Sunday, July 20, 2014

Project: Altered Moleskine Planner

Today I have a non-card project to share!  It's July, and my last year's planner just ran out (I like the 18-month academic planners, since I'm a teacher and my life is scheduled around the school year).  I love Moleskine notebooks, so this year I bought the 2014-15 18-Month Weekly Notebook Planner.  It's the extra-large size, so it measures 7 3/8" wide by 9 13/16" high, and it was about 1/2" thick before I altered it.  It has a soft cover (very thin and flexible but sturdy), and mine is the traditional black color.  If I could have found it in a fun color I would have, but it didn't matter much because I was planning to alter it anyway.  I love organizers and planners, and I find that I am even more excited about using them when I customize them with my own covers, artwork, and inspirational quotes.  So here are the before and afters!  Some photos are better than others because I was taking photos in my stamp room on an overcast morning.

 This is the front cover as it was when I bought it.  Above are some matted layers that I prepared for the front and back (top left), and the inside back pocket (top right).  I used mostly turquoise cardstock, and the 12x12" patterned paper pad that I used is my all-time favorite one so far:  Que Sera Sera by K & Company.

This is the inside of the back cover.  It has the typical Moleskine pocket on the right side, and I had just begun adding my patterned paper in this photo, by lining the inside of the pocket.

The inside of the front cover.  Pretty plain, but just wait!  ;)

Here's the finished front cover!  My goal was to keep the layers and embellishments as flat as possible because I'm going to be stuffing this book into my bag every day during the school year and I don't want it getting caught on things.  The colors are even more vibrant in real life; again, the lighting was weird today.  I used some pink alphabet stickers by October Afternoon, and SU brads.  I also used the Apothecary Arts stamp set and coordinating framelits to do the title panel.  For each of these "upholstered" pages, I used a cardstock mat layer that is exactly the size of the page (7 3/8" x 9 13/16"), overlaid with a piece of patterned paper that is 1/4" smaller (7 1/8" x 9 9/16").  I used a 1/4" corner rounder punch to round the outside corners of the patterned paper, and then I rounded the corners of the cardstock by hand with scissors after adhering it to the page, since I wasn't sure the page corner was exactly the same diameter as my punch. 

Inside the front cover.  The left side has dimensional butterfly stickers on it, and the stamped quote says, "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." --Pablo Picasso.  I love that quote - so true!

On the right side is my name, and a reminder to myself as I make my plans and to-do lists.  I tend to be very task-oriented, and when things happen to mess up my plans it can be a bit stressful.  So I wrote, "Remember to let adventure, joy, memories, derail your plan now and then."  :)

This is the next page after that.  It was originally a list of time zones and other stuff that I will never need to look at, so I chose to cover it up and turn it into something that I will use.  These two pages hold Post-it notes of various sizes, in fun colors.  The top quote says, "The best journeys are not always in straight lines."  The quote at the bottom says, "There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart.  Pursue those."  I also added some enamel dots to the bottom of the right-hand page because they are just fun to run your fingers over and such joyful colors!

This is the inside of the back cover.  The left page says, "Believe in yourself," and has a couple of dimensional butterfly stickers on it.  I've left the rest of it blank so far, but I may create a piece of stamp art to mat and adhere into that space.  On the right is the pocket, now covered with patterned paper, some floral stickers, and a quote that I created in Microsoft Word:  "Do something today that your future self will thank you for."

Here's the back cover, not much going on here except I wanted to show you how I worked around the elastic that was already part of the notebook.  In the close-up below I'll explain:

I measured where I needed the hole to be to accommodate the elastic, and made pencil marks on the wrong side of the matted layer so I would know where to punch.  I used SU's retired horizontal slot punch to create the holes, and made a small straight cut from the hole to the edge of the cardstock, so that I could get the elastic into the holes.  I used Scor Tape to adhere the paper to the cover of the notebook, making sure to adhere all the little edges and corners around the cut very well, so it won't peel up.  The cut is barely visible now, especially when the elastic is in use because it covers the cut.  Perfect!

I hope you enjoyed a look at my project today!  I had a lot of fun working on it, and I know I'll be excited to use this bright, colorful planner for the next 18 months.  Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Organization and My Stamp Cleaner Recipe

No card this morning... today I am working on organizing a little bit in my stamp room.  I've been going through my crafting supplies and weeding out things I haven't used in years and probably won't use, rearranging my stamp sets so that I can find them more easily, and generally tidying up.  I have put in a couple extra shelves into my IKEA bookcases so I can have shelves that are just the right height for my stamp sets, thus maximizing my space:

See on the left there, how the shelves are snug together and there isn't any wasted space between the rows?  I have sets on the bottom shelf in the blue bins that I need to put into cases and file up there too.  I'm planning to organize them alphabetically and by company, within categories like "Holiday," "Birthday," and "All-Occasion."  Punches are stored in the CD tower in the corner there, and I have lots of miscellaneous art supplies (paints, mediums, coloring tools, sprays) and ready-to-send cards that I will put on the right-hand shelves.  And I finally got around to tying ribbon on the handles of my ribbon baskets so I can remember what colors are in there without having to take them down:

Left to right it goes:

I find that I like my ribbons stashed in those baskets way up high, because then no one can see the tangled mess that each one holds, ha ha!  It looks deceitfully neat and tidy.  The baskets were from Target and the bookshelves are from IKEA, and they fit perfectly together, three baskets on each.  I love it when that happens!

Then, I need to tackle my stamping table:

This is my happy place!  It makes me feel good just to look at a photo of it, ha ha!  It's actually pretty tidy, but there are all sorts of things shoved into the wide turquoise file holder in the center, and I want to reorganize my ink caddies a little better.  I am a ROYGBIV kind of girl and things have gotten a little out of order the past few months.  I have mostly SU inks on the left and distress inks on the right, with some others mixed in.  In the blue drawers I keep markers and sponge wedges (three drawers for each, grouped by warm colors, cool colors and neutrals), clear acrylic blocks, adhesives, tiny punches, SU ink spots, etc.  In the hairspray bottle I have a homemade stamp cleaner spray that I mixed up from a recipe I found online, and it works GREAT!  Here it is:

4 Tbsp pure glycerin (in the hair care aisle or on Amazon)
2 c distilled water
2 tsp baby wash

Mix and store in a spray bottle or other container until ready to use.  Makes about 2 cups. 

The baby wash is a very gentle but effective cleaner, without any harsh detergents or alcohols that would dry out the rubber on the stamps.  The distilled water has no minerals to build up on the stamps over time, and the glycerin helps condition the rubber and keep it soft and pliable.  Plus it's WAY cheaper than store-bought stamp cleaning spray and there are no toxic fumes to breathe.  I just use it with my Stampin' Scrub the way I would use SU's Stampin' Mist.  I LOVE IT.

So that's what I'll be doing today (and maybe tomorrow)!  Hope you're having a great Thursday - take care!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Romantic Poppies

Hi everyone!  Today it's a GORGEOUS day outside, and I am itching to get out there and go for a nice long walk, so this will be a quick post.  Today on Splitcoast we had this color challenge to play with:

And for dessert our option is to make the card feminine, which is easy with this color palette!  Here's what I came up with:

It was a different experience for me, making this card.  I just worked really quickly, and sort of went with my instinct without trying to think about things too hard.  Usually I take forever, planning layouts, testing embellishments, and dry-fitting everything before I stick it down.  Today though, I just decided to see what I felt like putting together and go with it.  It came together very quickly and I like the results.  It taught me that I can trust my artistic instinct and not to be too worried about the outcome.  Sometimes it's good for our artistic muscles to be spontaneous like that!  The blue background is dry embossed, and then I dragged the Soft Sky inkpad lightly over the raised parts.  For the poppy panel, I stamped the flowers first and then masked off the blooms and buds with some masking paper (I had already created the masks for an earlier card and saved them, so that went quickly).  It's worth saving your masks if you can, at least for a couple cards before you throw them out.  I just stick them inside the stamp case so I always know where they are:

  Then I stamped the Old Letter Writing over the flowers, removed the masks, and colored them with a blender pen.  I think the finished card has a romantic, Victorian look to it, very feminine! 

Before I go, here's a shot of a little golden visitor that came to hang out with me while I was photographing this card.  Isn't he magnificent?

Hope you enjoyed - now I'm off to wander the woods and breathe in this fresh morning air!


Stamps: SU Pleasant Poppies, Hero Arts Old Letter Writing
Ink:  SU Soft Sky, Soft Suede, Pear Pizzazz, Crisp Cantaloupe
Paper:  SU Soft Suede, Soft Sky, Very Vanilla
Accessories:  SU lace, SU markers in Crisp Cantaloupe, Pear Pizzazz, sponge wedge, blender pen, brads from Michael's, Beautifully Baroque TIEF, foam adhesive, Inkadinkado masking paper

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's a Two-Fer!

Hello there!  Today I have a card for you that covers two challenges at Splitcoast - the technique challenge and the CAS color palette.  Here's my card:

The technique for today was an interesting one - stamp, punch, separate, in that order.  For the sweet little pair of lovebirds here, I first sponged an ombre gradation of shade onto whisper white cardstock, using Blush Blossom, Crisp Cantaloupe, and Calypso Coral.  I chose these three colors along with the Pear Pizzazz for the background because of the color palette for today.  Look, isn't it a gorgeous collection?

I love those peachy pinks in the flower - my favorite!  Then on to the technique challenge.  I stamped the dotted swirls from the Hero Arts "Magical" background stamp onto my sponged ombre piece using Versamark ink, and then heat embossed it in gold.  I punched out the two birds, making sure to get one from the lighter side of the sponging and one from the darker side so it would look like a little male and female with their different coloring.  I separated them a little on the branch there, and I think that's all we had to do for the challenge - stamp, punch, and separate!  The Pear Pizzazz background is brayered from the bottom up.  Originally I had put a piece of plain Pear Pizzazz cardstock there, but it was looking too flat and boring.  Instead I decided to use ink to make the background color because it's more translucent and looks to me like light filtering through the tree tops.  The little pop of Blackberry Bliss provides a crisp contrast to the other gentle colors, and grounds them so they aren't too soft and vague.  I hope you enjoyed the card for today!  Have a great week!
Stamps:  Hero Arts Magical Background, GKD Elegant Post
Ink:  SU Blackberry Bliss, Pear Pizzazz, Blush Blossom (retired), Crisp Cantaloupe, Calypso Coral, Versamark
Paper:  SU Kraft, Whisper White, Blackberry Bliss
Accessories:  SU Bird Builder Punch, Little Leaves Sizzlit, adhesive pearls, black Sharpie, gold embossing powder, foam adhesive, brayer    

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Autumn Gold, Inspiration Challenge

Hello, on this rainy Saturday!  A good day to stay in and stamp.  :)  Today's inspiration challenge comes from a gorgeous website called The Perfect Palette.  It's got stunning photos of wedding ideas, organized by color.  You can click on your favorite colors and search for ideas and inspiration that way.  It's absolutely breathtaking photography!  My favorite was this particular photo shoot: An Autumn Affair.   I just love the rich, earthy autumn colors with gold and plum and tawny browns.  For my card, I was particularly inspired by the blues and golds in these two photos:

Doesn't that blue just pop against all the golds and browns?  I LOVE IT!!  I had some patterned paper from K&Company, left over from a project I did last year.  I still had the gold embossing paste and the stencil from my last card lying out, so I used them along with Pool Party and Midnight Muse cardstock to create this:


I love all the texture on this card, and stenciling the embossing paste over patterned paper adds some visual depth, I think.  If you are looking for color inspiration for your home decor, a crafting project, or your own artwork, you should really check out The Perfect Palette.  I am always in awe of good photographers, especially those who capture nature or people in their shots.  Their subjects are always moving and changing, and they have to try and catch that perfect moment or it's gone.  I just take photos of my cards, which is easy because I can walk away and they'll sit there waiting for me as long as I need them to.  I admire photographers who can take a fleeting, passing moment in time and preserve it forever.  Really cool. 


Stamps:  SU Elementary Elegance
Ink:  SU Midnight Muse
Paper:  SU Midnight Muse, Pool Party, Whisper White, K&Company patterned paper
Accessories:  Wendy Vecchi gold embossing paste, Heidi Swapp stencil, SU Bird Builder punch, Not Quite Navy ribbon, Little Leaves sizzlit, adhesive rhinestone, black Sharpie, sponge wedge, Square Lattice TIEF, Artisan Label punch, foam adhesive, glue dots

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Miss You a Latte: Texture Challenge

Yet another perfect, gorgeous day here in the Twin Cities!  I spent this morning out in the garden picking green beans and planting a second bed of peas for an early fall harvest.  Thank goodness for mosquito repellant though; it sure makes summer a lot more enjoyable, and I am not kidding!

They hide under my bean plants and swarm up to eat me alive every time I want to pick something.  At least the Japanese beetles aren't too bad yet this year.  Always something to be thankful for!

Today's card challenge is to create a card with lots of TEXTURE.  I used ribbon, a rhinestone, gold embossing paste, and lots of popped up layers.  Take a look:

Isn't that gold embossing paste luscious?  It looks so beautiful next to the blackberry color there.  For the background panel on this card, I inked up one side of my hexagon embossing folder, misted it with water, and closed it over a piece of So Saffron cardstock.  I brayered lightly over it and then removed it, to get that patchy hexagon pattern you see in the top right corner.  When it was dry, I used a palette knife to spread gold embossing paste through a stencil, removed it and let that dry.  The coffee cup is colored with SU's new blendabilities.  The embossing paste really shines in the light; I love the combination of that golden yellow and the rich blackberry against a neutral kraft card base. 

Have a great day and thanks for looking!

Stamps:  SU Perfect Blend, Petite Petals, What's Brewin', Itty Bitty Backgrounds
Ink:  SU Crushed Curry, Crumb Cake, Memento Tuxedo Black, Blackberry Bliss, Old Olive
Paper:  SU Kraft, Blackberry Bliss, So Saffron, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Very Vanilla
Accessories:  SU Circles and Starburst dies, Petite Petals punch, rhinestone, Blackberry Bliss ribbon, Hexagon TIEF, Wendy Vecchi gold embossing paste, Heidi Swapp stencil (I can't remember the name of it), brayer, palette knife, scissors, foam adhesive, SU blendabilities in Daffodil Delight, Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Monarchs in the Grass

Hi everyone!  This morning I have a card for you that I made to fit today's sketch challenge.  Here's the sketch we had to play with:

During the summer I try to go on a 2-3 mile walk in the mornings.  We have a beautiful wooded trail near our house, and it's perfect for getting out into nature and enjoying the fresh air before it gets too hot.  Usually I take a look at what the day's card challenges are on Splitcoaststampers, and then as I go on my walk I think about what kind of card I want to make for the challenge.  Today as I was walking past an area full of tall grass, I noticed a gorgeous, solitary Monarch butterfly sitting perched there about 3 yards away from me.  It was so lovely!  I know that Monarchs are disappearing, and I felt so grateful for the gift of encountering this beautiful creature.  I stood and watched it for a while and said a little prayer for its protection.  Suddenly I knew what I wanted to do for today's card.  Here's what I came up with:

I turned the sketch on its side, so that the three background panels run vertically.  Then I used a row of punched-out butterflies for the horizontal panel.  For the grasses, I used the brush tip of three different SU Stampin' Write markers to quickly swipe across the white cardstock, always swiping in single strokes in one direction.  I used a black Sharpie to color the little rhinestones for the butterflies' bodies, and I popped them up on foam adhesive.  This is exactly how the butterfly I saw today was perched in the grass.  I hope you enjoyed this card and that you get a chance to go outside for a little bit today to experience nature's beauty.  Thanks so much for stopping by!


Stamps:  SU Papillon Potpourri, Fabulous Phrases

Ink: Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper:  SU Gumball Green, Basic Black, Whisper White

Accessories:  SU Stampin' Write markers in Gumball Green, Garden Green, Wild Wasabi, and Pumpkin Pie, adhesive rhinestones, Elegant Butterfly punch, foam adhesive

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bright Swallowtail Cutaway

Good morning!  Today I am playing along with Tuesday's color challenge, which is to use Old Olive, Calypso Coral, and Daffodil Delight on a card.

For dessert our option is to make the card a non-standard size, which means anything but A2.  These bright colors are fun to play with this time of year - everything is blooming and full of color outside and it just makes me happy!  Look, even one of our flower beds is playing along with the challenge today, LOL!

Those are cucumbers and herbs in the pots on the patio.  If you look closely, you can tell that I took the photo through the screen.  :)  Anyway, I went with a butterfly image for my card today.  They are out among the flowers and I just love to see them visit our yard.  The breeze is wonderful out there, but it kept trying to blow my card open as I was photographing it!

I trimmed it down so the finished size is 4" x 4 1/2" - slightly smaller than a standard A2 size.  The front of the card is cut away to follow the contours of the butterfly's wing.  I did a similar card like this a while ago, but it was all on one layer; very CAS.  This one is colored with SU markers, and the butterfly is outlined with Copic marker WG1 for a little shadow.  Thanks for looking today! 


Stamps:  GKD Elegant Post, SU Swallowtail background

Ink:  StazOn Jet Black

Paper:  SU Daffodil Delight, Calypso Coral, Whisper White

Accessories:  SU markers in Calypso Coral, Poppy Parade, Daffodil Delight, Crushed Curry, and Old Olive, Copic Marker WG1

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mountains and Mustard Seeds

Today during my morning devotions, I was reading about "mountain-moving faith," and the passage in Matthew 17 about how even if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move the mountains in our lives.  I thought of the imagery in that scripture, and I was inspired to use mountains and mustard seeds in a card.  I even had the perfect sentiment in my stash, look!

I used SU's retired designer build-a-brads to create the embellishment for the corner there.  I was reminded of a necklace I once was given as a child, that had a little mustard seed embedded in the pendant, so I rummaged around in the kitchen cabinets and found some.  Who knew my spice rack would become a source of crafting supplies?  Ha ha!  I hope it doesn't look too much like a miniature fried egg. Smiley 

To make the brad, I punched a tiny circle out of Very Vanilla DSP and adhered it to the center of the brad with a dot of Glossy Accents.  Then I used another dot of Glossy Accents to position the mustard seed in the middle, and covered it again with a layer of Glossy Accents.  It kind of settles as it dries, so there is a little raised bump where the seed is, but that's OK.  At least I know it won't fall off!

The mountains were masked off with post it notes and sponged in with distress inks.  I was inspired by Karen Dunbrook's beautiful card here, where she used shades of color blending into one another down the page, and a grassy silhouette stamp at the bottom.  I added some linen thread because I wanted the brad to be "attached" to something, but I didn't want to use ribbon because that would cover up too much of the delicate grasses at the bottom. 

I hope the message of this card inspires you today.  Thanks for taking the time to stop by and have a look!


Stamps: SNSS Faith, SNSS Nature Silhouettes

Ink: Distress inks in Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Dusty Concord, Peeled Paint, Mustard Seed (of course), Scattered Straw, Tea Dye, Walnut Stain, StazOn Timber Brown

Paper:  SU Concord Crush, Kraft, Whisper White

Accessories:  SU designer brad (retired), linen thread, mustard seed, glossy accents, Very Vanilla DSP circle, post its, sponge wedges

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Shake Your Tail Feather

This clean and simple card is a really different one for me!  Not much stamping, which isn't usually my style.  But this gorgeous feather just needs to stand alone and be the star of the show!

I chose the Beautifully Baroque embossing folder to do the brown accent piece because I think the shape of the flourish pattern mimics the shape of the feather.  Isn't that cool?  It was challenging to find a way to adhere the feather without any adhesive showing through and being sticky on the front.  I eventually put a tiny dot of liquid glue under the end of the quill and a couple of glue dots behind the "eye" of the feather, where it's dense enough to hide the adhesive.  The tips are free and soft and flowing; very elegant.  I did trim them a little so they wouldn't be way too long for the card, but I like them to be a little bit untamed, so I didn't give them too much of a haircut.  I just love how iridescent and shimmery the feather is in person.  You really have to hold this card in the sunlight to appreciate it!  :)  I am entering it in the CAS278 Color Crawl Challenge at Splitcoaststampers.  The feather fits the color palette perfectly - here it is:

A gorgeous color palette to play with!  Thanks for looking!


Stamps:  GKD Elegant Post

Ink:  Early Espresso

Paper:  SU Crumb Cake, Early Espresso

Accessories:  Peacock feather, Beautifully Baroque embossing folder, gold brads, Bermuda Bay taffeta ribbon

Friday, July 4, 2014

Three More!

When I get a new stamp (especially one that has a lot of creative potential), I like to keep it out on my stamp table for a while and see how many different things I can do with it until I get tired of it.  Here are three more variations on the peacock, to add to the two I did previously:

For the first one, I created the fence by stamping the Hardwood background stamp onto some Crumb Cake, sponging it, and then snipping little triangles out of the top to look like the pickets, or whatever they're called.  I like the whimsical, unexpected image of a peacock sitting on someone's backyard fence.  It could happen, right?  :)

I'm especially proud of the second one, because I used the same stamp to create a little peahen with her mate.  CUTE!  All I did was cut her tail shorter and color her with browns.  I think this would make a sweet anniversary card for someone.

The third one is heat embossed with white embossing powder on kraft cardstock, then colored in with inkpads and a blender pen.  I used the scallop tag topper punch to create the ribbon tie hold on the side.  Later, I went in and added pearls to the tail:

I like it both ways, I think.

I'm not going to list all the supplies for each card here because that would take forever... Splitcoast friends, I will list them under my gallery photos.  If anyone else has a question about these cards, just leave a comment below.  Have a GREAT 4th of July!! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ethereal Peacock

I'm going to be honest, I think the next couple of posts are going to feature more of this stamp.  I hope you don't get too tired of it in the next day or two because I have at least 5 more ideas for what to do with it, and they're all different!  Today's peacock was inspired by a Google image search I did for "white peacock."  If you do this search, prepare to be awestruck by the beauty of nature.  Behold!

I KNOW, RIGHT?  Yes, they are real!

I think it looks like a wedding dress!  So I decided to make my peacock along those same lines, adding tons of sparkly rhinestones to the tail like a bride's train:

Here's a different angle that I hoped would show off the sparkly tail a bit better:

I used 41 rhinestones, if I counted correctly!  Whew!

To make this card, I started with a piece of white cardstock that was 3 3/4" x 5 1/2".  I stamped the entire peacock image once in StazOn Jet Black.  Then, after cleaning off my stamp really well, I inked up only one of the rose branches and used my stamp-a-ma-jig to add another branch to each side of the original image.  This extends the branch out to the edges of the cardstock so the peacock doesn't look like he's unnaturally floating on a detached branch in space.  I colored in the branches, flowers and leaves with markers, went over them with a Versamarker and heat set them with clear embossing powder so that they would resist the brayering that I was planning to do next. 

I punched out a circle from a Post-it note and stuck it over the peacock's head area, and brayered Primrose Petals from the top down, getting lighter towards the bottom.  I used a sponge wedge to apply Old Olive ink from the bottom up, blending where the two colors met.  I removed the circle mask and sponged some Barely Banana ink into the moon area.  Then I used a dry paper towel to wipe any excess ink off of the branches/leaves/flowers.  

Finally, I stamped the peacock again onto a scrap of white cardstock using StazOn Jet Black.  I fussy-cut him out (not worrying about his crest or the little doodly-doos on the edges of his tail.  Because he was stamped in black on white paper and left plain, he was looking kind of flat.  So I tried to give him some "roundness" by using Copic marker WG1 to do some light shading around his breast, neck, and where his back and tail feathers overlapped all the way down.  I colored his beak orange and I adhered him onto the stamped image, lining him up over the already-stamped peacock.  My white gel pen is out of juice, so I dabbed a teeny dot of white acrylic paint into each little feather on his crest so that they would stand out against the yellow moon.  Finally, I added all the rhinestones, one to the center of each tail feather, and assembled the card.  This card took quite a bit of time to make, but I'm really happy with the finished product!  Thanks for looking!  :)

Stamps: SU Perfect Peacock

Ink:  StazOn Jet Black, Barely Banana, Primrose Petals, Old Olive

Paper:  SU Rich Razzleberry, Barely Banana, Whisper White

Accessories:  SU rhinestones, SU markers in Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive and Peach Parfait, white acrylic paint, Copic marker WG1 (warm gray), Versamarker, clear EP, stamp-a-ma-jig, post it, 1 3/4" circle punch, sponge wedges, scissors, brayer

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My New Favorite Stamp

I finally broke down and ordered SU's new peacock stamp, because it is gorgeous, and I've been so inspired by the projects I've seen people do with it.  Here's the lovely, lovely stamp:

Just look at it!  OH, the possibilities!!  I have a watercolored piece waiting to dry so I can stamp this beauty over the top of it, and I have other plans for embossing, paper piecing, rhinestone bedazzling... I can't wait!  In the meantime, I got out my SU markers (not the blendabilities; I don't have those yet), and colored away.  Here's how it turned out:

EEEP!!  I love it so much I might faint!  I used the Fancy Fan embossing folder as the background, because from the moment SU came out with it, I have always thought it reminded me of a peacock's fan tail.  And it's hard to see in the photo, but I used Diamond stickles in the blue center of each tail feather, as well as in each tiny blue feather of the crest on his head.  So sparkly!  I love using Diamond stickles because even though it takes an eon to dry, I know it won't rub off and shower anyone with glitter when they open their card.  I don't know about you, but there are crafters who love glitter and then there are crafters who love glitter but don't want it stuck to every blessed thing they own for the rest of their natural lives.  Can you tell which one I am?  Ha ha!  I do really love the sparkle; I just don't want to find it on the dog days after my project is done!  :)

Stamps:  SU Perfect Peacock
Ink:  StazOn Jet Black
Paper:  SU Lucky Limeaid, Early Espresso, Bermuda Bay, Whisper White
Accessories:  Fancy Fan embossing folder, brads from Michael's, SU markers in Bermuda Bay, Coastal Cabana, Crisp Cantaloupe, Calypso Coral, Daffodil Delight, Creamy Caramel, Certainly Celery, Lucky Limeaid, Copic marker BG10 (Cool Shadow), ticket corner punch, Diamond stickles 

This card is available for purchase in my Etsy Shop.  Click on the "Shop" tab at the top of this page if you are interested in browsing around!

The Open Sea

Today I am playing along with the SCS Sketch challenge.  Here's the sketch we had to follow:

And here's my card:

I had to put my bow at the bottom because my circle was so big that it overlapped the ribbon, and the bow wouldn't fit there.  I used SU's Netting background stamp because I thought it resembled fish netting, and I used burlap because it reminded me of the ropes you see on ships.  The ocean/sky background is done with masking and sponging.  For the ship, I first stamped it and cut it out with a circle die.  Then I stamped it again onto some masking paper and cut out mostly the sails, because I wanted them to remain white while I sponged the sky.  This is what the mask looks like next to the stamp (I had already done the sponging at this point):

  I masked off the sails, sponged in the sky and sea, and then removed the mask (I stuck it to the inside of my stamp case so I could reuse it later).  There are these teeny weeny spaces between each sail that I didn't cut out, so after I removed the mask I went in with a Daffodil marker and added some yellow here and there, so that it looks like the sunlight is coming through there.  Can you see it? 

I used a blender pen to add Antique Linen distress ink to the sails of the ship, and I swiped the sentiment piece with the same ink as well, before stamping the words.  They both look white in the photo, but IRL they are off-white, like the way I imagine real sails might be.  :)  This card will be in my Etsy shop starting today!  Thanks for looking!

Stamps: SU The Open Sea, GKD Just Because, SU Netting Background

Ink:  SU Night of Navy, Tempting Turquoise, Daffodil Delight, Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, StazOn Jet Black, Antique Linen Distress Ink

Paper:  SU Night of Navy, Crumb Cake, Baked Brown Sugar, GKD 120lb white

Accessories:  Brads and burlap from Michael's, 2 1/2" circle punch, SU circles dies, SU Crumb Cake taffeta ribbon, sponge wedges, post-its, Inkadinkado masking paper, foam adhesive, SU markers in Daffodil and Baked Brown Sugar, blender pen, chalk marker

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hilltop Eagles: Card and Wall Art

Today's card is a variation on yesterday's card.  I can't get enough of the watercolor/canvas look!  This time I did a hillside scene with two eagles on the hunt for their breakfast.  :)

I stamped the smaller trees in Always Artichoke ink, then masked off the hill and stamped them a couple more times after stamping off to make the background trees lighter, as if they are farther away.  I also added some sponging to the big pine in the foreground because after I stamped it the branches were looking a little sparse.  I did have to go in with a marker and darken up the birds too, because stamping on the Canva-Paper sometimes results in a patchy impression - since the paper is so textured.  But a fine-tip marker makes all the difference!

And by this time, I was so jazzed by the card that I naturally had to make a wall art piece (below).  Including the two mats, the total dimensions are for an 8x10 frame.  The painted/stamped piece itself is 5x7:

Because of the slick-ish surface of the paper, I was able to go in with a baby wipe after the sky was dry and swipe off some of the blue to make a hint of clouds.  Fun!

And now I'm off to dry some parsley from the garden, bring the car in for a check-up, and help Brian haul more dirt for our newest raised bed out back.  Lots to do!

Stamps:  SU Lovely as a Tree, Stampscapes Gulls (ahem, just pretend they're eagles), Stampscapes Fir Row

Ink:  SU Old Olive, Always Artichoke, Distress Inks in Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, Peeled Paint, Scattered Straw, Vintage Photo, Tea Dye, Walnut Stain

Paper:  SU Early Espresso, GKD 120lb white, Canson Canva-Paper

Accessories:  SU Chocolate Chip and Early Espresso markers, post it for masking, watercolor brush, washi tape, SU linen thread, SU vintage faceted button

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