Sunday, March 31, 2013

CAS-ual Fridays Stamps Sampler

Hi all, Happy Easter! Ttoday's my day on the CAS-ual Fridays Stamps blog to showcase cards made with Michele's really awesome stamps. They inspired me to make quite a few, so I'll get right to it ...

First up is a card that uses the "mazing" portion of "ah-mazing" in Exclamations.

 I found a web site that has a printable maze for every capital letter. How fun is that for a little person card? They can do some "mazing" of their own right on the card. I resized the A and H and printed a bunch of card bases out. Then the fun began.

 I cut out a mask and played around with blending the Hero Arts neon inks.

You've got a straightforward, solid color on each letter,

a vertical ombre effect on the letters and sentiment,

a splotchy rainbow,

a diagonal ombre rainbow (Moxie Fab ombre challenge),

black & white with a gradient sentiment,

 and black & white with vertical edging.

SO EASY to print these out, stamp the "mazing" and do minimal decoration to the rest of the card. My 5 year-old loved doing the mazes in my "reject" pile. These would be great for a birthday, congrats, any special occasion you're excited about.

The next card uses some old bases I punched out maybe 5-10 years ago, and the brand spankin' new Amazeballs set.

 I slid the U through the hole in the R, and adhered it to the top of the window. This lets the glittery R dangle freely, and sparkle even more as you open it. U R Amazeballs. The background has some amazeballs colored with alcohol markers.

This next feature shows a card I made for the Ka-boom sneak peek, where I really liked the concept, but something didn't set quite right with me in the execution.

 I added some of the random circles from Amazeballs to the masked strip on the bottom. Now I think it has a little more energy, matching the tone of the sentiment.

The last card uses the Ka-boom set:

The gray "tick tick tick tick" goes around the border, ending at "You're the Bomb." I put the sentiment on an angle to be a little more dynamic. The bloom builder dies from Papertrey worked out perfectly for an explosion behind the fussy-cut bomb.

Thanks for sticking with me, I know there were a lot of cards! All of the stamps you see here are available at CAS-ual Fridays Stamps.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Double Negative Cut Birthday Card

My boys are going to a birthday party about every other weekend, and for quite awhile I've been looking for a quick, yet personalized, boy birthday card that could be reproduced easily.

Usually I have my son draw a picture for the outside of the card and then sign the inside. But as a card-maker, I always felt a little guilty for not making something a little bit more involved. The Silhouette was my answer. I wouldn't mind spending time designing something if I knew it could be easily altered, cut and assembled as needed.

This card is the result. It's a double-negative die-cut birthday card. The "9th" is cut out of the purple, "happy birthday nathan!" is cut out of the light blue, and it's all mounted on dark purple. For the next 10 birthdays, I can just change the name on the cut file, and cut out another set. I still had Logan draw a picture for the birthday boy, but we mounted it on the inside this time. 

If you're interested, here's the Silhouette cut file for this card.

Sharing this with the Moxie Fab Challenge to emphasize the negative.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, March 29, 2013

CFC #96 - Easter, But Not a Card


Has to be Easter, but not a card, for the CAS-ual Fridays challenge this week ... OK, let's make some Easter eggs with stamp supplies! 

There's a great prize package from Timeless Twine waiting for the winner!

Here's the first project. My husband's dear Grandma Griglione was a huge crafter, and in the 1970's made a ton of egg dioramas. Most were for Easter, but there were some Christmas ones too. When she passed away and we started dividing her estate, the one thing everyone wanted was her eggs. They held so many memories, and you could see a piece of Grandma G in each one of them. So the cousins all got together, and with the eggs in the middle of the table, took turns picking our favorites to display at home. Now as a crafter, I could not think of a better legacy when I pass, where my descendants would treasure and respect the things I made so much that they would prefer those over other material possessions. 

I wanted to honor Grandma Elaine Griglione with an egg diorama of my own. It's nothing like hers, but it uses my stamp supplies.

I cut right into the egg, yolk and all. 

 Then colored the shell, added trim around the opening, backed it with a shimmery wrapping paper, added some curly strips of paper, and fussy cut my only bunny image, from Papertrey's Tiny Treats Valentine's set.

 The sentiment that goes with that image is stamped on the top.

 I also made the stand from stringing seed beads on some fine gauge wire (I think 28) and winding it to make 3 rows. It's hot glued to the bottom.

For the rest of my projects, I made Easter eggs using my stamp supplies. Since I was going to be spending some time on these and wanted to keep them for future years, they needed to be blown out. Now nothing gives me a headache more than blowing out Easter eggs. So, since it's Spring Break and the kids are home, I enlisted my son and his friend Connor to do the dirty work. They loved it!!

Here's Logan punching a hole in the top with a needle. Repeat on the bottom side, and stick the needle inside several times to break up the yolk so it's easier to blow out.

 Then blow! The ooey-gooey stuff coming out was quite a hit. They wanted to keep going after we ran out of eggs. And, surprisingly, did a wonderful job!

For the coloring, I used Hero Arts Neon Inks because they have such great coverage.

These eggs all use masks. From left to right:
  1. Sponge ink over a circle graph mask;
  2. Sponge ink through a hole punched in printer paper;
  3. Sponge ink around rubber bands on the egg.

These eggs all use stamps. From left to right:
  1.  Stamp a tiny dot background stamp in pink, blue, purple;
  2. Stamp a bunny on a brown egg, color with chalk and marker, stamp sentiment;
  3. Stamp the Lawn Fawn border builder for a feathery look;
  4. Stamp a grid pattern.

These eggs are all ombre using the Hero Arts Neon inks (linking to Moxie Fab's ombre challenge). I should also mention that burlap strands make great nests/holders for the eggs. You just wrap the strings in a circle and they stay like that!

Thanks so much for looking!

PS. For those reading this post Thursday night, I'm at the Green Day concert now with my friends!! It's the kick-off show for their 2013 US tour in Chicago! Yay for Billie Joe getting rehab and rescheduling the tour dates : ) SO EXCITED, I can hardly stand it. LOVE THEM!! Who else can release 3 full-length albums at the same time?!

Then, we're taking advantage of Mom staying overnight to watch the kids and will go to the gambling boat afterwards. Will be a long, fun night : )

Monday, March 25, 2013

Papertrey March Blog Hop (Framed Sequins)

One more sequin card for the March Papertrey Blog Hop.

This one uses the Framed Out #12 Die to highlight several strings of ombre sequins.

To suspend the sequins, I built a shadow box frame with die cut layers.  Ardyth Percy-Robb's creatively layered snowflake was still in my head, so thought as long as I was building layers, I might as well make them ombre too. The thick frame allows the sequins to wiggle around freely if you touch them.

For a split-second I considered using invisible fishing wire to sew the sequins with. And then I voted in favor of my sanity. That stuff is so darn slippery. Double stitches of plain white thread seemed to be enough to hold the sequins. I used washi tape during the process to keep the strings in place on the frame.

And mounted it all on some glitter paper, just in case there wasn't enough bling! I'm linking this up to the Moxie Fab ombre challenge as well. And, I'll take Ardyth's advice and head over to LIM ... beads on an abacus? Sure!

Thanks for looking!

Papertrey March Blog Hop (Phone)

One of the oldest crafting staples, sequins seem to be the hot new kid on the block. While I've enjoyed using them as accents scattered across a card, I wanted to try using them as more of a design element in honor of this month's Papertrey Blog Hop.

I combined the phone from Heart-2-Heart and the Hello from Wonderful Words: Hello Mini Stamp Set on this card. Hopefully more people than not remember the curly-cue phone cords ...

 Who is having a panic attack right now? Uggh. Right?

So, instead of those curly-cues that always got tangled a million different ways, this phone cord carries a friendly message. "Hello" is stamped in gray and used as a guide for the embroidery thread. A thin line of glue traced along the letters holds the thread in place.

And did you notice I sneaked some  patterned paper in there? It's pretty basic, but I'm using it, thanks to the Pattern Play Online Card Class. Did you also notice that the pattern is centered both vertically and horizontally? Another tip from the class.

My first strip was not centered vertically (I put it on top of the card so you could see here) so I cut a different piece. You end up using more patterned paper to get the section you need, but it made a  difference to me when I looked at it again.

The sequins are glued to the edge of a acetate circle for the dial. A brad in the center attaches it to the phone, with additional sequins on the brad behind the circle to hold the dial above the phone. In theory, you could actually turn the dial, but I'm not 100% confident that the sequins would all hold! The phone itself is embossed with black glossy powder.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Emboss Resist on Patterned Paper + an Interview

(note, this is my second post of the day, please click here for the CFC #95 Challenge post)


Before I show my homework for this class, I wanted to mention that the super-creative-and-talented Tasnim asked me if I would do an interview for a blog she contributes to, called Paperie Design's Studio. How sweet of her to ask! It was a little strange answering the questions, as I've never given an interview before on card-making : ) If you're interested, head on over to check it out!


Now you wouldn't know it, but I've been taking the newest Online Card Class on using patterned papers. Love it! So far, it's been a mix. I've watched all of Day 2 videos, and the first of Day 4. These cards are a combination of those random lessons.

 First is a card using clear embossing on patterned paper. Now this paper is really bossy. But I thought that would be a good challenge for me. I'm shy around these patterns. Part of why I signed up for the class is to get more comfortable hanging around them. So I'm forcing myself.

All cards have this same clear-embossed damask on the same bossy paper.

Brown distress ink around the damask, a gold embossed sentiment and 3 aqua sequins for good measure (had gold sequins on there first, and then told myself to stop being so "safe" in this exercise.) One tip Jennifer shared was to add a narrow strip of paper to separate the papers if they're not looking right. I added the brown strip and think it looks better.

This card uses the white wash technique from Day 4. I don't have the Ranger white wash stain, but just used some white acrylic paint. At first I mixed it with a lot of water, but it allowed too much of the pattern to show through. I really just wanted it to look like an orange patterned paper damask on white paper. So I dry brushed the paint without any water. It was a little tricky, because you had to wait long enough for the paint to stick to the paper, but not so long that it wouldn't come off the emboss resist area. 

Now if I were the artistic Alexandra, I would show you all manner of creative photography on my process along the way. But, I realized you have to be pretty darn confident that what you're doing is going to turn out well before investing all that time in setting up and taking photos. And I certainly was not confident at all. So, no artsy photos to share of the process!

Also, I originally had tan cardstock where the green dots are now, and then scolded myself for not stretching. Then I found a patterned paper I liked ... and it was beige on beige. Sheesh, this is harder than it looks! So green dots it is. There. I did it. Two patterns.

My last attempt is a sympathy card. This time the paint sat on the damask longer than the last card. I was going to toss it, then figured it would make a nice, soft sympathy card. Hard to see, but the sentiment is Papertrey's "may you find peace and love in the memories you cherish." It was too dark, so I thought I could just paint over it and start over, but it still showed through. I left it because the wispiness went along with the "memories" sentiment, and the barely-there damask. I have the main sentiment on the inside in case this one is too difficult to read. 

I used Jennifer's Day 4 tip to add a large, grainy glitter for more interest.

Never in a million years would I have come up with these cards on my own, so I'm really glad I'm taking the class. And I'm looking forward to catching up on the other lessons. Sharing these with Papertrey's MIM on inking your own background.

Thanks for looking!

CFC #95 - No Stamps

Yep, you read right, NO STAMPS on your project for the CAS-ual Fridays Challenge this week! What a great opportunity to use some of the pre-made embellies you may have, stickers, die cuts, patterned paper, embossing, etc.  This week's sponsor is SRM stickers, who generously provided the design team with a sample of stickers to use for this challenge.

Here's a Happy Graduation set with a money holder card and a pillow box filled with candy. The nice thing about this set is the opportunity to customize it for the graduate. For High School graduates you can either use their high school colors, or college colors if you know where they're going. The orange and blue is in honor of University of Illinois (Go Illini ... good luck in the tournament today!!) I used orange Reese's Pieces to fill the SRM pillow box. Do you know M&Ms sells packets of green M&Ms (mint) and red M&Ms (raspberry)? I found them at the grocery story yesterday. Custom colors without having to pick through a mix of candy!

Using acetate for the card front (actually packaging from a Cricut cartridge) lets you take advantage of the clear SRM stickers. I thought it would be fun to dress up George and get him in the graduation party mood by putting the graduation cap sticker on the acetate. The sentiment is on the front too. Now, please don't think I'm the cheapest gift-giver around. But the scale of President heads on the $1 bill are better than the ones on the "new" currency. When it's time to actually use this, I'll get an old $20 or $50 from the bank.

See? Not the best.

 Here's a side view.

The pillow box is decorated with a Memory Box Beautiful Bows die cut. SRM stickers on the bow, and on the ribbon ends. "Graduation" wouldn't fit on the right side of the bow, so I just cut off  "uation" and then added the exclamation back. The clear stickers also work out well as a border for the top of the box.

This would be great when you want to give something a little extra along with your typical card and money. You can coordinate it with the envelope.

Here's another version with red school colors. These are "sour cherries" I found for less than a dollar, and still had most of the package left over.

Thanks so much for looking, and I hope to see you in the gallery! Check out the other design team inspiration there too : )

PS. A clue on the wooden molds that I'm using for card stands ...

Upon closer inspection, I found an inscription on one of them. Here it is:

I tried playing with the brightness and contrast to make it more readable, but my guess is that it says "??? Spray Equipment Co." and then perhaps that's a town on the next line? From Ohio or Oklahoma with that big "O" at the end? Or maybe it's a name. 

Eureka!!! I just googled "spray equipment company ohio" and guess what popped up?

 Plummer Spray Equipment Co Napoleon, OH

That's exactly what it says!! Looks like the company was established in 1912. They don't have a web site, but maybe I'll give them a call one day. Still have no idea what it was used for, but happy another piece to the puzzle is found.