clearly challenging

bcc092913aThe last few days I have spent my free time at an online card-making class – “Insider”, presented by Kristina Werner, Jennifer McGuire, and Laura Bassen, with other special guests.  I was a bit on the fence about taking this class – my first online class.  I had to wonder if I was just wasting money on something I normally find for free.  But I was very pleasantly surprised.  I enjoyed this class so much!  I am just brimming with card ideas now!  (If only I didn’t have a “day job”… sigh.)

For my first “class inspired” card, I decided to try a window card, as demonstrated by Shari Carroll (Day 3).  I actually had a more ambitious idea, but thought I better start with an easier version first.  It’s a good thing I did.  Shari made this look incredibly easy, but I have to confess that I struggled a bit.  Now that doesn’t mean I won’t try again – this is just one of those ideas that’s going to require some practice.

I won’t share all of Shari’s secrets, but basically the front of my card is a piece of acetate sandwiched between two die-cut pieces of paper.  Shari used these wonderful clear acetate notecards, which I would love to get sometime, but for now, I took the frugal route – I used a piece of plastic from some packaging.  (I’ve been saving all sorts of packaging for just this sort of occasion).

Working with acetate is tricky – for once, my bad photography actually helped me.  You can’t see any of the smudges I tried to wipe off, or the slight bit of scratching that came from all that scrubbing.  You also have to get a bit creative to hide any adhesive.

Here’s how the card looks when it’s completely closed:

bcc092913bAll the elements on the inside are carefully concealed by the flowers and the “Dear Friend” sentiment.  That is, all except the coordinating patterned paper – I wanted that to show through.

Here’s what you see when you open it up:

bcc092913cSee that little envelope at the bottom?  I’m going to use that to stuff a tiny little personal note.  I could also do this with a smaller “window”, and just sign it at the bottom, but I thought the tiny envelope was a fun touch – similar to what Shari did with her amazing card.

So this was not one of my easier cards – it takes a lot of patience to put one like this together.  But I will definitely be trying this technique again.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

Supplies used:  all paper (except plain orange Bazzill, from my stock) from Simon Says Stamp’s March 2013 Card Kit (Lawn Fawn Daphne’s Closet patterned paper), window cut with Spellbinders Nestabilities “Labels Eight” die, tiny envelope created with McGill Craftivity “Mini Envelopes” punch, Flowers cut with Sizzix Originals Flower Layers #3 die and EK Success daisy punch, sentiments stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink, hand-cut using Simon Says Stamp’s Small Banner Stencil, “Dear Friend” sentiment from Technique Tuesday’s “Thinking of You” clear stamp set, “You Make Me Smile” sentiment from My Favorite Things “Millie the Mouse” clear stamp set, “You Warm My Heart” sentiment from Hero Arts “Tea” clear stamp set.

feeling blue… and orange

bcc092213Just a quick birthday card for today.  I’m afraid the “real world” job that pays for my real passion (paper-crafting) has been putting a real crimp in my card life lately.  But our slow season should be coming up soon, and then it’ll be full speed ahead with the card thing.  🙂

I must confess that I made this card a while back and can’t actually remember where the inspiration came from.  It’s a pretty simple card, though – no real tricks to share.  The flower was made with a die-cut (I cut the flower first, then tore the paper around it to get that shabby look.  The fibers were part of a kit.   I should probably look for more like them – fun to work with.  Some buttons and a sentiment stamp, and I called it done.  It’s certainly not fancy, but I think it’s got sort of a “fun” vibe going… I hope.  🙂

Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by!

Supplied used:  Sizzix original Flower Layers #3 die, Bazzill cardstock (blue), The Paper Company cardstock (orange and yellow), Fiskars “Birthday Cheer” clear stamp set, fibers from Basic Grey (I think), and buttons are so old that I have no idea where they came from.  🙂

shiny happy colors

bcc091413aAlthough I have a couple of easy “go to” designs for those times when I need a card in a hurry (or my mojo is on vacation), in general, I don’t much enjoy making a bunch of the same card.  (I struggle with holiday cards big-time.)  If I really like a card, I might immediately make a second, similar one, but usually by my third card I need to try something totally different.

This particular card turned out to be the exception.  I had so much fun with these colors and this design that I ended up modifying it slightly, and making SIX similar cards in one weekend.  I think that’s a record for me.  🙂

The above card was the first.  I started with a plain white piece of cardstock cut slightly smaller than my card-base.  I chose five of my favorite Hero Arts Shadow Inks, and then pulled out my new Hero Arts Notebook Essentials clear stamps.  There’s one stamp that looks like a long paint stripe.  I used that to get my five swipes of color in the middle of the cardstock.

Then, using VersaMark ink, I stamped the heart (from the same stamp set) and the “amazing” sentiment, sprinkled with white embossing powder, and heat-set it.

Using another scrap piece of white cardstock and the same paint stripe stamp, I made several rows of color (this time a bit closer together).  I then used this to punch out my butterfly and flowers.  I then used my Wink of Stella pen to add some glittery shine to the butterfly and flowers, and added them to the card.  (The Wink of Stella effect is hard to photograph, so you’ll just have to take my word for it – it adds a lovely bit of shimmer to whatever you coat with it.)

After making a second card with a different sentiment, I decided that the white embossing didn’t have quite enough pop for me, so I tried something different:

bcc091413cThis time, instead of embossing over the stripes, I die-cut my sentiment into them, and then used a bolder base-card color to make it stand out.  And I just used solid colors for the flowers.

One of my favorite things about this technique is that you can make a nice card out of both the “negative” and the “positive” of the die-cut. Here’s the “positive”:

bcc091413bI added a strip of the base-card color as the sentiment looked a bit washed out on the white.  And I mixed things up by adding the stripes to the bottom of the card, and putting the flowers over them.

So here’s all six variations:

bcc091413allWishing you a Shiny Happy Day!  Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies used:  Hero Arts Shadow Inks (Bubble Gum, Soft Canteloupe, Butter Bar, Tide Pool and Pool), Versamark watermark ink, American Crafts Zing white embossing powder, Wink of Stella glitter pen (clear), Hero Arts Notebook Essentials clear stamp set (paint stripes, heart), Simon Says Stamp dies (happy and thinking of you), Sizzix Sizzlets dies (Flower #7, Cherish alphabet [orange birthday], Girls are Weird alphabet [blue birthday]), Martha Stewart butterfly punch, Martha Stewart vine border punch (on “smile” card), various sentiment stamps, cardstock and adhesive.

a guy thing

bcc090713Well, I thought “manly” birthday cards were tough, but I definitely struggled more with this general “thinking of you” card.  You see, I have this little problem… my hubby, the love of my life, the one who brings me the most joy… he doesn’t get this whole card thing.  How crazy is that?  I mean, he supports me… he’s proud of me… he lets me buy all the paper-crafting supplies I want (or at least all the ones I can sneak into the house, LOL)… but he just doesn’t “get” it.  If he were not feeling well, I honestly don’t think he’d want a bunch of “get well soon” cards – he’d think they were silly. And he really thinks that all guys think like him, but some are just better about smiling and keeping their mouth shut.

Of course, card-making is my passion.  It’s become my purpose in life.  And my wonderfully clueless hubby isn’t going to change that.  But it does make it tough sometimes.  I feel I get enough “card love” from my female friends, but I have no idea if there really are guys out there that like cards in general, or like my cards in particular.  But I’m going to keep giving it a go, and hope it hits its target.  (If there are any guys out there that like cards, or any gals who know guys that truly like cards, I’d love to hear from you!  And tips and suggestions are always welcome.)

Very simple card – just cut strips of different coordinating “manly” patterned papers, and inked all the edges.  I cut all the ends at an angle and tried to apply them in a pleasing pattern.  Not my best effort, but like I said, totally “guy card challenged” here.  I almost always add twine and some brads to my guy cards.  And I tried to find the least “flowery” thinking of you sentiment stamp I could find.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

Supplies used:  The Paper Company Kraft cardstock, Basic Grey Granola patterned papers, Carolees Creations patterned papers, Tim Holtz Walnut Stain Distress Ink, Hero Arts Everyday Sayings clear stamp set (sentiment), Memento Tuxedo Black ink, Simon Says Stamp Titled Banners die.


wishing you a “beary” happy day

bccbearhugsHappy Stamptember!  (For all you Simon Says Stamp fans, you know what I’m talking about.  If you aren’t and don’t, check out Simon Says Stamp all this months for new goodies!)

Today’s warm and fuzzy card is for all you teddy bear lovers.  Yes, I’m a… mumble mumble… year-old woman who still loves teddy bears.  🙂

Pretty simple card – a Basic Grey dotted patterned paper, a decorative paper strip made from my Threading Water border punch with a thin piece of ribbon tied around it and some Prima flowers attached with brads.  The adorable bear stamp and sentiment are both from a Kristina Werner clear stamp set (I love all her designs!).  I heat embossed the sentiment, and the bear was colored with Prismacolor pencils & OMS.  I touched up the black on the bear with a Sakura Glaze pen after coloring in the image – a little trick that really helps the design to pop.

Short post today so I can pop on over to S.S.S. and shop for new goodies!  But first, I think I’m going to sign up for another buddy at ChemoAngels.  This wonderful organization is on the lookout for more Card Angels – people who want to share cards with a chemo patient, to bring a little light to their lives during this challenging time.  It’s a big commitment, but also such a joy to know that my cards are going to someone who really needs them right now.  If you, or anyone you know, might have the time and inclination, please consider signing up at ChemoAngels.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful day!

Supplies used:  Bazzill cardstock, Basic Grey patterned paper (Basics Manila set, “Docket”), Simon Says Stamp “Circle Friends” clear stamp set (the bear, and the words “bear hugs”), Hero Arts “Everyday Sayings” clear stamp set (the word “sending”)Fiskars Threading Water border punch, Spellbinders Nestabilities Lacey Squares die, Lifestyle Crafts Nesting Squares die, VersaMark watermark ink, Ranger black embossing powder, Memento Tuxedo Black ink, PrismaColor pencils and odorless mineral spirits, Sakura Glaze pen (black).