Sunday, May 27, 2012

Playing Catch-up (again)

I’ve had these cards photographed and ready to post for weeks. These, and more. But we’ll start with these.


All supplies, other than the cardstock, are from i {heart} papers. This one uses paper from the Basic Grey Plumeria pad. I actually made 3 of these using paper from that pad, as you’ll see below. The window was made with the Memory Box Small Madison Window die, the clouds are made with the Puffy Clouds die. I made the molding by just scoring a strip of white cardstock. The greeting banner was notched by hand; the stamp is from the Mint Motif set Simply Sentiments (exclusive to IHP). The flowers showing through the window are Flower Soft. What you can’t tell from the photo is that the base card is light blue, and the whole “wall” is a separate layer attached with foam dots, with the clouds and flowers glued onto the blue base.

The next one uses paper from the Kaiser Craft Charlotte’s Dream pad.
perfect The pattern on the peach-y paper is much prettier in real life – it’s shiny embossed. The sentiment on the focal piece, which was cut with the Spellbinders Floral Ovals die, is from the Hero Arts set Good Friends, which I’ve been giving a good workout! The image stamped behind the sentiment is – hmmmm, I honestly can’t remember where I pulled that from. If I find it I’ll come back and fix the post.

Anyhow, it’s embellished with a few pearls, and a few fabric flowers that were trimmed from a strip of the Tim Holtz Lavish trimmings. Now, the trimmings in the package are off-white, but I airbrushed them with a Copic marker to make them match the paper. Magic!

OK folks, that’s enough for now. I’ve got more to share, but you’ll have to wait a bit.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Still Coloring…

OK, coloring again. I did stop and do other things, like get out and enjoy a bit of the gorgeous weather we’re having here in NYC today. But more flower images were calling me, and I’m soooo weak….
parrot-tulipsAnother little set from Taylored Expressions – Spring Tulips. Again, no greeting. It can be an “anything” card. No bling, nor ribbon, just the pretty flowers and more of the lovely paper from the Teresa Collins Fabrications line.

Pretty flowers make me happy.

Be happy.

Bright and Beautiful

Last night I felt like coloring. It’s one of my favorite ways to unwind from a stressful week – something about the focus it requires that just removes you from the rest of the world for a bit.

bright-gerbera-closeup I couldn’t resist this stamp from Taylored Expressions when it came out this month. I LOVE gerbera daisies! I wasn’t feeling terribly imaginative, so I basically colored them the way they were on the package, using a whole mess of Copic markers.
bright-gerbera-daisiesI didn’t stamp a sentiment on it. First, I don’t know what I’m going to use it for, and second, I’m afraid I’ll mess it up if I do. Can you imagine spending hours (yes, hours) coloring and making a card, and then stamping the sentiment crooked or smudged? Done it.

This card just makes me happy, just the way it is! I used stuff I hadn’t touched in a long time, like that border punch, and those cool shiny fuchsia dots that I’ve had in my stash since who knows when. And those bright, beautiful flowers make me smile.

Hope your day is bright and beautiful too!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

IHP May DT Challenge – and a SALE!

This is a jam-packed post today, folks! Make sure you read all the way through or you might miss something really good.

First, today is our May i {heart} papers Design Team Challenge. This month we are all using stamps from Paper Smooches.

IHP0512-bear-hugsI used a cute new set called Happy Camper. Now, I’m so NOT a camper, although I did try it a few times many years ago. Nope, I’ll take a comfy hotel bed and room service over a sleeping bag on the ground and canned beans any old day! But as you can see, there are some really cute things you can do with this set that don’t relate to camping at all. I colored the bear with Copic markers E25 and E27, and used one of them (can’t remember which) to airbrush the bling to match.

I also used some of the Konnichiwa paper from Basic Grey. As you can see, there are some nice, non-flowery papers in that pad. I think this card could even be considered masculine – is that too much of a stretch?

Now, you’ll definitely want to jump on this little piece of news: IHP is having their Spring Cleaning Sale! Beginning today, May 15th through May 19th. Save up to 50% on selected items and as always, free US shipping with your $60 order!

All stamps 15% off! Spellbinders 20% off! Alterables 25% off! Inks (Sorry, Copics are excluded due to the manufacturer's strict pricing rules) 10% off! 12x12 Collection Packs 15% off! 6x6 and 8x8 pads 10% off! Embossing folders 30% off! And much more!

PLUS! Have you heard about IHP's new rewards from the {heart} referral rewards program? If you love IHP and are looking for another reason to spread the word to your friends, you’ll now be rewarded for doing just that! With our new rewards from the {heart}, simply refer a new customer and earn 10% of their first order placed in the form of a gift certificate. Just have them list you in the “how did you hear about us” section at checkout and 10% of their order will be given back to you as a thank you. 2_business_card

Here are the nitty-gritty details: they must list you at time of checkout; rewards are not valid for any past sales and are only valid for their first order -- but you can refer as many people as you like! There is no limit to the rewards you can earn. We appreciate that you love IHP and want to give back when you share the love. Enjoy, and thanks!

Now, go forth and shop! And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Design Team’s challenge posts for inspiration:


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sometimes what seemed like a good idea…

turns out to be, well, a learning experience. This might turn out to be a long post, but if you like glitter (who doesn’t like glitter?) and you like die-cutting (again…) it might be worth reading it through.

So it started out with my wanting to make a card based on one I saw by Amy Wanford in the recently issued Card Creations Vol. 10 by Paper Crafts Magazine. This is my version of her card based on the supplies that I had:
PSmissyou-metropolis Very simple to make. I used Paper Smooches’ Metropolis set and stamped it on some paper from Teresa Collins’ Everyday Moments pad (more on that later). The city scene is actually an outline, so I colored it in with a black Copic marker. I cut a strip of black cardstock with a scalloped die and adhered it to the bottom of the stamped piece, rounded the top corners and stamped the greeting. I then adhered a strip of double-sided sticky tape to the piece and covered it with glitter. The thing is, I thought I had some light blue glitter to match the printed paper, which is actually white with a light blue grid. But no, I only had turquoise glitter, so I airbrushed the piece with my BG15 Copic marker and there was no longer a problem! Then I stuck it onto a white folded card using foam adhesive dots. A small lesson there, but not the biggie.

Since I had the glitter out, I decided to try something I had been thinking about (danger, danger!). I had bought some of the Scor-Tape 6x6 double-adhesive tiles from Kate (you know, i {heart} papers Kate) with the idea of die-cutting them into shapes and glittering one side of them. Of course, I decided to try this idea out using the most intricate die I had – the Vivienne butterfly by Memory Box (which Kate seems to be out of stock on). The first thing I have to tell you about using this die, and any of the other more intricate Memory Box dies, is to make sure your cutting plates are NEW, or at least un-etched from previous uses. You will have much less angst. Trust me.

For my first attempt at this, I stuck one side of a piece of the Scor-Tape sheet to a piece of cardstock, and then ran it through my Big Shot with the die facing the Scor-Tape side. I ran it through MANY times, with many arrangements of shims, and just couldn’t get it to cut through cleanly. butterfly-fail You can see the inner pieces I just couldn’t get out, and the mangled pieces near the top. What you can’t see is that in trying to get the other pieces out, I tore the back of the cardstock, which is very frail because of the delicate nature of the die-cut. You also can’t see the very long time and severe aggravation incurred in getting even this far. Fail.

The second time, I decided to die-cut the adhesive sheet alone, then while it was still in the die, peel off one side of the backing paper, stick it onto a piece of (thin) cardstock, and run it through the Big Shot again (and again, and again) with various shim arrangements. This worked a little better, and I was, with somewhat less aggravation, able to disengage it from the die, peel off the other side of the backing, and dip it in glitter.
butterfly-better Better. A little sloppy looking. You can see where the adhesive kind of missed on the edges a little, and there were a couple of small spots where it had not stuck at all. I touched a bit of Mono Multi Adhesive on those spots and re-glittered them. All in all, I think that this Scor-Tape adhesive sheet idea is much better suited to less delicate die-cuts, and I will use it for those at a later time.

HOWEVER. I was not ready to give up my glittery butterfly idea quite yet. I remembered that I still had some glittered paper sheets from an earlier order from Kate. Let’s try this again.
butterfly-betterer Betterer! It cut through cleanly (again, with a couple of trips through the Big Shot and some creative shimming). However, in the process of trying to get it out of the die, it stretched and got kind of warped. Still, not ripped, not sloppy looking, and so much better than before!

OK. There was one more trick I had figured out while working with the Tessatina border die a few weeks ago – putting a piece of waxed paper between the die and the cardstock. It helped the die-cut release much more easily from the die.
butterfly-perfect Voila! Perfect! That sucker pretty much popped out of the die, and the waxed paper peeled off easily. I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to use this little beauty, but I’ll show you when I do.

So the moral of this not-so-little missive is that if you want a delicate, glittery die-cut, use this awesome glittery paper. It’s just the right weight for die-cutting and will give you perfect results.

Oh, and the other moral: A little piece of waxed paper can go a long way in eliminating the frustration of getting intricate pieces out of a die.

Happy die-cutting!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy National Scrapbooking Day

Yes, it’s a lot of things today: Cinco de Mayo, The Kentucky Derby, the biggest moon of the year. But it’s also National Scrapbooking Day, something else that I generally just give passing acknowledgement to, since I don’t really consider myself a scrapbooker.

This year, though, as I realized that it’s almost Mother’s Day, I found myself thinking about gathering some photos of me and my mom and trying to do something with them. My mom’s been gone for 14 years now, but there’s a connection there that cannot be broken by time. Or anything else.
I decided to do a digital page and finally play around with some of the things I’ve downloaded over the years. I don’t have any special digital scrapbooking software, just Photoshop, so this is kind of plain since I really have no idea what I’m doing.

The photos span many decades – the first in the 50s, the second in the 70s, and the last in the 90s, not long before we lost her. In fact, I think it might have actually been the last Mother’s Day we had together. I know it was some kind of holiday where my sister gave me that scarf I’m wearing.

Anyhow, enough of memory lane for now. It’s making me a little weepy. I have officially acknowledged National Scrapbooking Day, and I’m rather proud of myself…

Friday, May 4, 2012

Still here…

I know I’ve been really quiet in cyberland, but I’m still here and still crafting. Things have just been a little crazy busy in my life lately, including a visit from my son and his family. I got to spend some wonderful quality time with my baby granddaughter, and everything else kind of took a back seat to that. But now that they’re back in Michigan, and my old-like-a-grandma backache is almost better, I can sit down and show you some of the cards I’ve made lately.

I’ll start with one I made today for the Clean&Simple Sketch Challenge (FTL189).

filigree-fathers-dayHonestly, I’m not crazy about this one, especially the way the sentiment is offset in the cut-out space. I think it looks kinda awkward. Oh well – they all can’t be winners. I do like the way the filigree of the butterfly goes well with the design in the paper and the loopy font of the “Happy".

What I used:
Swanky Sentiments (Technique Tuesday)
Charlotte’s Dream (KaiserCraft)
Embellishment: Metal Filagree shape from S.E.I. Moonrise collection.

This is one I made for the Splitcoast Stampers Mini Virtual Stamp Night tonight. The challenge was to use a sentiment as the focus, and no images.
sentiment-heartI die-cut the heart out of the paper, popped it up on foam dimensional dots and stamped the sentiment inside it. A little red ribbon and a little red bling finished it off. Simple and cute. I think I like it. 

What I used:
Stamps: Good Friends (Hero Arts)
Paper: Coconut Lime (Jilly Bean Soup)
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa

Anyhow, there’s more stuff that I made last week, but I’ll post that separately. Later.