Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

I ended up on a wild hare (pun intended) this weekend.  I saw this post over at the Moxie Fab World and ended up inspired Friday.  I really enjoy when Cath, the editor and blog host, combines pictures of lovely things from the internet with very inspiring poetryThis is often a way that Cath will celebrate a holiday.  The links are to some of my favorites!

The cute little bunny bags captured my eye.  I've mentioned before that my niece and nephews on my side of the family are considerably younger than my children.  As such, Easter transitioned from being about chocolate, bunnies, and eggs to being about our risen Savior several years ago.  Our Easter craftiness is less about cute candy holders now.  Having young nieces and nephews has changed that again.  We still focus on the true meaning of Easter, but it is also nice to have something sweet to hand to them at Easter dinner.  This project posted by Gail over at ProbablyAcutally provided just the inspiration and direction that I needed.

A quick trip to Michaels that was only minimally successful completed by a drop in at Hobby Lobby to really have everything I needed.

I printed out a version of the pattern (located through the link in Gail's post).  My original version of the pattern did have two ears.  After I've cut out all of the bunnies for the bags, I simply trimmed off one of his ears to make a pattern for the inside of the ears.  Patterned felt is almost as much fun as patterned paper- only with slightly fewer options.

After I embroidered the faces on, I attempted to sew the ears on.!  The printing on the felt created a toughness to the felt that made poking holes difficult.  After the amount of time this one bunny took, and the fact that the hot glued on version looked just as good- we simplified our plan!

I made the nose and eyes with different colors of embroidery thread.  I also used different thread to sew the bags closed with a simple running stitch

I filled each  bag with a combination of jelly beans and robin eggs.  You can see some of the color through the white bunnies. I was able to put together seven of these cute little bags.  We're off to dinner at Granna's this afternoon where I'll distribute these to spread some Easter joy.

This quote from C.S Lewis was read at sunrise service this morning.  The marriage of chocolate and Easter...  I hope this finds you celebrating or having celebrated the best day of the year, Resurrection Sunday, where everything was made right again.


Friday, March 29, 2013

It's Friday, But Sunday Is a Comin'

On this Good Friday I thought to share my Easter creation for this year.  Inspiration has been brewing for a couple of years.  Several years ago our church showed the video below on Easter morning.  The message was spot on and moving.

Then, I happened across Market Street Stamps and their Here Comes the Sun stamp.  It was the perfect marriage of inspiration and tool.  I used my Close to My Heart  Buttercup ink to stamp the sunshine image.  The sentiment was printed with my HP printer and Word.  The inside top face had the prose from the video typed in.  The bottom face simply stated Sunday is a comin'.

For me, this is Easter.  It is always darkest before the dawn and that was true on the first Good Friday ever.  This message reminds me of the hope that I have in the finished work that Jesus completed on the cross.  It's worth celebrating as we mark this Good Friday.  Just when we think we can't take any more we should remember that it's only Friday, but Sunday's coming....


I am going to enter this card in the March Monthly Challenge: Add a Little P.O.P over at the Inspiration Journal.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blog Candy for our Milestone

Earlier this month our tiny little blog, carved out of a desire to spread our passions and inspirations about papercrafting, hit a major milestone.  I mentioned the milestone at the time- this is a minor if not inconsequential blip on the screen of Internet life.  However, it is our inconsequential blip and so we thought that it needed some celebrating. 

This momentous milestone requires a celebration of the bloggish kind.  We thought we might offer up some blog candy for the occasion (our first ever).  We'll mail this tiny set of coordinating paper, rub-ons, brads and ribbon to one randomly drawn commenter from the original post to win the prize.  Click the link and tell us one smallish way you've celebrated an accomplishment.  It doesn't have to be of the bloggish kind.  All comments received before midnight March 31st, 2013 are eligible to win. 

Celebrating is the best!  Remember to clink through to the original post to make your comment and have it count in the drawing.

Brandy and  Andie

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Patterned Play Class- Day 4

This day's lesson involved using simple touches to add to patterns in the paper.  The other technique for the day also included using Picket Fence Distress Stain to white wash patterned papers to soften the pattern and have them fit together.

The two navy pieces are from the Glitz Vintage Blue paper pack.  The red piece is from the Prima Madeline paper pack.  The maroon piece is from the Prima paper pack Botanicals.  It was difficult to get a good picture to see how much I didn't like the patterns and colors together.  There's just too much going on here.

I started by using the Picket Fence to wash over the top of these paper scraps.  After using my Quickutz dies to cut out the flower shapes, I tried arranging them on the monochromatic patterned paper.  It took a little to figure out how the flowers go together.

I used another of the tricks I've read in other places... the Fibonacci number sequence is naturally occurring in nature. If you observe many clusters of leaves, number of petals in a flower, etc. the number is almost always (there are exceptions, this is just the "rule") within the sequence.  The numbers are found by adding the previous two numbers in the sequence.  It starts with 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, etc.  Essentially, there is an order to the grouping of items and this order is attractive to the human eye.  I've sometimes used it to fix scrapbook layouts and/or card designs that aren't quite right, but I can't exactly place why.  Even grouping items together works- like having 4 of anything, which is not Fibonacci and making two groups of two- suddenly it works.  So, here I started with three flowers... too little.  By adding the other two, suddenly it worked.

I did some more hand drawing of the stems using my Vintage Photo Distress Marker.  The card looked a little plain, so I used the iRock to place the bling on the polka dotted flower and it seemed to meet my class requirements (add small touches to the patterned paper) and finish the card off properly.

The inside of the card is finished with an unaltered strip of the navy patterned paper.  The sentiment comes from A Close to My Heart stamp.  It is a quote stamp that takes up a great deal of space.  I simply inked the first word "Happiness" on the front layer and the last two "A Journey" on the inside of the card. 

I don't think it is my favorite from last week, but it stretched me, gave me some ideas for using my Picket Fence and I've finished one more post of my work.  I've one more lesson to cover.. we'll see whether I get it done :).   Does it help to mention that I've accomplished a lot at work?

Time's running out, this is just a way to remind you that if you haven't commented on the recent post regarding our blog milestone, please click the link provided.  Each comment is a chance to win some blog candy.  All comments must be received by midnight of March 31st, 2013.  We're a small blog, so the chances are large, you could be a winner!


Pattern Play Day 1- Thinking of You

I just had to share this card with you all.  It represents a stretching of my natural comfort zone and a final result I am so pleased with.  The lesson for this day was to plan your card out using patterned papers to create visual effects.  The example card used three circles with different patterned papers filling the negative space.  I didn't have the same dies, so this is my take on the card.  My circle die is from my old Quickutz set that creates a circle frame leaving the three empty spots and then a smaller circle to be placed inside.  I thought the pattern very busy, so I ended up using two coordinating pieces of paper with a bit bolder print.

I had an epic fail version where I tried to stamp a border onto the kraft paper.  I really didn't like the result- the border patter was too busy, the ink too dark once stamped on the kraft paper.

I think you are compelled to agree with me- this didn't work.  I found a scrap of blue paper from the Prima Madeline paper pack and slid it in place... magic.  I cut the piece down to size, edged everything in Vintage Photo Distress Ink and I think we have a winner.

The sentiment stamp comes from a Close to My Heart set.  The circle "frame" is adhered using foam tape.  I selected the orientation to create some uniformity for my matchy, matchy eye by rotating the wheat sheaf to move toward the left in the top circle and toward the right in the bottom circle.  A final piece of twine and the card is finished. 

Time passes so quickly.  Just a reminder, don't forget to comment on our post regarding a milestone for our blog.  Click the link provided and leave a comment before March 31st, 2013.  Blog candy is available to you should you win the random drawing!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pattern Play Day 2

Still catching up on posts of cards made from the Patterned Play card class.  Although the instruction has ended, you can still enjoy the online experience if you register and post questions to the forum and post pictures of your final creation til April 8th.  It is a great group of crafters coming from many different backgrounds across the world.  Plus, you have lifetime access to the content even after the forum and galleries are closed that you can use for inspiration and further honing of your skills.  Click through the link for more information.

This happy hello was created because I couldn't find a stamp that worked for the suggested technique.  So, I punted.  The technique involves stamping on a small print patterned paper, fussy cutting the image out and then layering multiple versions on top of one another for a 3D flower.  I found that I don't own a stamp that is either 1) large enough or 2) creates beautiful layers.  So, I picked up the large pattern print that I had previously cut a portion of the 12 x 12 page out and looked for several intact (no other images layered over a random petal, etc.) flowers that could be layered.  I did find that within the same 12 x 12 sheet some flowers were right facing while others were left facing.  If you are going to fussy cut and layer, you'll need them all to face the same direction.  I cut the middle and top layers from two different flowers on the sheet.  I edged each layer with my Worn Lipstick Distress Marker which totally covers up any messy fussy cuts.  The center was edged with my Rusty Hinge Distress Marker.

The background paper was the "b" side of the same sheet of 12 x 12 paper, making it so that I've consumed 1 1/2 of the 3 pieces of this paper that I own.  Yay for using up the stash!  The smaller flowers were cut from the same sheet as well and layered in the same method.  The sentiment was stamped using a old rubber stamp set on the "b" side of a coordinating paper.  I simply folded the strip and glued down onto the paper to create the 3D effect of the banner.  Lastly the stems were hand drawn (Brandy- you'll be proud of my crafty self going out on a limb like "drawing" on my card!) using one of my Distress Markers (I forget which one).

The inside was dressed with a thin strip of the coordinating paper and the last fussy cut flower from the bunch.  I super like how this turned out too.  I think maybe I just like this paper, because I've enjoyed all three cards made with the same set of papers (here and here for the others).

By the way, if you haven't commented on our recent post regarding our blog milestone, please click the link provided.  Blog candy is available to you should you win the random drawing!  You must comment by midnight March 31st, 2013 to win!.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Pattern Play- Day 4 Altering Patterned Paper

This day's lesson is on using methods to modify the patterned paper.  The challenge was to use tricks like glitter, sewing, etc. to modify the patterned paper.  In this card, I used a Pearl Pen to alter cream colored polka dots on this striped paper .  The cool part is that the dots were uneven and non-uniform.  This helps my shaky handed, non-uniform application of the pearl pen.

The sentiment came from an old Martha Stewart stamp set (I wouldn't recommend her older sets as this one can be tough to use).  The size was just perfect to create a subtle sentiment on that paper strip.  I used Seedless Preserved Distress ink to stamp and edge the patterned paper.  The cream cardstock strip was altered with Scattered Straw Distress Ink.  The tiny flower was fussy cut from a spare scrap of the flower patterned paper.  I edged this very small piece with the Seedless Preserves as well which covered up a bit of my shaky handed cutting on the small piece of paper.  I didn't snap a picture of the inside, but I used a small strip of the same strip to finish the inside with a coordinating cream cardstock piece replicating that detail from the front.

Although class is over, I am going to try to diligently post the remaining cards this week.  Work is being a bit of a challenge so I won't promise, just try diligently.  If you haven't taken a look at the Pattern Play class yet, it is not too late.  I've enjoyed this class, though it is a bit shorter than my previously classes.  You can still participate by watching the daily videos and posting your works.  Click through the link to find out more information. 

By the way, if you haven't commented on our recent post regarding our blog milestone, please click the link provided.  Blog candy is available to you should you win the random drawing!  Enter by Sunday, March 31st to win.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Patterned Paper Class- Day 3

Day 3 of my Patterned Paper class covered using bold patterned paper.  I am not so sure how I succeeded in using bold paper on this card.  The tip that I was striving for was to use a bold  pattern to create accent pieces for your card.  these three circles were actually cut from the bolder side of these papers and I just loved how these softer patterns looked together (that flower was so accidentally cut, you probably don't believe it wasn't on purpose).  The Hello stamp comes from my Hero Arts Luscious Frames set.  It fit well, so I went with it.

Everything is edged in Fired Brick Distress stain.  I picked a flower from the stamp set and stamped one on the inside corner.  Then I realized the card didn't fit in the envelope I chose so I cut the card down.  Only then did I realize  I cut the flower off.  So, I added two more stamped flowers to create a bundle that *maybe* doesn't look like I'm a dork.

Super simple, but I  really like how it finished.  Not overwhelming and just the right sentiment.

By the way, if you haven't commented on our recent post regarding our blog milestone, please click the link provided.  Blog candy is available to you should you win the random drawing!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

It's All Bright and Cheery

Don't you just love the Prima papers?  I have really clamped down on my patterned paper purchases for the past few years.  I had the great fortune of knowing a paper crafter who gave away boxes of patterned paper.  I actually sorted through the boxes and selected only my top favorites... somewhere around a couple hundred pieces of paper.  I left boxes of paper behind for others.  I probably can't use all that I have so purchasing paper can be difficult for my cheapfrugal personality.  Finding Prima paper packs for 40% off fit the bill though.  I purchased them months ago and have been looking for a way to use them.  Needing to make cards to celebrate my best friend's birthday fit the bill.  The Prima papers on this card came from the Prima Madeline stack.  The sentiment stamp is once again the Hero Arts Luscious Frames.  The brackets and swirls are from a Recollections stamp set.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Patterned Paper Class- Day 1

I'm going back through and trying to post the work I've completed through the week on my online card class, Pattern Play.  This card was made following the formula that Kristina provided.  She cautioned against the busyness that often puts one off of using different patterns together.  Basically, using a combination of a large/medium pattern with a smaller pattern and a solid or monochromatic pattern can create the kind of contrast that is appealing rather than the jarring results that can occur when you combine patterns. 

My attempt isn't a wildly different look.  However, I loved this blue print with people dancing.  It totally intimidated me, however.  As much as I liked it I couldn't envision a use that didn't cover it's lovelyness or bore you out by using only solid cardstock somehow.  So, I took a leap.  The polka dots serve here in my mind as the almost solid contributor and the stamped background on the sentiment serves as my small pattern.  The Scattered Straw Distress Ink around the edges of all pieces tie the elements making them more appealing to me.  The bow adds a focal point (to me).  I am not sure it's my best work- by happenstance I tried a similar combination in this card and it seems to have worked better.

The papers are from the Glitz 6 x 6 paper pad, Vintage Blue.  The ribbon is from the stash and the sentiment is from a Close to My Heart stamp set I've had for years.

By the way, if you haven't commented on our recent post regarding our blog milestone, please click the link provided.  Blog candy is available to you should you win the random drawing!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Patterned Paper Class- Day 3

So, I've been remiss in making blog posts for the Patterned Paper Card Class I've been taking this week.  Working and crafting are a competing activity.  Blogging just gets squeezed in there where it fits.  Yesterday's class was focused on using hard to use patterns- like particularly bold patterns that seem too large for a card.  The tip of the day that really stood out to me what to split up that pattern by cutting it apart. 

Also, the concept of "placing" the image on the card.  This patterned paper comes from a 12 x 12 piece so old in the stack that no manufacturer identification is on the paper.  The paper has an embossed image that has a sheen over the top.  The picture hardly captures what I mean, but I would never have chosen this particular paper for a card.  Too much!  However, using the two tips of the day, I have to say I really like the result. 

I carefully chose the large pink flower from the 12 x 12 paper to place it strategically in the visual sweet spot (rule of thirds I learned from my reading on taking better pictures with my camera!).  Quite frankly, I should have shifted the large pink flower a little more to the right, but I would have lost the pretty blue flowers in the right bottom corner, so I fudged. 

I normally wouldn't have cut in the middle of a patterned paper either- why waste a perfectly good piece of 12 x 12 paper to "select" as spot when the paper won't work anyway (this is my monkey mind talking).  However, I have three sheets of this patterned paper in the stash that I haven't used for so long I've forgotten when and where I purchased it.  Quite frankly my ole monkey mind, it is time to put that paper to good use.  This is one of the reasons I took the class.  I need to see what I have as a resource for creating what I want rather than always looking to go shopping for more.  I don't need more, I've got a whole store in my front room. 

Nevertheless, I am quite pleased.  The sentiment comes from the Hero Arts Luscious Frames stamp set (been using that quite a lot).  I stamped with my Fired Brick Distress Ink onto a strategic scrap of the larger patterned paper and edged the piece with the same ink. 

Give those bold patterns a try- if me and my old monkey mind can do it, so can you!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blog Milestone!

Just days ago our tiny little blog, carved out of a desire to spread our passions and inspirations about papercrafting, hit a major milestone.  Well, truthfully this is a minor if not inconsequential blip on the screen of Internet life.  However, it is our inconsequential blip and so we thought that it needed some celebrating.  As the picture testifies, our blog passed the 10,000th view!  Yay! 

The part that will forever be a source of joy for Andie personally is that the most popular post by far is one of another person's (yeah Keri!) inspiration.  Yes, it's true- the post regarding the Bubble Guppie party for Keri's one year old posted last year has double the views of any other post made by the blog authors.  Never (and I mean never!!) underestimate the google searching capabilities of parents of young children on a quest to host that perfectly memorable birthday party!  More than a tenth of all visits forever!

This momentous milestone requires a celebration of the bloggish kind.  It is small- and, therefore, maybe reflects the smallishness of the accomplishment :)- but we thought we might offer up some blog candy for the occasion.  We'll mail this tiny set of coordinating paper, rub-ons, brads and ribbon to one randomly drawn commenter from this post to win the prize.  Please tell us one smallish way you've celebrated an accomplishment.  It doesn't have to be of the bloggish kind.  All comments must be made before midnight March 31st, 2013. 

Let's hear it for milestones!

Brandy and  Andie

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hello Again!

Here's another of the card I made while on vacation.  The patterned paper is from Prima's Madeline paper stack.  The Hello stamp and flower stamp are from Hero Arts Luscious Frames stamp set.  The wood frame is from a Studio Calico set Scalloped Circles and I've inked it with some Peacock Feathers Distress ink.  The bracket stamp and swirls are from a Recollections set.  Everything is edged in Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  This patterned paper is so spectacular.  It really makes me look forward to my card class that starts today.  Hopefully all this creativity inspires a few more posts.  Between catching up from a week off work and trying to keep up with my homework, I'm sure to be a busy gal.

It's not to late to join me for Pattern Play- an Online Card Class.  Click the link to register and look me up when you get there.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Well Hello There!

I'm currently out of town on vacation.  We've spent the week in lovely Newport Beach, California.  The weather has been amazing and though I did squeeze a bit of work in on Tuesday, we've mostly spent our days at the beach.  I've been able to make a few cards for relaxation.  Here's the first of a few.  I'll post the other later as I have more time to write the posts.

Brandy recently celebrated a milestone birthday that  will go nameless.  We, due to a few conflicts, have yet to celebrate together.  Since I knew that our celebration would have to be delayed I've decided to send a letter/card a day to tell her how much I appreciate her friendship, kindness and general fabulousness.  This card will be used to communicate such levels of encouragement and appreciation.  Let's hope work keeps her busy until it arrives.

The card was made using some cream cardstock as the card base.  The patterned paper is from Prima's Botanticals and Madeline paper stacks.   The washi tape is a Recollections set that I colored with my Distress Markers.  The color was difficult to pick up in the photo.  The tape was torn to make the edges uneven.  The frame and Hello stamp come from the Hero Arts Luscious Frames set.  I used the Stamping with Distress Markers technique to color the frame creating the beautiful sentiment.  Everything is edged with Vintage Photo Distress Inks. 

The blog also marked a very momentous (for us) occasion this week.  More on that later.  I'm entering this card into the Moxie Fab World's Washi Tape Challenge.  Come and join the fun!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Online Card Classes- Pattern Play

 I've gone and done it again.  I've signed up for another of the online class over at Online Card Classes. If you've followed this blog you might remember last year's Creative Chemistry 101 class.   This gem of a class was taught online via email, pdf documents and online video content by none other than the rock star of papercrafting, Tim Holtz.  Creative Chemistry 101 is still available to users.  The interactive format is no longer available, but I can tell you that the one-on-one instructional videos from Tim are some of the most valuable content around.  Your registration provides you with the class content for the life of their business.  I can still login and access all video content, galleries, and forum questions.  No further interaction is available, but I can guarentee that you'll find this class useful if you have any of Tim's Distress line of products and want to know how to use it more fully.

Two years ago, Brandy and I participated in a Summer Card Class hosted by Online Card Classes.  This class focused on color combinations and really took me out of my color comfort zone.  I can't say that I experienced dramatic shifts in the color palettes I used after this class, but it sure was fun participating. 

Each online class comes with a login to the classroom website.  Weekly lessons are taught via video content that is accessed on the website.  The instructor provides visual and verbal instructions in that day's lesson/technique.  At the end of each lesson, a challenge is given for you to exercise the technique that you were taught.  An online forum is available to ask questions and interact with fellow class members.  An online gallery is also available for you to share your finished product with other members of the class.  Often several posts are made during the week that include examples of the technique made by class instructors, additional challenge and information, sometimes they might include additional content for that week.  All communication and alerts are made via your email so that you stay up to date on what's going on in class.  This is a fun way to challenge myself (something I really need) and just stay active in my crafting. 

The latest class I decided to join is hosted by Jennifer McGuire and Kristina Werner.  In fact these two have been a part of each of the classes we've taken and both make excellent teachers.  The class is called Pattern Play:

Class starts the week of March 18th.  It doesn't matter where you live, the content goes "live" at midnight EST.  You can participate daily (very difficult for my full time working self) or when you get around to it.  The live content part of the class (where you can post to the forum and galleries) usually ends a few days/week after the last day of class.  However, like I mentioned above, the class is always available and you can go back to the galleries for inspiration.

If you haven't given this kind of class a try, check them out.  The content has always been good (if not always as great as that provided by Tim!!!).  For the price, I enjoy the interaction and challenges.  Brandy will be out of town the week of the 18th and cannot participate (can we all say AWW!!! together now?).  That means if you sign up, let me know and I'll keep an eye out for you and we can chum around wishing Brandy were there together.