Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The World's Most Neglected Blog

     Wow, does the time fly! I can't believe it's nearly August! I feel like I've had very little summer this year as I've been busy working, teaching, and making progress on my national certification. There hasn't been much time for doing fun things, but I have made time about once a month to sit and make something.

     The first project I made this summer was the result of a challenge from my crafting group. We all brought a little-used older stamp set to our last meeting, along with a sketch, and tried to use our old sets in new ways. I rediscovered my love of all things vintage on this project and remembered how much I love the look of stamped vellum!


 
     For the second project, I used my new butterfly dies from Stampin' Up to cut some paper I watercolored with random inks. I layered the die cuts over a simple white card base and some dry embossed white banner pieces. This was a fast and fun project!




    For the third card, I got a jump on creating my fall invitations. My family always hosts a Halloween party in the fall, and I know I will be consumed this fall with all the conferences I'm involved in.



     For this card, I used the partial die cutting technique to create a pumpkin border. I stared with a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inch piece of white card stock, placed my pumpkin dies along the edge, and just cut out the right hand side by staggering my cutting plates and trimming the space in between with my craft knife. I stamped the images on the front of the card, and then layered the front over a standard kraft card base with the front edge trimmed off by about an inch. Using dies for borders is such a fun technique, and doing this project really got my creative juices flowing about all the other dies I have in my stash that could be fun borders!

     Thanks for stopping by today, and sorry my blog has been so boring lately! I'm looking forward to all the challenges to come, but I know that time is sure to get away from me. Enjoy the sunshine!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

New PTI Goodies!

     I am in love with Papertrey Ink lately. Okay, I've always been pretty in love, but their latest anniversary release just had me drooling! For one, they announced a line of TINY buildings (and I'm obsessed with miniature stuff), and then, of course, everything was on sale. I admit it, temptation got the better of me.

     And I'm not sorry. Not one bit. I ordered a whole stack of stuff, including the Bitty Bouquet stamp set that I used for a clean and simple project this week. This design with the ink misted background is really a Betsy Veldman case, but I really just wanted to get in and stamp something. Thanks, Betsy!



 
 
     I've had the Rosie Posie set on my wish list for a long time, so I picked that one up on sale as well. I had tons of fun experimenting with these gorgeous flowers as well as the Think Big sentiments I ordered. I stamped my sentiment in gold on vellum and layered it over a text printed patterned paper. Why don't I do that more often?
 
 



     I hope you've all had a wonderful first few days of spring and have had some time to get creative! Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Like you a Latte

     For my latest project I decided to bust out one of my oldies ... that is, one of the first stamp sets I ever purchased. I have so many of these cute but lower quality photopolymer stamp sets, and sometimes I find it the extra work to get a good result too much for my meager patience. This week I steeled myself with an extra cup of coffee and got to work.

    I pulled out some leftover patterned papers from Stampin' Up, paper pieced these cute little mugs, and attached them over a die cut tag. A wrinkled seam binding bow seems to be my best friend lately, so I added one here spritzed with just a touch of coffee colored spray ink.


 
     I scattered some coffee beans on the inside of the card with the sentiment for a little added pizzazz. This set was challenging to work with, but the little cups are so cute that I have to keep them around a while longer!

Clean and Simple Simply Jane

     For this week's project, I decided to step out of my comfort zone with a clean and simple card project. I love my Simply Jane stamp set, and I wanted to create a modern, simple card that will be easy to mail.

 
 

     I chose a simple pastel patterned paper from Stampin' Up, stamped my sentiments in black, and die cut two images from the Simply Jane coordinating dies. The bright colors and trendy patterns mixed with the simple vintage images create a fun style contrast that can be replicated in minutes.

 Thanks for stopping by today, my friends!    

On the Farm Birthday

     Even though life is busy, I've been doing my best to create one small project each week. This week I had so much fun playing with Papertrey Ink's On the Farm stamp set!

     I found some leftover Stella and Dot papers in my stash and got to work on a simple project. I cut a small tag from Naturals Ivory cardstock (Stampin' Up) and embossed it with a chicken wire pattern. Then I stamped my background image in Crushed Curry, Pumpkin Pie, and Old Olive ink (Stampin' Up) and created faux stitching around the edges. For the main image, I die cut the horse with the On the Farm coordinating dies and used a simple watercolor wash to add a suede look.

 
 
 
     I die cut the cow and pig and watercolored them for the inside corner of the card for a fun surprise, then I added some softness to the card front with a seam binding bow and the sentiment heat embossed in white on a vellum banner. This set is just so ADORABLE!
 
     Thanks for stopping by today, friends!

Crafty Time!

    The best part of every month is getting together with my best craft buddies for craft night! This month we did some masking and learned how to make the pocket envelope card I shared in my last post. I love how individual these projects always turn out. I always leave inspired and dying to create another project using their ideas!

 
 

 
 

     Ladies, thank you for bringing so much joy and laughter to my life!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Envelope Pocket Card

One of the best parts of Stampin' Up's new envelope punch board is using it to make unique card designs! I originally saw this card design on Caroline van der Straaten's blog, and I have had a lot of fun playing with the basic concept! I created two variations using the Four Feathers and Flower Patch stamp sets.

 

To create my envelope pocket card, I created a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 envelope and taped down two opposite edges. The pocket is created by attaching the remaining flaps together. The pocket insert measures 4 1/4 x 5 1/2, fitting perfectly into the altered envelope. I embellished the outside and inside with a variety of feathers and a button that I rolled on my Versamark pad and heat embossed in gold.

Here is another variation on the same design in softer colors using the Best Year Ever Designer Paper from the current Sale-a-bration promotion. I ADORE the colors in this paper!


 
I hope you'll try this fun technique!

Watercolor Backgrounds

Hi, friends! I'm back today to share a super simple idea for creating fun backgrounds for cards and projects. If you've had any experience with fine art, you might remember this technique as wet-on-wet watercoloring. If not, it's a super simple way to add a specialty paper look to your card background in a snap.



You'll start with your favorite watercolor paper cut to the size of your card front, watercolor brushes (I used a small flat brush and a small round brush), dye reinkers, a bowl of water, a back board, and masking tape.

Start by attaching your watercolor paper to your backing board with masking tape. Tape around all four edges, creating an even border with your masking tape. This will leave a uniform white space all around the outside of your paper, which creates a tidy edge.

Choose your background colors and squeeze a few drops of each reinker color into a palette or paper plate. Using a clean brush, wet the whole surface of your paper, then begin dabbing color onto one area of the paper. The more water you add to your reinker, the more dilute the color. Add other shades and allow them to spread and bleed together. If you want them to bleed more, spray the paper lightly with water. You can remove any pooling with a paper towel. Allow the paper to dry completely and remove the tape. For the card above, I used three shades of blue and left quite a lot of the paper white.

This technique works well with bright colors as well! For this little card, I used three shades of pink and then stamped over my colored area when the paper was dry. I used a water pen to color over the ink on my heart to make it look painted on.

 
 
 
I experimented a lot using this technique for water as well, and came up with these cool backgrounds! Adding a sprinkle of salt when your paper is wet creates a really neat mottled effect. I also tried sprinkling water on the paper after it was dry to create some light blotches. What a messy and fun crafty afternoon!
 
 



Friday, February 13, 2015

Springtime Blooms

  We have had the world's weirdest January and early February here in Montana. Several days were in the 60's and coat-free! This would be wonderful if there weren't such huge natural consequences for these climate changes. Fire season, wildlife, our ground water ... all are affected by our lack of snow and ice. I'm sure winter will be back, but for now these high temps have me thinking about spring flowers!

  For this project I used my PTI Garden Variety stamps and dies. I don't know what it is about Papertrey Ink's designs, but they are just unmatched in their level of detail and old-fashioned charm.

 
This card makes me want to put on an old apron and plant tulips, but I'll have to wait a few more months. Unless spring really does decide to come early in Montana!
 
Thanks, friends! Have a wonderful weekend!

Belated Christmas Share!

  OH MY GOODNESS! I haven't posted since September, despite doing quite a bit of creating over the past few months. I must say that different stages of life have different priorities, and sometimes our hobbies must take back seat to all the other important things going on.

  Owning a home has turned some of my creative juices in that direction, but there simply aren't enough hours in the day to craft as much as I used to or would like to. I am preparing to start my national certification through MTNA (and will be for a good while), and my focus on my career as a teacher and pianist has taken over a lot of my time. This is a good move and the right one for me right now. Of course, I love my crafting time, and I promise to post whatever I can whenever I can.

  Of course it's now Valentine's day, but there are a few leftover projects from Christmas that I wanted to share, only for the sake of using these ideas again in the future. I enjoyed having my crafting group (aka my best buds) over for a weekend Christmas craft-a-thon in December. Here are a few of the projects we created and a few I worked up just for fun:

 
Moose with pants. The end.
 

 
This was a super simple card created with Nordic Noel DSP from Stampin' Up. These houses are just adorable!
 
 
 
Maybe my favorite project: A photo card with a transparent vellum window. This would be even cuter with a CHRISTMAS photo, but what kind of organized person has one of those laying around?
 

 
Also maybe my favorite: A shaker card using the Peace on Earth set from Stampin' Up, some sponging, and faux snow and sequins. These turned out just lovely. My only change to the design in future will be to increase the size of the shaker window so more of the cute little animals are visible through the snow.
 
 
 
This card features a removable shaker ornament on the front that can be taken off and hung on the recipient's tree. More houses!
 
 
  We always have a lot of fun with Christmas crafts at our house, and I hope these ideas inspire you when the time comes! On to the spring goodies! Thanks for stopping by!