Monday, August 31, 2009

Using leftovers

Last night I was cleaning up the kitchen island, which had been taken over by craft supplies (am I the only one this happens too?), and came across a bunch of leftover bits from my prior cards. I managed to put together this great Christmas Card using a scrap piece of stamped image with other odds and ends.

The focus is a small panel/portion of the Thomas Kinkaid stamp Village Christmas. The background sheet was the oopsie one from a prior card where the little snowflakes just didn't go. The ribbon was a leftover edge where I'd cut it too long.

As a thrifty hoarder I'm thrilled when I get a chance to use scraps that might otherwise have been {gasp!) thrown away.

So, my question to you is, how large or small a piece of ribbon or paper do you keep to use later?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A fable

So today I have a fable for you, a story that may be familiar to you other crafters out there, and if not there is a learning lesson :-)

The Story of the Crafty Girl and the Special Stamps

Once upon a time a crafty girl went to the local craft store and was amazed by the beautiful cards made with some very fancy stamps. She wondered who it was who had the skills to make such things, and how they did it.

The smart merchant, impelled by both kindness and sales sense, took some time to show the crafty girl more samples made with these special stamps, and told her how they were done. New techniques, ink and paper would be required, advised the merchant, and then she too could make amazing beautiful cards like the ones on display.

The crafty girl was leary. Many merchants had made claims in the past that had not worked out as promised, and she was doubtful about being able to make cards with these special stamps. She left the craft store, but she could not forget.

Several weeks later, the card making girl in our story finally went back to the store and handed her Visa over in exchange for all the unusual items that she was told were needed. Had she made a mistake? What would come of this?

There is a happy ending to this story, as when the crafty girl followed the instructions, and experimented a bit too with other things, she found she too could make amazingly beautiful cards with these complicated looking special stamps.

~ The End~

So, what stamps, you must be wondering, would I call Special, Fancy and Complicated? Well, these are the Thomas Kinkaid stamps. Have you seen these? I must tell you, th

For those of you who have used these TK stamps, I'd love to hear how you use them (colour them?) and would be thrilled if you'd share links with me of samples of what you've made.

My first Thomas Kinkaid stamp was purchased just last month. It is the Village Christmas one, and I love it. I love it so much that I've also ordered another one that I should be getting soon :-)

I want to give you a chance to see how versatile this stamp is, so I'm going to fill up today's post with 4 samples using the same stamp.

Here is the first card I made with it:

In this card I stamped the image in Versafine on plain Staples 110lb cardstock, then heatset iridescent ice embossing powder on top of it, and cut it out with a nestie. I ran my silver Encore ink pad lightly over the edge to give it a small bit of border. I punched holes in the edges and ran some retired organza SU ribbon through it, and placed it on the background, and tied it up adding a bit of silver cord as an accent. The background is made with SU black cardstock, with a background stamped in Encore silver ink, and then I used the Encore ink pad on the edges but in a wider messy way than with the top sheet. I also added some snowflakes with white craft ink. While there were a number of steps, they were all easy, and because there was no colouring it was actually really quick!

I decided to try dressing one up with a bit of Acetate (plastic overhead sheets), and here it is:
On this one, I stamped the image in Versafine on plain white paper, and then used an embossing powder similar to Irridescent Ice from another company. I was dissapointed, it's hard to tell in the photo, but in person it did not come out half as nice as the SU embossing powder. Despite that, I used the SU Holiday print background and then used a piece of acetate sheet overtop, and stamped snowflakes using white Staz on ink. I really like this one, when it sits on the mantel the acetate sheet moves a bit and it really does seem like you are looking at a scene where it is snowing.

In this next card, I wanted something quick and simple, with a little less fuss than the others

Here I used the second half of the image from the above card, that I'd already stamped and embossed, and simply cut it into a square, matted it in black, laid it over some black inexpensive ribbon, and put it on a background sheet, and Voila! another card done, this time in about 5 minutes!

And here is the card I made last night. My goal was to do something a bit more glitzy.

On this card I used black cardstock for the background, and sprayed it with Tattered Angels glimmer mist, and then heat set it. The main image I cut into three, but only used two of the panels here, and it was stamped with Versafine on SU Glossy Cardstock, so it looks like a photo. On the grey mats I used silver Encore ink on the edges for a bit of extra shine, and then I finished it off with some ribbon and primas. I love how vibrant it turned out!

Well, that's it for today, I'd love to hear your ideas and comments, and especially any ideas of other ways to use this stamp!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back to School!

Well, it was a sad day yesterday. A package arrived at my office, and it wasn't a box of craft supplies. Oh no, despite that hope every time I see a package that perhaps there will be some primas or ribbon or flowersoft or stamps in it, that was not the case this time, instead there was a textbook :-(

In procrastination of the first assignment (due Wednesday!) I decided to make a couple of cards this morning.

My first card is an end of summer card, to celebrate the quiet moments I spent this past summer in my garden, watching and listening to the birds visiting our feeder (while browing craft sites on my laptop, LOL!).

I was happy as I was able to dig out my flowersoft and use it here on the flowers, which really makes them jump out. The ribbon is the chocolate taffeta ribbon from SU and the main image is one I got in a swap, coloured with copics.

After this I worked on a back to school card for a swap that needs to be mailed out Monday. The theme seemed appropriate to what's on my mind today. For those of you who are also on their way back to school or getting their kids ready to go back to school, are you all ready? I find that there are little things, like buying pens and paper, but then there is the mental shift too....what do you do to help yourself with that transition?

Once again, the image on this card is from a swap, and coloured with copics. I then used this fingerpaint stuff I got from Gina K on the edges and spread it into the background, and added some retired hodgepodge hardware from my stash.

Well, I might go and crack those books open...unless some crafting inspiration hits and I get distracted again :-) Wish me luck with this course, I think I'll need it!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New toys!

New ribbon to play with, oh my! what to make, what to make?

In my SU shipment yesterday there was some of the new polka dot ribbon in Curry (bright yellow) and some of the new christmas Sleigh Bells ribbon from the holiday mini, and they are fabulous!! All I want to do is find ways to use them.

I've already decided I will have to hoard multiple rolls of these as they will likely be you all do that? I hoard anything I like that I won't be able to buy again, but then never use it since it is "precious", "rare" and {gasp} "irreplaceable" so it sits in my cupboard while I buy more things like that. How to break the cycle?!

Anyway, Since I HAD to use my new ribbon, I then had to figure out what to use it on. Hmmm. And then I remembered my online friend Jenny mentioning Cuddles. I got this great digi image for free from that new Cuddles collection by IldiCo, and hadn't used it yet. As summer is waning, now is the perfect time to make those last few summer cards.

The great thing about digi stamps is you can adjust the size of them. As you can see from this card I used a relatively small version of the image, because I wanted lots of room to also show off my ribbon and DP, while still stamping a bit of a background into the picture.

As usual, I coloured the main image (Cuddles) with my copics and used my nesties to cut the shape out. This was an easy image to colour, even with a small image there was enough space to fit the tips of my markers into.

In the background, behind Cuddles, I stamped some trees from SU Lovely as a Tree (my most used stamp set!). I did this by masking cuddles with a cut up piece of post it note and then colouring with my SU markers directly onto the stamp and then stamping on top of the masked cuddles. I stamped it a few times to give layers. Then I used a small sponge to apply pastels to put some shading in the sky and the ground.

I tied the knot in the ribbon and adhered it with double sided sticky strip and mounted it all together. It still looked a bit bare so I added the three Robin's nest dew drops in the corner.

You'll also see I made the card square. I prefer making square cards to rectangles, but do so rarely because {don't be shocked} I'm cheap and the square envelopes are way more expensive than the rectangle ones. If you know of a good source for square envelopes please let me know!

On a separate note, it wasn't all creating today, I surfed a lot of blogs, and of course Splitcoast, and in doing so came accross a contest at the Scrapping Cottage where they will be randomly drawing for a winner for a $250 gift certificate (hee hee hee!) for any of you who also want a chance, here is the link:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday!
I'm now over half way through my work week, and only two days to go until the weekend. I'm on my way home from work, and the UPS tracking thing says there is a box from Stampin Up on my front doorstep....oh oh oh, wish the train would move a little faster!! I've got some new shimmery paper there, hopefully, so we'll see what I can come up with to create with that this weekend.

Here is a card I made last weekend using Flowersoft.

Oh how I love Flowersoft! I had a whole bunch of cards I should have been working on for various swaps, but I saw a tutorial on Splitcoast that I wanted to try, for a "Wiper Card", and then I got an idea of what might look nice, and that was that. The tutorial can be found here:

If you've tried (or when you try) this tutorial, I'd love to hear how you found it, or any tips. I find on the one I made the little pop up piece flops around and doesn't stick up well when it should, and also doesn't bend smoothly into the card when you close it. I like this card but don't think I'll use this template again...

My main image is taken from a retired SU set called Woodland Cottage. This image is one that is pretty hard to use on it's own since it's hard to figure out how to colour it. In this case, I coloured it with my copics. For the arbour/trellis I tried to show a bit of brown for the wood frame here and there, and then coloured the rest in solidly in green. Then I chose a flowersoft colour that looked like roses and glued that in small quantity over the green area on the trellis.

The end result is a really feminine soft card, another one that I will want to hoard, LOL!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Technology issues

Well, while I am really good at card making, building a blog needs skills I haven't developed yet!

So let's ignore how the blog looks, and let me show you a card I made recently that I am particulary proud of. It's been sitting on my mantel, and each day I go and look at it. I can't bear the thought of giving it to someone as a gift, but isn't that the point of making cards? To share them and make other people smile? I'm going to have to reconcile myself on this one or it will live a lonely life in my home.

The image is a retired SU one from the set Woodland cottage. I had bought this set a few years ago and never made a successful card with it. After getting some Flowersoft recently, though, it seemed like it might be a good image to play with. First, I coloured it with my copics. Then I added the flowersoft, then realized that there needed a bit more colour, so used a sponge to apply craft ink in green at the bottom and in blue on the sky. The background paper is handmade paper from Costco.