanted to make a bottle card. I stamped the wine vine onto the top of the card using VersaFine purple ink and let it dry. I then colored the images with a combination of Copic markers and watercolor pencils. I love the rich colors you get with Copic markers, but they tend to bleed slightly when you use them. Therefore, they often work better in open areas instead of images with tiny details. I just couldn't help myself. I love my Copics, and they tend to show up in all my cards in some form or fashion.

I then edged the entire card with a Colorbox stylus and VersaFine purple ink. I didn't want my sponging to have any defined lines, so I inked my stylus then stamped the sponge a couple of times onto some scrap paper before I touched my card. I also started off of the card and dragged the color onto my card towards the center of the card. If you put a stylus tool directly onto the paper, you often get a dark mark where you touched your card. If you drag the stylus onto the card, the color is much softer.

I finished the card by stamping my saying, adding a ribbon to the neck of the bottle, and coloring the bottles with two layers of a clear gel pen. It is hard to tell from the photo, but the bottles are all shiny from the gel pen and look like glass.

I hope the wine was better than the whine!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I'm back (sort of)

Hello all. I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. I am still dealing with bronchitis and still felling sorry for myself. In any case, I thought it couldn't hurt to post a cheerful card with the hope that some of it will rub off on me. Today's card has Penny Black flowers stamped with VersaFine black ink onto white cardstock. I allowed the ink to dry and then colored the flowers with Prismacolor pencils. I spent the time to blend my colors together using only the pencils instead of using a blender pencil or gamsol to smooth the colors. I added a ribbon and part of another Penny Black flower to finish the card. It has been a while since I did any coloring that didn't involve Copic markers. It was good to play with some of the old favorites.