Friday, April 29, 2011

Loll's Stargazer Lilies

Today I decided to "treat" myself by making a card that's all about me!! :)  Lilies are my favorite flower and pink my favorite color ... so it makes sense that Stargazer Lilies are my ultimate favorite flower!

I sponged the flowers with soft pink first and then, using a small eye makeup sponge, added Rose Red to the centers of each petal.  I used my Stampin' Write marker to add the "dots" on the petals to finish them off.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  They definitely took a bit of time, but they are beautiful!  I left the rest of the card fairly plain so that nothing competed with the lilies.  I did make a sentiment to go on the front, but I thought it was too much, so left it off.  Hope you like.

"Loll's Stargazer Lilies"
Stamps:  Lily stamp from Fifth Avenue Floral (SU!)
Paper:  Pretty in Pink, Whisper White (SU!)
Ink:  Pretty in Pink, Rose Red, Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive; Stampin' Write markers:  Rose Red, Certainly Celery, Really Rust (SU!); Versamark
Accessories & Tools:  White embossing powder, heat tool, sponges, Sizzix Little Leaves die-cut, Sizzix Square Lattice embossing folder, Big Shot, 1/4" Pretty in Pink grosgrain ribbon, sticky strips, glue dots and dimensionals

* * * * *

Working with the Whisper White cardstock, I stamped one piece with three lilies with Versamark ink and embossed in white.  I colored in the stamens with Really Rust and the stems of the stamens with Certainly Celery although I don't think you can tell I used those colors after the pink was sponged onto the flower so you could just color them in with the Rose Red Stampin' marker to save time.  I sponged the lilies with Pretty in Pink ink and then using a small eye make-up sponge, added Rose Red to the centers of each petal.  I used the Rose Red Stampin' Write marker (thick end) to add dots to each petal.  I then cut the flowers out and set aside.

With the second piece of Whisper White, I sponged Kiwi Kiss covering most of the paper and then sponged a little Old Olive on top to give some depth.  I cut out four Little Leaves die-cuts and also cut out five thin stems.  I glued a stem onto the back of each lily and then added a leaf sprig to each stem.  I used the extra leaves to glue on to the remaining two stems to use at the back of my bouquet.

The third piece of Whisper White was run through my Big Shot with the Square Lattice embossing folder.  I then cropped the paper to 5 1/4" x 4".  I used sticky strips to attach the embossed paper to the card base of Pretty in Pink.

I then arranged the flowers until I was happy with the placement and tied a ribbon about the bottom to hold everything together.  I used a glue dot to attach the back flower to the embossed background.  I used dimensionals to attach the other two lilies to the background paper, popping them up and giving them depth.  I used two glue dots to hold the ends of the ribbon in place.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Botanical Tree

I see a trend in the type of cards I've been making lately :)   Definitely nature ... and definitely more masculine cards (which I ALWAYS need).  I usually find it easier to make feminine cards, so I'm happy that my stash of masculine cards is growing!!

I used the Watcolor Spritz technique for this card (there's a link on my Techniques page to the StampTV video tutorial).  You can watch the video, but basically, you ink your image and then use a fine mister (like the Mini Mister by Ranger) to mist water on top of the ink before stamping it on your cardstock or watercolor paper.  I find the watercolor paper works better and it has it's own texture which really adds to the card.  This technique turns you into an artist without all that pesky work of learning to watercolor :) ... ink image, mist with water, stamp - voila - you're an ar-tist!  Hope you like.

"Botanical Tree"

Stamps:  Botanical Blooms (leaves), Vintage Labels (sentiment) (SU!); Leafless Limb (Stampscapes)
Paper:  Soft Suede, Kiwi Kiss (SU!); Arches 140lb. cold press "Natural White" watercolor paper
Ink:  Sahara Sand, Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive, Soft Suede
Accessories & Tools:  Mini Mister, sponges, Sizzix Square Lattice embossing folder, Big Shot (or similar machine), sticky strips and dimensionals

* * * * *

I inked the Leafless Limb stamp with Sahara Sand, misted with water and then stamped onto the large piece of watercolor paper.  I inked the Leaf stamp from the Botanical Blooms set with Kiwi Kiss and Old Olive, misted with water and stamped on top of the tree.  I kept re-inking the stamp, misting with water and stamping until the tree was filled with leaves.  Tip:  if you find that you missed misting water on areas of the leaf stamp and you've already stamped it onto the watercolor paper, you can go back with your Aqua Painter and add water to soften the image.

I inked the sentiment and lightly misted with water before stamping it.  I sponged the edges of all the watercolor papers with Kiwi Kiss and then mounted them onto frames of the same color cardstock.

I ran the 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" piece of Soft Suede cardstock through my Big Shot with the Square Lattice embossing folder.  I sponged lightly on top of the embossing with Soft Suede ink to add depth.

I assembled the card as per the picture above using sticky strips (it's important to use sticky strips when gluing anything with dimension such as embossing; as well, watercolor paper is thick and needs the added strength of sticky strips to be held in place).  I popped up the sentiment with dimensionals.


With this card, I used the same layout as yesterday, but changed up everything else to make a masculine version.  I used Chocolate Chip as my main color.  Hope you like.

"Plant Hope"

Stamps:  Plant Hope, Upsy-Daisy (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake, Whisper White
Ink:  Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, So Saffron, Cajun Craze
Accessories & Tools:  Sponges, Cuttlebug "Forest Branches" embossing folder, Big Shot, Jute, sticky strips, adhesives and dimensionals

Follow the instructions from the card below, substituting supplies above.  The only difference is that I popped up the embossed background paper in order to make room for the thickness of the jute that was glued to the back of it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Upsy Daisy

I saw a card on Splitcoaststampers that I thought was beautiful, so I CASE'd it (thank you Vicki Burdick!).  I think this layout is just perfect.  I changed up the colors from Vicki's and used a different background, sentiment and added an extra layer of framing.  I love the combination of the soft blue (Baja Breeze) and the bright green (Kiwi Kiss).  Hope you like.

Stamps:  Upsy-Daisy, Whimsical Words (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Baja Breeze, Kiwi Kiss, Whisper White (SU!)
Ink:  Baja Breeze, Kiwi Kiss, Craft Basic Black (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Sponges, Sizzix Square Lattice embossing folder, Big Shot, 1/2" Baja Breeze seam binding ribbon, medium oval punch, scalloped oval punch, sticky strips and dimensionals

* * * * *

I started by sponging the small piece of Whisper White cardstock; the bottom 1/3 with Kiwi Kiss and the top 2/3 with Baja Breeze.  I stamped the Daisies in Craft Basic Black to the left of the page.  I let the ink dry before mounting the main image onto a frame of Kiwi Kiss (I just wanted a very small border of green, so the frame is only 1/16" all the way around).

I ran the large piece of Whisper White cardstock through my Big Shot with the Square Lattice embossing folder.  I then cropped the cardstock to 5 1/8" x 3 7/8" and mounted it on the corresponding frame of Kiwi Kiss (again, just 1/16" border of green for a small pop of color).  I layered the Baja Breeze seam binding over the embossed cardstock and tied a bow on the left side.  I then mounted this onto the card base.  I mounted the stamped image on top of the ribbon, popping it up with dimensionals to give it depth.  I also popped up the sentiment with dimensionals.

I layered the remaining piece of Whisper White cardstock on the frame of Kiwi Kiss and mounted it to the inside of the card.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Watercolour Oak Leaves

Today I had my first watercolor lesson with my son, Jeremy.  He has his visual arts degree from SFU and is in his final semester for his teaching certificate.  Little did he know that he'd have to deal with unruly students like his mother :)

I really wanted to learn how to do a pansy ... but they are very complicated for a first-timer, so we started with a simple leaf sprig instead.  I thought I did really well ... quite proud of myself ... that was until I put it beside Jer's ... oh well, as with learning anything, it's practice, practice, practice.  As you can guess, my painting is on the right.


Another "watercolor" today using the Aqua Painter.  This is the first time I used the oak leaf stamp from Lovely as a Tree set (SU!).  The instructions for making this watercolor oak leaf are the same as for the Oak Tree, so if you're interested in trying this technique, check out my Watercolor Oak Tree Tutorial on the tutorial page.  Hope you like.

"Watercolor Oak Leaves"
Stamps:  Lovely as a Tree; Just Believe (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Soft Suede, Autumn Traditions Designer Series paper - acorns, Very Vanilla (SU!); Arches 140lb. cold press "Natural White" watercolor paper
Ink:  Soft Suede; Stampin' Write Markers:  So Saffron, Old Olive, Always Artichoke, Soft Suede
Accessories & Tools:  Aqua Painter, sponge, Dark Brown Suede strip, sticky strips and dimensionals

* * * * *

I used the Old Olive Stampin' Write marker and Aqua Painter to create a "wash" for the background of the watercolor paper.  I inked the Oak Leaves stamp with Stampin' Write markers: Soft Suede for branch and acorn; So Saffron for tips of leaves; Old Olive for leaves; Always Artichoke down the middle of each leaf.  I stamped in the middle of the large piece of watercolor paper and used my Aqua Painter to add water. 

Tip:  Do not add much water to the acorn - you want the definition of show.  After watercoloring, I dried my work with the heat tool and then took the fine end of the Always Artichoke marker to lightly draw in the veins of the leaves to add more definition.  I also added fine lines with the Soft Suede marker to the branch and acorn.  I stamped the sentiment in Soft Suede ink onto the small piece of watercolor paper.

I sponged the edges of all pieces (including the front of the card) with Soft Suede to give it an aged look.
I mounted the watercolored leaves onto the frame of Soft Suede and tied the piece of dark brown suede around the bottom.

I mounted the Very Vanilla cardstock onto one of the Acorn papers and adhered them to the inside of the card.

I mounted the other Acorn paper to the front of the card base.  I added the framed leaves and sentiment, popping them up to add dimension.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Embossed Flowers

I thought I'd be taking the day off from the art studio today, but I really wanted to try the flower tutorial that Kittie Caracciolo has on her website.  So easy and they are so pretty!  I love the look that she uses by embossing the paper first - it just adds so much texture to the flowers and leaves.  I CASE'd this card of hers.  Of course, this is my first attempt at making the flowers, so they definitely need improvement.  I used a rolled rose for the center flower.  Hope you like.

"Embossed Flowers"
Paper:  Pretty in Pink, Whisper White (SU!)
Ink:  Pretty in Pink, Rose Red, Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Sizzix Square Lattice embossing folder, Sizzix Little Leaves die-cut, MS Vine Trim punch, sponges, 5/8" Pretty in Pink satin ribbon, 8 mini white half-pearls, sticky strips and dimensionals
* * * * *
Check out Kittie's tutorial on how to make the flowers.  I used sponged Whisper White cardstock for the flowers and leaves so that when I cut out them out, the edges are white (hard to tell in the photo).  It just adds more depth, but colored cardstock can be used instead to make it easier.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Butterfly Easel

Today I'm having the crafty girls over to make a Father's Day card.
After making Cranberry & Orange Scones for my hubby for breakfast (yum!!), I headed to the art studio.  The girls weren't coming for a couple of hours, so I thought I'd make a card that I had seen on Splitcoaststampers website that I just love.  Here's the card I CASE'd this morning ... 
It's a tiny card (approx. 3 1/8" x 2 1/4") and would make the perfect gift card ... or I'm thinking I could make a set of cards in a butterfly shaped box and give it as a gift.  It only took me about 15 minutes to make too!  Hope you like.
"Butterfly Easel"
Stamps:  Because I care (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Pink Pirouette (SU!)
Ink:  Pink Pirouette, Pretty in Pink (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Bigz Beautiful Butterflies die-cut, Big Shot, Cuttlebug "Birds & Swirls" embossing folder, Large pearl brad, paper piercing tool or small hole punch, sponge, sticky strips
* * * * *
Using the die-cut, cut out the medium-sized butterfly, positioning the fold just below the tip of the wings (approx. 1/4").  Cut out the same butterfly as a single and also the small butterfly.

On the butterfly base card, with fold at the top, open the card and score a line between the wings of the top butterfly and then crease the fold backwards.  This creates the easel part of the card.

Run the single two butterflies through the Big Shot with the embossing folder.  Lightly sponge Pink Pirouette ink in a circular motion on the butterflies, highlighting the embossing.  Also sponge the edges of all pieces with the Pink Pirouette ink.  Stamp the sentiment with Pretty in Pink ink inside the card.

Attach the small embossed butterfly on top of the large embossed butterfly and punch a hole in the middle.  Thread the pearl brad through the hole and secure at the back.  Attach the two butterflies onto the card base using sticky strips.  Curl the wings of the two butterflies to add depth.  Also slightly curl up the lower wings on the bottom butterfly - this acts as a stand for the tips of the top butterfly to stand in. 

Picture of cards made at our class today ...
Kelly stayed for a few extra minutes at the end to make a butterfly easel card.  It only took 10 minutes!!  Nice job Kel !!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Watercolour Oak Tree

Today I'm prepping for a class I'll be holding this coming Sunday.  My friends want to make a Father's Day card ... I know it's early, but these crafty girls have busy, busy schedules so it's best to get it organized early.  I made an easel card last month with a watercolor of the Oak Tree stamp from Lovely as a Tree stamp set.  It turned out so great and they want to make the same card on Sunday.  Now, we did a class a few weeks ago and they made their first easel card  (for Mother's Day) ... so I'm going to leave it up to them whether they want to make another easel card, or a standard card.  I've also purchased two embossing folders since I made my Oak Tree watercolor last month, and both of them would make awesome backgrounds, adding a lot of extra texture to the card, so I've made two standard cards examples, each with a different embossed background, and they will choose on Sunday which background they prefer for their card.  It should be fun!
I absolutely love the look of the watcolor oak tree and plan on doing a quick (and easy) tutorial on it soon.
"Watercolor Oak Tree"
Stamps:  Oak Tree from Lovely as a Tree; Just Believe (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Early Espresso, Soft Suede (SU!); Arches 140lb. cold press watercolor paper
Ink:  Early Espresso, Soft Suede, Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive; Stampin' Write markers:  Early Espresso, Soft Suede, So Saffron, Old Olive, Always Artichoke (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Cuttlebug Embossing Folder - Forest Branches ... or Sizzix Embossing Folder - Square Lattice, Big Shot (or similar machine), sponges, Aqua Painter, sticky strips and dimensionals
* * * * *
I inked the oak tree stamp with Stampin' write markers and stamped onto the watercolor paper.  I used the Aqua Painter to blend the inks (or you could use a paintbrush or small-tipped sponge and water).

I ran the 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" piece of Soft Suede through the Big Shot with the embossing folder and then cropped it to size (5 1/8" x 3 7/8").  (Tip:  If there is a lot of texture to the embossing, then I find if I cut the paper to size first and then emboss it, sometimes it ends up smaller than I wanted - so it's best to cut your paper a little larger, emboss it and then crop to size.)
I sponged the raised embossing with Early Espresso ink.

I adhered all the pieces as per the pictures above, popping up the main image and sentiment with dimensionals.  Again, I will be doing a step-by-step tutorial on this card soon!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Baskets

Today I made a few more Easter baskets for this coming weekend.  Even though my kids are grown, I still like to get them a little treat to enjoy.  I used the same template from Stamp TV that I used for the baskets that I made in March.  Check out their video instructions.  I used pale green, yellow and blue for the baskets and they will look great once they are filled with candy!  I didn't have an Easter stamp ... so I just hand-printed Happy Easter and then added dots at the ends of all the strokes of the letters (something I learned when I took tole painting years ago).
"Easter Baskets"

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sparkling Winter Wonderland

Even though it's spring time ... I felt like doing a winter scene today.  I love doing all kinds of techniques with my cards (as you can tell by the varied styles of my cards) ... but my very favorite is brayering.  There is just something peaceful about doing a landscape, waterscape or snowscape.  This was a quick and easy card ... only using three different colors of blue ink, along with some white ink highlights.  I may have gotten carried away with the amount of stickles ...
I used Whisper White cardstock today ... a change from my usual of glossy white.  I really like the mat finish on this card.  This would make a great Christmas card ... but it's a little early to start those! :)   Hope you like.
"Sparkling Winter Wonderland"

Stamps:  Lovely as a Tree (SU!)
Paper:  Night of Navy, Whisper White (SU!)
Ink:  Baja Breeze, Pacific Point, Night of Navy, Whisper White (SU!); Versamark Pen
Accessories & Tools:  Speedball Rubber Brayer, post-it notes for masking, white embossing powder, heat tool, sponge, Swirls embossing folder, Big Shot, stickles, toothbrush, small paintbrush, temporary adhesives, sticky strips and dimensionals

* * * * *

I inked the trees (and trunks) with the Versamark Pen (avoiding the "hills" at the bottom of the trees) and stamped on the smaller piece of Whisper White.  I then embossed the image with white embossing powder.  I found the cardstock warped a little with the heat, so I used quite a bit of temporary adhesive to attach it to my scratch paper before I started brayering.  I wanted it have a smooth, wrinkle-free surface in which to brayer.

Next, I ripped a mask from a post-it note for the horizon (snow) line and placed it at the bottom of the tree trunks.  I started from the top, brayering first Baja Breeze and taking it right down to the mask.  Next I brayered Pacific Point on top, making sure to not completely cover the Baja Breeze.  Night of Navy was brayered on top, making sure to not completely cover the Pacific Point.  I used a small sponge and Baja Breeze ink to add a darker line right at the masking edge.  I took a cloth (or you could use paper towel) and wiped off the trees ... blue ink from the brayering will sit on top of the embossed surface so it needs to be wiped off before proceeding.  I removed the mask and then ripped a few more masks with scratch paper.  I used those to created the hills in the snow, sponging Baja Breeze along the edges.  I removed all masks.  I took a toothbrush and wet it with water, swiped it across my white ink pad and then sprayed it with a little more water.  I then used my thumb to "flick" white drops of ink all over the scene so it looks like it is snowing.  The wetter the ink on the toothbrush, the larger the drops of ink.  I used my heat tool to dry the image and then cropped it to 4 1/4" x 3".

I ran the larger piece of Whisper White through my Big Shot with the Swirls embossing folder.  I used sticky strips to attach it to the card base.  I also used sticky strips to attach the main image to the frame of Night of Navy ... the paper was still a little warped (adding the wet drops of ink also increases the chances of that happening) ... so adding sticky strips along all four sides helps to smooth out the image and keep it flat.  I used dimensionals to add the framed image to the card.  Last I used a small paintbrush to add stickles all over the trees and along the tops of the snow "hills".

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cabin in the Woods

A few weeks back I received my latest order from Stampscapes ... their stamps are amazing!  I had fun experimenting today.  The card didn't turn out as I had planned ...  but not bad for a first attempt at using the new Curvilinear Road stamp that I just bought.  I did realize that I need to buy some more stamps from them!!  I need to have some bush stamps to add around the cabin so that it doesn't look like the cabin is floating.  I used "Lovely as a Tree" stamp from Stampin' Up! to add to the scene, but I really wanted something with leaves.  I see another on-line purchase in my future!! :)   Hope you like.
"Cabin in the Woods"
Stamps:  Lakeside Cabin, Curvilinear Road, Pine Row, Reeds Lg., Sedge Filler, Pebbles, Clouds (Stampscapes); Lovely as a Tree (SU!) 
Paper:  Early Espresso, Whisper White
Ink:  Old Olive, Always Artichoke, Baja Breeze, Marina Mist, Whisper White; Stampin' Write markers:  Early Espresso, Soft Suede, Sahara Sand, Always Artichoke, Old Olive 
Accessories & Tools:  Colorbox Stylus (or sponges), paper towel for masking
* * * * *
I inked the Curvilinear Road stamp using Stampin' Write markers Always Artichoke and Soft Suede and stamped at the bottom-middle of the Whisper White cardstock.  Using paper towel to mask the pathway, I stamped Sedge filler in Always Artichoke all over the grassy hill areas.  Next I inked the Lakeside Cabin using Early Espresso Stampin' Write marker and stamped at the top of the left hill.  I sponged the cabin walls with Sahara Sand ink and the roof with Soft Suede and also outlined the cabin again in Early Espresso.  I partially inked the Lovely as a Tree stamp and stamped the three trees in the lower middle grass area.  After cleaning my stamp, I partially inked the Lovely as a Tree stamp again, adding the two trees on the right hand side.  I used paper towel to mask the cabin and with Always Artichoke, inked the Pine Row stamp and stamped it behind the cabin, re-inked it again and stamped it on the right-hand side, behind the hill.  Using a sponge, I filled in the Pine trees with Old Olive ink.

I masked the grassy area and inked the pebbles stamp with Soft Suede and stamped pebbles down the pathway.  I re-inked the stamp with Early Espresso and randomly stamped the pebbles at the bottom middle of the pathway (making the pebbles darker at the front of the work makes it seem like they are closer).  Leaving the paper towel masks in place, I used my sponge to lightly ink the pathways with Sahara Sand.  I then sponged Soft Suede in the pathways, close to the edges to define the path.

I masked the pathways with paper towel and using a sponge, inked the grassy areas with Old Olive and random areas of Always Artichoke.  I sponged the edges of the grassy areas with Always Artichoke to define them and also added it at the bottom of the tree trunks.  I stamped the Reeds Lg., in Always Artichoke ink, four times (twice on the left and twice on the right sides of the front of the pathway).

I sponged the sky lightly with Baja Breeze, leaving a few white spaces.  I sponged Marina Mist along the top of the cardstock to make the sky seem darker at the top.  I inked the Clouds stamp with Whisper White and randomly stamped it in the sky, and then used a small-tipped sponge to blur the edges of the clouds.

Finally I used Always Artichoke Stampin' Write marker to outline the pathway to define it even more.  I mounted the image onto the Early Espresso card base. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Night Sky at the Lake

I've had some major back pain for the past couple of days (it's a chronic thing) ... so that means not much sleep ... and ... also means another day of taking it easy.  The good thing about taking it easy is that I get to spend a lot of time in the art studio housework (darn!) ... no gardening ... no meeting friends for lunch as planned (that is the tough part!)   :(
Since I have lots of time today, I thought I'd make another brayered card.  Creating them takes time ... figuring out what colors to use and what order to add the colors, etc.  The actual brayering itself is pretty fast.
I found a few websites that have beautiful landscape photos and they have been a source of inspiration for my brayered cards.  Take the Tropical Sunset card from April 14th ... I saw a photo that had a large palm with a wharf in the background and was able to use that idea in my card.  Today I working from a photo of a lake with mountains in the distance and cattails (bulrushes) in the foreground.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  Hope you like.
"Night Sky at the Lake"
Stamps:  Inspired by Nature (SU!)
Paper:  Not Quite Navy, Basic Black, Whisper White (SU!)
Ink:  Baja Breeze, Not Quite Navy, Night of Navy, Basic Black, Barely Yellow, Pretty in Pink; Stampin' Write marker:  Basic Black
Accessories & Tools:  Speedball Rubber Brayer, post-it note for masking, ripped scratch paper for masking, sponges, slot punch, 3" square of acetate (optional)
* * * * *
On the Whisper White cardstock, I brayered with Baja Breeze 1/3 up from the bottom of the page and 1/2 way down from the top.  Next I brayered Not Quite Navy on top of both ends of the cardstock, making sure to not completely cover the Baja Breeze (leave just a little showing).  Final brayering was Night of Navy on top of both ends of the cardstock, making sure to not completely cover the Not Quite Navy.

There will be a small amount of white space just below center of the cardstock.  Using a small sponge, I added Pretty in Pink in that white space, not completely covering all the white.  I sponged Barely Banana on top of the Pretty in Pink, making sure all the white space is now covered.  I added a post-it note across the middle of this lighter space to mark the horizon line.  Next, I ripped a mask from scrap paper for a low range of mountains.  I placed it above the masked horizon line and used a sponge and Basic Black ink, to sponge in the mountain range until it was very dark.  I used my heat tool to heat set the image and dry the ink.  I also heat set the ripped mountain range mask .... the mask needs to be dry.  I removed the horizon line mask and flipped the mountain range mask upside-down to mask the reflection of the mountains in the water below the horizon line.  I sponged the reflection with Basic Black ink, but not too dark.  I inked the grass stamp from the Inspired by Nature set with Basic Black ink and stamped at the bottom of the card.

I punched a slot in the acetate to create a stencil for the cattails (you can use scrap cardstock instead of acetate, but the acetate allows you to see where you'll be placing your "stencil").  Using the stencil, sponge and Basic Black ink, I randomly sponged in five cattails.  Using the Basic Black Stampin' Write marker, I made some of the cattails larger and also added a small thin stem that protrudes from the top of each one.  I heat set the image.  I sponged Basic Black ink along the bottom and top of the cardstock and heat set again.

I mounted the brayered image on Basic Black cardstock and then mounted the framed image onto the card base of Not Quite Navy cardstock.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pink Rose

Today I'm back to sponging.  I just bought the Fifth Avenue Floral stamp set and thought the large rose from the set would look really nice if it was sponged with different pinks.  Hope you like.
"Pink Rose"
Stamps:  Fifth Avenue Floral, Because I Care (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Regal Rose, Whisper White (SU!)
Inks:  Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive, Pink Pirouette, Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose (SU!); Versamark
Accessories & Tools:  Square lattice embossing folder, Big Shot, 3/8" Kiwi Kiss satin ribbon (approx. 6"), white embossing powder, heat tool, Colorbox stylus or any small sponges, small oval punch, medium oval punch, sticky strips, glue and dimensionals
* * * * *
Using Versamark ink, I stamped the rose onto the 3 1/8" x 2 7/8" piece of Whisper White cardstock.  I quickly poured white embossing powder over the image and then removed any excess powder.  I used the heat tool to melt the embossing powder.

Using my Colorbox stylus (small sponge with handle), I added Kiwi Kiss and Old Olive to the cardstock around the outside of the embossed image.  I then sponged Pink Pirouette over the whole rose.  I added Pretty in Pink on top of the Pink Pirouette, covering most of the rose, but leaving the outside leaves lighter.  I finished by sponging Regal Rose to the middle of the rose.  I attached the main image onto a frame of Regal Rose cardstock using sticky strips.

I embossed the large piece of Whisper White with the Square Lattice embossing folder in my Big Shot.  I attached it to the card base using sticky strips.  I then adhered the 3/8" satin ribbon to the 1/2" wide piece of Regal Rose and used sticky strips to attach it approx. 3/4" from the bottom of the card.  The sentiment was centered on top of the ribbon, popping it up with dimensionals.

I adhered the framed main image onto the card, popping it up with dimensionals to add depth.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tropical Sunset Tutorial

It's been a busy couple of days ...
Yesterday I dog-sat my grand-doggie Penny.  She is recovering from surgery and spent a quiet day with her "Nana & Grandpa".  We really enjoyed spending the day with her - she is sooooo adorable!  When she was sleeping yesterday, I started a tutorial for my next brayered card.  This card is a little more involved that my previous ones ... only because there is a small bit of hand drawing involved.  Even though it's just a small part of the overall card, I know that my friends will be anxious about trying it ... but trust me, it's very easy!  This card only uses three colors of ink, but it definitely looks like more.  That's the great thing about brayering because you get different ranges of color from the inks.
I also received my latest Stampin' Up! order in the mail yesterday and couldn't wait to try out one of my latest purchases - Square Lattice embossing folder.  Unbelievable texture - I just love it and I'm sure I'll get a LOT of use from it!  I thought it was a perfect backdrop for this card ... it reminds me of a wicker chair that you'd sit on while looking at this beautiful sunrise! 
Here's the card and link to the tutorial that I created yesterday.  Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to make this card.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Vintage Rose

During my card class yesterday, I was showing my friends how to make their own background paper using sponges and inks.  I made a 1/2 sheet of paper using Rich Razzleberry, Baja Breeze, Elegant Eggplant with a little Kiwi Kiss and Old Olive.  I didn't have anything planned for my background paper - it was for demo only - so I decided to make some rolled roses and they turned out really pretty.  I'm hoping to write a tutorial in the next while on how I made my rolled rose with leaves.
Today I made a card, starting with the rolled rose from yesterday and building on it.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  It looks like a vintage card (which is very popular these days) ... the only thing I'm not completely happy with is the crocheted lace trim.  I think it's a bit thick and bulky for this card, but it's all I had.  Hope you like.
"Vintage Rose"
Stamps:  Echoes of Kindness (SU!)
Paper:  Rich Razzleberry, Whisper White, Cottage Wall Designer Series paper (SU!)
Ink:  Rich Razzleberry, Baja Breeze, Elegant Eggplant, Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive, Sahara Sand (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Nestabilities Label Ten and Large Oval die-cuts, Big Shot, Flourish Texturz plate,  "Clouds" shaped scissors, Two-Step Bird punch, Crocheted Lace (approx. 18"), six mauve half-pearls, sponges, sticky strips, and adhesives
* * * * *
As mentioned above, I made by own paper by randomly sponging Baja Breeze, Rich Razzleberry, Elegant Eggplant, Kiwi Kiss and Old Olives inks on to the large piece of Whisper White cardstock.  I cut out a circle (approx. 3 1/2" round) using the "Cloud" shaped scissors and created a rolled rose.  I used the Two-Step Bird punch, using the "wing" to make two leaves for behind the rose (I pinched the leaves at the bottom to create some depth).

Next I ran the 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" piece of Rich Razzleberry cardstock through my Big Shot with the Flourish Texturz plate ... unfortunately, it doesn't show in the photo above, but it adds a little texture and depth to the background paper.

I ran the Label Ten die-cut through the Big Shot with the Cottage Wall Designer series paper to create the frame for the focal point of the card.

I stamped the saying in Rich Razzleberry ink on Whisper White cardstock and ran it through my Big Shot, cutting out an oval.  I found it to be too shark white so I lightly sponged Sahara Sand on the oval to make it look more "vintage".  I sponged the edges of the oval with Old Olive ink.

I mounted the oval onto the Label Ten and added three half-pearls to both the top and bottom.  I attached a piece of crocheted lace to the embossed panel, about 1" from the bottom.  I adhered the framed saying on top of the lace, so it just overlaps the lace a little.  I added a bow at the side and a rolled rose on top of the bow.  Then, using sticky strips, I adhered the whole front panel to the card base.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mother's Day Easel Cards

Here's a picture from my card class with my friends today.  We started by making our own ribbon roses to use on the card and we also made a paper carnation (to be used later).  We made a mother's day easel card, making our own background paper by sponging ink and embossing with rubber bands.  The cards turned out beautifully!  Deb, Frances and Kelly all used different colors of ink and paper, so each one is unique.  I took a picture before we made the 3-D envelopes to hold the cards (oops!).
We took a short break to celebrate Deb's 50th birthday ... mango mousse cake and black currant tea - yum!  Thanks to Kelly for picking up the delicious cake!  And happy belated birthday to Deb ... looking forward to getting together next weekend for a lunch out to celebrate!

Here's a quick card that I made last night.  It's fairly easy and didn't take very long to make.  Hope you like.
"Just Believe in Pink"

Stamps:  Just Believe (SU!)
Paper:  Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
Ink:  Old Olive; Stampin' Write markers: Old Olive, Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose
Accessories & Tools:  sponge, 5/8" Pretty in Pink satin ribbon (approx. 9"), six white half-pearls (different sizes), shimmer paint, sticky strips  

* * * * *

I used the Stampin' Write markers to ink the Just Believe stamp, Old Olive for the stems and leaves, Pretty in Pink for all the flowers, Regal Rose was "thumped" on top of the Pretty in Pink to add depth.  I stamped the image four times on Whisper White cardstock, re-inking after each stamping.  I then added a couple more stampings of just one stem with a flower bud and one stem of leaves only ... this was to make it seem like the scene wasn't repeating itself across the page.  I sponged Old Olive along the bottom of the cardstock.

I tied the satin ribbon with a half-knot and attached it along the top of the cardstock.  I then misted the whole thing (card and ribbon) with shimmer paint to give the card some sparkle (hard to see in the picture).  I used sticky strips to attached the front panel to the card base.  I added six half-pearls to the center of the largest flowers.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Palm Beach Tutorial

I have written a new tutorial for a brayered card that I have taught to my friends in my advanced brayering class.  This uses the technique "emboss resist" and the tutorial gives you step-by-step instructions on how to create the card below using this technique.  Click here to take a look.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Silhouette Sentiment

When I was making the card for yesterday, I started by brayering just sky and mountains.  I decided I needed more color for the card I was planning, so I made a second brayered image (used for yesterday's card).  But I didn't want to throw away my first try ... it was pretty, just a little plain.  So I filed it away and today figured out what I was going to do with it ... waste not, want not! :)
This is a very simple but elegant card.  I love my Spellbinder's Nestabilities and used two sets for today's card - Classic Oval Small and Classic Oval Large.  Each set comes with die-cuts that leave 1/4" space between sizes ... but if you combine the two sets, they are sized so that they fit with each other, leaving 1/8" space between each die-cut.  Hope you like. 
Sorry for the picture quality ... it's hard to see the scoring details and the sentiment.
"Silhouette Sentiment"
Stamps:  Silhouette Sentiments (SU!)
Paper:  Baja Breeze, Whisper White, Glossy White
Ink:  Baja Breeze
Accessories & Tools:  Nestabilities Classic Ovals Small and Classic Ovals Large, Big Shot, Scor-Pal, Speedball rubber brayer, post-it notes for masking, sticky strips and dimensionals
* * * * *
I brayered the mountains and sky onto the glossy white paper using Baja Breeze as per instructions for yesterday's card.  I cut out the brayered image using Nestabilities Classic Small Oval (largest size) in my Big Shot.  I used the same oval die-cut to cut out the middle of the Whisper White cardstock.  I then used the Scor-Pal to add to lines on all four sides of the white front panel to add some interest and stamped my sentiment in Baja Breeze ink on the bottom right-hand side.

I used the Nestabilities Classic Oval Large (largest size and second to largest size) to cut out a frame in Baja Breeze cardstock.  Then on to assembling.  I dry-fit the front white panel onto the card base and then fit the brayered image in the cut-out space.  I glued the brayered image to the card base using sticky strips.  I glued the Baja Breeze frame to the front white panel of the card, centering it over the cut-out space.  I attached the white front panel to the card base using dimensionals to pop it up and add some depth.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Lovely Westcoast

I wanted to try to get the feeling of the Westcoast in my next brayered card, so I used a soft blue to brayer the mountains in the distance ... I'm happy with the way it turned out.  It definitely looks familiar!! :)
I ended up with the main image slightly smaller than when I started.  Sometimes with glossy paper there are imperfections (or fingerprints, even though I wipe the paper with a clean cloth before starting).  That happened to me today - there were small imperfections, luckily all on the one side of the paper near the edge.  So when I was finished brayering and stamping, I just cut the paper down a little ... you'd never know!  Hope you like.
"Lovely Westcoast"
Stamps:  Lovely as a Tree, Vintage Labels (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Glossy White, Soft Suede Designer Series (SU!); Brown Leather
Ink:  Old Olive, Baja Breeze; Stampin' Write markers:  Old Olive, Always Artichoke, Soft Suede, Early Espresso
Accessories & Tools:  Speedball Rubber Brayer, post-it notes for masking, sponge, clear embossing powder, heat tool, small oval punch, medium oval punch, suede strips, sticky strips, adhesives and dimensionals
* * * * *
I ripped a post-it note mask to cover the sky area on the glossy paper (about 2/3).  I brayered Old Olive up to the mask and then used a small sponge to add a darker line right along the mask at the top of the "grass" area.  I removed the mask and ripped a new mask for the first set of mountains (right above the grass area).  I covered the rest of the sky with the mask and then brayered Baja Breeze ink for the first mountain range, ending at the grass.  I removed the mask and placed the third (and final mask) to covered the sky, creating a second range of mountains above the first.  I brayered with Baja Breeze and carried it down to just above the lowest dip in the first mountain range, leaving a small bit of white space (it's hard to tell in the picture above).  I removed the mask and then brayered Baja Breeze just at the top of the sky area, leaving lots of white space between the top range of mountains and the blue sky.

Using Stampin' Write markers, I inked the tree with Soft Suede and Old Olive and stamped the tree in the middle of the grass area.  I used my heat tool to heat set and dry the ink.  I then "colored" in the trunk of the tree with more Soft Suede and also random swipes of Early Espresso.  I colored in the tree branches with Old Olive and Always Artichoke.  I heat set the inks again.

A knotted double strand of suede strips was added at the top left corner of the main image.  The main image was mounted onto the background paper and card base as shown in the picture above, popping up the main image with dimensionals.

The sentiment was stamped in Early Espresso ink and embossed with clear embossing powder.  

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Bird's Nest

A while back I started a card and once I had the background paper done, I wasn't sure what to do with it.  I had used my Little Leaves die-cut for a previous card, then kept the "stencil" that's created when die-cutting and used it to sponge a backdrop of leaves on white paper.  I added a grid with the Scor-Pal and then ran out of ideas of what to do.  I had tried adding some flowers and they just didn't look right, so I filed away the background and today, it just came to me what to do with it.  Viola ... my bird's nest card.  Hope you like.
"Bird's Nest"
Stamps:  Pendant Park (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Whisper White, Not Quite Navy (SU!)
Ink:  Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive, Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Night of Navy (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Two-step bird punch, Little Leaves die-cut (stencil), raffia, Word Window punch, Scor-Pal, white gel pen, sticky strips, adhesives and dimensionals
* * * * *
Using the stencil that's left over after cutting out the Sizzix Little Leaves, I sponged Kiwi Kiss and Old olive to create the leafy backdrop on the Whisper White cardstock.  I then used the Scor-Pal to create a grid (see Splitcoaststampers for tutorial on how to create a grid).  I finished the background paper by sponging around the outside edges with Old Olive and Kiwi Kiss inks.

I sponged two strands of raffia with Soft Suede ink and then added random patches of Early Espresso ink to give the raffia some color.  I wound one strand around two fingers several times, pulled in off and then started wrapping the other way.  Once one strand was used up, I added a second strand and kept wrapping until I was happy with the look of my "nest".  I tied the two strand ends together at the back to secure and hold everything in place.  I used sticky strips to glue the nest to the background, placing it on one branch.  I punched the bird out of Not Quite Navy cardstock and sponged with Night of Navy ink around the edges.  I glued the back wing to the body of the bird and popped up the front wing with a dimensional.  I then placed the bird sitting in the nest and popped it up with another dimensional.  I used the white gel pen to add an eye on the bird.

I stamped the sentiment in Night of Navy ink and punched it out with the Word Window punch and added it below the nest.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Happy Graduation Card

I had a request from Melissa on Splitcoaststampers asking for instructions on how to make the below Graduation card.  I made this card last October when my son received his degree in Visual Arts from SFU.  I CASE'd this card from Jackie Topa.  Hope you like.
"Happy Graduation Card"
Stamps:  None (computer-generated sentiment)
Paper:  Pacific Point, Real Red, Whisper White (SU!)
Ink:  Whisper White (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  5/8" Basic Black satin ribbon (approx. 8"), small brad, gold thread, hole punch, sticky strips, adhesives and dimensionals
* * * * *
First I made the "shirt" ... using one the two pieces of 4" x 2" Whisper White (laying vertically), I scored a line from the 1" over from the top right to 1" down from the top right (diagonal line) and then creased the fold (see below picture for visual).  I repeated this with the second 4" x 2" piece but on the left hand side.

I then layered the left hand piece over top of the right, just overlapping slightly at center (about 1/8") and adhered them together.  I then cut a "V" shape with my shirt from the top left corner to the middle of the bottom and from the top right corner to the middle of the bottom (see below picture for visual).
I punched a hole in the middle, just under the collar of the shirt (or you could cut a slit with an Exacto knife).  I took the black satin ribbon and tied a loose 1/2 knot and fed one end through the hole and glued it to the back of the white cardstock.  I used a couple of glue dots to hold the "tie" onto the shirt.
I then used the Real Red 5/8" strips of paper to add a design on top by gluing them along the edge of the "V" and overlapping the strips at the bottom and then trimming any excess.  The thin strips of Pacific Point were placed on top of the red, overlapping at the bottom and then trimmed to created the "V".  Then the whole panel was adhered using sticky strips to the card base, lining it up with the top edge.

I framed the sentiment (that I printed on my computer) on Real Red cardstock and adhered to the bottom right side of the card front.

The "hat" was next.  I took the 2 1/2" piece of Pacific Point and scored a line 1/4" in on all four sides and folded the creases to the back and glued them down ... this give the illusion of depth of the hat, but you can certainly just use a 2" piece of cardstock instead.  I sponged the edges with Whisper White ink to give more definition to the hat since it would be sitting on the blue cardstock.  I punched a small hole in the middle, made a tassel out of gold thread and threaded it through the hole and glued it to the back and then added a small brad through the same hole.  The hat was attached to the card and popped up with dimensionals to give it even more depth.

I framed the inside white panel with Real Red cardstock and adhered to the inside of the card.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Baby Buggy

Today I'm sharing how I made a "Baby Buggy" card.  It's so adorable and you will definitely be the only one giving a special card like this!  Hope you like.
"Baby Buggy"

Stamps:  Short & Sweet (sentiment) (SU!)
Paper:  Pacific Point Blue, So Saffron, Whisper White
Ink:  Pacific Point Blue
Accessories & Tools:  Big Shot (or cutting machine), large scalloped circle die-cut, Swirls Scribbles Sizzlits die-cut, Sizzix buttons die-cut, 1 3/8" circle punch, scallop trim border punch, small oval punch, medium oval punch, scalloped circle punch, two yellow buttons, 6" yellow 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, polka-dot embossing folder

* * * * *

I ran the folded card base through my Big Shot with the scalloped circle die-cut, making sure the fold was inside the circle on the left hand side by about 1/2".  I then ran the card base through the Big Shot again with the polka-dot embossing folder.

I used the 5" x 2" So Saffron cardstock to punch out the scalloped border, trimmed it to size and adhered it to the middle of the buggy and along the front edge of the "bonnet" part of the buggy.  Using the 8" x 2" So Saffron cardstock, I punched out four 1 3/8" circle for the wheels and attached two at the front and two at the back of the card.  It's important to have wheels on the back of the card in order to balance the card so it will sit straight.  Two Pacific Point flower buttons are centered on the wheels on the front of the card.  Two yellow buttons are centered on the flower buttons.

The sentiment was stamped using only half of the "welcome baby" stamp and then framed as per the picture above (popped up with dimensionals).  The Swirls Scribbles die-cut was used for the handle and a yellow bow finished off the card.