The Perfect Word For You…

Oh, Children! The tales I could tell (but my therapist assures me doing so would only scare the average reader/viewer and expose myself to some embarrassing litigation). The short and sweet version is that I’ve been MIA for much longer than my liking. Ideally, I would love to maintain this blog with new content every three to four days minimum. I actually wish I could commit to daily content, but I know that would only lead to guilt the very first time I missed a deadline.

So for a bit, I lost my way. Not so much that I didn’t craft. Oh, no…I continued to make projects and explore ideas while I was gone. I just never had the heart or the “oomph” to get them photographed and uploaded. One could say that was extreme laziness on my part (and I can’t defend myself), but I think I attribute it to a weather phenomenon where Fall refused to arrive (until only recently). It made me moody and restless. I was so over Summer (like in June). Nonetheless, I’m going to try and be a more hospitable and accommodating host henceforth.

Today’s project is one that I sort of “forced” myself into. If you’ve followed this blog for sometime–or even flip through some of the most recent projects I’ve posted–it becomes fairly evident that I love color. In general, I am not a pastel person. I like bold, deep, intense colors and tones. I love intricate and dense patterns and designs. (I’m fairly certain this has do with my being a Leo–as we seem to have some foolhardy notion that we were royalty in another life–and in my case, presently.)

So, now and again, I like to challenge myself to something in a softer palette. I was of the mind frame that I wanted to explore some subtle colors like ecru, eggshell, and linen to see what I could come up with. So I grabbed my Copic Sketch markers and rummaged around in my Papertrey Ink goodies and came up with this little number.

Using an image from Papertrey Ink’s “Year of Flowers” series–in the case the gladiolus (the flower for August)–I stamped the image on some white cardstock and cut around the image. I tried to limit my color selections to muted colors, with the obvious exception of the leaves and stems. I think what makes this combination work particularly well is the background mat paper. I used several dyes and inks to create a water-stained look using sponges and water. It took some experimenting to prevent the paper from becoming to saturated with liquid and creating dimpling and curling. Patience helps–and allowing drying time between color applications.




Advertisements

Candy Corn…

For some strange reason, I love making Halloween themed cards. I suppose it’s not even really a very “carded” holiday. But there’s something about the whole oranges, blacks, greens, purples, etc. that fascinate me. The witches, ghosts and goblins call out to that five year-old boy that still lives somewhere inside my cluttered mind.

Today’s card uses a great background paper from Teresa Collin’s “Haunted Hallows” designer paper collection. (Notice the subversive skulls that are hidden among the classic damask pattern. I also used Papertrey Ink’s “Friendship Jar” and “Friendship Jar Fall Fillers” acrylic stamps (and the corresponding steel dies) to create the artwork on the card front. I used my Stampin’ Write markers to handcolor the artwork. The “Trick or Treatment” sentiment and the inside journaling block is paper from Echo Park’s “Apothecary Emporium” collection”. The skull stamp on the inside is from the Stampin’ Up! set “Spooky Bingo Bits”. I also used four caviar Kaiser Craft Sparklets stones to highlight the punched corners of the card mat.



Bloom Builders…

Even though I am SO over the heat, humidity and weather identity crisis (and ultra-ready for Fall and beyond)–there is something about a great flower that always reminds you of the good things that come from Summer. The front of this card has a great flower (if I may be so bold as to say to).

The flower on this “get well” themed card was created with one Papertrey Ink’s fantastic steel dies. I have many of the dies they have created and this one, “Bloom Builders #3” (released in the August 2011 collection) is one of my very favorites. The die cuts five layers of petals in one pass through a standard die-cutting machine. Three layers will have the centers removed (to avoid the build-up of paper bulk in the center of a flower) and two will have solid centers. I used Papertrey Ink’s cardstock in “Spring Moss” and cut the five layers twice–for a total of ten layers to create the flower.

As you layer the same size flower to one another, simply rotate the petals to create the maximum effect of as many petals showing as possible. I used a Zig two-way glue pen to adhere my layers together. To add a bit of pop to the flower (and card), I used a Kaiser Craft Sparklets stone (love these!).

For the card base, I used some mica cardstock in an A2 size. The mat is a 4″ x 5″ piece of Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select White cardstock. I used the Martha Stewart French Scoll corner punch on two corners of the mat. The vine image was stamped twice in reverse directions. It is from a Kaiser Craft clear acrylic stamp set called “Blae & Ivy”. I stamped the image using Tsukineko Brilliance pigment ink in Pearlescent Thyme. The paper for the inside journaling block is from Webster’s Pages.

Well, I hope wherever this crazy weather finds you that you and yours are safe and sound. Be watching for a Giveaway coming up very soon…

Medallion…

This giant medallion background rubber stamp was introduced about two seasons ago by Stampin’ Up! (and is still currently available). I can’t tell you how many times I reach for it to make invitations, notecards, background images, etc. It’s such a large stamp, that many times, I only use a portion of it on my project (as below). These types of images are great for gender-neutral projects and are terrific for experimenting with different mediums or heat embossing.

For this card, I used a piece of bronze-hued mica cardstock as a card base. The mat is a 4″ x 5″ piece of Stampin’ Up! Early Espresso cardstock. To create the image, I offset the stamp (which I unmounted) and used some Papertrey Ink pigment ink in Fresh Snow. I really like the contrast of the white ink with the dark papers.

Once the image was completely dried, I used a double wrap of 1/8″ taffeta ribbon in Early Espresso (with white edging) to create some visual interest and break up the main design. I used a vintage brooch-inspired brad from Pink Paislee/House of 3 “Parisian Anthology” collection. I think the smoked jeweled clusters are the perfect contrast to the stark white stamped image–hard and soft.





Iconography…

It’s interesting that Teresa Collins and her design aesthetic is one that tends to polarize people. Or at least that’s the way it seems to me in my chats with other crafters. It seems most either love her style or hate it–and very few in between. I for one love her work and designs. I find her muted use of color and reliance on classic French elegance and iconography appeals to my sense of style and design. You all know how much I love keys, crowns, damask patterns, fleur-de-lis, ornamental wrought iron and the like. So, I love Theresa Collins’ papers and accessories–and I’m beyond the moon that she is now teaming up with ProvoCraft to lend her artwork and style for use with the Cricut machines and Imagine.

Today’s card project was created with artwork and patterns from Teresa Collins’ Cricut Imagine cartridges called “Baby Boutique” and “Black & White”. It may be a bit much on design overload, but I like it. Then again, I always thought I should be king of something….or everything. I’m joking. I think.






In The Background…

Sometimes I fall into a bit of a trap. There are so many beautiful background papers out there (and in my collection), that it gets a bit easy to fall upon a wonderful printed paper for a mat to a card. Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with using papers from your favorite collections and/or lines. I certainly love doing it. But sometimes, I forget that I can “make” my own backgrounds by repeating a stamped image.

I’ve previously stated that I love geometric patterns and intricate scroll work. There is something about the Art Deco period that tugs at my soul. Whether it’s jewelry, home furnishings or artwork–there’s something about a repeating pattern that speaks to me. This repeating pattern motif is why I think I drawn mosaics and tile work so much.

This card was inspired by one of the stamps in Papertrey Ink’s “Giga Guidelines” acrylic stamp set. Using the perfectly co-ordinated Guide Lines II grid sheet cardstock, I stamped the image repeatedly in Memento Rich Cocoa ink. After letting the ink dry, I went back in using another stamp–from Papertrey Ink’s “Dot Spot” medallion set–and their Vintage Cream pigment ink to stamp over the centers of each element. I really like the effect achieved by stamping the pigment ink over the Tsukineko ink. It’s not glaring, but creates a semi-gloss look as you move the card around a light source.

The card base was made from some Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Early Espresso. The ribbon with stitched detail is also Stampin’ Up! (in Chocolate Chip). The sentiment was made from a Maya Road Kraft tag and another Papertrey Ink stamp. For the final touch on the cardfront, I used a vintage Velvet Poppy from Creative Charms in a Vintage Brown color. The flower attaches with a pearl center brad, so I used a paper piercer to secure the brad through both the ribbon detail and the card mat.

Because the cardbase cardstock is so dark, I needed to added a place for a note inside. I used a blank library card and Papertrey Ink’s Vintage Touch tea dye to distress the card and stamped a little floral element in the corner.