Welcome to my blog. Over the years that I have been stamping and paper crafting, I have so often been inspired by the ideas on other sites and blogs. I hope I can pay that back in some measure with my own.

December 30, 2012

Yummy Strawberries

Before Christmas, I was invited to my neighbor's house for dinner.  Sandra, who is a marvelous hostess, served a delicious meal including steak, lobster tail, and parmesan flan.  It was superb and I needed a thank-you card that really conveyed my appreciation.  I think I found it with this one!

This well-satisfied chubby fella is from the Strawberry Kisses "Yum" set.  Doesn't he look like he could just burst with delight?

After stamping the image in black, I colored it with my colored pencils.  I used Tulip snow and glitter on the whipped cream sections.  While this was drying, I prepared the card base.  I started with a 5 inch square folded white base.  I added a layer of cocoa brown, then strawberry pink gingham paper, and then a square of brown gingham to serve as the mat for the image.

I then punched three holes in the upper right corner of the main image and tied small gingham ribbons in pink and tan.  This was then mounted on to the prepared card base with dimensionals.  (Tip:  using dimensionals allows for a smoother layer as it gives room for the ribbon knots.)

I hope that she enjoys this card as much as I enjoyed my evening with them!

December 23, 2012

Looking back at a year of Crafter's Companion designs

Hello!  As we near the end of 2012, I wanted to take a look back at the designs I had done as part of my year on the Crafter's Companion Design Team.

We were asked to pick one of our favorite posts to highlight.  I think the card below, with the stippled rolling hills in earthy colors, and that beautiful asymmetrical pine is it.  Why?  Well, first the image is dramatic and striking, and perfect for heat embossing.  And, the stippling technique is so easy and gives a real wow factor.  Third, this is one of my favorite color palettes.  And finally, it can be used for any gender - and sometimes I struggle with masculine cards.

So here's for a second look at my Pine Tree and Misty Hills card, originally posted in September.  The image is from Sheena's Pinescape set.

The Design Team coordinators also picked their favorite post of mine from this year.  Curious as to which one they picked?  See it here.  Coincidentally, it was made with another one of Sheena's sets.  And, if you click on the "here", and leave a comment and follow the other instructions, you'll have a chance to win my favorite stamp set -- Sheena's Silhouette Grasses.  Notice a trend?  I love Sheena's designs!

I'll be leaving the design team at the end of December.  It has been great getting to use the wonderful designs and products from Crafter's Companion.  I'll miss it, but I know the new design team members will be awesome!

December 16, 2012

Serene Honey Locust Leaf

OK, so I don't know if this image is really a honey locust or not...it actually reminds me of a fern...but I love it.  It is from Sheena's A Little Bit Sketchy Autumn Leaves set.

I needed to make a masculine birthday card for a co-worker, and this image worked marvelously.  I started with confetti tan card stock, and embossed the image in white embossing powder using Versamark ink.  This was die cut in an oval, with a white scalloped oval mat, and set aside.

Next I did the background.  I used Versamark ink and clear embossing powder on the tan card stock.  It gives a nice subtle raised watermark or tone-on-tone look.  This was layered on to a white mat, and then on to a folded A2 tan card base.

I adhered the oval image just a bit higher than center.  The Happy Birthday image is raised and adds nice dimension.  It is from the Beatrix Potter Two Bad Mice "Appley Dapply" 3D Toppers.  The color coordinated beautifully.

As a finishing touched I wrapped some thin twine (from the hardware store, LOL) around the spine.  I tied on two coordinating beads.  Since I'm handing it to the recipient at work, I didn't have to worry about the added bulk of the beads for mailing.

Twenty minutes from start to finish -- you can't beat that!  Hope you enjoyed it.

December 9, 2012

Snowy Scene - Mary Arden's House

The Timeless Britain collection by Mike Goss for ArtKure is one of my favorite lines from Crafter's Companion.  I love his detailed images. But, sometimes that very same detail can also be a bit daunting as well -- if you are in a hurry or if you don't like to color.  So I'd like to show you how the beauty of these images can stand on their own -- all I did was add a touch of glitter.

I used the Mary Arden's House image as my focal point, stamping it in black ink on to vanilla card stock. Then I die cut it in an oval and die cit a black scalloped mat for it.  Next, I used the clear 3D Crystal Lacquer to cover the roof, the bushes by the stone wall, and the pine trees.  While still wet, I sprinkled it with fine white glitter.  Set this aside to dry.  Here is a close-up image of the house.  Can you see how the crystal lacquer adds a nice raised dimension, in addition to acting as glue for the glitter?

On a large black mat layer, adhere a striped designer paper to the bottom half and an ivory Swiss-dot embossed card stock to the top half, leaving a 1/8" margin of black showing.  I often use a Swiss dot embossing folder to evoke the feeling of snow.  Attach a wide ivory grossgrain ribbon at the seam and tape on the back.  This is then layered on to a folded A2 vanilla card base.

The focal image was mounted using these adhesive foam circles.  I like to do that when layering over ribbon because it raises just enough to avoid having a funny line through the image, and keeps it more secure.

Final touches were a small black bow centered at the bottom of the image, and two small paisleys and pearls in the bottom corners.

Do you like these Art-Kure Timeless Britain images?  Here's another project I had shred back in June, made with another image from this line (Buckland in the Moor) -- it is an altered box done in the same ivory and black color scheme.

December 2, 2012

Elegant Snowflakes

The winter cold becomes a bit more bearable when you can sit in your craft room, all cozy in your jammies, and play with the Ornate Snowflakes set by Sheena Douglass.  I decided to go outside the traditional color spectrum for snowflakes and do an elegant card in black and gold.

I started by embossing the snowflake on to black card stock.  I used a mixture of gold and silver metals.  That was a happy accident when I made this card -- I accidentally mixed gold and silver and poured it back in the bottle -- polluting the entire jar of powder.  I was going to throw it away, but at heart I am frugal, so I tried it -- it looks really cool mixed!   This main image was then die cut in a circle and matted on to a larger brushed gold circle.

The background is simply black card stock embossed in a medallion design.  I tied a big bow in sheer gold organza ribbon about an inch from the bottom.  Then I adhered the focal image with dimensionals.  This was layered on to an A2 card base of brushed gold.

This was so quick to make that I made a small matching tag.

This card is intended for my manager's birthday -- hope she likes it!

November 25, 2012

Autumn Maple Leaf

I think this Autumn Leaves set by Sheena Douglass is my new favorite set.  I'm sorry to see autumn end and with it occasions to use it.  It is really versatile -- I even used it on a wedding card!

I started by using a few brayered backgrounds in autumn tones that I had dome in a big batch a few weeks ago.  I spritzed them with stamp cleaner (yes, stamp cleaner!) and got the water drop look.  You can do this even if the backgrounds have dried for several days.

On one, I heat embossed the maple leaf with copper embossing powder.  This was trimmed and layered on to an olive green mat, and then on to a black mat.

The second background was layered on to a black mat.  The next step was to use three copper brads in the lower right.  (Tip:  use a paper piercer and hole template to keep the brads straight and evenly spaced.)  Finally this was mounted on to a rust A2 card base.

Simple - but striking.  Hope you enjoyed it!

November 18, 2012

Baby's Best Friend

I'm loving the new S.W.A.L.K Pawfect Pals set, Pedigree Chum.  Isn't it wonderful?

The image of the dog and baby made me feel homey and cozy -- so I chose a crazy quilt background paper to carry that feeling through.  I used the warm golden brown, teal and burgundy tones as I colored with my Spectrum Noir markers.  I edged the image all around with IG1 grey to shadow it.

I layered the image on a dark green mat, and then blanket stitched in golden yellow embroidery floss around the edges.  This stitching echoes the stitching in the background paper.  (Tip:  Use a paper piercer and hole punch template to help get more even spacing for your stitching.) This was then layered on to a burgundy mat with dimensional foam circles.

Meanwhile, I prepped a folded 5.5 inch square card base in tan.  I layered the background paper on to a square burgundy mat which then went on to the card base.

Final assembly included mounting the focal image and adding some buttons in tan, burgundy and teal green.  I "faux-sewed" the buttons with the same embroidery floss as the stitching.  I adhered them with glue dots -- I tried hard not to have them in a straight line; once again I was emulating the crazy quilt feel.

I had a lot of fun making this card.  Hope you enjoyed it!