Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Distressed Stripes

I was really excited when I saw this technique on the Gina K Designs website.  Gina Krupski, who developed the technique, calls it Distressed Stripes.  Here's a link to her blog, which contains full directions, card samples, and a terrific video on how to do this technique:  http://stamptv.ning.com/video/distressed-stripes

The technique is easy, and fun to do.  You start with a piece of white card stock.  Tape it to a grid - I used a square cutting mat that has 1/4" lines marked over the entire surface, vertically and horizontally.  Start by using an index card or scrap piece of card stock, and mask off all but 1/4" of the white card stock.  Using a piece of Cut n' Dry, apply the first of two colors to the 1/4" strip.  Move the index card down another 1/4", and apply the second color, making sure to blend into the first color.  Move the index card down another 1/4" and apply the first color again, being sure to blend into the previous stripe.  Continue on in this manner, alternating between the two colors, until the entire card is covered. 
Next, I used my Martha Stewart score board to score embossed lines between each stripe.  Then, using a sponge dauber,  sponge a third (darker) color on the raised areas.  This will form a distinction between the stripes.  I like to use Walnut Stain distress ink for this step.
That's it...you will have a very unique background.  It will make much more sense when you watch the video, I promise.

These are my cards using the Distressed Stripes technique (background):
 On the video, Gina uses distress inks.  On this first card, I used three distress inks; Brushed Corduroy, Frayed Burlap, and Walnut Stain.  I started with the lightest, Frayed Burlap.  Next, I used Brushed Corduroy, and alternated these two colors every 1/2" (instead of the 1/4" inch in the video).  Finally, I finished with Walnut Stain on the raised areas.
I stamped the leaves border on an ivory panel (which I sponged with distress ink), colored the ferns with a green marker.  I also stamped it on brown, green, and kraft card stock, and cut out several leaves.  I foam-taped the green leaves over the leaves on the panel, and adhered the others over the background area.  I applied the leaf border to a green panel, distressed the edges, added the verse.  I tied twine around the panel, and added a clip.

On the next card, I used yellow and red inks, which gave wonderful shades of orange.  I used Walnut Stain distress ink for the raised areas.  I used the 1/4" measurements as in the video this time.  The leaves on the focus panel were made by the direct to paper technique (which was covered a couple of posts ago).  The panel on the right was stamped with VersaMark ink.
On this last card, I used a border punch (EK Success) and punched a border along a scrap piece of card stock.  I used this border, moving it 1/2 inch between each color.  I used yellow and rust, and added a third color, green.  I also added burgundy dots along the waves the punch border made.  I distressed the panel the leaf motif is on, adhered to another burgundy panel, and added it to the card with foam tape.  I did the same the the smaller verse panel.  The green panel on the right was stamped with VersaMark ink.

I hope you'll give this technique a try - I think you will find it to be a lot of fun.  I experimented with several variations.  I'd love to see some of the ideas you come up with!!

Lastly, I have one more background finished, but haven't made a card from it yet.  It's getting late, and I need to get the post up, so I'll just show you the piece.  I used blue and yellow inks, which blended to shades of green.  I then turned the card vertically and made stripes in the opposite direction. 

That's it for tonight.  I had a long day at work today, and another long one coming tomorrow, so I'm off to bed now.  Thanks for stopping by.

Peace and blessings,


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Regal Christmas Card

If you are here for the Technique Tuesday post, please scroll down to the previous posting. 
I had the day off today, and did a little work around the house, caught up on paperwork, and made some cards.  This is a card I made for a couple of challenges:
Colour Create Challenge Blog http://colourcreatechallenge.blogspot.com/
   Use red, gold, and white or cream.  I chose cream.
The House That Stamps Built Wednesday Challenge http://www.thehousethatstampsbuilt.com/sketch-challenges/what-if-wednesday-sketch-challenge-s810/
   Sketch challenge - Christmas or oriental is the optional extra  -  This is the sketch:
I like the sketch, and love the color combination called for, and knew right away which stamps I was going to use.  I have this clear set from Printworks, and it is so regal, that I thought it would be perfect for these colors.
Here's the card:
On a personal note, thank you to everyone for all your notes, calls, and emails about my beloved Lissie.  She was a precious, loving kitty, and will be missed by us, and by our dear friends.

Enjoy this lovely, crazy New York weather!!!!

Blessings and peace,


Monday, September 20, 2010

Technique Tuesday - The Little Details That Make The Card

It is with a heavy heart that I post this blog tonight.  My little kitty, Lissie, is gone.  She died in her sleep this morning.  She has been a faithful companion and friend for 16 years.  Two years ago, we had to give Lissie, and our other cat, Margo, to our friends in New Hampshire.  Our granddaughter, Keeley, developed asthma, and the cat's fur triggered asthma attacks in her.  It broke our hearts then to have to let them go, but we knew they were in good hands.  Ann and Leo loved them both, and cared for them and grew very attached to them, as were we.  I have missed them both terribly, but felt comfortable that they were being loved and pampered.  Ann's news this morning was devastating.  But she did say that Lissie was fine, albeit a little slow lately, but that she had finished her morning routine of rubbing up against Ann and Leo until they fed her, then bathed and curled up for her morning nap, from which she never woke.  I'm thankful she was spared pain and sickness.  She was 18!  I pray Margo will not miss her too drastically, and will continue on in good health.  She is 16 now.

Today's post is inspired by Lissie.  I chose Penny Black's halloween kitty to make one of my cards, in her honor.  I am entering this card in Our Creative Corner Challenge http://ourcreativecorner6.blogspot.com/ , which is a sketch challenge.  Click the link to visit their blog and check out the sketch, and play along if you like.

There are many little details I put into my cards, and I'm often asked how to do particular details.  I will walk you through the ones I used in these cards:
*Distressing is something I almost always do.  Notice the black along the outside of the card, along the mauve panel,  and green panel.  To get the distressed look, I use a piece of Cut n' Dry (or you can use a makeup wedge or sponge), dab it in my stamp pad, then drag it along the edge I want to distress.  If I want the distressing (ink color) to go further into the area, I simply drag it in with the Cut n' Dry.  I also lightly sponged some purple into the image from the edge with a clean piece of Cut n' Dry.
*Notice the texture of the purple paper.  Using textured paper, or putting your paper or cardstock through a template to texturize it, adds interest to the finished card.
*I used stamps instead of patterned paper - making my own backgrounds.  The swirl background on the mauve panel, and the Boo and Trick or Treat and spiders on the lime panel, were stamped.
*To keep this card playful, I chose rick rack instead of ribbon.  I simply wrapped it around and tied a knot along the edge.
*I used my Tombow markers and Dove blender to color the image.
*The touches of glitter bring some personality to the image.  I use a glue pen, applying it wherever I want glitter, then spoon the glitter on, and shake it off. 
*I get comments all the time on my buttons.  I chose buttons for this card, again, to keep it playful.  My rule of thumb is to always thread my buttons.  It looks more finished.  My secret?  I used my paper trimmer to slice off thin strips of card stock, then put them through the button holes and secure on the back!  That way, I don't have to look around for matching thread or floss.  Sometimes, I like to use floss and knot it at the top, however.

This card is actually a card I had done a couple of years ago, and when I pulled it out, I added some elements to jazz it up a bit.
*I distresed the edges with blue ink, sponging softly and fading towards the center.  This gave the card a cooler look.
* I used border stamps to create the background, repeating them to create a pattern.
* Added glitter with the glue pen, and around the window.
* Added crystals - crystals and pearls add dimension, and sparkle to your cards.
* A window opening, made with a square punch inserted from the top, adds an interesting element to this card.  I used the punched piece (layered it first) as another element. It looks as though it is falling away from the opening.
* Foam mounting tape - I love my foam mounting tape...I use it lots!  The punched snowflake panel, and the verse panel at the bottom are raised up with foam tape.  It adds depth and dimension to the card, creating interest and drawing attention.
* The snowman image is stamped, then cut out and applied ot blue background.

The next view shows the card when opened.

I thank my sweet little kitty, Lissie, for her inspiration, for her loving devotion, and for being a constant in m life.  She was always there, ready to cuddle or just be near.  To listen to my problems, to share my joys.  I feel privileged to have had her own me!  May she rest in peace.

Blessings and peace,


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wise Owl Santa Card

Want to post this card before heading off to bed early tonight....long day tomorrow.  I made this card for these challenges:
   Sketch challenge 

   Use a punch/punches on your card.

Holiday cards

AND, here's the card:
Isn't this little guy just the cutest?!  I decided to add a few feathers for fun.  I colored him with Marvy LePlume markers and Dove blender.  Basic Grey papers.

That's it for tonight.  Stop back Tuesday for Technique Tuesday!


Holiday Challenge Card

I had some fun time this afternoon, and made this card for some challenges:
PENNY BLACK SATURDAY CHALLENGE http://pennybfriendssaturdaychallenge.blogspot.com/
   Sketch challenge
   Use some punching in your work

   Use at least three punches (I used SIX)

   Jolly Holly Greetings Challenge  - holiday cards

   Glitter, glitter, glitz! 

OK....now for the card (please click on it to see the details and glitter - didn't photograph well and glitter is not showing up in pic)
The stamp is Penny Black, of course (4098K Gift of Giving)
Papers are Scenic Route Paper Company
Various punches (circle, scalloped oval, two corner rounders, EK Success border, snowflake corner)
I colored the image with Tombow markers and a Dove Blender.  Added glitter with glue pen and ultra fine crystal glitter.  Embossed snowflakes on circle punches with winter wonderland embossing powder (white with silver sparkle in it).

Hope you enjoyed your weekend...it was lovely here!

Blessings and peace,


Friday, September 17, 2010

Basic Grey Paper Piecing Challenge

Another quick post before running out the door again.  I'm submitting this to the Basic Grey paper piecing challenge here http://basicgreychallenges.blogspot.com/2010/09/challenge-28-paper-piecing.html .  I am also entering it in the design team call.  It calls for paper piecing on your card, and gives a little information about what that means.  Here's my card for the challenge:
I used all Basic Grey papers, and Hero Arts stamps.  I stamped the holiday script on the bottom layer, the stamped the tree on three different papers, and the poinsettia on two different papers.  I cut out each section, then pieced together the tree, and added the poinsettia.  I distressed the edges before adding to the card.  Martha Stewart punch, and some scrap ribbon I had.  For the ribbon, I simply formed two "loops," by folding a three inch or so piece in half, then secured it to the card with glue dots, then added another.  Finally, I added the ribbon "tails," and gave the a little dimension by scrunching them up a bit with a glue dot.  Place the flowers over it with foam tape, and that's it.

I'm off now to run some errands.  Worked this morning and actually got out early today, now errands, then home to stamp, stamp, stamp, and perhaps scrap!  Can't wait.



"Sparkle" challenge card

Just a quick post tonight for a challenge over on Our Daily Bread http://ourdailybreaddesignsblog.blogspot.com/ , where the challenge is to make your card sparkle.  I also entered it in the Card Patterns Sketch 81 challenge http://www.cardpatterns.blogspot.com/ .  As you can see, I took some liberties with the sketch, but basically kept to the design.  Substituted snowflakes for the circles, and a different shape die for the verse.
Stop by these blogs to see some really creative and lovely cards for these challenges.  I'm anxious to order some more Our Daily Bread stamps....just love them!

  I chose to use this lovely Basic Grey paper, with glitter glue and crystals and pearls.  I highlighted the snowflakes on the background paper with the Stardust gel pen (clear).

Yes, He does make everything beautiful in its time....even snow.



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Direct To Paper With ColorBox Inks

I learned this technique many years ago at a retailer's trade show in Boston, from Natalie of Magenta Rubber Stamp company.  It has remained one of my very favorite background techniques.  It always looks so elegant, and never comes out the same twice!
I made this set of note cards to show this Direct To Paper technique.  I will attempt to give directions, as I could not find a YouTube video, or even a picture tutorial on it, but I will walk you through it.  Some day I will learn how to do videos on YouTube!!  Anyways, here are the cards:
All four cards were made with the DTP technique.  Here's how it is done:
  • Start with a piece of card stock cut to the size you want for your finished project.  The card stock can be any color. 
  • Using ColorBox Cat's Eye ink pads, or the PetalPoint sections, choose three or four colors.  I use two or three of a color family.  In these cards, I started with a shade of green, then added a darker green, then a rust, then finally a burgundy.
  • Rub your first color directly onto the cardstock (hence the name direct to paper).  Add the color intermittently on the card stock, not filling it all in.  Leave some open areas.
  • Rub your second color in some of the open areas, then your third/fourth colors in any open areas.
  • To soften and blend the colors, rub with a tissue after your colors are applied.  
  • If it is still too rigid, I usually take my lightest color, and rub it over the whole piece, then rub it out with tissue.  This will soften the piece.
  • On these cards, I stamped images with black die ink right onto the background.  Then I highlighted areas of the images with white colored pencil.  I use Berol Prismacolor pencils, as they have a nice soft lead.  Just add white along some edges and areas you want to highlight.  Finally, I stamped some elements with gold ColorBox ink.
Here are the cards individually (to see closer, click on each image)

And here's a close up of one of them that shows the detail:
I am entering these cards in the Hero Arts Blog challenge http://heroarts.com/blogs/club/ this month,  which is anything Autumn.  I used some of Hero's leaves, trees, and fall looking stamps, and chose rich fall colors.
I am also entering them in the Cuttlebug challenge http://thecuttlebugspot.blogspot.com/2010/09/desing-team-open-call.html , which was to emboss.  I love the Cuttlebug embossing folders, which is what I used along the edge of each card.  It adds just enough interest, without taking away from the image.  If you click on the images, you can see the embossing more clearly.  It really shows up much better person.

I hope you will try this technique.  The look is rich and elegant, and with a little practice you will be making some really pretty backgrounds.

Enjoy your week!

Blessings and peace,


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Make a gift bag from an envelope!

I am borrowing this technique from the Hero Arts blog.  Lisa Spangler made these adorable little gift bags for the Hero blog, using envelopes!  Here is a link to the article, complete with pictures, directions, and even a terrific video:  http://heroarts.com/learning/technique.cfm?techID=173
Aren't these just the cutest!  Imagine all the fun occasions you can make these little bags for!  I'm sure going to make a couple for two or three special goblins this halloween, and then, there's Christmas.  What a fun way to give a little treat to a special teacher perhaps, or co-worker.  I think they would also make a perfect wrapping for a gift card, don't you?
Well, it's late, and I have a very full and busy day at work tomorrow, so I'm keeping this post short an sweet. 
Blessings and peace,

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Great Weekend For Stamping and Scrapping!

The weather has finally given us a break from the heat here in the North East US.  I, for one, am really enjoying the cooler temperatures.  It was cloudy yesterday, and today, but much cooler and breezy.  It rained a little yesterday, so I took advantage of the weekend day and did some "homey" things.  Chopped and froze some peppers, squash, onions, and tomatoes we bought at the farmers market, then I headed to my craft room.  Here's a card I made, with a listing below for the challenges I created it for:
Penny Black Saturday Challenge http://pennybfriendssaturdaychallenge.blogspot.com/ , where you had to use purple, cream, and brown;
Our Daily Bread http://ourdailybreaddesignsblog.blogspot.com/ , where we had to use buttons, brads, or eyelets;
Penny Black At Allsorts http://pennyblackatallsorts.blogspot.com/ , which was to use punches on your card;
Card Patterns http://www.cardpatterns.blogspot.com/ , which was a sketch challenge, and here's the sketch: 

I enjoy sketch challenges, color challenges, inspiration challenges, well, pretty much all kinds of challenges.  If you like to make cards, or scrapbook pages, also, and haven't entered any challenges, I hope you will give them a try.  There are so many out there.  To enter, you usually post your picture of your card onto your blog, if you have one.  If you do not have a blog, you can join any of the free web sites, such as:
Two Peas In A Bucket http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/,
Coast Stampers http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/,
Treasured Scrapbooking http://www.treasuredscrapbooking.com/ , and Simply Scrapping Crafts http://simplyscrapping.ning.com/
I've included links for you to make it easy to find these sites.  They're free to join, and each of these sites has fabulous forums, galleries of cards and scrapbook pages, challenges, and fun stuff going on!  Once you join, you can download your pictures of your projects on the site.  Then, to enter a challenge, you simply click on the link in the challenge blog, and link your card from wherever you have it in a gallery.

Here's a quick run-down on the types of challenges you may find.
COLOR CHALLENGE - These usually post two or three or more color swatches for you to use in your card.
SKETCH CHALLENGE - Just as the name implies, you are given a sketch to follow.  It is not necessary to follow the sketch exactly, just as long as it is recognizable.  For example, in the Card Patterns sketch above, I pretty much followed the sketch, but I added the ribbon.  You can also "flip" the sketch, or change around the arrangement to please yourself. 
SPECIFIC CHALLENGES - The challenge blog will ask you to do specific things, such as use lace somewhere on the card, or uuse paper piecing, or letters and/or numbers, or embossing powder.
THEME CHALLENGE - Themes may include seasons, such as the Everything Autumn challenge going on now at the Hero Arts blog, Shine/Sparkle, New beginnings, Clean & Simple.

Here's a link to The Daily Dare, which lists several dozen blogs that issue challenges, and links to them: http://dailydare4u.blogspot.com/ .

Hope that helps and you'll try a challenge or two.  Some even give prizes!!
Enjoy your holiday weekend.

Blessings and peace,