I'm Amy, a stay-at-home mom by day and a crafter by night. After a day of chasing my kids around the house, I escape to my craft room for a few hours of creating while they sleep. Thanks for joining me in my little corner of the crafting world!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sympathy in Blue

Wow, it's Tuesday already!  Time seems to be flying by, although my son thinks time is really dragging (he's getting quite impatient for Halloween!).  For those of you affected by Hurricane Sandy, my thoughts and prayers continue to be with you.  Stay safe, friends!

When I discovered this week's challenge at Sunny Challenges & Creations, I was inspired to make a sympathy card.  I always find it hard to get motivated to make sympathy cards, but sadly, they are always needed and my supply has run quite low lately.  For this challenge, we were to make a sympathy card using this sketch:

I also incorporated the current Splitcoast Stampers Ways to Use It Challenge, which required us to use embossing on a card.  Here is my card:

I embossed a panel of Night of Navy card stock with a Texturz Plate in my Big Shot.  I inked the lower section of the panel with layers of Memento Tuxedo Black and Faded Jeans Distress inks, which created a subtly different shade for the lower half of the card.  I applied the ink one layer at a time, stopping between each layer to remove the excess ink by rubbing with a soft cloth (be sure to use an old cloth if you try this, as the ink will stain it).  Once I had the shade I wanted, I set it aside for a moment to dry.  I inked my sentiment stamp with layers of Night of Navy Classic and Faded Jeans Distress inks, then stamped it on a die cut label of white card stock.  I wrapped a piece of white grosgrain ribbon around the large panel, adhered the tag over the ribbon, and attached the entire panel to a white card base. 
While I will usually stamp "With Sympathy" or a similar sentiment on the front of the card and save the message stamp for the inside, I decided to do the reverse for this card.  I think the quote works well on the front for this one. 
Thanks for visiting!
Products Used:
Stamp: Close As A Memory (Stampin' Up!)
Paper: Whisper White and Night of Navy card stock (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black (Tsukineko); Faded Jeans Distress Ink (Tim Holtz); Night of Navy Classic Ink (Stampin' Up!)
Tools: Big Shot (Sizzix); Texturz Plate (Stampin' Up!); Nestabilities Labels Eighteen (Spellbinders)
Accessories: White 1/4" Grosgain Ribbon (Stampin' Up!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Coffee Break Friends

Happy Monday!  I hope you had an enjoyable weekend.  It was a busy and productive one at my house.  I always feel better about the upcoming week if I've managed to get a few things checked off my to-do list over the weekend.  It was also nice to just spend some time together as a family.  We ate lots of chili and carved a pumpkin and went to a Halloween party...the perfect way to spend a few chilly days in Autumn, if you ask me!

And while my family slept, I spent a few hours in my craft room to work on completing a few challenges.  The first card I made was for this week's CAS(E) This Sketch Challenge, which uses the following sketch:

I combined this sketch with the Operation Write Home Midweek Throwdown.  The current Midweek Throwdown challenge theme is "Celebrate Friendship", so I used both challenges to create this card:
This card combines two of my favorite themes: friendship and coffee! (Side note: I collect coffee stamps, so you'll see those quite often on my blog.  I also collect snowmen stamps, so I make a lot of winter cards!) 
Since this card will be donated to Operation Write Home, I wanted to keep the colors neutral enough that it could be sent or received by a man or a woman.  I made a card base from brown card stock and cut a panel of red card stock to run the length of the card. I stamped my coffee cup in Memento Espresso Truffle, then masked the cup to add the frothy milk. I applied Liquid Applique, then set the tag aside to dry. You're *supposed* to let the liquid applique dry overnight, but I never have that much patience!  After it seemed dry enough to me (an hour or two), I used my heat gun to make it puff up.  I love the texture it adds!  Because frothy milk isn't stark-white, I applied some metallic rub-ons with my fingers to change the color a bit.  Because I wanted the brown card stock to show through the vellum on my tag, I laid my tag on the back side of the red panel, traced around it and then cut out the area with my craft knife. I adhered the panel to my card base, then attached the tag to the card base using mini glue dots. I stamped my sentiment on white card stock in Memento Espresso Truffle and inked the edges of the white piece with the same color, then adhered it to the card. 
This old stamp set is just so much fun to use!  White Liquid Applique works perfectly for creating the frothy milk (which can also become a dollop of whipped cream for hot cocoa if you just change the sentiment). 
I noticed that in this photo, the red panel looks slightly skewed. It is perfectly straight on the card (I know this because I measured it...my darned astigmatism makes lining things up difficult so I rely on my trusty ruler!). I either need a better camera or I need to brush up on my photography skills!
Looking at this card today (when it's not the middle of the night!) I think I would like this a bit more if I had embossed the red panel to add a bit of texture.  I can definitely see several uses for the sketch and am looking forward to trying it with other images and sentiments.
I'll be back tomorrow to tackle another challenge or two.  I hope those of you who are hunkered down for Hurricane Sandy are staying safe and dry!  My thoughts and prayers are with all who are in the storm's path. 
Thanks for stopping by!
Products Used:
Ink: Memento Espresso Truffle (Tsukineko)
Stamps: Espress Yourself (Stampin' Up!)
Other: Liquid Applique (Marvy); Golden White Metallic Rub-On (Craf-T Products), heat tool, vellum tag

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Once Upon A Time

No matter how many color combinations I explore, I often gravitate back to a couple.  One combo I use often is black, white and red.  I just love this color combination!  So here it is again, this time on a card for a challenge at a brand-new blog, 'ABC' Challenges 

Since this is their first challenge, they required us to use something new on our cards, whether it be something we actually purchased new or something that we just haven't used before.  Since I'm working on love-themed cards for Operation Write Home, I thought this would be the perfect time to try out a new die I purchased.  I bought it (along with several others) at a scrapbooking sale where crafters sell off supplies they are no longer using.  I came home with several dies this year, which was really exciting!  (I love getting a good deal almost as much as I love making cards!)  So the heart die cut on this card is my "new" for this challenge.  This ribbon might be a "new" also, because I don't recall ever using it before.  It was in my stash and who knows how long it's been there?!

Here's my card:

I really love this sentiment and the set that it comes from.  The stamp is definitely not new to me, as it's one of the stamps I used for my wedding.  This one always brings a smile to my face when I use it.

I started by stamping my background in craft ink on white card stock, then heat embossing it with clear embossing powder.  I wrapped my ribbon around the white panel, die cut my heart, stamped my sentiment and added some rhinestones to the heart.  I adhered the heart to the panel with dimensionals, then adhered the panel to a black card base.  I think this card would be appropriate as a general "I love you" card or as Valentine's Day card.

Here's a tip about dimensionals: For this card I used Stampin' Dimensionals (Stampin' Up!) to adhere the heart to the panel.  I love these dimensionals because they are only 1/16" thick.  I have purchased several other brands and many of those are 1/8" thick, which I feel is often too thick.  If you buy 1/16" thick dimensionals, you can always stack them to make them thicker if you want a different effect.  Stampin' Up! is not the only company who offers dimensionals in 1/16" thickness, so if you're shopping for another brand, just check the labels carefully.  You can also find tape that offers a dimensional effect, but again, check the thickness.  It's not such a big deal in cards that I'm hand-delivering, but when they go through the mail, that little bit of extra thickness is not always desireable. 

My craft room table is a bit of a disaster this week, so I'm planning to do some reorganizing before I do any more stamping.  I hope to have another card to post for you in the next couple of days.

Thanks for stopping by!

Products Used:

Background Stamp: Tres Chic (Stampin' Up!)
Background Ink: Craft Black (Stampin' Up!)
Sentiment Stamp: Fairy-Tale Wedding (Stampin' Up!)
Sentiment Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black (Tsukineko)
Die: Hearts, Tipsy (Sizzix)
Tools: Big Shot (Sizzix); Mrs. O'Leary's Clear Embossing Powder; rhinestones;
ribbon; Stampin' Dimensionals (Stampin' Up!)


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hearts Full of Love

Today's card is a CASE (Copy and Share Everything) card for the Featured Stamper Challenge at Splitcoast Stampers.  Every week a stamper is chosen to be the Featured Stamper, and the challenge participants choose one of his/her cards to CASE.  It is always inspiring to look through a Featured Stamper's gallery! 

Here is a link to the Featured Stamper's original card:
Wish Big

And here is my card:

When you CASE a card for this challenge, you are asked to change at least two elements.  I chose to make several changes while still following the design of the card.  I used her layout almost identically and I matted the card front to a white base card, just as the original card maker did.  The original card had pink and blue and a "wish big" sentiment.  I wanted to make a love-themed card for Operation Write Home, so I used heart papers and a "love" sentiment.  I used a slightly different border die and a Nestabilities label for my sentiment.  The original card maker used a flourish of rhinestones and I just used a small row of them, as that's what I had on hand. 

I dry embossed the sentiment panel after cutting it with my Nestabilities.  I just love how a little detail like dry embossing can take a basic shape up a notch.  But no matter how hard I tried, I could not get those rhinestones to sparkle in my pictures!  You'll just have to trust me that they are clear rhinestones and they add just a touch of sparkle and shine to this card.

I always find it very challenging to mix patterned papers, but these hearts were similar enough that I thought they would work together and complement each other. It's fun to stretch outside of the box of my usual style and borrow someone else's ideas for a card!   

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Products Used:
Stamp: Hope Is... (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Memento Espresso Truffle (Tsukineko)
Paper: Unknown
Tools: Big Shot (Sizzix); Nestabilities Labels Eighteen (Spellbinders);
Die-Namics Dainty Lace Border (My Favorite Things); rhinestones

Monday, October 22, 2012

To the Moon and Back

Today's card just tugs a bit at my heartstrings, so I hope you don't mind if I share the story behind this one.  I bought the stamp I used on this card because the sentiment means so much to me.  If you ask my son how much his mommy loves him, he'll answer, "To the moon and back!"  (I must pause here to announce that I have amazing children.  Sure, I'm biased, but it's still true!) 

So when I found this stamp recently, I knew it would be well-loved at my house.  And when I saw this week's challenge at CAS(E) This Sketch (check them out HERE), I decided it was the perfect time to pull out this stamp and start creating.  I have a feeling you'll be seeing more cards with this stamp in the future.  It's just such a great sentiment!

Here's the sketch I was working with:

And here is my card:

It's really hard to see in this picture (darned overcast day!), but the sentiment panel and the moon are shaded with peach, yellow and blue tones to give them some dimension and keep them from being stark white.  I used die cuts in my Big Shot for most of this card.  The moon is a circle die cut, the sentiment is a Nestabilities die cut, and the stars are die-cut from shimmery silver paper.  I stamped my sentiment, then sponged dye ink and chalks on my sentiment panel and the moon.  I adhered everything to a dark blue card base (it's lightly textured, which also doesn't show up well in the picture).  This will be an easy card to recreate, so I plan to make a few more to donate to Operation Write Home.  I am sure there are some deployed mommies and daddies who would love to send cards home to their kids!

I am working on another challenge card today and will be posting that one tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Products Used:
Stamp - Unity
Paper - Various sources
Ink - Night of Navy Classic Ink (Stampin' Up!)
Tools: Big Shot; Sizzix Circles #2; Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Eighteen;
Provo Craft die for stars; Stampin' Up! chalks; various dye inks

Friday, October 19, 2012

My First Midweek Throwdown Entry!

I completed my very first challenge for Operation Write Home!  I am so excited!!  I have started making cards to donate and decided using challenges will help me accomplish my goal faster.  I chose to do the Midweek Color Throwdown over on their blog, Stars and Stamps.  The challenge this week was to make a card using black and white with a "pop" of either red or green.  I was surprised at how difficult I found this challenge, considering that one of my favorite color combinations is black, white and red.  In fact, I've blogged about a couple of cards using these colors recently (HERE and HERE).  I'm going to blame my creative frustration on the fact that my baby is teething so I'm not sleeping much! 

I decided to make a "general" card, as our deployed servicemen and servicewomen can always use "any occasion" cards.  This stamp is from a set that really frustrates me because the font is intentionally messy. Whenever I use it I find myself trying to correct the ink mistakes, only to realize they are not mistakes, they're part of the design.  Being a bit of a perfectionist, this drives me batty! 

Here's my card:

See how it looks like my stamp skipped a bit or I wiggled it too much?  I promise that's how the stamp is designed!  I stamped the sentiment on white card stock, then die cut it using Nestabilities in my Big Shot.  I cut red and black card stocks with the same Nestabilities set, then layered the pieces.  I embossed the white card stock in my Big Shot, adhered the stamped piece to it, and tied some baker's twine around it.  I adhered the white panel to the black card base.  This is a quick Clean and Simple card, which seems to be my style this month.  This stamp set comes with four different sentiments, so I could easily make several different cards with this CAS layout. 

That's all for today!  We have a busy weekend ahead of us, but I hope to get some stamping time in to finish another project that's waiting on my desk. 

I hope you have a great weekend!  Thanks for stopping by!
Products Used:
Stamp: That's Nice (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper: Various sources
Tools: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels One; Divine Swirls Embossing Folder; twine

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Acrylic Block Collage, Take 2

I just couldn't stop playing with this fun technique this week!  This is a continuation of the technique I posted yesterday.  If you missed it, HERE is yesterday's post.  You can also see the original challenge and technique instuctions on Splitcoast Stampers HERE.

This time I wanted to use softer, more subtle colors, so I decided to use purples and pinks.  My first card is a very Clean and Simple sympathy card:

The background was created by inking my acrylic block with several shades of pink and purple, then spritzing it with water and stamping it on the white card stock. After the background dried, I inked a small heart stamp and stamped it randomly over the background. Then I stamped my flowers and sentiment. Quick and easy!

I have mixed feelings about this next card.  I used the same basic background as the card above, but this time I inked stem images all over the area. I like the effect but feel it might just be a little too "busy" with all those stems! 

This technique just has so many possibilities.  I still want to make a card with separate color blocks, so I need to add that one to my list.  But I have a couple of other challenges waiting on my craft desk, so I am off to work on those now!

Thanks for stopping by!

Products Used:
Paper: Whisper White card stock (Stampin' Up!)
Inks on background: Various shades of pink and purple markers and dye ink pads
Inks on sentiment and flowers: Elegant Eggplant (Stampin' Up!)
Sentiment and flower stamps: "Close as a Memory" (Stampin' Up!)
Tools: Acrylic block, water mister

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Acrylic Block Collage Cards

For the past couple of days I've had a lot of fun playing with a new (to me) technique, Acrylic Block Collage.  This technique was introduced in the Try a New Technique challenge this week at Splitcoast Stampers (you can see the challenge HERE).  With the Acrylic Block Collage technique, you color with markers or stamp pads on acrylic blocks (the same blocks you use to attach stamps that are not mounted on wood) starting with the lightest color and progressing to the darkest color.  You then spritz the ink with water and stamp directly onto paper.  Once the ink has dried (it only takes a few minutes), you can stamp random images on the collage area and then use a larger image and stamp it in a dark color over the area.  There are so many possibilities with this one, and I have had a wonderful time trying lots of different options with this technique.

The Clean and Simple Challenge at Splitcoast Stampers this week required us to make a Harvest-inspired card.  I decided to combine the two challenges for this card:

For this one, I inked shades of yellow, brown and green all over the block, then added a little orange in the center section.  I misted the block lightly with water so the colors would start to blend and provide this multi-hued Autumn background.  After the ink dried, I lightly stamped some leaves over the background, then added my large sunflower and sentiment. 

I really loved the colors on this card, but wondered how it would look without the orange, so I made another card:

I kept everything almost exactly the same but eliminated the orange.  I like the effect but still feel like it needs more color to help it "pop" off the card.  I would like to revisit this card and use more distinctive color blocks (one yellow, one green and one brown, for example).  Since these are CAS cards I had to restrain myself from adding anything else to these cards!

While I was playing with this technique I tried several different markers and ink pads, and I apologize for not capturing the specific ones used on these cards.  What worked best for me was to use mostly markers (especially for my lighter colors), scribbling and drawing and thumping on the block with them.  I did use ink pads, but mostly for the darker shades.  I also learned it takes a lot more ink than I expected.  I really had to get the ink built up on the block before I could get a good impression.  I only needed one or two pumps of water mist to get a good result (too much water just led to water spots).  I use a little travel-size mister bottle (I pick mine up in the travel-size products section at Wal-Mart or Target).  I held the bottle 8-12 inches from the paper and stamped immediately after misting.

Tomorrow I will share more cards using this technique.  I'm having so much fun playing with this one that I just keep trying new colors and designs.  I hope you'll give this technique a try and discover just how much fun it is to play with water and ink!

Thanks for visiting today!
Products Used:
Paper: Whisper White card stock (Stampin' Up!)
Inks on background: Various markers and dye ink pads
Ink on sunflower and sentiment: Colorbox Chalk Chestnut Roan (Clearsnap)
Stamps: Sunflower from "Friendship Bouquet" (Close to My Heart), Delight from "Paint Prints" (Stampin' Up!)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Trick or Treat: It's Pumpkin Time!

In the past I haven't put a lot of energy into Halloween.  I usually jump right into making winter and Christmas cards at this time of year.  But my little boy has become enthralled with pumpkins and costumes and trick-or-treating, so this year I'm making more of an effort to enjoy the fun of Halloween.  I picked up a few Halloween stamps from the dollar bin at Michael's (and they were 40% off, so this frugalista was pretty excited!).  I figured that if they didn't stamp well, I'd only wasted 60 cents on each of them, but I have actually been surprised by how well they stamp.  The small pumpkin and the sentiment on this card are from my dollar-bin shopping spree, so you can see for yourself how well they stamp.

This card was created for the very first challenge offered by a brand-new blog, CAS(E) This Sketch.  Here is the sketch for this week's challenge:

Isn't that a fun sketch?  So many possibilities with this one!  CAS(E) this Sketch posts challenges for the Clean and Simple style. Click CAS(E) This Sketch to join in the fun!
Here is my card for the challenge:
This card is a very clean and simple (CAS), one-layer card.  The images and sentiment are stamped directly on the white card base.  A one-layer card can be a great option if your base paper weight isn't heavy enough to hold a lot of layers and embellishments, although that's not the only reason to make a one-layer card.  I find one layer cards to be quite challenging because it's very difficult to hide mistakes!
I stamped the sentiment first, then added the pumpkins.  Since the font on the sentiment gives a slight curve to the words, I followed that pattern and stamped my pumpkins in a slightly curved line, too.  (Sure, we'll go with that.  Sounds a lot better than admitting I couldn't stamp them in a straight line if my life depended on it!)  I colored the pumpkins with watercolor crayons.  The trick with the crayons is to pick up the color from the crayon with your slighty wet brush and move the color from the brush to your paper, rather than coloring with the crayons directly on the paper.  The more water you use, the lighter the color will be, so for these brighter colors I used very little water on my brush..  I think the crayons provide more intense color than watercolor pencils, and I really like using them.
If CAS isn't your usual style, I'd encourage you to give it a try.  I definitely find it challenging (especially the part about leaving a lot of open space...that goes against the grain for me), but it's also really nice to complete a card and feel satisfied with it after just one or two layers.  Sketches are really helpful in trying out a new style, so I recommend using a sketch to get comfortable with the CAS concept.
I'm working on a card for another challenge that uses a technique I've never tried before, and I hope to have that card ready to show you tomorrow.  Thanks for visiting today! 
Products Used:
Paper: Whisper White card stock (Stampin' Up!)
Stamps: Small pumpkin (Stampin' Up!), large pumpkin and sentiment (Craft Smart at Michael's)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Watercolor Crayons (Staedtler)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Anniversary Card for My Husband

Recently my husband and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary.  He's the kind of guy who thoughtfully remembers the little details that I often forget, so I tried very hard to create a card with details that were reminiscent of our wedding.  Our wedding colors were black and white, and my bridesmaids and I carried red roses to add a splash of color.  I recreated those colors on this card.  The sentiment is from a set I used to stamp the napkins for our wedding.  I tried to keep the embellishments to a minimum, as I didn't want to "girly" this card up too much for my husband!  Here's the card I made for him:

I stamped the background stamp in craft ink on white card stock, then heat embossed it with clear embossing powder.  I attached a piece of red ribbon (repurposed from a package I received recently...I always save those ribbons!) to the embossed panel.  I used my Big Shot and a Sizzix die to cut rectangles of black and white card stock, stamped my sentiment and adhered the stamped piece to a larger black rectangle.  I added black brads to the corners and adhered that piece to the embossed card stock using dimensionals.  I then attached the whole panel to a card base made of black card stock and added a white liner to the inside of the card.

My husband and I have been blessed with beautiful children, a strong support system of family and friends, and a Savior who has carried us through the ups and downs of life.  There's a whole lot of love in our house, and life around here is always exciting.  If that's not worth taking the time to make a special card, I don't know what is!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Products used:
Background Stamp: Soft Swirls (Stampin' Up!)
Sentiment Stamp: Love Matters (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Basic Black Craft ink (Stampin' Up!), Memento Tuxedo Black
Embossing Powder: Clear (Mrs. O'Leary's)
Embellishments: Black brads, red ribbon

Monday, October 8, 2012

Autumn Leaves in Plaid

Thanks for visiting my blog on this chilly October day.  It's really starting to feel like Autumn where I live, so I've been stamping a lot of leaf and pumpkin images.  I love this time of year!

Today's card is for two challenges this week at Splitcoast Stampers.  The Clean and Simple (CAS) challenge required us to use plaid, and the Try a New Technique challenge required us to use dimension.  If you'd like to see these challenges, please click HERE and HERE.  We'd love to have you play along with us! 

Using plaid is definitely something I don't do often (even in my wardrobe), so this challenge really required me to step out of my comfort zone.  I also found it very difficult to stay in the CAS style when incorporating plaid into my design.  This card is not heavily embellished so I think it still fits the basic definition of CAS.  Adding dimension was much easier, as I used foam dimensionals and jute to elevate the sentiment. 

Here's my card:

I started by cutting my patterned paper into a panel slightly smaller than my card front.  I stamped the leaf on the patterned paper panel in Chocolate Chip.  I cut two pieces of jute and stretched them across the panel, attaching the ends of the jute to the back of my patterned paper. I attached the patterned paper panel to my Chocolate Chip card base. I stamped the sentiment in Chestnut Roan on a piece of tan card stock, then mounted it on a piece of Chocolate Chip card stock.  I added foam squares to the back of the sentiment piece and adhered it to the card over the jute. 

I really wanted to use raffia in place of the jute, but I just couldn't find raffia in the right color in my supplies.  When I first looked at this plaid paper I wasn't sure if I would like it on a card, but now I really like the masculine feeling it lends.   

(A note about my photo: I photographed this card near the sliding glass doors leading out to my deck, as I can usually get the best light there.  We have large trees in our backyard and it was a rather windy day, so I was getting all kinds of leafy shadows on my card when I tried to photograph it.  It turns out the leaves on the tree overhanging my deck are shaped almost exactly like the trees I stamped on this card, and it made for a really cool shadow effect!  I finally managed to snap a decent picture of this card in the lull between wind gusts.) 

That's all for today.  Thanks so much for stopping by! 
Products Used:
Card Base: Chocolate Chip (SU)
Patterned Paper: Brown Plaid (Recollections)
Ink: Chocolate Chip Classic (SU), Chestnut Roan Colorbox Chalk (Clearsnap)
Leaf stamp - PSX
Faith stamp - Stampabilities
Other: 3D Foam Squares (Therm-O-Web), jute

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Snowman's Second Life

Today's card was created for "What Are the Odds?", this week's Ways to Use It Challenge at Splitcoast Stampers.  The requirement for this card was to use an odd number of some element on the card.  I used three snowflakes for my "odd".  Here's my card:

I have a box of unfinished projects in my craft room, and every once in awhile I will unearth a piece of a project and give it a second life.  For this card, I dug into the box and found this adorable snowman image.  I had stamped it, colored it with watercolor pencils, added some Stickles and layered it on red and black card stock, and then for some reason I never finished whatever project I had intended it for.  It's nice to repurpose your own work sometimes, so I decided to use this piece to make a new card.

I cut a larger piece of the same textured red card stock and adhered it to a black card base.  Using a black gem, white fiber and dimensionals, I attached the image to the card by hanging it from the gem.  I die cut three snowflakes and added them to the card.  I stamped the sentiment on white card stock and layered it on black card stock, then adhered that piece to the card base.  I finished by adding more Stickles to the snowman and snowflakes.  It's hard to see in the picture, but those Stickles really add some snowy sparkle to the card.

This card has reminded me that winter will be here soon, which means I really need to get cracking on my Christmas shopping!  That sounds like the perfect excuse to go shopping this weekend, doesn't it?

Thanks for stopping by! 
Products used on this card:

Snowman Image: Snow Angels (Stampin' Up!)
Sentiment: Close to My Heart
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Snowflakes: ProvoCraft
Other: Watercolor pencils, black gem, white fiber, Stickles

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Clean and Simple, or Dirty and Frustrating?

This week's Sketch Challenge at Splitcoast Stampers *should* have been easy.  (You can see the original sketch HERE.)  The sketch requires a card base, one additional layer, one image and one sentiment.  Pretty straightfoward, right?  Well, it didn't come together easily for me.  I couldn't decide on an image, then I couldn't decide on a sentiment, and then once I settled on those I couldn't seem to keep my inky fingers from leaving stray marks.  I must have stamped at least 8 panels before getting one that was free of stray marks.  My "clean and simple" card became quite dirty and frustrating!  The final result is a card that looks deceptively simple:

Now that I've finished my card, I can see how versatile this sketch can be and I think I will keep working with it.  By changing the image and/or the sentiment, you can easily create a card for any occasion.  This card is great for mailing because it is lightweight and free of embellishments. 

I made a card base from a piece of textured Bazzill brown card stock.  I cut a panel of Ultrasmooth Vanilla card stock (Stampin' Up!) and stamped the mug and steam (from Close to My Heart) in Memento Espresso Truffle ink on the right side of the panel.  I added the sentiment (from the Elegant Greetings set by Stampin' Up!) using the same ink, then rounded the corners of the panel with a corner rounder punch.  I adhered the ivory panel to the card base and added a liner to the inside of the card.  (Whenever I use a dark-colored card base, I add a light-colored liner for writing on the inside.)  The sketch called for the sentiment to be lower on the card, but with my image it would put the card off-balance to have the sentiment in the lower portion.  In a sketch challenge you are allowed to make minor adjustments and changes to suit your project, which allows for some creativity while following a basic formula.

One thing about Clean and Simple cards: It's very, very hard to hide mistakes!  Most of the time when I'm stamping a card, an extra embellishment or an added layer can cover up mistakes, but a CAS card is just so...naked!  It definitely challenges a stamper to do her best work (and keep those fingers clean!).

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Go Ahead, Copy Me!

You know how in school you're not allowed to copy someone else's work?  Well, in cardmaking circles, copying is form of flattery!  There's even an acronym for it: CASE, which stands for Copy and Share Everything.  This doesn't mean you duplicate the card exactly; instead, you use the existing card to springboard your own creativity.  You can replicate the colors, the sentiment, the design, etc., but put your own twist on them and change up a few elements.

Today's card is a CASE for a Splitcoast Stampers challenge.  Once a week, a Featured Stamper is chosen, and those who play in the challenge pick one of the Featured Stamper's cards to CASE.  The original card can be seen here.  This is my CASE of that card:

I kept the basic layout and design of the original card.  I chose a different sentiment from the same set used on the original card.  I also changed the colors, the image and the number of layers. 

I started by sponging several hues of purple and lavender chalks on a panel of white card stock.  I sponged the chalk by rubbing a piece of craft sponge (you could also use a sponge dauber) in my chalk, then rubbing it on the card stock in a circular motion.  I started with my palest lavender shade and gradually added more color, using progressively darker shades of purple.  I stamped my image in White Craft Ink, then covered the ink in white embossing powder and Stampin' Up! Glassy Glaze embossing powder.  (I added the Glassy Glaze because I don't like the way my white embossing powder sets on its own.  If you have a better-quality white EP, you would not need to add Glassy Glaze).  I heat embossed the image, then stamped "Happy Birthday" in Elegant Eggplant Classic Ink.  I adhered this panel to an Elegant Eggplant card base.  In the picture the card base almost looks black, but in reality it's a very deep and rich purple.  It's one of my favorite card stock colors!

This card offers endless possibilities for colors, images and sentiments.  And if you've never tried sponging chalk, I hope you'll give it a try!  Here's a tip: A white eraser can fix most chalk mistakes, which makes it a great medium for perfectionists! 

Here's a list of the Stampin' Up! products I used:

Stampin' Pastels (chalks)
Glassy Glaze
Elegant Eggplant card stock and dye ink
Sentiment - "Elegant Greetings"
Image - "Close as a Memory"
Thanks for stopping by!  Happy Stamping!