halloween card – double, double, toil and trouble…

Halloween Card with Stampin' Up! Spooky Cat, by Kitty Smith, bashfulcat.com

fire burn and cauldron bubble…

Woohoo, it’s October – my favorite month of the year!  It might still feel like summer in Florida, but that’s not stopping me from making autumn-themed cards!  Today, I just have to share this Halloween card – so fun!

witch’s lair

I was going for sort of a basement laboratory or dungeon look.  Maybe it seems like an odd starting point, but if I had a witchy laboratory, it would be full of old wood crates.  Actually, my house IS full of old wood crates.  Hmmm…

Of course, wood crates are made from wood – so I used the Wood Textures Designer Series Paper.  The Wood Crate die is designed to create a 3D crate, but I just cut out the front piece.  I also cut a thin strip from the same paper, in order to make a matching wood shelf.  The hat, potion bottles, rats, and sentiment, are all from the Spooky Cat stamp set.  Oddly, I actually got the spider web from the Merry Cafe stamp set, and the “steam” coming up from the cauldron is from the Hug in a Mug set.

shhh…

Don’t tell anyone, but that big black cauldron actually started its life as an owl.  A little careful trimming from his head and feet, and voila – a cauldron, just like magic.  (You can’t tell anyone, though, okay?  I cut these out in advance for my class, because the students tend to freak out when I ask them to cut the heads off their birds.)

details, details

I think it was the little touches that really made this card.  I added some “dots” to the steam over the cauldron, with a matching marker, and then covered it with Wink of Stella for a bit of glimmer.  The potions in those bottles, and the buckle on the witch hat also got a bit of glimmer, as well as the rat’s eyes (after coloring them red.  One of my students thought of the red eyes – thanks!)  The spider hanging down from the shelf was just hand-drawn with a fine-tip black pen.  A bit of old orange and black Baker’s Twine finishes it off.

Wink of Stella is so hard to photograph, but here’s my best close-up attempt:

Halloween card made with Stampin' Up! Spooky Cat stamp set, by Kitty Smith, bashfulcat.com

So, what would your witch’s lair look like?  Halloween cards are so much fun!  I wanted to do more with this one, but just ran out of room.  There’s still time, though, to make another.

Celebrate!

Not only is this my favorite time of year, but today is actually World Card Making Day!  How cool is that?!!  Will you be celebrating?  Stampin’ Up! is!  There’s a great “buy three get one free” Designer Series Paper sale going on right now, and a bunch of stamps on sale.  (If you’re into bundles, though, be aware that it might be a better deal to buy the bundle, than to buy the stamps alone, even though they’re on sale.)  And have you checked out the holiday catalog yet?  Oh my gosh – I want it ALL!  If you haven’t seen the catalog, and you don’t already have a Stampin’ Up! demo, I’m available.  🙂  Just shoot me a note, and I’ll be happy to send you a catalog. 

Thank you so much for stopping by, and Happy Card Making Day!

Supplies used (with affiliate links, where available – click here for full disclosure):
Product List

playful owl card

Ready to play 🙂

Well, I have survived my first real hurricane (Irma), and I am ready to get back to life as normal… which means CARDS CARDS CARDS!  And this one was so much fun that I just have to share it.  But first, I have to tell you how it all came about.

Now, I know I shouldn’t be using the Owl Builder Punch because it was recently retired, but so many people have this one already that I thought I could be forgiven.  You could always make a similar design with the Fox Builder Punch, or whatever critter dies you’ve got.  Being relatively new to Stampin’ Up!, this is the first time I really got to play with the owls.  And that’s what I was going for – a playful, teenage owl goofing off as his parents look on from a branch above.  But the skateboard idea wasn’t mine.  Here’s how the first version looked:

I thought Junior was pretty cute just hangin’ around, upside-down.  You know, just acting goofy, kind of like Stitch over there on the left.  But then I made a huge error in judgement:  I asked my husband what he thought.  I know, I’m an idiot.  Even worse, I listened to him!  LOL.  He said “I don’t get it?  Why is this one upside-down?”  I tried to explain, but he insisted that he needed to be “cool”, not goofy.  “Put him on a skateboard.”  And so, I started over.

The Skateboard:

Mom & Pop Owl were pretty much okay “as is”, but Junior wasn’t cool enough.  So I started with some sunglasses (easy-peasy), and got rid of the silly grin.  I tried to give him a black leather jacket (pleather, of course), but it was a complete fail.  I couldn’t figure out how to get the collar right.  He sort of ended up looking like a priest.  (NOT the look I was going for, LOL.)  So, I left his outfit alone, and just concentrated on the skateboard.  It ended up being very easy.  While I used another retired item (Basket Builder Thinlits) to create it, you could very easily come up with something else.  It’s basically just a slightly rounded strip, with two circles for wheels. What I want to show is that when you fish around, and use what you’ve got, you find that so many shapes can be used for so many different objects.

Paper Dolls:

This really turned into a very “paper dolls” kind of exercise.  (I think I just dated myself.)  I just tried to figure out what different shapes would make up each element.  The baseball cap is just two circles:  the top is a half-circle, and the bill is just a sliver sliced off of a slightly larger circle.  I grabbed the branch from the Seasonal Layers Thinlits set.  The various owl outfits (vests?) were just punched from various scraps.  (I used an old patterned paper scrap for Mrs. Owl – this is a perfect opportunity to use up a bit of old scraps!)  Her bow, and the Mr.’s bow-tie were cut from an old die set I have, but any type of bow or decoration would work here.  The glasses – regular for the Mr., and sunglasses for Junior – were super easy.  I just punched all the different sizes of circles that are part of the owl punch, in black & white & red.  Then I just layered them as needed, gluing them to a thin slice of matching cardstock, and trimmed the edges when it was done.

Builder Punches:

While I haven’t actually seen any skateboarding owl cards before, I suspect that mine isn’t the first.  So much “punch art” on the Net!  When in doubt, Google.  🙂  Since this isn’t really a copy, and I must have looked at HUNDREDS of owls before I made this, I will just have to send out a general THANK  YOU to all the insanely talented people out there that have shared their ideas, and given me inspiration.  Before I wrap this up, here’s one last close-up:

Don’t be afraid to play.  The best way to get better at card-making is to just let go of your concern about the final product.  If it doesn’t work, oh well – it’s only paper.  Believe me – what you see on my blog is rarely my first attempt.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and have a wonderful, playful day!

 

Supplies used (with affiliate links where available – please see here for full disclosure): Product List

brick wall butterfly card

Brick Wall Butterfly card, using Stampin' Up! products, by Kitty Smith, bashfulcat.com.

Just another brick in the wall…

While most of this is my own, I’m afraid I can’t take any credit for the coolest part of this brick wall butterfly card – the WALL!  That amazing effect was introduced to me by a fellow demo.  She made it in a class (I think), that might have been CASE’d from someone else on the Net.  (If someone can direct me to the “original”, I will happily give credit!)  It’s so simple, yet so effective.

Brick-laying:

Using some Smoky Slate card-stock (cut to 4″ x 5-1/4″), I ran it through my Big Shot using a “brick” embossing folder.  (I have one from WAY back when, but I’ll link to a similar one by Stampin’ Up, below.)  Then, the really cool part:  using Cherry Cobbler ink, I thoroughly inked up my Watercolor Wash background stamp.  With the stamp pad face up on my table, I placed my embossed sheet on top, and rubbed it to transfer the ink.  Wow – isn’t that cool?!  Easy-peasy.  There are just two things to remember:  emboss first, ink second;  and make sure that the ink goes on the side with the raised bricks not the “sunken” bricks.

Grungy-girly

From there, it’s just a matter of embellishing.  I didn’t want to cover too much of my wall, but I just had to make this grungy brick background look a bit more girly.  Flowers are always nice. I die-cut some flowers and stems from the Beautiful Bouquet die-set, and adhered them to the bottom left of my wall.  (Observant viewers might ask how I got those stems – I used the die-cut stems upside-down, and chopped off more than half of it, LOL.)  The butterfly is a die-cut from the Move Me set.  I cut the fancy outline from Cherry Cobbler, and then glued it onto a piece of vellum.  (Yes, I’m repeating myself… same method I used for a dragonfly on my last card.  I haven’t used vellum in forever… guess I’m making up for lost time, LOL.)

A sign

For the sentiment, I cut out a rectangle from the Wood Textures Designer Series Paper.  It’s a very subtle touch, but I love that white-washed plywood look.  The Hello Friend is from the Wood Words stamp set.  To attach the sign, I taped a toothpick to the back of my sign, then put dimensionals on either side so that I could attach it to the card without the toothpick getting in the way.  (I also trimmed off the bottom so it wouldn’t poke anybody.)  A touch of Wink of Stella on the butterfly and flowers (which, of course, my camera refused to pick up), a Cherry Cobbler card-base, and we’re all set.

Inside

And I found the perfect little poem for the inside!  I love putting Irish Blessings in my card.

If you don’t already have a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator, I’d love to have you as a customer.  There are links below to many of the items I used for this card.  And just a quick head’s up:  if you haven’t looked in a while, there are some great new items on the clearance rack!  And just in case you missed it, there’s still time to get in on the “first month half off” deal for Paper Pumpkin.

Thank you so much for checking out my blog!  Have you tried the brick wall technique?  I’d love to see!  But right now, I suddenly have this urge to listen to some Pink Floyd.  😉  Have a wonderful day!

Supplies (with affiliate links used, where available.  See here for full disclosure.):

Brick Wall Textured Impressions Embossing Folder
Watercolor Wash Background Stamp
Move Me Thinlits Dies
Bouquet Bunch Framelits Dies
Clear Wink of Stella Glitter Pen
Stampin’ Dimensionals
Cherry Cobbler Cardstock
Smoky Slate Cardstock
Cherry Cobbler Ink
Wood Words Stamp Set
Wood Textures Designer Series Paper

marbled dragonfly card

Handmade card using Stampin' Up products, by Kitty Smith, bashfulcat.com.

Marbled Background

Today’s card is all about that marbled background; the dragonfly is really just an accent piece.  However, I almost titled this one “Easier than it looks”.  The message I really want to share today is that anyone can make cards.  Every time someone says “but I’m not creative”, I just cringe.  I can understand that some people just aren’t that interested in crafting – but please, don’t assume that you have to have some rare creative gene to pull it off.

The Right Tools

This card is a perfect example of “having the right tools”(but stay tuned ’til the end of this post, because I have a wonderful suggestion for those who don’t have all the fancy tools!).  I started with a plain white piece of cardstock cut to 5-1/4″ x 4″, and I used just two colors of ink:  Marina Mist and Night of Navy.  (Note: links for most of the products used here are listed below.)  All the hard work was done by the Marbled background stamp.  I saw this stamp in action at a friend’s house, and had to immediately order it.  It’s so incredibly versatile!  Here’s how I got the look you see above:

Ink to Stamp, Not Stamp to Ink

I started by placing the stamp face-up on my work surface.  With background stamps, I find it so much easier to leave the stamp like this, and bring the ink to the stamp (instead of the usual stamp to ink method).  An added bonus is that you don’t have to have a large acrylic block for this method.  I started with my lighter color, Marina Mist, and just took the ink pad directly to the stamp, and covered the whole stamp with ink.  (It helps to take your time, and try not to leave any “lines” from the edge of the stamp pad.)  Then, I took my darker color, Night of Navy, and using a sponge, I just dabbed a little bit of ink, here and there, right over the Marina Mist ink.

Once I was happy with the ink, I took my piece of white cardstock, placed it directly onto the stamp, and pressed it down.  (In this case, because the stamp is slightly larger than my piece of paper, I recommend taking a piece of scratch paper and placing it over the whole thing – it will help cut down on “inky fingers”.)  😉  You want to apply firm, even pressure over the whole thing.  It may help to take a clean acrylic block and rub it over the paper and stamp.  Just be sure not to let your cardstock move around.

Magic

And then, it was time for the big reveal!  I love this part.  🙂  When you lift your paper off the stamp, it’s never the same twice – but with this stamp, it’s always beautiful.  You can use this method with any color you’d like, and you can use more than two inks. And it’s even pretty with just one… but I love the variation you get with a darker accent color.

Finishing Touches

The rest was easy:  glue marbled paper to Night of Navy cardbase, die-cut dragonfly from same navy paper, add sentiment, and add some rhinestones for a touch of bling.  I did add some vellum to the back of my dragonfly – not necessary, but it helps the dragonfly to jump out a bit more from the busy background.  And to adhere the dragonfly to the card, I just used a couple of glue dots in the middle of his body – that way, I was able to curl up his wings a bit and give him some flight.

If You Don’t Have the Tools…

I promised to share a suggestion if you don’t have a gimongous collection of stamps and inks and paper.  Sure, having all those toys is really cool, but it may not be practical for everyone.  (And some people do have the toys, but feel like they lack the ideas or initiative.)  That’s where I come in.  If you’re local and/or know me personally, please come craft with me!  I promise you’ll have fun, and make amazing cards!  But if that’s not an option, how about a kit?

 

Paper Pumpkin

Stampin’ Up has something called Paper Pumpkin. Each month, a nice, bright, pumpkin-colored box comes right to your doorstep.  In it, you will find all of the tools and materials you need to make a bunch of cards and/or paper projects.  Other than maybe some adhesive, you’ll have everything you need to go to town.  Every kit includes at least one ink cube (Stampin’ Spot), and an exclusive stamp set!  And, your first order will even include an acrylic block.  You’ll find complete instructions in the box, to use everything that’s included… but one of things I love about these kits is the versatility.  You are certainly welcome to follow all of the directions to the letter, but you also have the option of mixing things up a bit, and making the projects your own.

I’m still a bit of a newbie with these kits, but I’m loving them so far.  In the coming months, I plan to work a lot with them and share ideas on how to do more with them than just what the directions show.  If you’re on the fence about whether or not card-making is for you, I encourage you to give these kits a try.  It’s a great way to get your feet wet, and see if this is something that brings you joy.

SALE!!!

And right now, if you sign up by September 10th, you will get your first kit for half off!  Just use the promo code HALFOFF0917.  The usual price of $19.95 a month is already a great deal, but this gives you a reason to give it a try.  You can cancel at any time – there is no long-term commitment.

If you don’t already have a Stampin’ Up demonstrator, I’d love to have you as a customer.  I’m always available if you have questions, and I’ll be doing some cool things for my customers as I grow into this role.  And if you’d like to join my team, let me know.  You can help me become a rockin’ team leader.  😀

There are all types and styles and levels of crafters.  I really think that, as crafts go, card-making is very forgiving.  I’ve tried a LOT of crafts, but I tend to suffer from “perfectionism”.  That was, until I tried card-making.  It is so freeing!  In one sitting, I can complete a little work of art, suitable for sharing.  But even if I mess up, all I’ve lost is a piece of paper.  So if you’ve ever wanted to try, just go for it.  It could be just the creative outlet you’ve been looking for.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy crafting!

 

Supplies mentioned (affiliate links used wherever possible.  See here for full disclosure.):

Marbled Background Stamp
Detailed Dragonfly Thinlits
Night of Navy Ink
Marina Mist Ink
Night of Navy Cardstock
Whisper White Cardstock
Rhinestone Basic Jewels
Stamping Sponges

video tutorial! diy cover for the love today planner

Love Today Planner

Hello fellow paper peeps!  So, I’ve already shared just how much I love my new Love Today Planner by Stampin’ Up!  This thing is awesome!  And I’ve already told y’all how I made my own protective plastic cover for it (see here for previous post).  Well, due to popular demand (okay, maybe it was just one person, LOL), I have recorded a video tutorial for you, so you, too, can make an awesome cover for your planner.  🙂

Video Tutorial:

Details:

All I used to make this cover was two job ticket holders, scissors and tape, and a ruler & pen.   I’ll link to some similar products below, but I encourage you to use what you have.  I’ve been using shop ticket holders from C-Line to store my 8-1/2″ x 11″ cardstock, and I’m really happy with them, but I have a few of the Avery Elle ones that others have recommended, and they would work, too.  For adhesive, I used this old “book binding tape” that I got years ago as part of a kit.  I’m linking to some “artist tape”, which appears to be the same stuff, but honestly, I would use what you have.

The video shows how I put this together, but basically, I just trimmed two ticket holders so that they fit over the cover, and taped them together.  I was able to put the tape along the back, so the front side is nice and clean, and then, for the example in the video, I added a strip of matching blue cardstock over the tape, so it doesn’t stand out like the white tape did.  However, you could totally use this as an opportunity to embellish.  I wanted my actual planner cover to show through, but perhaps you’d rather go to town with different decorations.

The first ticket holder, for the front of the planner, I measured from the top of the opening, and cut down 4-1/4″ on each side.  Then I folded over and scored the flap.  (Long-term, I plan to turn this isn’t a pocket, but I’m still coming up with the best way to adhere it down.)  Then I cut and removed the top edge with the hole.

On the second ticket holder, for the back of the planner, I measured from the top of the opening, and cut down 5-3/4″ on each side.  Then, from the very top of the sleeve, I completely cut off and removed 4-1/4″ inches.  Yes, I could have cut that part off first, and then cut down the sides.  And note that these measurements do not have to be exact, particularly if you use a different brand of job ticket holders.  I originally started with two full sleeves, and just experimented, until I was happy with the fit.  (Remember, though:  it’s easier to cut more than it is to cut “less”, LOL.)

Once both pieces were cut, I put them on the planner, and taped them together.  Voila, protective plastic cover.  🙂  Here’s a look at the finished front:

Tips:

There are a few things I learned (the hard way, of course, LOL).

Do not use regular page protectors – you need something thicker and heavier.

If you’re going to decorate the actual cover of your planner, do that before you make this protective cover.  You could just decorate the protective cover, but I’m not sure how long things like stickers would last on it.  (That’s one of the advantages of having this DIY cover – it will protect your embellishments.)

I’m certain that there are many different products you could use to adhere the two pieces together.  However, you may want to stick to something that isn’t too permanent.  I was able to remove this tape, and put it back with zero damage to my DIY cover.

Now that I’ve had this on my planner for a couple of weeks, I can confidently say that it holds up pretty darn well.  Mine still looks absolutely perfect.  🙂

Do you have the new Love Today Planner?  What have you done to fix yours up?  I would love to see it!  If you have any questions, about this or any of my posts, or anything paper or planners or Stampin’ Up!, just send me a note.  Thank you so much for stopping by, and Happy Planning!

Supplies used (with affiliate links, where available.  See full disclosure here):

Stampin’ Up! Love Today Planner
Stampin’ Up! Paper Snip

Night of Navy Cardstock
Snail Adhesive

 

 

 

 



 

soft sweet sympathy card

Sympathy card made with Stampin' Up products, by Kitty Smith, bashfulcat.com.

Soft Sympathy Card

I was going for a soft, muted look for this sympathy card, and I’m happy with how it turned out.  Pairing Very Vanilla with Sahara Sand paper worked even better than I expected.  I already loved the technique of using strips of patterned paper for a background.  Using Stampin’ Up’s awesome Designer Series Papers just kicked it up a notch.

The Details

I started with five designs from the Falling in Love paper set.  It’s retired, but this technique works with nearly any paper.  (I think this exact design would be gorgeous with the new Bundle of Love Designer Series Paper, on Very Vanilla, maybe with Blushing Bride accents.)  For this card, I chose five patterns, and cut a 3/4″ thick strip from each.  One of my favorite tricks for getting different patterns to work well together is to ink the edges.  I sponged on some Sahara Sand along all the edges before adhering the strips to a piece of vanilla cardstock, cut to 4″ x 5-1/4″.  After the strips were all glued down, I trimmed the excess, and then sponged around the whole rectangle, before adhering it to a Very Vanilla card-base.

Accent Pieces

I used the Flourish Thinlits set to cut out three flowery flourish pieces from Sahara Sand paper, for accent pieces.  The sentiment was stamped with Soft Suede ink, with a little fishtail edge, and more of that Sahara Sand sponging.  It’s adhered with some dimensionals.

Sympathy cards are always a struggle, because none of us like to think about what they represent… but I know that they can mean a lot to the recipient, so I like to keep some in my stash.  This design, though, would work equally well as a “Thinking of You” card.  Actually, with a change of papers, and colors, and accent pieces, there’s really no limit to what you could do with this design.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  If you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, or you just want to chat about crafty stuff, please don’t hesitate to send me a note.  I love to make new crafty friends!  Have a super awesome day!

Supplies used (with affiliate links, where possible- see here for full disclosure):

Soft Suede Ink

 

Flourish Thinlits
Banner Triple Punch
Flourishing Phrases
Stamping Sponges
Very Vanilla Cardstock
Very Vanilla Thick Cardstock
Sahara Sand Ink
Sahara Sand Cardstock

rustic country quilt card

Rustic country quilt card, made with Stampin' Up's Wood Words stamp set, by Kitty Smith, bashfulcat.com.

Cozy Quilt

Well, I was going for sort of a rustic, old-timey, cozy quilt card here.  Did I hit the mark?  I can’t really take credit for the idea, though – there are a few variations of this card floating around on Pinterest.  I saw one, and immediately thought of previous “quilt card” designs I’ve done in the past, but with patterned paper instead of stamps.

Lots o’ Squares

It’s a fun technique.  I started with some old Kraft paper I had floating around, but Crumb Cake would work just as well here.  I used it for the card base (standard A2, 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″), and also cut a 3-3/4″ square from it.  I then cut out a whole mess of 1-1/4″ squares from Dapper Denim, Crushed Curry, Calypso Coral, Tranquil Tide and Cherry Cobbler.  I pulled out the matching inks, and did some tone-on-tone stamping with the new Wood Words stamp set.  (In other words, I stamped the star on the Crushed Curry squares with Crushed Curry ink, and Cherry Cobbler hearts on Cherry Cobbler squares, etc.)   I then chose nine squares and arranged them all on the larger Kraft square.  Once I was happy with the placement, I used some snail adhesive to attach them all, being sure to place them as even, straight, and close together as possible.

Quilting

Once my quilt squares were all securely in place, I took the whole 3-3/4″ square piece, and ran it through my Big Shot with an old embossing folder called Stylish Stripes.  (Sorry, it’s retired, but there are lots of similar ones that would work.)  I had fun playing around, trying to come up with something that looked “quilty” to me, and ended up using the diagonal stripes, but running in through TWICE.  I actually embossed it one way, then flipped the piece over and embossed it the other way.  It’s subtle, and is hard to see in the photo, but it gave the quilt piece sort of a plaid pattern.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with the tools you have – you might just come up with something amazing.  🙂

Finishing Touches

To finish up the card, I wrapped some twine around my quilt piece, and adhered it to the card with some dimensionals.  Then I cut a piece of Cherry Cobbler cardstock to 3-3/4″ x 1-1/4″, for the bottom of the card.  (It really doesn’t show up in this picture, but I also ran that piece through the embossing folder, twice.)  The Hello Friend sentiment is part of that same stamp set, stamped in Crumb Cake on a small piece of Kraft.

Misc. Tips

There are a few things going for you here, if you decide to try a similar card.  First, this particular stamp set is designed to look “rustic”.  It doesn’t matter if your stamping is perfect because the impressions are supposed to look a bit worn.  Second, the embossing folder works wonders for hiding slight imperfections – with the stamping, and with the gluing.  While precisely measured squares, and nice, straight lines help, this card still looks lovely when things are just a bit off kilter.  It’s a quilt – it’s supposed to look home-made.  That’s what gives it its charm.  🙂

So what are you waiting for?  Go try your own version of this card!  Really – change the colors, use whatever stamps you like, try different embossing folders… and then let me know what you come up with.  I would love to see your results!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and for hanging in there with me.  I haven’t posted as often as I’d like to, but I have big plans for this blog!  I love making cards, and I’m nowhere near out of ideas.  😀  Have an awesome day!

Supplies (with affiliate links where available):


 

high flyin’ chicken – dare to dream card

Dare to Dream card with Stampin' Up! products, by Kitty Smith, bashfulcat.com
(This post includes some affiliate links, where available.)

Dare to Dream

I can’t help it;  I know this chicken stamp has retired (Hey Chick stamp set), but this little guy just cracks me up!  Just about any critter stamp, though, would work here.  It’s the googly eyes – they just up the playful quotient on any card.  🙂

Card details:

This card really starts with the Dare to Dream Stamp Set, a hostess set currently available for anyone who wants to place a larger ($150.00 or more) order with Stampin’ Up!

(And here’s the blatant commercial advertisement for Stampin’ Up!  It’s a great time to place a large order!  For every $50.00 you spend in July, you’ll get a coupon for $5.00, to spend in August.  Woohoo!  Yay for Bonus Days!

So, this stamp set has some awesome sentiments – it’s the reason I chose the set.  It also has a tiny hot air balloon image, which gave me the idea for this card design.  I needed a MUCH bigger balloon for Mr. Chicken, though. One of my older die sets, Basket Builder (sorry, it’s retired, too), had a perfect basket for the bottom of the balloon, but I had a heck of a time with the actual balloon part.  In the end, I Googled balloon images, and used the inspiration to draw my own.  (Yeah, I was REALLY desperate – I almost never rely on my own drawing skills, LOL.)  I used Watercolor Pencils to color it, and a Blender Pen to smooth it out.

Placement:

I cut a piece of Soft Sky cardstock to 4″ x 5-1/4″.  Both the basket and the balloon, were just glued down, but before I did that, I arranged my pieces, then did my stamping on that blue piece.  (You know that saying, “arrange twice, glue once”?  Something like that, anyway. ;-))  I stamped my chicken where I knew he would be partially covered up by the basket, and then I added the sentiment, and some cloud shapes (from the Dare to Dream Stamp Set) here and there, to help indicate that he really was flying.  I colored the chicken, making his “hair” and tail feathers match the balloon.  (I also added a bit of Wink of Stella Glitter Brush to that wig and tail.)  After I glued down my balloon, I just used a ruler and black pen to draw in the strings that connect the balloon to the basket.  And I glued on those oh-so-cute googly eyes.

Another version…

This wasn’t my only attempt at this card design.  I also just had to see what would happen if I added some “real” string to the balloon.  It took a little effort to tie those tiny bows (okay… maybe that’s an old person problem, LOL), but here’s what I ended up with:

Dare to Dream card with Stampin' Up products, by Kitty Smith, bashfulcat.com

While I do like the string, I decided that the landscape orientation didn’t give me enough room for the balloon.  If I find the patience to try this card again, I’ll probably create a version that combines the best of both of these.  (I didn’t want to wait to post this, though… I happened to mention to a friend about my “chicken in a hot air balloon”, and I think I piqued her curiosity, LOL.) 

The Inside:

For the inside of my cards, I love to find quotes that fit the images on the card front.  I send a LOT of cards, often to the same person, and I hate to just say “Thinking of you” over and over.  I love T.S. Eliot, and I thought this quote fit the card perfectly.

That’s it from me today.  As always, I really appreciate everyone who stops by my blog.  And, although I’m shy, I love meeting new crafty friends, so please don’t hesitate to send me a note.  Have a beautiful day!

 

 

 

 

happy 4th of july, 2017 – red, white & blue card

Happy 4th of July card, by Kitty Smith, bashfulcat.com

Happy 4th!

Cardmakers love holidays.  It’s not that we need an excuse to make (or send!) a card, but holidays give us a special reason, and lots of inspiration.  Fourth of the July cards are no exception.  There are lots and lots of wonderful red, white & blue paper creations on the Internet, many (most?) of them featuring some version of our country’s flag.  I am not the first person to envision the wavy lines from the Swirly Scribbles die set as perfect for the stripes on our flag, but I did try to put my own spin on this card.  Maybe my ideas will help spark some of your own.

The Card:

I started with a piece of white cardstock, and an old embossing folder that just happened to really fit the theme – but just about any kind of design would enhance this card.   It wasn’t necessary, but it’s amazing how much an embossing folder can add to a card.  I cut out those wavy stripes from some Real Red cardstock, and layered a couple of rows of them on top of the embossed white piece.  Instead of a boring square for the upper left-hand corner, I went for a navy blue heart.  I thought that three tiny stars was all that was needed here, but I realize that this would probably look even more like a flag if the heart was full of stars.

Words…

I couldn’t find anything in my stash that actually said “Happy 4th of July”, so I had to improvise.  The word “happy” is actually from the new Happy Birthday Thinlits Die;  I just snipped off the birthday part.  For the rest, I just dug through my stash, finding a number 4, and a little “th” that would fit.  It’s an easy-peasy card, but still bright and fun.  For the inside, “Time to Celebrate” seemed appropriate (it’s from a retired project kit, Watercolor Wishes), and a row of stars gives it a more finished look (see below).

Happy Fourth of July card by Kitty Smith, bashfulcat.com

What are you doing for the holiday?  Any big fireworks planned?  Wishing you all a Happy Fourth of July!  Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies:


diy stampin’ up planner cover

Planner Nerd…

I’m a total planner nerd, so as soon as I saw that Stampin’ Up was coming out with their Love Today Planner Kit, I just HAD to have it.  I was prepared to like it, and use it, but WOW. I LOVE this thing!  I’ve had an old-school Day Runner, a couple of knock-offs, plenty of my own various notebooks… and most recently, a Filofax, an Erin Condren Life Planner, and a DIY bullet journal.  They all have their pros and cons – and yes, so does this one.  However, paper quality is really important to me, and this has, to date, my favorite paper.  None of my favorite pens or markers bleed through – at all!  It’s a dream for stamping in.  And it’s just so darn pretty!

My One Issue:

I plan to do more planner posts, as I play around and personalize mine more.   I didn’t want to wait on this one tip, though.  Once I realized that I was going to want to take this baby everywhere, I became concerned about the cover.  It’s very solid, and the little metal corner protectors are nice.   I think it will last.  I just don’t think it will look as pretty after a few months of heavy use.  So…I had a few different ideas, and I’ve seen a couple of them bounced around.  In the end, I decided that I didn’t want to cover up the beautiful blue and gold design, and  I wasn’t ready to risk doing anything permanent.  I have, over the years, made lots of various book covers… but never a CLEAR one.  There’s a first time for everything, though.  🙂

My Solution:

After some experimentation, I ended up using just the following supplies:  two C-Line Shop Ticket Holders, some Artist Tape, and a pair of scissors.  Oh, and a Sharpie.  Many paper-crafters (myself included) use these shop/job ticket holders for storing and protecting our 8-1/2 x 11 cardstock.  Note that the Avery Job Ticket Holders should work fine for this, as well – I just have spares of the C-Line ones on hand.  And I imagine that there are lots of various adhesives that would work as well – I just knew that this was a strong, heavy-duty tape that’s easy to work with.

How To:

At some point in the future, I may try to do a video tutorial for this, but honestly, it was mostly just a matter of messing around until I had something that would work.  I ended up cutting down from the top, along each side, until the sleeve was about 7-1/2″ from the bottom of the cut line, to the bottom of the sleeve.  Using a bone folder, I folded over the extra plastic.  I could cut it off, but for now, I’m leaving most of the plastic there, with a tentative plan to create some sort of pocket. I did this with both of the ticket holders, and slipped one on the front of the cover, and one on the back.  The “seam” is intact from the outside.  The cut-line is along the inside of the sleeve, with the folded-over piece on the inside of the planner.

Here’s the inside of the front cover:

Stampin' Up planner with DIY cover, made by Kitty Smith, at bashfulcat.com

Yes, it’s a little bit big, and a little bit loose – but I think that’s going to be a plus in the long run.  Here’s the back cover from the inside:

On the back piece, I ended up cutting off a bit more of the sleeve, on the top and on the folded part, to get a better fit.  I knew I was going to have to do “something” to hold it together, and I wanted to try and disguise that as much as possible.  In the end, I put the area where the two sleeves meet on the back of the planner.  One strip of heavy-duty tape seems to be enough to hold it together.  While I’d actually like to do something a bit more decorative in the future, for the time-being, I just colored the white tape with a metallic gold Sharpie pen.  It’s not perfect, but it looks much better than the white did.  Here’s how the back cover looks:Stampin' Up planner with DIY cover by Kitty Smith, bashfulcat.com

Gottcha Covered

And here’s the finished project:Stampin' Up planner with DIY cover by Kitty Smith, bashfulcat.com

Is it perfect?  No… but for a quick, cheap “something” to protect my precious planner, I’m pretty happy with it. 🙂  I’ll share more planner thoughts and ideas in future posts.  For now, I just wanted to get this out there, since I know other planners had the same concern.  If you’re one of them, and you find a better way to protect your planner, will you let me know?  I’m always eager for new ideas.

Do you have this planner?  What have you done to customize it?  (By the way, those “first and last” pages you see in the above shots?  Those are my own home-made dividers, cut from Stampin’ Up paper, and then laminated.)  Thanks so much for stopping by, and Happy Planning!