Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pink Roses Easel Card

Another easel card ... just can't get enough of these adorable cards.  I'm holding an Easel Card class on April 11th and so I've been experimenting with this layout for a few weeks now.  I'm pretty sure we'll be making this version ... including making our own background paper (as below) using sponging and rubber band embossing.  I'm also showing them how to make the ribbon roses featured on today's card, as well as paper flowers (see Tutorial page).  And ... I'm going to be showing them how to construct an envelope to hold this 3D card (also see Tutorial page) ... whew!! ... that's a lot to cover!

I have a few tips I've learned over the past few days:
  1. Sponge your background BEFORE rubber band embossing.  This avoids getting loose bits of glitter on your stamps pads.  Trust me!!  I've been picking glitter off my stamps pads for a few days and it's a little annoying!!  Do the sponging and then use an anti-static pad (like embossing buddy) to cover the ink before doing your embossing.  It works really well!!
  2. When embossing or using glitter, don't you find you end up with it EVERYWHERE!!  I use my silicone pad from my Big Shot to clean it up.  It is amazing.  Wipe the silicone pad across your work surface and the powder or glitter clings to it.  Then you just wash it off with water, let the silicone pad dry and it's ready to use again.  Awesome! 
Back to the card for today ...

Here's a picture and the details of the card  - finished size is 4 1/4" square.  Hope you like.  If you need instructions on how to construct an easel card, click on this link to the Splitcoaststampers tutorial.

"Pink Roses" Easel Card
Stamps:  Short & Sweet (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Regal Rose, Whisper White
Ink:  Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, Real Red, Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive (SU!), Versamark
Accessories & Tools:  Brayer, rubber bands, silver embossing powder, heat tool, Little Leaves Sizzix die-cut, 5/8" Pretty in Pink satin ribbon (approx. 23" - divided), sponges, medium oval punch, scalloped oval punch, pink sisal, sticky strips, adhesives, glue dots and dimensionals

* * * * *

First I made my background paper.  On the 4" square and 4" x 1 1/4" pieces of Whisper White cardstock, I randomly sponged  Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, Real Red and Old Olive inks.  I then sponged the edges with Real Red to add more color.  I wiped the surface of the cardstock with an Embossing Buddy and then Rubber Band embossed on top (see Techniques for instructions).  Using the 4 pieces of 3" x 2" Whisper White, I randomly sponged Kiwi Kiss and Old Olive and then used the Big Shot to cut out four Little Leaves die-cuts.

I cut the satin ribbon into three pieces (10" , 7" & 6") and made three roses.  There are links to video instructions for ribbon roses on the Tutorial page.

Tip:  I find it easier to add a glue dot every so often to hold the rose together as I'm making it.

I glued three of the Little Leaves die-cuts on the background paper and added a small piece of pink sisal that I bought at the $1 store - it adds a little something!  I placed the roses on top and adhered the whole thing to the 4 1/4" piece of Regal Rose cardstock (for stability).  The fourth Little Leaves die-cut was added to the "stand" part of the easel card.  I mounted all the pieces as shown in the picture above.

I stamped "Happy Mother's Day" on the 4" x 2 1/2" piece of Whisper White and mounted it inside the card.  I stamped "love you" and punched it out with the medium oval punch, mounted it on a scalloped oval frame of Regal Rose and adhered it to the top right-hand corner using dimensionals to pop it up and add depth.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Butterfly Grid

Today I held an advanced brayering class with Lili and Natasha.  We had so much fun!!!  Lots of laughs, a few mistakes (oophs!), and a few "creative" ways to fix them.  We did a brayering refresh, an emboss resist and a multi-step masking.  After three hours in the studio, Lili and Natasha were "brayering experts"! 
I love that Natasha likes to make the cards her own, changing up details and adding elements - just awesome!  Lili surprised me with more copper sheets from Cherish the Thought in Port Moody.  Can't wait to play with my butane torch again :)  Thanks Lili!!  And, I love the yellow roses they brought - so pretty!

On to the card for today ...  I made the card below a few months ago.  It was my first attempt at making a grid (so easy ... but so effective!).  Hope you like.

"Butterfly Grid"

Stamps:  Silhouette Sentiments (SU!)
Paper:  Rich Razzleberry, Cottage Wall Designer Series paper, Whisper White, Orchid Opulence (SU!)
Ink:  Versamark
Accessories & Tools:  Sizzix Butterfly die-cut, Scor-Pal, 1/2" Polka-dot Rich Razzleberry grosgrain ribbon (approx. 10"), 6" wire, five mauve half-pearls, small oval punch, white embossing powder, heat tool, sticky strips, adhesives, and glue dots

* * * * *

I took one of the 3" square of Whisper White and used the Scor-Pal to score lines on the diagonal, 1/2" apart.  I turned the cardstock and made 1/2" diagonal lines going in the opposite direction.  I mounted this onto the 3 1/4" square of Rich Razzleberry and then tied the ribbon around the bottom.  I adhered the framed panel on to the Cottage Wall Designer Series paper and then mounted the whole thing onto the card base.

I cut out two butterflies (one in Rich Razzleberry; one in Orchid Opulence).  I mounted the lighter butterfly onto the top left-hand corner of the grid.  I used needle-nosed pliers to twist the wire and used a glue dot to secure it on top of the first butterfly.  I folded the second butterfly (Rich Razzleberry) in half and then glued the body part only on top of the lighter butterfly.  I added the small half-pearls, making sure the "head" was glued on top of the tip of the wire.

I stamped the sentiment in Versamark, heat embossed with white powder, and adhered on top of the ribbon.

I used the second squares of Cottage Wall, Rich Razzleberry and Whisper White and mounted them for the inside panel of the card.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Watercolour Pine Tree

Tried another watercolor today.  This time I sponged the background first, then used a large brush with lots of water to "wash" the sponging.  My plan is to take lessons as I'd like to learn the proper way to watercolor, but for now, experimenting is fun :)  Hope you like. 

"Watercolor Pine Tree"
Stamps:  Lovely as a Tree (SU!)
Paper:  Always Artichoke, Autumn Traditions Designer Series paper, Old Olive, Kiwi Kiss (SU!); watercolor paper
Ink:  Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive, Always Artichoke, Barely Banana, Baja Breeze, Marina Mist; Stampin' Write Markers:  Old Olive, Always Artichoke, Early Espresso, Soft Suede (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Nestabilities Label Ten & Oval die-cuts, MS vine trim border punch, six small pewter brads, large paint brush, sponges, sticky strips, adhesives and dimensionals

* * * * *

I sponged the background of the watercolor paper first: Kiwi Kiss at the top of the grass area, Old Olive below.  Baja Breeze for the sky with Marina Mist at the top of the sky.  Then sponged Barely Banana in-between the grass and sky areas (very subtle).  I took a 3/4" brush and wet it with water and "washed" the sponged areas, starting with the lightest color Barely Banana, then sky, and finally grass.

After the watercolor paper had dried, I used my Stampin' Write markers to ink the Pine Tree stamp (Early Espresso for the trunk, Soft Suede for branches and randomly inked Always Artichoke and Old Olive for the leaves).  I used my mini mister and spritzed the stamp with water two or three times and then stamped on top of my washed background.

I punched out vine trim in Always Artichoke, Kiwi Kiss and Old Olive cardstock and sponged each with the same ink colors to add some depth.

I mounted all the pieces as shown in the picture above, popping up the framed main image with dimensionals.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Envelope Box Tutorial

Today I made a tutorial for an "Envelope Box".  More and more cards are using 3D embellishments and it's impossible to fit them into a regular-sized envelope.  This Envelope Box uses only one piece of 8 1/2" x 11" paper, so it's economical too!  You can close the envelope by using any adhesives you have on hand, or for more "bling", you can add a clasp, tied ribbon, anchor with brad ... or ?? ... use your imagination and whatever you have on hand to come up with something creative.

Here's a picture of the basic envelope ... you can add as much (or as little) embellishments as you want ...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Copper Pine Tree

I'm just loving making my own background paper.  Why haven't I been doing this all along??!!  Stamp TV has so many wonderful instructional videos and I'm ready to try them all!

Today I used the Rubber Band Embossing technique to create the background paper for my card.  I also sponged the same inks onto "un-embossed" paper and used it for the backdrop of the main image and sentiment.  Together they look spectacular and I plan on using this technique a lot in the next while, experimenting with different colors of embossing powders and inks.  Hope you like.

"Copper Pine Tree"

Stamps:  Sincere Salutations (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Basic Black, Whisper White (SU!)
Ink:  So Saffron, Pumpkin Pie, Cajun Craze, Basic Black (SU!), Versamark
Accessories & Tools:  Sizzix Die-cut Pine Tree, copper metal sheet .005 thickness (K&S Precision Metals), butane torch, hammering tool, gold embossing powder, heat tool, clear embossing powder, elastic bands, brayer, sponges, three small black jewels, sticky strips, adhesives & dimensionals.

* * * * *

Using my Big Shot, I cut out the pine tree die-cut using the copper sheet.  I heated the tree with a butane torch until the metal turned different colors.  After it cooled, I used the end of my eyelet setting tool (anything that is hard and has a small tip will work) to "hammer" a finish onto the tree.  I used the 4"x2" piece of black cardstock to cut out another pine tree.  I cut it down the middle and mounted each side behind the copper tree to make a "shadow" effect.

I "Rubber Band Embossed" the large piece of Whisper White cardstock.  Then, using my Colorbox sponges (any sponge will do), I randomly sponged on all pieces of Whisper White with So Saffron, Pumpkin Pie and Cajun Craze inks.  I also sponged Cajun Craze along the edges of each piece.  I stamped the sentiment with Basic Black ink and embossed with clear powder.

I mounted all the pieces as shown in the picture above, popping up the copper tree and sentiment with dimensionals to add depth.  To finish I added three small "jewels" at the bottom of the sentiment.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Palm Island

Took the day off yesterday to prepare for a dinner party.  My oldest son and his girlfriend came over to celebrate her birthday.  They brought my "grand-doggie" Penny to visit as well - she's sooooo adorable!!  Had a great time and a delicious dinner (Bacon & Boursin Cheese Stuffed Chicken, Wild Rice, Mixed Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette ... and for dessert (my favorite part!), Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry sauce - yum, yum, yum!

On to the card for today ...  on Wednesday I got my latest order from Stampscapes - they have AMAZING stamps.  Couldn't wait to try out one of the new stamps ... and also used my "clouds" stamp that I've had for a while, but hadn't figured out how to use.  I'm pretty happy with how everything turned out!  Hope you like.
"Palm Island"
Stamps:  Palm Island, Water Pattern, Cloud Strip Small (Stampscapes)
Paper:  Tempting Turquoise, Always Artichoke, Whisper White (SU!)
Ink:  Baja Breeze, Tempting Turquoise, Soft Suede, Old Olive, Whisper White; Stampin' Write Markers:  Always Artichoke, Soft Suede, Early Espresso (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Brayer, Post-it notes for masking, sponges, 1/4" turquoise grosgrain ribbon, sticky strips and adhesives.

* * * * *

I used Whisper White cardstock for the brayering today, instead of my usual glossy white cardstock.  I find the ink blends better on the glossy paper, but I do like the matte finish with the Whisper White for a change.

I inked the Palm Island stamp with the Stampin' Write markers and stamped about 3/4" from the bottom on the Whisper White cardstock.  I used post-it notes to mask the "island" and sky above and then brayered the water - first Baja Breeze, then Tempting Turquoise inks.  I inked the Water Pattern stamp with Baja Breeze ink and stamped the water (about 3 or 4 times).  I removed the mask and repositioned it, now covering the water.

I turned my cardstock around and brayered the sky - first Baja Breeze, then Tempting Turquoise inks.  I inked my Cloud Strip Small stamp with Craft Whisper White ink and stamped it twice randomly in the sky.  I took a small eye makeup sponge and sponged around the edges of the clouds.  This softened the look of the clouds and made them very subtle.

I sponged Soft Suede ink onto the sand area of the island.  I also sponged Old Olive on the bushes at the bottom of the palm trees and bit in the palm branches as well.

I removed the mask and used my Soft Suede Stampin' Writer to add a line between the sand and water.
I mounted the cardstock as shown in the picture above, adding a knotted ribbon on the side.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lovely as a Tree Watercolour

What a fun day!!  I spent a few hours in the art studio this morning making a masculine card (see below) ... and then went shopping with Jer.  I picked up a pair of yoga pants (soooo comfy!!) and then we headed for the $1 Store.  You have to sift through some junkie stuff, but I always manage to find some really nice things there.  Today I picked up some hand-made paper in both green and rust - just beautiful!  Can't wait to try making something with them.  Of course, it's the best place to pick up adhesives for card making.  I go through A LOT of adhesives and it's nice to save some $$!  I also found some crepe paper that I thought might work well for making roses.  I'm going to try that out later today ...

On to the card for today.  I'm loving working with the watercolor paper.  Jer is an artist and he had a stack of watercolor paper just sitting there and so he told me to help myself.  Awesome!  I used the Watercolor Spritz technique to add the tree stamp to my paper and then took my AquaPainter and added more water and it really looks like I'm a watercolor artist!  I sponged the bottom of the card and added water (again with the AquaPainter) until it blended.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  Hope you like.  If you need instructions on how to construct an easel card, click on this link to the Splitcoaststampers tutorial.

"Lovely as a Tree Watercolor"
Stamps:  Lovely as a Tree, Just Believe (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Early Espresso, Soft Suede Designer Series paper (SU!), watercolor paper
Ink:  Early Espresso, Soft Suede, Sahara Sand, Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive; Stampin' Write Markers:  Early Espresso, Old Olive, Always Artichoke, So Saffron
Accessories & Tools:  Sponges (I used Colorbox Stylus), AquaPainter, mister, hemp twine, wooden button, sticky strips, glue dots, adhesives and dimensionals

* * * * *

Before I inked the oak tree stamp from Lovely as a Tree set, I had to decide where my light source was coming from (upper left).  I inked the stamp using Stampin' Write markers (early espresso, always artichoke, old olive, so saffron), using the darker green on the right hand side of the tree (with a little lighter green in random spots), and using the lighter green with more yellow on the left hand side of the tree.  I used my AquaPainter to add more water on the paper in order to blend the inks.  I sponged the "hill" starting at the top with Kiwi Kiss and added Old Olive to the bottom.  Again, with the AquaPainter, I added more water to the paper to blend the inks on the hill.  I then added a small about of Early Espresso at the bottom of the tree trunk and blended with more water.  I used my So Saffron Stampin' Write marker and random added lines of ink around the background of the tree (did the same on the sentiment paper) and then added lots of water to create a "wash".  I sponged the edges of the watercolor paper with Early Espresso to give it an "aged" look.

I also sponged on the Soft Suede Designer Series paper, random areas in Sahara Sand, Soft Suede and Early Espresso and then sponged the edges of both pieces in Early Espresso.  I used my Early Espresso Stampin' Writer to add stitching around both pieces as well.

I mounted all the pieces as per the picture above, adding two strands of hemp twine knotted on the corner of the main image and also two strands through the wooden button and across the corner of the sentiment (which is popped up with dimensionals)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Field of Daisies

Today I tried a new technique called "Faux Mother-of-Pearl".  I am crazy for trying new techniques, and this was so fun and easy to do.

I just love the beautiful shimmer this technique gives ... so pretty ... but unfortunately it doesn't come across in the photograph - you might need to try it for yourself!!  I also diluted the shimmer paint with rubbing alcohol and misted it over the main framed image and the punches to add some shine and tie all the pieces of the card together.

I'm loving using the sponge and inks to create my own background paper ... it makes it so easy to match the inks on the main image and you also create "one of a kind" paper.  Hope you like.

"Field of Daisies"
Stamps:  Upsy-Daisy (SU!)
Paper:  Old Olive, Whisper White
Ink:  Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive
Accessories & Tools:  Frost White Shimmer Paint, plastic wrap, paper plate or piece of aluminum foil, Word Window punch, three Old Olive brads, mini mister or small mister, rubbing alcohol

* * * * *

I poured a few drops of Frost White Shimmer paint onto a piece of aluminum foil, scrunched plastic wrap into a ball, dipped the ball into the paint and wiped off the excess onto foil.  I then dabbed the paint onto the large piece of Whisper White cardstock, making sure to leave some areas uncovered.  After the paint was dry, I added Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie and Old Olive ink, in random patches, using a Colorbox Stylus (you can use any type of sponge).  I sponged the edge of the cardstock with Pumpkin Pie to finish off the background paper.

I inked my stamp using the Stampin' Write Markers in Old Olive (stems), Daffodil Delight (daisies) and Pumpkin Pie (thumping along the edges of the daisies) and stamped the image onto the bottom of the Whisper White cardstock.  I moved the stamp up higher and slightly off center and stamped a second time (without re-inking); moved the stamp up higher and slightly off center in the other direction and stamped a third time (again, without re-inking).    This makes it appear as if there is a field of daisies and the second and third generation stamping are the background flowers.  I mounted it onto a frame of Old Olive and then, using a small mister filled with rubbing alcohol and a few drops of Frost White Shimmer Paint, I lightly misted the whole image and the three Word Window punches to add some shimmer.  I mounted the framed image onto the background paper, added the three Word Window punches (and brads) and then mounted the whole thing onto the card base.

When I was making the card above, I accidentally picked up the Cajun Craze ink pad instead of the Pumpkin Pie and I ended up with beautiful background paper ... but, unfortunately, it didn't match my image for the card above.  So I took the opportunity to make a quick 10-Minute card with my "mistake".

So, all I did was make the faux mother-of-pearl background with shimmer paint, Daffodil Delight, Old Olive and Cajun Craze inks and then stamped the grass from "Inspired by Nature" stamp set in Old Olive ink and finished off the card with a yellow faux mother-of-pearl butterfly (two layers to give it dimension) and some white half-pearls.  Simple and quick cards can be beautiful too!!  You can see the shimmer in this photograph better than the one above, but it is still better in "real life".

"Spring is Here!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fallen Leaves

I watched several videos on Stamp TV's website yesterday and had to try a technique called "Distressed Embossed Pattern paper".  I used it on the background paper for today's card and also used the "Watercolor Spritz" technique from the same website for the main image of my card.  Had so much fun trying these new techniques and I LOVE working with watercolor paper ... it has such great texture!

Pat Smethers has posted several cards on Splitcoaststampers and I love her use of the Nestabilities Label Ten die-cut in tandem with the MS branch punch.  I CASE'd that part of the card from her - it finishes off everything so nicely.  Hope you like.
"Fallen Leaves"

Stamps:  Leafless Limb Large (Stampscapes)
Paper:  Soft Suede, River Rock Designer Series paper - polka-dot (SU!); watercolor paper
Ink:  Soft Suede, River Rock, Cajun Craze, Old Olive (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Bird & Leaves embossing folder, Nestabilities Label Ten & oval die-cuts (Spellbinders), MS "vine trim" border punch, six bronze half-pearls, Colorbox Stylus, sponges, sticky strips, adhesives & dimensionals.

* * * * *

I followed the video instructions for Distressed Embossed Patterned paper (as per link above) on the River Rock Polka-dot Designer Series paper with the Birds & Leaves embossing folder.  I then used my Colorbox Stylus to sponge the embossed surface with Soft Suede ink.  I added some random sponging of Old Olive and Cajun Craze to the background paper and finished it by sponging the edges with more Soft Suede ink.

I inked my stamp with Soft Suede and used a mister to lightly spray with water before stamping onto watercolor paper.  I cut out the image with the oval die cut and then used the Colorbox Stylus again to add Old Olive, River Rock and Cajun Craze to the main image.  I mounted it behind the Label Ten die-cut of Soft Suede (which I had also sponged the edges with Soft Suede ink).

I punched out vines with Soft Suede and River Rock cardstock and used the same color inks to sponge the edges to add depth.  I arranged the vines near the bottom of my background panel and topped with the framed main image, popping it up with dimensionals.  I added the bronze half pearls to finish.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Garden Trellis

I started to make this card yesterday, but couldn't finish.  My husband was stringing some cables in the basement and missed the last step of the ladder on his way down.  We rushed to the closest clinic and four stitches later, he's as good as new (almost, just a little sore).  It's really the kind of excitement I'd be happy to do without!  He's taking it easy today, and I'm back in the art studio today ...

I CASE'd this card from "Markie's Mom" on Splitcoaststampers

I thought it was so unique and loved the trellis.  So I made the card below which is very similar, only changing up the shape of the trellis, background paper and sentiment.  I also liked the look of the textured paper she used, but I don't have any embossing folders that are similar so I decided to make my own "faux woodgrain" background using the Rubber Band Technique.  It's so simple, that you really don't need a tutorial, but I made one anyways as a reminder.  There are so many techniques to use, sometimes I forget about some of them - so it's more of a reminder to myself :)   Click here to take a look.  Hope you like.

"Garden Trellis"
Stamps:  Whimsical Words (sentiment)
Paper:  Kiwi Kiss, Urban Garden Designer Series paper (retired) (SU!), Watercolor paper, white cardstock
Ink:  Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive, Sahara Sand
Accessories & Tools:  Nestabilities Label Ten die-cut (Spellbinders), brayer, rubber bands, Little Leaves die-cut (Sizzix), Big Shot, medium oval punch, scalloped oval punch, clear embossing powder, heat tool, flower embellishments, sticky strips, glue and dimensionals

* * * * *

First I created my woodgrain look for my background paper and trellis by using the Rubber Band Technique on all the pieces of watercolor paper with Sahara Sand ink.

Using one of the 4" x 3" of watercolor and the 4" x 3" white cardstock, I cut out my frame for my trellis (the white cardstock will not show - it will be used at the back to hold all the strips of trellis together).  I used the second 4" x 3" piece of watercolor paper to cut 3/16" strips that I used for the trellis.  I placed them one way only on diagonal within the frame (start by adding the center strip first and then adding additional on both sides to make it even).  Once I was happy with the placement of the strips (one direction only), I glued them to the back of the frame.  Then I added strips in the other diagonal, weaving them in and out of the first set.  Once I was happy with the placement, I glued them to the back of the frame.  I glued the white cardstock frame to the back of the trellis to hold everything together.

I sponged the three die-cuts of Little Leaves with Old Olive to add depth (one of the die-cuts will be used on the inside of the card).  I stamped the sentiment in Kiwi Kiss ink onto a scrap of watercolor paper (make sure the lines go in the same direction as the lines on the background paper) and embossed it in clear - it needed to be embossed otherwise the words disappeared on the background.

I mounted all the pieces as shown in the picture above, popping up the trellis and sentiment with dimensionals for more depth.   I added flower embellishment that I purchased at my local Dollar Store (you gotta' love those $1 Stores!!).  I mounted the pieces for the inside panel and added the Little Leaves die-cut to the top left-hand corner.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sweet Summer Roses Easel Card

Another day, another easel card :)

I'm not really obsessed with these cards, I'm just getting ready for an easel card class that I booked with my crafty friends for April 10th.  So excited to spend the day with Frances, Kelly and Deb making beautiful cards - can't wait!!  I'm showing them how to make these cards along with how to make some flower embellishments.  So you'll probably see lots of flowers in the next few posts as well :)

With the flowers on today's card, I used some sheer ribbon that I bought ages ago from Michael's.  It's a two-toned sheer in purples and so pretty!!  I found it a little harder to make the flowers with the sheer (it slips around more than satin, which is weird!!), but did manage to get three.  They look pretty good, but there's definitely room for improvement.

Again, if you'd like to learn how to make these ribbon roses, check out the two video tutorial links that I posted on March 17th (below).  Hope you like.

"Sweet Summer Roses" Easel Card
Stamps:  Sweet Summer (SU!)
Paper:  Elegant Eggplant, Whisper White, Always Artichoke (SU!), Mauve (Michael's)
Ink:  Always Artichoke, Elegant Eggplant
Accessories & Tools:  Two-tone Sheer Creations ribbon (Michael's) - approx. 26" (divided), Little Leaves die-cut, small oval punch, medium oval punch, scalloped oval punch, polka-dot embossing folder, Scor-Pal, sponge, sticky strips, adhesives and dimensionals.

* * * * *

I ran the mauve paper through my Big Shot with the polka dot embossing folder.  I adhered the two larger pieces to the corresponding Elegant Eggplant frames using sticky strips.  I punched a medium oval out of the left-over polka-dot embossed paper and set aside.

I used my Scor-Pal to add a grid to the 3 1/4" square piece of Whisper White cardstock, and then sponged the edges with Always Artichoke ink.  I inked the end of the vine on the bird stamp in the Sweet Summer stamp set and stamped it four times (in Always Artichoke ink) across the 1" wide strip of Whisper White cardstock.  I also stamped the vine on the left-hand side of the sentiment and "Thank You" in Elegant Eggplant.  I sponged the edges of both stamped pieces.  I ran Always Artichoke cardstock through my Big Shot and cut out two Little Leaves die cuts and sponged the edges.  

I cut the sheer ribbon into three pieces (12" and two 7") and made ribbon roses.  I then assembled all the pieces as shown in the picture above, popping up the framed square and the 2" piece at the bottom (which holds the easel in place).   

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Musical Notes Easel Card

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!  Here's an Irish blessing for you ...

"May the sun shine all day long,
everything go right and nothing go wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!"

What a beautiful day on the Westcoast.  There's a slight drizzle hanging around, but the sun was out for a long time today and I even managed to find time to get out to the greenhouse!

I did find LOTS of time for the art studio (always a priority!).

Can't get enough of the easel cards, so I made another one today.  I have had the Musical Notes wheel for several weeks now and I just had this card in my head and had to make it!  My first ribbon rose too!  Watched a couple of videos that I recommend if you want to learn how to make these ...

Jackie Topa's ribbon rose -

"Musical Notes" Easel Card
Stamps:  Musical Notes wheel (SU!)
Paper:  Basic Black, Whisper White, Real Red (SU!)
Ink:  Chocolate Chip, Soft Suede
Accessories & Tools:  Wheel guide (optional), 5/8" Real Red Satin ribbon (approx. 10"), 5/8" Old Olive Satin ribbon (approx. 4"), Crocheted Lace (approx. 12"), Kaiser Pearl Brad), Flourish embossing plate, eight small red half-pearls, heart punch, stickles, small hole punch, sticky strips, adhesives and dimensionals

* * * * *

I inked the Musical Notes wheel with Chocolate Chip ink and ran it across the square piece of Whisper White twice, using a wheel guide to help me keep my lines straight.  I sponged the edges with Soft Suede ink.  I mounted the stamped image onto the square piece of Real Red cardstock and punched a small hole in the top right-hand corner (about 1" down and 1" from the right).  I made a bow  with the crocheted lace, wrapped the brad around it, placed it through the punched hole and secured it at the back.  I ran the square piece and the 4 1/4" x 2" piece of Basic Black cardstock through my Big Shot with the Flourish embossing folder.  I then mounted the main image onto the square piece of embossed black cardstock and adhered it to the base of the easel card.

I printed the sentiment off on my computer and cut it to size (3 1/4" x 1"), sponged the edges with Soft Suede ink and mounted it onto the Real Red cardstock.  I mounted the framed sentiment onto the embossed 4 1/4" x 2" piece of Basic Black cardstock and adhered it to the card base, using dimensionals to pop it up.

To finish, I glued a small heart onto the sentiment and used stickles for some bling.  I cut out two "leaf" shapes from the Old Olive satin ribbon and pinched the stem end to give them some dimension.  I mounted them on the bottom left-hand side of the main image and added a Real Red satin ribbon rose.  Eight red half-pearls where added to the four corners of both pieces of Real Red cardstock.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Just Believe Easel Card

Feeling a little under the weather today, but I'm usually never too sick to play in my art studio :)

Thought I'd make an Easel Card.  (See for tutorial).

It was so easy and I just love the look of it.  It makes it seem like your card is on display - a work of art (which, of course, it really is!).  Hope you like.

"Just Believe" Easel Card
Stamps:  Just Believe, Sweet Summer (SU!)
Paper:  Rich Razzleberry, Elegant Eggplant, So Saffron, Whisper White (SU!)
Ink:  Stampin' Write Markers:  Rich Razzleberry, Elegant Eggplant, Old Olive, Always Artichoke, So Saffron, Sahara Sand
Accessories & Tools:  Paper Piercing Tool and guide, Spellbinders Nestabilities - Label Ten), 1/4" Rich Razzleberry grosgrain ribbon (approx. 14", divided), nine mauve half-pearls, stickles, sticky strips, adhesives and dimensionals.

* * * * *

Using the Stampin' Write markers, I inked the main stamp in the Just Believe set and stamped it onto the Whisper White cardstock on the left hand side.  I re-inked the stamp again and stamped it on the right hand side.  I inked the butterfly from the Sweet Summer stamp set and stamped it twice.  Using the So Saffron marker, I filled in the wings of the butterflies.  I filled in the bodies of the butterflies with Sahara Sand ink.  I mounted the stamped image onto the square piece of Elegant Eggplant cardstock and then mounted it onto the square piece of So Saffron cardstock.  Using sticky strips, I attached a piece of ribbon about 3/4" up from the bottom and glued it to the back.  I paper pierced all around the border of the 4 1/4" square piece of Rich Razzleberry and then used my Elegant Eggplant Stampin' Write marker to add "stitch" lines.  I then mounted the framed, stamped image onto the Rich Razzleberry square and adhered it to the base of the easel card.

I repeated the same process for the sentiment, but this time I used the small Label Ten Nestabilities to cut out the Whisper White cardstock.  I sponged the edge with Rich Razzleberry ink.  I mounted it to the center of the other frames and popped it up with dimensionals.

To finish, I used stickles to highlight the wings of the butterflies.  I added a bow on top of the ribbon, and mauve half-pearls to the centers of three of the flowers and also the edges of the sentiment label.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Desert Sunset and Bunny Easter Basket

I wanted to try a desert sunset.  Didn't have any cactus stamps, so just went on-line and goggled cactus.  Looked through tons of images until I found one that I really liked.  I printed it out, cut it out and used it as a stencil.  Turned out pretty good, all in all.  Will look at investing in some cactus stamps for the future though :)  Hope you like.

"Desert Sunset"
Stamps:  Prickly Branches (Stampscapes)
Paper:  Glossy White, Basic Black, Not Quite Navy (SU!)
Ink:  Pumpkin Pie, Pink Pirouette, Regal Rose, Pacific Point, Not Quite Navy, Night of Navy, Basic Black (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Speedball Brayer, Handmade stencil of cactus from internet, Word Window punch, three pewter brads, sticky strips and adhesives

* * * * *

I brayered on the Glossy White paper as follows:
Pink Pirouette - covered cardstock completely
Pumpkin Pie - 1/3 way up the cardstock from bottom
Regal Rose - 2/3 way down the cardstock from top
Pacific Point - on top of Regal Rose, but not covering it completely (about 1/2 way down from top)
Not Quite Navy - on top of Pacific Point, but not covering it completely (about 1/3 way down from top)
Night of Navy - on top of Not Quite Navy, but not covering it completely (about 1/4 way down from top)

Sponged Basic Black ink covering the cactus stencil I made.  Sponged some black along the bottom to represent ground.  Finished by stamping Prickly Branches at bottom of cactus.

Mounted the brayered image on Basic Black cardstock.  Added three brads to the ends of the Word Window punches and mounted them at the top left of the image.  Mounted the framed image onto the Not Quite Navy card base.

Here's another version of the gift basket that I made on March 12th ... just a little smaller (started with a 5 1/2" square piece of cardstock).  Kids would love to get this filled with candy (kids of ANY age!!).

For more details on how it was made and a video tutorial, check out StampTV.

The bunny is made with the following punches:  1 3/4" scallop circle, 5/8" circle, 1/4" hole punch, small oval, medium oval.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Brayering Class

Today I held an advanced brayering class for my crafty girlfriends.  I showed them how to do multi-step masking as well as emboss resist.  Surprisingly, we finished the class in record time!! Well, record time for us ...  it only took about 3 1/2 hours to complete three beautiful and complicated brayered cards (plus a break for lunch ... with us girls it's all about the food!!).  Here's a picture of our finished work.  There is a tutorial already written for the Pink Sunset over Mountains card (check out my Tutorials page).  I will be working on tutorials for the other two in the coming weeks.

Here's a close-up of our three cards for today:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pretty in Pink Gift Basket

Another windy day here ... rain is coming.  Expecting a big storm tomorrow, with high winds and pouring rain.  Good day to stay home.  Having an advanced brayering workshop, so my friends have to brave the weather to get here ... I appreciate it!!  Today I'm getting ready for the workshop, practicing the cards we'll be making and getting the backgrounds of the cards all cut and ready to assemble.  The main focus of the workshop is brayering, so I'll basically assemble "card candy" to finish the cards once the backgrounds are brayered and stamped ... will post more on this tomorrow along with pictures of the cards we make.

For today, I thought I'd get a head start on some Easter baskets.  I found this template last year, but too late to use it for Easter and completely forgot about it!  Of course, this can be used for any time of year ... it makes a beautiful container for any small gift.  I decided to make this into a "Thank You" basket ... who wouldn't love to get this as a gift!!  Fill it with small potted flowers, candy, lotions, or whatever.  It's really sturdy when you use SU!'s high quality, thick cardstock.

Here's a picture and the details of the basket.  For more details on how it was made and a video tutorial, check out StampTV.  Hope you like.

"Pretty in Pink Gift Basket" 
Stamps:  Silhouette Sentiments (SU!)
Paper:  Pretty in Pink, Pink Pirouette, Sending Love Designer Series (SU!), Pink Polka-dot
Ink:  Regal Rose, Old Olive (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Scor-Pal, 5/8" Pretty in Pink satin ribbon (approx. 12"), Nestabilities - Labels Ten & Ovals (Spellbinders), six small white half-pearls, two brads, paper piercing tool or small hole punch, sticky strips and adhesives

* * * * *

See video link above for details on how to assemble the basket.  The only change I made in the construction was when adding the brad.  In the video, you are shown to pierce a hole through the back panel of the front and back of the basket in order to attach the handle.  I lowered the hole about 1/4" so the it also went through the two panels that cross over in front of the back panel - making it more sturdier.

For the embellishment on the front and back, I used my Nestabilities Label Ten die-cut along with the matching oval die-cut and layered the panels.  I used the small Label Ten for the sentiment (front only), which was stamped with Regal Rose and Old Olive inks.  The small white half-pearls were added at the top and bottom for extra detail. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Copper Maple Leaf

Today I was looking through the card additions for Splitcoaststampers and found a group of sketch challenges.  I had been thinking about making another card with my copper sheets, and Sketch 313 inspired me.

I wanted the focus to be the patina copper, so the card itself is very simple.  Hope you like.

"Copper Maple Leaf"

Paper:  Early Espresso (SU!), Copper, Indian Summer Designer Series (Dogwood) 
Accessories & Tools:  Copper Sheet, butane torch, copper wire, adhesives & dimensionals

* * * * *

I layered the cardstock pieces as shown in the picture above, popping up the narrow strip.

I cut the maple leaf die-cut out of copper sheeting using my Big Shot.  I also cut pieces of copper wire and twisted them around the end of a pencil.  I then heated both the maple leaf and the copper wire with my butane torch.  I trimmed the wire and adhered it with glue dots to the back of the maple leaf.  I popped up the copper embellishment with dimensionals.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Of the Earth

Today I'm using beautiful paper called "Indian Summer".  I just love these papers ... and because they are so beautiful, they are the focal point of this card.  The rest is simple embellishments that let the paper be the shining star.  Hope you like.

"Of the Earth"
Stamps:  Of the Earth, Vintage Labels (SU!)
Paper:  Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip (SU!), Copper cardstock, Indian Summer designer series paper
Ink:  Chocolate Chip (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  5/8" Chocolate Chip Satin ribbon (approx. 12"), 1 1/4" square punch, small oval punch, medium oval punch, 5 bronze half-pearls, sticky strips, dimensionals, Stamp-a-ma-jig (optional)

* * * * *

I inked the bird stamp from "Of the Earth" with Chocolate Chip and stamped it on the 2" square piece of Very Vanilla cardstock.  I centered it and punch it out using the 1 1/4" square punch.  I layered the stamped image on Chocolate Chip and then Copper cardstock squares.  I stamped the sentiment with Chocolate Chip ink and stamped on Very Vanilla, punched out a small oval and mounted it on the medium oval of Copper cardstock.

Using sticky strips, I attached the satin ribbon to the Indian Summer paper, about 1" from the left-hand side, tying a knot, and then trimmed the ends.  I attached the front panel to the card base using sticky strips.  I then adhered the framed image and sentiment with dimensionals to add depth.  I centered the row of five bronze half-pearls below the sentiment.

I stamped the image (again in Chocolate chip ink) onto the inside panel of Very Vanilla cardstock, up on the right-hand corner.  I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig with the placement.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Sweet Hydrangea

Today I CASE'd a card from Jenna Barber.  I absolutely loved her card that was posted on Splitcoaststampers and had to try it.  I changed the colors slightly, and did a little less layering, but used the same layout and main stamp image.

"Sweet Hydrangea"
Stamps:  Because I Care, Baroque Motifs, Vintage Labels (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Night of Navy, Kiwi Kiss, Whisper White (SU!)
Ink:  Night of Navy, Old Olive, Kiwi Kiss, Marina Mist, Versamark (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Clear embossing powder, white embossing powder, heat tool, Aqua Painter, Flourish Texturz Embossing Plate, Kiwi Kiss 3/8" satin ribbon, small oval punch, medium oval punch

* * * * *

I stamped the hydrangea (Night of Navy ink) and leaves (Old Olive ink) onto the 2" x 3" piece of Whisper White.  I clear embossed them and then water-colored them using Marina Mist and Kiwi Kiss ink along with the Aqua Painter.  I cut them out and set them aside.

I ran the large piece of Night of Navy cardstock and the 2" square piece of Kiwi Kiss cardstock through the Big Shot with the Flourish Texturz plate.  I inked the Baroque Motifs large stamp with Night of Navy ink and stamped it onto the 4" x 1 1/2" piece of Night of Navy cardstock.  I stamped the sentiment in Versamark and heat embossed it with white embossing powder.  I then layered the cardstock as shown in the picture, making sure to add the ribbon before adhering the front card panel to the card base.  I popped up the square layers of cardstock with dimensionals.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Snowy Trees Tutorial

Today I have a new tutorial on a brayered card.  This particular card uses more colors and more masking than previous tutorials, but is still a fairly simple card to make.  The colors are so vivid and striking ... a beautiful winter scene.  Click here to take a look.


Saturday, March 05, 2011

Cherry Blossoms

One of my favorite color combinations is pink and dark brown.  They are absolutely perfect together.  This is a quick and easy card that has huge impact, mostly because of the colors.  Hope you like.

"Cherry Blossoms"
Stamps:  Embrace Life, Vintage Labels (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, Pretty in Pink, Sending Love Designer Series (SU!)
Ink:  Chocolate Chip, Pretty in Pink Stampin' Write Marker (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Clear embossing powder, heat tool, 9" Chocolate Chip 5/8" Satin ribbon (approx.), small oval punch, medium oval punch

* * * * *

I stamped the cherry blossom from Embrace Life Stamp set onto Whisper White with Chocolate Chip ink and heat embossed in clear - three times.  I inked the blossoms using a Pretty in Pink Stampin' Write marker.  I framed the three images in Chocolate Chip cardstock and adhered them to the Sending Love Designer Series paper, evenly spaced, on the left-hand side.

I tied a half-knot in the ribbon and adhered to the right-hand side of the front card panel, centering it between the images and the edge of the paper.  I then adhered the front panel onto the card base. 

I inked the sentiment in Chocolate Chip stamped onto Whisper White cardstock and punched out using the small oval punch.  I punched out two small ovals of Pretty in Pink cardstock and offset them onto the sentiment (I thought it needed some pink to balance with the left-hand side of the card).  I then mounted the framed sentiment onto a medium oval of Chocolate Chip and popped it up using dimensionals.

I framed the large Whisper White cardstock with the Pretty in Pink and adhered it inside the card.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Copper Leaves

A few weeks ago my friends Lili and Natasha came by for a brayering workshop.  They had been to several classes at "Cherish the Thought" scrapbooking store in Port Moody and had mentioned about a class they took working with copper sheets.  The process is to heat the sheets using a butane torch (like a creme brulee torch) until the metal changes color.  Lili had picked up a package of copper sheets and gave them to me and I've been dying to try them.  Today is the day!!

I really didn't know what I was doing, so researched the process on-line.  Not a lot of information for the average card enthusiast!!  Lots for serious artists and, of course, the copper they would use is much, much different.  But ... I thought I'd try it and just adjust the time for the thinner copper.  WOW!! Can't believe how beautiful my copper pieces turned out!!!  Just LOVE this technique.  Need to do lots of practicing before trying to write a tutorial, but wanted to share a picture of the card I made today.   Hope you like.

"Copper Leaves"
Stamps:  Vintage Labels (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Basic Black (SU!), Copper, Indian Summer Designer paper
Ink:  Versamark
Accessories & Tools:  1 copper sheet (5" x 4") .005 thickness (K&S Precision Metals), butane torch, Little Leaves Sizzix die-cut, small oval punch, medium oval punch, 1/8" hole punch, 16" of black suede laces, copper embossing powder, heat tool
* * * * *
First I cut out the copper using the Little Leaves die-cut in my Big Shot.  I added extra "shims" of cardstock to make it a tight fit.  The copper doesn't cut all the way through to release the shape, but if you press lightly, it will separate.  I used an emery board to smooth out the edges.  I used my medium punch to cut out a copper oval.  I put all the pieces of copper on a large brick (you need something heatproof and I'm going to look into getting something a little more user friendly :) ... the brick my husband "found" for me weighs about 20 lbs. - uggghhhh!  But it worked!!  You then run the torch above the surface of the copper, continuously moving it.  Once the copper starts to turn color, you immediately remove the torch.

I mounted the Indian Summer paper onto a frame of black and then adhered it to the left-hand side of the copper cardstock.  I punched holes and "laced up" the black suede.  I then mounted the whole thing on to the black card base.  I used glue dots on several of the leaves to hold the copper in place.

I stamped the sentiment with Versamark and heat embossed with copper embossing powder.  I cut it out with the small oval punch and mounted it on the heated copper medium oval.  I attached the sentiment to the card using dimensionals to pop it up.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Pretty in Pink Flowers

The winds have died down today and it's sunny and warm.  What a difference from yesterday!  So I'm going to take advantage of the break in the rain and wind to head out and do a bunch of errands, but first ... have to spend some time in the art studio ... priorities, you know!!

Today I made a card that is similar to one I made several years ago.  I was routing through my scraps and found leftover flower paper that is perfect for cutting out.  It only took me a short time to cut the eight flowers and a few leaves that I needed for the card below.  There is no stamping, just layers of beautiful papers, trimmed with silver pen and then topped with a vellum envelope full of flowers.  I have written a tutorial on how to make the envelope.  Click here to take a look.

Now, on to the card ... hope you like.

"Pretty in Pink Flowers"
Paper:  Pretty in Pink, Pink Pirouette, Sending Love Designer series (SU!), pink vellum, flower paper
Ink:  Metallic silver pen
Accessories & Tools:  Flourishes Texturz plate
* * * * *
I ran the two pieces of Pretty in Pink cardstock through my Big Shot with the Flourishes Texturz plate (a little hard to see the embossing in the picture).  I outlined all pieces (except vellum and flowers) with silver.  I then layered the papers as shown in the picture.

I made the Diamond Fold Envelope with the piece of pink vellum, making sure to crease the folds well.  I then outlined the front of the envelope with silver.  I mounted the envelope onto the card, approx. 1 3/4" from the bottom and then glued the flowers down (some flat inside the envelope, others on top -- popped up with dimensionals).

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Botanical Blooms and Triptych Blue cards

We are having a crazy wind storm right now.  It started last night and has continued on this morning.  The winds were predicted to gusts of up to 100km in the Vancouver area (stronger gusts on the island), but I think it didn't quite get up to that speed - thank goodness!!  Luckily, no power outages at our place, but I'm sure there are many, many households in the Lower Mainland that didn't fair so well.  I'm happy to be inside, warm and dry ... and, of course, playing in my art studio! :)

Today I wanted to make a masculine card.  For some reason, I frequently turn to the Botanical Blooms stamp set when making a masculine card.  I LOVE the look of the 2-step leaf stamp!  I recently purchased the Little Leaves die-cut from Sizzix and thought the two complimented each other nicely.  Hope you like.

"Botanical Blooms"
Stamps:  Botanical Blooms (Stampin' Up!)
Paper:  Elegant Soiree Designer Series Paper, Early Espresso, Very Vanilla, Cajun Craze (Stampin' Up!)
Ink:  Early Espresso, Cajun Craze
Accessories & Tools:  Little Leaves die-cut, Stamp-a-ma-jig, medium oval punch, 1/4" Early Espresso grosgrain ribbon (approx. 7 1/2"), sticky strips, adhesives and dimensionals, 1 1/4" punch (optional)
* * * * *
I stamped the three leaf outlines in Early Espresso ink onto Very Vanilla cardstock, stamped the second part of the leaf with Cajun Craze ink and punched out the images using a 1 1/4" square punch (or you can just use your cutter).  You really need to have a Stamp-a-ma-jig in order to line up the 2-step stamps ... or you can use a t-square and a piece of acetate.  I sponged the edges of the three images and then framed them with Early Espresso.  I adhered the ribbon about 1" from the top of the Elegant Soiree Designer series paper and then popped up the three leaf images using dimensionals.

I ran Cajun Crazy cardstock through my Big Shot with the Little Leaves die-cut and sponged the edges with Early Espresso ink, just so it mimics the stamped images that have the dark outline.  I adhered it below the stamped images, basically in the center.

I stamped the sentiment onto a scrap of Very Vanilla, used the medium oval to punch it out and then sponged the edges.  I don't have a plain oval that is larger than the medium, so I punched out two medium ovals of Early Espresso and offset them in-behind the sentiment to create a frame.

I stamped the 2-part leaf again on the inside panel of Very Vanilla in the top right-hand corner and then adhered the panel inside the card.

Here's another quick and easy card.  It's clean and simple, but so pretty.  I love the idea of using just white and one other color.  Today, I'm celebrating "Marina Mist" ... just a gorgeous blue.  Hope you like.

"Triptych Blue"
Stamps:  Echoes of Kindness, Vintage Labels (sentiment) (Stampin' Up!)
Paper:  Marina Mist, Whisper White (Stampin' Up!)
Ink:  Marina Mist, Versamark (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Cuttlebug embossing folder, white embossing powder, heat tool, 1/4" Marina Mist grosgrain ribbon (approx. 12 " - divided), small oval punch, medium oval punch, sticky strips, adhesives and dimensionals
* * * * *
I ran the large piece of Whisper White through my Big Shot with the Cuttlebug embossing folder.  Using sticky strips, I adhered 7" of ribbon to the embossed panel, approximately 1" from the right-hand side, tucking the excess ribbon to the back.  I then used sticky strips to attach the panel to the card base.  It's important to use a strong adhesive whenever attaching something with dimension (ribbon, embossed cardstock, etc.), and I find the sticky strips work the best.

I inked my image with Versamark and stamped onto the piece of Marina Mist.  I then embossed the image in white.  I trimmed the piece to measure 4 1/2" x 1 1/2", centering the image.  I then cut the pieces into three equal 1 1/2" squares and attached them to the card front. 

I stamped the "For You" from the Vintage Labels stamp set (my favorite sentiment - so versatile!) onto a small oval of Whisper White and framed it with a medium oval of Marina Mist.  I took the remaining piece of ribbon (approx. 5 "), looped it, attached it to the ovals using a glue dot, and glued it the card front, popping up the sentiment with dimensionals.  I attached the remaining Whisper White panel to the inside of the card.