Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Watercolor Backgrounds

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  This is my last Technique Tuesday of the year for 2010.  I look forward to sharing many, many more ideas with you in 2011, with Techniques Tuesdays, gallery cards, and challenges, as well as general postings. 
I would like to thank so many of you who have taken time to comment on my blog postings, or sent me emails of encouragement.  It really means a lot to me, and inspires me to keep going.  It really is great to hear that you are enjoying my efforts.....so thanks again.

For today's technique, I played with watercolor for a background.  These are quite simple, really.  I just used watercolor paper, spritzed it with water until it was quite wet, then rubbed ink from stamp pads onto my craft mat, and picked up the ink colors from the mat with a water brush, then ran the brush across the wet paper.  The instant the brush touches the paper, it runs and spreads.  If the color does not bleed as much as you'd like, simply spritz, or add more water with your water brush.  When it looks the way you like, dry with a heat tool.  The colors will dry a little lighter than they appeared when they were wet, so it's good to keep that in mind. The paper will curl while it is drying, so I turn it over and dry both sides until it flattens back out.  You can always iron it flat, but I find that the tape holds it down on the card and keeps it flat.

On this purple/green sympathy card, I used eggplant and lettuce Adirondack inks, then dried the paper with my heat tool right away.  I used Nestabilities dies for the shape for the design panels, then I stamped the flourishes and the sympathy saying (Impression-Obsession stamps) with black ink.  Finally, I added some silk flowers, crystals, and highlighted with the Stardust gel pen.
I began this thank you card the same way, with watercolor paper, and cranberry and current Adirondack inks.  Then, I decided to give it another spritz of water, and inked the dragonflies in the two colors and stamped them randomly over the entire wet background.  I love the way they faded and feathered into the background.  After drying with a heat tool, I stamped and embossed thank you in the bottom right corner.  I stamped the frame and saying on white, cut it out, mounted onto black, then cut around to give a narrow black border.  I wrapped ribbon around the watercolor panel, tied a bow, then attached the frame over the bow with foam mounting tape.  I layered the panel onto a black card, and highlighted with a Stardust gel pen and added crystals to finish it off.

If you are on Facebook, stop by and say hello...I'd love to "friend" you.  This is me: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1181568098

That's it for tonight.  Have a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!  God bless.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Past Winter card ideas!

Christmas is sneaking up on me, so I'm taking the pressure off myself for this Technique Tuesday post, and posted four cards I had made about three years ago.  It's fun to look back!
The first card with the tumbling snowman heads is one of my favorites.  I simply stamped one of the snowmen, then masked it off and stamped again, repeating three times.  Then a simple watercoloring, and some glitter.
For the mitten card, I stamped the background, then stamped the mittens, and the saying four times, creating a "word window."

The blue snowman let it snow card is stamped, watercolored, then layered on gorgeous blue/green paper.
Finally, the pink snowman with the star. I stamped the panel with snowflakes, then the snowman, watercolored, and layered.
What I love about these cards, is that they are not necessarily Christmas cards....just snowmen and winter cards.  It's good to have some on hand.  They make great thank you cards, also!

See you next week with the final Technique Tuesday of this year.  I look forward to another year of techniques and ideas.  I hope you are enjoying them, and, as always, if there is something you would like to see or know about, please let me know, and I will do my best to do a segment on it.

Best wishes to you and your families for a blessed, happy Christmas and New Year!!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Chalk Ink Background With Soft Image

I took out my chalk inks this week, and started playing.  I love the cat's eye shapes in the ColorBox chalk inks.  They stack on each other, and are so easy to use and great for storing.  This is a technique I taught a few years ago at my stamp store, and thought it would be a fun one to share with you today.  I don't really know what to call it, so I'm simply calling it what it is....a chalk ink background with a soft image.  Here's how it's done:
* Start with smooth white card stock.
* Rub a white Memories or Staz-On ink pad (be sure it is freshly inked) over the entire white panel, laying down a nice, smooth base of white ink.
* Immediately rub on three or four coordinating colors of chalk ink, directly over the white inked card stock.
* Blend the ink colors into the white ink by rubbing the white ink pad back over the panel after it is inked with the chalk colors.  If you are concerned about getting the colors on your white pad, use a piece of Cut n' Dry with white Memories or Staz-on reinker to rub over the colors.  This will soften the colors, and blend them together.  See the close-up pictures from my cards.
* Stamp image/s over the background using chalk inks.  They will stamp out soft and whispy.
That's it! 
Here are a couple of cards I made with this technique:
The round poinsettia image is the part of this card which uses this technique.  I used a white Memories pad, and pink, rose, and red chalk inks for the background.  I used Penny Black stamps.  The papers are from Little Yellow Bicycle.  Here's a close-up of the background:
On this next card, I chose blue, orchid, and soft teal chalk inks.  When I rubbed my white pad over the inks, they softened to this really pretty background.  The snowflake stamped images stamped on so softly, making this background look like a soft, cool winter's snowfall.  Notice the white spots/specks all over the background?  This was a "happy accident."  I was spritzing my stamp with water to clean it, and some of the spritz landed on my work.  After a minute, these white spots appeared!!!  I loved it, and decided to keep it.
Here's a close-up of the background:
Stamps on this card are Hero Arts.

I hope you are enjoying your holiday preparations, and are almost ready and able to relax and appreciate the season.  I spent today relaxing with a great book, and dog-sitting for my neighbor's dog while she is away for a couple of days.  I made a yummy chicken casserole in my crock pot, did some stamping, listened to Christmas music, and just enjoyed watching the snow come down, and come down, and come down!!!  It actually just stopped snowing a couple of hours ago, after having snowed all evening and night, then all day today, into tonight.  It is supposed to start again, and accumulate another several inches by morning.  Slow going to work tomorrow. (Glad I had today off).

All supplies for today's technique are available at your local craft stores, or on many of the online stores.  Hope you'll give this a try!

Blessings and peace,


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Altered Notebook/Journal Gifts

Don't let the word "altered" scare you off.  These notebook gifts started out as a simple composition book and a Dollar Store 5 x 7 notebook.  To "alter" them, I simply added some papers, stamped images, embellishments, and inking.  Here's a step-by-step on each of these gifts I made:
This Christmas journal, a gift for my sister-in-law for her birthday this week, started out as a black and white composition book, costing about $1!!  Here's how it is done:
-Paint the spine binding with copper Lumiere paint, which has a really pretty copper shimmer to it (not so evident in the picture).
-After the spine was dry, apply white glue to the front cover and adhered the poinsettia paper.  I pressed the paper into the glue onto the composition book firmly and thoroughly.
-Repeat for the back cover.
-Next, trim all the edges where the paper overlapped the edges of the book, using an exacto knife.
-Repeat for inside cover panels - I used a copper shimmery paper I had on hand.
- Distress the edges of the notebook covers with Ranger distress ink.
- Embellish/decorate as desired.  I created some die cuts with my Cuttlebug and Nestabilities dies and layered them on the book cover with foam tape.  On the top die, I stamped the Penny Black poinsettia, and word background, then sponge/distressed it before layering it on.  I added pearls for accent, and the bow was made using last week's technique.  I didn't have a coppery/red brad, so I took a gold one and used permanent markers to color it!
I stamped a couple of scriptures on the inside covers, layering them up.
That's it!!  How easy is that. 
Next, I made this 5 x 7 journal for my 12 year old niece, Sierra, and she absolutely loved it!! Lots of bling, and her favorite color (which also happens to be mine)! Here it is:
This started as a $1 journal, with a slightly stiff paper cover.  I wrapped the green dotted scrapbook paper around the cover, adhering with glue. Next, I added the striped panel, then the purple paper on the bottom.  I hot-glued the large flower (got all colors of these when they were on sale at Michael's a while ago for just such a project).  Lastly, I added the purple swirl crystals, and her name with letter rhinestones.  I made these purple with a permanent marker.  Sierra loved having her name in rhinestones on her journal!

Hope you will try these.  Plain and even patterned notebooks, paper pads, and journals are available everywhere, from dollar stores, to discount stores, to office supply stores, just begging to be covered and transformed into beautiful keepsake journals.  It's easy to make some pretty gift journals with a little glue, some paper, and a few embellishments. Add a pen, and they make wonderful, treasured gifts.
Enjoy these last three weeks of gift/card making before Christmas!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Embossing with inked shadow

I started this card to be a tone-on-tone technique, then had a thought to add some embossing.  First, I stamped the flowers with coral ink on soft peach card stock.  It was pretty, but definitely needed more, so I took out my gold embossing powder.  I heat set the inked image so no powder would stick to it.  Then, I inked up the flowers with VersaMark, and added gold embossing powder.  I embossed the image over the stamped image, just a little off so that the stamped image would appear as shadows. The gold embossing really stands out. and this simple technique looks quite intricate.  I finished the card by sponging with coral ink over the embossed flowers, concentrating the color near the image. I finished it off with a stamped sentiment.  I ran a gold leafing pen along the edges of the stamped panel before layering.
Stamps are Penny Black, ink is Vivid Ink.  Both available online, gold leafing pen available at Joann Fabrics and Michaels.
This technique works best with solid style images, and works especially well with flowers, foliage, weeds, etc.  How about snowflakes?!  Think I'll try a winter one when I get home...check back later to see it.  Give it a try, and let me see what you come up with!

I've been in Buffalo, and will be heading home today, exhausted, but one very blessed nana.  Glad I have my notebook computer, so I can keep in touch and get my Tech Tuesdays out to you.  I worked on this one while I was home on Saturday, before heading back to Buffalo.  It's back to work for me on Thursday.  I'll miss the girls and Dan, but will be taking weekend trips back and forth, with the holidays and all.

Blessings and peace,

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas card for challenges

One more post tonight for a card I just finished for some challenges:
Basic Grey - WINGS http://basicgreychallenges.blogspot.com/2010/11/challenge-33-wings.html
Penny Black at Allsorts - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas http://pennyblackatallsorts.blogspot.com/
Our Creative Corner - 3D project - http://ourcreativecorner6.blogspot.com/
Penny Black Saturday Challenge - http://pennybfriendssaturdaychallenge.blogspot.com/ 
Which is a sketch:
And, here's the card:
Penny Black stamps from 30-058 Jolly Friends, and 30-012 Bubbly.
Basic Grey papers from Wassail collection on background triangle pieces and border strips.
Colored with Tombow markers and Dove blender pen, glittered.  Martha Stewart snowflake border punch for snowflakes, then cut out of border.  EK Success border punch along striped border.
Distress inks for distressing edges.
That's it for tonight.  Getting up early tomorrow to start Christmas decorating!

Card for Basic Grey Wings Challenge

Just a quick post of a card for the current Basic Grey challenge, which is WINGS.  Here's a link to the challenge http://basicgreychallenges.blogspot.com/2010/11/challenge-33-wings.html .  And here's my card (the background paper with the bird cages and birds is from the Basic Grey Porcelain collection):
I just love this paper, and the colors! 
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, end are enjoying the leftover turkey dishes!!
Peace and blessings,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Using Crystals and Gemstones on Cards and Pages

Hello from Buffalo, where, believe it or not, it's about 55 degrees!!!!  Yep, it's almost Thanksgiving, and we're having early October weather.  Rainy, but mild.  It was a wet walk to the corner for Keeley's bus this morning, but we made a game of dodging the raindrops. 
I'm enjoying my time with daughter and family, especially the wee tiniest one, and, of course, her big sister.  Mom is doing better each day, and Kennedy is growing, and becoming extremely spoiled by her nana and papa!!  I'm having a really hard time letting her be and not holding her all day!!  Keeley is at school now, and Faith went to doc's get her stitches out (good thing I brought hubby along, cuz' I don't like driving on the skyline in Buffalo)!  I have the wee one to myself, and am taking a little time to do my Technique Tuesday while she is sleeping.  I'll be back to holding her sooooooon!!

One more week of "borrowing" techniques (even though they are techniques I use), while I'm in Buffalo helping daughter with her new bundle and her 5 year old big sister.  I love crystals and gemstones, and use them on almost everything.  Here's a video by Nancy Taylor from the Hero Arts blog, which shows some ideas on using these little embellishments on you cards and scrapbook pages...here' the link http://heroarts.com/learning/technique.cfm?techID=183 .

Here are some of my cards and pages using these techniques:
 There you have some of my cards and pages that use crystals and/or gemstones/pearls.  As far as Nancy's techniques for lifting and attaching the gemstones, I love the idea of using the craft knife.  I usually use my tweezers, but I am going to give the knife a try.  Also, I have some crystals with no sticky back.  For those, I use the glue pen, put down a tiny puddle of it, then lift the crystal onto it.  Works like a charm!
That's it for this week.  I hope to be back on schedule after next week, once mom and baby and family are settled into routine and stronger.
Blessings & peace,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Perfect bow for cards and scrapbook pages

As many of you know, hubby and I have been in Buffalo, becoming nana and papa for the second time.  Our daughter, Faith, had her second little girl on Monday.  Kennedy Grace was born at 10:03 AM Monday, weighing 7 lbs, 3 oz, 20 inches long.  She is a precious little angel, and the perfect little sister to Keeley Ryan, and beautiful addition to our family.

Tearing myself away to come home tonight was very difficult, indeed, but I have to go back to work tomorrow.  I will be going back to Buffalo next week, for the entire week, so that I can help my daughter, since my son-in-law has to return to work on Monday.  Faith had to have a C-section, so will be unable to get Keeley to the bus stop and do many of the things a new baby and 5 year old demands.  It will be a wonderful Thanksgiving.....one which we truly have much to be grateful for!!

 Since I was otherwise detained these past few days, I am cheating this week for Technique Tuesday.
 I borrowed it from a blog called Stamping 411.  It features a really pretty flat rhinestone centered bow, which is ideal for cards and scrapbook pages.  I really like the look of this bow, and plan to use this on my future projects.  Here is the link to the post with full directions and pictures: http://stamping411.blogspot.com/2010/05/how-to-make-rhinestone-brad-bow.html .

And this is the beautiful bow:

And, of course, what kind of Nana would I be if I didn't have some pictures to share with you...so, here are pics of my new, beautiful granddaughter, Kennedy Grace:
 The above were taken right after she was born.  The next one was taken today, just before we left to come home.  Notice the bow already~! 
Thanks for stopping by my blog today.  I'm working on a technique for next Tuesday from a request from one of my blog readers.  If you have any requests, I will be happy to try to show the technique here.

Blessings from one extremely blessed and happy grandma (and tired)!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Technique Tuesday - My Christmas Card

Yep, I finished my Christmas cards!!!  I know, I can't believe it myself.  I wanted to get them done before # 2 grand baby arrives, so I got to work early.  It helped to get together with friends to work on them.  Makes all the repetition of making the same card over and over a little more fun.  I even got the envelopes addressed and ready to go.  I left them open so I can add a little note.  So, that's one less thing to have to do when I get back from Buffalo, where I'll be spending several days with my daughter and her family, helping Faith with the new baby.  In case you haven't heard, it's a girl, and she is coming on Monday!  Can't wait to meet this precious little one!

Anyways, here is my Christmas card:
And the inside:
The stamps are Penny Black.  The ribbon is from Michael's, and the inks are Ranger's Distress Inks. 
Here are the techniques I used:
I inked the poinsettia with three colors of distress inks, starting with antique linen, inking the entire stamp.  Then I added old paper around the outsides of the petals and a little inside, by using the corners of the pad.  Finally, I used the ink blending tool to add a little vintage photo to the centers and around the edges.  I also added some shabby shutters ot the stems and leaves.
Then I spritzed the stamp with a fine mist spritzer with water and stamped onto ivory card stock.
The phrase stamp is all one stamp - I masked and inked the first part, removed the mask, and stamped it on the front.  Then, I masked that part, inked the rest, and stamped it inside.
The edges of the inside and outside of the card were done with the ink blending tool and distress inks.  To achieve a soft, blended look, simply start off the paper, and using circular motion, blend from off the paper onto it, using less and less pressure as you get toward the center of the card.
A couple of copper brads added a little dimension.
That's it!
For me, it was VERY difficult to not keep going and adding more to the card.  But I decided to keep it clean and simple, something which is not easy for me.  I think the simplicity, however, adds to the powerful message I wanted to highlight.
Each year, I choose a theme for the year, which I introduce with my Christmas decor and cards.  My theme this year was "peace," which I introduced with my cards and Christmas decor last Christmas.  My 2011 theme is "hope," and my card reflects that theme, as will my decorations. 
I try to develop the theme throughout the year, by reading about it, living it, and promoting it during the year. 
We already have a jump start on next year's theme, I think, with the new life that is soon to be part of our family! 
I'll keep you posted!

Blessings and peace,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Background Resist Embossing

I really love the Tim Holtz distress inks.  The ink blending tool has opened up so many ways to use these inks, and have made it easy to achieve professional results with minimal practice.  I have used these inks and tools in many of my technique articles, as they lend themselves to various uses.  Today, I am using the inks/tools in a much different way than previously.

I call this the background resist embossing technique.  It is basically a clear embossed image over a stamped background, creating a resist. Then, distress ink is applied, revealing the image in a dramatic way.  Instead of applying ink from the outside and working in, as in many techniques, the ink is applied to the center of the image and gradually fades out.  Here are the cards, along with directions (a link to Gina Krupsky's blog and YouTube presentation follows):

Here's how it's done:
  • Stamp background with distress ink - a word or music background is especially good for this technique.  Be sure the image is dry before the next step.  
  • Clear emboss image over the stamped background.  I use an anti-static bag on the card so the embossing powder only sticks to the stamped image.  Be sure image is completely cool before next step.
  • Ink the ink blending tool with same color of distress ink as you stamped the background in.  Start applying ink heavily from the center of the stamped image, and working out.  Use circular motions with the tool.  Re-ink and re-apply until desired intesity is achieved.  The image will pop out.  It should be dark in the center, and fade out gradually.
  • Use a paper towel or tissue to wipe any ink from the embossed image.
  • Finish card as desired.

I found this technique, by Gina Krupsky, on the Gina K Designs blog.  Here's a link to the YouTube video:  http://stamptv.ning.com/video/emerging-leaves?xg_source=msg_mes_network .

Tim Holtz (Ranger) distress inks and the ink blending tool can be purchased at Michaels and AC Moore, and various internet retailers.



Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy halloween card

Just a quick post with my halloween card for this year....and a wish for all for a safe and happy halloween!  Click on image to get a better look at the embossed background.
And, finally...
a little halloween humor...
Where does a ghost do her shopping?
At the "booo-tique," of course!

OK, so I'll stick to card-making, scrapbooking, and stamping.  I know I'll never make it as a stand-up comedian! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Stamped Concertina Booklet

Concertina Booklet

This is a fun little accordian-style card/booklet that I taught at my store a few years ago. It uses folding and scoring in an accordian manner to create a terrific little gift style booklet with windows.  Here are some samples:
Open view of snowflake Concertina made with Basic Grey papers and Impression-Obsession stamps.  Here is the cover:
Here's how it's done:
Cut 7 6" x 3" pieces of cardstock to stamp images on. These will be the back pieces.  Score each at 3".
Cut 7 6" x 3" pieces of patterned paper or coordinating card stock.  Score at 1 1/2", 3", and 4 1/2".
Cut opening in second set of six pieces.  I used my Cuttlebug with Spellbinder's dies for openings. You can use a paper trimmer or large piunch.
Stamp images in center of first set of pieces - be sure the images are small enough to be seen through the holes.
Do any stamping, embellishing you wish on the opening pieces.  Fold stamped pieces in half along 3" score line.
Fold top pieces (with opening) along score lines, creating a mountain fold (looks like an upside-down "v"). Fold the two ends up to the peak of the mountain, creating two valley folds (should look like a "w").
Use glue or tape runner to attach the front panels to the stamped image panels, matching the edges. The image should show through the die cut on the front panels.  The tape will only go on the two folded up edges as you want the window to open.
Four of these "cards" will be the front, and three will be the back.  Put them in the order you want, making sure none of them are upsde-down.  Attach the right panel of one card to the left panel of another to create the concertina.  Make sure you begine with the front cover and end with the back cover.  These diagrams should help make this clearer:
Front piece with the die cut, back piece stamped.  Back piece is scored at 3".  Front die-cut piece is scored at 1 1/2", 3", and 4 1/2".
Bottom piece folded in valley, top piece folded valley, then mountain in center, then valley - looks like a "w."
Tape/glue along each side panel only, taping top piece over bottom piece.  Leave center part unglued, so the window will open out in an upside-down "v" and the sides will fold into valley folds.
Line up pieces in the order you want, four in front, and three in back.  Tape right side of a front piece to left side of a back piece.
Cut two pieces of card stock 3 1/8" x 3 1/8" for the front of the booklet and the back.  Decorate the front as desired, and tape to front, tape back to back.  Here's a close up of a couple of the panels.
Here are a couple more:

Cover of Penny Black halloween concertina.  I embossed the front die-cut pieces with my Cuttlebug embossing plates, then inked them with distress inks.  It's difficult to photograph these to show their true beauty...looks far better in person!
A closer look:
And there's the back.


Closer view of the stamping I did on the front pieces AND the back pieces:
One last one (Penny Black stamps):

All supplies/embellishments, etc. available at local craft stores or online.  The plaid ribbon on the halloween card I got at AC Moore.
I'm sure you will think of so many ideas for these.  I think photos in the center would be fun.  They're great for any occasion, and especially terrific for holidays.

Give it a try, they're fun!

Blessings and peace,