rustic flowers

bcc072913I suppose this really looks more like fall colors, but I liked this patterned paper and was eager to do something with it.  🙂

Not much to this card – matted the patterned paper, cut out the flowers with Sizzlits dies, and added a piece of hemp twine to the wood banner.  I wanted some sort of border on that left side, and was originally going to use my Threading Water “go to” border punch… but I really wanted something different.  That piece on the left was actually cut using the Nestabilities Lattice Rectangles set.  I took the very largest rectangle, and a strip of that dark orange paper, temporarily taped it to one of the longer sides of the rectangle, then ran it through my Big Kick.  Then, I flipped the strip of paper over, and did the same thing on the other side, which gave me the strip you see here.  It wouldn’t have been long enough to go lengthwise on a standard card, but it worked perfectly for the short side.  I will be trying this with some of my other Nesties.

Just a simple card, but I love the look of Kraft, wood, and twine together – it just has a nice rustic look to me.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

Supplies used:  The Paper Company Kraft paper, Bazzill cardstock (the light and dark orange), Spellbinders Nestabilities Lattice Rectangles dies Sizzix Sizzlets Flower #4, 5 and 6 dies.  Patterned paper (Basic Grey Hipster), and wood tag (Jillibean Soup) from Simon Says Stamp’s June 2013 Card Kit.

color-blocked birthday

bcc063013bWhen lots of “color blocked” cards started showing up on the Net, I decided to try my hand at it.  Of course, I had to make the whole thing just a bit more challenging by using a rather elaborate die, LOL… but I think the end result isn’t too bad.

I tend to like “warm” colors, so I decided to just go with red, orange and yellow for my color-blocking.  I cut out strips that were all the same height, 1/3 as tall as I wanted the finished piece to be.  Then, I took a piece of cheap scrap cardstock, cut a little smaller than my card-base, and covered it completely with adhesive.  I lined up the three colored strips and attached, then trimmed the edges.  This gave me one piece of “paper” with three colors.  Then I took two different wafer-thin dies – the flower, and the word “happy” – placed them where I wanted them to be cut out, lightly adhered them with removable tape to keep them from shifting, and then ran the whole sheet through my Big Kick.  I now had a tri-colored piece with designs cut out of it.

I adhered this whole piece to a slightly larger piece of brown cardstock, added matching brown letters for the word “birthday” and a small brown punched heart, and adhered the whole thing to a desert storm card-base.

My photo doesn’t really do this justice – there’s a bit more dimension to the finished card because the flower and “happy” are cut-outs, while the heart and “birthday” are raised elements.  If I try this again, I think I’ll trying popping the whole tri-colored piece up with dimensional adhesive for even more dimension.  Also, I recommend finding a slightly less elaborate die than that flower there.  All those little yellow and orange pieces in the center of the flower?  They had to be carefully arranged and glued back onto the card after the brown mat was attached – definitely the most maddening part of this card.  🙂

There are so many things you can do with this technique – a full rainbow of colors, maybe an ombre effect, or try having the colored pieces in gradually increasing sizes.  I will add, however, that I can’t really imagine trying this without a decent die-cutting machine.  And remember that you will be cutting through two layers of paper, so depending on your machine, you might want to use some thinner cardstock.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

Supplies used:  Neenah Desert Storm cardstock (card-base), paper from a large multi-pack ordered from (I think?) HSN, Cecilia Flower Outline die by poppystamps, “happy” die from Simon Says Stamp, Sizzix Sizzlets Girls are Weird alpha set (for the word “birthday”), small Marvy heart punch.

just a little pink flower

bcc070713There’s just something about a single flower in a vase that just says “fun” to me.  And I had a lot of fun making this card.

I started by stamping the flower in the vase on white cardstock, and then stamping an extra flower, separately.  I colored everything with Prismacolors and OMS.  Then I used a Nestabilities die to cut the vase with flower into that nice “lacey rectangle”.  I fussy-cut the other flower out and used foam adhesive to pop up the flower and leaf.  If you don’t mind a little cutting, this is an awesome way to add some dimension to your stamps.

I then cut out a second lacey rectangle from pink cardstock.  The white and pink rectangle are the same size, but by adhering them slightly off-set, you get a bit of a shadow effect.  Even thought the Nestabilities come with multiple sizes, I still use this method a lot when I just want a hint of a background, without adding too much to the overall size. This works with all sorts of dies and punches.

I took a bit of patterned paper, matted it with pink cardstock, added a pink stripe across the middle, and adhered it to my Kraft card-base.The stamped lacey rectangle was attached with more foam adhesive, and a few tiny matching buttons were added.

I’ve become rather fond of foam adhesive, so I thought I’d share a little tip.  (I know I learned this from someone, somewhere, on the Internet but honestly can’t remember who, or where.  My apologies for stealing this lovely idea!)  Instead of buying pre-made foam adhesive, I now make my own.  I buy big sheets of foam from someplace like JoAnn Fabrics, then I use my paper cutter (or scissors) to cut off a strip just a smidge over an inch wide.  I take this strip of foam, and carefully run it through my “Little X” Xyron 150 sticker maker.  Then, I take the strip that is now sticky on one side, remove the clear plastic from the top, cut off any extra paper backing along the edges, and then run it through my Little X a second time, upside-down.  I now have foam adhesive (in any color I want!) that I can cut to size as needed.  Some things to keep in mind:  first, you can’t use super-thick foam (but you can double it up on your project). Don’t forget to cut off the extra paper along the edges before running the strip through the second time – you need it to be a bit narrower than your Little X.  You do have to be gentle, because it’s possible to jamb up your Xyron… but so far, the worst thing I’ve experienced is losing a little adhesive and having the refill pop out.  Yes, the refills are a little pricey, but JoAnn’s sells them, and you can use coupons.  Even running it through twice, I know I’m saving money over the pre-packaged kind, and I love that I now have multiple colors – no white foam showing along the edges of a black card.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

Supplies used:  Neenah Dessert Storm cardstock (card-base), white Hammermill 80lb cardstock, pink Bazzill cardstock, Stampendous Flower Vases clear stamp set, Spellbinders Nestabilities Lattice Rectangles, Prismacolor pencils and odorless mineral spirits.  Pebbles Pink Button Candy Dots and Glitz Hello Friend patterned paper from Simon Says Stamp’s February 2013 card kit.

summertime!

bcc072013When I saw this stamp set from Lawn Fawn, I just knew I had to have it.  I must confess that, while I don’t get all of the fads (what’s up with those mustaches?), I am pretty excited about mason jars.  And I love fireflies.  We didn’t have them in California growing up.  (Well, there are some in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, but that probably doesn’t count. :-)).  So now that I live in Ohio, I’m absolutely enchanted by them!

I actually set out to make a card with a jar full of fireflies… only I couldn’t do it.  This will sound really silly, but, well, there’s clearly no holes in the lid of this mason jar, and those little lightning bugs would suffocate!  I just had to take that lid off somehow… so I improvised a bit.

I started with the background.  This was the first time I finally broke out my brayer.  I wanted to get sort of a twilight look.  It took me a couple of tries, and it’s still not as perfect as I’d like, but it’s close.  I used a torn piece of scratch paper to mask off the sky, and then put some green ink on the brayer for grass. I trimmed, matted with black, and adhered to a blue card-base.  (If you’re interested in this technique, I’d suggest going to YouTube and doing a search for “brayer” – you’ll find several great tutorials.)

The fireflies were stamped on white cardstock, and colored with Prismacolor pencils and OMS. These were all carefully cut out with scissors, and adhered to the card.  (The two in the jar are flat on the card, but the other three are slightly raised with rolled up glue dots.)  They were a bit challenging to cut out – I made extras for the ones I accidentally chopped the wings off of.  And I didn’t even try to cut out the antennae (I’m not *that* good, LOL) – they were all hand-drawn later.

The jar… that’s where I had to experiment a bit.  First, I wanted a clear jar, so I used some StazOn ink to stamp it on a piece of plastic.  (Misc. tip:  I save all the good, clean pieces of plastic packaging I get now – I’ve found a number of interesting uses for it, including this.)  I cut off just the very top of the mason jar, leaving some of the “lid” to look like the mouth of the jar.  Then, I stamped the lid on white cardstock, colored it with a silver Prismacolor pencil and OMS, and cut it out from the jar.  It was adhered with foam adhesive.  The jar was a little trickier to adhere.  I ended up using a fine-tipped Zig glue pen, just along the very edges.  If the light hits it right, there is a tad bit of smudged glue, but not much, and at least the middle of the jar is clean.  The sentiment was heat-embossed and die-cut on a banner, then adhered with some foam adhesive.

This wasn’t my quickest card… and it wasn’t my first attempt to do a firefly jar card… but I think it came out okay.  I have to tell you, though, I could not come up with an appropriate sentiment.  In the end, I decided that, for some reason, fireflies remind me of fairy tales.  I’ll come up with some sort of catchy saying to put on the inside, that will help to tie it altogether.

Wishing you all sunny summer days, and happy, firefly-filled summer nights.  Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies used: Tim Holtz Tumbled Glass Distress Ink, Hero Arts Pool Shadow Ink, Memento Cottage Ivy dye ink, Lawn Fawn Summertime Charm clear stamp set, Simon Says Stamp’s Tilted Banners Sayings and matching die, Jet Black StazOn ink, VersaMark watermark ink, white American Crafts Zing embossing powder, Bazzill cardstock (blue and black), Georgia Pacific white cardstock, Prismacolor pencils and odorless mineral spirits.

 

sending warm fuzzies

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Today’s card will definitely qualify as the silliest card I’ve made… but it’s good to be silly sometimes.  🙂

This card was made using products from Simon Says Stamp’s July 2013 card kit.  The kit comes with a cute set of stamps that includes a couple of fireworks, but I can’t see myself having a whole lot of use for those.  So I tried to think out of the box (a real challenge for me – I’m totally square) and come up with something else that the images reminded me of… and the only thing I could think of was these silly warm fuzzies.

When I was in third or fourth grade, our teacher read us a heart-warming story about warm fuzzies (you can read a version of it here), and then taught us how to make them with yarn.  I loved the whole experience and made a TON fuzzyof these little critters.  After I outgrew the yarn fuzzies, I continued to draw a version of them on my notes and letters, something like this:

So I stamped a couple of smaller fireworks, added feet and antennae and some googly eyes & raised the larger one on foam adhesive.  This really wouldn’t have worked if I didn’t just happen to have the *perfect* sentiment stamp already.  I added a few hearts, and a touch of Stickles on the top of the antennae and hearts, matted everything including some coordinating patterned paper, and called it done.  Silly… but hopefully it will bring a smile to the recipient.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

Supplies used:  white and teal cardstock, Lily Bee patterned paper, and “fireworks” and tiny heart stamps from “Cupcake Party” clear stamp set – all from Simon Says Stamp’s July 2013 Card Kit, Hero Arts Shadow Inks in Tide Pool, Pale Tomato and Butterbar, Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic pens (used to draw feet and antennae), and Stardust Stickles.  Sentiment from “Everyday Sayings” clear stamp set by Hero Arts.  (Googly eyes from Wal-Mart, I think.)

 

flowers in the attic

bcc070613bToday I thought I’d share an easy card, and a funny story.  First the card: I kept this one pretty simple. I had some of this old patterned paper and thought it went well with some of my Prima flowers.  I created the strip of cardstock with my Fiskars Threading Water border punch – just punched the darker paper along both edges, and then cut the lighter paper to fit over it.  (As an aside, if you could only buy one border punch, I’d suggest you consider this one.  I use it far more than any of my others – it just seems to work on a lot of different cards.)

After adhering the paper strip to the patterned paper and trimming the edge, I added a ribbon bow, and tied a wood button to it with floss to match the card.  The three Prima flowers were added with brads, and the sentiment was heat-embossed with a matching powder.

Tip:  almost all of my cards feature a design approx. 1/4″ smaller than the card-base.  I prepare the whole design first, then adhere it to a separate card-base.  I do this for a couple of reasons.  First, if I screw it up, I only lose a piece of paper 5-1/4 x 4, instead of a a piece that’s 8-1/2 x 4-1/4.  Second, it allows me to hide things like the backs of those brads – it keeps the inside of my card pristine.  (When this isn’t possible, I will add an “accent” piece of paper to the inside, to cover it up.)

For this card, I just rounded the opposite corners – a very simple technique that really adds something to the card.  Just remember that if you want to do this, you’ll want to round the corner on that patterned paper first before you adhere it to your card-base.

Okay, I promised you a funny story… shortly after hubby and I moved into this house, I was working at my desk on a card, and he was up in the attic messing with an antennae.  I had taken one of my bottles of Prima flowers, and dumped most of them on my desk, trying to decide on an arrangement.  That’s when hubby discovered that the attic floor wasn’t very thick.  I heard a crash just above my head, heard him yelling some inappropriate words, and when I looked up, I could see his leg poking through a big hole in our ceiling.  (I will forever regret that I didn’t immediately take out my camera and photograph this for posterity.)  Anyway, there was all this fluffy insulation in our attic, and a lot of it fell through this nice little hole… onto my card, my desk, and myself.  I was ready to sweep it all up and throw it away, but hubby insisted we gather as much of it up as possible and put it back.  And while I did my best to salvage as much of my things as possible… our attic now has a nice little collection of Prima flowers in it.  We have the prettiest insulation in the neighborhood.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

Supplies used:  All My Memories “Splendor Dots” patterned paper, Bazzill cardstock,  Fiskars Threading Water border punch, Prima flowers, Prima wood button, DMC floss, Offray ribbon, VersaMark watermark ink, Stampendous Pearlustre Garnet embossing powder.  Sentiment from Simon Says Stamp’s “Where Your Heart Is” clear stamp set.

lotsa flowers

bcc070613aI’ve been wanting to make better use of the wonderful Hero Arts Shadow Inks, so I went a little crazy today with these flower stamps.  I needed something bright and sunny to make up for this long rainy weekend. I had envisioned a sort of trellis, with flowers blooming all over it, and I really like how this came out, but there are so many flowers, you really can’t see the trellis.

I started with some plain white cardstock, cut just a little smaller than my card-base.   I used a flourish embossing folder to give it a design. I wanted the flowers to really pop on the white background, but it needed a little something.

Then I took a scrap piece of the Kraft cardstock, and used a wood grain background stamp with some walnut ink, then used a border punch to get that trellis look.  It really worked well, but you’ll pretty much have to take my word for it, as it’s nearly impossible to see on the finished card.  I’ll be saving the idea for future use, though.

The flowers were all stamped on more white cardstock with those luscious inks, then very carefully “fussy cut” with scissors.  (Cutterbees are an absolute necessity – they are indispensable for detailed cutting like this.)  While this is a very simple card to put together, it does take some serious patience to handle all that fussy-cutting.

Then I just went to town layering flowers – some adhered right to the background, and others popped up with foam adhesive.  A couple of Sizzlets letters, and a little walnut ink around the card-base, a couple of rounded corners, and it’s done.

Wishing everyone sunshine and flowers today.  Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies used:  The Paper Company Kraft cardstock and Hammermill 80lb white cardstock; Hero Arts Shado Inks in Soft Canteloupe, Butter Bar, Pale Tomato and Tide Pool, and Tim Holtz Walnut Stain Distress Ink; Simon Says Stamp’s Flower Friend clear stamp set (from the March 2013 Simon Says Stamp card kit); The Paper Studio Intricate Swirl embossing folder;  Sizzix Sizzlets Girls are Weird alpha set.

 

 

a little red, white and blue

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I’ve been wanting to try the “painter’s tape” technique that seems to be all the rage right now.  (There’s a very good tutorial here on SplitCoastStampers.)  However, I really wanted to do more than a few swipes of color – I wanted to make a design.  (Or, you could say I simply wanted to take an easy technique and make it much harder than it had to be, LOL.)  And what would be better for today than an American flag!

I will confess that it took me three tries to get a flag I was happy with, but I sort of expected that.  I started by cutting out a piece of good white cardstock to approximately 5-1/4″ x 4″.  (I wanted it to be a little smaller than the card base, to create a mat.  In the end, I actually trimmed a bit more off and added the blue mat before attaching it to the red card base with foam adhesive.)  You’re supposed to use glossy cardstock, but this is my plain ol’ white stamping cardstock, and it worked fine.  You just have to go a bit light on the ink.

In most of the tutorials, they tear of strips of blue painter’s tape, ink up the sticky side, and lay them on the cardstock.  For this, I needed to tear off a small, square-ish piece for the blue, and then for the red stripes, I actually cut a few long strips lengthwise, making them about a quarter as wide as the tape.  Some tips I gleaned from my first two attempts: the thinner strips of tape are awkward to ink up – you *will* get ink all over your fingers.  I’m used to inky fingers, but it means you have to be very careful when you place the tape on your cardstock, or you’ll get ink all over where you didn’t want it.  Also, I found I liked it best (and it works better on the non-glossy cardstock) to go pretty light on the ink.  I just tapped the tape once, gently, on the ink pad.  You should turn it over, though, and make sure you did get ink on the whole piece.  It’s supposed to look splotchy, but you don’t want big, gaping white spaces.

The stars are actually from a Fiskars border punch – I wanted to be able to put several stars on here, and these are really, really tiny.  I also wanted to added a little dimension by popping up some of the stars.  They were too small for foam adhesive, so I just took mini glue dots and rolled them up into a ball.  Then I covered all the stars with Stardust Stickles for a bit of bling.  The sentiment was heat embossed with white powder and cut with a Simon Says Stamp banner die.

Happy 4th of July!

Supplies used:  Bazzill red and blue cardstock, Georgia Pacific 110lb white cardstock, Tim Holtz Tumbled Glass Distress Ink (blue), Hero Arts Pale Tomato mid-tone Shadow Ink (red), Fiskars stars border punch, Simon Says Stamp titled banner die, Stardust Stickles, “celebrate” stamp from Simon Says Stamp’s July 2013 card kit – “Cupcake Party”, VersaMark watermark ink, Zing white embossing powder.