Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happiest Birthday Card

I often bemoan the fact that I have to work full time.  It seriously cuts into my crafty time!  However, a couple times a year someone special at work has a birthday and I get to focus on a project for a co-worker that really makes the days better and my work lighter.  This card is one of them.  It's for my co-worker, Wendy.  Wendy is a gift to me so much of the card was created to show her how grateful I am for her.  The inspiration was this Pinterest pin. The papers come from a clearance Stampin' Up paper collection.  They worked so well giving me the perfect color palette.  I knew that I wanted to do something more detailed and requiring more effort than a simple sentiment on a square piece of paper.  I used my Apothecary Art stamp set from Stampin' Up with brown Archival Ink.  The image was colored with my Worn Lipstick, Fired Brick and Peacock Feathers Distress inks using a water brush.  The entire tag was fussy cut and distressed with some Scattered Straw and Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  You'll also notice some Heartfelt Creations Posies stamped with brown Archival Ink with a pearl center, pieces of a Our Daily Bread Fancy Foliage leafy swirl along with a couple of pearl accents and a piece of organza ribbon from the stash.  All cardstock pieces are edged with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

The inside begged for a treatment and a piece of the patterned paper.  This beautiful piece was cut from a 12 x 12 piece.  I added the small, shaped posy to create some dimension and stamped the sentiment in brown Archival Ink.  The cardstock edges were worn using my distress tool and the patterned paper was rolled by hand.  Both were edged with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  All of my co-workers signed in the open space and I can say that this card turned out the way I anticipated.  Wendy deserved it.

Happy Birthday, Wendy!

Thanks for all the kind encouragement regarding our band trip last week.  We had a wonderfully joyful (and exhausting!) time.  It's a trip I wouldn't have missed for the world, though it did consume an entire week with the preparing before we left, the leaving and the coming home.  Throw in a Thanksgiving holiday, my grandma's trip to the hospital (things are relatively o.k. now!), and a kid's birthday and I feel as though I've been through a whirlwind.  Life- it's crazy.  Hope your holiday was merry and you are eagerly looking forward to the Christmas holiday like I am.

I'm linking this up over at Word Art Wednesday's Challenge #108: Anything Goes and Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Blog Anything Goes.  Come join the fun.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving Cards

So, I'm not doing enough and I recently purchased that DeNami Designs pumpkins stamp.  I thought some well timed Thanksgiving cards were in order.  I picked this card design up off a card in my Pinterest board.  I looked for something purposefully simple and yet charming.  I found that plaid paper and the acorns at Hobby Lobby (I know- I didn't need to buy paper!) and pulled some matching metallics out to match. 

The linen ribbon came from a LSS, 99 cents for a yard which is just enough for the six cards I made with it.  I stamped the image with brown Archival ink.  I then colored in the pumpkin with my Rusty Hinge Distress Marker, the leaves with my Peeled Paint Distress Marker and the stems with my Walnut Stain Distress Marker.  The colors were very dark, not very colorful at all.  I took my waterbrush to them and that really brightened them up.  However, as the image was drying the ink bled through the linen and ruined my sample.  My solution, after applying the water with the waterbrush I placed a paper towel over the top and blotted off the excess.  The linen quickly dried and not bleeding.  Yeah.

 I also tried a piece of watercolor paper as in the sample above.  I didn't like the look nearly as much.  This one works, but is not quite the look of the linen ribbon card . 

On the inside was a simply stamped Happy Thanksgiving and a fussy cut little pumpkin- adhered flat to the page.

I hope your Thanksgiving plans include time spent with family and friends giving thanks for the many blessings our Father in Heaven rains down upon us.  I'm currently enjoying the 4 day trip with my daughter Katie's band.  Fresno, California.  Band competition.  Boy Bus Chaperone.  Yay me!

I'm linking up to the Paper Girls Challenge Blog: Challenge #44: It's Time to Give Thanks.  Come join me.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving Placecards

I'm headed out of town this weekend for the final marching band push with my daughter, Katie.  We'll have a 13+ hour bus ride to Fresno, California on Friday.  They will compete in the Western Band Association's Marching Band Championships.  I actually remember going to this event when I marched in high school -tear.  Before I go, I thought I'd share these place cards I made.

The kraft place card base was cut at 2 inches from my Cricut Thanksgiving Seasonal Cartridge. I first printed the names onto the 8 1/2 x 11 paper using my printer.  I do this by cutting a template from scrap paper.  Then I measure using a ruler and place text boxes in Word in the approximately location.  If you look closely- there is variation (look at Tim's name in the upper left corner vs. Michael's name in the foreground. 

The matching frame was cut from brown cardstock at the same 2 inches from the same cart.

The pumpkins were stamped in brown Archival Ink using my new Denami Designs stamp.  I searched their website and either the stamp is sold out and thus not on the website or I'm a dork and I couldn't find it.   The designs are super cute and easy to color- my kind of stamps.  The pumpkins were colored using a waterbrush and some Rusty Hinge, Peeled Paint and Walnut Stain Distress inks.  I fussy cut each pumpkin out and adhered with a piece of foam tape.

Each card was edged with a little Scattered Straw and all is ready for our Thanksgiving feast.  I don't intend to do too much that is fancy for our table.  I found these Pinecone Mushrooms at Cost Plus and couldn't resist a couple for a short (I like to see folks over the table) centerpiece.  Plus, we've not much room so I don't want to take up valuable table space with lots of decoration.  I own the Spode Christmas Tree dinnerware which will go on the table.  Gettin' ready for Christmas...

I'm linking up to the Paper Girls Challenge Blog: Challenge #44: It's Time to Give Thanks.  Come join the fun!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Happy Birthday Wish

You'll have seen my acetate butterflies from the stamp convention.  I decided that one of these lovelies had to make their way (actually 2 because I layered them) onto a card.  What better than this card meant for my twin sister, Angela. 

The doily is a Market Street Stamp (sadly, they've moved on to better things and are no longer in business) which I stamped in brown archival ink and distressed with Vintage Photo and Scattered Straw Distress Ink.  I then fussy cut the doily out for use on the card. 

Each patterned paper was also distressed with the same inks- it blended the color differences (a trick from my Pattern Play online card class).  I simply cut the five different papers the exact same way and made the patchwork from the pieces.  I looked at all the remaining pieces and thought- such a waste.  Then I remembered the hundreds of patterned papers I've owned for a very long time (each of these pieces is probably at least 2 years old if not much longer) and decided that getting them used and to such good effect was well worth it.  Having said all that, the scraps when into the scrap container.  I might use them sometime. 

You'll see the ODBD Fancy Foliage die cut, the Stampin' Up Apothecary Accents Framelit sentiment tag and the teeny, tiny pearl accents. 

Happy Birthday, Sis!  It should be a great day for us!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Glittery Butterflies

These butterflies are a direct result of our recent trip to the stamp convention.  Both Brandy and I have known that you can stamp on acetate using a Stazon-type ink and then glitter from behind.  However, we don't always get around to doing so.  When we saw these pre-printed lovelies, scoop them up we did.  I came home and this is the result of my experiments.

The technique requires the use of an double-sided adhesive sheet.  You apply the adhesive to the back (dull) side of the butterfly.  Then, fussy cut the image while the backing paper is still in place.  Finally, remove the backing paper and sprinkle glitter of various shades to the image.  The sprinkling takes a little finesse.   In this pink lovely you can see how the gold blends more to the light pink to the dark pink.  Better than than the red butterfly above. 

That look is achieved by taping a spoonful of glitter causing it to literally sprinkle down.  After glittering, I burnished the glitter by rubbing my finger lightly over the back.  It settles the glitter in place and seemed to add a bit of shine to the finished product.  What you are looking at is the smooth side of the acetate and the glitter shines through. 

This blue one is another good example where you can see the mixing of the gold and the light blue glitter.

Here's the back of the blue butterfly.  You can see the image through the glitter- this is a light dusting, but the effect is simply marvelous. 

I've left the antennae in place until I use them- I'll fussy cut that last piece out right before using.  You'll also notice that I didn't apply the double-sided adhesive to the body- electing to cut on a curve and apply only to the wings.  This seems to be unnecessary, but my neurotic, picky brain got the best of me.

I've plans to use this on a birthday card very soon.  I'll try to get that done and posted.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fluttering By with a Birthday Wish

I had the occasion to make a card for a co-worker's birthday this week.  Kathy enjoys butterflies and bling and you can see the influence on card design because of it.

I reached into the stash and found a piece of City Park by American Crafts.  This paper was a part of the gift box I won from Paper Crafts Connection way back in April of 2011.  I've used various pieces over the years, but this stripe was left behind.  I gathered the scraps from various pieces together with some matching cardstock and the card was born.  The butterfly was stamped with black Archival ink.  I used a glue pen to apply the different colors of glitter and fussy cut the image out. 

The flowers were cut with my Heartfelt Creations Posy dies, shaped with my stylus and a tiny pearl accent added to the center.  The bling was from the stash and the sentiment was created by stamping with a Market Street Stamp sentiment and cutting out the flag. 

The inside was dressed up with a matching piece of patterned paper from the City Park collection.  This pattern was actually the inspiration for the card.  The sentiment plaque was made using my Stampin' Up Essentials Paper Piercing tools.

Happy Birthday, Kathy!

I've linked this up to Word Art Wednesday's Challenge #106: Anything Goes and The Paper Girls Challenge Blog's Challenge #43: Cut It Out.  Come join the fun!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Crocheted Crown

One of the ladies at work, Wendy, brought in this delightful hand crocheted crown meant for a baby girls delicate little head.  I was so enamored by the gift I asked (I am telling you there was no begging involved as Wendy consented immediately, but I was prepared...) if I could share pictures with you. Wendy would want me to tell you that this was made by a dear friend.  Can I get a shout out for dear friends?

I'm no crochet pattern maker, but I attempted to record the pattern that was used to make the crown.  Here's my attempt.  Any errors are mine, though you may need to find help locally if something is wrong.  Feel free to ask questions in the comments if you need to.

Crochet Abbreviations Used in This Pattern:

Ch 62.  Turn.

Row 1: Work dc in the 3rd chain from hook.  Work dc into each ch across (60 dc total). ch 4 and turn.

Row 2: dc in second dc.  ch 1 and dc in next dc.  Repeat for all 59 dc across until last dc.  ch 1 and turn.

Row 3: sc in first 3 st.  [3 dc in next st, ch2, 2 dc and 1 hdc in next st, sc in each of next two st]  Repeat across the entire (creates scallop on crown) ending in three sc.  Working along the side of the second row, sc in top of first dc of row 2.  2 sc around the post of the last dc of row 1. Finish off into foundation row ch st. 

Sew two buttons on opposite end.  Use space created by the sc around the row 1 dc post as a button hole to fasten to buttons.  Sew on plastic gems as desired.

This delightful headband was also made for the sweatheart.  I didn't get the pattern down for this one.  That crocheted flower is spectacular in person...  I play to try to make one of these myself.  If I get it done, I'll share it here too.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Glittery Pumpkins

I thought I'd quickly jump on and post these pictures of some glittery pumpkins I made shortly before Halloween and never got around to taking photos.  It occurred to me that they will work just fine on my Thanksgiving table too so I finally took a few moments to snap these poorly lit photos.

The technique was simple- I taped off the vine "handles" with some painters tape and sprayed adhesive all over the gourds (these aren't officially pumpkins).  I held mine in the air letting the adhesive dry a bit and then dumped orange glitter over the tops and sides.  You can see that through use some of the glitter has knocked off the sides, but they are still sparkly!

Today is also the day that we stop and honor veterans who served our country and ultimately served each of us so that we might enjoy the freedoms offered in our society.  I am grateful for a father and grandfather and many other family members who have served and are serving.  I say thank you for doing what I either couldn't or wouldn't.

80th Division WWII Veterans - 2012 Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD
That's my grandpa, Bob Burrows, in the back row on the right.  It's been a long time since he served.  My thanks have not diminished, only grown.  Thanks, boys!

My grandpa wrote a memoir of his time in World War II.  You can read it at the The Troubleshooters.  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

It's a Happy Place Layout

I'm finding that progress on my Hawaii mini-book is proceeding slowly.  I just encourage myself that it is proceeding.  Here's a page I made featuring photos from our trip on the Hawaiian Railway.  My son loves steam trains and thought this was the best.

Theres some Maggie Holmes Signature Series and Simple Stories Summer Fresh.  A Heartfelt Creations Posy up in the corner.

Most of the elements are fussy cut from the Simple Stories patterned paper pack including the sun, chevron, sentiment, ticket, etc.  I used some rub-ons to add the Train Ride title and hand wrote on the ticket.  The book is getting close to a finish.  Hopefully I don't get too distracted and delay the finish...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Butterfly Swirls- A Notecard Set

Brandy and I found out that our annual trek to Mesa for the CK Scrapbook Convention is going to be upset next year.  If you've read this post about the origination of our friendship, you'll know how precious this time is to each of us.

Alas, it is not to be next year because of some sort of scheduling conflict in Mesa with a marathon.  Ugh!  They have scheduled a substitute convention for Phoenix in May.  Farther away, hotter time of year.  We'll have to adjust as there are worse things happening in the world.

About the time we heard this news, we also realized that our favorite Heartfelt Creations would be in Mesa last weekend for a stamp show.  Nothing soothes the soul better than a shopping trip for craft supplies, so off we went.

While we did each pick up a few items from Heartfelt Creations what really captured Brandy's heart was a butterfly swirl stamp.  The inspiration caused the creation of this set of note cards.  I've played a bit with the exposure settings for the pictures in order to try to highlight the embossing, distressing and glittering of these card fronts.  This blue card is the same card, just different exposures so you can see more of the incredible detail

The card fronts began with the layering of Distress Ink using and ink blending tool.  Water is flicked onto the paper in drops to create the splattered look.  This technique is a common one for Tim Holtz, but we learned it best during our Creative Chemistry 101 class.  Some examples were posted in this post.

After the backgrounds were created, the stamped image was made using ink and clear embossing powder. 

Each image was then glittered using a glue pen and microfine glitter of complimentary colors.  The fronts were finished with bling or pearl accents in the flowers.

The kraft card base were also distressed with inks and a swirl stamp from the stash was used to emboss the background images.  Each front was punched with a decorative corner punch and foam squares were used to place it on the card base.

Can we all agree that this is one more stellar performance for Brandy?  Such an eye, such a great card set, so inspiring.  I have to say, I might need to borrow that lovely myself sometime.  Aren't besties great?