Friday, February 25, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Card

What a great day for stamping and paper crafting.  I was out of work by noon, and it was snowing like crazy all day.  I had a quick lunch, put on a pot of chicken soup to simmer for dinner tonight, made a cup of tea, and headed up to my craft room. 
A quick scan of challenges coming due told me that Card Patterns Sketch 103 is due today.  Here's a picture of the sketch: 

I had fun with this one.  At first I didn't think I liked it, but it kind of grew on me.  After all, it is supposed to be a challenge, right?  So, here's my take on it:

I used Impression-Obsession stamps CL66 Luck of the Irish clear stamps.  The embossing powder is silver pearl by Ranger.  This shade of green is probably my least favorite color, but it seemed to work for this St. Patty's card.  I think my son-in-law Dan will like it, as he is Irish all the way, so I'll send this to him and my daughter, Faith.  Now I have to get going on something for the girlies.  They have their father's Irish in them, and their mom's Korean....our little Irasian girls!  Hmmm...better check out some more challenges!
Hope it brings you some luck!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Technique Tuesday - Coloring With Pastels

Pitt Pastels for soft coloring

Today's technique is coloring with Pitt Pastel pencils.  These pencils are pastel chalks, made by Faber Castell.  I like this brand because the chalk is soft and blends really well.  I love the chalk in pencil form. It is easy to control, yet has many of the attributes of the chalk palettes you may be familiar with.
I made these two cards using Pitt Pastels to color the main images.
 This first card features Penny Black stamps (30-014 clear set and 3949H poppies). The bottom panel is a piece I had previously created with alcohol ink.  Spellbinder's dies were used to cut the image and the panel around it, and I used one of the Spellbinder's label dies (cut in half and attached to the panel) for the top and bottom pieces.  The strip of mulberry paper was added for softness.  I used the stardust gel pen to add some sparkle to the butterfly, around the image panel, and friends.
Challenges I've entered this poppy card in:
    Allsorts Challenge Blog - Inspired by Nature
    Penny Black At Allsorts Challenge - Say It With Flowers

 Hero Arts stamps were used on this card.  Spellbinder's dies were used for the panel and the scalloped layer piece.  EK Success punch was used for the purple border.  I stamped the left panel with the floral border from the clear set CL045.  I also stamped the white satin ribbon with the same stamp.  To create the ribbon flower, I stitched along one long edge of a five inch piece of stamped ribbon, then pulled the stitches up to gather, and stitched it together to form the flower shape, and added a pearl to the center. The right panel is H214 manuscript background.  The hydrangea is one of my old favorites F2067     The silver friends is from a Class-A-Peels border by Stampendous. 
Challenges I've entered this card in:
Stamping on ribbon

Allsorts Challenge Blog - Inspired by Nature
Hero Arts Club Monthly Contest- Friendship & Love

Here's how to color the images with the Pitt Pastels:

Start with three or four colors for each part of the image.  For the poppy card, I chose three different reds, a rust for the centers, and two greens for leaves and stems.
Tortillions are used for blending.  A tortillion is a blending stump, made from tightly wound heavy paper.  I got mine at AC Moore.  The pastels are available at most craft store art areas, or at art stores, usually as a set.
I like to "ink" my stamp with my markers, using the colors I want my images to be.  In this case, I colored the stamp using red marker for the flowers, rust for the centers, and green for the stems.  This way, when I color it in, there is not that harsh black outline as there is when you stamp your image in black.  Just a different look, much softer.

 Adding Color
Start coloring with your lightest color for each area.  Then add the next shade, finishing with touches of the darkest color where it would naturally be darker.

 Blending with tortillion
Using the tortillion, begin rubbing the colored image. This will blend the colors and soften the look.  I use one tortillion for each color group.  I add a ring of the color around the top of the tortillion, so that I will always use that tortillion for that color group, thereby not contaminating it with other colors when I use it again.

 Add white for highlights
I like to finish by adding some white highlights. To do this, use an eraser to remove some of the red where you want the highlights. Then color in with the white, and blend with the tortillion.

A fine mist of hair spray will set the chalk.

Hope you'll try this.  The pastels are a wonderful medium, and I think you will like the way they blend, and the effects they give.

On a personal note
We celebrated our granddaughter Kennedy's baptism Sunday in Buffalo.  It was a glorious day, and a glorious celebration.  Her big sister, Keeley, was excited, and Kennedy was so sweet, and in such a happy mood.  If you would like to read about it and see pictures, you can visit my writing blog, A Little Perspective (Kennedy's baptism post) .

Enjoy your week.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Jennifer McGuire's Smooching Technique on Hero Arts Blog

Just a short post tonight, as I wanted to direct you to a really inspiring article and YouTube tutorial by Jennifer McGuire over on the Hero Arts blog , in case you missed it.   Jennifer presents her smooching technique, and the look is just so pretty.
I remember doing this technique years ago, and it's good to see a refreshed version.  Jennifer uses chalk inks, but it will work just as well with your dye inks, even pigment inks.  Also, note the words at the bottom....she shows how to "cut up" your phrase stamps to get the look you want.  Very clever, that girl. 

Do hop over and check it out.  You will be pulling out your stamps and playing this weekend, for sure!

Just finished a blog post over on my writing blog, A Little Perspective .  Now, I'm off to my craft room to cut up some stamps.  And, then to the couch to work on a blanket I'm finishing up (knitting) for my grand-baby, Kennedy Grace, whose Christening is this Sunday.  I want to be sure it is ready for the big occasion.  I'll be knitting into the wee hours, I think.  It's that procrastination thing.

With that, I'll say good night, make some tea, and get my fingers limbered up.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Coffee Cup Challenge Winner!!

Well, color me embarrassed!  I forgot to post the winner of the paper cup challenge here on the blog.  I did post it on the Paper Arts Cafe Flickr Group, and the Hero Arts group, but forgot to post it here.  So, in case you missed it over at Flickr, the winner is Cindy C. (cimee).  CONGRATULATIONS Cindy!  I already got the addresses from those of you who entered, and, of course, from the winner, so I could send the stickers to the entrants, and the stamps to our winner. 

Thank you to to Virginia L., Michelle, Sylvia, and Cindy for playing. It was fun, and although I didn't get a large response from this first challenge, I will do it again. This time I will pick a theme where the products are easier to find!! lol.




Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Technique Tuesday - Simple Card with Marker Outline

I love the look of simple cards...their clean lines, uncomplicated design, and fresh look.  But, for me, they are a challenge.  I find it difficult to stop at the CAS (clean and simple) point.  I want to add more; multiple layers, dimension, a touch of this, a snip of that, a sprinkling of anything.  That's why, when I received a request for some ideas for some simpler cards, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to challenge myself. 
For today's technique, I chose a non-coloring, clean and easy marker technique. 
Begin with a white embossed image.  Choose a brush marker, such as Tombow or Marvy LePlume, in a color slightly darker than the color of the card stock the image is on.  Then, simply run the marker around the image, creating an outline.  That's's that simple! As much as I love watercoloring, or adding color with PrismaColor pencils or chalks, this technique really makes the image "pop," and I love the look.
And here's my card:
Stamps are Penny Black.  I stamped the script on the pink card.  The main image panel is layered onto a scalloped layer, and attached.  Miss you panel added.  I stamped the same background script onto the flower, and attached with a button.  Just a touch of crystal glitter glue to finish off the scallops and verse panel.  I chose pink, so I could enter this in the Penny Black Saturday Challenge here.  The theme is Pretty In Pink.
It was very difficult for me not to keep going, but I forced myself to stop.  I'm pleased with the look, and will try it again.  Hmmmm, looking at this, I'm thinking a few pearls, perhaps some lace and ribbon..... Well, here I go again!  I will not add anything, I will not add anything, I will NOT!

Enjoy your evening.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Technique Tuesday - Crinkled Ribbon for Cards and Layouts

Crinkled, dyed ribbon is very popular now.  The vintage, distressed look enhances your cards and scrapbook pages and paper crafted projects.  This crinkled ribbon can be expensive to purchase, but is very inexpensive and easy to make yourself. 
This video by Lindsay, The Frugal Crafter shows how to make your own hand-dyed crinkled ribbon from rayon seam binding and dye based reinkers.  Check it out here
Lindsay used liquid watercolor, and many of the other tutorials I've seen use glimmer Mist sprays.  I make my own.  I use the little mini misters from Ranger and fill them 3/4 with plain water.

Then just add a few (7 to 9) drops of refill ink.  If you want shimmer, add a little Perfect Pearls (about 1/8 tsp), and mix well.  Then just follow the directions in the video, and you have gorgeous, rich, crinkled ribbon!

I purchased a 100 foot roll of white rayon seam binding for just $7.95 at  Zipperstop (click to bring you to the site).

And here is a card I made with my dyed, crinkled ribbon. 
I used Adirondack bottle and denim inks, with green interference Perfect Pearls.  I do like to push the envelope a bit, and had to try stamping on the finished ribbon.
I used Penny Black's Letter Background 1999L for the script effect on the ribbon (it shows up better on the real ribbon than it does in the picture.  The leaf is Penny Black's Leaf Spray 2026H.  Not sure where the celebrate script is from - it was a cling that I forgot to label after removing it from the block.

To make the ribbon flower, simply gather about 5" of the ribbon along one long edge with needle and thread, pull up to gather, then sew into flower shape.  I used a permanent marker to dye a pearl for the center (and the button on the bow).

Have a wonderful evening, and stop back tomorrow to see the winner of my blog candy coffee cup challenge!



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Birthday Card and Challenge Card

Oh, what a lovely day off I had.  Thank you Mother Nature!!
I spent the day reading, writing, and in my craft room.  Much of the time in my craft room was spent straightening my mess  work area, but then I did make a couple of cards.
This first one is for a couple of challenges:

Our Daily Bread Designs  BLUES CHALLENGE (Had to use mostly blue)
I found this Hot Off The Press paper in my stash, and used a Martha Stewart punch, and, of course, ODBD scripture stamp.  I love this verse about hope.  It fits right in with my theme for the year this year A Little Perspective - Living In Joy, Hope, and Grace (my writing blog where you can read about my theme of hope).

Friday Sketchers  Sketch challenge, and here's the sketch:
 Here's my card for these challenges:

I also made this birthday card for my dear friend (Penny Black stamps):

I'm thankful for a wonderful day.  Hope you got to do something fun, and didn't have to brave the weather.  Back to work tomorrow, so I'm off to bed now.  

Sweet dreams,


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stamped Speckled Background With Soft Sponging

I'm getting ready for the snow storm we're supposed to get tonight and tomorrow.  Stocked up on some good food, and worked late today instead of tomorrow, so I can take tomorrow off and play!!  I plan to have a great "jammie day" and maybe try some fun ideas.  Hope you get a day off, too!

Anyways, here's my technique for this Tuesday.  I use this background technique a lot, and am often asked how I did it.
It's quite easy, really.  Here's how to do it:
  • Start with a white or neutral card stock.  Trim to size of the panel you will use on your card.
  • Begin applying ink to the card stock panel.  On this card, I started with the outside edges with my Tim Holtz ink applicator with light spring green ink.  Start off the paper, and using circular motions, apply ink to the edges, working in until you have the coverage desired.  I chose to leave the center white on this card.
  • Add a second (darker) application of ink closer to the edges only, if desired.
  • A stipple brush (available at most craft stores or art supply stores) may also be used, which I did use when I wanted to add some color inside the edges, such as on the rose panel.  Just dab the stipple brush into the ink, and tap it onto the card panel until you reach the desired depth of color.  Here's a link to my post about stippling .
  • For the dots, or speckles, I used a rubber stamp.  I have several of these background speckled type stamps.  Just ink up the speckles and stamp them randomly on your sponged/stippled panel. On my card, I used the same green ink I did the sponging with.
  • If you want more spatter, either repeat with another color, or try spattering with a brush.  The pink teeny-tiny spatters in my card were done with a watercolor brush.  I simply dabbed my ink pad onto my craft mat (you can use any plastic surface, or even a plate). Then I spritzed with enough water to work up a little puddle.  Dip your brush into the puddles, then "flick" off the brush bristles onto your card.  Just take the wet inked brush, and tap it gently on your other hand, and the spatters will flick off onto the card.  You could also use a toothbrush for this part and run your thumb along the bristles to flick the inked water onto your card!
  • Finish your card as desired.  I stamped the rose by inking the flower with a pink brush marker, and the stems with a green marker.  Then I spritzed the stamp with a fine mist spritzer, and stamped it over my background.  I used a damp watercolor brush to "pull" the ink from the edges of the design.  
Here's a close up of the sponging and spatters:
The stamps are older Hero Arts stamps, which I still love and use often. Can't part with the oldies.  The crinkled ribbon is actually seam binding, which I dyed to match the card.   I'll show you how to make your own crinkled ribbon from seam binding on next week's Technique Tuesday.  Stop back! 

I actually made this card for a Valentine's card challenge over on the Hero Arts Blog.  I made it several days ago, but wanted to be sure the person I sent to has received her card before I posted it, in case she stopped by my blog and saw it.  Now that she has it, I can write about it.  She did ask about the background, so, Michelle, this Technique Tuesday was inspired by your curiosity!

I'd like to share the card that I received from the swap.  Dani Beckman sent me this adorable card:

Stop by and say hi to Dani at

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay safe and warm in the storms we're all getting.  Stay in and craft!!