Monday, February 29, 2016

Color Throwdown #381

Hello Everyone!  In my recent attempts to find other challenges to participate in, I came across one called "Color Throwdown".  They give you a color combination and you see what you can make that utilizes all of the colors shown in some way. The colors for this challenge are Pink, Light Green and Kraft.

I had recently purchased three cover plates off of a "For Sale Or Trade" thread on a forum.  I like all of the Papertrey Ink Cover Plates I have so far and the three I bought as a group were all ones I had on my wish list at Papertrey Ink.   I was pretty happy to get them for a discounted price. Today I wanted to play with the Cover Plate: Quatrefoil

I started by misting a panel of Pink Cardstock with some Iridescent Gold Glimmer Mist from Tattered Angels.  This spray doesn't cover up a color, it merely enhances it.  While the pink is still pink, in the light you can see the beautiful iridescent shimmer.  I didn't capture that shimmer in the photo, but it's definitely there.  I love shimmer mists.  I have several although the Iridescent Gold and Tsukineko's Sheer Shimmer Mist are my two favorites.  I cut the cover plate from Gold Foil Cardstock and kept all the positive pieces from the die cut.  I used the cover plate with an embossing mat to deboss the design onto the pink paper and then adhered the gold die cut on top of that.  I popped up a few of the positive pieces on that panel using some Thin 3D Foam Adhesive from Scrapbook Adhesives.  I like to use the thinner foam sometimes as it makes for slightly easier mailing.

I wanted to send this to someone who is is getting ready to celebrate an anniversary so I chose the "Perfect Pear" instead of flowers.  The die I have is a Quikutz Revolution Die from several years ago. For the Light Green, I cut the My Favorite Things Leaf Filled Flourish Die to make a flourish out of some Creative Memories Cardstock in Honeydew.  This is really the only Light Green I have. Typically, Creative Memories Cardstocks don't work the best for card making as they are too thin, but this was exactly the color I needed for the flourish and it was such a small part of the overall design, so it worked.  For the final element on my card, I stamped the "Mr. & Mrs." from the Simon Says Stamp Congratulations Stamp Set onto vellum and heat set it using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder and cut the swallowtail end for that banner.  I like that it goes up and down instead of across.  I think you could also do something similar for a Wedding Card.

I hope you all enjoyed this Color Throwdown #381 Challenge Card.  I'll be linking this up over on the challenge which I linked at the top of this post.  

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Fusion Challenge

Lately I have been checking out some new blogs and new places to play along with the challenges they host every week or two.  Today is the first time I've actually done one of these challenges. I'm participating over at FUSION. The idea is that you can use the sketch, the image or you can "fuse" the two to create a new card or project.  I mostly do cards but I loved the colors in the photo, so I wanted to combine mine. 

The first thing I noticed was the very Moroccan design of the navy and white pillow because I have some gold foiled paper that mimics a very similar design. So that was my starting point for this card.  Since my paper is foiled, I wanted to use some gold foiled cardstock for the main element of my card.  I also wanted to use this Text Block: Party Time from Papertrey Ink. I cut another one with some iridescent white paper and used those pieces to inlay the balloons with Ranger Multi Medium Matte.  I put a piece of vellum behind the text block so I would have something to glue the inlay to and once that was finished, I put some grey cardstock behind it. I tried a few different colors including the rich pink, but most of them seemed to steal the show rather than accenting it. 

Using Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Dies, I cut the background panel from the dark blue & gold paper in the largest size and the mid ground panel from the pink and gold striped paper in the third from the largest size. I adhered the background panel to a Top Folding A2 Card Base then attached a skinny strip of Gold Glitter Paper for the horizontal line.  You could use twine or ribbon to accomplish the same thing.  I just happen to like a little bit of glitter.  Next, I attached the tall rectangle on top of that and the sentiment panel with the balloons.  I topped it all off with a glitter star on the left hand side just as shown in the sketch.  

This was a super fast card to make.   I like that even though there are several layers, this card is flat enough for easy mailing.  

Papertrey Ink has several of the Text Blocks available in a variety of themes and you can check them out here.  I hope you have a great day and great rest of your weekend!  

Friday, February 26, 2016

Celebrate - Tim Holtz Style Inspired by a Song

While I was at my daughter's last week, we ran over to the local Michaels Arts & Crafts Store to get an adhesive runner so I could finish swatching my Peerless Watercolors and adhere the remaining swatches the way all of the previous ones have been done.  I ended up finding a Studio G Mini Tape Runner with more than enough (9 feet) to finish what I had started at home and it was $1 or something super cheap like that.  Of course in the attempt to find a tape runner at all, I was in the Stamping/Scrapbooking Section.  I noticed a Tim Holtz Sizzix Framelits Celebrate Stamp & Die Set in the clearance section for.... $3.99! Holy Cow! Since my daughter had just mentioned that Birthday Cards are something she uses a lot, I knew it would be perfect and a deal that I could not pass up.  I don't know if I've ever gotten a better deal.

I love the super sketchy, architectural type drawings of all Tim Holtz's Blueprint Style Stamps and this one is no exception.  It's smaller than what I would like and I think I might have to get the larger stamp at some point in time but I'm pretty tickled to get this one at such a great price and especially since it included the matching dies because I detest fussy cutting and me a craft knife just don't go together that well.  I have one but I try not to use it.

On several pieces of Canson Bristol 96# Watercolor Paper I stamped and heat embossed the images in Simon Says Stamp's New Antique Gold Ultra Fine Embossing Powder and heat set it. I knew I wanted bright, cheerful and vibrant colors so I went straight to my Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens in Cobalt Blue, Emerald Green, Persian Green, Orange, Red, Purple & Deep Violet. To add the shimmer  to the color I used Perfect Pearls Pigment Powder in the following:  Interference Red, Interference Blue, Forever Violet, Berry Twist, Turquoise and Perfect Pearl.  Simon Says Stamp has a choice of 36 colors but when I've purchased mine, I try to think about what the base color (Red, Blue, Green, etc.) is and whether or not I use that color as part of my card making so I only have about 8 colors.  The two I didn't use here are Gold and Pewter.  I tend not to go for trendy colors except that I heard about the Interference Red from a YouTube Video.  It's kinda pink or kinda purple, depending on your light.

After I allowed everything to dry, I die cut the watercolored panels using the My Favorite Things Stitched Squares in the 2nd largest size and then die cut the party hat carefully with the coordinating die and all of the "Happy Birthday" Banners. Additionally, I cut one Party Hat out of Fun Foam for each watercolored panel. I also cut one Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle from various gold foiled papers.  To assemble the card I made top folding A2 card bases from Stamper's Select White Cardstock. I applied the negative square to the stitched rectangles using regular Tombow Mono Adhesive. I glued the watercolored Party Hat to the Fun Foam for each hat using Glossy Accents and stacked an acrylic block on top for several seconds to let it set and then went about adhering the background panels to the card bases before starting to mount the party hats into their space on the card fronts.  It was quick and super easy to do since I skipped foam tape in favor of Fun Foam.  I used the negative to help place or line up the positive image.  For the little banner piece, I cut several foam squares in half and then adhered those to the card base as well.

Oh how I love gold foiled paper and gold embossing powder. Silver just doesn't pack the same punch most of the time although there are exceptions.  These cards were surprisingly easy to do and I know my daughter will love having them to give to my grandson's friends. I'll be entering these cards over on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog where the theme "Inspired by a Song" is up for this week.  My song is "It's My Party" by Leslie Gore way back in 1965.  I'll also be posting this over at the Seize the Birthday Challenge.

Thanks so much for stopping by to check out my blog and I hope you'll come back soon.  All comments are very much appreciated if you'd care to leave one. Have a great weekend, everyone.  See you soon!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Papertrey Ink Feburary 2016 Blog Hop Challenge

Today's card is for the Papertrey Ink February 2016 Blog Hop. We were provided this image for our inspiration. There are so many elements in this photo that it took some time for me to figure out which of those I wanted to use on my card. There are several rectangles & circles in this image as well as the more organic shapes of the flower, fern, leaves, ribbon, frog and other elements.  I wanted to find just the right balance of shapes and colors while still using the same color palette for my card. I love pink and gold together.  It is ultra elegant and ultra feminine in most cases.  

I started with a piece of Simon Says Stamp Cotton Candy 100# Card Stock and misted it all over with some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Iridescent Gold. Even though it seems like this company is no longer in business, I have several bottles of this around.  I set it aside to dry for a little while because damp card stock does not cut cleanly (don't ask me how I know, *wink*).  While I was waiting for that, I stamped my leaves from the Turning a New Leaf Stamp Set onto Wild Wasabi Card Stock and heat set them with Simon Says Stamp's new Ultra Fine Antique Gold Embossing Powder. I used the Turning a New Leaf coordinating dies to cut the leaves off-setting them slightly so some of the green would show. I really love this embossing powder and it is my new favorite embossing powder when I don't want to use the sparkle kind. The color is warm and rich.

I cut a tall rectangle from some gold foiled cardstock by cutting a narrow piece of gold cardstock scrap on three sides of the stitched rectangle die and then repositioning the paper so it would cut the line on that 4th side. If you match up the stitches, it's pretty easy to do and it helps stretch those dies even more.  I stamped and heat embossed the outline floral image from Altenew's Beautiful Day Stamp Set which is a multi-layer stamp set as well as my butterfly from SU!'s Papillion Potpourri stamp set. I also have the coordinating punch for that particular butterfly.  I used my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pen in Light Pink with a water brush to watercolor the image and extended the painting slightly beyond the outline so that when I fussy cut it there wouldn't be any white showing.  I added more of that same pink to a scrap piece of watercolor paper, then heat embossed it with the "Hello" from Graceful Greetings by Papertrey Ink and die cut it with the coordinating dies.  Finally, I went back to that first piece of misted Cotton Candy Card Stock and cut it with the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Die then started assembling all my pieces onto a white top folding 4 x 5.25 inch card base. 

I wanted to add foam adhesive to the back of the gold rectangle, the flower and parts of the leaves so that the layers would look multi dimensional.  The Greeting and the Butterfly were the final elements to attach using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.  I have a ScraPerfect No Clog Writing Tip on my bottle and I've been much happier with this than with the other tip available for the 1/2 oz. bottles.  I wish they would make the Multi Medium in a 2 oz. bottle like they do for Glossy Accents.  I gently curve the wings of the butterfly before adhering it by putting my adhesive down the center of the butterfly's body.  This adds just a little bit more dimension to the card.  

Please feel free to post any questions or comments and have a great day!  You can check out the Challenge here: Capture the Moment or shop in the Papertrey Ink Store by clicking the link in the sidebar. 

I'll also be entering this card into the Anything Goes Challenge over on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Has Spring Sprung?

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I am a big fan of Jennifer McGuire.  I think her how-to videos are some of the very best out there on YouTube.  Educated as an Engineer, she automatically thinks about how to make everything work.  Earlier this week she made the card you see on the left.  I absolutely loved it so I set out to try and make something similar with items I already had although I confess, I really want those Paper Smooches Bird Houses in my tool box!  I have an older die that creates a birdhouse from Quickutz that I have never used before so this was the perfect opportunity to use it along with my WPLUS9 Folk Art Floral Designer Die.

I started with a 4.25 x 5.5 Arches (pronounced Ar-Chez) 140# Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper.  Hot pressed paper is smoother than cold pressed paper. I knew I was going to be using a lot of water for my background and the 140# holds more water.  I have quite a bit of this watercolor paper left from my most recent watercolor class. It's more cream than white but for a background that was going to be covered completely, it didn't matter.  Using my Gansai Tambi Watercolors in color #56 - Marine Green, I very loosely gave the panel an overall wash of color using a quite a bit of water. I set that aside to let it dry as I knew I would be adding a second color to the mix. For the next layer I used Finetec Mica Watercolor Paint in Inca Gold.  I used a lot of water once again and let the gold paint pool where it wanted to and allowed it to dry naturally.  By doing it this way, the gold layers on top of the green in a marble-y looking way.

I die cut the birdhouse from several scraps of the same Arches Watercolor Paper and cut it again from White Fun Foam.  Jennifer used 6 layers glued one on top of the other for her die cuts to give the thick chipboard appearance but I figured I'd use fun foam as my underneath layer and save a few steps.  I also cut the two birds from the WPLUS9 Folk Art Floral Designer Die using the watercolor paper but without the fun foam. The birdhouse die includes the shutters for the window but I chose not to use them so that I could have my window open.  I adhered everything together using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

I die cut the background panel with my absolute favorite Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Die in the largest size and started assembling everything together on a 4.25 x 5.25 top folding card base made from Papertrey Ink Stamper's Select White.  The little heart on the door is one of those extras from a previous cut that I keep to use later.  The "Hello" is Papertrey Ink's Noted Die.

I don't have any embroidery floss around so I used several strands of a Coats & Clarks Gold Metallic Thread for the hanger.  I secured that to the back of the watercolor panel using a piece of packing tape since that is what is on my desk at this moment.

The new Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge for this week is "Anything Goes" so I'll be entering this over there.  Thanks for stopping by today and I'll be back soon with another project.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fun With Shaker Cards

I am really late getting this post up on my blog for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog which is "Shake It Up" for this week.  Tomorrow will be a whole new challenge so you see what I mean about being behind....

I have some beautiful gold foiled papers that came from Hobby Lobby this past winter and I purchased the entire pad for about $12.00 with a 40% off coupon. There are a few pastels, some grey, and some other bright colors like Orange, Pink and Blue. I wish there were some Red and Purple, but I like this pad a lot and it can make for some quick cards.  I'm going to make some birthday cards for my daughter sometime in the next few weeks.  With two of her boys being pre-school and grade school age, this is what she uses the most. However, some of the colors in this collection make me think of spring which is just around the corner (I hope).

This mint & gold polka dot pattern is definitely one that makes me think of Spring and Easter. Just in case you thought Spring was right around the corner, today is cold and 45 degrees.  It was gorgeous last week in Dallas so it's a bit of a jolt back to reality now that I'm back home.

Shaker cards seem to be my biggest personal challenge. I've tried using my fuse tool but that just hasn't been a big help to me. I got mine on a 50% Off Black Friday Deal so I only paid about $12.50 for it, but I thought it would be a bigger help than it is. In fact, I had another card nearly completed earlier today and ruined it just as I was attempting to adhere the front panel to a card base.  I don't have very many mint colored sequins so I took that card apart to salvage them. I know, I'm a goof ball, *Ü*.  Rather than using clear window plastic, I really like the soft look of vellum over the shaker part.  It took me a while to figure out how to create my shaker but I hope it won't be as hard the next time. After I messed up the first one, the 2nd one came together much faster.

I started this card by cutting the mint foiled paper with a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle in the largest size.  I would have liked to use the foiled paper for the entire card, but it is too thin. Next time, I might try adhering the whole thing onto a plain white card base but I'll save that for another day.  I taped the two largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Circle Dies together before die cutting the gold foil.  I cut another of these from Fun Foam.  The fun foam gives just enough height to the shaker window to allow the sequins and beads to move around.  I only needed the rings, but I saved the inside circles to use on another project.  For the vellum part I wanted a circle that was slightly larger than the opening so I cut one using the Memory Box Stitched Circles.  The difference is that the Simon Dies have the stitching on both sides of the cutting line and the Memory Box Dies are only on the inside of the cutting line.  They do seem to fit the in between size for when you use two of the Simon Dies together. I don't feel like I am explaining that very well, but I hope you get the idea.  I glued the vellum layer directly to the gold foiled ring then glued the fun foam ring to the vellum using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

Next, I put the mint and gold sequins onto the vellum inside of the ring and made sure that they were facing the right way (face up if you're looking through the vellum from the front).  I had to use my EK Success Tweezers to do this and then added some gold seed beads to it.  This makes for a great and fun shaker card that's an auditory as well as visual experience.  I cut the Sending Die and the Hugs from the Big Hugs Die using some of the foiled cardstock scraps as well as the Memory Box Snowflake Love Pendant and a single cut of the Simon Says Stamp Mini Hearts Die. There are 9 little hearts in that set and I always save any extras for other projects.  Kristina Werner designed both of these word dies so the fonts match if you're into that kind of thing like I am.  Sometimes I can use different fonts but if I have matching, that is what I want 99% of the time.

I wanted to make a circle shaped window to go with the polka dots of the paper and the circles from the sequins.  And you can't send hugs without a little love too, so I also used heart shapes.  I adhered everything using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.  In hindsight, I should mention that it would have been much easier to attach the shaker window to the base panel if I would have used the negative as my place holder.  I hope I remember that next time as it was a bit tricky to place it since I couldn't just flip the whole thing over to look. In the end, I think the effort was worth it.

Have a great day and thanks so much for stopping by today.  I always love and appreciate comments if you'd like to leave one for me.  Now I better stop talking and get this posted over on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog link up!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Catching Up With A Reason to Smile

My husband and I had planned to be at our daughter's house last weekend and we were but things happened while I was there so I decided to take a little vacation and stay the whole week. My husband came back to get me on Friday night and we got home late yesterday morning.  A couple of hours later my order from the Simon Says Stamp Reason to Smile Release arrived at my mailbox.  I only ordered a couple of things this time, but I was excited to get them already!

Right away I stamped this new floral image from the Simon Says Stamp Spring Flowers Stamp Set.  At this time, there are not matching dies, but on a Periscope I was watching the other day, Heidi said there could be.... It was a lot of fun to see her showing the new release items and I was actually where I could watch it live for once.

I started with a couple of background panels cut from Canson Bristol 96# Watercolor Paper and stamped each with a couple of flowers and stems and also some random flowers all over using Versamark then heat embossed using the new Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  Antique Gold seems to be identical to the WOW! Gold Rich Pale Embossing Powder, but you get twice as much in the container.  In fact, it might become my new favorite, after the Ranger Gold Tinsel Embossing Powder, of course.  I love the Simon Branded Embossing Powders as they are super fine, they melt well and have a fantastic price point.

Next I colored the images using Tim Holtz Distress Markers in Seedless Preserves and Worn Lipstick. For the stem and leaves I used Mowed Lawn Distress Marker. I also did a more loose style of watercolor on the other panel, but I confess, so far that style only makes me feel like it's messy and I haven't yet made it into a card. I'm trying to learn to relax a little about my watercolor, but so far I am unsuccessful at that. And really, that is okay.  I think everyone should do whatever style works for them.  After the flowers and leaves were dry, I went over them with my "recycled" Wink Of Stella Clear Shimmer Brush Pen.

To assemble the card, I used my favorite Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles in the largest size to die cut my panel.  I stamped the sentiment on Stamper's Select Vellum from Papertrey Ink using their Graceful Greetings Stamp Set.  I die cut the vellum across the width of that panel with the same stitched rectangle so the widths and stitching would match and adhered it with Ranger Multi Medium Matte to the front panel.  I attached that to a 4.25 x 5.5 inch top folding card base made from Papertrey Ink's Autumn Rose Cardstock.  A few sequins and voila, my card is finished.

It's important to note that if you use much water on your project, the watercolor panel will warp. It warps less with 140# paper, but that paper is not as white as the Bristol. It also doesn't stay in place very well with dry adhesive so I've started using my Ranger Multi Medium Matte to adhere my watercolor piece to my card base and then I stack several acrylic blocks on top to keep it nice and flat while it dries.  I hope you find this tip helpful.

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge for
this week is for a Recycled or Upcycled project.  I recycled my empty Wink of Stella by adding some Perfect Pearls Pigment Powder, a little Glimmer Mist and some water into the empty brush to give my flowers some added shimmer.  It's not as sparkly as the original Wink of Stella but it's not bad at all. The Wink of Stella Brush Pens have such a nice, real brush tip, they are a great one for recycling. Since I love shimmer on nearly every card I make, this is a great way for me to recycle the empty pen.

Since I was on a little vacation last week, I did not have any paper crafting tools with me so I haven't posted in more than a week.  I did take my Peerless Watercolors with me and I finally got them swatched and in the little organization books.  Rest assured, I will be back to my regular schedule of 3 - 4 posts a week now that I am home.  Have a fantastic day and please feel free to leave me a comment or ask any questions you might have.  Thank you so much for stopping by!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ink Blending

One of my favorite techniques in card making is ink blending on Watercolor Paper. For this Card I am using Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper.  It's a lot of fun to take a plain piece of white and watch it magically become a beautifully colored background. It's also a really fantastic way to create a one layer card that has lots of hints of depth and dimension. If you combine that with another favorite technique, heat embossing, it can create a visually impactful card.

I have a couple of girlfriends who are battling Breast Cancer right now.  One lives near and the other lives in Carolina Panther Territory.  I have made them both several cards. For my girlfriend who lives nearby, I take a home cooked meal out before each Chemotherapy Session so that she doesn't have to cook for a few days following her infusion.  Growing up in a family of 6 kids and 2 parents, I have still never learned how to make smaller portions, so I have enough homemade Chicken and Noodles to feed a small army!  Between me, her family, her church family and her friends, I hope she has enough food for quite a few days and I hope I'm doing enough to help.

Angie's favorite color is Orange and I wanted to make a card to take out with the meal we're dropping by tonight.  Normally, we take it out the day before her infusion but I won't be around this weekend so we're going to drop it by this evening.

Like me, Angie likes a little bling.  I used SU!'s Calypso Coral with a Tim Holtz Mini Ink Blending Tool to ink up this background panel, applying a heavier concentration of color toward the center. Once I had that done, I spritzed it all over with some Iridescent Gold Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist. The Glimmer Mist I have is several years old and was purchased locally when I lived in Dallas although that store is closed now and Simon Says Stamp doesn't carry it but I think the Tsukineko Gold Shimmer Spritz would do the job for you. I think you can catch a little bit of the sparkle and shine in the photograph, but it's so much more beautiful in real life!

One of my favorite things I've discovered recently is Metallic Glitter Embossing Powders.  For this card I used Ranger's Gold Tinsel Embossing Powder with Papertrey Ink's Mehndi Medallions and Graceful Greetings which is my current favorite sentiment set.  I just love the typography of this font and I hope that Betsy Veldman will create others.  It's important to note that the ink and the shimmer sprays must be completely dry before you attempt embossing and you do need to use a powder tool, powder pouch or even just dust the front off with cornstarch before you attempt to emboss it so you don't get powder where you don't want it.

Once I had all my stamping completed and heat set, I used the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle to die cut the panel and adhered it to a top folding A2 white card base made from Stamper's Select White Cardstock.

The Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge this week is one-layer cards so I'll be entering this card over there.  The Mehndi Medallions make really quick work of a lovely looking card that stays flat for mailing.  Thank you so much for stopping by today and I hope you'll come back soon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Spritz & Spray

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge for this week is "Spritz & Spray".  I have long loved making my own color sprays using Reinkers with whatever solution I like.  My favorite is Tsukineko Sheer Shimmer Spritz with my choice of  reinker. I have some of these made up and in spray bottles that I have emptied out from other products like Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist.  They are a nice size bottle (2 oz.) to reuse, but don't forget to label them with the new contents.

If you don't happen to have anything to make your own, Simon Says Stamp has a wide variety of spritzes and sprays available for purchase.  I hear the Heidi Swapp Gold Lamé is heavenly.... You can also buy little Ranger Mini Mister Bottles if you need to.

For today's card, I used a couple of the pre-made color spritzes that I keep on hand. One spray is made with Melon Mambo Reinker and the other is made with Calypso Coral Reinker (I also have a purple, a sea blue and a green). I spritzed a couple of bursts of the pink and the coral onto a 4.25 x 5.5 inch piece of Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  I did a heavier concentration of the pink toward the base and the lighter coral toward the top.  I just wanted the color to vary for the light and airy sort of feel.  When that was dry, I decided I wanted some gold spatter on it so I put a few drops of water onto the Tibet Gold in my Finetec Metallic Gold Watercolor Paint Palette.  After it had softened a bit, I picked it up with my #2 Silver Black Velvet Round Brush and tapped it against my index finger to create the spatter on the background panel.  I'm really thinking I need that Heidi Swapp Gold Lamé, *Ü*.

The Cover Plate: Butterfly was a January Release from Papertrey Ink.  I cut this from Stamper's Select White Cardstock and inked it up using Rich Razzleberry Ink with a Ranger Mini Ink Blending Tool.  Once the ink was dry, I misted it with some Irridescent Gold Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist and allowed that to dry, then adhered the die cut to the background panel using Ranger Multi Medium Matte. I sprayed a very fine mist from about 12 inches or so above onto the entire card front and then attached it to a Rich Razzleberry top folding A2 Card Base.  Anytime I use a darker card base I like to die cut a panel from white cardstock and put it on the inside of the card as I did here.  

This was a very quick card to do.  In fact, it took a lot longer to write this blog post than it did to make the card.  So if you're in a time crunch, this style of card is a great option for you!  I finished off the card with a sprinkling of sequins in Deep Fuschia and Metallic Gold from Pretty Pink Posh.

Have a great day, everyone and thanks for stopping by.  I'll be back soon with another project. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

One Last Valentine

There is so much fun going on over at Papertrey Ink again today as they continue with the reveal of the 9th Anniversary Products that will go live for ordering at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on February 15th.  The challenge I'm creating for today is "Create Along With Us".  We're supposed to pick something from one of the design team members as our inspiration and make our own project. I chose Erin Lincoln who designed two new Cover Plate Dies: Scroll Frame and Pretty Frame.

There are so many gorgeous things coming on the 15th.  I love Peonies and there is a new stamp set with coordinating dies called Peonies on Parade that is just beautiful.  I can hardly wait!  There are also pre-stamped coloring images available for either watercolor or Copic markers if that is what you'd like to do.  You can choose which paper you like; watercolor paper or Stamper's Select White for your Copics.  Be sure to check out Nichole's Blog for a sneak peek.

Obviously I can't get these new dies yet, but I could use a different Papertrey Ink Cover Plate. I chose Cover Plate: Deco for this card. 

I have really struggled to make a Valentine's Day Card for my husband this year. I've felt like everything I've made has been too feminine but I'm pretty happy with the card I designed today.  I love die cut inlay but sometimes it can be a challenge for me to find something that isn't too tedious to work with. I find this one pretty easy and the more you do it the easier it gets. I could have kept this card completely clean and simple but since I am not mailing it, I went with a tiny bit of dimension. 

A few days ago, I had cut one die from Gray Card Stock (SU's Smoky Slate) and one Stamper's Select White and interchanged the pieces on each other to create these background panels. I've already used the other one in a card but I had this one left.  I like the really clean graphics of today's card for my husband. It's nice without being too frilly or girlie looking.  While the background is very soft and muted, I wanted a pop of color for the actual focal area of the card. Using the Papertrey Ink Boutique Borders: Love Stamp Set I stamped my main sentiment on the largest heart cut from a scrap of SU! Cherry Cobbler Card Stock and heat embossed it using WOW! Platinum Sparkle Embossing Powder.  I cut all of the hearts using the Little B Stitched Hearts Designer Die Set.  

On the small hearts I stamped the solid hearts using WPLUS9's Little Bits Stamp Set which has a variety of sizes of hearts and stars in it.  It's a handy little set to have for accents on any kind of card you might be making.  My final touch was to stamp and heat emboss the little flourish from the PTI Holiday Photo Finishers Stamp Set using the same WOW! Platinum Sparkle Embossing Powder as the rest of the card. Then I assembled it all onto an A2 Smoky Slate Top Folding Card Base using Ranger Multi Medium Matte.  I trimmed about 1/8th of an inch all the way around the background panel so that it would show the gray card base. The two smaller hearts are popped up on foam squares for a bit of dimension.  

Thanks so much for stopping by today and I love comments if you'd care to leave one.  Have a great afternoon and I'll see you soon!  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Grab & Craft

For the 3rd day of Papertrey Ink's 9th Anniversary Celebration we were challenged to "Grab & Craft!"  So, you have 5 minutes to grab what you need and you must use everything that you grab on your card.  I actually took this one step further and "grabbed" the unused pieces from yesterday's card and tried to make a new card out of them.

Y'all know I have a habit of keeping extra pieces of die cuts (like little hearts or stars), so I end up with what I call "Parts & Pieces" sitting on my desk.  It was a few of those left scattered on my desk that I "grabbed".  When I was trying to decide which inspiration photo to use for yesterday's project, I was trying to choose between the image posted yesterday and this one on the left.  They were similar color schemes but one used Khaki (interpreted by me to be Kraft) and the other Grey.

While trying to decide which color scheme I was going to use, I had die cut two panels of Grey and White from the Papertrey Ink Cover Plate: Deco to inlay into each other and actually had that part already done when I started today.  I also had a tag cut from the WPLUS9 Love Showers Designer Die Set using Simon Says Stamp Cotton Candy Card Stock, a brad, a CTMH Stamp set that I was waiting to find a way to use, a Valentine's Stamp Set, a Versamark Ink Pad, WOW! Platinum Sparkle Embossing Powder, my Tombow Mono Adhesive, Ranger Multi Medium Matte and some platinum hearts from a previously cut piece of "glitter" paper.  The Simon Says Stamp Mini Hearts Die that I have cuts 9 of these little hearts and I typically use 3 - 5, so I always keep the extras for another project. Sometimes I use a scrap of actual glitter paper but other times I make my own to match exactly.  Such was the case with the hearts on this tag.  I had made the coordinating paper previously by swiping my Versamark ink cube across a scrap of Stamper's Select White Cardstock, sprinkling the Platinum Sparkle Embossing powder on it and heat setting that, then cutting the die which makes 9 small hearts.  These were the three I had left having used 6 of them on previous projects.  The set of 9 has three different styles with three different size in each style. There are Primitive, Standard and these sort of exaggerated Cherub Hearts. The Cherub Hearts are my favorites but I like and use all of them, so I keep the extras.  I have a small Jadeite bowl on my desk that I keep these "parts" in for quick access but I hadn't gotten as far as putting these away so they were still laying on my work surface.

I really like the square brad with the very clean and geometric lines of the Art Deco background panel.  I made it the same platinum color as the hearts and embossing by holding it with my tweezers and running it across the Versamark Pad, dipping it in the platinum embossing powder and heat setting it.  I let it cool on my craft mat for a minute then I poked a hole in my card base using a die pick that I had on my desk.  This is a pretty simple card, but I love the soft, classic Art Deco Lines and color of it.

This concludes today's project utilizing the "Grab & Craft Challenge". Thank you so much for stopping by to see my project.  I'll be back tomorrow with my next project for the Festivities over at Papertrey Ink.  Here's a link to Nichole's Blog if you'd like to check it out.  I'll also be adding this to the Link Up for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge, "Have a Heart".

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Inspired by Fashion

For Day 2 of the Papertrey Ink Anniversary Celebration and in honor of the release of some Dress Up Paper Dolls by Betsy Veldman on February 15th, we are to take our inspiration for today's challenge from our closet or some online fashion.  In my current quest to start using my Kraft Cardstock, I selected this image as my inspiration photo.  It doesn't hurt that I also love Pink & Gold as well.

Starting with a Kraft card base in A2 size, I gathered some additional pink and white card stock. I was thinking along the lines of a doily for the background so I cut one from Papertrey Ink's Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  The doily die I have came from Stampin' Up.  Using the Papertrey Ink Mehndi Medallions Stamp Set, I stamped the largest image from that set on Stamper's Select White Cardstock and heat embossed it using Ranger Gold Tinsel Embossing Powder. Using a smaller image from that set I stamped 5 of them in a line across a piece of pink cardstock measuring 2.25 x 5.5 inches so that I could have a pink & gold band behind the gold and white embossed medallion.  I trimmed a bit off the top and bottom making the strip 1.75 x 5.5 wide.

Using the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle I cut a panel from the Stamper's Select White then repositioned that in the same die to cut a narrow strip that had the stitching on it.  I have tried to think of a better way to describe that, but so far, I haven't thought of it.  I wanted the stitching all the way around but there isn't a die for that, so I improvised.  The finished size of the white strip is .75 x 5.25 inches. Since I wanted to stamp my "Hello" greeting using the same Ranger Gold Tinsel Embossing Powder, I didn't want the strip of white to have anything distracting on it.  This also helps draw the eye to the greeting making it the focal point. I used the "Hello" sentiment from Papertrey Ink's Graceful Greetings and stamped that on a scrap of pink card stock then die cut it with the coordinating dies.  These dies cut so nicely, leaving just a narrow border all the way around while the white of the decorative strip makes the pink and gold sentiment pop.

I finished up with a few hearts cut from a scrap of glitter card stock adhered with Ranger Multi Medium Matte.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  I'll be back soon with another project but in the meantime, you can check out Nichole Heady's Blog here.

Friday, February 5, 2016

More "Krafty" Goodness

Today marks the 9th Anniversary Celebration commencing over at Papertrey Ink!  Having discovered them only fairly recently I was surprised to learn last month that they were coming up on 9 years.  There is a whole flurry of activity over on Nichole Heady's Blog and at the Papertrey Ink Forum.

Yesterday, I was asking around on their forum where I am a member, for some of the ladies to give me some ideas or suggestions for using my Kraft Card Stock which I have in 3 different shades.  Kraft is the stuff that is the color of a brown paper bag. Why I needed three when I had trouble using even one is beyond me but y'all know how those things go, *grin*.   I've tried a few times to use Kraft with masculine cards but have never liked the results.  Well those ladies told me to go check out Heather Nichols' Blog, so I did.  I totally understand now why she has been dubbed the "Queen of Kraft".  Last night I made the first project I've ever liked using Kraft and got it posted on my blog. I also discovered that I like Kraft with White or Pastels like soft pinks or soft blues.

Heather Nichols' Color Recipe for Papertrey Ink
This morning, the first challenge of the Papertrey Ink 9th Anniversary Celebration was to create a new card or project using inspiration from one of of the Design Team's favorites of 2015.   I chose Heather Nichols' card and Color Recipe.  The "recipe" uses Kraft with Dark Chocolate, Pure Poppy, Raspberry Fizz and Ripe Avocado. Since I don't have any Papertrey Inks at this time, I did my best to duplicate those colors in my water colored image.  

First I stamped and heat embossed this Impression Obsession Wild Rose image using Simon Says Stamp Clear Embossing Powder on Arches 140# Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper. The Hot Pressed is very nice because it is much smoother and it's not hard to get a good, clean image.  The more heavily textured watercolor papers can be difficult.  

To get the colors for my images, I used Tim Holtz Distress Markers and scribbled some Festive Berries onto an acrylic block along with some Abandoned Coral. Using a water brush, I picked up the Abandoned Coral and filled the full petal as my base color.  For the second layer I mixed the two colors for the medium color and filled all but the outer third of the petals.  For the final color I picked up some of the Festive Berries and dropped that at the base of the petals and pulled it out about halfway up the petal with my brush.  This gave me a beautiful color with lots of variation in tone. For the calyx, sepals and stem I used Forest Moss Distress Marker.  I created the background color using some Antique Linen scribbled on top of the same acrylic block and it mixed with the hint of color still left on there from painting the petals.  This gave it a bit of a rosy glow.  

I stamped my sentiment using my current all time favorite called Graceful Greetings from Papertrey Ink in Chocolate Chip and heat set it using Simon Says Stamp Clear Embossing Powder.  The ink doesn't stay wet for very long so you have to be quick, but it does work.  I had my embossing powder out and ready to sprinkle right on the sentiment as soon as it was stamped.  This also makes the image nice and crisp.

After everything was dry, I cut the water colored panel down with about 1/4 inch trim all the way around (approximately 3.5 x 4.75) then mounted that to a Stitched Rectangle of Papertrey Ink Berry Sorbet Cardstock and then attached that to a top folding Kraft Card Base.  I love Papertrey Ink's Cardstock.  It is 110# solid core and the price is hard to beat.  

Although I am sure Heather's was a much deeper and richer color, I'm pretty happy with my outcome on this card.  I feel much more comfortable using Kraft Cardstock now. As a side note, has anyone else ever noticed that Scrapbookers and Card Makers call it Cardstock (1 word) and the rest of the world along with Spell Check calls it Card Stock (2 words).  It's driving me crazy....

Thanks for stopping by and I really appreciate any comments you'd like to leave. I'll be back many times in the next 10 days with many projects celebrating Papertrey Ink's Anniversary and February Release!  Have a great weekend everyone! 

Krafty Valentines

Today I wanted to try something new to me.  I have three or four different styles of "Kraft" card stock.  You know the one - it's the color of a brown paper bag. Who knew those came in so many different colors?  I struggle to use mine at all and every time I've tried so far, I've been very unhappy with the results.  So I was asking around on a forum that I'm a member of and I was pointed toward Heather Nichols' Blog.  She has rightly been dubbed the "Queen of Kraft" and now I know why.

So after looking around her blog I decided to give it another go.  One thing I noticed is that I seem to really like Kraft with white accents or embossing.  I've even seen a few pastel embossing powders that I like, but I didn't try that today.

I pulled out my trusty Darkroom Door "French Script" Background Stamp. Laying it face up on my table I inked it up with Versamark.  Then I laid a piece of Kraft card stock on top of that and carefully holding it so as not to move or smudge it, I set a large acrylic block on top of that to press down.  There's less risk of me messing it up this way. The acrylic block glides over the surface of the paper without budging it, unlike my finger tips. I suppose it's all what you get used to doing and this is what works for me.  I heat set it using Simon Says Stamp White Embossing Powder and cut it with the largest Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle.

Next I cut a My Favorite Things Leaf Filled Flourish out of Stamper's Select White Card stock. That reminds me...Have y'all ever noticed that Stampers and Scrapbooker's call it Cardstock (1 word) vs. the rest of the world that calls it Card Stock (2 words) and even spell check wants to correct it?  Ha!  Just thought I'd mention that.  For the hearts I have an old Accucut Die that I have always loved. It has one part that goes on the front of the card stock and another than that goes on the back to make the deep impression.  It's a "hinged" die if that makes sense.  I cut those using Papertrey Ink's Berry Sorbet Cardstock.  I love this color.  It has been a replacement for me of my no-longer-available Cameo Coral and it has just the right touch of pink. I absolutely love Papertrey Ink's Cardstocks. They are 110# solid core and soooo smooooth! I only have 3 colors of these so far, but I will replace my SU colors with Papertrey Ink's as my supply is depleted which will be a while.

Using Ranger Multi Medium Matte, I adhered the flourish to the background panel then attached that to my Stamper's Select White Card Base.  I used Foam Squares on the back of the hearts and adhered them with one slightly on top of the other,  I cut the "love" greeting using a die from Little Yellow Bicycle that I got at Hobby Lobby using a scrap of gold foil card stock.  I glued the "l" onto one of the hearts and the other end to the flourish which also adds a bit of dimension to the card as well.

This card will be on it's way tomorrow to my grand girls and I feel it's my first success on Kraft Cardstock.  I'll definitely be trying it again but in the meantime I'll be linking this up over on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog for the "Have A Heart" theme.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Watercolor Painted Butterflies

Not long ago I ordered this stamp set called Pen Pattern Butterflies from Simon Says Stamp that is made by Stampendous. In my constant search for things to watercolor, I like that this set has 3 different sizes and styles of butterflies.  These two cards use the largest one from the set.

Over on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog this week the theme is "Ray of Sunshine" to remind us that summer and warmer temperatures will be coming again.  So when I was thinking about what I would do for this challenge and I came across this stamp set it made me think of summer when the butterflies are out and also that butterflies only come out when the sun is shining; never in the rain.  I wondered if that was true or if it was merely that I also avoid hanging out in the rain.  Of course, I had to go look it up!  I found the following question and answer from the New York Times, October 17, 2006
Butterflies seek the same kinds of shelter in the rain that they would seek at night, when they are also vulnerable. They quickly hide in umbrella-like foliage, in tree hollows, under rocky outcroppings or even in crevices in rocks. Raindrops are as threatening to the light-bodied butterfly as the bucket of water propped over the door in a silent comedy film would be to a human being.

As noted in ''The Butterflies of North America,'' by William H. Howe (Doubleday, 1975), a butterfly, which is cold blooded, basks in the heat of the sun ''in order to build up its body temperature to operating level,'' and it faces a severe risk of mortality in heavy downpours. It huddles with folded wings until the sun comes out again and it is able to fly once more.
 Aha!  It wasn't just my imagination, they really don't come out in the rain.  So the butterflies are perfectly in keeping with the theme of "Ray of Sunshine".

I started by heat embossing the images.  One card was heat embossed using WOW! Gold Rich Pale Embossing Powder and the other with Ranger Gold Tinsel Embossing Powder.  To watercolor the butterflies, I used Tim Holtz Distress Markers in Cracked Pistachio, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean.  For the butterfly bodies, I used Weathered Wood.

This is all really simple and straightforward coloring.  I took another watercolor class last week and suffice it to say that I need a LOT of practice and I'm not sure the practice will help at all.  I don't seem to have the ability to freehand anything but at least I understand the mechanics of how to do it now. So until that time, I plan to continue with what I'm doing. Tim Holtz Distress Markers and Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens continue to be my favorite mediums for watercolor.  The Distress Markers are a bit more predictable for color as long as you know what happens to the color when you add a bit of water to it since they are made specifically to react with water.  For example, Seedless Preserves is one of my very favorite Distress Ink Colors.  I like to call it my little extrovert because it goes down purple but when you add the tiniest drop of water, it becomes a pink-y purple. I don't use my Distress Markers or my Zig Pens for anything other than watercolor.

Once I had the butterflies painted, I spritzed the whole panel all over with Tsukineko Sheer Shimmer Spritz. It's less expensive to buy a whole new bottle than it is to buy the refill. You have to use a really light touch and hold this at least a foot above so that there isn't enough moisture to make the color run in your carefully painted image.

To finish, I die cut each of the panels with the largest rectangle from the Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Dies.  I very carefully used my powder pouch on both of those panels so I could stamp a greeting from the Acts of Kindness Stamp Set from Hero Arts.  I mounted both on a Mint Card Base made from Simon Says Stamp 100# Mint Card Stock.  It would have been easier to heat emboss it before the water color, but I had planned to use a die cut greeting that turned out to be too large in the end.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and if you'd care to leave a comment, I really enjoy them.  Have a great rest of the week!