Halloween Book

Here’s a few shots from a 5″ x 7″ chipboard accordian book I made in honor of Halloween. Hope you ghouls and goblins like it!

Happy Halloween Everyone!!


Card Spotlight: Fall Is In The Air

It’s about that time. Time for sweaters, hot cocoa, spiced apple cider and watching the leaves tumble off the trees in our front yards. Yes, friends, I think it’s safe to say Fall is officially here.

Last night I was goofing around with a couple of card designs and decided I wanted to make a Fall-inspired card. Of course, for me the biggest (and first sign) of Fall is the changing colors of foilage and the piles of leaves that seem to end up on the doorstop quite mysteriously. The colors of Fall are a marvelous palette for cardmaking.

For this project, I used the following materials:

–Bazzill crosshatch textured cardstock in Burnt Orange; cut to 8.5″ x 5.5″;
–K & Co fall leaves decorative paper from the Fall Harvest mat pad designed by Johnny Yanok; Cut to 3.75″ x 5.5″;
–Cuttlebug 2″ x 6″ die “Leaves & Netting” set (now retired);
–brown craft paper scraps
–Prismacolor markers: burnt sienna, dark brown, orange;
–white resist pen
–Sakura clear glitter gel pen

I used my Making Memories paper trimmer to cut down my Bazzill cardstock, my K & Co. decorative paper and brown kraft paper. I used my Scor-Pal to score my cardstock at 4.25″ to create a bi-fold card base. I fell in love with the fall leaves design by Johnny Yanok in the K & Co. mat pad. It was the inspiration for the Cuttlebug die-cut leaves.

Using my Cuttlebug and the 2″ x 6″ die, I cut two sets of leaves out of the brown kraft paper. I wasn’t sure how many leaves I was going to use on the card, but I figured having two sets gave me more wiggle room to play. The leaf shapes I cut (two of each) looked like this:

I used a little trick (which I may share one day) to decorate the leaf fronts. It basically consists of using a white resist ink pen to make miscellaneous doodle designs on the the leaves. After I’ve made the freehand designs, I used Prismacolor markers to put two to three coats of color on top of the white resist. I think the effect is very eye-catching and gives the piece a bit of whimsy and visual interest.

I used my ATG 714 adhesive gun to adhere the decorative paper to the front of my card. I then deicided that three leaves were plenty for the front of my card. I chose one shape in each of the three marker colors I used. I used my very favorite mini pop dots from All Night Media to attach the leaves to the card front. The mini pop dots give the piece a lot of dimensionality (which unfortunately is difficult to capture in photographs.

As for placing the leaves on the card, you just need to use your eye and experiment with different positions (obviously before you put your adhesive dots on). I found three leaves of various colors worked best. Once I found the layout I liked, it was easy to finish up the card. The only other element I added was a border of Sakura clear glitter pen along the edges of the decorative paper element. A couple of views of the finished look:

This card makes me want to run and jump into a giant pile of multi-colored leaves. Of course, it might be safer to wait until the leaves have actually fallen from the trees in my yard.

Create–and keep crafting!

Card Spotlight: Boo!

There’s something in the air. Fall, thankfully, approaches…and so do the ghosts and goblins. This weekend, I was inspired by pumpkins.

This quick and fun card is made from a 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ piece of DCWV textured chipboard in a yellow-orange color. (If you haven’t tried working with DCWV versatile chipboard stacks, I highly recommend them.) The jack-o’-lantern is cut from a piece of Bazzill corduroy texture white cardstock. The die-cut is a Cricut cut from the “Stretch Your Imagination” cartridge cut at 4″ on my Expression. The backing paper for the reverse side of the card is from the DCWV Old World paper stack.

I used Gamsol and Prismacolor pencils to handcolor the jack-o’-lantern. I used a black Sharpie pen to outline the image after coloring. The “Boo” greeting is done with black Making Memories alphabet rub-ons.

On the reverse side, I used a 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ piece of DCWV decorative paper adhered with my ATG 714. The decorative journaling sheet is by K & Co.

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!

Further Adventures In Gamsol

I’ve continued to practice with the fabled Gamsol technique. The more I use my Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol, the more comfortable I become with the technique. I think I’m getting better with the application and blending. I’m still have some troubles getting the shadowing and perspective down…but I’m assuming that will come with time and more practice.

I started using blending stumps and then I came across some 6″ wooden stick cotton swab applicators that I really like. They come two to a package, so you can use a new stick with each color range and avoid cross-contamination. The longer applicator also gives you more range of motion and freedom in coloring, I think.

Here are some of the latest images I practiced on this weekend. If you haven’t tried this colored pencil technique, I’d highly recommend you check it out. The results are quite astonishing. It does take some investment on the front-end, but the dividends are very satisfying.

The stamps used: owl (Inkadinkado), butterfly (Autumn Leaves), bunnies (a RAK from AMKs_Mom), heart (Marah Johnson), poppy (Rhonna Farrar).

Waterfall Card Tutorial

I’ve been wanting to try and make a waterfall card for a while now. However, I was honestly intimidated to try. Something about the engineering involved sort of frightened me. Now that I’ve done it, I have to say that it is much easier than it might look at first glance. If you haven’t tried one, I hope this tutorial will help you to give it a go.

Supplies you will need for this project:

–cardstock (two complimentary colors)
–decorative paper
–eyelet setter
–paper trimmer
–ink pad
–scoring tool
–colored pencils

First, you will need a base cardstock that your card will be built upon. I chose to use Bazzill corduroy textured cardstock in Raven. The base card should be trimmed to 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″. You then need to cut a mat for your base out of a decorative paper. I chose to use DCWV Once Upon A Time Mat Stack for my decorative paper and trimmed it to 4″ x 5 1/4″.

The next few cuts will form the backbone of the waterfall mechanism for your card. You will need to choose a solid cardstock that coordinates with your mat and base colors. I chose Bazzill criss-cross textured cardstock in a Burnt Orange. The following pieces need to be cut from this cardstock:

–waterfall slider bar at 2″ x 9″
–mat squares for your stamped image: you will need four (4) of them at 2″ square

The final set of cuts are for your stamped images and for the keeper bar that will be attached to the front of your card. You will want to use white cardstock for your stamped images (I chose Bazzill again in the color Snow). The keeper bar should be cut from the same cardstock as your base color (in my case the raven).

–stamped image squares: you will need four (4) of them at 1 7/8″ square
–keeper bar at 3/4″ x 4″

We’ll begin the card construction by creating the scores in our waterfall slider bar (the card’s backbone). Take your strip of cardstock (2″ x 9″) and grab your scoring tool. I use the Scor-Pal.

You’ll want to make four score lines at the following intervals: 2″, 2 3/4″, 3 1/2″ and 4 1/4″. The folding is a simple back-and-forth accordian fold.

Set your slider bar to the side and take your card base and decorative paper and adhere them to one another. I used my Xyron 510 to run the decorative paper through and smooth on to the cardstock (TIP: A couple of passes with a bone folder works wonderfully to assure that you have no trapped air pockets between your mat and decorative paper).

Next you’ll want to position your holding bar on top of your card face approximately 1″ from the bottom of the card. We will be using eyelets to attach this piece to your card. You will need your preferred eyelet setter. In my case, I used my Crop-A-Dile and a couple of 3/16″ copper-colored eyelets.

Next, we’ll take the 1 7/8″ white cardstock squares and adhere them to the 2″ colored cardstock squares. Again, I just ran my white cardstock through the Xyron 510.

At this point some people would advise to begin stamping your images. However, I think it works best to wait until the card is fully constructed to stamp your images. The main reason for this is to make sure your images are positioned properly on your squares and they are “covered” by the waterfall square above it. If you stamp now, there’s a chance your images will not align properly.

It’s time to adhere your stamping squares to the scored and folded waterfall strip. For this job, you’ll need to use an adhesive runner or your favorite glue. I used my ATG 714. Each square will need to be adhered just below the score lines on your waterfall strip. Place a strip of adhesive on one side of your first square and adhere it just below the fold of the first score line on your waterfall strip.

You will continue to repeat this process, attaching one square just below the crease of your next score line until all four squares are adhered to your strip.

The rest of your colored cardstock will now fold right behind your stamping squares.

We are now ready to attach the waterfall slider bar to your base card. First, you’ll want to slide the folded portion of your slider bar behind the keeper bar. Once it’s behind your bar, I used three strips from my ATG gun to put on top of the keeper bar. You’ll want to use the width of your slider bar as a guide for how far to spread your adhesive. You do not want to apply too much adhesive or it will show through the sides of your waterfall panels.

You will pull the strip with your stamping squares down until the edge of the bottom stamping square is aligned with the bottome of the holder bar. When aligned just press down to adhere the stamp square to the top of the keeper bar. Believe it or not, this is the only place your waterfall mechanism is adhered to your card. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it works wonderfully.

Here’s a side view of what your waterfall mechanism should look like:

Now, all that’s left to do is the fun part. Pick out the stamps you want to use and embellish to your heart’s content. I decided to make an early Halloween holiday card. I used some of the new Studio G stamps with a Tsukineko Brilliance ink pad in Coffee Bean. After my images dried, I used my Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol to give each image a bit of shading. I stamped the “Happy Halloween!” greeting (another Studio G stamp) with Tsukineko Brilliance in Black Graphite.

Now all that’s left to do is put a ribbon pull on the end of your waterfall strip if you’d like. I chose not to on this particular card. You can also cut a half circle (or other notch) out of the card base for ease of pulling the strip. But, I think it works just fine without it. Again, the design possibilities are endless.

I’ll bet you’ll spend hours minutes watching the card flip back and forth.

Have fun exploring the waterfall card!