Spring (Wishful Thinking)…

The weather is nothing if not a strange mistress. From the horrible tornadoes and massive flooding in the East, to the unpredictable whirling winds and fluctuating temperatures in my neck of the woods, it would seem Mother Nature is having a bit of an identity crisis. I hope wherever today finds you, that you are safe and sound (and warm) in your crafting cocoon.

Today’s card project involves materials and/or techniques that are relatively new in my wheelhouse. I thought perhaps a card celebrating Spring would remind Mother Nature that Spring has indeed sprung…at least in theory. The birds have indeed returned to the trees around my home to start their nests and produce the next generation. Their morning song is a welcome replacement to a dreary alarm clock. The trees, themselves, are a bit confused by the fluctuating temperatures–debating whether it’s time to unveil their new blooms and buds. Yet, the nippy winds send a whirl of cold wind around my back, tapping my neck to remind me that they are not ready to make their depart.

I recently acquired two paper pads from Core’dinations recent partnership with Tim Holtz and Ranger Industries: a 36 sheet collection Distress Collection with a palette derived from the popular distressed ink line, and a 24 sheet collection of the Adirondack alcohol ink line colors. I have to confess that I have not worked very much with Core’dinations cardstock, so I was looking forward to playing with this cardstock.

The mat of this card is a 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ piece of Core’dinations cardstock from the Adirondack Collection in Stream. The card base is a piece of Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Amethyst. The artwork is from the Cricut Imagine Art Cartridge called “Enjoy The Seasons” and was printed and cut using Bazzill textured cardstock.

To work with the Core’dinations cardstock, I decided to use my Cuttlebug and a Tim Holtz Alterations Texture Fades embossing folder, “Rays”. I liked this image as it reminded me of streams of sunlight against a deep blue sky. After I ran it through the Cuttlebug, I used Tim Holtz’s Idea-ology Sanding Grip to sand areas of the top layer of the embossed impression to allow the lighter inner core color to bleed through. I suppose how much and where to sand is a matter of personal taste and preference. I just experimented with different amounts of pressure on different areas–and I stopped when I liked the look I had achieved.

After I layered the pieces of my Spring banner, I attached the artwork to the front of my newly sanded card front using Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals. After staring at the card for a bit, I felt it needed a little bit of a pick-me-up to convey the promise of Spring. The first thing I added was a Webster’s Pages flat back pearl button to the center of the large yellow flower at the bottom of the banner. The second thing I added was something I’ve had in mind to use on a card for a long while–but never quite mastered the logistics of how I wanted to use it (or how to attach it). I used a piece of Swarovski crystal chatelaine chain from my jewelry craft kit to add a bit of Spring bling.

After I played around with the chain and how to drape it perfectly with the Spring banner, I used two secret things to attach the chain to my card. Because you are all such close friends, I’m going to let you in on the secret: Scotch tape and Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher. I love the look and effect of the crystal chain. As it has moveable joints between each cup set crystal, it drapes and moves along the card as you move the card around. (I’ve told you before that I’m a sucker for the shiny and sparkly.) I really think it’s the perfect addition to this particular card.

The last addition to the card was an inside journaling block that was cut from a piece of Pink Paislee decorative paper. Overall, the card is deceptively simple–and yet has a lot of work and little touches that make a memorable one to make and eventually give (if I can bear to do it).


Little Monsters

For some strange reason of late, I seem to be preoccupied with Christmas. Which is a bit weird since it’s more than five months away. My mind is exploding with Christmas card layouts and holiday projects. Most of them are being written in my “inspiration” notebook for perusal at a later date.

But, another holiday struck my fancy yesterday (even though it is still a few months away as well)–Halloween. I recently purchased a terrific set of stamps from Unity Stamp Company called “Little Monsters”. They are the most adorable Halloween inspired images. If they don’t make you smile, I think a part of you might be dead–which come to think of it might just fit with the holiday!

This card project is a standard A2 size (4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″). The base cardstock is Stardream Mica Fuse in Flame. The accent cardstock is by Core’dinations from the All In The Family collection in Orange. It’s been cut at 3 1/2″ x 4 1/4″ and edged with the Stampin’ Up! Scallop Border Punch. It was then run through the Cuttlebug with the Tiny Mosaic Folder and sanded with a Stampin’ Up! Snow Block.

The Baby Frankenstein and Witch’s Hat are from the Unity Stamp Set “Little Monsters” and stamped on Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select White Cardstock using Tsukineko’s Memento Ink in Tuxedo Black. I then colored both images using Copic Sketch Markers. They were adhered to the embossed cardstock with Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals. The scalloped piece was then adhered to the card base with my ATG 714 adhesive gun. For the card sentiments, I used two other stamps (“little monster” and “trick or treat”) from the “Little Monsters” set. Something about this card just makes me feel like a little kid again (Not that I’m not accused of the fact more often than I care to admit!). I hope this card gets your “little monsters” waking from the graveyard of holiday’s future and inspires you to create something in honor of ghosts and goblins that float by us each and every day! Keep Crafting….

Raining Inspiration

This morning the loud crack and roar as thunder and lightning dueled in the black sky was my wake-up call…literally. What followed was a very rare downpour to clear the dust away for the morning’s arrival.

I’ve been told I’m strange. (Whoa, big surprise there!?) I’m one of the (apparently) few people that is inspired by dark and gloomy weather. Unfortunately, I live in the middle of a desert. So, dark and gloomy are rare visitors. I’ve always wondered if I shouldn’t be living in Seattle, but I digress. Something about dark, overcast days really gets my creative juices flowing. It inspires me to write–and craft.

Here are a few of the cards I made in a thunderstorm of inspiration:

(base cardstock: Stardream Fuse Mica in Azalea; mat cardstock: Core’dinations in Love Potion; Cuttlebug folder: Floral Fantasy; ribbon: American Crafts; sentiment: Papertrey Ink Mega Mixed Messages; ink: Tsukineko Staz-On Jet Black; accent: Sakura Glaze Pen in Black, Clearsnap Smooch Pearlized Accent Ink in Siren; distressed with Basic Grey file set)

(base cardstock: Stardream Fuse Mica in Kunzite; mat cardstock: Die Cuts With A View La Creme; stamps: Papertrey Ink Floral Frenzy set; accent: Sakura Glaze Pen in Black; punches: corner rounders; EK Success & Stampin’Up!)

(base cardstock: Stardream Fuse Mica in Lapis; mat cardstock: Core’dinations in Love Potion; Cuttlebug folder: D’vine Swirls; stamps: Stampin’ Up! Crazy For Cupcakes (#111618); inks: Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Write Markers (#105541), Clearsnap Smooch Pearlized Accent Inks in Azure, Gold Lamé, Green Apple, Silver Fox, and Siren; distressed with Basic Grey file set)

(base cardstock: Stardream Fuse Mica in Fairway; mat cardstocks: Stardream Fuse Mica in Gold, Stampin’ Up! Whisper White (#100730); stamps: Kitchen Sink Stamps Multi-Step Lilies; inks: Tsukineko Memento Ink in Pear Tart, Bamboo Leaves, Cottage Ivy, Dandelion, Tuxedo Black, and Potter’s Clay)

(base cardstock: Die Cuts With A View Tahiti Beach; mat cardstocks: Stardream Fuse Mica in Lapis, Stampin’ Up! Whisper White (#100730); stamps: Basic Grey Ambrosia Halvah set; inks: Tsukineko Memento in Danube Blue and Bahama Blue, Palette Ink in New Canvas; punches: Stampin’ Up! Corner Rounder (#109047) and Tag Corner (#107215))

(base cardstock: Stardream Fuse Mica in Aquamarine; mat cardstocks: Papertrey Ink Hodge Podge Collection, Stampin’ Up! Whisper White (#100730); stamps: Clearsnap Rollograph Wheel Chinese Noodles; inks: Stampin’ Up! Brilliant Blue Stampin’ Around Cartridge (#100871), embellishment: K & Co Layered Accent from Wild Raspberry Collection; accent: Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Write Marker in Night Of Navy (#100069))

I had a few more, but I think you get the idea! 🙂 I love these bursts of creativity and inspiration! The problem is sustaining them. So, no matter what weather you awake to…Keep Creating & Crafting!