Thursday, April 27, 2017

Beautiful Bicycle Birthday

Today's card was inspired by sketch #318 over at Try Stampin' On Tuesday (or not) and was my first try at using modeling paste with a stencil. I'll be entering this over at The House That Stamps Built for "Anything Goes A2617" and at The Sisterhood of Crafters for "The Letter B".

 The wooden stamp I used is large and an older one made by Inkadinkado -I've had it for so long that I no longer even remember where or when I got it, lol. The patterned paper is from my stash and I trimmed it to cover the entire card front...starting with an A2 sized top folding white card base.

After stamping the bicycle in Tuxedo Black Memento ink on the bottom half of the white layer, I trimmed the cornflower blue strips according to the sketch and stamped the sentiments from an older Amuse Studio stamp set in Versamark ink and then heat embossed in white. I used the smallest pallete knife tool to spread the light modeling paste in a thin, even layer over the stencil on the top half of the previously stamped (bicycle) white layer. Then I had to be patient and let it dry! 

The only watercolors I had were a kid's crayola set, but decided they would just have to do for the time being for coloring in the bicycle. It didn't work out too badly using a tiny paint brush, considering I didn't use any kind of media or watercolor paper...which I regretted by the end, because the paper warped a good bit and just didn't blend well during the next step. Once the paste was dry, I washed over the stenciled area with Stormy Sky distress ink that I watered down on my craft mat and applied with a large watercolor brush. I used my heat tool to speed up the dry time at this point and to try to flatten my very warped paper back out, lol.

Before adhering the three sentiment banners with my ATG gun, I used my piercing tool to make holes and added mini silver brads to each end. I love the dimension this card has and the variations of the watercolor wash is so pretty in the background!

Once that layer was completely dry, I ran a charcoal ink pad along all 4 edges to give it some definition and then used alot of ATG gun adhesive to keep it laying flat. 

Again this time, I just kept the inside really simple...using an older Stampin' Up Birthday sentiments stamp set with a scrap of the blue cardstock torn and adhered to the bottom. This card is now ready to be mailed to my sister-in-law next week. 

Until next time~

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

(My First Ever) Button Shaker Card How To

Today I am excited to be a guest designer over @ The Retro Rubber Challenge Blog. When I found out that it was a Button themed challenge I knew exactly what I wanted to try -my first ever shaker card containing buttons! I had fun making it and will be giving it to my youngest niece Mabel for her 1st Birthday coming up this summer. 

Since I knew I needed the shaker compartment to be large enough to accommodate the buttons, I decided to go with using 2 layers of fun foam instead of just the foam tape. The fun foam was easy to cut-I started out with my CM oval cutting tool and finished up with a craft knife. Then it was easy to adhere all the frame layers together using a combination of my xyron machine and my ATG gun.

I partially cut that same size oval from the pale pink front panel of my card, but then used the craft knife to carefully cut around the "celebrate" letters that I had stamped in versamark ink and heat embossed in 4 different colors to get a rainbow effect at the bottom of the card. I also die-cut the #1, ran it through my xyron machine and then added clear microfine prisma glitter to the top side of it.

I chose 14 small buttons in coordinating colors to add to the shaker compartment, along with some micro beads in pink and blue, and some clear prism confetti/glitter chunks. I layered the pink plaid patterned paper onto my A2 sized card front and added the glittered #1 to the center with mini foam dots, then flipped it over to adhere the shaker component to it, to complete the base of my card.

Next, I stamped 4 of the stuffed animals -from a retired TAC stamp set (circa 2005)- in Tuxedo Black Momento ink on white scraps of paper and colored them with my Spectrum Noir pens. Then I topped them off with the clear Wink of Stella glitter marker and fussy cut them out. I also ran a pink Spectrum marker around the edges of the white fun foam to help it blend in better with the card front.

I added 2 of the animals to the card front with mini foam dots to pop them up a bit and used mini glue dots to adhere the 3 buttons. Being as this was only my 2nd ever shaker card, there is still some room for improvement, but over all I was very pleased with the results and think it is a super cute card that my sister-in-law will appreciate, even if my niece is too young to, lol.

Inside, I used some of the left over patterned paper, along with the last 2 of the stuffed animals and a retired TAC Happy Birthday sentiment.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Breaking Out Some Never Before Used Stamps...

If you have been crafting for any length of time like I have, you sometimes make purchases with the best of intentions and then -for whatever reason -just never get around to using them. Such is the case with several stamps and stamp sets that I will be using over the next week or two. Today's stamp set was purchased over a year ago from Paper Wishes, but I just used it for the first time yesterday. My card was inspired by Sketch #1 over @ Power Poppy.

I started my card with a light gray A2 card base and layered the blue speckled checkboard patterned paper on top -leaving just a thin border. Following the sketch, I trimmed the blue and white banner layers, punched the gray tab with an old punch from Stampin' Up and fastened it on with a staple. 

Stamping with Black hybrid ink, I laid out the houses (from Paper Wishes/Hot Off the Press) and the sentiments (from Amuse Studio) to get a feel for my layout. Once I was sure what I wanted to do, I used my Stamp Perfect positioning tool (I just got the 10 x 10 size and really love it!) so that I could repeat stamp if necessary. It came in really handy when lining up and stamping the wrought iron fence along the bottom. I also masked both houses and stamped the tree in the back yard.

I decided to get creative and did some freehand drawing with an archival fine line black pen around and on the houses -adding brick to the chimney and a brick walkway on the left along with a stone pathway to the front door on the right. Coloring was then done with my Prismacolor pencils along with some blending help using Gamsol and a few blending stumps. 

I sponged the edges of the white banner layer in charcoal ink to help it coordinate better with the speckles of the patterned paper before adding Liquid Glass to the windows of the houses and the punched "To My" tab on the right side. I used clear Wink of Stella to subtly accent the clouds with some shimmer and popped the whole piece up with small foam pop dots.

This card is now all ready to go out in the mail to my husband's older brother the first week in May.

I kept the inside super simple this time, only using 2 stamps from an older wood mounted birthday set from Stampin' Up.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

So Excited to Announce My Newest Design Team Opportunity

OMG, I was so very happy to find this in my in-box 2 days ago:

Congratulations! As the Design Team Leader, I am pleased to announce
that you have been officially accepted to be part of the
2017 ScraPerfect Design Team!

I have read nothing but fabulous things about the product line @ ScraPerfect ...I can't wait to try them out and share them with you all here and in my classes at the local library! This is my first company sponsored Design Team position and I am very grateful for this opportunity to belong to such a fine team of crafters. I am anxiously awaiting my box full of goodies so that I can start designing! Our talented returning Design Team  members, and their blogs can be found here:

Penny Arnold - Scrap-aholic
Deborah Mahnken - Life Outside The Fishbowl
Kathryn Haynes Gibson - Shabby Chalet Studio
Kim Norman Lippincott - Vintage Creations By Kim
Tracy Feeley - Tracy's Scrappy Hideaway
Shelly K. Hein-Simmons - Reel Girls Animal House
Lisa Moen - Lisa's Scrappy Hideaway
Charity Hotrum - Scrappin Chaos

Brand new talented Design Team Members and their blogs can be found here:

Michelle Renee Wells - His Truly Beloved - Inspire
Mona Leonard - Scrapper Mona
Kathy Klersy - Create 365 Coach
Lyne Blodgett - Lyne's Everyday Ideas
Ginny Maxam - Maxam Made Studio

Be sure and check out each and every one of these girl's fabulous blogs!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Whirlwind Weekend!!!

Whew -that was a crazy busy weekend! Hope this finds you having had a restful and blessed weekend...and a Happy Easter, if you celebrate it. We had a wonderful time away and enjoyed seeing family and friends, but I am ready for things to calm back down again this week so that I can get back to my stamping desk, lol! Until I can get down there, I wanted to share with you the April Planner spreads I have been working on for the last week and finally finished up just this morning...Happy Spring!

For my dashboard, I used a pocket page from Simple Stories, patterned paper from Basic Gray, the Die of the Month set for March from Spellbinder's, vellum, sequins, glitter glue, rhinestones in several colors, clear Wink of Stella pen, white and clear glimmer gel pens, and a word die-cut set from Peachy Cheap.

Back of the Dashboard...

For the front of my monthly divider page, I colored it using alcohol based markers from Sharpie, Bic and Spectrum Noir and accented it with white gel pen. 

For the back of the divider and the "remember" page I colored using Prismacolor pencils. I accented with washi tape & a Happy Planner "grateful heart" sticker... the last minute I added one last butterfly die-cut from black glittery cardstock. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ancient Map

Today's card was designed using the sketch from Stick It Down as my inspiration and was influenced by the Vintage Challenge @ Eclectic Ellapu, the Background Challenge @ The Artistic Stamper and will be applied to the card/tag Anything Goes Challenge @ Paru's Card Making Challenges. It makes use of several different techniques, so let's get started!

First I began with a thread flecked off white  4 1/4" x 5 1/2" piece of cardstock. I used the Stamp Perfect tool to get good pressure/ink coverage when stamping the retired TAC Ancient Map background while using Rich Cocoa Momento ink . 

Then I over-laid the ancient map with a stencil and inked up the land areas with Frayed Burlap distress ink and the water areas with Stormy Sky using the Distress Ink foam blending tools through the stencil and on to the map. The only reason I didn't tape the stencil down was because it is slightly sticky on the back and held the cardstock in place perfectly. I love the look I got, but was very disappointed to see when I was finished that the stencil has cracked in several places...and this was the first time I even used sad! :(

So this is where things get even more interesting...After the stenciling over the map was done, I diecut the pierced border around the edge and stamped and embossed the "You Make Me Proud" sentiment from a FSJ ATS set on to the vellum scrap. To make the embossed "medallion" accent, I decided to think outside the box a bit...I used my mini mister to dampen a piece of scrap yellow cardstock and sent it through my embossing machine with the dandelion stencil you see below and then trimmed it down to just the circle shape...wetting the paper gave me a deeply embossed impression and softened the paper fibers so that it really soaked up the brown ink that I then rubbed all over the raised image side while it was still wet. I did lay it under an acrylic block for a bit while it dried to keep the edges from curling up too badly on me. This completely changed the look of the yellow paper and gave me exactly what I was looking for in an embellishment for my card front.

Since the sentiment's embossed color turned out to be a little lighter than I had expected it to, I needed to add the thinner strip of vellum behind it to help it stand out from all the detail on the medallion. I just wrapped the vellum then behind the cardstock and adhered it on the backside where it wouldn't show once it was layered.

I then cut a card base from  rich brown metallic cardstock just a bit larger that an A2 size so that a small border would show around the edges. The map piece was popped up with a generous amount of foam tape to give it dimension and add depth to the pierced border.

I will be giving this card to our son on Friday after we attend a ceremony in Maryland celebrating some extra-ordinary accomplishments that he just completed during the last 6 months of training for his new job. He is a very fine young man who has blown us away with his level of dedication and commitment in working so hard to live out his dreams! So for the inside of the card, I used a Limited Edition ATS set from FSJ...stamped the background in the same blue and burlap as above, sprayed it with water to blend the colors a smidge and then embossed the sentiment with Ranger's gorgeous Liquid Platinum embossing powder.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Thanks a (mer)lot!

Today's card was made as a thank you that I gave to good neighbors who reward snowblowing their driveway out with delicious wine they make themselves in their winecellar...we always tell them that it's not necessary -but they insist! So this year, I insisted on giving them a "thank you" card for their "thank you" gift, lol. I used my interpretation of the inspiration photo @ Just Add Ink, added a bow for the Shopping Our Stash: "Tie One On" challenge and will apply it for the "Just For Fun" challenge on our new Mix It Up Technique Challenge Blog ( I am still over the moon excited about having been invited to be a "Mixed Up Girl" DT member here!!!)  using paper piecing and liquid glass techniques + using patterned paper for Craftyhazelnut's Challenge + "Anything Goes" @ PDF Linky Party.

For this card, I dug out a large wooden stamp called "Red Wine Cellar" from Stamps Happen Inc. that I bought somewhere many years ago, but find I hardly use because of it's size -it pretty much covers the front of an entire A2 sized card. I really love the way it looks on a card and on a shelf too,'s so pretty with the colored label! The Old World paper fit the vintage vibe I was going for, so I reached for it again once more and chose a muted green this time. The card base is an ivory side fold trimmed just slightly bigger than an A2 so that I could layer for a small border.

I knew I wanted to paper piece and keep the colors on the muted side, so I stamped in grey instead of black ink and decided to color with watercolor pencils, a blender pen and Wink of Stella pens (gold and silver).

I stamped twice...once directly on the green patterned paper for the background and once on ivory cardstock. I also stamped the retired TAC "thanks for everything" in black directly on the background to the right of the wine glass.  Before I colored, I fussy cut the ivory wine bottle and glass in one large piece as you can see pictured below.

Popping the large focal piece up with foam dots gave a nice bit of dimension to the front of the card and set it apart from the background perfectly.

After adding a large ribbon bow to the left side spine of the card, I covered the green wine bottle with the Gold Wink of Stella glimmer pen, the grey foil wrapper with the Silver Wink of Stella and the Wine glass with the Crystal Lacquer to get the look of glassware. I just love the additional feeling of depth it accomplished. And my neighbor friend loved it so much that she texted me right after opening her mailbox that day to say "thanks" for the thank you's thank you...LOL!