Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunset by the Lake; Watercolor on Canva-Paper

Two posts in one day, wow!  But I was really excited about this project and I didn't want to wait.  Check it out!

For this card I used the same canva-paper that I used in the previous card, and I figured out that I have to really dry it in between layers of ink, as well as at the end of the project.  I did not intend to create a water scene here, actually.  I was going for a meadow/grassland scene, but the blue ink just decided to take over and suddenly I had a lake there.  So I added some Tumbled Glass, because if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  It was a happy accident, and I LOVE the way it turned out!  This card is in the "polaroid layout," which means there is a wider frame at the bottom of the image than at the top or sides.  I wanted to embellish the bottom of the frame, but I didn't want the decorations to draw attention away from the main watercolored image, so I chose translucent white washi tape with a delicate neutral script, a single strand of linen thread, and a sparkly but clear button.  No extra color to distract the eye from the painting.  And by the way, I just love the messages in that washi tape.  "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you've imagined" (attributed to Thoreau).  It's one of my all-time favorite quotes and one that I try to remind myself of often.


Stamps:  Stampscapes Fir Row 243A

Ink:  Distress Inks in Peacock Feathers, Tumbled Glass, Dusty Concord, Worn Lipstick, Scattered Straw, SU Old Olive

Paper:  SU Bermuda Bay, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Canson Canva-Paper

Accessories:  Washi tape (I don't remember what brand), SU linen thread and vintage faceted button, SU squares framelits, watercolor brush

Midwestern Sunset on Canvas... almost

OK, it's not really canvas... but I love the texture of this paper, don't you?  For today's card I was playing along with SCS's CAS challenge, which was to create a sunset.  I think this stamp always reminds me of a country road here in the Midwest.  And I love creating sunsets and sunrises for my cards.  

I think the canvas texture adds so much to the panel.  It makes me feel even more like an artist, ha ha!  The only thing is, it seems like the paper is sort of plasticky and non-porous, so my dye inks aren't really drying on the surface.  If you look carefully you can see a slight thumb-print on the left side near the sentiment, where I was holding the card (long after I finished it).  I have never seen dye inks dry so slowly, grrrr!  Does anyone know of another brand of canvas-textured paper that is more absorbent?  I would love to make more cards like this but I'm afraid it will smudge in the mail.  Maybe it just needs a LONGGG time to dry.  Would love to hear from any other stampers who have found some good textured paper!


Stamps:  SU Curly Cute, Stampscapes Gulls, Stampscapes Curvilinear Road

Ink:  SU Old Olive, Always Artichoke, Baked Brown Sugar, Soft Suede, Pumpkin Pie, Peach Parfait, Crushed Curry, Daffodil Delight, Versafine Black Onyx, StazOn Jet Black

Paper:  SU Early Espresso, Canson Canva-Paper

Accessories:  Post-its, 1 3/8" circle punch, sponge wedges, eyeshadow applicators

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pretty Paper Set of 4

Today I created a sweet little set of 4 cards that come in two colors.  There are two birthday and two thank-you cards, and they are perfect for showcasing the pretty Watercolor Wonder patterned paper.  I like the curved edge at the bottom, and I also got to sneak some retired brads in there too, hooray! 

Here's a close-up of each one, with the inside panels as well.

Now it's off to make lunch and pick some strawberries and spinach out of the garden.  Have a wonderful Sunday!


Stamps: SU Mixed Bunch, GKD Nature's Greetings

Paper:  SU Calypso Coral, Crisp Cantaloupe, Whisper White, Daffodil Delight, Island Indigo, Pear Pizzazz, Pistachio Pudding, Watercolor Wonder DSP

Ink:  SU Island Indigo, Crisp Cantaloupe, StazOn Jet Black

Accessories: Retired in-color brads (SU), SU Blossom Punch, dimensional foam adhesive, SU Adorning Accents Edgelits

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dripped Candle Wax Technique

Today's Splitcoaststampers "Ways To Use It" challenge asked us to use crayons in some way on our card.  Well, I don't have crayons.  Not a one.  I teach kids all day long, and in my classroom I am constantly picking crayons up off the floor, but do I have any in my personal possession?  Not a single waxy stub.  So what's a girl to do?  I looked around the house, and the only wax to be found was a candle from the living room.  Necessity is the mother of invention, right?  So I brought it upstairs to my stamping space and started puttering.

First, I cut a piece of paper that had text printed on it, and dribbled some melted wax from the lit candle all over the surface.  After it cooled, I smooshed three distress inkpads onto my craft mat.  I sprayed it with water, turned the wax-dribbled paper onto it face-down, and pressed to let the paper absorb some of the ink.  The idea was to have the waxed areas resist the ink and stay white.

Here's how it looked when the ink dried.


There was a rather large blob of wax in the middle, and I wanted to get the rest of the wax off anyway.  So I took the piece to my ironing board, sandwiched it between double layers of scratch paper, and pressed it with a medium hot iron (no steam).  The wax melted and soaked into the scratch paper, leaving my inked piece clean and wax-free.

As I looked at it, I started to think of old books, aged texts, hand-written ledgers and letters, etc.  Like what you might find on the desk in an old study or library.  So I decided to make this a "thinking of you" card with an old-fashioned letter-writing theme.  As a focal point, I picked a stamp set that includes a vintage-looking pocket watch, because it looks like something you might find on the desk in an old study.  I stamped and colored it in, sponging it to age it a little, and then covered the face of the clock with a layer of Glossy Accents.  This would take a long time to dry, so I put it aside.

Next I started fussing with the layers of the card.  I wanted it to appear like you were looking straight down at the top of a desk, with a somewhat messy stack of papers there, including a letter that someone had started to write, with the pocket watch cut out and laid on top.  I created a page that looked like an old ledger, with some script stamped on it, and a mini notebook page with "thinking of you" stamped at the top:


For sponging I used Creamy Caramel and Baked Brown Sugar, and for stamping I used Early Espresso and Bermuda Bay.  I also created some little banners to put on the left side of the card to balance out the visual weight of things.  

And here's the final product!

I'm really not sure this qualifies for the challenge because there wasn't a single crayon used anywhere on this project.  But I sure had fun putting it together!  Thanks for looking!

Stamps: SU Clockworks, Nice & Narrow, LJD Pretty Poppies, Hero Arts Ledger Background, Hero Arts Small Notebook, Hero Arts Old Letter Writing

Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers, Peeled Paint, Tea Dye, and Walnut Stain, StazOn Timber Brown, SU Baked Brown Sugar, Creamy Caramel, Bermuda Bay, Early Espresso, Old Olive

Paper: SU Bermuda Bay, Lucky Limeaid, Early Espresso, Very Vanilla, First Edition DSP

Accessories: Brads, SU Banner Punch, candle, iron, Glossy Accents, 1/8" hole punch, sponge wedge, SU marker in Baked Brown Sugar

Hooray! School's out!

...and that means more time to create! Smiley

I really can't tell you how excited I am about the way this card turned out!  I saw the photo below online, and I thought how cool it would be if I could recreate that idea on a card. I added a towel and some water to mine.

Original photo source

It took quite a bit of tinkering but I LOVE the results.  I was able to get some more use out of some long-retired products as well, which is a bonus!

I found the adorable flip flop stickers at Michael's (they're by Jolee), and they're quite rigid and more than 1/8" thick... so I am hoping they will survive the USPS if I choose to mail this card.  This might be a bubble envelope situation, we'll see.  

The towel is made from a 3"x2" piece of sticky-back canvas, which I chose because of its cloth-like texture.  First I sponged it all over with Daffodil Delight ink, and then I stamped on top of that in Melon Mambo ink with the Beautiful Batik stamp set by SU (which I hadn't used since 2005; wow!).  I used a Sahara Sand marker to create the drop shadow around the edge of the towel.  

As for the words, I wanted to recreate the look of writing in the sand, so I first stamped a piece of Crumb Cake cardstock with the tiny speckles from the Itty Bitty Backgrounds set (another golden oldie), and sponged it a little with Creamy Caramel ink to give it some dimension.  Then I put the piece on my cutting mat and used a pencil to lightly write in the word "summer," being careful not to write in the space where the water would go.  Taking my paper piercing tool (you could also use a push-pin), I carefully scratched through the cardstock over each letter, all the way through to the other side.  The paper fibers break and curl up where the sharp tool scratches them, the way sand does at the surface when you write in it.  I put a piece of Early Espresso cardstock underneath to act as a mat for the layer, and the dark brown showing through helps the writing to look darker and more like wet, damp sand.  I used a clean eyeshadow applicator to sponge some Soft Suede ink over the letters as well, to accentuate them a bit more.  I bought a whole package of these little applicators at the drug store for a buck, and I label each one with a color as I use them.  They're great for tiny detail sponging.

A note to other stampers:  I tried three different "scratchy tools" to make the letters on a scrap of cardstock before I finally settled on the paper piercer.  I tried a hobby knife and the smaller tool from the Undefined stamp carving kit from SU.  The hobby blade was too precise and just made clean incisions, not scratches.  The stamp carving tool was too rough and made large, clumsy rips in the paper.  So if you try this yourself, I recommend something like a push pin or a paper piercing tool for the job.

The water is three layers of cardstock.  Bottom to top I used Pool Party, Coastal Cabana, and Bermuda Bay.  I ripped the edge to create a soft, torn look and sponged the torn edge with white ink to simulate sea foam.  I also used my scissors to rough up the edges of the sand layer a little before I adhered the card together.

The great thing about writing in the sand is that you don't have to worry about the scale of your letters compared to other elements on the card.  People write words in the sand in GIANT letters or small ones, and it looks great either way.  If I'd had some small, flat seashells I would have added them as well -  but I love it just the way it turned out.  

I hope this inspires you to try something new today!

On a different note, I also opened an Etsy store last night to sell some of my hand-made cards.  WOO HOO!  Check it out in the tabs at the top of this page.

Thanks for stopping by!
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