Sunday, December 30, 2012

When Christmas Becomes New Year's

This is a Christmas card that became a Christmas and New Year's card, and if I do not get it hand-delivered soon, it may sprout a Valentine, too!
What you are looking at above is a Diagonal Double Pocket Card, and the tutorial is here. I made the base card about two years ago, using my favourite Christmas paper, but the fact that it does not stand up on its own bothered me. Plus, I did not have anything to put in its pockets! 
Then last year I made this tag. I loved this tag. I loved it so much I was not willing to part with it last year. I hung it in my studio to enjoy, then placed it in my Christmas card project box to use this year. I recently acquired a die to make card easels, so I was able to solve the upright card conundrum. The easel folds flat and will slide into a pocket in the card. The Merry Christmas tag seemed a good fit for the first pocket.

I used a Quietfire Design stamp for the card cover, and attached vellum snowflakes and Swarovski crystals to the front. A little snowflake charm was added for a bit of bling. Had I made it to my friend's house last week, a personal note would have gone in the second pocket and that would have been fine.
However, here it is Dec. 30 and I have yet to make it out to visit folks. Tomorrow it is! So I needed to add a Happy New Year tag to the affair. Enter the Tim Holtz Sizzix Cracked embossing folder. I embossed the tag, then brayered over it with glue and sprinkled on silver and teal glitter.
The sentiment was stamped on white shrink plastic in blue Stazon ink and heated to shrink it to charm size.
And that is how the Christmas Card became a New Year's greeting, too!

End of an Era- WMSC129

It is the last weekly Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge ever and so to commemorate this sad occasion I managed to make a card. I will miss the weekly inspiration. Although I often did not have time to enter I always checked it out and enjoyed seeing the creations by the Mischief Makers and fellow WMS fans. 

The 129th sketch is courtesy of Edna Morrisedie:
Here is my card:
My daughter requested a birthday card for a friend who likes all things French and feminine, so I was able to have some fun with a number of Waltzingmouse stamps.
I even made a beaded stick pin, with a hanging doodad. This was from a deconstructed wine glass marker found in the big box store clearance bin.

The paper flower is a dollar store find, and I sprayed a wee bit of shimmer mist across it. A little peek inside to show that I sometimes dress up the insides of cards, too. Farewell, WMS Weekly Sketch Challenge. I look forward to seeing what Claire dreams up for 2013 to keep us busy.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Green for Christmas

I only needed two more cards for Christmas and the Waltzingmouse Christmas Card Challenge for the month of December was to use green in our cards. The first one is a tri-shutter card:

What always amazes me about these cards is how they fold down to 4.25 X 5.5 inches. I have entered this in the Christmas Card Challenge here.

Second up is a card made using a resist technique.

I dry embossed the holly spray in a Cuttlebug folder, then white embossed music onto the raised holly. Then I coloured with Distress Inks and overstamped more music on the edges of the card with Vintage Photo ink. The holly berries are red Stickles. The text is also white embossed. 

This is my last post before Christmas so let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope it is relaxing and enjoyable, and that you find some time to create something, too! Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Vintage Photo

I have a sheet of Christmas portraits from Artchix Studio that I have been hoarding for a few years. I decided it was time to use one of the images.

I used Flourishes stamps to create a soft background, then matted the photo with layers of tan and red cardstocks.

The small hanging ornament is made from a very large Waltzingmouse Stamp. I stamped it on shrink plastic, cut it out with the largest Heirloom Ornament Spellbinders die, and then heated it to reduce its size to charm dimensions.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Follow Yonder Star

For the Waltzingmouse Christmas Card Monthly Challenge - November 2012, we were to feature a source of light on our cards. I recently acquired the new western themed Christmas stamp set Yonder Star, so went with that for my theme. Fairly clean and simple.
Glittery star on purple sky.

Using the cardstock left over from the first card, I backed the hole with silver paper.

Just a different angle to show how glittery the cardstock is.

Memory Box landscape die.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Distress EP, Dreamweavers and WMS Sketch

For this Christmas card, I tried a new technique using a Dreamweavers snowflake stencil, some regular stencil embossing paste, and Rangers Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Powder in Tattered Rose.

I used this week's Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge for the design, but opted to put the borders top and bottom instead of on the sides. Here is the sketch:

And here is my "distressed" card:
My first step was to take a plain white piece of lightweight cardstock and tape the stencil in place in the middle. Then I spread the paste over the stencil and scraped off the excess. I lifted up the stencil, then applied the Tattered Rose Distress Embossing Powder. I let it dry, then heat embossed the powder to assure good adhesion. The texture is very unique - sort of sand-roughened.

I used my foam sponge blending tool and applied various Distress Inks to the cardstock: Antique Linen in the center and Salty Ocean and Broken China moving outward. A moistened swab was used to remove any ink from the snowflake. I cut the ornament shape (Spellbinders Heirloom Ornaments 2011) from the center and inserted a pearl brad, then traced around the die on a scrap of cardstock and cut out a shadow layer. I treated it with the same Distress EP on the edges and layered the snowflake piece on top.

The inked up cardstock with the ornament hole in the center was too pretty to discard, so I ran it through my die cutting/embossing machine with the Sizzix Tim Holtz Postcards embossing folder. I highlighted the raised lettering with Tattered Rose and Antique Linen Distress Inks. With the shadow layer under my snowflake, I could use pop dots to adhere it back on the background with no cuts showing.

I have a few precious pieces of cobalt blue Italian silk cardstock and used one to border the ensemble. Before layering, I die cut a very large piece out of the center so that it is mostly just the visible border that was used. No sense wasting that goodness underneath!

I embossed the Waltzingmouse vintage greeting, and border strips in a pearly embossing powder that echoes my thin border. I added a "Mini Me" Waltzingmouse ornament just for fun. The card base is cream but I treated it all with Tattered Rose Distress Ink to tie it all together. Ranger and Dreamweaver are showcasing techniques using the Distress Embossing Powders and the stencils, and there are prizes! Check out these links for more information: Dream it Up Blog and the Ranger blog. And while you are at it, create a card for the Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge. You don't even need to use WMS stamps to play along!

Doin' a Happy Dance!

Hello! I just found out that the good folks over at the Dreamweavers Blog chose my Burnished Velvet Leaves card for their October "Festively Fall" challenge winner in the category: Best Interpretation of the Challenge. Woohoo! I get to choose a stencil from the vast array of Dreamweaver Stencils. I have already decided on this one:

You can see an amazing card by Joy Hauck here on the Dreamweaver Blog that shows what can be done with this stencil. Another great sample using glitter (with instructions!) can be found on Yogi's amazing art blog here. Thank you, Dreamweavers, for choosing my card!

The November challenge on the Dreamweavers Blog is CAS Holidays (Clean and Simple). The only two Dreamweavers Stencils I own are holiday related, a snowflake and a spray of holly. I decided to enter this challenge using the holly. I rarely make anything CAS so this is extra challenging for me!

I bought the stencil, some embossing pastes and a metal offset spatula at my local stamp store (Stampers! in Victoria, BC) eons ago, but I have never gotten around to trying them out until now. Shame on me!

I taped the stencil down, ran it through my Cuttlebug to pressure emboss, then used Copic markers to colour in the image. I needed to use a light touch with the markers so they didn't seep under the stencil. Then I applied the transluscent Pearlescent Embossing Paste over top, removed and washed the stencil, then waited for the holly to dry.

Meanwhile, I created a little label with a Stampin' Up! punch and found it paired well with a Spellbinders Labels 21 die for a glittery background. I stamped the sentiment with Versafine Olympia Green. It's a Waltzingmouse Stamp. (One of the monthly WMS Christmas Card Challenges is to make a card based on a song. Fa la la la la...)  Two strips of glittered tape top and bottom framed the holly nicely and the whole works was mounted onto dark green card stock. This is a 5.5 X 4.25 inch card.

I hope you can see the raised image in the photos. The paste dried in about 20 minutes and I think it looks better in real life than it does in the photos. It is pearly, but not as muted as the colours here suggest. I can't wait to practice more and improve my technique! Why not join the November CAS challenge on the Dreamweavers blog, too? See you there!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sew Thankful for Friends

My dear friend Mary lives in California, but on a recent trip to visit here, she gave me my early birthday and Christmas presents. We are great ones for avoiding paying shipping costs! She presented me with a Hero Arts stamp called "Make it Yourself" and I promptly told her I would use it to create a thank you card for her.
I paired the stamped and Copic coloured image with October Afternoon Thrift Shop paper (a favourite paper pad that is sadly dwindling...) and used Antique Linen Distress Ink to age the edges. I used the Perfect Layers tool to mat the image. The small label was punched with a Stampin' Up! punch, stamped with a Waltzingmouse Sentiment and red brads echo the dress and border. 

I usually don't do much to the inside of my cards, but this Artful Stamper sentiment seemed just right! Thanks for peeking in!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pink for Christmas

The Waltzingmouse Christmas Card Challenge for the month of October is Pretty in Pink. I cannot recall if I have ever made a pink Christmas card before, so this seemed daunting, but the pretty Opera Tags stamp and die set inspired me with the opera curtain and the feminine shape.

This card was just a series of experiments that came together in the end. I was thinking of Moulin Rouge and can can dancers and sort of shabby, vintage ladies' budoirs when I was making it. 

The silky rayon bow is made from a Martha Stewart ribbon. It is quite thick and I used the simple, nifty bow tip I shared in this post to create it. I like how it is fraying a bit at the ends.

The ornament has the word Joyeux above Noel (from the Say It Loud Winter Holiday set) and if you click on this photo you might be able to make it out! I stamped the acetate layer with Fuchsia Pink StazOn ink and layered it over pink cardstock that I coated in iridescent glitter embossing powder. I tried stamping right on top of the embossed layer but it lacked definition, so the acetate jacket was the answer. Those two layers were added to a third fussy-cut pink layer that I ran a deep pink Copic marker around to create a border. The Spellbinders Frameabilities Classic Frame die cut was stamped with some sheet music and shaded with Antique Linen Distress Ink and highlighted with Memento Angel Pink.  
I created borders top and bottom with the ornate stamp from the Very Vintage Christmas set (still my all time favourite WMS stamp! Claire - when will you make a background stamp from that same design?)) and mounted them on more ribbon. I scored the pink base cardstock in a diamond pattern and dotted Diamond Stickles at each interestion to create some interest.

Very pink - not my favourite colour but I did my best to embrace the challenge! Thanks for stopping by today. Details on the WMS Christmas Card monthly challenge can be found in the WMS forum. I am also entering this card in the WMS sketch challenge.

Christmas Cuddlers

I recently purchased some new rubber from Suzanne at Quietfire Design and was so happy to have a bit of time to play this weekend. I tried out the acrylic block collage technique recently posted on Splitcoaststampers to the Technique Lovers Challenge. The idea is to smoosh a few inks on a flat acrylic block, spritz with water and stamp the block onto cardstock, then overstamp other stamps in a collage effect. There are some lovely samples in the gallery

For my first try above, I used Distress Inks. These inks are designed to bleed, blend and wick, so they interacted with each other as I overstamped. It gives a soft, dreamy look. I used snowflakes and flourishes from Quietfire Design for the collage. The "Christmas Cuddlers" are words that are meant to be nestled together, and I used Christmas and snowflakes for these cards. All Quietfire stamps are calligraphy; painstakingly drawn by hand - even the flourishes and snowflakes! As someone who is a Failed Calligrapher, I really appreciate being able to add this special touch to my cards that a computer just can't duplicate.

For my second attempt, I used a Kaleidocolor gradient stamp pad in Blue Breeze. This is a more defined, sharper effect. For both cards, I added some Diamond Stickles to the centers of the snowflakes to enhance them a bit.

Not too bad for a one layer standard A2 card. I think this might be the answer to the last minute Christmas card rush!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Tale of Two Cards

You might be surprised to know that many of the cards that I have shared here on my blog are not the final products. Often I will snap some photos and write a blog post, but then when I go to mail the card or attach it to a gift, I see it with fresh eyes and decide to edit or enhance it. I might add a bow or gemstones. Not drastic changes, but just something more that I feel the card needs. I don't know if I am the only one who does that.

This card (above) is an example of that. This is how it looked when I first thought it was done. Now before I tell you more - let me fully disclose the wonderful inspiration for this card. It was not an original idea - I fell in love with Waltzingmouse design team member Julia Aston's card here and when I finally got around to ordering the Half Pint Heroines set from Waltzingmouse Stamps, I knew I wanted to CASE Julia's lovely design. I already had a similar Memory Box die to make a "village" bottom border. I cut it out of white cardstock and added a bit of colour behind the window and door openings. I was also taken with the sky Julia sponged onto her background, and I definitely need to work on that technique, but I am glad I tried it.
Julia paper-pieced her balloon and added gemstones, and I thought those were grand ideas, too! (I am shameless.)
Now you will see that after I took those photos, I monkeyed around a bit with the landscape. The white seemed too pale with all the colour up top. I felt it needed a bit more punch. So I started adding colour with Copics. And Miss Sunshine in the basket looks like she flew too close to the sun - an attempt to add just a touch of blush to her cheeks that got away on me!

I fixed her cosmetic mishap here. The weak landscape was still bothering me, though. 
I finally settled on overlaying it completely with a black die cut. The black echoed the thin black border around the edge of the scene and provided a bit of balance to the sentiment stamped in black. Once that card was truly done, I quickly whipped up a second similar card. I used two sizes of gems for the balloon as I felt the smaller ones provided a bit of sense of perspective - curving away so therefore getting smaller. 

Here they both are, and that's my Tale of Two Cards!