Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Technique Tuesday - Layered Cut-Out Image Card

OK, so the title of this post isn't very creative or inspiring, but, trust me, the technique IS!!  I received this gorgeous card from my friend, Arlene.  Arlene and I share an admiration for Magenta stamps.  The lines and creative possibilities of their images is inspiring.  Their style is unique, a blend of classic designs with a funky twist, and just enough attitude to be different.

The technique Arlene used on this card, the cutting away of the negative parts of the image, and layering it up, takes a simple image and transforms it into a unique and complex-looking design.  She created a lovely card, far from simple-looking, just by a few snips of her scissors. 
This simple tulip image was stamped onto white card stock and colored.  Rather than just layering it onto the black, then onto the card, Arlene used her craft knife to cut away the excess (negative) areas around the flower within each square, creating a little window opening around the image.  She then layered the white panel onto a black panel, making sure to cut away the center so that the cut-out areas of the image were still open.  Then she used foam tape to layer the panels onto the card front.  
Such a fun look.  And the vertical thank you really finishes off the card nicely, enhancing the image.  Here's a close-up view of the cut-out sections:

Next time you want to take your simple cards up a notch, try this!  It is easy, quick, and makes a great looking card.

Here are some tips for cutting with a craft knife:
  • Use a sharp blade!  I cannot stress this enough.  Knife blades are inexpensive, so don't be afraid to change the blade when it starts getting dull.  You will know, because it starts dragging the paper when it dulls.
  • Be sure to cut on a self-healing mat.
  • Use the full blade, not just the tip.  When cutting, angle the blade so that most of the blade runs along the paper.  I see many people get frustrated, because they are just pressing and pulling the point or tip of the blade.  If you lay the blade down so that the sharp part is fully touching the paper, the cut will be smoother, and much easier to cut.
  • Do not try to cut out everything with one swipe.  With the sections of this card, for example, I usually roughly cut the opening, then go in and detail cut around the images and the squares.
  • When cutting around angles, turn the paper, not the knife.
Hope you will give this a try.  If you do, send me some pictures!  I'd love to see your take on this technique.  Thanks, Arlene, for sharing with us! 

I'm beginning to get a little more comfortable with my job.  Still a long way to go, but I am seeing a light at the end of the long, long tunnel.  I'll let you know after next week, when I tackle the biggie....payroll! 

And....I finally figured out the mystery of the hair-like prickers that I've been finding in my body for a week now.  Tiny little "thorns," literally no thicker than a hair (when they're in the skin they look like the hair on your legs that you hadn't shaved in several days), are what I've had in my fingers, wrists, arms, and even one on my breast  -  yep, and let me tell you how much that tiny little thing hurt!

Hubby and I have been trying to figure out what it was, and where they were coming from.  Then Sunday night, lying in bed, I felt one - wait for it - you guessed it, in my bum!  Yessiree, way back where I couldn't get at it.  Suffice it to say, when I asked hubby if he could do me a big favor, it wasn't what he had in mind!  It was quite a picture, him with a magnifying glass in one hand, and sharp tweezers in the other, trying to get the thorn out of my buttocks!!  It didn't help that I couldn't stop giggling.

Well, that did it.  After I medicated my "wound," I resorted to the trusty ole Google and Internet.  There I found the answer.  Dan bought me a couple of cactuses (cacti)? for our deck a couple of weeks ago.  One day, last week, I laundered the sheets, and hung them outside on the line.  I love the fresh, clean smell of line-dried sheets on a windy day.  Well, it turns out, these particular cacti are from the prickly pear family.  They have itty-bitty (I'm telling you, you need a magnifying glass to see them) little hair-like thorns.  Apparently, in the wind, they became airborne, and embedded into the sheets.  Then from the sheets, they found their way into me! 

Needless to say, the plants have found a new home.  Me, I find myself giggling at the thought of how hubby and I must have looked and sounded the night he performed his surgery on me.  Let's just say it wasn't pretty, and leave it at that.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Technique Tuesday - Layered Window Card

It's HOT, hot, hot outside, and my craft room is even hotter!!!!  So, I dug through my archives and came up with this card, which features a layered window treatment.  I remember this gorgeous giraffe, which I had made a couple of different cards from.  The other card I embossed the giraffe in black, then colored the giraffe with markers and a Dove blender for a deep-color effect.  But, I digress....here's this week's card:
The main card is an ivory card, with a rectangle window cut into the right side.  The amber card stock panel, which I stamped with the lion and zebra postage stamp images, was cut 1/4" smaller all around than the ivory card.  Then, I cut the window 1/4" wider than the window I cut into the ivory card.  I then adhered the panel to the card, and voila!  A layered window was born!
The giraffe image is actually stamped on ivory text weight paper, the size of the card minus 1/4" all around.   I folded the text weight paper in half, adhered it to just the back panel of the card, then stamped the image through the window onto the paper.  I then added some sponging, using a rectangle mask, as I didn't want the stark white of the paper showing through the window.

This next image is a little fuzzy, but shows the window, with my finger through it, and the shadow I created with the mask, as well as the image on the inside sheet of paper.                                
That's it for tonight.  Many of you know, I'm NOT a summer heat type person.  I much prefer the cool days of fall, and don't even mind winter as much as I really dislike the hot weather.  I'm MUCH too uncomfortable, and just get miserable.  I'm one of those that, when everyone was complaining of the cold and snow this winter, I didn't complain.  Everyone said they weren't going to complain this summer, but I knew I would, and I am.  Air conditioners have been running non-stop, and hardly making a dent in the heat!  

I'm so glad for the air conditioning at the office!  Don't even mind going in to work.  I'm actually loving my new job...it's very interesting, and there's always so much going on in the church office.  There's lots to do, but it's also a fun atmosphere.  I still have MUCH to learn, but it feels like I'm starting to grasp some things.  Long way to go, but I'm getting there.  I wrote my first "staff time," an article for the front page of the bulletin.  Everyone on the staff writes the front page article, taking turns each week.  I was elected to write last week's article.  

Well, hubby's home, so I'm off to chat with him a while, then into a nice shower!  Gotta cool down some way!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Technique Tuesday - Spray Ink With Stencils

Ink refills, Mini Misters, and stencils = awesome technique!!

Here's how it's done:
-Pour small amount of dye refill ink into a Mini Mister or small mist/spray bottle.  Make up as many bottles of color as your desire.  I used three colors on my card; blue, green, and yellow.
-Lightly tape stencil onto card stock.  I chose watercolor paper for it's texture.
-Spray ink onto stencil, directing the different colors where you want to achieve effect desired. 
-Carefully remove stencil.  Use heat tool to set the ink.
-Cut down image to usable size.
That's it!!! 
TIPS:  Be sure to cover any areas that you do not want to get ink on.
           Try adding some Perfect Pearls to your ink misters (I added some gold Perfect Pearls to mine.  It gives a really nice shimmer to your finished image.

Since I was spraying, I made several:
Spraying ink through the stencil
AND....I also sprayed some natural twill tape to use on my card.....

Here's what the Mini Misters look like:
Hope you enjoyed this technique.  It's a little messy, but well worth the clean-up! 


Sunday, July 10, 2011

All About "U"

Hi there!  In case if you were here looking for Technique Tuesday for July 5th, look no further.  I just didn't get it done this week.  As you may know, I started a new job two weeks ago, as parish administrative assistant at our church.  I am loving it, but it's extremely stressful right now, while I'm learning everything.  The worst part of any job, I think, is the first few weeks/months, while you are in the learning phase.  There's so much to remember.  I had no idea how involved the job is, but I'm taking it a step at a time.....baby steps.  Just when I think I'm starting to catch on to one thing, something else comes along...you know how that goes.  But anyways, I'm so burned out when I get home, and I go over my notes, make dinner, and am exhausted....I think from stress.  I know it will get better as I learn all the components, it's just that I'm anxious to get to that part!!  lol.  This is the first weekend since I got home from my aunt's in Florida that I have been home and had the weekend to myself, for the most part.  So I finally got some stamping done.

Anyways, I feel badly that I didn't get to my TT, so here's a blast from the past, to hold you over until this coming Tuesday 7/12 (which I actually started today.  This is a class I did a few years ago, and I used the Hero Arts "U" from the large clear letter sets. 
On the first (brown) card, I stamped the 'U' onto the dotted paper, then I cut it out with a craft knife.  On the pink card, I stamped the 'U' on white scrap, stamped thanks randomly on it, then cut it out and mounted it onto the card.  On the blue and green card, I took the negative of the cut out 'U' from the previous card, and used it as a stencil.  I sponged green ink through the handmade stencil, then stamped blue flowers.  When I removed the stencil, I had my 'U.'

It's fun to use large letters on cards.  I'm sure you can come up with lots of ideas....I'd love to see them!

I'll be back on schedule Tuesday with a fun technique for you.  Stop back and check it out.

A few of you have asked about my "kids," so here are a couple of pics of Faith, Dan, Keeley, and Kennedy.....