Friday, April 11, 2014

Too busy to stamp

No time to post this past week!  School has kept me really busy, and I've been preparing to teach a small stamping class after work today.  I am amazed how much prep work goes into teaching a cardmaking class!  Cutting cardstock into all the different sized mats, layers and card bases, assembling all the right stamp sets and inkpads, making sure there are adhesives and coloring tools and embellishments for everyone...  going through my card samples and deciding which cards would be easy enough for beginners to make but still have that "wow" factor.  Whew!  For 6 cards I am bringing three bags and 2 boxes of stuff with me.  Incredible!  I don't realize how much goes into it when I'm just sitting in my craft room surrounded by all my stuff, and it's all within easy reach.  Hopefully I will have more time to create fun stuff this weekend.  But I am thankful to be able to teach this class for pay and earn a little pocket money to support my hobby!  :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Can't get enough of this stamp!

You're all going to get tired of this stamp WAY before I do, LOL!  I just love all the different things you can do with it!  Here is the full image.  It's got a sentiment built right in, which makes for a quick card if you want one.  Love it!

Stamps:  SU People Like You, En Francais
Ink:  Pool Party, Blushing Bride, Crisp Cantaloupe, Pear Pizzazz, StazOn Jet Black
Paper:  SU Certainly Celery, Pool Party, Basic Black, watercolor paper
Accessories:  SU Labels Framelits, Neutrals Candy Dots, Aquapainter, Daffodil Delight marker, sponge wedge

Pond Lotus

It is such a gorgeous day out today!  I've been doing a lot of flower cards lately because I just can't wait to start seeing some blooms outside!  Today's card was inspired by some photos I saw on Google; you know, in the Japanese gardens where they somehow tint the pond water black to make the reflections more striking?  Anyway, this is what I came up with:

Stamps:  SU People Like You
Ink:  Versamark, SU Midnight Muse, Blushing Bride, Pretty in Pink, Melon Mambo, Certainly Celery, Summer Sun, StazOn Jet Black
Paper:  SU Whisper White, Certainly Celery, Midnight Muse, Blushing Bride
Accessories:  White EP, brads, masking paper, SU small oval punch, Certainly Celery marker, white gel pen, aquapainte, black Sharpie


I love it, woo hoo!  To start this card, I heat embossed the lotus flower with white embossing powder and also created a mask for it on Inkadinkado masking paper.  I cut out the mask, placed it over the lotus, and sponged the whole background with Midnight Muse ink.  Then I stamped the lotus again, upside down, in black ink for the reflection and colored it in with a black Sharpie.  I removed the mask and watercolored the lotus using Summer Sun, Blushing Bride, Pretty in Pink, and Melon Mambo inks.  I added water lines with a white gel pen and some lily pads with an oval punch.  I sponged the lily pads and drew on some "freckles."  I think lily pads have freckles, right?  Smiley  ...OK I just googled it and discovered that lotuses and lilies are different plants.  Sigh.  Lotuses are supposed to have leaves, not lily pads.  Welp, ya learn something every day!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Teal Chevron Inspiration Challenge

For today's challenge on Splitcoaststampers we were supposed to browse this nail art website to get inspiration for a card.  I chose this photo as my inspiration:

I think the chevron pattern in all the different shades of teal is really cute!  If my nails weren't naturally shaped like stubby little half circles, I might consider doing something fun with them... sigh.  I will never be a hand model, and I am OK with that. Smiley And of course, I just happen to have a stamp that looks just like that nail art - it was meant to be!  Here's my Spring Blues card:

Stamps:  SNSS Nature's Silhouettes, SU Fabulous Florets, SU Petal Parade
Ink:  SU Pool Party, Coastal Cabana, Bermuda Bay, Island Indigo, Not Quite Navy, StazOn Jet Black
Paper:  Su Coastal Cabana, Basic Black, Whisper White
Accessories:  Paper snips, Post-it notes for masking, dimensional foam adhesive, sponge wedges, SU markers in the same colors as the ink pads above


I kind of mixed two different art styles here - the modern, geometric chevrons with the more realistic, soft nature scene.  I'm not sure they totally work together, but it was in my head and it just had to come out, so there it is!  To make this card I colored the chevron stamp randomly with all 5 markers and stamped it onto white cardstock.  I cleaned off the stamp and repeated this 10 times, trying not to color the stamp the same way each time.  I cut out each chevron and popped them up on the card with dimensional adhesive.  

For the center panel I masked off half an inch on the top and bottom with post it notes, and then sponged ink onto the cardstock, starting with Pool Party.  I covered the whole piece with that color, then moved to the next darkest ink (Coastal Cabana) and sponged in only about half way.  I kept moving to darker inks, covering less of the cardstock each time.  I stamped the flowers repeatedly across the panel and removed the post it masks.  Finally I stamped the sentiment and assembled the card.  This was a fun challenge!  Hope your Saturday is going well.  I went out without a coat today, WAHOO!  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring WILL come!

This week the Pals Paper Arts Color Challenge was to make a card that used the colors Old Olive, Summer Starfruit, and Pool Party.  I did NOT think those three colors went together at all, until I did this card.  I think they're kind of cute now!  I never know what to do with Summer Starfruit because it's kind of an in-betweeny greenish yellow.  Not really a "pretty" color, in my opinion.  But it does a nice job of setting off other colors, like the Pool Party.

Stamps:  SU So Very Grateful, Inkadinkado Polka Dot Background
Ink:  StazOn Jet Black, SU Old Olive, Pool Party, Summer Starfruit
Paper:  SU Old Olive, Summer Starfruit, Pool Party, Whisper White
Accessories:  SU Deco Labels Framelits, Summer Starfruit grosgrain ribbon, 1/2" Scor-tape, SU markers in Old Olive, Summer Starfruit, and Pool Party


I just love that huge stripey ribbon at the top!  This card has a "hinge" where the ribbon is, so it is scored underneath and opens at the score line.  When I put the white panel onto the background I thought it looked a bit plain, so I pulled out my striped embossing folder and ran it through for some texture.  I chose to have the stripes run vertically on the card, so that it would mimic the striped ribbon without being too repetitive.  The polka dots on the focal image are there to accentuate the blue (since that's really the "pretty" color on this card!), and they also add a little feminine cutesiness to balance the more structured stripes.  I colored the flowers in with my aquapainter and inkpads, and I colored and cut out extras of some of the flowers so that I could pop them up on foam adhesive for some dimension.

Here is the inside:

I'm going to put this in a friend's mailbox at work on Monday.  She and I both love to garden, and I'll bet she is waiting for spring as much as I am.  We just got another 9+ inches of snow last night, but I am keeping the faith that spring is just around the bend!  Smiley  I thought this sentiment would be a cute encouragement, as we watch our grass get covered up with the white stuff AGAIN.  On the bright side, it's warming up today and snow is falling off of the trees in large, heavy clumps.  Each time one lands, I feel like shouting at winter: "Take THAT!  And THAT!"  ...Perhaps all the cabin fever is starting to affect my sanity, LOL!

Inlaid Die Watercolor Card

Today on Splitcoaststampers we were challenged to create a card that uses two layers that are the EXACT same color, stuck right on top of each other.  It was a tone-on-tone challenge.  I usually like my layers to have a "frame" around them of a different color, so this was a good challenge for me!  I used watercolor paper for both the card base and the layer, and I really like the texture of the paper.

Stamps:  SU People Like You and Perfect Pennants
Ink:  Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads in Peacock Feathers and Peeled Paint, StazOn Jet Black, SU Regal Rose and Daffodil Delight
Paper:  watercolor paper
Accessories:  Oval dies, aquapainter, craft sheet

For the main image, I did an inlaid watercolor technique that I've been wanting to try for a while.  I die cut an oval from the center of the mat layer, and then I took the oval out and colored it with distress inks.  I did this by smooshing two distress ink pads (Peacock Feathers and Peeled Paint) onto my craft mat, spraying them with water until the ink beaded up, and then laying the oval face down on top of the puddles to soak up the color.  Once it was dry, I fitted it (inlaid it) back into the frame.  I taped the whole thing to a backing of white cardstock to stabilize it so that I could pop it up on foam adhesive to give it some dimension.  That's a good trick when your layer is the same color as the card base, because popping it up on dimensionals creates a little drop shadow that can help your eye see the two layers.  Here are a couple close-ups of the inlaid oval against the white frame:

For the lotus flowers (or are they water lilies?), I stamped the larger flower from SU's single stamp, "People Like You" twice in StazOn Jet Black ink onto watercolor paper.  I colored them with Regal Rose reinker and my aquapainter, with a little Daffodil Delight in the centers, and fussy-cut them out.  I staggered them a bit onto the oval, letting the edges of the flowers hang out onto the white frame a little.  The higher flower on the right is taped directly down onto the oval, while the lower one on the left is popped up on dimensionals to give it some lift.  Because of all the bright, watery color going on in this card, I wanted something crisp and black to tie it together and ground it a little, so I chose the sentiment from the Perfect Pennants stamp set (SU), stamped it onto a scrap of watercolor paper, cut it out and taped it flat onto the card.  And that's it!  Hope you enjoyed seeing my creative process a little bit here... have a great Friday and thanks for looking!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

If at first you don't succeed...

This morning I tried a technique that I saw shared by Lydia on Splitcoaststampers, where you partially stamp an image by masking the bottom of it off, and then create a watery reflection underneath it as if the flowers are resting in a puddle.  

Lydia's is MUCH better than mine but I will keep working at it!  Her blog has the link to the original video tutorial for this technique, and it is amazing.  What creative and talented people there are out there!  I love learning new things!

I am still experimenting with how to do this, so you can see that my first attempt below didn't turn out so well.  The "reflection" is too crisp and it looks strange.  It kind of looks like one bunch of tulips being held halfway under water: 

This second attempt is a bit better.  The reflection is not so defined and has just a hint of the flowers' shapes in it:

First I masked off the bottom portion of the watercolor paper with a post it note, and then stamped the flowers in Desert Sand Memento Ink (just to get a faint outline for me to follow).  I colored the flowers and the reflection with watercolor pencils and blended with a water brush.  I'll keep working at it!  That's it for now - got to run and see if my car is defrosted yet... have a great day! 

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