Live Fast And Stay Pretty…

Like the previous project I posted, this card features artwork from the Cricut ‘Groovy Times’ cartridge. There’s something about the late ’70’s that creates a deep fondness in my heart. I was definitely a disco teen and the music, the fashion and the times played out against my formative years. My high school years took me from the Disco Era to the delight of New Wave and Brit Pop. Those were the days! It’s so amazing how so many songs are attached to specific memories…and they remain with you forever. *sigh*

Fashion is a passion and I fell in love with this image. I used my Cricut Imagine and the Cricut Colors & Patterns cartridge called ‘Audrey’ to design my vision in green. It’s cut at four inches and the blue damask pattern is from ‘Audrey’. The other colors were created using Stampin’ Up! RGB codes. The cardstock used is from Papertrey Ink–Pinefeather, Fine Linen and Simply Chartreuse. The mat was embossed using my Cuttlebug and the ‘Polka Dots’ Cuttlebug folder. The corner sentiment was created using a Papertrey Ink steel die and a stamp from Close To My Heart. (The inside image is also a CTMH stamp.) The ribbon is Stampin’ Up grosgrain. The jeweled flowers are from Prima Marketing and the inside crystals are from Heidi Swapp.


Celebrate Every Day

Here’s a card project that was put together with some odd scraps; Scraps that really shouldn’t have worked together, but somehow do. I have to confess that I am not a scrap keeper (*hangs head in shame*). I will say that I’ve become much better about it over time, but I still find it hard sometimes to keep small pieces of scrap papers or cut down larger pieces that have been die-cut or used in another method. Then when I do save scraps, often times I “forget” to use them. Part of it is sheer laziness on my part. Another factor is that I have enough paper to redecorate my entire city (several times over). But, in an effort to be more Green, I’ve been making an effort. I’m currently keeping most of my scrap in a clear acrylic Scraponizer storage box. It makes them easy to see–and easy to grab from the shelf.

This card uses a piece of Stardream So…Silk! cardstock in Beauty Pink as its base (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″). The mat is a piece of decorative paper from Three Bugs In A Rug Spring Stack. The die-cut image was cut with my Making Memories Slice at 4″ from the “Think Pink” card. I cut the image twice–once in a dark cardstock as a base cut and then again with a scrap piece of Basic Grey decorative paper from the “Eskimo Kisses” collection. The sentiment is a Papertrey Ink clear acrylic stamp (“Mega Mixed Messages”) stamped in their Scarlet Jewel hybrid ink. A Heidi Swapp pink jewel floral center and an outline of Sakura Clear Star Glitter pen add just the right amount of bling to the look.

Don’t forget that Giveaway #8 ends this weekend. If you haven’t already entered for a chance to win, check out the link in the sidebar (and feel free to tell a friend).

On The Edge

Last night, I finally got around to playing with some of my new Tim Holtz ‘On The Edge’ dies. You will recall that these new dies are part of a collaboration between Sizzix and Tim Holtz for a new line called “Tim Holtz Alterations”. This die is unique in several ways. First, it is a new size and shape for the Sizzix line. The dies are 6″ x 2 3/4″ in measurement and are designed to cut a perfect 5 1/2″ border (which of course is the standard A2 card size). Each die (with the exception of one) actually features two cutting edges–one on each side of the steel rule die. You can use them in tandem–or simply use only one cut. For this project, I experimented with the die called ‘Ornate’.

I chose to use Stardream So…Silk! mica cardstock in Fair Blue for my base (cut at 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, scored at 4″). The decorative paper I chose for the front is from Cosmo Cricket’s “Material Girl” collection (cut at 5 1/2″ x 4 1/4″). I adhered the decorative paper before I began to cut with my ATG 714.

I used my Cuttlebug and On The Edge Die on each end of my cardstock, making two decorative cuts by simply reversing the die on each pass.

Flipping the cardstock back to the front side reveals the shape my card will take. I really love this set of coordinating cuts. They remind of the top of a pagoda.

For the embellishment of my card front, I combined some velvet leaves from 7 Gypsies with a felt flower from Heidi Swap. I also used a sequin, silver bead and crystal floral center from Prima Marketing. I adhered the pieces of my floral embellishment together with Glue Dots and then used All Night Media 1/2″ pop dots to adhere the piece to my card front. I used a piece of Pebbles grosgrain saddle-stitched ribbon to complete the effect. The sentiment is from Stampin’ Up! and was stamped with Papertrey Ink’s Enchanted Evening ink. The final touch was a Jenni Bowlin journaling block to the card’s interior (as the color was very deep for writing to show up clearly).

There are a total of six (6) Tim Holtz Alterations ‘On The Edge’ dies released thus far. Of course, I had to add them to my craft tool collection. From a card making perspective, I would highly recommend these dies to anyone. They are versatile with dual cuts. They’re easy to store and use. They work with your Sizzix Big Shot or ProvoCraft Cuttlebug. But most importantly, they give you the ability to really jazz up the look and edges of your cards for a very unique look. The dies released thus far are: Brackets, File Tabs, Ornate, Plaque & Postage, Scallops, and Scrollwork. Each die retails for $13.99.

I hope you all have an incredible weekend ahead. Don’t forget that the next Giveaway (see sidebar) will close this weekend. As always, Keep Crafting!

Recently On My Desk…(#3)

Giveaway #2–Hearts Flutter

It’s time for giveaway #2…and of course, it’s inspired by the upcoming salute to St. Valentine. So put your cupid wings on and enter for a chance to win this week’s loot.

Up for grabs, a package that includes:

  • Fancy Pants “French Market” rub-ons
  • 7 Gypsies “Zanzibar” rubbings
  • Prima Marketing Journaling Bloc-Notes & Storage Box (30 sheets, 4″x6″)
  • Heidi Swapp “Crowns” Journaling Spots
  • K&Co. “Smitten” Holographic Puffed Heart Stickers
  • K&Co. “Smitten” Adhesive Chipboard Heart Collection
  • Pebbles Inc. Ribbon Sampler in “Chocolate Box”
  • Papertrey Ink 6″ x 6″ Patterned Paper Pad in “Pink Patterns” (36 sheets)

    For a chance to win, leave a comment on this post telling us: “What makes your heart flutter?”. The winner will be chosen by random draw. Entries accepted until 11:59 p.m. MST on February 3, 2010. The winner will be announced on February 4, 2010 on this blog. As always, consider officially “following” my weblog to stay abreast of giveaways and updates (see right sidebar).

    Good Luck and have a terrific weekend ahead!

  • Card Spotlight: Vintage Surfboard Inspiration

    For this card project, I was inspired by a design pattern from a vintage surfboard. It combines the techniques of masking (which we explored in an earlier project) and the Gamsol colored pencil technique. Again, we play with color and texture to create visual and tactile appeal.

    This project uses the following materials:

    –white cardstock
    –Nick Bantock Vermillion Lacquer
    –Sakura Glaze Pen in Black
    –Heidi Swapp hibiscus flower mask
    –Prismacolor pencils
    –Wooden stick cotton swab applicators

    For the base of this card, I chose a piece of smooth Bazzill white cardstock cut to an A2 size. I used a piece of a Heidi Swapp mask in the shape of a hibiscus flower and leaves. I chose to use a vermillion lacquer from the Nick Bantock Collection by Ranger. For those unfamiliar with this line, the Nick Bantock lacquers are brilliant dye based, acid-free, fade resistant and embossable ink. This was my first time experimenting with them and I was impressed with strong color hues.

    After you’ve picked your masking shape, figure out your placement on the card front.

    Once your mask is firmly engaged, make sure your work surface is covered with a sheet of scrap paper to prevent ink seepage. Then begin the process of dabbing your ink pad against the card front and go for maximum saturation. The coverage doesn’t have to be complete because some bleed-through from the white surface adds an element of visual interest. To make sure that your color gets into the nooks and crannies of your mask, you can dab a Kleenex (or other tissue/applicator) on your ink pad and rub-on color into those cut-out areas. You can use the same Kleenex to rub down the back of your card to give it a lighter depth of color than the card front.

    Allow your ink to set for a couple of minutes before removing your mask and exposing the white surface we will use the Gamsol technique on.

    Prior to beginning the coloring of the image, I used a Sakura Glaze pen in black to outline the image to be colored. Not only does this define your coloring area, it creates a tactile border around your image (which is not affected by the Gamsol).

    For coloring the hibiscus flower, I chose to use a layer of two colors. Closest to the black edging of the Glaze pen I used a thin layer of Prismacolor PC928 Blush Pink. Inside of the pink, I used a thicker layer of PC1002 Yellowed Orange.

    Using the Gamsol and a 6″ wooden stick cotton swab applicator, I blended the two pencil colors to provide a differential shading on the petals of the hibiscus flower. The stamen of the hibiscus were colored in using the black Sakura Glaze pen. I freehanded a few more smaller stamen and pistles to flesh out the outgrowth. For the leaves and stalk of the flower, I used a combination of PC909 Grass Green and PC910 True Green Prismacolor pencils.

    For a final touch–and to emphasize the vintage look I was going for–I used two file boards from my Basic Grey tool set to distress some of the card surface and color. I had a bit of the vermillion lacquer smear into part of the leaves and one of the petals during the distressing. It was not intentional, but I think it adds to the vintage feel I was striving for.

    Here are a couple of closer looks at the finished design:

    Look for inspiration for your card and layout designs from the everyday world around you. You don’t have to choose a large element to be inspired by–a small piece of a design can be interpolated into a beautiful layout. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color. There is a time and place for muted colors. But, don’t shy away from exploring with bright, vivid, loud color. The world needs more color!

    Create–and keep crafting!

    Tag In A Bag–Masking

    For this particular project, I have chosen to use a tag in a bag from the Sara’s Surfaces line by Hot Off The Press (which you can buy at Paper Wishes) .

    However, it is the stamping technique that I wish to highlight here. So you can use this process on regular greeting cards, altering projects and scrapbook pages. The result is a project that looks much more complicated than it really is.

    My supplies for this project include:

    –Sara’s Surfaces Tag In A Bag
    –Colorbox Cat’s Eye Queue Pigment Ink (Rain Forest, Rich Rustics)
    –an acrylic or rubber stamp of your choice
    –plastic sheets or transparency sheets

    The technique highlighted in this project is called masking. You can think of masking as the reverse of stenciling. Heidi Swapp has introduced a line of mini and large masks that work very well. However, the only thing that really limits your options for masking is your own imagination.

    You can create you own masks by using a sheet of plastic and tracing/drawing your desired design on it with a marker. Then cut around your mask. All that’s needed to make your mask stick to your project surface is a little repositionable adhesive. My Xyron 510 comes in handy for this step. I’ve found you can also use clear transparency sheets as well. As for the images, you can draw something from your mind or trace an image from coloring book or clip art image.

    For easier visuals, I have used a piece of black plastic cut out in simple leaf and branch shapes. They were run through the Xyron to put adhesive on the reverse side. Once you have prepared your masking elements we are ready to position them on your work surface. Make sure the edges of your mask are securely adhered to your project surface.

    Once you have the masking elements in place, it is simply a matter of choosing the color of ink that you wish to use on the negative space of your surface. I chose to use the Colorbox Cat’s Eye Queue Pigment stack in Rain Forest and chose Fresh Green as my color. Then you simply dab your inkpad all across your surface, avoiding stamping in an obvious pattern. You will want to leave some areas lighter and darker for visual interest.

    Continue dabbing with your inkpad until your entire masked surface has been well covered will ink.

    At this point, you will want to remove your mask material. I find you achieve better results if you remove them prior to the ink drying. You can either discard your masks or clean them and save them for another application.

    After your masks are removed, you do want to let the ink completely dry before proceding to your final embellishments. I chose a sentiment stamp from Studio G and used the black ink pad from my Colorbox Cat’s Eye Queue Rich Rustics stack. Be creative in your positioning of your sentiment.

    Once my sentiment stamp is dry, I decided to use a piece of color coordinating ribbon to loop through the tag hole. This will allow it to be used as a card pull and allow for easier access once the tag card is in its paper bag.

    After thinking about it a bit more, I decided I needed to add a little “something” to the bag envelope. I found another spool of ribbon (I love paisleys!) and cut a piece to go around the width of the bag. I used another piece to further embellish my card.

    Now, my project is completed and ready for giving.

    Have fun exploring with the masking technique and let your imagination run wild!

    Keep Crafting!